It is quite official:

I am nerdy.

Who else would take a photoshoot of their daughter’s binder on the last day of school??

But I’m telling you, in my mind this baby is a piece of art.

…and so are the pages it holds.

There is a story behind every page of this thing.

Especially in all those bulging out notes from friends stuffed in the front cover:

(Which, I might add, she threw away before I even got to read them.  And I will not dwell on that little fact or I may start to cry again because of that throwing-away incident…doesn’t she realize those are gems??  Maybe she just didn’t want me to blog a few of them like I did last year 🙂

She carried that thing along with all these other notebooks around in her backpack all year long.

No wonder she’s getting so darn strong.

That binder helped her get good grades. 

Yeah, that thing did deserve a little photoshoot 🙂 

When school gets out, we sit down and go through the mountains of school work the kids have lugged home.

(And believe it or not, we are actually not that serious while we’re doing it…wow, we sure look like that is some serious business being done.)

We toss most of it out after fully soaking in how sweet/cute/great it is.  We take pictures of some things before we get rid of them.

Then we file away the stuff we love the most and can’t part with in these hanging file folders: 

There’s one hanging file for each year of school up through high school.

(One whole file box for each kid.)

Then hopefully they’ll take that thing with them when they move away.

And some day they’ll sit with their kids when they come home from school and check out how they used to write, draw, etc.

I love to bottle up time, and this is one of the best ways I know how.

(More details about this kind of filing system last year back here.)

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  1. I had to laugh … I squeaked a bit at my 14 year old daughter when she walked her binder to the trash. I said "WAIT! I need to record this for all of posterity b/c that binder is hanging on by its last thread!" (aka .. I need to blog about it). She groaned and ran it to the trash. It is gone. 🙁

    On a side note.. I sure wish I could be a matchmaker between my daughter & your son! 🙂

  2. and another side note.. I just realized my friend Valerie posted before I did! Small world!

    I too, use the same filing system for my girls.

  3. Wow, it's a miracle that binder survived a whole year. I agree it deserved a few pictures. 🙂 Great filing system idea. I also love the bedspread in the last picture and it has just the colors I'm looking for for my craft room/guest room. Do you mind sharing what you got it? Thanks!

  4. Wow, the teachers here get mad at binders like that. My sons english teacher told him if he came to school with that binder in that condition one more day, she was going to send him to the dean for detention. She told him it showed laziness….whatever!

  5. I use that system, too. Unfortunately, Jaden's box is near full and she's only about to start kindergarten! I have a hard time parting with her doodles…

  6. Lisa, shows laziness?! If a kid were lazy, their school binder would be in perfect condition… totally untouched!

    This is pretty unimportant but I never realised until recently that it's standard in the US to have paper punched with three holes. Here in the UK it's either two holes, or four – you can get four-ring binders but they're usually just two rings, so the outer holes are pointless. Odd.

  7. i totally taught elle that swirl doodle method 🙂 and man that brings back a lot of memories of junior high notes from friends!

    love you and can't wait to see you soon!!

  8. I love this post! My favorite picture is the one of the inside of Elle's folder where it says "Blake is SO hot!". Oh how I remember being in junior high and writing those exact same words about a cute boy my age. 🙂
    And your filing idea is great. I am going to do that when my kids get in to school. Great way to save those cute things that are too hard to part with.

  9. My son's binder came home looking like that sometime around February…and I couldn't take it anymore! He's in 2nd grade and his binder didn't have any kind of decoration on it, so I was perfectly happy to toss it and have him inhabit a new one.

    Each year we go through the kids' papers and save our favorites in page protectors in a 3-ring binder. That way they have kind of a "book" for each year. I just love looking at their stuff from kindergarten and first grade- it makes me laugh out loud to read their little stories!

  10. I would hated going through all my stuff (and certainly would never let my mom read the notes!!) but I LOVE seeing the stuff I made as a kid now! I am so grateful my parents saved a lot of my early grade school stuff. It is hilarious!!

  11. Your daughters binder looks like my sons shoes on the last day of school last week. I was not sure if they would make it. They went right in the trash…after I took a picture of them 🙂

  12. Great filing system idea. Take it from me, mother of three grown children, they may not actually take all those keepsakes with them…maybe your next post could cover how to make that part happen.

  13. My quesiotns is…
    I have a growing family of 3 and feel it is important to keep a hard copy of pictures but when there is a picture like yours of the girls on the bed who's album does it go in? Do you have seperate albums for your kids or just a large family album?

  14. I have only been reading your blog a short time, but I wanted to tell you how much each of your posts has touched me. I am a mom of four with children very similiar in age to yours. I feel like the end of the year pulls at the heart more than the beginning. That binder is priceless! Thanks for sharing:)

  15. I so love the idea of having one file box for each child to keep some of their past masterpieces, reports, papers, etc… My filing cabnets are over flowing and I have a terrible feeling that I'm going to hang on to all this stuff for them (their request) and then when they get older or get married they are going to tell me they don't want it. Better to let them have the responsibility of hanging on to what they want to hang on to.
    I do keep a few things here and there for my own sentimental reasons.

  16. Hi! I love your blog and your thoughts. I want you to know I learned a lot from you. I am a young mother with three small children. 5-3 and 1. But I have tried with other LDS mothers, the best way to raise our children in the gospel. I do not speak English very well, but the desire to learn from you, has made me learn a new word every day and have a helper when I do not understand something (google translator) hahahaha. is serious! Thank you Sawni. You're a sweet and beautiful person! A hug from his distant reader in Brazil. Roberta Pavanelo (I met you in I'm a Mormon!)

  17. I have to thank you for sharing this idea last year because I did it with my kids and we felt so awesome that we were so organized. I didn't freak out when they brought home all of their stuff this year because we now have a "system"!

  18. Shawns, I totally remember going through Charity's school binder and writing random things for her to find later! Oh what fun times! xo

  19. Each of my three children have a Rubbermaid tub that I started when they were born. They enjoy looking thru it occasionally. But their favorite thing, by far, is their 'funny book'. I have written down every funny thing they ave ever said. The oldest is on his fourth book. I love reading them too, as I forget these treasures. Those books are one of my most prized possessions. I'm going to turn them into a book.

    As for pictures, i do a yearly online photo album for the whole family. This past years was 80 pages! i use Picaboo and wait until they have a buy one get one free sale. Then i order two copies and get two copies free. One for each child plus one for us.

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