Thursday, December 11, 2008

Is Your Christmas Gift Good Enough?

Time management has always been difficult for me. I always have more things than I can do, and I feel frustrated when I can't do everything that I hoped I could do. Christmas time is especially frustrating as I would like to make it a good experience for the people in my life, but I find time and money limiting in what I can do. Sometimes I think I just need to relax and enjoy a few of the good things that I think of to do and stop worrying that it will be enough. When I think of what made for good experiences, it was when love was shown. One year we participated with a group in leaving presents secretly on a doorstep, ringing the doorbell and running so the family wouldn't know who left the gifts. Other times we have spent time visiting as we dropped off goodies or gifts. Sometimes the bigger gift is the time spent.
Our family were recipients of Secret Santa gifts several times. The first time was when I was alone with two little girls, and the doorbell rang after 9 p.m. I looked out the window and saw no one at the front door. I started to imagine that maybe someone was planning to break into the house and wanted to see if we were home. I decided not to open the door, but went through the house and made sure every door and window was securely locked. I went to sleep rather nervous about why someone would ring the doorbell that late at night and then not be there. The next morning when I went to go out the front door I discovered a package containing two beautiful dolls left for my little girls. I wondered why I could have been so suspicious when someone just wanted to give my little girls a surprise Christmas gift. There were years when boxes of food, clothing, and toys were left on our front porch. One year a friend gave gift certificates to me before Christmas so I could use them for Christmas shopping for gifts for my daughters. Another year a package arrived through UPS. There was no return address on the package. The driver wanted to know who had sent us the package. We didn't know anyone who was sending a package. There was nothing inside the package either to indicate who it came from. No one ever asked if we received the package that they had sent. We never knew who that package of gifts came from. Then there were the gifts that were handmade or specially selected. Some of the best gifts have been the sacrifices of time and money made to be together as a family at Christmas.
Maybe recording some of your memories of Christmas could be the best gift you could give. Why not write your best Christmas memories and share it with your family. If money is tight, why not write your memories and add photos and make a special Christmas book or make a video and post it on YouTube or Flickr viewable by family or friends as a special gift. Sometimes we don't think we have anything to give, but we can always give memories.


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Christmas Newsletters

As Christmas approaches many people send out Christmas cards to family and friends. Many of my friends write a newsletter about what has happened in their family during the past year. They include the ages of their children, what grades they are in at school, what talents they have been developing, anything special they have accomplished. They include any significant changes in their lives such as moving to a new home, starting a new job, someone getting married and even illness and death in the family. They include photos of the family. They write about vacations or trips. In other words they create a short family history for the previous year. Such newsletters are great additions to your family's story.
After the rush of the holidays, take time to elaborate on the different events from the previous year. Write down memorable stories. Scrapbook photos from the family vacation or family-get-togethers. Write down what you learned from certain experiences. If you moved, did you find a faster or better way to pack up or unpack. If you were sick, did you learn something new that helped you get better faster. If you started a new job, what did you do to get the new job. Writing down what you learned may help you sometime in the future when you may have forgotten what you learned. It may also help another family member as they deal with a similar challenge.
If a new member was added to your family, write down what was exciting about their joining your family. If new friends or neighbors came into you life, write about them. Include pictures too. If someone left your life, write about them. Death, divorce, moving away, going to school all leave holes in your life that you can record your feelings about. Use this time of year when you reflect on what has happened over the course of the year to remind you of the things you want to write down so you can always remember them.

Damian -

Monday, November 24, 2008


Here it is the week of Thanksgiving. Being grateful is a really good thing, but sometimes it takes something like a holiday to help us stop and take the time to think of what we are grateful for. As you think about your life, what are you grateful for that has happened in your life. Have good things come from the experiences you have had in your life? Have you learned from the experiences whether they were good or bad? What people are you grateful to have had in your life? Are you grateful for your ancestors and the choices they made?
We benefit from the things those before us did. Each generation has a little more than the previous because of what the previous generation did. We don't have to reinvent what previously has been invented, so instead we can improve on it.
This Thanksgiving take time to write down what you are thankful for in your life and what you are thankful for from your family and your ancestors. Let that feeling of gratitude bless your life.

The Power of Attitude

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

As you collect and write down family stories, you may hear some pretty fantastic stories. Perhaps some of the stories sound like they might be made up or embellished. You might want to do some research to see if the stories are true. Still even with research you may not know for sure if the stories are completely factual. We do see the world through our own perspective. In one of my lines a father and a son fought in the Battle of Bunker Hill. A diary entry records the following: "In the memorable Battle of Bunker Hill, the 17th of June 1775, there they stood side by side and fought with about 13 Americans against 3,000 of the British for about two hours." When reading historical accounts of the Battle, the number of Americans fighting against the British were probably closer in number although the reported numbers vary in different accounts. Perhaps when writing the diary entry a couple of zeros behind the 13 were forgotten or not legible. But another explanation was given by my daughter after she moved to New York City. She explained to me that there are places in the eastern part of the United States where trees are so numerous that you can not see what is beyond the trees. Having lived in western desert areas all of my life, it is hard to imagine that many trees. She said perhaps it is possible there were trees blocking their view of how many fellow American soldiers were fighting in that Battle. I don't think the ancestor who wrote that statement intended to lie about the Battle. Perhaps from his perspective that was the way it was in the Battle of Bunker Hill.
As you record stories from you life, remember the perspective of future generations who may read your accounts may be very different from your perspective.
When you record stories of your ancestors, write them as they told them. You may learn something that will change your perspective and you may find their accounts are indeed true.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Gratitude Time of Year

November reminds me of all the things I am grateful for. I love the beautiful colors of the leaves. I remember as a child particularly liking the golden color of the cottonwood trees against the clear blue sky in the fall. I still love golden leaves, but I also like the red leaves and brown leaves that have interesting patterns. I love driving through canyons and seeing large areas of gold, then red, then brown, orange or green. I've even found the tumbleweeds change color in the autumn--sometimes red or purple as well as brown.
I love harvesting tomatoes, zuchinni, swiss chard, beets, squash, grapes and other produce. The work of preparing soil and planting seeds in the springtime, watering and fighting weeds in the summer is rewarded with delicious food in the fall. Growing up, I helped my mother can many fruits and vegetables so we could eat them during the winter.
I am so grateful for heat and light as the days grow colder and shorter. I count my blessings to have warmth and light. Today I am grateful to turn a dial and have heater turn on. I do remember wonderful warm fires that my husband would build in the fireplace. I remember the coal-burning stove that my grandmother had that felt so good on a cold fall or winter night. I remember one October when the snow came early before the leaves and fallen from the trees. It was wet and heavy and tree branches came down all across the valley. Power lines came down with the branches. The power company worked hard to restore power. Main lines were back up within hours, but other lines especially ones in backyards took up to three days to be restored. I was so grateful to have a wood-burning stove to keep us warm, and I truly appreciated candles. My daughters, who were quite young then, thought it was a great adventure. I appreciated their enthusiasm for the new experience, as it kept me from getting too discouraged. I was truly grateful when the power line to our house was back in place, and heat and light were available again with the flick of a switch.
As you think back about your memories of this time of year, what things are you grateful for. Write down the memories that may help and encourage your family. Some times we forget how much we are blessed with. It is easy to focus on what we lack instead of on what we have. Our lives have a different perspective when we think of what we appreciate. Share your blessings by recording what you are grateful for.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Was Halloween Scary For You?

Halloween is fast approaching. What do you remember about the Halloween celebrations in your life?
I remember trick-or-treating in our small town. You would get apples and popcorn balls and assorted candy. At the home of my great aunt and uncle they gave out a gingersnap cookie. We took a clean pillowcase to carry our treats in. We never worried about someone trying to poison us or hurt us. The worst that might happen was being asked to do a trick before we could get a treat. I’m not very good at doing tricks. At our church there would be a party with a spook alley made in the basement. You got a little scared, but it was never gruesome. Costumes were always put together or home-sewn. You could be a witch with a black dress and a purchased black hat and maybe a broom; or you could be a tramp wearing worn out clothes, putting a colorful large handkerchief on the end of a stick and putting cold cream and black soot on your face.
Write down the kinds of treats you remember for Halloween. What kinds of treats have you made for parties? Including the recipes may make it especially nice for your children or grandchildren when some day they want to make the same treat. Write down how you decorated your home and your yard. Describe the jack-o-lanterns you made. Write down the costumes you wore and how you created them. Include pictures.
Did you ever help create a spook alley or a haunted house? What did you do to make it scary? How did people react to it? My daughter and I helped created a haunted house in the building next door to our house. We knew everything that was done to give the scary effects. My daughter dressed up and played the part of a widow telling spooky stories. It didn’t seem that scary when created, but some children ended up crying and needed to be comforted and reassured. My daughter discovered that some of her classmates at school did not recognize her, and they were very surprised to find out that she had played the part of the widow. We took pictures and made a slideshow video.
Write down how different Halloween was for you as a child and how it is for your children and grandchildren. If your parents or grandparents are still alive, ask them what Halloween was like for them and write it down for your children and grandchildren.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Harvest Time Memories

The fall of the year has always been a busy time for me. Growing a garden and then trying to preserve the produce from that garden takes a lot of time. It is especially challenging when the temperature drops 30 degrees in one day. All of a sudden tomatoes, grapes, and squash are in danger of freezing. So, my plans change and I'm picking green tomatoes and grapes and the squash that are big enough to eat until it is dark. Then I covered the remaining plants and hope they make it through the frost. Next week will be warm again. But now the grapes need to be made into juice or jam. The tomatoes should be spread out so they will ripen. I should make some zuchinni bread with some of the squash.
Every year the harvest is challenging. There is a lot of extra work to do in a very short period of time. Growing up I remember helping my mother as she canned peaches and apricots and pears. She made jams and butters from the fruit. She canned tomatoes, green beans and squash. She even made green tomato preserves when a frost came too soon for the tomatoes to ripen.
What kinds of things do you remember from the harvest times in your life? Did you enjoy fresh picked fruits and vegetables? Did you help can, dry or freeze fruits or vegetables for the winter? Did snow and cold come suddenly or gradually? Did you welcome the cooler weather or did you hate to see summer go?
Record in your life story the things about harvest time that you remember. Maybe you could even include a recipe for jam or jelly you made that was especially good. Write about the feelings you had during this busy time of year.

Personal Creations

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Tool to Help with Writing Your Story

When writing your story, sometimes it helps to have something to trigger your memories. Knowing what happened in the world during certain years can give you perspective on what happened in your family. For instance, my father did not go on to high school. When I look at the time frame, it was in the middle of the Depression. The closest high school was fifteen miles away. He probably would have had to board in the town where the high school was. Money was probably an issue, and so he choose to stay and help out his sister and brother-in-law with their farm instead of going on to high school. Later in his life he wished he had gotten more education, but he accomplished a lot in his life despite the lack of education. He built the home we grew up in, putting in all the electrical and plumbing himself. He repaired his own cars, trucks and farm equipment. He built chicken coops and corrals and a granary.
By looking at what was going on in the world, I can understand better why my dad didn't go on to high school. There are many events that affect our lives, so it is helpful to look at what was going on in the world at the time. Using a tool such as Personal Historian Software can make writing a family's story much easier. A free trial is available if you want to try it out.

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Write Your Own Obituary

Today I attended a graveside service for a friend who had passed away. Her son-in-law read her obituary. She had written it herself. She wanted certain things to be remembered, so she wrote them down. What would you want included in your obituary? Perhaps taking time to write them down would help your family. Her son-in-law said it was very nice to find this brief summary of her life already written down. What things do you want people to remember most about you? What were the things that you felt were your greatest accomplishments? What do you want your grandchildren and great grandchildren to know about you? Even though you probably won't die tomorrow, this could be a very valuable thing to do. You may re-evaluate what you have done in your life. Perhaps there are things that you really want to do yet. You may be able to make some changes in your life so your obituary will be what you want it to be. Hopefully you can make some very positive changes in your obituary every time you review it.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Back to School Again

It seems that every year school starts again sooner and sooner. Summer flies by. As a child I looked forward to going back to school in a lot of ways, but I was always nervous. I usually didn't sleep well the night before the first day. I would have nightmares that I overslept and missed the bus or that I got lost and couldn't find where my classes were. In elementary school I would be afraid to climb up the slide and slide down it or to climb on the jungle gym for the first few days, but gradually I would begin to lose my fear as I kept on trying. Now in my life it is sending my kids off to college and helping with deciding on classes, finding jobs and other more grownup needs.
What do you remember about going back to school? Were you excited or were you scared? Did your first day go well or did you forget something you needed or did you get lost? Write down what you remember about going back to school. It may be just the thing one of your grandchildren may need to hear.

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Saturday, August 9, 2008

Where Did The Time Go?

It seems to me that the years go by faster and faster. Another birthday just passed a few days ago for me. It seemed I hardly had time to think about it. I had a couple of friends ask for help with cleaning out some things from their homes so they had things better organized. We spent some time doing that. Our church held a clothing share and we helped sort, organize and display clothing. One of the businesses I work for held a Back-to-School Fashion Show, and we spent time helping prepare for and helping with the Fashion Show over and above my usual work hours. I have felt like time has just flown by. I haven't even had time to think about writing for this blog.
Does life ever seem that way to you? Some times just stopping to write down what has been happening can help. By writing down what you have done, you can see how much you have accomplished even though you weren't able to do everything you wanted to do. As each birthday passes by we are reminded of how short life really is. Taking time to write down what we have done can give us a realistic perspective on our lives.

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Simple Everyday Summertime Activities

What kind of summer activities do you remember? When you were a child, did you go on picnics? What kind of food did you eat? I remember a picnic lunch where our mother made sandwiches and eggnog for my brother and I, and we sat on cinder blocks under the apple tree in the backyard to eat our lunch.

Did you go to a park or a playground to play? I lived on a farm growing up, and we didn't have a park in our town. But when raising my children, we've always lived close to a park or a playground?

Did you lay on your back and watch the clouds go by? We didn't have much of a lawn for most of my childhood, so I didn't lay on my back; but I did like to watch the clouds go by and especially watch the sun rise and set.

Did you go swimming in a lake or a pool? I never learned how to swim. I went with others to a swimming pool twice. The second time I cut my toe and couldn't stand to have my toe in the water. I sat on the side of the pool and got sunburned. I didn't go to a swimming pool again.

Did you have air conditioning or even a fan? We never had air conditioning or even a fan when I was young. We had a basement which was much cooler in our house. We slept there until I was about ten years old. My dad built onto our house and we moved our bedrooms upstairs. For two to three weeks in the summer it would be uncomfortable sleeping. We opened windows and doors for cross ventilation and hoped a breeze would be blowing. I still remember as a teenager the first time some one brought a fan to our Sunday evening meeting at the church. It was so nice to sit where the fan could blow on you.

Simple everyday things add a great deal to your story of your life. Since your children and grandchildren have a different experience in life, it is important to record even the simple things that happened in your life, even whether you had air conditioning or not.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Remembering Independence Day Celebrations

Today is Independence Day. It's a good day to remember the Independence Day celebrations in your life. As a child what did your family do on Independence Day. I never saw fireworks until I was in high school, but every year our little town of 300 people had its own Fourth of July celebration. It started with a parade. Any one in town who wanted to be in the parade could be. You could decorate your car or truck or trailer or wagon. You could decorate your trike, bike, little red wagon or you could just walk waving a flag as you went. There usually wasn't a band, but one year when I was in high school all the band members decided to march in our town's parade. We had more than a dozen members and the band was a real addition to the parade. Usually after the parade there was a program commemorating the founders of our country. We would pledge allegiance to the flag and sing the Star Spangled Banner and other patriotic songs. In the afternoon would be races on the school lawn. It seemed I always came in last in my age group's race. Softball and baseball games were played in the afternoon. I still remember the year someone hit a baseball and broke the windshield of our car. We didn't park so close to the field after that. Sometimes a rodeo would be held in the evening.
As I raised my children we lived in a city. A parade was held on July Fourth in our neighborhood, so we would go to watch the parade. There were a few carnival rides set up at the park a couple of blocks from us, so we would go to the carnival and then in the evening at the park there would be fireworks set off, so we would go to watch them.
Then we moved to a small town in western Nevada. Here there was a big celebration for Armed Forces Day, but nothing was done on the Fourth of July. If you wanted to celebrate the Fourth of July with a parade or fireworks, you had to travel at least 50 miles or more. The past few years efforts have been made to have something here for an Independence Day celebration. It was found that fireworks could be purchased cheaply if arranged with a company that had set off fireworks in another city or town to do a fireworks display on July 5th on their way back. So now we could travel elsewhere for a celebration on the 4th or we can camp or picnic close to home and then on the 5th we can watch fireworks.
Maybe our way of celebrating the Fourth of July isn't really interesting to you, but the way you celebrate the Fourth of July may be very interesting to your grandchildren and great grandchildren. It can be another important part of you story.

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Saturday, June 28, 2008

Birthdays Trigger Many Memories

My oldest daughter just had her birthday. As I thought about the day she was born a lot of memories came back to me. This would be a good time to record things that happened on the day she was born. We went to see fireworks on the Fourth of July one week after she was born. There was a lightning storm competing with the fireworks. I wasn't sure which was prettier. Memories like this are things my daughter would never know if I didn't tell her about them. Other birthday memories such as a party when you were older or a special gift or a surprise are all good things to record.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Summer Memories--What Did You Do When You Didn't Have To Do Anything

Summer time is often a more relaxed time of the year, especially for kids. School is out and time is less structured. What do you remember most about your summer vacations? What did you do when you didn't have to do anything? Answering questions like these gives a lot of insight into your life. If you liked to lay in the grass and watch the clouds go by, that tells a lot about you. If you liked to run or ride a bike or do something else full of activity that tells something else about you. Did you read a lot? Did you play sports with others? Did you practice a musical instrument? Did you grow a garden? Did you draw pictures? What you spent you time doing shows what was most important and enjoyable to you. The things you did certainly shaped you and help you to become the kind of person you are. Record the things you enjoyed doing and record the things you had to do even if you didn't enjoy doing them. The chores we had to do, the difficult things we had to deal with, the problems we had to solve all helped us to become the way we are. Writing them down will help give insight into your life and into why you are the way you are.

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Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day Memories

Memorial Day is a time that we reflect on those who gave their lives to preserve our freedom. If you have lost family members or close friends in a war, it is important to record your appreciation of their sacrifice in your story. Those family members who served in the military and were willing to sacrifice their lives if necessary should also be remembered and honored. You may also honor those who would have served if they could have. I have family members who were turned down for service in the military because of health problems. As you reflect on Memorial Day, it is appropriate to record those you have know who truly wanted our freedoms to be preserved and were willing to do all they could to help preserve our freedoms.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Armed Forces Day

In our town Armed Forces Day is celebrated in a big way. There is a parade, activities in the park, an art show, business decorating contest, vendors and activities, fireworks and a light show. No other holiday is celebrated with as many events. Since there is a lot to do in our small town on this holiday, it has become a time for family get-togethers.
Celebrations like this give families opportunities to do things together and to create memories. Take photos on occasions like these. Write down what things you did to celebrate the holiday. Many memories will be good ones, but occasionally a memory will be of an unforgetable experience that wasn't fun, such as getting sick or missing one of the events you really wanted to attend. Writing down what was memorable from a celebration adds a lot to your story.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Memories of Mother

It is less than a week until Mother's Day. Every one of us has a mother. Most of us truly appreciate the love and care our mothers gave us. If our mother is still alive we want to show that love to her on Mother's Day. Why not write down some of the fondest memories you have of your mother? What were your favorite foods that she cooked? Where did she take you that you remember the most? What advice did she give you that you have appreciated the most? What things did she do with you or for you that you enjoyed?
You could make a special Mother's Day card with these memories to give to her. You could probably do this every year and not run out of memories. You could give her a binder to keep the cards in and add to it each year. A simple way to make a binder would be to cut a piece of card stock a little larger than the cards and decorate it. Then one-half inch from the center score down the middle on one side and then score one-half inch from the center down the other side. Now fold each side over at the scored lines. This should make a spine for the binder. Tie narrow ribbons or other fibers tightly around the spine with just enough give that a card could be slipped between the ribbon and the spine. A sturdier binder could be made with chipboard or mat board. Several members of the family could make cards and give with the binder to a mother or a grandmother for a nice completed gift.
Whatever you choose to give your mother for Mother's Day adding your written down memories will make it an even more special gift.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Ordinary Things

When you write your story, include the ordinary things. What is an ordinary day like in your life? Sometimes the ordinary things don't seem very important, but 100 years from now it could be very interesting. Your grandchildren and great grandchildren may really want to know what an ordinary day was like for you. Things have changed over the years.
Several years ago a mother might have spent an ordinary day caring for her children, walking them to school, preparing the family meals, cleaning the home, sewing clothing, growing a garden, harvesting and preserving the produce from the garden, mending clothing, and playing games with her children or reading books to them and singing songs before bedtime.
Today a mother may pour bowls of cereal for a quick breakfast then drive the children to a care provider or school while she goes to work at a job for eight hours. After work she picks up her children, takes them to dance lessons, or music lessons, or sports practice, then she grabs fast food for supper since she is too tired to cook. She supervises the children's homework, turns on the television afterwards to unwind, checks her email then plays her favorite music CD before drifting off to sleep.
We spend our time today doing things that weren't even imagined 100 years ago, but it can be just as hard for someone living now to imagine what life was like 100 years ago. Recording the ordinary things from each day can help. So as you write your story, remember the ordinary things.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Researching Your Ancestors

Have you done research to know who your ancestors are? There are many ways to research your ancestors. First of all talk with family members. See if parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and other relatives can give you information on your ancestors. When I moved twenty years ago to a small town over 500 miles away from where I grew up, I discovered that I have distant cousins here. Those cousins have shared stories and photos of our common ancestors with me and I have shared what I have with them.
Next go through family records and find what information you can there. Birth certificates, death certificates, marriage licenses, deeds and other documents will have some information that may help you learn more about your ancestors. Letters and cards may also give information. Even a calendar may have events and appointments written on.
Next check family photos. Some one may have written information on the back of photos. Names are commonly written on photos, and dates and locations may also be written. You may also get information like how many children there were in a family by counting the number of children in a family group photo. You may also see what a home was like or where the family traveled to in the photos.
Next search online. A good website for researching your ancestors is Here you can put in a family name and you may find a lot of research has already been done on some members of your family. You may also choose to subscribe to a website where you can access more records to search for your ancestors. You can put the name of a person in and search the web for that name. I found a website on one of my ancestors that way.
After finding information on your family members, you may want to make a pedigree chart or a family group sheet to preserve that information and display it in your home or in a scrapbook.Ron Tate Signature Collection - Series I Heritage

Friday, March 28, 2008

Inspiring Quotes

When you read an inspiring quote do you think of how it applies in your life? Maybe you heard a quote in a speech or read it in a book, and it has given you a new insight. Recording those inspiring quotes in your life story or making a scrapbook page using that quote is a good way to share the insight you received. I made a scrapbook page with an acrostic poem using the word "family" and a photo of my parents. Following is the poem.

F ather
A nd
M other
L ove
Y ou.

There are other sayings I really like. I could use those throughout a scrapbook to show what quotes have influenced my life. Think of those quotes that mean a lot to you and how they could enhance your life story.

Saturday, March 22, 2008



What do you do to celebrate Easter? What were some of the things you did as a child at Easter time? Traditions change and circumstances change, so holiday celebrations change also. When I was young we colored Easter eggs, and then we took them up the hill behind our house and rolled them down the hill. When my dad remarried, my stepmother liked to go on a picnic for Easter. With my children we hid the eggs and hunted for them. Add your Easter celebrations to your story.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Custom Photo Jewelry

One of the latest fads are charm bracelets. You can purchase charms that show your interests or your talents. What if you could have a charm bracelet that showed the photos of your family or your pets or your friends? These charms are especially fun since they are one-of-a-kind and they remind you of what is important in your life. It also shows others what is important in your life. Here is a video with photos before being made into photo jewelry and the finished jewelry.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Family Talents

These two YouTube videos were made by my second daughter. I enjoy looking at what she has done. The talents in your family make life interesting. Include some of the things your family has done that shows the talents of family members. Some talents may not be easy to show as a video is, but you can write about the talent, take a photo of the person doing what they are talented at or show the results of the talent such as a picture of a batch of chocolate chip cookies. Most people have several talents, so keep on adding when you think of additional talents.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Current Events

Sometimes current events really affect your life. Right now there is talk of a recession in our country. How does this affect you? It is said that a recession is when your neighbor looses his job and a depression is when you lose your job. Writing down what has happened in your life and how it relates to what is happening in the nation adds a new dimension to your story.
I would like to know more of how the Depression affected my parents who were in their teens and early twenties during that time, but since they have passed away I can only surmise how it affected them. I think my father only finished 8th grade partly because of the Depression. He chose to work on his sister's and brother-in-law's farm instead of traveling 15 miles to attend high school every day or possibly having to board in the town where the high school was. My mother did finish high school, but she lived in the town where her high school was.
Today, in the city three of my daughters live in, a young women who has been missing for about a month was found murdered. Police are searching for a serial rapist. My daughters have changed some of their routines to protect themselves.
When we hear of disasters like hurricanes, floods, and other disasters that may cause people to evacuate their homes, we plan to prepare items to take with us quickly in case we need to evacuate. Recording what we did to prepare for disaster and how we may have coped with a disaster adds a lot to our stories. Several years from now our grandchildren or great grandchildren may be interested to know how did we cope with the events going on around us.
Remember to consider what is happening in the world around you and how it has affected you as you write your story.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Different aspects of your life can make your story very interesting. One part of my life that has added a lot of joy has been pets. I have had pets most of my life. The first pet I remember was a dog who had puppies. I was probably 4 or 5 years old then. I selected a puppy that I wanted to keep for my own. She was female and my parents didn't want another female dog. They decided to keep one of the male puppies. They told people they had puppies to give away. I remember when a man came to see the puppies and he wanted the puppy I had chosen. My dad told him the situation so he offered me a quarter for the puppy. It didn't seem like a very fair trade, but my parents were encouraging me to accept the quarter; and, somehow, I think I knew I couldn't keep the puppy.
We always had a dog and some cats while I was growing up. Being on a farm, cats were a blessing as they kept the mice population under control. At one time we had 13 cats all black with little white spots under their chins. They lived in the woodpile behind our home. An illness swept through the cats killing all but one. She survived, but had a croaky voice from then on so Croaky became her name.
These are just a couple of stories about pets that I remember from my life. What stories do you remember about your pets? Writing them down will add a new dimension to your life story. What do your children remember about their pets? What did your parents think about the pets you had? How did you get your pets? Were they rescued from the pound or from an abusive home? Were they born to other pets you owned? Were they gifts? Did they show up as strays and you let them stay? Record the funny stories of things they did. Record the heart-warming stories of the love they showed to you and others. Add photos of the different aspects of their lives. When you have finished you will have a wonderful addition to your story.
Following is a link to a slideshow my daughter made about the pets in her life. It's an added dimension to our family's story.

My Pets


These are my pets. I love them all I've had more but we didn't get pics of them all....

Monday, January 14, 2008

Using Photos to Help Write Your Story

Photographs can spark many memories. Collect the photos from your life. Then look at a photo and write down everything you know about the photo. Write down when it was taken, where it was taken, who is in the photo, who took the photo, why it was taken and anything else you can remember about the photo. Now you have a segment of your life written down that you can add to your life story. Pick another photo and do it again. After doing this several times you will have a lot to add to your life story. Of course adding the photo into your story makes it even more interesting. A scrapbook is one way you can use your photos to tell your story. As you design each page around the photos be sure to add the information you know about the photo. This will make the scrapbook not only enjoyable to look at, but also very informative and interesting. The photos will come to life more with the story behind them.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Finding Spare Time to Write Your Story

The past little while I have been spending a lot of time trying to find ways to earn money. It seems frustrating to not have enough money for current expenses. Living in a small town more than 50 miles away from the next largest town means there are not a lot of job opportunites. I've spent a lot of time online trying to find some way to supplement my income. I've decided to share some links that I think may be of help to me and hopefully may be of help to you. After all, if we don't have any spare time how can we preserve our family's story.

Click Here!

Click Here!

Click Here!