One way to build and to strengthen family bonds and relationships is to create scrapbooks of any type. It records with stories and pictures those who have gone before, or your family now. It really is important for us and our children to connect with the past to help them define who they are and it gives a sense of belonging. Knowing ancestors gives a sense of pride in heritage and direction. It is also a way to learn valuable lessons from those who have gone on before.
You can make simple books of pictures and stories simply attached to paper or ornate and decorative. Or created digitally on a computer or on-line. It doesn’t matter, as long as you record names and stories! Here are a few reasons why I feel that scrapbooks are important to preserving our history: My logo includes the profile of my great grandmother, which is always a source of inspiration as I work on my blog; that I have a friend working with me, even when the hour is late. When my grandparents were alive I asked them if I could see pictures and hear stories of their families. I was always told, there weren’t any pictures. After they both passed away, I was given boxes of treasures and this picture was included. I really wished I knew more about the people and, sadly, so many pictures I do not even know who they are. Do you have pictures stuffed away that you could share with your children, grandchildren or any family members? Please do not miss any opportunities, even with young children to tell the stories of the past.
The two main characters in my novel, ‘A Mother’s Shadow’, Emily and Harry were named after my great-grandmother and great-grandfather. Though the book is fictional, it was very interesting as I wrote, I would wonder if they would be proud of my work. As you teach your family about their grandparents and great grandparents, if they were upright moral people, it will influence choices made.
This story I heard about my grandfather, greatly influenced me, and I hope it impacts my children’s behavior also. When my grandpa was a boy scout, the troop decided they would work together to help each other earn a complete uniform until every young man had one. They cleaned, repaired and worked at the fairgrounds, as well as other jobs; along with their own chores, school and work. When enough money was gathered to purchase one full uniform, it was bought for a boy, and ALL continued to participate until ALL had a full uniform. I have always been impressed that not one dropped out or gave up when they either received their uniform, or was way down the list to get one. What teaching stories are there in your family that could impress values and morals for your children or grand children to lean on and emulate?
Years ago I used the paper, glue (archival safe when it was available) and embellishments to make my family and children’s scrapbooks. Now there are digital scrapbooks that are SO easy and economical. AND, guess what, they can even be set up now where several people can be working on them and submitting pictures and stories from separate computers. This is a cover of one of my kids books – minus the name, date and details of course. In the scrapbooks make sure to include the details such as:
- Birth date and pictures
- School pictures
- School experiences of all grades – pictures, memories, dances, projects and so on
- Special talents
- Each book has copies of family pictures
For my kids I made books for each one that covered from birth through graduation from high school. I had TWO printed. One for the son or daughter, and one for me. For a few of my kids I had made the paper and glue style books. Those we scanned in and then downloaded into a digital form to print. Much more economical and nicer for both of us to have a bound printed copy (it looks just like a published book!), then a color-copied version in a 3-ring binder. I HOPE soon to get to family books which will have family camp-outs, road-trips, family celebrations such as 4th of July, Christmas and those type of family events. I will order a copy for each of my five kids and one for me to have. When you make your kids scrapbooks include fun stories.
When Dallin was ten years old he was finally old enough for an official cub scout camp out with the organized BSA camp. The only date offered, Stan was taking our older two boys on a high adventure so guess who took Dallin……me. Guess who had never paid attention to how the tent was set up, since she was more concerned with the food, making sure kids weren’t drowning in the stream or chasing wild life too close…..me. So, after twelve year old staff help had our spring bar tent duct taped up in the tree to try to get it to stay up, finally a man knew how to properly set it up. Next mistake. I, being a girl, wanted to be super close to the bathroom. Guess what comes to drink from the stream all night, which is right next to the tent, ALL wildlife living within 100 miles of the stream….consequently I didn’t sleep, but Dallin had his camp out and great memories! What experiences do you have to include?
Delsi attended a youth church camp when she was a teenager and the kids kept mistaking her for Demi Lovato. After several of them wanted a picture of her and them, along with an autograph, she finally started giving it….oops, so, there maybe a few forgeries out there. Any funny stories you have to share in your scrapbook and with your family?
When Derek was working on his Venturing Scout Award, to fulfill one of the projects, he found out that children in orphanages in other countries often went blind because the walls were stark white, which meant the babies eyes did not have anything to focus on; consequently causing blindness. He decided to make a wall hanging to send to an orphanage in Romania. He drew it out, painted it with fabric paint and even hand stitched it himself (after I taught him a few lessons). My friend Dorthy bound it for him and make the loops to make hanging it possible. What motivating stories of service and kindness can your share?
For a gift to Stan and me, Derek and Tawni made us a small photo book that includes pictures, each of their stories of how they met and fun memories of dating. They had Stan write his version of their meeting, along with my experience of their getting together. It also has pictures of their wedding and I just love how it includes us with the beginning of their life too. A book like this would be a wonderful gift, as well as one of your parents when they were dating or married. Or one of your siblings, or mom or dad’s side of the family. The possibilities are endless. Here are a few sites you might want to check out for ideas for digital scrapbooks. Blurb (this is the one I have used and best for large books) My Publisher (this is the one Tawni used for their book for us) Shutterfly (quite popular) Watch for specials and get going on making memories TODAY!!! Build STRONG FAMILIES by recording stories and protecting pictures for generations to come.
Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2015
Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today