Friday, January 7, 2011

Word to Live By: Memories

As I was thinking of how to begin this new series with you, I was flooded with ideas (thank you, Lord!).

This week, let's look at the kind of memories we make with our families without even realizing it.


Routines are things that we do on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis that help us create patterns in how we go about our lives. And yet, while we are going about "things as usual" we are creating memories for our loved ones.  

When I was younger, one of the many routines that we had was Family Night.  It happened every Friday night.  Mom would make a special dinner and buy a special dessert.  Dad would read to us from a book (the one that stands out to me the most was about a family that went to South America to be missionaries to an idigenous tribe), and we would play a game or watch a special movie as a family.

I began thinking about some of the routines that we have here in our home (not all are listed) and how each of these would make a great picture of the day for my Project Life album.

  • Devotions in the morning- I have mine before everyone wakes up, and Brian does his with Addie.  Although it is geared for an adult (Our Daily Bread), she looks forward to their time and even misses it on days when Brian has to be out the door before Addie wakes up.
  • School time- Although this time can be anywhere from 30-45 min in the morning, Addie looks forward to her school time.  
  • Setting the Table- As you know from past posts, this is one of Addie's jobs.  And since we eat dinner on a daily basis, she sets the table on a daily basis (and then she gets a magnet on her chore chart- thanks Cathy!).
  • The Beeper- When I was a teacher, I used a timer to teach my students time management.  After a lesson in one of our subjects, I would set the timer and tell them they had so many minutes to work on their assignment from that subject.  The timer was also used for snack time, game time, and study hall.  Once the timer went off, they knew that they needed to move into action and prepare for the next part of the day.  This same method has worked for Addie.  At naptime and bedtime, I set the time for 30 minutes and let her know that when it beeps it's time for bed.  As soon as the timer goes off, regardless of what she is doing, she jumps up, says, "It's time for bed!", and goes running into her room.  It is a routine that really works for us.
  • Reading devotions at night- My friend, Kathy M, sent us a wonderful Veggie Tales devotional for girls that we absolutely love!  Since we have gotten it, we have used it in the evenings as a bedtime devotional.  I love the layout of each devotion, and Addie sits and listens so respectfully.  After I read the day's devotion, Brian says a final prayer and Addie goes to sleep.
  • Wii Competitions- In the evening, after Addie goes to bed, Brian and I compete on the Wii.  We play tennis (Brian wins), golf (I win), bowling (Brian wins), and baseball (Brian wins).  We have a great time together and we are getting some exercise in at the same time.
  • Church
  • Grocery shopping trips with Grandma
  • Grandpa's weekly visit
  • Library time   
What are the routines that you have in your family?  These routines are a key piece of how you make memories with your family. 

How are you recording these memories?  First and foremost, make sure you are taking pictures!  A picture says a thousand words, right?  But sometimes you need to do a bit more than take a picture.  You need to record what memory the picture holds.

There are so many ways to record your memories.
  1. Photo albums- If you prefer not to get involved in another hobby, why not just take pictures of the routines that you have in your home and slip them in a photo album.  Many albums now come with a little spot on the page itself to jot down some notes.  Write down what the routine is that you are recording so one day your kids can look back and say, "Oh, yeah!  I remember doing that!"
  2. Scrapbooks- Some of you are newcomers at scrapbooking and some of you are veterans.  Why not take the time to make a layout about some of the routines that you have.  It doesn't have to be elaborate or magazine worthy.  It has to be something that is going to be meanigful to your family.
  3. Project Life- For me, this year, Project Life is how I am redefining my scrapbooking.  I have been taking several photos a day and narrowing down my choice to one photo to represent the day and jotting down them memory or words that help me best express the memory.  When two stories happen on one day (as was the case on Wednesday), then I take the opportunity to make a scrapbook layout to tell the other story, slip it into a page protector, and insert it into my album. I am also keeping my layouts very simple to keep myself from getting overwhelmed.
  4. Photo websites-  My sister is recording her memories on a photo website.  She has created tabs for different categories of memories (dating, wedding, honeymoon, special events, etc.), writes a paragraph about the event, uploads her photos, and moves on.  She doesn't have to worry about ordering photos, not using the photos that she orders, or feeling like she can't relax until she does something with these photos.  There are many photo websites that are available for this type of recording- Shutterfly and Flikr are just two of the ones that I use.  

Here's to the memories we plan to make and record with our families this year!


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