This week is all about getting good habits going.
A good habit to cultivate in your home is to record precious memories you experience as a family.
As mothers we are often the keepers of the memories. Yes, I know there are some husbands who are amazing photographers and family histographers. But, in many families, this is Mom’s thing.
And that’s okay.
However, I was stunned by the response to my scrapbooking question last week. So many of us want to preserve these precious memories, but are behind the times, in more ways than one.
This year I’ve made it one of my goals to do something with all our great photos — and also take more photos of my kids than I do groceries and food. Just saying.
So far, I’ve ordered a mini desk calendar and a small photo book with photos from last year and I put together a video of last year to surprise my family with. Neither was difficult and both were fun to do.
Here are some easy ways that you can record sweet memories with your family.
Order flip books and small pocket calendars
My husband was really surprised when he found this little brag book in his stocking. A few flips of the pages and we are transported back to September when we took our first real vacation.
You can easily prepare small photo books on websites like Kodak Gallery and Shutterfly. Both websites are very user friendly and you can often find great deals to get money off your order or even get a free book.
Make a family wall calendar
My sister Janel has instituted a way to capture her family’s days as well as her children’s artwork in one spot. She created a large, monthly wall calendar for her girls to decorate. Not only does it provide colorful decor, but it’s also a great command center for their days. Janel even created a pdf so you could do this yourself with your kids.
Create a family video
Making a slideshow set to music really is not difficult and it provides an easy, fun way to walk down Memory Lane. Most of us already have plenty of digital photos at our disposal. And the last two computers I’ve owned both came preloaded with software to make a video and burn it to a DVD. If I can do it, you can. Promise.
This video is an excerpt of the one I made for our family for New Year’s. The entire video was a compilation of our year’s photographs, set to music. I used Microsoft Live Movie Maker which is free to download. I didn’t read the directions — because I don’t read directions — much to my husband’s chagrin, and I figured it out pretty easily. So, you can, too.
Frame your children’s artwork
Enjoy the art that your kids create! You probably have plenty of drawings and paintings to choose from. Frame them and hang them where you can see and enjoy them. I have one from years ago that FishBoy13, then 7 made. I display it at Christmas time and smile about how he labored over getting the drawing just right.
The Happy Housewife picks up inexpensive frames at IKEA. Kimberly made one whole wall magnetic. Pam stapled artwork to the garage wall. Kristen created her kids’ art gallery in an alcove by her entryway. And Meredith totally rocked it when she gave her daughter paint and an old framed canvas to beautify.
Update family photo albums
What did I decide? Well, my position at the moment is that in July (after my cookbook is written), I will put together real paper and photo baby books for the two FishChicks, through Year Two, using some streamlined methods and templates. For the rest of us, I will put together albums through digital sites like Kodak or Shutterfly and try to get our family albums caught up.
Hang framed photos
You can easily and quickly brighten up the rooms of your home by adding framed pictures of the people you love. Photos are easy to order online; you can even get the prints shipped directly to your home. Frames at IKEA or Walmart are not all that costly.
Sure, you could pay for professional framing, but if that is cost-prohibitive, don’t sweat it. Just get the pics out of the drawer, box, or hard drive and onto your walls.
I have a ton of framed photos in a box in the garage. I even have a beautiful canvas that I won in a contest — sitting on the floor of my office, leaning against a wall. Time to get these babies hung!
What do YOU do to record sweet family memories?
For more inspiration, check out other Good Habits to Get Going.