6 Easy Ways to Record Sweet Family Memories

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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

To Scrapbook or Not To Scrapbook? That was the question. And your answers proved that there are plenty of options out there. You guys told me about a ton of things I did not know existed!

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.

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  1. My new goal for the present…I’m going to start a photo book on line with shutterfly and create a space for each month. I plan to add pictures and journaling every month and by the end of 2011 I will have a full book and pressents for grandparents next Christmas. We’ll see how it goes!

  2. One of my goals for this year is to keep my video camera in the living room rather than in the closet and video some every day moments each month. In the past two years I’ve only used my video camera at Christmas and the birth of our first child. I didn’t know I was in labor with the second and didn’t take the camera with us.

  3. Awesome video….I too am crying…What a great idea for a frugal, gift to give a sweetheart on Valentine’s Day…my babies are young adults now but my husband would love to walk down memory lane and look at years gone by…THANK YOU 🙂

  4. Thanks for the shout out!

    My little guy is 5 and I *still* haven’t done his baby book. They’re all digital pics…I just need to get it done. Time for me to get a good habit going!

  5. Beautiful video! I love those slideshow videos, but I thought I had to spend lots of money on software. Thank you SO much for mentioning Microsoft Live Video Maker. I actually found that my computer already had this loaded. Yay! I am so excited to start making some family videos!!!

  6. I also started a blog to record our day to day family memories. It really helps me take my camera out more often. I also scrapbook, mostly digital because it is just so much quicker. Each of my kids has a baby book and my goal is to have a bound book for every year as well as any special vacations. For my kids art I keep a rubbermaid that I deposit anything they made into and then I sort through it every few months for keepers. I really like the idea of turning their art into art for our home, and it is on my to do list. This year I would really like to use our video camera more!

  7. We have a daughter who loves to crate artwork and I had the same issue- some drawings on the frig but most in a box. We have an unfinished basement but we have painted the concrete walls and put down some carpet from my in-laws remodeling project. Since we do spend a lot of our time in the basement I decided to create an art gallery on the concrete wall- my daughter and I selected some of our favorite pieces and I put them on the wall with double sided tape. They have stayed up nicely and we are enjoying the artwork every day! It brightened up our basement and emptied the storage box of creations!

  8. I LOVE photo albums and think they are a great way to reminisce about past times. I also love hanging photos on walls and framing childrens’ artwork!

  9. I sat watching the video with tears streaming down my face…how beautiful!!! I am very guilty of doing nothing with photos and even more guilty of forgetting to take them of my third child, first girl. I think that may be why I was tearing up…watching how fast time goes by. Thanks for the kick in the seat that I needed!

  10. Can you tell me about the music you used for your video? What a beautiful song, I’d love to download it!

  11. Thank you for this post! I try to keep a calendar where I record our day to day happenings while I’m sitting at the table with the children during school time. I also keep a blog which I plan to order a book of each year for our family.

  12. I started my blog to preserve family memories. Since all of my pictures are digital and I’m always at my computer (it seems!), it only made sense to preserve my memories on line. Not only are they preserved for me and my family, I can share them at the same time with friends and family all over the world.