Wednesday, December 18th 2002
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I want to welcome you to this first edition
of "Family History Help & Product Review". I
am hoping that you will enjoy what you read
and find it helpful in your individual family
I personally believe that living your life
is only half of what we need to do while
in this life...the other half is make a
record of it.
For most people the living part is the fun
part and making a record of it (via
journaling, life story writing etc...) is
the hard and not too exciting part.
Of course they couldn't be more wrong.
The sole reason for this newsletter is to
make preserving your lifestory, and that of
other family members, fun and exciting through
the use of all that there is out there in
the way of software, books and web resouces.
If you have feedback to share with the whole
group or something just for me, I hope you'll
send it to me. Send it to:
Inside This Issue
Free Download: Family History Jumpstart e-Book
Free Download: Timeline Maker 1.0
Article: Organizing Your Child's Memories
Article: "What Your Children Will Want to Know"
Product Review: "Family Picture Calendar"
Free Download! To
show my appreciation, for subscribing to this
newsletter, I am providing a download link
to my e-book "Family History Jumpstart".
It is a collection of inspirational family
history articles written top family history
writers. You'll find all the inspiration,
motivation and instruction you'll need to
keep on going!
Click Here to Download Jumpstart
Timeline Maker 1.0!
Free Download. For a limited time,
Progeny Software is offering their great
timeline creation software, Timeline
Maker 1.0 for free.
I downloaded this software a few months
ago and I was very impressed. It was
simple to get started and create a
timeline of my life and one for my
If you've never had the chance to view
your whole life on a detailed timline,
then you should go download this program.
It is being offered free, so if this
sounds interesting to you, please go
get it before they begin charging again!
Timeline Maker 1.0 Download Link
Organizing Your Childs Memories!
by Erin Read Ruddick
Four Quick Steps To Organizing Your Child's Memories
By: Erin Read Ruddick
I'll be honest with you. At any given time, my hallway has at least
three baskets of clean laundry waiting for sorting and folding. A visit
to my office shows off my ability to pile instead of file. And I still
haven't finished that honeymoon photo album I began in September of
It's tough to get and stay organized when you're a parent. Our
different roles compete for time and attention. One of the most
important roles is family record-keeper. But, without some
organization, the precious memories and milestones of your children's
first years may go the way of those missing single socks.
Are you thinking of finally tackling that pile of notes and pics that
chronicles your child's life from pregnancy to preschool? In honor of
National Get Organized Week (October 6 - 12, 2002; National Association
of Professional Organizers), here is a four-step approach to start
preserving your child's memories.
1. Decide what it's all going to look like when you're done. You
could use a web-based service that lets you organize memories online,
then publishes them in a book when you're ready. There also are
fill-in-the-blank journals that might work for you, blank books, and
scrapbooking. Your chosen approach doesn't have to be fancy but it
should be easy. Just be sure to evaluate your options so that you're
aware of the time, money, or special supplies (if any) required.
2. Go through the house and collect every bit info related to your
child's first years. Empty the kitchen drawer where you've been
throwing notes scrawled on scrap paper. Gather unsorted photos, random
mementos, incomplete fill-in-the-blank baby books, and any calendars
where you jotted events and appointments. Put them all in one big box
and take the rest of the day off.
3. Group items together by theme (holidays, birthday, newborn pictures,
etc.). Stack them in reverse chronological order, ie with the most
recent information or photos on the top. (If you have more than one
child, separate by child and then group. Put common/overlapping
information in one pile.) If your children are older, they'll enjoy
helping you with this part of the project. Take a trip down memory
lane, congratulate yourself and take a break.
4. Now, start with the top of the stack and begin working your way back
in time. Write down the things you've got in front of you, stories that
you remember most readily and don't sweat the lost details. In other
words, write down what you DO know!
As you go along, other stories will probably come to you. Take the same
approach, writing down notes and fleshing them out later if you choose.
If you jot down the basics about the "biggie" milestones you'll
eventually get the most important information recorded.
Remember that it takes time to get organized, and being the family
archivist is an ongoing project. Don't feel like you have to create an
legacy in a weekend; give yourself time!
Every parent develops their own method to deal with the madness of their
busy lives. With a little bit of organization, saving family memories
can be as fun as making them.
Erin Read Ruddick is the co-founder of babEbook (www.babEbook.com
), a custom-publishing service that lets
parents organize the memories and milestones of their child's first
years and create a totally personalized, hardcover book. Copyright
2002. All rights reserved.
What Your Children Will Want to Know!
by Michael R. Boyter
Does your life story read like it was straight out of a best-selling
Maybe, or maybe not, but regardless the life stories, knowledge and
experience you pass down, through some form of recorded life story,
will be invaluable to your children and grandchildren now and
especially in the future.
From the day your children first stepped foot on that big yellow
school bus to the day that they left home for college you were
concerned that they were ready for "life" without you. You
to "be there" for them, didn't you? Your life experience
could provide valuable advice and guidance to your children.
From the time they were little, you coached and prepared them
for much of what life would throw their way.
Even now, your adult children probably rely on you for sound advice
on things ranging from marriage matters to child rearing.
As your children advance and mature through all the stages of their
lives, they will have a natural deep yearning to know and compare
their life situation to that of your life, while in the same
approximate stage of life. "Am I doing things right"?
The ability to "compare notes" inspires confidence and can
cause a calming effect in our children. This can be derived in
knowing that their parents faced some of the same tough challenges
early in their lives, thus giving them the strength and perseverance
to do the same.
As just a young married couple, my wife Sheri and I struggled to
make ends meet. There were occasions when all we had to eat in the
kitchen was boiled noodles and nothing to put on them but catsup!
Was this normal or was I failing as a provider? I feared the latter
was the correct answer.
As far as I knew, my parents always had plenty and never struggled
like we had. On one occasion, my mom mentioned that for a stretch
of time, when I was only an infant, money was so tight that she and
dad wondered how they were going to make it to the next paycheck.
This is only one example, of many, that I could give you.
Therein lies the power of journaling and preserving, at least, some
semblance of a biography.
Most of us continue teaching our children, through example or
otherwise, until the day we leave this life. But what then?
THINGS YOUR CHILDREN WILL WANT/NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR LIFE:
Your posterity will want to know some of the small, seemingly
inconsequential, stories from you life; ones that are fun to tell.
We all have stories like these. They are often stories steeped with
insight and coincide with life lessons learned.
YOUR DATING STORY: How did you meet their mother/father. How did
you know he/she was the one?
Do you ever feel down?
What motivated you and got you going again?
Did you ever have a boss that you couldn't stand? How did you
handle the situation?
When grandma and grandpa passed on, how did you manage?
How did you deal with a person that just outright didn't like you?
If you've ever lost your job, describe your feelings and
How did you overcome?
Tell of the day-to-day pressures of providing/caring for your
Were you living on the "financial edge" when you were newly
married? How did you get by. Were there any special measures that
you had to take?
AS YOUNG NEWLYWEDS, YOUR CHILDREN MAY WONDER...
...Did you and dad/mom ever argue as newlyweds?
...How did you decide who to spend the holidays with each year?
AS YOUNG PARENTS, YOUR CHILDREN MAY WONDER...
... "Did I really cry this much as a baby?"
... If you ever got any sleep when they themselves were newborns.
... What were the events in and around their own birth?
... "How quickly did I learn to walk, talk and potty
AS PARENTS OF A TEENAGER, YOUR CHILDREN MAY WONDER...
... "Will I ever make it to old age?"
... "Will my teenager make it to old age?"
... "Was I ever that unruly?"
BEING MIDDLE-AGED, YOUR CHILDREN MAY WONDER...
...How the effects of aging played on your mind and body
...How you dealt with the loss of your parents. (This one may be
uncomfortable to talk about now, but writing down your feelings now
for future reading by your children, will serve a very helpful
AS NEW GRANDPARENTS YOUR CHILDREN MAY WONDER...
...What becoming a grandparent for the first time was like for you.
AS SENIOR CITIZENS, YOUR CHILDREN MAY WONDER...
...How you dealt with bad health situations.
...How you dealt with the loss of a spouse.
...How you felt in your role as the family patriarch/matriarch.
Don't leave your children unprepared for all that lies ahead of
them once you depart this world. Write down or record to tape all
that you know your children will want to know about your life
someday, but won't think to ask until it's too late!
CLICK HERE to Get Started Telling Your Life Story
font size="5" color="navy">Family Picture Calendar
[The Family Picture Calendar is a program
that makes it easy for anyone to create
customized professional looking wall
calendars. Stored pictures of family and
friends will automatically print on the
calendar in the month their events occurs.
Printed calendars make great annual gifts
for all members of the family as well as for
friends. With The Family Picture Calendar
you can supply each member of your family
with an organized daily reminder of birthdays
and anniversaries helping to promote family
ties and unity. Family history is also
encouraged with the inclusion of events to
honor family members no longer living.]
Windows 95,98,Me,2000 and XP.
I had the concept of a family calendar in my
head for a long while. I looked for quite awhile,
before finally finding Family Picture Calendar.
Creating a family calendar is great fun and a
great trip back through memory lane. Brainstorm
with other members of your family and come up
with all the many family and individual highlights
from over the years.
Next, dig deep for all of those old family photographs
that you and the family hasn't seen for many years.
Sprinkle in dates and interesting facts from your
genealogy records and you have the makings for
a great family calendar designed to catalog
and preserve your families history for the
Another aspect of Family Picture Calendar is
that you can go on making calendars, month after
month, forever! As time goes on, continue to
add new events to the calendar. Soon, nearly
ever day of the calendar year will be filled with
a family event that'll bring back cherished memories.
It's very convenient as well. Each month's
calendar can be updated and quickly sent , via e-mail,
to all the family...no matter how far away they live.
What a way to keep in touch!
With a small time investment, one could have
a pretty full family calendar done by the
start of the New Year!
For more details, visit:
Family Picture Calendar
New Feature: Share a Memory Message Board
Please visit the new message board to share some of your
most cherished childhood Christmas memories and read
those of others. Invite a friend to tell a story from
their life as well.
Share a Childhood Christmas Memory
Gift Idea Center: Don't go to a
family Christmas get-together without
a copy of the Memorygrabber e-book.
Download a copy within a few minutes
and take it with you to your family
gathering. I guarantee it will help
make it a family gathering to remember!
Thanks for reading this issue. Please
remember to forward it to those on your
e-mail mailing list.
On a personal note, my family and I wish
you and your family a wonderful Christmas
and a Happy New Year!
Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.