Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A Personalized Family Calendar

A Personalized Family CalendarThis project is a good thing for children that are a little older to tackle. If you're going to hand this off to your kids then they'll need to at least be able to write legibly though you could make it up yourself and have small children illustrate it for you.

So . . . I give you the "On This Date" family calendar. You've seen the items in the newspaper where they will list significant events that happened on whatever day it is? "On this date in 1789 the first Constitutional Convention was held, in 1949 the invasion of Normandy began and in 2002 Sponge Bob Squarepants was born." Or something equally significant.

Well make up your own important events calendar for your family, go through your immediate and extended family and collect birthdays, anniversaries, death dates, anything of importance to your family history. Then add to that significant events that may not be listed in your vital records: the first day you met your husband, the first tooth, the first step, when you found out you were having a boy, the day you moved to your new house, the day of your first family vacation. Dates that make your family special.

Then take large, blank index cards and write the date and descriptions on separate cards. Punch a hole in the top of each card and bind them all together with a ring where you can flip through the important events each day and easily ad dates of future events.

Some examples from our own family include:

January 1
∙On this day in 1967 Aunt Camille was born in Pocatello, Idaho.

∙On this day in 1993 Andrew and Michelle drove through Kentucky, West Virginia, and Maryland.

∙On this day in 1998 the Mittons went snowmobiling at Summit Lake, Alaska.

January 4
∙On this day in 1993 Andrew and Michelle started work in Washington D.C.

∙On this day in 1997 the Mittons visited Minneapolis and spent the day at the Minnesota Zoo on a nice sunny day.

January 5
∙On this day in 1997 the Mittons spent the day at the Mall of America and went to Camp Snoopy. The weather was not as nice.

January 6
∙On this day in 1997 the Mittonss spent the day stuck in a hotel room during a blizzard.

January 7
∙On this day in 2000 David took his first step.

January 20
∙On this day in 1993 Andrew and Michelle attended President Bill Clinton’s first inaugural address.

January 24
∙On this day in 1976 Uncle Greg was born in Fairfax, Virginia.

January 28
∙On this day in 1991 Andrew and Michelle went to see the Peking Acrobats in Salt Lake City, Utah.

February 11
∙On this day in 1996 the Mittons discovered Spencer was coming to join the family.

February 14
∙On this day in 1992 Andrew and Michelle spent six hours stuck at the top of Vail pass on their way to Breckenridge.

We've accumulated enough family history to almost have an event for every day of the year but every time I read a page on the calendar it's like a tiny album of memories opens up in my mind and I can see every event listed. Kind of a fun way to keep connected with family history.

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45 comments:

Cathy said...

Neat idea--so much happens you've got to keep track!

Kelsey said...

Love this idea!

Cocoa said...

This is really a neat idea! I totally am in love with it.

nik said...

This would be a great Christmas gift. Something I am going to do! Thanks for the idea....its a great one

Antoinette said...

This is a wonderful idea. The grandparents live on the other side of the country and this would be a great present! It is so simple to do and easy to jazz up.

I have recetly started to read your blog and I apperciate your ideas. Thanks!

MomOnTheGo said...

I agree with Nik that this would be a great Christmas gift! I've got nearly 2 years of blog posts to harvest and one of my aunts did a geneology chart that goes back to the 1880s or so. Thanks for sharing this tip.

Simple Family Supper lady said...

Fantastic idea.... great summer project for us that are going to be STAYING home more due to gas prices!!!!! Thanks for the great idea!
Heather

Joanna said...

For a friend in early high school, I did this- I had kept a journal throughout jr high, and had dates of important things that happened in our lives (well, important by junior-high-girl standards) I bought a Day-By-Day calendar and opened it, and wrote the events on the corresponding pages. It was a hit!

Blessed said...

This is a great idea!

Flea said...

That is SO COOL.

Megan (FriedOkra) said...

And you know, it could also be a source of bloggy inspiration on those DRY days, too. You are TOO smart, young lady.

chelle said...

Wow that is an AWESOME idea!

Jennifer said...

Hmmmm being number 14 to comment has it's drawbacks.... what is another way to say great idea?:) Honestly it really is. Seeing even the smallest sentence on a day can help jog so many memories.

Chief Family Officer said...

I love this idea! So much so that I might make one without the kids' help :) (They're only 3 and 1 ...)

Janet said...

This is a great idea. I should get started on this now while there are still people around to jog my memory, which has become very leaky since the kiddos were born.

Gigi said...

What an adorable idea! My family makes a calendar almost every year at Kinkos with pictures of us, but this would be an amazing supplement! I'm a big fan of useless trivia, but this brings it to a personal level. Did you come up with this on your own?

Rani said...

This is perhaps the coolest idea I have seen. I love it. My daughter loves calendars and this will make a super fun project to do together. Thanks for your great ideas!

Amy G. said...

Great idea! I have a "birthday calendar" I could add these events to...that would make it so much more fun to flip through. Thanks!

Roo said...

What a fantastic idea! I'm going to put this idea out on our family's MYFAMILY.COM page. I'm going to see if I can get the extended family to contribute events, even just to post them on the web page.

I love reading your blog! Thanks for the inspirations

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

What an amazing idea for keeping track of family history!!! Super blog full of family fun and love.

Wild wave from Northern Michigan. :D

JJ

Wild Squirrel said...

I've done the actual calendar before with pictures and important events and given them as Christmas gifts, but I haven't tried putting index cards on a ring. I like it! It's so easy to keep adding to it. Teaches about journaling, too. Great idea!

Beck said...

I LOVE this idea! We generally DO make calendars for Christmas presents, and this would be PERFECT!

Megan@SortaCrunchy said...

What a GORGEOUS idea! I love to keep old day planners and those kinds of things for the same reason, but this is SO much more stream-lined and comprehensive. Perfect!

Motherhood for Dummies said...

I have always loved that calender you guys have. I want to do it, just as soon as Curtis and I get enough family history AND get good at recording it. I feel bad... I think Curtis and I have 2 enteries in our journal during the WHOLE pregnancy..... opps :(

Cecily R said...

What a great idea!!! It totally appeals to my need to document things without scrapbooking!!! :)

Only because I'm not organized enough to scrapbook...

JC said...

What a great idea. I'm really enjoying your blog.

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oh amanda said...

I LOVE this idea. I've been trying to think of something cool to do for my daughter (only 2 now but...) b/c both sets of my grandparents are dead & so are my dh's. I'd love for her to be able to reconnect with them in this way.

Killlashandra said...

What a wonderful idea. I'd never quite thought of that before.

WherestheBox said...

My husband will love this. He saves everything - even brings home his calendar pages from work! It would be nice to pick out the important stuff and pitch the rest!!

MRMacrum said...

This is so very cool. I really mean it. How many of us really know much about our own families? What a great way to get the kids involved and jacked about the ole geezer in the picture on the mantle. Or remind him/her when they first walked. Or when they want to know when Dad met Mom, etc. A kind of modern version of the old family bible thing.

My Aunt Helen would have loved this. She was big on family history.

Jenna Consolo said...

GREAT idea! I can feel myself becoming obsessed with finding something for each day. Oh great.

HTMcorp said...

Great idea for a memorable lifetime experience. Else life will be empty with nothing to cherish!

Shauna said...

Hi! I just stumbled upon your blog. My aunt just moved up to alaska - I may have to point her in the direction of your blog - she would enjoy knowing there are others of you out there in the snow! :)

Lei said...

My kids would really love to do this. Makes me wish I'd been better at documenting specifics! We could always start from here though. :) Great idea, thanks!

croatiagals said...

This is fun and a great idea. Might do the same for my family..

Eyom said...

Inspiring idea. Something that will definetely keep the family intact and in the loop!

Amy said...

What a sweet idea- I love how you showcase your family history.

Anonymous said...

I love this idea. I have written a book called Creating Happy Memories" and I would love to send you a copy for your review and for your family. Is there an address I can use. Pam, South Bend Indiana

The Estrogen Files said...

Go Pocatello!! Not too far from my own front door. Great idea!

Shelley said...

Outstanding idea... thanks so much for sharing it!

Leslie said...

I love this idea! I'm definitely doing this one.

Damselfly said...

I LOVE this idea!

carlaspathways said...

Great idea! A super project for homeschooling families, any families for that matter, and for genealogists.
Love your blog. Learned about it at 5 Mins. for Mom.

Blessings,
Carla

http://carlaspathways.wordpress.com

Mike said...

Great idea! My wife's been homeschooling and this will be a great project I'll pass on to her.

Mike
http://www.letterperspectives.com