Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Tuesday's Traditions #1

Valentine's Day is approaching and no better time to start a fun family tradition. This one is FUN, EXCITING, and the kids really love this one! What is it? A Heart Attack!

Let me explain...
We started this tradition a few years ago. My kids and I wanted to do something special for their daddy. We wanted it to be creative and they really wanted something that would surprise him. So we decided to give him a heart attack.

We cut up about 100 paper hearts, all different colors and sizes. We wrote poems, quotes, and what we loved about him on each of the hearts. Then on Valentine's Day, while he was working in his office we drove over to the parking garage where he parked his car. We had to beg the parking garage guard to please let us through...we were giving our daddy a heart attack. He was a little reluctant, but he let us through. We found his truck and went to work!

We taped the hearts all over his truck...it was 100% covered. I had an extra key, so I opened the door and we put them inside too! We left a picture of all us on his seat and his favorite candy bar. We locked the truck back up, and hurried out of there.

We waited all day for him to come home. The kids were so excited they couldn't stand it. Finally, he arrived home...with the biggest smile and maybe a tear or two. He was surprised and moved...he couldn't believe what we had done! He loved it and it was the talk of the office for a few weeks. He saved all the hearts and now has the picture of us on his desk for everyone to see!

This is the first "Tuesday Tradition". Every Tuesday I will post a new tradition you can start with your family!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Preserving a Legacy

I've always been very close to my all my grandparents. I grew up within walking distance of all their houses and was blessed to be able to visit them everyday if I wished. I loved spending as much time with them as I could and I often reflect back on the wonderful memories I have as a child. Time has passed and I only have one living grandmother. The worse part is she's 2000 miles away.

A year ago I gave my only living grandmother a Story Starter from Cherish Bound. This Story Starter is called When I Was Little. I gave it to her wrapped in a beautiful box with a nice pen and a note from me. In that note I told her how important she was to me and that it was very important for me to know her and remember her and have her stories to pass on to my children. I gave her simple instructions on how to use the Story Starter and asked her to read through the 100's of questions that were this book and answer as many as she could. I wanted to know more about her. I wanted to know who she was at 5 years old, at 10 years old, what she felt like on her wedding day and so on.

A few months passed and I had not received any word from her that she had even broke open the book. I didn't want to pressure her, but I finally asked her one day over the phone if she'd finished writing her stories down for me. To my surprise she said yes she had and was so excited to send me the notes. She was so full of excitement and life. It was like she had gone back and relived some of her most memorable moments and was now sharing them with me. A week later I received her Story Starter in the mail. As I opened it I saw pages and pages of notes, memories and stories on paper. I could see my grandmother's amazing life right before my eyes. She sent some photos and memorabilia to accompany the stories, which made it even more special.

I took all of her stories and photos and published an amazing book through Cherish Bound. I created a hardbound book with beautiful pages filled with her stories and pictures. When I received the finished books in the mail tears filled my eyes as I realized that this women's life has now been preserved and safely stored forever.

I can now share with my children and grandchildren stories about where they come from and who they are. They can find a sense of belonging and have a confidence in themselves by knowing their grandmother through story.

I sent my grandmother her copy of her published book as a Christmas present. She has thanked me countless times since receiving it, but I'm the one who should be thanking her; thanking her for sharing her stories and life. Her amazing lessons and examples will forever change me and my children...and their children.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Basic Technology Tips! Part 2

This is a continuation of the technology class I took at the Cherish Bound convention.

Tips and Tricks for BEAUTIFUL pictures

  • Get closer to your subject
  • Turn off your FLASH! Natural light is the best light for bringing in warmth to your images.
  • The rule of thirds. Imagine your picture has a grid with three lines in each direction (like a tic-tac-toe grid). Try to place your subject where any of those lines intersect. These are referred to as the "hot spots"
  • Set your camera to the highest quality settings
  • Take candid shots of your family doing every day things. The best pictures are often the ones not posed.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Basic Technology Tips! Part 1

Don't be scared by the word "Technology". Technology is a good thing and can make our lives easier...when we know how to use it. Back in October of 2007, at Cherish Bound's Annual Convention, I took a class on Technology Basics. The instructors were great and I give them full credit for all the info I'm going to pass on. They gave us just enough tips to clear up some fuzzy areas but not so much that I felt overwhelmed. It's very important we understand how basic technology works when preserving our family stories and photos.

Most of the confusion and intimidation comes from digital photos. Here are a few "Basic" definitions they passed on:

  • Digital Photo: A photograph that can be viewed on the computer. Sources are typically a digital camera or a scanner. Scanners allow you to convert a printed photograph into a digital one.
  • Pixels: These are the dots of color that make up your photo. A pixel = a dot
  • Mega Pixels: How many million pixels a camera can record in a single image. For example: a camera that captures 1600x1200 pixels produces an image with a resolution of 1.92 million pixels and would be referred to as a 2.0 mega pixel camera. You get to 1.92 million pixels by multiplying the vertical and horizontal dimensions. That number is then rounded off to 2 for marketing purposes.
  • DPI: Dots per inch. 300 dpi means a file has 300 dots, or pixels, across every 1-inch within it.
  • Resolution: Measured in pixels per inch or more commonly known as dots per inch.
  • Image Size: The number of pixels in length, and pixels in width, a photo or graphic is. Example: the photo is 3,000 pixels x 2,000 pixels.
  • File Size: A measurement typically expressed in kilobytes (KB) or megabytes (MB). 1,000 KB is equal to 1 MB. Example: the photo is 600kb, or the photo is 12mb.
  • File Type: The most common types are JPEG, TIFF, GIF and PNG
  • jpeg, jpg: Probably the most common and popular way of saving picture files. The reason is that they're typically smaller than other image file types, and they can be viewed easily in many software applications. JPEG images are compressed. In most cameras the amount of compression is set using the "Quality" setting on the camera's menu. Choices vary from camera to camera, but they'll usually be along the lines of "fine", "standard", and "economy". The "fine" setting has the least amount of compression allowing for higher resolution.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Simple Family Connections

How do you connect with your children, husband, wife? How often do you go out of your way to connect on a higher level...one that will make an impression?

Every family can use the power of story to connect with their loved ones. Cherish Bound offers 100's of different ideas to find ways to connect. One of the newest and one of my favorites is the cute and simple bookmarker that we have.

These adorable book markers are great for all ages and occasions. They have a simple, but power photo on the front with a question on the other side. Examples of some questions are "How did you feel as you held your baby for the first time?" Or how about a question about your "Love" story, "Where did you meet? What did you do for your first date?" Another favorite for kids is "What is the best part of each day?"

There is room to write down your answers, a cute ribbon attached and they fold and fit right over any page of any book...they look especially good in a Cherish Bound book.

Family connections and creating family traditions can come in small and simple packages. The Cherish Bound Story Bookmark is a great step forward in connecting and changing your family.