More ancestor stories~
Since I've come to this time of my life (Read: Grandparent), I've come to realize the importance of sharing my story and our family's story with my grandchildren. And as I read assorted books about various times in history, I realized my children and grandchildren should know, not just about the routine facts of their ancestors' lives, but how those people played a part in the BIG EVENTS of our time. So I set out to write about exactly that for my kids.
Two ideas that came together~
And as always seems to happen, I got a sweet mini-book in the mail from a dear friend. I was going through a sad time, and she sent me a tiny book of scriptures, inspiring quotations and assorted sentiments. There you have it--a convergence of two ideas! Love when that happens. I was unsure in what format I wanted to share with my grandkids this wee bit of family history, and I realized I could do it with a mini-book.
Step #1--Deciding on a world event~
This step was easy. Since my generation of Baby Boomers are the children of the Greatest Generation, I had to start there. World War II is probably the biggest event of the last century, so this is the first event that my parents played a part in that I would share with my grandchildren. I think it's very important for my grands to see and know that their great-grandparents played a part in this war.
Step #2--What format to use for the sharing?
As I said, I received a mini book from a sweet friend, so this seemed the perfect way to go.
Step #3--Gather any pictures you may have of the grandfathers~
If you have pictures of the relatives from World War II, that would be great. Use those! I unfortunately did not have any photos of my step-dad from the war, so I just used the pictures I had. It doesn't really matter, you want your grandchildren to see photos of those people. I love this quote from Raquel Cepeda, "When we illuminate the road back to our ancestors, they have a way of reaching out, of manifesting themselves...sometimes even physically." I want my grandchildren to see photos of those dear people.....to look into their eyes. Even if it's just an old photo.
Step #4--Get the information on the BIG EVENT~
This will be very brief as this is a mini book. My book turned out to be 4 1/2x6 inches, so you can see, the information had to be brief. And my father served in the Navy so I narrowed my focus about him to the Pacific Theater, and even narrowed the focus again to where he was stationed and what his job was. The same with my father-in-law; he was stationed in England, so I wrote the background information on him to include the European Theater and his job there. And as my friend Kathy reminded me--they will study this part in school. No need to give extensive background.
Step #5--THE FUN PART! Creating the book~
My friend's book was constructed from a 12x12 inch piece of scrapbook paper; when folded it makes a 3x3 inch book. I'll include the youtube video for creating this at the end of my blog. I really need to get her to guest-blog for me about her hobby--creating cards and mini-books, but I digress. As I said, her book was too small for this project. I opted for a bigger book that we used to make in school. It's made from a 12x18 inch piece of construction paper making a 4 1/2x6 inch book. I'll include a website with instruction for that too. I also trotted off to my friendly local craft store and got scrapbook paper that I considered appropriate for my World War II motif, as well as stickers about the army and Navy. I really consider this the fun part.
Viola! The finished product~
No more step-by-step from me. I think you'll get the idea from seeing pictures. I also used clip-art from my computer programs, so there's that. Just have fun with it.
So there you have it!
If you're like me, you know you need to tell the stories of your parents and grandparents, but it seems such a daunting task. I finally was able to write something about these wonderful people when I thought in terms of historical events. I think that's probably what people want to read--not so much about their day-to-day lives, but what they did in BIG important matters. If you're trying to write about your parents, give this focus a try. It helped me!
Websites with instructions for folding the mini books:
And the smaller book:
Retired school teacher and now full time grandmother sharing ideas and looking for new ones about grandparenting!