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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

How to Chronicle Your Children's Lives

photo by Tina Case

With one child already well entrench in college and two other children just a few years away, it has dawned on me that keeping records of my children's artwork, letters, cards, school reports and other creations throughout the years is a serious effort. I feel like a curator of a small museum. Over the years, ever since they were born, I have kept a wide variety of things I consider sentimental, precious, frame-worthy and significant for each of my children. Some are stashed in a basket, some are in a box, and some are collecting dust. 
I need to start going through their stashes and getting them prepared as if for an exhibition so that they are safely chronicled, digitized, copied and reproduced for all eternity. That way when they look back on their lives they will know exactly when they took their first steps, when their first tooth fell out, when they wrote "I'm sorry mommy" in a card to me, and painted their first original work of art.

At the time I started saving things I didn't know how large the collection would get. 20 years worth of memorabilia does add up. But I'm so glad I kept what I did. It's already getting me a little teary eyed as I go through these things because it seems like just yesterday when I held their first drawing and read their first written words. How do you get started chronicling your children's lives? Here's how to get started:
Short list of items to purchase
  • Large 3-ring binder per child
  • Acid-free plastic sleeves such as these from Avery
  • Package of DVDs
  • Permanent markers
  • Scissors or cutting tool
  • Baskets for collecting and storing
#1 Determine what types of memorabilia you want to preserve. The types of items you can preserve can include: artwork, school work, medical charts, hand-made cards, baby teeth, letters, photos, videos and even audio.
#2 On a regular basis carve out a time to organize the stash of treasures you have collected. I found these wonderful large, cloth covered boxes for each child to store their items in. At first I would do the collecting but now they often choose the items they want to preserve. We go through their items and insert what we can into the plastic sleeves. Be sure to label items on the outside of the sleeves to remember the occasion, age, and significance of each piece.  (Click to continue on Yahoo! Shine)

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