Family Memory Board

Family Brings Joy Family Memory BoardYesterday I shared my Command Central area which included our Family Memory Board.  The Family Memory Board is a great way to see & enjoy those digital photos you have stored on your computer.  Not only that, the family memory board is a simple way to create a sense of belonging in your family.

I used to be a consultant for a wonderful company called Once Upon A Family.  Lorle Campos, the original Founder of the company, said it best about creating a sense of belonging:

The Power of Family Photos

“The most effective thing you can do to create a sense of belonging is to display family photos and memorabilia where they can be shared and enjoyed by all.  Photos are incredibly powerful in how they enhance reality.  The things we keep and the photos we choose to put into albums represent the best of times…events and periods of time that felt good to us.  When we look back at them, we often remember them as even better than they seemed at the time.  You may hear your kids whining and complaining on the annual summer camping trips, but when they look back at those photos years, months or even weeks later, all they remember is how much fun they had.  We tend to forget everything else.  We remember these events as joyful because we want them to be.  That is how powerful photos are.  But they don’t do us any good stashed away in drawers, or closets or boxes in the attic.  Organizing photos and keepsakes, in ways our families can share and enjoy, is very important.”

How to do a Family Memory Board

  1. Make or purchase a fabric covered memory board, with crisscrossed ribbons.
  2. Hang on the wall {or in my case place on counter to lean against a wall} in a central place where family members can see it often.
  3. Choose one great photo a month, print it out and place it on the board.
  • There are many tutorials on how to make a fabric covered memory board.  I chose a few and made a  Memory Boards Pinterest board.  Click here to see the boards.  Click on the pin in the board, then click on the photo to be taken to the tutorial.  I just had to include this giant memory board:


  • If you like my Family Memory Board, you can guess where I bought it…Once Upon A Family.  However, it does not come framed.  It looks beautiful without the frame.  I displayed it for years without a frame before deciding I wanted to dress mine up a bit.  I bought this 27″ x 21″ frame at Wal Mart, discarded the glass, placed the board in the frame and taped {with packing tape} the board to the back of the frame.  Make sure your frame’s opening is 18″ x 24″.  I use mine to hide cords as well, so it does double duty! 😉  Many stores sell memory boards though.  You can find them just about everywhere now.

Family Brings Joy Command Central

Click on Photo to see more photos


  • On this size board (18″ x 24″) you can easily place 12 – 4×6 photos, one for each month.  If you would like to choose 2 or more photos a month, I recommend printing your photos wallet size or 3 1/2 x 5.

“Your Family Memory board is a powerful way to show your loved ones how important family is, and these photos are a constant reminder of all the fun things you have done together.  They say: This is who we are… this is how we celebrate life together… See how much we enjoy each other’s company.  You’ll be surprised to see how often family members stop and look…along with their friends.”  Lorle Campos

I’m happy to be associated with Once Upon A Family again through their new affiliate program.  I have used their products for years.  They have left a lasting impression on our family.  The only way I’m compensated for this post by OUAF is if you purchase a product by clicking on the links included in the post (I receive a small commission.)  However, I want you to know that whether you purchase or make your Family Memory Board, it makes no difference to me.  What matters is that you begin the tradition in your home to create a sense of belonging and unity in your family.

Do you already have a Family Memory Board in your home?

Let’s celebrate this family tradition together!

A week from today, Tuesday, October 11, 2011 Family Brings Joy will host a Family Memory Board Link Party.

Please save the date and share yours with us.

P.S.: Nice comments help motivate me to keep blogging. 😉 Thank You!

Celebrate Family,

Birthday Wishes {& Roomspiration Master Bedrooms}

Happy Birthday to my Son who is 13 today!

Significance for 13…Facebook!  Last night we emphasized to our Son how grateful we were for his patience.  The age minimum for Facebook is 13.  We expressed our gratitude for his integrity.  He could have easily gone onto Facebook and made an account sooner than now.  I hope Facebook will be a good experience for him.  I know there are instances of cyber bullying.  My husband and I will have to monitor things carefully.  Extended family members: look for J’s Facebook invite today.  Feel free to wish him a Happy Birthday 😉

I hopped online last night to look up a good teen boy birthday card I could ‘whip up’ for him to go with his gift.  Ha ha ha…none to be found!  So I came up with this idea:

The photo of my Son & I on the inside of the card is from several years ago.  I wanted one of both of us together.  Unfortunately, he won’t let me take photos of him anymore.  They are few and far between.  Is that a boy thing?  All you Moms of teen boys out there, help a Mom out…have you experienced this detest of being photographed with your Sons?

I thought I could find a good photo of our Master Bedroom quickly this morning to add for today’s Roompsiration Blog Hop & Link Party.  HA!  Unfortunately, it is hiding from me in my files.  Oh how I wish someone would come and organize my millions of photos on my computer for me.  Any takers???  Instead of delaying the post further, I’m giving up.  Hopefully I will come across it and can add it later. 😉

You will be incredibly impressed with Nashville’s own Just a Touch of Gray’s Master Bedroom.  It has been a delight to become acquainted with the beautiful Rachel.  You can tell she and her husband have already created a beautiful family together.  The presence of children do not make a family.  The marriage union of man and woman begins a family.  I love to see how she & her husband work together on their projects.  Their Master Bedroom is another example of their brilliance in restoration of their home and decorating.  My favorite is the last photo with her adorable dog.  You will have to go there to see it! 😉
Touch of Gray
Again, if you have a Master Bedroom you want to share, please join us for the party!  You are invited!  Head on over to Just a Touch of Gray.  Link yours up or sit back and enjoy the eye candy.

Thank you for visiting,

Are You Practicing Condsideration?

In any healthy relationship, we must consider the other person’s needs.  This is especially true in a family dynamic.  As we are polite and considerate we cultivate better family relationships.

Being considerate is about paying attention to the world and people around you.

Outside your family example: A considerate person is aware there are other people shopping in the store besides themselves.  They make sure while shopping they park their cart to one side or the other so other shoppers can pass by unimpeded.  An inconsiderate person would park their cart right in the middle of the isle so that no one on both sides can pass by to do their own shopping.

In your family example: A considerate family member realizes he is not the only person living in the home.  A parent is taking a nap.  The considerate family member knows this and decides to read a book rather than watching a television show.  This is considerate because they understand the TV/sound might interrupt the family member’s nap time.

Being considerate is not difficult.  Nevertheless, it requires thoughtfulness and effort to understand/anticipate others needs.  When family members have a genuine love and affection for one another, they will make an effort to do whatever it takes to ensure they are meeting each others needs.

As family members practice consideration, a loving environment is created and all feel understood and valued.

A person who is considerate strives to empathize or know another person’s feelings.  They think ahead and anticipate how their own actions will impact others.

Family example:  A family member travels many miles from another state to visit you.  While they are visiting, you receive an invitation from a close friend to come to their house.  You are considerate and realize you can see your friend any time.  You decline your friend’s invitation.  You anticipate/consider it might offend your out of state family members who traveled far to spend time with you.  You value your relationship with this family member and do not want to hurt their feelings.

In this day and age of entitlement, I fear people are practicing consideration less and less.  I see this even more drastically online.  It is a concern of mine.  How can we truly feel connected to our friends and family if we are not considering their needs?  If we are constantly thinking about our own desires, we tend to halt our connections to others.  This begins a snowball effect and can be detrimental to families.  We can prevent this from happening when we teach and practice being considerate.

This week let’s try to be more aware of our thought patterns.  Reevaluate how we are doing when it comes to being considerate on a scale from 1 to 10.

1 – You are constantly assessing your friends and family’s needs

10 –  You only think about your self and don’t care about the people around you

Awareness is the first step to changing yourself.  When you change your thoughts and actions, you end up impacting the people around you for the better.  This cultivates a positive snowball effect rather than a harmful or destructive one.

Our example and actions speak volumes to the ones we love, including our family.

I treasure considerate people,

Focus on the Significant


Weekly Family Night

Every Monday evening

for about a half an hour

to an hour we have what we call

Family Home Evening.

It consists of the following:

  • Opening Song
  • Opening Prayer
  • Lesson
  • Closing Song
  • Closing Prayer
  • Sometimes activity &/or treat {seldom)

Opening & Closing Song

The family member giving the lesson that night chooses a family member to pick a song or hymn.  If the family member wants, they will stand and lead the song. {By waving their hand around as music conductors do :)}  Our songs are usually from a children’s songbook or hymn book, ones we have committed to memory.  For your family this could be optional.

Opening & Closing Prayer

Again, the family member giving the lesson will ask someone to offer a family prayer.  Faith in our family is important so we like to begin & end our family time together in prayer.  For your family this could be optional.


The majority of time I give the lesson.  Most of the time it is because I fail to ask another family member to prepare a lesson.  However, every member of our family has given a lesson several times.  It doesn’t have to be long.  When our children were young, it was very short, maybe a couple of minutes because as you know, they have short attention spans.  As they have grown older we have been able to have longer lessons.  This is the perfect time to teach your children the values you want to instill in them. Strong families with goals and values don’t just happen.  It doesn’t matter how much money you have or where you are on this journey in life. If you don’t take the time to teach your children, then who will?  Unfortunately, they might learn from a movie or a friend from school or an inappropriate Internet site.  Hopefully every day parents will take time to teach their children.  Sometimes, though, we get so busy doing things that we don’t.  So, at least we have one day, amongst the busy schedule, set aside to regroup and teach these values. If prayer or singing does not appeal to you, does not fit in with your family values, then don’t do it. Just make sure that you have some sort of a lesson. So you are thinking, “I don’t have time to prepare a lesson.”  Well, most of the time I don’t either so this is what I do:

  • Purchase books or check out at library that have lessons already planned out. {If you want to know more about these, let me know & I will give you some sources}
  • Play a short video that has to do with the value you are teaching.  You tube has many wonderful videos.  Just search the value you are teaching.  Make sure you watch it before hand in case it has objectionable content.
  • Play an audio excerpt from a speech with a family value.  The Internet makes finding these easy to find.
  • Read from our family history journals.  This is a great way for your children to learn about their ancestors.  Values & lessons are observed in their stories.
  • Read an article from a Church magazine.
  • Read verses from scripture.
  • Think about a value my children are struggling with and talk about it.  Maybe they haven’t been truthful lately, so I might talk about honesty.
  • Read a poem and talk about the values in it.
  • Many blogs have information and lessons you can use. {I will post these resources in the future, don’t have the time to include it today.}

Many Monday’s I improvise and come up with something very quickly.  The kids don’t really care how elaborate the lesson is, or if I have visual aids etc.  What matters is that we are spending quality time together. I have to tell you this…it is not always fun.  The kids sometimes act as if they aren’t listening.  Sometimes they will complain about their siblings.  Sometimes they ask questions that don’t have anything to do with the lesson or the value we are discussing.  Sometimes they argue about the song choice.  Let’s face it, it’s not always fun teaching or learning lessons.  However, I testify that having consistent weekly family night will bring unity into your home.  It shows your family you love them. If a baseball game comes up on a Monday or another conflict arises we simply do it another day.

I am going to include a wonderful video I shared as a lesson a few weeks ago.  During the lesson I had everyone write down specific values they saw being represented by the boy in the video.  Afterward we all read out loud the values we wrote down and discussed them.  It was easy but went very well.

The bottom line is…we have to be deliberate and intentional to create the family we want.




Have a Family Night,

Treasure-Trove Thursday {Perseverance}

There is a reason I chose to write about the value of perseverance today.

My sophomore daughter will be auditioning for a spot on her high school’s varsity color guard team for next year this afternoon.  This is not her first time to try out for the varsity team.  This will be her third.  I am in awe of her determination, persistence and perseverance.  It is heart wrenching to see your child in tears over the loss of such a worthy goal.  For two years I have witnessed her devastation at finding out not making the varsity team.  Fortunately, the first year she tried out, there were so many students auditioning, they began a junior varsity team.  So she has been a valiant member of the junior varsity team the last two years.  Junior varsity color guard only performs during the pre-game show of the football games instead of during the half time show.  However, the junior varsity members assist the varsity members by moving their equipment for the half time show.  When the marching band and varsity color guard goes to competitions, the junior varsity is still required to attend and assist the varsity, even though they do not perform.  After my daughter’s  first year of junior varsity she received the most improved award at the end of the year band banquet.  So it was quite a blow when she did not make the varsity team last year.  I wasn’t sure if she would continue to try out for varsity upon not being chosen for two years.  However, she is.  This whole last year she has practiced and practiced.  I admire her perseverance and hope for a successful outcome at today’s audition.  Will you please join me in saying a prayer for her today.  Please pray for her to remember her routine confidently and with a smile on her face.

Perseverance is demonstrated by those who keep going when the going gets tough, who don’t give up even when others say it can’t be done.” James E. Faust

There is a strong presence of perseverance in my family history.  Let me share an inspiring story about my paternal great grandparents from my Grandpa’s memoir.

Harley & Aurilla's Family

Harley, whose parents had both died by the time he was nine years old, worked for the Canadian Pacific Railroad.  One night he worked as a switch man to assist the switch engine crew moving train cars.  “He signaled for the engine to go forward, but instead the crew backed up, and he was knocked down between the rails.  When the engine stopped, he tried to get up.  He put his right hand on one rail to push off.  His legs had fallen on the other rail.  Then the train started up again and ran over him.  The engineer and fireman were both drunk and left him there to die.  Luckily, however, someone heard him moaning and got him to the hospital.  The accident fractured his skull, dislocated his left shoulder, cut off the fingers of his right hand except for a stub of a little finger and a stub of a thumb, cut off his right leg a few inches below the knee and took the heel of his left leg and part of his foot.”

Aurilla, my great grandmother of Iowa, bumped her left leg on a bench and bruised the shin bone.  This accident led to gangrene and an amputate leg within 8″ of her hip.  “She was only eight years old at the time, and the operation was performed without the benefit of anesthesia.  After the leg healed, she wore a peg leg fashioned by her father.  In spite of this handicap, her main ambition was to run up the stairs.  She still managed to do most everything that a young girl could do.”  Later in life, Aurilla was blessed to purchase the first artificial leg made by the Erickson Limb Company of Minneapolis, Minnesota.  The company asked Aurilla to write Harley of Canada and recommend their artificial legs.  Erickson Limb Company sent her the address of the hospital where Harley had been taken after his train accident.

Harley’s nurse wrote his reply to Aurilla because he had lost most of his fingers on his right hand. “Dad {My grandpa speaking of my great grandpa, Harley} thought it was odd that a woman should write to him about such a thing as an artificial leg.”  Aurilla and Harley corresponded for about a year while he was in the hospital.

Harley then traveled to Minneapolis where Aurilla and Harley met and became engaged.  After they were married they moved back to Canada.  “Harley decided he would like to go to college and learn about raising pure-blood chicken.  He enrolled at the college with a special stipulation.  Since he was not yet able to write, he talked them into letting Aurilla go with him to take notes for him at no extra tuition.”  My grandpa says, “I can just see it now, these two cripples going to college and only one real, ‘good’ leg between them.”

The story of my Grandpa Harley and Grandma Aurilla does not end there, of course.  There are many other instances where this family, which eventually became 6, displayed perseverance.  For the sake of not writing the longest blog post in history, I must postpone the rest of their story for now.  I am eternally grateful that my Grandpa wrote down the story of his parents and their life together.  I never met my Great Grandpa Harley & Great Grandma Aurilla.  They both passed away before I was born.  Nevertheless, I am able to relay their legacy of perseverance {thanks to my Grandpa who has now joined his parents on the other side} to my children, their great, great grandchildren.

My Maternal Grandparents

My maternal Grandfather valued perseverance as well when he wrote, “The most important thing to me, is to be a survivor.  Your Grandma is a strong example of a survivor.”  She most certainly is!  {Hi, Oma…love you}

Something to ponder: What is something that you hope to still achieve in your life and what and who will support you along the way as you persevere to the end? {You can also use this as a writing prompt for a journal entry}

Perseverance pays,