Archive | Grandparenting

This category has articles related to being a grandparent and staying connected over the internet with far-flung family

Grandmoms: Create Your Family’s History

Create Your Family's HistoryYou are a keeper of your family’s memories. You probably remember your own grandparents telling you stories of their childhood—their struggles, triumphs, and what it was like growing up back then. And you loved it all. Well now it’s your turn. Connect the past to the present by creating your story. Don’t know where to start? Follow this easy step-by-step guide filled with tips and resources for writing your family history. Your StoryScans talking images will convey your story as never before possible. Your kids, grandkids, and future generations will thank you.

Step 1: Make a basic family tree. Start with the easiest part: yourself. List your own basic information including when and where you were born, where you went to school, and other basics. Keep it simple, and be as precise as you can in terms of dates. Don’t worry if you need to go back and make corrections, just get down what you can.

Step 2: Branch out. Work backwards, starting with your own parents and then their parents. Again, focus on the most basic information—where they were born and when, who their siblings were, where they grew up.

Step 3: Fill in your important events. Now go back and add more information including important life events such as employment, marriage, military service, etc.

Step 4: Jot down memories. Those little tidbits you remember about your mother and father, the stories they told about your own grandparents, write them down. Be clear on when you heard the story, who provided the info and if possible, how the story got handed down in your family.

Step 5: Scan. Add photos, news clippings, and documents to your written history. Scan those items so you’ll always have a digital version available.

Step 6: Record the story. Use the Flip-Pal StoryScans software to record those notes and memories and combine them with the scans in one high definition file. You can then share them with family via email or social media sites like Facebook.

Grammy on the Go! – part 2

[Editor’s note: Flip-Pal Ambassador Peggy Lauritzen looks at her own family’s story and her reasons for why “Flip-Pal goes where I go.”]

Family pictureI love being known as “Grammy”. It’s a wonderful title that I cherish. I can’t help but reflect back on how wonderful my own parents were as grandparents, and how I always felt so safe and loved around my fun-loving grandparents. I hope this legacy continues on for generations.

I am continuing my task of scanning and labeling the many hundreds, if not thousands of photos that we took as a young family, and additional ones that I have inherited. Other than storing them in magnetic photo albums or filing them in shoeboxes, there weren’t too many other options. These systems continue to take up space on bookshelves, and the process of labeling them can be quite daunting.

Flip-Pal has been the answer to my dilemma. There are many photos that I will never dispose of, and there are many others that have met a different fate. I don’t need dozens of images of the Kansas wheat fields to clutter up my valuable shelf space.

During this Christmas season, I have kept my Flip-Pal quite close to me. As the beautiful holiday cards are opened, I have lessened my workload by scanning those with photos the moment they are opened.

In this beautiful photo my niece sent, I quickly scanned both the front and the back. Sometimes people will label their photos. Sometimes they arrive blank with a family newsletter. Either way is fine, for I will simply label the back with the names of the family members while it is still fresh in my mind. (Note: For privacy purposes, I have not included the scan of the back of this photo. It includes the names of the family members, plus the year the card was sent.)

This not only works for the holidays, it works for any card, invitation, announcement, or memento that someone may include in their letters to you. I have another shoebox filled with those that are calling for my attention. That will be a good project for this winter.

It is important that we preserve these precious memories for the generations yet to come. As we age, we may find that there are some windows of time that our memories are sharper and clearer than others. That is the time to get to work! Other times may find our minds a bit more cluttered. But, in many cases our long-term memories are more reliable than our short-term memories. Scanning photos can help to tweak our memories and the stories associated with them.
Horse with dog on back

I recently came across an old photo of my grandfather’s mule. I vaguely remember this mule, but I can certainly remember the stories my own mother told me about Ol’ Myrt. I had to laugh to myself, for Ol’ Myrt reminded me of a white horse with a swayed back The Three Stooges used to ride. I think this picture looks more like a horse, but I’m not an expert.

Note the black dog sitting in its back.

This photo survived a devastating fire at my parents’ house.

The photos keep on coming, and they add to the stacks of photos that we already possess. The time to take care of these photos and the memories they trigger is now. They deserve more than to be tossed into a box and forgotten. These are dear and treasured family memories and friends that have taken their time to remember us by sending us a holiday greeting. They should never be added to the rest of our files of piles without making due notation of their date and the persons they include.

One of these days we will be gone. If we have not taken the time to properly care for and label our photos, they may very well be tossed. Let them continue to live on!

Grammy On the Go! – part 1

[Editor’s note: Flip-Pal Ambassador Peggy Lauritzen looks at her own family’s story and her reasons for why “Flip-Pal goes where I go.”]

My Grandparent's Photograph

My Grandparent’s Photograph

We all have them.

We have inherited a shoebox full of photos that no one labeled or we have discovered one of those dreaded magnetic photo albums that were so popular when they first arrived on the scene. Sometimes we can remove those photos; sometimes we must let them be. These albums were very popular when they first appeared, for they were very easy to use, did not require glue or fasteners on the corners of photos and seemed to be protected by their see-through pages.

However, through the years, they have proven to cause more damage than ever imagined. The photos have a tendency to stick to the magnetic backing and the clear pages will sometimes lift the colors right off the photos.

Such was the case in my own family. I was born into an older family. My parents were in their forties and my three sisters were mostly grown and out of the house. That may not be old by today’s standards, but when I was born in the 1950s it was considered old. It also meant my grandparents were born in the late 1800s, a fact that is remarkable to some. Imagine knowing someone from that century!

But everyone is gone now. My mother died nearly thirty years ago. Then, just a few short years ago, my father died—followed by my mother-in-law the next year and my father-in-law the year after that.

In the blink of an eye my husband and I became the older generation. We became the ones that our children, our nieces and our nephews would come to when they wanted to know the family’s history, to hear stories and to see the photos.

My sisters are all approaching their late 70s now and there is no time to waste in tweaking their minds to retrieve any tidbits of information that I can. We get together quite often to research our family lines and to review photos. But, like many older family members, they don’t want to let those items out of their hands.

Enter the Flip-Pal mobile scanner.

This little device was a valuable tool in scanning the photos and documents that survived a fire in my parents’ home. It is just the right size for sitting in front of the television and scanning away. It is perfect for traveling—having its own little tote bag and extra batteries packed away and ready to go.

Gone are the days when I would try to convince cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents that I would take good care of their photographs if I could just borrow them. Most of my family lives out of state, so it would mean borrowing photos one at a time, taking them to a developing center and physically returning it into their hands. It was expensive and time-consuming.

I particularly remember such an occasion when I visited my aunt and uncle who, at the time, also had their adult son living with them. All three were on oxygen and were heavy smokers.

I noticed a formal picture of my grandparents that was fastened onto their wall with screws. It was the same photo that had burned when my father’s home caught fire just a year after my mother’s death. My dad really missed his copy of the picture and we really had no way to order another. I took that picture to the color copy center, which they duplicated. It was extremely yellowed from years of cigarette smoke, but my dad was happy to receive it as a gift and it hung on his wall until his death.

I recently used the Flip-Pal to scan and stitch that same photo, using the included photo software to remove the yellow stained background. It is beautiful.

Flip-Pal goes where I go. And now, precious photos will be forever preserved.