Tuesday, May 9, 2000    


Scrapbooking Family History

By:By GBennett, Boise, ID

It started innocent enough with a friend at work showed me the results from a home party she had gone to the weekend before. When I first saw her prized sheet of paper I showed the proper enthusiasm but never could imagine how I could use the information for myself. She had a scrapbook page that she had created at a scrapbooking party she had attended. At first, I thought that this was just another home party like Tupperware or Pamper Chef, just another thing for women to spend their money on.
My friend talked me into attending a party. The instructor went over the reasons why scrapbooking is an important hobby to start, how taking the time to not only take the pictures but also documenting them is important for future generations
I have always been a person to take pictures of any event that I thought was important. I never knew what to do with the pictures so that my future generations would be able to know our family history. So started my life long hobby, scrapbooking.
My husband’s grandfather, Sherman Decker, had a wonderful photo album. The album started with Sherman and his new bride’s wedding picture, the last picture in the album was of his wife’s gravestone. We did not want to lose the history that grandpa and grandma had photographed, so we started a project to redo their photo album to a scrapbook. Grandpa had been one of the engineers to help design the Hoover Dam and they had lived on an Indian reservation in an adobe house. They had taken vacations, during the Depression, to the Grand Canyon. We knew that we had not only pictures of our families history but history of the U.S. What started as a way to save the past ended up being a true labor of love and a lesson in family history.
The entire family knew that we were working on this project. For two years, family members would ask how we were doing and would want to see how the pages looked. It started to feel like everyone in the family was working on the project, helping us along with their support and encouragement.
Working on Grandpa’s photo album made me realize that this kind of album could be important to my children and my future grandchildren. Knowing where you come from and having the faces to go along with the names help to make the history of the family more real. The children in the family had heard of some of the people in the album but never have gotten the chance to meet them.
The Decker’s had been very involved with genealogy and I had always wondered how I could get my children interested in their family history. I did not want the information lost with the passing of these two wonderful people. Creating this scrapbook and one for each of my children was the answer for me. Once I made the history personal for them they could connect and understand why the genealogy of the family was such an important part of our family. Grandpa’s first comment was to ask why he needed another photo album. Opening the album he realized that we had added the names and what the relationships where to the rest of the family, we had added other journaling information. He realized that pictures they took were now the history for generations to come.
We gave Grandpa his album on Christmas. While we were in cooking dinner the children, who normally are running around asking when the meal will be ready, were strangely quiet. Thinking that they were up to something no good, we started to look for them. Much to our surprise we found all of them, ages five to nineteen, gathered in the living room going over the album. They were noticing how one of them looked like one of their aunts or uncles or someone else in the album. Knowing that on their own they were finding out about the history of their family made the two-year project all worth it.
I have found that talking to my children about their past generations can be boring and not that interesting, but when they have the pictures to go along with the stories make it almost like a storybook from the bookstore. I have found that getting your children interested in a subject is just the first step, making something interesting is the way to keep them engaged.
Being involved with scrapbooking started out being a way to get together with friends and to have a hobby. But scrapbooking has evolved, for me, a way to learn more about my family and a way to teach my children and future grandchildren about the family relationships.

Tomorrow at dMarie Daily: Me? Creative?, by T. Longhurst,Ogden, UT

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