Family memories are priceless. Truly priceless. If your house is burning down, after you save your children and your pets, you want to preserve your family memories and photos. Am I right? But, how do you preserve family memories on a regular basis and preserve them for generations to come?
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Can you imagine not having your family memories preserved to pass down to future generations? Preserving family memories has such importance within families. But it turns out, there’s also more to it than that. Want to help your children become more resilient? Read on!
It Became My Honor to Preserve Family Memories
My grandparents and great grandparents didn’t hand down many stories. And even my father, at 84, is only now beginning to open up an tell some stories about his youth and our family memories and history. My aunt just told me the most amazing story about my grandfather. It’s really fascinating to hear these stories – to think of your parents’ lives before you. Unfortunately, my mother has advanced Alzheimer’s and so her stories are mostly gone.
We took an epic road trip about a year and a half ago to attend my great aunt’s 100th birthday in New Jersey. It was such an honor and a wonderful chance to reunite with family that I hadn’t seen in a long time and to meet more distant family members.
While we were there, I learned that my aunt had been the keeper of a trunk filled with family memories and photographs. This one trunk represented all the photos and family memories from my grandparents on my father’s side. I was lucky enough to have her ask me to take care of it. So we brought it home. I took it upon myself to “care” for these photos not having any idea how to do that other than making sure they didn’t burn up in a fire.
Preserve Family Memories & Increase Resilience
And there’s a really amazing bonus to preserving family memories. Get this: children who know a lot about their families fare better when facing challenges… Wow!
[Two psychologists] developed a measure called the “Do You Know?” scale that asked children to answer 20 questions.
Examples included: Do you know where your grandparents grew up? Do you know where your mom and dad went to high school? Do you know where your parents met? Do you know an illness or something really terrible that happened in your family? Do you know the story of your birth?
Dr. Duke and Dr. Fivush asked those questions of four dozen families in the summer of 2001, and taped several of their dinner table conversations. They then compared the children’s results to a battery of psychological tests the children had taken, and reached an overwhelming conclusion. The more children knew about their family’s history, the stronger their sense of control over their lives, the higher their self-esteem and the more successfully they believed their families functioned. The “Do You Know?” scale turned out to be the best single predictor of children’s emotional health and happiness. (source)
Two months after this research came September 11. It gave the researchers a unique opportunity to return to see how the families – none of whom were directly impacted by September 11 – handled the national trauma.
“Once again,” Dr. Duke said, “the ones who knew more about their families proved to be more resilient, meaning they could moderate the effects of stress.”
How Will I Preserve Family Memories?
My father has two siblings, their children, cousins, me, 2 grandsons, himself, and 2 living aunts – who would probably all love to have one or more of these photos. So that’s a lot of family members for each, aging, photo. Fast forward one year and the trunk was still sitting in a corner of my dining room. I had no idea what to do with them.
Then – and hang with me because I know this will seem unrelated… I went to the Focused Blogging Conference so that I could figure out what I was doing here on Spoil My Family! And I met this amazing inventor. If you’re a crafter, you likely know his most famous invention -the Cricut. His name is Aaron Johnson and he had invented this fabulous light box with the perfect lighting that is intended to be used with, get this, YOUR CELL PHONE or TABLET CAMERA! No expensive cameras, lenses or other equipment required! Of course you can use it with fancier cameras, but there’s really no need.
ShotBox helps you digitize your family memories so that there is absolutely no limit to the ways that you can preserve and share your family memories! As you can see in the video, it also folds down for crazy easy storage in even the smallest of spaces!
If you have a blog, the ShotBox is amazing for food photography (no more blue looking food…), kids crafts, gardening photos, homeschool photos, you name it. If you have children who have dreams of growing up to be Steven Spielberg…hold on to your hats. You (er, um, I mean your children) can use the ShotBox to make animation films with toys and figures! I did some research on making animation films, and the toughest parts are 1. the “wiggle” of your camera as you shoot; and 2. changing natural light. BOTH of these issues are solved with the ShotBox! Your camera is held securely on the front extension and there is also an optional side arm accessory to help you get just the right angle on your shot. Personally – my son will be so excited to make a movie with LEGO figures 🙂
Aaron is putting the finishing touches on the ShotBox and it will be ready to ship next month! I have already ordered my ShotBox. Shipping begins just in time for Christmas!!! I will be starting to digitize my family memories so that they can be saved, stored, and shared forever. There’s just one thing I can’t decide. Does my son get a ShotBox too? Let me know what you think? On the up side – if he becomes Steven Spielberg because of this one present, my retirement is set!