Posted by: Michelle Mitton | January 14, 2009

Saving Family Memories

Family JournalLast week I wrote about making time capsules to preserve family memories and this week I’ll follow up with something we’ve done for years: a family journal. It’s become a tradition that once a year just before school starts we have a family night where Andrew sits down with the kids individually and interviews them.

He asks them about what they’re looking forward to and what they’re glad to have behind them. He asks them about their friends and their favorite things and while he’s got them in the other room I bring out the family journal with the others for a written update.

When Grace was old enough to talk we began a family journal that we wrote in every few months. It was never more than a couple paragraphs but as we added to the family each of the children wanted the privilege of getting to write their own thoughts.

They’ve traced their hands, drawn pictures, written their favorite jokes, listed their friends and teacher and glue their best photographs onto the pages. Now that we’ve been doing this for 14 years it’s fun to see what’s happened to our family and how it’s changed over the years.

Going along with this Cakies posted a great idea called the Family Sketchbook which is another way to chronicle family history and Let’s Explore posted their own idea for yearly parent-child interviews that improves on our family’s version.

Do you have your own family traditions to record your family history?


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  1. Michelle, I like your ideas about keeping your children’s writing. Have you every thought about a hard-bound book for all of your family history?

    I like to help families record their heritage, their history. There are so many interesting stories! Each book is customized. Many parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents want to share their heritage with the next generations.

    If you, or someone you know, would like to create a book of history, photographs and traditions about your own family check out my web site at For additional tips on gathering your family history, I can send you the Your Family Journal newsletter. Simply email:

    I’ll drop in again soon!
    Dena Duran

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