Thursday, December 13, 2018

Simple Ways to Connect with Your Kids

It's strange, I think, how "connected" we are these days, while we're actually making fewer and fewer real connections.  We sometimes text more than we hear the voices of the people we're texting.  Most families don't sit down all together even once during the day.  With varying personalities, the din and distraction of social media, and days scheduled to the max, it can be difficult to feel like you're really connecting with your kids.  So today I'm excited to share with you some simple ways to connect.


I'm pleased to bring you three articles I wrote that will help get some ideas flowing about connection.  As you read at each link, look for ways to use the information and inspiration there to better connect with your kids.

In {The Power of Place and Family Traditions}, you'll learn about the strength of home, of "happy places," and of belonging.  If you haven't heard the amazing story of Bobbie the Wonder Dog, you can read about it there and appreciate the pull of home.  There's also an outside-the-box idea of creating a neat family tradition with the photos of your family traditions (holidays, birthdays, vacations, etc.)!

In {Building Bridges between Generations using Photos and Memories} you'll learn about the power of looking to the past to strengthen families now.  "Bridges built between generations are not built by accident."  Photos and memories are an easy way to connect generations, to help children (or you!) know grandparents and great-grandparents better, which fosters a deep sense of belonging and connection.  "Here's why the past is infinitely important to me:  My grandparents lived there.  I learned lessons there.  I fell in love, got married, and had babies there."  Connecting generations with stories and photos is great for you, and but it's an especially fantastic way to connect with your kids, too.

By the way, did you know that kids who know family stories have higher self-esteem, greater resilience, and a better ability to cope with life's problems?  It's true!  (Bruce Feiler's studies on family stories, alluded to in the previous article, are found {here}.)



In {Why Taking Photos is So Important--And What to Do With Them} you'll read some first-hand examples of what photos really mean to our hearts.  Photos are more important than most people realize, but that's really only the case if we SEE our photos.  You'll find nine ways to be able to see--not just store--your digital photos so that they can be a powerful way for connecting family members.  Kids need the validation that comes from telling their stories and preserving their photos.  Gifting that to them creates connections, too.

These are fairly simple ways to connect, using things you already have--photos and stories--but the impact these simple things have on kids and relationships is powerful and long-lasting!

What did you find in these articles that you can use to connect with your kids?  What changes your thinking or gives you a new perspective?  Tell me your thoughts in the comments--I'd love to hear them!

All products shown were made {here}.  Some directions to get started creating a Heritage Home can be {found here}.

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Monday, December 10, 2018

Heart & Soul LinkUp #5

Welcome to the Heart & Soul LinkUp, your weekly place for finding great blog posts that are good for the heart and soul from a variety of writers.  Bloggers will leave links to their posts at the end of this post all day long!

Let's get right to the favorites from last week.  As it turns out, no readers voted last week, so we'll skip right to my three favorites.  They're great ones!

MY FAVORITES

from Cary at Cary MacArthur
Cary is a master at growth through stepping outside her comfort zone.  This is a great post about how to use that nervousness (anxiousness) about change and growth to benefit you.  

from Alicia at My Plant Strong Family
Alicia shares a fantastic idea for hosting a social with friends/family while keeping it healthy, plus 4 great healthy recipe ideas!  (I've had her bean-avocado-corn salsa before, and it's DELICIOUS!)

from Flossie at Super Mom Hacks
Flossie gives 10 excellent, real, and down-to-earth suggestions for a smooth Christmas.  When I first read and commented on it, I chose some favorites, but now that I'm looking at it again, I think every single one of her suggestions is my favorite.  Really.  You'll love them.  If you missed her post last week, you can read it at the link above. 

Featured bloggers, share your win on social media with this image.
Thanks for sharing your blog posts with us last week.

Now let's find more favorite blog posts!  It's time for the 5th go-round of the Heart & Soul LinkUp.  (Readers, enjoy!!  Bloggers, find the six rules for participating in the LinkUp at the end of {this post}.)


Friday, December 7, 2018

What to Love About Heritage Makers this #friyay

Happy #friyay!!  We have spent the first Fridays of each month of 2018 with shout-outs about Heritage Makers.  This blog has been shouting out to Heritage Makers for 9 years now, but on #friyays we learn from other users why they chose Heritage Makers and what they love about it.  In some cases, people mention what it's like working with me as their Heritage Makers consultant (OR hiring me to make their Heritage Makers projects for them), but everybody tells you what's great about Heritage Makers.

For our last #friyay of 2018, we'll go out with a bang--with THREE shout-outs.  It's important (and fun!) to find out why people use and love Heritage Makers, and come back again and again.

First we hear from Heidi who has been using Heritage Makers for about 12 years--almost as long as I have!  She has made lots of special things for her family, but one of Heidi's major Heritage Makers projects each year is to compile the photos and memories of the drill team she coaches.  It's almost like a personal yearbook just for the team!  I wish you could see one--it's an AMAZING keepsake!!


Emily has done so many sweet and wonderful things with Heritage Makers.  From baby announcements to books that help her loved ones in the military stay connected to her little ones, Emily has created absolute family treasures using Heritage Makers.


Let's send our last #friyay out with a bang!  Here's a bonus shout-out from Carol.  Carol is a member of my Heritage Makers team, and this gal knows to her core how vitally important memories, photos, connections and keepsakes are to the heart and soul.  You might remember Carol from her guest post here at LifeTales Books:  Memories Connect Us.  If you haven't "met" Carol yet, go back to that post and be inspired by her heart.

Are you passionate about memories, photos, and connections?  If you would like to make memory-keeping your business, you will be interested to know what Carol had to say about my help as her mentor when she started her Heritage Makers business. 


There's absolutely nothing like doing something so important to kids, to families, and to your own heart.  

Get started making something meaningful at the "how to get started" tab at the top of this page.  Or click the "become a consultant" tab if that piques your interest.

Happy Heritage Making!

Monday, December 3, 2018

Heart & Soul LinkUp #4

I can hardly believe it's already December.  Seems like a great time to take a break from the busy-ness and sit down with some blog posts that are good for the heart and soul.  Well, I can help you out with that today.


Bloggers will be leaving links to their great blog posts all day today and into the evening, too!  Scroll down to find these posts today or tomorrow, then let us know what your favorites are by voting tomorrow (Tuesday).

But first let's look at the favorites from last week's linkup, Heart & Soul LinkUp #3.

READERS' FAVORITE

from Flossie at Super Mom Hacks

MY THREE FAVORITES

from Jen at Midday Mornings
I truly think this post is a must-read for every mom!  It's much too common for moms to get caught up in everyone else's lives and neglect the self-care, example, and personal growth and satisfaction that come from personal hobbies, talents, and interests.   If you missed this post last week, read it again here.  (Link above.)

from Cary at CaryMacArthur
This short-n-sweet post gave me a lot to think about.  Looking for things to be grateful for and intentionally having gratitude in EVERYTHING is a challenge.  Cary's suggestions for PRACTICING gratitude are excellent.

from Andrea at The American Moms
I know--what blog doesn't have a list of gift ideas this time of year?  But this one is so different!  Definitely don't miss this one.  From a Thomas Jefferson decoder and Women Who Dared blocks to an absolutely gorgeous family tree print, these are ideas you really won't see anywhere else.  Check them out!

Thank you, bloggers, for sharing your posts!  If you were featured, show it off on social media.

Now let's find some more great blog posts!  Bloggers, be sure you read the rules for participating before you drop your link at Heart & Soul LinkUp #4.  (They're at the end of {this post}.)