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Creating a Family Keepsake List

Updated on July 30, 2012

Our Family Survey

Our Family Survey
Our Family Survey | Source

The Baby Boom

I graduated from college in 1995. I went to school about 14 hours from where I grew up. My family was under rapid expansion during my 4 years in college. I approximately 9 years, most of which overlapped my high school and college careers, my family expanded by 14 people. Not only did it seem like one of my sisters was always sharing some baby news, based on these statistics, they probably were. It might have been during this baby boom that I vowed I was not having kids.

I Am An Adult Now, Too!

I am the youngest of 9 kids. I was grown up now and ready to have some more meaningful conversations with my older siblings. I was an adult now, too! Not sure if you have ever tried to have a conversation with someone with small kids. They will talk to you until either a fight or crying erupts. Then, they are gone. This in no way reflected their desire to talk to me. They were Moms now and this was their first priority. I completely understand this now and only until recently could you sit and keep my attention for longer than a few minutes. I have 5 little kids and they can interrupt a conversation quickly.

Birth of the Survey

I had been out of school about 3 years. I was thinking of a Christmas present for my parents. In 1998, I decided to come up with a family survey. It comprised of about 30 questions. I sent it to everyone in the family and compiled the results. This was before everyone had email so I recall typing many of these up. I gave my parents and each family a copy of the entire survey. I wanted to get to know my siblings better and know more about their broods!

What is Your Favorite Flower?

Flower | Source

Keep it Simple

I kept it simple to start. I asked questions such as:

1. When were your born?

2. What is your favorite flower?

3. Do you have a nickname?

4. What is your favorite movie?

5. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Ok, A Little Deeper

I added a few questions that were a bit deeper.

1. Everyone who knows me thinks I’m…

2. The neatest thing about my Mom is…

3. The neatest thing about my Dad is…

4. The neatest thing about Grandma is…

5. The neatest thing about Grandpa is…

A Book in Review

Over the years, I have picked up this book and read thru the responses. It was great to read that one family member’s genie wish was the fall in love again and get remarried. She has been happily remarried for years now! One of my nieces who answered that the neatest thing about my mom is that she lets me finger-paint is now a sophomore in high school. My nephew who was 4’11” at the time wanted his genie wish to be able to ‘fly when I wanted’. He is coming up on his first year wedding anniversary. My own genie wish at age 25 was for my Mom and Dad to be healthy, ageless and with us forever.

The 2nd Edition

After I had my 2nd set of twins, I decided to reissue the survey for Christmas 2006. This time it was not as well received as some of these young grand kids were now busy. Were they too busy to answer these 23 questions for me? I sent it out and got 100% back. I heard rumors of some grumblings but I also heard that people really enjoyed reading the book again. You might have to 'make' your kids participate in projects like this (depending on their ages), but you will enjoy watching their smiles when they get a chance to read the end product.

A Few New Questions

Most of the questions were the same, but I added a few new ones.

1. I wish I had enough time to…

2. What makes you unique?

3. Favorite feature

And for the sake of time I combined a few:

1. I would describe my parents as:

2. I would describe my grandparents as:

Another Trip Down Memory Lane

I look at this edition again today. I forgot that my Dad only knew one grandparent and she raised six boys alone after his grandpa died. I was not surprised to read that what my Mom considers unique about herself is that she does not like to shop. My nephew, who is now 7, was 2 at the time and described his parents as trained and wrapped around my fingers. 2 more siblings have joined him since this edition went to print. His 5 year old brother, named Baby Thumper in the survey, was not even born yet.

My kids in 2006

My kids at the time of the 2006, 2nd edition
My kids at the time of the 2006, 2nd edition | Source

Our Groups' Responses

I enjoyed reading my own kids’ responses from 5 years ago.

My oldest 7 year old: It reminded me that he used to always take my Mom’s handkerchiefs. He always read books with my Dad.

My youngest 7 year old: He loved Nemo, goldfish crackers, dancing and being silly.

My oldest 5 year old: I listed his favorite food as rice cereal and that he wished he had enough time to…learn how to rollover.

My youngest 5 year old: I listed her favorite foods as cereal and bananas. She wished she had enough time to…eat my hands without Mom pulling them out of my mouth.

My 2 year old wasn’t even born yet!

The Holy Family

The Holy Family
The Holy Family | Source

Ending Quote

I can not recall where I got the quote on the front of the 2nd edition, but I found it pertinent to both the our family survey book and the Holy Family for Christmas. Enjoy.

No one is ever born into Life alone. Everyone has shared the bond of family, at least at birth, and for many people it is a bond that will follow them throughout life. For many people it is the most important bond of all.

Watch Out Family!

So family members watch out!

I am reminded that it just might be time to bust out the survey again this year. 6 years has passed and 3 more kids have joined the family. There are tons of great grand kids, too.

I enjoyed reading about my family's responses. I forgot about much people change in such a short period time. For the 1st edition, I was 25 and in an all about me mode. For the 2nd edition, I was 33 and had 4 kids. For this impending edition, I will be 39 and with 5 children. Even my answers have differed from edition to edition.

My parents are celebrating their 78th birthdays this year and 59 years of marriage in October. I think it is time for them to hear what we all love about them again.

This great keepsake is so simple to do.

I think I know what I am reading again tonight.

© 2012 Karen Lackey


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    • twinstimes2 profile image

      Karen Lackey 5 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks for reading, Michele. Keepsakes are priceless!

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 5 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      wonderful hub. I have things after my parents died and they are worth more then everything to me. ( Keeping things to many to list and pass them down for generations) I even have a bible from 1861. It means everything to me. It is in horrible shape, but the notes my family wrote in warms my heart. Thank you for writing this hub.

    • twinstimes2 profile image

      Karen Lackey 5 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks again, tillsontitan! I find I have time to do the things I enjoy along with being a Mom. Check out my blog tomorrow. You will see what I am NOT good at! :)

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

      What a great idea! I can see why your family likes reading it, even if they weren't thrilled about answering the questions. I do have to say though I am amazed you have time to do anything with five kids! God bless. Voted this up, useful and interesting. Thanks for SHARING.