Monday, April 06, 2009

The Joys of Keeping a "Mom's" Journal

“Keeping a journal about our children is one of the best gifts we can give them,” one mother remarked. She said she was trying to preserve her family’s experiences.

Many of us have good intentions of keeping a journal about the joys and challenges of raising our children. With the first child, we often begin a baby book, then with more children, or as the years go by, we do less and less.

The same happens with a journal. I began writing about our daughter in detail, then found that life became busier, and my writing often tapered off. I got caught up in a quiltmaking business, writing assignments, helping my husband with his business, caring for ailing parents.

However, I did squeeze in some writing time…jottings in notebooks, letters to my mom (which she thankfully saved), and incidents related in my newspaper columns or travel articles. As I look back, I’m so glad I did find time to write something down.

Scrapbooking Journal

Along with jotting memories in a journal, you can incorporate this into a scrapbook with photos of memorable times and experiences. You also can add sketches to your journal and scrapbook pages.

One way I’m trying to keep a record of yearly memories is by building a scrapbook around the annual Christmas letters I write to friends and family. Some people add photos to these letters (so much easier in these days of digital cameras and computers).

This Christmas letter gives a recap of the year gone by and you can add to it as you have time. I also like to keep the letters and photos sent to me by family members and include them in the scrapbook.

Adding Recipes

You may want to incorporate recipes of favorite foods into your journal. I often collect recipes as I travel.

NAVAJO TACOS – On a business trip to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, we were introduced to this dish. Instead of using traditional tacos, friends prepared “fry bread,” then added taco ingredients of ground beef and beans, shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, diced onions and green pepper, and shredded cheese.

Mix together 2 cups flour, ½ cup instant dry milk, ½ teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon baking powder. Cut in 2 tablespoons shortening until coarse crumbs appear. Then stir in ¼ cup water and mix until the dough forms a ball.

Put the dough on a floured board and knead 2 to 3 minutes. Cut the dough into 6 equal pieces. Shape each portion into a ball and pat out until it’s about 6-inches round. Cover with plastic as you wait to fry.

Heat salad oil to 375 degrees F. in a pan at least 9-inches in diameter and 2 inches deep. Oil should be about ¾ inch deep. Cook each round of dough in this, turning once, until puffy and browned. Place cooked dough on paper towel lined cookie sheets and keep warm in 200 degree F. oven until ready to serve. (You can make these ahead, chill in air tight package, then heat on baking sheet at 375 degrees F. about 5 minutes.)

©2005 Mary Emma Allen


Eileen Bergen said...

I never had time for journaling when our son was growing up. However I did save and file boxes and boxes of photos and letters.

I recently discovered digital scrapbooking and am having a wonderful trip down memory lane as I sort through the mementos and create pages.

I've even put many in an online gallery so that the rest of the family can view them.

It's a great way to bring the family back together again - at least virtually ;-)

Mary Emma Allen said...

Thanks, Eileen, for stopping by my Country Kitchen. I've got to take time to explore digital scrapbooking. Although I truly love the hands-on scrapbooking, I need to get into the digital world, too, with my family history keeping.