Tag Archive for family calendar

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Our Family Calendar 2016

Yes friends it’s that time of year again.  It’s time for me to share our fabulous family calendar.  Actually I’m slightly late bringing this fabulous artwork to all of you this year.  We are creeping up on the 20th year of this calendar being put together.  Wow!  That fact alone amazes me to no end.  Just wow- another family tradition started by my parents. Over the last couple of years I was handed the editorial baton by my Mom to make sure the calendar tradition continues.  This year’s calendar is especially poignant because my Mom was able to get back into looking through pictures and put a page together for us. Thanks Mom!!  We’re so glad to have you back in the calendar making process.  (My Mom’s page is the one with the red background.)

It’s awe inspiring to see this project come together, and see the pages come to life as they get emailed in.  The process for the calendar pages goes like this.  There’s a post on our family Facebook page where everyone can join in and sign up for the month they want to put together.  Once all of the pages are assigned everyone is on their own to put the pages in place, and there’s a deadline for getting them turned in.  We all do the pages in Picasa’s collage format.  An easy way to get the pictures into a format that you like.  It actually takes longer to collect the pictures than it does to put the collage in place.  I always tell myself if there’s a picture or group of pictures I like I need to put them in a separate folder on my computer and collect them throughout the year.  So far this great idea hasn’t materialized for me.  My procrastination seems to get the best of me and I’m always scrambling to meet the deadline I set for the family!  

Once all of the photo pages are done it is my task to add the family birthdays’ and anniversaries for everyone.  My Mom chooses the photo that will become the cover for the calendar.  After we have proofed and re-proofed all of the birthdays, anniversaries, etc. we are off to the printer with our masterpiece.

So without further ado I present to all of you our 2016 family calendar.  A few of the months have definitive themes that are just treasures.  My Mom’s page is a collection of the black and whites from her childhood.  Family treasures and traditions just do not get any better than this.  It will always be my hope that this tradition will continue for many, many years to come.  Who knows maybe one day my grand-kids will be putting the calendar together!  Cheers to family traditions once again.  

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This post linked to the GRAND Social

Our 2015 Calendar Project Success

The Family Calendar for 2015 has been polished, published and placed in the hands of all of the family members near and far.  This project turned out to be way more stressful for me than I realized it would be.  Setting deadlines for submissions and my Mom helping with getting the month’s assigned to each particular submitter.  Then the calendar pages with all the family members birthdays had to be edited and updated.  This was quite an adventure to say the least!  This is one of those projects that my Mom (or my parents) just always made happen every year, and it never seemed like a big deal, but it most certainly is.

One of my goals for each picture page of the calendar was to peruse the months and check to see that there were no duplicate pictures.  I looked intently at all of the picture months 10 or 50 times.  In the end and after all was said and done there was only one duplicate.  In my editorial opinion I consider that a great feat, and would take on the task again in a heartbeat.

This calendar brings back such great memories.  When all of the kids were younger, and my Mom was doing the calendar all on her own, they would each count how many times their picture appeared in the calendar.  Then they would make a contest out of who was in the calendar the most.  That in turn put extra pressure on Grandma to try and get a good balance of pictures for each grandchild.  Our Family Calendar is almost a 20 year family tradition, and I love traditions.  You can read all about the history of our family calendar here.

Nowadays, quite a few of the kids are contributors to the calendar, and it has made the project quite an annual event.  Not to mention the fact that  when we are taking pictures at family gatherings during the year someone will inevitably exclaim, “That’s a calendar shot!” This is one of those timeless family traditions that I hope will be passed from one generation to the next for many years to come.

Without further ado, these are the pictures pages gracing the 12 months of 2015.  Enjoy!

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It’s the First Monday of 2015

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Today marks the  first Monday of the New Year and I just wanted to let all of you know that if anyone needs me today I will be sitting right here at my computer putting the final touches on our 2015 Family Calendar.  It seems that I have volunteered for a task/project that has a much larger scope/involvement than I ever realized.  This project is normally headed up by my Mom.  This has been a much more emotional task than I ever fathomed it would be.  Just perusing through all of the pictures to find the right one for my pages has been a journey all of its own.  However, this is one of those family traditions that I for one do not want to let go by the wayside.  So when my Mom asked me if I could help with the calendar for this year of course I said yes.

The Family Calendar is a time-honored tradition started by my parents many moons ago. I wrote about the legacy of our Family Calendar a few years ago, and today the tradition continues.

Now mind you our calendar is a tad late this year, but this tradition will go forward and the calendars will be delivered to all of our family members by the end of this week.  Whew!

Honestly the one thing that I am most excited about for our 2015 calendar is that my Mom has not seen one page of it.  The entire calendar will be a surprise for her as well as the rest of the family.  I am the only one who has been viewing the pages in their entirety. That is the honor of taking on this tradition.

For now I bid you all adieu.  I cannot wait to share some of our family pages with all of you once the calendar is completed.  I already have a favorite month, but I cannot tell you which one it is. That is top-secret, classified information.

I hope that each and every one of you have a wonderful day today.

Finishing out the Holidays with our Family Calendar

There is nothing finer than being able to record the pictorial history of your family and friends.  Around 1997, my Mom had the idea to put together a family calendar using pictures from any and all family events during the year.  The actual calendar pages also showed everyone’s birthdays and anniversaries for the year.  It’s really amazing.  I actually had to consult with my Mom to get some history on how my parents have put the calendars over the years.  Thanks Mom!

The first generations of calendars  had just one picture per page, something like this:

These are the actual calendar pages from 1997.  I’m pretty sure one of my girls put the colorful stickers on the page on the left.  Maybe Hilary?

Then in 1999, we graduated to a few pictures on a page and the kids in the family were so funny.  The first thing they would do when they got to see the calendar, which for the  most part has been on Christmas Day, is count how many pictures they were in.  Then they would have some sort of meeting and compare notes to see who made the most appearances! 

According to my Mom for the first 3-4 years of the calendar process she put it together “manual” style.  Good old cutting out the actual pictures, creating a collage, and then off to the printers. For the calendar portion with dates, birthday’s and anniversary’s she uses Microsoft Publisher.

Then in 2000 or 200, she went digital and used Photoshop for the pictures.  At that time my parents were printing the entire calendar, with all of the copies for the family on their own.  That ink must have cost a pretty penny.  My Mom would create the picture portion of the calendar, and then Dad (the engineer) was responsible for the printing, getting everything double-sided in order,etc., and getting them done on time.

In 2006 or 2007, my Mom started using Picasa collages which makes the process so much easier, and allows for tons of creativity.  At this time, my parents were still doing the entire calendar on their own.  My Dad would announce around Thanksgiving time that they were collecting pictures from everyone, and give us a due date.  Yikes a deadline from Dad – don’t be late.

Then in 2008, my Mom decided to get help from all of us, because the Picasa collages are so easy to put together.  So, now my Mom puts out an announcement on our family page on Facebook, so everyone who wants to can take a month and create a collage from the pictures they have on hand.  And then she also selects someone to design the cover for the calendar.  A prestigious appointment.

Here’s a sample of one of the collage pages from this year’s calendar:

To view the entire calendar from this year just click on this link-  2012 Family Calendar.

The calendars are great conversation pieces when you are visiting with long distance relatives, and want to show off your family.  Over the past few years the photos that we are able to jam pack into each calendar page are tremendous.  For myself, I have all of the calendars from the past years put together in binders.  It’s such a treat to sit down and go through almost 15 years worth of calendars now, and reminisce.

Hats off to my Mom and Dad for keeping this tradition going over the years.  It’s a tremendous effort, and we all appreciate having the pictorial memories that will last a lifetime.

Our Christmas Power Outage

Christmas Day has come and gone, already, but I had to share our family story with you from The Day.  The Party House hosted Christmas Day for the entire family.  We are quite a group when all assembled.

This is our family picture from Christmas Day.  It was a balmy 75 outside, doesn’t really put you in the mood to wear your best sweater when you have a house full of people.

Let me introduce you to everyone:

Seated (from l-r): Evan, the grandson; My Parents Joan & Jim (who are also the grandparents, and great-grandparents – they wear a ton of hats!); Tom, my husband(The Travel Man), and our fearless dog, Clyde.

Standing (from l-r): Cassie, Zach’s girlfriend; Zach, #2 son; Mary, #1 niece: Hilary #2 daughter; my brother Jim, and his girlfriend, Elaine; #1 daughter, Naomi and her husband Brad; #1 son, Bryan, me of course, and our #1 nephew Jim.  Whew!  That was a mouthful!

After the picture-taking festivities, we nosh on some appetizers, have a few cookies, and then it’s time for opening presents, Evan was very, very excited.  At the suggestion of our nephew Jim, we opened the gifts by family.  So each family was giving their gifts to everyone and then we got to enjoy seeing all of the present opening.  I’m kind of a stickler with this, even though it takes awhile with such a big group I love seeing everyone opening their presents.  It’s a giving thing.

So we are at the point where we only have one or two rounds of gifts to go, and……the power completely goes out on our street.  What happened next will go down in the family history books under the “Remember When” section.  Everyone who had a cell phone handy brightened up the room with their screens, and some of the kids have a flashlight app, so those came on right away.    I remember hearing my brother asking the kids, “What’s the name of the flashlight app?”.  It felt like you were at a rock concert with the lighters waving in the air (am I dating myself?).  So hilarious, I cannot begin to explain how funny this was, and how funny it looked in our dark living room.

Now, we have a generator in our garage for an occasion like this, and Tom was at the helm getting the generator started, and a few lights on so we could finish opening presents.  The guys were rigging up extensions cords, and trying to figure out how to keep the oven going so the ham could stay warm.  And, of course,just as they were about to pull the stove out from the wall, voila the power comes back on.  All in all I think it was only out for about 10 minutes, and it was definitely and adventurous 10 minutes.

As soon as we could corral everyone back in the living room, we finished opening presents which ended with my  Mom passing out our family calendar.  This is an annual event for our family, and is a wonderful way to put together pictures of the years past happenings.  More on our family calendar in another post.  It deserves its’ own story.

Evan was the paper pick up master for this event.  I could not let this post go by without posting this sweet picture of him.  Such a cutie pie!

Picture credits in this post go out to my nephew, Jim, and Elaine.  Thanks for always keeping the shutters flying at our family events.

So we have marked another year of memories on our calendars. It is always such a treat to corral all of the kids in the family for a nice holiday dinner.  And of course we always miss our long distance relatives who cannot join us.  Thanks to all of you who contributed to our Christmas feast.  I’m thinking next year were just doing appetizers and desserts!!  Did anything wild and crazy happen at your Christmas Day festivities?

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