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He Would Have Loved It

February 26, 2009   

Submitted by: Lisa Nelson

Growing up, I had a special relationship with my Uncle Brian. Many people had a special relationship with him; he was the type of person who made you feel like you were his best friend. He had a belly laugh that was more like a giggle than a laugh, and it would go on and on. He was the biggest fan at our basketball games, cheering louder than all the others, telling us to shoot more, telling the referees to think a bit more about the call and keeping his own set of stats at each game. He was our farm’s most dedicated employee, even though he insisted on taking his lunch break during Days of Our Lives. He was the best with phone messages because not only did he take the message, he reminded you to call them back until you did. Many people have great memories of my uncle Brian.

Brian also had Down’s Syndrome.

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When he passed away, the entire family gathered in his hospital room while he was dying, and though he was basically unresponsive, we wanted to be there.  When I arrived, he woke up, gave me the biggest smile, which let me know he was waiting for me and was glad I arrived, then went back to sleep.  To this day, that is the best smile I have ever received.  

At Brian’s funeral, some of the comments made by friends and family were:

“I am so proud to have him as my uncle.”

“Brian was a true friend to me, and I am a better person because of Brian.”

“The world would be a better place if we were all a little bit more like Brian.”

Because his life impacted us all so much and we had such fun memories, at his funeral each of his eight nieces and nephews gave a short tribute to him.  We took those tributes and put them in a Heritage Makers book.

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A few years ago, I was traveling home from a business trip and my discussion with the lady sitting beside me turned to Brian.  I happened to have his book with me in my carry-on bag, and when I showed her the book she said, “Oh, I’m sure he loved it!”  That phrase has always stayed with me, because if anyone would have loved a book written entirely about him, with all the funny stories and memories, it would have been Brian.  She’s right, he would have loved it.  Sadly, we didn’t think to write it until after he passed away. 

This was a lesson to me, and should be to all of us.  May we take the time now, before it’s too late, to let our loved ones know we love them, why we love them, and that their lives are important to us, while they are with us, so they can enjoy it as well. Whether it’s a tribute or help to someone to write their life story…whatever format we choose to write…the book is something that says, “Your life was significant, and we want your life to be remembered for generations to come.” 

I’m excited for the day when my children start telling people stories about “Our Great Uncle Brian.”

We Want to be Your Friend…on Facebook.

February 24, 2009   

We have now joined the big world of Facebook and want you to add us as a friend. Already, we have a couple hundred friends who are excited about connecting with consultants and finding more business. And, Facebook is another great way to stay in contact with the home office.To find us, search for “Heritage Makers” from your Facebook page. Our photograph is the green book in our logo.

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You’ll know it’s us because you won’t be able to view the page until you add us as a friend. But you can view some of our friends to know you’re in the right place.

Come join us. Give us some of your comments and thoughts about Heritage Makers. Let us and others know what storybooking means to you.

What’s Cookin’ at Heritage Makers

February 23, 2009   

A new product, that’s what’s cooking! Introducing, the all-new, incredible Heritage Makers cookbook. For four days only (Feb. 23–26), you can get in on a “sneak peek” of the new cookbook. The cookbook won’t be available to the general public until March 3, 2009*—but you can get yours now—and save BIG!

Buy 4 cookbooks for only $59.95. That’s only $15/book.

  • 6″ x 8.75″ wire bound, soft wrap around cover
  • 21 pages (expandable to 50)

But there’s so much more than just a cookbook here. The new product can be used for a journal, day planner, child’s diary, address book, school journal, school yearbook, guest register, and so much more! Plus, it’s a great price, our lowest price yet!

Creating a cookbook is perfect for families, clubs, or any other group with favorite recipes.

 *Purchasing during this sale is for credits only. You can begin creating the cookbook product in Studio on March 3, 2009.

Contact a Heritage Makers consultant to purchase or go to www.heritagemakers.com for more details.

Creating a Heritage Home

February 18, 2009   

Submitted by: Heidi Arave

What does it mean to have a Heritage Home? I used to think it was just displaying fun Heritage Makers products in my home, but I recently realized it is much more than that. A couple weeks ago I was interviewed by Jeanette Bennett for the Celebrating Women magazine and she asked me a really great question, one that I hadn’t really thought about. She asked me, “What do you want your children to remember about living in this house?” After thinking about it, I realized that the reason I put pictures of them on their bedroom walls with positive quotes and sayings is because I want them to grow up believing in themselves and knowing that they are the stars of my life. I also want them to feel a sense of belonging and know without a doubt that they are loved.

What we have is so powerful! We can connect our children to their grandparents and great grandparents by displaying posters, family folds, storybooks, and other great Heritage Makers products in our homes where they can see them daily and be reminded of where they come from. We can also build our children’s self esteem by displaying 12×12 pages, posters, etc. around the house, reminding them of their talents, abilities and dreams.

I hope this month we make it a priority to fill our home with heritage. Make at least one product that will help strengthen your family heritage… and then add to it every month.

Ellie’s Valentine-No Expiration Date

February 13, 2009   

Submitted by: Chris Crandall

What to do for Valentine’s Day? The thought raced through my mind over and over again. My kids have storybooks from Valentines past. This year, I wanted to do something different.
What’s that you say? The Valentine’s Day publishing deadline has past? That’s okay! Ellie’s Valentine doesn’t come in a box or even on the pages of a storybook. (I know, I just heard many of you gasp! “What?! But I thought YOU were a heritage maker!”)

But it’s true.

This year, Ellie’s Valentine comes with love, interest and time. Whether you are reading this before February 14th or after doesn’t matter, because this gift idea is priceless.

Ellie has been asking me for weeks to make a book. Now, she has several books about her or books with her stories and photos in them. But Ellie is my very independent 6-year-old and she wanted to make the book by herself-her drawings, her stories, HER book. And she wanted to do the work all by herself!

The result… one of our best memories together ever! We don’t even have the published book yet… it was all in the PROCESS of Storybooking!

Ellie’s Storybooking Steps:

1. Draw your pictures. Use bright colors so they show up well. I like to use markers.

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2. Scan them in so that they can go on the computer and into your book.

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3. Go to http://www.heritagemakers.com.

4. Choose what kind of book you want. I wanted mine big! (We chose the 7×5 size, because that’s what Mommy had a credit for).

5. Drag your pictures onto the pages on the computer. It’s really fun and easy; plus, a little check goes in the corner of the picture, so you know which picture you already used! (Ellie really thought that part was very cool!)

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6. Tell your mommy (or daddy, or big brother) to type in what you want the story to be for each picture. If you are a big kid, you can type in the story yourself.

7. Look at all of the pages and see your book on the computer! That is so fun!

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Ellie doesn’t even have her hardbound book yet. I still don’t think she realizes that is the next step because she (we) had so much fun in the process.

I love the time that we spent together-talking about her creative drawing and the stories of her pictures. I am amazed at her imagination, and I learned even more about her and her dreams.

So whether it’s Valentine’s Day or not, the gift that I would always recommend to give is the gift of your time, and using that time to really talk with and listen to your loved one. And a great way to do that is in the PROCESS of putting together a Heritage Makers project.

Thank you Heritage Makers for this wonderful memory!

Touching Lives with HM

February 12, 2009   

Submitted by: Sharon Murdoch 

While on the recent Heritage Makers cruise in the Caribbean with Candy (my daughter and author of the first storybook), we had a chance to get to know Lisa Klipfel, an HM director from California.  It didn’t take us long to realize that we had more than one common interest.  Sitting at the counter of a very popular restaurant, Johnny Rocket, we began to share, laugh and plan together to see how many different ways we could integrate the idea of story to enhance the self-esteem of high risk teenagers, children and adults with medical and developmental disabilities, and individuals with mental health issues.

Candy and I shared with Lisa the story of my grandson, Teague, who at six years of age fought a rare form of cancer for some eight months in the Seattle Children’s Hospital. During that time he was very despondent to visitors as everyone, including the medical staff, asked the same question of the little guy:  “How are you today?”  We understand that it is nearly impossible to ignite a conversation with a sick child, so we searched for many different venues to help Teague feel important and needed.  Candy and I returned to what we know best: story and its ability to create real heroes.

With the help of his mother, Teague created his own storybook about a robot who survived cancer and broke free of all his medical lines.  When visitors arrived, his storybook was the first thing seen upon entering his room.  Interestingly enough, the conversations began with:  “Are you the author of this book?  Can I read your story?  Are you going to write a sequel?”  Teague was happy; we all were happy as we saw another real hero emerge from the pages of his book.

I was excited to learn that Lisa has been a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the state of California for 10 years.  I found her words below to be an excellent inclusion in workshops and HM conversations to help others realize what the power of a story can do.The power of story is so much more than we realize.  When a parent or caregiver takes the time to sit and read to their child, the nurturing time creates important bonding. Bonding is essential for a child’s development, and parent child bonding increases a child’s security, confidence, self esteem, and independence.  Reading to children gives them your undivided attention, elevates their importance, helps them build listening skills and expands their attention.  Now imagine that the book of choice was a real life story-
a story of heroes, of love within the child’s own family.  How riveting for a child. Because the story is about him, his family, and his roots, the story is internalized at a deeper level and the family bonding will be even stronger.  Cornerstone books are like a dose of prevention.  I encourage every parent and caregiver to write a cornerstone book, as the long standing positive effects for their children can be seen in the power of story
.

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I am going to continue working with Lisa to see how we can reach this unique group of individuals and families. We welcome your thoughts and ideas. I would love to hear about your experiences with story, real heroes and building self esteem for individuals and family.  Please send me your thoughts to sharon@storybookingheritage.com so I might share them with others.

10 Ways to Love with Heritage Makers

February 10, 2009   

It is the month of love and we’ve got some great ideas to help you rekindle your love with Heritage Makers.

1.   Believe
You have a story. Part of the adventure is discovering what that story is. Maybe your story is about your high school years, your first kiss, or your prom. Maybe it’s about your spouse, your courtship, and your wedding. Maybe it’s about your children, their births, their first words, or their first day at school. Know that your story is important and needs to be shared. Give your children, your spouse, your friends…your heritage, their heritage.

2.      Be Yourself
You don’t need a degree in writing or creativity to make an awesome book. You have everything you need. Your personality and your excitement will bring your story to life. Remember, this is about you, your family, your friends. Have fun with it.

3.      Communicate (Listen)
Talk to your friends and family to get ideas for more great stories. Get their impressions, their experiences. Wouldn’t it be exciting to see how everyone remembers your memories, learn about their feelings and their thoughts? You can create a fun storybook with everyone’s participation. Get everyone involved. Get your characters together, have a party, and learn about the people who mean the most to you.

4.      Show Interest
Create a story for someone-your parents, your best friend, your sister or brother. Help others see that their stories are important too. Then surprise them. Their smiles and tears will be worth all the effort.

5.      Share Your Feelings
Share all the sights and smells of your story. Share the small details that made your experience-the smell of the roses at your wedding, the touch of tiny feet as you cuddled your newborn baby, the taste of a foreign fruit on your family vacation. Share your feelings, your thoughts, your excitements. These stories mean something to you. Let others know how and why.

6.      Prepare
You have your story, now you need the details. Go through your pictures. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. So find the perfect images to present your story. Then decide how you want to share your experiences. If you’re stumped, you can use the Story Maps found in your Studio. They have great questions to get your ideas flowing.

7.      Commit
Once you have discovered your story, your responsibility is to share it. Put some time aside to work on it each day. It doesn’t have to be much. Even 10 minutes a day will get you closer to a finished book. And once you start, you may find it hard to stop. It is way too much fun to create, to remember, to share.

8.      Create the Atmosphere
Be creative. There are plenty of things in Studio to help you create a unique design. Have fun with the paper, the picture frames, the buttons, the ribbons, the tags. Or party with the templates. There are some great designs, perfect for any story. Make your story your story.

9.      Snuggle
Storybooks make great bedtime books. Snuggle up with your children and share your stories with them. Let them fall asleep to the sound of your voice as you read your wedding story, your family vacation stories, or their baby stories.

10.  Show Appreciation
Once you receive your book, display it, love it, enjoy it. This is your treasure. Show it off. Read it to your children; share it with your friends. Keep it where everyone can see it-on the coffee table or in the kitchen. Make it a part of your home.

A Love Like That

February 3, 2009   

Submitted by: Candace May 

My favorite song on the radio right now is one called, “Like Johnny and June”. It is about the love story of the famous Johnny Cash and his wife June….

Here are a few lines form the song…

And when there gonna be no tears to cry,

Only memories of our lives,

They’ll remember, remember

A love like that.

One of the things I really love about Heritage Makers is that we can all celebrate a love like Johnny and June. We all have someone with “a love like that” in our family.

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My grandparents had a love like that.

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My parents had one.

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And I like to think of my relationship with my husband that way as well.

I once made my husband a canvas poster that says “I would rather have a tent and a crust of bread with you than be queen of all the world.”

It is my greatest hope that my children find a love like ours as well. It’s not a love full of worldly possessions…it’s a love that is comfortable, happy, secure, and passionate. This is one of the reasons I wrote mine and my husband’s love story…so my children can have a bed time story that indeed ends in “happily ever after…” What better way to teach them about love?

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I have the most darling friend from college. She and her husband were our very first couple friends. We experienced those poor married student days together…scraping enough money together for Chinese take out, etc. We also experienced first babies together. Sadly, this sweet couple’s marriage ended in a divorce. As their children grew up and experienced the life so many children experience growing up in a divorced home, I mentioned to her that she should STILL write her love story. Is there any reason not to? Didn’t they fall in love, deeply and madly in love? Did they not have a wonderful courtship? Did he not get on one knee and pop the question? Did they not have a fairytale wedding? Did they not become parents together, a time of complete joy? Yes they did and just because the ending wasn’t perfect, it is still a beautiful love story! In my opinion it is a love story that needs to be told for the benefit of their two beautiful boys, ages 8 and 10 now.

So this Valentine’s Day I will not seek for roses or chocolates, but it is my gift to help my friend write her love story for her two sons so they might know of their parent’s love and someday hope to have “a love like that…”