Monday, January 24, 2011

Kids family tree placemat: keep their appetite for family history growing!

As you know I am always looking for new ways to get my kids interested in genealogy, and have already created various project that they love, but every now and then they need something new to keep the interest alive.
I was thinking of a way to "feed" them family history and I came up with a family tree place mat!
This will surely give them an appetite to know more about their ancestors and will hopefully start nice conversations at the family table.
I decided to use the 11x14 page format, which I will then laminate to protect it from water and any inevitable mess.
The boys have helped me pick some of the embellishments like the moon and the dogs, but what really caught their attention and got  them all excited was being put on the swing under the tree!
They couldn't wait for me to finish creating, and my 4 year old just wanted me to hurry up and make his, since I started with the one for my 6 years old!
Once I made the one for my first born it was pretty much a breeze to just swap pictures, name and background, (even the dogs as they wished), to personalize it for my other children.
As you can see I added leaves to Jacob's tree. I am not sure yet if I like it better with or without leaves...
What do you think?

My children  are eager to have them on the table, as soon as I will have published them and after I will have laminated them once they are here.
I didn't make one for Mattia yet, since he is so little, and I think it would be more appropriate to use a picture of him when he is at least a toddler, and he can actually sit at the table and eat.
My children are so spoiled when it comes to their genealogy!

I am thinking to make it double sided, I am trying to come up with some fast fact genealogy games, maybe tic tac toe,  matching pictures with names, or places or jobs, matching couples or a game that we can all do together as a family, like bingo with family faces, a variation of guess who... 

If you have a different idea of a family game, maybe one that you are already playing in your home, or one that you would like to play that uses family pictures, I would love to hear it!

You can get a free Publishing account by signing up at and start creating unlimited projects at once!
Love my Creative Genealogy templates and ideas
My HM club members can have their favorite Creative Genealogy template transferred to their account for personal use, or  can have it completely personalized by me for them  for a reasonable fee.
Want more for less? Check out our incredible host rewards and My Club HM!

Friday, January 21, 2011

My first car- 52 weeks of personal genealogy- week 3

I was going to go to bed but then an  event on my facebook newsfeed caught my attention.
This is the 3rd year of the 52 weeks to better genealogy, and I like it that it challenges you to actually write your own personal genealogy.
The 52 weeks personal genealogy challenge, is this week about cars.

What was my first car...
You might laugh at this one, since I never really had a car in my 30 years I lived in Italy!! I didn't even have a driver license since I didn't want to pay the yearly fee without needing it.
The first car I drove was a green Renault 5 that my then boyfriend was teaching me how to drive. I was only 16, and you need to know that in Italy you can get a driver license only when you are 18, so, I wasn't exactly supposed to even try to drive it! Shh!;) I did scare quite a few people that morning!
In Italy  would go everywhere using buses or trains, sometimes I would get a ride from a friend or family member and only once going to University I got a Vespa scooter after my then boyfriend ( a different one) taught me how to drive it! I believe it was 1994.
There are quite a few stories about that Vespa! I would literally drive it under any weather condition, sun, rain, fog, snow...
I used it to go on a 3 day trip along the sides of the Mediterranean coast leaving from Cava de' Tirreni, Salerno(Campania region) to Cetraro (Calabria region) with a friend of mine. We would sleep on the beach in the town we reached by each night. What a crazy adventure that was! I even managed to have an accident on the way there, making it all more interesting swimming in those salty waters with a couple of bleeding knees!
That Vespa got stolen a couple years later and had to buy a new(used) one, which got stolen once I moved to USA, but I did manage to have a pretty bad accident on that one too!
It was here in the States that I finally decided to get a driver license after the birth of my first child,  since where I live there is no bus, and  I didn't think that it would be "safe" to drive a Vespa with a baby on my lap. I started driving my husband's car in 2004, a Honda Accord, but that was his car, so I guess my real first car is the one I currently drive the most, a Toyota Sienna 2004 which we got from some friends of ours when we were expecting our 3rd child, in August 2008. What a blessing that car has been, especially after we ended up having only one car after my accident in 2009! It is now even a greater blessing, since there is no way that we could go around in a smaller car with our 4 kids!
To be exact, though, this car is legally on my husband's name, cause the day we bought it I couldn't go sign the title, so maybe I still have to wait to get my very own car!

5 generations post bound album

I couldn't wait for my baby to be born, because I had been thinking about creating a post bound album where I could preserve all the genealogy/family history pages I was going to create for my family, but I couldn't publish it until our newest member of the family was here, because I wanted his picture on that cover, together with all the other members of the family!
So, here is the idea:
A post bound album that has a 5 generation family tree on the cover. Inside, I will add pages as I create them.
This pages will all be about our family, starting with our children and going all the way back to any ancestors that I will gather information on.
There can be basic pages with just vital stats and a picture, pages with info about jobs, travels, achievements for each person, pages with pictures and story of family heirlooms, copies of letters and anything that is related to our family.
This is going to be a life long project, but what is nice about it, is that when my children will be grown up, they will be able to make copies of the whole album or of just the pages they are interested in, and nobody will have to fight on who is taking what.
Meanwhile they will grow to learn more and more about their family, and they will get excited each and every time that we have a new page to add to the album.
Also, I won't have to make a new book in case the Lord blesses us with more kids: I will just add more pages to the album! I don't need to wait for anybody to send me more info to finish a book, I can add them later!
I was finally able to create the album cover today, so here is the front cover:
Here is a particular of the front:

Aren't my babies just handsome?^_^
This is the back:
What do you think?
I can't wait to receive this in the mail and start filling it with the pages I already created!

I can create a post bound album like this for you, or I can help you create it yourself, just contact me for details!
Enjoy your family history preservation!
EDIT: Here is how the post bound album looks in real life:

and here are my children looking through its pages
(post bound albums come with 10 plastic sleeves)
You can get a free Publishing account by signing up at and start creating unlimited projects at once!
Love my Creative Genealogy templates and ideas
My HM club members can have their favorite Creative Genealogy template transferred to their account for personal use, or  can have it completely personalized by me for them  for a reasonable fee.
Want more for less? Check out our incredible host rewards and My Club HM!

I'm back!

Did you miss me?
Well, I missed posting on the blog too, but my family needed my complete attention, so I had to take a long break.
I am returning with a good news: our family welcomed our 4th boy on December 2nd. His name is Mattia and he is just an angel!

This was my most difficult pregnancy yet, but it was worth it!
I am now much better, so I got back to work, and I will have a new idea for you in the next post.

I won't be posting regularly since life with 4 kids is more hectic than I could imagine, and if you add doing genealogy research, being a personal publisher and storybook designer, you can figure out that my spare time is almost non existing!

I do have many ideas though, and will find the time to put them together, hopefully before the  NE family history conference in March, where I will be teaching on Italian genealogy and creative genealogy/family history.

Ok, I need to keep this short, or I won't be able to share my new project!

Thank you for visiting!



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