Tuesday, December 1, 2009



Thirteen years of calendars

In 1996 I decided to create a family calendar. I named it the dysfunctional family calendar because, quite frankly, we are! Little did I know then that this creation would become a tradition and that every year I would be scrambling around during the month of November trying to outdo myself in creating “the best calendar yet.” The calendars evolved each year. Now the calendars include: a Family Funny Fotos page which shows some of the year's strange and offbeat family pictures; an Activity page, where I describe everyone's activities; a Family Recipe page, which gives some wonderful recipe that we have found during the year; and sometimes, a Funny Comment section dedicated to laughable comments made during the year.

Activity page

Family recipes

Funny Family Fotos

If our world has had an unusual event take place, like the tragedy of September 11, 2001, I designate a page for it.

September 11, 2001

Sometimes I show special events, like the children’s camp I had several years back or the “Sunflower Journeys.” The journeys featured trips I took with my four grandchildren to various places in the world. Each child chose a place to visit with very specific rules. Each had the freedom to choose a destination for his or her trip. But each also had to agree to three stipulations: the trip had to be one that stimulated them both physically and mentally; it had to be to a place where they learned the ways of a different culture; and, they had to be kind to everyone they met along the way, whether fellow passengers or natives of the land they were visiting.

Children's camp

Sunflower Journeys

The front cover of the calendar presents a special challenge to me each year. I almost always feature the grandchildren and try to come up with something fun and unique. One year I created four small dolls, each having the face of a different grandchild. The dolls were backed with a refrigerator magnet and could be removed from the calendar.

Doll calendar

Two dolls from calendar

Another year the cover featured a removable puzzle.

Puzzle calendar

My favorite was the year of the contest. I used different items from my home, Woodloft, and hid them in the background of each page. Each family member had to write down what they thought the hidden item was. The person with the most correct guesses won a large prize. We had partners for this one. Marcy and Alli won.

Contest rules

Marcy and Alli win

Over the years, technology has advanced to the point that my old-fashioned method of cutting out pictures and fanciful stickers with scissors has become outdated. My oldest granddaughter, Marcy, has come to the rescue. She has helped me with the calendar for the last few years. Marcy likes to rev up the calendar by morphing our faces and adding items of hilarious interest.

Yours truly and Marcy

I love the way the calendar has evolved through the years and I love the fact that the family can keep track of all the events of our lives. I know these calendars will be cherished by my descendants many generations down the road. I hope the family will carry on the tradition.

Picture of my mother in her youth

You might enjoy creating a family calendar, dysfunctional or not. There’s no time like the present for beginning a new tradition. Even if your first calendar is a simple one, at least it’s a start. There are years ahead for improvement. Include your children and grandchildren on this project but above all, try to make it fun!

Christmas card my father sent to my mother from Europe during WWII

Note: Cory Trusty at Aquarian Bath is having a December "Blogparty." Please click this link (http://aquarianbath.blogspot.com/2009/12/herbal-aesthetics-decemeber-blog-party.html)
to join the party!

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