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‘Living Over All Your Memories’ with Photo Books

Heart of Dakota - From Our House to Yours
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From Our House to Yours

Memories That We Made

Each year I make a photo book and give it to my husband for Christmas. I began this tradition in 2008. Starting with January, I make my annual Shutterfly photo book, working my way through the year using the pictures we took. I love to look back on the year and reflect on all of the memories that we made. It truly is amazing to see all that can happen in one year! On the cover of each photo book is our family Christmas picture, which we take right where we live. I set these photo books out on our buffet. At Christmas, I put them in a basket on the dining room table with a note that says ‘Please have fun looking through the family memories we have made!’ I often see our sons or visiting family and friends with various photo books in their hands, happily reminiscing.

Take time to enjoy the homeschool journey, and take pictures along the way!

My homeschool journey began when Wyatt was 2 years old. He is now 20 years old! I am not sure where the time has gone, but I know it has gone fast. How I wish I had started making photo books sooner! Pictures of our homeschooling days with Heart of Dakota are always a special part of each photo book. The other day I sat down and paged through our photo books. I was lost down memory lane. Each page brought back precious memories, and each photo book showed our journey through this life we’ve built together. What a blessing! I began to think how different our life would be had we not homeschooled. How many memories would we have missed! Our 3 sons, each other’s best friends. Our very own home and God’s beautiful creation just outside, ours to explore. What a precious life!

There are still memories to be made.

Sometimes things feel heavy. It seems there are no small decisions to be made anymore. People freely (and often not very politely) question our decision to homeschool through high school. They question our decision to have our son continue to live at home and do online college. Homeschooling is not for the faint of heart. One must know why one is doing it. We believe the heart of the family is the home, and in that home there are still memories to be made. Our children are thriving. They are happy. Their hearts are full of love for each other and for the Lord. I love the memories we are making… still.

The Joy of “Living Over All Your Memories”

I can relate to Abbie Deal, from A Lantern in Her Hand, in so many ways. One of my favorite parts is when, at Abbie’s funeral, all of the family is talking about her. During this conversation, little 12 year-old granddaughter Laura Deal had this to say about her dear old Grandma Abbie:  One time Grandma told me she was the very happiest when she was living over all her memories. Maybe… she hesitated, a little shy at expressing the thought in her heart, Maybe, she was doing that… then.”  I do believe Abbie and I (and many homeschool mothers with children who are growing up way too fast and with years passing by way too quickly) are kindred spirits. Photo books are one way I live over all my memories. The ‘living over them’ is almost as good as the making them.

In Christ,


P.S. One more wonderful thing about making annual photo books is you can set them out as table decorations at your children’s high school graduation open house!


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