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Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!): Preserving and Taming Your Childrens' Artwork

Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!)

My goal here is to make your life easier, especially those who are in the unique situation of being a military spouse. Yes...I've been around...but in a good way...and hopefully can share those tips, tricks and shortcuts with you too. I've been on this military bus for over 40 years now. My goals in life are to have a well-run home, few money worries, well adjusted children, money socked away and whatever happiness I can scoop out of life.

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After life as an Army brat, being in the Army myself and marrying a soldier, I can honestly say I have a bucket full of life lessons I can share to help you make your everyday life easier and enlightening. Don't waste your time making unnecessary mistakes and benefit from others who have come before you on your journey through life.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Preserving and Taming Your Childrens' Artwork


It's impossible for me to imagine getting rid of any piece of my child's artwork! It just seems so unmotherly (is that a word?) to throw something away my child worked so hard on! I have gleefully come up with a solution though..

Throughout the school year, I will dutifully hang up a piece or two on the refrigerator, then photograph it and store it away in a see-through plastic bin under our bed. Each child has his own bin.

At the end of the year, I sit down with each of the boys and go through the artwork. We like to pick two or three pieces and set them aside. These will be the ones that find permanent residence in the bin. Put a paper on top of that stack and designate the timeframe. I like to put the grade and year down. Then close the bin until you repeat this exercise the next year.

Now, we are not done yet. Remember those photos you took? You are going to get them printed out as photos. You are going to purchase one of those small three ring binder photo albums. Then insert a photo into each slot, in the order they were taken and grouped by year. For each new year, annotate that on the front of the slot with one of those metallic craft markers (you can find these at any craft store; they usually come in gold or silver and work great for signing Christmas cards too BTW). Use the silver marker, as it shows up better on the plastic sleeve. Do you know my kids still get out these albums and enjoy thumbing through the pages?

If you happen to have any really stellar artwork examples, there is one other option. This makes a great Christmas gift for the grandparents. Our elementary school actually set this up for us through a site called Art To Remember. They take your child's artwork and put it on a magnet, cup, calendar, and a variety of other things...your choice. You don't have to wait for the school to set this up for you though (but you might want to pass on this resource). Get it done yourself through many of the online shops doing this kind of work, such as Cafe Press which allows you to upload whatever photos you want. You then put those photos on t-shirts, cups, cards and a slew of other household objects.

At Christmas time, I also like to showcase our children's artwork. I typically group all Christmas-related artwork into one of my holiday decoration bins. 3M makes this wonderful double-sided stick tape that can be used to temporarily hang lightweight objects on your wall. I like to frame one of our kitchen windows with a collage of our childrens' holiday artwork through the years. They enjoy it almost as much as I do, and we like to sit at the breakfast table and comment on the pieces. Children have an amazing memory and can give you the scoop on almost every art project up there!

Please take the time to share some of your ideas! What do you do in your family to preserve and remember your children's artwork?

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