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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The most important new year's resolution -- the life story

Of course, I am going to say it. As the founder of LifeBio, I am going to suggest that your New Year's Resolution be that you finally get around to helping that special loved one tell his or her life story. 

Life Stories & Connecting with Your Family is a Great New Year's Resolution

You've wanted it recorded for so long. You know there will be regrets if you don't capture his or her many memories and experiences that are priceless to you. 

So this blog post is just a reminder that this "life story" resolution belongs on your list.  You can't put it off any longer. 

Now, if you are thinking about your own story, it's time to do that as well.  There is no one else like you. "Is it time for me to write my biography?" Yes, it is time.  If you are middle aged, this is a GREAT time to review what's happened so far and then gain new insights from this as you launch into the second half of your life. 

My Biography and Your Biography start here

Monday, December 15, 2014

Tell grandpa's life story and create grandpa's book

I wish I had had the chance to record my grandfather's life story. I can remember just a few things about him now---just a moment here and there.  I remember him taking me to a garden center in his big car (that resembles an Edsel in my memory).  I remember him driving a similar big, old car down the street to tell me that my little brother had been born that morning! We had an exciting day at school telling all our friend about our new little brother. 
Recording grandpa's life story

I remember visiting his barber shop and the sites and smells all around me.  There was a table full of Farmer's Almanacs and other magazines.  There was a wooden board that he put across the big black and white barber chair, and I would climb up there to get my hair cut.  He would always love tickling my neck with one of those soft brushes.

He was an inventor and he took great pride in examining the pinhole camera I made from instructions in the National Geographic World Magazine.  I took his picture with it, and it's a blurry black and white photo, but it's a picture of my grandpa. No doubt about it. 

I have a sweet memory toward the end of his life when we Christmas caroled at his home (and it's so sweet that I don't think I can share it). 

But I wish knew more.  I wish I had asked just a few more questions and could read his exact words to me this day.  Still, my memories of him (and recording them) are important because my grandfather is someone worth knowing. My children need to know Grandpa, and my memories of him will have to do. 

Need to record your family's stories?  Ready to tell grandpa's life story?  

Use the web to capture life stories. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Veterans History Told -- at Home with Family

It was amazing to see my son, David, sitting with his grandpa recently and listening closely as my father recounted his experiences during the Vietnam War.  Dad served in the 4th Infantry Division as a truck driver in 1967 and part of 1968.  He shared about his tent being shot full of holes near Dak To in Kon Tum Province in late 1967, spending hours in a small bunker with 20 other guys, leading a convoy of trucks away from the fighting, blowing up his truck when he and his friend, John, hit a landmine, and enjoying Bob Hope's visit on a hillside one day.  There were some funny experiences and some very scary times shared. 
Veterans History Told to Grandchildren Matters

My son listened closely to his grandfather.  It was fascinating to him to hear this first person account of a war that is barely covered in school.  Years ago, my father didn't want to talk about it, but, as he ages, he has been more willing to share and there are so many lessons to be learned. 

I know my father doesn't see himself as a hero, but we are certainly seeing him as a very brave man who did what he had to do in very tough circumstances.

Perhaps you have a veteran in your life that would like to start sharing his or her story more.  The Veterans Story Guide can be written in a physical journal (questions provided) or veterans history can be created online at www.lifebio.com . There is a specific "Story" in the online system for gathering veterans' stories without delay or difficulty.  

Call 1-866-LIFEBIO or 937-303-4574 or email info@lifebio.com if we can be of assistance. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Write My Autobiography

You may be asking?  How can I write my autobiography.  In fact, it can be a matter of just answering a few questions--but it helps if you aren't staring at a blank sheet of paper.  Sometimes, even if you're planning a whole book, it may be just good to start simple with the basics of your life history.  Maybe you're just interested in sharing your life story with your children and grandchildren. 
 
1. Set a goal for completion. Life is busy and complicated, and you may find yourself putting it off. Set your goal to be an upcoming holiday, or the end of the year. You'll find that a deadline helps keep you motivated.

2. Decide the template you want. There are so many ways you can put your life story together. Decide on a set of questions to use, or just go chronologically. You may want to know more about how LifeBio works.

3. Find a friend you can share the process with. Having a friend or a group of people to complete your life stories with can make the process more enjoyable. It's fun to share what you've written, and to learn about your friend's lives.

4. Look at photo albums. Pictures can be a great way to remember some of your favorite stories. We tend to take pictures of what we love the most. Jot down some memories that come to mind from the photos you look at.

5. Make a list of your favorite memories. You've done so much in your life. It's probably too much to write in one book. Write down your favorite things that you've done. Call some family members and ask them what they'd like to know.

6. Answer a question a day. Making an autobiography can be a daunting task. Just write one answer for the day. When you're done, read over the questions for the next day and take awhile to ponder over it.

7. Do the best you can. Don't let one question trip you up. You can skip over it, or you can avoid it completely if you don't want to talk about it. Just keep going until you complete it. It'll be worth it!

Lifebio.com has web memberships, an app, and journals that can make this process so much easier. It greatly simplifies making your autobiography, freeing you up to think about your memories! Check it out!   Call 1-866-LIFEBIO or 937-303-4576 or email info@lifebio.com if we can assist you in any way. 

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Memories Book

Sometimes people are looking for a memories book for their parents or grandparents because someone is reaching old age, or facing a life-threatening illness, or experiencing memory loss or Alzheimer's Disease.   These are all common reasons for wanting to create a book of memories without delay or difficulty. 

I think families are truly worried nowadays that the incredible experiences of the 20th Century and early 21st Century will be lost or forgotten. These are family stories that should be preserved---priceless information way beyond genealogy. These were incredible years of change, and they do, indeed, deserve to be recorded.  For example, in 2014, it is still possible to meet someone in their 90s who grew up farming with horses or rode a horse to school.  Soon, these memories will not be available to us anymore. 

Also, there is such strength to be gained from hearing about people's experiences growing up as small children during the Depression and the Greatest Generation's experiences of World War II, the post-war "Baby Boom" and the rise of industry, computers, modern home conveniences, and the Civil Rights and Women's Rights movements.   It's all incredibly interesting---especially when you are hearing it first hand from a family member.  There are no history books that can duplicate hearing the oral history of a parent or grandparent or other loved one directly. 

Building that biography of a family member or other loved one doesn't have to be so difficult if you use a memory book with prompting questions to get you started.   It's also possible to build an online biography as well---and print a "Legacy Book" later from the answers filled in on the web.  We want to help make that memory book happen so please be in touch if we can help.  

1-866-LIFEBIO or 937-303-4576  or email info@lifebio.com

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Private Online Journal

I've been putting pencil to paper for so many years now in numerous physical journals.  Here are a few things that I love to journal about....

1) The FUNNY things my kids say and do. 

2) My traveling experiences -- I really do meet some of the most fascinating people.

3) Life event stuff -- my feelings at different steps along life's road. 

I started to think how much better it would be to have these journal entries at my disposal online. I could keep adding to it wherever I am--using my phone, my iPad, or my laptop. I don't have to have the physical book with me. 

That's when LifeBio.com decided to add in the JOURNAL feature which allows users to create and date and post private journal entries inside their LifeBio.com account.  It seemed like a logical thing to offer to people who are creating their biographies inside our site.  Some people do prefer the freeform way of journaling over creating a structured biography. 

It's also great to be able to print out the online journal in a PDF format anytime one wishes....and to upload photos into it as well.  Family stories and journal entries are all great things to store at www.lifebio.com.

Beth Sanders  

1-866-LIFEBIO  info@lifebio.com

Monday, December 01, 2014

Memory book for my grandma

There is nothing more priceless than the gift of life stories.  I know that my own grandmother's life story really changed my life.  I thought, "I'm just like you, and you are just like me!"  But I would never have had that experience if grandma's life story was not recorded. 

Memory Book for my Grandma
It's hard to describe the feeling that you'll have when you read your own grandmother's memories. Giving a memory book to your grandmother could be just the right thing to do.  It will unlock a whole other world that you've never gazed into before.  She will introduce you to people that you would never know without her memories of them.  She will take you to different places and times---it's really like a time machine from her own perspective.  You are walking in her shoes for the first time. 

It's too bad that we don't normally have these conversations, but I've found that it really helps if the questions are on the web or in a journal so that your grandma can just record her own answers.  By the way, she may appreciate your help in the process.  If you decide to use the web, you can type in her answers as she tells you information.  A lot of grandmothers are now more "tech savvy" than ever before so your grandmother may like using www.lifebio.com to type in her own memories.  

No matter how you record the life stories, just seize the day and do it.  You don't want to wait too long, and your grandmother will want to do it if you encourage her.  There could be a few things she would rather not share and that's okay too.  Just at least learn more of the basics about her family history and her background so you will have this priceless gift for all time.  

Would you like to give the gift of memories to your grandmother?  

Monday, November 24, 2014

Memory Journal

One of the very best gifts you can give a parent or grandparent for the holidays is a Memory Journal.  After all, there is no one else like your mother, father, grandfather, or grandmother. 

It's important that the Memory Journal you pick has the right kinds of questions to bring out the best in your loved one.  The stories that are gathered should cover family history, key family members, historical events, childhood memories, teen and adulthood experiences, military service, work, love, marriage, children, grandchildren, lessons from life, and so much more. 

Would you like to capture your own experiences, family stories, and values for your children and grandchildren?
 
Would you like to take conversation to a whole new level when you visit a loved one?
 
Would you like to give the perfect GIFT to the parent or grandparent who has everything but he or she hasn't written an autobiography yet?

"The Memory Journal is the only thing that’s bridged the gap between me and my dad in the past 20 years. I never knew how alike we are. It’s the only peaceful conversation we’ve ever had. We’re doing it slowly about 30 minutes of questions every time we get together."

-- Jennifer, Ohio.


Need assistance? Call Toll-Free 1-866-543-3246 to place your order.
 
3 Things That Make the Memory Journal Extra Special
 
#1  - The Memory Journal is designed to help people of different ages, genders, and backgrounds record their autobiographies or the biographies of a loved one. This book works for parents, grandparents, or singles. If there are a few questions that don't apply, these can easily be left blank.
 
#2 - The Memory Journal contains 250+ life story questions and ample space to fill-in-the-blanks with your answers. Special care was taken to keep the questions in a logical and easy-to-use format. Topics covered include:
      • Family History
      • Mother
      • Father
      • Grandparents
      • Brothers and Sisters
      • Other Relatives
      • Historical Events
      • Growing Up
      • Childhood and Teen
      • Favorites Family Fun, Vacations, Celebrations
      • Place of Worship and Faith
      • Elementary School Years
      • Junior High/High School
      • Military Service
      • Advanced Training and College
      • Jobs and Careers
      • Love
      • Marriage
      • Home
      • Children and Parenthood
      • Grandchildren and Becoming a Grandparent
      • Everyday Moments
      • Pets
      • Family Stories and Heirlooms
      • Beliefs
      • Opinions and Tough Questions
      • Life Lessons Through the Years
      • The Future
#3  - The Memory Journal's questions match the ordering of questions at www.LifeBio.com. That means that you or your family could decide to transfer answers from the book to the web to make multiple copies of the story for family and friends, now or in the future!

#4 - Perfect for the person who would rather write than type (or for people without a computer).
 
#5 - Take it anywhere--no computer with internet access required. 
 
(Ideally, you as family can then type the memories into www.lifebio.com IF you choose to do so later.  LifeBio.com and the Memory Journal's questions match for easy transfer later.)
 
#6 - The LifeBio Memory Journal also works well as a first draft. Ideas from the LifeBio Memory Journal can be transferred to an online www.lifebio.com and, finally, into a printed, leather-bound LifeBio Legacy Book when the story is complete.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Writing an Autobiography

Writing Your Autobiography
There is no one else like YOU.  It's certainly not as difficult as you might think to write an autobiography.  In fact, it can be a matter of just answering a few questions.  Sometimes, even if you're planning a whole book, it may be just good to start simple with the basics of your life history.  Maybe you're just interested in sharing your life story with your children and grandchildren. 

1. Set a goal for completion. Life is busy and complicated, and you may find yourself putting it off. Set your goal to be an upcoming holiday, or the end of the year. You'll find that a deadline helps keep you motivated.

2. Decide the template you want. There are so many ways you can put your life story together. Decide on a set of questions to use, or just go chronologically. You may want to know more about how LifeBio works.

3. Find a friend you can share the process with. Having a friend or a group of people to complete your life stories with can make the process more enjoyable. It's fun to share what you've written, and to learn about your friend's lives.

4. Look at photo albums. Pictures can be a great way to remember some of your favorite stories. We tend to take pictures of what we love the most. Jot down some memories that come to mind from the photos you look at.

5. Make a list of your favorite memories. You've done so much in your life. It's probably too much to write in one book. Write down your favorite things that you've done. Call some family members and ask them what they'd like to know.

6. Answer a question a day. Making an autobiography can be a daunting task. Just write one answer for the day. When you're done, read over the questions for the next day and take awhile to ponder over it.

7. Do the best you can. Don't let one question trip you up. You can skip over it, or you can avoid it completely if you don't want to talk about it. Just keep going until you complete it. It'll be worth it!

Lifebio.com has web memberships, an app, and journals that can make this process so much easier. It greatly simplifies making your autobiography, freeing you up to think about your memories! Check it out!   Call 1-866-LIFEBIO or 937-303-4576 or email info@lifebio.com if we can assist you in any way. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Autobiography Examples -- What to say when you're not sure where to start

Autobiographies are not just for the rich and famous.  No, today, anyone can create a short and simple biography or a more long and detailed biography.  It's as simple as following an autobiography template.  Since there is no one else like YOU, it is certainly something you should do while you have the chance.  You may also be thinking about a parent or grandparent who has memories from the past to share. 

It's fascinating to me that some of the very best autobiography entries in LifeBio are just normal details from life that are being shared with present and future generations.  Here are a few examples of things people write that their family members will enjoy reading.  Truly priceless memories -- that can only be shared by this one unique person in history! 

What is your earliest memory?
My earliest memory was when I was five years old.  I remember we lived in a big, white house in Vermillion, South Dakota.  My dad had a gas station about a block away from our house, and my school was also about a block away from my house.  I remember that, when I would walk to school and I was in kindergarten, I had a collie dog named Shep. He would walk me to school every day. At the end of school, he would be waiting for me and would walk me home.  -- Mary Rose

What are your favorite family stories?
Grandma once told me about her mother. Her mother, as a teenager, was sitting in a one horse open sleigh and there were two boys on either side of her in the sleigh.  She had her hands in a furry round muff to keep them warm. Both boys thought they were holding her hand inside the muff, but it turned out that they were holding each others' hands!  They were so embarraswww.lifebio.comsed.   -- Beth (that's me!)

Here are some other autobiography examples that are available to see on www.lifebio.com's website. 
https://www.lifebio.com/Home/Autobiography-Examples   See the example of a rocket scientist and another example of a granddaughter who interviewed her grandmother.   Please note that LifeBio pulls together the whole story with the push of a button.  Just answer the questions and press the button and watch your autobiography or the biography of a loved one unfold before your eyes.  Then just print it out!  At some point, you may even want to order a Legacy Book (see the photo in this blog post to see what these look like).  These leather-bound books pull together everything that has been typed online and all photos too...it's like a photo book but with MUCH, MUCH more life story data.  LifeBio makes it easy.

LifeBio keeps information private and secure so we're only able to share a few biography examples -- as the stories are shared typically only with close family and friends when completed. 

Would you like to tell your story?  Learn more about how to start your own autobiography (it's as easy as answering the template questions).  One question a day and you'll build it in no time.  You can also use LifeBio to interview a loved one. 

Need help with your biography or autobiography?  Just give us a call or email! 

Beth Sanders
1-866-LIFEBIO
info@lifebio.com