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create a legacy journal


I shared my grandma’s priceless journal with you in THIS recent post and promised to post the journaling prompts I’d used.  Several of the prompts are listed below, in addition to a link of the full list (100+ prompts):

  • What is the most wonderful thing that ever happened to you and the worst?
  • Describe your first home as a young couple.
  • What is your advice to those younger than you?
  • Describe the most serious illness or accident you ever had.
  • Tell about your life as the children left home – new interests, what you did with the extra time, new employment, moves, etc.
  • What would you like to be remembered for?
  • Describe a typical day in elementary school.
  • Describe a childhood friend and something you did with him or her.
  • Tell about your grandchildren – how many, how did you feel about being a grandparent?
  • Tell about all of the places you have worked.
  • Tell how, when, where you learned to drive, and share any memorable experiences.
  • Tell something about each of your children – personalities, talents, and traits.  What makes them unique and special?

Click Here to Download List of Legacy Journal Prompts v.2 (this will bring you to another area of my blog; click on the link there to access the .PDF doc I have created)

Just print up the list, cut out the prompts, and adhere them to an empty journal (one per page).

My creation

These spiral bound, hardcover journals from Barnes & Noble work very well AND are only $6.98/each.

The pages are thick enough to even add a few images and/or embellishments.  (Just be sure to choose a large journal, not an itty bitty one!)  I’ll be adding a ribbon closure to mine as well and have encouraged my husband to doctor his cover up using things like THIS and THIS.  Then… START WRITING IN IT.  Not tomorrow, not 5-10 years from now… but TODAY.  I promise it will end up being the best gift you ever give your family.

Kathie - March 19, 2012 - 3:37 pm

Love this idea!!! Thanks for sharing all the great prompts.

Tina - March 19, 2012 - 5:07 pm

You are welcome, Kathie!

Tina - March 19, 2012 - 11:00 pm

Just an FYI… my husband spotted a couple of typos in the document so I’ve updated the .PDF with the changes!!

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doing what we’re meant to do

It’s not always clear (I’m talking Big Picture here) what we are supposed to be doing with our lives. With so many demands for our time (and so many of them GOOD), how do we choose? I guess that’s part of what continues to draw me into God’s Word over and over again. Years ago while enduring a painful season of grief and loss, I turned to the bible for answers. As part of the healing process, God gave me a tender heart towards women seeking answers and comfort in their own places of sorrow. He gave me a passion for making the very most of life along with the sharp awareness that our days here on Earth are numbered.

It was early in this journey (6+ years ago) that I created a special journal for my grandma.  I filled it with questions I wanted answered (What was it like when she first fell in love?  When and how did she first learn to drive?  What was her early marriage like?  What did she remember about her own grandparents?) and told her I would come looking for it after she was gone.

Guess what I went looking for and finally found over the weekend?!!!

my journal

Words cannot even begin to describe how much this book means to me. To see Grandma’s handwriting, to learn things about her I have never known. (For example, she never learned how to ride a bike… I NEVER KNEW THAT!)


You can only imagine how incredibly special it was to read her words aloud to my grandpa – her husband of 65 years. He offered additional details, even some of his own stories. It made me wish SO BADLY she would have answered all of the questions, not just a handful.

I talk OFTEN at the faithbooking crops about the importance of our words and stories. Each one of us has an important opportunity to create and leave tangible remembrances of our lives. A legacy. We have the opportunity to give our children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren (and beyond) a glimpse into their heritage that extends well beyond mere images. You see, in reading Grandma’s journal I also found pieces of myself.

grandmas advice

Those connections help define a family and sense of identity. It feels even more important now that I’m on the receiving end of the journal. So much so, that I am going to make one (each) for Tony and myself to pass along to our children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and beyond.

And yes – I know I have shared the song below at least a million times but it was playing in the background as I was working on these images, serving as a powerful reminder. I just had to share it again.

If you want to leave your mark in this way, don’t put it off!  None of us has a clue as to what tomorrow might bring (Proverbs 27:1).

Renee - March 12, 2012 - 2:56 pm

LOVE this Tina! I too gave my parents books to fill out a number of years ago. Sadly my mom passed away unexpectedly and did not get the chance to fill it out like I wished she would have. Moving forward, I know that life is short and you just NEVER know when it is your time.

After that, I knew I needed to go out and buy books for both Aaron and I to fill out (something we need to be more diligent about doing). I am excited to see your list of questions though…thank you for this important reminder.

And I absolutely LOVE your grandmother’s quote about perspective and rose bushes! SO true!

Leslie Schiltgen - March 13, 2012 - 9:13 am

That is the greatest gift ever Tina! I started writing a journal to my daughter when she was five months old. Every day I write something in there about her day, what she did, how I feel, how she was. I am hoping that when she is 18 she will love it and appreciate all the memories and thoughts I had.

Tina - March 13, 2012 - 10:20 am

That is AWESOME, Leslie! She is sure to treasure it.

Tina - March 13, 2012 - 10:23 am

I’m sorry to hear your mom never had the chance to fill out her book. That sort of thing gives me a sense of urgency about my own. I’ll try to have the questions up within the week, Renee!

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she turned two | minnesota milestone mini session

Nothing quite sums up two years old like the perfect belly button shot.

belly button

You might remember Miss J from our session last year. It was so much fun to see how much she’s grown AND all of the things that go with it.   For instance, she’s now into tutus and purses and chocolate.

birthday girl

And she still has that gorgeous head of curls!


And a shy [yet spunky] little personality to go with them.

silly girl 2

I had lots of fun with the new backdrops as well.


Especially, the chalkboard wall idea.

chalkboard backdrop

Which turned out exactly how I’d pictured it in my head! (Love it when that happens.)

Happy Birthday, Miss J!!!

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the problem with having a teen


The problem with having a teen is that I can no longer post whatever I want on the blog. Because he visits the blog and threatens to run away if I do.

So not like the good ol’ days when I could share whatever I wanted. Like the time he got caught decorating the bathroom floor with stickers, then ran into his room to hide.

caught in the acthiding in shame

Or the time he used a permanent marker to draw moustaches on his little brother, daycare friend, and himself.


Or the fact that he had a lovie named “Puppy Tag” that was never far from reach.

puppy tag

He would allow for no such storytelling now. Instead I need to stick with things that won’t tarnish his reputation. Nothing too cutesy, of course. Something like this would never fly today.


Granted, he no longer plays with Play-Doh and this type of thing doesn’t really happen nowadays. I’m just saying that if he did, I wouldn’t be able to blog about it.


Not only I’m I getting old, my kid is too!

tons of actionclose shot!

Playing basketball instead of Play-Doh, carrying around a retainer case instead of Puppy Tag.

so grown up

Before you know it, he’ll even be able to grow a real moustache.

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birthdays old & new


It’s my birthday today and early this morning I came across this sweet book.

my name is tina

Written by 8-year old me. It spoke of my siblings, playing Barbies, and a birthday celebration with my then BFF (Tanya).

all about tanya

Who, for the record, did NOT have brown hair. Nor did she live in a pink house.

the end

Keep in mind, I was only eight. Which means the book was written 36 years ago!

Holy smokes, I’m getting old.

in the looking glass

Tony and I also did some calculating and realized we are both approaching the very age my parents were when we began dating.

Holy smokes, I AM getting old!

I wasted much of my youth concerned about things that I could care less about now. So much time, just gone in the blink of an eye.  To put things in perspective, my eating disorder began at age 12 and lasted nine full years.] It would be waaaay too easy to get similarly caught up in the process of aging by focusing too much on outwardly appearance and imperfections. I am ever determined to continue embracing the person God made me to be instead of chasing after something I am not.

But man, am I getting old.

Lisa - February 27, 2012 - 5:35 pm


You are such a dear. And you are not getting old…you are just getting older! 🙂 You started your artistry when you were very young, and now look at what it has become! You are a very sweet and loving person, as well as a wonderful Mom, Wife and Friend! Love you!

Keep on being you…because that is how HE made you!


Tina - February 27, 2012 - 8:54 pm

Thank you for the rephrase, Lisa 🙂 I am simply amazed at fast the time flies. I’m sure it feels even more so because of my grandma’s death and the memories I’ve been revisiting. Love you, too!

Crystal Satnik - February 28, 2012 - 8:53 pm

Tina – you are the coolest 44 year old I know! 🙂

Tina - February 28, 2012 - 9:04 pm

Awwwwww, thanks Crystal! 🙂

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