How to Make a Journal Jar
by Merle O'Brien,
The idea is to print the following questions on strips of paper and to place them in a quart canning jar. Put a small piece of cloth under the ring on top of the jar, and tie raffia around the neck of the jar with a card reading "Recipe for my Life History." Then give as a gift.
I printed these strips on beige paper. The tag that goes on the outside the jar was printed on tag board in beige and tied with beige raffia. The card was trimmed with pinking scissors and cut in an rectangle shape with one end rounded.
The recipient takes out one strip a day and uses that to write a journal entry.
The card that goes on the outside of the jar says:
"RECIPE FOR MY LIFE HISTORY Combine a generous slice of your life history, a dash of nostalgia, several cups of facts and feelings and 104 deliciously interesting questions. Draw one slip of paper. Take a few minutes to enjoy the memories. Paste or write the question at the top of a blank page. Fill in your answer. Don't worry about your handwriting or spelling - just tell your story. This product was prepared to preserve your life as a message. Enjoy the scrumptious, home-made memories that celebrate something very important - YOU!"
Print the following questions on strips of paper and place in the jar:
Tell something about each of your children - the personalities, talents, and traits that make them different and special.
Describe a favorite vacation of your married years.
Tell about home cures or old wives tales: hiccups, toothaches, earaches, or arthritis.
Where were you and what were you doing the day the wall came down in Germany (or the coup occurred in USSR or when World War II started or ended)?
Describe your wedding dress, bridesmaid dresses, etc. (suit etc, if male.)
Write a description of your husband or wife.
Tell about your retirement - when, where, what will you do with your time?
Describe your mother's wedding dress - what do you know about her wedding?
Where did you live as a child - town, country, suburb, etc?
What is your greatest joy? Your greatest sorrow?
Do you have a favorite author? Who? Why? Tell about your favorite books as a child and as an adult.
What do you feel has been the most significant world events that has taken place in your lifetime and why?
Describe the most serious illness or accident that you have had.
Describe your yard as a child. Did you help with the yardwork?
What are your memories --- Draw a diagram if you can.
Tell about Family Reunions.
Tell about your teen-age social life - your friends, dances, dating, outings, church functions etc.
What would you like to be remembered for?
Describe your last home as a young couple.
How did your father spend his time supporting his family?
Tell about exciting experiences as a young woman.
Tell about your life as the children left home - new interests, etc. What did you do with the extra time -- new employment, moves, hobbies, etc.
Tell about handed-down talents, foods, clothespin dolls, willow whistles, pottery, quilting, whittling, meat drying etc.
What lessons did you take as a child? Did you carry any over into adulthood?
What were your favorite places to go with your family when you were young?
Tell about any ancestors that you know about - name dates, etc. for historical purposes and any stories about them.
Tell about anniversaries, celebrations, trips, gifts.
What were your fears, expectations, anticipations about getting married?
Tell about a special date you had with a boy/girl friend or your fiancée.
What is your mother's best trait? Worst? The traits you share?
What is your father's best trait? Worst? The traits you share?
Give one word on how to live successfully.
How do you feel about winning? Losing?
Tell a courtship story about your parents - how they met etc... Tell the same about your courtship.
Describe a favorite childhood friend and something you did with her or him.
Tell about your grandchildren - how many- how did you feel about being a grandparent?
Have you met or worked with famous people? Who? Where?
How did you become engaged?
What is the most wonderful thing that ever happened to you? The worst?
What is your child-rearing philosophy?
Describe your Sundays as a mother/father or as a child.
What can frighten you the most and why?
Do you wish you had more sisters or brothers? Why?
Tell about your favorite aunt.
What is the most exciting place that you have ever been to and why?
What was your worst, really embarrassing moment?
What games did you play as a child - inside and outside?
Where did your grandparents live? What was their home like? Did it have a certain smell or look?
Tell about your favorite uncle.
Did you have a close relationship with your grandparents? Tell about it.
Did you have a bicycle, and what was it like?
Tell how, when, where you learned to drive and any memorable experiences.
Tell about each of your children's names, birthdate, where, doctors, circumstances surrounding the birth - raising them in the home - problems, joys, etc.
How did you like being the oldest, youngest or middle child?
What were the advantages or disadvantages?
Tell about a frustrating experience that you have had with a car.
What is your advice to those younger than you?
Were you ever in a drama, speech, sports, pep or glee club? Tell about it. Did you and your father share any interests together - what and why?
What is your favorite scripture and why?
Describe a childhood Christmas.
Describe a typical day in elementary school.
What did you do when you were a child that got you in the most trouble, and how did your parents handle it?
Tell about your first crush.
Did you go camping? Tell about your experiences.
How did you feel about school?
Do you remember any of your four grandparents? Any greats? What were their names?
Tell about your mother: her personality, characteristics, stature, coloring, talents, temperament, family stories about her, her role in your home, etc.
What do you fantasize about doing or being?
What is your personal secret of happiness?
Describe a perfect spring day and activities on that day?
What is the most important lesson, message, or advice that you have learned that you might pass on to others?
Thinking back, was there a teacher who had a great influence on you?
Tell about your own family traditions: Christmas, birthdays, graduation, 4th of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, Mothers or Fathers Day, weddings, funerals, hunting etc.
Describe a childhood birthday.
How did you become engaged?
What personality trait do you admire and why?
Did you have a favorite TV, radio, program as a child? Tell about it.
Did you go to college or have vocational training? Where or when?
Did you have a childhood hideout? Tell about it.
Tell about a favorite trip or vacation.
What is your secret for good health?
Describe a childhood Christmas.
Did it snow much when you were a child - tell something about it, what did you do?
Describe getting a Christmas tree as a child, when did you put it up and decorate it?
Tell about your civic or political activities.
Write about some places you went with your father.
Write about some places that you went with your mother.
What do you think about movies - what is your favorite movie and why?
If you could be an animal, which one would you choose and why?
Describe a typical day during your Junior High years..
What kind of extra-curricular activities did you participate in at school?
Tell about the houses you lived in childhood - addresses, phone numbers, etc...
What do you think brings good or bad luck?
Tell about all the places you have worked.
Describe your wedding day.
What are your food preferences and how did they come about?
How did your mother spend her time?
Were you responsible for household chores? What were they? Which did you enjoy most/ least?
What are your most deeply held values?
This is a wonderful gift that everyone really enjoys.
Copyright 2001: Merle O'Brien http://www.aspen4kids.com Check out the fun!
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