So… I am wrapping up my nursery decorating, organizing, dreaming and all things of the sort, and I thought to share a few things.
First… this is the proposed name. I just think it is beautiful, and especially meaningful.
I have always loved Hannah from the Old Testament, and I would love to have her be special to my daughter too, and that thought was just driven home when I learned that my husband’s great-great-grandmother’s name was Hannah and it is HER pumpkin pie that my husband looks forward to every single Thanksgiving… in fact his mother makes him his VERY OWN pie! She was a very special lady, and her descendants still speak of her, what a great honor.
And Joy is my middle name. So everything traces somewhere special.
Now let me just say that this is not her official name. My wonderful husband wants to hold her first and make sure this name fits. I can’t wait for that.
So I started thinking… if this little girl is named after an ancestor, then it is important for her to know about this person.
So step one… I wanted to put a family tree in her room.
As I was making this project, it just really hit home how my marriage really was the coming together of two families. And how this little girl is a product of that. What an amazing thought. I mean, when it is out on paper like this, you can see it!
So I drew and colored a tree and then I cut out a bunch of little pieces of paper and wrote down the names of each mother and father that she descends from.
I used new.familysearch.org to find most of the names for the family tree. It was super helpful and interesting! Plus I found a few holes and issues that needed to be resolved. Turns out this project had more than one purpose.
AND… upon getting the names, we found out that she has ANOTHER Great-Great-Great Grandmother with the name Hannah, and a Great-Great-Great-Great Grandmother named Hannah!!
So, I wrote out the names and I taped them into place. I wanted the names to stick up for a little 3-D effect, so I rolled up the tape and used it that way.
I actually highly recommend doing this because when you are arranging and fitting in such a large amount of names, there is going to be so much re-arranging, that gluing would have been very frustrating!
Oh… and I also took a gold paint pen and colored the outsides of each name to give it a little pop. I used watercolor paper too, I wanted the texture and sturdiness.
And then I framed it. You can see that the names aren’t perfectly straight, and that was fine with me. I wanted it to look crafty and like I made it.
And then on the bottom I added a little heart that says, “We all love Hannah”. I mean… how often do we think of that? How often do we think of the love that those who came before us had for us? Their descendants? I know I think about those that will come after me, so I am sure that they did as well. We all come from a long legacy of love.
And I kind of think that it is good for kids and teenagers to know that there are A LOT of people rooting for them.
If you want to make one of these for each of your kids, or for you…
Here is the PDF of the tree:family tree
And here it is in a JPEG:
If you want to make it for a boys room, You could open it in your photo editing program and then play around with the tones, and maybe change it to a sepia color. If one of you tries this successfully, send it my way (through my contact info) and I will share it with the rest of you.
Also, I think this could make a GREAT YW’s activity. And it could probably actually be a personal progress project or experience depending on if she has to actually research, find and plug in names into her own genealogical line. Wouldn’t it be cool to have these lined up at YW’s in Excellence? If I were to do this with the YW, I would show them a picture (or make your own to display), and then give them a deadline to have all the names by (on my tree above it goes up to her great-great-great Grandparents). And then for the activity, you would could adapt the following directions to fit within the activity’s time slot.
How to Make a Tree:
1- Print one tree onto and 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of water color paper (my watercolor notebook is larger than this, so I just cut the page down before)
2- Cut out 63 small rectangles, plus a few extras. You can see that I made “Hannah’s” name larger, and then each generation got a little smaller, you can determine however you want to do this. And my rectangles were not perfect, and I was fine with that.
3- Use a gold paint pen to outline each rectangle (this really does add dimension and make it look really nice).
4- Use a thin tipped pen or marker to write each name out. You could print them out as well on your computer.
5- Place the names out on the tree as you go. Start with the descendant in the very center and then her mother and father above and below her. Then put the maternal lines on the right side of the paper and the paternal on the left side. So, next to my husband, on the right was his mother’s name, and then next to her name was her parent’s names, and so on. If you are doing this as an activity for your YW, you may want to draw a diagram out for them to follow.