Wednesday, February 11, 2009

This History of ours...

Well, we are in the process of going through our old video tapes and converting them to DVD's so we can actually watch them on occasion. We have also gone thorough the old photos that were stored in boxes and are well into the process of getting them in to albums chronologically. It's one of those things that Heidi "knows" will not get done without her, and I'd have to say that she's probably right. It's also one of those things that is easy to put off if you don't have a certain level of outside motivation to work's not exactly getting food on the table, watching over homework, trying to keep the house somewhat presentable, shuttling to practice or doing laundry. Once all those things are done it seems like some level of recreation should be in order and organization of videos and photos is not the first thing that comes to mind (for me especially.)

In any case, it has been fun to see the old videos and re-live some of the awesome memories that we made going back to just before Shelby was born 11 years ago, when we actually invested in our first video camera.

This technology upgrade process is one of those things that I recommend that you do at some point and here are a couple of appropriate times, potentially, for you.

1) When you are really mad at your kid for one reason or another. This is probably going to happen when they are older and getting more independent and rebellious. When you go back and look at the unadulterated pure love that is so obvious between a one year old and her/his parents, it really can help put things in perspective.

The love that you share with your kids is something that is unique and has developed over a long period of time. Sure, you might get mad at them, or they might get mad at you as they get older, but wow, seeing the joy on a baby's face as they crawl for the first time or take their first steps is something that grounds you and puts you back in the core of where your relationship comes from.

2) If your kid or teenager is mad at you, sit them down and show them the love that you have always had for them with these old movies, and one that is still there, even if you won't let them do whatever it is that they want to do at the time. One of H's obvious favorite things to do when S was a baby was video her doing whatever while I was at work. Documenting some little thing she could do today that she couldn't do yesterday. Semi-comical first-time mom type stuff. What I was struck by was the amount of times she said "I Love You" to this child starting when she was one minute old.

Here's the funny thing...she couldn't understand you then, and you still told her. Well, when she's begging to stay out till 10, or 11 or whatever she also is not going to understand you or believe you love her, but that never stopped you before!

3) Maybe you are already past that, and they have moved out, off to college or whatever. Going back and re-living these great times will certainly bring tears of joy and probably some loss to your eyes, but if you can pop in a DVD to get your fix when you are lonely, it will be worth it. Also, when they come home from school or over for a visit with a new boy or girlfriend, you can easily embarrass them and potentially scare or endear the significant other if you choose your disc wisely. ;-)

4) Well, as it is with our situation, sometimes sickness or loss prompts a need for organization and fuels sentimentality. These memories are so awesome for us to have at our easy access and H can watch them with the kids as things progress and we can all have a laugh or a cry. The ability to re-live the memories will reinforce them for the kids as they get older, and because our tapes have been left for so long in the dusty storage area in many cases it will be the first time that they see themselves being nurtured and cared for by us (and especially H.) I expect this will have a lasting impact on them through the years.

Of course, I hope it never comes to that for you, but whatever the case, it is worth the "hassle" of getting it done.

So, I updated my Facbook status about this process last night and a friend asked me how I was doing this. It's really not too hard and probably worth giving a brief description on. We bought a Panasonic DVD Recorder (model DMR-EA18) and connected our VCR to it and It to the TV. Our old video camera has an adapter that you can put the little tapes in to make them play in a VCR, so we are going through them one at a time and recording them to DVD-R's. This Panasonic unit that we bought has multiple inputs, so you could connect it directly to a camera that has a playback mode, or any old system that you have. If you have film, God help you, but you could set up up a small video recorder on a tripod, point it at the wall and roll the tape to record on your camera, from there you would follow the above path.

I'm sure as we move through the tapes, we'll notice that we didn't record as much, and now, even though we have a HD recorder with 80 Gig of RAM that we can put directly on H's Macbook, we usually only break it out for "big events" like music shows or sports games, or whatever. We did get a lot of video from our Hawaii trip last year and Heidi is working on editing that into something that we can actually use on a regular basis as well.

Peace out for now. I need to talk about the "rife machine" for those of you that have heard about it and are thinking about one, so I'll probably blog on that next. B.

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