Wednesday, March 17, 2010

QUESTIONS

A couple years ago I wrote a posting about the Empty Nesters Family Home Evening that my husband and I participate in. I mentioned the Questions that I use for helping people write their personal histories.

I just got an email from someone who read that post and was requesting the full set of questions to use for a lesson in her ward. I happily emailed them as an attachment. But I figured what the heck, I might as well post the whole set here in case any one else may want them.

As I told the person making the request, there are several ways to use these questions:

1. I gave the whole set to my father in law. He would write out the answers to 1 or 2 every Sunday afternoon after church as a Sabbath activity. I then typed them all up and now have 32 pages of amazing stories of his life.

2. You can COPY each page on a different brightly colored paper. Then cut the questions into strips with one question on each strip. (You can curl them if you want to get fancy, or just fold them into squares) Put the bright colored strips in a clear jar. Use them at gatherings of family or friends by passing around the jar and having each person pull one out to answer verbally.

3. To write your own personal history, set up a 3 ring loose leaf notebook with 1 page for each of the different questions. When writing your own life story sometimes telling one story gets you thinking about another, but if you keep tangenting in your narrative the history gets confusing. By having them on separate pages you can flip back and forth to write as much or as little about each question. You can always go back to elaborate or edit if you choose. Then you can later shuffle them into whatever order you want (by topic, by time period, etc)

So with that being said - here are the questions. Enjoy! (I still have not written these all out for ME...I guess I better get busy, eh?)



SET 1:

CHILDHOOD


Describe the house you grew up in.
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Describe your yard as a child.
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What toys did you play with as a child?
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What games did you play as a child?
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Were you responsible for household chores? What were they? What did
you like most or least?
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How much was your first allowance? Was it conditional, when did it
start?
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Tell about any pets you had as a child.
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Tell about your neighbors as a child.
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Tell about school ( special teachers, friends, achievements,
activities, or humorous situations).
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Describe a sound from your childhood.
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As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
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What do you remember about stores when you were a child? Can you
recall shopping with mother?
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Describe the downtown of your childhood.
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Did you take any special lessons a child?
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Do you recall any special summer trips or vacations when you were
growing up?
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What were you afraid of as a child?
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What did you do as a child that got you in the most trouble with your
parents? What did they do?
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Did you ever steal as a child? If so, were you caught? What
happened?
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What is a special smell you remember from your childhood?
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What do you remember about Easter as a child?
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Tell about a fourth of July from your childhood.
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Tell about Halloween as a child.
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Tell about Thanksgivings when you were growing up.
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What do you remember about Christmas as a child?
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Describe getting a Christmas tree as a child.
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YOUTH

What do you remember about yourself as a teenager. What was important
to you?
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Describe a typical school day during your junior high years.
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Describe your favorite dress or a special outfit you wore as a youth.
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Tell about any exciting experiences in scouting or any clubs you were
a member of as a youth.
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Tell about how, when and where you learned to drive.
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Tell about your first crush. What was he or she like?
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Describe the fashions that were popular when you were a youth. What
is popular now?
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If you went to college, describe the experience. If not, tell what
you were doing in your 20's.
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COURTSHIP AND MARRIAGE

Tell about your courtship
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How did you become engaged?
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Tell about your wedding. Where was it? Who was there? Was there a
reception?
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Describe your wedding dress (or wife’s wedding dress).
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What were your fears, expectations, anticipations, etc. about getting
married?
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What convinced you most in your choice of a spouse?
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How did you meet your in-laws? Describe your relationship with them.
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Describe your first home or apartment on your own or when newly married.
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Write a want ad that describes your husband or wife.
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FAMILY


Tell about your Mother. (Describe physically, her personality,
talents, role in your home)
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Describe your father. What was he like physically? What work did he
do? Personality?
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Tell about your parent’s philosophy of raising children, discipline,
rules, etc.
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In what ways are you like your parents and in what ways are you
different?
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Tell about your brothers and sisters.
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Describe your grandparents.
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Describe a night at Grandma’s house.
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Tell about a favorite relative.
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Tell about any ancestors you have heard special stories of.
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Tell about property your family owned.
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Tell about anything you may have inherited from a family member.
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Tell about the birth(s) of your child(ren).
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Tell about each of your children’s names and how they were chosen.
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Describe your relationship(s) with your child(ren).
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Tell about a humorous or clever thing one of your children said.
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Tell about a family crisis and how it was resolved.
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Tell about family feuds and how they were or were not resolved.
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Tell about your feelings toward your grandchildren.
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RELIGION


Tell about religious practices in your home when you were growing up.
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How do you feel about religion now?
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Describe your beliefs about God.
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What is one of your favorite scriptures, and why?
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Tell about influential spiritual/religious leaders you may have met or how a
particular church teacher influenced you.
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If you could meet any spiritual leader (living or dead) who would it be
and why?
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Describe your conversion to the gospel.
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Tell about an experience when you shared the gospel with another
person.
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Tell about an experience when you stood up for what you believed was
right.
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Describe your Sabbath days
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Tell about the first time you went to the temple.
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Tell about a faith promoting experience from your life.
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Record your testimony.
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LIFE EXPERIENCES

Describe your first paying job. What was your salary?
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Tell about the places you have worked.
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Tell your feelings about the work you have done. If you were to start
all over, what work would you choose?
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Describe any sports you have played.
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Were you ever in a theatrical production? Tell about it.
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Do you speak a foreign language? If so, how did you learn? If not
would you like to? Why?
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Have you ever won a contest or a special prize?
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Were you ever in the military? If so, when and where did you serve?
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Describe the influence of wars on your life.
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Where were you on an important day in history?
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Tell about a special trip taken as an adult.
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Tell about some of the changes you’ve seen during your life (technology,
fashion, politics, etc.)
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Tell about tools you have used.
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Describe an invention which impressed you during your life.
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Have you ever tried anything really dangerous? How did it feel?
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Tell about a dramatic experience involving weather.
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Have you ever had a serious injury? Describe how it happened and tell
of your recovery.
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Tell about some special challenge which you were able to overcome.
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Tell about a camping trip you went on.
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Tell about any hobbies or collections you have or have had.
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Tell about a trip to the dentist.
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Tell about the medical care you had while growing up - How does this
compare to today?
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Tell about your first car. What type of car do you have now? What
kind of car would you like?
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Describe a parade you were in or one you saw.
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Tell about animals you raised.
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Tell about a garden you have had.
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Describe the typical groceries you buy today and tell what they cost.
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Describe how travel has changed during your life.
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How do you celebrate Christmas now? Do you have any special
traditions that are meaningful? If so, why?
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Describe how you celebrate other holidays now.
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What was your most embarrassing moment?
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Tell about a favorite fishing experience .
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Tell about a city you have visited.
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Tell about the coldest winter you can remember.
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Tell about any natural disaster you may have experienced,
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Tell about a significant loss you experienced.
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Tell about a funeral you attended.
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Describe a turning point in your life.
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Tell about a special gift which you received.
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Describe a dream you have had.
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Tell about a gift which you gave someone else that you have special
feelings about.
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Tell about the strangest food you ever ate.
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Describe the house where you live now.
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Describe your yard where you live now
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Describe your life today.
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Describe yourself physically.
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Do you have a special talent or skill?
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PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY


How do you feel about politics?
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What kind of music do you like now? Do you recall any special type
of music from childhood?
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What do you think about television? Do you have any favorite shows?
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How do you feel about winning? How do you feel about losing?
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What do you think brings good or bad luck?
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What personality trait do you admire most, and why?
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Tell about your philosophy for handling money.
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What is your greatest joy? Your greatest sorrow?
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What was the best advice you ever got? Did you follow it?
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What is the biggest lesson in life you have found to be true?
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How do you feel about reading? What did you read as a child? What do you read
now?
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What would you like to be doing five years from now? Ten years from
now?
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Describe your attitudes towards death.
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If you could meet any movie star you wanted, who would it be and why?
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If you could meet any political leader you wanted, who would it be and
why?
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What goals do you have at this point in your life?
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What are your most precious and deeply imbedded values?
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Tell about your views on growing older.
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How has the women’s movement affected your life?
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How has the civil rights movement affected your life?
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Tell the influence that music, theater, dance, art or literature has
had on your life.
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What are you afraid of?
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Tell about how you deal with anger.
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What are your food preferences? What do you like and dislike?
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Describe your favorite dessert.
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What flowers do you like?
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What one possession you own is dearest to you?
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If you were stuck on an island with just 5 books, what would you want
them to be? Why?
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Describe your favorite season.
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Describe a favorite summer day
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Describe a favorite autumn day.
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Describe someplace in nature that is special to you.
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If you could travel any place that you wanted to, where would it be
and why?
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If you had a time machine that would allow you to go to any time you
chose, when would it be? Why?
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Do you consider yourself more of an introvert or an extrovert?
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What is your idea of a dream vacation?
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Are you more of a leader or a follower?
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Are you generally on time for things or often late? How do you feel
about this?
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Would you like to be famous? Why or why not? If yes, in what way?
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What would you like to be remembered for?
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SET 2:

What was your favorite pastime as a child? Did you prefer doing it alone or with someone else?

Who gave you your name and why? Did you have a nickname? How did you get it?

Describe your childhood bedroom. What was the view from your window?

Were you baptized, christened or blessed as an infant? If so, where and by whom?

When did you first go to church? What are your earliest memories of church?

Where did your father work and what did he do?

How did your mother spend her day? Did she have a job or do volunteer work outside the home?

Describe what the family living room looked like when you were a child.

What kind of prayer did you say before you went to sleep? Who taught you to pray?

Where was your childhood home located? Did you enjoy living there?

Describe your grandparents’ houses. Did you visit them often? Why or why not?

List one special memory about each of your brothers and sisters.

Recall for me some of the most important lessons you have learned in life.

Share a memory of your grandparents or an older person you loved.

Who was the first person to talk to you about God? What effect did this have on you?

How far did you have to travel to attend elementary, junior high and high school and how did you get there?

What scent or sound immediately takes you back to childhood? Describe the feeling it evokes.

What was your favorite meal as a child? What made it your favorite?

Did you have pets? Was there a favorite?

What chores did you have to do when you were growing up? Did you get an allowance?

Tell about your first job.

Share a story about a severe winter storm.

Share your favorite dessert recipe.

Did the pastor or missionaries visit your home? What impression did that have on you?

Did you ever feel that God had a special calling for your life?

Who was your favorite teacher? Why?

Describe one of your favorite dress-up outfits as a child. On what occasions would you wear it?

Did you ever have a special hide away for playhouse? What made it special?

What extracurricular activities were you involved in during high school? Why did you choose those?

What was the hardest thing you ever had to do?

What crazy fads to you remember in grade school?

When did you have your first date? Who was it with? What did you do?

What do you remember about your first kiss?

What did you do to celebrate birthdays when you were growing up?

Record here some gardening or decorating tips that you have found helpful.

What were some of the most memorable books you read as a child? What made them memorable?

What were your family finances like as a child? How did that effect you?

What mischief did you get into as a child?

2 comments:

Michelle said...

That is a good idea. Although I am not telling anyone what kind of mischief I got into as a child :)

grammyc said...

Thank-you so much for your wonderful questions.

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