What’s in a Name?

I came across this wonderful idea for a family activity at Teaching Good Things. You take the letters of your last name and come up with corresponding words that have to deal with character traits you want your family to represent. So, here is what our family came up with (note to readers- allow yourself some time for this activity- everybody has an opinion and some of them are amusing. For example, Jared thought that the M in our name should stand for majestic. And his dad asked him to explain how that was a desirable character trait. You had to be here for that conversation 🙂

S- Simple (the kids had a hard time with this one until we explained what we meant.) One of the definitions of simple in the dictionary is: free of deceit or guile; sincere; unconditional. That is the definition we are operating from.

M- Moral This is to operate with principles or habits with respect to right or wrong conduct.

A- Active We are an active family, physically, but we also mean this in terms of being active for causes we believe in. Raising money for multiple sclerosis research, Alzheimer’s, volunteering for things we believe in and being active in our church. Marked by or involving direct participation

L- Loving Loving each other despite our faults and mistakes, loving others as to be a light to the world, being God with skin on to those around us. affectionate concern for the well-being of others

L- Loyal characterized by or showing faithfulness to commitments, vows, allegiance, obligations We are accepting of other’s and do not turn our backs on our own. Just as we love we are also loyal to those in our family and circle of friends.

W- Warm We want people to feel comfortable around us and our home to be a place of comfort and warmth. to inspire with kindly feeling; affect with lively pleasure

O- Optimistic Now, my husband had to sell me on the fact that he is optimistic (he said it is something he strives for :-). Of or pertaining to optimism; tending, or conforming, to the opinion that all events are ordered for the best. Hopeful; sanguine; as, an optimistic view

O- Obedient especially to God and His will for our family.obeying or willing to obey; complying with or submissive to authority

D- Determined We are a family determined to overcome ay obstacle, challenge and situation that comes our way through our faith in God, love for each other and hope for the future. devoting full strength and concentrated attention to

So, what does your family’s name mean to you? This is a very fun and thought provoking exercise. Try it and come back and tell me about your experience.


  1. Stephanie says:

    This is a good excercise! Lucky you to have a longish last name.

  2. He And Me + 3 says:

    How neat…we will have to try that, but I fear to think of what Stunt Man will come up with for each letter. LOL

  3. Diana - FreeStyleMama says:

    Lovely family photo. What a great way to look at your name!

  4. Stephanie says:

    What a wonderful idea! We’ll have to try this.

    Great post! Thanks for sharing!

  5. What a nice idea. Would be nice to make it into a plaque or wall hanging.

  6. Named Alicia says:

    Oh I love this! We may have to *borrow* your idea. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Military Wife says:

    Great activity! Our family has 8 letters in our last name.
    Happy New Year!

  8. tara @ kidz says:

    Hi Melissa! I just sent the email asking for your blog link, when I realized it was right there on the original email!

    Your family is beautiful. I love this idea of creating a ‘creed’ of sorts for your family name. Thank you for the idea and inspiration!

    I can’t wait to hear back from you and get your son’s story on kidz. =)

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