Thursday, May 5, 2011

Family photos

So how often do you get your family photo taken?
My favorite is this one that was taken in 2009.
It had been a few years since we all went in together & we haven't been back since.


As part of our Project life album, my goal was to include at least 1 family photo a month.
Here is January's photo with all 5 of us.

Then life took an unexpected turn.
Here is February's photo with the 4 of us.

I didn't get any in March, but I made up for it in April with all of these.

It helped that we went on a vacation with another family, so we had someone else to take our picture.

These were a lot of fun. Ben & Jerry's had a photo booth set up. I have always loved photo booths.

I have started using the timer so I can get in the picture too
& plan on getting at least 1 a month for the rest of the year.

Over at you can find more fun family photo ideas.
She is starting a family photo blog hop every 5th of the month.

What are your best tips for getting family photos?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I'm back with a CY365 Blog Hop!

I'm ending my blog vacay with a blog hop sponsored by one of my newest favorite sites, Capture your 365.
You should have just come from Kathleen's site at jkplusthree.
With a really rough start to this year, my project 365 is the one thing that I have maintained & I am loving it.
So much that I am doing 2 versions of it.
I started mine January 1st, so I am now into my 4th month of scrapbooking my daily photos. There are so many reasons why I love this project so much. Probably the biggest is that it has shifted my focus. Instead of just photographing big moments or events, I am trying to capture those little bits that belong to my family.  Our day to day activities that sometimes get lost in the shuffle.
The other is that I have to write something down everyday. This is one of my biggest struggles. I have so many layouts that I set aside to journal on later & now those stories are gone *sigh* Watching the girls look through our album & seeing how much they enjoy reading what I have written helps keep me on track though.
Finally because I am taking so many photos & playing with them in Elements I am improving both  my photography & editing skills. I still have a long way to go, but I get so excited when for example I figured out how to fix the white balance.

Here are some of my favorite photos taken so far this year that I doubt I would have taken if I wasn't doing this project.

I have gotten much better about handing the camera over, but this photo was all about how we celebrated Read Across America. Just me & my girls doing two of my favorite things, cuddling with my girls & reading.

This is probably my favorite so far this year. I can't really explain why except this is one of those things the girls do with their dad & they have so much fun doing it. Go figure, I thought washing the car was a chore, silly me. When I see this I remember how much fun they had & how much they laughed.

Just a few more photos. Again just random moments. Chores, Matt's involvement with the Navy, visiting with the grandparents ~ which for some reason I haven't taken very many photos of in the past, getting ready for school and my silly girls with their stuffed animal obsessions.

The easiest & probably my favorite 365 album is Becky Higgins project life, especially her kit that you can buy on Amazon. Some of my pages in that look like this

It is just so easy to drop the photos into their spot & write up my journaling cards. I love having a spot to put extras like certificates & such. Probably one of my favorite sources of inspiration is Ali Edwards, for example this week she included an interview with her son. Love that & will be including those in the near future.

I am also doing a 12x12 digi album mostly thanks to Red Genius Enterprises. Every week Jewel posts a free (love that!) template for the week & if you complete & share your layout you receive digi goodies. Since I am a template junkie & love challenges this is motivation x2 for me.
Here are 2 of those pages

Used week 8 Mad Genius Designs template & Trixie Scraps Owl Always Love You kit

Used Week 6 Mad Genius Designs template & Angel Hartline Love Collection kit

The week day border that I use on my photos is from Spinky Dink Scraps & was a freebie from the Gotta Pixel Club
The dates on each photo are from Carina Gardner's A Year of Photos rubons available at

Your next stop on the blog train is Gabi at gabirytirova


Join the fun & start capturing your own 365!
In case you get lost here is a list of the blog hop participants:
5.) Sarah at 

10.) You are here :)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Project Life update

When I started my Project Life album I thought it would be a fun way to see what our year was like, to see how the kids grow & change, to have a record of our lives for one year. It never crossed my mind that our lives could or would be changing drastically. I assumed that we would still be a family of 5 at the end of the year just like we were at the beginning.

The past few weeks have been brutal & when all the dust settled, we are now a family of 4. My son decided to go live with his dad and was picked up on last weekend. It breaks my heart that he is now living in another state. He is now living with a dad that has never really been a part of his life.  I am praying that this is temporary & that he will be home soon, but I just don't know.
I have managed to continue to get 1 picture a day and I have journaled for most of the days. The really hard days with my son, I am just haven't been able to gather my thoughts about yet.

I am so thankful that I have been able to keep up with this project. Even though some of the days were really hard, they do represent our lives right now.

This week Matt worked on homework with the girls. We built forts in the playroom & the girls had a friend spend the night. Matthew spent the extra day off in his room with a laptop & his Ipod.
Matt prepared for & had a colonoscopy, we got fun photos from this (yuck!). Matthew & I spent the afternoon in urgent care after he cut his hand & had to get stitches. We got our taxes done.

The girls built a ball toss at Lowes. Maddie went to a birthday party.
 Marissa being silly at bedtime. Marissa received the Terrific Kid award at school,
 only 3 kids receive this per class every year!
Maddie with her line of animals at bedtime/storytime. Marissa also made the Honor Roll this week, she is on an awesome roll this year. Matthew & I being silly.

It was fun to put the extra items in regular page protectors for these 2 weeks. I also put business cards from some of the places we visited in the extra journaling spot.
I know I'm missing a week, but the printed pictures didn't turn out & need to be done again & I just didn't get it done in time. I will post 2 weeks again next week.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Project Life week 2

First off, I want to share a link for days of the week overlays like the ones I have been using. They have a different font, but are still cute. They were on sale for only $1.50 for a fun set. gotta pixel

Here are my photos from week 2:

and in the album


Saturday, January 15, 2011

10 things about me

I discovered this scrapbooking challenge just Thursday night. It was fun thinking of 10 things about myself & then photographing them. My kids thought I had really lost it this time, taking pictures of Mt dew & all that. I used a kit from Connie Prince that was free for being a Gotta Pixel member ~ love all the choices there!
gotta pixel
I used a free template from its a crafty life It was a nice change to do a layout about Me! Sometimes I joke about being the invisible mom.

What are 10 things you like? How much would your list change month to month or season to season?


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Digital Scrapbooking goodies!

I wanted to share a few digi scrapbook goodies I have found this week. There are 2 blog trains, one of which has over 100 designers! It's a good thing I convinced the hubby I needed the extra large drive *grin*
One is just a freebie kit, but it is winter themed so it was just perfect to discover on a snow day.
The last one is a collaboration kit with all proceeds going to help a little girl with cancer. It is a cute kit & something really small that I can do to help out her family.
Here are the links:

Scrap Street ~ super cute free Winter kit & 2 digital scrapbook magazines

blog train blog ~ this month the theme is Grandma's Quilt & they are already planning another one for February

Enchanted Studio Scraps ~ just a small blog train but there are some cute kits available

digiridooscraps ~ this is the link for the collaboration kit to help the little girl, when I bought mine I also got an extra kit for free which was a surprise bonus

Happy Scrapping!

Happiness & Project Life week 1

Trying to get back on track after falling off the blogging wagon.
Here is my first photo for the Happiness linky this week
A rose for no reason, just because he was thinking of me always makes me happy.

Then tonight it started snowing & as of right now it is still snowing so outside looks like this:

I can't think of anything that makes me feel more like a kid than the anticipation of snow accumulation. I love watching the snow fall in the street lights, love the blanket of quiet that snow brings, love how it brightens up even the gloomiest of days. If only it would stay for just a little while. I'm hoping that it will stick around long enough for a snow day tomorrow so the kiddos can go sledding & play in it.


I'm excited I've found a way to share my Project Life/365. On Tuesday's I will share last weeks photos & link up with others who are doing the same. Hopefully this will help keep me accountable & on track for keeping up with this project since I am already loving this album! I have already shared last week's photos, I will just share what they all look like printed out & placed in their pockets.

Now I am going back to try to finish reading my book, if those beautiful fat snowflakes falling don't distract me too much...

Saturday, January 8, 2011

December Daily catch up round 1

Title was created using Merry & Bright alpha stickers that were a freebie from Creativity by Crystal
Journal box from Jolly Golly Elements, Jolly Golly papers & Crystals December Solid papers from

Frosted papers from Michelle Coleman
Journal box from Digilicious
Snowflakes from  Elaine Therese

Christmas Treasures kit from Sirifjortoft

Christmas Love kit by Scraps by Andrea Stuff to scrap

The Greatest Gift kit by DeDe Smith Designz by Dede

Here are a few more of my December Daily pages. It was hard to keep on top of this all month, but I am so glad I stuck with it! I can't wait to see all of them printed out & in book form.

Project 365

Just a quickie post, since I really should be sleeping but I wanted to get these up before I am even more behind. I have added a photo overlay that I got from Gotta Pixel. I am so excited to get this weeks photos printed out tomorrow & added to my album!

Marissa working on her math homework. This year she has about an hours worth of homework every night.

I had a hard time choosing today's photo. Maddie got her badge today & I was planning on using that as it is a big deal for her, but then I caught Matthew playing with the dog. He was actually giggling while making the dog wave at me. I have so few photos of him lately, let alone ones with him smiling so this one made the cut.

A big Woo Hoo for the return of date night! I just could not pull these off last month with any real dedication, even though we did make it out a few times. We just went out to dinner at a new restaurant, but it was nice & relaxing.
How was your first week of the year?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas & a fun New Years! I completely & totally overdid myself & this was just one of the many things that had to be put on pause. I did keep up with my December Daily pages & will be posting them this week.
But  for now I am just going to share my latest project. So I can at least be current on something.

I love Project Life by Becky Higgins

I started this last July. 1 photo a day. Just random bits of our everyday life. So far all those pictures are just sitting in a folder waiting sadly for some action. One of my presents for myself this Christmas was a Becky Higgins Project Life kit (available from Amazon). I simply love this kit! It does mean that I will have to print out my photos on a regular basis, but that is probably a good thing. I also need to journal just a little bit everyday, which is such a good thing for me.
I also bought 365 a year of rub ons from Carina Gardner available at Jessica Sprague to make it super easy to label the photos.

Here are the first 4 to get started.

 We started out in Southern Oregon & spent all day driving home.

After a week away from home & a long day traveling, we spent the day vegging out, so the most interesting thing was Marissa figured out how to hook our Wii up to Netflix so they can now watch Jackie Chan cartoons on demand. This was a big deal for the girls!

Maddie brought home her self manager application. I am so proud of her!

The silly bands craze is alive & well in our house. Maddie is currently wearing 63 of them on her wrists & a few on her ankles too.

What are your New Years projects?