Saturday, December 22, 2012

Nearly Finished!

Wowser... Only 2 more weeks of Project Life left! I did it! I can't believe it! And I'M STILL LOVING IT...

I have also been working on my December Daily album. I wasn't sure how to incorporate both. I ended up focusing on different stories of the day. I have kept up with my December Daily, in that I've printed off pictures for every day, but it will be a project ready to go... I have jotted down notes for each day, so I can go back and fill things in after Christmas... This year, I was very intrigued by Ali's format, was very simplistic. It was a 6x4 album. Next year, I'm definitely simplifying. Especially if I am also in the process of doing PL.

Which... leads me to this next tidbit. I am totally planning on doing a PL book for 2013. In fact, I signed up for this class by Studio Calico. Although I've hesitated a little bit about this, I KNOW I want to continue to capture the every day little things, that life is about. My kids love looking through these books [I have split the year into 2 - 12x12 binders] I have a very poor collection of pictures in photo albums since Madelyn was born, and I went strictly to digital pictures. Because once you go away from film, I could take 30 pictures of the same thing, and pick out my favourite, rather than take 36 pictures, and hope one or two were awesome.  This has totally forced me to print pictures, and capture stories. I encourage you to check out the link above... The class is $29 and they show a list of the digital files you get access to. [That alone, seems worth the cost of the class]

I created this whole book this year, with the intention of getting back to 'paper scrapbooking' but pretty much the entire album was done digitally. I suspect I'll do the same type of format next year. I will play it by ear, and see how it goes. I'd like to incorporate a little bit more of cutting and pasting into next years album.

With less than two weeks left of 2012, it's been a challenge at times, to keep everything together, but I have totally loved this. You just have to plug away, do what you can, and jot down notes. That is totally critical. There are any number of ways you can do that. I have a notebook dedicated to PL, where I jot down file names and notes. [so that once they're printed off, I know what order they go into the page insets] Marcy Penner has a freebie file in her shop that you can download. You can find that here. The main thing to do is keep track. Also, I think I'll try a new app on my iphone next year called, my365. One flaw [and there aren't many] that the iphone has, the pictures you take aren't dated. So if you think you'll remember which day a picture was taken, you won't. I'm speaking from experience here. I think this app will help, though I'm not totally sure, but I think it will at least keep track of the dates pictures are taken. That might eliminate some of the note taking, because a picture speaks 1000 words, right? Any way... I'll do some research.

Another huge time saver I discovered this year, was in the App PicFrame. Which might have been free. I can't remember. It gives you the ability to save your pictures, into whatever frames you want, in a 4x6 size. So when you save it to your camera roll, it's ready to print. No fussing, or mussing. No sizing or guessing. You just send the file to your developer and voila. Love that, and I've used that feature a ton. PicFrame allows you to add words to photos, which is nifty. I also have an app called Skitch, that you can journal on photos, add arrows, blur a portion of the photo, add boxes around photos and crop. I haven't used this as much as I thought I would, but it's still fun to fiddle with. Do it. Don't be afraid. I promise you won't regret it.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

In Our Hearts

Last weeks events, have changed us forever. Much like that of 9/11. Anyone who has a family of their own can not possibly be unaffected by that horrific, event in Newport CT. It doesn’t matter that this happened in another country, this has happened in our world, we are all connected. I can’t stop thinking about all the families that have been affected. The Mum’s and Dad’s. The grandparent's and great-grandparent's. The aunt’s and Uncle’s. The nieces and nephews. The cousins. The friends. The colleagues. In such a small community, this will be devastating.

I think my eyes have finally lost their puffiness. I did my best to stay away from the news broadcasts this weekend. I think everyone wants to know how/why something like this could happen… Like knowing that will help somehow. I don’t imagine we’ll ever know the answer to that question.

I sent my kids to school yesterday, and I didn’t want to. I actually felt sick to my stomach as Mason walked towards the bus. School is where they’re supposed to be safe. I went in and volunteered yesterday. I didn’t want to go in either.  I’m thankful for the staff that were able to carry on, and continue with their day, to assemble in the gym and sing Christmas Carols, as an entire school. I’m thankful for so many teachers in my kids lives, that love what they’re doing, and are good at doing it. I’m thankful that I have my children to hug and love.

I don’t know how I would deal with this unimaginable loss.

These families have been in my thoughts and prayers since I heard the news on Friday. I truly hope that God’s arms are wrapped tightly around them. They are surrounded not only by God’s love, but the world’s love, compassion and grief.

These families, whose lives will never be the same again, are in my prayers.  

Monday, December 10, 2012

In a Better Place...

Ahhhhh... Everyone can breathe a sigh of relief. I'm in a better place this week. A much better place. Last week I was feeling very overwhelmed, but today, I feel much better. It was exactly one week ago, that I mentioned I had very little shopping done. I was completely behind on my project life stuff, and that I hadn't even cracked open my December Daily book. I'm pleased to report, that after a 3 day long weekend [which equals 3 late nights for the Mummy, and the opportunity to sleep in the next day] I am completely caught up on my Project Life stuff. I have pictures printed until yesterday, for my December Daily book, and my Christmas cards are finished, I have sent a prototype off to Costco, and need to see how it looks before I print off the whole schwack of them... Sometimes the printers and I have different ideas as far as sizing goes, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed, that I'll be able to send a batch off for printing, then get them out either late this week, or early next week.

This year with my December Daily I have printed off all my pictures at home. I've never done this before, but I thought I'd try. It's going to be very simple, and I've printed that pages off for each day, and will put them together, when I have some free time. I've jotted down notes each day, so I don't forget any important details.   

I went to the mall first thing this morning. I thought I was being extremely smart, being there by 10:00 am. [Because that is afterall, when the mall opens] Well guess what people, Toys R Us opened at 8:00 am... So I walked through there, and was already two hours behind. The 20,000 other people lurking around the store with expressions of utter fear told me that. It turns out the mall itself opened at 9:00 am, so at 10:00 am, I was already an hour behind... At least I went with the right attitude... No kids accompanying me and a Starbucks coffee in hand. [Not any SB coffee, this year I've introduced myself to the Caramel Brulee Latte] Oh. My. Word. Go and try one. Now. Go. Do it. Seriously, go. [Your welcome] That drink makes any line up seem more manageable. 

I even have a few more project life pages to add. In fact, I have weeks 44-46, not to boast or anything, but I just sent weeks 47-49 off, and just got confirmation that they're ready for pick up [that and my 'prototype' Christmas card, whoop-whoop] I can hardly believe that this is week 50 of Project Life... Holy Cow. I've done this for 50 weeks. I'm 2 weeks shy of one year. I have done it. Mason pulls it out and looks at the books constantly. I STILL love it, 50 weeks in...Awesome right? Yeah. Totally awesome.

Here they are:

So... Now we're at December 10th, and like I say, I'm in a much better place. I'm caught up on my Project Life pages, with only a few more weeks to go. I've got all my December Daily pictures printed out and ready to work on, up until yesterday. I've got a good 2/3's of my shopping done. I have my Xmas Cards done, I just have to double check they printed okay, then I can send a bunch and get them out. This week Miss Madelyn has her Christmas Concert [both Wednesday and Thursday nights] and then things slow down considerably. By George, I think things will work out... I might even get a little bit of baking in the mix!!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Calvin the Elf Returns

Our elf, Calvin returned to us this year. He's been back since we woke up on December 1st. He's still up to his wily ways, and is more than a little mischievous. My Mum joked with me, that the kids would get up super early every morning, so they could track Calvin down. I said, nonsense... But I'm afraid she was right. They've both taken to setting their alarm clocks, waking up well before I want to wake up, to see who can spot Calvin first.

His first morning back, he held a long banner, telling us how glad he was to be back, that he was keeping his eye on the kids, so they'd better behave, and excited he was for Christmas to arrive.

The next morning, he'd been making snowflakes out of Q-tips.

He was found on the hearth the 3rd morning, he'd made a snow angel out of rice.

[Madelyn cut out a bunch of speech bubbles, and wrote things on each of them, and not every morning, but sometimes Calvin talks to us, via the speech bubbles Madelyn has left for him]

I was a little alarmed to find Calvin had roasted marshmallows, but thankfully nothing got out of hand, but he should know better than to play with fire.

The kids couldn't find him one morning, and they were devastated. It had snowed the night before and it was windy, and they were certain he'd met his doom traveling back from the North Pole. But alas, Mason finally found him when he went to brush his teeth before school. There he was in the bathroom, and he'd written on the mirror with toothpaste. The kids refused to use that bathroom for the rest of the day.

Finally, we found Calvin involved in a game of Scrabble. Apparently they were playing the Christmas version of Scrabble, Madelyn informed me. It was all Christmas words on the board. Calvin, you're a crafty little fella.

We also had an apology note from Calvin. Because in case you don't know, toothpaste is REALLY HARD TO GET OFF OF THE MIRROR... I'm glad Santa was cross with Calvin, because I was too. But he's so dang cute, I'm willing to overlook it this once. 

Today the kids were off of school, for parent-teacher interviews. I thought it would be a good day to get Santa pictures. So off we went. I felt bad, because Mason began to question whether or not he was too old to be sitting on Santa's knee for pictures... It didn't help that when we got there, it was all little kids waiting in line, and then around the corner walked Santa... And this Santa... Well, he was a bit on the elderly side... So then Mason got concerned he'd hurt Santa... So I told him he didn't have to sit on Santa's knee if he didn't want to, but he really wanted to... I told him not to throw himself in Santa's lap, so he sat down gently. And, when asked what he wanted for Christmas, Mason said, for at least the 4th year running, 'Peace on Earth'.  And that absolutely warms this Mumma's heart... And for at least the 4th time running, the Santa looks over at me when Mason says this, and I am sure he knows that this kid is as special as I think he is.

Madelyn asked Santa for a microscope. She's pretty sure she'll be able to check out many things with a microscope. I sure hope so! 

I've been working on my December Daily album, but only in bits and pieces. I'm afraid I have nothing to share yet. This might be the first year that I do the majority of the work, after Christmas has come and gone. The key, write lots of notes, so I can remember what the heck happened a week ago!

Monday, December 3, 2012


Is how I'm feeling.

Today is December 3rd, and I feel that way already. It's not a good mix... I'm 2 weeks behind on my project life, and I haven't begun my December Daily book yet. Well, that's not totally true. I've started it, I've got the pages ready to go, I just haven't started it since we hit December. And one thing you have to do, if you're serious about this little album, is keep up.

I have a mere quarter of my Christmas shopping done.

I'll end up spending a few hours, the entire morning at the school tomorrow, sorting out security clearance updates. I have not been able to do that in under 2 hours yet... More like 4 hours.

I have not begun my bible study home work, and it's due tomorrow.

I have not even thought about baking for Christmas, and already we're looking toward the 2nd weekend of December.

No... As usual, December rolls around, as it does, and I feel completely unprepared for it...

What I have successfully done, is: set up the tree and decorated the house. Check.

Finished and hung up my advent calendar for the kids. Check. [Though this year they have forgotten about it until well after dinner, so it kind of takes some of the 'tell someone at school you think they're awesome' away. Next year, I might not bother at all.

Calvin the Elf has made his appearance, and we're all excited to see what shenanigans he gets up to each night. That is one mischievous little elf.

So I would like to add more, but now I'm going to work on my project life and December daily books, and try to get caught up...

Wish me luck.