Tuesday, June 27, 2017

How I Caught Up on Three Years of Photos in Less Than 10 Hours!

I recently discovered that I somehow skipped putting three years worth of our family photos into scrapbooks.  I'm not exactly sure how it happened, but I think I can guess: life got hectic, I didn't have a plan in place and the time passed.  Sound familiar? I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one with a huge stack of photos waiting to be put into albums.

We love looking through photo albums together and my kids adore hearing stories about themselves when they were tiny. It was important to me to get those precious memories down on paper but I do not have the time to make elaborate scrapbooks. So I came up with a super simple method to preserve both our photos and the stories behind them.

While going through the photos, I came across this favorite from a trip to Bear Lake a few years ago.  Ethan was probably 5 years old.  In the glorious shallow water he was convinced he was actually running fast enough to run ON water (seriously, Bear Lake is AWESOME for kids.  The water is so shallow so far out into the lake, they have a lot of freedom to splash around without their water-paranoid mommy jumping all over them.) He did this for 2-3 years in a row and I was so sad when he realized he wasn't running on top of the water anymore, but that the water was only 2 inches deep so it felt like it.

And I realized that that's really what it's about for me.  I want to remember the stories.  It's been liberating to come to this realization.  I'm no longer trying to fill up a page of photos each week.  But when something is important enough to document with a photo--a family adventure, something funny one of the kids said or did, major milestones and sweet moments-- those are the things I scrapbook.  We want to see the photos and read the stories.  But I don't need to document every single day, or even every single week.  Life-changing.

Keep in mind, the actual process of scrapbooking is something I enjoy.  I know I could do something with photo books that are designed online and then printed. But physically journaling, with pen on paper, is something I truly and deeply enjoy and I wanted that to be a part of this project.  If you don't like this method, don't use it.  There are lots of other ideas out there!

If you've got a similar stack of photos that you want to preserve, here are the steps I took to accomplish this in just a few hours.

Purge and Print Photos

I did NOT print every photo we took during those missing three years.  I went through the already-organized folders on my computer and added all the photos I loved (only the ones I absolutely LOVED) to a new folder.  I erased multiples and not-so-great shots along the way.  I only wanted the best of the best photos.  Moments that told a story.

Gather Supplies

Plain White Cardstock. I prefer to work with 8.5x11" albums because they are big enough to fit a few photos per page, but not so big that they are hard to handle.
Project Life cards (I bought a mixed lot on ebay)
Album I like a 3 ring album, but there are post-bound options as well.
Paper trimmer (optional)

I wanted to minimize the time I spent and any decisions that needed to be made.  So every single page has a white background.  Despite being very simple, I LOVE how it looks.  I used Project Life cards to journal on, but that is not at all necessary. I just really love the look of one or two cards on a plain page.  

Get It Done

I set up a folding table in our family room and got to work.  I didn't have a lot of consecutive hours to work on this, but I did sit down for an hour here and there: while all my kids were occupied (glory, hallelujah!) or during a quiet Sunday afternoon. Because I left the mess out I was invested in finishing up as quickly as possible. My patient husband and children just worked around the table while it was out.

The pages are VERY simple.  A photo or two or maybe three, a journaling card and maybe some washi tape if I was feeling it.  This project is all about the stories and not the embellishments.

One thing I love about this method is that I can always add things other than photos.  Certificates or drawings/cards from the kids, artwork, etc. would be easy to slip into a sheet protector and add to this album.

I still have some journaling to do, but overall this was the fastest an album has ever come together for me.  And it makes me so happy to see my kids enjoying these photos and memories.

Are you a simple scrapbooker?  I'd love to hear about how you preserve your memories!

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Friday, June 23, 2017

Family Goals (free printable)

My cute husband and I were just talking about how we are in the busiest season of our lives right now. Even though we try to limit our commitments outside the home, we still have lots on our plates these days.  Time passes so quickly, between shuttling kids to activities and our own service and individual projects and interests. that it's easy for us to look up and realize that we have just been in survival mode and not truly enjoying this incredible time of our lives. 

 I want to be very intentional with our time, so I created this monthly goals page for our family.  Each month we'll sit down and set some goals together and then post them in a very visible place so we are constantly reminded to make time for the things we want to do together.

We currently have one filled out and on our fridge.  It's a reminder to me every day to look for things to celebrate, to plan adventure into our days and to put the things that really matter first.

Grab your free copy by clicking ADD TO CART below.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Scripture Sketchnotes: Elijah

I have been wanting to start this series for months and I'm so excited to finally share it with you!  My General Conference sketchnotes have been a big hit and I had so much fun making them that I wanted to start sharing sketchnotes regularly for other gospel topics and scripture stories.

First up is a study of Elijah.  I studied him over a couple of weeks and added lots of notes to my scripture journal. This two page free download includes the highlights of the sketchnotes I drew. Click ADD TO CART below to grab your free copy.

A few ideas for how to use these sketchnotes:
  • Print on sticker paper, cut out the individual notes and add them to your scriptures or scripture journal.
  • Print on regular paper, color and cut out the individual notes and glue/tape them to your scriptures or scripture journal.
  • Have your children color them while you read the included suggested scriptures to them. (Or read the Scripture Stories version)
  • Using a light box, trace them into your scriptures.
How do you plan to use these pages?  I'd love to see them in action!

It seems fitting that I'm sharing this download today since it is our own Elijah's Gotcha Day.  Three years ago his adoption was finalized and he was sealed to our family forever. He's the reason I wanted to jump into a study of Elijah the Tishbite.  I wanted to have some cool stories to share with our little guy about a strong and faithful man who shares his name.

There are so many topics and people I'd love to study more deeply for this series. The list is pretty overwhelming!  Who/What would you like to see sketchnotes for?

Find more scripture study posts here.

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