Saturday, May 31, 2008

Confessions of an Ex-Scrapbooker #14

It's move time again....AH! Last one for a very, very, very long time. I hate moving! Enough is enough! So I'll be hit and miss on my blog for a few days....

Moving reminds me of how there are so many beginnings and endings and re-starts in life. As much as I hate to move I have to say we have some amazing stories that kind of put our life into chapters with the adventure of each new move. (No we're not military...just crazy corporate life) The stories that are being made and memories that are created make us who we are as a family. I guess instead of fighting it I need to roll with it.

It's funny how in casual conversation you tend to get into conversations of "where are you from" or "so what brought you here"....and I can't tell that story without starting WAY back to the very first one 14 years ago...actually it started before that. (I'll just say 4th grade) It used to be such a short story to tell...One kid, married, moved away to try it on our own....now it's well, we have 5 kids, just had 2 surprise twins after we moved across the country from Southern California, but we're really not from Southern....etc. Those that listen long enough get an idea of "where we're from" and "who we are".

I guess this is the last story to be made through moves....I'm totally fine with that. But what I need to remember to do is write these stories down, put these memories into chapters, and let my family be apart of this process. We have so many stories that have molded us as a family, but also individually...we have so many friends that we've made along the way scattered across the US...my kids have all been born in different parts of the country...we are who we are because we were "blessed" to have these moves. (okay, blessed is a little hard to write, but it's true)

I'm actually excited to write this story with my family. It should be interesting to see everyone's view of the world at these different times....I'll let you know how it turns out. Off to pack ANOTHER box!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Wordless Wednesday...Florida Rain


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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Tuesday Tradition #18

I can't believe another school year is coming to an end! They just keep coming and going faster and faster and faster....this one went by way too fast for me. It seems the more kids we have and the more they do the faster it all seems to go by. Ah....I'm sort of sad about it. This will be a big transition for our family this summer. We're moving right when school is out, kids will start new schools, one will be going into high school, one will be tackling middle school alone without the older sibling, one will be starting kindergarten.....lots of milestones coming up!

With the sadness of change there is much more happiness and excitement that school is just simply going to be OUT! We love the break of course, but summer rocks! We have one tradition we do as a family the very last day of school every year. I've done it since I was a kid and I just kept it going with my own family...I guess that's why it's called a tradition, right? Anyway, it's simple, but every day on the last day of school it's usually always a minimum day so everyone is always hungry when school gets out. We wait for each child to get out of school and we all meet for lunch. Dad included...he meets us too. We go and have a big lunch somewhere comfortable and fun that we can just sit and talk about the craziness that just ended, the fun memories, the summer that's ahead and also reflect on the goals that were accomplished...or not accomplished. It's casual and comfortable and it wraps up the emotion of ending school nicely.

It's funny though...our table started out for 3 and 4 and now we need a table for 7! So many memories and traditions in the making.... I LOVE IT!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Confessions of an Ex-Scrapbooker #13

I confess every week why I'm an "Ex", but this past week I got a great email from a customer of mine....she didn't even know she was experiencing a memory keeping breakdown. She didn't even see it coming, but it did, and I'm going to help her pull herself back up and become the memory keeping diva she was meant to be...but through Cherish Bound this time. I'm not going to use her name because I didn't tell her I was going to post her traumatic experience for all the world to see.

So here's a breakdown of our emails:

(Diva is a mother of 5, runs her own business, and has been a "scrapbooker" for a long time, not to mention is an awesome person and incredibly sweet.)

Diva in Distress: I was cleaning out my scrapbook stuff and found all my Cherish Bound stuff I bought a while back and don't know how to use it. I have like 6 or 7 Story Starters.... (sports, abc, etc.?) I am NOT good on the computer. How do I use this and where do I start?

Moi': Well, that's why you have me :O) First, pick what your next story/book is going to be. Use one from the products you have. I'm having a workshop next Thursday morning and next Wednesday night I'm doing a Publishing Center walk through. The publishing center is not complicated at all...you just need a little instruction to start. The Story Starters do all the hard work for you....time line, organizing, reminding of events, memories etc. You just need to write it down...either you or your kids, hubby...I would pick a fresh, new idea...maybe G's baby book if you haven't done that, a vacation you recently took....the past is the past, start with the now. Let me know if you're up for the workshop next week and if you want to reserve a spot on Wednesday night's conference call walk through of the publishing center. You can be on your phone and computer and just listen to me walk you through. I'm excited you found your stuff and excited to help you!

Diva in Distress: Maybe I will do sports. Do I have to do it on one child or can the book be about this years sports for each child?... I do need help. What time Wed night?

Moi': PS...Remember: These stories get written and these books get done 15 minutes at a time. You don't have to do everything in one day, one week, etc....you can work on a book one day at a time. Before you know it it's done and in your hands. :O)

Diva in Distress: I am getting tired of scrapbooking and all the paper cutting. I really want to learn and do more books. I am just afraid of the computer and I like to get things done so I want to do it. I don't know how to scan but I AM WILLING TO LEARN IF THIS WOULD BE EASIER THAN SCRAPBOOKING.

Moi': Yes! It is so much easier, faster, affordable, but the best part is....the story! You're going to create more meaningful, beautiful story books that your children will love! I'm here to teach you how to do all of it...every step. That's why I have workshops, instructional conference calls, etc.

Now the sports book would be awesome! You could combine everyone's sports into one book. That would a great book to start with. You have the story starter...that's where you start. The pictures will come later as you capture the story first. That's the great thing about this...you don't make your books around the pictures, you make them around the story.

Step 1: Get on the call next Wednesday night. 9:30pm May 28th. Be on your computer and logged in.

Step 2: If you can come to the writer's workshop on the next morning Thursday May 29th that would be great...you can start the writing process. Now the sports book should probably have your children's point of view and stories as well as your husband's. So you can complete as much as you can with me and then go home with "homework" to follow-up with them. Put some of the "story" responsibility on them too.

Step 3: Publish. You'll learn the technology part as you go....Wednesday call with help you understand the actual creating of the book. But I will help you learn to scan and do simple photo and document tasks....easy!Promise. (The end of Thursday's workshop will probably have some
> extra time to go over some of that too.)

> We can set a goal to have this "sports" book done by the end of June. Time lines are great to help you with the process and it gives me permission to ride your butt to get it done :O)

Okay...deep breath. This is fun, rewarding and you will learn new things and get lots done! I was you....I was so overwhelmed with scrapbooking....it doesn't work for me. You'll have to go to my blog and read my "Confessions of an Ex-Scrapbooker"....funny, but true.

My job is to help you accomplish this task and feel good about it!!!

Diva In Distress: I am going to try and do both, Wednesday and Thursday too. I am READY to switch to Cherish Bound (if I can learn computer). What do I need? A scanner and a digital camera? I am confused about the pictures coming later. I am so used to creating the page around the pictures....

Moi': Do not stress about the "computer" part....that part is not as complicated as you think....getting the story can sometimes be a little harder because so many people are not used to taking the time to get the words together. But that's why we have workshops. Don't worry about scanners if you don't need one. You can get scanning done at Kinko's, Office Depot, etc., but I also offer the service as well. If you want to invest in one you can use it to scan paper photos, awards, drawings, artwork, etc. Digital cameras are great because they take away the step of "printing" and developing...but it's not necessary. You can still do film camera is that's what you prefer. I have customers that still do film cameras, but when they develop they have everything put onto a disc as well as paper and you can make your books from the photos on the disc...it's easy, and I can teach you. I know Wal-Mart and Sam's club will put all of your photos on disc for if you still develop film. You're creating memory books opposite of the way you used to....it used to be about the cute paper, scissors, tape, glue...now it's about what stories matter to you and your family and everything else falls into place...easy and faster. You're going to love it!

:O) :O) :O) :O) :O) :O) :O) :O) :O) :O) :O) :O) :O) :O) :O) :O) :O)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Be Creative In Your Memory Keeping

Sometimes our memory keeping comes to a screeching halt due to lack of motivation and ideas. Many times all we need to do is look for some different types of stories and memories that are worth recording. Most of us are good at keeping track of the traditional holidays, 1st Birthday's, etc., but sometimes it's the little stories, the small simple moments that are really worth recording. Here is a list of some great ideas to help boost any boredom you have or just help add some more creativity to your Cherish Bound Story & Photo books!

  • Holidays: Birthday, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween, Easter, Hanukkah, of course, but also New Year’s, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, the first and last day of school, holidays your family celebrates, Fourth of July, Groundhog Day,Mardi Gras, St. Patrick's Day, Earth Day, Grandparents Day....the ideas are endless!
  • Special memories: Sleepovers, trips to the zoo, washing the dog, a collage of pictures of silly faces, kids wearing their favorite outfits, or how about “at bat” shots from Little League or amazing sports action shots!
  • Travel: Getting ready to go, pictures from the airport or the car ride, funny things you saw along the way, food, people, post cards, and don’t forget the trip home.
  • Cool pets: Remember your family pets! Devote a book to the story of how you got your pets and tons of pictures of your best friends being cute. Favorite toy, food, treat, costume!
  • Best friends: Don’t limit your stories and photos to family. Get your friends (and your kids’ friends) in on the fun by having them pose for a few pictures and interviewing them with some fun questions!
  • Favorite things: Is your daughter obsessed with the color pink? Does your son love bugs? Make a book devoted to their favorite thing. It will provide a wonderful memory for you and will probably surprise them to see years later what they thought was the coolest thing when they were 7.
  • Collages: Your books don’t have to include just stories and pictures. They can also include items such as the ticket stubs, buttons from a favorite shit, bits and pieces of other meaningful things we want to remember. Consider making a collage out of some of these precious things, scan them in and load them as a beautiful collage. Of course include some stories that explain why these things are important to you.
  • Pick Creative Book Styles:You don't have to always do a blank free-style. Add some fun color background pages and pick templates that you normally wouldn't. Try doing some large picture templates and add some full page stories.
Most of these ideas all have Story Starters to help you with organizing the story, time line, memories, photos, and ideas!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Kid In You!... Wordless Wednesday



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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Leave a Comment, Win a PRIZE! Tuesday Tradition #17

With summer fast approaching many of us will be heading out on road trips! Now I don't know about you, but we have 7 people in our family. Road trips and 7 people...I don't even like saying that in the same sentence! My tongue swells up and it's hard to breath...the heart rate tends to spike and....okay, coming back to my happy place....deep breath.

I'm a little scarred right now. We just did a road trip over the weekend. 14 hours of driving in 24 hours, with 7 people (includes 2 teens, 5-year-old BOY, and 1-year-old TWINS), a double stroller, enough luggage for a 4 week evacuation, 2 ice chests, large shopping bag filled with food, diaper bags and other misc. items. My poor husband just gripped the wheel with two hands and slowly breathed in and out...trying to find his own happy place....he looked like he was on the verge of diving to the floorboard and curling up in the fetal position. Road trips are in the same family as Chinese water torture, right?

There was a block of time somewhere in there...not sure if it was on the way there or home, but I truly thought about opening my door and shutting my head in it and banging it endlessly until I would fall into a deep dark black coma....and then slowly find myself running through a meadow of daisy's in a white cotton dress with a cold Diet Coke. So I have fantasies, but not at the right time.

I was at the end of my rope and ready to jump when I remember the Family Chat cards I have shoved into my center console for the past year. What are Family Chat Cards? They're a small deck of MIRACLE! That's what they are! A deck of over 50 cards with questions on the back of them. FUN questions! It sounds too simple I know, but trust me....they did something in that time bomb on wheels that I had never dreamed of. I've had them in my car before and used them for fun with one kid at a time... when the birds were still chirping and everyone was hugging...happy times. But I haven't had to pull out the miracle deck to literally save lives. Because that's what these cards did...they saved about 7 lives!

The questions are all over the place from Seasonal and Holiday Questions, Vacation memories, childhood memories, hopes, dreams, wishes....but here's the funny part. The first question one of my teens pulled asked, "What do you love and enjoy most about your family?" AHHHH! The look on her face was priceless! We just started laughing! The mood lightened up, she asked if she could put that card back and draw another...and I said ABSOLUTELY! I didn't want to hear her answer at that point.

For over 3 hours we picked cards, told stories, laughed....okay, there were a few disagreements and small food fights over certain answers, but in the end we lived! All 7 of us arrived on the front porch.

So a family tradition of survival...and storytelling happened in that car. It wasn't planned, but it was a great memory that our family will remember forever...not sure if it will be treasured by all, but I'm getting a good laugh out of it today. Every family needs this deck of Miracle cards! You want to survive your family road trip? Invest in this deck of cards! Trust me....

So...You want a deck of Family Chat cards? Leave a comment about your worst road trip, or one that you're getting ready to take and you could win a deck of Family Chat cards. I'll pick a winner Monday, May 26. Let's here the stories!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tuesday Tradition #16

My mom started this family tradition a few grandkids back...

There is nothing we can do about picking which family "genes" our children inherit. Some we hope and pray are passed on and others we beg that they skip a few generations. No matter what, we can't do anything about it. We always crack jokes about our crazy family and what we're passing along to the generations of children. So my mom decided she was going to create her own passing of the "jeans".

Each time a grandkid is born she makes them a crib size quilt to match their decor, but she uses our entire family's "jeans" to create the patchwork. She has gathered jeans from all sorts of people in our family and cuts squares out of their pants and uses the denim squares to create her Family Jean quilt. They're adorable, cozy and warm, but most of all she's passing a long a little piece of history, love, and style to each new member of our family.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Fun Photo Book Ideas!

I love making Cherish Bound books with lots of story and text, but sometimes I love to just make a book with lots of fun pictures. There are so many photo book ideas that Cherish Bound offers...it's almost overwhelming. They're cute, fast, fun and everyone loves them. Here are some of the books and ideas that I have done with great success.

1. All The People Who Love Me - I made this book for my 1 year old twins. We don't live by our extended family and they only get to see them once in a while. I want them to know who their grandmas and grandpas, aunts and uncles, and cousins are. So I made a photo book with all of their family members pictures. The only text I put in the photo was the name of the family member. They love looking at this cute little 5x7 book with all these bright and beautiful pictures.

2. Baby Faces - Another one for my twins...my twins are just a bit restless in church and I was running out of creative ways to keep them quiet. I had a cute book when my oldest was little that had lots of pictures of babies and their cute little faces. So I took all kinds of my baby's pictures and loaded them into the photo book full-bleed and dropped them into the templates. Page after page has their cute little mugs all over it. They each have their own copy and they LOVE them!

3. Children's Art Work - I had tubs of pre-school and kindergarten art work that sat in big plastic tubs in a dark ugly garage. I can't stand the thought of throwing away those precious paper plate snowmen and noodle art pages. Here's an easy project. Scan all of the art that you want to remember and have forever. Load each of those art pages into a photo book where they will be preserved forever and "SEEN"! Yes, you and our child can actually enjoy those cute little stick figures. Why keep all those piles of papers if no one can enjoy them? Do something with them and relieve yourself of unwanted clutter!

4. A-Z/All About Me - Another fun photo book to do with your child is have them get involved with some picture sorting. Have them pick out pictures from A-Z. These pictures can be all about them or their family or maybe favorite hobbies. Whatever they want, let them pick out 26 pictures that represent each letter of the alphabet. Each page will get a letter (a-z) and the coordinating picture. These make fun photo books for little ones and they get to help make it too.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Confessions of an Ex-Scrapbooker #12

It's in the numbers people! I sat down with my calculator and figured it out...

I got out my Family Album (THE LAST ONE I EVER DID) and I started adding the numbers.

Album: $55
Extra pages: $27
Page protectors: $30
Paper, Embellishments: $100
2 new handy tools $20
Photo printing (store), photo paper, ink (self printing): $75
Misc. Necessary Scrapbooking items: $20
TOTAL $327

Time to make scrapbook:
3 crop nights @ 6hrs. a piece: 18 hours
4 nights at home ave. 5 hours: 20 hours
Few misc. hours here/there: 3 hours

Total hours approx.: 41 hours

(Which doesn't count CLEAN-UP....worst part!)

Oh-my-goodness! 41 hours! That's almost 2 days of my life! And $327! Are you kidding? And if you read any of my previous post you'll know that this scrapbook has been sitting in a closet where no one can touch it!

So here's another simple math problem:

I took the same scrapbook, but made it into a Cherish Bound Story/Photo book.

Cost for 50 color pages 8.5x11=$79 retail (I get a juicy discount because I'm a consultant yeah!)
Time: 5.5 Hours! THAT'S IT! (includes ripping...I mean, taking scrapbook apart (kind of fun), scanning documents that were not digital, writing stories that never made it into the scrapbook, designing, creating, editing, loading....)

Humm....

$327 and 41 hours vs. $79 and 5.5 hours
I don't know....let me think...

That's a savings of $248 and 35.5 hours of my LIFE!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Wordless Wednesday


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Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Tuesday Tradition #15

Here's a "tradition" that is beautiful, adds to your home's decor, and is guilty of starting lots of fun family storytelling.

In our home we started a "WALL" of pictures. Actually, 2 walls and room of pictures. The first wall is a very organized squared wall of photos in our entry way. All 10x13 matted frames with closeup color pictures. They are hung straight and even with each other in a grid. This wall is extremely hard for visitors to pass by without stopping and staring...and of course some stories are shared.

If we make it past that wall there is another wall in our family room. This wall has black and white pictures all over it. The frames are all different sizes and shapes, but they are all black. They are hung in a "puzzle" and fit together all over this large wall. These photos are mostly from big events, vacations, special occasions....they are beautiful snapshots of specific memories in the making. Most people can look at a specific photo and know there is so much more to be told.

Our last wall or "room" of photos is in our game room. We are a big time sports family. My husband and I both played every sport, our kids play, we watch sports, we LOVE sports! We were stumped on how to decorate this fun room for over a year. We wanted a sports theme, but didn't want cheesy professional athletes pasted all over our walls either. So we decided to put all of our sports photos up! We blew up all of our sports photos in large poster sizes, some black and white and some color. Each person in our family got 1 large poster, 2 10x13's and 1 8x10. We picked our favorite action shots and sports moments and framed them. You want stories....you go in this room and it's all about stories. Mostly true stories, some exaggerated versions, but the best part about this room is listening to my children talk about what they dream of becoming. These pictures are great reminders for them....they remind them of how amazing they are and give them the confidence to become something big!

Monday, May 5, 2008

How To Use A Histogram??

Let's face it...95% of us are using digital cameras. I don't know about you, but I bet I only use and know of about 7% of my camera's functions. I'm sure if I took the time to read the manual, do some research and play with all the buttons I'd find that there are some cool tools on it that can help me take better photos. I've seen this thing on my camera here and there when I press certain buttons and I never knew what it was....


So what is it? It's a Histograph. I still can't explain it, but Scrapjazz had this great article that was very informative. By learning how to use this "histo-thing" you'll take better pictures and understand the importance of lighting, shadows, etc. So check it out and let me know what you think....

CLICK HERE

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Motherhood Moments: Confessions of an Ex-Scrapbooker #11

"Two? Are you sure?"

"Yes, there are two babies." As those words whipped through my head I couldn't believe what I was hearing and seeing! The sonogram screen showed 2 babies! Not one, but 2. I could see it plain as day. There was no mistake. I thought Zach (#3) was supposed to be the baby of the family...right? Not anymore. I had finally just come to terms with the fact that we were going to be adding one more child to our family (by surprise), but TWO more? As I laid there on the table all alone I stared at the screen in complete and total disbelief. No one had twins in our family. All I could think about was telling daddy and the rest of the family. How are they going to react? Would everyone be excited, happy, or just freak out like me? At this point, all I could do was laugh...and laugh...and laugh some more. Five kids??? Me, have five kids? So many things were racing through my head. I had to stay at the doctor's office for 2 more hours before I could leave to tell anyone. I had two hours to take all this in and make sense of it. After two hours I was even more shocked and more confused. I wanted to call your daddy so bad, but I couldn't tell him over the phone and I couldn't wait until he got home from work that night. So I called him and asked him to meet me out in his work parking lot...I had some pictures to show him. As we met up with each other out in the parking lot my heart started racing. I held up the sono pictures and just watched his face. "No...oh, my...no way!" That was all I heard coming out of daddy's mouth. We were both speechless. We sat in the parking lot for about 30 minutes, not saying a word and we stared at the pictures. We never expected to have more babies, especially two more, but we couldn't help but thank God for this amazing blessing! We were the luckiest parents in the world!

For More Motherhood Stories and contests visit Mothers Day 2008 - Giveaway Event

I posted this story in my "Confessions" because this story almost went untold. Had I scrapbooked my memories of our twins, I would have NEVER written this story. Fortunately, I had a Birth to 18 Months Story Starter that I used from Cherish Bound when I was organizing and publishing my twins baby book. The Story Starter asked me so many inspiring questions. There were a few questions that triggered this story and helped me remember my emotions and the details of this once-in-a-lifetime moment. I love reliving that moment every time I open their book and show them the pictures. I love reading this story to my children. I love that they know they were meant to be with our family, they were a gift from God and through the power of story, I can help them remember that.