Thursday, July 30, 2009

Winner of My Big Celebration Giveaway is...

One of my most favorite bloggy friends in the blog world...

Debbie from Suburb Sanity. By the way Debbie, love the new blog makeover! Debbie was picked by random draw and will be getting my big Celebration Giveaway! She'll be receiving the following

Debbie, email me your mailing info so we can send you your goodies!!!

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Home Sweet Home!!!

Home finally...Long exciting weekend. Wish I had better news, but our girls lost the State championship game in a HEART BREAKER on Monday night. It was a sad sad loss, considering we had already beaten this team. My girl was heartbroken, but after about 20 min. in the car between her siblings and the flip video camera, she was all smiles as our singing contest began. I won't pain you with the horrible singing that went on the car, but it was bad enough to make everyone laugh, smile and forget about the awful loss!

Just glad to be home to enjoy our final days of summer break. Planning beach days, shopping days, park days, water days....whatever days we can fill up and enjoy before the grind starts up again.

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Friday, July 24, 2009

Miami Bound

Heading out to South Florida for the first game of the Florida State Softball Championships! Hope to keep you updated, but if not, see you Tuesday!!

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Another Victim of the Porcelain Express

Ever since the twins have turned about 18 months old they've enlightened me on many new parenting experiences. My other 3 kids were "normal" know, just some basic color crayon on the wall. That's pretty much it. Quite uneventful.

Well...well...well...Let me tell you something! Twins, they're capable of just about ANYTHING. With 2 minds working as one they are their own form of organized crime. Cute crime, but nonetheless, they're beginner criminals. We've had some bouts with the toilet and they're obsession to flush anything they can find down it...entire rolls of toilet paper, small matchbox cars, hair bows, food....

Today they've once again succeeded in victimizing unsuspecting inanimate objects to the porcelain express.

I headed in to do my makeup as I was trying to clean up for the day...after all it's my birthday today ;o) and I should look decent, right? I put my makeup away in the same place every time. I went to grab my foundation and realized it was not in its place. I looked around the counter, in the drawers and was stumped as to where this large jar of foundation could have disappeared. I then looked for my powder...and found that in the wrong place and started looking for anything else that might be missing or out of place. I noticed my overly-priced Kabuki Brush was missing too!


I wrongly accused my teen daughter who swore she was no where near my bathroom...but then I remembered I had caught the twins in my bathroom a few hours before...and it dawned on me that they must have hid the brush and foundation somewhere. I looked all over thinking I'd find makeup all over my clothes or something...and then I saw the backed up toilet....brimming with water...ready to spill over. I grabbed the plunger (not putting 2-n-2 together) and began plunging...

I could hear tinging and pinging and wondered what in the world could be in my hand pressed down on the handle to flush the toilet I saw a glimmer of silver...hummm...OH NO! It registered that it was the handle of my makeup brush...GONE! I flushed it...but as the water kept draining back and forth I could hear the tinging and pinging moving around back and forth in the base of the toilet and then it got quieter and quieter and moved away....

I ran out and grabbed the twins and asked them in the kindest sweetest voice I could find "Where's Mommy's makeup? Have you seen it?" They both skipped over to the toilet and with large smiles blabbed, "Here! Right there....Mommy."

So FYI, a large full bottle of foundation and an over-priced Kabuki brush CAN FIT down your toilet!

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - My Mama

My mama will KILL me if she knows I put her picture up for public viewing...But I'm so happy to have her for a few days I had to share her! This is a picture taken at the softball field after some rain and sitting in hours of Florida humidity... She'll kill me! But the only way she'll find out is if she can turn her computer on, get online and find my blog...and that's doubtful... ♥

For more Wordless Wednesday visit
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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Mama's Champion

Photograph by Ryan

I've been a little neglectful of my blog the last few weeks....but it's because I'm the luckiest mom in the world! I have great kids....all of them are just incredible. So far all are athletes (thank goodness) and have let me live vicariously through them.

So today I'm going to dote on my second born... Cooper!

She's quite the stud and I absolutely 100% LOVE LOVE LOVE watching her play sports. Right now, we've been neck deep in her softball and I can't begin to tell you how much fun I HAVE been having...Yes, I have been having the fun!

Last year her softball team won the Florida State Little League softball championship in a cakewalk! From districts, sections, to state, they out scored their opponents somewhere in the ballpark of 70 runs to 5. It was incredible. We're talking 12 year old's hitting the ball out of the park kind of stuff!

This year, her team is back at it again. However, there's a little more excitement added to the package...this year, they can advance out of state to the Southern Regionals (West Virginia) and then to the World Series (Portland, Oregon). For the past 2 years these girls have played year round together in the hopes of making it to the '09 World Series. They have practiced HOURS AND HOURS AND HOURS AND HOURS...played in oodles of tournaments and have managed to stay friends through it all.

Districts Champions - Done

Section Champions - Done

Florida State Champions - Heading out Thursday

I'll be enjoying this once in a lifetime opportunity so if I'm MIA, that's why! I can't miss a second of this amazing moment. But I'll try and keep y'all updated and keep your fingers crossed they make it through as the State Champions!!

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Monday, July 20, 2009

Family Yearbook Challenge 2009 - Week 22

If you're new to the Family Yearbook Challenge click HERE & then HERE
Don't forget to leave a comment and check in...I'm keeping track of all the comments posted in the Family YB Challenge for a big giveaway at the end of the go back and check in each of the FYBC posts if you haven't done so.

Homework July 20 - July 26:

1. Friends & Extended Family - Who has gotten married? Any new babies in the family? Graduations, big moves, exciting news? Remember the exciting moments and stories that you have been a part of this year that have involved your friends and extended family.

2. Highlight a Family Member - With many families traveling and spending time with each other now is the time to capture another interview with a family member. Pick someone you want to know more about and record their stories and special qualities. Snap some pictures of them too!

Now COPY and paste any photos that you have that go with these events and questions into a new folder titled June. If you'd like to rename the photos you can with july 1, july 2, july 3 and so on and so on. If you have any memorabilia that is NOT digital, scan and save as a jpg. minimum 300 dpi to your July folder, named and labeled. If you have a "story" you can hand write it or "type" it into a document and save in the same folder.

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Friday, July 17, 2009

Jump Start Summer & Another GIVEAWAY!

Don't miss My BIG Celebration Giveaway!!! Click here for another one!

Are YOU are driving your kids nuts??? Come on....are you driving them nuts yet??
I push mine outdoors and we have lots to do, most days, but once in awhile it's nice to come in the house, shut down the shades, crank up the A/C and let them veg.
My little Z-man has found his veg... it's this!

Jump Start online has been his new little passion...or should I say obsession...and a good one I might add! Before school got out, every day he'd come home and say, "Mom! Can I PLEASE-PLEASE-PLEASE play the cool jumping game!! Please...." I gave him 20 minutes after school each day to play some Jump Start....and I was so impressed with what he learned in that short period of time.

Here's a list of a few of our favorites features!

  • EASY to navigate - He had NO trouble at all using and CD game "3D Virtual World - Legend of Grizzly McGuffin"
  • Creating his own avatar - "Jumpees"...he LOVED this part!
  • The games are educational, but fun! As he enjoyed playing "video games" and didn't even realize he was learning so much....actually, I take that back. He did realize it. He called me over to the computer about every 26 seconds to show me a new word he could spell or a math problem he solved.
  • Another great feature is it's personalized for each child and it's creative, bright, and let's them use their allows them to create and think.
  • Progress Reports! Yes, I get his progress reports emailed to me that show me what he's learned and completed....oh, yeah, and they have a Parent section...oh and a blog!
  • He loves AdventureLand!! They can explore and are given missions. Here are a few screen shots of his adventures...

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So I guess what I'm trying to say is...Jump Start has created a great online World and CD program for kids! I give it 2 thumbs up....and so does Z-man!!!

you can't hear him right now....but he's asking to get on and play as I type....

Sonia, over at Jump Start has offered a lucky reader a 3-month membership to! A free upgrade to use and take advantage of the entire site!! Perfect for the summer months! It's a great tool to keep your kid's minds thinking and not forgetting everything they learned over the past 9 months of's so much better than a "workbook"....and who wants to sit down and do a workbook during the summer?? NOT ME!

Here are the entry rules:

  • For one entry just leave me a comment
  • For 5 Entries: Visit (click the link and scroll down) They have HUGE list of skills that Jump Start helps kids with...Just leave a comment and let us know which skills your kids could use some help and/or refreshing on.
  • For 5 Extra Entries: Follow my blog
  • For 5 More Entries: Follow me on Twitter @cherishbound176 and Tweet about it. Please leave tweet URL in comment

Please leave separate comments for each entry (just 4 separate don't have to do 16 comments), and you must leave your email or have your email in your blogger profile or a new winner will be selected. Giveaway runs until, Sunday, July 26 @ 11:59pm. Open to anyone who can get online!

And I also saw that they're going to have Jump Start For the Wii soon! Hopefully they'll let me review that one too! {WINK-WINK}!!

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

It's a Celebration! Happy Day to Me - Giveaway!

Well, there is much to celebrate here at my blog this week!
  1. This is my 400th post!
  2. My Birthday is next week - July 23rd
  3. My Blog Birthday is Monday
  4. My Wedding anniversary is mixed in with it all too

So I'm doing a big fat yummy Giveaway in celebration of all these things...

  • To survive 400 posts, even if I blog to myself is huge...for me! How many hours have at sat staring at this blog?? Too many to think about ;o)
  • And I love birthdays...I'm not afraid of turning 35...Yes, I'm 35 next week, can't believe how young I still am! It's incredible... (apparently, I have no idea how old I am. I'm turning 34. Just figured that out - 07/16/09 @ 9:16pm EST.
  • My 2nd Blog Birthday is Monday, and again, that's a big deal for me because I have ADD and the only thing I've stuck with longer than this blog is being a wife and mother.
  • And of course my wedding anniversary is arriving again....the 15th one! Can't believe we've managed to survive these amazing 15 years....but to be completely happy is worth celebrating! Right?!
So lots to be happy about....

Yesterday on my Wordless Wednesday post you saw those YUMMY delicious HOMEMADE cinnamon rolls that I made right? I'm a wannabe baker, and I'm okay with that. I'm finding myself in the kitchen a lot more these days, but I'm loving it, not fighting it. I love to bake. I've always loved to bake, but have been intimidated by mixers, yeast, sifters, know all the "stuff" that goes with baking. Well, I've discovered that it's actually harmless, it's very hard to get hurt baking, and there are amazing products out there that make baking...enjoyable and easy for people like moi!

Cinnamon Rolls happen to one of my most favorite things to EAT! I lose total control when cinnamon rolls arrive...I have NO guilt, NO limits, NO worries. So when I finally made a batch that worked and tasted good all by myself....I had to share and celebrate! I'll share the entire recipe next week.

I'm going to give credit where credit is due though...without these two products ain't NO WAY it was going to happen. I'm wanted for killing yeast all over these parts, so I pretty much gave up on anything that required the use of that small, single-celled plant. Until....I found this!

SAF Yeast by Red Start

You CANNOT KILL THIS STUFF! It's "tara-proof"...that's saying A LOT! If you're looking for ways to make baking with yeast more enjoyable and successful, look no further! You must get this yeast! Also, they have GREAT recipes, ideas, and other yeasts for those that need gluten free or specialty yeasts as well over at

Second...I'm all about making from scratch, but I love buying "mixes". I love having some fun varieties to play around with, but I'm also into building my family's food storage in the event of an emergency, disaster, even a job loss and income change. You just never know...

One of my favorite sites for stocking up on Food Storage is the Food Storage Depot. They have a great selection of Food Storage products AND their prices are very affordable. They have lots to choose from from basics to gourmet and monthly to yearly supplies.

They also have my favorite MIX! Aunt Kate's Quality Roll Mix! That's the amazing mix that helped me make those delicious cinnamon rolls! They have truly revolutionized food storage!

So what am I giving away...Can you smell the rolls??

That's right.... The winner will get ALL OF THIS!

So wanna know how you can win ALL OF THIS? There are TONS of way to get in on this!!

1. Leave a comment letting me know what your FAVORITE thing to bake is (1 entry)

2. Follow My Blog (1 entry)

3. Tweet About this Giveaway & leave the link (1 entry)

4. Put my Button on your blog (1 entry)

5. Post about this giveaway on your blog. Make sure you share your favorite thing to bake and then link back here to the McLinky FOR 5 EXTRA ENTRIES!

Make sure each entry is a separate comment. US Residents only. Giveaway ends on July 22, 2009 at 11:59 pm. I'll announce the big winner on July 23 (my birthday)! Make sure you leave your email in your comments if you don't have a blog or your email in your profile.

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

My Daughter on Fox 13 News!!!

My Daughter made the Fox 13 news...her name is Kylie!

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Wordless Wednesday - Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

I'm So Proud of me! Go Me!

Oh YES I Did! I made these homemade cinnamon rolls ALL BY MYSELF!!! I'll tell you more tomorrow....YOU DO NOT want to miss my post tomorrow. An awesome giveaway....all revolving around these yummy delicious homemade cinnamon rolls!!!

Sorry, this wasn't really "wordless"....

For more Wordless Wednesday visit

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tuesday Tradition #44 - Fruit and Veggie Co-op!

One of our newest family traditions has become a bi-monthly favorite in our home. For the past few months I've been apart of a Fruit & Veggie Co-op! Every other Tuesday we enjoy heaping baskets of fresh fruits and veggies at a very affordable price. We're always excited to get our laundry basket that's been filled with wonderful fruits and vegetables and plan our meals around them.

Well, today was EXCITING for me!!! Today was my day to go with my partner to the pick-up spot and get the goods!!!

This week we had 10 participants. Normally we have about 15-16, but with summer and vacations we're smaller in numbers. But each person puts in $15 and 2 of us head out EARLY every other Tuesday to score big on some great produce. It's a hole in the wall acre or two that is lined with trailers, tents, aluminum sheds, etc. Each "booth" has their produce lined up in boxes and trailers for you to see as you drive through the winding rows. There's an excitement and chaos that makes you want to jump right out and buy the first box of goodies you see, but the key to purchasing all this amazing food it to be patient.

We have a clip board that lists all the fruits and veggies and the average price that has been paid in the past. As we drive through the passenger jots down the booth number and pricing per box of whatever fruit and veggie we're interested down, we yell out, "How much for a box?" They flash up their fingers or yell out the price and the passenger notes it down. We make a pass through the isles and alleys and then decide which deals are the best. We head back through another time, but this time it's for bargaining and buying.

Today we had $150 to spend. This is what we got for $15 per person -

  • 50 lbs of red potatoes $10 a bag
  • Romaine lettuce heads $14 for a box of 24
  • Strawberries $10 for 10 pints
  • Blackberries $12
  • Box of peaches $12
  • Box of green beans $13
  • Watermelon $1 each
  • Cantaloupe .40 cents each
  • Bananas $13 Box of a gazillion!!!
  • Corn on the Cob $14 HUGE box
  • Pineapple $15 Box of 12
  • Zucchini $ 11 Box
  • Cherry Tomatoes $10 - 12 pints

Here's my PILE of goods....and a watermelon too that didn't make it in the picture!

It's so much yummy, fresh, healthy food! I love it! Look into starting a co-op in your area. You have to find a place that sells like this, but they're usually everywhere, you just have to search for them. It's a healthy and inexpensive way to feed your family...and of course, a tradition that EVERYONE loves!

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Monday, July 13, 2009

1959 vs. 2009

I couldn't resist....

1959 vs. 2009

Scenario 1:

Jack goes quail hunting before school and then pulls into the school parking lot with his shotgun in his truck's gun rack.

1959 - Vice Principal comes over, looks at Jack's shotgun, goes to his car and gets his shotgun to show Jack.

2009 - School goes into lock down, FBI called, Jack hauled off to jail and never sees his truck or gun again. Counselors called in for traumatized students and teachers.

Scenario 2:

Johnny and Mark get into a fist fight after school.

1959 - Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Johnny and Mark shake hands and end up buddies.

2009 - Police called and SWAT team arrives -- they arrest both Johnny and Mark. They are both charged with assault and both expelled even though Johnny started it.

Scenario 3:

Jeffrey will not be still in class, he disrupts other students.

1959 - Jeffrey sent to the Principal's office and given a good paddling by the Principal. He then returns to class, sits still and does not disrupt class again.

2009 - Jeffrey is given huge doses of Ritalin. He becomes a zombie. He is then tested for ADD. The school gets extra money from the state because Jeffrey has a disability.

Scenario 4:

Billy breaks a window in his neighbor's car and his Dad gives him a whipping with his belt.

1959 - Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college and becomes a successful businessman.

2009 - Billy's dad is arrested for child abuse. Billy is removed to foster care and joins a gang. The state psychologist is told by Billy's sister that she remembers being abused herself and their dad goes to prison. Billy's mom has an affair with the psychologist.

Scenario 5:

Mark gets a headache and takes some aspirin to school..

1959 - Mark shares his aspirin with the Principal out on the smoking dock.

2009 - The police are called and Mark is expelled from school for drug violations. His car is then searched for drugs and weapons.

Scenario 6:

Pedro fails high school English.

1959 - Pedro goes to summer school, passes English and goes to college.

2009 - Pedro's cause is taken up by state. Newspaper articles appear nationally explaining that teaching English as a requirement for graduation is racist. ACLU files class action lawsuit against the state school system and Pedro's English teacher. English is then banned from core curriculum. Pedro is given his diploma anyway but ends up mowing lawns for a living because he cannot speak English.

Scenario 7:

Johnny takes apart leftover firecrackers from the Fourth of July, puts them in a model airplane paint bottle and blows up a red ant bed.

1959 - Ants die.

2009 - ATF, Homeland Security and the FBI are all called. Johnny is charged with domestic terrorism. The FBI investigates his parents -- and all siblings are removed from their home and all computers are confiscated. Johnny's dad is placed on a terror watch list and is never allowed to fly again.

Scenario 8:

Johnny falls while running during recess and scrapes his knee. He is found crying by his teacher, Mary. Mary hugs him to comfort him.

1959 - In a short time, Johnny feels better and goes on playing.

2009 - Mary is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job. She faces 3 years in State Prison. Johnny undergoes 5 years of therapy.

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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Free Yourself From Photo Clutter!

Whether you’re "digital" or "paper" we can all use a little Photo Freedom! If you're paper, you probably have a box, drawer, or maybe even a pile of pictures stacking up. And if you're digital, your hard drive can look much the same. I've been a victim of both... Organizing photos may seem overwhelming, but, but you can free yourself from photo chaos with a few simple ideas and tips. This process won't happen overnight. It's a process...and ongoing one, but before you know it you can be enjoying beautiful photos from your walls to storybooks.

Not All Photos Are Created Equal

Step #1 -Weed through your pictures

  • Toss out/delete all the bad, blurry pictures.
  • For paper pics, set duplicates to the side in a separate pile.
  • Keep only your favorite, quality images/pictures and throw the rest out!
  • For paper images make a pile for pictures that you'd like to frame and/or send to friends and family.
  • For digital images make a folder for pictures you’d like to print and frame and/or send to family and friends.
  • With an acid-free photo pen, label the pictures on the back of the photo’s edge. If you can recall the date, names, and place, add those details.

Keeping Things Simple

Step # 2 – Organize

  • Make pile/folder by themes – By date, years, events, people.
  • Pictures can be kept in photo-safe boxes AFTER they're sorted and organized.
  • On notes cards, used as dividers, write down notes, stories and memories about each theme of photos.

Share Your Photos

Step #3 – Sharing and Displaying

  • Send copies of your photos to friends and family regularly. Have a stash of pre-addressed envelopes so they're ready to go out every few months. Not everyone has access to the computer.
  • Build digital photo albums online or keep a BLOG and send notices to friends and family when they're updated.
  • Intricate albums with details and captions can be…well, wonderful? If you have the time, money, and more time and more money… scrapbooking can easily become an overwhelming and time-consuming hobby.
  • Photos and stories combined are what create family traditions and heirlooms to be passed down. By choosing a special event, such as a wedding or new baby, you can create beautiful family story and photo books with Cherish Bound.
  • Print and frame your pictures. Get them up on the walls, on your shelves, and out so they can be seen! Choose only your best photos. Be creative…string them from cute wire clips, use bulletin boards, memo boards…that way they are easy to change out and update.

Keep Up The Good Work

  • Once you’re caught up (yes, that can happen) keep up and control your photos! Organize your photos as soon as you download or develop.
  • For paper pictures, keep a VERY SMALL photo/shoe box out. As the box begins to fill, sit down with the family and sort through the photos, share the stories, write them down and prep them to be scanned and loaded into a photo/story book.
  • As soon as you download pictures, delete the bad ones! Label folders with dates and event names if possible.

And here’s my shameless plug –

The Cherish Bound process can help you stay on top of your photo chaos. By simply adding story and a few photos, you can create meaningful storybooks that can be shared with everyone who walks through the doors of your home. The entire family can be apart of the process. This is no longer MOM’S job! It’s a family thing.

The Cherish Bound publishing tool is simple to use with an easy drag and drop system. You can upload your story text, images, and scanned images into a book template of your choice. End result, a beautiful soft or hardbound book will arrive on your doorstep by carrier within 15 business days.

Organizing your photos can be a daunting task. So keep it simple. These are priceless memories that can be easily enjoyed and relived for generations to come. You can join in on my Family Yearbook Challenge to help you stay the course as well.

Essentially, the goal is make sure our stories, memories, traditions, thoughts and values can be passed on. Don't lose focus.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Daddy's BBQ Chick'n

Hubby's BBQ Chick'n has become a 4th of July Family Tradition... My oldest, T-Rex, enjoying a few legs...
For more Wordless Wednesday visit

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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Simple Mom Goes Back to the Basics

One of my most favorite blogs is Simple Mom. She's one of those real life people that just gets it. She's simple, but practical, and everything is about family. Yesterday she posted an amazing post and launched a great project called Back to the Basics.

She said, "As a generation of mothers, there is a trend calling us back to our roots. There’s something in many of us that longs for a more traditional sort of homemaking — from scratch, and back to the basics."

That's me! That's what I've been working on for the past year...especially this year. My 2009 motto is PEACE, and I know to find true peace in my life, I must go back to the basics. I've been working hard at it, and I must say it's been an amazing experience. I've loved every minute of stepping away from from "THINGS" that don't create a peaceful, simple, basic life.

I've always had a fascination with history, especially pioneers. I'm drawn to their simplicity and homemaking skills, but so intrigued by their joy and happiness. There is something to be learned from the past. More is not better, faster doesn't mean it's worth it, and easy doesn't mean it's right.

Simple Mom will post one post per week (Mondays) dedicated to the simple steps behind a home management responsibility — this series will be called Back to the Basics. Each week’s post will be featured on Monday, except for this week’s post, which is up today! Today's post starts with simply finding your family's mission statement.

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Monday, July 6, 2009

Family Yearbook Challenge 2009 - Week 21

If you're new to the Family Yearbook Challenge click HERE & then HERE

Don't forget to leave a comment and check in...I'm keeping track of all the comments posted in the Family YB Challenge for a big giveaway at the end of the go back and check in each of the FYBC posts if you haven't done so.

Homework July 6 - July 12:

1. Family Reunions?? Describe any family reunions you attend. Did you meet anyone new? Tell about where you stayed, the family you reconnected with and the activities you participated in.

2. Take some pictures... Take some snapshots of what summer means to your family. Just candid pool pics, a beautiful tree that has a story behind it...maybe it's a sunset or sunrise, your boat or lake house. I could just be a picture of your favorite summer fruit. Whatever it is, capture it on camera.

Now COPY and paste any photos that you have that go with these events and questions into a new folder titled June. If you'd like to rename the photos you can with july 1, july 2, july 3 and so on and so on. If you have any memorabilia that is NOT digital, scan and save as a jpg. minimum 300 dpi to your May folder, named and labeled. If you have a "story" you can hand write it or "type" it into a document and save in the same folder.

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