Thursday, December 31, 2009

Trips Home Album

Every time we take a trip back to Wisconsin, I add a few pages to my Trips Home Album. This album has a basic plan of 4 lay outs (1 opening page, 2 double spreads, 1 ending page).  Having a plan like this makes it very easy to add the pages soon after we return home, and it also limits me - even if I took 700 photos on my trip, I can only make 4 lay outs, so it forces me to choose only the photos that best tell the story.

The second thing you'll notice about these pages is the style of journaling. I started this album out with a certain style and have kept it ever since. This lends some interest to the album, not only for the reader but for me as well.

This was the first time I used digital scrapbooking for this album, so part of the challenge was to create my own templates that would be very similar to past pages.

So, here goes! Remember, you can click on the images to make then larger and then you can read the journaling.

I think that one more thing you'll notice is that many of my thoughts from my previous post also made it onto these pages. I find that using lists to brainstorm before my journaling really helps to decide which details to include and leave out.

For these pages, I used Jessica Sprague's Autumn kit along with her Crystal's September papers and elements.

Okay, that's all from me for now. Happy Scrappin' and Happy New Year to you all!

One Month in America

It's taken me a while to sit down and actually write a little about our trip to the USA. Now that the Xmas cards are done, the new year cards are sent out, new toys are almost organized, and things are getting back to normal, I suppose I should really give a brief rundown of how our trip went.

Originally, I had wanted to post one photo a day through out our trip, but that didn't work out so well. The internet connection was too slow and it became a low priority for me.

So, here are the highlights:
1. It was great being home for such a long time.
2. We took a 2-night trip to Door County with my friend Amy and her two boys.
3. Jill and her husband Bill came up for Thanksgiving and spent one night at our house.
4. Shannon came and stayed for about 4 or 5 days.
5. Sara and her husband Scott stopped by for a couple hours with their new baby on the way back to Milwaukee.
6. Thanksgiving was celebrated in full - it was my first thanksgiving in the USA in about 8 years!
7. Shopping, shopping and more shopping.
8. Luka had a dedication ceremony (like a baptism) at my sister's Unitarian church - she and her husband are the godparents.
9. Ailin went to daycare 3 times while we were there.
10. We attended storytime at the local library a few times.
11. We attended a playgroup once.
12. Ailin played with Andy's kids (Jill's brother) one day.
13. It snowed once while we were there and Ailin got to go outside and play with her cousin and relatives.

And, the happenings:
1. I had to spend every day with Ailin in a big, open house where I couldn't really keep an eye on her while taking care of a baby. That was stressful.
2. There wasn't much to do for kids and it was kind of cold so we couldn't go outside a lot.
3. I had a hard time getting both kids to nap at the same time and often had to resort to taking rides in the car until they both fell asleep and then parking somewhere until they had both gotten a good rest.
4. Ailin dumped a bunch of laundry soap (one cup at a time) into the dog food storage bin.  Needless to say, all that dog food had to be thrown out.
5. There is more, but I am not at liberty to write about it.

Okay, so what about the benefits?
1. Ailin's English did improve quite a bit.
2. I got to eat a real Thanksgiving meal.
3. The family sent me home with Xmas presents so there was minimal shipping of goods across the ocean.
4. Ailin got used to eating sandwiches every day, sort of.
5. Ailin and Luka definitely bonded more with their grandparents and other relatives.
6. There were usually lots of people to play with, lots of space to run and jump around, and someone was almost always available to hand Luka off to when I needed to do something else.

I am not going to write much more about the trip, but I did do a few scrapbook pages and will work on posting those within a few days.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Be Patient with Me

Hi there, my friends and readers. This is just a request to be patient with me. I know a few people have been asking why I haven't posted lately.
During our trip to the USA, using the computer became a low priority for me because my mom's internet connection / computer is quite slow and I didn't have the patience to work on it much. Also, once my husband left to return to Japan, I was much too busy watching the kids to really spend a lot of time on the computer.
Then, since returning, I had been so busy unpacking, preparing for Xmas, getting the house back in order, etc., and there were so many random thoughts going through my mind - many of which I wanted to write about - but I still didn't have a chance to sit down and write, or to really process all the stuff that has happened these past couple of months.
(That was the longest sentence I have ever written.)
So, I will be back very soon with some blog posts and even a few scrap pages and photos. I also need to work on an article for the AFWJ Journal along with my new years cards, so I am really not in the clear yet.
See you soon! And, Merry Christmas!