December Daily/Journal Your Christmas

I’m not quite sure what to call my December album. It’s not really Journal Your Christmas (I didn’t follow the quotes to the “t”) and it most definitely isn’t a December Daily in the true sense of that – I didn’t take pictures every day – some days I took a lot and some I didn’t take any.

Regardless, it captures our December and that is what matters most to me.

I have not (yet) finished, but I thought I’d share some more pages with you.

I’m hoping to finish this weekend.  I have a lot of pictures/stories left to capture but I am anxious to get it completed and put away for the year. Ready to move on to other things!

Anyway, here’s a quick sample of some of the pages.

Cover page:

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You can see some of the other pages here. I’m hoping to post them on Flickr soon so they will all be in one place.

The mischievous elf

Christmas is over and the decorations are all put away until next year…

and Jingle the Elf has gone back to the North Pole to hang out with Santa and the other elves until it’s time for him to come back to visit us next year.

I thought, though, that I’d share with you the final exploits of Jingle’s visit to us…

I think he really outdid himself this year. I’m beginning to wonder what next year will bring – the more he is with us, the more mischief he gets into.

You can see what I mean:

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There were “snow angels” on the kitchen counter (in my flour)

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And lights in the hurricane lamps…

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A little fishing expedition in the fish tank (that, thankfully, yielded no fish)

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And a date with Barbie (he has a thing for Barbies, I think)

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Played games with the critters…img_0678

And ate some kisses… which he ate and shared with the girls.

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Reading Christmas stories…

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Flying with the unicorns in Little Bit’s room…

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A zipline (!) in the family room…img_0947

He watched some TV and took over the remote control…imgp3995

Loved on Little Bit’s snowman…

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Did some hanging around (while we were gone to Ammi’s no less – SuperMan reported nightly on his activities from the night before)

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We came home from Ammi’s to find he’d set up a swing set of sorts in the living room…

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The girls were pretty amazed to find this whirling around in the living room.  I wonder what the housekeepers thought when they came that day?

And the final night was quite a blowout party, apparently, with the Barbies and some New Years’ Eve type décor (complete with strobe lights and disco balls)

Oh my.

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Tiny game of Uno… so funny!

So, while the girls are missing Jingle this week, I can’t say I’m sad to see him go.  There were quite a few messes to clean up and I’m thinking next year, Jingle needs to bring his own clean-up crew!!

Journal Your Christmas/December Daily

JYC Image.jpgI decided this year to do my own version of a Christmas Album. I’ve done Journal Your Christmas for the past two years and have watched Ali Edwards do her December Daily with awe… this year, I decided to do my own combination of the two – a little of each. I think it will keep things fresh for me, both from a creative perspective and from a content perspective.

I started taking pictures on Dec 1, but didn’t really start on my album until yesterday. (just too busy) I have, however, a plan and a general approach in mind.

I began by listing things I want to be sure I capture – so far, I am at 25 things and that is without Shimelle’s prompts, so I know I will come up with plenty more thanks to her creativity.

Here’s my list in case you are looking for some inspiration yourself:

  1. Letters to Santa
  2. Letters to our Elf on the Shelf
  3. Christmas Card (I plan to add in the cards we receive as well – maybe at the end of the album)
  4. Baking & favorite recipes
  5. Decorations (especially new ones or things that have a history or special meaning)
  6. Holiday parties
  7. Craft projects
  8. Self portrait
  9. Family picture
  10. Visit by my brother & his family (this will be a big bunch of pictures, I’m sure)
  11. Shopping & my shopping lists
  12. Receipts & packing slips
  13. the kids’ Christmas trees & the family tree
  14. Grocery lists & menus for the special meals
  15. Weather
  16. Pinterest – things that have inspired me (and that I’ve actually done!)
  17. Wrapping
  18. Wrapping paper
  19. Goodie bags for friends/family/teachers
  20. Advent calendars
  21. “Joy is…” and have everyone complete the sentence
  22. “I’m loving …” things I’m finding special this year
  23. Instagram photos/posts
  24. TV Specials
  25. Special events/traditions (like our annual trip to Lake Lanier Islands’ Magical Nights of Lights)

That’s it so far!  But, with all of that, I’m looking at a pretty hefty album!

I’m planning to make a small album this year, size-wise. I have decided to do 5×8 as the page size.  I have some extra 5×8 page protectors from a recipe book project and I will use those up. Not decided yet on the actual album, though. I had planned to use a 5×8 album I had from Staples (nothing fancy) but after coming up with my ideas I think it may not be big enough.

I may just end up binding the album with ribbon or clip rings… and coming up with a homemade cover.

I’m going semi-digital with some handmade/paper accents. I’m planning to print everything at home (note to self: buy ink!) and use white cardstock as my base and then go from there.

I bought the December Daily overlays that Ali Edwards uses and I’m loving being able to use those as the base for the page of the day.  My plan is to have the left-hand page be journaling and smaller photos/memorabilia and then the right-hand page be the overlay with a full-page picture.  We’ll see how that works, but here is a sample of the first two pages I have created.(still in progress)  They will not be facing each other, but you get the general idea.

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I plan to share more sneak peeks on the blog as I go. I’m hoping to work a little each day but I know that, realistically, I will probably end up doing like I have done in years’ past and do my journaling here (or on a file on the PC) and then catching up with multiple pages on the weekend.

Are you doing anything to capture your holiday memories this year? Even if you don’t do anything but keep a journal of your activities and thoughts, I encourage you to! As I said in my journaling above, these Christmas albums usually end up being my favorite ones to go back and look at later.

I’ll share more with you soon.  Right now, I’m off to finish the Christmas shopping!

That wee little elf – who causes big trouble!

Our little elf friend, Jingle, continues to cause all sorts of troubles around our house – he has been having a lot of fun the past few days –

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Somehow, he ended up INSIDE our hurricane lamp – complete with Christmas lights!imgp3950

The girls were quite perplexed as to how he accomplished this little feat.

Then, he decided to go fishing –

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Of course, the girls were a little concerned that he was going to actually CATCH one of the fish in the tank. Thankfully, he didn’t. (can you see the lure in the tank!?! LOL)

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Then, he moved on to a quick ride around the Christmas tree with one of Barbie’s friends… let’s hope they obey the speed limits (although something tells me he won’t)  The girls were trying to figure out how he got the Barbie and car UPSTAIRS from the basement – they decided he must’ve built a magic road from the basement to the sunroom.  Hee hee

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They’ve also both written letters to Jingle (and Santa)

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Big Girl’s is focused on being able to touch Jingle. She can’t stand the fact that the rule is only grown-ups can touch the elf.  She is begging for permission to touch him.

Little Bit’s is much more of the “how are you doing” kind of letter, but I love the fact that she asks very nicely “oh, by the way, please don’t send any oompa-loompas”  How funny!

There are still two weeks before Christmas (and then some) so there is no telling what else he’ll get into… at least there was no flour to clean up this week!

Journal Your Christmas – are you in?

If you’ve followed my blog for any amount of time – at least a year, anyway – you know that I have a yearly project that I do to capture our memories of Christmastime…

Journal your Christmas online scrapbooking class

It’s a self-paced class offered by Shimelle on her website and is an online class which consists of daily email prompts and suggestions for creating your own scrapbook or journal to capture your holiday memories.

The first year I participated (2009) I created a combination of traditional and digital pages – here are some examples:

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Cover of the album & first pageIMGP1658_edited-1

One of the prompts was to capture the weather:IMGP1659_edited-1

And here are a few digital pages I did:Let There Be Light

You can view more of these pages over on my flickr pages.

And the second year (2010) are here –

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They are digital – which I liked because I could keep up with the prompts more easily.  I also used my blog to write a lot of what I would later put in my journal as I took the time to do the actual scrapbooking.

Looking back at the pages, I am getting really excited about getting started on this project again. I am going to start scouring the digital scrapbooking websites to find a good kit that has some pretty pages and embellishments to use.  I think this year I will print the whole thing as a bound book (last year I printed the pages and slipped them into page protectors just in case I wanted to add anything that was last minute and non-digital content).

One of the things I like about Shimelle’s class is that, while the prompts are similar from year to year, I have found that my albums are so different each year. Depending on what is going on in our lives, with the kids and our friends and family, and what traditions or memories are resonating with me for the year.

This year, I’m hoping to get the girls more involved – maybe let them do some of the journaling and capturing their thoughts about the holidays.

There are quite a few other holiday scrapbooking projects – December Daily (Ali Edwards), 12 Days of Christmas (Big Picture Classes), etc. – but I find that Shimelle’s seems to inspire me the most.  I love the fact that her prompts are not simply scrapbook-focused prompts. I can journal, write a blog post, take pictures, whatever. If that is all I do, I’ve still captured the story. If I decide to take it further and make a scrapbook out of it, then that is even better, but it’s not necessary.

I also like the self-paced aspect. I don’t feel like I HAVE to do something every day… I can do as I have time and am inspired. Both years, I’ve found that I tended to do two or three pages at once and then nothing for a few days. But you couldn’t tell when the project was finished because the prompts are so diverse.

So, what are you going to do this year? Anything?  How will you capture your family’s holiday memories past and present?

I’ll be sharing my progress over the next month or so – if you are doing a holiday memory project, I’d love to see what you’re working on, too! Post your blog link in the comments and if I have enough, maybe we’ll start a weekly link up to share!

Final JYC Post for 2010

I put the finishing touches on my Journal Your Christmas album today. I am pleased that I actually finished it before the end of my holiday break. I know that once I am back at work, and the kids in school, that I won’t have time to scrapbook much, so I’m especially glad to finalize the project.  image

I’ll be ordering my bound book in the next few weeks. I can’t wait to see the finished project.  This will be the first all-digital, bound book I’ve done for our family. I’ve done gift albums that I’ve given to others, but this is just for us.

Since I’m doing so much digital scrapbooking these days, I’m thinking I may just do more and more of these type books. They take up a lot less space on the bookshelf and it is so much easier to just order the bound book when you’re done.

I am considering doing the same for my 2010 pages. I have to finish from August-December and that will be my next project, I think. Once those pages are done, I’ll probably go ahead and make it a bound book as well.

Do any of you have suggestions for ordering a bound 12×12 book? This Christmas one is 8×8 and I’ll probably order it through Creative Memories.  But I would love to do some price comparison (and quality comparison) on the larger 12×12 books.

Any suggestions?

Here are the final few pages I don’t think I’ve shared with you:

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This is the last page of the book. I love it.JYC2010 - Page 026

Taking down Christmas

Most years, I’m not anxious to take down the Christmas decorations. Most years, I leave everything up at least until January 6th (the feast of the Epiphany, which is when my mom and grandma taught me you were supposed to take down your decorations).  Most years, I love looking at them and hate to take them down and store them away for another year.image

This year, though, they are driving me nuts and it’s not even a week past Christmas.

I wonder if it is because I’m not feeling good – or maybe because we’ve been more house-bound than normal because of the wretched weather we’ve had. I’m not sure. But I do know that they have to go – and soon.

On our recent outing to Wal Mart I purchased some of those cutesy red and green Rubbermaid tubs.  I am hoping to talk Big Girl into helping me put things away in a little  more organized fashion this year that we have in years past.  As I lay awake at 4AM this morning, waiting for my cold meds to kick in, I was planning out how we’d pack everything away. (how sad is that?) Outside decorations in one container, ornaments in another, etc.

I’m hoping to have enough energy to get started on the cleanup today.  I’d really like to get it done before New Year’s – I know after school/work resume next week, it will be really difficult to find time to get things tidied up.

Once the Christmas decor is put away, I’m trying to decide what I want to do. I have a bunch of snowmen that my mom has given me through the years. Back in November when the Christmas decorations were going up, I thought I’d put those snowmen out in January for a little decorations to welcome the new year. Now, I’m not sure if I want the clutter or not. I may opt for streamlined simplicity.

When do you take down your holiday decorations? and what do you do afterwards?  Are you one of those “day after Christmas and it’s all gone” kind of people, or do you leave the decorations up longer?

a White Christmas

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For the first time since the 1850’s we had a white Christmas this year. What a treat to watch the snowfall on Christmas day and enjoy the girls frolicking in the snow that afternoon. I’m not sure who had more fun – the girls, or Syndey, though, as she was in puppy heaven – romping and jumping, eating snow and sliding in the sloppy mess.

Here are a few pages I scrapped Sunday – while watching the birds on my birdfeeder as they tried to fill their little bodies to stay warm. I’ve got a pretty nasty cold, so it was nice to stay inside, in my jammies, toasty and warm while I scrapbooked and watched the snow blowing around outside.

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Makin’ a List

Total stream-of-consciousness post today…

Watched Eat, Pray,Love last night. I thought it was really good. There were a few slow parts, just like there were in the book, but overall it was a good movie. 

I have to say that Julia Roberts is aging well. I think she still has that vulnerability that makes her such a bankable actress, but she is showing some maturity and, oh, I don’t know, “seasoning?” to her acting now. Or, maybe it was just the part? I’d like to think she is maturing… she is only a few years different in age than I am.

Still have no presents wrapped. How sad is that?!?

I am hoping to get them all done today. Planning on staying up late if I have to so I can get them done.

Only one more necessary outing before Christmas – a trip to the bank and stop at the grocery for a couple things that we didn’t get yesterday. (must go to a different store as my usual place didn’t have them in stock)image

Baking, cooking, and relaxing on tap for tomorrow. SuperMan is off for his usual three-day weekend, so we’ll be enjoying the day together and finishing it up at dinner with some friends and their family. I can’t wait. It is an annual tradition we’ve done since before we all had kids!

More JYC pages done:

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I blurred out the actual items on the list because I am not positive Big Girl doesn’t read my blog. No sense in taking chances. 🙂

I’m also including the “year in posts” from Facebook. I think it is a great year in review:

JYC2010 - Page 025I saved the image from Facebook and added it to a digital scrapbook page along with some journaling.

And a few of you have asked – yes, these are all digital pages I’m doing. My plan is to have an 8×8 book printed in January sometime.

So, what are your plans for the rest of the week? Are you running to and fro to visit folks or are you staying snuggled up at your own house? Or somewhere in between?