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:

2011 Christmas Album - Page 001

2011 Christmas Album - Page 003

2011 Christmas Album - Page 004

2011 Christmas Album - Page 006

2011 Christmas Album - Page 007

2011 Christmas Album - Page 008

2011 Christmas Album - Page 009

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.

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.

DecemberDaily2011 - Page 003DecemberDaily2011 - Page 006

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 –


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 –


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)


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


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


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:


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 –

JYC2010 - Page 001

JYC2010 - Page 002JYC2010 - Page 005JYC2010 - Page 006JYC2010 - Page 011

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!

Capturing the Holidays

More Journal Your Christmas pages…

Having SuperMan housebound really slowed our entire family’s pace down this past weekend. I was actually able to scrapbook and knit!

Here are some more pages I finished:

 JYC2010 - Page 004JYC2010 - Page 005JYC2010 - Page 006JYC2010 - Page 008JYC2010 - Page 009

More to come.

You can see the 2009 and the other 2010 pages on my JYC page on the blog.

a Christmas Manifesto

I’m starting (finally) my 2010 Christmas album.

As last year, I’m following along with Shimelle’s Journal Your Christmas class. Loving the prompts and finding that I really do have new things to write about this year, even though the prompts are pretty much the same as last year.

Although it appears they are mixed up a bit… or maybe I am wrong? Does anyone know if she rearranges the prompts from year to year?

Here’s my first page:

JYC2010 - Page 001


This year, my Christmas manifesto is this:

Don’t over do.

Keep it simple.

Do what feels right.

Slow down.

Enjoy things.

Stress less.

Relax more.

People, not things.

Do the things you want to do.

Let the rest go.

I’m hoping to find a way to focus on what is really important about the season – Christ’s birth and the celebration of our Savior – and not so much on the shopping and to-do lists.

And here is Day 2:

 JYC2010 - Page 002
The Journaling:

This year has been crazy with weather. An unseasonably warm fall which fell right into an unseasonably cold winter. It was as if we only had a few days of "fall" and then temperatures plummeted. After Thanksgiving, we had a rainy Friday which began the downward spiral of temps. This week, the first of December, has been bitterly cold. Temperatures are in the 20's at night and barely out of the 30's in the daytime. Rob is working outside this year and it makes for very uncomfortable working conditions. With my weight loss, I've been freezing as well, even keeping a space heater by my desk to warm me while I work (in the heated house!)The girls are hoping for snow this winter. I figure if we're going to freeze, we might as well get snow!

And Day 3:

 JYC2010 - Page 003


I addressed and sent 50 Christmas cards this year. That is about double what I have been doing in past years. I included all the folks from church, UpStreet, and a few new friends we've made in the past year. It was fun to send cards to folks we haven't sent to before, along with the usual cards to family. I didn't get them out the week of Thanksgiving, which is my goal every year, but they were out by the 10th, which was fine for me.

More pages to come.

Finally Finished: Journal Your Christmas

I finally sat down this weekend and finished the Journal Your Christmas album I’d started in December. I really enjoyed the project, I just got bogged down in holiday activities and finishing took a back seat to holiday fun.  But, it is finished and I am pleased with my results.  I’ll definitely be back next year for another round – now that I know what to expect, I’ll be better prepared, I hope.

Here are some of the most recently finished pages.  You can see the rest in the JYC album – the link to which is located to the right of this posting.

 IMGP2013 IMGP2014 IMGP2015 IMGP2018 IMGP2021 IMGP2024 IMGP2025 IMGP2026 IMGP2029IMGP2030

Sleep, Glorious Sleep

One of my favorite things about the holidays is not having to get up early – well, except for Christmas morning when the kids come bounding into the room at some ungodly hour, bouncing off the walls and onto the bed, insisting that we get up! get up! Santa’s come! get up!

Other than that exception, it is SO NICE to be able to sleep late.  This year, especially, since I have not been feeling that well.  Generally speaking, though, I am part bear and love to hibernate in the winter (heck, I love to sleep year round!).   

There is nothing nicer than nestling down in the warm, soft covers knowing that you don’t have to go anywhere or do anything until you want to.  The days leading up to Christmas are certainly not that way, but those precious days after Christmas are my favorites. Lazing around with only the things you want to being the things you have to do.  Chores can wait, cooking? who is cooking? leftovers, baby.  But the bestest part is the napping and sleeping in.

When the girls were smaller, they didn’t sleep past 6 AM or so.  Actually, until last year, that was the case. However, now they are sleeping (gasp!) until 7:30 or 8:00 (isn’t it sad that I am excited and consider that sleeping “late?”). And the best part is that their dad usually gets up with them (part of why he is my SuperMan) and lets me sleep even later.  (sigh)

I’m not looking forward to getting up at 5AM next week, but I’m sure enjoying my lazy days this week.


That mischievous little elf…

Our Elf on the Shelf has been much into the mischief this year…


While he was getting used to us, he hung out in our wreath.


Then, I guess he got comfy, because he TP'ed MB's bedroom

(no pictures for that one,
although it was fun to hear the kids when they woke up!)

Then, he decided to take Barbie on a date:


I guess he figured he was welcome to do whatever he wanted then…

So he ate a little snack:


That is… ate a snack while perched on the ledge above our 2-story foyer

(we think he must’ve flown up there)

It’s a good thing Santa comes tomorrow night.

There is no telling what mischief he would get into if he stayed too much longer.

That mischievous little elf…

Our Elf on the Shelf has been much into the mischief this year…


While he was getting used to us, he hung out in our wreath.


Then, I guess he got comfy, because he TP'ed MB's bedroom

(no pictures for that one,
although it was fun to hear the kids when they woke up!)

Then, he decided to take Barbie on a date:


I guess he figured he was welcome to do whatever he wanted then…

So he ate a little snack:


That is… ate a snack while perched on the ledge above our 2-story foyer

(we think he must’ve flown up there)

It’s a good thing Santa comes tomorrow night.

There is no telling what mischief he would get into if he stayed too much longer.