Thursday, 31 December 2009

December Daily - Days Six, Seven and Eight

Day 6 - It was so difficult to capture the excitement that the kids felt with the magical appearance of presents in the place of the carrots and apple we put out for Sinterklaas's horse! Eden's face in the top picture is classic, and they are so focussed on opening the presents in the bottom picture...these kids have really helped me understand the magic of Christmas that I have lost. So cool. Anyways, again this was a full digi layout, just printed off and glued onto the chipboard folder (back of Day 5) - I just sanded the edges to keep it looking neat.

Day 7 - Mike built a skating rink in the back yard, and I had to get that on film as well. I can't remember where the background paper is from - I didn't like the colour, so I painted it, and pretty happy with how it turned out. I made sure that the front and back pictures were the same size, so I didn't have to worry about seeing the backs of anything...

Day 8 - I was about halfway through the month of working, so I decided to just do a journalling page (this is all about this Christmas, and this was a BIG part of our December, after all). I just matted a journalling block, and again, this is all digi...

And here is the journaling...

This December isn’t quite turning out how I had envisioned it when I started this December Daily project. A few weeks ago, I recieved a phone call, asking if I could fill in for a short term subbing position until the Christmas break. After much humming and hawing, I took the position, knowing that December would be hairy, but weighing the benefits, it seemed like a good decision. And for the most part it has been a good decision. It has confirmed for all of us that in the stage of life we are at, there needs to be a parent at home. It has confirmed for me that I want to be with my own children, not someone else’s kids all day. It has confirmed for us that while the money is nice, we’d rather have more family time than more stuff and more money.
The decision of me going to work for the month of December has meant that this project of documenting the Christmas goings-on of the Stoltes has had to be put to the back burner. And this, too, is actually a good thing. I have had to put my perfectionism aside for the moment and decide that yes, this is good enough and no, I won’t be able to do everything that ali or elizabeth or cathy does. I’ve been given the gift of reality. Reality that the moments with my kids are far more important than the pictures that I take of the moments. That even if I don’t document those moments, those moments will make them better adults. That even if they don’t have every single cute thing written down that they say each day, what matters more than documenting it is that I will be there to hear it.
This doesn’t mean that I won’t document and write and scrapbook all these things anymore. It just means that most times it is far more important to be than to do. And that is the greatest gift that I have been given this Christmas season. So, even if I don’t get this project done each day, and this December doesn’t look like I thought it would or could or should because of the work that I have done outside of my home this month, the work that I have done has given me the perspective that I needed. I wondered at the beginning of December why this job just fell in my lap, and I’m pretty sure I know why now.

On another note...hope you all have a safe and happy New Year's celebration!
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Wednesday, 30 December 2009

December Daily Days Three, Four and Five

Yes, it has been a while.
Yes, I am still alive.
Yes, our family survived our 'working outside the home' trial.
Yes, Christmas has once again come and gone.
Yes, I managed to mostly keep up with my December Daily.

Here is day 3. Inside the envelope (which is a die cut from Urban Scrapbook) are three letters that I have written to my kids about their life, their reactions, and cute little things they are doing at the moment (and it doesn't necessarily have to do with Christmas). I got the idea from ali edwards - I would have loved to have this kind of thing from my mom when I was growing up, so I thought "why not do it for my kids?"

Day 4 - Mostly a digi layout, just printed out with a journalling block on the bottom in my own handwriting.

Two important events happened today and I wanted to document both - Winter Wonderland for the girls during the day and getting ready for Sinterklaas in the evening. The first page is just on the back of the Day 4 layout - again, very simple - just photos and words, but it gets the story across.

I had a few more issues with this next picture - the only good one I had was blurry and I was having no luck getting it printed off at the photo developers. So, for the blurry picture, I just let it go and have decided that blurry pictures are part of life, and I'll just love what I have. And as far as the printing issue goes, I have started printing them at home (which has saved me quite a bit of trips to and from Costco) and I am pleasantly surprised with the quality. Another side benefit is I can design the page, print it out and put it together all in one fell swoop - no waiting for printing, no wondering if it is right. I love it!!

Here is the second part of Day 5 - putting out some treats for Sinterklaas...

Keep posted for some more December Daily pages and musing about the new year...and stay warm wherever you are!
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Sunday, 13 December 2009

Came across this beautiful piece of art and wonderful poem at this blog today and wanted to share it...

We Will Wish on a Dandelion

Anyone want to come outside with me?
It's raining, but we can fix it.
We can sit in my garden,me and you, and we can
have a good conversation.
I will know you better than
your toes do.
We will dream together
and make a wish
on a dandelion, as if we were
still little kids.
We will laugh together
and have a good time.
I will take a photo of your smile
and place it in my memory.
We will cry together
and you will hold me
as we cry for what was
and what is.
We are a circle together
and we will know who we are.
And for those of you who are itching to see more of the December Daily, you'll have to wait a few more days. I am hoping to get some more pages done in the next fews days. Things have been crazy busy around more week of work, and I will have my life back!!
Have a great last week of school - enjoy the Christmas programs and egg nog and snow and white lights and Christmas trees and holiday spirit!!

Thursday, 3 December 2009

December Daily - Day One and Two

Well, we finally made it to December, and even amidst the chaos of my life at the moment, I really want to do this project this year; even if it means just a few moments of quiet journalling each day to get our story of waiting for Christmas down on paper. I have LOVED the process of putting it together (poor Mike has had to look at every little change I made along the way - he's been a good sport), and these first few days have been great so far.

Here is the cover (it is made of those canvas boards from Michael's, just sawed off to size). It ended up being about 8"X8" - I have loved this size lately, especially for mini-albums.

For a few of the days, I altered some page projectors so I could included a few smaller photos (it's as easy as straight sewing...) Here is Day 1:

and Day 1 before pictures and journals:

The next page is similar to Day 1 (as it is the back of Day 1) The only difference is that I have included numerous journalling blocks throughout the album, so I have a bit more space to write. Here is Day 2:

And Day 2 prior to pictures and journalling:

I love, love, love the simplicity of words and photos.

Have you hugged your kids today?

It has been a week since I began working again. It has been a week of transitions for all of us. It has been an emotional week. It has been a struggle for the kids to make sense of the chaos that seems to be entering their world. It has been hard for me to find my teaching hat again after two years of being out of the classroom. This past week has had it's toll.

What surprises me most about this week is how much I miss my kids. I never realized how much I love getting hugs and kisses from them. I never realized how important my time with them is for me as much as it is for them.

So, hug your kids today. I know I am going to when I get home...