We got him new uniforms, school bag, haircut, watch, track shoes, mobile phone (yes we finally gave it to him in view of his commute so he can be contactable), everything (!) to 'transform' him from primary school student to high school student (wink). But the real transformation was happening within, we watched as he took everything in stride - orientation, using public transport (his 'commute' is an hour and 15 mins each way!), new subjects, electives, new friends, and so on. He's definitely coping better with this than we are! I kept thinking back to his first day at primary school, crying and hanging onto me, look at him now!
On his first day at school, I messaged him this verse :
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Indeed! With the Lord God upholding us, everything is fine, for our good, and for His Glory!
And on top of all that, we had a birthday party for Jared last saturday (put together in less than 5 days) - his first inviting friends from school (last year he finally wised up and asked why after 10 birthdays he still does not have a party with friends, we usually just cut a cake as a family or just one or two friends to celebrate, hehe) - we were quite stressed out planning food and games, I was worried too many kids will turn up and Dh was worried too few kids will turn up - of course everything turned out perfect. He invited only boys (lol) and they all brought a Nerf Blaster (toy guns) and had a blast. Here's the birthday boy making his wish. He's 11.
Now of course I have to show you some photos from Hokkaido! For the first time in our lives (other than that one day in New York), we experienced a complete winter wonderland for 8 whole days. Snow falling is perhaps the most magical and beautiful experience for us who live in the tropics, we loved it!! Until we were there this time we had no idea the immense effort required to shovel snow, remove it from the roads and streets, and how hard it was to pull our luggage over snow covered sidewalks!!! There was constantly workers and trucks on the main roads moving snow, day and night... wow we had no idea. We gave up most of our planned itinery (also taking it easy after dh's health scare) in favour of just playing in the snow, having snow ball fights, making snow man, snow angel and so on...here's a first layout
Credits: Background paper by Ginna Miller, snowflakes and word labels by Miss Mint
At the same time, I'm yet to complete all the layouts for our Japan trip from the year before!! I must speed up and complete it soon - here's photos from our visit to the Himeiji Castle - an incredible historical and beautiful day.
Credits: Alpha by Krystal Hartley, twine by Marcie Reckinger, Background paper by Mira Designs, and torn paper by Designs by Krista
And now i'm very excited to say I've completed my 365 album for 2009!!! It has been such a satisfying, rich and wonderful memory-making, daily life-capturing, scrapbook-creating experience! Looking back through the layouts when I was choosing photos to put on the cover helped me see how much God has blessed us and brought us through last year, truly, great is His faithfulness.
Now I can't wait to see it in print!! Here are the last two layouts for the year:
Credits: Christmas ornament by Nathy Designs, Christmas word doodle by HeatherAnne Designs, Foil Flakes by Rachel Young
Credits: Button flower and heart by Rachel Young, button by Julia Makontinsky
Then I decided to pick 12 photos from the year's 365 photos to put on the cover, this is what I finally got. It took me a while and several iterations, and I'm still not sure this is what I will go with, because it does not seem to go with the inside of the album, in which I adopted a much cleaner and linear layout scheme...
Credits: Background paper, numbers, arrow, flower and doodled frame by Lynsay Riches
And so, I found a template downloaded from Weeds & Wildflowers earlier last year, and came up with this. Lovely isn't it? What do you think?
In any case, I decided to pack my various iterations of the 12 photo covers into a pack for the store. Maybe you can use it for year in review layouts!
Finally, here are the last two 365 layouts templates
You can download both templates to play with here!
And as I look back and forward, I also want to thank everyone of you who visits me here, left me comments, sent me emails, bought my templates, supported me and became my friends - THANK YOU for blessing me!