Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Birthday Prayers

art journaling

art journaling

We write Birthday Prayers every year to pray over the boys on their birthdays. It's a 'tradition' we started several years ago. Sometimes hubby writes, sometimes me, this year we each wrote one. They are a meaningful and precious record which I scrapbook every year. Each year's prayers are like our letters to them, and as we look back we can see their growth and changes in prayers, hopes, concerns and dreams. It's wonderful! It is worthwhile to consider doing this for your children! You can see our past year's prayers here, herehere, herehere, and here  

I'm so proud of them, they are becoming adults who are interesting, articulate, funny, so much smarter than me, and kind,... so much that I have not imagined. How to believe that my babies are 18 and 16? It is unbelievable but no denying the fact. . In fact, take a look at my current to-do list and you will see these items:
  1. Start thinking about R's college application 
  2. Visit Universities' Open House with boys
  3. Set up personal bank accounts for boys
  4. Set up investment account
# 1 is prompted by R's school - who sent us a 4 page checklist of things to do starting now(!) even though Uni/College is more than a year away  #2 is to give them an idea of what the Universities offer, maybe excite them with areas which are related to what they like or are leaning towards. # 3 and #4 are part of my plans to start them on their financial education, to manage their own savings and maybe learn a little about investments, prompted by this post - teaching-kids-stocks-investing/  They are quickly becoming adults, and we are busy equipping them. Oh how I miss those days when they simply needed me to wipe their noses, read them stories, rock them to sleep, hold their hands, .... :)

Well at least I have all my scrapbooks and Project life albums capturing these teenage years! That's why I feel terribly motivated to capture moments, daily life, events, everything. You may have read how difficult this can be and how I deal with it in How to scrapbook your life with teens. Any other ideas are welcome!

I really had fun making these Birthday Prayers layouts too! It's a chance to do something art-journal style, This time I used my own doodle frames, paint elements from Mess it up by Little Butterfly wings and only a few other elements (see supply list below). I used the same main paint element duplicated a few times around each layout - it was so quick and simple, but the effect so cohesive and quick! I also spent some time adjusting and coloring the photos and paints to achieve the same tones on each page.You can download the template to try too, links below the image, enjoy!
Supply list credits: 
Ryan's layout: FreeToFly word art by CD Murkovsky, Cool wordart by Sugar Fancy, Paint from Little Butterfly Wings' Mess it Up vol 2
Jared's layout: Word art from Word & Paint {add on} - M3 September2014  by Little Butterfly Wings, and Paint from Little Butterfly Wings' Mess it Up vol 2

London Pages

I also completed four more London pages!

First one is all about our time at the Museum of London - an amazing history of London from the time it was Londinium under Roman rule to present times. Fun and fascinating!! I was most smitten by the dolls and dollhouse of Queen Victoria! And the exhibits of the Suffragettes and the Roman artifacts reqlly made quite an impression on us.
(Credit: bellagypsy_makemistakes_Alpha, EMerritt-msatogether_paper, mommyish_freebie-stamped_Alpha, nrj-sweetlove-doodled border, TangieBaxter_QuickitySplitsWorkshop_Gesso)

Here we are at the very awesome British Museum. We were overwhelmed by how huge it was and much there was to see! We did the important bits and touched some interesting exhibits such as the clocks and the enlightenment gallery. 
(Credits: TDD_LOC_KatieScrapbooklady_paper, alb_acrosstheboard_border
justjaime-paintybits, pink reptile designs_rockingcool_alpha, vr_ItsAboutTime_paint)

After the Museum we wandered the roads and area around this Intersection, visited the boys' favorite comic store - Forbidden Planet, as well as quaint and superb second hand book stores where we picked up a few wonderful books on world war and tanks! 
(Credits: AllisonPennington_WAFD_Paint, PP_modern_diamond, Just Jaime-paintybits, kb-FortheLoveOf_arrow, kate hadfield_raspberrysorbet_Alpha, TangieBaxter_QuickitySplitsWorkshop_Gesso)

Finally we went to Trafalgar Square which was beautiful. Now understanding what the Square was named for, and that Ad Nelson's statue is facing the direction of Trafalgar in which battle he was killed, made us appreciate it more. We are following in the footsteps of this great man on this trip!
(Credits: AllisonPennington_Capturing Fall_Paper, TDD_MLP_fayette_border, Paulakesselring_artinthebox alpha, Sarah Gleason_coconut_paint, tangie_QuickitySplitsWorkshop_Gesso)

Thursday, February 12, 2015

A New Beginning

I can't believe it is already February! Memory keeping through Project Life highlights the passing days more than anything for me. Every month as I sit down to look at that month's pictures, planning the pages, thinking what to capture, what are of note, the highlights, the interesting, and how to summarize the days in my PL, I become acutely aware of the days passing. Do you feel the same?

How did we spend an entire month? Did we achieve what we wanted to? Did we love enough, celebrate each other, had some fun, seek the Lord, serve someone, live fully? I am not striving nor expecting perfect answers, but I do love that I get to reflect, recollect and review each month. A mini version of what we do at the beginning of each year.

2015 Title Page
This is my Title Page for 2015. 
We enter the new year on His lovingkindness and compassion which are new every morning.
Great is His Faithfulness!

My word for this year is Turn. It's an unusual word and I only found it in early January. After last year's word - Center - I feel the call to move from my comfort zone, take hold of things that can be better dealt with, take actions of service I have been ignoring, without worry or fear, now that I have practiced having my center in God and His Word. Actually I found the word Turn after reading this beautiful post - Turn My Heart by Janet. You must go read it at her blog Preparing the Soil. Thank you so much Janet, for your faith and words that so inspires!

For my family, we have so warmed up to practicing Warmth last year, we have decided to adopt the same word for 2015. It has been wonderful practicing a listening ear, less unnecessary expectations and nagging, more connecting and playing together, for our family of stressed parents and angsty teenagers :)  

So how did January go for us?
We started the new school year, both kids are in their last year at their schools, we also celebrated both of their birthdays - they turned 16 and 18 (it's truly hard to believe), and then a routine hospital visit for my father in law turned critical when he suffered an acute heart attack. Miraculously he survived and recovered quickly, spending only two critical days in ICU, and is already back home after eleven days. SO amazing! SO thankful! He was well enough that we were able to attend the wedding of a dear friend's daughter and a young man who is youth leader to my son's cell. A very special day.
What a month! 
Great is His Faithfulness!

With all the planner-rage, I too played with making this 'Month title card' PL insert at the beginning of last month, and was able to add labels for the significant dates of January. I really like it and think I will be using it every month. If you do a monthly format too, and want to use this, scroll down for the links to download it. 

January PL Pages:
These are my pages, here are two of the digital versions, I work on each digitally first, then print each out as physical photos, and add journaling and sometimes embellishments. The digital version looks better on the blog! :)
Besides weddings and birthdays, we also had beach outings with our church youth ministry, and loads of fun and beautiful sunsets.
And one more PL page printed and in the pockets, focused on our word of the year and the story of my father-in-law's hostpilization and amazing recovery. 

January 365 Photo a Day Pages
You may have seen my past Year in Review posts. Using the same half monthly templates, the first two pages of the year are completed!
(Credits: WishAlphabet by Rachel Young, Paper by citrus&mint_HF freebie, Erica Zane's paint from sweetonyou, washi tape by justjaimee, paint from currently by kaye winiecki, wordstrips from sayyesto by paislee press, doodle bracket from superstitious by pink reptile designs, heart from this&thats by The Tattered Pear, heart from queen of hearts, and word phrase from happy thoughts, both by valorie webber)

(Credits: Paper from Studio Basic's AddictedtoLists, blackstripe_flower by Snips&Snails designs from TDD's Life of Change, paint art from Jenn Barrette's perfectfit, washi by JustJaime in 'year in review', Banners, wordstrips, camera, heart from Kaye Winiecki's  eclecticmoments, alpha from pink reptile designs's  chunkycrochet, XOXO from helloiloveyou by Shawna Clingerman)

These half monthly templates are available in the store

I love Marilee Stujenske's layouts using Yin templates! Her brilliant photos and great choice of colors and background highlight her brilliant photos and you can tell she had a great time on these trips! Thank you Marilee for sharing these with us!
I love to see your layouts using Yin templates. If you would like to share, leave a link to your blog or gallery in the comments, or email them to me at yindgs (at) yahoo (dot) com (dot) sg. Thanks! 

Free Download

Download these HERE.
Because I'm always sharing what I made for myself, there's only Jan and Feb templates in this download. :)  Do check back for future months!

And since it is Valentines' Day, just want to remind that I have this oldie but goldie heart shaped template that is my all-time fav:
Download Here


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