Monday, December 14, 2009

A last post before Christmas

We are going away tomorrow night and will only be back after Christmas, I might not get to blog, so here's wishing everyone a truly blessed Christmas, celebrating the birth of our Saviour Jesus with your close and loved ones. Blessed Christmas!!
Jared likes to complain that his life is boring and nothing exciting ever happens. We always laugh and tell him that peaceful and routine days are sometimes the best days. Of course that is not in his character at all, unlike Ryan! But a week or so ago, I truly appreciated the truth of my own words.
The night before our 16th anniversary, Dh felt chest pains and we rushed to the emergency room. You can probably imagine all the thoughts and endless prayers that ran through me that night! I'm so thankful to report that it seems to be nothing serious and he was discharged the next day, although he has to go for more tests in the next few weeks. It was almost surreal as we managed to still make it to dinner and a screening of short films at The Substation, a contemporary arts centre where we had our first date, on our anniversary, as planned. How much life can (potentially) change in an instance! (added on15 Dec ): I want to add here words of wisdom I received from Barbara (in comments) that through it all, I am thankful that I know Him who controls all things for my good and His glory. Thanks Barbara, Lynette and everyone for your encouragement.

The preciousness and awareness of the days since that one has been heightened for me quite a bit, and I appreciate that. When I sat down to complete these next two 365 layouts, (yes including one of my dh on the emergency ward bed when he was declared ok) I was more emotinoal than usual, but also so, so thankful. Emergency, routine, peaceful, mundane or exciting, these are blessed days, and these are the moments I want to remember forever. :)
May these December days be blessed ones for you and your family too.
click on image to see bigger image
click on image to see bigger image
Well I did complete some more Japan layouts the last two weeks, despite all the busyness of December. These next two are of the zen-like, beautiful 'floating temple' of Mijiyama. Even the boys became quieter when we got there! Dh and I were so caught up with capturing the light and colors of this place it was a photographers' (and a scrapbooker's) dream ....

This layout captures some of the moving exhibits in the Hiroshima Memorial Museum. You can click on the pic to see a larger image. Check out the watch that stopped and captured the exact moment the bomb dropped..
This template is now available as a set in the store HERE

And since I won't be posting till after Christmas, here's two more templates for all your wonderful Christmas photos, download here! Tell me what you think of this slightly different 'new style' I'm leaning towards lately! Wonderful holidays everyone!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

It's the end of term school holidays

Yes, it's our end of school year 6 weeks-school holidays! The boys are having their well deserved and long awaited break. I've managed to slot in some swimming and chinese lessons(chinese is our mother tongue but they are much stronger in English, hence the lessons), but other than that they are spending their days just the way they like. (A few days when I got home from work in the afternoon, they were still in their pjs!!) Between getting ready for Christmas, our year end holiday (it's Hokkaido in two weeks time!), 'springcleaning' the home and completing my projects at work before our break, I'm just thankful I have some time every weekend to relax and scrap! (that's all it takes to keep me happy and my family knows that. I'm easy to please, I 'd say! :) )
We don't celebrate Thanksgiving here, but do want to wish everyone who does a wonderful time giving thanks as a family! I do love the meaning of this holiday. Blessed Thanksgiving!
Before I forget, in my last post Christine asked me about the bible study I just completed on The Life of Moses. It is a study I attend conducted by Bible Study Fellowship. It is a weekly study conducted by volunteers that is focused on giving us a chance to learn about God's Word in depth. It is a 7 year program and I've been so blessed (i've comleted 4). I just checked the website, it is now conducted weekly in 36 countries around the world, and began in a California living room a half-century ago! I have been a christian for a long time, but this opportunity to study the bible in such depth has really enriched my understanding, my faith, and my walk with the Lord. Thank you for allowing me to share this!
And here are my 365 layouts for the 4 weeks to 7 Nov. It's a much more relaxed family! :)

blue paper from TDD's snap & scrap kit, camera from same kit by Dani Mogstad
And here's us during the week of dh's birthday, grandma's birthday, and Ryan's graduation night.

word tapes by Nicole Young, brown paper by Creashens, and stamp by the Digi Chick
On to my Japan layouts, next stop on our trip was Hiroshima, the site of the Atomic Bomb dropped during World War II. We had read and prepared the boys for it, so it was a solemn moment when the slow city tram pulled up and we saw the Atomic Dome building. There it stood, so stark, powerful, yet beautiful, and so sad. We have no particular political views about the war, we know that what is important is that all the world have learnt that (as inscribed on a scene in the memorial) "There is no good war and there is no bad peace". We count ourselves very blessed to have been able to visit Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial many years ago, and to be able to bring the boys here to Hiroshima, to be at this city where history changed course, to learn this precious lesson too, and never forget at what price victims of war had to pay for us to learn it.
Credits: Background paper by Robin Carlton, flower by Tara Dunstan, 'gear' by Dani mogstad
Here is the portion of the Hiroshima memorial dedicated to children who died to the atomic bomb, especially this 12 year old Sadako who started the folding of cranes as a symbol of peace. I hope the impression on my children will remain and that they will never forget.
Credits: paper crane by Veritas Scraps, ribbon by Kristen of K Studio, work art by Jessica Spragues, stitches by Gunhild storeid, purple paper by Amy Sumrall, ribbon by Brittish designs, background paper by Jessica Bolton

Finally, finally, of course, here's the templates you can play with this fortnight, have as much fun as I did!
Leave a message if you download here!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Days are flying past

Every time I have some layouts ready and am about to blog, I always try to write down in my post some thoughts from the recent week, whether an anecdote, any story, something cute or funny, anything I want to remember.
But these two weeks the feeling has just been one of wondering, 'where has the time gone?' Can't believe it is November! It's probably the end of the school term, packing up this year's school things to make way for next years', Ryan attending his 'Graduation Night'(!!), finishing another year in my BSF (bible study fellowship)(we studied the Life of Moses this year and what a blessing), and so on that's brought this on. Even with my 365 project capturing every day (almost) it is still amazing where the days went!
There are many things we had been planning to do but that had been postponed more (years, lol) than I like to admit, like re-painting our home (the last time was 8 years ago, eek!, and we only painted half the walls then!), finding a way (overhaul is a better word) to store and organise all our (and the boys') books and stuff, even looking for a bigger home to fit us (and now the property prices have flown beyong our reach!), all these get postponed for daily life, trips (yay!), and I don't know what else.
But in the end, this is our life, as I have documented in my 365 and trip layouts, and I guess even if some of the bigger things get postponed, it doesn't matter. At this stage, parenting the boys, work, being a wife to my beloved, will have to take up most of my time, add to that serving God in sunday school, learning in BSF, time with family and friends, and all the daily nonsense and routine (and scrapbooking!) - is living abundantly as He has shown us how, and we are blessed! :) (even if the apartment is rather messy!)

So much for rambling, here are the layouts I completed, all of them are from our time in Takayama, in the Japan alps, a most tranquil, historical and quaint town. This is from the Hida Folk Village which houses historical authentic old farmhouses brought there from surrounding villages!
Credits: Background by Dani Mogstad, patterned paper, leaves, and heart shaped wood, by MlleHeloise, alpha by Traci King
And this was the totally awesome heritage home of a merchant family, we are no architecture buff, but the way the house was built really drew our breaths! The house was freezing because they did not install any modern heating, and the best part was being invited to sit down (kneeling fashion) for a hot cup of shitake mushroom tea from the boiling pot on the hearth!!
Credits: Papers by Bohemian art, leaves by Viva Artistry, dragonfly by Stephinette
And one last layout of all the various sights and scenes, food and smells from around the town, these made up the full unforgetable experience! (we went back to the same little eatery manned by one lady our entire trip!!)
Credits: Background paper by Catscrap, dotted paper by Karen Lewis, word art by Jen Wilson, strings by Weeds & Wildflowers.
This template is now available in the store HERE

Thursday, October 29, 2009


The above 365 layout was made using one of MandaGirl's templates, I love her style!

The boys' exams are over and we are all having a much needed rest from studying. The two of them have been spending the last week on holiday from school, 5 days together with each other for company, with their fair share of fun and tears! I guess that's the way with brothers right? One evening they were quarelling over something trivial again, and I got so fed up settling the dispute, I said whoever can come up with 10 compliments for the other first, will win the case. They got started and it was such fun hearing what they come up with!! When Ryan struggled to compliment #8 for Jared, he declared, "That's the absolute limit, I can't think of anymore!!" Haha!! Jared is more generous, and got to 10 more easily, along the way I suggested that 'Ryan is honest' and he said, 'honest, my foot!' lol! When they were done, they agreed reluctantly that 'my brother does have some good points!' :)
I tried to capture as many of the 10 compliments as I can remember!
From Ryan, good points about Jared are: He's intelligent, adorable, good with robots, great at puzzle games, creative, have a good sense of humour, fixes my (Ryan's) toys, learn from his mistakes. :)
From Jared, good points about Ryan are: Coordinated gaming skills, great strategist, superior vocabulary, strong, tall, has many good friends, fun sense of humour, careful, obedient! Another great story for a layout! :)

I'm pushing to complete my 365 layouts and Japan layouts, as I'm already planning next year's album in my mind!! It will be along stories of everyday like the 10 compliments story above... more of that later!

The next part of our Japan trip was spent in Takayama, a town in the Japan alps, it was a total change from modern, bustling Tokyo, it was beautiful, quaint, with pretty old houses and alleys to explore, lots of arts and crafts and markets to browse in, and here are the first few layouts I did.

This template is now available as a set in the store HERE

This one below I put together quickly and simply, I'm so glad I started my 365 album on a simple, white background, minimalist theme!
Here's template 154 for you to play!


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