Free Digital Scrapbook Template #75

I have another FREE multi-photo template available for download – Yay! This one can accommodate up to 14 photos, if you go photo crazy like I do. Or some of the smaller photo spaces can easily be replaced with the papers and embellishments of your choice. The beauty of layered PSD templates is that you can modify and rearrange things to fit your needs! 🙂

FREE Digital Scrapbooking Template

You can click on the image above to be brought to my page full of Free digital scrapbook downloads.

I am taking part in the November DST Blog Train (full of coordinating freebies by many designers) so I will have another freebie coming up on November 1st. See you then!

Free Digital Scrapbook Template #74

Now that our new littlest addition is finally taking naps during the day and our homeschool is winding down for the summer, I’ve had a little time to do some scrapbooking. Yay! This has resulted in the creation of a new template as well. Finally. 🙂

Free Digital Scrapbook Template

You can click on the image above to be brought to my page of Free digital scrapbook downloads.

This template was created from this layout:

Free Digital Scrapbook Template

Hope your summer is going well.

Time 4 Learning Review

We recently had the opportunity to use the online program, Time4Learning. Our family embraces technology and online learning, so I was excited to see how it might fit into our homeschool day.

Time4Learning’s online curriculum includes science, social studies and language arts. I found the language arts for 2nd grade to be too easy for my daughter, so I changed her default grade level to be moved to 3rd grade. As a side note: all students have access to their default grade, as well as the grades directly below and above at all times.

My 7yo daughter really enjoyed her classes. The videos, games and characters made learning fun for her. She would often ask if she could “do school” with the program. How could I say no? 🙂

As a parent, I really appreciate that I have my own “dashboard” where I can not only control the types of lessons my daughter will use but also can see which lessons and quizzes she has completed and her scores. I also appreciate that she can use this program independently. With a new baby in the house and a busy 3yo, this is a big plus for our family.

My daughter was sad this morning when I told her our 30 day trial was over. We discussed it and decided to purchase a subscription. I plan on continuing to use it both as an incentive (since it makes learning FUN) and as a supplement / enhancement to our regular schooling.

As a member of Time4Learning, I have been given the opportunity to review their program and share my experiences. While I was compensated, this review was not written or edited by Time4Learning and my opinion is entirely my own. For more information, check out their standards-based curriculum or learn how to write your own curriculum review.

Time4Learning Trial Subscription

I’ve been invited to try Time4Learning for one month in exchange for a candid review. My opinion will be entirely my own, so be sure to come back and read about my experience. Time4Learning can be used as a homeschool curriculum, for afterschool enrichment and for summer skill sharpening. Find out how to write your own curriculum review for Time4Learning.

Journaling Sources for Older Events

I am so glad I looked into the whole Project Life Movement. I often get hung up on how I want my page layouts to look and this takes a lot of the stress and work out of that process for me, allowing me to get more memories captured! I also love being able to put several unrelated events together in a way that makes sense so that the memory is still captured when normally they may not make the cut to get a page of their very own.

Project Life

I am still scrapping my pages digitally. I am also not strictly keeping each two page spread as just one week’s worth of time covered. Some of them span two weeks’s time and I won’t hesitate to have them span three weeks’ time if necessary (due to a lack of photos, events, etc.)

The layouts I am posting today are strongly influenced by these beautiful pages by Maegan Birr.

Because many of the layouts I am putting together are from many months ago, I am using several different resources for my journaling.

Facebook
Now that so many people update their statuses and upload their photos to Facebook as events are happening or shortly thereafter, it can be a helpful source for writing about your daily life and photos many months or years down the road. I simply browse to my timeline, scroll to the year/month and copy and paste my statuses in as journaling onto my scrapbook page.

Project Life

Personal Blog
I have a personal blog that I use for longer updates about my kids and family than what I put on Facebook. Even though I don’t update it as often as I do my Facebook status, it still contains many memories and more in-depth journaling for my pages.

Project Life

Personal Calendar
If my Facebook Timeline and Blog don’t contain a lot of information about a week that I am trying to scrapbook, often a peek at my personal calendar will help jog my memory or, at the very least, give me a glimpse of the events we participated in.

Project Life

All of the scrapbook pages on this post were created around 9 months after the actual events/weeks they represent, but using these three methods allowed me to still get adequate journaling about the people, events and memories I wanted to capture.

Project Life

What sources do you use for your journaling and/or to jog your memory about an event?

My 1st Project Life Layout

I have been eyeing layouts from the whole “Project Life” trend for a few months. I am really drawn to the clean layout style that most of them present, along with the ability to add multiple photos to a layout that aren’t from the same event. I have such a hodge podge of photos from different days/events that I don’t want to necessarily create individual pages for, so after pinning several layouts that inspire me to Pinterest, I decided to jump in and make a layout for myself.

Project Life, Weeks 1-2
Credits: Kit used is Amy Jaz Design’s “All Around Town,” Arrow from Jady Day Studio’s “Silly Silly Bo Billy” kit.

Page 1:

Project Life, Weeks 1-2

Page 2:

Project Life, Weeks 1-2

Honestly, these pages took me all afternoon to make. But that is partly my own fault since I decided to make my layouts from scratch rather than using one of the templates out there. And I tend to be pretty nit-picky about making things line up just right. But I am very pleased with the result. These have a lot more journaling than I originally thought I’d be able to include, thanks to my old Facebook status updates and blog posts. And even better – these are the first layouts I have scrapped in months! I hope the creativity continues.

I think I will do some more layouts like these in the future. As mentioned before, I love that I include so many pictures and pieces of our lives on one page that normally wouldn’t warrant their own scrapbook layout.

Have you tried your hand at making a Project Life layout? What do you think of this latest scrapbooking fad?

Homeschooling 2nd Grade

My 7yo daughter’s homeschool co-op started this past week. She was so eager for it to begin again that she was counting down the days.

Now that she is in 2nd grade, we could choose the elective classes she takes. Here are the subjects she and I chose together:

1st Period: General Science
2nd Period: Computer Skills
3rd Period: Electronics
4th Period: Art
6th Period: Nature Crafts
7th Period: Kitchen Classroom

Doesn’t that sound like a fun lineup?

Here is our 2nd grader on her first day of her homeschool co-op. 🙂

First Day of School

We just completed our third week of school work here at home. Here is a quick list of the subjects we are working on:

English: Bob Jones 2 (with a concentration on writing, proofreading, etc. this year)
Math: Abeka Arithmetic 2
History/Geography: Sonlight Core C
Reading: Sonlight with 3rd grade readers
Literature: Sonlight Core C
Spelling: All About Spelling and BJU Spelling
Handwriting: BJU Handwriting
Science: Sonlight
Health: Abeka

She also recently started taking a daytime gymnastics class. So far, she really enjoys it and is happily learning how to do cartwheels and is working on her balance on the balance beam.
Gymnastics

One big change for us this year was the decision to stop going to a local Music Academy for her music lessons. Although my daughter and I both loved the program, it was difficult for us to make it to class on time every week. Since parent involvement was required and younger siblings could not attend the class, we had to rely on my husband to rush home from work (which wasn’t always an option for him) so we could leave our toddler at home with him and then leave to attend class. With another baby coming, I just didn’t think it would be a good fit for us this year. So, we are starting regular piano lessons instead. I have a friend who teaches piano and as an extra bonus, she comes to her students’ houses to teach. That sounds perfect! Lessons start next week.

So there is the rundown of what we will be working on in 2nd grade this year. Looking forward to another fun and busy year!

A Family for Natalie

I was so excited to see Natalie move to the “My Family Found Me” page on Reece’s Rainbow a few days ago! This little girl has really captured my heart and it makes me so happy to know that a family is working toward her adoption.

I guess I need to change my sidebar again soon to display another precious little child needing an adoptive family. 🙂

A Family For Arnold and Introducing Natalie

I don’t know how many of my blog visitors pay attention to my blog sidebar where I feature a precious child who is looking for their forever family. I hope you do!

For several months, sweet Arnold‘s face has been featured there.
Arnold at Reeces Rainbow

Arnold had been on my heart for a long time. Did you know that in some Eastern European countries, many orphans with special needs are transferred to mental institutions at the tender age of 4 or 5 if they haven’t been adopted? It is hard for me to comprehend. Arnold was scheduled for transfer this summer, so I was incredibly excited to see that a family had stepped forward last month to adopt him. My heart still thrills with joy whenever I think of it.


I’d like to introduce you to another precious child named Natalie. Natalie is almost 3 years old.

Natalie at Reeces Rainbow

Natalie at Reeces Rainbow

From the Reece’s Rainbow site:

This little love is said to have a very mild delay — they don’t even consider her as “special needs” at her orphanage, but yet she’ll never find a family in her country due to her Down syndrome diagnosis.

She has some physical delays, but her neuro-psychological development is said to be at age level.

Natalie is an orphanage favorite, and they are hoping to find her a family! They say she is the sweetest girl, kind and friendly.


Even if you aren’t called to adopt a child, there are many things we can do to help these children. We can spread the word, pray for a child or help an adopting family, financially or with our prayers and support. Each child on Reece’s Rainbow has a tax-deductible fund setup to help prospective parents with adoptions costs as they don’t want finances to be an issue holding anyone back from adopting a child.

Thank you for reading about Arnold and Natalie.

Free Printable Scavenger Hunt Cards for Easter

For Saint Patrick’s Day, I found some fun and free printable cards on the Family Fun website to create a scavenger hunt. (Image is linked up to the original source if you want to download too!)

Free Saint Patricks Day Scavenger Hunt Cards

To start the hunt off, I upturned some furniture in the playroom and scattered green sequins all over the floor so that it represented leprechaun mischief. Then, right near the chaos, I had taped the first card, that was supposedly written by the mischievous leprechaun, to set them off on the hunt. The final clue was hidden with a handful of candy (the treasure).

My daughter and her friends loved it. LOVED IT. So much, in fact, that my daughter created her own scavenger hunt for me a few days later! She got up early in the morning and put it together while I was still asleep.

For a writing assignment at her homeschool co-op yesterday, she was supposed to list something she was looking forward to on Easter. She wrote that she was looking forward to another scavenger hunt. Uh oh. Guess we’ve started something here! So I created some scavenger hunt cards with an Easter theme.

I think what we’ll do is hide an egg along with each clue. It will make searching for eggs a little more fun. Instead of a bunch of candy, I may do fun things like cute barrettes, lip gloss and other girly things.

Close-up of one card (each one measures 3 x 2.5 inches):
Free Easter Scavenger Hunt Card
Credits: Cute bunny and heart brushes were created by Graphics-Illustrations

The free printable is an 8.5 x 11 JPG or PDF (your choice). You can import the file into Photoshop and use the text tool to type out the clues on each card before printing. The free download can be found on my Digital Scrapbook Freebies page.

Free Easter Scavenger Hunt Card

Hope you have a Happy Easter!

Zoo Trip – Scrapbook Layout

One of the benefits of homeschooling – impromptu field trips! 🙂

Zoo Scrapbook Layout
Scraplift of a layout by AnyaL, Kit is Zoe Pearn’s “Isn’t She Lovely”

When spring hits, especially when we have these mild Colorado days, we really struggle with Spring fever and the desire to be outside. Yet I keep looking at the calendar and comparing it with the number of lessons we have yet to do. Guess we’d better not play hooky for too many days. 🙂

Help Carlene’s Family in a Disney/Family Fun Fundraiser

Hello faithful blog readers,

You may or may not know that adoption and special-needs adoption has been close to my heart ever since discovering Reece’s Rainbow a couple of years ago. Even though my family cannot adopt a little one right now (as much as I’d love to), there are so many ways that we can still help these little ones. A few ways are to give to an adopting family (adoption is expensive!), participate in fundraisers, spread the word and profiles of children waiting for families and pray for these children and adoptive families. Every little bit adds up!

That said, I would like to share a way you can help an adoptive family with just a few minutes of your time.

Steve and Katrina have committed to adopting sweet little Carlene from Eastern Europe. Katrina is a fellow digital scrapbooker, which is how we “met” online.
Carlene - Reece's Rainbow
Carlene has already been moved to an institution so they are trying hard to get to her as soon as possible. Did you know that precious children as young as 4 or 5 are sent to adult mental institutions if they have special-needs? It is a place no child should ever have to go. It breaks my heart to even think of it. Carlene just turned 6; the age of my oldest daughter. Please can you help?

Here is a note from Katrina:

Dear Friends and Family,

I have entered our family in a photo contest to try and win a $500 Visa card to help with our adoption expenses while in Russia. We are almost to the end of the contest which ends March 22nd at 11:59 p.m. PST. But this is a very tight race and every vote counts. As of right now we are in 7th place but could fall out of the top 10 very easily. (The top 10 photos with the most votes win the prize so we don’t have to be in first place to win)

We are asking everyone we know to please vote and share our link with your friends.

Also, if by chance you know of a business that would be willing to donate $500 as a matching grant to our tax deductible account if we are able to get 500 votes the last 2 days that would be fantastic. Sometimes that motivates people to vote even more. (Besides helping with our adoption now being $1,000 ahead instead of just $500 from the Visa card)

Thanks for any help you can give us in this contest. Every little bit helps us get closer to our little girl.

Katrina
http://family.go.com/i-heart-my-family-contest/favorite-family-photo/adoption-day-83469/

That’s it! All you need to do is create a login to the Disney/Family Fun website (you may already have on – I did!) and vote for their family. Literally five minutes or less of your time.

If you’d like to donate to Carlene’s adoption fund, you can find her profile on Reece’s Rainbow. All donations are tax-deductible.

Thank you for helping!

Scrapbook Layout – Butterfly Pavilion

Do you ever want to scrapbook but feel uninspired and out of ideas when you actually go to scrap your photos? Yeah, me too. Then I find myself perusing the galleries and the layouts I have pinned to Pinterest, which usually helps tremendously.

Another thing that often helps get me going is to scraplift myself. This is my most recent scraplift. It is from a template I created a few months ago so it was pretty easy to throw together. (I did change a couple of the photo box sizes.) 🙂


Credits: Kit used was Ellie Lash’s Aiobheals Garden

If you haven’t grabbed the free template yet, it is still available. Just click on the image below to be brought to my Digital Scrapbook Freebies page to download.
Free 2-Page Digital Scrapbook Template

Also, the kit I used for the new layout above is a freebie by Ellie Lash. I just checked and as of today, it is still available for free download on her site.

Source: ellielash.com via Amber on Pinterest

A Time to Download, a Time to Delete

I like to keep a copy of all my scrapbook kit previews in one place so that I can easily see at a glance what I have available. I used to keep a copy of all the previews in a folder on my computer. But more recently, I’ve been importing them into my iPhoto program. Not only are they all in one place, now I can assign tags or key words to each so they are easily searchable by color, theme, designer, store, etc. This has made it so much easier to find the “right” kit to use for my scrapbook pages.

It has also made it easy to do a kit cleanup / purge when I feel one is needed.

I’ll be the first to admit that I have a hard time getting rid of things, especially if it is something I’ve paid for. Over the past few years, I have acquired a lot of kits. A lot. Freebies, kits purchased from stores and also kits received from monthly paid subscriptions.  But my hard drive was getting full and I kept running across those kit previews in iPhoto that I finally had to admit to myself that I’d never use.

I am pretty picky about the freebies I download, so most of them were keepers. The kits I purchased directly from stores were also mostly keepers, not because I’d paid money for them but because I’d purchased them individually and with intent. But the kits received from monthly paid subscriptions – not so much. Yes, I did receive many great kits that I love and will use. I was also glad to discover many new-to-me designers. However, I also received MANY kits that I finally had to admit to myself that I would never, ever use. Even many from “top-name” designers. Not that they were bad or poorly designed kits, they simply were not my style.

So I began deleting. It was hard at first. I kept thinking that maybe *someday* I’d want to use that artsy kit for a special artsy page. Or make a fantasy page with the fun fantasy kit. But realistically, I probably won’t do either. So off to my trash bin they went.

Then for the hard part. Actually emptying the trash. No going back now! 100+ kits deleted and my hard drive with 15GB more free space, I feel pretty good about my decision.

Have you cleaned up your scrapbooking supplies lately?

Winter Scrapbook Layouts

We have gotten a couple of nice snowstorms already this winter, much to my 6yo daughter’s delight. My just-turned-two year old isn’t so impressed (yet). What a contrast these cold, snowy pages are to our mild 65 degree weather today though! I even have the windows open – such a delight!

Snow Scrapbook Layout
Credits: Kit used is Sir Scrap-a-lot‘s “Hearts of Winter”, Template is a freebie from Marie at Free Digital Scrapbooking

The day after the girls played in the snow in the above layout, my daughter wrote a little story about it at her homeschool co-op “Fun with Language” class. I will have to include this in our scrapbook, as it is a lot cuter than my own journaling! 🙂

Homeschool Writing Assignment

It reads:

“I love my mom because she let me play in the snow. It’s my sister’s first day in the snow. My sister did not touch the snow.”

Snow Scrapbook Layout
Credits: Kit used is Sir Scrap-a-lot‘s “Hearts of Winter”, Template is a freebie by Sahlin Studio

Both digital scrapbook layouts were created from FREE digital templates that I found online. The locations of both are linked up for you in the credits of each page so you can download them too.