Wednesday, January 20, 2016

:: Let them Create | a little bit of rambling & a whole bunch of pictures ::

Ella says she hates "art" day at school and that makes me so sad because she LOVES to color and play at home. What the heck! Every kindergartener should LOVE art class! ;)
Therefore, one of my goals for 2016 is to instill a bit more creativity into my kids' lives and make it fun!

Yesterday I was finally putting the New Years Eve decorations away. Whatev.

I had printed around 150 wallet sized black & white photos; all of them telling our "2015 story". They were displayed in the living room & kitchen and the kids loved to look at all the little memories.
I had no idea what I was going to do with these little photos because I have already scrapbooked them. But no way was I going to throw them away!
So, I created a simple flip book using 5x7 pieces of white cardstock and attached the photos.
The photo book and a few supplies will be left out so the kids can add their own journaling and drawings as they'd like.
Ella is LOVING it (oh, and don't mind her messy hair and pjs. She's still home sick today).
Chase even did a little journaling last night. I love that this "book" is going to be created completely by them!

Speaking of scrapbooking. I've stepped back in a BIG way since last May. I called it quits on all of my design teams. While it was such an amazing experience to be a part of all of those & to "meet" so many people that way, I felt like I was scrapbooking for someone else not for our family.
So, in May I switched from the Project Life style scrapbooking to digital books that I have printed through Shutterfly. The top two books in the below photo are my 12x12 photo albums from Shutterfly and the bottom book that is open shows the traditional 12x12 album with the PL system.
DON'T get me wrong. Some days I really, really miss the creative side of the PL albums and all the supplies that go with it but this year just didn't allow the time to put into these type of pages.
The Shutterfly books allow me to upload the images and create the digital pages as time allows.
Then, once the book is full I send it to print!
I also love that fact that I get to create my pages and spreads focusing on my photos and our stories rather than on a companies product.
Another upside : they take up WAY less space! The two smaller black books towards the left are the shutterfly books and the traditional albums are the rest.
The downside is that if something gets spilled on the Shutterfly books or a page gets ripped, there's really not an easy fix like there would be with the page protected PL style albums.
With all that being said, record and document those memories! They are important!

Monday, January 4, 2016

:: 2016 One Little Word ::

Every year since 2010 I've taken part in Ali Edwards : One Little Word challenge. I love the idea of choosing a word rather than a New Years resolution that ends up getting forgotten two weeks in.
As Ali says : The One Little Word challenge is about finding your WORD : a word to focus on, to live with, to investigate, to write about, to craft with, and to refect upon as you go about your daily life. 

The first year I took part in the challenge my word was BALANCE. This was the year we welcomed our third baby, so we definitely had to learn how to balance life a bit more.

In 2011 I chose PERSPECTIVE. I wanted to view life from all angles.
In 2012 I chose FOCUS. This was not only for my everyday life but for my business. I chose to focus on what makes me happy and worked on really expanding my photography.
In 2013 my word was SIMPLIFY. Many times in life I let the complicated busy days get the best of me. I needed this word!
In 2014 : LESS. Yes less! I think this one almost comes hand in hand with SIMPLIFY. It was a great way to continue to strive for a better me and a better "us".
In 2015 I never declared a specific WORD; but while looking through some of my #growinandcrowin images awhile back, I realized that I had chosen HOME without even realizing it. I have found so much peace with working from home. It was one of the biggest decisions I had ever made and it took me a few years to get ahold of the fact that is was OKAY to be a stay at home/ work from home Mom. I feel like I now take more pride in our HOME and the acreage we live on. I am more a part of it all now than I have ever been. Thank goodness!

This year I have thought and thought about what my WORD will be. It didn't come to me until every time I was typing the word "LOVE" on my phone that it would autocorrect to "LIVE". YES! That's it; my word is LIVE! 
I want to LIVE life like there's no tomorrow.
I want to LIVE for me, for Aaron & for the kids.
I want to LIVE in the everyday.
I want to LIVE & learn.
I want to LIVE happy.

If you're new to the One Little Word concept, I invite you to read about it HERE on Ali's blog. 
Happy 2016 Friends!

Friday, January 1, 2016

:: Thank you 2015 | Hello 2016 ::

Twenty - fifteen was a wonderful & blessed year. It really was. It was simple but busy, included new adventures, and lots of time with family and friends; it was perfect.
The kids had a wonderfully magical Christmas & although I love the excitement of the Holidays, I love when it's over and things slow down just a bit.
December ended under ice and a bit of snow. Even though it caused power outages and unfavorable conditions, it was beautiful once we were able to finally get outside.
 Say a little prayer for my bees to make it through winter. I'm the most nervous about this stage of beekeeping! Cluster up girls!
I thought the other day, January means time to order seeds for the garden! Yes! Spring is just around the corner. Right?
 The donkeys are still loving all the room they have to run in. Jack is such a character, can you tell?
Pistol Annie spent some time at a friends farm "getting married" so she could be bred. Here's hoping for cute little baby goats come Spring!
I swear she is smiling in the picture. Can you see it? ;)

Speaking of cute little baby goats. Meet Clyde; he is our new little bottle baby. He was born in a set of triplets and since goats only have two udders, he needed someone to bottle feed him. So once again I convinced my loving, softy of a husband to bring him home.
And a New Years Day wouldn't be complete without adding something new to farm right?
We welcomed three turkeys to the farm today. This might get interesting ...
Cheers to a plenitful and productive 2016!
Happy New Year friends!