Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Spin on Photobooks for my Kiddos

Photobooks are super popular among the "mom crowd"  everyone these days.  I jumped on the bandwagon and started spending countless hours documenting everything I could with photos when my son was born nearly three years ago (yikes I don't like the idea of "nearly three").  Since that time I have learned A LOT.  I try to include random facts that my children "might" find interesting years down the road- prices of fuel & bread, popular artists & chart topping songs, commonly used phrases (ok, slang), etc.  I made a small book when my son was very little of only family, yes, that included the horse & dog, but I digress.  That book was designed primarily to entertain him during worship services.... I loved that age when simple photos of recognizable faces was so entertaining!  In early 2012 several friends started talking about "Who Loves ____?" books.  That's essentially what my small hands-on book had been for Jack during worship, but then having reached the age of two he was learning to recognize names written out; so what a great way to teach & entertain...not only include the photos of each special person in the child's life, but include text with their name large so it could be a teaching tool in more than one way! 

I really got excited once I started creating these books and for a few days my wheels were turning and I couldn't sleep (crafty, creative side of brain would never sleep if possible).  Why not make several "educational" photobooks?  Next in line was a "Where Does Jack Live?" book.  I am super pleased with the finished result.

I thought it was appropriate to begin this book with just who created the Heaven & Earth... can't start scripture too early, right?  ((Insert Amen now.))

I started this book B R O A D... Jack lives in the United States of America.  Jack lives in the Southern USA.  Jack lives in Tennessee.  Every couple of pages narrowed the scope, all the while including important photos- American flag, map of USA, images associated with the state (sports logos, state bird, state flag, outline of state on the map).  I listed Jack's address and pictures of his home & it's surroundings.  I was sure to include city & county where Jack resides.  You know, all that "stuff" we want them to know, but can make fun with photos!

I had a few additional pages remaining so I thought why not squeeze in a quick lesson on "seasons," including photos of what Jack's home looks like during each!

The book was finalized with photos of attractions & "such" that are important to our family in the area surrounding Jack's home.

Jack was SUPER EXCITED when his books arrived in the mail and I can't wait till Julianne is lighting up with excitement when she recognizes faces in her "Who Loves Julianne?" book.  Have you created any photobooks to be used for different educational purposes?  I am hoping to add to the collection as we go... please feel free to share your GOODNESS (experiences & ideas) in the comments section.  Thanks to all the Momma's who tossed these photobook ideas around with me this spring!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

14 on the 14th

1.  ALWAYS take photos when you rearrange the furniture in a room of your house.  I have made the mistake of not doing this wayyy too many times, so learn from me... take photos!
2. It's only a haircut.  Hair grows back.
3. Oven roasting veggies can make anyone look like a gourmet chef.
4. I need to take pumpkin growing lessons.  Is there such a thing?
5. There comes a time in life when coffee is as much a necessity as it is a want.  That time for me was the arrival of baby #2!
6. Collect something.  It doesn't matter if it's bowls, purses, shoes, jewelry or friends.  Collect something and treasure it.
7. Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa for the non foodies), hit the nail on the head when she wrote the recipes for Toasted Coconut Marshmallows & Coconut Macaroons.  Make them and actually follow the recipe...they are perfection.  Hate coconut?  Make them anyway & serve them to your coconut eating friends - they will think you are a superstar.  Perfection, I tell you.
8. To every thing there is a season.  Ecclesiastes 3: 1-15
9.  I'm all about store brand products, but there are a few things that are worth your dollar... Duke's Mayo, Oreo's, Lock N Lock storage containers, & ForceField Re-StoreIt Furniture Polish.  Good stuff.
10. You completely control your mood, so pick a good one.  I need this reminder frequently.
11. Homemade cake release is, as a friend would say, "the bomb diggity," anything else is risky.  Mix 1 cup flour & 1 cup of vegetable oil with 1 cup shortening... it will be a thick paste, use a pastry brush to cover the inside of your cake pans just as you would a store bought spray.
12. Don't put an empty clear medicine dispenser cup in the bottom of your white ceramic kitchen sink...it will end up in the garbage disposal.  Lesson learned. 
13. There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.
14.  One can never own too many "flops," as my Rooney says.  ((flip flops!))

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Goodness Gathering - Just diving right in...

So here I sit.  Blog name established.  Weeks spent on developing the “perfect” custom logo ((huge kudos to Shane Read Creative)).  A list of fifty-one, and counting, topics I want to discuss on the blog.  Suddenly, a new issue arises… the person who never is at a loss for words, is well, at a loss for words!  The creative part of me has been losing sleep over this for weeks, months actually, and now that it’s finally here I honestly just don’t know how to “start blogging” any other way but to simply dive right in. 
A small disclaimer first- I’m eight years removed from college, probably ten from an English class, so my grammar is frightful.  I’m kind of one of those make-it-up-as-you-go grammar kind of girls.  My apologies.

A quick Google search told me I should begin by telling my audience who I am.  Let me be honest…I’m thirty and I think what that means is I myself am still figuring out who I am!  I can tell you what I know to be true at this point- I am a Christian, living in the South. I’m married to my lifetime love...I chose him for a lifetime nine years ago and everyday I wake up and choose him all over again.  Our “Rooney” will be three years in August and “Sister-girl” is eight months.  They challenge me, teach me, better me and make me feel love in ways I never knew existed. 

I’m a blog addict.  Seriously need rehab.  I’m rather specific with my addiction.  I have friends who are super talented in writing their personal story & family life endeavors, and I enjoy following their blogs because of the personal relationship we share, but my real addiction is blogs which focus on DIY, crafting, home design, homeschooling, and foodie “stuff” (mixed with a little parenting advice of course, because it’s only natural that other mother bloggers inadvertently s q u e e z e that in occasionally)!  

So, it’s my aim that you will join me frequently at Goodness Gathering… sharing a collection of my interest and praying that I can help you in some small way make your HOUSE a HOME. 

If you're a junkin', farmhouse lovin, Pinterest time consumin', cake stand & mixing bowl collectin', polka dot likin', flip flop wearin', chocolate eatin' & coffee drinkin' kind of friend- well, you should find a perfect fit right here...........