Saturday, December 24, 2011

Blessed Christmas! “Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.” (Romans 5:1 NLT)
May you know and experience the Reason for the season - we are the reason for His Coming! We are blessed indeed!

I remembered this video that Tracey shared last year, it is so wonderful to have a joyful moment of worship and praises amid bouts of shopping and present frenzy :)

We are just back from Beijing, we had a great, great time. I managed to limp all over Beijing, even up the magnificent Great Wall. Here are some pics from our trip

Blessed Christmas everyone!

Monday, December 05, 2011

What do our scrapbooks tell about us?

Firstly thank you all for your support and comments during my stint on The Digi Files 35, and the sale in my store, really appreciate you so much!
Yes, I'm afraid I  fractured my little right toe over a week ago, and have been on medical leave from work, trying to rest it and let it heal. I greatly appreciate the rest, but the injury came at a bad timing, as we are due to leave for Beijing on 7 Dec. We can't cancel (booked the cheapest no cancellation airtickets) so to Beijing I shall go, hobbling, limping, or otherwise! Unfortunately we had planned skiing as well, I will have to sit that out :(

But the enforced rest gave me time to plan the trip and to enjoy lots of scrapbooking! I did some layouts from our daily lives for our 201 1 Album  using the templates from my Template 262 Album Set
Above: The boys are on holidays now and on the computer everyday (gasp) We limit them and schedule in games time everyday - great family times - we play to win! (wink)
Credits: Paper from Keen by A Pennington, Spinner by Amanda Carlson, alpha by Designs by lili

Below: Jared has graduated from Primary School! By the way his final PSLE results were great, praise be to God! It ensured his place in the difficult to get in six-year integrated program school. However he was not able to appeal to R's school, where he had hoped to join his brother. We encouraged him to trust that the Lord knows best, He makes no mistakes! and J has accepted this with enthusiasm.We are just so thankful :) This layout is made to remember his graduation and tell him how proud we are of him!!
Credits: A+ by The Tattered Pear, Hat by Chelle's Creation, Paper by Jennifer Barrette
Above: Ryan continues to do extremely well in school, surpassing our expectations time and again! 4.7 GPA!! How did he do it? Made a layout to celebrate his results and how proud we are of him too!
Credits: Paper from Bloom by A Pennington, paint by EM Designs, word art by Lauren Reid
Above: Found these photos in my iphone of those days spent revising for Jared's exams. Lovely pics of father and son hunched over Math problems, just love the sight of them :)
Credits: Pencil, shaving and scribble by Rachel B Designs, abc word art by Holly Designs, paper by Simple Girl Scraps

Below: During the hols, we allow them more gaming time, and sometimes dh join them as well. I will not be able to understand but it is amazing how much bonding they can have over these games!
Credits: Paper by Jennifer Barrette, console by Kate Hadefield

What do our scrapbooks tell about us?
You know, as the year come to a close, I reflect on my scrapbook pages, and wonder:
1) Did I capture all of our lives this year and who we are in my scrapbooks? and
2) What do my scrapbook pages tell of us and our lives?

To Question 1: I must say I scrapbook a disproportionate # of pages of our travels, just because so many photos are taken and they are such memorable family time and journeys. Of our daily lives I have captured quite a bit, including a Week in the Life this year, but what is missing is what each of us do outside the family, at work, at school, eg of dh and his tennis, of the boys with their friends, as I rarely have photos of these. Mental note to include some of these pages! 2nd note to self: our faith is such an important part of us and I must add/include pages that reflect how God is involved in our lives.
How about you, do you feel there are any aspect missing from your pages?

To Question 2: If I am a stranger looking at our pages this year I would probably find this family is one that loves their travels, one that has a close family bond, and one that spends a lot of time studying, lol! Yes unfortunately we live in a society that gives opportunities based on a somewhat narrow definition of meritocracy and academic results have become so important. Dh and I try hard not to join the pressure-cooker system, we will push the boys and are strict to the extent that we know is within their abilities, but we try hard to expand their world view, other interests, apart from studies. We believe our children are God's gifts to us as much as we are His stewarts to raise them to know Him, love Him, live their lives in His Will and for His Glory. So we want as much to train them in Godly counsel and discipline, as to enjoy the beauty and joys God has created for us .... hhmmm, much prayer required to stay on track! The boys might not agree though ... couple of years ago, J went up during Sunday School worship to ask for corporate prayer - his prayer request? " My parents are too strict." !!!  LOL.  We press on...

Do not, however, think we are those overpowering parents producing over-achieving kids aka Tiger Mom  ( Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua - she has controversial views) - case in point: I have failed in getting both our boys to learn to play the piano or any musical instrument for that matter. R made it to grade 1 and J did not even touch grade 1, before we heaved a collective sigh of relief and agree they just don't have them musical cells and let it go. :D  To this day dh regrets though and can't help thinking that I (being the one who can play) could have pushed them a little harder and they will  now be able to enjoy making music (something dh did not have a chance to learn)... I guess we will never know...?

More Layouts
Well, I digress... we certainly have too many travel pictures, and here are some more! Used my old templates to do these next ten layouts, and went with white background to simplify further, completing all ten in about 3 nights!
These layouts are all  from the time we spent at the World Expo in Shanghai last year, it was an amazing experience for our museum loving family, it was literally a World Museum for us! For 3 days we pounded the huge compound, trying to get into as many pavillions, sample as many types of foods, shop at as many markets, watch as many performances, experience as much as we can!!

Click on image to enlarge
See below left how Jared was so tired out he fell asleep at one rest stop (Template 22)

Various Pavillions showcasing China's technological advances (Template  93)
And only at the World Expo we get to visit North Korea and Iran!! (Template 231)

We spent time in the exhibits of the African, Pacific Islands and Middle East countries, those we might never have a chance to visit (Template 159) see top left pic J again fell sleep waiting for me to do some shopping :D

Had a chance to visit some European and South America countries (Template 85)

Morroco and Turkey were full of culture and mystery (Template 49)

The Italy and Sweden pavillions were so classy and chic! (Template 91)

Then we had a chance to  visit the China Pavillion, we begged to be let in on the last day of our trip,     having not been able to acquire entry passes (due to over-popularity) and the guards let us in! (Adapted from Template 106 -  this new one is available for download further down as Template 285)
The best exhibits were this animated ancient painting that stretched an entire hall and every person in the painting 'came alive'! And we  got to see the superbly preserved Horse and chariots from Xi Ann! (Template 25)
Magnificent China Pavillion! (Template 75)
All credits for the previous ten layouts: Paint from Painted On by E.M. Designs (this must be the most used resource in my stash!!), crayon scribbles by Brittish Designs, Purple painted background by Corina Nielson (color changed), Globe and pink dots by Kaye Winiecki, postcard stamp and ancient map from Wanderlust by Pink Reptile Designs, pink paint by Something Blue Designs, Paper with writing, flares, wire word art, arrow all from Around the World collab by Sahlin Studio and Brittish Designs

On the same trip last year in June to Shanghai, we also made a sidetrip to visit SuZhou, famed in ancient days for its beautiful gardens and waterways. The city was built on crisscrossing canals, which were used for transportation instead of roads. It is a modern city now, but pockets of of its classical beauty remains:
Credits:  Paper by Chelles' Creations, foliage brush by Tracy Ann
Credits: Paper from Scrap Addicts, paper flower by Sahlin Studios, and leaves by Rachel Young

In the evening we took a break at this traditional tea house and had a game of chinese chess.
Credits: Paper from Lucky Papers by Simple Girl Scraps, leaves by Anna Aspnes, tea leave heart shape by Sahlin Studios and Chess piece scanned in by me

An unforgetable boat trip down the historically rich canal 
Credits: Paper by Simple Girl Scraps, leave art by K Pertiet

Finally, dh had to take these photos of all the bikes we noticed, how they had been lovingly added personal touches, how practical and depended upon they are for all forms of transportation :)
Credits: Paper from Delilah by Allison Pennington 

And while we leave for Beijing, I will leave you with these two 12X12 templates to play with 
This is now available as part of Template Pack 7 in the store. Thanks for your interest!
This is now available as part of Template Pack 7 in the store. Thanks for your interest!
It will be great to hear your comments, I will post from Beijing if I get the chance!


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