Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Super Packed Month!

We have had a really wonderful 1 month June Holidays! Making the Holiday Manifesto together as a family was such a great idea and really helped us to max it out and make it count the way we wanted! Here is my completed Holiday Manisfesto layout. If you used this template to make a layout of some of your Summer or Holiday photos do share by leaving a link in comments! And scroll down for link to download the 'DONE' stamp :)
Not only did we pack in many activities, we also made time to just relax together, like this Sunday evening we spent walking at our local beach - I just love this photo! 
While squeezing in as much as we can during the holidays, on a separate note I was being inspired to focus on what I really want to achieve for my family in our family life. I have been reading this lovely gem of a book : LIVING SIMPLY by Joanne Heim. I've read many similar themed books but Joanne's style is so personable, her points so simple and lovingly illustrated, her principles so Christ-focused, it just speaks volumes to me. In her words (on her blog):

Living simply is not so much about the particulars of our lives as much as it is about the principles that govern them. Knowing what God has called you to do, and then doing it--that's living simply. 

I'm halfway through the book, slowly absorbing it, and one of the parts that spoke to me is that for my role in our family life in this season, I want to focus on making our home a refuge, the happiest, most cheerful, comfortable, safest place my family can imagine, where they want to run home to. I try to simplify by making choices that will allow me to move closer to this goal. For eg, I'm a bit of a control freak, so now I learn to listen more, instead of just doing what I think is the best for dh and the boys, or worse, making them do what only I think is important. I find that what they hope from me can be quite different! 

Like this afternoon, when Jared asked, and I actually agreed, and spent an entire hour playing Mindcraft with him. He was so delighted! And that was definitely time better spent than an hour cleaning his room! Even though I was definitely no good at it and got a headache and was giddy after playing (I'm sure that is a first in the Mindcraft world, LOL!) Or, I used to sweat over them finishing their breakfasts in the short time we have before dashing off to school, and that made all of us grumpy and frustrated, I've decided that even though breakfast is important, sending them off to meet their day in the happiest way is more important (refer my focus)! Thank you Joanne for your great example and inspiration! 

Now the thing is, when I started writing this post yesterday, I googled and found Joanne Heim's blog: The Simple Wife.  And I found out that she had suffered a massive stroke in January 2011 (gasp!) From what I have read, she is better and home now but has apparently lost function on her left side. I hope she is able to and will continue to write! After completing this post I'm going over to let her know how much her book is encouraging and inspiring me. Go over to her blog to find out more and perhaps join in praying for Joanne too.

Coming back to scrapbooking, I made this digital layout for the rest of June: we attended a Baptism at the beach (!), watched a few concerts, made pizza from scratch, got Ryan a tablet, attended a wedding, and much more!
Credits: Background paper by WMsquared (recolored), Memory sticker by Kate Hadfield, doodles by Valorie Wibbens, clock and timeline by The Tattered Pear, paint by Emily Merritt, alpha by Karah Fredricks

Then I included the Holiday Manifesto that was pasted over our doorway during June into my Project Life
 Also the June calendar that accompanied the Manifesto as we worked the activities in
And five pages of Project Life dedicated to our Rawa trip! I took Ali Edwards' Big Picture Class on ScrapBook On The Road, and was inspired to pre-print self made journllaing cards before we went. I  journalled daily while we were there, and when we reached home, all I had to add were the pictures!

Below were "Today I ..." prompts for each member of the family to fill in while we were there..

This is Paradise for us indeed!

Credits for the journalling cards :

And this page is from our visit to Universal Studios Singapore. The Transformers ride was the highlight for us that day, the boys went on it FIVE times!!

 June was also a month where we attended several concerts, a free one, an open air one, and a memorial concert. All wonderful. 

 Finally photos from our beach walks, Labrador Trail and Hike, and visits to the Science Centre.

Now what a month June has been! 

Finally, finally, I found time in July to start on our Vietnam Trip album - we went to Hanoi, Vietnam in Dec 2010, so if you think I'm so up to date on scrapping, think again, haha

This time, before I began, I asked dh if he had any ideas or opinion how he would like our albums to be. And he actually had one! He said, "I would like more large photos." Hhmm, now what do you think? He is right of course, my style tend to be multiple smaller photos, and he takes great photos! So I took his point, and decided to make the entire album with one large photo per layout. Here are the results: 

Our first sights of this fascinating city! Hanoi is new and old beautifully mixed together, full of life and every where even in the buildings you see the signs of life.
We went out to the Old Town where we were also staying..  so much to see
And we wandered the Old Quarter into the night - this gentlemen was hand-carving wooden stamps by the roadside - we customised many stamps with our names and images.. whimsical!
At night the city looks very different, there are areas that are high-classy with expensive looking shops, restaurants, art galleries all lighted up. The lovely by day Hoan Kiem Lake looked quite eerie at night with its neon lights though!
And the next day we visited the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, an unforgetable experience. 
More to come!

Credits for the Vietnam layouts: 
Layout 1: Background paper, epoxy by Gina Cabrerra, flower sticker by Pretty in Green, alpha by Designs by Sarah
Layout 2: Background paper by Genia Beana, scribbled curly by Valorie Wibbens, epoxy by Weeds and Wildflowers
Layout 3: Background paper by Dream Big Designs, flower and string by GenniferBursett, alpha by Laura Banasiak
Layout 4: Background paper by Elle Schreiber, buttons from Weeds & Wildflowers, shelf from Sweet Shoppe's Simple Pleasures, alpha by Pri Rocha Designs
Layout 5: Background paper by Haynay Designs, Hero plate and dial by Jen Wilson Designs, alpha by Sahlin Studios

And finally, here's a layout of photos from Rawa trip in 2011 found within a forgotten disposable underwater camera :)  The photos when developed were kind of off in colors, but some photoshop soon gave them this dreamy look :)
This is now available as part of Template Pack 7 in the store. Thanks for your interest!
And last but not least, here's the "DONE" digital stamp I made for my Summer Manisfesto.
Download here, have fun getting them manisfestoes DONE!


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