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2008: Adoption Day

2008: Adoption Day

2008: Adoption Day

Our Adoption Day was a wonderful experience. We were joined by family and friends at the courthouse, had a picture day at Coronado Island, and then ended the day celebrating at Chuck E Cheese. Our good friend, Tira Young, of Tira Young Photography, joined us for the day and took many wonderful pictures. Tira created a slideshow of the pictures that you can view HERE.

I created a digital scrapbook from these pictures so that I could give copies to friends and family, but I also wanted to create a single spread for our scrapbook album.  I was able to find the adoption background paper from the left hand side, and the adoption poem transparency on the right hand side on Ebay.

2008: Adoption Day Closeup

2008: Adoption Day Closeup

The transparency has a poem about being a father on it, and I created a closeup of it to the left.  If you click on the photo you should be able to read the poem.  Unfortunately the plastic transparency combined with the plastic protector sheet created a reflective glare on the picture.

I placed the picture of us on the page first, and then placed the transparency over the top of the picture and affixed the edges with sticky tabs.  Since you could see the sticky tabs through the transparency I then used torn paper to create a boundary around the page, which also helped tie the color scheme to the left hand page.

Thoughts on Adoption: I really can’t leave out a plug for adoption here.  Adopting my son has been the best thing that I have ever done in my life.  It is better than all the trips I have taken, and more rewarding than the degrees that I have earned.  While it is not easy, and can challenge often, I would not trade this experience and my son for anything in the world.   Please take some time to visit the adoption sites listed below:

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2007: Grandma kissing Santa Claus

2007: Grandma kissing Santa Claus

2007: Grandma kissing Santa Claus

160 x 600I have taken a several month detour to share the scrapbooks from our year with our exchange student, but now I am going to return to our regularly scheduled programming of the first few years with my adopted son. We will pick back on up Christmas Eve of our first Christmas together:

I had purchased a Santa Claus outfit on Ebay and asked my father to wear it on Christmas Eve to hang up the stockings.  We were staying at my Aunts House and my son and I were sleeping in the living room in a pull out bed.  Once my son had fallen asleep my father came into the room to hand the stockings up and my son woke up.  He started shaking me to wake me up and he whispered “Santa is here” – it was the cutest thing.  My dad kept putting presents around and my son was watching from under the covers.

My mother came into the room and I was able to capture her kissing my dad – my son got upset that grandma was kissing Santa Claus and thought that Grandpa would be mad!  It took a little while and then he realized that Santa was actually Grandpa!

 

2013: Florida Spring Break Trip 2013: Universal Studios

2013: Florida Spring Break Trip 2013: Universal Studios

2013: Florida Spring Break Trip 2013: Universal Studios

The next adventure in our Spring Break trip was going to Universal Studios.  Unfortunately for us the Universal Studios website printed an incorrect opening time of 8am so we were there bright and early at 7:30am!  When we got there no one else was around and we found out that the park opened at 9am.  But, fortunately for us, they opened the gates at 8:35am and we rode 4 rides in the first hour!  I would do it this way in a second, because by 11am lines were an hour long and by 2pm they were 2 to 3 hours long.

The left hand side of this spread includes a Universal Studios laser cut that I purchased on Ebay, and a picture in front of the world famous Universal Globe taken early in the morning trying to spend time from getting their two early.  The black background behind the photograph fits with the edgy design of the page, but is actually the left over cut from the laurel wreaths that I cut for the Abraham Lincoln tomb page.  Look carefully at the inside of the wreaths that are on the right and left hand side of the pages and you will notice the reverse pattern.  I very rarely through any pieces away like this, because I figure that there may be a use for them sometime.

Since the park opened early and hardly anyone was there, the boys rode the Rockit two times in a row – I skipped the ride because I knew that it would make me sick.  The right hand page show cases the photograph taken during the ride, as well as the DVD, in a plastic case, that you can have made of your experience on the ride.  Cameras on the roller coaster, as well as those along the track, take photographs and video of you, and then combine it with the music that you chose to listen to while on the ride, and cool animations, to create a video of your experience.  After we downloaded the video to our computer I put the DVD in the scrapbook to keep it with the memories in case we ever had to find it again.  Also, due to the cool graphic on the DVD it fits in color scheme as a cool piece of ephemera.

2013: Florida Spring Break Trip 2013: Universal Studios 2

2013: Florida Spring Break Trip 2013: Universal Studios 2

Our exchange student was mesmerized by “Despicable Me” and loved the Minions and the “Its so fluffy” unicorn, so I knew that I needed to dedicate at least one page to the Minions.  I chose the yellow background page color to pay homage to the minions, but it also worked well with the “Fear Factor” theme colors.  By the way, we stood in line for three hours to ride the new “Despicable Me” ride and it was not worth the wait.  It wasn’t that great of a ride.  

The Universal Studios logo that is in the middle of the Minions is actually a patch that I bought in the souvenir store and glued on to the page.

Our exchange student wanted to get on to “Fear Factor” – an audience participation stunt show at Universal.  He auditioned and out of 20 guys (no women tried out) he was selected to be one of four in the show.  Unfortunately he got knocked out in the first round – but he (and we) had a great time participating anyway.

2013: Florida Spring Break Trip 2013: Magic Kingdom

2013: Florida Spring Break Trip 2013: Magic Kingdom

2013: Florida Spring Break Trip 2013: Magic Kingdom

Our third day in Florida was spent at Walt Disney World.  If you haven’t figured out from my blog yet, when I am on vacation I don’t like to sleep in and sit by the pool – for me it is all about experiencing new things!  So we were at the park from when it opened until when it closed on this day!

Disney Tip: Free Maps The envelope that I set on the right page is actually a free set of very classy maps that you can order from Disney before your trip.  I never take them on the trip because I don’t want for them to get destroyed.  I ordered and received these ahead of time and actually gave them to my son at Christmas time as a gift as my way of revealing to him that we were going to go.  You can order your own maps at http://customizedmaps.disney.go.com/

I wish that I could say that the Disney Title on the left hand page was something that I created, but I bought it on Ebay.  I usually try and search Ebay for items like this even before I take a trip so that I know what my options are (and prices), so that I can compare to items that I might be able to purchase in the location.

Other Ephemera on the page include the 3 day ticket card, and a pair of 3D glasses from one of the shows.

2013: Florida Spring Break Trip 2013: Magic Kingdom - Night Time

2013: Florida Spring Break Trip 2013: Magic Kingdom – Night Time

As I mentioned earlier we stayed until the Park closed, so we had a great opportunity to see the electric light parade and the closing firework display.  If you haven’t had opportunity to see what the closing shows entails, it is definitely worth staying for to intake all of the special effects.

Disney Tip: Electric Parade and Fireworks Show:  About an hour ahead of time we sat on the edge of the road on the castle side of the circle drive.  We had great seats for the electric light parade, and then we just swiveled around and waited another hour and a half in the same spot for the fireworks and castle display.  While we did a lot of sitting, we had great seats and had closeup views of both events.

Disney Vacation 2008: Hollywood Studios – Muppets and Power Rangers

Disney Vacation 2008: Hollywood Studios - Muppets and Power Rangers

Disney Vacation 2008: Hollywood Studios – Muppets and Power Rangers

Disney’s Hollywood Studios hosts the Muppets 3D movie which we enjoyed, and my son had opportunity to compare moves with the White Power Ranger.

I wanted to take opportunity to highlight the Muppet embellishments on this page.  I was fortunate enough to stumble upon a craft store that was closing and selling its inventory on eBay.com.  They were selling a lot of 300 stickers and I won the bid at $289 – less than $1 per packet.  I sorted out all the Disney ones and then resold the remaining ones on eBay.  I ended up about breaking even and getting about 100 sticker packets out of the transactions. Kermit and Miss Piggy came from this collection.  You will notice many more in the pages to come.

Something that I usually do before I go on a trip is set up automated eBay searches for items from the place I am about to visit, and if I am patient can often get great deals on stickers and embellishments.

The white piece of paper in the bottom right hand corner is from my son’s Disney character autograph book.  I bordered all of the photographs, journal block, and autograph in a thin black border.  This helps to distinguish the edge of these items, and keeps them from blurring into the busy background paper.

Destinations in Florida - Florida Travel Specialists

 

Disney Vacation 2008: Title Page

Disney Vacation 2008: Album Cover

Disney Vacation 2008: Album Cover

Today we start a new scrapbook series – commemorating our trip to Disney World in 2008.  I had adopted my son, Levi, just 3 weeks before, and this was our celebration trip.  We spent our entire Spring Break at the Disney World complex and stayed on site the entire time.  I usually try and find bargain vacations, but since this was to mark such a special occasion I decided to go all out.  We stayed in a Disney hotel and I purchased the Disney Meal Plan and we went to several special meal events using the meal plan.  For those that would like an easy and worry free vacation this is the way to go.  It will cost you more – but you don’t have to worry about much.

Throughout this series, in addition to showing you Disney Scrapbooking ideas, I will share tips for how to make the most of your Disney World vacation.  So lets start now:

Disney Tip: DiningIf you purchase the Disney Meal plan, plan your park visits and meals 6 months in advance.  Disney will let you make reservations for restaurants and themed meals six months out and the reservations go quickly.  You can use your exchange meals to pay for these special events.  Some of them take two exchange meals, and on those days we ate breakfast bars that we had brought from home, so that we could enjoy a special lunch or supper.  If you wait until you are at the park you won’t be able to get into any of the special meal events.

I took soDisney Mickey and Friends Embossed Scrapbook 12X12 many pictures on this trip that I ended up filling two albums for this trip!  I was fortunate enough to find two of the same album at a scrapbook store – you can see a picture of the cover above.  Unfortunately I have been unable to find anymore of these albums since I purchased them.  But I have found another option that you might consider.  Just click on the image to be taken to an online store where you can purchase it.

Below are three pictures of the Title page of Volume 1.  I wanted to show that sometimes you can integrate the inside cover of the album right into the spread.  I made sure that the background paper matched the color of the inside of the album and used a Disney World laser cut that I bought on Ebay.  Notice the brown envelope that I attached to the album cover – I will explain more about that after the pictures:

Disney Vacation 2008: Title Page

Disney Vacation 2008: Title Page

I purchased the Cricut Disney Cartridge to cut most of the letters in these two albums. This cartridge also cut the Mickey Mouse silhouette.

Disney Vacation 2008: Title Page - Disney Maps

Disney Vacation 2008: Title Page – Disney Maps

Disney Tip: Free Maps The envelope that I glued to the inside album cover is actually a free set of very classy maps that you can order from Disney before your trip.  I never take them on the trip because I don’t want for them to get destroyed.  I ordered and received these ahead of time and actually gave them to my son at Christmas time as a gift as my way of revealing to him that we were going to go.  You can order your own maps at http://customizedmaps.disney.go.com/

Disney Vacation 2008: Title Page - Disney Maps - Open

Disney Vacation 2008: Title Page – Disney Maps – Open

This is what one of the maps looks like open.  They are printed on high quality paper and they look amazing.  I wanted to make sure that these made it into the scrapbook, and what better way to do that than to put it right on the front cover!

Destinations in Florida - Florida Travel Specialists

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