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2015: Exchange Student – Welcome

2015: Exchange Student - Welcome

It was different meeting our exchange student at the airport because we had already met him before when we were on vacation in Germany.  Instead of wondering if the person would work out, we already knew he was awesome and were meeting him again, instead of for the first time.

If you look closely at the left hand picture you will see the welcome sign that we made for Henry.  I used my Cricut machine to cut the letters for that sign, and used the same font, just smaller, to duplicate that sign on this spread.  The black, yellow, and red are the colors of the German flag, and are also used to border the pictures and the ephemera on these pages.  As you know I love ticket stubs, and so those, along with our parking receipt help to create date, time, and place for this spread without me having to journal about them.


2015: Exchange Student – New York – Top of the Rock

2015: Exchange Student - New York - Top of the Rock

While in New York Henry visited “Top of the Rock” which is an observation deck on top of the Rockerfeller Center.

I had some leftover New York background paper from our short trip to New York (See page here), which fit perfectly for this spread. If you look closely at the right hand bottom picture you can see the Chrysler building which is the same building that is on the background paper to the right of the left hand page.

I then used brick paper to create the border for the pictures, postcard (top left), and to create a pocket to hold maps and other ephemera from this day trip.  The pocket allows the viewer to retrieve, open, and look at the items that are inside of the pocket.

I mounted the ticket on another New York Paper (if you look closely under the ticket you can see the word “Queens”), and double mounted the photo pass (bottom right hand corner) on both papers.


Top of the Rock Observation Deck, New York – $30.00

Daytime or night-time – anytime is the right time to visit the Top of the Rock Observation Deck. Perched 70 stories above the city at Rockefeller Plaza, the panoramic views of Manhattan are unequaled anywhere else in New York City. Breathtaking vistas stretch for miles in every direction. You’ll see New York’s famous landmarks, including the Chrysler Building, Times Square, the Hudson River, the East River, Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty. Plus, your view includes the Empire State Building! Quite simply, it is the most spectacular view in New York City.

2015: Flying to America

2015: Flying to America

Henry, our exchange student, had planned on creating his own scrapbook, but when he saw what I was creating for him he asked me if I could scrapbook parts of the trip that he had already collected ephemera and photographs for.  So this is the first page of his album, and it includes all of the tickets and boarding passes for his flights to get to the United States.  Henry landed in New York for a 3 day exchange student entry program.

I used a cloud background page and affixed a Cricut cutout of an airplane on it.  Since he was flying Lufthansa I made the airplane blue and yellow to match their colors and the tickets.  In order to help the tickets stand out a little more on the cloud background page I used the same blue paper that I cut the airplane out of, to border the tickets.

Sightseeing, Tours, Attractions and Things to do in New-York

2015-2016: Exchange Student – Henry

2015-2016: Exchange Student - Henry2015 was an exciting year for us.  During June and July of 2015 we took a trip to Europe to visit our two former exchange students – Jonathan, in Sweden, and Luca, in Germany. (See those pages HERE).

During Spring of 2015 we decided that we would host another exchange student, Henry, who was also from Germany, and we got to visit with him and his family for a few short days during this time as well.

The next set of pages that you will see over the next few posts are from the 4 scrapbooks that I made for Henry while he was visiting with us.  The picture to the left (Click on it if you want to see more detail) is of the cover pages for the first 3 albums.  I made a 4th album after he left and mailed it to him.  I had to do this because we had too many adventures right at the end of his time with us, and I did not have enough time to get them done to send them home with him.

I should point out that I actually made these pages last, after the first three albums were created.  I like to do this so that they can all have the same theme to tie the albums together.

I chose American patriotic themes for the cover pages because after all he did spend his exchange year in the USA!  The letters and numbers were all cut on my Cricut machine and carefully glued to the page.

For the first album I used Henry’s school picture to be part of the cover page.  When I am making albums for my son, the cover page is usually the school photo, and I decided to continue this tradition on the first album cover page.  All of the embellishments came from a 4th of July scrapbook pack.


Hosting a Foreign Exchange Student

I just want to put a little plug here for serving as a host family for a Foreign Exchange student.  We had a wonderful time doing it – this was our third year – and we have had a great experience every time.  My son loved having a brother and learning about new places, and it makes our home a little more active🙂

We used International Student Exchange for our agency and we had a great experience.  I encourage you to go to their website ( and consider serving in this way.

ISEC Learn More

2014: Exchange Student Letter

2014: Exchange Student Letter For the last page of the albums  that I created for our exchange student I made a page to hold a letter that I wanted for him to read once he had returned home.

The letter contained personal remarks and sentiments for him, and things that would encourage him once he was back at home.  I put it in an envelope because it is a private letter for him from us, that I did not want other viewers to read.  Because of the way that it is placed on the page, and then within the plastic sheet protector, it is hard to get to to keep curious eyes from taking the time to pry.

I did the same thing for our previous exchange student –> Final Page.  This page, for some reason, is one of the most popular and re-pinned Pinterest pins that I have – See Pin.  My guess is that people like the concept of putting a personal letter in a scrapbook, and are less interested in the design of the page.

2013: German American Club – Exchange Student Birthday Party

2013: German American Club - Exchange Student Birthday Party

2013: German American Club – Exchange Student Birthday Party

Since Luca is German we decided that we needed to take him to a nearby German restaurant for his birthday.  I thought that the German American Klub would be the perfect place.  We had some good food but were disappointed that only one person in the whole restaurant spoke German!

I should add that we decided to do this on Black Friday!  So we were a little tired from the previous night’s shopping.  We did not get up early to go shopping this year, because I wanted this to be a good surprise for Luca.

We got there a little early – i.e. before they even opened – so we had to get out and explore a bit, which created wonderful opportunities to get some pictures.  I often find that if I arrive somewhere early we fill the time with picture taking which leaves many options for me to choose from when creating the pages.  If we arrive just in time or late I often forget to take pictures afterwards, which makes for fewer pictures for the scrapbook!

This page has a simple design as there were many pictures that I wanted to get on the page.  I used a flat black background page and then cut yellow and red mats for the pictures to emphasize the colors of the German flag.

Side Note: I just bought tickets to Europe for Summer 2015 so that we can visit our exchange students – so not only am I looking forward to the trip – but there are going to be some great scrapbooks to work on for next year!!

2013: Exchange Student Football Season

Exchange Student: Album Title Pages

Exchange Student: Album Title Pages

Exchange Student: Album Title Pages

First I must apologize that the picture is so small, but if you click on it you can see the full version. I did this because the larger version was too big for the blog.

These are the three title pages that I made for the three scrapbooks for our exchange student, Luca.  I wanted them to all have the same theme but not to be identical, and because we are in the United States, I felt that they had to have a patriotic theme.

For all three pages I used patriotic background papers and used my Cricut to cut out the lettering and shadows.  It took about two hours to do all the lettering, but was still much faster than cutting them by hand, or by using the old die stamps that I used to use.  I am very thankful for my Cricut machine.

Also on all three pages I used burlap ribbon which I taped to the back of the page, and then secured using brads punched through the burlap and the background paper.

For Volume 1 I put together an Indiana laser cut that I purchased at a local scrapbook store.  For Volume 2 I used a cloth pennant which I attached using brads, and then glued craft store wooden letters to the flag.  I tried to color the letters, but they did not look good on this page, so I used a second set in natural wood.  For Volume 3 I used patriotic 3-dimensional stickers that I purchased at my local craft store.

Overall to create these three spreads it took about 3 hours, but most of that was in cutting and gluing letters and shadows together.

The albums that I put all of the pages in have a window in the front cover to insert a picture, so I took these pages and photographed them and then used a photo editor to make them exactly the right size to fit in the window.  I then had the pictures printed out at my local pharmacy and cut them to fit into the windows perfectly.  So now the window shows what the first page of the scrapbook is going to look like.

Exchange Student: Welcome Luca

Exchange Student: Welcome Luca

Exchange Student: Welcome Luca

Today is a sad day for our family: We are saying goodbye to our German Exchange student, Luca, who is heading home today.  It has been a wonderful year together and I am looking forward to sharing scrapbook pages of our last year together.  I created three albums for him while he was here and sent them back with him.  There are a couple of pages from the last few days and his goodbye party that I will ship to him later in the summer when they are completed.

But, lets start at the beginning by remembering our first day together.  This spread celebrates our first day together.  My son and I headed to the airport with our big German colored welcome sign (made on my Cricut of course!) and our German shirts.  Notice that the theme of the page matches the design of the welcome sign – I used my Cricut to cut the same letters in the same font – just smaller for this page.

The pictures are our first picture together holding the welcome sign, eating at Taco Bell on the way home (Luca hadn’t eaten for quite a while), and opening the gift bag we had for him at home.  We discovered that Luca (the German) did not like Sauerkraut or pickled fish – two German delicacies that we had for him in the gift bag!

I had to put the parking garage stub on the page as it has the date printed on it which serves as journaling for the page.

Overall we had a great year with Luca and are going to miss him terribly.  We are hoping that next summer we will be able to go and visit him – and that or course will make for a wonderful European vacation to scrapbook about next year!


Hosting a Foreign Exchange Student

I just want to put a little plug here for serving as a host family for a Foreign Exchange student. We had a wonderful time doing it during our second year.  My son loved having a brother and learning about new places, and it makes our home a little more active 🙂

We used International Student Exchange for our agency and we had a great experience. I encourage you to go to their website ( and consider serving in this way.

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