Blog Archives

2016: Exchange Student Farewells

2016: Exchange Student Farewells
I actually created this spread after our exchange student left, along with an entire album highlighting our Boston Trip that occurred the week before he left to go home. I mailed this album to him after it was all done, along with some items that we found that he had left behind.

This was a hard page to create because it brought back a lot of memories.  The left hand page has a picture of Henry with all of his friends, the night before he left, and pictures of our family with Henry at the airport saying goodbye.

The right hand page has pictures that Henry’s mother sent me of them picking him up at the airport, so that I would know that he made it there safely!  I used some pre-designed background pages for this spread, and used a light brown border paper to compliment the background paper.

Notice that there are two pieces of paper tucked in behind the photos on the right hand page.  These are “temporary fake plane tickets”.  I told Henry ahead of time that I would create this page and that he should keep his tickets.  So when he got this page in the mail he could replace mine with the real ones so that he would have a place for them in the album.

Buy The Exchange Student Survival Kit on


2016: Heidelberg Haus

2016: Cafe Heidelberg
With each exchange student we have tried to find a place nearby that serves traditional food that might make them feel more at home. So – we took our German exchange student to Heidelberg Haus in Indianapolis, IN.  The Heidelberg Haus has an authentic German Bakery, cafe, and shop that you can buy traditional German items in.

I chose the German flag  colors for the theme of this spread – black, red, and yellow.  I cut out the Lederhosen using my Cricut Machine. One of the techniques that I used on this spread was to have two different background pages for the two sides, and then to border the pictures on one side with the same color as the other side – this helps to tie the two sides together.

Buy Germany Scrapbook Kit

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.

Europe Vacation 2015: Stein Am Rhein 2 & Waldheim Restaurant, Busingen

Europe Vacation 2015: Stein Am Rhein 2 & Waldheim Restaurant, Busingen
This spread shares two different locations.  The left hand side shares some more pictures from our time in Stein Am Rhein as well as the wrapper from a block of cheese that Levi bought in the town center at Chas Graf.  Notice that I used the Swiss flag as the background and cut the pictures so that they could fit around the cross.

The right hand page celebrates the Waldheim Restaurant in Busingen.  Busingen is both Swiss and German.  The town has 1500 people and is completely surrounded by Switzerland, but is also German!  Confused – so am I – so read more –> HERE.  The border of German and Switzerland runs right through the outdoor restaurant, so we had fun being in two countries at once.  It was also the first time I let Levi be in another country without me!  For this page I cut two Country pages in half and then aligned the photographs so that the border line ran along the divide of the two backgrounds.

Sightseeing, Tours, Attractions and Things to do in Berlin

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!!

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.

%d bloggers like this: