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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.


2015-2016: 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

Europe Vacation 2015: Returning Home

Europe Vacation 2015: Returning Home
This is the final spread of our 4 album scrapbook of our trip to Europe in summer 2015. It actually captures two days and two different flights.  On the morning of July 34rd Mrs Ollmann took us to the Hamburg airport and we flew on SAS to Arlanda in Sweden.  We then stayed the night at the amazing Arlanda Clarion Hotel, and left the next morning on SAS to Chicago, IL.  On our long flight to Chicago we actually ended up in amazing seats with a ton of leg room (see pictures) and our own personal interactive screens.  I watched 4 movies on the way home and was surprised when they announced that we were getting ready to land – it was the perfect ending to our trip!

The left hand side of this spread highlights the Arlanda Clarion Hotel with pictures out of our hotel window looking at the airport as well as our room and pool keys.  I also attached a welcome card that was on our bed as well as the used the hotel stationary to journal on for this spread.

The right hand side highlights the two trips that we took, with the boarding passes resting behind some photographs from the flight.  We were so impressed with our leg room that I took a picture of it and another of the personal screen that we had.  I also used two photographs from that screen of our flight path as I thought it was cool to watch where we were on the trip.  Thanks SAS for a great flight!


Europe Vacation 2015: Heide Park

Europe Vacation 2015: Heide Park - 1
On our second day with the Ollmanns we went to Heide Park, which is an amusement park similar to Six Flags in the United States. It was an extremely hot day so we really enjoyed the water rides.  We had so many pictures from rides from this day that I needed two full spreads to share them.  This first spread has a brown, green, and yellow theme to match the colors of the park logo.  The background paper for both spreads is from a paper pack that I purchased at King’s Island about 6 years ago!

When I do multiple spreads of one location or event I usually put the ephemera on the last page, but in this case I decided that it fit better to put it on the first page. So, this page has the only photo that I have of both families together on the Mountain Rafting ride and the tickets and brochure from the park.  The brochure is affixed to the outside of the plastic protector sheet so that the viewer can open it to read it.

Europe Vacation 2015: Heide Park - 2

This second spread contains some personal photographs as well as the ride photographs that you can purchase from the park.  I think that Levi was continuing his tradition of trying to get photographed in weird poses!  In addition to the photographs there are some rubber wrist bands from some of the rides that I cut to fit on this page as well.

Sightseeing, Tours, Attractions and Things to do in Berlin

Europe Vacation 2015: Hamburg – Blockbräu

Europe Vacation 2015: Hamburg - Blockbräu
After our ride on the Ferris wheel we went to the Hamburg Harbor, and enjoyed an amazing meal at the Blockbräu.  We sat on the roof an enjoyed some good German live music while we ate.  The food was amazing, especially the soft pretzels which were served as an appetizer before the meal.

The color theme of this spread is based off of the Blockbräu coasters that I picked up at the restaurant – Green and brown.  I used two sheets of each background paper – one for the background on one page, and the second to serve as the border for the pictures on the other.  This is a good way to add visual interest to the spread, without it becoming too busy, or too boring.

The pictures on the left hand side are of us at the restaurant and standing in front of a boat in the harbor.  My favorite picture is the top left hand picture, where Levi is looking with jealousy at the beer that Henry was drinking, which he was not allowed to – my rules, not the restaurant.

On the right hand side of the page are pictures of our amazing food, the front of the restaurant, and a ship in the harbor.  I used the drink coasters as ephemera in the center of each grouping of pictures.

Sightseeing, Tours, Attractions and Things to do in Berlin

Europe Vacation 2015: Flying to Hamburg

Europe Vacation 2015: Flying to Hamburg
On the 1st of July we fly from Stuttgart to Hamburg, to meet the family of our new exchange student who would come to spend the year with us in 2015-2016.  Since we had just spent a week a piece with our two former exchange students, it was different to meet our next exchange student in his home before he had been to ours.  The Ollmann’s greeted us at the airport and immediately took us on a tour of Hamburg.

This page shares the flight, and some ephemera from our time in Hamburg, Germany.  We flew Air Berlin and we very impressed – we managed to get seats with lots of leg room which is a necessity for two 6’4″ guys flying together (Notice the picture of Levi on the top left hand page  – he is happy!).  This page also includes our Boarding passes for the flight, and a heart shaped chocolate wrapper that they handed us when we got off of the plane.  There is also a picture of our exchange student, Henry, holding up the welcome sign that he and his family had at the airport.

The right hand page has a map of Hamburg, which is affixed to the outside of the plastic protector sheet so that the viewer can open it to see it better, as well as a screen cloth that the Ollmann Family gave us with art from around Hamburg.  I chose a yellow, black , and red theme for this page to highlight the colors of the German flag.

Sightseeing, Tours, Attractions and Things to do in Berlin

Europe Vacation 2015: Constance

Europe Vacation 2015: Constance
On June 29th we had a restful day. I took time to do our laundry as we were running out of clothes, and our exchange student, Luca, went to school. When Luca returned from school he took us to Constance, Germany.   Constance has an interesting history in that in the early 1400’s a very important Council of the Catholic church was held here.  A really cool rotating statue was placed in Constance in the harbor in 1993 called the Imperia.

The background paper for this spread is antique map design and I used a plain brown border for the photographs, since the background paper is so busy.  On the left hand page is the building where the Council took place, the Imperia, an entrance statue to the harbor, and a picture of us holding gelatto standing on the shore.

The right hand page has pictures of the the town square, and fountains and statues in the square.  I also journalled a little bit about this day, as I knew that it would be hard for me to keep the details straight after all of the cities and towns that we had visited on this stage of our adventure.

Sightseeing, Tours, Attractions and Things to do in Berlin

Europe Vacation 2015: Meersburg, Germany – Page 2

Europe Vacation 2015: Meersburg, Germany - 2
This is the second spread of our time in Meersburg, Germany.  This was our last stop for the day before heading back to the Reichmann home, and so we stopped at a waterfront restaurant for supper.  It started pouring rain while we were there and we saw an old lady who was painting have her umbrella getting pulled away by the wind.  Luca ran out to help her, but she didn’t want to move and just waited the rain out.

I used an antiqued background papers to highlight the age of this 1000 year old city.  The pictures on the left hand page are of the old castle, a mill, and a local townsman.  The pictures on the right hand page are of the newer castle, some swans, Luca helping the old lady in the rain, and one of my favorites – an elderly man looking out the top window.  If you look at the picture carefully you can also see two paintings on the side of the building, of people looking out windows.  I thought that this was funny and wanted to get a picture of it.

Sightseeing, Tours, Attractions and Things to do in Berlin

Europe Vacation 2015: Meersburg, Germany – page 1

Europe Vacation 2015: Meersburg, Germany
The next stop on our tour around the Lake of Constance (Bodensee), was Meersburg, Germany, which is a town that is over 1000 years old!  This is the first of two spreads on this amazing city.

The left hand side showcases a first day stamp cover with a stamp celebrating the 1000 year anniversary of the town.   Since I am also a stamp collector, this was a very cool piece for me to find in a local store.  The background paper was purchased on Ebay and when I got it it had another name of a town on it that we did not end up visiting.  I did not want to waste the paper so I cut out another card map (with the blue border) and used it to cover up the name of the other city.

On the right hand side is a little journalling that I did for this page and the next, as well as pictures of the center of town including the town trumpeter who came out to announce the time and make announcements (see if you can see him above the town flag in the orange clock tower.)
Sightseeing, Tours, Attractions and Things to do in Berlin

Europe Vacation 2015: Lindau, Germany

Europe Vacation 2015: Lindau, Germany
The next stop on our adventure around Bodensee was the town of Lindau, Germany.  This ancient city is most well know for its amazing lighthouse and statue of a lion guarding the harbor, and for an amazingly decorated Radskeller (Town Hall).

I decided to use some Germany background paper that I had found on Ebay and did a little journalling on the green bordered note card.  I carried this green in to the borders for the pictures to help to break up the harshness of the bold colors and lines on the background paper.

In the top right hand picture if you look closely you can see a long rope of Rapunzel’s hair hanging out of one of the windows.

Sightseeing, Tours, Attractions and Things to do in Berlin

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