Family, Hobbies, Kids, Organization, parenting, photography, School, Scrapbooking, Uncategorized

Preserving Elementary School Memories: How Time Does Fly

Today was Picture Day at the elementary school Sami attends. It was the last Picture Day that I will pay Lifetouch good money for class photos, for an envelope of three-by-fives and wallets to pass out to relatives out-of-state and overseas. Samantha is in fifth grade this year; next year she will be joining her brother at the middle school. After 12 years fixed at the school by our home, we will be finally moving on at the end of the school year. I think I need a tissue… there’s something in my eye.

I tend not to be a hugely sentimental person, but I do hold tight to certain memories, especially as I am forced to acknowledge the fact that the kids are growing up very quickly.   I have already two in high school. In another two years, we’ll be sending the oldest off to college or the military. It seems like not too long ago that they were babies. It wasn’t that long ago that they were babies.

I suppose I enjoy scrapbooking for that nostalgic sentimentality. Even with the ease of Shutterfly and other digital photo book options, I still like the tactile nature of laying out pages, cutting paper, picking out cute little embellishments to accent the photos. The kids each have several albums: a birth-PreK, kinder-high school, a baby book album with their firsts, and one for Fifth Grade Outdoor Science School. Each album is the product of stress, lots of love, and money- scrapbooking isn’t exactly cheap. However I have given in a bit: for the kids’ weeklong Scout camps and hikes, I order photobooks from Shutterfly.  Let’s face it, it’s much easier to digitally ‘scrapbook’ 139 camp photos. And it takes up much less space.

Shutterfly photo books document the kids’ Scout camps.
For traditional scrapbook albums, Michaels and JoAnn have a decent selection of scrapbook paper and embellishments.  I found that the brick-and-mortar store with the best selection, at least in my area, is Hobby Lobby.  They have several aisles of paper, embellishments, albums, etc. with almost anything a scrapbooker can dream of. Amazon tends to be good for basics such as glue, photo squares, and glue dots


Science camp albums
The older kids’ Science Camp albums from their weeks at Camp Hess-Kraemer in Malibu, Ca.

What to do with those large class photo sheets:

I found that the class photo sheets look awkward just glued into a scrapbook album. So I cut out the individual photos and label them with the student’s first name and last initial, and create a page for that grade. For the boys, I would pick a theme, such as robots. The girls were stuck with some really girly pages.

Sami's grade page
Cutting and arranging the individual photos on the class photo page allowed for more room to create a custom grade-level page.

However you choose to preserve your child’s sweet memories, have fun as you look back on those moments.  The days are incredibly long but the years are short. And almost as quickly as you can turn a page in their baby albums, they will be grown up. Here’s to that journey. Life is an adventure meant to be shared.

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