Last year around this time, I remember feeling completely overwhelmed by all of the end of the school year stuff. Collections for teacher's gift, class representative gift, events, events and more events, culmination projects and, the best thing - memory books. This year I have not one memory book to work on, but two, since Ben and Lily are in Explorer's 4Day class and Lily is in the Friday 2s class. That makes SEVEN pages on the to-do list. Like many things at a coop/parent participation school, completely 100% worth the time, but it does take quite a while to...
1) Upload your photos onto the group Shutterfly site...and remember to keep doing this throughout the year. I started in November and then didn't remember to upload again until March and then had to do it again in April, because there are so many EVENTS! and cute new photos that are taken - literally - every single day. This is one of the particular things about being in a coop/parent participation preschool is that the parents are there every day, snapping away and capturing all those little moments. (Aside: when we were at our drop off preschool, before coming to Explorer, I have about 5 photos that were ever taken of my kids. Who took them? Me - when I was hanging out for a morning.)
2) Go through all of the photos that everyone else has taken to find pictures for each of my your kids (in my case, 3 kids) and for the other pages that you have signed up for (in my case, the Butterfly Parade and PJ Day for the 4Day class and Gardening and Teacher Annie for the Friday 2s class). I created albumns in Shutterfly for each of my pages, so that all of the photos were then all put together.
3) Download all the photos to your computer for each of your pages. Lily was in almost 500 photos for the year, Ben was in about 350, Ava about 150. Unfortunately, you can't do a batch download from Shutterfly - I have no idea why. Annoying.
4) Actually get down to the business of scrapbooking your page! I decided to do it digitially, like I did last year. I used Adobe Photoshop and some great digital paper and elements from Designer Digitials. One of the benefits of doing it digitially (besides being better for the environment!) is that you can shrink down or enlarge your photos as you wish, move things around and otherwise change you mind a bunch of times. In some ways, it makes it faster...unless you change your mind a whole lot, like I tend to do. :)
Here are my pages - I really like all of them, except maybe for the PJ Day one. I redid it a couple of times and still don't love it. Oh well...it has to end SOMETIME! And that would be on the due date, which was...yesterday. Right when I finished. Lily saw hers and squeeled "Oh my goodness! How did you take that picutre? That was really hard to take, because I was moving really fast!....Where's the rest of the book? WHERE IS IT?!" She obviously does not appreciate the many hours it takes to generate this crap these gorgeous photos that will forever be memories.
Lily - 4Day class
Top from left: Lily and Ava at Chictac Adams Park field trip, Lily's first heart drawing, Lily and Ben at firestation tour field trip, Lily and Tia playing doctor, Lily the first time she did the monkey bars all the way across.
Artwork: Lily's drawing for the Nutcracker program.
2nd middle row from left: Lily doing a paint art project at Children's Discovery Museum field trip.
Bottom left: Hannah and Lily getting ready to perform as Sugar Plum Fairies in the Explorer Nutcracker (they were on the front page of the San Jose Mercury News for this!), Lily eating a cookie after the Holiday Sing-a-Long, Daniel, Sophie, Lily and Angelina doing the Bunny Hop dance at the Easter Parade and Salad Potluck, Lily in the Easter hat she made, Lily wearing her birthday crown with the gifts she brought for her friends (beads to make necklaces), Sophie and Lily on the train field trip
Ben - 4Day class
Top from left: Ben doing leaf art, Ben making his own dot-to-dot at the art table, Ben learning to administer CPR to himself!, Ben dressed as a soldier getting ready to perform in the Explorer Nutcracker, Ben at Off the Wall soccer field trip, Ben running around the big playground in the Halloween costume parade.
5 photos on the left hand side: Andrew, Ben and Kain in the "dinosaur dig" area above the creek at Vasona Park, Ben with his Explorer Olympics gold medal ("I'm Michael Phelps!"), Ben waving a flag in the Explorer Olympics, Ben with his journal with a story he told about a butterfly he saw at Vasona, Ben in the creek at Vasona.
Middle photos on the blue background: Ben doing the monkey bars all the way across for the first time, Ben by the creek at Vasona, Ben delivering some construction materials via bike (probably to Blake, our carpool buddy and construction foreman), Ben and Lily with their body dolls, Ben as Aniken Skywalker with Kain as Darth Vadar on Halloween.
Far right photo: Ben doing some tree branch art with tons of dripping glue and glitter.
Artwork: Shape collage with Ben's name and Native American apron he decorated.
Butterfly Parade at Vasona Park - 4Day Class
Pajama Day - 4Day class
Ava - Friday 2s class
Top left: Ava, Teacher Annie and Snowball the Bunny.
Middle Row: Hazel, Audrey and Ava on the tire swing, Ava and Mommy reading the class's favorite book "Go Away Green Monster" (and don't come back until I say so!).
Bottom row: Andrew (fellow giraffe lover) and Ava cooking together in the playhouse, Ava doing some writing at the writing table, Ava riding a bike, Ava doing car art.
Right hand side blue box: Ava doing some playdoh ala Easter eggs, Ava as Princess Belle on Halloween.
Teacher Annie - Friday 2s class
Gardening - Friday 2s class