Our family is growing in many ways... Growing in numbers, knowledge, parenting skills, growing in love, in our faith, growing our culinary skills (if you can call it that), growing without gluten (some of us), growing green...........

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

That Time of Year Again....

While I have at least ten other posts I need/want to write, I'm going with this one first. I get something out of it, so there's a little more motivation to find the time for this one. ;) But if you're a blogger, you can also join in and get something out of it, too... Stay tuned.

So, as you are well aware...if you're ever around me, on facebook, or if you visit our online photo albums...we (I) take plenty of pictures of the kids and just about anything we do as a family.

More than plenty.

And then some.

I would say that most people that use digital cameras don't print most of the pictures they actually take. Same goes for us. But we don't simply leave them on the computer and then do nothing with them. Every year, I make a large photo book of pictures from that year. It's cheaper than printing up tons of pictures and nicer than just putting them into a photo album (and I just don't have the time for all that scrapbooking). The pictures are printed on each page, fitting anywhere from 1 to 16 on each page and up to 1,000 per book. They are high quality and look it! We get lots of compliments on our photo books; a lot of people are quite impressed, but really...it's fairly easy! (Shhhh!) I make our books with pictures from December through November of the next year. That way we have it when we visit family over Christmas, family we don't see all year long. And it's kind of a Christmas gift for ourselves. The first year I did this, I used a different company, but then I got a coupon somehow for a free book from Shutterfly, and I was sold! I've only used them since. I've compared other prices, reviews, background choices, etc from various websites, but Shutterfly photo books fit us just right. We're getting quite the collection, as I've been doing this for four years now, plus a couple other small books. And this year, we're having to stuff everything into TWO books because one isn't enough! I joked that either we really do take a lot of pictures, or we have just done a lot of stuff this year! I think both are correct...

We've also used Shutterfly for a number of Christmas gifts. One year, we made a book for Aiden's first year (that first free book I got, I used to make Camden's first year book from photos I scanned, so I made another just like it for Aiden), and each set of grandparents received one for Christmas. We've also given photo calendars, which seemed to be another big hit. I love that you can even save dates on the website, and they will print them on the calendar for you...so we could give people calendars with everyone's birthdays/anniversaries/etc already on there! I know that if we ever need some new ideas for photo gifts, Shutterfly will provide some great ones.

Around Christmas, Shutterfly usually gets some BIG orders from us, as you can tell...photo books, photo gifts, etc. We also order our Christmas cards from there. This year, I can tell it's going to be hard to narrow down which card we will use. There are so many wonderful ones to choose from! I really like the ones that are actual cards, that open up, so I'm looking at those mostly, though I've also used just flat one-sided cards from them before, too. So far, I'm thinking about something like their With Love card. We just got our family photos taken, and I want a card that will showcase more than one picture...a family one, along with some of just the kids. Even though they have soooo many cards to choose from, it's easy to narrow down the style/type you want by clicking to look at flat cards or folded cards, cards with just 1, 2, 3+ photos (or none), color, size, etc! Be watching for our Shutterfly card, coming your way this Christmas! ;)

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