I have always been a memory keeper whether it be writing in a journal, saving boxes of letters and photos, or making scrapbooks. Keeping stories has been super important.
When the big girls were young, I became a Creative Memories consultant in an effort to do three things. 1. Create their books. 2. Create them at cost. 3. Help others catch my passion to be a memory keeper as well. I was successful at all and I have shelves of beautiful scrapbooks to prove it.
Then life happened and six little ones came home to their forever family so creating everything from scratch fell by the wayside. I could NOT print all those photos, collect all those supplies, and keep the mess out all the time. It was at this time I began writing my blog and scrapbook as I knew it came to an end.
I began printing my blog each year and those books became my scrapbooks of memories.
As the littles came home I knew I wanted to create a Life Book just for them. It would make a way for them to ‘go back’ and remember ‘their China’. The books have done just that. None of my children really remember their time before us but their books sure help them think they do. They are their all time favorite books too. Not a day goes by that one of them doesn’t pull it off the shelf and want me to tell them THEIR story. It is fun for them to compare stories and see how the miracle of adoption has made us a family.
Giving them back a part of their China story was very important to me and now one of their most precious possessions.
5 Steps to Make a Life Book:
- Make up your mind to do it: This might seem like a no brainer but certainly makes a difference in the time set aside to do so.
- Gather all photos into one place: It is more doable when you spend some time getting organized like gathering all photos needed for the project into one folder on your computer.
- Create an account in Shutterfly: Creating an account is a good place to start and will be used through all future projects.
- Work on the book in batches: I find adding all the photos first is best. Then editing each one before adding the story. I include most all the photos of life in China before adoption, the time we were in country adopting, and some of the first weeks newly home.
- Tell the story as if speaking to your child: This story is for them and telling it as if speaking to them sure makes reading it special. Reading together when they are young will strengthen attachment and when older it will build confidence of their story.
As I was finishing up HollyMei’s life book last night I found myself taking screenshots galore for a tutorial to show you how to make one. This morning it dawned on me to make a video tutorial so I messaged my sweet friend Lisa Furey because she is the guru of everything. I have taken several classes from her so she shared with me how to make my own tutorial. Thanks Lisa!!!
Video Tutorial to Make a Life Book at Shutterfly:
PS. I thought you might need to see how large the photos show up in the book once published so here is a few pages from EC’s Life Book~
I sure hope this helps you decide to take the plunge and get publishing! I promise your kids will feel so very loved because of it!!!