The Foundations of the Earth

I am so glad that God laid the foundations of the Earth instead of me because let me tell you it is hard work!!! Did I tell you that we are adding on to our house? Our carport was rotten (I know my friends are tired of hearing about my carport woes) so we finally decided to have a do over. We are adding a master bath, extra bedroom, extra living space and two car garage.

I am very excited about the end product that may just be a year from now being finished. We are in the very early stages and it is wild around here. My kids are in awe over the heavy machinery that we have had to bring out to be our little helpers in the process. We are mostly doing everything ourselves to save money. We do not own a backhoe so we had to bring those in for a couple of hours. Tomorrow the concrete truck is coming and we plan to have some fun getting all of the air bubbles out.

Two days ago I spent about three or four hours lifting concrete cinder blocks onto a trailer and then placing them in the back of our yard. Two days a week, I do a think called boot camp and it costs me $5 per one hour session. Prince Charming told me I owed him money for the cinder block workout. Yeah, I may not need boot camp anymore since we have our own now.

Tonight I spent about three hours tying wire around rebar rods to establish a firm foundation when we pour the concrete tomorrow. It will help the concrete foundation keep from buckling. Hope I did it right!! :) I asked Prince Charming if I could use construction worker language a couple of times. Hopefully, I will not have a "potty mouth" by the end of the year!

The cool part of the construction project is the family time. The kids helped us out a lot tonight and they even mentioned that we were having a fun family time together. I think we are not only laying the foundation of our house, but the foundation our home as well. Pretty neat stuff going on over here. What is going on in your neck of the woods?

The bad part about construction is that you only have so many hours of light in a day so dinner gets put on the "back burner" literally and figuratively. It is 8:45 pm and we are just about to pull the pizzas out of the oven (which were not scheduled until later in the week) but they were fast. Oh well, at least we did not eat out. :) Better pull the pizzas out and feed the babies before we do not have dinner at all. More construction talk to come.

For the Love of Photo Books

I have posted before on photo books. I was in the middle of the hair-brained scheme last time I posted on them and I was a little frustrated. I want to tell you I have had a ton of compliments on how cool it looks. It is compact and has a whole year's worth of photos. This is coming from a girl who took 6,000 pictures last year. I really did not skimp because my thought was this is my family and what I would carry away in a fire. I do not want to skimp on memories. I have made two books for the last two years worth of pictures.

My first book I made was on Snapfish. It was very easy. My only complaint was that I had to upload a gazillion pictures before I actually got to drop the pics into a template. The uploads took FOREVER. . .probably like 10 hours. The cool thing about that is that now they have an automatic picture mover that you can download onto your computer. Anytime you plug in your camera to get the pics off it automatically moves them to Snapfish. This helps tremendously with the photo book process. The Snapfish book costs me about $60-$75 if I am remembering correctly.

I have also made a couple of smaller books on Snapfish. I made one for a friend when they were building their house. I just highlighted the beginnings and put pictures of its completion and their sweet family along the way. It was fun to give that to them as a gift. Also, I have made a small one for my family of our annual Florida trip. I am generally the "family photographer" and they need something to vouch for their time on the trip other than just our wild stories (more pics and stories to come on that).

The second book I made was really big, over 100 pages and I can't imagine how many pictures were included. . . .probably over 300-400. It costs me about $100, but like I said I did not skimp. The main problem I had with is that it was not intuitive. I could not make each page a different font and I am a font-fanatic! It was very basic, but what I liked about Blurb is that you do not have to upload your pics before you start working you just have to choose from the pics that are stored on your computer and it uploads the book at the end. That takes awhile, but when I am ready to work on my book . . .I am ready to work. I do not like to do all of the "pre-book stuff. " I did receive an email a month or so that they have upgraded their system to make it relatively glitch-free (although I have not tried it again yet). The other cool thing about blurb is that you can basically publish anything. . .cookbooks, your own book, anything and you can make a profit off of whatever you make. You can set your price to be whatever you feel it should be to include your time in making it, etc.

Well, that just about wraps up my photo book experience. Another one that I am interested in trying because it gives a more scrapbooky feel is picaboo. If you have any other ideas I would love to hear about them.

Don't forget to get back to Rocks in My Dryer to get some other great ideas and tips!!!