uncle bens

Here in the Fehr household, we are loving the freedom of summer. Laid back schedules and lots of laughs. I had to laugh out loud when I found these photos on my camera the other day. The kids were trying on some freebies won from participating in a contest. The staging was all their own idea!

Creative people are idea people, and while many of those ideas are junk, and quite a few, while good, may not make it further than idea form, every now and then an idea of sheer genius just has to be put into action. I had such an idea when the kids and I were looking at these photos.

When I was a girl, my siblings and I used to make our own story books. We would sort, cut up and arrange photos from Mom’s “not-good-enough-for-photo-album” box, glue them into scrapbooks and add our own text, creating zany storylines that we would laugh over again and again. Sometimes we would do the same using photos from the Sears catalogue (or we’d just go through the catalogue and write nutty speech bubbles over all the models).

Today’s digital cameras and photo technology has changed everything. My kids don’t have to try to arrange assorted photos into a cohesive storyline, instead, we can stage our own story, upload the photos, add text and order a custom photo book all in an afternoon. It was the most fun we’ve had in ages, and such a great way to spend time together!

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We talked out our storyline before we got started, then we gathered our costumes and props and staged each photo chronologically. New ideas for story twists came to us as we went through the photo shoot, and once all the photos were taken, we uploaded the pictures to Shutterfly and created a new, blank photo book. Luckily the photos we took fit into their standard, 20 page book without us having to delete any. As we inserted each photo, from front to back, we made up our narrative. I did most of the writing, but everything had to be approved by the cast. Certain lines really tickled their fancy, and for the rest of the afternoon they could be heard, randomly spouting phrases like, “Oregano!” and “Having trouble with the germ-proof lid?”

Once the storyline was complete, we quickly proofed the book, reading it aloud to make sure it had “flow” and then I placed the order. The best part is that I can order three copies, one for each child, and it will be a keepsake they can share with their kids twenty or thirty years from now!

While I may not have gotten much painting done that afternoon, I think it was worth it! You can view the full story online here if you want – maybe you’ll get some ideas for quality time with your family, or just enjoy a laugh.