Defining “Cousins”

One thing that has always confused me is how to determine relationships among cousins. I know my parent’s siblings’ children are my first cousins. That’s an easy one. But then you get into second cousins, first cousins, once removed, and second cousins, twice removed. I have always thought that my first cousin’s daughter was my second cousin, and that my mother’s first cousin’s son was my third cousin. Guess what? It turns out I was wrong. The relationships among cousins are based on a couple of factors: 1) First second, third, forth, etc. cousins are the number of generations there … Continue reading

Book Review: The Ocean Within/Tides

There are plenty of adoption-themed picture books, but fewer stories for the “tween” or early teen-age crowd. (Two others which I have reviewed are Kimchi and Calamari and The Handle and the Key.) The Ocean Within and its sequel, Tides, are a worthy addition to this small but growing body of stories. The Ocean Within bears some similarities to The Handle and the Key in that it gives readers a feel for the point of view of a child being adopted from the foster care system. In The Ocean Within, eleven-year-old Elizabeth has been in foster care for six years … Continue reading

Murphy Meets His Cousins

It was a big day around here on Wednesday. I kept telling Murphy (and the cats, too) that their cousins were coming and they’d get to meet them. Being smart like he is and understanding what I’m telling him, Murph was all jazzed up. “Cousins? As in plural? Little guys named Charm and Chenille? Cool!” (Well, really they’re little girls, but Murph uses “guys” generically for any gender.) He helped me straighten and clean, a sure sign guests were expected. But as morning turned to afternoon and afternoon was succumbing to early evening, it became obvious he was starting to … Continue reading

Theme Albums – Cousins’ Book – Part 6: Bryce’s Pages

I love to see how unique each of these pages turned out even though we used a lot of the same products, especially our foundation pieces like the Making Memories Kids series of patterned paper. Bryce’s pages show in yet another way how fun a project like this has been. His mom really wanted to capture this very creative, fun-loving, adventurous little boy’s spirit and soul. She had a difficult time selecting a photo of him because in each photo she saw him as a grown adult instead of the 5 year old boy he is. I was able to … Continue reading

Theme Albums – Cousins Book – Part 3: Danny’s Pages

The second cousin in our family is Danny. He is the second child of three and is very sensitive to things being fair. So his mom took great lengths to create a very special page for his part of the cousins’ book. She chose a cool blue and white checked pattern for the base of her layout. Danny loves Nintendo and Pokemon so she decided to accent the base with a lime green color as well as the green from the Making Memories (MM) kit. She cut two bold 3 x 6 inch strips of the lime green Bazzill Basics … Continue reading

Theme Albums – Cousins Book – Part 1: Preparation

My husband’s family got together from all over the United States for the week between Christmas and New Year’s. He has two sisters and one sister-in-law. All three of them love to scrapbook, so we asked our husbands to watch the kids for a day so we could have a girls’ scrapbook day. We had been planning this for several months and knew what we wanted to do – a cousins’ book. It had been two years since we were all together. So many changes occur in the life of a child in a two year period therefore we wanted … Continue reading