Almost done…

in more ways than one.

I’m posting from Butte, Montana where my family is staying on our way to the James L. McDougal family reunion at Bear Lake. My mom and dad arrived in Spokane last night at 6:00pm. Since then, Mom and I have spent every waking moment finishing, copying and assembling 15 scrapbooks celebrating the centennial of my grandfather’s birth (July 23, 1910)

What a job–trust me when I say it has been a day of toil, tears and triumph.
We are so close.

The best part is of course the photos and the stories and the knowledge that we are accomplishing a great thing.

Just look at this cool photo of my grandpa James as a young schoolteacher/principal at the Colombus school in Campbellsport, Wisconsin.

And, all of these …

The other best part is that I typed up an outline for a new class at Big Picture Scrapbooking. I figured if I’m going to go to all this work, I might as well help others tackle and simplify a big project like this!

All this family history has made me think a lot about Addie and ALL that I don’t know. I chatted yesterday with Noell and Izzy Hyman, Nancy Nally and CD Muckowsky about scrapbooking adoptive and mixed families — that conversation sparked my thoughts about what I want to eventually do for Addie.

I’m hoping to blog a bit more about this very soon.
In the meantime, you can listen to The Paperclipping Roundtable, Episode 28 HERE.

Have a WONDERFUL weekend!


  1. So glad you’re going down the adoptive-family-road-scrapbooking-train-of-thought.
    We brought our youngest home from China a few years ago and as she gets older it really is making me think more about my scrapbooking and how to capture her story in the most honest, most beautiful, most sacred ways.

  2. Ahhh, Bear Lake! What a great place to have a family reunion. Enjoy! Can’t wait to see your ideas on putting together heritage books.

  3. These photos are wonderful! I’m sure those 15 albums are beyond amazing Stacy!
    I love the PRT podcasts, especially when you’re on the panel…thanks for your inspiration.

  4. What an amazing, meaningful project you’re working on! Can’t wait to see some finished pages (hint, hint). Enjoy your family reunion! My husband’s family reunion is today, and we’re looking forward to it.

  5. Have a great time at your reunion; we’re off to Indiana today for my Dad’s side of the family. Don’t you love the old photos? Putting together the family albums is something I’m really interested in. Can’t wait to see what new class springs from all your hard work.

  6. I LOVE the picture of the classroom! So many of the “old” photos are just portraits, so this one is really special. And how thoughtful of you and your Mom to do one for each family.

  7. I want to do a large scrapbook too while my parents are alive. They can tell me so much about a photo that no one else can. I can’t wait to read your outline. Looking at the hundreds of photos is pretty much a monumental task in figuring out how to do it.

  8. Karen C. says:

    woo hoo, you are back on PRT! :)

  9. I listened to the first part of the podcast. I love that you use iPhoto…….I just don’t have the time, energy, or money to invest in any other photo software! My husband has said that with all the money I spent on my DSLR, the photos look great straight out of the camera~ I personally don’t like the look of over-edited photos. I want to see the hair out of place and the pimples on my teens…….that’s real life!!! Thanks for making me not feel guilty for just taking photos and printing them……I mean, some of my favorite photos from my childhood are about as imperfect as they come!!! When I scrapbook old heritage photos, I realize how important those casual photos are in capturing the real lives of the people I love~

  10. Haven’t had time to listen to the episode yet, but as an adoptive parent I look forward to listening! We’re lucky that our adoption was domestic and very open and we regularly have contact with our daughter’s birthmother, but it’s still hard to fill in those gaps in her story sometimes or figure out ways to include details that honor her unique history. Thanks so much for raising this issue!

  11. Laura B says:

    Haven’t had time to listen to the episode yet, but as an adoptive parent, I’m looking forward to it! Since our adoption was domestic and is very open (we have regular contact with our daughter’s birthmother and her half siblings) we don’t have as many gaps in the story as some other adoptive families. Still, it can be a struggle to figure out how to tell our story as a family while honoring the fact that our daughter had a history before she came into our lives. Thanks for raising this issue! Can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

  12. bea medwecky says:

    Love all the awesome photos. And it’s wonderful that you undertook the task of organizing and creating a scrapbook. I always feel sad when I see photos like these in an antique store. I always wonder if the family didn’t care about photos, or maybe they didn’t care for that particular family member.

    I will be curious to see what you come up with for your adoptive daughter. My husband was adopted and I would like to do something for him one day.

  13. What an amazing project. I know I need to spend some time with my mom and her BOXES of family photos. Hope your new class will help with this. We haven’t started because it’s just so overwhelming.

    Enjoy your family reunion!

  14. I saw that topic for PRT over at Paperclipping yesterday and I’m dying to listen. All our kids were adopted. I’ll have to put it on my mp3 for listening to very soon. You and your mom are SUPERWOMEN! Sounds like it was a LOT of work, but the kinds that both exhausts you (in a good way) and fullfills you at the same time. Have a great weekend.

  15. Stacy, your photos are AMAZING! I love the nostalgic pictures, probably because I dream of easier days and simpler life! Anyway, thanks for sharing these. I’ll have to share some good ones of my grandpa at the CCC camps in the 1930′s. Thanks for the idea! :) The family heirloom will be priceless for your family!

  16. I love to look at old pictures. I think that is wonderful that you and your mom are getting this together. I might I add that your grandpa was a very handsome young man.;-)

  17. What an amazing project!!! We just attended my husband’s family’s 49th reunion & Fourth of July Picnic. We stay in his grandfather’s house which is full of albums and pics that I want to scan and scrap for him one day. I’m adopted too. My adoptive parent’s weren’t family history keepers. My birth mom found me about 10 years ago and it’s been a wonderful experience, but I still feel like it’s not quite my family. My husband wants me to delve into my family history more. I think I’ll start with his family history. A good book for you or Addie to read down years down the road is called “Being Adopted” by David M. Brodzinsky, Marshall D. Schecter, Robin Marantz Henig. It’s the only book I’m aware of that tells the story from the adopted child’s view

  18. Oh my gosh, Stacy! I grew up about 20 miles from Campbellsport, WI (and only live about an hour away now). What a small world!

  19. My 12 yr old daughter and I have been putting together the family genealogy info. for the past two years. Last Christmas we scanned in HUNDREDS and HUNDREDS of old family photos and are in the process of putting together a famiyl scrapbook about it all. It’s been a long project but one that we’ve both enjoyed. We’re also trying to put together an album for my step-dad (who was adopted in the early 1920′s) – I have limited info and if there’s anyone out there that could help us in our research we would greatly appreciate it. BTW, by pure luck I found a high school graduation photo of his birth mother on the internet (yes, I’ve confirmed it’s her). We’d like to get this album put together by next Jan. – his 85th birthday. I look forward to any postings you’ll have regarding this type of scrapbooking. Thanks for all your inspiration…..

  20. Margaret Burton says:

    Love your pictures and the fact your mom is helping you. My aunts keep helping me with all the family pictures on both sides.
    Would love to take this class as there are so many pictures and I seem to be the family keeper of all the pictures which I appreciate and enjoy

  21. Ophelia says:

    I am a single mom who has adopted 4 separate times and have 4 kids who are not bio related. So I am in the exact same boat of have almost NO history four separate times. I will be fascinated to learn what you come up with as far as giving them some sort of sense of their past. Thanks,

  22. You are so lucky to have those old photos Stacy!

  23. I am very interested to hear what your thoughts are on scrapbooking adopted kids’ histories. All three of my children are adopted from foster care. I look forward to your “more information!”

  24. So excited that you are thinking about an adoption based project. We brought our four year old son home from Ethiopia when he was just four months old. I am looking forward to your post since we know so little about our Ethiopian relatives…thanks for sharing. I rarely comment, but I love all of your stories and inspiration.

  25. Karen H. says:

    Heading to my family reunion in NY next Sat. Have been trying to think how to best get my Dad and Mom’s stories down for posterity. Can’t wait for you class ideas!!! I plan to just write each story and find a photo to match but writing them down is the kiey I think…not sure why I am so nervous about tackling this. I guess it just seems like I can not possibly tell their life stories and do it well…sigh. Anything is better than nothing , I will keep telling myself that! thanks for even more inspiration!

  26. KimmyBe says:

    I look forward to future posts on your project for Addie. We have a five-year old daughter from China who was adopted at 9 months. I’ve been wanting to tackle a memory book for her now that she’s older and would love to see how you approach Addie’s.

  27. Maryann says:

    YAY! As an adult adoptee, who found TONS of birth family members at age 28…I am dying to see what you come up with!! I have not been able to figure out how to tell my story (ies)…cuz it’s complicated!!! And not the norm….and SOOOOO IMPORTANT (to me). Waiting eagerly!!!

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