The Photo Book

After Kramer passed away I asked Kalissa to keep the photos we had all in one place.  I had it in the back of my mind that I would make a photo book for the Grandkids at some point.  I forgot about it.  In truth, I think I put it off.  Going through the photos, dealing with memories both good and bad was a little too painful at the moment.

Well fast forward to a couple weeks ago.  I messaged my kids who have children and asked for the Christmas idea.  UGH.  I got back from Buck, “Something that won’t end up of the floor and something I don’t have to pick up”.  He’s deep into kids that have lots of toys and are in the dumping phase.

Well that got me thinking…then Kelli came home and she said she thought about doing a photo book of Kramer for the grandkids too.  I told her I would just do it….so RIP….off came the bandaid and I jumped into the photos and the good and bad memories that came with it.

I thought I would show it to all of you….I do the photo books through Shutterfly.  I’ve worked with them before and have had a good experience.  I think the program is easy to work with too.

Keep in mind that these are photos taken of the computer so the pictures are actually sharper and nicer.  This is the cover and back page.  I put the #Kramerstrong logo on the back cover.


This is the inside first page.
We didn’t have a lot of pictures of Kramer.  He hated getting his picture taken.  Up until a few years ago, he didn’t let me.  Then I started ignoring his complaints.  Kalissa did too.  That’s why we have the few photos we have.

I did the best with what we had.  I tried to add a few things that the kids might remember and want to know later in life.  So starts the book with “A”…










…and that was the book I put together.  Seriously, lots of tears were put into making it…likely a whole Kleenex box worth.  I think it was good therapy though and I think it will be important to the kids too.

The book will be so much nicer in person…as I said these were only pictures of the computer screen or the book I designed.  I highly recommend Shutterfly and have had a very good experience with them.  You don’t need to “know a fancy computer program” to do this either.  I do want to say, watch for coupons…books are often 50% off.  Depending on what style of book you want, books can be under $20.

I bought one for all the grandkids and one for me and Karl too.  What’s great about this also is that if anyone ruins their book, Shutterfly keeps the project on their site and I can print another any time.

Although it was a little emotionally tough to go through the photos I am so thankful I did.  Books like this are priceless…and it fit Buck’s criteria…”Something that won’t end up of the floor and something I don’t have to pick up”.  I guess it could end up on the floor but at least it will be an easy thing to pick up.

66 thoughts on “The Photo Book

  1. Candi

    Wonderful tribute to Roger. The kids are sure to treasure these books for many years to come. Great job Jo.
    Love, hugs and prayers coming your way.

  2. Penny Holliday

    A wonderful tribute & such a beautiful gift! I love the pictures & how you used the ABC format to write such wonderful sentiments with each picture!

  3. Karen McKeown

    Dear Jo, I have just moved from 30 years of living in Bermuda to a new life in Ireland, with my husband and daughter and our two Yorkshire Terriers. I’ve always loved your blog but will now be checking it from a different part of the world! The photo albums are a fabulous gift and Kramer will always be remembered. Hugs and prayers from Ireland. Love Karen x

  4. Jodie

    Wow, this is wonderful ! When my father passed away 8 years ago, my mum asked us to go through her hall cupboard and condense all the photo albums. I kept alot of stuff and made a family history book for each kid and grandchild. I am the memory keeper of my family.

  5. Tina in NJ

    A few years ago, my mother and sister made a similar book for our extended family; Graddad was born in1912, the second of five brothers. Everyone still talks about that book. But it didn’t have the journaling yours does. My kids aren’t going to know which one was Kennth, the youngest brother who died in a munitions factory explosion in World War II.

    You’ve made a beautiful book, Jo. Personally, I’d print out two books per kid, one for now and one for later. Companies go out of business and get bought by other companies all the time. This is just too precious to lose. (Of course, it’s now backed up in the blog, but still…)

  6. Lisa B

    A wonderful memory book and keepsake for everyone. Good idea and very creative with each letter. And done well before Christmas!

  7. Linda White

    What a wonderful project and gift idea! You never cease to amaze me!
    I second your endorsement of Shutterfly. I have used them to make 2 books of my quilts, and will continue to do so as long as I can. Hugs and smiles!!

  8. JudyT

    I always thought Kramer seemed like a pretty cool guy and then I read that he liked Meatloaf music. That confirmed he was, indeed, a pretty cool guy!

  9. Cindy F

    What a wonderful idea! You’ve created priceless keepsakes for your children and grandchildren. Going through photos after a death is very difficult but can be healing too. After my father died, as the current keeper of the family photos, I created a collage poster for the lunch after his interment at the cemetery. There were tears in the making but also many happy memories. It was wonderful for the family to see a representation of his life in one place. I need to look into making a book. Thank you for sharing with us.

  10. Donna

    Oh my this is such a beautiful memorial to Kramer and gift for family. What a wonderful idea, Jo.
    Love and prayers

  11. Lisa W

    Jo – what a warm, wonderful & loving remembrance of Roger and tribute to him and the terrific family you both raised together. I grew up on a farm and my husband and I farm and your book spoke to me in so many ways. I cried as I read your post. This is a priceless gift you created for your family. Hugs & blessings to you.

  12. Ellie

    A beautiful tribute to Kramer and I’m sure it’s something all the family will treasure. I’m sure it wasn’t easy to put this together but you will always be glad you did this. It brought tears to my eyes so I’m sure more than a few tears will be shed reading it but this is a priceless gift.

  13. Judy in MO

    What a wonderful idea, Jo! You did a great job and those children and grandchildren will cherish those books forever.

  14. JILL Klop

    That is such a great idea! It turned out so good!!! Thanks for sharing it with us. That’s an awesome gift and they will be treasured, I’m sure!

  15. Robin

    Oh Jo, what a great way to start my day. I LOVE your book and feel it’s the perfect gift idea for your grandchildren. We are really cutting back on gift for the grands this year. I’m making reading pillows and hubby is making a Lego tray. That’s it unless I decide to make them pillowcases.

    I’ve always known you and Kramer were great people. But then, MEATLOAF cemented it. They’re my favorite all time band. Somewhere I have an 8 Track Tape, Cassette Tape and Album. I don’t save much but can’t seem to bear getting ride of them.

  16. Bernadette

    I can only repeat what all the others have said. It is awesome and brought the tears to my eyes also. Your family will cherish this book, and I love how you set it up with the alphabet.

  17. Gayle Troccoli

    What a wonderful gift of remembrance. You did a great job and I love the ABC concept. You are a very creative and talented woman Jo.
    God bless.
    Gayle

  18. Ranch Wife

    What a beautiful tribute! It’s sure to become an family treasure instantly and I hope your tears were healing tears. I’m sure there will be many more shed when you gift these precious books. You did an amazing job!

  19. susan

    what a precious gift to your family! they will treasure those books always. and i’m sure it helped you in your grief also. as a new widow and quilter i follow you every day. i so appreciate your being so open about your feelings. it has helped me thru my grief. you are truly Kramer Strong!

  20. Lori Douglas

    What a wonderful remembrance! Brought a tear to my eye too. Having lost my Grandma Sparks at 3 yrs of age, I can tell you that your grandkids will treasure these pictures! They will hear your stories and grow to realize his family values and all his quirks. Maybe it’s a farmer thing…I saw many of the same traits in my dad.

  21. Kathleen

    Jo, it’s just a beautiful thing, and you are so brave to go through all the emotions that come with it !

  22. Karen Hough

    What a wonderful tribute to Roger for your whole family to enjoy forever. Thanks for sharing this with us. I’m sure tears were shed. It is always okay to shed tears. Nothing to be ashamed of there. Hugs going out to you.

  23. Fran Ontiveros

    This a beautiful project, Jo. I had a tear in my eye as I read it. These books are sure to be cherished for many years to come. It is the perfect gift for your family members. God bless.

  24. Kathy D

    That is an amazing memory book. The grandkids will so appreciate that as they grow older and the kids I’m sure will shed a tear or two as well. A+ Job well done. ;)

  25. judy thompson

    Oh so wonderfully done Jeanne you made your memories for the grandbabies so extra nice for all your family.GREAT JOB made me tear up too ……….Love to you & family

  26. Cate Jones

    I don’t even know you although I follow Bloglovin’, but I was teary-eyed looking at your beautifully-designed Alphabet book of your husband. What a treasure for your family! You are a creative and talented gal and your personality, as well of the personality of your family shines through your book. Thank you for starting my weekend so perfectly. Your family will love the book!!!

  27. Diana

    Excellent book of memories for the whole family. You are a lady of many talents. Great format for the KRAMER FAMILY story for many years to come

  28. Diane in WA

    Loved the book. You did an awesome job. I had fun making a photo scrapbook for my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary. Some pages showed a picture of a hobby or interest of our parents and then pictures of us kids or the grandchildren that had the same interest. Another fun page was a school picture of all us kids, our spouses, and the grandchildren all at about the same age.

  29. Connie

    What a great book, Jo. I enjoyed reading through the book. The (kids and) grand kids will love these. HUGS!!

  30. Joanne

    What a treasure for your whole family. I’m sure it wasn’t easy but I’m guessing it will be a great comfort in the future.

  31. Donna T

    What a wonderful gift for the grands and it will be treasured forever unlike a toy! I have never seen these before; so unique!

  32. Gloria Gleason

    Thank you so much for showing us your precious, priceless keepsake memorial book you wrote & created for your family. You never cease to inspire me, Jo! Me and all who admire, appreciate, and stand in awe! Love & prayers!
    Gloria

  33. Whitney

    Absolutely beautiful Jo! What a beautiful book filled with love and memories! I teared up reading it! Sending you all so much love!

  34. Janet R

    Amazing books filled with memories. The kids will treasure them in years to come. I’m sure they brought up lots of emotions as you were doing them. They are perfect gifts!

    Love and hugs

  35. Kathy Fransham

    I LOVE your book! The kids will be able to know their grandpa through the book. You did a wonderful job with it, too.

  36. Robin Boggan

    What a special gift for your grandkids! It’s so wonderful to have a book that will means so much to them and that they can look at over and over. Love very much!

  37. Linda in NE

    Such a wonderful memory book. You did a great job. I made each of my kids a memory book for Christmas a couple years ago. I used Blurb. They run some good sales too. The books covered from the time they were born till their weddings. My smart alec son had to ask if their life ended when they got married. Only he would think of asking something like that. I just told him that once they got married it was their story to tell. At least they had pictures from when they were little.

  38. Nancy A

    Oh, Jo, I am sure there were a lot of tears as you did that. It is truly a work of love and will be treasured for years to come. All I can say is: “well done.”

  39. Carolyn Sullivan

    OH WOW!!!!! that is an AWESOME idea to do for yourself, and the grands, even the ones that will not really have any memory of him.

  40. Susan the Farm Quilter

    I love Shutterfly and your book for the grandbabies is fabulous!!! Made me cry, so I can’t imagine what you went through to create it. It is obviously from your heart…just beautiful.

  41. Judith Fairchild

    What a lovely treasure you have shared. Plus a wonderful thing to have done now your little grands will have something special to remember Grandpa Moo by. Thank you for the ideas you post.

  42. Ilona Strull

    How sweet! I do photo books as well and enjoyed reading yours. Thank you for sharing. You have a wonderful story.

  43. SDB

    Jo, your photo book is amazing! The grandkids will absolutely treasure the time you spent preparing it for them. It sure shows how much your family stays strong together. Best, SBM

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