Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sweet Shannon

A sweet friend from our church 9 years ago, joined our Lord in Heaven today.  Her husband wrote these precious words to let us know Shannon is no longer in pain on this earth.  I was so touched & copied them here.  I don't think he would mind.

It is with great confidence and strength in our Lord Jesus Christ that I can tell you Shannon has gone to be with Him.  In this time of sorrow we have an even greater hope that we will see Shannon again in a day of joy when she shall have a body that decay cannot touch.

Thank you all for the overwhelming support and prayer through this trying time.  There is so much to say that words fail me.  And so though we grieve, we do so with great hope.  "For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep" (I Thessalonians 4:14). 

I have drawn hope and encouragement from King David's example.  In 2 Samuel 12, we read of David praying and fasting as he cried out to God for the life of his sick child.  He did this for seven days.  And then his child died.  Once David realized the child was dead, he stopped praying and fasting and ate a meal.  His servants were surprised by his actions. While his child was sick, David fasted, prayed, and wept.  Once his child died, David stopped praying and weeping, changed clothes, worshipped God, and ate some food.  His sudden change of actions didn't make sense to the servants.

David explained himself:  "While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept, for I said, 'Who knows whether the Lord will be gracious to me, that my child may live?'  But now he is dead. Why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, bue he will not return to me" (2 Samuel 12:22-23).

David was diligent in his prayers for healing.  He wept.  He grieved.  Once he heard his child was dead, instead of being overcome with grief, he worshipped.  He got up and continued life.  Though (I am sure) his sorrow was great, he took comfort in the fact that one day he would see his child again.  

Shannon has gone to be with Jesus.  Though we grieve, for her, death was gain (Phil. 1:21).  And so, though we grieve, we like David did for his son, can also worship God in the midst of our grief, looking forward to the day when we are reunited once again. 

T, for the family

Footloose and FLAX-Y

Costco has a great deal this week. You can buy a HUGE jar of flax seed for just $10!!  Flax seed has all sorts of nutritional benefits, including fiber.  I visited Canyon Ranch & they suggested milling your own at home.  Anyway, I bought a big jar and have already used it. I sprinkled some in the children's applesauce for their lunch today.  It recommends putting it in all kinds of things! I'll let you know how healthy we all become!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Children say the funniest things!

The trips ride the bus to school, but we carpool with 3 neighborhood boys for 5-year old K to go to half-day K.  This morning, one of the boys was having a tough time buckling his seat belt, even though we had moved a seat so that it wouldn't be such a tight squeeze.  I started to drive out of the cul-de-sac & then pulled over when I realized he wasn't buckled. We waited and waited. He couldn't do it.  Then, my sweet little K started to unbuckle herself, and said, "Don't make me have to come back there....."  I laughed right out loud!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Love one another deeply, as Christ loved us

Today a sweet friend struggles through her last days or hours of battling cancer.  She is a young mother with a faithful husband and two little boys.  It is heartbreaking to think of what she is going through, and what her husband, sons, parents, and sister are all going through.  It is a pain I hope my children never have to bear.  The only happy thing is that S did not lose her battle.  Yes, barring a miracle, cancer is ultimately going to take her life, but she has won the battle!!!  You see, S accepted Christ as her Savior as a little girl.  She recently reaffirmed her faith, and so the battle has been won.  While we will all mourn to lose her here on earth, we can rejoice because she will soon rest in the arms of our Heavenly Father.  

Whenever you see loved ones going through a storm, it makes you look inward.  Seeing S's family go through this, reminds me yet again of how PRECIOUS life is.  We have no idea how many days we will have on this earth, and we must live each day as if its our last.  Some of us are facing those last days, and others have no idea our day is just around the corner or 50 years from now.  But today is a GIFT.  Whether you have sunshine or rain, a good hair day or a terrible hair day, today is the only Sept. 28,2008 that each of us will have. Celebrate today. Hug your family. Be a friend to those in need.  Love the friends you have & make new ones.  Share a laugh, a meal, and a conversation with those you love most.  I know I will. 

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Children's Art work

Children make precious things all of the time and the paper can just add up so quickly!! If you're sentimental like me, it is difficult to throw away the things that those little hands made.  I have some great ideas for you!

-Go to your local craft store & buy inexpensive box frames & frame your favorite pieces!  You can put large pieces of construction paper behind them, if needed, to serve as your mat if the frame is bigger than the artwork.

-Take a picture of your child holding his/her artwork.

-Take a DIGITAL picture of your child's artwork & label it with the date & your child's age.  Make a slideshow of artwork in I Photo & burn to a DVD!  You can add music and everything!

-Buy a large artist's portfolio for storing large pieces.

-Buy a large Rubbermaid clear box to hold special artwork, papers, and things for each child.  Label the outside with black permanent marker with the child's name and date of birth.  (These boxes can be used to hold ALL mementos).

-Have a special bulletin board, door, or string for displaying art.

I love seeing children's artwork displayed in a home like it is as fine as any oil painting.  This also communicates GREAT VALUE to your child!!  Crumbling it up in front of them does not!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Pie

9 inch deep pie shell, unbaked

Cream Cheese layer
1 pkg cream cheese at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 lg. egg

Pumpkin Layer
1 can pumpkin puree (16 oz)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. salt
2 lg. eggs, beaten lightly
1 cup evaporated milk

Preheat the oven to 350*F.  For the cream cheese layer, combine cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla and then blend in the egg.  Spread cream cheese mixture over unbaked pie shell.  For the pumpkin layer, combine pumpkin, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt.  Blend in beaten eggs and evaporated milk and pour over cream cheese layer.  Bake until firm, 60 minutes or longer. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 25, 2008


In re-reading my post about being there for friends and loved ones during a difficult time, I wanted to add one thing.  When you go to their house, you will be able to tell if it is best for you to stay or leave.  If they need helping getting things together, it may be best for you to stay.  If family members are showing up to discuss arrangements, etc., then you need to leave.  You will know what to do.  By showing up, you show how much you care & that's what they need most of all!!!

The boss

Our 5 year old has a bigger-than-life personality. I mean, really big.  She is so smart, and yet so stubborn. She is not a listener!! But she is full of compassion and she is a DOER!  We love that about her.

However, we thought that when God made K, he broke the mold.  She is one of those truly funny children who stands out. She was on stage for 5 minutes with Gregg Russell at Hilton Head this summer and he looked at her and said, "You're the pistol, aren't you?!"  He was right.

Anyway, we always thought life was full with our precious trips and our pistol K.  Little did we know baby AH would be a pistol too.  She goes to MMO one morning a week, and today when I dropped her off, the teacher said, "The boss is here!"  Oh no... what have we gotten ourselves into with little cinqo???  I think we have another pistol!!  Apparently she is following in the footsteps of her big sis!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Don't ask, just GO

My precious father-in-law passed away a week before Christmas after being sick with cancer for just 50 days.  He was such a vital part of our lives, and we all really miss him.  It is a pain that only those who have lost a parent can understand.  I can't imagine the pain of losing your spouse or your child.  I am praying the Lord knows I can't handle that kind of pain!

D's daddy died in the middle of the night & we found out around 6am.  I posted a quick post on our Caring Bridge website (strongly recommend if a loved one is really sick or you have a preemie baby, etc) to let our friends know that Papa was in Heaven rejoicing with His Heavenly Father.  I don't remember making phone calls, though I probably called my parents.  

What I do remember is that friends just showed up.  They didn't call & ask what to do, they just came.  A group started frantically wrapping Christmas gifts for me.  My mother & another friend stuffed our remaining Christmas cards that hadn't been mailed.  One friend brought her brother who was visiting from another state, and he helped load Santa's gifts onto our car roof.  The night before, friends had loaned us the rooftop luggage in case we needed it, and we did.  Another friend just followed me around as I packed.  She laughed and said she was no help, but you know what, she was of GREAT help.  I needed her company.  I needed the presence of the body of Christ!!  One friend came in the house, emptied one little trash can, and had to go back to attend to her 2 youngest children.  Some people wouldn't have stopped by because she was not of great physical help.  But she was of great help.  Again, I needed her hug and to know that she cared enough to drive to my house, even if she was not the one wrapping gifts or doing some other deed.  It was her presence.  We needed to get our five children and ourselves packed as quickly as possible.  These friends made it happen by unloading dishes, etc, but even more so by their presence.  We were able to focus rather than dissolving into tears.  Two friends called continuously throughout our 10 day trip (funeral in one state, burial in another, all with the stomach bug) and that brought me great comfort.  We felt so alone, and yet their calls reminded me that I am never alone!  God was with us & He used our friends to remind us.  I can't explain what that day meant to me.

Since Dec. 18th, I have been called to apply what I learned from that day.  Just 3 weeks after D's daddy died, friends lost their precious 2 year old.  We didn't have childcare options, so I sent D.  He just needed to go.  He couldn't take away their pain, but his presence brought them comfort.  Too often we think we might be in the way, or we should give someone their privacy, or we just don't want to be sad and uncomfortable, so we stay away.  I learned that you don't stay away.  You need to rearrange your schedule and just GO.  Go to their house & ask what you can do, but GO first.  If you ask on the phone, they probably don't even know their needs.  If they still don't know what they need, look around. Make a bed, put on a pot of coffee, pick up lunch for them, buy some flowers, check the laundry, or take out the trash.  Above all, make every effort to be there.

But not just immediately after the death.... you need to be there throughout the year and even years after that.  Be tender, think of others, and the Lord will bless you as you bless others.

Special Day

Being a triplet (or any multiple) can be a challenge because you share everything, including your birthday!!!  In college, I babysat for a family with three adopted children.  They celebrated the day each one of them joined their family and called it their day (for example, Caroline's Day).  It was their special day.  I remember asking what A's Day was  & I can still hear 4 year old A saying, "I get to pick the breakfast, the lunch, and the dinner" in her sweet little voice.  I loved this idea & now do something similar!

Our triplets came home from the hospital weeks apart from one another. SO.... the day they came home from the hospital is their SPECIAL DAY!!!  We try to do something really special on that day.  Now that they are older, I think we may start having mini-gatherings or mini birthday parties on each of their days.  It is a wonderful tradition & they all love THEIR day!:)

On each child's day, they choose something special for us to do, whether it be a night out or a special dinner.  When one daughter was just 4, she planned a cookout for her special day!  It changes a bit year to year, but the point is that each child feels special!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tuesday's Tip... maybe it's Maybelline

I have read many articles that claim you should not use your mascara more than about 3 months.  I've always wondered how in the world I will know how old my mascara is!!  This morning I came up with a great idea. I am going to start writing the purchase date on my mascara with a black sharpie marker and that way I will KNOW how old it is!!  If you have a black tube of mascara, then buy a metallic silver or gold sharpie permanent marker.  Now your eyes will be healthier!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

birthday party ideas for multiples

Having triplets is unique.  Planning birthday parties can become difficult if they are different sexes!  Our triplets are a boy and 2 girls.  They are now 7, and we have not had separate birthday parties yet, but I know that day will come.  For now, we have a big joint birthday party.  I have fun each year planning their parties, though they have started planning with me!  Imagine them having an opinion about their own party!  We've had different themes each year!  It's fun to think of parties with a boy/girl theme like these:

bug & butterfly party
knights & princesses

Our parties:
 age 1  ice cream party for all who volunteered, brought meals, were interested in the babies, prayed for us, helped us, etc. etc We invited over 100 people and baby A ate his entire cake!!!!

age 2 & 3  Easter Egg Hunt... they were born on Maundy Thursday, and this is a perfect birthday party!

age 4  Roger Day came & sang!! He is fantastic!  www.rogerday.com

age 5  Bugs & Butterflies... Not to brag, but I looked back at pictures & couldn't believe I made cute food like ladybug cookies, ants on a log, and triplets in a blanket.  I made bee t-shirts for the boys & gave each girl a pair of wings.  We had a Bug Hunt, Bug Parade, Bug Dance, and Bug crafts & face painting.  It was a fun party!

age 6  Knights & Princesses  We gave the boys shields that I found at the Dollar Store.  The girls wore their princess dresses and a horse and carriage took the children on rides throughout the neighborhood.  It was so much fun!

age 7  Breakfast at Chick Fil A   It was a great party & fall in the middle of everyone's Saturday.  We had minis and milk!! Parents were welcome to stay for cinni minis & chicken minis, coffee, and milk!  The cow made an appearance and the children LOVED it!

We're brainstorming for # 8!  Thankfully it is not too soon!!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Quick Breakfast Idea

I was at Costco one day & a lady recommended the Krustaez pancake mix. It is fabulous! The pancakes are golden brown & delicious. I do recommend cooking them on a griddle for the optimum pancakes.  Anyway, DH (Dear Hubby) loves banana or blueberry pancakes.  I make plain ones for the children and then add fruit to his pancakes.  The last time I made pancakes, I made some extra ones and froze them in a little ziploc bag.  Be sure to use a Sharpie & date all food that you freeze because you should throw it out after three months.

The other morning DH had a big day at work.  I pulled the blueberry pancakes out of the freezer, put them in the microwave, and he had a wonderful HOT breakfast!!  I didn't admit not making them right that minute until after he ate them. He said they tasted just the same!!  So, try it. Make pancakes or waffles or muffins, freeze them, and then you can pull them out as needed!!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Greenbrier

Henley on the Horn LOVES to make sure her friends have good experiences when they are able to enjoy life's luxuries!!!

A friend visited the wonderful and amazing Greenbrier, and came home with an unexpected guest.... LICE!!!!!!!! YIKES!  As if that wasn't bad enough, it spread to her daughter and all over their home. They literally had to replace all pillows, all brushes, and have everything steam cleaned, including rugs and upholstery.  It truly cost them over $1000 to do all of these things.

Needless to say, Mama wasn't happy.  And if Mama ain't happy... well, you know... she calls Henley on the HORN!!!!!!  So, I composed a letter and contacted the Greenbrier and they were invited back for an all-expenses paid 3 day weekend!!!  Now Mama Henley wants to go too.....

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Frame it!

I just loved that note from D.  Kappa Prep, a fellow blogger, said her mother framed a list Kappa Prep made when she was little & she framed it with a picture of KP at that age.  I loved the idea and did the same thing today!! I took D's note to a frame shop, bought a frame, and printed a picture of D.  I found some pretty lavender paper that I use for special things like this & put it behind the picture & note.  I left the rough spiral edges of the note because that is just how D left it on my bed. I think it looks so sweet! I love art that is as meaningful as it is beautiful!! Voila'!

Teacher Surveys for Gift Ideas

We just love to treat our teachers right since they are with our children at least 8 hours a day!!  This year I created a survey for the teachers to fill out & return to me!!  This way, I KNOW what drink the teacher would enjoy on conference day! I don't have to guess! The questions are below:

Teacher Survey

What are your initials?

What name do you like to have monogrammed on things?

What is your favorite drink & be specific?

Do you drink coffee?

If you could have lunch from anywhere, what would it be?

What are your favorite colors?

What do you like to do in your spare time?

What are your favorite restaurants?

What is your favorite sweet treat?

What is your favorite salty treat?

What do you like to read?

What is your favorite type of movie?

What other things do you like (candles, stationary, etc)?

Thank you! This will help us as we try to do little things for you during the year! The more specific you are, the better! 

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My D

On Saturday we visited a local toy store to see the visiting Calico Critters Kitty character who was in the store for a few hours. The children each had their picture taken with Kitty & enjoyed playing in the store. I actually encouraged the children to look around for ideas for their Christmas presents.  In our house, each child receives 3 gifts since that is what baby Jesus received.

The children were actually very sweet and not greedy.  They even had difficulty choosing their items!!  In the end, I left with a few ideas for each of the children.

That night, when I went to bed, I found a note on my side of the bed that made me burst into tears!!  I have transcribed it below:

Dear Momy and Dady.  I love you so much.  You dot have to gev me a crimes presit.  Becus oll i need rile is a hug.  Becus i have the gradis famley in the hadt waid wrde.  Yo al are the biet famley. love, dj

I will save this precious note forever!!  I am planning to frame it & am mailing copies to the grandparents & godparents! So sweet!!! It is nice to see glimpses of your hard work making a difference!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Lunch Box ideas!

It's always difficult to think of what to put in those lunchboxes!  I fill four a day, and still have to make baby AH her lunch too, so here are some ideas:

-traditional pb or pb&j sandwich if no nut allergies
-turkey & cheese sandwich (can use ham, roast beef, or chicken)
-turkey & cheese roll up (in a tortilla) (can use ham, roast beef, or chicken)
-cheese stick & crackers
-pieces of cheddar cheese & crackers
-soup or ravioli in a thermos
-spread veggie cream cheese on a tortilla, layer w/ turkey, put another tortilla on top & cut like a pizza.  Fun triangles to eat!
-peanut butter on saltines little sandwiches
-pimiento cheese sandwiches
-cream cheese on raisin bread sandwich (can also use peanut butter)
-cream cheese w/ fresh dill on bread sandwich
-mini bagel & cream cheese
-carrot sticks
-all fruit... we do strawberries, blueberries, grapes, bananas, plums, peaches, apples, orange slices, watermelon, etc.
-salad w/ dressing on the side
-broccoli w/ ranch dressing
-Pirate's Booty or natural cheetos
-frozen gogurt or stonyfield farm tube of yogurt
-cookie or treat
-a mint
-recently I bought a bag of gummies & gave them each a few
-celery w/ peanut butter, pimiento cheese, or cream cheese... can even add raisins
-LOTS of water!!!

Try to include a little note when you can!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Cute Fall Idea

Every Christmas I pull out frames filled with a Christmas picture from each year.  They are so fun to look at because the children change so much from one Christmas to the next!  So... I decided to do the same thing with our Halloween pictures!! Before we go to our neighborhood Halloween party, we always take a picture of the children on our front steps.  I found cute frames at Target that were just $1!! They are little pumpkins.  I am cutting our pictures to put in the frames so that I can pull these out each fall.

Now I am not wild about Halloween, as I have said before.  I don't like witches, goblins, or anything scary! However, the children enjoy dressing up & I love that I can look at all of the pictures in one place each fall!

Other Uses for Waffle Iron!

Kappa Prep talked about wanting a waffle maker from Williams-Sonoma, which prompted me to write this post!! I have an inexpensive waffle iron from Target, and it works well!

My friend, EM, who lives in Wisconsin, is a fabulous cook. She makes wonderful waffles for her 4 boys & serves them with maple smoked bacon.  Mmmm.... She is the reason I own a waffle iron!

I have 2 ideas for your waffle iron which will allow you to use it at lunch or dinner!  Make a ham sandwich with cheese & put it in your waffle iron.  It makes a ham & cheese waffle, and your children will likely have no idea what is in it!  You could do the same with turkey or sliced chicken breast or roast beef & swiss... you get the idea!

I have also taken brownie mix & poured it in the waffle iron. It makes delicious dessert waffles, and they are best served with ice cream & chocolate syrup!  Something about their unique shape makes them better than your typical brownie!!!

Enjoy & Happy Cooking!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Write it all down...

I love to write, and I love to read things I have written in the past... don't you?  Try to take a few minutes every then & write down things the children have said, what is going on in your world, funny quotes, random thoughts, et cetera. You will be so delighted to go back & read these things!

I have a special notebook for each child.  They each have their own color of notebook & I write little tidbits whenever I remember to pull the books out and do it!  I hope you'll do the same!

I also began a journal to my husband when we were first married. My friend, A in Athens, does this & writes in it each year on their anniversary. I included facts like our income, how much we paid for our house, who are closest friends were, what we did for fun, etc. After 13 precious years, it's fun to look back & see what we were like in our slim twenties!

Have a great night! I'm behind in making school lunches!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Tip for the day

I reluctantly began shopping at Costco, and feel like it is saving us some money! I like their organic meats and hot dogs, their good deals on books and gifts, and some of their pre-made foods & appetizers.  Today I bought their Krustaez pancake mix. It is a HUGE bag for around $5.29.  A lady had told me weeks ago that it is the BEST pancake mix. I think she may be right! We had breakfast for dinner and the pancakes were golden and delicious!  I am going to make a big batch and freeze them & we'll have ready-made pancakes just like you can buy at the store!  Certainly we will be eating pancakes for quite some time with this huge bag, but now I know how easy it is to make them!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Snapfish 40% off!... Think CHRISTMAS!

Snapfish has a current special of 40% off select items including cute magnets, playing cards, and mugs with your picture on them. Very cute.  These make great gifts for the friend who has everything and for grandparents. Grandparents LOVE pictures of their grandchildren! So, upload those photos and enjoy the savings on some Christmas gifts!!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Miracle Babies

Since the world of blogging began long after the birth of our triplets, I thought I should share a picture of our miracle triplets.  I had emergency surgery at week 20 in my pregnancy and was then on strict bedrest for 10 weeks.  Our sweet babies were born 10 weeks early at 30 weeks 3 days gestation.  C came home from the hospital at age 3 1/2 weeks, weighing only 3 1/2 pounds! (C was 2.3 lbs at birth) D came home at 5 weeks old & weighed about 5 pounds; she was 3.2 lbs. at birth. Our baby boy, A, weighed 2.5 lbs at birth & really struggled to learn to breathe on his own. Our sweet boy came home at age 7 weeks and about 5 pounds!  When we took this picture, we both remember thinking these were the most beautiful babies in the whole world!!! We couldn't see the wires and we had no idea how fragile they were!!  What a gift that these babies are now 7 years old! God is good... all the time.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Themed Halloween costume ideas for the whole family

We LOVE to have all of the children dress in a theme each year for Halloween!!  Halloween is not my favorite holiday, so we choose to embrace it as a time to be creative and wear costumes, to be together as a family, and to make memories with our neighbors.  We have a big pizza potluck party in one of our neighborhood cul-de-sacs and then everyone walks around the neighborhood together. It is very sweet.  With 3 7-year olds, a 5 year old & a 20 month old, no one has asked (yet!) to be a monster or witch, so we stick to sweet themes from books and movies.

Year One:  3 blind mice with 1 1/2 year old triplets ONE OF MY FAVORITES!
Year Two:  3 little pigs... baby K was only 3 months old, so she was an elephant
Year Three:  Dorothy (1 year old K), the scarecrow, the tin man & Glenda
Year Four:  Peter Pan (2 year old K), Captain Hook, Wendy, & Tinkerbell
Year Five:  Cinderella, Prince Charming, Gus the mouse, Fairy Godmother
Year Six:  Snoopy, Woodstock, Charlie Brown, Lucy, Peanut!!
Year Seven:  This year!! We will be the 101 (minus some) Dalmations!!
K will be Cruella Deville, per her request   The others have chosen which dog they will be. We are going to have fun! I'll post some old pics soon!

Just as iron sharpens iron

Birthdays are a big deal to me because I have learned that you just don't know how many you're going to have whether you're 3, twenty-three, or ninety-three.  Only the Lord knows the number of our days.  So... I really like to celebrate with friends and family on their special day!!  
I think it's especially important that women realize that their husbands DO like to feel special too.  Maybe they don't desire a catered surprise party with a cast of thousands, but I do know they would enjoy any effort you make on their behalf.   I recently heard a husband say, "You're doing more for her birthday than you did for mine".  She laughed & told him it wasn't true... but as wives we often miss the message.  Our hunky husbands like to be feted too!  
Some ideas are to plan a really special date night where you make all of the plans, arrange the sitter (you do that anyway!), and kidnap dear hubby!
Ask some of his closest friends to join him for a surprise night out.
Have some other couples meet you for dinner.
Send him on a surprise day of golf, hunting, tennis, whatever he enjoys.
Most of all, plan ahead.  Planning ahead shows that you CARE enough to make it a priority!  As the Bible says, "Just as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another!"

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Christmas gift ideas

I like to buy our Christmas gifts way in advance!  With 5 children, it's too difficult to try to do last- minute, by the skin-of-your-teeth shopping. For my sanity, I have to plan ahead.

DH (Dear Husband)'s aunt just turned 80.  She wants to be able to print pictures from the weekend. So... I have put all of the pictures on a CD & I have burned CDs for all of the aunts, cousins, and uncles that were able to attend.  Now they can take the CD to the local photo store & print the photos they desire!  I love my Mac, as I have mentioned before. So, I also put all of the photos into a slideshow using I Photo & then I added music.  Voila'!  Christmas gifts for that entire side of the family!  They are not expensive soaps or stationary, but these movies are priceless!  I plan to do something similar for my family as well.

Each year I make calendars on I Photo for my brothers & their wives & both sets of grandparents.  I type in everyone's birthdays & special occasions and fill it with pictures I have taken throughout the year.  I even asked everyone to send me special dates of friends & family, so each calendar is personalized with those events.  I should receive a cut from Apple Computers because I really love their products! It is easy to order these calendars online & they arrive at your doorstep! No mall traffic at all.

Snapfish sometimes offers cute photo ornaments... another great idea.  My friend, K, gave us one 2 Christmases ago that is a picture of our whole family! I love it.

I also use I Photo to create books for my family. I scanned in my brother's wedding & honeymoon pictures & made a neat book for them last year!  So, I will once again use my computer for lots of gifts this year!! :)

I als 

I LOVE a deal!

I recently posted about teacher gift ideas... it's always fun to think of unique gifts for your child's teacher (s).  Today was K's first day of half-day K. She loved it. She hardly looked up to tell me goodbye.  Needless to say, I was the foolish mother, falling all over her, and she was just ready to start school!  After all, it is the THURSDAY AFTER LABOR DAY!  Baby wants to learn!

Anyway, I found great CDs as gifts at Pottery Barn & they were on SALE.  75% off. I started to not write that in case one day the receivers learn that I spent $2.97 on their $15 CD, but hey, it's the THOUGHT that counts! So check out your local Pottery Barn... the CDs usually have great music and often go on sale!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A sweet time... worth every minute

K, age 10 months
Our baby #4, K, starts half-day Kindergarten tomorrow. Today is the first time that I can remember spending a morning with just K.  Usually baby sis is in tow, but today ah had mother's morning out, and I had K all to myself.  What a joy to take her to PP to ride the train, carousel, and boats all by herself!!!  I was able to truly delight in her and focus on just K!  I hate that I have not had more moments like these with the triplets who are now 7.  I am going to try my best to have more alone time (not just on an errand) with each of the children.  

Today was a perfect morning to knock out some errands with my 5 year old instead of my 1 1/2 year old who can get out of any buckle.  It would have been so easy.  Instead, I took our precious angel soon-to-be Kindergartner to the park where we shared rides and she had a Pink Panther ice cream bar, and it was WORTH EVERY MINUTE!! I am so thankful to be a Mama....

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

We've had the day, now here's the labor!

Many of you were out of town for the long weekend!  I love long weekends away from home.  This year we stayed in town for a wedding, and it was wonderful!! We have not been home on a holiday weekend in a long time. It was so nice to not fight traffic yesterday, to not come home feeling behind, to not have extra laundry to clean because we had no washer & dryer for 3 days!  For those of you who went out of town, don't make one of my common mistakes... unpack IMMEDIATELY!!! Unpack even if it means staying up late.  Waiting in hopes that you will have more time never pays off :).  My friend, B, is always unpacked within minutes (it seems that way) of being home AND her pictures are uploaded & being shared with friends. Mimic B! She is a smart one!!!  Unpack, wash all of your clothes, put them away, & upload those photos!  If you're really energetic, go ahead & order pictures or make them into a book like you can so easily on a Mac with I Photo!

And if you don't have a Mac, ask for one for Christmas!! It is a HUGE time-saver!