Gratitude, Expectation, and the Not-Skis

It's Christmas time

  I am tickled pink—bright, brilliant fuschia, actually—to introduce you to my first guest poster ever. Her name is Alexis Helmrath, and she is cute, witty, and just downright adorable, in addition to being a great writer. Alexis shares her creative masterpieces and disasters at Crafty Sheep, a one-stop shop for cute cat pictures, knitting and […]

10 Rules for Delightful Gift Giving

Handmade gift wrap

You have picked out a present that will surely bring a smile brighter than the Hope Diamond. Your loved one slowly unwraps the gift, feeling your excitement, savoring the moment, knowing this will be DELIGHTFUL. They lift the lid of the box, and. . . Nothing. No excitement. No delight. Instead there’s a flicker of disappointment […]

Dayspring-A great resource for messages of encouragement

Giving thanks. Showing gratitude. Just saying I love you. There are so many ways to let others know how important they are to you, and Dayspring is a great place to find meaningful gifts, speak-to-the-heart books and sweet and funny cards to do just that. Dayspring is the Christian division of Hallmark, and their mission […]

Gifts from the Heart-Christmas edition

Book cover designed by Alexis Helmrath

So here we are, on the cusp of a non-stop season full of food, festivities, family and friendship. I read somewhere that the average person eats 2,000-3,000 calories just for the Thanksgiving meal. That’s waaaay more than the recommended daily allowance, I believe. . . Yikes. I have a better idea of what to do […]

Small tradition, big joy: Your unique story ornaments

FPU Ornament- © Alexis Helmrath

  Christmas is coming and you’d like to add a little something else under the tree for your children. Something to commemorate an important moment from this past year, a milestone, perhaps, or a humorous story. An item that will surprise and delight for years to come, that can be created from scratch or purchased, […]

Got 5 minutes? It’s the absolute best Christmas gift idea ever

Gift wrap by Daily Suze @ Flickr.com

  I’m going to let you in on a secret from the photography business: If you can get the clients to cry, they’ll buy. I apologize if that sounds crass, but the philosophy behind it is actually pretty sound. If we see an image of ourselves, our children, our spouse or our family which captures […]

Monkeypants girl and a Christmas ornament tradition

Ornament-Monkey pants Christmas Cindy 2008

Welcome dear readers to the beginnings of discussions about traditions, Christmas, meaningful gifts, and frugality! I wrote about Gifts from the Heart in March when I introduced the Memory Album, and today we continue the conversation with ornaments that are treasured, not because they are innately valuable, but because of what they represent. A few […]

Starting conversations with your kids-Pillow Journals

Journal on bed-frog cover

How do your conversations go with your school age kids? Let me take a stab at what might pass for a run-of-the-mill give and take between the two of you: How was your day? Ok. What did you do? Nothing. How’s that new class going? <Crickets chirping> Child has exited the building. *Sigh* So how […]

The power of the written word and a great Father’s Day gift

Words wordle

A couple of years ago when I first started my blog, I wrote about the power of the written word. I share this post with you again today as a reminder to let the folks in our lives know how grateful we are for them and how much they mean to us. This idea also […]

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