Matching Graduation Day T-Shirts

My co-worker, Nikki, shared this wonderful idea that her family is doing for her son’s high school graduation this year. The family will wear matching Graduation Day T-Shirts. Just like a 5K race where a team wears matching t-shirts, friends and family attending graduation wear the same t-shirt in support of the graduate.

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The front of the t-shirt can have the graduate’s initials and their very own unique signature. Printed on the back of the t-shirt can be the class motto, a favorite quote or a personalized message to the graduate. Continue Reading

The Gift of a Second Language

My native language is Tagalog because I grew up in the Philippine Islands until the age of seven. That’s when my siblings and I moved to the United States and started our new life with our adopted parents in Enid, Oklahoma. I started going to school and as I spoke English more and more, I spoke Tagalog less and less. Then one day I forgot the entire language.

Spanish children's booksI feel really sad about the whole thing. Not only did I lose part of my heritage, I’m a believer that as global citizens we should all speak a second language.

Yes, I took French in high school and college. Je m’appelle Diana. Comment allez-vous? Je vais bien, merci!

But no, the language did not stick. I can hardly remember much at all. (What I wrote in French just now, I had to Google!) It’s much harder to learn a second language as an adult, and it didn’t help I never traveled to France where I could put it to use.

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Mother’s Day Love From a Special Needs Daughter

My sister-in-law Nancy is an amazing mother to her daughter, Whitney, who suffered from a brain injury at the age of four months. The doctors did not give much hope on her survival but she lived. She lives by a mother’s pure love for her child.

Then the doctors said she would never walk but she did. Nancy taught Whitney how to walk forward as she walked backwards while holding up her daughter.Mother's-Day-Banner-Gift-Sunburst-Gifts

The doctors said she would never talk but she communicates in a way her mother understands.

I am in awe of Nancy. She makes me want to be a better mother. I have also never met anyone with as much faith in God as Nancy. She praises Him for her daughter’s gift of life.

When you have a special needs daughter who is legally blind with poor hearing, your life is not considered normal. But Nancy and Whitney have created a life that is normal for them.

Did you know one in every 12 children in America is physically or mentally disabled? Mothers of disabled children earn a particularly special place on Mother’s Day, and disabled children sometimes need a little help in celebrating and expressing their love for their mother. And that’s where you and I can come in!

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Life Lessons Learned From My Mother | Custom Book

So much of who we are we owe to our parents. Through their words, through their actions, through their examples, they taught us life lessons both large and small that influenced us as children and still influence us as adults. Can I get an “Amen?”

life lessons learned from mother custom bookI contacted all of my siblings and asked them to email me the things they learned from our mother growing up. I told them it could be anything as long as it made an impact on who they are today or how they live their lives.

I told them I would use their answers and mine to create a custom book titled “Life Lessons I Learned From My Mother” that we could give to our mother as a Mother’s Day present.

Collaborating with my brothers and sisters on what to include in the book made the present even better because we each came up with life lessons that the others totally agreed with but forgot about. Through teamwork, we really nailed it!

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Jump Out of A Box – Surprise Mother’s Day Gift

I lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico in the late 1980s for almost five years. That was the only time I lived more than a few miles from my mom, and I missed her so much. One year I wanted to surprise her for Mother’s Day by coming home to visit. I wanted to do it by jumping out of a box for Mother’s Day because being me – Queen Darlene – simply walking through the front door is just not how I do things.

Darlene-Mother-jump-out-of-box-gift-idea-sunburst-giftsMy brothers, Harvey and Rodney, got a washing machine cardboard box, wrapped it and left the bottom open so I could crouch inside. My brothers told our mother and grandmother that they were bringing in the gift and that they needed to stay in the bedroom until they were called. That’s when I slipped into the box.

My brothers and I talked about how they would signal me to jump out. All the while my mom and grandmother were in hear shot but being deaf they couldn’t hear us!

Harvey brought them to the den as Rodney filmed the whole thing with his video camera. Harvey thought it would be a great idea to wrap a box of Tide detergent to give Mother the impression she was getting a washing machine. But before she began to open the small gift, my brothers started talking out loud and signing with our mother and grandmother telling them that before Mother opened her gift it would be a good idea to go out to eat first so they could miss the church crowds.

I heard my brothers and started yelling, “You better not leave me in this box while you all go out to eat!”

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These Are A Few of My Favorite Things | Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

This Mother’s Day gift idea came from my boss, even though it did not start out as a Mother’s Day gift. He asked me and several other female co-workers, “If you only had one item to choose as your favorite product, what would it be?”

I asked him, “What do you mean? Clothing? Jewelry? Makeup? A book?”Mother's Day-purse-gift-idea-sunburst-gifts

He just said, “It doesn’t matter. It can be anything.” He was going to use our best products to choose gifts for his wife’s birthday. Awesome idea!

I had to think about it for a few minutes and decided it was my eye makeup remover. I have used several different kinds through the years but this one is by far the best in removing my mascara. No fuss, no mess! Dab it on a cotton ball and swoosh your makeup comes right off!

I have given the makeup remover as a gift many times since that experiment with my boss. Just never really thought about it as a gift idea until then. Everyone that I have given it to has loved it as much as I do. Continue Reading

One Line A Day Journal | A Twitter-like Diary

I’ve loved scribbling about my thoughts, feelings and the highlights of my life into a personal journal every since I was a young girl. I’d write until my hands ached because it was important to me to capture every detail of whatever I was writing about so down the road I could recall the memory completely.

one line a day journal Many times I have laughed and cried from reading what I’ve written down. It really is a lot of fun to go back and read through your journal and be able to relive your thoughts and experiences from years ago.

Some people have never kept a personal journal. They might not like to write or they don’t feel like they have the time to write regularly. But think of the memories and important events they’ll forget because they didn’t write it down! Don’t let that happen.

I found a perfect solution to getting people to journal who haven’t done so before or who want to but can’t find the time – the One Line A Day Journal.

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Mother & Me | Copycat Photos

Mother was a very visual person. She was deaf so her eyes were truly her window to the world.Mother-&-Me-copycat-photo-gift-idea-sunburst-gifts

She loved to look at everything and she filled her home with lots of beautiful and unusual things! There was not a spare inch on the bookshelves, hutch, desks, cabinet counters, windows sills or walls. She even collected more than 10,000 owls! (But that will have to be another story.)

Pictures were important to Mother. My brothers and I learned to stop whatever we were doing right then and there to take a picture if Mother wanted it. It was just easier to get it over with than to fuss with her. (Funny how history repeats itself. My boys stop and turn on the smiles for me – click – then they are off and on their way).

Mother cherished her pictures, and they brought her much happiness.

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All Day Flower Deliveries

My mother-in-law Betty was turning 80. Seriously, what do you get someone who has everything?

Betty loves roses so I decided to get her a LOT of them.Birthday-Mother's Day-Roses-gifts-Sunburst-Gifts

We found a flower shop willing to make deliveries to her home every two hours on her birthday. Each bouquet of roses was delivered with an “original” poem from a family member.

Don’t let the poem part stress you out. They were simple. Like this one.
Roses are Red
Violets are Blue
Happy Birthday
and We Love You Too!

The first two deliveries were a dozen roses. The next four deliveries were 14 roses each to equal 80. One was from my father-in-law, three from each of her children and their spouses, and the last two were from her grandchildren.

Her living room looked like a flower shop there were so many different colored roses everywhere!

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