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Posts Tagged: "family"

Worth Every Penny | Pennies From Birth Year

On my 50th birthday, my dear friend, Susan, gave me 50 pennies all made in 1952 – my birth year!

Heart-box-with-pennies-gift-idea-sunburst-giftsThe pennies came in a small heart box. I cherish that gift because it was so unique and thoughtful.

I have used the penny idea many times for birthdays and anniversaries. I use the pennies on significant birthday years such as 30 – 40 – 50 – 60 year old and up.

By the time a couple has been married for 50 years or more, what can you give that they do not already have or that is unique? Fifty pennies from the year of their wedding placed in a heart box is a for-sure-keepsake gift! Especially seeing and remembering those wheat pennies! They bring back the memories of simpler times. Continue Reading

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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Click on the photo to enlarge it

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

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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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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Nighttime Easter Egg Hunt With Flashlights

- - Experiences, Family, Kids

I grew up in the 50s and 60s with the traditional Easter egg hunts at our church or in the backyard. My mother would hide the real eggs that my two brothers and I had decorated. (At the time, there was no such thing as the plastic eggs with treats.) We loved to hunt for Easter eggs and could do so for hours!

Nighttime Easter Egg HuntIf the weather did not cooperate, we would hide the eggs in the house. Mother always made us count the eggs to be sure we had them all. I remember not being able to find one egg for about a week. We eventually realized it had fallen behind my bedroom dresser. I can still remember that hold-your nose-awful-smell of that rotten egg! PHEW!

I followed the same tradition of Easter egg hunts with my children. I’d hide real and plastic eggs throughout the backyard and inside the house and my children never tired of  searching for them.

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Time is the Best Gift of All

Time is the best gift of all. When I was 21, my 16-year old brother and I were on our way to the gym when we decided to visit our deaf  grandparents. I asked them if they would like to go and exercise too.

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Walter & Julia Cleaver in the 1970s.

They had no workout clothes so when Granddaddy came out in Grandma’s baby blue shorts, sleeveless undershirt, black socks and black street shoes, my brother did not want to take them. When we arrived at the club, the walk from the parking lot was the longest walk ever for my humiliated brother.

Entering the gym, we had to fill out guest forms for them. Putting their birth dates of 1896 and 1902  raised eye-brows. We wanted to take our grandparents to the exercise room on our own, but the club insisted a trainer take them for their first visit. When the big, muscular trainer came in, he was shocked at the age of his clients – ages 77 and 71.

Grandma’s trainer soon had her doing sit-ups and leg lifts, riding a stationary bike, and relaxing in the sauna. We finally made it to the pool.

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Kleenex Tissue Flower Bouquet for a Sick Friend

Flower vases – we have them stashed everywhere in our kitchen just taking up space. We occasionally – more like never – use them for flowers but mostly they sit hidden with no future and collecting dust!

Here’s a gift idea for your round or square vases. Colorful vases work really well. For plain clear vases, I like to bedazzle them with rhinestones!Kleenex.flower.bouquet.gift.idea.sunburst.gifts

Use your imagination when decorating. Try all one color or multicolor. Create a heart shape or place them at random. Rhinestones and glue are all you need. It’s easy peasy as Princess Diana likes to say!

Purchase facial tissues in the small square box, pull them out all at once, and place them in the glass vase. Take a single tissue from the center and pull it up. The tissues are also available in different colors too!

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Hand Prints on Canvas Best Friends Gift Idea

I am blessed to have life long friends. It’s a trait I copied from my mom. She attended the Oklahoma School for the Deaf and stayed in contact with many of her friends throughout her lifetime. While growing up, I watched her write and receive mail from her friends from all across America.

Hand Prints on Canvas Best Friends Gift IdeaI moved to Oklahoma from Texas on my 12th birthday. Mother enrolled us in school and instructed us to “go and make lots of best friends.” We did and she encouraged us to stay in contact with our old friends in Texas. I am forever grateful for her wisdom in keeping and making new friends. You can never have too many!

Nancy is my Oldest BFF (Best Friend Forever)! We met in second grade and have known each other for 54 years. WOW! That’s a long time. We have been exchanging birthday gifts for most of those years.

This year, I came up with the idea to have our hand prints together on a canvas. One problem – I live in Oklahoma and she lives in Texas. Continue Reading

The Gift of Song | Family Recording Studio Session

When Judy, a co-worker of mine, had her grandchildren visit her, she planned all sorts of events for them to do. One of them was a private recording studio session at my oldest son Dustin’s recording studio. He had just started his home recording studio business at the time.

Gift of Song Family Recording Studio Session Gift Idea

Dustin hangs out in his recording studio.

Judy’s granddaughters had the time of their life recording in the studio, singing into a mike with headsets on, and making a real CD. They thought it was the coolest experience ever! What a story to tell their friends and family back home. They gave a copy of their newly released CD to their parents who cherished such a unique gift!

The idea of recording a CD led another co-worker, Tiffany, and her family to record Jingle Bells for their grandmother who lived in a different city. Practice began at the studio because there were lots of starts and stops, goofs and giggles, and funny family fodder during the recording session.

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