a "been-there" mom of six offers encouragement
to wives, young mothers, and those not so young,
and simple common-sense approaches to
the "ings" of life:
child-rearing (hints and helps), homemaking (all areas),
cooking (simple, cheap, and do-it-yourself)
making (toys and gifts), preparing (for the unexpected),
maintaining (sanity and peace in this increasingly crazy world) and more---
all aspects of making the most of making do on little---
and having fun in the process.

Friday, December 18, 2015

No-Sew Activity Books---Simple and Quick . . .

to help you out if you don't sew or are in a time crunch for making gifts for those you love. . .

and/or for those who need a little love. 

(This is a "re-gifted" post from two years ago)

'Tis the Season for gift-giving but for those in special circumstances or who have special needs there is no special season.  Anytime is the right time if you have a little extra time.

Besides your own children or grandchildren, think of all the places (even for adults) were they would be lovingly welcomed:  Safe Houses and Homeless Shelters, Nursing Homes, Rehabilitation Centers, Hospitals, personal homes of those we may be aware of who are less fortunate than we are. 

These books are simple, quick, inexpensive, adaptable for any age and ability level, and can be used over and over again.  No sewing nor skill required.


1. Remove coloring or activity pages from magazines or coloring/activity books or print them from the computer. (There are many free printable pages available for all age and interest levels).

2. Insert the pages into page protectors. You can put the two sheets back-to-back in each protector.

3. Put in a thin 3-ring binder. 

4. Include a small box of dry-erase crayons or markers and a small piece of cloth for erasing.

I buy most of my binders at thrift stores.  They often come with page protectors already in them. Even if you buy them new, there are soft vinyl ones available, in bright colors, at Wal-Mart for $1.00.  When I need new page protectors I use 50 percent off coupons  at craft stores. A inexpensive zippered pencil pouch that has holes to fit the binder rings is great for holding the crayons/markers and cloth.

If you want more information, here are three helpful.




Have a grateful day,
I am, Simply Gail

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Give the Gift of Self not Stuff . . . for Those Who are Far Away

More Coupon Ideas-----For Those Who Live Away

Give a gift that keeps on giving—in the form of personalized coupons.

An offer for a future service is usually most welcome, especially when they are away.
Those who are away will especially welcome periodic contact!

Recap: To get started just think of things you would appreciate if you were the recipient. Next, consider what you are willing to do, like to do or do well, and combine the two.

For those away, the coupons would be different but with a little thought, there are still a variety of options.

Someone Moving Away: A promise to write every week, month, etc for a set period of time. No matter how friendly new neighbors are, moving from an old neighborhood is hard and letters are a welcome "upper."

For a Member of the Military, Missionary, or College Student: Let your imagination, their situation, and your relationship with that individual be your guide. Coupons can be provided for any number of items---letters, cookies, photographs, phone calls, or even new socks. They could be sent periodically or the recipient could redeem their coupon when they wanted the item.

Grandparents (or other relatives) who live alone or a distance away: Again, a promise to write as above---every week, two weeks, or a month, etc. Maybe include a photo when you can. Write a postcard if that is all you have time to do. You could even use the photo as the postcard!   I know your free time short and hectic, and I also know in many cases, their free time is long and lonely.

Even in this day of electronic correspondence and the telephone, there is something very special about a letter. 

Even in this day with the speed of all the
electronic correspondence and the telephone, 
there is something very special about 
receiving a letter.
     Years ago there was a short film "The Mailbox." Often I can't remember something I saw or read yesterday but this film I have never forgotten.
     An elderly lady lived alone on a rural country road. It was quite a long walk to her mail box but she made the effort every day, only to be disappointed----day after day. Occasionally there was a bill but nothing else. Her mail carrier would apologize if he was delivering when she happened along.
     Her children called her faithfully every week but she said it just wasn't the same. A letter you could hold and see and read--and re-read when loneliness became too much in between the phone calls.
     Finally there was a letter. She clutched it as she excitedly, and gingerly, made her way back up the long rough driveway. She eased herself into the chair and opened it.                                                                                                   

And fortunately, she passed on before she could read it. Her children had written to tell her they were would be there the next week----to move her to a nursing home.

Another RE-Gifted post  from October 2011. On this short notice (if you decide to use one of these ideas) the gift, while possibly belatedly received will still be very well received---I promise.

 And, if not this year, maybe you will want to tuck these ideas away for next year!

I hope my ideas may help wrap up your needs.

I am Simply, Gail

Monday, December 14, 2015

Give the Gift of Self . . . Not Stuff

It’s a gift-giving occasion! Often gift-giving time is stress time. Especially if the recipient "already has everything!" Doesn't want anything! Or you are short on time and/or money!

Give a gift that keeps on giving—in the form of personalized coupons.

An offer for a future service is usually, and universally, most welcome.

An offer for a future service is usually most welcome. 

To get started just think of things you would appreciate in a given situation, consider what you are willing to do, like to do or do well, and combine the two.

IDEAS to get you started:
Since we are usually deluged with goodies during the holiday season, consider giving your friends a  coupon for that goody--- redeemable about mid-January, when their larders are depleted and your time is freer.

Bride to Be: Copies of your favorite simple, seasonal treats, redeemable at the appropriate month throughout the year.

New Mother: What new mother wouldn’t appreciate an hour or two of babysitting (either with the new baby or if she has other children, taking them for a designated period of time), a casserole or special dessert at a time down the road when the attention has worn off and she is back in the grind, or maybe even a vacuuming of her home.

Young Family: An offer to take the children to the park or the library or wherever suits your fancy for an afternoon. The kids would love it, the parents would adore you.

Elderly or Home Bound: Coupon for lawn mowing, errand running, housecleaning, a special treat, or just simple periodic visiting.

Care Giver: If the situation is such that the care giver can leave you in charge for a period of time, they would truly appreciate an hour or two for themselves. If they cannot leave, you can offer to come over and read to, write letters for, brush the hair of, simply visit with the confined individual, or do whatever is needed—giving the care-giver an at-home break.

Child’s Teacher: Teachers need help with projects, bulletin boards, tutoring, or other classroom assistance, much more than they need “stuff.” Just pick the activity/help you feel comfortable with and the time you are available. Or, if  you are game for anything, give a coupon letting the teacher choose what she could use help with.

New Neighbors: If they are not familiar with the area you can give a coupon offering to show them around the town and a tour of the area; provide them with a list of local businesses and services that you have found economical and satisfactory; help for a project around their new home; a meal on a hectic day; or an invitation to come over and visit with you and some of the neighbors.


This is a post from October 2011 that I am "re-gifting" !

Sunday, December 13, 2015

We Start Early to Teach Our Children Respect . . . for Heavenly Father, Jesus, Others and Self

  • Image result for jesus with children
    and Jesus said,
     "Suffer little children to come unto me and forbid them not;
     for of such is the kingdom of God."
    Luke 18:16
  • I am a child of God.
    • I know Heavenly Father loves me, and I love him.
    • I can pray to Heavenly Father anytime, anywhere.
    • I am trying to follow Jesus.
    • I will remember my baptismal covenants and listen to the Holy Ghost.
  • I will be honest with Heavenly Father, others, and myself.
  • I will seek good friends and treat others kindly.
  • I will dress modestly to show respect for Heavenly Father and myself.
  • I will only read and watch things that are pleasing to Heavenly Father.
  • I will only listen to music that is pleasing to Heavenly Father.
  • I will use the names of Heavenly Father and Jesus reverently. I will not swear or use crude words.
  • I will keep my mind and body sacred and pure, and I will not partake of things that are harmful to me.
  • I will do those things on the Sabbath that will help me feel close to Heavenly Father.
  • I will choose the right.
  • I know I can repent when I make a mistake.
stable influence.jpg
especially in these troubled times.  Wishing (real hard) that we can all
learn to be like Jesus and love one another regardless
 of race or religion or circumstances.
  • Until next time. May there be peace and gratitude in your heart and in your home.
  • I am Simply, Gail