Giving a Gift and Thanking the Giver

AmberLee over at Giver’s Log wrote a GREAT post about How to Accept a Gift on Friday.  It is well worth the read.

Skipping Step 4 is one of my biggest pet peeves ever. I struggle with it every year. The struggle is repeatedly gifting a person who never jots a quick note or calls to say thanks. This is particularly difficult if I’ve handmade something, or gifting to children who don’t write or call because parents don’t require it.

Isn’t it the thought that counts? Even if you hate it? Because when I made it or bought it for you, I thought you’d like it.  That’s why I took the time to make it or buy it in the first place.

My kids write a LOT of thank you notes in November/December because of where their birthdays fall in relation to Christmas. And mostly because they are very, VERY fortunate to have so many people in their lives who care about them.

They do not get to combine a thank you note for Christmas and their birthday gifts.

They would not write the notes if I didn’t require it. They don’t complain anymore because complaining means they don’t get to play with the gifts until the notes are done.

Every year, I can see how much their view of a proper thank you note changes. One sentence (K or 1st grade) to a couple sentences, to added illustrations.

I imagine the intended opening his or her thank you note and noting these changes too.

I imagine this because I note these changes myself. I love the voice mail messages. Almost more than the notes. But, a child’s scrawls are quite wonderful too. It’s a tie.

Someday, my kids will thank me.

I know because people have shared with me that they are the only children who write them thank you notes, and it gives them great delight to receive them.




What I Love in my Kitchen

This picture of my kitchen has five things I love.

My freshly painted tiles in three colors. My Bialetti Moka Express stove top coffee pot.  A Le Creuset mini crock my sister-in-law gave me that I use for my kosher salt. A turtle carved out of a rock that Troy gave me. (Turtles and birds are my favorite animals.) In the back is a ceramic tile that Jack made for me at school. It has a guitar on it.

Whenever we are anyplace we might happen upon a turtle, the first person who sees one gets a kiss from me.

I also love my KitchenAid Mixer and food processor. I use both several times a week, so they stay on the counter. I haven’t used my beater since this beauty arrived. I bought the three cup because my other food processor was probably a two cup, but now I wish I bought the seven cup because I regularly make a mess because it is too full.

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my Fiesta dinnerware in Plum. I have white and plum in the plates which look great on the table, but the white plates show all sorts of scratch marks. (If I had to do it again, I would go all plum.) I particularly love the fruit bowls that my mother-in-law gave me. We use these mini bowls for everything! Yogurt, crackers, cookies, chocolate chip snacks, a brownie, lonely loner eggs in the fridge, measured ingredients…the possibilities are endless which is why we are always using them!

These mini plates are from Target this season. I love the colorful butterfly and that they match the dinner dishes. I bought four matching “glasses” as well.

These are my 8 oz iittala tumblers from one of my favorite Scandinavian shops which is in my hometown. (I wish you had a website Irma’s!)

My Pioneer Woman Cooks cookbook! Oh, how I love you, and I’ve only made one thing from it so far! I’ll be making another recipe this week. It is in the living room on the wall behind the couch because I love reading it and looking at the pictures.


Some things make me smiley from my head to my toes.


Providing a good reference for a deserving person.

Then, sending that person an email telling her why she is such a great person.

Making creamy, delicious fudge for someone only to have it lost in the mail, then to have it delivered.

Making creamy, delicious fudge for myself.

Having the kids just know there is a homemade sweet baked treat for them nearly every day.

Morning coffee.

Morning coffee when I’m all alone.

Being the first person to dip a knife into the peanut butter jar.

Opening up a new can of Cafe Bustelo…from the first crank of the can opener until I pull the lid off. The anticipation, the smell, oh my!

Opening a jar of something I canned.

A freshly vacuumed floor.

Sleeping with a window open.

80 degree weather in October. In Iowa.

how would you spend $4033?

I am RARELY inclined to spend $4033 all at once, but if I were I would set my mom up in STYLE at Chez Moi with the kids and whisk away here with my husband.

On the way, I’d stop at Anthropologie and purchase this, this and this.  The shoes I’d only wear once on vacation because I wouldn’t be able to stop looking at my cute feet which means I’d walk into a wall, a building or oncoming traffic and hurt myself. I would also buy this to make me feel better about returning to the chilly Iowa weather.

But, who needs all of those fancy things when all I really needed was this.

Not as fun as travel souvenirs, a tan and shopping bags, but I’m warm.

And who am I kidding? I don’t tan, I burn.

How would you spend $4033?