The reasons why we don't write birthday cards, but I have a post that tells you why we should.

Why Should I Write A Happy Birthday Card?

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The reasons why we don't write birthday cards, but I have a post that tells you why we should.

Do I CARE Enough to write YOU a Birthday Card?


Why Should I Write A Happy Birthday Card?

Why Should we Write A Happy Birthday Card?  Really, does it matter anymore? 

Seriously, we can text it out, or wish it to them on social media, isn’t that the same?

And if we send a card, then do we have to send a gift card, cash or a gift?

Because that adds up and what if we don’t have the extra budget for that?

Besides that, cards are so expensive now-days in the specialty shops, how can we afford them?

No worries! 

I have answers for all of these issues and more, as I explain why we SHOULD write Happy Birthday Cards and send them out.





If you read my post on writing a Thank You Card, you read about my sister-in-law Ruthann and what a rock star she is about those.  Well, this is another one of her many strong talents.

She sends a card to every sister, brother, in-law, niece, nephew…I don’t believe she misses a relative and as a family we have talked many times about how much that means to us.  My grand kids know that she and her husband Brad care about them.  They know that they can go to them and talk.  Now, as they get older, that means the world, because we may not be here, or possibly they will open up to one of them about a situation that might come up while they are talking together at a family event.  It’s so important to build family relationships and bonds in anyway possible.  And a simple card, like Ruthann does, truly builds bridges that spans generations, any age and is an honorable legacy to set.

There are other reasons to write a card, including:

  • Strengthening and maintaining friendships
  • Being able to put into words a sentiment such as a handshake, embrace or heartfelt smile as you wish them a wonderful year
  • It is a tangible reminder that you care, that you took the time to sit down and write to them!
  • It gives the opportunity to connect again as life gets busy and rushed, oftentimes we don’t talk to communicate with family or friends for long periods of time
  • It brings a closeness and appreciation for each other
  • There are so many reasons that the list could go on and on and on……




I have a free chart made specially for YOU that is editable/fill-in so you can write in the names and birthdays of your family and friends along with anniversaries if you’d like. Now you won’t have to miss one!

1- click HERE to download the free file that is EDITABLE /FILL-IN, there is also a version to download the file if you prefer to WRITE in it and not have it editable

*The link will take you to WooCommerce, which is a FREE option

After you fill it in, which will take maybe a minute or two to gather the information, you will have it for years to come.




This is easy-peasy!

  • I have free downloadable cards for birthdays and anniversariesfor you and the kids to use.  See them below at the end of this post to print off.
  • My friend Natalie makes the most gorgeous homemade cards. You can find Natalie HERE 
  • If you prefer to order some on-line to have on hand, HERE are some birthday cards you might like, THESE would work well for the kids, and THIS will be great for anniversaries
  • Looking for fun colorful pens for you and the family to use, try THESE
  • And for pens that dry quickly and don’t smear, won’t skip and write smooth, this looks to be a great ONE





I’ve thought long and hard about this one for you because I wanted to make sure the ‘gift’ was:

1- very affordable

2- useful or would be wanted

3- would go through the mail

Here are some ideas I came up with for men, women, teens and children; just send what THEY would like and use your imagination:)

Ideas of items that could send in a birthday card through the mail

Ideas for Birthday gifts

  • GUM is a treat for most kids, so if you put 2-3 sticks in the card, wrap them in a plastic bag like THIS, same as if you use unwrapped candy as shown, it will withstand any humidity or heat. Just make sure it lies flat and you don’t over fill it! 



  • Nail decal link below


  • Soft, flat individually wrapped candy is another idea; one option is  Swedish Fish




Ideas of items that could send in a birthday card through the mail

deas for Birthday gifts to send in a card

  • These Punch Balloons will be fun to send to kids and teens!  You can find them HERE



Ideas of items that could send in a birthday card through the mail

Ideas for Birthday gifts to send in a card

  • Hair ties made from Elastic Ribbon are fabulous for all ages as they are twisted to accommodate pretty much any amount of hair.  You can make them yourself and send, or you can purchase them and send 2-3 in the card without any trouble.  If you need a small amount you might want to look at THESE  if you have a lot  you are gifting, you might want to look at THIS



Ideas of items that could send in a birthday card through the mail

Ideas for Birthday gifts to send in a card

  • Nail decals/stickers are always popular with all ages.  These designs are for young and old, are individually packaged and thin enough to put in with your card and mail regularly.  You will find them HERE



Ideas of items that could send in a birthday card through the mail

Ideas for Birthday gifts to send in a card

  • Here’s a link for JAR GRIPPER PADS  These are wonderful to help with getting a grip on those tight fitting lids and taking the lids off, but also for setting your cups, utensils – anything on so they don’t slid around or scratch the surface.




Ideas of items that could send in a birthday card through the mail

Ideas for Birthday gifts to send in a card

  • These are the coolest things!  They are seed paper.  Which means it’s handmade eco-friendly paper with flower seeds pressed into the shape so when it is planted flowers grow!  There are SO many shapes and types to choose from.  HERE is a SMILEY FACE to get you started


For older kids and TEEN BOYS especially, here are TWO great ideas: 

  • Flying Sticky Animal Frogs.  Each frog is individually sealed in a bag. They are made to stretch from the front legs as well as the back as they are pulled, then let go to fly—and stick 🙂  You’ll see them HERE


  • Vinyl Glitter Stretchy Sticky Hands and Feet Stretchy are individually wrapped.  What to do with these?  Besides ‘slapping’ them on windows, try to pick up small objects!  Find these are HERE



For older teens and adults

  • A Credit Card Pocket Magnifier Ruler Emergency Solar Fire Starter would be great for anyone.   I would like the handy magnifier when I forget my reading glasses, and the teen guy and man in your life would really enjoy all the features of this little tool.  Check it out HERE


  • Or this type of Plastic Reading 300% Magnifier Lens Credit Card Size Fire starter looks great too.  See that one HERE


  • Another very useful idea is to give in your birthday card  RFID Blocking Sleeves Credit Card Holders or Passport Protectors. These are lined with an electromagnetically opaque shield to block signals from high-tech pickpockets and  unauthorized electronic scanning devices; you could give one or two to your birthday recipient. Those are HERE

As you start brainstorming, you will come up with some great ideas yourself, and please share them with us!





1- Make it personal, think of whom you are writing to.

2- Are you going to be cute, funny or sincere in your message?

3- End with a quote if you’d like such as these (from

  • Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves. –Sir James Barrie
  • And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years. –Abraham Lincoln
  • A friend is, as it were, a second self. –Cicero
  • You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. –C.S. Lewis
  • We turn not older with years, but newer every day. –Emily Dickinson
  • Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! –Henry David Thoreau
  • A true friend is someone who knows all about you and likes you just the same. –Elbert Hubbard
  • Friendship is the only cement that will ever hold the world together. –Woodrow Wilson


4- End with your choice of closing, here are some ideas (from

  • Warmly,
  • Love,
  • With love,
  • Lots of love,
  • Love always,
  • Much love to you,
  • All my love,
  • Best wishes!
  • Best wishes on your birthday and always,
  • All life’s best to you,
  • Happy Birthday!
  • Wishing you happiness,
  • Warmest wishes,
  • Gratefully,
  • Blessings,
  • God bless,
  • Hugs and kisses,





I hope you will start, or keep on sending those BIRTHDAY and ANNIVERSARY cards because it is one of the most simple, yet gracious and connecting acts we can do.



Click HERE for all of these: Children’s Color-In Birthday Card, 2 Birthday Cards, 2 Anniversary Cards and a Birthday Card for a child

The reasons why we don't write birthday cards, but I have a post that tells you why we should.

Here are a few sites with more ideas of what to write in your card:


Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2018

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today

Hop Scotch

How To Play Old Fashioned Hop Scotch

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Hop Scotch

Hop Scotch


Do you know How To Play Old Fashioned Hop Scotch?  

I’ll bet your parents and grandparents did, but have you played it lately?

You could ask them teach you, OR learn from this post and play a game or two.

Hop Scotch has been a favortie game for generations all around the world and popular because it’s perfect for all skill levels and ages.  

WHY is it good for everyone?

Because in the game of Hop Scotch you learn and practice skills such as: how to hop, skip, toss, accuracy, and –  it is just plain fun!  

Here’s a bit of trivia before I go so that you can get outside and play Hop Scotch:  Did you know this game has been around for hundreds of years?  And reportedly even for thousands of years going back to Roman soldiers training for battle! Well, if they could play it so can we!!!

How to Play Hop Scotch

Supplies – 




To Prepare:

1- There are so many ways to draw a Hop Scotch grid, this is the way we do ours, but HERE is a site for other options. Also, this is a book you can order of ways it is played around the world HERE

2- Draw your choice of grid with chalk on the driveway OR you can use masking tape on the carpet inside when the weather is inclement.

Make sure the squares are large enough to fit the foot easily into

3- Each player will need a ‘Marker’ which can be a rock, coin, ‘Ta’, anything.


To Start:

1- First player will toss their marker into the first square (the square with the #1 drawn in it) without landing on the border or bounding out.

If the marker does not land in the right square, it is the next players turn.  Continue if you are playing alone.

Hop Scotch


2- Hop through the squares on ONE foot SKIPPING the square your marker is in going up the Hop Scotch grid. Only one foot can be on the ground at one time unless two squares are together then both feet hit the ground at the same time.

3- If you step outside the lines, hop on the wrong square or step on the line you lose your turn.

4- Turn at the end of the grid to face the opposite direction so you can go back down the grid and WITHOUT STEPPING outside the lines, squares or on the lines.

Hop Scotch1


5- Hop back down the grid in reverse order in the same fashion. 

6- When you get to the square JUST BEFORE THE ONE with your marker, bend down, standing on ONE FOOT, lean down and pick up the marker.

7- Skip over that square and finish the grid.

8- Repeat this process, tossing the marker to the next square.  For example, this time the marker would be thrown into the #2 square.

9- If a mistake is made by tossing the marker into the wrong square, onto a line, outside the grid.  Or if when hopping down the grid a player steps on the line, outside the grid, puts a foot down when they shouldn’t, steps in a box they shouldn’t, etc, it is the next player’s turn and so forth.

10- The first player to toss their marker into all the squares, completing the hop scotch grid successfully wins!

If you want to play this FUN game indoors on a rainy day, I found some GREAT options for you to consider: *THIS  and

*THIS one grab these Bean Bags and

THIS are some great options for hours of entertainment and exercise inside!  

*The first TWO can be used outside for easy set up and take down anywhere, camping, picnic, family reunion, wherever!

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2015, 2018

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.


Memory Christmas Ornaments

Baby and Kids Keepsake Memory Ornaments

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Memory Christmas Ornaments

Keep Sake Baby and Kids Christmas Ornaments

Are you looking for a quick holiday craft,a keepsake or even a present that is economical yet sentimental? Look no further! Here are three ideas that your family can all do, no matter the age.  These would be treasured as baby’s first Christmas, or every year your children could see the growth as their hand covers more and more of the ornament.  A great gift for grandparents too.  These would definitely be appreciated by all. 

Baby and Kids Keepsake Memory Ornaments

Snowman Ornament


For the Snowmen & Foot Ornament:

Shatterproof ornament, color of your choice

Acrylic paint

Sharpie markers

Sponge wedges with handle  


For the Marble Spin Art Ornament:

Clear plastic or shatterproof ornament


Acrylic paint



Step 1 – 

Tickle your kidlets hand by painting them with acrylic paint of your choice with a sponge wedge. Kids Craft Christmas Ornaments 1Step 2  –

Have your kid hold their hand flat, place the ornament in the palm and ask them to curl their fingers over the bulb.

Help them press fingers evenly.Kids Craft Christmas Ornaments 2Step 3 – 

Place the ornament with the paint on it in an egg carton to hold it while it dries.Kids Craft Christmas Ornaments 3Step 4 –

Using the sharpies, draw buttons, hat, face and whatever you would like to bring Frosty to life!Kids Craft Christmas Ornaments 4

Baby Foot Print Ornament

Step 1 – 

If you have a baby, you can paint their foot, which is much easier than trying to get them to uncurl their fingers:)Kids Craft Christmas Ornaments 5

Step 2- 

Press the painted foot onto the ornamentKids Craft Christmas Ornaments 6Step 3 – Let it dry in egg carton and then write the baby’s name and year.

Marble Painted Ornament

Step 1 – 

Squeeze a small amount, about the size of a dime or less, of acrylic paint into the bottom of a clear ornament, use a shatterproof or plastic one for this craft.Kids Craft Christmas Ornaments 7

Step 2-

Drop a marble into the ornament with the paintKids Craft Christmas Ornaments 8

Step 3- 

Now let the kiddos shake, shake, shake, making a pattern inside the ornament with the marble painting the inside.Kids Craft Christmas Ornaments 9

Step 4-

Allow the paint to dry and if desired, repeat with a contrasting color, using a tiny bit of paint and a marble.

Kids Craft Christmas Ornaments

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2013, 2017

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today

Homemade Kids Play Sand

DIY Kids Play Sand

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Homemade Kids Play Sand

Easy and Clean Kids Play Sand

Can’t go to the beach because it’s several hundred miles away and that’s just a little impractical for an afternoon of play?  No worries, I have the perfect solution!

Looking for a unique way to entertain the kiddos? This Play Sand is the answer!

It is so easy to mold, doesn’t make a mess on their hands and is made from just flour and some baby oil. 

Toddlers and kids really like this.

To keep them amused, you can put in ‘prizes’ of large rhinestones, beads, etc., so they can do some mining and treasure hunting.

Molds and plastic garden tools will keep them busy for hours and that lets you get your projects done, or a bit of much needed relaxing as you watch them have some fun.  You might want to double or triple this really simple and easy recipe, depending on how large your bin is and how many children will be playing.

DIY Homemade Play Sand


8 cups flour

1 cup BABY OIL

Bag or CONTAINER to store Play Sand (will last at least 1 year)

Toys for fun

Molds to play with  



Put the flour in a large bowlPlay Sand 1Pour baby oil into the flourPlay Sand 2With your hands get in there and mix it well.

Continue until the oil is completely incorporated into the flourPlay Sand 3

Store in a bag or container with a tight fitting lid.Play Sand 4Now for the FUN!

Pour the Play Sand into a container large enough for the kids to play with.  Play Sand 5

It is best to let the kiddos do it outside, to accommodate any escaping Play Sand.

Play Sand 6Kids of all ages love this Play Sand.Play Sand 7A special thank you to my daugther-in-law Ashley for this idea and bringing the fun molds and toys.               Play Sand

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2014, 2016

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.

Cute monsters from toilet paper rolls or tubes

Kids Halloween Craft T.P Scary Monsters

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Cute monsters from toilet paper rolls or tubes

Halloween Kids Craft Monsters from Toilet Paper Rolls


These Kids Halloween Craft T.P Scary Monsters are so easy, inexpensive and a great way  for kids to make their own Halloween decoration, or homemade toys to play with.  

It’s a perfect way to help encourage imagination and creativity.  

So simple, while a fun way to spend time together. 

Let the kids make a bunch of them for their own grundle of monsters!

Kids Halloween Craft T.P Scary Monsters


click on titles/names to easily go straight to the items

  • Empty toilet paper rolls or cut empty paper towel roll into sections
  • Foam plates


Kids Halloween Craft T.P Scary Monsters

Kids Halloween Craft T.P Scary Monsters

Give each child (and everyone if family activity) an empty toilet paper roll, a foam brush, and a bit of washable paints on a paper plate and let them go to work.
Have fun together while the paint dries (about 30 minutes or so), play a game, decorate cookies, whatever!

Kids Halloween Craft T.P Scary Monsters

Kids Halloween Craft T.P Scary Monsters

When the paint is dry, poke holes in the toilet paper roll so that holes are across from each other on the roll.Now stick the pipe cleaner through a hole on one side of the toilet paper roll then through the other hole directly across from it on the other side.

Do as many pipe cleaners as there are holes to make the ‘arms’. 

Kids Halloween Craft T.P Scary Monsters

Kids Halloween Craft T.P Scary Monsters

Let the kids twist the arms to make monster limbs.If the child is able, let them put the glue dots on the eyes and stick to their monster as they desire.

Kids Halloween Craft T.P Scary Monsters

Kids Halloween Craft T.P Scary Monsters

If needed, put the glue dots on the eyes for them, and they can stick the eyes on their monster.

They can make a family or village of monsters!

Kids Halloween Craft T.P Scary Monsters

Kids Halloween Craft T.P Scary Monsters

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2013, 2018

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.

Kids Halloween Craft T.P Scary Monsters