PRINTABLE Doodle-Style Christmas Tags

Hello Lovely Friends!

Well, I'm back in my own home... back at my own desk... and back to work!
My attitude is better now... most of the time :)

Virgil is sick with a fever though... which bums me out.  But at least he cuddles with me now :)  ...that's kinda nice.

I made you some Christmas tags.  I was trying to decide what type to make, and I had all kinds of ideas swirling around in my head.  I wanted to design something that you all would like... Problem is, when I go at designing from that angle, I'm bound to fail.  So I scratched those ideas, and went back to true Amy J. style.  If I were going to make tags for my gifts... these are what I would make!  So... this is what you get... Amy J. style... take it or leave it :)   (I'll keep fiddling with my other ideas... and when the time is right, and they aren't forced... they will come together.  And then I will share them with you!  oohh... and I also have some Christmas Washi tape patterns for you sometime, as well! )

But for now...

Download, print, cut, ... and enjoy!

And if you're the type that doesn't mind... please let me know if you're going to take these doodles home!  It just brightens my day :)


*As always...File and finished product for personal use only... not for resale or profit of any kind.


This week in Kansas...

This week in Kansas has not been what I was hoping for.  I was hoping for a break...some rest... but it's been anything but that.   I feel guilty even saying that.  But you see I'm notoriously negative...  I seem to have trouble focusing on the positive aspects of my circumstances. I tend to have a "poor me" complex.  (big sigh.)

But still,  the fact of the matter is I'm a mother to 4 young children.  Children who, by their very nature, require a huge amount of work during a normal day at home, and even more work away from home.  Away from home there are taxing new variables like new environments, late nights, heightened expectations to behave/perform, busy schedules, and extra sugar :)  And I am The Mother... yes, with capital letters... I am the only one who is completely capable of caring for them (especially since I still nurse V).  There is no escape, there is no break,  there is... no vacation.

(I'm going to pause here to say... perhaps in defense of my doom and gloom post... that I signed up for this.  I walked into this place in life with my eyes open.  And I want to be here.  I am thankful to be here.  This is exactly what I always wanted.  ... it's just hard sometimes.  I knew it would be hard... I just didn't know being a mom would be this hard... and this exhausting :)

So here in Kansas, JJ hunted for most of the first two days... and then today he has been sick and slept most of the day.  I feel like I haven't seen my husband in days...  I thought I was supposed to see him more.  I feel like I have more time alone watching the kiddos... I thought I was supposed to have extra help and a break.  I thought I would get some time to do purely frivolous design projects...  I've just responded to Etsy conversations and sent emails.  Bummer.

Yesterday, I claimed my husband for a couple hours to help me take pictures of the kiddos for our Christmas card.  Instead of being fun, the whole experience included lots and lots and screaming from Virgil,  a bad attitude from Alice, harsh words from me, a very frustrated father, crying because of stickers in boots, weird and frustrating facial expressions, defiance, and a dog fight (literally 2 dogs got into a big fight that JJ had to break up in the middle of our shoot!)...  It was just one more thing for me to add to my list of things that weren't going right.  It was just one more thing to suck my energy and joy out of me.

But it's okay...   It's all okay.

See actually that, right there, is the exact problem.  It's more than okay.  Nothing is wrong... I'm with the people I love the most... we are blessed beyond measure... and  yet I find a way to focus on my selfish expectations.  I find a way to feel cheated and to focus on the negative.  Shame on me.

Today on Thanksgiving,  I have no trouble saying "Thank You" to God.  But what I do have trouble with is living thankful to God.  Thankfulness is not something you say.  It's not something that you mentally acknowledge...making a list in your head of the "good things" that you have.   Rather it's an outlook... a way of living... a state of the heart.  Today on Thanksgiving I am not thankful.... at least that's what my attitude and my actions are saying.  After all, how can someone be thankful and have a bad attitude?  They are completely incompatible.

So I've got a lot of work to do.  I need to turn my focus back around....back around to the Father.  I need to stop looking at what is or isn't perfect or difficult in my life and start living a life of gratitude.  A life of gratitude that flows out of seeking after and learning to really know the God of the universe and his son Jesus Christ.  When I gaze upon his face, his glory...  I see that I am a selfish pessimistic mom who is amazingly saved by grace.... and for that I can't help but be truly thankful.

So there it is... me and my bad attitude in need of a heart change...  HA!
How's your heart?
How's your attitude? 
Are you living thankful to God?


Show and Tell

I have piles of new stuff in the store.

You see... designing is my way of relaxing.  And I've been needing to do something, anything to relax. 
So I kinda went nuts one day and designed all this stuff...

Hope you enjoy looking!  And maybe you'll get some Christmas Gift ideas... hmmmm :)

With that thought in mind... You can get 15% off your purchase with this code when you enter it at the time of checkout in My Etsy Store!  Why?.... just 'cause I love you that much. ...awwww... how sweet :)

... and remember Custom Color changes are always FREE...  Custom Scripture changes are only $4 more.

And there are so many more where those came from! 

I'm going home to Kansas for the entire week, next week.  And... since I find designing relaxing... gues who is coming with me?  Yup... Mac (that's my computer, don't feel bad if you're a little slow :)  And it's not a lap top.  How pathetic am I?  No, I guess I'm not really pathetic, more like practical.  Yeah.  That sounds better :)  

This way I can enjoy some design time while family helps watch kids and I can also keep up with Etsy and Blog (lucky you!) stuff.   So I'd tell you all that I will miss you during the next week... but I won't.  I'm taking you with me.  :)


For Grandpa

We ALL love you!  
... V too, but he was asleep during our little photo shoot today :)

We are thanking God for you today...
See you next week!

V is 9 months old... and exasperating.

Well, I finally found a few minutes to takes some 9 month shots of Virgil.  Let me just tell you... I love that kid more than I could have ever imagined.  I love having a boy.  I love having four children.
Some days I don't think I'm going to make it through these years.  Virgil is definitely my most difficult child.  Each of the girls took their turns being grouchy at one point or another as babies, but Virgil...oh, Virgil... ever since 4 mo. he has been grouchy!  He was such a good newborn; I thought I was in for an even keel, content baby.  Nope.

You know the movie Elf...with Will Ferrell...?  If you do...
We often say, regarding Virgil "He's an angry elf!"... in the Buddy the Elf voice of course.
Because he is... He's an angry little person!

Let me vent share...
If Virgil is in the same room as me, and I'm not holding him AND walking around with him... he's screaming.  So I nurse him (more than I should) to try and make him happy.  He'll be happy for like 2 minutes then turn back to me and start crying.  So I put him down for another nap... He wakes up after 20-40 minutes SCREAMING. One of my strategies is to take him to another room...that I know is safe... where the girls are playing and hope that he gets distracted.  If I'm lucky, I'll get 10-15 minutes out of that before he comes and finds me... screaming.
That's my day.  Everyday.

It's kind of hard to homeschool.
It's kind of hard to work on the computer.
It's kind of hard to do dishes or laundry.
It's kind of hard to do really anything...

JJ comes to my rescue in the evenings.  Virgil adores him.  And amazingly, doesn't act the same way around him!  Jeremy can pin V up in our bedroom and watch TV with him... he wanders around, climbs all over Jeremy, plays, laughs...  it's wonderful.  But why oh, why can't he be that way with me?!  Oh, the curse of being the one with the milk.  (big sigh).

Nights are getting better.  He was waking up several times... screaming.  But now it's tapering off to once or twice a night.  I can deal with that.

BUT...(another but)... I love babies!  I love kids!  If it wasn't for the fact that I'm completely exhausted, I really do think I would push JJ to have more :)  On the other side of that though, maybe that's why God is allowing it to feel overwhelming for me... so that I give in and am content with my four!! 

But when Virgil is happy... he is charming.  He has an adorable gappy-toothed smile, the sweetest little mouth, and sparkling blue eyes... He's my baby boy.  And someday, God will turn that frustrating personality into a tool for His glory.  I just hope I can survive to see it! Ha!

But enjoy some pics of my Virgil... he looks just like his daddy :)

Blessings... and endurance to all you moms :)

50 Things Christmas... over at Jame

Hello dear ones!

Jame has a wonderful little Christmas series going on right now.. And today I am guest posting about creative ideas for Christmas gift wrap/packages...   Take a look!

Visit JAME HERE...
and happy Christmas planning!


PRINTABLE Christmas Gift Planner page

Today is a gloomy, rainy day... here in Edmond, OK.  Today is Jeremy's day off, but I'm kinda sick and hubs is trying to get over being sick. 
So much I want (and need) to accomplish...
So little energy... (big sigh.)

But... thankfully, before I was feeling yucky, I created this for you!  It's helping me get my thoughts in some kind of order as I attack my gift "to-do" and "to-buy" lists.   This planner page is perfect for a three-ring binder or just put a stack of these pages in a clip board and hang on the wall...  fill in as the season progresses and ideas come to you!

(**by the way... I've updated this for you! ... the download has no year on it, so you can use it every year!!)


*As always...File and finished product for personal use only... not for resale or profit of any kind.



Hello Friends!

I just wanted to really quickly tell you that Sugar Mama is doing a giveaway for the 2 Year Birthday of her blog... and is offering some super fun stuff... including a $20 gift certificate to MY STORE! yeah!

You'll want to check it out for two reasons:
1. hello? Christmas gifts.
2. Sugar Mama is awesome.  You'll love her and her blog. 
3. Today, I'm listing digital Christmas cards in my store!  Take a look... here is one of the designs:

The rest of the designs will be in my store by evening.... Stop Back!!

Printable Bird Recipe Cards... Giftable!

 Well, now that Christmas is quickly approaching,  I've been thinking about gifts.  My goal this year is to spend $10 or less on each  person...  this means, most likely: homemade, thrifted, or a super sale!  It will be a fun challenge.  I hope to share some of my ideas with you as I go :)

Well, today I can help you out in your gifting pursuits!  These recipe cards would be perfect as a small gift or a stocking stuffer...  I spared nothing with them, so that they wouldn't look cheap or "run-of-the-mill"!  They are two-sided and full of whimsy :)   If you have a good color  printer, grab some nice thick paper and print 'em out!  If you don't, take the file to a local printer... Kinkos or something... and have them print them!  I would suggest cutting with an x-acto knife and a metal blade ruler or a good quality paper cutter... 

And of course, keep the file beyond the Holiday season so you have some cheery recipe cards on hand for yourself :)


 *As always...File and finished product for personal use only... not for resale or profit of any kind.
 And leave a cheery hello if you're going to download!


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