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21 July 2014

The History Keepers ::: TBALL [and other sports photos] A BETTER WAY

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I've mentioned the job of "history keeper" several times now (See HERE and HERE) and today's post covers history, but in a little more lighthearted way.  You see, sports pictures are a BEAR and dealing with how many to buy, what package to get, etc, etc is NOFUN.  So I came up with a better solution this year and I am excited to share it with you.  Are you ready?

So you know the drill.  Show up on a hot, summer day in the middle of a field, literally swarming with little boys and girls, all colors of the rainbow on their tball shirts.  The blue team here, the red team there -- hustle through team pictures (come on now Junior SMILE!  James, quit pulling her hair!), then the individuals.  Each kid is cycled through with the same recycled bat -- same recycled pose -- same bad sunny lighting.

Then -- THEN -- you get to buy the pictures.  Have you ever REALLY examined the prices of those pictures?  Astronomical, especially considering the pictures are all carbon copies of each other and show little of your kiddo's personality.  Now, I will admit that we sometimes buy the TEAM photo if one of our kids has a really great team they want to remember, but the individuals?  50 wallets of the same pose along with a few "free" 5x7's and the $20 8x10 just never seems to make sense to me.  Instead, let's do TBALL pics BETTER!

*All products pictured were provided by Shutterfly.  All opinions are [clearly] mine!

This year when we received the brochure of various photos we could buy, the photo company included 
"premium" add-ons like water bottles, nametags, mousepads and more.  Can you guess what happened?

Let me walk you through the scenario....

A.  Rushed and basic pictures are taken.
B. Brochure is given TO THE KID.
C. Said kid sees cool pictures of "premium" add-ons.
D. "Mom!!  These are really cool!  Can I get one?"
E.  "How much are they?"  OH.  ummmmmmmm........
F.  Let me check *Shutterfly.

Well.  See that water bottle above?  It was NOT a premium add-on.  

You know why?  Because there are MULTIPLE photos of my child, doing tball things the way HE does them and even a few of him IN A GAME.  
You know what else?  THIS water bottle was CHEAPER than the "premium" add-on from the photo company.  (Thank you Shutterfly!)


Of course, once I got started looking around the Shutterfly site, I really wanted to shock my little tball player with 
MORE than just that water bottle he so desperately wanted.  I decided to give him a little double take...

That is my son.  ON THE WALL.  Almost life-sized.
The premium add-ons don't even offer that....but Shutterfly does!

Walk up the stairs to our kid's loft/play area and front in center there is a little TBALL player running to second base.  

Cool, eh? 
(I think he likes it...and I think his brother might want one :) )

This particular vinyl decal is the mid-size, but you can go up another size for even MORE impact!

All in all, I decided to order a bunch of cheap prints of our tball photo-session, the "supercool" water bottle 
my son so desired, that awesome full size wall decal and a luggage tag for him to hang off his backpack.  

What would YOUR little TBALL player rather have than 50 wallet sized photos of the same pose?
PS -- If you DO want 50 wallet-sized photos of the same pose -- Shutterfly can do THAT too!  Just cheaper.

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Quotebooks (If you make ONE THING from this series, make THESE!)

The Journals (yes, these are different than the quotebooks, but just as easy!)

Footprints and Handprints (CAPTURE those tootsies!)

A Gallery Wall (PRINT and DISPLAY those photos!)

Life Sized Cork Board (A solution for ALL those art projects!)

TBALL Photos -- A Better Way (I KNOW you are sick of them too!)

Book Canvases (...for the mom who needs some art motivation)

SCHOOL Pictures  (An improvement on tradition!)

DIY Tablecloth Weights

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You have probably all had a picnic or two by now this summer and I can almost guarantee one thing has bothered you.  
Aside from the bugs, WIND seems to always be the enemy when picnicking outdoors, don't you agree?

While I can't keep the bugs out of your hair or the wind from whipping it around, I CAN give you a little tip on keeping 
those tablecloths ON the table instead of up in the air.  It requires four simple materials that you might already have on hand.

1. Stones or Rocks similar to these brown river rocks
2. Hemp, Twine or Strong String
3. Clothespins
4. Hot Glue 

Assembly is simple:

STEP 1 - How glue a length of twine to the back of a flat rock
STEP 2 - Tie a knot creating a 2-3 inch loop (where my hand is)
STEP 3 - Take several of these loops and attach a clothespin to the top
STEP 4 - Attach the DIY weights to your tablecloth

For a prettier fold, pull the long corner of the tablecloth over the flat part (as seen in step 4 above), 
but clip your weights under the fold, essentially hiding them completely.


Need to weight down a runner?  
Clip the clothespin to the ends and let the weights drape down over the table edge.

Now that that little problem is solved, let's get the grill fired up and get picnicing!
This little summer "cold snap" won't last much longer -- I want to enjoy it OUTSIDE!
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18 July 2014

What do you guys DO all day?

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...and we need to do more of it.  It somehow feels like there is never (NEVER) enough playtime in the day.  Well, let me rephrase that.  There is plenty of playtime, but Mommy involved playtime isn't what it should be.  I don't know why my stores of patience are so limited -- I feel like a turnip being squeezed for blood -- but that is the way it is.  I pray for more stores of patience, more desire to play kick the can or baby hunter a million times and over again, but I usually only last a few rounds.  Leave me in the mix and my little itty bit of nerves starts to fray and I might snap at them.  So I bak out.  I go do something else, like pull weeds or watch the chickens or carry some trash out to the road and wait for the little meter of patience I have to fill up again.

 It is like watching the power bar on your phone charging.  If you stick it on the charger at night, by morning it is full charged, but watch the thing charge?  It takes FOREVER!

So if someone has a super fast charging mommy station that speeds up the patience refill, would you let me know?  ...and please don't say coffee.  It works for energy -- not patience.  Help!

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