Category Archives: Thankfulness

Art of Fun Communication

There is no doubt that we live in an age of rapidly growing technology. It’s grabbing hold of us all – especially young people. Even though our ability to communicate may be provided by more expedient means there is something disappearing; the art of letter writing with personalized stationery.

Letter writing may seem ancient, but in fact, it is a rather intimate way to exchange more than information. The speed of delivery earned it the name “snail mail,” but what if there is a way to make letter writing like a game or a gift?

Make it Personal

Making a letter personal starts with what you write on. Using plain loose-leaf paper means you lose a chance for expressing the real you. Try sitting down with your child and letting them pick personalized stationery they find pretty or exciting. Every child enjoys feeling special. Why can’t writing be the same way?

If your child is too young to write, do not be discouraged. They can still pick out their favorite writing tools. In fact, the time they spend helping you write a letter to someone they love will be a special time for you to build your relationship with them as well as teach them the variety of ways to express themselves.

Letters are Gifts

With the cost of stamps now it is not hard to imagine a letter being like a gift, which is all the more reason to send them. The receiver will know you and your child took the time to get the stamp and go to the post office for them. Add a layer of fun by letting your child pick out the stamp as well.

Letting your child pick the recipient can be fun. If they find themselves unsure of whom to write, help stimulate ideas by suggesting family and friends. Take them on a walk around the house to look at their favorite pictures. Let them point out someone they may want to write.

In Closing

When it comes time to close out your letter make sure to suggest your child ask for a letter in return. Knowing there is something coming in the mail will give your child something to look forward to when they run to the mail every day. It will also be nice for you to open the mailbox and find something other than a bill. A nice final touch to any letter is the chance to seal it with a personal mark. Attaching a label with your home address is always nice. Also, consider letting your child place a sticker to close the letter similar to the idea of an old wax seal.

Writing can be the new art of fun communication. Don’t miss out on the chance to teach your child to reach out to family and peers. Grandma and Grandpa will definitely thank you!

Teaching Gratitude on Memorial Day

Memorial Day GratitudeIf you want to celebrate Memorial Day with more than a barbecue, you should be sure to thank a vet or service member for their hard work and support.  You can teach this Memorial Day gratitude to your children in a number of ways.

Read a Book

There are many books out there that explain what Memorial Day is and why we celebrate it.  One such book is Memorial Day Surprise, which takes young kids through a celebration of Memorial Day through a parade where the main character gets a surprise.  Another is Let’s Get Ready for Memorial Day in which a girl learns about Memorial Day in school, then goes to a war memorial.

For older kids, there are several good books including the classics The Red Badge of Courage, Catch-22 and A Farewell to Arms.  More modern books include Thank You For Your Service by David Finkel and Fobbit by David Abrams.  These books can go a long way to bringing home the reality of what our service people go through.

Send a Service Person a Thank You

You can download a printout to color and mail to a service member with the address provided, or you can send a thank you card to a relative or friend’s relative who served in the military.  You can even find pink or green camo Thank You cards!

Memorial Day is one of the best holidays for teaching your children about thankfulness and being grateful. It can help connect them to the older generations of their family as well.  We are always looking to share ideas on how to teach your children gratitude! Please contact us if you have any you would like to share.

Boys Stationery: Expressing Thanks With Style and Theme

At amyadele.com, we know how important it is to teach children to be thankful. Whether they have received a compliment or a gift it’s a nice idea to have your boys write a thank you letter.

Our boys stationery is made just for boys. We offer a variety of designs making it fun for boys to write thank you letters to their friends or family. Thank you cards are 5″ x 3.5″ and we offer both flat cards and folded notes.

Our boys thank you cards are available in several themes, from sailboats to robots and firetrucks. We carry animal themes and prints, sea life and school related designs. We even have camping, and train designs!

All of our boys stationary can be personalized. We can also take care of special requests. If there is a design or theme that you want but can’t find on our site feel free to contact us with your idea. We will be happy help.

If you are interested in changing the color theme of any of our available designs you can, for only $10.00. All thank you cards can be modified to meet your specific needs. Don’t hesitate to let us know exactly what you want. We will do our best to ensure your satisfaction.

We offer a hundred percent satisfaction guarantee. If for any reason you are not completely satisfied with your purchase you can get your money back. Simply send back the products within 30 days and we will give you a full refund. You can receive a credit towards future purchases after the thirty days is up. You may request the credit up to sixty days after your purchase has been made.

We take pride in our stationary, thank you cards, and other products. We also try to encourage thankfulness. Teaching boys to write thank you letters to friends and family has never been this much fun!

Blog-spotlight: Grace

Grace Elizabeth is my middle child who is always a light in any room she enters!
She is frequently described as “effervescent”! She is silly, chatty, and makes everyone laugh.IMG_0964

Grace is 11 years old now and is in a 6th grade Middle School program at her school. She is super jazzed about the brand new music class she is taking this year… Band! She signed up to be a percussionist where she is learning lots of new things while simultaneously contributing to her class with her existing piano expertise. She adores music!

IMG_1133In the afternoons, she keeps busy with her role as the laundry girl of the household, homework, piano practice and I often find her chatting on FaceTime with her sweet little cousins or other friends. She is super helpful and is always the first person to jump to action when she sees a little need she can fill.

One of Grace’s favorite things to do is grab a HUGE (at least I think it is) bowl of ice cream and plop herself down in front of the family iPad to watch a movie. She loves to draw (and is very good!), loves to sit in her ENO, loves it when her room is super clean, and all things “fluffy”. She is refusing to grow up and has continued to maintain this idea for some time now… she wants to stay a kid forever! 🙂 I think I can live with that!
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Encouraging Thankful Kids

When children are in their toddler years, it’s often difficult to get a “please” and “thank you” out of them. This is because they haven’t hit that developmental milestone yet. But when they get into elementary school, not showing gratitude is no longer a tolerated right of childhood. So as parents, we have an opportunity to create thankful kids. There are two important ways to encourage kids to be thankful – being helpful and having a giving spirit.

By encouraging children to be helpful, you allow them to strengthen bonds with the ones they are helping. These bonds create nurturing and long-lasting friendships. There are different ways to encourage a child to be helpful.

  • Helping with chores: when children are young, they want to help because they want to emulate their parents. Encourage this natural desire to help, even if they don’t do the chores right. It will pay off when they’re older and actually can do the chores properly!
  • Help plan someone else’s birthday party: whether it’s a sibling, friend or relative, encourage children to be a part of planning someone else’s party. This will foster a strong bond with others because they must think about what someone else wants, not just what they want themselves.
  • Teach someone a skill: every child has something that he or she is good at. When given support, that skill improves and bolsters confidence. Give children many opportunities to pass that confidence along.

Kids may have a hard time giving away something that belongs to them. Think about all those times you tried to thin out the avalanche of toys in the closet or when you offered a part of your child’s snack to another child. When children learn to share – both their possessions and their time – they learn that other people matter, making the transition from “I’m important” to “we’re important.” Being giving can be a difficult lesson to teach, but here are some ideas:

  • Allow kids to be involved in choosing which toys to give up, then take the toys to a local emergency shelter. Take this opportunity to talk to your child about what it means to not have a home and reasons why that might happen.
  • Help children discover what interests them, and connect these interests to causes and activities that provide volunteer opportunities. For example, if your child is interested in dinosaurs and there happens to be a museum nearby that has a dinosaur exhibit, ask if the museum has volunteer opportunities for children.

Being helpful and giving will lead to a greater sense of gratitude. Be a positive role model and help your child develop these habits. You will discover that the more thankful kids are, the happier, healthier, and more positive they are!

Anniversary Celebration at the Grove Park Inn

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Joey and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary this week! 20 years is a long time, but it went by fast! It’s hard to believe it’s been that long, because we still feel like kids.

Our mothers have been dear friends since middle school. So, Joey and I have known each other a long time! I’ve had a huge crush on him since I was 5 years old that I’ve never been able to shake. 🙂 We lived in different towns during much of our childhood so we didn’t know each other. As kids, we were opposites… I was a “total dork” and he was “super cool” so that wouldn’t have worked out so well, anyway. We both grew up and changed quite a bit during our high school years though!

Joe (far left) and Amy (far right)

He attended my older sister’s wedding as a family friend and we immediately connected that night and within a few months we quickly fell in love. I was only 19 years old and Joey was almost 20 years old when we got married but when we knew God wanted us to be together as husband and wife, we didn’t want to waste any time dating, so we decided to get married right away!

We were in college at the time, so we just continued life and graduated together. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three fantastic kiddos, a few moves, and a few career changes. Through it all, Jesus has strengthened us with lots of tough times and lots of great times. I wouldn’t have wanted any other man to live life with!

To celebrate, this week we stole away one night to The Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC. It was just perfect! The weather was gorgeous, the food was delicious and the company was unmatched! We are so thankful to Jesus for giving us His patience, faithfulness and love so we could give it to each other for the last 20 years!

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Baby Shower Ideas: How to Encourage Thankfulness

Baby showers, as sweet as they can be, may come with a little bit of stress. As a host, you’ll probably feel pressure to ensure everyone feels welcome, well-fed/watered and comfortable. The mommy-to-be will most likely feel slightly self-conscious as all eyes in the room watch her open a plethora of gifts. Will she like everything? Will she say “thank you” enough? Will she need to use the restroom 800 times during the shower?

Here are a few pointers to make your job as a host a little easier:

Choose an easy, breezy theme

There’s no need to go all out with a shower highly customized to match a specific children’s book or the popular animal of the season (everyone remember the owl?). Keep decorations simple with a few vibrant accents, fresh flowers and balloons—all in colors the guest of honor will love, of course.

Make RSVPing a no-brainer

If you want to get an accurate head count, make it as easy as possible for guests to RSVP. It may not seem very personal, but you’d be surprised how many people would love to simply text a response to your mobile number or send a quick email. Think about including those as options on your invites.

Help Mommy-to-be:

Make saying “thank you” less of a chore for the guest of honor. Pre-order a set of thank you cards and put all of the envelopes out on an entry table that your guests will pass as they arrive. Have each guest write her own name and mailing address on an envelope and toss it in a decorative box or bowl. Ta-da! That’s all of the “thank you” cards addressed for Mommy-to-be.

We have a beautiful selection of thank you stationery—find a style to fit your shower colors.

Encouraging writing skills: Boys edition

It’s a common misconception that boys are better at math and girls are better at writing and language arts. This popular belief, according to developmental psychologists actually has no basis in reality, but is more of a reflection of the beliefs and teaching of society.

These days, teachers and parents of girls are often encouraged to allow their girls the same math and science play opportunities boys have, because there’s no genetic predisposition to disliking bugs or engineering.

But what can parents of boys do to ensure that they are encouraging writing skills for their son in language arts and communication?

One increasingly popular category of children’s literature has emerged for “reluctant readers” and it’s often called “The gross-out book.”  By appealing to a boy’s enthusiasm for passing gas and other bodily functions, these books appeal to a child’s sense of the taboo.  Luckily, most boys have other interests that parents can appeal to, in case they’re more interested in helping their sons develop a social awareness that extends beyond the idea that “Everybody Poops.”

Homeschoolers and other educators remind us that children’s interests can often be used as a gateway for other learning. Put another way, it isn’t necessary to “make learning fun” because learning is already fun. For boys who enjoy playing video games, there are gamer magazines and websites with plenty of cheats and playing advice to help turn a reluctant reader into an eager reader.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that “Hop on Pop” is far less interesting to an 8 yr old boy than “Six tricks for Minecraft world domination.” The lesson here is for parents to find written materials that support the child’s interests instead of boring him to tears.

Another tool for helping boys harness their literary skills is a nice set of boys stationery.  Parents can use stationary as a learning tool by packing notes in lunch boxes and leaving notes throughout the house.  Making a habit of leaving scavenger-hunt-like clues can be fun for kids to decode especially when there’s a prize at the end.  Parents who are in the habit of leaving notes are illustrating the practical aspects of written communication and giving their son reasons to write.  Finding pleasure in written communication can be the difference between “I don’t want to do my writing homework” and “Hey Mom, did I spell Disneyland correctly?”

Some educational reform advocates are concerned that kids are being taught the mechanics of reading and writing at the expense of their enthusiasm. When a child is interested in something and excited about it, it’s difficult to keep them from learning more. One of the best things a parent can do to help their children succeed in reading and writing is to model the importance of communication and provide the child with the tools to use it in his or her life.

Check out our selection of boys stationery to help your little guy embrace his passion for the written word.

Artist Spotlight: Amy Adele

We want to give you an inside look at the people behind the designs of Amy Adele. Of course our original artist and namesake, Amy, was our first choice. I, Caroline Kennedy, normally am the happy voice at the other end of your customer emails and the poster of all things social media, but for this blog I strapped on my reporter shoes and took a trip to see Amy in person where she works… at home!

I joined Amy at her home to talk about her journey as an artist. It’s a welcoming brick house tucked back in an adorable subdivision. The driveways are lined with blooming flowers and manicured shrubs. Amy welcomes me with an open door and a big smile :). Corban, her 5 year old son,  is lunching quietly at the kitchen table. The whole house has a cozy, comforting effect. The kitchen sports handmade cabinetry, courtesy of Amy’s husband, Joe. He would never brag about it, but it truly looks amazing.  We join Corban at the table with our lunches, and he tells me about his new bike and tries his best to say my name correctly. Ca-ro-line is a lot of new syllables for him, but he does better than most, which makes me smile. As we eat Amy begins to tell me a little about her journey.

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Amy was born in Northern Virginia, just a few states away. She has one older sister and grew up in a little cape cod styled home just inside the Beltway. One of her most ordered designs is a drawing of her childhood home. She was raised in a Christian home, and has carried that faith in Jesus Christ with her into adulthood. Amy married young, she and her husband (affectionately “Joey” to her) wed in 1994. They both attended a small liberal arts Christian college, Toccoa Falls College, in the North Georgia mountains.

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Four years after they married Amy and Joe welcomed their first daughter Emily to the world. Then six years later, they welcomed their second daughter Grace. Thinking they were done building their family, they settled in quickly to being parents of two sweet little girls. Newborn Grace wasn’t the only thing in the works that year. A short while after Grace was born Amy and Joe celebrated the launch of Amy Adele. Contrary to what Amy and Joe believed, their family was not quite done growing! Their son, Corban, was born in 2009, and has been a tremendous blessing to them in spite of his surprise arrival. You can read about him on anther blog post by clicking here.

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Amy has a knack for doodling, which family had insisted for years could be utilized. She had created small batches of hand made thank you notes for things like her wedding gifts and other special gifts. In December 2003, she created a design for their family Christmas card and had a few printed at a local print shop nearby. She got a lot of positive feedback from those cards. So after much prayer and thought and over many months, Amy began sketching and Joe began looking into how they could make a business out of it. Joe insisted they call their business Amy Adele despite Amy’s resistance and desire enjoy the shadows. Yes, that is her real name too! They decided to create a website so friends and family or perhaps even some people they didn’t know, could purchase Amy’s cards without any sales pitch pressure. Joe had a lot of experience in publishing so he too was in his element.  When they launched Amy Adele, it was intended to be somewhat of a hobby. They were expecting small and few orders and had decided not to be upset if they never had the first one. Within just a few days, they found that operating out of their home, hand scoring and folding each card, and their bleary eyes was not going to work! It was so exciting  but they were shocked by the sudden success of Amy Adele. They quickly moved into a one room business office and hired a part time girl to keep the production going while Amy continued to add new cards and Joe kept working his normal job. The ebb and flow and been quite dramatic at times and Joe is now working full time running and managing Amy Adele. Amy works from home and comes in the office once in a while to help with planning. They have had some amazing people work for them over the years and are amazed at all God has done through Amy Adele!

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As I spoke with her more that day, she let me flip through her sketch book and as I looked she would add in little statements like “that house is so lopsided!” or “those people’s heads are too big!”. This was not what I saw at all. I saw hours of perfectly doodled houses, tea cups, flowers, firetrucks, and a lot of adorable people with perfectly sized heads.  Amy shocks me when she says, “I’m almost embarrassed to be called an artist”. She goes on to say that in her mind “artists” paint things that end up in museums, they create murals, and beautiful portraits. The truth is art, just like music, comes in a million different styles. Each artist has a different calling, and be it doodles or the Mona Lisa, it is art none the less.

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I wrapped up our conversation by asking Amy what her main goal or desire for Amy Adele was. In her sweet way she explains that the goal has been the same all along. Amy Adele was created so that everyone who is a part of it has the opportunity to help people make happy memories. From birthday invitations to baby shower thank you notes, Amy Adele gets to witness a new happy memory in the making with every order that is placed. Amy loves knowing that her little doodles are ending up preserved in scrapbooks and memory boxes as a reminder of the happy occasions our customers share. Happy memories are our everyday joy, but what really keeps Amy creating is the idea of promoting thankfulness in children. Promoting thankfulness in children is a goal that has a lasting reward. In Amy’s eyes, if she creates notes that show joy, and those notes help children understand how to show thankfulness, that is her opportunity to encourage to others.

 

Three Simple Steps for a Meaningful Thank You Note

With spring birthdays, communions, baptisms, and Easter right around the corner, it is the perfect time to help children find easy and thoughtful ways to show their appreciation. There is no better way than through a well written note. No matter what their age, here is how to help children write thank you notes that truly stand out.

The “Three Sentence Rule”

When doing any activity with children, it is important to keep things simple and fun. The “Three Sentence Rule” gives children three basic steps for what to include in every note they send.  If your child is young, you can write your child’s responses and they can draw a picture or sign their name.  If your child is older, encourage them to add good details or an extra sentence to each step.

Step One: Thank You!

The first sentence is always the place for a simple thank you for the gift. Straightforward and easy.

Step Two: The Gift

Write one sentence about why the gift is special. This step helps your child express what they loved about receiving the gift, and provides a simple way for the gift giver know it was the perfect present for your child.

Step Three: The Giver

Write one sentence about why the gift giver is special. This step is important for helping children make a meaningful connection between the gift and giver. It will warm the heart of the person who receives the note.

Give children these simple steps on how to write thank you notes and they will turn piles of presents into cherished, memorable words of appreciation and kindness.