Archive for May, 2011
We are always amazed by the clever gift and craft ideas we stumble upon – and my ever-so-thoughtful sister in-law, Molly, provided this week’s idea great for graduation. She’s the owner of a stationery and gift business called Write For the Occasion.
Check out these hand fans above created with her son’s smiling face! Each family guest waved a fan featuring Marshall’s face during a sweltering graduation ceremony in Houston. Marshall was an instant “star” – and a helpful cooling device, too. Plus, the Marshall fans made a fun and memorable keepsake for family guests. In fact, they’d combine quite well with VoiceQuilt’s graduation Keepsake box or Folio CD!
At PrintGlobe.com, it’s easy and fast to order large quantities of hand fans. Like most printing orders, however, scale counts. The more you buy, the less expensive each fan is. There are some graduation themed hand fans and even various designs for weddings. (more…)
This weekend kicks off the unofficial start to summer. It also marks the end of May, Military Appreciation Month. At VoiceQuilt, we’re big believers in the power of expressing thanks – especially around the holidays. Why not honor the military – and plant special memories – this weekend?
1. Find out from your local government whether there is a parade or Memorial Day event in your town. This is a great way to have fun with the family and talk about the meaning behind the holiday. Near a large city? Check out the listings here.
They make the gorgeous wedding handkerchief shown here. The Founder, Colleen Corcoran, is a fabric – and hanky history– aficionada. Plus, we hear the phrase, “happy tears” a lot around VoiceQuilt and we’re thinking about adding some of these beauties to our keepsake boxes!
Hankies have long been a part of wedding ceremonies and special occasions but Colleen Corcoran thought the plain white hankies that women use to dry their happy tears always looked like an after-thought. She designed Happy Hanky handkerchiefs to dry those happy tears brought on by weddings, milestone birthdays, anniversaries, bar & bat mitzvahs, baby showers and retirement parties. Each handkerchief comes with a signature poem that was written by Colleen’s mom who gave her her first hanky when she was young: (more…)
Most of the VoiceQuilt messages we overhear in quality testing involve an adult child thanking Mom or Dad for specific memories. Those thank-you toasts are usually triggered by birthdays and anniversaries. During the month of May, however, we often hear a different mix of voices: young children thanking teachers for a good year or parents expressing gratitude for their graduate’s hard work.
During the next few weeks, I’m hoping we’ll hear an addiitonal set of thank-you’s: friends and family thanking service men and women overseas for their contributions to our nation’s security.
As a civilian, I’ll never truly “get” the full scope of sacrifices military families make. That became obvious when I learned about the Flat Daddy documentary a few months back.
All I DO know for sure is that I’m very proud of the U.S. military’s recent mission in Pakistan. And it seems particularly appropriate that May is Military Appreciation Month. With that in mind, we’d like to profile three non-profit organizations that do wonderful work for military families. Our hope is that you’ll check them out – and maybe get involved.
Many military families and wounded warriors have very basic needs. Operation Homefront coordinates donations and offers a variety of volunteer opportunities. VoiceQuilt’s very own Jay Shaffer is a former Operation Homefront Board Member here in Georgia. We hope you’ll check them out here. (more…)
A few weeks back, I spoke with a Mom named Jeannae. She created a graduation keepsake for her son, Evan. The VoiceQuilt caught my eye because there were twice the number of voice messages we usually expect. I emailed her about talking, in hopes of learning her secrets for corralling so many voice messages from friends and family — during such a busy time of year.
As always, the law of unintended consequences prevailed. Jeannae hadn’t used any special methods for inviting friends and family. Her son was simply the kind of person that coaches, friends, neighbors and family wanted to honor with words of congratulations, inspiration and encouragement.
When I asked Jeannae why she had chosen to create a VoiceQuilt, she told me that her decision had boiled down to this: “I would give anything to be able to hear my grandparents today”. That comment struck a chord and reminded me of a VoiceQuilt survey two years back. When we asked women whose recorded voice message they would treasure most, most said they’d like to hear from their Moms.
I like to imagine Evan at college next year, studying for final exams. Perhaps he’s a little nervous or a little tired. And maybe – just maybe – he listens to his Mom’s message and it gives him the boost he needs to finish studying.
Check out Jeannae’s message to Evan here – the first voice message in our graduation contest here.
In 1999, The US Congress adopted a resolution establishing the month of May as Military Appreciation month: “to honor the current and former members of the armed forces, including those who have died in the pursuit of freedom and peace.” The success of the recent Navy Seals mission in Pakistan highlights the dedication of elite soldiers, and we’re feeling particularly grateful to all U.S. military personnel and their families.
Want to show your thanks and support? Here are just a few ideas.
1.) Get Active.
- Attend an Armed Forces event the week starting May 15 or a Memorial Day parade on May 30.
- Check out the events held by a local military non-profit. We’re particularly fond of Operation Homefront, Wounded Warrior Project and Blue Star Mothers of America .
2.) Display the U.S. Flag.
- Fly the U.S. flag at your home or your business.
- Wear a U.S. flag lapel pin.
- Place a magnetic U.S. flag on your car.
3.) Say “Thanks”.
When you see someone in uniform, go up and thank them for their service. Know a veteran? Pick up the phone or send an email. Tell them you appreciate the sacrifices they’ve made.
Here at VoiceQuilt, we are happy to announce a new section of our website called “Thank a Soldier.” We’re offering special discounts to military families so that it’s easy for them to express their love and support for a soldier or veteran – either here or overseas. Please show your appreciation for the U.S. military this month – in whatever manner feels appropriate.
One of the funniest is Will Ferell’s “Best Extended Metaphor” speech to Harvard’s graduating class of 2003.
Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
One of the most poignant one-liners is from the famous film director/producer, Jerry Zucker.
It doesn’t matter that your dream came true if you spent your whole life sleeping.
A few years back, VoiceQuilt conducted a nationwide survey, asking a range of questions about graduation. We were stunned to find out that…
Go on. Indulge yourself with a smile! Listen Moms and Dads leaving messages for their graduates here
2. Where is the largest Cinco de Mayo celebration held?
Answer: Surprisingly enough, NOT in Mexico. The largest celebration is in Los Angeles, CA
3. What colors are the Mexican flag?
Answer: Red, green and white
Home with the kids? Dig out a sombrero, cue up some Mexican music and ask everyone to shout “Ole!” at key intervals during dinner. Who knows? They might reminisce about the experience on a VoiceQuilt someday.
“A suburban mother’s role is to deliver children obstetrically once, and by car forever after.” Peter De Vries
“Before I got married I had six theories about bringing up children; now I have six children, and no theories.” John Wilmot
“Mothers hold their children’s hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.” Author Unknown
“When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.” Sophia Loren
“If you bungle raising your children, I don’t think whatever else you do matters very much.” Jackie Kennedy
You deserve a break. Why not take a moment and enjoy some funny and heartwarming messages here?