Aug 31, 2010

First Day of School Tradition

My parent's friend Stella...actually my friend too, 
shared this idea/tradition with me years ago and it's stuck. 
I am sharing it with you too because you may want to try it, 
or you just may have your own traditions for the first day of school. 
Each year she took a picture of each of her children by the same tree 
before they headed off to the first day of school. 
She did this each year Kindergarten through 12th grade. 
Then she framed them in order...
one set for them to have and one for her to keep. 
What a treasure!
My kids know about this tradition 
and even though our oldest is not too keen on being photographed, 
he's all in because he knows he'll be glad to have it when he's older. 
It's fun to watch them grow, see the clothing choices, 
and their smiles on the first day of school.
Promised them I would not share all those pictures here, but at least you get the idea. 
Do you have any special traditions for the first day of school?
If so, please share!

Aug 29, 2010

First Day of School Prayer

Well I can't believe it's here. I am having flashbacks of my time with them as newborns. 
Carrying them on each arm, only 5 pounds a piece, 
down the hallway to swaddle them together for their morning nap. 
Honestly, some of those days seemed like they would never end. 
But God certainly has a way of only allowing my mind to remember the good moments 
and somehow the difficult ones have slipped away. 
People always stopped me to tell me time would fly...and it did. 
It actually still does; and they still stop me to share that true piece of wisdom. 
Our boys have had a great few days at school and now it's the girls turn. 
They have been together since the beginning. 
The miracles we prayed for.
As playmates in my womb, they were twirling and interacting since day one. 
They have rarely been apart and really do consider each other 
to be their best friend. (except at 5:30 when they are tired and hungry and waiting on dinner)
But they are ready....and it's time. 
Different classes, different teachers, different friends. 
But I am told tonight by one as I tuck her in, 
that she plans to ask the teacher 
if she is allowed to hug her sister in the hallway if she sees her. 
Tug at my heart.
Earlier today we celebrated William's belated birthday party 
and the girls did the climbing wall while we waited. 
I watched Sarah Grace help Charlotte by lifting her up just enough 
to get to the next level where she could then begin to climb successfully on her own. 
I hope they will continue to lift and support one another in this way through school and through life. 
I was searching for a prayer I could pray over them 
for their first day and this is what I found....not sure who the author is.
Hope all you mothers out there enjoy this too and blessings to all our children 
as they begin this new and exciting chapter. 
Ok, now I am off to use my new GOD BLESS YOUs! sniff-sniff!
P.S. We just checked on the sleeping children as we always do this time of night. 
Earlier tonight, we laid the clothes out for the first day of school on the end of their beds. 
Sarah Grace must have changed into her dress after we closed the door. 
She is asleep in her first day of school clothes. Told you they were ready!

A Mom's Prayer On the First Day of School
Here we are again, Lord. 
Their backpacks are loaded and their faces are scrubbed 
and their lunch cards are full.
And I know you'll walk with them, Lord. You always do. 
But a mom still has to ask.
Will You walk with them? 
Will You whisper to them what they need to hear,
 when I'm not there to whisper it?
Will You please, oh please, cover their school with the protection only 
You can give, and will You keep harm far away?
Will You make their minds strong and ready to learn? 
Will You help them understand that hard work 
honors the One who created them?
Will You guide their teachers, giving them patience and 
wisdom and creativity and more patience? 
Will You bless them for their efforts?
Will You love all those children there,
the ones whose lunch accounts aren't full,
the ones who feel alone? 
Will You teach my children to be kind and unselfish 
and to love those who are different from them?
Will You point them back toward home just as soon as you can?
Lord, I give them to You today and everyday, trusting them to Your care.
In Jesus' name, Amen.

Aug 26, 2010

More dates...

Squeezing in a few more individual date nights with the kids. 
"Mr. Never Ceases To Amaze Me" decided 
to let each of his daughters choose their special date night activity. 

Charlotte chose to go to Chuck E Cheese! 
They played all the games and 
Daddy actually won the jackpot on one of the games. 
They came home all sugared up at 10pm Wednesday night!
(sorry for the pictures, honey, but we want to remember this!)

Sarah Grace chose to go see Mary Poppins...
lucked out with calling the morning of 
and getting 2 center seats in the orchestra level.
(not sure how that happened)
They had a blast! Got in after10:30pm Thursday night! 
Great way to prepare for Kindergarten next week, don't you think?
Who cares? They can sleep this weekend.
They loved every second and he certainly did too. 
More memories in the making
and I can't help but think of these two songs 
as we watch them grow too quickly.
(get your tissues!)

Aug 24, 2010

Great gifts are here!

I have been waiting on my first shipment and they are here! 
I have a few displays full of the 
They are too cute and make great gifts for anyone!
Let me know if you'd like to swing by the studio to shop while supplies last.
You can take a peek too at some of the other licensed product samples like this pillow...
or this tapestry throw...
or these new stone coasters...
or Happeez clips, or Grace Bits and Christmas Bits...
or these shelves starting to fill up with samples of other fun products 
I have been fortunate enough to design...
So come visit!

Aug 23, 2010

Preparing for the big day!

School's almost in session and 3 of our 4 cannot wait! 
Purchased school supplies- check!
New book bags- check!
Practiced riding bikes with book bags (not a requirement but certainly fun)- check!
Met the teachers- check! (they're awesome!)
Oldest one meets his teachers tomorrow.

One more lost tooth before the school year starts- check!
Have had enough rest this summer to prepare for the early wake up- NO check! 
That will actually be a reality check!
My feelings about it all?
Happy because they are happy.
Excited because they are excited. 
Sad because the silence I sometimes crave will really make me miss them all the more.
They are ready and have grown wings this summer...ready to learn and fly.
If you love them, set them free, right?

Aug 22, 2010

Modern Day Good Samaritan

Recently I was headed to a good friend's house to deliver some popsicles 
because her son had just had his tonsils removed. 
I called her cell to let her know I was on the way. 
A man answered..."Hi, this is Chuck," he said. 
"Chuck? I am a friend of Tracy's, who are you?"
"I am a UPS driver and I found this cell phone in the middle of the intersection. 
I grabbed it before a car ran over it and it's safe and good as new. 
I have already called one of her last dialed numbers, talked to her neighbor, 
and I have her address and I'll be delivering her cell phone after I finish my route." 
WOW! I told Chuck that was great news and imagined my friend 
searching and back tracking her walk to find her phone. 
I asked Chuck where he was and he was only a few blocks away, 
so I told him I would be happy to come meet him and deliver the phone 
since I was headed there anyway. 
I described my car and myself and as I drove to meet my new friend Chuck, 
we approached each other with a friendly hello and he handed me the phone. 
I thanked him for being the Good Samaritan and asked if this has happened before. 
Apparently, this happens quite a lot...
He said he has been a UPS driver for a little over 29 years. He said he finds 1 to 2 phones each month.
 He has even found home phones and has driven around until he can get a signal and can return those...
talk about going the extra mile...literally! 
Recently, he found a pocketbook full of credit cards and cash 
and he said he hates to think of someone having to cancel and get all new cards, 
so he makes every effort to return them to the rightful owners. 
He hopes that someone would do the same for him. 
My friend even wrote an article about the situation and he happened to read it in the paper. 
(click here to read it) Chuck and I have been in touch since then, 
and I asked if I could feature him too,
 as a modern day Good Samaritan. 
So Chuck, thank you for using your job and your daily routine to bless others. 
You certainly have done that  and although your actions may seem small, they are not.
They speak loudly to us all as an example 
of how we can go out of our way each day
to help those in need, no matter the situation.

Aug 19, 2010

God is the BEST artist...

God is really the BEST artist, don't you think?

These colors and design just make me smile.
How about you?
My kids are the ones who often make me stop and notice the details and His goodness.
I am grateful for that and it seems I am not the only one.
I received the below recently from our pastor
and it really spoke to me as I hope it does for you....enjoy!

My four-year-old grandson Stevie and I were in the hammock recently watching the airplanes fly over.  
We were guessing which ones were big enough to fly overseas.  
The sun was setting.  The birds were singing.  It was a priceless moment. 

I have had the privilege to travel extensively, play some wonderful golf courses 
and dine with some very special people. 
Being in a hammock with my grandson at sunset, however, 
ranks among the top five experiences of my life.  
It really made me think. 

As a historical figure, Jesus Christ has been scrutinized for over two thousand years.  
We have poured over everything he said.  
But remember when he told us to be like children?  
When I was in that hammock, I got it.  
The simplicity, the innocence, the joy, the naiveté – 
they are all qualities of life that Christ would wish for us. 

Have you ever considered that we may be overshooting the runway, 
making our to-do list too complex, taking our agendas too seriously 
and missing the very essence of life?  
Sometimes it takes a four year-old in a hammock to bring you back to earth.  
Thanks for listening.

Notice the details today...and may they bring you great joy!
P.S. You are still thinking about the Teacher Bits and Mother Bits, right?
Keep the great suggestions coming!
Good ones so far!

Aug 18, 2010

Your chance to help with product development...

I love product development and am honored and thrilled a few companies I design for have chosen to produce products I have created from scratch...from an initial idea to final packaging. 
It's a fun process to me and I love thinking "outside of the box"...
I love to design and create products which are different... unique...make a great gift...
send an inspirational message....and make people feel joyful.
Grace Bits is one of those products. 
They are being produced now and are being sold worldwide, along with Christmas Bits. 
By the way, I have a few in the studio if you need a quick "pick up" gift.
But here is your chance to work on product development with me if you are interested. 
The concept of Grace Bits has been so well received, 
that I have been asked to design Teacher Bits and Mother Bits 
which will likely launch next May and fall in big chain store which I can't reveal yet.
If you are a long time follower and fan of Multiple Blessings, 
you know what Grace Bits are, but for those who may just be joining the fun, 
here is a brief description:
It's a cd tin filled with a variety of loose inspirational note sheets. 
They are great to keep in your purse or in your car. 
I keep one in both places.
They make a great gift and can also sit on a desk with the top tin off and placed underneath 
so you can easily grab a sheet to jot a note. 
Young to old love these little "bits" of inspiration.
They make great stocking stuffers, get well gifts, birthday, friendship, miss you, thank you, etc!
Each note sheet has a small design and a short inspirational message to match it.
So here's your assignment: 
be thinking about what designs and text you see for Teacher Bits and for Mother Bits. 
Send your suggestions to the comment box below or to my e-mail if you have it. 
I would love to hear from you!
For all those who participate, your name will be entered to win one of my licensed products. 
So put your thinking caps on and let me know your fabulous ideas soon! 
Just because I am a mother of four and a former First Grade teacher 
doesn't mean I am closed to your wonderful ideas...
after all, you are the consumer!
Send them on and thanks for participating!

Aug 17, 2010

One last summer hoopla!

We just returned from one last summer family trip and it was a blast! 
We went to see my dear friend Susan and her awesome husband Gerald.
They live in Palm Harbor, Florida at the Innisbrook Resort
Our kids truly adore them!
After church with Mr. Gerald...they think he is super funny!
You may remember I flew to Kentucky to their wonderful wedding earlier this year.
Morning snapshot during my walk near the golf course...
It was a win-win for everyone...
Gerald runs the Transitions Championship there and you can be assured, 
Walker was quite envious of his job, his office and his connections and relationships 
with so many cool PGA golfers. We loved hearing his stories and hearing the inside scoop!
The tournament is played on this course...the Copperhead course 
and Walker and David played this and a few others as well but the Copperhead was his favorite!
Susan and I got to go here for a while was fabulous!
The other three kids attended a camp at the resort which they loved. 
They participated in racquetball, mini golf, playground fun, inside camp area, 
and swimming at the Loch Ness pool shown below 
which had a beach leading into the pool and water slides around the back. 
Fast, fun slides...I tried them both!
Breakfasts were amazing and nothing like what they get at home on a regular basis... 
especially in a few days when school begins. 
William posing on the fun petal carts...
and on our way home we stopped by for a quick tour of the 
David and Walker toured the inside while we played an 18 hole putting course, 
then we grabbed lunch and headed home.
Cannot believe I never got one picture of Walker and David 
but they were either playing golf or were behind the camera sorry guys!
Home sweet home now and the reality of school and fall commitments are quickly settling in. 
There is a buzz and excitement in the air and yet I am trying to relish 
these last few days of summer with them at home.
With gratitude for many miles of safe travel and a wonderful summer,
 I am smiling at how many memories we have created 
and how many things we have done on the 
How about you? 
Are you ready for he buzz of the fall or wishing it was June all over again?

Aug 16, 2010

5 Loaves

When I was in Mt. Pleasant, SC recently I ate at a fabulous little spot called
5 Loaves.
It was wonderful, delicious, and charming all at the same time!
We met the owner and chef, Casey
whose wife and children had just eaten at our table before we arrived.
You know I just had to ask him about the name of the restaurant...
so here's a bit from that story... 
 The name Five loaves comes from one of the many miracles performed by Jesus in Matthew 14:12-21. I thought the name Five Loaves, was creative for not only is it rooted in my Christian faith but also it denoted sandwiches. Sandwiches tend to denote soup which was my culinary focus. I wanted Five Loaves to be a totally unique restaurant not just your usual sandwich soup place, but a gourmet eatery. All soups are completely made fresh daily using only fresh ingredients. All meats are roasted in house creating a completely fresh tasting sandwich. We even make our own Mozzarella! We daily make small batches of all our salad dressings to maintain freshness. All this enables me to express my creative side while providing me with a quality life. We have been fortunate enough to have wonderful devoted chefs that are professionally trained and share the Five Loaves vision, as well as a very talented and friendly staff.
Please go by and dine there if you happen to be in the Charleston area!
It's a delicious menu, and I am all about supporting other Christian business owners.

Aug 11, 2010

How art gets on product...

Many of you have asked about how it all happens....
how art gets on products you see in stores.
It's a long, wild process and it often starts at Surtex.
Here is a recent video from this May when I was there.
Before you click play, you may see my apple green booth in the center;
I was shocked they used that in the header and in the actual video.
Watch carefully and you'll see my bright green walls pop up to view.
They did not interview me...
there were interviewing the "bigger fish in the sea." 
You'll see Kate Spain, who was my cute booth neighbor. 
Sweet gal and super talented too!
This may give you a feel for what the show is like 
and just how much art is available to manufacturers for licensing.
All the more reason, I am super grateful for all the opportunities and current projects.
The building is amazing and the energy in NYC is overwhelming.
This video may help explain more about what I do and why I love it so much.

Aug 9, 2010

Soaking in...

It's hard to believe how many opportunities have come from exhibiting at Surtex
As mentioned recently, I continue to marvel at it all, and am extremely grateful. 
I also want to remember why this is happening. 
Yes, certainly there has been a ton of hard work and effort on my part, 
and encouragement and support from my family and friends. 
But NONE of it would be happening if He had not given me the talent in the first place. 
I try to remain humble and thankful for this gift each day. 
Someone told me a while back, to remember that these products are blank without the art.
We are products designed by God too. 
He took incredible care to create each of us so differently. 
So thanks for coming along for the ride with me as it all starts to soak in.  
Speaking of soaking in, I am thrilled to announce another wonderful partnership 
with Hindostone/Coasterstone out of Indiana. 
They chose a black and white inspirational collection 
which will be stone coasters, trivets, and car coasters. 
These will launch October 1st.

You may end up seeing these sold in gift shops around the US, 
but you will also be able to order your own sets directly from their website. 
Mark your calendar so you can add these to your Christmas shopping list!
They are a wonderful company and make great products 
so I am thrilled to be partnering with them.
These stone coasters soak up all the liquid your drinks may produce...
and they really work!
We have a set or two here that we've had for years 
and so it's extra neat to be able to work with them now.
Let me know what you think!
Who would you give them to?

Aug 8, 2010

The Sanctuary...ahhh!

I was blessed to be able to attend a last minute business trip recently with my husband. 
Thank goodness we were guests of the client since it was here.
What a gorgeous place!


[sangk-choo-er-ee]                                                                       –noun, plural -ar·ies.
1. a sacred or holy place.
2. Judaism .

a. the Biblical tabernacle or the Temple in Jerusalem.
b. the holy of holies of these places of worship.
3. an especially holy place in a temple or church.
4. the part of a church around the altar; the chancel.
5. a church or other sacred place where fugitives were formerly entitled to immunity from arrest.
6. immunity afforded by refuge in such a place.
7. any place of refuge; asylum.

Although it was far from a true holy place,
I did have a long walk on the beach with my worship music
so it felt like a sanctuary of sort to me.
I witnessed beauty everywhere!
and His miracles in the sand...
and enormous murals of the low country by talented artists...
and then our view from our room...
but best of all was time alone with my husband,
which makes me appreciate so many things.
And then we were a few miles away to see 
William's ending program the next morning at Camp St. Christopher!
oh joy! 
Hope you had a great weekend!

Aug 4, 2010

Happy 10th!

Happy 10th Birthday William!
I cannot believe it's been 10 years since you were born.
I had a blast looking back at some of my favorite pictures of you here.
Just look at you now!
Still smiling and the happiest and most compassionate kid I know.
Wish you could read this but you are HERE this week...
and I pray you and your friends are enjoying every moment
of this amazing camp on the South Carolina coast.
 Nice view of the ocean from your cabin!
Can't wait to hug your sweet neck
and give you belated birthday wishes Friday morning!

Aug 3, 2010

Wellspring of possibilities...

The ball was still rolling while I was away on vacation (the design world doesn't stop, you know)
but I tried to keep work to a minimum and focus on family time and fun, fun, fun...
which I can say I did happily and successfully!
Happy to report one of the many new licensing deals in the works. 
I am thrilled to announce that I am partnering with Wellspring
to create some fabulous products which will launch in January! 
They are a wonderful family-owned company and they have a great story.
 Great folks to work with too which makes it even better.
In January you will see this collection called the Possibilities Collection on several of their products:
Flip Notes 
compact mirrors 

a block of sticky notes 

note cards, pens, list pads, and more! 

Plus a pillow case (still working on the format and unique packaging!)

So it's a Wellspring of Possibilities so to speak!
 You may remember too, that these will also be coming out in January from Manual. 
When final paperwork is done, I have more to share...
Thanks for following along!
I love hearing from you and appreciate your support. 
What's your favorite product pictured?
Let me know...

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