Thursday, July 24, 2014

Amazon Prime - I LOVE IT!!!

The 14th of July was Matt's Hump Day.  The half-way mark of his two year grand adventure in Seattle.  I sent Nerf machine guns. (You can read about that here.)  A neighbor had mentioned that she hadn't seen machine guns in quite a while in the stores.  Freaked me out just a bit because I had been planning on sending these for over a year now...yup...had this package planned even before he left.  I'm a little crazy like that.  My daughter suggested that I try looking on Amazon and if I found some I could use her Amazon Prime account and get free shipping.  What?!?  There's such a thing?  Why yes, Victoria!  Not only IS there a Santa Clause but he delivers for free right to the mission home.

The next letter I received from Matt mentioned:  "It gets light here at about 4:30 in the morning and I can't get back to sleep!  Can you send me a sleep mask?  Sorry that I'm so high maintenance..." Funny kid.  No worries.  Logged into Amazon and quickly found two for him to try.  They were about $5 a piece guessed it.  Free shipping right to the mission home.

This weeks letter had a little post script asking me to send Strawberries & Cream Muscle Milk protein powder. You guessed it:  Got back online. Clicked into Amazon and within five minutes it was on it's merry little way to the mission home...shipped for free.  Am I a good mom or what?  I LOVE Amazon Prime!

Want to find out more?  Go to to find out more.  I'm not in any way affiliated with Amazon.  Just think it's an amazing deal and wanted to share.

OH!!  Do you have a missionary serving overseas?  You can have items sent from an Amazon closer to where they are serving.  You can't use Amazon Prime for this so there is no 'free' shipping  (it's only available for the contiguous states) but it will cut the cost.  It just keeps on getting better and better.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Missin' you on the 4th...

Whenever we have a gathering for the extended family I like to pull together something for everyone to work on to send to our missionaries.  We have Matt who is serving in the Washington Seattle Mission, Alex Nicole who is serving in the Bolivia Santa Cruz Mission, and B.J. who will take off for the Washington Vancouver Mission in August.  I try to keep things simple and inexpensive. Here's what I came up with for or 4th of July family Bash:

I already had some butcher paper so I cut a strip for each missionary making each a little narrower than a regular envelope and had my daughter Bekah decorate them.  I taped them to one of the sliding doors and set out a school box full of red and blue markers and colored pencils.  That's it! Pretty easy.  I just walked around a bit taking candid photos for a photo collage and occasionally reminded family members to write to the missionaries before leaving.

What do missionaries like as much as letters?...maybe MORE?  Photos!  With Alex serving in Bolivia I've been wracking my brain to figure out how to cut some of the weight from the care packages I send.  Usually I send actual photos but this time I decided to try my hand at making a photo collage of our 4th of July festivities.  I really like how it turned out and Alex and Matt won't have to worry about carrying photos around their whole mission and can even just stick them in their journals if they like.  Each page prints to an 8.5" x 11" paper.

That's my family!...well, part of them anyway.
Aren't they fun!

Photoshop makes putting together a collage super easy.  I thought it might be a good idea to label each photo...Matt's been gone a whole year and the young ones tend to change quickly.  You could do the same thing in other programs but it's going to create a pretty huge file and will take f-o-r-e-v-e-r to print.  Make a pdf of your collage and print the pdf copy.  Your collage will look the same but it will be a much smaller file. You could also print these using the 'double sided' option on your printer.

To mail I just folded up each strip and put it and the photo collage's in a regular envelope.  I did have to take it to the post office to be weighed but it was a fraction of what it cost's to send a package to Bolivia.  Every little penny counts, right?

Want MORE creative letter writing ideas?
check out here, here, here, and here.

Hump Day!!!

I've been planning Matt's Hump Day package for almost 365 days and I'm just SO excited for him to receive it!  As far as my packages go this one was brilliantly EASY...took all of 5 minutes from start to finish including mailing it off.  It is guaranteed to be one of his favorite packages and will be a great activity at the end of a long day of proselyting helping both he and his companion wind down and relieve some stress by having some fun, fuN, FUN!!

A Nerf machine gun!  Actually for Matt and one for his companion. There are tons to choose from out there my only criteria being I wanted it to hold lots of 'bullets' and it needed to be available on Amazon. That's what made it so incredibly easy!  I was able to search through all of the different kinds of guns out there - and there are a LOT! - I was able to read through reviews for each item, have it sent right to the mission home (that's where all of his mail has to go), AND I didn't have to pay a cent for shipping because we have Amazon Prime. No traipsing all around town in search of the perfect gun.  No long lines at the post office.  Brilliant!!

I've also given him instructions to leave it in his apartment when he is transferred next...spread the fun around and also cut down on the amount of things he's hauling around the mission.