As I See It

Happy Birthday Emily

Happy Birthday Emily.  My daughter Emily is celebrating her birthday of 36 years.  Boy, does time fly by quickly.   It just seems like yesterday that she came into the world on Friday, the 13th.  Now you may think that Friday, the 13ths is an unlucky day… but I’m here to say… Friday, the 13th luck can change.  Mine did… when Emily was born.


Let me introduce you,  Wyatt (almost 13), Randall  (almost  6)  Emily (youthful age of 36),  McKenzie (almost 15), and Glade (almost 9)  And of course… they are my “grands.” (Can you see my buttons popping.)

I could tell you  about all Emily’s  wonderful traits and pursuits in text form … but I thought it  would be fun to share her interests and talents with this “Word Cloud.”  You can get to know her better by examining this birthday card I made for her.


Summer is coming… and if I want to contact her… it will have to be by cell phone because she’ll be  in her yard, planting, weeding, mowing or standing in the bed of a truck shoveling  mulch into her flower beds.    She has one of those yards that make you want to shoot yourself.


I could go on and on about this talented gal… but the point is… I’m very fortunate and  extremely grateful to have Emily in my life which makes it a Happy Birth Day for me too.

Till Later,

Kathy Griffith

Insightful Nana

P.S.  Enjoy looking at the Happy Birthday card.  My sister Sheila turned me on to this fun site called “Wardle” that does all the “word cloud” work for you.  It’s fun… you’ll have to try it.

P.P.S.  By the way… as long as I have my bragging rights going… my daughter, Katie,  a wonderful pro-photographer took the photos.


Happy Birthday To You – Miss Claire Bo

Claire celebrated her fifth birthday on the March 24th.  It was a quiet celebration…just with her family.  I was lucky enough to be invited to join them at Denny’s for dinner…. the restaurant of her choice.


Now don’t let this serene photo fool you…. This little child is full of surprises.  Yep… she sure surprised us.

When she was a baby,  she so was so quite… so good… so relaxed.   That lasted for about a year… and then she grew way beyond her years over night.   One day she was serene and  the next day she was… well, curious, on the go, independent  and had all of the confidence of an adult.  In fact… there is no adult that she’s not comfortable with.  She’s will strike up a conversation  with anyone… and everyone is her friend.   She keeps us in stitches all the time… she is one funny girl.

Now if there is any photo in the world that takes on the personality of the child… this is it.   An all time favorite of mine.


Back to the birthday party.   Here’s Miss Confidence… picking out her food fare.


The decision has been made.


The Birthday song has been sung… and now it’s time to blow out the candles.  She didn’t want to get too close for fear her hair would catch on fire.


Now comes the fun part… the birthday gifts… and boy did she clean up… dance leotard, roller skates, watch, and DVD’s.


The Birthday cake was delicious…. I’ll get Katie to share this recipe with us.  It’s certainly one we need to have in our recipe boxes.


Bet ya can’t guess.   Yep…  it’s the decorative art of Miss Claire Benson…. Called “Inside The Cake Mixing Bowl”    Looks like there’s another artist in the family.>

Happy Birthday dear Claire… you make my heart happy.

Till later,

Kathy Griffiths

Insightful Nana.

P.S.  This ends our big March Birthday Month.  Thanks for celebrating with us.  Did you get your free Birthday Note cards?  Get them HERE, at the first of the month celebrations.  See our middle of the month celebration HERE.


Victorian Tea Party Birthday

Norah celebrated her birthday by inviting 7 little girls to a Victorian Tea Party…. and what a celebration it was.  I found it amusing that little girls so young could play their part so well.  They were charming little ladies…. exhibiting perfect tea party etiquette the entire time.

Martha, Norah’s mom made sure this party would be one the girls wold remember for a long time.  I’ll say… it sure made a lasting impression on me.


Large tissues paper balls framed  a crystal chandelier.


A beautiful floral arrangement graced the center of the table.


The table was set with linen and a colleague  of Victorian plates.  Milk glass cups and saucer adorned every place setting.  The tea party favors were  colorful headbands and were placed in the center of each plate.

What to serve at a tea party?  Well here ya go… couldn’t get any fancier than this.


Grilled ham and turkey sandwiches were stack on pedestal milk glass trays.  Notice … no crusts.


Homemade Oreo Cookies, stacked high, were the real thing… made from an original recipe.


Look at these red velvet cupcakes…. adorned with fresh raspberries.  I don’t think I’ve every seen a white raspberry.


Tea party etiquette at it’s best.


The girls loved playing musical chairs… and played it more than once.


Of course… opening presents is one of the highlights of every party.


At the end of the tea party… they entertain themselves and us… in Norah’s dad music room.  Brad set up three mics and the girls danced and sang and had a good old time.


Happy Birthday sweet Norah.

Till Later

Insightful Nan

P.S.  Do you think mom’s and grandma’s are too old to have a Victorian Tea Party?


Happy Birthday Wishes – Free Birthday Printables


Happy Birthday wishes are in store for six members of my family this month. March is going to be a pretty busy month.  Three of the birthdays are lined up in a row.

On March 4, my grand daughter, Ella Benson will celebrate her 7th birthday.   What a beautiful delightful child!    She is the first child of my last born child Katie and, her husband, Mark.   Ella and her great great grandmother, my mom’s mother, share the same name.

From the time Ella was very tiny… she has had a orderly way about her.  For instance, when was small, every doll in the house would be lined up on the couch… with a little blanket covering each one.  Books would be lined up… just so.   In the yard, you would find little piles of this and that, arranged in an orderly fashion.  Even today… she still has that little orderly quality.


Ella’s nature is so sweet… she is always concerned about doing things “right.”  Sometimes… a little too concerned.  She makes a special effort to be kind to everyone… and is pretty sensitive when others aren’t kind to her.  We have to be careful not to take advantage of her goodness.   She’s the big sister to Claire (partner in crime)… and new brother, Beck.   Happy Birthday Sweet Ella.   (Just look at those eyes!)


On March 5, Evelyn Distefano, my mom,  will reach the spry age of 89.  Comedian Lucille Ball said, “The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age.”

Well, I can say that mom has lived honestly.  Not only is she honest, but she honestly put her best self forward to teach six daughters the basic homemaking skills of cleaning, cooking and sewing.  Yes, and she does eat slowly… for what ever reason.

Now… she has no cause to lie about her age.  In fact, it’s been a bit of a bragging point because she looks much younger than she is.   She has always eaten healthy foods and kept her weight in check.  Huffing around the mall, three times a week… getting her exercise, has not been a problem, until she became ill a few months ago… which has slowed her down a bit.

Now her mind is another story.  We hear the same stories over and over again.  She can’t remember what day of the week it is… and she has a devil of a time remembering names.  (Hmmmm.  Feels familiar for some reason.)

Mom’s birthday is flanked by the Birthdays of two great grand daughters.  What a treat is is for Mom to have the opportunity know her great grands… and for them to know her.    Happy Birthday Mom… You’re a beautiful woman.


Pretty, Averi Christensen, will be 8 years old on the 6th of March. She is the daughter of my niece, Camille and her husband Trevor.  Her “granny” is my sister, Sheila.  This birthday is a special one for Averi, because she will be baptized.  Averi is a “go getter.”  She just knows how to get the job done… what ever it is.  She loves to read and her teacher says she is a model student.   She is the oldest… and has a younger brother, Cash… and a sister, Savannah.

Averi and her Granny have a very special relationship…. they are pen pals.  They write letters the old fashion way… and send them in the mail.   Happy Birthday Averi!

merged-birthday-notes-markedjpgBirthday gifts are in order…. not only for them…  but for you.    I want you to have these “Happy Birthday Wishes” so you can attach them  to your birthday gifts. These 3″x 3″ mini birthday cards are yours by simply filling in your name and e-mail address so  I can send you the download link.  Once you have signed in… I will automatically send you all future free goodies.  You will not have to sign in again.


Kathy Giffiths
Insightful Nana

P.S. “The old believe everything; the middle-aged suspect everything; the young know everything.” – Oscar Wilde
Yep… I’m somewhere in the middle… how about you?


Kids Birthday Parties

Charity Kids birthday parties have recently been brought to may attention   Over the past several weeks,  I have repeatedly heard about kids birthday celebrations called  “Charity Birthday Parties.  I first heard of this concept while listening to the “Glenn Beck” show on the radio.

At first, I thought he was making a joke… but soon realized he was serious.  A child 6 year old child was having a birthday party and his parents were asking the guests not to bring gifts to the party… but to donated to a political cause in the name of “Birthday Child.”

The idea is…  we live so abundantly… and a child already has so much… why not teach the child to be sharing and giving and donate his gifts or the money that would be spent on his gifts to a charity.  It could even be a charity of the child’s choosing.

It was brought to my attention again when Vanessa, of  I Never Grew Up,  posted a poll on her blog  asking parents if they thought it was a good idea or not.  I was surprised at the results.  79% thought it was a great idea and 21% thought it was a poor idea.  I was part of the 21%.

After I picked myself up from the floor… I made a comment on her blog… I’m afraid it was a bit stinging… and I would like to clarify my point of view here.

1.  I remember a program on TV years ago, called Queen For A Day.  It was a day they honored one lady from the audience by showering her with gifts etc.  For that woman…it was a magical day… a day she would never forget.  Our children deserved to be honored on their birthday.   It’s a day that we take delight in them for coming into the world and into our lives.  Let them be King or Queen for a day.

2.  The magic of childhood is short.  We as parents and grand parents can get caught up in pushing children into adulthood too soon.  T.V. does not supported kids being kids… and I think we can be hoodwinked into the same thinking.  Birthdays are part of childhood magic. Kids shouldn’t be short changed by forcing adult concepts too early… especially on their special day.

3.  You can’t tell me, that in the child’s heart, he wouldn’t feel some resentment… and sadness if denied gifts on his birthday.  He may not have the courage to stand up against such a “lofty” concept as a “Charity Birthday,” especially if he knew he was going to be made to feel wrong or shamed if he objected to the idea.

4.  I know that kids have an abundance of toys… my grands are a testimony of that.  But… who’s fault is that.  I’m guilty!  Their parents are guilty!  Every time we go into a store, they want something… and for the most part we succumb to their whining.

We might not purchase the $15.00 new toy they want… but we appease them with a little purchase at the cash register.  Marketers claim, they make a killing on purchases made for kids under $5.00.  I don’t know about you… but I’m tired of the “trash toys” that are placed in the “kids meals” at the fast food restaurants.  But… that doesn’t stop me from purchasing the “kids meal.”  Junk… Junk… Junk.  I know I’m part of the problem.

My point is… if we want to cut back on the amount of junk that is filling the kids closets, we need to control our own spending for them during the year.  But, let’s not take that leap on their birthday.

5.  It’s great to teach kids to be charitable and giving.  We can be examples of that when we clean out our own closets.  Perhaps when we are packing up our things, we could ask them if they would like to contribute something from their closet.  When it’s time to drop off our bundle at the “Thrift Store”, we can take them with us. It would be a great time to discuss what we are doing and why.

6.  There is a “time and season” for all things.  Studies have shown that children under 3 don’t have the mental ability to understand there is another world outside of themselves…. thus the “terrible two.”  A child’s reasoning capacity does not fully develop until around the age of 8 or 9.  To force concepts that are too mature for their reasoning is unfair.

7.  Besides… how would you feel if someone said to you, “You have too many things and you need to learn to share.  So, for your birthday… I’m doing to donate the money I was going to spend on your birthday gift and give it to the Blaa Blaa Blaa?”   I for one… would resent it…. in fact… I would be hopping mad.

My suggestion:  Celebrate your kids birthdays by showering them with lots of love, fun, and a few gifts.  Give them their special day… and teach giving, sacrifice and charity on another day.

Till Later,

Kathy Griffiths
Insightful Nana

P.S.  Have your kids been invited to “Charity Birthday Parties?”   What’s your point of view?  Talk to me.

As I See It

The Big 40 For Brad

Today is the Big 40 For my oldest son Brad.  Boy does time fly.  It was just yesterday when I could clearly see that I had a son.  November 30, 1968 was a big day for me too.. having a son.  I came from a family of 6 girls… so the thought of trucks, baseball, snakes and bugs was a new world I was not familiar with.  All I can say… after 40 years is… it’s been a pleasure and a delight to have James Bradley Griffiths in my life.

He was the best child…and so bright.

Last night we celebrated.  Family… friends and good food.  This is my second son, Wade… who came 11 months later.  For 22 days a year… Brad and Wade are the same age.

The lighting of 40 candles takes a little teamwork.  Help is needed to get all the candles lit before the first ones burn out.

There we are.  This is Brad’s beautiful wife, Martha… and a great mom to 4 young kids.  All candles lit and ready to go. Red Velvet cake… Yum!

With this many candles… it took more than one “huff and a puff”… but he got them all.

This DVD surprise was a gift from Brad’s wife, Martha.   I contributed photos of Brad as a baby, youth and young man…Martha gathered photos of their marriage and kids… and Katie, my daughter, helped Martha put things together…. and Waaa Laaa… a photo album on disk.

40th birthday gifts are always fun.  His brother gave him a Lava Lamp…reminiscences of the 70’s.  And I dug around in the my memory box and found this old 1968 Arizona license plate… from the state where he was born.  I also found three audio tapes that would be important to him.  The first… was his baby blessing… given by his father.  The second was the 1970 Griffiths Christmas Party… where Brad… at the age of 2 recited “The Night Before Christmas”… with a bit of help from Mom.  The third tape was Brad from his LDS mission in Sao Paulo Brazil.  I had them put on disk for his long term pleasure.

I’m sure Brad will agree… that the best gifts he has are his wife and 4 children.  Martha and Brad married late, so their family is young…ranging from 6 years old to 4 months.  This is Abram… celebrating in his mom’s shoes.

Brad, what more could I ask for… than to have you in my life for the last 40 years.  Happy Birth Day to me too.

Happy Birthday Brad.

Thanks for letting me celebrate my joy with you.

Till Later,

Kathy Griffiths
Insightful Nana

P.S.  Brad… if you think time has flown by… the next 20 years will be here yesterday.
P.P.S. Hey look… here is Brad’s DVD photo album from his party. Take a look… it’s fun!

As I See It

Happy Birthday Katie

My baby, Katie, is having a birthday.  Alright… she’s not a baby anymore… she’s going on…. well… you know… “thirty something.”  But… she’ll always be my baby… and by the way… my baby is going to have a baby in a few days.

This photo is as far as I got in trying to snap a picture of her for this blog.  Little Claire didn’t mind being photographed… but mom… no way.

Speaking of photographs… check out Katie’s blog for beautiful photos. You’ll be impressed!   She a professional with a great style.  She’s a very busy photographer and after a short leave of absence…will continue snapping pictures.

She is the proud mom of two little girls…Ella, age 6 and Clare age 4.  They are going to have a little boy join the family and he will have 3 moms… and one dad…Mark!

Happy Birthday Katie… I love you!

Till Later

Kathy Griffiths

Insightful Nana

P.S.  This new baby will be my 15th grandchild… and boy am I happy… love those grandkids!