6 Presents for Kids You Might Not Have Thought of Before


Kids like to look at things.

Kids like to look at things.

Here are some gift ideas that you may not of thought of to make your kids happy:

Accessories for the bike

As a kid, your bike is usually as important to you as your first car will be. Why not give them some cool accessories to jazz it up? If they ever ride at night, a bike light is always a good idea, while a new seat or a bell can also be great! When I was a kid, just getting a bike was an almost impossible task. I never had a new bike, just one used one which my friend crashed the second day I got it and buckled the forks. Well, like all bike repairs in those days, it was easy to find a new set of forks and install them. Now you need an “aircraft mechanic” to repair a bike.

If you are tired of giving your kids the same gifts over and over, here are six unique present ideas:

Play stands or houses –

A play stand might sound like a routine gift, but there are stores like Ikea that offer very inexpensive play houses and stands made out of cardboard. This makes them easier to transport and more fun to play with, especially because your child can use markers or crayons to decorate the house himself.

A chemistry set –

If you want an easy and fun way to get your child interested in science, giving her a chemistry set with easy experiments is an awesome way. This probably isn’t a gift that any of your relatives are going to think of, either, so feel free to get the best set you can find. Remember that kids need supervision when it comes to chemicals so be careful. When I was a kid, a chemistry set was a dream that finally came true with my friends set and a used one I obtained later.

A retro toy –

Is there a toy from your childhood that you always loved to play with? If so, why not see if you can find that toy or an updated version? This is a great way to connect with your child and show them what you loved about being a child. One Christmas, my dad bought me a stationary engine. I never could get the steam up so that it would run. I doubt that you could find one of those now days. But there is always Ebay.

An activity book –

If you want to find a way to get him out from in front of the television, a book that is chock full of activities is a great place to start. For example, look for a scavenger hunt book that gets him outside and looking for leaves and critters. Alternatively, find a drawing, logic puzzles, or wordplay book that stimulates his mind while he’s having fun. I do logic puzzles. So does my granddaughter I learned by surprise. I just bought us new bunch of puzzles to work on. Logic puzzles will strain your brain so watch that you buy things that the kids can handle.

Art supplies –

No kid can ever have too many crayons or markers. Paired with a giant roll of paper that he can spread all over the table, you can’t go wrong with a gift in this vein. If you can find a box that will hold all of the supplies that allows him to take the set wherever he wants to go, you’ll definitely have a winner! I taught my kids to paint when they were about four or five years old. I’m doing the same with some of my grandchildren. Two of my children took an interest in art and one is a profession artist. I still paint to this day, not because I call myself an artist but because it is relaxing (or frustrating) to me. Art stuff is a good gift for adults too. I went on vacation last week to Bear Lake, Utah and my daughter took art supplies for the kids to play with.

We caught some Big Fish. Fishing stuff is a great gift for kids too.


My daughter counted up my great grand-kids for me. The number is 29 until November. Then it will be 30. We had 35 grandchildren with all but one still living.

August Seasonal Sales Can Save You Money on Gifts for Future Events

Camping equipment is on sale now.

Camping equipment is on sale now.

Merchants have sales all year but August is a great time to cash in.
For example:

Auto Sales:

Dealers are offering the best discounts. They want to dump their old stock so that the new models can com in. They only have so much space for their inventory. You might be able to save more later in the year but your selection will be much smaller.

Camping Gear:

Merchants stock up on camping gear for the summer. In August they want it out of the way so that other merchandise can be placed. They are thinking about Christmas, not the 4th of July. So now is a great time to buy tents, camp stoves, lanterns, fishing gear and all the other sporting goods that go with summer.

Lawn Furniture:

Lawn chairs, sheds, insect traps, deck items, and a bunch of other summer things including trampolines and yard swimming pools.

Lawn Mowers:

This is a good time to buy a lawn mower and other garden tools. They are not needed in the snow.

School Supplies:

Because of the short demand period, you can save now on school supplies. Hard to believe. Also there is much competition so the dealers have to let down their hair (and prices).

Sporting Goods:

Horseshoes and badminton sets and such are hard to sale in the northern states in the wintertime. You might find a great sale. Most folks don’t ride a bike on the ice or in deep snow. I don’t play golf anymore, too old and decrepit, but I never played it in the snow.

Summer Clothing:

The stores want to fill their shelves with fall and winter clothing and to unload the summer stuff. Swimming clothing goes out of style so they have double reasons to dump the summer collection.

You can buy gifts for the future, say a birthday or a holiday. It pays to think ahead.


5 Best Gifts for Sisters


I have black, brown and white grandchildren, 11 adopted.

Buying a gift for your sister can be nerve wracking. Even if you’re the best of friends, you might not always see eye-to-eye when it comes to style and preferences. If you buy something that you love, she might not like it. If you buy something that you only think is her style, but you’re not sure, she still might not like it. Here are a few suggestion to help you get over the fear of buying a present for your sister:

A pair of trendy sunglasses –

They don’t have to be expensive, but they should be on-trend. Everyone likes to look fashionable, and with the variety of great styles out there that look good on just about everybody, you can’t go wrong with a pair of great sunglasses.

Mini spa kit –

Giving her a spa day might get a little expensive, but you can give her all the products to make her feel like she’s at a spa, for a fraction of the price. Fancy lotions, face masks, manicure and pedicure kits—the whole nine yards. If you can get them all in the same scent or from the same brand and stick them in a cute basket, that’ll be even better!

A fitness tracker –

If your sister is trying to get in shape or is already in shape but needs a better way to track her daily runs, you can never go wrong with a fitness tracker. These simple, easy to use little bracelets or clip-ons track steps, heartbeat, and even caloric intake, usually using an app on the phone or by connecting through Bluetooth to the computer.

New makeup tools –

If your sister wears makeup, she might not be willing to splurge on the really expensive tools. Her birthday or a holiday are a great time to pick up a set for her. Even a single fancy makeup brush can be a great gift that she’ll be sure to use every single day.

A cute knick-knack –

If she’s got some spare room on a shelf or bookcase that isn’t already taken by a book, you can always give her a cute little knick-knack to put there. She’ll think of you every time she looks at it. Make sure to pick something that matches the rest of her décor!


5 Best Gifts for Moms

diamondPicking a gift that shows your mom who much you care about her can be difficult. You know that she’ll say she loves anything you give her, but how do you make sure that you give her something that she actually will love and use? Whether for her birthday, Mother’s Day, or any other holiday or occasion, here are five ideas of gifts that you can give your mom:

A nice blanket –

If your mom is anything like my wife, she gets cold all the time. What’s better for the mom who’s always cold than a nice blanket? While you can find beautiful blankets just about anywhere, look for a colorful, cozy blanket with a little eccentric flair or design, so every time she uses it, she’ll remember that you gave it to her. My wife has ALZ so we keep her covered.

A new serving bowl –

If you’re not sure what to get the mother that has everything, most moms could always use a new serving bowl. Why? Because getting enough food on the table for all her family and friends can be difficult if you don’t have enough clean, beautiful dishes. If she often runs out of bowls and platters, a new serving bowl can be the ideal gift. Well, you know how frustrating this can be. What are we going to put these carrots in? We can’t just leave them in the pan (as a man would).

Pair of slippers –

Another great gift for the mom who’s always cold, a pair of slippers can be a great way to show her that you care about her and how she feels. You can get her a great pair of slippers with a soft interior and hard soles so she can use them to putter around the yard or even make a quick trip to the grocery store! Slippers for dad? Hardly ever. Most men don’t bother with slippers.

Notecards or stationary –

If your mom loves to write notes to her children and friends, supplying her with a beautiful set of notecards or some interesting stationary will always be a great gift. Pick something that matches her personality, but don’t be afraid to get something a little trendy that she would usually not pick out herself. And have them personalized for an extra treat.

A new kitchen gadget –

For the mom who loves to cook for her family but has been holding off buying one of the right tools, why not pick that tool up for her? The right blender, food processor, or mixer can make her life much easier and will allow her to explore those new recipes she’s been wanting to try. (Pic is of Veggetti Spiral Vegetable Slicer, Makes Veggie Pasta)

That wasn’t so hard, was it?


Best Practical Gifts for Any Occasion

For the practical person, a practical gift is always better than something that is strictly sentimental. If you are trying to buy a gift for someone that values practicality, here are some of the best practical gifts you could buy that person:

Socks –

You can never have enough socks. The gift of socks tells the receiver that you care Product Detailsabout how arm their feet are and their comfort. Socks might be a lame gift for kids, but it’s a great practical gift for anyone on your list. Actually, socks or stocking can be very fun or attractive gifts.

A Starbucks card –

Starbucks and just about every other coffee chain lets you load up gift cards and give them out to your friends and family. If you have someone on your gift list that is coffee obsessed, this is a great way to pay for their daily fix, even if you can’Product Detailst always accompany them to the shop.

A new phone charger –

Anyone with a cellphone will tell you that there’s nothing worse than losing your charger. You only get one free per phone, so if you lose it, you have to buy a new one—unless a generous friend or relative has given you a spare. Other cell phone accessories also make fine gifts.

A travel umbrella –

An umbrella that you can stick in the car or in a bag is a great gift, especially for someone that lives in a rainy part of the country. Leaving home without an umbrella on a rainy day is the worst, but a travel umbrella that’s always on hand when a downpour begins? Perfect!

A tool kit –

Have you ever wanted to hang a picture but realized that you didn’t have a hammer? Or nails. Or a level. Giving the gift of preparedness is a great present for someone who values practicality. A simple set that has a hammer, a measuring tape, a few screwdrivers, and some wrenches is all you need.

Rain jacket –

It might not always be the most glamorous of jackets you could give, but it will always be appreciated. There are rain jackets that you can find that fold themselves into little squares or triangles, for easy portability in a pocket or purse.

An ereader –

For the practical person who also loves to read, there’s nothing better than the gift of an ereader. This will allow them to carry around hundreds of books at a time, instead of just one or two.

I have an Amazon reader which I use not only to read books but to search the net or play games. Let’s see, it’s called the Kindle reader. lol


P.S. Does the car need a hub cap. I just bought one for my 2006 Sienna after driving up to Bear Gulch southeast of Hollister, Idaho. I was surprised to find it on Amazon. Won’t the person receiving your gift think you are so thoughtful?

Watches For Father’s Day

A watch is great for Father on Father’s Day. Here are some choices in everyone’s price range:

U.S. Polo Assn. Sport Men's US9061 Watch with Black Rubber Strap Watch
Mens Aqua Master 1.25ct Diamond Watch Two Tone Gold Automatic Skeleton Face #W314-A
Brown Leather Men Custom Pink Fathers Day Aqua Master Diamond Watch
$199.99 (save $1000.00)
Kenneth Cole New York Men's KC8081 Dress Sport Analog Display Analog Quartz Black Watch


For Father’s Day: My Dad, a Poem

Now is the time we think of our fathers. I hope you knew your father and have had a long association with him. It is hard to think of a gift for Father’s Day when they have given so much to us. (FTC Note: I may get a small commission from the above link to Amazon. Thank you!)

My Dad
John Taylor Jones

My Parents

My Parents, Alice Taylor Jones (b. 1901 Silver City, Utah d. 1990) and Lawrence Ahaz Jones (b. 1900 Bountiful, Utah d. 1988)

I can see him above the waters edge
Catching the cutthroat trout
That My Brother and I
Were pulling from the Yellowstone River,
Below Fishing Bridge.

I can see him working
Around the house,
Wearing my Ike jacket
Left over from the Korean War.
My ribbons and battle stars and
My precious combat infantryman’s badge
Probably put away for safekeeping.

Dad was a ranch kid and
Liked to work outdoors.
I can remember him
Pounding on his old Underwood typewriter
Out in the garage,
Whipping out a short story or complicated poem.

I remember him giving me a quarter,
When he sold my Oldsmobile,
On blocks in the garage,
To the neighbor boys for five dollars.
I had a fortune!

I can remember him on the telephone
Talking to people who were out of work,
Helping them to find a job.
He had been helped himself by others
During the Great Depression.
He had worked on the WPA
As an accountant.

Before my time,
He farmed in Bountiful, Utah
And ranched in Rich County, Utah,
(Named after my great greatuncle, Charles Rich).
He and his father homesteaded
On Ten Mile Pass in Idaho
And then, Delta, Utah.

Dad was a hopeless romantic,
Never saying one unkind word
To our mother.
I remember him calling
Us around the dinner table and
Kneeling us down in family prayer.

I remember how excited
He would get before Christmas.
If I was getting a present,
He always had to
Tell me about it before
Christmas day.
That always sent me on a hunt
Thoughout the house,
Hoping to get a glimpse
Of my new toy carbine rifle
Or steam-operated
Stationary Engine.

Dad was the consummate politician,
Soon realizing that it was more important
To know influential people
Than to have particular skills.
It was County Commissioner
And City Auditor,
The position from which he retired.

He had a County Sheriff’s badge
And a revolver
That he carried on vacation trips,
The badge coming in handy
If he was caught speeding,
Which he did.

Dad was a died-in-the-wool Mormon,
His grandfather Porter being born
On the Sweetwater River
in 1847, whose grandmother Rich
Was the first white woman
To die in Utah.

He was kidnapped by Ute Indians
Ten days after his birth in 1900.
So then, he was a Ute.
The Mormon elders
Were able to buy him back
After long negotiations,
Never a Ute Chief.

I cried
Like a baby
When he died.

End of Poem

copyright©2015 John Taylor Jones, Ph.D.

Dear Old Dad

My Parents

My Parents

My father was born in Bountiful Utah in 1900. He was kidnapped by Ute Indians when he was 10 days old. After two weeks of negotiating with the Indians, he was returned to my grandmother.

He was raised on farms and ranches in Utah and Idaho. He moved to the big city of Salt Lake in about 1921 where he met my mother who was born in Silver City Utah in a tent in 1901.

Dad was always a hopeless romantic towards mother and the two of them never said one unkind word to each other. He became an accountant and after two years of unemployment during the Great Depression, he was able to work steadily until his retirement. His last employment years were as City Auditor of Salt Lake City.

Dad told us lots of stories about his days in Rich County, Utah (named after my great-grandfather, Charles C Rich) and on Ten Mile Pass in Idaho, near Soda Springs. He was a hunter and trapper trying to eke out an existence. While homesteading on Ten Mile Pass with his father, they suffered from scurvy until my father, with the help of his father, made him a pair of skis which allowed him to hunt.

Dad often took my brother, Don, and I fishing. He never fished himself, as he had earlier in his life, but he became extremely excited when we caught a fish. I remember when we were catching trout on the Yellowstone River just below Fishing Bridge, throwing trout up to Dad on the bank above. It was very exciting and very fun for Dad.

It was very funny to Don and me, see our father jumping around like a jumping jack.

Dad always expected us to be independent. However, when I was in college and my wife and I were looking for the next meal, Dad and Mother showed up with boxes of groceries. I don’t know how they knew we were hurting. Maybe it was because Dad knew that we had to pay for surgery on our new son and that my wife was not working. My part-time jobs and G.I. benefits from the Korean War, were not enough. However, I suspect that my wife’s dad told him.

Dad was a lifelong church worker. He was also a writer. When I was a baby, he wrote a story for the Rocky Mountain News called Will a Coyote Commit Suicide? That bought me canned milk. He also wrote some pretty good poetry that he published in the world fair poetry journals.

Seeing Dad pound on his typewriter out in the garage made me want to be a writer.

Unfortunately, some folks have never met their father.. Many young fathers were killed in wars. Some never stuck around a long enough to be a father. Even “unknown” fathers are sought after by their children, in many cases. Most of us want to know who our father was.

I hope that you can be with your father on Father’s Day. If he is gone, maybe you can visit his grave.

Pat and John Jones, Buhl, Idaho

Pat and John Jones, Buhl, Idaho

Father’s Day is a day for remembrance.


Amazon Gifts for Father’s Day

Back when I was a boy

An Old Man With a Gift

When I was a youngster, an old man that was staying with my neighbor, Mrs. Matthews,

A Kind Old Man

A Kind Old Man

next door, told me to come up to the fence. I was a little apprehensive when approaching the man. In some ways to me, he was different. But I decided to go up to the fence. I knew I had the fence between me and the man.There he handed me a brand-new baseball glove and a softball.

I couldn’t believe it. I received very few gifts for Christmas and none for my birthday and I didn’t expect a gift from across the fence. I was so excited I could hardly run fast enough into the house to show off my new glove and my new ball.

The glove and the ball were very inexpensive and they did last very long. What has lasted always years, at least 75 years, is the memory of that kind old man who would think to give the poor kid living next door a gift.I still picture that event vividly in my mind.

The ball and glove didn't last long.

The ball and glove didn’t last long.

I know he had to go out of his way to find this gift for me. I knew that he didn’t have a lot of money to spend on the gift. That didn’t matter at all, the cost of the gift. What mattered was his kindness. I hope to see him again in the not too far future. When I find him, I will thank him again.

It’s not the gift itself

You can see that it’s not the gift itself that matters. As they say, it’s the thought behind it that counts.

There are a lot of philanthropists in this world who give billions for the benefit of mankind around our globe. It is easy for them to give because they have so much wealth. It is harder for a poor person to give a gift to another poor person.

Sometimes all we can give is our love. That is often enough.


What Does Easter Mean to You?

Jesus Christ of Nazareth

Jesus Christ of Nazareth

Some 2000 years ago, an itinerant preacher named Jesus Christ caused a ruckus at the temple in Jerusalem, driving money changers and sellers of thousands, etc., from the temple grounds. He whipped them with a thorny bush as he sent them running. He said that they had desecrated his father’s house.

Shortly there after he was tried and sentenced to death. A crown of thorns was placed on his head and he was severely beaten. Then he was required to carry a cross to a hill called Calvary. He was not able to do it so another person was selected. On Calvary he was crucified along with two other men convicted of crimes.

The Roman soldiers placed a sign saying that here was the King of the Jews. The Jewish leaders tried to get them to take the sign down but they refused. It was reported that there was a tremendous earthquake when Jesus died and that it rent the cloth in the temple.

After that event, there were a number of reports that Jesus Christ was resurrected and that he appeared to a number of people.

Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ

On Easter, Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. They look to his return which he predicted. Christians believe that Jesus Christ atoned for their sins at Gethsemane.

Sometimes with chocolate bunny rabbits and many colored Easter eggs, we forget what Easter is all about. There is a story that just before Peter was killed by the Romans, his wife and two daughters were killed. As his wife passed his dungeon, he said, “Oh there! Remember the Lord!”

We Christians should remember our Lord on Easter day.