I am the poor Nana. Literally. For probably all of my grandchildren except perhaps Katie's kids because biomom gets disability. Yet somehow.......(maybe "elf magic"?) I always, regardless of how broke I am.........find the perfect gift and an awesome price. Sometimes, even free. While the other grandparents tend to smother them in dollar value gifts (expensive and many)........I don't fly that way. I didn't even back when money wasn't an issue. Even if I give a lot of gifts.......they are suited to whom I am giving them to, chosen carefully, and I've as yet not had one loved. That is the way a present is meant to me. Monetary value is squat if the person doesn't like it, if it doesn't havie meaning for them, if it doesn't show I made an effort to find it and thought specifically of them when I did. Know what I mean?? I hunt everywhere, every day, 24/7 my eyes are open. (hey, I have a large family these days lol) Right now I have Aubrey, her birthday was yesterday. I'll give her the present tomorrow. Actually presents but given as a single gift because they have the same theme. I shop Good Will often. Not long ago I found her American Girl books for most of the dolls........well the first starter books for all the dolls and then the whole set for the Native American doll. I paid under a dollar for each of them. Today I found her the new version of the Bitty Baby book. (Nichole has the original that goes with her doll) I paid a dime. It's never been used. Aubrey has inherited her Mom's AG doll and has her own Bitty Baby. (Nichole has her Bitty Baby tucked away as it's worth quite a lot of cash) Perfect gift and I paid maybe 5.00 for all of it. Aubrey will love them. She's very into AG dolls right now and reading is huge with her. I have Kayla and Alex's bdays coming up. Now this one...........well, it's tougher. I'm not as close to these grands as I'd like to be or as I am with the rest. Kayla will be 13 (OMG) on June 3rd. I was stumped. Katie floods the kids with expensive electronic gifts that I refuse to buy. We were sorting for the yard sale yesterday and I spotted my table top easel. I don't paint anymore...........and the way money funds are going I may never paint again. It looks new and it is NOT a cheap easel by a long shot. I found some new canvases.........and a pallet I'd not yet used. Today I found a book on drawing portraits.......that I know cost a pretty penny in a store as I've seen it before. I paid a dime. So I really don't count what I paid years ago for the painting supplies as I got quite a bit of use out of it. And I paid a dime for the book. lol Not bad. Kayla will be thrilled. Alex will be 12 on June 15th. Now I was really stumped. He is both mentally and developmentally delayed. He's obsessed with video games. I don't buy video games. He doesn't do much of anything else. So I was really worried wth I was going to find for the boy for a cool gift from Nana. While doing yard sales today........I remember one advertised online. It sure didn't look like much of anything when we got there although it was a really nice neighborhood. Turns out the woman doing it is a professional clown/magician! I picked up Alex two professional magic tricks and she showed me how they work so I can show him. I had to make sure they weren't too complicated. I'm trying to encourage this as much as possible. Then she had two magic wands. One that "breaks" when he has someone take it and a normal one for when he does his tricks. And to top it off?? She had those invisible dog leashes! PERFECT for Alex! He's gonna get such a HUGE kick out of that one alone it's not funny! 12.00 for all of it. I think he might explode when he opens it. LOL I stumbled upon a gift for Nichole too........... I don't always give the grown kids gifts for birthday. (they can be tough to buy for) But there was no way in heck I could pass this one up! Nichole inherited the treasured items that her grandpa Oliver brought back with him from WWII. Beautiful chinese items as that is where he was during the war. This one yard sale looked like it had nothing but maybe some junk/clutter stuff. But I'm teaching easy child you don't pass these up if you're looking for treasures because far too often that is where they're found. This one was a motherlode. (no I didn't buy them all but I probably should have as they were outrageously cheap) I spotted a rick shaw figure that was lovely (yes I probably spelled it wrong) very delicate.......I suspect *might* be made from ivory (because I have other ivory items from that time frame and prior and I know what it looks/feels like) . Nichole has a spot in her home decorated with her grandpa's chinese treasures. This will fit in perfectly. AND I have the story behind it as well. The woman selling it mother is from germany. Her husband traveled to china, he brought it back as a gift to his wife. The woman knew it was at least 1940's but suspected it was older than that as she thinks her grandfather made that trip prior to WWII. It's small, exquisitely made......................and people this is probably a SIN but I swear I paid a QUARTER for it!!! Nichole is going to jump outta her skin. lol Sometimes though, my own luck and talent amazes even me.