I’m not really a “handmade card” kind of mom. I think it’s lovely that other moms are, but at this stage in our family there is usually just not enough time in the day for me to indulge in my creative side . . . beyond staring at the things other people are doing on Pinterest. With Valentine’s Day approaching, though, I did decide to make some homemade cards, inspired in part by cards like this one. But, if I’m to be totally honest, it was also inspired by my desire to not have to supervise four kids signing their name to 20+ cards. We are barely recovered from “thank-you-gate” over here. We made similar cards last year, utilizing the chalkboard wall as a way to write a greeting and each child’s name. We have since moved, so I didn’t have a chalkboard wall, and instead decided to photograph the kids in front of the house and then doctor the picture with wording in Microsoft Paint. (I’m sure there are better programs to add text to photos but I’m kicking it old school). For the – but I’ve seen other people use a white plastic pipe from Home Depot for these purposes. I wrote a little note on the chalkboard and snapped a picture of each child holding what would become the lollipop stick. We used the closet rod from Jafta’s closet, but if you don’t have something in your house, you can buy a closet rod at Home Depot for a few bucks and spray-paint it white. I took the pictures on my phone, then transferred them to my computer to add some text. After adding text, I uploaded them to Shutterfly and ordered enough prints for the kids in each class. At 19 cents a print, it came out to about $5 per child. Then I purchased some heart lollipops at Target – they were about $4 for 25 lollipops. Between the prints and lollipops the total cost was about $8 per child – not too bad. The assembly is pretty easy – use a sharp knife to create a small notch and insert the lollipop. You can then take it to the back of the photo. Or if you want it to be a little less flimsy, you can use a glue stick and mount the photo to a piece of construction paper. It’s a bit of work getting the lollipops in each card but I think the assembly is less time-consuming than folding and signing all of the store-bought cards, since my kids inevitably beg for the cards that require affixing a pencil or a temporary tattoo to each microscopic card. And like I said . . . no forcing my kids to sign their name 25 times. This feels more personal than a store-bought card, and will be a fun memento for them to keep as well. I love how they came out. I think Kembe wins for best expression. What are you planning to send with your kids this Valentine’s Day?