Put on your blinders and resist the urge to join retailers in the pursuit of Christmas. We still have Thanksgiving on the horizon. Before you encourage your family to make wish lists, have them jot down what it is that has them so GRATEFUL this season.
I used good old construction paper to make this tree and its leaves. Over the next several days each member of our family is welcome to add his or her own appreciation for life’s blessings. By Thanksgiving we will have a maple tree bearing all our gratitude. This one was written by Emily (pretty sure she meant to add an “e” on everyone, but she was in such a hurry to add her leaf to the tree – so sweet!
Another school-sponsored Fall Festival has passed and we were in charge of the bake sale again. This adorable treat was NOT created by us, but by a 5th grade buddy and her mom.They simply (and quite artistically) drew adorable monster faces on small, clear plastic cocktail cups with a Sharpie.
Then, added green food coloring to a batch of vanilla pudding and spooned it into the cups. What is Frankenstein’s coif made of? Why, Oreo cookie crumbles of course!
Thanks Lisa and Reagan, these little babies were monstrously delicious!!
Wouldn’t you LOVE to get a nice note in the mail. You know, the mailbox, not your “in-box”. Keep reading!
October 5th is National “Do Something NICE” Day. This one should be easy. Take time to be nice just for the sake of being nice. Pay for the latte of person behind you in Starbucks, offer to pick up a few things from the store for your neighbor, take a plant to that friendly teller at the bank, bring in the recycling bins for your husband, you get the idea.
Make a real difference by sending a nice note. Not an e-mail, text message, voicemail, facetime, post, Instagram or other digital gesture. Get a blank card or choose a witty or sentimental greeting card. Sit down and write a note to someone. It can be someone you see every day or someone who touched your life in years past. In your notes, express your feelings about this special person and tell them what makes him or her so special to you.
This act will change your life and the lives of those around you. Watch, you’ll see. Please comment on how this gesture has affected you and those you care about.
Help us generate good in the world one nice move at a time.
” Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
We stole this idea from Vacation Bible School this year. These are super cute (and CRAZY easy!) and are sure to liven up any fish or beach-themed party.To make these fish all you need is a handful of paper plates, googly eyes, glue and scissors. Cut a triangle out of the plate and glue it to the outer edge of the plate across from the cut. Attach an eye and swim on!
My niece wanted help putting together a fun basket for displaying several gift cards she bought for a friend. She wanted all of her money to go into the gift cards and NOT the wrapping. With a few items from around the house this is what I came up with.
Using some foam from a swimming kick board, I made a bed in the bottom of a $1 Store bin to hold several skewers.
I had mismatched straws and mini cupcake wrappers that I used to complete the look of “flowers in a garden”. The flowers? I just used a flower-shaped cookie cutter as a template on printed paper.
I assembled as shown below. I used tissue paper to cover the foam and taped the gift cards to the stems.
Here’s a super simple way to create a patriotic dessert in a snap.
- boxed white cake mix with ingredients to make it
- red and blue food coloring
- canned white frosting
- red, white, and blue sprinkles or decorating sugar
I started out by mixing up the cake mix per the package directions. Then I divided the batter into three parts. I left one part white. I used the food coloring to dye one part red and the remaining part blue. I sprayed my Bundt pan with cooking spray, and then layered in the batter. I baked and cooled according to package directions. To make a pourable frosting/glaze, I removed the plastic and foil lids from the frosting container and microwaved it for about 20 seconds. You may need to do more time, but that is a good starting point. I then drizzled it on the cooled cake and sprinkled it with some festive decorations. Slice and enjoy!
These cute decorations can be made by your kids and used on Memorial Day, July 4th, or any other time you’re feeling particularly patriotic.
Materials (all in red, white, or blue):
- empty toilet paper roll
- paintbrush or sponge
- crepe paper or curling ribbon
- construction paper
First, paint the toilet paper roll. While it’s drying, cut various sized stars out of the construction paper. Tape or glue the stars to the dry toilet paper roll. Cut the crepe paper into thin strips and tape inside one opening of the toilet paper roll to make your windsock streamers. In the other end, punch holes on opposite sides and thread the chenille through to create a hanger. Hang outside whenever you are feeling patriotic!
Saturday, June 28th is the date of The Great American Backyard Campout, sponsored by the National Wildlife Federation. Check out all the details on the NWF website http://www.nwf.org/Great-American-Backyard-Campout.aspx.
In honor of this day, we challenge you all to camp out. We gave it a test run in our backyards, but you can camp at a local park or campground.Emily and Grant
Gavin and Brown Dog
Being in the backyard didn’t keep the kids from dragging their snuggly bedtime favorites outside.
Top 5 Things to do While Camping Out
- Sing songs
- Tell stories
- Make s’mores (see our S’more-gasbord, S’mores Squares, and S’mores Mix featured at the end of this post)
- Catch fireflies
- Enjoy some unplugged family time
Also, your kids will LOVE these Flameless Lanterns
How to make these Flameless Lanterns
- mason jars
- floral/craft wire
- yellow tissue paper
- LED powered candles (these were found at Walmart for 2 for $2)
Twist wire around the rim of the jar to create a handle. Place 4-6 strips of tissue paper in the jar along with the illuminated candle. Now you can enjoy a little light without the risks associated with real fire!
Perhaps campfires are a NO in your backyard. If so, you can try the S’mores Squares or this easy S’mores Mix…
- Golden Grahams cereal
- milk chocolate chips
- mini marshmallows
Mix in a large bowl using a ratio that suits your palate. The girls liked to stack them up like mini s’mores and the boys liked eating the mix by the handful.
Enjoy your quality time – that is what this is REALLY all about!!