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Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

Just In!!!!  Courtesy of My Special Note

Download this 12-page Christmas Coloring Book for your kids!

You can even photocopy and distribute the pages to:

  • Preschool or daycare classes
  • Sunday School class
  • Kids you babysit
  • Neighbor kids who need something to occupy them 🙂

Just print these pages out and you’ll have time to do some gift-wrapping in peace!!

Happy Holidays!

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We’ve got 2 new free ebooks available for this holiday season:

(just download these pdf files by right-clicking and selecting “Save Target As” – save on your hard drive, forward to your friends and enjoy this 2007 Holiday!)

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Holiday Gift Guide – Thanks to Chele Neisler of momsloveshopping.com!  She has authored this great guide to gift-giving this holiday season.  There are ideas in here for everyone on your list!

Holiday Traditions – A guide to creating and maintaining festive holiday traditions

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“…and I heard him exclaim as he flew out of sight, Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!”

Those famous words of the big jolly elf, Santa Claus, ring through the ears of little ones all over the world.

Remember the magic that is Santa Claus?  Remember how you felt opening up that special gift from Santa when you were young?

Help bring that same magic back to your kids this year with a letter hand-signed by Santa that is uniquely theirs.  Each letter is personalized with only special information that Santa would know.  You can choose from 3 cool letters:

  1. Basic – includes letter, stickers, crayons and coloring book
  2. Reindeer Food – includes letter, personalized wooden scoop, a package of reindeer food and a recipe card from Mrs. Claus’ kitchen
  3. Pillowcase – includes letter and a personalized Santa themed pillowcase

Click on the following link to order this little piece of magic and watch your child’s face light up!

http://www.myspecialnote.com

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Cost and time are always the two main factors when you’re deciding whether you should purchase or make your Halloween costumes.  One other factor to consider is the FUN FACTOR.  Making a costume from scratch is a great way to get the creative juices flowing and also a great way to get your kids to appreciate using their heads and their imagination.  Lots of costumes can easily be made from clothing that’s already in your closet.  The FUN FACTOR comes in with the accessorizing and makeup!

Here are some ideas to help give you a jumpstart:

Scarecrow:
Somewhere in your family closets there is likely to be a well worn, torn and frayed pair of jeans, and an old shirt. You may even be able to find an old straw hat. From that foundation costume, glue some straw under the hat and around the cuffs of the shirt and pants. You might find a bird you can sit on the hat from your Christmas tree decorations. From there, most of your effort will go into face painting and finishing off the overall look.

Pirate: 
A basic costume can begin with an old shirt and cut down old jeans, with a bandana around the head. Your main effort would go into setting up the accessories such as a broad belt and sword, an eye patch, face painting and artificial tattoos.

Basic Outfit to Jumpstart Many Costumes:
Start with a long sleeved turtleneck top and pants (sweatpants or skinny pants).

Witch – A black outfit like this needs only a black cape, a witch’s hat and some makeup and you are ready to cackle!

Animals – Other colors could become animal costumes with the addition of a tail, ears, mittens and some face paint. Some costume shops have partial costumes such as faces, noses, tails and ears available to add these features to your basic costume. For a tiger, for example, some black fabric paint on a yellow outfit could be used to create stripes. A little stuffing under a yellow outfit and you have the beginnings of a plump Winnie The Pooh.

Skeleton/Zombie – Use luminous paint on a black outfit like this to draw a skeleton front and back and you have a very scary Zombie costume. Just add some white fabric around the head and some face paint for a skull.

Tin Man – This beloved character from the Wizard of Oz could be represented by spray painting this basic outfit with a metallic paint. Gloves, old shoes and a hat could also be painted to complete the costume.

By using this approach, instead of spending a lot of time cutting out and sewing fabric, most of your effort in making the costume will go into the FUN FACTOR that your children will take pride in helping with.

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Halloween is all about the treats.  Take a few minutes with your kids and enjoy making these together.

Do you have some Halloween Cookie Cutters? That’s all you’ll need to make these first three fun and memorable Halloween treats.

Terrifying Tortilla Chips
Start with some flour tortillas and spray a bit of canola oil on them. Sprinkle parmesan cheese or cinnamon and sugar on them.  Then cut fun shapes out of the tortillas with a bat, ghost or pumpkin cookie cutter. Put the shapes into the oven for a crispy treat.

Spooky Sandwiches
Make your favorite sandwich. Peanut butter and jelly works just fine. Then, using a cookie cutter, press hard into the sandwich and you’ll get a spooky treat. If you use a pumpkin shape cookie cutter, add licorice or candy corn to make eyes and nose on a jack-o-lantern face.

Creepy Cheese and Cold Cuts
Buy packaged cheese (the kind that you peel the plastic off). Also, buy some cold-cuts. Using a cookie cutter, make spooky shapes. Present the cheese and cold cuts on a platter as an appetizer – or have a sandwich smorgasbord and allow your guests to use the creepy cheese to make their own sandwiches.

Here are a few more last-minute ideas for Halloween fun.

Wicked Witch Fingers
Do you have some dough and almonds? Believe it or not, you can make witch fingers. Just stretch out the dough into a “finger-shape” including a knuckle. Then, take the almond and press it into the end to make the fingernail. You can experiment with different colors to make witch fingers creepier. “Paint” the fingernail with food coloring (grey or black is perfect), or make the dough a creepy green color. Oooh… spooky!

Green Anything
Take your favorite foods and add a drop of green food coloring to them. Are you in the mood for French toast? Make it green. How about pudding? Make it green. You can even serve green milk with your cookies.

Have fun with these spooky treats…you’ll be the coolest mom on the block!

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It’s October!!  Time to decorate the house for Halloween.

Here are a couple of homemade crafts you can make with your kids:

Grocery Bag Ghost
Start with a balloon, preferably a white one in keeping with the ghostly theme of Halloween. Blow it up. It’s going to hang from the ceiling of your Halloween party room. If you have the opportunity to blow it up with helium so it can float freely and move around the ceiling that is an advantage, because your ghost will then be able to show up in unexpected places, just like a Halloween ghost.

Next, find a couple of white plastic grocery bags, the kind you get from your supermarket. Cut off the handles, and cut them down the sides to make a large flat rectangle. Cut this into strips, about the width of an adult’s finger. Attach each strip firmly to the balloon with glue or sticky tape. Work around the lower third of the balloon hanging the strips so they hang like the tentacles of an octopus. You may want to discard any strips that have brightly colored printing, or hang them with the printed side inside.

Finally, use a marker pen and draw round eyes and a mouth on the balloon as a ghostly face in the act of screaming. You may prefer to use luminous paint for the face, and perhaps down some of the strips, so it will glow in the low lighting during your Halloween party.

Hang your ghost from the ceiling so your guests get gently touched by the hanging strips as they move around the room, and get the feeling they may have encountered a Halloween ghost.

Egg Carton Spider
Cut out the egg cups to make the body of your spiders. Place them on a sheet of newspaper and paint them black, inside and out. This works best with egg cartons made of recycled paper rather than plastic. When they have dried, make four holes down one side, and repeat on the opposite side. Insert four long black pipe cleaners through each pair of holes to make eight spider’s legs. Bend the legs so they look like spider’s legs.

Add two eyes at the head of your spider. You could use white or luminous paint, or the kind of stick-on googly eyes you can buy at craft shops. Insert a knotted thread through the center of the egg cup, so the spider can be suspended from the ceiling without tilting too much.

Hang your large hairy spiders on their threads in places where they will scare your guests.

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Where did Father’s Day Originate? While there are about seven renditions relating to the origin of Father’s Day, the most widely held version is this:

Father’s Day originated through a young girl named Sonora Louise Smart, who lived in Spokane, Washington. Apparently, after listening to a Mother’s Day sermon in 1909, she wondered why fathers weren’t celebrated as well. At 16, Sonora lost her mother in childbirth and her dad, a civil war veteran, raised Sonora and her five siblings. Determined to have Father’s Day recognized as a special day, Sonora finally witnessed the first Father’s Day celebration on June 19, 1910. Subsequently, the idea gained popularity all over the US and thus Father’s Day became a national day of celebration.

In fact, President Woodrow Wilson, noticing the depth to which this day became so popular, approved the idea in 1916. Furthermore, it was President Calvin Coolidge, who also loved this idea, proclaimed Father’s Day as a national celebration in 1924. Interestingly enough, in 1966 President Lyndon Johnson signed a presidential proclamation stating the third Sunday in June would be officially declared Father’s Day. It didn’t end there! President Richard Nixon permanently established the observance of Father’s Day in 1972.

What happened to the young girl who started it all? You will be happy to hear that Sonora Smart Dodd was honored at the World’s Fair in Spokane in 1974 for her contribution in making Father’s Day a national day of recognition.

Today, Father’s Day is celebrated around the world; however, not all countries celebrate it on the same day. In fact, in Australia and New Zealand, for example, it is celebrated on the first Sunday of September.

Beginning with an idea and the determination to see it through, Sonora Louise Smart was the catalyst who brought recognition to make Father’s Day a day of celebration. It’s amazing what one person can do, isn’t it?

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