Saturday, November 15, 2008

Thanksgiving Activities


Thanksgiving Ideas, Activities, Crafts...

Catholic Mom

Better Homes & Gardens

^This one is simple, construction paper, styrofoam cup,
construction paper and popcorn/treat!

Enchanted Learning = A plethera of printouts!!

Thanksgiving Crossword Puzzle


These people below are too cute, you can color them first, then use google eyes, yarn, noodles, glitter, etc to decorate their faces and outfits. I'll probably be printing them onto cardstock.





^ This Give Thanks Sign was made on graph paper, using markers to x the boxes like a cross stitch pattern. The directions say it takes 1-2 hours for grades 3-5?
Tabletop Pilgrims & Native Americans
^I am thinking of making these next year with my kids to help them recognize the attire of natives and pilgrims. But it uses toilet paper and paper towel tubes, which I need to save up.
About.com Links has one of the the best link lists I think to kids activities.
Oriental Trading.com has great craft kits and ideas, some are easy enough to pull out of your own craft bin.
^I got these placemat kits from Oriental Trading Co. My 4 and 6 year old did very well with it. It's a great weaving project, and it is only $0.86 per placemat. They have snowman ones too!



Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

My Last Year...

...as a "young adult!"

Well, here's a final cheers to my youth. I have only one year left as a "young adult" as I celebrate this - my 29th birthday - today Nov 13th. I know I can still be youthful, but not young.





I've always been about birthdays and parties. Celebrating with all the enthusiasm and spirit I got. But the older I've become, and the less I've been celebrated, the less enthused I've become about the whole birthday thing. I swore I'd never let that happen, and here I am wondering why I'm even writing about it. It's really just another day. Right?

I can however look back today and see so many happy moments that I am proud make up such a big part of my life. From baby/kid milestones, to teenage achievements, and to marriage and parenthood joys.



^ Something I put together quickly - click to enlarge.

I can look back and see that every party my mom ever threw for me, every angel food cake she baked - topped with strawberries and coolwhip, every thoughtful gift and special meal, the infamous birthday sign hung proudly, the good morning kiss on my cheek, or a even just a phone call around 11am to tell me what she was doing that day so long ago... says just how special I am to her. And of course dad would always come to the phone and join in the chorus of "Happy Birthday" and bring more tears to my eyes. Today my mom (& brother) is even coming over just to spend the day with me and the kids. [Praying for decent weather.] If that doesn't all say "I Love You!"... And of course, my kids and hubby always have something special planned like a dinner date and handmade cards, as well as massages and kisses.

It makes me realize that I need to make CERTAIN that I do the same for my children, every year, so that they can look back on their 29 years and know how much I loved them and how special they are to me and the rest of this world. That their lives were a gift from God, as was my own. And we all need to live each day appreciating those in our lives. And reminding them every chance we get that "WE LOVE YOU" dearly.

So while today, the focus may be on me just having an especially good day. I am going to make sure that everyone around me knows they are special too and I love them right back!

May God Bless you, friends. May His face shine upon you, and bring you peace.

Love you all,
Melissa




I know, I know - I had a dorky phase too! And for some weird reason I went from white blonde hair to light brown?

Please share your birthday memories or traditions in the comment box!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Veteran's Day!

Hoorah! To all the men and women in uniform. I am so grateful for their services of past and present. I can't imagine our world if no one stood up for freedom and was willing to fight for it. If we ALL just sat around and no one volunteered - we'd either be drafted or dead. To all of you brave military professionals... THANK YOU!


My grandpa's Navy Plane Crew in Galapagos during WW2

My dad is a baby-boomer born just after WWII. His father, my Grandpa Len, was a sailor in the Navy during WWII. He was honorably discharged in Sept 1945 when the war ended. I am so proud of him. I only wish he'd lived longer so I could have realized to talk to him about it. He died from alzheimers when I was about 14 years old - around the time of the Gulf War. Some of his last memories he recalled were from his time in the service, from what I've been told.

Leonard with his navy buddies. He is on the far right.

My dad - Bruce, Navy Veteran

A special THANK YOU to my dad who signed up and served in the US Navy for 8 years during the Vietnam War. Following in the footsteps of his father. My dad may not have had to run through the muck of Vietnam jungles as some brave military did, or suffer the damaging mental effects that so many veterans endured. But he trained and schooled, manned his post where he was stationed, stayed honorable and obedient to his Commanders, and was ready and willing to fight if the call came. He learned a lot about pride in our nation, justice for all, and about standing up for what you believe in. There is certainly guts and glory in that. I am so proud of him for MANY things, including his service to our nation.

Fortunately I have time to talk to my dad about his service in the Navy. I can talk to him about his feelings about war - and how lessons of wars past can be taken note of during the current war. It's still the same fight - the fight for freedom. Have you talked about this with a veteran or soldier lately?

Thank you to all who serve us so bravely.


NAVY PRIDE


The NAVY song by Billy Talent

GOD BLESS AMERICA!

A Proud American,

Melissa

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Free Wall*e Game!


Did you like the movie Wall-e? Well, we certainly did - it is especially wonderful for children who are disabled or very young - because of the amount of video without words and the incredible soundtrack which was written as a "space opera." I am so excited for it to come out onto DVD on Nov 18th.
The other day at Walmart I saw these Walle Rasins and just had to get them. Turns out they are part of a game, too. I am bribing Stanley to go poop for me and earn a game piece each time he goes. Now that I printed off the game board, I am sure there will be more incentive. When he's ready with all the pieces, hopefully he can then claim the grand prize - the DVD!


Find the free printable Wall*e Treasure Race Game board and pieces here:
http://walle-game.com/


Enjoy!

I wanna hold your hand


Holding Hands Reduces Stress!
Okay, this is old news to many - but new to me. There was a study done on neurological senses and their affect on stress. The articles were published back in 2006, but I think still have merit to read and discuss.

WebMD: Holding Hands May Reduce Stress

New York Times: Holding a loved one's hand can reduce stress

Women's Health Magazine: Helping Hand

Tom and I hold hands all the time. And it's amazing how many times we get comments from older couples.

Some are sarcastic in nature, saying that we'll grow out of that. To them I say, we've been holding hands since date #2 and that was nearly 8 years ago. I don't think so. It's one of those little things we'll never let go of.

Then there are the other comments that are so positive. Just a few weeks ago, at Tom's union dinner, a retired carpenter noticed us holding hands as we walked out to our vehicle. He said "you're still holding hands? You rarely see that these days." I said back, "I don't get to very often because I usually have 3 smaller hands in mine." Of course the two couples who heard this smiled brightly. I like to think we're a reminder to other couples that PDA (public displays of affection) don't have to be disturbing - rather setting an example of love for your spouse.

I am often stressed out, especially with social anxiety, and I do feel calm in social situations when Tom and I hold hands. When I have nightmares, I reach out for his hand to calm myself. We hold hands in church if we can. I notice when Tom gets nervous, he almost forcably holds my hand and stands really close to me. It's kinda cute really and flattering. We also hold hands in restaurants across the table when we are waiting for our food. Waiters seem to like that. Of course that is on those date nights we know are so important for us. Date nights usually consist of dinner and some activity such as playing pool, ballroom dancing, or a movie. Activities that require conversation and closeness.

Do you hold your spouse's hand often? Do you have a date night at least once a month? Maybe you should try it - and see if it calms you after a long stressful day. See if it helps refresh your marriage.

If your marriage needs a little extra something, or some major change... I highly recommend the book I am reading now. It is from the movie Fireproof. It is called The Love Dare book. Just in a few weeks it has done amazing things for our marriage that was a little rocky nearing the 7 year itch. It is biblically based, and challenges you every day for 40 days.


{Side note: we bought the couple study bundle including 2 Love Dare books - because you journal in them, plus 10 extra books we've given away to other couples... bought them from Outreach.com. I suggest you buy at least one extra to give away to a couple you know.}

God Bless you and yours!


"I Wanna Hold Your Hand" - the Beatles


"I Wanna Hold Your Hand" - 1979 band remake


"I Wanna Hold Your Hand" - Across the Universe Movie

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A time to weep and pray

A sad day for all morally aware Americans. I am moved to tears by the outcome of yesterday's election. To read more of my personal reflection on this subject, check out my

What I like about you blog post for today.

Incase you don't have time tocheck it - here is my prayer from that post...


Dear Heavenly Father, we pray...

-for the protection of life of the unborn

-for scientific research that doesn't include embryos

-for the protection of the elderly and disabled

-for the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman

-for growth in economic security and jobs in the US

-for development of our own energy resources

-for security against terrorism

-for the troops fighting for a just cause, that they be enabled to stay, finish, and win!

-for immigrants to join our nation legally and enjoy the riches of this country - and work hard for those riches as we do.

-for all those who think that Obama is their bailout to hardwork and prosperity.

-for all those who chose Obama, obviously unaware of his immoral motives.

-for all of us who have to watch it happen, may we become activists and evangelists in this great time of need for moral direction and economic growth. Especially our church leaders.

Amen.


God Bless you and yours!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day Fun


I just got done braving up and sending an email and posting my thoughts on this election regarding voting prolife - in full detail and honestly. Please say a prayer I don't get too bombarded. So far the response has been postitive.
But here are some fun things to do on election day!






God Bless you and yours!

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