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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Volunteer To Make a Difference

Did you know that there are benefits to volunteering?
20 reason why volunteering can make a difference in your life.
· Help others
· Make a difference
· Find purpose
· Enjoy a meaningful conversation
· Connect with your community
· Feel involved
· Contribute to a cause that you care about
· Use your skills in a productive way
· Develop new skills
· Meet new people
· Explore new areas of interest
· Meet good people
· Impress your mom
· Impress yourself
· Expand your horizons
· Get out of the house
· Make new friends
· Strengthen your resume
· Feel better about yourself
Take the time this holiday season to give back to those who might need a little something extra this time of year.

Your local hospital
Your local animal shelter
Your local women’s shelter
Your local homeless shelter
Your local boys and girls club
Your local senior citizen center
Thinking Outside the Box:
Donate blood
Feed a family in need
Host a family for Christmas
Donate a gift for the local toy drive
Help and elderly neighbor with a chore
Watch a neighbor’s child for a few hours
Donate your skills to a local non-profit program
Gather a group to clean your local beach or park
Knit, crochet or sew a blanket for people at your local hospital
Bake holiday treats for the local Police Station and Fire Fighters

Friday, November 20, 2009

Project Fun Friday - Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I know... what's so special about oatmeal raisin cookies?

Normally I would say, "Nothing", but I test recipes.

I have been known to test as many as five recipes for one item. One comes out to hard, one comes out too mushy, one is too over powering. You get the idea.

But, this recipe I like!

It had just the right taste of oatmeal, cinnamon and raisin consistency.

So, that is why I say make this oatmeal raisin cookie recipe.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

3/4 cup Butter, softened
3/4 cup Sugar
3/4 cup packed Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 1/4 cup All-Purpose Flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
3/4 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Salt
2 3/4 cup Rolled oats
1 cup Raisins

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and brown sugar until smooth.

Beat in the eggs and vanilla until fluffy.

Stir together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.

Gradually beat into the butter mixture.

Stir in the oats and raisins.

Drop by the teaspoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet.

bake 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown.

Cool slightly, remove from the cookie sheet to a wire rack.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Project Fun Friday - Rocket to the Moon

Rocket to the Moon

1 Toilet Paper Roll
1 Balloon
String, cut 8' long

Tie one end of the string to a low point in the room. (2' off the ground)

Attach the balloon to the middle/end of the toilet paper roll.

Place the toilet paper roll through the string.

Tie the remaining end of the string to a high point (4' to 5' off the ground) keeping the string tight, but not too tight.

Blow up the balloon and hold it on the end so no air escapes.

Count down with your child and then release the balloon and watch the balloon fly up the string.

* Make a "Rocket to the Moon" chart and record the length of each launch.

*Have your child make observations on how far they think the rocket might go.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Project Fun Friday - Nature Walk

Experiencing nature through the eyes of your child can be an enlightening and wonderful adventure, especially during the Fall season.

The perspective of nature from their height grants you a rare opportunity for you to talk with them about the changing season, to introduce the idea of the senses, a chance to communicate with your child, and a time for learning.

While you walk along with your child ask them questions about what they are seeing, smelling, hearing and feeling. Get your child to discuss the objects they have found during your walk together. Take this chance to also talk about recycling and the need for all of us to make a difference for our planet and the negative effects it has in your community and to the animals in their natural habitat.

For the older kids prepare a list, with pictures, of different types of birds they can spot, or of different types of flowers. Give them binoculars too!

The day doesn't have to end after your walk. Enjoy a picnic, take your "finds" home and create an art project or start a recycling center.

Most of all enjoy the time with your child, the fresh air and the moment you are creating together.

Planning Your Walk

Pick a place of destination:
The Lake
The Hills
The Park
The Beach
The Woods
The Back Yard
The Neighborhood
The Botanical Gardens

Items to bring:
Cell Phone
A Rain Coat
A Backpack
A Plastic Bag
A Bottle of Water
A Magnifying Glass
A Snack or Light Lunch

Leaf Prints
A Nature Collage
Draw a Picture of Nature
Start a Recycling Center at Home
Glue Acorns around the base of a Candle
Paint, Glitter Pine Cones into Ornaments or Wreath