Jana's Once Upon a Family Blog

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Halloween Ideas

Fall leaves, pumpkins, haunted houses-Halloween is a great time of the year to make family traditions. You probably already have traditions for the season, but if you're thinking of adding a few more or trying something different, here are a few ideas to get you started.

  • Go to a pumpkin patch on a beautiful afternoon. Let everyone pick a pumpkin from the field. Get apple cider and go on a hayride, or go for a drive in the country afterwards and have a picnic under the beautiful fall leaves. Make a day of it.

  • Set aside some time to clear off the kitchen table and carve jack-o-lanterns together. Let the kids draw patterns and help them with the carving. After you finish, set the pumpkins up outside, light them, and admire them as a family.

  • Decorate the house as a family inside and out. Put up fake cobwebs, window decorations, spooky lights, and make a creepy scarecrow with hay to sit on the front lawn for the season. ~Set up a mini-haunted house for trick-or-treat night, or volunteer as a family to help at a local haunted house for a good cause.

  • Make semi-handmade costumes or buy interchangeable masks and accessories and let everybody help. Somebody can do face makeup, somebody can sew, somebody can spray paint hair-get everybody involved.

  • Dress up with your kids to take them trick-or-treating. Let them pick your costume and get you ready to go. They'll love to see mom and dad getting in on all the fun.

  • Have a Halloween party. Send invitations and turn the backyard into an obstacle course. Put the kids on teams and make up a scavenger hunt for prizes. Maybe somebody has to reach into a cauldron of "brains" to find a spider marked with their team colors, or you could have your own monster mash. Get creative and your family will have a great time.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Staying in Touch with Bookmarks

My son's school library has Free Bookmarks for the kids to pick out when they check out books. I always think they are fun and interesting. My son hasn't really been interested until I suggested that he pick out a bookmark and use it with his books and they write a note on the back and send it to one of his grandmothers! This is a great idea for staying in touch and the grandparent will feel a connection with the child.

Monday, January 29, 2007


On New Year's Eve we lift our glasses to honor our friends and bless our past and future. Sit down with your family prior to December 31st to discuss what you would like to include in your family toast at midnight. Give a piece of paper to each person and direct them to write down three people or events that have made the past year worthwhile. This can include a memorial for someone who has passed away, the blessing of a new family member or simply a few words in appreciation of good health and general well-being. Take your family blessing and have it framed each year as a keepsake. As you pass by it on the wall, you will always remember how important it is to have your family and friends.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

New Linens for a New Life

It can be tough to fee at home the first night in a new house. This tradtion will help your family embrace their new surroundings with a touch of something new that can be of comfort. Before moving, purchase a new set of deluxe sheets for each bed in your home. Wash the sheets before moving and save them in a special box. This will symbolize a fresh start, prepared with love in aan old home. On the first night, help each other make their beds and take pictures of everyone in their beds. It may be weeks before you totally unpack, but you’ll feel right at home and comfortable the first night.

Let's Dress Up -- tradition Idea

When a new baby arrive, whether it is the first or an additional one, it is easy for a couple to suddenly feel as though they have lost their identity. As soon as the couple is ready, encourage them to dress up in their nicest clothes and go out for dinner. Offer to be the baby-sitter and help them try to hold onto things they enjoyed as a couple before the baby arrived. If you are the new couple, then as a close friend to watch you little one for a couple of house so the two of you can reconnect and enjoy something “old and familiar” in the midst of everything that is new and changing.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Graduation Gift ideas

Letters from Home ~ at the grad party or dinner have the guest write a quick note, letter or postcard to the honoree. Have each guest place the letter inside the Dear Sweet Child Letterbox

~ invite friends, relatives and even favorite childhood teachers to write letters of congratulations to put in the box to present to the graduate. Or have family member's compile reasons why they are proud of the graduate or funny high school/college/etc. stories.

Portfolio for Cards & Letters

~ fill the dates with birthdays, anniversaries, and other important events so the graduate already has those dates in hand. You could also purchase cards and stamps so it’s all ready to sign and drop in the mail!

Roses are Red, I'll Make your Bed

Every woman loves a bouquet of flowers. Cut a dozen flowers (2” x 3” across) out of construction paper in a variety of colors. Then cut twelve stems (at least 1/2” wide) with some leaves attached and glue them onto the back of each flower. Now, write simple little phrases that promise help with a task Mom usually does: “Roses are red, I’ll make your bed. Violets are blue, I vacuum too. Posies are pink, I’ll clean the sink. Daisies are yellow, I’m your dusting fellow.” Cut a flower pot and glue sides and bottom to blank card. Once dry, slip your sweet blossoms into the pot and write a few words inside before you present this gift to Mom.


More often then not, mothers get someone else’s idea of the perfect Mother’s Day gift, instead of their own. Not because the family doesn’t care or doesn’t try, it’s simply because they don’t know what she wants. Nothing would make Dad and the kids happier than to give Mom what she really wants. Make a box with a slit on the top and call it the “Perfect Mother’s Day” box. Ask Mom to drop in slips of paper with ideas of things she would enjoy doing or receiving. Or, ask her to create an agenda for the day, for example: Mom wakes up (not until 11:00 am), to rose petals that lead her to a yummy breakfast prepared by her loved ones. She then joins her sister or best friend for an afternoon at the SPA. A lovely dinner is prepared by her husband and children, and while they do the dishes, Mom retires to a bubble bath, surrounded by lit candles and an hour of peace and quiet to enjoy a good book.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Handprint Poem

Great poem to add to the front of your Handprint Book

Everywhere we go
We leave fingerprints on the things we touch.
You've touched my life.
You've left your fingerprints on me.

Ever since the day we met
My life has been touched...

You've changed my life in many ways,
My heart has grown so strong,
It's all because of you.

I'm sure you know I Love You,
I just want to thank you too.
I have no idea where I'd be
If it wasn't for you.

You've touched my life.
You've left your fingerprints on me

Monday, March 13, 2006

Key #5: Developing a Family History

Families develop their history through stories, keepsakes, etc. They are interested in their heritage and often create family trees, interview older family members, and treasure keepsakes from distant relatives. They keep journals and write down the wonderful “family stories” that get passed down through the generations.

Examples: the Family Tree Poster & Leaves, the Family Tree Booklets, and the Leather Family Journal

Key #4: Creating a Strong Sense of Family Identity, Rich in Traditions

The rituals and traditions families create, and pass on, help them feel unique as a family and connected to each other. The sillier, and more unusual, the better. “This is who we are…this is how we do things… this is how we celebrate birthdays, the Fourth of July, Mother’s Day, etc.

Examples: the Birthday Book, and The Holiday Traditions Books & Sacks

Key #3: Stay close to Family and Friends

Families stay close to family and friends that live far away. They don’t let distance and time erode their bonds. They find ways to stay connected and enrich their relationships. They will make sacrifices, like driving through snowstorms, to get together and support each other, especially in hard times.

Examples: Letters from Grandma Set, Love by the Month Envelopes

Key #2: Showing Love and Appreciation

Families show love and appreciation for each other, in many ways. They learn to be comfortable communicating their affection and giving each other “gifts of love” often. No one, no matter how old they are, ever grows out of the need to feel loved and appreciated.

Examples: The Dear Sweet Child Letter Box, and Wood-Patterned Love Box, or the Love Journal

Key #1 Creating a Sense of Belonging

Key #1 Creating a Sense of Belonging

Families who make family a priority, create a sense of belonging. They plan time for family activities and events, and expect that time. Family members are expected to participate and made to feel they are an important part of the family unit.

Examples: the Family Memory Board and the Leather Family Album

Friday, March 03, 2006

Will your family always look forward to the holidays?

Try our “Conversation Starters” and make every dinnertime a chance to connect.

The dinner table is the perfect place to have those meaningful conversations that connect us. Cut out these 6 “Conversation Starters”, put them in a box, draw one at each family dinner and enjoy the wonderful discussion that is sure to follow.

  • If you had 2 wishes, what you wish for and why?
  • Is it ever OK to lie?
  • If someone gave you $1,000,000 what would you do with it?
  • What persoanility trait has gotten you in the most trouble?
  • What do you like most about yourself
  • What would you do if you were invisible for a day?

Monday, February 27, 2006

St. Patrick's Leprechaun Leftovers

This tradition begins with a legend of the Leprechauns and leads to a Treasure box filled with goodies. Here’s how to make it happen: On the day before the holiday, tell your children the fabulous tale of the fun-loving Leprechauns. Begin your story with the idea that Leprechauns, full of magic and trickery, remain in their hidden world until the eve of St. Patrick’s Day. Then, as legend has it, they magically appear to bury their hidden treasures. If your child leaves a small-decorated box on the windowsill, the Leprechauns will fill it and bury it for your children to uncover. Use “Leprechauns Leftovers”, as clues to the whereabouts of the hidden treasure. Sprinkle green glitter that leads the treasure seekers closer to their loot, then leave a miniature pail and shovel (from a local craft store) to mark the spot where the enchanting treasure is hidden.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Lucky Penny Hunt

Every St. Patrick’s Day, hide pennies in your backyard or around the house for your children and their friends to hunt for. Explain that the Leprechauns love to hide lucky coins in the yard and once found, they can be exchanged for a small treat. There is one catch: the Leprechauns have to put an unlucky spell on all the coins, and only children have the power to reverse this spell. Once the coins have all been collected, the children must give an example of why they are lucky in order to reverse the spell and receive their treat. “I am lucky because… “ This tradition will teach children to appreciate and enjoy what they have.

The Local Leprechaun

Everyone needs the luck of the Irish, but since some of us have more than others, St. Patrick’s Day is the perfect time to pass it around. Enlist your children as local Leprechauns and send them out to share their luck. To do this, make cookies or another simple treats with your children and then wrap the goodies in something green. Write a special note to the local lads and lassies and deliver the notes along with the lucky treats to your neighbors and friends. Remember you are to act as a Leprechaun and never be seen. Leave your gifts on the porch, in a mailbox or on a windowsill. Irish or not, your friends will be tickled green.

The Great Green Gala

Start with breakfast and make the entire day green. Have green scrambled eggs with green juice, or green pancakes with green syrup. For lunch, make green sandwiches with green Jell-O or pudding, green grapes and green milk. Prepare an all green dinner with green mashed potatoes, or rice along with some green soup or pasta. Get creative and make sure that the entire day is green! Your festive dinner will only be served to those who are dressed appropriately, head to toe, all in green! Each year the outfits your family or friends dream up will get more outrageous. Soon, this will become one of your favorite holiday activities. Don’t forget to snap your annual photo, all dressed in green, to include in your St. Patrick’s Day Tradition Book.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Where to leave a "Love" note

Inside your partner's towel.
Inside a book your love is currently reading.
Taped behind a cupboard.
Behind your partner's car sun visor.
On their pillow.
Inside their shoe.
Taped to their favorite beverage.
The bottom (outside) of a clear glass.
Hanging on a doorknob.
Taped on the backside of the remote control.
Inside the microwave. (Where they'll immediately see it.)
Inside your partner's wallet or purse.
Laminated in a bubble bath.
Very large, taped on an outside window.
Attached to your love's key chain.
In your mailbox.
On the ceiling, above your bed.
In your partner's drawer.
Inside a CD or movie sleeve.
Inside your love's favorite coffee cup.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Candy Cane Trail

Capture the magic of Christmas morning by creating a fun trail for your kids to follow when they fist wake up. Purchase a box of wrapped candy canes and lay them on the floor guiding them through the house. Leave a note at their doorway directing them to follow the candy can trail to "present pit stops" that have one present for them to open at each. Each "present pit stop" has a small note that Santa has left them with one nice thing that he saw them do that year. Notes can include things like. "You always know how to look on the bright side, keep up the good work" or "You are always the first to volunteer to help and that is a wonderful way to show you care for others."

"Re-Gifting" with heart

With so much focus on getting toys, children spend very little time thinking about what to give. The sad part is that most children with toy boxes already overflowing are typically the ones who get the most during the holidays. This can cause a big mess when trying to organize new things. Since you're going to have to make room for new toys anyways, start a tradition with your children to pick out old toys in good condition and place them in a large gift-wrapped box. Help them leave the box upstairs on Christmas Eve for Santa with a note to give the items to other children. Have them tell Santa about how much they once loved these toys and how they would like to share them with a new owner who needs them more now. The next morning your children will find the box gone and a special treat like a cookie or candy waiting as a thank you. Keep the letter they write each year in your holiday tradition book.

Christmas Cruising

Some of the best traditions are simple and sweet and require little more than hot chocolate and full tank of gas. About a week before Christmas get the whole family together for "Christmas lights" cruising in the car. Prepare a thermos of hot chocolate and give everyone an insulated cup. Take a journey around your neighborhood (or visit another neighborhood) and check out all the beautiful Christmas lights. Have each person vote on who has the best lights of the season and then stop at that house and take a family picture in front of it. Add the photo to your holiday tradition book or place it in a photo frame.

Reindeer Mix

Make a special "Reindeer Mix" with one cup of oats, one cup of barley, and two spoonfuls of gold glitter. It's a secret recipe that comes straight from the North Pole, and is just what the reindeer need to fuel them for their evening of delivering gifts. On Christmas Eve, instruct your children to leave the mix on the driveway, front lawn, or any other spot where the reindeer might want to rest and enjoy a snack. After the kids have gone to bed, clear most of the mix away, leaving just a few oats as evidence that the reindeer have made their visit.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

The Thankful Tree

The Thankful Tree: This is a great way to put your Thanksgiving guests in a thankful mood. Cut as many leaves out of autumn-colored papers as you have guests. Ask each person to write down what they are thankful for, and place them on the tree or in a basket or bowl on the dinner table. If you have one of those little wrought iron trees that you can set on your Thanksgiving table, this will make a beautiful centerpiece. Tie little ribbons through a hole in the top of each leaf, so they can be hung on your "Thankful Tree." Take turns reading them as you enjoy dessert, then collage them into your Thanksgiving album as an after dinner activity. Everyone, especially children, will enjoy looking back over the years and reading what they were thankful for.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Our Holiday Album is a photo journal of your family's holiday together and gives each family member a wonderful sense of belonging and pride. This 9" x 12" album is designed to hold pictures & holiday cards collected over the years. Create a tradition by sitting down with your family after the holiday season and pick out four or five of your photos and place them in this album. It's a wonderful way to look back and remember how your family celebrates life. There are twenty-five acid-free pages.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


H is for haunted houses
A is for apple picking
L is for looking for treats
L is for listening to spooking stories
O is for the October harvest
W is for wicked witches
E is for eerie ghosts
E is for eating lots of candy
N is for neighborhood haunting

Gather your family to create spooky, funny or cute Halloween poems. Have each person read his or her poem aloud during dinner or at your Halloween party. Once your poems are perfected, type them on the computer in a Halloween-y looking script on ivory paper. Then collage the poems onto one sheet and feature this keepsake in a black frame sitting out among the Halloween décor for all to see every year.

Host a Pumpkin Carving Contest

With neighbors, friends or family, host an annual pumpkin-carving contest. Invite judges to select the winners, and prepare some fun Halloween ribbons to hand out. Try black construction paper ribbons with an orange pumpkin on top where you can write the category. The scariest, the silliest, the most original, or just the best all around, are all examples of great rewards. Everyone in the family will want to help choose and carve the “Family Pumpkin.” After the awards ceremony, bring out your Halloween refreshments and watch a spooky movie together! Don’t forget to take photos to add to your Halloween book.

Halloween Idea - Spooky Spiders & Creepy Crawlers

Start a new Halloween tradition and bake a scary cake, using a mix or one of your favorite recipes. Once the cake is baked, frost it with dark chocolate frosting and sprinkle crumbled chocolate wafers over it. This layer will transform the cake into the “dirt” grounds of a cemetery. Insert shortbread cookie tombstones with various messages like ”BOO” or “RIP” written with frosting. Add whatever little plastic (or edible) spooky spiders and creepy crawlers you can fin at your local craft store, and you’ll be sure to raise the dead. Once the cake is sliced and served, each person not only receives a delicious treat, but a delightful scare!

Halloween Tradition Idea - The Magic Pumpkin Patch

This tradition is sure to spark the magic of Halloween for your kids. Tell the children that this year you have found some magic seeds to grow pumpkins. Gather your kids together and give each child 3-5 pieces of candy corn, the “magic pumpkin seeds.” Have them bury each piece of candy in the front or backyard and place a toothpick marker for where they buried their seeds. While they are sleeping place a small pumpkin, which you purchased at the grocery store, one each place they planted a seed. Watch as in the morning they are amazed by the beautiful pumpkins their magic seeds have grown into. Take a picture of each child with their favorite pumpkin in the patch and put it into your holiday tradition Book.

October tradtion -- The Ghost Hunter

This is a game that you can play with children of all ages and is fun year after year. Take white tissues; fold them in the middle and glue on plastic eyes, which can be found inmost craft stores. Poke a hole in the top and insert a piece of string and tie a knot on the end. You can make as many as you want, but be sure there are at least a few for each ghost hunter to capture. String up your little tissue ghosts all over the house and/or outside on tree branches and plants. Right before it gets dark have your children collect as many “ghosts” as they can find. The winner is given the official ghost hunter crown, which can be a black construction paper hat with ghosts drawn on it or a plastic crown you purchase at the costume store. Take a picture of the official “ghost hunter” of the family and put it in a sectioned frame, add a new picture to the frame each year.

October Tradition Creative Communication

Start a new tradition this month that will open up communication with you and your family members. Using orange construction paper and the templates provided, cut out small pumpkins and put them into a clear jar with some black magic markers. Decorate the jar and keep it in a place for everyone to see. Throughout the month, choose one time during the day when your family is together (breakfast, bedtime, after school, etc) and have everyone decorate a face on the pumpkin that will show how they felt that day. Mom might put a big smiley pumpkin face and share how happy she was that everyone got dressed that morning by themselves. Little Joey might draw a sad face and share that someone had been mean to him on the playground. When Grandma is visiting, she might show a happy face because she is so happy to spend time with her grandchildren. Make this a new tradition during the month of October to decorate the refrigerator with all the faces that your family felt throughout the month.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Thanksgiving Tradition -- The Thankful Tree

This is a great way to put your Thanksgiving guests in a thankful mood. Cut as many leaves out of autumn-colored papers as you have guests. Ask each person to write down what they are thankful for, and place them on the tree or in a basket or bowl on the dinner table. If you have one of those little wrought iron trees that you can set on your Thanksgiving table, this will make a beautiful centerpiece. Tie little ribbons through a hole in the top of each leaf, so they can be hung on your "Thankful Tree." Take turns reading them as you enjoy dessert, then collage them into your Thanksgiving album as an after dinner activity. Everyone, especially children, will enjoy looking back over the years and reading what they were thankful for.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

"You've been Booed" Poem

This phantom haunts you happily
From now through Halloween,
And was delivered by a friend
Who (we hope) was not seen.

The spirit of the neighborhood
Has come to wish you well.
Somewhere, someone selected you
To find this happy spell.

You must display the phantom
On your door so all can spy
That you’ve already been boo’ed by
This happy little guy.

Then fix three snacks with goodies
Like this one brought to you,
Ring someone’s bell and leave a bag
And make them happy too!

Monday, September 05, 2005

Labor Day Tradition

This Labor Day, The Travaglino Family celebrated our first Annual Labor Day Appreciation. Armed with a home baked chocolate cake and a certification of appreciation - we headed down to our local firehouse and thanked Boynton's Bravest for their dedication and hard work. Dominic and Blaise got a tour of the firestation and got up close and personal with a fire fighter and his truck! It was wonderful for all of us and we are really looking forward to next year!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

September Tradition - Celebrating Grandparents

This month(September) we will celebrate a wonderful family holidy. National Grandparents Day. Celebrated on the first Sunday after Labor Day, the holiday was created to remind grandchildgren to tap into the wisdom and heritage their grandparents provide. There are many fun activites that your children can do with their grandparents to celebrate the holdiday. One is to complete a grandparent interview with a variey of questions. What were your parents like? Describe your childhood? What were your goals and aspirations? What advice do you want to pass onto your children and grandchildren? This will give your child a chance to see how the world has changed since their grandparents were young, plus give your parents an opportunity to share stories. Capture this on video and you will have a priceless family keepsake that will be enjoyed for generations to come.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

The Leaf Story

Richard Eyre, co-Author of “The Happy Family,” tells the story about a birthday tradition he celebrates with his wife and children every year. “On my birthday in October, we had always raked huge piles of leaves with the kids and then jumped in them, stuffed them in our shirts, threw them in the air, and just generally had a wild time. We thought, as the kids got older, their interest in such frivolous activity would fade. On the contrary, the leaf piles just got bigger. Finally, one year, four of our children were away at school. On my birthday, four birthday cards arrived. As I opened the first, a leaf fell out and a note, “Dad, I honored your birthday tradition. Here’s a leaf from my jumping pile. I love you.” Through my tears I opened the other three – and a leaf fell from each.”

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

12 year Old's Birthday Album

Yesterday, my friend, KC brought 2 beautiful pink albums that were down for her twin's 12 Birthday to share with us at our Live, Laugh, Love club meeting. They are wonderful -- filled with pages that family members had done, letters written to them that will be cherished for a lifetime. KC used the pink special occasion album and placed a picutre of the birthday girl in the cut out in the front. She even left a page blank so that the sister's could do a page for each other. It was truly a surprise gift. What a way to celebrate being 12!

I can't wait to photograph some pages to share with everyone.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Back to School - When I grow up

Along with the arrival of fall, and the anticipation of a new school year comes the feeling of new beginnigs and limitless possibilities. Each year before your child's first day of school ask them what they want to be when they grow up. Write their answers on apple shaped cards made from red construcion paper. Past these cards with your child's goals and dreams in the "Back to School" book along with their annual photo. You and your children will love looking back at all of the different dreams they had when they were younger.

Back to School - The Family Reading Tree

Create a Family Reading Tree out of green and brown construction paper and glue it onto poster board. Cut out bright autumn colored paper leaves that will represent each new book your childgen read. Use the leaves as bookmarks, and as they finish a book, write their name and the book's title on the leaf and attach it to the tree. Watch as your family fills the tree with leaves throughout the year, and be proud of their accomplishments. You may even want to save the leaves and store them away with each child's schoolwork. Get your kids excited about school by constructing this tree on the weekend before school starts. Be sure to take a photo of your children holding the Family Reading tree at the end of the school year.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Back to School - New "School" Year Resolutions

The new school year is a source of anxiety for just about every child, no matter what their age. Start the year off right by creating a list of new school year resolutions. Your children can use this list as a foundation for making important and positive changes in their lives. Resolving to earn better grades, join a sports team or do household chores, without being reminded, will help your child define his/her goals for the next step in their life. Reinforce their commitment by laminating and posting the list someplace visible, and planning a special reward when they have succeeded.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Friendship Photo Collage

Second only to family, our relationship with friends is a powerful and special connection. Foster these connections by working with your children to creat a Friendship Photo Collage. Buy a piece of textured paper from an craft store, some acid free glue or photo corners, and 1 yard of ribbon that goes well with the color of paper you selected. Ivory paper and ivory ribbon work nicely. Cut the paper into 21" by 9" piece and and fold it into three equal sections 7" wide. Punch a hole 1/2" form the left and right edges (centered in the page 4 1/2" from top and bottom). Use the three sections to collage photos randomly or by themes (sporting events, school activites, dances, birthdy parties, etc.). Slip the ribbon in one hole and around the back and ot the other hole. Now you can set this meaningul keepsake up on a bedroom dresser to enjoy or tie it closed with a ribbon and keep it in a safe spot. You might make one for yourself at the same time. This is a great way to organize photos and pay tribute to our cherished friendships at the same time.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The Summer Memory Book

On the first day of school every year, children are always expects to recount what they did during the summer. This year help your child share their fun summer experiences with a Summer Memory book. It is a wonderful way to document places they have visited, books they read or fun activities they did with friends or family. Start by giving them a disposable camera to capture special moments that you might miss and direct them to collect in a box anything that you can use to tell a story about what they did. This can be things like ticket stubs for movies or concerts, sea shells from the beach or flowers they picked while out exploring. Each month sit down with them and create a new page in the book of different experiences. Past photos, collected items and write a brief synopsis of the summer.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Love by the Month Ideas

Blank Recipe Cards (to be filled out by Mother)
Recipe Cards with Recipe's on it
Greeting Cards (Birthday, etc) for Mom to use for friends and neighbors)
Handmade cards
Mini pack of highlighters (from the Dollar Spot Target)
Mini pack of gel pens (Dollar Spot Target)
"Believe" magnet (DollarSpot Target)
Sniff Tissues
Mini Journals
Tea Packets
Print out of Family blog

Monday, August 15, 2005

Labor Day the American Way

Labor Day is all about grand parades, big fun and time to spare with family and friends. Celebrate the historic holiday that commemorates the huge contributions the workers have made to the strength, prosperot and well-being of our nations with a cooperative family picinic. Enjoy the last little bit of summertime weather in the true spirit of the day, by enlisting your entire family to help with the fesitvites. Take turns at the grill, make it a potluck picnic and have everyone work together to clean-up.

As a fun keepsake have each person in your family sign into a guestbook with their name and description what they wanted to be when they grew up. This is a great way to show your kids that everyone, even adults, have big dreams.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Back to School - Bus Stop...Breakfast Bash

Organize a neighborhood breakfast bash on the first day of school. bring doughnuts, bagels, hot chocolate, juice and milk for the young students and their parents to enjoy as they wait for the bus. This is a perfect way for your children to get to know their classmates, and a great opportunity for you to meet their parents. This photo moment can be collaged into your 'Back to School' book.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Back to School Tradition - Fun From Beginning to End

Be sure to make a special breakfast to start the school year off right. Make an elaborate feast, maybe waffles with whipped cream and fresh strawberries, or eggs benedict -- anything but the usual scrambled eggs and toast. Let your kids select the menu and do the usual scrambles eggs and toast. Let your kids select the menu and do the gracy shopping together to prepare this special meal. Wake up early and set the table with your best dishes, turn on background music and really make this meal special. Do the same to celebrate the last day of school. Prepare a unique desert like German chocolate cake, strawberry cheesecake or something special to be repeated year after year. When you serve your children this ceremonial dessert, present them with a small gift. (this is a great time to introduce or contribute to a collection that your child may have, or want to start). This gift is not a reward for their performance, but a mark of accomplishment.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

New "School" Year Resolutions

The new school year is a source of anxiety of just about every child, no matter what their age. Start the year off right by creating a list of new school year resolutions. Your children can use this list as a foundation for making important and positive changes in their lives. Resolving to earn better grades, join a sports team or do household chores, without being reminded, will help your child define his/her goals for the next step in their life. Reinforce their commitment by laminating and posting the list someplace visible, and planning a special reward when they have succeeded.