Jamie here – and I’m revved up about taking the kids camping again this summer – but I’m still in need of a few things. Once again, Aldi has some awesome deals on camping supplies coming up in this week’s ad! This is great for Father’s Day gifting as well…
Fandango BOGO Movie Fridays for Visa Signature Cardholders
Here’s a new Redbox Code to enter at your nearby Redbox Kiosk to get a FREE Movie Rental – but only through TONIGHT!
My kids are going through the frozen treats like crazy now that the weather is warm – so I thought I’d make some Homemade Pudding Pops with them! WhenFlavor-Ices and smoothies start to lose their appeal, try these easy, cheap, and delicious pudding pops using paper cups and a spoon.
You only need 5 things for this recipe – and it’s pretty inexpensive to make! You can also use lowfat milk for a healthier version. [Read more...]
20 Graduation Quotes
Graduation season has arrived… Those of us waiting proudly in the wings are now set with the task of presenting our graduate with a card filled containing the perfect encouraging words to send them off into the world. In case you need a little help being “memorable”, here’s a list of 20 graduation quotes to motivate, encourage or inspire a graduate.
There are some real gems in here – emphasizing the importance of hard work, persistence, following your dreams and making a difference. I hope some of these will come in handy when you’re trying to think of just the right words to jot down – I’m getting encouraged just listing them!
Then again – you could just present them with a copy of “Oh The Places You’ll Go” and call it a day
- Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. Nelson Mandela
- “The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers. But above all, the world needs dreamers who do.” Sarah Ban Breathnach
- Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Here’s a nice discount on a family getaway!
Right now Groupon Getaways is offering discounted hotel rooms and packages with a savings of up to 40% off at Great Wolf Lodges across the United States, and they all look like some great deals. With summer right around the corner, these could make for a great summer trip!
Remember all the great neighborhood games you used to play when you were a kid?
I remember yelling “Red rover, Red rover”, slamming the ball into my brother’s 4-Square square, sneaking around the corner of the house during hide & seek to head for base…. wow – there are so many happy memories that surface when I think of summertime and neighborhood games!
Every night after dinner, my brother & I would run down the street knocking on doors, getting kids together for flashlight tag or kickball. And every night we would play until parents started flickering their porch lights for their kids to come home. While those days are just memories – you can make new memories with your own kids using the same tried-and-true neighborhood games!
This summer, break out of the boredom cycle by teaching your kids how to play some of the great old games we grew up with. Here are my Top 10 Neighborhood Games: *NOTE: These are not full instructions, just what I can remember to help jog your memory
- Four Square Players take turns bouncing the ball into each other’s squares – starting with the “King” serving the ball (the king is in square 4). The ball must bounce 1 time in someone else’s square before they hit it – and may not hit a line or go out of the lines. If you miss hitting it or hit it out of bounds, you go back to square one (or the end of the line waiting their turn behind square 1) (There are lots of extra rules to 4-Square, check them out here)
- Freeze Tag Choose one person to be”It” and he/she chases the others until he tags them. If tagged, the player freezes in one spot until another team member runs by and tags him – thereby unfreezing him to run again. (We used to play another version where you have to crawl through the frozen player’s legs to unfreeze them – we called it Eiffel Tower tag or Chinese Tag)
- Hide & Seek
Choose one person to be “It” and he counts (with eyes closed) while everyone else hides. With a shout of “Ready or not, here I come!” they open their eyes and look for the hidden players. The first person to get found is then “it” and (Optional! This is just what we used to do ) yells “Olly-olly-oskin-free!” which announces that everyone else can come out.
- Red Rover, Red Rover
Two opposing teams form lines facing one another, holding arms within their line to make a tight chain. They chant “Red Rover Red Rover, we dare (someone from the opposite team) over!” and the called member of the opposing team makes a run at their chain, trying to break through it. If they succeed, they take a hostage back to join their team. If they fail, they join the team.
- Sardines in a Can
Basically Hide & Seek backwards. There is only 1 hider, and everyone else is “It”. When one of the “It” players finds the hidden sardine, he quietly hides with him. This goes on until only one person has not found all the “sardines” packed into the same hiding place.
- Kick the Can
Much like hide n seek but the “Base” is the can. Kick it to be safe from the chaser! Read more HERE
- Red Light, Green Light
One person is the caller (or cop) and the other players stand behind a line facing him. The cop yells “green light” and the players rush to reach him first. When the cop yells “Red Light” they must freeze. The first person to reach the cop wins.
- Mother May I?
Much like “Red Light Green Light” – but the “Mother” calls out instructions to each player individually. (i.e. Take 4 scissor steps!) If the player forgets to ask “Mother May I?”, he must go back to the starting line.
- Simon Says…
Much like “Mother May I” and “Red Light Green Light” – Simon calls out instructions to the entire group of players at the starting line. (i.e. Simon Says – take 4 Jumps Forward!) They advance towards him, but he then tries to occasionally trick them by calling out an order without begining it with “Simon Says…” If they still move, they’re back at start. (We always taunted them by yelling “Simon didn’t sa-ay!”)
- Capture the Flag
This game is a little complicated in my mind – I must’ve been smaller when we played at Girl Scouts – but there’s a great write-up HERE.
I’m re-posting this tutorial I wrote previously on how to make homemade firestarters because camping season is HERE again!
This weekend I took my 4 boys out for our first ever family camping trip. It was all I could’ve hoped for – they were thrilled to cook hotdogs over the campfire on sticks, make S’mores, tell silly ghost stories, and listen to mom play old John Denver songs on the guitar. We swam in the lake until we were exhausted, and finally cuddled up in our tiny 4 person tent together while I lay awake hoping no critters would come looking for leftovers.
It was wonderful – memories they’ll have forever – just like I do from when I went camping as a kid with my parents. There was one thing, though, that I wished I had remembered to bring along – something to make the all-important campfire even easier to get going: My HomeMade Camp Fire Starters.
As some of you know, I was a girl scout for many years. But this particular trick I learned from my brother (an Eagle Scout) during his boy scout days. It’s a little recipe for homemade fire starters, useful for taking camping with you, or just for a little backyard bonfire when tinder and lighter fluid aren’t at hand.
Step 1: You’ll need a cardboard egg carton and some of your old candles.
Step 2: Break up the candles into smaller pieces and melt over low in your oldest, yuckiest skillet or pot.
Step 3: Get the dryer lint out of the lint trap, or if you’re like me, get the whole bag of dryer lint you’ve been saving for this specific purpose. It’s very flammable, and smells nice to boot.
Step 4: Pack the dryer lint very tightly into each egg receptacle.
Step 5: Spoon the wax carefully over top the dryer lint, about 3 spoons per wad.
Step 6: Let cool completely, if I’m in a hurry I stick mine in the freezer for a bit, and then cut out your fire-starters.
Just toss one or two of these under your pile of firewood and light the cardboard. It will stay burning long enough to get the wood to catch fire really well.
You can also make a “bunson burner” for heating up food/canned goods by cutting a 1″ wide strip of cardboard in a long length. Roll it into an old tuna can until it’s made a tightly packed spiral. Drip wax over the cardboard and you’re done!