Fun Valentine’s Day Activities With Children

I reached out and asked for ideas about activities to do with children for Valentine’s Day.  As a mom of two children, Valentine’s Day has become more of a fun, family holiday, instead of a couple’s day.  I received two replies that I wanted to share with my readers.  I have posted them below.  I hope you like them as much as I did.

Coupon & savings expert Jon Lal can provide frugal Valentine’s Day activity
ideas to have a great, low-cost V-Day with the kids. A few of his ideas are
below. He can provide more upon request:

1. Bake cookies then decorate them. Heart cutouts are great, as are
using food coloring to create red and pink cookies and frosting. Kids enjoy
this activity.

2. Make candy together.

3. Make then exchange home-made paper valentines for each other. This
is a great activity with the kids!

4. Write a poem together (group collaboration).

Coupons & cash back site BeFrugal.com features free money-saving resources including cash back, coupons, deals and bargains, as well as Web-based tools to help consumers save money. Since its launch in 2009, BeFrugal.com’s online coupons have saved shoppers more than $20 million dollars, an average of 27% per order on online purchases.

The recently announced BeFrugal free cash back program – where consumers earn a percentage of their eligible online transactions – has an average rate of 5% withmore than 2000 popular online stores such as Macy’s, Target, Dell, Amazon among others.  With BeFrugal.com’s new cash back offering, shoppers can “double-up” on their savings by combining cash back with coupons to get extra savings on each purchase. To save even more, those who sign up for a free account for a limited time get a $10 bonus.

Gail Dosik of One Tough Cookie (www.onetoughcookienyc.com).
Gail encourages families to get together and decorate cookies and has
prepared kid-friendly tips that make Valentine’s Day cookie decorating a
piece of cake.

Tips for Decorating Valentine¹s Day Cookies with Kids.

1. Keep the shapes simple circles, stars, hearts, flowers. Pick shapes
children can easily identify and relate to.
2. Use squeeze bottles for icing they’re much easier to work with than
pastry bags. They’re available at cake decorating and craft stores
everywhere, as well as online. They’re easy to refill, too.
3. Kids LOVE to use the icing as a glue for little edible candies in all
sorts of shapes and colors. Use red, pink and white colors in heart shapes
for Valentine¹s Day decorating.
4. Edible markers are another way to decorate cookies, especially if you’re
mess-adverse. You can frost cookies with plain white royal icing the day
before and let the cookies dry. The next day the kids can color to their
hearts content on their edible canvasses.
5. Write your child’s classmates  names on the cookies. They make fun and
delicious Valentine’s Day party treats.
6. Bake the cookies ahead of time so that they are cool and ready to be
decorated. I personally suggest baking the night before while everyone is
sleeping. Then you also have a chance to try one (or two) cookies for taste
testing purposes.
7. Make the cookies a bit thicker than usual and bake extra. The thicker
cookies should help minimize breakage but if it does happen, you will have
extra cookies available
8. Use lollipop sticks to make lollipop cookies. Kids and adults go crazy
for them.

Granville County NC Firefighter Saves Brothers

I would like to give a huge shout out to Lt. Chris Brogden of the Corinth Volunteer Fire Department in NC.  On his way to work this morning, he stopped at a house that was on fire.  Inside were two brothers sleeping.  He was able to get them out, and the firefighters from the Providence, Corinth and Oxford fire departments responded to the fire and were quickly able to get it under control.  Status of the two men have not been released.  You can read more on the WRAL website.

Another fire in Aberdeen took the lives of two women.  It was a kitchen fire in a mobile home.  The cause is still under investigation.

Investigators found the bodies of Judith Seabolt, 81, and her daughter, Patricia Rogers, 60, in the rubble of the home after extinguishing the fire, authorities said.

God bless the unsung heros, and God take care of the two souls that were lost to us today.

Henderson NC Teen Shoots Intruder

Henderson teen tells 911 dispatcher: ‘I just shot the man’ :: WRAL.com.

Last week, a 14 year old boy from Henderson, NC shot an intruder during a home invasion.  The authorities said that Anthony Henderson Jr broke into the home of the teenage boy and his sister.  The boy believed that the intruder had a gun, and shot Henderson when he entered the house.  Henderson was found dead on the lawn.  No charges have been brought against the young boy, as he was acting in self-defense of his home.

This is a scary event.  I can’t imagine my children being in that position.  You expect them to be safe at home.  Even if you are not there.  After this, I wonder if either teenager will ever feel safe in their home again.

I wanted to share a few basic gun safety rules for families with children, along with some basic rules for handling guns.  These are taken from the NRAHQ website.

What Should You Teach Your Child About Gun Safety?

If you have decided that your child is not ready to be trained in a gun’s handling and use, teach him or her to follow the instructions of NRA’s Eddie Eagle GunSafe® Program. If you find a gun:

 

STOP!Don’t Touch.

Leave the Area.

Tell an Adult.

Basic Gun Safety Rules for adults:

Basic Gun Safety Rules

Although the NRA has complete gun safety rules available for specific types of firearm use (hunting and competition, for example), the following three rules are fundamental in any situation. Whether or not you own a gun, it is important to know these rules so that you may insist that others follow them.

 

  • Always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction. Whether you are shooting or simply handling a gun, never point it at yourself or others.Common sense will tell you which direction is the safest. Outdoors, it is generally safe to point the gun toward the ground, or, if you are at a shooting range, toward the target. Indoors, be mindful of the fact that a bullet can penetrate ceilings, floors, walls, windows, and doors.

     

  • Always keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot. When holding a gun, rest your trigger finger outside the trigger guard alongside the gun. Until you are actually ready to fire, do not touch the trigger. 
  • Always keep the gun unloaded until ready to use. If you do not know how to check to see if a gun is unloaded, leave it alone. Carefully secure it, being certain to point it safely and to keep your finger off the trigger, and seek competent assistance.

Making New Year’s Eve a Family Celebration

Bowling Picture From 2010

My family has always stayed at home for New Year’s Eve.  This year, we are going to do things different.  My husband and I thought it would be nice to take the kids bowling.  The local bowling ally is doing a special family New Year’s Eve celebration, from 6:00pm to 8:00, and including a countdown and dropping of the ball at the end.  I think that it is a great idea to have a celebration that includes children, and is early enough that I won’t be dealing with tired and cranky kids.

There’s also an adult party that will start later, but we will not be attending that.  One thing that I know the kids will like about tomorrow night will be bowling with the lights off.  They plan on turning off the main lights, and putting on the disco ball lights.  We will also be joined by a group of friends.  My husband reserved our favorite lanes, as we are expecting the place to be filled to max bowling capacity.

There are a number of events going on around the Carolinas, but that would involve travelling.  I would love to take the kids down to Wilmington.  We’ve attended night time celebrations there in the past, and have had a great time.  They know how to throw a party.  Best of all, the ones we attended were family friendly.

Whether you are staying home, or going out, please be responsible.  Don’t drink and drive.  If you plan on drinking, have a designated driver, or stay the night where you are doing your drinking.  Losing your life, or causing the loss of another’s life, isn’t how you want to end the year.

What are your plans for New Year’s Eve.

Asheville NC New Year’s Eve Events

Are you planning on being in the Asheville, NC area for New Year’s Eve?  Here are some of the events that you can attend.

A New Year’s Celebration 2011

  • December 31, 2011 – December 31, 2011
  • Location: Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa
  • Address: 290 Macon Avenue, Asheville, NC 28804
  • Admission: Packages available. Single event tickets are $60
  • Phone: 800-438-5800
  • Visit Website | View Venue

The Fritz with Duende Montain Duo

  • December 30, 2011 – December 30, 2011
  • Location: Mo Daddy’s Bar & Grille
  • Address: 77 Biltmore Avenue, Asheville, NC 28801
  • Times: 9:00pm
  • Visit Website | View Venue

Old Farmer’s Ball New Year’s Eve Contra Dance

  • December 31, 2011 – December 31, 2011
  • Location: Warren Wilson College
  • Address: Bryson Gym at Warren Wilson College, Black Mountain, NC 28711
  • Times: 8:00pm – 12:30pm
  • Admission: $25 at the door
  • Visit Website

Tressa’s Annual New Year’s Eve Bash

  • December 31, 2011 – December 31, 2011
  • Location: Tressa’s Downtown Jazz & Blues Club
  • Address: 28 Broadway Street, Asheville, NC 28801
  • Times: 7:30pm – until
  • Phone: 828-254-7072
  • Visit Website | View Venue

Wilmington NC New Year’s Eve Events

Wilmington, NC is a favorite destination spot for my family.  There are a number of events going on for New Year’ Eve this year.

December 31
New Year’s Noon Countdown
11am.
Join us as we count down the New Year at Noon! Noise makers,
confetti and a good ole’ fashion countdown.
The Children’s Museum of Wilmington
116 Orange St., Wilmington.
Free with admission. 910-254-3534; http://www.playwilmington.org

 
December 31
Island of Lights New Year’s Eve Countdown
Party
9pm until Midnight.
A spectacular fireworks display follows the lowering of
a giant beach ball to welcome in the New Year at
midnight. The family evening
festivities include entertainment featuring live music.
Carolina Beach Boardwalk, Carolina Beach
Free. 910-458-8323; http://www.islandoflights.org

 

December 31
New Year’s Eve Cruise9pm-12:30am.

New Year’s cruise down the Cape Fear River aboard the Henrietta III Riverboat with entertainment, dancing, hors d’oeuvres, party favors and champagne.
Departs from foot of S. Water St, Wilmington. Advance prepaid reservations required.800-676-0126, 910-343-1611; http://www.cfrboats.com

First Night Raleigh Celebration New Year’s Eve

If you are in the Carolinas, and are looking for something to do, head over to Raleigh, NC.

 Michael Lowder, Artsplosure’s executive director, today announced the programmatic lineup for the organization’s annual First Night Raleigh celebration.  First Night Raleigh 2012 will feature comedy, dance, spoken word, interactive art installations, and live music from a variety of performers including rock, blues, jazz, gospel, opera, singer-songwriters and more.  The 21st annual New Year’s Eve arts festival will take place on Saturday, December 31, 2011, in a 20-block area of downtown Raleigh.

This year’s First Night Raleigh festival takes on a French-inspired theme.  Many of the celebration’s dozens of performances and activities have been designed to reflect French influences, including the planned installation of a giant 90-foot Ferris wheel, dubbed “La Grande Roue de Raleigh,” in the 100 and 200 Blocks of Fayetteville Street.  Since the early twentieth century, a Ferris wheel has been installed in Paris’s Tuileries Garden leading up to the New Year.  Perennial First Night Raleigh favorites like the African American Dance Ensemble, Transactors Improv Company, Comedy Worx and the Lenny Marcus Trio plan to adapt their First Night performances to reflect this year’s French theme.

For more detailed information, you can visit http://firstnightraleigh.com/news/item/line-up-announced

I Miss Big Lots

Back in April of this year, North Carolina was hit by several devastating tornados.  My little town was one of the casualties of a hard hitting tornado.  It swept through our town, damaging homes and businesses.  It was scary for me and my family, because we were just a couple blocks from it’s path.

Lowe’s was destroyed, and Big Lots and Tractor Supply were damaged.  Both Big Lots and Tractor Supply had to close down.    They posted signs that they will be re-opening, but haven’t.  Lowe’s rebuilt and re0opened quickly.  I don’t do any shopping at Tractor Supply, so I don’t miss that store.  I do miss Big Lots.  I want them to re-open or move to a different location.

The park down the street has not had any work done to it.  It was devastated.  I drive by it everyday, and cringe.  Not just because the kids can’t play there anymore, but also because of how unsafe it looks.  It’s also a constant reminder of that tragic day.  Everything twisted and torn apart.  The thought of how quickly the weather can change, and you could lose everything.

Christmas has gone by, the New Year is almost upon us.  This is a time of year that most people reflect on what is past, and look towards the future.  There are still families without homes because of the tornados that hit our states.  There are also other states that still have families that had their lives completely turned upside down by tornados spawned from the same weather system that brought us ours.  I’d like to take this time to send them my prayers and best wishes for the New Year.