Independence Week – Recipe: Red, White, and Blue Jell-O Cups

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After finishing my classes and exam, I have realized that I have so much more time in the day that I had thought before I jumped into my teacher certification.  I could not wait to put that time to good use this week by spending time crafting and cooking with/for my littles, my family.

A quick look at my Pinterest boards for 4th of July food and crafts, let me know that I did not have that much time in a day.  I was a little over-zealous when I pinned some of the things. But, I did know that I wanted to make a few things, so we started celebrating Independence Day today, talking about why we are thankful for our freedom while crafting and eating all things red, white, and blue.

We started with some Glitter Paint Fireworks.

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Gabriel was able to look at the picture and understand the concept very easily.

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Summer and Ethan mostly just cared about being very abstract with their artwork.  They enjoyed their freedom of expression immensely.

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First thing this morning, I started making these Red, White, and Blue Jell-O Cups.  The original recipe called for push-up pops, but since I did not have any, I opted for clear plastic cups instead.

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It does take a few hours to finish these because you need to wait 1-2 hours between each layer.  But, it was so worth the wait to see the look on the faces of my littles when they saw the beautiful red, white, and blue.

It was a perfect beginning to Independence Week.  Just watching my littles go crazy with glitter paint while I made them a special dessert, I was struck by how much our freedom, our independence, really does mean.  We are able to sit at home enjoying our summer break, painting abstractly and creating works of art in the kitchen. We are able to do those things because we do live in a free country where family, holidays, and freedom is celebrated daily. Yes, this week we are very thankful for this land of the free and home of the brave.

Summer Fun: Decorating Water Bottles

Luckily, my littles always drink a lot of water.  Since they were all breastfed babies, water was the first thing that they drank out of their sippy cups when they were tiny.  I remember thinking that they would only want milk or juice when I weaned them.

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I was wrong.  They loved drinking water then, and they still do.

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When Summer and I found these cute water bottles at Michaels in their colors of blue, green, and pink, I knew that we would decorate them as part of our summer fun.

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Yesterday, I dug through the craft closet and found some stickers, paint, and Sharpies.  I put it all out on the table and just let the littles decorate their bottles however they wanted.

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The plan is to fill them up with water, leave them in the refrigerator, and grab them whenever we head out on our summer adventures.

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It was easy, fun entertainment for them, which is just the way I like it.

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Teacher Appreciation 2012: Day 4

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When I made the bubble gum machines for Summer’s birthday, I knew that I wanted to somehow incorporate them into Teacher Appreciation week.

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Then, I saw these cute little Smarties bags on Pinterest, and I knew exactly how to incorporate the bubble gum machines.

I made them, put Smarties inside, tied a ribbon around them, and added a tag that said, “Thank you for helping me become a Smartie this year.”

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They were simple, fun, cute, and perfect for Teacher Appreciation.