Tuesday, July 20, 2010

First Man on the Moon Landing

 “The Eagle has landed” (Neil Armstrong) July 20, 1969 at 4:18 p.m. EDT, The Lunar Module (Eagle) touched down on the moon at the Sea of tranquility.

“That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind” (Neil Armstrong)

The Apollo 11 mission was to land men on the surface of the moon and then to return to Earth. The crew on Apollo 11 consisted of Neil A. Armstrong (commander), Michael Collins (command module pilot), Edwin (Buzz) E. Aldrin Jr. (lunar module pilot). These are perhaps the most famous men to have ever been in space. This was absolutely a great time in history. A lunar module camera provided live television coverage of this monumental event. Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon at 10:56 p.m. EDT. Aldrin, being the second man to ever step foot on the moon set foot on the moons surface at 11:16 pl. EDT.

The purpose of the Apollo 11 mission was to land men on the lunar surface and to return them safely to Earth. The mission was successfully accomplished.

To see pictures and more info on this initial lunar landing mission look HERE at the site below.

To see NASA’s partially restored video clips from this monumental mission click HERE

Sunday, July 18, 2010

National Ice Cream Day with kids!

All the way back in 1984, then President Ronald Reagan dubbed July National Ice Cream month -- and the third Sunday of the month National Ice Cream Day...and who are we to argue?

So this Sunday, eat your heart! Grab a milkshake, sundae or the always-satisfying ice cream cone.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

National Gummi Worm Day!

Today is National Gummi Worm Day!  Jelly Belly is giving a 25% off some of their Gummi Worms today so hurry and click HERE for link.

".....,I think I'll go eat worms! Big fat juicy ones, Eensie weensy squeensy ones, See how they wiggle and squirm!"  Remember that song?  Click HERE to get all the lyrics and you can also listen to it from BusSongs.com.

The 1980s also gave birth to a new gummi character. In 1981, Trolli came out with the gummi worm. The original concept of the gummi worm was to create a candy for children that their parents might find mildly shocking. Since then, the gummi worm has become less shocking and one of the most popular gummi characters. Many characters followed the gummi worm and gummi candies now are available in all shapes and sizes.

Homemade Gummi Worms are much simpler to make than you would think.  Here is one way of making them:

You need:

12 tbsp sugar

1 1/3 cup orange juice

8 tbsp corn syrup

8 tbsp unflavored gelatin

Food coloring, optional

Superfine Sugar for coating

1. Prepare an 8x8 inch pan by wetting it lightly with water.
2. Place gelatin in 1/2 cup cold water to soften for about 5 minutes.
3. Place the juice, sugar (regular not the superfine) and corn syrup in a medium saucepan over medium heat and stir until sugar dissolves.
4. Stir in the gelatin and continue stirring until gelatin dissolves.
5. At this point add food coloring if desired.
6. Pour into prepared pan and leave until completely set, 4-6 hours at room temperature or 1 to 2 hours in the refrigerator.
7. When set, turn out of pan and cut with a sharp knife into long, thin strips to resemble worms.
8. Roll your worms in the superfine sugar.
Click HERE to get another recipe that makes dual Orange and Raspberry Gummi Worms.  There are many other variations out there!

  • Gummi bears are one of the only, if not the only, type of candy to be turned into a television show
  • Gummi bears were originally called ‘dancing bears’
  • Today, gummi candy is available in a variety of shapes - spiders, watches, hamburgers, pizza, bugs, feet and more. However, bears and worms are the most popular.
  • Red is the most popular color of gummi candy


  1. Give each child a plate with three gummy worms covered in whipped cream.
  2. Give each child a and cup.
  3. RULES: The first child to find the gummy worms using their mouths NOT their Hands and get them into their cup is the winner!
  4. Remember No Hands allowed!!!
I couldn't find a National Gummi BEAR Day date so if anyone know of such thing, please let us know.  

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Blueberry Picking with Kids!

July is the national Blueberry month and we are definitely going to celebrate this fruit. There are approximately 35 states that blueberries grow in so if you are close to one of them, enjoy and have fun with this fruit.
Blueberries are really delicious. There are so many ways to eat them. Appetizers, Breads, Rolls & Muffins, Coffee Cakes, Dessert Cakes, Cookies, Bars & Squares, Doughnuts, Desserts & Puddings, Jams & Jellies, Pancakes & Waffles, One-Crust Pies, Two-Crust Pies, Salads, Punch & Wines, Relishes, Entrees, or just plain blueberries, its endless!

These extremely healthy and delicious berries also offer a fun and creative way to spend a day. Since we live in the north east region of the US we are going to spend a day picking fresh blueberry. There are so many places to go to pick your own fruits and vegetables around our area. Just recently, Wendy and I spent some time traveling to Maine and Canada. During this trip we learned that not only does Hammonton, NJ call itself the Blueberry Capitol of the World, Cherryville, ME shares the same slogan. Maine is well known for its Wild Blueberries.

Since we agree that Blueberries are one of our favorite we have decided to make this another one of our “Fun Day’s”. This is going to be fun. We will find fun and creative ways to serve up these delicious fruits while having a great time.

We made a delicious Blueberry dessert called "Blueberry Crumb Bars".  They surprisingly came out not too bitter and not too sweet, actually perfect!
You can find the recipe HERE and along with the great pictures on how to prepare it. 

Why not try blueberry painting, we are going to. You can boil blueberries on the stove top for about five minutes and then have the kids go to town smashing them. Give them paintbrushes or sponges cut in fun shapes and let them go to town. Of course during this activity you should mention some key facts such as the blueberry has a ton of health benefits and is said to prevent cancer and heart disease.

You can always cook up blueberries on the stove with sugar and a small bit of orange or lemon juice then freeze them to made delicious freeze pops. You can do this without the sugar too and it is still delicious.

Martha Stewart has a great idea for fabric painting blueberries, click HERE to see.

We used a white plastic lace tablecloth with blue round placemats.  White dishes.  We punched out round circles in 2 different color blue and scattered them around the table like blueberry confetti.  We had mini-blueberry pies, Blueberry muffins, a Blueberry Pie, Blueberry Crumb Bars and Blueberry Lemonade.  We found these adorable blue plastic pails and used white stickers to place their names on each of their own bucket.  The bucket was used to carry their hand picked blueberries.  We also used a real blueberry plant on the table.

Click HERE to find a list of blueberry festivals for a few states

For fun facts about blueberries check out this website HERE

With just 80 delicious calories per cup and virtually no fat, blueberries offer us many important nutrition and health benefits. For health benefits and information on Blueberries check out these sites below.


Click HERE to download these adorable Fruit Fonts we found at Font Space, preview below:

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

It's National French Fry day!

Ok, who doesn’t like French fries, chips, pommes frites, freedom fries, French-fried potatoes… no matter what you call them or how you cook ‘em (deep fried, oven baked, pan fried)? No one we know that’s for sure. The history of the French fry varies depending on who you ask. My favorite explanation is that the Belgians invented them. They date them back to the 1600’s. During the winter, when the river was frozen they could not fish so they cut up potatoes and ate those fried in oil instead. During World War I soldiers tasted the fried potatoes and called them French because at that time it was the official language of the Belgian Army.
Here are two good sites to read about the history of a French fry HERE at Official French Fries and HERE

So in the tradition of Fun and Facts with Kids, can you guess what we are going to do? You guess it, we are making our own French Fries. Of course the kids are going to have a blast not only eating them but making them too!

You can always:

If you have a favorite French Fries stop that you have been avoiding, now is the day to stop by and indulge in a large! Where are your favorite fry places? Wendy's? McDonald's? Red Robin? Feel free to comment on where your favorite places to get fries are!

Make your own Deep Fried Fries. Buy a large (or a couple) baking potatoe(s) and slice up into strips, depending on the thickness you like. Dry on paper towels while heating up some oil in your deep fryer to 350 and fry for 4-5 minutes or until desired crispiness. Drain on paper towels and season with salt.

Make your own oven baked fries. Use a baking potato or whatever your favorite kind of potato. Slice up into wedges or strips and toss in a bowl with olive oil. Spread out onto a baking sheet and sprinkle on some salt (or some johnny's). and bake at 450 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, stirring fries once when they star getting crisp.

Or to make it really simple, use a bag of store bought french fries, your favorite cut, and deep fry them or spread them on a baking sheet and drizzle with some olive oil and bake until desired crispiness.

French Fries of course!  Below is the recipe we will be trying this year. We like the idea of baking these treats instead of deep frying them.  We always love it when we can make it healthier for the kids!

We will place our French fries in paper fry holders. We found the DIY paper template online. We printed it out on Red and White Striped Scrapbook paper and then cut and folded it to shape.  You can find step by step and the template for two mini’s HERE and a large size to print out HERE

We found adorable Culinary Art Fonts. You can download from HERE  Below is an example of some of the fonts: (the end one is pizza that I cut off by accident)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Teddy Bear Picnic Day!

No matter how old you are you are never too old to go out and have a picnic. We love days like this when you get a reason to have a picnic. Kids of all ages love to have picnics and plan for picnics. Today, grab your favorite Teddy Bear, sit down with ice tea, sandwiches and a dessert to your liking and have a Teddy Bear Picnic. This is great fun.

We had so much fun doing this. We created a beautiful picnic for Lauren and her bears. In preparation for this day Lauren chose material from our local fabric store. We then came home and made her a festive dress for the picnic that she absolutely loved! She also took the time to dress her bears for the picnic. We chose a really fun spot at our local state park to do this. We wanted it to seem like we were in the woods for our Teddy Bear Picnic because Lauren has been singing the first line of Teddy Bear’s picnic song.

Before we left for the park we placed serving bowls with everything needed for each place setting in a cloth napkin and tied these together. We then placed a drinking straw through the top and then just for a little extra we added a metal flower in the middle of it. Using a bear shaped cookie cutter we cut peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. When we arrived at the park we chose a picnic table that was by itself in the middle of a wooded area. As our centerpiece we placed the bears in the middle of the table. This was as if they were joining in our fun. We placed each picnic wrapped lunch on matching placemats. When it was time to eat, each person untied their napkin to find all their goodies inside. We poured the ice tea, sang the teddy bear picnic song and enjoyed out day.

After we finished eating we created tiny teddy bears for our bears by making pompoms out of yarn and then using pipe cleaners for ears and eyes. This turned out to be really fun and funny. One of our bears looked more like a groundhog and another sort of turned out to be a space creature of some kind. We really had a lot of fun with this.

After our fabulous lunch and craft we all took a small hike down to a creek that was nearby.

This turned out to be such a cute and adorable day and Lauren really enjoyed it!

To hear the music to this song click on this link

If you go out in the woods today
You're sure of a big surprise.
If you go out in the woods today
You'd better go in disguise.

For every bear that ever there was
Will gather there for certain, because
Today's the day the teddy bears have their picnic.

Picnic time for teddy bears,
The little teddy bears are having a lovely time today.
Watch them, catch them unawares,
And see them picnic on their holiday.

See them gaily dance about.
They love to play and shout.
And never have any cares.
At six o'clock their mommies and daddies
Will take them home to bed
Because they're tired little teddy bears.

If you go out in the woods today,
You'd better not go alone.
It's lovely out in the woods today,
But safer to stay at home.

For every bear that ever there was
Will gather there for certain, because
Today's the day the teddy bears have their picnic


Every teddy bear, that's been good
Is sure of a treat today
There's lots of wonderful things to eat
And wonderful games to play

Beneath the trees, where nobody sees
They'll hide and seek as long as they please
Today's the day the teddy bears have their picnic

Click HERE  to check out this site to find the lyrics to a whole array of songs you can sing with your teddy bear today

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Liberty Bell with Kids

The Liberty Bell was rung on July 8, 1776 for the first public reading of the Declaration of independence.

"Let Freedom Ring" This is a statement that everyone knows and loves. Just staying it sets off a feeling of pride and justice for all and love of our nation and country. The Liberty Bell is just such a symbol. The inscription on the Bell states a message of liberty. The inscription has meant many different things to many people over the years. The right to choose a religion and to govern themselves is one message symbolized by the Bell. The Bell made a tour of America after the Civil war to heal a nation divided. The Bell was a reminder to all Americans of the freedom and independence they fought for years before. Most of all the Liberty Bell symbolizes the Freedom of which we live. For more then 200 years the Liberty Bell has reminded many people of the importance of Liberty.

You can visit NPS.gov by clicking HERE to learn more about the Liberty Bell, where it is housed, and more about the crack and they symbolization of the Bell itself.  You can also visit Enchanted Learning HERE for more details too.

Some Facts:
  • The Bell weighs 2080 pounds
  • It’s made of 70% copper, 25% tin and small amounts of lead, zinc, arsenic, gold and silver
  • It hangs from what is believed to be its original yoke made from America elm
  • Rang for George Washington’s Birthday and hours later it received fatal crack and hasn’t rung since.
Liberty Bell Crafts:
Making a Bell - There are several techniques you can use to make a replica of the Liberty Bell.  They range from styrofoam, molding clay, paper, glitter and even tinfoil.  Let your own imagination run.  Visit here for a great craft HERE

Coloring Pages - You can find many pages to print and color at Google Images by typing "liberty bell coloring pages".  You can also click HERE  for the same resultWe also found this great Patriotic Clipart Website, click HERE
Liberty Bell Food:
Cookies - You can easily make Sugar Cookies in the shape of a Bell and decorate them similiar to the liberty bell.
Cake - We found this adorable Liberty Bell cake from TLC Cooking, click HERE for details.
Liberty Bell Activities:
We are fortunate to live near the building where the Bell is housed. We have made several visits to the site throughout the years. If possible, plan a trip to see the Liberty Bell for it is really something worth seeing!!!

Liberty bell 1976 being tested for its move to a new home:  
Liberty Bell in its new home:

Liberty Bell Songs and Video:
     To listen to
Martina McBride’s Independence Day song click HERE

     To listen to
Barry Manilow’s Let Freedom Ring song click HERE 

“Proclaim Liberty throughout all the Land unto all the inhabitants thereof” Leviticus 25:10

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

National Fried Chicken Day July 6th

Chicken has been almost a staple on the table of many families for thousands of years. It has been baked, roasted, boiled, barbecued, fricasseed and stewed, just to name a few.

For those of you interested in knowing how fried chicken came to be, it is said that it was introduced into the American South by Scottish immigrants who came to this country. When African slaves began cooking in homes they began to add unusual seasonings and spices that had not been a part of the Scottish tradition. These new seasonings combined with the Scottish frying technique were a hit and fried chicken, as we know it today, became a popular dish to serve for meals.

Since slaves were often allowed to keep & raise chickens, frying chicken on special occasions spread through the African American community. As the years progressed, fried chicken continued to grow in popularity. It is commonly known as Southern fried chicken because of the style of cooking and it is considered an African-American food specialty.

We are in the middle of a heat wave and its just too hot to cook anything.  The tempature is reaching 102 today.  We are going to buy a few pieces of chicken for lunch and then head to the Beach for the afternoon.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Fourth of July with kids!

“Celebrating the Fourth of July is an honor.” –R. Parks, SC
The History of the July 4th:  In 1776, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania a document was written to inform Great Britian that Amercans had decided to become independent. Independence is the freedom from control, influence, aid, support or the like of others. That document was the Declaration of Independence. This was “officially”adopted by the leaders on July 4, 1776. In August of 1776 they all signed the official Declaration of Independece. This was an extremely brave and dangerous act Americans made at that time. To support the Declaration of Independence in 1776 was actually an act of treason because we were under the rule of Great Britian. The bravery and pure passion for our Great Nations Freedom and Indepence shown by the Americans at that time is such a wonderful, extraordinary act that carries over into our lives today. You can visit this PBS site that explains the true history of July 4th by clicking HERE

I actually asked a few people on my walk into work today if they knew why we celebrated the Fourth of July. Their answers varried but basically I received answers such as, “to begin summer”, “because we won some battle”, and “to celebrate freedom with our families. Ok, I can give them that, but what a shocking realization that many people celebrate this holiday and do not even recognizes is its significance in their daily lives. This is an extremely important holiday as an American. This is the holiday that celebrates our independence and our freedom.

You can visit this website HERE that provides us with a Transcript of the Declaration of Independence

The Table Setting: We used a white table cloth and had festive red, white, and blue placemats. We used red trays and placed red plastic forks, spoons and knives on a white napkin in small flag bags that are made out of felt. We took red and white impatiens flowers in a festive red white and blue bag and placed flags and garland throughout it to make a really marvelous centerpiece. This turned out fantastic this year.

The Food: We created a tremendously good punch made with grape juice, pineapple juice, lemon lime soda with fresh blueberries and strawberries floating in it. In that we placed star shaped ice cubes. This was really terrific. It looked so festive and everyone loved it. We made a flat panned cheesecake and decorated it as a flag with Cherry pie filling for the red stripes, Blueberry pie filling for the star section and then whipped cream for the stars and the white stripes. It was so cute! We served the typical BBQ food, burgers and hotdogs and all the accessories that come along with BBQ food.  The kids had fun place toothpick flags in every piece of food they had, lol.

The Activity: We really think that a great activity on this holiday is to actually read the Declaration of Independence. You can pick out pertinent statements and lines from the Declaration of Independence and have them recreate the document adding the lines or words they chose to their very own document. Have them sign it and get them to ask family members to sign it too. Explain that the biggest signature on the Declaration of Independence is John Hancock. This is why they will sometimes hear someone say that name, John Hancock, when asking for their signature.

The Crafts:
Parade Gear: You can make party hats for your community parade.  We made these last year and the kids had a lot of fun making them.  We have also decorated our own T-shirts.  Found this cute inexpensive paper craft TipNut.com called Patriotic Paper Lollies.  You can find the directions HERE

Miscellanous things we found on the internet:

Taco Dip Flag -this is too cute for anyone that normally makes the taco salad dip for their get-togethers.  They placed the ingredients so that it looks like the American Flag.  You can get the recipe HERE

Free July Desktop picture/calendar - Download this adorable Desktop image with calendar HERE 

Print these adorable vintage pictures from Country Living to use in various craft projects HERE.  You can also check more craft projects from Country Living HERE

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