Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Purr-fect Project!

"Hi! I'm Hudson! and I approve this purr-fect Girl Scout project!"

"Make the world a better place," reads, in part, the Girl Scouts of America law. It's a maxim that Brielle, my oldest granddaughter, has pledged to honor as a "Daisy" (Kindergarten level) scout. I am very proud of her!

Scouting involves contributing; it's the same vision shared by grandparents who recognize that devoted time and attention help raise a new generation of compassionate and socially responsible citizens. "We make a living by what we get," reflected Winston Churchill, "but we make a life by what we give." Who among us doesn't wish to bestow satisfying gifts of purpose, generosity, tolerance, and gratitude upon society's youngest members? Modeling virtues of giving back, and gently guiding grandchildren toward the same goal accomplishes exactly that! And, not to cast a gloomy spell of morbidity or anything, but it also fulfills personal pledges to leave the world a better place!

Brielle's troop leader recently appealed to parents for project ideas. I was delighted to be called on to help my daughter, Christy, with a charitable activity that will benefit the cause closest to my heart. We will deliver small paw-printed fleece blankets to a local low-cost spay-neuter clinic. Each Daisy made one of these popular items, following directions given below. Clinic staff and volunteers will distribute them to worthy cats or small dogs. Think of the post-surgical comfort 12 needy fur-babies will find in the warmth of these blankets on their way back home to a new life that won't contribute to an overpopulation of pets!

Our troop will also collect clinic "wish-list" items from their community of family and friends. Paper towels, cat food, trash bags, office supplies - all of these things are needed on a continuing basis. Every donation helps! An extra bonus for us was the response Christy recieved from her daughter's principal when she requested permission to initiate an all-school drive. Seems his wife is a rescuing over-the-top animal lover like we are! Somehow, I think our box for donations is going to fill to "over-the-top" too, especially since we were also invited to submit our feature to the community newspaper!

And by the way, if you're a "dreamer" like I am, hoping that someday every single puppy and kitten born will enjoy a safe, happy life in a loving "fur-ever" home, be encouraged! Locally, we are experiencing a "kitten shortage." Its even been featured on the news! "It's spring! Where are all the kittens?" they've asked. And potential adopters have been greeted by shelter door signs that read, "Sorry! No cats left! Try again next week!" Spay-neuter initiatives have made an impact here on a surplus formerly destined for euthanasia, and I am delighted!

If you can't adopt - foster....
If you can't foster - sponsor....
If you can't sponsor - volunteer....
If you can't volunteer - donate....
If you can't donate - educate....
Everyone can do something!

Make 2 kitty/small dog sized blankets from 1 yard each of paw print and solid color fleece. Cut the 36" x 60" wide lengths into two 36" x 30" pieces. Stack a print and a solid with right sides facing out. Trim to match. Cut a 4" square out of each corner. Continue to cut 4" slashes all around perimeter, each about 1" - 1.5" wide. Double knot each pair of fringes to complete.

And what's a grandma to do with those leftover 4" corner squares? Well, make them into catnip toys, of course! Sew, turn, stuff, hand close - purr-fect!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Minnie Mouse Birthday Party!

"We've got ears!"

And pretty pink bows!
And polka dots!
And happy smiles everywhere!

Kaylee has always been an avid fan of Minnie Mouse, but since our recent multi-family vacation to Walt Disney World®Resort, her affection for that perky and personable little rodent has been off the charts! When mommy and daddy teamed up to plan her third birthday party, there was no question on the theme she'd choose. Minnie Mouse! But more specifically, PINK Minnie Mouse! And so, inspired by that familiar Disney creativity, the fun began....!

If you're a grandma with frequent flyer babysitting hours, you're likely familiar with the Disney channel and its popular "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse" educational cartoon. You know this lively entertainment keeps everybody humming and hopping to catchy signature tunes - and on rapt alert for appealing puzzles to solve. You'll also recognize the greeting that welcomed our party guests.....

....and know what to do with these "Mouseketools!"

A helping of Minnie's Fruit chunks may appeal to you.....

along with a well-relished "Hot Diggity Dog!" and a side of
"Minnie's Bow Tie Pasta."

The best choice from the beverage bar, in my opinion, was the Cherry Ice Cream Punch! Mmmm! (Recipe below)

By the way, we know you heard Kaylee calling you to lunch because you put on a pair of ears when you came in!..... 

....and she made sure you wore them the entire time! 

That includes you, mommy and baby brother, Ryan!

After lunch, it's time for games and prizes! Here's "Pin the Bow on Minnie" with family friends, Amanda and little Savannah. 

Everyone took a turn at the cheerful bean bag toss game I built on a foam board easel.

And then it was time for a final flourish of cake and ice cream....

With several dainty puffs, the candles were out - and Kaylee was THREE!

Presents! Let's wrap this party up by digging into that big pile and opening them!

"Thank you, Aunt Karrie! This looks like fun!"...... 

"Aunt Mary and Uncle Tom and four of my cousins know I love pink horsies! Thank you!"

And thank you, too, dear readers, for visiting our Minnie Mouse birthday party today!

Here's how to make Cherry Ice Cream Party Punch!
Mix together: 1.5 quarts vanilla ice cream, one 2 liter bottle of Cherry 7 Up, and one 64 ounce bottle of Welch's white grape juice

Wait! One more thing! There's still time to enter for a chance to win the Better Homes and Gardens magazine multi-generational "Making Memories Magical" trip to Walt Disney World®Resort for your family of eight! Kaylee's been there and she knows there's nothing like hugging Minnie Mouse in person! We'd love to see you experience the same joy. Here's where you'll find every link and detail needed to enter!