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Hartselle Enquirer

Here's to a safe and fun Fourth

By Staff
Michelle Blaylock, Mom's Corner
How's your summer coming along? The Blaylock's is busy, but of course there's never a period of our lives that isn't busy. Every now and then I have to take a time inventory. You know, see what I've gotten done so far and see what's coming up immediately and see what I need to plan (cringe) for next, etc.
Well, for one thing the Fourth of July is next week. In case you don't have school aged kids or you haven't checked out the calendar for the next school year, that also means we only have about another month of summer vacation time left.Yep, school starts this year on Aug. 10. Just in case anyone is interested-which I kind of doubt since my opinion wasn't asked in the first place-I really don't like the idea of starting school so early, but that's another article all together.
Anyway, back to the Fourth of July idea. I began thinking about some fun things to do with the kids over the next week or so. We always do the fireworks thing, but there are other fun things to enjoy doing to build up to the big night.
One of my favorites, as you've probably guessed is crafts. One year my oldest daughter and I took three small terra cotta flower pots. We painted one red with white stripes, one blue with white stars, and white red stripes. She then strung them up using a light weight rope and tying knots. It took a bit of experimenting to get it to work, but she had a cute wind chime when she was done. You could use a large flower pot painted in a patriotic way and then use some of Mother Nature's own red, white and blue foliage to set it off!
Another craft idea is to make your own patriotic sidewalk chalk using plaster of Paris and tempera paint. It's also great to keep the kids entertained while they are waiting for the nighttime festivities to begin. You do need to plan on making it several days in advance so it has time to dry.
I know one mom who made luminaries as a way of spending time waiting for the fireworks to begin. She had her kids trace stars on various colors of tissue paper and cut them out. The kids glued the stars on paper bags and then poured several inches of sand in the bottom of each bag. The mom put in a small tea light candle and lit it with a piece of spaghetti. She told her kids that they had to be able to see the candles brightly before they could start setting off fireworks. Although this is a really cute idea, I would advise constant adult supervision due to the candle involved.
Of course, there's other things that come to mind when we think of the Fourth of July–food for example! We usually lean toward hot dogs, hamburgers, etc. If we're going to my mom's, you can bet we'll have mother's potato salad. That's one thing I don't make. Nope, I'm not kidding. I don't make potato salad. Why? Well, you see when I was growing up my mom made tons of potato salad every summer and my sisters and I had to help. I hated it and so I just won't do it now. Sad isn't it, but guess what? It just makes my hubby love his mother-in-law that much more!
My childhood not withstanding, I do usually involve my kids in the food preparations around any holiday. For one thing it helps to pass the time and for the other it helps to get the work done. Most of my kids enjoy helping in the kitchen and remember a good parent works themselves out of a job and teaching them to cook is an important part of that. They can easily follow the directions for fixing veggie dip, cleaning veggies, making a fruit tray, making ice cream, Popsicles, etc.
And last, but definitely not least, let's not forget to remind our kids what the Fourth of July is all about to begin with. First of all, this year is our country's 230th birthday! I also remind, especially my older children, that many people risk not only their own lives, but the lives of their families for this country. It is also a great time to remind our children of the men and women serving in the Armed Forces here and overseas.
If you have a question or tip or Mom's Corner, please send it to: Mom's Corner; P.O. Box 1496; Hartselle, AL 35640, or e-mail moms-corner@juno.com

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