Pets & Summer Care

Summer Pet Care

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Pet 1

Summer Pet Care

This is my son and daughter-in-law Ashley’s dog DARKO.  They love him and take the best of care for his safety and well-being, with an occasional treat, lol.

Ashley generously put together a list of ways to help keep our pets safe this summer, particularly with all the festivities including the fireworks and loud noises, heatstroke and the Yellow Dog Project.  Please click HERE to read this terrific post she wrote and thank you again Ashley for taking the time to help us all be more informed so our pets can be happy and healthy!




Ways to cheer someone up with all yellow items

SunShine Gifts and Baskets

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SunShine Gifts and Baskets

Ways to cheer up others with a gift that has all yellow items

SunShine Gifts and Baskets

When a friend, co-worker, family member, a neighbor could use cheering up, a SunShine Gift or Basket is the solution.

If they have had a difficult trial to go through, a job loss, health struggles, family issues, financial reversals, or just had a very bad day, a SunShine Gift or Basket is the answer.

What is a SunShine Gift?

I’m glad you asked…

Why everything in it is yellow of course!

Just like the sun brightens the day, the treat, or gift is yellow to bring cheerful, happy feelings and thoughts to the person receiving the SunShine gift.

Really, you just have to smile when you are given an all yellow present!

I have a printable TAGS HERE for you to use to make your SunShine Gifts easier to put together and more personable.  *The link will take you to WooCommerce, which is a FREE option

Here’s a few idea’s to get you going on your own SunShine Gifts for anyone who might need a cheering up.  Many of these items can be kept on hand to be readily used when needed:)

 

SunShine Gifts and Baskets

Ways to cheer up others with a gift that has all yellow items

This is the collection of what I put together for you to use an an example

 

 

SunShine Gifts and Baskets

Ways to cheer up others with a gift that has all yellow items

  • Treat cups are a perfect way to give a little treat and let someone know you are thinking of them.  Depending on how many you want to do, and the size THIS and HERE are good options.

 

SunShine Gifts and Baskets

Ways to cheer up others with a gift that has all yellow items

 

 

  • Put either goodie in a cellophane bag with a yellow ribbon, the tag I linked above, and deliver or in the yellow box HERE and tie the tag with a ribbon on the outside with the cellophane bag of treats on the inside for a delicious surprise. 
SunShine Gifts and Baskets

Ways to cheer up others with a gift that has all yellow items

  • Kitchen items like these are always appreciated as well as useful too. 
SunShine Gifts and Baskets

Ways to cheer up others with a gift that has all yellow items

 

 

  • Definitely jump over to visit Dana at Wonder Forest for her great Lip Scrub Recipe that you can get HERE

 

  • HERE is the 4 ounce jar with lid that I used in the picture for the lotion and the bath salts. It’s the perfect size for stacking in a cellophane bag or the yellow box.

 

  • The lip Scrub is THIS little pot

 

  • The yellow box is HERE

The tag link is at the top and has labels for all of these.

SunShine Gifts and Baskets

Ways to cheer up others with a gift that has all yellow items

  • Of course a jar of any size you like will work.  Fill it with what the person you are giving it to would enjoy.  The adorable CARDS ARE BY NATALIE can be ordered through her. 
SunShine Gifts and Baskets

Ways to cheer up others with a gift that has all yellow items

  • A fun basket with bath gel, a loofah, good candy, and great cards would make any stormy day be sunny. 

 

  • The cards in the middle are also by NATALIE and can be ordered through her, as well as many other designs to match this and other occasions. 
SunShine Gifts and Baskets

Ways to cheer up others with a gift that has all yellow items

  • Think outside the box (heehee) and put your items in that!  Here I have some Werther’s Caramel’s, yellow hand sanitizer, yellow label hand lotion and more of NATALIE’s fabulous CARDS:)
SunShine Gifts and Baskets

Ways to cheer up others with a gift that has all yellow items

  • If you know the person well, you can personalize it like I have with this box.  In this box I have: yellow note cards with envelopes, yellow stickers, yellow and white tags, a fun stamp, yellow craft twine, gel pens, craft scissors, pens, yellow craft ribbon, yellow washi tape and I just might toss in some chocolate when I deliver it. 
Ways to cheer someone up with all yellow items

SunShine Gifts and Baskets

DON’T FORGET THE KIDS!!!!!

  • Kids have terrible, horrible, rotten, no-good, very bad days too.  Sometimes illness, surgeries, and regrettable, just hard things to deal with sometimes.  So take or send them a YELLOW SUNSHINE GIFT BOX too!

 

  • Here I have:  a glow stick, yellow punch balloon, bag of yellow balloons (kids can never have enough balloons – right?), yellow bubble wand, yellow taffy, yellow starburst candy, three presents,  AND… let me point out that one of the gifts is wrapped in tissue paper and the other two gifts are wrapped in fabric. That’s right!  I could not, in any local store find yellow wrapping paper!  So I went to the craft store selling fabric and purchased the most inexpensive yellow fabric that was on sale, along with a yellow remnant to give me two pieces of yellow fabric to use as wrapping paper.  Be creative and use whatever works.  Never forget that white is always a great choice.  Simply decorate it with yellow flowers, ribbon, bows and even toys.  Did you notice the yellow Parachute Man tied onto the top of the one package?
Ways to cheer someone up with all yellow items

SunShine Gifts and Baskets

These are some of the supplies that I used in making the SunShine Gifts and Baskets.

This is how the box turned out that I sent in the mail, and I KNOW you can do a much better job of decorating the inside of the box flaps, but- hey, it get’s the job done, lol.  Notice the white tissue with yellow ribbon wrapping as an option.  Remember the tags are HERE

 

Make sure to check out my post HELPING A SICK FRIEND AND COMFORTING IN HEARTBREAK for more information, resources and ideas. 

I hope you enjoy making up SunShine Gifts and please let us know what you made and send pictures!

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2018

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.

Tree with red and pink hearts as the leaves

You CAN Sweeten Up Valentine’s for Someone Else!

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Tree with red and pink hearts as the leaves

How to serve and help others at Valentines

 

Valentines Day is a fabulous time of year…..unless you don’t have a special someone to get chocolate, buy flowers for, or pick out the perfect card…then it can be a little uncomfortable possibly, or even frustrating?  There are a range of emotions tied up with this holiday. 

However,  it is a perfect time that you CAN Sweeten Up Valentine’s for Someone Else with service and helping.

We can all find ways to look outside our self and see who might need a little love.




 

The promotion of Valentines seems to be that everyone MUST have a sweetheart, or life is over, you have failed, and all is lost. 

WOW!

Marketing at its best. 

However, whether there is a sweetheart or not in our life, everyone could use a friend, an act of kindness, a small thoughtful gift; so let’s take this opportunity to spread the love! 

There are those who are feeling lonely at a loss this time of year, and even isolated. So let’s see how we can do some good!

Who do  you feel impressed that needs a kindness; and remember, age does not matter?

Someone came to your mind didn’t they??? 

I think so! 

Don’t ignore it, and if no one did, then think a bit longer…..

When you do have a name or two or three, here are some ideas that might help spread the enthusiasm of the holiday to last all year long. 

Such as:

  •  take them to lunch or take lunch to them if they are unable to get out easily
  • take them a plant or even small tree to put in their yard
  • have a gift certificate delivered for any number of a variety of services, click HERE for ideas
  • make a special meal for a neighbor to come over, or to drop off to them
  • have others over for a game night who might not have a spouse or a family to be with that day
  • volunteer at a shelter or a food kitchen/bank
  • find a way to serve in the neighborhood by doing yard work or shoveling snow
  • make Valentine cards to send to military or veterans, many do not have loved ones who write to them and would not mind one bit if they were late getting to them
  • put together a little treat bag for someone, it doesn’t have to be big or expensive
  • do not be a sore loser – meaning, if someone at work, or a friend does have a sweetie and you don’t, take the high-road and be happy for them!
  • volunteer at the animal shelter or take approved treats or needed supplies
  • visiting a widow(er) or shut-in

We truly are defined by how we handle difficult situations, and this may be a challenging holiday for us. 

If so, let’s put on a happy face, choose a way to serve (possibly different people or the same person) at least once this week, or maybe even every day if it’s a small act, such as anonymously dropping off a little treat.

You will be amazed at the difference you will feel, how your own burden will be lifted and how you will look forward to each day with excitement and joy.

For more see: Valentine Service and How YOU Can Spread the Love

and Valentine Service Project As A Family

Copy­right Car­rie Grone­man,  A Mother’s Shadow, 2015, 2018

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today




A printable is attached for download tags for giving to others that are Valentine specific. They can be put on a treat or a small gift to let a friend, family member or co-worker know that you are thinking of them at this holiday time.

Valentine Service and How YOU Can Spread The Love

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A printable is attached for download tags for giving to others that are Valentine specific. They can be put on a treat or a small gift to let a friend, family member or co-worker know that you are thinking of them at this holiday time.

Do you like Valentines?  Is it a holiday that makes you happy?

Valentine Service and How YOU Can Spread The Love will make it the BEST either way. 

HOW?

If it’s a long anticipated one, or one that isn’t so affectionately looked towards (pun intended), a Thoughtful Valentine Kindness Sweetens Our Day Too, making it a fabulous time no matter what.

WHY?

It’s easy to get caught up in our own day-to-day life, forgetting others have heavy burdens to carry also.  

Valentines gives us the opportunity to look outside ourselves and see who we can serve.

 

See, when we help others by thinking of them, it makes us better, which fills us with joy.

I have some ideas below of how you can use the download printable tags in easy ways, to drop off treats to friend, family, neighbors, or even better, stop by and pay a visit.

WHO?

Think of who might be alone, maybe a spouse isn’t here right now such as in the military, or  who could use cheering up, or a thinking-of-you. 

You will have a list in no time at all of who would love to receive one of these adorable little tags with a sweet treat or a small gift attached.  

I have found that when I am ever down, if I serve, I am much happier and my burden is lifted.  So try this Thoughtful Valentine Kindness and see if it doesn’t sweeten your day too!

The FREE Printable is HERE

 

Some delicious and easy ideas for homemade treats are:

Easy White Chocolate Popcorn and Valentine M&M’s

Yummy White Chocolate Bark

A printable is attached for download tags for giving to others that are Valentine specific. They can be put on a treat or a small gift to let a friend, family member or co-worker know that you are thinking of them at this holiday time.

Valentines Sweetheart Muddy Buddy Chex Mix

Easy Sweetheart French Palmier Cookies

A printable is attached for download tags for giving to others that are Valentine specific. They can be put on a treat or a small gift to let a friend, family member or co-worker know that you are thinking of them at this holiday time.

No Fail Easy Nut Clusters – however use Valentine Sprinkles on topA printable is attached for download tags for giving to others that are Valentine specific. They can be put on a treat or a small gift to let a friend, family member or co-worker know that you are thinking of them at this holiday time.

Fill with purchased candy, such as Valentine M&M’s

A printable is attached for download tags for giving to others that are Valentine specific. They can be put on a treat or a small gift to let a friend, family member or co-worker know that you are thinking of them at this holiday time.

 

More Kindness ideas for YOU HERE

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2018

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.

A printable is attached for download that has a place for your name and the person or family that is receiving the treat which can be homemade or purchased.

Valentine Service Project As A Family

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A printable is attached for download that has a place for your name and the person or family that is receiving the treat which can be homemade or purchased.

This Valentine Service Project As A Family can bring you closer and most meaningful moments and memories!

Have you ever wondered how your Family could easily share a thoughtful Valentine kindness with others who might be alone?

Such as those who are struggling, or who’s spouse have been deployed, or widowed, or just because it would really help them to know that someone was thinking of them?

I know how busy life is and taking on one more thing could send you over the edge!

However, teaching our kids to do good, to search for ways to help and serve is really the greatest skill and ability we can hope to ingrain.

See, we can talk and explain, but to model and act is what they will believe.  So demonstrating How Your Family Can Easily Share A Thoughtful Valentine Kindness is really important.

Then we are setting an example;  as the saying goes: Actions speak louder than words.

See how easily your family can share a thoughtful Valentine kindness by attaching one of the FREE TAGS on a homemade or purchase treat, then together deliver it to a couple of your neighbors.  If possible take a few minutes as a family to ask how the recipient(s) are, what you can do to help them and get to know them a little better.

The Printable is different than shown in the main picture, actually looks like this and is HERE for free! 

 

 

 

Some delicious and easy ideas for Valentines treats are:

Easy White Chocolate Popcorn and Valentine M&M’s (shown)

Yummy White Chocolate Bark

Valentines Sweetheart Muddy Buddy Chex Mix

Easy Sweetheart French Palmier Cookies

Enjoy this precious teaching-in-action time with your family!

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2018

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.

A fun activity for families to express gratitude and also for each other

Help Your Family LIKE Each Other!

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A fun activity for families to express gratitude and also for each other

A great way to express gratitude for what they have and also for each family member as individuals

Help Your Family LIKE Each Other!

Help your family like each other, or actually acknowledge they like each other with this easy and fabulous activity!

Families are the most important group or unit there is.

BUT getting each one to express, or say nice things to the others, often turns into silliness, or other off-topics because of awkwardness.

However, it is critical and the foundation of the home that every person knows that each one in the family does love and values them.

This activity provides that opportunity in a fun and natural way.

You can have a treat, such as small candy and after each leaf is filled out with meaningful content, the candy is awarded.  Hey, you gotta do what you gotta do sometimes with certain personalities to help them overcome their shyness/embarrassment of showing emotion/etc.

Teaching sincere kindness and service to another person is more valuable than any treasure on earth and it begins at home. This is service in the highest form, letting those closes know how you sincerely feel in GOOD and positive ways.

This attribute of recognizing the best in others and finding their strengths, is an investment of time and energy on your part.  Yet it will be a skill your family members will use to become better, which will benefit them for the rest of their life.

showing gratitude is easy

Easy way to express gratitude for blessings and to family members

 

Purpose:

1- The first part of the activity, each person writes down what they are thankful for.

2- The second part in a fun way, helps bring attention to every member of your family.  It identifies how each person is a unique and special blessing to the other individuals and to the family.

  • Sometimes in our family, life gets so hectic and crazy that it is easy to forget to let each other know how much we much value them.
  • Siblings don’t often know how to tell each other what they like and appreciate about the other(s). 

This is a very simple and wonderful activity that can hang up in your home as a reminder, or in the family member’s room, and bring constructive results you might have never expected or had otherwise.

It’s So Simple!

Supplies-

You’ll want to print off the the two printables HERE – one per person

A Mother's Shadow

A Mother’s Shadow

 

 

 

 

 

I’ll explain and then you can decide how many leaves you may want:

A Mother's Shadow

A Mother’s Shadow

 

 

 

 

 

 

12″ x 12″  cardstock, optional – this is a great pack to look at

Glue dots or Glue-Stick

Thin Sharpies like this pack to give options so the writing will show up easily on the leaves

Clip boards, I LOVE having these on hand for all sorts of reasons, but you’ll see how I use them here

Let’s get started!

1- Explain to your family that fall, or November in the United States as we celebrate Thanksgiving,  so it’s natural time to express gratitude.

In many in other parts of the world it is also a time to celebrate Thankfulness and Gratitude. 

Regardless of where we live, or if we participate in the traditional Thanksgiving festivity, this is a tremendous activity for all of the family to spend a few minutes together and be NICE:)

Help Your Family LIKE Each Other!

Easy way to express gratitude for blessings and to family members

2- Everyone is given the ‘I am Grateful For’ paper that has a  leaf border with lines to write on.

 

 

3- Then ask your family to write whatever they are thankful for and grateful for in their life (ok…have them keep it off the ‘too silly’ radar, bribery aka rewards with a treat at the end really helps). 

I would begin brainstorming together so it is thoughtful and they dig a little deeper than things like: I am thankful for my phone, Wii, etc.  Get them to think of the ‘real’ stuff in life.  You might want to begin with things you are thankful for: sunrises and sunsets that I am able to see with my eyes, the breeze on my face because that means I have a body, knowing there is a God and He loves me.  You can help get the conversation going as you dig deep yourself and learn new things about your family.

 

4- Now, you can pre-cut out the leaves if your children are young, or have them cut them out if they are old enough during this activity all depending on the ages of your family members. If you are going to be short on time, you might want to pre-cut them yourself and have them ready.

Have enough leaves for every person to be able to write on ONE leaf to each person in the family.  For example:  I would write on a leaf to my handsome hubby Stan, and when my kids were all home, that would be five, so I would need six leaves for me, six for Stan and six for each of my five kids = a total of 42 leaves. There are 4 leaves on a page, so I would print out 11 pages, leaving a few extra for just in case we needed them.

 

5-  Now for the next extraordinary and eye-opening experience of this very worthwhile time together as a family.

  • Have one person be the focus, or spotlight at a time. IMPORTANT STEP!

 

  • For the model here, let’s say we are focusing on Stan.  He would be a bit embarrassed as the rest of us choose any leaf we wanted, pick a sharpie using a color that will stand out on the leaf, and wrote to dad/hubby/grandpa/uncle/friend (see how many uses this has!) an example of what we are thankful about for him.  We want to encourage specifics so that it’s not: he’s a great dad, he’s nice, etc.  If your children are too young, or there are other circumstances requiring assistance, write for them. 

This is where I love using the clip boards to put the leaf on to write to hold it and not risk any bleeding through onto my table, a book underneath or even denting my table by pushing with a pen. 

  • Too many times we generalize and each of us tend to feel not special, too ordinary, possibly not even wanted in our own family.  This activity can bring in tender feelings and incidents to mend hurts, soften relationships and stop sibling quarreling too – at least during this:) 

 

  • IMPORTANT!!!  Stop anything that might even start an argument or quarrel.  Do NOT let sarcasm or the slightest bit of criticism be in this activity AT ALL!!!!  

 

  • Pass the leaf to that person and then onto the next person, until everyone has been ‘spotlighted’ with a leaf.

Since the leaves are not large it isn’t intimidating to write something kind, nice and SINCERE.

*****You can write on the leaves once, or do this as a weekly activity during the month and keep adding leaves on the paper, or attach to a ribbon, on the closet door, the options are endless!

Help Your Family LIKE Each Other!

Easy way to express gratitude for blessings and to family members

6- When all the leaves have been written on, now it’s time to assemble.

Have the glue dots or glue sticks ready. 

Now it’s time to attach the bordered ‘I Am Grateful For’ paper to the center of the larger plain paper  as shown below

 

7- The fun really begins as each person attaches the leaves around THEIR paper with the leaves that the OTHERS have written on! 

You can see the examples here.  

Help Your Family LIKE Each Other!

Easy way to express gratitude for blessings and to family members

I want to give a HUGE thank you to the Woll family for doing this tutorial, and allowing us to share their experience with us. 

You can see for yourself what a fabulous family they are! 

I am so GRATEFUL for their friendship!!! 

Help Your Family LIKE Each Other!

Easy way to express gratitude for blessings and to family members

You might also enjoy my Family Time-Family Home Evening (FHE) series as well as many other topics!

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2018

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today

gratitude tree

Ever giving Gratitude Tree

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gratitude tree

Ever Giving Gratitude Tree

Isn’t this time of year crazy?

It’s hard to find ways sometimes to get our family to think outside of themselves – or an activity that’s affordable, easy, quick, worthwhile, have positive results and will engage everyone.

After some brainstorming this idea came to me –  a Gratitude Tree!   

With this little tree, teaching gratitude will come naturally to your family.

The concept is so simple.  See each leaf will have a word on it that can be chosen as a family or by a parent, depending on the age, or your situation.

For example, if the leaf  has the word neighbor written on it, then the leaf could not be hung on the tree until a service is done by the entire group for the neighbor of choice by the family – or at least by the majority 😉 

Now the fun begins as  everyone puts in their suggestions, which could include: anonymously raking leaves, making and taking cookies or spending a little time visiting an elderly neighbor.  

More than just reporting or saying what family members are thankful for, this little activity will motiviate and involve everyone into ACTION to fill the tree! 

Effortlessly on your part, everyone will want to help and bless others, and leave the entitlement attitude behind Service naturally brings out the best in everyone.

I have everything easily ready for you to start and have FUN together!


EVER GIVING GRATITUDE TREE

Supplies:

Tree,  is one to check out

Pre-cut leaf shapes, THESE are perfect

Assorted Sharpie Markers 

Twine, is a nice fit

Directions:gratitude tree1Trace desired shape onto paper and cut out OR use pre-cut shapes I suggested above.

Punch a small hole at the top of the leaf.gratitude tree 2Tie a square knot with the string through the hole in the leaf.gratitude tree 3Here are some ideas for ‘words’ your family might want to include for people to serve: gratitude tree

Neighbor(s) Grandparent(s) Teacher(s) Mail person Family – think extended; aunt, uncle, cousin, etc. Veterinarian Doctor Dentist Church leader(s) Military Foster Parents/kids Animal Shelter Brainstorm with your family, the list will amaze you and the results will bless you.  

This Gratitude Tree can be easily adapted for the Christmas season also.

Click HERE for the ornaments

gratitude tree 4Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2013, 2016


Animal Shelter

Service to the Animal Shelter

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Animal Shelter

Being Kind to Animals

I have a cat.

Do I cuddle with my cat?

No.

Why do I have a cat then?

For a business relationship.

What?

Well, we live on the edge of a field which is growing smaller all the time as new housing developments grow near me.  As the houses are built, the mice are displaced and try to find somewhere else to live.

Since my house is on the edge of the fields, I dislike housing the now uprooted mice, so I, therefore, I have a cat.

Where did I get my really good mousing cat?

At my local Animal Shelter!

Wanting to do a service with my grandkids, I thought the Shelter would be a perfect choice and called to see if anything could be donated to help them out.

 

 

Did you know that some shelters care for more than dogs and cats?

The one in my area has:

  • Goats
  • Chickens
  • Rabbits
  • Hamsters
  • Horses
  • and other animals too!

The employees at the Animal Shelter were so informative and helpful to talk to when I called and said that I would like to do a family service.

They gave me a list of items needed at a wide price range, which worked well with my budget. 

As a family, we went to the store with our allotted money for this project, the list and shopped.  

Here’s the list I was given:

  • Food for the cats, dogs, and other animals
  • Litter or bedding for cages
  • Toys for animals
  • Towels to clean up animalsAnimal Shelter 1

After visiting with the awesome staff and learning about how the animals were cared for at the shelter, the grandkids were allowed to go play with the cats – and boy did they have fun!
Animal Shelter 5

  • I hope you will take this opportunity to contact your local Animal Shelter, ask what their needs are for donations, and take in a few items. 
  • Even just a few dollars worth of items will help out a ton.
  • Maybe you can volunteer, or stay and pet a cat or dog or two who needs a little love when you drop off your donation.

Animal Shelter 3 Additional Information:

Reader Linda wrote in:  My local shelter has turtles, rabbits, birds, mink, ferrets, emus.  They could always use old blankets, towels, collars, and leashes. Any sweaters for the skinny or small dogs as they get cold or even freeze easy.

Blogger Pam suggested:  They are always looking for volunteers too. A couple of things we like to donate, that most people won’t necessarily think about are paper towels, plastic gloves, hand sanitizer and hand soap. Also, gift cards to places like Tar­get, Wal­mart, and Petco are awe­some too. 

Blogger Diane added to the list above:  old blankets  

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2015. 2017

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today