Patriotic Shirt

DIY Fireworks Shirt

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Patriotic Shirt

Tie Dye Firework Patriotic Shirt

This DIY Fireworks Shirt is an easy, quick and fun way to make your own Patriotic shirt.

With your own homemade DIY Fireworks Shirt, you’ll look Patriotic on the 4th of July. 

Because you’ll be wearing Red, White and Blue in an imaginative and original way, since YOU designed it!  

You can customized this  DIY Fireworks Shirt to your own personality.  The best part is, this craft does not require artistic ability, and it will turn out perfect!

It’s a great project for teens or a youth activity.

Get your family together so they can express them self in art, while having a fabulous time together.  You’ll also stand out in the crowds (and easy to spot each other which is a nice bonus) while enjoying the celebrations, parades, fireworks and all we have with our blessed freedoms.  

DIY Patriotic Firework Shirt


Sharpie Markers

Spray bottle

Rubbing Alcohol

Cotton t-shirt

Plastic, cookie sheet, cutting board, anything to put between the front and back of the shirt so it does not bleed through Patriotic Shirt 1


Pour the rubbing alcohol into the spray bottle, do not dilute

Place your t-shirt on a flat surface.

Tuck the plastic, cutting board, whatever you are using in between the front and back of the shirt to prevent bleeding through

With any color of sharpie marker you desire begin to make designs

Patriotic Shirt 2


Continue all across the t-shirt in the pattern of your choice. Patriotic Shirt 3

When you are finished with your masterpiece,  spray the ink designs with the rubbing alcohol to make it ‘bleed and run’Patriotic Shirt 4Continue until you are happy with the resultsPatriotic Shirt 5ALLOW TO DRY FOR at least 1 hour.

When the shirt is COMPLETELY dry, put in the dryer for 15 minutes to set. 

We have not had a problem with the ink coming off onto other clothing in the wash, but test for your own results.

Carrie Groneman Pattern, Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2014, 2018

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.

Caring for Pets, Dogs, in the Summer

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Summer Pet Care 1

Summer Pet care

I’s all about our pets and we have some tips and advice for the dog and a bit about cats to keep them safe this summer.

My daughter-in-law Ashley, who has worked as a veterinarian tech, and LOVES animals, was so kind to prepare this article for us. Thanks Ash!

   Updated with even more very useful information.  Please check with your veterinarian about any questions concerning this post.

 Summer Pet Care

4th of July Pet Safety

More pets are lost on July 4th than on any other day. Here are some tips to help keep your pet safe:

  • Be sure your pet is wearing an up-to-date ID tag on its collar at all times.
  • Take a current photo of your pet, just in case you need to locate your animal.
  • Exercise your dog early in the day before the celebrations and parties begin. This will cause the dog to be tired, calm and easier to relax during the noise and commotion that comes with this holiday.
  • Keep fireworks and sparklers away from all pets!!!
  • During cookouts, ask guests to play with pets away from bbq flames.

If your pet is afraid of loud noises:

  • Play a cd or the radio with soft music to drown out the sounds of the fireworks
  • If possible, keep the pet in the basement where the noises cannot penetrate the area as well.
  • Ask your veterinarian for a tranquilizer to help calm your pet if it is severely anxious.
  • Give your pet distractions, such as a frozen treat or chew bone.


Tips and Suggestions

Pets can easily get over heated, some breeds more susceptible to heat related problems such as very thick coated cats and dogs (ex: Akitas & Malamutes – long haired cats & dogs) and those with flat faces (boxers, pugs, Persian cats).

  • Leaving a pet in a car during the heat, even with the windows cracked can be dangerous. Even when it is 70-80 degrees outside, it can quickly rise to 100 degrees in the vehicle. Leaving a pet in a car, even for a few minutes can be dangerous for the animal.
  • Use caution when taking your dog while exercising because it is closer to the ground and will get heated much more quickly then you will.
  • To help with the heat, if you have a thick coated pet, trimming its coat will help. However, avoid going to short as the layers in their coat protect them from heat and sunburn.
  • When using bug spray for pets, do not use anything with DEET in it. There are all natural ones, like Burt’s Bee’s (which is what I use for my pups) and some made specially for pets, found at most pet store.
  • For sun screen, find one that does NOT contain Zinc Oxide, it is toxic to animals. Baby Sun screens, and animal specific usually do not have Zinc Oxide.
  • It’s not a good idea to shave your pets hair very short. The hair acts like a barrier to protect again the Sun’s rays. Try thinning your pets hair, by brushing with a hair thinning brush like the Furminato
  • Heart Worms have been an increasing issue passed along to dogs by mosquitoes. Ask your vet for more information and preventative measures
  • When using insecticides and pesticides make sure these are safe for use around pets; otherwise they can be lethal to animals.
  • Check often to make sure your pet has plenty of clean water. When traveling with your pet there are many options for water such as special water bottles to spill-proof water bowls.
  • To cool down your pup of any age, put cool water in a small wading pool and be sure to keep enough water for the dog.
  • When is hot too hot?

IMG_66196259441554_resized (3)

How to tell if your pet is suffering from heat stroke:

Early stages:

  • Heavy panting
  • Rapid breathing
  • Excessive breathing
  • Bright red gums & tongue
  • Hard time keeping balance
  • If your pet has these symptoms and you cannot cool down your pet and advanced signs of heat stroke begin to become apparent, immediately go to the veterinarian.

Advanced stages:

  • White or blue gums
  • Lethargic and unwilling to move
  • Uncontrollable urination or defecation
  • Labored, noisy breathing
  • Shock

If your dog or cat shows any of the signs above, immediately try to cool them down by:

  • Apply rubbing alcohol to paws
  • Apply ice packs to groin area
  • Pour cool water on them
  • Give it ice chips and small amounts of water
  • Offer Pedialyte to restore electrolytes

***One way to tell if an animal is dehydrating is to pinch the skin on the back of its neck and pull up and let go. If it snaps back into place your pet is fine. If it is slow to go back in place, your pet is dehydrating. If the skin does not go back down, or takes a long time, your pet is severely dehydrated and should be taken to a veterinarian immediately.

If you happen to see a pet left in a car when it is hot outside options are:

  • Take note of the vehicle’s make, model and license plate. Ask the store manager or security
  • Help you locate the owner of the car.
  • In many states it is against the law to leave an animal in a hot car. If you live in an area with this law, call animal control or law enforcement.
  • Keep an eye on the pet in the vehicle until help or the owner arrives.

Traveling with pets:

  • Take plenty of water while traveling or hiking.
  • Pack ‘poop’ bags and use them. Be a responsible pet owner.
  • Do your homework and make sure that the location you want to take your pet is a pet-friendly place. Most hiking trails require that your dog is on a leash.
  • A retractable leash allows your dog plenty of room to play, while allowing a tight rein when needed.
  • Take along a dog toy, that way if you wear out before the dog does, you can sit, throw the toy for them to fetch.
  • If hiking or going to a lake, your dog will most likely be very dirty or wet; pack towels to cover your seats for the ride home.
  • If you take your dog on a hike or in the open, there is the potential for an encounter with a rodent or wild animal which could pose potential threat of disease such as rabies. Make sure your pet is up to date on its vaccines.
  • There is a vaccine to help protect against rattle snake venom. It does not stop the venom, but slows it down enough that you have more time to get your pet into the vet.

Taking your dog to the park:

  • Treat this activity with your dog, just as you would a child and do not take eyes off them. Though you may know the temperament of your own pet, you do not know that of other dogs.
  • Make sure your dog is healthy and up to date on vaccines. It only takes one sick puppy for others to catch it. For instance Parvo is a highly contagious and deadly disease that can easily be spread throughout the dog community. It mostly affects young puppies and unvaccinated dogs. It is wise to avoid places like dog parks and pet shops until your dog has been vaccinated at least twice for the Parvo disease. Parvo can live in the soil for many years, making it an easy disease to spread from dog to dog.
  • Please clean up after your dog!!! Keep ‘poop’ bags in your car or with you if walking.
  • Many weeds can also harm your dog, such as fox tails which imbed themselves in a dogs ears, eyes, armpits and toes. Ask your veterinarian which plants and weeds to be cautious of in your area and what to look for if your pet is exposed.

 The Yellow Dog Project

If you own a dog that ‘needs their own space’ while out with other dogs, The Yellow Dog Project is the solution! The concept is this: if you see a dog with a yellow ribbon tied to its leash or collar this signals to give the dog space and not to approach the animal.

Possible reasons a dog needs space:

  • Health issues
  • Elderly
  • Dog in training
  • Animal in rehabilitation from surgery
  • Dog is frightened/aggressive toward other dogs or certain types of people (example: children)

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2019

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.

Patriotic Popcorn

Patriotic Red, White and Blue Popcorn In Printable Cone Wrap

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Patriotic Popcorn

Your friends and family are going to LOVE this Patriotic Red, White and Blue Popcorn In Printable Cone Wrap!

I found these adorable 4th of July cone covers designed by Heather of ChickaBug Blog and just had to make something to go in her very cool printable.   

After searching around for ideas, I set to work making some Red and Blue Popcorn which I made by coating popcorn in a bit of white chocolate and dry cake mix.     Yes, I wrote cake mix, and it turned out really, really good.  I hope you’ll give it a try this 4th of July!


Patriotic Red, White and Blue Popcorn In Printable Cone Wrap

Ingredients for the Patriotic Treat:

Sugar Cones

Printable, (link in description and below in directions)

Glue Dots

Popcorn, popped, 4-6 cups depending on your taste, per color

1 Tbl. shortening, I used butter shortening, per color

1  cup white chocolate buttons, per color

1/2 cup cake mix, per color (I found these small bags of bright colored cake mix)  

Patriotic Popcorn


Pop the popcorn and have 4 cups ready in a bowl, with extra in reserve.

Spread waxed paper out for popcorn to set up on.

Print the awesome cone printable by clicking HERE which will take you to ChickaBug’s site. Thank you so much Heather for sharing with us at AMS!Patriotic Popcorn Cut out the cone cover. 

The printable has a ‘fold here’ line, but I wanted the cover to the top of the cone, and the fold lines did not show, so it was good either way you choose to do it.Patriotic Popcorn Wrap the wrapper around the cone Patriotic Popcorn And secure with glue dotsPatriotic Popcorn  

Remember to have your popcorn popped and ready.

Now to make the homemade yummy PATRIOTIC RED, WHITE AND BLUE POPCORN

Pour chocolate wafers into a microwavable bowl; microwave for 20 seconds, stir.Patriotic Popcorn Microwave another 10 seconds and stir. 

Continue this process…Patriotic Popcorn Until it is smooth and completely melted. Patriotic Popcorn Add in the shortening and stir until melted well. 

Melt in microwave a few seconds if necessary. Patriotic Popcorn Now trust me on this, add in 1/2 cup of DRY cake mix and stir well.Patriotic Popcorn

Pour onto popped popcorn and stir; adding in more popped popcorn if needed.  Patriotic Popcorn When it is well combined spread out on waxed paper to set up. Patriotic Popcorn

Repeat the process for another colorPatriotic Popcorn Add in the shortening  Patriotic Popcorn Stir until melted Patriotic Popcorn Add in the other color of cake mix and stir wellPatriotic Popcorn

Allow the other color to dry on waxed paper also.

Now you have a wonderful treat to serve in these very clever cone covers.  Patriotic Popcorn

Thanks again Heather at ChickaBugBlog for sharing your printable with us.

Carrie Groneman’s recipe, Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2014, 2018

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today

Easy Patriotic Ice Cream Sandwich


Print Friendly, PDF & Email


Ice Cream Sandwich covered in red, white and blue candy sprinkles

Easy Patriotic Ice Cream Sandwich

Easy Patriotic Ice Cream Sandwich

Easy Patriotic Ice Cream Sandwich

These easy Patriotic Ice Cream Sandwiches are a terrific way to cool off with red, white and blue and bring in the celebration.  

They are so easy and fast to make, that they are a perfect cooking activity to get the kiddos involved in.

You can put these together in a hurry for a party, the parades, fireworks or any event.  Also to cool down on a hot summer day and bring on the fun. 

Another quick treat are Patriotic Chocolate Dipped Marshmallows are a great addition to your treat line-up. 

And don’t forget the Red, White and Blue Popcorn for an added delight. It’s a really yummy snack.

Make the Patriotic Ice Cream Sandwich, even all three of the treats; everyone will really enjoy the celebration of food!


 Red, White & Blue Ice Cream Sandwiches


Ice cream sandwiches

Red White and Blue Patriotic Sprinkles


Unwrap an ice cream sandwich and place on a plate or waxed paper.Easy Patriotic Ice Cream SandwichShake the sprinkles over the ice cream sandwich covering evenly. 

Eat or place back in the freezer until ready to use.Easy Patriotic Ice Cream SandwichENJOY!

Ice Cream Sandwich covered in red, white and blue candy sprinkles


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

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today

Marshmallow Pops

Patriotic Marshmallow Pops


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

 Marshmallow Pops

Patriotic Marshmallows


Patriotic Marshmallow Pops

Patriotic Marshmallow Pops bring out the red, white and blue in treats and fun as you celebrate Independence day and fireworks.

Short on time, but need something fun and unique? 

This little patriotic treat is just right to take along to the parade, fireworks, a family reunion, the neighborhood gathering, or just for fun.   

It’s also a great recipe to make with kids and teens.

If you’re looking for more 4th of July recipes you might like these creative and scrumptious Red, White and Blue Nachos


Patriotic Marshmallow Pops aka Chocolate Dipped Marshmallows with Patriotic Sprinkles


White chocolate melts or white chocolate chips

Sucker sticks


Waxed paper or parchment paper



Skewer the  marshmallow. 

Cutting a small slit with a knife makes it easier to push the stick into the marshmallow.

Place chocolate melts or chips in a microwave safe bowl.Patriotic MarshmallowsMicrowave for 20 seconds, stir. 

Repeat this process, stirring, careful not to burn the chocolate.Patriotic MarshmallowsContinue until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth and warm, but not hot.Patriotic Marshmallows

Have together the skewered marshmallows, sprinkles of choice in a small bowl for easier dipping and melted chocolate.Patriotic MarshmallowsDip the marshmallow part way into the chocolate part way.Patriotic MarshmallowsUsing the spatula, even off the sides chocolate by spinning the marshmallow against the side and also flatten the bottom of the marshmallow.Patriotic MarshmallowsQuickly dip the marshmallow into the bowl of sprinkles.  Patriotic Marshmallows

Use all of the same color or type of sprinkles, or mix it up for variety.Patriotic Marshmallows

If the chocolate begins to set up and is not easy to dip the marshmallows, simply put the bowl of chocolate in the microwave and set for 10 second intervals, stirring and repeating the steps above until warm and melted.Patriotic MarshmallowsPlace covered marshmallows on waxed paper or parchment and allow to set up. 

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

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.

Gratitude to God for America

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

During this time of year, and particularly the 4th of July we have a very special opportunity to reflect a bit more on our many blessings and opportunities of living in this United States. Gratitude to God for America

Many have gone before us who sacrificed all, even their lives for us to have the privileges of freedom of speech, to go where we desire, enjoy the great benefit of an education, to become what we are willing to work for, to dream of and to accomplish all that we see as worthwhile. Many noble, courageous and heroic men and women sacrificed their possessions and personal safety so they, their children, posterity, even each of us, could have the gift of freedom. Men went to battle for liberty, leaving comfort of home and love of family; many never to return. Women sacrificed as their husbands, fathers, sons went to battle, all for the cause of liberation. Instead of purchasing English fabric and goods they would spin their own yarn and linen; then weave cloth to make clothing, an arduous task added to now taking care of the home, children and land with the men to war. Children were also considered forces to be reckoned with. They were taught to stand for truth, speak for the right, and live God’s commandments. There is a story told of an altercation involving British soldiers who had mistreated children who lived in the area. The boys went to General Gage himself, an English General.   They presented their case stating the wrongs that had been done to them repeatedly. The General asked if their parents had sent them to speak to him. They replied no, and again stated their position of continued mistreatment from his men. General Gage reportedly laughed at the plucky young fellows, promised his soldiers would not bother them anymore and then turning to an officer nearby said: “Even the children here draw in the love of liberty with the very air they breathe.”

There are countless extraordinary lessons and examples from those who fearlessly fought for what they deemed most dear – that of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. People such as George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Paul Revere, the list would go for pages. We can gain knowledge and inspiration by learning of their lives. One account of George Washington gives us insight of what true greatness looks like and what we should strive for. During the Revolution, Washington was riding by a group of soldiers who did not recognize him. They were working very hard to raise a beam above a military construction. He could hear the corporal shout, “Now you have it, all ready, Pull!” Washington quietly asked the corporal why he didn’t help the men who were struggling with such a difficult weight. The corporal replied, “Sir, do you realize that I am the corporal?” Washington raised his hat politely and said, “I did not realize it and beg your pardon Mr. Corporal.” He dismounted his horse, got in line with the men and worked until the beam was in place. Before leaving he turned to the corporal, wiping his face of the perspiration said, “If ever you need assistance like this again, call upon Washington, your commander-in-chief, and I will come.” The confused and flustered corporal realized that this was the most respected and admired Washington himself to whom he had been so pompous. It would admirable and commendable if we would follow Washington’s example of meekness and humility. Have a wonderful and safe holiday with family and friends.  Some time during the day, take a moment to say a prayer of gratitude and thankfulness to God who gives us all, even our life and the joys that come with living on this great earth, at this momentous time in history and in this blessed, remarkable country. 

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.


Declaration of Independence

Let Freedom Ring – America

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Declaration of Independence

Declaration of Independence


Declaration of Independence

America truly is a unique country. I personally count myself extremely blessed to have the privilege of being an American citizen.

The United States of America has some very special components that make up our country, let’s look at a few.


To begin with do you and your family members know which song is the National Anthem?

I am continually amazed at how many people put their hand over their heart when “God Bless America” is played.

It is an inspired and moving song and one which I do like very much; however, our national anthem is…. “The Star-Spangled Banner”!

If the US flag is present when “The Star-Spangled Banner” is playing, it is proper to stand facing the flag with the right hand over the heart from the first note of the song until the last note is played/sung. Out of respect, men are to remove their hat, any hat unless military, etc.

If the flag is not present during “The Star Spangled Banner”, it is correct to face the direction of where the music is being sung or played; standing at attention with right hand over heart just as if the flag were in view.

During the song it is correct protocol to sing the words or remain silent, but saluting either way. It is NOT appropriate and extremely RUDE to use a phone, eat or drink, or talk during the national anthem.

Interesting fact: “The Star-Spangled Banner” is four verses long in its entirety, although only the first verse is typically sung. The Pledge of Allegiance, often recited before the singing of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” can only be recited if the flag is present, although “The Star-Spangled Banner” can be sung regardless of whether the flag is present., source.

The Story of how “The Star Spangled Banner” came to be:

On a rainy September 13, 1814, British warships sent a downpour of shells and rockets onto Fort McHenry in Baltimore Harbor, relentlessly pounding the American fort for 25 hours. The bombardment, known as the Battle of Baltimore, came only weeks after the British had attacked Washington, D.C., burning the Capitol, the Treasury and the President’s house. It was another chapter in the ongoing War of 1812.

A week earlier, Francis Scott Key, a 35-year-old American lawyer, had boarded the flagship of the British fleet on the Chesapeake Bay in hopes of persuading the British to release a friend who had recently been arrested. Key’s tactics were successful, but because he and his companions had gained knowledge of the impending attack on Baltimore, the British did not let them go. They allowed the Americans to return to their own vessel but continued guarding them. Under their scrutiny, Key watched on September 13 as the barrage of Fort McHenry began eight miles away.

“It seemed as though mother earth had opened and was vomiting shot and shell in a sheet of fire and brimstone,” Key wrote later. But when darkness arrived, Key saw only red erupting in the night sky. Given the scale of the attack, he was certain the British would win. The hours passed slowly, but in the clearing smoke of “the dawn’s early light” on September 14, he saw the American—not the British Union Jack—flying over the fort, announcing an American victory.

Key put his thoughts on paper while still on board the ship, setting his words to the tune of a popular English song. His brother-in-law, commander of a militia at Fort McHenry, read Key’s work and had it distributed under the name “Defense of Fort Mc’Henry.” The Baltimore Patriot newspaper soon printed it, and within weeks, Key’s poem, now called “The Star-Spangled Banner,” appeared in print across the country, immortalizing his words—and forever naming the flag it celebrated.

The Pledge of Allegiance

I found this terrific break-down of the Pledge of Allegiance. On your own, or as a family, take a minute to understand a bit more about this amazing expression of loyalty to our great United States.  Click HERE to see this great article

Click HERE for an enduring, wonderful video by the timeless Red Skeleton is only a few minutes long and very well worth the entire family, despite age, to watch. The spirit of our nation will touch your heart.

The vital and crucial component to our country is the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration of Independence was inspired and extremely relevant today. In fact, it is one of the most important documents that founded America, defining what it means to be an American and the basic purposes of self-government. Please take a few minutes to read the Declaration of Independence. At the below site, you can read the original text, as well as consult three annotated versions explaining the Declaration’s basic principles, its historical context, and a glossary of terms.

Why the Declaration of Independence matters, click HERE.

Summary of the Declaration of Independence, click HERE.

Teaching kids about our great holiday and country is so important.  For fun and educational ways to teach kids about the flag, Declaration of Independence, Pledge of Allegiance and other holiday facts read more Click HERE

Click HERE for a great site to help you have fun with your kids while teaching them about the Declaration of Independence.

Have a wonderful holiday week, recognize the great blessings that are here in the United States of America and be a blessing to your family and country.

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2013

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today