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School is out!

June 07, 2009


(BUILT IN) (Icons/Graphics) Sun1.jpgSchool has ended for many and for others, there are just a couple weeks left. What are your plans this summer? Check out your local territory site to find out what is happening in your area and learn about camps or visit another territory to get ideas for a vacation. Scroll down a little farther to find some easy activities to do at home.


Where was the last place you traveled with your kids? How was it? Would you go again? Share your travel review so other parents can learn where to go and where may not be a great fit! SUBMIT your travel review and you could be entered to win a fabulous prize from our products favorites page >>


Father's Day is Sunday, June 21; it is also the first official day of Summer!  Summer Solstice marks the longest day of the year - how lucky for dad's this year!  On this day the sun is higher in the sky and takes a longer path across our sky, giving us more daylight. That, combined with the more direct rays of sunshine, give us the warm summer season.


Summer Solstice and Father's Day falling on the same day gives us more time to honor fathers as well as all men who act as a father figure. Stepfathers, uncles, grandfathers, and adult male friends are all honored on Father's Day.  Have you planned your celebration for this special day? After talking to many dads, we concluded that dads, by and large, want to spend time with their kids on Father's Day.  Family barbeques were among the most suggested activities by the dads we talked to; although, there were several hints that a 'round of golf' would also help make the day special!  Gift cards to the bookstore and iTunes also make nice gifts.


(BUILT IN) (Icons/Graphics) Father_Jersey.jpg

After sharing the history of Mother's Day last month, it seemed appropriate to tell you about how Father's Day began.  Father's Day is celebrated popularly on 3rd Sunday in June in many parts of the world.

  • The idea for creating a day for children to honor their fathers began in Spokane, Washington. A woman by the name of Sonora Smart Dodd thought of the idea for Father's Day while listening to a Mother's Day sermon in 1909. Having been raised by her father, Henry Jackson Smart, after her mother died, Sonora wanted her father to know how special he was to her. It was her father that made all the parental sacrifices and was, in the eyes of his daughter, a courageous, selfless, and loving man. Sonora's father was born in June, so she chose to hold the first Father's Day celebration in Spokane, Washington on the 19th of June, 1910.
  • In 1924 President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed the third Sunday in June as Father's Day. President Nixon, in 1972, established a permanent national observance of Father's Day to be held on the third Sunday of June. So Father's Day was born as a token of love and gratitude that a daughter cherishes for her beloved father. Roses are the Father's Day flowers: red to be worn for a living father and white if the father has died.


Happy Father's Day and Happy Summer! Team


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Summer Fun Activities Summer Fun Activities

The dreaded words that all children utter at some point are "I'm Bored".  As parents we really can't grasp how kids with toys, games, friends and even siblings at their fingertips can be bored. Yet often two days into summer, kids seem at a loss with how to entertain themselves without television and computer games.


Below are some ideas that will help combat those bored feelings and add some fun to your summer:

  • Start an idea jar filled with activities.  Some ideas to get your jar started: go to the park, play a board game, go to a movie, go miniature golfing, go out for ice cream, set up a tent in the backyard where the kids can play or rent a movie.  Talk to your kids about their ideas for summer fun and start your own family jar.
  • No matter where you live, and what the temperatures are, try to do one outdoor activity every day. Taking walks around the block is fun or play a game of four-square in the driveway, catch bugs in the backyard or break out the water balloons and squirt guns (or spray bottles) and play, play, play!
  • CRAFTS... click here for ideas in our recipe club including BisQuick Squiggle Paint >>
  • Get your kids involved in a summer reading program.  Check out what your local library is offering; the incentives to read books include earning stickers, books or even tickets to attractions.  Many retail outlets also have summer reading programs for kids giving them nice rewards for reading.
  • Camp out in the back yard. Not nearly as much work as actual camping and you still have all the amenities of home. This is lots of fun when the kids invite their friends for a sleepover.
  • If you are looking for some exciting outdoor toys, these are sure to be a hit ... the Construction Claw and the Turbo Fill Blaster. Read the review >>

Have fun and don't forget your sunscreen!

Recipe Favorites Recipe Favorites

Is a family barbeque in store for your Father's Day celebration?  If your family enjoys grilling during the summer months, we have some delicious recipes that will help ease your dining decisions. 


Some favorites from the Recipe Club include:

  • Napa Valley Basil-Smoked Burgers - please the whole family by treating sophisticated palettes with these delicious burgers and make some plain patties for the others >>
  • Spinach and Strawberry Salad - the strawberries are absolutely delicious this time of year and this is a great summer salad >>
  • Roasted Asparagus - a simple, but tasty way to serve asparagus.  You can cook in the oven or on the grill >>
  • Easy Southern Strawberry Shortcake - a light dessert so terrific in the summer with fresh strawberries >>


Check out the perfect grilling gift for dads to use when they barbeque... Grill Charms >>

The Gift of Father's Day The Gift of Father's Day

It’s Father’s Day. I’m luxuriating in bed at 8:30—sunlight is slanting through the window and the smell of coffee and fresh cinnamon rolls is waking me up—when the commotion begins in the hallway.

“Mama, now can we give Daddy his present?” The voice of my four-year-old is excited and impatient.

“Dada! Dada! Dada!” My one-year-old has only one volume: loud.

“Sam, shhh!” Christine is trying to keep order, but she can’t hold back the kids any longer. “Nicholas, yes we can, just...Sam! Sorry Nick, Sam just spilled his milk on the rug.”

“Okay, Mama…but now can we give Daddy his present?”

I pull the covers over my head and pretend to be asleep. The door bursts open, and Nicholas charges across the room, leaping onto the bed and gleefully tugging back the covers. Sam toddles toward the bed like a drunken monkey, hollering “Dada!” with every shaky step.

Nicholas eagerly shoves a heavily-taped package in my face. He’s grinning from ear to ear and bouncing on the bed. “Guess what I made you, Daddy?”

Hmm, I think while I open it, what could it be? A plastic water bottle wrapped in pink and purple tissue paper? A picture frame slathered in tempera paint and hot-glued with fake sea shells?

My second guess is pretty close. “An orange ceramic heart with ‘Dad’ spelled out in macaroni!” I exclaim joyfully, “That’s just what I wanted—thank you!”

Nicholas laughs happily, and I grab him in a one-armed bear hug while I ruffle Sam’s hair with my other hand. Sam is now busy applying my bedside chapstick to his cheeks and nose.

Over the top of Nick’s head, I catch Christine’s eyes—those blue eyes that are life and love and laughter—and I grin. We’ll display this orange heart on a shelf somewhere, but we both know that my real present is moments like these with my kids.

Father’s Day reminds us dads that we’ve already unwrapped the best gift imaginable. From the moment our partner first says those mind-blowing, life-changing words—“You’re going to be a dad”—our lives begin to grow. Fatherhood is the gift our children give us when they fall asleep in our arms, laugh at our silly faces, grasp our fingers as they learn to walk, and look to us for love that never quits. Being a dad is hard, but it’s even harder to imagine my life without the purpose-giving presence of my kids.

I’m a husband, son, brother, writer, and a dozen other things, but Father’s Day reminds me that, whatever else I am, I’m a dad—and if it takes a ceramic heart covered with macaroni to help me appreciate that again, so be it.


David Jacobsen is the author of Rookie Dad: Thoughts on First-Time Fatherhood (available on He lives in Central Oregon with his wife and two young boys. You can contact him at

The Latest Kid Flick... UP The Latest Kid Flick... UP

Have you seen it? It is the movie everyone seems to be raving about. It was released on May 29th. It is a fun movie with lots of adventure for the kids and a little heart-wrenching for the adults. You may find a few moms in the movie in tears as they watch the sweet relationship develop. The 3D animation is amazing.


Read ten year old Avery's movie review to learn more about this comedy adventure about a 78 year old salesman who fulfills his lifelong dream of a great adventure when he ties thousands of balloons to his house and flies away to the wilds of South America.


Click to read >>

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