2. Read kids' books about the holiday together. Beyond understanding the facts of Memorial Day, kids can better understand its meaning by reading stories. Two great kids' books about the holiday are The Wall by Eve Bunting and Memorial Day Surprise by Theresa Golding. In The Wall, a young boy and his father travel to Washington, D.C. to visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to find Grandpa's name. In Memorial Day Surprise, a mom tells her son that there is a "big surprise" at the Memorial Day parade, which turns out to be his grandfather, a veteran, being applauded as a hero at the end of the procession.
3. Make patriotic crafts to decorate your home or take to local celebrations. Have your children help you deck your front door with a Stately Striped Wreath made of tulle and sparking star garland, and beckon revelers with A Star-Spangled Yard with white flour stencils. Or, turn an empty coffee can into a red, white, and blue Mini Marching Drum fit for a parade and top things off Hats Off to America caps made of red plastic cups.
4. Make an Americana-themed dessert with the kiddos' help. Add patriotism to your usual backyard barbecue by creating a special dish together. Assemble a batch of Sweet & Salty Sparklers by covering pretzel rods with white chocolate and red and blue sprinkles and M&Ms, layer red and blue gelatin with whipped cream for a Star-Spangled Parfait, or bake some Fireworks Cookies by topping your sugar cookies with white frosting, blue sugar and strawberry PopRocks.
5. Teach kids how to fly the flag. As an important symbol of our country, kids should understand the significance of flying the flag. Explain that you'll fly the flag at half-mast, a position reserved for when the country is in mourning, until noon, before raising it to full mast for the remainder of Memorial Day. Practice saying the Pledge of Allegiance with your kids and talk about what the words really mean. You can also teach older children how to fold the flag properly.
6. Attend a parade or another community event. Most cities and towns have a Memorial Day parade, which you can find out about in local news or on vetfriends.com. You can also watch the National Memorial Day Parade, which begins at 2 p.m. in Washington, D.C., on television (REELZ network) or live-streamed on Military.com. Whatever parade you watch, teach your kids to stand and clap when veterans march past. Check your local news for ceremonies, runs, and other events you can attend to honor the holiday as well.
7. Visit a war memorial or veteran's cemetery in your town. Have your kids help you pick out flowers or make a wreath that you as a family can leave there in honor of the soldiers who died fighting for our country.
8. Make a trip to the veteran's hospital or a Veterans of Foreign Wars post. Though Memorial Day is about soldiers who died in war, veterans who may have lost fellow soldiers in service will appreciate being in your thoughts. Take your kids to meet and visit with military veterans at a local veteran's hospital or VFW post. Bring them cookies or donate books or movies to their library—or have your children prepare a song to sing for them like "America the Beautiful" or the "Star-Spangled Banner."
9. Participate in the VFW's Buddy Poppy program. Each year for almost 100 years, disabled, hospitalized and aging veterans make red paper flowers called the Buddy Poppy and ship them to VFW posts for community distribution to encourage donations to the organization. The VFW pays the veterans for their work making the flowers, and donation proceeds are used for veterans welfare or survivors' benefits. Contact your local VFW to find out how you and your kids can participate in the Buddy Poppy program in your area.
10. Send a care package to soldiers. Military personnel currently serving in the armed forces will also appreciate your thoughts on Memorial Day. Kids can write a letter thanking them for their service, send them a handmade craft, or ship supplies or comfort items through an organization like Operation Gratitude.
11. Invite a military family over for the day. Do you know of a family who has a mother or father (or son or daughter, brother or sister) serving overseas? Invite them over to your barbecue and and celebrate Memorial Day with those who are connected first-hand to soldiers who risk their lives in service of our country.
12. Participate in the National Moment of Remembrance. In addition to the President or Vice President laying a wreath on soldiers' graves in Arlington National Cemetery each Memorial Day, POTUS also issues a Presidential Proclamation - Prayer for Peace on the annual holiday and calls for a National Moment of Remembrance at 3 p.m. local time. Read the prayer for peace online with your children and come up with ideas for how you can honor the moment for fallen soldiers with the rest of the country. Light a candle, sing a song, or salute the flag? Let their imaginations be your guide!Provided by Parents.com.
There is something awesome about buying a fixer upper and doing the renovations yourself. Some people fix them up a bit at a time, using cash as they have it available. If you want to make a big impact by doing small things, here are 10 things you need to include.
Nothing says outdated like an old-fashioned gold chandelier. Lighting is something that can be updated easily and won’t cost a bunch of money. It is one of the smallest things you can do that will have the biggest impact.
There is an old saying that states “if a barn needs to be painted, slap some paint on it.” You will be amazed at what some paint can do to your home. A new hue can cover imperfections and give the room the blast of color it needs. Forget drab, white walls that are lackluster. Give your home a color makeover.
Just like the lighting, the fixtures in the home become outdated quickly. Startwith the kitchen faucet and then move on to the bathroom. You can update and upgrade a fixer upper by just adding these small touches.
If you have new cabinets in the budget, then you should go for it. However, if your budget is limited, then you may want to try to paint them. Painting old cabinets and installing new hardware will give the kitchen a facelift. If the cabinets are old but sturdy, then you can bring them back to life. Painting is inexpensive and has a huge impact.
Carpet is great when it is new; however, when it is old and dingy, it can really have a negative impact on a space. Hardwoods are the best option, followed by laminate floors. However, if you are stretched for money, you may try a bag floor or a penny style one. There are creative options online that allow you to do great things with your floors for less.
The curb appeal of the home is everything. It does not matter how great the inside looks if the outside is in shambles. Clean up any dead plants and add some new. Be sure to pick flowers and shrubs that bloom at different times. This will allow you to have color year-round. Add some shutters and a fresh coat of paint to the porch. Use decorative numbers to display the address. Finally, replace the mailbox if necessary.
Ceilings are often overlooked. They are usually white and the color is reserved for the walls. However, people do not realize how dirty these ceilings can be. A fresh coat of paint on the ceiling can really enhance the whole room. The walls are not the only thing that needs to be painted.
The biggest impact you can have on the outside of a home is to replace or paint siding. If you have it in the budget, you can add brick and stone accents. Most fixer upper homes have chipping paint and worn out siding. Splurge for some nice siding or paint a great color to update the home’s look.
New windows are expensive, but they are important. If you have old windows in your home, you need to spend the money to upgrade them. Windows are great for keeping the elements at bay. You will save yourself money in the long run by sealing off old-drafty openings.
To help the process of heating and cooling a home, you need to make sure the home has an updated HVAC unit. The air filters are just as important as the unit. Filters with a rating of Merv 11, have "astro pleating" to help ensure no dirt or dust gets into your system. Extend the livelihood of your unit by selecting quality air filters.Originally Posted on March 22, 2017 RISMedia's Housecall by Cary Teller
If you're curious about how long you can expect various pieces and systems in your home to last, the following infographic shows the average life expectancy for mechanical items as well as interior/exterior materials.
The median price of Orlando area homes rose 14 percent year-over-year last month. Meanwhile, sales decreased 8 percent as inventory took its greatest year-over-year tumble in 2016 and dropped by 12 percent.
Orlando Regional Realtor Association released the findings Nov. 17 in its October housing report.
Orlando home sales rise 7 percent, median price jumps 12 percent to $203,000
The median price of Orlando homes sold during the month of May increased more than 12 percent compared to May 2015 and crossed the $200,000 mark for the first time since August 2008. In addition, sales showed a year-over-year increase of nearly 7 percent despite a continuing slide in inventory.Source Orlando Regional Realtor Association
Ensure your Independence Day weekend is filled with celebration and not regret with these 10 fire safety tips, from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA):
You can find more information and tips on being fire safe this Fourth of July, by visiting www.usfa.fema.gov.