Back to School Tips

With school on the horizon, try these tips to ease the transition from a summer of Back to Schoolrelaxation to a year of hitting the books. Getting the school year started right can improve a child’s confidence and outlook on the entire year.
The National Association of School Psychologists offers these tips:
Be sure your child is in good physical and mental health. Schedule doctor and dental checkups early. Discuss any concerns you have over your child’s emotional or psychological development with your pediatrician.
Review the material sent by the school as soon as it arrives. These packets include important information about your child’s teacher, room number, school supply requirements, sign ups for after school sports and activities, school calendar dates, bus transportation, health and emergency forms, and volunteer opportuni-ties.
Mark your calendar. Make a note of important dates, especially back-to-school nights. This is especially important if you have children in more than one school and need to juggle obligations. Arrange for a baby-sitter now, if necessary.
Make copies of all your child’s health and emergency information for reference. Health forms are typically good for more than a year and can be used again for camps, extracurricular activities, and the following school year.
Try to get the supplies as early as possible and fill the backpacks a week or two before school starts. Older children can help do this, but make sure they use a checklist that you can review. Some teachers require specific supplies, so save receipts for items that you may need to return later.
Plan to re-establish the bedtime and mealtime routines (especially breakfast) at least 1 week before school starts.
Designate and clear a place to do homework. Older children should have the option of studying in their room or a quiet area of the house. Younger children usually need an area set aside in the family room or kitchen to facilitate adult monitoring, supervision, and encouragement.
Select a spot to keep backpacks and lunch boxes. Designate a spot for your children to place their school belongings as well as a place to put important notices and information sent home for you to see. Explain that emptying their backpack each evening is part of their responsibility, even for young children.
Freeze a few easy dinners. It will be much easier on you if you have dinner prepared so that meal preparation will not add to household tensions during the first week of school.

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Proper Retirement of U.S. Flags

It is unknown exactly how many Americans display an American flag at their homes, but we know a lot of you do.

BLESS OUR FAMILY - CD9261F

BLESS OUR FAMILY - CD9261F

Few, however, know how to properly dispose of their flag when it becomes too tattered or faded, and correct disposal is a show of respect for one of our most recognizable national symbols.

Retiring a worn-out flag in a few simple – but specific – steps is a simple process. Cut the blue field from the flag and set it aside. Next, cut each red and white stripe apart one by one. Then, burn all portions on a modest but blazing fire.

This should be done simply, but with dignity and respect shown at all times. Be sure any retired flags are reduced to ashes and are unrecognizable as a former flag.

If you wish to further enhance your flag retirement, simple ideas for a flag burning ceremony include:

  • Explaining a brief history of each of the red, white and blue sections as they are being cut apart. This would include explaining their significance.

    AMERICA APPLIQUE- MW4016G

    AMERICA APPLIQUE- MW4016G

  • Asking local veterans to retire individual sections of the flag (especially if there are a number to be disposed)
  • Playing patriotic songs softly in the background as the flags are retired
  • Listing some of the rights and duties of American citizens. This could utilize the Bill of Rights.
  • While preparing for a ceremony involving elementary school age children, have them list ways to be a good citizen. They could read some of these out loud while the ceremony is ongoing.
  • Include Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts in your ceremony.FREEDOM BASKET - MW4048G

Proper retirement of U.S. flags is not difficult, and a ceremony to accompany it can be as simple or as intricate

as you wish. While not required, such ceremonies can make any flag retirement more meaningful for all participants.

Show your patriotism with a flag that never has to be retired. Visit the patriotic flags section of Fantastic Flags now to start shopping.

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Keep Your Pets Safe!

If you’re an animal lover, then you want to keep your pets safe. Their safety, though, isn’t always assured no matter how cautious we are. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals received more than 167,000 calls at its Animal Poison Control Center last year.

GOLDEN RETREIVER - BB80005G

GOLDEN RETRIEVER - BB80005G

Why? Because there are several products in the home that would be considered safe for people, but not for our furry friends.

According to the June issue of WebMD magazine, 5 poisons that should be kept out of your pet’s reach include:

  • People Medications – NSAIDs such as ibuprofen and naproxen can cause kidney damage in both cats and dogs. Antidepressants can cause vomiting and serotonin syndrome.
  • People Food – We’ve always heard that you’re not supposed to feed chocolate to dogs. It causes everything from vomiting to death. Did you know that avocados can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs? Meanwhile, onions, garlic, chives, milk and other dairy products can similarly upset cats.
  • Anti-Pest Products – These are poisons meant for rodents or insects, but they can also cause a multitude of problems for your pets including spontaneous bleeding, muscle tremors and seizures.
  • Plants – Some of the most toxic varieties for pets include azaleas and rhododendrons, tulip bulbs and sago palms.
  • Household Chemicals – So many of these can harm your pets. Some of the most common products are antifreeze, paint thinner, cleansers, pool chemicals and fertilizers. Depending on the poison, these can cause anything from stomach upset and depression to breathing problems or chemical burns.
COCKER SPANIEL - BB80054G

COCKER SPANIEL - BB80054G

If you suspect your pet may have been poisoned, gather samples of the poison and/or your pet’s vomit, and call your vet or Animal Poison Control at 888-426-4435 immediately.

For more information on keeping your pet safe, visit the ASPCA’s website. Also on this site is a form to fill out in order to receive a free pet safety pack which includes a pet rescue window decal and an ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center magnet—a great way to keep the toll-free emergency number handy at all times!

Love your pet? Show the world! Visit Pet Central on Fantastic Flags’ website today.

GOT CANDY? - CD9912F

GOT CANDY? - CD9912F

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How to Love a Child

I found this poem, or set of instructions I guess you could call it, a while back. I don’t remember now if it came off of a website or through an email. Either way, it’s worth a read. If you happen to know who the author is, please let me know so I can give proper credit.

How to Love a Child

Be there.
Say ‘yes’ as often as possible.
Let them bang on pots and pans.
If they’re crabby, put them in water.
If they’re unlovable, love yourself.
Realize how important it is to be a child.
Go to a movie theater in your pajamas.
Read books out loud with joy.
Invent pleasures together.
Remember how really small they really are.
Giggle a lot.
Surprise them.
Say ‘no’ when necessary.
Teach feelings.
Heal your own inner child.
Learn about parenting.
Make loving safe.
Bake a cake and eat it with no hands.
Imagine yourself magic.
Make forts with blankets.
Let your angel fly.
Reveal your own dreams.
Keep the gleam in your eyes.
Express your love.

Go puddle stomping in a rain storm.
Get dirty!!! Kids are cleanable.

Be their biggest fan, and their strongest admirer.

Be an advocate for your child.

Don’t sweat the small stuff. Is blue hair really worth the battle?

Blow kisses —- and catch them.

Picnics on the front lawn.
Spin in circles together.
Cook together.
Play in the rain–without an umbrella.

GRANDCHILREN SPOILED HERE - CD0548F HAPPY BITHDAY - MW4178FTHE PARTY IS HERE - CD0650FBIRTHDAY CAKE - MW8752G

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Craft Show Dates

If you live in Florida – or are planning a vacation to the area – make it a point to visit us at a craft show. Below is our upcoming schedule.

Show Dates 

Click A Date For More Information

 2011 Show Dates

  JULY 23 & 24 – FT LAUDERDALE, FL WAR MEMORIAL AUDITORIUM

AUGUST 13 & 14 – FT. MYERS, FL  LEE CIVIC CENTER

AUGUST 20 & 21 – WEST PALM, FL  SOUTH FLORIDA FAIR EXPO

AUGUST 27 & 28 – TAMPA, FL  STATE FAIRGROUNDS

SEPTEMBER 3 & 4 – DELAND, FL  VOLUSIA COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS

SEPTEMBER 17 & 18 – GREEN COVE SPRINGS,FL
CLAY COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS

OCTOBER 1 & 2 – LAKELAND, FL  THE LAKELAND CENTER

OCTOBER 15 & 16 – PUNTA GORDA, FL
CHARLOTTE HARBOR EVENT CENTER

OCTOBER 22 & 23 – WEST PALM, FL  SOUTH FLORIDA FAIR EXPO

OCTOBER 29 & 30 – BRADENTON, FL MANATEE CIVIC CENTER 

NOVEMBER 5 & 6 – FT. MYERS, FL LEE CIVIC CENTER

NOVEMBER 26 & 27 – TAMPA, FL STATE FAIRGROUNDS

DECEMBER 10 & 11 – WEST PALM, FL SOUTH FLORIDA FAIR EXPO

 

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Storing Your Flags

Now that July 4 has passed, many Americans are ready to store their flags. While they may stand the test of time without any special treatment, proper storage of your garden or decorative flags, as well as your US flag, will extend their life.

A few tips:

  • Store flags in a dry, dust-free environment. Keeping them out of the garage will help avoid chemicals that could be damaging as well.
  • When storing your flag for a long period of time, store it flat so that you do not cause permanent creases.
  • If you don’t have the room to store it flat, roll it like a poster and store it in a tube or in one of many commercially available decorative flag storage bags readily available for this purpose as shown at right. Hint: check Ebay for numerous versions.
  • For garden flags, a great space saving idea is to use a multiple arm pants hanger, readily available online or at local stores. Simply hang one on each arm and hang the entire group in a convenient closet.

 

  • If your flag becomes soiled, wash it in warm water with a mild detergent. Rinsing it well is vital. Leaving residue behind could cause discoloration in any flag. Do not store it until it is completely dry.

 

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Proudly Display Any U.S. Flag Correctly

In light of our blog launch on this Independence Day weekend, Fantastic Flags brings you information on how to correctly display our national symbol. Remember that you can purchase any number of patriotic flags at home-crafts.com!

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As the symbol of our country, the United States flag is a lot more than a piece of red, white and blue cloth. It represents our history and our future as well as our land and our diverse way of life. The flag is a physical reminder of who we are.

As such, displaying that symbol correctly is a display of respect for our nation and each citizen. 

                                        

Proper Display

There are a variety of situations in which to display the U.S. flag.

When displayed in a stand at a place of worship or in an auditorium, it should be placed to the right of the speaker as he faces the audience with any other flags placed to the left.

To display the American flag horizontally or vertically against a wall, the blue field (the “union”) should be at the top and to the flag’s own right. This is to your left as you look at the flag.

Displaying an American flag over a street is not any more complicated. Hang it vertically with the union to the north on an east-west street and to the east on a north-south street.

While U.S. flags typically are displayed with the union to the observer’s left, this is different on U.S. military uniforms. In such cases, the union is on the right “to suggest that the flag is flying in the breeze as the wearer moves forward,” according to Department of the Army regulations.

The U.S. flag should never be flown upside down except as a distress signal calling for help.

When to Fly the Flag    

The American flag may be flown every day of the year, and is usually done between sunrise and sunset. However, if properly lit, the flag can be flown after sundown as well.

It should fly on all state and national holidays as well as any dates designated by the President. It may be carried on a staff or flagpole during parades or meetings and during other ceremonies. It should never touch the ground.

Hoisting and Lowering the Flag

The flag can be attached to a flag pole via the halyard (the rope on the flagpole) with two half hitch knots. It takes two people to raise and lower it properly.

One person holds the flag while the other attaches the halyard and hoists it. He keeps the flag close to the flagpole by holding the line taut. Fasten the halyard to the cleat on the pole to secure the flag in place.

With Other Flags    

When displayed with other national flags, each should be flown on a separate pole at the same height. A U.S. flag flown with state or organizational flags on the same pole is flown above all others.

If the national flag is flown on a pole at the same height as other poles displaying state or other lesser flags, it is placed either out in front or farthest to its own right. The American flag is hoisted first and lowered last at all times.

At Half-Staff

Fly the flag at half-staff to show sorrow, following the death of a president or other important figure, and to honor the ultimate sacrifice made for our country. Flag etiquette dictates that the flag be hoisted to the top of the flag pole, held there for an instant, and then lowered to the middle of the pole. Removal of the flag should repeat these steps. Instead of stopping at the midpoint, lower the flag completely.

Posted in Flag Etiquette, Flag History | Leave a comment