FF #187: ๐Ÿ‰ More July Holidays to Celebrate the Summer


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Welcome to the 187th issue of Flanders Family Freebies, a weekly themed link list of resources designed by me, Jennifer Flanders, in hopes of helping you build a strong, happy, healthy home. Thank you for giving me a place in your inbox! Was this newsletter forwarded to you by a friend? Want your own? Subscribe here.

Tyler, Texas
Wednesday, July 3, 2024

Hello Reader,

Before delving into this week's link list (a rundown of fun & quirky July holidays), I need to print two corrections from last week's newsletter.

First is the fact my numbering was off: That was only the 186th newletter, despite my labeling it #187. Which is why you're receiving another #187 this week. (Yes, some very observant readers actually noticed the mix-up and wrote to make sure they hadn't missed an issue.)

Second is a typo in my section about the breakfasts our family has been eating lately. It should've read, "A daily handful of blueberries lowers your risk of Alzheimer's by a whopping 76%"--which is nothing short of amazing and should provide extra motivation for visiting a pick-your-own farm while blueberries are still in season (namely, now).

To get full advantage of the berries' brain-protecting-powers, you'll need to refrain from eating them with milk or yogurt, both of which contain a protein that binds with the pigments in the berries and keeps them from working their magic in your brain. Good news: Blueberries that have been baked into muffins work just as well blueberries eaten raw. Just don't wash them down with a glass of milk.

Now on more fun things to celebrate in July...

Free resources for you this month:

  • July 7: Tell the Truth Day - speak the truth yourself & encourage honesty in your kids, too
  • July 10: Pick Blueberries Day - eat fresh off the bush or bake a yummy blueberry crumbleโ€‹
  • July 12: National Paper Bag Day - try these clever ideas for up-cycling paper sacks
  • July 14: National Tape Measure Day - measure & record how much your kids have grown
  • July 16: National Fresh Spinach Day โ€“a good day for baking our delicious spinach quiche
  • July 17: World Emoji Day โ€“ to celebrate, challenge friends & family to take our emoji quizโ€‹
  • July 28: Parentโ€™s Day โ€“ Pray for your parents & spend some time with them today if you can
  • July 30: International Day of Friendship โ€“ send a special friend a note of encouragement

What I'm reading this week:

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โ€‹168 Hours: You Have More Time than You Thinkโ€‹

My husband and I have been listening to this book together after one of our daughters-in-law gave it a glowing recommendation. She called it "the best nonfiction book I've read in perhaps years!" and noted "168 hours refers to the time you have in a week... [The author's] goal is to help readers align their time with their values."

We've found the book inspiring, as well. There's a lot to digest, but we definitely agree with the Vanderkam's premise: that we have all the hours we need to accomplish the things that are most important to us. The problem is not a shortage of time, but a tendency to squander the time we've been given.

What we're eating this week:

We've been feasting on those brain-protecting blueberry muffins I mentioned above, baked with berries we picked ourselves!

Reader request this week:

My husband called home a few hours before last Thursday's debates and suggested I create free printable Debate Night Bingo Cards to share online before it started. I thought that was a brilliant idea and got right to work.

The cards are filled with buzzwords each candidate commonly uses. I've never seen my kids pay such close attention during a presidential debate as they did while checking off these bingo cards. We're all looking forward to using the updated again for the second debate in September.

What we're watching this week:

In honor of "National UFO Day" yesterday, we re-watched Signs, one of our favorite sci-fi movies of all times. What I love most about the movie: seeing how the main character's present stressful circumstances work together to resolve an existential crisis he's been wrestling since a recent devastating loss. (How's that description for avoiding any spoilers? Ha!)

The movie is funny, poignant, suspenseful, and perfectly paced, with every word of every line in every scene driving the story forward. The music and cinematography are superb, as well. I know sci-fi is not everyone's jam, but this one offers a lot of food for thought and fruitful family discussions. (Warning: It does have a little mild language and couple of scenes that might make you jump, so you may want to check out the Plugged-In Online review before deciding to watch.)

On the podcast this week:

Loving Life at Home: Episode 51

โ€‹WAITING IN A WAY THAT HONORS GODโ€‹

Paul encourages us in 1 Corinthians 10:31, โ€œWhether then you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God.โ€

Glorifying God: That should be our goal, right? And โ€œeverythingโ€ would have to include waiting, wouldnโ€™t it? But how can we wait in a way that honors God? Is that even possible?

Progress on last week's goals:

I was doing fairly well on my goals last week. I โœ… finished 6 pages in my God Bless America journal, โœ… picked blueberries, โœ… took photos of Gabriel with and w/o braces, and โœ… transplanted my sweet potato vines. But I wrenched my back when I โœ… moved a heavy concrete planter, then didn't feel like โŒ organizing cabinets, โŒ cleaning out pantries, or โŒ painting murals, so those goals are getting turfed till next week or my back gets better--whichever comes first. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Personal goals for this week:

  • send new scripture memory challenge to kids/grandkids
  • clear out my email (again!) - down to 25 messages or fewer
  • frame a wedding gift I crocheted
  • clean out pantry, fridge, and freezers and make meal plan using ingredients found there
  • organize cabinets in kitchen and laundry room
  • paint another panel or two on my backyard mural
  • go to Dallas to meet my newest grandbaby (#22!)
  • travel to Oklahoma to visit my aunt

Flanders Family Freebies

A happily married mama of 12, I am passionate about faith & family and love sharing ideas, fun resources, and free printables to help you build a strong, healthy, happy home.

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