Unconventional New Year’s Eve Fun at Dahlgren: Family Craft Ideas!

Looking for some unconventional fun to ring in the New Year at Dahlgren? These three sites offer a number of fun craft ideas to delight the whole family during a New Year's Eve craft party:

18 New Year's Eve Countdown Activities for Kids [Soho Sonnet]
This list includes 18 fun crafty ideas, including making a clock from a paper plate, creating a wishing tree to help plan for the new year, and putting together a time capsule.

10 New Year's Eve Crafts for Kids [The Crafty Crow]
The Crafty Crow's list gathers even more fun ideas, such as party favors, glittery headbands, festive hats, and more!

New Years Crafts [Freekidscrafts.com]
From decorations to party hats and noisemakers, you'll find an number of fun ideas on this website. One of the site's most clever projects might be a tambourine made from paper plates.

Do you have any other craft project ideas?

Curious to Learn Santa’s Take on the Holiday Spirit? Read His Thoughts Here, Dahlgren Residents!

The tree is trimmed, the presents are wrapped, and as we take a moment to reflect on the holiday season, we can't help but wonder: What is the holiday spirit all about, anyway? Is it about Black Friday sales and parties? Or perhaps something a little more poignant? There's only one person we'd trust with the answer, so we wrote a letter to Santa Claus, mailed it to the North Pole, and when it came back, this is what it said:

Dear Dahlgren residents and staff,

Santa Claus here. My postmaster elf just handed me your letter, and while your note is just one of billions I've received this season, I decided yours was worthy of an immediate reply. The reason why, you see, is due to the very nature of your letter. Instead of unfurling yet another wish list, I was delighted to read a letter pertaining to a topic very near and dear to me: the true meaning of the holiday season.

I'm sitting here in my favorite chair by the roaring fireplace, thinking about your question, but even after three helpings of cookies and milk from Mrs. Claus, I'm afraid I don't have a simple answer for you. That's because the holiday spirit is different to everyone, and take it from someone who knows, there are a lot of people in this world. For one person, the spirit of the season might be about recreating Grandma's holiday sugar cookie recipe and reminiscing about days past, while someone else might find joy in donating to the less fortunate. I'd imagine that for military families living at Dahlgren, the season might be about spending as much time as possible with loved ones. In other words, the true holiday spirit is whatever warms your heart, Dahlgren residents and staff, but it's up to you to decide just what that might be. Hopefully you'll find that whatever "it" is, it can't be unwrapped.

Ho ho ho,

Santa Claus

How to Start Your Own Halloween Traditions at Home at Dahlgren

Halloween is synonymous with candy, costumes, and trick-or-treating, but like most holidays, it's family traditions that really make October 31 a date worth celebrating. From carving pumpkins (and roasting their seeds!) to reading scary stories by candlelight, the parenting blog Modern Parents Messy Kids has compiled a list of 31 autumn activities that your family can adopt as new traditions this Halloween. Here are a few of our favorite ideas from the list:

1) Make trash bag spiderwebs.
Similar to cutting snowflakes from paper, this budget-friendly decorating idea transforms your everyday black trash bags into intricate spiderwebs. Use them to add some Halloween flair to your home at Dahlgren!

2) Serve pumpkin pancakes for breakfast.
Your kids will leap out of bed on Halloween morning knowing that a tall stack of pumpkin pancakes awaits them in the kitchen. These fluffy flapjacks receive their color through pumpkin puree and a drop or two of orange food coloring. Black cinnamon syrup is piped over top to create sweet spiderwebs, black cats, eerie ghosts, full moons—the possibilities are endless!

3) Make cookie cutter jack-o'-lanterns.
Even young kids can help out with this fun fall craft. Prepare a pumpkin for carving by cutting off the top, removing the seeds, and scraping the sides. Then, position a cookie cutter of your choice onto the pumpkin, and use a rubber mallet to gently hammer the cookie cutter through the wall of the pumpkin. The result is an adorable jack-o'-lantern that's not limited to traditional carving stencils. Even better, you can use cookie cutters that you already have in your kitchen at Dahlgren!

For the full list of Halloween activities, click over to 31 Ways to Start a Halloween Tradition on Modern Parents Messy Kids.

Grilling Safety For Dahlgren Families

Summer is in full swing, Dahlgren. That means long days, long nights, baseball, fireworks, running through sprinklers . . . and grilling!

We don't need to tell you there's nothing like a burger or dog made in the backyard. What makes it so good? Maybe propane, charcoal, Dad's special sauce — but why ask questions? Just do it as much as you can this summer, because you'll miss it when it's gone.

Click here for some grilling safety tips — easy, common sense stuff to keep the whole family safe and well this grilling season.

50 Outdoor Summertime Activities

You are probably looking for ways to entertain your children this summer now that school is out. Follow the link for some fun outdoor activites for the family! click here

Have Fun in the Sun, Dahlgren — Safely

It's summertime, Dahlgren — months on end of fun in the sun.

That takes preparation and common sense, of course. No one likes a sunburn, and we all have to guard against the sun's dangerous after-effects.

Click through for information on sun exposure and how to guard against harmful UV rays. It's can be as simple as using proper sunscreen, slipping on a shirt where possible, or seeking shade.

Most of your sun questions are answered here. Got more? Let us know and we'll try to find answers.

Waves of Honor

Waves of Honor permits any U.S. active duty military, activated, or drilling reservist, or National Guardsman to one complimentary admission per year to either SeaWorld®, Busch Gardens®, Adventure Island®, Water Country USA®, or Sesame Place® or Aquatica SeaWorld's Waterpark™ in San Diego for military personnel and as many as three direct dependents. Water Country USA® and Busch Gardens are the closest to Dahlgren, VA and are definitely worth the drive! Visit http://wavesofhonor.com/ for more information.

Scrapbook Your Neighborhood

Your memories are what you'll take with you when you leave your current posting. Before you go, commit some of those memories to paper and create a scrapbook that you'll be able to look at and share for years to come. You and your kids could take photographs of your favorite neighborhood spots, and write about your own most memorable experiences. Creating the scrapbook itself will be a memory that you and your family will be talking about every time you bring it out to share with others.

Let Martha Stewart Help Your Spring Cleaning at Dahlgren

Slowly but surely the cold weather is lifting. Every day there's another bird outside. If you look close — we promise — a few tree limbs are beginning to swell.

Spring is a time of rebirth, so why not plan some spring cleaning? Use Martha Stewart's printable checklist to help you — she gives you the lowdown on cleansers, stain removal, fabric, care, and storage.

Martha will help you zip through the process safely, efficiently, and with a minimum of stress.

As she'd say, It's a good thing.

Calling All Dahlgren Families — La Plata’s Veteran’s Day Parade, Sunday, November 10

Remember, Dahlgren — Veterans Day is November 11. We always remember America's veterans, but how will you mark the special day?

A great way to start is by coming out for La Plata's "Salute to Veterans" parade on November 10. Running from the Courthouse on Charles Street, down La Grange, and past La Plata Town Hall to Sacred Heart Church, the parade is a festive array of service members, classic cars, rescue vehicles, bands, local families, and much more.

Enjoy the fall weather, meet your neighbors, spare a thought for the fallen, and say thanks to the men and women who sacrifice so much for us. The fun starts at 1 p.m.!

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