A Thanksgiving Tablecloth: Mishaps Can Become Blessings

“Love my kids . . . and all the things they’re thankful for. Our ‘gratitude tablecloth’ is looking pretty good!”

Look at this fun tablecloth my sister and her family have been creating this month in celebration of Thanksgiving. When asked about it she gave this explanation:

“We started it a few years ago when one of the girls spilled fingernail polish on my white tablecloth and ruined it. I was going to throw it away, then we got out the markers and started drawing on it instead . . . it just happened to be in November and we’ve done it every year since. I’ve always said I’d pull them out and use them on the tables at family gatherings with my own grandchildren someday, but this is our sixth or seventh tablecloth already . . . I’ll probably never use that many tables!”

What a wonderful tradition! And knowing my sister, she WILL pull them out and use them on the tables at family gatherings with her own grandchildren someday. She’s that kind of a mother, and what a blessing to her children AND her posterity. I think my favorite part of this is that it came about from an ‘accident’ . . . spilled fingernail polish to be exact. You know, one of those moments that have the potential to turn into a disaster when mom walks in to see her favorite (or not so favorite!) tablecloth permanently stained and marred never to be the same again. She could have had a different reaction, but instead she turned it into a positive family tradition that will live on through generations.

What are YOUR Thanksgiving traditions? What do you and your children or grandchildren do to focus on your blessings during the month of November? What fun ideas can you share with the rest of us to help us all focus on blessings and gratitude throughout this Thanksgiving month? Please post your thoughts and ideas in the comments below. If you’d like to be a guest blogger for the KidsAllAround blog (whether it’s a one-time post or ongoing) email us at cachevolunteercenter@gmail.com.


Reflections on Volunteering as a Family

DATA from Family Volunteer Day 2013:

# of Families: 47

# of Individuals: 178

# of Projects: 23

# of youth-led projects: 17

Age Range of Participants: 2-87

Items donated: quilts, hygiene kits, food items, cash, school supplies, mittens and gloves, clothing, toys

# of items donated: 1500+

Reflections on last year’s Family Volunteer Day
By Kayla Dinsdale

Family Volunteer Day 2013 was such an amazing experience. I love service and to be able to bring service into the lives of my family members and my extended family members was great. Our family decided to put together little hygiene kits for the Ogden’s YCC agency. These bags included a hair brush, toothbrush/paste, washrag, deodorant, mirror, tissues,shampoo/conditioner, hair elastics and floss. We had 14 people involved in this project from the ages of 4-55. It was a great bonding experience to come together as a family and think outside of ourselves. We had a great discussion as a family of the many things we are blessed with and how something as simple as a toothbrush can help other people.

Because of National Family Volunteer Day our family was able to promote this event to others and we were able to help 19 other families to volunteer together. These families did a variety of activities such as: decorating, passing out treats and visiting with residents at Logan Nursing and Rehab, making a twin size quilt for a local CAPSA shelter, making and handing out fleece tie blankets for the pediatric unit at the Logan Regional Hospital, and putting together a fundraiser for lady who was diagnosed with cancer. National Family Service Day brings families together and help them participate in a wholesome activity and connects community members to one another.

For details on how to get involved with Family Volunteer Day 2014 check out the Cache Valley Volunteer Center blog, the Facebook Event Page, or the previous post in this blog.


Family Volunteer Day 2014

Family Volunteer Day 2014

November 22, 2014

What are you and your family doing for Family Volunteer Day 2014?

Volunteering as a family is something special you can all do together to help teach your kids about thinking larger than themselves. Whether there are two of you or you have a big extended family, if you combine efforts to help others – that’s volunteering!
Besides the wonderful benefits to your community, there are many benefits for your family. Volunteering together enhances values such as kindness, compassion for their contributions and talents. You can learn more about Family Volunteer Day on the Cache Valley Volunteer Center blog.

Want more reasons to volunteer as a family? Look at these great benefits!
√ Gain quality family time.
√ Strengthen bonds when you share the experience.
√ Give family members an opportunity to lead.
√ Increase commitment to volunteering and your community.

Plan with your family an activity you can do in your community for volunteer day and you can feel the joy in serving together for a worthy cause. Join the Family Volunteer Day 2014 Event page. Everyone who joins the event will receive FREE T-shirts for their families on a first come first serve basis.

Need some ideas? For projects you can do as a whole family check out the Service Project Ideas on the Cache Valley Volunteer Center. Be sure to visit the Event Page on facebook to register your project and we will reserve a t-shirt for each member of your family (available on a first come first serve basis). We also hope you will take pictures of your event and share them with us in the facebook group to help inspire others.


Happy Veterans Day!


Americans will celebrate Veterans Day Tuesday, honoring those who have served their country. But have you ever wondered why we celebrate the holiday on a Tuesday and how it all got started? Turns out, Veterans Day as we know it traces its roots back to Alabama.

Armistice Day: The origins of the holiday date back to U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, who proclaimed Armistice Day on Nov. 11, 1919 to mark the end of World War I. The armistice between Germany and the Allied nations that ended WWI was signed on that day and a ceasefire went into effect on the 11th hour of Nov. 11, 1918.
The initial celebration included a short work stopping at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11
Alabama’s role: In 1945, Birmingham veteran Raymond Weeks, a veteran of World War II, led a delegation to then Army Chief of Staff Gen. Dwight Eisenhower to convince him to turn Armistice Day into a time to honor all those who served in the armed forces. Weeks led the first national celebration in Alabama in 1947, something he continued to do until his death in 1985.
Name change: Eisenhower, by then president, signed a bill into law in 1954 and Congress voted to change the name from Armistice Day to Veterans Day.

Veterans Day is now observed on Nov. 11, regardless of which day of the week on which day it falls. Federal and most state offices are closed on the day.

In Cache Valley your family can participate in Honoring our Country’s Veterans at two venues.

Sky View High School’s 2014 Veteran’s Day Assembly will take place Tuesday morning, November 11th at 9:30 a.m. in the Spectator Gym . They wish to pay tribute to valley veterans of military service. A fantastic program is planned with a special military tribute. Sky View would greatly appreciate our valley veteran’s participation with them. Musical numbers are being presented by the band and choir, a long with a slide presentation. Come honor our veterans. The address of the school is 520 S 250 E Smithfield.

If you can’t attend the Smithfield program there will be a service held in the evening at the university. In what has become a celebration of community solidarity to honor U.S. military service men and women. The annual American Festival Chorus Veterans Day Memorial concert will include selections from popular productions as well as traditional tunes heard on battlefields and at military events. This is free to the public and a great time for your family to spend an evening together. A wonderful opportunity to have the children ask question and feel the patriotic spirit, that one feels as they present the colors, and the playing of our National Anthem. The celebration starts at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday November 11th 2014. The program will be held at Kent Concert Hall Chase Fine Arts Center, USU Campus and is free and open to the public.


Looking for an EASY way for your family to VOLUNTEER from HOME?


Check out the Cache Valley Volunteer Center blog for a SUPER EASY way to make a HUGE difference with nothing more than the click of a mouse!

All it requires is 5 seconds per day for 12 days, a finger, and a facebook account!

TEAM Mentoring can win $1,000 just for getting the most VOTES on their Lights On After-School picture in the Bright House Photo Contest. The $1,000 will be used for scholarships and supplies for the TEAM Mentoring program. Everyone with a facebook account can VOTE once per day between November 4 and November 17th. It’s as simple as that, and . . .

We Need EVERY VOTE we can get!!

So . . . please

VOTE yourself
SHARE the link on your facebook page, and
√ Be Proactive in INVITing your friends and family to VOTE

One word of caution . . . please be sure that you are actually VOTING and not just ‘Liking’ the photo. ‘Likes’ are nice, but they don’t help us win the money!!


Upcoming FREE Concerts and Exhibits @ USU


There are several FREE events happening up on campus over the next few weeks that might be of interest to you and your family. Be sure to checkout the Cache Valley Volunteer Center’s FAMILY FREEBIE calendar for FREE or Nearly Free events happening in Cache Valley.

Here are a few we have come across:


USU Wind Orchestra features ‘Lord of the Rings’

Utah State University’s Wind Orchestra presents “Lord of the Rings” as its annual fall concert Friday, Nov. 7, at 7:30 p.m. at the Kent Concert Hall in the Chase Fine Arts Center on the USU Logan campus.

The concert offers a rare performance of “Symphony No. 1” (“Lord of the Rings”) by Dutch composer Johan De Meij, according to Thomas P. Rohrer, director of the USU Wind Orchestra. The work, in five movements, includes “Gandalf,” “Lothlorien,” “Gollum,” “Journey in the Dark” and “Hobbits.”

Music by a variety of composers fills the first half of the program. “Lord of the Rings” completes the second portion. All the music in the concert is “accessible for all audiences,” according to Rohrer.

The Wind Orchestra concert is free and open to the public. For more information, please call 797-3004 or see the Caine College’s Production Services website.

Caine Performance Hall | USU Campus
Free and open to the public

See the Caine Brass Quintet, Caine Percussion Ensemble, Caine Saxophone Quartet and Caine Woodwind Quintet in concert at the Caine Performance Hall. Each group is auditioned and students in the groups are awarded scholarships by the Marie Eccles Caine-Russell family.

NOVEMBER 13 from 5-7 p.m.
Opening Reception for A Screenprinting Exhibit.
See Details below.

FRIDAY and SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 14 & 15, 7:30 p.m.

Room 214 | Chase Fine Arts Center
Free and open to the public

Songs of Love and Loss

The USU Opera Theatre students will perform scenes from some of opera’s best stories of love and loss, including Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte,Berenstein’s Trouble in Tahiti and Bizet’sPearlfishers. In addition to the opera scenes, students will also perform songs from Sweeney Todd, Aida, Little Women and Cinderella.

USU Museum of Art and other ongoing events at USU:


Suggest Donation of $3 per person

Museum Hours:
Tuesday – Saturday, 10AM to 5PM
Closed Sundays, Mondays and holidays

For more Information:
(435) 797-0163


Daily from 10-5 p.m. at the Tippetts Exhibit Hall of the Chase Fine Arts Center
NOTE: Opening Reception will be Nov. 13 from 5-7 p.m.

The exhibition “Connections” features works by 15 Utah printmakers. This exhibit showcases a variety of printmaking processes including intaglio, lithography, relief, screen-printing and mixed media work.

(ART) Enchanted Modernities – Mysticism, Landscape & the American West

Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art Utah State University
650 North 1100 East
Logan, UT

Caine College of the Arts and the Leverhulme Trust partner to highlight Theosophy, Modernism and the Arts between 1875-1960. Event is Free; donations are welcome.

Black Mountain College: Shaping Craft + Design

This exhibition explores the impact of Black Mountain College on the fields of studio craft and design from the middle of the 20th century through today. Black Mountain College (1933-57) was an experimental liberal arts college located in rural North Carolina that still continues to be influential in visual, performing and literary arts. Exhibited works include ceramics, textiles, furniture, sculpture, paintings, printed material, and ephemera created by BMC students and faculty.

“Relational Forms: Robert Bliss & Anna Campbell Bliss”

Relational Forms highlights furniture designed by Robert Bliss and the artwork of Anna Campbell Bliss, two of Utah’s most important creative minds. Residents of Salt Lake City since 1963, this is only the second time their work has been exhibited together.