I really wanted to make cookies for the staff at our local library for Christmas, but I didn't get to it.  I was really frustrated that I did not make the time to do it because my girls love the library and many of the staff members know my girls by name.  The majority of the staff have watched my girls grow up as we started going to that library when Sweet Girl was a baby.  I wanted them to know that they play an important role in my life and my girls' lives, so I decided that I would just wait until Valentine's Day to make them cookies.

Then, I saw this post over at My Little Mustache.  Jess's "encouraging it forward" posts have really encouraged me.  Seeing how much the cookies she made encouraged her library staff made me want to make cookies for my library staff even more!

So, that's exactly what we are going to do.  On Wednesday, when we go in for story time, we will be taking a couple of platefuls of cookies to show our appreciation to our local library staff.  They always have smiles on their faces, are eager to help, take time to talk to me and my girls, plan awesome events that my family enjoys attending and keep our library running smoothly.

The girls will be involved in the entire process.  On Tuesday, we will make the cookies.  On Wednesday, we will all deliver them.  I know Sweet Girl is already excited about the idea plus she really enjoyed when we delivered treats to our neighbors at Christmas time.

If making cookies sounds a bit too time extensive for you (heck, you can always buy a mix!), try out this craft instead!

Valentine "Sugar Cookie" Magnets

I love looking at Oriental Trading magazines to get ideas for crafts.  I don't typically need a dozen or more of a craft, so I don't order much from them, but I do get a lot of fun ideas.  Now for this particular craft, I did order a kit, but that's because I was planning a Valentine's party for the children in my mom's group last year.  However, with a little prep, you can re-create this cute craft at home.

Supplies needed: Construction paper or craft foam in the following colors:  brown/light brown, blue, pink, white, purple, red; scissors; glue stick; Valentine stickers; glitter paint; puffy paint; self-stick magnetic strip

*Craft foam will add more dimension to your project. You could also use felt.

What to do:
  1. Cut out a brown heart to serve as your "cookie."
  2. Cut out a heart (color of your choice) a bit smaller than your "cookie." 
  3. Cut out white "icing" with pinking shears or other fun-edged scissors.
  4. Assemble the cookie by gluing the smaller colored heart and "icing" onto your "cookie."
  5. Embellish your "cookie" with Valentine stickers, glitter paint or puffy paint.
  6. Let project dry.
  7. Cut a piece of the magnetic strip to fit your "cookie" and attach.
  8. Share with others!

All you need!
Adorable finished product.
Maybe there is someone in your life that could use a little encouragement this week.  Maybe it's your library staff, mail deliverer, clerk at the grocery store or next door neighbor.  Let me know who you plan on encouraging this week.  And remember, involve your children!  This type of encouragement shows our children how to show appreciation to others without expecting something in return and to show love to those around us.

You never know what power your little act of encouragement may have, so to coin Jess' phrase:  Encourage it forward!

**All photos and text are property of Angela Pounders and can not be distributed without permission.  

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