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Welcome to KnoxvilleMommies!
As part of The Mommies Network, is a free community for moms in Knoxville and surrounding areas, Tennessee. We realize that all moms need local support -- and who can't use another friend? offers a simple way to connect with local moms for friendship, support and fun. Members meet on our private discussion forums to share information on everything from where to get the best haircut to tips on transitioning to a "big kid" bed. Each month, we also offer many face-to-face events for our members, their children and their families. Register today to access our discussion forums, events calendar and more! It's free and we'll keep your info secure and private.

KnoxvilleMommies Blog

Crafty Kids: DIY Shaving Cream Paint Creations #crafts #kids

Crafty Kids: DIY Shaving Cream Paint Creations
Rheney Williams-Guest Blogger

For moms who grew up in the '80s like I did, you'll probably remember those spinning art toys that let you create splashes and spiral smears of paint. You know ? there was a spinning platform with paper exposed underneath, you dropped dots of paint into the middle and the spinning motion and centrifugal force pulled the paint out to the edges of the circle and you were left with these crazy, tie-died-looking paintings? 

Although the toys have changed over the years, a kid's (and kids at heart!) basic desire to see swirls of paint and crazy combinations of colors hasn't. And an old-school product is making new spiral innovations possible: Shaving cream! All you need are a few basic supplies and you and your kids can have hours of creative and colorful fun with a beautiful piece of artwork to show for it at the end of the day. 

Gather the materials for your shaving cream paint projects. You'll need: 
  • Foam Shaving Cream (not the gel)
  • Paints in an assortment of colors
  • Heavy card stock or construction paper
  • Spatula or ruler
  • Skewer or little fingers!
  • Large cookie sheet or use smaller individual trays, one for each child

Tip: To make clean-up a breeze (and avoid having to buy a disposable tray), line the cookie sheet with aluminum foil first. Then all you have to do is remove the foil and you're done! 

 1. Spray a few lines of shaving cream onto the sheet and use the spatula or ruler to spread out the shaving cream flat and in a square or rectangle about the size of the paper. 
2. Add a few random dots of paint or food coloring around the shaving cream palette. 
Tip: If you have leftover paint samples from the last time you painted a room, this is a great way to use those and ensure whatever masterpiece your kids come up with coordinates with the space! 

 3. Use the skewer to make swirls with the paint in free-flowing circles or waves and if you have little kids, just let them go nuts with their fingers. 
4. Place the paper into the shaving cream with the right-side facing down so that when you pull the paper off, the paint is on the correct side. 

5. Gently push the paper into the shaving cream so that all surfaces touch and allow it to sit for about 10 seconds before carefully peeling the paper off of the shaving cream. 

6. Place the paper on a flat surface (in my case, I had another foil-lined sheet pan at the ready) and carefully scrape all of the shaving cream off of the paper to reveal the magical marbling below! 

7. Set the paper aside to dry thoroughly and if the edges start to curl, place a glass or other heavy object on the corners to keep them down during drying. 

From here, take some time to admire your work and see what imaginative images your kids can find! Can you spot the hidden smiley face that appeared in my swirls? In addition to your classic refrigerator pin-up, here are some other creative uses for your pint-sized Picasso's masterpiece: 
  • Make DIY bookmarks to give as Christmas gifts to the readers you love
  • Use the brown paper bags from the grocery store in your shaving cream paint project and have unique book covers for school next year
  • Frame it so you always have a custom piece of art in your office or work space
  • A DIY puzzle: Cut it into a bunch of different pieces that your kids can put back together and learn about how shapes and patterns relate to each other
What other cool things can you and your kids come up with for shaving cream paint creations? 

Rheney Williams is a prolific crafter with a background in theatre arts. Besides writing about projects for Home Depot, Rheney is currently putting her DIY expertise to work by remodeling her first home and experimenting with colors and textures in her home decor. Widgets

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Happy 4th of July!!!

Happy 4th of July!!! On this day in 1776, the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress, setting the 13 colonies on the road to freedom as their own nation! This most American of holidays is sure to be marked again this year as usual by parades, fireworks and backyard barbecues across the country. While enjoying your time with your family take a minute to read over this significant historical document giving all Americans our freedom!

The Declaration of Independence

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power. He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Firework Safety Tips

Independence Day is right around the corner, so that means it's firework season! While you are celebrating your 4th of July, be sure to remember these safety tips from the National Council of Firework Safety:

General firework safety:

- Use fireworks outdoors only.

- Obey local laws. If fireworks are not legal where you live, do not use them.

- Always have water handy. (A hose or bucket).

- Only use fireworks as intended. Don't try to alter them or combine them.

- Never relight a "dud" firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.

- Use common sense. Spectators should keep a safe distance from the shooter and the shooter should wear safety glasses.

- Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Have a "designated shooter."

- Only persons over the age of 12 should be allowed to handle sparklers of any type. Parents of teens should supervise them closely when using fireworks.

- Do not ever use homemade fireworks of illegal explosives: They can kill you! Report illegal explosives to the fire or police department in your community.

When using sparklers:

- Always remain standing up when using sparklers.

- Never hold a child in your arms while using sparklers.

- Never hold or light more than one sparkler at a time.

- Never throw sparklers.

- Teach children not to wave sparklers, or run while holding them.

- Sparkler wire or sticks remain hot long after the flame has gone out. Be sure to put spent sparklers into a bucket of water.

For more firework safety, visit the National Council for Firework Safety at

Independence Day Happenings!
Fireworks, music, food, and family fun await us all around the area this weekend and next in honor of Independence Day! Be sure to check out all the great events going on....

Fire on the Water at Sequoyah Marina

If you're looking for fireworks on Norris Lake, don't miss out on "Fire on the Water" at Sequoyah Marina. This annual event will be held June 28, 2014 and is one of the most anticipated events of the year on the water! Be sure to mark you calendars! Every year hundreds of boaters gather around Norris Lake in front of Sequoyah Marina and celebrate the largest fireworks show on the lake! This is an event you don't want to miss!

It is recommended you find yourself a spot in a cove early as space does fill up. You will find large houseboats parked in the coves as everyone awaits the big event! Some campers pitch their tents directly across from Sequoyah Marina at the cove. If you don't have a boat, there is plenty of space on the outdoor patio and restuarant at the marina.

Parking will be limited, so show up early! 336 Lakeview Lane Andersonville, TN Time: 8pm - 11pm (fireworks at dark) Website:


The 36th edition of FreedomFest is set for Saturday, June 28th from 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. at he Alcoa Duck Pond. In addition to the fireworks show, an entertainment stage will be in the Duck Pond parking lot with food vendors lining Springbrook Road across the street.

Additional information about parking areas and exit routes, entertainment and exhibits will be coming soon.

Town of Farragut Independence Day Parade

The Town of Farragut announces that the 27th Annual Independence Day Parade will be held Friday, July 4, 2014, beginning at 9:30 a.m. This year?s Grand Marshal is Mark Packer, WVLT Local 8 News anchor and Farragut resident.

The parade will begin on Kingston Pike at Lendon Welch Way (Farragut High School entrance) and continue to Boring Road, just east of Farragut Towne Square Shopping Center (old Ingles store site).

Gatlinburg's Fourth of July Midnight Parade

Saluting the valiant men and women of our military services, this 39th annual showcase is the ?First July Fourth Parade in the Nation!? Parade starts at the stroke of midnight to begin Independence Day.

The First Independence Day Parade in the Nation marks its 39th year by honoring Women Veterans and Other U.S. Heroes. In the opening moment of July 4th Gatlinburg?s downtown sidewalks will be filled with some 100,000 people on hand to witness the excitement of the Gatlinburg July 4th Midnight Parade. Also featured in the parade will be the 572nd U.S. Air Force Band, members of the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marines, U.S. Air Force, and U.S. Coast Guard - plus vintage military vehicles, local area public safety agencies, and lots more.

The parade route will extend from traffic light #1a on East Parkway, with the parade turning south onto Parkway at traffic light #3, then traveling the length of the downtown street to traffic light #10 at Ski Mountain Road. Check out the parade route early to choose your best spot. Some 100,000 people will attend the parade and many of those will start placing their folding chairs along the route as early as 7 am on July 3rd.

Police and fire department vehicles, bagpipes, marching bands, decorated and lighted floats, horses, large balloons, and more make up the Gatlinburg July 4th Midnight Parade. The parade is very exciting regardless of age. Get some rest after the parade, because Gatlinburg offers the River Raft Regatta ? an unmanned floatables race, and several free admission concerts along with a spectacular fireworks display on July 4th.

Gatlinburg's Fireworks Finale

Join the celebration in downtown Gatlinburg to mark our nation?s ?Independence Day? with a magnificent fireworks show. The City of Gatlinburg lights up the mountain skyline downtown centered on the area of traffic light #3 at 10 p.m. with this grand display. Designated a Top 20 event by Southeast Tourism Society.

Gatlinburg River Raft Regatta

Gatlinburg?s popular River Raft Regatta takes place at noon on July 4th, on the Little Pigeon River in Downtown Gatlinburg. This year?s fun-filled Fourth of July celebration in Gatlinburg will feature the always-competitive River Raft Regatta, the unmanned kind.

Anything floatable can be entered starting at 10 a.m. at the Christ in the Smokies bridge on River Road and will end at Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies. There are two categories: Trash (not hand-made) and Treasure (hand-made) ? awards will go to the top 3 in each category. Additionally, the ?Judges Choice? award will go to the most creative ?raft.? Awards will be given to the oldest and the youngest participant.

Registration begins at 10 am and the race will start at 12:00 pm. Trophies will be supplied by the Gatlinburg Recreation Department. This year?s event is sponsored by the City of Gatlinburg Special Events Office, the Gatlinburg Recreation Department.

Fireman's Fourth

Huntville, Tn - Join the Huntsville Fire Department's firefighters and friends as they host one of the largest Independence Day festivals in the region. Held each July 4 on the Courthouse Mall in Huntsville, the event is a long-standing tradition and attracts more than 10,000 for the annual fireworks spectacular at sundown on Independence Day.

The event begins with food, crafts and entertainment, featuring local musicians, on July 3 and continues on July 4. Independence Day begins with a Kiwanis Club pancake breakfast and continues with the annual 4th of July Parade through the streets of Huntsville at 11 a.m. Kids games and carnival rides fill the afternoon, leading up to the 10 p.m. fireworks display.

Sweetwater's Independence Day Celebration and Parade

5k Road Race at 7:30 a.m. Early registration $25.00; day of registration $30.00 Parade at 10 p.m. Kids Zone, vendors, live music, dancing in the streets with Salt and Light Studios and Fireworks by Pyro Shows at dark! Come downtown for a great time! Main Street, downtown Sweetwater

Lenoir City Fourth of July Parade

This year's parade will be held on Friday, July 4th. We will be kicking off the parade with our annual Firecracker Run. This is a half-mile fun run for children ages 5 - 12. The run is free, and the first 100 children receive a free event t-shirt. Every runner receives a participation award. Top prizes will be given to the first place boy and girl from each division.

Participants for the parade or race can register by calling the Lenoir City Parks and Recreation Department at 865-986-1223.

Where: Broadway - C Street to South Grand Street When: Friday, July 4, 2014 - Line-up begins at 10:00 A.M. at Yale Commercial Locks - Parade/Race begins at 11:00 A.M. at C Street

Rockin' the Docks (July 4th Celebration)

Rockin' the Docks will again bring live music to the Lenoir City Park and Cove area. Live music will begin at 4:00 P.M. and will continue until the Fireworks Show at 10:00 P.M. Food vendors will be providing a wide variety of your favorites so there is no need to bring any food or drinks with you. The children's play area will also be back for kids to enjoy!

Where: Lenoir City Park and Cove When: Saturday, July 5, 2014 - 4:00 P.M. until Fireworks Show

Festival on the Fourth

Worlds Fair Park 1060 Worlds Fair Park Drive , Knoxville TN

The City of Knoxville's Festival on the Fourth delivers a wide variety of family fun including live entertainment, free activities and food vendors. Live music will be on the Festival Lawn from 4pm-7:30pm Knoxville Symphony Orchestra will perform on the Performance Lawn beginning at 8pm Fireworks at 9:35pm This event is rain or shine. No Pets, No Alcohol, No personal tents or tent canopies Free Parking available: World's Fair & Blackstock Parking Lots, 11th Street, Locust Street., State Street & Market Square Garages - ADA Parking at Fort Kid Parking Lot.

Pigeon Forge Patriot Fest

July 4th Country Music Group Lonestar to Perform in Pigeon Forge

Pigeon Forge is known far and wide for its patriotic spirit. This is more evident than ever at the Pigeon Forge Patriot Festival held every year on Independence Day. Thousands gather at Patriot Park each year for this free event. The fun typically starts around noon with games and activities for kids. There?s also live musical entertainment, which starts early in the afternoon and lasts until 9:30 or 10 at night.

This years lineup features the Pigeon Forge Community Chorus, the Tim Kellar Band, bluegrass group Adkins & Loudermilk, the Jimmy Buffet tribute band Sons of Sailors and the event headliners Lonestar! Known for smash hits such as ?No News?, ?Amazed? and ?Let?s Be Us Again?, Lonestar has a history of country music and pop chart success with nine number 1 singles and numerous others reaching the Top 10.

After the music it?s time for the evening?s finale - an extravagant fireworks display! Food vendors with ice cream, shaved ice, hot dogs, burgers and much more will be on hand and a portion of the proceeds go to local area charities.

Patriot Festival event parking is free and a trolley shuttle service will run from the Municipal Parking Lot on Teaster Lane right into Patriot Park. Mark down July 4th on your calendars and come visit Pigeon Forge Patriot Festival in 2014! Bring blankets and lawn chairs for seating, no umbrellas please.

Museum of Appalachia 4th of July Celebration and Anvil Shoot

Anvil shooting used to be a fairly common way that rural folks celebrated special events--they "shot the anvil" to celebrate the nation?s Independence, Christmas, and even Davy Crockett?s election to the U.S. Congress. Some years ago, two men, each more than 100 years old, watched the Museum?s anvil shoot and recalled this tradition from their early boyhood. Now, shooting the anvil has come to be the highlight of the Museum's fabulous July 4th Celebration. Folks as far as 15 miles away have reported hearing the blast, and certainly everyone gathered for the excitement feels the earth shake under their feet.

Along with the big boom several times during the day, there are patriotic ceremonies and lots of music?the old-time mountain music of the Southern Appalachian Mountains. A bell-ringing ceremony will occur at precisely 2:00 p.m. coinciding with the National Bell Ringing Ceremony when more than 10,000 bells across the country are rung in unison. Thirteen youngsters will be selected from the audience to ring the bell in honor of the thirteen original states. The Liberty Pole raising at 2:15 p.m. will commemorate a Colonial American practice signifying dissatisfaction with the English government. It illustrates the spirit of liberty among colonists in the early days of the War for Independence.

Wander the Museum's Village and see demonstrations of "Betsy Ross" sewing our nation's first flag, spinning, blacksmithing, woodcarving, mountain dulcimer making, sassafras tea brewing and cedar rail splitting. Tasty summertime treats will be available, including grilled hamburgers and hot dogs, kettle corn, homemade ice cream, cakes, pies and cookies. The Museum is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., so July 4th visitors will have ample time to tour. The extensive village ~ farm complex includes dozens of historic log structures, display buildings filled with authentic Appalachian artifacts, gardens surrounded by split rail fences, and farm animals in a traditional setting. The Hall of Fame offers a portrait of the Appalachian people, both famous and not-so famous- and these exhibits may be enjoyed in air-conditioned comfort.

This is a free event for Museum members. Memberships provide a year of Museum visits. As an official affiliate of the Smithsonian institution, the Museum provides Smithsonian memberships in conjunction with its own membership program.

The Museum is located 16 miles north of Knoxville, one mile east of I?75, exit 122.
For more information, call or email us at: Phone: 865-494-7680 The Museum address is 2819 Andersonville Hwy, Clinton TN 37716

Ticket Prices
Adult (19-Above) $20.00
Youth (13-18) $10.00
Child (5-12) $6.00 under 5
Free Family Rate (2 adults & children 5 - 12) $50.00

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