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September 11 Service Thanks – Cards

Hello Craft Friends,

I posted yesterday about a September 11 baking event that I did, and wanted to continue with the cards that I made to go with them for the Mecklenburg County Sheriff Offices.

thank you service members card american flag call of duty stars & stripes

Thank you cards!

Now, keep in mind that these were made by me for a work-sponsored volunteer opportunity, so not officially “my company” doing this at all. Also keep in mind that I wrote the messages mostly the same for all 8 locations that I provided thank you baked goods for, with differences only in the cards’ fronts!

Start with some blank card stock cards, like these from Hobby Lobby or Michaels:

card stock blank card envelope hobby lobby

Hobby Lobby Blank Cards

Then add a few stickers like these American Flags and Heroes Stickers:

hobby lobby american heroes stickers honor brave pride courage call of duty

hobby lobby american flag stickers

Stick one flag and one heroes sticker on the front of each card. Write “Thank You” in big letters in the middle of the stickers in a Calligraphy, Cursive, Block or Funky Script. On the inside of the card, write a little (or big) note with a normal pen, and sign it with a Calligraphy (or other fancy) pen – again using one of the script styles of your choice!

calligraphy pens fine point card making hobby lobby

Calligraphy Pens for Card Making

You can find inspiration from the heart or from quotes and other cards to make your inside design!

thank you service members card american flag call of duty stars stripes card front

Thank you cards – front!

thank you service members card american flag call of duty stars stripes inside message

Thank you cards – inside!

Craft You Later,


September 11 Service Thanks – Baking

Hello Friends,

I am on the Volunteer Board for Charlotte at my company, and we recently did a pretty neat volunteer event which I thought I’d share with everyone.

In honor of the fire, police and sheriff personnel in our city who put their lives on the line and go out of their way for their community every day – we decided to honor their service with thanks around September 11. In recognition, volunteers were asked to provide any combination of baked goods, purchased snacks or drinks to any of 138 local stations for these three groups of service.

Due to being a bit special, I took on the 8 local Sheriff Department locations (605 people), and wanted to provide 2 cookies per person. Since I made this wonderful decision on Monday night, with  Tuesday being the last day to deliver for this event, I brilliantly consented to baking 1210 cookies in one night. Pre-planning is a brilliant thing, please let me tell you now!

Anyways, I enlisted a coworker to help me by making 8 dozen cookies (that is 96 for those not quick on multiplying-by-12 games). That left me with only 1114 cookies to bake! 🙂 Easy peasy, lemon squeezy, right?!

Another coworker found me a basic English Shortbread recipe that is basically flour-sugar-butter-bake. So I adapted that. If I’m doing something easy, I want it to be tasty too, seriously!

To make this amount of cookies, I bought 10 pounds of flour, 8 pounds of sugar, 135 oz of Country Crock margarine (3 tubs, proceeds from which support the Wounded Warriors Project), 2 bags of mini chocolate chips, 2 bags of toffee chips (like these), and 1 5-oz bag of Cherry Craisins. I also used on-hand vanilla extract for this recipe, so make sure you have some of that!

Doing 1 batch at a time, combine 2 cups margarine with 1 cup sugar and cream in your mixing bowl on high speed. Once mixed well, add in 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, and blend until well combined.

margarine sugar vanilla shortbread cookies

Cream the sugar and vanilla with margarine!

Gradually add in 4 cups flour to this mixture, on medium speed, and mix until fully combined. Dough will be very slightly sticky, but easy to handle.

margarine sugar vanilla flour shortbread cookies

Add in some flour!

Once you have this dough made, add your ‘extra flavor’ – mini chocolate chips, toffee chips, or Craisins (see note below).

margarine sugar flour vanilla chocolate chip toffee chip craisin shortbread cookies

Add in your flavor chips!

For the craisins: combine 1/2 cup craisins with 2 tablespoons sugar, and process in your food processor or pulse for 20 seconds in your Magic Bullet Blender. This allows them to be bite sized and easier to add into the cookies!

Preheat oven to 350, and spray cookie sheets with cooking spray. I put foil on all my cookie sheets then sprayed with cooking spray for easier clean-up later!

margarine sugar flour vanilla chocolate chip toffee chip craisin shortbread cookies

Scoop your dough onto your cookie sheets to bake!

Bake your cookies for 13 minutes, and immediately remove from oven to cool on an oven mitt away from the oven. Let cool 2-3 minutes before removing from the cookie sheet onto a cooling rack. Let cool an additional 2-3 minutes before putting into plastic quart-sized freezer bags for storage and delivery. Seal tightly, and deliver for a yummy treat!

Since we had 8 locations for what I signed up for, I took some paper grocery bags, labelled them for each location, calculated how many cookies (2 per person) for each location, and then bagged up the different cookies accordingly for each paper bag delivery!

margarine sugar flour vanilla chocolate chip toffee chip craisin shortbread cookies

Package cookies for delivery!

This is what it finally looked like when all cookies were completed and prepped for delivery:

margarine sugar flour vanilla chocolate chip toffee chip craisin shortbread cookies

Delivery bags for 8 locations!

Craft You Later,

Heroes Hockey Game

This past Sunday, 3/11/12, was the 7th Annual Salute To Heroes Game put on with the Charlotte Checkers. Every year they have a Checkers game, followed by a second hockey game that consists of two combination “heroes” teams.

The purpose of the evening is to honor those who serve, have served and have been injured or lost in the line of duty. Proceeds from the evening benefit families of fallen and injured public service workers as well as families from the military in the Carolinas through the Military Family Lifestyle Charitable Foundation (MFLCF).

In the right corner, we have the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department joining forces with the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Department.

And in the left corner, we have the Charlotte Fire Department joining forces with MEDIC (Charlotte-area paramedics).

So the guns versus the ladders, the red versus the blue, the 5-0 versus the Jakes, the hot boys versus the boys in blue, the hoses versus the po-po, the… Okay, okay, fine, I’ll stop now — but mostly because I’m running out of puns, not because of your groans at them! 😉

Moving along, we got to see the Charlotte Checkers regain 1st place in the division with a fantastic 4-0 domination over the Chicago Wolves in a fast-paced, 3 period, high-energy hockey game. A few scrums, a few chants, and a few bad calls – this was a typical hockey game and a GREAT shutout win (Checkers’ first home shutout this season) for goalie Mike Murphy, who was spot-on all game. The only downside of this game was the knee injury (likely season-ending) of forward enforcer Justin Soryal. He was luckily able to get up with help, so hopefully he will recuperate and be able to play soon. Aside from that, this game was just plain fun to watch!

Then we get to the main event (well okay, if you’re going to Heroes Night for the Heroes, at least!)… the non-professional, service personnel game. CFD/MEDIC vs CMPD/MCSO. CFD/MEDIC are the defending champs going into this game, with a series win record of 4-2.

The game starts off with a presentation of the Fire Department’s Drums & Bagpipe Band. They did 4 songs, one of which was like a drumline exhibition (which was really cool), and finished with an Amazing Grace-esque song that was just plain moving. Once that completed, the National Anthem was performed by one of MEDIC’s own members, a very beautiful rendition that everyone thoroughly enjoyed. Then the starting line-ups were announced, with a few big-screen snafus, and the puck dropped to start the game!

Firefighter Drums & Bagpipe Band

Keep in mind that these are not professional hockey players, the refs are not AHL refs, and these guys are literally playing hockey and training in their spare time from their day jobs of keeping our communities safe. That said, this was probably the most exciting Heroes Game I’ve seen (which includes all but the inaugural Heroes game).

First period had some scoreboard mishaps, which included awarding a goal to PD team that they apparently didn’t score. Then the period finished out with the Fire Department scoring (for real) and a weird 1-1, then 0-0, and finally 0-1 score being updated. It was pretty confusing (dizzy bats!) to watch, so I just closed my eyes at one point and let it ride! But 1st period finished with Fire leading 1-0.

Second period saw the PD scoring to tie the game up, and getting a few minor scrums going to truly get out all that energy, haha. The game was very back and forth with lots of shots taken, both at the net and at each other, and only a couple penalties being called for either side. Mostly for slashing and roughing, which I personally found wonderfully ironic. Period ended with a 1-1 tie.

Heroes Game In Action!

Third period saw the PD getting awarded a penalty shot, which was successfully made. And a quite pretty shot it was, I must say, for a non-pro hockey player! So then we’re hearing the fans start chanting (okay, Fire fans VASTLY outnumbered Police fans) “LET’S GO FIRE!” and so on… It was a very entertaining audience, as most of the fans watching know at least one of the guys playing, and so are shouting out various comments that you can see the players trying to ignore and not laugh about. It was highly entertaining.

Then we get to 10 seconds left in the game, Police think they have it with their 2-1 lead. The puck goes to the Fire team, and 2 seconds later, with EIGHT SECONDS on the clock, the Fire Department scores to tie the game up! HOLY SMOKES! 😉

Now onto the five minute, sudden death, 4-on-4 overtime. This is my favorite kind of hockey – 4-on-4, all out there, one-shot ends it hockey… WOOO! My brother loves shootouts, so he was sad they stayed true to regular rules and did OT. So I snickered at him, as a big sister considering it my sworn duty, and hankered down to enjoy the OT period. Lots of good chances, but good netminding on both sides kept the game from being decided.

Then we went to a 5-player shootout, so my brother ended up being ecstatic, and elbowed me like a typical little brother… **sigh** First set of guys were both denied by the goalies, second set of guys were both denied by the goalies. Then Fire were denied but the Police scored, leading the shootout 1-0 in the 3rd round. Fourth round comes, and both goalies keep the denials going. Fifth round sees the Fire goalie block the Police shot. Now it is literally up to the Fire shooter and the Police goalie – all on them. If the Fire guy scores, it goes to a 6th round, but if the Police goalie denies it, the Police win. He gets the whistle, skates up the left side, does a deke, shoots——and the shot is BLOCKED.

Police win the shootout 1-0, and leaving the game as the new champions with a final score of 3-2! Now the series is 4-3 with Fire/Medic leading overall by just 1 game. What will next year bring? A tie for the series? A bigger lead by the Fire/Medic? Hmmm… Keep your eyes peeled for next March for the 8th Annual Salute To Heroes Game hosted by the Charlotte Checkers!

In the meantime, if you feel like helping out, the following are links to charities to support these Heroes:
Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation
Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Foundation
The Thin Blue Line Run
Military Family LifeStyle Charitable Foundation, Inc. (MFLCF)

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