With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I want to share with you a fun activity for a girl’s group or for kids in general.

At Christmastime my Balcony Girls group made Caramel Apples and at the same time, did a little exercise on remembering a special friend in their life, one who’ve they’ve possibly neglected, by writing out a card.

It took time to sit in quiet and remember this person.

My niece Addie (who came to help) encouraged the girls to sit and think in quiet and then to put their thoughts on paper.

Writing thank you notes or cards in general seems more and more to be a lost art, doesn’t it?

The next time we meet we’re talking about what love is, for Valentine’s Day. But we’re taking it a step further and will focus on how “love protects.” My husband is going to be sharing with the girls about how they can become a “protector” when it comes to the theatre of bullying

In the meantime, have you thought about making caramel apples for Valentine’s Day and having your group or kids give them away? How about making them with your kids and giving away to neighbors?

The cool thing about this recipe is that by making your own caramel, you avoid having to unwrap all those individual caramels!

What a tasty, semi-healthy treat.

Caramel Apples
16-24 Granny Smith apples
16-24 popsicle sticks
Pot of boiling water, bowl of cold water
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
4 quarts heavy cream
6 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons vanilla
4 tablespoons marshmallow crème

Wash and dry apples thoroughly. Add 1 tsp. of vinegar to the cold water. Remove stems. Insert stick into heart of apple, where stem used to be.

In a saucepan, combine both kinds of sugar and heavy cream, and stir over medium heat. Heat until caramel reaches 240 degrees on your candy thermometer, stirring continuously. When candy reaches desired temperature, turn off burner, and stir in butter, vanilla and marshmallow crème. Mix well.

Let the caramel cool for five minutes. Dip each apple into caramel to coat, and then let the caramel apple cool on a sheet of waxed paper. For a thicker coating, dip apples a second time.

Dip into chocolate and garnish with your favorite Valentine candies or treats. (Mints, candy bars, shaved chocolate, marshmallows — be creative!)

One of our favorite ways is to dip the apples in WHITE CHOCOLATE mixed with peanut butter. Then you sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.

And remember, caramel apples are always best eaten the same day they are made. Make sure and set them out on the counter for an hour before cutting in to, if you need to refrigerate them.

Have you thought about making something special with your kids or a group of kids for Valentine’s Day, and then giving it away?

With bullying so prevalant today, do you discuss this in your home? What resources do you use to guide you?

(Paul’s video: Will You Stand up to a Bully? was just released yesterday. You can view it, here. The Bullying Lesson from this day will be included in the NEW Balcony Girls Ebook 2 which is almost done – so happy!)