make your family a calendar

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calendar with our picsLooking for a great gift for Grandpa and Grandma? Why not put your kids to work making them a fabulous calendar starring your family? Depending on the age of your kids, it can be little to no work for you. But no matter the work involved, it will certainly be a hit with the Grans (and fond aunties, etc. etc.)

Materials:

pictures of your family

your kid’s artwork

paper(I like legal sized for this.)

(a computer will be helpful, but not necessary.)

Directions:

1. First, you will need to decide how to layout your calendar. I chose to use legal size paper. I made my calendar about 2/3rds of the layout (I know that my Mom likes to have plenty of space to write in her events.)

2. You may want to print out the calendar from your office program, but your child could also draw one with a ruler.

3. Now put together the decorative part. I used Megan’s paintings as a background and then chose snapshots to lay on top. You can do whatever, make it as simple or complex as you want.

4. Take it down to a copy center. and make a color copy of each page. (This allows you to distribute copies to any family members you like. It also makes a cleaner version and is easier to print the pages on the front and back of th paper for less bulk. However, you can certainly skip this step if you wish.)

5. They can also add a spiral binding at the copy center or you can pick up a few ring clips at an office supply and punch holes in the top of the calendar. Another option is to stack the pages and fold them in half; then staple. Punch one hole at the top and bottom of the pages to hang the calendar with. Get creative, take a look at several different calendars and find a method of binding it that best suits your design. Have fun, pretty soon you will have a great gift!

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Our Thanksgiving DinnerWe had the Thanksgiving to end all Thanksgivings. Pamela went all out with the food–it was amazing! I know it sounds like I am gushing and I am; but let me tell you, this meal deserved it. She made an herb-brined turkey with cranberry compote and a fresh cranberry chutney, cornbread stuffing (ah, so good!), mashed potatoes and gravy, spicy ginger green beans, and (my favorite part:) Brussels sprouts with a caramelized pistachio sauce. For dessert there was warm “Indian Megan in some cool steel reedsPudding” with vanilla bean ice cream and (of course) pumpkin pie. (Martha Stewart, eat your heart out!) Speaking of eating…oh, I can only image the weight I have gained…I don’t even care!

Today we had a blast at the Springs Reserve. It was so much fun (and even better, educational fun!) It is hard to explain, really. It is almost like a theme park centered around water and conservation. There are a lot of games and activities for the kids; Megan loved playing on the slabs of marble that float on a fountain over another marble base. It turned somewhat slowly on it’s own, but you could push it like a merry-go-round. We also loved seeing the simulated flash flood and all of the cool metalwork around the complex. It was huge and so beautiful, especially the gardens feature the indigenous plantlife.

On the agenda for tomorrow: A haircut by my sis, some hiking, and a little ballgame between the good and the bad (the U and BYU…I will let you decide which is which.)

Mike and Emilymegan checking out a stone fountain

Megan on the giant turtle

Turkey place cards

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The kids are out of school and most likely are going to be driving you nuts about the time you pull the pies out of the oven (or the shopping bag–whatever.) Why not put them to work making your table turkey-tastic?

Materials:

construction paper (brown and orange for the feet and beak, as well as the colors you want thedirections for folding the cup feathers to be.)

glue (I used hot glue for more structural support, but it can be done with any type.)

scissors

scotch tape

Directions:

1. Make an origami cup by cutting a brown piece of paper into a square. Fold the square horizontally to make a triangle.

2. Hold the triangle so that the longest side is at the bottom and the point(a) is up and then fold each tip(a) down to the base to make a crease, then put them back up. (You are only creasing and going back to the triangle.)

3. Fold each of the base point(b) to the middle of the opposite side.

4. Now fold the points(a) back down. (One side will cover the two tips(b) that are folded up. This is your turkey’s body.

5. Cut a beak by folding a piece of orange paper and cutting a triangle (leave the fold as the base side of the triangle.)

6. Cut out a wobble, feathers and feet (that are wide enough to support the rest of the turkey.)

7. Glue the pieces together and fill the cup with candy or trailmix and write the names of your guests on the feet if you want to use them as place cards.

6 things about me

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Lovely!It has taken me forever, but I am finally responding to Ali’s tag. Here are six facts and/or habits you may not know about me:

1. I share a birthday with Martin Luther King Jr.

2. I am freakishly strong. I can lift pretty heavy stuff. The woman I used to nanny for would refer to me as a Clydesdale. (I am still not really sure if this is a compliment.) Oh yea, I am also foolishly prideful about this at the gym…I feel like I have to show up those skinny chicks on the weights.

3. My favorite guilty pleasure (well, okay…one of them) is Keebler Fudgeshop Carmel-filled cookies.

4. I am completely phobic about sharks. (This is really embarrassing, but I have been known to have a panic attack in swimming pools over this….very embarrassing!)

5. It drives me NUTS when people say “anyways”. (Which happens a lot in Utah.) There are not multiple ways…it is just anyway, people!

6. I actually do like that pumping pop/club type music. I gladly profess my love for Rush and Led Zeppelin, for Debussy and the Charlie Hunter Trio, for Matchbox 20 and even George Strait and Tim McGraw. (To my husbands chagrin–he is eternally embarrassed by country music.) But what I haven’t admitted until now is that when Kelly Clarkson comes on at the gym, I get a little extra lift and step it up a little. Sorry Mike.

I now tag Kerrah..

a couple of new things at our house

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Hogweed accentsWho doesn’t like to shake it up every now and then? Yesterday that is exactly what I thought we needed. I have been thinking about painting a few accents in the living room (it is just so white, beige and blah in there.) After a lot of deliberation on exactly what I want in there; I decided on Hogweed flowers in a darker beige tone. (I didn’t want it to get too busy.) Here are a few pictures; I am pretty happy with how it turned out… something a little more interesting.

In other news, we decided that we needed a pet around too. (Well, sort of.) Our local library has a hermit crab in the children’s section and as soon as we clear the door, Megan bee-lines it back to look at the “fishie!”. It may not come as a surprise that she has never actually seen this crab, however she always stares intently at the water bowl in the tank asking “Where is the fishie?” This little routine takes place at least a couple times during each More hogweedsvisit. When Mike came home from a library trip with her a few days ago, he said “Maybe we should get a fish.” Now we have a betta… one that took a lot of time to pick out. As I would hold up a little cup with a fish in it, Megan would shake her head and solemnly tell me “No, I don’t think that one likes me.” Finally, she settled on a little red female (females don’t have the pretty long fins.) Now we are just trying to get her to name it. When we ask her what the fish’s name is, she says “I don’t know. What’s her name?” We just keep waiting for her to settle on something; so far, it looks like Doree is the front runner. I guess we will just have to wait and see…Doree the betta

turkey placemats

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the girls gathering leavesSo, this is probably the elementary teacher in me coming out, but I think a table decorated by your kids is the way to go for Thanksgiving. The great thing is that it gives them some important work to do to help you prepare for the big day. (This could also be an activity to keep all of those cousins busy until dinner on the big day.) This works great for any age (the older they are, the more elaborate the mats can be.) It could also be done with butcher paper to be a table runner, if that feels more appropriate to your decor. You can also just enjoy them nightly for the month like we will.

Materials:

fall leaves (this will turn out best if they are not dry yet so they are still flexible.)

large sized construction paper (We used brown for a fall feel.)

glue

clear contact paper (available at any grocery store)

markers, crayons, or paint…you choose

Directions:

1. Arrange your leaves into the design you want on a piece of paper. As you can see, I choose to make them the feathers for a turkey, Megan went a more abstract route…whatever works.

2. Once they are how you want them, glue them down. (You don’t have to be too careful, just tack them down so that they stay in place. Now embellish them with the markers. I cut a circle of brown to make the turkey’s body and glued it over the base of the leaves.my turkey placemat

3. Lay the contact paper over your mat to see what size you need to cut. After it is cut to the right size, peel back one corner and align it to the paper. Now pull the rest of the backing off gradually while you smooth the contact paper over the placemat. *It is a good idea to leave about 1/4″ border around the paper. You can put another piece on the back and the border (of just contact paper) will seal it so that the mat is water resistant. If you are doing a table runner, it isn’t necessary to back it with the contact paper as it won’t get as much abuse.

4. Now praise your little artist’s contribution to your Martha Stewart-esque (right!) table!Megan’s placemat

what do you eat for thanksgiving?

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I have been so sick (yes, again! What is wrong with me???) Honestly, I have just felt like my life is so crappy that I don’t even want to share it with the blogging community at large. However, my sister (who is graciously hosting our family for Thanksgiving) left me a cute message tonight about being excited for the fete; along with the parting challenge: “Maybe we should see if we can find some fun new recipes to try.” emily eating grapes

I have to admit that we don’t have a strong Thanksgiving tradition. My parents actually prefer fish and chips at the coast for Thanksgiving dinner. However, as of Thursday they officially reside in Utah, not Oregon. (And Las Vegas-where Pamela and Nathan are-isn’t really known for their seafood anyway.) So, what are your favorite recipes? Amy, your french silk pie is definitely in. Julie, I want to hear from you–you fabulous cook, you! Anyone else: come on, impress me. I’ll throw out a menu next week sometime and hopefully a cheery I feel good about life post along with a turkey project for the kiddies. (I thought I’d better throw in this cute picture of Emily, just to prove that Megan doesn’t own all of the good looks in the fam.)

–sad, tired, sick girl out.

relax, man.

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here’s the news magnet boardSo, this week was a crescendo of manic energy. A friend asked me to do her boutique about a week and half ago. As a person who perpetually fails at saying no, I have been working like mad to get ready for this craft-stravaganza. Here’s the plug for you locals:

All Through the House Boutique

Nov. 7-10

10 am-7 pm

2022 East Alison Cr. (4130 South)

The lesson from this little adventure (besides learn to say no, which I am sure I still haven’t really

vintage window with dried flowers

learned): You can either get a few projects done (something I have an endless supply of) OR have a rel

atively clean house AND still be a good mom.

…This is probably my way of saying that I am very embarrassed about the state of our house. So the To-Do list for tomorrow:

1. Clean the kitchen

2. Take down the Halloween decorations (yes, they are still up…)

3. Pick up all of the crafting crap ( a.k.a. take back my house!)

4. Vacuum (everything)

5. Take the girls to the park

6. RELAX! (Which actually started on Saturday with a fun night with errands, park, and Crown Burger with our fun friends Andrew and Ali Flegal –how cute is Megan here?)cowboy magnet board

Megan at the park