Page 1





How to get your family involved

Rooms With decorating savvy, everyone can win


Memories Some scary, some not SOCIAL

Essence Teaching manners to young people

Anthony, Juliebelle, Lauren & Lucas Want your child’s photo on next month’s cover? Check inside for details!


Contents October 2013


Features Social Essence:

Go far with good manners


Good manners can have global importance 9

Volume 1, Number 3

Columns 18 Irene’s Insights:

Personalize a child’s room

22 Legally Speaking:

Family values and legacies



Halloween Memories

Some scary, some not


In the Community: Harvest activities


All in Good Taste: ‘Fall Vegetable Salad’

20 Manic Mothering: Misadventures in baking

In Each Edition Kids’ Education: Be hands-on

14 16

Beds, meals and solace

Set some goals

Editor’s Intro October offerings

12 & 13

Ronald McDonald House: Family Togetherness:



Family Events Calendar: Family friendly activities & events for October & early November!

 October 2013 | Idaho Family Magazine

Publisher Sterling Media Ltd. Editor Gaye Bunderson 208-639-8301 Sales & Marketing Melva Bade 208-501-9024 Sales Manager Sandy Jones Graphic Design Denice King Contributors Rebecca Evans, Amy Larson, Beth Markley, Rebecca Maxwell, Mike McGreaham, Heather Robson and Irene Woodworth Distribution Assistants Doris Evans and Shawna Howard

Idaho Family Magazine, published monthly by Sterling Media Ltd., is committed to providing readers with informative and entertaining information to help them in maintaining healthy families and positive lifestyles. It is distributed throughout the valley as a free publication. Idaho Family Magazine does not assume responsibility for statements or opinions expressed by editorial contributors or advertisers. The acceptance of advertising does not constitute an endorsement of the products, services or information. Idaho Family Magazine does not knowingly present any product or service which is fraudulent or misleading in nature. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced without express written consent of the publisher. Reader correspondence and editorial submissions are welcome. Idaho Family Magazine reserves the right to edit or reject all materials submitted. All rights reserved. Copyright 2013 by Sterling Media Ltd.


Halloween isn’t all that October offers I‘m going to make an assumption, dangerous as that can be, that all our readers are aware of the fact Halloween is in October. While that’s fact, this is opinion: Halloween is fun. I always enjoy it, even though I never dress up in costumes and never get any trick-or-treaters at my little house. My mom likes to decorate her home for all occasions, though, and there’s always a display of benign ghosts, goofy pumpkins and harmless fake snakes starting in early October. I also like the mazes, hayrides and caramel apples that are available at this time of year. The downside of Halloween is that it is the unofficial end of reasonably comfortable weather and portends colder things to come. The end of October is also a harbinger of upcoming end-of-year holidays. In some stores, Christmas displays are already starting to gather dust. I thought, however, I would take this opportunity to talk about lesser known holidays during the month of October, some of which are familyrelevant and some of which are just nonsensical, such as Oct. 2’s Name Your Car Day. Here are some very meaningful holidays that pop up, or have popped up, this month: • World Teachers Day — Oct. 5 • World Smile Day — Oct. 7 (let’s all do it every day!) • Fire Prevention Day — Oct. 9 • Evaluate Your Life Day — Oct. 19 • Making a Difference Day — Oct. 26 We’ll overlook Moldy Cheese Day,

which fell on Oct. 9, and Count Your Buttons Day, which is on Oct. 21. Along with specifically designated days, October is also the month marked Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Domestic Violence Awareness Month, National Diabetes Month (a disease nearing epidemic proportions in the U.S.), Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, and Cookie Month. I know cookies don’t carry the same measure of importance as the other issues, but give them their due. When I said some of the holidays are familyrelevant, I was really thinking of the importance of cookies in our lives. We all know that the smell of cookies baking in the oven evokes scent memories that really matter. There’s also the quirky designations such as Sarcastic Month. Then, along with designated days and all-month awareness programs, there’s special weeks — seven whole days set aside for something worthy or worthless. Get Organized Week took place during the first week of October; and once again, the importance of keeping our homes, offices and other places safe and intact popped up during Fire Prevention Week, which was the second week of the month. This year’s emphasis was on preventing kitchen fires. Just for the heck of it, why not grab a calendar off the Internet and do something noteworthy with your families on some of these significant and not-so-significant days and weeks. No need to get too serious with an issue like domestic abuse, but fire safety is a

topic that could launch some worthwhile discussions. Dictionary Day on Oct. 16 could allow everyone to learn one new word. I would suggest eating a great meal on World Pasta Day on Oct. 25 and just laughing about Plush Animal Lover’s Day on Oct. 28. Not everything has to be serious, right? It’s a tough world. Celebrate the offbeat stuff.

Inside this issue

Our writers have contributed some excellent reading material this month, including Heather Robson’s piece on harvest-time activities for families; Irene Woodworth’s decorating tips for personalizing a child’s bedroom; and Rebecca Maxwell’s article on getting involved in your children’s education. Beth Markley tackled a timely topic: baking cookies! We also have stories on: • The Idaho Ronald McDonald House, a place where parents with sick kids comfort one another. • Social Essence, where young people learn courtesy and other social skills that will serve them well for a lifetime. Please peruse our pages for much more. Also, don’t forget to send me your family-related calendar items. My email address is n Gaye Bunderson, Editor

Cover Child of the Month

Idaho Family Magazine is holding a Cover Child of the Month contest. Your child — or children — could be featured on our cover, just like the children on this month’s cover. Send photos to me at All photos sent should be high quality, meaning clear not blurry, and high resolution of around 300 dpi. They must also be in color; no black and white photos will be accepted. They need to be vertical, not horizontal. Photos should be of the child only, with no adults. Please also provide the child’s name and age, parents’ names, and the community the family lives in. Only the first name of the child will be printed, and all other information will be kept private. All photos received will be reviewed by a panel of judges, and a winner will be selected.

On the Cover: Anthony, Juliebelle, Lauren & Lucas

Photo courtesy of Amanda Allard Photography

Idaho Family Magazine | October 2013 

IN The Community

Harvest activities for the whole family Think of the levels of connections… Fast food: A stranger hands you a highly processed, calorie-dense, nutrient-deficient meal that you scarf down on the go. You have almost zero connection to the food other than that you’re eating it. It’s empty, unhealthy, and ultimately unsatisfying. Semi-homemade: You buy a boxed dinner at the grocery store and heat it up. Maybe you read the label and chose a meal without added preservatives. You’ve taken a step closer to your food. Still not great, but you’re more involved. Home-cooked meals: You handselect ingredients and prepare a meal from scratch. You are absolutely in control of the ingredients you use. This meal is much more likely to be nutritious and tasty. You’re also more likely to expect your famThere are many farms in the area that allow people ily to sit down and enjoy such a meal to select for purchase their own pumpkin by walking through a patch and picking out their favorite. (File art) together. Farm-fresh meals: You buy ingredients direct from a farmer either By Heather Robson through a farmer’s market, through In our fast food culture, we often a Community Supported Agriculture overlook the importance of being program or right from the farm. connected to our food. The stronger Now not only are you making a your connections with your food home-cooked meal, you’re preparing and where it comes from, the more it with ingredients grown and raised likely you are to eat healthy, wholeby someone you’ve met. some meals … the more likely you You can ask about farming pracare to feel gratitude and even wontices and actually see where the food der over where those foods came was raised. You’re getting fresher from … and the more likely you are food, which is usually tastier food to build a strong family culture. and more nutritious food. And  October 2013 | Idaho Family Magazine

you’re supporting your local economy. The only way to build stronger connections with your food than this is to grow it yourself —also a good plan. We live in Idaho’s Treasure Valley, which means that you’re never more than an hour’s drive from farm-fresh produce, eggs, dairy, and meat. And there are plenty of opportunities for you and your family to take advantage of this wonderful fact right now during the fall harvest.

Pick your own vegetables

You-pick opportunities start at farms all around the valley in June, when the first berries and cherries begin to ripen. And they last through October, when apple picking and pumpkins are the highlight. Taking your family to pick their own pumpkins is a great tradition to start. And it gives you a way to become familiar with some of the local farms and what they offer. Some options for pumpkin picking include: • The Farmstead on Eagle just south of I-84. The Farmstead has a corn maze, a hay maze, and several other fun activities for kids. You can also take a hayride to the pumpkin patch and pick your own pumpkin. • Linder Farms on Linder Road between Columbia and Lake Hazel (look for the big red barn). Another farm with lots of fun activities for families, including a corn maze and a petting zoo. You can explore their 20-acre pumpkin patch and find just the right pumpkin for you. • Cabalo’s Orchard and Gardens south of Kuna on King Road. This is a working farm and orchard. When you visit their pumpkin patch, you might also be able to pick apples, buy fresh pressed apple cider, and buy seasonal, natural decorations for your home. Be sure to ask about their full growing season.

Throughout the spring and summer, you can visit Cabalo’s for a variety of fresh-grown produce. You can even order a naturally raised turkey for your Thanksgiving celebration. • Spyglass Farms on Linder just south of Victory. Spyglass Farms also offers a pumpkin patch. If you visit their pumpkin patch, ask about their Community Supported Agriculture program. It’s a great way to enjoy locally grown produce while building a relationship with a nearby farm. These are just a handful of places you can begin your adventure with locally grown Idaho foods. When visiting a local farm, always call first, or check the farm’s website for their hours of operation. Many Idaho farms are also willing to give tours if you just call and ask. Taking a tour of a farm gives your family a way to learn even more about how local food is grown. Depending on the farm, you might learn a little bit about how farmers grow vegetables or care for orchards, or you might get an inside look at what it’s like to raise sheep, goats, or pigs. A few farms that welcome family tours include: • Willow’s Edge farm on Deer Flat Road east of Locust Grove. On this farm tour, you’ll learn about caring for large animals, you’ll learn about heritage breeds and why they’re important, and you’ll even get a chance to feed the horses. Tours are given on a fee basis. • Vogel Farms on Robinson Road north of Deer Flat. Visit Vogel farms to shop in their gift shops, see their green houses, and learn more about their naturally raised meats. • Wissel Farms on Lake Lowell and Middleton in Nampa. This farm has been in the family since 1911. They offer a Community Supported Agriculture program and tours of the farm. The availability of crops and tour options can change from season to season, so when it comes to touring a farm, always call ahead to learn about fees, hours of operation, and if necessary, to make a reservation. Visiting local farms to pick your own vegetables, to learn more about food grown in Idaho, and even to sign up for a Community Supported Agriculture program are all good ways to deepen your connection with the food you eat … and that will promote better health, stronger family ties, and a stronger economy. Everybody wins. n Heather Robson is a local freelance writer and author. She has a passion for healthy families. You may send her questions and comments at


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Idaho Family Magazine | October 2013 

SOCIAL Essence

Etiquette isn’t just for the upper crust “Friends and good manners will carry you where money won’t go.” ~Margaret Walker, American poet and writer

A group of young girls celebrates finishing the first day of table manner and other etiquette lessons at Social Essence. (Courtesy photo)

By Gaye Bunderson Strong social skills push people of all ages to the forefront at work, school, club meetings — anywhere humans gather for a common purpose. Since 2003, Susan Evans of Eagle has taught good manners and other self-presentation arts to young people through her company, Social Essence. Evans received her etiquette certification through the American School of Protocol in Atlanta, Ga.

and studied at Etiquette Survival in Pleasanton, Calif. “I’ve always loved to work with children,” she said. “I got involved with Big Brothers-Big Sisters way back in high school.” Evans offers the following comportment classes for the younger set: • Modern Manners for Kids, first through fifth grades — Includes dining skills and table manners, phone etiquette, making and keeping friends, and the protocol of properly introducing people.

Social Essence 2013-2014 Course Calendar AP Etiquette – A College and NEW! Women’s Image Job Prep Workshop (includes Development Workshop in dinner) — Saturday, Nov. 16 from February TBD 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Arid Club, IMPACT! Imaged Boise Development for Boys Treasure Valley Cotillion – Social Dance Etiquette and (middle and high school) — Starts Ballroom Dance Instruction — in Monday, March 31 season from December – March. IMPACT! Image Starts Thursday, Dec. 5 Development for Girls Modern Manners for Kids (middle and high school) — Starts – Grades 1 – 5 — Starts Tuesday, Jan. 14 Tuesday, April 1 For exact times, locations, cost and other information, visit  October 2013 | Idaho Family Magazine

• Image Development for Girls, sixth through tenth grades — Etiquette, dining skills, fitness, poise, fashion and makeup. • Image Development for Boys, sixth through tenth grades — Table etiquette, positive social demeanor, grooming and sportsmanship. Each group learns the value of respecting others. In the Image Development classes, the emphasis is on helping young people — at an age when they may struggle with selfconfidence and self-esteem — feel good about themselves, Evans said. She also offers: • AP (Advanced Placement) Etiquette, tenth through twelfth grades — A co-ed college and job prep course teaching interview skills, communication and selfpresentation skills, and wardrobe, dining and general social skills. • Treasure Valley Cotillion, fourth through twelfth grades — Dance instruction and social etiquette for both boys and girls. Robin Charlesworth of Boise has enrolled all of her three children in one or more of Evans’ classes and said that, after some reluctance and foot-dragging, her son ultimately found the cotillion enjoyable. “The boys don’t want to do it, but then they come back and say, ‘Wow, we got to dance and talk with girls.’ They think it’s going to be this horrible thing, but the way Susan does it, it works really well. They go around and dance with every girl in the room. The boys don’t get a chance to feel awkward. The way it works it builds their confidence. By the time it’s over, they want to do it again — girls don’t bite,” Charlesworth said.

Two boys, Ben and John, learn table manners at Social Essence. Such manners will help them present themselves well in many social situations throughout their lives. (Courtesy photo)

women at the company to hold such a position. She later worked in marketing. Throughout her career, she traveled to many foreign countries and learned a lot about cultural differences in manners, especially where women were concerned. She still works to stay on top of anything new where proper decorum is concerned. “I continue to do research,” she said. “Manners are always evolving.” For more information, visit n Look for Good manners can have global importance on page 9


She said that as a young woman, she attended The John Robert Powers School, and the etiquette she learned there helped her in various circumstances throughout her life. She felt it important that her own children learn the same skills. “I moved to the South, and if I hadn’t had that training, I don’t know what I would have done. Then I moved to Boston, same thing. If I hadn’t had (manners and etiquette training), I would’ve come off as the country bumpkin from Idaho,” she said. “Susan goes over handshakes, and at the end of every cotillion, moms go through and shake hands with the kids. It teaches them to talk with adults and be comfortable with them, to not be invisible but be self-confident.” Evans likes all her students to speak well, but she’s not a stickler for absolutely seamless English. Popular idioms and everyday vernacular are all right with her, as long as the youngsters steer clear of off-color language. Participants in her manners courses include all socioeconomic groups, and Evans said parents who send their children to Social Essence can generally be divided into two categories: 1. Parents who want to give their kids an edge up in life. 2. Parents who want her to “fix” something in their child, such as some issue of misconduct. Asked what she thinks is the most common courtesy blunder people make these days, she said: “We are a society of instant gratification. We have no patience; we want instant results. Adults too. We’re pushy. ... Be considerate of others.” Evans worked for many years as a manufacturing engineer at Hewlett-Packard and was one of the first

Idaho Family Magazine | October 2013 

ALL In Good Taste

Cooking Matters teaches low-income individuals and families in Idaho how to identify, shop for, and prepare delicious, simple, healthy meals on a budget. They are always looking for volunteer support to help teach these cooking-based nutrition courses. If you would like to get involved, contact Cooking Matters at (208) 577-2692.

 October 2013 | Idaho Family Magazine

By Gaye Bunderson Q. How did manners A former student of Social and social etiquette Essence courses and cotillions, benefit you in the job Kaitlin Charles now lives market? and works in Hong Kong. A. Susan’s classes While back home in the taught me that social Treasure Valley recently, etiquette goes far beshe answered the following yond table manners. It questions about the global also includes the ability value of learning good to make those around table manners and other you feel comfortable rules of etiquette. and to make a dyQ. When did you namic and positive take Susan Evans’ impression within Social Essence seconds. classes, and which In today’s job market, Kaitlin Charles has used the skills ones did you take? networking and she learned through Social Essence to A. I signed up for interview skills are secure a job, to make a positive Susan’s Treasure Valley help extremely imporimpression on people and to flourish Cotillion course during in a foreign country without seeming tant. A good remy sophomore year of inconsiderate of that nation’s customs. sume may get you high school. I enjoyed in the door, but the course so much that I signed you won’t secure the job without up the following two years and also the social skills to ace your interattended her AP Etiquette for High view. In Susan’s classes, I learned School class. not only how to create a polished Q. What do you feel was resume, but also how to make a the most valuable thing you positive impression on the people I learned? meet every day, which expands my A. Growing up in Boise, people job opportunities and prepares me are very relaxed about table rules. I with the interview skills required to honestly didn’t see the importance secure the job. of knowing which fork to use until I Q. Did the things you learned moved to Hong Kong. In an inthrough Social Essence benefit ternational city, it is of immense im- you as you visited other counportance to have an understanding tries, and in what ways? of dining etiquette. Expectations for A. Absolutely, when one is traveltable etiquette vary by region and ing, you are a guest in that country what is considered acceptable in and it is important to respect the one country can be interpreted as country’s customs even if you don’t very offensive by those of another. understand them. As I mentioned Q. What are you currently do- above, a gesture that is seen as being professionally? nign in one country can be considA. The first year I lived in Hong ered very rude in another. Kong I worked for the American For example, in Asia it is very Chamber of Commerce, assisting rude to leave one’s chopsticks in in planning events to host governtheir rice bowl (especially stickment officials, foreign leaders, prominent academics, and business ing straight up) as this is how food people. The second year, I complet- is offered to the deceased. In the ed an internship with Ogilvy, work- US, I doubt anyone would notice where one places their chopsticks. ing on international campaigns for Taking the time the learn a little brands like Shangri La Hotels and about the customs of the place you American Express. I am currently are visiting beforehand can make finishing my MBA in international locals much more welcoming durbusiness and am in the process of starting my own business. ing your travels.


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Idaho Family Magazine | October 2013 


Tricks, treats and scary tales By Amy Larson The smell of the inside of a plastic mask and a pillowcase full of sugared loot is enough to take a person back a few decades to those magical Halloween nights when kids ran around the neighborhood, unsupervised for the most part. Being handed a homemade popcorn ball or caramel apple with M & M’s or multi-colored sprinkles affixed was one of the brightest spots of our year, and no one even thought of whether or not they might be laced with anything of a suspicious nature. Every group of neighborhood kids has its spooky stories, and we were

no exception. One of ours involved a wooded lot with a tiny, rundown shack in the middle of it. We never saw the owner come in or out of it, but some nights an eerie glow could be viewed through the shack’s windows. We made up stories about who might be living there: definitely one person, an old man or a woman, and very possibly a witch. The best story about the place was a classic that got told and re-told for years, about the sap from the trees. Supposedly a neighbor, overcome with curiosity, ventured into the woods to find out what he could about the shack’s owner or owners. As he walked, thick, yellow sap

(File art)

10 October 2013 | Idaho Family Magazine

collected on his clothing, hair, and eventually his eyes and nose. The man, according to legend, never emerged from that wooded lot. It was said that he was still in there somewhere, dead or alive. Scary tales like that surface this time of year. My friend Dorinda told me that one Halloween, there was a big, rough-looking guy down the street who had imposing wrought iron gates and “No Trespassing” signs all over his yard. When trick-or-treaters discovered that he had dressed up like a gorilla and was handing out cans of soda and full-sized candy bars, Dorinda was too afraid of him to go up to the gate, let alone take candy from a gorilla. Kim, another friend, counted only about 30 Halloween visitors at her door one year. That’s when she decided to bump things up with chocolate bars. Now she and her family get over 200 little ghosts and goblins. “I always wanted to be THAT house,” said Kim. “I think we’ve made it.” She adds, “And I’m not above bribing kids to love us.” While there’s an ongoing discussion about how old is too old to trick-or-treat, many have a nonjudgmental attitude that says, “If you can dress up, you can get candy.” Not everyone is this liberal about the age limit. My friend Phil, a famously tall man, was prejudged at the Halloween door. He often got funny looks from homeowners, who commented, “Aren’t you a little old to be doing this?” Only 12 or 13 at the time, Phil quipped, “Hey, 18 isn’t too old!” Dressing up might get a little technical in the often-crisp Idaho weather. There’s nothing more disappointing than having your Pretty Princess costume smooshed by a big winter parka, and having the royal

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footwear covered up by clunky snow boots. Veterans of many an Idaho Halloween know that the most practical costumes for outdoor display come with a little room for a jacket on the inside. Some adult guardians of the candy aren’t going to give up the goods for nothing, demanding more than just a costume and an age prerequisite. One lady from Heyburn told a brother and sister at her door, “If you want some candy, you’re gonna have to show me a trick.” The children sang a song together, and then the brother did a perfect cartwheel on the woman’s front lawn. She generously rewarded both children. These days, we’d never dream of setting our younger kids loose in any neighborhood in the dark, ‘safe-ish’ or not, but we can still provide them with a good old-fashioned Halloween by thinking back to what we did in our childhoods, and then tweaking it. Halloween parties can bring added unity to the neighborhood and to the families throwing them as they scheme over the scariest decorations on the block, and plan for yummy party food. Bonfires, hot cider, hay bales, roasted pumpkin seeds, and eat-the-cake-donut-off-the-string games all have their place as memory-makers. At our house, we had our own traditions, in that I as the mother sorted through the kids’ candy “for their own good,” subtracting a chocolate bar here and there, “just in case it was poison.” “It’s because I love you,” I assured them annually. The kids knew the ropes, and grew to accept my sorting methods as a type of yearly fee in exchange for birthing them. It was only fair. I tricked them, and I got a treat. n These days, former electrical contractor Amy Larson is now a writer, editor, and book coach, helping new writers throughout the Treasure Valley turn their ideas into finished manuscripts. In her spare time, she explores her beloved Idaho.




October 2013 Disney On Ice – Rockin’ Ever After Thursday, October 17 through Sunday, October 20

Disney on Ice will present Rockin’ Ever After, an all-star Sunday Monday Wednesday Thursday lineup of favorite Disney charactersTuesday performing scenes from Disney-Pixar movies such as BRAVE, Tangled, The Little 2 3 1 Mermaid, and Beauty and the Beast. Shows will take place Oct. 17-20 at Taco Bell Arena, 1401 Bronco Circle on the Boise State campus. Show times are as follows: 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17; 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18; 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19; and 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 20. For ticket information, and to purchase tickets, visit 6 7 or call (208)8426-1766. 9 10







Scarecrow Stroll Continuing through Friday, October 18 13






Columbus Day

The Idaho16 Botanical Garden is hosting its 18 Sixth Annual 19 17 Scarecrow Stroll, which will continue through Oct. 18 from 9Sweetest Day a.m. to dusk each day. The event is free for Botanical Garden members; $5 for non-members; and $3 for seniors and children between the ages of 5 and 12. Animal-themed scarecrows will be seen throughout the garden.

Discovery Center of Idaho Science of Music Saturday, October 19


Children are invited to investigate the Science of Music

at the Discovery28 Center of Idaho, 29131 Myrtle Street 27 30 in

Boise, on Saturday, Oct. 19. Presented by DCI and the Boise Rock School, the event will include laser light and a crafts program for the making of musical instruments. Children in grades 1-3 may attend from 9 a.m. to noon, and children in grades 4-6 may attend from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Cost is $25 for DCI members and $30 for nonmembers. For more information visit

24 Idaho 25 Miss Supreme 26 Pageant Sunday, October 20

A pageant for girls up to 18 years of age will begin at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 20, at Nampa Civic Center, 311 Third Street. Contestants will31 be judged on Halloween theme wear, Halloween formal and beauty wear, and an on-stage intro; prizes will be given. This pageant is part of the Miss Idaho Supreme Pageant program. To register, email Kara Kerber, pageant director, at or visit the Miss Idaho Supreme Pageants Facebook page.

Upward Sports Tuesday, October 22

A local sports organization for kids in kindergarten through sixth grade, Upward Sports, is holding its Flag Football & Cheerleading Awards Celebration from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 22, at the Boise First Community Center, 3852 N. Eagle Rd. The event is free, and there will be music and other entertainment. Upward Sports holds sporting events for children throughout the year — including basketball, soccer, flag football, and cheerleading — and interested parents may inquire at 12 October 2013 | Idaho Family Magazine

of Events

October - November Please send family-related calendar items to

Boo at the Zoo Saturday, October 26 Zoo Boise will host its annual Halloween event, tentatively set for Saturday, Oct. 26. The zoo will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with Discovery Center of Idaho – “Boo!” Event last admission at 4:30 p.m. Costumed Saturday, October 26 characters will pass out candy, and Children are invited to explore Halloween special effects, glow in the there will be costume contests for all dark fun, vapors and other “haunting stuff ” at the Discovery Center ages, as well as games, pumpkin patch of Idaho, 131 Myrtle Street in Boise, on Saturday, Oct. 26. Children in photos, and face painting. General grades 1-3 may attend from 9 a.m. to noon, and children in grades 4-6 admission prices are $7 for adults; may attend from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Cost is $25 for DCI members and $30 $4.25 for children 4-11; and $4.50 for non-members. For more information visit for seniors 62 and over For more information, visit Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday

November 2013

Thunder Mountain Line - Pumpkin Liners Weekends through Sunday, October 27





Thunder Mountain Line is hosting train rides to a pumpkin patch on weekends through Oct. 27. Additional activities include a kiddie hay maze, bounce house, games, trick or treat houses, and pumpkin gardens. Each train ride is 1.5 hours round trip and includes one free pumpkin 3 each paid ticket 4 (costs vary depending 5 6 8 9 with on executive class, first7class, General Election Day Daylight Saving or standard class fares). Trains leave the station at Horseshoe Bend at Time Ends “GEMSET” 10 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. Reservations are required. For more Saturday, November 2 information, visit GEMSET (Girls Exploring Math, Science, Engineering & Technology) is set for15 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Etiquette Workshop 10 11 12 13 14 16 Saturday, Nov. 2, at the Discovery Center of Veterans Day Saturday, November 16 Idaho, 131 Myrtle Street in Boise. The A college and job prep workshop called AP Etiquette will be event is specifically for girls in grades held from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, at the Arid Club 4-6. Cost is $40 for DCI members in Boise. For more information, visit and $45 for non-members. For more or call Susan Evans at (208) 631-0576. information visit 18



Home for Christmas Tuesday, December 17

24 25will perform a26 27 The Piano Guys “Home for Christmas”

concert at Taco Bell Arena Tuesday, Dec. 17. Tickets for the event went on sale on Sept. 23 and cost $25, $45, $55 and $65. The Piano Guys are a Utah-based classical-pop group. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit or call (208) 426-1766.



Hot Chocolate Run Saturday, December 28 Final Kick Events will host a Hot Chocolate Run beginning at 9:30 a.m. 28 29 Dec. 28, at30 on Saturday, Reid Miller Thanksgiving First Day of Park in Eagle. There will be a half-mile Hanukkah Kids Fun Run/Walk and a 5K Run/ Walk. For entry fees, registration times, and other information, visit www. Idaho Family Magazine | October 2013 13

KIDS’ Education

How to participate in your child’s education

Studies confirm that children do better in school when parents are actively involved. It can be as simple as engaging in a conversation with a child about his or her school day, or utilizing technology to remain up to date with what is going on in a child’s classroom. (File art)

By Rebecca Maxwell With summer officially over, the school year is now well under way. Children and teens are hopping on the bus each day to go to school, and, hopefully, keeping up with their homework. All parents want to see their children do well in school and succeed academically. However, parents may not be aware that the single most important factor in their child’s academic success is something that they have power over. The most significant ingredient is the parents themselves and their level of involvement in their children’s education. A large number of research stud-

ies have demonstrated that parental involvement in their children’s education has a critical impact upon how well a child does. According to the Partnership for Family Involvement in Education, children with family members who are involved in their academic life are more likely to get higher grades and test scores, have better attitudes towards school, and are likely to be better behaved in the classroom. Furthermore, their children are more likely to graduate from high school and go on to higher education. New York University’s Child Study Center asserts that children with involved parents are also absent less frequently.

14 October 2013 | Idaho Family Magazine

Teachers themselves can attest to the value of having parents involved in what is happening in the classroom with regard to their kids. Ainsley Boan, the choir and guitar instructor at Hillside Junior High in Boise, sees a large difference in student achievement with involved parents versus those who are not involved. However, the benefits of getting involved in your children’s education goes way beyond the classroom walls. Boan states that when parents get involved, their kids start to see the value of education and learn the importance of hard work. Plus, just by talking to their kids about higher education, parents can motivate their children to continue their education after graduating from high school, whether it is attending college or tech school. Parents who do this are teaching their kids the importance of learning, says Boan. Even though it is critical that parents get involved in their children’s education, in reality it is often difficult. Most parents are constrained by working full-time and the challenges and stresses of life. Not every parent has the time to get involved in their children’s school life. Nevertheless, the good news is that parents have many options available to them in order to get involved. Boan says that parents can engage in their children’s education just by simply asking their kids about how their day went and asking them about what is happening at school. Technology has made getting involved in education even easier. According to Boan, every school in the Boise School District has School Fusion pages. These are classroom websites where teachers are encouraged and required to keep their pages updated with homework assignments and their due dates.

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This way parents can check these websites whenever they want to find out what assignments their child is working on, plus get the dates for various extracurricular activities like sports games and concerts. Other teachers like to send out daily or weekly emails about what is happening in the classroom and the school in general. On top of that, schools in the Boise School District use what is called Infinite Campus for their grade books. Teachers keep Infinite Campus updated with grades for each student and then parents and students can check that from home. Parents and students can also see what assignments are late or missing. Even if parents do not have computers or Internet access, students in the Boise School District are given agenda books so that they can keep track of homework assignments and the dates of upcoming tests. Students are encouraged to write in these and parents are encouraged to check them on a regular basis. There are many other possibilities for getting involved in children’s education. Parents can meet with teachers, volunteer their time, help out coaches, vote in school board elections, participate in parent-teacher associations, get involved in school concerts and sports, and attend back-to-school events and parent-teacher conferences. Ultimately, the most important aspect is that parents are involved in some way. Children will reap huge benefits both inside and outside the classroom by having parents who show concern about their education. n Rebecca Maxwell is a freelance writer from the Boise area. She has been writing articles and blog posts since 2008 about a variety of topics, including parenting and education. She has also been published in Idaho Magazine. She may be contacted through her website at http://rebeccasmaxwell.

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Idaho Family Magazine | October 2013 15

RONALD McDonald House

Offering the comforts of home to worried parents By Gaye Bunderson Every family experiences its trials, and all parents deal with children’s illnesses from colds to chicken pox. But some parents must endure far more difficult childhood maladies, including premature birth or pediatric cancer. Many of those parents avail themselves of the services of the Ronald McDonald House in Boise while their children undergo care at a local hospital. “Families are stronger when they are together,” reads the home page at Mindy Plumlee has been executive director of the Ronald McDonald House in Boise for 12 years. “We work with families in crisis,” she said. The local Ronald McDonald Mindy Plumlee has been the executive director of the Idaho Ronald McDonald House for 12 years. Here, House, located at 101 Warm Springs Ave., hosts 500 to 600 fami- she sits on the bench near the entranceway to the House at 101 Warm Springs Ave. in Boise. (Photo by Gaye Bunderson) lies every year, providing bed and bath facilities, meals and emotional staying at the House were undergo- McDonald House is met through support. ing cancer treatments. fundraisers and individual do“We have volunteers who are great Because all of the pediatric spenations. (Financial information listeners,” Plumlee said. “Families cialists in Idaho work in Boise, it is available at the House in the come from all around. They’ve left requires families to come from all “Home Matters” newsletter near their support network at home, so over the state to obtain medical the front desk.) they support one another, and that’s care for their children with serious “We raise and spend our own a unique kind of support.” illnesses; that can require a lengthy money,” Plumlee said. Among the many volunteers who stay. There is no financial criteria People who would like to make offer hands, hearts and ears to for determining eligibility to stay at a contribution to the work of the the families at Ronald McDonald the House. All families, regardless of Ronald McDonald House may visit House are Mardene and Harold their financial status, may stay there., where there are Dowdy. They just started their sevThe only stipulations are that the a variety of charitable opportunienth year of service there. hospitalized child must be no older ties listed. Spare change may also “It’s a heartwarming feeling to be than 18, and the family must not re- be placed in the containers at all able to help others. We try to meet side in Ada County. The family must McDonald’s outlets in the area. their needs and support them with also have a medical referral from a Ronald McDonald House in Boise lots of love. We just try to have good social worker, physician, nurse, or has 17,000 square feet of space, listening skills and read between the patient coordinator at one of the 19 rooms, a comfortable living lines,” Mardene Dowdy said. city’s two major medical centers. room with a piano and fireplace, a It is a somewhat common miscon“We ask for $10 a night, but it is backyard play area, a kitchen, and ception that the majority of parents not a requirement; 80 percent don’t laundry rooms. staying at Ronald McDonald House pay anything,” said Plumlee, exA 24/7 operation, the House funchave children requiring treatment plaining that the families are gener- tions with five full-time paid staff for cancer. In fact, according to the ally undergoing financial strains as as well as its large volunteer base. nonprofit’s 2012 Annual Report, it is, with travel expenses to Boise, Volunteers are drawn from service premature births topped the medihealth care-related costs, and occaorganizations, businesses, churches cal conditions that required hospital sionally even being away from work and individuals such as the Dowdys. stays, with 37 percent. Only 5 perfor an extended period of time. Mardene Dowdy said there are cent of children whose parents were The operating budget for Ronald even opportunities for young people. 16 October 2013 | Idaho Family Magazine

“They can come in, both boys and girls, and they can bake cookies or other dessert of some kind, or get a group together and make a meal for the families. Also, there’s lots of events where we need additional help, or a little bit of yard work that can be done. I tell the boys, ‘Don’t be scared, it’s not too hard,’” Dowdy said. Plumlee said families staying at the House sometimes remain lifelong friends and supporters of the facility. Throughout her years as executive director, she has witnessed what she calls “the best situations ever,” where things turn out well for the children who are struggling to survive and for the parents who are pulling and praying for them. But she has also seen situations were a young life has been cut short. It can take a certain mindset to remain steadily involved like the Dowdys. “It’s just something we feel deeply in our hearts about,” Mardene Dowdy said. “It gives back to you. You’re giving, but it gives back to you also. ... The house is just fabulous for families to be there in a way where it’s a home away from home.” Area entertainment and sports venues, including Zoo Boise, the Discovery Center, Meridian Speedway and area movie theaters, frequently contribute free tickets to the House for families’ use. “They’re able to do the everyday normal things they would do as a family,” Plumlee said. McDonald’s Corp. owns the name Ronald McDonald House, and the local facility is licensed by the global entity — there are 330 Ronald McDonald Houses

in 28 countries — but the Boise site isn’t required to report to corporate headquarters or follow corporate guidelines. However, said Plumlee, McDonald’s Corp. is a great resource for information and affords opportunities for networking with other sites. Dowdy offered a reminder for people to consider the work of Ronald McDonald House throughout the year. “At holiday time we see a tremendous amount of giving,” she said. “Kids don’t pick a time to be ill, and it’s the in-between times when you have to remember there is a need all year round.” n Harold and Mardene Dowdy just launched into their seventh year as volunteers at the Ronald McDonald House. Mardene answers phones in the reception area, and Harold serves as a handyman. (Photo by Gaye Bunderson)

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Idaho Family Magazine | October 2013 17

IRENE’S Insights

Boy receives surprise room makeover

By Irene Woodworth I have been highly honored to update and decorate children’s bedrooms throughout The bedroom of a boy who was marking his 10th birthday was redecorated in a style my career. I feel as that more closely represented his tastes and interests. The photo at left is the “before” shot, and the photo at right is how the room looked after some paint was added, along though I have been with items that captured the boy’s enthusiasm for snowboarding and BMX cycling. a “child advocate” (Courtesy photos) in a way that assists children with be a perfect opporstripe on the soffit near the ceiling their tastes, colors tunity to give him line and continued it throughout the Irene Woodworth, “Idaho’s Color Lady,” and decorating his own bedroom walls. It actually blended into the is the creator and CEO of RedesignBoise. styles. Each child makeover. It was a room’s décor and gave a sense of com, “Changing Rooms...Changing Lives!” is very special and She is a national award-winning interior room that looked action and movement in the room has his or her own redesigner, color consultant, instructor and very outdated and as with a specific blue color. personality, which motivational speaker. She enjoys taking though it were a guest The parents had ordered two walks with her family and Taylor, their may not match the little dog. bedroom for someone posters that matched his bedding parents’ or even else. It didn’t look like for his surprise makeover. They also their siblings’ decorating colors or a very active boy lived there. told me their son liked the license styles. We started with a color consultaplate picture of the United States I often advise parents that if they tion. The bedding recently purby Aaron Foster and the retro Route honor their sons’ and daughters’ chased had a very active sports tastes, the youngsters will likely want theme of skating, BMX cycling and 66 type of décor. We purchased just a few accessories to finish this look. to have their friends come to visit snowboarding. He chose the preand play in “their” rooms rather dominate colors of greens, with ac- We were able to find some very unique lamps with rocks in the lamp than go to their friends’ rooms and cent colors of indigo blue and gray base that provided an outdoor look. perhaps be unsupervised. to match his bedding. He told me Then we were able to redesign and If you don’t like your child’s taste he knew he needed the color green or colors, you can always close the to help him calm down and relax in update the room just to fit this very door. order to sleep in his room. I thought active boy. He was so surprised and happy We were referred by one of our this was very insightful of him to clients to do a special birthday gift realize how calming the color green that he could hardly wait to have his for a blended family with four boys friends come over and check it out. could be. under 10 years old. The oldest boy He told me something I will never We had an architectural feature was going to have his 10th birthday challenge with a soffit in part of the forget: “This now feels like my own and his mother thought it would ceiling. We decided to give him a room and not someone else’s room!” 18 October 2013 | Idaho Family Magazine

Tips to personalize a child’s bedroom

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1. Discover your child’s tastes. If you are unsure, ask them what kind of things they enjoy the most. Boys commonly like various sports themes. If they are not athletic, perhaps they have an interest in music, insects, astronomy, fishing, water sports, or vintage decor or sports cars, etc. Girls on the other hand may enjoy dolls, butterflies, fairies, gardens, birds or small animals. Boys and girls both like special cartoon or storybook characters. 2. What type of activities will take place in this room besides sleeping? Will they need a desk to do homework? How about a play area or an imagination area or chair? (Most kids love “bean bag” chairs besides a regular chair for a desk.) How much storage will they need besides a closet for their toys and interests? Will they be sharing a room with another sibling or having sleepovers with their friends? Will you need another bed? If space is an issue, sometimes a trundle bed that gets stored under the regular bed is a wonderful space-saving idea for guests. 3. Once you figure how you need to theme the room then you will be able to get your colors chosen and accessories purchased. Paint color is one of the easiest and most cost effective ways to get an updated look for a room. You can opt to paint an accent wall for the bed wall and complementary colors for the rest. Or you can choose lighter tones of the accent-colored wall. If you are on a budget and a “do-it-yourselfer,” you could go thrift store or garage sale shopping and find gently used furniture and unify it with the paint colors. You could paint headboards, dressers, an accent desk chair or night stands in some of the colors of your themed room. You could also change out the drawer pulls in a variety of colors and styles available in stores or online. They have a way of adding a custom look to a bedroom. If you have an overly active child, use calming colors with smaller accents of brighter colors. 4. Do you have an artistic child? How about painting a section of one wall from the floor to the chair rail (three feet) in chalkboard paint instead of the traditional paint? This way your child can sit on the floor and draw on their chalkboard wall. Chalkboard paint now comes in any color besides black or green. Another idea is to only paint the front drawer facings on dressers or storage cabinets in chalk paint. This will be a nice surface alternative for a child who likes to draw. 5. You can use your child’s name or initials to really personalize his or her space. There are oversized letters or name plaques you can use to decorate a child’s room. Options include wall decal art to initials that can be painted or decorated; these can be found at various craft stores. 6. If you need more inspiration, look online. Online resources can be used to spur your imagination; however, remember to include the personal accessories and décor to match the personality of your child. These tips will ensure a happier child who can enjoy, dream, study, visit and sleep in his or her very own personalized space. n

Idaho Family Magazine | October 2013 19

MANIC Mothering

Take two days, break rules, make cookies By Beth Markley First, soften a cup of butter. Because somebody said on a cooking show once that using melted butter instead of softened butter makes for harder cookies, avoid melting the butter in the microwave. Instead put two sticks of butter in a large bowl and set aside until it’s softened. This step should only take a couple of hours. Two days later cover up the butter and put it back in the fridge when you realize you don’t have any eggs … or time to make cookies. Buy the eggs, and also some vanilla, since you can’t remember if you have any (you do). Return home to discover someone has raided the stash of chocolate chips. Don’t scold anyone. It was probably you. You can scold them for eating the marshmallows you bought to make Rice Crispy treats, because you KNOW you didn’t filch the marshmallows. Yuck. On your next daily trip to the grocery store, buy freeze-dried camp food, a bike pump, shampoo, then hit your forehead with your palm when you’re driving home because you forgot the chocolate chips. When you finally have all the ingredients in one place, preheat the oven to 375. Screw what the cooking show said: melt the butter in the microwave. Mix it with sugar, eggs and vanilla. Take a break from the cookie making-activities to load the dishwasher and make coffee. You want to be able to enjoy baking in a clean kitchen, and hav-

ing a cup of coffee with your warm cookies. Read the paper with your coffee. Holler at the kids to grab their laundry. Holler at them for trying to sneak chocolate chips out of the bag on the counter. Remember you were in the middle of making cookies and get back to it. Ignore the part of the recipe that says to sift the flour and baking soda and salt in another bowl and set aside. Who wants to wash another gigantic bowl that won’t fit in the dishwasher just for sifting together the dry ingredients? Just pour the flour, etc. on top of the egg, butter and sugar mixture. Use a fork to mix it together as best you can, before mixing the dry and wet ingredients together so nobody later gets a mouthful of baking soda in their cookie.

20 October 2013 | Idaho Family Magazine

Beth Markley is a humor writer and fundraising consultant who lives in Boise with her husband and two sons. She publishes weekly stories about her misadventures in parenting in her blog, Manic Mumbling at

Mix the dry and wet ingredients and pour in whatever chocolate chips you have left. Spoon little lumps on a cookie sheet and bake. This first batch will burn. Be glad you didn’t put all the cookies in at once. You need this reminder to set the timer. Remove the next batch of cookies in 10 to 12 minutes. The smell of chocolate chip cookies on a Sunday morning will serve to wake your teenager. It is closing in on noon, after all. Use the leverage of a warm chocolate chip cookie for brunch to have him strip the sheets off his bed and gather his laundry. Spend a moment basking in the glow of your kids’ gratitude. They’re so happy to have cookies for breakfast they might just wash the cookie sheets you left stacked by the sink. Either that or your loving husband will. Whatever. You need to sit down with a cookie and a cup of coffee. Baking’s exhausting. n

FAMILY Togetherness

Set goals for shared family time

From eating to exercising, doing things as a family can be planned in advance to guarantee everyone is on the same page. (File art)

Keep in mind that “creating time” is really just designing a new habit — using the time you already have a bit more productively. 2. Create a monthly team meeting. To work as a team is often the central idea of successful families. But you cannot work as a team if you do not think like a team. A monthly team meeting is a great plan for success.


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By Rebecca Evans Most of us feel less like family members and more like transportation specialists or event planners. There is an art to balancing family life when most of the time is spent in the car shuffling from one event to the next, or we barely see one another as we rush by to the next activity. With school under way and routines increasingly in place, this is a great opportunity to create some goals that you want for your family: 1. Establish REAL family time. “Family time” holds many definitions. As a coach, I often find myself guiding parents who are laden with guilt over the concept that they do not have enough time with their children. Take a breath. This is YOUR definition. What does family time look like to you? Family time might mean a commitment to eating one meal together every day or sitting down to dinner as a family twice a week. Every family has different needs, responsibilities and commitments. REAL family time need not be a Hallmark Moment, but instead it is something that offers family members grounding and continuity. Use this as a time to establish that foundation for your family and you.

Idaho Family Magazine | October 2013 21

LEGALLY Speaking

Family values count when creating legacy By Mike McGreaham Last month we discussed ways to transfer wealth to our children. We also met Tom and Sally Ray. Tom is a cardiologist and Sally recently returned to work as a realtor. Both are in their late 40s. They have two teenage children, Jane and John, and a net worth of $2,300,000. Their wealth is expected to reach $9,000,000 in less than 10 years. The Rays asked me to assist them in creating a legacy for their family. They wished to leave their children more than just financial wealth; they wanted to provide them with lessons and values to help guide their lives after Tom and Sally are gone. They also wanted to provide some asset protection for the inherited wealth in case their children encountered some difficulties during their lives, such as drug abuse, lawsuits, bankruptcy or divorce. To create their family legacy, the Rays shared with me what is important in their lives and within their family. For them, their family values included professional achievement, academic excellence, a spiritual home life, social contribution, financial responsibility, community involvement and devotion to family. We began designing their legacy plan with a customized, comprehensive revocable living trust for both Tom and Sally and transferred all their assets to the trusts so that probate would be eliminated and the trustees could maintain control of their property upon death or incapacity. Inside the revocable trusts we created a lifetime trust for each child that springs into effect when the surviving spouse dies. This type of trust provides the greatest amount of asset protection and guidance for John and Jane throughout their lives. A professional trustee, along with a relative as a cotrustee, serves as the “gatekeeper” of the trusts. The trustees have ultimate discretion when and how to release the money in the trust to the children, and are guided by instructions and values that Tom and Sally draft into the trusts.

Michael W. McGreaham is an estate planning attorney at Moffatt Thomas in Boise. He may be reached at (208) 345-2000 or by email at

Once both Tom and Sally die, the estate is divided equally into each child’s lifetime trust. The trusts allow the trustee to distribute trust income and principal to a child for their health, education or maintenance, so long as they are living by the family’s values. If a child gets into drugs, gambling or has other problems, the trustee can turn off the “spigot” and refuse to distribute assets from the lifetime trust until the child shapes up, cleans up and gets back on track. Meanwhile, the trust allows the trustee to “redirect” the trust’s assets to assist the child by paying for the counseling, drug testing, therapy, etc. necessary to help the child get back on their feet. The Rays included extensive guidelines and values for their children in each lifetime trust. For instance, they directed that their trustee may assist a child by distributing income and/or principal out of a trust for: • A down payment towards purchasing and furnishing a home. • A down payment towards purchasing or establishing a business or professional practice. • Travel to foreign countries for cross-cultural experiences and education. • The reasonable expenses of a first wedding and honeymoon.

22 October 2013 | Idaho Family Magazine

• Expenses while a child’s a full-time student maintaining at least a 2.5 GPA. • Expenses while a child is pursuing an educational, scientific or charitable goal which is in the best interests of the child and the public, and which makes the child a productive member of society. • Living expenses if a child becomes disabled and is prevented from being a productive and self-supporting member of society. • Expenses or income replacement if a child is occupied in full-time caregiving for family members such as children or other relatives and that obligation precludes the child from earning a living (a stay-at-home parent, for example). • Supplemental income and expenses if a child is employed full time in an occupation to which he or she devotes at least 35-40 hours of work per week or is pursuing a career full time which is low-paying but socially productive, such as a missionary, teacher, artist or musician. • Any other extraordinary expense that is in the best interests of the child. Additional language ensured that the trustee would consider the future probable needs of the child, and would help educate the child on the longterm tax advantages of retaining funds inside qualified plans, IRAs and such. The Rays’ goal was to set up their estate plan so that the wealth left to their children would not be a burden or negative influence, but would provide a positive structure with incentives and directions to enable Jane and John to make the most out of their lives. By using lifetime trusts with detailed instructions, values and guidelines, the Rays succeeded in protecting their hard-earned wealth from their children’s “inabilities, disabilities, creditors and predators” and have provided their children with invaluable guidance and financial support that will create a legacy to benefit their descendants for generations to come. n

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In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and salt, set aside. In another bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Gradually, add sugar, beating until mixture is pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in vanilla extract, then the egg. Reducing the speed, gradually add one-third of the flour, until mixed, add another third and another third until blended. Knead in the finely chopped California Raisins. Half the dough, flatten into two disks, wrap in plastic wrap, chill for 2 hours. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Roll about 1 tablespoon, shaping the dough in an oval. Gently pinch bridge of the nose to form eye sockets. Place two sliced almonds at top of each piece of dough, and place two mini chocolates for the eyes below the ears, pressing them gently into the dough. Place the mice on parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing the mice 2 inches apart. Bake until the cookies are light golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. Insert a wooden skewer about 1/2-inch into mouse’s round end. Remove the skewer and insert the curved length of licorice for tail. Cool on rack. When the cookies are cool, they can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to one week. (NewsUSA)

Family togetherness continued from page 21 3. Restrictions bring balance. Sometimes it is easier to just let the television chatter in the background or the use of cell phones for texting at mealtimes linger. We forget that balance requires limitations, and teaching our children to discipline their habits with restrictions, especially when it comes to technology, will help them with developing clear boundaries later in life. Set some clear boundaries to help bring balance to your family. This might look like technological “downtime” during a certain period of time. It might mean a definitive curfew for your teen on the weekend or limiting chatting on the phone for your tween. Keep in mind that as a parent, the best way to teach is by example, so if you establish a “zero texting at the dinner table rule,” you need to adhere to it as well. Restrictions are almost the opposite of creating new habits, they are really creating “unhabits.” 4. Use car time wisely. Travel time in the car is a resource that often goes without reward. One of the first things that I suggest to families who are “trapped” in a car for shuffling moments is to shut off technology

in the car. This is not meant to push the driver of the car over the edge, but instead to help teach great coping skills for life. Often, car time has turned into “blind and blank” time when it can be used instead to have a conversation, listen to inspiring music together, read or journal (not the driver, of course) or simply sit in reflection. Car time can be used to bring into light a conversation that might be awkward face-to-face, but is manageable side-by-side in the car. If you are a frequent solo driver, this time can be tapped to listen to a motivational podcast, learn a new language or simply “be.” Think of your time in the car as moments that bring you balance. 5. Family fitness goals. Family fitness is something that I highly recommend, but it must be approached with caution. This requires a subliminal, almost Ninja, approach to helping your family live a lifestyle that is healthy. DO NOT MAKE AN ANNOUNCEMENT that you are establishing family fitness plans. Instead, I recommend that you decide what you want for your family and start living it.

For example, if you want to walk together as part of your fitness plan, just begin walking and invite your family to come along. This is great if you have a pet that needs a daily outing. You might remove the salt shaker from the table or pre-serve plates in REAL portion sizes. Invite family members into the process of healthier living by asking them what they want to do to get in better shape or have more energy. The idea behind a “Family Fitness Plan” isn’t to create ONE MORE THING that we HAVE to do, but instead just LIVE IT. Family matters. This is the cornerstone of our community. This is the unit of one of the most important teams we will ever participate in. In an effort to become a team, to bond as a family, we need to think like a team member while we live out our lives together. n Rebecca Evans is an author, empowerment coach and motivational speaker. She lives in Idaho with her three sons, pugs and guinea pig and seeks peaceful gems in the in-between moments of life. You can connect with her at

Idaho Family Magazine | October 2013 23

Idaho Family Magazine October 2013  
Idaho Family Magazine October 2013  

Idaho Family Magazine October 2013 edition.