Science Colorful decorations
Working for fathers’ rights
A story about courage
Shortage? What will we do?!
See inside for our…
Birthday Parties Section
Ian, age 13, plays a game of football at the Optimist Youth Football complexes in Boise Want your child’s photo on next month’s cover?
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Contents November 2015
Features Idaho Dads Inc.: In dadâ€™s corner
Volume 3, Number 11
6 Thanksgiving experiment Simple Science: A holiday challenge:
Editor Gaye Bunderson email@example.com 208-639-8301
Sales & Marketing Melva Bade firstname.lastname@example.org 208-631-3779
Graphic Design Denice King
No pumpkin pie
Tales spring to life Party theme: Favorite things
Angela Ruth Strong:
Foster care/ adoption:
A story of courage
Birthday Parties 21-23 Birthday bashes: 21 Budget-friendly Columns
In Each Edition 3
Editorâ€™s Intro Popular baby names
KIDS FIRST!: Malala movie review
Stuffed animals rule
Family Events Calendar: Family friendly activities & events for November & Early December!
November 2015 | Idaho Family Magazine
Publisher Sterling Media Ltd.
Contributors Patrick Hempfing, Pam Molnar, Claudia Weathermon Tester & Mary Ann Wilcox Distribution Specialists Idaho Distribution Services
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 2015 by Sterling Media Ltd.
Popular baby names for this and other years You frequently see those lists of most popular baby names for the year. Some of the popular names for boys in 2015 included Liam, Noah, Mason, Ethan, and Logan. Popular names for girls included Emma, Olivia, Ava, Sophia, and Isabella. So how did you do, 2015’s new parents in the Treasure Valley? Did you pick a trendy name? Or not? How did you choose your child’s name? It may have been a name you liked, paired with a name that carried some sentimental or familial value, such as a grandparent’s or parent’s name, as was the case with Charlotte Elizabeth Diana. Did you comb through baby books for ideas? Were other people a help or a hindrance when it came to name selection? Did anyone in your family get angry when you didn’t want to stick your son with the name Egbert Lancelot Bean III? I did a bit of research on how parents pick the names of their babies. Seems American mothers and fathers believe individuality is important when selecting a name for a child of either gender; however, for girls they prefer a name that reflects femininity, while for boys they like names that convey strength. On the website babycenter.com, it’s interesting to see how favored names changed — or didn’t — over the decades. Popular names in 1880 included names that nowadays might seem a bit commonplace. They included John, William, Charles and George for boys and Mary, Elizabeth, Martha and Marie for girls. Fast forward to 1920 and popular names for boys included, well, John, William, Charles and George, among others. That seems to indicate parents were (and maybe still are) a little tentative about giving their sons colorful names — or maybe they thought John, William, Charles and George “conveyed strength.” The government tracks popular baby names at http:// www.ssa.gov/oact/babynames. That’s the Social Security site, if you want to check it out. (It knows everything about you.) While I was working on this Intro, I accidentally stumbled on a story in the New York Times dated October 3, 2015. It’s titled, “The New Tug of War Over Baby Names.” You may find this hard to believe, but a married couple in Chicago, expecting the birth of a baby boy, was offered $10,000 by the baby’s grandparents if the couple named the baby Frank, a long-standing family tradition. The story went on to mention “professional baby-name watchers,” if you can imagine that as a career. It quoted a
“naming consultant,” Maryanna Korwitts. According to Korwitts, the grandparents willing to shell out big money for yet another Frank in the family are apparently not alone in their willingness to pay top dollar for the opportunity to give a grandchild a desired name. An interesting explanation for this phenomenon was given by Linda Murray, editor-inchief of the website BabyCenter, who contends the older generation just isn’t comfortable with the so-called millennial generation’s “disregard for tradition.” (“Fiddler on the Roof,” anyone?) If you want to read the entire story, go here: http://www. nytimes.com/2015/10/04/fashion/your-choice-or-theirsthe-new-tug-of-war-over-baby-names.html. It does seem that the idea of buying a certain name for your grandchild would be limited to the affluent. But maybe not. A family of meager means might entice a daughter and son-in-law to name a child Wally or Louise with the promise of the choicest parts of a slaughtered pig. Who knows? I myself, were I still in those fertile days of life, might settle for new tires on the car. But does anyone — rich or poor — really want to be in the business of buying or selling a baby’s name? Not in Idaho, I’m betting. Just for fun, and to help out anyone expecting a child within the coming months, I went to a website that literally generates names for babies (or anyone running from the law who needs to come up with an alias). Here are some suggestions from that site — and I’m not making any of them up. You’re welcome to use any that suit you. I’m giving them away for free with no expectations. I’m of this whacky mindset that parents should name their offspring absolutely anything they want, even if it’s non-traditional. So here you go. For boys, we have: Cornell, Darbie, Roldan, Decca, Bondy, Devlin, Kelby, Magnum, Jervis and Armin. For girls: Adara, Talya, Dorlisa, Emera, Meade, Nessie, Ketty, Mirabel, Shoshana and Annadiana. Middle names are always good for a compromise. If you want a name both unique and traditional you could, for instance, go with Bondy Joe or Emera Ann. Or even Joe Bondy or Ann Emera. By the way, no one should be insulted if they’ve thought for a minute that I’ve made fun of their name, or their baby’s name. Take a look at my name. Spellcheck always wants to change it to Gay Undersold, and I may just let it make the switch and leave it someday. Because if nothing else, names should be memorable. n Gaye Bunderson, Editor
Children’s Sports Photos Wanted Idaho Family Magazine would love to put your child on our cover. We are currently looking for photos of children engaged in sports. All photos should be high quality, sharp and clear, and high resolution of around 300 dpi. Color photos are preferred, and all photos need to be vertical, not horizontal. Please identify the children in the photos. Send the photographs to email@example.com.
On the Cover:
Ian, age 13, plays a game of football at the Optimist Youth Football complexes in Boise
Idaho Family Magazine | November 2015
IDAHO Dads Inc.
Helping fathers get equal parenting rights
Baxter Andrews started her own nonprofit, Idaho Dads Inc., to help her son get parental rights to his daughter. She designed the nonprofit’s website at idahodadsinc.org. (Photo by Gaye Bunderson)
By Gaye Bunderson In 2014, Baxter Q. Andrews started a nonprofit called Idaho Dads Inc. What is most surprising is that Baxter isn’t even a dad. Baxter is a woman and a mother who was motivated to launch Idaho Dads Inc. when her son nearly lost the child he had with his then-girlfriend. “The mom stopped calling,” Baxter said. She had taken off with the child — a little girl — and Baxter’s son did not know his ex-girlfriend’s whereabouts. He wanted to find his daughter and be allowed to exercise his parental rights as a father. Baxter worked as a paralegal at the time and began to research just what her son’s rights were. She found there was little to nothing in the way of guaranteeing he could have any say about his own child’s life. Mother and son spent $3,000 on an attorney; now Baxter’s son has shared custodial rights, and Baxter gets to see the 4-year-old granddaughter she adores.
November 2015 | Idaho Family Magazine
Through IDI, Baxter wants to help other desperate fathers who fear losing the children in their lives; she advises them free of charge. She left her job as a paralegal and now works with the Idaho Commission for Libraries. The long days she used to put in as a paralegal have been replaced with a more reasonable schedule that allows her to be fully committed at the same time to Idaho Dads Inc. One of the first things she does is advise fathers to spend $10 and get their name on the Idaho Putative Father Registry. “The registry started in this state in 1985, but so few people know about it,” Baxter said. Putative means “generally considered or reputed to be.” By getting his name on the registry, a father who is not married to his child’s mother will be notified if the mother puts the child up for adoption. It does not guarantee the father will be allowed to stop the adoption, only that he will be notified and may then appear in court to testify. One of Baxter’s priorities is spreading awareness of the father registry. She cited data from Idaho Vital Statistics indicating that over a 10-year period from 2004-2013, 59,361 out-of-wedlock births occurred; during that time frame, 323 dads signed up for the registry. Each day from 2004-2013, there were on average 16 out-of-wedlock births, or 5,936 outof-wedlock births each year. Sign-up for the registry in that 10-year span averaged only 32 dads a year. From its inception into law in 1985 until 2014, the registry had a total of 790 men*. In response to a question about fathers who abandon their children and leave mothers to care for them alone, Baxter said: “Like any group, there are good and bad people. But it’s still a broken, unfair system.” One father who got help from Baxter was married to the child’s mother and said the idea that all fathers are deadbeats worked unfairly against him. Curt Peterson of Boise has his own story to tell about the imbalances in the judicial system. “There’s some very deadbeat fathers out there, and that’s the horrible stereotype for the fathers that aren’t deadbeats,” Peterson said. “In the court system in Idaho, you get treated that way — they treat every father that way.” Baxter became a trusted confidante to Peterson after his former wife took his child out of state. “I was in the middle of a long, drawn-out, frustrating divorce. My ex fled to Florida with my daughter. She’s 7 now but was 5 at the time. Baxter helped me find lawyers in Florida, helped me with everything I could do from Idaho. I’m obviously not rich,” he said. “She said, ‘We’re going to get through this; we’re going to make it. I don’t know what that looks like right now, but we’re going to get your daughter back because you have rights as a father.’ She was my light at the end of a very dark tunnel.” His ex-wife is from Columbia and her family is extremely wealthy, according to Peterson. “My biggest fear was that she’d leave the country with my daughter and I’d never see her again,” he said. With Baxter’s help and with legal representation, he was ultimately able to get shared custody of his daughter, as well as get a guarantee she could not leave the country without his consent. He sees his daughter for 11 of the 13 weeks she’s out of school in the summer and is allowed to have her every other Christmas or Thanksgiving.
The people who contact her come from all socioeconomic backgrounds, she said. Baxter also seeks to educate men about the value of their role in their children’s lives and of the importance of maintaining their parental responsibilities. She works in conjunction with Dads Matter (a program for dads that partners with St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital), as well as Family Advocates, Idaho Parents Unlimited, Friends of Children & Families, Giraffe Laugh, Learning Lab, and other community organizations. She even espouses the value of fathers to high school students. She received an invitation from Meridian High School teacher Shannon Phillips to address the issue for Phillips’ Family and Consumer Sciences class at MHS. As it reads on the Idaho Dads Inc. website, her nonprofit is “building lifelong relationships with Dad.” For more information, go to idahodadsinc.org. *http://www.healthandwelfare.idaho.gov/Portals/0/ USers/074/54/1354/2013_web_opt.pdf n
“I think every child deserves both parents,” Peterson said. “I grew up without my mom... I believe as long as both parents are healthy and not harming the children and doing what’s best every day, there should be access for both parents.” Baxter wants to make it clear that the most important people in these custodial arrangements are the children themselves, and she does not wish to see adversarial roles for mothers and fathers. “The mom and dad need to communicate and work as a team,” she said. “It’s not about them; it’s always about the kids.” The vision statement of Idaho Dads Inc. is: “Improve the well-being of children by supporting healthy relationships between parents.” Baxter also vividly recalls her own feelings as a grandmother. “I had so many sleepless nights, thinking, ‘What if I never get to see my granddaughter again?’” she said. It’s an issue that can affect many family members. She gets calls from men who have heard of her work through word of mouth or through 211.Idaho.gov, a free statewide community information and referral service. But she gets almost as many calls from women — mothers, sisters, and new girlfriends of men with children who want to know how they can help the males in their lives secure their parental rights.
Idaho Family Magazine | November 2015
Experiment creates Thanksgiving decorations By Steve Davala Not enough time to think of a thoughtful science lesson for your kids? Need some decorations around the house for Thanksgiving? Well, here is an experiment that is not only entertaining, but also a great and colorful art project.
The following is an easy to set up experiment using a process called “chromatography.” Sounds complicated, but when you break down the word, “chroma” means “color” and “-graphy” means “writing.” Chromatography is the process of breaking down solutions or “mixtures” of colors into their individual parts. You will put a dot of color onto a porous piece of paper (coffee filters work well) and let a liquid wick its way up the paper. When the liquid hits the color, it will dissolve it and separate the color into its constituents, if it has them. For example, blue doesn’t necessarily break down into pieces, but a black marker splits into many different colors.
You don’t need any fancy laboratories with test tubes and chemicals to try a simple experiment that allows children to make fun Thanksgiving decorations. (Photo by Steve Davala)
Materials: Two pie pans or deep plates to hold some liquid, several coffee filters (not the cone type), water and rubbing alcohol, several different colored markers (both water-based and Sharpies), and two small plastic cups.
1. Put a dot of a marker onto the coffee filter, about a half inch from the edge. 2. Re-dot that spot with the same marker (ensures a good color amount). Don’t flatten the filter! 3. Add more colors around the edge in the same fashion as listed in steps 1 and 2. Make sure to use lots of different colors and types of markers (black is the best to try). 4. Do the same to another coffee filter (to compare what happens, make them identical). 5. Pour water into one pie pan (enough to cover the bottom, but not too much). 6. Pour the same amount of rubbing alcohol into the other pie pan. 7. Put the small plastic cups in each pie pan (these will stop the coffee filter from falling into the liquid). 8. Turn the coffee filters upside down and into each pie pan (the flat part of the filter should be pointing up). 9. Make sure the liquid is always touching the base of the filter. Add more as needed. 10. Watch the liquid wick its way up to the top, possibly dissolving the colors and carrying them upwards. 11. After the colors have been pulled apart, take the filters out and let them dry
Explanation: This is a simple experiment, but has some colorful results. You should see how the water works on the water-based markers, but not on the Sharpies. The rubbing alcohol, however, splits up the Sharpies. (This is useful information for when you get Sharpie on a surface you didn’t want it to be on… Clean it with rubbing alcohol!) Kids can decorate the flattened coffee filters that are now rainbow-colored to make them look like turkeys, or just create a cool fall color display of foliage. Speaking of foliage, this same process can be used to separate the colors of leaves to see just what colors they contain. The experimenting doesn’t have to be over yet, however. In fact, this is when the science really starts to happen. Children will wonder why water works on some markers but not on others, and will want to test out other colors another time. Do water color paints work? What about crayons? Whatever they do, it’s in the name of science, and by encouraging their experimenting you will be furthering their scientific development. n Steve Davala is a high school chemistry and physics teacher who likes to write. He’s got two kids of his own and subjects them to these science activities as guinea pigs. Follow him on Twitter, on stevedavala.blogspot.com or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
November 2015 | Idaho Family Magazine
Malala movie inspirational and eye-opening By Ranny Levy
Davis Guggenheim, known for his award-winning documentaries An Inconvenient Truth and Waiting for Superman, brings to the screen the incredible life story of Malala Yousafzai and offers insight into the life of this young woman. At the heart of this film are the interviews that show us the impact of Malala’s father and family in creating who she is. Here’s what KIDS FIRST! film critic Lainey A had to say about the movie.
Review by Lainey A, age 13
“There is a moment when one should choose to be silent, or to stand up.” — Malala This movie is very inspirational, educational and makes me realize how fortunate I am to have an education and not have to worry about the safety of my life or family. He Named Me Malala, is a documentary about Malala Yousafzai who takes huge risks to stand up for girls’ rights to receive an education in Pakistan. When Malala is 15 years old she makes public speeches about how she doesn’t think the Taliban is doing the right thing by blocking girls from getting an education. One morning on the way to school, members of the Taliban board Malala’s school bus, ask for her by name and try to assassinate her. Malala is shot on the left side of her head and she miraculously survives. After her recovery, she continues to put her own life in danger by speaking out
against the Taliban. Fast forward to 2014, at age 17, Malala is the youngest person ever to win the Nobel Peace Prize. The relationship between Malala and her father, Ziuddin Yousafzai, is very strong and shown throughout the film. Malala says that she and her dad have two different bodies but they share one soul. They both speak out and help each other to have a voice. Ziuddin named his daughter after a historical Afghanistan woman who courageously went onto the battlefield to fight for freedom. Similarities are shown between the two Malalas, both strong young women willing to take a stand. My favorite scene is at the beginning of the movie when Malala is at her home with her brothers and dad having conversations like any tight-knit family. This scene offers some comedic relief between Malala and her brothers and this scene shows she has a normal life. The message of He Named Me Malala is that we should stand up for what’s right and what you believe in, no matter the consequences. That can be really difficult. Malala really shows what she believes in and she says that there is a moment when one should choose to stand and she does. She chooses to speak out. The movie states, “When you educate a girl, it changes our world.” Thanks to Malala, more girls are getting educated and our world will be a better place because of it. I rate this documentary 5 out of 5 stars because it is very inspirational and shows how one person can really make a difference in our world. I recommend this film for ages 13 to 18 because it is intense and has actual news footage of murders done by the Taliban.n
What Are You Looking for in a Church?
How about a safe, happy environment where we help kids answer important life questions?
That’s St. Michael’s Episcopal Cathedral
For more information call
208-331-1184 or visit www.thundermountainline.com
Climb aboard and join Santa and Mrs. Claus to Idaho’s own Santa’s village. Santa will greet children during the train ride and then welcome them to his sleigh upon arrival. Christmas songs and music will entertain children during their journey. At the village, the elf in the house will hand out milk and candy canes to the children. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in November and December
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• Four weekend worship services including a family service during the school year • Childcare for all Cathedral events • Sunday School classes for kids from 3 ½ through middle school all year round • Cathedral Night each Wednesday a family style meal followed by a program for adults and Dragon Slayers for kids
Idaho Family Magazine | November 2015
ANGELA Ruth Strong
The book-writing professional wins again
Angela Ruth Strong, at right with whistle, leads a group of kids in a pillow fight. (Courtesy photo)
By Gaye Bunderson Angela Ruth Strong’s career as a children’s book author began with a family water fight. She and her husband were picnicking with their preschool-age son when Strong got the idea to encourage the little boy to go throw water on his dad. But Dad had another idea; he told his son he’d give him a dollar if he threw water on his mother instead. So what decision did the preschooler make? “He went to sleep that night clutching his dollar bill,” Strong said. From that experience came her first book in a 4-book series titled Fun4Hire. The book, “The Water Fight Professional,” actually started out as a short story published in a 2006 Summer Shorts anthology, a project of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), of which Strong is a member. After the story was published, the New York State School Boards Association requested the right to use it in the state’s classrooms. The latest book in the series was published August 15 and is titled, “The Pillow Fight Professional.” The other books include “The Food Fight Professional” and “The Snowball Fight Professional.” They all feature Joey Michaels, a teenager with a younger sister named Christine. The book somewhat mirrors Strong’s own family; her water-tossing preschooler, Jordan, is now 16 and has two sisters: Caitlyn, age 14, and Lauren, age 12. Joey Michaels uses his “professional” skills to help others. For instance, in the final installment of the series, he explains: “I’m training a bunch of my sister’s friends to hold their own against older siblings. Unfortunately, when the girls win a
November 2015 | Idaho Family Magazine
pillow fight at an overnighter, those older siblings aren’t very happy with me. I’m forced to plan a pillow fight to end all pillow fights. Me and the girls against a bunch of bigger boys.” In the Food Fight book, Strong used a real life connection to develop a story about food insecurity. Because she knew someone who had adopted twin boys from Haiti, the story includes twin Haitian boys known as the Haitian Sensations. When kids start throwing food at each other just for fun, the boys from Haiti (who know a little something about food scarcity) tell them it isn’t funny and want to know, “Why are you throwing food around?” That leads Joey to start a fight against hunger. Strong donates money from the book to City Light for Women and Children in Boise. Her primary goal with each of the stories is to entertain, but she also includes some life lessons. One character, a boy named Micah, had a single mom. “That’s something from my own experience. Writing from my own experience makes the books more powerful, but they’re all funny,” she said. Strong, who started a neighborhood newspaper while in seventh grade, earned a journalism degree from Oregon State University. She said that before she was able to pursue a career in that field, she became a mom “sooner than I expected.” Her mother, Ginger McGrath, worked as a writer, publishing articles in more than 50 magazines. “She was my inspiration, editor, and first cheerleader,” Strong said. Strong wrote romance novels for a time, but when her first husband left her in 2009, she thought, “I’m not writing about
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Angela Ruth Strong will have a book signing from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, November 21, at Rediscovered Bookshop, 180 N. 8th St. in Boise. For more information about the writer and her books, go to angelaruthstrong. com. Her romantic novel titled “Finding Love in Sun Valley” will be out in February of 2016.
Isn’t it time your teenagers found out what all the talk is about?
romance anymore.” She turned, instead, to writing a self-help blog for women overcoming abandonment. Now married once again — to Jim Strong, who illustrates her children’s books — she has returned to writing romance. Writing as Angela Ruth, her first romance was titled, Angela Ruth Strong “Love Finds You in Sun Valley, Idaho.” The book is being turned into a movie for UPtv (Uplifting Entertainment & Family Movies at uptv.com). She has also turned her attention to suspense novels, and in conjunction with four other local women started a writing group they’re calling Team Love on the Run (teamloveontherun.com), featuring stories of faith, danger and romance. Collectively, they write novellas in which each woman submits a story. Strong doesn’t make a huge profit from her books. “It’s more about art than money,” she said. At SCBWI writers’ conferences, she was told, “If you want to make a lot of money, you have to write books for the same audience.” Nice advice perhaps, but she prefers to produce works in different genres. Under her own terms, she has been successful, winning a Cascade Award from an Oregon writers group, as well as the Idaho Top Author Award from Eaglebased Aloha Publishing. She also speaks at schools and shares with young people her formula for success in writing: ideas + hard work = good books. The youngsters should listen. It’s worked for her. n
Idaho Family Magazine | November 2015
UP for a challenge?
A holiday season without pumpkin pie
A shortage of a certain kind of pumpkin could lead to a Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie. But is the holiday just about what and how much we eat? Claudia Weathermon Tester suggests DOING instead of EATING. (File art)
By Claudia Weathermon Tester We’re in the midst of the pumpkin season straddling Halloween, when we carve them, and Thanksgiving, when we use them to bake a sweetly fragrant classic pie. The flavor of pumpkin spice seems ubiquitous from about September through year’s end. We drink lattes and milkshakes and gobble up pumpkin-spiced cookies, muffins and waffles. The lowly pumpkin is actually quite bland if you just steam and eat it. Maybe it’s the colorful orange flesh that lends itself so well as a vehicle for delivering cinnamon, sugar, cloves, nutmeg and cream — the stuff we really like. Although pumpkin flavoring is easy to come by, the real thing may be a bit scarce this year. Some agriculture experts are even calling this the Great Pumpkin Shortage of 2015. You may be wondering how that is possible after seeing crates upon crates of the bright orange globes at grocery stores and farmer’s markets recently. But the pumpkins we use as fall decorations are quite different from those steamed and canned for use in pie filling. Those are known as sugar pumpkins and about 90 percent of them are grown in Illinois. It was a bit rainy and soggy there in late summer and fall, which means the crop yield was way down. Food processing giant Libby says canned pumpkin may be hard to come by after Thanksgiving. All this news had me musing that perhaps we put too much emphasis on food during the holidays anyway. If you had to celebrate without any food at all, would your family be up to it? What would you do if food wasn’t the centerpiece of parties and gatherings? Would you even leave the house during the winter? So I challenged myself to come up with a list of ideas for DOING instead of EATING that promote togetherness. Throw a Pet Party — So many folks have non-human ‘kids’ these days, why not invite your friends and their ‘fur balls’ for an evening of fun. You could have tiny costumes like Santa hats or an elf outfit for a photo booth. The pictures could then be crafted into holiday cards.
10 November 2015 | Idaho Family Magazine
Karaoke Caroling — Teach your kids the classic carols you grew up with using a CD player or karaoke machine. If you’re really brave, take your show on the road to visit friends and neighbors. Caroling is a lot easier if you have a soundtrack downloaded to your phone. Enhance the sound with a Bluetooth speaker. It’s one of those charming holiday traditions that just doesn’t happen much these days. Christmas Light Car Tour — Have the kids map out holiday light displays which are usually listed in the local newspaper. Then schedule one evening (or several) to go viewing. Be sure to have a Christmas soundtrack playing. It’s also fun to take along mini candy canes for other folks who may be out doing the same thing. Take blankets, roll down your windows and pretend it’s a sleigh ride! Christmas Tree Camp-Out — Once your tree is up, schedule a sleepover on the floor. You can do several activities before falling asleep to the glowing lights like signing your family Christmas cards, drawing names for the gift exchange, reading your favorite Christmas books or scriptures and sharing your favorite moments of the year. Make Potpourri for Gifts — Your neighbors would love a jar or decorative tray of hand-crafted potpourri. Research recipes online. Most call for easy-to-find ingredients like cloves, cinnamon sticks or star anise. Pair these items with fruit slices you’ve dried yourself and pine cones gathered on forest walks. Then add essential oil available at most craft stores and place it in canning jars with a simple ribbon. Orange oil is heavenly. Try one of these ideas this holiday season or brainstorm with your family on a non-food activity that suits your fancy. You’ll get more quality time together and perhaps feel less stressed about holiday overeating. And that’s something to celebrate! n Claudia Weathermon Tester is a health coach and mother of teenagers. Her greatest kitchen accomplishment so far is figuring out how to use her food processor to make homemade Nutella.
TALES spring to life
BCT launches new Children’s Reading Series By Hollis Welsh Boise Contemporary Theater has announced the play titles and dates for the 2015-2016 season of its Children’s Reading Series. The series began in October, with the reading of “Outlaw Puss in Cowboy Boots” by Clay Nichols. Many months of entertainment for children remain through the end of this year and through next March. The Children’s Reading Series is a beloved annual BCT program that presents the best of contemporary children’s theater in a creative environment that is accessible to audience members of all ages. Drawing on one of the oldest traditions in theater, “hearing a play,” audience members experience professional actors bringing engaging stories to life. BCT’s Children’s Reading Series is directed by BCT Education Director / Associate Artist Dwayne Blackaller. This year’s Children’s Reading Series features five plays perfect for people ages 5 and older, and fun for the entire family. Each reading runs no more than 90 minutes, with one intermission. Free milk and cookies are included in the ticket price. All readings (unless otherwise noted) begin at 2 p.m. with doors opening at 1 p.m. Single ticket prices are $8 for children and $12 for adults for each reading. Children’s Reading Series 5-Reading Subscription Packages are also available for $30 for children and $50 for adults. All children must be accompanied by an adult.
The Boise Contemporary Theater 15/16 Children’s Reading Series:
November 15, 2015 February 28, 2016 TREASURE ISLAND Story by Robert Louis Stevenson Adapted by Mike Kenny
BOY WITH A SUITCASE By Mike Kenny
December 20 & 21, 2015
S.A.D. (Spooky Action at a Distance) By Tracy Sunderland and Dwayne Blackaller
CHRISTMAS EVERY DAY Adapted by Dano Madden and Jenny Sternling
March 20, 2016
Tickets are on sale now and may be purchased online at http://bctheater.org/readings/childrens_reading_series/, through the BCT Box Office at (208) 331-9224, x205, or in person at 854 Fulton Street in downtown Boise from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and up to two hours before each performance. n
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Idaho Family Magazine | November 2015 11
Sock Drive November
The most needed item by people without sufficient resources is also the least donated item: socks. Meridian seventh grader Randy-B Funk will be collecting socks for the area’s homeless and for those in homeless shelters. The sock drive will take place throughout the month of November. To donate socks, contact Randy-B at 914-3793.
Thunder Mountain Line for the Holidays November - December
The Thunder Mountain Line in Horseshoe Bend offers Santa Express, Dinner with Santa, and Holiday Dinner train rides throughout November and December. Go to to: thundermountainline.com.
Twirling Tots November
Children ages 2-5 may play games, explore body movement, and boogie to dance hits of yesterday and today at the Twirling Tots program presented by Eagle Parks & Recreation throughout the month of November. The children will meet from 10:30 to 11:15 a.m. Tuesdays at Eagle Performing Arts Center, 1125 E. State St. Cost is $36 for the entire 4-week program. Pre-registration is required at www.cityofeagle.org/recreation.
Kids Sports Programs November
Eagle Parks & Recreation is offering various sports programs for youngsters throughout the month of November. Sports include lacrosse, soccer, and martial arts. For more information, go to www.cityofeagle.org/recreation.
Princess PJ Party Friday, November 6
Night Tours of the Old Pen Fridays November 6, 13 & 20
Tours of the Old Idaho Penitentiary will be given throughout the night on Friday evenings from 6 to 10 on November 6, 13 and 20. People are also welcome to do a self-guided tour (bring a flashlight and dress for the weather). Tickets are available at brownpapertickets.com (key words: Night Tours). All ages are welcome, but the tours are recommended for children ages 10 and up. Go to history. idaho.gov/events/night-tours.
Craft & Chocolate Affaire Friday & Saturday, November 6 & 7
Indulge in the dual passions of chocolate and shopping during the 24th Annual Craft & Chocolate Affaire November 6-7 at the Nampa Civic Center. The event will be held from 5 to 9 pm. Friday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free. The holiday-themed marketplace features more than 90 booths of crafted items, along with a delicious assortment of chocolate to enjoy. Go to nampaciviccenter.com.
Puppets – Turkey Trouble
First Friday & Saturday of November, December
The main branch of Boise Public Library hosts puppet shows generally on the first consecutive Fridays and Saturdays of the month. Friday shows are at 10:30 a.m. and Saturday shows are at 2 p.m. The free, half-hour shows are appropriate for families with children up to 6 years old. The puppet show “Turkey Trouble” will be held in Hayes Auditorium at the library from 10:30 to 11 a.m. Friday, November 6, and from 2 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, November 7. The puppet show on December 4 and 5 will be “Waiting for Santa.” Go to boisepubliclibrary.org.
“Stars & Stripes Windsock” Craft Saturday, November 7
Children ages 3-6 are invited to a special night out fit for a princess from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, November 6, at Eagle City Hall, 660 E. Civic Lane. There will be a special princess pizza party, as well as opportunities to make princess jewelry and play princess games while parents enjoy a night out. Cost is $24. Pre-registration is required at www.cityofeagle.org/recreation.
A “Free Crafts for Kids” program is offered each Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Lakeshore Learning Store in the Westpark Towne Plaza at 417 N. Milwaukee St. in Boise. On November 7, children will create a “Stars and Stripes Windsock” to take home. For more information, call 377-1855.
Special needs and other concerts
Chess & Movie Day
The Caldwell Fine Arts Series will present a performance by the Boise Cello Collective at 7 p.m. Friday, November 6, at Jewett Auditorium on the College of Idaho campus. A special needs and sensory-friendly concert will be held at 1 p.m. that day. Tickets for adults are $8, $10 or $15; students and children may get in for $4, $6 or $8. Go to caldwellfinearts.org.
Chess and “The Peanuts Movie” will be part of the fun from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, November 7, at Panda Express Restaurant in downtown Boise next to Trader Joe’s. Children ages 4-12 are invited, and beginners are always welcome. All players MUST be preregistered through SuccessInChess.com. For more information, call 713-2486 or email email@example.com.
Friday, November 6
12 November 2015 | Idaho Family Magazine
Saturday, November 7
of Events 2015 Gem State Chess Championship Saturday, November 7
This annual event for kids ages 4-12 features a trophy for every player and includes a pizza buffet and drinks. Bring friends from school to win additional team awards. Beginners are welcome. The event is set for 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, November 7, at Smoky Mountain Pizzeria Grill, 415 E. Parkcenter Blvd. in Boise. All players MUST be pre-registered through SuccessInChess.com. For more information, call 713-2486 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Next Great American Novel Tuesday, November 10
This program for teens and adults will help mark National Novel Writing Month and will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, November 10, at the Library! at Cole & Ustick. Interested people are welcome to come join other writers, discuss and share ideas, and type (or write) away at your novel. Drink and light snacks will be provided. Go to boisepubliclibrary.org.
Alzheimer’s Disease – Enjoying the Holidays Tuesday, November 10
Christine Bubb, community outreach specialist for the Greater Idaho Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, will speak on “Enjoying the Holidays: Tips for Families and Friends with Loved Ones Who Have Alzheimer’s Disease” from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, November 10, in the multipurpose room of Nampa Public Library. For more information, contact Sara Cobb at email@example.com or 468-5813.
Celebrate Yourself! Wednesday, November 11
This program at the Cherry Lane branch of the Meridian Library is geared toward children ages 3-12 with special needs and their parents and caregivers. The ongoing program, which launched October 7, will be held at 11 a.m Wednesday, November 11. Offerings include strengthening motor skills, practicing social skills, and increasing language use while enjoying books. Go to mdl.org.
“Designed by Nature: Origami” lecture Thursday, November 12
A “Designed by Nature: Origami” lecture will be given by wildlife biologist Bernard Peyton at 6 p.m. Thursday, November 12, at the Boise Art Museum. Dr. Peyton will explore the relationship between science and art as it applies to origami design. Enjoy the lecture and be prepared to do some folding. Cost is $10 for BAM members and $15 for non-members. Go to boiseartmuseum.org/special-events. Folding Paper: The Infinite Possibilities of Origami is the current exhibit at the museum, located in Julia Davis Park.
Month of November & Early December Please send family-related calendar items to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stepfamilies: Real Life Solutions for Fairy Tale Endings Thursday, November 12
This free workshop presented by Tim Furness and Susan Reuling Furness will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, November 12, at Jefferson Street Counseling and Consulting, 1517 W. Jefferson in Boise. Every stepfamily takes time to develop. Come and explore some of the steps for success in your own marriage and enrich your stepfamily home environment. To register, call 385-0888.
Thursday, November 12
Pitch Slapped, a premier coed a cappella group from Berklee College of Music in Boston, will perform at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, November 12, at the Nampa Civic Center. The group has appeared on NBC’s “The Sing Off” and was crowned International Collegiate Champions at Lincoln Center in New York City. Go to nampaciviccenter.com for ticket and other information.
Teen Night Out in Downtown Boise Friday, November 13
Children ages 12-16 are welcome to an evening of pizza at Flying Pie and a movie at the Egyptian Theater (“Chasing Shadows”) followed by ice cream at Ben & Jerry’s. This evening in downtown Boise will be held from 4:30 to 10 p.m. Friday, November 13, with departure and return to and from the Nampa Rec Center. Cost is $35. Go to nampaparksandrecreation.org or visit the center for an itinerary.
Golden Dragon Acrobats Friday, November 13
The Golden Dragon Acrobats have amazed audience members of all ages throughout the world. They will be performing at 7:30 p.m. Friday, November 13, in the Morrison Center. Tickets may be purchased at http://mc.boisestate.edu/events. Many holiday-themed performances by various artists, from the Oak Ridge Boys to Mannheim Steamroller, are scheduled at the Morrison Center throughout November and December. Visit the website for more details.
Comedy for a Cause Friday, November 13
The 1st Annual Comedy for a Cause, supporting the building of homes for low-income families and individuals in Canyon County, will be held at 6:30 p.m. Friday, November 13, at the Nampa Civic Center. Go to nampaciviccenter.com for ticket and other information.
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Idaho Family Magazine | November 2015 13
CALENDAR of Events
Continued from page 13
The Whittenberger Planetarium on the College of Idaho campus in Caldwell offers shows to the public one night a month. All public shows start at 7 p.m., and those who attend are asked to arrive 15 minutes early. Cost is $2.50 for children ages 3-17 and $5 for adults. Reservations are required by calling Kinga Britschgi at 459-5211. Shows for the remainder of the year include Morning Stars on November 13 and Winter Solstice on December 4. Dates and topics are subject to change.
A catered Italian meal, as well as silent and live auctions, will start at 4 p.m. Sunday, November 15, at the College of Idaho in Caldwell. The $25 fee includes the catered dinner. For tickets, exact location and other information, call 459-2461.
Fridays, November 11 & December 4
Rescue Mission Holiday Concert Saturday, November 14
The 17th Annual Holiday Benefit Concert for Boise Rescue Mission Ministries will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday, November 14, at the First Baptist Church at 607 N. 13th St., Boise. Linnie Doyle Ministries will host the event, and Doyle and her talented musical friends will perform. This is a fun family event and is free to attend. A dinner will follow the concert. A free-will offering will be taken, and 100 percent of proceeds will go to the Boise Rescue Mission.
Kids Night Out in Eagle Saturday, November 14
Do your kids need a night out? Send them to Eagle City Hall for a fun night for them and you from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, November 14. There will be games, crafts, pizza, and a movie. Cost is $32, with a second-child discount available. Pre-registration is required at www.cityofeagle.org/recreation.
“Thanksgiving Doorhanger” Craft Saturday, November 14
A “Free Crafts for Kids” program is offered each Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Lakeshore Learning Store in the Westpark Towne Plaza at 417 N. Milwaukee St. in Boise. On November 14, the craft of the week will be a Thanksgiving-themed doorhanger. For more information, call 377-1855.
Children’s Reading Series at Boise Contemporary Theater
Sunday, November 15
BCT’s Children’s Reading Series launched in October. Every month from now until March, professional actors will bring engaging stories to life at BCT, located at 854 Fulton St. The performances are never more than 90 minutes long, and there is an intermission with treats available. All children must be accompanied by an adult. All shows are at 2 p.m. The featured story on Sunday, November 15, will be Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island.” Call the BCT Box Office at 331-9224, ext. 205, to purchase tickets. For a complete list of upcoming stories, go to bctheater.org/readings/childrens_reading_series/.
14 November 2015 | Idaho Family Magazine
Sunday, November 15
Wildland and firefighter tour Tuesday, November 17
Anyone who wants to learn more about wildland fires and the people who work on the front lines to combat them is welcome to join the Nampa Recreation Department on a tour of the National Interagency Fire Center and the Wildland Firefighter Foundation from 9:15 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, November 17, with departure and return to and from the Nampa Rec Center. After the tours and discussions with experts, participants will go to lunch at the Kopper Kettle in Boise. The $20 cost covers transportation, tours, and lunch. Go to nampaparksandrecreation.org.
Dinner and a Book (for families) Tuesday, November 17
Reading together is a great way for parents and children to share an activity while also helping the child build reading and verbal skills. Join the Library! at Cole & Ustick from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, November 17, and celebrate Idaho Family Reading Week with dinner from Flying Pie, as well ice cream and — of course — books to read. Registration (required) opened November 1. For more information, call 972-8300. The same program will be held at different branches of the library throughout the week. Go to boisepubliclibrary.org.
Near Space Exploration Wednesday, November 18
Children, teens and adults are welcome to the Library! at Hillcrest to learn about equipment and activities in researching Near Space from 7 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, November 18. Near Space is altitudes around 60,000 feet but below Outer Space. In addition to learning about weather balloons that are used to conduct experiments at high altitudes, participants will learn how to design and launch their own experiments. For more information, call 972-8340.
8th Annual Hunger Bowl Friday, November 20
The Idaho Food Bank’s annual Hunger Bowl will be held Friday, November 20, at Albertsons Stadium on the Boise State campus. The fight against food insecurity in Idaho takes place the night of the match-up between the Boise State Broncos and the Air Force Falcons. People who attend the game are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item and drop it off at one of the many donation locations at the stadium. Cash donations will also be accepted by food bank staff and volunteers prior to the start of the game, which is set for 7:30 p.m.
Winter Wonderland in Caldwell November 20, 2015 - January 15, 2016
The City of Caldwell will once again hold its annual beautiful Christmas light display along Indian Creek November 20 through January 15. Opening day events will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, November 20, in downtown Caldwell and will feature live entertainment, hayrides, a petting zoo, food vendors, and visits with Santa. Go to cityofcaldwell.com.
Canyon County Christmas Show Friday - Saturday, November 20 - 22
The annual Canyon County Christmas Show will begin at 11 a.m. Friday through Sunday, November 20-22, at the Ford Idaho Center in Nampa. Go to fordidahocenter.com.
Saturday, November 21
Participants may win a turkey for Thanksgiving during the Nampa Rec Center’s annual Turkey Shoot from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, November 21. Teams will consist of one adult and one child. Each team member will take 10 free-throw shots, and the team with the highest combined total in each age division takes home the turkey. Cost is $5 per team for NRC members and $7 for non-members. Advance registration is recommended. Go to nampaparksandrecreation.org or visit the center.
Map Mania at the WaterShed Saturday, November 21
Celebrate GIS Day (geographic information systems) from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, November 21, at the Boise WaterShed. This day of mapping adventures in the exhibit hall will feature map games for prizes. Kids may make and eat their own tropical island cookie, create their own clay volcanoes, and visualize earth in 3D with an interactive topography map. Young children will enjoy the “Young Geographer” station. All participants may play the Idaho map toss game and try their hand at digitizing. There will also be a photo opportunity with a Hawaiian backdrop — in November! Go to BoiseEnvironmentalEducation.org.
“Give Thanks! Centerpiece” Craft Saturday, November 21
A “Free Crafts for Kids” program is offered each Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Lakeshore Learning Store in the Westpark Towne Plaza at 417 N. Milwaukee St. in Boise. On November 21, the craft of the week will be a Give Thanks! centerpiece. For more information, call 377-1855.
Family Storytime and Craft Night Monday, November 23
Children and families are welcome at the main branch of Boise Public Library from 7 to 8 Monday evenings for a storytime followed by a craft activity. The event will be held November 23, as well as other Mondays of the month, and all are welcome. Call 972-8200 for more information.
School Break Mini Camps Monday & Tuessday, November 23 - 24
Children in grades K-5 may attend a mini-camp from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, November 23-24, in the Eagle Elementary of the Arts cafeteria, 475 N. Eagle Rd. Activities will include crafts, games, and field trips. Cost is $32 a day. Pre-registration is required at www.cityofeagle.org/recreation. There will also be a sports holiday mini camp for children ages 4-9 from 9 a.m. to noon November 23-24 at a location to be announced. The program will combine basketball, soccer, and football. Cost for the two days is $75. Pre-registration is required at www.cityofeagle.org/recreation.
Thanksgiving Break: Gourds and Gobblers November 23 - 25
There will be free school break programs at Boise WaterShed during the fall and winter. Kids may “gobble” their way to fun by making a turkey call, as well as taste some delightful gourds and squash. Crafts and activities will take place from 10 a.m. to noon November 23-25. Go to BoiseEnvironmentalEducation.org.
Festival of Trees November 24 - 30
The Saint Alphonsus Festival of Trees will be held November 24-30 at Boise Centre. Go to saintalphonsus.org/festival for a full schedule of events.
Black Friday Lock In
Thursday, November 26 - Friday, November 27
Kids ages 6-12 can stay “locked in” at the Nampa Rec Center while parents are out shopping or pursuing other activities from 8 p.m. Thursday, November 26, through 10 a.m. Friday, November 27. Cost is $20 for members and $25 for non-members. There will be no pizza party Thursday evening, but breakfast will be served Friday morning. Go to nampaparksandrecreation.org.
Winter Garden aGlow
November 26, 2015 - January 3, 2016
The annual Winter Garden aGlow will be held November 26 though January 3 at the Idaho Botanical Garden. For more information, go to idahobotanicalgarden.org/winter-garden-aglow/.
Every Christmas Story Ever Told November 27 - December 12
Boise Little Theater will present a comedy for all ages. “Every Christmas Story Ever Told” will be performed November 27December 12 at the theater’s longtime location at 100 E. Fort St. The plot: Instead of performing Charles Dickens’ beloved holiday classic for the umpteenth time, three actors decide to perform every Christmas story ever told and every carol ever sung. Complete days, times, and ticket information is available at boiselittletheater.org.
“Nature’s Picture Frame” Craft Saturday, November 28
A “Free Crafts for Kids” program is offered each Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Lakeshore Learning Store in the Westpark Towne Plaza at 417 N. Milwaukee St. in Boise. On November 28, kids will be invited to make a “Nature’s Picture Frame” craft. For more information, call 377-1855.
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Idaho Family Magazine | November 2015 15
CALENDAR of Events
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Christmas in Meridian
Claus ‘N Paws
The City of Meridian will host its annual “Christmas in Meridian” from November 30 through December 5. The Winter Lights Parade will take place from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Friday, December 4, down Main Street in the downtown core of the city. The Children’s Winterland Festival will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, December 5, at Meridian City Hall. There are many other holiday-themed events, including a Downtown Business Decorating Contest, City of Meridian Christmas Bazaar, Winter Lights Fun Run, a Holiday Classic Volleyball Tournament, and more. Go to meridiancity.org/christmas.
Join Zoo Boise for its annual Claus ‘N Paws free-admission day from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, December 5. This “thank you” to the community is highlighted by photo opps with Santa for a small donation, as well as holiday crafts and face painting. Also, see zoo residents get their holiday gifts. Go to zooboise.org.
November 30 - December 5
First & Third Thursdays Beginning December 3
Moms who need a break are invited to participate in Meridian MOPS twice a month and enjoy a full brunch, guest speakers, discussions, service, inspiration, crafts, and connections with other moms. The organization is open to all moms with kids from birth to kindergarten and meets on the first and third Thursdays of each month. Child care is provided. The first meeting in December is from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. on December 3 at Meridian Assembly, 1830 N. Linder Rd. Call 888-0063 or go to mops.org.
Saturday, December 5
Santa’s Workshop Saturday, December 5
Kids ages 3-12 are welcome to enjoy two hours of making holiday crafts, playing games and decorating cookies from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, December 5, at the Nampa Rec Center. Santa will make an appearance that day as well. Cost is $4 for members and $5 for nonmembers. Advance registration is recommended. Call 468-5858 for more information or go to nampaparksandrecreation.org.
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16 November 2015 | Idaho Family Magazine
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How to host a My Favorite Things Party By Pam Molnar “Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens; Copper teakettles and warm woolen mittens; Brown paper packages tied up with string – These are a few of my favorite things!”
Are you looking for a theme for your holiday party? Hosting a My Favorite Things Party is a fun way to gather with friends and share some of your favorite things. It fits well with the spirit of gift giving and can be altered to work for a Mom’s Night Out or a kids’ party. The idea is simple — bring five of the same favorite things and take home five different things for you to enjoy. Here is what you need to do to have a successful My Favorite Things Party. Set a limit: As the host, it is up to you to decide a dollar amount and number of gifts. For an adult party, decide what is reasonable to spend for a night out. If you choose, say, $30, you can do three $10 gifts or five $6 gifts. For children’s parties, you might want to put a $3 limit on gifts or choose items from the dollar store only. Invitations: As the host, send them your favorite way — by Evite, computer generated or handwritten. Explain how the party works and what each guest needs to bring. Continued on page 19
Idaho Family Magazine | November 2015 17
Bed gets ‘stuffed’ after daughter’s dream This is the “not great” part of the story to By Patrick Hempfing Sometimes a good story falls right into which I referred earlier. my lap … or in this case, jumps into my When Jessie calmed down, she snuggled lap. Before I tell my story, though, I want in between Mattie and me, with one arm to share the reasons why I write. First, it’s around Eeyore and Sam, and fell asleep. a way to earn income, while keeping a Once I’m awake, though, I have a tough flexible schedule (I’m typing this at 2:30 time falling back to sleep, especially after a.m.). Second, it feels great to brighten being awakened by 83 pounds of blunt someone’s day, even if it’s just by giving a force trauma, followed by a swift knee in few minutes of enjoyable reading. I love the groin. I turned over on my side, hopwhen readers respond to my column by ing to catch a few winks. However, instead sharing happy memories of their own. of finding sleep, I was goosed … by a cow. Third, time flies by. Mattie, my wife, reI erred when I thought Jessie only brought cently asked, “Do you realize our baby is Eeyore and Sam. She had also carried her Patrick Hempfing had a 20-year profesalready halfway to 18?” cow, Cuddles. Thank goodness it wasn’t sional career in banking, accounting, and As I remind readers to “cherish the mo- auditing before he became a father at age Unicorn. ments,” I’m prompting myself to do the 44. He is now a full-time husband, stayI knew I wouldn’t be falling back to sleep same with my daughter during life’s hectic at-home dad, and writer. Follow Patrick anytime soon, so I left Jessie in bed with at www.facebook.com/patricklhempfing days. Last, and most importantly, my Mattie and went to the living room to read writings create a permanent record of the and on Twitter @PatrickHempfing. and soon drifted off in my recliner. Later, incredible love I hold for Jessie. When she I moved to the sofa and slept there before reads the stories in years to come, she’ll remember the getting up to take the dog for her morning walk. great times and know how much her parents treasured After a brisk walk, a yawning dad went to wake Jessie her. It’s time for one of those stories, but be forewarned, for school. As I looked down at my sleeping family, one one part would not be classified as “great,” especially word came to mind — thankful (okay, “tired” would have from a male perspective. worked, too). Jessie had maintained her position in the I’m a light sleeper. If Jessie calls me from her bedroom middle of the bed with Mattie on one side, and Eeyore, on the other side of the house, I’ll wake up about 90 Sam, and Cuddles on the other. The three stuffed anipercent of the time. Recently, however, one of mals were resting comfortably on my favorite the 10 percent times occurred. Jessie had a pillow. Cuddles and Sam looked up at bad dream and called, “Daddy!” When me with their stitched smiles. I smiled daddy didn’t show up, Jessie decided back. to run to her parents’ bedroom. Sure, Mattie and I had been She brought along her stuffed deprived of a little sleep. Howanimals, Eeyore, the donkey, ever, we had received an opand Sam, short for Samanportunity to show Jessie that tha, her brown monkey. To we are always there for her, summarize, at a few minto protect, comfort, and utes after 1 a.m., an 83 lb., love her. Jessie’s flying leap frightened girl, toting a reminded me to be thankmonkey and a donkey, ran ful for the opportunities I frantically into the master have to make a difference bedroom and made a flyas a dad (though I’d prefer ing leap onto her daddy. future ones to be pain-free). Still groggy, I tried to calm This leads me to one final Jessie. reason why I write. Writing “Calm down, calm down. is therapeutic for this sleepIt’s okay. Calm down before deprived father. somebody gets hurt!” About Until next month, remember three seconds later, that someto cherish the moments, even if body was me, as Jessie’s knee you’re awakened by a bony-kneed landed … well, let’s just say that had kid, goosed by a cow, and lose your I known this was coming, I would have favorite pillow to a group of gone to bed wearing the prostuffed mammals. Cuddles the Cow, Sam the Monkey, and Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh tective cup I used during my ended up sharing Dad’s pillow after he was relegated to the sofa. Happy Thanksgiving! n church-softball-playing days.
18 November 2015 | Idaho Family Magazine
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continued from page 17 Decorations: During the holiday season, most homes are decorated and need only a few additions. You might consider setting up a table to hold the gifts and decorating a banner that reads “Our Favorite Things” or set up a photo booth with twinkling lights, Santa hats and snowflake cutouts. Food: Ask the guests to bring their favorite dish to pass, either an appetizer or a dessert. With each dish, ask them to include copies of the recipe for everyone to take home. How it works: Write each guest’s name down on five (if that is the number of gifts each guest is bringing) slips of paper, fold and put in a bowl. Each guest will bring their five items wrapped or in gift bags. Each guest pulls five names out of the bowl, careful not to pull the same name twice or pull their own name. When everyone has picked their names, begin the gift exchange. After the gifts are opened, have everyone tell what they brought and why it is their favorite thing. Keep the party going with games. Here are some ideas. What’s your favorite…? – Write a question such as, “What is your favorite place for pizza?” on the top of a piece of paper. Clip paper to a clipboard and pass around the room asking everyone to write down their answer. For children, use simple questions like favorite color or TV show. If hosting moms, choose questions like “Best date night restaurant” or “Favorite quick dinner idea.” For an easy party favor item, make copies of answers and hand out to the guests so everyone can try out the new suggestions. Matching – This is a great game if everyone at the party knows each other. Include a questionnaire in with the invitation asking questions that their friends might know like favorite music group, restaurant or ice cream flavor. Write answers down on separate index cards. At the party, the hostess asks the question and picks one guest to hand out the cards to who she believes is the right person. She gets a point for each correct person. All the incorrectly placed cards go to the next person to guess. Play until all the answers are with the right guest for each question. The person with the most points wins. Name your Favorite… – Write down simple categories like cereal, TV show, holiday or dog breed and put them in a bowl. Have the guests draw out a card and name five of their favorite items in that category in 30 seconds. For a holiday theme, use categories such as Christmas carol, holiday movie or cookie cutter shape. n
Pam Molnar is a freelance writer and mother of three. Planning themed parties is one of her favorite things.
Idaho Family Magazine | November 2015 19
Foster parent learns what courage really is fun cutie pie! But eventually he became comfortable enough to show his hurt and then I realized: Editor’s note: November is National Adoption Month. suddenly all of my time revolved around healing It’s a good time to reflect on the important ways foster and this little guy. Yes, I had other children with other adoptive parents reach out to help children and families needs, but we managed through this intense in our communities. The following article was written by healing season. There were days I didn’t think I Shannon Foust, a foster/adoptive parent who lives in the would make it. Over time his violence lessened Treasure Valley. and his attachment strengthened, all the while becoming part of our family. I talk to a lot of people about foster care Two years is a long time in the life of a 3- to 5and one of the biggest deterrents of being a year-old, but that is often how long the foster profoster parent is the notion that …“I will get cess takes. There are many reasons — too many too attached and won’t be able to let the child to list here (attend an informational meeting* to go.” I can’t help but think that the person find out more about that), but often it’s just the Shannon Foust telling me this believes that I can take care nature of things. In the meantime, children grow, of a child in my home and mother them in hit milestones, heal, attach. We make a difference in their lives. But a robotic, cold fashion, therefore making it easy to give them they also make a difference in ours. up. That definitely is not how it is, but I do understand the Two years. Riding a bike. Learning to swim. Starting kindergarconcern. I worry about that too. ten. Making friends. Sleeping through the night. Size 3T. Size 4T. I feel it every time a child can make eye contact after Size 5. Size 6. Two years. months of intentional parenting designed to build an attachWhen you love a child so deeply, some of the scariest words in ment. I feel it whenever a child I did not bear from my own the foster care world are, “He has family that is interested.” Anbody walks into a room and my heart leaps. I feel it when a other process. More court dates. Visits. Unknowns. Fears. Worries. child is out late, in the doctor’s office, on an extended visit These are real. But so is courage. Carrying that little guy — the with family members, or any number of situations that cause me to worry as I would over my own biological children. I feel one I had held so often in my arms — to the car that would drive him away for the final time was the hardest, scariest, most courait when I’m singing a frightened child to sleep and they drift off, peace finally winning over, and my heart knits with theirs. geous thing I’ve ever done in my life. One thing I always tell my kids is, “We can do hard things!” I hear you, ma’am and sir. I get that fear. I feel it at every Why? Because the decision to do something amazing doesn’t have home visit, meeting and court date. I feel it when a decision to hinge on all of the “what-ifs” if we have courage. comes and a child fears the unknown because they’ve gotLastly, often I am told, “Wow, it must be hard to be a foster parten used to us…to this…and we to them. When a child says, “I don’t want to go,” and I must dig past my own fears and ent.” Yes it is. But you know what? It’s harder to be a foster child. heartbreak, assuring them it will be fine and that they are While I walked that little guy to the car, time seemed to stand so brave — even when I am not. I get it. Who in their right still, giving me the opportunity in the midst of his cries and protests mind wants to do this? Not too many. to whisper in his ear, “You are so brave and courageous...you can But here’s the thing I’ve come to grips with: caring about do this...we love you...you are so brave...it’s going to be okay.” a child and his or her family causes me to go beyond my Can you be someone who has courage and then gives it to a child own fears, my own pain and my own heartbreak. Going who is really afraid? Not because it’s your personality or because through hard things for the sake of another doesn’t matter, you’re just a nice person, but because you are committed to helping when it comes down to it. When someone is drowning, does children and their families? Because in the end, it’s not about chaa lifeguard go through all the reasons not to save them? The risma or loyalty or being nice. In the end, it’s believing that these water’s too cold, it’s too deep, I could drown, there are sharks? children have incredible things to offer the world someday, and No. Does a firefighter stop and say, “I should pray about this they need us to give them courage in this season of their lives so before I run into that burning building?” No. What drivthey can heal and have courage for their future seasons, even when ing force moves us beyond the risks and into action? To put you have nothing left and the fear and hurt are overwhelming. someone’s life before our own? One word: courage. There are children out there who need you to believe that you Courage is not the absence of fear but the overcoming of it. can do it, so they can believe that they can do it too. It doesn’t necessarily go away, it’s just action in spite of it. It’s moving forward in the face of it. I recently had to do something that I didn’t think I could. Over two years ago a chubby, *Foster Care and Adoption Informational Meetings brown-haired, brown-eyed, hurt, adorable 3-year-old entered Have you ever considered becoming a foster or adoptive my life after failing in two other homes. For me, the timing parent? Have you wondered about other ways that you can was completely off. I was in the midst of a huge Christmas help a child who is in foster care? Attend an informational project for foster children and it looked like Toys R Us had meeting to learn how you can make a difference in the life of vomited all over my house. I was homeschooling six children, a child. Visit the Idaho Child Welfare Research & Training one a senior in high school. My older adult kids were both in Center website at icwrtc.org or call the Idaho CareLine at transitions. So many excuses...yet none valid in the face of a 211 to learn more. The schedule of upcoming informational 3-year-old needing a home. Of course, at first I didn’t see what the problem was. What a meetings may be found at http://www.icwrtc.org/events/ info-meetings or by calling 1-800-745-1186. n By Shannon Foust
20 November 2015 | Idaho Family Magazine
Birthday Parties RODEOS to pirates
Birthday bashes that won’t bust a budget By Mary Ann Wilcox Over the years it seems that birthday parties have become a major expense item in the family budget. Here are some party ideas from our Backyard Adventure Series that won’t break the bank and minimize prep and clean-up time. As you will notice in the party ideas listed, each party consists of a scrapcraft activity, party favors that are part of the refreshments or prizes, and quiet or active games. They are also ideas that would work for both boys and girls and are designed for ages 12 and under.
Indoor Drive-In Movie
Prep time: 10 minutes Opening presents: 15 minutes Activity time: 3 hours (including movie and clean-up) Car construction • Gather boxes of all sizes. Assign each box to a child — one that is big enough for them to sit in. If you have lots of small boxes and several big kids, you may need to use more than one box and tape them together. I have found that paper boxes and shipping boxes work well for a variety of children. • Grab your “box of tricks.” I have a banker box in my closet with all my “kid-friendly” craft supplies — items like crayons, markers, construction paper, card stock, glue, packing tape, scissors, punches, and extra scrapbooking scraps. You can use anything you have lying around. • Let the children go to town decorating their own “box car” for the drive-in movie. They can make windshields, rear-view mirrors, head and taillights, grills, license plates and even wheels for their cars. Then they just glue or tape them to their boxes. • When everyone has cleaned up, have each child “park their car” in rows just like you would at a drive-in movie theater. • When the party is over, the children can take their cars home with them.
3 years old through 6th grade
Birthday Bash $125
Concession stand • Let each child collect snacks from the “concession stand” to eat while they watch the movie. Make sure you choose snacks that won’t stain. Crackers, chips, veggies, apples, peanut butter dip, cheese sticks, popcorn and clear soda or white juices are good choices. Small boxes or treat bags could be used to hold the snacks and serve as the party favor for each child. • Cupcakes and ice cream bars could be another option or an addition to the festivities and served prior to the movie and after the opening of presents.
Gem State Gymnastics Academy
5420 W. State St. Boise, ID
Movie selection: Choose a movie that fits the time frame of the party and is age-appropriate for all the children in attendance. It could be a full-length movie or just a 30-minute video. Continued on age 22
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Bring 8 crazy friends for one hour of non-stop fun in our gym and 40 minutes in the private party room! Plus the birthday child gets a Gem State Gymnastics t-shirt.
Idaho Family Magazine | November 2015 21
Birthday Parties Birthday bashes Continued from page 21
Prep time: 1-2 hours depending on what you have on hand and what you need to gather Opening presents: 15 minutes Activity time: 2 hours (including clean-up) Location: Because of the amount of space needed, it is best to hold the party in a park or large backyard when the weather is still warm. Hobby horse construction • Any kind or color of sock. Just look in your sock bucket for socks that don’t have matches; the larger the sock, the better the head proportion. A 6-pack of white tube socks can be purchased for less then six dollars if you don’t have socks on hand. • Yarn for the mane — any color, any weight. You will be surprised how many girls like horses with blue, green or pink hair…so really, any color will do. Use what you have and attach it with a glue gun. Using a low-heat glue gun would be best. • Googly eyes — can be purchased at your neighborhood craft store. They come in all sizes. Use double-sided tape to attach them to the head. Tape works better than glue. • Markers to draw the mouth. • Felt for the ears — it doesn’t matter what color. Children don’t care if things match. Or you can use paper grocery sacks if you don’t have any felt lying around. • Rope of any kind — for the halter and reins. Soft nylon or clothesline rope work well. You could even braid yarn or strips of fabric if there is time instead of using rope. Ribbon will work well too. If time is an issue, don’t worry about making reins. The children will not use them during the rodeo anyway. • Sewing notions — not a necessity, but if you have some, the children can decorate their horses. • Wrapping paper tubes, one-inch PVC pipe or wooden dowels for the stick. Don’t make them too long or it will be difficult for the children to manipulate them in the races. Rodeo: In a real rodeo the riders are awarded cash for their performance. You might give cash prizes in play money that can be exchanged for candy, treats, ribbons or an overall trophy for the best buckaroo. Their prizes can be placed in a decorated paper lunch sack as their party favor to take home. Shooting gallery: Place a 2x4 board between two supports. Line up paper or Styrofoam cups along the board. Have each child take turns trying to shoot the cups off the board with a squirt gun, Nerf gun or marshmallow gun. Have the children stand close enough to the board that the gun has enough power to level the cups. Time each child. The winner is the one who levels the most cups in one minute. Barrel racing: Set up a barrel racing course using three 5gallon buckets. The buckets form a diamond from the starting line and are equidistant from each other. The rider with his hobby horse is timed running the course. The rider with the best time wins.
22 November 2015 | Idaho Family Magazine
Steeple chase: Set up an obstacle course where participants can jump over barriers of different heights. The lowest height could be a 2x4 on the ground. The next height a 2x4 across two #10 (1-gallon) cans. The third height is a 2x4 across 5-gallon buckets. Each contestant is timed running the course. The contestant with the best time is the winner. Calf roping: Small hula hoops that you can purchase at the dollar store make the best lariats. You can have the children rope a bar stool at a distance according to their skill. We made a horse and calf out of saw horses and old pop bottles if you want to get fancy. Or you can just have the kids rope each other like a variation on a game of tag. Saloon: A folding table surrounded with a large cardboard box can serve as a bar at a saloon. After the rodeo, the children can step up to the bar for root beer floats and cupcakes and eat on the grass while the birthday person opens presents.
Prep time: 1 to 2 hours depending on shopping needs Opening presents: 15 minutes Activity time: 2 hours (including clean-up) Pirate swords • Supplies needed: cardboard, glue guns, glue gun glue, scissors, buttons, jewels, feathers, sewing notions, markers, anything to decorate the swords with. • Cut out swords ahead of time with an exact-o knife. Pirates’ plunder • Purchase prizes or little trinkets at the dollar store, also chocolate coins, little toy guns, necklaces and dress up jewelry, etc. • Place each prize in a paper sack and tape or staple the sack shut. You will need at least one sack for each person. • Pirates sit in a circle and take turns rolling the dice. • The leader calls out a number. If the number comes up on the dice, the pirate chooses a prize, but does not open it. If he does not throw the correct dice, he passes the dice on to the next pirate in the circle. • The leader can change the numbers called at will or call several numbers at once if he or she wants to speed up the game. • Continue playing until everyone has a prize. • Next, begin the lightning round. In this round the order of play is the same, but this time the pirates can exchange their prize for someone else’s in the circle. The prizes still remain closed. • At the end of the lightning round the pirates open their prizes. Sink the ship • Decorate two large appliance boxes to look like a ship, or tape cardboard together to make a box. Position ships about 12 to 18 feet apart. The pirates kneel or stand in their ships. • The object is to sink the other ship with cannon balls (ping pong balls, large marshmallows, etc.).
Birthday Parties • The first round begins by giving one crew two dozen cannon balls. They barrage the opposing ship with a show of balls, trying to land them inside the box. Each successful hit counts as a point for the offensive team. The defensive team can cancel the points by catching the balls and dropping them outside their ship or throwing them back and winning points for their team. • When the offensive team has used up all their ammunition, the balls are tallied and the number of balls in the offensive team’s ship is deducted from the balls in the defensive ship. Note: Any ball returned to the offensive ship by the defensive crew cannot be reused.
• Man overboard = stand with hand on forehead and look around • Walk the plank = close eyes, put hands behind head and walk Put the children into teams of four. Walk them through all of the cues. Then play a practice round to test their knowledge. Then when play begins, the last team to complete the task called out by the “captain” will sit out. The last team standing wins. For more party ideas that will save you time and money, check out the blog at maryannscupboard.com. n
Shipwrecked: This is a follow-directions game like “Simon Says.” Children must follow directions. If they make a mistake, they sit out. Use the ship boxes described in the “sink the ship” game. Cues: • Starboard = right (run to side indicated) • Port = left • Bow = front • Stern = back • Keeling = one person lies down, two people pick up a third by the hands and feet and swing them perpendicularly over the lying person • Cooks stew = 3 people sit in a row and stir
Idaho Family Magazine | November 2015 23