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Mind Tricks Yoda’s wisdom for parents



Our holiday differences

Too harried? Ease up


Manatee But, sorry, no horse

The Season LIFT your spirits A group for women

Two girls, each named Chloe, participate in a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class at Ultimate Jiu Jitsu in Meridian

Want your child’s photo on next month’s cover?

Check inside for details!


Contents December 2015


Features Columns Jedi mind tricks: Apply them to parenting



moMENts: Manatee for Christmas


KIDS FIRST!: Going bananas over Peanuts

Editor Gaye Bunderson gayeb@sterlingmedialtd.com 208-639-8301


Sales & Marketing Melva Bade melvab@sterlingmedialtd.com 208-631-3779


Holiday Blend:


Granny squares:


A diverse community Warming others

Simplify the season: Some tips

Forgiveness: Let grudges go

Krav Maga:




Don’t be bullied

New women’s group

All in Good Taste: Haitian Style Chicken and Rice

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cherry Peppermint Tassies 23

Publisher Sterling Media Ltd.

Graphic Design Denice King Contributors Daniel Bobinski, Rebecca Evans, Patrick Hempfing, Genny Heikka, Diane Louise Smith, Samantha Stillman & Mary Ann Wilcox Distribution Specialists Idaho Distribution Services


Crafts on A Dime: Christmas bow

11 In Each Edition 18

Volume 3, Number 12


Editor’s Intro Memory banks


Family Events Calendar: Family friendly activities & events for December!

 December 2015 | Idaho Family Magazine

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.



Memory banks always have sufficient funds “Sometimes you will never know the true value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” — Dr. Seuss


While we were in college, my sister and I roomed together in a snug little one-bedroom apartment on Boise Avenue. One night before Christmas when I came home from my glamorous late-evening pizza parlor job, I opened the door to find she had set up a Christmas tree, decorated it with lights and ornaments, and made a star from tinfoil and placed it on top. She apparently started working on the whole project the minute I left for work, including buying the tree and getting it home. It was a holiday surprise, and a great one at that. The whole apartment smelled like fresh pine. More than 30 years later, I can still drive by that apartment and all the memories come back. I’m not sure what happened to that tinfoil star. We kept it for a while, but it’s now tucked into the storage bin in my brain along with other things tagged Best Life Experiences. I’m getting older and the bin is getting full. That’s just the way I like it: stuffed with Christmas and other good memories. Christmas is the kind of event that makes you look back and remember things. But there are many holiday things that circle back on an annual basis. In that category belong the ubiquitous carols we all think we know by heart until we try singing them without the radio or Pandora. The songs’ lyrics can especially throw kids off. When one of my cousins was a child, instead of singing “round yon virgin” he would sing “Round John Virgin,” as though the song were an ode to a corpulent man. Even though those songs ring through store aisles from early November until Christmas and can drive us a bit bonkers, it’s hard to imagine the holidays without a single musical note. I thought I might explore the origins of some of the most familiar songs to find out just how long they’ve been part of our collective Christmas memories. These are the abbreviated versions of the genesis of each song mentioned. • First off, “Silent Night,” because that’s where we first heard the phrase “round yon virgin.” “Silent Night” dates back to 1818 and comes to us from the village of Oberndorf in the Austrian Alps. It is the creation of an assistant church pastor and church organist.

An annual webcast from Oberndorf is held each Christmas Eve to honor the song’s creators. • “White Christmas” was written by Irving Berlin, who also wrote “God Bless America.” Both songs seem out of sync with Berlin’s origins, as he was a Jewish immigrant from Russia. Bing Crosby first performed “White Christmas” on his radio show in 1941, just 18 days after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor; shortly after that, he sang the song in the film “Holiday Inn.” “White Christmas” wasn’t loved by critics, but soldiers on the front lines of war found it comforting, generating greater enthusiasm for the tune back home. • “The Little Drummer Boy” was written in 1941 by American composer Katherine Kennicott Davis. In was recorded in 1955 by the Trapp Family Singers — yes, the singing family made famous in the movie “The Sound of Music.” • “The Christmas Song” (most commonly known as “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire”) was written in 1945 by Bob Wells and Mel Torme, who said the song sprang from the heat of a particularly hot summer. Wells wrote a few sentences in pencil on a notepad, thinking if he thought enough about Jack Frost and folks dressed like Eskimos, it might help him cool down a little. • “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” was actually written by a Brit, Tommie Connor, with the word “mommy” actually reading “mummy” in the original 1950s manuscript. One of the more notable items in the song’s history was the time Connor met with the Archdiocese of the Roman Catholic Church in Boston. Connor needed to explain that the Santa Claus Mommy got caught kissing was actually Daddy in a Santa suit, thereby making the song less ‘scandalous.’ Now back to my sister. She loves Christmas songs and plays them a lot during the season. In fact, she’s a huge fan of the holiday. She didn’t set up that tree just for herself; she also wanted to make things nice for me when I got home, wearing that unattractive pizza parlor uniform smeared with sauce and cheese. It worked, and she’s been surprising me with many a wonderful Christmas since then, and so have other members of my family (especially Mom). I definitely see more memories in my future — and in yours too, I hope. 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 gayeb@sterlingmedialtd.com.

On the Cover:

Two girls, each named Chloe, participate in a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class at Ultimate Jiu Jitsu in Meridian


Idaho Family Magazine | December 2015 

WISDOM from Yoda

Using Jedi mind tricks for better parenting Copyright LucasFilm, Ltd.

By Daniel Bobinski Star Wars mania is upon us once again, so allow me to invoke a bit of intergalactic jargon while comparing the Jedi code with some principles I believe are necessary for effective parenting. First and foremost, follow the Jedi principle of steering extremely clear of the dark side. Using fear and intimidation is no way to help children develop an enthusiasm for life nor develop a sense of safety. The problem? Fear and intimidation are easy to use, and they get quick results. Fear is one of the strongest and most compelling of human motivations, so waving around a huge lightsaber is an efficient approach that can save parents a lot of time. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most demoralizing approaches one can take. When Yoda was asked if the dark side was stronger, his response was, “No.” He then described it as, “quicker,” “easier,” and “more seductive.” In other words, relying on fear to motivate may be more efficient, but for healthy results, it is far less effective. To further quote Master Yoda, “Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” If you don’t want family cohesiveness to suffer, avoid using fear as your default parenting technique. True Jedi are guardians of peace, so the “mind trick” is this: Set aside some time each day to focus on that which will foster a calm, smooth flow of family activities. Make it part of your planning and organizing. The more your mind sees a healthy, cooperative atmosphere instead of a chaotic one, the more likely it is to actually happen. Secondly, follow the Jedi principle of listening carefully and being in tune with the Force. Just like a Jedi is trained to be in touch with the Force that flows through and around everyone, parents must train themselves to be sensitive to each family member’s energy, fluctuations, and disturbances. As Master Yoda said, “Do not assume anything,” and “always in motion is the future.” Thus, parents must have good listening skills and an active curiosity about what’s going on in their children’s ever-growing hearts and minds.


 December 2015 | Idaho Family Magazine

Unfortunately, too many parents have their own worries and fears, which means they have their own deflector shields up, blocking their awareness of their children’s emotional needs. In fact, some parents are so distant from their children, they’re like an imposing Star Destroyer, resulting in their children giving them a wide berth. Whether intentional or unintentional, this temperament of intimidation greatly hinders the joy that should be in our family relationships. Jedi rely on the power of knowing the Force, and effective parents rely on the power that comes from knowing their families. So the mind trick is this: Be inquisitive and open to what your children have to say. Ask a lot of questions, and don’t cut off their thoughts and ideas before truly listening to them. To quote an old but always relevant book, love is patient. Another key trait for effective parenting is taking responsibility for one’s own growth and personal development. Like the Jedi, effective parents know that continuous self-improvement is always needed. Therefore, regularly take an inventory of your strengths and areas of weakness, then develop and enact a plan for how to improve. As Master Yoda said, “A Jedi must have the deepest commitment.” Commit yourself to personal development by employing the following mind trick: Be introspective on a regular basis and brutally honest with yourself. Then make a plan so you can take purposeful action on what you discover. If you think some accountability might help, consider joining (or starting) a mastermind group. Effective parents also teach their children to cooperate well with others, because they know the power of collaboration is a strong force! To help their children be strong in this force, wise parents strive to equip children with interpersonal skills. In Jedi speak, you can just imagine some Jedi Master passing on the following wisdom: “Coming together is a beginning. Staying together is progress. Working well together is success.” Knowing that a Jedi’s strength flows from the Force, the mind trick is this: Identify the unseen yet highly perceptible factors that influence your children’s relationships, and teach your children to do the same. Finally, prepare yourself and your children to anticipate and deal well with change. As Shmi Skywaker said, “You can’t stop change any more than you can stop the suns from setting.” Good parents stay flexible so they can accommodate the inevitable changes that happen around them, and they help their children do the same. The mind trick here is just like that of a Jedi: Seek to accommodate change and resolve the accompanying problems that arise with patience, logic, attentive listening, negotiation and persuasion, and all in a calm, confident manner. Is any of this easy? Not always. But being an effective parent means we put our whole heart into the effort. As Master Yoda says, “Do. Or do not. There is no try.” n Daniel Bobinski is a certified behavioral analyst, director of Family Experience Ministries, and president of the consulting firm Workplace-Excellence.com. He is also the author of “Removing Obstacles to Success” and “Become a Student of Your Students.” Learn more about his Family Relationship Classes for parents at www.familyexperience.net. Reach him at dan@workplace-excellence.com or 208-375-7606.


ALL In Good Taste Ingredients

2 cups brown rice 2 large bell peppers 1 large onion ½ small serrano pepper 2 limes 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs 2 Tablespoons canola oil ¾ cup orange juice ¼ cup water ¼ teaspoon dried thyme ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon ground black pepper


Cutting board Large skillet Measuring cups Measuring spoons Medium pot Rubber spatula Sharp knife Small bowl

Haitian Style Chicken and Rice Serves 8, 2/3 cup chicken and veggies and 1/2 cup cooked rice per serving

Instructions: 1. Cook brown rice following package directions. While rice cooks, make chicken and veggies. 2. Rinse and dice bell peppers. Peel, rinse, and dice onion. Rinse and mince chili pepper. 3. Rinse limes and cut in half. In a small bowl, squeeze juice. Discard seeds. 4. Trim any excess fat from chicken. Cut into 1-inch cubes. 5. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add chicken cubes. Cook until brown on all sides, about 3–4 minutes. If needed, brown in 2 batches. 6. Add onion, chili pepper, and bell peppers. Cook 3 minutes more. 7. Stir in lime juice, orange juice, water, thyme, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cook uncovered until chicken is cooked through, about 15–20 minutes. If sauce is not yet thick and syrupy, turn heat to medium-high. Simmer, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens. 8. Serve over brown rice.

Chefs Note

• Add color and nutrition. Top chicken with diced avocado or more diced bell peppers. • Try different whole grains. Serve over whole grain couscous, barley, or quinoa instead of brown rice. • You can also use cubed pork loin or boneless, skinless chicken breasts instead of chicken thighs. • Cook for same amount of time and at same temperature. • If you need to multiply the recipe, add only enough liquid to cover the chicken while it cooks. If doubling, use about 1¼ cups orange juice and 1/3 cup water.


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.

Idaho Family Magazine | December 2015 


Diverse cultures celebrate the current season

By Rebecca Evans “I’ll take the Holiday Blend,” was the order placed the other morning at a coffee shop. “What is the Holiday Blend?” I asked aloud. “Something special we offer during the holiday season. It usually has a hint of spices like cinnamon or peppermint, getting you into the holiday spirit,” the man behind the counter said. This got me thinking about blending and the upcoming holidays… and the spirit in which we each celebrate the season. It is clear that we, as Americans, embrace this spirit. As one strolls the city streets we see Santa on many corners, and numerous stores donned with Christmas decorations. In this arena, we could easily overlook the fact that we are a country full of diverse cultures, and during this time, there are many traditions, many festivities enjoyed by others. It may come as a surprise to some of you, but despite the typical holiday décor, millions of Americans do not celebrate Christmas. Some light candles for Chanukah, others may host Kwanzaa festivities and still others will have their own version of their personal traditions. There is a diverse culture ringing through our city streets — in America, we have our own secret Holiday Blend. We are not a country of one religion, of one faith, nor of one spiritual journey. Our country was built upon individual freedoms and rights — each finding their own way, their own path. We hold true to this belief while dropping coins in the Santa Claus bucket for the Salvation Army; whether we are Hindu, Jew, Muslim, Christian or Buddhist, we simply give. One kind charitable act to help another. Even among people with the same spiritual affiliation, there are differences in the celebrations — once again, their own special Holiday Blend.


 December 2015 | Idaho Family Magazine

I recently interviewed a newly married couple who blended their families. Their new family consists of two parents with six children between them (and two dogs and a parrot!). They have the same Christian belief system and celebrate the Christmas season. Prior to their marriage, the father typically opened gifts on Christmas Eve and the mother woke at 5 a.m. Christmas morning to paper-tearing excitement. One cooked ham for the family meal, the other a Christmas turkey. The differences needed sorting in order to make for a peaceful season. Some of the variables included children visiting biological parents, grandparents, and other family members. Even traditions within same-culture families blend together and can be built upon, season after season; it takes time to design and develop personal traditions. Patience is required. Though many are mindful of our diverse culture, there are still steps we can take to ensure we stay aware of another’s beliefs at this time, steps that help foster inclusiveness. Here are some ideas to incorporate that build awareness and, thus, inclusiveness regarding the holiday season: Learn: We can carve out time to learn about another’s culture and traditions during the season. Download a television documentary or special, Google search or check out some material at the local library. You can also offer to share your own traditions with others by speaking at your children’s school or at other community events, expanding another person’s perspective regarding ways you personally celebrate the season. Experience: One of the best ways to understand another’s perspective is to walk in their moccasins. You can visit a friend’s home during Kwanzaa, Christmas or Chanukah and experience the richness of another culture. You can also visit places of worship or community activities that offer these experiences. You can prepare and serve a food that is a traditional part of another’s celebration and culture. These types of activities help us understand and respect one another’s cultures, beliefs and values. Become mindful: Often we are operating within the limits of our own experiences, forgetting that there is another point of view along the same path. Mindfulness becomes respect and attentiveness. Instead of a Christmas party at the office, you may choose to have a Winter Celebration with neutral party décor. You could also opt to still have your Kwanzaa thankfulness party and invite your friends, but include an explanation of what the event will entail and your expectations. As we continue to grow — personally, as a community and as a nation — we continue to blend cultures and traditions. In the process, we can incorporate beautiful values from one another while allowing each his own way, thus designing our own version of the ultimate Holiday Blend. n Resources: • University of Kansas Medical Center Diversity Calendar: www.kumc.edu/diversity/ • www.officialkwanzaawebsite.org • www.jewishidaho.com • www.whychristmas.com/cultures/ (This website allows you to “travel” to other countries and learn how they celebrate Christmas.)

Rebecca Evans is a former TV talk show host, radio personality, author, speaker and empowerment coach. She is also an English major at Boise State University and a writing coach. She’s a mom to three incredible sons, rescuer of two adorable pugs and raiser of four sassy chickens. To contact her go to www.innerelement.com.



Create a big but simple Christmas bow By Samantha Stillman Christmas has to be my favorite time of year. The lights, the decorations, the food… just love it! I’m a huge fan of big Christmas bows whether for gift wrap or decoration. I plan to decorate with these huge bows but hope to experiment with narrower ribbon and shorter strips to make different sizes. Enjoy the season! n


Supplies needed: Picture 1 Ribbon, 2½ inches wide Scissors Stapler Measuring tape



Samantha Stillman is a Treasure Valley crafts instructor and freelance writer. She may be reached at craftsonadime10@gmail.com.







1. Measure and cut the ribbon into strips: two 24 inches long, two 22 inches long, two 18 inches long, and one 10 inches long. You should have seven strips total. Picture 2 2. Begin curling each strip end toward the center and staple it together. The last 10-inch strip should just be rolled into a circle and stapled. Pictures 3 and 4 3. Place each looped ribbon catty-cornered on top of the next and staple in the center. You may have to squish the ribbon a bit to get it stapled together. Afterward, you can reshape it. Pictures 5 and 6

Idaho Family Magazine | December 2015 


No horse for Christmas, just a manatee With that said, I’m not Ebenezer Scrooge, By Patrick Hempfing and I agree that it’s nice to have a few presLast Labor Day, my 9-year-old daughter, ents to open, especially for children. Last Jessie, and I’m not a big fan of Black Friday, Christmas, I printed out a couple of pages Cyber Monday, or any of the shopping days from the Save the Manatee Club and let Jessie leading up to Christmas. Though I enjoy select a manatee to adopt. She chose a 3-yeargiving gifts, the problem is, “What do you old named Squeaky, the youngest manatee in get year after year for loved ones who have the adoption program from Blue Spring State everything they need?” Even buying presents Park in Florida. I thought she’d enjoy this, for Jessie, my 10-year-old daughter, is becombecause we visit the park to look for manatees ing more of a challenge. (No Jessie, you won’t at least once a year. I was surprised, however, be getting a horse for Christmas.) that it turned out to be her favorite gift. Go What to buy? Rush to purchase. Stand in figure. long lines. Time to wrap. Too few presents. We asked about Squeaky on our last trip to Too many presents? Big credit card bills in Blue Spring State Park, but she hadn’t been January. More long lines to return gifts. I’m spotted in the springs. We hope to see her not trying to impersonate Scrooge, but “Bah, Patrick Hempfing had a 20-year professional career in banking, accounting, and next time. I can already hear Jessie shouting humbug!” We all know the holiday season is auditing before he became a father at age “Hi Cutie” at her adopted manatee. We just about love, peace and goodwill. Why do we 44. He is now a full-time husband, stayhave to hope this term of endearment doesn’t drive ourselves crazy? at-home dad, and writer. Follow Patrick go to Squeaky’s head. Speaking of love, and crazy, after a relaxat www.facebook.com/patricklhempfing Love, peace, goodwill and helping an ening night of tennis a few weeks ago, I stopped and on Twitter @PatrickHempfing. dangered species. They all beat standing in for dinner at a local restaurant. Through the long lines and trolling online stores, and cost years, I’ve heard waitresses use many different a lot less than stall rent and food bills for a horse. terms of endearment, like “Darling,” “Hon,” and “Sweetie.” Until next month, remember to cherish the moments. However, when the 20-something waitress delivered my double steakburger and said, “Here you go, my love,” I thought I Happy holidays! If you’d like to learn more about Save the Manatee Club, heard her wrong. “My love?” Heck, I’ve been married over 30 please check out the website at www.savethemanatee.org. n years and I don’t even get a “My love, would you please take out the garbage?” I enjoyed my meal, and then paid with a credit card. When the waitress handed my card back, she said, “Here you go, my love.” I gave her a 20 percent tip. Of course, I drove straight home and playfully bragged to my wife, Mattie, that a woman more than 20 years my junior called me “my love” — twice. Mattie rolled her eyes, not a bit concerned, and told me to get over myself. Mattie keeps me humble. However, I couldn’t let the fun end. I emailed my wise writing buddy, Jan, to see if she had ever heard a waitress use this expression. Jan felt that “my love” was the server’s go-to term for customers, rather than a special name for a sweat-soaked tennis player, but suggested I enjoy the moment anyway. She pointed out that when working for tips, using terms of endearment is a good strategy. Hey, it worked with me. Jan, a few years older than me, also noted that the waitress “will be glad she started using terms of endearment when she was young, because age has a way of making the use of them a necessity!” Ah...age. Yes, time zooms by quickly. Which brings me back to Christmas shopping. Do I want to waste my precious minutes fretting over presents? No! The best presents aren’t tangible anyway (though Jessie thinks a very tangible horse would make a fantastic gift). I’ll take family hugs in the kitchen with the dog sandwiched between Mattie, Jessie, and me. Massaging Mattie’s feet, propped on my lap, as we laugh together at a TV show. Holding hands during walks. Hearing kind, supportive words — daily terms of endearment like “my love”… from my wife. These are the best gifts, ones that fill my days with joy.


 December 2015 | Idaho Family Magazine


A FAMILY tradition

Warming things up a granny square at a time By Diane Louise Smith My earliest memories of my grandmother are of her crocheting. She would make intricate, delicate doilies and table covers. I was fascinated by how she was able to wield the slender crochet hook and create these lacy items. My mother also knits and crochets; her specialties are afghans and sweaters. I figured I would never carry on the tradition of creating with yarn. I only knitted one item, a lavender scarf that started being about 6 inches wide and ended up doubling its width. How I did that, I Diane Louise Smith will never know! A few years later at work, I saw a co-worker crocheting. I remarked to her I could never do that. She responded that was nonsense, and offered to teach me. During our lunch breaks, my fumbling fingers worked with the crochet hook. She was always encouraging and patient. Eventually, I was able to produce stitches that resembled something other than a large knot. Once I was able to maneuver with the yarn and the crochet hook as an extension of my hand, there was no stopping me! It was near Christmas, so everyone in my family, whether they wanted one or not, received a crocheted scarf that year. During that winter, I crocheted two afghans, which were displayed on my son’s bed and the couch respectively. I have to admit, with each project, I did improve at crocheting. My son’s teacher was going on maternity leave and I used my new talent to crochet her a baby afghan. She absolutely loved it and couldn’t believe I made it by hand. I felt by far this was my best work. Then, I fell into a rut. What else could I crochet? Again at work, I found out that another co-worker was collecting granny squares for Warm Up America. This organization provides woolen afghans, scarves and hats for nonprofit organizations such as the Women and Children’s Alliance, Special Olympics, and veterans, to name just a few. Finally, I could put the bags of yarn to good use. Only one tangle to unravel — I didn’t know how to crochet a granny square. Good news! My co-worker patiently taught me how to make granny squares. Also, she never refused my squares, even though at the beginning I would produce granny pentagons or octagons. She always found a spot in an afghan she was working on to stitch in these unusual shapes I contributed. Just like everything in life, the more I practiced crocheting granny squares, the better I became. I was able to advance to mixing colors, making the squares resemble a wooly kaleidoscope. To promote this great cause, our crochet group even was featured on the local news. We were filmed sitting around a table crocheting, having fun and engaging in conversations. Granny squares are by far my favorite. I love the fact that they are created by yarn that normally would have been discarded. Put together, they can be made into something bigger than its original self. n Diane Louise Smith has been married for over 20 years and is a mom and bonus mom to three sons. She is a published author of “Eye of Leomander” and a columnist for the Middleton Gazette. Her blog is www.writingsbydiane.blogspot.com.





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 December.

Idaho Family Magazine | December 2015 


Bringing Peanuts to a new generation Introduction


Whether you grew up reading Peanuts in the Sunday comics or watched the Peanuts specials on TV, you will know the names of these iconic characters: Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus… This film brings the entire Peanuts Gang to the big screen in state-of-the art 3D animation. Charlie Brown, the world’s most beloved underdog, embarks upon an epic and heroic quest, while his best pal, the lovable beagle Snoopy, takes to the skies to pursue his arch-nemesis, the Red Baron. See the kids’ reviews below.

Review by Mia A, age 11

I really enjoy The Peanuts Movie. It reminds me of the classic Charlie Brown movies, but even better! Even though the Peanuts creator, Charles M. Schulz, passed away in 2000, this movie is a tribute to his memory and the legacy that he left behind. While the members of the Peanuts Gang look and act like their loveable selves, there are many updates to this film. The animation is much more detailed than the previous movies and viewers are able to watch it in 3D. There are many new upbeat songs in addition to the much Mia A loved tunes. “Better When I’m Dancin’” by Meghan Trainor is a great addition to the original songs. The Peanuts Movie is about Charlie Brown trying to break his losing streak so the Little Red-Haired Girl (voiced by Disney’s Francesca Capaldi) will view him differently than his friends do. He tries to change his luck in a dance contest, a talent show, flying a kite and writing a book report. Also, Snoopy tries to defeat the Red Baron in order to win the love of his life, FiFi, voiced by Kristen Chenoweth. My favorite character is Snoopy because he is very funny. His story is well written and filled with love, comedy and adventure. Some of the funniest characters are Lucy, Sally, Snoopy and Woodstock. They got great laughs from the audience, including kids as young as 3. All the voice talent perfectly suits their characters. Fans of Linus, Schroeder, Pig Pen, Peppermint Patty and all the others will not be disappointed. The moral to this film is, “If you see yourself as a winner or a loser in life, you are probably going to act like one. If you think you are a winner, act like one and others might think so too.” I rate The Peanuts Movie 5 out of 5 stars because of the colorful animation and it being true to the original Peanuts Gang. I recommend this movie for ages 3 to 15 or any people who have enjoyed the other Peanuts movies. At the end of this film there is a 3-second clip. The credits are very long so be sure to stick around until the end. You may love it!

10 December 2015 | Idaho Family Magazine

Review by Gerry O, age 13

Many kids today have never heard about the Peanuts Gang and some don’t even know who Charlie Brown and Snoopy are. Well, that’s about to change! So many children will have the opportunity to discover characters that their parents grew up with. That’s right! The Peanuts Gang are back and they are stronger than ever! The Peanuts Movie has a lot to offer. It’s funny, lighthearted and has a great message to share. In addition, the creators worked in a few surprises that will cap- Gerry O tivate new viewers and bring back childhood memories for adults, keeping the whole audience entertained. The story is about a well-known Peanut named Charlie Brown and his interactions during a new school year. Although Charlie is always running into bad luck, he still remains good old Charlie Brown. Always doing the right thing and never giving up is what Charlie Brown is all about. Even when he hits a moment of good luck, Charlie remains the same endearing character everyone has grown to love. This story is beautiful, colorful, and the animation is unique. Even though it is based on familiar characters, the story itself is original and prepared so well. Director Steve Martino manages to make use of modern technology and CGI to makes the Peanut’s world 3D while keeping the feel of the original comics. The son and grandson of the Peanuts creator, Charles Schultz, are the screenwriters of this story. There’s no question of whether or not you can feel how much love and affection is put into every line and every scene. It jumps off the screen. My favorite scene is when Charlie Brown is trying to impress his object of affection. He decides to learn how to dance for a school competition. As he starts, his friend Snoopy comes in and starts dancing to Latin tunes. This comical scene shows the bond that Charlie and his dog have like no other. Viewers can’t help but hold their breath to see if they will succeed and Charlie Brown becomes the best dancer. This film is very child friendly! I recommend it for ages 4 to 18. Younger kids will enjoy the colors and catchy music but may not completely understand the story. I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars for an engaging story line and a successful effort to bring the beloved Peanuts Gang back to us. n Copyright Peanuts Worldwide


SIMPLIFY the season

Some tips for enjoying the holidays more By Mary Ann Wilcox Christmas will soon be here and with all the financial stress, parties, concerts and family get-togethers, you can really lose your focus. As we get older, we realize that Christmas is not about what we get, but what we give. Spending time with those we care about and the love that is cultivated when we share special moments together can and should be the focus. May I suggest a few ways to help you simplify your holiday season so that you might have time to really enjoy it with family, friends and neighbors? FAMILY: After my children had children of their own, we all decided that our usual secret Santa exchange was getting a bit too expensive. We tried a couple of different ways to do it, but we finally settled on a unique tradition that has had us relishing the true meaning of Christmas. Each year we have a little family party, with just my children and their families. We start the evening with a simple dinner of soup, salad and bread. We sit wherever and chat with each other. Then we hand out the construction materials for our activity. We started making candy trains out of Lifesavers, gum, chocolate bells, and Hershey’s Kisses. Now, we just give the kids a bag of treats, and they come up with some pretty great ideas. One of my little grandchildren made a tow truck and a train. The older ones make robots, Transformers, and even pirate ships! You can find all kinds of pictures and instructions online for this activity. Just google it.


We finish the evening with a white elephant exchange. Here are our rules: 1. Gifts must be low- or no-cost. 2. Gifts must be in good condition and usable. 3. Gifts must be pre-approved by Mom to make sure they are not family treasures. Everyone takes something home, the kids and parents get a good laugh, and we enjoy each other’s company. The party in all takes about two hours, so it is easily squeezed into the busy schedules. CLOSE FRIENDS: Recognizing all the friends and neighbors that you have developed close associations with over the years can be an expensive undertaking. We have all our close friends and family over on Christmas Eve. Everyone brings a dish to share for our feast. We visit, make graham cracker houses, break a piñata with the children under 12, sing Christmas carols and read the Christmas story from the New Testament. It is a celebration that everyone looks forward to and eliminates gift exchanges. NEIGHBORS: I like to share a little gift with my neighbors during the holidays. I used to make plates of cookies to distribute, but that got really time-consuming, so I’ve chosen to go the simple route these last few years. Candy Cane Sleds and Cake-In-A-Mug are two of my favorites, and theirs. You will find the instructions for both on page 17.

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Idaho Family Magazine | December 2015 11




Winter Wonderland in Caldwell Through January 15

The City of Caldwell will once again hold its annual beautiful Christmas light display along Indian Creek from now through January 15. Go to cityofcaldwell.com.

Winter Garden aGlow

You may have seen the Idaho Botanical Garden in bloom in summer, but have you seen it glow in the winter? Attend the 19th annual Winter Garden aGlow at the Garden and see a dazzling display of more than 300,000 sparkling lights artfully displayed throughout the holiday season. Special guests Santa and his reindeer Prancer will visit from the North Pole; the Holiday Express, a G-scale model train, will wind its way through the glowing winter wonderland. Local choirs will fill the air with music on select nights. Go to idahobotanicalgarden.org/ winter-garden-aglow/.

Puppets – Waiting for Santa

Boise Public Library hosts puppet shows on the first consecutive Friday 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 December shows are titled, “Waiting for Santa.” Go to boisepubliclibrary.org.

Reading at the Refuge

Preschoolers, kindergartners and their families are invited to Reading at the Refuge every first and third Monday at 10 a.m. and repeating at 2 p.m. at the Deer Flat Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center near Lake Lowell in Nampa. There will be a wildlife-related story, craft-making, and exploring the Visitor Center and trails at the refuge. For more information, go to fws.gov/deerflat, email deerflat@fws.gov or call 467-9278.

Claus ‘N Paws Saturday, December 5

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.

BSU Annual Family Holiday Concert Sunday, December 6

This yearly Treasure Valley tradition will begin at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, December 6, at the Morrison Center. Go to mc.boisestate.edu/events for ticket information.

Annual Gift Wrapping Charity Booth

NNU Annual Christmas Concert

The GR41 (Gallant Rescue for One, gr41. org) annual gift wrapping booth will be open at Sportsman’s Wearhouse, 16865 N. Marketplace Blvd. in Nampa, from now until December 24. Sportsman’s welcomes you to bring your packages from any store to be wrapped; the GR41 booth offers a drop-off service (drop off in the morning and pick up after work). Gift wrapping is done by volunteers for donations to help needy children. Hours will increase throughout the month, so call Sportsman’s at 468-7600 for hours of operation.

NOEL: NNU Department of Music Annual Christmas Concert will begin at 7 p.m. Sunday, December 6, in Swayne Auditorium on the NNU campus. Go to https://music.nnu.edu/upcoming-events.

Through December 24

Family photos Through December 24

Families are invited to have a family photo taken on the Santa set (Santa is optional) at Boise Towne Square from now through closing on December 24. The backdrop will be a new 18-foot Christmas tree with dancing lights. For cost and times, go boisetownesquare.com.

The Giving Tree – Teen Angels

Boise Towne Square is partnering with the Salvation Army to give more Treasure Valley teens a special holiday. Stop by and select any of the dozens of angels on the Giving Tree; buy a teen a gift and take it unwrapped to the mall management office Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or to the Salvation Army at 4308 W. State St.

12 December 2015 | Idaho Family Magazine

Sunday, December 6

College of Idaho Feast of Carols Sunday, December 6

The Feast of Carols is a College of Idaho tradition, featuring Chorale, Chamber Singers, Major Sixth, and Sinfonia. The 2015 event is set to begin at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, December 6, in Jewett Auditorium. Included on the program will be traditional carols and other holiday favorites, along with historical Christmas music from a bygone age. A festive reception in the Langroise lobby will follow. Go to collegeofidaho.edu/choral-activities/upcoming-events.

Pet Night at the mall Mondays, December 7 & 14

Boise Towne Square will hold Pet Night from 6 p.m. until closing on December 7 and December 14. Dogs and cats only, and leashes and crates are required. Go to boisetownesquare.com.

Worlds Connect Tuesday, December 8

Children, teens and adults are welcome to attend a Worlds Connect event from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, December 8, at the Library! at Hillcrest (in the Hillcrest Shopping Center at Overland and Orchard). World cultures and art will collide as artists from around the world who have settled in Boise share their crafts and cultural heritage with visitors. The library will hold an upcycle craft project for people who want to create their own art during the evening. A selection of teas and refreshments will be served. Go to boisepubliclibrary.org.


of Events Winter Easy Stargazing Wednesday, December 9

Winter Easy Stargazing will be held from 7 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, December 9, at the Library! at Hillcrest. Easy Stargazing is an introduction to stargazing using only your eyes and a pair of binoculars. Learn how to look for star clusters, satellites, meteors, lunar features, and planets. The program will be presented by Paul Verhage, Near Space Evangelist with Onwards & Upwards. Sky maps will be provided. All ages are welcome. Go to boisepubliclibrary.org.

Preschool STEAM and Baby & Toddler Storytimes

Wednesday, December 9 & Friday, December 11

Nampa Public Library will hold Preschool STEAM Storytime at 10:15 a.m. Wednesday, December 9, and Friday, December 11. Baby & Toddler Storytime will be held at 10:15 a.m. Thursday, December 10. Go to nampalibrary.org.

Family Math and Science Thursday, December 10

Utilize your child’s natural curiosity and participate in fun, hands-on stations geared to teach the basics of math, science, engineering and technology while helping the child gain problem-solving skills. Aimed at children ages 3-7, this event will be held from 6:30 to 7:15 p.m. Thursday, December 10, at the Cherry Lane branch of the Meridian Library. The program is held the second Thursday of each month. Go to mld.org.

Tween Program: Computer Games 101 Thursday, December 10

Nampa Public Library will host a Tween Program with computer games from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Thursday, December 10. The program is for kids age 8-12.

The Ambrose School Traditional Christmas Program

Month of December Please send family-related calendar items to gayeb@sterlingmedialtd.com.

Tinker Tots and Santa

Mondays, Tuesdays & Wednesdays through December 11

This special program for pre-K schools and day cares to bring youngsters to Boise Towne Square to visit Santa will be held Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays through December 11. Reservations are required by calling Vicki at 281-547-6448.

Chess & Checkers (for all ages) Saturday, December 12

The entire family is welcome to an afternoon of strategy-building fun from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, December 12, at the Cherry Lane branch of the Meridian Library. Along with chess and checkers, there will be other family-friendly board games. The event is held the second and fourth Saturdays of the month. Go to mld.org.

2015 Holiday Chess Tournament & Party Saturday, December 12

This annual event for kids ages 4-12 features a trophy for every player and includes a pizza buffet, drinks, and holiday treats. 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, December 12, 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 info@successinchess.com.

Every Christmas Story Ever Told Through Saturday, December 12

Boise Little Theater will present a comedy for all ages. “Every Christmas Story Ever Told” will be performed from now through December 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 are available at boiselittletheater.org.

Gift Wrapping and Ornament Making Saturday, December 12

This program features a choir, chimes and a full orchestra and will begin at 7 p.m. Friday, December 11, at the Morrison Center. Go to mc.boisestate.edu/events for ticket information.

Children, teens and adults may bring their holidays gifts and wrap them from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, December 12, at the Library! at Cole & Ustick. While there, participants may also create an ornament to take home. Wrapping and ornament-making supplies will be provided. Go to boisepubliclibrary.org. A similar event will be held December 19 at the Library! at Collister.

Holiday Pops

Annual Ice Show at Idaho IceWorld

Friday, December 11

December 11 & 12

The Boise Philharmonic Master Chorale will present an evening of Christmas favorites and sing-along carols from 8 to 10 p.m. Friday, December 11, at NNU’s Brandt Center, 707 Fern St. in Nampa. Early ticket purchase is recommended. Go to boisephil.org or call 344-7849. A Holiday Pops concert will also take place from 8 to 10 p.m. Saturday, December 12, at the Morrison Center on the Boise State campus.


Saturday, December 12

This year’s ice show at Idaho IceWorld is titled “Imagine: Rhythms on Edge.” Performances will be at 3 and 6 p.m. Saturday, December 12, at Idaho IceWorld, 7072 S. Eisenman Rd., Boise. Go to idahoiceworld.com.

More Events on Page 14 Idaho Family Magazine | December 2015 13

CALENDAR of Events

Continued from page 13

Green Christmas

Small Animal Presentation

The Jim Hall Foothills Learning Center, 3188 Sunset Peak Rd. in Boise, holds a Second Saturdays program each month from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. These are fun, free, and family-friendly events. The topic on December 12 is Green Christmas, and participants are invited to see what kinds of gifts and ornaments they can create using only recycled and repurposed materials. Go to bee.cityofboise.org.

Wondering what small animals need? Curious about how to take care of them? Meet a new small animal courtesy of Zamzows from 4:15 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, December 15, at the Nampa Public Library. All ages are welcome. Go to nampalibrary.org.

Saturday, December 12

Tuesday, December 15

Eagle Country Christmas

All About Snow

Participate in an annual FREE tradition: Eagle Country Christmas. Holiday festivities will be held from 1 to 6 p.m. Saturday, December 12, at Heritage Park. There will be hot chocolate and s’mores beside a warm fire, and people may watch the lighting of the Eagle Christmas tree. The event will also feature kids’ activities, horse-drawn carriage rides, live music, a Christmas market, and more.

Go to the Jim Hall Foothills Learning Center at 3188 Sunset Peak Rd. once a month and explore topics about the natural environment and conservation efforts around the Treasure Valley. On Wednesday, December 16, from 9 to 10:30 a.m., participants may join Kerry McClay, SnowSchool program director with the Winter Wildlands Alliance, and Marie Kellner, water associate with the Idaho Conservation League, to learn all about the science of snow and how snowmelt affects our water supply in the valley. If conditions allow, there will be hands-on experiments outdoors. Go to bee.cityofboise. org/bee/events/calendar-of-events/.

Saturday, December 12

Holiday Family Fun Saturday Saturday, December 12

All family members whatever their age are invited to a special Family Fun Saturday program featuring music and ornament making on Saturday, December 12, at Nampa Public Library. The Encore Carolers will entertain from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; the Merry Tuba Christmas Players will perform from noon to 1:30 p.m.; and Santa and Mrs. Claus will visit the library from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Go to nampalibrary.org.

Middleton Parade Day Christmas Bazaar Saturday, December 12

This Handmade Christmas Gala will be held from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, December 12, at Adventure Plaza, 113 Main St. in Middleton. There will be home-baked goodies; décor for home and holiday events; handmade items by local artisans, crafters and various entrepreneurs; baby and pet Christmas items; jewelry, collectibles and more. Children may enjoy free activities while adults shop, and warmup refreshments for all will include chili, soup, rolls, mac-n-cheese, pie, coffee, hot cider and hot chocolate.

Wednesday, December 16

Silent Film Series: “Grandma’s Boy” Wednesday, December 16

Boise Public Library will present the 1922 film “Grandma’s Boy” from 7 to 8:45 p.m. Wednesday, December 16, in Hayes Auditorium at the library’s main branch. Take the family or a date or just come alone and enjoy a free, wholesome movie with free popcorn. Go to boisepubliclibrary.org.

Star Wars Day at the Library Thursday, December 17

A Star Wars costume contest, Star Wars games, and craft-making will be part of the fun from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, December 17, at Nampa Public Library. There will also be a storytime and snacks — with donuts and coffee to start off the day. There will be showings of previous Star Wars movies, all leading up to the release of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” Go to nampalibrary.org/calendar/.

Pajama Storytime (all ages)

Christmas Light Tour in Nampa

Put on your pajamas and your fuzzy slippers and head to the library at Cherry Lane in Meridian for a lively, fun-filled evening of stories, songs and star-searching adventures on Tuesday, December 15. In fact, drop in every Tuesday night at 7. Go to mld.com for more information.

Nampa Parks & Recreation invites individuals and families to experience the beauty of Christmas through the sparkle of lights. From 5:45 to 8 p.m. on Friday, December 18, a bus will drive people throughout the city to see the light displays; the tour will include a stop at Starbucks for warm beverages. Boarding at the Nampa Rec Center will begin at 5:45, and the bus will depart at 6. Cost is $6 per person. Go to nampaparksandrecreation.org. A tour is also set for December 19.

Tuesday, December 15

Friday, December 18

Ballet Idaho presents The Nutcracker Boise Chordsmen Christmas Concert Tuesday, December 15

The Boise Chordsmen will present their 2015 Christmas Concert beginning at 7 p.m. Tuesday, December 15, at Parkview Christian Church, 201 W. Ustick Rd., Meridian. There will be no admission charge; however, donations of cans of food will be given to Hope House. Go to boisechordsmen.com.

14 December 2015 | Idaho Family Magazine

December 18 - 20

Ballet Idaho will continue its holiday tradition, presenting the family classic The Nutcracker at various times December 18-20 at the Morrison Center. Tickets are $38 to $58. Go to https:// balletidaho.org/performances/the-nutcracker.


Carols, Cones and Conifers

Bowling with Santa

Jingle all the way to the Boise WaterShed for tree décor and gift making from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, December 19. Make and decorate swags out of fresh greenery, decorate pine cones, and create other natural ornaments for your trees. Also, make some wrapping paper and bags, plus other holiday crafts, all while enjoying carols sung by a local choir and a visit from Mr. and Mrs. Claus (who will be available for photos). Tasty treats will be served for all in attendance. The event is free for the entire family. Go to bee.cityofboise.org/ watershed.

Let the good times roll — down the bowling alley! Santa and Mrs. Claus will be making a stop at Pinz Bowling Center in Meridian on Monday, December 21, at two different times: 10 to 11 a.m. and 11 a.m. to noon. Kids will get unlimited bowling, shoe rentals and plenty of Santa time for $10 plus tax. Other family members may join in the bowling fun for just $10 also. Go to pinzbowlingidaho.com.

Saturday, December 19

Star Wars Celebration Saturday, December 19

Monday, December 21

Winter Chess Camps

Use the Force and your creativity with Star Wars arts and crafts and games to mark the release of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, December 19, at the Library! at Cole & Ustick. All ages are welcome, and there will be drinks and light snacks. Go to boisepubliclibrary.org. There will be a similar event with lightsaber training on December 26 at the Library! at Hillcrest.

December 21 -24

Drop and Shop

Eagle School Break Mini Camp

Still have shopping to do? Drop the kids at the Nampa Rec Center from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, December 19, while you finish up last-minute shopping. Kids ages 5-12 will enjoy a day of supervised activities that includes games, crafts, swimming, movies and more. Snacks and a pizza lunch will be included. Cost is $17 for members and $19 for non-members, with a $5 late registration fee after 7 p.m. December 18. Go to nampaparksandrecreation.org.

Looking for something for your children to do during winter break from school? Children in grades K-5 are welcome to attend a mini camp in Eagle with fun-filled days of crafts, games, field trips, and other activities. Two camps are set for the following dates and times: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, December 21 and 22; and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, December 28 and 29. Both camps will be held at Eagle Hills Elementary, 650 Ranch Dr. Cost is $32 per day. Pre-registration is required at cityofeagle.org/recreation.

Saturday, December 19

Elf Help

Saturday, December 19

Vellotti’s Chess School at 2913 N. 36th St. in Boise will present three different winter chess camps for children ages 4-12 December 21-24. Space is limited, and interested parents should enroll their children early at SuccessInChess.com. For more information, call 713-2486 or email info@successinchess.com.

Monday & Tuesdays: December 21 & 22; 28 & 29

Eagle Sports Holiday Mini Camp

Do you need a few hours of kid-free time to finish wrapping gifts and tying bows? Send your children to the Eagle Senior Center at 312 E. State St. for some Elf Help from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, December 19. Children ages 4-8 will have the opportunity to make and wrap a gift for someone special, enjoy holiday games and activities, and receive a special holiday treat. Cost is $29. Pre-registration is required at cityofeagle.org/recreation.

Monday & Tuesday, December 21 & 22

Children’s Reading Series at Boise Contemporary Theater

Tuesday, December 22

Sunday & Monday December 20 - 21

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., with the exception of a special performance in December. The featured story on Sunday and Monday, December 20-21, will be “Christmas Every Day.” A previous hit with audiences, BCT is bringing the story back; there will be a special nighttime performance at 7 p.m. on December 21. Call the BCT Box Office at 331-9224, ext. 205, to purchase tickets. For a complete list of upcoming stories and a brief synopsis, go to bctheater.org/readings/childrens_reading_series/.

Winter Break at the WaterShed December 21 - 23

In addition to the hands-on fun in the exhibit hall at the Boise WaterShed, there will be special winter- and snow-themed activities and crafts from 10 a.m. to noon December 21-23 during winter break from school. Go to bee.cityofboise.org/watershed.


There will be a Sports Holiday Mini Camp for kids ages 4-9 from 9 a.m. to noon Monday and Tuesday, December 21 and 22, at a site in Eagle still to be determined. This is a multi-sport camp. Cost is $75. Pre-registration is required at cityofeagle.org/recreation.

Idaho Potato Bowl Come cheer on two teams of bowlers as they try to bowl their way to victory for charity. The event takes place from 4 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, December 22, at Pinz Bowling Center in Meridian. Go to pinzbowlingidaho.com.

Adventure Winter Break Camp Monday - Friday, December 28 - 31

This camp for young people ages 14-20 with disabilities will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, December 28-31, at Grace Jordan Community Center, 6411 Fairfield Ave., Boise. All participants must be independent in self-care needs, capable of staying with the group, and without severe behavioral issues. They will work on money management and will need to bring approximately $10 for the field trips for the week. A detailed schedule with daily activity costs will be sent to participants. Overall fee is $57.80. Go to parks.cityofboise.org or call 608-7680.

More Events on Page 16 Idaho Family Magazine | December 2015 15

CALENDAR of Events

Continued from page 15

Family Movie

New Year’s Eve Lock In for Kids

All ages are welcome to Nampa Public Library for the showing of a family-friendly movie from 3 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, December 29. Call 468-4472.

Children ages 6-12 may ring in the New Year by getting locked up — sort of. The Nampa Rec Center will hold a lock-in for kids from 7 p.m. Thursday, December 31, to 9 a.m. Friday, January 1. The youngsters will enjoy movies, swimming, games and a pizza party compliments of Domino’s Pizza. A male and female supervisor will be with the children all night. The children should bring a sleeping bag, swimsuit, towel and clothes to sleep in. Cost is $20 for members and $25 for non-members. Go to nampaparksandrecreation.org.

Tuesday, December 29

Winter Day Camp at Refuge Tuesday & Wednesday December 29 - 30

“Hibernate, Migrate or Insulate: A Wildlife Winter Survival Guide” Winter Camp will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, December 29-30, at the Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge, 13751 Upper Embankment Rd. in Nampa. The day camp is free, but spots are limited. Participants must register by December 11. For more information or to register (the earlier the better), call 4679278 or email deerflat@fws.gov. Go to http://www.fws.gov/deerflat/.

Thursday, December 31 - Friday, January 1

Noon New Year’s Eve Party Thursday, December 31

The whole family can ring in the New Year without staying up late. Wahooz & Pinz will hold a New Year’s Eve Party from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, December 31. The $14.99 cost per person will include unlimited laser tag, bowling, mini-golf, Go-Karts, and the Kiddie Cove. At noon there will be a balloon drop and bubble wrap stomp. There will also be a party at Wahooz for the whole family from 5 p.m. to midnight on December 31 for $15.99 per person. A fee-based pizza buffet will be featured at both events. Go to wahoozfunzone.com or pinzbowlingidaho.com.

Join Idaho Family Magazine Become part of a growing, exciting valley-wide publication. Join our team as an associate editor and help us expand our reach to Boise area families. For more information, email: publisher@sterlingmedialtd.com. IDAHO


16 December 2015 | Idaho Family Magazine


Simplify continued from page 11 Candy Cane Sled Treats

Cake in a mug

Ingredients and supplies:

These cost about $1.25 to make and take very little time to assemble. You will need a cake mix of your choice (mine is always chocolate). You will get 2 or 3 gifts out of each box. (Add 3 tsp cornstarch to your box of cake mix to give a light and fluffy texture and eliminate the need for eggs.) • A mug

2 candy canes 1 Kit Kat candy bar 10 Hershey’s mini candy bars Ribbon Bow Hot glue gun Hot glue sticks

Directions: Hot glue the candy canes to the edges of the Kit Kat bar. Stack the candy canes on top of the Kit Kat bar — 4 on the bottom, 3 on the second row, 2 on the third row, and 1 on the top. Crisscross wrap the ribbon around the Kit Kat bar and mini candy bars. Top with a bow and a Merry Christmas tag.

(I get mine at a thrift store for 50 cents, or the Dollar Store if needed)

• A plastic bag (a Ziploc sandwich or quart bag will work, or a seasonal treat bag)

• A 3x5 card for the recipe • Ribbon to decorate the bag


• Put cake mix in the bag • Put the bag in the mug • Tie the top of the bag with the ribbon • Attach the recipe (right)



• 3 tablespoons cake mix • 2 tablespoons water • Mix with a spoon in the mug until well blended • 1 minute on high in the microwave • Yield: 1 cupcake size cake

• Top with ice cream or berries or both • A half a cake mix will make 12 cupcakes — many days of fun and enjoyment

For more information, go to maryannscupboards.com.

I hope you enjoy this holiday season. May your gifts be simple and your heart full of joy. Merry Christmas from our family to yours! n





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Idaho Family Magazine | December 2015 17


The value of letting go of grudges By Amy Larson Every Christmas season, I get a gift just for me. I wrap it, put it under the tree, and anticipate saying, “I wonder who this one could be for?” Thinking of this year’s gift, “forgiveness” keeps coming to mind. Depending on where I’m at personally, the word prompts gladness or unease. When someone does us wrong, how we feel about them changes. We may never want to see or talk to them again. I’ve been there. And when we’re in that situation, having some do-gooder advise forgiveness (or even demand it), does no good at all. Being a third party to a rift changes the view. Seeing two warring loved ones’ negative reaction to each other’s names hurts the heart. Rearranging meeting times, holiday parties, and dinners to keep feuders separate is inconvenient, at best. They’ve chosen the breech in the relationship, but the rest of us did not. Behaving delicately toward both sides is difficult. Often, the person in the middle of hostility can ultimately be in danger of losing one or both relationships, too. The elderly, children, spouses... everyone bears the burden of long-held grudges, and it’s decidedly painful to watch both sides becoming increasingly preoccupied, angry, bitter, and depressed. I’m not suggesting an open-armed welcome back for offenders, like nothing ever happened. I believe that some circumstances warrant wishing someone well from afar, or in doing anonymous things for them that can’t be traced back, just for the sake of our own healing. What I’m talking about taking back is the part that we can actually control: our thoughts. There’s something to be said for cleaning house. Thoreau wrote of the Mucclasse celebration called “busk,” where those in surrounding villages piled un-needed, worn-out things into one place, and burned them for three days while people ate, danced, sang, and “rejoiced.” On the fourth day, a “new flame” was made from the old. “I forgive you” is a lovely phrase, but to get real, forgiveness isn’t a one-time event. It’s an ongoing process, a daily choice. We’ve probably heard all of the arguments for forgiveness, and might sometimes find them annoying, but I want to share one that’s done it for me lately: Forgiveness can make you significantly healthier. Forgiveness can improve the quality of and increase the length of our lives. Mike Fillon’s WebMD article, “Holding a Grudge Can Be Bad for Your Health,” tells of a study led by Charlotte vanOyen Witvliet, Ph.D., where Witvliet claims failure to forgive can weaken health. The study involved 70 people thinking of wrongdoers or grudges. Administrators observed rapid heart rates, increased blood pressure, and distressed facial features. They also found that the effects of such negativity continued, even after the person stopped focusing on the incident. Witvliet opined that those who don’t forgive steer themselves towards anything from mild depression to serious heart issues. Summed up, holding onto grudges means we don’t get to choose just how far their damage will go. When constantly reviewing past offenses, we’re literally breaking down our own bodies without the luxury of shutting the effects off and on when we choose.


18 December 2015 | Idaho Family Magazine

Forgiveness seems to have the opposite effect, continuing to give bodies ongoing buoyancy and good health. When giving up a grudge, we can finally relax, breathe all the way in and out, sleep better, feel lighter, and use our energy on enjoying life, not mentally running in circles. Once again, we’re the ones in control. What a gift. n



Amy Larson is a Treasure Valley writer, editor, author, blogger and food reviewer. She shares family-friendly, mostly free weekend events Fridays on WOW104.3 FM’s Randy & Alana Morning Show. Her first book in a series, “Appetite for Idaho,” was released this year and can be found in local eateries and other places of Idaho fun.


Idaho Family Magazine | December 2015 19


Don’t be bullied; learn to defend yourself

Krav Maga instructor Tracie Ide, looking very fit, shows a group of girls how to display their muscles. Ide teaches Krav Maga skills to girls, boys, men and women. (Courtesy photo)

By Gaye Bunderson Movies often show bullies picking on some helpless character. But at some point in the script, the bad guy gets his comeuppance. Turns out the helpless character isn’t so helpless after all. He’s been privately mentored in self-defense and toward the end of the movie is ready to give the bully a taste of his own medicine — and get the attention of the cutest girl in class while he’s at it. Students who participate in the Idaho Krav Maga Anti-Bullying Program can learn to turn the tables on intimidators by mastering the art of a self-defense system first taught to soldiers in the Israeli army. The skills aren’t just for adult men. At Idaho Krav Maga at 880 S. Vista Ave. in Boise, boys and girls as young as 3 learn how to feel more powerful against an unwelcome aggressor. “We tell the kids you have the right to defend yourself,” Tracie Ide, owner of Idaho Krav Maga, said. One of the first lessons is to help the children understand what bullying actually is. An annoying but harmless pest is one thing, but a bully is another. Bullies are out to hurt others, using harmful words and/or physical intimidation. They may threaten the children’s property, safety, and well-being, said Ide. “We teach kids to identify bullying. We tell them they can only control themselves. They can’t control the bully, and they can’t control whether or not adults or peers are there to help them,” she said. “We identify when it’s appropriate and necessary to use force.”


20 December 2015 | Idaho Family Magazine

Ide has studied Krav Maga for nearly 10 years. She explained there is a different “belt system” than is traditionally found in other martial arts-style programs but, having studied in Los Angeles, Salt Lake City and Las Vegas, she is close to achieving her Krav Maga black belt status. She opened the Krav Maga studio on Vista three years ago. “Krav Maga incorporates pieces of other martial arts. It’s mostly martial, not arts. It’s purely for self-protection, not sports, and it’s linear and instinct-based,” Ide said. “When you’re fearful, you’re not thinking very clearly.” Krav Maga was created by a Hungarian-born Jew named Imi Lichtenfeld, who had used his considerable wrestling and boxing skills against the growing tide of anti-Semitism confronting Jews in World War II-era Europe. The primary threat to Jews at the time was from street hooligans, but Lichtenfeld found his training wasn’t necessarily suited to street fighting. It was then he began experimenting with other forms of self-defense, ultimately combining his boxing and wrestling abilities with other techniques. After moving to Israel to escape the threat of Nazism, Lichtenfeld started teaching — and building upon — his selfstyled personal protection methods. His work eventually led him to create Krav Maga, which means “contact combat” in Hebrew. Over the years, elements of Aikido and Judo were added to Krav Maga. Though Lichtenfeld taught his technique to soldiers and police officers in the beginning, he ultimately expanded his teaching to civilians as well.


Ide herself has taught the techniques to law enforcement and military personnel. She has also won an international teaching award. “I’ve been very devoted,” she said, explaining she was one of the first women to learn and teach Krav Maga to police officers and soldiers. When it comes to teaching kids, the techniques are the same. Students at Krav Maga look tough (sort of) in fake mustaches. (Courtesy photo) In the Anti-Bullying Program, life skills are taught, including exercising good judgment, using words first, and what Ide refers to as “being strong citizens.” Lessons include what to do if you see someone else being bullied. Children are taught they have three options: find an adult, watch and do nothing, or get involved. Through fun role-playing, games, and drills, the kids discover the best option. They are also told they can stop bullying by being a friend to another child who is being targeted, or may approach a bully and try to become his or her friend in hopes of deterring more incidents of intimidation. Ide said some especially shy children have taken the Krav Maga course, and while it took them a while to open up, they eventually gained a measure of self-confidence. “Training helps the timid child,” she said. She explained such children don’t necessarily become extroverted because that’s not who they are intrinsically are, but they do start to feel competent through mastering Krav Maga skills. In the 3-18 age group, Idaho Krav Maga has roughly 60 children enrolled. Along with Ide, there are four certified instrucwww.danceallegroacademy.com tors. Go to idahokravmaga.com for more information. n Source for origins of Krav Maga: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krav_Maga

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Idaho Family Magazine | December 2015 21

SOMETHING missing?

Come to a special meeting and get a LIFT By Genny Heikka Sitting in a cafe surrounded by groups of women who are leaning in close and confiding in each other, I’m more certain than ever that I need to write this. I hear it in the conversation that rises above the music, and I see it in the encouraging hugs of hello and goodbye; we women need each other — to cheer each other on, to lift each other up, and to help each other when we’re in that place of feeling like there’s just something missing. And so I write to you — the woman who might be frazzled by life or disconnected from what you’re truly passionate about. The woman who might be focusing on things that aren’t important to you, simply because other people think that’s what you should be doing. The woman who has dreams tucked Genny Heikka away, high on a shelf, unsure if you’ll ever be able to pursue them. The woman who longs to live life with more significance and meaning. I write to you because I’ve been there. I know how it feels to lose sight of the things that make your heart sing. When I found myself in that place years ago, it was the start of a new journey for me. And I began to realize what the missing something was. As it surfaced in glimpses of insight and understanding (and sometimes even in whispers) things started to become clear. One of those glimpses came the first time I spoke to a large audience. I remember walking on stage with my knees shaking. But beyond the nerves, there was exhilaration… Pam Strain and a strange sense of peace. There was something in that moment that spoke to my soul. When I talk to women, hear their stories, and cheer them on, I feel it too — a sense of certainty that I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing. That sense of knowing my purpose. When we come to understand who we are and the difference we can make simply because of our uniqueness, we find our voice. Our passion grows and we begin to live in that sweet spot of Kirsten Holmberg being truly authentic. We begin to live: inspired, fearless and thriving. Does that mean you’ll never get scared? That once you understand more about who you are, you’ll be totally sure about the path ahead and what you’ll be doing in the next several years? Hardly. It just means that your understanding of why


22 December 2015 | Idaho Family Magazine

you’re here will allow you to live more intentionally, and more bravely. When you have a strong sense of what you’re supposed to be doing, you’re able to move forward and do it — even if it frightens you. These are the things I’ve been talking about with my friends Pam and Kirsten lately. (The three of us are passionate about helping women see their true value, and thrive.) I wish you could have been with us in Kirsten’s dining room, the rain pounding outside as we talked a mile a minute about our hopes for women to live full and fearless lives. I wish you could’ve shared your own story as we shared ours with each other over morning conversations at coffee. I wish you could’ve sat with us on the patio that afternoon in the sunshine as we brainstormed ideas for helping women to live free and unstuck. But even though you weren’t there, you were on our minds. And through those conversations, LIFT was born — a gathering of women in January, here in the Treasure Valley, to help you Live: Inspired, Fearless, and Thriving. How would your life be different if you better understood your value? What impact could you have on your world? What’s holding you back? These are the questions we’ll be exploring at LIFT, and we’d love to have you there. You’ll take a step closer to discovering the real you and living more fully. Pam, Kirsten and I aren’t perfect and we don’t have it all figured out. We’re just three women with different stories who have learned that knowing who you are, and why you’re here, can make a huge impact in your life, and the lives of others. We hope you’ll join us!

More about LIFT:

Join speakers Pam Strain, Genny Heikka and Kirsten Holmberg on January 28, 2016, from 7 to 9 p.m. at 651 N. Eagle Rd., Eagle. Tickets are $15 for one or $25 for two. Space is limited; register at liftedhigh.org. Bring a friend and make it a girls’ night out. Come for the encouragement and the fun (dessert and other surprises). No childcare available. Suitable for adult women. Sponsored by SEARCH, a faithbased organization that provides a safe place for women to come together and explore questions about life and God. The event venue is Eagle United Methodist Church, but women from all faiths and perspectives are welcome. For more information, or to contact the event coordinators, visit liftedhigh.org. n


Gluten-Free Chocolate Cherry Peppermint Tassies Ingredients:


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Spray 2 (24 cups each) mini-muffin pans with cooking spray. Grind the candy canes in the food processor until very finely ground. Remove from the food processor and set aside. Put 1 cup butter and the cream cheese in the food processor and process until smooth. Add the flour, cocoa powder, ½ cup sugar, 1 tablespoon vanilla and ¼ teaspoon salt. Process to combine. Add ½ cup of the ground candy canes and process to combine. Divide the dough into 48 balls. Place 1 ball in each muffin tin and refrigerate for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Using your thumb or the end of a French rolling pin, press a hole into the center of each ball of dough. Whisk together the 2 tablespoons reserved maraschino cherry juice with 1 tablespoon melted butter, ½ cup sugar, ¼ teaspoon salt, the egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Spoon the mixture into each hole. Pat the cherries dry with paper towels and place one in each hole on the filling. Sprinkle the cookies with the remaining crushed candy canes. Bake for 25 minutes. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling. Makes 48 cookies.

Isn’t it time your teenagers found out what all the talk is about?


Gluten-free nonstick cooking spray 25 (2½-inch) candy canes or peppermint candies 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature 2 cups flour or gluten-free flour blend 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder 1 cup sugar, use divided 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract ½ teaspoon kosher salt, use divided 1 large egg 48 maraschino cherries with stems; reserve 2 tablespoons of the maraschino juice


Idaho Family Magazine | December 2015 23

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Idaho family 12 2015  

Idaho family 12 2015