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Family dance classes Learn with Lattimer

Six sweet words The best gift ever

Homework survival tools Appropriate parental support

Art of present-giving Give kids your time Joshua Brown, 7, and Gabriele Brown, 10, of Nampa demonstrate their kung fu skills x


Contents November/December 2017 Features Columns

Volume 5, Number 10

4 14 Irene’s

Randy Lattimer:


Family dance instructor

Bookmark project

15 Manic


Selfies for grownups

18 moMENts: Homework Survival Tools Part 2:


Appropriate parental support

6 sweet words

21 Kids


Earth: One Amazing Day

Departments 13 Wednesday’s Child:

Meet Deacon

Thrifty presents: The gift of time

16 22 Crafts


Family Christmas tree:


Educational websites:


Put fun in learning

on a

Bake-and-make ornaments

In Each Edition

Instructions become art



Editor’s Intro A turkey of a prize


Family Events Calendar:

Family friendly activities & events for November & December!  NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 | Idaho Family Magazine

Publisher Sterling Media Ltd. Editor Gaye Bunderson 208-854-8345 Sales & Marketing Joanna Bourkland 208-869-6331 Graphic Design Carol Smiley Cover Drew Brown, DAB Studios 208-703-2141 www.DrewAllenBrown Contributors Kimberly Blaker, Patrick Hempfing, Beth Markley, Sandy Spurgeon McDaniel, Diane Louise Smith, Samantha Stillman, Mary Ann Wilcox, Irene Woodworth 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 2017 by Sterling Media Ltd.

Editor’s Intro

Giving a turkey never felt so good


round this time of year, recipe contests can be quite popular — or at least they used to be, before everyone started getting recipes off the Internet. There were many recipe contests in hometown newspapers, and that got me thinking about when I worked for the Idaho Press-Tribune. I was the Caldwell lifestyle editor, and a wonderful woman named Marie Galyean was the Nampa lifestyle editor. Every year, the newspaper held a holiday recipe contest, which fell to the two of us in the lifestyle section to oversee. And, yes, I hate to admit it but this all preceded the days of the Internet and email. Ronald Reagan was president. (Anybody remember, “Win one for the Gipper”?) With no Pinterest to peek on, people came up with their own fancy recipes and sent them via the postal service to Marie and I to comb through and hand off to local judges, who selected the top three winners. We then published all the recipes in the newspaper, giving a special write-up to the first-, second- and third-place cooks. Since I’m looking back in time a ways, I can’t remember if we had cash prizes for the winners, but I do know they got a turkey as part of their prize, since the contest was annually held around Thanksgiving. One year, Marie and I got a really nice letter from an elderly, homebound woman who sent us a pretty basic recipe to enter into the contest. She mentioned in the letter, not looking for sympathy as far as I know, that she was also in a wheelchair. The whole tone of the letter was actually quite positive, and we got the sense this woman entered the contest for the fun of it, as well as the possibility of maybe being selected for a prize. (Since I don’t remember her name, I’m going to make one up for her: Ruth.) Unfortunately, her simple little recipe didn’t make the judges’ cut; but after we’d read the winners’ list, Marie turned to me and asked, “Shall we give Ruth a turkey?” It was just one of those “let’s do it — it’s a nice thing” moments. Marie went and picked up the turkey, and it was given to me to deliver to Ruth, since she lived in Caldwell.

This is a special memory for me. Even though real names may be long forgotten, the joy that older woman displayed when she received the news she’d won a turkey for Thanksgiving still warms my heart. It’s easy to want to get rewarded in some way for acts of kindness. I’m not going to say I went to Ruth’s house expecting anything in return, but she was so thrilled and grateful, I was overwhelmed — it was a moment of joy for both of us. Making someone’s day, in such a simple manner, was a blessing for me as well as for her. I asked her, “Where would you like the turkey?” She pushed her wheelchair over to one of those old-fashioned chest freezers and said happily, “Let’s put it in here!” I then took her photo for the newspaper while she beamed from ear to ear. An odd but (hopefully) funny sidenote: she had a prosthetic leg which she wasn’t wearing at the time. I neglected to ask her if she wanted to put it on for the photo. When I got back to the office and the photo was developed in the darkroom (ancient photo processing technology), the prosthetic leg was visible in the photo — several steps away from the other half of Ruth’s leg.

Kids’ turkeys Slightly off-topic but not entirely, I also worked briefly for the Owyhee Avalanche in Homedale. The newspaper publishes kids’ tips on how to cook a turkey for the holidays. One youngster wrote, “You cook the turkey at 100 degrees fair and height.” Those were an absolute hoot to read. I can tell you that if kids were the cooks for the holidays, families would be eating a lot of under-cooked turkeys or a lot of burnt ones. Happy holidays, everyone. I hope your turkeys are all cooked just right, and if you have an opportunity to make someone’s day with a simple act of goodness, do it! It’s very rewarding. — Gaye Bunderson, editor

Children’s Photos Wanted Idaho Family Magazine would love to put your child or children on our cover. 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, the children’s ages, and what Treasure Valley community they reside in. (If chosen for the cover, their last names will not be used without permission.) Send the photos to

On the Cover: Joshua Brown, 7, and Gabriele Brown, 10, of Nampa demonstrate their kung fu skills

Idaho Family Magazine | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 

In step together

Ex-construction worker teaches By Gaye Bunderson


andy Lattimer likes to dance and he likes to teach others what he knows. His classes include people of all ages and capabilities, including parents and children. Lattimer started dancing following the breakup of his 30year marriage. Sitting around the house by himself wasn’t much fun, he said, so he took a line dancing class at the Buffalo Club in Boise. “Oh my gosh, I was the worst in the class. Even the instructor said, ‘You’ll never come back.’” But he did. He even started traveling around the country, taking lessons in different cities. It was because of another hurdle in his life that he eventually started giving lessons himself. This time it was the 2008 downturn in the economy. “I lost a lot,” he said. “I had been in construction, and I even lost my house.” His idea to give dance lessons was more about the fun of dance than it was about making money. He said he and his partner, Linda Rogers, decided that people who had money could make a donation of any size, and people who didn’t have much money could come to the classes for free. “The way we did things, the public could come right in and dance,” Lattimer said. He would teach them some steps and get them dancing quickly. The first classes were held at Discovery Elementary School in Meridian, where Rogers worked as a special needs teacher at the time.

“We want families to come as families,” said Lattimer, who feels that too many families have stopped doing things together. Lattimer and Rogers make a great personal and professional partnership. “We complement each other. She does computers, the music, printing, and she’s quiet. I’m noisy,” Lattimer said. When Rogers got the news out online that classes were being given, things started taking off — or, in Lattimer’s words, “It started exploding.” Now 63, Lattimer is no longer in construction, but his retirement came unexpectedly. “I didn’t plan to retire, but I got more and more requests from people wanting to learn to dance,” he said. Rogers thinks her partner’s dance classes are so popular

 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 | Idaho Family Magazine

family dancing because he was such a poor student in the beginnning. “He had such a difficult time learning that he knows how to teach people who have difficulties,” she said. He’s patient and non-judgmental — it’s quite all right with him if you trip over your own feet a few times. He also has another explanation for why his dance classes are so popular. “We teach people how to take part in social dancing on Friday and Saturday nights,” he said. It might, for instance, be hard to find an impromptu place to participate in ballroom dancing during weekend nights, but with Lattimer’s lessons on line dancing and similar dance styles, a person can go somewhere in town after a week of work and just fit right in with the kind of dancing everyone’s doing. Lattimer now teaches dance classes for families at the Boise Square and Round Dance Center at 6534 W. Diamond St. in Boise. A Family Country Dance event is held each month from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on a Saturday. The remaining dates for 2017 are November 11 and December 9. Cost is $5 per person or $15 per family. “We want families to come as families,” said Lattimer, who feels that too many families have stopped doing things together. About 30 to 50 people show up at the family dance events. “We’re happy with that,” Lattimer said. “We want people who want to be there.” But are the parents dragging the kids to something they don’t like? Not according to Lattimer, who said the kids are frequently the most excited about coming — and they’re good dancers, too. “The kids are way better than the parents,” he said. The family programs are offered all year long — winter, spring, summer and fall — making them unique to the area. Lattimer and Rogers travel frequently, taking in such dance events as the Sweethearts Jamboree in Bellevue, Wash. and the Portland Dance Festival in Oregon. They also purchased $1,500 worth of equipment so Lattimer can DJ corporate and private dance events in the local valley, and they are co-founding members of the Treasure Valley Country Western Dance Association. When asked what some of his former construction cronies would say about his love for dance, Lattimer replied, “When some of them hear I’m dancing, they say, ‘He’s dancing? No way!’” But neither he nor Rogers intend to give it up. “Dancing is what we like to do,” Lattimer said. n Lattimer and Rogers offer dance classes throughout the valley — different dance styles given at different times and places. For more information, go to, www., email or call 208-941-4853.

Idaho Family Magazine | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 

Homework Survival Tools Part 2

The do’s and don’ts of parental By Mary Ann Wilcox


Editor’s note: Part 1 of Homework Survival Tools was featured in the September/October issue of Idaho Family Magazine. Below, the author continues her discussion on how parents may help children do better at their homework.

ast time we discussed the tools that will help you spport completing homework either assigned by your children’s teachers or by you. We discussed setting a homework schedule that is posted in plain view, preparing a homework box with all the tools needed to complete the work, and requiring study time on a daily basis regardless of teacher assignments. This issue we will discuss a child’s progression through the different levels of homework development and the do’s and don’ts of parental support. A clear line of communication with the school is imperative, particularly if there is a problem with homework. Inform the teacher if the work is too hard or too easy; if your child cannot complete the homework in a reasonable amount of time; or if the work is always poorly done. Make an appointment or write a note to the teacher explaining your concern. How much help should be given the child on his homework? • Only help after you know the child has tried to do the task independently. • Do not ever do the homework for your child. • Help only with the parts you know are difficult. Have him model the correct way to do the work before proceeding on his own again. • Support his efforts to solve the problem by himself. Your specific role in supporting your child in the completion of homework is based on how well and how willingly he/she accepts responsibility for his assignments and how capable he is. Level 1: If your child is just starting to have assigned homework — either because he is young or because you are

now insistent that homework is an expected part of being a student — he is at the introductory level. Your child may be resistant, may not have the knowledge or skill to complete the assignment, may be unsure of himself, or may have a high need for comfort or security. If any of these factors are present, your role is to work with the child. Be by his side most of the time. Do your letter writing, balance your checkbook, read or do tasks that are nearby. Having the children work at the counter in the kitchen allows you to monitor their study habits and fix dinner at the same time. In any case, be readily available to assist as he requests. Although this can be difficult for a parent during the busy evening hours, it is time well spent, and both you and your child will be rewarded. He will move out of this stage in time. Level 2: If your child is capable of doing the homework assignment but needs help getting started, he has reached a level of understanding. He knows he has to do homework, even if he doesn’t want to. He may need you to give hints on how to get organized, what materials he will need, or may need you to remind him of some information he will need to get started, such as where to find the formulas for determining the area of a triangle. Level 3: If your child willingly accepts homework as a regular part of his routine AND has the knowledge and skills necessary to complete assignments but is still young, you will only need to supervise him. This will reinforce his good behavior and show that you care about his work. Never assume that a child will reach a point that he doesn’t need and deserve your interest and feedback. Level 4: Eventually your child will get to the point where he “owns” his homework. He takes responsibility for knowing what the homework is and experiences personal satisfaction in completing the task well. At this point, the parent’s role is to support the child and acknowledge the good work. As parents, we must never become invisible or disinterested. Even college students appreciate it when you ask how they’re doing in school and if help is needed. And as always, give an encouraging word. The progression through the levels of homework completion does not always follow a steady upward path. Teenagers sometimes revert back to an earlier level. The change in type of assignment that happens with entering

 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 | Idaho Family Magazine

support a new year in school can cause the child to need more involvement. Changes often happen in 4th grade or when starting middle or high school. Be aware of the type of work assigned or a change in your child’s attitude and respond appropriately. Strategies: Strategies for monitoring homework when you’re not home: • Set an alarm clock to remind the child of when to begin study time. • Tell your child that if homework is completed properly, he will be given time that evening to play, watch TV, or do a favorite activity. If the homework is not done well, that privilege will be revoked and homework will have to be done in the evening. • Encourage your child to do the most difficult work first. • Let your child know that beginning and completing homework is his primary job. • Reinforce your child’s effort, even when he has problems. • Encourage and help your child to meet school deadlines. • Communicate with the teacher about homework. • Foster a positive attitude. • Affirm your belief in your child. Don’t: • Allow others to do your child’s homework. • Give more help than is needed. We hope that these articles will help you assist your children in having a productive and successful school year. For additional ideas and help, visit our website at www. The information in these articles are excerpts from our educational manual, “Ready, Set, Go … to School” by our education specialist Pat Green. n

Idaho Family Magazine | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 



Kids Ski Free

If you have a 5th or 6th grader who loves to ski or snowboard, or one who’d like to learn, now is the time to take advantage of the free skiing program offered by the Idaho Ski Areas Association, a.k.a. Ski Idaho. This marks the 20th year of the program, and ALL 5th and 6th graders may ski for free, not just Idaho youngsters. Ski Idaho’s 5th and 6th Grade Ski-Free Passport Program allows 5th graders to ski three days for free, or at steep discounts, at all 18 Gem State ski resorts and lets 6th graders ski two days for free, or at steep discounts, at 16 mountains. Complete the application available at passport and pay a $15 processing fee to order a passport for your child. (Your child must have a parent or guardian present to use the passport, and it must be shown at the resort in order to receive the lift ticket.) Participating resorts include: Bald Mountain: Bogus Basin*: Brundage: Cottonwood Butte: Grand Targhee: Kelly Canyon: Little Ski Hill: Lookout Pass: Lost Trail: Magic Mountain: Pebble Creek: Pomerelle*: Schweitzer: Silver Mountain: Snowhaven: Soldier Mountain: Sun Valley**: Tamarack: * 5th grade only ** An additional $20 fee is required with a passport at Sun Valley’s Bald Mountain; however, there is no extra fee at Dollar Mountain.

November Saint Al’s Signers for Babies and Toddlers Mondays or Fridays

Parents may bring their babies Mondays at 10 a.m. and their toddlers Fridays at 10 a.m. to the Saint Alphonsus Family Center at 900 N. Liberty St., Ste. 204, in Boise for baby and toddler sign classes. No registration is needed, and people are welcome to join at any time. For more information, call 208-367-3454.

CALENDAR Free Parent Education Seminar First & Third Thursdays

Brain Balance Achievement Center at 3210 E. Chinden Blvd., #113, in Eagle holds a Free Parent Education Seminar from 7 to 8 p.m. on the first and third Thursdays of every month. Dr. Ray Booth, clinical psychologist, presents information on the topic, “Why Your Child Is Struggling” and answers questions. For more information, contact Executive Director Dawna Booth at 208-938-1312 or dbooth@

Notus Library hours and events Wednesday, Thursday, Friday

The Notus Library is gearing up for a busy winter. Winter hours are 1 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of each week. Adult Book Club meets at 1 p.m. on the second Wednesday of every month; patrons may come and share their reading experiences with one another. Story and Craft Time is held every Thursday beginning at 1 p.m.; there will be all kinds of cool stuff to make, or just come listen to some great stories.

Veterans Appreciation Bazaar & Raffle Saturday, November 4

Raffles, vendors, food and live entertainment will highlight the Veterans Appreciation Bazaar & Raffle at Kleiner Park’s Meridian Senior Center, 1920 N. Records Ave., from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, November 4. It’s free to attend.

Lowell Scott Middle School Holiday Bazaar Saturday/Sunday, November 4-5

Lowell Scott Middle School will host its annual Holiday Bazaar from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, November 4, and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, November 5. Get into the holiday spirit with live music from local performers, holiday shopping, and delicious treats. More than 80 vendors will be showing and selling their goods and services, and the event is free to attend. Go to

Boise Cotillion Inaugural Ball Thursday, November 9

The Boise Cotillion is marking its 20th year. Over the years, hundreds of Treasure Valley children have participated in events designed to be part of a young person’s social education. The Boise Cotillion Inaugural Ball is set

 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 | Idaho Family Magazine

for Thursday, November 9. The ball is for youngsters in grades 4th through 5th and grades 6th through 9th (different times for the two age groups). Those interested in attending must enroll at

Adoption Information Meeting Tuesdays

A New Beginning Adoption Agency holds free Adoption Information Meetings each month, providing a no-pressure environment for families to learn about adopting infants, as well as children in the U.S. foster care system. The meetings are held on Tuesdays from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at 8660 W. Emerald, Ste. 142, in Boise. The last meeting days of 2017 are November 7 and December 5. Though the meetings are free, pre-registration is required; call 208-939-3865 or email

National Adoption Month: Families Speak Wednesday, November 8

Are you an adoptive parent? Are you looking for a sense of community that offers compassionate support? Come hear local adoptive and fostering families share their experiences from 7 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, November 8, at the Cherry Lane branch of the Meridian library. For more information, contact Coral at or 208-888-4451.

8th Annual Christmas Market Friday, November 10

Garden City — Vineyard Christian Fellowship, 4950 N. Bradley St. in Garden City, will hold its 8th Annual Christmas Market from noon to 7 p.m. Friday, November 10, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, November 11.

Foothills Family Day Second Saturday

The Jim Hall Foothills Learning Center, 3188 Sunset Peak Rd. in Boise, holds a Foothills Family Day on the second Saturday of the month from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The topic on November 11 will be Idaho’s Land Before Time. Come learn about rocks, soil, erosion, and what Idaho looked like before people were here. Activities will include dirt painting, rock displays, water erosion demonstrations, and a guided hike to Red Cliffs. No pre-registration is required. (No pets, please.) Go to

of Events

Months of November & December

Please send family-related calendar items to

Kids Discovery Expo

Atlantic Idea House tours

A Kids Discovery Expo is set for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, November 11, at Expo Idaho. The exhibits will be highlighted by hands-on, “learning through play” activities.

Interested people are welcome to come tour the Atlantic Idea House at 2108 S. Atlantic St. in Boise. The Atlantic Idea House is a small home owned by the City of Boise that has been renovated with sustainable and energy efficient features to showcase what is possible to improve the energy and water efficiency in your home. The remaining tour date and time is 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, November 15. For more information, go to http://www.livboise. org/2017/03/a-model-home-for-a-betterfuture/.

Saturday, November 11

Souper Saturday All Church Bazaar Saturday, Novemer 11

Meridian — The Meridian United Methodist Church, 235 E. Pine St., will hold a Souper Saturday All Church Bazaar from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, November 11.

Village Ice Rink opening Saturday, November 11

The Ice Rink at the Village at Meridian will open for the season at noon Saturday, November 11. For hours, prices and other information, go to

Craft Fair – Nampa Saturday, November 11

Bethel Church of the Nazarene, 3001 12th Ave. Rd. in Nampa, will hold a craft fair from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, November 11.

Family Country Dance Saturdays

With an emphasis on family (kids, parents, beginning dancers of all ages), the Boise Square and Round Dance Center will hold various opportunities to dance or learn to dance, beginning at 6:30 p.m. on the following Saturdays: November 11 and December 9. Bring a snack to share if you can; non-alcoholic beverages are also permitted. Cost is $5 per person or $15 per family. For more information, call 208-941-4853 or email R2L2Dance@gmail. com. The center is located at 6534 W. Diamond St. in Boise.

Anything Can Happen Family Program Monday, November 13

Paige Moore will present a fun music and movement program for kids ages 0-12 from 7 to 7:45 p.m. Monday, November 13, at the Cherry Lane branch of the Meridian library. This month’s topic will feature Harold and the Purple Crayon. Call 208-888-4451 for more information.

Wednesday, November 15

Make a holiday craft Wednesday, November 15

Join Goodwill at the Cherry Lane branch of the Meridian library to take part in family-friendly up-cycle projects that will turn everyday thrift store items into new and creative crafts. The Reduce, Reuse, Recycle program from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, November 15, will feature holiday craft creations. All ages are welcome. Goodwill provides the materials. For more information, contact Elizabeth at ewatson@mld. org or 208-888-4451.

Warren Miller Film Festival Thursday & Friday, November 16-17

The Bogus Basin Ski Club will present the Warren Miller Film Festival, “Line of Descent,” at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, November 1617, and at 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, November 18, at the Egyptian Theatre in downtown Boise. This marks the 53rd year of the festival. Ticket proceeds benefit the Bogus Basin Ski Education Foundation, Bogus Basin Ski Patrol, the College of Idaho ski and snowboard team, the Boise Basin Ski Club, and Recreation Unlimited. Purchase tickets at A party will preceed the film on November 16 at 5 p.m. at Zee’s Rooftop Cafe in Boise. For tickets, go to

Splash N’ Dash Friday, November 17

Parents, enjoy a Friday evening with one another while staff at the Nampa Rec Center entertains your children in the pools from 5:45 to 9:45 p.m. Friday, November 17. For four hours, NRC’s certified lifeguard and lesson staff will be in the water actively supervising, playing water games and having a blast swimming around with the youngsters, ages 3-12. Pre-registration

is required by stopping by the rec center, going online at, or by calling 208-468-5858. Cost is $13 for members and $18 for non-members.

Village at Meridian Tree Lighting & Santa’s Arrival Friday, November 17

This holiday event at The Village at Meridian will be held from 6:30 to 7 p.m. Friday, November 17. Go to

Black Friday Tech Preview Friday, November 17

Explore this season’s hottest tech as preparation for Black Friday and Cyber Monday at unBound, 713 N. Main St. in Meridian, from 3 to 7 p.m. Friday, November 17. Call 208-258-2000 for more information.

Winter Wonderland in downtown Caldwell Friday, Novembr 17

The 2017 Winter Wonderland Festival in downtown Caldwell is set for 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, November 17, with vendor/food booths opening at 4 p.m. Lots to do, lots to see and lots to eat. The beautiful light displays along Indian Creek will shine each night until January 15. Go to

Canyon County Christmas Show Friday-Sunday, November 17-19

Billed as “a wonderful holiday experience for the entire family,” the annual Canyon County Christmas Show is set for November 17-19 at the Ford Idaho Center in Nampa. Hours will be: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Cost of admission will be $4 for adults, $3 for seniors, and free for children 12 and under. Go to

Map Mania at the WaterShed Saturday, November 18

This year the Boise WaterShed will celebrate GIS Day on Saturday, November 18, with a safari theme. From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., travel into the wild with your adventure passport and create your own habitat and savanna maps, then make jungle cookie maps, take a safari quiz and play wildlife games for prizes. Go to bee.cityofboise. org/watershed for more information. (The Boise WaterShed also holds a winter break program in December. Check the website for details.)

Idaho Family Magazine | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 

CALENDAR of Events Cont. Turkey Shoot

Saturday, November 18

Teams of one adult and one child may win a Thanksgiving turkey during Nampa Rec Center’s annual basketball Turkey Shoot from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, November 18. There are several age categories and hoop heights for this event. Advance registration is recommended. Sign up at the center or online at Call 208-468-5858 for more information.

Bowling for Rhinos Saturday, November 18

Join Zoo Boise for a wildlife conservation party at the 9th annual Bowling for Rhinos from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, November 18, at Westy’s Garden Lanes, 5504 Alworth St. in Garden City. Bowl the evening away with cosmic bowling, raffles, silent auctions, photo-ops, and more — all to benefit the world’s dimishing rhino population. Cost is $25 per person or $175 for a lane of up to 8 bowlers. All ages are welcome. Register online at https://store. or by phone at 208-608-7744; go to for more information.

Boise Holiday Parade Saturday, November 18

The theme for the Boise Holiday Parade 2017 is “A Storybook Christmas.” The parade will begin at 9:45 a.m. Saturday, November 18, starting in downtown Boise. Go to

Holiday Craft Bazaar, Middleton Saturday, November 18

The Middleton United Methodist Church, 104 E. Main St., will hold a holiday craft bazaar from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, November 18. Admission will be two items for the Middleton Food Pantry.

Paws with Claus Pet Photos with Santa Mondays (see times & dates)

Each Monday between November 20 – December 18 from 4 to 7 p.m., pet owners may take their well-behaved dogs on a leash to have photos taken with Santa at The Village at Meridian. Go to

Laps Before Naps Thursday, November 23

Bring four items of canned or other non-

perishable food and receive free entry to Nampa Rec Center’s Laps Before Naps program on Thanksgiving Day, November 23, at any time from 5 a.m. to noon. Participants are welcome to choose laps in the pool or laps around the track. Go to for more information.

Turkey Day 5K Boise Thursday, November 23

A Treasure Valley Thanksgiving tradition will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. Thursday, November 23, starting in downtown Boise. There will be live music, lots of prizes, food and fun. Cost is $14 for youth and $35 for adults. Register at Use the discount code BRM17 when registering; you’ll save money and an extra $5 per adult and $2 per youth will be donated to good causes every time the code is used. Proceeds benefit local Special Olympics team, the Boise Rescue Mission and many other charities. For more information, go to

Winter Garden aGlow Opens Thursday, November 23

The annual holiday light display at the Idaho Botanical Garden will kick off November 23 and run through January 1. Gates open at 6 p.m., and last admission is at 8:45 p.m. Winter Garden aGlow will be open — rain or snow — on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day. It will be closed November 29 and December 7. For more information, go to

“A Christmas Story” at BLT November / December

Boise Little Theater will present the holiday family-themed play “A Christmas Story” on November 24 and 25 and December 1, 2, 8 and 9 at 8 p.m.; on November 30 and December 7 at 7:30 p.m.; and on November 26 and December 3 and 9 at 2 p.m. Set in the Midwest in the 1940s, this comedy follows 9-year-old Ralphie in his quest to get a genuine Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas. The consistent response to his request: “You’ll shoot your eye out.” All the elements from the movie are included in this play. For ticket and other information, go to

Canyon County Festival of Trees November 24-27

The annual Canyon County Festival of Trees is four full days of activities November 24-27 at Ford Idaho Center. Activities include breatkfast

10 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 | Idaho Family Magazine

with Santa, aisles of vendor and craft booths, and a gala dinner and auction. For complete details, go to http://www.fordidahocenter. com/events/canyon-co-festival-of-trees.

Thanksgiving Break Drop-In Program November/December

Come to the Boise WaterShed exhibit hall during the Thanksgiving break from school, November 20-22, and make and take crafts with a Thanksgiving theme from 10 a.m. to noon. Go to for more information. There will also be a winter break program January 2-5. Visit the website for more details.

Homeschool Teens Meetup Thursday, November 30

Homeschooled teens ages 12-17 are invited to the main branch of Boise Public Library each month for board games, good books, crafts, STEM activities, and the chance to meet and make new friends. Snacks and supplies will be provided. The November meeting will be held from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Thursday, November 30. For more information, go to

December Christmas in Meridian Friday, December 1

The 5th Annual Winter Lights Parade & Christmas Tree Lighting will kick off the community’s slate of holiday festivities on Friday, December 1. For a full list of activities throughout the season, go to

“Elf the Musical”

Friday-Saturday, December 1-2

“Elf the Musical” will be presented at the Morrison Center in Boise December 1-2, with four performances in all. For tickets and other information, go to

Treasure Valley Night Light Parade Saturday, December 2

The Caldwell Chamber of Commerce and West Valley Medical Center will present the 15th Annual Treasure Valley Night Light Parade from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, December 2. The parade will start at O’Connor Field House, 2207 Blaine, and wind its way downtown. This year’s theme is Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree. Go to

“Joy, Love, Peace” Saturday, December 2

Even if the weather outside is frightful, the Meridian Symphony Orchestra promises music that is delightful. The orchestra’s annual holiday concert is set for 7:30 p.m. Saturday, December 2, at the Centennial Performing Arts Center, 12260 W. McMillan Rd. in Meridian. The Centennial High School’s combined choirs will be special guests. For tickets and other information, go to www.meridiansymphony. org/events-and-tickets/.

Melba Valley Worship Center Christmas Bazaar Saturday, December 2

Melba Valley Worship Center, 1263 Hwy. 45, will hold its annual Christmas bazaar from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, December 2.

Clara’s Tea Party December 5-7

Caldwell Fine Arts will present its annual performances of The Nutcracker Ballet and Nutcracker Jr., accompanied by Clara’s Tea Party, an annual tradition. The Nutcracker Ballet will be performed at 7 p.m. on both Tuesday, December 5, and Wednesday, December 6, in Jewett Auditorium on the College of Idaho campus. Nutcracker Jr. will be perfomed at 1 p.m. and at 6 p.m. Thursday, December 7, also at Jewett. Clara’s Tea Party, an event that makes little girls feel like royalty, will be held on the following days and times: 5:30 p.m. on both December 5 and 6; and at 11:30 a.m., 2 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Thursday, December 7. The tea party will be held in the Langroise Center on the C of I campus. For tickets or more information, go to or call 208-459-5275.

Boise Cotillion Holiday Gala Wednesday, December 6

The Boise Cotillion Holiday Gala is set for Wednesday, December 6. The gala is for youngsters in grades 4th through 5th and grades 6th through 9th (different times for the two age groups). Those interested in attending must enroll at

Millennial Choirs – “Joy to the World” Wednesday, December 6

Millennial Choirs & Orchestras will present “Joy to the World: Christmas Around the World” at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, December 6, at the Morrison Center. For tickets and other information, go to

Following Your Muse: My Life with Dogs Wednesday, December 6

Mark Asher, dogs’ best friend, author and photographer of dogs, will speak about his creative crafts from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, December 6, at the main branch of Boise Public Library. Children, teens and adults are welcome. Asher will talk about his book, “All That Ails You,” about a rescue dog that brings joy to a home for seniors. Go to

Winter Easy Stargazing Wednesday, December 6

Winter Easy Stargazing, an introduction to stargazing using just your eyes and a pair of binoculars, will be held from 7 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, December 6, at the Library! at Hillcrest on Overland Road in Boise. All ages are welcome to come learn how to look for star clusters, satellites, meteors, lunar features, and planets in the winter night skies. Go to

Meridian Twilight Christmas Market Thursday, December 7

An indoor-outdoor holiday shopping experience featuring a variety of locally handcrafted gift items, seasonal foods and holiday treats, mulled wine and craft beers, and live entertainment will be held from noon to 8 p.m. Thursday, December 7, at the Meridian City Hall & Outdoor Plaza. Go to www.

Nampa Civic Center holiday programs December

There will be two holiday-focused presentations at the Nampa Civic Center. “A Christmas Carol: The Broadway Musical” will run December 7-9, and “Traditions of Christmas: A Musical Spectacular” will return this year December 15-17 and December 21-23. Go to for tickets or more information.

Ice Show tickets Saturday, December 9

Tickets for Idaho IceWorld’s annual Ice Show went on sale November 1 and are available at the information desk at IceWorld. The show is set for December 9 at 3 p.m. and again at 6 p.m. Tickets sell out fast, so get yours soon. Go to for more information.

Children’s Winterland Festival Saturday, December 9

A Christmas-themed children’s festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, December 9, at the Meridian Boys & Girls Club, 911 N. Meridian Rd. Go to

Santa’s Workshop Saturday, December 9

Children ages 3-12 are invited to spend two hours making holiday crafts, playing games and decorating cookies from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, December 9, at the Nampa Rec Center. (Santa is likely to make an appearance.) Cost is $5 for members and $6 for nonmembers. Advance registration is recommended. Call 208-468-5858 for more information.

Boise Philharmonic – Holiday Pops Saturday, December 9

Boise Philharmonic’s Holiday Pops concert will be held at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, December 9, at the Morrison Center. There will be sing-alongs, so bring the whole family. New, warm socks to be donated to the needy will be collected. For tickets and other information, go to

Pictures with Santa Paws Saturday/Sunday, December 9-10

Your pet will have the opportunity to pose with Santa from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, December 9 and 10, at Bark n’ Purr, 1036 S. Vista Ave. in Vista Village, Boise. Pet owners may use the photos on Christmas cards, calendars, or other holiday-themed items. Proceeds benefit SNIP (Spay Neuter Idaho Pets). Go to

Annual Family Holiday Concert “The Wonder of Christmas” Friday, December 8

The Boise State Music Department will present its yearly tradition for music lovers at 7:30 p.m. Friday, December 8, at the Morrison Center. For tickets and other information, go to

Sunday, December 10

Local Southern gospel group, Liberty Quartet, will hold a Christmas concert called “The Wonder of Christmas” at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, December 10, at Valley Shepherd Church of the Nazarene, 150 W. Maestra St. in Meridian. For more information, go to http://www.

Idaho Family Magazine | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 11

CALENDAR of Events Cont. Noel: A Christmas Concert Sunday, December 10

Join Northwest Nazarene University in celebrating the Christmas season as the NNU Department of Music presents its annual Noel Christmas Concert at 3 p.m. and again at 7 p.m. Sunday, December 10, at Brandt Center, Swayne Auditorium, on the NNU campus in Nampa. For tickets and other information, go to, email or call 208-467-8413.

Handmade Holiday Saturday, December 16

The Boise WaterShed will host an offsite Handmade Holiday event beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, December 16, at the Fort Boise Community Center. Come spend some time crafting handmade gifts and ornaments. Create a wreath and other decorations using recycled and reusable household items. Take a free photo with Santa and Mrs. Claus and enjoy holiday carols sung by a local choir. Free treats will be available. Go to bee.cityofboise. org/watershed.

Drop and Shop

Saturday, December 16

Parents may drop their kids off at the Nampa Rec Center and then run out for last-minute holiday shopping from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, December 16. Children ages 5-12 may enjoy a day of supervised activities that will include games, crafts, swimming, movies and more. Snacks and a pizza lunch from Domino’s are included. Cost is $18 for members and $20 for non-members. Registration is required, and there will be a $5 late registration fee after 7 p.m. on December 15. For more information or to register, visit or call 208-4685858.

BCT Children’s Reading Series Sunday, December 17

The Children’s Reading Series at Boise Contemporary Theater will continue its 2016-17 season at 2 p.m. Sunday, December 17. During the series, professional actors bring engaging stories to life. Stories are recommended for ages 6 and up. Cost is $12 for adults and $8 for children, with series passes available for $50 for adults and $30 for children. Cookies and milk are served with each performance. Tickets and story titles are available at or by calling the BCT Box Office at 208-331-9224.

Mannheim Steamroller Christmas Thursday, December 21

Treasure Valley Family YMCA New Year’s Day 5K Run Monday, January 1

The Mannheim Steamroller Christmas concert will be held at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Thursday, December 21, at the Morrison Center. For tickets and other information, go to

This annual event will begin at 10 a.m. Monday, January 1. The 3.1-mile course begins and ends at the Ram Restaurant on the corner of Broadway and Myrtle. For race packet and other information, go to www.

Splash N’ Dash

Idaho Scrapbook Show

Parents, enjoy a Friday evening with one another while staff at the Nampa Rec Center entertains your children in the pools from 5:45 to 9:45 p.m. Friday, December 22. For four hours, NRC’s certified lifeguard and lesson staff will be in the water actively supervising, playing water games and having a blast swimming around with the youngsters, ages 3-12. Pre-registration is required by stopping by the rec center, going online at, or by calling 208-468-5858. Cost is $13 for members and $18 for non-members.

The Idaho Craft Association will present the Idaho Scrapbook Show from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, February 2-3, at Expo Idaho. General admission tickets are $7 and may be purchased online at www. or at the door. (There are VIP tickets for $75 that may also be purchased online. There are a limited number of VIP tickets.) The event will feature a variety of crafting and paper crafting vendors, all of which are listed on the website. There will also be classes on new techniques and styles. Families are welcome. For more information, go to

Friday, December 22

35th Annual Christmas Run Saturday, December 23

All ages are welcome to participate in the 35th Annual Christmas Run presented by Saint Alphonsus. The race will be held December 23 and will begin and end in downtown Boise at Boise High School. The annual Christmas costume contest will be held at 9:30 a.m. on the Boise High steps; race categories begin at 10 and 10:15. For race packet and other information, contact the event coordinator at 208-344-5502, ext. 280, or via email at; or go to

Discovery Center Winter Break Camps

Friday/Saturday, February 2-3

Our Whole Lives – Adolescent Sexuality February/March

In a caring, compassionate environment, Our Whole Lives helps adolescents in the 7th – 9th grades address their attitudes, values and feelings about themselves, their sexuality and the world around them. By providing accurate, comprehensive, age-appropriate information in the context of values and personal responsibility, youth develop the skills needed to make healthy choices for life. Our Whole Lives will be presented at Saint Luke’s February 19 – March 19. For more information and to register, call 208-367-3454 or visit


The Discovery Center of Idaho will hold winter break camps for youngsters in 1st through 4th grades. “Science Myths Busted” will be held from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. December 26-29. “Lego Engineers: Myths & Minifigs Edition” is set for 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. January 2-5. For more information or to register, email, call 208-2874231, or go to

12 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 | Idaho Family Magazine

Wednesday’s Child

Deacon, 15, ready for life’s next chapter The following information is provided by Wednesday’s Child, an organization that helps Idaho foster children find permanent homes. Deacon is a fun-loving and creative 15-year-old who dreams of one day living in a big city and possibly attending culinary training. Although he might describe himself as someone who likes to blend into a crowd, Deacon’s good-natured, funny and warm-hearted personality makes him stand out to anyone who meets him. While he can be introverted and thoughtful at times, Deacon is generally an outgoing young man who is engaging and talkative, especially when it comes to subjects he’s interested in, such as Marvel Comics, music and the theater production he recently helped to produce at school. Deacon has a contagious laugh and his resiliency is evident in his positive attitude. Some would describe him as an “old soul” and he may tell you that he is a bit weary of being a child and is eager to gain all of the skills he can in order to move on to the adventure of adulthood. Deacon possesses very good communication skills, age-appropriate behaviors and is on track developmentally and academically. A family who is willing and eager to support his ongoing identity formation, as well as his continued journey through grieving the number of

losses he has experienced, would be a great fit for Deacon. When discussing the most important qualities he is looking for in an adoptive family, Deacon describes his number one priority as finding a Christian family who can share in and support his strong faith. If that family were to also live in a big city/urban setting, it would be a definite win for him. Deacon is anxious and excited about moving on to the next chapter of his life. If you believe that you can offer the love, acceptance, commitment and support that he is looking for in his ‘Forever Family,’ please inquire about Deacon today. n For more information on the Wednesday’s Child Program in Idaho, go to, or contact Shawn White via email at or cell phone 208-488-8989 if you have specific questions. Wednesday’s Child would like to extend a thank you to Captain Comics for graciously opening their store to them and to Lauren Harms at Shadylanestudios for her amazing photos of Deacon.

Idaho Family Magazine | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 13

Irene’s Insights

A children’s bookmark and display project By Irene Woodworth


can be used to bless all of the children we id you know that the graciously serve. Assistance League of Boise Each bookmark is touched with love and clothes around 3,600 children prayers. That bookmark can last for years, in need from Ada County maybe even a lifetime, with hope and healing through their flagship Operation School for each child. This project took hundreds of Bell Program? The children receive brand hours. It was well worth all the time and labor. new clothes that include two pairs of jeans, We may never know what a powerful influence two colorful tee shirts, a sweatshirt, a coat, each one has on each child. We have realized hat, gloves and a new age-appropriate book. that our team will be part of transforming Our family decided last year they needed a children for generations with this project! n bookmark that would inspire and motivate these children. (To learn more, go to https:// Irene Woodworth is known as “Idaho’s Color Lady” Irene Woodworth This year, with several team members and is founder and CEO of Redesign Boise. She is a national redesign award winner, motivational speaker, of Assistance League of Boise, we created certified redesigner and color consultant, and instructor another 3,600 colorful and creative on redesign and color. She has a degree in education bookmarks with various decorations and words. It has and interior design and has taught various decorating been proven that words can either make or break a person. and color classes throughout the country. For more We know that positive words will empower, encourage, information, visit strengthen and sustain each child who receives a bookmark. There were two different types of bookmarks. One is designed with a letter of the alphabet that corresponds to each child’s first name. For example the letter “A” may connect with Aaron or Alice. In addition to the letter, we created adjectives that will inspire, encourage and motivate with each letter listed down each bookmark. For example, “A” has positive words listed down the bookmark with bright colors, such as “Able” and “Accepted.” The other style we created was a quote or saying that empowers and encourages. For example, we created one that says, “Advice from a Tree: Stand Tall and Proud.” Due to more than 45 different colorful styles of bookmarks, we needed a simple display that would speed up the time as the members assist the children to find the clothes that fit them and their style. Sometimes using simple everyday things can help you make something custom for your needs. We created a display made up of a hollow core door with vegetable tin cans screwed on and decorated with Members of the Assistance League created inspiring bookmarks for kids, then poster board borders symmetrically designed to hold made a “bookmark wall” where children could select one of the bookmarks all of these bookmarks. There is no limit on how long this from a handily decorated tin can. (Photo provided by Irene Woodworth)

14 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 | Idaho Family Magazine

Manic Mothering

You’re never too old for a selfie By Beth Markley


expats. We should be able to figure out the s far as advice goes, I’m not ever selfie thing. going to be one to tell you what We can do this, people. you should or shouldn’t do upon Anyone who knows me is going to be reaching a certain age. As far thinking: “What the heck, Beth? You’re about as I’m concerned, you should wear whatever the last person to dole out the selfie advice.” makes you happy and comfortable. Whether It’s true. I am distinctly awful at selfies. I’m it’s leggings, hoop earrings or hot pants, I hypercritical of every square inch of my face, don’t care. You should eat what you feel like, which is why sometimes my selfies feature my work out as often as it suits your fancy, and use partially obscured mug. the oxford comma or not according to your But I’ve been looking this stuff up and it taste. turns out there are a lot of online pointers for … Oh, wait. I will probably judge you on the people like us. I’ve pulled a few tips that might comma use, but carry on with the other stuff. be helpful for the aspiring selfie taker: Beth Markley But there is something I think anyone over a First of all, look at the camera. It’s that certain age needs to come to grips with: selfies. little hole above the screen. Don’t look at the screen. Total You guys. There is possibly no more distinct line of rookie move. We can see your eyes pointed over the bifocals demarcation between the old and the young than the ability resting on the tip of your nose. You look like Grandpa in The (or lack thereof) to take a decent self-portrait with one’s Princess Bride. Stop it. personal electronic device. Contined on Page 19 … Except for maybe the TV remote thing. But in the interest of being concise, we’re going to focus on the art of the selfie here. This lack of skill isn’t necessarily our fault. We grew up in a time when our cameras didn’t tell us right away if we’d stuck our thumb in front of the lens, and when buying film was nearly as expensive as developing it. Members of the selfie generation, on the other hand, have had practice, unencumbered by any limits except data storage space. Some of us are also bogged down by propriety, embarrassed to be caught getting all up into ourselves in front of a camera. You see someone of a certain age holding a cellphone at arm’s length while casting furtive glances over her shoulder, looking like a newbie to the witness protection program, she’s probably making sure no one’s watching her snap a selfportrait. And then it’s just the one, quick shot before moving on. We don’t practice. We don’t take a few from different angles, with the sun behind us or in front, to see what’s better, changing expressions to see what accentuates our cheekbones or camouflages the bags under our eyes. It’s point. Click. Done. And crap, I was blinking again. Why can’t I ever get this right? That doesn’t mean we should stop. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t push back against our instincts and take our crappy selfies and post them as liberally as possible. We have just as much right as anyone to a selfie. I mean, come on, ours was the generation that had to figure out how to get the clock to stop blinking on the VCR. We were the first to know how far out in the yard our cordless phones would work. We may not be digital natives, but we’re at least

Idaho Family Magazine | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 15

Thrifty presents

The art of inexpensive, meaningful gifts By Sandy Spurgeon McDaniel


say after the question. In other words, hush! ince my 76th birthday was in Listen to your child! October, I’ve had the topic of Hannukah and Christmas are coming. The birthdays on my mind. solvency of our economy is dependent upon Birthday parties for children are us spending money. I support stabilizing our a mega-business. A one-day event can create economy. How about this idea: the need for both parents to seek additional employment! 1. Draw for gifts in your family-at-large. Each Picture this — 10 or more energetic little person has one gift to buy for one family darlings turned lose into an area with too member. many choices: rides on ponies, plastic domes in which to bounce and giggle, balloons, 2. Give each child four gifts and a stocking gifts, decorated tables and the spring-for-thefilled with fun stuff. Adults (husband and human-wind-up-toy, CAKE! Sugar! Now, the wife) exchange one purchased gift and 10 little darlings are moving at hyper-speed. Sandy McDaniel (husbands, wives, friends) get a coupon for The birthday child is totally glazed. time together. Gift time! A 40 dollar gift certificate, a 50 3. Here’s the best part. Take the huge gob of money you dollar Game Boy, a 40 dollar skateboard, a make-it-yourself would’ve spent giving Uncle Charley a tie he hates and bear costing 60 dollars. Remember that each of these other unnecessary gifts to friends and family members and children will invite your child to his/her party in the next give it to charity, or to a family in need. year. For your budget’s sake, it might be wise to encourage your child to have only a couple of friends... 4. Pool your family money and give a complete Christmas Where are we going with this and what is the point? If we to a family that is too busy surviving to dream of gifts and give 50 dollar gifts to a 4-year-old, what on earth do we give festive food. Don’t forget the military families. to a teenager? (A one-way ticket...anywhere. Just kidding!) 5. Prepare a meal and take it to a family or an elderly couple. Give a reasonably priced gift and a coupon for time with Make festive cards and take them to children who have you: going to a movie together, going fishing, etc. We are all to be in the hospital at Christmas. Take your teenagers to starving for time with each other. Value that gift and give serve a meal at a homeless shelter. generously. And here’s my real concern: we have taught our children to What will your family and friends think of you if you feel loved through gifts. “The more gifts I give you, the more I implement this plan? What other people think of you is none love you” is the message. of your business. (More on this another time.) Cycles get Children can’t take in more than three gifts. With that in broken by people brave enough to break them. Let’s love each mind, how about giving the child two gifts and a certificate other at gift-giving times — not just in our birth families but as to do something fun with you? I will say this a dozen times, a family of human beings. n hoping you hear it — the number one gift choice of children is more time with mom/dad. For 54 years, Sandy has been an international speaker and recognized An extraordinary gift is to listen to a child. “How was your authority on families and children. Author of five books, columnist, founder of, she is a resident of Meridian and loves spending day?”, with no commentary from you, invites a child to talk time with her three Idaho grandchicks. Semi-retired, she speaks to schools, to you. “What was your favorite part of today?”, and one of my tricks, “If you had a magic wand, what would you change churches, and MOPS groups and provides parent coaching sessions in person and on the phone. She is available for parenting talks/trainings about today?” You might not learn about the “D” on a math in the Treasure Valley and may be reached at test walking down another conversational road. After you ask Also, go to YouTube: Sandy Spurgeon McDaniel to see videos on specific a child a question, charge yourself $1,000 for each word you parenting issues. about giving the child two gifts and a certificate to do something fun with you? 16 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 | Idaho Family Magazine

Idaho family Christmas

Father cuts 5-year-old some artistic slack By Diane Louise Smith


t our house, we put up our Instead, my father handed back the Christmas tree after Thanksgiving instructions and asked me to sign my name dinner. All of us help decorate the and age next to my work of art. I couldn’t tree per our height. Christmases believe it, I wasn’t getting into trouble! past, my son would hang ornaments at the Going forward, each Christmas when my bottom branches. Now, he towers over me and father assembled the tree, he would hand me he can easily place the angel at the top of the the directions to add artwork on the open tree. space. With each December, I looked forward As we decorate our Christmas tree, it to applying a new drawing. Sticking with the reminds me of an incident from my childhood theme, I drew seasonal pictures, such as a that is one of my favorite Christmas memories. wreath, candles and presents. Each year, my My father would be the one to assemble our drawings improved; no longer did I need a artificial Christmas tree. He would keep the huge amount of space to draw the pictures. written directions in its rectangular box. On When I turned 13, I stopped the drawing; Diane Louise Smith this box were the words, “’Tis the season to I was a teenager now and relegated be jolly,” and it had a picture of Santa Claus. this activity to childhood status. When I was 5 years old, for some reason I was inspired to However, I still smiled when my father would create my version of Santa. I decided these paper directions assemble the Christmas tree and he would praise were the perfect canvas for my artwork. With a green crayon my old artwork. in my small hand, I drew Santa Claus on the front page I have more of an appreciation of these of the directions. My father didn’t see me, since he was memories now as a parent. Looking assembling the base of the tree. back with adult eyes, I can see that my When he returned to look at the directions, my stomach fell. father could have easily chastised me I realized that he was about to see that I had drawn on the for first drawing on the instructions. front page of the directions. I had never vandalized anything Technically, I did break a rule. of my parents’ before. I come from parents who prided However, my father had the themselves in preserving and taking care of items. wisdom to see beyond the He picked up the directions and saw my cartoon Santa mundane and help create a Claus. He looked over the paper at me. I would not meet his wonderful Christmas memory that gaze; I hung my head down and waited to be reprimanded. still warms my heart to this day. n

Idaho Family Magazine | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 17


Six sweet words become best gift ever By Patrick Hempfing


few days before the start of Southeastern Writers Association’s school this past August, I annual workshop each June. We had to purchased a book bag for my drive out of the way to get there, but I 12-year-old daughter, Jessie. As I wanted to show Jessie my favorite place. checked out, I told the cashier, “Well, I’m done Her excitement showed through all the with last year’s Christmas shopping.” He gave photos she took and the enthusiasm in me a funny look and agreed I was a bit behind. her voice as she video-called her mom to I neglected to tell the cashier we didn’t share the picturesque sights. mail Christmas cards last year for the first Jessie commented, “I can see why you time in our marriage. Life was hectic prior like this place so much.” However, her to December, with the family’s move to a enthusiasm for my favorite writing spot different state and my wife working long hours wasn’t the gift I cherished most. at her new job. Then a lump appeared near A few days after we arrived home, I sat my wife’s left ear that required a biopsy and at my computer and Jessie plopped in Patrick Hempfing surgery. We never sent Christmas cards or the nearby La-Z-Boy with a pen and her bought Jessie a new book bag, which she had journal. She had fallen behind with her requested for Christmas. She managed fine for the rest of daily entries in which she captures the highlights of the school year using her tattered old one. each day. As another holiday season approaches, I wouldn’t be Without a prompt, Jessie looked at me and said, disappointed to have a lot of “routine” days before, during, “Thank you.” and after Thanksgiving and Christmas. One thing my “For what?” I asked. family doesn’t need to stress about during Black Friday “For everything!” or the days leading up to Christmas is my gift. Jessie, I smiled and told her to thank her momma, too. unknowingly, gave me the best present this summer. “I will.” In July, Jessie and I took a 12-day trip, with stops in the “You’ve had a pretty good summer, haven’t you?” two cities where we previously lived. Jessie had a blast I asked with a smile. attending her former dance school’s camp during the first “I’ve had a pretty good life,” she responded. week. We also had visits with friends and former neighbors Those six words were the gift I cherished. Wow! I in both cities. On the business side, we had two author hope Jessie wrote that sentence in her journal. She had events at libraries and a four-hour book signing at the mall. recognized her blessings, many more than a book bag Did we set attendance records at the libraries? No. Did we could ever hold. Her grateful heart made the best gift not sell out of books? Plenty left. Did we cherish the moments? only for me, but for her as well. Most definitely, even when Jessie accidentally kicked the Another holiday season is here. Will it be easy to power cord to the projector out of the electrical socket find gifts for loved ones? Probably not. But I’m going during the second library talk, causing a brief delay. to remember that gratitude is a wonderful gift to give Since Jessie wrote the book’s foreword, we do the book ourselves and others. And it’s a gift we can share daily. signings together and she autographs the books, too. Prior to We’ll also be sure to send out Christmas cards, as publication, I wanted to find a “heavy hitter,” someone with reconnecting with family and friends we don’t see as often a big following, to write the foreword. However, Jessie really as we’d like and remembering the happy times we shared wanted the job. One day I came home and my persistent together, is one of the best parts of the holiday season. girl had written the prettiest 150 words for the foreword. I Until next month, remember to cherish the looked no further. moments. n Book signings with my daughter are special, no matter how many books we sell. We spend time talking with each Patrick Hempfing had a 20-year professional career in banking, other. Jessie enjoys collecting the money and giving change. accounting, and auditing before he became a father at age 44. But though we enjoyed the daddy-daughter book tour, that He is now a full-time husband, stay-at-home dad, and writer. wasn’t the gift. Follow Patrick at Patrick’s first On the way home, we stopped at my “writer’s paradise” book, “MoMENts: A Dad Holds On,” compiles favorite on St. Simons Island. Since 2011, I’ve attended the stories and new material and is available on

18 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 | Idaho Family Magazine


Contined from Page 15

Next, take a lot of photos, and pick the best one. There’s no rule that says you have to use the first picture you take. You’re not paying per copy. Experiment. Go wild. Lord knows we all need the practice. Pay attention to your surroundings. Know what else or who else is in the photo. I mean if you care. Sometimes photobombers are awesome, but if they aren’t what you were going for, use the crop function on your camera app. Use natural lighting, indirect if possible. Direct sunlight in your face is not your friend. No one needs to be able to count your pores or know how badly you need to trim your nose hair. Hold the camera almost level, slightly higher than your face. There’s “science” that says looking up at a camera makes you look vulnerable. A lot of folks my age seem to think looking up at the camera is flattering, or maybe they’re just trying to get rid of a chin or two, or enhance their cheekbones. If that’s your aim, try extending your neck toward the camera instead. Really, ladies, nobody wants to feel like they’re flying over you with a camera drone. Oh, and duck lips cause wrinkles. And they’re stupid. Stop it. Relax your face and smile normally. If you can’t manage a level of multitasking that lets you keep a natural expression while you

take a picture, keep practicing. Consider the selfie stick. Whether you’re going for a group shot, or you want to capture yourself with a spectacular background, selfie sticks are awesome, plus you don’t have to worry about the length of your arm (or that of your nose hairs, for that matter). Go for the slightly off-center. Photographers call this the “rule of thirds” principal. If your point of interest (i.e., your face) is to one side and slightly lower than center, it may provide more interest by changing the balance of the content in your photo. And, finally, know thy selfie. Take it, upload it, put it out there on social media all you want. But know that your selfie isn’t necessarily proper for every occasion. Unless you’re Kim Kardashian, your professional profile or family portrait might warrant the assistance of someone who knows what they’re doing. In a studio. With real photography equipment. n Beth Markley is a humor writer and fundraising consultant who lives in Boise with her husband and two sons. She now writes regularly on her new website, (Dispatches from the Crossroads of ‘Been There Done That’ and ‘Oughta Know Better’).

Idaho Family Magazine | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 19

Educational websites

Take the work out of learning By Kimberly Blaker


imiting the time kids spend on the computer in this digital era can be a daunting task. But there are plenty of fun educational sites kids will love that make learning a blast. Wading through mounds of search results is a time-consuming drag. So try these entertaining sites. Animals Abound: At National Geographic for Kids, travel to far-away states and countries to discover all kinds of critters and cool places. In addition to freaky creatures, there are things you can make, as well as photo tips. There’s also lots of other weird stuff. Go to http://kids.nationalgeographic. com/ Space Is a Blast: At NASA’s Star Child there’s plenty to discover. Do fun activities, learn which orbit each planet belongs to, match planets to their descriptions, and even calculate your own weight and age on each planet. Teens can click on a link to NASA’s teen site and explore web pages to solve problems. Go to http://starchild.gsfc.nasa. gov/docs/StarChild/StarChild.html. Pop, Dong, Kerplunk: This site will keep you busy for hours. Brain Pop is a fun site dedicated to health, science, and technology. Thrill at the awesome background sounds, and find experiments, activities, cartoons, quizzes, and animated movies. Go to Basics & Beyond: offers all levels of educational games in every subject. Play Grammar Gorillas; connect the dots by ones, fives, and even backward; or take the Brain Bowl quiz. There are even parent-kid challenges and parent quizzes. Click ‘search for games’, and discover many more awesome activities. Go to Make Me a Genius: Exercise the left side of your brain with this fun science and math site. Starfall is loaded with fun games, quizzes, jokes, and videos. Go to http://www.starfall. com/

Forest Fire Facts: Visit Smokey Bear and get the “Bear Facts,” learn fire safety, and help Smokey in one of the interactive games. Go to Discovery!: At DiscoveryKids watch fascinating videos about alien planets, play a selection of games such as Build Your Own Rollercoaster, and explore interesting topics. Go to Sensational Animal Sounds: Kids Planet by Defenders of the Wild is an animal sound delight. Calls from the wild welcome you while you choose between taking an animal quiz, touring the “Web of Life,” learning how to defend the environment, or playing a game of “Who Am I?” Go to Medicine Madness: At PBS’s A Science Odyssey, take an interactive visit to the doctor, play a game show called “That’s My Theory,” read comic stories about scientists, and learn about the discovery of penicillin. Go to http:// Math, Money, & More: Math has never been so cool as at Do brain benders, jigsaw puzzles, and play the lemonade stand game to improve your math and money skills. Go to Online Adventures: Take a journey to The Greatest Places, and visit the Amazon, Tibet, Greenland, and other fascinating countries. Learn neat facts, watch videos, send postcards, play games, and find great activities to do at home. Go to Presidential Probe: There’s plenty to learn at The American Presidency — even for parents. Do activities and read fun facts about the campaign trail, life in the White House, and assassinations. Then, take a poll, and share your thoughts. Go to http://americanhistory. n Kimberly Blaker is a freelance writer. Her articles have appeared in more than 250 newspapers, parenting and women’s magazines, and other publications throughout the U.S.

20 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 | Idaho Family Magazine


‘Earth: One Amazing Day’ an amazing film By Ranny Levy

Introduction From BBC Earth Films, the studio that brought you Earth, comes the sequel — Earth: One Amazing Day, an astonishing journey revealing the awesome power of the natural world. Over the course of one single day, we track the sun from the highest mountains to the remotest islands to exotic jungles. Breakthroughs in filmmaking technology bring you up close with a cast of unforgettable characters. Told with humour, intimacy and a jaw-dropping sense of cinematic splendor, Earth: One Amazing Day, highlights how every day is filled with more wonders than you can possibly imagine, until now. See the full review below.


Review by Rohan, age 12 Earth: One Amazing Day is an incredible feature length documentary that is a sequel to Earth, an acclaimed movie based on Planet Earth, the famous series of BBC wildlife documentaries shown on networks and in schools worldwide. The film features amazing cinematography, stunning graphics, and the audio quality at the screening I saw was brilliant thanks to the Dolby theater vast speaker system. It had different layers of sound played at the same time, creating a very realistic vibe. Earth: One Amazing Day follows a huge variety of animals and the challenges they must face during a single day. It shows how animals are impacted by the rhythms of the sun and how it provides life to all creatures. It starts off early in the morning, following marine iguanas. It then brings you to midday, where we get an amazing view of a giant panda and

her cub eating bamboo. Next, we get a view of a zebra and her foal attempting to cross a rushing river to get to where the grass will grow next. It continues telling different stories for every animal it shows. My favorite scene is when it shows a group of bears scratching on trees to music. The scene is hilarious and is very well edited so that the bears’ movements appear to go to the music. The documentary is narrated by Academy Award-winner Robert Redford. The pauses he leaves between his words are timed brilliantly creating a dramatic atmosphere for each tale. Earth: One Amazing Day was directed by Richard Dale, Peter Webber and Fan Lixin. This is currently one of the biggest collaborations on a film between China and the United Kingdom. The Chinese version is voiced by Jackie Chan, who is known across the world for his martial arts movies. The music matches the scenes seamlessly. I love how they tell a short story with each animal and how it makes the viewer invested in each and every one of them. They use clips taken over the course of several days and make them appear as one scene. The moral of this film is that there is beauty all around us that can be seen every day. We must only look around us to see it. I feel that this is an important and inspirational message to appreciate our world; this isn’t being said enough. I give Earth: One Amazing Day 5 out of 5 stars for its unbelievable graphics and storytelling. I recommend it to children ages 6 to 18 and think that adults will also really appreciate the beauty of this documentary. n

Idaho Family Magazine | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 21

Crafts on a Dime

Handmade ‘handy’ Christmas ornaments By Samantha Stillman


he holidays for me are all about capturing memories and instilling fun traditions that my children will take with them into adulthood. This basic dough recipe can be used for making ornaments or capturing your children’s handprints. My little guy really enjoyed helping Mommy cut out the ornaments and seeing his hand. It also gave him some independent play time for a little while, as the dough was very similar to playdough. I don’t know the shelf life on this though, so I’m not sure if it will keep for long. The dough will make at least 15 ornaments. Happy memory making!

Samantha Stillman Supplies needed: 4 cups flour 1 cup salt 1½ cups water Bowl Spatula Rolling pin Pan Parchment paper Cookie cutters Paint (optional)

Supplies Needed

Instructions: 1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Mix the flour, salt and water in a bowl using the spatula. Flour a flat surface and knead the dough for 10 minutes. 2. Flour your rolling pin and roll the dough out to your desired thickness. Mine were around 1/4 inch. 3. Use your cookie cutters to cut out the ornament shapes. For hands, trace your child’s hand on paper, cut it out and trace around it on the dough with a butter knife. Using a skewer, I created holes at the top of the ornament for hanging with a ribbon or ornament hook. Pictures 2 and 3 4. Place your parchment paper on a pan and bake your ornaments for 30 minutes. Allow them to cool and paint them if you wish. n Samantha Stillman is a Treasure Valley crafts instructor and freelance writer. She may be reached at

22 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 | Idaho Family Magazine

Safety reminders

for hitting the slopes


inter has great appeal when the ski slopes beckon. But when embracing all that winter has to offer and enjoying our favorite sports, it’s important to put safety first. On the slopes, for example, make sure that ski and snowboard bindings are adjusted for your height and weight. Always check the weather conditions and watch the trails for icy patches and other potential hazards. Here are a few more safety tips:

Dress for the weather Layered clothing works better to keep your muscles warm and your skin dry so you don’t get chilled. You may want to invest in clothing designed specifically for winter outdoor activity, or layer garments made of natural fibers (like cotton, wool and silk).

Know when to rest Rest when you feel tired. Stop your activity immediately if you experience sudden or prolonged pain in any joint or muscle. Cool down by stretching, and change into dry, warm clothes.

Stay hydrated Don’t be fooled by the temperature. Your active body needs plenty of fluids even though it’s cold outside. Be sure to drink lots of water or juice before, during and after winter sports. Follow these tips, and you’ll be well on your way to having a safe and healthy winter. n Source:

Chocolate Pretzel Bars Directions Ingredients 1 1/4 cups Great Value or other quick oats 1/4 cup unsalted butter 1/4 cup creamed honey 1/4 cup packed brown sugar 3/4 cup puffed-rice cereal 3/4 cup chopped Great Value or other pretzel sticks 2 tbsp flax seeds 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preparation time: 10 minutes Total time: 20 minutes Servings: 18 bars

1. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high. Add quick oats, stirring often, until browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Set aside. 2. Stir unsalted butter, creamed honey and packed brown sugar in a large saucepan set over medium-high. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and stir in oats, puffed-rice cereal, chopped pretzels and flax seeds until combined. 3. Scrape into a greased 8” x 8” baking dish. Smooth top, then sprinkle with chocolate chips. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 min. Cut into bars. Let stand at room temperature 5 minutes before serving. Keep well-refrigerated in a re-sealable plastic bag for up to one week. Source:

Idaho Family Magazine | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 23

Idaho Family Magazine Nov-Dec 2017  
Idaho Family Magazine Nov-Dec 2017