50 Gift Ideas: Tips & Tricks

Before we start posting this year’s gift ideas I wanted to share a great tip I found today on how to get the gunk off your jars without stinky chemical. If you are using canning jars this isn’t a jar gift logosproblem but if you are recycling jars (which is a great idea) than it can be a major pain to get the paper and glue off the jars. But Creek Line House has a great step by step on getting the gunk of just using baking soda and oil. Here is the tutorial.


Candy Window Update: Wreath

wreath for over the door of Snoopy’s doghouse

I couldn’t bring myself to brave the cold garage and work on Snoopy today so I decided to do the wreath that goes over the door of Snoopy’s doghouse. Small parts like this are kind of fun because I can get them done in a day. Yeah for feeling like I got something done. This was also fun because it is the first piece of the window with lights in it. I love lights glowing through candy. To me it has such a Christmasy feeling.

wreath with lights on

I finally got some photos of the doghouse added to the post from a couple of weeks ago.


Memoir App

Memoir App for iPhone

Have you seen the Memoir App for iPhone – Instant Memories? It looks super interesting. We are an android household so I can’t wait until they make it for android. I wonder just how it will affect they way we record our lives and tell our stories. So far I haven’t found a family history type review of the app but you can find more info here:

If you have any experience with this app, know some who does or find a family stories oriented review I’d love to hear about it. Have you found other apps that help you to share your family stories?

Pupdate: Yakira at our house

Dune, Emma and Yakira by Karen Fuller

I know dog posts are supposed to be on Fridays but you will have to indulge me this week. We got Yakira here safe and sound late last night. I guess it was actually early this morning. It has been so much fun to have the three girls (Yakira, Dune and Emma) here today. They have been great together. Emma is especially smitten. Dune no so much but they are getting along great. Sometimes Dune is a bit jealous and sometime Yakira wants to exert her own brand of dominance.

Yakira got to see three of her favorite people. My friend from college, Lisa and a fellow puppy raiser, Karen stopped by. Yakira also visited our neighbor Virginia. All our pups have had a special place in their hearts for Virginia but Yakira even more so.

Karen who is between dogs took Dune home with her for a puppy visit for the next few days. I miss Dune already and boy the house is quiet without her, even though we still have two dogs here. I didn’t realize how much energy Dune brings to our household. She is kind of like Banta in that.

We will be up very early in the morning to get Yakira to the airport and checked in at least two hours before her flight. It has been a treat to have her here. I can’t wait for her to get to Florida and start her new life there. She has a bright future ahead.

Pupdate: Yakira, Dune & Emma

Yakira’s first Halloween

The biggest thing this week on the puppy front is having the plans in place to get Yakira to her new home in Florida. Her journey starts tomorrow when a generous puppy raiser will pick Yakira up from Guide Dogs for the Blind.

Sunday morning they will drive her to Ontario, Oregon where we will meet them. It will be a super exciting moment to see Yakira again. We will head home as soon as we can get back on the road. Dune and Emma are joining us on the trip so it will be fun to have these three girls all together in the car.

Monday, we get to spend the whole day with Yakira just hanging out at home, having fun and taking lots of pictures. I’m sure a few of Yakira’s friends will stop by to see her too.

Tuesday morning we take Yakira to the airport for the last leg of her journey to Florida. She will arrive late afternoon to a very excited and loving new owner and an amazing extended family. I can’t wait to hear about her new like and see photos of Yakira and Apex together.

This week Dune had her first official eval. It went pretty well. She had some trouble with not wanting to lay down for our CFR (Community Field Representative) and her toe nails need trimming.

Emma is a fast growing, happy little puppy. She got all her shots last Friday and so now has lots more option socializing. Emma is a wonderful combination of calmness and confidence.


50 Gift Ideas: 2013 Edition

jar gift logosI had so much fun last year coming up with 50 gift ideas that help in telling your family’s tales that I decided to do it again this year. At least I’m going to try. Last year was inspired by my 50 for 50 challenge for the year. So since this year I’ve done my Joy Jar I decided that all 50 gift ideas would have something to do with jars. I have a few ideas and I’ve started a board on Pintrest to gather more ideas. The challenge will be getting all 50 ideas put together by Christmas. It isn’t going to be easy but I really want to take on this challenge.

Do you have any favorite jar gift ideas that you want to share?

Family History Games for Kids

image from Stacey of The Thrifty Chick blog

I found this great post today via FamilySearch on Geni about fun DIY games to teach kids about their family history. I love these ideas!

Pop on over to Amanda’s post and get all the details. We had a genealogy game growing up. Not sure I can remember the name of it. I bet my mom still has it. You had to build a family pedigree from clues on the cards. I played that game over and over. I’ll have to check on it. I just can’t come up with the name of it now.

Do you created any family history type games that your family enjoys playing?

Candy Window Update: Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi Board from Wikimedia Commons

Today I thought I’d update on what Bill is doing for the window this year. The core piece is a Raspberry Pi board like in the photo above. What does a computer board have to do with a candy window display for Christmas? I’ll try to explain. There are three sets of Christmas lights in the design: one on the Christmas tree, one on the wreath over the doghouse door and two strings of the large lights that drape over the roof of the doghouse. The plan is to use the Raspberry Pi board along with some other hardware to control how the lights go on and off. We are keeping it pretty simple this year to test things out but hope to do more complicated things with lights in future years.

We are playing around with having the lights synced to music from “A Charlie Brown Christmas“. This is new territory for us but I’m excited at the possibilities. In the worst case scenario we can have the board turn the lights on in the evening and off at midnight or so. Hopefully we will get succeed in doing lots more than that.

As far as candy gluing goes I’m now behind the schedule I made for my self for getting my this years candy window done. Yakira’s career change has distracted me. The plans for getting her to Florida are mostly in place so I’ve got to get back on track.


2014 Family History Writing Challenge

The Armchair Genealogist is planning her Family History Writing Challenge for 2014. At this point she is asking what our biggest writing challenges are, other than time. You can comment on her blog or on Facebook. In 2012 Lynn did 29 day writing challenge from February 1 – 29th. And it looks like she repeated the challenge in 2013. Now she is going to change-up the challenge a bit and while I don’t know what will be, I’m committing now to participate in The Family History Writing Challenge in 2014. I’ll let you know when she posts more information about the challenge but it would be awesome if everyone would seriously consider taking on this challenge.

Joy Jar

P1040284It is amazing how one little change in my life can thow me off kilter. It didn’t even wait until Emma arrived, just news of her arrival. Well she is 16 weeks old and six weeks have gone by since her arrival, so I’m trying to repent and get back on my goal of weekly Joy Jar postings. I haven’t just missed my weekly postings, I’ve been missing my nightly writing too. It isn’t that my life hasn’t had joy, I’ve just been procrastinating, I guess. But I don’t want to give up on my goal to fill my jar with joy each week through the year, so I’ve got to jump back in and fill in the best I can. So here is seven weeks of joy as best I can remember.

  • going to the state fair
  • a new leather belt
  • seeing a King Fisher
  • photos of Zodiac
  • new printer
  • blue skies
  • my continuous ink supply system
  • story prompts
  • printing on chipboard
  • super price for my printer
  • finishing walking the Jordan River Parkway Trail
  • starting up “Nature Club”
  • getting an “E” pup
  • cute Emma
  • photos of Banta
  • smart Emma
  • Book Club
  • planning with Karen
  • family time
  • sleeping through the night
  • autumn
  • no accidents
  • chatting with K & R
  • going to Tarzan
  • singing
  • sharing Emma
  • General Conference
  • Snoopy’s doghouse done
  • Bill’s help with the candy window
  • Sunday afternoon naps
  • getting a photo of Zulu (Zodiac’s sister)
  • my old printer lasting until I got the new printer
  • Dune off house arrest
  • Dune on a better relieving schedule
  • finding a great place for Yakira
  • no nighttime potty runs
  • good poop from Emma
  • warm autumn days
  • walks with Dune and Emma
  • Dune and Emma playing together
  • snuggling with puppies