Our Top 10 Posts of 2010

I hope everyone has a great New Years Eve today!
Thanks everyone for hanging out with us here at the blog & we hope to share lots more fun in 2011!

For now, here are the 10 posts that received the most traffic on our blog in 2010. If you haven't checked them out, here are the links:

10.Cover a Hairband with Fabric

9.Number Wheel

8.Mixing Colours and Melting Ice Cubes


6.Ruffle Butt Onesie

5.An Organized Toy System

4.How To Make a Diaper Cake

3. Fabric Flowers

2.Homemade Advent Calendar

1. Christmas

This Christmas Ideas Link Up has received 218 links (you can still add yours until the end of the day today). It'll be a great resource next year as we plan for Christmas 2011- thank you all for participating!

Sweet Potato Fries

Today I wanted to share one of our favourite foods. I love sweet potato fries!

Here's what you do:

1. Cut sweet potato into fry shapes (one is often enough- they're big!) You can take the skin off or leave it on.
2. Put the fries in a bowl & add the spices. I add the spices here , and we love 'em!
3. Put the lid on & let the kids shake it up
4. Pour oil onto a cookie sheet & let the kids spread it around
5. Put the fries on the cookie sheet & bake (instructions are at the link for the spices)

Super easy & super delicious! ;)

Winter Foam Castle

Now that Christmas is over, it's a good time to watch for Christmas sales, if you have some space to store things for next year! We got this foam castle kit last year for pretty cheap and it was a really fun project to do and it turned out looking pretty impressive! :)

New Testament Story Videos

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!

I just found out that these New Testament Story Videos are being made and put online.

Can't wait to share them with my girls!

Have A Wonderful Christmas!

A friend of mine shared this video on her blog a few days ago, and I thought it very appropriate to share today as we all head into Christmas. I hope you all have a wonderful time, and don't forget why we're celebrating!

Kids & Christmas

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve! Are you feeling the magic?

Just wanted to share this little clip about kids & Christmas:

Easy Foam Ornaments

We went shopping at Michaels one day & my mother in law bought the girls a foam ornament kit. We put it together earlier this month & the girls loved it. They were very focussed on putting them together and decorating the tree with them.

And now we commonly finding Katrina over by the tree, picking snowflakes off & putting them all over herself ;)

What It's All About

I hope we've managed to teach our girls how important GIVING is- at Christmas & always. Have a very merry Christmas!

(Note the homemade wrapping paper in use ;)
Talia explained that she drew a star after her name because Katrina is so good at sharing her presents ;)

Dipping Pretzels in Caramel & Chocolate

This year we decided to dip pretzels after buying the wrong kind of chocolate for something else. This led to learning how to make homemade caramel. Lots of fun!

I can't offer you any tips for the caramel- that was all Ken. But he pulled if off without a candy thermometer, so if you're gutsy, give it a try! (It wasn't really all that difficult from what I can tell ;) And it was GOOD!

You can also just buy caramel at a store and warm it up.

So, here's what you do:
1. Put the caramel in a mug and put the mug in a pot of water on the stove at a low temperature (enough to get it all melty).
2. Dip the pretzels, let the excess run off into the mug, then lay flat on parchment paper to cool. (Caution: supervise & help your young kids if you have them helping with this part- it gets HOT!)
3. Repeat steps 1 & 2 for the chocolate, with the pretzels that already have caramel on them.
4. You're done! (Well, you can swirl white or coloured chocolate on top, or sprinkle on nuts or crushed candy canes or whatever you like while the chocolate is still soft, if you have time & want to get fancy :)

They're so good!

Christmas Quilt

When I was in Utah this Fall, I went fabric shopping with my sisters in law & my 'other mother'. Let me tell you, they have fabulous fabric in Utah.

I got some fabric to make a couple of camera strap covers (I will do that eventually) and some fabric to make a Christmas quilt. I ended up buying some more fabric here, to make it bigger and for the back of the quilt.

It was my first real quilt experience & I'm so happy with the result! I love the fabrics & I am so happy that I actually got it done in time for Christmas :)

And voila:

It's just big enough to put over the back of our couch at Christmas time, and to cuddle up with to keep warm.

It's exciting to finish a project like this- I'm starting to feel a little bit like a 'real sew-er' ;)

Mini Gingerbread House

When my parents came over on Sunday, they brought with them a mini gingerbread house kit. The girls had a great time putting it together.

You'll learn a couple of things from these photos...

1. Talia cut her cheek under her eye recently. She was shaking a snowglobe that had decorative things on it that were pointy. ouch.

2. Talia & Katrina loved it when the Mrs. Claus-like dress & hat emerged from the Christmas box this year. I think it's a size 2. Talia will still put it on. I guess this day she was going for some sort of Super Christmas Character (note the cape ;)

3. Talia was very focussed on decorating. Katrina was very focussed on eating candy.

Oh, I love those girls :)

Christmas Ornament Countdown

We get a children's magazine in the mail called The Friend. In December's issue, there was a Christmas Ornament Countdown. You can find it on their website if you'd like to print it & make one.

I wanted it to last, so after cutting the tree & ornaments out, I laminated the ornaments & used clear contact paper to do a makeshift laminating of the tree (which was too big for my laminator). We lost the page with the questions, so I typed them out, printed them, and put them on the back of the tree.

Here's what we do each day:
1. One of the girls chooses an ornament
2. Talia gets practise reading the book name, chapter, and verse
3. I tell her the question, look up & read the scripture.
4. Talia tells me the answer
5. One of the girls gets to stick the ornament on the tree with a piece of rolled tape.

I wish our advent calendar's cups were just a little bigger so that I could have put the ornaments in each of the cups!

Napkin Folding for Napkin Rings

On Sunday we had my parents & Grandma over for dinner and Ken decided to make a turkey dinner. We got out the Christmas dishes and fancy napkins & I finally had a reason to use my christmas napkin rings.

I wanted to make the napkins look nice, so I found this little video tutorial about folding napkins all fancy-like. There are so many other options, of course, but this is what I went with. She has a ton of video tutorials for table setting and other etiquette- check her out for fun ideas as you're preparing for Christmas dinner! :)

Advent Calendar 2010

Here's this year's advent calendar:

We spent a day making snowflakes near the beginning of December and then we got out the plastic shot glasses to assemble this year's advent calendar (very much like last year's since it was such a hit!)

The girls loved making snowflakes and putting them up on the tree (where they would stay until we were ready to make the calendar). They were both very interested in the plastic shot glasses this year- they were a lot more focussed on that than the advent calendar, but they did help me to assemble it & we finally have it completed & going (better late than never, right? And who doesn't like opening a couple of days at a time, to catch up?! ;)

Blog Title (a little housekeeping)

I changed the banner at the top of my blog.

It now says "Raising Memories" which is really the most appropriate name for this blog- it's what I think of it as being called, but when people link to posts here they seem to always call it something different- it didn't help that the title at the top of my blog didn't say Raising Memories. But I bought www.RaisingMemories.com for a reason, so I'm going to keep the title at the top of this blog as Raising Memories, because that's what this blog is mostly focussed on these days.

Snack Time Fun

The girls have been getting sick of the same old snacks lately, so I'm trying to mix things up a little to get them to eat what we have...

Where's the Line to See Jesus?

My sister in law shared this with me and I thought it was definitely worth sharing. These days, Ken & I are focussed on making sure that our girls know the real reason for the season.

While it seems that most things around us are more focussed on Santa, we feel it most important to focus on Jesus. It's a tough balance sometimes.

A Pinkalicious Afternoon

Talia recently brought Pinkalicious home from her school library.

It's a cute story about a little girl whose mother makes her some very pink cupcakes. The little girl eats too many of them and turns pink! After my mom heard about this story, she told me I needed to make pinkalicious cupcakes with the girls. So, it's been in the back of my mind for a while.

A few days ago, we had my friend's daughter over for an afternoon and I decided it was the perfect opportunity to make pinkalicious cupcakes. We totally did this the easy way- white cake mix, ready-made white frosting, and pink food colouring.

Here's what we did:

1. Dress girls up in aprons
2. Let girls put pink cupcake papers in pan

3. Let each girl add one ingredient to bowl (that's all you need with a mix!)
4. Send girls off to occupy themselves in the playroom while you mix & pour the batter

(these 3 girls were in the living room playing with the cookie set, pretending they were pinkalicious cookies that were turning them pink ;)
5. Let them watch the cupcakes bake

6. Send them off to play for 10 to 15 minutes while you let the cupcakes cool, then either let them help frost them or do it yourself & call them over for a treat!

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Monday Moments #20 - Chalk Drawings

It's been a while since I've done a Monday Moments Post. I'm loving Talia's drawings of people lately- they usually have some pretty fancy earrings ;)

Birthday Fun

Ken came home the night before Katrina's 2nd birthday with supplies & an idea. Here's what we did that night, to surprise the girls in the morning. It was so fun! :)

Corner Bookmark

Talia loves to be read to. We have a lot of books, and some of them are a little long for a story before bed. So, we use a bookmark, but until recently, that has just meant a random piece of paper (or ribbon, or hair elastic, or toy... Talia will get pretty creative with this ;)

I went looking for a fun, but easy bookmark that we could make together. I found a fun fabric bookmark idea, but have yet to try it (I'm new to sewing, and already I have a list of projects that I'm behind on!) So, today I'm sharing one you can do with your child that's really easy, and fun. I found the idea here (check it out for instructions). I remember making something similar (and even easier) when I was younger- just get an envelope, cut a corner off, and decorate ;)

We tried the origami version (also pretty easy) and used:

- construction paper
- pencil crayons

(Easy, eh?)

Talia was finding alternate uses for her bookmarks right away-
here it is as a doll hat ;)

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Rag Curlers

All you need is an old sheet or some other fabric to get your hair to go from this to this:

It is so fun!

Here's what we did:
- cut strips of fabric
- spray hair with water to make it damp but not soaking
- wrap with rag, tie in a knot
- go to bed
- wake up, take rags out
- Voila!
(Now it's up to you to figure out how to style it! :)

[If you want more detailed instructions, you can find videos on youtube that show you step by step how best to roll your hair!]

Printable Nativity

Last year I shared the nativity that I laminated from a magazine which unfortunately couldn't be found online. Since then, I have found a cute, free, printable nativity to share with you, though!

At www.makingfriends.com you can find a free printable here.

You could do the same thing that we did last year, and make puppets on popsicle sticks, or whatever you like!

These Christmas printables were linked to on my Christmas Sharing Time Linky- they're by Musings of Me.

Indoor Tent

A while ago, we had a family night where we discussed emergency preparedness. We got out our 72 Hour kit and talked about the contents.

...and to make it a little more fun, we built a tent in the living room and did the whole thing inside! :)

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Chocolate Marshmallow Pancakes!

What happens when Daddy makes breakfast on his day off?

The kids get chocolate pancakes with rainbow marshmallows in them, that's what!! ;)

They loved it. Not so healthy, but they loved it ;)

[If you're interested in recreating this, I think he just added chocolate syrup (like the kind you use to make chocolate milk) and mixed the marshmallows in with the pancake mix].

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Countdown Chain

When Talia was getting ready to start school, we made a countdown chain for her (like this one we made to decorate the Christmas tree with last year). She got to help with cutting and gluing, and I wrote the date on each link so that I could keep track if we forgot to take one off one day. ;)

We have since done these for a couple of things- you could do it for any occasion!

Differentiating Between b & d

Talia is learning to read a little bit. She is also learning to write letters and is starting to put them together on her own to make words. It's so fun to watch her figuring it all out!

I've noticed that she has been having a hard time differentiating between lowercase b and d. I googled to see if I could find ideas on teaching it & the idea I chose was the Bed Poster approach.

I found this link with ideas and printable pages to use.

We had a b & d day, and I started by showing her the bed picture, asking her what it was, and then getting her to make the b & d with her hands. I found that it was difficult for her to make the letters with her fingers, so we tried something I found on another website- you make two fists & stick your thumbs up. That was easier for her.

Next, she practised making the lowercase b and then the d.
From there, she was so into it that she wanted to make the capital letters & then started doing the whole alphabet on her own- it was cool to see how much she has learned!

She had a few letters that she wasn't sure to do, but after today, she knows Q, V, & W.
(You can see the additions made in colour from Katrina ;)

It was a great day of learning!

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Welcome Home!

A few months ago, my brother returned home from serving a 2 year mission for our church. We were so excited to see him again! So, I rolled out the paper & the girls got busy painting & gluing to give him a proper welcome home ;)

My sister & I also got in on the fun. She came over one day & we designed a clever little Tshirt to wear and a sign to hold up at the airport. He was getting in around midnight at an airport a couple of hours away, so he wasn't expecting a welcoming crew. Amber & I & our grandma made it though, and it was so fun to surprise him! Here we are, waiting for his arrival:

First Snow

A few days ago, we had our first snow!

The girls were pretty excited. I love to watch the magic through their eyes!

That day my parents visited and my dad helped the girls make a small snowman (about Katrina's height) in the backyard. That poor snowman "fell asleep" (tipped over) a day later, and is now a sleepy, melty pile in our backyard ;)

Feature at ABC & 123

Hey everyone, I'm being featured today, over at ABC & 123, one of my favourite blogs to get fun ideas from! Go on over to check the post out if you'd like, and while you're there, have a look around! They've got some great ideas there from all kinds of fun blogs!

If you're visiting my blog from ABC & 123, don't miss some of the fun things going on here:

Yesterday's Giveaway Post.

The Christmas Sharing Time which is a great way to find and share great ideas- check it out & add your own great ideas!

Applied Labels (Review & Giveaway)

Now that I have a daughter who goes to school, I've had reason to be concerned about losing things. I was truly excited when I learned about Applied Labels. I'm so impressed with their product & the way that their labels are so versatile!

You can get a special clear label to go over top of the label you put in a shoe (as a sweat protection) and blank labels to use as a backing for clothing labels (as shown in the photo above). The regular labels can be used for anything you want to label, with the help of these accessories. I've been putting them through the dishwasher ever since I received them & they still look & stick as great as they did the first day. You can choose your font & icon.

Aside from their website, you can find Applied Labels on Twitter and Facebook .

Now the exciting part: Applied Labels is going to give one of you a set of labels for free!

How to Enter:

Leave a comment for each entry!!

Mandatory Entry:

Visit www.AppliedLabels.com, learn something about the product, and come back here to leave me a comment, telling me what you learned!

Extra Entries: (these are here to give regular readers an extra chance at winning- you don't have to be a follower if you don't want to be!)

Leave an extra comment if you're a Follower of my blog (scroll to the bottom of the blog to find the widget & click on the Follow Button); or subscribe to my RSS Feed

Leave a comment, telling me why you want to win!

Leave another comment if you "Like" Raising Memories on Facebook (this will give you updates about giveaways as well as specials with Heritage Makers)

Leave an extra comment if you Follow Raising Memories on Twitter (this will let you know when I've posted a new blog entry- that's all I use it for)

Post about the giveaway on twitter, your blog, or facebook, with a link back to the blog. (You can get 2 entries for this one, so post two comments to let me know you did it! :)

Giveaway Details: This giveaway closes on Friday, November 12th. The contest is open to the U.S. and Canada. A winner will be chosen randomly from all of the comments. Winner will be contacted by email (please include your email in your comment if I can't find it through your profile). If you do not respond within 48 hours after I email you, a new winner will be chosen. The winner will be announced on the blog on Monday, November 15th. This was not a paid post- thank you to Applied Labels who supplied the product for review.

Name Cards

Talia & I made name cards for our family & extended family's Thanksgiving Dinner this year. It was a great opportunity for her to practise printing. She mostly helped with the name writing, but when that was finished, she was ready for a change, so she glued the name parts onto the background. It was fun to see the table all set with her cute printing at each place :)

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