Monday, December 31, 2012

Monday Moments (Sharing Candy)

[Confetti gun from her stocking]

Overheard one morning:

Ken: "Katrina, stop eating everyone's candy!"

Katrina: "It's just mine!"

Ken: "No it's not- you already ate yours."

Katrina: "No, I ate Tal's."

Sunday, December 30, 2012

December 2012 Sharing Time

Welcome to December's Sharing Time!
I can't wait to see all of the great holiday ideas you'll be linking to!
(Feel free to add ideas from past years too- I look forward to seeing your favourites :)

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Gingerbread & Other Holiday Cooking ( #LMDConnector )

This Christmas season I have continued to struggle with pain in my hands, so although I have had the desire to do lots of Christmas baking, I haven't been able to follow through with all of it! I did make a couple of batches of cookies, and I was able to get together with my sister in law and (well, mostly watch her) make cookies. But there is still half a batch of red cookie dough and half a batch of green cookie dough in our fridge, waiting for someone to turn them into candy cane cookies. I haven't had strong enough hands to even think about getting that cold, hard dough out of the fridge to work with it!

I am so thankful to have friends and family around that I can get together with to enjoy some of the traditional fun things that I can't quite pull off on my own all of the time! This year, while Talia was in school, my sister in law and I drove out to a friend's house with our two little ones, to make gingerbread houses & decorate gingerbread cookies.

It was lovely to see Katrina experiencing this, and to have someone there to squeeze out the icing when I couldn't keep going!

What are some of your traditional holiday baking recipes?
Do you have anything you like to bake for New Years?

I found a bunch of quick & easy recipes for gingerbread on www.lifemadedelicous.com, and a bunch of Christmas themed recipes that I will have to pin for next year!

Disclosure: I am part of the Life Made Delicious Blogger program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Merry Christmas!

[the front of our Christmas card this year- thank you Shutterfly!]

Hope you all had a lovely Christmas!
We're enjoying a couple of days off this week, while trying to get everyone healthy again.

[Chritmas Eve at Grandma's House]

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Have a Wonderful Christmas!

Hope you're having a wonderful Christmas with family!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Sharing Time December 2012

Welcome to December's Sharing Time!
I can't wait to see all of the great holiday ideas you'll be linking to!
(Feel free to add ideas from past years too- I look forward to seeing your favourites :)

Want to browse all of Raising Memories' Christmas related posts? <--click on that!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Holiday Treats, and Food Prep. Tips for #HealthyFamilies

One of my favourite holiday treats to make are holly wreaths!
They make me think of Christmas as a child :)
They make me think of my Mom :)

Are you busy making holiday treats & meals right now?

You can find a tutorial on how to make them here.

As a Lysol Healthy Families Ambassador, I was recently able to review some tips from the Hygiene Council, about food preparation and clean up.

Here are some Food Preparation Tips that stood out to me:

o Foot-operated bins are more hygienic because they reduce the risk of hands picking up germs touching the bin lid.
(Feeling glad that I replaced our garbage can that had a faulty pedal ;)

o Your kitchen sink contains 100,000 times more germs than a bathroom or lavatory.
(Eek! That makes me want to clean the sink more often, for sure!)

o 9 of 10 kitchen cloths have unsatisfactory or worse levels of bacteria.
(I hate gross kitchen cloths! I'm forever washing mine, and figure better safe than sorry, and better to wash them excessively than not enough!)

Let's all have a happy, delicious, and healthy holiday! :)

Disclosure: I am part of the Lysol® Healthy Families Ambassador Program by Mom Central. I received compensation as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Leisha & Dan (Wedding)

Leisha & Dan
December 15, 2012

I was so happy when Leisha asked me to photograph her wedding to Dan. I've known both of them for a while. They both had parts in a production of Joseph & the Technicolour Dreamcoat that Ken & I helped direct when we were first married. They both come from beautiful, loving families that I am happy to know. It may have been a freezing cold day, but hearts were warm as family and friends came together to celebrate their special day!

The groom's father and all of his siblings, all together.

The bride's grandparents (I love this photo- two very adorable couples!)

They were each (somewhat literally) supported by great friends and family in their wedding party!

When they came out of the temple together, officially husband and wife, they kissed. I love this cute sequence:

Leisha had a beautiful, long veil!

...and a gorgeous cape!

Congratulations, Leisha & Dan, you're a beautiful couple, inside and out! You have many friends and family who love and support you and your future family- hope you're having a fabulous time in Europe, celebrating with more family!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


I've been a little absent lately on the blog. In a couple of earlier posts I mentioned my hands briefly. I've been having a lot of pain in my joints- particularly my finger & thumb joints. I went through this for a few months, 3 years ago. After numerous tests, and specialist appointments, doctors were unable to come up with a diagnosis for whatever is wrong. I had been doing quite well for a full year, and mostly well for quite a while before that.

Near the end of October of this year, pain started to return, and slowly all of the old symptoms came back. I've had days where I can barely stand to do things as simple as holding my spoon while I eat cereal. So, it's back to tests and more tests, to see if we can find out what's wrong.

I had committed to photograph a wedding this month, so I have been thinking a lot about that as time moved closer to it- always hoping that my hands would be well enough on that day, to do that job! I had a photographer friend ready to step in for me if needed (Thank you so much, V!), but I really wanted to be able to do it! Thankfully, I was able to do the wedding on Saturday, and now I'm feeling it. I'm back to sore days, and taking things easy.

I have posts that are waiting to be typed, stories waiting to be told. I will be back here more often when my hands are feeling better, and I'm feeling more inclined to type & click! I'll share a few photos from the wedding soon, and I have a couple of Christmasy things I'd like to share as well, so stay tuned- and thanks for sticking around, despite the quiet around here!

In the meantime, there are lots of fun Christmas ideas in the Christmas archives,
so if you're looking for inspiration, check that out! :)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

December 2012 Sharing Time

Welcome to December's Sharing Time!
I can't wait to see all of the great holiday ideas you'll be linking to!
(Feel free to add ideas from past years too- I look forward to seeing your favourites :)

Don't miss this giveaway- there'll be 3 winners!

Want to browse all of Raising Memories' Christmas related posts? <--click on that!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Once Upon A Christmas Book, DVD, & CD (Review & Giveaway)

Did any of you watch Doctor Quinn, Medicine Woman? I totally did!
That's how I got to know Jane Seymour :) Well, last year, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir had a Christmas concert featuring Jane Seymour and singer Nathan Gunn. Check this out:

So, as mentioned in the video clip above, you can get a copy of this performance called "Once Upon A Christmas" in the form of a DVD, Blu-ray, CD, MP3 download, or the beautiful hardcover children's book (with disc).

The illustrations in the book are beautiful! It's great as a stand alone, but my girls got so excited when we watched the DVD together after reading the book- they ran to get the book, to show the illustrations as they came up throughout the performance!

It was fun to have a copy of both versions because the girls were able to learn about the story in more than one way which I think has really helped it to "stick" with them.

I loved the DVD because of the dancing throughout the performance and being able to see the faces of the performers :) This really is a beautiful performance, and I think it would be a beautiful item to have around year after year, as part of your Christmas celebrations.

Guess what! 3 of you will get a chance to win this giveaway- one of you will win the book, one of you will win the DVD, and one of you will win the CD! Just enter with the form below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Joy To Share ( #KINDERMom )

Oh, I love Christmas time! I love the excitement, the feeling, and most of all the joy that comes from an increased focus on serving others.

I want to include my girls in this as much as possible! I really want the focus to shift away from receiving, and back to Jesus' birth and why remembering that encourages us to serve others. I want them to have first hand experience of how good it feels to give to others.

This year we spent a family night with Ken's brother's family, carolling and delivering homemade cookies to some unsuspecting members of our church congregation at their homes. This was a good opportunity for our girls to experience the joy that comes from giving to and thinking of others. One of my favourite "service projects" that we have done was this one. Within our family, we take the girls out individually with some of their allowance money that they've been saving, and they pick out gifts for each other. It's so fun to let them loose in a dollar store & let them choose things!

While I'm on the subject of giving, I want to tell you about some things Kinder has going on!

First of all, they're giving away 7,500 (!) Kinder® Mini Eggs! You can be a part of this at Kinder Canada's Facebook Page. Hurry, tomorrow is the last day!

More importantly though, Kinder®’s "A Joy To Share" program supports the Children's Miracle Network, helping to save and improve the lives of children by raising funds for children's hospitals since 1983.
Visit Kinder Canada's Facebook page to see how many families this program has helped. Every time we share the video stories of the families Kinder will donate $1 up to $5000 to the Children's Miracle Network!

Disclosure: I’m part of the Kinder® Mom program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

10 FUN Non-Toy Gift Ideas

Is this how you feel when you look at your child's toy collection???

I'm posting about 10 FUN Non-Toy Gift Ideas over at HowDoesShe today.

P.S. Our playroom was totally clean when I decided to take this picture. Ken & I messed it up while the girls were sleeping, got the photo, and then cleaned it up again! We are CRAZY!!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Monday Moments: Sisters/Forever

The girls got into a bit of a fight before bed the other day.
I came upstairs and we had this conversation:

Me: Katrina, how many sisters do you have?

Trina: one

Me: Talia, how many sisters do you have?

Talia: one

Me: So, you need to be friends, and you need to have fun together, and you need to be nice to each other!

(and maybe going a little too far for a 3 & 6 year old)...
One day you'll grow up & get married & you won't live in the same house anymore & you'll miss each other! Make sure you have fun now, while you're together!

*Katrina breaks down into tears.*

Trina: But... but I want to live with you forever!!

(and that's when I told her she could.)

Friday, November 30, 2012

December 2012 Sharing Time

Welcome to December's Sharing Time!
I can't wait to see all of the great holiday ideas you'll be linking to!
(Feel free to add ideas from past years too- I look forward to seeing your favourites :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

13th Day of Christmas & Jason Wright visits Raising Memories!

I was recently sent a copy of Jason Wright's newest book, The 13th Day of Christmas, published by Shadow Mountain.

Oh, it's one of those books that just tugs at your heart strings! If you're anything like me, you will cry!
But you will be reminded of what is most important in life, that hopefully we are all reminded of even more at Christmas time. This would make a great Christmas gift, and a great book to have around, to read every year.

Today I'm excited to have Jason visit us at Raising Memories!
I was able to ask him a couple of questions about the traditions in this book and some of his other books, and about his work travelling to visit and speak at schools. He's here via video, to answer them :) This was such a fun way to do this, and I'd love to do it again with other visitors!

I hope you'll take a minute to listen to Jason Wright:

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Healthy Habits to Prevent Sickness #HealthyFamilies

We have had some sickness going around at our house. You know how it is- someone comes home sick, and that just means the sickness is likely to find its way around the family and if you're lucky it won't get back to the one who started it- just after you think they're in the clear!

So, what are some habits that you've tried to teach your kids, to help them when they're out of the house (or in the house), to minimize the spread of the colds and viruses that are going around?

Here are a few we try for:

1. Cough/sneeze into your elbow! This is one that I'm always impressed that my kids remember to do because for the longest time I didn't realize that was better than your hand/fist (bad, I know! ;) so I still struggle with making that a habit for me!

2. WASH HANDS. Oh, how we remind our kids of this one. Over. and over. and over. We remind them about this many times a day. It'll get through to them someday soon, right? ;)

3. Take vitamins/echinacea (to help fight off those germs before they take over!)

4. Clean surfaces that might be touched often. (this one is more for at home) I like using those Lysol wipes, and my kids like it when they get to help wipe things down with them, too!

5. Lots of Rest! If it's too late, and the germs are in, try to take some down time! Katrina & I have spent some time laying on my bed watching videos and reading books in the last couple of weeks when she's been sick & I've been struggling with my sore hands. It's been great for both of us!

Disclosure: I am part of the Lysol® Healthy Families Ambassador Program by Mom Central. I received compensation as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.


We're celebrating our 9th anniversary this month!

Sometimes it's crazy to think it's been that long- mostly because that implies that we're older than we feel we should be ;) But when I think back, sometimes it's hard to imagine what it was like to be single. These have been 9 very good years :)

Monday, November 26, 2012

First Snow

from the weekend.

I’m slowly aware of a 3-year-old making her way across our bedroom, to my side of the bed. Before she gets to my face and before my eyes open, Daddy reminds her not to wake us on a Saturday morning and she scurries out of the room. Before I can drift back into sleep, I gather that there is an accident on the carpet and a girl waiting in the tub. Miss 6-years-old calls upstairs & asks if I have read the note in the hallway outside of our room.

When I pull myself out of bed I find the note on the hall closet, “Befor opin ples look ewt side naw.” (Before open please look outside now)… the letter o’s in the word look are eyeballs with eyelashes. She’s excited because of the first snow last night and this morning we find the snow has actually stayed on the ground.

I get to work filling the tub, and the 6-year-old gets herself ready for the snow. Rain boots because we need to shop for snow boots later today. She hurries outside. I finish the 3-year-old’s bath, help her dry, help her dress. We watch Talia from the bedroom window. Then we dress Katrina in big sister’s too-small snow suit. Blow that dripping nose and send her out to the snow.

They are wild, running, making snow angels, packing snowballs, agreeing to have a snowball fight if they only throw them at each other’s backs. 6-year-old makes a pile of snow and they both run and jump. 3-year-old makes “a pillow” out of snow. I take a few photos through the window downstairs then I go up and warm up in bed with Hubby who is tired because his back pain kept him awake in the night.

Soon I return to the girls’ room to watch and listen from their bed, by the window. 6-year-old is throwing snow in the air and the wind carries it up, over the fence, into the neighbouring yards. Some falls back into our yard and it’s a homemade snow globe. I watch her repeat over and over and I think about how it’s magical. And I’m happy in this moment. And I can’t just sit here anymore without grabbing the laptop and typing this down.

I knock on the window to get 3-year-old’s attention and motion to her, not to eat the snow. Soon 6-year-old holds the snow up to her mouth with eyes locked on mine. I make a face. She pulls her hands away fast with a mischievous grin and yells through the glass, “I tricked you! I didn’t really do it!” And she does it a couple more times, each time making a silly face.

6-year-old has cold feet from the rain boots and no more clean socks. I send her to find my warmest pair. And 3-year-old is downstairs needing help getting her snowsuit off. Daddy is just out of the shower, dressed and ready, and goes down to help. 6-year-old comes to show me the socks she chose. She deems my pink socks the warmest, and her favourites. It’s time for warm oatmeal now.

In the background of all of this my fingers and wrists are hurting. But I’ve decided that the more I pay attention to the gifts, the more I’ll be able to focus beyond the pain. But that’s enough typing for now.

Friday, November 23, 2012

November 2012 Sharing Time

Welcome to November's Sharing Time! I can't wait to see what you link up! :)

Here's what's been going on at Raising Memories this week:


The Giveaway for a $25 Gift Code to The Vintage Pearl is still open!

There's an Ad Space Giveaway going on right now. Go enter for your chance to get an ad on my sidebar! :)

A recipe & a NEW GIVEAWAY for the new Our Best Bites Recipe Book - Savoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites

I also posted about a Book I started reading, and shared a video about it.

Now, let's get to the link party!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Giving Thanks

It has been difficult to blog lately.
I'll be back soon I think.
In the meantime, what a coincidence, and how appropriate for American Thanksgiving.
Yesterday I began reading a book called one thousand gifts by Ann Voskamp.
(the video I shared in my last post is from her)

And today I found a post about the very idea and the book over at Chocolate on my Cranium.

Since I don't have much to say today, I thought I'd point you in her direction :)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Focus on the Good

I've had some things on my mind lately that have made me sad. There have been challenging times when I have let go of focusing on the positive, and started to focus on my worries.

A friend of mine shared this video with me.
This is good timing for me.
To be reminded to focus on the many, many gifts in my life.

I wanted to pass it on:

Saturday, November 17, 2012

November 2012 Sharing Time

Welcome to November's Sharing Time! I can't wait to see what you link up! :)

Here's what's been going on at Raising Memories this week:


The Giveaway for a $25 Gift Code to The Vintage Pearl is still open!

There's an Ad Space Giveaway going on right now. Go enter for your chance to get an ad on my sidebar! :)

A recipe & a NEW GIVEAWAY for the new Our Best Bites Recipe Book - Savoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites

I also posted a Ribbon Balloon Tutorial

Now, let's get to the link party!

The Mom Connection- On Being Thankful

I am teaming up this week with  Two in Diapers and Naptime Review for The Mom Connection!

Check out this week's fabulous panel of moms!

We are always wondering how other moms handle certain issues or dilemmas,
so each week we are going to tackle the questions of motherhood.

December 1st we will discuss:

How do you prepare for the holiday season with your children?

If you have some thoughts or advice on next week's topic please email
We would love for you to be part of The Mom Connection!

Now on to this week's topic!
How do you teach your children to be thankful?

Here is what a few of us had to say:

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Welcome! I'm Julie over at Naptime Review. I am a mom of 2 wild, crazy and beautiful girls. My oldest is almost 4 and my baby is 1. This is how teach my children to be thankful:

This is something I try to model and show my girls daily. I think it is very important to be thankful to other's and especially God.  I model this through prayer, thank you notes, phone calls and other acts of kindness.

This Thanksgiving, I created a "Thankful Cornucopia."  We all sat around the table and wrote things we were thankful for and stuffed them into the centerpiece. It was a simple family activity that modeled thankfulness. Click here if you'd like to see our beautiful centerpiece.

Hopefully by modeling thankfulness and constantly thanking God for all the blessings he has given us, they too will be thankful. The baby already says, "thank you," and it warms my heart.

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Hi! I'm Cassie
from Two In Diapers, and I'm a mommy to three sweet babies, ages 4, 3, and 18 months. This is how I teach my children to be thankful:

Thankfulness is so very important to me! I feel that it's necessary to teach right from the very beginning of life! Starting in my littles' babyhood, whenever anyone gives them something or compliments them, we tell them, "say thank-you" in a sing-song voice, even knowing that they are far too young to actually say those words. Before we know it, however, they are mimicking that exact same sing-song voice, "tee-koo" in just the right situations, which lets me know that they understand. While thanksgiving in life is so much larger than just the proper manners, I think it's important to  teach from the start that they have been blessed by someone else in some form and should be thankful for it.

Now that my babes are getting older, teaching them to be thankful has become a priority of mine. As with many things in parenting, I try to teach through modeling. Little Bentley {age 3} has been asking me constantly lately why I said
"thank-you" to someone. I've been taking that opportunity to explain to
him that it's because that person bagged up my groceries, opened the
door for us or dropped off our mail, and for that I'm thankful. I'm constantly saying little things like, "I think your friends were so nice to share all their toys with us today" after a playdate, and even, "I'm so thankful that the man came over to fix the... today?". I don't say these things to go overboard, but instead to try to show my littles that we should all be genuinely thankful for people. I feel that the more they hear it from me, the more aware they will be of others and the gifts they are given daily.

In the same way, I also try to remind my kids to be thankful to God for all that he's given us.

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My name is Courtney from The Chirping Moms. I am a mom of two little girls: Maggie (2) & Alexandra (1). This is how I teach my children to be thankful: Through giving. 

 It's not easy to teach kids to be thankful when they
are very little. I started really trying to teach Maggie the past week, using
Hurricane Sandy. It was a very scary storm for us. She's old enough to get that
the storm knocked a lot of trees down in our neighborhood, our park is closed
& we had no power for a while. I explained to her that we have to be
"thankful" that we were not hurt & our house & all of our
special things are still ok. I explained a lot of kids lost all of their toys
& books & that we should send some of ours. I had Maggie sort through
her books & pick out some that we could send in our package to a family we
are helping to "adopt".
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My name is Heather Lynne from Raising Memories. I am a mom of 2 children,
aged 3 and 6 and my blog is all about sharing fun things parents can do with
and for their kids, while making memories of this great time we have to raise
our children! Here are 2 ways I teach my children to be thankful

Being thankful is something my husband and I teach more than just at
thanksgiving- we work on this every day! We say family prayers, blessings on
the food at mealtimes, and our kids say personal prayers. We do all of these
every day, and the pattern of prayer that we teach always begins by thanking God
for our blessings, and we try to have our girls think of a few specific things
from their day or life that they’re grateful for. Another way we try to get
them thinking about being thankful is that every day at the dinner table, we ask
each person what their “high” was for the day. (This is the high point, or
their favorite thing that happened that day) We also allow them to share their
“low” which is a good opportunity for us to find out what’s on their minds, what
might be bothering them, or what difficult things they may be facing while
they’re away from us at school- or even when they’re at home with us- it might
help us know how we can do better! 

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My name is Jenni from The Good Long Road.
I am a mom of 2 boys nicknamed Wild Thing (3 yo) and Caterpillar (15 months) on
the blog because of their favorite books. This month we are focusing on
gratitude. This is how:

In November, inspired by the 21 Days of Gratitude Family Challenge (started by
Inspired by Family Magazine), I decided to concentrate on a daily gratitude
practice for Wild Thing. We do this by making Thank You Post Cards each day for
one person. 
Sometimes, he will mention a toy he is thankful for instead, so then we connect
that toy to the person who gave him the toy and make the post card for them. He
loves decorating the blank post cards (that are pre-stamped, which we got from
the Post Office). He learns gratitude and some early reading/literacy skills as
well. Win. Win.

As a family, we also started focusing more this month on Family Dinners -
completely unplugged. These meals offer opportunities for gratitude for the
goodness we have in our lives and remind us to be thankful for one another.

Finally, modeling for our children might be the most effective way to teach
them to be thankful. I try to take note of my own behavior. Am I
thankful/appreciative toward others on a daily basis? Do I thank my husband for
all that he does for our family? Do I thank the boys when they listen, clean
up, help out? Teaching thankfulness begins with being thankful.
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Your Turn:
How do YOU teach your children to be thankful?
Do you have any tips or advice?
Leave us a comment.
Love to hear from you!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Mini Puffed Oven Pancakes & Savoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites

A few weeks ago, I tried making Mini Puffed Oven Pancakes.
The recipe came from Sara & Kate who blog over at Our Best Bites

Here they are:

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tutorial Tuesday: How to Make a Ribbon Balloon

I'm posting at HowDoesShe today about how to make one of these ribbon balloons:

See you over there! :)

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