Friday, November 30, 2012

The World is Round but Some Classrooms Will Always Be Flat

In my last blog I wrote about the benefits of a tiered classroom, especially when it comes to using the case-study approach, where a professor can challenge students by having them come up with solutions to real-world business problems. Given all those benefits one might wonder why Huntsman Hall will feature 12 flat classrooms. Why not make them all tiered classrooms?

Some of our professors prefer a flat classroom because the topics they teach can be most effectively taught in a setting where students are collaborating and working together on projects. A flat classroom gives them the ability to move tables and chairs around, creating small-group discussions that involve every student.

As you may know, studies have shown that the more students are involved in the learning process, the more they are likely to retain. The standard lecture approach has its limitations, even with the best professors. You’ve probably noticed how much more you retrain when you are in a situation where you are expected to learn something that you need to teach others. This is true even if that teaching amounts to just explaining what you understand to other members of a small group.

Anytime there is a topic like leadership, management or collaboration, a professor appreciates the flexibility to teach in a setting that allows students the opportunity to lead, collaborate and manage a project to a successful conclusion. When the educational process is working as it should, students can learn as much from each other as they do from the professor. People learn best when they can put into practice the things that are being taught.

When a new building is constructed people often focus on aesthetics, such as how it will look and how it will represent the philosophies being taught. Those things are important, but it is still in the classroom that much of the educational process unfolds. We are now at a rare point where we have a chance to design classrooms and facilities in a way that best help our students reach their goals.

It’s interesting to note that is was through a collaborative approach that we have come to our ideas about what should go in Huntsman Hall. And one of those conclusions is that if our students are to discover new ideas and explore new insights, some of our classrooms must be flat.
Ken Snyder
Ken Snyder

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Holiday Wreath-My Front Door

Just a short post today. 
I finally dove head first into a mesh ribbon wreath. It seems like they have been around for ages now, but I am always a little slow on hot trends...I have to make sure they're going to stick around before I jump on the bandwagon:o)
I am really excited about this wreath, and I loved how easy it was to put together. My "W" looks right at home in the middle:o)
I hope you all are having a great Thursday! I'll see you soon!
Remember to come back and check out the Dollar Store Christmas Crafts next week!!

Participating in:
the CSI's Christmas Wreath Challenge

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

My Home for the Holidays-Part 1

Finally...
I am finally sharing my Christmas decor with you all...about time, isn't it?
Today you get to see my living room.
There are 6 other rooms to see, so I decided to spread them out in different posts. 
Things are much the same as last year, but for those of you who are new here, it will be your first time to see it.
 We have 9 foot ceilings, so I get to have a gi-normous tree:o) Our tree was a craigslist purchase about 2 years ago, and I am so glad that I found it. 
Filling it up has been a task, but thankfully, my mother purchased most of the ornaments:o) She bought them for herself, but they didn't work with her decor, so I gladly took them off of her hands!!
The wreaths on the tree were made from the hubs' grandfather's old hymnals...so they're extra special:o)
 The Hob was out of the ribbon I have on the mantle, so I had to settle for this really cool ribbon. It was in the ribbon section, where as the other was in the floral section. It took two rolls to fill the length of my entertainment center.
 Here are some pillows I made the other day. 
They were place mats in their former existence. I purchased them at Kohl's when they had all of their holiday wares 80% off. I am not usually a big fan of deer decor...tends to put off a tad bit of the red-neck vibe here in the South...nothing against red-necks..I'm just not one:o)
I felt like these were Christmas-y enough, though:o)
 We currently have a new guest in our home. I would like for you all to meet Snarf.
 Yep, that's what the kids named him. It took some convincing, but I think they are both on board....the 4 year old more so than the 6 year old. It's been fun to get them to hunt for Snarf in the mornings. 
S.R. lights up when she sees him every morning. We have the Elf on the Shelf movie coming in the mail, so it'll be fun to see their reaction to that.
We are having TONS of fun with our Christmas crafts this week. I am really excited about showing them off next week during the Dollar Store Christmas Craft Week.
I have lots more trees to share, so stay tuned!

An Attitude of Gratitude

“Gratitude is the best attitude” was a common saying around my home. This phrase is catchy and even rhymes, but does it work in the business world? According to an article by Brad Larsen, a success strategist, the answer is yes.
One way gratitude can benefit a business is through the eye of the consumer. The article states, “that customers are looking for value, satisfaction and appreciation on their purchases. A simple gesture of gratitude can be enough to keep them coming back and telling others about your business.”
Feeling appreciated is a human need, and is something that should not be overlooked or disregarded. The article gives seven reasons why saying “thank you” is good for business.
1.       Because it makes a difference.
2.       Because it builds better professional relationships.
3.       Because it opens doors to new opportunities in the future.
4.       Because it defines your intentions and motives in the business world.
5.       Because people return to you the attitudes and feelings that you give them.
6.       Because it lets people know that their business or work matters to you.
7.       Because people will always remember how you made them feel.
Expressing heartfelt gratitude can create a powerful change. The article states, “be plentiful in your gratitude and thoughtful in your thankfulness and watch your business grow.”
It’s as simple as that. Thank you for supporting the Huntsman Blog this day.
Klydi Heywood

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Christmas Mantle

I wish I had pictures of my trees, but I don't...by the time I got around to taking them, the lighting was bad. Today is an overcast, dreary day, which is terrible for taking indoor pictures. So, my dear friends, you will have to wait a little longer..sorry!
I did get some pictures of my mantle, though.
This is the after:
This was the before...sad, skinny little garland. I know it's hard to believe, but that is two strands of garland wrapped around one another. Those things are so skimpy. I was bored to tears with my mantle. Just plain ole bored. I have always wanted to have live garland, but after checking online, I realized that it is truly more trouble than it's worth. So off to the Hob I went.
I purchased 6 pine cone picks. They are always 50% off, so they were $2 each. I also picked up some really pretty burlap ribbon...
(I am going back for more today so that I can wrap the garland on my entertainment center. It looks out of place since the one on the fireplace is so fancy now:o)
I fluffed the picks, and spread them out over the mantle. I made a huge bow out of the burlap ribbon, and attached it with floral wire. Then I took the remainder of the ribbon and ran it up down and around the garland.
 No more boring mantle. By adding just a few picks and some ribbon, I completely transformed my puny little garland:o)
 Love:o)

Next week I will be sharing a different craft each day where all items to make the craft are either from the Dollar Store or they are $1 or less. I'm so excited! The kids are having so much fun with this!! I hope you'll join us. At the end of the week, I'll host a Linky Party so that you all can share what you have been working on for the Holidays as well.

Monday, November 26, 2012

A Goal to Give Back

The Thanksgiving holiday is always a good time to reflect and give thanks for what we have. With this year's break I've had the opportunity to do just that. I've been thinking lately on how very fortunate I am. Even though school is tough, money sometimes tight and the weather is frigid, I'm especially grateful for what I have and to be gaining a higher education here at Utah State University. With the holiday season in the near future, this is not a time to be greedy with our mounds of food and piles of presents. It is a time to reflect on all that we have been given and in thanks, give a little back.

Forbes Magazine recently compiled a list of what they thought were the top-ranking charities. As I thought about all the good that these charities are doing for the world, I couldn't help but be inspired and want to help in some small way. However, as college students, money is not always abundant and time can be scarce, which makes service a bit difficult. Yet, there are still a number of ways that students can give without becoming charity cases themselves. USA Today’s College site posted about “Givingback on a student’s budget.” This story lists a number of ways that students can donate what little time and/or resources they have to help others. A few of the organizations mentioned were:

CompassionPit: This site is a place where people can go to talk anonymously to a stranger about their troubles. The people on this site are often simply looking for a listening ear as they may be having a rough day or have a problem that you may be able to relate with and offer some advice. This website is a simple, but effective way for students to help those who may need it.

Free Kibble: With this organization students are not only helping hungry animals, but they are also giving their own brains a workout. Free Kibble offers 10 pieces of Kibble to hungry animals with every trivia question that you answer. This is another easy way to help.

Call to Protect: This organization allows people to donate their old cell phones in order to protect against domestic violence. The donated phones are cleaned up and resold. The profits gained are then donated to organizations working to end domestic violence.

Students can also find a number of places to help out locally such as donating clothes to Deseret Industries and other organizations,  volunteering for an afternoon at a local soup kitchen or animal shelter, and even visiting with people in a hospital or rest home. A number of other volunteering opportunities in Utah can be found here.

As students, we are so very blessed to be at this great institution gaining an education. With all that we have, let’s find time to give back this holiday season.   

- Allie Jeppson


Our First Christmas Craft of the Season

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! We surely did!!
We got back home on Friday, so there was plenty of time to get settled and relax a bit before starting the work/school week.
The holiday baking has begun, so I have to make sure I keep my running shoes broken in, or I'll be asking Santa for the next dress size up;o)
 Our first Christmas craft was peppermint Christmas trees.
 Thing 1 & 2 worked very hard at unwrapping many many peppermint discs...most made it on the trees...a few ended up in their bellies:o)
We started with tacky glue, but that was a bust..wet glue and sugary candy aren't a good mix..so we had to pull out the hot glue gun.
 I did all of the gluing, but this was a craft that required all hands on deck, so they didn't get bored with me doing the work. We had a lot of fun crafting, snacking, and listening to Christmas music.
Oh yeah, there was a wedding over Thanksgiving holiday:o)
Here are a few shots of the kids in their outfits I made.

 I am so blessed.


We went a head and started Elf on the Shelf...it's been hysterical!
We might have waited a little too late to start it..6 year olds are a little harder to convince of such things, but it's been absolutely too much fun trying:o)
I plan on taking pictures of our trees today. Hopefully I will get them posted tomorrow!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Road to Entrepreneurship: Don’t Go it Alone!

Many journeys and successes can be conquered alone. True entrepreneurial success, however, is not a one-person endeavor. There are days in the start-up cycle when cash runs short, equipment fails, customers back out, prices fluctuate adversely and endless obstacles are bound to arise.

On the other hand the finale of solo quests can be anti-climactic when the victor realizes there is no one with whom to share the joy.

As an aspiring entrepreneur, I have already looked down the long and lonely road that I know leads to the success that so many of us seek. It is a road fraught with twists and turns, pitfalls, windfalls, devastating setbacks, and, on occasion, a sunny meadow of short-lived winning streaks that we all hope will last.

The entrepreneurial path is not for everyone, I know, to take those first steps into the unknown and then keep going. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart, but for the adventurers, the risk-takers, the visionaries, the game-changers, the innovators, the tinkerers. I’m not going to pretend we’re all fearless — that would be a lie.

To help innovators face their fears, we get a few people together who share our vision- who believe what we believe — and we take the journey together.

I’ve never really told anyone this, but I’d like to race yachts someday, full-sized and fully crewed sailboats. It can be safely said that competitive sailing requires teamwork and trust. A truly winning team works in harmony, communicates effectively, encourages one another, and shares in every victory and defeat. Everyone feels ownership and shares responsibility for both the successes and failures.

Every new venture is like a sailboat race: you’ll need a team. When they are discouraged, you re-instill their confidence. When you are discouraged, they support you. You all share in the victories and in the defeats.

For those of you who aspire to achieve this class of entrepreneurial success, get your team together and set sail. Failures will be easier to bear when the load is distributed, and victories will be sweeter when shared.

Do not go it alone.

 -Reed Page

Boy's Vest and Bow Tie

A day late, I know, but here is E's vest and bow tie. 
I used a pattern for the vest, which was very confusing by the way. That's one of the reasons I like making my own patterns. I can piece the puzzle together quicker than I can read instructions and try to make sense of what they're trying to tell me:o)
Anyway, I am glad to have it done!
 The bow tie took about 35 minutes to make from start to finish. I think I will be making more of these. It's so stinkin' cute! The hubs even said he wanted some bow ties:o)
 Tomorrow is the big day. The kids are pumped, and the hubs and I are reeeally nervous:o) Not about the kids being the flower girl and ring bearer...they'll be fine...the hubs is playing the music and I am taking the wedding pics...no pressure..no pressure at all..ahhh!
I hope you all have wonderful Thanksgiving. Make sure to treasure every moment with your family, (no matter how annoying you might think they are, for those of you dreading it). You never know how long you'll have them!!!
Hugs to all!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Dining Room Table-Christmas Centerpiece

Good Monday to you all! The elves have been busy here in our home, and are ready for their naps:o)
It looks like the North Pole exploded in our house...AND I LOVE IT!
I am not ready to share all of our trees...yes there are multiples..possibly 8...so I am waiting until after Thanksgiving to let you guys in on the fun:o)
I know the suspense is killing you;o)
I thought I would share my center piece for the dining room table, just to hold you over.
I created it using items I already had. I love FREE:o)
The September or November(can't remember which) Southern Living magazine had a beautiful centerpiece for fall with pumpkins, fall flowers, and berries. They had an enormous trough that they put it all in, and I thought, I wish I had something like that...well I completely forgot that I did:o)
I got a VERY distressed plant container from one of my mother's friends back in the summer, and stuck it in the attic so the hubs wouldn't fuss at me for junkin' up the garage. Out of sight, out of mind, so I didn't remember having it until I started digging through the attic for Christmas stuff.
I was so very very excited. And even more excited that I had the stuff to fill it up.
Fancy and Free:o)
 It makes a huge statement, because it is huge:o) My favorite part is that it is contained. I don't have a bunch of little nick-knacks strewn across the table like I normally do. Clean, elegant, and bold.
So are you ready for the holidays? Do you have all of your decorations up, or are you patient, and wait until after Thanksgiving to get in the Christmas spirit?
I must be off...I have to go make little man's vest and bow tie for the wedding. Hopefully I will be able to show it off tomorrow. Have a great Monday y'all!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Grateful for a Computer With a Heartbeat

This week, just as I was on deadline for the Huntsman Post,my computer crashed. To use a football analogy to show you how close I was to meeting that deadline before the crash: I was down by two touchdowns with three minutes to play in the fourth quarter. I had come in early, was planning on staying late, and was believing that with a successful on-side kick or blocked punt I could still get a victory. 

Then, suddenly, just before the snap, each member of my offensive line died at the same time of a heart attack. That's the part where my computer crashed. Suddenly I was in a totally different game.

If you take away my ability to type and do e-mail, my world changes. After I organize and clean my office, all I can do is go outside and plant crops. Thankfully, the guy in the office next door to mine is Tom James. He has actual job skills and he deals in these type of work crisis situations every day at the Huntsman School of Business. Computers crash, and people run to him as their vocational world starts to unravel. He calmly goes about defragmenting hard-disk megabytes and downloading drivers, and soon he is rebuilding things and saving the day. Since his office is nearby, I see this drama play out on a regular basis but, of course, it’s much more serious when I’m facing a technology meltdown.


While he was in the other room hitting my computer with those shock pads, hoping to get a heartbeat, I found an old laptop in my office that had been retired years ago because it too had a tendency to crash. I plugged it in, booted it up and it worked—sort of. Because I do a lot of my work in Drop Box, I was able to get to many of my latest documents. It was still a painful process to meet deadline because many of the things I normally do without even thinking became more difficult. Sort of like throwing a long pass after your offensive line drops dead.

Everything was slow. I could have run a lap around the building every time I clicked on something expecting a response. Normally, I have two computer screens, which proves extremely helpful when I am writing stories and press releases from typewritten notes, e-mail information or audio recordings that live in my computer. I couldn’t use those two screens anymore. I could still progress but it was like writing left-handed—underwater.

Within 24 hours Tom had my computer back to life and working again. It’s sort of sad, however, because she doesn’t remember me anymore and has forgotten all my preferences and what we did together last Christmas. She is sometimes confused when I ask her to do things she used to do all the time like print a document or launch a program. I’ll click on a program and she wants to know if I agree with pages and pages of rules before she’ll let me use it. She used to trust me.

It is sort of like in Star Trek when Spock was finally tapping his human side and then they killed him off at the end of the movie only to try to bring him back to life in the next movie. The new Spock had forgotten some of the Star Trek movies he made just like we had.

I remember as a kid I watched a cartoon show about the future called “The Jetsons.” In the episode I remember, two of the main characters were in the military and were being punished by being put on a clean-up detail. It meant that they had to sit at a panel and punch buttons and watch as robots did the actual scrubbing and sweeping. They complained to each other of the difficulty of the detail and how that part of the military, where they punish you with hard labor, not changed in hundreds of years. They weren’t doing any actual work. They were just punching buttons.

So what percentage of your day involves mouse clicks and typing? What happens to your world when your laptop crashes or your smart phone gets dumb? Have you ever thought doing something was too hard because it might have involved ten or fifteen clicks?

Now, I know where you think I’m going with this. You think I’m going to complain about us all using smart phones too much and never communicating in person. You think I’m going to advocate for an Amish lifestyle and a car that runs on corncobs. I’m not. The technology I use every day allows me to communicate, keep my job, and makes it so I’ll never ever have to go back to the circus where I grew up.

This Thanksgiving I’m going to be grateful for the very technology that everyone loves to complain about. I need my computer even if she seems distant to me right now like we are strangers that just met. I’ll win her over. And it just so happens that I care about my iPhone that connects me to eBay where there is soooo much stuff that I really need to buy before it is too late.

When I get home there is plenty of real manual labor to do. Don’t worry. I’ll stay connected to the earth. Most of it is in my garage and I’ll need to sweep it out. In one way, we are sort of like the Jetsons, you know.

Only in our case, it is my wife who has figured out how to push my buttons.

—Steve Eaton

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

When I Grow Up, I Want To Be You

Last week I heard an interesting networking technique. A woman explained that when she was in between jobs or deciding which step to take next, she would find people who had the job she wanted. She would then track them down, via email or social network, and invite them to an afternoon lunch, or an after-work drink. She would explain that she “wanted to be them” when she grew up and just wanted to discuss how they got to the point they are now in their career.
A few days later I was reminded through experience, how much people love to talk about themselves. Putting these two concepts together, I have decided to follow suit and ask the person I “want to be when I grow up” to go out for a quick lunch.
An article I recently read on networking stated, “You should learn all you can about potential employers that hire your skills, and it is always helpful to get career advice as you are seeking a job.”
Because of the concept of “global village”, finding a job relies on who you know. I don’t know if this strategy will work but if anything else, I will learn what it takes to be successful and solidify my professional dreams. 
Klydi Heywood
Klydi Heywood

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Flower Girl Dress

Brrr! It's cold today! I can't believe how easily the cold wind can cut through you. I'm so very thankful for a warm home to shelter me from this frigid weather!
Speaking of being thankful, I have some wonderful news that my family and I are very thankful for. My uncle is getting married! He is engaged to a fabulous woman, who is absolutely perfect for him. We are all overjoyed for the both of them. They are getting married on Thanksgiving Day, and my little ones are part of the wedding party. 
If you are a follower of my Facebook page, you saw the inspiration dress I shared yesterday.
This is my version.
 For seven straight hours, I sewed away. 
Drowning in ruffles, constantly back and forth from my machine to the ironing board.
Blood, sweat, but thankfully no tears:o) (Stinkin' stick pins!)
I accidentally figured out how to make the ruffles quicker by loosening the thread tension...it could have been longer than 7 hours if I hadn't stumbled upon that!
 The neckline was a bear, but I finally got it to work. I pulled the stitches out three different times. 
My favorite is the back. This happened by accident as well. I ran out of the blue fabric, and had to use the mustard colored fabric for extra ruffles. A very happy accident indeed:o)
The petticoat is slightly underwhelming...I meant for the dress to be much "poofier." I think I'll hit Dillard's tomorrow and see if I can't find one to put under this one to give it just a bit more oomf:o)
So did I hit the nail on the head, or did I miss the mark completely?
I love it, and so does S.R....and hopefully the bride will too;o)

Now I must get to work on E's vest and bow tie...something that he is very excited about as well:o)


Updated Photo from Wedding:

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Best Part of Huntsman Hall Will Be Mostly Invisible

The thing that excites me most about Huntsman Hall is something you can’t see at all—unless you know what you are looking for. The classrooms are designed for effective, case study teaching.

The best way to learn most things is through experiencing it. We call this experiential learning. In a classroom, the best way to simulate experience is through the case study approach. This approach is used at top business schools. Students study real examples of challenges that real business leaders have faced. Then we, as faculty, ask students to propose solutions to these challenges. It is a very interactive, effective way of teaching. When done properly, it helps the students learn from thinking through challenges, and learn from each other things that might not have even been introduced by the professor.

Our new classrooms will help our professors, myself included, use the case study approach more effectively. How does that happen? The classrooms are designed so that there are two aisles that cut through the tables making it easy for a professor to walk up to and talk directly with every student. The classroom design also makes it much more difficult for an unprepared student to hide in the back. It’s surprising how much focus a student can have when the professor is standing right next to them, challenging their ideas.

When I use the case study approach I often select a student to get the discussion going. I suggest they put themselves in the shoes of the business leader and I ask them how they would solve the challenges that are a part of the case study we are analyzing. Each student is supposed to be prepared to do just that when they come to class.

With the case study approach I can guide the students to consider specific issues that are important in such scenarios, and help them see the upside and downside of any particular solution. For example, because we emphasize the importance of ethical leadership at the Huntsman School of Business, I press students to consider the ethical implications of their decisions. The beauty of a case study is that there isn’t just one right answer they can unearth but multiple innovative solutions that could be tried.

Can you tell I love this approach to teaching? Huntsman Hall will be an impressive and beautiful structure but I think the best part of the building will be what’s happening in the classroom. I can’t wait to teach a group of MBA students in one of the new “case study” classrooms.
Ken Snyder
Ken Snyder

Friday, November 9, 2012

Hot Cocoa Recipe

I love cold weather, a.k.a. snuggly weather. I love the warm blankets, cozy fires, and most of all, hot cocoa. 
I am not a big fan of cocoa mixes because of all the added "stuff" that is put in them. I prefer to cook my own.
 I have a favorite recipe for hot cocoa, and I have to share it with you so that you can enjoy it too.
It takes minutes to make, and warms your belly and puts a smile on your face:o)

Hot Cocoa
serves 4
adapted from this recipe
1/3 c unsweetened cocoa
3/4 c white sugar
1/3 c boiling water
3 1/2 c milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Bring water to a boil in a medium sauce pan. Add cocoa and white sugar. Bring back to a boil, and then lower heat so the mixture simmers. Simmer for 2 minutes. Add milk and vanilla, and warm to desired temperature. 
I usually pour the kids some before it has gotten too hot.
I spy some happy campers right here:o)

Now you can enjoy those few brief moments where they have a smile on their faces, and calling you the best mom ever, after drinking something delicious! Then brace yourself for the sugar high!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Some New Sewing Projects for Boys

Sewing for a little girl is so easy. There are so many cute inspirations out there for girls, but there really isn't a whole lot to choose from for little boys. Sometimes I feel guilty when I make something for S.R. because for every 3-4 things I make for her, I make 1 for E. Sad, I know.
It's a fine line when sewing for boys because some things out there are border-line ridiculous. You have to take great care in not making your boy look like a girl. 
So anywhoodles, I went to Heart and Home Fabrics on Etsy, and  let E pick out some really cute fabric from the "Children at Play" line by Sara Jane. 
I made this cute little bean bag ottoman from it. If I ever get around to it, I will do a tutorial because S.R. wants one as well:)

 I also made him a cute little vest out of the same fabric. Yes, it coordinates with his ottoman, but how often is he going to be wearing that vest while sitting on the ottoman? ;o)
I'll have a tutorial on how to make a vest very soon because I have to make another one for him. Wanna know why?
Because my uncle is getting married, and E and S.R. will be the ring bearer and flower girl. They are super excited, and so am I. I just have to get busy on making their clothes for the wedding. I have found some pretty awesome inspiration on Etsy, so I can't wait to show you what I'll be working on.
Until next time....

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

"The Apprentice": A Provider of Worthwhile Business Skills

Most of you probably remember the reality television show, The Apprentice, where contestants have to put their business skills to the test to win the coveted prize of running one of Donald Trump’s businesses. Although most people that I've talked to have different opinions about the show, I can honestly say that I’ve learned a few lessons that I apply to my own business skills. 

1. Don’t take things personally

The business world is one of competition and sometimes, it can be a bit harsh. One fragment of advice that I’ve received about dealing with rude people is to just “brush them off.” In other words, don’t let them get to you. Don’t hold a grudge against that person and don’t pretend to be nice. Just be your own professional self and as my mom always says, “never stoop down to their level.”

2. Don’t take “no” for an answer

In my last blog post, I provided tips on negotiation. Although it can be difficult to not take “no” for an answer, don’t give up in your quest to get the best deal possible.

3. Be passionate

From my observation, Donald Trump seems to be very passionate about buildings and as a result, he made a career out of it. When you are passionate about your work, you wake up everyday to look forward to the rest of the day because your job does not feel like a chore. It is important to love what you do in order to excel in what you do.

— Nadiah Johari

Red Ribbon Week Poster-Master Yoda

Since I have been out of school for longer than I am willing to admit, there are a few things that I had forgotten about...one of them being Red Ribbon Week.
I am constantly being reminded of how the world isn't all roses and cupcakes. The thought of teaching my children to stay away from drugs had never crossed my mind until we got a letter from the guidance counselor about Red Ribbon Week. Yikes! How do you explain drugs to a 6 year old who has been completely sheltered? We struggled through it, but I think he got the gist of it. He knows their bad, and God doesn't want us to harm our bodies.
So, since we are all about Star Wars, he wanted to include Master Yoda on his poster.
The hubs knows all when it comes to S.W., so he came up with the slogan.
Pretty catchy, huh?

We flipped through some coloring books, and E picked this image for his poster. I used my little projector, and traced it in pencil.
He traced over the pencil marks in black marker, and then colored it in with crayons.
We used the S.W. fonts to make the letters...just printed the slogan out, cut, and pasted.
Easy Peasy.
He was the only one in his class to do a poster. He got to go to a popcorn party, and there were big kids there...a.k.a. 5th graders, so he felt pretty special:o)
It was so nice to be able to do an art project with him, especially since he's really starting to enjoy drawing...the coloring he could do without:o)
Great mommy/son bonding!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Halloween Costumes

Since I have been lagging on posts, I never told you guys what my kids were for Halloween this year. 
E, once again, wanted to be something related to Star Wars. I'm not sure if he was a clone trooper or a storm trooper, (I get confused) but I most definitely knew that making that costume for him was next to impossible. I hate buying store bought costumes, but I know my limitations people:o)
Thankfully S.R. wanted to be something easy, Pocahontas. The Disney Pocahontas costumes aren't exactly modest, so I decided that we would go for a less flashy, more coverage kind of dress:o)
E didn't get to wear his Star Wars costume to school, but they do have book character day, and get to dress up for that. He chose to be Peter Pan. It doesn't get much easier than that! I purchased 2 t-shirts from Hobby Lobby. The lighter color in his size, and the darker color in an adult large. I turned the adult shirt into pants using a pajamas pant pattern, and used the sleeves of that same shirt to make the hat.
 His belt was made out of brown ribbon and Velcro, and his feather was made from felt. He loved it, and best of all if was cheap and super comfy for him.
 S.R. 's costume took some planning, but once I figured out how I wanted to construct it, it was smooth sailing from there. I used a peasant dress pattern found at Walmart in the 99 cent section. The fabric is some kind of faux leather/suede material, also purchased from Walmart.
After I pieced the dress together, I cut the skirt portion into a V, and then laid it flat on the ground and started cutting slits. 
 I bought a shirt and leggings and dyed them tan, and painted a red tattoo on the sleeve of the shirt. 
The whole reason S.R. wanted to be Pocahontas was because of her "blue diamond necklace." The girl likes her bling, so I definitely had to include the neckalce!
I found the medallion at Walmart in the discount jewelry making section, and looped a leather necklace I had on hand through it.
That's one pretty little Indian Princess:o)
 Here is a shot of little man in his "Whichever" Trooper costume:o) Such a sweet boy!
 And the with the helmet on for the full effect.
We didn't do the normal neighborhood trick-or-treating this year for two reasons...the first was because it was on a Wednesday night, and we had church..and the second was because we have been fighting a cold virus, and S.R. has been on a nebulizer for quite some time now. We needed to stay out of the cold air, so  we decided to trick or treat at a local retirement home, and visit with the ladies there. 
It was so fun, and I'm so glad we got to visit with those sweet women!