We saw this lovely wreath here: http://livingwithlindsay.com/2009/11/librarians-please-avert-your-eyes.html. (Forgive me, I'm still trying to figure out how to make active links!!)
... and we were smitten. I am in love with typography lately and so the thought of having a wreath with words all over it just suited my mood! Plus it looked easy to make, and it was!
The trickiest part was finding a foam wreath in Estevan. Impossible. We (Dani and I) both ended up buying them from Hobby Lobby in Minot. Thank goodness for Minot!

It all started with these beauties (aka books we determined we never wanted to read again.)



And here she is... all beautiful on my wall :)


I like that her home is above my "office armoire". It's very fitting.


I just love it! And it was so easy... it only took about an hour and a half and the results were so worth it.


And here's Dani's - all pretty on her wall.


Be sure to check out Living with Linday for the whole tutorial!

During our Thanksgiving gathering on my husband’s side of the family I sat next to his grandmother before the supper began. After I gave her a stack of updated pictures of my kids she pulled out an envelope of old worn photographs. While thumbing through those pictures I and other family members peppered her with questions about the people in them and then for more details of the stories she hinted at. It was fascinating. In the 20 – 30 minutes we sat there I learned more about my husband’s family history than I have in the eight years we’ve been married and the fifteen years I’ve known him. The key was asking questions.

Grandma has wanted to write her memoirs for years but it has seemed like an insurmountable task. We’ve talked about it as a family before and considered buying her a digital recorder so she could verbally tell them or having her write them and paying someone to transcribe them onto the computer. We’ve talked of her getting a laptop but having to learn a whole new form of technology only adds to the “largeness” of the task. Finally as we sat there I decided that I would create a “prompt book” for her.

I started by purchasing a regular notebook or exercise book and fancied it up by first gluing a ribbon horizontally across it so that you could tie it closed. Then I covered the front and back with pretty scrapbook paper. Inside I glued envelopes to the front and back covers where she could place any photos she’d like to pass on. Every few pages I wrote a question or a prompt for Grandma to answer that would allow her to write brief anecdotes about her life and our family history. This way she doesn’t have to come up with a huge organizational strategy and wonder where to start, she can just take it a story at a time.

This book will surely be a two-way gift. It shows Grandma that we honor her and care about what she has been through and how that has shaped our family and the finished product will be a gift to our entire family for generations to come.


Update: We gave the memoir book to Grandma at Christmas and as we sat around as a family her, Grandpa and all the kids started sharing stories about their growing up and the "shenanigans" they'd get into. It was amazing and so fun to hear the stories. As they talked I grabbed the prompt book and added questions about the stories they were telling. I can't wait to get the completed book back someday!

Oh - and my favourite quip from Grandpa (in light of the year of serious health issues he's dealt with and overcome..."

Gpa: "What's that?"

Gma: "It's a book for writing our memoirs!"

Gpa: "Well I guess we'd better get on that pretty quick."

Bahaha - without missing a beat. It's been a scary year and this Christmas was a blessing!

Though this week’s idea is not exactly a family activity it is something that has increased exponentially the time I have to spend with my family and thus I will share it this week. A few of my friends and I follow a particular blog that one day posted about how she makes more time for her family by cooking once a month. I don’t know why this had never occurred to us before or if it did why we didn’t do something about it but after talking about it we decided to take the plunge!

Every month each of us (there are 3 of us total) choose four recipes that we will make and freeze. We each make three of each recipe and then trade. It’s so simple but so wonderful! This way we each end up with twelve home cooked meals in our freezer and essentially don’t have to cook three nights a week for a month! I love it! I’ve taken it a step further and since I’m buying in bulk anyways (which also saves us loads of money) I try to make an extra recipe or two for our family so I have to cook even less.

I had heard of a few cooking once a month activities (where you prepare 20+ meals) in a day and felt very intimidated by them but I’ve been surprised at how easy and manageable this has been. In terms of a time commitment I try to do it all in one day where I spend roughly forty five minutes shopping and then two to two and a half hours cooking. Not bad for twelve meals! On top of that, on the nights I do cook I always at least double my recipe and put one in the freezer. In preparing a meal on any given day I just make sure to remove it early enough to thaw and then right before supper I throw together an easy side like, rice, salad or oven ready biscuits.

This has given me so much more time with my kids and with myself! Start big with a group of friends or start doubling the odd recipe, either way you will love it!

**Note** The blog we follow is http://ashleyannphotography.com/blog/