Musings From MommyLand

Because sometimes there is more to Mommy…

A Fun Family Tree Craft for the Kids

The Boy Child and I had a great time putting this craft together.  He has a blast painting and it was a really good chance to talk about our family too.  And now that it is done, he loves to look at and point out which leaf is mommy or daddy or grandpa or grandma.

 

What you need:

  • Posterboard or foamcore board…something on which to paint.  I opted for a large piece of foamcore because I have found with little kids, bigger is usually better.
  • Paint…greens, blues, and browns
  • Scrapbook paper in various shades of green
  • Twigs
  • Scissors and glue
  • Black marker

To start out, I drew a really loose outline of a tree and grass just to give him a place to start.  Then I squirted some paint onto a tray and let him go to town.  I did stick to one color at a time just to avoid a blobby brown mess.  To give him a few more options, I put out a couple of shades of each color though.

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Family History Week Continues…Lets Talk Genealogy

I don’t want to be the girl who beats a dead horse…I think you all know where I stand on the importance of family and personal history.  So, I thought today I would just write about some of the tricks I have learned from doing my own genealogy research, as well as some of my favorite genealogical websites.

1. Ancestry.com

Ancestry.com was the first place I went when I decided to get serious about working on my genealogy and I am so glad that it was.  Yes, it does have a monthly fee, but I like it because you can pay month by month.  So if I am feeling very research happy, I pay for a month of it and then stop paying for it until I feel like there might be something new a few months down the road.  And even if you aren’t paying for it, I think that it is a great place to keep track of your family tree.  There are so many records here and they have it set up to be as user friendly as possible (it really is as easy as the commercials make it out to be).  If you are just getting started or feel like you don’t really know where to start, I would definitely recommend ancestry.com.

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Craft Time: Family/Personal History Journal Jars

Monday I ranted on why it was important to tell your own story and today, I wanted to give you a way to help accomplish this.  So, I give to you, Journal Jars.  These are fun little jars filled with prompts to help you tell your story.

What you need:

  • A medium to large size jar with a lid
  • Scrapbook paper (the thinner stuff works best for this.  Also you need at least some of it to be white on one side.)
  • Ribbon and other decorative items.
  • Glue
  • Scissors
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Top Secret Family Recipe: Grandma’s Banana Bread

Ok, so I am being a bit dramatic with the title.  It isn’t actually a secret, hence my sharing it on here with you and it isn’t a family recipe so to speak.  Meaning, it didn’t come over to America tucked amid the precious possessions of my ancestors 300 years ago or anything like that.  That being said, I definitely consider it a family recipe, because there is no food in the this whole world that takes me back to being a little kid sitting in my grandparents kitchen the way this banana bread does.  Let me put it a geeky way…you know that love potion in the 5th Harry Potter book/movie that changes smells depending on the person, if I walked up to that potion, mine would smell like lilacs and banana bread.

Anyways, I don’t know when my grandma started using this recipe, but from the looks of the cookbook she pulls out when she makes it, it has been awhile.  I tried to find a date on the cookbook this morning, but between the ancient rubber band holding the place on the banana bread page and the fact that the cover was actually ripped off, I was unsuccessful.  Luckily the when doesn’t really matter.

The recipe is not very descriptive...I am surprised they even gave an oven temp.Ingredients:

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Why Personal History? Who Cares?

So it was pretty early on in my college days that I realized a degree in history was fairly useless.  But, did I let that deter me from continuing on?  Of course not.  Not only did I stay on track and graduate with my history major, but I even took the next step and went to Grad school to get a Master’s degree in it.  I just kept thinking, there has to be something out there.  I really wanted (and still sort of do) to work in a museum.  I did an internship in the archives of one as an undergrad and let me just say, I am quite well suited to dark dungeonous archives.  Well, suffice it to say, there aren’t a lot of job opportunities in the museum field at the moment and I don’t live in Washington D.C..  So, with this in my head, I started thinking of other options for myself who at this point now had an infant at home.

And this is when Your Legacy Creations was born.

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Check in Time…A Little Early This Week

This morning I decided to go ahead and weigh myself and do a a check in post a couple of days early because of my plans for Family History Week starting tomorrow.  I wasn’t expecting too much this week…minus two days and a hockey game where I went a little overboard…

So I was ecstatic when I got on the scale and was down 4 pounds from Monday!  That puts me down to 328.4 which is 12 pounds down from where I started.  Weight loss has been slow going up to this point and so finally seeing a number like that does a lot for me both physically and mentally.  It definitely gives me a boost and makes me feel good about what I am doing so far.  And I am definitely ready to keep going making changes in my life.

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Upcoming Family History Week

So looking back over my posts, I realized that I haven’t really shown too much of my historical side, so I thought I would dedicate next week to family history.  I have been living in the past most of my adult life, but my passion for family and personal history is a recent development.  Besides loving it, I also love to share it and so I am really looking forward to what I have set up for next week.  Here is a little preview.

  • Why Personal History?
  • Craft: Family History Journal Jars
  • Recipe:  Banana Bread (a family recipe to share with you)
  • Why Genealogy is important and how to get started
  • Craft:  Family Tree project for the kids
  • Book Review: “Who Do You Think You Are? :  The Essential Guide to Tracing Your Family History”

I tried to keep it diverse and not to “talky”.  I hope this piques your interest and you check back here next week to participate in the discussion.

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Musings of a Sports Widow

Sometimes I think I could have started a blog with the same title as this post and this week is a perfect example of why.  I think I have said before, but just in case, we live in Colorado and there is big news going on in our little sports universe.  For those of you who may live under a rock, Peyton Manning just signed as the Broncos new quarterback replacing “Tebow Mania”.  Though the conversation surrounding Tebow and where his future lies is now its own drama.  In addition to this, the Avalanche, our professional hockey team, are making a late season push for the playoffs with only a couple of weeks left in the regular season.

Now, 6 years ago I would have been one of those people living under a rock.  Back then I couldn’t care less about professional sports.  I had played volleyball and softball in high school so I wasn’t necessarily immune to the pull of sports, but after high school, the just wasn’t there for me anymore.  When I was in college, if I went home on the weekend of the Superbowl, I would leave on Sunday before it started to get back up to the dorm to catch the “Charmed” marathon they would play at the same time.  I know, I was a dork.

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A Super Easy Healthy Dinner: Southwest Chicken Salad

Since I did a check in earlier today, I thought I would share one of the healthy meals I have added to our rotation.  I took inspiration for this salad from Red Robin…a restaurant we find ourselves at frequently because my three year old LOVES it.  This is a super easy salad and great for a weeknight.

What you need:

  • 2 chicken breasts sliced in half to make them thinner so they cook faster
  • 1-2 heads of leafy lettuce (something like green or red leaf lettuce or romaine lettuce or some combination of them)
  • 1 tomato diced
  • Half a green pepper diced
  • 1/4 of a red onion diced
  • 1 jalapeno thinly sliced
  • 1 can of corn drained
  • 1 can of black beans drained and rinsed
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Tortilla Strips

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Check In Time

Apparently I jinxed myself last week when I wrote about being excited for our new elliptical because that very night as my husband was working out, it broke.  This itsy bitsy little clip that holds the foot pedal on broke and it took us 4 days to get it figured out.  So, I still didn’t get my full week of working out, but I really kept a leash on my calorie count and it turned out pretty well.  I was even able to budget for St. Patrick’s Day so I didn’t feel bad about enjoying all that Irish food.

It has been 4 weeks since I first started on this journey and I am happy to say that since then, I am down 8 pounds.  It may not seem like a lot in a month, but I have to say that I am happy with how things are going.  The first couple of weeks were very difficult.  Nothing seemed to be happening and I was becoming super frustrated.  But now, I finally feel progress is being made and is going to keep being made.  I mentioned my short term goal was to be down 10 pounds by Easter, but I have revised that a bit.  My new goal is to be down to 325 by Easter.  So, I have exactly 3 weeks to lose another 7 pounds.  I am sure I can do this and if I work really hard I may even be able to get down to 320 which would help me even further towards my medium term goal of being down to 300 pounds by the middle of May when I head back to West Virginia for my brother’s graduation.  I have my long term goal, but I really am seeing the value of short and medium term goals.  It gives you something a bit more attainable to strive for…points along the way you can reward yourself for the hard work.  I am actually looking forward to next week’s weigh in just to see how well I am doing.

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