Monday, November 30, 2015

Thanksgiving Week: The First Two Days

We had a busy week off of school last week. The nicest part was not having to get up at 5:05 every day!

The twins made crackle jars and filled them with candy to take to their teachers that last day of school before vacation. You can read how they made them HERE.

On Sunday Jessica came over after church and we showed her the turkeys we'd made from cupcakes.  We had a lot of various candy and supplies left, so she made some.

The kids made more turkeys.
This is the first kind we'd made.
And this is the second kind, which used a Nutter Butter cookie.
You can see how we  made them HERE and HERE.

I think Kaleb liked eating them more than making them.
Not sure what this is. Alien turkey?
Ty created a rock star turkey.

Kayla wasn't as in to it as the others, but she made one so she could eat it!
It was absolutely beautiful here in the FL panhandle, so we took advantage of it to get out the scooters, pogo stick and basketball.

Travis just loves his mommy.

Sasha is both a fierce warrior and a true sweetie.

The kids also got very involved in playing Escape:The Curse of the Temple. I'll talk more about that in the next post. It's a good family game.
And if you're doing your Christmas shopping, let me put in a plug for two of my books. These two books are for girls, but we've read through them and done the activities as a family. Christmas vacation is the perfect time to read through them a chapter a day and do all the activities together.
 This one is for ages 8-12 and features quizzes such as What Kind of Learner are You? Are You a Mary or a Martha? How Much Do You Know About Zzzz's? and more. There are lots of crafts which are easy to do and would make nice gifts for teachers, friends and relatives from the kids. My kids loved taking the quizzes together and comparing outcomes, and since they helped design the crafts for the book, it was fun for them to see them in print. I talked a lot more about this book and showed some of the crafts HERE and HERE

This book is for girls 4-8 ish. Each chapter talks about one aspects of families and includes a Bible family and animal family that correlates with the main point. There is a family activity in each chapter plus a whole chapter of family friendly activities at the end. We reread this book in 2014 and did the activities and crafts. HERE'S where we started it and go forward in the blog to see each thing we did and I also talked about how this book can help kids from a hard place HERE.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Baby Names

Jessica's doctor asked her what she was going to name her baby. When she said River, the doctor said, "She's going to get made fun of with a name like that" or something along that line. He was very abrupt about it, but he was just speaking his mind. I don't think he meant to be unkind, although it came across that way.

I said something like, "Well, she's going to be a really cool kid so no one will think of making fun of her name." I also told him the obvious--ever since River Song on Dr. Who (don't watch it but Jessica is a fan), the name has become much more popular.

I looked up the meaning of the name River:

Everyone has his or her own preferences in names. For myself, I avoided naming my kids longer names that had a nickname (Jeff is my only child I didn't name)--No William who is called Bill or Margaret who is called Maggie or Peggy. I think this is because my mom named me Katrina but called me Kathy. That is confusing because Kathy is normally short for Kathryn or Kathleen.

Names have definitely changed over the years. Here are the top baby names from when I was born and now.
Michael    Lisa
David       Mary
John         Susan
James       Karen
Robert      Linda
Mark        Patricia
William   Donna
Richard   Cynthia
Thomas   Deborah
Jeffrey     Sandra

Jackson  Sophia   
Aiden     Emma
Liam      Olivia
Lucas     Ava
Noah      Isabella
Mason    Mia
Ethan     Zoe
Caden    Lily
Jacob     Emily
Logan    Madelyn

The interesting thing is that many of the girls' names are very old fashioned names that have become popular again.

I wrote more about names and trends on my parenting blog HERE.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

And My Future Granddaughter's Name is.... (drum roll)

This is from our name reveal game at Jessica's baby shower.

Only a few people came, but we had a  lot of fun. But for Jessica's sake, I wish her friends, coworkers and church acquaintances would have come. But we are in a busy time of year.

We hosted the party at our house. Her friend Delisa wanted to do it, but she has a very small house.

I picked three games, and Delisa picked one.

For game one we melted five kinds of candy bars and smeared one kind in each of five diapers. People had to identify the candy bar by smell. Fun game, but it looks gross! (It's supposed to I think)

 Game two was baby twister. The non pregnant people had balloon babies. You couldn't lose your baby during the game.

We let everyone try this one. The guys had been in the back watching Batman.

Delisa passed out ribbon and everyone had to cut it to be the right size to go around Jessica's baby bump. One lady had it almost exact. I didn't get  pictures of it. She's in the picture below.

They are not being weird, this is the name reveal game. We put the beads with the letters of the baby's name in a ziplock bag along with navy beans. With eyes closed, they had to find the letter beads and arrange them in order with eyes still closed. No one got them in the right order. But once they saw the letters, it was easy to guess the name. What other word has those letters?

She received lots of nice presents.

There's an afghan from my mom not shown in the pictures.

I had everyone write a message or good wish to Jessica or River on the tablecloth. I left a blank in mine for River's name because we hadn't revealed it yet.

We had little sausages both rolled up and in a crock pot with BBQ sauce, meatballs, a cracker tray, a fruit tray, cake and cupcakes. Delisa had brought pinwheels but they were forgotten in the freezer!

Walmart didn't have the cake ready, then they just threw it together. The one in the order book is really cute. This one not so much. Guess we'll go to Publix next time!This is what it looked like in the book:

All in all, the shower was fun, but I wish more  people had come. Her mother in law and step mother in law are having one for her too. They have the advantage of having lots of relative in town and also living much closer to the others. So it should be well attended. The disadvantage is for us that it is the same day as breakfast with Santa and the big Christmas parade.

I now have four blogs. Part of it is because I divided them out--one for girls (my readers--although none of them read the blog!), a parenting blog, my family blog, and a new blog for teens. So I added two blogs. The reason for the teen one is that a publisher has asked to see the full manuscript of my teen novel. They are very interested in having authors who have a presence online--like Karen Kingsbury with her 350,000+ followers on her author page. I do not think they are going to be impressed with my 43 followers. Please click to follow each blog (I can't find a follow button for the new blogs!) and my author page on facebook (Katrina Cassel). Please comment on the posts if they are relevant to you. AND please recommend them to others. If you have a teen, teach teens etc, please send them to my blog. And let me know if there are certain things you'd think they'd like to read about. If you know a really amazing teen, I'd love to interview him or her for the blog. Here are the links: