by Sharla

Daily Doable 11/28/13

November 28, 2013 in ADHD, Daily Doable by Sharla

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Click here or the picture to watch the Daily Doable!

ADHD is a big deal in our house.  Both my son, Davis and my husband, Matt have been diagnosed.  It is also becoming a big deal in society, and rightfully so.  This under diagnosed condition is becoming more well known and better understood.  Why is that a good thing?  Because it is making it more possible for those who struggle with it’s down falls to overcome the daily and life long challenges it presents.  Christian Weeks knows all about the hard part of ADHD but, with his mother’s help (Michele Weeks, Mrs. Utah), he has found a hidden talent in himself that not only helps him to focus his talents and abilities but also increases his self esteem.  His hidden talent is song writing.  When Michele noticed his passion for making songs and music she realized that it could be a key to helping him develop his speech as well as give him focus, direction, and confidence.  So she took it to the next level.  She enlisted the help of a musician to write the actual music and then made videos of his songs!  This experience spurred her to start her campaign to bring awareness to people who struggle with ADHD and also to encourage parents of kids with ADHD to find their “hidden talents”.  Thus, the Thanksgiving Song was born!  Thank you, Christian for sharing your talents and video with us.  I believe in the impact finding hidden talents can have on a child.  

To read Michele’s blog post “ADHD: Finding the Gift Journey” click here.

by Sharla

Daily Doable 11/27/13

November 27, 2013 in Daily Doable by Sharla

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5 Great Tips for a Great Black Friday!

Click here or the picture to watch the Daily Doable!

by Sharla

Daily Doable 11/26/13

November 26, 2013 in Daily Doable by Sharla

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Blog Post:  DIY Gum Ball Necklaces – Check out How to Make Them!

Click here or the picture to watch the Daily Doable.

by Sharla

Daily Doable 11/25/13

November 25, 2013 in Daily Doable by Sharla

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Blog Post: Meg Singer, An American Indian Perspective on Thanksgiving.

Click here or the picture to watch the Daily Doable!

by Sharla

An American Indian View of Thanksgiving

November 25, 2013 in Guest Blogger, Thanksgiving by Sharla

An American Indian View of Thanksgiving

Meg Singer, Navajo, Shares her thoughts and experiences.

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Thanksgiving–the holiday to give thanks, the day of being thankful. Steeped in American tradition, Thanksgiving is celebrated a myriad of ways. Some celebrate by gorging themselves on food and watching football. Others view it as a good time to prepare for the Christmas season. And some people use it as a time to get together with friends and family. No matter how you celebrate, Thanksgiving is part of the American founder narrative and serves as homage to the “First Thanksgiving”, and the relationship between the Indians and Pilgrims of Plymouth, Massachusetts. You know the story: 

 A group of religiously persecuted people made their way across the ocean to the Promised Land. The Pilgrims were caught unprepared for the harsh winter. Nearing starvation, the friendly Indians & Pilgrims had a peaceful, cross-cultural exchange resulting in a feast where Pilgrim and Indian sat side-by-side dining on turkey, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. Thanksgiving honors the sacrifice those Indians made so that the Pilgrims could establish America.

Most likely, this is the story you heard at school or within your family. I know it’s what I was taught. My earliest recollections of Thanksgiving were the activities we did at school. I remember cutting out construction paper feathers and pasting them on a headband which we would then wear and bang on make-shift drums that were really old Quaker Oats containers. The PTA president would bring in turkey sugar cookies, or some sort of Fall treat. As the only Native American in my school, I would get bombarded of inquiries into how my Native lifestyle differed from theirs. I was asked what I ate, if I had a bow and arrow, and if I had a horse. And in true oral tradition, I would tell my peers elaborative lies stories that I was a great tracker & hunter, that I could speak to birds, and that I was an Indian princess who could hear voices on the wind. I knew that this wasn’t really what my tribe, or any other Indian I had known did, but this was what my peers wanted to hear and I felt that out of everyone, I should know what Indians do.

In all reality, the First Thanksgiving was far from the idyllic story we so want it to be. The Pilgrims were Puritans, religious zealots fleeing tyrannical oppression from their country. The Pilgrims believed that they could create a society that would be “a city on a hill”; an example to others of Christian values and work ethic. Ironically, the Puritans became as intolerant as the tyrants they were fleeing. Their contempt for the “heathen Indians” dominated their interactions with the local tribe, the Wampanoag. As time went on, Wampanoag/Pilgrim relations deteriorated and diplomacy was exchanged for colonialism, and most of the Wampanoag population was wiped out by disease, murdered or sold into slavery by the Pilgrims. Years of fighting between the two fractions ensued until the Wampanoag defeat in the King Philip’s War, which resulted in their displacement and loss of ancestral lands.

Thanksgiving has always been a strange concept for me. I’ve always wondered why I was taught false information in school, why a mythicized version of American history was taken as fact, and why no one seemed to care. Ignorance is the most damaging trait of our society. Ignorance creates apathy for circumstances that desperately need to be discussed.  Earlier in November, a high school in Alabama made a football banner that read, “Hey Indians, Get ready to leave in a Trail of Tears, Round 2”. The banner was a symbol of the ignorance these students had of the forced removal of the Cherokee band of Indians in 1830, The Trail of Tears. The students were completely apathetic to the plight of Native Americans, not a flicker of concern. Later on, their principle made apologies and used it as a teaching moment. Nevertheless, how wonderful it would have been if the students were taught this significant event in history, think what heartache and pain would have been spared if not for a little education. As such, as parents and educators, we are not doing the future leaders of tomorrow any favors by reducing the story of the “First Thanksgiving”.

The lack of historical accuracy and the perpetuation of false ideas of Indigenous peoples make Thanksgiving a wonderful opportunity for activism and education. Parents, educators, etc. should teach their children and students, a global, age-appropriate, unbiased, factual history. Here are some ideas to make your Thanksgiving a little better:

1.    Learn about food indigenous to the Americas: Potatoes, corn, squash, tomatoes, pumpkin, turkey and the cacao bean, to name a few. Talk to your kids about organic produce, gardening, or the environment.  Visit a local organic farm or farmer’s market. Ask your kids/students what they would have thought at seeing these foods for the first time. Have them write their experiences down as a creative writing project.

2.     Watch the PBS documentary “We Shall Remain: After the Mayflower”. Directed, narrated, written and portrayed by Native actors. American Experience went to great lengths in portraying the events of the First Thanksgiving through the lens of Native tribes and people. http://www.hulu.com/watch/196936

3.    Those with very young children, fall-themed crafts can be appropriate. Please try to omit pasting feathers on a headband, Quaker Oat drums, or this:

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I make it a point to reference the specific tribe involved in the First Thanksgiving. Often, when it comes to Thanksgiving, we think of the Indians with war paint, headdresses, buckskin, and teepees. The dehumanization of Indigenous peoples is linked to the active colonization they have been subjected to, beginning with the First Thanksgiving. It is easy to have power over a people if you take away all identifiers and group them into stereotyped representation. There are over 500 federally recognized tribes in the United States; each tribe has specific languages, cultures, religions, and forms of governance. Making pan-Indian representations of Indians and Pilgrims reduces various tribes and people to a caricature.

4.    Visit official websites of tribes in your state or area. In Utah, there are five tribes, the Navajo, Hopi, Goshute, Ute, and Paiute. The Utah Division of Indian Affairs provides free curriculum for students K-12. Materials are available through the county and city libraries. http://www.utahindians.org/Curriculum/index.php

You may be surprised by the amount of activism, research, and dialogue these tribes can provide.  They even have their own version of “We Shall Remain” which is curriculum sanctioned by the Governor’s Office. If this curriculum is not being taught in your child’s school please take it up with your district.

5.     Here are more ideas from the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. http://nmai.si.edu/sites/1/files/pdf/education/thanksgiving_poster.pdf

At my house, Thanksgiving has always been a time of thanks giving. My mom, the best cook in the word, makes the turkey, stuffing, salads, and desserts. It is a time when our busy, eclectic family comes together for wholesome activities and intellectual conversations. I look at Thanksgiving as a time I can give thanks for what I have, what I’ve learned, and what I can do.

 Happy Thanksgiving!

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Want to find out how this blog post came to be?  Click here!

by Sharla

Daily Doable 11/22/13

November 22, 2013 in Daily Doable by Sharla

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Welcome Home Jared!

Click here or the picture to watch the touching surprise reunion of my brother, Jared Lundberg with his kids upon returning from active duty over seas.

If you keep an eye on the blog you know that I come from a military family.  Today I am thrilled to welcome home my brother, Jared Lundberg, from his 3rd tour for the military over seas.  The Daily Doable was recorded at his daughters’ school.  The principal, Ashtyn and Atly’s teachers, and Jared’s beautiful wife Chelli all worked together to arranged a surprise for the girls at their school.  They knew Jared was coming home in the night, after dance, but the surprise was that he actually greeted them at a very special assembly held in his honor.  I am touched to see the level of support and love that has been shown to my brother and his family.  Family, friends, neighbors, and now a whole school have gone out of their way to honor him and Chelli.  Today, a am proud to be an American.  I thank Jared, his family, and all who serve our country.  I thank my supportive and thoughtful husband, Matt, for spray painting the canvas you see above for Jared and his family.  Jared and Chelli, we hope you feel the love and appreciation we all feel for you.  Thank you.

Click here to see the beautiful and moving story written up by Standard Examiner.

Click here to watch a very special Daily Doable honoring all veterans.

by Sharla

Daily Doable 11/21/13

November 21, 2013 in Daily Doable by Sharla

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Blog Post:  How to Make This Beautiful and Meaningful Christmas Gift!

Click here to the picture to watch the Daily Doable.

Click here to visit the instructions on this fabulous DIY project!

by Sharla

Daily Doable 9/20/13

November 20, 2013 in Daily Doable by Sharla

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Check Out Lulu Avenue!  Can’t make it to the party?  No problem, click the Lulu Avenue link to order online!

Click here or the picture to watch the Daily Doable!

by Sharla

DIY Gum Ball Necklaces

November 19, 2013 in Christmas, Cooking, Creating, Deserts, Easter, For Fun, Fun, Halloween, Halloween, Holdiay Cooking, Kids, Parties, Valentine's Day by Sharla

DIY Gum Ball Necklaces

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Are you ready?  Are you ready for the cutest, easiest gift/activity you can possibly do?  Here it is…string gum balls on wrapping string like beads.  Wear.  Eat.  It’s that simple.  This tutorial is actually included in my Kids Halloween Party post but it’s worth pointing out how applicable it is to every single holiday.

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You Need:

Gum Balls

Curling Ribbon (you know, the ribbon you put around presents and then use the edge of scissors to run along the string to make it curl).  I usually buy the big spools of this from Joann.com, if you use a 40% off coupon you have a ton of ribbon for just a couple of dollars.

Exacto Knife

Large Needles

Ok, this one is way worth it but takes a little more prep work.  First, you need gum balls (shocking, I know).  Next you need to make the holes on either side.  I did this with an Exacto knife.  I just poked the tip of the knife into the gum ball and then twirled it around while applying pressure to make the hole on each side.  A little time consuming but easier than you might think.  What’s less time consuming is my husband washed and fitted his drill with a small drill bit and drilled the holes for me.  This was so much quicker and easier.  He drilled 200 gum balls in about an hour.

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Next, use a large needle and a long piece of curling ribbon (you know, the ribbon you wrap presents with that curl when you run the edge of scissors along it’s edge) just like a needle and thread.  String each gum ball onto the curling ribbon, and tie on.  Winner, winner, gum ball dinner!

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<3, Sharla

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by Sharla

Legend of the Sand Dollar

November 19, 2013 in Christmas, Christmas Creations, Creating, Kids by Sharla

The Legend of the Sand Dollar

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You’re seeing this, right?  I mean, fist off check out this picture I took.  I gotta say, I’m getting pretty good.  But also, check out this sweet, inexpensive, beautiful, meaningful (is that enough adjectives for you) Christmas gift!  I made these a few years ago for a group of young women I taught, and they loved it!  This is also a very easy gift to duplicate OR just give the poem, bag and sand dollar and let the kids make their own necklace.  Here we go, I know you’re itching to do this.

You Will Need:

  • Sand Dollars (click here to view the exact one I bought in the picture)
  • 1 piece textured paper to print the poem on
  • Small fabric pouch (click here to see a great site to order bulk on)
  • 3 Double jewelry Rings
  • 1 Spring Clasp
  • 1 Necklace Chain
  • Wire Cutters or good scissors

*No kidding, besides the sand dollars, I bought every single item I need fro this project at Joann.com

The Method:

First, let’s do the easiest part, printing the poem.  Have you read this before?  It’s so beautiful!  Because I did this for many people I printed the poem 2 per page on a pretty textured computer paper then just ripped them apart, giving them a nice natural edge.  And it was faster than cutting.  😉  Because I’m so super nice, I have included a PDF of the poem for you to print off.  Click Legend of Sand Dollar to print the PDF.

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If this is all you’re planning on, just rip the poem apart on both sides, roll it up around a pencil and put one in each bag with a sand dollar.  There you have it.

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For those of you over achievers who want to make a necklace, it’s actually really simple.

Step 1:  Cut you’re necklace chain to the right length using your wire cutters.

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Step 2:  Attach the 3 double rings, one to the sand dollar and one on each side of the chain.  This is simple, just like putting a key on a key chain.  The only tricky part was getting it on the sand dollar.  I actually just used a small piece of jewelry wire to make a ring for that part.

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Step 3:  Attach the necklace clip to the double rings.

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NOW you’re ready to give a lovely and meaningful gift this season.

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Awwww!  Look how pretty!  This is a winner!  Merry Christmas, everyone!

<3, Sharla

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