Wednesday, November 28, 2007


The Republican YouTube debate was so much more exciting than the Democrat debate a few weeks ago. They really went after each other. Too bad so much time was wasted on issues I care nothing about.

O.k., not that I don't care about abortion. I'm not going to go into my personal views on it because it would go on too long and take a lot of thought and careful writing for me to articulate it (thank heavens I don't have to speak in soundbites). I don't think that Roe v. Wade can be overturned in this country, but there is so much we can do to reduce the number of abortions. Why aren't we talking about that? Democrats don't because that would suggest they think women's choice should be limited. Republicans won't because they might possibly look pro-choice if they talk about anything except getting Roe v. Wade overturned.

I am getting so sick of the immigration talk. Not because I don't think there are some real problems relating to it, but because I have yet to hear anyone suggest a practical solution. To me, providing a way to legalization for those who are here seems like the only practical solution. Call me a flaming liberal. Yes, they did break the law when they came in illegally, but what are we going to do about it now? Send them all back? I know that is what some have proposed but I have never heard anything more ridiculous. Can you imagine? That would cost more than the war and would probably prove about as successful.

Politicians will go on and on about buying American goods and protecting American jobs. To me it looks like many of the high-paying blue collar jobs have moved out of this country and for good. Why aren't we talking about educating our citizens for a new and exciting future rather than holding onto a past that is obsolete? We're like five-year olds who don't want to give up the ratty blankie to go to kindergarten.

I don't seem to care who of the Republican candidates owns a gun.

Why no questions on Iran? Education? Health care?

I did like the Muslim woman's question about how the U.S. will repair its international reputation and specifically its bad rap with Muslims. I thought Guiliani's response was not so great. He said we will not blame the group for what a few individuals have done. To me that doesn't answer the question.

Huckabee had a good night.

Romney seems decisive, energetic, and intelligent. And he's so handsome. Unfortunately, he has a liberal past to deal with that I think will keep him from getting elected. I think that's turning into a bigger problem for him than the Mormon issue. I still like to think that people really don't hold it against him that he's Mormon. I like to think we've moved beyond that.

candy glass

Monday night we made these ornaments with Jolly Ranchers candy. It was a little messy and I wondered if it would be worth it but they did turn out pretty.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

the new face of global mormonism

Nigeria is half Muslim and almost half Christian, and proselytizing foreigners, from the United States to Saudi Arabia, are pouring millions of dollars into the African nation of 135 million to expand their faiths.
Ebiloma has sampled a range of them. He was born into a pagan family and still bears the scars of tribal markings carved into his cheeks when he was young. After attending Muslim schools as a child, he tried various Christian churches before finding what he described as "happiness and peace" in Mormonism.
Now, Ebiloma nodded and smiled as fellow Mormons told their stories. One woman described the joy of having her family "sealed," a ritual that Mormons believe ensures that families stay together beyond death. Another said she believed that tithing -- the Mormon practice of members giving one-tenth of their income to the church -- "would bring great blessings."
A third woman praised Gordon B. Hinckley, the 97-year-old church president in Salt Lake City, who followers believe receives divine revelations. "I know President Hinckley is the living prophet," she said, just as amplified clapping and stomping in a nearby Pentecostal church began drowning out more testimonies.
"It is quiet and more organized in here," Ebiloma said later. "In other churches, people are shouting at the top of their lungs, sweating so much they need a hanky. One thing I know for sure: God is not deaf."

Read the Washington Post article.

civic duty

A couple weeks ago I opened up a BYU Magazine to see there on the first page a call for alumni to remember their civic duty, inform themselves of the candidates and issues, and vote. Don't be cynical, it said.

I took it to heart and that night I watched the Democratic debate on CNN. I am sad to report that I am still cynical, but I begin to be fascinated by Hillary Clinton. When she was in the White House the first time I never took her seriously because she seemed so desperate to be taken seriously and of course I had to be contrary. I didn't think anyone else would take her seriously. Then people started hating her and I couldn't see reason for that. Not that she was beneath contempt, exactly, but I simply didn't think her worthy of much thought. And then she announced her run for Senate and I laughed. And then she won and I thought, "Those New York flakes" because that's what Mainers think. I mean, what in heaven's name did Hillary Clinton have to recommend her for a Senate seat? And then I started to hear that she was the Democratic shoo-in for the next presidential election. I didn't laugh but I did think, "Whoa, doggies! What is going on here?"

I am beginning to understand now why she is where she is. She is one savvy campaigner. She is one tireless campaigner. She is connected to Bill, who people cannot help but like. It really is too bad she does not seem fit for the office of president because I think she wants it more than any other candidate. She is becoming very good at making herself appear intelligent, decisive, and competent. I honestly wish that were really the case but I fear it is not. I think she would make a very poor president indeed. However, given our current presidential situation, probably most people are thinking it could not possibly get worse.

nana and grampie

My Mum and Dad just left and I'm so sad! We had a wonderful visit with them. They stayed ten days but it wasn't enough.

Marcus and Grampie played a lot of wii together. Marcus calls Grampie "Richard" and sometimes "Ricardo." There was a bowling tournament last night. Marcus is a bowling pro and the best bowler in the family, but he suffered a humiliating loss at the hands of Bernie. In the second photo of Grampie playing wii, you can see the character the kids made up for him on the t.v. screen. The white screen behind him covering our fireplace is a shade we pull down to project movies on.
Yesterday Nana, Bernie, Lidia, and I walked part-way around Lake Harriet. Bernie was not up for the whole loop. She complained of the cold the whole way.
When Nana and Grampie left this morning, Lidia was the only kid home. I didn't get a photo of them with everyone this time.

Saturday, November 24, 2007


This morning Mom, Jorge, and I went to the Walker for the Frida Kahlo exhibit. It is really sad what she suffered physically and emotionally. She was in almost constant physical pain, sometimes terrible pain, because of injuries sustained in a bus accident as a girl. She was obsessed with Diego Rivera and his awful infidelities, including an affair with her sister, tortured her. She longed to bear children but suffered several miscarriages. It amazed me how she was able to turn this pain into beauty. Some of Kahlo's self-portraits are brutal but in all of them she has the same composed, direct expression. I wonder if she really transcended her pain to the extent that she appears to in the paintings. Was she that stoic? I read something that stated that Frida led a "full and passionate life." She was obviously passionate, but I think a major theme in her paintings is that her life was not full. Her dreams were thwarted.
I'm interested in reading more about her.

Friday, November 23, 2007


I should have posted this yesterday but didn't get the chance.

I'm grateful for husband who thinks I'm a babe and puts up with my crazy dreams. Not just puts up with them, but nourishes them.

For my children who teach me every day how to be kind, forgiving, loving, and wise.

For my kin, who love me in spite of my weirdness and even read this blog.

For the weird ways of my kin. Thanks merciful heavens we're not normal.

For the sun.

For a merciful Heavenly Father who hasn't given up on us.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

chocolate pecan

Can you tell I'm just a little proud of this pie? I made it yesterday using Nessa's crust recipe. We'll see if it tastes as good as it looks. The crust should taste good because it has enough shortening in it to grease... I don't know what. Words fail me. O.k., every commentor on this post must say what this pie has enough shortening in it to grease.
I've never tried chocolate pecan before. I randomly picked a recipe of the internet.
We have light snow today. Looks pretty.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

thank you

I wanted to thank everyone who included some suggestions for ficiton titles in their comments. Wow! Some I'd never even heard of, but I'm adding them to my list. As I try to broaden my reading horizons, it is so helpful to learn about other people's favorites.

I went with Blackbringer, a first YA fantasy novel by Laini Taylor. I first heard of Taylor in this author interview on Shannon Hales' website. I love Taylor's personal website and blog as well as her thoughts on writing in the Not for Robots blog.

I've only read four chapters, but I'm already very impressed with the writing. This is good stuff! No wonder it's so touted. It's about a devil-hunting fairy named Magpie.


Nana and Grampie are visiting for a couple weeks, much to everyone's delight. Do you remember the board game "Clue?" My kids love it. That's what they did earlier this morning and now they're watching "The Sound of Music." Church starts at 1 pm for us.


We had another recital yesterday. Lidia did great, as usual. Of all the performers, she was definitely the most relaxed. She has a funny habit of looking all around the room while she plays instead of looking down at her violin as most do. It's sometimes a problem because she gets distracted and then forgets what she's playing, but she did an excellent job yesterday.

I didn't do so well. This time it wasn't my bow hand that rebelled, but my violin hand. I played "Witches' Dance," a super easy song for me, but it didn't sound too hot.

I think I was even more nervous this time than for my first recital and that is discouraging. I was hoping it would get better.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

eclipse: do i like it or not?

Ave, my straightforward sister was not satisfied with my post about Eclipse. She wants to know if I liked it or not.

I feel like if I said either way, I'd have to qualify it. I did like it, but man! That Bella really annoyed me. She was weak and drippy, though worse than that, given to over self-analysis. I realize that may seem hypocritical coming from me, the queen of navel-gazing, but just because I do it does not mean I tolerate it in others. Also, I simply cannot sympathize with her passion for Edward. I have never been attracted to men who are better looking than I am. Maybe it's vanity, I don't know. No, I think very handsome men tend to be boring. I've always liked men who make me laugh. (I have to say I had no problem with the love triangle, because I was rooting for the ethnic one with the big smile. Probably no surprise there.) Also, Edward came off as smug, self-righteous, and controlling.

So then maybe I didn't like it. But! I did drop everything to read these books. True, I did not purchase them. I waited my turn for library copies of the first two and then borrowed the last. But I kept turning those pages. I thought the suspense was pretty good and I appreciated the action. I liked all the vampire and werewolves stuff.

Does that answer your question, Ave? :-)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

and now?

"I've only read a few pages describing Church leaders' attitudes toward blacks in the 50's and 60's. It's shocking to me, but I see that it was part of the times. These old men, educated and well-traveled though they were, were products of their conservative, insular culture."

I just reread the above statement from my previous post and I thought to myself, "So what's our excuse now?" The LDS church leaders of the mid-20th century truly said some outrageous things about black people. They took measures to keep blacks out of Utah, say nothing about giving them the priesthood. To say that most were not in favor of Civil Rights is an understatement.

No one would say those things today. However, I read recently in the Wall Street Journal about the school district in Massachusetts that tried to desegregate its schools. There was one elementary school of mostly black children in this community of mostly whites. Studies have shown that black children make notable academic gains when learning in classrooms with white peers. The district decided to reorganize their school boundaries so as to desegregate their schools. White parents were outraged. They took the district to court and the court ruled in favor of the parents. There was a June 2007 Supreme Court decision that ruled that desegregating schools based on race is unconstitutional.

Last spring our school district voted to redraw our school boundaries because we have a "racially identifiable" school in our district. I just got an email from the district saying that the board has reversed its decision based on the Supreme Court case outcome. In our community there was also quite a bit of opposition to desegregation.

So, we may say that we are not racist. We may say, "Heck, I'm a Democrat! Go, Obama!" We may say that some of our best friends are black people. We may say that LDS church leaders of the 50's and 60's were racist pigs. And we may say that we love black people, as long as they stay in their own schools.


A couple weeks ago I ignored everyone and everything for two days to read the third in the Twilight series, Eclipse. You've heard of these, right? The vampire and high school girl who fall in love? It is a hugely popular, best-selling series by Stephenie Meyers, incidentally a member of the LDS church. I think they're making Twilight into a movie. I can see why these books are so popular. Meyers is a genius at blending romance, suspense, and action. There are times when I get very tired of Bella, the heroine. She is weak and annoying. Actually, the other characters annoy me too, but character development is so far from being the draw of these books, it's not even worth mentioning. I applaud Meyers for coming up with such a unique fantasy series. I've never read anything like it.

I finally finished Dorothy Dunnett's Niccolo Rising. People rave about this series. The first sentence is brilliant: "From Venice to Cathay, from Seville to the Gold Coast of Africa, men anchored their ships and opened their ledgers and weighed one thing against another as if nothing would ever change." Whoo! I love it. The fifteenth-century merchant's world is gloriously alive in this book. I could see it, feel it, smell it. There are fascinating characters caught up in equally fascinating situations. I loved the frequent shifts in perspective. You get into everybody's head here. However, there are two reasons I will not continue with the series. First, there are too many characters for me to keep track of. There is a four page list at the beginning of the book. Second, Dunnett's prose obscures the action. I blame it on her because it makes me feel better. I don't like to think I'm not bright enough to follow what is happening. People have conversations and I don't know what they are talking about. They give each other significant looks and I don't know why. "What in Sam Hill is going on here?" I wonder. Sometimes I would find out a few pages or chapters later, and sometimes not.

I gave J David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism for his birthday and we're both reading it. I've only read the first couple chapters. David O. McKay was the tall, handsome, charismatic prophet of the Mormon church in the mid-20th century. Under his leadership the Church went from being a Podunk, Utah concern run by long-bearded polygamists to a world-wide, modern organization. The book takes an unprecedented look at how the highest leadership of the Church works. It is organized by topic rather than chronologically.

It is completely fascinating. J and I have been discussing it quite a bit. I've just started the chapter called "Blacks, Civil Rights, and the Priesthood." Wow. I've only read a few pages describing Church leaders' attitudes toward blacks in the 50's and 60's. It's shocking to me, but I see that it was part of the times. These old men, educated and well-traveled though they were, were products of their conservative, insular culture.

The "Free Agency and Tolerance" chapter was also an eye-opener. I didn't realize there was such controversy about the book Mormon Doctrine written by Bruce R. McConkie. When I was growing up, this book sat on the shelves next to the scriptures and was the resource sought after the Bible Dictionary or Topical Guide when preparing a talk for church. It was The. Mormon. Doctrine. Here is what President McKay wrote in his diary about it: "It was agreed that the necessary corrections are so numerous that to republish a corrected edition of the book would be such an extensive repudiation of the original as to destroy the credit of the author; that the republication of the book should be forbidden and that the book should be repudiated in such a way as to save the career of the author as one of the General Authorities of the Church."

The book was eventually revised and republished and according to the authors of this McKay book, "[It] became one of the all-time best sellers in Mormondom, achieving the near-canonical status that McKay had fought unsuccessfully to avoid, and setting a tone of doctrinal fundamentalism, antithetical to McKay's personal philosophy, that remains a legacy of the church to this day." Well! From what I read here it does seem that McKay was very tolerant of divergent beliefs within the Church. The information on the debate about biological evolution was also very interesting, though this is something I had read about before. Joseph Fielding Smith wrote an anti-evolution book called Man, His Origin and Destiny. He pressured the Church seminaries and Institutes of Religion to include it as a text in their classes. Three of the apostles at the time were scientists. They supported evolution and were vehemently opposed to Smith's book. McKay didn't make any public statements in favor of evolution, but it seems that he was inclined to believe it. However, he did not publicly oppose the book, and a result (according to the authors) Smith's views "came to be embraced by a substantial porportion of the church membership as the official position." I grew up believing it was so.

I'm excited to read more!

I haven't decided yet what to read next for fiction. I always like to have a novel going. But nothing jumps out at me right now.

Monday, November 12, 2007

making cake on sunday

historically speaking

We continue studying history as a family. On Saturday we read about the New Kingdom of Egypt. I read aloud about Thutmose I and his expansion of the Egyptian empire. However, Thutmose's conquest of the Nubians was not nearly as interesting to the kids as the pronunciation of his name. Why, of why, did I have to say "Toot-mose"? Why could I have not foreseen the hilarity and said, "Tut-mose" instead?

"Tootmost? His name was Tootmost?" asks Lidia. And the rest was history.

I had to switch to "T-Mo" for the rest of the chapter. Sheesh. You would have thought I'd learned my lesson by the time I got to "Tutankhamen."

"What? 'Toot-in-common?'" says Lidia.

Ay ay ay.

The worst was Sunday afternoon after stake conference. We were driving home and the kids said something that reminded J and me and about the prior afternoon.

"That is the only thing that our kids will remember about Egyptian history. 'Oh yeah, Egypt,' they'll say. 'There was this pharoah named 'Tootmost,'" I said.

"They won't even remember his real name!" J said.. "It's not 'Tootmost.' It's 'Tootmore.' Oh! I mean..."

He was not trying to joke. He really remembered it as "Tootmore." I started the silent laugh, alternately holding my cramped stomach and wiping helplessly at my streaming mascara. It was one of those times that I laugh so hard I cried. And I don't mean that my eyes watered while I laughed. They always do that. I mean I started crying and actually feeling sad. I stopped laughing. Maybe because my stomach hurt? (Am I the only one this happens to? Is that what they call "hysterics?") I thought we were going to swerve off the road because J was also laughing so hard he couldn't drive well. We were weaving.

Obviously it's not as funny in print. You had to be there.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

thoughts on early education article

I'm confused about how they divided the preschools into "social" vs. "academic" in the study cited in the article. Couldn't some schools be both?

I know that some preschools definitely stress the "social" aspects. Lidia went to a preschool like that when she was three. There was a lot of free play time and they focused on one letter per week. Lidia already knew the alphabet and she expressed disappointment that she wasn't learning to read.

That's when I started helping her learn (at her insistence) and she could read before she was four. In the article it says, "Researchers who've been marinating in reading studies for years say a tiny percentage of children - maybe 3 percent, maybe a little more or less - can be classified as truly early readers. These 3- or 4-year-olds understand phonics and context, and they will likely keep up their accelerated reading pace throughout their school years." Lidia fell into this category and she has kept up her accelerated reading pace. However, I still wish I had not taught her to read so early. Why? I think if I had waited she might have been more exited about reading. Lidia was a reluctant reader for several years. It didn't interest her very much. It was like, "Been there, done that." If I had waited until she was older to teach her, the excitement may have lasted longer. But who knows? Hindsight is 20/20. Lidia is now starting to enjoy reading again. She is very particular about what she reads, but when she finds a book she likes, she devours it.

Lidia's second year of preschool she went to what I suppose would be categorized as an "academic" preschool. She was encouraged to read, learn math facts, and study geography. She loved the learning part and did much better socially in that school where she seemed to have more in common with the other students. Marcus also went to that preschool. He had shown zero interest in learning the alphabet and didn't know all the letters when he started that September, just having turned four. Before Christmas he could read. The teacher thought I'd taught him and I thought she'd taught him. I don't think Lidia and Marcus were less enthusiastic about learning in first grade because they'd been to this "academic" preschool, in fact I think their experiences there helped them to love learning.

So, I have to say I'm surprised by those findings. They don't fit our experience. But maybe when they say "academic" they are talking about the bizarre, extreme places described in the article.

What did you think about the findings about the varying linguistic backgrounds of children coming from different socio-economic backgrounds? When I read that my first thought was what an enormous burden we place on our schools to try to make up for that via "No Child Left Behind" and the like.

I am in favor of art history being taught to elementary school children. In fact, it's more important to me that my children love and understand art than knowing the facts about all the stupid wars of the world. However, I had to laugh at the idea of teaching a 3-month-old about art with flashcards. To appreciate art, children need to first appreciate the beauty in nature, including the human body and realize that God is the ultimate artist. They need to enjoy their senses. That's what babies and toddlers should be doing rather than recognizing Cezanne from Monet. And when they are older they should see art in museums, not on flashcards.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

early education article

Rush, Little Baby
How the push for infant academics may actually be a waste of time - or worse

Anyone seen this Boston Globe article? A friend and fellow mother of early readers sent me the link.

Here are some tantalizing quotes that I hope will lure you read it (even though it's long) so we can all discuss :-):

"Temple University psychologist Kathy Hirsh-Pasek and two colleagues compared children in academically oriented preschools with those in socially oriented preschools. At age 5, those in the academic group knew more numbers and letters than their counterparts in the social group. But those gains faded away by around the first grade. And the kids from the academic preschools were observed to be less creative and less enthusiastic about learning."
"Carleton Washburne compared the trajectories of children who had begun reading at several ages, up to 7. Washburne concluded that, in general, a child could best learn to read beginning around the age of 6. By middle school, he found no appreciable difference in reading levels between the kids who had started young versus the kids who had started later, except the earlier readers appeared to be less motivated and less excited about reading." ...

"Across four years, the average child from a professional family would have heard nearly 45 million words spoken to them, the average child from a working class family, 26 million, and the average child from a family on welfare, 13 million. That means that compared with the affluent child, the poor child would be starting school with an astonishing deficit of 32 million words of language experience." ...

"In eight seconds, she flips through seven cards for seven composers, from Frederick Delius to Maurice Ravel, before beginning a longer riff extolling the genius of Claude Debussy and his "Sunken Cathedral" masterpiece. Her students, four boys and four girls wearing lavender overalls or jumpers and bearing familiar names like Isabel and Benjamin, listen attentively. They range in age from 5 down to 2 1/2." ...

"...Hirsh-Pasek argues that this heightened push for early learning might even slow down normal brain development through a phenomenon known as neurological "crowding," where information jams up the synapses in the brain that might best be reserved for more creative tasks in later years."

Monday, November 05, 2007

looking back

In a recent post I was looking back at my twenties and wondering why I'm happier now in my thirties. J and I were discussing it again and he was talking about how when we look back at times in our lives we perceive as difficult, we often don't remember things as they really were. It's almost as if we are looking at someone else with her load of challenges and thinking, "I could never do that." We project onto our past selves what we imagine we would feel now if we suddenly had those challenges. Yes, probably I did that to some extent, when I looked back at my twenties.

Maybe it wasn't so much about the challenges I had, but the way I felt about myself. I think I didn't know myself very well yet and hadn't discovered all my interests. I didn't know how to say no to something that seemed worthwhile and good. I didn't accept myself and I cared too much about what others thought. Not just what others thought about me, but what they thought about anything. I was so easily swayed, so attracted to every bit of perceived wisdom.

I think I may always be that way, to some extent. I am a Greek of Mars Hill, only wanting to tell or hear some new thing. Hey, maybe I'm doing it again. Maybe I haven't changed at all. It's just part of looking at my past self through this skewed perception. Maybe I was very happy in my twenties. Maybe happier than I am now. Who knows?

How's that for navel gazing?

Friday, November 02, 2007

fixing it

Oops! I read Montse's post on this but didn't see that she tagged me. Athena is more clever than I at coming up with funny ones but I'll give it a go.

It's supposed to be 5 life classes to "fix my sorry existence" but I'm including some self-help titles:

1. Counting Sheep: Beating Insomnia 999...1000...1001

2. Anti-Perfectionism 101-102 Accelerated.

3. Anti-Procrastination 99 Remedial.

4. How to Survive Being the Ward Activities Committee Co-Chair

5. The Moms' Book: How to be the Best at Everything. Lidia has The Girls' Book but I think there should be a Mom version. But maybe if I take the Anti-Perfectionism class first I can skip this one...


I read this article from yesterday's WSJ while I ate breakfast this morning and it soured my stomach. I am so angry about it it brings tears to my eyes. I'm not sure why I'm reacting so strongly to this. Maybe because I also have three daughters.

It's about the whole casual s*x thing. How teenagers are ditching homecoming and the like for hanging out in dark basements. The demise of romance and chivalry.

This enraged me:

"Young women are longing for romance," says Laura Sessions Stepp, author of "Unhooked: How Young Women Pursue S*x, Delay Love and Lose at Both." She interviewed girls who considered it empowering to be dismissive of romance and casual about s*x. Later, many were beset with regrets.
Obviously, boys no longer have to call girls on Wednesday for a Saturday date. Now, college boys seeking weekend ho*kups send girls "U busy?" text messages at 2 or 3 a.m., and girls routinely rouse themselves and go, according to Ms. Stepp's research. Many girls spend the next day clutching their cellphones, waiting in vain for the boy to call.

Why in heaven's name would he call? The girl just demonstrated that she has zero sense of self worth. It would be more empowering for her to take money for such an act.

On the one hand I'd like to take these girls by their shoulders, shake them and yell, "Why are you so stupid?" On the other hand, I feel sympathy for them that their options are so bad, that's the choice they go with. It angers me very much that pop culture is telling them that ho*kups are empowering. I can't imagine anything more degrading. At least, I can't imagine anything more degrading that is put out there as acceptable and even normal. As in, there is something wrong with you if you have a problem with ho*kups.

I thought I would feel better after posting about it. Maybe I do a little bit, but not much.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

happy birthday to my man

I've started writing something lovey-dovey and then deleted it several times now.
I guess I'm not that confessional.
Happy birthday, Hon.

el baile del gorilla

Guess whose station at the Day of the Dead celebration was the most popular? Mine, thanks to this song. I also taught them the electric slide. Oh, how I wish I'd taken the camcorder!!
Can you see Marcus? He's toward the center in a red shirt.

feliz dia de los muertos

Happy Day of the Dead! We made these Monday evening and it was so much fun. We're definitely doing it every year. You can buy the molds at HearthSong.