Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Secret Video, if you can solve our Christmas Puzzle

Christmas Puzzle 2010This year we've hidden a secret video message as the solution to our puzzle. Only those that can spot the 8 differences in our annual Christmas Puzzle will be able to figure out the password. Are you up to the challenge?

Note: If you need some help there are hints on the puzzle page and even the complete solution, but try solving it without help first... it's more fun that way.

When you solve it, please don't give away the answer but feel free to add a comment to let us know that you successfully figured it out. And we are always looking for new ideas for next year's Christmas puzzle, so submit those too.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Our Halloween Costumes (Chess Pieces) won First Place!


As part of our annual Halloween tradition, we come up with a family theme for our costumes. This year we went as Chess Pieces. We entered two local Halloween costume contests and we won first place in group/family for both.

Felicia came up with our theme this year. It started when Michael suggested he wanted to be a knight. After tossing around ideas like "royalty" or "knights of the round table", Felicia noted that the knight is one of 6 different chess pieces. It was a perfect match!

All clothing (apart from my pants/shirt/vest) was sewn by Felicia.
  • The King's costume had a lined robe made of panne and a faux-fur shoulder piece. I strung the livery chain and medalion and constructed the crown.


  • For Rosemary's Queen costume, both the dress and the robe were sewn by Felicia and I made and decorated the crown.


  • For Michael's Knight costume, Felicia made the faux-chainmail hood and sleeves. The tunic and the pants were made out of a soft-faux-leather material. The helmet, shield and sword were painted to match, and then I embellished the shield with the chessboard pattern and the chess piece emblem.


  • Felicia sewed all her Bishop's vestments which included the velvet robe, the white cotton alb, the rope cincture, the stole and the decorated black chausable. I made and decorated the bishop's mitre.


  • For Jason's Rook piece, the structure was made using embroidery hoops, poster and illustration board, a "pleather" material for the brick, and glitter paint for the grout.


  • Finally, Felicia did all the sewing for Amara's Pawn dress and a Juliet cap. The bottom of the dress had a hoop made out of plastic tubing sewn into the hem to give the fullness.



  • Once again, Felicia deserves all the credit for her weeks of sewing and I'll take credit for the construction, painting and decorating. Oh, and did you notice the chessboard trick or treat bags? Felicia sewed those too. Each of us had a bag with our corresponding chess piece. I think that helped people figure out the theme.

    Take a look at our costumes for this year and years past

    Sunday, October 10, 2010

    Jason's 9th Birthday - A Mario Party Theme

    Jason's 9th Birthday 'Mario Party' VideoTo celebrate turning 9, Jason chose a Mario Party theme for his birthday this year. Guests played real-life versions of several of the mini-games from the Mario Party game series including Shy Guy Says, Hot Bob-omb, Sugar Rush and Catch You Letter.

    In addition the children had to guess the number of gold coins hidden in four treasure chests, played Bowser Bingo, bashed a Chain Chomp piƱata and ate a Grand Star birthday cake.

    We put together a fun video of all the festivities. Click on the thumbnail above to see a movie from Jason's 9th Birthday Party.

    Wednesday, June 30, 2010

    Amara's 7th Birthday Party

    Amara's 7th Birthday Party VideoAmara chose "Art" as her birthday theme this year. Guests decorated keepsake boxes, made their own pizzas, were challenged with an art quiz, played ring toss (over paint brushes) and ball toss (into paint cans), broke open a colorful pinata, played "know your colors" bingo, ate dinner and homemade cake, gathered prizes and balloons and took home a packet of mazes, word finds and other puzzles.

    Thank you to everyone that came to celebrate with Amara. She really appreciated everyone being there, the fun she had and all the gifts she received.

    Take a look at the video from Amara's 7th Birthday Party.

    Sunday, June 27, 2010

    Swimming Fun with Sydney and Sara

    Swimming Fun VideoTanya came out to visit with the twins, Sydney and Sara. Obviously the kids had a great time playing with their cousins in the pool with lots of jumping, splashing, spinning and other water fun.

    I put together a short video entitled Swimming Fun with Sydney and Sara. Enjoy!

    Production Notes: I used our waterproof camera to get shots of people in the pool and jumping into the water. Most of the editing was done in the latest version of Windows Live Movie Maker, but I had to use Sony Vegas for a couple "special effects". I think you'll know which ones once you see the video.

    Monday, April 26, 2010

    Rosemary's French Commercial, Le Baton!

    Play Le Baton VideoRosemary, along with her classmates Will and J.P., came up with the following French commercial as part of a French class assignment. They had to create a commercial for a product and tout the positive uses (along with things to avoid). This was filmed over a weekend and then edited together with sound effects, titles, etc.

    So have you heard about this new useful product that everyone should have? If not, be sure to watch the commercial so you too can have one. Everyone should go out now and buy Le Baton!.

    Sunday, March 28, 2010

    Video Thank You Letter to Jason's 3rd Grade Teacher

    Play Thank you VideoAs part of Teacher Appreciation week at school, Jason's 3rd Grade class made a video thank you letter for their teacher, Mr. Fisher.

    Take a look at their Video Thank You Letter to Mr. Fisher.