For the Kids Friday #65

Welcome to the party!!!
That time of year is fast approaching!  Soon, children will be finishing school for the summer, and the house will not be quiet (or clean) until school is back in session.  Do you get nervous about managing a home with kids over the summer months?  Or, do you look forward to having that quality time with your children?  If you are like me, it's a little of both!  It is good to keep a good stock of ideas on hand.  I think For the Kids Fridays is a great resource for that!  I can't wait to see all of the summer ideas you are sharing here!  Thanks so much for joining the fun!

 Check out my favorites from last week's party!
These posts have been pinned to the SunScholars THE BEST OF... For the Kids Fridays AND the Kid Blogger Network Board on Pinterest!

If you've been featured below
grab my A++ and brag about it to your friends :)

Dr. Seuss Ice Cream Party
at Mom on Timeout

Solar Fairy House
at Jellyfish Jelly

DIY Sidewalk Paint
at Joyfully Weary

Kid Wash
at Familylicious

30+ Playdough Recipes
at Familylicious

Now, on to this week's party!
For the Kids Friday

1)  I would LOVE for you to first be a follower of my blog.  (And why wouldn't you want to be?!)

2)  Grab my For the Kids Fridays Button and place it somewhere on your blog.  Be sure to link back to me!

3)  Link up as many KID-RELATED activities, games, recipes, parties, gifts, clothing you've created, crafts, traditions, lessons, and so on... that you would like to share.  Please add a different link each week.  They can be old or new... this is just a place to share ideas for our kids to enjoy.  Bonus points to those that serve some educational purpose too!  Link must be to the specific post, and not your general blog page.  Please don't link to your store.

4)  Share the love and comment on at least one other link.  Everyone loves to get feedback.

That's it!  Have fun, and thanks so much for participating!

Merkley family photos

I wanted to get these posted before I forgot how they were all labeled.
These come from the personal albums of Ellen Fletcher, and appear to be at some type of Merkley family gathering in May 1937.
Click on images to get a better view of them all.

FRONT: Ralph Merkley, Grace Colton, Sarah Colton, Bryce Merkley, Miles Colton, Kathleen Merkley, Lois Hansen, Doug Merkley, Elmo Colton.
MIDDLE: Geraldine Merkley, Kathryn Sander (just behind), Merle B Merkley, Ellis Merkley holding Delores (just behind), Jean Merkley, Mary Sander, Keturah Merkley (half face), Helen Colton, Virginia Merkley, B.O. "Bernie" Colton.
BACK: Aird Merkley holding Glade, Isabrand Sander (half face), Clair Fletcher holding Ruel, Rulon Hansen.

This one is essentially the same as above but with a few different people, so it's worth relabeling again:
FRONT: Ralph M, Grace C, Sarah C, Bryce M, Miles C, Kathleen M, Lois H, Doug M, Elmo C.
MIDDLE:Geraldine M, Kathryn S (just behind), Merle B M, Ellis M holding Delores (hidden), Jean M, Isabrand S, Mary S, Keturah (half face), Helen C, Virginia M, Bernie C.
BACK: Ellen F, Clair F holding Ruel,  Rulon H, Asher M.

FRONT: Glade Merkley, Ralph Merkley, Miles Colton, Doug Merkley, Elmo Colton, Clair Fletcher, Rulon Hansen holding Ruel, Bryce Merkley, Asher Merkley.
BACK: Ellis Merkley, Aird Merkley, Bernie Colton, Isabrand Sander.

 Ladies in FRONT: Jean Merkley, Mary Sander, Margaret Hansen, Keturah "Kate" Merkley, Helen Colton.
Gents in BACK: Ellis Merkley, Isabrand Sander, Ellen Fletcher, Clair Fletcher, Rulon Hansen, Asher Merkley.

And They Danced by the Light of the Moon

Thanks to the fact that we all have been a bit under the weather here for about two weeks I am a bit behind on the posts I had planned. I have a couple half written and several projects I am working on but nothing ready to go for today so all I will bore you with another chalkboard. I want to put this on a long bolster and will probably switch it to "and dance by the light of the moon..." instead of what I have on the chalkboard. The chalkboard is from the childhood classic "The Owl and the Pussycat" and I think I would rather have it be from the song from the movie, "It's a Wonderful Life" so I am going to switch it when I start playing around writing it so it will fit on a bolster. But for now this is what I have in our family room.

I got these pretty artichokes at Trader Joe's for 95 cents last week. I love how they look. I just wish they lasted a little longer...or that I actually liked to eat them - haha!

I also wanted to let you know that we have restocked our Elizabeth 20 by 20 Pillow Covers and LOWERED the PRICE! They are now $29.95 instead of $39.95. 
We changed the backing to a different fabric so we could make them more affordable! 

I am hoping to photograph the project I have been working on for the girls today so I can blog about it soon and also we are going to be having a "Pin It to Win It" Contest at some point in the next week which I am really excited about!

I hope you all have a fabulous Thursday!

Another Plug for the DuSu Film Festival

What a great month it has been here in the North Country, beginning with the Homegrown Film and Art Festival on through last week's Dylan Fest to this week's culmination the Duluth Superior Film Festival (DuSu FF). What a terrific way to usher in the spring.

The DuSu FF opened last night with a hilarious Norwegian film called King Curling. It was gratifying to see a full house at the Clyde Iron Works. It's also nice to watch a film for which a big Hollywood budget or screen star would add nothing to the caliber of the entertainment. There was much laughing out loud throughout the film which combined an original plot with original characters, chief of which was Truls Paulsen, an obsessive curling champion for whom "every millimeter mattered."

Tangier 57
Festival director Richard Hansen began the evening by welcoming all of us and thanking all the sponsors. He then gave a special acknowledgement to Riki McManus, who persuaded Richard to bring his Sound Unseen International Film Festival up here to the shores of Gitchee Gumee. He's never regretted the move. After the film we all moved upstairs for the opening night party with an accompaniment by the popular jazz fusion group Tangier 57.

Richard Hansen
A unique feature of this year's film festival is that it is much more directly tied into our Twin Ports community and its passions. Curling is a Scandinavian export to this region, few of us unaware of its importance to at least someone we know. Tomorrow night's Last Day at Lambeau is about Bret Favre's departure from the Green Bay Packers and the impact it had on that incredible devoted fan base. The other feature films chosen this year have similar tie-ins, such as Wildrose (a woman fighting for independence and identity on the Iron Range) and Northern Lights (about a bitter winter on the Dakota prairie), among others.

There will be two sets of short films with local tie-ins as well, including Andrew Perfetti's "Alan Sparhawk" documentary, Kathy McTavish's "Holy Fool/The Firebird" and a 20 minute film based on my own short story "Episode on South Street," about a troubled painter with obsessive compulsive disorder. Other films by UMD students and local film makers will be amongst those screening late Friday evening and Sunday.

Tonight's feature, "Low: You May Need A Murderer", will air at the Zinema 2 at 7:00. I'm fairly certain you need tickets in advance for this one. This is the only film for which your All Access pass (a steal at $20) does not work.

For more details, venues, times and places, visit

Caption top: L to Rt: Steve Larson (director, Holiday Beach), Dan O'Neil, Ian Harvey of Ireland (The Connection) and Peter Minns (director) 

Here's a link to my book The Breaking Point and Other Stories in the event that you would like to read my story Episode on South Street before seeing the film tomorrow evening. $1.99

The Challenge of Delivering a Quality Scout Program

In Boy Scouts, I have served on the Troop Committee as Advancement Chair for two years, with our former Troop in Connecticut. I have been involved in Cub Scout Pack leadership for five years and been a Scout parent for even more years. I have gone through various BSA leadership training courses. I have heard about the ideals and aims of Scouting (the utopian view of the model program that probably doesn't exist anywhere in real life). I have been asked to serve on the Troop Committee in my new Troop. I attended a full day of training this season, and got to meet a lot of local Scout leadership people from the Greater Houston area and hear their stories and struggles.

I've been involved with this Boy Scout Troop for six months, I'm green with this Troop but what I see here is not so different from what I saw in Connecticut. I think things are the same everywhere when you are talking about human nature.

I have volunteered at Cub Day Camp and at Boy Scout residence summer camp. I have been to almost all the Scout meetings held in the last eight years. I've seen a lot of real life Scouting.

In my leadership roles I have been involved with the planning and strategy. I have seen the goal and how it was brought to fruition and how reality doesn't always match up with the plans. (This does not mean one should stop trying, it's just how life happens.) I have seen where the ideals clash with reality. I have seen struggles to bring an ideal high quality program to boys doesn't always pan out. This is a typical "shoot for the stars and be happy you landed on the moon" scenario.

Part of the challenge with the Scouting program is you are working with flawed human adult leadership and you are working with flawed human kids. With Boy Scouting you have a big range of ages from ten year old pipsqueaks to seventeen year old big young men. There is a huge developmental difference between the kid in the second half of fifth grade and the high school senior!

One thing that has surprised me about Boy Scouting is the extent to which adult leadership sometimes gets to know the boy. You see sides of them that maybe their parents don't see. You also sometimes get to know the kids a bit more than you may have imagined if you thought of leadership as just planning and executing meetings. This must be what teachers deal with, but due to teachers being with kids for more hours every single week for a year they are bound to get to know the kids even better and to see both their struggles and their successes.

One of my goals in Scout leadership is to help deliver a quality program. I do not intend or want to be the source of a problem in any kid's life. I am not in this for a power game or to have a position of authority for some kind of personal gain.

Scout leadership positions can be stressful and they can be upsetting emotionally and sometimes heart-wrenching. I can't do things to prevent any negative thing from ever happening, because kids are kids and human nature is human nature, so the interactions with the kids happen even with good adult leadership supervising the activities. You can set up rules for good behavior but you can't guarantee that kids will obey every rule. A less problematic issue is that I can't prevent a kid from being bored sometimes (they have to learn to deal with it).

When delivering a program, you can't make everyone happy all the time. One boy said he thinks there should be no playing with balls in games before the meeting starts then the next kid said he loved the ball playing games. Merit badges have been offered at every meeting for the last few months but a Scout who had been absent complained that not enough merit badges are offered at the meetings. Talk about a disconnect! Another has not camped in seven months but said that he was annoyed that he didn't get some requirements done that are typically accomplished on camping trips. You are darned if you do and darned if you don't, you just can't satisfy everyone, that apparently is not just an adult thing, kids are that way too. That's how it is in life and it's that way with Scouting.

The best that volunteer Scout leaders can do it try to deliver a quality program. There is never perfection in a volunteer-run organization and probably also never one in a for-profit corporaton either. Even a normally flawed program can still be worthwhile and excellent. Nothing is perfect, not the kids, not their parents, nor the adult leaders. We're all imperfect together.

One more update

Today was the day of the specialist appointment at the Maternal Fetal Medicine Department at the hospital.  I was seen by an ultrasound tech, then the doctor and an ultrasound tech, and then just by the doctor.  I had to fill out a bunch of paperwork before I went, but since I had so much history of everything that went on, I ended up just writing out a hand written page of the dates I was seen and everything I had been told thus far, plus my blood levels and measurements from the ultrasounds.  

It calmed me down a little when I got there, because the tech that was seeing me today was the same one who had completed little man's nuchal translucency testing back in August of 2010, and I was able to tell her she was right when she told me he would be a boy at 13 weeks along.  She started with a abdominal, commented on my tilted uterus, and then proceeded to get the doctor and move to the vaginal ultrasound.  She didn't initially show me the baby, so I kind of flipped out a little, and started crying and asked if she could see the baby, at which point she immediately showed me and then gave me some kleenex.  

If I were less emotional still at that point (I think I'm getting some ultrasound anxiety- they are not fun anymore in that I'm always flipping out before I go in fear), the following situation would probably be funny to me.  The very Russian doctor came in at that point.  She asked me a few questions about my pregnancy so far based on all the information I had written out.  She also asked if I was still nursing and how many times, and seemed okay with the fact that it is often more than just the one time per day the other Ob recommended.  The doctor and the ultrasound tech then took turns probing me with the wand, muttering "Hmmmm" and "Grrrreat" (half in a typical Midwesterner dialect and half in a Russian accent) for about 5-10 minutes.  I'm pretty sure DH would have gotten a few laughs out of how odd/awkward that situation was if he would have been there as well.

While the tech continued to take pictures and data, the doctor came down and sat down by my other side and talked me through everything that has happened so far.  She said they can't be 100% sure what is going on until I actually deliver, and they can analyze the placenta to know for sure, but that she thinks it is probably a hemorrhage or a vanishing twin, although a hemorrhage looked more likely at this point.  She told me that she was sorry that I had been through so much already, but that at this point, she thought I could be calm in the fact that she was 99% sure that this would be a normal pregnancy from here on out.  The doctor also said that at this point, she would like to continue monitoring me, and wanted me back to complete the nuchal translucency for this baby to give them a further look in 2-3 weeks.  She said they would also want to be the ones who completed my anatomy scan at 20 weeks to more fully assess the baby at that time.  The doctor said that those would be the minimum ultrasounds they would do, that if they started thinking the area was growing, that they would monitor me more frequently, like every week or two, with more ultrasounds.

And yet again, at the end of the day, I am one lucky lady.  I am thankful to have this child growing inside of me, I am thankful that I got and have a second chance with this baby.  I know how tough it is for a lot of women to get pregnant, and for many more women to stay pregnant, and that is not lost on me.  However, from here on out, I am going to try to no longer think about what has happened, and try to just move forward and love this child without fear, without anxiety, without any sadness from what I've been through.  It is the best I can do for me, and the best I can do for the baby.  From here on out, I'll continue to update, but I've made a promise to myself to focus on the normal things, the happy things, the uncomfortable/typical aches/pains and changes to my body.  I am going to celebrate this pregnancy and this child all I can while I am still carrying them with me, because all too soon they become babies that become toddlers that become children, and I want to savor every moment I have without being afraid.

♥ the naptown organizer 

Death info on Siney Lewis Sr

Siney Lewis Sr. was Birda's father.
Photo from the personal albums of David Ahrnsbrak
According to these documents the following dates apply:
BIRTH: 1 Aug 1848- Council Bluffs,, Iowa
DEATH: 28 Nov 1928- Vernal, Uintah, Utah
He was 81 years old when he died.

Death Certificate:
SOURCE: Vernal Express 1929, Dec 5, p.1
Obituary transcribed:
Siney Lewis, Sr, One of Utah's Early Pioneers of 1851 Passes Away
Funeral services over the remains of Siney Lewis Sr were held in the Second ward chapel Sunday, December 1st at 2 p.m.  The body of the chapel was filled with relatives and friends and the floral tributes were profuse covering the casket and decorating the rostrum.
The music was furnished by the Second ward choir with Mrs. Lucille Calder as soloist.
The opening song was "Sweet Hour of Prayer" followed by invocation by Edward Watkins, Sr. "Oh My Father", the favorite hymn of Mr. Lewis was then rendered.
Bishop Joseph A McKee paid tribute to the sterling qualities of Mr. Lewis and told of their long friendship.  He referred to his hardships in pioneering both Salt Lake and Ashley Valleys.
Bishop M.M. Batty, also an old friend of Mr. Lewis told of his devotion to his home, family, and church, of his honesty and integrity in all business dealings.  He also referred to some of his pioneer experiences.
Mrs. Lucille Calder sang, "There is a Land I Know".
H. Walter Woolley told of the gospel plan and the reward that came to those who were faithful in the performance of their duties.  He spoke of the splendid example Mr. Lewis had set for his family and friends.
Bishop A.T. Johnson spoke a few words of consolation and also thanked all who had helped in any way during their hours of sorrow.
The closing song was "Sometime We'll Understand".  Benediction was pronounced by Bishop George E. Wilkins.  Interment was in the Maeser cemetery, where the grave was dedicated by Wm E. Pearce Jr.
The pallbearers were grandsons of Mr. Lewis.
Siney Lewis Sr., and his twin sister, Olive, were born near Council Bluffs, Iowa, August 1, 1848, the fourth and fifth children of their parents David and Duritha Trail Lewis, who crossed the plains for the sake of the gospel in 1851 before Siney was three years of age.
His early life was spent in Salt Lake Valley, where he underwent the hardships of the pioneers many times suffering for want of food and clothing.  His father died when he was six years of age, which necessitated his going to work at an early age to help support his mother and younger brothers.  He made a trip back to Omaha by ox teams to help bring back converts to the gospel when he was but 17 years of age.  They were attacked by Indians but none of them were killed.
He was married January 5, 1874 to Elizabeth Coleman.  To this union was born 12 children, 9 of whom and the widow, still survive.  They are Mrs. E.W. Evans, Mrs. Nathan Springer, Siney Jr., Franklin, Mrs. Charles Hatch, Chas P, Mrs. Asher Merkley and Mrs. H.E. Hullinger all of Vernal and Mrs. Linn McClelland of San Francisco, also 41 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
He moved with his family to Ashley Valley in 1896 and settled in Glines ward where they resided until about three years ago when they sold their farm and moved to town to be near medical aid.
Mr. Lewis had not been in good health for years but was generally about to get about a little.  He was only in bed about two days when death came unexpectedly about noon, Wednesday, November 28.
He was a good, kind and generous man beloved by his whole family and friends.  Although he was retiring and quiet in disposition he was always ready to help in any worthy cause.  He will be greatly missed by all who were associated with him.
*Spelling and punctuation corrected by me wherein I was aware.

The Very Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Movie Review by ChristineMM

Movie: The Very Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2012)

My rating: 4 stars = I Like It or Maybe 5? I'm not sure.

The Very Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a British comedy about retired British seniors who go to India to retire in a supposed luxury community for seniors. The place is a wreck, to put it mildly.

I enjoyed this lighthearted comedy which touched on important things such as making the best of a situation, learning to live through struggle and trying to be optimistic and keep a hopeful attitude in the face of uncertainty. Other messages are to live authentically, a sadness for having lived life with a heavy emotional burden which actually did not really exist (let it go), and the idea of starting anew and leaving the familiar or the drudgery behind for things that are less stable but bring one more happiness. There was also a strong message for the native Indian people that the modern ways should be embraced and happiness will follow (that was a rather progressive view).

Frankly it was refreshing to see a comedy film that had people older than 20 or 35 in it. It was a relief to see no signs of plastic surgery on the actors and definately no signs of large breast implants sitting up too high at the level of the armpit. The message was more to be who you are and that includes aging and sagging bodies, wrinkled faces and thick waistlines. I liked the story of how to spend the end of your life and wanting to life fully to the end.

I enjoyed the colors and sights of India. Seeing a movie not set in the United States was a relief.

Artists Share Experiences From First Year of Phantom Galleries Superior

The first year of Phantom Galleries is officially over. And what a very special year.

As is often the case in life, in order to move forward it is important to look back. For this reason the Superior SPACES team invited all artists involved with the Phantom Galleries Project to gather once more for an informal discussion regarding the effectiveness of this past year’s Phantom Gallery experiences. The aim is to tweak what was clearly a valuable experience to make it even more effective for the local community.

The meeting was held at 1112 Tower Avenue with Tonja Sell's wonderful paintings and sculptures serving as a backdrop for 90 minutes of good dialogue. The purpose of last night's gathering was to seek input from the artists regarding the first year of this important project. I use the word important primarily to express my personal conviction that bringing the arts, the business community, and the wider public together has significant value for the revitalization of communities not only here locally but nationally as well.

Erika Mock moderated the discussion. "I’m so thrilled at how this past year went," she began. The agenda was simply an informal dialogue aimed at discovering what worked and what didn’t.

The observation was made that even though all the Phantom Galleries were within eight blocks of one another here on Tower Avenue, each gallery space was situated in a different neighborhood. That is, the businesses around each space each had a different character.

Kathy McTavish shared how setting up her space adjacent to the Androy Hotel drew people in. "While installing my work I talked to a man who had never been to an art gallery. He helped us set up and got involved."

Screen printer and painter Gary Reed, the famous Phantom of the Gallery at some of the openings, noted that many of the people who saw the art in these spaces would never go to an art museum. Many have never seen an art book or read an art magazine. There is a certain sort of innocence in the manner in which some of the visitors to these spaces approached the art on display there.

Jeredt Runions concurred, adding that this is part of his motivation for having shows in restaurants and other public spaces. Runions brought a copy of Juxtapoz magazine to point out that the theme of the recent May issue had to do with this very thing, art in public spaces. He likewise affirmed the value of public art and shared his experience with the mural project last year which got the community involved in a high profile project. The way the kids responded was a thrill for him.

The Red Interactive show received similar comments. Because people invited to the opening were asked to bring something red (for a collaborative sculpture) and to wear something red, "it made us feel part of it," someone said. 

It was also interesting how the various artists used the spaces in which their works were displayed. Kathy Kollodge held painting classes in the New York Building space. Red Interactive collaborators John Heino and Ed Newman conducted a brown bag lunch discussion that circled around questions regarding art in a post-modern world. John Heino led the discussion, titled "Engagement or Chaos," which sought to get clarification with regard to what art is. Is everything art? Or is art only art after it has been "blessed" by some authority? The dialogue was intended as a starting point for future discussions regarding the relationship of art, commerce and culture.

In 2011 Phantom Galleries Superior (PGS) was one of six Phantom Gallery initiatives in the state of Wisconsin supported by the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the state of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts. PGS is a unique partnership between Superior Public Art Creating Community Environments (SPAC2ES) and Superior Business Improvement District (BID), the property owners, the artists, and the community. Use of properties is generously donated by the owners. Additional support comes from multiple artistic resources, the BID, and the Morgan Fund of the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation.

"The circle of art includes bringing it to the world," Mock said. It will be interesting to see how it far can go.

Bob Everet Roberts

Bob Everet Roberts, 67, of Poteau, OK passed away Monday, May 28, 2012 in Poteau. Bob was born in Cameron, OK on February 5, 1945 to Willie & Madge Vera (Godwin) Roberts. He was a veteran of the US Army. Bob was a carpenter.

Survivors include his wife, Barbara of the home; daughter, Audra Lyn Roberts Snow of Rexburg, ID; son, Dwayne Everet Roberts of Holdenville, OK; 3 grandchildren, 3 great grandchildren; sisters, Nitta Greenhall of CA, Ruthie Mieke of Hackett, AR, Judy Hale of Monroe, OK; brothers, James Roberts of OK, Delbert Roberts of Monroe, OK, Melvin Roberts of Van Buren, AR, Leroy Roberts of Muse, OK, John Roberts of TX, David Roberts of TX, Virgil Lankford of Monroe, OK; step-daughter, Valerie Ferris of Monroe, OK; step-sons, Howard Gerald Thayer of Monroe, OK, Micheal Lee Thayer of KS.

Memorial services will be 1 pm, Monday, June 4, 2012 at the Monroe Cemetery Pavilion in Monroe, OK. Interment will follow in Monroe Cemetery.

There will be a viewing at the funeral home on Friday evening from 6-8 pm.

Rowene M. Spears

Rowene Myrtle Spears, 95, of Bokoshe, OK passed away Monday, May 28, 2012 in Bokoshe. Rowene was born March 9, 1917 in Santa Maria, CA to Chris H. & Mamie (Launders) Kortner. She was a homemaker and a member of the First Christian Church in Santa Maria, CA. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Wilbur Spears; sister, Betty Shelburne; daughter, Barbara Moorehead; grandsons, Darrell & Joseph; great great grandson, Jacob.

Survivors include her daughter, Carol Lovell of Bokoshe, OK; grandchildren, Rose & Wes Young of Pocola, OK, James Lovell of Bokoshe, OK, Dennis & Melissa Lovell of Bokoshe, OK; 11 great grandchildren; 8 great great grandchildren; brother, Chris H. Kortner of Burbank, CA; other relatives and loved ones; many beloved friends.

Services will be 2 pm, Friday, June 1, 2012 in Evans Chapel of Memories, Poteau, OK with Rev. Jim Cook officiating. Interment will be in California.

The family will be at the funeral home on Thursday evening from 6-8 pm to visit with relatives and friends.

Scooby-Doo! 13 Spooky Tales Around the World DVD Review

My family loves Scooby-Doo and my boys are always excited when a new release comes out on DVD. So when Scooby-Doo! 13 Spooky Tales Around the World arrived in the mail, we immediately wanted to watch it. Here is the synopsis:

Nobody vacations like Scooby-Doo and the gang! Join Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy and their canine pal in Scooby-Doo! 13 Spooky Tales Around the World as they visit some of the coolest and creepiest destinations across the world. Prepare to get shipwrecked in the Bermuda Triangle with scary skeleton scuba divers and chased through the canals of Venice by the Ghostly Gondolier, who even kidnaps Daphne! Hop aboard a haunted Aztec barge, but not before Scooby-Doo! wows a vengeful god with his best Mexican hat dance - to say nothing of his airplane cha-cha over the headhunter-happy jungles of Brazil. Along the way you can bet the Mystery Inc. gang will get to the bottom of each mystery with plenty of "zoinks!" (the same in every language), plenty of high-jinks, and a whole lot of international cuisine - leaning tower of pizza anyone?

Our thoughts: My boys are huge fans of Scooby-Doo. We have many Scooby-Doo DVDs, and we recently bought my youngest son a Scooby-Doo comforter and sheets. I love that Scooby-Doo is family friendly and keeps my kids interest no matter how many times they watch the same movie or episode. Since this newest release features 13 episodes with over four hours of Scooby-Doo mysteries, there are plenty of episodes to choose from for our family movie night. So if you love Scooby-Doo, I think that you will enjoy Scooby-Doo! 13 Spooky Tales Around the World. 

Disclosure:  I received a copy of the movie to review. No other compensation was received. All opinions are my own and are my honest opinion of the product.

"Headhunters" Hits U.S. Theaters

The May issue of Viking features our interview with actor Aksel Hennie, star of "Headhunters," the highest grossing Norwegian film to date. Based on the best-selling novel by Jo Nesbø, the movie opened in select U.S. theaters in April and is currently playing in many cities around the country. Check your local listings to find a screening in your area.

In the movie, Hennie plays Roger, Norway's most accomplished corporate headhunter, who subsidizes his extravagant lifestyle by stealing art on the side. When Roger meets a former mercenary with an extremely valuable painting, he risks everything to get his hands on it, and goes from hunter to a hunted man himself. The Viking team had the opportunity to preview the film this spring and it earned an unqualified thumbs up from all of us! Check out the trailer here.

Nesbø fans will be pleased to know that another one of his bestsellers is currently being made into a movie. Academy award-winning director Martin Scorsese will direct "The Snowman," the seventh in Nesbø's series featuring detective Harry Hole. You can read more about it in the April issue of Viking!

Amy Boxrud is editor of Viking magazine. She lives with her family in Northfield, Minn., where she’s a member of Nordmarka 1-585.

Chocolate Cake and Chalk Pens

 I saw that quote on Pinterest not to long ago (from and it made me smile. Although, it probably wasn't the best thing for me to write on this tray that I keep in our kitchen, seeing how I am trying to get rid of those last few Lola pounds. =) Actually, I have finally worked out three days in a row. I went on a nice long walk with my aunt and cousin on Saturday morning and went running Sunday and Monday. So maybe, just maybe, despite my sweet tooth, I will be able to comfortably wear my old jeans again. I can get them all on - I just can't move in them - haha!


A couple of weeks ago I helped out my friend Lindsey write on some chalkboards for her wedding. She had some chalk pens for me to use and I absolutely fell in love with them! They are so amazing. I couldn't believe how fabulously they worked. I just ordered two myself.

This is the actual chalk pen I used.

I have been busy working on a fun summer project for the girls that I will have a tutorial for. I am hoping I will get it finished in the next day or two so I can photograph it. It is turning out to be a little bit bigger of a project than I thought it was going to be. I am praying I don't ruin it. Haha!

 I hope you all have a fabulous Tuesday!

Five Minutes with Dublin Artist John Nolan

I "met" John Nolan through social media last year Red Interactive art show event hosted by Phantom Galleries Superior. Artists from all over the world participated including Nolan, a Dublin artist whose recent show this past weekend featured a hand-painted guitar called "Rhapsody In Colour" which he created for the Musical Youth Foundation.

All his work seems to be a rhapsody of color and it is my privilege to share him here with you.

EN: What caused you to first take an interest in art? 
John Nolan: My father was a huge influence from an early age. He regularly encouraged me, I watched him painting and we would visit art galleries weekly.

EN: Did you have any formal training? 
JN: Yep, all my formal training was at home with my father. I attended art college later, but dropped out in order to pursue a career in art. Might sound strange but I discovered art college had nothing to do with becoming an artist, It was basically a 3 or 4 year course which qualified the student to teach art and continue the cycle.

EN: How did you come to master your craft? 
JN: Not yet… still striving and struggling.

EN: Many of your paintings have a distinctive look. Do you have a name for your style? 
JN: My style is basically stylized, hugely influenced by Van Gogh, Bernard and Gauguin. Flat colour separated with bold dark delineations. It is called Cloisonnism. The approach is to simplify the composition in order to focus on line and colour. As we know it is more difficult to simplify something than it is to complicate it. Also, all art is derivative. There is nothing original except for perhaps cave paintings.

EN: Who have been your favorite artists over the years? I see homages to Degas and Modigliani. 
JN: My favourite artists are, Modigliani, Matisse, Van Gogh, Degas, Pollock, Rouault, Lichtenstein, Picasso, Irvin, the list is endless.

EN: What’s your favorite subject matter and why? 
JN: My favourite subject is any subject that can push the artistic process even further. At the moment I am exploring the still life subject in conjunction with my Homage Series, trying to contrast my motifs with the great icons of art history in the still life format.

EN: How can people see more of your work? 
JN: Best place to see and buy my work is here at my website. Also, people can visit my studio in Dublin, 106 Griffith Avenue, Drumcondra, Dublin 9, Ireland. The Latest News link on my site will inform people regarding various exhibitions.

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Sorry I could not attend your show this past weekend. Thanks for your time.