Tuesday, November 25, 2014

My Mormon Ancestor

We're so excited to show off some more details about our new books.  Today we are going to focus on the "My Mormon Ancestor" Activity Book.

First I have to give another big thank you to my sister Amy Slade for her help with this book.  Also, many more great thanks to Erin Roudabush, Michelle Phillips and Christine Fazulyanov for their assistance in making this book happen.


With the “My Mormon Ancestor Activity Book” you can:
· Plan an Ancestor Family Home Evening
· Learn about Priesthood Line of Authority and how to trace it
· Find the Patriarchal Blessings of your ancestors
· Complete a temple dot-to-dot
· Document the church service and callings of your ancestors
· Gather information on your family’s missionaries
· Record information about the first LDS members of your family
· Make a handkerchief doll for church
Look at some of these pages:





These books make wonderful gifts for the holidays. Take advantage of the pre-release sale, 20% off all books at zapthegrandmagap.com, till November 30, 2014 and they will arrive in time for Christmas. Other great online and print resources to help families connect to each other by connecting to their past can be found at zapthegrandmagap.com.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Thanksgiving Decor

It's November and I am in an absolute attitude of gratitude lately.  And, I am going to do my best to keep that attitude going strong throughout the whole month.  I'm doing a couple of things in my personal life that are helping me to keep my focus on gratitude and journaling that gratitude.  Two birds, one stone.  And an extra twinge of gratitude for that.  But there are other things that I could do to help my family feel the gratitude all month long, so I turned to my handy Pinterest account for some inspiration that is not only useful, but beautiful.  And I found some really great ideas that I want to share with you.  Take a look at some ways that you can decorate around your home with family history.  I promise you'll not only like having a visual of your heritage in front of you, but you'll be reminded to keep a grateful heart for those who came before you and all that they did to pave the way for you in your own life.  Two birds, one stone.  And a twinge of gratitude. :)

The first thing I loved for Thanksgiving was this idea of a Framed Heirloom Recipe and Photo from Modern Parents, Messy Kids.  Genius, I tell you!  Genius! MPMK has got it all together with this one--they even give you a step by step tutorial and links (some links are affiliate links, so if you have concerns about that, just be cautious where you click).  And the result is really simple and beautiful.  In fact, this is such an easy project, you could gather together several recipes and photos and pull them all together for your Thanksgiving Day celebration.  Especially if you are using the recipes in your feast, how awesome would it be to decorate your home with these framed versions of the recipe and the originator of that recipe?  And, to up the notch on your host/hostessing credentials, make swag out of the frames once the dinner is complete.  Allow family members a chance to choose their favorite frame to take home, or have a drawing if some frames are desired by more than one person.  Either way, you can't go wrong.  Family Feast decorations that will go home with others in the hopes of perpetuating your family narrative to future generations.  Two birds, one stone.  And a twinge of gratitude. (You'll be singing that line by the end of this post.)

Now this one, I really loved.  What do you do with all of those old letters sitting in a box somewhere?  Well, hopefully they are digitized and filed away safely on a portable hard drive.  But then the originals, what do you do with those?  What about frame them?  (under archival glass so that they are protected from the sun and spaced away from the glass so that they don't get stuck together.) This is an idea from Pretty Stuff by Patterson Maker's tumblr and it's a beauty.  There is just something about seeing the curve and tilt of someone's handwriting.  In this day and age, with digital screens and endless fonts, it's rare to see anything handwritten.  But so many years ago, letters were the text messages and Facebook posts.  Can you imagine placing several handwritten letters around your home for visiting family to look over and read?  And, if you are one of those who has more letters than you really know what to do with, follow the advice from the paragraph above and give the completed frames away as heirloom favors to your family members (after you have digitized them for your own records, of course).  This would also make a stellar Christmas gift, if you're looking for ideas. Sharing a physical piece of family history with your loved ones in a beautiful manner-- say it with me: Two birds, one stone.  AND a twinge of gratitude. Definitely.

Do you use a specific set of dishes each year when your family comes for dinner?  What about if you shake things up this year?  Family story dishes are easy to make and would create some great dinner time dialogue!  I pinned it but I can't find the direct source of this idea, only a media cached picture.  However, these days I think we are all familiar with the Sharpie on Dollar Store dishes DIY craft.  If not, here are several tutorials here, here, here, and here.  (To name just a few.)  The general idea would be for you to write family stories on your dinnerware and then set the table with these dishes.  Or, an even better idea is to use this year as your prep year and have the dishes ready and have everyone write their family story/memory on a plate or mug and then use them next year.  *The only side note on this is that this craft is a fickle one.  It works for some and not for others.  Michelle did this once for a secret sister gift for her daughter to give away and had one failed attempt and one successful one.  You can read her personal experience tip here.*  Family stories recorded in a unique way and a conversation starter.  Go ahead, say it for me.  Don't you feel better?

And finally, I am absolutely going to do my best to do this one for my Thanksgiving gathering.  The original idea came from a guest spot by Giana (of Chic Celebrations) on the wedding planning/idea blog Ruffled and can be adapted for any kind of gathering.  Naturally you'll want to make copies of your precious photos for this project.  But it's so doable, anyone can whip this up in a short time.  It's also a great activity to include your children in (choosing the photos, handing you the photos in whatever order they like, etc).  A strip of muslin, family photos (post cards, letters, paper momentos; the list is endless), and a hot glue gun.  Seriously a no-brainer project that will knock the socks off of your dinner guests!  And can you imagine the conversations this beauty will start?  An easy and meaningful centerpiece for your holiday gathering.  Two birds, one stone.  And I'd say just a smidgen more than a twinge of gratitude on this one.

Hopefully this post has given you some ideas to stage your Thanksgiving dinner in a way that is not only stunning but personal.  With just a little bit of prep time (most of these projects would only take an afternoon and are all very kid-friendly if you have helpers nearby), your home can really stand out in meaningful way this holiday season.  Try out one of these tips.  You might just add me to your "thankful-for" list when your mother-in-law tells you how lovely everything is.  Maybe just a twinge? :)


My Pioneer Ancestor

We're so excited to show off some details about our new books.  Today we are going to focus on the "My Pioneer Ancestor" Activity Book.

First I have to give a big thank you to my sister Amy Slade (who just had a baby!) for her help with this book.  Also great thanks to Erin Roudabush, Michelle Phillips and Christine Fazulyanov for their assistance in making this book happen.
 

With the “My Pioneer Ancestor Activity Book” you can:
 ·Map out the pioneer route of your ancestors
· Decide what you would pack for a journey across the plains
· Learn how to find direction by the sun
· Compare your day to the day in the life of your ancestor
· Try classic pioneer recipes
· Write a Pony Express letter to a pioneer ancestor
· Play a game about the risks along the trail
· Contrast pioneer schools and modern schools
 
Look at some of these pages: 
 






This book will arrive in time for Christmas gift giving if you order now. Take advantage of the pre-release sale, 20% off all books at zapthegrandmagap.com, until November 30, 2014. Excerpts from all of the books can be viewed on the website at zapthegrandmagap.com/brandnewbooks. Other great online and print resources can be found at zapthegrandmagap.com
to help families connect to each other by connecting to their past.

This post crossposted to blogspot.zapthegrandmagap.com

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

My Jewish Ancestor

We're so excited to show off some details about our new books.  Today we are going to focus on the "My Jewish Ancestor" Activity Book. 

First I have to give a big thank you to Schelly Talalay Dardashti, Daniel Horowitz, and Tammy Hepps for their feedback.  All three were so generous with their time and help and the book is much better because of their contributions.  I am indebted and in awe of their genealogy expertise. 

You can take a look at the entire Table of Contents in our preview on the Zap The Grandma Gap website. 

With the “My Jewish Ancestor Activity Book” you can:
· Learn about Jewish history, traditions and culture
· Make and braid Challah bread with your family
· Solve a Jewish calendar crossword puzzle
· Record your family’s recipe for Charoset
· Find your family’s place in the Diaspora
· Learn the Hebrew alphabet
· Complete a genealogy word search
· Enjoy a Yiddish folktale and Nasrudin stories
· Color, cut out and tell stories with Jewish ancestor paper dolls
· Explore many other activities about your family’s history

Look at some of these pages:




This book will arrive in time for Chanukah gift giving if you order now. Take advantage of the pre-release sale, 20% off all books at zapthegrandmagap.com, until November 30, 2014. Excerpts from all of the books can be viewed on the website at zapthegrandmagap.com/brandnewbooks. Other great online and print resources can be found at zapthegrandmagap.com
to help families connect to each other by connecting to their past. 

This post crossposted to blogspot.zapthegrandmagap.com

Friday, November 14, 2014

Announcing Three New "My Ancestor Activity Books" for Children

Just in time for the holiday season, I've got some new Zap the Grandma Gap Activity Books coming your way! I am so excited to announce three new books for you to share and give to the children in your lives. I have created workbooks for the following heritages:
  • With the “My Jewish Ancestor Activity Book” you can:
    · Learn about Jewish history, traditions and culture
    · Make and braid Challah bread with your family
    · Solve a Jewish calendar crossword puzzle
    · Record your family’s recipe for Charosets
    · Find your family’s place in the Diaspora
    · Learn the Hebrew Alphabet
    · Complete a genealogy word search
    · Enjoy a Yiddish folktale and a Nasrudin stories
    · Color, cut out and tell stories with Jewish Ancestor paper dolls
  • With the “My Mormon Ancestor Activity Book” you can:
    · Plan an Ancestor Family Home Evening
    · Learn about Priesthood Line of Authority and how to trace it
    · Find the Patriarchal Blessings of your ancestors
    · Complete a temple dot-to-dot
    · Document the church service and callings of your ancestors
    · Gather information on your family’s missionaries
    · Record information about the first LDS members of your family
    · Make a handkerchief doll for church
  • With the “My Pioneer Ancestor Activity Book” you can:
    · Map out the pioneer route of your ancestors
    · Decide what you would pack for a journey across the plains
    · Learn how to find direction by the sun
    · Compare your day to the day in the life of your ancestor
    · Try classic pioneer recipes
    · Write a Pony Express letter to a pioneer ancestor
    · Play a game about the risks along the trail
    · Contrast pioneer schools and modern schools
 These workbooks books offer a variety of fun and engaging activities to introduce your children and grandchildren to different aspects of their personal heritage.  We've included activities like mazes, recipes, dot-to-dot, and our always popular paper dolls.  Science has shown us how valuable it is for our children to have a sense of self (academically and emotionally) and these books are a fantastic to way to introduce your children to family history in an easy, interactive, and fun way.
As a bonus for you, we are having a pre-order sale.   
This sale includes all of my previous Zap the Grandma Gap books and workbooks, as well.  The books will be shipping in December--perfect for gift giving.  These books make wonderful gifts for children and adults.  Order by the deadline to take advantage of this fantastic sale.

Watch the blog next week for in-depth previews of each new workbook.  And take a look at my previous books here.  I'd love to help you bring some genealogy into the lives of your young ones this holiday season.

(This post is also available on my Zap the Grandma Gap blog.)

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Holiday Chart Deadlines

It's that time of year again and now is the time to get your holiday orders in to ensure everything is in place for your gift giving.  We would love the opportunity to help you create beautiful and meaningful gifts for those nearest and dearest to you.  Please make a note of our deadlines coming up so that we can help you in every way possible to make this a happy holiday season for you and your family.

All International orders must be in by November 24, 2014.  This is hard fast for all decorative and working charts.  Decorative charts will include an online preview but the working charts will not.  Please allow for shipping times to meet your gift giving time frame.

Chanukah orders must be placed by December 3, 2014 for decorative charts with an online preview.  Working chart orders should be placed by December 10, 2014.  There will be no online preview for working charts. If you have an international Chanukah order, please refer to the International order deadline to ensure ample delivery time.

For Domestic orders we have two separate deadlines.  All decorative chart orders must be placed by December 5, 2014 and will include an online preview.  All working chart orders must be in by December 12, 2014 and there will be no online preview included.  If you don't mind a rush fee and higher shipping costs, decorative charts with an online preview orders may be placed up until December 12, 2014.  Working charts without an online preview and pre-created charts designed by you, can be ordered up until December 17, 2014.  But please note the extra fees involved in delaying your order.

We would be happy to offer you a free consultation and will do all that we can to provide you with memorable gifts that  will be cherished for years.  Contact us today.
 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Hello, Instagram!

Yeah.  I did.  I joined the ranks of Instagram.  Yes, you read that correctly.  I really, really did.  Check it out.  Have no fear though, I won't clog your feed with endless selfies and "duck faces."  Well, maybe one or two every once in a while.  Because, why not? :) But in reality, I had a slightly deeper purpose for creating an Instagram account.  It's all about creating a new tradition of gratitude in my life.

You see, I am online quite a lot for my business and speaking engagements and book promotions and partnerships and so on.  My personal and my business persona are fairly united in my online presence.  And that's all good and wonderful because my business is a huge part of who I am as a person.  But some days, I feel like there is something missing in my online world that is more personal.  And that's when it came to me.  Enter my new Instagram account.  I decided this was a great and easy (hooray for easy!) way for me to keep a gratitude journal.  I hope to post often enough for you to see the things that are the closest to my heart.  I may not be able to take on the 365 day challenge just yet, but I might be able to work my way up to it.  In the mean time, swing by, follow me, check out the things I hold nearest and dearest to me, and leave a comment if you'd like.  Maybe you'll even be reminded of something you are grateful for and you can start up your own gratitude journal in one form or another.


Friday, October 31, 2014

All Treats, No Tricks!

Our customers are amazing!  Our friends are amazing!  Sometimes I feel like there aren't even words for how I feel about them, but then I eventually manage to find some.  Let me share with  you why I am feeling quite twitterpated with the world.


I woke up to the best surprise yesterday morning.  I've always known we have great friends and great customers, but honestly, yesterday, I was just blown away when I opened up my email and Facebook feed.  My dear friend, Thomas MacEntee, shared a link-and some really kind words-on his Facebook page.  He linked a blog post by a wonderful customer, Amanda, that gave us all sorts of praise from a recent chart we made for her.  And, and, AND... he said wonderful things about us too!

"I've said this before - Janet Hovorka and her group at Family ChartMasters rock! Make plans for your holiday gifts NOW - take a look at this magnificent chart!"

Thomas, thank you so much for the love.  We love you back so much.  I hope you know that!

And Amanda's blog post about the chart we made for her just blew me away.  Thank you, Amanda!  Her comment, "I cannot recommend Family Chartmasters highly enough.  They are a joy to work with, and their products are top-notch quality." was just icing on the already decadent, 10-layer (emotional) cake I woke up to yesterday.

And if all of that isn't amazing enough, I just wanted to share a customer email as well, because seriously, our customers are incredible!  Michael Gonzales, whom I just got to meet in person this past summer in Salt Lake City, at a conference, sent this awesome email to me with some great pictures.  Take a look:

"Janet,

Our reunion was a success once again, thanks to our active planning committee and to the Family charts you printed for me.  Our reunion takes place every 3 years over the Labor Day weekend (Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday) in Visalia, California.  Folks come from all around the country to have fellowship and fun.  We have a large raffle, a huge dinner with music and special presentations, as well as a huge picnic with games, including a massive tug-of-war.  We hire a wonderful Mariachi orchestra that plays great cultural music.  When the sun shines you can expect to find the swimming pool in use (all the time).  One of the highlights of the Reunion is the display of our family charts.  People stream through the hotel lobby where the charts are displayed throughout the entire time.  The Lampliter is our headquarters hotel with other major hotels taking up the slack. Our attendance varies from 400-500 relatives.
Enjoy the photos."
400-500 relatives?!  That is incredible.  Take a look at some of their fun pictures:



We were so happy to help you, Michael!  I am so glad that we helped to make it a memorable reunion for you!

It is beyond rewarding to hear such amazing feedback from friends and customers.  We are so grateful for each and everyone of you.  With the Holiday seasons coming up, I hope we can help you make even more family memories.  Please contact us if you like what you have seen from our previous customers and let us help you create a special keepsake or gift.  And don't forget, our Early Bird sale is still running, but only until November 1st!  The sale is that you Buy One Chart, Get a Second Copy FREE!  That's a really good deal.  But it won't last much longer so contact us today!