Memories and healthy recipes for your dinner table.

Tag: family fun

May Share

I was in the parking lot loading the groceries into my car one morning when I was approached by an older woman begging for money. I recognized her from the previous month the familiar story of grief and financial woes. How do you know? How […]

Handprint Easter Lillies

Here is a fun super fast craft that will bring giggles and smiles to the Easter brunch table. Source: Family Fun Supplies: white and green card stock (regular paper is fine) yellow pipe cleaners straws scissors pencil Trace your child’s hand print onto a piece […]

There is a Snake in the Cave!

The kids love to play a little game called Snakes in the cave. It started one day while we were playing under the blanket after an exhausting game of Monster Coming. There is something the little ones love about playing under the covers. I always get a laugh watching Everett’s face light up as if he were in a new magical world. Mason and Adelin pretend they are lost in a cave and so it was that day when one of them hissed like a snake and we all threw off the covers screaming “there is a snake in the cave!”

What are some of your favorite giggle producing games?

Conquering Mt. Everest at Five

Mason is the adventurous type always on a mission to conquer the unexplored or defeat the bad guys. When he spied the new back pack set I picked up for Everett (my $5 find at Target comes with a rolling pack pack, a smaller back […]

Memories, Family and Food

TODAY: I felt the warmth of Christmas: I was on my way over to a friends house this evening to help them with a project. As I was driving I noticed the sparkles of Christmas lights and felt cozy. It was a nice end to […]

Making Colored Paper with Food Coloring

The kids were playing with the salad spinner while I was making dinner. Adelin asked what it was so we washed some lettuce and put it in the spinner. Then I remembered a project in Gadgetology. Place a sheet of paper in the spinner, add food coloring and spin. I do not think ours turned out right. Bummed we put the bowl in the sink and cleaned up for dinner. After dinner when I went to wash the bowl we made a lovely discovery. The paper we used had turned yellow from the food coloring and water.

Excited we pulled out baking sheets, paper, food coloring, a spray bottle with water and a squirt bottle with water. We placed our sheets of paper in the baking sheet. Dropped several drops of food coloring and added water. The kids had a blast mixing colors.

We had to carefully remove the paper from the pan to avoid tearing it. We layed them on a sheet of foil to dry overnight.

Halloween Mystery Menu

This year for Halloween, we are adopting a family tradition from my sister-n-law. Every year for the past ten years, at least, they have celebrated Halloween with a mystery dinner complete with a menu. Does Eye of Newt sound appetizing? Don’t be too alarmed. That […]

Pancakes and Waffles

A friend of mine and her family has a special weekly tradition. Every Monday night, everyone (friends and family) go to the Grandparents house for crapes and stories. Set up a pancake, waffle or crepe bar with your family’s favorite fruits and nuts. You could […]

Cultivate a Love Affair with Nature

Many years ago, my brother and his little family came out for a visit. While here, we took a trip to the Muir Woods, a state park north of San Francisco. The Red Woods are one of my most favorite places to explore. I love hiking through the calm, majestic trails. The tranquility always opens my mind to what it would have been like in JR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings as they trekked across uninhibited lands.

During our visit to the red woods, I remember watching my brother’s kids stomping in the puddles of water. They were having so much fun getting all muddy and wet. My first reaction was, “oh no, they are getting wet”. But, my sister-in-law, Emily, was not concerned. She came prepared with extra clothes in the car. Several people passed by with looks of disdain and shock. However, one older couple stopped to congratulate Emily on allowing her children to be children. Seeing my little niece and nephew play, made their day. They were troubled by parents today who do not allow their little ones the chance to play so freely.

Growing up, my siblings and I lived outdoors. The town was our playground to explore and discover from dawn to dusk. Our backyard was a world filled with amazement. My desire is to instill the same passion for nature in my children. Ever since we moved to a city lacking forest trails and nature parks, and moved into a house nestled in a small barren yard, I have felt hard pressed to come up with ways to share the importance of being among nature.

Getting into the car everyday to drive 30 minutes to an hour seems to take the creative soul right out of me. It took a while, but I have learned there are ways to enjoy my surroundings here at home.

  • Sometimes Stephen takes the children to jump on the trampoline. Exhausted, they lie down and watch the clouds roll by or look for shooting stars.
  • Where we live, clay is not my idea of mud, but it holds water well enough to splash in and get dirty.
  • In the planters, we love to uncover earthworms and other creepy crawly critters.
  • Early morning walks are the best time to catch snails and worms making their way across the sidewalks or listen to birds busily looking for breakfast.
  • Behind our home is a canal and plenty of rocks and sticks to throw.
  • Along the canal is a path with a variety of trees to study. Next time, we will have to bring our notebooks to make sketches and then we could attach the matching leaf and/or berry/flower.

There is something about nature that has the ability to reset the mind and calm the spirit. The demands of life seem to flitter away.  We can stop and we can begin to create.

Family Chores, Connect and Have Fun

A family that learns to clean together, learns to play together. My brother-n-law works many long hours during the week. On the weekends, he enjoys staying home with his kids and doing chores together. He says it allows him to reconnect with his children, while […]