Saturday, August 28, 2010

Cooking With Kids

Lots of children love to cook.
With little ones that may mean simply stirring the ingredients an adult puts in a mixing bowl and licking the spoon afterwards. Older kids may be able to handle sharp knives and hot stoves, and kids in between can help in many ways such as getting out foods and equipment, measuring and adding ingredients, and cleaning up afterwards.
Besides providing some together time with a parent in the kitchen, letting kids help with cooking has many benefits. It helps them appreciate the work that goes into preparing meals, and gives them experience following directions.
Measuring ingredients helps with math skills, and recipes are short opportunities to practice reading. If more than one child is involved, cooking provides the opportunity and motivation to share responsibilities and take turns.
For reluctant eaters, helping to prepare a meal can motivate them to at least taste foods they might otherwise refuse.
And the pleasure of sharing foods they cooked or helped to prepare helps kids learn the value of hard work.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Versatile Blogger Award

As I mentioned in my last post, I've been given the Versatile Blogger Award, which is a great honor. However it's also a responsibility since I'm supposed to pass it on to 14 other newly-discovered blogs that I think deserve it. Unfortunately I couldn't think of that many, but here are the ones I've chosen to get the award:
There are many other helpful blogs out there, but either I discovered the others long ago, haven't discovered them yet, or can't think of them at the moment. I hope you enjoy reading these.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Versatile Blogger Award

Last week Virginia Grenier posted a comment on this blog saying she was giving me the Versatile Blogger Award. What an amazing honor! Thank you, Virginia.
Now I'm supposed to mention seven things about myself and, if possible, pass the award on to 15 other newly discovered bloggers. I've been struggling with that last part and will have to contact and list as many other bloggers worthy of recognition as I can in my next post, which will be on Wednesday. While there are lots of helpful blogs out there, I haven't discovered many recently so I may need to cheat a little and either choose fewer than 15 or include some I've been reading for quite a while.
But I can and will mention seven things about myself here.
1. I attended my 50th high school reunion a couple of weeks ago, so that means I'm old.
2. When I was a kid I had such bad asthma I was sometimes hospitalized and put on oxygen.
3. I once climbed Mount Whitney.
4. I can still remember my grandmother, who died when I was two years and three months old.
5. I belong to a big extended family and consider people like my second cousin's cousin and my cousin's cousin's granddaughter to be my relatives.
6. I used to be a freelance feature writer for a newspaper in the San Francisco Bay Area.
7. My favorite color is blue.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


I usually post things to my blog on Wednesdays and Saturdays, but this week I didn't post anything on Saturday because a lot has been happening. I attended a high school reunion a week ago, had my grandson stay with us for a week, took him home, and attended a relative's 102nd birthday party last Sunday. I should have planned better and written a post in advance, but didn't realize I wouldn't have time to blog on that day. Sorry

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Sentimental Stuff

Okay, I admit it; I'm a packrat. When we moved away from a house where we'd lived for thirty years I was amazed at the amount of stuff we got rid of. But there are some impractical things I expect to keep for the rest of my life. Those are the sentimental reminders of my kids.
When my mother died and my brother and I went through her stuff we were both extremely touched by what she found. Of course we expected the family photos, which brought back warm memories, but I was surprised to see the artwork and writing I'd done as a child, some of which was actually quite good. The fact that my mother had kept it showed that she had been proud of my accomplishments and finding it reminded me of her love.
Someday when my own kids and grandkids discover the treasures I've kept I hope it will remind them of my love for them.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Low Tech Travel

What would we do without all the modern electronic devices that help us keep in touch with each other? In many ways, those modern inventions have improved our lives. But I think it's important for people, especially children, to have breaks from technology once in a while.
My grandson recently attended a summer camp that forbade all of them, including cellphones, DSIs, etc. and I think that's a great idea. While things like that can keep kids occupied while getting to their destinations, why not have family vacations in natural environments and forbid all tech devices, even to adults? Sure, we'll have zillions of messages waiting when we get home, but once in a while it's good for us to experience what life used to be like, especially in beautiful, natural environments.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Old Friends

Remember that song, "Make new friends, but keep the old...?"
Families tend to move a lot, especially now when some loose their homes and must move and many parents get transferred or need to find jobs in other areas. Moving can be difficult for children because, even if they've only lived in the same place for a few years, that's a big part of their lives.
We have an advantage in our time. Unlike people in past centuries who wrote letters that might take months to be delivered, we can keep in touch through the internet and cellphones. But little kids can't use electronic devices very well. Even for older children and adults who can, video conversations like those on Skype are not really the same as face-to-face, real world contact.
It's helpful if sometimes families can travel to places where they used to live or invite people they knew in the past to vacation with them. And parents should encourage kids to keep in touch with old friends at least once in a while even after they make new ones. Although they may not appreciate doing that now, someday they'll realize the value of knowing people who share some of their memories.
Old friends really are the golden ones.