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August 08, 2008

Parent Club Calendar

  • Taste of the Danforth runs this weekend. Big, busy and lots of fun. Take the TTC (parking is limited). Also, the restaurants are usually very full -- I say this as it is good to remind little bodies with little bladders that they have to tell you WELL in advance if they feel the tickel of a tinkel.

  • The Chinese lantern festival continues at Ontario Place. (We did this last week. Dinosaurs - a bit scary, the rest lots of fun. It doesn't take 80 minutes to walk the displays - not even close. Recommend kids 4+ for this event. Babies and toddlers would be fine just to run around but won't appreciate the lanterns. Though your admission does not include the waterpark - thank goodness - it does admit you to a cinesphere showing of Dinosaurs -- DO NOT GO if you take the kids with you. We did (because we take kids everywhere) and it was really too scary.)

    You could also go to a park, the beach, watch movies, have lunch with many things to do...and that's just Saturday!


  • August 07, 2008

    Olympic Games

    The Olympic Games start 8.8.08 (that would be this Friday for those of us who have too many pin numbers and passwords and really don't need any more numbers in our lives).

    Actually the preliminaries for some events start tomorrow. (did you know that?) However the opening games can be seen on Toronto television starting at 7am Friday morning.

    You and your family can follow the Olympics HERE. You can send messages to the Canadian Olympians HERE.

    Olympic information should be shared on Parent Club because it's good family entertainment. Sport, honour, victory & defeat mixed in with sportsmanship and competition, pride and courage.

    Yes, I believe each child should get a medal in a school competition. Fairness, personal best and engagement should all be recognized. However, I also think it is good to show kids that with determination, commitment and talent -- there are some who become the best (I am not one of them -- I don't really know anyone who is the best of the best -- but I do know some pretty darn goods).

    The Olympic motto is "Citius, Altius, Fortius." These three Latin words mean "Swifter, Higher, Stronger." (you'll use that in trivial pursuit one day - I'm sure).


    August 06, 2008

    Who is making lunch today!?

    The kids cooking craze is hot in my house. Perhaps, it is because as soon as I'm occupied with laundry, grass cutting or phone calling -- that is the exact time when kids get hungry. Parental Murphy's Law; as soon as you are busy - the kids will need something.

    Yesterday, Thing 1 volunteered to make lunch. My first thought; groan, sigh, mess in my kitchen, sigh again. Yes, that was one thought - I'm a big thinker! Thing 2 jumped up and down at the idea of kids cooking (always does).

    "ok" I said, remembering that I need to let go of that invisible umbilical cord and let them do things on their own. Lunch is not a big deal - it is actually very predictable in this house. The menu is fairly limited so I knew the pitfalls. "Please don't use a sharp knife for the butter. Take a cheese string rather than cut cheese." (no sharp knives remember?) "yes, you can bring it outside. Please be careful." The "be careful" was a prayer to fate against falling, cutting or harming oneself during lunch creation. There's that umbilical cord tugging again.

    Voila. Proud Thing 1 (followed by proud Thing 2) presented homemade kid cooked lunch. A piece of bread, buttered and folded, a slice of summer sausage and a cheese string to be shared between them.

    Today, Thing 2 made lunch (with much disaster) but with great pride.

    I'm a big supporter in letting kids in the kitchen. It doesn't always yield great results but it is full of personal experience, learning, choices and instant gratification. Plus, the more I see them accomplish -- the easier it is to let go of that cord.

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    August 05, 2008

    Homemade Granola Bars

    This is a recipe from Chatelaine's "Quickies" cookbook. It's an easy recipe to do on a hot day. Also, very kid cooking friendly. So bring the chairs to the counter. Get out the measuring cups. Make it a cooking experience and a summer math class.

    Microwave Oatmeal Wedges (we call them Homemade Granola Bars)

    Stir 2 CUPS ROLLED OATS with
    1/2 CUP CHOCOLATE CHIPS (mini chocolate chips work well) and
    1/2 TSP salt.
    (not in the recipe - but we like to add 1/3 CUP RICE CRISPIES too)

    In a whole other bowl (if you have two kids - you can divide the cooking into the "captain in charge of the dry bowl" and the "captain in charge of the wet bowl" - then in the end - the captains come together and combine their ingredients.)
      "Captain - permission for my ingredients to come aboard your bowl - er - I mean ship? Over."

    (there you go, cooking, math AND creative role play!)

    Back to the recipe. In that whole other bowl; whisk 1 EGG with

    Stir wet ingredients into oat mixture.

    Spoon into a 9-in pie plate and pat (with clean fingers) into an even layer. (you can use a 8-in square plate as well -- just be sure whatever you use is microwave friendly - otherwise you've got a science experiment on your hands.).

    Microwave, uncovered for 6 minutes. Cool before cutting.

    Really good for play dates, afternoon snack -- it's even been called breakfast in some houses!

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