In The Kitchen With Grandkids

 You don’t have to teach your grandchildren how to bake a cake like the one in this picture of a Betty Crocker birthday circus cake. All you need to do is teach them a few simply things about cooking and how your kitchen gadgets work.

Here are few suggestions to help you to think about what you and your grandchildren might like to do in your kitchen. I hope you have as much fun as I have had with my friends and family in our kitchens.

  • Let your grandchildren sit next to you while you prepare food and explain what you’re doing and why.
  • Sink Play, wrap your grandchildren in an apron or dish towel and provide lots of utensils. Then stand them safely on a chair and play water games.
  • Inviting your grandchildren to cook with you is a great way to introduce them to a verity of foods even vegetables. Ask them to hold the containers for you and let them help you pour the vegetable into a pan or crock pot. Sometime they get so excited they even eat the vegetables. Isn’t that awesome?
  • Let them make what my friend Jane’s grandchildren call “stuff” they all love mixing the most unlikely ingredients together into a big bowel to make stuff; this is a great way of exercising their creativity.
  • Ask them to clean up the mess with a paper towel
  • Let them wipe the low surfaces with a damp cloth to clean up and be helpful
  • This is one of my favorite suggestions wash paintbrushes in the sink to make rainbow water.
  • Invite  your grandchildren to go to a Strawberry or Blue Berry Farm with you.  Don’t forget to bring along personalized buckets for them.

Let them cook! Encouraging a child to help in the kitchen has benefits for everyone. You’re teaching them about cooking and being independent. When they are old enough they can cook a meal for you!

Teachable Moments

Ever since I read about “Teachable Moments” I’ve believed they’re the easiest and most enjoyable way to teach a child anything. And grandparents, have more teachable moments with their grandchildren, than even their parents do, because they have the time and the desire to pass on snippets of information.

Grandparents like to take advantage of every opportunity to explain something to your grandchildren it might be an idea, how something works, why something is important, how we do things, and answer to a question, pointing out something interesting a new word, a new sensation, a new feeling.

A teachable moment arises out of an ordinary everyday activity or situation where you feel that there’s an opportunity to explain something. Unsurprisingly children love those moments. The setting is informal, it doesn’t feel like teaching, and best of all its piecemeal, which is how children learn anyway. It’s appealing to a chid because a teachable moment has it own logic. Here are some teachable moments that I’ve experienced with my children when they were growing up or even more recently with my grandchildren.

  • You’re “Gardening” together and you see a worm. You can talk about how worms aerate the soil and turn it over (as worm casts), and how a worm  has no eyes because it’s always in the dark.
  • You’re crossing a street with traffic lights. Hers’s a good opportunity to talk about the light sequence and how RED means STOP and Green means Go. Extend this to talking about how you should look left, then right, then left again, then cross.
  • It’s bath time, and as your grandchild gets into the bath the water rises, then when she stands up, the level drops. You explain why and you could mention Archimedes and “Eureka”. You explain how some things float and some things sink.
  • You use a word that might be difficult for a toddler or young child to understand, for instance, words such as recognize, reflection (in the mirror), camouflage and immediately explain what it means and give examples of how to use it.
  • Use every opportunity to explain a concept this is hard, but this is soft; a cat meows but a dog barks; birds fly and so do airplanes.

You are an expert as a grandparent, because of your experiences, the life you’ve led, and your range of interests and hobbies, you can stimulate your grandchild in a way that a parent can’t. Your grandchildren will learn very easily from you, and I’m sure that. like me, you will get huge satisfaction from the hours you spend playing and learning together.

You have a caring interest in him or her, which they can sense because it makes them feel special, the perfect setting for new games and skills. You have the time to play until your grandchildren get bored. You take obvious delight in their tiniest achievement and make them feel confident. Nothing is too much trouble for you so games can extend his concentration and foster his curiosity.

You are endlessly patient and show him how to try, try, try again until he succeeds, and then praise them. You love him them enough to let them fail on their way to their success’. Remember to let your children and grandchildren fail instead of trying to rescue them from failure all the time.

Take a moment and think about a time that you failed and turned that failure into a success. Would you have conquered it if your parents, teachers, mentors, or grandparents had rescued you out of it? I remember when my son was learning to ride a bike I can’t tell you how many times he fell down and we just ignored him and he got right back up on that bike and finally mastered riding it. Later in life when he learned to drive a motorcycle there was no room for failing.  He had to do it right the first time and he did.

I remember when I started playing baseball at first I couldn’t hit the ball and my teams mates were not happy about that. But I can tell you no one told the couch to rescue me or even how to handle it. All my mom said, was you’ll figure it out just pay more attention to the way you are holding the bat. I kept trying and then one day I hit a home run. It’s good thing too because girls didn’t play baseball back then. Enjoy all those teachable moments and let the kids learn to turn their failures into success’.

Everybody Has A Story To Tell

When we’ve been connected for a long time to someone, we think we know each other. We do, of course, know a whole array of things about one another, but it’s really only when we tell our stories.

Those touching vignettes that embody our struggles, sweet moments, disappointments, or wild hopes and dreams, that our most real, most vulnerable selves are revealed. Indeed, if we don’t tell each other our stories, we’re all one-dimensional, blank screens on which we project our assumptions about one another.

Everybody has a story, and because we all do, when we hear each other’s stories, we feel suddenly connected. Story is the great river that runs though the human landscape, and our stories are the little creeks that flow through us all to join the river at its source. When you tell your story, however you open yourself to the level of fragility that, as human beings, we all share; for no matter how different our stories, at the bottom of them all is the well of pain from which we have each dipped a drought.

Tell him or her your story, tell them the most exciting moment, the greatest regret of your adult life, the most painful event in your childhood and you will discover, in-depth, a self you never knew. That’s because between the sentences of our stories the gist of things slips out, not merely the facts, but the feelings that have shaped us, the point, in anyone’s journey, from which there was no return.

For example, although you may be aware of your husband’s  fascination with architecture, you may not understand why he never pursued it, until you hear the story about the night their father got so angry at him for staying up late drawing that he broke all his drafting pencils, threw them in the trash, and raved, “Since you’re waiting time like that, you’re never going to get a cent to go to college.” or, you may know about your wife’s interest in the big dipper but not know where it came from, until she tells you the story about how when she was a little girl and she heard her parents downstairs arguing at night, she would lie in bed looking up at the Big Dipper until it seemed like the stars beamed their white light right into her room so she could finally go to sleep.

When you tell your personal tale, spinning and spinning, telling, retelling, the tight thread with which you have wrapped up your pain will gradually start loosening. and when you listen to her or his story, he or she will become, in the process of your listening, a fully formed human being. So tell each other your stories. They’re more than entertainment for the dinner table or a long ride in the car. They are your true selves, spelled out and spoken, brought forth in time and in your own language, a loving gift you give to each other.

Rediscover Harmony And Belonging

Belonging is the spiritual beauty of any intimate relationship. It is elegant coexistence, peaceful compatibility, a similarity of frequency. It’s knowing that you share the same view of the world, that what you want out of life runs along parallel lines. It’s looking at your beloved and being able to say to yourself, “We stand for the same things, don’t we? We may encounter some rough spots, but at heart we both share the same values and we always find our way back to harmony.” In relationship, belonging and harmony is a gift of the spirit. It is a mystic similarity of essence that allows you to operate both separately and together from the comfortable wellspring of knowing that between you there is a sacred resonance. In a sense, it’s the very reason you chose each other in the first place. If there weren’t a certain degree of belonging and harmony between you, you wouldn’t have thrown you lot in together and established a relationship.

When there’s belonging and harmony, you can feel it; it will add grace to all your undertakings, the rearing of your children, the way you conduct the actions of your daily life, the way you handle conflict, and what you perceive to be the underlying deep direction of your life.

Unfortunately to many demands can undermine the pleasant ground of any union’s harmoniousness and we can lose sight of our belonging feelings. Schedules, children, unexpected little assaults from others can make all us feel at times as if there’s no harmony or belonging between us.

Conversely, harmony is nurtured and restored by being lovingly remembered. So if the harmony is out of balance in your relationship, ask yourselves the following questions:
After all the fuss and fray, when the kids are in bed, when the disagreement is over, is the stream of our life together most of the time good? In general, can I give thanks for his or her presence in my life? Do I still know that I still belong to her or him?

In what ways are we at the core a complement, a mirror, a balance for one another? What things still give us pleasure together? What is the higher purpose of our relationship and what is our common undertaking?

If you have a hard time finding answers to these questions, take a good look at what’s compromising the harmony and feeling of belonging in your relationship. Is it something you can change? Is it circumstantial, your husband has been on the road for a month or is it an emotional issue that needs to be dealt with? What is the one thing you could do or say that would be a first step toward restoring harmony and the feelings of belonging?

Harmony and creating the feelings of belonging is the spiritual balance in any good relationship. So give thanks for the harmony you have, develop the harmony that’s missing, and nurture the harmony that ensures the feeling of belonging to your love.

New Love Needs Time To Grow

It’s great to reach for the stars. Just don’t be disappointed if you only get as far as the moon. Love that detonates like an exploding star can disappear into the cosmos just as quickly. Love that grows slowly may never burn quite as brightly as a supernova, but it may deliver more energy over the long run. Remember it only takes a spark to start a raging fire. Many people are out there searching for their perfect soul mates. They may not know exactly what a soul mate is, but they think they’ll recognize the right person when he or she comes along.

Perfection is a wonderful goal. Always settling for second-best can lead to a lifetime of disappointment. But since nobody is perfect, you could spend a lifetime searching and wind up getting nowhere.

So you find a partner. Maybe he or she isn’t perfect or the one you pictured as your “Soul Mate,” but there is definitely some chemical reaction going on between you or you wouldn’t be together. Could it bubble or boil more strongly? Perhaps. Would that chemical reaction be stronger with someone else?  Maybe. But don’t be too quick to abandon a relationship because your partner doesn’t fit the definition of “Soul Mate.”

The French call that feeling of instantaneous love Le coup de foudre, the lightning bolt. Luckily, the odds of being hit by real lightning are small unless you live in Alabama.  Maybe unluckily, the odds of being hit by le coup de foudre are also small, but at least it’s not the only way to find true love.

We live in a world of instant gratification, and that often means we end up being less satisfied. Fast food doesn’t compare to a meal that took hours to prepare. Ready-to-wear clothes never fit as well as those that are hand tailored. So just because a relationship takes some work on the parts of both people to come together, it doesn’t mean that it’s filled with any less passion that one that sparked at a first glance. In the long run, it may actually provide a lot more heat than a relationship that starts off quickly but then peters out as fast as it began. Don’t expect to find an instant soul mate. New love needs time to grow, but when both people work at it, the rewards can be incredible.

Veggie Tales

God is Bigger Than the Boogie Man” is one of my grandson’s favorite songs to sing. It’s a catchy little tune isn’t it?  When we sing it over and over and over we laugh a hardy laugh. You try it, say it over and over and see how you feel afterwards. Wasn’t that fun?  Doesn’t God have a great sense of humor?  Talking Veggies! Veggie Tales is an American series of children’s animated films featuring anthropomorphic vegetables in stories conveying moral themes based  on Christianity. They frequently retell Biblical stories, sometimes anachronistically reframe, and include humours references to pop culture in many different ears by putting Veggies spins on them. Big Idea has also published Veggie Tales books and music CDs and branded items such as toys, clothing, and garden seeds for vegetables and flowers. I for one love the name “Big Idea Productions.”  for the name of the publishing company. That’s a God thing. Isn’t it?

Their aim was to produce children’s videos which conveyed Christian moral themes and taught Biblical values and lessons. The animated featured involved stories told by a group of recurring vegetable characters wh lived on a kitchen countertop. The first 30-mintue program called   “Where’s God When I’m S-Scared?”  They also released two feature-length movies in 1993 “Jonah” A Veggie Tales Movie and “The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything.” 

VeggieTales has a continuous back story that all the cartoons are actually teleplays, performed by various vegetables and fruit that live together on the same kitchen countertop. Some of these characters have “real names,” and take on various roles in the teleplays, although they will also often appear as themselves. Most of these “regulars” were established in the very earliest videos, while some have been added more recently. 

Don’t forget!  God Is Bigger Than The Boogie Man,  God Is Bigger Than The Boogie Man. Did I tell you that God Is Bigger Than The Boogie Man? I don’t think that Veggie Tales is just for kids. It’s for parents and grandparents too. Remember God Is For You!


Fifteen Ways To Kiss Your Love

The days of true romance and passion are back. Kissing your love no longer needs to be a routine event bordering on the tedious.  Put some fire  back into your romance with a different kind of kiss.

 Whatever the mood or the time, there is a kiss to fit the  moment.

You and your love can continually discover new and exciting ways to kiss in unique ways. Here is a list of fifteen fun ways to kiss your love.

  1. The Great Expectation Kiss: Inform your love one morning that he or she will soon receive a fabulous kiss. Later, call your love with a reminder. Then the next you see your love, pull out the stops and plant a long, hot passionate kiss.
  2. Goodbye Surprise Kiss: Send off your love in the morning with a quick kiss. As your love turns to leave, pull him or her back for a second, more passionate kiss.
  3. The Full Moon Kiss: The next time there is a full moon take your love someplace where the two of you can smooch by moonlight. A full moon can be very romantic.
  4. The forewarned Kiss: Leave your love a note alerting him or her about where you will be kissing him or her later. When you two meet next… watch out!
  5.   The S.W.A.K. Kiss: Write a love letter and seal it with a kiss.
  6. The Rose and Violet Kiss: Place a rose and a violet on your love’s pillow with the note: “Roses are Red, Violets are Blue.” I may be at work, but my thoughts are of kissing you.”
  7. The Answering Machine Kiss: After the beep, leave a long, sloppy kissing sound and the message, “There’s more where that came from!”
  8. Eventful Kiss: Tell your love that for a kiss, you will provide a big surprise. Upon receipt, present your love with a pair of tickets to his or her favorite event (e.g. Football, Opera, Theater). Whether you like it or not, agree to go with your love.
  9. The Car Door Kiss: Just before you or your love opens the car door, give them an unexpected kiss.
  10. Welcome Home KissGreet your love at the door with a big warm kiss and a cheerful “Glade you’re home.” Take his or her baggage, direct to a comfortable chair, remove shoes, and hand him or her the remote control and their favorite dessert.
  11. The Network Kiss: Is your love a subscriber to one of the personal computer networks? If so, send him or her kisses through the electronic mail function. If not, just post a note for all to read espousing your love’s puckering prowess.
  12. The Couch Cornering Kiss: In 1936 author Hugh Morris proclaimed the best way to kiss your love was to first corner him or her against the arm of a sofa. “First flatter them, then grab hold and finally move in for the kiss.”
  13. The Blow Kiss: This one is funny. The two of you puff out your cheeks with air. Now, zero in for a kiss, keeping your eyes open and trying not to laugh.
  14. The Vow Kiss: Think of a vow you would like to share with your love and memorize it. Then, standing a few feet apart, face your love hand-in-hand, and recite your vow. Afterward, both close your eyes and lean forward until your lips meet in a kiss.
  15. The Reconcile Kiss: Hate reconciling your checking account? Make a deal with your love to be kissed any way they want if the check book is successfully balanced.

 I hope you and your love continually discover new and exciting ways to kiss each other for many more years to come.