This is a short post this week because of Halloween, the World Series, the U.S. election craziness . . .
> Our phrase of the week: Never quit.
> Our DIY project was of course, homemade gummy candy (as described in last week’s Post-Hump Day Post), with our assorted silicone moulds, including LEGO minifigs and robots. So happy to see that the Boy found a project that he was all gung-ho about, from start to finish, all by himself.
> We ate homemade gummies, including vegan ones made with agar agar (a gelatin substitute derived from seaweed).
> We were thrilled to read of this happy ending to the story of the lost dog, as mentioned last week. But what does this say about humanity? One generous human being makes a personal sacrifice to make a stranger happy, and on the flip side, a family decides to do what most of us would consider to be “the right thing”, but only if they can make some quick bucks off the situation. Then Expedia and kind strangers step in to fund the generous person. My faith in humanity is riding a roller coaster right now.
> We learned what can happen if your child moves out of the booster seat too soon (so if your child is still too short or not heavy enough, don’t give in, no matter how much they beg to grow up and out of the seat!) > And finally, we found this great web site about a fantastic award for eager, constantly learning, constantly achieving teens like the Girl, who just want to keep doing and going. Not crazy about the Royals connection, but oh well . . .
> We laughed at Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen, which leads to fan videos like this one. I don’t think it’s catchy enough to be the next Gangnam style, but it passes the time. > We ate what we think is called long squash (I think some stores mistakenly call this “chayote squash”). One set of our next-door neighbours is always kindly offering us extra vegetables from their garden, and this is our new favourite. I braise or slow-cooker this with diced eggplant, tomatoes, chicken, and a mixture of garam masala, curry, cumin, salt, garlic, chili flakes, and fresh coriander. Everyone in the family loves it. > We couldn’t stopwatching this really sweet, tear-jerking Amazon Prime commercial. They’re really pushing the same-day delivery service lately, which I’m all meh about, but I could watch the commercial on a loop all day. Each time, my desire for a Lion-Dog increases. Much better than the first Amazon Prime dog commercial, where the owner walks a few feet ahead and just seems inconvenienced by his slow canine pal.
> Funniest thing I heard this week that wasn’t on the radio/tv: While cleaning out the kids’ old baby clothes, I held up an item and—yet again—jokingly said to the Husband, “You sure you don’t want another one?” To which he replied, while backing out of the room, “You’re looking through old baby clothes? This isn’t going to end well for me.” > Our current word/phrase: “Without a shadow of a doubt” (or as the Boy has been saying, “Without a shadow of the doubt”). It’s cute because you know your kid is growing up and this is an improvement upon the previously un-sophisticated, “Nope”. > We learned that in some school boards, teachers (not with permission from the board) are confiscating lunches and snacks due to their own judgements of what’s “healthy” and “suitable”. Come on! Yes, some of us try to provide homemade goodness, but we do have to rely on a store-bought Bear Paw with chocolate chips or Goldfish, from time to time. > Our DIY project was neoprene hair ties. I just re-purposed this dollar-store tablet sleeve that didn’t really fit, and was sitting around empty. Like these ones, our neoprene hair ties don’t cause that pinched or pulled-back feeling, and are no-ravel. Unlike those ones, there’s no hefty price tag.
> And finally, à propos of nothing in particular, we found this great article about a basket for sale.
Recently, the Kids’ Book Club got off the ground in our house. I don’t know exactly who started it—though both claimed credit—but it’s a marvellous idea: Three days a week, from 2:15 to 3:15 (barring any unexpected appointments), the Girl reads a chapter or two to the Boy. (He’s pretty confident about reading simple books to himself, but lately, he’s taken an interest to having longer chapter books read to him.) Right now, the inaugural book for the Club is Because of Winn-Dixie. It’s pretty cute just to see them together on this project, reading quietly in the bedroom. But then it got even better, when the Girl introduced the school lessons.
Taking a page out of my book, the Girl has started playing teacher for the past couple of years. When the Boy was about two years old, for example, she spent quite a bit of time preparing counting and addition “kits” for him. For example, for one of the kits, she cut out round pieces of paper representing cookies, and drew chocolate chips on them. Then she would instruct him on how to count the chocolate chips or add them together. Thus began her first attempt at being schoolmaster to the Boy.
And now, with the Kids’ Book Club, she types out mini-lessons for him, just like I have done over the years with her. She diligently flips through the book and prepares questions on comprehension and vocabulary, and then helps him write out the answers. To see the completed worksheets in their handwriting—his as short answers and hers as teacher’s markings—makes me extremely proud. And of course, I love that I now have a teacher’s assistant helping me with lesson-planning for the younger grade.
I like to think that she has got her ideas from me, and is offering me the sincerest form of flattery. But really, I know that my Girl has the makings of a wonderfully patient, nurturing teacher, all on her own. She’s just the type of teacher that every kid wants to have, and just the type of sister that every boy deserves.
Although you do call it “lawyer’s orders”, I know that she wasn’t obligated to call you about this issue, right?