What are your strongest childhood memories?
I lived close enough to the school to be allowed to walk home after school with my friends. We'd pick dandelions and clover flowers along the way, feed horses and find large caterpillars to carefully pop into our lunchboxes to take home to Mum. Mum loved the flowers and would give me an empty jam jar filled with water for them. She would often give me a couple of sugar cubes for the next time I fed the horses. And she didn't seem to make any comment about the caterpillars though they seemed to disappear by teatime.
Life seemed a little more simple, less frenetic in those days. After devouring numerous home-made biscuits still warm from the oven, children usually played outside until teatime. I know I certainly did.
Today is very different
Things have certainly changed. Children rarely walk home. (What a world of exciting little discoveries they miss as they speed past in cars; processional caterpillars crawling head to tail, hissing rhinoceros beetles tumbled onto their backs, a lost turtle or dog, and perhaps even a baby bird that had tumbled from its nest.)
After school time now involves some sort of after-school activity or sports training for each day of the week and dinner is often a rushed affair or possibly a quick and easy takeaway meal.
Forget about the bustle for a moment. Put your feet up, relax and click through this selection of retro recipes from a by-gone era. You'll find a link to these recipes online in case you'd like to cook them. Do you remember salmon patties, beef wellington or lemon meringue pie? What about curried prawns or banana fritters? What comforting memories accompany these meals for you? Maybe, your memories of your dinner recipes differ.
What recipes are an important part of your childhood memories?
If so, what meals do you associate with childhood? Have you cooked them for your family?I've suggested in another article some simple recipes that could become a part of your family memories. You might also discover that your kids or grandkids would really enjoy the simple recipes from yesterday...especially if you also recount some of your memories from growing up. And you just might be making some wonderful memories for them while you cook them.
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If you’re a grandparent who cares for their grandchildren while their parents work, you need to know about potty training. Many schools now state that before a child can start their first year, they have to be potty trained. So helping your grandchildren to get to grips with using the toilet instead of their diaper is incredibly important. The question is, how do you go about it?
Speak to your grandchild’s parents
If you’ve noticed that your grandchild has started to show you when they need the toilet, it might be worth mentioning it to their parents. The chances are if you’re the one they’re spending most of their time with, their parents may not have noticed this. Explain that you’d be happy to try potty training, if they’re happy for you to, that is. To find out more about potty training, check out blog.vitacost.com.
Explain that if they start at the weekend, you’ll carry it on while they’re at work. If they don’t feel that their child is ready yet, that’s fine. However, the chances are they’ll love the idea of trying to get their little one out of diapers.
Stick to the same methods as they’re using.
Make sure that before you have your grandchild for the first time once potty training has started, that you know how to go about it. If you want your grandchild to get to grips with potty training quickly, it’s essential that you stick to the same methods as their parents. If you attempt to use a different method, you’ll only confuse your grandchild.
If the method has a name, ask the parents to write it down so that you can research it beforehand. For instance, some parents choose to use the quick potty training method from pottytrainingsolved.com/. However, others may choose to use a method that takes longer. It’s all about trial and error.
What works for one child may not work for another, and it’s important to realize that. It’s important that you understand the method that’s being used so that you can do everything possible to help your grandchild. You need to know what words or sounds they use to signal they need the toilet. As well as how often you need to ask them if they need to use the potty.
Every time your grandchild does something good, like tells you they need to use the toilet or uses the potty instead of their diaper, reward them. This can be a sweet treat like a cookie or a lollipop, or it can be with a sticker for their sticker chart.
It doesn’t matter how you reward them, just as long as you praise them when they do what they’re meant to. It might be worth asking their parents what reward methods they use - perhaps there’s a certain reward method that works best.
Potty training might not be easy, but it’s an important life skill that all children need to develop. So if you’re their main daytime carer, you need to do everything that you can to help them with this.
Cooking with kids- what could be more fun? Think about the warm, wonderful memories you'll be building. Kids love cooking. But, if you're busy and don't like a lot of messes there still are alternatives that are just as much fun.
Just keep in mind the 5 basic rules to crack the cooking with kids code:
1. Keep it short.
You don't need me to tell you that children have a short attention span. Generally, I calculate it roughly by their age. If they are 3 years old, their focus and attention on anything is very limited... think about 3 minutes, if you're lucky. And then they're up and on to something else. They may come back to the original activity later but again, just for a short time. Five-year-olds can stay interested in a task for a little longer.
2. Keep it simple. Don't give kids a lot of guidance. It's best if you show them what they can do and leave them to it.
3. Keep it safe. Think through any potential hazards and remove them first.
4. Keep it speedy. The complete activity should involve few tasks and little time to finish each one. (See #1)
5. Keep it tasty. There is nothing better than working on something that can also be eaten. Children even want to eat things that shouldn't be eaten....think about playdough. How many times do you wind up saying, 'No, don't eat it!'
So... Mosaic Biscuits tick all the boxes for making fun, easy and tasty cooking memories. Here's how to do it......
1. Pour some sweetened condensed milk into each bowl and add some food colouring. Stir to mix thoroughly.
2. Pop a small paintbrush in each bowl.
3. Show your kids how to paint the biscuits and then place them on the tray covered with baking paper.
4. Bake them for a couple of minutes in the oven (150 deg). Don't forget them; they only need a few minutes.... They will crisp up once they're removed from the oven.
I always forget them and find they're over-cooked! Fortunately, the kids don't seem to mind. You'll find the children will eat them as soon as they're cool enough to touch.
Memory-making moments don't need to take a lot of time. They don't need to be amazing cooking creations. They just need to be fun times with you.
Keep in mind the simple guidelines; keep it short, keep it simple, keep it safe, keep it speedy and keep it tasty!
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This article was updated November 1, 2017
Clowns of the bush
Galahs always make me laugh.
These birds are the clowns of the bush. You might ﬁnd them in cosy couples or large noisy family groups. Unlike their timid cousins, the dainty rosellas or the vivid king parrots, galahs are quite comfortable with people.
A couple of galahs regularly raise their nestlings in a nearby gumtree. And there are a few that systematically work through my 'lawn' looking for grass seeds. I've seen them hanging upside-down in the trees during a rain burst or throwing themselves down on the ground to ﬂap around in the dust. Yes, they're totally uninhibited.
But they love the wind!
When our kids were young, our house was surrounded by wide, open paddocks. At times, the wind would whip across the open area and swirl around the house.
We'd sit outside and watch the galahs.
They'd take turns ﬂying hard and fast around the house until they hit the oncoming gusts of wind. It would send them twisting and spinning back and up into the air.
I don't really know what noise a galah makes when it's laughing. But the raucous noise of those comic galahs must surely have been them doubling up in laughter and egging-on their mates!
It seems to me that my favourite family memories include laughter, maybe because we do it so much. I'm not talking about laughing at someone or using it to embarrass or upset someone else. I mean laughter and fun times that the whole family shares. What about you?
Do you have wonderful memories of your family enjoying a joke, a pun, a funny movie, or the humour of a shared situation or experience?
Home is where love resides, memories are created, friends always belong, and laughter never ends.
Humour and laughter help us remember, especially those times when we were enjoying ourselves. It also helps us relax and play. But there are other recorded benefits of laughter.
Studies show that laughter contributes to people living longer, being more creative and productive and having more energy. Another big plus is the health benefits: a decreased blood pressure, an increase in heart rate and respiration, a decline in depression and the body releases endorphins. With all of that going for it, who wouldn't want to laugh more?
But other studies show that, on average, a baby laughs nearly 200 times a day while an adult laughs merely 12 times.
So.. how do you include more laughter in your day? Again, start looking for those funny moments, even if it's the antics of galahs and other birds and animals. You can find plenty of video clips about funny dogs and cats on YouTube. Share them with your grandkids and you'll find yourselves rolling around laughing at their antics. The kids will enjoy it so much they'll be looking for funny experiences to share with you.
(I've included one below to start you off.)
And, if you still needing more humour to share with your grandkids, try a joke book. I send my oldest grandson a weekly hit of jokes and riddles. Sure... he generally groans but the next moment he's regaling me with a good joke that he's heard recently or trying my jokes out on his parents.
These small laughter-filled moments may seem insignificant, but they build a legacy of fun and delight in the lives of your family. Have a good laugh and enjoy the moment.
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I've decided to accept the 31Day blogging challenge with my own focus for the month: falling in love with small moments.