Sunday, July 29, 2012

Harry Situation

Harry Potter on tape.
   Here's an update on my happy campers this summer.  I suggested some names to do with camping, nature and summer, but the kids voted for a Harry Potter theme.  My oldest is reading the first book and was thrilled when his Aunt sent over the first three books on cassette.  I am trying to stall him from going on to the later books as they get more intense.  He became fascinated with Harry Potter through the Lego sets.

   Now they are earning house points for Gryffindor by completing morning chores and helping out around the house.  When we get to 25 points each a week they are awarded the house cup.  One week the prize was an A to Z Mysteries book.  The next week was a movie night with my husband's wonderful homemade popcorn.  After a great job cleaning up in the morning, I surprised them by inviting a friend over.

  One morning at breakfast we had a "family meeting."  I got out a pad of paper and wrote What can ____________ do to help?  We had a discussion of what they were old enough to do around the house.  Including them makes it more fun than always having me tell them what to do.  They suggested simple chores like feeding the dog, emptying the dryer, cleaning up toys, hanging up a towel, putting away the toothpaste, cleaning up the craft table and UNDER the craft table.  Now if they are looking forward to a family game night or a small prize they ask us, "What can I do to help?"  In their minds it means, "What can I do to get a point or prize?" but I will take it.  I have pointed out that when they wipe the table or clean up toys their Dad and I have more time to take a walk, play a game or take them to the park.


Saturday, July 28, 2012

5 Ring Pizza

    This recipe has been in my idea file almost as long as the history of the Olympics itself.  Taste Of Home magazine featured an Olympics party with a pizza covered in pepperoni rings, a cake with M&Ms the color of Olympic rings and colorful veggies in round bowls.

      Rather than the original plan of pepperoni rings, we came up with Olympic ring colors for our pizza.  Pepper rings became the green, red, and yellow rings.  We used black olives for the black ring.  The blue had us stumped.  I did not want to use blueberries on pizza!  I had some Calamata olives in the cupboard and they worked nicely for the blue ring.
   We layered pepperoni circles beneath the cheese so the white cheese of the flag would stand out.

    After the whole team grated cheese, sliced olives and peppers and rolled out the dough our pizzas baked in the oven on 425 degrees for 30 degrees.  We made enough to share and catch the coverage with friends.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Olympic Spirits

We are very excited about the Olympic opening ceremony in my house.  I was  leafing through my recipe collection searching for the elusive Olympic snack ideas that I had stashed away years ago. In the meantime, the kids had decided to get ready for the Olympics by making some decorations.  They had out all the paints and asked me what the proper order was for the rings.  My little one made a picture by tracing circles around the Laughing Cow cheese container and then painting them in the Olympic colors.

  Next she created the painting with the Olympic torch bearer.  The kids busily worked away from what we had in the craft box; cutting out circles to turn into medals and turning a popsicle stick into a torch. My oldest took an index card and filled in the lines to create a flag.  I found some stickers to add for stars.  We took a spin around the globe to locate the five continents represented by the Olympic rings.

We ran out to swim a few laps in the pool to warm up for our opening ceremony celebration.  We concluded the day with Olympic swimmer Gertrude Ederle's biograpy.  Her story of swimming the English Channel should inspire some gold star dreams.