Right now its all about the chalkboard paint...
I've been wanting to paint everything chalkboard this week, but so far have kept myself to these clip boards (a pinterest idea) and a larger board for other use. We found some chalk board markers in town that write beautifully, though they don't erase very well (ughh). We're setting up some new "plan for the day" charts, thinking about how we'll do math for the summer (workbooks? online? games only?) and what kind of structure we want for our days/weeks. Our chore charts that previously lived on the fridge needed some re-order as well. Chalk board paint to the rescue. I'm not loving the new chore cart yet --and I'm already tired of the neon, but its a beginning.
Another new routine we're working on is Wednesday night kid dinners. Last week Juniper made zucchini lasagna that was fantastic (I didn't get any pictures) and this evening Wylie baked us homemade Mac and Cheese, followed by carrot cake with rhubarb sauce. All delicious.
The kids always help bake cookies and pancakes. They grate cheese and chop veggies, but its new for me to include them in the "how to" of cooking dinner. I've always enjoyed and agreed with books and blogs that show young children cooking with their parents. It seems so sweet and homey. But, honestly the pre-dinner stretch has often been a hectic, tired time of day when I am happy to focus on something other than my kids while they hang with Rob, play by themselves, or watch a video. They were always nearby, watching me cook, but often not invited to help. (Sad? Perhaps, but real). Now that they are all older a shift has occurred. Its easier to have them help with cooking. My patience is not as frazzled by the end of the day (most days), bedtime is later so there's not such a rush to eat by a certain time, and really they're just older and quite helpful.
My only rule for Kid Dinner night is there has to be vegetables, it has to be gluten free, and they need to choose the menu with enough time for us to get the ingredients. Kale is planning mini pizzas for his night.
With Juni and Wylie's nights I worked side by side with them, either pointing out the recipe, or explaining each step as we went along. I showed them how to chop veggies to size for cooking, how to melt the cheese, how to best mix the cake etc. They often fix their own breakfast and snacks, and its my hope that in a few months they'll be able to go into the kitchen and make a meal for the family by themselves.
Seems likely. In fact, I'm sure Wylie already could--I'm just not sure I'd want to eat it. But tonight's was fantastic. We all had seconds. Salad too.
Lunch on Memorial day--too much outdoor work for anything else.
Wylie did his favorite kind of cooking Sunday: Outdoors, over a big flame. This treat was dandelion fritters fried in bacon grease. They were pretty tasty. But as he commented, "Mom, I think we could cook anything in this stuff and it would taste good!" Just about.