Into the weekend

Children

From Carissa

Getting children involved in finding out where food comes from and how it is grown has shown to help them make better food choices. When we have pots of tomato plants on our patio it is very encouraging to see my daughter watering them every few days and getting excited when the first few tiny green tomatoes appear. Gillian Carson, a freelance writer in Portland, volunteered to run an elementary school garden in an effort to get more students and teachers involved. With springtime already here in Houston, it makes me want to rush to the nursery to get some herbs and vegetable plants and re-start the patio garden with my kids.

With spring break coming to an end, I find myself starting to think about how there’s only a little over two months before the school year ends and summertime begins. Almost three months of free time? What is a mother to do?! The Curren family has been “road schooling” since 2014 (home schooling while traveling around the country in an Airstream). While this is not feasible for our family at this time, we do love taking road trips rather than flying to a destination and it gives food for thought for future family adventures.

I am always amazed by mental strength, and what people are able to accomplish with the heart and mind.  A friend has been recently diagnosed with breast cancer and the doctor has strongly advised increasing physical activity, even walking and running through chemotherapy. The recent article on Carol Chouli, a mom of four who is running the 2016 Boston Marathon with two metastatic cancers, is an amazing story of strength and courage. She ran a race for charity for every chemotherapy session she had. In an interview with a cancer non-profit organization, Carol had changed from a competitive runner to a philanthropic one.

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From Melissa

I remember my dad driving us to school every day, and sometimes picking us up in the afternoon. When my sister went off to college and my brother was still too young to start school, my dad and I spent that time on the road talking. Even though I didn’t realize it then, those fairly short trips gave us time to talk about the day and share my accomplishments, failures, joys, and fears. This article talks about how important it is to spend one-on-one time with each of your children in order to get to know them. Though it seems daunting for working parents or for single parents, making the extra effort to spend that 10-15 minutes with a child while they’re young sets a precedent for sharing their thoughts.

I’m always looking for the next set of books for Sofia to read. She’s gotten to the points where she memorizes all her favorite books and wants to “read” to us at bedtime. It’s amazing to see her turn each page and get pretty much every word right, even words like “unimaginable”. We’re planning to take her to the library soon to augment the books we have at home. This list of new books on Read Brightly has great books to read at night. We got her “The Day the Crayons Came Home” for Christmas, and she adores it.

I’m grateful not to have a picky eater. When Sofia started eating solid food, we started her off with veggies like peas, broccoli, carrots, and squash—basically any frozen veggie that could be easily cooked and blended or eaten as small bites (we did partial baby-led weaning). Beyond just getting her to “eat healthy,” we wanted her to understand how different kinds of foods fit into her diet. This article has great advice for getting children to eat well, many of which we employ at home. I especially like how they talk about foods in three categories: Growing Foods, Fun Foods, and Treat Foods. We have roughly the same system, with “treats” reserved for special occasions, fun foods sprinkled throughout the month (mainly when Mommy has no desire to cook), and balanced meals a must-have of every day.

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