Posts filed under ‘Family life’

Emergency Preparedness Part 2: A Slow Start and a Smartphone App

Winter driving presents many hazards. Photo ODOT.

My emergency preparedness planning is off to a slow start, but I’ve made some progress.

At work, a fire alarm (no fire, thankfully) prompted me to review my workplace’s emergency procedures. Basic procedures were posted online and easy to find with a quick search, but I’m not sure what my department’s specific procedures are. I’ll ask about this at our next staff meeting.

At home, our weather radio is now operational, and we have a basic disaster plan—where to meet and how to contact each other. We already have some of the recommended supplies for an emergency preparedness kit (we used the “Family Emergency Preparedness Kit” publication from OSU Extension and the “Be Red Cross Ready” fact sheet as guides). Now we need to gather the supplies together, purchase some additional items, and make kits for our cars, too. I think putting the kits together will become our New Year’s resolution. (more…)

12/21/2011 at 9:09 am 1 comment

Perfect recipe: Cheap family fun, plus education and bonding

Rolling out dough

Cooking and baking with kids is fun, cheap, and easy. Photo by eyeliam/Flickr.

Today’s post comes from Stella, our parent-in-residence.

I worked on a set of publications for OSU Extension called “Ten Tips for Tough Times.” I got some ideas from the one called “Ten Tips for Low-cost Indoor Family Fun” for some things to do together with my daughter. One idea was to “bake or cook together.”

This has been really fun. I started by showing my daughter how to do simple things, like rinsing lettuce, shucking corn, and shelling peas. Now, after a couple of years, she makes the whole salad by herself while I cook the main dish, and she mixes up the batter for Saturday morning pancakes and cooks them while I make us tea and set the table.

We like being in the kitchen together, she doing one food prep task while I do another. We both enjoy the easy feeling of companionship, working side by side, chatting about this or that. There’s something about working together toward a common goal (our meal) that’s very satisfying.

We’ve baked a cake together several times, too. Over time, she’s learned to use measuring cups and spoons (this has been great for helping her learn fractions, by the way). She loves to measure ingredients and mix the cake batter while I grease the cake pan and start the oven preheating. And of course, licking the frosting bowl is a great reward for a job well done!

She’s a young teenager now. These days, she’ll often get up on a weekend morning and say, “I feel like baking today.” I know she means “together.” And that means a lot to me.


Note: By the way, there are seven different publications with different tips, and they are available in Spanish also.

12/12/2011 at 5:17 pm Leave a comment

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