There used to be 2 pumpkins on the deck but thanks to one hungry squirrel this is all that is left of one of them (I guess he didn't like the seeds much, must have needed salt.)So in an attempt to add a little science to our everyday life, every Monday I plan on posting a photo of our pumpkins out in the garden. Ben and Emma get a kick out of watching various critters eat the pumpkins, as well as watching the carved faces as they decompose.
I know, I know, life does not get much more exciting than this.
At the beginning of September (yes, I realize it is now the beginning of October) my dad, Steve, and his friend Cary, and co-author of the book, Dragonflies and Damselflies of Oregon: A Field Guide, took our family and some friends on a nature walk where the kids and adults alike were able to observe, as well as catch and release, several species of dragonflies and damselflies. The trail we walked on was near the freeway and behind an industrial area, but the preservation and restoration of the area made you almost forget that you weren't miles from civilization.
And being surrounded by all that natural beauty, as well as the magical feeling of having a dragonfly rest briefly on your hand, made for an unforgettable morning.
I grew up with the extraordinary priveledge of knowing my maternal and paternal grandparents (as well as 2 great-grandmothers, a great-grandfather, and even have some early memories of great-great grandparents too). Like my parents before me, at different times during my life, we have lived within walking distance of at least one set of grandparents. As a young child we lived with my maternal grandparents for a year, Grandma and Grandpa Jones, who owned restaurants (as did Grandma Jones' parents) and because of this I have grown up around people who love food, love to cook, and love to teach others to cook.
Our children are lucky to have one set of grandparents 2 blocks away, grandparents who love to have them over for some fun in the kitchen. And on the day these photos were taken my mom, aka Grandma, bought some locally made pizza dough, some sauce and cheese, tied aprons on Ben and Emma, and let them make their own pizzas. There was a little gentle instruction but for the most part she just stood back and let them go for it. Yes, it was a bit messy, and yes, some ingredients were eaten and not used on the pizzas, but what was best about this day was how their laughter filled the kitchen.
Not only did making their own pizzas give them each special appreciation for the food that was on their plates (they both said it was the best pizza they had ever eaten) but it reminded me that by adding a few extra minutes to the dinner routine, and being a little more patient when having them join me in meal preparation, will go a long way in giving both Ben and Emma that same love of being in the kitchen that I learned from my family.