Apr 19, 2011


Okay, so I have a challenge for you.  I double dog dare you to turn your family off for one night a week.  No, I dont possess a secret remote that has a magical mute button to quiet everything down.  What I mean is, unplug the video games, turn off the cell phones, sign off the computers and turn off the TV.  One day a week...cmon it cant be THAT hard right?  I challenge you!

I must warn you though.  Your family will NOT like this.  They WILL baulk, they will growl and be COMPLETELY uncooperative.  But I promise as the magnetic waves leave their systems they will loosen up and start to have fun.  Just remember to count to ten before answering for the 97th time of why they have to do this even though its the dumbest idea you've ever had.

I chose Tuesday only because its a pretty uneventful night in our house.  No Church, its not Monday where everyone is tired and cranky and its not the weekend where it runs into everyones social calendars.  But pick a day thats good for you.

I also decided to pick subjects to focus on.  Gives everyone else a chance to have an imput in what you are doing too.  Let the whole family participate in the planning just as much as the actual stuff, I promise it will be beneficial, not only for you in the planning part, but for them too.

So for our first week, I picked Charcoal.  This stuff is fun!  I had no idea you could do so much with the stuff that was meant for cooking!!  Our first endeavor....we colored with it!  Yes, just briquets and white paper...and DRAW!

Dad's Fish

Heather's Grr

Hannah's teacup

And my awful rendition of a milkcan.

It can get kind of messy so take that into count.  But it was great fun.  The kids loved it! 

Then we moved on to a little experiment.  For exact directions go to MRS. STEWART'S BLUING to learn how we made this wicked cool Crystal Garden.

There are lots of directions out there on the internet.  I chose one that doesnt use any chemicals other than the Bluing.  There are lots that you use Amonia and other stuff with.  ICK.  Cant imagine using the stuff myself, let alone handing it to one of the kids.  Plus I didnt want to buy a huge bottle of something that I would NEVER use.  The only thing I found in research is that it might take longer for your garden to grow without the harsh chemicals.  I am ok with that!  :)  So here is our Charcoal, salt, water and Bluing.  We fed it every day....

(a week later)
And then added some food coloring.  And whala!  Isnt that neato?  The kids have had fun watching it and feeding it.  I figure once they get a little bigger and more defined we'll take some more photos and make some paper or something.  BTW---Bluing can be found in the laundry section of the supermarket.  Its not real expensive and I figure whatever is left I will just take to the laundry room and use. (Its also biodegradable).

OK. Now its on to dinner. We made hobo pouches filled with inside out hamburgers, potatoes and onions (and Ronnie put broccoli in his). So around the table we sat...each person with 2 sheets of tinfoil (double layer) a hunk of burger, seasonings, cheese, cup-up veggies and olive oil and butter. Drilled a hole in the burger and stuffed cheese in it, then sealed it back up (cheese on the inside gives you a cheeseburger but protects the cheese from burning. Put olive oil down on the tinfoil then potatoes (we cooked ours in microwave for a few minutes to help em get done before adding to pouches) then the burger and spices and a big ole pad of butter on top for taste. Then rolled em up into pouches and took em out to the pit. (Your grill will work fine).

They were AMAZING!!!  I added Ketchup to mine (of course)....PERFECT!!!  The kids LOVED the idea.  They loved that they got to make em just the way they wanted them (with or WITHOUT veggies).

And whats dinner without dessert?  Back to the table.  2 more sheets of tinfoil for each, a peeled and cored apple and all the mixings.  What ever tickles your fancy.  We had brown sugar, cinnamon, marshmallows, peanut butter, chocolate sauce & butter.  Stuff the apple with your mixture and a humongous pad of butter.  Again wrap it up and take it back to the grill.


AMAZING!  The more brownsugar you add the more carmel-y (is that a word) it will be.  You can then add other stuff like cereal and cream.  I must add a note here tho...peanut butter is not great.  The fire cooked the peanut butter and turned the apple straight to mush.  It was really quite disgusting.

 And you CAN'T have a fire without Marshmallows.  My husband decided we needed the jumbo roasting marshmallows.  The ones that have the power and capacity to stick to you, the kitchen sink AND everything in between.  Seriously....a marshmallow the size of your fist?  Necessary??  My kids think so!  =}

 This is hilarious.  This photo is awful.  But Cyris had his taste of marshmallows too.  Did I mention they were UBER sticky??
And then Heather got creative and brought out a waffle.  She was still hungry (note to you...might need more than one burger for some) so she wanted to experiment.  She said it was the best waffle ever!

So after dinner the kids AND hubby are now into this full swing.  We play frisbee and finish out the play time with flashlight tag and reading.  I have to tell you, I had no arguments with anyone taking showers or heading to bed.  Everyone was worn snap out!  We had a blast and EVERYONE is looking forward to next Tuesday. 

Jump on board!  This is really fun!  Dont freak out if you dont feel like you have a repertoire of creative ideas.  You can handle this a few different ways.  a) surf the web.  Theres uber amounts of stuff out there with step by step directions.  b) just play.  Break out the bubbles and side walk chalk, go for a walk, play catch, play board games...just do SOMETHING that doesnt require someone to be "connected".  c) feel free to copy what weve done. If you have questions...ask!   

The whole point is to reconnect with your family.  We spend so much time chasing the calendar and existing that we forget what FAMILY means.  I love my husband and my kids, but every once in awhile I need to be reminded that I like them too and wanta spend time with em. 

So go now!  HAVE FUN!




Moose Ridge said...

the crystals turned out fantastic!! and the cookout looks yummy!!


judy d said...

thats sounds soooo fun Becky..I grew up with no tv 'til 7or8 grade then we only had 2-3 channels ..u know mts in Wy.. so we played outside til dark..love your hobo supper. My grandma used bluing in her white clotes ..just a little to whiten them..