January 3rd, 2016

New Year’s Day was bitter cold out, too cold to ice skate, or to go sledding, or even take a short walk.  So any “Can Do” that could catch a ride was welcome for a play date at Orrie’s house.

Grandpa John and Grandma Maureen had come by to help Orrie’s mom with table games and serving snacks. Willie asked, “Grandpa John why do adults make New Year’s Resolutions”? Before Grandpa John could answer, Annie asked,”What are resolutions anyway?”

Grandpa John stopped handing out fruit and sat down at the table with the “Can Dos.” All eyes were on him as he thought of the best way to explain what a resolution is.

He cleared his throat and began by saying, “Well, resolutions are kind of like promises to do things that you need or want to do. It’s about doing things that you need to do but may not having being doing such a good job about doing so far.

For instance, let’s take sharing. You know that sharing is usually the right thing to do, but it is hard to do. So, you might make a resolution, a promise to yourself or to someone else that you will be better at sharing.”

The “Can Dos” were all quiet for awhile, then Nellie asked,”Why do people make resolutions on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day”? Grandpa John smiled and answered. “That’s a very good question, Nellie. The new year is seen as a new beginning, a time to begin again. A time to do things you want and need to do. So people promise themselves and their family to make changes in themselves and their lives.”

“Hmmm,” said Arthur J. “Maybe we should each make a resolution for the new year.” Hector shook his head. “Not me,” he said. “I like myself just the way I am. I don’t think I need to change a thing about me.”

Maria, his sister, tossed her head and said, “Think again brother. There are a few things you need to change… like being late for school a lot and using my stuff without asking.” Hector turned red and answered, “Okay, I’ll stop taking your stuff without asking but I can’t make two resolutions, so I’ll have to wait on promising not to be late for school.” Everyone laughed.

Grandpa John said, “Let’s go around the table and each of us make a resolution. I’ll start. “I promise to help Grandma Maureen around the house more.” Grandma Maureen gave Grandpa John a big smile and said,”You heard that children. You are my witnesses, he promised to help me more.” The “Can Dos” all laughed.

Then it was their turns to make resolutions. Nellie promised to help Grandma Hattie with the housework. Orrie promised to turn off his computer each night the first time he was asked to do so. Willie promised to empty the trash without moaning and groaning about it. Kathy promised to share with her sister Annie more and fight less. Arthur J. promised to help his brother with his math homework when he was having a problem.

Did you make New Year’s resolutions? Are you going to make any resolutions? What do you promise to do?

resolutions

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December 23rd, 2015

On the last day of school before santaChristmas recess, the “Can Dos”are having a hard time paying attention in class. All they can  think about is the long vacation ahead and, of course, Santa.

While most of the “Can Dos” are going to be home on Christmas day, some of them are  going to be spending the holidays with family who live far away.

Hector is worried that Santa won’t know where to bring his gifts on Christmas Eve. He is going to spend Christmas at his grandma’s in Puerto Rico.

Jay has the same worry. Will Santa know to come to the Indian reservation where he is visiting his grandparents?

Annie is afraid Santa won’t bring her the new basketball she wants. She hasn’t been doing her best in school the past few months. Lately, her mom is always having to remind her to put her toys away. Annie is not sure if Santa always knows when children are naughty or nice.

Eulyn isn’t sure if Santa got the letter she wrote him last month. She just has to get the two-wheel bike she wrote him about.

Bobby is hoping that Santa will bring a gift for his mom. He didn’t save up to buy her anything, so when Bobby visited Santa at the mall, he asked Santa to bring a gift for his mom that he could say was from him. Santa didn’t say yes. He said we’ll see. What does that mean?

What do you think boys and girls? Will Santa find Hector and Jay on Christmas Eve, even if they are not in their own homes?

Does Annie have anything to worry about?

Does Santa bring gifts for adults, or just for children? Does Bobby need to make his mom a gift?

 

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December 16th, 2015

elf

Hector brought his skateboard to a quick stop. Did he see what he thought he saw? Was that an elf? Was there more than one elf? Were there elves eating breakfast in the “Can Do” Diner?

Hector got back on his skateboard and went as fast as he could back to the diner. He peered in the diner window. He didn’t imagine it; there they were, not just one elf, but 4 elves!

Hector yelled to the other “Can Do” kids walking with Grandpa Dooley and Grandpa John to the recreation center. “Come quick! Santa’s elves are having breakfast in the diner!”

The boys all began to run. Willie yelled out as they ran,”I’m going to ask the elves to remind Santa what I want for Christmas.”

The girls walked faster, but they didn’t run; they thought that Hector might just be playing a joke on them. Grandpa Dooley and Grandpa John also picked up their pace.

Orrie, who was wheeling his chair as fast as he could, spun it around and said, “Why are the elves here? I’m sure Santa didn’t send them just to have breakfast in the diner.”  Well that did it. All the “Can Dos” stopped running and started worrying.  Nellie added, “What if they’re here to check up on us, to find out if we deserve presents?”

Grandpa John had an idea, he said, “Since Hector was the one to spot the elves, Hector can go in to the diner and invite the elves out to speak with all of you. Kids aren’t allowed in the diner without an adult, so I’ll go in with Hector. And that is just what they did. The rest of the “Can Dos” watched through the window.

Grandpa introduced himself to the elves saying, “Hi, I’m Grandpa John. Hector, who was always the first one to talk in class, and just about anywhere, was speechless!  So, Grandpa John had to introduce him. The elves looked up from their breakfasts, smiled and each elf introduced himself in turn…

“I’m Nicky.”   “I’m Ricky.”  “I’m Micky.”  “I’m Picky.”

Before he could stopped himself, Hector found his voice and said, “Picky, how did you get that name!” The other elves chuckled and Picky’s face turn beet red. “Well,” he said, “When I was a little elf, I was a picky eater. The name just stuck. Besides it’s better than my real name, which is Percivile.” Hector nodded, saying, “Picky is definitely better.”

After breakfast, the elves met with the “Can Dos.” Orrie worked up the courage to ask why the elves were in the diner. “That’s easy said Elf Micky, we were hungry.” Everyone giggled. Annie couldn’t stand it anymore and called out, “No, why did you come to “Can Do” Street? Does Santa want you to check up on us?”

The elves looked at each other, and giggled. They could see that the “Can Dos’ were worried, so Elf Ricky answered, “No, Santa already knows whose been bad or good. We’re here to make sure of the new addresses that Santa got for kids who moved to “Can Do ” Street since last Christmas. He doesn’t want to miss any children on Christmas Eve.”

The “Can Dos” looked relieved. Then Elf Nicky said, We’ve got to run; we’ve got work to do here, and then it is back to Santa’s workshop to get the toys ready for Santa’s deliveries on Christmas Eve.”

“Merry Christmas,” shouted the “Can Do” Kids.  “Merry Christmas,” answered each elf as he walked away, turned the corner, and disappeared.

 

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December 9th, 2015

Miss Sue called a meeting of the “Can Do’ Kids Club at the Community Center to talk about ways to fund raise to help the kids in a town nearby that was hit by a flood.

fund raiseThe “Can Do” Kids knew about the flood from their parents  and their teacher, Miss Pat. They all agreed that everyone needed to help that could help because the kids who experienced the flood lost a lot of their belongings. Not only do they need clothes and food and housing, they need school supplies and books.

It was going to be a sad holiday season for many of the kids.

fund raiseMiss Sue opened the discussion by asking the kids to come up with ways they thought they could fund raise.

Kathy suggested that the Can Do Cooking Club bake and package holiday cookies with the help of the Seniors Club. They would sell the baked goods to everyone who frequented the events at the center, especially when parents came to watch their kids games. Miss Sue said, “That’s a great idea, Kathy.”

Let’s have a show of hands to see if everyone agrees that this is a good way to fund raise.” It was unanimous!

“OK, how else can we fund raise,” asked Miss Sue. Hector raised his hand, and when called on said,”We could have a games day here at the center and all the money we take in from kids and parents will go to help kids who lost their stuff in the flood.”

Miss Sue beamed at the group and said, “You are very generous to want to help the children in our neighboring town. I am very proud of you.”


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December 2nd, 2015

piggy bank

As Willie reached for his piggy bank from off the shelf in his bedroom, he thought to himself, “It’s December 1st. I need to see how much money I have for Christmas gifts for Grandma Hattie, Grandpa Dooley, my mom and my sister, Nellie.”

The piggy bank wasn’t just a piggy bank for saving loose change made by helping with extra chores at home and for the neighbors. No, it was special because it was a gift!

Last year, for Christmas, Grandpa Dooley made Willie and Nellie each a piggy bank so the could save for Christmas, 2015. He made them in a pottery class at the recreation center. Grandpa Dooley was so proud of his work! He beamed with pride when Nellie and Willie opened the  piggy bank gifts and saw how pleased they were to receive them.

Willie shook the piggy bank; it sounded like there was a lot of money in there!. He turned the bank over and tried to turn the nob that would open the bank; nothing happened. It wouldn’t open. He tried and tried, but he couldn’t get it open. First Willie was mad, then he was scared. How was he going to get it open? He had seen lots of pictures of kids hitting their piggy banks open with a hammer, but how would he explain to his grandpa that he broke his piggy bank and could never use it again?

Just then, Nellie came into Willie’s room and said “You need someone stronger than you to open your piggy bank. I got Coach Campbell to open my bank.” Willie’s face brightened. “Good idea, Nellie, I’ll bring my bank to school tomorrow and ask Coach.”

The next day, after gym class, Willie asked Coach to open his bank for him. Coach tried and tried to open the bank, but no luck. Willie was really upset. He asked Coach Campbell, “What am I going to do? I’ve been saving all year. If I don’t get this bank open, I won’t have any money for Christmas presents.”

Coach could see Willie was fighting back tears. “Willie,” said Coach, “there is only one thing you can do. Go to your grandpa and show him how you can’t open the piggy bank. Be sure to tell him I tried and I couldn’t do it either. Be sure to tell him how much the bank means to you and you didn’t want to break it open to get the money out even though you need the money for Christmas gifts.”

When Willie got home, Grandpa Dooley was reading his paper in his favorite chair. He went up to his grandpa, cleared his throat, and told him about his problem with the piggy bank and how he needed the money. Grandpa listened quietly, then he got up, went into his tool box and got out the hammer.

“No Grandpa, don’t break it You made it!” Then Willie started to cry. “Willie boy, you did chores, and saved all year to be able to buy gifts for the family. I made you the bank so you could save, and you did just that! Now you deserve to get your money.

With that, Grandpa Dooley gave the hammer a swing and the pig broke in several pieces.

Willie couldn’t believe all the coins that fell out. Grandpa gave Willie a pat on the back and said,”I can always make you another piggy bank, and I will. This time, I’ll make sure you can open yourself. “

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