Posts Tagged ‘life skills’

What Do You Give a Service Dog on His Birthday?

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

A service dog's birthdayThe “Can Do” Kids are in a tizzy because they are invited to a birthday party for Muggins, Mickey’s service dog. 

Hector and Arthur J. have dogs and know what dogs like, but Muggins isn’t just any dog. He’s a service dog. He goes everywhere with Mickey. He is  specially trained to guide Mickey wherever he goes.

“Hector, said Arthur J., “We better not guess on this one. We better do our homework. I’m going to look up what service dogs are allowed to eat as treats or what toys they can have.” Hector thought a minute and said, ” Why don’t we just ask Mickey? He will know. It’s his dog”!

“Awe, what kind of a surprise will that be for Mickey? Besides, it looks like we couldn’t be bothered learning about a service dog,” said Arthur J.

So, Arthur looked up about service dogs on the Internet and he found out that service dogs are never allowed eat food from the table or food scraps. A service dog cannot be distracted by the smell of table food when he or she is working. They eat dog food. They can have dog biscuits as a treat. Arthur found a recipe for dog biscuits that is approved by a program that raises service dogs.

The next day, Arthur told Hector what he found. They took the recipe to the “Can Do” Kids Cooking Club and everyone helped make  Muggin’s birthday gift…a big basket of fresh baked dog  biscuits for the best service dog!

 

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New Year’s Resolutions

Monday, January 2nd, 2017

The “Can Do” Kids were about to learn what it means to make New Year’s resolutions.

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?”

resolutions

Grandpa Explains Resolutions

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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Does Santa Snack on Soda Bread?

Friday, December 16th, 2016

soda breadEvery Christmas Eve, Grandma Maureen’s “Can Do” grandchildren are in her kitchen making soda bread for Santa. According to Grandma Maureen, “Sometimes Santa likes a break from milk and cookies.”

Kathy, Annie, Orrie, Bobby and Arthur J never get tired of hearing her tell the story of making soda bread for Santa.  She was only to happy to revisit that special time when she was a child, in Ireland, helping her mother make soda bread on Christmas Eve.

Grandma Maureen shared, “We baked the soda bread in a cast iron skillet that was too heavy for me to lift by myself.  Our cottage smelled so good and I was getting so excited about Santa coming!  When the soda bread was done, it was set to cool. A  piece was for Santa and the rest was part of Christmas breakfast for the family. Just before my bedtime, I was allowed to cut a piece  from the round loaf of soda bread and spread butter on it.

My mother and I would place the soda bread on a special plate and cover it with a linen napkin. We’d placed the plate on the mantle with a note that read, “The kettle is on the stove, the tea is in the pot, your special mug is on the table and here is your soda bread. Put you feet up and enjoy your tea and soda bread before you go out in the cold again. There is hay in the barn if the reindeer need a snack.”

Grandma Maureen’s eyes got moist as she continued,”In the morning I’d find crumbs on the plate and a few drops of tea in the mug with a note written under the bottom of mine that read, “Thanks for the snack! Look to the side of the mantle for your present.” It was signed Santa.

The “Can Do” grands did just what grandma did as a child, but since they all made a soda bread, they each left a slice for Santa and took the rest home for Christmas breakfast with their parents. Grandma reminded them that when they came for dinner the next day, to look under the tree for a gift from Santa.

Grandma Maureen said, “I know Santa will leave a present for each of you. I also know that Santa will be so pleased with the soda bread you made him!”

 

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You Know What You Want for Christmas; What Are You Giving ?

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

ChristmasDuring recess, Miss Pat overheard the “Can Dos” talking about what they want for Christmas.

When recess was over, Miss Pat said, “I overheard some of your conversation about what you all want for Christmas, but I didn’t hear any thing about what you are giving anyone at Christmas. Let’s talk about the spirit of Christmas for a few minutes. Can anyone tell me what the spirit of Christmas is?”

Yundi raised his hand and said, “It’s about giving, not getting.” The class all looked at him funny. Hector said,”That can’t be right!  It’s about kids getting stuff they want.” Kathy shook her head slowly and said, “I think it is about giving. My grandma starts talking to us in August about doing chores to earn money to buy presents for my mom and dad.” Miss Pat smiled and said,” Yundi and Kathy are right. It is about giving, that is why you get presents because the people who love you want to give to you.”

Miss Pat asked, “Who wants to share with the class what they are giving to their parents for Christmas”?

Nellie raised her hand and said, “Grandpa Dooley took a picture of us and we made a frame for it in crafts class at the community center. We sent it to our mom. She can’t come home for Christmas, cause she’s in the Army, far away.” Everyone was silent for a minute or so. Then Miss Pat said, “That is very thoughtful of you and Willie. I know your mom will be so happy when she gets your gift.”

Bobby raised his hand and said, “I earned enough money from doing chores to buy my mom a fancy key chain and my dad soap on a rope”!

“Those are wonderful gifts children, but some of the best Christmas gifts don’t cost any money at all.

Can anyone think of gifts that don’t cost money, but your parents will love to receive,” asked Miss Pat. Jay raised his hand and said,”I am going to give my parents the gift of a month of sweeping the floor after dinner, emptying the trash and reading a bedtime story to my little brother.” Arthur J smiled and said,”I know what I’m going to give them …a report card with all A’s. They’ve been asking for one of those for a long time!”

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Would you have Wanted to be a Pilgrim Child?

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

Pilgrim children were busy.

They did not have as much time as we do today to read or play games. Even young Pilgrim children were needed  to work their parents farms, hunt, fish and participate in the every day life of their community.

Religious activities, school and helping around the house with daily living activities also took a part of their time each week.

During what little free time they had, Pilgrim children were allowed to play games.

They probably played games with each other and their new friends, the Native America children on Thanksgiving Day.  They may have played a game called naughts and crosses, that we know as  tic, tac, toe, and  a game they called draughts that we know as checkers.

Pilgrim children may also played other games such as ball games, shooting marbles and a game similar to hide and seek, called blind man’s bluff.

One thing is for sure…Pilgrim children had to make up games since there were few toys to play with back then and it would be hundred of years before, radio, TV and computers games were invented!

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