Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Dilemma of a Ham-Loving Vegetarian

A few weeks ago, my ten year old daughter, Gwen, announced to my husband that she has decided to become a vegetarian.
By the way,  Dad, I'm a vegetarian now. So mostly I'm not going to eat meat. Unless we're having ham, because I really love ham. And I can have bologna and a hamburger every once in a while. 
A few days later, she caught me in the kitchen.
Mom, do you think it would be ok for me to eat meat on Mondays? You know, because Monday starts with M. And so does meat. So it could be Meat Monday. Would that be ok?
That makes perfect sense, sweetie.
And life goes on. A couple weeks passed without incident as we let this phase run it's course. Then she left for a week of Bible camp, and I missed her like crazy.

When she finally came home, one of my million questions was, "How was the food?" She looked right in my eyes and became very animated.
It was really good, but Mom. The worst thing happened. 

WHAT?? Apparently, Gwen told the camp that she was a vegetarian.

The nice cooks made her special meals all week long. But guess day they had HAM! My little ham-loving vegetarian was stuck eating mac and cheese made especially for her. She described the horror of smelling and seeing ham all around her. Thankfully, she realized it would look bad to ask for ham since the cooks had gone out of their way to make something else for her.

She's pretty much back to being a carnivore.

So here's the kicker. She's supposed to go back to that same little camp for another week in July. It's a tiny camp, and I suspect they might remember her (she's very loud). Now she has to either fess up about not being a real vegetarian or risk missing out on another ham dinner.

This is one of those times when I will step back and let my child figure out a solution for her own problem. But it does makes me giggle. :)

Oh, and here's a link for her favorite little camp, East Iowa Bible Camp. She recommends it!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

2015 Summer Activities for Kids in Waterloo and Cedar Falls, Iowa

Just for kicks, I am compiling a list of day camps and similar activities for kids in the Waterloo and Cedar Falls area. Please let me know about anything I've missed! These are in a random order.

Day camps for ages 9 - 15
2015 themes include CSI, Math/Art/History, Multimedia, Creative Writing, Painting, Dance, Fire/EMS, and golf. The only drawback is that most camps are half-days, so working parents need to figure out transportation

Classes and Camps for All Ages
I love the Art Explorer Day Camps for kids ages 9 - 13. They take the kids to art museums in nearby cities. They always do an art project in the bus and sometimes at their location. One of the best things about it is that the kids are gone from 8am - 5pm, so there is no transportation required in the middle of the day.

Hearst Center for the Arts
Classes and Camps for All Ages
Of course it's all art-related, but themes include drawing, painting, writing, pottery, and even Legos!

Camps for elementary, middle school and high school students
UNI offers a variety of camps with themes such as robotics, nature, science and technology.

Day camps for ages 5 - 16
Click on events, and you can filter by Youth Camps. There is a really cool Hunger Games Mini Camp for ages 10 - 16!

Classes and camps for ages 5 - 18
Camps focus on acting and musical skills. This is a really well-run organization.

Theater classes and practice for ages 4 - 18
Students work on a production and give a performance. This one requires a lot of time, and does not allow much flexibility.

Grout Museum
Summer camps for ages 6 - 10 (approximately)
Camp themes include astronomy, Victorian era, rockets, sports science, superhero science

Cedar Falls Little Red Schoolhouse
Spend a week attending a one room school house. Learn about pioneers who settled in the Midwest.

Day Camps for Preschool - Jr. High

Cedar Falls Sports Camps
Ages Vary

Camp Hope / Aspire
Ages 4+
Horseback riding, etc. They don't have dates published yet, but it is usually in early August.

Waterloo Public Library for Teens
I'm going to look into this one. Activities include crafts, laser tag at the library, battle of the bands, and Minecraft training

Waterloo Public Library Summer Program
Activities for youth - grade 5.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A Whole Bunch of Conversation Questions

Upon occasion, I find use for a list of conversation questions. These are great to sprinkle on the table at family reunions or to keep in the car for road trips. This is a wonderful way to spark an interesting conversation with your spouse. Sometimes we forget to talk to each other, especially in this age of cell phones. Hopefully these questions will trigger great conversations! Try to focus on expounding your answers rather than trying to get through the whole list.

1.    What was your favorite vacation you took as a child? Your least favorite?
2.    What is the best meal you've ever had?
3.    What was the occasion when you felt you looked your best?
4.    What has been one of your greatest disappointments?
5.    What is something you’re proud of?
6.    What is something you regret?
7.    What is something you learned from a child?
8.    When is your favorite time of the day?
9.    What is your favorite season? Why?
10. What is something you remember about your grandmother?
11. What is something you remember about your grandfather?
12. What was your favorite thing to do as a child?
13. What is your favorite beverage?
14. Where are you most ticklish?
15. What was your first car?
16. Have you ever been in a car accident? What happened?
17. What is your favorite dessert?
18. Have you ever had a kitchen disaster? Do tell!
19. If you could be the best in the world at something, what would you pick?
20. Which of the following can you do: roll your tongue, touch your toes, wiggle your nose, wiggle your ears, touch your tongue to the tip of your nose?
21. What is something silly you splurged on?
22. Tell me about a good deed you have done.
23. How do you like your eggs? Sausage or bacon? Orange juice or coffee?
24. What is your biggest pet peeve?
25. When you look at yourself in the mirror, what is the first thing you check?
26. What would be your ideal vehicle?
27. What’s the farthest you’ve ever run? Biked?
28. What’s your most embarrassing moment?
29. What was the worst job you’ve ever done?
30. What would your dream house look like? Where would it be?
31. How did you (or your parents) meet and get engaged?
32. Have you ever been to a psychic?
33. What are your favorite kinds of socks?
34. Describe your favorite pair of shoes.
35. What super power would you most like to have?
36. What’s the best date you've ever been on?
37. How do you envision your retirement?
38. What is the ideal number of children in a family?
39. What is your favorite gift you've received?
40. What was your most disappointing Christmas?
41. What’s the best thing about your mother?
42. What’s the best thing about your father?
43. How would you like to spend a day by yourself?
44. What’s the best concert you've ever been to? Who would you most like to see in concert?
45. What was your favorite meal when you were a child?
46. What’s your favorite kind of ice cream?
47. Where were you during September 11? How did you react?
48. Where do you want to be laid to rest?
49. What is the perfect age?
50. What did you want to be when you were little?
51. What makes you angry?
52. Do you remember a time when you couldn't stop laughing? What happened?
53. Who is your hero?
54. If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
55. What is your biggest fear?
56. What would you change about yourself if you could?
57. What really makes you angry?
58. What motivates you to work hard?
59. What is your favorite and least favorite thing about your career?
60. Do you ever start unzipping your pants before you get into a restroom?
61. What is your child's proudest accomplishment?
62. What is your favorite book?
63. What makes you laugh the most?
64. What do you most remember your parents fighting about?
65. What was the last movie you went to? What did you think?
66. What did you want to be when you were small?
67. What does your child want to be when he/she grows up?
68. If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be?
69. What is your favorite game or sport to watch and play?
70. Would you rather ride a bike, ride a horse, or drive a car?
71. What would you sing at Karaoke night?
72. What two radio stations do you listen to in the car the most?
73. Which would you rather do: wash dishes, mow the lawn, clean the bathroom, or vacuum the house?
74. If you could hire someone to help you, would it be with cleaning, cooking, or yard work?
75. If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
76. Who is your favorite author?
77. Have you ever had a nickname? What is it?
78. Do you like or dislike surprises? Why or why not?
79. In the evening, would you rather play a game, visit a relative, watch a movie, or read?
80. Would you rather vacation in Hawaii or Alaska, and why?
81. Would you rather win the lottery or work at the perfect job? And why?
82. Who would you want to be stranded with on a deserted island?
83. If money was no object, what would you do all day?
84. If you could go back in time, what year would you travel to?
85. How would your friends describe you?
86. What are your hobbies?
87. What is the best gift you have been given?
88. What is the worst gift you have received?
89. Aside from food, water, and shelter, what one thing could you not go a day without?
90. List two pet peeves.
91. Where do you see yourself in five years?
92. How many pairs of shoes do you own?
93. What would you do if you won the lottery?
94. What form of public transportation do you prefer? (air, boat, train, bus, car, etc.)
95. What's your favorite zoo animal?
96. If you could go back in time to change one thing, what would it be?
97. If you could share a meal with any 4 individuals, living or dead, who would they be?
98. How many pillows do you sleep with?
99. What's the longest you've gone without sleep (and why)?
100.  What's the tallest building you've been to the top in?
101.  Would you rather trade intelligence for looks or looks for intelligence?
102.  How often do you buy clothes?
103.  Have you ever had a secret admirer?
104.  What's your favorite holiday?
105.  What's the most daring thing you've ever done?
106.  What was the last thing you recorded on TV?
107.  What was the last book you read?
108.  What's your favorite type of ethnic food?
109.  Are you a clean or messy person by nature?
110.  Who would you want to play you in a movie of your life?
111.  How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?
112.  What kitchen appliance do you use most often?
113.  What's your favorite fast food chain?
114.  What's your favorite family recipe?
115.  Do you love or hate roller coasters?
116.  What are your favorite family traditions?
117.  What is your favorite childhood memory?
118.  What's your favorite movie?
119.  How old were you when you learned Santa wasn't real? How did you find out?
120.  Is your glass half full or half empty?
121.  What's the craziest thing you've done in the name of love?
122.  What three items would you take with you on a deserted island?
123.  What was your favorite subject in school?
124.  What's the most unusual thing you've ever eaten?
125.  Do you or have you ever collected anything?
126.  Is there anything you wished would come back into fashion?
127.  Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
128.  Which of the five senses would you say is your strongest?
129.  Have you ever had a surprise party? (that was an actual surprise)
130.  Are you related or distantly related to anyone famous?
131.  Have you ever had anything odd happen at a nail salon, spa or massage therapist?
132.  Does your family have a “motto” – spoken or unspoken? If not, what would it be?
133.  If you were ruler of your own country what would be the first law you would introduce?
134.  Who was your favorite teacher in school and why?
135.  What three things do you think of the most each day?
136.  If you had a warning label, what would yours say?
137.  What song would you say best sums you up?
138.  What celebrity would you like to meet at Starbucks for a cup of coffee?
139.  Who was your first crush?
140.  What's the most interesting thing you can see out of your office or kitchen window?
141.  On a scale of 1-10 how funny would you say you are?
142.  Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
143.  What was your first job?
144.  If you could join any past or current music group which would you want to join?
145.  How many languages do you speak?
146.  What is your favorite family holiday tradition?
147.  Who is the most intelligent person you know?
148.  If you had to describe yourself as an animal, which one would it be?
149.  What is one thing you will never do again?
150.  Who knows you the best?
151. If you were to start up a rock band, what would you call it? What type of music would you play?
152. What was your best Halloween costume?
153. What is your favorite color? Why?
154. If you had a million dollars and you had to give it away, what charity would you give it to?
155. What body part of yours do you love?
156. If you could collect something without being accused of being a hoarder, what would you collect?
157. Do you have any scars? How did you get them?
158. Who was your first kiss?
159. If you could be the opposite gender for just one day, what would you do?
160. If you didn't live here, where would you live?
161. What are three good things and one bad thing that have happened in the past year?
162. Name one event, whether positive or negative, that has had the most impact on your life.
163. Do you have a hidden talent?
164. Who was your childhood celebrity crush?
165. Who is the best Disney princess?
166. What is something about you that people would be surprised to know?
167. If you had a horse in the Kentucky Derby, what would you name it?
168. What is your favorite smell?
169. If you could inherit any object from one of your relatives, what would it be?
170. What is your "death row" meal?
171. Is there a random stranger that you still think about? What happened?
172. Have you ever had to call 911?
173. Have you ever had a reoccurring dream?
174. What is the greatest prank you have pulled or has been pulled on you?
175. Have you ever plotted revenge?
176. What has been your closest brush with the law?
177. If your emotions controlled the weather, what would your climate be like?