What 's A Kid To Do After School?

An after school snack and homework always come first. TV? Sometimes, but we have created theme days for each weekday after school. Mya Mondays for when her very young cousin visits for an hour or so and Alex helps babysit. Make It, Bake It, and Take It Tuesday when we help Alex prepare a food item to take home and share with her family. Grandpa Wednesday is a special outing with just the two of us finding a restaurant with a great dessert. Grandma takes over with Crafty Thursday as she and Alex work on a craft project. And since the weekend starts after school on Friday, Relaxing Friday tends to find cartoons or playing outside as the goal.

Scheduling regular events like this sets a pattern that everyone, including Alex, looks forward to and enjoys.


Wood Elves

This is a project gone bad, but it turned out well.  The intent was to make bowls made out of leaves.  Blow up some balloons, spread Mod Podge on the surface, and them cover with cloth leaves.  After drying, pop and remove the balloon and you have a clear leaf bowl.

That might work just fine, but Kathy and Alex decided to try real leaves instead of cloth ones. Upon bursting and removing the balloon, the now leaf covered clear mod podge looked cool but wasn't stiff enough to use as a bowl.

But since it so flexible it turned out to be great wood elf hats or even a pumpkin topper for a fall decoration.


Sweet and Sour Meatballs

This is a simple but tasty recipe that Alex enjoyed preparing.  Four ingredients, 1 mixing bowl, two pans, that's it.  The ingredients:

  1. Frozen meatballs - be careful, many brands taste rubbery, but the Great Value homestyle meatballs from Walmart are great.
  2. Instant rice
  3. Barbecue sauce - for the sweet and sour meatballs I prefer Famous Dave's Sweet and Zesty, 28 ounce size.
  4. 1 can jellied cranberry sauce


  1. Prepare 5 cups (dry) rice following the package instructions.
  2. Mix 3/4 of the barbecue sauce (all of the sauce if you want a juicier final sauce) and the cranberry sauce.  
  3. Place the meatballs in a single layer in a large skillet and cover with the sauce.  Cook until the meatballs are heated through, approximately 20 minutes.
  4. Place servings of rice on plates and cover with the hot meatballs and sauce.

  • The Famous Dave's Sweet and Zesty barbecue sauce is a little spicy. some kids may prefer a milder sauce.
  • Alex prefers her meatballs and sauce to the side of rice instead of on top of the rice.  Mixed or separate, this is a yummy recipe.