Every family has traditions, for good or ill. One we have chosen involves Sunday nights. Generally we keep Sunday as our rest day, so the afternoons are usually full of play and rest. By Sunday night nobody feels much like making a big dinner (our Sunday lunch tradition involves Sapporo Ichiban noodle soup) but we’re all hungry from a light lunch. That’s where our “popcorn and smoothies” tradition came from.
Nathan remembers with fondness watching the Disney movie for the weekend growing up, and wanted to do something similar with the kids. Because we don’t have cable or any form of tv (although now we have a smart tv which we use as our homeschool tool, to show videos and such), we must find all our movie content ourselves. I like it better this way as it allows us to control the kids’ movie watching to things we have already ok’d. I have been appalled to watch the rates creep over the years, and now it’s a whole grade off – so today’s rated G movie would be yesterday’s PG13, etc (my review here of a movie called Salt which is technically PG13 and yet opens with a scene of a woman being tortured. Definitely rated R in my book!). And not just mine, but even studies have found the slide. For that reason, we check Christian review sites for all movies ahead of time – there were a few Disney’s that slipped through the cracks and we had to turn off partway in. This is the best site out there, bar none, in my opinion: The ChildCare Action Project. The website hasn’t been updated in a while, so newer movies are not there, but there’s a very large number of ones that have been reviewed in the past. He records every instance of: Wanton Violence, Impudence (Hate), Sexual Immorality, Drugs/Alcohol, Offense to God and Murder/Suicide. It’s called the WISDOM scale. Every movie I’ve seen after checking his review has been _exactly_ as he describes it. One thing I like is the Hate section. I remember one movie about puppies that the kids watched without us checking it first (puppies, right? C’mon, surely puppies are safe!!). The basic argument of the whole movie was that parents who don’t pay enough attention to their children deserve to have their children run away, and then give them a verbal smack-down until the parents cave and whimper and promise to do better. Rated G, but we had to spend a good bit of time after the movie unwrapping its message for the kids and explaining why they should NEVER use running away as a tool to get what they want. That would have been caught on the CAP review of the movie, if we had checked it.
We’ve accumulated quite a lot of dvd’s now. I actually miss the old VHS tapes – they are FAR superior in terms of standing up to children’s abuse – but we upgraded to dvd because we could write to dvd from the computer, and then put into the tv/dvd player. VHS was simply too old.
So we find a movie for the night, get everyone gathered together in the playroom/tv room, and settle down. Our dinner? Popcorn and smoothies. Since I bought Nathan a deep fryer recently, he has perfected the homemade potato chip, and that’s made an appearance on Sunday nights too… We like adding flavorings to them, like Pickle or Ketchup, true Canadian favorites, or sour cream and onion. These are available at the stores here in little shaker bottles. Pickle and Ketchup flavors are very popular in Canada but we never found them in the states. Too bad, as they’re good!
Smoothies are my way of “redeeming” the nutritional content of the meal. I wrote a Green Goodness recipe a while back, and it forms the basis of our several smoothies a week. We have both a juicer and a blender. The juicer is quite old by appliance standards, but is still going strong. The blender has followed the standard trend of needing to be replaced every 1-2 years (our current one is decent, I’ve linked it below). I’ve drooled over the high-end Vitamix and Ninja blenders but haven’t found the money laying around for them yet.
Our smoothies are generally green in color, from my favorite spinach, although I’ve recently learned to appreciate kale. Beets make for a nice red color, and berries can make a nice purple. I’ve always loved pina coladas, which were on the menu tonight. Over the years of many green smoothies, the kids tastes have gotten quite accustomed to a “green” taste. They usually only make a fuss if I’ve added too much of a strong flavor like bell pepper. In fact they find a “normal” level of sweetness too sweet! We’ve recently been gifted with a kefir starter and I’ve been adding it to the smoothies. It adds a nice sour note and a probiotic kick, although I find Greek yogurt does a good job of that too.
And there you have it, our Sunday night tradition. We let the kids watch movies at other times but they don’t want anything messing up Sunday night movies! 🙂
(Can you guess what we watched? 🙂 )
Our current blender: Hamilton Beach 58148A Power Elite Multi-Function Blender
Popcorn or potato chip seasonings: Kernel Season’s COMPLETE SEASONING KIT