L is for Lettuce Spinning. I have a clean white pillow case I use for spinning lettuce. Yep. I guess that’s right up there with dishwasher fish. But it works! When I buy lettuce I break it into bite sized pieces and wash it a sink full of cold water. Then I dump it into the pillow case, close it tightly with a twisty-tie, and place it in the washing machine on the spin cycle. The extra water spins out of the lettuce so it’s clean and crispy. It can be used right away, or stored in an airtight container where it will stay fresh for really long time.
M – Memory Camp Dollars
Our kids were always very active in church youth groups, and we were thrilled about it, of course. But it seemed like there was always something coming up that cost money. Summer camp, mission trips, bowling…
We wanted to let them be part of these things, but we hated the idea of just bankrolling so many activities. So we came up with the idea of having them earn dollars by memorizing scripture. We thought of it as a “bank account” of scripture they would always have in their hearts.
When I was in first grade at Saint Thomas Moore Catholic School, I participated in some kind of scripture memory contest. I committed John 3:16 to memory long before I even had a clear idea of what the bible was all about. And I’ve never forgotten it. So I knew that there would be benefit in making my own kids learn verses to pay for their church activities.
We gave them a dollar of camp credit for every verse they memorized. They each had a little notebook where they recorded the scriptures and the dates of the event where the spent the dollars. They memorized literally hundreds of scriptures, some of which, I trust, are hidden in their hearts to this very day.
N – Napkin on the Lap.
I think we first heard this idea on Focus on the Family, but like most of the ideas we picked up, we tweaked it to make it our own. There was a penalty for anyone who forgot to place a napkin on his lap. That unmannerly individual had to go outside and count aloud to ten. This applied to all meals at all places. I can still see David, with totally fake chagrin, walking slowly through our favorite Chinese restaurant. He went outside to the window beside our booth and began counting slowly and emphatically in Spanish, grinning at us through the glass.
At every meal, as we finished saying grace, the kids’ eyes would dart around the table, looking to see if there was anyone they could catch with an un-napkinned lap. And always, when a visitor came for dinner, they fell all over themselves explaining the napkin rule.
It’s been awhile since I visited our idea basket. I you’re new to Paladini Potpie, you can click these links to read parts, one, two, and three, which cover Alphabet Games to Knitting.