Weekly family rail, with petiquette for summer entertaining, how to get your kids involved in community work, a look at “Love Guru” and more.
Pet Tip: Petiquette for summer entertaining
How do you include the furry members of the family into summer entertaining without turning a backyard barbecue into a doggie food free-for-all or the evening dinner party into a feline hissy fit? Charlotte Reed, pet care expert and author of "The Miss Fido Manners Complete Book of Dog Etiquette," offers these tips:
- Make your pets' presence known.
- Freshen and clean your pet before the party. Don’t forget to clean the house, too.
- If your dog has a tendency to jump on people, work with him or her for several weeks before the party to train him to sit and lay.
- Likewise, if your pet is not social, don't force him or her to interact with guests.
- Teach food discipline (preferably long before the party) so your pet isn’t constantly trying to get into the food. (ARA)
Family Screening Room
“The Love Guru”
Rated: PG-13 (for crude and sexual content throughout, language, some comic violence and drug references)
Length: 88 minutes
Synopsis: In the comedy "The Love Guru," Pitka (Mike Myers) is an American who was left at the gates of an ashram in India as a child and raised by gurus. He moves back to the U.S. to seek fame and fortune in the world of self-help and spirituality. His unorthodox methods are put to the test when he must settle a rift between Toronto Maple Leafs star hockey player Darren Roanoke (Romany Malco) and his estranged wife. After the split, Roanoke's wife starts dating L.A. Kings star Jacques Grande (Justin Timberlake) out of revenge, sending her husband into a major professional skid -- to the horror of the teams' owner Jane Bullard (Jessica Alba) and Coach Cherkov (Verne Troyer). Pitka must return the couple to marital nirvana and get Roanoke back on his game so the team can break the 40-year-old "Bullard Curse" and win the Stanley Cup.
Violence/gore rating: 3.5
Sexual-content rating: 4
Profanity rating: 3.5
Scary/tense-moments rating: 2.5
Drugs/alcohol rating: 3.5
Family Time rating: 3.5. “Love Guru” is yet another movie that gets the PG-13 rating but is probably not appropriate for young teens. It’s in the same vein as the “Austin Powers” movies, so perhaps use that as a guide.
(Ratings are judged on a five-point scale, with 5 being “bad for kids” and 1 being “fine for kids.”)
“Into the Wildewood,” by Gillian Summers
Ages: Young adult
Keelie Heartwood's adventures as a part-elf/part-human continue in Book 2 of “The Faire Folk Trilogy.” Getting to finally know her elf dad has generally been a good thing, although camping out in her dad's homemade gingerbread RV while acting out the 16th century isn't so fab. Keelie prefers hot showers and wearing a watch thank you very much. If only her dad would wake up to the 21st century and buy her an iPhone so she won't lose touch with the real world! But a mysterious unicorn sighting, fairies showing up in the oddest places and that nasty, vain elf-girl Elia are all working against Keelie's chances to have a good time. And why hasn't Sean, the hot elf who kissed her, called? Right now, life as an elf isn't all that enchanting.
Kids Kitchen: Creamy Carrot Soup
2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
1 small onion, peeled and diced
4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
1 can (14.5 ounce) chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste
1 cup water or milk
Chopped parsley or chives to garnish
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add the onion, carrots, salt and pepper and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally or until golden. Be careful not to brown the vegetables. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Working in batches, carefully ladle hot carrot mixture into blender. Blend until smooth. Return soup to saucepan, and warm through over low heat. If the soup is too thick, stir in the cup of water or milk. Ladle soup into individual bowls and garnish with chopped parsley or chives. Serves 4 to 6. (www.letsallcook.com)
Play Inside: “Sixteen”
Ages: 8 and older
If you can you count to 16 and take calculated risks, then you can force your opponent to bust. But play your cards defensively at the right time or the tables will turn! Win the most sets and you'll win the game. It sounds simple (and it is), but “Sixteen's” unique strategy and cribbage-like counting will hold the attention of even the most seasoned game players. “Sixteen” won Dr. Toy's 2007 Best Products Award, Major Fun's Family Award, the NAPPA Honors Award and Creative Child Magazine's 2007 Seal of Excellence Award.
Tip of the Week: Get kids involved in community
Now that your children are out of school for the summer, why not get them involved in making a difference in your community? Here are some tips from winners of the Alexandra Scott Butterfly Award, which recognizes exceptional child heroes.
- Look to the Internet. The Web is a great resource for finding a charity or volunteer opportunity that fits your child's needs and personality.
- Look to current events. News accounts of the need caused by Hurricane Katrina inspired Butterfly Award winner Zach Bonner to get involved.
- Draw inspiration from your own life. Alex Scott founded her lemonade stand as she was recovering from cancer treatment. Grace Farnan, 14, of South Hamilton, Mass., decided to become involved in hospice care after her grandmother died in hospice care.
- Don't be afraid to reach far. In addition to efforts to help Florida's hurricane-affected residents, Samita Mohanasundaram, 16, of Nashua, N.H., also helps disadvantaged children in India. (ARA)
GateHouse News Service