Archive For The “Field Reports” Category

Backyard Cool

By | June 22, 2012

This started as a post on a cool way to make bubbles. Tater still hasn’t mastered the art of blowing bubbles through that small wand, so we found a way to use old 20-ounce pop bottles and socks to make bubble snakes. But then I realized that the bubble solution (6 parts water, 2 parts […]

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By | June 4, 2012

Balance bike, teaching kids to ride

Okay, I’ll say it: When it comes to teaching my kids to ride a bike, I am a better parent than you are. You might have nailed down nutritious snack habits, taught your kids how to save their allowance, and had them prepped for the SATs by the time they were in first grade. But […]

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By | March 25, 2012

I’d like to think at this point in my life, that I’m some sort of amateur naturalist. After all, I started reading Ranger Rick magazine when I was about 7 years old, and have been aware of animals ever since. Add to that all the hours I’ve spent watching deer with my mother (“Be QUIET!! […]

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Snow Day Montage

By | February 27, 2012

Winter is the time for montages. Time outside can be difficult, so our memories are summarized in mental snapshots. Flick. Flick. Flick. We tick through the best parts, ignoring the snow that sneaked under our gloves and froze our wrists. Wet socks? Frozen nose and ears? No way! We made a snowman. We made snow […]

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The Rest Stop: A Traveling Family’s Best Friend

By | November 3, 2011

Buick Rendezvous at a rest stop, Michigan

We have a Thanksgiving tradition. Every year for the past three or four years, we have loaded up the car and driven four hours north to a cabin on the water. There we meet with grandparents and uncles and aunts, and a small brood of cousins. It’s something we really look forward to. Not everyone’s […]

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Our Five Favorite Things About Fall

By | October 20, 2011

Is there a season that better captures the sweetness of melancholy? As summer winds down, I resist the pull of autumn. Winter will be here soon enough, I think. But come October, there is nothing for it but to give yourself over fully to the delights of the season. It’s a great time of year […]

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Teachable Moments, Getting Kids Outside… Who Are We Kidding? Disc Golf Is Just Fun!

By | September 14, 2011

Discs in the grass

Our yard is pretty deep… about 100 feet wide and 400 feet deep. For the first seven years that we lived here, we dutifully mowed the back half, which has no trees or shrubs. Neighbors came and went. They’d lose the motivation to mow their “back 40” one year and the next would keep their […]

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Apple Orchards and Cider Mills: A Michigan Family Tradition

By | September 13, 2011

In autumn, families like to get outside to catch hold of the last few warm moments before the sun follows the snowbirds south. Folks bundle up on bleachers at high school marching band competitions, try and take a Saturday to see their favorite college football team play, or they toss the kids in the car […]

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“I’m Gonna Sit Right Here Until I Dye”*

By | August 24, 2011

Top 5 end-of-summer craft ideas. As the summer starts to wind down, we’re all a mixture of excited and sad. But as the days grow shorter and seasons change, take some of these last moments with your kids to create a little “time capsule” of summer that they’ll be able to look back on when […]

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Backyard Water Fun

By | August 18, 2011

Beaches are great. Water parks are a blast! Municipal pools and the high school natatorium are an invaluable public service. The drawback with each of these, for our family anyway, is that they are all places to which you have to go. We’re not against going anywhere—Grace has been taking swimming lessons at the local […]

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Flowers for Mom

By | May 6, 2011

A dad’s job for Mother’s Day is to find a gift his kids can make and give to their mother in appreciation for all the junk she has to put up with all year. Thankfully for many of us dads, grandmothers need projects too, which moms often oversee. So if you’re lucky, you can watch […]

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