Beating a Rainbow to Death

“The dorado did a most extraordinary thing as it died: it began to flash all kinds of colors in rapid succession. Blue, green, red, gold, and violet flickered and shimmered neon-like on its surface as it struggled. I felt like I was beating a rainbow to death” —Yann Martel, Life of Pi Maybe once upon…

No Bikes in Narnia: A Review of Wildwood by Colin Meloy

At first glance, Wildwood sounds familiar. Evil magical woman leader? Check. Kids as heroes? Yes. Ominous canines as femme fatales’s pawns? 10-4! Talking animals? Oh, yeah. Now that a second book is on its way, the set is even called “Wildwood Chronicles.” I love the Decemberists. If you didn’t know, this is the band for…

Keeping Your Cool at the Amusement Park

So, you have young kids and are heading out to the amusement park… What are you? Nuts? This is what people asked me when we were planning to take our kids to Cedar Point in Ohio earlier this year. It’s been years since I’ve been to Cedar Point. Last time I was there they had…

Car Music as Outdoor Training?

My daughter is slightly obsessed with “If a Tree Falls” by Bruce Cockburn. So I wanted to do a bit of a hyperlink experiment with the song. The results follow. Stay tuned afterwards for my thoughts on how this ties into the experience of all of us with our kids, outdoors. **************************************************** IF A TREE…

Dino Week

Kids love dinosaurs. I remember years back my friend’s five-year-old son reciting the names of what must have been a hundred dinosaurs. He had dino toys, posters, and place mats. He was even pointing out where lazy editors had misidentified dinosaurs in his books. I am not sure he still retains this info at 12,…

Butterfly in the Kitchen: Our Experience Of Metamorphosis

“I can’t believe my mind! … It’s glorious!” Now, I don’t know about you, but these are not words I typically hear from my six-year-old. They were prompted by the “birth” of our Monarch butterfly, which she promptly named Glory. It’s not that The Pretender (she wants to play make-believe ALL THE TIME) isn’t impressed…

Summer Hiking Montage

I love summer, but when it gets this hot, the risk of heat stroke is very real for me. After a long day, after I come home and wring the sweat from my shirt, I’ve just been too exhausted from the heat to sit at the computer and dream up posts. So I am cheating…

Bug Week

I am without my kids for several weeks this summer. While I waste these gorgeous summer days inside, writing like a madman, Grace and Tater are in Colorado with their cousin, Amelia. To keep order, their Aunt Nikki scheduled daily outings and even went so far as to give each week a theme. Rock on!…

Backyard Cool

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…

The Mom 100 Cookbook: A Book Report

As a dad who is the primary caregiver at least two days a week, who cooks a huge portion of our meals, and does a lot of stuff that we were all raised to think of as “women’s work,” I raise an eyebrow when the mom label gets used on stuff that doesn’t need it….

A Greener Giving Tree

As part of my job, I’ve been reading The Giving Tree many many times lately, and my formerly rosy opinion of this tale of an apple tree’s friendship with a boy has changed a bit. At the start of the book, we should take it more seriously when the boy plays “King of the Forest”….