A Little Mud Never Hurt Anyone

In fact, muddy dirty play is incredibly good for you. According to research, playing outside in the grime and muck has health benefits for your heart, skin and immune system. Plus, studies show enjoying a good clean (dirty) day in the dirt increases happiness, reduces stress and enhances learning. Really. Here’s some reasons to encourage you to back away from the hand sanitizer, laundry soap and hand towels, and embrace the gloriously goopy joy of nature’s immune-system-builder extraordinaire.

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Why Should You Read Aloud to Your Children?

I’m a huge proponent of reading aloud. I read an article recently that expertly explained the benefits of reading to your children, far beyond the point they can read to themselves. Indeed, even through high school.

“In conversation, we tend to use verbal shorthand, not full sentences. But the language in books is very rich, and in books there are complete sentences. In books, newspapers, and magazines, the language is more complicated, more sophisticated. A child who hears more sophisticated words has a giant advantage over a child who hasn’t heard those words.”

When children are young, they are exposed to language exceeding their own reading level by being read to. This introduction to complex expression of thought equips them in a way reading to themselves cannot. Continue reading

Nature Sketchbook

“I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.”
― Isaac Newton

Nature Sketching

There is truth and beauty surrounding us in nature if we only take the time to observe it. The pace of life often leaves us in a whirlwind of schedules, appointments, errands and meetings, leaving little room for scrutiny and delight of the magnificent world encircling us. Continue reading

Why I Just Quit My Job as a Stay-At-Home-Mom

Because some days, don’t we all want to? Due to the nature of the internet, I feel it is necessary to preface this post with the following disclaimer. I love my kids. Most days, I feel blessed beyond measure to have the privilege of raising such remarkable little people. However…there are days. Unbelievably challenging, never-ending afternoons of horror. Days that stretch me to the very breaking point. Today was such a loathsome 24-hours. I’d had enough. Beyond frustration. I’d taken a breather, and a short walk. Neither helped. There was nothing left to do…so I quit. My husband received the following resignation letter this afternoon.

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Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area

While my husband was training for his new job in the shadow of the Golden Gate Bridge, the kids and I took a jaunt to the Oregon Coast and spent 5 glorious days flying kites, observing nature, building sand castles, exploring miles of pristine beaches, discovering tide pool creatures and generally having a jolly good time.

At the Oregon Coast

The Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area was one of the highlights of our trip, and I thought I’d share a little for anyone in search of a ruggedly beautiful place to vacation this summer.

Yaquina Head & Lighthouse from Cape Foulweather

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Recent Reads

Welcome to this month’s edition of Recent Reads!

Aloud Adventure

The Sign of the BeaverAlthough he faces responsibility bravely, thirteen-year-old Matt is more than a little apprehensive when his father leaves him alone to guard their new cabin in the wilderness. When a renegade white stranger steals his gun, Matt realizes he has no way to shoot game or to protect himself. When Matt meets Attean, a boy in the Beaver clan, he begins to better understand their way of life and their growing problem in adapting to the white man and the changing frontier.
Note from me: My kids loved this book. Great adventure, a little danger and themes of understanding people different from ourselves.

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Wouldn’t You Agree?

I just completed a phone survey about kids and television. My blood is boiling. Forgive me for this rant, I have to unload somewhere. Prepare yourself.

We made the decision to get rid of television in our home 6 years ago. I find television news a passive approach to information and despise being spoon fed opinions on current events. I prefer to get my facts from the source rather than filtered down through various editor’s desks, being wrapped in makeup and lighting, and finally disseminated in the most politically correct way possible. Television news is a business. This kind of “news” is meant to garner ratings. Period. I find it pandering and insulting to my intelligence. How’s that for breaking news? Continue reading