Help Your Child to Grow Wings

“No one else has to do chores,” my son complained. “And if the do, they get PAID.” “Hmmm…well, that is not the way we do it in our family,” I said, repeating the very words I swore I would never say to my own kids when I was a furious girl with the very same […]

Ask a Mama: The Headaches and Joys of Toddler Independence

Dear Mamas, If I hear one more “Do it, self!” one more time I’m going to scream. From getting in the car (while baby sister is crying for her binky), to getting a diaper from the drawer (which is out of reach), to scooping up rolly polly peas using a fork. I want my 2 […]

Easy Sea-Glass Votive

It’s gorgeous weather! Half the fun of this project is collecting the glass by the shore, and nothing is easier than this luminous candleholder to show off sea-glass treasures. It makes a uniquely Northwest gift.  For another view of the votive and more ideas watch Nancy’s segment on KING5 New Day Northwest Show that aired […]

The Summer of By the Shore and Getting Dirty

I have decided this will be the summer of getting dirty, going barefoot and eating plums and maybe making jam out of some of them or maybe not, I might take a nap instead. The house will be a wreck, the laundry will pile up and I may stay in my pajamas all day and […]

By the Shore: Explore the Pacific Northwest Like a Local

“If you’re looking for a guide to all things Pacific Northwest that’s just about perfect, this is it…”  Kristine Morris in Forward Reviews Mama Nancy has been exploring the Pacific Northwest this past year from Vancouver, British Columbia right down the Salish Sea and into mid-Oregon hugging the shores and beaches, discovering the best off-the-beaten-track […]

How to Get Rid of Monsters: Never Fail Monster Spray

There was a ghost living under the bed of our four-year-old son. It was so ugly he had no words to describe it. It slipped into corners watching, waiting and when it saw him the ghost laughed. No one could see it but him, this made the ghost laugh more. It was a monster. Our […]

5 Magic Words: “This Doesn’t Work for Me”

Eight-year-old Finn disappeared. Yes, I told him to play outside, yes it was a beautiful day after a week of rain and the tide was out and there were baby crabs under rocks to check out, but he had a friend visiting from school. How could I explain to the mother that the boys had […]

Outside the Backdoor: 10 Easy Ways to Celebrate Earth Day

I was exhausted. I had just had baby number 4 and my husband was in Alaska. I felt the days river past with me scarcely keeping afloat. Baby’s older brother was 21 months, pre-verbal (his older brother and sister did all the talking for him), and he took every opportunity to ‘hug’ baby really hard, […]

10 Fun and Fabulous Springtime Adventures

True exuberant fun for children does not take a great deal of money. That tickly monster game you play before bath? Jackpot! Kids in the kitchen helping to make cookies? Fantastic! More often than not it is the spontaneous and goofy asides that make the best memories. But then a stretch of days like spring […]

“You Be the Monster!” The Importance of Playing with Fear

It begins with a simple 5-beat clap; a percussive call to what the kids call the RUNNING GAME. You cannot say those two words quietly. It is always shouted or crowed or yelped when they hear the opening clap. Two-year-old Poppie and four-year-old Finn race upstairs to the long hallway where I sit with my […]

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