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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Plant a Garden - It's Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day!

I love gardening, even though I have not been very successful with it. Our home is in the forested mountains near Sundance, Utah. Sunny space on our lot is limited so, I attempt to grow things using the Square Foot Garden method. There are lots of reasons gardening in my location is a bad idea.

1. Cold - at roughly 7,000 feet elevation and with a ski resort as a neighbor you can imagine how our winters are - long, snowy and cold. We get heavy snowstorms well into March and even through the summer the temperature drops below sixty degrees in the evenings.

2. Animals - I hear the sounds of wild turkeys on a daily basis. Deer, rabbits, blue jays, squirrels, robins, and countless other unseen creatures live in the woods around our home, and they're all hungry.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Friday, April 18, 2014

National Park Week April 19-27, 2014

I recently received an email from the National Parks Foundation reminding me about the upcoming week celebrating our nation's National Parks. As if I could forget. It had such great information I thought I'd post it here for all of you as well. Leave a comment and let me know how you'll be celebrating National Park Week this year!


Washington, D.C. (April 15, 2014) From April 19 – 27, the National Park Service and the National ParkFoundation will host National Park Week, featuring special events in parks nationwide. This year’s theme, “National Park Week: Go Wild!” invites visitors to celebrate all that America’s 401 national parks have to offer. With free admission to all parks on April 19 and 20, and exciting activities and programs scheduled throughout the week, National Park Week is the perfect time to discover the diverse wildlife, iconic landscapes, vibrant culture, and rich history found in America’s national parks.

There are countless ways to enjoy National Park Week. Below are nine great suggestions happening April 19 - 27 in national parks.  A complete list of National Park Week events taking place across the country is available at

Friday, April 11, 2014

Discovery Gateway Museum, Salt Lake City, Utah

Big E's preschool planned a fun field trip to the Discovery Gateway Museum located at the Gateway mall in downtown Salt Lake City. I had never been here before, but as a teenager I volunteered at a Children's Museum in Wisconsin so I'm a big fan of teaching kids through play.
We started on the upper level of the museum where lots of hands on exhibits let kids play with science. Gears, magnets, wind tunnels, and life size marble races had Big E and little g exploring, building and engineering in no time. 

The main floor of the museum housed a massive beehive where kids can feed the pollen (brightly colored plastic balls) through tubes, wheels and vacuum suction hoses and watch their progress through an interconnected two story maze.

After that was the kid's village where a construction site, gas station, grocery store, farm and water works let Big E and little g play imaginatively on their scale. Little g's favorite activity was to carry around a black baby doll, which reminded me of the Brown v Board of Education court case I learned about in college and the experiments involving presenting children with cross racial dolls. That's a side note, I know but it felt good to use my brain for something other than explaining basic concepts like how to use a bathroom to my tots.

The Discovery Gateway Museum was a great outing with my kids. They loved to explore and play, and hopefully they learned something along the way. Right now the museum is offering $5 Fun Day admission for Friday and Saturday nights and all day Sunday. Check it out at

Discovery Gateway Museum
444 West 100 South, Salt Lake City, UT
Mon - Thurs 10 am - 6 pm
Fri and Sat 10 am - 8 pm
Sunday Noon - 6 pm

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