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The Free Press MEDIA


Whether it’s a routine exam or a diagnosis of an illness, Mayo Clinic Health System’s new children’s clinic in Mankato provides exceptional pediatric and adolescent medicine care for your family. Now open at a brand new spacious location, our team of experts is available to provide the care each child needs to stay healthy and happy. Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato Call 507-479-2078 to schedule an appointment.


Cover kids

s t n e t n o

6 Peeps

Stacy Berkner


Say What


Once We Had A Play Group

What is Your Favorite Thing To Do with Your Grandparents?

12 Flat Track Racing - A Schmidt Family Tradition

Sam, Keely, Jack, Lily,, Curran L to R:

17 Be Healthy

Lactation Tips and Local Resources

18 How Do You Do It?

Emily Dolentz

20 Mental Health

36 DIY Craft

22 Historical Feature

47 Super Dupa

School Anxiety: Tips and Tools

Back to School in the 1800

24 Kid Writer

The Strong, Silent Type

26 hOMie

Lizard on a Rock Plank on Plank Double Boat Double Tree

28 Healthy Kids

Back to School — Back on Schedule

30 The Children’s Museum

2 • Kid-oh! | September/October 2018

DIY Chalkboard Command Station


"Catch of the Day!"

48 Meet the


We are thrilled to announce that Dr. Stephen Solie has joined our team.

He is welcoming patients in both the Mankato New Ulm offices. Pedand Dentistry

September/October 2018 | Kid-oh! • 3




t’s back to school time for our area Kid-Oh’s and for parents this time of year means that your child has gotten another year older. Yes, I know that happens on their birthday, but if you’re like me, it doesn’t really hit you until they start their first day of school, or first day of middle school, or if you are like me, their junior year of college. School marks passages of time in a way that a birthday or age can’t. It shows you how your child is progressing in life. This month our magazine is filled with stories and anecdotes about how parents have coped with raising their Kid-Ohs while learning how to be a parent. Parenting can be a tricky business. Jordan Greer-Friesz knows that first hand. What’s helped her is a play group that she and her daughter have been a part of since her daughter was a toddler. This group of parents has been through a lot together and now as their kids start their senior year, they take the time to reflect on how their kids have grown and how their parenting styles have evolved. Marianne Carlson writes about a family that stays close by sharing in the sport of flat-track motorcycle racing. The Schmidt family’s love of flat-track motorcycle racing brings them closer together through a love of competition. It can be a harrowing sport, but through proper training and the proper safety equipment, it is certainly exhilarating. If you and your family have fun hobbies that you’d like to share with Kid-Oh readers, please feel free to reach out to me or Jordan. Maybe we’ll share your story in an upcoming magazine. Thank you for reading our magazine! Sincerely,

Steve Jameson

EDITOR/ARTISTIC DIRECTOR Jordan Greer-Friesz CONTRIBUTORS Mayo Clinic Health System The Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota Gena Heminover Blue Earth County Historical Society Marianne Carlson E. Madelyn James Heather Fisher Mankato Clinic Health System Julie Schrader Brandie J Larson, MSW, LICSW PHOTOGRAPHERS Inspired Portrait Photography PAGE DESIGNER Christina Sankey ADVERTISING SALES Danny Creel Joan Streit Jordan Greer-Friesz Josh Zimmerman Marianne Carlson Theresa Haefner ADVERTISING ASSISTANT Barb Wass ADVERTISING DESIGNERS Christina Sankey Sue Hammar CIRCULATION DIRECTOR Justin Niles

Kid-Oh! Magazine is published by The Free Press Media bi-monthly at 418 South Second St., Mankato MN 56001. For editorial and advertising inquiries, call Jordan Greer-Friesz 507-344-6337, To be included in future Kid-Oh! mailings, call 507-625-4451, ext. 7

4 • Kid-oh! | September/October 2018


Open Enrollment All Year Long To Register go to: Mankato Ballet Company offers classes in Classical Ballet, Pointe, Tap, Jazz, and Modern.

Try our Bitty Ballet and Teeny Tappers classes for ages 2-4. Classes are 4 weeks long for 30 minutes each time. Dancers will learn dance concepts, rhythm and coordination. Fall Itty Bitty classes beginning October 1

REGISTER ONLINE Come see our dancers in The Nutcracker!

register for all these classes online through our website at

for more information or if you have questions email us at: info@

phone: 507.625.7716

studio address: 731 South Front Street, Mankato MN September/October 2018 | Kid-oh! • 5

Stacy r e n k r e B Occupation: Owner, Kato Music Lessons

What is your favorite part of your job?

How long have you lived in Mankato?

Hearing my students play music for the first time. Performance/Songwriter: Creating music with my friends.

I moved to Mankato April of 2016.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

What is your favorite thing to do in Mankato for fun?

I always wanted to be a singer-songwriter, but there was a moment where I wanted to be a weather man, so I bought a book about clouds.

Going on the Full Moon Float with Bent River Outfitters and Put A Record On Wednesdays at The Hub (I play vinyl records for the folks who come eat at The Hub).

Dain, Stacy, Norah, Hazel and Sampson

About Me: Music has felt like a life long companion to me. I started performing music professionally at the age of 18 and started teaching 10 years ago. I love to keep my craft in practice through performance and I also love sharing my knowledge of music with others through teaching. So many of the hurdles my students encounter I have also experienced and worked through first hand. It is so rewarding as a teacher to help guide my students to achieve what they're striving for musically. On the performance side of my career, my favorite part is the craft of songwriting. To me, the transformation of a thought put into song is fascinating. Then, preparing the song for the studio and after many hours, days, months and sometimes even years, that thought becomes a recorded song. Taking that "thought" and putting it out from a stage is pretty thrilling. So maybe playing live music is my favorite part! To be honest, I sincerely love it all. 6 • Kid-oh! | September/October 2018

... me Kid-oh’s.. We Asked so r favorite What is you with your thing to do nts? grandpare



Age: 7 Helping Nana bake and helping Papa cook and shopping.

Age: 7 Paddle Boarding with Nana and Dairy Queen with Papa.


Age: 7 Going swimming and Age: 10 going out for breakfast. Going swimming.



Age: 4 Coloring with Nana.


Age: 12 I like to go to the lake with my grandparents.


Age: 7 My favorite thing to do with my grandparents is go garage sale-ing.


Age: 11 I like playing cards and just spending time with them.


Age: 7 Get ice cream and play games at sleepovers.


Age: 4 Going on the boat. September/October 2018 | Kid-oh! • 7




Story by Jordan Greer-Friesz | Submitted Photos

nce we had a play group. We were young moms with our first babes. We were tired. They were beautiful. Some of us were townies and knew each other from high school, some of us were new to Mankato and became townies by proxy. We were all set-up on a “mom-date” by a mutual friend in the neighborhood, Dean Pettis. He was the neighborhood grandpa and knew everyone. And somehow, he knew we all needed each other. Thank you Dean, we are all eternally grateful. We would get together once a week at each others' houses, lugging diapers and strollers — bags under our eyes. Even before our babies could “play” this was our playgroup. In the beginning we just held them or they slept in their car seats. Eventually they rolled over and stole teethers from one another. Then they crawled and we chased them around like diaper-bottomed hermit crabs. Once they were walking the playgroups migrated to parks (I think we toured all of the local parks in Mankato and St Peter!) and we watched as their friendships grew. We watched them play and fight and help each other. We watched their little personalities emerge and their relationships with each other ebb and flow. While the kids played, we tried to talk our way through this new thing we were neck deep into: parenting. As first time moms it was invaluable to have the other moms to

8 • Kid-oh! | September/October 2018

compare notes, ask questions, to say “Oh my god, is this normal?” We were there for each other for all the weird things that happen to your body, for breast-feeding and weening, first foods and teething. We were there for each other for questions about our relationships, for the doubts and fears when some of us went back to work and for revelations from each of us that we were not just going to be moms of one...there were more babies on the way! We spent vacations together, holidays and birthdays. We called each other at all times of the day and night (we knew who would be up for an early morning chat or a late-night vent.) It has been over 17 years now and we have weathered all kinds of storms together; more babies (we have 13 now between us!), moving, changing jobs, divorce, re-marriage and death. As the first borns got older and more kids meant less time, we didn't see each other as often as we used to. Our kids are not all great friends, each running in their own circles, but they know each other. Thankfully though, that bond we formed at the beginning of our careers as mothers is still there, one phone call and we will all be there for one another. No questions asked. And so, as our little playgroup commences on their senior year of high school, I asked the ladies to answer a few questions. What a trip!






independently. Including all of life's ups and downs that happen throughout the years that make a good old play date with babies on the floor drooling, and my son idolizing me as if I can do no wrong, sound like a dream come true.

Did your child end up becoming the person you thought they would?

Erin Herding mom to Jack Fritz When your kids were little, what did you think your biggest parenting challenge would be? What did it actually end up being?

I thought my biggest parenting challenge would be how can I make sure he is kind, does well in school, is a good listener, respectful, eats healthy (at one point I told myself Jack would never drink juice or pop - ha!) and keep his little body busy so he sleeps at night. What it actually ended up being.... To this day, it is exactly that but not as physically taxing as it is mentally and emotionally taxing. Letting him be all the things I worked hard to instill in him but having to let him do it

Without hesitation, yes. I can just see him as a 4 year old boy - engaged in others, adventurous, so kind and people around him so impressed by his easy personality. He is that and more today. A young man that can set his mind to something and it will get accomplished. Mostly, he continues to be a good person, and that FACE!!! Of course, I could go on.

If you could give your toddler-mom self any advice, what would it be? Get a grip woman! They really do grow up and will not want to bake cookies, do crafts, talk about their day nor end the day wrapped up in your arms........until they have kids, right?

DeeDra Vosburg mom to Sam Vosburg When your kids were little, what did you think your biggest parenting challenge would be? What did it actually end up being?

I don’t know that I thought ahead to what my greatest challenges would be? I felt like the biggest challenges were daycare expenses, lack of sleep, and balancing family and career while never feeling like I was doing a good job at anything. What did it actually end up being? I think the biggest challenge in parenting is releasing control. Teaching your kids and then having confidence to let them do their own things and accept the consequences and rewards of their actions while being a support. September/October 2018 | Kid-oh! • 9

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Did your child end up becoming the person you thought they would?

I didn’t really have a notion of the person I thought Sam would be other than a hope that he’d be a happy, healthy, and kind young adult with goals and aspirations for his future. I couldn’t be more proud of this young man he’s become.

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If you could give your toddler-mom self any advice, what would it be?

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Danielle Stedman mom to Curran Stedman When your kids were little, what did you think your biggest parenting challenge would be? What did it actually end up being?

Thinking back the things I thought would be a challenge weren't and things that weren't on my radar came out of nowhere. Basically, I realized I was ill equipped to parent teenagers. I assumed that parenting would always be physically exhausting but I learned quickly the teen years would be mentally and emotionally exhausting but equally rewarding.

Did your child end up becoming the person you 10 • Kid-oh! | September/October 2018

thought they would?

Interesting question, I don't know that I have ever had an expectation of who he would be. I think he, like these other kids have carried personality traits they had as toddlers that make them the people they are today and I am guessing the people they will be in 20 years.

If you could give your toddler-mom self any advice, what would it be?

Advice to my toddler mom-self: parent the child you have today. You can set expectations and guide them to be who you want/see them to be but then life happens (generally speaking; divorce, death, mental health, friend drama, school drama, peer pressure to name a few) and parents need to step back and punt. You can't predict or control the unknown so don't waste the energy over-thinking everything.

something. My first instinct is to step in an do it for them or “overhelp” them.

Did your child end up becoming the person you thought they would?

Lily was head-strong and independent from the day she was, from even before she was born! I would say she has lived up to that to a T! Some days we need to have conversations about tuning it down a little (those qualities can make a quick jump to bossy and stubborn) but for the most part she uses it to her advantage.

If you could give your toddler-mom self any advice, what would it be?

It's not the big things that matter. It's not the fancy trips or tons of clothes. It's not having all of the newest toys or being signed up for all of the classes. What matters to your kids in the long-run will be the little silly memories (lots of which YOU will have forgotten about) that stay with them. Also, don't compare your childhood to your children's. They are growing up in such a different world...try to see things through their eyes, not your own.

Jordan Greer-Friesz mom to Lily Pedersen When your kids were little, what did you think your biggest parenting challenge would be? What did it actually end up being?

I wanted to make sure I instilled a sense of worth in my kids. I wanted them to know every second of every day that they were good enough. I never wanted them to doubt themselves. In the end, or at least as of today, my greatest challenge has been letting them make mistakes or watching them flounder or fail at

Kristi Schuck mom to Keely Schuck

biggest challenge... healthy, constructive discipline.What did it actually end up being? Potty training. I’m joking. It ended up being how to maneuver the delicate balance of raising a human, ready to engage in society, empowered to discover her unique self and contribute in a meaningful way in the world.

Did your child end up becoming the person you thought they would?

Yes. Absolutely!! (But even more amazing than I could imagine then.)

If you could give your toddler-mom self any advice, what would it be?

Don’t give up. Keep changing the combination... parenting is like a combination lock... with boundless calibrations... that are always changing... do the work to find your combination with your human, don’t be stagnant. Evolve as you teach your child, learn from them. Parenting is never easy. It is the epitome of not easy. But, watching these 5 kids grow up together and getting to go along on that journey with these ladies has been the greatest experience of my life so far. Together we've raised those 5 babies up to be caring, fun, individual semi-adults. They play soccer, football, baseball and lacrosse. They are in the marching band and the orchestra. They ski, skateboard and rock climb. They have been joined by 8 siblings. They have weathered all sorts of storms along side us, hanging on through all life's ups and downs. Parenting these kids has been the hardest thing we've all done, and yet the most rewarding. And the best thing? We've gotten to do it together. So, no matter how young or old your child is, find your tribe. Find your village. This parenting thing is rough and we can't do it alone. Thank you to my village.

When your kids were little, what did you think your biggest parenting challenge would be? What did it actually end up being?

I thought discipline would be the September/October 2018 | Kid-oh! • 11

Flat Track Racing nne Carlson Story by Maria McBride Photos by Tim

left to right: is pictured from and Adam. ily m Fa t id hm ), Ryan The Sc , Jacob, (age 10 reg (aka Coot) G , 6) ge (a le El

12 • Kid-oh! | September/October 2018

A Schmidt Family


How Does It Work?


or the Schmidt Family, flat track racing is not something they do, it is something they are. Racing is in their blood. It is a passion that is burned into their DNA.

Brothers Adam and Ryan started out watching flat track racing on television when they were kids and watching their dad Greg (Coot) race. Ryan started competing around age 12 and Adam began competing shortly there after. “We tried a few different events like hill climbing and trials, but the first time I saw flat track racing, I was hooked,” Adam said. “Now my kids race. It's pretty cool.” Adam's son Jacob is 10 years old and has been racing since he was four. Adam's daughter, Elle, is six and this is her first year. “She likes to race but she is a little more take it or leave it,” Adam said. “When she is done riding, she is content to just run off and play with her friends. But Jacob loves it. He can't get enough.”

Although Adam's wife, Danica, doesn't race she is an amazing race track mom who cheers on her family and “stands at the fence hoping no one gets hurt.” When they are not competing, they are working on their bikes and getting ready for competition, Adam said. “It's all we do,” Adam said with a laugh. “At least it feels like that. But we love it. Honestly, I've never found anything more enjoyable.”

What Exactly Is Flat Track Racing?

Flat track racing, also known as dirt track racing, looks similar to Speedway racing but is quite different. Flat track motorcycles can have either two-stroke or four-stroke engines in amateur competition. Flat track bikes have front and rear suspension, and rear brakes. The brakes are what make it completely distinct from speedway, as the brakes allow for a different cornering technique.

There are close to 20 different classes that a rider can participate in, but they can only race in four classes per event. Riders can compete by age or bike size, Ryan explained. “Everybody gets two races for every class, a heat and a main,” Adam continued. “The position where you finish in the heat, lets you pick where you start in the main race, inside or outside, whereever you want to start. How you finish in the main race determines how many points you are awarded.” “First place might get 25 points,” Coot added. “Points are awarded throughout the year and that's how they determine the state champions for each class. The more races you attend the better your chances are to accumulate more points. If you do the whole season, you can accrue a lot of points, it can also cost a lot of money.” The cost runs $30 per class to race. Jacob races two classes and depending on the event Adam and Ryan might race three or four classes.

Technique & Strategy

When asked what he is thinking about when he is racing, Jacob laughed and said, “Not much. I am just looking ahead and thinking don't fall down.” “You want to stay close to the

September/October 2018 | Kid-oh! • 13

Elle Schmidt taking a corner on her PW50.

Jacob Schmidt racing in the 65 class.


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14 • Kid-oh! | September/October 2018

inside,” Jacob said. You want to get way up in the front of the seat and you want to keep as much speed as you can going into the corner. It's your race to lose if you give up the inside.” The race can be won or lost in the first few turns, Jacob said. With a little prompting from Grandpa Coot, Elle said her strategy is to “Go fast and turn left.” Tracks are 3/8 mile up to ½ mile at the amateur level. Youth riders will do anywhere from four to six laps each race and the adult races usually go eight to 10 laps. The vintage class does 12 laps, said Coot. “It is really competitive,” Ryan said. “The little guys are fast and they have a low center of gravity. They are bookin' out there.” He estimated that riders in Jacob's class are going anywhere from 50 -60 miles per hour. Elle's bike can get up to around 30 miles per hour, she has a throttle limiter on her bike to keep her from going too fast. The adult races can see speeds of more than 70 miles per hour, Ryan said. “We are going as fast as we possibly can in 4th gear,” Ryan said. “It really doesn't feel that fast when you are in the moment, because you are so busy watching the other riders and picking your line. If you are in the lead, you know there are a whole bunch of people right behind you.” Adam and Ryan often compete against each other. “He and I are always banging bars,” Ryan said with a laugh. “Dad (Coot) opted out of our class to run in the Master 50+ which is the old guy class. Simply because he can't stand being in our class with us. He didn't want it to be all three us going against each other.”

Adam Schmidt's steel boot sends sparks flying.

Jacob's favorite memory is winning the state championship. He wants to be a professional racer some day. According to Coot, both of his sons have taken turns winning the state championship. “One year Adam took first and Ryan was second and the next year Ryan was first and Adam was second,” Coot said with a smile. “So these kids have good teachers.” “At the end of the day it is a high level amateur race, but it's still a hobby,” Ryan said. “Racing is a hobby, but healing up isn't much of a hobby,” Jacob added.

Safety ALWAYS Comes First

Everyone in all age groups and classes wears protective gear that covers them from head to toe. All riders must wear helmets and leathers for speeds over 30 miles per hour. Most riders also wear a padded impact vest that goes under their leathers. This helps protect them if they take a spill on the track or get hit by another rider. Leathers come in a variety of styles. They can be all one piece like a jump suit or two separate pieces – pants and a jacket that zip together. Leathers have knee pads, elbow pads, shoulder pads and even a pad on the back that protects the upper part of the spine and neck. Riders also wear gloves and special boots. The left boot has a removable metal plate strapped around the bottom to protect the foot as riders go around the corners with their foot touching the ground. “The most important thing we teach the youth, is to look ahead. Look at where you want to be, not where you are,” Adam said. “That

Ryan Schmidt hugs the inside of the track.



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507-625-2005 September/October 2018 | Kid-oh! • 15

way you have more time to react to if something happens in front of you.” “It's actually a hard thing to learn when you are young,” Ryan said. “It is really tempting to look down especially when everyone is in a pack. But everyone has to hold their line just right and giddy up down the straight.” When riders are young they have to learn to ride within their abilities, Coot explained. “These bikes are powerful and you can't ride over your head,” Coot said. “It's not that dangerous if you ride within your abilities. People who ride like idiots usually don't race very long.”

Advice For Newcomers

Elle and Jacob

Schmidt fixing bi

kes before they

could even ride th

Ryan works at Starr Cycle and said this is a great place to start if you have questions about how to get into the different kinds of motorcycle races and competitions. “It's pretty cool to see that first bike get bought,” Ryan said. “But really, you can turn almost any bike into a flat track bike with a few modifications. If you have an old dirt bike you just need to change the wheels and the suspension and you are racing.” Adam suggested, networking with people that are already racing. “Flat track people are super friendly,” Adam said. “Make friends with them. They are always willing to help other riders get started. Everyone is competitive on the track, but we are a big family before and after the race. We've made so many great friends over the years. We've been doing this a long time but L-R: Ryan and Adam's leathe there are a lot of people who have r ja Flying Dutchm en Motorcycle ckets they wear for competit been doing it even longer – think ion proudly sh Club patch. ow the about all the people you meet over 20, 30 or 40 years.” Amateur Flat Track Race When asked what advice he would Sept. 15 & 16, 2018 give kids thinking about trying flat Noon start both days track racing, Jacob said, “Don't be 20513 110th Ave, New Ulm, MN scared if you fall down. If you slide $10 Admission out, it's no big deal. Just take a Kids 10 & Under & 65+ are FREE! chance and be brave.” “I'd like to see every kid in America go to a flat track race,” Professional Flat Track Race Adam said. “That's how we get this September 29, 2018 sport to grow, by just getting more 1:00 p.m. Gates Open people to come out and watch. You 2:40 p.m. Qualifying Races know some of those kids will look up at their parents and say, 'I want to 5:00 p.m. Opening Ceremonies do that.' That's how it happens. You Canterbury Park, Minneapolis, MN go see a race and kaboom, you're For ticket information visit: hooked.” 16 • Kid-oh! | September/October 2018


Lactation tips and local resources


any women initiate breastfeeding their newborn baby after leaving the hospital. Yet, the challenges women face after returning home can often make it difficult to maintain their breastfeeding goals. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that babies who are breastfed exclusively for the first six months have fewer bouts of diarrhea, less ear infections and respiratory illnesses. Breast milk provides helpful antibodies that can help your baby fight off viruses and bacteria. One of the best ways to achieve longterm breastfeeding success is to seek support. Whether it’s through friends, a lactation consultation or a breastfeeding support group, connecting with others is one of the best ways to overcome challenges.

Some common questions breastfeeding moms have:

• Is my baby gaining weight? • How often should my baby breastfeed? • Is my baby swallowing? • How should my breasts feel? • What should my baby’s diaper look like? • Is my baby healthy?

Remember, you know your baby best. If you sense something isn’t right, check with your baby’s health care provider, especially if your baby:

• Isn’t gaining weight • Isn’t wetting at least six diapers a day • Isn’t having regular bowel movements • Passes urine that’s deep yellow or orange • Is consistently fussy after feedings • Seems sleepy all the time • Has yellow discoloration of the skin and eyes (jaundice) • Spits up forcefully or more than a small amount at time

Sue Splinter, registered nurse, Mayo Clinic Health System Susan Splinter is a registered nurse and an Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) with Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato.

Tips and reminders for nursing moms

• Ask for help from maternity nurses or a lactation consultant early on. • Let your baby set the pace. • Have your baby sleep in your room. • Hold off on a pacifier until breastfeeding is well established. • Make healthy lifestyle choices — eat a regular diet, drink plenty of fluids, rest as much possible, avoid smoking and check with your health care provider if you’re taking medications.

While not in every community, one resource available to breastfeeding moms is Baby Café, a free drop-in breastfeeding support group that combines the experience of other mothers and advice from Mayo Clinic Health System lactation experts in a relaxed, child-focused environment. Baby Café takes place each Thursday from 12:30-2:30 p.m. at the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota and at Mayo Clinic Health System in Fairmont each Wednesday from 9-11 a.m. Baby Café is open to anyone interested in any aspect of breastfeeding. The goal of Baby Café is to help mothers access the information and support they need to reach their breastfeeding goals. In addition to support, there is an opportunity to ask questions about your baby’s feeding pattern, as well as weigh your baby. Other local resources include public health nurses, Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nurses, La Leche League, and community education and early childhood classes.

September/October 2018 | Kid-oh! • 17


By Emily Dolentz

ow do you do it? I’ve actually gotten this question or some variation of the sentiment often over the last 14 years. I became pregnant with my eldest, Trista, at 18 years old. I was a high school dropout in an extremely unhealthy relationship. Before Trista, I’d never even changed a diaper. I had no idea what I was doing. I was woefully underqualified. I managed to navigate through solo parenting her while getting my GED, going to college and graduating with my bachelors degree, developing a career I was passionate about, and buying us a house. I had my heart broken a few times. We moved a bunch. Through all that I (very) slowly took control of the mental health problems that have plagued me my whole life. Trista is a product of that journey. Every detour, pothole, and fork in the road. I grew up while raising her. Shortly after meeting my partner, Jeff, and deciding we wanted to be a family forever we added twins to the mix. Ruby and Luna. I was only given around 600 words (which I know I’ll go way over) for this piece and that is nowhere near the amount of words I would need to talk about the last year and a half. My whole pregnancy with the twins was difficult. We found out about Luna’s cleft lip and cleft palate and dealt with severe intrauterine growth restriction with both and I eventually had a 2+ month hospital stay with the threat of delivery looming at all times. After their birth there was another over 2 month hospital stay in the NICU, multiple surgeries to help Luna

breathe and eat, additional diagnoses of unilateral deafness for Ruby and Pierre Robin Sequence for Luna. We’ve had weekly in-home visits from nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists, all the therapists. We have feeding clinic appointments, appointments with pulmonology, gastroenterology, ENT, genetics. Lots of specialists. There’s also been a lot of pain, tears, and fear. But also laughter, fun. and so much joy. Getting to finally watch Trista be a sister has produced in me a new type of overwhelming love for her. Ruby and Luna are the sweetest, funniest, heart-melting babies and witnessing their twin bond is a true privilege. So how do I do it? How do I actually do it? How do I survive? I allow myself a pity party once in awhile. And I can pity party with the best of ‘em. I can get pretty jealous of other moms I perceive as having it “better” than me. I’ve shed a lot of tears over the years. I wish things were different sometimes; that my children’s lives were easier. I have had to be picked up off the metaphorical floor of pity by my mother and partner more than a few times over the last 14 years. But I have figured out that it’s ok to feel sorry for myself sometimes. It’s part of how I process my experiences. I allow the sadness. I sit with it. I grieve. And when I’m done feeling sorry for myself I remember to be grateful. There will always be mothers who have it easier than me. But there will also always be mothers who have it harder. The empathy I can feel for other mothers, especially those who are struggling more or in different ways

18 • Kid-oh! | September/October 2018

than me, allows me to remain humble in my struggle. For example, I know a few women who have lost children. Watching these women go through the devastating pain of burying a child and the aftermath of that experience reminds me that no matter what, I am grateful for every day with my children. No matter how difficult. Many babies never leave the NICU; they never see the sun shine. Mine did. Next to that, nothing really matters. Some moms never get to watch their children step on the bus for their first day of kindergarten, or have a first crush, or hear them say I love you. For all that I can endure anything. More important than allowing the sadness and remaining always grateful, is giving myself a heck of a lot of grace. I try to remind myself that June Cleaver is dead. And she was never actually real. There’s no such thing as a perfect mother. In parenting perfection is impossible. You’ll never do as good of a job as you think you should. Mistakes will be made. It’s just the reality of being human. We have flaws. Sometimes those flaws affect our children. We do our best and hope that they turn out mostly well adjusted. When Trista was younger I would jokingly say “She sucks at math, but she has a good heart and that’s what matters to me.” And I still believe that. That’s the job. Raise a good heart. If you do that, you’re not failing. Even if your laundry isn’t done, you can never remember to sign the permission slips, and your dinners come from a box in the freezer more than you want to admit. Mothering is hard. No matter what. Doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor, young or old. Single. Partnered. one kid or five. Sick kids or healthy. It’s all hard work. I have the late night google searches to prove it (most involving rashes or how to teach your kid executive functioning skills when you have none.) I think it’s safe to say my experience with mothering thus far has been exceptionally hard. And I will continue to struggle. At the end of the day though, I am so incredibly lucky that I get to be a part of the lives of the amazing humans with good hearts that call me mom.

September/October 2018 | Kid-oh! • 19

School Anxiety: TIPS AND TOOLS


By: Brandie J Larson, MSW, LICSW Adult, Child, and Family Services, LLC

ack to school can be an exciting time for many kids. It can also be filled with anxiety for others. Think about what happens in our body when we feel anxious; our muscles become tense, and our breathing becomes faster and more shallow. One of the best ways to help minimize the impact of anxiety is to be prepared. Here are a few tips and tools that might help: 1. Review the schedule with your child and post in a location they can access easily. For younger children, this might be better in pictures. Ensure children know who is picking them up and when, what bus they are riding, etc. 2. Prepare as many things as you can the night before (packed lunch, outfit for the day, homework, forms needing signatures and have things organized in backpack) 3. Make sleep a priority. 4. Practice “body scan”. With this technique, one scan’s their body for any muscle tension. Take some deep breaths and focus on those muscles releasing. This will need to be practiced in order to be utilized during stressful times (start with 3 times per day and increase frequency as appropriate). Having a more relaxed muscle body will also help minimize the impact of new stressors.



Ph: 507.388.7881 Web:

20 • Kid-oh! | September/October 2018


5. Bubble breathing. Think about the process of blowing a bubble. What happens when you blow out too fast? Concentrating on a slow, consistent, out-breath will help to release tension, reducing anxiety response in the body. 6. Bilateral Stimulation. This is a fancy way of saying that when we stimulate both sides of the body, we limit the amount of energy our brain spends focused on the thing or things we are scared about. I have found that the easiest ways to implement bilateral stimulation is to use bilateral stimulation music (there are lots available through YouTube- you will also need to use headphones in order to achieve the bilateral effect) or to use physical stimulation (silly putty, play-dough, squeeze balls, or other related fidgets that incorporate both hands) 7. Talk about the day. Do not minimize the events or anxiety. This will only add to the anxiety felt, as your child will feel that he/ she is not listened to. Instead, validate their feelings and focus on their efforts to overcome their fears. Remind children that they have overcome fears before and that they can do it again. 8. Face your own anxiety. Show your child(ren) when it’s not easy and allow them to see you overcome it. 9. Lastly, ensure that children face their anxiety. Do Not take the anxiety-provoking activity away. This will only validate, in the mind, that the activity is worthy of a high level of anxiety. Instead, provide steps to get through the anxiety-provoking task and continue to praise their effort. Let me leave you with this: Bravery is not doing something without fear. Bravery is doing something DESPITE ones fear.

Adult, Child & Family Services.

Adult, Child & Family Services is here to walk with you and your loved ones through the journey towards emotional health. We offer: • individual therapy • couples counseling • family therapy • therapeutic skills support for children and adults of all ages. • rehabilitative group therapy for individuals in the legal system.


Blue Earth County’s


Blue Earth County History Center 424 Warren Street, Mankato History Center Hours Tuesday-Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The History Center Museum is filled with hands-on history fun in the Discovery Lab, 1880s Mankato diorama and an interactive pioneer cabin and barn. Self-guided; admission charged.

YOUNG HISTORIANS: Explore the Dakota Hands-on History Workshops for Kids 2nd Saturday of each month at 10 a.m. FREE.

Historic R.D. Hubbard House Experience Early 1900s Mankato

606 S. Broad Street, Mankato

September Hours: Saturday and Sunday 1-4 p.m. Explore the 16-room mansion of local flour mill giant R.D. Hubbard and his family, completed in 1905. Guided one-hour tours; admission charged. | 507.345.5566 September/October 2018 | Kid-oh! • 21

Back to School in the 1800s

Mankato Union School-1855. It was rebuilt in 1867, then in 1919, using brick. Today it is still standing.

Madison Lake School students about 1900 School children in LeRay Township, 1890s

What was school like 160 years ago? One room for everyone! Imagine all grades in the same room with the teacher. One room schools were common in small towns and farm communities. In 1855, the first Blue Earth County schoolhouse was built in Mankato and named the Union School. In 1877 each resident of Madison Lake was asked to bring three logs of red elm to help build a school on land given by John Sershen. Most students attended school from fall until spring, when school did not interfere with their work on the farm. If the school did not have a teacher during the winter, school was held for a few months in the summer and kids came when they could.

In School Long Ago

Long ago school was voluntary. The school day and the school year were shorter! Kids helped with harvesting fall crops and spring planting, so school began in late October and ended in early April.

Learning to Curtsy

What did kids learn? Long ago students learned the same school subjects as kids do now. They also learned manners! Girls learned to curtsy and boys learned to bow to their teacher. What’s your best school subject? _______________________

Union Leader Cut Plug Tobacco Chew Tin Lunchbox from about 1900.

What’s for Lunch? Long ago the teacher and students brought their food to school. Kids reused metal boxes or covered pails to carry their lunches of cold meat, biscuits or pancakes, preserves, apples, and sweet potatoes. What’s your favorite school lunch? _____________________________

L.G.M. Fletcher taught at the log school in the 1850s.

Who was your teacher? Long ago the parents had to find and pay the school teacher. Sometimes the teacher lived with a student’s family as part of what they earned. Who is your favorite teacher? _____________________

Blue Earth County History Center is located at 424 Warren Street, Mankato

A New School Year!

Words that help us think about going back to school are hidden in the block below. Some words are hidden backward or diagonally. See if you can find them all!




















Visit the Blue Earth County History Center. Have fun in the Discovery Lab, Museum or view the current traveling exhibition Tuesday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.


DID YOU KNOW? Early chalk boards were a slab of slate rock painted black. In school, students used white chalk made from limestone. (Most of the chalk you use today is 60 to 100 million years old! The sedimentary rock forms at the bottom of the ocean as calcite turns into limestone.)

Most early one-room schools had no lights or plumbing. Schools had outhouses and everyone drank water from a bucket using a shared tin cup. For heat the schoolhouse had a wood stove (like the one below) or a fireplace. Each day the teacher would start the fire. Older boys chopped wood and brought it in for the fire along with drinking water for the bucket.

Mrs. Oxcole

The Strong, Silent Type 7:30 In the pink sunrise of

By E. M. James

Daniel’s room, his pens were lying in neat rows in their packages, and his text books were stacked perfectly next to his new backpack. He was lying awake in his bed, his mother in the room next door. He had recently just celebrated his fourteenth birthday, and was getting ready to start his freshman year of high school.

24 • Kid-oh! | September/October July/August 2018 2018

He looked over at his clock. His alarm was to go off in 15 minutes. He might as well start getting ready now. He got up and began to get dressed. His best checkered shirt, turtleneck and hat, and his pants were lying across the foot of his bed, he picked them up, slipped the outfit on, and looked in the mirror. He looked rather handsome, he thought to himself.

7:45 Daniel was ready for breakfast. His mother was already downstairs, sipping a strong black coffee. His younger sister, Lolli, was eating a toaster waffle with blackberries. He popped one into the toaster for himself, and covered it in strawberries and syrup. He finished. He grabbed his waterbottle, filled it, and troted out the door. 7:50 His bus comes. He sits down, and takes out his brand new eraser. He rolls it in between his fingers, the thick rubber sticking to his skin. He then heard the door open and his best friend, Leviy, walked in and sat down next to him. They hugged and began talking. What they did this summer and what had happened. They couldn’t wait to get started at their new highschool. 8:05 Leviy and Daniel make it to class. They sit down in they’re Social Studies room, right across from each other. Their teacher, Mrs. Oxcole, smiled at her class of 69 kids. She wrote her name on the whiteboard, and said, “Welcome to your first day of highschool, students. If you have something to say, raise your hand and type what you need to say. And remember, being mute doesn’t make you weak.”


Hello my dear readers! Al l you lovely little butter bis cuits! I have an announcement! I’m of ficially a middle schooler ! Ya y... not really. But I wanted to thank all your schools for acceptin g the magazine into your daily routine. It really makes my career bu rst with creativity! And I have a few VERY special shouto uts to make before the school year starts. Fi rst to: • My former elementar y school. I wanted to than k all my previous teachers and the AMAZ ING principle, Mr. Scott Johnson. The amazing receptionist an d nurse, Vicki and Jerri, wh o helped me throughout some of my darkest and most difficult times of my life. I will always have a root to Jefferson, and wi ll ALWAYS remember everything th at school did for me and everyone else. • My best friends from my former school, Mare n Haugen, Izabelle High, and Jill Buche. Th ey stuck by me even when I asked them not to, (annoying best fri ends), and were the mos t amazing support I could ever ask for! I love you guys, and thanks for not getting too upset when I shaved my head! • My new school, Saint Peter Middle School. Yo u may be a bit too grown up for my taste, bu t at least you guys won’t see this mention. Thanks for prov iding me with new best friends and great new teachers. • No, I’m not picking fav orites, but my two new be st friends, Afrah Dadzic, and Mich ael Thompson. I used to dance with Afrah before she got sick and dropped out, and I m et Michael a few weeks before school starts. he bought a fox tai l from my section of a booth, and he asked how much it was, and I said, “It’s $20,” he looked anno yed and said, “I needed ONE MORE DOLLAR!!” And then he came back about an hour later. He ended up having the exac t same schedule as me. W ell, thats cool. I would thank you all pe rsonally, but I don’t know any of you, so yeah. Thank you. All. Pe rsonally. BUT, (oh yes, th ere ’s a ‘but’), I am working with my mom to set up my own email so I can have nice conversations with you gu ys via electronic mail. Again, I thank you all for reading my stories and tak ing such an amazing part in helping my career burst into my no w fu work. Thanks Kid-Oh for ll-ish time making my dreams of be ing a kid author come true, and thank all of my readers for, well, rea ding!

Thank you.

September/October July/August 2018 | Kid-oh! • 25

Yoga Lizard on a Rock

r e n t r a P Yoga Poses

First child will get on hands and knees and lower down into child’s pose to become the “rock”. The second child will squat down and place their low back on the first child’s low back, aligning their spines, laying back to back.

Lizard on a Rock Tips:

• Take turns being the lizard and the rock • Child being the rock should keep their head down • Lizard can move the arms over head or out wide to open the chest and stretch shoulders • Make sure top child is off before the bottom child gets up

Plank on Plank

First child gets on hands and knees then extends the legs with toes tucked to get in to plank pose. The second child will start by stand next to the first child facing their feet. Then grab the first child’s ankles with each hand. Next, you’ll lift one leg at a time onto the first child’s upper back with the toes tucked just as if you were going a plank on the floor.

Plank on Plank Tips:

• Stronger child should be on the bottom • Bottom child can modify by bringing knees to the floor • Top child can modify by placing knees on bottom child’s low back • If possible, take turns in each plank position • Top child can also put their hands on the floor near the bottom child’s feet for better balance 26 • Kid-oh! | September/October 2018


Kids naturally have a short attention span so keep each pose under 30 seconds. If they are old enough have them help you count to 10 while holding the pose. Allow your child to play around with their body positioning in each pose. It doesn’t have to be perfect but it should be FUN! Be creative and try to think up other poses to do with a partner.

Double Boat Both kids start sitting on their butts, knees bent and facing each other. With hands on the floor for support, both kids will slowly pick up their feet and place the bottoms of their feet together. Then slowly reach one hand at a time to clasp hands and hold each other up.

Double Boat Tips:

• Make sure you start sitting close enough to hold hands • Try to sit up tall, keeping back straight • If leg length is different or flexibility, one or both may bend the knees • Gently press feet together, don’t push on the partners feet

a n e G Heminover:

Double Tree Both kids start standing right next to each other with hips touching. Each will wrap the inside arm around their partners back to hold and help each other. Both will stand on the inside leg and lift the outside leg up into tree pose with the bent knee going out to the side.

Double Tree Tips:

• Outside arm can be used to keep balanced or put up to “grow” your tree • Try to balance yourself and not lean on your partner • Make sure you switch sides to do both legs

Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher and mother of two girls, Elea age 7 (pictured) and Ava age 4 (pictured). Teaches yoga at Fitness For $10, private lessons and at other places in Mankato. Specializing in Kids Yoga, Power Yoga, Vinyasa and Advanced Yoga. Find me on Instagram at ‘Gena Heminover Yoga’ and Facebook at ‘Gena Heminover Wellness’ Website: Or email: September/October 2018 | Kid-oh! • 27

Back to school A

— Back on schedule

s your kiddos go back to school this year, they are adjusting from summer days to school days. Even with day care, camps and sports, most kids have less structure in the summer than they do during the school year. Here’s how you can help get your child off to a good start.


Everyone needs a good night’s sleep. Getting the proper amount of sleep helps our children stay focused, improves concentration and academic performance. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children and teens who do not get enough sleep are at a higher risk for obesity, diabetes, poor mental health and injuries. They are also more likely to have attention and behavior problems. How much sleep do your children need? Children ages 6-12 need 9 to 12 hours of sleep and teens 13-18 need 8 to 10 hours says the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. If your child wakes up at 7 a.m. for school, 8 p.m. is a good bedtime. By the time your child is 12, a 9 p.m. bedtime is reasonable. Each night, your kiddo should have a bedtime routine such as bathing, brushing their teeth and reading. As they get older, they will do this on their own. Set rules regarding screens, video games, devices and TV. Light from a TV, iPad, phone or gaming device can interfere with the body’s production of melatonin which makes your kids feel they aren’t ready for sleep. Turn off the electronics and TV at least two hours before bedtime. On weekends and holidays, try to keep your kids on a similar bedtime and wake time. Mondays will go a lot more smoothly!


Breakfast is key to a successful school day. Breakfast has been linked to a better memory, better test scores, better attention span, decreased irritability, healthier

body weights and improved overall nutrition according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. To give your children the nutrients and energy they need to start their day, on-the-go breakfasts may be in order. Make sure breakfasts are

28 • Kid-oh! | September/October 2018

balanced and contain fruit, protein and whole grains. Since mornings are hectic, try these tips. • Place breakfast items on the counter the night before. Put out whole grain bread, peanut butter, bananas, instant oatmeal or whole grain cereal with plates, bowls,

knives and spoons. • Try making and freezing batches of egg muffins which is beaten eggs with any add-ins you like. Pour into a sprayed muffin tin, bake and freeze individually. Reheat in 15 seconds in the microwave for eggs to go. • String cheese, yogurt, cut up fruit and hard-boiled eggs are healthy, fast breakfast foods.

rs! u o H New

Check in

Students tend to be busy in the fall with school, sports and activities. If you can’t sit down for a family meal, check in with your kids when you drive them to or from school, activities or home. Show interest and chances are they’ll talk. Have a great school year!

Book your birthday party online!

DATE NIGHT! Donald Putzier, MD Mankato Clinic Pediatrician

3rd Friday of Every Month

Making a difference... one child at a time. Pediatric Therapy Services has been making a difference in the lives of children for the past 27 years. We continue to provide physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech/language therapy for the children in a kid friendly environment. As we have grown, our mission remains unchanged: Making a difference…one child at a time.

FREE Development Screenings for children from infancy through adolescence.

Call to schedule today

Satellite Clinic Main Clinic 150 St. Andrews Ct, Suite 310 Pediatric Therapy Services Mankato, MN 56001 Children’s Health Center Phone: 507-388-KIDS (5437) 1421 Premier Drive Fax: (507) 388-2108 Mankato, MN 56001 General E-Mail: Therapy sessions at Satellite office are by appointment only. Pediatric Therapy Services, Inc. Making a difference... one child at a time September/October 2018 | Kid-oh! • 29

Fallinto the

Children’s Museum The Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota is the place to be, fall after fall. Make sure to come soak in the fall sun as you explore the seasonal outdoor exhibits and learn how seed, sun, and water help plants, animals, and people thrive. You’ll get an opportunity to help with the corn and soybean harvest, find out what these crops might be used for, and work on the final harvesting of the garden beds before they are prepared for the winter.

224 Lamm Street, Mankato


Admission: $8 per person; free for 12 months and under Annual memberships start at $108 per family

30 • Kid-oh! | September/October 2018

4th annual Harvest Festival the month of October

The month of October will be all about harvest! Make memories in the Museum’s indoor and outdoor exhibits, as you explore the Toddler Maze and play in the corn and soybean pits.

The first week of the month is National 4-H week, which celebrates 4-H youth by sharing their stories and recognizing their commitment to making a positive impact in their communities. During this time, 4-H members wearing their 4-H T-shirt, hat, or badge will receive a special discount – a half-price daily admission to the Museum. Nicollet County and Blue Earth County 4-H projects will be on display throughout the Museum.

On Sunday, October 7, Watonwan County 4-H members will come to the Museum to demonstrate their Engineering Design Challenge. In 2018, the challenge was to plant a seed and water it. The weekend of October 13th (Saturday and Sunday), the Alltech Farm will be exhibiting calves from the Birr Family Farm, who are 4-H members from Good Thunder, Minnesota. Depending on her availability, the new Princess Kay may stop by the Museum that Saturday morning, too.

Friday and Saturday, October 5 & 6, an interesting interactive exhibit is coming to the Museum to help the visitors understand the importance of safety on the farm, especially around grain bins during the harvest season. This Grain Bin Safety Program is brought by the Southern Minnesota Center of Agriculture. October 14th will be all about apples. An antique cider press owned by the Haggerty Family from Mankato will be used to make fresh, delicious apple cider. Make sure to come sample!

Vehicle Fair Saturday, October 6 Save the date for the 4th annual free outdoor event, the Children’s Museum’s Vehicle Fair! Come explore farm equipment and trucks that may be used on a farm. September/October 2018 | Kid-oh! • 31

Fall Memories What are your favorite things to do in the fall? Does your family have a special tradition? Are there places you visit every year and foods that are a must-have on your family’s table? Read below what the Children’s Museum’s staff shared about their fall memories!

Growing up on a farm, and coming from many generations of farmers, harvest time meant just that – harvesting crops! I watched our family farm progress from a one-row corn picker (my dad sometimes still picking corn in the early snows of fall) to a large, modern combine followed by grain trucks to haul the corn or soybeans up to the grain bins or the local co-op elevator. My dad showed me how to check a grain of wheat by popping it in your mouth to chew on like gum, to disc up the fields with a tractor and disc, and stack bales of hay and straw on wagons to be unloaded at the barn. I helped with care of the livestock every day and would sometimes ride my horse out into the fields to see what was going on. My mom would be busy freezing sweet corn or canning tomatoes in the kitchen, or soaking home-grown beans (much to my brother’s chagrin) for the next day’s meal. By the end of fall, the crops would be harvested, the barn’s hay mow would be full of hay and straw for winter’s livestock needs, and the barn would be readied for the flock of ewes that would lamb late winter and for a few pigs or cattle that were being readied for market. Over the years, harvest time on our hobby farm has meant picking pumpkins, raking leaves into large piles and watching the kids and dog play in them, getting the chicken coop ready for winter, cleaning up gardens, roasting hot dogs, making s’mores over the fire, and taking those last few walks on crisp autumn days to enjoy the beauty of nature. As the Farm Manager at the Museum, I love watching our visitors come to Harvest Fest to learn more about harvest time in rural America, to run through the straw maze, pick out pumpkins, harvest popcorn, field corn and soybeans, learn about making apple cider, and take a look at farm animals as they enjoy the last few days of autumn weather. – Rochelle, Farm Manager

My favorite memory is of autumn hay harvest time! I can still smell the fresh cut hay and feel the scratches on my arms as we threw bales! - Brenda, Volunteer Coordinator

32 • Kid-oh! | September/October 2018

A strong memory I have is getting to wear my purple corduroy overalls, which were my favorite piece of clothing growing up! Another one is throwing leaves in the air and singing a Pocahontas song, “Colors of the Wind” when I’m pretty sure I was by myself. Or the time I was riding on my pink bike with white training wheels, which my dad had recently loosened. My mom and him were holding hands and walking behind me down a long paved road. I looked up and the tree branches hung over me. Yellow, orange, red, maroon leaves danced to the ground as my cheeks tingled from the cold. I felt a thrill deep down and biked fast and faster until my nose felt cold. And all of a sudden I hear a loud clunk and look behind and a training wheel is left skidding across the road. My dad cheers me on to keep going and I pedal faster. The last wheel attached continues to bounce up and down until suddenly I’m going so fast that my other wheel falls off. I am now pedaling so fast everything is a yellow blur, I must be flying. I raise my hands into the air the bike starts to wobble and down I go. I do not cry, I do not whimper. All I can remember was that I can fly. – Karmy, Playworker

When I was very young, we lived in a neighborhood of homes that were nearly completely shaded by some large, old trees. Come fall, there were tons of leaves that needed to be raked! My dad would start the task of raking in our yard by making several smaller leaf piles. My sisters and I would fashion some of these leaf piles into a floor plan of our perfect house – raking the leaves into lines that would mark off the shape of our bedrooms, living room, kitchen… It was so much fun to play “house” with our giant and ever-changing floor plans – until eventually, it was time for my dad to make our floor plans and all of the leaves in our yard disappear. – Sue, Community Outreach and Impact Director

Fall is my favorite time of year. My favorite fall memories come rushing back every fall when the air turns cooler and the smell of crisp leaves is in the air. Every time I ride my bike through a pile of crunchy leaves, or drink a cup of hot cider on a fall evening, I’m filled with nostalgia of my childhood. – Gwen, Director of Finance and Administration

My favorite fall memory is going back to school! I loved getting my school supply list and then walking down the aisles looking for just the right folders and notebooks. Everything fresh and new! I still love the back-to-school aisles. – Anissa, Visitor Experience Coordinator

One of my favorite fall activities when I was young was brushing up on my face painting skills before Halloween. My little brother was such a wonderful (and usually willing) canvas. – Hallie, Exhibit Fabricator

My dad used to take me to Sibley Park during the fall to see all the monarchs. I was too little to understand very much, but I remember the portion of the park way above the main playground being all covered in monarchs. The trees were orange and black all over! – Heather, Director of Development and Marketing

My favorite memories of fall were playing in the leaves and carving pumpkins, which I now enjoy doing with my two boys. – Jackie, Administrative and Database Coordinator

Fall means football, and for my family, that meant pizza! But of course it was more than that. I have warm memories of donning cozy, baggy clothes to rake leaves in our backyard. My brother and I would make a giant pile near the landing of our deck and jump into them. The smell and feeling of playing in those fallen leaves is unforgettable. – Zach, Playworker

I have always loved leaf piles! This is me and my brother Tim and our dog Peppy when I was 4 years old. – Deb, Senior Director of Exhibits and Education September/October 2018 | Kid-oh! • 33

Viva Vivaldi

Join the Mankato Symphony Orchestra at the Children’s Museum for Viva Vivaldi, a series of four shows designed to introduce young children to the delights of classical music. The show will be performed on Saturday afternoons at the Museum and will feature musicians, actors, storytelling, and musical activities. The first session is scheduled for 3:00 pm on September 15, and the other three are to follow on November 17 this year, and January 19 and April 20 of next year.

Special Needs Accessibility Playtime Friday, October 26, 4:30 – 7:30 pm Mark your calendars for a quarterly playdate for children with special needs or sensory challenges during a time when fewer visitors will be present. This playdate is free of charge.

Mayo Clinic at the Museum

Join Mayo Clinic Health System for a series of fallthemed wellness programs designed for toddlers and their families. During the month of October, topics explored in Toddler Wednesday sessions (weekly at 10:00 am) will include physical and emotional health, nutrition, and sensory play. Children will have an opportunity to enjoy fun activities while their caregivers receive information on the importance of friendships, the relationship between sleep and good health, and an overview of harvest vegetables.

Inspired by Play Emmet is a Museum visitor who enjoys sharing his creation with Museum staff. We asked him a few questions about things he likes and things he makes. Emmet, what do you like to play? I like to play outside. I enjoy soccer and exploring electricity. What experience or which person shaped your interest in creating things? My dad.

What do you like working with? I use batteries and wires when I explore and create things. Also a lot of cardboard and bottles, as well as hot glue. What advice would you give to other children about the importance of play? Play gives you a break from screens and it helps your brain! 34 • Kid-oh! | September/October 2018

Dig It!

Saturday, September 22, 9 am – 4 pm Mankato, off the corner of Hoffman Road and Hwy 22 Join the Children’s Museum an earth-moving event that puts you in the driver’s seat! Come move, haul, lift, and explore construction equipment, with the help of expert operators. Cost is $10 for adults and $5 for children older than 12 months. Tickets are available at the Children’s Museum and will be sold at the door. Dig It! will offer something for all ages: certified operators will assist with mobile equipment and there will be parked machinery for children to explore. A Kid Zone area will include a large sand pile for playing and digging. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. The event is scheduled to happen rain or shine. Dress for the weather, as all of Dig It! will happen outdoors! Close-toed shoes, sunscreen, and clothes that can get dirty are recommended. Funds raised at Dig It! will support the continued success and growth of the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota. The Museum serves as a catalyst for building a stronger, more vibrant community around play so that all children in the region can share in a bright future of opportunity and well-being.

September/October 2018 | Kid-oh! • 35


Brought to you by

d n a m m Co Station

Get your family organized for school with this easy and inexpensive repurposed chalk board command station. These mirrors are a dime a dozen in the salvaging world and when you see them as is, it’s hard to see the potential of what they could be! This project is intended for the novice DIY -er using materials you should have on hand or that are easily accessible.

Materials: • Old Mirror • All Purpose Cleaner • Medium and Light Grit Sand Paper • Screw Driver

• Paint Brush

• Paint Primer

• Hooks

• Paint (in this case I used latex)

• Baskets

36 • Kid-oh! | September/October 2018

I would love to see your finished projects! Tag Salvage Sisters mercantile on IG or Salvage Sisters Mankato on Facebook

Step 1

Start by cleaning the frame with a strong allpurpose cleaner such as Simple Green because it helps take a little of the sheen of the finish from wood pieces, but you can clean with what you have. Lightly sand the whole piece with a medium grit paper by hand to help the primer “stick” to the wood.

I found this mirror in the basement of Salvage Sisters for $10.00 and although it didn’t have the glass, it did have a solid back panel that I knew could paint up nicely. If the mirror is intact, remove it from the frame before you begin.

Step 2

Once the mirror is dry and has a light sand, apply your primer. I used a general spray primer because it’s what I had on hand. If this were a piece of furniture I would use a different primer.

** It’s important to allow your paint to dry properly and lightly sand between coats.

Step 3

Use a spray or can of “Chalk Board Paint” found at any hardware or hobby store to paint the surface you plan to use for a chalkboard. It’s ok to have some over spray on the frame because you want the chalk board to have full coverage. If your frame has the mirror glass, you can paint over that at this point. Do at least 2 coats if not 3.

Step 5

Lightly sand the primer on the frame and add your first coat of paint. There are many varieties of paint that you may use, I used a latex paint from Diamond Vogel applied by brush but you can use spray paint too. If there are spindles, start on the back of the frame to ensure that it gets full coverage and you don’t damage the front of the frame during painting. Make sure the back is dry before you start on the front. After the coat is dry, lightly sand the surface, wipe clean and apply a second coat.

Step 6

After the paint is fully dry you may distress using a medium grit sand paper focusing on the edges and areas where natural distressing might occur. Once the bulk of the distressing is complete using the medium grit paper, use a fine grit to sand over the entire piece so smooth out and variations in the paint.

Step 7

Add hooks, baskets or any other organizational pieces you would like. Hang in a central location in your home to keep notes for the kids, schedule, calendar, homework, keys etc… September/October 2018 | Kid-oh! • 37

Paper Dolls

Carefully Cut-Out Paper Dolls

38 • Kid-oh! | September/October 2018

To make your paper dolls more durable: First look in the recycle for an old cereal box and glue the page of paper dolls on the cereal box. Next, when the glue is dry, carefully cut out dolls and outfits. Now you should be ready to play!

September/October 2018 | Kid-oh! • 39

What happened to the plant in math class?

What is the smartest state?

Q: Why aren’t you doing well in history?


What has 5 eyes and is lying on the water?


Where to pencils come from? A. Pennsylvania!

A. It grew square roots.

A. Because the teacher keeps on asking about things that happened before I was born!

What is the fruitiest subject at school? A. History, because it’s full of dates!

Q: Why did the pioneers cross the country in covered wagons?

Q: What is the capital of Alaska?



Why was the math book sad?


What did zero say to the number eight?

What kind of meals do math teachers eat? A.Square meals!

A. At the bottom!



A. Come on, Juneau this one!

Where was the Declaration of Independence signed?


A. Nice belt.

A. Because there were so many knights!


A. Because it had too many problems.

Why were the early days of history called the dark ages?


A. Alabama, it has four A’s and one B




A. The Mississippi River


Q: Why didn’t the two 4’s want any dinner?

A. Because they didn’t want to wait 40 years for a train!

A. Because they already 8!

40 • Kid-oh! | September/October 2018

What is you’re favorite part about going back to school?

Attention all ears?


Can you find you’re way through the corn maze?

Finish 42 • Kid-oh! | September/October 2018

Solution on Page 50

Decorate you’re pumpkins for the fall festival!


WHAT AM I spooky riddles?

A B C D E F G H I J K LMN O P Q R S T U VWX Y Z 1 26 3 24 5 22 7 20 9 18 11 16 13 14 15 12 17 10 19 8 21 6 23 4 25 2

This is a common little bug That many people fear This fear has a special name It’s arachnophobia. WHAT AM I?

Remove the seeds And carve a face Your front doorstep Is where it’s placed. WHAT AM I?

19 12 9 24 5 10 These winged creatures often scare people 12 21 18 12 11 9 14 If you touch one you are brave If you are in a creepy house They’re often found just hanging out And hear an unusual sound Upside down inside a cave. It might be this apparition WHAT AM I? Who can be seen floating around. WHAT AM I? 26 1 8 This structure isn’t somewhere You ever want to be Because it has lots of ghosts That make it so scary WHAT AM I? 20 1

21 14 8 5 24

20 15 21 19 5 44 • Kid-oh! | September/October 2018

7 20 15 19 8 If you are an archaeologist And you dig up an old tomb Beware this monster wrapped in linen Or else you might meet your doom. WHAT AM I? 13 21 13 13 25 Solution on Page 50

March/April 2018 | Kid-oh! • 45

Help the firefighter and Spot solve this fire safety crossword. Use the colors below to finish the firetruck. Red Yellow

Orange Brown

Blue Grey

POSSIBLE ANSWERS: Alarm, chimney, EMS, evacuate, extinguisher, fire drill, fire escape, firefighter, flames, heat, prevention, safety, smoke, water, drop

ACROSS 1. Stop, _____, and roll 3. What you see coming from a fire that can burn you 4. Emergency Medical Services 6. Used to put out fire 8. ________ detector 10. Liquid that comes out of a fire hose 12. A warning device 13. An escape plan that you practice to make sure everyone can get out of the house safely.

46 • Kid-oh! | September/October 2018

DOWN 2. Doing things that keep a fire from happening in the future is called fire _________. 3. A person who fights fires 5. An emergency exit 7. What you feel when you get too close to a fire 8. Protection from harm 9. Leave a building 11. The way Santa comes into the house and where smoke goes out from the fireplace.

Solution on Page 50

Supa Dupa Comics By Kasyn Zuehlke, age 11)

Make your own comic about the



September/October 2018 | Kid-oh! • 47



known as a storyteller with a paintbrush. By Julie Schrader David Geister - photo by Steve Timmer

Tell us about yourself, David.
 I am fortunate enough to be a picture book illustrator and history painter, married to a teacher who shares a passion for history and storytelling. I have two wonderful step-daughters and sons-in-law, and 4 adorable grandchildren. We all live in Minneapolis.

When did you discover your passion for drawing? 

I fell in love with drawing when I was very young – certainly before kindergarten.

What was your favorite book/books or author growing up? 

The Pippi Longstalking stories, Charlotte’s Web and MacKinlay Kantor’s Gettysburg.

Did you have a favorite illustrator growing up? Is there an artist/illustrator who inspired you? 

My favorite illustrator was Norman Rockwell, and later N.C. Wyeth, whose work still inspires me.

How did you get started illustrating children’s books?

I sort of fell into picture book illustration, when a publisher saw the work I had done for The History Channel Magazine and asked if I would be willing to illustrate one of their books. That first book was “The Legend of Minnesota”, written by Kathy-jo Wargin, published by Sleeping Bear Press in 2006.

What sort of media do you work with? 

I work almost exclusively with oil paint these days. I occasionally use pencil and chalk on tinted paper for drawings, and watercolor for sketches.

Does the author or publisher tell you what to draw or do you use your imagination when illustrating a book? 

Some publishers have a very specific idea about what they want to see, but typically I am given a LOT of freedom to design the illustrations. It is often easier when someone tells you what to draw. I find it is helpful to have a back and

48 • Kid-oh! | September/October 2018

Morning Fawn from Legend of Minnesota. forth conversation about the artwork – I like to know what the author had in mind when she or he wrote the story.

What kind of research do you do to prepare? Have you traveled anywhere interesting to research a particular subject? 
 I often do quite a bit of research to make sure the characters are dressed in the correct clothing for the timeperiod in which they live; their

What is your advice for kids who want to be an artist or illustrator?

Create something EVERY day. Always keep a sketch book and a few pencils with you wherever you go. While on a trip, instead of shooting 50 pictures with your camera, spend 20 minutes and sketch something that you see. Find a subject that you are passionate about – cars, horses, dragons, a moment in history – and draw and paint it whenever you can. You WILL get better, but only if you practice.

What are you working on now? into a trance. The worst part is dealing with the self-doubt and the feeling that a picture, no matter how well it works for the story, is never quite what I saw in my head when I imagined it.

If you didn’t draw, what would you do for work?

I’m working on book 9 of a 10-part series about Onyx, the Black Labrador mascot of a Coast Guard Search and Rescue Team. Just for fun, I’m trying to finish up a stopmotion animation movie about a goblin and a squirrel that I started 5 years ago. It takes a lot of patience! Read more about David Geister and order books on his website

I would build models and dioramas for museums.


DAVID GEISTER surroundings and the objects they use should all look appropriate. Trips to historic sites give me a better understanding of the world my characters inhabit. I even traveled to Washington, D.C., to see the Lincoln Memorial so that I could envision it for my book, Riding to Washington.

Which one of your character illustrations would you like to meet in real life and why?

Most of my characters are either real figures from history or based on them. I wish I could have met the real-life Werner Franz, who was the main character in my book, Surviving the Hindenburg, but he was quite old and in bad health, living in Germany when I worked on that book.

What do you like most and least about being an artist?

The best part about being an artist is getting lost in the work – when things are going well, I almost slide

Deep Valley Book Festival Saturday, October 13, 2018 Mankato Event Center 10 am to 4 pm You can meet David Geister, see him at work and have him personally sign his books! Books will be for sale at the event. David and his wife Pat Bauer (in costume) will present B is for Battle Cry, a special entertaining and interactive program for all ages, at 1:30 pm. This event is FREE to the public and a fantastic experience for the entire family!

Photo by Al Larson

September/October 2018 | Kid-oh! • 49



Attention all ears?


Can you find you’re way through the corn maze?








keepsake gifts for your little

Can you answer these WHAT AM I spooky riddles?

A B C D E F G H I J K LMN O P Q R S T U VWX Y Z 1 26 3 24 5 22 7 20 9 18 11 16 13 14 15 12 17 10 19 8 21 6 23 4 25 2


This is a common little bug That many people fear This fear has a special name It’s arachnophobia. WHAT AM I? S P I D E R 19 12 9 24 5 10

Celebrating Minnesota Authors and Books

Remove the seeds And carve a face Your front doorstep Is where it’s placed. WHAT AM I?

Authors and Appetizers Gala

P U M P K I N These winged creatures often scare people 12 21 18 12 11 9 14 If you touch one you are brave If you are in a creepy house They’re often found just hanging out And hear an unusual sound Upside down inside a cave. It might be this apparition WHAT AM I? Who can be seen floating around. B A T WHAT AM I? 26 1 8 G H O S T This structure isn’t somewhere 7 20 15 19 8 You ever want to be Because it has lots of ghosts If you are an archaeologist That make it so scary And you dig up an old tomb WHAT AM I? Beware this monster wrapped in linen H A U N T E D Or else you might meet your doom. 20 1 21 14 8 5 24 WHAT AM I? H O U S E M U M M Y 20 15 21 19 5 13 21 13 13 25

October 12 5:30pm


in the Mankato Mall

FREE PARKING in the Cherry Street Ramp







Meet Lorna and David at both Lorna Landvik the Gala and Book Festival!














Red Yellow

Orange Brown

Blue Grey


















































Use the colors below to finish the firetruck.





Help the firefighter and Spot solve this fire safety crossword.




readers and authors meet

Keynote Author


October 13

10am - 4pm Mankato Event Center



Deep Valley Book Festival






Alarm, chimney, EMS, evacuate, extinguisher, fire drill, fire escape, firefighter, flames, heat, prevention, safety, smoke, water, drop

ACROSS 1. Stop, _____, and roll 3. What you see coming from a fire that can burn you 4. Emergency Medical Services 6. Used to put out fire 8. ________ detector 10. Liquid that comes out of a fire hose 12. A warning device 13. An escape plan that you practice to make sure everyone can get out of the house safely.

DOWN 2. Doing things that keep a fire from happening in the future is called fire _________. 3. A person who fights fires 5. An emergency exit 7. What you feel when you get too close to a fire 8. Protection from harm 9. Leave a building 11. The way Santa comes into the house and where smoke goes out from the fireplace.

50 • Kid-oh! | September/October 2018

Gala Tickets

• Delicious Appetizers • Wine & Tea Tastings • Music by The Frye • Live sketch by David Geister • “Letting it Fly” comedy by Lorna Landvik $40 Advanced Ticket Tickets available NOW The Free Press Blue Earth County History Center

Keynote Illustrat or

David Geister

Festival is FREE Saturday

• Meet Authors, Illustrators & Publishers • Book Sales & Signings • Speakers and Programs • Used Book Sale • Raffle • Young Writer & Illustrator Contest Awards

The Authors & Appetizers Gala is a fundraiser for the Deep Valley Book Festival


This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Prairie Lakes Regional Art Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund

Fun For All Ages!

For more information

The Free Press MEDIA


September/October 2018 | Kid-oh! • 51

World-class & local:

EXPERIENCE FIVE OF MARRIOTT’S TOP SPAS IN ONE STATE: ALABAMA After a round of golf, enjoy a relaxing massage or body treatment at a great

at Montgomery, the Spa at Ross Bridge in Hoover and the Spa at the Battle

Marriott spa. In North America, five of the top Marriott and Renaissance

House in Mobile are always highly ranked for pampering their guests. All

spas are found on Alabama’s RTJ Spa Trail. For guest satisfaction, the Spa

five of these spas are part of the RTJ Resort Collection and feature innovate

at the Marriott Shoals in Florence and the Spa at the Grand Hotel in Pt. Clear

treatments inspired by Southern Hospitality. Clearly great golf and spas

are consistently ranked in Marriott’s top 10. For Renaissance Hotels, the Spa

work well together in Alabama. Come experience them for yourself.


Resort Collection on Alabama’s Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail ·

September/October 2018 | Kid-oh! • 53

Kid-oh! Magazine  

September / October 2018 edition - The Free Press Media

Kid-oh! Magazine  

September / October 2018 edition - The Free Press Media