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Summer 2017• Moms Just Know

Teaching “Character” In Your Children

Summer Bucket List

A Unique Reason to


28 Ideas to Start Yours Serving: Granger • Mishawaka • Elkhart • South Bend • Goshen & Surrounding Communities








FREE Public Art Exhibit on display until October 20! Reaching 10 amazing years of Quilt Gardens calls for a massive celebration! Grab the whole family and see how many poses you can recreate with 56 stunningly realistic life-size sculptures and a 25-foot tall monumental-scale sculpture by American artist Seward Johnson. While you’re out creating memories, enjoy 19 super-sized Quilt Gardens throughout Elkhart County!

Contributors President & Publisher:

Family Magazines of Michiana would love to hear from you! Please submit press releases, event information and inquiries to:

Sue Heinrich Managing Editor: Jessica Haviland

The FAMILY Magazines P.O. Box 577 Granger, IN 46530 PH: 269.228.8295 • FX: 574.217.4700


The FAMILY Magazines Summer 2017 Established in 2006. All rights reserved.

GRAPHIC DESIGN Manager: Zuzanna Zmud

Permission from the publisher is required for any reproduction or reprint of this publication.

Medical Editor: S. Jesse Hsieh, M.D.

Read The FAMILY Magazines online each month! Go to and flip the pages, cover-to-cover the organic and green way!

Distribution Manager: Chad Haviland

Volume 11: Number 5

Find the Hidden Acorn! For your enjoyment and fun!

On the Cover: A special Thank You to Steve Duval and his two beautiful daughters, Delaney & Londyn for being on our Summer issue of FAMILY Magazine! Thanks to Russel Liechty and his son Dan for allowing us to use the 1964 Rambler American.

Meet the Cover Photographer: Over the last 14 years, Nicole Waldron, photographer and owner of Classic Image Photography has lived, traveled and established photography clients throughout the country. With east coast and west coast influences, Classic Image Photography provides clients with unique images, custom art work and exceptional customer service. Specializing in family, senior and corporate photography, Nicole looks forward to serving you with all of your photographic needs.

574.855.1435 Please use the information compiled by Michiana Family Magazines for your research. Michiana Family Magazines recommends that parents and families interview each business or organization to make sure that it is safe and a good fit for your family. The information presented here and provided by Michiana Family Magazines is for informational purposes only and although every effort has been made to present accurate information, Michiana Family Magazines does not, in any way, accept responsibility for the accuracy of or consequences from the use of this information and/or for the businesses and organizations presented herein. We urge all parents and families to confirm any information given herein through additional research. The views and opinions expressed by the writers, event organizers and advertisers do not necessarily represent those of Michiana Family Publishing LLC, its officers, editors, staff or contributors.






Things We

Love Right Now! (at FAMILY)


t’s summer time, and the living is easy… so the song says. And I have to agree. Lazy summer days are the best! Sunshine, fresh air, outdoor dining, actually outdoor anything, water sports, picnics, long days, day trips, ice cream, cookouts, long walks, all sorts of wonderful things happen in the summertime. This summer at FAMILY Magazine we have decided to do a summer issue with all the good things of summer. Starting with the cover, who could resist a summer drive in a red convertible with the top down along county roads and country lanes? Many thanks go to Russel & Dan Liechty for allowing us to use his 1964 AMC Rambler for our cover shoot and to the Duval family for being the most delightful models. When I was growing up, we took a two-week vacation every year to the same small lake in Michigan where we swam and fished, had picnics and hiked in the state parks and played in the waves in Lake Michigan. With today’s busy life style and kids’ summer sports activities, that concept doesn’t work much anymore. Instead, a weekend trip is often the answer. And if you are wondering where to go, we have a special advertising section listing one-tank trips you can take in the area and summer festivals to take in. In addition, there is an article with 28 ideas for starting your own summer bucket list for things to do with your kids over the summer vacation. Sounds like a great idea to me. Of course you will want to remember the fun in photographs. Be sure to read about getting in front of the camera so that you record yourself in those family photos.

1. Sunshine! 2. Warm Days and Cooler Nights 3. The First Summer Storm 4. Beach Trips! 5. Getting Lost In A New Book 6. Planning First Birthdays 7. Going To The Zoo 8. Road Trips! 9. Windows Open 10. Slip & Slides 11. Sandals and Flip Flops 12. Sun Dresses 13. Building Sand Castles

Another activity for the summer is ensuring that over the summer your kids don’t forget everything they learned in school by encouraging reading, even participating in local library programs. You might take the suggestion of reading about the Knight’s Code of Chivalry with your children to teach them “character,” especially your sons. And, of course, there is Father’s Day, a day to celebrate Dad.

14. Drive-In Movie Theater 15. Hot Dogs On The Grill


I hope you have a wonderful summer filled with lots of lazy, hazy days and that you find time to read this summer issue of FAMILY Magazine!


Check it Out!


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By: Casey Kiel

Like '4Keeps' on Facebook or visit

FAMILY contributors

Meagan Church is married to her high-school sweetheart and is the mother of 3 kids. She is a writer and children’s book author. She is also the brainpower of the online resource Unexpectant, exploring the realities of birth, babies and beyond.

Noelle Elliott works in publicity. She is a writer and has been published on several websites and print publications. She is the owner and creator of the esteemed where she humorously shares the triumphs and failures of raising her four young sons. She is also the creator of the succesful local staged production, The Mamalogues. She happily lives in South Bend.

Reader Testimonials

Jackie Folkert is a mother of three and lives in South Bend. She is a freelance writer and an English teacher.

We’d LOVE to hear from you! CONTACT US

“My kids love the craft ideas that FAMILY Magazine has! It brings out their imaginations!”

“My grandma found this magazine for me and always brings me a few copies when she comes to visit!”

“I have bought several books on pregnancy but I always feel like the articles in FAMILY Magazine are more relatable!”

– Becky L.

– Nicole E.

– Casey M.




the FAMILY magazine table


contents 22


Live Your Best 4 From The Publisher 4 Things We Love Right Now 5 4Keeps Comic 5 Contributors & Testimonials 8 The FAMILY Month Calendar 14 Centerfold Calendar


Family Book Review

7 Leave Me Alone! By Vera Brosgol

Reviewed By: Rachael Schoonaert

Family Kids

10 Teaching “Character” In Your Children By: Jackie Folkert

Special Section:

12 A Unique Reason To Sign By: Meagan Church

Mommy and Daddy

14 Dear Mom, Get In Front Of The Camera This Summer By: Meagan Church

16 Father’s Day: A Day Just For Dad By: Lara Krupicka

Family Craft

18 DIY Photo Candle By: Jill Lebbin

20 Fun Festivals For The Family By: Phyllis Rose

22 Summer Bucket List Essentials: 28 Ideas To Start Yours By: Lara Krupicka


FAMILY kids book review

Leave Me Alone! By Vera Brosgol Reviewed By: Rachael Schoonaert, Youth Services Library Assistant, St. Joseph County Public Library

Image Courtesy:

It’s a busy day. Your “to-do” list is growing at alarming rates and you have no idea how you’re actually going to finish everything. Every time you put on your shoes, someone asks that perennial question...Why? “What’s on your shoe? Why are you leaving? Can I have a snack?” On your third attempt to leave the house for an errand run, you start to wonder if you’ll ever even begin that list. We’ve all been there, even Vera Brosgol, author of the picture book, Leave Me Alone!

The book tells the story of an old woman on a simple quest to get some peace and quiet. Winter is on the way, and she needs to finish knitting sweaters for her grandchildren. But among endless questions, and curious youngsters, she can’t get a moment’s peace. She leaves her rowdy homestead and heads to the forest, hoping to find some much needed quiet. Unfortunately, a family of hungry bears finds her, giving her no choice but to leave again. Before she goes, she gives a shout, “Leave me alone!” She tries the mountains, only to find some very troublesome, and hungry, goats. “Leave me alone!” Next, it’s on to the moon. Who else should our grandmother find but some curious aliens. She cannot catch a break! “Leave me alone!” Faced with no alternative, the grandmother is forced to take drastic action and enter the void. She opens a wormhole and is on her way. Quiet at last. She can knit in peace. She finishes her sweaters in no time. There’s just one problem with this’s lonely. So, she has a cup of tea, packs up her things and heads back home. Everything is just as she left it and she finds that she doesn’t need to say a thing. She’s home. The artwork in Leave Me Alone! is every bit as important as the writing. From the thoroughly confused bear to the subtle changes on the old woman’s face, the images tell the story in ways no words could. It’s a rare thing to find a book that appeals to readers both young and old. Kids will love the tiny aliens and the goats eating yarn like spaghetti, and adults will find humor in the old woman’s exasperation...and the tiny aliens and the goats eating yarn like spaghetti. If you like this book, or are looking for more picture books about solitude and friendship, check out Gus by Olivier Dunrea, Hector and Hummingbird by Nicholas John Frith or “Alone” in Days With Frog and Toad by Alfred Lobel. THE



SUMMER 2017!!!!!


July 8th: Linton’s Classic Car Cruise-In, 11:00 P.M., Linton’s Enchanted Gardens – Elkhart

FAMILY Magazine is giving away TWO Vera Bradley coloring books fun for all ages! Vera Bradley: Seize The Day Coloring Book Pattern Portfolio and Vera Bradley: Enjoy the Journey Coloring Book Pattern Portfolio has gorgeous patterns that are fun to color and display around your home! Visit FAMILY Magazine’s Facebook page on July 10th for your chance to win!

July 29th: 2nd Annual Rock N River Music Fest, All Day, Kamm Island – Mishawaka August 3rd – August 6th: 21st Annual Chalk The Block, 5:00 P.M., Downtown St. Joseph, Michigan Images Courtesy:

Scan this code to get to our Facebook page!

August 5th: LOGAN’s Run, 8:00 A.M., Notre Dame Campus

Summer Crafts For Kids August 19th: Bike Elkhart Quilt Garden Bike Tour, 7:00 A.M., Knights Of Columbus – Elkhart August 27th: Michiana Renaissance Festival, 10:00 A.M., Pinhook Park – South Bend

Homemade Sidewalk Chalk Paint

Ice Cream In A Bag

DIY Unicorn Kinetic Sand




DIY Outdoor Ring Toss Game Materials: - Large Wooden Crate - 12 Empty Glass Bottles Shaped Like A Wine Bottle - 8 Different Paint Colors - 4 Wooden Rings Directions: 1. Paint your wooden crate to desired color. 2. Paint the wooden rings a color not the same as the bottle colors. 3. Paint the glass bottles a different color (at least 2 each will be the same color). 4. Once all dried, place glass bottles in crate and start tossing! Craft found at






By: Jackie Folkert

“Character” In Your Children If you’re like me, you check for As and Bs first when you open their report cards. You silently cheer or groan then move on to glance at the citizenship category. Did they earn all checks in the satisfactory column? Score! But slow down—don’t assume that your child is the superstar of good character. Your child’s teacher may have chosen to overlook their tendency to cut in line, pick their nose or chicken-out when trying something new. Author and mother of four, Heather Haupt, said that kids—especially the boys—are getting away with being slackers because more parents and teachers aren’t expecting as much as they did in the past. Her book Knights in Training: Ten Principles for Raising Honorable, Courageous, and Compassionate Boys, urges parents to fight against the unfortunate image of the stereotypical American boy: he is crude, lazy, selfish, disengaged, entitled and dependent. Haupt wants parents to grasp that culture reinforces this negative identity for boys; she wants parents to fight it by suiting boys up with the armor of good character. But hold on—don’t feel defensive. Haupt feels your pain. Teaching kids to not be jerks isn’t easy. Her book, provides practical strategies for teaching good character by using the theme of the knights of the Middle Ages, a time period that kids find fascinating. Summer break from school provides the time for kids to play the part of a knight, thus reinforcing good character.

Concrete Strategies for Character-Building For Haupt, excusing bad behavior because boys will be boys doesn’t fly. She said that if she expects good behavior from her three sons, then she is more likely to get it. To present those expectations, Haupt refers to the Knight’s Code of Chivalry, a list of core values that she and her boys 10



discovered while studying the Middle Ages together. The code begins with love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength and ends with pursue excellence in all you do. Since her boys want to embody all that makes a knight—the strength, the courage, the heroism— they consider the code to be a syllabus for their lessons on character. The code is a compass that guides your teaching of solid values. Haupt suggests devoting a week per principle. Introduce the unit on one day, where you take an hour and read a few books about knighthood. (Her book includes a list of books that complement the lessons.) Then, she suggests that you arm them. With swords. Setting the stage properly is important to their engagement, so collect foam or wooden swords and shields. Let them have their own battles and invite friends for King Arthur and Sir Lancelot playdates. The stories of knights grip their readers, inspiring them to follow suit as heroes. Lancelot shows how “true greatness is found in serving others, in standing up for the weakest of the weak, in recognizing the needs and feelings of others,” writes Haupt. To teach kids the value of protecting those who are weak, Haupt offers ideas such as helping elderly neighbors, retuning a grocery cart to the store for someone, opening doors and sitting with someone at school who appears lonely. To further the lesson, she teaches her boys first-aid and the importance of volunteering. Spontaneous teachable moments are just are valuable; she teaches emotional literacy by asking her kids what they think that others are feeling.

If you are already playing the part of a real-world knight, let your kids tag along to see you in action. Markham said that her daughter joined her when she served those less fortunate in the community. “She worked with me at the shelter, serving meals, a few times. This is great to do in the summer, when you can actually be of help, rather than on Thanksgiving or Christmas when lots of people are offering to help,” she said. Recognizing the everyday things that you and your child might take for granted builds a mature perspective and leads to good character. Markham said that parents can make the crucial connection between their activities and the lessons they want their children to learn. "Say, ‘We are so lucky to have books/blankets/pie. Not everyone is that fortunate. We share what we can because people need to help each other in this world.’"

And What About the Damsels in Distress? One reason that Haupt made the Knight’s Code of Conduct her roadmap is that it specifically honors women. Her goals include protecting the dignity of her daughter (that she is not an object to be sexualized) as well as the dignity of her boys (that they are more than the sum of their sexual appetites). She creates a home that respects women. Her boys learn to speak respectfully, never hit and to look women in the eye.

To keep track of your kids’ progress over the summer, Haupt’s provides a chart on her blog that is more for you, the parent, than the child. The chart rewards kids with stickers when they attempt to live out a principle of the code. The chart is “not just for a star,” Haupt said. It helps her to see if she’s emphasized one principle over another.

Practice What You Preach Dr. Laura Markham, clinical psychologist, author and host of, reinforces that teaching character happens at home because children naturally copy their parents’ values. “If you curse at cars then they will too,” she said. As a parent, you retrain yourself in how you behave, she said. One way to do this is by speaking aloud your thoughts, e.g., “Boy, that driver didn’t look to see that we were next to him. I’m mad about that!”

“Children naturally copy their parents’ values.”

Her daughter learns to expect that same respect for herself. Haupt writes, “Teaching respect begins by recognizing sameness before differences. Our boys must recognize that the similarities of male and female far outweigh the differences.” For example, where as she might teach the value of empathy in one way to her daughter, she uses a different method for her sons. “I might say, ‘You are a knight in training, you need to recognize when someone is hurt,’” she said. Her boys value their ability to use their strength to help someone in trouble. “We want to appreciate a boy’s strength,” Haupt said. She tells her boys, “You have a potential for strength, and we want you to use it for good.” Girls and boys can learn empathy in different ways. Haupt is a leader in the discussion about raising boys and girls. She brainstorms practical ideas for raising children who will grow up to bless the world. Her blog about leading cultivated lives is Her book, Knights in Training: Ten Principles for Raising Honorable, Courageous, and Compassionate Boys, is available now! THE




A Unique Reason to


Why one high school student is learning and teaching his family sign language

By: Meagan Church





eaning a new language in high school may be a rite of passage for many students. But learning a new language, so you can teach it to your mom, dad and five siblings is not often the goal of most high school students. For Jarod Ramesh, that’s the exact reason he registered for American Sign Language (ASL) classes through Indiana Connections Academy (INCA). Rob and Rachel Ramesh have six kids. In a family that size, differences among kids are sure to exist. But with the Ramesh’s fifth child, they realized early on that something set him apart. “When Peytin was three, his two-year-old brother could hold an entire conversation, but we still couldn’t understand what Peytin was saying,” Rachel said. “That’s when our journey began and we started having him tested.” The journey included various doctors and different theories and diagnosis. It wasn’t until one doctor suggested doing a chromosome microarray that the Ramesh family learned how unique Peytin is. He was diagnosed with 17q21.31 microduplication—a very rare condition that only 10 people worldwide have been diagnosed with. “It affects five chromosomes that all revolve around brain development and function,” Rachel explained. “It affects every aspect of him. He has sensory processing disorder, sleep and eating problems, and severe ADHD.” The condition can easily be misdiagnosed as autism, but as Rachel said, “He’s extremely social. He loves everyone.” Peytin’s rare genetic disorder affects his ability to communicate. “He knows a lot of things in his head, but there’s a disconnect with his brain and his mouth,” his mom said. “Language is difficult for him. He’ll know what he wants to say, but forgets the words that he needs to say.” The family learned early on that he could communicate through sign language. In fact, “He introduced sign language to us. He didn’t know what he wanted to say, but he wanted to communicate, so he started using

his own version of made up sign language and his own signs. If that’s going to work, we decided we needed to learn real sign language.” For Peytin, talking through sign language can be easier than trying to form words. As Rachel explained, “It’s kinetic. You use your whole body when you sign. Using his hands is different than using his mouth. When he’s having a bad day and he can’t put his words together to say he needs to go to the bathroom, he can make the sign to get his point across.” The family had another reason to learn sign language. Their third child, Coltin, required hearing aids after suffering from multiple ear infections that left scarring that led to hearing loss. “We were told that Coltin would lose more of his hearing over time,” Rachel said. “We already use basic sign language with Peytin, and Coltin will obviously need it. That’s what prompted us to get a lot better at it. We wanted to be proactive.” While sign language classes existed, the cost was prohibitive for the family of eight to all attend. But that’s when Jarod, the Ramesh’s second oldest child, came up with an idea. “I knew it was very expensive to go to the lessons, but through school it was free,” Jarod said. “That’s when I decided to try to get in to the sign language class, and then I could turn around and teach it to my family.” “He told us he wanted to do it for us and help us communicate better and have that tool to help teach others,” Rachel said. The only problem was that when he attempted

to get in as a freshmen, the class was full. “He was really bummed when he didn’t get in. But he tried again when he was planning his sophomore year,” his mom said. “I will never forget when he called and said, ‘I got in!’” Jarod is in his first year of sign language and is already registered for his second year next fall. When he began the course, he knew only a few basics. “I didn’t know a lot when I started,” he said. “At times it has been really easy. At other times, it’s pretty intense. It is difficult to teach my family and to find the time to do it.” J.J. Ray, Jarod’s ASL teacher at INCA, didn’t know until half-way through the year that he was taking the class to help teach sign language to his family. “When I found out, I thought it was really cool of Jarod to take on that responsibility to not only learn for himself, but for his family. What an awesome opportunity!” The Ramesh family’s ability to talk to one another has definitely improved. “To put us in a room with a bunch of people who have been signing for a while, I’m not going to lie, we’d be lost. But, we can communicate easily with one another. It definitely helps. When Peytin is melting down, we can help calm him down. He will get stuck on words, but now instead of getting frustrated and angry and mad, he just switches to sign language. I love having this tool!” Through Jarod learning and teaching his family sign language, the entire family can communicate better with one another. “Jarod does a lot to help out his brother,” Rachel said. “I’m really proud of him.” THE



FAMILY mommy & daddy

All Mom's Can Use A Bit Of Encouragement!

Get in Front of the Camera this Summer By: Meagan Church

Dear Mom, I recently updated a large collage picture frame in our dining room. I carefully chose, printed and placed the ones I wanted. Then I rehung the behemoth of a frame and stepped back to admire. Each of the kids, my husband and even the dog were represented. (My apologies to the cat and the gerbils who I inadvertently overlooked.) I had even made it into a couple of the photos, thanks in part to the fact that my best friend had recently taken new family portraits of us. If it hadn’t been for that, finding a picture of myself was slim pickins’. Why? Because I’m always behind the camera. I know I’m not alone in this struggle. Though I perhaps over-document our kids’ lives in Instagrams and snapshots, I tend to under-document myself in photos. Of course, someone has to hold the camera and not every image needs to be a selfie, I reason to myself. But the truth is that so many events, vacations and day trips take place with little evidence that I was there. How often do we record our kids’ fun, yet we are no part of the images? That’s why I say this summer we need to step in front of the camera. I’m not suggesting a selfie overload, but I am saying that perhaps at some point, our kids will enjoy looking back on their childhoods and realize that, oh, yeah, Mom was there, too! She wasn’t just a camera holder. She was on her hands and knees building a sand castle or eating that triple decker ice cream cone,




while the sun set over Lake Michigan. She rode the Scrambler at the fair and lived to tell. Even Mom wore stars-and-stripes on the Fourth of July. This summer, step in front of the camera. Let your kids be the photographers. Ask your spouse or a friend to take some pictures. Shoot, strike up a conversation with a stranger and ask them to take a family photo for you. Don’t wait to lose those five, 10 or 30 pounds. Don’t wait until you find that super-slimming angle that hides what time and kids have done to your body. Will all of those images be share-worthy? No. Do all your Facebook friends need to see your two-piece? Perhaps not. But this isn’t about shares and likes and comments. It’s not about finding the angles that will reduce your double chin. And, it’s not about worrying what those old high school classmates may think about what you look like today. (I mean, why are we still wasting our time validating ourselves with their opinions?)

This is about documenting moments of your life for yourself, your husband and your children, so that years (or maybe just days) later you can look back and see just how much you enjoyed that sunset… and that deliciously drippy triple-decker ice cream cone.




FAMILY mommy & daddy

Father's Day: A Day Just For Dad By: Lara Krupicka

Ever since Richard Nixon signed a proclamation in 1972 making the second Sunday in June Father's Day, people have been officially honoring their dads. But unlike Mother's Day with its traditional flowers, candy and brunches, it can be hard to think of how to celebrate.




Since it's his day, why not make it all about Dad. Here are some ways you can put the spotlight on him: • Ask him in advance what his three favorite ways are to spend a lazy day. Then make sure your plans for Father's Day include at least one of those. • Plan a menu of Dad's top meals. Biscuits and gravy with a side of bacon and eggs for breakfast? Check! Lunch at his favorite hot dog stand? You got it! Steak on the grill with loaded mashed potatoes? Why not! Make it a point to keep Dad (and his stomach) happy all day long. • Give him the gift of time. Thankfully it's summertime, so you can easily find pastimes to please an outdoor-loving dad. Play ball in the yard or shoot hoops on the drive. Fly a kite at the park. Or play board games. If he likes to work with his hands, offer to work alongside Dad in the garden or in his workshop. Communicate to him that he's important to you by letting him see that you're happy to be with him, no matter what you're doing. • Dads can be hard to shop for. Instead of giving him another tie or cologne, why not pick up tickets to the movies or take him out to the arcade for a day of pinball machines and video games. Offer to wash and vacuum his car. Send him the smartphone version of his favorite board game. Give him the digital download of his favorite album. Dads don't always receive the recognition they deserve. So it helps to have a day set aside to focus on him use it in a way that best suits the dad in your life.

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Dozens of camp themes to choose from!

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*Discounts available!

One-Week Sessions . 8am-4:30pm $95 Half Day . $165 Full Day (per week)* Staffed by Certified ECS Teachers Before & After Care Available THE



FAMILY craft

DIY By: Jill Lebbin For more projects, visit

I love this project because it can be given for a number of reasons Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Birthday, Graduation, etc.. etc…

Photo Provided By: Jill Lebbin

Materials: •

Candle Jar

Gloss Clear Sticker Paper Full Sheet

Shipping Label Sticker Paper (Or Full Sheet Sticker Paper Would Work Too)


Wax Paper


Word Processor

Whether youʼre looking for a destination that includes beautiful fall colors, or wanting to run away to

A Division of Legacy Travel Group Steps: 1.

Peel off the label currently on the candle jar.


In your favorite Word processing program, insert your favorite photo and print onto the shipping label sticker paper.


Cut out the photo.


Place the photo on the wax paper.


Cut the Gloss Clear Sticker paper to a size that is about an inch bigger than your photo on each side.

a warm beach, let the destination wedding experts at Edgerton Travel help you find the perfect place to say, “I do.”

Pre-planned Group Travel destinations both Domestic and International Bring this ad into your local Edgerton Travel Office for a $50 discount on any travel package with a minimum value of $2,000 booked by June 30, 2017. Limit – 1 Coupon Per Reservation CODE SSYJUNE

6. Peel off the back off your clear sticker paper and put it over your photo. 7.

Push down to relieve any bubbles


Peel off the back to your shipping label paper and stick onto your candle.



ELKHART 1001 Parkway Ave., Ste. 2 Elkhart, IN 46516 (574) 294-3651 (800) 388-3437

MISHAWAKA SOUTH BEND 620 W. Edison Rd., Ste. 130 Mishawaka, IN 46545 (574) 256-2929 (800) 643-4604

LA PORTE 801 Indiana LaPorte, IN 46350 (219) 362-8502 (800) 634-3437


FORT WAYNE 9111 Lima Rd. Ft. Wayne, IN 46818 (260) 497-8747 (800) 873-3437



Article and Photos By: Phyllis Rose

Fun Festivals for the Family Fun festivals abound all around Michigan and Indiana, celebrating everything from woodpeckers to maple syrup to pickles to just plain old small town fun. And there’s something for everyone in the family from the youngest to the oldest. Here are my favorites:


Howell At the Howell Melon Festival, find the nearest booth selling the event’s signature melon ice cream. It often sells out and you don’t want to miss it. It’s wonderfully light and sweet, made from Howell melons, a cantaloupe hybrid grown locally and turned into ice cream by the Michigan State University dairy. After the ice cream, enjoy the beautiful items for sale in the Fine Arts and Wares booths. Then, visit the Depot Museum, 128 Wetmore St., built in 1886, and now the town’s historical museum. For more history, board a trolley for a history tour. We saw lots of beautiful Victorian homes, churches, and the 1881 Opera House where Ty Cobb’s birthday party was held. Before leaving, enjoy more melon ice cream! For more information: Middleville The Thornapple Woodpecker Festival celebrates not just woodpeckers but lots of our feathered friends. At the Village Hall, 100 E. Main St., in Middleville, a small town about 20 miles south of Grand Rapids, pick up an event schedule, look at the displays, and then head out on your woodpecker adventure. We followed the paved Paul Henry-Thornapple Trail along the Thornapple River for sightings of woodpeckers, cranes, warblers, and muskrats. A naturalist came along to help us identify the various birds. The highlight was seeing a redheaded woodpecker. Back in the Village Hall, we enjoyed presentations by a wildlife ecologist from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and a nature photographer. For more information:

Head for the Howell Melon Ice Cream stand to try to wonderfully tasty locally made ice cream during the Howell Melon Festival.


North Manchester We got so caught up in the history of North Manchester, we almost forgot we were there for the annual Fun Fest by the River. We started at the Center For History, 120 E. Main, to learn about the town. Located in the former Oppenheim Department Store building, the museum chronicles the town’s history and its ties to cigars, school desks, and Thomas Marshall, vicepresident under Woodrow Wilson. We then visited the home where Marshall was born, a few blocks away on Market Street. Then, we drove to the covered bridge on South Mill Street. Built in 1872, the bridge is on the National Register of Historic Places. We walked across, stopped to watch the canoers on the Eel River and then, we drove across the bridge. For more information: Roann Our visit to the Roann Covered Bridge Festival started at the Stockdale Mill, just outside town. Built in the 1850s, the mill on the Eel River ground grain for the local farmers. Stepping inside is like traveling back in time to a simpler life.

In town, we browsed the artists’ and vendors’ booths, shopped the antique stores, and looked at an old log cabin in a downtown park. From there, we drove to the Roann Covered Bridge, built in 1877. We walked across for scenic views of the Eel River. For more information: www.

Antique cars are a highlight of the parade during the annual Wakarusa Maple Syrup Festival.

St. Joe, Indiana It’s fun to be in a pickle when you visit the annual Pickle Festival in St. Joe, Indiana. We started with a tour of Sechler’s Pickle Factory, 5685 IN-1. We tasted a variety of pickles and then saw the whole pickling process from raw cucumbers to bottled pickles.




at Debbie Werbrouck School of Dance & Music.

All ages, styles and levels of classes. Visit our website for information and a virtual tour.

247-1590 Douglas Rd.

674-9353 Osceola

At the festival site in town, we enjoyed the arts and crafts tent, voted for our favorite art work in the Art and Photo Display, and sampled some pickle ice cream served up by the Lions Club. It was very tasty. Taking a mid-afternoon break, we watched the Grande Finale parade with tractors, trucks, a high school band, and lots of fun as float riders tossed tons of candy to the children along the route. For more information: So, don’t settle for a humdrum summer of trips to the beach or the local park. Instead, spice it up with some fun festivals where you’ll be making family memories.

Watch cucumbers being processed into pickles during a tour of Sechler's Pickle Factory when you go to St. Joe, Indiana, for the annual Pickle Festival. THE



Summer Bucket List

Essentials: 28 Ideas to Start Yours By: Lara Krupicka As parents we look to summer as an opportunity to capture memorable family times. But whether our kids' vacation days are spent lazing by a pool or learning new skills at a camp, the time speeds by. Soon we're scrambling to finish the many activities we promised ourselves we would do. To prevent summer fun from escaping, it helps to have a list of what you hope to do before the long break from school is over -what many moms like to call a "summer bucket list." If you haven't created yours yet, here are 28 ideas to start with:

 Catch fireflies and watch how they flicker. National Geographic notes that over 2,000 species of these beetles exist and each has its own unique pattern of blinks.  Go fishing or set out on a frog hunt.  Go to a baseball game. With major league teams playing 162 games per season and minor league teams playing an average of 140 games (not to mention local youth league games), you'll find plenty of opportunities to cheer on your favorite players.  Have a picnic lunch. Go more than once and try different menus: fried chicken, Italian hero sandwiches, hard sausage with cheese and crackers.  Take a boat ride (canoe, sailboat, motorboat, tall ship).  Roll down a grassy hill until you're dizzy.

 Make s'mores over a campfire. According to Girl Scouts of the USA, the first recorded recipe for "Some Mores" (later shortened to s'mores) appeared in a 1927 Girl Scout publication, "Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts." And if you want to make a celebration of it, eat your s'mores on August 10th, National S'Mores Day.  Eat cotton candy, snow cones, or elephant ears (preferably at a carnival).  Skip stones on a pond or lake. The North American Stone Skipping Association cites the Guinness World Record number of skips as 51. See how many you can get.  Bake a homemade apple pie. Or cherry or blueberry or rhubarb - you choose.  Teach your kids how to whistle with a piece of grass. Don't know how? Check out The Double-Daring Book

for Girls by Andrea J. Buchanan and Mirriam Peskowitz (William Morrow, 2009) for instructions on that and more fun activities.  Do a cannonball into a swimming pool (jump with both legs held up to your chest). Then try a can opener (hold one leg straight and the other up at your chest). Have a contest to see who can make the biggest splash.  Run a lemonade stand.  Go to an outdoor concert. You can see a big-name artist at a large venue or check out a municipal band concert in your area.  Make homemade ice cream during National Ice Cream month (in July, as designated by President Ronald Reagan in 1984). Crank it using an old-fashioned style machine, make a game of it using an ice cream maker ball, or go the easy route with an automatic ice cream maker.

 Visit your county fair and check out the award-winning livestock and 4-H entries.

 Have a watermelon seed spitting contest.

 Learn new jump rope jingles and say them while jumping rope. Find rhymes online at www.fungameskidsplay. com/jump-rope-rhymes.htm. Or buy a rhyme book such as Anna Banana by Joanna Cole.

 Sleep out under the stars. See how many constellations you can pick out. Use a smartphone stargazing app such as The Night Sky Lite (free on Android or iOS) or Star map ($5 on iOS) or Skymap (free on Android) to guide your search.

 Draw with chalk on a driveway or sidewalk. Play hopscotch while you're at it.  Go fruit picking for strawberries, cherries, blueberries or another summer fruit. Find a farm open for fruit picking, along with crop calendars showing which fruits are available when at  Take a day trip to a town or city you have never visited before.  Fly a kite. Buy one cheap at a dollar store or make your own using dowel rods and plastic trash bags. You can find instructions for a variety of models at Or try your hand at a dual-line stunt kite (available at hobby or toy stores).

United States and color in each one as you find it. Or track your progress on the License Plate Game app (for iOS). See if you can find them all before summer ends.

 Try a new mode of transportation (dune buggy, pedicab, mountainside cable car, streetcar).  Play croquet or bocce ball in your back yard.  Host a "Viking dinner" in your back yard. Serve salad, spaghetti, jello, and a cream pie - but don't provide any utensils (you decide whether guests can use their hands). Make sure everyone wears mess-worthy clothes.  Teach your kids how to play "kick the can."  Play the license plate game. Each time you're in the car, watch for out-ofstate license plates. Print a map of the

Add your own gotta-do-this activities to make the most of the summer months with your family. While you're at it, why not make "create a bucket list for next year" one of your goals, to keep track of new ideas you come across in the midst of this year's fun.

Minutes off I90 – Exit 49

Take a ride on three different steam railroads & experience machines of the industrial age.

Visit Doc’s

Bring this ad for a

Free Single Fare Train Ride

with purchase of same.* for lunch & ice cream. A 1930 vintage Soda Fountain

Look for the billboard at IN-39 & CR 1000 North GPS: 1201 East 1000 North LaPorte, IN 46350

*Not valid Labor Day Weekend. Offer not valid in combination with any other offer. No Cash Value Free ticket equal or lesser value. One per guest per day. Expires: 1/1/18 THE



FAMILY Magazine Summer 2017  

Connecting the Savvy Mom in Michiana

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