December 2021 | Winter Family Fun

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+ december 2021 | mtparent.com

After-School & PIR-Day Activities and more...

Winter

Family Fun


REIMAGINED PHOTO BACK DROP MAGICAL PHOTO CAPTURES QUALITY TIME WITH SANTA

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gallatinvalleymall.com/events


The Best Way to Spread Holiday Cheer (BESIDES SINGING LOUD FOR ALL TO HEAR)

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Kenyon Noble gift cards never expire! No fees deducted over time! Limit $400 in gift cards per person. See store for complete details. AVAILABLE NOW UNTIL 12/24/21

is buying Kenyon Noble Gift Cards for all your peers THIS HOLIDAY SEASON SHOP ONLINE AT KENYONNOBLE.COM OR IN STORES

BELGRADE | BOZEMAN | LIVINGSTON :: calendars, blog & more @ MTPARENT.COM ::

deceMber 2021

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December 2021

Winter

Family Fun

What’s Up? Montana What’s Up? Bozeman 31

Preschool Events & Activities 36

Ice Skating 18

What’s Up? Helena 39

Kids’N’Snow 19

What’s Up? West Yellowstone 40

Bozeman Stingrays Artistic Swimming Club 22 Cabin Fever Buggin’ Ya? 23

Holidays

Keeping it Real 25 Christmas Eve Visitors 26 december 2021

After-School & PIR-Day Activities 28

Nordic Skiing for the Family 16

Winter Animal Tracking 20

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PHOTO MARIAH ALLEN PHOTOGRAPHY

Columns

Family is Forever, Even When the Dynamic Shifts 42

Shrunken Apple Heads 43 Release and Reflect on 2021 44 Family Life on the Ranch 45

Monthly Giveaway: Crosscut 46


Art and Nature based Preschool for 3-5 year olds

ART • DANCE • MUSIC • NATURE EXPLORATION Full Day 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

or Half-Day 9 a.m.-12 p.m. Options - Monday through Friday

Our Summer Art Camp lets K-2nd graders join in the fun.

346 Gallatin Park Drive, Bozeman · (406) 579-7692

www.creativeartspreschool.org :: calendars, blog & more @ MTPARENT.COM ::

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Plan Your Kids’

SUMMER 2022

Roundup

fun »

Camp + Activities

summer

Montana Parent’s Online Sneak Peek Summer Edition

goes live

February 1, 2022 CAMPS & VENDORS:

promote

your unique summer programs in print and on social media!

register

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december 2021

ASHLEY DAWN PHOTOGRAPHY

for the Virtual roundup and submit your camp listing now at mtparent.com


Now hiring deli and seasonal holiday positions!

MONTANA THEMED GIFT BOXES, BUFFALO ELK AND BEEF SAUSAGES, SNACK STICKS AND JERKY. BUFFALO & ELK STEAKS, HUCKLEBERRY FAVORITES, SPECIALTY CHEESES.

Deli And Gift Shop • Open 7 Days A Week! The Chalet Market • 6410 Jackrabbit Lane, Belgrade, MT 59714 chaletmarket.com • 1-800-752-1029 • 406-388-4687 Located just south of the 1-90 interchange in Belgrade. We Ship!

We ship to USA and APO addresses! Order online and send a taste of Montana to your family and friends!

NEW LOCATION in the old Children’s Place in the Gallatin Valley Mall Limited retail fixtures from Giggles previous location for sale

LOOKING

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TOY?

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deceMber 2021

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NOW BOOKING 2023 SENIOR SESSIONS

montana parent

check out our

website!

LIMITED SESSIONS AVAILABLE

for more information, resources and fun things to do with your kids this spring visit

mtparent.com

montana parent magazine montana parent magazine of helena montana parent magazine of butte

PUBLISHER MEDIA MAVENS LLC PO BOX 11056, BOZEMAN, MT 59719 INFO@MTPARENT.COM EDITOR IN CHIEF/ACCOUNTING/OWNER LEIGH RIPLEY | LEIGH@MTPARENT.COM CREATIVE DIRECTOR/OWNER SHAUNESCY WILLARD | SHAUNESCY@MTPARENT.COM ADVERTISING/EVENT COORDINATOR/OWNER CORA DESANTIS | CORA@MTPARENT.COM ACCOUNT REPRESENTATIVE ALEXIS BRILL ALEXIS@MTPARENT.COM | 406-223-2775 ACCOUNT REPRESENTATIVE SANDRA JACOBS SANDRA@MTPARENT.COM | 406-599-6663

USA

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CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: LEIGH RIPLEY MAYA GOTZSCHE AND HEIDI MAKOUTZ LORI JO BERG BRITNEY GITCH PATTI ALBRECHT BLAIR FJESETH HELEN COLELLA ISABELLE LEOPARDI KATELYN COON REBECCA COLNAR * Montana Parent strives to provide accurate information and entertainment to our readers. Some content may be based on opinion of the author and may not represent our views. We want all voices to be heard, so we all can be educated on both sides of important issues.

LAYOUT & DESIGN SHAUNESCY WILLARD & JESSICA GEARY-CECOTTI COPY EDITORS ELEONORE SNOW & LEIGH RIPLEY AD DESIGN JESSICA GEARY-CECOTTI & SHAUNESCY WILLARD

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS: MARIAH ALLEN PHOTOGRAPHY TOWNSEND COLLECTIVE FLOATING LEAF STUDIOS THE JANSEN FAMILY

COVER PHOTO MARIAH ALLEN PHOTOGRAPHY BLOG JESSICA GEARY-CECOTTI ONLINE CALENDARS CALENDAR@MTPARENT.COM

• What’s Up? photos are from event social media pages if not supplied by the organization

SOCIAL MEDIA JESSICA GEARY-CECOTTI, SHAUNESCY WILLARD, CORA DESANTIS PRINT MAGAZINE DISTRIBUTION INFO@MTPARENT.COM

MONTANA’S BEST SENIOR PORTRAIT EXPERIENCE

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129 VILLAGE DR | SUITE 103A | BELGRADE WWW.MARIAHALLENSTUDIOS.COM

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A LIMITED NUMBER OF FREE PRINT COPIES ARE AVAILABLE EACH MONTH. PLEASE SHARE WITH A FRIEND, READ ONLINE OR SUBSCRIBE AT MTPARENT.COM THIS MAGAZINE IS PRINTED ON FSC CERTIFIED PAPER THAT IS 100% A PRODUCT OF USA.

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© COPYRIGHT 2021 BY MEDIA MAVENS LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRODUCTION IN WHOLE OR PART WITHOUT PERMISSION PROHIBITED.

PLEASE RECYCLE THIS MAGAZINE!


Your Winter Sports Destination • • • •

Group & Private Lessons 45km of Groomed Trails Ski Rentals (Classic & Skate) Snowshoe Rentals

• • • • •

Cross-Country Skiing Snowshoeing Fatbiking Night Skiing & Dog Days Masters and Youth Biathlon

J

Kids under 10 ski for

FREE!

More info at:

crosscutmt.org

TUE SDAY S CI ENCE

oin MOSS for Tuesday Science! Each month-long session revolves around an exciting science topic. Kids can discover what’s beneath their feet as a Junior Geologist, go from ‘ewwww’ to ‘awwwwe’ with Incredible Insects, and meet the newest spring residents with Animal Babies. Perfect for homeschool students or families looking for an afterschool program! WWW. O UTDOOR S CIENCE.ORG

For details and to register, visit www.outdoorscience.org/Tuesday-Science GRADES: K-5 TIME: 3:30 - 5:30 LOCATION: MOSS Campus COST: $95 per session for MOSS members; $100 for non-members *Discounted pricing for multiple session registration!

406-582-0526

K

S CHO OL’ S OUT (PI R) CA M P S

eep the learning up, even when school’s out! 2021 PIR Camps will be based fully outdoors on the MOSS Campus and we’ll return to Museum of the Rockies for 2022, allowing kids to tie each MOR exhibit to a different related science topic. For details and to register visit www.outdoorscience.org/pir-camps. GRADES: K-5 TIME: 9:00 - 5:00 LOCATION: MOSS, MOR, Livingston COST: $70 per day for MOSS members; $75 for non-members

:: calendars, blog & more @ MTPARENT.COM ::

NEW THIS YE AR! PIR CAM PS RUN 9AM-5P M!

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It’s a familiar scene in southwest Montana: Drive by any elementary or middle school around lunchtime and you will see kids happily playing, surrounded by a yard sale of winter clothing strewn about the playground. If, by chance, a child is wearing a coat, it is likely unzipped and flapping in the wind like butterfly wings.

I can recall winter days when my children came home with one boot. How does that happen? Or someone else’s boots (more reasonable). If the hats made it home, they were always wet from lying in a snowbank. Missing socks? We won’t even go into socks. That’s a complete loss from the onset of purchase. And then there were the gloves and mittens. An investment most new parents should be informed of … I’ll just say it. Buy stock in HEAD. Costco always has them for sale and, once you’ve accepted the fate of your kids’ gloves, you’ll be buying them in bulk. One year I chose to fight the glove battle. I stole a little goodie from the ‘70s, taking a string long enough to fit through one arm of a winter coat and out through the other. I then clipped the gloves to the end of the string on each end. The idea was that if the glove came off, it would still be a part of the jacket. The result? At the end of the day, my child would arrive home with a string caught up in one arm either with clips, or no clips, but definitely no gloves. You can bundle them up in a mummy-like puffy coat like little Randy Parker from A Christmas Story, but they are still going to undress on the playground, and they are destined to come home at some point without something. Or without everything. It happens. Go ahead, buy beautiful new color-coordinated outdoor gear and write their names on all of it. When your little Suzie leaves for school in all of her adorable name-bearing stuff, she will still come home with Amy’s hat and Lucy’s boots. So, while the lost and found table before winter break resembles donation day at Sacks, my suggestion to you is to buy used and inexpensive. Accept the fate of outdoor gear once it’s purchased and leaves your house. May all of your mittens come home in pairs.

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LEARN TO SKATE WITH GALLATIN ICE REGISTER ONLINE

GallatinIce.org/learn-to-skate Sunday 6-week Sessions begin January 23rd and March 6th

Tuesday 6-week Sessions begin January 25th and March 8th $75.00 for the 6-week session.

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deceMber 2021

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LOCAL VEGGIES ALL WINTER!

FOOD · FUN · MUSIC

SATURDAYS · 9 A.M. - NOON

SEPTEMBER - MAY Gallatin County Fairgrounds

September 25 October 9 & 23 November 13 & 20 December 18

January 8 & 22 February 5 & 12 March 19 & 26 April 16 & 30 May 21 & 28

Greens · Vegetables · Meat · Cheese · Eggs · Honey · Bread · Jam · Tea · Coffee · Breakfast Sponsors & Partners: Broken Ground, Montana Parent, Bozeman Community Coop, Gallatin Valley Botanical, Montana Ale Works, Gallatin Valley Farm to School

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december 2021

Credit Cards and Double SNAP EBT accepted.


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LEARN MORE at AchieveMontana.com

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For more information about Achieve Montana, download an Enrollment Kit at achievemontana.com or call 877.486.9271. The Enrollment Kit includes a Program Description that discusses investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other important information; read and consider it carefully before investing. Tax and other benefits are contingent on meeting other requirements and certain withdrawals are subject to federal, state, and local taxes. Achieve Montana account owners who are Montana residents are entitled up to a yearly $3,000 deduction to adjusted gross income per taxpayer, in computing their Montana State income tax, or $6,000 for those married, filing jointly, based on contributions to Achieve Montana. Contributions may be subject to recapture in certain circumstances.

Growing to meet your needs.

Until our new Ambulatory Destination Center is completed (scheduled to open in late spring 2022), patients will be seen in our transitional space, which is over 10,000 sq. ft. of clinical space, including exam and treatment rooms, lab and imaging services, all located on site.

Growing to meet your needs. 3901 Wellness Way Bozeman, MT 59718

Accepting patients now.

For decades, Billings Clinic has been serving the community of Bozeman with high quality, compassionate women’s and children’s services at our two locations in the Gallatin Valley. As our community continues to grow, so are we, by expanding our services to meet those needs by offering: • Radiology • Family Medicine • Urology • Internal Medicine • Occupational Medicine • Podiatry • Gastroenterology • Ophthalmology • Behavioral Health

If you need assistance finding a physician who is right for you or need to make an appointment, call 406-898-1200 or visit billingsclinicbozeman.com.

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deceMber 2021

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PSYCHIATRIC SERVICES BASED IN BOZEMAN, MONTANA.

Ali Gearhart, APRN, PMHNP-BC, PMH-C NOW ACCEPTING NEW PATIENTS Insurance Accepted (406) 551-2699 3950 Valley Commons Dr., Ste. 2 Bozeman, Montana 59718

www.grit-grace-mt.com

January is all about

January 2019 | mtparent.com

Babies!

Pregnancy and

Baby featuring the

Roots Wellness guide resources for pregnancy on page 17 to parenthood

january 2020

pregnancy & new ba

by

January 2021 | mtparent.com

Pregnancy &Baby 2022 Pregnancy &

Baby

Featuring the roots family collective perinatal guide

To advertise in the Montana Parent January 2022 Pregnancy & Baby issue, please contact your sales agent or info@mtparent.com. Reserve your ad space by December 10. All print ads due December 19, 2021.

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december 2021


Winter

Family Fun

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PHOTO MARIAH ALLEN PHOTOGRAPHY

deceMber 2021

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Nordic Skiing for the Family

WRITTEN BY MAYA GOTZSCHE AND HEIDI MAKOUTZ | PHOTOS TOWNSEND COLLECTIVE

With shorter days and colder temperatures, it’s easy to feel daunted by the pressure of getting your family outdoors. But not to fear...Nordic skiing provides an excellent opportunity for the entire family to spend time out in the snow, get the blood pumping and enjoy quality time together. Nordic skiing can be a financially accessible sport, and is an incredibly versatile activity that has something for every age, ability and experience level; whether it’s tromping through the woods looking for animal tracks or flying down freshly-groomed trails.

Programming Opportunities

Interested in getting your family on skinny skis but not sure where to start? No problem! Bozeman offers a lot of opportunities to get you gliding more efficiently. Below are some highlights of what two local nonprofits, Crosscut and Bridger Ski Foundation (BSF), are offering for the 2021-22 season. Crosscut Mountain Sports Center, adjacent to Bridger Bowl, offers school programs as well as learn to ski clinics, private lessons and biathlon teams for ages 10 through adult. Crosscut is continuing midweek education programs for K-8 remote learners and homeschoolers again this year. The monthlong sessions meet once per week for students to build ski skills and learn about the local

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environment. Each week, students will get the chance to explore new trails at Crosscut while engaging in place-based learning experiences, from snow science to learning about Indigenous Peoples. This program aims to spark a lifelong interest in skiing, and foster a connection between students and the natural world. The sessions will run from January through March, with options for either half- or full-day sessions. For adventurers ages 15 and up, Crosscut offers classic and skate learn-to-ski series, held during four successive sessions on Saturdays in January or February. Beginner classic group lessons are held every Sunday and private lessons for ages 10 and up are offered mid-December through mid-March, every day of the week but Monday and Wednesday. These classes aim to help every skier gain confidence in the inspiring surroundings beneath the Bridgers. For more information on these programs check out the Crosscut website. BSF also provides Nordic programs for the entire family, working with skiers ages 5 to adult to inspire a lifelong love of skiing, athletic excellence and personal growth. Whether you have never been on skis before, are looking to improve your technique or join a race team, BSF provides high quality instruction. They also hold fun, family-friendly events throughout the season. BSF’s programming can involve every member of your family in the Nordic ski

community, as well as give everyone a strong understanding of the fundamentals to go skiing on their own. Explore their website for more details. Both Crosscut and BSF offer private lessons if you are looking for individualized instruction. Professional and credentialed instructors will help you progress on your ski trajectory and tap into your growth mindset for gliding on the snow.

Trails for Everyone

Ready to get out there with your family? There are few towns that can boast of groomed ski trails within walking distance from Main Street. Check out the trails right in town at Sunset Hills and Highland Glen, or venture farther to Sourdough and Hyalite Canyons. All of these trails and more are groomed by BSF (70+km in the valley). You can also explore more than 45 kilometers of beautiful trails at Crosscut Mountain Sports Center. Grooming reports can be found on each organization’s website.

» Be sure to pick up a trail map (from a

local ski shop or from the BSF or Crosscut websites) and select a “green” beginner trail for your first few times out. Friends of Hyalite also makes a great winter trails map available for purchase at local ski shops for $5.


RIDGE KIDS IS LOOKING FOR FUN, RESPONSIBLE HELPERS OF ALL AGES! This position services our members, guests and their children by providing care for children while their guardians work out or leave the facility. DUTIES INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO:

Before Hitting the Trails

» Before heading out, make sure the

whole family is dressed appropriately for the weather. It’s helpful to wear a lot of layers so you can adjust if you get hot or cold. Bring a backpack to store any layers you might shed and to carry water, snacks, your trail map and an extra pair of mittens and socks.

» Whether you are renting or purchasing your own gear, check to make sure boots and bindings have a secure connection, and your poles are the right height (a little taller than armpit height for classic, and close to your upper lip for skate). We recommend starting out with wax-less “fishscale” classic skis when you are first learning.

Nordic skiing is an excellent, safe activity as we continue to navigate the COVID pandemic. Hope to see you out on the trails enjoying some family fun this winter! Maya Gotzsche is the Ski Education Program Manager at Crosscut Mountain Sports Center. Heidi Makoutz is the Bike and Ski School Program Manager at Crosscut, and the Adult Programs Head Coach for Bridger Ski Foundation.

Greeting parents and children

Attending monthly staff meetings

Using computer to check children in and out

Taking and processing checks, credit cards, and cash transactions

Regularly cleaning, including slides and tunnels (must be able to bend and crawl)

Working a variety of kids programs Providing comfort and care for children ages 6 weeks to 13 years

Diapering children when needed Caring for children ages 6 weeks to 11 years

Hours vary depending on available shifts. We are open Monday-Thursday 8:30am-7:00pm, Friday 8:30am-4:00pm and Saturday 8:00am-12:00pm. We also host birthday parties on Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00am-7:00pm. Apply onine at ridgeathletic.com/about/employment. For more information contact us at (406) 586-1737 or email us at ridgekids@ridgeathletic.com. 4181 Fallon St., Bozeman, MT 59718 (406) 586-1737 • ridgeathletic.com

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Why

Every mother is unique— so is every delivery. While our job is to ensure you have a healthy delivery, we want to do it your way. Let our team of experts provide you with award-winning care at our BabyFriendly® birth center. Make an appointment today! Call 406.222.3541 or visit LivingstonHealthCare.org

Ice Skating

May be Your Family’s New Favorite Winter Adventure WRITTEN BY LORI JO BERG

I’m not going to lie – I’ve lived in Montana my entire life and that first winter storm of the year still comes as a shock. First, my mind immediately races to all the things in my yard that should be winterized properly but aren’t. Then comes the same question year after year… “What in the heck are we going to do all winter?” Yes, of course, there is the wonderful skiing that we are fortunate to have so accessible. But let’s be honest, most of us aren’t skiing every day and when you add three kids to the mix…you get the picture. Sledding is fun too, but the wrecks plus the quick burnout from schlepping back up the hill again and again can make it a drag some days. This is exactly why we’ve ventured into the world of ice skating. When I was growing up in northeast Montana, in the middle of nowhere (and I do mean nowhere), ice skating was quite popular. And I now see why my parents built a rink in our backyard for me, my sisters and half the school to use when the weather was above zero degrees. The equipment pales in comparison to most winter activities in that all you need is a pair of ice skates. The hardest part of ice skating is finding a pair of skates for each family member. (I’d recommend looking at Play it Again Sports). I’ve recently learned that you can buy

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adjustable ice skates, which means they grow with your child for two to three years. Now you’re probably asking yourself the same question we all ask when we take our kids ice skating, “How do you teach them to actually stay upright and skate?” The key is giving kids a folding chair they can use to steady themselves and hold onto as they make their way around the rink. The chair allows them to stay upright and learn the motion of propelling themselves forward. Haynes Pavillion at the fairgrounds has little apparatuses for kids that work wonderfully (they also offer affordable ice-skating lessons). You don’t have to travel far to find a rink, either. Check out one of the many local outdoor rinks right in Bozeman, or Haynes Pavillion is a treat on those blustery days. And if your kids are too little to skate, pull them in a sled while you skate (yes, this takes some practice.) Oh, how I do love skiing. But some days I need something that doesn’t involve hours of packing, driving 45 minutes and carrying copious amounts of gear only to turn around and go home because the wind is blowing 40 mph. If you find yourself in the stage of life where “doing fun things” seems like more work than it’s worth, try ice skating. Lori Jo is a Montana Native, mother of three, and freelance writer who enjoys writing about the tougher side of life and connecting with her audience on a deeper level.


Kids'N'Snow

December through March in West Yellowstone The high mountain valley town of West Yellowstone averages more than 153 inches of snow each year. Depending on the year, snow starts to accumulate in late October and stays on the ground through mid-April. Getting outside and engaging in winter activities is critical for the kids in West Yellowstone. However, it can be hard to try something new, find a low-cost activity or find someone to teach you a winter sport.

Kids'N'Snow has grown tremendously with more than 1,000 participating families from more than 10 states and eight countries each winter. In 2012, the program was awarded the Montana Tourism Partnership of the Year, and in 2014 it was awarded an AZA Disney grant.

The Kids'N'Snow program (www.kidsnsnow. org) was developed to offer an opportunity for all kids, from West Yellowstone as well as winter visitors, the chance to try new things in a safe, fun, hands-on learning environment. And, hopefully, to develop lifelong healthy habits along the way.

Traditionally, each weekend has included a variety of outdoor activities such as snowshoe hikes with a Forest Service or Yellowstone Park Ranger, snowcoach rides into Yellowstone Park, Nordic skiing, rides with a sled dog team, M120 snowmobile rides and learning programs like identifying animal tracks and meeting raptors at the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center. Saturday evenings feature "Skating, S'mores and Sleddin'." During the January event, kids have the chance to learn how to ice fish (and get a free rod) as part of the NAIFC Kids Camp.

The Kids’N’Snow program started with a “test” weekend in December 2010, working with strategic partners to create a program just for kids in the winter. The weekend was so successful, it was expanded in 2011 into a full program featuring one kids’ weekend each month, December through March.

This winter, organizers are taking the programming back to basics as they rebound from the pandemic. Kids’N’Snow will take place one Saturday each month with educational programs at the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center, crafts at the Visitor Center, movie specials at the Yellowstone Giant Screen Theatre, a scavenger hunt, and s’mores, sledding

and skating at Pioneer Park. (Bring your own skates.) December activities will be offered in conjunction with the Christmas Stroll and Rodeo Run Sled Dog Races (for viewing only, no rides), January will feature the Kids Ice Fishing Camp courtesy of the National Ice Fishing Tournament, and March will include the Rendezvous Ski Race. The dates for the 2021/22 season

» December 18, 2021 » January 8, 2022 » February 5, 2022 » March 5, 2022. This wonderful community event and all of the activities offered are free, thanks to the generous support of local businesses, West Yellowstone Chamber, TBID, Town of West Yellowstone and many others. For more information call the Visitor Information Center at 406-646-7701 or visit DestinationYellowstone.com or kidsnsnow.org.

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Winter Animal Tracking WRITTEN BY BRITNEY GITCH

When you walk through sand, mud or snow, what do you leave behind? Footprints! Another word for footprints is tracks, and any animal that is large enough to sink into the ground can leave them. Even though the animal that left them may be gone, tracks tell a story about what happened while it was there. Animals leave different track patterns depending on how they move. Humans can run, skip and hop, but most of the time, we walk. Other animals have different but particular ways of moving. For example, a rabbit usually hops, a weasel usually bounds and a bear usually waddles. Take a look at some of the common movements of animals in the picture below. Find an area in the snow and try moving like a bounder, waddler and hopper. Afterward, grab an adult and head outside to embark on a track hunt. Can you identify what type of walker you find? Britney Gitch is the Program Director at Montana Outdoor Science School. Each winter, she loves helping kiddos identify animal signs in the snow. For more information on MOSS, visit outdoorscience.org.

Waddler

Bounders

Hoppers

Examples: wide-bodied animals (skunk, porcupine, raccoon, bear, opossum, wolverine)

Examples: long bodied, short legged animals (weasel, mink, fisher)

Examples: mouse, chipmunk, squirrel, rabbit

Walk in a pigeon-toed zig-zag fashion.

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Feet land side by side, leaving a 2x2 track. Hind feet land where front feet have left.

Big hind feet, little front feet. Large hind feet hop to the outside and beyond the front feet (overstriders).


Experienced midwifery for the birth and care you desire. Straight Walkers

Leave a ‘zig-zag’ pattern. Hind feet are placed in area where front feet were picked up. Examples: dogs, cats, hoofed animals

CASSIE BELZER, CNM, DNP, APRN

BROOKE CADWELL, CNM, APRN

WOMEN’S SPECIALISTS

DAGNY HAFKER, CNM

ASHLEY JONES, CNM, APRN

Call 406-414-5150 today to schedule your appointment with one of our wonderful midwives.

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deceMber 2021

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…inspiring people of all ages to FLY!

The Bozeman Stingrays

After School Classes Aerial Fitness Mama & Me Teen/Adult Classes Private Lessons

Artistic Swimming Club WRITTEN BY LORI JO BERG

The Bozeman Stingrays Artistic Swimming Club has been in Bozeman for quite some time. It started out as Marty’s Mermaids in 1974 and was renamed the Gel-a-phins in 1981. In 1997 it became the Bozeman Stingrays and most recently, the Bozeman Stingrays Artistic Swimming Club. Despite the name changes, the club has remained truly unique and is currently the only artistic swimming club in Montana. In the past, competing regionally was the main focus but COVID affected the club’s ability to continue on that path.

Summer Camps Birthday Parties Performances Aerial Bartending The sky is the limit! Find us online MountainAirDance.org (406) 595-0909 22

december 2021

When the pandemic hit, the club saw a significant turnover in both coaches and athletes. Traveling to compete was no longer feasible and the board knew a change needed to be made in order to survive. Nathan Kueh and Ying Liu, current board presidents, felt the focus had to shift from competitive “synchronized” swimming to more of a recreational club. Additional changes in the world of artistic swimming have made the sport more inclusive. The sport has recently opened up opportunities for men to participate, and the Bozeman Stingrays have embraced that move and now allow all genders to swim with the club. Currently, the club swims recreationally and practices for local performances that take place several times per year. These performances

consist of solos, duets, trios and small groups. The shows display a tremendous amount of balance, flexibility, strength, stamina and creativity. Performances are made up of multiple routines that have been choreographed to music. The performers typically wear waterproof makeup, glamorous swimwear and gelled hair as they dance in the water to all different types of music. It really is a sight to see, especially considering the swimmers do not touch any part of the pool for the full duration of the performance. Currently, there are 13 kids in the program, ranging from ages 6 to 18, practicing two to three times a week, depending on their level. You can try it free at any time – just get in touch with the club on their Facebook Page for more details. If you decide to join, you’ll be placed with a group of swimmers at your level and away you will go. If your child is burnt out from swimming competitions, competition in general or just wants to foster their creativeness in a unique way, this is a great opportunity. Check out the next water show on December 15 at the Swim Center in Bozeman to see the magic happen in person. Lori Jo is a Montana Native, mother of three, and freelance writer who enjoys writing about the tougher side of life and connecting with her audience on a deeper level.


Cabin Fever

Buggin Ya? WRITTEN PATTI ALBRECHT

Cabin fever affects families in different ways. Parents feel irritable and listless, while our kids bounce off the walls and tap dance on our nerves. The unrelenting chorus of, “We’re bored!” rings through the house. What’s a parent to do? Are your kids bugging you? Go see bugs! The Bug Wall at Earth’s Treasures intrigues even the youngest moppet. So many colors and shapes. Will the rainbow beetle be the first to grab their eye? Or will they face their fears and focus on the tarantula? Perhaps it’s the 10-inch long, pudgy, green stick bug that fascinates. No matter what, fascinated they will be, and bored they will not. Why are there leaves on the Bug Wall? No, they’re not leaves, but rather an insect that is a master of disguise: the walking leaf bug. This bug’s body, wings and legs are designed to look like green leaves. Some even have the appearance of rotting brown spots or a jagged, torn edge. When threatened, they can shudder or wobble to give the impression of a dead leaf blowing in the wind. This insect is such a great imposter that it can even fool its own species. Some have been seen nibbling on another leaf bug. Ouch! The Morpho butterfly’s intensely bright blue iridescence can seize attention from across a room. It is one of the largest butterflies and can have a wingspan of up to 8 inches. Besides being beautiful, they tend to be introverted. The Morpho has several unique abilities that reflect its desire to be left alone. The eggs can adjust their coloring to blend in with the leaves they are laid upon. It is very unusual for a species to be able to camouflage before birth. As a caterpillar, if approached, it emits a rotten egg smell. When a Morpho’s cocoon is touched it gives off an irritating high-pitched tone. As an adult, it flies through the jungle and seems to disappear each time it closes its wings. This is due to the brown underside of the bright blue wing. Eventually, even with bugs, your kiddo’s attention may fade. Thankfully, there are dinosaur fossils too. Patti Albrecht is the owner of Earth’s Treasures Fossil & Mineral Museum Gallery in Downtown Bozeman. She loves kids and their curiosity.

ILY M A F A SHIP R E B MEM A GREAT S MAKE DAY GIFT! I H SL Purchase yours today on our website! 2477 W. Main St. | 522.9087 | montanasciencecenter.org

:: calendars, blog & more @ MTPARENT.COM ::

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Holidays

PHOTO MARIAH ALLEN PHOTOGRAPHY

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Keeping it Real WRITTEN BY BLAIR FJESETH | PHOTOS MARIAH ALLEN PHOTOGRAPHY

Like most moms, I love and loathe the holiday season in equal measure. I see the excitement level in my kids rise the moment the Target toy catalog arrives, and it makes me want to do it all for them: the sledding, the hot cocoa, the cookie baking. I want them to have the Hallmark Holiday we’ve all fantasized over. And then, the anxiety begins to build as reality sets in. It’s hard enough surviving the other 11 months of the year, but December – she’s a beast. Managing the jolts to our regular schedules with holiday programs and recitals, adding a school break, handling children filled with holiday anticipation, lack of outdoor time, holiday parties, spending “quality time with the in-laws,” cleaning the house for those quality times and of course... the gifts. Purchasing, wrapping, making mental calculations so that each child is gifted equally. Buying thank you gifts for teachers, colleagues, bosses and extended family. And lest we forget, we also need to make a purchase to make the jolly old white guy look good. It’s a lot. It’s running an ultra-sprint on top of a marathon. And while my partner puts a lot of time and effort into raising our kids, when it comes to the holidays, it’s me who takes on the blocking and tackling. The world expects so much of us moms; they forget we need a holiday break too. Having anxiety or even a bout of depression is OK and normal. If you need to talk to someone, you can go to your primary care physician, make an appointment directly with a therapist or use an online service such as TalkSpace. Remember that before taking a plane ride, they

always instruct us to put our oxygen masks on before helping others. The same concept applies here. You can’t help others if you are not taking care of yourself. Create joy by committing to reaching out to the moms around you and telling them how good they are doing – that you see her and all she does for her family. You never know who is struggling and needs to hear this. Give yourself the gift of time. Lock yourself away for at least 5-10 minutes to breathe and mentally reset each day, twice a day if you can. Give yourself grace. Your children will remember the holiday vibe and not the specifics. If you are overly stressed and short-fused, they will remember that more than your ability to make 17 kinds of holiday cookies. Triage the season. What is most important? If it’s not at the top of the list, don’t have guilt over canceling it or taking it off the list. Put your mental health over the FOMO guilt we have for our children. As moms, we want them to experience the best of everything; we forget what a toll it takes. It’s OK for them not to do it all but to have more quality time with you. Read that again. It’s OK for them not to do it all. Lastly, do something for yourself. Book a massage for after the holiday or a “me” afternoon where you go and reset – whatever that looks like to you. So, while the world may have forgotten about us work mules... I mean, moms, let’s not forget ourselves. Blair Fjeseth is a working professional and proud Montana mom. You can reach her at blairparker. inc@gmail.com. Follow her Instagram @blair_mt for more adventures.

:: calendars, blog & more @ MTPARENT.COM ::

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CHRISTMAS EVE VISITORS WRITTEN BY HELEN COLELLA | PHOTOS MARIAH ALLEN PHOTOGRAPHY

It happened one night while reading a book. All of a sudden, the Christmas tree shook. It wiggled. It jiggled. It danced in place. That’s when I saw it! The fur covered face. I bent. I twisted. I leaned left, then right. Oh me, oh my! What a puzzling sight. It sat on the branch. It peeked out at me. I looked. I wondered. Now how could this be? I stared a moment. Just couldn’t believe. A squirrel in my tree on this Christmas Eve. His bushy tail swished. He dashed to and fro. He scurried about, with no place to go. Tree branches shook. Lights twinkled and sagged. Decorations drooped; some wiggled, some wagged. The squirrel turned in circles. He twisted about. This poor little fellow just wanted out. I thought for a moment, then knew what to do. Squirrels like peanuts, now that was the clue. I set down a trail he couldn’t ignore. He nibbled his way, made a path to the door. When his belly was full, he did not delay. He dashed out and about, then went on his way. 26

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With a burst of speed, across the white snow, he zigged and he zagged, knew just where to go. When he found his tree, he climbed way up high. He was home at last; I sighed a glad sigh. ‘Twas time to relax with Christmas so near. Santa was coming and soon would be here. I picked up my book and went back to read, proud to have helped this lost squirrel in need. I settled in on this cold winter night, but what did I hear, that gave me a fright? A squeak and a squeal. It sounded like a mouse. How is that possible here in my house? Socks on the mantle shook with a shiver. Something inside them caused quite a quiver. One little. Two little. Three little. Four. Grayish brown heads popped up to explore. A family of field mice checked out the view. Sniffing and twitching; oh, what could I do? I bent. I twisted. I leaned left, then right. Oh me, oh my! What a puzzling sight. How did they, why did they, all come this way? Were they cold or hungry or wanting to play?


I stared a moment. Just couldn’t believe. What I saw in my stockings on this Christmas Eve. The tiny mice family glanced all about. They looked high and low for a speedy way out. I thought for a moment then knew what to do. Mice like cheese, now that was the clue. I set down a trail they couldn’t ignore. They nibbled their way made a path to the door. When their bellies were full, they did not delay. They dashed outside and went on their way. With a burst of speed, across the white snow, they zigged and zagged, knew where to go. Right to the barn they scurried away. They were home at last. I shouted, “Hooray!” ‘Twas time to relax with Christmas so near. Santa was coming and soon would be here. I picked up my book and went back to read, proud to have helped a family in need. I settled in on this cold winter night. But what did I hear, that gave me a fright? Bumpity. Thumpity. Clickety. Clink. Noise from the rooftop made my heart sink.

I paused. I listened. I checked out the room. All of a sudden, I heard a CABOOM! Up from the chair, I moved in a flash. At the window I searched, looked for the crash. I bent. I twisted. I leaned left, then right. Oh me, oh my! What a puzzling sight. A big red bag tumbled onto the snow. “I’ll have to get it,” said a voice real low. It must be Santa. I’d now have the proof. He’s at my house, coming down off the roof. I zipped up my jacket. Dashed out on a quest. To meet him, greet him and say, “You’re the best!” I rushed outside. I looked all around. Santa went missing. But he could not be found. Now where could he go in the blink of an eye? Could he be in the house? I’ll give it a try. What did I see when I opened the door? A trail of presents I couldn’t ignore. Where did they come from? Were they for me? Should I unwrap them? I just had to see! I squeaked. I squealed. My excitement grew. My heart filled with joy. Now that was the clue. With a burst of speed across the white snow. I zigged. I zagged. I knew where to go. Back out in the yard, I looked up with delight. A sleigh and eight reindeer, flew up out of sight. “Thank you,” I shouted. “What a great Christmas Eve.” I knew he’d be back, because I believe. But wait just a minute, what did I just hear? “Merry Christmas to all and a Happy New Year.” :: calendars, blog & more @ MTPARENT.COM ::

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FALL/Winter 2021

After-school & PIR Day Activities

submit fall/winter listings now @ www.mtparent.com/submit-your-afterschool-activity-listing $50 per listing featured in print montly and in the online activity finder through January 2022 spring listings start Jan 1, 2022

Bozeman Barracuda Swim Club

Kids Yoga (Ages 5-11) » 407 W. Main St.

» 1121 W. Main St. » coachhans@ bozemanbarracudas.org » 830-308-8593 » www.bozemanbarracudas. org » www.facebook.com/ cudaspublic » www.instagram.com/ bozemanbarracudas

Founded in the late 1960’s, the Bozeman Barracuda Swim Team has provided children of the Gallatin Valley the opportunity to learn, engage and compete in swimming for more than 50 years. Whether your child has just figured out how to kick and float, wants to be more competitive in high school or is pursuing Olympic dreams, the Barracudas have a place for them. An emphasis on technique, graduated levels of instruction and training gives kids a chance to progress at their own pace. The Barracudas maintain a team of 80-160 swimmers, ages 5-22.

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Gallatin Valley YMCA PIR Day Programs

» ouryogafamily@ gmail.com » 406-209-9954

» 3673 Love Ln., Bozeman

» www.ouryogafamily. com

» yprograms@ gallatinvalleyymca.org

» www.instagram.com/ ouryogafamily/

» 406-994-9622 » www.gallatinvalleyymca. org/ » www.facebook.com/ Gallatin.Valley.YMCA » www.instagram.com/ gv_ymca/

YMCA PIR-day programs provide students with a safe and nurturing environment where they can develop healthy relationships and learn foundational skills through leadership, teamwork, individual growth and healthy lifestyles. Each day includes activities supporting the theme of the day with an abundance of fun added in. Similar to their summer day camps, they provide quality programming with trained, caring and fun staff. Campers should bring a sack lunch, swimsuit, water bottle and appropriate clothing for activity and/or weather. An afternoon snack is provided.

This energetic, yet relaxing yoga class is designed especially for elementary aged-children. During class children will learn yoga poses, breathing and relaxation exercises to help them maintain a sense of calm, increase strength, improve flexibility, enhance gross and fine motor skills, and learn to focus. Kids also learn the power of affirmation and positive thinking—who doesn’t need that skill! Each class ends with a period of relaxation.

Montana Ballet Company » 2304 N. 7th Ave., Suite C-3 » info@montanaballet.org » 406-582-8702 » www.montanaballet.org/ » www.facebook.com/ montanaballetco/ » www.instagram.com/ montanaballet/

Montana Ballet Company offers fine classical ballet instruction for all ages and abilities in a fun, educational and nurturing environment. Classes are held Monday through Friday, with performing opportunities available. MBC is a nonprofit arts and education organization in its 38th annual season. Classes are taught by a professional faculty with a focus on health and wellness and the whole dancer.


FALL/Winter 2021

Science Day Camps & After-school Programs

SEASONS AN AFTER SCHOOL GATHERING FOR GIRLS IN 6TH-8TH GRADE

to find freedom from stress by connecting with community, self, mindfulness, nature + creativity

» 2744 W. Main St.

Mountain Air Dance Aerial Arts School » The Emerson Center for the Arts » 111 S. Grand Ave. » cathy@ mountainairdance. org » 406-595-0909 » www. mountainairdance. org » www.facebook.com/ mountainairdance » www.instagram.com/ mtnairdance/

Mountain Air Dance is a nonprofit dance company founded in 2009 by Cathy Stone Werner, MFA. Their mission is to bring quality aerial arts to the Gallatin Valley and beyond through classes, workshops and performances. They strive to inspire and motivate people, help people find their inner-strength and to create more joy in life through aerial arts.

» info@ montanasciencecenter. org

Montana Outdoor Science School Tuesday Science and PIR Days » bgitch@ outdoorscience.org » 406-582-0526 » www.outdoorscience. org » www.facebook.com/ MontanaOutdoor ScienceSchool » www.instagram.com/ mt_moss/

Tuesday Science - Join MOSS for two hours on Tuesday afternoons to participate in place-based lessons, hands-on activities about natural science, and instructor-led nature hikes. Each month-long session revolves around an exciting science topic, the perfect variety to keep kids engaged. Great for homeschool students or families looking for an after-school program. PIR Days - Keep the learning up, even when school’s out! MOSS PIR Camps expose kids to a variety of science careers and engaging lessons to pique their interests!

» 406-522-9087 » www.MontanaScience Center.org » www.facebook.com/ montanasciencecenter » www.instagram.com/ montanasciencecenter

Montana Science Center hosts a variety of afterschool and PIR-day camps throughout the year to add hands-on exploration in science and high-tech to the school year. Day camps take place in the classroom, outside and in the high-tech makerspace, STEAMlab. Afterschool programs include Ultimate Science in the classroom and Open Lab + Teen Tech Squad in the STEAMlab. Let’s connect science and play after school at the Montana Science Center!

8 weeks to gather 8 sessions in studio 2 bonus hikes $360/person ~ snacks provided ~

September-November Led by Emma Capulong of Outside Wellness

sign up today + tell a friend! www.OURYOGAFAMILY.com

Seasons Outside Wellness » 407 W. Main St. » outsidewellness@ gmail.com » 208-921-3496 » www.wellnessliving.com » www.instagram.com/ outsidewellness

Seasons is an eight-session, after-school opportunity for safe, supportive and super fun intentional connections for female-identifying girls in sixth through eighth grade. In addition to two bonus hikes, the participants will go through each season of the year together: Spring/ Intentions, Summer/ Adventure, Autumn/ Creativity and Winter/Rest. In each session Seasons Outside Wellness will offer new skills and strategies for stress management and selfcare.

:: calendars, blog & more @ MTPARENT.COM ::

STEAM education using LEGO® bricks, K’nex, and other technologies » Snapology is held at Pilgrim Church in Bozeman and various Helena locations » steph.scott@ snapology.com » 406-438-7241 » www.helena@ snapology.com » www.facebook.com/ snapologyhelena » www.instagram.com/ snapology_of_helena/

Snapology uses LEGO bricks, K’nex and other technologies to teach more than 1,100 hours of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics) education. Their lessons are very engaging and the kids are learning valuable STEAM concepts. They are passionate about sparking early interest in STEAM fields. Every child that has taken a Snapology class has had a blast!

deceMber 2021

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A WHAT'S UP?

Montana FALL FAMILY EVENTS

Please visit mtparent.com/calendars for the latest family events happening in Southwest montana! EVENT INFORMATION IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE DUE TO POSSIBLE COVID RESTRICTIONS. PLEASE VISIT EVENT WEBSITES BEFORE ATTENDING.

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The Santa Experience at Gallatin Valley Mall Ho-Ho-Ho! Santa Claus is visiting the Gallatin Valley Mall Macy’s Court now through Christmas Eve! Experience the beautifully reimagined photo set, spend quality time chatting with the man in red and go home with magical memories captured by professional photographers, Winslow Studio. Santa is available Wednesday through Sunday, and his detailed schedule, including special photo events, can be viewed at gallatinvalleymall.com/events. Contactless visits are also available for those who feel more comfortable social distancing. With a few photography tricks and creative alternatives, our talented photographers can still capture special memories for you, whatever your comfort level. We invite you to join us for a magical holiday season at Gallatin Valley Mall!

helena

NOW ON EXHIBIT AT

995 Carousel Way Helena, MT 406.457.1800 explorationworks.org

EVENT INFORMATION IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE DUE TO POSSIBLE COVID RESTRICTIONS. PLEASE VISIT EVENT WEBSITES BEFORE ATTENDING. :: calendars, blog & more @ MTPARENT.COM ::

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Holiday Events in Downtown Bozeman Christmas Stroll Saturday, December 4, 2021 4:30-7:30 p.m. Be a part of downtown Bozeman’s greatest holiday tradition…the Christmas Stroll. Every year, Bozeman’s holiday season officially kicks off on the first Saturday in December. First, Santa Claus will work his way from the Emerson Cultural Center down Main Street, singing Christmas carols and lighting the downtown holiday lights with more than 5,000 people in tow. After that, you can enjoy horse-drawn wagon rides, pictures with Santa Claus, entertainment, holiday treats and much more. Buttons are available for purchase now at various Bozeman locations. The full schedule of events is available online at www.bozemandailychronicle.com.

Winter Art Walk Friday, December 10, 2021 6-8 p.m. The Downtown Bozeman Association and participating art galleries and businesses invite you to a special “Winter” Art Walk in December. Many galleries will feature artists’ openings and receptions and often provide hors d’oeuvres and complimentary refreshments. It’s also a wonderful chance to stroll downtown Bozeman, take in some art and culture and holiday shop. For more information on these events please visit www.downtownbozeman.org.

EVENT INFORMATION IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE DUE TO POSSIBLE COVID RESTRICTIONS. PLEASE VISIT EVENT WEBSITES BEFORE ATTENDING. 32

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2021 Santa Run for Education December 4, 2021 The seventh annual Santa Run for Education will take place on December 4, 2021. This annual event is a great way to kick off the Christmas Stroll and support the Bozeman Schools Foundation. Participation in the Santa Run helps to support high school seniors with scholarships, provides a book for every first grader in the Bozeman School District, awards Spark Grants for teachers, provides school supplies to families, funds STEM and music grants and allows the Bozeman Schools Foundation to continue their support of the Bozeman Public Schools, teachers, staff and students. The live and virtual 5K begins at 9 a.m. To register, visit runsignup.com/Race/MT/Bozeman/ SantaRunforEducation5K. There is no cost for children under 4 years; $25, 5-13 years; $35, 14 and up. No refunds on registration fees. Dogs are not allowed at the race, but strollers are welcome!

Christmas Extravaganza at Eagle Mount December 8, 2021 Eagle Mount invites the community to join them on December 8, from 5-8 p.m., for a Christmas Extravaganza at Eagle Mount. This event is free and will take place on the Eagle Mount campus. Enjoy a tree lighting, dance performance, pictures with Santa, the mini horses and many more activities. Registration is required, please visit Eagle Mount’s Christmas Extravaganza at myeventscenter.com.

Spring 2022

After school &PIR DAY

Activities

submit listings now @ www.mtparent.com/afterschool-finder $50 per activity listing featured in print and in the online activity finder through January 1-June 1, 2022 :: calendars, blog & more @ MTPARENT.COM ::

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THE BOZEMAN PUBLIC LIBRARY

Puzzle Exchange Looking for a new hobby? Do you love art, putting things together, getting away from screens AND reusing local resources? If so, you will love the Bozeman Public Library puzzle exchange.

A Holiday with Santa on Ice December 10, 2021 Join the Bozeman Figure Skating Club for Skate with Santa on December 10, from 5:45 to 7 p.m. at the Gallatin County Fairgrounds Gallatin Ice. Admission is $10, children under 3 are free, and skate rental is included. Attendees will enjoy a hot cocoa bar, raffle, prizes and a treat bar.

Bozeman Winter Farmers Market

How do I participate? It’s as easy as picking out a puzzle, taking it home, assembling it (with no time frame or deadline) and bringing it back to exchange for a new puzzle. No library card, checkout or check-in required.

What began more than 10 years ago as a small group of farmers selling veggies, the Bozeman Winter Farmers Market is now a large community of local farmers, ranchers, artisans, bakers and community members selling their winter produce and home-baked and homemade goods.

When is the Puzzle Exchange available? The Puzzle Exchange is available during library hours, currently 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday-Friday and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The library is closed on Sundays and Mondays.

BOZEMAN WINTER FARMERS MARKET DATES:

Where are the puzzles located in the library? The Puzzle Exchange is at the top of the wide, stone staircase on the second floor, just to the right of the Puzzle Table.

December 18 (Building 1 Fairgrounds) January 8 (Building 1 Fairgrounds) January 22 (Building 1 Fairgrounds) February 5 (Building 1 Fairgrounds) February 12 (Building 1 Fairgrounds) March 19 (Building 1 Fairgrounds) Mach 26 (Building 1 Fairgrounds) April 16 (Building 1 Fairgrounds) April 30 (Building 1 Fairgrounds) May 21 (Building 1 Fairgrounds) May 28 (Building 1 Fairgrounds)

What else should I know about puzzles? Puzzle time is a great chance to listen to audiobooks and music. Choose from a wide selection of audiobooks available on Libby, CD and Playaway at the library. The Hoopla app offers audiobooks in English and several other languages, as well as streaming music with no waiting for titles. These services are all free with your library card. For more information about the Puzzle Exchange, please call 406-582-2410 or visit the Bozeman Public Library in person or online at bozemanlibrary.org.

EVENT INFORMATION IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE DUE TO POSSIBLE COVID RESTRICTIONS. PLEASE VISIT EVENT WEBSITES BEFORE ATTENDING. 34

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February 13, 2022

CHINESE & RUSSIAN LESSONS RIGHT HERE, IN MONTANA! Language School in the Comfort of Your Home

Katya Grover

Accepting Students

14 years of age and up.

Ph.D. in Chinese Language & Second Language Acquisition native speaker of Russian

On February 13, 2022, help raise funds for Gallatin Valley families facing the unimaginable, pediatric cancer. Before indulging in tasty sips and snacks while watching the Super Bowl, come burn some calories, support The Bozeman 3 and have fun in the process. With your participation in this event, you will be supporting the families of children in Gallatin County who have been diagnosed with pediatric cancer. Dress up your self, your kiddos and your four-legged friends in your favorite football team apparel and help tackle pediatric cancer! NOTE: 100% of funds raised go to The Bozeman 3 families. The Bozeman 3 is a Bozeman-based nonprofit organization that supports Gallatin Valley families with kids diagnosed with cancer. The organization provides financial support for assistance with expenses that are not covered by insurance, serves as a platform for families to connect and provide support to each other as they navigate pediatric cancer with their child and donates funds to research organizations focused on improving treatments for children. Since its inception in 2012, the Bozeman 3 has been managed by an all-volunteer board and has provided support to more than 15 Gallatin Valley families.

online lessons but always in person www.HelenaLanguages.com

LanguageServicesAndConsulting@gmail.com

Super Bowl Fun Run Tackling Pediatric Cancer

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Community support is critical. The Bozeman 3 efforts are only as good as the support received from the community to continue providing assistance to these families and future families. The Super Bowl Fun Run will be live as well as virtual this year. The live event will be held at the Rocking R Bar and will kick off with a Kids 1K Fun Run. Champ and the MSU Spirit Squad will be there to cheer on kiddos on while they run. A 5k around Bozeman will follow with volunteers stationed around the course cheering runners on and helping them navigate the course. For those not comfortable joining in person, a virtual option will be offered, allowing racers to run (or walk) from any location they choose. For more information, visit The Bozeman 3 and Super Bowl Fun Run 5k on Facebook and Instagram. Volunteer needs for the event include:

» February 13 - Course Crew 15+ people, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: Help runners navigate the course and cheer them on

» February 13 - Face Painters, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: Face painting for all racers and family » One month prior to the event: Super Bowl Fun Run race information flyer distribution

Comprehensive Therapy Services for Independence and Growth ✦ Occupational and Physical Therapy ✦ Speech and Language Therapy ✦ Breastfeeding and Nutrition Services A warm and comfortable environment serving: Infants, Children and Women 300 N Willson Ave Suite #2005, Bozeman

throughout town

www.thecozynestmt.net

406-587-2755

EVENT INFORMATION IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE DUE TO POSSIBLE COVID RESTRICTIONS. PLEASE VISIT EVENT WEBSITES BEFORE ATTENDING. :: calendars, blog & more @ MTPARENT.COM ::

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preschool events & Activities WEEK OF THE BOZEMAN PARKS AND RECREATION DEPARTMENT YOUNG CHILD www.bozemanrecreation.activityreg.com Letters from Santa (all ages) November 12 through December 14 the Bozeman Parks and Recreation Department will be helping Santa send his letters. Call 406582-2290 to request yours, and be prepared to share information about your child to help with the letter.

» One week in April, 2022

www.naeyc.org/events/woyc or www.mtaeyc.org This week includes multiple activities for families with young kids. The 2022 schedule of events will be released in February or March of 2022 and includes discounts at local restaurants, a carnival, free activities and discounts in the community for music classes, art classes and more.

EARTH’S TREASURES www.earthstreasuresmt.com Story Mill Sprouts - Preschool Program

» Mondays and Wednesdays, 9-11 a.m. » November 29-December 15: Yuletide The popular Story Mill Sprouts Preschool program is back. “Sprouts” (ages 3-5 years) will have an opportunity to discover, learn and grow in a fun environment that encourages them to be their own unique selves. Sessions are offered monthly from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Story Mill Community Center. Sprouts must be toilet trained to attend without a guardian.

CHILD CARE CONNECTIONS ANNUAL COLORING CONTEST » Late March, early April, 2022 If your child LOVES to draw and color, enter the in this annual contest so we can share their artwork with the community!

Where else can you see an authentic Triceratops brow horn, meteorite, dinosaur poop AND bugs? For no admission fee! With staff supervision, kids can hold or feel the seldom seen. Staff is eager to share how the study of certain fossils sparked the invention of the submarine; or why the Morpho butterfly tends to be an introvert. Two quarters can buy a piece of history that lasts...forever. This shop is proud to be a resource of “where can we go find...?” They also stock picks, mini-shovels and gold pans needed to find “treasure.”

GALLATIN VALLEY YMCA www.gallatinvalleyymca.org Hawk’s Nest Early Learning:

» Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. » Ages 0-5 » Email Elcenter@gallatinvalleyymca.org for more information

The Gallatin Valley YMCA has operated Hawk’s Nest since 2012, serving teen parents, the Bozeman School District and YMCA employees. After recognizing the need for child care in the valley, the YMCA (with support from BSD) has decided to open enrollment at Hawk’s Nest to provide more families in our community with licensed and safe child care.

Child Watch:

» Mondays-Thursdays, 8 a.m.-11 a.m. and 4:30-6:30 p.m. Fridays, 8-11 a.m. Saturdays, 7:30-10:45 a.m.

» Ages: 8 weeks-9 years » YMCA member cost: $5/hr. or 10-hour punch card for $30

» Nonmember cost: $7/hr. As a benefit to valued members, the Gallatin Valley YMCA Child Watch program provides on-site child care during your visit to the facility. Staff is CPR/first-aid certified, and undergoes a background check and regular training to ensure the safety of children.

JUMPTIME Toddler Zone www.jumptimebozeman.com Jumptime’s soft, padded obstacle course gives those 5 and under their own space to test out their ninja skills. Many interactive games are offered as well.

EVENT INFORMATION IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE DUE TO POSSIBLE COVID RESTRICTIONS. PLEASE VISIT EVENT WEBSITES BEFORE ATTENDING. 36

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preschool events & Activities MONTANA BALLET COMPANY www.montanaballet.org/academy/register MBC offers a beginning ballet/creative movement class for children ages 3 to 4. No previous experience is necessary. If your child is 2½, potty-trained and able to participate independently, she/he is welcome to enroll.

MUSEUM OF THE ROCKIES

Open Air STEAM

» Mondays, 10 a.m. » Fee: Included with admission/membership Join MSC weekly outdoors (on the outdoor patio space with picnic tables) for a book reading, a hands-on STEM experiment and exploration in art — all based on a weekly theme. When the program has concluded, explore the exhibits in the Science Center. If the weather is inclement, participants will meet indoors at the Science Center. Recommended for ages 3-5.

MONTANA SCIENCE CENTER

MOTION ATHLETICS

www.montanasciencecenter.org

www.motionathleticscheer.com

» Preschool Science Series

Monday and Fridays, 10 and 11 a.m.

» Fee: Included with admission/membership Join MSC each week for shared story time, a hands-on experiment in a related STEM topic and take-home craft. Recommended for ages 2-5. MSC Parent Meet-Up

» Second Saturday of the month, 9:30 a.m.-noon

» Fee: Included with admission/membership New to parenting? New to the Gallatin Valley? Just want to meet some other parents? MSC’s Parent Meet-Up is for any and all parents who are looking for a weekend parent-and-me activity that encourages interaction and making new friends. This program will include nametags and activities so parents can get to know each other while kids play in interactive, STEMbased exhibits. Most Saturdays will also feature our STEAM Saturdays with guest presenters. Sponsored by Dino Drop-In.

Tot Movement Get your toddler moving with this fun movement class. Basic tumbling movement, trampoline jumping, climbing through obstacle courses and much more. Each child athlete needs to be accompanied by an encouraging adult who can maneuver over bouncy, soft and uneven surfaces. Kinder Tumbling Introduction to tumbling. Basic skills including forward and backward rolls, cartwheels and handstands, along with strength and flexibility for kids ages 4-6.

www.museumoftherockies.org/education Sensational Babies This programming is temporarily suspended due to COVID-19 programming constraints. Please visit www.museumoftherockies.org/youthfamilies/early-learning to keep up to date on the program. Read, talk, sing and play with your baby through sensory awareness activities and explorations designed specifically for newborns to age 3½. On the first Wednesday of every month, learn a new set of signs to enhance your baby’s cognitive, social and emotional development. This popular museum program promotes learning language skills with physical and social development.

Tours for Tots Families with preschoolers (ages 3–5) are welcome in a limited capacity for in-person preschool programming. This series of tours examines different areas of the museum with an early education focus. Each program offers a chance to ask questions as every subject is explored with a hands-on activity, art project and related story. The same program is offered twice in one week to accommodate more families. Face coverings are required for everyone 5 years of age and older and strongly encouraged for children between the ages of 2 and 4. Programs are free and for Museum of the Rockies members only. There is limited capacity for each program, and preregistration is required.

EVENT EVENT INFORMATION IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE DUE TODUE POSSIBLE COVID COVID RESTRICTIONS. INFORMATION IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE TO POSSIBLE RESTRICTIONS. PLEASEPLEASE VISIT EVENT WEBSITES BEFORE ATTENDING. VISIT EVENT WEBSITES BEFORE ATTENDING. :: calendars, blog & more @ MTPARENT.COM ::

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preschool events & Activities

MUSIC TOGETHER

THRIVE GYM DAYS » Thursdays, 10-11 a.m.

www.musictogetherbozeman.yourvirtuoso.com Kids Music (infants to age 5)

www.allthrive.org

» In-person indoor and outdoor classes

Thrive offers Gym Days on Thursdays at the Willson Gym. Toddlers will have plenty of space to run and play on tricycles and bouncy balls while parents can socialize.

Try a class for free (ask Music Kate), take advantage of sibling discounts and make-up class options. Please visit www. musictogetherbozeman.yourvirtuoso.com for schedules, classes, registration and much more information.

SPIRE YOUTH ACTIVITIES www.spireclimbingcenter.com/youth-programs Saturday Morning Youth Program is for ages 3 to 5. Class includes lots of rope climbing, as well as climbing-based games and exercises. The program is progressive, and each session builds upon skills taught in previous classes. This program runs during the public-school year and is offered in six-week sessions.

ROCKY CREEK FARM www.gallatinvalleybotanical.com/education Tours, field trips and farm visits, sleigh rides and more. Visit website for more information on upcoming events.

Preschool Youth Program exposes kids ages 3 to 5 to rock climbing in a safe and fun fashion. The program uses tons of climbing-related fun and games to keep the kids engaged, excited and will get your preschooler off the ground and scaling the walls! All gear is included. Instructor ratio 1:3.

SENTINEL RANCH ALPACAS – ALPACALAND www.sentinelranchalpacas.com Take a free ranch tour, pet the alpacas and learn more about them. You can take pictures with the alpacas and you can even feed them right out of your hand with their special grain blend. Special events are offered throughout the year including cria (babies) born from April-October, shearing from May-June, fiber sorting AugustOctober, alpaca herd health and alpaca “runs” all year long. Visit www.sentinelranchalpacas. com to learn more and schedule a visit.

EVENT INFORMATION IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE DUE TO POSSIBLE COVID RESTRICTIONS. PLEASE VISIT EVENT WEBSITES BEFORE ATTENDING. 38

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D WHAT'S UP?

Helena

Hockey, Theater, Sledding

and

More

December in helena WRITTEN BY BLAIR FJESETH

FLOATING LEAF

STUDIOS

Happy Holidays from our family here at Montana Parent to yours, wherever you may be. No matter your level of holiday cheer, we’ve searched high and low for a diverse list of events to take advantage of in Helena during the magical month of December. Kick off the holidays by attending Christmas in the Midtowne on December 4 from 5 to 8 p.m. This event is a great chance to slow down and breathe in the season with your family. Stop by the Vanilla Bean for festive cookies and live music by The Caseys. Mae and June will be open with all things cozy and Christmas. Virago Collaborative will have several pop-up vendors selling holiday gifts and stocking stuffers. The jury is still out on sleigh rides, but—if it’s anything like last year—this evening will be magical. Looking for something a little more fast-paced? Take in a Helena Big Horns Hockey Game. These games are fun for all ages. Dress warm, and come down to the rink for a home game (December 3, 4, 11 and 17). Speaking of ice skating, the Memorial Park Warming House Ice Skating Rink is a great place to spend an afternoon as a family. Opening day will depend on weather/ice, but will likely be toward the end of December. Keep an eye on the little rink

in the center of town. The warming house offers skate rentals and serves hot cocoa and snacks. In addition, Memorial Park (which is a kid favorite) is just on the other side of the fence. I love finding ways to teach my older children about supporting local community members and the value of shopping locally. There is no better event to kick this off than the Helena Holiday MADE fair. One of Montana’s largest local fairs, the Helena Holiday MADE fair is a modern handcrafted market featuring more than 180 talented artisans, local nonprofits, activities and delicious food and beverage options. Admission is free; doors open on December 4 at 10 am. This is a great event for parents and older children/teens. Playing from December 8 through 12 at the Helena Civic Center is Grandstreet Theater’s Beauty and the Beast, Jr. Based on the original Broadway production that ran for more than a decade, this show will entertain kids (and adults) from start to finish with its popular music, fantastic set designs and exceptional acting. Tickets are available online at grandstreettheatre.com.

For those who love the first snow of the holiday season, sledding is the best way to get out as a family, burn off some energy and have a million laughs. Fun Fact: Taking your kids sledding also counts as your workout for the week. While the Carroll College hill can be rather large for little legs (but super fun for older kids and adults), there are also more kid-friendly hills at Helena High School and, for really little legs, the field behind Vigilante stadium is perfect. Broadwater Hotsprings is an excellent hang-out during the winter months. This family-friendly place has specials ranging from live music, after-school soak specials, “brunch and soak,” and more. Parents can grab a beverage poolside while the kids swim, make friends and enjoy being outside while staying warm. On December 21, Broadwater Hotsprings will have a live band starting at 6 pm. The best way to follow along on weekly soak specials is to follow their Facebook page @BroadwaterHotSprings. End the year by cheering on the home team at a Carroll College basketball game. The Saints take on Lakeland College from Canada on December 31 at 7 p.m. If basketball isn’t enough to get you to go, Halo the dog, will be at the court giving out free hugs and high fives. Blair Fjeseth is a working professional and proud Montana mom. You can reach her at blairparker.inc@gmail.com. Follow her Instagram @ blair_mt for more adventures.

EVENT INFORMATION IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE DUE TO POSSIBLE COVID RESTRICTIONS. PLEASE VISIT EVENT WEBSITES BEFORE ATTENDING. :: calendars, blog & more @ MTPARENT.COM ::

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H west Yellowstone

Yellowstone National Park

Opens for Oversnow Travel December 15, 2021 Weather permitting, December 15 is the projected opening date for snowmobile and snowcoach travel for the winter season. The park’s oversnow season will be open until approximately March 15, 2022 when the roads close in preparation for spring.

SPAM Cup

Nordic Ski Race December 11, 2021 Skiers of all ages and abilities are invited to compete in Freestyle 1k, 5k and 10k races for the coveted customdesigned SPAM trophy along with serious bragging rights. In 1997, the SPAM Cup race series was developed by West Yellowstone locals Steve Morse (former owner of Nancy P’s Bakery) and Scott Carsley (former owner of Yellowstone Alpen Guides) to give skiers of all ages and abilities the opportunity to try Nordic ski racing for a low cost and without the pressure of a SuperTour, or other national race affiliation. At the time, the Rendezvous Race, held annually in March, was the only mid-winter race that brought skiers to town. Why “SPAM”? Because ...it just doesn’t matter! SPAM, the beloved canned meat, is not the healthiest food source if you’re a Nordic racer. This slogan and “mascot” were chosen to help attract those skiers who normally wouldn’t choose to race, but who did have a solid sense of humor. The winners of each distance race will win a one-of-a-kind, museum-worthy, handcrafted, West Yellowstone Ski Team decorated can of SPAM. You know you want one! All participants and spectators must purchase a trail pass. A day pass can be purchased at the fee tube at the Trailhead Building. Be sure to have exact change. You can also get day, season and family passes at Freeheel and Wheel, the Chamber of Commerce or the Hebgen Lake Ranger Station during regular business hours. Registered racers will be asked to show their pass prior to bib pick up. Day-of registration will be available at the Rendezvous Trailhead Building.

Roads scheduled to reopen: » West Entrance to Old Faithful » Mammoth to Old Faithful » Canyon to Norris » Canyon to Lake » Old Faithful to West Thumb » South Entrance to Lake » Lake to Lake Butte Overlook » East Entrance to Lake Butte Overlook (Sylvan Pass)

USFS Moonlight

Rendezvous

Ski Trail

Skiing and Snowshoeing December 17, 2021 Join the U.S. Forest Service at the Rendezvous Ski Trailhead on December 17, at 6 p.m., for a one-mile moonlight ski and snowshoe to the stadium area for a bonfire, hot chocolate and s'mores. Make sure to bring a headlamp (if desired), warm clothes, skis, showshoes or warm boots to get from the trailhead to the stadium area. This free event will take place again on January 15, February 12 and March 18. No dogs are allowed on the Rendezvous Trails. For more information, please contact the Hebgen Lake Ranger District at 406-823-6961.

EVENT INFORMATION IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE DUE TO POSSIBLE COVID RESTRICTIONS. PLEASE VISIT EVENT WEBSITES BEFORE ATTENDING. 40

december 2021


21’-22’

Kids ‘N’ Snow Back to Basics! December 18, 2021 With respect to the safety of visitors and residents, as well as those partners who are still returning to full staffing and programs, the Kids ‘N’ Snow program is taking a Back to Basics approach this winter. There will be afternoon movie specials at the Yellowstone Giant Screen Theatre, educational programs at the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, arts and crafts at the Visitor Center and Saturday night S’mores and Sledding at Pioneer Park (skating if you have your own skates). December programs will be held in conjunction with the Christmas Stroll, and January will offer the NAIFC Kids Ice Fishing Camp. The goals of Kids ‘N’ Snow is to take the fear out of first-ever winter experiences. Through the programs offered by strategic learning partners, kids and their families can get outdoors in the winter and try a new activity, like ice skating, cross country skiing or snowshoeing in a safe environment. Future Kids ‘N’ Snow events will take place on January 8, February 5 and March 5, 2022.

West Yellowstone

Planning local trips and beyond. Let me help craft your next experience. Designed to save you time and money.

Sled Dog Races – Rodeo Run December 18 & 19, 2021

Call or email to book today!

The yips of eager dogs will pierce the winter morning air as mushers prepare to move to the start line of the Sled Dog Races. Paws will pound across the Old Airport as sleds and mushers head off down the trail. Friday evening there will be a chance to meet the mushers and their canine athletes. A schedule of events can be found at destinationyellowstone.com.

Christina Dear

CDear.travelnow@gmail.com

406-404-0450

EVENT INFORMATION IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE DUE TO POSSIBLE COVID RESTRICTIONS. PLEASE VISIT EVENT WEBSITES BEFORE ATTENDING. :: calendars, blog & more @ MTPARENT.COM ::

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Family is Forever, Even When the Dynamic Shifts

WRITTEN BY ISABELLE LEOPARDI

My daughter had just turned 2, and my son was just shy of 6 months old when my husband and I decided to end our marriage. They were young enough to not know life before our divorce, which allowed us to establish a stronger foundation upon which to grow their lives. I knew that we were the authors of our divorce story, and that the experiences we chose to create would be the building blocks our children would learn to emulate in their own lives. I also knew that being able to co-parent successfully would reduce stress in our kids’ lives. My ex was reluctant, believing that it was impossible for divorced parents to coexist without anger, rage and resentment. Luckily, I had seen this successfully modeled for me in my house growing up, as my stepmom’s parents (who were divorced and remarried) all joined us around the family table to celebrate birthdays, holidays and life with beauty, kindness and love for one another. I had successfully created a child-centered co-parenting environment for our children. My ex and I were accomplishing the extraordinary, putting our own feelings aside in order to ensure our children felt safe and secure in the relationships they had with us both. My calendar revolved around his work schedule ensuring he was able to create lasting bonds with our kids. I included him and his family in activities, dinners and events for our children, and I spent time carefully crafting hand painted masterpieces the kids gave him on Father’s Day, and his birthday. We shared holidays and soaked in as much family time as we possibly could. This unity was the gift I wanted for myself and our children. I felt happy, and our kids were thriving in an environment infused with love and deep belonging. It felt pretty magnificent until everything changed and the dynamic we had purposefully created shattered into a million pieces. Events occurred that impacted our children and compromised their safety, forcing me to protect them. I knew that by taking a stand and

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saying “NO” to behavior that was harmful, I would become the target, but my love for our children was greater than the disappointment I felt in my ex, and I found the courage to advocate for our kids despite the pain I knew would come my way afterwards. My ex-husband immediately became hostile toward me, focusing all of his energy on retaliation instead of rehabilitation. This created uncertainty, fear and confusion in our children’s lives, and I see them struggling daily under the weight of it all. Instead of the safe, stable family they once knew, they now experience separate holidays, stricter visitation schedules and divided community. What was once magical and full of potential is now a painful memory of happier times. Through this shift, I decided to adjust our family dynamic once again, knowing that family is forever, and that – despite big changes – I can still create a stable foundation for our children by modeling love. I honor myself, live authentically and I show grace, forgiveness and kindness in all of my actions. I allow my heart to remain open, knowing that love is the answer to everything in life. I continue to live fully and unapologetically, knowing that at the end of the day, my children are learning how to respond by watching me. When they see me offer grace, compassion and kindness in the face of pain and suffering, I’m teaching them resilience. I am showing them that just because someone is unkind to me doesn’t mean I need to change myself to be unkind back. I am teaching my children that they can be whoever they want to be regardless of the people or situations around them. I am teaching them true power by holding onto mine!

Modeling love means that I support my kids when they want to buy their dad and stepmom gifts for Christmas, because that’s one of the examples I modeled for them during holidays past, and it shows the beautiful hearts they have today as a result. I chose to encourage our kids to love fully and forgive fiercely while also honoring themselves. My wish for you this holiday season is to know you are loved. That you are worthy, and that you are valued. I also hope that you feel empowered to honor yourself; to make choices that feel good inside your body and allow you to grow and shine in life. I encourage you to look past the pain of the past, and instead to focus on all the beauty you have the power to create today simply by shifting your mindset and current family dynamics. Isabelle Leopardi is a mom of six, registered nurse and holistic health practitioner who believes in the body’s innate ability to heal itself.


Shrunken Apple Heads WRITTEN BY BRITNEY GITCH

If you have a few apples in your kitchen, try this activity with your kids. It will have them thinking like a scientist and engineer by making and testing hypotheses, designing creepy or silly faces and recording their observations.

— Materials — Apples Spoon Toothpicks Beans Rise Water

Salt Lemon juice Science Journal (or blank pieces of paper) Colored pencils Measuring cups Large bowl

— Procedure — 1. O bserve your apple. What does it smell like, feel like and look like? Does it make any sounds when you tap on it? Write/draw your observations. 2. With the help of an adult, peel your apple. 3. D oes it smell different? How about the look and feel? Write/draw your observations. 4. L ike an engineer, draw the design that you want to carve into your apple. 5. U se your tools (toothpick and spoon) to carve your design. You can make a face, insect or anything that your imagination comes up with. 6. S tick the rice and beans in the apple to make eyes, teeth, buttons, etc. You could even put the toothpicks in to make arms. 7. G rab your Science Journal again and prepare to soak your apple in a mixture of lemon juice and saltwater for 15-20 minutes. 8. Make the lemon juice and saltwater solution: Use half of a lemon and a tablespoon of salt per two cups of water (scale up depending on how many heads you want to soak).

9. Plop your apple into the bowl. 10. Hypothesize: a. What do you think will happen to your apple? b. How do you think the lemon juice affects the apple? (Keeps it from turning brown) c. H ow do you think the saltwater affects the apple? (Helps pull water from the apple) 11. A fter 15-20 minutes, take your apple out of the solution and set it somewhere visible. 12. E very few days, grab your Science Journal and record your observations. 13. A fter two weeks, observe your shrunken apple head. Take a look back at your original hypothesis. Were you correct? If yes or no, why? Britney Gitch is the Program Director at Montana Outdoor Science School. She headed the Tuesday Science and PIR Day programs this fall, where kiddos tested and loved this activity. For more information on MOSS, visit outdoorscience.org.

:: calendars, blog & more @ MTPARENT.COM ::

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WRITTEN BY KATELYN COON

The seed is first planted in soil. With soil, water and sunlight, the seed will sprout and bloom. As the seasons shift, the bloom will shrivel and die, returning to the earth from whence it came. The cycle of life is predictable in this manner. We do not question it, we offer it the space it needs to take place, and allow it to go through its journey. So is the energetic cyclical pattern of our seasons to us. As winter approaches, there truly is no better time to reflect on the past months. I love taking a good look at the year prior, thanking it for the joy and sorrow and releasing it energetically. This prepares me for the calm energy that winter brings, and aids my body, mind and soul, to be more in tune and get ready to ramp up again in spring. Try my simple practice: Take a few deep breaths and think about 2021 and all that has happened in your life. Focus on the events and moments that stand out (good and bad), thank each one and then watch them return to the earth with grace. Even just a few minutes doing this will shift your perspective, strengthen your chakras and bring you peace. Do you think the wildflower mourns the coming of fall as it slowly fades back into the earth? It’s my opinion that the wildflower takes a big yawn and welcomes the cooler temps as its eyes become droopy. When at last they come back down to the ground, what a peaceful sleep they enjoy. They do not fight the cycle, nor mourn what may be missed. They have faith they will return the following spring. The analogy of the wildflower has always been a favorite of mine. While they may seem sweet and airy, wildflowers are fierce and bold. They pop up in the thickest of undergrowth, in harsh territory and are often unaccompanied by any surrounding friends. They fear not the trials they will face when trying to poke their way through grass, bush and twigs. They fear not being in harsh territory, nor being alone. I think we have much to learn from these wondrous little creations. After you have done the letting go meditation, open your eyes wide with peace in your soul. Winter is the season for harmony, rest and revitalization. Welcome all the blessings that winter can bring – palms up for receiving. When

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you shift your mindset from, “Things happen to you” to “Things happen through you and FOR you,” you will be amazed at all the blessings that surround you. You truly are a wildflower, filled with hope and courage for the year to come. Katelyn Coon is a local realtor and personal development enthusiast. She can be reached at katelyncoonmt@gmail.com. Follow her @katelyncoonrealestate or @becoming.a.lion.


family Life

on the Ranch

Ag Education Keeps Ranch Mom Busy ranch life WRITTEN BY REBECCA COLNAR PHOTOS BY JANSEN FAMILY

As a young woman who teaches agriculture education, Dana Jansen loves sharing her knowledge not only with students, but also with her own children. Jansen grew up in central Montana, and although her family wasn’t directly involved in farming, the community was farm-oriented, which gave her a good perspective on what it takes to grow food. After earning her degree in agricultural education, she and her husband, Jeremiah, went back to work on his parents’ ranch at the southern end of Golden Valley County. Jansen began teaching ag education and serving as FFA advisor in Broadview, where she currently teaches 60 students in grades seven through 12. “Agricultural education gives students a solid understanding of where their food comes from,” said Dana. “In addition, although not all students will choose a career in farming or ranching, they might discover there are many other careers out there with an agricultural focus besides production. It teaches them critical thinking and gives them the scope of modern agriculture.” Jansen and her husband have two children: Cantor, 5, and 2-year-old Jena.

“There is no child care anywhere near us, so we are fortunate to live on the same farmyard as Jeremiah’s family. The kids can always tag along with their father, grandfather or uncle,” Dana said.

“When you see Cantor interact with his classmates on the playground, even at his age, he shows a certain maturity, such as thinking about safety,” Jansen explained.

She explained that they background their calves, meaning once they wean the calves, the animals are in the family’s “feedlot” for 45 to 60 days. They receive a diet that is high in roughage. Feeding calves in a feedlot situation gets them accustomed to eating out of the feed bunk or trough that runs along the corral fence.

The summer of drought, grasshoppers and fires were hard on cows, ranchers and even ranch kids.

“Cantor loves going along to feed the calves with his grandpa; in fact, he didn’t want to go to preschool, as he was worried grandpa couldn’t feed the calves without him,” Dana noted. “The kids learn at a young age that caring for the livestock comes first. Cantor knows we have to take care of the cattle before we have fun. We have never pushed them to help us, but they always want to tag along and are interested in what we are doing.” Although the kids might miss out on those “must-dos,” like going to Disney World, they have a whole realm of experiences that teach them maturity, even at a young age.

“Cantor has learned where we have cattle and where the water is. This summer, however, was different. We had to haul water for the cows. Usually, when we are haying, Cantor is in the tractor with his grandpa, but because of the drought, we didn’t hay. He learned that you don’t have enough grass to hay in a dry summer, and you have to manage your resources carefully. In addition, we couldn’t leave our ranch and visit my parents because of the potential risk of fire. The kids missed seeing their other set of grandparents.” Despite the drawbacks, such as not going on summer vacation because of the drought, Jansen still praises raising kids on a ranch. “Sure, they miss out on doing some things like vacationing, but they are so fortunate to get those real-life experiences every day.” Rebecca Colnar is Director of Public Relations for Montana Farm Bureau and a freelance writer from Custer, Montana.

:: calendars, blog & more @ MTPARENT.COM ::

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win ENTER TO

$160

Family Ski Day at Crosscut

MONTHLY GIVEAWAY DEC

2021

How to enter:

Look for this post on the Montana Parent Facebook page starting December 1.

1. Like the post and Tag one friend 2. Follow @MontanaParentMagazine on

Facebook (if you don't already!) 3. Follow @crosscutmt.org on Facebook too!

Other info:

Enter for a chance to win Four day passes plus rental equipment for you to enjoy a day of skiing or snowshoeing on 45KM impeccably groomed trails ($160 value)! With trails and routes ranging from easy to intermediate to expert, Crosscut offers a mountain recreation experience for all ages and abilities.

Winner will be chosen at random and announced January 1. Must be 18 years of age to enter.

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december 2021

For more information about Crosscut Mountain Sports Center, visit:

www.crosscutmt.org


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deceMber 2021

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Here from the start. We’re here to help your child thrive from birth to adolescence, fostering health and wellness through all of life’s adventures. Schedule an appointment with one of our Bozeman Health pediatricians today.

Belgrade

Bozeman

Cottonwood

414-3334

414-4900

414-4100

MICHAEL BLAKE PHD, MD

KATIE D'ARDENNE, MD

WILLIAM ALLEN, JR, MD

PEPPER HENYON, MD

LYNNE FOSS, CPNP-PC

JULIE HANSEN, MD

DEBORAH CADES, PA-C

MELISSA SHEPHERD, FNP

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december 2021

PEDIATRICS

KRISTEN DAY, MD

MARK HODGSON, MD

CHRISTOPHER D'ARDENNE, MD

ANNIE HANSEN, NP