Page 1

Summer Camp Awaits!

Camp Michindoh Passing On What You Love The Value of Sharing Experiences Reading to Kids

Screen Time Slash

Reducing Pandemic Screen Time


and Suggestions for Free Fun!

popsicles, s'mores, & muffins Recipes for Summer!

Youth and Sports, Gardening with Kids, Book Recommendations, Painter's Tape Fun, Our Favorites for Suiting Up to Swim, What Gavin's Up To, and Calls from Brazley!


Adventure, Party of Seven? Your Vehicle is Ready!


Eric Hoffman, Jeff Hess, Chris Finch, Roger Karr, Chad Gibler, Jim Cole, Rob Sayles, Jeremy Taylor, Christopher Finch II, Rob Grossheim, Tim Kempter, Beshad Kowssaire, Steve Rzepka, Dustin Dihle, Billy Fielhauer, and Dustin Orns.



Offers shown may not be available to all customers. Incentives lists are examples of offers available at the time of posting and are subject to change and expiration. Not all incentives can be redeemed together. Not all buyers will qualify for Ford Credit financing or other offers. Restrictions apply. See your local dealer for complete details.

from the publisher

This issue should help you all enjoy the summer with recipes for s’mores and popsicles, tips for gardening with kids, and the joy of shared interests. We also have articles about how to pare back screen time, the importance of helping your children find sports they want to play, input from our regular columnists, and more.


Marlanea McGraw and her two sons.

Please take a look at the ads as well as the articles, because we owe our existence to the faithful area businesses who believe in this publication enough to make it possible through their advertising support. As much as is feasible, please use local retailers, professionals, and service providers whenever you can. Parents, it’s been a long, LONG, hard road, and we hope you will be able to set aside lots of time this summer just to have fun with your children! Wishing you a safe, mask-free season!


www.hillsdalebuickgmc.com I 99 W Carleton Rd, Hillsdale, MI 49242 I 517-437-7334

AT LAST! By the time this issue reaches you, if all goes well, Michigan will be out from under all COVID restriction mandates. So, I’m hoping that all of you are out there enjoying life without masks! (Just a hint, though— remember that we need to go back to making sure we don’t have something stuck in our teeth before we leave the house.) I’m sure that parents of young children are especially glad to bid masks good-bye. I can just imagine what a hassle it has been!



take a look at what's inside Summer 2021

the regulars

the cover

Business Spotlight Tranquil Parenting

Ask the Doctor Nichole Ellis, D.O., is in!

Summer Camp Awaits at Camp Michindoh!

Gray Matters

Passing On What You Love

by Melissa McCance

Muscle Up! Live Fit!

Surrounded by 250 acres of beautiful woods and grounds, the Michindoh Conference Center lies less than five miles east of downtown Hillsdale but gives you the feeling of being well away from city bustle. Come summer, a varied and extensive camp program takes center stage. Every week of camp offers creative programming and activity choices designed to create the best experiences for each specific age group. To learn more, see the article on page 6.

Let the Kids Have Fun!

Grow Where You're Planted Gardening with Kids

A Few of Our Favorite Things Swimming Edition

The Up Side of Down Syndrome Phone Calls and Finding Rainbows

Letters To Gavin The "Threenager"

thank you to our advertisers Adventure Zone Becker & Scrivens Belson Asphalt CAPA Cottage Inn Pizza County National Bank D&D Heating & Cooling El Cerrito Mexican Restaurant Finish Line Family Restaurant



31 13 37 13 21 39 13 23 11

Gene's Auto Service, LLC Glory to God Griffiths Mechanical Hillsdale Buick GMC Hillsdale County Conservation Club Hillsdale Craft Supply Hillsdale Family Chiropractic Hillsdale Hospital Hillsdale Towing

31 23 39 3 13 13 31 48 19

Jonesville Lumber Kimball Camp Len-Air Lynch Bros My Turn To Drive Narrows Campground Prime Fitness Studio Rosalie's Roadhouse Small Town Sweet Boutique

11, 37 25 47 31 31 23 15 29 21

the features

the recommended

Screen Intense to Screen Sense

Let's Read!


What's App?

Curbing Pandemic Screen Time

Book Recommendations

Apps for Summer Fun!

Homemade Popsicles, S'mores, & Muffins

Budgeting for Summer Fun And Free Things You Can Do To Save!

Telling or Tattling

the mp staff graphic design editor

Help Your Kids Understand the Difference

DIY Summer Fun

Bubbles, Chalk Paint, and Play Dough

One Hundred Years of Summer In Our State Parks Exploring Michigan

Rainy Days & Rolls of Tape Indoor Fun with Painter's Tape

Stillwell Ford Lincoln The Pediatric Place Toasted Mud Tranquil Parenting Will Carleton Acadamy Willow Pediatric Dentistry PSA

2 11 13 9 30 19 35

Melissa McCance

Angie Blake Sara Galloway



Rhonda Boone Hannah Sayles Sherry Sheffer Cyndi Young

Angie Blake James Campbell Nichole Ellis, D.O. Sara Galloway Sarah Gray Alexis Hiles Melissa McCance Cierra Snyder Rachel Yoder

for information

on how to submit story ideas, concerns, or information on how to advertise, please contact Marlanea McGraw at (517) 320-9235 or email sales@simplyhers.net Michigan Parent magazine makes every effort to provide accurate information in advertising and editorial content, however, does not make any claims as to accuracy of information provided by advertisers or editorial contributors and accepts no responsibility or liability for inaccurate information.



Michindoh Conference Center written by Melissa McCance

Summer camp awaits! Surrounded by 250 acres of beautiful woods and grounds, the Michindoh Conference Center lies less than five miles east of downtown Hillsdale but gives you the feeling of being well away from city bustle. The facility is extensive and includes three separate campuses around their private lake. The East and West campuses are used primarily by businesses and organizations for conferences, while the summer camp program is located at the Harmony Springs campus. In addition to the conferences and summer camp, Michindoh also offers an outdoor education program which runs fun camp programs for schools that are centered in outdoor learning and activities. Come summer, a varied and extensive camp program takes center stage. Every week of camp offers creative programming and activity choices designed to create the best experiences for each specific age group. Overnight camp runs from Sunday to Friday offering different camps for a variety of age groups and day camp runs Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. for children ages five to ten. Each day at Michindoh brings unique adventures and memories that can last a lifetime. When day campers arrive each morning, they are greeted by their counselors and together in their cabin groups spend time interacting with stories from the Bible. This is followed by two hours at Michindoh’s amazing waterfront. This includes a beach, a 300-foot water slide, and an inflatable water park among many other activities. Snack foods,



candy, beverages, and souvenirs are available for purchase at the snack shack. After a lunch provided by Michindoh, cabins rotate through three different activity periods before ending the day with a big group game. For younger children who are ready for residential camp, Discovery Camp provides a transition to overnight camping. Designed for children ages seven to nine, this camp includes two half-days, one full day, and two nights on site. Cabins follow a schedule similar to day camp but there’s an evening program which includes a dinner cook-out. During the day, Discovery campers have the opportunity to enjoy Michindoh’s nature center, rock-climbing, archery, and other fun activities that give a taste of what Michindoh has to offer. In order to create a stable environment for those new to spending nights away from home, campers spend a majority of their time within their cabin groups. There are two Discovery Camp sessions planned for 2021. For our older camps, mornings are geared towards helping campers bond within their cabins, beginning with sharing a delicious breakfast and flowing into a camp session centered on engaging ideas from a Christian worldview. This session is called Rationalize. After that, cabins participate in fun and challenging cabin activities which are aimed at enhancing friendships among cabin mates. On the flip side, afternoons include opportunities for individuals to create their own experience by choosing from an assortment of great camp activities. There are two activity slots followed

by two hours of free time at the waterfront. While at the waterfront, counselors often use this time intentionally to check in with their campers through one-on-one connections. Every week of camp has a theme, and evenings are when this really comes to the fore. Michindoh’s Camp Director, Darren Kendall, explains it this way: “Stories are powerful, they have a way of pulling us into something bigger than ourselves and drawing out the adventurer in all of us. This is why we focus not only on great activities, but also creative programming, creating unique experiences that resonate with our campers’ wild imaginations.” The themes present a story that is told and emphasized throughout the week. Campers are pulled into the story through interactive skits and large group games. Michindoh then brings each day to a close with a second camp session—“Energize”—centered on celebration and reflection before dismissing each cabin back to their teepee for the night. Children ages nine to twelve can enroll in Explorer Camp. “This is our most popular week,” says Darren, “so we have four sessions.” Activity options expand for the Explorers and include canoeing and kayaking, archery tag, and riding on a banana boat which is towed behind the camp’s speedboat. Adventure Camp is for children ages twelve to fourteen and there is one session at this level. Added activities for Adventure campers are ziplining and paintballing. And, finally, Adrenaline Camp is geared for campers ages fourteen to eighteen, and one session is scheduled. At this level, the high ropes course is added as an activity option. While camp should absolutely be fun, Michindoh programs offer more than just games and recreation. They also offer connectedness, caring, and respect. “Jesus is at the heart of everything we do. His love and character drive us as staff to give everything we have to provide the best experience we can for the summer. We never force the gospel on anyone, but rather, through discussion and relationship, allow each camper to choose their own path. A lot of our teaching is centered on ideas that revolve around good moral character,” says Darren, “like being truthful and treating others as we would like to be treated. We understand that not all our campers are Christians, but we can meet them where they are and open conversations.” Safety is a big issue for parents, particularly if they’re sending a child to camp for the first time, and the Michindoh staff understands that. Most of the full-time staff are parents themselves and very aware of the concerns people have about leaving their children in someone else’s hands, especially overnight. Darren is reassuring on this point: “The staff has combined camp experience of over 100 years. Our procedures, protocols, and strategies for dealing with anything are based on our experience and the most recent expert research. This allows us to run summer camp safely while still providing an environment centered on fun and adventure.” Michindoh Conference Center is located at 4545 E. Bacon Road in Hillsdale. For more information on the Michindoh summer camp program or to register your child, please visit Michindoh.com or email Registrar@michindoh.com. MICHIGAN PARENT SUMMER 2021


business spotlight

tranquil parenting written by Melissa McCance

Being a parent brings special joy and wonder to our lives, but it can also present us with some of the most frightening, frustrating, and painful moments we’ll ever know. The coronavirus pandemic has created a whole new set of stressors for parents and children as they navigate new ways of life, work, and learning. Sonja Howell first developed her unique approach to reducing conflict and increasing stability and calm when she needed it herself. Learning from personal experiences as well as the countless clients she has served, Sonja has created parenting solutions that work for the real world in a variety of ways. And, in response to the issues families are facing due to the pandemic, she has added a new course to her offerings. The previous programs—Acclimation and Enrichment—are still available. The Acclimation program (usually accessed through Domestic Court referrals) “provides the opportunity to transition into a new family balance that works best for your family through conflict management, blended family parenting skills utilizing the Separated Parenting Technique Scale, domestic mediation and coping techniques created specifically for your family with the goal to prevent cruelty throughout parental separation.” Sonja is now a certified mediator through SeDRS which enhances her effectiveness for this course. The Enrichment Course “explores creative solutions to finding your family’s unique ways of overcoming disagreements by sidestepping a fight, mentoring obligations and gaining respect simultaneously, lessening challenges, avoiding strained relationships, instilling obedience, and adolescent dilemma mastering.” Parents are usually referred to this course through Probate Court. Unlike the original programs, the Transformative Course is designed for parents who are reaching out for help on their own initiative. The past year has strained family dynamics and relationships in many ways including the constant togetherness as children and parents struggled to adjust to remote learning and work situations with parents having to take on the role of educator. Sonja describes the Transformative Course as being “customized to the needs of each family. It follows a similar approach including reflecting on prior and current events, parenting styles, applying new techniques, adjustment,



and future planning.” The programs can also incorporate a religious focus if this is of interest. She says our current situation is such that “many parents feel they’ve just lost a year with their children. It’s very hard, and it’s a common feeling for so many people. This course was created for this time—right now. There’s a lot of anger and frustration, a lot of blaming, and this course is designed to bring people back to being the parents they want to be.” Sonja wants this course to give support to parents who see that their home situations aren’t what they could be and are motivated to make positive changes to bring things back to a better place. And, because cookie-cutter parenting programs simply do not work for everyone, Sonja customizes her courses for the learners. By teaching parents how to evaluate their unique situations, she can help them find solutions to change the negative, disruptive patterns in their homes. Getting started is easy. Sonja has included extensive information about the courses and the enrollment process on her website [URL provided at the end of this article]. Click on the “Register” tab and enroll in the free, interactive webinar that personalizes it with creating your parenting solutions. Then, you can review the three courses, choose the one that meets your family’s needs, and get enrolled. The time needed for completion depends on the learner’s pace, but most people can finish in four to seven weeks. For more information about Tranquil Parenting courses, please visit the website at www.tranquilparenting.com or email Sonja at Sonja@TranquilStudio.org.


Visit tranquilparenting.com for FREE webinar & downloads.

tranquilparenting.com • Adrian • 517.431.3000 MICHIGAN PARENT SUMMER 2021 09


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gray matters

passing on what you love written by Sara Gray

When your kids are little, they tend to like the things you like. When they are young, they still think you are cool (or hip, or buggin’, or whatever kids these days say) and they want to be like you. Treasure those days. Cherish them. Because all too soon, poof! In come the eye rolls! Yes, as your kids get older, they start to develop their own tastes and preferences, likes and dislikes. And many times, they do not line up with yours. You wish they would, of course. Having the same hobby or a common interest helps you relate to your child. You can talk about your interest and bond over it. It’s nice. I remember when my girls were a little younger, I desperately wanted them to like Beverly Cleary books – especially the Ramona Quimby series. I loved these books as a girl and thought it would be fun if they enjoyed them, too. Since they liked reading and the books were about girls their age, I figured it was a perfect fit. But, no, sadly, my girls never pored over the books the way I did, reading them over and over again until they were practically memorized. Some loves from childhood have been easy to get our kids excited about. Star War was huge when my hubby and I were kids and since it now is again, it was not a struggle to get the kids into the movies, characters, and spin-offs. I think our son actually knows more about Star Wars right now than my hubby does! Seeing your kids love what you love makes you happy – at least it does for me. That’s why I recently have thoroughly enjoyed having my youngest join me in the kitchen. My girls have learned some baking basics and help from time to time making cookies or cupcakes, but it’s pretty rare that



one will help me make dinner. So, when my youngest asked to help me make dinner a few weeks ago, I was not going to turn her away. It all started with a cooking show we watched together and recipe that looked delicious. We decided it was something we should try the next night for dinner and I happily made an extra trip to the store to get the ingredients we needed. Sure enough, the next night she was at my side –no complaints – reading off the recipe and helping me prep ingredients. It may have taken a few minutes longer to make the meal, and there may have been a bit more mess, but it was absolutely worth it. The look of accomplishment on her face as we sat down to dinner was priceless. Not to mention the praise she received for the absolutely delicious meal it turned out to be. As a bonus, she ate everything on her plate. I have come to realize that when kids help make the meal, they are much more likely to eat it without complaint! For the rest of the week, she helped with dinner every night. It was absolutely fantastic. Along the way I talked to her about how different ingredients are cooked and how they go together. We used some math skills, reading skills, and learned some great life skills. Although her interest has waned a bit, she still wanders into the kitchen at least once a week to help me. She wants to be a hands-on learner; she doesn’t just want to watch. I love that she is starting to have a love of cooking and that I can pass on my love on to her. It has been quite the bonding experience for her and me. One I hope we can share for many years to come.

Real Men Rock!

Rob Salisbury with Mike, Ty and Maya

Michigan may have four seasons ... but you should always be comfortable at home.

Please don’t shake them - you might break them! Hi! This is Rob Salisbury, proud father of Mike, Maya, and 7 month old Ty. Caring for a baby or young child is hard work. A multiple of kids can make it harder. It means long hours and little sleep. Some babies cry a lot. If you‛re getting frustrated, take a break. Ask someone you trust to relieve you for a while, or put the baby in a crib or playpen for a few minutes. You‛re the adult, get control, don‛t lose your cool.

If you need immediate help, call 1-800-4-A-CHILD For information, call CAPA at (517)437-3100 Child Abuse Prevention & Awareness of Hillsdale County email: capahillsdale@sbcglobal.net www.capahillsdale.net

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muscle up live fit

let the kids have fun! written by James Campbell

Welcome back parents! Hope all is going well with summer coming back around to us and with that spring and summer athletics for our youth. Yeah, this means busy schedules and long nights and even weekends at the ball park, soccer field, or .... Easier said than done, I know! I'm going to talk about a different angle on our youth and exercise this issue. Before our kids get to high school, it's sometimes confusing to what degree we take these youth athletics. Now, I'm an intense guy and I'm known to holler at my 13-year-old daughter on the basketball court to be aggressive, get after the ball, move her feet. I get frustrated with the officials when they "stink" and all those things. However, we need to remember what's important at this age and younger. It should be about them learning these sports and finding what they like and what they're good at with their specific skill set (yes, they have a skill set at that age). Playing several sports help them develop into an athlete as they grow, but as they develop they will be drawn to certain sports for whatever reason. They will then become stronger athletes at these sports simply because they want to! We need to feed that—it's about fun! Winning is fun, too, of course. Let's be honest, a loss is hard regardless of age or sport. When you work hard for something you want to win, it's natural, and I don't think there's anything wrong with that. Those who work the hardest usually win, but the work at this level is different. Practice with the team is work for sure. But what else? Play the game with your young athlete, help them develop skills for their position on the team. For example, I remember when I was in little league and I loved baseball, LOVED it!! When practice was over, we'd ask my dad to hit some grounders to us (I played short stop) and I would say, "Hit it just out of reach so I have to work for it." It was fun, but it was definitely work! Then, my brothers and I would practice pitching and catching, at home. While I was a pitcher I wasn't nearly as good as I was a short stop, the side of our garage will speak volumes to that! Scott hated catching for me, he had to wear full gear. Hahaha! Oh well, I was the oldest after all ...



This is the work we need to put in. I'm not saying that the gym isn't a good idea, definitely not saying a trainer isn’t a good idea. What I'm saying is let them decide if it's something they want to do. You can most definitely give them ideas and explain what it will take and what could be developed, but if they feel forced it will NOT be fun anymore and even if the youth does it and becomes great, it won't be fun and that's what being a kid is all about. Help them find a release that allows them the opportunity to shine without being force fed. I love seeing youth in the studio, love seeing them smile and dig deep for that success. Winning is earned and even though it isn't everything, it should mean something. This is where I go off on participation trophies and how I feel they're ruining our youth and how instead of giving the losing team a trophy we should use it as a learning tool and help them develop as athletes. For learning to lose is a life lesson worth learning, learning how not to be a sore loser, learning how to respect the winning team and the effort they put in. Anyway, a story for another time, maybe. I'm going to leave you with this. I'm not a perfect person, I'm not naive enough to think all of you are going to agree with my opinions I've shared today. You know what? That's okay, we can agree to disagree. But, one thing we ALL can agree on is that we all want our children to enjoy their youth and see what it's like to work hard towards something and earn it. We all love to see them smile and enjoy time with their friends! I'd love it if one of my kids grew to want to be a college-level athlete or more, but I only want that for them if they want that for themselves. If they ask for my help, I will most definitely give it! Until next time, my friends. MUSCLE UP … live fit! James Campbell is an NSCA Certified Personal Trainer and the owner of PRIME Fitness Studio in Hillsdale, Michigan. If you're interested in finding out more about training programs for your budding athlete, contact the studio by calling (517) 817-6475



Alex Spahr Adrian College Football







grow where you're planted



gardening with kids Gardening is a great activity for kids and can be done just about any place. It doesn't matter if you have an 80’ x 40’ plot in your yard or just a few pots on your porch; even if it’s just a windowsill, you can garden. Kids are natural gardeners; they naturally push their hands deep into the soil (and often make sure they are covered in it) as if they instinctively know the therapeutic benefits of soil and that their mud bath is boosting their immune systems while they play. After you've picked your plot or pots (if you chose pots, let the kids decorate them!), it’s really fun to take the kids to your local garden center and let them choose some seeds or started plants. Maybe they will choose some of their favorite veggies or the pretty packets of flower seeds. Starting plants from seed gives kids a real-life botany lesson. Plant some seeds in the soil and the same day germinate a few in a damp paper towel. This allows the kids to see what is happening under the soil while they wait for the planted seeds to pop up. Don't be surprised if your little gardener expects a tomato to have sprung up out of the ground the next morning after the seeds are planted. Gardening is a great test in patience and it is an excellent way to teach delayed gratification. To help with the waiting, you can grab your calendar and count out how many days it will take for your plant to fruit (or flower) and do a countdown. You may notice it takes your plant fewer (or maybe more) days to bear fruit depending on the conditions outdoors.

written by Rachel Yoder

An added bonus is that picky eaters may be more inclined to give new foods a try if they were the ones to tend and care for the plants. Gardening has many benefits besides the obvious fresh food and beautiful bouquets for the table. Studies show that gardening and just being outside in general help both children and adults by reducing stress and anxiety. This, coupled with movement and fresh air, increase overall health and happiness, so use this as a reason to get up and take a break to check that garden or those pots multiple times per day. Getting into the soil and growing food may begin a lifelong love of nature and keep kids active and healthy their whole lives. Rachel is a wife, momma to three ever-growing boys, and the grower behind Sunburst Family Farm. You can follow her on Facebook or on Instagram @sunburst.family.farm. MICHIGAN PARENT SUMMER 2021


The pandemic has had many hallmarks—shortages of food and household supplies, masks, no restaurant dining, and … screens. SO much screen time! Working from home; video conferencing; binge watching; staying in touch with loved ones via texts, emails, and Face Time; and, of course, virtual school. Some of this was necessary, but, as the restrictions continued, many slipped into excessive use of phones, tablets, and televisions to pass the time. Understandably, parents faced with a houseful of bored, frustrated kids who missed their friends and normal activities while they themselves were trying to handle distance working and supervising at-home learning often let a lot of pre-pandemic tech rules slide into oblivion. But, it’s time to start reversing that trend and begin weaning children off the extra hours of screen exposure.

from screen-intense to screen sense

written by Melissa McCance

On a recent segment of TODAY, it was reported that children’s typical screen time is twice what it was pre-pandemic, with many children logged on from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. compared with a typical previous usage of 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.1 Multiplied across all the elapsed days since mid-March 2020, and that adds up to a staggering number of hours spent staring at screens. Parents who are ready to regain control of this situation should be aware that experts recommend a step-by-step approach rather than just locking up the devices.

First, it’s important to set limits gradually. Then, don’t just take this powerful stimulus away. Replace devices and televisions with something else—planned activities like trips to the zoo, playgrounds, family game time, reading aloud, playdates, etc., that you have ready to put in place of those alluring screens. Another suggestion is to schedule some of these activities with other people such as another family you did things with before the shutdown. Summer is a great time to do a reset and reestablish preCOVID tech rules. Try establishing conversation spaces and times in your home where devices aren’t allowed, like family mealtimes. Consider having the whole family take a weekly tech break when everyone puts the devices away for a day. If a day is too much, try a few hours. Model to your children that you truly value uninterrupted time together by disconnecting yourself from your phone or tablet and connecting with them. Unless it’s absolutely essential for one of the adults to be reachable, have everyone leave the phones at home for a short outing like a trip to the local ice cream stand. If you’re concerned about not being able to call for help in an emer-



gency, bring one phone but put it in the glove box or console. Use device settings like “Do Not Disturb” to silence the alerts that can lead us to pick up our phones way too often. For children who are too young to tell time, use sound cues like a timer to let them know when to put devices away. Some apps have timers that will shut the app off after a certain period. It can help if you tell children to stop at a natural break like the end of an episode, game level, or when an activity is completed. It's important for parents to teach their children how to separate good tech from bad, because it’s certainly not all bad. It can help develop skills or deepen knowledge of existing interests. And, yes, some just-for-fun game time is fine. But, helping children not to disappear “down the rabbit hole" into hours and hours of mindless screen time should be part of any parent’s skill set these days. Make the choice now to unglue those young eyes from the screens and reintroduce your children to the real world. There are many studies indicating that excessive device time has negative effects on children of all ages. It shouldn’t be abrupt and it doesn’t need to be total … but it’s time to bring back a healthy balance.

1 TODAY. National Broadcasting Company. NBC, New York. 14 May 2021. Television

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Be clear with your child(ren) exactly how much screen time they will be allowed each day. Set the duration, type (tv, video game console, computer, phone, etc.), and location of the screen time. Stick to your parameters. It is very tempting as a parent to buy yourself 25 more minutes of quiet/alone time in exchange for some additional screen time for your kids. We're realistic though - we know this will happen, but the goal here is to make it a novelty, not a normalcy.

set conditions

At Willow Pediatric Dentistry, we strive to provide excellent oral care in a relaxing, comfortable and safe environment for kids. Our goal is to ensure a positive dental experience that best fits each child’s needs.


Accepting TIME FOR A CHECKUP! New Patients!

Have them earn access to their day's allotment of screen time. Brushing teeth, brushing hair, being dressed for the day, cleaning their room, finishing chores, reading for NOW OFFERING 30 minutes, doing another activity such as coloring for NOW OFFERING LASER DENTISTRY! 30 minutes, playing outside for 30 minutes, and doing LASER DENTISTRY! • REDUCED PAIN 517.317.8700 something nice for someone else are all appropriate and • Select Procedures reasonable tasks to be completed BEFORE screens are 603 N. Evans St. • REDUCED PAIN allowed. These are very basic conditions aimed at creating Performed Tecumseh • Select Procedures Without Numbing an independence in your child while teaching them to be willowpedo.com OFFERED PROCEDURES Performed Without• Minimally Numbing Invasive responsible in caring for themselves. Some parents find • Minimally Invasive these items become routine rather• than obligation after Minimally Invasive Treatments some time. • Silver Diamine Fluoride

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Beyond the conditions you set which give them access • Space to their allotment of screen time, have backMaintainers up ideas for boredom. One of our staff members has a line • Extractionsitem for "mom/dad's choice" as part of her set conditions. This keeps • Nitrous Oxide the option open of including something not regularly Sealants asked of the kids or getting them• to try new activities that just might end up being more fun than screen time. Alternative suggestions can come in particularly handy on rainy days when kids can't spend time outdoors.

give yourself grace

Accepting New Patients!

As always we follow the ADA, CDC, OSHA, and State of Michigan guidlines for infection control. We have gone above and beyond for the safety of our patients, staff and community.


The amount of screen time currently being had didn't get 24 HOUR EMERGENCY SERVICE 517.317.8700 there overnight. We've been through well over a year 603 N. Evans St. • Tecumseh of limited contact with others, schools open and schools willowpedo.com Owners: Jeff Valentine and Phil Palmer closed, virtual schooling, home schooling, caregivers working from home, caregivers working and facilitating Lenawee County’s ONLY Pediatric Dentist educations, etc. As suggested, gradually make the change and offer alternate activities. While we don't encourage giving in to extra screen time in exchange for that quiet/ alone time, we realize sometimes it may be the best thing for the adults and the kids. Just be careful about how often you take advantage of it. We'll repeat: novelty, not normalcy.

517-439-5393 17 Hillsdale St • Hillsdale



a few of our favorite things swimming edition From the Top: The Jefferson Collection by Native Shoes, starting at $35 for children and $45 for adults, www.nativeshoes.com Boys Solid Swim Trunks, $19.95 and up, www.landsend.com • iPlay Reusable Swim Diaper, $10 and up, www.amazon.com Puddle Jumper by Stearns, starting at $24.99, www.amazon.com • Sporti Silicone Swim Cap, $5 and up, www.swimoutlet.com Girls Sport Swimsuit, $34.95 and up, www.landsend.com • Onyx Life Vests, starting at $29.99, www.amazon.com UPF 50+ Long Sleeve Rash Guard, $18.00, www.primary.com • Kaufman Cotton Towel 4 Pack, $39.99, www.amazon.com Sunday Afternoons Play Hat, $29.99 at www.sundayafternoons.com Speedo Skoogles Goggle, $10.99 at www.speedousa.com



Carry Out & Delivery Available! (517) 439-9191


We’re Excited to Welcome You Back! GRAB YOUR FRIENDS & FAMILY AND HEAD over TO

Cottage Inn at The Silos! There’s plenty of room to relax in our spacious dining room or have some fun in our two-story arcade! We have all you need for a great night out!

3883 W. Carleton Road | Hillsdale

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the up side of down syndrome

phone calls and finding rainbows written by Angela Blake

“Hey Bean ... How’s my girl today?” That is how I begin a Facetime call with my granddaughter Brazley nearly every day. Actually, several times a day. She calls me more than her mother does. As a three-yearold with Down Syndrome, she is still largely non-verbal but that doesn’t slow her down in the least. As soon as I answer and she knows I’m listening, she starts a steady stream of babble telling me all about what’s happening in her day. And, when I say Brazley calls me, I mean she knows what button to push without help from her mom. In fact, she was with me one day and wanted to call her PawPaw from my phone, so we made a quick call and then he told her he had to go back to work after a couple of minutes. We told her to say love you, bye but she refused because she didn’t want to end the call, so I told him to just hang up. A few minutes later, my daughter and I heard her say “Wa You. Bye,” and we laughed, telling her she was better late than never. When my husband got home from work, he tells me that she called him back without me knowing and said “Wa You. Bye.” When she does things like that, I cannot help but be amazed. On a more concerning note, we have encountered our first issue with her joints. She has been walking like a pirate for a few weeks now and it is so sad to see. The professionals believe her kneecap is misshapen and will need to be surgically repaired. In order to proceed with the repair, she needed to undergo an MRI while under anesthesia. To say that day was stressful is quite an understatement. Her little body didn’t want to come around after the MRI. We wiggled her and jiggled her, and tried for a couple of hours to get her to wake up enough to take a drink and keep it down so we could all go home.



Can you guess what finally woke her up? If you guessed a Facetime call from her PawPaw, you’d be right. Her sweet little attitude came out as she tried so hard to hold the phone and talk to him all by herself, but the phone was too heavy for her to hold up and we kept having to grab it to keep it from hitting her in the face. It was such a relief to watch her slip right back into her “normal” self. Having her so unresponsive was difficult for both my daughter and myself (okay, maybe I had a more difficult time). But, for Brazley, that long, tiring day was just another day in paradise. She loved saying hi to all the people we met, she loved riding in the stroller, she beyond loved spending the day with both MawMaw and Mama. In fact, she didn’t cry one time, not even when they took her from her Mother’s arms to take her into the surgery prep area. That’s my Bean. Always finding the rainbows in nearly every storm cloud. I can only hope her silver-lining attitude sticks with her as she enters school in the fall. I pray her peers will see her amazing personality and love her for who she is rather than focusing on what she has. Only time will tell, but I know no matter what, I’ll receive a Facetime call from her telling me all about it.

Let us make your ride Let us make your ride dependable and safe for Let us make your ride FOR YOUR NEXT FAMILY TRIP LET US dependable and safe next family dependable and safe forfortrip. interested HELP YOUyour REACH YOUR DESTINATION. your next family trip. your next family trip. Jackie Niemi

Robert Shewman

Service Manager

Owner/Operator, 28 Years

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Let us make your ride dependable and safe for your next family trip.

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Robert Shewman Shewman Robert Owner/Operator, 28 Years Robert Shewman Owner/Operator 29 Years

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Robert Shewman 146 LEWIS STREET


Service Manager

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Owner/Operator, 28 Years

146 LEWIS STREET 517-439-1323

Jackie Niemi

Robert Shewman

Service Manager

517-439-1323 146 Lewis Streetwww.glorytogod.com • Hillsdale • glorytogod.com 517-439-1323 HILLSDALE, MI 49242 146 LEWIS STREET HILLSDALE, MI 49242 www.glorytogod.com


Jackie Niemi Service Manager

Give us a call at (517) 320-9235!

517-439-1323 www.glorytogod.com

Pontoon rental

kids menu

Hillsdale 252 W. Carleton • 517-437-7919 Coldwater 74 W. Chicago • 517-278-4234

Offering six pontoon boats to rent for your water adventure. With an array of rental options, you’ll find the boats at the Narrows a deal that’s hard to beat! Reservations requested, please.


517.279.7225 • 620 Narrows Resort Drive • Coldwater

Mon -Thurs 11AM - 9:30 PM • Fri & Sat 11AM - 10 PM • Sun 11AM - 9 PM MICHIGAN PARENT SUMMER 2021


letters to gavin

the “threenager”

written by Cierra Snyder Dear Gavin,

Every time you come around a corner, there is a familiar thud of you falling. This is your life now, you're officially a "Threenager." With your increase in height has come an increase in speed, appetite, and drama. And, you seem to have to re-learn how to use your feet and legs with every big growth spurt. We have survived the "terrible twos," or "terrific twos," depending on who you talk to. Last spring, we moved into a new house with large, old farmhouse windows. The kind that are just old enough to be nearly impossible to open without straining your entire body, and anything that would have been used as a handle broke off some time ago. After several sunny days of being able to play outside all day long, it was pouring rain and you weren't allowed to go out. On this day, you summoned every ounce of superhuman toddler strength and opened one of these windows. Not only did you open it, but, first, you climbed onto the back of a chair to unlock it. Then, when you had opened it just enough to squeeze out, you popped out the screen without breaking it. You then tossed some scrap paper and a few of your favorite books out into the rain, and escaped! Luckily, since this took five whole minutes, I became suspicious of the silence, and caught you in the act of escaping.

I, however, was not strong enough to open the window enough to get out, so by the time I ran outside and around the house, you had snatched two books and were running down the driveway as fast as your chubby, dimpled bare feet could take you. Thankfully, I caught you before you got to the road, but that night we made sure to meet our neighbors and tell them that if this tan blond-haired little boy with an undeniable twinkle in his bright blue eyes came visiting, he belonged next door, and his mother would likely be in hot pursuit. That is how I spent much of this last year of your life. Amazed at your intelligence, shocked at your strength and ability, a mix of terrified and proud, and usually in hot pursuit. Since then, I no longer try to keep you inside. Instead of board books and scraps of paper, you bring toy excavators and a rambunctious puppy outside with you, and you spend a lot of time driving your baby sister around in your little gator. Your feet are no longer chubby and dimpled, and the mark I put on the wall is three inches higher than the last mark. Your puppy chases off all the wild cats now except for our round mama kitty, who was a tiny kitten last time I wrote to you. I wouldn't change you for the world, and I'm thankful that I get to be your ma-ma, or mommy as you're calling me now. You may only be three, but you're already an amazing young man to me. I hope you have a son just like you. Love, Mommy





Kimball Camp YMCA

4502 Berlin Drive • Reading, MI 49274

For more information or to register visit: www.kimballcamp.com

Or Call (517) 283-2168 MICHIGAN PARENT SUMMER 2021



creamy lemon yogurt bars Ingredients: 2 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt Juice of 1 1/2 Lemons Zest of 1 Lemon

2 Tbsp milk 2 Tbsp honey

Directions: Stir all the ingredients together. The mixture will be thick. Taste test to see if it's sweet enough. Add additional honey, as needed. Pour into popsicle mold and freeze until completely firm. Makes 6 popsicles.

strawberry lemonade

pudding pops


Ingredients: 3.4 oz box of Jello instant pudding in your favorite flavor (we enjoy vanilla & banana) 2 cups cold milk

Directions: Prepare pudding according to package directions. Pour into popsicle molds as-is or add your favorite mix ins! Our favorites include sprinkles, crushed Oreos, fresh mashed strawberries or blueberries, and mini chocolate chips. Makes about 4 popsicles.

2 cups strawberries, fresh or frozen 1 cup lemonade 2 tablespoons sugar, optional

Directions: Blend the strawberries and lemonade until smooth. Add in sugar or agave if desired. Pour into popsicle mold and freeze for 3-4 hours, or until completely firm. Makes about 8 popsicles.

pineapple orange banana Ingredients: 2 cups pineapple, fresh or frozen 3 ripe bananas 1 cup orange juice (100% juice)

Directions: In a high-powered blender, blend all ingredients until smooth. Pour into popsicle mold and freeze for 3-4 hours, or until completely firm. Makes about 10 popsicles.



storing homemade popsicles

Once frozen completely, run warm water on the outside of the popsicle mold until the popsicles pop out when you pull on them. Wrap the popsicles individually in plastic wrap or wax paper, and put them in a large zipper freezer bag to store.

Nothing screams summer quite like sun kissed cheeks, dirty knees, or the sticky, gooey fingers from enjoying a freshly made s'more! Tried and true, this simply crafted treat brings a smile to even the grumpiest of faces. While we love the original version, it's time to shake up your s'mores and give you some variations to try!

The Original

The S'moreo

2 Honey Graham Crackers 1 Large Marshmallow Just Enough Chocolate

1 Oreo, Separated 1 Large Marshmallow Just Enough Chocolate

The Cracker S'more 2 Ritz Crackers 1 Large Marshmallow Just Enough Chocolate

The S'meeses 2 Honey Graham Crackers 1 Large Marshmallow 1 Reese's Peanut Butter Cup

The Salty S'more 2 Flat Pretzel Crackers 1 Large Marshmallow Just Enough Chocolate or 1 Reese's Peanut Butter Cup

The Cookie S'morewich 2 Chocolate Chip Cookies 1 Large Marshmallow Just Enough Chocolate



New Tire Sales & Installation General Auto Repair MINI GOLF COURSES 18 Hole Traditional 18 Hole Championship


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Single & Double Riders

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let's read!



written by Melissa McCance

Discovering a love for books and reading enhances a child’s life. The books below are highly-rated by parents and educators. But, because you know your children best, we recommend reading (or at least skimming) the suggested titles to ensure they’re appropriate for your kids. For grades six and up, detailed synopses can be found online.

Grades K-2

Grades 6-8

by Russell Hoban This title from the beloved Frances books covers what happens when she goes through a spell of picky eating—all she wants is bread and jam. How will her parents solve this problem? We think you and your child will be entertained by the answer.

by Carl Hiaasen Popular adult author Carl Hiaasen tried his hand at children’s fiction and scored another hit. Hoot tells the story of how three kids—Roy, the new kid who’s getting bullied, Beatrice, and Beatrice’s semi-feral stepbrother Mullet—team up to save a colony of burrowing owls from getting buried under a new pancake house. The quirky humor, wild plots, and vivid characters that mark Hiaasen’s adult fiction also come through in this book.

Bread and Jam for Frances

Miss Rumphius

by Barbara Cooney The title character is an interesting woman who lives a full life. She also decides to make the world more beautiful, and how she goes about it is a charming and endearing tale. Cooney’s wonderful illustrations make this book a delight to see as well as read.


The Lightning Thief

by Rick Riordan This is book one in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. We don’t want to reveal too much, but you can be sure that this series offers allusions to Greek mythology, wild adventures, and exciting action sequences. If your child likes it, there are four more to enjoy!

Grades 3-5

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

by E.L. Konigsburg Claudia is Fed. Up. She runs away, but Claudia is not the outdoorsy type. She’s an urbanite who likes comfort and convenience, so she heads to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City along with her little brother who was invited solely because he has saved his money. While staying at the museum, they discover the answer to a mystery about a valuable statue and meet the eccentric Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.

The Indian in the Cupboard

by Lynne Reid Banks First in the five-book series, this volume introduces us to the boy Omri and the friendship he forges with Little Bear—the tiny plastic Indian who comes to life when put in a cupboard with previously-unknown magic properties. This very popular series has humor, charm, excitement, and heart.

Grades 9-12 Fahrenheit 451

by Ray Bradbury A classic in science fiction literature, this book takes us into a future where firemen don’t put out fires … they start them. Specifically, they burn books which are now illegal as independent thought and meaningful conversation are forbidden. And, sometimes, they burn the owners’ homes. Fireman Guy Montag has his eyes opened to the emptiness of his life and is forced to make some hard choices.

All the Light We Cannot See

by Anthony Doerr Set in Europe and spanning the years from the 1930s to the 1980s, this book tells the story of people whose lives are shaped and changed by what happens to them during World War II. The novel covers many themes including nationalism, science and technology, imagination, memory, family love and loyalty, and darkness and light.



budgeting for summer fun

written by Alexis Hiles

I am so excited to finaly be enjoying some nice, warmer weather here in Michigan. This time of year comes, and it brings about a whole new sense of happiness ... the fresh breeze in the windows, not needing five layers to stay warm outside, daylight lasting until 9:00 p.m., windows down while driving, and so much more!

And, when the fun money fund runs low, remember how lucky we are to live in an area where there are many free opportunities to get out and enjoy the nice weather while we have it. Below is a list of my top four favorite free outdoor activities:

While all of these nice changes come about, so does the struggle of budgeting during summer time. It can be even more stressful than other times of the year, because there seems to be so many more activities and events out there tempting us to spend money. If you have kids at home, this can seem even more so. They are off school all summer and wanting their time filled with fun activities.

The internet is full of free scavenger hunt print outs that you can use right in your backyard. These range from being great for kids to ones specifically made for adults.

Our summers are often filled with endless trips to the ice cream shop, weekends spent at campgrounds, zoo trips, outdoor projects, and the list goes on and on. It can feel like I need to save for summer fun well before summer ever arrives, and that is exactly what we do! We know summer in our house can get expensive, but we also are pretty vigilant about sticking to the biweekly budget we create. In order to combat higher summertime spending, we put aside money all year to help pay for summer projects, camping trips, and any other additional expenses summer might bring. I encourage everyone to look at their finanaces and see where you can pull some money from to save for what I like to call "fun money." That amount will vary greatly from person to person, but everyone deserves to have some amount of "fun money" set aside.



scavenger hunts

local playgrounds and parks

We spend so much time at playgrounds and parks during the spring and summer. It is the perfect free activity that keeps us busy for hours.

picnics Eating out is expensive! Picnics are a perfect

way to change up your typical meal-time routing and get out of the house without spending money at a restaurant. You can do picnics in your backyard, at the park, or anywhere, really.

local swim spots

If this summer is anything like last summer, you will be dying to cool off with some swimming. Thank goodness for local swim spots where we can go and cool off on hot days. I hope you enjoy your summer and all the great outdoor activities Michigan has to offer, and remember - fun does not always mean breaking the budget.

telling or tattling? I'm sitting here counting down the days until my kids are home for summer break. Tomorrow is Memorial Day, and that number has dwindled down to five; five more days until we get to forget about early wake-ups, packing lunches, checking homework, studying for tests, and deciding which, if any, outerwear is needed for the multiple recesses of the day. While I am 100% ready to have this break, I also know what's coming. You see, like every single child in the history of children, all three of my kids have an impeccable record of not being able to play together with no less than a dozen instances of "Mom! She/He hit me!" or "Mom! She/He wrecked my (insert suddenly important structure here)." or my all time favorite, "Mom! She/He's looking at me!" And that's just in the first hour of togetherness. Yes folks, it's another summer of fielding what I like to sift into two categories, tells and tattles. Now, my kids are still fairly young at eight, six, and four, but having been a kid once, I can also acknowledge I did my fair share of tattling right up into my early teens. What I'm sure I felt were end-of-the-world, valid complaints about what my sister did or didn't do could still be divided into those tell and tattle categories. How do we teach our kids to know the difference and to begin to problem solve on their own? Of all the advice available, it was a very simple chart I found on Pinterest that helped me clearly define to our kids whether they were telling or tattling. Now if I get a complaint, I can usually ask them whether they're telling or tattling, and most of the time they get the right answer and we handle the situation together. For your sanity, I present that handy-dandy chart to help you field those tells and tattles!



written by Sara Galloway

Are You Tattling or Telling? Tattling vs. Telling Are you getting someone into trouble?

Are you keeping someone safe?

Was it on accident?

Was it on purpose?

Was what happened harmless?

Was what happened dangerous?



Can you solve it on your own?

Do you need an adult to help?


The The COLOR you




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diy summer fun

Although you can buy all of these things, it’s fun for children to make their own and it gives you a chance to have some interactive time with your kids.

super bubbles

This mixture makes bigger, stronger bubbles! · Liquid dish soap/dishwashing liquid (Joy or blue Dawn brands work best. Try to find one that doesn't say 'Ultra'. If that’s all you can find, double the amount of glycerin or corn syrup.) · Warm water (Tap water is okay, but distilled water makes the best bubbles.) · Clean container with lid · Glycerin or light corn syrup · Bubble wand or straw Pour 3 cups of water into the container and add ½ cup of dish soap. Stir gently until blended, trying not to make foam or bubbles as you stir. Add ½ tablespoon of glycerin or 2 tablespoons of corn syrup, stirring gently until mixed. You can use it right away, but the bubbles will be bigger and stronger if you cover the container and let it sit overnight. www.homesciencetools.com

sidewalk chalk paint

If you follow the mixing instructions, you’ll avoid stained fingers. This paint is nontoxic and reported to be washable! A muffin tin makes a great “artist’s palette!” · ¾ cup corn starch · ¾ cup water · Food coloring Put 2 tablespoons of cornstarch in each muffin cup. In a small bowl or jar, combine 2 tablespoons of water with 6-8 drops of food coloring. Add to one muffin cup, mix well, then rinse your bowl or jar and repeat for the other desired colors. Fat paintbrushes or foam brushes work best with this paint. If it starts to get watery because the cornstarch is separating, a quick stir will bring it back to the right consistency. Adapted from www.onmykidsplate.com



homemade playdough

This version is recommended for being squishy but not sticky and lasting a LONG time if stored properly. · 2 cups all-purpose flour · ¾ cup salt · 4 teaspoons cream of tartar · 2 cups lukewarm water · 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil (coconut oil works too) · Food coloring, optional (the gel kind works well) · Quart plastic storage bags Stir together the flour, salt, and cream of tartar in a large pot; add the water and oil. (If you’re only making one color, add in the color now.) Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. Continue stirring until the dough has thickened and begins to form into a ball. Remove from heat and then place inside a gallon sized bag or onto wax paper. Allow to cool slightly and then knead until smooth. If you’re adding colors after, divide the dough into balls (for how many colors you want) and then add the dough into the quart bags. Start with about 5 drops of color and add more to brighten it. Knead the dough, while inside the bag so it doesn’t stain your hands. Store the play dough inside the bags to keep soft. Keeps up to 3 months. Adapted from www.iheartnaptime.net

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one hundred years of summer in our state parks

Warming temperatures can mean only one thing – summer is officially here. While the spectacular sunny days and vibrant wildlife are enough to get anyone excited for the new season, Michigan has even more reason to celebrate. This year marks the 100th anniversary of Michigan State Parks, and there is no better time to reconnect with nature than by getting outdoors to celebrate the centennial. Discover the beauty of Michigan’s state parks and fill each day of your springtime vacation with these exciting activities.

Experience A Starry Night To Remember

Photo Courtesy of Headlands International Dark Sky Park

Thanks to the surrounding Great Lakes shrouding the state in near-total darkness, Michigan is the perfect place for spectacular views of the night sky. Six Michigan state parks are home to protected Dark Sky Preserves, and nestled on the shore of Lake Michigan is Headlands International Dark Sky Park – the only internationally-designated preserve in Michigan. The Upper Peninsula, which includes parks like Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, is a particularly good spot for some incredible night sky photography.

Photo Courtesy of Sean Malone, Detroit News

These sites will give you unrivaled starry views as nights in Michigan continue to warm throughout spring, and you might even be lucky enough to see the aurora borealis light up the sky with vivid colors.

know before you go Entrance to Michigan State Parks requires a recreation passport for both

Michigan and non-Michigan residents. Find out which recreation passport you will need at michigan.gov/dnr.



Take A Break Or Break A Sweat

Photo Courtesy of Jeff Stasney

State parks offer breathtaking views as spring brings the trees back to life, and there’s no better way to experience them than by relaxing in a hammock. Overlook the beautiful Lake of the Clouds in the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park or listen to the roar of Tahquamenon Falls in Tahquamenon State Park. Just make sure you are hanging up your hammock properly so as not to damage the surrounding wildlife. Whether you spend the day swinging in a hammock or lying on a towel on the sandy shores of the Great Lakes, there are endless ways to enjoy the sound of crashing waves and Michigan’s unrivaled sunsets.

Photo Courtesy of newaygocountyexploring.com

For those looking to break a sweat, check out some of the unique sports offered at Michigan’s state parks. Give archery a shot by enrolling in an archery program or test your aim in a game of disc golf. Those new to disc golf should head to Clear Lake or Sleepy Hollow State Park to get some practice on a beginner course. For a challenge, take on the tight fairways of the pro-quality 18 holes of Newaygo State Park’s rigorous course.

Explore more activities and start planning your trip at michigan.org



Explore The Trails And Ride The Waves

Photo Courtesy of michigan.org

The shores of the Great Lakes offer incredible beach walks, and Michigan’s dense forests are home to picturesque hiking trails. Lace up your boots and head out to see everything from hidden waterfalls to colorful, springtime wildflowers. You can also bring your off-road vehicle to an ORV trail. Michigan features beautiful sand dunes, and Silver Lake State Park offers the only dune riding ORV area in Michigan.

Photo Courtesy of michigan.org

A trip to Pure Michigan isn’t complete without spending a day on the water. Bring your boat to one of the many access points located on Michigan’s rivers and lakes or find rental canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards that are offered at many state parks. Once you’re on the water, float on the crystal waters of Clear Lake, search for wildlife along the shores of Lake Michigamme, or paddle the waves of the Great Lakes.

know before you go Entrance to Michigan State Parks requires a recreation passport for both

Michigan and non-Michigan residents. Find out which recreation passport you will need at michigan.gov/dnr.



Enrich Your Michigan Knowledge

Photo Courtesy of The Northern Express

Hiking along the trails of state parks will give you ample opportunity to spot Michigan animals in their natural habitats like white-tailed deer and a variety of bird species that return to the state in the spring. Many state parks also offer educational nature programs to learn more about Michigan’s wildlife, landscape, and history. Located on the shores of the Straits of Mackinaw, Cheboygan is the perfect destination for anyone interested in Michigan’s nautical history. Explore the many lighthouses around the city, or, after the last of the ice on the Great Lakes has melted, take a boat ride to view some of Michigan’s historic and iconic shipwrecks.

Photo Courtesy of Deer Park Lodge Resort

Hold history in the palm of your hand by finding Michigan’s state stone – the Petoskey Stone – along the shores of Lake Michigan, especially in the Petoskey and Charlevoix regions. Additionally, follow in the footsteps of many rock hunters and head to Muskallonge State Park to search for agates in the waters of Lake Superior.

Explore more activities and start planning your trip at michigan.org



rainy days & rolls oftape

Tape. Kids love tape. If there's one thing in the house that suddenly vanishes every single time you go to look for it, it's tape. So what can you do? Buy the kids their own roll and let them do whatever the heck they want with it! Inspired by their love for tape comes this feature. Painter's tape is a great creative tool. There are so many things you can do with it, and guess what — it isn't permanent and for the most part it's non-damaging! That means you can sit down with your hot cup of coffee or your ice cold parental beverage and enjoy it! What's the worst they can do, anyway? Tape themselves together? Well actually, that might not be a bad thing!

"laser beam" course

canvas finger painting


car course playlearnkids.com

tape city

thekrazycouponlady.com lejardindejuliette.blogspot.com



straw maze


noodle marble run



window painting

obstacle course agirlandagluegun.com

free the objects




stick it to win it

americanlifestylemag.com MICHIGAN PARENT SUMMER 2021


what's app?

These apps are rated highly and are suitable for a wide range of ages. As always, we recommend that you check reviews and test apps before letting your children try them.

KAWAII COLORING BOOK GLITTER (Olga Bagryanskaya) lets children create glittering, colored pages without covering your home in that most impossible-to-remove craft item! Suitable for ages 4 and up, available for Android and iOS, free, rated 4.4-4.7 out of 5.

ARCADIUM – SPACE SHOOTER (Luciano Bercini) is a classic, arcade-style shooter game that’s suitable for everyone. Available for Android and iOS, free, rated 4.7-4.9 out of 5.

CONSTELLATION MAP (siranet GK) is your guide to the stars! Summer often means later bedtimes and more hours outdoors, so use this app to help your family with their stargazing. Point it at the night sky and it will show you the names of stars, constellations and planets. Available for Android and iOS, free, rated, 4.4 to 4.7 out of 5.

SPACETEAM (Henry Smith Inc.) is a cooperative game for 2 to 8 players, each using a device. Android and iOS users can play together over a wifi connection. A random control panel with buttons, switches, sliders and dials displays on every device, and players must call out instructions to one another for what to do based on what they’re seeing. Recommended for ages 9+, available for Android and iOS, free, rated 4.5 to 4.6 out of five.





Protecting the Air you Breathe, the Water you Drink and the Surfaces you Use

Protect your air & surfaces from smells, bacteria, viruses, mold and mildew. Virtually any indoor, or enclosed area, from 50 sq ft to 3,000 sq ft.

Contact Marty Schoonover for info, products, and prices.


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reading to kids written by Nichole K. Ellis, D.O.

Read. Read often and read early. Start reading to your baby day one. Talk with them as they are eating or awake. Babies will sleep most of the day, so, when they are up, make sure you are engaged with good eye contact and speech. Nursery rhymes and songs are easy ways to do this.

reading in infancy Continue to read and have a favorite nighttime or bedtime read. Routines are great and if, when they are winding down, they are cuddling with you and have a special warm and loving environment, they will associate reading with those feelings. Let them touch and even chew on the book. This exploration shows interest and is a great start. reading as toddlers Keep it short and frequent. They may close the book early or flip pages around. If it is a book you have read many times, you may be surprised to find they have memorized it or will catch you if you skip a page.

reading to young children Increase the length of reads. Pick out short words and have them help read all the “the”, ”and,” or frequently reoccurring words.

reading to older children Sharing reading and reading to children even after they are old enough to read on their own is a special bonding time. Pick a chapter book and adventure that you can both enjoy over a few weeks. Allow them to read a page and you read four. You can talk about the book you are reading during the day or in the morning. Children love to emulate what we do. If they see us enjoy reading, they are likely to share that love. Nichole K. Ellis, D.O., is a regular contributor to our family of magazines. This wife and mom of two nutures her pediatric practice, The Pediatric Place, in Hillsdale, Michigan.




zucchini cheddar savory muffins

savory breakfast muffins



3 C all-purpose flour 2 ½ t baking powder 1 t salt ¼ t freshly ground pepper 1 C minus 1 ½ T skim milk 1 large egg 2 T extra virgin olive oil

2 C whole-wheat flour 1 C all-purpose flour 1 T baking powder ½ t baking soda ½ t ground pepper ¼ t salt 2 eggs

4.5 oz. grated zucchini 3.5 oz. reduced-fat cheddar cheese grated 1 finely chopped green onion 1 T fresh chopped thyme

Directions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees and coat muffin pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper. In a separate bowl whisk the milk, egg, and oil together. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk just until incorporated. Stir in zucchini, cheddar cheese, onion and thyme until evenly dispersed. The batter will be very thick. Spoon batter into the prepared muffin tin (about ¾ full) and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the tops are just golden and a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Allow muffins to cool for at least 10 min. before removing.

Nutrition Info: Serving size: 1 muffin / 200 Calories / 5.6 g fat / 1.8 g saturated fat / 24 mg cholesterol / 313 mg sodium / 29.3 g carbohydrates / 1.2 g fiber / 1.5 g sugar / 7.9 g protein Recipe adapted from – As Easy as Apple Pie



1 1/3 C buttermilk 3 T extra-virgin olive oil 2 T butter melted 1 C thinly sliced scallions ¾ C diced Canadian bacon ½ C shredded cheddar cheese ½ C finely diced red bell pepper

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees and coat 12 muffin cups with cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine whole-wheat flour, al-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, pepper and salt. Whisk eggs, buttermilk, oil and butter in a medium bowl. Fold in scallions, bacon, cheese and bell pepper. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients and mix with a rubber spatula until just moistened. Scoop the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the muffins until the tops are golden brown, 20-22 minutes. Let cool in the pan 5 min. before removing.

Nutrition Info: Serving Size: 1 muffin / 231 calories / 9.2g protein / 28.6g carbohydrates / 3.3g fiber / 1.9g sugars / 9.3g fat / 45.4 mg cholesterol Recipe adapted from Eatingwell.com

Life can be busy and stressful, which can sometimes lead to skipping meals or eating something unhealthy, because it is prepackaged and easy to grab on the fly. Here are some easy recipes for healthy grab and go muffins, both savory and sweet. A healthy alternative for a quick on the go meal/snack.

peanut butter & oat muffins

strawberry yogurt oat muffins



1 ¼ C all-purpose flour ¾ C quick cooking oats ¾ C brown sugar packed 3 t baking powder ½ t salt

¼ - ½ t cinnamon 1 egg ¼ C peanut butter 1 ¼ C skim milk

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray muffin tins with cooking spray or line cups. In a small mixing bowl, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. In another bowl, beat the egg, peanut butter and milk until smooth. Stir in the wet ingredients just until moistened. Fill greased or paper lined muffin cups ¾ full. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 min. before transferring to a wire rack.

Nutrition Info: Serving size: 1 muffin / 207 Calories / 7.5 g fat / 19.1mg cholesterol / 236mg Sodium / 30.4g Carbohydrates / 1.7g Fiber / 6.3g protein / 14.2g Sugar Recipe adapted from Food.com

1 ½ C white whole wheat flour ¾ C old fashioned oats ½ C sugar 1 t baking powder ½ t baking soda ½ t salt 2 C plain Greek yogurt 1 egg

3 T melted butter 1 t vanilla extract 1 c fresh strawberries, diced

Directions Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a muffin pan with 2 liners. In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk yogurt, egg, melted butter, and vanilla Slowly incorporate the wet ingredients into the dry ingredient bowl and stir just until combined being careful not to over-mix. Gently fold diced strawberries into the batter. Fill muffin tins ¾ full and bake 22 minutes until tops are golden brown. Remove from oven and allow muffins to cool before transferring to a wire rack.

Nutrition Info: Serving size: 1 muffin / 246 Calories / 7.3g fat / 1.6g fiber / 8.7g Protein / 228.3mg Sodium Recipe adapted from LauraFuentes.com (continued on page 30)



lemon-raspberry muffins

healthy egg muffin cups



1 lemon ½ C sugar 1 C nonfat buttermilk ½ C canola oil 1 large egg 1 t vanilla extract

1 C white whole wheat flour 1 C all-purpose flour 2 t baking soda ¼ t salt 1 ½ C fresh or frozen (not thawed) raspberries

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat 12 large half cup muffin cups with cooking spray or line with paper liners. Use a vegetable peeler to remove the zest from lemon in long strips. Combine the zest and sugar in a food processor; pulse until the zest is finely chopped into the sugar. Add buttermilk, oil, egg and vanilla and pulse until blended. Combine wholewheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add the buttermilk mixture and fold until almost blended. Gently fold in raspberries. Divide the batter among the muffin cups. Bake until the edges and tops are golden – 20-25 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 5 min. before turning out onto a wire rack.

1 T olive oil 1 C red pepper, chopped 1 C green pepper, chopped 1 C onion, chopped 2 C baby spinach, chopped

½ C mushrooms, chopped 2 cloves minced garlic Salt to taste 4 whole eggs 4 egg whites

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 12-slot muffin pan with cooking spray. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add oil, red pepper, green pepper and onion. Sauté 5 -7 minutes or until peppers are tender. Add in spinach and mushrooms and cook for an additional 2 minutes. In the last 30 seconds, add garlic. Season with salt and remove from heat. Crack both the whole eggs and egg whites into a bowl and whisk together. Stir in cooked veggies. Pour the egg/ veggie mixture evenly into the prepared muffin cups.Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the tops are firm to the touch and eggs are cooked.

Nutrition Info:

Nutrition Info:

Serving size: 1 muffin / 50 Calories / 2g fat / 4g protein / 1g sugar / 47mg Sodium / 161mg potassium / 3 carbohydrates

Serving size: 1 muffin / 182 calories / 6.8 g fat / 15.8 mg cholesterol / 259 mg sodium / 27 g carbohydrates / 10.2 g Sugar / 2.4 g fiber / 3.9 g protein3 g saturated fat

Recipe adapted from ShowMeThe yummy.com

Recipe adapted from Eatingwell.com




Top 5 Reasons To Enroll Your Child in Will Carleton Academy: 1. We are the highest-achieving public school in Hillsdale County. 3. Our community is caring and respectful, focusing on Core Virtues. 4. Our Core Knowledge Curriculum cultivates academic curiosity. 5. We offer dual enrollment, early/middle college, and vocational technical programs. 6. We have sports options for elementary, middle and high school students.

For more information grade school 517-437-2000. • 84 #1 SAT Sabout C O Rour E Spreschool I N T Hthrough E C O12Uth N T Y public . 9 2academy, I N D Ecall X S CORE 2001 West Hallett Rd, Hillsdale • WillCarletonAcademy.com • (517) 437-2000 30


Profile for Angela Blake

Michigan Parent Spring/Summer 2021  

Bring on the FUN! Exciting ideas for summer adventures, on-the-go recipes, and so much more.

Michigan Parent Spring/Summer 2021  

Bring on the FUN! Exciting ideas for summer adventures, on-the-go recipes, and so much more.

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