Monthly Archives: January 2011

If the Boot Fits…

So your kids are ready to test out their ski legs? Great! Now what? Gearing up can be confusing but with a few simple pointers you and your family will be ready to hit the slopes in no time. When picking out skis for younger children never exceed the top of the head. Instead, aim for nose or even lower when measuring the littlest beginners.


According to Bart Munson at Sporthaus in Kennewick, younger children can use shorter skis for a greater length of time until they gain stability and perfect their balance. Until kids are about 7 years old, the professionals at Sporthaus don't recommend ski poles.

One of the biggest misconceptions, said Munson, is that shoe size and boot size go hand-in-hand. In reality, ski boots are measured in metric sizes, so be sure to take advantage of the fitting area to ensure your kids' boots fit comfortably.


If you're hesitant to purchase ski attire because you're worried your kids will outgrow items too quickly, check out Obermeyer apparel with an "I-Grow" Extended Wear System that adds up to 2 inches in pant and sleeve length.

Be sure to pack plenty of granola bars in your jacket pockets for a quick energy boost on the mountain and remember to have fun!

Team in Training

If you are looking for something new in your life, something that is challenging and fullfilling and rewarding , I suggest you check out Team in Training.  Team in Training and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society work together to create awarness and raise money for blood cancer research.

I joined Team in Training for many reason, initially for personal reasons like getting in shape and crossing triathlon off my bucket list.  Then I got to know the people involved with Team in Training and learned just how much blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma touch so many people.  My unlce is one that lost his battle…he had lymphoma that then turned into leukemia.


My goal is to complete an Olympic Triathlon in SunRiver, OR.  An olympic triathlon consists of a .9 mile swim, 28 mile bike, and 6 mile run.  Training has been exhuasting but worth every second when I think about our real hereos, the ones battling blood cancer, day in and day out.  As a team, we meet 3 days a week for training, run on Saturday, swim on Sunday, and bike on Wednesday.  It is also recommended that each one of these is done "on your own" during the week as well with one rest day.  I'm a single mom, I work full time, I take a night class and yet I still find time, better yet, I make time for this amazing organization with the hopes that I can help in the race to finding a cure.


The other part of my training is also raising funds for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  Right now, my fundraising consists of a Miche Bag Fundraiser on February 11, 2011 and a Yard Sale Fundraiser scheduled for February 12, 2011, along with letters to friends and family.  For more information about those fundraisers, please check out my webiste.  From there you can also donate directly, learn more about Team in Training, how you can get involved, and learn more about The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  Thank you.

Kids triumph over adults in reading challenge

Kids triumphed over adults as the better readers in Mid-Columbia Libraries' 2nd annual Winter Reading Challenge, which pitted young versus old to see who could read the most December 13 - January 15. The competition more than tripled in size over last year, with over 2,400 participants and over 15,000 hours read: 1,967 kids logged 9,924 hours of reading, while 503 adults logged 5,347 hours of reading.


Participants completing six hours of reading were eligible for grand prize drawings. Amanda Peterson of Prosser won the kid grand prize of four hockey game tickets and an autographed photo from the Tri-City Americans. Payton Hatch of Kennewick won the all-ages grand prize of four upper-box baseball game tickets from the Tri-City Dust Devils. Linda Clark of West Richland won the adult grand prize, a Barnes & Noble Nook e-reader from Friends of Mid-Columbia Libraries. All kids who read for six hours or more were invited to pick up an individual prize at their local library branch through January 15.


Mid-Columbia Libraries enriches our communities by empowering individuals with materials and services for life-long learning and growth, starting at birth. With eleven libraries and a Bookmobile, Mid-Columbia Libraries has provided our region with excellence in library services for more than 60 years. For more information, go to:

Get Bold in the Cold!

You won't need sunscreen but you will need lots of towels ~ and courage! This weekend marks the annual Polar Bear Plunge where brave souls jump into the Columbia River to show their support for the Special Olympics.


The 2011 Polar Bear Plunge takes place at the east end boat launch at Columbia Park near the Lampson Pits from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm. While online registration has closed, participants can register on-site. It's open to anyone brave enough to endure the frigid water and past plungers have ranged in age from 6 to 70 years young. Participants younger than 18 are required to have a parent/guardian signature of consent to participate.

polar plunge

If you're not up for taking a dip in January you can still show your support by joining the spectators. It's a fun event for kids to watch so bring the family out to cheer those braving the icy waters! All proceeds benefit Special Olympics of Kennewick.

Rainy day hike

Winter weather in the Pacific Northwest can get you down for sure. We spent all day yesterday with the kids cooped up in the house, trying to figure out what to do. They were bored and let their energy out by fighting with each other. This made us realize once again that our kids really need a good amount of daily exercise, and we decided that no matter what the weather, we were going to go on a hike today.

It was pouring when we woke up, but we were determined to go on our hike. We prepared with rain jackets and hiking shoes and hit the trails. The rain was really warm and refreshing, and the kids loved having permission to get soaked and muddy. It felt so nice to get some fresh air and exercise, and the pace that the kids kept reminded us again how much it was needed.

We hiked one of our favorite trails in Corvallis - the Homestead Trail loop from the Oak Creek parking lot of the McDonald Forest. It's about 1.5 miles of relatively flat terrain (I truly believe my kids end up doing an extra mile with all the zig-zagging and back tracking they do, though), and ends with a bridge perfect for throwing Pooh sticks.

Here they are, soaking wet and having a blast:

rainy day hike

If the winter weather has you and your kids down, make the extra effort to get out and get some exercise. What is your family's favorite way to get exercise in the winter?


Celebrating Civil Rights

While many kids and teens understand the influence the late Martin Luther King Jr. had on America, be sure to take time this January 17th to help deepen your family's understanding of civil rights movement and why we celebrate MLK Day. Take a trip through history by visiting (,29307,1704734,00.html) where you can view pictures of King during the civil rights movement, or test your knowledge of his famous speech by taking an online quiz. You can also listen to music that resonates from the era such as "Voices of the Civil Rights Movement: Black American Freedom Songs".


If you're looking for a local activity, you and your family can take part in the 20th annual MLK Bell-Ringing Ceremony at Columbia Basin College at the MLK statue outside of the Thornton Center on the Pasco Campus. Tomorrow's bell-ringing ceremony starts promptly at noon. There will be a short presentation in from of the statue immediately followed by an indoor program in Gjerde Center that offers youth a great opportunity to learn more about Martin Luther King Day.

What's for dinner?

Sick of hearing the groans when dinner was served, I recently told the kids that they were responsible for making dinner the following night. I told them that I'd take them to the grocery store and they can pick out what they want (meeting certain nutritional requirements) and prepare it themselves. They completely loved the idea, and decided on pizza and fruit cocktail, with caramel apples for dessert. They had a lot of fun and were quite proud. When dinner was finally served, we had a little talk about how hard they worked, and how bad they would feel if I groaned and complained. Alex replied, "Anytime you guys are tired, we can just make dinner!" I think I might just take him up on that offer!

Are Your Kids Ready for Kindergarten?

Let's face it, kindergarten has changed tremendously since you were in pigtails. Luckily, there's a program geared to help parents and guardians ensure kids birth to 5 years old meet developmental and educational milestones. READY! for Kindergarten, a program of the Children's Reading Foundation of the Mid-Columbia, is currently enrolling parents for winter classes. The Kennewick School District provides this program FREE to Kennewick residents with children under 5.

ready photo

Each quarterly class lasts about 90 minutes. During the workshop, parents receive valuable information and a toolkit (activities, toys and books) designed to help their child progress in 25 target areas. In addition to FREE classes, licensed childcare is offered to parents at no additional charge. This quarter, eight English workshops will be offered between January 22nd and February 5th. Two Spanish workshops will also be offered on either January 29th or January 31st. To sign up for a READY! class or for more information, visit or call (509) 222-5035.

Barnes & Noble Book Club

We know the importance of reading to our kids but if you're looking for an opportunity to devour a good book and have some adult conversation, check out the newly formed Barnes & Noble Book Club kicking off this month. Formed through a partnership between the City of Kennewick and Barnes & Noble, club members (open to anyone 21 and up) will discuss and share thoughts on selected readings. A new book will be chosen each month with the first meeting on January 19th devoted to "The Art of Racing in the Rain" by Garth Stein.


During this inaugural meeting, members will vote on future meeting times and book selections. Meetings will be held the 3rd Wednesday of each month. The first meeting will be held from 3 to 4 pm at the Kennewick Community Center at 500 S. Auburn Street. Member dues are $1 a month and if you can't make the first meeting you can call 585-4303 for future meeting times. If you can make the January meeting, grab your copy of the book and show up ready for a great discussion!