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
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
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
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
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
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.
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: www.midcolumbialibraries.org.
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.
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.
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:
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?
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 Time.com (
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
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.
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
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
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 www.readyforkindgarten.org
or call (509) 222-5035.
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!
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