Melissa is a mom of two little boys, ages 3 and 6 months. She is a science teacher at Bay View Middle School, and has been a teacher for 7 years. Melissa and her husband also own an organic produce farm, Twin Elm Gardens, so you will often find her at local farmer's markets. Their food is used in many local restaurants. In the winter Melissa and her husband stay very busy as they are also part owners of the Wojcik Christmas Tree Farm. She loves encouraging people to support local, healthy, and sustainable.
Earth Day, Earth Day 2019, Earth Day Activities, Earth Day Family Activities

Earth Day Activities for Families

I spent two summers working at the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary, and if you have visited, you will likely see the Native Proverb as you depart: "We do not inherit the Earth from our...

An Attitude of Gratitude

This year, I have tried to maintain my attitude of gratitude. I have tried to focus on turning my complaints into positives, to find the good things I can say about hosting.

The Perfect Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie

To me, our family's pumpkin pie tradition is what makes this holiday so special, and it is one of the many reasons I am grateful this Thanksgiving: for good food, for laughter, for family, for my mom. 
October is Bullying Prevention Month

October is Bullying Prevention Month

Bullying is a problem. It's a simple sentence. But there is not a simple solution. Almost one third of all kids will report being bullied. With the new avenue of social media, cyberbullying is...

DIY Construction Costumes

So, fast-forward to early September. My little H noticed some Halloween costumes in Target and asked what he would be for Halloween. I told him it was up to him. Shockingly (no, not at all shockingly), he asked if he could be an excavator. I told him I didn't think I could make that, to which he replied "Why? You made a bulldozer. An excavator can't be that much harder." Touche, kiddo! I knew I could do it.

Organizing your Family Memories

Now that the majority of us have smart phones, there is rarely a special moment that isn't caught on either a picture or video. I know myself, personally, take well over 1000 photos a year, and quite a few videos, too! So many people just leave them on their phone or send them to the cloud, but I like to make sure I organize my family memories so that they are easy to look at. I have found two things to be great in this regard: family yearbooks and home videos.
I can't watch that...

I Can’t Watch That…

n speaking with other moms, it looks like there is a trend on how perspectives change when you become a parent in terms of how you enjoy media. I first experienced this when I was reduced to tears during a movie trailer while pregnant.
device free summer

Device-Free Summer

I am sure you have seen an article or two about how smart phones, iPads and tablets are highly addictive for kids, teenagers, and adults. The reality is that devices have become a problem for all of us. I have witnessed this often first-hand, as a middle school teacher in a school where each student has an iPad. They often cannot control themselves, turning it on subconsciously. The average adult checks their device 50 times a day!  And what's worst: studies have found that phones and tablets are as addictive as cocaine, activating the same areas of the brain, resulting in children and young adults who are literally addicted to technology.

Invest Time in Food

The reality is, our focus on fast is one of the reasons our society is having an obesity problem at the same time that malnourishment is going back up. Teaching your kids about food and investing time in food promotes a healthy lifestyle and mentality from the beginning! Plus, planting, picking, and making food is a fun thing to do as a whole family! I hope you find a way to give it a try this summer!

Coping With Anxiety in Kids

One thing I have learned about anxiety is that it is hereditary. This has become a burden on its own, because it is quite apparent that my oldest suffers anxiety. I worry about how that will play out throughout his life, so I decided to be proactive and teach him ways to control his emotions and anxiety. Check out some tips and ideas below. Even if anxiety isn’t a struggle in your family, I promise these are helpful tips to get through those toddler and preschool tantrums too!