NWI Parent

FEATURED THIS WEEK—What’s new on nwi.com/parent

Nuts!

December 6th, 2010 - By John Quinlan, Sioux City Journal

Ashton Verdoorn was born in Green Bay, Wis., home of the Packers. The budding football star’s favorite player? Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers’ arch-rivals. Yet it all makes sense for the 8-year-old who moved to Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, four years ago with his single mom and two sisters.

Packer country is behind him. He only wishes he could have left behind his health woes.

Ashton’s young body, pummeled by a myriad of food allergies, asthma and eczema, makes eating anything new a physical challenge. Nuts and peanuts? Not on the menu. Milk and dairy products? Once verboten but now allowed in modest amounts.

Family overcomes tragedy with a lesson in giving

December 6th, 2010 - By Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert, Morning Journal News

Maternal love knows no boundaries, and for local mother Kim Bailey that love is now international.

In June, Bailey and her husband, Tom, lost their 2-year-old son in a drowning accident at their home. While coping with Joey’s death as much as possible over the last few months, she and her mother Barb Durst knew the upcoming holidays and his birthday would be especially difficult.

They had been thinking of ways to help them get through those days when Durst heard an announcement on a Christian radio station about Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse that provides gifts to underprivileged children around the world.

Trendy toys don’t stand up to Sixfinger, playthings of yore

December 5th, 2010 - By John Kass, Chicago Tribune

Whatever the hot toy is this year, you can rest assured it is not a Sixfinger.

The Sixfinger was the must-have item when I was a little boy. It was a devilishly clever plastic index finger that was actually a gun. It fired hard plastic objects and exploding projectiles.

You were supposed to shoot these off in the safety of a vacant lot. But it was even more satisfying to point your Sixfinger at the small of your little brother’s back and squeeze off a round, just as he ran off to tell mom and dad you’d pinged Mrs. Molaitis’ basement window.

5 fresh and simple gifts to make by hand

December 5th, 2010 - By Jennifer Forker for the Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

Sometimes, a new twist on an old idea is all it takes and a beautiful handmade gift is born.

If you’re inclined toward making your own gifts this holiday season, look in on the following five ideas, which stand out for their simplicity and freshness.

Couple starts cloth diaper service

December 4th, 2010 - By Ken Kosky

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick. (Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick.
(Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Valparaiso residents Rick and Triny Sojka didn’t even consider the possibility of using cloth diapers when they had their son, Zander, five years ago.

But after their daughter, Nadia, was born a year and a half ago, Rick got laid off from his job and they decided one way to save money would be to switch from disposable diapers to cloth ones.

They soon realized that cloth diapers could not only save them money, but also earn them money if they provided cloth diapers, supplies and laundry service to other parents.

Filed under: Family Life. Tags: , , , .

Objections to international adoptions aren’t about crossing miles, but crossing cultures

December 4th, 2010 - By Young Lee, Medill News Service

When celebrities like Madonna and Angelina Jolie adopt children from foreign countries, the media coverage is intense. But for non-celebrities, who conduct such adoptions without the media glare, the process of the adoptions themselves and the fate of the children once they grow up never are examined.

For Beth Evans, 27, trips to Disneyland every year, birthday parties and holiday dinners may not have happened if she had not been adopted from Korea by her parents, Robert and Louise Evans. Evans was 2 years old when she was adopted from the Sung Lo Won orphanage in Seoul and brought to Grand Rapids, Mich.

Food with a Dash of Fun—One Pan Dinner: Roasted Salmon

December 3rd, 2010 - By Barb Ruess

NWI Parent Blog—We’ve all gotta eat-might as well have some fun in the kitchen! Check here for recipes, cooking with kids, food finds, and more.

Fish was on the menu last night – salmon is a family favorite so I started digging through my files and torn magazine pages to see if I could find a new roasting recipe. Roasting salmon is one of my favorite ways to cook it. It a healthy way to cook and always comes out with a nice clean taste; it’s simple to do; and surrounded by veggies it’s a one pan dinner which is a nice bonus at clean-up time. I found this recipe torn out of a Real Simple magazine. Tweaked it just a tiny bit for my crowd and it’s a new addition to my roasted salmon rotation. Enjoy!

Continue reading Barb’s latest post here on her “Food with a Dash of Fun” blog.

Oh, The Places We Will Go—Entertaining Guests in a Whirlwind Week (and a half)

December 1st, 2010 - By Jamie Bissot

NWI Parent Blog—Jamie is experiencing the South Shore one little moment at a time.

About an month(ish) ago, over a week and a half, I had three sets of guests. First my mother, which isn’t like having a guest at all. At 30 something, I still love to have “Mommy” around. Next was my in-laws. I got lucky in that department too. Next was my father and grandparents. So, we had a busy week.

With all these guests, we had to do a lot of entertaining. I got to see a lot of Indiana and Illinois in a small amount of time.

Continue reading Jamie’s latest post here on her “Oh, The Places We Will Go” blog.

Laptops to Countertops—Magic Moments

December 1st, 2010 - By Beth Fletcher

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

Filed under: Family Life, Holiday Guide.

FEATURED THIS WEEK—What’s new on nwi.com/parent

Nuts!

December 6th, 2010 - By John Quinlan, Sioux City Journal

Ashton Verdoorn was born in Green Bay, Wis., home of the Packers. The budding football star’s favorite player? Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers’ arch-rivals. Yet it all makes sense for the 8-year-old who moved to Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, four years ago with his single mom and two sisters.

Packer country is behind him. He only wishes he could have left behind his health woes.

Ashton’s young body, pummeled by a myriad of food allergies, asthma and eczema, makes eating anything new a physical challenge. Nuts and peanuts? Not on the menu. Milk and dairy products? Once verboten but now allowed in modest amounts.

Family overcomes tragedy with a lesson in giving

December 6th, 2010 - By Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert, Morning Journal News

Maternal love knows no boundaries, and for local mother Kim Bailey that love is now international.

In June, Bailey and her husband, Tom, lost their 2-year-old son in a drowning accident at their home. While coping with Joey’s death as much as possible over the last few months, she and her mother Barb Durst knew the upcoming holidays and his birthday would be especially difficult.

They had been thinking of ways to help them get through those days when Durst heard an announcement on a Christian radio station about Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse that provides gifts to underprivileged children around the world.

Trendy toys don’t stand up to Sixfinger, playthings of yore

December 5th, 2010 - By John Kass, Chicago Tribune

Whatever the hot toy is this year, you can rest assured it is not a Sixfinger.

The Sixfinger was the must-have item when I was a little boy. It was a devilishly clever plastic index finger that was actually a gun. It fired hard plastic objects and exploding projectiles.

You were supposed to shoot these off in the safety of a vacant lot. But it was even more satisfying to point your Sixfinger at the small of your little brother’s back and squeeze off a round, just as he ran off to tell mom and dad you’d pinged Mrs. Molaitis’ basement window.

5 fresh and simple gifts to make by hand

December 5th, 2010 - By Jennifer Forker for the Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

Sometimes, a new twist on an old idea is all it takes and a beautiful handmade gift is born.

If you’re inclined toward making your own gifts this holiday season, look in on the following five ideas, which stand out for their simplicity and freshness.

Couple starts cloth diaper service

December 4th, 2010 - By Ken Kosky

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick. (Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick.
(Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Valparaiso residents Rick and Triny Sojka didn’t even consider the possibility of using cloth diapers when they had their son, Zander, five years ago.

But after their daughter, Nadia, was born a year and a half ago, Rick got laid off from his job and they decided one way to save money would be to switch from disposable diapers to cloth ones.

They soon realized that cloth diapers could not only save them money, but also earn them money if they provided cloth diapers, supplies and laundry service to other parents.

Filed under: Family Life. Tags: , , , .

Objections to international adoptions aren’t about crossing miles, but crossing cultures

December 4th, 2010 - By Young Lee, Medill News Service

When celebrities like Madonna and Angelina Jolie adopt children from foreign countries, the media coverage is intense. But for non-celebrities, who conduct such adoptions without the media glare, the process of the adoptions themselves and the fate of the children once they grow up never are examined.

For Beth Evans, 27, trips to Disneyland every year, birthday parties and holiday dinners may not have happened if she had not been adopted from Korea by her parents, Robert and Louise Evans. Evans was 2 years old when she was adopted from the Sung Lo Won orphanage in Seoul and brought to Grand Rapids, Mich.

Food with a Dash of Fun—One Pan Dinner: Roasted Salmon

December 3rd, 2010 - By Barb Ruess

NWI Parent Blog—We’ve all gotta eat-might as well have some fun in the kitchen! Check here for recipes, cooking with kids, food finds, and more.

Fish was on the menu last night – salmon is a family favorite so I started digging through my files and torn magazine pages to see if I could find a new roasting recipe. Roasting salmon is one of my favorite ways to cook it. It a healthy way to cook and always comes out with a nice clean taste; it’s simple to do; and surrounded by veggies it’s a one pan dinner which is a nice bonus at clean-up time. I found this recipe torn out of a Real Simple magazine. Tweaked it just a tiny bit for my crowd and it’s a new addition to my roasted salmon rotation. Enjoy!

Continue reading Barb’s latest post here on her “Food with a Dash of Fun” blog.

Oh, The Places We Will Go—Entertaining Guests in a Whirlwind Week (and a half)

December 1st, 2010 - By Jamie Bissot

NWI Parent Blog—Jamie is experiencing the South Shore one little moment at a time.

About an month(ish) ago, over a week and a half, I had three sets of guests. First my mother, which isn’t like having a guest at all. At 30 something, I still love to have “Mommy” around. Next was my in-laws. I got lucky in that department too. Next was my father and grandparents. So, we had a busy week.

With all these guests, we had to do a lot of entertaining. I got to see a lot of Indiana and Illinois in a small amount of time.

Continue reading Jamie’s latest post here on her “Oh, The Places We Will Go” blog.

Laptops to Countertops—Magic Moments

December 1st, 2010 - By Beth Fletcher

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

Filed under: Family Life, Holiday Guide.

FEATURED THIS WEEK—What’s new on nwi.com/parent

Nuts!

December 6th, 2010 - By John Quinlan, Sioux City Journal

Ashton Verdoorn was born in Green Bay, Wis., home of the Packers. The budding football star’s favorite player? Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers’ arch-rivals. Yet it all makes sense for the 8-year-old who moved to Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, four years ago with his single mom and two sisters.

Packer country is behind him. He only wishes he could have left behind his health woes.

Ashton’s young body, pummeled by a myriad of food allergies, asthma and eczema, makes eating anything new a physical challenge. Nuts and peanuts? Not on the menu. Milk and dairy products? Once verboten but now allowed in modest amounts.

Family overcomes tragedy with a lesson in giving

December 6th, 2010 - By Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert, Morning Journal News

Maternal love knows no boundaries, and for local mother Kim Bailey that love is now international.

In June, Bailey and her husband, Tom, lost their 2-year-old son in a drowning accident at their home. While coping with Joey’s death as much as possible over the last few months, she and her mother Barb Durst knew the upcoming holidays and his birthday would be especially difficult.

They had been thinking of ways to help them get through those days when Durst heard an announcement on a Christian radio station about Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse that provides gifts to underprivileged children around the world.

Trendy toys don’t stand up to Sixfinger, playthings of yore

December 5th, 2010 - By John Kass, Chicago Tribune

Whatever the hot toy is this year, you can rest assured it is not a Sixfinger.

The Sixfinger was the must-have item when I was a little boy. It was a devilishly clever plastic index finger that was actually a gun. It fired hard plastic objects and exploding projectiles.

You were supposed to shoot these off in the safety of a vacant lot. But it was even more satisfying to point your Sixfinger at the small of your little brother’s back and squeeze off a round, just as he ran off to tell mom and dad you’d pinged Mrs. Molaitis’ basement window.

5 fresh and simple gifts to make by hand

December 5th, 2010 - By Jennifer Forker for the Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

Sometimes, a new twist on an old idea is all it takes and a beautiful handmade gift is born.

If you’re inclined toward making your own gifts this holiday season, look in on the following five ideas, which stand out for their simplicity and freshness.

Couple starts cloth diaper service

December 4th, 2010 - By Ken Kosky

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick. (Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick.
(Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Valparaiso residents Rick and Triny Sojka didn’t even consider the possibility of using cloth diapers when they had their son, Zander, five years ago.

But after their daughter, Nadia, was born a year and a half ago, Rick got laid off from his job and they decided one way to save money would be to switch from disposable diapers to cloth ones.

They soon realized that cloth diapers could not only save them money, but also earn them money if they provided cloth diapers, supplies and laundry service to other parents.

Filed under: Family Life. Tags: , , , .

Objections to international adoptions aren’t about crossing miles, but crossing cultures

December 4th, 2010 - By Young Lee, Medill News Service

When celebrities like Madonna and Angelina Jolie adopt children from foreign countries, the media coverage is intense. But for non-celebrities, who conduct such adoptions without the media glare, the process of the adoptions themselves and the fate of the children once they grow up never are examined.

For Beth Evans, 27, trips to Disneyland every year, birthday parties and holiday dinners may not have happened if she had not been adopted from Korea by her parents, Robert and Louise Evans. Evans was 2 years old when she was adopted from the Sung Lo Won orphanage in Seoul and brought to Grand Rapids, Mich.

Food with a Dash of Fun—One Pan Dinner: Roasted Salmon

December 3rd, 2010 - By Barb Ruess

NWI Parent Blog—We’ve all gotta eat-might as well have some fun in the kitchen! Check here for recipes, cooking with kids, food finds, and more.

Fish was on the menu last night – salmon is a family favorite so I started digging through my files and torn magazine pages to see if I could find a new roasting recipe. Roasting salmon is one of my favorite ways to cook it. It a healthy way to cook and always comes out with a nice clean taste; it’s simple to do; and surrounded by veggies it’s a one pan dinner which is a nice bonus at clean-up time. I found this recipe torn out of a Real Simple magazine. Tweaked it just a tiny bit for my crowd and it’s a new addition to my roasted salmon rotation. Enjoy!

Continue reading Barb’s latest post here on her “Food with a Dash of Fun” blog.

Oh, The Places We Will Go—Entertaining Guests in a Whirlwind Week (and a half)

December 1st, 2010 - By Jamie Bissot

NWI Parent Blog—Jamie is experiencing the South Shore one little moment at a time.

About an month(ish) ago, over a week and a half, I had three sets of guests. First my mother, which isn’t like having a guest at all. At 30 something, I still love to have “Mommy” around. Next was my in-laws. I got lucky in that department too. Next was my father and grandparents. So, we had a busy week.

With all these guests, we had to do a lot of entertaining. I got to see a lot of Indiana and Illinois in a small amount of time.

Continue reading Jamie’s latest post here on her “Oh, The Places We Will Go” blog.

Laptops to Countertops—Magic Moments

December 1st, 2010 - By Beth Fletcher

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

Filed under: Family Life, Holiday Guide.

FEATURED THIS WEEK—What’s new on nwi.com/parent

Nuts!

December 6th, 2010 - By John Quinlan, Sioux City Journal

Ashton Verdoorn was born in Green Bay, Wis., home of the Packers. The budding football star’s favorite player? Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers’ arch-rivals. Yet it all makes sense for the 8-year-old who moved to Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, four years ago with his single mom and two sisters.

Packer country is behind him. He only wishes he could have left behind his health woes.

Ashton’s young body, pummeled by a myriad of food allergies, asthma and eczema, makes eating anything new a physical challenge. Nuts and peanuts? Not on the menu. Milk and dairy products? Once verboten but now allowed in modest amounts.

Family overcomes tragedy with a lesson in giving

December 6th, 2010 - By Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert, Morning Journal News

Maternal love knows no boundaries, and for local mother Kim Bailey that love is now international.

In June, Bailey and her husband, Tom, lost their 2-year-old son in a drowning accident at their home. While coping with Joey’s death as much as possible over the last few months, she and her mother Barb Durst knew the upcoming holidays and his birthday would be especially difficult.

They had been thinking of ways to help them get through those days when Durst heard an announcement on a Christian radio station about Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse that provides gifts to underprivileged children around the world.

Trendy toys don’t stand up to Sixfinger, playthings of yore

December 5th, 2010 - By John Kass, Chicago Tribune

Whatever the hot toy is this year, you can rest assured it is not a Sixfinger.

The Sixfinger was the must-have item when I was a little boy. It was a devilishly clever plastic index finger that was actually a gun. It fired hard plastic objects and exploding projectiles.

You were supposed to shoot these off in the safety of a vacant lot. But it was even more satisfying to point your Sixfinger at the small of your little brother’s back and squeeze off a round, just as he ran off to tell mom and dad you’d pinged Mrs. Molaitis’ basement window.

5 fresh and simple gifts to make by hand

December 5th, 2010 - By Jennifer Forker for the Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

Sometimes, a new twist on an old idea is all it takes and a beautiful handmade gift is born.

If you’re inclined toward making your own gifts this holiday season, look in on the following five ideas, which stand out for their simplicity and freshness.

Couple starts cloth diaper service

December 4th, 2010 - By Ken Kosky

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick. (Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick.
(Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Valparaiso residents Rick and Triny Sojka didn’t even consider the possibility of using cloth diapers when they had their son, Zander, five years ago.

But after their daughter, Nadia, was born a year and a half ago, Rick got laid off from his job and they decided one way to save money would be to switch from disposable diapers to cloth ones.

They soon realized that cloth diapers could not only save them money, but also earn them money if they provided cloth diapers, supplies and laundry service to other parents.

Filed under: Family Life. Tags: , , , .

Objections to international adoptions aren’t about crossing miles, but crossing cultures

December 4th, 2010 - By Young Lee, Medill News Service

When celebrities like Madonna and Angelina Jolie adopt children from foreign countries, the media coverage is intense. But for non-celebrities, who conduct such adoptions without the media glare, the process of the adoptions themselves and the fate of the children once they grow up never are examined.

For Beth Evans, 27, trips to Disneyland every year, birthday parties and holiday dinners may not have happened if she had not been adopted from Korea by her parents, Robert and Louise Evans. Evans was 2 years old when she was adopted from the Sung Lo Won orphanage in Seoul and brought to Grand Rapids, Mich.

Food with a Dash of Fun—One Pan Dinner: Roasted Salmon

December 3rd, 2010 - By Barb Ruess

NWI Parent Blog—We’ve all gotta eat-might as well have some fun in the kitchen! Check here for recipes, cooking with kids, food finds, and more.

Fish was on the menu last night – salmon is a family favorite so I started digging through my files and torn magazine pages to see if I could find a new roasting recipe. Roasting salmon is one of my favorite ways to cook it. It a healthy way to cook and always comes out with a nice clean taste; it’s simple to do; and surrounded by veggies it’s a one pan dinner which is a nice bonus at clean-up time. I found this recipe torn out of a Real Simple magazine. Tweaked it just a tiny bit for my crowd and it’s a new addition to my roasted salmon rotation. Enjoy!

Continue reading Barb’s latest post here on her “Food with a Dash of Fun” blog.

Oh, The Places We Will Go—Entertaining Guests in a Whirlwind Week (and a half)

December 1st, 2010 - By Jamie Bissot

NWI Parent Blog—Jamie is experiencing the South Shore one little moment at a time.

About an month(ish) ago, over a week and a half, I had three sets of guests. First my mother, which isn’t like having a guest at all. At 30 something, I still love to have “Mommy” around. Next was my in-laws. I got lucky in that department too. Next was my father and grandparents. So, we had a busy week.

With all these guests, we had to do a lot of entertaining. I got to see a lot of Indiana and Illinois in a small amount of time.

Continue reading Jamie’s latest post here on her “Oh, The Places We Will Go” blog.

Laptops to Countertops—Magic Moments

December 1st, 2010 - By Beth Fletcher

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

Filed under: Family Life, Holiday Guide.

FEATURED THIS WEEK—What’s new on nwi.com/parent

Nuts!

December 6th, 2010 - By John Quinlan, Sioux City Journal

Ashton Verdoorn was born in Green Bay, Wis., home of the Packers. The budding football star’s favorite player? Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers’ arch-rivals. Yet it all makes sense for the 8-year-old who moved to Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, four years ago with his single mom and two sisters.

Packer country is behind him. He only wishes he could have left behind his health woes.

Ashton’s young body, pummeled by a myriad of food allergies, asthma and eczema, makes eating anything new a physical challenge. Nuts and peanuts? Not on the menu. Milk and dairy products? Once verboten but now allowed in modest amounts.

Family overcomes tragedy with a lesson in giving

December 6th, 2010 - By Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert, Morning Journal News

Maternal love knows no boundaries, and for local mother Kim Bailey that love is now international.

In June, Bailey and her husband, Tom, lost their 2-year-old son in a drowning accident at their home. While coping with Joey’s death as much as possible over the last few months, she and her mother Barb Durst knew the upcoming holidays and his birthday would be especially difficult.

They had been thinking of ways to help them get through those days when Durst heard an announcement on a Christian radio station about Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse that provides gifts to underprivileged children around the world.

Trendy toys don’t stand up to Sixfinger, playthings of yore

December 5th, 2010 - By John Kass, Chicago Tribune

Whatever the hot toy is this year, you can rest assured it is not a Sixfinger.

The Sixfinger was the must-have item when I was a little boy. It was a devilishly clever plastic index finger that was actually a gun. It fired hard plastic objects and exploding projectiles.

You were supposed to shoot these off in the safety of a vacant lot. But it was even more satisfying to point your Sixfinger at the small of your little brother’s back and squeeze off a round, just as he ran off to tell mom and dad you’d pinged Mrs. Molaitis’ basement window.

5 fresh and simple gifts to make by hand

December 5th, 2010 - By Jennifer Forker for the Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

Sometimes, a new twist on an old idea is all it takes and a beautiful handmade gift is born.

If you’re inclined toward making your own gifts this holiday season, look in on the following five ideas, which stand out for their simplicity and freshness.

Couple starts cloth diaper service

December 4th, 2010 - By Ken Kosky

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick. (Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick.
(Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Valparaiso residents Rick and Triny Sojka didn’t even consider the possibility of using cloth diapers when they had their son, Zander, five years ago.

But after their daughter, Nadia, was born a year and a half ago, Rick got laid off from his job and they decided one way to save money would be to switch from disposable diapers to cloth ones.

They soon realized that cloth diapers could not only save them money, but also earn them money if they provided cloth diapers, supplies and laundry service to other parents.

Filed under: Family Life. Tags: , , , .

Objections to international adoptions aren’t about crossing miles, but crossing cultures

December 4th, 2010 - By Young Lee, Medill News Service

When celebrities like Madonna and Angelina Jolie adopt children from foreign countries, the media coverage is intense. But for non-celebrities, who conduct such adoptions without the media glare, the process of the adoptions themselves and the fate of the children once they grow up never are examined.

For Beth Evans, 27, trips to Disneyland every year, birthday parties and holiday dinners may not have happened if she had not been adopted from Korea by her parents, Robert and Louise Evans. Evans was 2 years old when she was adopted from the Sung Lo Won orphanage in Seoul and brought to Grand Rapids, Mich.

Food with a Dash of Fun—One Pan Dinner: Roasted Salmon

December 3rd, 2010 - By Barb Ruess

NWI Parent Blog—We’ve all gotta eat-might as well have some fun in the kitchen! Check here for recipes, cooking with kids, food finds, and more.

Fish was on the menu last night – salmon is a family favorite so I started digging through my files and torn magazine pages to see if I could find a new roasting recipe. Roasting salmon is one of my favorite ways to cook it. It a healthy way to cook and always comes out with a nice clean taste; it’s simple to do; and surrounded by veggies it’s a one pan dinner which is a nice bonus at clean-up time. I found this recipe torn out of a Real Simple magazine. Tweaked it just a tiny bit for my crowd and it’s a new addition to my roasted salmon rotation. Enjoy!

Continue reading Barb’s latest post here on her “Food with a Dash of Fun” blog.

Oh, The Places We Will Go—Entertaining Guests in a Whirlwind Week (and a half)

December 1st, 2010 - By Jamie Bissot

NWI Parent Blog—Jamie is experiencing the South Shore one little moment at a time.

About an month(ish) ago, over a week and a half, I had three sets of guests. First my mother, which isn’t like having a guest at all. At 30 something, I still love to have “Mommy” around. Next was my in-laws. I got lucky in that department too. Next was my father and grandparents. So, we had a busy week.

With all these guests, we had to do a lot of entertaining. I got to see a lot of Indiana and Illinois in a small amount of time.

Continue reading Jamie’s latest post here on her “Oh, The Places We Will Go” blog.

Laptops to Countertops—Magic Moments

December 1st, 2010 - By Beth Fletcher

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

Filed under: Family Life, Holiday Guide.

FEATURED THIS WEEK—What’s new on nwi.com/parent

Nuts!

December 6th, 2010 - By John Quinlan, Sioux City Journal

Ashton Verdoorn was born in Green Bay, Wis., home of the Packers. The budding football star’s favorite player? Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers’ arch-rivals. Yet it all makes sense for the 8-year-old who moved to Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, four years ago with his single mom and two sisters.

Packer country is behind him. He only wishes he could have left behind his health woes.

Ashton’s young body, pummeled by a myriad of food allergies, asthma and eczema, makes eating anything new a physical challenge. Nuts and peanuts? Not on the menu. Milk and dairy products? Once verboten but now allowed in modest amounts.

Family overcomes tragedy with a lesson in giving

December 6th, 2010 - By Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert, Morning Journal News

Maternal love knows no boundaries, and for local mother Kim Bailey that love is now international.

In June, Bailey and her husband, Tom, lost their 2-year-old son in a drowning accident at their home. While coping with Joey’s death as much as possible over the last few months, she and her mother Barb Durst knew the upcoming holidays and his birthday would be especially difficult.

They had been thinking of ways to help them get through those days when Durst heard an announcement on a Christian radio station about Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse that provides gifts to underprivileged children around the world.

Trendy toys don’t stand up to Sixfinger, playthings of yore

December 5th, 2010 - By John Kass, Chicago Tribune

Whatever the hot toy is this year, you can rest assured it is not a Sixfinger.

The Sixfinger was the must-have item when I was a little boy. It was a devilishly clever plastic index finger that was actually a gun. It fired hard plastic objects and exploding projectiles.

You were supposed to shoot these off in the safety of a vacant lot. But it was even more satisfying to point your Sixfinger at the small of your little brother’s back and squeeze off a round, just as he ran off to tell mom and dad you’d pinged Mrs. Molaitis’ basement window.

5 fresh and simple gifts to make by hand

December 5th, 2010 - By Jennifer Forker for the Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

Sometimes, a new twist on an old idea is all it takes and a beautiful handmade gift is born.

If you’re inclined toward making your own gifts this holiday season, look in on the following five ideas, which stand out for their simplicity and freshness.

Couple starts cloth diaper service

December 4th, 2010 - By Ken Kosky

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick. (Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick.
(Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Valparaiso residents Rick and Triny Sojka didn’t even consider the possibility of using cloth diapers when they had their son, Zander, five years ago.

But after their daughter, Nadia, was born a year and a half ago, Rick got laid off from his job and they decided one way to save money would be to switch from disposable diapers to cloth ones.

They soon realized that cloth diapers could not only save them money, but also earn them money if they provided cloth diapers, supplies and laundry service to other parents.

Filed under: Family Life. Tags: , , , .

Objections to international adoptions aren’t about crossing miles, but crossing cultures

December 4th, 2010 - By Young Lee, Medill News Service

When celebrities like Madonna and Angelina Jolie adopt children from foreign countries, the media coverage is intense. But for non-celebrities, who conduct such adoptions without the media glare, the process of the adoptions themselves and the fate of the children once they grow up never are examined.

For Beth Evans, 27, trips to Disneyland every year, birthday parties and holiday dinners may not have happened if she had not been adopted from Korea by her parents, Robert and Louise Evans. Evans was 2 years old when she was adopted from the Sung Lo Won orphanage in Seoul and brought to Grand Rapids, Mich.

Food with a Dash of Fun—One Pan Dinner: Roasted Salmon

December 3rd, 2010 - By Barb Ruess

NWI Parent Blog—We’ve all gotta eat-might as well have some fun in the kitchen! Check here for recipes, cooking with kids, food finds, and more.

Fish was on the menu last night – salmon is a family favorite so I started digging through my files and torn magazine pages to see if I could find a new roasting recipe. Roasting salmon is one of my favorite ways to cook it. It a healthy way to cook and always comes out with a nice clean taste; it’s simple to do; and surrounded by veggies it’s a one pan dinner which is a nice bonus at clean-up time. I found this recipe torn out of a Real Simple magazine. Tweaked it just a tiny bit for my crowd and it’s a new addition to my roasted salmon rotation. Enjoy!

Continue reading Barb’s latest post here on her “Food with a Dash of Fun” blog.

Oh, The Places We Will Go—Entertaining Guests in a Whirlwind Week (and a half)

December 1st, 2010 - By Jamie Bissot

NWI Parent Blog—Jamie is experiencing the South Shore one little moment at a time.

About an month(ish) ago, over a week and a half, I had three sets of guests. First my mother, which isn’t like having a guest at all. At 30 something, I still love to have “Mommy” around. Next was my in-laws. I got lucky in that department too. Next was my father and grandparents. So, we had a busy week.

With all these guests, we had to do a lot of entertaining. I got to see a lot of Indiana and Illinois in a small amount of time.

Continue reading Jamie’s latest post here on her “Oh, The Places We Will Go” blog.

Laptops to Countertops—Magic Moments

December 1st, 2010 - By Beth Fletcher

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

Filed under: Family Life, Holiday Guide.

FEATURED THIS WEEK—What’s new on nwi.com/parent

Nuts!

December 6th, 2010 - By John Quinlan, Sioux City Journal

Ashton Verdoorn was born in Green Bay, Wis., home of the Packers. The budding football star’s favorite player? Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers’ arch-rivals. Yet it all makes sense for the 8-year-old who moved to Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, four years ago with his single mom and two sisters.

Packer country is behind him. He only wishes he could have left behind his health woes.

Ashton’s young body, pummeled by a myriad of food allergies, asthma and eczema, makes eating anything new a physical challenge. Nuts and peanuts? Not on the menu. Milk and dairy products? Once verboten but now allowed in modest amounts.

Family overcomes tragedy with a lesson in giving

December 6th, 2010 - By Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert, Morning Journal News

Maternal love knows no boundaries, and for local mother Kim Bailey that love is now international.

In June, Bailey and her husband, Tom, lost their 2-year-old son in a drowning accident at their home. While coping with Joey’s death as much as possible over the last few months, she and her mother Barb Durst knew the upcoming holidays and his birthday would be especially difficult.

They had been thinking of ways to help them get through those days when Durst heard an announcement on a Christian radio station about Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse that provides gifts to underprivileged children around the world.

Trendy toys don’t stand up to Sixfinger, playthings of yore

December 5th, 2010 - By John Kass, Chicago Tribune

Whatever the hot toy is this year, you can rest assured it is not a Sixfinger.

The Sixfinger was the must-have item when I was a little boy. It was a devilishly clever plastic index finger that was actually a gun. It fired hard plastic objects and exploding projectiles.

You were supposed to shoot these off in the safety of a vacant lot. But it was even more satisfying to point your Sixfinger at the small of your little brother’s back and squeeze off a round, just as he ran off to tell mom and dad you’d pinged Mrs. Molaitis’ basement window.

5 fresh and simple gifts to make by hand

December 5th, 2010 - By Jennifer Forker for the Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

Sometimes, a new twist on an old idea is all it takes and a beautiful handmade gift is born.

If you’re inclined toward making your own gifts this holiday season, look in on the following five ideas, which stand out for their simplicity and freshness.

Couple starts cloth diaper service

December 4th, 2010 - By Ken Kosky

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick. (Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick.
(Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Valparaiso residents Rick and Triny Sojka didn’t even consider the possibility of using cloth diapers when they had their son, Zander, five years ago.

But after their daughter, Nadia, was born a year and a half ago, Rick got laid off from his job and they decided one way to save money would be to switch from disposable diapers to cloth ones.

They soon realized that cloth diapers could not only save them money, but also earn them money if they provided cloth diapers, supplies and laundry service to other parents.

Filed under: Family Life. Tags: , , , .

Objections to international adoptions aren’t about crossing miles, but crossing cultures

December 4th, 2010 - By Young Lee, Medill News Service

When celebrities like Madonna and Angelina Jolie adopt children from foreign countries, the media coverage is intense. But for non-celebrities, who conduct such adoptions without the media glare, the process of the adoptions themselves and the fate of the children once they grow up never are examined.

For Beth Evans, 27, trips to Disneyland every year, birthday parties and holiday dinners may not have happened if she had not been adopted from Korea by her parents, Robert and Louise Evans. Evans was 2 years old when she was adopted from the Sung Lo Won orphanage in Seoul and brought to Grand Rapids, Mich.

Food with a Dash of Fun—One Pan Dinner: Roasted Salmon

December 3rd, 2010 - By Barb Ruess

NWI Parent Blog—We’ve all gotta eat-might as well have some fun in the kitchen! Check here for recipes, cooking with kids, food finds, and more.

Fish was on the menu last night – salmon is a family favorite so I started digging through my files and torn magazine pages to see if I could find a new roasting recipe. Roasting salmon is one of my favorite ways to cook it. It a healthy way to cook and always comes out with a nice clean taste; it’s simple to do; and surrounded by veggies it’s a one pan dinner which is a nice bonus at clean-up time. I found this recipe torn out of a Real Simple magazine. Tweaked it just a tiny bit for my crowd and it’s a new addition to my roasted salmon rotation. Enjoy!

Continue reading Barb’s latest post here on her “Food with a Dash of Fun” blog.

Oh, The Places We Will Go—Entertaining Guests in a Whirlwind Week (and a half)

December 1st, 2010 - By Jamie Bissot

NWI Parent Blog—Jamie is experiencing the South Shore one little moment at a time.

About an month(ish) ago, over a week and a half, I had three sets of guests. First my mother, which isn’t like having a guest at all. At 30 something, I still love to have “Mommy” around. Next was my in-laws. I got lucky in that department too. Next was my father and grandparents. So, we had a busy week.

With all these guests, we had to do a lot of entertaining. I got to see a lot of Indiana and Illinois in a small amount of time.

Continue reading Jamie’s latest post here on her “Oh, The Places We Will Go” blog.

Laptops to Countertops—Magic Moments

December 1st, 2010 - By Beth Fletcher

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

Filed under: Family Life, Holiday Guide.

FEATURED THIS WEEK—What’s new on nwi.com/parent

Nuts!

December 6th, 2010 - By John Quinlan, Sioux City Journal

Ashton Verdoorn was born in Green Bay, Wis., home of the Packers. The budding football star’s favorite player? Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers’ arch-rivals. Yet it all makes sense for the 8-year-old who moved to Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, four years ago with his single mom and two sisters.

Packer country is behind him. He only wishes he could have left behind his health woes.

Ashton’s young body, pummeled by a myriad of food allergies, asthma and eczema, makes eating anything new a physical challenge. Nuts and peanuts? Not on the menu. Milk and dairy products? Once verboten but now allowed in modest amounts.

Family overcomes tragedy with a lesson in giving

December 6th, 2010 - By Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert, Morning Journal News

Maternal love knows no boundaries, and for local mother Kim Bailey that love is now international.

In June, Bailey and her husband, Tom, lost their 2-year-old son in a drowning accident at their home. While coping with Joey’s death as much as possible over the last few months, she and her mother Barb Durst knew the upcoming holidays and his birthday would be especially difficult.

They had been thinking of ways to help them get through those days when Durst heard an announcement on a Christian radio station about Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse that provides gifts to underprivileged children around the world.

Trendy toys don’t stand up to Sixfinger, playthings of yore

December 5th, 2010 - By John Kass, Chicago Tribune

Whatever the hot toy is this year, you can rest assured it is not a Sixfinger.

The Sixfinger was the must-have item when I was a little boy. It was a devilishly clever plastic index finger that was actually a gun. It fired hard plastic objects and exploding projectiles.

You were supposed to shoot these off in the safety of a vacant lot. But it was even more satisfying to point your Sixfinger at the small of your little brother’s back and squeeze off a round, just as he ran off to tell mom and dad you’d pinged Mrs. Molaitis’ basement window.

5 fresh and simple gifts to make by hand

December 5th, 2010 - By Jennifer Forker for the Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

Sometimes, a new twist on an old idea is all it takes and a beautiful handmade gift is born.

If you’re inclined toward making your own gifts this holiday season, look in on the following five ideas, which stand out for their simplicity and freshness.

Couple starts cloth diaper service

December 4th, 2010 - By Ken Kosky

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick. (Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick.
(Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Valparaiso residents Rick and Triny Sojka didn’t even consider the possibility of using cloth diapers when they had their son, Zander, five years ago.

But after their daughter, Nadia, was born a year and a half ago, Rick got laid off from his job and they decided one way to save money would be to switch from disposable diapers to cloth ones.

They soon realized that cloth diapers could not only save them money, but also earn them money if they provided cloth diapers, supplies and laundry service to other parents.

Filed under: Family Life. Tags: , , , .

Objections to international adoptions aren’t about crossing miles, but crossing cultures

December 4th, 2010 - By Young Lee, Medill News Service

When celebrities like Madonna and Angelina Jolie adopt children from foreign countries, the media coverage is intense. But for non-celebrities, who conduct such adoptions without the media glare, the process of the adoptions themselves and the fate of the children once they grow up never are examined.

For Beth Evans, 27, trips to Disneyland every year, birthday parties and holiday dinners may not have happened if she had not been adopted from Korea by her parents, Robert and Louise Evans. Evans was 2 years old when she was adopted from the Sung Lo Won orphanage in Seoul and brought to Grand Rapids, Mich.

Food with a Dash of Fun—One Pan Dinner: Roasted Salmon

December 3rd, 2010 - By Barb Ruess

NWI Parent Blog—We’ve all gotta eat-might as well have some fun in the kitchen! Check here for recipes, cooking with kids, food finds, and more.

Fish was on the menu last night – salmon is a family favorite so I started digging through my files and torn magazine pages to see if I could find a new roasting recipe. Roasting salmon is one of my favorite ways to cook it. It a healthy way to cook and always comes out with a nice clean taste; it’s simple to do; and surrounded by veggies it’s a one pan dinner which is a nice bonus at clean-up time. I found this recipe torn out of a Real Simple magazine. Tweaked it just a tiny bit for my crowd and it’s a new addition to my roasted salmon rotation. Enjoy!

Continue reading Barb’s latest post here on her “Food with a Dash of Fun” blog.

Oh, The Places We Will Go—Entertaining Guests in a Whirlwind Week (and a half)

December 1st, 2010 - By Jamie Bissot

NWI Parent Blog—Jamie is experiencing the South Shore one little moment at a time.

About an month(ish) ago, over a week and a half, I had three sets of guests. First my mother, which isn’t like having a guest at all. At 30 something, I still love to have “Mommy” around. Next was my in-laws. I got lucky in that department too. Next was my father and grandparents. So, we had a busy week.

With all these guests, we had to do a lot of entertaining. I got to see a lot of Indiana and Illinois in a small amount of time.

Continue reading Jamie’s latest post here on her “Oh, The Places We Will Go” blog.

Laptops to Countertops—Magic Moments

December 1st, 2010 - By Beth Fletcher

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

Filed under: Family Life, Holiday Guide.

FEATURED THIS WEEK—What’s new on nwi.com/parent

Nuts!

December 6th, 2010 - By John Quinlan, Sioux City Journal

Ashton Verdoorn was born in Green Bay, Wis., home of the Packers. The budding football star’s favorite player? Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers’ arch-rivals. Yet it all makes sense for the 8-year-old who moved to Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, four years ago with his single mom and two sisters.

Packer country is behind him. He only wishes he could have left behind his health woes.

Ashton’s young body, pummeled by a myriad of food allergies, asthma and eczema, makes eating anything new a physical challenge. Nuts and peanuts? Not on the menu. Milk and dairy products? Once verboten but now allowed in modest amounts.

Family overcomes tragedy with a lesson in giving

December 6th, 2010 - By Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert, Morning Journal News

Maternal love knows no boundaries, and for local mother Kim Bailey that love is now international.

In June, Bailey and her husband, Tom, lost their 2-year-old son in a drowning accident at their home. While coping with Joey’s death as much as possible over the last few months, she and her mother Barb Durst knew the upcoming holidays and his birthday would be especially difficult.

They had been thinking of ways to help them get through those days when Durst heard an announcement on a Christian radio station about Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse that provides gifts to underprivileged children around the world.

Trendy toys don’t stand up to Sixfinger, playthings of yore

December 5th, 2010 - By John Kass, Chicago Tribune

Whatever the hot toy is this year, you can rest assured it is not a Sixfinger.

The Sixfinger was the must-have item when I was a little boy. It was a devilishly clever plastic index finger that was actually a gun. It fired hard plastic objects and exploding projectiles.

You were supposed to shoot these off in the safety of a vacant lot. But it was even more satisfying to point your Sixfinger at the small of your little brother’s back and squeeze off a round, just as he ran off to tell mom and dad you’d pinged Mrs. Molaitis’ basement window.

5 fresh and simple gifts to make by hand

December 5th, 2010 - By Jennifer Forker for the Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

Sometimes, a new twist on an old idea is all it takes and a beautiful handmade gift is born.

If you’re inclined toward making your own gifts this holiday season, look in on the following five ideas, which stand out for their simplicity and freshness.

Couple starts cloth diaper service

December 4th, 2010 - By Ken Kosky

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick. (Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick.
(Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Valparaiso residents Rick and Triny Sojka didn’t even consider the possibility of using cloth diapers when they had their son, Zander, five years ago.

But after their daughter, Nadia, was born a year and a half ago, Rick got laid off from his job and they decided one way to save money would be to switch from disposable diapers to cloth ones.

They soon realized that cloth diapers could not only save them money, but also earn them money if they provided cloth diapers, supplies and laundry service to other parents.

Filed under: Family Life. Tags: , , , .

Objections to international adoptions aren’t about crossing miles, but crossing cultures

December 4th, 2010 - By Young Lee, Medill News Service

When celebrities like Madonna and Angelina Jolie adopt children from foreign countries, the media coverage is intense. But for non-celebrities, who conduct such adoptions without the media glare, the process of the adoptions themselves and the fate of the children once they grow up never are examined.

For Beth Evans, 27, trips to Disneyland every year, birthday parties and holiday dinners may not have happened if she had not been adopted from Korea by her parents, Robert and Louise Evans. Evans was 2 years old when she was adopted from the Sung Lo Won orphanage in Seoul and brought to Grand Rapids, Mich.

Food with a Dash of Fun—One Pan Dinner: Roasted Salmon

December 3rd, 2010 - By Barb Ruess

NWI Parent Blog—We’ve all gotta eat-might as well have some fun in the kitchen! Check here for recipes, cooking with kids, food finds, and more.

Fish was on the menu last night – salmon is a family favorite so I started digging through my files and torn magazine pages to see if I could find a new roasting recipe. Roasting salmon is one of my favorite ways to cook it. It a healthy way to cook and always comes out with a nice clean taste; it’s simple to do; and surrounded by veggies it’s a one pan dinner which is a nice bonus at clean-up time. I found this recipe torn out of a Real Simple magazine. Tweaked it just a tiny bit for my crowd and it’s a new addition to my roasted salmon rotation. Enjoy!

Continue reading Barb’s latest post here on her “Food with a Dash of Fun” blog.

Oh, The Places We Will Go—Entertaining Guests in a Whirlwind Week (and a half)

December 1st, 2010 - By Jamie Bissot

NWI Parent Blog—Jamie is experiencing the South Shore one little moment at a time.

About an month(ish) ago, over a week and a half, I had three sets of guests. First my mother, which isn’t like having a guest at all. At 30 something, I still love to have “Mommy” around. Next was my in-laws. I got lucky in that department too. Next was my father and grandparents. So, we had a busy week.

With all these guests, we had to do a lot of entertaining. I got to see a lot of Indiana and Illinois in a small amount of time.

Continue reading Jamie’s latest post here on her “Oh, The Places We Will Go” blog.

Laptops to Countertops—Magic Moments

December 1st, 2010 - By Beth Fletcher

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

Filed under: Family Life, Holiday Guide.

FEATURED THIS WEEK—What’s new on nwi.com/parent

Nuts!

December 6th, 2010 - By John Quinlan, Sioux City Journal

Ashton Verdoorn was born in Green Bay, Wis., home of the Packers. The budding football star’s favorite player? Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers’ arch-rivals. Yet it all makes sense for the 8-year-old who moved to Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, four years ago with his single mom and two sisters.

Packer country is behind him. He only wishes he could have left behind his health woes.

Ashton’s young body, pummeled by a myriad of food allergies, asthma and eczema, makes eating anything new a physical challenge. Nuts and peanuts? Not on the menu. Milk and dairy products? Once verboten but now allowed in modest amounts.

Family overcomes tragedy with a lesson in giving

December 6th, 2010 - By Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert, Morning Journal News

Maternal love knows no boundaries, and for local mother Kim Bailey that love is now international.

In June, Bailey and her husband, Tom, lost their 2-year-old son in a drowning accident at their home. While coping with Joey’s death as much as possible over the last few months, she and her mother Barb Durst knew the upcoming holidays and his birthday would be especially difficult.

They had been thinking of ways to help them get through those days when Durst heard an announcement on a Christian radio station about Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse that provides gifts to underprivileged children around the world.

Trendy toys don’t stand up to Sixfinger, playthings of yore

December 5th, 2010 - By John Kass, Chicago Tribune

Whatever the hot toy is this year, you can rest assured it is not a Sixfinger.

The Sixfinger was the must-have item when I was a little boy. It was a devilishly clever plastic index finger that was actually a gun. It fired hard plastic objects and exploding projectiles.

You were supposed to shoot these off in the safety of a vacant lot. But it was even more satisfying to point your Sixfinger at the small of your little brother’s back and squeeze off a round, just as he ran off to tell mom and dad you’d pinged Mrs. Molaitis’ basement window.

5 fresh and simple gifts to make by hand

December 5th, 2010 - By Jennifer Forker for the Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

Sometimes, a new twist on an old idea is all it takes and a beautiful handmade gift is born.

If you’re inclined toward making your own gifts this holiday season, look in on the following five ideas, which stand out for their simplicity and freshness.

Couple starts cloth diaper service

December 4th, 2010 - By Ken Kosky

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick. (Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick.
(Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Valparaiso residents Rick and Triny Sojka didn’t even consider the possibility of using cloth diapers when they had their son, Zander, five years ago.

But after their daughter, Nadia, was born a year and a half ago, Rick got laid off from his job and they decided one way to save money would be to switch from disposable diapers to cloth ones.

They soon realized that cloth diapers could not only save them money, but also earn them money if they provided cloth diapers, supplies and laundry service to other parents.

Filed under: Family Life. Tags: , , , .

Objections to international adoptions aren’t about crossing miles, but crossing cultures

December 4th, 2010 - By Young Lee, Medill News Service

When celebrities like Madonna and Angelina Jolie adopt children from foreign countries, the media coverage is intense. But for non-celebrities, who conduct such adoptions without the media glare, the process of the adoptions themselves and the fate of the children once they grow up never are examined.

For Beth Evans, 27, trips to Disneyland every year, birthday parties and holiday dinners may not have happened if she had not been adopted from Korea by her parents, Robert and Louise Evans. Evans was 2 years old when she was adopted from the Sung Lo Won orphanage in Seoul and brought to Grand Rapids, Mich.

Food with a Dash of Fun—One Pan Dinner: Roasted Salmon

December 3rd, 2010 - By Barb Ruess

NWI Parent Blog—We’ve all gotta eat-might as well have some fun in the kitchen! Check here for recipes, cooking with kids, food finds, and more.

Fish was on the menu last night – salmon is a family favorite so I started digging through my files and torn magazine pages to see if I could find a new roasting recipe. Roasting salmon is one of my favorite ways to cook it. It a healthy way to cook and always comes out with a nice clean taste; it’s simple to do; and surrounded by veggies it’s a one pan dinner which is a nice bonus at clean-up time. I found this recipe torn out of a Real Simple magazine. Tweaked it just a tiny bit for my crowd and it’s a new addition to my roasted salmon rotation. Enjoy!

Continue reading Barb’s latest post here on her “Food with a Dash of Fun” blog.

Oh, The Places We Will Go—Entertaining Guests in a Whirlwind Week (and a half)

December 1st, 2010 - By Jamie Bissot

NWI Parent Blog—Jamie is experiencing the South Shore one little moment at a time.

About an month(ish) ago, over a week and a half, I had three sets of guests. First my mother, which isn’t like having a guest at all. At 30 something, I still love to have “Mommy” around. Next was my in-laws. I got lucky in that department too. Next was my father and grandparents. So, we had a busy week.

With all these guests, we had to do a lot of entertaining. I got to see a lot of Indiana and Illinois in a small amount of time.

Continue reading Jamie’s latest post here on her “Oh, The Places We Will Go” blog.

Laptops to Countertops—Magic Moments

December 1st, 2010 - By Beth Fletcher

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

Filed under: Family Life, Holiday Guide.

FEATURED THIS WEEK—What’s new on nwi.com/parent

Nuts!

December 6th, 2010 - By John Quinlan, Sioux City Journal

Ashton Verdoorn was born in Green Bay, Wis., home of the Packers. The budding football star’s favorite player? Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers’ arch-rivals. Yet it all makes sense for the 8-year-old who moved to Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, four years ago with his single mom and two sisters.

Packer country is behind him. He only wishes he could have left behind his health woes.

Ashton’s young body, pummeled by a myriad of food allergies, asthma and eczema, makes eating anything new a physical challenge. Nuts and peanuts? Not on the menu. Milk and dairy products? Once verboten but now allowed in modest amounts.

Family overcomes tragedy with a lesson in giving

December 6th, 2010 - By Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert, Morning Journal News

Maternal love knows no boundaries, and for local mother Kim Bailey that love is now international.

In June, Bailey and her husband, Tom, lost their 2-year-old son in a drowning accident at their home. While coping with Joey’s death as much as possible over the last few months, she and her mother Barb Durst knew the upcoming holidays and his birthday would be especially difficult.

They had been thinking of ways to help them get through those days when Durst heard an announcement on a Christian radio station about Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse that provides gifts to underprivileged children around the world.

Trendy toys don’t stand up to Sixfinger, playthings of yore

December 5th, 2010 - By John Kass, Chicago Tribune

Whatever the hot toy is this year, you can rest assured it is not a Sixfinger.

The Sixfinger was the must-have item when I was a little boy. It was a devilishly clever plastic index finger that was actually a gun. It fired hard plastic objects and exploding projectiles.

You were supposed to shoot these off in the safety of a vacant lot. But it was even more satisfying to point your Sixfinger at the small of your little brother’s back and squeeze off a round, just as he ran off to tell mom and dad you’d pinged Mrs. Molaitis’ basement window.

5 fresh and simple gifts to make by hand

December 5th, 2010 - By Jennifer Forker for the Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

Sometimes, a new twist on an old idea is all it takes and a beautiful handmade gift is born.

If you’re inclined toward making your own gifts this holiday season, look in on the following five ideas, which stand out for their simplicity and freshness.

Couple starts cloth diaper service

December 4th, 2010 - By Ken Kosky

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick. (Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick.
(Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Valparaiso residents Rick and Triny Sojka didn’t even consider the possibility of using cloth diapers when they had their son, Zander, five years ago.

But after their daughter, Nadia, was born a year and a half ago, Rick got laid off from his job and they decided one way to save money would be to switch from disposable diapers to cloth ones.

They soon realized that cloth diapers could not only save them money, but also earn them money if they provided cloth diapers, supplies and laundry service to other parents.

Filed under: Family Life. Tags: , , , .

Objections to international adoptions aren’t about crossing miles, but crossing cultures

December 4th, 2010 - By Young Lee, Medill News Service

When celebrities like Madonna and Angelina Jolie adopt children from foreign countries, the media coverage is intense. But for non-celebrities, who conduct such adoptions without the media glare, the process of the adoptions themselves and the fate of the children once they grow up never are examined.

For Beth Evans, 27, trips to Disneyland every year, birthday parties and holiday dinners may not have happened if she had not been adopted from Korea by her parents, Robert and Louise Evans. Evans was 2 years old when she was adopted from the Sung Lo Won orphanage in Seoul and brought to Grand Rapids, Mich.

Food with a Dash of Fun—One Pan Dinner: Roasted Salmon

December 3rd, 2010 - By Barb Ruess

NWI Parent Blog—We’ve all gotta eat-might as well have some fun in the kitchen! Check here for recipes, cooking with kids, food finds, and more.

Fish was on the menu last night – salmon is a family favorite so I started digging through my files and torn magazine pages to see if I could find a new roasting recipe. Roasting salmon is one of my favorite ways to cook it. It a healthy way to cook and always comes out with a nice clean taste; it’s simple to do; and surrounded by veggies it’s a one pan dinner which is a nice bonus at clean-up time. I found this recipe torn out of a Real Simple magazine. Tweaked it just a tiny bit for my crowd and it’s a new addition to my roasted salmon rotation. Enjoy!

Continue reading Barb’s latest post here on her “Food with a Dash of Fun” blog.

Oh, The Places We Will Go—Entertaining Guests in a Whirlwind Week (and a half)

December 1st, 2010 - By Jamie Bissot

NWI Parent Blog—Jamie is experiencing the South Shore one little moment at a time.

About an month(ish) ago, over a week and a half, I had three sets of guests. First my mother, which isn’t like having a guest at all. At 30 something, I still love to have “Mommy” around. Next was my in-laws. I got lucky in that department too. Next was my father and grandparents. So, we had a busy week.

With all these guests, we had to do a lot of entertaining. I got to see a lot of Indiana and Illinois in a small amount of time.

Continue reading Jamie’s latest post here on her “Oh, The Places We Will Go” blog.

Laptops to Countertops—Magic Moments

December 1st, 2010 - By Beth Fletcher

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

Filed under: Family Life, Holiday Guide.

FEATURED THIS WEEK—What’s new on nwi.com/parent

Nuts!

December 6th, 2010 - By John Quinlan, Sioux City Journal

Ashton Verdoorn was born in Green Bay, Wis., home of the Packers. The budding football star’s favorite player? Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers’ arch-rivals. Yet it all makes sense for the 8-year-old who moved to Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, four years ago with his single mom and two sisters.

Packer country is behind him. He only wishes he could have left behind his health woes.

Ashton’s young body, pummeled by a myriad of food allergies, asthma and eczema, makes eating anything new a physical challenge. Nuts and peanuts? Not on the menu. Milk and dairy products? Once verboten but now allowed in modest amounts.

Family overcomes tragedy with a lesson in giving

December 6th, 2010 - By Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert, Morning Journal News

Maternal love knows no boundaries, and for local mother Kim Bailey that love is now international.

In June, Bailey and her husband, Tom, lost their 2-year-old son in a drowning accident at their home. While coping with Joey’s death as much as possible over the last few months, she and her mother Barb Durst knew the upcoming holidays and his birthday would be especially difficult.

They had been thinking of ways to help them get through those days when Durst heard an announcement on a Christian radio station about Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse that provides gifts to underprivileged children around the world.

Trendy toys don’t stand up to Sixfinger, playthings of yore

December 5th, 2010 - By John Kass, Chicago Tribune

Whatever the hot toy is this year, you can rest assured it is not a Sixfinger.

The Sixfinger was the must-have item when I was a little boy. It was a devilishly clever plastic index finger that was actually a gun. It fired hard plastic objects and exploding projectiles.

You were supposed to shoot these off in the safety of a vacant lot. But it was even more satisfying to point your Sixfinger at the small of your little brother’s back and squeeze off a round, just as he ran off to tell mom and dad you’d pinged Mrs. Molaitis’ basement window.

5 fresh and simple gifts to make by hand

December 5th, 2010 - By Jennifer Forker for the Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

Sometimes, a new twist on an old idea is all it takes and a beautiful handmade gift is born.

If you’re inclined toward making your own gifts this holiday season, look in on the following five ideas, which stand out for their simplicity and freshness.

Couple starts cloth diaper service

December 4th, 2010 - By Ken Kosky

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick. (Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick.
(Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Valparaiso residents Rick and Triny Sojka didn’t even consider the possibility of using cloth diapers when they had their son, Zander, five years ago.

But after their daughter, Nadia, was born a year and a half ago, Rick got laid off from his job and they decided one way to save money would be to switch from disposable diapers to cloth ones.

They soon realized that cloth diapers could not only save them money, but also earn them money if they provided cloth diapers, supplies and laundry service to other parents.

Filed under: Family Life. Tags: , , , .

Objections to international adoptions aren’t about crossing miles, but crossing cultures

December 4th, 2010 - By Young Lee, Medill News Service

When celebrities like Madonna and Angelina Jolie adopt children from foreign countries, the media coverage is intense. But for non-celebrities, who conduct such adoptions without the media glare, the process of the adoptions themselves and the fate of the children once they grow up never are examined.

For Beth Evans, 27, trips to Disneyland every year, birthday parties and holiday dinners may not have happened if she had not been adopted from Korea by her parents, Robert and Louise Evans. Evans was 2 years old when she was adopted from the Sung Lo Won orphanage in Seoul and brought to Grand Rapids, Mich.

Food with a Dash of Fun—One Pan Dinner: Roasted Salmon

December 3rd, 2010 - By Barb Ruess

NWI Parent Blog—We’ve all gotta eat-might as well have some fun in the kitchen! Check here for recipes, cooking with kids, food finds, and more.

Fish was on the menu last night – salmon is a family favorite so I started digging through my files and torn magazine pages to see if I could find a new roasting recipe. Roasting salmon is one of my favorite ways to cook it. It a healthy way to cook and always comes out with a nice clean taste; it’s simple to do; and surrounded by veggies it’s a one pan dinner which is a nice bonus at clean-up time. I found this recipe torn out of a Real Simple magazine. Tweaked it just a tiny bit for my crowd and it’s a new addition to my roasted salmon rotation. Enjoy!

Continue reading Barb’s latest post here on her “Food with a Dash of Fun” blog.

Oh, The Places We Will Go—Entertaining Guests in a Whirlwind Week (and a half)

December 1st, 2010 - By Jamie Bissot

NWI Parent Blog—Jamie is experiencing the South Shore one little moment at a time.

About an month(ish) ago, over a week and a half, I had three sets of guests. First my mother, which isn’t like having a guest at all. At 30 something, I still love to have “Mommy” around. Next was my in-laws. I got lucky in that department too. Next was my father and grandparents. So, we had a busy week.

With all these guests, we had to do a lot of entertaining. I got to see a lot of Indiana and Illinois in a small amount of time.

Continue reading Jamie’s latest post here on her “Oh, The Places We Will Go” blog.

Laptops to Countertops—Magic Moments

December 1st, 2010 - By Beth Fletcher

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

Filed under: Family Life, Holiday Guide.

FEATURED THIS WEEK—What’s new on nwi.com/parent

Nuts!

December 6th, 2010 - By John Quinlan, Sioux City Journal

Ashton Verdoorn was born in Green Bay, Wis., home of the Packers. The budding football star’s favorite player? Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers’ arch-rivals. Yet it all makes sense for the 8-year-old who moved to Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, four years ago with his single mom and two sisters.

Packer country is behind him. He only wishes he could have left behind his health woes.

Ashton’s young body, pummeled by a myriad of food allergies, asthma and eczema, makes eating anything new a physical challenge. Nuts and peanuts? Not on the menu. Milk and dairy products? Once verboten but now allowed in modest amounts.

Family overcomes tragedy with a lesson in giving

December 6th, 2010 - By Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert, Morning Journal News

Maternal love knows no boundaries, and for local mother Kim Bailey that love is now international.

In June, Bailey and her husband, Tom, lost their 2-year-old son in a drowning accident at their home. While coping with Joey’s death as much as possible over the last few months, she and her mother Barb Durst knew the upcoming holidays and his birthday would be especially difficult.

They had been thinking of ways to help them get through those days when Durst heard an announcement on a Christian radio station about Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse that provides gifts to underprivileged children around the world.

Trendy toys don’t stand up to Sixfinger, playthings of yore

December 5th, 2010 - By John Kass, Chicago Tribune

Whatever the hot toy is this year, you can rest assured it is not a Sixfinger.

The Sixfinger was the must-have item when I was a little boy. It was a devilishly clever plastic index finger that was actually a gun. It fired hard plastic objects and exploding projectiles.

You were supposed to shoot these off in the safety of a vacant lot. But it was even more satisfying to point your Sixfinger at the small of your little brother’s back and squeeze off a round, just as he ran off to tell mom and dad you’d pinged Mrs. Molaitis’ basement window.

5 fresh and simple gifts to make by hand

December 5th, 2010 - By Jennifer Forker for the Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

Sometimes, a new twist on an old idea is all it takes and a beautiful handmade gift is born.

If you’re inclined toward making your own gifts this holiday season, look in on the following five ideas, which stand out for their simplicity and freshness.

Couple starts cloth diaper service

December 4th, 2010 - By Ken Kosky

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick. (Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick.
(Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Valparaiso residents Rick and Triny Sojka didn’t even consider the possibility of using cloth diapers when they had their son, Zander, five years ago.

But after their daughter, Nadia, was born a year and a half ago, Rick got laid off from his job and they decided one way to save money would be to switch from disposable diapers to cloth ones.

They soon realized that cloth diapers could not only save them money, but also earn them money if they provided cloth diapers, supplies and laundry service to other parents.

Filed under: Family Life. Tags: , , , .

Objections to international adoptions aren’t about crossing miles, but crossing cultures

December 4th, 2010 - By Young Lee, Medill News Service

When celebrities like Madonna and Angelina Jolie adopt children from foreign countries, the media coverage is intense. But for non-celebrities, who conduct such adoptions without the media glare, the process of the adoptions themselves and the fate of the children once they grow up never are examined.

For Beth Evans, 27, trips to Disneyland every year, birthday parties and holiday dinners may not have happened if she had not been adopted from Korea by her parents, Robert and Louise Evans. Evans was 2 years old when she was adopted from the Sung Lo Won orphanage in Seoul and brought to Grand Rapids, Mich.

Food with a Dash of Fun—One Pan Dinner: Roasted Salmon

December 3rd, 2010 - By Barb Ruess

NWI Parent Blog—We’ve all gotta eat-might as well have some fun in the kitchen! Check here for recipes, cooking with kids, food finds, and more.

Fish was on the menu last night – salmon is a family favorite so I started digging through my files and torn magazine pages to see if I could find a new roasting recipe. Roasting salmon is one of my favorite ways to cook it. It a healthy way to cook and always comes out with a nice clean taste; it’s simple to do; and surrounded by veggies it’s a one pan dinner which is a nice bonus at clean-up time. I found this recipe torn out of a Real Simple magazine. Tweaked it just a tiny bit for my crowd and it’s a new addition to my roasted salmon rotation. Enjoy!

Continue reading Barb’s latest post here on her “Food with a Dash of Fun” blog.

Oh, The Places We Will Go—Entertaining Guests in a Whirlwind Week (and a half)

December 1st, 2010 - By Jamie Bissot

NWI Parent Blog—Jamie is experiencing the South Shore one little moment at a time.

About an month(ish) ago, over a week and a half, I had three sets of guests. First my mother, which isn’t like having a guest at all. At 30 something, I still love to have “Mommy” around. Next was my in-laws. I got lucky in that department too. Next was my father and grandparents. So, we had a busy week.

With all these guests, we had to do a lot of entertaining. I got to see a lot of Indiana and Illinois in a small amount of time.

Continue reading Jamie’s latest post here on her “Oh, The Places We Will Go” blog.

Laptops to Countertops—Magic Moments

December 1st, 2010 - By Beth Fletcher

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

Filed under: Family Life, Holiday Guide.

FEATURED THIS WEEK—What’s new on nwi.com/parent

Nuts!

December 6th, 2010 - By John Quinlan, Sioux City Journal

Ashton Verdoorn was born in Green Bay, Wis., home of the Packers. The budding football star’s favorite player? Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers’ arch-rivals. Yet it all makes sense for the 8-year-old who moved to Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, four years ago with his single mom and two sisters.

Packer country is behind him. He only wishes he could have left behind his health woes.

Ashton’s young body, pummeled by a myriad of food allergies, asthma and eczema, makes eating anything new a physical challenge. Nuts and peanuts? Not on the menu. Milk and dairy products? Once verboten but now allowed in modest amounts.

Family overcomes tragedy with a lesson in giving

December 6th, 2010 - By Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert, Morning Journal News

Maternal love knows no boundaries, and for local mother Kim Bailey that love is now international.

In June, Bailey and her husband, Tom, lost their 2-year-old son in a drowning accident at their home. While coping with Joey’s death as much as possible over the last few months, she and her mother Barb Durst knew the upcoming holidays and his birthday would be especially difficult.

They had been thinking of ways to help them get through those days when Durst heard an announcement on a Christian radio station about Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse that provides gifts to underprivileged children around the world.

Trendy toys don’t stand up to Sixfinger, playthings of yore

December 5th, 2010 - By John Kass, Chicago Tribune

Whatever the hot toy is this year, you can rest assured it is not a Sixfinger.

The Sixfinger was the must-have item when I was a little boy. It was a devilishly clever plastic index finger that was actually a gun. It fired hard plastic objects and exploding projectiles.

You were supposed to shoot these off in the safety of a vacant lot. But it was even more satisfying to point your Sixfinger at the small of your little brother’s back and squeeze off a round, just as he ran off to tell mom and dad you’d pinged Mrs. Molaitis’ basement window.

5 fresh and simple gifts to make by hand

December 5th, 2010 - By Jennifer Forker for the Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

Sometimes, a new twist on an old idea is all it takes and a beautiful handmade gift is born.

If you’re inclined toward making your own gifts this holiday season, look in on the following five ideas, which stand out for their simplicity and freshness.

Couple starts cloth diaper service

December 4th, 2010 - By Ken Kosky

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick. (Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick.
(Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Valparaiso residents Rick and Triny Sojka didn’t even consider the possibility of using cloth diapers when they had their son, Zander, five years ago.

But after their daughter, Nadia, was born a year and a half ago, Rick got laid off from his job and they decided one way to save money would be to switch from disposable diapers to cloth ones.

They soon realized that cloth diapers could not only save them money, but also earn them money if they provided cloth diapers, supplies and laundry service to other parents.

Filed under: Family Life. Tags: , , , .

Objections to international adoptions aren’t about crossing miles, but crossing cultures

December 4th, 2010 - By Young Lee, Medill News Service

When celebrities like Madonna and Angelina Jolie adopt children from foreign countries, the media coverage is intense. But for non-celebrities, who conduct such adoptions without the media glare, the process of the adoptions themselves and the fate of the children once they grow up never are examined.

For Beth Evans, 27, trips to Disneyland every year, birthday parties and holiday dinners may not have happened if she had not been adopted from Korea by her parents, Robert and Louise Evans. Evans was 2 years old when she was adopted from the Sung Lo Won orphanage in Seoul and brought to Grand Rapids, Mich.

Food with a Dash of Fun—One Pan Dinner: Roasted Salmon

December 3rd, 2010 - By Barb Ruess

NWI Parent Blog—We’ve all gotta eat-might as well have some fun in the kitchen! Check here for recipes, cooking with kids, food finds, and more.

Fish was on the menu last night – salmon is a family favorite so I started digging through my files and torn magazine pages to see if I could find a new roasting recipe. Roasting salmon is one of my favorite ways to cook it. It a healthy way to cook and always comes out with a nice clean taste; it’s simple to do; and surrounded by veggies it’s a one pan dinner which is a nice bonus at clean-up time. I found this recipe torn out of a Real Simple magazine. Tweaked it just a tiny bit for my crowd and it’s a new addition to my roasted salmon rotation. Enjoy!

Continue reading Barb’s latest post here on her “Food with a Dash of Fun” blog.

Oh, The Places We Will Go—Entertaining Guests in a Whirlwind Week (and a half)

December 1st, 2010 - By Jamie Bissot

NWI Parent Blog—Jamie is experiencing the South Shore one little moment at a time.

About an month(ish) ago, over a week and a half, I had three sets of guests. First my mother, which isn’t like having a guest at all. At 30 something, I still love to have “Mommy” around. Next was my in-laws. I got lucky in that department too. Next was my father and grandparents. So, we had a busy week.

With all these guests, we had to do a lot of entertaining. I got to see a lot of Indiana and Illinois in a small amount of time.

Continue reading Jamie’s latest post here on her “Oh, The Places We Will Go” blog.

Laptops to Countertops—Magic Moments

December 1st, 2010 - By Beth Fletcher

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

Filed under: Family Life, Holiday Guide.

FEATURED THIS WEEK—What’s new on nwi.com/parent

Nuts!

December 6th, 2010 - By John Quinlan, Sioux City Journal

Ashton Verdoorn was born in Green Bay, Wis., home of the Packers. The budding football star’s favorite player? Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers’ arch-rivals. Yet it all makes sense for the 8-year-old who moved to Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, four years ago with his single mom and two sisters.

Packer country is behind him. He only wishes he could have left behind his health woes.

Ashton’s young body, pummeled by a myriad of food allergies, asthma and eczema, makes eating anything new a physical challenge. Nuts and peanuts? Not on the menu. Milk and dairy products? Once verboten but now allowed in modest amounts.

Family overcomes tragedy with a lesson in giving

December 6th, 2010 - By Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert, Morning Journal News

Maternal love knows no boundaries, and for local mother Kim Bailey that love is now international.

In June, Bailey and her husband, Tom, lost their 2-year-old son in a drowning accident at their home. While coping with Joey’s death as much as possible over the last few months, she and her mother Barb Durst knew the upcoming holidays and his birthday would be especially difficult.

They had been thinking of ways to help them get through those days when Durst heard an announcement on a Christian radio station about Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse that provides gifts to underprivileged children around the world.

Trendy toys don’t stand up to Sixfinger, playthings of yore

December 5th, 2010 - By John Kass, Chicago Tribune

Whatever the hot toy is this year, you can rest assured it is not a Sixfinger.

The Sixfinger was the must-have item when I was a little boy. It was a devilishly clever plastic index finger that was actually a gun. It fired hard plastic objects and exploding projectiles.

You were supposed to shoot these off in the safety of a vacant lot. But it was even more satisfying to point your Sixfinger at the small of your little brother’s back and squeeze off a round, just as he ran off to tell mom and dad you’d pinged Mrs. Molaitis’ basement window.

5 fresh and simple gifts to make by hand

December 5th, 2010 - By Jennifer Forker for the Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

Sometimes, a new twist on an old idea is all it takes and a beautiful handmade gift is born.

If you’re inclined toward making your own gifts this holiday season, look in on the following five ideas, which stand out for their simplicity and freshness.

Couple starts cloth diaper service

December 4th, 2010 - By Ken Kosky

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick. (Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick.
(Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Valparaiso residents Rick and Triny Sojka didn’t even consider the possibility of using cloth diapers when they had their son, Zander, five years ago.

But after their daughter, Nadia, was born a year and a half ago, Rick got laid off from his job and they decided one way to save money would be to switch from disposable diapers to cloth ones.

They soon realized that cloth diapers could not only save them money, but also earn them money if they provided cloth diapers, supplies and laundry service to other parents.

Filed under: Family Life. Tags: , , , .

Objections to international adoptions aren’t about crossing miles, but crossing cultures

December 4th, 2010 - By Young Lee, Medill News Service

When celebrities like Madonna and Angelina Jolie adopt children from foreign countries, the media coverage is intense. But for non-celebrities, who conduct such adoptions without the media glare, the process of the adoptions themselves and the fate of the children once they grow up never are examined.

For Beth Evans, 27, trips to Disneyland every year, birthday parties and holiday dinners may not have happened if she had not been adopted from Korea by her parents, Robert and Louise Evans. Evans was 2 years old when she was adopted from the Sung Lo Won orphanage in Seoul and brought to Grand Rapids, Mich.

Food with a Dash of Fun—One Pan Dinner: Roasted Salmon

December 3rd, 2010 - By Barb Ruess

NWI Parent Blog—We’ve all gotta eat-might as well have some fun in the kitchen! Check here for recipes, cooking with kids, food finds, and more.

Fish was on the menu last night – salmon is a family favorite so I started digging through my files and torn magazine pages to see if I could find a new roasting recipe. Roasting salmon is one of my favorite ways to cook it. It a healthy way to cook and always comes out with a nice clean taste; it’s simple to do; and surrounded by veggies it’s a one pan dinner which is a nice bonus at clean-up time. I found this recipe torn out of a Real Simple magazine. Tweaked it just a tiny bit for my crowd and it’s a new addition to my roasted salmon rotation. Enjoy!

Continue reading Barb’s latest post here on her “Food with a Dash of Fun” blog.

Oh, The Places We Will Go—Entertaining Guests in a Whirlwind Week (and a half)

December 1st, 2010 - By Jamie Bissot

NWI Parent Blog—Jamie is experiencing the South Shore one little moment at a time.

About an month(ish) ago, over a week and a half, I had three sets of guests. First my mother, which isn’t like having a guest at all. At 30 something, I still love to have “Mommy” around. Next was my in-laws. I got lucky in that department too. Next was my father and grandparents. So, we had a busy week.

With all these guests, we had to do a lot of entertaining. I got to see a lot of Indiana and Illinois in a small amount of time.

Continue reading Jamie’s latest post here on her “Oh, The Places We Will Go” blog.

Laptops to Countertops—Magic Moments

December 1st, 2010 - By Beth Fletcher

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

Filed under: Family Life, Holiday Guide.

FEATURED THIS WEEK—What’s new on nwi.com/parent

Nuts!

December 6th, 2010 - By John Quinlan, Sioux City Journal

Ashton Verdoorn was born in Green Bay, Wis., home of the Packers. The budding football star’s favorite player? Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers’ arch-rivals. Yet it all makes sense for the 8-year-old who moved to Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, four years ago with his single mom and two sisters.

Packer country is behind him. He only wishes he could have left behind his health woes.

Ashton’s young body, pummeled by a myriad of food allergies, asthma and eczema, makes eating anything new a physical challenge. Nuts and peanuts? Not on the menu. Milk and dairy products? Once verboten but now allowed in modest amounts.

Family overcomes tragedy with a lesson in giving

December 6th, 2010 - By Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert, Morning Journal News

Maternal love knows no boundaries, and for local mother Kim Bailey that love is now international.

In June, Bailey and her husband, Tom, lost their 2-year-old son in a drowning accident at their home. While coping with Joey’s death as much as possible over the last few months, she and her mother Barb Durst knew the upcoming holidays and his birthday would be especially difficult.

They had been thinking of ways to help them get through those days when Durst heard an announcement on a Christian radio station about Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse that provides gifts to underprivileged children around the world.

Trendy toys don’t stand up to Sixfinger, playthings of yore

December 5th, 2010 - By John Kass, Chicago Tribune

Whatever the hot toy is this year, you can rest assured it is not a Sixfinger.

The Sixfinger was the must-have item when I was a little boy. It was a devilishly clever plastic index finger that was actually a gun. It fired hard plastic objects and exploding projectiles.

You were supposed to shoot these off in the safety of a vacant lot. But it was even more satisfying to point your Sixfinger at the small of your little brother’s back and squeeze off a round, just as he ran off to tell mom and dad you’d pinged Mrs. Molaitis’ basement window.

5 fresh and simple gifts to make by hand

December 5th, 2010 - By Jennifer Forker for the Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

Sometimes, a new twist on an old idea is all it takes and a beautiful handmade gift is born.

If you’re inclined toward making your own gifts this holiday season, look in on the following five ideas, which stand out for their simplicity and freshness.

Couple starts cloth diaper service

December 4th, 2010 - By Ken Kosky

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick. (Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick.
(Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Valparaiso residents Rick and Triny Sojka didn’t even consider the possibility of using cloth diapers when they had their son, Zander, five years ago.

But after their daughter, Nadia, was born a year and a half ago, Rick got laid off from his job and they decided one way to save money would be to switch from disposable diapers to cloth ones.

They soon realized that cloth diapers could not only save them money, but also earn them money if they provided cloth diapers, supplies and laundry service to other parents.

Filed under: Family Life. Tags: , , , .

Objections to international adoptions aren’t about crossing miles, but crossing cultures

December 4th, 2010 - By Young Lee, Medill News Service

When celebrities like Madonna and Angelina Jolie adopt children from foreign countries, the media coverage is intense. But for non-celebrities, who conduct such adoptions without the media glare, the process of the adoptions themselves and the fate of the children once they grow up never are examined.

For Beth Evans, 27, trips to Disneyland every year, birthday parties and holiday dinners may not have happened if she had not been adopted from Korea by her parents, Robert and Louise Evans. Evans was 2 years old when she was adopted from the Sung Lo Won orphanage in Seoul and brought to Grand Rapids, Mich.

Food with a Dash of Fun—One Pan Dinner: Roasted Salmon

December 3rd, 2010 - By Barb Ruess

NWI Parent Blog—We’ve all gotta eat-might as well have some fun in the kitchen! Check here for recipes, cooking with kids, food finds, and more.

Fish was on the menu last night – salmon is a family favorite so I started digging through my files and torn magazine pages to see if I could find a new roasting recipe. Roasting salmon is one of my favorite ways to cook it. It a healthy way to cook and always comes out with a nice clean taste; it’s simple to do; and surrounded by veggies it’s a one pan dinner which is a nice bonus at clean-up time. I found this recipe torn out of a Real Simple magazine. Tweaked it just a tiny bit for my crowd and it’s a new addition to my roasted salmon rotation. Enjoy!

Continue reading Barb’s latest post here on her “Food with a Dash of Fun” blog.

Oh, The Places We Will Go—Entertaining Guests in a Whirlwind Week (and a half)

December 1st, 2010 - By Jamie Bissot

NWI Parent Blog—Jamie is experiencing the South Shore one little moment at a time.

About an month(ish) ago, over a week and a half, I had three sets of guests. First my mother, which isn’t like having a guest at all. At 30 something, I still love to have “Mommy” around. Next was my in-laws. I got lucky in that department too. Next was my father and grandparents. So, we had a busy week.

With all these guests, we had to do a lot of entertaining. I got to see a lot of Indiana and Illinois in a small amount of time.

Continue reading Jamie’s latest post here on her “Oh, The Places We Will Go” blog.

Laptops to Countertops—Magic Moments

December 1st, 2010 - By Beth Fletcher

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

Filed under: Family Life, Holiday Guide.

FEATURED THIS WEEK—What’s new on nwi.com/parent

Nuts!

December 6th, 2010 - By John Quinlan, Sioux City Journal

Ashton Verdoorn was born in Green Bay, Wis., home of the Packers. The budding football star’s favorite player? Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers’ arch-rivals. Yet it all makes sense for the 8-year-old who moved to Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, four years ago with his single mom and two sisters.

Packer country is behind him. He only wishes he could have left behind his health woes.

Ashton’s young body, pummeled by a myriad of food allergies, asthma and eczema, makes eating anything new a physical challenge. Nuts and peanuts? Not on the menu. Milk and dairy products? Once verboten but now allowed in modest amounts.

Family overcomes tragedy with a lesson in giving

December 6th, 2010 - By Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert, Morning Journal News

Maternal love knows no boundaries, and for local mother Kim Bailey that love is now international.

In June, Bailey and her husband, Tom, lost their 2-year-old son in a drowning accident at their home. While coping with Joey’s death as much as possible over the last few months, she and her mother Barb Durst knew the upcoming holidays and his birthday would be especially difficult.

They had been thinking of ways to help them get through those days when Durst heard an announcement on a Christian radio station about Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse that provides gifts to underprivileged children around the world.

Trendy toys don’t stand up to Sixfinger, playthings of yore

December 5th, 2010 - By John Kass, Chicago Tribune

Whatever the hot toy is this year, you can rest assured it is not a Sixfinger.

The Sixfinger was the must-have item when I was a little boy. It was a devilishly clever plastic index finger that was actually a gun. It fired hard plastic objects and exploding projectiles.

You were supposed to shoot these off in the safety of a vacant lot. But it was even more satisfying to point your Sixfinger at the small of your little brother’s back and squeeze off a round, just as he ran off to tell mom and dad you’d pinged Mrs. Molaitis’ basement window.

5 fresh and simple gifts to make by hand

December 5th, 2010 - By Jennifer Forker for the Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

Sometimes, a new twist on an old idea is all it takes and a beautiful handmade gift is born.

If you’re inclined toward making your own gifts this holiday season, look in on the following five ideas, which stand out for their simplicity and freshness.

Couple starts cloth diaper service

December 4th, 2010 - By Ken Kosky

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick. (Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick.
(Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Valparaiso residents Rick and Triny Sojka didn’t even consider the possibility of using cloth diapers when they had their son, Zander, five years ago.

But after their daughter, Nadia, was born a year and a half ago, Rick got laid off from his job and they decided one way to save money would be to switch from disposable diapers to cloth ones.

They soon realized that cloth diapers could not only save them money, but also earn them money if they provided cloth diapers, supplies and laundry service to other parents.

Filed under: Family Life. Tags: , , , .

Objections to international adoptions aren’t about crossing miles, but crossing cultures

December 4th, 2010 - By Young Lee, Medill News Service

When celebrities like Madonna and Angelina Jolie adopt children from foreign countries, the media coverage is intense. But for non-celebrities, who conduct such adoptions without the media glare, the process of the adoptions themselves and the fate of the children once they grow up never are examined.

For Beth Evans, 27, trips to Disneyland every year, birthday parties and holiday dinners may not have happened if she had not been adopted from Korea by her parents, Robert and Louise Evans. Evans was 2 years old when she was adopted from the Sung Lo Won orphanage in Seoul and brought to Grand Rapids, Mich.

Food with a Dash of Fun—One Pan Dinner: Roasted Salmon

December 3rd, 2010 - By Barb Ruess

NWI Parent Blog—We’ve all gotta eat-might as well have some fun in the kitchen! Check here for recipes, cooking with kids, food finds, and more.

Fish was on the menu last night – salmon is a family favorite so I started digging through my files and torn magazine pages to see if I could find a new roasting recipe. Roasting salmon is one of my favorite ways to cook it. It a healthy way to cook and always comes out with a nice clean taste; it’s simple to do; and surrounded by veggies it’s a one pan dinner which is a nice bonus at clean-up time. I found this recipe torn out of a Real Simple magazine. Tweaked it just a tiny bit for my crowd and it’s a new addition to my roasted salmon rotation. Enjoy!

Continue reading Barb’s latest post here on her “Food with a Dash of Fun” blog.

Oh, The Places We Will Go—Entertaining Guests in a Whirlwind Week (and a half)

December 1st, 2010 - By Jamie Bissot

NWI Parent Blog—Jamie is experiencing the South Shore one little moment at a time.

About an month(ish) ago, over a week and a half, I had three sets of guests. First my mother, which isn’t like having a guest at all. At 30 something, I still love to have “Mommy” around. Next was my in-laws. I got lucky in that department too. Next was my father and grandparents. So, we had a busy week.

With all these guests, we had to do a lot of entertaining. I got to see a lot of Indiana and Illinois in a small amount of time.

Continue reading Jamie’s latest post here on her “Oh, The Places We Will Go” blog.

Laptops to Countertops—Magic Moments

December 1st, 2010 - By Beth Fletcher

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

Filed under: Family Life, Holiday Guide.

FEATURED THIS WEEK—What’s new on nwi.com/parent

Nuts!

December 6th, 2010 - By John Quinlan, Sioux City Journal

Ashton Verdoorn was born in Green Bay, Wis., home of the Packers. The budding football star’s favorite player? Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers’ arch-rivals. Yet it all makes sense for the 8-year-old who moved to Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, four years ago with his single mom and two sisters.

Packer country is behind him. He only wishes he could have left behind his health woes.

Ashton’s young body, pummeled by a myriad of food allergies, asthma and eczema, makes eating anything new a physical challenge. Nuts and peanuts? Not on the menu. Milk and dairy products? Once verboten but now allowed in modest amounts.

Family overcomes tragedy with a lesson in giving

December 6th, 2010 - By Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert, Morning Journal News

Maternal love knows no boundaries, and for local mother Kim Bailey that love is now international.

In June, Bailey and her husband, Tom, lost their 2-year-old son in a drowning accident at their home. While coping with Joey’s death as much as possible over the last few months, she and her mother Barb Durst knew the upcoming holidays and his birthday would be especially difficult.

They had been thinking of ways to help them get through those days when Durst heard an announcement on a Christian radio station about Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse that provides gifts to underprivileged children around the world.

Trendy toys don’t stand up to Sixfinger, playthings of yore

December 5th, 2010 - By John Kass, Chicago Tribune

Whatever the hot toy is this year, you can rest assured it is not a Sixfinger.

The Sixfinger was the must-have item when I was a little boy. It was a devilishly clever plastic index finger that was actually a gun. It fired hard plastic objects and exploding projectiles.

You were supposed to shoot these off in the safety of a vacant lot. But it was even more satisfying to point your Sixfinger at the small of your little brother’s back and squeeze off a round, just as he ran off to tell mom and dad you’d pinged Mrs. Molaitis’ basement window.

5 fresh and simple gifts to make by hand

December 5th, 2010 - By Jennifer Forker for the Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

Sometimes, a new twist on an old idea is all it takes and a beautiful handmade gift is born.

If you’re inclined toward making your own gifts this holiday season, look in on the following five ideas, which stand out for their simplicity and freshness.

Couple starts cloth diaper service

December 4th, 2010 - By Ken Kosky

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick. (Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick.
(Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Valparaiso residents Rick and Triny Sojka didn’t even consider the possibility of using cloth diapers when they had their son, Zander, five years ago.

But after their daughter, Nadia, was born a year and a half ago, Rick got laid off from his job and they decided one way to save money would be to switch from disposable diapers to cloth ones.

They soon realized that cloth diapers could not only save them money, but also earn them money if they provided cloth diapers, supplies and laundry service to other parents.

Filed under: Family Life. Tags: , , , .

Objections to international adoptions aren’t about crossing miles, but crossing cultures

December 4th, 2010 - By Young Lee, Medill News Service

When celebrities like Madonna and Angelina Jolie adopt children from foreign countries, the media coverage is intense. But for non-celebrities, who conduct such adoptions without the media glare, the process of the adoptions themselves and the fate of the children once they grow up never are examined.

For Beth Evans, 27, trips to Disneyland every year, birthday parties and holiday dinners may not have happened if she had not been adopted from Korea by her parents, Robert and Louise Evans. Evans was 2 years old when she was adopted from the Sung Lo Won orphanage in Seoul and brought to Grand Rapids, Mich.

Food with a Dash of Fun—One Pan Dinner: Roasted Salmon

December 3rd, 2010 - By Barb Ruess

NWI Parent Blog—We’ve all gotta eat-might as well have some fun in the kitchen! Check here for recipes, cooking with kids, food finds, and more.

Fish was on the menu last night – salmon is a family favorite so I started digging through my files and torn magazine pages to see if I could find a new roasting recipe. Roasting salmon is one of my favorite ways to cook it. It a healthy way to cook and always comes out with a nice clean taste; it’s simple to do; and surrounded by veggies it’s a one pan dinner which is a nice bonus at clean-up time. I found this recipe torn out of a Real Simple magazine. Tweaked it just a tiny bit for my crowd and it’s a new addition to my roasted salmon rotation. Enjoy!

Continue reading Barb’s latest post here on her “Food with a Dash of Fun” blog.

Oh, The Places We Will Go—Entertaining Guests in a Whirlwind Week (and a half)

December 1st, 2010 - By Jamie Bissot

NWI Parent Blog—Jamie is experiencing the South Shore one little moment at a time.

About an month(ish) ago, over a week and a half, I had three sets of guests. First my mother, which isn’t like having a guest at all. At 30 something, I still love to have “Mommy” around. Next was my in-laws. I got lucky in that department too. Next was my father and grandparents. So, we had a busy week.

With all these guests, we had to do a lot of entertaining. I got to see a lot of Indiana and Illinois in a small amount of time.

Continue reading Jamie’s latest post here on her “Oh, The Places We Will Go” blog.

Laptops to Countertops—Magic Moments

December 1st, 2010 - By Beth Fletcher

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

Filed under: Family Life, Holiday Guide.

FEATURED THIS WEEK—What’s new on nwi.com/parent

Nuts!

December 6th, 2010 - By John Quinlan, Sioux City Journal

Ashton Verdoorn was born in Green Bay, Wis., home of the Packers. The budding football star’s favorite player? Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers’ arch-rivals. Yet it all makes sense for the 8-year-old who moved to Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, four years ago with his single mom and two sisters.

Packer country is behind him. He only wishes he could have left behind his health woes.

Ashton’s young body, pummeled by a myriad of food allergies, asthma and eczema, makes eating anything new a physical challenge. Nuts and peanuts? Not on the menu. Milk and dairy products? Once verboten but now allowed in modest amounts.

Family overcomes tragedy with a lesson in giving

December 6th, 2010 - By Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert, Morning Journal News

Maternal love knows no boundaries, and for local mother Kim Bailey that love is now international.

In June, Bailey and her husband, Tom, lost their 2-year-old son in a drowning accident at their home. While coping with Joey’s death as much as possible over the last few months, she and her mother Barb Durst knew the upcoming holidays and his birthday would be especially difficult.

They had been thinking of ways to help them get through those days when Durst heard an announcement on a Christian radio station about Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse that provides gifts to underprivileged children around the world.

Trendy toys don’t stand up to Sixfinger, playthings of yore

December 5th, 2010 - By John Kass, Chicago Tribune

Whatever the hot toy is this year, you can rest assured it is not a Sixfinger.

The Sixfinger was the must-have item when I was a little boy. It was a devilishly clever plastic index finger that was actually a gun. It fired hard plastic objects and exploding projectiles.

You were supposed to shoot these off in the safety of a vacant lot. But it was even more satisfying to point your Sixfinger at the small of your little brother’s back and squeeze off a round, just as he ran off to tell mom and dad you’d pinged Mrs. Molaitis’ basement window.

5 fresh and simple gifts to make by hand

December 5th, 2010 - By Jennifer Forker for the Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

Sometimes, a new twist on an old idea is all it takes and a beautiful handmade gift is born.

If you’re inclined toward making your own gifts this holiday season, look in on the following five ideas, which stand out for their simplicity and freshness.

Couple starts cloth diaper service

December 4th, 2010 - By Ken Kosky

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick. (Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick.
(Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Valparaiso residents Rick and Triny Sojka didn’t even consider the possibility of using cloth diapers when they had their son, Zander, five years ago.

But after their daughter, Nadia, was born a year and a half ago, Rick got laid off from his job and they decided one way to save money would be to switch from disposable diapers to cloth ones.

They soon realized that cloth diapers could not only save them money, but also earn them money if they provided cloth diapers, supplies and laundry service to other parents.

Filed under: Family Life. Tags: , , , .

Objections to international adoptions aren’t about crossing miles, but crossing cultures

December 4th, 2010 - By Young Lee, Medill News Service

When celebrities like Madonna and Angelina Jolie adopt children from foreign countries, the media coverage is intense. But for non-celebrities, who conduct such adoptions without the media glare, the process of the adoptions themselves and the fate of the children once they grow up never are examined.

For Beth Evans, 27, trips to Disneyland every year, birthday parties and holiday dinners may not have happened if she had not been adopted from Korea by her parents, Robert and Louise Evans. Evans was 2 years old when she was adopted from the Sung Lo Won orphanage in Seoul and brought to Grand Rapids, Mich.

Food with a Dash of Fun—One Pan Dinner: Roasted Salmon

December 3rd, 2010 - By Barb Ruess

NWI Parent Blog—We’ve all gotta eat-might as well have some fun in the kitchen! Check here for recipes, cooking with kids, food finds, and more.

Fish was on the menu last night – salmon is a family favorite so I started digging through my files and torn magazine pages to see if I could find a new roasting recipe. Roasting salmon is one of my favorite ways to cook it. It a healthy way to cook and always comes out with a nice clean taste; it’s simple to do; and surrounded by veggies it’s a one pan dinner which is a nice bonus at clean-up time. I found this recipe torn out of a Real Simple magazine. Tweaked it just a tiny bit for my crowd and it’s a new addition to my roasted salmon rotation. Enjoy!

Continue reading Barb’s latest post here on her “Food with a Dash of Fun” blog.

Oh, The Places We Will Go—Entertaining Guests in a Whirlwind Week (and a half)

December 1st, 2010 - By Jamie Bissot

NWI Parent Blog—Jamie is experiencing the South Shore one little moment at a time.

About an month(ish) ago, over a week and a half, I had three sets of guests. First my mother, which isn’t like having a guest at all. At 30 something, I still love to have “Mommy” around. Next was my in-laws. I got lucky in that department too. Next was my father and grandparents. So, we had a busy week.

With all these guests, we had to do a lot of entertaining. I got to see a lot of Indiana and Illinois in a small amount of time.

Continue reading Jamie’s latest post here on her “Oh, The Places We Will Go” blog.

Laptops to Countertops—Magic Moments

December 1st, 2010 - By Beth Fletcher

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

Filed under: Family Life, Holiday Guide.

FEATURED THIS WEEK—What’s new on nwi.com/parent

Nuts!

December 6th, 2010 - By John Quinlan, Sioux City Journal

Ashton Verdoorn was born in Green Bay, Wis., home of the Packers. The budding football star’s favorite player? Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers’ arch-rivals. Yet it all makes sense for the 8-year-old who moved to Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, four years ago with his single mom and two sisters.

Packer country is behind him. He only wishes he could have left behind his health woes.

Ashton’s young body, pummeled by a myriad of food allergies, asthma and eczema, makes eating anything new a physical challenge. Nuts and peanuts? Not on the menu. Milk and dairy products? Once verboten but now allowed in modest amounts.

Family overcomes tragedy with a lesson in giving

December 6th, 2010 - By Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert, Morning Journal News

Maternal love knows no boundaries, and for local mother Kim Bailey that love is now international.

In June, Bailey and her husband, Tom, lost their 2-year-old son in a drowning accident at their home. While coping with Joey’s death as much as possible over the last few months, she and her mother Barb Durst knew the upcoming holidays and his birthday would be especially difficult.

They had been thinking of ways to help them get through those days when Durst heard an announcement on a Christian radio station about Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse that provides gifts to underprivileged children around the world.

Trendy toys don’t stand up to Sixfinger, playthings of yore

December 5th, 2010 - By John Kass, Chicago Tribune

Whatever the hot toy is this year, you can rest assured it is not a Sixfinger.

The Sixfinger was the must-have item when I was a little boy. It was a devilishly clever plastic index finger that was actually a gun. It fired hard plastic objects and exploding projectiles.

You were supposed to shoot these off in the safety of a vacant lot. But it was even more satisfying to point your Sixfinger at the small of your little brother’s back and squeeze off a round, just as he ran off to tell mom and dad you’d pinged Mrs. Molaitis’ basement window.

5 fresh and simple gifts to make by hand

December 5th, 2010 - By Jennifer Forker for the Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

Sometimes, a new twist on an old idea is all it takes and a beautiful handmade gift is born.

If you’re inclined toward making your own gifts this holiday season, look in on the following five ideas, which stand out for their simplicity and freshness.

Couple starts cloth diaper service

December 4th, 2010 - By Ken Kosky

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick. (Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick.
(Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Valparaiso residents Rick and Triny Sojka didn’t even consider the possibility of using cloth diapers when they had their son, Zander, five years ago.

But after their daughter, Nadia, was born a year and a half ago, Rick got laid off from his job and they decided one way to save money would be to switch from disposable diapers to cloth ones.

They soon realized that cloth diapers could not only save them money, but also earn them money if they provided cloth diapers, supplies and laundry service to other parents.

Filed under: Family Life. Tags: , , , .

Objections to international adoptions aren’t about crossing miles, but crossing cultures

December 4th, 2010 - By Young Lee, Medill News Service

When celebrities like Madonna and Angelina Jolie adopt children from foreign countries, the media coverage is intense. But for non-celebrities, who conduct such adoptions without the media glare, the process of the adoptions themselves and the fate of the children once they grow up never are examined.

For Beth Evans, 27, trips to Disneyland every year, birthday parties and holiday dinners may not have happened if she had not been adopted from Korea by her parents, Robert and Louise Evans. Evans was 2 years old when she was adopted from the Sung Lo Won orphanage in Seoul and brought to Grand Rapids, Mich.

Food with a Dash of Fun—One Pan Dinner: Roasted Salmon

December 3rd, 2010 - By Barb Ruess

NWI Parent Blog—We’ve all gotta eat-might as well have some fun in the kitchen! Check here for recipes, cooking with kids, food finds, and more.

Fish was on the menu last night – salmon is a family favorite so I started digging through my files and torn magazine pages to see if I could find a new roasting recipe. Roasting salmon is one of my favorite ways to cook it. It a healthy way to cook and always comes out with a nice clean taste; it’s simple to do; and surrounded by veggies it’s a one pan dinner which is a nice bonus at clean-up time. I found this recipe torn out of a Real Simple magazine. Tweaked it just a tiny bit for my crowd and it’s a new addition to my roasted salmon rotation. Enjoy!

Continue reading Barb’s latest post here on her “Food with a Dash of Fun” blog.

Oh, The Places We Will Go—Entertaining Guests in a Whirlwind Week (and a half)

December 1st, 2010 - By Jamie Bissot

NWI Parent Blog—Jamie is experiencing the South Shore one little moment at a time.

About an month(ish) ago, over a week and a half, I had three sets of guests. First my mother, which isn’t like having a guest at all. At 30 something, I still love to have “Mommy” around. Next was my in-laws. I got lucky in that department too. Next was my father and grandparents. So, we had a busy week.

With all these guests, we had to do a lot of entertaining. I got to see a lot of Indiana and Illinois in a small amount of time.

Continue reading Jamie’s latest post here on her “Oh, The Places We Will Go” blog.

Laptops to Countertops—Magic Moments

December 1st, 2010 - By Beth Fletcher

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

Filed under: Family Life, Holiday Guide.

FEATURED THIS WEEK—What’s new on nwi.com/parent

Nuts!

December 6th, 2010 - By John Quinlan, Sioux City Journal

Ashton Verdoorn was born in Green Bay, Wis., home of the Packers. The budding football star’s favorite player? Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers’ arch-rivals. Yet it all makes sense for the 8-year-old who moved to Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, four years ago with his single mom and two sisters.

Packer country is behind him. He only wishes he could have left behind his health woes.

Ashton’s young body, pummeled by a myriad of food allergies, asthma and eczema, makes eating anything new a physical challenge. Nuts and peanuts? Not on the menu. Milk and dairy products? Once verboten but now allowed in modest amounts.

Family overcomes tragedy with a lesson in giving

December 6th, 2010 - By Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert, Morning Journal News

Maternal love knows no boundaries, and for local mother Kim Bailey that love is now international.

In June, Bailey and her husband, Tom, lost their 2-year-old son in a drowning accident at their home. While coping with Joey’s death as much as possible over the last few months, she and her mother Barb Durst knew the upcoming holidays and his birthday would be especially difficult.

They had been thinking of ways to help them get through those days when Durst heard an announcement on a Christian radio station about Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse that provides gifts to underprivileged children around the world.

Trendy toys don’t stand up to Sixfinger, playthings of yore

December 5th, 2010 - By John Kass, Chicago Tribune

Whatever the hot toy is this year, you can rest assured it is not a Sixfinger.

The Sixfinger was the must-have item when I was a little boy. It was a devilishly clever plastic index finger that was actually a gun. It fired hard plastic objects and exploding projectiles.

You were supposed to shoot these off in the safety of a vacant lot. But it was even more satisfying to point your Sixfinger at the small of your little brother’s back and squeeze off a round, just as he ran off to tell mom and dad you’d pinged Mrs. Molaitis’ basement window.

5 fresh and simple gifts to make by hand

December 5th, 2010 - By Jennifer Forker for the Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

Sometimes, a new twist on an old idea is all it takes and a beautiful handmade gift is born.

If you’re inclined toward making your own gifts this holiday season, look in on the following five ideas, which stand out for their simplicity and freshness.

Couple starts cloth diaper service

December 4th, 2010 - By Ken Kosky

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick. (Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick.
(Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Valparaiso residents Rick and Triny Sojka didn’t even consider the possibility of using cloth diapers when they had their son, Zander, five years ago.

But after their daughter, Nadia, was born a year and a half ago, Rick got laid off from his job and they decided one way to save money would be to switch from disposable diapers to cloth ones.

They soon realized that cloth diapers could not only save them money, but also earn them money if they provided cloth diapers, supplies and laundry service to other parents.

Filed under: Family Life. Tags: , , , .

Objections to international adoptions aren’t about crossing miles, but crossing cultures

December 4th, 2010 - By Young Lee, Medill News Service

When celebrities like Madonna and Angelina Jolie adopt children from foreign countries, the media coverage is intense. But for non-celebrities, who conduct such adoptions without the media glare, the process of the adoptions themselves and the fate of the children once they grow up never are examined.

For Beth Evans, 27, trips to Disneyland every year, birthday parties and holiday dinners may not have happened if she had not been adopted from Korea by her parents, Robert and Louise Evans. Evans was 2 years old when she was adopted from the Sung Lo Won orphanage in Seoul and brought to Grand Rapids, Mich.

Food with a Dash of Fun—One Pan Dinner: Roasted Salmon

December 3rd, 2010 - By Barb Ruess

NWI Parent Blog—We’ve all gotta eat-might as well have some fun in the kitchen! Check here for recipes, cooking with kids, food finds, and more.

Fish was on the menu last night – salmon is a family favorite so I started digging through my files and torn magazine pages to see if I could find a new roasting recipe. Roasting salmon is one of my favorite ways to cook it. It a healthy way to cook and always comes out with a nice clean taste; it’s simple to do; and surrounded by veggies it’s a one pan dinner which is a nice bonus at clean-up time. I found this recipe torn out of a Real Simple magazine. Tweaked it just a tiny bit for my crowd and it’s a new addition to my roasted salmon rotation. Enjoy!

Continue reading Barb’s latest post here on her “Food with a Dash of Fun” blog.

Oh, The Places We Will Go—Entertaining Guests in a Whirlwind Week (and a half)

December 1st, 2010 - By Jamie Bissot

NWI Parent Blog—Jamie is experiencing the South Shore one little moment at a time.

About an month(ish) ago, over a week and a half, I had three sets of guests. First my mother, which isn’t like having a guest at all. At 30 something, I still love to have “Mommy” around. Next was my in-laws. I got lucky in that department too. Next was my father and grandparents. So, we had a busy week.

With all these guests, we had to do a lot of entertaining. I got to see a lot of Indiana and Illinois in a small amount of time.

Continue reading Jamie’s latest post here on her “Oh, The Places We Will Go” blog.

Laptops to Countertops—Magic Moments

December 1st, 2010 - By Beth Fletcher

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

Filed under: Family Life, Holiday Guide.

FEATURED THIS WEEK—What’s new on nwi.com/parent

Nuts!

December 6th, 2010 - By John Quinlan, Sioux City Journal

Ashton Verdoorn was born in Green Bay, Wis., home of the Packers. The budding football star’s favorite player? Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers’ arch-rivals. Yet it all makes sense for the 8-year-old who moved to Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, four years ago with his single mom and two sisters.

Packer country is behind him. He only wishes he could have left behind his health woes.

Ashton’s young body, pummeled by a myriad of food allergies, asthma and eczema, makes eating anything new a physical challenge. Nuts and peanuts? Not on the menu. Milk and dairy products? Once verboten but now allowed in modest amounts.

Family overcomes tragedy with a lesson in giving

December 6th, 2010 - By Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert, Morning Journal News

Maternal love knows no boundaries, and for local mother Kim Bailey that love is now international.

In June, Bailey and her husband, Tom, lost their 2-year-old son in a drowning accident at their home. While coping with Joey’s death as much as possible over the last few months, she and her mother Barb Durst knew the upcoming holidays and his birthday would be especially difficult.

They had been thinking of ways to help them get through those days when Durst heard an announcement on a Christian radio station about Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse that provides gifts to underprivileged children around the world.

Trendy toys don’t stand up to Sixfinger, playthings of yore

December 5th, 2010 - By John Kass, Chicago Tribune

Whatever the hot toy is this year, you can rest assured it is not a Sixfinger.

The Sixfinger was the must-have item when I was a little boy. It was a devilishly clever plastic index finger that was actually a gun. It fired hard plastic objects and exploding projectiles.

You were supposed to shoot these off in the safety of a vacant lot. But it was even more satisfying to point your Sixfinger at the small of your little brother’s back and squeeze off a round, just as he ran off to tell mom and dad you’d pinged Mrs. Molaitis’ basement window.

5 fresh and simple gifts to make by hand

December 5th, 2010 - By Jennifer Forker for the Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

Sometimes, a new twist on an old idea is all it takes and a beautiful handmade gift is born.

If you’re inclined toward making your own gifts this holiday season, look in on the following five ideas, which stand out for their simplicity and freshness.

Couple starts cloth diaper service

December 4th, 2010 - By Ken Kosky

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick. (Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick.
(Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Valparaiso residents Rick and Triny Sojka didn’t even consider the possibility of using cloth diapers when they had their son, Zander, five years ago.

But after their daughter, Nadia, was born a year and a half ago, Rick got laid off from his job and they decided one way to save money would be to switch from disposable diapers to cloth ones.

They soon realized that cloth diapers could not only save them money, but also earn them money if they provided cloth diapers, supplies and laundry service to other parents.

Filed under: Family Life. Tags: , , , .

Objections to international adoptions aren’t about crossing miles, but crossing cultures

December 4th, 2010 - By Young Lee, Medill News Service

When celebrities like Madonna and Angelina Jolie adopt children from foreign countries, the media coverage is intense. But for non-celebrities, who conduct such adoptions without the media glare, the process of the adoptions themselves and the fate of the children once they grow up never are examined.

For Beth Evans, 27, trips to Disneyland every year, birthday parties and holiday dinners may not have happened if she had not been adopted from Korea by her parents, Robert and Louise Evans. Evans was 2 years old when she was adopted from the Sung Lo Won orphanage in Seoul and brought to Grand Rapids, Mich.

Food with a Dash of Fun—One Pan Dinner: Roasted Salmon

December 3rd, 2010 - By Barb Ruess

NWI Parent Blog—We’ve all gotta eat-might as well have some fun in the kitchen! Check here for recipes, cooking with kids, food finds, and more.

Fish was on the menu last night – salmon is a family favorite so I started digging through my files and torn magazine pages to see if I could find a new roasting recipe. Roasting salmon is one of my favorite ways to cook it. It a healthy way to cook and always comes out with a nice clean taste; it’s simple to do; and surrounded by veggies it’s a one pan dinner which is a nice bonus at clean-up time. I found this recipe torn out of a Real Simple magazine. Tweaked it just a tiny bit for my crowd and it’s a new addition to my roasted salmon rotation. Enjoy!

Continue reading Barb’s latest post here on her “Food with a Dash of Fun” blog.

Oh, The Places We Will Go—Entertaining Guests in a Whirlwind Week (and a half)

December 1st, 2010 - By Jamie Bissot

NWI Parent Blog—Jamie is experiencing the South Shore one little moment at a time.

About an month(ish) ago, over a week and a half, I had three sets of guests. First my mother, which isn’t like having a guest at all. At 30 something, I still love to have “Mommy” around. Next was my in-laws. I got lucky in that department too. Next was my father and grandparents. So, we had a busy week.

With all these guests, we had to do a lot of entertaining. I got to see a lot of Indiana and Illinois in a small amount of time.

Continue reading Jamie’s latest post here on her “Oh, The Places We Will Go” blog.

Laptops to Countertops—Magic Moments

December 1st, 2010 - By Beth Fletcher

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

Filed under: Family Life, Holiday Guide.

FEATURED THIS WEEK—What’s new on nwi.com/parent

Nuts!

December 6th, 2010 - By John Quinlan, Sioux City Journal

Ashton Verdoorn was born in Green Bay, Wis., home of the Packers. The budding football star’s favorite player? Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers’ arch-rivals. Yet it all makes sense for the 8-year-old who moved to Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, four years ago with his single mom and two sisters.

Packer country is behind him. He only wishes he could have left behind his health woes.

Ashton’s young body, pummeled by a myriad of food allergies, asthma and eczema, makes eating anything new a physical challenge. Nuts and peanuts? Not on the menu. Milk and dairy products? Once verboten but now allowed in modest amounts.

Family overcomes tragedy with a lesson in giving

December 6th, 2010 - By Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert, Morning Journal News

Maternal love knows no boundaries, and for local mother Kim Bailey that love is now international.

In June, Bailey and her husband, Tom, lost their 2-year-old son in a drowning accident at their home. While coping with Joey’s death as much as possible over the last few months, she and her mother Barb Durst knew the upcoming holidays and his birthday would be especially difficult.

They had been thinking of ways to help them get through those days when Durst heard an announcement on a Christian radio station about Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse that provides gifts to underprivileged children around the world.

Trendy toys don’t stand up to Sixfinger, playthings of yore

December 5th, 2010 - By John Kass, Chicago Tribune

Whatever the hot toy is this year, you can rest assured it is not a Sixfinger.

The Sixfinger was the must-have item when I was a little boy. It was a devilishly clever plastic index finger that was actually a gun. It fired hard plastic objects and exploding projectiles.

You were supposed to shoot these off in the safety of a vacant lot. But it was even more satisfying to point your Sixfinger at the small of your little brother’s back and squeeze off a round, just as he ran off to tell mom and dad you’d pinged Mrs. Molaitis’ basement window.

5 fresh and simple gifts to make by hand

December 5th, 2010 - By Jennifer Forker for the Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

Sometimes, a new twist on an old idea is all it takes and a beautiful handmade gift is born.

If you’re inclined toward making your own gifts this holiday season, look in on the following five ideas, which stand out for their simplicity and freshness.

Couple starts cloth diaper service

December 4th, 2010 - By Ken Kosky

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick. (Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick.
(Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Valparaiso residents Rick and Triny Sojka didn’t even consider the possibility of using cloth diapers when they had their son, Zander, five years ago.

But after their daughter, Nadia, was born a year and a half ago, Rick got laid off from his job and they decided one way to save money would be to switch from disposable diapers to cloth ones.

They soon realized that cloth diapers could not only save them money, but also earn them money if they provided cloth diapers, supplies and laundry service to other parents.

Filed under: Family Life. Tags: , , , .

Objections to international adoptions aren’t about crossing miles, but crossing cultures

December 4th, 2010 - By Young Lee, Medill News Service

When celebrities like Madonna and Angelina Jolie adopt children from foreign countries, the media coverage is intense. But for non-celebrities, who conduct such adoptions without the media glare, the process of the adoptions themselves and the fate of the children once they grow up never are examined.

For Beth Evans, 27, trips to Disneyland every year, birthday parties and holiday dinners may not have happened if she had not been adopted from Korea by her parents, Robert and Louise Evans. Evans was 2 years old when she was adopted from the Sung Lo Won orphanage in Seoul and brought to Grand Rapids, Mich.

Food with a Dash of Fun—One Pan Dinner: Roasted Salmon

December 3rd, 2010 - By Barb Ruess

NWI Parent Blog—We’ve all gotta eat-might as well have some fun in the kitchen! Check here for recipes, cooking with kids, food finds, and more.

Fish was on the menu last night – salmon is a family favorite so I started digging through my files and torn magazine pages to see if I could find a new roasting recipe. Roasting salmon is one of my favorite ways to cook it. It a healthy way to cook and always comes out with a nice clean taste; it’s simple to do; and surrounded by veggies it’s a one pan dinner which is a nice bonus at clean-up time. I found this recipe torn out of a Real Simple magazine. Tweaked it just a tiny bit for my crowd and it’s a new addition to my roasted salmon rotation. Enjoy!

Continue reading Barb’s latest post here on her “Food with a Dash of Fun” blog.

Oh, The Places We Will Go—Entertaining Guests in a Whirlwind Week (and a half)

December 1st, 2010 - By Jamie Bissot

NWI Parent Blog—Jamie is experiencing the South Shore one little moment at a time.

About an month(ish) ago, over a week and a half, I had three sets of guests. First my mother, which isn’t like having a guest at all. At 30 something, I still love to have “Mommy” around. Next was my in-laws. I got lucky in that department too. Next was my father and grandparents. So, we had a busy week.

With all these guests, we had to do a lot of entertaining. I got to see a lot of Indiana and Illinois in a small amount of time.

Continue reading Jamie’s latest post here on her “Oh, The Places We Will Go” blog.

Laptops to Countertops—Magic Moments

December 1st, 2010 - By Beth Fletcher

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

Filed under: Family Life, Holiday Guide.

FEATURED THIS WEEK—What’s new on nwi.com/parent

Nuts!

December 6th, 2010 - By John Quinlan, Sioux City Journal

Ashton Verdoorn was born in Green Bay, Wis., home of the Packers. The budding football star’s favorite player? Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers’ arch-rivals. Yet it all makes sense for the 8-year-old who moved to Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, four years ago with his single mom and two sisters.

Packer country is behind him. He only wishes he could have left behind his health woes.

Ashton’s young body, pummeled by a myriad of food allergies, asthma and eczema, makes eating anything new a physical challenge. Nuts and peanuts? Not on the menu. Milk and dairy products? Once verboten but now allowed in modest amounts.

Family overcomes tragedy with a lesson in giving

December 6th, 2010 - By Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert, Morning Journal News

Maternal love knows no boundaries, and for local mother Kim Bailey that love is now international.

In June, Bailey and her husband, Tom, lost their 2-year-old son in a drowning accident at their home. While coping with Joey’s death as much as possible over the last few months, she and her mother Barb Durst knew the upcoming holidays and his birthday would be especially difficult.

They had been thinking of ways to help them get through those days when Durst heard an announcement on a Christian radio station about Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse that provides gifts to underprivileged children around the world.

Trendy toys don’t stand up to Sixfinger, playthings of yore

December 5th, 2010 - By John Kass, Chicago Tribune

Whatever the hot toy is this year, you can rest assured it is not a Sixfinger.

The Sixfinger was the must-have item when I was a little boy. It was a devilishly clever plastic index finger that was actually a gun. It fired hard plastic objects and exploding projectiles.

You were supposed to shoot these off in the safety of a vacant lot. But it was even more satisfying to point your Sixfinger at the small of your little brother’s back and squeeze off a round, just as he ran off to tell mom and dad you’d pinged Mrs. Molaitis’ basement window.

5 fresh and simple gifts to make by hand

December 5th, 2010 - By Jennifer Forker for the Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

Sometimes, a new twist on an old idea is all it takes and a beautiful handmade gift is born.

If you’re inclined toward making your own gifts this holiday season, look in on the following five ideas, which stand out for their simplicity and freshness.

Couple starts cloth diaper service

December 4th, 2010 - By Ken Kosky

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick. (Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick.
(Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Valparaiso residents Rick and Triny Sojka didn’t even consider the possibility of using cloth diapers when they had their son, Zander, five years ago.

But after their daughter, Nadia, was born a year and a half ago, Rick got laid off from his job and they decided one way to save money would be to switch from disposable diapers to cloth ones.

They soon realized that cloth diapers could not only save them money, but also earn them money if they provided cloth diapers, supplies and laundry service to other parents.

Filed under: Family Life. Tags: , , , .

Objections to international adoptions aren’t about crossing miles, but crossing cultures

December 4th, 2010 - By Young Lee, Medill News Service

When celebrities like Madonna and Angelina Jolie adopt children from foreign countries, the media coverage is intense. But for non-celebrities, who conduct such adoptions without the media glare, the process of the adoptions themselves and the fate of the children once they grow up never are examined.

For Beth Evans, 27, trips to Disneyland every year, birthday parties and holiday dinners may not have happened if she had not been adopted from Korea by her parents, Robert and Louise Evans. Evans was 2 years old when she was adopted from the Sung Lo Won orphanage in Seoul and brought to Grand Rapids, Mich.

Food with a Dash of Fun—One Pan Dinner: Roasted Salmon

December 3rd, 2010 - By Barb Ruess

NWI Parent Blog—We’ve all gotta eat-might as well have some fun in the kitchen! Check here for recipes, cooking with kids, food finds, and more.

Fish was on the menu last night – salmon is a family favorite so I started digging through my files and torn magazine pages to see if I could find a new roasting recipe. Roasting salmon is one of my favorite ways to cook it. It a healthy way to cook and always comes out with a nice clean taste; it’s simple to do; and surrounded by veggies it’s a one pan dinner which is a nice bonus at clean-up time. I found this recipe torn out of a Real Simple magazine. Tweaked it just a tiny bit for my crowd and it’s a new addition to my roasted salmon rotation. Enjoy!

Continue reading Barb’s latest post here on her “Food with a Dash of Fun” blog.

Oh, The Places We Will Go—Entertaining Guests in a Whirlwind Week (and a half)

December 1st, 2010 - By Jamie Bissot

NWI Parent Blog—Jamie is experiencing the South Shore one little moment at a time.

About an month(ish) ago, over a week and a half, I had three sets of guests. First my mother, which isn’t like having a guest at all. At 30 something, I still love to have “Mommy” around. Next was my in-laws. I got lucky in that department too. Next was my father and grandparents. So, we had a busy week.

With all these guests, we had to do a lot of entertaining. I got to see a lot of Indiana and Illinois in a small amount of time.

Continue reading Jamie’s latest post here on her “Oh, The Places We Will Go” blog.

Laptops to Countertops—Magic Moments

December 1st, 2010 - By Beth Fletcher

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

Filed under: Family Life, Holiday Guide.

FEATURED THIS WEEK—What’s new on nwi.com/parent

Nuts!

December 6th, 2010 - By John Quinlan, Sioux City Journal

Ashton Verdoorn was born in Green Bay, Wis., home of the Packers. The budding football star’s favorite player? Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers’ arch-rivals. Yet it all makes sense for the 8-year-old who moved to Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, four years ago with his single mom and two sisters.

Packer country is behind him. He only wishes he could have left behind his health woes.

Ashton’s young body, pummeled by a myriad of food allergies, asthma and eczema, makes eating anything new a physical challenge. Nuts and peanuts? Not on the menu. Milk and dairy products? Once verboten but now allowed in modest amounts.

Family overcomes tragedy with a lesson in giving

December 6th, 2010 - By Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert, Morning Journal News

Maternal love knows no boundaries, and for local mother Kim Bailey that love is now international.

In June, Bailey and her husband, Tom, lost their 2-year-old son in a drowning accident at their home. While coping with Joey’s death as much as possible over the last few months, she and her mother Barb Durst knew the upcoming holidays and his birthday would be especially difficult.

They had been thinking of ways to help them get through those days when Durst heard an announcement on a Christian radio station about Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse that provides gifts to underprivileged children around the world.

Trendy toys don’t stand up to Sixfinger, playthings of yore

December 5th, 2010 - By John Kass, Chicago Tribune

Whatever the hot toy is this year, you can rest assured it is not a Sixfinger.

The Sixfinger was the must-have item when I was a little boy. It was a devilishly clever plastic index finger that was actually a gun. It fired hard plastic objects and exploding projectiles.

You were supposed to shoot these off in the safety of a vacant lot. But it was even more satisfying to point your Sixfinger at the small of your little brother’s back and squeeze off a round, just as he ran off to tell mom and dad you’d pinged Mrs. Molaitis’ basement window.

5 fresh and simple gifts to make by hand

December 5th, 2010 - By Jennifer Forker for the Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

Sometimes, a new twist on an old idea is all it takes and a beautiful handmade gift is born.

If you’re inclined toward making your own gifts this holiday season, look in on the following five ideas, which stand out for their simplicity and freshness.

Couple starts cloth diaper service

December 4th, 2010 - By Ken Kosky

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick. (Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick.
(Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Valparaiso residents Rick and Triny Sojka didn’t even consider the possibility of using cloth diapers when they had their son, Zander, five years ago.

But after their daughter, Nadia, was born a year and a half ago, Rick got laid off from his job and they decided one way to save money would be to switch from disposable diapers to cloth ones.

They soon realized that cloth diapers could not only save them money, but also earn them money if they provided cloth diapers, supplies and laundry service to other parents.

Filed under: Family Life. Tags: , , , .

Objections to international adoptions aren’t about crossing miles, but crossing cultures

December 4th, 2010 - By Young Lee, Medill News Service

When celebrities like Madonna and Angelina Jolie adopt children from foreign countries, the media coverage is intense. But for non-celebrities, who conduct such adoptions without the media glare, the process of the adoptions themselves and the fate of the children once they grow up never are examined.

For Beth Evans, 27, trips to Disneyland every year, birthday parties and holiday dinners may not have happened if she had not been adopted from Korea by her parents, Robert and Louise Evans. Evans was 2 years old when she was adopted from the Sung Lo Won orphanage in Seoul and brought to Grand Rapids, Mich.

Food with a Dash of Fun—One Pan Dinner: Roasted Salmon

December 3rd, 2010 - By Barb Ruess

NWI Parent Blog—We’ve all gotta eat-might as well have some fun in the kitchen! Check here for recipes, cooking with kids, food finds, and more.

Fish was on the menu last night – salmon is a family favorite so I started digging through my files and torn magazine pages to see if I could find a new roasting recipe. Roasting salmon is one of my favorite ways to cook it. It a healthy way to cook and always comes out with a nice clean taste; it’s simple to do; and surrounded by veggies it’s a one pan dinner which is a nice bonus at clean-up time. I found this recipe torn out of a Real Simple magazine. Tweaked it just a tiny bit for my crowd and it’s a new addition to my roasted salmon rotation. Enjoy!

Continue reading Barb’s latest post here on her “Food with a Dash of Fun” blog.

Oh, The Places We Will Go—Entertaining Guests in a Whirlwind Week (and a half)

December 1st, 2010 - By Jamie Bissot

NWI Parent Blog—Jamie is experiencing the South Shore one little moment at a time.

About an month(ish) ago, over a week and a half, I had three sets of guests. First my mother, which isn’t like having a guest at all. At 30 something, I still love to have “Mommy” around. Next was my in-laws. I got lucky in that department too. Next was my father and grandparents. So, we had a busy week.

With all these guests, we had to do a lot of entertaining. I got to see a lot of Indiana and Illinois in a small amount of time.

Continue reading Jamie’s latest post here on her “Oh, The Places We Will Go” blog.

Laptops to Countertops—Magic Moments

December 1st, 2010 - By Beth Fletcher

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

Filed under: Family Life, Holiday Guide.

FEATURED THIS WEEK—What’s new on nwi.com/parent

Nuts!

December 6th, 2010 - By John Quinlan, Sioux City Journal

Ashton Verdoorn was born in Green Bay, Wis., home of the Packers. The budding football star’s favorite player? Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers’ arch-rivals. Yet it all makes sense for the 8-year-old who moved to Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, four years ago with his single mom and two sisters.

Packer country is behind him. He only wishes he could have left behind his health woes.

Ashton’s young body, pummeled by a myriad of food allergies, asthma and eczema, makes eating anything new a physical challenge. Nuts and peanuts? Not on the menu. Milk and dairy products? Once verboten but now allowed in modest amounts.

Family overcomes tragedy with a lesson in giving

December 6th, 2010 - By Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert, Morning Journal News

Maternal love knows no boundaries, and for local mother Kim Bailey that love is now international.

In June, Bailey and her husband, Tom, lost their 2-year-old son in a drowning accident at their home. While coping with Joey’s death as much as possible over the last few months, she and her mother Barb Durst knew the upcoming holidays and his birthday would be especially difficult.

They had been thinking of ways to help them get through those days when Durst heard an announcement on a Christian radio station about Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse that provides gifts to underprivileged children around the world.

Trendy toys don’t stand up to Sixfinger, playthings of yore

December 5th, 2010 - By John Kass, Chicago Tribune

Whatever the hot toy is this year, you can rest assured it is not a Sixfinger.

The Sixfinger was the must-have item when I was a little boy. It was a devilishly clever plastic index finger that was actually a gun. It fired hard plastic objects and exploding projectiles.

You were supposed to shoot these off in the safety of a vacant lot. But it was even more satisfying to point your Sixfinger at the small of your little brother’s back and squeeze off a round, just as he ran off to tell mom and dad you’d pinged Mrs. Molaitis’ basement window.

5 fresh and simple gifts to make by hand

December 5th, 2010 - By Jennifer Forker for the Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

Sometimes, a new twist on an old idea is all it takes and a beautiful handmade gift is born.

If you’re inclined toward making your own gifts this holiday season, look in on the following five ideas, which stand out for their simplicity and freshness.

Couple starts cloth diaper service

December 4th, 2010 - By Ken Kosky

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick. (Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick.
(Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Valparaiso residents Rick and Triny Sojka didn’t even consider the possibility of using cloth diapers when they had their son, Zander, five years ago.

But after their daughter, Nadia, was born a year and a half ago, Rick got laid off from his job and they decided one way to save money would be to switch from disposable diapers to cloth ones.

They soon realized that cloth diapers could not only save them money, but also earn them money if they provided cloth diapers, supplies and laundry service to other parents.

Filed under: Family Life. Tags: , , , .

Objections to international adoptions aren’t about crossing miles, but crossing cultures

December 4th, 2010 - By Young Lee, Medill News Service

When celebrities like Madonna and Angelina Jolie adopt children from foreign countries, the media coverage is intense. But for non-celebrities, who conduct such adoptions without the media glare, the process of the adoptions themselves and the fate of the children once they grow up never are examined.

For Beth Evans, 27, trips to Disneyland every year, birthday parties and holiday dinners may not have happened if she had not been adopted from Korea by her parents, Robert and Louise Evans. Evans was 2 years old when she was adopted from the Sung Lo Won orphanage in Seoul and brought to Grand Rapids, Mich.

Food with a Dash of Fun—One Pan Dinner: Roasted Salmon

December 3rd, 2010 - By Barb Ruess

NWI Parent Blog—We’ve all gotta eat-might as well have some fun in the kitchen! Check here for recipes, cooking with kids, food finds, and more.

Fish was on the menu last night – salmon is a family favorite so I started digging through my files and torn magazine pages to see if I could find a new roasting recipe. Roasting salmon is one of my favorite ways to cook it. It a healthy way to cook and always comes out with a nice clean taste; it’s simple to do; and surrounded by veggies it’s a one pan dinner which is a nice bonus at clean-up time. I found this recipe torn out of a Real Simple magazine. Tweaked it just a tiny bit for my crowd and it’s a new addition to my roasted salmon rotation. Enjoy!

Continue reading Barb’s latest post here on her “Food with a Dash of Fun” blog.

Oh, The Places We Will Go—Entertaining Guests in a Whirlwind Week (and a half)

December 1st, 2010 - By Jamie Bissot

NWI Parent Blog—Jamie is experiencing the South Shore one little moment at a time.

About an month(ish) ago, over a week and a half, I had three sets of guests. First my mother, which isn’t like having a guest at all. At 30 something, I still love to have “Mommy” around. Next was my in-laws. I got lucky in that department too. Next was my father and grandparents. So, we had a busy week.

With all these guests, we had to do a lot of entertaining. I got to see a lot of Indiana and Illinois in a small amount of time.

Continue reading Jamie’s latest post here on her “Oh, The Places We Will Go” blog.

Laptops to Countertops—Magic Moments

December 1st, 2010 - By Beth Fletcher

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

Filed under: Family Life, Holiday Guide.

FEATURED THIS WEEK—What’s new on nwi.com/parent

Nuts!

December 6th, 2010 - By John Quinlan, Sioux City Journal

Ashton Verdoorn was born in Green Bay, Wis., home of the Packers. The budding football star’s favorite player? Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers’ arch-rivals. Yet it all makes sense for the 8-year-old who moved to Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, four years ago with his single mom and two sisters.

Packer country is behind him. He only wishes he could have left behind his health woes.

Ashton’s young body, pummeled by a myriad of food allergies, asthma and eczema, makes eating anything new a physical challenge. Nuts and peanuts? Not on the menu. Milk and dairy products? Once verboten but now allowed in modest amounts.

Family overcomes tragedy with a lesson in giving

December 6th, 2010 - By Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert, Morning Journal News

Maternal love knows no boundaries, and for local mother Kim Bailey that love is now international.

In June, Bailey and her husband, Tom, lost their 2-year-old son in a drowning accident at their home. While coping with Joey’s death as much as possible over the last few months, she and her mother Barb Durst knew the upcoming holidays and his birthday would be especially difficult.

They had been thinking of ways to help them get through those days when Durst heard an announcement on a Christian radio station about Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse that provides gifts to underprivileged children around the world.

Trendy toys don’t stand up to Sixfinger, playthings of yore

December 5th, 2010 - By John Kass, Chicago Tribune

Whatever the hot toy is this year, you can rest assured it is not a Sixfinger.

The Sixfinger was the must-have item when I was a little boy. It was a devilishly clever plastic index finger that was actually a gun. It fired hard plastic objects and exploding projectiles.

You were supposed to shoot these off in the safety of a vacant lot. But it was even more satisfying to point your Sixfinger at the small of your little brother’s back and squeeze off a round, just as he ran off to tell mom and dad you’d pinged Mrs. Molaitis’ basement window.

5 fresh and simple gifts to make by hand

December 5th, 2010 - By Jennifer Forker for the Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

Sometimes, a new twist on an old idea is all it takes and a beautiful handmade gift is born.

If you’re inclined toward making your own gifts this holiday season, look in on the following five ideas, which stand out for their simplicity and freshness.

Couple starts cloth diaper service

December 4th, 2010 - By Ken Kosky

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick. (Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick.
(Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Valparaiso residents Rick and Triny Sojka didn’t even consider the possibility of using cloth diapers when they had their son, Zander, five years ago.

But after their daughter, Nadia, was born a year and a half ago, Rick got laid off from his job and they decided one way to save money would be to switch from disposable diapers to cloth ones.

They soon realized that cloth diapers could not only save them money, but also earn them money if they provided cloth diapers, supplies and laundry service to other parents.

Filed under: Family Life. Tags: , , , .

Objections to international adoptions aren’t about crossing miles, but crossing cultures

December 4th, 2010 - By Young Lee, Medill News Service

When celebrities like Madonna and Angelina Jolie adopt children from foreign countries, the media coverage is intense. But for non-celebrities, who conduct such adoptions without the media glare, the process of the adoptions themselves and the fate of the children once they grow up never are examined.

For Beth Evans, 27, trips to Disneyland every year, birthday parties and holiday dinners may not have happened if she had not been adopted from Korea by her parents, Robert and Louise Evans. Evans was 2 years old when she was adopted from the Sung Lo Won orphanage in Seoul and brought to Grand Rapids, Mich.

Food with a Dash of Fun—One Pan Dinner: Roasted Salmon

December 3rd, 2010 - By Barb Ruess

NWI Parent Blog—We’ve all gotta eat-might as well have some fun in the kitchen! Check here for recipes, cooking with kids, food finds, and more.

Fish was on the menu last night – salmon is a family favorite so I started digging through my files and torn magazine pages to see if I could find a new roasting recipe. Roasting salmon is one of my favorite ways to cook it. It a healthy way to cook and always comes out with a nice clean taste; it’s simple to do; and surrounded by veggies it’s a one pan dinner which is a nice bonus at clean-up time. I found this recipe torn out of a Real Simple magazine. Tweaked it just a tiny bit for my crowd and it’s a new addition to my roasted salmon rotation. Enjoy!

Continue reading Barb’s latest post here on her “Food with a Dash of Fun” blog.

Oh, The Places We Will Go—Entertaining Guests in a Whirlwind Week (and a half)

December 1st, 2010 - By Jamie Bissot

NWI Parent Blog—Jamie is experiencing the South Shore one little moment at a time.

About an month(ish) ago, over a week and a half, I had three sets of guests. First my mother, which isn’t like having a guest at all. At 30 something, I still love to have “Mommy” around. Next was my in-laws. I got lucky in that department too. Next was my father and grandparents. So, we had a busy week.

With all these guests, we had to do a lot of entertaining. I got to see a lot of Indiana and Illinois in a small amount of time.

Continue reading Jamie’s latest post here on her “Oh, The Places We Will Go” blog.

Laptops to Countertops—Magic Moments

December 1st, 2010 - By Beth Fletcher

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

Filed under: Family Life, Holiday Guide.

FEATURED THIS WEEK—What’s new on nwi.com/parent

Nuts!

December 6th, 2010 - By John Quinlan, Sioux City Journal

Ashton Verdoorn was born in Green Bay, Wis., home of the Packers. The budding football star’s favorite player? Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers’ arch-rivals. Yet it all makes sense for the 8-year-old who moved to Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, four years ago with his single mom and two sisters.

Packer country is behind him. He only wishes he could have left behind his health woes.

Ashton’s young body, pummeled by a myriad of food allergies, asthma and eczema, makes eating anything new a physical challenge. Nuts and peanuts? Not on the menu. Milk and dairy products? Once verboten but now allowed in modest amounts.

Family overcomes tragedy with a lesson in giving

December 6th, 2010 - By Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert, Morning Journal News

Maternal love knows no boundaries, and for local mother Kim Bailey that love is now international.

In June, Bailey and her husband, Tom, lost their 2-year-old son in a drowning accident at their home. While coping with Joey’s death as much as possible over the last few months, she and her mother Barb Durst knew the upcoming holidays and his birthday would be especially difficult.

They had been thinking of ways to help them get through those days when Durst heard an announcement on a Christian radio station about Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse that provides gifts to underprivileged children around the world.

Trendy toys don’t stand up to Sixfinger, playthings of yore

December 5th, 2010 - By John Kass, Chicago Tribune

Whatever the hot toy is this year, you can rest assured it is not a Sixfinger.

The Sixfinger was the must-have item when I was a little boy. It was a devilishly clever plastic index finger that was actually a gun. It fired hard plastic objects and exploding projectiles.

You were supposed to shoot these off in the safety of a vacant lot. But it was even more satisfying to point your Sixfinger at the small of your little brother’s back and squeeze off a round, just as he ran off to tell mom and dad you’d pinged Mrs. Molaitis’ basement window.

5 fresh and simple gifts to make by hand

December 5th, 2010 - By Jennifer Forker for the Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

Sometimes, a new twist on an old idea is all it takes and a beautiful handmade gift is born.

If you’re inclined toward making your own gifts this holiday season, look in on the following five ideas, which stand out for their simplicity and freshness.

Couple starts cloth diaper service

December 4th, 2010 - By Ken Kosky

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick. (Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick.
(Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Valparaiso residents Rick and Triny Sojka didn’t even consider the possibility of using cloth diapers when they had their son, Zander, five years ago.

But after their daughter, Nadia, was born a year and a half ago, Rick got laid off from his job and they decided one way to save money would be to switch from disposable diapers to cloth ones.

They soon realized that cloth diapers could not only save them money, but also earn them money if they provided cloth diapers, supplies and laundry service to other parents.

Filed under: Family Life. Tags: , , , .

Objections to international adoptions aren’t about crossing miles, but crossing cultures

December 4th, 2010 - By Young Lee, Medill News Service

When celebrities like Madonna and Angelina Jolie adopt children from foreign countries, the media coverage is intense. But for non-celebrities, who conduct such adoptions without the media glare, the process of the adoptions themselves and the fate of the children once they grow up never are examined.

For Beth Evans, 27, trips to Disneyland every year, birthday parties and holiday dinners may not have happened if she had not been adopted from Korea by her parents, Robert and Louise Evans. Evans was 2 years old when she was adopted from the Sung Lo Won orphanage in Seoul and brought to Grand Rapids, Mich.

Food with a Dash of Fun—One Pan Dinner: Roasted Salmon

December 3rd, 2010 - By Barb Ruess

NWI Parent Blog—We’ve all gotta eat-might as well have some fun in the kitchen! Check here for recipes, cooking with kids, food finds, and more.

Fish was on the menu last night – salmon is a family favorite so I started digging through my files and torn magazine pages to see if I could find a new roasting recipe. Roasting salmon is one of my favorite ways to cook it. It a healthy way to cook and always comes out with a nice clean taste; it’s simple to do; and surrounded by veggies it’s a one pan dinner which is a nice bonus at clean-up time. I found this recipe torn out of a Real Simple magazine. Tweaked it just a tiny bit for my crowd and it’s a new addition to my roasted salmon rotation. Enjoy!

Continue reading Barb’s latest post here on her “Food with a Dash of Fun” blog.

Oh, The Places We Will Go—Entertaining Guests in a Whirlwind Week (and a half)

December 1st, 2010 - By Jamie Bissot

NWI Parent Blog—Jamie is experiencing the South Shore one little moment at a time.

About an month(ish) ago, over a week and a half, I had three sets of guests. First my mother, which isn’t like having a guest at all. At 30 something, I still love to have “Mommy” around. Next was my in-laws. I got lucky in that department too. Next was my father and grandparents. So, we had a busy week.

With all these guests, we had to do a lot of entertaining. I got to see a lot of Indiana and Illinois in a small amount of time.

Continue reading Jamie’s latest post here on her “Oh, The Places We Will Go” blog.

Laptops to Countertops—Magic Moments

December 1st, 2010 - By Beth Fletcher

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

Filed under: Family Life, Holiday Guide.

FEATURED THIS WEEK—What’s new on nwi.com/parent

Nuts!

December 6th, 2010 - By John Quinlan, Sioux City Journal

Ashton Verdoorn was born in Green Bay, Wis., home of the Packers. The budding football star’s favorite player? Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers’ arch-rivals. Yet it all makes sense for the 8-year-old who moved to Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, four years ago with his single mom and two sisters.

Packer country is behind him. He only wishes he could have left behind his health woes.

Ashton’s young body, pummeled by a myriad of food allergies, asthma and eczema, makes eating anything new a physical challenge. Nuts and peanuts? Not on the menu. Milk and dairy products? Once verboten but now allowed in modest amounts.

Family overcomes tragedy with a lesson in giving

December 6th, 2010 - By Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert, Morning Journal News

Maternal love knows no boundaries, and for local mother Kim Bailey that love is now international.

In June, Bailey and her husband, Tom, lost their 2-year-old son in a drowning accident at their home. While coping with Joey’s death as much as possible over the last few months, she and her mother Barb Durst knew the upcoming holidays and his birthday would be especially difficult.

They had been thinking of ways to help them get through those days when Durst heard an announcement on a Christian radio station about Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse that provides gifts to underprivileged children around the world.

Trendy toys don’t stand up to Sixfinger, playthings of yore

December 5th, 2010 - By John Kass, Chicago Tribune

Whatever the hot toy is this year, you can rest assured it is not a Sixfinger.

The Sixfinger was the must-have item when I was a little boy. It was a devilishly clever plastic index finger that was actually a gun. It fired hard plastic objects and exploding projectiles.

You were supposed to shoot these off in the safety of a vacant lot. But it was even more satisfying to point your Sixfinger at the small of your little brother’s back and squeeze off a round, just as he ran off to tell mom and dad you’d pinged Mrs. Molaitis’ basement window.

5 fresh and simple gifts to make by hand

December 5th, 2010 - By Jennifer Forker for the Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

Sometimes, a new twist on an old idea is all it takes and a beautiful handmade gift is born.

If you’re inclined toward making your own gifts this holiday season, look in on the following five ideas, which stand out for their simplicity and freshness.

Couple starts cloth diaper service

December 4th, 2010 - By Ken Kosky

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick. (Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick.
(Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Valparaiso residents Rick and Triny Sojka didn’t even consider the possibility of using cloth diapers when they had their son, Zander, five years ago.

But after their daughter, Nadia, was born a year and a half ago, Rick got laid off from his job and they decided one way to save money would be to switch from disposable diapers to cloth ones.

They soon realized that cloth diapers could not only save them money, but also earn them money if they provided cloth diapers, supplies and laundry service to other parents.

Filed under: Family Life. Tags: , , , .

Objections to international adoptions aren’t about crossing miles, but crossing cultures

December 4th, 2010 - By Young Lee, Medill News Service

When celebrities like Madonna and Angelina Jolie adopt children from foreign countries, the media coverage is intense. But for non-celebrities, who conduct such adoptions without the media glare, the process of the adoptions themselves and the fate of the children once they grow up never are examined.

For Beth Evans, 27, trips to Disneyland every year, birthday parties and holiday dinners may not have happened if she had not been adopted from Korea by her parents, Robert and Louise Evans. Evans was 2 years old when she was adopted from the Sung Lo Won orphanage in Seoul and brought to Grand Rapids, Mich.

Food with a Dash of Fun—One Pan Dinner: Roasted Salmon

December 3rd, 2010 - By Barb Ruess

NWI Parent Blog—We’ve all gotta eat-might as well have some fun in the kitchen! Check here for recipes, cooking with kids, food finds, and more.

Fish was on the menu last night – salmon is a family favorite so I started digging through my files and torn magazine pages to see if I could find a new roasting recipe. Roasting salmon is one of my favorite ways to cook it. It a healthy way to cook and always comes out with a nice clean taste; it’s simple to do; and surrounded by veggies it’s a one pan dinner which is a nice bonus at clean-up time. I found this recipe torn out of a Real Simple magazine. Tweaked it just a tiny bit for my crowd and it’s a new addition to my roasted salmon rotation. Enjoy!

Continue reading Barb’s latest post here on her “Food with a Dash of Fun” blog.

Oh, The Places We Will Go—Entertaining Guests in a Whirlwind Week (and a half)

December 1st, 2010 - By Jamie Bissot

NWI Parent Blog—Jamie is experiencing the South Shore one little moment at a time.

About an month(ish) ago, over a week and a half, I had three sets of guests. First my mother, which isn’t like having a guest at all. At 30 something, I still love to have “Mommy” around. Next was my in-laws. I got lucky in that department too. Next was my father and grandparents. So, we had a busy week.

With all these guests, we had to do a lot of entertaining. I got to see a lot of Indiana and Illinois in a small amount of time.

Continue reading Jamie’s latest post here on her “Oh, The Places We Will Go” blog.

Laptops to Countertops—Magic Moments

December 1st, 2010 - By Beth Fletcher

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

Filed under: Family Life, Holiday Guide.

FEATURED THIS WEEK—What’s new on nwi.com/parent

Nuts!

December 6th, 2010 - By John Quinlan, Sioux City Journal

Ashton Verdoorn was born in Green Bay, Wis., home of the Packers. The budding football star’s favorite player? Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers’ arch-rivals. Yet it all makes sense for the 8-year-old who moved to Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, four years ago with his single mom and two sisters.

Packer country is behind him. He only wishes he could have left behind his health woes.

Ashton’s young body, pummeled by a myriad of food allergies, asthma and eczema, makes eating anything new a physical challenge. Nuts and peanuts? Not on the menu. Milk and dairy products? Once verboten but now allowed in modest amounts.

Family overcomes tragedy with a lesson in giving

December 6th, 2010 - By Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert, Morning Journal News

Maternal love knows no boundaries, and for local mother Kim Bailey that love is now international.

In June, Bailey and her husband, Tom, lost their 2-year-old son in a drowning accident at their home. While coping with Joey’s death as much as possible over the last few months, she and her mother Barb Durst knew the upcoming holidays and his birthday would be especially difficult.

They had been thinking of ways to help them get through those days when Durst heard an announcement on a Christian radio station about Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse that provides gifts to underprivileged children around the world.

Trendy toys don’t stand up to Sixfinger, playthings of yore

December 5th, 2010 - By John Kass, Chicago Tribune

Whatever the hot toy is this year, you can rest assured it is not a Sixfinger.

The Sixfinger was the must-have item when I was a little boy. It was a devilishly clever plastic index finger that was actually a gun. It fired hard plastic objects and exploding projectiles.

You were supposed to shoot these off in the safety of a vacant lot. But it was even more satisfying to point your Sixfinger at the small of your little brother’s back and squeeze off a round, just as he ran off to tell mom and dad you’d pinged Mrs. Molaitis’ basement window.

5 fresh and simple gifts to make by hand

December 5th, 2010 - By Jennifer Forker for the Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

Sometimes, a new twist on an old idea is all it takes and a beautiful handmade gift is born.

If you’re inclined toward making your own gifts this holiday season, look in on the following five ideas, which stand out for their simplicity and freshness.

Couple starts cloth diaper service

December 4th, 2010 - By Ken Kosky

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick. (Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick.
(Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Valparaiso residents Rick and Triny Sojka didn’t even consider the possibility of using cloth diapers when they had their son, Zander, five years ago.

But after their daughter, Nadia, was born a year and a half ago, Rick got laid off from his job and they decided one way to save money would be to switch from disposable diapers to cloth ones.

They soon realized that cloth diapers could not only save them money, but also earn them money if they provided cloth diapers, supplies and laundry service to other parents.

Filed under: Family Life. Tags: , , , .

Objections to international adoptions aren’t about crossing miles, but crossing cultures

December 4th, 2010 - By Young Lee, Medill News Service

When celebrities like Madonna and Angelina Jolie adopt children from foreign countries, the media coverage is intense. But for non-celebrities, who conduct such adoptions without the media glare, the process of the adoptions themselves and the fate of the children once they grow up never are examined.

For Beth Evans, 27, trips to Disneyland every year, birthday parties and holiday dinners may not have happened if she had not been adopted from Korea by her parents, Robert and Louise Evans. Evans was 2 years old when she was adopted from the Sung Lo Won orphanage in Seoul and brought to Grand Rapids, Mich.

Food with a Dash of Fun—One Pan Dinner: Roasted Salmon

December 3rd, 2010 - By Barb Ruess

NWI Parent Blog—We’ve all gotta eat-might as well have some fun in the kitchen! Check here for recipes, cooking with kids, food finds, and more.

Fish was on the menu last night – salmon is a family favorite so I started digging through my files and torn magazine pages to see if I could find a new roasting recipe. Roasting salmon is one of my favorite ways to cook it. It a healthy way to cook and always comes out with a nice clean taste; it’s simple to do; and surrounded by veggies it’s a one pan dinner which is a nice bonus at clean-up time. I found this recipe torn out of a Real Simple magazine. Tweaked it just a tiny bit for my crowd and it’s a new addition to my roasted salmon rotation. Enjoy!

Continue reading Barb’s latest post here on her “Food with a Dash of Fun” blog.

Oh, The Places We Will Go—Entertaining Guests in a Whirlwind Week (and a half)

December 1st, 2010 - By Jamie Bissot

NWI Parent Blog—Jamie is experiencing the South Shore one little moment at a time.

About an month(ish) ago, over a week and a half, I had three sets of guests. First my mother, which isn’t like having a guest at all. At 30 something, I still love to have “Mommy” around. Next was my in-laws. I got lucky in that department too. Next was my father and grandparents. So, we had a busy week.

With all these guests, we had to do a lot of entertaining. I got to see a lot of Indiana and Illinois in a small amount of time.

Continue reading Jamie’s latest post here on her “Oh, The Places We Will Go” blog.

Laptops to Countertops—Magic Moments

December 1st, 2010 - By Beth Fletcher

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

Filed under: Family Life, Holiday Guide.

FEATURED THIS WEEK—What’s new on nwi.com/parent

Nuts!

December 6th, 2010 - By John Quinlan, Sioux City Journal

Ashton Verdoorn was born in Green Bay, Wis., home of the Packers. The budding football star’s favorite player? Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers’ arch-rivals. Yet it all makes sense for the 8-year-old who moved to Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, four years ago with his single mom and two sisters.

Packer country is behind him. He only wishes he could have left behind his health woes.

Ashton’s young body, pummeled by a myriad of food allergies, asthma and eczema, makes eating anything new a physical challenge. Nuts and peanuts? Not on the menu. Milk and dairy products? Once verboten but now allowed in modest amounts.

Family overcomes tragedy with a lesson in giving

December 6th, 2010 - By Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert, Morning Journal News

Maternal love knows no boundaries, and for local mother Kim Bailey that love is now international.

In June, Bailey and her husband, Tom, lost their 2-year-old son in a drowning accident at their home. While coping with Joey’s death as much as possible over the last few months, she and her mother Barb Durst knew the upcoming holidays and his birthday would be especially difficult.

They had been thinking of ways to help them get through those days when Durst heard an announcement on a Christian radio station about Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse that provides gifts to underprivileged children around the world.

Trendy toys don’t stand up to Sixfinger, playthings of yore

December 5th, 2010 - By John Kass, Chicago Tribune

Whatever the hot toy is this year, you can rest assured it is not a Sixfinger.

The Sixfinger was the must-have item when I was a little boy. It was a devilishly clever plastic index finger that was actually a gun. It fired hard plastic objects and exploding projectiles.

You were supposed to shoot these off in the safety of a vacant lot. But it was even more satisfying to point your Sixfinger at the small of your little brother’s back and squeeze off a round, just as he ran off to tell mom and dad you’d pinged Mrs. Molaitis’ basement window.

5 fresh and simple gifts to make by hand

December 5th, 2010 - By Jennifer Forker for the Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

Sometimes, a new twist on an old idea is all it takes and a beautiful handmade gift is born.

If you’re inclined toward making your own gifts this holiday season, look in on the following five ideas, which stand out for their simplicity and freshness.

Couple starts cloth diaper service

December 4th, 2010 - By Ken Kosky

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick. (Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick.
(Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Valparaiso residents Rick and Triny Sojka didn’t even consider the possibility of using cloth diapers when they had their son, Zander, five years ago.

But after their daughter, Nadia, was born a year and a half ago, Rick got laid off from his job and they decided one way to save money would be to switch from disposable diapers to cloth ones.

They soon realized that cloth diapers could not only save them money, but also earn them money if they provided cloth diapers, supplies and laundry service to other parents.

Filed under: Family Life. Tags: , , , .

Objections to international adoptions aren’t about crossing miles, but crossing cultures

December 4th, 2010 - By Young Lee, Medill News Service

When celebrities like Madonna and Angelina Jolie adopt children from foreign countries, the media coverage is intense. But for non-celebrities, who conduct such adoptions without the media glare, the process of the adoptions themselves and the fate of the children once they grow up never are examined.

For Beth Evans, 27, trips to Disneyland every year, birthday parties and holiday dinners may not have happened if she had not been adopted from Korea by her parents, Robert and Louise Evans. Evans was 2 years old when she was adopted from the Sung Lo Won orphanage in Seoul and brought to Grand Rapids, Mich.

Food with a Dash of Fun—One Pan Dinner: Roasted Salmon

December 3rd, 2010 - By Barb Ruess

NWI Parent Blog—We’ve all gotta eat-might as well have some fun in the kitchen! Check here for recipes, cooking with kids, food finds, and more.

Fish was on the menu last night – salmon is a family favorite so I started digging through my files and torn magazine pages to see if I could find a new roasting recipe. Roasting salmon is one of my favorite ways to cook it. It a healthy way to cook and always comes out with a nice clean taste; it’s simple to do; and surrounded by veggies it’s a one pan dinner which is a nice bonus at clean-up time. I found this recipe torn out of a Real Simple magazine. Tweaked it just a tiny bit for my crowd and it’s a new addition to my roasted salmon rotation. Enjoy!

Continue reading Barb’s latest post here on her “Food with a Dash of Fun” blog.

Oh, The Places We Will Go—Entertaining Guests in a Whirlwind Week (and a half)

December 1st, 2010 - By Jamie Bissot

NWI Parent Blog—Jamie is experiencing the South Shore one little moment at a time.

About an month(ish) ago, over a week and a half, I had three sets of guests. First my mother, which isn’t like having a guest at all. At 30 something, I still love to have “Mommy” around. Next was my in-laws. I got lucky in that department too. Next was my father and grandparents. So, we had a busy week.

With all these guests, we had to do a lot of entertaining. I got to see a lot of Indiana and Illinois in a small amount of time.

Continue reading Jamie’s latest post here on her “Oh, The Places We Will Go” blog.

Laptops to Countertops—Magic Moments

December 1st, 2010 - By Beth Fletcher

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

Filed under: Family Life, Holiday Guide.

FEATURED THIS WEEK—What’s new on nwi.com/parent

Nuts!

December 6th, 2010 - By John Quinlan, Sioux City Journal

Ashton Verdoorn was born in Green Bay, Wis., home of the Packers. The budding football star’s favorite player? Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers’ arch-rivals. Yet it all makes sense for the 8-year-old who moved to Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, four years ago with his single mom and two sisters.

Packer country is behind him. He only wishes he could have left behind his health woes.

Ashton’s young body, pummeled by a myriad of food allergies, asthma and eczema, makes eating anything new a physical challenge. Nuts and peanuts? Not on the menu. Milk and dairy products? Once verboten but now allowed in modest amounts.

Family overcomes tragedy with a lesson in giving

December 6th, 2010 - By Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert, Morning Journal News

Maternal love knows no boundaries, and for local mother Kim Bailey that love is now international.

In June, Bailey and her husband, Tom, lost their 2-year-old son in a drowning accident at their home. While coping with Joey’s death as much as possible over the last few months, she and her mother Barb Durst knew the upcoming holidays and his birthday would be especially difficult.

They had been thinking of ways to help them get through those days when Durst heard an announcement on a Christian radio station about Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse that provides gifts to underprivileged children around the world.

Trendy toys don’t stand up to Sixfinger, playthings of yore

December 5th, 2010 - By John Kass, Chicago Tribune

Whatever the hot toy is this year, you can rest assured it is not a Sixfinger.

The Sixfinger was the must-have item when I was a little boy. It was a devilishly clever plastic index finger that was actually a gun. It fired hard plastic objects and exploding projectiles.

You were supposed to shoot these off in the safety of a vacant lot. But it was even more satisfying to point your Sixfinger at the small of your little brother’s back and squeeze off a round, just as he ran off to tell mom and dad you’d pinged Mrs. Molaitis’ basement window.

5 fresh and simple gifts to make by hand

December 5th, 2010 - By Jennifer Forker for the Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

Sometimes, a new twist on an old idea is all it takes and a beautiful handmade gift is born.

If you’re inclined toward making your own gifts this holiday season, look in on the following five ideas, which stand out for their simplicity and freshness.

Couple starts cloth diaper service

December 4th, 2010 - By Ken Kosky

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick. (Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick.
(Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Valparaiso residents Rick and Triny Sojka didn’t even consider the possibility of using cloth diapers when they had their son, Zander, five years ago.

But after their daughter, Nadia, was born a year and a half ago, Rick got laid off from his job and they decided one way to save money would be to switch from disposable diapers to cloth ones.

They soon realized that cloth diapers could not only save them money, but also earn them money if they provided cloth diapers, supplies and laundry service to other parents.

Filed under: Family Life. Tags: , , , .

Objections to international adoptions aren’t about crossing miles, but crossing cultures

December 4th, 2010 - By Young Lee, Medill News Service

When celebrities like Madonna and Angelina Jolie adopt children from foreign countries, the media coverage is intense. But for non-celebrities, who conduct such adoptions without the media glare, the process of the adoptions themselves and the fate of the children once they grow up never are examined.

For Beth Evans, 27, trips to Disneyland every year, birthday parties and holiday dinners may not have happened if she had not been adopted from Korea by her parents, Robert and Louise Evans. Evans was 2 years old when she was adopted from the Sung Lo Won orphanage in Seoul and brought to Grand Rapids, Mich.

Food with a Dash of Fun—One Pan Dinner: Roasted Salmon

December 3rd, 2010 - By Barb Ruess

NWI Parent Blog—We’ve all gotta eat-might as well have some fun in the kitchen! Check here for recipes, cooking with kids, food finds, and more.

Fish was on the menu last night – salmon is a family favorite so I started digging through my files and torn magazine pages to see if I could find a new roasting recipe. Roasting salmon is one of my favorite ways to cook it. It a healthy way to cook and always comes out with a nice clean taste; it’s simple to do; and surrounded by veggies it’s a one pan dinner which is a nice bonus at clean-up time. I found this recipe torn out of a Real Simple magazine. Tweaked it just a tiny bit for my crowd and it’s a new addition to my roasted salmon rotation. Enjoy!

Continue reading Barb’s latest post here on her “Food with a Dash of Fun” blog.

Oh, The Places We Will Go—Entertaining Guests in a Whirlwind Week (and a half)

December 1st, 2010 - By Jamie Bissot

NWI Parent Blog—Jamie is experiencing the South Shore one little moment at a time.

About an month(ish) ago, over a week and a half, I had three sets of guests. First my mother, which isn’t like having a guest at all. At 30 something, I still love to have “Mommy” around. Next was my in-laws. I got lucky in that department too. Next was my father and grandparents. So, we had a busy week.

With all these guests, we had to do a lot of entertaining. I got to see a lot of Indiana and Illinois in a small amount of time.

Continue reading Jamie’s latest post here on her “Oh, The Places We Will Go” blog.

Laptops to Countertops—Magic Moments

December 1st, 2010 - By Beth Fletcher

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

Filed under: Family Life, Holiday Guide.

FEATURED THIS WEEK—What’s new on nwi.com/parent

Nuts!

December 6th, 2010 - By John Quinlan, Sioux City Journal

Ashton Verdoorn was born in Green Bay, Wis., home of the Packers. The budding football star’s favorite player? Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers’ arch-rivals. Yet it all makes sense for the 8-year-old who moved to Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, four years ago with his single mom and two sisters.

Packer country is behind him. He only wishes he could have left behind his health woes.

Ashton’s young body, pummeled by a myriad of food allergies, asthma and eczema, makes eating anything new a physical challenge. Nuts and peanuts? Not on the menu. Milk and dairy products? Once verboten but now allowed in modest amounts.

Family overcomes tragedy with a lesson in giving

December 6th, 2010 - By Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert, Morning Journal News

Maternal love knows no boundaries, and for local mother Kim Bailey that love is now international.

In June, Bailey and her husband, Tom, lost their 2-year-old son in a drowning accident at their home. While coping with Joey’s death as much as possible over the last few months, she and her mother Barb Durst knew the upcoming holidays and his birthday would be especially difficult.

They had been thinking of ways to help them get through those days when Durst heard an announcement on a Christian radio station about Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse that provides gifts to underprivileged children around the world.

Trendy toys don’t stand up to Sixfinger, playthings of yore

December 5th, 2010 - By John Kass, Chicago Tribune

Whatever the hot toy is this year, you can rest assured it is not a Sixfinger.

The Sixfinger was the must-have item when I was a little boy. It was a devilishly clever plastic index finger that was actually a gun. It fired hard plastic objects and exploding projectiles.

You were supposed to shoot these off in the safety of a vacant lot. But it was even more satisfying to point your Sixfinger at the small of your little brother’s back and squeeze off a round, just as he ran off to tell mom and dad you’d pinged Mrs. Molaitis’ basement window.

5 fresh and simple gifts to make by hand

December 5th, 2010 - By Jennifer Forker for the Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

Sometimes, a new twist on an old idea is all it takes and a beautiful handmade gift is born.

If you’re inclined toward making your own gifts this holiday season, look in on the following five ideas, which stand out for their simplicity and freshness.

Couple starts cloth diaper service

December 4th, 2010 - By Ken Kosky

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick. (Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick.
(Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Valparaiso residents Rick and Triny Sojka didn’t even consider the possibility of using cloth diapers when they had their son, Zander, five years ago.

But after their daughter, Nadia, was born a year and a half ago, Rick got laid off from his job and they decided one way to save money would be to switch from disposable diapers to cloth ones.

They soon realized that cloth diapers could not only save them money, but also earn them money if they provided cloth diapers, supplies and laundry service to other parents.

Filed under: Family Life. Tags: , , , .

Objections to international adoptions aren’t about crossing miles, but crossing cultures

December 4th, 2010 - By Young Lee, Medill News Service

When celebrities like Madonna and Angelina Jolie adopt children from foreign countries, the media coverage is intense. But for non-celebrities, who conduct such adoptions without the media glare, the process of the adoptions themselves and the fate of the children once they grow up never are examined.

For Beth Evans, 27, trips to Disneyland every year, birthday parties and holiday dinners may not have happened if she had not been adopted from Korea by her parents, Robert and Louise Evans. Evans was 2 years old when she was adopted from the Sung Lo Won orphanage in Seoul and brought to Grand Rapids, Mich.

Food with a Dash of Fun—One Pan Dinner: Roasted Salmon

December 3rd, 2010 - By Barb Ruess

NWI Parent Blog—We’ve all gotta eat-might as well have some fun in the kitchen! Check here for recipes, cooking with kids, food finds, and more.

Fish was on the menu last night – salmon is a family favorite so I started digging through my files and torn magazine pages to see if I could find a new roasting recipe. Roasting salmon is one of my favorite ways to cook it. It a healthy way to cook and always comes out with a nice clean taste; it’s simple to do; and surrounded by veggies it’s a one pan dinner which is a nice bonus at clean-up time. I found this recipe torn out of a Real Simple magazine. Tweaked it just a tiny bit for my crowd and it’s a new addition to my roasted salmon rotation. Enjoy!

Continue reading Barb’s latest post here on her “Food with a Dash of Fun” blog.

Oh, The Places We Will Go—Entertaining Guests in a Whirlwind Week (and a half)

December 1st, 2010 - By Jamie Bissot

NWI Parent Blog—Jamie is experiencing the South Shore one little moment at a time.

About an month(ish) ago, over a week and a half, I had three sets of guests. First my mother, which isn’t like having a guest at all. At 30 something, I still love to have “Mommy” around. Next was my in-laws. I got lucky in that department too. Next was my father and grandparents. So, we had a busy week.

With all these guests, we had to do a lot of entertaining. I got to see a lot of Indiana and Illinois in a small amount of time.

Continue reading Jamie’s latest post here on her “Oh, The Places We Will Go” blog.

Laptops to Countertops—Magic Moments

December 1st, 2010 - By Beth Fletcher

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

Filed under: Family Life, Holiday Guide.

FEATURED THIS WEEK—What’s new on nwi.com/parent

Nuts!

December 6th, 2010 - By John Quinlan, Sioux City Journal

Ashton Verdoorn was born in Green Bay, Wis., home of the Packers. The budding football star’s favorite player? Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers’ arch-rivals. Yet it all makes sense for the 8-year-old who moved to Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, four years ago with his single mom and two sisters.

Packer country is behind him. He only wishes he could have left behind his health woes.

Ashton’s young body, pummeled by a myriad of food allergies, asthma and eczema, makes eating anything new a physical challenge. Nuts and peanuts? Not on the menu. Milk and dairy products? Once verboten but now allowed in modest amounts.

Family overcomes tragedy with a lesson in giving

December 6th, 2010 - By Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert, Morning Journal News

Maternal love knows no boundaries, and for local mother Kim Bailey that love is now international.

In June, Bailey and her husband, Tom, lost their 2-year-old son in a drowning accident at their home. While coping with Joey’s death as much as possible over the last few months, she and her mother Barb Durst knew the upcoming holidays and his birthday would be especially difficult.

They had been thinking of ways to help them get through those days when Durst heard an announcement on a Christian radio station about Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse that provides gifts to underprivileged children around the world.

Trendy toys don’t stand up to Sixfinger, playthings of yore

December 5th, 2010 - By John Kass, Chicago Tribune

Whatever the hot toy is this year, you can rest assured it is not a Sixfinger.

The Sixfinger was the must-have item when I was a little boy. It was a devilishly clever plastic index finger that was actually a gun. It fired hard plastic objects and exploding projectiles.

You were supposed to shoot these off in the safety of a vacant lot. But it was even more satisfying to point your Sixfinger at the small of your little brother’s back and squeeze off a round, just as he ran off to tell mom and dad you’d pinged Mrs. Molaitis’ basement window.

5 fresh and simple gifts to make by hand

December 5th, 2010 - By Jennifer Forker for the Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

Sometimes, a new twist on an old idea is all it takes and a beautiful handmade gift is born.

If you’re inclined toward making your own gifts this holiday season, look in on the following five ideas, which stand out for their simplicity and freshness.

Couple starts cloth diaper service

December 4th, 2010 - By Ken Kosky

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick. (Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick.
(Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Valparaiso residents Rick and Triny Sojka didn’t even consider the possibility of using cloth diapers when they had their son, Zander, five years ago.

But after their daughter, Nadia, was born a year and a half ago, Rick got laid off from his job and they decided one way to save money would be to switch from disposable diapers to cloth ones.

They soon realized that cloth diapers could not only save them money, but also earn them money if they provided cloth diapers, supplies and laundry service to other parents.

Filed under: Family Life. Tags: , , , .

Objections to international adoptions aren’t about crossing miles, but crossing cultures

December 4th, 2010 - By Young Lee, Medill News Service

When celebrities like Madonna and Angelina Jolie adopt children from foreign countries, the media coverage is intense. But for non-celebrities, who conduct such adoptions without the media glare, the process of the adoptions themselves and the fate of the children once they grow up never are examined.

For Beth Evans, 27, trips to Disneyland every year, birthday parties and holiday dinners may not have happened if she had not been adopted from Korea by her parents, Robert and Louise Evans. Evans was 2 years old when she was adopted from the Sung Lo Won orphanage in Seoul and brought to Grand Rapids, Mich.

Food with a Dash of Fun—One Pan Dinner: Roasted Salmon

December 3rd, 2010 - By Barb Ruess

NWI Parent Blog—We’ve all gotta eat-might as well have some fun in the kitchen! Check here for recipes, cooking with kids, food finds, and more.

Fish was on the menu last night – salmon is a family favorite so I started digging through my files and torn magazine pages to see if I could find a new roasting recipe. Roasting salmon is one of my favorite ways to cook it. It a healthy way to cook and always comes out with a nice clean taste; it’s simple to do; and surrounded by veggies it’s a one pan dinner which is a nice bonus at clean-up time. I found this recipe torn out of a Real Simple magazine. Tweaked it just a tiny bit for my crowd and it’s a new addition to my roasted salmon rotation. Enjoy!

Continue reading Barb’s latest post here on her “Food with a Dash of Fun” blog.

Oh, The Places We Will Go—Entertaining Guests in a Whirlwind Week (and a half)

December 1st, 2010 - By Jamie Bissot

NWI Parent Blog—Jamie is experiencing the South Shore one little moment at a time.

About an month(ish) ago, over a week and a half, I had three sets of guests. First my mother, which isn’t like having a guest at all. At 30 something, I still love to have “Mommy” around. Next was my in-laws. I got lucky in that department too. Next was my father and grandparents. So, we had a busy week.

With all these guests, we had to do a lot of entertaining. I got to see a lot of Indiana and Illinois in a small amount of time.

Continue reading Jamie’s latest post here on her “Oh, The Places We Will Go” blog.

Laptops to Countertops—Magic Moments

December 1st, 2010 - By Beth Fletcher

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

Filed under: Family Life, Holiday Guide.

FEATURED THIS WEEK—What’s new on nwi.com/parent

Nuts!

December 6th, 2010 - By John Quinlan, Sioux City Journal

Ashton Verdoorn was born in Green Bay, Wis., home of the Packers. The budding football star’s favorite player? Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers’ arch-rivals. Yet it all makes sense for the 8-year-old who moved to Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, four years ago with his single mom and two sisters.

Packer country is behind him. He only wishes he could have left behind his health woes.

Ashton’s young body, pummeled by a myriad of food allergies, asthma and eczema, makes eating anything new a physical challenge. Nuts and peanuts? Not on the menu. Milk and dairy products? Once verboten but now allowed in modest amounts.

Family overcomes tragedy with a lesson in giving

December 6th, 2010 - By Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert, Morning Journal News

Maternal love knows no boundaries, and for local mother Kim Bailey that love is now international.

In June, Bailey and her husband, Tom, lost their 2-year-old son in a drowning accident at their home. While coping with Joey’s death as much as possible over the last few months, she and her mother Barb Durst knew the upcoming holidays and his birthday would be especially difficult.

They had been thinking of ways to help them get through those days when Durst heard an announcement on a Christian radio station about Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse that provides gifts to underprivileged children around the world.

Trendy toys don’t stand up to Sixfinger, playthings of yore

December 5th, 2010 - By John Kass, Chicago Tribune

Whatever the hot toy is this year, you can rest assured it is not a Sixfinger.

The Sixfinger was the must-have item when I was a little boy. It was a devilishly clever plastic index finger that was actually a gun. It fired hard plastic objects and exploding projectiles.

You were supposed to shoot these off in the safety of a vacant lot. But it was even more satisfying to point your Sixfinger at the small of your little brother’s back and squeeze off a round, just as he ran off to tell mom and dad you’d pinged Mrs. Molaitis’ basement window.

5 fresh and simple gifts to make by hand

December 5th, 2010 - By Jennifer Forker for the Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

Sometimes, a new twist on an old idea is all it takes and a beautiful handmade gift is born.

If you’re inclined toward making your own gifts this holiday season, look in on the following five ideas, which stand out for their simplicity and freshness.

Couple starts cloth diaper service

December 4th, 2010 - By Ken Kosky

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick. (Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick.
(Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Valparaiso residents Rick and Triny Sojka didn’t even consider the possibility of using cloth diapers when they had their son, Zander, five years ago.

But after their daughter, Nadia, was born a year and a half ago, Rick got laid off from his job and they decided one way to save money would be to switch from disposable diapers to cloth ones.

They soon realized that cloth diapers could not only save them money, but also earn them money if they provided cloth diapers, supplies and laundry service to other parents.

Filed under: Family Life. Tags: , , , .

Objections to international adoptions aren’t about crossing miles, but crossing cultures

December 4th, 2010 - By Young Lee, Medill News Service

When celebrities like Madonna and Angelina Jolie adopt children from foreign countries, the media coverage is intense. But for non-celebrities, who conduct such adoptions without the media glare, the process of the adoptions themselves and the fate of the children once they grow up never are examined.

For Beth Evans, 27, trips to Disneyland every year, birthday parties and holiday dinners may not have happened if she had not been adopted from Korea by her parents, Robert and Louise Evans. Evans was 2 years old when she was adopted from the Sung Lo Won orphanage in Seoul and brought to Grand Rapids, Mich.

Food with a Dash of Fun—One Pan Dinner: Roasted Salmon

December 3rd, 2010 - By Barb Ruess

NWI Parent Blog—We’ve all gotta eat-might as well have some fun in the kitchen! Check here for recipes, cooking with kids, food finds, and more.

Fish was on the menu last night – salmon is a family favorite so I started digging through my files and torn magazine pages to see if I could find a new roasting recipe. Roasting salmon is one of my favorite ways to cook it. It a healthy way to cook and always comes out with a nice clean taste; it’s simple to do; and surrounded by veggies it’s a one pan dinner which is a nice bonus at clean-up time. I found this recipe torn out of a Real Simple magazine. Tweaked it just a tiny bit for my crowd and it’s a new addition to my roasted salmon rotation. Enjoy!

Continue reading Barb’s latest post here on her “Food with a Dash of Fun” blog.

Oh, The Places We Will Go—Entertaining Guests in a Whirlwind Week (and a half)

December 1st, 2010 - By Jamie Bissot

NWI Parent Blog—Jamie is experiencing the South Shore one little moment at a time.

About an month(ish) ago, over a week and a half, I had three sets of guests. First my mother, which isn’t like having a guest at all. At 30 something, I still love to have “Mommy” around. Next was my in-laws. I got lucky in that department too. Next was my father and grandparents. So, we had a busy week.

With all these guests, we had to do a lot of entertaining. I got to see a lot of Indiana and Illinois in a small amount of time.

Continue reading Jamie’s latest post here on her “Oh, The Places We Will Go” blog.

Laptops to Countertops—Magic Moments

December 1st, 2010 - By Beth Fletcher

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

Filed under: Family Life, Holiday Guide.

FEATURED THIS WEEK—What’s new on nwi.com/parent

Nuts!

December 6th, 2010 - By John Quinlan, Sioux City Journal

Ashton Verdoorn was born in Green Bay, Wis., home of the Packers. The budding football star’s favorite player? Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers’ arch-rivals. Yet it all makes sense for the 8-year-old who moved to Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, four years ago with his single mom and two sisters.

Packer country is behind him. He only wishes he could have left behind his health woes.

Ashton’s young body, pummeled by a myriad of food allergies, asthma and eczema, makes eating anything new a physical challenge. Nuts and peanuts? Not on the menu. Milk and dairy products? Once verboten but now allowed in modest amounts.

Family overcomes tragedy with a lesson in giving

December 6th, 2010 - By Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert, Morning Journal News

Maternal love knows no boundaries, and for local mother Kim Bailey that love is now international.

In June, Bailey and her husband, Tom, lost their 2-year-old son in a drowning accident at their home. While coping with Joey’s death as much as possible over the last few months, she and her mother Barb Durst knew the upcoming holidays and his birthday would be especially difficult.

They had been thinking of ways to help them get through those days when Durst heard an announcement on a Christian radio station about Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse that provides gifts to underprivileged children around the world.

Trendy toys don’t stand up to Sixfinger, playthings of yore

December 5th, 2010 - By John Kass, Chicago Tribune

Whatever the hot toy is this year, you can rest assured it is not a Sixfinger.

The Sixfinger was the must-have item when I was a little boy. It was a devilishly clever plastic index finger that was actually a gun. It fired hard plastic objects and exploding projectiles.

You were supposed to shoot these off in the safety of a vacant lot. But it was even more satisfying to point your Sixfinger at the small of your little brother’s back and squeeze off a round, just as he ran off to tell mom and dad you’d pinged Mrs. Molaitis’ basement window.

5 fresh and simple gifts to make by hand

December 5th, 2010 - By Jennifer Forker for the Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

Sometimes, a new twist on an old idea is all it takes and a beautiful handmade gift is born.

If you’re inclined toward making your own gifts this holiday season, look in on the following five ideas, which stand out for their simplicity and freshness.

Couple starts cloth diaper service

December 4th, 2010 - By Ken Kosky

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick. (Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick.
(Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Valparaiso residents Rick and Triny Sojka didn’t even consider the possibility of using cloth diapers when they had their son, Zander, five years ago.

But after their daughter, Nadia, was born a year and a half ago, Rick got laid off from his job and they decided one way to save money would be to switch from disposable diapers to cloth ones.

They soon realized that cloth diapers could not only save them money, but also earn them money if they provided cloth diapers, supplies and laundry service to other parents.

Filed under: Family Life. Tags: , , , .

Objections to international adoptions aren’t about crossing miles, but crossing cultures

December 4th, 2010 - By Young Lee, Medill News Service

When celebrities like Madonna and Angelina Jolie adopt children from foreign countries, the media coverage is intense. But for non-celebrities, who conduct such adoptions without the media glare, the process of the adoptions themselves and the fate of the children once they grow up never are examined.

For Beth Evans, 27, trips to Disneyland every year, birthday parties and holiday dinners may not have happened if she had not been adopted from Korea by her parents, Robert and Louise Evans. Evans was 2 years old when she was adopted from the Sung Lo Won orphanage in Seoul and brought to Grand Rapids, Mich.

Food with a Dash of Fun—One Pan Dinner: Roasted Salmon

December 3rd, 2010 - By Barb Ruess

NWI Parent Blog—We’ve all gotta eat-might as well have some fun in the kitchen! Check here for recipes, cooking with kids, food finds, and more.

Fish was on the menu last night – salmon is a family favorite so I started digging through my files and torn magazine pages to see if I could find a new roasting recipe. Roasting salmon is one of my favorite ways to cook it. It a healthy way to cook and always comes out with a nice clean taste; it’s simple to do; and surrounded by veggies it’s a one pan dinner which is a nice bonus at clean-up time. I found this recipe torn out of a Real Simple magazine. Tweaked it just a tiny bit for my crowd and it’s a new addition to my roasted salmon rotation. Enjoy!

Continue reading Barb’s latest post here on her “Food with a Dash of Fun” blog.

Oh, The Places We Will Go—Entertaining Guests in a Whirlwind Week (and a half)

December 1st, 2010 - By Jamie Bissot

NWI Parent Blog—Jamie is experiencing the South Shore one little moment at a time.

About an month(ish) ago, over a week and a half, I had three sets of guests. First my mother, which isn’t like having a guest at all. At 30 something, I still love to have “Mommy” around. Next was my in-laws. I got lucky in that department too. Next was my father and grandparents. So, we had a busy week.

With all these guests, we had to do a lot of entertaining. I got to see a lot of Indiana and Illinois in a small amount of time.

Continue reading Jamie’s latest post here on her “Oh, The Places We Will Go” blog.

Laptops to Countertops—Magic Moments

December 1st, 2010 - By Beth Fletcher

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

Filed under: Family Life, Holiday Guide.

FEATURED THIS WEEK—What’s new on nwi.com/parent

Nuts!

December 6th, 2010 - By John Quinlan, Sioux City Journal

Ashton Verdoorn was born in Green Bay, Wis., home of the Packers. The budding football star’s favorite player? Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers’ arch-rivals. Yet it all makes sense for the 8-year-old who moved to Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, four years ago with his single mom and two sisters.

Packer country is behind him. He only wishes he could have left behind his health woes.

Ashton’s young body, pummeled by a myriad of food allergies, asthma and eczema, makes eating anything new a physical challenge. Nuts and peanuts? Not on the menu. Milk and dairy products? Once verboten but now allowed in modest amounts.

Family overcomes tragedy with a lesson in giving

December 6th, 2010 - By Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert, Morning Journal News

Maternal love knows no boundaries, and for local mother Kim Bailey that love is now international.

In June, Bailey and her husband, Tom, lost their 2-year-old son in a drowning accident at their home. While coping with Joey’s death as much as possible over the last few months, she and her mother Barb Durst knew the upcoming holidays and his birthday would be especially difficult.

They had been thinking of ways to help them get through those days when Durst heard an announcement on a Christian radio station about Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse that provides gifts to underprivileged children around the world.

Trendy toys don’t stand up to Sixfinger, playthings of yore

December 5th, 2010 - By John Kass, Chicago Tribune

Whatever the hot toy is this year, you can rest assured it is not a Sixfinger.

The Sixfinger was the must-have item when I was a little boy. It was a devilishly clever plastic index finger that was actually a gun. It fired hard plastic objects and exploding projectiles.

You were supposed to shoot these off in the safety of a vacant lot. But it was even more satisfying to point your Sixfinger at the small of your little brother’s back and squeeze off a round, just as he ran off to tell mom and dad you’d pinged Mrs. Molaitis’ basement window.

5 fresh and simple gifts to make by hand

December 5th, 2010 - By Jennifer Forker for the Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

Sometimes, a new twist on an old idea is all it takes and a beautiful handmade gift is born.

If you’re inclined toward making your own gifts this holiday season, look in on the following five ideas, which stand out for their simplicity and freshness.

Couple starts cloth diaper service

December 4th, 2010 - By Ken Kosky

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick. (Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick.
(Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Valparaiso residents Rick and Triny Sojka didn’t even consider the possibility of using cloth diapers when they had their son, Zander, five years ago.

But after their daughter, Nadia, was born a year and a half ago, Rick got laid off from his job and they decided one way to save money would be to switch from disposable diapers to cloth ones.

They soon realized that cloth diapers could not only save them money, but also earn them money if they provided cloth diapers, supplies and laundry service to other parents.

Filed under: Family Life. Tags: , , , .

Objections to international adoptions aren’t about crossing miles, but crossing cultures

December 4th, 2010 - By Young Lee, Medill News Service

When celebrities like Madonna and Angelina Jolie adopt children from foreign countries, the media coverage is intense. But for non-celebrities, who conduct such adoptions without the media glare, the process of the adoptions themselves and the fate of the children once they grow up never are examined.

For Beth Evans, 27, trips to Disneyland every year, birthday parties and holiday dinners may not have happened if she had not been adopted from Korea by her parents, Robert and Louise Evans. Evans was 2 years old when she was adopted from the Sung Lo Won orphanage in Seoul and brought to Grand Rapids, Mich.

Food with a Dash of Fun—One Pan Dinner: Roasted Salmon

December 3rd, 2010 - By Barb Ruess

NWI Parent Blog—We’ve all gotta eat-might as well have some fun in the kitchen! Check here for recipes, cooking with kids, food finds, and more.

Fish was on the menu last night – salmon is a family favorite so I started digging through my files and torn magazine pages to see if I could find a new roasting recipe. Roasting salmon is one of my favorite ways to cook it. It a healthy way to cook and always comes out with a nice clean taste; it’s simple to do; and surrounded by veggies it’s a one pan dinner which is a nice bonus at clean-up time. I found this recipe torn out of a Real Simple magazine. Tweaked it just a tiny bit for my crowd and it’s a new addition to my roasted salmon rotation. Enjoy!

Continue reading Barb’s latest post here on her “Food with a Dash of Fun” blog.

Oh, The Places We Will Go—Entertaining Guests in a Whirlwind Week (and a half)

December 1st, 2010 - By Jamie Bissot

NWI Parent Blog—Jamie is experiencing the South Shore one little moment at a time.

About an month(ish) ago, over a week and a half, I had three sets of guests. First my mother, which isn’t like having a guest at all. At 30 something, I still love to have “Mommy” around. Next was my in-laws. I got lucky in that department too. Next was my father and grandparents. So, we had a busy week.

With all these guests, we had to do a lot of entertaining. I got to see a lot of Indiana and Illinois in a small amount of time.

Continue reading Jamie’s latest post here on her “Oh, The Places We Will Go” blog.

Laptops to Countertops—Magic Moments

December 1st, 2010 - By Beth Fletcher

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

Filed under: Family Life, Holiday Guide.

FEATURED THIS WEEK—What’s new on nwi.com/parent

Nuts!

December 6th, 2010 - By John Quinlan, Sioux City Journal

Ashton Verdoorn was born in Green Bay, Wis., home of the Packers. The budding football star’s favorite player? Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers’ arch-rivals. Yet it all makes sense for the 8-year-old who moved to Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, four years ago with his single mom and two sisters.

Packer country is behind him. He only wishes he could have left behind his health woes.

Ashton’s young body, pummeled by a myriad of food allergies, asthma and eczema, makes eating anything new a physical challenge. Nuts and peanuts? Not on the menu. Milk and dairy products? Once verboten but now allowed in modest amounts.

Family overcomes tragedy with a lesson in giving

December 6th, 2010 - By Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert, Morning Journal News

Maternal love knows no boundaries, and for local mother Kim Bailey that love is now international.

In June, Bailey and her husband, Tom, lost their 2-year-old son in a drowning accident at their home. While coping with Joey’s death as much as possible over the last few months, she and her mother Barb Durst knew the upcoming holidays and his birthday would be especially difficult.

They had been thinking of ways to help them get through those days when Durst heard an announcement on a Christian radio station about Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse that provides gifts to underprivileged children around the world.

Trendy toys don’t stand up to Sixfinger, playthings of yore

December 5th, 2010 - By John Kass, Chicago Tribune

Whatever the hot toy is this year, you can rest assured it is not a Sixfinger.

The Sixfinger was the must-have item when I was a little boy. It was a devilishly clever plastic index finger that was actually a gun. It fired hard plastic objects and exploding projectiles.

You were supposed to shoot these off in the safety of a vacant lot. But it was even more satisfying to point your Sixfinger at the small of your little brother’s back and squeeze off a round, just as he ran off to tell mom and dad you’d pinged Mrs. Molaitis’ basement window.

5 fresh and simple gifts to make by hand

December 5th, 2010 - By Jennifer Forker for the Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

Sometimes, a new twist on an old idea is all it takes and a beautiful handmade gift is born.

If you’re inclined toward making your own gifts this holiday season, look in on the following five ideas, which stand out for their simplicity and freshness.

Couple starts cloth diaper service

December 4th, 2010 - By Ken Kosky

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick. (Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick.
(Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Valparaiso residents Rick and Triny Sojka didn’t even consider the possibility of using cloth diapers when they had their son, Zander, five years ago.

But after their daughter, Nadia, was born a year and a half ago, Rick got laid off from his job and they decided one way to save money would be to switch from disposable diapers to cloth ones.

They soon realized that cloth diapers could not only save them money, but also earn them money if they provided cloth diapers, supplies and laundry service to other parents.

Filed under: Family Life. Tags: , , , .

Objections to international adoptions aren’t about crossing miles, but crossing cultures

December 4th, 2010 - By Young Lee, Medill News Service

When celebrities like Madonna and Angelina Jolie adopt children from foreign countries, the media coverage is intense. But for non-celebrities, who conduct such adoptions without the media glare, the process of the adoptions themselves and the fate of the children once they grow up never are examined.

For Beth Evans, 27, trips to Disneyland every year, birthday parties and holiday dinners may not have happened if she had not been adopted from Korea by her parents, Robert and Louise Evans. Evans was 2 years old when she was adopted from the Sung Lo Won orphanage in Seoul and brought to Grand Rapids, Mich.

Food with a Dash of Fun—One Pan Dinner: Roasted Salmon

December 3rd, 2010 - By Barb Ruess

NWI Parent Blog—We’ve all gotta eat-might as well have some fun in the kitchen! Check here for recipes, cooking with kids, food finds, and more.

Fish was on the menu last night – salmon is a family favorite so I started digging through my files and torn magazine pages to see if I could find a new roasting recipe. Roasting salmon is one of my favorite ways to cook it. It a healthy way to cook and always comes out with a nice clean taste; it’s simple to do; and surrounded by veggies it’s a one pan dinner which is a nice bonus at clean-up time. I found this recipe torn out of a Real Simple magazine. Tweaked it just a tiny bit for my crowd and it’s a new addition to my roasted salmon rotation. Enjoy!

Continue reading Barb’s latest post here on her “Food with a Dash of Fun” blog.

Oh, The Places We Will Go—Entertaining Guests in a Whirlwind Week (and a half)

December 1st, 2010 - By Jamie Bissot

NWI Parent Blog—Jamie is experiencing the South Shore one little moment at a time.

About an month(ish) ago, over a week and a half, I had three sets of guests. First my mother, which isn’t like having a guest at all. At 30 something, I still love to have “Mommy” around. Next was my in-laws. I got lucky in that department too. Next was my father and grandparents. So, we had a busy week.

With all these guests, we had to do a lot of entertaining. I got to see a lot of Indiana and Illinois in a small amount of time.

Continue reading Jamie’s latest post here on her “Oh, The Places We Will Go” blog.

Laptops to Countertops—Magic Moments

December 1st, 2010 - By Beth Fletcher

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

Filed under: Family Life, Holiday Guide.

FEATURED THIS WEEK—What’s new on nwi.com/parent

Nuts!

December 6th, 2010 - By John Quinlan, Sioux City Journal

Ashton Verdoorn was born in Green Bay, Wis., home of the Packers. The budding football star’s favorite player? Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers’ arch-rivals. Yet it all makes sense for the 8-year-old who moved to Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, four years ago with his single mom and two sisters.

Packer country is behind him. He only wishes he could have left behind his health woes.

Ashton’s young body, pummeled by a myriad of food allergies, asthma and eczema, makes eating anything new a physical challenge. Nuts and peanuts? Not on the menu. Milk and dairy products? Once verboten but now allowed in modest amounts.

Family overcomes tragedy with a lesson in giving

December 6th, 2010 - By Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert, Morning Journal News

Maternal love knows no boundaries, and for local mother Kim Bailey that love is now international.

In June, Bailey and her husband, Tom, lost their 2-year-old son in a drowning accident at their home. While coping with Joey’s death as much as possible over the last few months, she and her mother Barb Durst knew the upcoming holidays and his birthday would be especially difficult.

They had been thinking of ways to help them get through those days when Durst heard an announcement on a Christian radio station about Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse that provides gifts to underprivileged children around the world.

Trendy toys don’t stand up to Sixfinger, playthings of yore

December 5th, 2010 - By John Kass, Chicago Tribune

Whatever the hot toy is this year, you can rest assured it is not a Sixfinger.

The Sixfinger was the must-have item when I was a little boy. It was a devilishly clever plastic index finger that was actually a gun. It fired hard plastic objects and exploding projectiles.

You were supposed to shoot these off in the safety of a vacant lot. But it was even more satisfying to point your Sixfinger at the small of your little brother’s back and squeeze off a round, just as he ran off to tell mom and dad you’d pinged Mrs. Molaitis’ basement window.

5 fresh and simple gifts to make by hand

December 5th, 2010 - By Jennifer Forker for the Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

Sometimes, a new twist on an old idea is all it takes and a beautiful handmade gift is born.

If you’re inclined toward making your own gifts this holiday season, look in on the following five ideas, which stand out for their simplicity and freshness.

Couple starts cloth diaper service

December 4th, 2010 - By Ken Kosky

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick. (Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick.
(Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Valparaiso residents Rick and Triny Sojka didn’t even consider the possibility of using cloth diapers when they had their son, Zander, five years ago.

But after their daughter, Nadia, was born a year and a half ago, Rick got laid off from his job and they decided one way to save money would be to switch from disposable diapers to cloth ones.

They soon realized that cloth diapers could not only save them money, but also earn them money if they provided cloth diapers, supplies and laundry service to other parents.

Filed under: Family Life. Tags: , , , .

Objections to international adoptions aren’t about crossing miles, but crossing cultures

December 4th, 2010 - By Young Lee, Medill News Service

When celebrities like Madonna and Angelina Jolie adopt children from foreign countries, the media coverage is intense. But for non-celebrities, who conduct such adoptions without the media glare, the process of the adoptions themselves and the fate of the children once they grow up never are examined.

For Beth Evans, 27, trips to Disneyland every year, birthday parties and holiday dinners may not have happened if she had not been adopted from Korea by her parents, Robert and Louise Evans. Evans was 2 years old when she was adopted from the Sung Lo Won orphanage in Seoul and brought to Grand Rapids, Mich.

Food with a Dash of Fun—One Pan Dinner: Roasted Salmon

December 3rd, 2010 - By Barb Ruess

NWI Parent Blog—We’ve all gotta eat-might as well have some fun in the kitchen! Check here for recipes, cooking with kids, food finds, and more.

Fish was on the menu last night – salmon is a family favorite so I started digging through my files and torn magazine pages to see if I could find a new roasting recipe. Roasting salmon is one of my favorite ways to cook it. It a healthy way to cook and always comes out with a nice clean taste; it’s simple to do; and surrounded by veggies it’s a one pan dinner which is a nice bonus at clean-up time. I found this recipe torn out of a Real Simple magazine. Tweaked it just a tiny bit for my crowd and it’s a new addition to my roasted salmon rotation. Enjoy!

Continue reading Barb’s latest post here on her “Food with a Dash of Fun” blog.

Oh, The Places We Will Go—Entertaining Guests in a Whirlwind Week (and a half)

December 1st, 2010 - By Jamie Bissot

NWI Parent Blog—Jamie is experiencing the South Shore one little moment at a time.

About an month(ish) ago, over a week and a half, I had three sets of guests. First my mother, which isn’t like having a guest at all. At 30 something, I still love to have “Mommy” around. Next was my in-laws. I got lucky in that department too. Next was my father and grandparents. So, we had a busy week.

With all these guests, we had to do a lot of entertaining. I got to see a lot of Indiana and Illinois in a small amount of time.

Continue reading Jamie’s latest post here on her “Oh, The Places We Will Go” blog.

Laptops to Countertops—Magic Moments

December 1st, 2010 - By Beth Fletcher

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

Filed under: Family Life, Holiday Guide.

FEATURED THIS WEEK—What’s new on nwi.com/parent

Nuts!

December 6th, 2010 - By John Quinlan, Sioux City Journal

Ashton Verdoorn was born in Green Bay, Wis., home of the Packers. The budding football star’s favorite player? Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers’ arch-rivals. Yet it all makes sense for the 8-year-old who moved to Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, four years ago with his single mom and two sisters.

Packer country is behind him. He only wishes he could have left behind his health woes.

Ashton’s young body, pummeled by a myriad of food allergies, asthma and eczema, makes eating anything new a physical challenge. Nuts and peanuts? Not on the menu. Milk and dairy products? Once verboten but now allowed in modest amounts.

Family overcomes tragedy with a lesson in giving

December 6th, 2010 - By Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert, Morning Journal News

Maternal love knows no boundaries, and for local mother Kim Bailey that love is now international.

In June, Bailey and her husband, Tom, lost their 2-year-old son in a drowning accident at their home. While coping with Joey’s death as much as possible over the last few months, she and her mother Barb Durst knew the upcoming holidays and his birthday would be especially difficult.

They had been thinking of ways to help them get through those days when Durst heard an announcement on a Christian radio station about Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse that provides gifts to underprivileged children around the world.

Trendy toys don’t stand up to Sixfinger, playthings of yore

December 5th, 2010 - By John Kass, Chicago Tribune

Whatever the hot toy is this year, you can rest assured it is not a Sixfinger.

The Sixfinger was the must-have item when I was a little boy. It was a devilishly clever plastic index finger that was actually a gun. It fired hard plastic objects and exploding projectiles.

You were supposed to shoot these off in the safety of a vacant lot. But it was even more satisfying to point your Sixfinger at the small of your little brother’s back and squeeze off a round, just as he ran off to tell mom and dad you’d pinged Mrs. Molaitis’ basement window.

5 fresh and simple gifts to make by hand

December 5th, 2010 - By Jennifer Forker for the Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

Sometimes, a new twist on an old idea is all it takes and a beautiful handmade gift is born.

If you’re inclined toward making your own gifts this holiday season, look in on the following five ideas, which stand out for their simplicity and freshness.

Couple starts cloth diaper service

December 4th, 2010 - By Ken Kosky

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick. (Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick.
(Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Valparaiso residents Rick and Triny Sojka didn’t even consider the possibility of using cloth diapers when they had their son, Zander, five years ago.

But after their daughter, Nadia, was born a year and a half ago, Rick got laid off from his job and they decided one way to save money would be to switch from disposable diapers to cloth ones.

They soon realized that cloth diapers could not only save them money, but also earn them money if they provided cloth diapers, supplies and laundry service to other parents.

Filed under: Family Life. Tags: , , , .

Objections to international adoptions aren’t about crossing miles, but crossing cultures

December 4th, 2010 - By Young Lee, Medill News Service

When celebrities like Madonna and Angelina Jolie adopt children from foreign countries, the media coverage is intense. But for non-celebrities, who conduct such adoptions without the media glare, the process of the adoptions themselves and the fate of the children once they grow up never are examined.

For Beth Evans, 27, trips to Disneyland every year, birthday parties and holiday dinners may not have happened if she had not been adopted from Korea by her parents, Robert and Louise Evans. Evans was 2 years old when she was adopted from the Sung Lo Won orphanage in Seoul and brought to Grand Rapids, Mich.

Food with a Dash of Fun—One Pan Dinner: Roasted Salmon

December 3rd, 2010 - By Barb Ruess

NWI Parent Blog—We’ve all gotta eat-might as well have some fun in the kitchen! Check here for recipes, cooking with kids, food finds, and more.

Fish was on the menu last night – salmon is a family favorite so I started digging through my files and torn magazine pages to see if I could find a new roasting recipe. Roasting salmon is one of my favorite ways to cook it. It a healthy way to cook and always comes out with a nice clean taste; it’s simple to do; and surrounded by veggies it’s a one pan dinner which is a nice bonus at clean-up time. I found this recipe torn out of a Real Simple magazine. Tweaked it just a tiny bit for my crowd and it’s a new addition to my roasted salmon rotation. Enjoy!

Continue reading Barb’s latest post here on her “Food with a Dash of Fun” blog.

Oh, The Places We Will Go—Entertaining Guests in a Whirlwind Week (and a half)

December 1st, 2010 - By Jamie Bissot

NWI Parent Blog—Jamie is experiencing the South Shore one little moment at a time.

About an month(ish) ago, over a week and a half, I had three sets of guests. First my mother, which isn’t like having a guest at all. At 30 something, I still love to have “Mommy” around. Next was my in-laws. I got lucky in that department too. Next was my father and grandparents. So, we had a busy week.

With all these guests, we had to do a lot of entertaining. I got to see a lot of Indiana and Illinois in a small amount of time.

Continue reading Jamie’s latest post here on her “Oh, The Places We Will Go” blog.

Laptops to Countertops—Magic Moments

December 1st, 2010 - By Beth Fletcher

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

Filed under: Family Life, Holiday Guide.

FEATURED THIS WEEK—What’s new on nwi.com/parent

Nuts!

December 6th, 2010 - By John Quinlan, Sioux City Journal

Ashton Verdoorn was born in Green Bay, Wis., home of the Packers. The budding football star’s favorite player? Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers’ arch-rivals. Yet it all makes sense for the 8-year-old who moved to Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, four years ago with his single mom and two sisters.

Packer country is behind him. He only wishes he could have left behind his health woes.

Ashton’s young body, pummeled by a myriad of food allergies, asthma and eczema, makes eating anything new a physical challenge. Nuts and peanuts? Not on the menu. Milk and dairy products? Once verboten but now allowed in modest amounts.

Family overcomes tragedy with a lesson in giving

December 6th, 2010 - By Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert, Morning Journal News

Maternal love knows no boundaries, and for local mother Kim Bailey that love is now international.

In June, Bailey and her husband, Tom, lost their 2-year-old son in a drowning accident at their home. While coping with Joey’s death as much as possible over the last few months, she and her mother Barb Durst knew the upcoming holidays and his birthday would be especially difficult.

They had been thinking of ways to help them get through those days when Durst heard an announcement on a Christian radio station about Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse that provides gifts to underprivileged children around the world.

Trendy toys don’t stand up to Sixfinger, playthings of yore

December 5th, 2010 - By John Kass, Chicago Tribune

Whatever the hot toy is this year, you can rest assured it is not a Sixfinger.

The Sixfinger was the must-have item when I was a little boy. It was a devilishly clever plastic index finger that was actually a gun. It fired hard plastic objects and exploding projectiles.

You were supposed to shoot these off in the safety of a vacant lot. But it was even more satisfying to point your Sixfinger at the small of your little brother’s back and squeeze off a round, just as he ran off to tell mom and dad you’d pinged Mrs. Molaitis’ basement window.

5 fresh and simple gifts to make by hand

December 5th, 2010 - By Jennifer Forker for the Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

Sometimes, a new twist on an old idea is all it takes and a beautiful handmade gift is born.

If you’re inclined toward making your own gifts this holiday season, look in on the following five ideas, which stand out for their simplicity and freshness.

Couple starts cloth diaper service

December 4th, 2010 - By Ken Kosky

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick. (Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick.
(Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Valparaiso residents Rick and Triny Sojka didn’t even consider the possibility of using cloth diapers when they had their son, Zander, five years ago.

But after their daughter, Nadia, was born a year and a half ago, Rick got laid off from his job and they decided one way to save money would be to switch from disposable diapers to cloth ones.

They soon realized that cloth diapers could not only save them money, but also earn them money if they provided cloth diapers, supplies and laundry service to other parents.

Filed under: Family Life. Tags: , , , .

Objections to international adoptions aren’t about crossing miles, but crossing cultures

December 4th, 2010 - By Young Lee, Medill News Service

When celebrities like Madonna and Angelina Jolie adopt children from foreign countries, the media coverage is intense. But for non-celebrities, who conduct such adoptions without the media glare, the process of the adoptions themselves and the fate of the children once they grow up never are examined.

For Beth Evans, 27, trips to Disneyland every year, birthday parties and holiday dinners may not have happened if she had not been adopted from Korea by her parents, Robert and Louise Evans. Evans was 2 years old when she was adopted from the Sung Lo Won orphanage in Seoul and brought to Grand Rapids, Mich.

Food with a Dash of Fun—One Pan Dinner: Roasted Salmon

December 3rd, 2010 - By Barb Ruess

NWI Parent Blog—We’ve all gotta eat-might as well have some fun in the kitchen! Check here for recipes, cooking with kids, food finds, and more.

Fish was on the menu last night – salmon is a family favorite so I started digging through my files and torn magazine pages to see if I could find a new roasting recipe. Roasting salmon is one of my favorite ways to cook it. It a healthy way to cook and always comes out with a nice clean taste; it’s simple to do; and surrounded by veggies it’s a one pan dinner which is a nice bonus at clean-up time. I found this recipe torn out of a Real Simple magazine. Tweaked it just a tiny bit for my crowd and it’s a new addition to my roasted salmon rotation. Enjoy!

Continue reading Barb’s latest post here on her “Food with a Dash of Fun” blog.

Oh, The Places We Will Go—Entertaining Guests in a Whirlwind Week (and a half)

December 1st, 2010 - By Jamie Bissot

NWI Parent Blog—Jamie is experiencing the South Shore one little moment at a time.

About an month(ish) ago, over a week and a half, I had three sets of guests. First my mother, which isn’t like having a guest at all. At 30 something, I still love to have “Mommy” around. Next was my in-laws. I got lucky in that department too. Next was my father and grandparents. So, we had a busy week.

With all these guests, we had to do a lot of entertaining. I got to see a lot of Indiana and Illinois in a small amount of time.

Continue reading Jamie’s latest post here on her “Oh, The Places We Will Go” blog.

Laptops to Countertops—Magic Moments

December 1st, 2010 - By Beth Fletcher

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

Filed under: Family Life, Holiday Guide.

FEATURED THIS WEEK—What’s new on nwi.com/parent

Nuts!

December 6th, 2010 - By John Quinlan, Sioux City Journal

Ashton Verdoorn was born in Green Bay, Wis., home of the Packers. The budding football star’s favorite player? Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers’ arch-rivals. Yet it all makes sense for the 8-year-old who moved to Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, four years ago with his single mom and two sisters.

Packer country is behind him. He only wishes he could have left behind his health woes.

Ashton’s young body, pummeled by a myriad of food allergies, asthma and eczema, makes eating anything new a physical challenge. Nuts and peanuts? Not on the menu. Milk and dairy products? Once verboten but now allowed in modest amounts.

Family overcomes tragedy with a lesson in giving

December 6th, 2010 - By Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert, Morning Journal News

Maternal love knows no boundaries, and for local mother Kim Bailey that love is now international.

In June, Bailey and her husband, Tom, lost their 2-year-old son in a drowning accident at their home. While coping with Joey’s death as much as possible over the last few months, she and her mother Barb Durst knew the upcoming holidays and his birthday would be especially difficult.

They had been thinking of ways to help them get through those days when Durst heard an announcement on a Christian radio station about Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse that provides gifts to underprivileged children around the world.

Trendy toys don’t stand up to Sixfinger, playthings of yore

December 5th, 2010 - By John Kass, Chicago Tribune

Whatever the hot toy is this year, you can rest assured it is not a Sixfinger.

The Sixfinger was the must-have item when I was a little boy. It was a devilishly clever plastic index finger that was actually a gun. It fired hard plastic objects and exploding projectiles.

You were supposed to shoot these off in the safety of a vacant lot. But it was even more satisfying to point your Sixfinger at the small of your little brother’s back and squeeze off a round, just as he ran off to tell mom and dad you’d pinged Mrs. Molaitis’ basement window.

5 fresh and simple gifts to make by hand

December 5th, 2010 - By Jennifer Forker for the Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

Sometimes, a new twist on an old idea is all it takes and a beautiful handmade gift is born.

If you’re inclined toward making your own gifts this holiday season, look in on the following five ideas, which stand out for their simplicity and freshness.

Couple starts cloth diaper service

December 4th, 2010 - By Ken Kosky

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick. (Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick.
(Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Valparaiso residents Rick and Triny Sojka didn’t even consider the possibility of using cloth diapers when they had their son, Zander, five years ago.

But after their daughter, Nadia, was born a year and a half ago, Rick got laid off from his job and they decided one way to save money would be to switch from disposable diapers to cloth ones.

They soon realized that cloth diapers could not only save them money, but also earn them money if they provided cloth diapers, supplies and laundry service to other parents.

Filed under: Family Life. Tags: , , , .

Objections to international adoptions aren’t about crossing miles, but crossing cultures

December 4th, 2010 - By Young Lee, Medill News Service

When celebrities like Madonna and Angelina Jolie adopt children from foreign countries, the media coverage is intense. But for non-celebrities, who conduct such adoptions without the media glare, the process of the adoptions themselves and the fate of the children once they grow up never are examined.

For Beth Evans, 27, trips to Disneyland every year, birthday parties and holiday dinners may not have happened if she had not been adopted from Korea by her parents, Robert and Louise Evans. Evans was 2 years old when she was adopted from the Sung Lo Won orphanage in Seoul and brought to Grand Rapids, Mich.

Food with a Dash of Fun—One Pan Dinner: Roasted Salmon

December 3rd, 2010 - By Barb Ruess

NWI Parent Blog—We’ve all gotta eat-might as well have some fun in the kitchen! Check here for recipes, cooking with kids, food finds, and more.

Fish was on the menu last night – salmon is a family favorite so I started digging through my files and torn magazine pages to see if I could find a new roasting recipe. Roasting salmon is one of my favorite ways to cook it. It a healthy way to cook and always comes out with a nice clean taste; it’s simple to do; and surrounded by veggies it’s a one pan dinner which is a nice bonus at clean-up time. I found this recipe torn out of a Real Simple magazine. Tweaked it just a tiny bit for my crowd and it’s a new addition to my roasted salmon rotation. Enjoy!

Continue reading Barb’s latest post here on her “Food with a Dash of Fun” blog.

Oh, The Places We Will Go—Entertaining Guests in a Whirlwind Week (and a half)

December 1st, 2010 - By Jamie Bissot

NWI Parent Blog—Jamie is experiencing the South Shore one little moment at a time.

About an month(ish) ago, over a week and a half, I had three sets of guests. First my mother, which isn’t like having a guest at all. At 30 something, I still love to have “Mommy” around. Next was my in-laws. I got lucky in that department too. Next was my father and grandparents. So, we had a busy week.

With all these guests, we had to do a lot of entertaining. I got to see a lot of Indiana and Illinois in a small amount of time.

Continue reading Jamie’s latest post here on her “Oh, The Places We Will Go” blog.

Laptops to Countertops—Magic Moments

December 1st, 2010 - By Beth Fletcher

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

Filed under: Family Life, Holiday Guide.

FEATURED THIS WEEK—What’s new on nwi.com/parent

Nuts!

December 6th, 2010 - By John Quinlan, Sioux City Journal

Ashton Verdoorn was born in Green Bay, Wis., home of the Packers. The budding football star’s favorite player? Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers’ arch-rivals. Yet it all makes sense for the 8-year-old who moved to Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, four years ago with his single mom and two sisters.

Packer country is behind him. He only wishes he could have left behind his health woes.

Ashton’s young body, pummeled by a myriad of food allergies, asthma and eczema, makes eating anything new a physical challenge. Nuts and peanuts? Not on the menu. Milk and dairy products? Once verboten but now allowed in modest amounts.

Family overcomes tragedy with a lesson in giving

December 6th, 2010 - By Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert, Morning Journal News

Maternal love knows no boundaries, and for local mother Kim Bailey that love is now international.

In June, Bailey and her husband, Tom, lost their 2-year-old son in a drowning accident at their home. While coping with Joey’s death as much as possible over the last few months, she and her mother Barb Durst knew the upcoming holidays and his birthday would be especially difficult.

They had been thinking of ways to help them get through those days when Durst heard an announcement on a Christian radio station about Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse that provides gifts to underprivileged children around the world.

Trendy toys don’t stand up to Sixfinger, playthings of yore

December 5th, 2010 - By John Kass, Chicago Tribune

Whatever the hot toy is this year, you can rest assured it is not a Sixfinger.

The Sixfinger was the must-have item when I was a little boy. It was a devilishly clever plastic index finger that was actually a gun. It fired hard plastic objects and exploding projectiles.

You were supposed to shoot these off in the safety of a vacant lot. But it was even more satisfying to point your Sixfinger at the small of your little brother’s back and squeeze off a round, just as he ran off to tell mom and dad you’d pinged Mrs. Molaitis’ basement window.

5 fresh and simple gifts to make by hand

December 5th, 2010 - By Jennifer Forker for the Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

Sometimes, a new twist on an old idea is all it takes and a beautiful handmade gift is born.

If you’re inclined toward making your own gifts this holiday season, look in on the following five ideas, which stand out for their simplicity and freshness.

Couple starts cloth diaper service

December 4th, 2010 - By Ken Kosky

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick. (Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick.
(Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Valparaiso residents Rick and Triny Sojka didn’t even consider the possibility of using cloth diapers when they had their son, Zander, five years ago.

But after their daughter, Nadia, was born a year and a half ago, Rick got laid off from his job and they decided one way to save money would be to switch from disposable diapers to cloth ones.

They soon realized that cloth diapers could not only save them money, but also earn them money if they provided cloth diapers, supplies and laundry service to other parents.

Filed under: Family Life. Tags: , , , .

Objections to international adoptions aren’t about crossing miles, but crossing cultures

December 4th, 2010 - By Young Lee, Medill News Service

When celebrities like Madonna and Angelina Jolie adopt children from foreign countries, the media coverage is intense. But for non-celebrities, who conduct such adoptions without the media glare, the process of the adoptions themselves and the fate of the children once they grow up never are examined.

For Beth Evans, 27, trips to Disneyland every year, birthday parties and holiday dinners may not have happened if she had not been adopted from Korea by her parents, Robert and Louise Evans. Evans was 2 years old when she was adopted from the Sung Lo Won orphanage in Seoul and brought to Grand Rapids, Mich.

Food with a Dash of Fun—One Pan Dinner: Roasted Salmon

December 3rd, 2010 - By Barb Ruess

NWI Parent Blog—We’ve all gotta eat-might as well have some fun in the kitchen! Check here for recipes, cooking with kids, food finds, and more.

Fish was on the menu last night – salmon is a family favorite so I started digging through my files and torn magazine pages to see if I could find a new roasting recipe. Roasting salmon is one of my favorite ways to cook it. It a healthy way to cook and always comes out with a nice clean taste; it’s simple to do; and surrounded by veggies it’s a one pan dinner which is a nice bonus at clean-up time. I found this recipe torn out of a Real Simple magazine. Tweaked it just a tiny bit for my crowd and it’s a new addition to my roasted salmon rotation. Enjoy!

Continue reading Barb’s latest post here on her “Food with a Dash of Fun” blog.

Oh, The Places We Will Go—Entertaining Guests in a Whirlwind Week (and a half)

December 1st, 2010 - By Jamie Bissot

NWI Parent Blog—Jamie is experiencing the South Shore one little moment at a time.

About an month(ish) ago, over a week and a half, I had three sets of guests. First my mother, which isn’t like having a guest at all. At 30 something, I still love to have “Mommy” around. Next was my in-laws. I got lucky in that department too. Next was my father and grandparents. So, we had a busy week.

With all these guests, we had to do a lot of entertaining. I got to see a lot of Indiana and Illinois in a small amount of time.

Continue reading Jamie’s latest post here on her “Oh, The Places We Will Go” blog.

Laptops to Countertops—Magic Moments

December 1st, 2010 - By Beth Fletcher

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

Filed under: Family Life, Holiday Guide.

FEATURED THIS WEEK—What’s new on nwi.com/parent

Nuts!

December 6th, 2010 - By John Quinlan, Sioux City Journal

Ashton Verdoorn was born in Green Bay, Wis., home of the Packers. The budding football star’s favorite player? Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers’ arch-rivals. Yet it all makes sense for the 8-year-old who moved to Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, four years ago with his single mom and two sisters.

Packer country is behind him. He only wishes he could have left behind his health woes.

Ashton’s young body, pummeled by a myriad of food allergies, asthma and eczema, makes eating anything new a physical challenge. Nuts and peanuts? Not on the menu. Milk and dairy products? Once verboten but now allowed in modest amounts.

Family overcomes tragedy with a lesson in giving

December 6th, 2010 - By Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert, Morning Journal News

Maternal love knows no boundaries, and for local mother Kim Bailey that love is now international.

In June, Bailey and her husband, Tom, lost their 2-year-old son in a drowning accident at their home. While coping with Joey’s death as much as possible over the last few months, she and her mother Barb Durst knew the upcoming holidays and his birthday would be especially difficult.

They had been thinking of ways to help them get through those days when Durst heard an announcement on a Christian radio station about Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse that provides gifts to underprivileged children around the world.

Trendy toys don’t stand up to Sixfinger, playthings of yore

December 5th, 2010 - By John Kass, Chicago Tribune

Whatever the hot toy is this year, you can rest assured it is not a Sixfinger.

The Sixfinger was the must-have item when I was a little boy. It was a devilishly clever plastic index finger that was actually a gun. It fired hard plastic objects and exploding projectiles.

You were supposed to shoot these off in the safety of a vacant lot. But it was even more satisfying to point your Sixfinger at the small of your little brother’s back and squeeze off a round, just as he ran off to tell mom and dad you’d pinged Mrs. Molaitis’ basement window.

5 fresh and simple gifts to make by hand

December 5th, 2010 - By Jennifer Forker for the Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

Sometimes, a new twist on an old idea is all it takes and a beautiful handmade gift is born.

If you’re inclined toward making your own gifts this holiday season, look in on the following five ideas, which stand out for their simplicity and freshness.

Couple starts cloth diaper service

December 4th, 2010 - By Ken Kosky

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick. (Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick.
(Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Valparaiso residents Rick and Triny Sojka didn’t even consider the possibility of using cloth diapers when they had their son, Zander, five years ago.

But after their daughter, Nadia, was born a year and a half ago, Rick got laid off from his job and they decided one way to save money would be to switch from disposable diapers to cloth ones.

They soon realized that cloth diapers could not only save them money, but also earn them money if they provided cloth diapers, supplies and laundry service to other parents.

Filed under: Family Life. Tags: , , , .

Objections to international adoptions aren’t about crossing miles, but crossing cultures

December 4th, 2010 - By Young Lee, Medill News Service

When celebrities like Madonna and Angelina Jolie adopt children from foreign countries, the media coverage is intense. But for non-celebrities, who conduct such adoptions without the media glare, the process of the adoptions themselves and the fate of the children once they grow up never are examined.

For Beth Evans, 27, trips to Disneyland every year, birthday parties and holiday dinners may not have happened if she had not been adopted from Korea by her parents, Robert and Louise Evans. Evans was 2 years old when she was adopted from the Sung Lo Won orphanage in Seoul and brought to Grand Rapids, Mich.

Food with a Dash of Fun—One Pan Dinner: Roasted Salmon

December 3rd, 2010 - By Barb Ruess

NWI Parent Blog—We’ve all gotta eat-might as well have some fun in the kitchen! Check here for recipes, cooking with kids, food finds, and more.

Fish was on the menu last night – salmon is a family favorite so I started digging through my files and torn magazine pages to see if I could find a new roasting recipe. Roasting salmon is one of my favorite ways to cook it. It a healthy way to cook and always comes out with a nice clean taste; it’s simple to do; and surrounded by veggies it’s a one pan dinner which is a nice bonus at clean-up time. I found this recipe torn out of a Real Simple magazine. Tweaked it just a tiny bit for my crowd and it’s a new addition to my roasted salmon rotation. Enjoy!

Continue reading Barb’s latest post here on her “Food with a Dash of Fun” blog.

Oh, The Places We Will Go—Entertaining Guests in a Whirlwind Week (and a half)

December 1st, 2010 - By Jamie Bissot

NWI Parent Blog—Jamie is experiencing the South Shore one little moment at a time.

About an month(ish) ago, over a week and a half, I had three sets of guests. First my mother, which isn’t like having a guest at all. At 30 something, I still love to have “Mommy” around. Next was my in-laws. I got lucky in that department too. Next was my father and grandparents. So, we had a busy week.

With all these guests, we had to do a lot of entertaining. I got to see a lot of Indiana and Illinois in a small amount of time.

Continue reading Jamie’s latest post here on her “Oh, The Places We Will Go” blog.

Laptops to Countertops—Magic Moments

December 1st, 2010 - By Beth Fletcher

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

Filed under: Family Life, Holiday Guide.

FEATURED THIS WEEK—What’s new on nwi.com/parent

Nuts!

December 6th, 2010 - By John Quinlan, Sioux City Journal

Ashton Verdoorn was born in Green Bay, Wis., home of the Packers. The budding football star’s favorite player? Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers’ arch-rivals. Yet it all makes sense for the 8-year-old who moved to Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, four years ago with his single mom and two sisters.

Packer country is behind him. He only wishes he could have left behind his health woes.

Ashton’s young body, pummeled by a myriad of food allergies, asthma and eczema, makes eating anything new a physical challenge. Nuts and peanuts? Not on the menu. Milk and dairy products? Once verboten but now allowed in modest amounts.

Family overcomes tragedy with a lesson in giving

December 6th, 2010 - By Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert, Morning Journal News

Maternal love knows no boundaries, and for local mother Kim Bailey that love is now international.

In June, Bailey and her husband, Tom, lost their 2-year-old son in a drowning accident at their home. While coping with Joey’s death as much as possible over the last few months, she and her mother Barb Durst knew the upcoming holidays and his birthday would be especially difficult.

They had been thinking of ways to help them get through those days when Durst heard an announcement on a Christian radio station about Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse that provides gifts to underprivileged children around the world.

Trendy toys don’t stand up to Sixfinger, playthings of yore

December 5th, 2010 - By John Kass, Chicago Tribune

Whatever the hot toy is this year, you can rest assured it is not a Sixfinger.

The Sixfinger was the must-have item when I was a little boy. It was a devilishly clever plastic index finger that was actually a gun. It fired hard plastic objects and exploding projectiles.

You were supposed to shoot these off in the safety of a vacant lot. But it was even more satisfying to point your Sixfinger at the small of your little brother’s back and squeeze off a round, just as he ran off to tell mom and dad you’d pinged Mrs. Molaitis’ basement window.

5 fresh and simple gifts to make by hand

December 5th, 2010 - By Jennifer Forker for the Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

Sometimes, a new twist on an old idea is all it takes and a beautiful handmade gift is born.

If you’re inclined toward making your own gifts this holiday season, look in on the following five ideas, which stand out for their simplicity and freshness.

Couple starts cloth diaper service

December 4th, 2010 - By Ken Kosky

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick. (Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick.
(Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Valparaiso residents Rick and Triny Sojka didn’t even consider the possibility of using cloth diapers when they had their son, Zander, five years ago.

But after their daughter, Nadia, was born a year and a half ago, Rick got laid off from his job and they decided one way to save money would be to switch from disposable diapers to cloth ones.

They soon realized that cloth diapers could not only save them money, but also earn them money if they provided cloth diapers, supplies and laundry service to other parents.

Filed under: Family Life. Tags: , , , .

Objections to international adoptions aren’t about crossing miles, but crossing cultures

December 4th, 2010 - By Young Lee, Medill News Service

When celebrities like Madonna and Angelina Jolie adopt children from foreign countries, the media coverage is intense. But for non-celebrities, who conduct such adoptions without the media glare, the process of the adoptions themselves and the fate of the children once they grow up never are examined.

For Beth Evans, 27, trips to Disneyland every year, birthday parties and holiday dinners may not have happened if she had not been adopted from Korea by her parents, Robert and Louise Evans. Evans was 2 years old when she was adopted from the Sung Lo Won orphanage in Seoul and brought to Grand Rapids, Mich.

Food with a Dash of Fun—One Pan Dinner: Roasted Salmon

December 3rd, 2010 - By Barb Ruess

NWI Parent Blog—We’ve all gotta eat-might as well have some fun in the kitchen! Check here for recipes, cooking with kids, food finds, and more.

Fish was on the menu last night – salmon is a family favorite so I started digging through my files and torn magazine pages to see if I could find a new roasting recipe. Roasting salmon is one of my favorite ways to cook it. It a healthy way to cook and always comes out with a nice clean taste; it’s simple to do; and surrounded by veggies it’s a one pan dinner which is a nice bonus at clean-up time. I found this recipe torn out of a Real Simple magazine. Tweaked it just a tiny bit for my crowd and it’s a new addition to my roasted salmon rotation. Enjoy!

Continue reading Barb’s latest post here on her “Food with a Dash of Fun” blog.

Oh, The Places We Will Go—Entertaining Guests in a Whirlwind Week (and a half)

December 1st, 2010 - By Jamie Bissot

NWI Parent Blog—Jamie is experiencing the South Shore one little moment at a time.

About an month(ish) ago, over a week and a half, I had three sets of guests. First my mother, which isn’t like having a guest at all. At 30 something, I still love to have “Mommy” around. Next was my in-laws. I got lucky in that department too. Next was my father and grandparents. So, we had a busy week.

With all these guests, we had to do a lot of entertaining. I got to see a lot of Indiana and Illinois in a small amount of time.

Continue reading Jamie’s latest post here on her “Oh, The Places We Will Go” blog.

Laptops to Countertops—Magic Moments

December 1st, 2010 - By Beth Fletcher

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

NWI Parent Blog—Photographer and writer mom of two, Beth always brings a new twist to the suburban mundane.

I’ve got a string of light up bells hanging on my curtain rod in the kitchen. It plays chime music and the lights twinkle. I thought it would be a fun thing for Eli to watch. I was right. I opened the box and put them up. The box just happened to be up here because we began decorating outside our home on Sunday.

I’ve decided to decorate the outside of our home simply, which was good news for Brian because he’s our official light hanger-upper.

Continue reading Beth’s latest post here on her “Laptops to Countertops” blog.

Filed under: Family Life, Holiday Guide.

FEATURED THIS WEEK—What’s new on nwi.com/parent

Nuts!

December 6th, 2010 - By John Quinlan, Sioux City Journal

Ashton Verdoorn was born in Green Bay, Wis., home of the Packers. The budding football star’s favorite player? Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers’ arch-rivals. Yet it all makes sense for the 8-year-old who moved to Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, four years ago with his single mom and two sisters.

Packer country is behind him. He only wishes he could have left behind his health woes.

Ashton’s young body, pummeled by a myriad of food allergies, asthma and eczema, makes eating anything new a physical challenge. Nuts and peanuts? Not on the menu. Milk and dairy products? Once verboten but now allowed in modest amounts.

Family overcomes tragedy with a lesson in giving

December 6th, 2010 - By Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert, Morning Journal News

Maternal love knows no boundaries, and for local mother Kim Bailey that love is now international.

In June, Bailey and her husband, Tom, lost their 2-year-old son in a drowning accident at their home. While coping with Joey’s death as much as possible over the last few months, she and her mother Barb Durst knew the upcoming holidays and his birthday would be especially difficult.

They had been thinking of ways to help them get through those days when Durst heard an announcement on a Christian radio station about Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse that provides gifts to underprivileged children around the world.

Trendy toys don’t stand up to Sixfinger, playthings of yore

December 5th, 2010 - By John Kass, Chicago Tribune

Whatever the hot toy is this year, you can rest assured it is not a Sixfinger.

The Sixfinger was the must-have item when I was a little boy. It was a devilishly clever plastic index finger that was actually a gun. It fired hard plastic objects and exploding projectiles.

You were supposed to shoot these off in the safety of a vacant lot. But it was even more satisfying to point your Sixfinger at the small of your little brother’s back and squeeze off a round, just as he ran off to tell mom and dad you’d pinged Mrs. Molaitis’ basement window.

5 fresh and simple gifts to make by hand

December 5th, 2010 - By Jennifer Forker for the Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

This undated photo courtesy of Kim Mason and Christina Guerrero shows a handmade “sleeve” being used on an Amazon Kindle device. Mason and Guerrero, of Philadelphia, are architects who sell these colorful “sleeves” for high-tech toys from their Etsy shop, Rogue Theory. (AP Photo/Kim Mason) Copyright 2010, The Associated Press

Sometimes, a new twist on an old idea is all it takes and a beautiful handmade gift is born.

If you’re inclined toward making your own gifts this holiday season, look in on the following five ideas, which stand out for their simplicity and freshness.

Couple starts cloth diaper service

December 4th, 2010 - By Ken Kosky

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick. (Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Triny Sojka started Diaper Express cloth diaper service with her husband, Rick.
(Photograph by Ken Kosky/The Times.)

Valparaiso residents Rick and Triny Sojka didn’t even consider the possibility of using cloth diapers when they had their son, Zander, five years ago.

But after their daughter, Nadia, was born a year and a half ago, Rick got laid off from his job and they decided one way to save money would be to switch from disposable diapers to cloth ones.

They soon realized that cloth diapers could not only save them money, but also earn them money if they provided cloth diapers, supplies and laundry service to other parents.

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Objections to international adoptions aren’t about crossing miles, but crossing cultures

December 4th, 2010 - By Young Lee, Medill News Service

When celebrities like Madonna and Angelina Jolie adopt children from foreign countries, the media coverage is intense. But for non-celebrities, who conduct such adoptions without the media glare, the process of the adoptions themselves and the fate of the children once they grow up never are examined.

For Beth Evans, 27, trips to Disneyland every year, birthday parties and holiday dinners may not have happened if she had not been adopted from Korea by her parents, Robert and Louise Evans. Evans was 2 years old when she was adopted from the Sung Lo Won orphanage in Seoul and brought to Grand Rapids, Mich.

Food with a Dash of Fun—One Pan Dinner: Roasted Salmon

December 3rd, 2010 - By Barb Ruess

NWI Parent Blog—We’ve all gotta eat-might as well have some fun in the kitchen! Check here for recipes, cooking with kids, food finds, and more.

Fish was on the menu last night – salmon is a family