Author: Michelle McNiel

Backyard beekeeping

My home is richly blessed with three kids, two rescue dogs, five bunnies and, on good years, five beehives. Believe it or not, the bees are usually the easiest and most predictable of our charges to care for. We started keeping bees several years ago, when we lived in our church parsonage in East Wenatchee […]

Simple birthday fun

I’m planning my son’s 9th birthday party. We love to celebrate birthdays in my family. We love cake and presents and balloons. We love getting together with family. We love to have fun. What we don’t love to do is stress about birthdays. For a couple of introverts like my husband and me, trying to […]

Making it work: kids at the office

When I changed careers three months ago, it meant working no more weekends and having all holidays off with my kids. But it also meant working a more normal 8-to-5 job with longer time away from my preschool-aged daughter during the day. I wasn’t sure how she would adjust to that after spending time on […]

How to (un)make a picky eater

One night at dinner last week, we put a small serving of green beans on each of our children’s dinner plates. Our two youngest ate their veggies along with turkey and mashed potatoes. Our oldest ate everything but the green stuff. Then he politely asked to be excused. “Not until you eat your green beans,” […]

Why I like messy fun with my kids.

When it comes to having fun with my kids, my motto is the messier and more daring the better. Paint. Glitter. Dirt. Dyes. I could make it a full-time job cleaning up after my kids — if I wasn’t so busy playing with them myself. My husband hasn’t come on board yet, but I fully […]

Mommy, is Santa Claus real?

  The first time my son asked me that question, he was 5 years old and a girl in his kindergarten class had told kids during recess that Santa was just your parents. Really? In kindergarten? I wasn’t ready for that question. So I punted. I told him that if he didn’t believe in Santa […]