Are overprotective parents HURTING their children?

boy at adventure park

Last week, my 11-year old son asked if he could use my 18-inch chainsaw to clear dead trees out of our shelterbelt. In the deepest voice he could muster, he stated, “I’ve got that little hatchet you gave me, Dad... but it’s not quite cutting it.” (Not sure if the pun was intended.)One of the reasons we moved to "the farm" (2.39 acres) five years ago was so that our children could have a childhood outdoors, building forts, climbing trees, hunting rabbits, and reading books on blankets in the b … [Read more...]

Do kids need batteries to have fun?

Childhood wonder

“In nature, a child finds freedom, fantasy, and privacy: a place distant from the adult world, a separate place." - Richard Louv I helped out with a summer camp a while back. About three hundred children from Nebraska and Kansas met at Timberlake Ranch Camp for a week of canoeing, shooting bows, and running a ropes course. The campers and leaders share the space with about a hundred deer and about twice that many wild turkeys. A few days into the weeklong camp, I had supper with one of the ca … [Read more...]

Beards & boys – SD late season pheasant hunt

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I wrote a post last week about taking my son hunting & fishing. (Btw, it's always interesting to see how hunting & fishing posts draw strong support... AND fire. Bristol Palin - who, as you know, comes from a great, outdoorsy, Alaska family! - shared my post on her FB page, and then fielded several anti-hunting comments. Here's one below.) In the same vein as my last post, I wanted to share a video of Aidan's first pheasant hunt. In the first week of January, we went to South Dakota with … [Read more...]

Fatherhood, hunting, and fishing… too brutal to go together?

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"I do hunt, and I do fish, and I don't apologize to anybody for hunting and fishing."  - Norman Schwarzkopf I started thinking about being a dad when I was in high school. Fatherhood... what could be more rewarding? Nothing.My earliest thoughts of spending time with my children always included the natural world. From about 1oth-grade on, I envisioned teaching my kids about the great outdoors through camping along the Niobrara River, hiking in Colorado, taking nature walks along th … [Read more...]

Country living and the birds out back

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"O LORD, what a variety of things you have made! In wisdom you have made them all. The earth is full of your creatures." - Psalm 104:24 (NLT) Jamie and I sat outside on our back patio one evening last week and watched a variety of birds visit our feeder. We also have a broken water spigot below the kitchen window that is creating a bird bath (and likely foundation damage). I also put up a picture of our windmill because...well, it's just a cool windmill.Not pictured: We also … [Read more...]

Slow Down, Log Off, And Mourn

wood drake

If you’re like me, you’ve been trying to keep up with everything happening everywhere, as commented on by everyone. All of us care deeply about what happened in Newtown. All of us care about how the family and friends of the victims are doing. All of us care that our nation responds in helpful, productive ways. It is human to care, and we are human.But none of us can process the amount of information we receive in one hour on Facebook, Twitter, and the various news and blog sites we follow. O … [Read more...]


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