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backyard
Over the summer we got a family pass to the Portland Japanese Garden. Our son found a cool miniature Zen garden toy at the gift shop. Inside was a beautifully written pamphlet explaining Zen meditation, and how raking and caring for your rock garden can be a great way to clear your mind and attain...
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Warmer weather is coming, and last week I made cutoff shorts from some holey jeans. A couple of springs ago, I made this ball, and I always wanted to try narrowing the panels to make a football shape. So yesterday I gave it a go and it worked! In addition to some regular stuffing, I...
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My five year old daughter has recently discovered the fun of catapulting things with her spoon. To bring the action a bit further away from the table, I decided to make some very simple catapults out of scrap wood. After dinner we spent the entire evening catapulting Star Wars Lego figures outdoors. It was super...
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We’ve been enjoying our first week of summer break, and spending a lot of time playing in the backyard. Planting sticks, I mean trees, playing in the playhouse I made two years ago, and drawing a lot of chalk art. A couple of weeks ago on the Made by Joel Facebook Page, I asked for...
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Here are a few things we’ve been enjoying in the great weather we’ve had this month: The kids really love riding their bicycles on our driveway.  Last week we spiced things up by drawing a track with some sidewalk chalk.  They love practicing their turns while trying to stay in the lines.  I was impressed...
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I was talking about stilts with a friend the other day, and remembered the old coffee can stilts that were popular when I was a kid.  For Jack and Tess, I thought the tall coffee cans would make me a little too nervous, so I used some pieces of 2×4 wood instead.  They were a...
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We were at the park over the weekend and I spotted some very nice tree branches on the ground and decided it was time to make some fishing poles! The kids each picked out a stick and we carried them home.  I took my knife and whittled down the bumps, found some string, a couple...
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We’ve been spending time outside in our playhouse lately, and I realized I’ve never posted pictures of it on this blog.  Some of you might have seen it in my Daddy Story on Bloesem Kids.  Last fall I decided to utilize the strip of cement behind our garage and fit a playhouse to that space....
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