Welcome to Families First Monthly

From The Heart

Here we are in the midst of winter and in publication world I am thinking of the spring issue. Not so fast though—here is our annual party planning and winter issue. Our cover takes us directly to summer with a wedding celebrated at an iconic outdoor setting. Included are birthday party stories and a thoughtful piece about writing thank-you cards. In “Musings of a Young Mother” you will find the importance and meaning attending a wedding can hold for a youngster guest. There is a story on winter festivities and we reran a favorite fiction, “The Sledding Story” by Jackie Bojarski, from 2014. “Community Spotlight” covers The Disability Network and the “Places in Time” column is by the Fishtown Preservation Society—moving shanties to temporary safety. We have a new column, “Out & About,” in which my daughter-in-law Emily Glover (also our Book Beat columnist) explores places in Michigan with her boys and gives a summary. Her first column is about Grand Rapids Public Museum.

If you are starting to get cabin fever, commit to an area excursion. The Dennos Museum has some poignant exhibits of art (see page 18), and you’ll find activities in the Calendar of Events and “KidBits.” Find somewhere you could go to volunteer time or talents. Staying home can be a new adventure if you take up a new hobby or immerse yourself into one you already enjoy. And yes, jigsaw puzzles are a hobby.

My hobby is creating to-scale (one inch equals one foot) miniature scenes or dioramas inside terrariums, lanterns, or boxes. I gave some for Christmas gifts and built my first bookcase. Currently I am working on a lantern sun porch, and a nautical-themed bedroom including a captain’s bed, rope & pulley lamp, lighthouses, boats, and books: Moby Dick and 20,0000 Leagues Under the Sea and more. Time flies because it’s so much fun for me. Here (photo) is the lantern library I created for my book-loving daughter-in-law Emily, filled with some of her favorite books and things. The floor size is 4½ inches square.

Enjoy the rest of your winter and thank you for reading.

Laura Lee Kalchik

Musings of a Young Mother

The young wedding guest - Photo Credit Darrell Christie Photography

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Places In Time

Saving the Cheese Shanty - Fishtown Preservation Society

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Current Dennos Exhibits

Photo from - 40 Chances: Finding Hope in a Hungry World

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