So Much Summer in Store for You

Wed. Jul. 3rd, 2019

Mike Paulus

Sweet, sweet summertime – it has arrived! The Chippewa Valley Family crew is sending you its warmest summer wishes for a fantastic season of adventure, outdoor hang time, and day after day of soaking ...

Raising Our Boys Like We Raise Our Girls

Thu. May. 16th, 2019

Nidhi Kaith

Two years ago, I lay on a table in an ultrasound room with a full bladder. I had gulped down two 16 ounce bottles of water to make sure that the tech could see the baby clearly, especially the baby’s gender. I wanted my first baby to be a girl ...

Puddles and Ships

Wed. Apr. 3rd, 2019

Mike Paulus, illustrated by Michelle Roberts

He picks out a few good peanut shells before I throw the pile into the trash. Five or six large ones without cracks or holes. He wants the seaworthy peanut shells ...

Principles & Principals: Learning Strength by Parenting

Thu. Mar. 7th, 2019

V1 Staff

Ashley Peggs began teaching second grade at Robbins Elementary after graduating from UW-Eau Claire, and loved her work. But when her first daughter was born premature, she took the rest of the year off to stay home with the child.

A Season for Smashing

Thu. Mar. 7th, 2019

Mike Paulus, illustrated by Ian Kloster

It’s a time-honored tradition passed down through generations of whiney Wisconsinites who were never taught to dress in layers and buy water-proof shoes.

Finding a Home in ‘the Perfect Community’

Thu. Jan. 10th, 2019

After starting their career elsewhere, Sarah French and her husband, Ray, decided to relocate their young family to the place they met. “Our hearts were calling us home to Eau Claire, so we ...

I Can (Mostly) Do It by Myself

Thu. Jan. 10th, 2019

BJ Hollars

When Stephen Krensky wrote and published his 2012 children’s book, I Can Do It Myself!, 4-year-olds everywhere took the title as truth.

Partner, parent, and principal

Wed. Oct. 31st, 2018

While Minnesota is a great state where we met a lot of swell people and consumed a lot of OK dairy products, we decided that our hearts were firmly entrenched in the trees and rivers of Eau Claire

The Ripples You Make Come Back to You

Wed. Oct. 31st, 2018

Shannon Paulus, design by Taylor McCumber

After many, many rounds of I Spy, I began digging through my bag to find something that might occupy them for a bit. Finally, I triumphantly produced an old, expired coupon book (blank on the backs!) and a couple of pens.

How I Decided My Son Was Ready for a Cellphone by Fifth Grade

Tue. Sep. 4th, 2018

Eric Rasmussen

Our family had a problem that social cues couldn’t solve. According to my son, EVERYONE in his fourth-grade class already had a cellphone. I’m not clear on how he came by this data; I assume he prepared a paper survey ...

Tractors and Pinstriped Overalls

Mon. Aug. 6th, 2018

Mike Paulus, illustrated by Mackenzie Kavanagh

thinking about the things my grandfather did

My grandpa on my Mom’s side fixed up old tractors until cancer took him away. That was almost 20 years ago. He and my grandma lived in a Wisconsin farmhouse on a road bearing their name ...

Spicy Chef and Lover of S’Mores

Tue. Jul. 17th, 2018

Manish Joshi is a busy dad who tries to add spice to his life – literally and figuratively – in the Chippewa Valley, whether its by cooking zesty Nepali dishes or hitting the hiking trails with his family.

Kid-Less Adventures by the Poolside (a couple rediscovers what actual humans do)

Tue. May. 8th, 2018

BJ Hollars

My wife and I are sitting poolside at our Puerto Rican resort, and everything is allegedly perfect. The water’s warm, the sun is bright, and the ocean’s just a short walk away. It’s 9:07am, and already we’ve loitered at the gym, made a good faith effort at a beach run, and just wrapped up a leisurely breakfast for two. To our astonishment, nobody is crying and nobody has pooped anyone’s pants.

Childhood Memories Across Thin Ice

Mon. Mar. 19th, 2018

Mike Paulus

March is usually the time of year we stop complaining about the snow and cold so we can free up more time to complain about how dirty the snow has gotten and how wet the cold air is feeling. It’s a time-honored ...

Brand New Year, Brand New Little One

Fri. Jan. 26th, 2018

V1 Staff

Baylee Avery and her husband, Joe, are welcoming the new year with a new addition to their family: baby Henry was born at the end of November, joining a big brother, 3-year-old Charles. While having a newborn may ...

Parents Need Privacy, If Only for a Moment

Fri. Jan. 26th, 2018

BJ Hollars

The day started off promising enough. I’d just risen from my bed without disturbing the dog, my children, or my wife, a feat that earned me a few minutes of solitude before the day’s chaos began. There, in the ...

We Believe in Winter and What It Can Bring

Fri. Jan. 26th, 2018

V1 Staff

Here at Chippewa Valley Family, we believe in winter. It’s an easy thing to complain about. It’s easy to curse the cold. The slush. The rock-hard ice on your windshield and the wet pile of coats and boots ...

The Road Less Traveled for a Reason

Fri. Nov. 3rd, 2017

BJ Hollars

Over the past 72 hours Henry and I’d spent time in Rhinelander, Eagle River, and Mercer, all stops on what I’d vaguely determined was a “book tour,” though the majority of our time was spent playing Marco Polo in the motel pools and combing every antique store we could.

Acting Like Kids Again

Fri. Nov. 3rd, 2017

Rob Reid

Last spring, my wife Jayne and I were hiking on the Ice Age Trail near New Auburn. The temperatures were slowly warming up and the snow was nearly gone, but there were still some ice-covered puddles alongside the trail. My wife, mother of four grown children and grandmother to four more, took her walking stick and promptly started breaking up the ice.

Autumn is a Time to Grow Strong

Sat. Sep. 23rd, 2017

Mike Paulus, photos by Andrea Paulseth

One October night a few a years ago, after weeks of spooky storybooks and scary Halloween movies, my son asked me if monsters were a real thing. I said, “Well, I’ve never seen one. What do you think?”

Saying Goodbye to Swing Sets and Campers

Wed. Sep. 20th, 2017

Caroline Akervik

Yes, I will admit my firstborn graduated from high school this year and I have been grappling with many “last time evers.”

My Mom's Growing Years

Wed. Sep. 20th, 2017

Rob Reid

I own hundreds of books and the most valuable title is one not found in any bookstore or library. It is a self-published autobiography by my mother, Helen Mary Goff, written a few years before her death.

Farewell to Swing Sets

Wed. Sep. 20th, 2017

Caroline Akervik

childhood gear carries memories of days gone by

Frida Kahlo once said “Nothing is absolute. Everything changes, everything moves, everything revolves, everything flies and goes away.” I would like to claim that I was enjoying a mindful moment of reflection ...

Our Broke Kids

Tue. Jul. 18th, 2017

Eric Rasmussen

Our children come to us broken. They have crooked teeth and insatiable appetites for sugar and screen time. They arrive with no knowledge or values. Modern kids are the ultimate fixer-upper, the biggest project we can sign up for.

This Is the Hand That Touched the Hand ...

Fri. Jul. 14th, 2017

Rob Reid

Every semester, I read aloud the picture book Pink and Say by Patricia Polacco to my children’s literature university students. It’s an emotional book. I usually cannot get through the reading without choking up.

Chronic Senioritis

Thu. Jun. 1st, 2017

Eric Rasmussen

planning Senior Skip Day gives high school students a taste of ‘real world’ complexity

For proof of how local young people have grown during their years in the Eau Claire Area School District, we only need to look at one piece of evidence: the planning of the annual Senior Skip Day ...

Cake? I WUV Cake!

Tue. May. 23rd, 2017

Rob Reid, design by Janae Breunig

Late this past winter, a storm dumped 11 inches of snow on the Chippewa Valley. Eleven inches that quickly melted due to abnormally high temperatures. Three days after the snowstorm, I stood alone in my driveway, looked at my yard and said aloud, “Where dit go?”

The Trail We Know by Heart

Tue. May. 23rd, 2017

BJ Hollars

In the sixth month of my son’s life, I hike him up a mountain. Or at least the closest we have to a mountain here in Wisconsin, which, as it turns out, is the Potholes Trail in Devil’s Lake State Park ...

Sliding into Home: A Sports Family with a Busy Schedule

Tue. May. 16th, 2017

V1 Staff

Joel, a father of four, youth baseball and softball coach, and small business owner, has been an active member of the Chippewa Valley his entire life. He attended the Chippewa Area Catholic Schools in grade school and graduated from Chi-Hi (Chippewa Falls Senior High School) in 1994.

It Takes a Village (and a Community)

Wed. May. 10th, 2017

by Maggie Cook

As we near the end of another school year, I can’t help but stop and reflect (with a healthy dose of disbelief) on how we’ve made it through another year ...

Forever Young: Letting Go Is Always Tough

Wed. Mar. 1st, 2017

Shari Lau

I remember the night I told my dad I didn’t need to be tucked into bed anymore. I knew it would hurt him, but I also knew I needed to take that step forward in growing up. I can still see the pain in his eyes ...

Puddle Jump

Fri. Feb. 24th, 2017

Mike Paulus, illustrated by Serena Wagner

learning from unexpected winter warmth

Here in February, the sun’s been pushing a cosmic blob of heat against Wisconsin like a sponge, scrubbing away much of the scuzzy snow and ice we’ve been tiptoeing around for weeks. It’s been melting away our cold wintry scowl, softening our cheeks into a smile ...

Hometown Hockey Dad

Wed. Feb. 1st, 2017

V1 Staff, V1 Staff

A fun-loving father on and off the ice, Altoona native Jesse Hays talks about being handy – and lending a hand to those in need.

Heavy Lifting Continues Even After Kids Grow Up

Wed. Feb. 1st, 2017

Rob Reid, illustrated by Serena Wagner

‘That’s it! I’m getting too old for this. This is the last time I’m moving any of you kids!” Those harsh words were uttered in complete exhaustion immediately after my wife Jayne and I helped move my daughter Alice from her dorm room at UW-River Falls to an apartment a few miles ...

The Sweet Sounds of Kindness

Wed. Feb. 1st, 2017

Renee Sommer, illustrated by Serena Wagner

Not everyone is born with sugar plum sweetness in her heart. Well, maybe we are but over time the world beats it out of us. Either way, I’d say my journey to kindness didn’t come until my 30s, and I learn more and more about it every day ...