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Laura's Corner

I work very hard and am attending college to obtain my degree in the Human Service field. Writing makes me feel alive and gives me the opportunity to touch those whom I would not be able to otherwise. Last but not least, I have been blessed with two amazing daughters who love me completely and support my dreams. Feel free to contact me with questions, concerns or feedback.

Back to basics....

I'm not quite sure if I've shared this part of my life. Besides writing, I have another amazing hobby. This hobby spans over the course of 4.5 years and has given me so many fantastic opportunities to meet some of the most interesting individuals. Upon my father's passing back in July, 2009, I recall wanting to connect with him. I began to do crossword puzzles and did pretty good overall. There were times I've Googled an answer or two yet there were at least two times I was able to complete a full puzzle.

Another of his hobbies included taking pictures with disposable cameras. He was always snapping photos. He enjoyed not only taking them but sharing them as well. One hundred percent of his shots included his children, grandchildren and any other friends or family members he came into contact.

It wasn't soon after that dreaded passing that I chose to purchase a decent digital camera. I have since been gifted with a Nikon D70 and have become quite good. I have met so many interesting individuals and do not plan on stopping anytime soon. My external hard drives currently holds upwards of 25,000 photos and will continue to grow.

I can honestly say I am so very fortunate to have raised my girls in a world without computers, much less internet. We were always out and about, playing in the park, heading to the library and such. Outside of Disney Movies and Barney the Dinosaur, we were pretty much unplugged, and for that I am grateful.

A recent adventure made me feel good inside. I had an inkling, a notion of sorts, to head over to Greenfield Park in West Allis. I felt that I would find someone or something that would be a great opportunity for my portfolio. Little did I know it would bring about a discovery of what is missing in the lives of so many children today.

As I walked through the children's play area towards the lagoon, I noticed a woman sitting on a chair. She was relaxed, reading a book and called out to her children. The dragonflies were buzzing in the general area so I chose to sit within a comfortable distance from her chair. Out from the trees appeared two boys, holding a frog. We engaged in conversation while I took pictures and asked if they didn't mind me taking a few while they held onto their four legged friend. The boys posed for pictures and kept fishing for more. Evan, 11, and his younger brother Logan, 8, were delightful, fun and adventurous. It was funny to hear their exchanges regarding who would get the frog this time, while Evan dove in for the kill. We walked around a bit together while they showed me various frogs, fish and an eventual family of ducks. These two young boys were respectful, kind and truly love one another.

Amy, their mother, and I took some time to chat. She mentions they take time to disconnect and spend time outside as much as possible. I was truly in awe of this woman because it is apparent that their family truly values their children's imaginations and want to give them the opportunity to enjoy their childhood. This is something so very rare in our electronically connected world.

With my camera battery running low, I exchanged emails with Amy and we've kept in touch. I've asked her if she would consider me allowing the opportunity to write about her family. She gave me this input regarding her parenting style: "We try to be active parents, even when we're tired. We call it "taking a brain break" when we make them unplug from the digital world. Nature is so important--just being out in the fresh air is so good for kids. I wish more people would realize that. I figured out a way to seem active, even if I'm exhausted--that was what you witnessed at Greenfield Park :) I bring a chair and a book and read while they fish and hunt for frogs. It works very well for us. Parenting is not for the faint of heart, is it?"

I had to share this because I believe so many parents can benefit from this advice. Even if you're tired, grab a book, head outdoors and allow your children opportunities for adventure and discovery!

Amy has also allowed me the opportunity to share a photograph of her sons on: http://www.capturewisconsin.com/photos/1503765  or you can simply head over to www.capturewisconsin.com and look me up under Laura Beyer. Please feel free to take a look.

I want to thank Amy, her husband, Evan and Logan for the opportunity to spend time with them. It was a blessing!

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