LET’S GET REAL—Rules for Grandparents Who Overspend

Mississippi Christian Living

An excerpt from my Mississippi Christian Living article on grandparents who overspend on their grandchildren:

Five-year-old “Stephen” couldn’t wait until his next birthday. And who could blame him? On his fifth special day, his grandparents gave him a pony. On the fourth birthday, it was an above the ground swimming pool.

Rolling her eyes, Stephen’s mother responded, “This has to stop. Every year the presents become more extravagant. I can’t begin to imagine what they’ll give for his 16th birthday!” If you’re like this family, you certainly don’t want hurt feeling. And, they’re glad the grandparents want to provide gifts and spend time with their son, as they love him so much.  Continue reading

For Parents Only: Teaching Your Child Through Play

(Guilherme Jofili / Flickr)

(Guilherme Jofili / Flickr)

Here’s a piece I wrote for Earlychildhood News on child development through play:

During the early stages of our country, child’s play was considered a waste of time. Little thought was given to the importance that play contributed to the developing child. For the last few decades educators and researchers have been fascinated with how children play. Parten’s Play Theory of 1932, Piaget of 1962 and Piaget and Inhelder of 1969 share different opinions, yet hold to common truths. Those who study the developmentally appropriate activities of children realize that play should begin early in life. And parents must provide opportunities for children to play and to learn from observations and actions as well as from being told.

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Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Legacy

A bust of Laura Ingalls Wilder (FILE)

A bust of Laura Ingalls Wilder (FILE)

I recently took a trip to Missouri and loved it. See my article on Laura Ingles Wilder for Missouri Life:

“No matter what age, readers look for the same qualities in books: a compelling plot, interesting characters, vivid imagery, and a genuine page-turner. You hate to read the last page because the characters have become friends.

After more than 80 years, Laura Ingles Wilder’s Little House books have continued to be compelling. But why?” Continue reading

Lessons From the Garden

Lettuce grows in a greenhouse at Genesis Growers in St. Anne, IL. Genesis Growers runs a CSA (community-supported agriculture) program distributing its fresh produce to more than 200 local families. (JCI Photo / Todd Bennett)

Lettuce grows in a greenhouse at Genesis Growers in St. Anne, IL. Genesis Growers runs a CSA (community-supported agriculture) program distributing its fresh produce to more than 200 local families. (JCI Photo / Todd Bennett)

An excerpt from my Tennessee Home & Farm article “Lessons From the Garden:” 

The dew had almost dried on the warm spring morning. After long winter hours of studying the Old Farmer’s Almanac and finding the right phase of the moon, my dad chose this Saturday in April to plant the family garden.

Dad added fresh gasoline and checked the oil in the 1950s Troy-Bilt tiller. A few sputters and clinks later, the motor churned, caught and pulverized the soil. Soon, the sweet smell of fresh-turned earth permeated the country air.

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