What's the Point?

I’ve heard a lot of discussion lately about the meaning of life.Why are we here?What’s the purpose of life?What are we here for?Some say there’s no rhyme or reason behind the why. There’s no purpose, no greater plan. It’s just an exercise in futility we must muddle through until we die.Others say the point is to be happy: Find our bliss, pursue our passions, die with a smile on our face.Some seem to think the key is in suffering. We suffer well here on earth, we’ll be rewarded richly in the next life....more

30 Summer Staycation Activities

Summer time can be an expensive time of year for families. If you are not careful, you can end up breaking the bank sending children to pricey summer camps or taking expensive family vacations. Why not save some money and plan a staycation?A staycation is when you participate in fun activities all within driving distance of your home. You save on hotel costs and on dining out because you can sleep in your own bed and cook your own food. With a little thought and creativity, you can have the time of your life without traveling far....more

Understanding National Foster Care Month

 By Dr. Nancy Heath, Program Director, Human Development and Family Studies at American Public UniversityMay is National Foster Care month. During this time, we are invited to celebrate the compassionate people who take on the joys and burdens of being foster parents, and the children whose lives are forever changed through the fostering experience....more

5 Things You Shouldn't Do To Pacify Your Kids

Are you one of those parents that worry about what other people think of your kids when you are out in public? I am. I swear my children can sense my fear of public humiliation. The minute we enter a store, they develop this whiny, high-pitched voice that gets increasingly louder when we pass by a group of three or more people.In an effort to avoid judgmental stares, I use to do everything I could to keep them happy. But over the years I’ve come to realize that catering to them requires way too much work. And you know what… they still act out!...more

Tell Your Lawmakers to Support These Bills For Mother's Day

It's nice to get gifts but you should give yourself one too.  Sometime this week, call or email your elected representatives, the men and women YOU put in office and whose salaries YOU pay, and ask for a little love.  It's easy.There are several bills pending in the US Congress that could make your life better.  Pick one - or more - and go for it.  Each bill links directly to a fact sheet so you'll know what it's about and at the end I hook you up with your people on the Hill....more

Reconstructing The Past

My eight-year-old son Jack is starting therapy soon to address the post-traumatic stress issues that are causing us all concern now that he has finished treatment for cancer. The short term goal is to address the  needle phobia associated with it, which is more accurately described as a “lab-induced panic spiral,” but ultimately he has a LOT of anxiety that controls him and if we could ease that even a little bit, I’ll consider it a WIN....more

Another Day

d.a.marulloI wasn't expecting to have a child, definitely not a child with special needs. But I did, indeed, have a beautiful little girl with Down Syndrome. That was 12 years ago. Today I write about her and how to deal, everyday, in a world that doesn't understand. I teach, I advocate, I survive while caring for a child in a world that needs more advocates and more understanding. Parents who deal everyday have stories that need telling. Stories about love, dedication and survival. We can teach while we do and do while we teach....more

When Mother's Day is Hard

This Sunday will be my second Mother’s Day since my mother died.When Mother’s Day is hardEvery day has felt like Mother’s Day since my mother’s diagnosis with Alzheimer’s disease in May 9 years ago.  Honoring and protecting her became my life’s work during her illness....more

The Hardest Job I Could Never Do

When I look back at my most favorite teachers- I can specifically remember their names- Mr. Heggen, Mrs. Mattox, Mrs. Claypool, Mr. Spears, Mrs. Chandler... and what made them my favorite. It wasn't how well they taught algebra or literature elements like plot, climax and setting. It was how they made me feel and most likely, my other classmates- like we belonged to their class and they truly enjoyed having each one of us in it. It was how they didn't take themselves too seriously but had fun and we knew they truly loved what they did....more