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


She would crouch down to my level, hold me in her arms and whisper “Always tell me the truth, because I will Always love you.” At 6 years old I simply thought my mom was warning me not to fib. But now at 32 years old and a mother myself, my perspective has changed. I realized that these words meant so much more. Her words represented safety, unconditional love, trust, honesty, and moral values....more

6 Tips on Serving Others with Food

I didn't realize the real ministry opportunity of food until I had children. Suddenly, the daunting task of cooking became a near daily struggle. While pregnant and in the early days of having a newborn, making meals was not something I enjoyed. I will never forget the people that recognized that and helped me out by bringing me meals....more