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Family

What's Your Thing? Bring Back You-Time

Wednesday, 26 December 2012 13:58
Now that all three of my children are in full-time school, I decided to go back to work part time. My shopping habits could use a little extra dough, and I'm the type of person who if I don't keep super busy, I will fall into a lazy abyss.   But I quickly found my life slammed into overdrive. My engines rev at 6:30 a.m. and don't cool down until 9:00 at night. And although not unusual in this day and age, to me, it is exhausting ... yet invigorating. That's not to say that I sometimes wonder how the… Read more...

Fall in Love With Foster Care

Monday, 03 December 2012 16:00
Pointing up at Jean MacDonald was a small index finger, grabbing for attention. “What’s up?” Jean asked the little girl. “Did you know you’re white?” the little girl said. With an astonished laugh, Jean looked down at the girl and said, “I am?” That’s when Jean fell in love with Jasmine. At four years old, the little girl was in the foster care system with five of her siblings, two of who were being fostered by Jean. About four years later, Jasmine became an official part of the MacDonald family. Jean has been fostering children for the past twenty-nine years,… Read more...

The Evolution of Mom Friendships

Tuesday, 13 November 2012 15:33
As I strolled through the mall with my friend the other day and stopped to say hello to about four people I knew passing by, she asked "how do you know so many people?" "I don't know," I answered. "People from here and there, I guess." As I thought about it that night, I realized that this friend of mine was in the pre-school, infant, and toddler stages of mommy-hood–a time that seems to be a friendship drought.   I never considered the fact that, yes, I kind of do know a lot of people. But I, too, was in the… Read more...
I always find the management of school work, papers to sign, things to know, dates to remember, schedules to keep–times three children–almost like a full time job. Just when I feel like I've gotten pretty good at it, I miss something important and one of my children comes home acting as if I just sent them to school with no clothes on.Really, there is no fallible way to stay on top of the school information and work, but in getting yourself pulled together on the school-work front there are two essential things you need: a system and a space.Here's how… Read more...
Parents today contend not only with yesterday’s worries–drug abuse, bullying, teenage sex, and delinquency–but new challenges. The digital age has introduced adult predators and other online hazards, and body-altering decorating such as tattoos and piercing's are popular temptations, says James G. Wellborn, a clinical psychologist with eighteen years of experience working with parents and teens. “The teenage years are unlike any other in a person’s life–it’s a unique in-between period from childhood to adulthood, and it’s helpful to remember that problems during this time are actually normal,” says Wellborn, author of the new book Raising Teens in the 21st Century:… Read more...
Oh baby! Yoga is a new parent/child interaction class that combines yoga movements and life lessons to bring fun and a feeling of connection to families in Grand Rapids. Shannon Keyes, owner and founder of Oh baby! Yoga Studio was first introduced to yoga during her senior year of college. “Yoga is such a powerful practice and something I’ve always turned to,” says Shannon. Shannon lived in New Hampshire during her first pregnancy and practiced prenatal yoga. “It was an amazing time,” says Shannon, “it gave me an opportunity to connect to my child and I wanted to share that… Read more...
Daughters are wonderful. It’s a joy to watch them mature and grow into beautiful teenagers and women. Their milestones in youth are plentiful, and sometimes incredibly scary to address as a parent. Topics such as shaving, periods, bikinis, and makeup can create awkward conversations for many mothers. We want the best for our daughters, we want them to fit in and be accepted by their peers, but at what cost to their innocence? Makeup can be a very sticky situation for parents. What age is best to introduce cosmetics into your child’s life and how do you go about doing… Read more...
Looking for an easy way to meet other moms in the West Michigan area? How about getting some great discounts while making great friends? Moms in Tow was created by Jenny Los White in 2009 with the goal of providing moms with an outlet to connect and enjoy each other's company. Since then, the site has grown to include five hundred members throughout Grand Rapids and Holland. Here’s the scoop: moms pay an annual fee of $37 and receive a membership card and login to the site. The membership card provides moms with discounts to local area businesses such as… Read more...

Watching Children Spread their Wings

Tuesday, 26 June 2012 16:22
These days, it's not a matter of if but when children will graduate from high school and head off to college. But even if higher education is the new norm, it's never easy for parents to pack up their kids and leave them in a dorm room. Cheri Rose of Augusta is helping her fourth and youngest child gather the items on his packing list for college. With three other sons ages 25, 30, and 32, she's no stranger to move-in day, but that doesn't mean she doesn't pack her tissues for the trip. "I cried every single time, all… Read more...

Water Safety Imperative in West Michigan

Wednesday, 13 June 2012 08:55
Drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death among children ages one to four, and ten to fourteen, according to 2011 statistics. More than 4,000 children drowned in 2010, and 65 percent of those children drowned in a backyard pool. These devastating statistics are exactly why Kendra Reinoehl and Matt Watson are looking to bring more water safety education to the West Michigan area. The pair is opening a Goldfish Swim School in Grand Rapids this summer. "It's a life skill for all children in a water-based community like West Michigan. It's even more imperative that they learn how… Read more...