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8 Middle-Grade Mystery Series for Your Kid Detective

8 Middle-Grade Mystery Series for Your Kid Detective Years 8 to 12 are golden. These are the elementary years of yore when homework is fun (mostly) and days follow each other in mellow continuity. Hormones lie dormant. Friends come over to play in the backyard until mom calls you for dinner. This is the era I discovered series books. I loved the feel of a book in my hands and a story in my head.

How to Be an American: Smile

Let’s go ahead and get this out of the way. I’m from the south. The Nashville buckle of the Bible belt in all its glory. We smile. We say hi. We hold doors. However, I’m not always part of the collective “we.” Maybe it was my stint in New York, in a city that squints at an unsolicited smile like, “Hey man, whatever you’re selling, I’m not buying.” Or maybe it’s just me. I walk

The Problem With Work (Sunday Thoughts Link Up #24)

GENESIS 2:15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. COLOSSIANS 3:23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters. Work. I’ve been thinking about it a great deal lately and this seemed an appropriate topic as everyone will be off celebrating not being at work over the Memorial Day

Thank You To My Doctor Who Only Saw My Child As Perfect

Medical professionals come in two molds: the ones with bedside manners and the ones without. When I think over the varied responses of the doctors and specialists we have met as they’ve given us the many diagnoses and predictions for our son, I’m grateful that our first doctor, the one who brought him in to this world, never saw him as anything other than perfect. Click the picture to read our thank you on Her

‘Medical Clowning Is a Thing and It Could Totally Get You Pregnant

Try telling a woman undergoing fertility treatments not to stress. Seriously, do it and see how it goes. But tell a joke, stream some Conan O’Brien while she’s flat on her back in the recovery room and you might get a smile. Using humor to aid in fertility is exactly what a team of researchers decided to do…with surprising results. Click the picture below to read my article in Mom.me on the effects of ‘medical

When a Pet Dies, How Can You Help Your Kids Say Goodbye?

Here’s the one security question I still can’t choose: “What was the name of your first pet?” I was 13 that October, right around the time when the weather turns in Tennessee so that I needed a jacket before I left for school that morning. I ran back in to grab the old Patagonia off the hook when I heard the summons from my mother to check Amber’s food bowl before I left. Amber, our

Yes, You Still Have to Care About Zika This Summer

When we first heard about Zika last summer it sounded too scary to be real, especially for expectant mothers. But is also sounded too far away to reach us. Brazil is not my backyard. But it did reach the U.S. and despite the fact that a year has come and gone, it’s still something I’m choosing to care about and take precautions against. Click on the picture to read my article in Mom.me on how

Mom, Stop Feeling Guilt for Doing Your Work!

Meeting work deadlines doesn’t make me a bad mom. And a messy house doesn’t mean I’ve spent more time loving my kids. You can be productive AND parent well. It’s a balance as is everything in life. Click on the picture to read why I’m done feeling guilty for getting things done in my new article in Her View From Home.   *This one’s for Meg who knows a thing or two about celebrating when

Temper: The Long and Short Game (Sunday Thoughts Link Up #23)

PROVERBS 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. PROVERBS 16:32 32 Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city. I’ve gotten better and worse at my patience level over the years. When I was in high school, I was always ready for the next thing—the next academic challenge, the next theater production, the next tennis match. When the “next” thing came, I

When Your Non-Verbal Son Will Talk to Everyone but You

Alternative title: Pre-teen drama from a five-year old. After we maneuvered the highways and byways and concrete jungle of the hospital for Charlie’s speech evaluation, I had a dream. And I don’t mean the figurative, Martin Luther King Jr., “I have a dream.” I mean the literal, went to sleep that night and entered some form of R.E.M. state that led me to a vision. It was a picture of the future. It wasn’t sci-fi

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