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The Lizard Who Ate Orlando

The Lizard Who Ate Orlando

Sometimes the best thing you can do for your work is get away from it. A week’s vacation did the trick; even though I’m up to my neck in laundry and an overflowing email inbox, I’m refreshed and happy to be back at my computer. I was reminded of a trip we took a few […]

A Decade of Fatherly Wisdom

A Decade of Fatherly Wisdom

Marriage was a big life change. But I think fatherhood was even bigger. For the first time, I (along with my wife) was totally responsible for every aspect of the well-being of someone who wasn’t me. I’ve been a dad for almost 10 years now. Fatherhood has changed me, and I’ve learned a lot. For […]

Notes From the Children’s Summit

By Gary Wolsky, President/CEO The Village Family Service Center We recently held a Village Children’s Summit in an effort to review the services we provide to children and families, and to ensure we remain on the cutting-edge of current family treatment methods. We gathered all Village staff who either work directly with families, or provide […]

Pathways to Happiness

North Dakota is the happiest state in the U.S. according to this year’s annual Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. Minnesota follows close behind at number four. And why shouldn’t we be happy? We have a strong economy, the air is clean (often cold, but clean), crime is low, and we have our “Minnesota/North Dakota Nice” attitudes. In […]

The Heat Is On: Protect Yourself From the Sun

The Heat Is On: Protect Yourself From the Sun

Nothing makes us feel more alive than the sun. Its brightness beckons us to come outside and play. Its rays warm our skin. Its energy promotes life on earth. But the sun can also be a real killer. “At 35, I had to treat skin cancer because of damage done under the age of 18,” […]

Does This Smell Bad to You? How Long Food Lasts

Does This Smell Bad to You? How Long Food Lasts

You got a killer deal on five pounds of bacon with your club card. Now you’re wondering how many strips your stomach and heart can take before those delectable applewood-smoked slices go bad. Have no fear: They will keep for up to a week in the fridge and still be delicious up to a month when frozen. Knowing how long […]

Senior Moments: Advice from the Over 90 Crowd

Senior Moments: Advice from the Over 90 Crowd

A video clip of two 100-year-old best friends, Alice Jensen and Irene Cook, recently bombarded the Internet (youtube.com/watch?v=73ZzBcjVcrk). They’ve known each other for 94 years, can finish each other’s sentences like pros, and are pretty savvy for being centenarians (meaning they are over 100 years old). They know what “selfies” are, and one of them […]

A Jam Anyone Can Get Into

A Jam Anyone Can Get Into

With the trend in consuming products as close to the source as possible, and the continued rise in food costs, it’s no wonder more people are turning to home canning and preserving. According to Brenda Schmidt, Brand Manager of Fresh Preserving at Jarden Home Brands (manufacturer of the popular Ball and Kerr canning products), sales […]

Nine Apps That Keep Kids Moving

Sixty minutes a day. That’s the minimum amount of physical activity recommended for children, ages 6 to17, by the Centers for Disease Control. Some kids meet that goal effortlessly. They can’t wait to walk the dog, belong to a team that practices every afternoon, or nag their parents to go on long hikes and bike rides. […]

Sniffle, Sneeze, Scratch: An Allergy Primer

Sniffle, Sneeze, Scratch: An Allergy Primer

For months—no, make that years—Linda Johnson of West Fargo worried about her son’s health. His nose dripped like a leaky faucet. “I don’t think Conner ever had a clean nose,” says Linda. He snored so loudly she could hear him over the television while he slept in his upstairs bedroom. “It was almost like he […]

Spring Cleaning in  30 Minutes or Less…Guaranteed!

Spring Cleaning in 30 Minutes or Less…Guaranteed!

I know what you’re thinking: 30 minutes cannot possibly be long enough to complete all your spring cleaning. Well, that depends on how you look at it. Most of us don’t have endless amounts of time to spend cleaning our houses, and more than that, who really wants to? It’s not fun. So, what’s this […]

How to Deal With Medical Debt

How to Deal With Medical Debt

A broken bone, mental health therapy, a long-term illness, a car accident, a premature baby. All of these situations—and so many more unexpected ones—can land a family in medical debt. According to Wikipedia, “Medical debt is different from other forms of debt, because it is usually incurred accidentally or faultlessly. People do not plan to […]

Settling the Great Debate: What to do With Your Kids’ Art

Settling the Great Debate: What to do With Your Kids’ Art

Some moms save every scribble which finds its way to paper. Some wait until the cover of darkness and then sneak it, piece by piece, to the recycling bin. It’s a constant debate and tremendous source of second-guessing: Just what’s a mom to do with the mounds of “artwork” generated by her kids? Multiply this […]

Difficult or Delightful: 6 Reasons to Appreciate Your Mother-in-law

Immediately upon walking out of the church on my wedding day, my mother-in-law burst into tears. While she claimed they were “tears of joy,” I know it was very hard for her to hand over her son to another woman. Mothers-in-law often get a bad rap. Mother-in-law jokes abound, and somewhere right now there’s a […]

A Letter to My Girls

A Letter to My Girls

If memory serves me, my dad was in Walmart when I called him with the big news. His response was something like, “Are you serious?! Are you serious?!” Indeed, I was serious. Amy and I were expecting twins. I remember the strange suddenness of their arrival. When it was time to leave the hospital, they handed […]

The Perils of Public Restrooms with Preschoolers

The Perils of Public Restrooms with Preschoolers

“Mommy, I gotta go potty.” Why do those five words, when spoken in public, cause your heart to race and your teeth to clench? Is it because you know to get a preschooler successfully in and out of a public restroom you dash all hopes of completing any errand? And why is meeting such a […]

Three Decades of Opportunity

By Gary Wolsky, President/CEO The Village Family Service Center From time to time the question of my tenure at The Village comes up, particularly since I passed the 30-year mark in August 2013. It’s a good question, as I suppose it’s not common to find someone who stays with an organization that long. As I […]

Mentoring Works

The Village’s Big Brothers Big Sisters program stretches back over 40 years and is a program of which I am immensely proud. A few months ago, I received a report on a large scale evaluation assessing the impact of mentoring—which provides further evidence that Big Brothers Big Sisters is changing the lives of kids in […]

Life Lessons at the Grocery Store

Life Lessons at the Grocery Store

Taking kids down the cereal aisle at the grocery store is like being part of your own private Black Friday: the pushing, the crying, the fistfights. And there’s more marketing packed into that stretch of big box real estate than in all of Times Square. I’m not just talking about the cereal manufacturers; I’m talking […]

Confessions of a Quitter

Confessions of a Quitter

Over the years, my mother let me quit a few things. After several failed attempts at sewing lessons, she accepted that the one and only thing I ever produced was a bath towel wrap with a piece of Velcro sloppily stitched to it. And after a lot of whiny persuasion, she also let me quit […]