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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 [...]

Yoga For Kids

Yoga For Kids

There’s no (age) limit to this stress-reducing, awareness-building practice. When Allison Svobodny of Moorhead became a mom four years ago, she knew she needed to make time for yoga. After nine years of weekly practice, she loved what yoga provided: exercise, emotional awareness, calming effects, and a sense of connection. She also knew it would [...]

Protect Your Peepers: Eye Problems in Aging Adults

Protect Your Peepers: Eye Problems in Aging Adults

We know what we’re supposed to do. Have a yearly physical. Visit the dentist every six months. After a certain age, get an annual or bi-annual mammogram or a prostate exam. For a variety of reasons, though, some of us have a hard time sticking to that schedule. We’re even worse when it comes to [...]

10 Things We Spend Too Much On

10 Things We Spend Too Much On

All too often, we buy things we think we’re supposed to, and whenever there’s an emotional component involved, our tendency to overspend is enhanced even more. Think funerals, weddings, and engagement rings, just for starters. Read on for more examples of traditional purchases people routinely spend too much on and solid suggestions for cutting those costs. [...]

You Want Me To Pay For What? What Your Parent’s Financial State Can Mean for You

In the past few weeks, I mentioned to a handful of people that I was writing an article about laws that say adult children can be held responsible for their parents’ medical bills and long-term care, even if they don’t agree to do so. As a conversation starter at a party, this one drummed up [...]

Growing Up Online: How Texting Can Strengthen Relationships

By now, parents of kids with cell phones understand that texting has created new possibilities—and problems. Although research is sparse, a few preliminary studies suggest that, like other forms of communication, texting has the power to bring people closer. Depending on how it is used, it can also create and exacerbate conflict. In one recent, highly publicized [...]

Valentine’s Treats to Make Your Kids’ Day Special

It’s that time of year again when sweet treats abound, and celebrating Valentine’s Day seems to be all about eating chocolate. February is also American Heart Month, designated by the American Heart Association as the time to develop healthy habits for your heart health. Kids, of course, won’t be thinking about their heart health, and, [...]

Ease Your Pain: What You Need to Know About Chiropractic Care and Physical Therapy

Ease Your Pain: What You Need to Know About Chiropractic Care and Physical Therapy

Fawn Krosch is in pain. It’s 2 in the afternoon, but she is lying in bed with the shades drawn; all the lights are off and her rural Hawley, Minn., farmhouse is exceedingly quiet. She has a migraine. If she tries to move, the pain radiates through her head and down her neck. Her whole [...]

Painting 101

Painting 101

When Adrian and Abbey Dawson-Becker found out they were pregnant with their second child, they wanted their then 18-month-old son, Drake, to be a big part of getting ready for the new baby. One way to accomplish that was to have him help put a fresh coat of paint on the nursery walls to get [...]

My Journey to Stop Yelling at My Kids

My Journey to Stop Yelling at My Kids

Seven months ago, I overheard my son say something quite profound to my mother, whom he calls Nino. “Nino, I’ve never heard you yell.” I had a sinking feeling upon hearing his simple observation of his grandmother. I was guilty of yelling at my kids. There were times when I felt like my children were [...]

Dear Santa: Top 10 Gift Ideas for Caregivers

Dear Santa: Top 10 Gift Ideas for Caregivers

There is no denying, caregiving is hard work. Between full- or part-time jobs, doctor appointments, medical research, and the demands of everyday life, family caregivers are pulled in many directions, usually with little time left to rest, relax, and refresh—time they so desperately need. And caregiving during the holiday season is especially difficult. As you [...]

Born Second, Born Free

Born Second, Born Free

When our first child, Marie, was born, she instantly became the center of our universe. Three years later when Sally came along, she found a much easier job. At 20 months of age, Sally’s life was a carefree whirl. She sang. She danced. She would put a colander on her head and wear it like [...]

The Great Debate

The Great Debate

There’s a lot of Santa speculation around our house this season. The kids are now 11, 8, and 6, and they’re asking much more specific questions about the man in red. I’m both thankful and surprised it hasn’t happened before now. Our goal has always been to extend the mystery as long as possible, especially [...]

Ellie’s Story

By Gary Wolsky, President/CEO The Village Family Service Center I’m passing on the true and accurate story about a young girl who, for reasons of confidentiality, we’ll call Ellie. Please take a moment to read about Ellie’s incredible journey through challenges that are difficult for most of us to comprehend. Ellie is a beautiful, talented, [...]

College Save in North Dakota: 529 Plan Basics

College Save in North Dakota: 529 Plan Basics

A 529 plan is a tax-advantaged savings plan designed to encourage saving for future college costs. Legally known as “qualified tuition plans,” 529 plans are sponsored by states, state agencies, or educational institutions and are authorized by Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code. All 50 states and the District of Columbia sponsor at least [...]

What a Child Can Learn Playing Cards

What a Child Can Learn Playing Cards

A deck of cards makes a small, inexpensive stocking stuffer for any kid. Since December 28th is National Card Playing Day, pop one into your child’s stocking and learn a few new games. It’s a great way for a family to have fun and keep up academic skills during the holiday break from school. When [...]

Fall Leaves

Fall Leaves

• Clear contact paper • Tissue paper (red, yellow, orange, brown) • Scissors Cut two pieces of contact paper about 6×8 inches. Remove protective backing from one of the pieces and lay contact paper on the table, sticky side up. Tear tissue paper into pieces and place them onto the sticky side of contact paper. [...]

Yum, Yum, Yummy Dessert

Yum, Yum, Yummy Dessert

1 14.3-oz. package regular Oreo cookies 6 Tbsp. butter, melted 1 8-oz. package cream cheese, softened ¼ cup granulated sugar 2 Tbsp. cold milk 2 8-oz. tubs frozen whipped topping, thawed 2 3.9 oz. packages chocolate fudge instant pudding 3¼ cups cold milk 1 7-oz. Hershey bar Crush the entire package of Oreo cookies into [...]