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family

Things you never thought you’d say… then you had kids

A graphic designer from Iowa has 4 boys under the age of 10, and just like most parents, he’s had to say things that simultaneously make him laugh… and cry. His method of coping is to design posters that go with the sayings, and I want to buy every single one of these and put them in my kids’ room. Here are some of the prints…

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Relationship resolution

This time of year brings the hope of new beginnings, fresh starts, and yes—the New Year’s resolution. For most of us, the resolution is easy to make. We’re quite clear about those things that need our attention. There are those that fall into the “start” category: eating more healthfully, exercising regularly, or keeping your desk…

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Tired of keeping all those Christmas traditions?

I used to go all out for the holiday season decorating, cooking, and making homemade gifts. I’d send out cards with yearly letters and photos, make videos for the grandparents, and shop for unique and well thought out presents. By Christmas Eve I felt exhausted and crabby but I was determined to make Christmas feel like Christmas.…

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Mom always liked you best

The statement, “Mom always liked you best,” was often repeated years ago by Tommy Smothers in the comedy act he and his brother created.  Unfortunately, that statement is not always funny.  It may be, or appear to be, true.  Several things factor into the challenge parents have to be impartial. Sometimes the personality of the…

3 lessons my garden taught me about parenting

We have a garden in our back yard. Things grow very well in it. Unfortunately, not food. The strawberries we produced were eaten by rabbits before we got to them. Most of our rhubarb went unharvested. The only things that thrived were dandelions, and some nettle. I’m sowing strawberries, but I’m reaping weeds. It isn’t a matter of…

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Blest be family ties that bind

I took my daughter out for her birthday this week.  It’s becoming one of my “most looked forward to” rituals. She lives with her husband in Cedar Falls so when I’m in town the week of her birthday, we pick an exotic destination and we go.  We celebrate her birthday, and we catch up.  Looking forward to many…

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Family Circle Got it Right

Like we’ve always said, Marion has been a great community to raise a family.  We’ve been happy residents since 1979 and have raised six wonderful children and even have grandchildren who are enjoying the benefits of this wonderful place we call home. We Love You Marion! The Calcaras EXCLUSIVE SURVEY: FAMILY CIRCLE…

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Dying to self…not my cup of tea

The Tea Cups. One of my favorite “must dos” when hanging out at an amusement park. Oh, but Tea Cups are just a warmup for me. I am the consummate theme park “fearless warrior”. I can ride anything at any time…and multiple times in a row if given the chance. For you see, I am called to lead the family through…

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The importance of family

A couple weeks ago my kids and I made the trek to Nebraska to visit family. Anytime we make the trip, it is a drive with a capital D. It takes 14 hours to get from our home in Indiana to North Platte, Nebraska, where my parents, siblings, and their families live. To my kids, it’s a time of COUSINS. Yep, the all caps is quite intentional. Family…

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Vacation time is Grandpa time

I remember when taking a vacation in the summer meant riding roller coasters, water skiing, binge watching movies every night, eating anything I wanted and doing it again the next day until Dad said it was time to leave and go home.

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