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Sometimes best shots are unscripted

Waking up quite early Sunday morning, I headed to the basement to wash a load of darks. They contained a pair of capris leggings that my daughter wanted to wear to a show that afternoon in Philadelphia. I added clothes stored in the wash area and other dirty items. In...

Jade’s last dance

It's only July, but like it or not Christmas season thoughts -- yes, the "C" word that excites some and others bemoan -- have begun. My daughter's participation in the Schuylkill Ballet Theatre means summer rehearsals for the company's annual presentation of "The...

Make library summer stop

As July rolls in amidst hot, sticky temperatures, take time to cool down with ... a book. Or Two. Maybe three. Do this at a cool place -- literally and figuratively. Your community library. Most area libraries tout air-conditioning. All, of course, feature a plethora...

Saying goodbye to middle school

Another academic milestone reaches completion today (Friday, June 1, 2018). My daughter will walk into the middle school building as an eighth-grader and leave as a high school freshman. (While my kiddos' school year officially ends for students Tuesday, June 5,...

Thank you, teachers

The school days dwindle as May marches on, but the amounts of activities and academics seem to increase -- fun days, fundraisers, exams, proms, dances, etc. Through it all, the eyes remain on the prize: The last day of pencils, books and -- sorry, teacher friends --...

Farm show not only fun, but educational

What comes to mind when you hear about the annual Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg? If you think of farm animals, equipment and a fair-like atmosphere, you've hit the nail on the head. According to the show's website, the expo features "nearly 6,000 animals,...

Too cold outside, what to do inside

It's safe to say, "Baby, it's cold outside!" That said, single-digit temperatures prohibit little ones from playing outdoors and staying inside. It won't be long before choruses of "I'm bored!" ring out -- or maybe they already have. They did over Christmas break...

Starting 2018, school year’s second half

Less than a handful of Schuylkill County school districts started their first day after Christmas break two hours later. The rest of us, business as usual. Waking before the 5:15 a.m. alarm I set to get a load of laundry containing uniform pants for my daughter done,...

Celebration and calm

The big day is here. It's time to count down to Christmas Day, the arrival of Santa, the observance of the arrival of Jesus as an infant into this world. I look forward to the calm of Christmas Eve Mass with my children and family, to a casual dinner at my parents'...

Christmas prep have dones and have not dones

Who's ready? Who is finished wrapping, baking and decorating? To all three, I say no. Yes, I had planned weeks ago to set goals and get things finished so all I had to do on Christmas Eve is assist Santa and fall into bed. Well, life has a funny way of throwing curve...

Hiding, watching and waiting

It's hard to believe that Christmas is just three days away (as of this blog entry). That in mind, the kiddos still need to be good, for goodness sake. Santa Claus is coming to town soon. For some youngsters, the Jolly Old Elf had an extra set of eyes with an Elf on...

Keep car safety in mind during holiday, all year long

The holiday seems to find us all hurried and hustling to get things done before Dec. 25, no matter how organized we are. With the hustle and bustle might come forgetful steps or hastily done ones. In this instance, we need to remember to buckle up when traveling by...

Reindeer reign this year

What good does Santa do on his Christmas Eve journey without his reindeer? After all, the eight tiny ones led by Rudolph guide the Big Guy's sleigh through the night sky. Reindeer play a big role in Christmas stories, holiday decor, treats, novelties and little gifts....

Share Christmas yesteryears with them

Lisetning to Christmas music en route to work and elsewhere, those songs that hit the airways in the '80s, the '90s and in the years before the kiddos existed surface. The song "Do They Know It's Christmas?" by British rockers and pop stars -- among them Bob Geldof,...

Laughs, laments and ah, so lovely!

Watch TV during the Christmas season and you have plenty of inspiration to get into the holiday spirit. Especially with commercials. Their content ranges from happy and cute to sad and sentimental to outright annoying. I mean, who doesn't cringe upon hearing the...

Proud mom moments mean much

You see them in many social media circles. "Proud mom moment! Joey made the dean's list in his first semester of freshman year! I knew you could do it, sweetie!" "Maria completed her first season of soccer with five goals. Way to go, girl! Here's to many more!...

Three words for day — heck, for life

It seems life just doesn't want to slow down. The holiday season underway, there are Christmas events to attend, gifts to buy and wrap, cards to write, seal and send, and more. Of course, the everyday routine continues -- school, work, activities, housework, bills....

Snowman set to float — and hide

A day to reflect on our blessings, gather with family and enjoy parades, football and other special productions has arrived. Happy Thanksgiving! For our family, it's time to enjoy the annual "Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade," "The National Dog Show" and more. It's time...

Better to not give, and just celebrate?

The old saying goes, "It is better to give than to receive." It rings loud and clear during the holiday season, but what about giving nothing but time together and receiving nothing but good memories in return? What? No gifts to wrap? It would certainly save lots of...

Players’ incident example of what not to do

It happens all the time. A celebrity or athlete gets into trouble. The incident draws attention to himself or herself or, in the case of an athlete, the team, coaches and school/franchise (the latter if you're talking semi-pro or pro sports). The recent incident of...

It’s always good to go home again

It's good to go back there. Leaving home en route to nuptials 20 years ago, I lamented how surreal it felt. As we sat in the limousine outside the house, my dad told me that I could come back and visit any time. He said I didn't have to turn in my house key. Even when...

You might be an activities mom if …

Who doesn't enjoy comedian Jeff Foxworthy's "You might be a redneck if ..." routine? Apparently, many people do on the social media circuit. Other lists have morphed following the Foxworthy method. Among them, "You might be from Pennsylvania if ...," "You might be...

Take the kids, if you can

It's General Election Day, a time to select officials to lead us from the local to national level. While most of this year's candidates on the ballot are on the local level, it still matters to cast your vote. I might sound like a broken record, but I'll say it again:...

They raise kids without rules

Call them the "feral family" -- as a conclusion of a short video does. Lewis and Gemma Rawnsley's seven children live by no rules. Mom and dad give them free range. They choose their bedtime, their food, their activities. Heck, they don't even have to go to school!...