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December 2015

Features

Kids and Good Works!

“For Landri, we’ll be making the RIT arm. It’s designed specifically for people who have an elbow but not a wrist,” says eighth grader, Kyle Burton of Chesterfield. As a member of the tech club at Tomahawk Creek Middle School, Kyle gets to help improve people’s daily lives in a…

¡Pura Vida! Costa Rica for Families

As a family travel specialist, I often work with families hoping to make their next vacation a little more interesting, a little more exciting, a little more educational. “Without traveling too far, where can we go,” they’ll ask, “to satisfy our younger child’s keen interest in wildlife, our teenager’s request…

The One-and-Only Scott Wichmann

Maybe it’s the playful glint in his eye that draws people in. Or perhaps it’s his easy smile or his quick wit. Whatever it is, actor Scott Wichmann has a special quality that sets him apart from the crowd. “He is blessed with a uniqueness,” says Virginia Rep’s artistic director…

Columns

Another Side of Christmas

Wait, what just happened?  For a very long time, that’s what I asked the first week of January, when the holiday season was finally, thankfully over – or at least those lights at the end of the tunnel weren’t Christmas lights anymore. The season of grace and giving had become…

How to Raise an Ethical Teen

My family is looking forward to the newest Star Wars adventure in theaters this holiday season. On our vacation this summer, we watched all six of the movies in a week. We saw the struggle to choose the side of good, the sway of the dark side, and the power…

A Like-New Toy Story

Christmas was different in San Francisco. Pre-kids, we spent our free time gliding through Chinatown, holding hands, searching for the best dim sum. And though we bought a pink, plastic tree and twinkling, white lights, something was missing from the season. Back then, I would have said it was not…

Holiday Greetings from RFM!

Retail industry reports are bringing the good news that holiday toy sales are expected to have the highest increase in sales in the last ten years – hooray! We parents are supposed to think this is great news because kids are finally turning back to the tried-and-true toy, not relying…

Wouldn’t You Like to Know?

We caught up with Katherine Wintsch, founder and CEO of The Mom Complex; a regular blogger for the Huffington Post and Working Mother; 2015 Richmond Christmas Mother; RFM contributor; and published author. While her two young children don’t always listen to her, many of the nation’s leading brands hang on…

Departments

The Community Idea Stations is Now VPM … Virginia’s Home for Public Media

Bina Shah is a mom, a real estate agent, a member of the India Association, and a supporter of the Community Idea Stations. When she came to America with her husband and young daughter more than three decades ago, she couldn’t speak English. Today – in perfect English – Bina…

Mirror, Mirror On The Wall

When my children were babies, I loved buying adorable outfits. I’d dress each one up for the pediatrician’s visit, and off we’d go to see how things were going with growth and development. I always left those check-ups with great ideas about healthy living, but I’d sometimes wonder as I…

Candy Crush! Kisses and Canes

Candy Cane Kiss Cookies Preheat oven to 350°. Combine 1 box devil’s food cake mix, 2 medium eggs, and ½ cup vegetable oil. Drop rounded spoonfuls onto cookie sheet. Bake for 9 or 10 minutes. Remove from oven and place one candy cane kiss on each cookie. Return to the oven…

“Help! My Cat Hates Kids!”

Children love animals. This is just a simple fact of life. Place a puppy or kitten in front of any kid and you’re likely to hear squeals of excitement as they reach for that furry face. But interacting with children, especially young children, may not come naturally to all pets.…

When Trauma Affects Children

Children are miracles. As parents, we strive to keep them safe and to minimize hardships. As much as we work to protect them, our children can still be exposed to terrible things. We can’t always shield them from the violence in the media, bullies in schools and online, and from…

Community in Transition

In 1871, lines were drawn around a new voting ward. Before the Emancipation, the area had been home to German, Italian, and Jewish immigrants, in addition to a large population of free blacks. After Emancipation, freed enslaved persons, unwelcome elsewhere in the city, settled in the neighborhood. The African American…

Organizing for Christmas

This time of year is full of anticipation and excitement – and things to do. From shopping and baking, to cleaning and decorating, the list of holiday tasks seems to grow longer each year. But after Christmas has passed and the New Year has come, you may feel a little…

Oh, Christmas Tree!

This crafty endeavor is great for little hands – the folding is very important. Also, everyone knows ornaments make great package toppers and gift tags, so put your little elves to work in the gift-wrapping department this holiday season! What you need: • Cupcake liners – various sizes, colors, and…

It’s Thank You Season

Q: I have two small children. How can I develop in them a sense of gratitude? I come from a large family and I have sent countless birthday, wedding, graduation, and baby gifts that are never acknowledged. I want my children to want to express their gratitude when they receive…

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