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November-December 2020

Features

She’s One Tough Mother!

Parenting six children in 2020 (or any year, to be honest!) would send many of us scrambling for the nearest exit door. Troy Michel, however, has taken it all in stride. She and her husband Dave, parents to a crew that ranges in age from nine months to fourteen years,…

The New-Look Holidays - Celebrating in a Pandemic!

As the holiday season unfolds, COVID-19 has impacted everything from how our kids play and learn to how we show love to family and friends to how we work and spend our free time. This pandemic has brought challenges and frustrations, and for some, enduring grief. As families continue to…

Columns

Three Stockings Were Hung…

“Boom, boom, boom!” is what I said at a party in our neighbor’s backyard that day. And a few hours later in the privacy of our family room, Scott called me on it. “You added a boom,” my very perceptive husband pointed out with a grin on his face. Sam…

All We Want for Christmas!

Is a puppy on your holiday list? With a year like 2020, I think we are all looking for ways to make up for a challenging year of struggles and mixed blessings.  My family knows first-hand the joys and realities of owning a pet. We lost our beloved bulldog at…

Everything in Its Place

Dad, we need some shelves.” “Why?” “The LEGOs need a place.” I liked the idea, so I went to task, jumping online to order some cool brackets. I ripped boards with my dull handsaw. We drilled in anchors and juggled the level. Each boy got five shelves, and the LEGOs…

Season’s Greetings, Readers!

The holiday season is upon us, but if you’re like me, it feels a little more like Groundhog Day, at least the movie version. In some ways, 2020 has flown by and I can’t believe it’s nearing the end. In other ways, it seems to have dragged on endlessly.  I’m…

Departments

RVA Parades of Christmas Past

In 1929, a fantastic Richmond holiday tradition was born: the Christmas Toy Parade. Every year, just after Thanksgiving, families gathered on Broad Street to watch floats, bands, clowns, and local drill teams herald the arrival of the holiday season.  The highlight of the parade? Giant gas-filled balloons depicting different characters…

Kids, Cold Weather, and Car Safety

Bundling up and buckling up are two of the most important things you can do to protect your child, but the two don’t mix when it comes to making sure your child is protected in the event of a motor vehicle crash.  That puffy coat or snowsuit can protect against…

College Students and Mental Wellness

Going to college looks very different this year – a far cry from the way teens expected it to look when they started applying to schools. Whether your child went away to college and is living in a dorm, is at home and going to school locally, or is taking…

Familiar Fraud Meets Popular Tech

Do you use Venmo, Zelle, Apple Pay, or Cash App? These kinds of mobile payment services – also known as a digital wallet or e-Wallet – refer to an electronic device, online service, or software program that allows one party to make electronic transactions with another party bartering digital currency…

The Truth About Live Christmas Trees

You know how the song goes: Oh, Christmas tree, oh, Christmas tree, how lovely are thy branches! But how do you keep those branches looking lovely all season long?  You can start by selecting the right tree. There are around 350 million real Christmas trees growing in the United States,…

How to Empower Your Holidays

We’ve been working at home, learning at home, and staying safer at home since March, and I’m happy to report, everyone in my family is physically healthy and safe. My kids have started to ask questions about the holiday season and how we will make it special under these extraordinary…

The Giving Wall

Michael can tailor any garment you bring him, handling every inseam and hem with precision and care. His dream of owning his own business had come to fruition after years of honing his craft and building a clientele. Then came COVID-19, and business evaporated nearly overnight. Since April, revenue has…

What is Advance Care Planning?

Advance care planning (ACP) is planning for your medical future, something that is particularly relevant when you cannot speak for yourself. Advance care planning isn’t about what happens after death. This is all about what happens while you are still alive if you were to become critically ill, and often…

COVID-19 and Your Family’s Safety

[Updated November 19, 2020]   Dr. Norman Oliver, state health commissioner, on mask-wearing, herd immunity, vaccines, and staying safer this holiday season Fall and the holidays are here, and COVID-19 continues to require that we adjust how we live, learn, work, and play. Here’s a closer look at some of…

Homemade for the Holidays

Candied Pecans  ½ cup granulated sugar 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon ½ teaspoon salt 1 egg white 1 tablespoon water ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract 3 cups  pecan halves (12 oz) Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. In a large bowl,…

Try Gifting Outside the Box!

My mom was an avid reader and instilled in me a love for books from the start, literally. She got my name, Timshel, from John Steinbeck’s East of Eden. Not only do I adore reading, but I worked at a bookstore in my younger days where I managed the children’s…

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