Money talks, but how do we start talking to kids about money?

Young kids learn pretty quickly that it takes money to “get things”. They watch as their parents slide their credit card into the machine at the grocery store, give some cash to buy an item at the mall, and maybe send their kids to school with a check or cash for a purchase at school.

There is no reason to wait until your kids are teenagers (they might be ignoring you at that stage anyway) to start teaching them the fundamental skills of budgeting. You as a parent, certainly don’t need a degree in finance to give them some solid and practical lessons.

The objective is to allow them to …

A Little About Roxie…

People often ask me if Roxie was really adopted. Yes, she was, from a very reputable rescue in Orange County, California.

Roxie had been in a home that was simply not suitable, and was taken to “foster care” where her temperament was assessed and she visited the veterinarian as she unfortunately had heart worm. She received treatment, and I was the lucky person to bring her home.

Roxie inspired the books because she is a very optimistic dachshund. She wakes daily expecting everything to be fun, and she lives each day full of life and excitement.

Each of the books represents a real life event that Roxie experienced. As one … Read More...

Kids and politics, where do we begin?

It’s impossible to deny that our kids are witnessing quite a bit of turmoil relative to the political landscape in our country today. While it might be at school, at a friend’s house, on the nightly news or social media, young children are concerned about what they see and hear. Some things they see or hear may even be upsetting or confusing to them.

What to do? How do parents navigate this touchy area? Is it best to talk about it, wait until your child brings up the topic, or ignore it altogether? Most important, how to we teach our children to make their own independent decisions without leaning the … Read More...

Children’s books to understand emotions


There’s no better feeling than seeing a child losing themselves in the world of a favorite fictional character.

The benefits of reading go far beyond literacy: An emerging body of research brings to light how stories have the undeniable power to bring emotions to life, and help children understand and handle their own feelings and those of others.

The process of understanding and managing feelings and emotions usually happens quite naturally when children are given ample opportunity to:

  •         authentically feel a range of feelings
  •         have a chance to reflect on their feelings and decisions
  •         problem solve as they grow and learn
  •         observe others experiencing a range of emotions and feelings

Reasons to Consider Pet Adoption

Adopting a pet has many advantages, some of which you may not have thought of. Here are some reasons why pet adoption would benefit you and your family.


You are saving a life – The most obvious reason of them all is you are saving an animal’s life.  By adopting from a shelter, you are providing an animal with the second chance they deserve. Shelters work tirelessly to nurse animals to optimum health, rehabilitate disturbed animals, and do everything they possibly can to ensure they are prepared to go to a new home. By adopting a pet you can give an animal that has lost their home through no Read More...

Get out of your comfort zone, learn how to do something you never thought possible

This past weekend Roxie the Doxie and I traveled to Joliet, Illinois to compete in a Nose Work competition, level 1.  Nose work is a sport where the dog is trained to locate the source of a specific odor: birch, anise, and clove.  The very tiny amount, super tiny, is put on a Q-tip and placed in a small container and hidden.  The dog has to find the container and “alert” the handler.  They have to search in four different elements: exteriors,  interiors,  in containers, and on vehicles.  No easy task!

For vehicles, there are three cars and the scent is hidden on only one of them. In the container … Read More...

Wait, Are You Comparing a Dog to a Child in Your Book?


A well meaning person asked me this one day. Without having read the book, their impression was that I was comparing the adoption of a dog to the adoption of a child.
The answer in short, is of course not!

Roxie’s journey from foster care to her forever home is intended to be a fun children’s book, but can also be used to elicit from children feelings and thoughts about the adoption process, or any change in the family unit.

As clinicians, parents and teachers know, kids tend to talk about their feelings, especially feelings that are new, confusing, scary or just exciting, using characters in books, movies, or perhaps … Read More...

Never Give Up – Adopting From a Foreign Country

Story by Chris Baumann

I am a true believer that things happen for a reason. On my very first Medical Mission trip to Nicaragua, in 1989, I had the privilege to visit the El Deviño Niño orphanage in Managua, Nicaragua.  It was actually an old Samoza army barracks. I saw those sad but beautiful faces, peering out of the small crate like containments, as they wondered who we were. There were at least 100 kids, under 8 years old…that had little to no chance of ever having family of their own.

I always wanted kids, but due to all kinds of circumstances, it just never worked out. When I saw … Read More...

Deja Vu All Over Again – I Knew I Would Adopt One day

By Maura McLarty

Megs and Jimmy as young kids.

My friend sent me a children’s book called “Roxie the Doxie Finds Her Forever Home“. It’s a beautiful book about a little dachshund named Roxie who needs a permanent home. Her foster mother explains that a “forever home” for Roxie has been found. Roxie has lots of questions about adoption and the book explores these topics. This book touches my heart for two very perfect reasons.

At age 6, before I had any understanding about the birds and bees , I knew that I would adopt children. It wasn’t because I was trying to be a heroine, or change … Read More...

How Old is Too Old to Adopt?

More people are adopting in later life than ever. While generally age is no barrier, (nor is being single or not owning a home) being too old is a topic that comes up when people adopt later in life.

family story time1

While adopters have to be over 21, it seems generally adoption agencies are looking for parents who have stable lives, financial ability and the potential to provide care and support to their child or children.

So, I took an internet stroll through a few US and UK adoption agencies and looked at their age guidelines and what I found was found was both sensible and consistent. You must be at least … Read More...