Chris and Caitlin waiting to see Santa!

Chris and Caitlin waiting to see Santa! (November 17, 2012)

I hope to see you out this weekend at the Junior League's annual Stocked Market at the Roanoke Civic Center. It's the organization's big fundraiser to help charities in the Roanoke Valley. It's also a great opportunity to get started (or finish) your holiday shopping.  I haven't started shopping yet.  Typically, stocked market is my jumping off point for the gift buying season.  Several of us from WDBJ 7 will be manning the booth today and tomorrow handing out stockings to fill for a boy or a girl through the Salvation Army. Please come by our booth and pick up a stocking for a deserving child in our area.
Tuesday, October 23
My goodness, where has October gone? I can't believe it's already almost Halloween.  We have enjoyed the fall festivals this month...and of course, I loved meeting so many of you at Weather Fest last Saturday! And it helped that we had sunny weather for it, too!
I hope you had the chance to watch my special report, "Buying Their Love?" last night on WDBJ 7 at 6, as well as today on WDBJ 7 Mornin'.  My piece was on whether parents today buy too much for their children, because kids feel entitled, or because society pushes us in that direction. What I found is that it's more the latter.  There are many reasons parents told us that they buy their kids a lot of things..including making up for an absent parent, or making up for time they themselves spend working.  Parents also told us they simply want to make sure their child has what other children have. 
We got some useful advice from Blue Ridge Parenting owner Decca Knight. She suggested teaching children how to handle money from an early age, by giving them an allowance and letting them buy things for themselves. She says it will cut down on store battles, since the child either has enough money to buy want he wants, or he doesn't.  I am happy to tell you that I tried her suggestion with my own seven year old son, and it does work! It's excited when we parents can learn from one another...
Monday, October 1
Welcome to October! This is definitely one of my favorite times of the year. I love all of the fall festivals and trips to the pumpkin patches! We took the kids to the Harvest Festival in Downtown Roanoke on Saturday, and had the best time.  The kids loved decorating pumpkins and buying fresh apples straight from the Farmer's Market. 
Of course, the next big holiday coming up is Halloween...definitely a biggie on the family calendar!  If you are still trying to figure out costumes this year, no worries, you can find a costume at a great deal by taking part in the 2nd annual Costume Swap, starting this Thursday, October 4.
We will have more details Thursday on WDBJ7 Mornin' in this week's Early Years.
Have a great day!
Wednesday, September 19
Hello! Happy middle of the week to you!  It's been a long week for me, since I had to work for part of the day on Sunday..but Friday is coming!
Make sure you tune in for WDBJ 7 Mornin' tomorrow for this week's Early Years segment. I will be interviewing Carilion pediatrician Dr. John Moore about back to school health, which vaccines kids need, and when the best time is to get the flu shot.  I had my kids in our pediatrician's office the other day for Chris' seven-year checkup, and they happened to have the flu mist available.  So, I was very happy to get both kids vaccinated early this year!  Last year, we had to wait until November to get it.  And my kids like the flu mist much more than the flu shot. We try to avoid those needles when we can! Hope everyone in your household is staying nice and healthy...
Monday, September 10
Happy Monday to you!  I almost feel like writing Happy Fall! It's so cool out there.  I am definitely ready for the cooler weather!  I am a huge fan of summer, but once September arrives, I love switching out my summer clothes and re-vising my fall outfits.  I've been having my kids trying on some of their fall clothes to see which once still fit, and which ones will be heading to either consignment or Goodwill.  It's amazing how quickly kids outgrow their clothing and shoes.  My daughter, Caitlin starts dance this week, and I'm already having to exchange her ballet slippers for larger ones.  Speaking of kids' clothing, there is the huge Back on the Rack consignment sale starting this Saturday, September 15 at Tanglewood Mall. It runs until September 26. Happy Bargain Hunting!
Friday, August 31
Happy Friday to you! Hope you have some fun plans for the Labor Day Weekend! I am actually working this Labor Day, but plan to hit the pool and a baseball game over the weekend!
You may have seen the first of my two- part "Early Years" series Thursday on WDBJ7 Mornin' about more students choosing two-year colleges over four-year universities right out of high school. A new survey by student lender Sallie Mae finds that those families responding to the survey spent five percent less on college during the 2011-2012 school year.  My story that aired this week focused on the dollars and cents aspect of community college. Next Thursday's piece will focus on some of the other reasons students choose community college, including smaller class sizes and an easier transition from high school.
While interviewing students for these segments, I noticed that they all were far more money-conscious that I was at that age.  It may have been because that was a different time, in the late '80s, when we weren't all worrying constantly about the economy. If there is a silver lining to our current financial climate, it is that it forces people of all ages to think more about what they spend. Kudos to those teenagers who already have a good grasp on how to be a smart consumer. Maybe they can avoid the mistakes of earlier generations (including mine)...Just sayin'.  Have a great holiday weekend everyone!
Wednesday, August 22