Category Archives: Family

Mom’s message: There is hope for children with autism


Living with autism has proven to be a difficult ride for Seth Sparrer, of Middleburg. But the 21-year-old has learned to accept the condition that can greatly impair social skills, communication and the ability to create lasting peer relations.

“I feel it means you are special. I used to hate it, but as I got older, I learned to accept it — just like the X-Men have a hard time adjusting to their special gifts and to other people in life,” he said. “I now believe it is why I have a creative mind and a great connection with younger kids.” Read the rest of this entry


Youth sports: Don’t miss out on a truly priceless opportunity


At each Selinsgrove AYSO preseason coaches meeting, Regional Commissioner Jake Mangels shares some statistics via a Powerpoint slide that can be somewhat sobering.
According to his conservative estimates, the 40 coaches/assistants, 10 referees and eight regional board members of the Selinsgrove region — which boasts 360 registered youth soccer players this spring — provide a $114,000 benefit to the local community. Read the rest of this entry

Parenting predicament: Rethinking the Santa Claus tradition


Switch just a few letters and you can turn “Santa” into “Satan.” 

Not saying that means anything. Before you jump all over me by assuming that I’m going to try compare everyone’s favorite jolly old elf to the devil incarnate, please hear me out.

I’ve always been a fan of Santa Claus. I remember watching out my window on Christmas Eve, seeing snowflakes drifting past our outdoor light display and hoping to catch a glimpse of a reindeer, sleigh or at least hear a jingle bell or two. Read the rest of this entry

A hamster, basement steps and an object lesson about love


Who knew that the sound of hard plastic smacking on wooden steps could be so painful? So heartbreaking with each echoing thwack … especially after my 9-year-old daughter screamed out in agony, helpless to change what was happening. Read the rest of this entry

Giving thanks to a real, everyday hero


His voice was weak, but I knew better.

The person on the other side of the phone is anything but weak. He’s one of the strongest men I know.

It was hard to hang up the phone at the end of our conversation. How do you wrap up a conversation with a hero — especially since that “goodbye” before hanging up could always be the final goodbye. Read the rest of this entry