One Finger
By Linda Osmundson

"Mom, you should put some of your things away. Baby-proof this house," stated our oldest son Mark as he lumbered up the stairs followed by his wife, Kim, and fifteen-month-old Hannah.

Visiting for the Thanksgiving holiday, he finished unloading the luggage and took it to the guest room downstairs. After driving all day from Salt Lake to Ft. Collins, his temper showed.

"That one-finger rule may work with the twins, but it'll never work with Hannah," he insisted.

From Chicken Soup for Grandparents on an Asian website:

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Because of my parents' divorce in 1947, I learned to dance to my grandpa's violin.

Daddy walked out never to return home again when I was in second grade. My mother gave up our little house by the railroad tracks and moved us to Grandpa's farm outside of the small town of Mesquite, Texas.

Grandpa, tired after a long day of laying bricks for houses, always got out his tractor and plowed his few acres. I rode along. Once, he taught me to hoe corn beneath an orange sunset. I didn’t help when he slaughtered a pig. I covered my head in a pillow against the squeals.

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“Teach me your path, lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation,” reads Psalm 25:4-5, the Bible verse taped to LeAnn Thieman’s computer. Asking for God’s guidance and following her heart and faith changed LeAnn from an Iowa farm girl to nurse, wife, mother, writer, professional speaker and savior of unwanted babies.

Growing up as one of eight children in a strong Catholic family prompted LeAnn to follow the Catholic principle of helping others. Throughout her life, she’s set an example of living her faith.


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Matthew’s mother noticed a rash on his face after his sister kissed him. His sister had eaten a peanut butter sandwich. As suggested by doctors and baby books, his mom had held off exposing one-year-old Matthew to peanut butter or peanuts. As it turns out, the rash was a symptom of a peanut allergy.

Tests confirmed Matthew’s allergy to peanuts – those nuts, actually legumes, grown in the ground. Now Matthew’s family keeps an allergy kit equipped with a syringe of epinephrine on hand at home, within reach no matter where they are and at daycare. Imagine my fright when I babysat Matthew, my grandson, and his father showed me the allergy kit. If by some chance, my son explained, Matthew encountered a peanut in any form, I was to jab the needle into Matthew’s thigh immediately, release the epinephrine and then call 911.

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“Perhaps I’m a habitual Catholic,” said Sonny Lubick, 71, the winningest football coach in Colorado State University history. “My religion was engrained in me by my parents and my grandmother.”

PROUD TO BE CATHOLIC - Sonny Lubick 71, retired last season as head football coach at Colorado State University. In his 15 years at the helm, he led the team to nine postseason bowl games and a 108-74 win-loss record. He was 129-93 during his full collegiate coaching career. (Courtesy)

Sonny grew up in a small suburb of Butte, Mont., which supported nine Catholic elementary schools and 12 Catholic churches. Even so, with his father a copper mine laborer and his mother a waitress, a Catholic education seemed impossible. His mother talked an elementary school into accepting Sonny at $2.50 a month rather than the normal $5 monthly tuition.

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You endure the stress of airport check-in lines; then you learn that your luggage is too heavy and you will have to pay extra. Or you arrive at your destination only to find that one piece of your luggage is missing. Now what? 

Traveling can be traumatic enough. Follow these nine tips before you leave home to avoid packing and luggage fiascos.

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Like many college students, my 22-year-old son wanted to travel before he settled down to obligations and responsibilities. With no savings put aside, he knew it wouldn’t be easy. He studied his options and chose the Peace Corps,

When John’s assignment finally arrived—Western Samoa, a group of four Pacific islands —he packed his allotted 90 pounds of carefully selected necessities. Although an adventurer at heart, John questioned his decision once on board the jumbo jet: “Can I teach? Can I learn the language? Will the students accept me? Can I make a difference?

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