1. Published

    Raising kids, eating right, spending smart, living well—that’s the theme of a national Living Well Campaign that is being promoted by the Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, both at the national level and here in Illinois. The goal of the Living Well Campaign is to provide people with the education and information they need in order to “live well.”  

  2. Published

    We often hear about the importance of family mealtime, but do you know what all the fuss is about? As a parent, it is sometimes easier to dismiss this family routine and feed kids fast food or prepared food in the car coming or going to their multitude of activities and events. So let’s pause for a moment from the rush of family life and learn a little more about the importance of eating together.

  3. Published

    Minimizing sedentary behavior and participating in regular physical activity is essential for good health and wellbeing. Sedentary behavior is often interpreted as being physically inactive; however, there is a difference between physical inactivity and being sedentary. Sedentary behavior is anything that is done while sitting or lying down. This can be sitting at work or school all day, sitting and watching TV, and even sitting while driving. Behavior that the majority of people participate in every day.

  4. Published

    With families so busy with work, school, extra-curricular activities, sports, church, civic groups, clubs, etc., they can find it difficult to spend quality time with each other. Because families can be so busy, they need to intentionally plan their time together.

  5. Published

    When I think about February, many celebrations come to mind. Whether it is birthdays, the Super Bowl, or Valentine’s Day, we have something to celebrate. Not only do I think about the heart when someone references Valentine’s Day, but February is Heart Healthy Month.

  6. Published

    I recently found this article on the National Institute on Aging website that reinforces a topic of my programming lately – that socialization or social engagement is beneficial for brain health and longevity. I have been focusing on the effects practiced in later life but this article expands that to midlife, so I would like to share it with all of you:

  7. Published

    The other day I was visiting with a friend about the importance of feeling optimistic about the future. It is only fitting to think about the future and having a positive mindset as we move into 2020. Being optimistic doesn’t mean to forget about the struggles or issues that you might be experiencing. Still, it is about making sure your mindset is in order.

  8. Published

    We talk a lot about stress during the holidays and try to find ways to reduce or make that stress more manageable. However, we usually talk about it in regards to us – the adults – and sometimes forget that holidays can be difficult for children as well.  Parties, shopping, and other activities may take families out of their usual daily routine and these routines provide security and stability for young children.

  9. Published

    With the anticipation of the holidays, there can also be that feeling of dread – how are you going to get everything done on an already busy schedule? For many people, the extensive preparations they engage in to pull off those picture-perfect holidays create so much stress, that they can’t even enjoy themselves. The “picture-perfect” part is where much of the stress originates from.

  10. Published

    In 2018, approximately 20.3 million people aged 12 or older had a substance use disorder (SUD).

  11. Published

    We all know someone who is providing care for someone else. They may be caring for an older parent, a disabled adult child, or a spouse suffering from a traumatic injury or chronic illness. Even parents raising children are considered caregivers. Caregivers give of themselves without expecting anything in return, and they rarely think of themselves first.

  12. Published

    Since most of the farmers in my area are deep into harvest season, I thought it might be a good time to touch on the topic of farm or agricultural stress. Those in the agricultural industry can face unique pressures, many of which are beyond their control. Some of these include:


  13. Published

    I find that most of my decorations are for events and holidays in the months of October, November, and December.  Every year during these months as I drag my decorations out, I inevitably see the same ones that I don’t use, and l leave them in the same box to go back into storage for another year. As I look at them, most have no sentimental value, so why should I keep them to gather dust and take up space when someone else could enjoy them?

  14. Published

    Since my son (only child) recently moved to college up north back in August, I have felt like maybe someone has died. Friends, family and acquaintances will ask how my son is liking school, and then they lower their voice, get real close and grab my arm, and ask in a serious tone “and how are YOU doing?” I totally understand that they mean well and worry about me being an empty nester, but I find it very funny.

  15. Published

    You may get a call from the “police” saying your grandchild is in jail and needs a certain amount of money to be released. Or a call from “Microsoft” telling you that your computer has a virus and they need remote access to it so they can fix it. Or you are contacted by your “bank” saying there was an issue with your account and they want to help you resolve it, but first, they need your account number. Do any of these sound familiar?

  16. Published

    National Grandparents Day is September 9th.

  17. Published

    Overwork and over scheduling can take a toll on families and relationships as we find less time together, especially just to hang out.  Taking a break to spend some relaxed time together as a family can be a way to reconnect.  A “family night in” is doing something together at home that everyone in the family can enjoy.  It doesn't have to be a major event, since often simple things are the most fun and relaxing. Try to do one at least once a month if you can.

  18. Published

    Children returning to school can be such an exciting, busy time. For some parents, it is relieving to get back into a pattern. For others, it can be an overwhelming and stressful time. Parental stress can be triggered by monetary spending on school supplies and registration, balancing extra curricular activities, and worrying that children will adjust to the learning environment well and get along with others. The list could go on forever, right?

  19. Published

    As the school year approaches, parents and children experience a rush of emotions. Sadness that the carefree days of summer are ending. Anticipation of seeing friends and learning new things. Curiosity at what new opportunities the new year will bring. Excitement of new schedules, new routines, new friends. And perhaps, joy….that the kids are finally out of the house!

  20. Published

    It's happening more and more. You are driving along and the car you are meeting is slowly drifting into your lane only to be jerked back suddenly – and you see that the driver is busy looking down at their phone rather than the road. Distracted driving is any activity that diverts attention away from the primary task of driving and can increase the chance of a motor vehicle crash. I came across this article by the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service, and thought it important to share: