Lindsay Franklin shares her story of becoming a teen mom, and she gives some fantastic advice for teen parents, their parents, and their friends. #teenmom #parenting


In early 2000, Lindsay Franklin was set to graduate from high school. The teen had big plans to go to college, get a Master’s degree, and have an amazing career. But all of that anticipation came crashing to a halt when she learned she was pregnant.

Lindsay’s first instinct was to research abortion, because she had always been pro-choice, and being a teen mom was not in her plan. So she got on her boyfriend’s parents’ computer and searched for a nearby clinic. The first thing that popped up on the screen was images of aborted fetuses, and in an instant, Lindsay knew abortion was not an option for her anymore. She was going to keep her baby.

But what was she going to do? She had always been a bit rebellious, but she had started going to church a few months earlier, which is where she had met her 19-year-old boyfriend. He was an upstanding church boy with a good reputation; this would ruin everything for him. So she turned away from the computer screen and told Dave she would disappear and be a single mom. This baby wouldn’t affect his life at all. He could stay in college and continue on with his plans for his life.

Dave chose a different plan. He immediately grabbed her hands and got down on his knees. He told her he loved her, proclaimed that the baby was both of theirs, and said they were going to be a family.

Continue reading “Lindsay Franklin: From Teen Mom to Mom of Teens”

Tips for parents of kids with autism from a mom who's been there // #autism #autismawareness #autismparent #parenting #kids #specialneeds #advice #tips #support


NOTE: The information in this article is for informational purposes only. It should not be seen as any kind of professional advice, including medical, emotional, therapeutic, or other types of advice. Please consult with a professional before taking any sort of action based on anything you read here. See our full Terms & Conditions here.





An Autism Mom Shares Her Story // #autism #specialneeds #parenting #kids




Staci Grosser has a 10-year-old son who was diagnosed with autism when he was a toddler. If you missed her story of Renner’s autism journey, click here to read it. Then come back here to read her tips. We’ll start out with a few of her tips for friends of parents whose kids have autism or other special needs. Then we’ll move on to advice for other autism parents.


Staci’s Tips for Friends of Autism Parents

  • Check In

Ask them how they’re doing. Ask how you can pray for them. Ask if they need a hug. If you’re not with them, text them. I don’t often have time to talk on the phone, so don’t be offended if your friend doesn’t answer a phone call. But let her or him know you care.


  • Offer Your Support

Especially at first (and even still), I needed so much emotional support because I was hurting and grieving. Listen to your friend and be there for them. Let them talk without judgment. And then follow up. Don’t let it just be a one-time deal.


  • Think Twice About Giving Advice

Advice is a double-edged sword. It can be annoying to the recipient yet can be good at the same time. Make sure what you’re offering might actually be helpful for the person’s child, and don’t push it.


Staci’s Tips for Parents of Kids with Autism

  • Allow Yourself to Grieve

When a diagnosis of autism comes, so does grief for all the things your child (and you) may not be able to do in life. Autism alters your life. You have a child, and in your head you plan all the play dates, you map out vacations, you think about the perfect school, and so on. You imagine them graduating from high school and possibly college. You think about their future marriage and the grandchildren they’ll someday give you.

But then you get a diagnosis like autism, and you don’t know if any of that is ever going to happen. Everything is up in the air. He may be able to do those things. He may not. He may be able to hold down a job. He may not. He may be able to get married. He may not. And the worst part is, he may be able to talk . . . and he may not. That was the hardest for me. That was the most grief I have ever encountered. I didn’t know if my son would ever be able to talk to me. You have to allow yourself the time and space to grieve, and realize that it will take time.

Continue reading “Staci Grosser: Tips for Autism Parents and Their Friends”

Staci Grosser: Parenting a Child with Autism // A mom shares her story of learning her son has autism and all of the hurdles their family has had to jump in the process. // #autism #parenting #kids #specialneeds #story #inspirational


NOTE: The information in this article is for informational purposes only. It should not be seen as any kind of professional advice, including medical, emotional, therapeutic, or other types of advice. Please consult with a professional before taking any sort of action based on anything you read here. See our full Terms & Conditions here.


An Autism Mom Shares Her Story // #autism #specialneeds #parenting #kids

When Staci Grosser gave birth to her first child 10 years ago, she was expecting a four-pound baby due to growth retardation in the womb. However, Renner’s birth weight was a full five pounds. Staci and her husband, Ainslie, were extremely relieved that their baby boy would not need a stay in the NICU and could immediately go home to their house in Franklin, Tennessee.

Renner was a gentle baby, and his parents’ only initial concern was that his mouth muscles weren’t developed enough to suck well. However, the issue was soon resolved, and Staci and her husband, Ainslie, thought everything was fine.

By the time Renner was a year old, Staci and Ainslie noticed that he wasn’t very interactive. He had no interest in playing with them. He also wasn’t doing some basic physical movements that most one-year-old children are able to do, such as pointing and clapping. Staci would take his hands and manipulate them to do the actions but, as she says,

“It’s like his brain just didn’t understand it at all.”

Continue reading “Staci Grosser: Parenting a Child with Autism”

Emily Roig: Finding a Refuge in Music


When Emily Roig moved from St. Louis to Nashville to pursue a music career in 2014, she wasn’t looking to make it big. She wanted to see if she could make an honest living with her music, and she wanted to learn. When she left everything she knew and a steady job for the unknown, she did it with a hope and more than one prayer.

Many people take off for Nashville to start pursuing music as a career when they’re just out of high school or college, but that wasn’t the path Emily took. In fact, it didn’t even occur to her to move there until she was nearly 30 years old. But Emily has never taken the normal route when it comes to pursuing music.

Emily and her brothers grew up in a home where it was impossible not to be musical. Her parents met while studying at a conservatory of music, and they’ve been highly involved in musical pursuits ever since. Her mom is an elementary music teacher, and her dad is the music director at a church. Emily says her dad is more of an artistic, creative musician and songwriter, while her mom has always been the interpreter of other people’s songs. Continue reading “Emily Roig: Finding a Refuge in Music”

Videographer Scott Schaefer works with military veterans through his job and via his volunteer efforts with the Central Missouri Honor Flight and other organizations. Read the post to find out more about the ways he serves the people who have served our country, and discover how you can do the same. #veterans #military


If you live in mid-Missouri and own a TV, you’ve likely seen Scott Schaefer’s work. But chances are, you had no idea he was involved in what you were watching. Why? Because he’s the man behind the video camera.

Scott, a graduate of the renowned University of Missouri School of Journalism and 15-time winner at the Mid-America Region Emmy® Awards of the National Academy of Television Arts and Science, lives in Columbia, MO, with his wife, Shannon, and daughter, Lillian. He currently works in the marketing department of Veterans United Home Loans as a videographer, and he and Shannon run a photography business.

But where you’ve likely seen his videography skills is on KOMU 8, NBC’s affiliate in Columbia, MO, where he worked for several years after graduating from Mizzou. Among other tasks, he worked alongside Sarah Hill on her popular “Sarah’s Stories” segments that aired once a week.

Continue reading “Scott Schaefer: Serving Those Who Served Our Country”

Nancy Blaue and Friends Feeding Hungry Kids


Note: This is part two of a profile on Nancy Blaue. To read the first post about her promotion of literacy through Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and her job with Parents as Teachers, click here.


“Kids that are hungry aren’t learning.”

Any teacher that works with kids who live in poverty will be nodding his or her head right now. And there is no time when some kids are more hungry than at school on a Monday morning, after having eaten little to no food at home over the weekend.

Nancy Blaue sees poverty firsthand nearly every day when she does home visits for her job as a Parent Educator with Parents as Teachers. Her friend Clinetta Weinrich, who often says the quote above, saw the effects of it at school. And Clinetta, a (now retired) kindergarten teacher for the Wellsville-Middletown R-1 School District in Wellsville, Missouri, decided to do something about it.

She knew of a group that worked in tandem with the Warren County R-3 School District in nearby Warrenton to help feed kids over the weekends. The group would pack bags of food that were then distributed at school on Friday afternoons to kids who might otherwise be without food.

Continue reading “Nancy Blaue and Friends: Feeding Hungry Kids”

Adam and Nancy Blaue: Imagining a Library


Nancy Blaue met her husband, Adam, when she was 14 years old. He claims it was love at first sight, but Nancy’s not so sure. Nevertheless, the two got married just months after she graduated from high school in the early 1990s. Due to some medical issues, the couple were advised to have children early on. The two became parents at what most would consider a very young age, but their family was soon complete with two daughters and a son.

Adam and Nancy live on a farm in northern Montgomery County, Missouri, where they raised their children. Their two daughters, Katie and Libby, are now married and both are expecting babies. Will, their son, will graduate from Wellsville-Middletown R-1 High School in just a few weeks.

If you’ve ever met Nancy, you know she is not only dedicated to her own family, but she also cares about the families surrounding her. Nearly everything she does is focused on serving families of all shapes and sizes in her community.

Continue reading “Nancy Blaue: Imagining a Library in Every Home”