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Candy Arrington

Sometimes life can be really hard on you. Debts mount up, money runs out, you lose your job, you cannot handle day to day activities, you start doing drugs or drinking, there seems to be no way out. No way out except….suicide. Every 17 minutes, someone, somewhere commits suicide. For every completed suicide, there are twenty-five attempted suicides. It appears to them as the only way out. But one thing that they never think about is the people left behind: their loved ones, their spouses, children, parents and friends. They are the ones that have to deal with the grief, the unanswered questions. Even worse, they deal with the guilt that they should have noticed this, or recognized that and could have done something to stop it from happening. Listen to these stats: An estimated 750,000 suicide attempts annually affect the lives of millions of family members. The number of survivors grows 186,000 each year. For every suicide, at least six other people's lives are affected. The book we will be discussing today is called, “AFTERSHOCK: Help, Hope and Healing in the Wake of Suicide”. It is a book that provides knowledge and resources for those left in the wake of suicide. Our guest today is a professional writer, member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors and is on staff with The Christian Communicator Manuscript Critique Service. You have heard her name before on our show as she co-wrote the book, “When Your Aging Parent Needs Care” which we spoke about with co-author Kim Atchley. The book was co-written by David Cox. It is our honor to welcome to our show Candy Arrington. 

Dee Dees

Recently my mom was going through some old photos she had. She scanned these old black and white photos and emailed them out to family. Great pictures but in many cases most of us wondered who the heck some of the people were in the photos. Probably most of you can say the same thing when looking at old photos. Sometimes you get lucky and the names were written on the back of the photo. Well that is lucky if the name has not smudged or worn off. Maybe the names are under the picture in the photo album. But who are these people? How were they related? What is their story all about? Even if you recognize them, what was going on in that photo when it was taken? Why is Aunt Sally not smiling? So here is today’s question, have you thought about writing your life story? Why you may ask? Good question. Not to be a guest on our show, but for future generations of your family. Listen we all will not be alive forever. With every person that passes, a number of events and history of your family passes with them. Think about that and you will see I am right. Our guest today says it is not difficult to write your life story and has broken it down into easy, manageable steps. She has written two books, “Life Notes: Recording Your Memories…the Legacy of a Lifetime” and the book we will be discussing today called “Write Your Life Story in 28 Days.” Please welcome to Your Life Matters author, seminar leader, public speaker and personal historian Dee Dees.

Christine Devine

Today we are going to talk about a subject we probably all know about but in many places rarely hear anything about. I am talking about adoption. On any given day in the U.S., more than 423,000 children are in the foster care system, and nearly 115,000 of them are available for adoption, just waiting for the right family to find them.   More children become available for adoption each year than are adopted. In 2009, 69,947 children had parental rights terminated by the courts, yet only 57,466 were adopted.  Children often wait three years or more to be adopted, move three or more times in foster care and often are separated from siblings. The average age of waiting children is 8 years old.   Last year, 29,471 children turned 18 and left the foster care system without an adoptive family. Many of our listeners know of or have watched “Wednesday’s Child” on the news. The show has won numerous awards and we believe rightfully so. Today’s book we are going to discuss is called “FINDING A FOREVER FAMILY:  A News Anchors Notebook on Adoption Within the Foster Care System”. Our guest today is the truly amazing Christine Devine. Listen to this list and you will know why I call her amazing 14 Emmys, six for best newscast ,  Best Anchor Team by Associated Press,  National Gracie Allen award by AWRT American Women in Radio and Television,  Anna Quindlen award for philanthropy journalism by Society of Professional Journalists,  "Angels in Adoption" from the U.S. Congress. She is known for her Wednesday's Child news segment. She has been honored by the U.S. Congress and Child Welfare League of America. Since 1994 Fox 11 News has profiled hard-to-place children in foster care waiting to be adopted. The records show more than 400 children have found forever homes. It is our honor and privilege to welcome to Your Life Matters anchor, reporter, producer, speaker, philanthropist and author Christine Devine. 

Shawn Marie Edgington

The internet can be a truly amazing place. It is a product of modern technology. Everyone wants the new iPhone or the latest computer gadget that connects to the Internet. You can update and read your Facebook page from it. You can tweet to all of your followers. Take and send photos or videos. Stay in constant contact with your BFFs. OK…so if you are like me, you are saying OK, I text every once in a while…do not see the big deal…thought that was what email was for. I want my phone to CALL someone and SPEAK to them. But Jenn will tell you I am old. Technology is great but it also brings major problems and new avenues for problems to develop. So if you are like me, you have not a clue what they are doing with today’s technology. Think back, we had a problem learning where the keys were on a keyboard to type. Today with their thumbs kids knock out texts faster than we can think them. But seriously, here are some of the problems….cyber bullying, sexting, textual harassment, sextortion just to name a few. Confused? As a parent you better not be. This is your child you are speaking about and you better learn and learn quick. The books we will discuss today are meant to do just that. The books are “READ BETWEEN THE LINES” and the book “THE PARENT’S GUIDE TO TEXTING, FACEBOOK AND SOCIAL MEDIA: UNDERSTANDING THE BENEFITS AND DANGERS OF PARENTING IN A DIGITAL WORLD.” Our guest today is Americas leading “Texpert” and cyberbullying prevention expert. I will let her tell you more about herself, but please welcome to Your Life Matters SHAWN MARIE EDGINGTON.

Jay Scott Fitter

We have all heard people say it was easy making a child, but there was no instruction manual on how to raise them. Many times we see parents who really should not be parents…have no clue on how to raise a child and the poor child is the one that is going to be messed up when he or she gets older. So where do we get the skills and those great strategies to make raising a child more effective and successful? Well our guest today says it does not have to be quite so difficult. As parents we want our children to be happy and well adjusted. And the book we will be discussing today, “Respect Your Children: A Practical Guide To Effective Parenting.” This book gives us the tools to make the really important investment in our children’s lives. And our guest today is going to answer the question what does it mean to respect your children? He is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. For the past nineteen years, he has counseled with children, adolescents and parents alike, helping them to work through their issues and improve their lives. He has worked in private practice settings, and foster care, as well as juvenile detention facilities and as you can imagine his experience has taught him a lot about parenting and children. It is our honor to welcome to Your Life Matters Show Jay Scott Fitter.

Joanne Harvey, MSW

Recently more and more I have heard about people being transferred over to hospice. Most of us know that usually means the end to someone’s life is near. It is a more comforting place for families to go to spend their final days with their loved ones outside of the strict medical atmosphere of a hospital. My respect has always gone out to the men and women who work at these facilities. They make the families and the person so much at home. They are a support team, trained and committed to enhancing the excellent care you are already receiving. They are going to be the doctors eyes and ears and your advocate. They will also help support your family during this trying time. I whole-heartedly would have to think this has to become difficult on these great people after some time. Facing the inevitable end of life followed usually by the grief and sorrow. Think about if it was YOU that was dying. Could you still face it without fear and live life to the fullest right up to the end? You may say yes, but think about it carefully. Many or most of us would not. But to some it may sound morbid, but you can prepare for it. Today we are going to talk about the book “Dying To Live: Embracing the Journeys” which is a collection of inspiring true life stories about people living with terminal illnesses. Plus it has the tools and resources we need to help ease end of life tribulations. This great book is written by someone with years of experiencing working in hospice arena. Please welcome to Your Life Matters Joanne Harvey. 

Margaret Hawkins

Many of us have an older brother or sister we looked up. Some even have a close friend who was an elder that we wanted to be just like. For our guest today, it was her sister Barb. We are going to take you on a journey about the life of Barb. How she went from being this vivacious high achieving woman to someone who was stricken with a very serious mental illness. The illness was Schizophrenia. 1% of the population will develop schizophrenia during their lifetime. More than 2 million American suffer from this illness in a given year. So what happened to Barb? How did this all come about? What is Schizophrenia? Well today we hope to answer all of those questions for you. The compelling book we will discuss is called, “How We Got Barb Back: The Story of My Sister’s Reawakening After 30 Years of Schizophrenia.” Our guest today is not a psychiatrist, though she just about became one for her sister. Her story, their story is truly amazing. It is our pleasure to welcome to Your Life Matters author Margaret Hawkins.

Gary Hoffman

OK I want to ask our listeners, have you ever seen someone do something and think, “I really wanna do that!” For some it is parachuting out of an airplane, others it is hang gliding, we have had mountain climbers here on the show, some even consider bungee jumping as well. But truly, how many of you go back and do it? In 1976 our next guest told his wife, “Someday, Someday I’ll do that!” Well guess what? In 2002 he went back with his son and did it! Now what did he do you ask? Let me say this, what they did accomplish was something that fewer than 5 people complete every year! What they did was canoe the Mississippi River…all 2,552 miles of it! They did it in a 20 foot Kevlar canoe, sometimes facing 6 foot waves. The book we will be discussing today is called “Mighty Miss”. The book highlights the trip…all of the trials and tribulations of the Mississippi and the relationship between a father and son. Our guest today has been guiding canoe trips for over 45 years. He is a guide, instructor, a director of organizational operations at schools and religious institutions, teacher, counselor, minister and author. Please welcome to Your Life Matters Gary Hoffman.

Jennifer Maggio

If you ask many experts they will tell you that we have a huge problem in America: a single mom or dad raising a child. The struggles that a single parent faces can last a lifetime for many. They have to be both mom and dad to their child, work, take their children to school, cook, clean, run a household…think you get the picture. And most of the times they do this alone. Some stats: 17 million single mothers in the U.S. 24% of them live in poverty. 78% of our current prison population was raised by a single mom! Wow! We need to delve into this. Sometimes single moms are homeless or live in poverty, they deal with abuse and financial burdens they just cannot handle. This is the case for our author today. She has suffered all of the above but has come out of it and is now hailed as a leading authority in single parenting issues. She has launched ministries throughout the country helping single moms. She has personally counseled/mentored to more than 400 single moms and ministered to thousands more. She does not just talk the talk, she has lived it first hand and is doing everything she can to help single moms across America. The book is titles “Overwhelmed: The Life of a Single Mom.” It is our honor to welcome to our show Jennifer Maggio.

Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer

More and more we seem to live very busy lives. We are running here, bringing the kids to practice, picking them up, doing the laundry, going to work and of course, try to sleep. Seems that is all there is time for these days, maybe even removing parts of sleep from the day as well. But as a parent, we know we have to truly want to spend quality time with our children or grandchildren. You would love to be able to do something fun with them and without them even knowing it, teach them language, math, sequential thinking, basically boosting their developmental skills. Ok, so now you are thinking, yeah Steve I am sure this is going to be real fun for everyone! Well, our next guest will make a believer out of you.  Her name is Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer. She is the author of the book, “The Kitchen Classroom – 32 Visual Gluten Free and Casein Free Recipes to Boost Development Skills.” If you are a regular listener to our show you know what Gluten Free Foods are. If not, I am sure our guest today will explain. But Casein Free Foods we have never discussed and will explain today as well. So now you are thinking fun, educational AND healthy? The book even comes with a CD of recipes and pictures. Our guest today is a writer, educator, and cooking instructor. She teaches a cooking class for teenagers who then prepare meals for home-bound seniors. She is also the mother of 2 young children, including one with autism. It is our pleasure to welcome to Your Life Matters Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer.

Milan Church of Christ FOUND Youth Group

On May 22, 2011 a 198mph tornado ripped through Joplin, Missouri leaving in its wake over one hundred people dead and injuring over 500 more. The tornado carved a path one mile wide and six miles long. If you see the photos of the area you would believe a war had taken place with bombs ripping the town apart. The devastion will cost in excess of 3 billion dollars to repair and will take years. So when we see the devastion of our fellow Americans, our fellow Christians what do we do? Many gave money or helped collect foood, water and necessities. Many people actually went to Joplin to help with the massive cleanup effort. They offered hope, inspiration to people in Joplin so that they would know that their fellow Americans, their fellow Christians did not turn their backs on them in their time of need. Today Jenn & I are doing the show on location at the Milan Indiana Church of Christ. We are with the youth group called FOUND. This remarkable group of teens just returned from four days in Joplin helping with the relief efforts. We invite you to listen to their stories, their recollections of the devastion they witnessed first-hand as well as the love they received and the hope of the residents there after losing everything including someone they knew and cared for.

Elizabeth Ruderman Miller

It is our next author’s desire to share her genealogical accomplishments with anyone who feels the deep passion which comes from asking the questions, "who are my ancestors and where is my extended family?" She hopes to lead readers down my path of exploration, where she found family members who were 'always out there, but never known to me'. It is her wish that her discoveries, methods, stories and historical accounts will INSPIRE anyone who wishes to begin the wondrous adventure of bringing his Family Tree and its 'roots' to life. Well our guest today is author Elizabeth Ruderman Miller and we will be speaking about her book, “How Will I Know Where I’m Going If I Don’t Know Where I’ve Been?”.

Jeanne Muchnick

So here is today’s question: How do you improve your family’s health, improve their relationships, save money, raise happier kids who get better grades and are less likely to do drugs? Two simple words…Family Dinner! Now I hear the groaning…yeah, try to get MY kids to sit down at a dinner table…or with soccer practice, ballet lessons, piano lessons, work, cleaning the house, who has the time to prepare a meal that we can all sit around the table and eat together? Well our guest today has a sign on her fridge that says: “I serve 3 meals: Microwave, Frozen and Take-Out.” She asked herself that same question, even before she got her coat off from work. The reality is dinner is a constant challenge. The book we will talk about today addresses that challenge head on. I want to read a line or two directly from the book…”This book is not about making you feel guilty. It’s not about complicated recipes meant to turn you into Martha Stewart. Nor is it meant to berate you if you serve pizza, chicken nuggets, or Chinese take-out on occasion. Rather, it’s meant to help you get your family to the table, turn off the TV, spark conversation, and spend quality time together.” Our guest today has more than 20+ years publishing experience as both an editor and a writer. She started her career at Seventeen Magazine, then moved into travel and parenting. Most recently, she was a Senior Editor at the InTown Magazine network, the magazine division of the Westchester-based Journal News where she covered all kinds of lifestyle issues: food, parenting, fashion. She is the mother of teenagers, so she knows a lot of this first hand. Please welcome to Your Life Matters Jeanne Muchnick.

Marc Pittman

Many people consider themselves to be parents. Most would probably say they were good parents as well. I truly hope that is the case. Regardless of your background, how you were brought up, who brought you up, what your personal situation was, you are a parent. A parent to a child that needs your guidance, understanding, mentoring and acceptance. I used to say there were no guides or instruction manuals before we started doing this show…but I have seen many people who have written such great books to help parents and today will be no exception. Our author was born one of 16 children. They were poor farmers. Very poor farmers. He survived, married and had a son. The son he always wanted. Today we are going to take you on a journey through a father’s eyes and memory of his sons, especially Cole. He told his boys everything, and they were honest with him in return. They unburdened their fears; told him their dreams; and even admitted their sins. Despite the fact that his sons were star football players, they felt no shame in holding their father's hand in public. People told him he was lucky to have the relationship he did with his children, but he knew the truth—it wasn't luck. He had to work at it every day. The name of the book we will be discussing today is called “Raising Cole: Developing Life’s Greatest Relationship, Embracing Life’s Greatest Tragedy – A Father’s Story”. Please welcome the author of this compelling book, Marc Pittman.

Elsa Prado

Here is today question, “What would you do if your husband was sterile and infertile and you could not conceive a baby? Would you adopt? Would you just go without a child? Would you consider artificial insemination? Now before you start answering, I want you to go back 20 years. Today we test donors extensively, get a medical history and try to ensure the donor is safe. This was not the way it was 20 years ago. You knew nothing except what the doctor tells you. What if you had questions? There were no real answers. Our guest today experienced this first hand. The book we will be discussing is called “Dear Donor”. And it is our pleasure to have as our guest today author Elsa Prado. 

Janet Teitsort

Our guest is the multi-talented author Janet Teitsort. Janet has written numerous books which have also been published in different languages as well. She is a local writer, wife, daughter, mother, grandmother and friend who lives here in Westport. You will be astounded by her writings and books as were we here at the studio. So sit back and enjoy a pleasant hour with a truly wonderful person and author.