How to Be a Great Mother-in-Law

A great mother-in-law?? Okay, most days, I’d settle for just being a good one or even simply not messing up a relationship too badly. I’ve been a mother-in-law for 17 years now. We have five kids—three daughters and two sons. All of them are married, so I have both sons- and daughters-in-law. And the things I’ve learned Continue »

Honoring Your Parents

My mother, Jean Peterson, laid a strong foundation for the woman I am today. To honor the investment that she has made in me and to express my gratitude for it, I wrote a tribute to her in 1987. Here is an excerpt of that tribute that she still has hanging on the wall in Continue »

Alzheimer’s Rescued Me

There have been two dear people in my life who have been diagnosed with the mind-twisting disease of Alzheimer’s. My heart has been seized by grief on more than one occasion when precious memories and the ability to grasp the here and now have been just out of reach in these precious women. Coming face Continue »

Holidays with Parents and In-laws: Let It Be Good

You’re into preparation mode-shopping, cooking, invitations, fundraisers, junk mail, Christmas cards, special parties. And this is above and beyond the regular stuff on your plate–sports teams, concerts, work deadlines, homework help. And then there’s the unexpected–a child’s broken leg, another ear infection, a friend in crisis. But for many there’s another source of underlying stress Continue »

Mother-in-Law Sagas

I love to tease my mother-in-law Darlyne because the first time my husband John saw me we were at church. I was the 16-year-old cutie sitting in the back row. He was the 20-year-old Marine who was on leave for the weekend and was visiting is family. (John’s father was the pastor.) After church, when Continue »

What’s In a Name?

My toes are hurting something fierce! I just read in Annie Chapman’s book “The Mother-in-Law Dance” the dilemma that some daughters-in-law have about what to call their “in-laws.” Should it be “Mom,” “Dad,” their legal name, something else?  The “what name” question can become a challenge in an honest desire to cultivate an enjoyable relationship Continue »

Forgiveness is a Family Matter

Recently, I read an intriguing book, “Tombstones and Banana Trees” by Medad Birungi. The premise of the book resides in the author’s journey of forgiveness within his family. A good yet tough read as you visualize the insanity of how broken people inflict harm on relationships. The chaos marked the young boy. The family list Continue »