By | April 10, 2008

Hi! Thanks for stopping by!

This “About Us” information isn’t required reading for you to enjoy and benefit from TheFamilyMinute.com, but if you’d like to know a bit more about the folks behind this blog, then this is a great place to start. We’re delighted you’re here–and we hope we’ll get to know you along the way.

I’m Philip Dale Smith, mostly known as Dale, or these days, “GrandpaDale of GrandpaDale.com.” My mother called me “Dale-Boy.” I don’t know where she got that. Maybe we are kin to that family of Waltons over in Virginia. You know–they had a son called “John-Boy.”

My passion: enriching families and helping children reach their full potential.

I’ve been a founder of youth camps in three states and Canada. And here’s something that would astonish Hilda Durham, my high school English teacher: I’m an award-winning author of both novels (3) and children’s picture books(6)! Frankly, I’m a bit dumbfounded by that myself! There’s someone else who’d be stunned. That’s my eleventh-grade teacher, Peggy Parish, who wrote the hugely successful “Amelia Bedelia” children’s books.

I’ve spoken in schools from Alaska to Texas and from Honolulu to Long Island. From coast to coast I’ve conducted “Every Kid a Winner” seminars for adults. I’ve been on more than three hundred radio and TV shows. For more than fifty years I’ve been in this challenging and rewarding arena of working with children and families. I love it!

My conclusion: There are a lot of us who fervently long to be better parents, grandparents, teachers, scout leaders, etc. We’ve experienced failure and we’ve seen success. We treasure things that help with the daunting task of raising kids and building tight, close-knit families. So TheFamilyMinute.com was born. We hope you’ll feel at home here, and that this is a place where you’ll share your insights with the rest of us. We want the site to be chock-full of helpful information as we all pitch in with information about what has worked for us and what hasn’t.

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that the major contributors to a blog about family would, themselves, be family members, and in this case, each one of us on the home team is uniquely qualified to speak to the joys and challenges of family life.

TheFamilyMinute “home team,” in addition to me, includes:

Mary Jo Smith, my wife for more than fifty years.  Mary Jo works in the background but is very much my partner–and a most valuable part of things. You’ll get to know more about her in time–among other things, that she is a college student still, and likely always will be!

Lisa Kay Hauser, our daughter, is my editor, writer, coauthor, and sidekick. Shhhh! She thinks I’m her coauthor. Truth is, Lisa, in addition to being the major writer of two of our children’s picture books, one YA (teen) novel, and two novels for adults, is a published and recorded songwriter, lead singer of the bluegrass band, Rock River Revival, and is a former newspaper children’s columnist. She even knows how to make “thimble biscuits” and why every big sister, mother, and grandmother should make them! And it’s a skill men should learn, too.

Lisa is a wife, mother, and a grandmother. She’ll be contributing material occasionally–though I’m trying to get her to focus on our third novel in the Stoneworth Chronicles series. People are waiting! Richard is Lisa’s longsuffering but patient husband. Any person married to an author had better be patient–because he or she will definitely be longsuffering!

You’ll also hear about, and likely from, our son, Dr. Philip Kent Smith, and his wife, Karen. Kent teaches at Abilene Christian University in Texas and both he and Karen are published writers. His first book will be available in the very near future.

Then there are the grandchildren and (gulp!) great-grandchildren. They won’t be contributing articles–but they’ll surely serve well as illustrations–maybe of good and maybe of “not so good”!

We’ll have family and childhood specialists as guest contributors occasionally. But we especially want YOU to give us your thoughts. Tell us about what has worked for you–or about pitfalls to avoid. Add brief comments on the blog (remembering that it’s TheFamilyMinute!)and for in-depth comments, click the “Contact Us” tab and follow the instructions to send us your thoughts.

We’re glad you’re here, and look forward to your participation inTheFamilyMinute.

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