Mom goes back to school online

Laura Kaspers, mom and iLearn online student, shares her experience of going back to school after years as a stay-at-home mom.
Returning to the workforce after a 15 year hiatus can be scary, especially if your skills need to be refreshed in order to compete for a job in the field you want. Ask Laura Kasper, she knows.

Laura graduated from OSU in 1991 with a bachelor's in Spanish and additional emphasis on International Business and Finance. After a few years in the workforce, she decided to raise her children as a stay-at-home mom. Her children are now teenagers and Laura is ready to go back to work.

But, times have changed and so have her interests; Laura now wants to be an Accounting Clerk. In order to get the training and credentials she needs, she began to look for schools and found LB iLearn Online.

At first, she wasn't sure about enrolling in an online program, but she knew juggling parental duties and student duties would be a challenge with traditional on-campus classes. LB iLearn allowed her to enroll when she was ready, any Wednesday of the year, and allowed her to work at her own pace. She found with a little planning she could arrange her days to allow time for both family and coursework.

"Some days I am able to get a lot of studying in and others, not so much," she said. "I try and set aside blocks of time each day to study and take the weekends off for family time."

With the support of her family, Laura completed her Accounting Clerk Certificate in May 2017. She is now a believer in the distance learning format.

"I've never experienced online education, but I must say, I love the iLearn program," she said. "I have told many of my friends about it."

To find out how you can start earning a certificate or degree online, visit or call 541-917-4887.

Fire up the Grill

Nothing says summer like barbecue. So fire up the grill and try these mouth-watering recipes for a perfect summer evening.

World's best garlic bread


15 garlic cloves

1 cup butter (2 sticks)

Rustic bread, sliced ½ inch thick

1 cup Flat Italian parsley, washed and minced

Kosher salt

Finely mince the garlic. Place in a medium skillet with two sticks of butter. Melt butter and stir well. Cook on low for 30 minutes. Stir every 5 minutes. Butter should not get overheated or it will burn. Low and slow, with tiny bubbles, is key to getting the butter and garlic cooked perfectly.

While butter is cooking, pick the leaves off of the parsley. Rinse well. Dry thoroughly. Chop finely.

Once the 30 minutes are up, move the pan off the heat. Let cool for a few minutes, then add the chopped parsley to the garlic butter.

Use a silicone brush and brush the garlic butter onto the slices of bread. Lay the bread onto a cookie sheet. Sprinkle with kosher salt.

You can freeze the bread at this point if you wish. Bread can be baked or grilled (recommended). To grill, preheat grill to medium to medium-high. Once grill is hot, place bread, sliced side down on the grates. Bread burns VERY easily, so you must stay close to the grill. Do not leave it unattended. Grill bread for 1 minute or so and then turn over. Repeat on the other side.

To bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Reassemble slices to form a loaf. Bake for 20 minutes or until bread is hot and crisped.

Summer corn salad


6 large ears of corn

2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half

½ cup yellow onion, chopped fine

1 cup fresh basil, chopped small

1 teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

2 teaspoons salt

½ teaspoons black pepper

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook corn in boiling water for 10 minutes or until desired tenderness. Drain, cool, and cut kernels off the cob with a sharp knife.

In a small glass dish, combine the sugar and the rice vinegar. Microwave on high for 30 seconds to dissolve the sugar. Add the mayonnaise and olive oil. Whisk well.

In a large bowl, toss together the corn, tomatoes, onion and basil. Pour the dressing over it and season with salt and pepper. Stir well and refrigerate until serving.


Santa Maria tri-tip


1 tri-tip roast (2 to 2 ½ pounds)

Oak wood chips, large piece of heavy duty foil

Dry rub:
2 teaspoons kosher salt

2 teaspoons black pepper

2 teaspoons garlic powder

1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika

1 ½ teaspoon onion powder

2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, minced

Basting sauce:
1/3  cup red wine vinegar

1/3  cup canola oil

6 garlic cloves, crushed

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Start this recipe the night before you plan on grilling the tri-tip for the best flavor.

Prepare the dry rub by combining kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, smoked paprika, onion powder and rosemary in a small bowl. Pat spices all over the tri-tip and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.

Soak the wood chips in water for at least 30 minutes. Drain wood chips. Prepare a large piece of heavy-duty foil. Fold in half to double the thickness. Place wood chips in the center and fold foil over the ends to create a foil packet. Pierce the foil several times with the tines of a fork.

Make the basting sauce by combining the red wine vinegar, canola oil, garlic cloves and Dijon mustard in a bowl.

Preheat grill to high. Place the foil smoker packet under the grates, right on top one of the burners. When you start seeing smoke, turn the heat down to medium-high.

Oil the grates with an oil soaked paper towel. Place the tri-tip on the grill and brush with basting sauce. Close lid and set timer for 4 minutes.

Turn tri-tip over, brush with basting sauce, and close lid. Set timer for 4 minutes.

Repeat these steps one or two more times, depending on the thickness of your steak. Use a meat thermometer and check. The temperature should read 130 degrees.


Personal chef, caterer and television personality, Chef Becky McConnell is a regular contributor to MOM Magazine. When not in the kitchen, Becky enjoys spending time with her daughter Ellie. Visit

Photos by Craig Volpe Photography



Make Patriotic Parade Wands

Your kids will be the hit of the parade this Fourth of July with these simple-to-make parade wands.

front jar

Items needed:

Dowels cut to 12" (any size)

Eye hooks

Acrylic or spray paint

Foam brushes (if using acrylics)

Frills (ribbon, yarn and lace scraps)

supplies 3 full wand red 1

Three simple steps:

Paint your dowels

Attach the eye hooks into the end of the dowels

Attach frills by using a thin ribbon to tie them all to the eye hook

Now just head to the parade route and show your Fourth of July spirit.

For a simple table decoration after the parade, simply paint a mason jar and fill with your wands.


Photos and craft instruction courtesy of Jenn Sheffler, an incredibly crafty and organized mother of three. Check out more of her great craft, DIY and organizing tips at her blog,, or attend one of her DIY workshops at the Craft House,


Vote for the beautiful baby

It's your right. It's your responsibility - VOTE!

Help choose the Mid-Valley's Most Beautiful Baby! Great prizes, including being featured in MOM Magazine!  Vote now!



KRKTs Cutest Baby Winner

Who will be crowned KRKT's Cutest Baby in all the land? Listen in today for the big announcement - at KRKT 99.9.


Last day to vote for a baby

Oh no! Have you voted? Hurry - you have one day left to vote for the Mid-Valley's Most Beautiful Baby!

Vote Now!


Happy May Day

May Day

History: With the early European settlers to the Americas, May Day baskets were made filled with treats or flowers and left at someone's door step. The recipient receives the basket, trying to identify who the giver is who has run away. If the giver is caught, a kiss is exchanged.

Vote for the beautiful baby

It's your right. It's your responsibility.

Vote and help choose the Mid-Valley's Most Beautiful Baby at KRKT's facebook page! Great prizes, including being featured in MOM Magazine.

Vote today.


March is Our Month

National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

This month at Columbia Industries, we celebrated National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. For those of you who aren't aware, President Reagan designated March as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in 1987 to bring awareness to the needs and contributions of people living with disabilities.  It is estimated that 4 million Americans live with a developmental disability.  Developmental disabilities is an umbrella term that includes blindness, Down Syndrome, ADHD, Muscular Dystrophy and Intellectual Disabilities, among others.  When someone is labeled with the term, developmental disabilities, it means that they have a long term condition that affect their everyday living in some way.

People with developmental disabilities are our co-workers, friends, neighbors and family.  They have the ability to learn, work and participate in their community, just like everyone else.  People with disabilities go to college, hold jobs, get married and participate in community activities.  At Columbia Industries, we are proud of the achievements of our clients.  We teach the skills needed to find and hold a job in the community.  While doing this, we get to see our clients take pride in their work, their activities and their independence.

National Developmental Disabilities Awareness month is an opportunity to celebrate the contributions of people with intellectual disabilities. There's still time to:

1. Check out Columbia Industries on Facebook this month to see some of the great things our members and clients do.

2. Read up on or listen to one of the many disabilities writers and speakers who are inspiring others to overcome challenges of all kinds.

3. Share what you learn with your Facebook friends.

4. Support businesses that employ people with disabilities. (For a list of CI partners:

5. Be a business that employs people with disabilities.

6. Use our family of services in your business.

7. If someone with a disability has inspired you, tell them so!



Let's Talk Health - Your questions, answered.

The experts at Samaritan Health Services answer reader questions.

Click here or on the image below to read the full story.

Lets Talk Health