The TCSBA Family


It's 4:30pm and I'm late, as usual.  I rush into the studio amongst a gaggle of adolescent band members who are also whooshing in from volleyball practice, drama practice, or some other event that filled their afternoon.  As the kids hustle into their weekly band practice, the music director gets them focused on the task at hand.

While the kids are downstairs in studio rehearsing their various pieces of music, a team of parents gather to go over the endless details for our association's biggest event, the annual Christmas concert. This event features not only two-hours of music, but also a bake sale and a silent auction, for an audience of 1200 people.  It takes weeks of planning, coordinating, and practicing to pull off a gig of this size.  All ninety families who are a part of Tri-Cities Steel Band Association (TCSBA) work to support this event in some way, from helping with advertising and promotion, to creating gifts for the auction and baking for the bake sale.

For the last 22 years, TCSBA has produced a spectacular Christmas concert featuring four bands (two steel drum and two marimba) playing a mix of cover tunes and Christmas music for the community.  Founded by a group of parents hoping their kids could continue to play steel drums introduced to them by their school music teacher (Ben Leggett), TCSBA continues to be run by parents who are devoted to maintaining the same environment: one where kids can come together to experience the magic of music while creating friendships that last a lifetime.  Each band's fun-filled culture is inspired by amazing music directors, Ben Leggett and Walt Hampton, who have devoted their lives to fostering a love of music.  The children thrive in this environment, and their performances are far more than just great music.

So, if you're looking for something special to do this holiday season with your family, please join our family for an amazing evening of entertainment that celebrates the joy of music during the most wonderful time of the year!  Our concert is Saturday, December 16th at Bethel Church, 600 Shockley Road, Richland.  Doors open at 5:30pm, show starts at 6:30pm. Tickets are $7.50 and can be purchased at  You can follow us on Facebook at -


Shannon Davis

Mother of Jakob and Meghan, and TCSBA family member since 2014.

Check out the Oct/Nov issue of MOM Magazine

The latest issue of MOM Magazine is here featuring Cover MOM and cancer warrior, Libby Boothe, plus pumpkin recipes, holiday photo tips and suggestions for being a supportive friend during life's not-so-hallmark moments. Pick up a copy today or click below to view the issue.

TRI Cover

The latest issue of MOM Magazine is here

Check out the August/September issue featuring Cover MOM, Dana Oatis. Plus our backpack-to-school guide, tailgating recipes, and more.

Click on the image below to view the full issue.

TRI Aug Sept 2017 Cover

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.

Check out the latest issue of MOM Magazine

The June July issue is here featuring Cover MOM, Yadira M. Galvan, mouth-watering grill recipes, family getaways and more.

Click on the image below to view the full issue.


The latest issue of MOM Magazine is here

The April May issue of MOM Magazine is here featuring Cover MOM, Dawn Brooks, plus easy recipes with a spicy kick, design trends for your home and much more.

Click on the image below to view the full issue.

TRI April May 2017 Cover

2017 Mom & Baby Expo

mab-profile-pic_origThe 2017 Mom and Baby Expo, presented by Concept Kids, is scheduled for April 15th at the Three Rivers Convention Center from 10am to 7pm. This annual event, is a fun, family-friendly show where moms can go to shop, learn, and meet with other moms in the Tri-Cities area. One of the goals of the Expo is to connect the needs of moms and their little ones to products and services that are offered by local businesses. The Expo will highlight some amazing businesses that are unique to the Tri-Cities' area and give back to the community. This year's Presenting sponsor, Concept Kids, is a new business located at Columbia Center that carries an assortment of unique fashion apparel, accessories and gift items for newborns up to 8 years old. A portion of the sale of some of their items goes to state foster and adoption programs. Mid-Columbia Dental is a sponsor that is also a new business that likes to give back to the community. The clinic is a family, cosmetic and general dental clinic that believes a child's first visit should be enjoyable. Their mission is to be the most community oriented dental clinic in the state. Their most recent donation was to the Tri-Cities Cancer Center at their grand opening.  The Expo is also excited to have Swanky Babies as a sponsor this year. They are a locally owned baby boutique that sell nursing necessities, baby gear, nursery furniture and more! They have Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians on staff to help educate the community on car seat safety. These three locations will have $1 off coupons that can be used to save on admission to the Expo, which is $5 for 12 years and over.


The Expo will take place the Saturday before Easter and plans to have an indoor Easter Egg hunt at 11:00am for babies and toddlers up to 4 years old. The Easter bunny will also be available for pictures with the little ones. There will be lots of activities planned throughout the day. The Mom and Baby Fashion Show will be at 1:00pm and the Babywearing Fashion Show begins at 3:00pm. Ariel will be there for Storytime at 4:00pm. Educational classes, including Car Seat Safety, Babywearing 101, Toddler Nutrition, and more are planned throughout the day. For details on classes and times, go to Door prizes and vendor giveaways will be happening all day. Moms will be able to enter for a chance to win the Mommy Makeover grand prize that will be announced at 6:30pm at the event. Everyone is invited to come to this year's Mom and Baby Expo to shop, learn, and have some fun with their little one!

Mother Daughter Weekend at Ghormley Meadow

f3769703ecea2ebc7f6f29e81ec43a09Imagine... a weekend created just for moms and their daughters to have fun together, explore, play, laugh, and build life-long memories together, all in God's beautiful creation! If this sounds fun, we have good news: we're here to make it happen! We're excited to announce our first-ever mom and daughter weekend at Camp Ghormley, the weekend of April 28-30!

What is Mother Daughter Weekend all about?

It's a weekend for mothers and daughters to spend intentional time with each other to have fun, learn, make friends, and further develop their relationships with God and each other.

What kind of activities will happen during the weekend?

There will be a speaker, worship time, crafts, games, good food, and lots of other fun activities designed for moms and daughters to connect and make memories!

Who is eligible to come to this event?

This weekend is for girls in K-12th Grade, and their mothers, grandmothers, aunts, etc.


Learn more or register HERE!

Feel Safe: Show love and comfort

united-way-lock-up_uwbfco_noweb (200x190)It is pretty common to hear people talking about family/relationship drama with babies or young children involved, "It was lucky it happened when the baby was so young" or "Oh he was just a baby, he doesn't know what happened'  Well, folks, I got some good news and some bad news. Which one do you want first? Never mind, I will pick for you…

Bad news

SURPRISE! The baby knows-ish.  How did the child development specialist figure this out? Little kids on a psychologist couch, "Tell me about your mother'? Funny, but no. What they did do was to look at how the infant brain develops and observe how children act as they get older. By older, in this case, I am talking about the years leading up to kindergarten.

How it sort- of works

I want you to imagine a funnel, you heard that correctly, a basic kitchen funnel. If we hold the funnel upright the big open part is on top and a narrow tube is at the bottom. This is the basic shape of your brain. Typically, we pour fluid in the wide, open hole on the top of the funnel and it travels down and out the narrow tube at the bottom. Right now, I want you to imagine the flow in reverse. The fluid will start at the narrow bottom part and move upward into the bigger top part. Now close your eyes for a second and get that picture in your head: FUNNEL. But first promise me you will open your eyes and keep reading!

Back to the brain (Again, apologies in advance to all super smart neuro-behavioral-psycho-scientist people) and into the funnel.

STEP ONE: It all starts at the bottom of the funnel. The first part of the brain starts at the spinal cord. This is called the medulla. The medulla must be working for a baby to stay alive! It is the part in charge of beating hearts, pumping lungs, blood sugar- the big stuff. This area is designed for getting the body up and running.

STEP TWO: Just above the medulla, stacked on top is the part of the brain called the pons. The pons is all about reflexes and primitive responses. It's job is to make sure the baby can survive. When we talk about rooting and grasping reflexes we are talking about pons based responses. If the baby's cheek gets touched, the baby turns towards where it was touched. That reflex is to help the baby eat. When the infant clasps her little hand around your finger and grabs on, that reflex part of eating as well. Even basic vision is part of this too. Infant vision is best up to about 16 inches away from the baby. Ta-dah! This is the typical distance between a breastfeeding baby and mother's face. (awwww…they thought of everything!) There are other primitive reflexes which are designed to get the baby moving and to keep it safe. Now here is an important fact:  the pons brain does not use language to communicate. It only knows responses. Things are either good or things are bad. The pons part of the brain is made to fix the following: THIS IS BAD! FEAR! DANGER! SAVE ME! In fact, (bonus nerd points) the infant "vital cry" at this stage is so specific to survival that world-wide caregivers feel driven to respond (as evidenced by brain imaging which shows the area of the brain lights up!) And this my good friend is how attachment is started!!! Boom! Drop the mic!!!

If the infant's 'vital cries' is met in a timely, appropriate and consistent way the infant feels safe, cared for, comforted…the pons says (without words) "Ahhhhh life is good, I am cared for, I like it here, I belong! I am loved!"  This safe and secure feeling translates to attachment and bonding with primary caregiver.

If the infant 'vital cries' are not met, this non-verbal part of the brain goes into 'FIGHT OR FLIGHT". Fight or flight causes the brain chemical release of well-known stress hormones like cortisol, epinephrine and adrenaline. These brain chemicals are made so humans can respond to danger as fast as possible. Since the baby cannot strap on his own diaper, grab a bottle and march out to the kitchen and TCOB, the stress hormones continue to get poured out, the stress alarm keeps getting pressed, more hormones get poured out…and now we have a tiny human being who has a pons that believes "No one cares for me, I am alone, I am not safe, this place is bad, I don't belong". How sad right?

Time to picture the funnel again. Step one and two happen in the 'tube like portion' of the funnel. Right now, we are at the junction between the tube and the ever-widening cup portion.  This is where the basic needs and response start to hook up the part of the brain that thinks.

STEP THREE: The midbrain. The midbrain sort of stretches from basic response to basic thought. It is like an adaptor plug that makes a two-pronged plug work in a three-pronged outlet. It connects to make pathways hook up to the more advanced technology that has language. The responses learned in the pons now becomes hard wired thoughts which will impact this infant well into adulthood! Serious! Whatever is experienced becomes the truth. Even more alarming is that once that pathway is set, it is really- really -really- really -really- hard to change. The stress chemicals? They literally change the way the brain gets set up-it works differently than a secure and attached brain! So that even if the baby's needs start to get met, the brain will continue to respond like it is still threatened.

All this to say: The moral of the story is:



The Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University recently published a summary of the past ten years studying the growth and development from before birth to young children. One of the main things observed was that even if an infant lives with things like neglect (BTW the most common form of child abuse) and poverty there are ways to cut down on the negative impact. "…Supportive caregivers, strengthening stable and responsive relationships in the earliest years of life can literally block excessive activation of stress hormones and protect children from potentially damaging effects" (from Best Practices to Breakthrough Impacts pg 11). This could be inside the home or outside the home. This could be a parent or a relative this could be the babysitter or the day care worker but the infant-child needs at least one attentive, responsive and caring adult! Maybe that's you?