Renee Nelson

Renee Nelson
Renee holds three titles that are of utmost importance to her: mom to Cale and Ian; wife to Andy; and Communications Director for Grant Wood Area Education Agency. Although she has a Master’s degree from the University of Iowa, her heart still shines cardinal and gold for Iowa State University where she received her undergraduate degree. Renee’s a foodie who loves cooking, travel, her friends, her family, the Oxford comma, and happy hour. Cheers!

Tell Me Lies, Tell Me Sweet COVID Lies

Welp, now it's obvious. I’ve been spinning a web of lies for years. You know, like how I told myself that our laundry would all be folded and put away if I “just had a...

My Hope for Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

I know a little something about family togetherness.  We drove from Iowa to Yellowstone National Park when I was fourteen. Our family of four packed two tents and everything needed for a week’s worth of...
kid making homemade pizza

Oh, Snack! A Pantry Survival Plan for Impromptu Play Dates

It starts with an innocent request from your child to have a friend come over, and before you know it you have double the expected number of children in your home. Regardless of the time...
Almost Free Christmas Gifts

Three Almost-Free Gifts for Your Children

You hit the streets on Black Friday, trekked to the small shops for Small Business Saturday, and blocked off your lunch hour on Cyber Monday. I trust that the biggest gifts of the season...
technology with kids

Four Ways to Teach Kids Computer Science: Help for the Non-Tech Mom

I watched my niece play Angry Birds on my android device years ago. She clicked the screen in a way I had never considered. Then she adeptly used a move that helped her easily...
fall lakeside trees

Iowa, Wash Your Face

My husband and I are Iowans but have lots of family in Texas-- cousins, aunts, uncles, fraternity brothers. You get the idea. And you know what you'll never hear in the great state of...

My Children Shouldn’t Carry the Weight of Your Labels

As a mom with kiddos who are involved in a lot of sports, I spend a lot of my time chatting on the sidelines. I’m talking with fellow parents, grandparents and family friends of...
Understanding Educational Lingo

Learning the Lingo: A Parent’s Guide to Educational Terms

Just like any other industry, education uses a language filled with acronyms and rooted in science. You need to break through some of that lingo in order to support your student. I consider myself blessed...

Always Avoid Absolutes: The Complete Truth About “Always” and “Never”

It starts before the baby is even conceived. You’re enjoying happy hour (because before kids, happy hour happened all the time, right?)  Then a family with a toddler plops into the booth behind you. They...
These factors most positively influence student achievement

Survey Says: These Factors Most Positively Affect Student Achievement

We all know there’s no handbook for this parenting gig, and that lack of official guidance is one reason we’re all looking for tips and ideas to do it better. I often think about writing...