Welcome to Episode 93 of the Adventures with Grammy Podcast. Today’s guest, Tom Long, began performing as the Singing Santa in 1985 when he was 21 years old. He knew that first Christmas he had chosen the right avocation when a curly headed lad with big brown eyes said he wanted to hear Santa say, “Ho. Ho. Ho.”
Throughout the years the Magic of Christmas and watching parents light up when their children sit in Santa’s lap have fueled Tom’s passion for performing as The Singing Santa. An invitation to work with Marie Osmond and an appearance on America’s Got Talent added a bit of spice to his role. When he retires from his day job as the general manager of the largest restaurant chain in Virginia, Tom intends to up his Singing Santa productions and hopes to perform with The Rockettes and during the Macy’s Parade.
Tom says his career as The Singing Santa would not be possible without the support of his wife. Even his three children help out making the Christmas season truly a family affair for the Long household.
I began our interview by asking Tom to talk about his children and how he incorporates them into his performances.
Founded in 2011 by Aaron Larsen as a way to honor his grandparents, GrandparentsAcademy.com is the world’s first and only online academy dedicated to helping grandparents grow meaningful relationships and rich legacies with their loved ones. Our resources, which include guides, videos and social posts, have reached millions of grandparents. Thousands have enrolled as students from all over the globe. To learn more, visit https://www.grandparentsacademy.com/
To register for the 2023 Grandparents Week, visit https://grandparentsacademy.mykajabi.com/grandparents-week-2022-post
Sign up for the Adventures with Grammy newsletter by clicking this link or by texting Grammy to 22828 to get started!
To learn more about Adventures with Grammy and books by Carolyn Berry, visit
Mrs. Claus has a busy schedule, but she stopped by the Adventures with Grammy Podcast to let you know she is ready to bake cookies with your grandchildren, tuck them in with bedtime stories, and gather around the family room to tell stories and sing songs.
We know Mrs. Claus as Debra Weller, our guest on Episode 54, who talked with us about the art of storytelling. Today she will help us count down the days to Christmas … less than 90 days away … and share with us a special story.
Before we hear the story, Debra will give us insight into her professional credentials and continuing education, including a recent conference she attended.
Please visit the show notes to contact Debra and arrange visits with Mrs. Claus or to learn more about storytelling.
Welcome to Episode 90 of the Adventures with Grammy Podcast. Today’s guest is Paul Entrekin.
For most of his adult life, Paul’s feet have been off the ground and in the air flying from one destination to another — sometimes upside down — sometimes at warp speed.
A retired US Marine, naval aviator and Delta Airline captain, Paul primarily is known today as an acrobatic pilot who owns and flies a Russian MIG 15 fighter jet in airshows across North America.
The role he cherishes is grandpa. Today we will discuss his first children’s book, Jasper and the Christmas Faeries, a book co-written with his wife, Lisa, but inspired by his youngest grandchild and only grandson.
Focusing on early childhood development is vital for children and for our society. Research has demonstrated facilitating low-stress/high-engagement environments at the earliest ages builds strong, confident learners, who as adults, make up the backbone of a successful society. America’s failure to make early childhood development one of our highest priorities is the reason our nation has shown a steady decline in numerous important areas relative to other countries. Today’s guest, Dr. Rick Allen, has written Great by Eight, a bold call-to-action that demands intense emphasis on the development of young children, in particular from birth to age three, and continuing through age eight. By investing in early childhood development now, and over the long-term, we can become a far stronger and more unified nation. Great by Eight provides experienced insights on how we can get there. Drawing on nearly thirty years in public administration, extensive work in early childhood program design, and an abundance of emerging research, Dr. Allen sheds light on the remarkable power of early childhood development. He illustrates how parents, caregivers, teachers, community-activists, corporate executives, community-based nonprofit leaders, and forward-thinking policymakers can work together to cut social costs, create a stronger workforce, boost local economic development efforts, and improve our faltering international competitiveness. He clearly demonstrates that most children, given the right environment and support very early in life, can evolve into successful, contributive, and happy adults.
In 2001, the University of Washington Tacoma School of Business in association with the Business Examiner News Group named Dr. Allen as a Business Leader of the Year in Pierce County, Washington. The Washington Association for the Education of Young Children recognized him as one of the state’s outstanding community-based advocates for children.
He was president and CEO of United Way of Pierce County, Washington, a community approaching one million, for more than twenty years. Before that he served eight years as director of the Pierce County Community Action Agency, working predominantly with families in distress. Dr. Allen holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Eastern Washington University, a master’s degree in interpersonal communication from Ohio University, and both a master’s and a doctorate in public administration from the University of Southern California.
Please join me in extending a hearty welcome to Dr. Rick Allen to the Adventures with Grammy Podcast.
Rick, I love your book. You have written a no-nonsense guide to ensuring children receive the love and nurturing they deserve. Reading Great by Eight should be a high priority for every adult.
Your academic and professional credentials are impeccable. What I didn’t mention is that you also have life experiences that the average person can relate to such as bailing hay on an Eastern Washington farm, working as a dishwasher and night janitor in a large restaurant, laying railroad track in central Oregon, working construction jobs in Pullman, Washington and Lewiston, Idaho, and serving in the U.S. Armed Forces during the Vietnam era. What led to your focus on the importance of early childhood years?
Michelle Booth is the founder and CEO of Make Momentos, LLC, a tech startup whose mission is to offer adults an easy-to-use platform to create keepsake e-books for the children in their lives.
Booth has been helping people tell their stories for more than 25 years. She has experience ghostwriting nonfiction manuscripts for a variety of clients including a former White House staffer in the Nixon and Ford administrations, prominent businesspeople and retirees wanting to preserve their stories for future generations.
Booth was selected to edit the memoir of a former NBA basketball player. She has written profiles on a state senator and a winner of NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” for Oklahoma Sports & Fitness Magazine and was a regular contributor to the publication.
Prior to her work in the publishing industry, she worked with companies in a variety of industries on their strategic marketing efforts.
Booth relocated to South Florida with her husband in 2012. She founded Make Momentos, LLC in 2021. Her vision for the company is an extension of the work she does as a ghostwriter: to connect families through the power of storytelling.
Russ Wrightson is a homeschooling dad of two boys ages 12 and 14. He says his boys are excited to learn from anything that crosses their paths, including videos, board games and a math book or two.
To help facilitate a homeschooling atmosphere Russ considers healthy, he organized a local secular homeschool group he describes as a club. He also serves on the Board of Directors for VAhomeschoolers.org, an inclusive statewide organization that advocates and supports at the state level.
Our guest today is Eddy Smits, a former professional clown, who hails from Belgium. He says authentic communication with children would heal society’s woes and enable children to grow into adults who could face any challenge and be effective world leaders. That statement reminded me of advice I received when my oldest child, Craig, was a toddler. A very wise person told me the qualities we admire in adults are not qualities we admire when children exhibit those same behaviors. That statement stopped me cold and helped shape my philosophy of raising children. Please join me as Eddy and I discuss how his volunteer work as a hospital clown shaped his philosophy of communicating with children.
Welcome to Episode 85 of the Adventures with Grammy Podcast. I am your host, Carolyn Berry. Today’s guest is Jasmine Jimenez, the author of a new collection of children’s books based on true stories of her grandmother. Her first book, Eugenia Hunts for Gemstones, is available, and her second book, Eugenia and the Christmas Dress, is part of a Kickstarter program that needs to be funded by September 4.
Jasmine lives in San Diego with her partner of almost 20 years. Together they are creating a farm in Texas, where there are raising honeybees.
Please help me welcome Jasmine to the podcast and consider supporting Eugenia and the Christmas Dress.
Carl Landau, the co-author of Pickleball for Dummies, says the sport has a world-wide, multigenerational following, with more than 5 million players and counting.
Playing pickleball is fun way to meet fun-loving people and put an extra pep in your step … all in the name of having more energy for your grandchildren and even playing a game or two with them.
What is pickleball? Carl says it looks a lot like tennis on a miniature court with much less running, which is great if your knees don’t like that sort of thing. Playing pickleball is a safe option for getting more fresh air and definitely way more fun than using an elliptical at the gym.
Carl is with us today to explain why people love to play pickleball, how and where to play, and the proper body mechanics for safe and effective play. He also will explain the fine art of “dinking.”