I'm Pam, and I'm glad you're here. I hope my thoughts on family, faith, and the flux of life help you laugh, fire you up or just make you think.

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places i write



She’s in there somewhere.
It happens every night.  Somehow, she shuffles around in her sleep, rolling into a little ball and piling the puffy down cloud on top of her into a mountain of coziness.  She’s deep underneath in her warm sweet slumber, and it’s my job to coax her out to greet the morning.
It’s my [...]

tackling fear: shifting perspective

A city bus rides around my town with a larger-than-life ad sporting a gigantic picture like this: 

SAW A BUG???  Call (not-to-be-named Exterminator)!
Think of the message this sends.  If I see a tiny bug, I should immediately freak out and call in the troops?  Even if it’s just a fly?  What if it’s a ladybug?  Have [...]

the joy of good enough

Cover via Amazon

 I’m not sure what this says about me, but sometimes I am thunderstruck by a twist on the same old typical advice.  Listening to a book on CD today, I almost had to pull over the car, overwhelmed by recognition, relief and mixed-up conviction by this: 
“I meet many parents who are trying so hard [...]

how to start kid conversations

Here’s one more goodie from the archives to help with those fall routines:

Now that fall is approaching full swing, are you having conversations like this?
How was your day? fine.
What happened at school (or work)? not much.
Wanna talk about it? not really.
It seems like no matter how hard I try, those questions never seem to elicit [...]

sharing rituals with our American girls

Last week I made the pilgrimage to Chicago’s American Girl Place with three real life American girls, another American mom and her very hip mother, and, of course, three American Girl dolls. 
A quick caveat:   I am very aware these dolls are expensive and some alternative brands will suffice.  I also understand there is plenty of consumerism, [...]

all in the presentation

I’ve never felt so hip at a second grade event.
We’ve been hearing about Mr. T’s poetry night for weeks.  Mr. T is KN’s cool student teacher:  a gentle giant with big hair, big hands, and a big heart for kids.  We’d received at least three kid-scrawled invitations:  a command performance for the family, and I have [...]

on hen peckin’

Lately I’ve had chickens on the brain. 
Not long ago, I was feeling hen-pecked.  Do you know the feeling?  Like everything I said or did was being corrected, or controlled, or re-directed, or commented upon.  It drove me nuts.
Until I realized it bugged me most because it was a reflection of my own behavior.  Isn’t that [...]

powerful ways to praise

If you wanted to praise your child for something he or she did, what would you say? 
Most parents in my workshops respond, “Good job!  Nice catch.  Beautiful picture.  Wonderful story.”
That’s okay, but it could be better.  I tend to hunger for more.  There’s a reason.
I’ve learned to think about two parts to every comment:

1)  Our words (good [...]

i wonder. . .

Is this a familiar theme in your household?
How was your day? fine.
What happened at school? not much.
Wanna talk about it? not really.
It seems like no matter how hard I try, those questions never seem to get much information. A wise school counselor once suggested I use different words to ask the same question. Just [...]

yes, teens are crazy (and parents too)

My thirteen-year-old looked concerned when he caught me reading Dr. Michael Bradley’s book:
Yes, Your Teen is Crazy!  Loving Your Kid Without Losing Your Mind
I’ll bet you can guess what he said:
“. . . . whhaaaaat’s this??”
While I assured my son that he need not worry, that I was preparing a parenting workshop for other families, [...]