welcome!

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.

Join the conversation: leave a comment, subscribe to posts (click the orange button in the top right corner), or drop me an email at pam(at)beyondjustmom(dot)com.
Thank you for visiting!

places i write

Categories

the peace house

The little wooden house sits on our kitchen table, typically unnoticed.  My son brought it home from Sunday’s Cool a few weeks ago (yes, that’s what we call it.  Totally different from that old stodgy Sunday school, you know).  It has little disks with velcro on the back, so the peacemaker of the moment can [...]

how to encourage a mom

 
I’m so moved by all of you out there.  Many of you reponded privately to my last post with touching words of gratitude and relief.   I knew there was a need for recognition and validation of the hard work parents do.  I knew we needed to build up our community, not tear it down;  I just [...]

savoring

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 [...]

i think i’ve found it

I think I’ve found my word for this year.
Last year, people kept claiming their “theme words” to focus their energy and I felt a little left out. I couldn’t think of just one word that didn’t feel trite or forced. So I didn’t have one. And that’s okay.
Now, the same word keeps coming back to [...]

a story of mud-slinging siblings

“Mom, I just can’t stand to be in the same room with them anymore,”  she said, with tears welling up in her eyes.  “No one understands how bad they make me feel.” 
I felt the puddles well up in mine too.  The constant banter of put-downs slung between siblings over the long holiday was taking its toll.  My [...]

Christmas aftermath: connecting again

The days after Christmas are actually my favorites.
The packages are opened, the food is served, the kids are busy, and gift cards are waiting.   And yes, we have tape stuck on the carpet, tags and ribbons everywhere, stocking stuffers with no home, a humongous pile of garbage/recycling, and a slight sense of guilt for the [...]

the cookie conspiracy: a cautionary tale

‘Tis the season to repost this little rant from last December:

It feels to me like the cookie currency in my town is getting out of hand.
Don’t get me wrong.  I love cookies as much as the next girl.  I like to bake, and I like to eat, and I’m happy to do my fair share.  [...]

grateful for goofiness

At his happiest, my middle son gets goofy.  He always has. 
As an infant, we would tickle him over and over to hear his infectious giggle.  As he grew, he’d entertain us with dramatic antics, and at night you can still hear him laughing with his brother until they collapse into slumber.  He’s eleven. 
I have to admit, the controlling [...]

connecting with Japanese kids: how sweet it is

 
 
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” — Mark Twain
Or, as my teen son summed it up on Facebook (not quite as eloquently, but I must admit, it captured the sentiment): 
“There’s a [...]

a quickie

It’s been a great week and I’ve missed you all.  I’ve got time to just post a few quick updates and then I’ll be back:
1) Last week we hosted our young visitor from Japan and he was amazing!   We couldn’t have ordered up a more friendly, engaging, appreciative and English-speaking (whew!) fourteen year old.   We said [...]