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


peace and paper cranes

In a few short weeks, I’ll be putting my eighth grade son on a plane to Japan for the experience of a lifetime.  He’s traveling as one of twelve middle school student ambassadors to our sister city of Hikone, Japan for a couple of weeks.  He’ll stay with a Japanese host family, attend a Japanese middle school, [...]

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 [...]

it’s that time again: stop the nagging

This isn’t a new one, but as school gets into full swing I hear myself nagging and barking orders through the chaos.  It’s time to get back to basics, as in this oldie but goodie that I shared on AnnArbor.com today:
How’s your morning routine going? Do you hear some variation of this tape running every day:
“Get [...]

a heavenly banquet

The venue is booked 
the tables are set
and a standing invitation is offered
The guests:  About one hundred men and women of varying ages, races and persuasions.  Some drive or ride from home; others walk from the shelter down the road.  All, without a doubt, are welcome.
Dress:  Casual.  Some find fresh clothes on the open rack.   Some wear professional attire, [...]

someone is struggling today

I know someone out there who is struggling today, and I want her to know she is not alone. 
I want her to know that adjusting to parenthood is one of the most amazing growing experiences of life.  It is also hard, SO hard, even though something in our society makes us pretend that it is not.  I think [...]

football, tv drama, and morality

I’ve been watching the DVDs of NBC’s Friday Night Lights (just the first season) with my older sons.  I’ve been strangely drawn to this series, which chronicles the adventures of a football-obsessed Texas town that is hauntingly familiar.   Actually, I didn’t grow up in Texas, we weren’t that good at football, and our lives weren’t quite so dramatic, [...]

fun at the farm

We’ve been enjoying a little vacation in Arizona and New Mexico this week.  Who wouldn’t want to head straight to the hottest part of the country in the middle of the summer? 
There’s been something fun for everyone — things we wouldn’t normally do at home.
Here’s one, courtesy of a new Flip video camera provided by [...]


If you want to push my buttons, you can sass me, ignore me, or turn your back on me while I’m talking.  My kids have learned this well and respond accordingly (depending on whether they feel like pushing my buttons or not). 
Lately, one of my loving offspring has invoked a new move that completely unnerves [...]

mother/daughter journaling

We finally dug through that huge bag of end-of-school papers, trying to separate important memories from scrap. 

Quick detour:  No, we don’t keep every paper my kids bring home!  I ask my kids to make three piles:  1)  really important stuff that must be kept  2)  nice stuff to examine but pitch afterwards 3)  junk that can be [...]

21 things my dad taught me

Dear Daddy, thank you for teaching me:

that real men are strong, caring and sensitive too
that one can never say “I love you” too often
that little girls’ kisses come in two flavors:  strawberry shortcake or peaches and cream
that romance is dancing on your daddy’s boots
that life is a gamble, so it’s best to enjoy the good [...]