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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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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 [...]

struggling for answers? try asking new questions.

Do you ever get stuck in that rut where all of your parenting tricks feel stale, and you feel like you’re talking in the same circles?  I feel that way more often than I care to admit.  No one has all the answers, but sometimes asking the right questions gets us back where we need to [...]

in praise of do-overs

SteadyMom inspired me with her post on do-overs: 
Let’s try that again.
How much do I love this powerful phrase?  Let me count the ways:

“Let’s try that again” models grace with accountability.  It corrects with a focus on what can be done better, not what was done wrong. 
It’s friendly and positive.  It requires no raised voices, consequences [...]

the magic word of possibility

Do you wrestle with these conversation killers?

“I can’t do it.”

“I’m no good at this.” 
“No one wants to play with me.”
or from yourself:
“I’m not one of those big-time bloggers.”
or
“I haven’t written a real book.”

So often we argue, countering, “Yes, you can!”, generating a back-and-forth argument, and causing our opponent to dig in heels.  To strenghten our case, [...]

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, [...]

nonplussed

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 [...]

kids and courage

As he jumped in, I flashed back to five or six years ago.  I had almost forgotten the drama over this.
He’s my water boy.  He takes marathon shower/bath extravaganzas every evening, and as a preschooler he loved to play in the pool.  Suddenly though, he balked at swimming lessons:  too cold, too tired, or just too scary.  I [...]

stop the nagging, summer edition

As summer kicks in and routines change, I thought it might be helpful to re-post of one of my favorite parenting tips:
Check Yourself!

How’s your morning routine going? Do you hear some variation of this tape running every day:
“Get dressed. . . you’ve got to eat breakfast. . .brush your hair. . . do you have your [...]

sex ed through the ages

 I knew the conversations were going to get interesting this spring. 
My two older boys — 7th and 5th grade – are both wrapping up the end of the school year with “health” units (code for sex education).  I’m a firm believer in age-appropriate sex ed, and we’ve had a variety of conversations over the years, but [...]