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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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culture immersion via dress-up

I couldn’t help but share some photos of our student ambassadors in Japan.
They had the amazing opportunity to don authentic Japanese costumes and march in the Hikone Shiro-matsuri (Castle Festival) Parade:

The boys are probably thinking, “Don’t mess with me.  I’m carrying a sword.”

And a beautiful blend of the two cultures, old and new:

off to Japan: the adventure begins

 

“Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quiestest chambers. The mind can never break off from the journey.” – Pat Conroy, The Prince of Tides
I sent my fourteen year old son around the world to Japan last weekend.  He’s traveling with a dozen eighth [...]

getting teens to think ahead

How do you get young teens to pack for an international trip without waiting until the last minute?
Schedule a one mile “luggage walk” with their fully packed travel gear a week before departure:

Might seem silly, but it’s a very effective way to ensure they can carry all of their stuff.  
Sometimes the most brilliant strategies are the simplest.  
How [...]

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 [...]

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, [...]

family respite

Rise without trying
at 5:00 am
capture the sunrise
beat the heat
pretend we belong
escape to the spa
dip in the pool
laze in the river
catch a movie
dinner for two
slumber again
in that big soft bed
then off to the farm.

Big hugs
extra tight this time
catch up
greet the dogs
and sink bare feet into
the softest grass in the world.
Breathe in
break bread
sit on the porch
enjoy the [...]

seeking serendipity

Image via Wikipedia

It still gives me goosebumps. 
Just one more story about our Kona coast vacation:  In the mornings and evenings, we relaxed on our lanai (can’t get enough of that word–much more exotic than “deck”) and searched the horizon for spinner dolphins and humpback whales, as advertised.  It seems the dolphins were on holiday that week, but we [...]

place of refuge

I think people knew something about grace long before we had today’s words for it. 
Just down the Kona coast from our temporary Big Island home is Pu’uhonua o Honaunau, a National Park and preserved ancient Hawaiian village that includes The Place of Refuge.  It’s a haunting and beautiful sanctuary where ancient Hawaiian royalty–the kings and big [...]