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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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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 [...]

is fear turning us topsy turvy?

I received this email announcement yesterday: 
BECAUSE OF GROWING THREAT OF THE H1N1 VIRUS IN OUR COMMUNITY
WE WILL BE CANCELING THE POTLUCK PORTION OF THE MEETING. 
Color me confused.  The potluck itself is no big deal to me –I’m happy to skip preparing a dish– but I cannot find any logical explanation besides irrational fear.  There is [...]

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 [...]