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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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life is NOT fair

One of my part time gigs is helping high school students prepare for the ACT and SAT.  I actually enjoy it–I’m geeky like that.  It’s a good mental challenge for me, and while I’m not a big fan of standardized testing, I do enjoy helping kids beat that stupid test and open doors to their future.  [...]

The Twilight saga: New Moon–important questions for teens and tweens

Many of us have devoured the Twilight book series and waited with great anticipation for movie #2, New Moon, which opened this week.  What’s not to like?  Vampire fantasy, hot actors, forbidden love, and imminent danger combine for a fantasical spectacle sending screaming girls to theatres across the country.   It doesn’t even include real sex [...]

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 [...]

the thrill of the ride

“It was crazy, mom,” my sixth grade son breathed when he burst through the door after his first middle school fun night.
“Is that good?” I wondered, my imagination filling with crazy things that could happen in middle school.
“I think it was the best night of my life!” he gushed. 
Whew.  I breathed a sigh of relief [...]

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, [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

a tale of two letters

The shouts, screams and tears came out of nowhere.  My boys were tumbling on the floor — not just wrestling — but aiming for serious damage. 

It was our first day of spring break, so it must be time to start up the sibling wars.  It was also time to nip this in the bud — [...]

friday fragments

On some Fridays you get to follow me through fragmented thoughts buzzing in my brain.  Are you ready?  Here goes:
*****(1)*****
Today Christians commemorate Good Friday in preparation for Easter Sunday.  I must admit, I’ve always wrestled with the concept of calling the day of Jesus’ crucifixion “good”.  Yes, the heart of Christianity rests on the death and resurrection [...]