Category Archives: teenagers

Travel Tip – staying connected for cheap

My adventures in Japan included walking about town in Asakusa where locals ride bikes everywhere.

Vending machines were abundant.

You could even buy BEER from vending machines. Hmmm…

Needless to say, I saw a lot of different customs.  To combat the culture shock, I was happy to stay in touch with family and friends back home.

I played Draw Something … on the bullet train en route to Hiroshima, Japan.

I introduced my host Japanese family in Toyota City, Japan…to my family back home in Michigan.  They even got a tour of my home (thanks to my daughter) and watched a YouTube video of my son’s garage band gig. How cool is that?

I kept up my blog posts, including pictures, during early jet lagged mornings and airport layovers…in Japan and later Seattle, Washington.  Writing as I went helped keep things fresh.

I exchanged texts with my teenagers in the U.S…while I was in Tokyo, Toyota City, Hiroshima and Kyoto.  I loved seeing what they were up to and they knew they could text me any time. Read the rest of this entry »


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10 Parenting Tips

I am not a parenting expert.  No one is. Parenting is a different animal. No other job in the world’s like it! There’s no manual or college degree. You are never “done” learning. Even parents of grown children will attest to that. No one, however successful, can truly claim to be an expert.

That’s not to say that we don’t know a thing or two about parenting and can’t learn from each other’s experiences. In fact, I’ve learned more from my mom friends/sisters, throughout the years, than any parenting books combined.

I’ve learned that you have to tell and show your children you love them, no matter what they do or say. Also, Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on August 9, 2011 in Family, parenting, teenagers


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Girls on the run is about more than running

There is a lot on the news about girl bullying and meanness and it’s very sad because many girls commit suicide as a result.  When I hear about this stuff, I don’t just want to sit around and talk about it — I want to get up and make a difference in girls’ lives.  I think back to my six years as a Girl Scout Leader, which I only stopped when my daughter quit two years ago. Our troop started out small and grew much larger through the years;  I feel blessed that I had the opportunity to watch these girls grow up.  GS is an amazing organization that helps girls try new things and grow in a safe environment. Even as an adult, I tried new things such as high ropes and the zip line. I hope that I made a difference in their lives. I know they made a difference in mine.

This year, I’m a co-coach for Girls on the Run, which is through the YMCA.  It’s about making healthy choices in their lives, both physically and mentally.  I highly recommend it for young girls (3rd – 8th grades) because it teaches them to feel strong in the inside so they can stand up for themselves to bullies or peer pressure.  This is so important to learn before they go to middle school – where the angst of puberty heightens feelings for fitting in and what your friends say is more important than what your mom says.  My thinking is that a girl who is secure about herself will have a better chance when she’s thrown in with the sharks in middle school.

If you have a daughter – don’t walk, RUN to to the nearest YMCA and find out how you can register your daughter for Girls on the Run for the fall session. Or, you can become a volunteer or make a donation.  Seriously,  it makes a huge impact on girls!

So far, we’ve only had two meetings and the girls are super and keep me laughing the whole time with their unique personalities.


Posted by on April 18, 2010 in kids, Teaching, teenagers


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The “I” generation

Kids and teenagers these days rely on technology for so much.  They’re always on the internet, iPod, iTouch, etc.  — the “I” generation!

Doing your homework and forgot the name of a character in The Odyssey?

My generation: get the book and look it up by thumbing through to where you think you saw it; “I” generation: google it.

Don’t understand a geometry problem?  My generation: go to the back of the book and hope there are answers to the odd questions which can shed light on your problem or ask a friend; “I” generation: google it.

Want to listen to a favorite song when you’re in the car?  My generation: hope it’s on the radio; reach for the iPod or iTouch.

Want to know the lyrics to a favorite song?  My generation: record it on your cassette player and replay it a thousand times until you get it;  “I” generation: you guessed it – google it.

All this technology makes it easier for kids – esp. homework – but is it better?  How do they become creative or good problem solvers if all they have to do is google it?  Also – how do they know the information on the internet is correct? Are ear buds (blasting loud music) that great for their hearing?  Does anyone else worry about this?

I love technology and rely on too, but I’m glad I was born before all of it took over our way of doing things.

Now, my generation says, “When I was your age, I had to actually open a book to find that out.”

Hmmm…that may replace the old “I walked five miles to school – each way” of my parents’ generation….


Posted by on January 9, 2010 in kids, technology, teenagers


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