My son knows what he wants … at least until he doesn’t want it anymore. The streets of downtown Gatlinburg are lined with storefront windows, all filled to overflowing with souvenirs. There are airbrushed t-shirts and leather handbags, knives and swords and cowboy hats, billowy caftans and homemade fudge, lace tablecloths and wood carvings — […]

Family, Fun, Global, Travel, United States

July 26, 2017

Souvenir Shopping, Kid Style

Summer camp rocked… except for a few unwanted guests my son brought home with him from an overnight campout in the woods!  Despite all indications to the contrary, my ten-year-old son somehow survived his harrowing week at sleepaway camp. However, in keeping with this blog’s name, there was indeed some turmoil while he was away. When […]

Family, Fun

June 29, 2017

My Son, the Tick Magnet

I was prepared for my son to be homesick while he was at sleepaway camp. No one told me how hard it would be on me. Last Friday, we dropped off my 10-year-old son at an overnight camp for the very first time. Of all our kids, he’s the least likely candidate for a weeklong […]

Family, Fun

June 14, 2017

Sleepaway Camp is Not For the Weak

The notices had been coming home in my son’s folder for weeks. His school was having its first-ever Spelling Bee and the entire fourth grade — the top dogs at his elementary school — would participate. In preparation, word lists were sent home. E-mails were sent out. Flyers were distributed. My son’s teacher even showed Akeelah and the Bee one […]

Family, Fun

May 25, 2017

Bruiser and the Bee

I happen to be married to a Manly Man, which I’m coming to appreciate more and more now that the Manly Man is slowly becoming extinct in our society. The Manly Man, once revered in westerns and pioneer sagas, now is more likely to be connected to inane TV sitcoms featuring beer-drinking rednecks. These days, […]

Family, Fun, Humor

March 27, 2017

My Manly Mr. Muffett

I’ve decided to call 2016 our Lemonade Year. From the loss of a job to the sickness and death of a beloved parent, it has been filled with some of the most difficult experiences we’ve ever had to face as a family. But the horrors of this year also have been precisely what re-centered us, […]

Family, Fun

December 31, 2016

The Lemonade Year

Each year right after Thanksgiving, Dennis brings down all the boxes of Christmas decorations from the attic so that I can decorate the house for the holiday season. I open them up and immediately get a good look at the state of my mind when I was putting everything away 11 months earlier. Sometimes, all […]

Family, Fun

December 27, 2016

As 2016 Ends, We Begin a New Chapter

  My family has been on the road a LOT this year– When my husband lost his job, I decided there was no time like the present to pursue more travel writing jobs — It’s the direction I’ve always wanted go with my professional writing. Consequently, we’ve found ourselves this year on beaches and prairies, […]

Family, Fun, Global, Travel, United States

December 2, 2016

This Cool Idea will Help Your Kids Remember All Your Family Travels

This post was written by my husband, Dennis Ferrier. Not long ago, I came across a box full of railroad nails. Railroad nails are impressive — They’re big and sharp and don’t bend easily. In the old days, they’d stamp the year each nail was made on the head so the railroad company would know […]

Deep Thoughts, Family, Fun

November 23, 2016

The Nail

Dear God, This week, millions of us will pack carry-ons and stuff duffle bags, load up car trunks and wearily wait in long airport lines, put fresh sheets on sofa beds and compose miles-long grocery lists, all in preparation for Thanksgiving Day — a time for us to gather together with friends and family members, […]

Family, Fun, Humor

November 21, 2016

A Special Prayer for Thanksgiving 2016