Archive for the ‘Families Doing Fabulous Things’ Category

Girls On The Way: Two Girls (and their mom) walk The Camino for Charity!

Written by Jennifer Miller on May 31st, 2013 | Filed under: Families Doing Fabulous Things

I am a big fan of doing adventurous things as a family and encouraging kids to step out and do big things, hard things!

A friend sent me a link to the website of Trish Herr and her daughters, who at the time were walking the Camino de Santiago (500 miles from France into Spain) for charity. To say I was “wowed” is an understatement. But when I learned that this walk is really just the tip of the iceberg for these girls, I had to talk to them.

The girls agreed to an interview!

I’m delighted to introduce you to the Girls On The Way! (more…)


Letters to Zerky: A book review

Written by Jennifer Miller on May 25th, 2012 | Filed under: Families Doing Fabulous Things, Lifestyle, Travel

It’s taken me rather a long time to review this book. Mr Raney sent it to me months ago and I confess that I let it languish too long in the cottage, packed it along from Alberta to Iceland to the Ukraine and back again, reading snips as I could. I hope he’d approve of his book about travels traveling so much with me.

Letters To Zerky is full of beautiful ghosts, from a lovely young wife with her delightful little son, to ghosts of countries and lives long since passed. This adventure happened before I was born, when my parents were young and traveling. That a story can reach across generations to find a home in the hands and heart of another mother in another traveling family and that the song it sings is one that I recognize is a tribute to the power of the story and the grace of it’s telling.

If you like a good travel story, pick up this book, you’ll find not one, but many. So many of the places they visited are places we’ve stood with our children and I found kinship in that. If you like a good love story, you’ll find no better one than this, the story of the true love of a family for one another and the world they walked through. It will make you smile, it will make you laugh, and if you’ve any heart at all the tears will stream down your face at the end. I promise you that.

I’m finally writing this in the back of my father’s car as he drives us to the airport to depart for Thailand; the beginning of a thirty hour journey to the other side of the planet. My parents would get on with Bill Raney. They raised me much as he would have raised little Zerky and out of gratefulness I’m doing the same for my kids. I reread the passage between pages 372 & 380 about their time in Thailand, during the Vietnam war, and wondered how much Bangkok must have changed since then. In a couple of days I’ll drag my children out into the oppressive heat that is waiting for us and we’ll visit the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. I’ll take my kids’ picture in front of the same statue as that of Zerky on page 375 and I’ll lay a flower there for the Raneys.

I read a lot. I don’t recommend much. If you’re a traveler, or a parent, or a lover of adventure, or were alive during the sixties, or if you’ve got any wonder left in you for the beauty of family and the beauty of humanity on this planet, get a copy of this book and read it.

Thank you Mr. Raney, for the gift and for the excellent investment you’ve made in your lifetime.


Winterdance: A Family of Iditarod Dreamers!

Written by Jennifer Miller on Mar 5th, 2012 | Filed under: Families Doing Fabulous Things

Hank Debruin & Tanya McCready have been married for 17 years and started their husky family before starting their child family.

They now have four children, Logan, 12, Dustyn, 10, Michaela, 6, and Jessica, 4 years old. They live in Haliburton, Ontario, Canada, in a stunning wilderness area full of lakes and ridges and hills which sits on the doorstep of Algonquin Park and their life revolves around dogs!

We first profiled them in Dec. 2010, just before Hank ran the Yukon Quest race, in Canada in early 2011. Right now, as this interview is republished, Hank is out on the trail running the Iditarod! You can follow the race and his progress at the official race site.

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Meet Winterdance: A Family of Iditarod Dreamers!

Written by Jennifer Miller on Mar 5th, 2012 | Filed under: Families Doing Fabulous Things

Hank Debruin & Tanya McCready have been married for 17 years and started their husky family before starting their child family.

They now have four children, Logan, 12, Dustyn, 10, Michaela, 6, and Jessica, 4 years old. They live in Haliburton, Ontario, Canada, in a stunning wilderness area full of lakes and ridges and hills which sits on the doorstep of Algonquin Park and their life revolves around dogs!

We first profiled them in Dec. 2010, just before Hank ran the Yukon Quest race, in Canada in early 2011. Right now, as this interview is republished, Hank is out on the trail running the Iditarod! You can follow the race and his progress at the official race site.

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Families Doing Fabulous Things: Meet the Amazing “Going Anyway” Family!

Written by Jennifer Miller on Feb 9th, 2012 | Filed under: Families Doing Fabulous Things

Every now and then I run across another family that just blows my socks off. I hear their story and I’m left standing in awe, thinking, “WOW! Now THEY are amazing people!!” And I come away inspired. The Palmer Family of Going Anyway is one such family. Chris and Jill and their amazing five kids are on an open-ended world tour in spite of the unusual circumstances and added difficulty of traveling with a child with special needs. When they first contacted us about the logistics of traveling with kids I was inspired by their spunk and I continue to cheer from the sidelines as I watch the amazing ride they’re on as a family.

Jill has agreed to write for Uncommon Childhood on the topic of out-side-the-box parenting with a differently abled child. I’m so excited to have her on board and to learn from her beautiful example. Without further ado, I’d like to present the fabulous family behind Going Anyway:

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