On the Road Again


We are on the road, in a small campervan in France. FRANCE!!!

On the Road Again, in a campervan in France. LisaNalbone.comWe finally are going to visit our French exchange son, Timothee. Tim lived with us for six months back in 2006 and he celebrated his 14th  birthday with us.

Not only did he polish his English, he also experienced unschooling, at its best. Our community of unschoolers welcomed Tim with open arms and helped make the exchange an incredible experience for him.

But, more about that in a different post. I only have 15 minutes of internet here in the office of tourisme in Honfluer.

The wifi is not nearly as easy to find as I had hoped.

But, wifi connections aside, traveling is wonderful.

We have been so fortunate to be able to come over to Europe three times. Each time we came with the offer of somone to visit and stay with. Pierre, who likes to see as much as possible with hiking and backroads, does the research and finds us a little volkswagon campervan to rent. We unpack once ,but move a lot.

When possible we find a campground that allows us to park for a few days and walk to local attractions, historical sites,  and markets to taste all the specialities de terroir.

We try to speak the local language although the first words we try to learn are “I am sorry I can’t speak your language. Please forgive us and help us.” It works most of the time.

We love mingling with the other campers, passing each with a bonjour or bonsoir, seeing what the other families are cooking and trading stories when we are able to communicate. Thank goodness  I can rely on talking with my hands, facial expressions and pantomine a lot.  What I thought was a great accent back in high school French class in New Jersey has not stood the test of time or place.

It has been a fabulous way to travel for us. I highly recommend it.

More details at a later date, for now it is time to explore.

Etretat, France LisaNalbone.com

Happy Mother’s Day!

Last year my mom and I took a little mother daughter trip to Tahoe.
It was Mom’s first time to see the big beautiful lake in a mountain bowl. A room with a view and balcony worked for both of us.

Mother's Day Gratitude at LisaNalbone.com
Tahoe getaway with Mama and Dr. Uke

 When mom was tuckered she could cool off and relax,  but still see the water.

I could cool off and relax, too. It has been so wonderful that my new relationship with Dr. Uke has been great for my relationship with my mom. She seems to enjoy my playing and singing.

Plus it brings  her back good memories of her mom who played banjo and ukulele.  Granny even played her uke and sang on an old time radio show, Major Bowes Amateur Hour.

Dr. Uke on Lake Tahoe balcony. Amazing Grace at LisaNalbone.comAmazing Grace.  Gratitude.

Wishing you some amazing grace and gratitude as you celebrate with or remember your mom.

Winters Youth Day Parade – Community- Creativity-Celebration-Tradition!

Lisa and son Dale Stephens with Dad, Pierre in background
Youth Day family Reunion

On the last Saturday of April the town of Winters  has a wonderful tradition of celebrating our youth, our community and our commitment to come together to make our town a better place.

The parade has been around for 70+ years and is amazing.  There is  a kiddie parade followed by floats, bands, marching units, horses, dancers, pets, moms on mopeds, moms off mopeds, local celebrities and honorees.  Many families help their children get from one entry to another so the child  can participate with each of their groups. It is not uncommon to see folks racing back along the parade route, changing costumes, and volunteering along the way.

My favorite part, of course, is the Winters Friends of the Library  Marching Unit. Various members of the Winters Friends of the Library and friends organized by fearless leaders, Sally Brown and Keith Cary, select music, brainstorm about the theme, coordinate costumes, practices and frivolity as well as support for our community library.

We also gather with friends and family to catch up, share food, laughter and love.


Some people are so moved by the good energy they just can’t sit still!

Maybe you will be moved to join us next year.

What traditions do you have in your community?



Tip #10 for Raising a Thiel Fellow: Gratitude


Dale Stephens as a child in awe opening gift, Thiel Tip #10 Gratitude at www.LisaNalbone.comGratitude.


Feel it.

Show it.

Express it.

Pass it on.

We all feel better when WE feel appreciated.

We also are happier and more productive when we are feeling appreciation and gratitude for others and expressing it.

Being able to see the good in your circumstances, whatever they may be, is a really healthy, energizing ability.

Feeling the love and letting others know creates more good energy.


Help your child look for the gifts in your life and honor them.

Make sure you express your appreciation early and often.


I always ended my day in the classroom gathering my students in a circle and expressing appreciations before they were excused. At the beginning of the year I went around the circle telling each student something specific that I appreciated about them that day. Every Friday I would ask students to tell me what they appreciated that week. That habit of gratitude transformed my students, me and the community of learning we formed.

From the time Dale was a toddler we wrote thank you notes for gifts, acts of kindness, or special dinners at friends. We modeled writing notes, wrote them to him, and had him do the writing even when it was scribbles.

We liked to talk about what we were thankful for each day at dinner or bedtime. Ending the day with gratitude is good for health and spirit.

Get Started:

  •  Model expressing appreciation in your family and to others.
  •  Write thank you notes and letters, not just emails, with your kids.
  •  Start a gratitude journal- as a family or as individuals.
  •  Start a daily gratitude practice. Find time in the day that works for your family.