Her Times
By Pam Parker Erie Times-News staff blogger
Pam Parker's blog takes on everything from women's fun to momisms to lifestyles around Lake Erie and real estate. She'll take you down Memory Lane, up through sports and fun and off the grid. Get ready for laughs — it's more than just Pam. It's Pamdemonium.   Read more about this blog.
 Phone: 814-870-1821
Posts tagged ‘adult kids’
Posted: June 12th, 2014

HKR“The Future’s So Bright, I gotta Wear Shades” hit the pop charts in 1986, the year my oldest son was born.

I always think of that when I see this photo taken in 1992 — Ryan was just months old.  It was one of those impromptu moments when his brother and sister decided the sun streaming into the living room was too bright.   Hence the shades.  And look at that TV.

Well times have changed, but I see those baby faces every time I see my kids – all grown up.

During those summers, we lived a simple life. Lots of tee-ball and other organized sports along with walks — long walks often with a stroller, wagon or bike in tow — along West 10th Street in Millcreek. In one direction, the goal was the cemetery. In the other direction, it was the yellow house.

The park across the street was part of every day’s routine. Kids of all ages played on the swings and sliding board. Games included baseball, softball and volleyball on the fields. It was the best place I could ever imagine to raise kids.

I miss those days., but those little tots turned into amazing adults.

Here’s to #TBT and memories.

Pam Parker is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyle, Her Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa. She is the mom of three, stepmom to three and GramPam to two step-granddaughters.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: May 7th, 2014

Ryan Eckert and Kelly Eckert, my two younger kids.

Well I got to see two of my three kids and celebrate Mother’s Day early. My youngest, Ryan Eckert, lives in town, and my daughter Kelly Eckert visited from Pittsburgh.

We all got together for dinner at Pittsburgh Inn — a favorite. If you haven’t been to Pittsburgh Inn, go. It’s fabulous. Everything is. Even if you’re not a Pittsburgh fan. Owners Tom and Robin Weunski are legendary in their support of military men and women everywhere. Mom

On Sunday in Her Times, I ran a photo of my mom. When Kelly and I studied it, we noted that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. We both have very similar shoes to those my mom was wearing in that pic. And that dress – I’ve worn that style many times, and so has my daughter. If you want to read the tribute to my mom, click here. My mom died 27 years ago, and if I close my eyes, I can still hear her laugh.

If you want to read what moms on Facebook told us they wanted for Mother’s Day, click here to see what they said. Most moms like me — are content with some uninterrupted time with their kids. I’m taking off to see my oldest in Virginia sometime this month. We haven’t seen him in a year. I used to wonder how that could happen to other families, but with the wicked winter we’ve had and vacation issues, I realize outside forces often prevent us from traveling to see loved ones.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms, and remember to thank your mom for all she does.

Howie sharp dressed

Howie Eckert, my oldest.

Pam Parker is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa. She is the mom of three, stepmom of three and step GramPam of two.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: April 20th, 2014

Easter Basket with Easter Eggs

Every Easter, my husband gets into the eggs — eggstra special egg banter, that is. Here are some of his faves used in sentences for your enjoyment.

We are eggcited to see family today.

My stepdaughter-in-law is eggspecting.

Cadbury creme eggs are not eggstravagant treats.

There is no such thing as eggstraneous chocolate.

I will need eggstreme eggcerise to burn off the eggcelent chocolate eggs I consume.

Some things eggsacerbate the pain in my knee.

A coconut egg is eggsactly what I want.

It’s eggsasperating when we don’t hear from some family members.

I need to eggsamine the peanut butter pies.

Eggstract those jelly beans from the bottom of the Easter baskets.

I was afraid we’d have to eggscavate to find the daffodils when it snowed last week.

If the sun shines, it will eggceed  eggspectations today.

Dinner will be eggsceptional. My sister makes lamb.

My brother eggsagerates how much work it is makes German Potato Salad, but since I made it this year, I can verify that it requires an eggstraordinary amount of  time.

We eggsemplify a modern family. We have six kids between us, two of my stepsons are married, and we have one grandchild. And one on the way.

When my husband reads this eggcerpt, he is going to eggsclaim that I eggscluded a lot of words, but I have to stop. I have eggshausted my list.

Happy Easter everyone!

Pam Parker is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyle, Her Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa. She is the mom of three, stepmom to three and step-grandmom to one. 


Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: March 4th, 2014

chineseChristopher Parker: you can turn your box of Chinese rice into a plate. See the video at left from Food Beast. I never knew.

Howie Eckert: Bluetooth keyboards are fast. Here’s an article on five top keyboards. He sent me this message at 6 a.m. one day.

Kelly Eckert: Google has instant messaging functions in its Google chat — with voice recognition. Here’s an article from Slate about the new updates — 16 hours ago New!

Pam Parker is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa.She is mom to three, stepmom to three and GramPam to one.



Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: February 11th, 2014

Ry KellToday, Kelly Eckert turns 26, and tomorrow, Ryan Eckert turns 22.


And who doesn’t want those birthdays memorialized with a big picture of Chip from Chip ‘n Dale fame? It’s 15 years old. Chip corralled my oldest, Howie, in another photo. Good times at Disney.

Kelly is now a CPA and Ryan is on his way to a degree in finance. Where did the time go?

Kelly grew up with two brubbbies or brudders, and then I married Kim and gave her three more. And everyone feared her at times.  She participated in every sport I can think of — we missed curling. In fact, she went to states for both cross country and/or track three out of four years at McDowell. Her track team won states twice, and I think one of her relay teams still holds at least one record around here. She teaches me something every day. And she has dressed and accessorized me since she was 3. We won’t get to see Kelly today, but I will think of her all day. So proud.

Ryan may be the youngest of this brood, but he has always been the most energetic. And competitive. Despite a broken ankle and shoulder surgery that interfered with varsity sports, Ryan made the big plays. My baby is all grown up, and when I saw him in a suit recently, it was hard not to cry. In the middle of JCPenney. When he loves what he does, he’s at the top of his game. He’s been giving me investment advice since he was in 8th grade, and the kid knows his stuff. Look out Warren Buffet. Ryan Eckert is in the house!

We won’t get to see Kelly this week, but we will party with Ryan tomorrow. When the kids were little, we always had separate celebrations — skating parties, lazer tag, paint ball, Chuck E. Cheese — Ryan had some memorable times with that rodent. By the time we hit Valentine’s Day, we were caked and chocolated out. It was sweet having them all together. Now, we have sweet memories and can’t wait to make more.Here’s a picture from last year — they’re all grown up. Here’s what I wrote about this one year ago: “A long journey from baby bottles and sippie cups to martinis and Long Island iced tea. Cheers to cherished moments.”

Yep. Happy birthday to my babies.

Pam Parker is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa. She is mom to three, stepmom to three and GramPam to one.



Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: December 4th, 2013

Saint NIcholas

Close Up of Sheet Music

Up on the rooftop. Click. Click, Click.

Last year, I wrote about celebrating Saint Nicholas Day, and this year — I am at a it again as an empty nester.

First a little history: The legend of Saint Nicholas is that he placed gifts in shoes that children left outside their rooms or by the fireplace the night of Dec. 5. Then the kids awake the next day to surprises. I’m going to have to put some extra effort into doing things for adult kids and GrandParker Little Miss Mia. No one lives at home so there are no shoes to put out.

My parents never did any of this, but I heard about it at St. George Grade School. I thought it was great fun, so I did it with my kids.

Before I went to bed on Dec. 5, I would put candy, jewelry, festive socks or even video games into their shoes while they slept. It also served as a wake up call to either buy them new shoes or get out the Fabreze or Windex to clean their shoes up. I also missed the date a few times and did it late — often no one was the wiser!

I’m shopping FTD and overnight mail ideas this year. There isn’t much that fits in a shoe that adult kids would want — well except cash  :) Or bling. Or new shoes for Little Miss Mia and my Kelly. I think I should speak to Santa Kim (my hubby) about celebrating Saint Nicholas Day. And remarkably — it falls on Fashion Friday this week!

I don’t have little kids anymore, but we do have a Nicholas who visits with my daughter. Enjoy Saint Nicholas Day!

Pam Parker is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa. She is the mom of three, stepmom to three and step-grandmom to one.



Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: December 2nd, 2013

Santa Holding Stack of GiftsStruggling with what to get your hubby, boyfriend, brother or son? Me too. But I have persevered.

My husband has been impossible to buy for. In fact I reached the point where I knew he was going to return whatever I bought — no matter how thoughtful or expensive the gift. I’m not alone. He did that with things the kids got him too. But I stumbled on a new wave of gifts once we introduced him to the digital world. A laptop, iPhone and digital photo frame are among the hits.

Clothes often work — my daughter has been the most successful on that count. She bought him nearly everything they ever sold at the University of Pittsburgh, and he still has the first windbreaker she bought. That was eight years ago.

Onto this year. With five boys and my daughter’s boyfriend in the family, I have some ideas, and here’s an article from www.creditdonkey.com — a survey of what guys want and don’t want. I don’t agree with some of it. You can read the entire piece here.   I picked out a few tidbits to share:

Jewelry — a no-no — I disagree. Every man in this family has bought a watch in the past few years — some out of necessity and some for the bling power. After my daughter bought her boyfriend a watch last year, my hubby coveted one like it. (And I told my daughter not to get one for Kim because I was afraid he wouldn’t like it!) The survey says only 15 percent of men want this. Bling rules around here.

Music and movies — more no-no. I strongly disagree here, too. I wouldn’t want these as gifts, but I can guarantee the Parker boys always have music and movies on their Christmas lists. The survey says fewer than 50 percent of men want this stuff, but bah humbug to that.

Electronics — a big yes: About 81% of men said they want electronics. So we are always on the right track with this one. The youngest Eckert son already got a new phone for Christmas. I don’t know what he will open on Christmas. It won’t be bling.

Gift cards — and who doesn’t like this? Not exactly the thing you would predict, but then again, it works. The survey says 79 percent of respondents love it. My hubby once got so many gift cards to Longhorn Steakhouse, that we ate there once a month. We wore that one out.

Clothing — once again — success.  About 64 percent of men welcome new clothing. My youngest is a Ralph Lauren Polo fanatic. I think he even wears the underwear. And we have a few more Polo fans among the menfolk, so even the cologne is a welcome gift — that would be my hubby.

What to buy


Here’s a chart of what men say they want. Never say never. If your man has been hinting around to what he wants for Christmas, go for it. Today’s CyberMonday and it should be a big day for gifting.

Pam Parker is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa. She is the mom of three, stepmom to three and step-grandmom to one.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: August 22nd, 2013

phoneWhen we got iPhones a few years ago, I had no idea how much the kids would teach us about these gizmos, but the fun stuff really started this week when Andrew Parker, who lives in Virginia, iPhoned home.

He and my husband face timed, and it was funny. Andrew Parker and his wife, and my son, Howie Eckert, all live in Virginia and have not been home much in the past year. We have told them about changes we’ve made at the Eckert-Parker hacienda. Inquiring minds want to know what it looks like, so at the encouragement of Andrew Parker, Kim walked the house and gave Andrew a face-time tour complete with commentary.

Oohs and ahhs greeted the new upstairs carpet, the new paint, the new furniture — well not new, it’s really old furniture — antique old like my mom and dad’s stuff. We had to fill up the empty bedrooms because the kids took everything with them when they left.

The face time is just one more tool we’ve learned. Here in the newsroom, Matt Martin and Sarah Stemen taught us all how to use Instagram. And I like it! Look for some great Instagram stuff coming up from this girl! There could be a home tour in there.

Pam Parker is the mom of three, stepmom of three and gramPam to one. She is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa.


Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: August 8th, 2013
HowieThat’s my son Howie, at left, at work as a doctor of physical therapy in Virginia. He is working hard — I think there is an app for that. 

Baby Howie

As a baby, Howie had very little time as the only child, and then the active lifestyle of older brother started.
So did life. We rolled into eye surgery at age 3 to correct a vision problem, and then he wore little red glasses for years. That never slowed him down. Baseball, hockey, basketball, soccer, football and lacrosse were all part of the schedule. He taught me to be a mom, and he still teaches me. 

I am so proud of this “Child of Mine,” a great song by Carole King.

When we talked last night, I realized what a grown man he is. My boys have a mantra this year for me. It is “Mom, I am a grown man.”
They are grown men, but in my eyes, they are those little boys I cuddled and held for so many years.
Happy Birthday, Howie. I remember taking the picture above in the backyard of our old house like it was yesterday. Howie was a year old and waiting for cake. I struggle with not celebrating with my kids on their birthdays, but I’m a grown mom, and I need to get over it. 
Captain Dan Geary will wish Howie a happy birthday this morning at WMCE 88.5 — it’s Internet radio. Thanks, Captain, and thanks to that little boy who grew up so smart and sweet — for making me proud.
Pam Parker is the editor of House to HomeLake Erie LifeStyle and Her Times at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa. She is the mom of three, stepmom to three and GramPam to one.
Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: July 25th, 2013

HKR2Summer is far from over, but I won’t get my kids together again for a long time, and it’s gratifying that they teach me something every year. Here’s what I have learned so far this summer:

1. All three adult kids used this photo on their Facebook pages at the same time after a recent vacation. It is still the profile photo for the boys.

This is so sweet for a mom because they live in three different cities, and it’s getting harder to get together. I cherish this one.

2. That video games incorporate some old songs that kids love. When my youngest asked about some old 1970s songs, I was surprised, and he told me he’d heard the music on a video game. It made me realize that they do appreciate some of the old tunes.

3. That I have raised “two grown men.” I know this because they remind me of it all the time. “I am a grown man, Mom,” has been the mantra this year.

4. That my daughter will keep us all in pictures forever. She sent this one to all of us and many more.

I have more to learn, and hopefully they will share. A lot of what I’ve learned is how to let go, and I will share some of that in an upcoming article in Her Times on Aug. 4.

Pam Parker is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyle, Her Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa. She is the mom of three, stepmom to three and step GramPam to one.


Posted in: Uncategorized