Lisa Kern

Lisa Kern
Pennsylvania, US
March 28
I'm a mom of three boys, a needy dog, and an insolent cat. When I'm not writing, vacuuming up pet hair, or cleaning pee off the toilet seat, I like to fantasize about jeans that actually fit and an all-you-can-eat-chocolate-and-cheese diet. Welcome to my party.


Lisa Kern's Links

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 20, 2012 10:05AM

The Jesus Dryer

The Jesus Dryer  

I have long suspected that the appliances in my house conspire against me.  What else could possibly explain their uncanny tendency of dying in clusters and at the worst possible times? 

The refrigerator once died the night before we were to leave on a week-long vacatio… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 28, 2011 9:13AM

Of Birthdays, Badgers, and Brand New Dreams


Today is my birthday.  Number 48.  That’s 336 in dog years.


Every year, as I celebrate one more trip around the sun, I like to reflect about what the previous year has given me.  Sometimes, those gifts aren’t so welcome (did I really need a swarm of termites in/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 10, 2011 6:47AM

For better or for worse, as long as cookies aren't involved


(excuse me, would you like to buy a box of evil?)

When I married my husband twenty-five years ago, we made all sorts of promises to one another.  Basically, we agreed to tolerate each other when we’re cranky, not bail on the marriage when one person fails at using the lau/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 24, 2011 8:01AM

Finding love at

emo hands by Ryan Kern

With all of my kids now middle school age or older, I really thought that I’d made it through the toughest part of parenting.  I mean, once you’ve survived the sleepless nights of infancy, toilet training, and fishing Lego bricks out of a child’s nose (twice), the/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 21, 2010 10:23AM

Of Brass Monkeys


wish I could keep him this small forever

Evan is talking my ear off again.  In fact, he’s been doing that very thing for the past three hours.  He ran to catch up with me while I was walking the dog so that he could tell me all about the things that are important to a ten-year-old/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MAY 17, 2010 8:09AM

What if Different Meant Wonderful?


My son Evan has a birthmark.  What’s unusual about it is that it’s not only quite large, about 2 inches by 4 inches, but it’s also completely flat and much paler than his skin tone.  It’s almost as if he was born before someone had finished coloring him. Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 26, 2010 8:52AM

A Letter to God on My 47th Birthday


Dear God, 

Well, it’s my birthday again.  Number 47.  I owe you some thanks for keeping me alive on this earth for all these years, even though the past several months have been rather iffy.  You’ve got to admit; you’ve thrown some majorly crummy stuff myRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 5, 2010 7:39AM

Running Away: A Primer for Moms

now THAT's running away 

That’s it.  I’ve made up my mind.  I’m running away.


This mom-thing is exhausting, the pay is lousy, and I don’t even get a single day off.  Besides, these kids are entirely too stinky and messy.  Today I came home to discover the e/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 18, 2010 8:16AM

From Puberating to Dating in 2.3 seconds


The longer I’m a parent, the more it occurs to me that this parenting gig would be so much easier if kids either came with instruction manuals or if they skipped the teen years altogether.  What’s worse is discovering that the same parents can have multiple children wired so dRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 4, 2010 8:07AM

Don't Axe, Don't Tell


Evan was worried about something.  He stayed near me in the kitchen as I prepared his lunch for school, silently tracing the floor tiles with his big toe:  over, down, across, and up.  His silence was uncharacteristic.  Normally, he’d be chatting away breathlessly, bu/Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 21, 2010 8:30AM

What's lower than bottom? I'm there.

Got any miracles?  I could use one. 

As is the case with many of us, the current economic climate has forced us to do things we never imagined we’d have to do.  For some, giving up premium cable channels and a daily latte is enough to ease the budget.  For others like me, more drastic actions are/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 8, 2010 12:30PM

On Marriage and Rebates

My husband Dan and I have been married for 24 years.  That's 168 dog-years or, in that even truer measure of marital fortitude, 6,240 loads of laundry.  You cannot possibly live with another person for that many years, washing his underwear and socks, without getting to knowRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 14, 2009 8:08AM

The Truth about Santa

Nothing says family Christmas like homemade ornaments 


I admit it.  When it comes to the holidays, I can be a bit of a Grinch.  Like many of us, I suffer from a common problem:  too much to do and not enough time in which to do it.  Throw Christmas into my already frenzied life and things/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 4, 2009 11:57AM

Bad Ideas: The Advanced Course

I adore my oldest son.  He’s 19, smart, funny, and one of the most musically talented people that I know.  Sometimes, however, I can’t help but worry that somewhere along the line, something didn’t develop fully in his brain:  synapses failed to connect, a switch didn/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 13, 2009 10:35AM

Let's go to the flea market!

A beautiful fall day is perfect for a country flea market.  One thing is certain:  even if you can’t find any bargains, there’s always plenty of absurdity to go around.  Throw on a pair of your rattiest jeans, a flannel shirt, and a John Deere cap and come along with me/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 28, 2009 12:08PM

No matter what you say, Mom, my fish will still be dead

Not Omlet, but an eerily-similar relative
(Betta fish image courtesy of


It was a rare peaceful evening and I was the only one downstairs. I was relishing the quiet and appreciating the uncommon opportunity to read more than a sentence in my book before being interrupted by someone needing something.


Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 18, 2009 9:45AM

Can we axe the Axe...please?



My teenager is trying to kill me.  Really.


It’s a slow, torturous murder that he’s attempting instead of the quick but unsuccessful ways he’s tried in the past (childbirth, sharing assorted childhood illnesses, learning to drive, dating awful girls,… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 9, 2009 8:59AM

The Last Child Goes to Kindergarten

(This piece was written a few years ago when my last child started kindergarten and I needed some place to put the feelings.)

The last child goes to kindergarten

Evan, my youngest child, started kindergarten last week.  For the first time in 13 years, I have the house to myself during the day with no/Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 3, 2009 10:28AM

To All the Boys I've Danced With: Better Get a Checkup STAT!

I think I'm cursed.

It’s not the type of curse you’d expect, such as I am cursed with unreasonable curly hair, or cursed with a hoarding disease where books are involved.  Oh no; nothing ordinary like that.  My flavor of curse is like nothing of which I’ve ever heard: Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 26, 2009 10:47AM

9-year-olds and the Art of Negotiation

God makes 'em cute so you don't kill 'em 

“Mom, we have to go to Gamestop tonight at midnight,” my son Evan announced last night.


“Midnight?” I responded. “Who goes to Gamestop at midnight?” 


“We have to go, Mom.  Wii Resort Sports will be there!”


&ldq… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 20, 2009 9:53AM

Tell me again why we didn't just let the banks fail


Our pockets are getting more and more empty these days



I’m mad as hell. 


I wish I could say that I’m not going to take it any more but it seems I have to suck it up and deal with it.  In the United States, in the year 2009, banks have the power to do/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 8, 2009 12:53AM

Radio Shack, we need to talk


I don’t know why it happened, but you’ve changed.


Remember how we used to be:  me, the clueless but determined techno-phobe, and you, my hero in all of your geeky, gadgetry glory?  I fell hard and even lost my computer virginity to you.  When you lied to me ab

Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
JUNE 11, 2009 8:32AM

Tragically Unhip? There's an App for That!

Who knew I could feel so hip?

I’ve got a confession to make:  I’m a complete idiot when it comes to all things technological. 

One of my kids had to make a PowerPoint presentation for a school project and I couldn’t help him; I just recently learned how to back up files on my computer; I… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JUNE 3, 2009 8:31AM

In Which I Make You Glad You Don't Have Kids or Pets

Living in a household full of boys, I’ve dealt with a respectable amount of repugnant things:  I’ve given beef-jerkified lizards a proper burial.  I’ve raised metamorphosing caterpillars on my kitchen counter.  I’ve disposed of the lifeless remains of birds and… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MAY 17, 2009 10:57PM

We'll Go Out When Your Face Clears Up


(Actual telephone conversation with my mother today:)  


            “Exactly how big is it?”

            “About the size of a quarter./… Read full post »