Category: Laughter, Tears, and Our Teen Years

Moving On

By McKennaugh. We all have those moments of “Why did I do that?” or “Why didn’t I do that?” We all make mistakes. You, me, everybody.

There Is No Season

By McKennaugh The Christmas season is a time of cheer. A time to give. A time to make others smile. Right? Okay, for lots of us, it’s a rush through department stores to find the perfect gift. Or, for those who don’t care about the perfect part, frantic shopping on eBay (little Charley doesn’t notice […]

Adventure of a Lifetime: Homeschooling on the Road

By McKennaugh “Okay, now, where do you want your picture?” The two teenagers kneel together next to the outlet and stick their fingers up above the other’s head. They wiggle the playful finger ears and the camera clicks. No one else would know what this spot in the house meant to them. Nearly a decade […]

Girl. Boy. Friend.

Laughter, Tears, and Our Teen Years, by McKennaugh I turned to the lady behind my mammoth cart of groceries and gave her an apologetic smile. I know how aggravating it can be to wait behind a person that has 99 items. She smiled back and burst into conversation. Tossing cereal and vegetables onto the belt, […]

Just Try It!

Laughter, Tears, and Our Teen Years, by McKennaugh The Volkswagen van jumped over another bump in the road and I turned to look at my brother, Brennan. His face was sort of pale and drawn and he was looking at me pleadingly. I know he was thinking, You’re the one who wanted to go, so […]

A Four-Year-Old’s Gift

Laughter, Tears, and Our Teen Years, by McKennaugh This past week, I brought my two youngest brothers to a playground down the road that belongs to a church. I pushed the four-year-old on the swings for a little while (picture loud giggles and “More!”) and soon I was feeling a little bored with Austinville’s only […]

60 Seconds for Our God

Laughter, Tears, and Our Teen Years, by McKennaugh I used to own a book a few years ago that was called something like The One-Minute Bible. It was a devotional, and said that it would take you all the way through the Bible in a year. Each devotion was only supposed to take a minute. […]

Journey of the Wood Thrush

Laughter, Tears, and Our Teen Years, by McKennaugh It’s hard to be a teenager. We’re stuck somewhere between childhood and adulthood and everyone seems to be asking us what we are going to do and who we are going to be. A lot of the time we answer their questions with, “I don’t know,” because […]

A Quarter of America’s Children: Missing Forever

Laughter, Tears, and Our Teen Years, by McKennaugh There are times in our American history that we remember shamefacedly. Times when we whipped blacks until they bled; when we made them into our slaves. We said they were not humans, and, somehow, still thought we were righteous and justified before God. Why we believed he […]

Stop Crying About Toothbrushes

by McKennaugh Stolen. The bag that contained what little resources that they had left to live on. Stolen. The bag that contained the wallet. As if it wasn’t bad enough that they had to live in a van, now the money that they depended on was gone. But, as her frantic parents wondered what to […]

Best Friends Forever

Laughter, Tears, and Our Teen Years, by McKennaugh A few years ago, I invited a friend to come to my house for a sleepover. She came, and we had a good time goofing off, laughing, and joking around. My brothers wanted to be with us, too, but I asked them to leave us alone—we wanted […]

Laughter, Tears, and Our Teen Years

by McKennaugh Today was another reminder of how we can’t understand someone completely, even if it’s someone we’re close to. During supper, we were having the same old conversation, joking on and off, speaking, but not really saying anything. My dad was talking about what he did at work, I was chatting about something so […]

Why Us?

Laughter, Tears, and Our Teen Years, by McKennaugh Last week, we were birthday shopping for my Dad and we wandered into Barnes and Noble in hopes to find a good Dutch Oven (you know, those big cast iron pots to go over the fire) cookbook. Well, Mom and I together in a bookstore is slightly […]


by McKennaugh TWO CHILDREN’S LIVES DEPEND ON ME AND I CAN’T SAVE THEM ALONE. Dear Friends, My column is called Laughter, Tears, and Our Teen Years. Well, this month it’s on tears. Yuri and Viktor’s tears. Some of you may have read Teri Olsen’s article that spoke of my site and the children that […]

On Growing Up…

Laughter, Tears, and Our Teen Years, by McKennaugh Next week, I’m turning 16. For some reason, 16 seems… well, old. Maybe just because I can drive, but it still seems different than my other birthdays. Strangely enough, it’s like it was just yesterday that I was playing “imaginary friends” with my brother and building my […]

Laughter, Tears, and Our Teen Years: The Path

By McKennaugh The following is a little story that I created and scribbled in my diary a few months ago. I’ve decided to share it here. The Path A man walking along the road met a king. The man bowed down before him and asked if he could be of any service. “Oh, yes, indeed!” […]