Lisa's Family Dream
July 24, 2001
For the next year, LISA WHELCHEL, along with her family, will tour
America in a fully loaded RV -- equipped with a washer/dryer,
satellite TV and 24 karat gold shower head. And with three books,
three kids and a "Facts of Life" reunion movie in the pipeline --
this full-time mom and author has a lot on her plate.
ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT: What a cool mom. Have any of your friends ever
LISA WHELCHEL'S KIDS: No.
ET: What are you looking forward to?
LISA'S SON: Alcatraz. That's going to be fun, and New York, Texas,
and North Carolina. Those are going to be fun.
ET: What about schooling?
LISA'S KIDS: Home schooling.
LISA'S SON: It's going to be pretty fun because on regular school you
start at like 8:30 and you end at 3:30. But in home school, you start
at 10 and you end at 12.
ET: Lisa, you've been calling this...
LISA: The Family Dream.
LISA: Well, for one thing, it was our family dream. And so, for three
years, we referred to it as the family dream, because we knew that it
was a dream and it would just be a miracle if it all came true. And
then, also, as I referred to it as that, so many people -- when we
tell them about it -- they say, "Oh, we've always wanted to do that."
And so, we've realized that it's not so maybe presumptuous to call
it, the family dream, instead of our family dream, because it really
is the family dream for so many families.
ET: And what I liked most is that you guys are going to share this
trip with everyone as you go. Tell us how.
LISA: Well, every night I'll write in my journal, and then I'll
upload portions of that to the Website, which is
www.lisawhelchel.com, and also, I'll be taking lots of pictures. I'm
a shutterbug, and so I'll also be uploading pictures from the day. So
you can find out where we were and what we saw and what we did and
just kind of live the family dream vicariously through us. Maybe do a
trial run and see if it's something you want to do.
ET: (to Lisa's kids) Have any of you thought about being on TV like
LISA: No, I've nixed that idea. (laugh)
ET: (to Lisa's kids) Maybe when you're older.
LISA: (laugh) That's right. Don't tell them that they can make their
own decisions when they get older.
ET: This is also sort of a professional trip for you, Lisa. Your
second book is coming out. Tell us about that.
LISA: Right. Well, the trip started when I had written Creative
Correction, and the publisher asked me if I would be able to go and
leave the family. I mean, the book is a parenting book, and they knew
that I was really intent to be a full-time mom, and they said, "Can
you promote the book?" And I said, "Well, I guess, if I can bring the
kids with me." And that's really what started the whole process, was
the thought that, well, if I'm going to promote this book, I don't
want to leave my family.
And so now it's waited until the second book, which is called The
Facts of Life and Other Lessons My Father Taught Me, but it will be
kind of a book tour of sorts. I'll be speaking on Sundays, I'll be
doing bookstores on Saturdays and media on the weekends. And then
every other day will be just making memories with the family and
writing another book called, Finding God in America.
ET: So, you went straight from doing "The Facts of Life" to being a
stay-at-home mom, and now an on-the-road mom.
LISA: I love traveling with them, I love writing, but it takes time
away from them, so I'm just thankful that I can bring them with me
while I'm writing and promoting the book.
ET: So, it's been how many years since the show?
ET: Any thoughts of going back to TV?
LISA: Oh, you know, they're writing a reunion show, so, that will be
a whole lot fun. But, I don't have a desire to go back into show-
ET: Do you have any regrets about not continuing more in Hollywood?
LISA: Not at all! Not at all. You know, the nine years on "The Facts
of Life" was just a fabulous adventure. It was so much fun. But, I
went from one really great thing, to an ever greater thing, because
the next 10 years of my life, being a wife and mother, is even