Friday, April 30, 2010


I no longer have children.

I have teenagers.

My sons are 13, 15 and 18. Most Friday nights my husband and I are home alone. My sons take many trips out of town, away from us, and off on adventures of one kind or another-- from canoe trips and track meets in other states to trips to serve on boards and working groups clear across the country and sleep overs for birthdays where no one sleeps.

I swear, I am still getting used to this. No children in the house. Teenagers really are a different species all together.

And I can't say it's a bad thing. I like having children who know more than I do and can teach me how to do things or make a stubborn piece of electronics behave or make an entire meal from scratch when I'm not well. It's a good thing. I like it. I hear them talk to each other as they pass in the hallway in the sleepy morning, and I can just hear the future conversations they'll have about what to do, how to cope, when to worry and when to just be brothers. Kinda spooky, yes, but all good.

Our oldest has just finished the whole "which college and when" process. As the May 1st deadline for accepting approaches he's getting lovely calls from places across the continent offering a little more money here and a reduction in tuition there. Thousands of dollars. But he accepted admission to the University of Washington on Monday, and they've placed him as a Jr, because of the two years of work at the community college he did instead of high school. And of all miracles, he's been accepted right into the school of engineering. He'll be done with his BS in about two years, with almost no debt.

How about that?

Yep, that's no kid. That's a fine young adult. With quite a future. And I'll be here. Making pizza on Friday night and holding the holidays as at least a little holy. And he'll go make a life. Just like he's supposed to. They all will. It's a wonderful thing.

And it doesn't always feel completely wonderful to the mom in the house.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Our new church building

Take one fabulous congregation with 150 adults and 80 kids


one lonely building


juuuuust the right time

and you get...

The Westside Unitarian Universalist Congregation! And it's new building! With a glorious view of Puget Sound and just enough of everything to be JUST RIGHT!

I can't believe that this wonderful congregation I serve has purchased this beautiful building. We first saw the building in November, we launched the capital campaign in January and got the keys a week ago today. During the worst recession in memory, we did it.

May it be a beautiful ministry in a beautiful space filled with beautiful people. And may it grow to meet the spiritual needs of all who are searching. With love. And care.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Cool Kids!

This very cool kid used to go to our little homeschool school. She's moved on to bigger things!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Austerity, oh yeah!

I went grocery shopping this morning like I always do on Monday mornings. That's the really good thing about working on Sundays, my weekend is everyone else's "Back to work" day.

I really needed to go grocery shopping. There had been no bread in the house for about three days, the milk was probably OK but it was a little past it's expiration date. We had no fruit. There were still carrots but you would absolutely have to peel them before eating to get all the hairy bits off. We could have made few more meals out of the lentils and onions in the cupboard, but no one wanted to eat like that any more.

Nope, we didn't lose a job. We didn't have a tragedy.


Our family is pretty good at shutting down the spending when we need to. We can all wait to get hair cuts or new shoes or fancy shampoo. The living room carpeting is more than thread bare and we love our 10 year-old-couch.

But this was a mission. I was ready to clean-out and clean-up and to live on what we had in our house. No money. No shopping. No buying. Time to make due and make it work.

It was like going to a nudist colony! Freedom! Well, if I had ever been to a nudist colony and if I thought that being nude was a freeing thing. I don't. I'm from Minnesota. There is nothing freeing about being nude. No. Who would even think that anyway? But living on what we had in our house was extremely liberating!


We ate the food that was already in our house. We baked muffins and rolled out creative pie crusts. We made a quiche with chives from the garden and fake sausage and buttery pie crusts. There were some strange lunches. And some kids standing in front of the fridge, well...pondering. But we made it through. We had to buy bird food and dog food of all weird necessities. And there was one point when we had to decide between sanity and coffee. Coffee won.

But for all the weird meals and interesting combinations of food, I'm really glad we did this. Our fridge is clean, our cupboards lean. And with the money that we would have spent on groceries for just one week, we bought a share in the garden-farm of a friend of a friend....a CSA. We've got a share, we're part of the food chain! It's amazing.

And now we have the prettiest eggs, ever!

Thanks to our good friends who connected the dots and helped us have beautiful eggs! I can't wait to see what comes in our big bag next week!