My independent thinking rabble-rouser

Last night, I picked up three of my kids from the youth meeting at a local church.  The teachings are conservative, with recent discussions on women under leadership of men and election/predestination.  My 12 yo, a self-published author, jumps in the car and says “Mom, I’ve got another idea for a new book.”

“Another book idea ??!!?” I ask jokingly.  She has been working on a book sequel, a rebuttal essay on why women can TOO preach, and she writes collaboratively with her sister, Rachel, almost daily.

“Yeah, and I’ve got a title for it,” she continues.  “It will be called ‘Liberal Thoughts of a Lady.'”

A Litter of Kids on the Couch

After years of “getting by” with a broken couch, it finally occurred to me, “None of us hang out in the living room because nobody enjoys lounging on the broken couch.”  We were separating and spreading out into different parts of the house, spending less and less time together.  

Since I wanted my teens to hang out with me and each other more often during the day, we bought the VIMLE couch from IKEA.  Now, this is the scene I often come upon . . .


Yep, THREE teenagers and a dog all sleeping on the couch at the same time!

But they aren’t always asleep.


Then they fully awaken and the wrestling and squeals begin again.  The couch was so worth it, just for this.

Girl, we were THERE

at the ACT to End Racism Rally.


I am fairly sure our presence there did not benefit anyone but ourselves.

But maybe that is the place to start?  With ourselves?  Making the world a better place by continually remaking kinder and more merciful versions of ourselves.  God’s Kingdom come, baby — it has to come through us, our words, our actions, because that is how God works.  To our eyes, slowly, painfully, inefficiently perhaps but that is Love for you.  Love draws people in and includes them when it is a thousand times easier to not do so.

Getting on a bus with a bunch of strangers to travel all night and stand in our capital city with other people of faith who also traveled from afar to say we care about justice and equity was important.  To say that when one of our brothers and sisters suffers, we all suffer.

Girl, I know people can be discouraging.  It is tough when those we love and respect make choices that are not loving or respectful to others.  I too have struggled with anger and frustration, but it has not overcome my hope, a hope that grows every time I pay attention to you, your sister and your brothers.  You will change the world darling.  You have the the moral conscience, the steely, stubborn backbone and the rebellious heart to do it.

Rebellion is often viewed negatively, particularly in churchspeak.  But I, your mama, say to you, “Rebel, Girl, rebel.”  Turn over those tables in the temple.  Rebel against any authority, especially church authority, that tries to tell you right is wrong and wrong is right.  Who support immoral leaders who prey on the weak.



So what now?  What comes after this rally for us?

I’m not sure, but we’ll keep looking for opportunity to make good in this world.  Looking for the light in dark places.  Hint:  the light is often found in other people.   So is the dark.

You and me – we are full of light and dark, same as other people.  Our job is to look for that light in ourselves and shine it on our dark places.  Sometimes we need others to do it for us, and sometimes we must do that for others.  That part will be particularly unfun, but it is right.

And our faith requires it.


The odd things we hear in this house

“There is something very Pacific…” Prairie

“…You’re being a skomach!” Rachel(not a typo)

“… something about taking a doctor’s pulse and then sniffing it?” Rachel

“Now you know what it’s like to be besqozen!” Sidney

“Yes, but I don’t dig my wrists like eeee!” Rachel

“Did you just compare my fish burp to Gwyneth Paltrow?” Sidney

“They’re bootless boot verbs.” Lincoln

“Just think nature, Prairie.” Rachel

“I love the smell of toasted Calvinist.” Sidney

“Awww, she’s so sweet when she’s not trying to bite me!” Rachel

“Twilight was screaming for Daffodil, who was having trouble with Will and his oranges.” Rachel

“…so I wrapped it in elephants!” Lincoln

Carry on

We are learning to do this with monsters named Cancer and Genetic Mutation hovering in the background.

Their monstrosity shrinks and they lose power when we play together.


Or engage in contemplative thoughts, like “Can I really suction my face into a drinking glass?”



Or start a project like CLEAN OUT DAD’s WORKSHOP.



And achieve success by clearing one corner to work


A fluffy puppy soothes and calms



And stands guard while we sleep



At his insistence, Sidney kept half his thyroid.  The half the doctors took out shows no cancer.  Rachel’s thyroid biopsy is free and clear.

We are thankful for so much.

Weird Words Heard in this House

“Prairie might murder us alive.” Rachel

“Lincoln, now is not the time to act like a disciplined frog!” Rachel

“I might sound like a sandwich.” Rachel

“I’m going to do a video of me eeping applesauce.” Prairie

“I’m making a music video about applesauce.  So shushy!” Prairie

“My reactions are so… mutant.” Rachel

“Clear clouds tonight.” Lincoln

“He looks supremely creamy.” Rachel (referring to Benedict Cumberbatch)

“… and why are there moths smeared onto the window?” Rachel

“I might feel like Noah’s Ark.” Rachel

“I would go naked if I could,”  Prairie comments on a hot day in the park.  When she catches my look, “Well, wouldn’t you?”

Sidney Update and bloggy catch-up

Many people have asked if Sidney and I are settled back in at home, if routines are back to normal . . .

Not really.  The last few months have been good.  Hectic, but good.  And emotional.

Sidney is content to be home.  Sid and the kids quickly folded us back into their daily.  I am not back in the swing of things yet.  I keep getting bowled over by waves of emotion  . . .

when I knock on the boys’ room in the morning, open the door and see both my boys waking up together in the same room again

when I go to kiss my girls awake

when my boys stand at the stove together making omelets

when music and song fill the house again, always, singing, humming, violin, clarinet, cello, piano . . .

when my boys sit side by side at the table eating and laughing together

when the kids play Twister


when eating supper together and we remember the times we used to tie a sock around Sidney’s mouth to remind him to stop talking so much . . .

you know, just normal everyday family life

it is so precious.

For weeks after Sidney and I got home, Lincoln, Rachel and Prairie just followed Sidney around.  Whereever he was, there they be.

Below, Sidney is doing something thoroughly unexciting and mundane on the computer. But “Look!  It’s our brother on the computer.  Let’s all crowd around and watch him!




Sidney took it in stride.  Mabye he even relished it a bit, basking in all the love and attention.

While Sidney basks, it is easy for me to get bogged down in all the catching up I have to do.  Then I look out the window


and see my girls in the rain, focused on something very small.


They study it and take pictures.  As if it is the most amazing creature they have ever seen.


They are also loud and silly.


Which totally distracts me from brooding thoughts.


We celebrated Sidney’s 18th birthday.


After the party, when everyone had gone home, Sidney 2 and Sidney 3 put together an engine he got for his birthday.


So many things changed.

A few key things the same — like me, watching my husband and asking “Why?”

He never really answers that question.


And Prairie wants to show how flexible she is.


We’ve all been exercising together.  Prairie destroys all of us with her flexibility.  I am pretty sure my foot is about a mile from head when I attempt this pose.

But since I’m the picture-taker, ain’t nobody getting that picture.