Category Archives: Kathy

Special Day Reboot

When the children were little, I can’t remember exactly when, Tim began the exercise of setting apart weekly special time with just one child. We called them Special Days (we’re obviously very creative and brilliant in naming our family traditions). I looked around and found a blog post written in 2004 about our family’s practice of Special Days. Oh my goodness, time has flown!

How CUTE were these kids!

How CUTE were these kids! Not sure why they were all sitting on a couch in the garage. Maybe they were waiting to be picked for a Special Day.

There has been much ebb and flow in the Special Days over the years, and sadly, as the kids got older and life got busier, we weren’t faithful in making Special Days a priority. It’s ironic that, the more you NEED to stop and savor time with your (rapidly) growing teens/adults, the LESS you seem able to do so.

With the age difference between the older children (all three in college) and the younger two (in 8th and 9th grade) spanning four years, we have the opportunity try some new parenting things, return to old favorites, and really focus on this time with David and Sarah.

“I’ve decided to restart Special Days,” Tim told me just before he left to take Daniel to California.
“That’s a GREAT idea,” I said, feeling a bit left out, Special Days were always a Father/Child activity.
“But this time we’re BOTH going to do them – one child each week,” he winked at me. He’s so smart.

So this week Tim met with David. I’m not sure what all they did (maybe Tim will blog about it, hint hint). I know they hid upstairs with a notebook, pen and a book to read. And I know they went out for ice cream afterward, so I guess it was a successful first Special Day.

The week was rapidly coming to a close when Tim asked me if I had anything planned to do with Sarah.

“Uh. Um. No” I’m sure I looked a bit sheepish.
“Did you remember?”
Those are not fair questions to ask.
“Of course. I’m totally on it!” When necessary, fake it!
“You’re empty, aren’t you?” (It always comes back to movie quotes in our family. That one was a classic, Silverado, “You’re empty, Mister” line.) I was obviously not fooling Tim. Thankfully Sarah was no where in sight.

I’m not used to doing Special Days. That’s always been Tim’s father/child thing. If he took all the kids at one time, I happily stayed home and relaxed or worked (which ever was more pressing at the time). If Tim was doing a single outing, I spent time managing/watching/teaching the other 4 children. Not to mention the fact that Sarah and I just completed our Passport2Purity weekend, and I’d exhausted all the usual fun mother/daughter activities.

“Well, how about you take her out for breakfast on Saturday,” he suggested patiently.

Didn’t I say he was smart? “Perfect,” I said with relief.

So, this morning we both slept in and then set off for breakfast at the local cafe. Of course, by the time we got up and got going, it was after 10 am and the place was packed. I guess we don’t have very many good breakfast spots in our town. Now that I think about it, my mom and I had trouble in December when we tried to take a friend out for a birthday breakfast at this same spot. We ended up walking over to Starbucks across the street and enjoying some coffee and a breakfast sandwich instead.

“What are we going to do,” Sarah asked me as we looked at the list of people ahead of us on the sign in sheet.
“I have an idea,” I said, crossing off our name, grabbing her hand and heading out the door.

Well, it wasn’t a cute breakfast place, and we didn’t have a yummy meal served to us at a cozy table, but we did get a tasty sandwich wrap and some delicious coffee for me. Hey, I can’t help it that the Starbucks is right across the street.

Worrying I was rapidly blowing my first Special Day outing, I took Sarah back home, got her some more breakfast (those little wraps are costly but not very filling when it’s nearly 11 am). The sun was shining, the house was quiet, and I was struck with a brilliant idea. I played it off like it was my original plan and not a last minute thought. Heh heh.

“Sarah, we’re going to do this Mother/Daughter journal that Rachel and I started. And let’s read this Mother/Daughter book too.”

Snuggle and read time.

Mother/Daughter Special Day time.

We snuggled on the love seat under a quilt, read through some journal entries, started the first chapter of 5 Conversations You Must Have with Your Daughter, and laughed together.

Whew, my first Special Day with Sarah wasn’t a total failure. Now to figure out what to do with David next week. I guess I might want to actually put some thought and planning into this.

Game Time!

Game Time!

Later we went for a walk as a family. Stopped by some friends’ house. Bought an adorable pink purse for me and 6 pairs of cute shoes for Sarah. Came home for lunch and an episode of Once Upon a Time. In the evening we sent Tim to church to start the registration for AWANA while we went to David’s best friend Eli’s first football game. Love family time and holiday weekends!

Shoe Score for Sarah!

Shoe Score for Sarah!

Stay tuned for more Special Day posts!

Project 365 – Day 248

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Double Date

I recently resumed the practice of reporting weekly on my goals.

This took quite a bit of gumption, since I’ve not been in the habit of reviewing my goals this year — and as Dee Duke says, a goal that is not reviewed is not much of a goal. There is a strange correlation between reviewing goals and actually pursuing them; you’d think by now I would have caught on to this.

Anyway, I started reporting on my goals, and the first week I earned a rather low (unweighted) score of 38%. This means that I managed to complete only slightly more than one third of the things that I had decided were important for me to do.

(Parenthetically, this is one of the most annoying things about goals. It would be one thing if goals were brutally imposed by oppressive, external forces; but when you set your own goals and still can’t achieve them, it is just sort of pathetic.)

So as soon as I sent the email reporting the abysmal 38% score, I determined to do better. Surely I could improve to at least 50%, I wondered?

One of my goals is to celebrate a date night with my Sweetie each week. It doesn’t seem like a very hard goal, but you would be surprised how quickly a week can go by without remembering to date your Sweetie. So this week I decided in advance that it would be Friday night. Kathy and I usually don’t have anything going on that night, and that would give me all week to plan.

It looked pretty, if I do say so myself.  OK, at least the girls were pretty.

It looked pretty, if I do say so myself. OK, at least the girls were pretty.

Except I forgot to plan. I’m not a big planner, in any case, and it was Friday morning before I knew it. Hurriedly, I rummaged around in my brain for a good idea, like the way you might rummage around in a spilled bag of candy, hoping for one that wasn’t noticed by those who came before you.

And then it hit me — why not a double date with some of our friends? Now that so many of our kids are grown and gone off to college, maybe Kathy and I could pretend to be grown up ourselves, and have a date with another married couple! Kathy has a lot of good girlfriends, and I really like a lot of their husbands, so it seemed like a good idea.

A couple of years ago, we got together with seven other couples and cooked a meal together, with the men divided into two teams and competing for the best entree with randomly assigned ingredients. It took hours for us to actually produce a meal, with some rather interesting results, but as a social event, it was a smashing success.

So I decided to trade on that achievement, and texted my friend Chris.

“How ’bout we double-date with our wives, tonight,” I offered. “We can whip up a meal for them, and then watch a movie or something. My house. Sound good?”

Chris quickly jumped on the band wagon. Did I mention he is an accomplished chef? So we cooked a delicious meal of grilled chicken and brown rice, with peppers and zucchini and onions and a few small tomatoes, all brushed with oil and sizzling on the grill. I set the table complete with tablecloth, cloth napkins, a candlestick, and crystal water goblets.

So delicious!

So delicious!

We sat and talked about our children (what else do old married people talk about?) and then watched a movie — it was a very pleasant evening! I think this whole date night thing might be worth continuing. Stay tuned for next week’s installment.

Project 365, Day 247

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A Discouraged Spirit

I’m working through some Project 365 pictures that I need to post from the end of August.

January, February, March, April and May are all complete. Yay us!! June is only missing 3, two of which I hope Tim going to write about his time at JH Ranch with David.

July and August are an entirely different story. Yikes. I have quite a few back-dated pictures to post and blogs to write. I’m fairly certain, however, that I have a picture from every single day, so the Project 365 is still intact. It’s the small things we cling to, I find, that keep us sane.

So, bear with me as I publish several posts from the end of August.

Last week I was in a bit of a slump. David was in California with his good friend, Marshall. Tim was getting Daniel settled in at college in Murietta Springs. Rachel and Joshua were back in the busy, engaging activities of life at Union University. Sarah and I had a lovely time being together, but I could NOT motivate myself to do anything. I was tired and apathetic. I didn’t want to DO ANYTHING. Whenever I thought about the coming Fall activities, I just felt dread and weariness. It was odd and a wee bit troubling.

Planning school is inevitable.

Planning school is inevitable.

“Well, that’s it. I’m done. This couch looks cozy and that stack of magazines has my name on it.”

I didn’t want to think about house projects, fall ministries or co-op classes. I didn’t want to plan our homeschool schedule. I didn’t have a clue about making the most of this fresh year with David and Sarah. The sun was shining, but I felt too blah to enjoy it.

“Mom, are you okay?”

When your daughter hurries to call you after receiving some rather pathetic sounding text messages, you know you’re not doing a very good job of hiding your emotional state. Ha. One of the delights of my life is how my children bless ME. Rachel has the gift of encouragement, and she NEVER lets me fall into negative self-talk or believe the lies that Satan is so good at throwing around.

“Kathy,” a friend texted me, “you have had some BIG changes in your life this month, watching three children go off to college. It’s going to manifest itself in odd and emotional ways.”

“And you’re not a crier,” another sweet friend messaged to say, “so it has to come out other ways.”

Haha. Oh, how my children and my friends and my husband know me so well!

Thankfully after a day or two of pity parties involving shots of espresso (not that different from my regular parties, now that I think about it), I began to feel my old self. It helped when I made a mental list of all that I had done this summer.


1. A HUGE overhaul of the garage
2. Completely organized, sorted and labeled all of Tim’s tools and hardware
3. Organized the two sheds in the back yard
4. Emptied and helped Tim clean out our shed in the Duckabush (not touched in years!)
5. Worked for a week on my mom’s house in Texas – emptying, organizing, selling things, giving away stuff, etc
6. Decluttered our master bedroom and closet
7. Painted our bedroom, completely moving everything around, and surprising Tim with a new desk and work set-up
8. Hosted 7 families (and LOTS of kids) for a week of camp
9. Worked with Daniel to plant and landscape the front yard
10. Spent time with my niece/nephew and great-nephew, brother-in-law and sister-in-law
11. Welcomed my son’s beautiful fiancee into the home for a whirlwind (too short!) visit
12. Helped Rachel get ready and set off for college
13. Helped Daniel move out of his room – all his stuff sorted, boxed up or given away
14. Helped David move back to his room
15. Helped Sarah move beds around and switch things from Daniel’s room to hers

I realized that I wasn’t broken or incapable of tackling big projects, I had just done a LOT already this summer.

I let my spirit rest just a bit without panicking or fretting. I got an email from one of the amazing kids in my student government class and realized I had a few fresh ideas myself. I sat next to Tim while he spent hours working on our AWANA website and felt the excitement of the coming year. I went to a meeting with the new directors of the AWANA program and saw what fun it was going to be to work with them. I made plans to meet with some women regarding our mentor program.

And ever so sweetly the Lord breathed renewed life into my spirit. It wasn’t dramatic and startling. It was gentle and subtle. And isn’t He like that sometimes.

May the Lord give strength to His people.
May the Lord bless His people with peace. Psalm 29:11

I am so thankful for His mercies which are new every morning and refresh and refill my soul.

Project 365 – Day 239 (Aug 27)

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Passport2Purity with Sarah

My sweet girl!

My sweet girl!

Sarah and I finally carved out some time for our mother/daughter Passport2Purity weekend. I’m so grateful for the ministry of Family Life and the Passport to Purity materials. They have created everything that you need to spend a weekend with your preteen/teen and to lay a foundation of communication and commitment to purity.

I still can’t believe that Tim and I have 3 kids in college this year, that Joshua is getting married in December, and this is our 5th time studying the Passport2Purity materials. Wasn’t it just last year that the kids were all homeschooling with me? And 10 years ago that Tim and I were newlyweds? Harrumph. Time is passing much too quickly, and I’m getting old!

Guy adventure time - taking Daniel to college!

Another Edgren Adventure – taking Daniel to college!

We’ve been writing since 2004, so I did a little search to see if we blogged about our other P2P weekends. Sure enough, I found a few posts. Poor Daniel, I know Tim took him off for a special weekend, but it must have been during our writing hiatus as there’s no record of it on the blog. Looks like Tim wrote a few posts about Joshua and David, and I wrote about Rachel. I love how this blog is a photo journal of our lives.

Joshua’s Weekend Part 1
Hilarious Tale by Tim
Rachel’s Weekend
David’s Adventure Part 1
David Part 2

Sarah and I decided to stay home for our special weekend and take our time going through the materials. We started out by sleeping in (LOVE summer days!!). Then I fixed us a delicious breakfast. We watched a chick flick while I gathered the necessary supplies. [Note - Family Life and CBD now carry a kit that includes all the materials you need for the Passport 2 Purity projects].

Breakfast beauty

Breakfast beauty

It was a beautiful day, and we listened to the cd’s, worked on projects, took breaks, and just enjoyed being together.

Shhh - Don't tell Tim we were eating in bed.

Shhh – Don’t tell Tim we were eating in bed.

Sarah's puzzle was a bit challenging.

Sarah’s puzzle was a bit challenging.

Mine was easy.

Mine was easy.

Great lessons about friendship – picking good friends, being a good friend, and dealing with peer pressure. Discussions about following God’s plan for your life and making sure the Bible is your guidebook. Sarah is a delight – she’s open, transparent, honest, and a thinker. She has been eagerly looking forward to our weekend together. I am so thankful for our sweet relationship. We are entering these teen years with a healthy love and appreciation for each other.

Next we set off for pedicures and some dress shopping. We bought Thai food take-out and came home for another session. I got a migraine at the end of our shopping (so frustrating!!). Thankfully some meds, lots of water, a little coffee and some rest and I felt better.

Tomorrow we’ll go through some more of the material, sneak away for a few surprise outings, and see where our conversations take us.

2011 - Birthday girls.  Where do the years go?

2011 – Birthday girls. Where do the years go?

He [Christ] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible,
whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.
And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
And he is the head of the body, the church.
He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead,
that in everything he might be preeminent.
Colossians 1:15-18

Project 365 – Day

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Where Do You Live? Seattle?

The waterfront welcomes us to downtown Seattle!

The waterfront welcomes us to downtown Seattle!

This is a pretty typical exchange that happens when I travel out of state:

Stranger: Where are you from?
Me: Washington.
Stranger: Nice, I love D.C. So much history!
Me: No, Washington State.
Stranger: Oh, gotcha. Seattle?
Me: [Considering whether to explain there are other cities in Washington besides Seattle. Like the capital, Olympia. Or the whole eastern side of the state.] Sure.

Pike's Place was next.

Pike’s Place was next.

Or this:

Family member introducing me to friends: This is my daughter/sister/niece. She lives in Seattle.
Me: Actually I live an hour south of Seattle, closer to Tacoma really.
Family member: [smiles to friend] We love Seattle.
Random Friend: Does it rain all the time in Seattle?
Me: I don’t live in Seattle, and no, it doesn’t rain all the time.
Family member and Friend: Nod knowingly.


Me (out of town) introducing myself to strangers: Hi, I’m Kathy. I’m from [pause, pause] Seattle.
Friends: How nice.

Since this also happens to Rachel and Joshua all the time at school in Tennessee (really, it’s just easier to say we’re from Seattle), Rachel was determined to make sure we went to Seattle at least once during her summer home. As our days together are rapidly (SOB!!) coming to an end, we picked today to go.

I love these three so much!

I love these three so much!

It was a GORGEOUS day! All sunshine and blue skies with lots of warmth thrown into the mix. The streets were crowded with people, and we had a real challenge finding parking (circling the same three block four times is normal, right?). After three failed attempts (one spot too small to get out of the van, another lot turned out to be only free on weekends, and one parking garage took us all the way to the fourth level with NO empty spaces), we ended up on a quiet side street with two hour parking for only $7.

Off we went to complete some Must-Do Seattle activities from Rachel’s list. Last summer David and I went to Seattle with some out of town friends. That time we bought city passes (which I highly recommend) and had an incredible time exploring some of the best attractions in Seattle.

Today was the budget version – we paid for parking, a Mexican plate lunch, and coffee.

Sarah adds her gum to the wall.

Sarah adds her gum to the wall.

Best buddies.

Best buddies.

We went to Pike’s Place and walked through the market.
We found the Starbucks flagship store.
We went to the famous gum wall in Post Alley and added our gum to the collection.

There was a tour group of 2nd graders heading to the gum wall when we left.  Um, okay.  LOL.

There was a tour group of 2nd graders heading to the gum wall when we left. Um, okay. LOL.

We tried the coffee at the Storyville Coffee shop (yum).

Delicious coffee!

Delicious coffee!

We drove over to Alki Beach, took off our shoes, burned our feet on the hot sand and dipped our toes in the cold water.
We got some Starbucks for the ride home.

Sarah, Rachel and David are the BEST traveling team - they are thankful, generous, and up for any and all adventures.

Sarah, Rachel and David are the BEST traveling team – they are thankful, generous, and up for any and all adventures.

We missed having Tim, Daniel and Joshua with us, but we had a great time being Seattle Adventurers. Rachel kept saying, “We’re not tourists because we LIVE in Seattle.” At least now we’re ready to take friends to Seattle and give them an official tour.

Beach time.

Beach time.

The sand was hot and the water cold.  The perfect mix!

The sand was hot and the water cold. The perfect mix!

Grab some gum and come visit us!

Got gum, will travel.

Got gum, will travel.

Project 365 – Day 211

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