Tuesday, September 28, 2010

oh to be four.

A day that I NEVER want to repeat just ended with this:

Charlee, sitting still as her mom brushes her hair, says "Kaleen! I was a mermaid today!" She and Carleigh then explained how they dressed her up as a mermaid.

She then turned to me:

"I need to be older.
Then I can be a mermaid.
With fins."

the end.

May that get me through at least two more hours of UMA planning work and a 5 page theology of leadership paper...amen.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

i choo-choo-choose you.

A couple of weeks ago, Charlee came to the dinner table grumpy. Annoyed. I think perhaps she'd been watching Max and Ruby and it was time for supper. 

It wasn't the type of grumpy where you sit and silently pout. 
It was full-blown "whine-a-lot-hit-your-brother-on-the-arm-tell-your-mom-the-supper-she-slaved-over-is-yucky" type of grumpy. 
Worse case I've seen in a while around these parts. 

I asked her: "Why are you grumpy, Char?"
She responded: "I just want to be sad right now."

So, she got pulled into her room for a talk with her dad.

She came back to the table, looked at me, crossed her arms, and with the most sour expression on her face, declared:

"I'm happy."

"Are you sure about that Charlee?" I replied. Gary gave me a look and said "she's choosing it, Kaleen". Their talk in her room had everything to do with choosing a good attitude, choosing to be positive, choosing joy.

And so, just a few seconds after Charlee stated her choice, a radical change came over her. She released the arms, the corners of her mouth started to turn up into a smile, and her giggle came out. She ate her dinner, was kind to her brother, thanked her mom for her supper, and even cleared our plates...because she chose to.

I've had one of those weeks where I've had to choose joy. 
Many things came bubbling to the surface...and it was easier to "just want to be sad" than to do the hard work of choosing something better.

But here's the thing. 
When I hold on to sadness, it doesn't just stay there. 
It becomes infectious and grows into bitterness, anger, resentment and apathy. 
That's a deadly combo.

When I choose joy, I decrease and Christ increases in my life. 

And we all win.

Monday, September 20, 2010

this picture...

...begs for a caption.

And makes me giggle until I can't breathe.
Every time.
Even in Starbucks, when I should be doing homework, and curious bystanders imagine the possible giggle-worthy scenarios.

It could say:
Gee mom, thanks for taking a pic of me in my boxer briefs.

Thanks for coming out, blue steel.

But really, we all know it's trouble:
You don't even know.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Mi casa es su casa...for real.

This weekend my dear friend Chad (from Pennsylvania) and 4 of his dear friends (including his little bro) came to visit. 

The PA boys (as I have named them in my head) are riding "PA to Panama" over a number of months. It is a dream they have had for a few years, and is now coming to life. While they have already conquered many of the States in the first few weeks of their motorcycle journey, there is so much more yet to see. From here, they head south (and a little east/west) until they reach Panama. 

And so, before heading south, they came north to visit good ol' Canada (probably because Chad made them). Chad and I have known each other for almost 5 years; he is my Costa Rica brother...after 3 summers of working in Costa Rica together, I knew that if I needed something mechanical or "handy" done, I would go to Chad. If I didn't want to drive the 15 passenger van, I'd go to Chad. He takes care of me like a good brother would. But if he needed to debrief an experience or talk about the girl of his dreams, he knew he could come chat with me. 

So, when he and his buddies rolled in for the weekend, I was excited to be able to share with him and his friends a little bit of Canada and for them to meet my "brother" and "sister" here. It felt like family was meeting family.

And...they acted like family. 

Saturday morning we were figuring out plans for the day, thinking about a trip into Vancouver. Next thing I knew, all 5 of them were out on the deck that Gary is rebuilding, each with some sort of role: cutting, gluing, tearing away...We kept postponing the trip into Vancouver by 30 minutes. One or the other would tell me, "Well, if we just keep working for another 30 minutes...."

I had to laugh. 

Gary was pumped.

3 hours later the plywood was down, we ate a quick lunch, and ran into Vancouver. But I think the highlight of the weekend had already passed.

Today, after they left us, Gary and Carleigh and I had a chat about life. We were so impressed with this group of guys, with their hearts for God, their interactions with one another (and with us), their ability to take turns playing Thomas the train with Bodhi, and ultimately, their willingness to take risk with adventure. I think Carleigh and Gary and I often do so well living together because we share an affinity for life that is lived outside of the "norm".

Houses and cars and careers will always be there. 

Adventure is to be lived. 

And so the boys rode away today, and we each commented on how we longed for more adventure. 

Somehow going to work tomorrow and starting a new class just doesn't compare with riding a motorbike down to Panama.

Ride safe, boys.

(If you want to follow their trail, go to http://patopanamaontwowheels.blogspot.com/)

Monday, September 13, 2010

A frenemy.

This woman is one of those "best friend best enemy" types. She's kicking my butt...literally.

It's okay. I've asked for it. But if she tries this...

...friendship over.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

the story of a girl and her kitty cat

Jane's favourite new word:

Kitty Cat.

Skippy Jon Jones (who really is Charlee's kitty) must think that Jane is a fellow kitten. Jane will be sitting somewhere, and out of nowhere will come Skippy...in "play attack" mode. Last night Jane was running around the basement with a string, and Skippy was following after. I haven't seen Jane giggle so much yet in her short life. It was awesome.

Enjoy the following videos (unfortunately the string fun was winding down by the time I got my camera...but this is pretty great nonetheless).

Video #1: Jane and Skippy (note Skippy's "play attack" mode in action)

Video #2: Bodhi and "yes of course" attempt #1 = fail. (He says it...but not the way he normally does...)

Saturday, September 04, 2010

...and here we go again.

Tomorrow afternoon, we welcome 200 new students to CBC. It struck me today that it was exactly 10 years ago when I was one of those newbies. And so, I said a prayer..."calm their nerves, give them peace, show them love, provide them with friends".

I love first week. Energy galore: a mish-mash of nerves, excitement, and anticipation, rolled into one.

....here we go again!

On a completely "other" note...

Lately Bodhi has amazed me.

I took Bo for a date last week. He showed me where and "who" all the animals were at the Eco-Dairy... "here's the pigs, here's the cow, here's the goats....helloooo goats!" He really should become their tour guide.

And then last night, Carleigh asked Bodhi to pray for dinner, and so he instructed us to hold hands (it's usually an instruction to close our eyes). If anyone broke from holding hands during the prayer (i.e. Jane), he took careful note to stop the prayer, give instruction to re-join hands, and then continued. I think prayer took a total of 5 minutes.

But my favourite new Bodhi saying?
"Yes, of course!" (emphasis on the "of course"). I will work on posting a video of this. It's awesome.

For now, enjoy the ice cream face.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

september = fresh start

Ok, friends. I need your accountability.

September's rules:

  1. No new clothes. 
  2. No going out for a movie.

Why, you may ask, are you creating these rules for yourself? Well, a combination of now being a student again (and the pricetag that goes along with that), along with going from full-time to part-time at work is forcing this.

But why, you may ask, am I still smiling about it? Honestly, because it's kind of a relief to shed off materialistic tendencies that I hold. I need a good "cleansing" every once in a while. It's not normal to buy clothes and go to movies for most people in the world. So, why should it be normal for me?

Amen to simplifying...whether intentional or necessary.