Friday, December 09, 2011

writing music.

aka what I listen to on repeat, while writing my paper (extensions are God's grace)...and coincidentally from one of my most favourite Christmas albums (yet not a typical Christmas song...). Thank you, Sufjan.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Don't mind me, it's the fever talking...

The other night Bodhi had a bit of a fever. Carleigh gave him some medicine and put him in bed while we were making dinner, but he didn't want to stay in bed. He wanted to be close to Carleigh. So, whipping up a makeshift bed in the kitchen, Bo watched me while I fried up some ground turkey. Carleigh had to run off to intervene in some sort of almost-catastrophe with the girls. And in the three minutes she was out of the kitchen, Bo, in his feverish state, topped the cake with the weirdest conversation we've ever had. Ever.

Bodhi: Hey Kaleen....I have your bum, and you have mine!
Me: Um...what Bo?
Bo: I have your bum...and you have mine!

At this point, I usually encourage Bo to think about talking about other things...but I was curious at where this one might be going...
 
Me: Oh...really? What do you mean?
Bo: We switched.
Me: And...please tell me...how did that exactly happen?
Bo: Oh, it's easy. You just have to wish for it. Like this...I wish my bum would switch! And then you say (cue sing-songy voice and little waving of the hand...)....bye bye bum!


Carleigh entered at that point and tried to interpret Bo's new philosophy of bum switching. She came up with the point that the kids are often told they have dad's lips, or mom's eyes, etc., and so maybe, just maybe this was what Bodhi was getting at, "right, Bodhi? Is that what you mean?"


Bo: Nope, I mean we switched bums. Bye, bye, bum!

Weirdest. Conversation. Ever.
And yet...I still think living with this kid and his family is one of the best decisions I ever made.
Even with the bum switching.



Sunday, December 04, 2011

Clockwork, Christmas, and Control.

I am currently working on a 20 page paper due tomorrow.

As per my modus operandi, somewhere around hour 6 of the paper-writing process I begin to think obsessively:  
"I MUST blog now. Right now. This very minute." 
I do this thing where when working on a paper, or a blog, I let the thoughts simmer for a long time before writing. And evidently, the boiling point for both items occurs at the same time.

So here we are. (It's going to be a late night.)

I was struck with the realization yesterday that Christmas is coming. 
You might already be very aware of this. 
I wasn't.
In fact, Christmas will be here in three weeks, as of today.
At this rate, you might happen to see me in the mall on Christmas eve buying things "as seen on TV" because I ran out of time.
(Well, okay, probably not. More likely I'll get the idea that I can "make something" and will develop carpal tunnel from trying to knit that blanket that I thought was a brilliant idea somewhere around December 15th.)

On a related note (this will make sense at the end, I promise), there are moments in my job at the college when I think "wow, I get paid to be here". One such moment happened on Thursday last week during chapel. It was an advent-focused chapel, lead by a class of worship arts students. The focus was Christ's coming, and linking "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" with both the understanding that Christ came, and is yet coming to us again. 

Something hit me in that moment, that perhaps I too often live as though Christ came. 
Period. 
I forget the second part. 
As much as I want to live "carpe diem", I can't toss the future aside, simply because I can't control it. Or because I can't dream it. Or because I've lost hope.

Yes, it's true. 
While I attempt to live life as the eternal optimist, there are times where I lose hope. 
It makes me very, very human. 
It creeps into cynicism. 
And at its very worst, becomes apathy.

But when I think about Christmas and what it all means (i.e. not the mall or the knitted blanket), I think it is better to say I have misplaced hope. 

For, in my times of hopelessness, I am attempting to control whatever the situation is. 
I've misplaced hope, because I've tried to substitute it with power. 
And I simply can't. 
I'm not supposed to. 
I'm not in charge.
Somehow, the focus of the advent brought that realization to fruition:  
I am free to hope, and hope continues to free me...and that is the gift of Christ's love for me

It may not have been what those students were getting at, but it's what came to me in that moment we sang these words:

And what was said to the rose to make it unfold
Was said to me, here in my chest
So be quiet now, and rest.
Here is our King
Here is our Love
Here is our God who's come to bring us back to him
He is the one,
He is Jesus

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Regalos de las ultimas semanas...

1. The realization that a simple email to a student can mean more to them than I am aware.

2. A brother who uses his points to get Carleigh and I an awesome hotel downtown Vancouver for a night, leading to great food, a fun movie, birthday shopping (i.e. we both got to buy treats for ourselves), and a good time with my sister.

3. A five year old who is greatly concerned to learn I'm an only child, but relieved to learn her parents have agreed to be my siblings. (And all is right in her world again).

4. The random texts. Lana is in the lead as my most regular text-er who checks in with me. Her texts are honest, raw, hilarious, touching, and...random.

5. Robin's facebook profile picture. You have to see it to get it.

6. The fact that I have two weeks left in my current course.

7. A plane ticket to Costa Rica in February.

8. Recitation of Christmas program songs at the dinner table. Jane's got the "Baby Jesus" part down. Charlee can sing most of her song. Bo calls it his prayer. We'll see what happens on the day...and yes, there's no way I'm missing that one.

9. This song on repeat, which helps me focus and write an 8-page paper...which became a 10 page paper...and find the energy to also write this blog post.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I'm always thankful for...

...a little bit of creativity.

I quickly get tired, for example, of tv shows that are simply repeats of other shows.

Like medical dramas where everyone is kissing everyone else.

Or crime dramas where the strong female lead character needs her witty male sidekick to help her solve the mystery.

Or when Fran Drescher and Tim Allen re-appear twenty years later, and seem to have oddly similar characters to their last shows.

Or reality shows. All of them.

With this in mind, one of the things I've been thankful for this fall (in addition to a pinterest addiction), is the opportunity to watch a show I feel is unique. Yes, it relies on old fairy tales to spin the story...but with such a great twist.

So...without further ado, I give you...Once Upon a Time (have you seen it yet?)



p.s. Happy birthday Carleigh :)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

yes, this is true.

Time to share another gift...

Well, if you've been following along, it shouldn't be a surprise that the kids I live with are a constant blessing to me.

I mean, where else would I get 24 hour hugs and kisses, along with this kind of entertainment?

(Please note: the following stories and videos all took place within about 2 hours of my babysitting stint the other night...and yes, this type of genius stuff comes up all the time, I just forget to write most of it down.)

While playing..
Charlee: Kathleen do you know what happened... TO THE WORLD?
Me: No, Charlee, what happened?
Charlee: Well, Kathleen, about 40 years ago, there were no people and (hushed tones) dinosaurs lived.
Me: 40 years ago huh? Wow!
Charlee: Yes! Fooooooooorty years ago. It was a long time ago.
Bodhi: Um, Kaleen, Sophie told me that there's another world where dinosaurs live, and there's no people there.
Me: Hmm, interesting. Remind me to ask Sophie's mom about that one...
(Corinna, have you heard that one before?)

While watching Diego..
Charlee: Kathleen, Diego's a kid right?
Me: Yup!
Charlee: Well, how does a kid save all these animals? (laughs) That's just crazy!
Me: (speechless...honestly.)
And then it got wild.
Enjoy Jane's rendition of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star...(sorry, the video quality isn't great, I took these with my phone...)

And then Charlee's....along with some other interesting moments.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

A gift.

With Christmas coming (according to one of my students, there's 49 days left...) I want to shift my focus. The last few weeks have been hard. I need to shift my focus.

And so, as of this minute, I have decided that the next two months of blogs will be dedicated to the gifts that present themselves in life.
And...those which need to be shared and appreciated.

I begin tonight with my friend Sheree's unbelievable talent. 

I have always thought Sheree's voice is remarkable. If you haven't heard it yet, you need to.
(She can also do a sweet rap about Costa Rica...but she may have already archived that little gem...)

Without further ado, a new album, filled with lullabies for her son, begs for you to listen
(because even if you don't have kids, everyone needs lullabies. I know I do.)

Please take a look and a listen (and take note that it's available on itunes!).
A gift like Sheree's is one that needs to be shared so that others may also appreciate...

Sheree Plett - Hello Night
(Click on the link below the image to preview the album)

Thursday, November 03, 2011

chewing on this one...

Every human contact requires an openness that invites others into our presence for a moment of grace, if we so choose - or a moment of profanity.
Yes, that is the right word.
We profane another person whenever we fail to honor them as human beings.
Because every human being is made in the image of God, each is intrinsically connected to him and is therefore sacred, being stamped with God's own imprint.
How I treat "the least of these" is how I treat their Creator.
If I extend to them hospitality, I reveal God's beauty and grace.
If I am uncharitable toward another person, I fail to honor the God who gave them dignity.

Jesus' identification with us is so intense that whatever touches us touches him.
And whatever I do to another human, I do to him.
By profaning another person, I profane God.
Thus the greater profanity may not be cursing, bad as that is, but failing to extend openness and hospitality to another person who bears the Creator's image.
"He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker" (Prov 14:31).
Duane Elmer, Cross Cultural Servanthood, page 45.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Ready for another run at the cup??

Tuesday night I was spoiled.

My good friend Alicia, whose family has seasons tickets for the Canucks, invited me to the game against New York. While the game was awful (let's just not talk about that), there were some great moments.

Let's begin with the afternoon before I left for the game. 

Carleigh told the kids, "Say good bye to Kathleen, because she won't be home until after you've gone to bed! She's going to the hockey game!"

Charlee, eyes like saucers, breathed slowly as she exclaimed:
"Kathleen, are you PLAYING in the hockey game?"

I laughed and explained, no, I was just watching the game.

To which Charlee and Jane, in unison, as if they just found out that raisins are actually dried grapes, complete with the head tilt, said:
"Oooooooooooh"

Then when we arrived at the arena, Alicia looked at me and curiously questioned:
"So, who are you going to run into tonight?"

For as long as Alicia and I have been attending Canucks games together (5 + years?), I have always run into someone I know. Once, standing in line for the washroom, I saw a girl I'd met in Costa Rica. Another time, a picture of two boys from the college flashed onto the big screen. Yet another time, this happened.  So, it wasn't that surprising when, between the 2nd and 3rd periods, I looked down a few rows and saw a man standing, having a stretch. I laughed out loud and turned to Alicia:
"Found him. See the guy in the blue shirt, black jacket? That's my cousin Chris!"

My cousin, whom I probably last saw about 5 years ago, was sitting with his teenage son, in some excellent seats near the glass. So, I ran down and said hi. I came back to my seat, and Alicia and I just laughed. It is my destiny to always know someone in my outings to Vancouver...as long as Alicia joins me.

And then there were the tears.

I have to admit that while the Canucks played so disappointingly on Tuesday night, they had good reason. Prior to the start of the game, they shared a tribute to Rick Rypien, their team member who passed away over the summer. It was a beautiful tribute. When it was done, and we were about to sing the national anthem, I turned to Alicia and said: "And how the heck are they supposed to play after that??"

So yes, there were great moments during my initiation into the 2011-12 season.

And here we go again...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

the boy is in the house.

Sometimes I feel for Bo.
With Dad at work during the day (and sometimes away on work trips), Bo spends a lot of time with the girls.

Tonight, as I type this, I can hear him playing with his trains and singing:
Shake your quake!
Shake, shake your quake!

I have no idea what this means.

Today I came home and Bo was excited to tell me he spent time with Ollie...an equally rambunctious little boy. The two together act like dinosaurs high on testosterone and skittles. While I think it's awesome for Bodhi to spend time with cool little boys like Ollie, I also instantly notice the effects.

For example:
Me: Bo, tell me a story.
Bo: Once upon a time there was this little ghost. He fell in the dirt. Hahahaha (Bo, now doubled over in dorky chuckles), that was so funny, Kaleen.
Me: Ok... Um, Bo tell me another story.
Bo: Um, Once upon a time, there was this monster. And..he hit his head on a shelf. He said, "OH MY GOODNESS". Hahahahaha (more dorky chuckles), that was so funny, Kaleen.

I now understand that the boys at the college I work at all started here.

And everything makes more sense.

Monday, October 10, 2011

these kids.

Yesterday, with the help of Lana, I had the kids to myself from about 1pm until around midnight. While I do the occasional "shift" with the kids, I can't remember the last time my shift was this long. I think it might have been pre-Jane. 

In the past, one of these fun shifts involved a lot of puking...and a lot of laundry.

Thankfully, yesterday, I am proud to report, there was no puking...and minimal laundry.

Instead, I am equally proud to report, we had lunch, we piled into my Honda Fit (fyi, a Honda Fit can hold two booster seats and a carseat in the back - this car never ceases to amaze me), we went to the park, we watched "Fly Away Home" (anyone remember this gem?), we had dinner (I may have given the kids their weekly consumption of fish between lunch's tuna fish sandwiches and dinner's tilapia filets...), and we even made cookies. I consider the day a phenomenal success.

I love these kids.
Who wouldn't?

Thursday, October 06, 2011

How 'bout I scrub the toilets?

Tonight, Gary's at the game.

(Sadly, as I'm writing this, the Canucks just lost. 
To the Penguins. 
In overtime. 
The reality of game 7 of the final series is still just too close. 
I didn't even watch it tonight. 
I just wasn't ready.)

Anyways, while Gary was at the game, Carleigh and I took the kids to a restaurant. 
This restaurant may or may not have a large play area. 
And may or may not give you a golden crown to wear. 
We may or may not be embarrassed that we went there. 
It may or may not have broken some of our health goals. 

Moving on...

On the way home, Bodhi was insisting that he was NOT tired. NOT sleepy. NOT going to bed.
Carleigh and I let him know we were sooooo tired.
Carleigh told him he was welcome to stay up, but we would all go to bed. 

Trying to help Carleigh out, I turned around and said:

Yeah, Bo, and if you want to stay up, then you have to do the laundry, and wash the dishes, and mow the lawn, and put away your toys. 
So...would you rather do that or would you rather read a book and go to bed?

A second of silence, and...:

Um, I'd rather do the projects.

Well. 
That backfired.
I should have known better. 
Bodhi will always have the comeback.


Friday, September 30, 2011

life is Good.

The last few weeks, while crazy, have also been good.

Let me re-emphasize crazy.
But...
Good. Capital G.

May this post serve as a reminder.
May this post help me appreciate what life looks like for those moments I simply don't.

Some of my favourite things of late?

1. Bodhi, at dinner: Hey Kaleen...you're my best big kid. (I consider this a high honour. If my students ever don't like me, I can just rest secure that I'm high on the list in Bodhi's books.)

2. I came home the other night and didn't end up going down to my room until long after dinner and the kids' bed time. I found this in my bathroom:
I guess, in our house, there is always room for someone to stay overnight. (FYI, the shower was still unspoken for...anyone?) Also, I moved this baby to another location to use my sink that night. The next day, when I got home, the baby was back in its bed. Charlee obviously thought I was displacing her baby.

3. I now have three names. (That might be biblical...or heretical...I'm not sure.)

To Charlee, I am Kathleen. (I'm not sure I'm happy with this new change.)
To Bodhi, I am still Kaleen. (Please God, may he call me Kaleen until he's 30).
To Jane, I am Keen. (That's KEEEEEEEEN. You'll understand when you hear it. In fact, no matter where you live, you may have already heard it. It's THAT loud.)

4. This little event:

Charlee: Kathleen, I'm going to draw you a picture, but it's a surprise. 
Me: Okay, Char, that would be great! I can put it up in my office!
Charlee: Yeah, that would be great, Kathleen... 
She scampers off, and returns a few minutes later while I'm reading a book to Bodhi and Jane.

Charlee:
Um, Kathleen, how do you write ladybug? That's NOT what I'm drawing, but I just need to know how to write it. Don't look at my picture!
Me: Okay, Char, sound it out...l...a...d...y...b...u...g
Charlee: That's it? (She hesitantly shows me the page, while attempting to cover the ladybug she has drawn beautifully...complete with feelers). But that's NOT what I'm drawing! It's a surprise!
Me: (suppressing a laugh) Okay, Char.

Two minutes later, after some final touches, I receive the ladybug picture...and could win an Oscar with my feigned shock. Charlee giggles. 

5. Now that I'm back in student development, I don't just get drawings from Charlee...oh no, I have awesome students like Shanna, who leave me lovely notes such as this. No name, but I have no doubt in my mind who the drawing belongs to:
(It was Shanna's mad drawing skills, along with the abbreviated "obvs." that I instantly knew it was from her...along with the fact that the other day I asked why she never left me cool drawings on my white board.)

6. I am surrounded by female friends who have pledged to put health first. We are committed to eating right, exercise, and joy. Here's to entering our 30s FINALLY with the understanding that balance is necessary.

7. I have a great work team. While it's been a transition to go from working with just one other person, to now a team of 4, I am learning to remember them as I make decisions, and pursue things as an individual member of the team. What I do, or don't do, can impact them...I am accountable. And it is good.

8. The fact that I get paid to have coffee with students.
My friend Dan asked me about 6 months ago, if I could do anything and money wasn't an issue, what would I do?
My answer was: Have coffee with people and talk about their lives and Jesus.

It came true.

Friday, September 23, 2011

My computer's cancer.

Is it weird to pray that your computer will crash and succumb to a horrible, horrible death?

Well...I am.

I just picked up my laptop from the Mac store, and they've done everything they can.
But it's still not working properly.
Wonderful.

The guy looked at me and said, "I know your computer is sick, but I can't figure out why, and I can't fix something that's not technically broken."

I looked at him and said, "So, what you're saying is, my computer needs to actually break. Soon."

"Yes, but your coverage is good and so we have some time."

"Okay, I'll see what I can do..."

And so, here I am.
Frustrated with the seven minute start up that this puppy is taking every time I boot.
Wondering why my Macbook is acting like a PC.

Praying my computer's illness will identify itself at the most opportune moment, and then we can start over.

Join me?


Monday, September 19, 2011

Losing a limb...

So, my lovely Macbook is in the shop. For the second time in two weeks.

I feel like I own a PC again.

Sad times.

My whole routine has been thrown out of the window, and sometimes I've felt like maybe I've lost an arm...or at very least a finger.

Today, for example, when Gary commented on "I wonder what the weather is supposed to look like this week?", and Carleigh looked at me with those eyes that say "you know this stuff...tell us!", I looked at her, and replied to her questioning eyes: "I don't know...I don't have my computer!"


My nightly routine of checking the news, the weather, and pinterest is on hold. It takes me that much longer to get at sleep. It's like my "bubba, sou-sou, night" has been taken away from me. I didn't realize my computer, and therefore access to the world wide web, has become my security blanket.

Let me tell you though, this weekend, sans computer, I ran away to Osoyoos to play with Gary, Carleigh and the kids.

It was bliss.
We pretended summer wasn't over.
We went for bike rides.
We sat in the hot tub.
And then the pool.
And then the hot tub again.
We hit up the local park and met the local "old men with dogs"...who, by the way, are always some of the most interesting people you can meet in a small town.
We played crib. (fyi: Gary 3 wins, Kathleen 5 - if he reads this, we'll end up playing 10 more times to even out the score...)
The kids fell in love with Go Fish.
We watched movies.

And I didn't check email/facebook/etc. for three whole days.

And guess what...

...my life was just fine without it.

I even felt like I my arm and fingers were back where they belonged.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Oh Wanda.

It was the summer of 2004.
I had just graduated from CBC with my BA in April, and then immediately flown down to Costa Rica for three weeks to pursue my sense of adventure. Upon my return, I interviewed for my first "after college" job, and went home to the Island to waitress for two months until that job started in August.

And...I needed a car.

Being the investigative type, I remember looking online at all the options locally in the Comox Valley, and then, with Mom in tow, perusing car lots after closing hours so that I could freely ogle cars without the hassle of sometime trying to convince me to buy them.

And within a couple of weeks, I had found it.

It was a mermaid green Jetta. (They called it Silver Green).
1992.
Standard.
I could picture myself behind the wheel, pretending I was cool and German. (A half-truth in real life.)

So, I took lessons on how to actually drive a standard from my friend Joy...with her two kids in the back seat. I will never forget some of those lessons. Let's remember, learning how to drive standard is stressful enough; I had the benefit of Joy's two kids (then, something like 4 years old and 1 1/2 years old) running commentary from the back seat. Jeremy (the then 4 year old) kept commenting on what bad sounds their car was making, and how mad Daddy was going to be if he knew I was breaking their car.

Joy looked at me and said, "Kathleen, if you can learn how to drive standard with these two yelling in your ears, you will always know how to drive standard, and nothing else will phase you".

(And she was right. I remember mentally thanking Joy and her two shouting kids when I was whipping through the streets of Costa Rica, driving standard 15-passenger vans full of teenagers.)

After a couple of lessons with Joy, my Dad joined me as I went and bought the car. It was the most money I had ever spent on anything outside of education. It was my first "thing" that I owned, and that I actually worried about losing/breaking/crashing/etc. My mom reminded me it was still just a tin can and it kept me humble as I stalled repeatedly at red lights, and sweated at the thought of stopping on a hill.

I named her Wanda, cause Maria looked at me one day and said "your car reminds me of a fish". I looked back at her and said, "A fish called Wanda".

Four years and three alternators later, dear Wanda was causing me grief, and making me seriously look for mechanic-type-boyfriends.

It was 2008.

I had just returned from another summer in Costa Rica, meeting with and praying for people who shared their stories with me. Stories of poverty. Stories of desire. Stories of joy with a whole lot less than we have here.

I came home and thought,"how dare I be ungrateful for Wanda! She may be difficult at times, but I have so much to be grateful for!"

That week, I drove to the Island, and my muffler fell off when I rounded a bend on Highway #1.

That was the end.

Wanda went to live with my friend Mike, was appropriately re-named "Wanda Thunderbolt the Second" and I bought my Honda Fit.

About two years later, I got a text from Mike. He'd given away my car to one of the youth at his church, and, ironically, had bought a Honda Fit.

Last week, I drove onto campus. The parking lot was full with new students.

And I saw her.

Could it actually be Wanda?

I chuckled at how my eyes were drawn to the car, and glanced over as I walked by, too focused on the work ahead of me, and running a little late. It couldn't be Wanda, I surmised.

But every day of this last week, I'd drive into work, and there she was, catching my eye.

Today, having a little more time to look, I finally noticed the license plate holder, proudly stating "Courtenay, BC". My mouth dropped open. I walked around the car and there it was. The scratched bumper from that time I backed into a very low cement barrier.

I had to laugh out loud.

Does life really just always loop over and over like this?

Owning Wanda taught me a lot about being capable, being confident, solving problems, finding solutions, asking for help, and budgeting for the unexpected.

Seeing her on campus today reminded me that those are lessons I still need to learn; I can't assume I've already learned them and moved on.

And maybe that's why she came home...

Friday, September 09, 2011

When you're five...

The kids in my house think mail is very cool.

The entire concept to them, I think, is magical.

Today, while at the park with Char, Bo, and Jane, the mailman walked through. I am amazed he didn't hear Charlee when she screamed, "IT'S THE MAILMAN!" as if Santa Claus himself had just arrived on scene.

We made our way back to the house and Carleigh checked the mailbox. She handed Charlee her "mail". (Carleigh has convinced the kids that any leaflet, flyer, credit card offer, or "to the owner" piece is meant for them. We may run into a problem when the kids learn how to read and realize it's not.)

Char ran over to where I was sitting to show me her mail. It was a flyer from a local real estate agent, and on the front was a picture of a bride, in full dress with flowers, and a very "uncertain" expression on her face. Essentially, the idea behind the flyer is that choosing real estate is a big decision that this company can help you with...but they can't help you decide if you're marrying the right person! (Insert knee slap and groan here...).

Charlee, being five, doesn't fully appreciate the expression on the bride's face. (And, let's be honest, we're thankful she doesn't fully get it yet). And so, aloud, she pondered: "why does this girl have this look on her face?"

It didn't take Charlee even two seconds to answer her own question:

"I think she realized she forgot to put on her underwear."

The mind of a five year old is an awesome thing.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Chuckle-worthy.

I'm still alive folks.
Tomorrow the college schedule begins...which means we finally fall into routine.
Thank you Jesus.

Today was one of my last 14 hour work days for a while...
*knock on wood*
...and so I took a 5 minute break this afternoon to call the house and check in.

After talking with Carleigh, I asked to speak with Bodhi, who was inevitably at the "hungry hour" (4:05pm on the dot).
He was rather non-responsive. Tired, grumpy, and hungry. Bad combo.

But my favourite moment happened like this:

Me: Hey Bo, what did you do today?
Bo: Um, Charlee played trains with me.
Me: Awesome! What else did you play?
Bo: We played check!
Me: What does that mean?
Bo: It means, we played check! (followed with the audible sigh and obvious frustration with my lack of understanding...so I let it go)
Me: Okay, Bo, well I'll see you later, can I talk to Charlee?
Bo: Hey Mom? Charlee wants to talk with Kaleen... (which wasn't exactly what I said...)
Carleigh: Okay, Bo, that's fine...
Bo: (deep breath) HEY! CHARLEE! KALEEN WANTS TO TALK WITH YOU...RIGHT KALEEN?

I couldn't help but laugh.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

I guess I also forgot..

This week was awesome...and exhausting. I have incredible student leaders and am really looking forward to working with them this year. And...they will always have more energy than I do. I need to remember that now, and save myself the grief later on.

Part way through the week, I had the thought:
When I was an RD, I was NEVER this tired!

Which was quickly followed with the haunting realization that I am getting older, and that I was 23 the last time I participated in leadership training week. 29 does not look like 23, for those of you wondering.

For those of you who are older than me, you are snickering and shaking your head at me...and silently thought to yourself "just you wait, kiddo". I know it. 
Mom, you're totally doing this right now - I just know.

So...new great blog post is pending. 
I need to go take a nap.

While I'm sleeping, please enjoy the following courtesy of pinterest:

Something inspirational:

Something clever:

And something that I find absolutely hilarious:

Friday, August 26, 2011

The week before it all starts.

I forgot.

I forgot how crazy it is to work in Student Development...

...the week before the student leaders return.

5 years ago, I lived and worked in the dorms.
I loved the fact that I got to be with college students 24/7 while they went through some of the most transformational years of their lives.
I didn't love the fact that they would randomly knock on my door at 1am, and then ask me why I was in bed already.

I haven't fully disclosed on this blog that my new job is "Associate Dean of Students".
It's a fancy title which means...I work with students. 
And I don't live with them.
I try and make sure their college experience is everything they ever imagined...
...and then I try and keep them in line when they go a little overboard.

I essentially work to remind them of what their parents taught them. 
(Because, yes, college students forget. It's a kind of temporary insanity.)
And I try to love them through anywhere from one to four years of studies...the best I can.

For those of you who haven't experienced the college world, let me tell you, the week before student leaders return...even though you know it's been coming, is a little bit of a panic-stricken week for the staff. 

Without further ado, I give you:
"Classic tell-tale signs you work in Student Development and it's the week before Student Leadership Training! (2011 Edition)"
  1.  You have the largest stack of profiles on your desk waiting to be reviewed.
    As you read through them, you acknowledge your unrealistic dream of surprising each student by calling them out by name, before they even introduce themselves to you:
    "Ah, Johnny! It's so good to meet you...how about that summer you went to camp? That really changed your life, huh?"

    ...Johnny is now silently stunned and a little bit scared of you.
    He inwardly worries.
    If you already know this much about him on day 1, he wonders if you'll somehow just "know" every time he breaks a rule. And that will always silently haunt him.
    Mission accomplished.
     
  2. While you've been inwardly brainstorming about leadership training sessions, you find yourself realizing you've written nothing down.
    And now in your sleep you have those nightmares where the students have all arrived and are just staring at you, waiting for you to talk...about anything really...and you don't know what you're supposed to say...because you didn't write it down.

    These nightmares are enough to scare you spitless and make you write stuff down.
    (Mission accomplished.)

  3. Students are emailing you, facebooking you, texting you (but rarely calling you on the phone, because they don't do that anymore...my sincere apologies to Alexander Graham Bell)
    all with the same message:
    "Is it too late or can I apply to be a student leader?"

    While something inside you wants to be black-and-white and remind Suzy that she's known about this position for at least the last seven months, you are gracious...because
    (a) your leadership team would benefit from adding one more,
    (b) you think Suzy would actually rock it, and
    (c) sometimes this is the way God works, and if you're too black and white about things, you can miss out on some pretty cool stuff God sends your way.

    And so you give yourself the pep talk...again:
    Working with people is messy.
    That's what makes it beautiful.
    And that's how we make room for God to work.
    Trust Him.
    Love them.

    And remind them to give others a chance the same way you took a chance on them.

  4. When you look at your clock at 5pm...5:15pm...5:30pm...and then simultaneously look at the office across from you, you find comfort in knowing you and your teammates are all in it for the long haul.
    You may be the last people to leave the building for the day, but you're doing it as a team.
    (Or, like some team members today...you may leave...but you'll return an hour later with supper in hand to keep going until you're satisfied the student leaders can show up and you won't scream:
    WHAT!?! You CAN'T be here already, you just CAN'T!).

  5. And in the midst of all this busy-crazy-long-hours-too-many-coffees-the-occassional-red-bull-and-sugar-of-some-sort-combo-along-with-photocopier-malfunctions-and-keypad-codes-that-don't-work-...phew...-chaos you find yourself smiling every now and then, because you know that in just a few days, a new year begins.

    And that new year, folks, holds anticipation for hope, restoration, learning that changes a life, a lot of laughs, some tears, and a whole new set of friendships.

    So...I may have forgot.

    But I can't wait to remember.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The art of taking things literally.

So we're sitting at dinner tonight.
Adults are done.
Kids are still "in progress"...as usual.

And so, for motivation, Gary goes "Jerry Macguire" on us and tells Bo and Char:
SHOW ME THE MONEY!

To which Bo plainly looks at his dad and says, matter-of-fact:
But Dad...
I don't have any money.
I don't even have pockets!

Well played, Bo...well played.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The art of arranged marriage. And soup.

Tonight at dinner, Bodhi, out of nowhere, looked at Carleigh and said:

Mom, I'm marrying Penny, right?

So, maybe it's true that Carleigh and Corinna have been matchmaking their kids...but hey, I hear arranged marriages are all the rage lately. (That may be complete speculation on my part). But anyways, it seems that both Bodhi and Penny are on board. And I can't blame them. There's some security in knowing...hey, this is just the way it's going to go! Might as well run with it! At least Penny knows what she's getting into...

But once Bodhi followed this with, "tonight, right?", we thought maybe we should lay down some ground rules.

Carleigh let Bo know he needed to be at least 21 before he could marry Penny.
Gary clarified with a "you mean 25".
I looked at Bo and explained that there's a few things he needs to learn before he can marry Penny.

Like how to drive a car. 
And to find a job that pays well.
Carleigh added that he needs to be able to do his laundry all on his own.
And I said he needed to be able to make macaroni and cheese.

Before we could go any further, Bo nodded and exclaimed:

Yeah, and I'm three and I can't even make soup!

So, I guess we're in the clear for now. 

Davey/Doll Household pledge....no one teaches Bo how to make soup until he is ready to marry Penny. Deal?

The greater community...

Thanks to my friend John Horn, today I've been featured on "The Daily Gumboot", an awesome Vancouver-based blog about community! John is the great mind behind this blog, and I highly suggest you read one or many of the creatively genius articles written by him and the other contributors...cause it's the perfect cloudy-day Sunday activity.

Be blessed!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

can't get it out...

Since I saw the Civil Wars back in June, I've been wishing this song was on their album. I showed a short clip from the concert, but found the full version for my enjoyment and yours...may it get caught in your head as it has in mine.

Friday, August 12, 2011

heart.

I'll be honest.

Even though I'm surrounded by people, lately I've been feeling a little lonely. I've been trying to peg down why.

I think it comes down to transition and change.

Between figuring out my new job at the college, trying to get caught up in school work, and daily doses of ibuprofen/boxes of kleenex attempting to combat this killer cold...I feel like I've just missed quality people time with many of you.

And many of my dear friends have growing families, or are in new relationships, or are newly married folk, or are have moved to Vancouver. It's transition and change. It's good, but sometimes the reality of it still can hit you when you least expect it.

I need to be mindful of my need for balance. This means I can't just sit in Starbucks all night reading about my job or working on homework. And I definitely can't just sit in my room all weekend watching Prison Break. I need you, my friends.


I guess what I'm saying is...can you help me not to lose myself to school and work and routine? I'm not asking for you all to call and invite me to your house, but would some of you be willing to check in and ask me if I've made time for friends lately, for people who can speak into my life?

I think I need help to find that balance as I start a new role at the college where I'm very student-involved. I'm gonna be doing a lot of relating to people each day...but it won't be the same kind of community as that which I need from my peers.


Here's to transition, folks, and my love-hate relationship with change. From my heart....to yours, thanks for listening.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

celebration. of sorts.

I'm celebrating Post #317 on this blog with...

...bloggers block. 

Awesome.

I'm also celebrating by taking two extra strength advil cold and flu every 4 hours...and depending highly on my good friend Otrivin.

Double awesome.

But here's the overall synopsis of my life as of today:

I sense that life is really good...and I need to be grateful. 
For each little thing. 

Like tonight, for example, when I sat down next to Jane and she exclaimed "sit! me!" with emphasis in her voice like it was the coolest thing I've done in years. My heart was warm.

I also started a new job this week, was reminded how great it is to live with the Davey family (again), spent some time with friends, and got my laundry done. It's the big things AND the little things that bring joy, people. And I need to remember to see them. 

Also in the news, I've been watching Prison Break...a little too much. 

This may be the otrivin/advil combo talking, but the show has been leading me to distrust the government and constantly strategize my next move.
I need to remind myself I'm not a woman on the run.
But if you see me running downtown Abbotsford, maybe just pull over and remind me of that fact, okay?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Two thoughts...ok, maybe three.

  1. I went rowing today with my MA class - we've been studying team leadership and conflict resolution these last two weeks. It was really fun, and something I'd like to try again.

    In summary: It killed my hips and butt. I found trying to find balance for the boat the most frustrating part of the experience. There were moments I thought "I'm getting this!"...and then I quickly lost it. But that made me want to try harder. It's 10 hours later, and I'll still rocking back and forth with the "current". In Starbucks.

    p.s. Rowers all seem to be tall and lean. Do they come that way or do they become that way? Cause maybe I just need to start rowing more.

  2. Jane said my name today for the first time ever. It's "Keen". I'm down. And it seems appropriate seeing as I got called a keener by three of my classmates at three separate occasions in the last three weeks. Awesome. I'm okay...I own it. (And I guess Jane gets that about me...even at the age of 2).

  3. What will life look like when our four kittens move to their new homes? I'm not used to giving babies away. Just hasn't really ever happened before. And I'm kind of attached now.

  4. I lied, I have four thoughts. Tomorrow is my last day of class for the summer. (Can I get a "holla"? Or a "hallelujah"? Or both?). Every picture of me that I've looked at over the last three weeks has shown bags under my eyes. Therefore, the big plans for this upcoming weekend? Sleep. Lots of it. And some laundry.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

dear mom...

I should probably warn you (before you see the pictures on facebook) that I climbed a tree today and hung out on some high ropes.

It was fun.
Knowing you're harnessed in makes all the difference in the world.

I will do it again on Saturday...and the following Tuesday.

But have no fear, I am not joining Cirque du Soleil ANY time soon.

Love,
Your only child.

(I typically tell my mom these things AFTER they've happened. I'm not sure if that helps her or not...but I figure there's no benefit in just knowing so that you can worry...right? I'll post a recap on these adventures next week after all the pictures and video comes in!)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

where oh where do they go?

I give a lot of air time to Charlee...but today I need to acknowledge that Bodhi comes up with some equally hilarious stuff.

Tonight, we're snuggling on the couch (per his request), and he is showing me how he has real hiccups (the fake ones come out often as well).

Bodhi: Wait for it, Kaleen...it's coming!
Me: Oh yeah?
Bodhi: Yeah, here it...
Me: BOO! 
Bodhi: What?
Me: I was trying to scare your hiccups away, Bo.
Bodhi: Yeah?...(pause while he checks)...
I think it worked Kaleen! 
You scared my hiccups away! 
(It really actually did work)...
all the way to Charlee's tummy! 
Me: Wow, really? I had no idea that's how it worked!
Bodhi: Well...maybe it's just in my foot.
 
A kid who's wiling to think of other options.

I like it.

Friday, July 15, 2011

conspiracy theory #1.

I was born near midnight almost 30 (gasp) years ago.

I have ALWAYS been a night person.

Ask my mom.

So, is that why my best paper-writing happens at approximately 11:45pm? 

I'm in the groove...

...and wondering why I couldn't be a morning person.

It seems so attractive.
These are my "romantic" visions of being a morning person:
  • To awake with a smile on my face at the break of dawn and consider all the possibilities the day holds.
  • To drink coffee with a newspaper or a book in hand by an open window in my sun-filled kitchen (not gulping it down as I maneuver the stick shift and try turning the wheel with one hand at the same time because I'm off to a late start...again). 
  • To say more than "hi" to God. (I picture morning people as more holy than I).
  • To sing beautiful songs about cleaning the floors while woodland birds and squirrels join you in song. (I evidently picture morning people as Disney characters). 
So if you're a morning person...God bless you and your Disney ways.

And if you're an evening person...I take comfort in knowing we're here together. And that you'll probably dribble coffee on your shirt as you attempt to gulp and slam into 3rd gear simultaneously tomorrow morning...around the same time I will.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

"She wished she was a mermaid, you know..."

Tonight when I got home, Charlee came and sat on the couch with me for a few minutes while I perused facebook.

Charlee loves facebook "because of all the pictures of Canada", she says.
When I asked her what that meant, she told me Canada is where we live.

Sometimes I'm curious what Charlee thinks of my mental capacity.

Anyways, in my newsfeed, some friends had been tagged in wedding pictures, and knowing Charlee would love them (and perhaps strategically helping her understand her upcoming flower girl duties), I clicked open the album.

I'm flipping through them pretty quickly when Charlee grabs my hand:

Charlee: Stop Kaleen! Go back!

I flip back a couple of pics, until Charlee points out what she's wanted to see: the picture of the groomsmen. 

Me: What are you looking at, Char?
Charlee: I like these two boys. They're my favourite. I like looking at them.

I immediately start chuckling, as Charlee points out two guys I went to bible college with. She continues by explaining how she likes just them. Not the other guys in the picture (sorry, boys). Just these two (who, coincidentally, are brothers, and therefore are similar looking). 

Charlee: Why are you laughing Kaleen?
Me: Oh Charlee, you are just growing up, that's all.
Charlee: Are you going to cry now?
Me: What? No...

And then I realized, a few tears were, in fact, coming to my eyes. 
 
How she knew, I have no idea.

Am I going to be that lady in Charlee's life?

The one who doesn't let her forget she used to need us? Who will always tell her, "oh, you were just so little once" in the exact baby-voice you just heard it in your head? Who may happen to show up while she's on a date and share, in detail, with her boyfriend about how when she was four years old, her main dream in life was to be a mermaid?

Yes.

Yes I am.

Monday, July 11, 2011

and so...

...I shared my hesitation of teaching "th" to Charlee, with Carleigh tonight after dinner.

It resulted in a 5 minute conversation in which we attempted to replace "th" sounds with "l" sounds (similar to how the kids' use of "Kal-leen" does)...and whether or not we could convince the kids that it's cool to speak this way.

Me: So, I was linking lat maybe we should try some-ling new.
Carleigh: I was linking lat lursday is a bad day for lat.

Try it. I dare you.
Warning: you may burst into gut-laughter.

We did.

Have I told you all lately how much I love my "sister"?

Not to mention, this week in the midst of my chaos with school, I come home to find she has emptied my garbage, washed my clothes, and taken my dirty dishes up to the kitchen (my personal shame). Thanks for serving me, Carleigh. I promise great re-payment in August.

I will even scoop the kitty litter.

And you know that's true love.

Can I?

Last week Charlee actually said "Kathleen"...not "Kaleen".

My heart stopped.

Is it considered poor ethic to try NOT to teach a child how to say "th"?
Or to derail any attempts by parents or teachers?

Cause...it's crossed my mind.

I don't know about Carleigh and Gary, but I'm not ready for Charlee to turn 5...and she's not even my child. Gosh.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

cousin-auntie

Thursday evening I walked in the door and was greeted by Carleigh:

"You're a cousin-auntie!"

I had to think about this for a few seconds.
And then all of a sudden it clicked...

My dear cousin Kyle and his equally dear wife Sally, who live in Australia, had their baby girl...and she is a beauty. In fact, she reminds me a lot of her real auntie, my cousin Andrea!

Some of you are thinking, "I have 300 cousins and I don't know half of their kids...", so this idea of cousin-auntie won't be familiar to you. But when you only have two cousins on one side of the family, they are more than "extended family"...they are your family. And Kyle is the first to marry, and Hannah is the first grandchild...on both sides for him and Sally. I can't help but think how proud Auntie Flo would be of her new granddaughter...and gushing about the red hair on this one!
We miss you Auntie Flo.

This week I'm wishing Australia was a whole heck of a lot closer, so I could see this scene in person, and have my turn for cuddles:
Welcome to the world Hannah Ruby Davies! 
We love you.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

what i want to remember right now.

So I may have been questioned by one young lady as to why I haven't posted anything in almost 2 weeks. I didn't realize my fan had been left wanting. This one's for you, Jenne. :)

Well. Let's see. I don't have a great reason. Other than that I perhaps slightly panicked that my summer was ending, and thus packed my "overnight" bag three times, took four ferries, added an extra 1000 kms to my car, and blew my budget on coffee. I worked hard to fill my "tank" with time spent with friends.

I chose these last minute adventures, partly because I just wanted adventure, and partly because June was ending, and I knew that July is dedicated to school.
And here we are.
July.
Day one, class one, done.
Tonight I read. Tonight I write a paper.
(and of course, I blog to procrastinate. That is my m.o. after all).

Already I feel the pressure of deadlines and schedule, and the knowledge that my head is about to be crammed with all sorts of stories and lessons....again. But I am excited. And I'm happy to be on campus again with those we survived the last summer's courses. These are the friends whom I have studied with online this year, whom I have skyped and emailed and facebooked with. There is something comforting to know we are in this together and we are reunited now in person.

And I smile because community can be so good.

And community can look so different from one space to the next, yet similar.

I smile when I try to get in my car to leave for school, and 2 year old Jane yells from the front step.

Jane: Mo'! Mo'! Hug! Mo'!

I have to return and give yet another last hug and receive a last kiss (with added "MUAH" sound from Jane, to which I inwardly giggle), which makes me late to pick up Kirsten, but I don't really mind, and Kirsten understands the love.

I smile when 4 year old Charlee knocks on my door as I read.

Me: Hi Char! Are you here to tell me something?
Charlee: Yes! We are going to the MOON on SATURDAY!
Me: Oh, really? I kinda thought you were here to tell me supper was ready.
Charlee: Nope. We're going to the moon on Sat-ur-day! (think sing-song voice here).
Me: Oh, okay.
Charlee: Can I use your lipstick?
Me: Yup, just a little, okay?
Charlee (after dramatically rubbing the chapstick on her lips): Okay. Supper's ready now.

I smile again when it's 3 year old Bodhi's turn to pray for supper.

Bodhi:
Prays Jesus. 
Mom and Dad. 
Loves us. 
And all our suppers. 
And all our TOYS! 
(giggle)
Ooops.
Let me do again that first part.
Prays Jesus.
Mom and Dad.
Loves us.
And all our suppers.
And all our toys.
And all our hearts.
Ayyyyyyyy - men.

These kids teach me how community can love you. And care for you. And see things, and find the joy in things, we don't tend to see or acknowledge anymore.

I may be learning about leadership on a campus, in classrooms, with a community of articulate and professionally brilliant adults, but I also learn a lot about leadership, about loving and caring for people, about the big picture, from these beautifully created little ones...and I hope I never forget that.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

why i will never listen to britney spears. (alternatively titled: our night with james, joy, and john paul.)

In April, I had a hankering for some good, solid, live music.

As I scoured the internet looking at all of my favourite bands, I didn't get too far when I realized TWO of my favourite bands were playing TOGETHER in Seattle....for $20...at a "dine and listen" type place...and I knew it had to happen.

This was a similar "it had to happen" feeling as was experienced when deciding I should make the road trip happen. I realize I respond well to my gut instincts on these things!

And so, on Wednesday, I was privileged to go to that "dine and listen" type place, The Triple Door - highly, highly, highly recommend it, by the way - with three lovely ladies.

And...I got to see my two favourites in person. I hope you enjoy these snippets.

Ireland's very own... James Vincent McMorrow:

And The Civil Wars...

"From this valley"

Good stuff, right?

This was the kind of concert where I repeatedly realized I had goosebumps...and I sat on the edge of my seat for most of the show. 

That IS the good stuff.

Friday, June 24, 2011

oh the stories we will tell...

I have wanted to write all about my road trip in the States for the past three days...but instead have been amazed at how much life one can cram into three days. I have acquired a new job starting in August (another blog post), I have ran wedding errands and attended wedding rehearsal and dinner (and then there will be the stagette tomorrow night and wedding on Saturday...another blog), and I drove back down to Seattle this week after returning home, for an unbelievable concert of the Civil Wars and James Vincent McMorrow (yet another blog post pending...).

And so...here we are.

This road trip, designed to visit friends from my years in Costa Rica, was such a good thing for my heart.

I called Carleigh the second-to-last night I was in the States, and told her I felt so full and that God was so good, and how I had the sensation that I could just cry.

Happy tears.

You see...
Friendships formed in Costa Rica are not run-of-the-mill friendships.

They are formed in high stress situations. They are formed as we bumble through speaking a new language and trying new food. They are formed when we brainstorm plan B's and C's and D's...cause it's raining, or the church is locked, or the youth group we are hosting needs to work through conflict instead of doing door-to-door prayer, or it's raining, or no children showed up to vacation bible school...or it's raining.

They are formed through late night chats in the staff house. They are formed through impromptu worship sessions...and prayer sessions...and sharing our stories sessions...

They are formed through kind words, and not kind words. Grace. Forgiveness. Learning.

They are formed through sharing one bathroom...and two sinks.

And so, when Sheldon emailed me in January letting me know he wanted to invite me to his wedding...and when Chad emailed me in February letting me know my friends wished I lived closer...and when DeLynn and Gloria decided to extend their furlough in Ohio...and when Missy had once said: "You. Me. An indian restaurant with good tea. Bookish philosophical life conversations. Sigh...if only wishes came true."
...I knew it just had to happen.

And last week, it did.

In 10 days, I saw parts of Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Virginia. I saw 13 friends from my years in Costa Rica. It was more than I could have ever wished for or imagined.

I got to see Dan's life in Baltimore. Film guru he is. Tiny apartment owner he is. Dan was graciously the "bookends" of my trip, and it was great to catch up and share new music and hear new dreams...go and do it Dan, it will change your life!

I got to see Chad's life in Pennsylvania, complete with football and mountain stone and dreams of his own. Chad and I continued on the majority of this road trip together...a request I had made of him early on...and I was so thankful he was willing, and that he is his own boss who grants himself vacation time. I couldn't think of a better road trip partner. Well, other than George Strait. Right, Chad? ;) Next time, I'm opening with that question..."who would you want to do a road trip with?" You can figure out what you'll ask me.

Chad and I continued on to Ohio, to spend time with DeLynn and Gloria and Carmelinda. It was good. Soul good. I got to take Carmelinda on a date, and have a special breakfast just with Gloria. It felt right. But honestly, I haven't eaten that much food in a long time. The Hoovers aren't kidding around. Maybe that's a new hobby you guys should take up? Food reviews. Get paid for trying out all these places? I say you do it.

From the plains of Ohio, we drove through the mountains of Virginia, to catch up with Patrick and Missy. These two take after my heart. Growing vegetables in their community garden, seeking to live sustainably and locally...and investing who they are, where they are, until God calls them elsewhere. We were there for Missy's birthday which was such great timing. So again, I got a special breakfast just with Missy...it was our version of the indian tea...and we talked about life, in bookish philosophical terms...and also in just plain honest nitty-gritty terms.

I continued on, on my own, further south in Virginia to attend Sheldon's very fun wedding, and to meet his sweet bride, Amber. Much to my joy, this also meant spending time with Lyndon and Krista...a great surprise and God-send. More soul good all around.

As I drove from Marion, Virginia, back up to Baltimore for my last night in the States, I reflected on all that I had heard and felt and dreamed while spending precious time with these folks. There were others too, that I haven't mentioned here, who I was privileged to see (Maria, Luis, Ethan...). I imagined the journeys we will continue to take...and curiously questioned whether or not they will intersect again without our own prompting. I was reminded that we live in a world where distance does not prohibit friendship. How privileged we are to have met in the first place.

I returned home...grateful.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

it's a two blog day.

...when you live with kids like the ones I do, there's plenty of blog material in a day.

Let me preface this one with the understanding that Charlee is very interested in hearing stories from when Carleigh and I were kids...and now talks in the same way that we have, when telling these stories. Let me also preface this one with the fact that Charlee has never had a pet dog.

Today's Charlee story:

Charlee: Once, when I was three years old, my dog had kittens.

Me:
Your dog had kittens!?

Charlee:
Oh...no, my dog had pups.

Me:
Oh yeah?

Charlee:
Yeah, and that was the bestest dog I ever had. He was my best friend. And then...one day he died. And I cried. He was the bestest dog.

Me:
Charlee, are you going to write stories one day?

Charlee:
WHAT? How did you know that, Kaleen?

...just a hunch, kiddo.

jiggity jig.

I'm home again.

(Blog post pending...don't worry, this isn't it. Consider this the appetizer.)

I arrived at our house at 3:30am this morning, a full hour later than I hoped due to a late plane...and I had forgotten when planning this joyous return that I would be jet lagged and think it was morning, a full three hours later on the east coast. Awesome.

I think my car drove me home, cause I don't really remember telling it what to do.

My survival method for driving from Seattle to Abbotsford from 1am - 3:30am?
  1. Skittles. A strategic purchase at the Houston airport when I remembered Starbucks would be closed.
  2. Creepy guy driving beside me, staring me down, and both not passing me or letting me pass him. At that point I was very awake. And sped. And only breathed again when I could no longer see him. At that point I also decided I wouldn't bother stopping for gas, and decided if I suddenly got a flat tire, I would just keep driving, no matter what. I might have been overreacting... It was 2:30am, I'd been up for almost 20 hours at that point, and I may have hallucinated the whole thing. I'm not sure.
  3. Whistling to every song I could...I started thinking I was getting really good and then realized the good whistling was coming from the song, not from me.
  4. Window down, heat up.
  5. "Prays to Jesus" as Bo would say.
  6. Repeat. (Minus creepy guy).
Any time I travel, especially with people I love, I tend to leave part of my heart behind. Take good care of it, okay friends?

Onward and upward...Lana and Sam get married in t minus 4 days!
 
That means I have four days to deal with some awkward tan lines obtained on my travels, before putting on a dress that does not match said lines.

Oh, and for those of you wondering, when I came upstairs this morning, Charlee gave me a big hug and a kiss and led me to see our new kittens. About two minutes after, she jumped in my lap, arm around my waist, looked into my eyes, and said, "Can we go to the park now?" Memory like an elephant, folks.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

overheard.

Every day I live with the Daveys I hear the most comical conversations between small children.

This morning, "someone" told the kids there was candy hidden downstairs.

The following conversation was one I overheard:

Charlee: Come on Bo, there's candy down here!
Bodhi: Candy??!!
Charlee: Bo, look under the couch!
Bodhi: Not under here!
Charlee: But, there's candy here somewhere, we have to find it!
Bodhi: God loves us and that's why we get candy.
Charlee: Bo, ask God for our candy!
Bodhi: We ask God and he says "no problem!"...and everyone shares! 

You're busted momma.
The kids turned this one into a spiritual lesson on you. :)

I love this house.
It is my heart home.

I'm off to the US of A tomorrow for almost 2 weeks to visit very dear friends...

I will miss these kiddos, but don't worry, Charlee already lined me up for a 4 hour date upon return, involving the park, french fries and ice cream. She practically had me sign in blood, and reminded me of my promise about 12 times today.

Friday, June 03, 2011

The things I've learned...

Warning: this blog post, according to its title, could be rather "deep".

It's not.
Not really.

For those of you who have checked out Pinterest, you will understand why this is my new obsession. There's nothing like having a cup of tea at 10pm and scouring the 100s of things people "pin" each day. It's fascinating.

So, I was reflecting on the things I have learned from Pinterest thus far. Enjoy.

1. Octopuses are big. Like, popular. 
I have no idea why. I think they're a little ugly, to be honest.

2. Women like to post pictures of other women with bodies whose metabolism was acquired from birth, and who likely played soccer from age 2 to present, in addition to their part time job at the gym, and who are allergic to all things that the rest of us eat and gain weight from. 
Supposedly, this is motivation. 
I don't understand it. 
Wouldn't motivation be simply a flight of stairs and the bliss that running to the top would not induce an asthma attack? Or how about your favourite pair of jeans that no longer fit? 
We like to blame men for our poor self-image. 
But I think we can do it to ourselves without their help.

3. Grey and yellow go together.

4. Coral is now an acceptable colour again.

5. I love the look of furniture painted with bright colours in rooms with neutral walls. Who knew?

6. Hilarious people with time on their hands make me laugh with things like this:
(peanut birth via)

7. If you want to invest some money in something, I say invest it in whomever manufactures chalkboard paint. Everyone is into painting something in their house with chalkboard paint. Are we rebelling against the white board?

8. There is such a thing as "twister board" bed sheets. I so desperately wanted to buy a set for our friends Sam and Lana who get married at the end of this month (they'd find it hilarious)...until the only set I could find was on Amazon for $348...used. 

Sorry, guys, you'll be getting a can opener instead.

9. I can make stuff! After a quick tutorial, meet my new hair clip:
...and headband:

10. Ultimately, God has gifted people with such creativity and insight and curiosity...and it is amazing to see what the results of all of that can be. Imagine our potential for good if we put it all toward it? And...beauty is subjective. Guaranteed: gray and yellow in a year's time will be "outdated", coral will return to its status as "unacceptable", and everyone will wonder what they were thinking when they bought that octopus necklace. May I remember to focus on the eternal in the midst of my late night tea sessions.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

it's that time...

...8:36 on a Sunday night and I have a huge paper due tomorrow at noon.

You know what that means...

time for a blog!

(on a side note, does anyone know of procrastination cures? cause i really should be checked in somewhere.)

Today's feature will be my highlights of the week (the ones I can remember right now...which actually are the ones from Wednesday to Saturday):
  1. Charlee brought flashcards home from pre-school group and told me:
    These are my flashing cards, Kaleen!
    Yikes.
    Watch out.
  2. I drove out to my dear classmate Patti's house to share with 5 women (who all have a call on their heart to lead in Christian ministry) about my journey this year in learning about God's sovereignty and my life-long-battle to submit to Him.

    The 5 women represented 5 churches in Chilliwack, but also 5 different cultures and ethnicities...and I accurately guessed that one woman was from El Salvador. That was a bizarre moment. I've never met anyone from El Salvador before. But I just had a hunch. She was a little shocked as well.

  3. Carleigh and I tried something new and headed out to watch the Reign Valley Vixens dominate while raising money for cancer research. Did you know we have a roller derby league in Abbotsford? I'll let Carleigh share about the fun times, but we I can tell you that we had some laughs, we reminisced about Whip It, and we marvelled at the beatings that these girls took. That cement is not friendly

  4. I made a confession to Carleigh after visiting the Trinity Western library to do some of my research.

    Keep in mind, I have always worked in a library that fills one room.
    Just one.
    Highschool, public library, North Island College, and CBC, all had books in the one room.

    So there I am, walking into TWU's library, took a seat, did an online catalogue search, took note of the numbers, and then got up to find them...and couldn't find the books. There were journals, and reference materials...but no books. I wish you could have joined me in my head for that moment. "Where are the freakin' books in this place?" 

    Thankfully there's a reason I've made it all the way to grad school, and I started looking for signs (cause I also know that's a first choice over going to the desk and politely asking: "where are your books?" You know I'd be the topic of conversation at the dinner table later that evening: "you'll never guess what this girl asked me today...and she's a GRAD student")

    ...which lead me to realize that the TWU library actually has three floors.

    Fancy that.

    Who knew?

    Well...I guess a lot of people do, I just hadn't been that observant the previous two times I had used the library. (Which tells you I wasn't in the library looking for books...just to use the internet and look smart).

  5. After that notorious visit to the TWU library, I came home and was met by Bodhi, who quickly said:
    Hey Kaleen!
    How was your work?

    Good, How about you Bo?
    How was your work?

    Um...it was pretty good.

    (He emphasized this point with a shrug of the shoulders, and a little click of his mouth. Kind of like an attempted wink/click thing. I love that kid.)


    So that's it folks. Time to get back to my paper. And while I do...may you enjoy this one as much as I do:

    Punctuation appreciation from here