Friday, August 22, 2008

Pleading the 5th!

(This is a pic of Miss M & her b-day cake...more on that in my next post!)

I just had to share this with you since it has me in stiches every time I think about the coversation in my head....
On Wednesday Madelyne and Emma were playing together and, as usual, in no time at all one of them was screaching at the other. I walked into the room where they were playing to see what the battle of the moment was. Emma was on the floor crying and Madelyne had a toy in her hand that Emma was pointing at. Mom's intuition told me that Emma had a toy Madelyne wanted so Madelyne pulled it from Emma and pushed her to the floor in the process. This is the conversation that followed:
Mommy: "Girls, what's going on?"

Madelyne: "Mom, Emma had the Barbie & I wanted it..."
Emma: "Me Emma!"

Mommy: "Thanks love, yes I know you are Emma."

Mommy: "Madelyne, did Emma have the toy first?"

Madelyne: "Yah"

Mommy: "And how did Emma end up on the floor?"

Madelyne: "She fell down"

Emma: "Me Emma!"

Mommy: "Did you kind'a push her when you were getting the toy away from her?"

Madelyne: "NO!" (In a defensive tone that tells me she totally did!)

Mommy: "Love, give the toy back to Emma..."

Mommy: "Thank-you, now do you want to tell me if you pushed Emma or if she fell?"

Madelyne: "No" (getting more and more frustrated)

Mommy: "Love, in the Bible it tells us not to lie, you need to tell the truth....we need to obey what Jesus tells us to do and how to act."

Madelyne: In a fit of frustration yells: "Well I haven't read that part yet!" And storms off.

I was laughing so hard I didn't even follow her.....out of the room.
Pleading the 5th at four years old......Lord, give me strength!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Are You Authentic?

This past weekend, in the spur of the moment, I whisked down to Seattle to meet up with my dearest friend Rebecca for a mini girls get-away. Rebecca is married to an American and has lived in the USA for the last nine years. As life has changed and families have grown it has become harder to widdle out "girl time." So, with 24 hours to ourselves we met up in downtown Seattle and had a wonderful time together.

Rebecca & I have been friends since the beginning of grade eight and have truly journeyed through life together. We've graduated high school & university, found Rebecca's birth parents, mourned the loss of my mom, gotten married, had babies, gained weight, lost weight, had every color hair and every style of hair, talked daily and not talked for weeks.

Rebecca & I have a true authentic friendship.....we've seen the good and the bad in each other and love one another for it. We have an understanding that we pick up where we left off - regardless if that was a week since we spoke or a month. Monday morning she forwarded me a daily devotional she got via was so timely and so true, I thought it was perfect to share with the blogging world:

Authentic Friendships by Rick Warren
But if we live in the light, as God is in the light, we can share fellowship with each other. Then the blood of Jesus, God's Son, cleanses us from every sin. If we say we have no sin, we are fooling ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 1 John 1:7-8 (NCV)
*** *** *** ***
In Christian fellowship people should experience authenticity.
Authentic fellowship is not superficial, surface-level chit-chat. It's genuine, heart-to-heart, sometimes gut-level, sharing. It happens when people get honest about who they are and what is happening in their lives. They share their hurts, reveal their feelings, confess their failures, disclose their doubts, admit their fears, acknowledge their weaknesses, and ask for help and prayer. Authenticity is the exact opposite of what you find in many churches. Instead of an atmosphere of honesty and humility, there is pretending, role-playing, politicking, superficial politeness, and shallow conversation. People wear masks, keep their guard up, and act as if everything is rosy in their lives. These attitudes are the death of real friendship. It's only as we become open about our lives that we experience authentic fellowship.

The Bible says, "If we live in the light, as God is in the light, we can share fellowship with each other. . . . If we say we have no sin, we are fooling ourselves" (1 John 1:7-8 NCV).
The world thinks intimacy occurs in the dark, but God says it happens in the light. We tend to use darkness to hide our hurts, faults, fears, failures, and flaws. But in the light, we bring them all out into the open and admit who we really are.Of course, being authentic requires both courage and humility. It means facing our fear of exposure, rejection, and being hurt again.
Why would anyone take such a risk? Because it's the only way to grow spiritually and be emotionally healthy.

The Bible says, "Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed" (James 5:16 MSG).

It was a reminder and confirmation of my heart's desire to always walk in honesty and live a truly authentic life with authentic relationships. It is so easy to stay in a place to comfort and familiarity but the blessings you find when you open yourself and dive in head first are so rewarding.

So I leave that with you today......are you investing in authentic friendships?

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Facial Hair

Okay, so a week before "man-cation" was scheduled to begin Matt stopped shaving.......and he was gone for ten that's 2.5 weeks of facial hair growth.

Here's pic of the unshaven and shaven decide which one you like better and I'll let him know, heck, he'll probably check the blog himself.

Girl Par-tay 2008

Last fall for Matt's 30th birthday I decided to organize a group gift: a 8 day camping & canoeing trip in Northern BC. As a surprise we managed to get the same trip for his brother Aaron for Christmas.
So, the day finally arrived when the man-cation began.......and so began: Girl Par-tay 2008.

Matt's mom, Faye, and sister, Naomi, flew out from Ontario to hang with Madelyne, Emma & I while the boys were off forging through the forest and paddling down glacier rivers. We had a blast! We did everything from shopping, to the library, to picnics and a trip to the zoo. We ordered in if we didn't want to cook, we watched "chick flicks" and even went to the beauty supply outlet to stock up on essentials (thanks to Naomi for her membership).

Here's a few pics to document our week together:
(Backyard fun, a trip to the library & a picnic)
(Make-up, crafts, Robson Street & waterpark)

(Waterpark, swimming lessons, ice cream)
(The joy of ice cream)
(A trip to the zoo)
Thanks to Mom Baker & Auntie Nome for making the trip out - it made the week fly by. We sure did miss Matt when he was gone, but the busyness help keep us distracted & the memories we made will last a life time - regardless of how far apart we live.

Summer in All it's Glory

What really is better than a sunny day spent at the beach?

Where the sand is in your toes and you don't mind too much...
Where benches, blankets & chairs call your name and you stay a little longer than normal....
Where you eat ice cream just because you can...
Where lunch & dinner are easy fare that you could have time and time again without a care....
Where the air fills your lungs and refreshes your soul....

A day at the beach is truly like nothing else.
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Preschool Year End Party Day

It's hard to believe that I started this blog when Miss Madelyne was just starting preschool. I remember the day, her outfit, the excitement, the nerves. I remember wondering how she would be, what she would do and if she would miss me.

So...she did great, she had a blast, she learnt about plants, how things grow, animals, colors, numbers & the weather. She learnt she didn't need me there all the time & I learnt she was almost too independant for her own good.

It has been a year full of learning, growing, singing, dancing and tons of fun. We celebrated the year end with sports day at the park. If you have never ventured over to City Park in Langley it's a fabulous little park complete with playground, huge field, picnic tables, covered cooking area (you can rent for parties, etc) outdoor pool (Al Anderson Memorial Pool) and waterpark.

This party was extra special because they were going to be celebrating all the birthdays that happenened in the months of June and July. Madelyne could hardly wait until it was HER turn to have the class sing "Happy Birthday" - I'm sure if she could she would have put them on "repeat" and listened over and over again.

(This is a shot of the melted fondant cupcakes I made for the treat bags she gave out to all her friends)

So, onward and upward we go......the year from three to four was such a huge year developmentally. Most of the kids in her class don't act or look like the same kids that started the year with her in September.

Madelyne is excited about being four and more excited about returning to preschool in September.

I'm excited's three mornings a week ;-)

Father's Day 2008

This year we celebrated Father's Day here at home for Matt & my dad. After church my brother and dad came over for a great lunch - BBQ burgers, a real guy's meal - followed by frozen lemon pie for dessert. We had found a great Nautica cologne set for my dad on one of our USA shopping trips and the girls & I found a couple nice button up short sleeved shirts for Matt.

It was a wonderful afternoon and a great time was had by all. I think the guys all napped after lunch - which really is what Sunday afternoons were made for.

Matt, it's not only Father's Day, but all year through, that I recognize the amazing dad you are to our girls. In everything you do, from digging in the yard to painting their toes you choose to love on them and invest all you have into them. Thanks for always being a patient, loving, goofy, creative and wonderful dad.

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Ballet Recital 2008

This past May Madelyne had the great pleasure of being part of her second ballet recital. This year her class' theme was Bo Peep & Her Sheep. There were three black sheep and seven white sheep.

Of course, at three years of age, regardless of how much practice they have, it's basically a free for all. They usually steal the show with their OWN on-stage performance & this year was no exception. At the end of their dance on Saturday night Madelyne decided to run back on stage after Bo Peep had hearded her sheep off stage. She stood front & center smiling and waving to the crowd - until she was again hearded off by Peep.

The first show on Saturday night, I was a back-stage helper with Miss M's group, and Sunday afternoon Matt, my dad, my Grandma Totland (Madelyne's GG) and I went to see the show. It was as beautiful as ever. At the end of the show Madelyne received three bouquets of flowers - just right for the prima ballerina that she is ;-)

A special thanks to Miss Leah for watching Emma for the afternoon on Sunday - it was nice to go and be able to watch without being interupted.