Friendship: My Best Girlfriend

March 26, 2008

Think on things that are noble.

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My trip to Hornby was more than just a family vacation, it was a time to relax and reminisce with a long time friend of mine. When I think of my friend Rebecca, affectionately known as Becky, Beck or the Beckmeister (the latter was my dad’s nickname for her), I think of history and loyalty. Becky and I have known each other since Kindergarten and became inseparable best friends in grade eight when we agreed to share a locker together (a most bonding event). The summer before grade eight was spent at Rebecca’s house down on Northcliffe Cres. on the edge of Burrard Inlet. We would disappear into the cavernous bushes behind her house, exploring rough trails and best of all, screaming as we swung on a rope swing over a huge ravine. It had been made by rope tied to an arrow shot around a high branch by her next door neighbour (and sometimes boyfriend) Ben. Other times we would wander down to the inlet to put coins on the train track and stood back as they were flattened by the train and shot, “ping!” off the track. We’d head back up to the trampoline in the backyard for flips off the balcony as we jumped overlooking boats and waves in the background.

It is a comforting feeling to have a friend who shares interests, dreams, laughter, disappointments and even times of great sadness. It is great to curl up on the couch at Hornby, with a bellini or a cup of tea talking about the past and now watching our kids play and create new adventures of their own.

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Our Trip to Hornby Island

March 25, 2008

This Spring Break we travelled to Hornby Island with our good friends Matthew, Rebecca and their three children, Nathaniel, Hannah and Jeremy. Hornby is one of the many Gulf Islands of British Columbia. We stayed together at a cabin that belongs to Matt’s family. It’s a great cabin, newly renovated with a full view of the ocean.

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This is a view from the front porch and the front window.

During our stay we enjoyed several outings, including one to Ford’s Cove. It was a feast of sunshine, nature, hiking, climbing and surprises.

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The landscape is sandstone which has been naturally carved, similar to the “hoodoos” in Drumheller, Alberta or even the fairy chimneys in Cappadocia, Turkey.

We noticed that the children were fully entertained and ventured off exploring on their own. At one point I heard Miranda say, “Come on team!”

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We were thrilled to spot a sea lion very close to the shore, poking his head up and down. We also got very close to some eagles which landed on a nearby tree and then flew off again.

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In my mind there isn’t a better way to spend an afternoon than watching the spontaneity of God’s creation.

Jesus

March 22, 2008

I want to celebrate Easter with this sermon, That’s My King, by Dr. S. M. Lockridge. I first heard it at a Christian camp this last summer and I loved it. I wanted to learn more about S.M. Lockridge, but I couldn’t find a lot on the internet about him. I get so inspired by passionate preachers who know and love the Lord.

It’s a powerful seven minutes long. Enjoy and Happy Easter!

Lint Craft: The New Type of Knitting

March 19, 2008

I kept putting my clothes in the dryer and when the load was finished, they were still damp. Hmm… I wonder why. The next morning Mark called me from downstairs… “Mary, you forgot to empty the lint trap again!!!!!” Oh yeah that makes sense. This is what he showed me:

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You might think this is an ugly sight, but it’s not. This is a beautiful sight! Lint is a great material to recycle with. In fact there are tons of CRAFTS that one can make with lint. It might even become hotter than knitting!! Here, for instance, is a great lint craft, just in time for Easter:

It’s found at this site: dryer lint, recycled crafts. Here are some other links as well: Dryer lint modeling material, Artist Bryn Starr dryer lint art.

Easter Crafts

March 17, 2008

Easter is upon us so quickly this year! Each holiday, the girls and I love to make crafts. Last year we did a lot of Easter crafts. We made these “egg” heads by dying the Easter Eggs , cracking the top, then adding dirt and alphalpha seeds to grow funny hair. Then we added facial features as well. They were extremely cute and fun to make.

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The best craft was the beloved sock bunnies. A craft and a doll all in one. They can be made from adult or kid socks. I made these with the students in my class and they were a huge hit! Kids love to sew – boys and girls.

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This year, we are making foam art (butterflies and chicks), doing different types of egg dying and ornaments for our Easter Tree.

A tip for Easter Egg Dye: paint the food colour directly on the egg and it turns out brighter!

Here are some awesome Easter Craft sites:

Family Fun

Kaboose Crafts

The girls and I choose crafts out of Usborne Art books. Here they are:

Easter Things to Make and Do

Easter Activities

Apparently, they also have a cooking one that I’m curious about:

Easter Cooking

Enjoy shared experiences with your kids!

Truth vs Feelings

March 14, 2008

master2007-07-27-17-07-29.jpgI am fascinated by feelings, but what I am learning about them, especially negative ones, is they do not always reflect what is true. As we grow, we develop our perspective of the world through relationships, defining moments, the beliefs of our parents, traumas and other experiences. These perspectives are made firm by our thoughts and emotions and they become our core beliefs. The core beliefs that do not match God’s word are a kind of “stronghold”. We all have a somewhat clouded view of God and reality. God wants us to transform those strongholds through prayer, the Holy Spirit and the power of his word:

“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

2 Corinthians 10:4-5

I believe the Bible is truth itself. Reading God’s word is life-changing. It’s like a book we can’t put down that changes our perspective; or seeing a movie that awes us. We can transform our minds and emotions through reading God’s word:

“For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

Hebrews 4:12

Isn’t that power amazing? The words penetrate to the very joints and marrow of our bodies.

I am learning to see God as a parent, mentor or a friend who always has the right perspective. He gives advice and ideas that open up the world to us—possibilities. He is someone we can come to with any problem, feeling, or question. He is the greatest comforter. He puts his arm around us and points us in the right direction. He is our Creator, our Leader, our Father, the Lover of our souls. He never condemns. He is all things good. He gives, forgives, loves and saves. He points us to the truth in his word, and the truth makes our lives free: richer, fun, full of adventure. He gives power and inspiration.

Jesus is someone you want to know. Life is about Delighting in Him.

“What then shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all — how will he not also along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that—who was raised to life and is also interceding for us.”

Romans 8:31-35

Easter Traditions

March 12, 2008

img_4043.jpgI love holidays and celebrations. When I was young, my mom put a special effort into making holidays fun and festive. Kids get so excited about traditions, decorations, crafts and activities.

For the last two years, we have made an Easter tree, simply from cut tree branches. I put them inside a flower vase and filled the vase up with mini Easter Egg chocolates. We decorated the branches with egg ornaments from the dollar store. There are lots of ornament crafts to make as well. Renee, my neighbour made ornaments out of real eggs, blown out. This year, I hope to make some ornaments out of styrofoam eggs from the dollar store. Each day after lunch, Miranda and Megan choose a couple of chocolate eggs from the vase to eat. They love this! I happened upon an amazing Easter tree on this blog, called Cherry Hill Cottage, (Texas) a must-see!! The tree seems symbolic of the cross, which some refer to as a “tree”. The eggs hanging on the tree remind me of the resurrection, new life.

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This is my favourite little egg (the blue one) because Miranda excitedly made it!

My friend, Corina Kropp inspires me with her talent for creating a rich, warm home and with her welcoming hospitality. Each Easter, she makes an amazing Easter bread called Paska Bread. Here is her recipe:

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EASTER BREAD
Mixture A

1 cup warm
water
1tsp sugar
2 cups warm
milk

Sprinkle 2 Tbsp yeast
(regular, NOT quick rising) on top and let stand for 10 min.

Mixture
B

6 eggs
1/2 cup veg.
oil
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 lemon
1 orange
1 tsp vanilla

Put all “B” ingredients in
blender–use the whole lemon and orange. Blend till smooth Add Mixture A to
Mixture B and add 12 cups of flour. Knead 5 to 10 min. Let rise till double in
bulk. To rise: Turn oven on to 350 for 5 min. Shut off and turn on light
in oven. This is warm enough for the dough to rise. Punch down twice. Put
in tins sprayed with Pam and let rise again until double. Bake at 300-350 for 30
min. Freeze whatever won’t be eaten on baking day.

Icing

(This is enough for the
whole batch of Paska)
1 bag icing
sugar
3/4 cup
margarine
1 Tbsp vanilla
Canned milk as
needed.

 

Life’s Little Surprizes

March 12, 2008

img_4045.jpgThink on things that are lovely:
I crouched down to take a picture of these crocuses which amazed me. They were growing through the rubble left over from our renovation. It reminded me of God’s grace and power bursting through the rocky parts of our hearts and lives.

Think on things that are true: While having this revelation, Miranda opened the patio door and announced to me, “Mommy, your bum is coming out of your pants!” (Sorry, no photo of that!)

Badge of Honour

March 10, 2008

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Philippians 4:13

This Easter, I have been thinking a lot about God’s power. The resurrection power that raised Christ from the dead. Praise God that He gives us his power when we ask him for it.img_4053.jpg

My kids really inspire me. When they are feeling sick, they are often a lot braver than I am. They smile and giggle with a fever. They run and play with a cold. This weekend we had to take Megan to the hospital because she had a painful ear infection. How did I react? I wish I could say that I was like Marmee, the mother in Little Women, who comes right into a situation of illness and was the saving grace, knowing exactly what to do.

But no, I sat helplessly on the couch waiting as Mark took Megan to emergency. The opposite of powerful is helpless, which I often feel as a mother. Not knowing what to do or even thinking I can’t. “This is too much. I can’t cope with this. This is hard.” When I feel this way, I pray about it and God reminds me of what is true: that as a mom, I can walk forward in strength, wisdom and importance! I like to read Proverbs 31:10-30 and I have sensed the Lord saying to me, “This is the way all mothers can be with my power.” I have taken liberties while typing it out here and made it personal by substituting “she” for “I”.  Apply it to yourself as you read it:

“I am a wife of noble character

I am worth far more than rubies.

My husband has full confidence in me and lacks nothing of value.

I bring him good and not harm all the days of my life.

I select wool and flax. I am like the merchant ships bringing food from afar

I can get up while it is still dark; I provide food for my family and portions for my servant girls.

I consider a field and I buy it; out of my earnings I plant a vineyard.

I set about my work vigorously. My arms are strong for my tasks.

I see that my trading is profitable and my lamp does not go out at night.

In my hand I hold the distaff and grasps the spindle with my fingers.

I open my arms to the poor and extend my hands to the needy.

When it snows, I have no fear for my household, for all of them are clothed in scarlet.

I make coverings for my bed; I am clothed in fine linen and purple.

My husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.

I make linen garments and sell them and supply merchants with sashes.

I am clothed with strength and dignity; I can laugh at the days to come.

I speak with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on my tongue.

I watch over the affairs of my household and do not eat the bread of idleness.

My children arise and call me blessed, my husband also and he praises me.

Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.

Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.”

After having this insight, I read the same idea in Joyce Meyer‘s The Confident Woman. She says, “The woman in question is such a famous confident woman and yet her name is not mentioned. I am certain this is because God wants each woman to be able to insert her name in this woman’s story…I disliked the woman in Proverbs 31 until I realized she was an example to me, a goal I could reach for. One that God Himself would help me realize if I put my trust in Him and was willing to change. Over a period of many years this woman I once disliked immensely has become a good friend.”

Our kids deserve a badge of honour and so do we!

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Easter is Arriving

March 9, 2008

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It was so great being outside this weekend. Even though the weather was cloudy today, the mild temperature was wonderful. It is a reminder that spring is on its way. While driving to Ikea one weekday, I noticed that a house on Laurentian St. in Coquitlam is also celebrating the arrival of Easter. We went to check it out again today. Here are some photos:

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