1. We had Nikki’s party this weekend – almost a month early since I’ll be gone next month. Five preteen girls in a hotel room – what fun! Pillow fights, water slides, pizza, late night giggling, secrets – everything an almost 9 year old could want in a party.

2. Our bathroom is all done – right down to the floor mat and the matching pale green hand lotion. (Oops – not quite – still have to get the pictures on the wall.) I painted candle holders and a pot pourri holder this weekend. It is a thing of beauty! Last night, I lit the candles, turned off the lights, closed the door, and soaked in the tub for nearly half an hour. Aaaahhh! Next time, I’ll add a little mood music to complete the effect.

3. Sunday was the last GNF service I’ll be at in a month. Next Sunday is Mom’s membership service, and then it’s off to Africa for 3 weeks. It makes you know you’ve got a good thing going when you realize how much you’ll miss your community.

4. Nikki and I had our mother-daughter afternoon on Friday. She was delighted to leave school with me at lunch time. We went to the Forks, had lunch, wandered around the shops, and then went for our manicures. She got lime green, I got a coppery colour. She said afterwards that she probably chooses more hip colours than me because she’s younger. J My manicurist was a bit of a butcher – my cuticles hurt all weekend.

5. My family is good to us. Mom got up early Friday morning to make sure she got cinnamon buns baked for Nikki’s hotel breakfast with her friends. Cynthia stayed up late Thursday and baked a funky birthday cake for her niece. J-L hung out in the pool with five giggling girls – quite willing to play the cool uncle role. How much richer they make the lives of my children!

6. Maddie got a late start into the “terrible twos”. (Actually, after having 3 kids, I think the “terrible twos” is a myth that should be replaced with the “testing the boundaries threes”.) Potty training is a power struggle with her. On Saturday, during her “nap”, she changed her own poopy pull-up, resulting in poop all over her room. On Sunday, she stripped naked, and walked around with a pull-up on her head hoping people would laugh at her. And when you ask her why, she just smiles and says “Because I want to.”

7. I didn’t get as much done as I’d hoped this weekend. I ended up making way too many little shopping trips for bathroom stuff. We tried out 3 registers before we settled on one we liked, and 2 bath mats. But we were determined to be DONE so we persevered. Sadly, our bedroom didn’t get the clean-up it deserved because our attention was focused on the bathroom. That’s what happens when you bring something new into the home – all the other rooms get neglected. Poor little neglected rooms – I promise I’ll spend time with you soon! Soon the bathroom will be yesterday’s news and I’ll start looking to other spaces for some decorating pleasure. You could be next!

8. I enjoyed watching Julie pay Crib with her Pépère last night. She really is a smart girl and the way she focuses her energy when she’s playing games seems remarkable in a 7 year old kid. She gets this look on her face that says “I take great pleasure in trying to figure out this game.” I hope she finds enough to challenge her in life, because sometimes learning comes too easily for her.

9. Communication was good this weekend, despite my fears that there would be too much stress in our household in the weeks leading to my departure.

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