Thursday, June 29, 2006

Happy Birthday, Esther!!

It's my baby sister, Esther's, birthday today! What a beautiful woman she is - kind, loving, generous, creative (she's the one who introduced us all to scrapbooking!), a terrific event organizer, an amazing CEO (of a community living association), a gracious hostess, awesome cook and a ton of fun! Here she is pulling my brother, Del, out of a mud hole while we were quadding, west of Caroline, on the weekend. Happy Birthday, my friend - who just happens to be one of my sisters! May you always be blessed!

And yes, we do have a lot of birthdays in our family in June! All done until July, now!!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

School's Out For the Summer!!!!

Okay, I know it's not Thursday and I know I still have 2 days to work but ----- school's done for the kids!

Fieldtrips - check
Desks clean - check
Lockers empty - check
Memory books finished and sent home - check
Shoes collected - check
Report cards done - check
Grade 6 farewell Assembly - check

Still to do:

CUM files
organize my desk area
refile and sort all books
meet with admin
fill out forms, forms and more forms
staff breakfast and barbecue
clean off floor and shelves
take home plants
staff meeting
meet with colleague re next year

Lots to do but the end is in sight!!!

And - it's +32 here today! HOT< HOT< HOT!!!!! Maybe, by posting this class picture taken at Christmastime, I'll feel cooler!! Off to find a popsicle......

Monday, June 26, 2006

Happy Birthday, Jerry!

It's Jerry's birthday too! What a gift God gave to our family when he met Naomi. Full of fun, pranks and a zest for life, Jerry is a man of compassion and character. He will soon be a dad - we are sure he will be awesome in that role. Happy birthday, Son-in-law!

Happy Birthday, Del!

Happy Birthday to my brother, who turns 50 today!! We spent the weekend quadding with him west of Caroline. He is an elk farmer and full of jokes and pranks! His favorite people to tease are the boyfriends and girlfriends of his nieces and nephews. He is also kind and generous and a great Dad to Pam and Ed. Happy Birthday, Bro!!

It's a busy, busy week of 5 more days of activities at school. And to top it all off, I got a cold on Saturday night along with laryngitis so I stayed home from school today. I did use the time to make some major accomplishments on my report cards - yeah!! Still a bit to go but all is good for a Monday!!!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

17 hours, 3 minutes

Happy Summer! It's the longest day of the year and did you know that in central Alberta we will have 17 hours and 3 minutes of daylight? How's that for awesome trivia? It made for a great math question for my class - if the sun goes down at 10:07 p.m. (which is true too), what time did it come up? We even had the little practise clocks out to help us figure!

I know it's late but still --- Happy Father's Day, especially to my Dad! He really is an amazing man. Aby Garvey posted a comment on her blog ( from the book "Everyday with Rachel Ray" and I'm going to use it too. (I love all the sharing that goes on via blogs but I digress....)

I Am My Father's Daughter because................

1. we are both perfectionists - don't do it if you can't do it perfectly!

2. quiet but thoughtful and confrontation is to be avoided at nearly all costs - peacemakers are we two!

3. reading is a passion - and we both like to read in bed before falling asleep.

4. when shopping, buy the very best that you can afford (especially in tractors, clothes, shoes and chocolate!!)

5. never, ever run out of food when you are entertaining! Far better to have a fridge full of leftovers than that there should be an empty platter or bowl on the table.

6. we love to watch our children and truly celebrate every one of their achievements.

Wow - we truly are products of genetics and our environment!! I have not ever really considered how much alike we are until today. Good stuff to pause and consider. Thanks for your love and support, Dad!

Photography Tuesday

Shapes, reflections and looking up today! I took this picture on Sunday when Bob and Darrin were installing a solar tube in our kitchen ceiling. I think it's cool how the camera metered the light coming in from outside and down the reflective tube. Can you tell where the guys start and the reflection ends?! I think this is the kind of picture that goes on the back page of a magazine and they ask you to identify the object! I'm challenging myself to find more reflections in the week ahead. Hopefully it will be easy - we are going quadding this weekend!

And our visas for China came today - it's getting very real! Only 16 more sleeps, I think! But first I have a very busy weekend, 17 report cards and a crazy last week of school to survive. I'm coming online for peace and sanity!!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Happy Birthday, Naomi!

It's our sweet baby girl's 25th birthday today! Where has the time gone? She is going to be a Mom herself in just a few weeks. Some things to know about her:
- she is a registered nurse, working ICU or emergency but her leave started last week
- she is the one of our kids who lives closest to us now.
- she loves to play in the water - and has since she was born! These days it means she's in a masters swimming class (still) and kayaks or boats whenever she can. And they live on a lake too!
- she's a great cook - but I think all of our girls are!
- entertaining is high on her list of things to do.
- she's a regular Martha Stewart type.
- she is not afraid to try anything new, including house renovations and mogul skiing.
- she's only gained 28 lbs. in her pregnancy.

Happy Birthday, Naomi!! Hope your husband spoiled you today! And I hope the Oilers win the Cup just for you!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

The Roof Over Our Heads

The roof project got this far and it looks awesome!! The other side of the house is next and then the fascia will be replaced with colonial red trim. We are loving the look already! The 2 domes are solar tubes that were installed to bring more light into our dining area. They brighten things up a whole lot but were tricky for the guys to install. Thank goodness for sons, son-in-laws, friends and family who helped us with this weekend project. The weather was cooland breezy on Saturday which was great for the guys on the roof. Today was hotter and the tar on the shingles was even melting. I even crawled up last night to lend a hand - now I know what birds feel like. Can you believe that it's the first time in 28 years I was up on the roof?? Life brings something new every day!! Hope you had a great weekend!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Look What's Coming Down at My House Today!

Finally - after 5 years of waiting!!!! The old shingles are on their way out and the new ones are waiting! Gotta go make sandwiches for the guys! Smiles------

Friday, June 16, 2006

Thursdays from School

Combining my photography challenge and news from school this week, here I am in my classroom. I forgot to have the kids take some pictures of me so I had to do it myself! In case you don't know, we moved in to a brand new building in September so everything is new, new, new!!! It's so awesome with all the light and energy efficient features. I teach 17 wonderful grade 3 students and we are all looking forward to summer holidays!! There is still lots of work to be done outside as we don't have a playground or grass. We go across to the highschool grounds for recess now. Not very many people get to work in a brand new school during the course of their career so I consider myself very fortunate!

It's been raining here again today. We have had a very rainy first half of June. If the sun ever comes out, the crops and gardens are going to grow by leaps and bounds. Thank goodness I got the weeds under control in my garden before this or the poor little plants wouldn't have had a chance. Our lawn is starting to look like a hayfield! The pastures are thick and lush this year which is great for our cattle.

On a side note, "Happy Belated Birthday" to my little brother, Brent. He's one year away from the big 5-0. He called me tonight and we had a very long chat - don't get to do that very often. He's a farmer and a pilot who owns an aerial applicating business. I've got alot of memories of escapades that this guy was involved in during his younger days!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Photography Tuesday

I'm taking a new twist on the photography challenge this week. It's a time of reminiscing - and panic! - as the school year winds down for me so my challenge is to take a picture (or a whole bunch) of yourself at work. Get a coworker, client or student to snap it or do it yourself. Capture the place where you spend such a big part of your life. And if you work at home, do the same thing. Record YOU at work!

Here is one of my favorite pictures from this spring!! My niece hosted "The Amazing Race - Edmonton Edition" for our family on the Easter weekend. We had a BLAST!! Our first stop was the Strathcona Farmer's Market where we had to have our team picture taken with the Hutterites. It was an amazing afternoon, racing around the city, taking pictures and racing against the other 4 teams. We didn't win but we did get to every stop, with only one mistake. We truly made memories together that day!!! What a creative and fun-loving family I have.

That's my dad on the left, a family friend in the white shirt, me and then my nephew. See the cute little Hutterite lady in the background? She was grinning from ear to ear!! You should have seen all the market customers staring at us! Email me if you want our full itinerary so you can adapt it for your group, okay?

Monday, June 12, 2006


In May, Karen C. Russell (a scrapbooker from the US) sponsored a fundraiser for Women for Women International (an organization near and dear to my heart!). I was happy to make a donation and then later I was lucky enough to win one of the fabulous prizes that were given away. Layle Koncar, from Scenic Route Paper Co., contacted me a few weeks ago so I knew something was on its way. It arrived today and absolutely wowed me!!! There are 2 paper packs - North Shore (18 sheets of double sided cardstock) and Charlotte(24 sheets of double sided cardstock) and they each have matching CS stickers, 2 packages of chipboard alphabet stencils and 2 packages of rubon words. Whooohoooo!! What great stuff - thanks a million, Scenic Route and Karen Russell!!!

I got a little surprise at UPS and broker fees though :( but I'm still so happy and incredibly lucky!

I finally got the farm accounting done on the weekend so I'm gathering things for the accountant now. It will feel so good to get this project out of the way! That'll be just in time to tackle report cards! I just want some creative time - is that too much to ask??!!

And sad to say, the Oilers lost again tonight 2 - 1. This series is not going as planned. Hopefully the team can still pull it together.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Thursdays at School

Some things to consider today:

There are only 15 days of school left!!

"For me, teaching is about making surprises and moments for kids that they will never forget. I think it would be much more fun to live in a world where everyone thought that way." Ron Clark

"A problem is a chance for you to do your best." Duke Ellington

"You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.......You must do the thing you think you cannot do." Eleanor Roosevelt

"Every child needs a champion." Hillary Rodham Clinton

Wow - big thoughts - profound and sobering thoughts for a teacher - lots to live by in these!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Challenge Time

Melissa posted this challenge on her blog. IT's fun stuff to know - thanks, girl!

I AM: a grandmother in waiting, a mother to 4, a mother-in-law to 3, a teacher

I WANT: to retire

I HAVE: only 15 days of school until summer vacation

I WISH: I didn't have to get up early

I HATE: vacuuming and housework

I MISS: my sister

I HEAR: a hockey game on TV

I WONDER: if our grandbabies will be born healthy and their moms will be okay

I REGRET: not knowing how to swim

I AM NOT: bilingual

I DANCE: not often enough

I SING: to myself

I CRY: when my kids leave

I AM NOT ALWAYS: good at returning phone calls

I MAKE WITH MY HANDS: a chronicle of who I am and what my life is like for others to read someday and know me better

I WRITE: long letters and emails

I CONFUSE: my daughters names when they are home at the same time!

I NEED: to get to bed earlier (so my husband tells me!) and more kisses (like before we were married!)

I SHOULD: exercise more

I START: many things at once

I FINISH: my layouts completely before starting the next one

Feel free to post your answers to these starters!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Photography Tuesday - and Books

My challenge this week was to use the manual shutter speed on my camera. These are 3 of the pictures so you can compare - 1/4 (the lightest and brightest), 1/60, and 1/125(the darkest). These were taken at about 9:30 p.m. on an overcast day, outside on the patio table. It was interesting to compare the results. I think I could use this in some lowlight situations to avoid using a flash. I'd be interested to hear about some experiments that others have done.

I photographed my stack of books for summer reading. What a mix! There's everything from Reader's Digest "Digital Pictures" to Francine Rivers "The Prince". There are ones about India, Afghanistan, WWII Europe, Rwanda and Bosnia, and Egypt. I'll let you know how it goes - and how many I actually get read!!! Let's hear about your faves!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Thoughts on Books

"Life-transforming ideas have always come to me through books."
Bell Hooks

"There is no mistaking a real book when one meets it. It is like falling in love."
Christopher Morley

I have started a stack of books for summer reading! I can hardly wait to dig into it!! Reading is one of my very favorite things to do! Perhaps in my retirement I can work in a bookstore or a library!

Monday, June 05, 2006


In just 5 weeks our first grandchild is due to arrive!! Naomi has the nursery cradle set up and the rocking chair is ready. The laundry basket has tiny sleepers and tshirts in it and there's a basket of little blankets beside it. The carseat is set to bring the little one home. I think the only thing she has to do is pack her bag and then drive to the hospital. We are anxious for this little long awaited one to arrive safely!

I think this picture captures our daughter's longing for the waiting to be over!

Friday, June 02, 2006

Thursdays from School

Welcome to our school!! This is the beautiful mascot mural that the very talented daughter of one of our teacher's painted on the upper foyer wall of our school. Isn't it a greet way to be greeted as you enter the building? The school sports teams have this figure on the front of their tshirts and the slogan "We will shock you!" on the back. Next year we are hoping to have her paint some young stingrays along the side walls. Thanks for visiting!