Monday, January 29, 2007

Happy Birthdays

to my dear Auntie Ruth, cuddling here with Helayna at her baby shower. She is simply one of the most generous and loving people that I know. She always brings veggie trays to family gatherings, gives gigantic hugs and takes tons of pictures. I hope she enjoys many, many more birthdays!!

and to Norma, Bob's sister (shown here cutting birthday cake at another party, with her daughter Chloe in the background). May you be surrounded with love and caring this year!

And to my friend, Joan, who is enjoying her retirement and is currently away in Palm Springs. May all your fairways be straight, your putts drop and may there be another hole in one waiting for you this year!!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Saturdays are such good days for quiet reflection and doing things - like reading in bed, laundry, dishes, baking, dusting - my list could go on. Oh, and catching up on blog news too! Ali Edwards found an online challenge at 2Peas and shared it today. Show your messy desk - and then go create something with some of the stuff that's strewn around on it.

So this is my space and there are several works in progress on it. I started making some birthday cards last night so that's on the top layer - gotta finish one today so I can mail it to Mel! Another project is from nearly 2 years ago and it really, really needs to be finished. That would be a good goal for this weekend - watch to see the finished LO soon. Maybe if I tell you about it, then I won't be able to procrastinate any more!! And just to let you know - everything on my desk is not blue!! I have no idea why this picture is so blue - maybe something to do with the light bouncing off the snowdrifts that are outside the window??! I obviously have a lot to learn about lighting!

Doing some dusting in the living room today and I was thinking about how happy I am to have photos in albums (even though they aren't in scrapbooks) so that we can relive our adventures and enjoy the pictures all over again. These 5 albums have over 1000 pictures of our time in Asia this summer! It started with the 2 beige albums that look very Oriental but by the time I actually printed the pictures and realized I was going to need more albums, these were already sold out at WalMart so I had to switch to others. The tall navy album has all the pictures of China in it.

More things that make me happy in my house!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Friday Fun

Good things happen on Fridays, I think. Helayna and Heather came up a few days ago and have been staying with Jonathan's parents so we took Chinese food over for supper and had a little visit. Jonathan came up from Calgary after work. It's been a month since we've seen Helayna and she is changing so much! She's stronger, more alert and very interactive. We got to see the airplane manoevers too - so cute!!

Helayna and her family


We're gearing up for a skipathon at school next month so today we had a jump rope team from Camrose come and inspire us. They were pretty amazing and ever so fast with those ropes. It made me tired just taking pictures!!

Coordination, speed and fun - our kids were pretty pumped!

She's been skipping for 9 years and can do some really amazing, fast tricks!

Sunday, January 21, 2007


In her AEzine Newsletter this week, Ali Edwards asks "What are your scrapbook essentials?" I've been thinking about it and here's my list.

1. Cardstock - solid colors, textured - especially browns, black and cream/white.

2. Ink - Van Dyke brown by Tim Holtz is my favorite - it looks great on anything.

3. Computer - for journalling and titles.

4. Tape runner - by 3L - nothing better!

5. Brads - all colors, usually small or medium sizes.

6. Corner rounder - I've pulled mine out again.

7. Ribbon - it just finishes so many things perfectly.

8. Chipboard, especially covered with patterned paper - love the dimension it gives.

9. Sewing machine - for stitching and adding texture - so easy and so beautiful.

10. Rubons - especially alphabets, swirls, flowers - actually, any and all!!

11. Stamps - I really do love these guys, especially for finishing details on layouts and definitely for cards.

So - what are your essentials? This was such a good question for me to consider. Now to use up some of that stuff in my studio!!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Coming Down

I guess it's finally time for the Christmas tree to come down! It's been up for a month now and as much as I like it in the corner of the living room with all the lights on at night, I guess all good things have to come to an end! It's always nostalgic to reminisce about the fun we had putting it up - Mel and Tyler helped this year and Tyler makes everything fun when he's around. We have so many beautiful ornaments that have come from friends (especially DonaMae who adds another one to our collection every year - thanks!), family and our travels. So it's all going back in the boxes for the next 11 months. That doesn't even sound like that long, does it??!!

During the Christmas holidays I created this layout and I'm feeling inspired to go back into my studio and get some projects going again. I think Mel and Heather are motivating me and Na gave me some pictures of Meadow so I certainly have things to create with. I have lots of ideas racing around in my head but they don't seem to be jumping onto pages! Time to do something about that and the weekend's the perfect time to start. I hope you're able to do some creating and playing this weekend too!

Taken near Whitecourt

The quad crew


Jill and Elisha on their horses

I love the way the trees frame both of these pictures!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Happy Meal!

When Mel was home, she shared this awesome recipe with me! It was the first time I'd ever made pesto (I know, I know) and it was easy, peasy. There was a bit of pesto leftover so I added some cream to it and used it for tonight's supper. I guarantee that this will become a favorite of yours - go ahead, try it!!

Spaghetti with Walnuts and Parsley Pesto

1 lb. spahetti (or enough to feed your family)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 c. Italian parsley leaves
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 - 5 cloves garlic, minced
1 med. cucumber, peeled , seeded and finely chopped
Cook pasta, keep warm.
Toast walnuts in skilled, 3 - 4 minutes until fragrant.
Place parsley, oil, lemon juice, garlic, and cheese in food processor (or small blender container). Pulse until sauce is formed. Season with salt and pepper.
Transfer warm pasta to bowl. Add pesto, walnuts and cucumber. Toss lightly to combine. Enjoy!!!
(If you have too much pesto sauce for 1 meal, keep it in the fridge in an airtight container until next time.)

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Happy in My Kitchen

These things bring a smile to my face!

Clean dishes make me smile, especially when all the dishes are out of the dishwasher and in the cupboard!

My teapot gets used every day and it never drips - plus it was a gift from Bob - a total surprise but a perfect one!

I'm lovin' this little under the counter CD player/radio/TV that's hanging in my kitchen. I've been listening to more music than ever before!

Monday, January 15, 2007


"Very little is needed to make a happy life.
It is all within yourself, in your way of thinking"
Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

Using an idea from Elsie Flanigan's blog, I was going to share some pictures of things in my house that make me happy. But, alas and alack - blogger does not want to do that so it will have to wait until another time. Meanwhile - what things around your house bring you happiness? Pictures are right at the top of my list - next to the lights on the Christmas tree and candles. Stay tuned ------

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Winter Weekend

Cold, cold, cold - but we still had some fun!

My school staff had a belated Christmas party last night at Fort Edmonton Park. We had hoped to go on a sleigh ride but the weather was too cold so we had supper together, played games, drank wine and enjoyed each other's company. Bob and I stayed over in the city (the hour drive home after a late evening is not fun anymore!) and then met 2 of his sisters and his parents for brunch at the Royal Executive Inn in Nisku. It was one of the best buffet brunches I've seen with a large cold seafood table, an omelette bar, all the breakfast treats you could want, plus beef, veal, pasta, turkey and dressing, veggies and meatballs on the hot buffet. The array of desserts was equally impressive. We heard about his sisters' trip to Cuba and generally caught up on the news.

Now I'm trying to get a head start on the week, between laundry, dishes and some cooking. The scrapbook studio is calling too and then there are the week's lessons to think about. I think the R & R is over! I hope you had a lovely weekend too!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Finally -

some pictures of Mel and Tyler!

Mel and Tyler had so much fun with their nieces while they were home! They are going to be awesome parents someday!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Gone Again!

They came - they met Helayna - they cuddled both nieces - they visited - they celebrated - they brought lots of joy - and now they are both back in Poland. Mel and Tyler, that is. We got a phone call at 5:30 this morning from Mel, saying that everything had gone fine and she was back in Katowice. The storm didn't delay her flight, her connections went fine, customs clearance went okay and Tyler met her with the driver they use at the university. I'm sure she's trying to adjust to the 8 hour time change now. It's going to be a very long time until they are both here again, I'm afraid. We all enjoyed their visit immensely. And I was going to show you a picture or two but alas, blogger is not cooperating - again. What else is new?!!

I had a snow day from school yesterday. Our gravel roads to the highway were drifted and my little puddle hopper of a car wasn't going anywhere so I didn't get to school. It was a good day for baking Blomidon Inn Brown Bread, making vegetable ham soup and reading a book - oh, and shovelling snow! Busses didn't run in our area so lots of kids were missing from school too. The schools are still open for urban students.

It was -32 degrees Celsius at school today - C.O.L.D.!!! The forecast is for warmer temperature but more wind tomorrow which equals the same numbers when the windchill is calculated. This weather just makes me want to cocoon in front of the fire. I hope you are staying warm in your little corner of the world.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Birthday Images

I'm making supper while blogger loads these pictures - multi-tasking at its best! Just some pictures from our birthday weekend. Thanks for looking!

Grampa with Helayna - totally relaxed, isn't she?!

Bob with his girls - they kind of look alike, don't they?!!

Meadow was entranced with my glass of iced tea - she even managed to suck some up the straw and surprise herself with the cold taste!

There's a blizzard blowing through tonight, although I think we are on the very southern fringe. Hopefully Mel will be able to fly out in the morning. She's homeward bound to Katowice, Poland via Toronto and Warsaw. Please say a little prayer that her flight will go and her travels will be safe. I hate when the kids leave - I miss them lots!

Happy Birthday, Carol

It's Bob's sister's birthday today. And she just came home from 2 weeks in Cuba - lucky senorita!!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Happy Birthday, Bob

This is our third day of partying for Bob's birthday! It all started on Friday with supper at our friends' house - for 4 friends that all have birthdays within a few days of each other. We've been gathering like this for several years and the good times just keep rolling on. The only difference is that the party now ends at a much more reasonable time than it used to!! Then last night we met up with our 3 daughters and their families for supper at Tony Roma's. And tonight Bob's parents and my parents came over for birthday cake and a game of dominoes. I think the birthday party is officially over now!

And my Christmas holiday break is officially over too. It's back to school tomorrow. Why does the break go by so fast? It certainly was a great time of visiting, eating, playing games, and generally having good times with loved ones. And the good weather is coming to an end too - lots of snow and -24 by Thursday - oh, joy!!

Pictures coming as soon as blogger cooperates - sorry:((

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Gone to Calgary

With the great weather and holiday mode, we decided to bring Mel down to Calgary for one more visit before she goes back to Poland. Plus ---- that meant we also got to see Helayna again!! We ate at The Broken Plate, a Greek restaurant, last night - it's always so yummy. This morning Mel and I went to the Health Clinic with Heather for Helayna's first immunization. She weighs 11 pounds 6 ounces and is doing so awesome. She wasn't at all happy when the nurse stuck that needle in her thigh though! She's sleeping peacefully now.

Cuddling with Mom at the clinic

Grampa is such a good play partner!

Monday, January 01, 2007

Holiday Images

It was wonderful having Helayna with us over the holidays! She slept through the gift opening and I didn't get any pictures of her all dressed up or with her gifts :(( - definitely have to do that next year, first thing!! She is awake much more now and reacting to voices, lights and especially to her Mom and Dad.
Getting ready for pyjamas time

With Grampa and Gramma beside the Christmas tree -doesn't she look big here!! These last 2 months have gone by so quickly. Melinda and I are going to go to Calgary later this week and hang out with Heather for a day. More cuddle time coming soon - yeah!!

Tomorrow I'll share some pictures of our New Year's Eve party at Naomi and Jerry's. I finally got the last of the Christmas pictures downloaded today. We had a quiet, reflective day to start the New Year today. Wishing each of you peace, joy beyond measure and abundant times that make you smile throughout 2007!