Thursday, June 26, 2008


I am grateful for these things this week;

1. Safe travels - to Edmonton, to Airdrie, to Winfield, to Crowsnest - we have been on the go alot lately!

2. A chance to visit for 6 hours with my brother and sister as we drove together today

3. Summer salads

4. Cool fresh water with lemon slices to quench my thirst

5. Wild Alberta roses blooming profusely along the roads

6. The opportunity to go on new adventures with our family

7. The excitement in Darrin and Kelsey's voices as they begin to think about wedding plans

8. Having Melinda and Tyler home for several weeks this summer - we've done lots of visiting, played games and worked together

Quote of the Day

from Kobi Yamada's book "Live Good"

In every community, there is work to be done.
In every nation, there are wounds to heal.
In every heart, there is the power to do it.

Marianne Williamson

We are off to do some quadding in southern BC this weekend. Be back on Monday with pictures and stories, just in time to visit my colleagues at school as they toil through their last day before vacation. I hope you enjoy sunshine, friends and good summer eats this weekend.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Global Food Crisis

Today is the day that Compassion International is observing a day of fasting and prayer in light of the Global Food Crisis. This problem is growing daily and affects those living in poverty in a huge way. Children are especially suffering and it breaks my heart to see families trying to feed their little ones on pennies a day or worse yet, having to go without food completely.

I've been reading, watching the situation get worse and worse, and through it all wondering what I - just one little person - could do to help. I know that God desires me to develop new eyes to see and a new heart to help. And so today I will join with others to pray, asking God to show me what I can do and how I can best use the resources and energy I have. And because I can't even imagine a fridge AND cupboards with nothing in them, I will go without food for a few hours.

If you want to read more about this issue and watch some compelling videos (this one from the Washington Post made it very real for me), go to Compassion International. I pray that you will find it in your heart to help in whatever way you can - and to pray fervently that the world will be changed and all people will have food for every meal.

Ten on Tuesday

1. Going away for a weekend creates a huge pile of laundry, especially if it rains while you are camping!!

2. Spending the day playing is tiring for this Gramma.

3. Daily rain will cause weeds to grow like wildfire.

4. June in Alberta is a beautiful time - especially when the wild roses are blooming.

5. Two year olds are huge copycats and love to help with anything you do, whether it's washing windows or baking cake.

6. Spending a evening with book club friends is great therapy - the laughter, the discussion and the friendships formed truly enrich my life.

7. Housecleaning - including moving furniture, taking windows apart and washing light fixtures - makes a house sparkle but takes a lot of time and elbow grease!

8. Getting your first job as a new teacher is a reason to celebrate! Yeah, Jill - enjoy your year with those junior high kids in Viking!

9. I'm excited for all my teacher friends who are on their last week of school for another year. They have so earned their summer vacations.

10. There have been so many gorgeous sunsets already this summer and I'm glad I have a chance to capture them on film.

Monday, June 23, 2008

More Camping

Camping this weekend was a whole lot of fun with Meadow! I am so looking forward to a time when she and Helayna can both share a camping weekend with us.

Enjoying some sunshine

So many things to discover and play with out in the woods

Riding along on Mommy's back (there was a whole lot of picture taking going on this weekend!)

The water was freezing cold but this water baby still enjoyed a little swim!

Her favourite question - "Grampa Bob doing?"

Three cousins drinking juice after a long walk

Having a 'bath' at the end of a busy day

Playiang with Dad's hat

Helping Grampa get some water

Uncle Tyler made her this 'dog' by tying a piece of string she'd found earlier on to a chunk of wood. She walked the 'dog' back and forth across the site while we were busy packing up. She even picked it up and gave her 'dog' a kiss!!

Heading back to camp, all tired out and napping on Grampa's back

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Camping Time

We made a little investment in a camper last week so we loaded up and went out to enjoy the outdoors this weekend. Mel and Tyler borrowed camping gear from Heather and Jonathan and tented right beside us. Naomi, Jerry and Meadow as well as Jerry's family came too so there were 16 of us altogether. We had good weather and a great time together!

Here's a little peek at our weekend - I'll show you more tomorrow but right now I need to go and take a shower :))

- did some hiking

- had a chance to spend lots of time with our daughters - and we decided this should be an annual event so hopefully our other 2 kids and their families can join us next year!

- eating outside made everything taste better.

David Thompson Country, right along the Rocky Mountains - perfect place to spend a summer weekend!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Busy Days

It's been a busy, busy week around here! We are all good, enjoying the sunshine and getting into summer mode. Today is the longest day of the year - may the sun shine down on you and fill your heart with joy!

I had a play date with Meadow and we spent lots of time outside.

All ready to go - with Daddy's water bottle along just in case we get thirsty!

I love this picture!

Then she found this stick and proceeded to ride her 'horsey' around the yard. It just amazes me to see what an imagination she has already!

And we are going camping this weekend to celebrate Naomi's birthday so someone has been practising sleeping in the tent! She is very excited about the whole adventure - and insists that she and Grampa Bob will sleep in the corners and Gramma will sleep in the middle! She loves this space between the mattress and the tent wall best. I think it's going to be a very exciting time - for all of us!!!

Then we went over to my sister's yesterday and had a weiner roast down by the creek. It's one of the best places to have a picnic and spend time together.

And that brings us to today -

Mel and I got haircuts and are quite happy with our new looks! She got about 6" taken off of hers so it's a pretty big change but it suits her perfectly!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Have you heard the term "Stacation"? It means staying at home and seeing local things instead of driving or flying to exotic spots during vacation.

Tyler made a spontaneous request that we stop and visit the Alberta Legislative Building when we were in the city the other day - and it was a great suggestion! This place was actually on my list of places to visit since I've never once been inside. Usually kids visit here on a grade 6 fieldtrip when they study local government. But I've never had the privilege of supervising that trip so it was definitely time for me to go too!

The weather was gorgeous and the grounds were packed with people eating, visiting or exercising on their lunch break. It's a lovely, lovely place with very spacious well kept grounds.

The fountain and pool areas were full of people, enjoying the sunshine and the water. Kids can wade and play in the pools which are a huge attraction during the summer months.

I love this group that is outside on the grounds. It makes me remember how important families and individuals are to our province.

The Center Rotunda area has many plagues and special displays honoring historic events and people. (It was really, really dark too!)

These 2 have such a routine when it comes to taking self portraits. They've done it in many, many places around the world!

Inside looking out!

Thanks for the request to visit, Tyler . I enjoyed seeing this piece of Alberta's history too.

Father's Day

We drove to Airdrie on Sunday to have supper with 3 of our kids and their families. Jonathan barbecued some delicious burgers, the girls made salads and oven fries and rhubarb strawberry crisp for dessert. It was delicious and it was lovely to spend some time together again. Of course, Miss Helayna was fun to be around! She learned how to say "Gamma, Gamma!" which was sweet!!

And she insisted on sharing the whole basket full of toys with her beloved Papa!

All too soon it was time for us to say good-bye - and for Helayna to head to bed. Our visits always go by way too quickly. But we brought Melinda and Tyler back home with us and we had a great visit on the drive home. It made the time fly by. Thanks, guys!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

12 on the 12th

Here's a little project idea that I found awhile ago over at Twelve of Twelve and have finally managed to do. The task is to take 12 pictures on the 12th day of the month that represent your day. This is what June 12th looked like at our house! (Mosaic created in mosaic maker at Big Huge Labs.)

Questions and Answers, part 3

But first of all, these two are running a half marathon in Cochrane, just west of Calgary near the Rockies, today. They've done lots of training so I hope they enjoy the accomplishment of this summer goal that they set for themselves. They might even be finished already, as start time was 8 a.m. - not sure how much time they were estimating to take. I hope it's not as windy out there as it is here!

During my blogiversary invitation for questions, Melinda, our daughter, at A Year Without Peanut Butter, asked me to describe each of our children, as if to someone who had never met them before. This is hard!!! I've been thinking about it for a month and I've got a few ideas to share. Let me just say though that we are blessed to have 4 children who are healthy, smart, wise, and kind. I don't think that Bob and I had much to do with that. God has blessed us - and them - so graciously.

First off, the 4 of them share many, many characteristics. All of them are athletic and I am constantly amazed at the goals, discipline and training our children set for themselves. Darrin and Kelsey were in a challenge doing all kinds of workout stuff at their gym this winter and placed 3rd. Darrin's played hockey, Kelsey is a soccer player and they both are great skiiers. Heather is a runner (has been since elementary school) and Jonathan is a hiker. Melinda played rugby and did a triathalon last summer and Tyler does basketball and soccer whenever he gets a chance to (even played 3 on 3 in Poland with the Taiwanese students.) Naomi is a great swimmer, has done a marathon and a triathalon and Jerry is a hockey player and golfer. That's just to name a few of the things they participate in! Our kids all participated in various school and community sports when they were younger. I love that their athletics have translated into healthy active living lifestyles. I think Bob and I both encouraged them in sports because we didn't have a chance to do that when we were younger.

They are all risk takers, high achievers, competitive (even with each other!) and know how to work hard. All 4 of them have a love of travel, not that we were able to take lots of vacations (remember, we are farmers!), but we were lucky to travel to other provinces with them when they were younger. Now I think any one of them would head off at the drop of a hat if they could. They are problem solvers and all prefer country living to being in big cities (even though they might not be there right now). And they are all generous, helpful and supportive of those in need. They've seen us volunteer and share what we have.

So - what makes each one unique? Lots of things!! Here are a few highlights, the way I see it.
Darrin - logical, mechanical, rational, neat and super organized, quiet, loves to play with kids
Heather - creative, artistic, sensitive, photographer with a great eye for composition and feeling
Melinda - adventurous spirit, a great teacher with junior high kids, student of her faith, plans every detail
Naomi - gardener (she got all the green thumb), healer, flexible, focussed on her family

I wonder if they will agree with me! If you met them, I think you would like them as people. I love each one of them- "to the depth and height and breadth of my being". (I know I'm quoting someone but I can't remember who - maybe Elizabeth Barrett Browning?)

Friday, June 13, 2008


I'm still finishing up a few assignments from the 28 Days online class that I took. It was such an awesome month - a new project and a new photo assignment in my inbox every morning. A great way to ride the creative wave!!

Create a mini-album - using covers from a book thing that was attached to my Eddie Bauer downfilled jacket (good thing I saved that from shopping!) , this album uses 12 pictures that tell the story of the month of May for me. Round journalling stamp is from 7 Gypsies. It would be fun to do one of these for every month in a year, I think.

This assignment was to create pages about your family using an art journal approach. I painted cardstock and when it was dry, wrote on the colors with a black Sharpie pen. I added some Polar Bear Express shape rubons too. Then I glued it into my journal - double sided tape = very sticky = slanted pages when paper gets too close to the page before being centered correctly :( But I really like the style of this and I might be convinced to try it again.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


I have much to be thankful for again this week.

1. Manicures and pedicures - big treats for me!!

2. Fresh blueberries - one of my favourite summer berries. I just eat them like this!

3. Music - I brought home 2 new worship CDs from the convention and I've played them daily.

4. Lilacs and their glorious smell that wafts around the yard.

5. Sunshine and glorious summer temperatures - at least for a few days.

6. Fresh garden produce - I'm picking lettuce tomorrow!! YEAH!!!!

7. Rhubarb from the garden, baked up into muffins.

8. Sunsets and the glory of a day ending.

9. The joy of sharing momentous family occasions with our children - Kelsey and Darrin's engagement makes me thankful for the gifts of love and understanding that a couple share when they decide to spend their lives together.

Here They Are!

Darrin and Kelsey at the spot where they got engaged!

I am very excited to see them and share their excitement and joy!
Thanks for sharing the pictures, K!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


to this beautiful girl, our niece Jill, who convocated from the University of Alberta today with a Bachelor of Education degree, with distinction. You go out and rock the world of education, Girl!!

And it's a good day to read this commencement address that JK Rowling delivered at Harvard. Interesting thoughts in there.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Ten on Tuesday

I found this new idea on Elizabeth Dillow's blog and today seems like a good day to try it out.

1. I seem to have come home exhausted. All I want to do is sleep and I am off to do just that as soon as I finish posting this.

2. Toothaches are awful!! Please, please go away.

3. Grampa Bob can fix anything, according to Meadow - including sewing a button on her jeans! I had to bring them home so "Grampa Bob fix".

4. Nachos with melted cheese are an acceptable supper.

5. Lilacs smell beautiful - and remind me of my Gramma.

6. Potato plants like cool weather - the first ones I planted a month ago are growing great.

7. Rhubarb muffins spell spring.

8. Only 11 days until the longest day of this year - and then the days start getting shorter - no!

9. Tomorrow is Convocation Day for my niece Jill who will graduate as a secondary school teacher of science and social studies. She is going to be a great teacher - lucky kids!

10. Lots of birthdays coming up this month - on the 12th, 19th, 26th, 29th, and 30th!

Monday, June 09, 2008

So Very, Very Happy -

that Darrin and Kelsey have decided to spend their lives together and are engaged!!!

We all have adored her from the beginning (3 years ago) and see how good she is for Darrin. She treats our son with love, respect, admiration, gentleness, and humour. And he reciprocates those feelings completely (maybe not quite as much humour as she has!). They make a wonderful couple and we pray that God will bless and direct all of their days together.

Apparently it was quite the romantic event at Lake Minnewanka in the Rockies near Banff. I hope to have a picture soon, especially now that I realize just how few pictures I have of the 2 of them!

Not sure what we are going to do about her love of the Calgary Flames! She does take alot of teasing about it and gives it right back too :))

Sunday, June 08, 2008

In Song

I am home, tired but filled with the Word, the bread of life and messages from bishops and theologians to hold in my heart and share by my actions in the days ahead. This has been a retreat of sorts for me - a time to be taught and nourished by God's word and His people. Here are a few images from our last day together.

Ready for the processional and worship to begin.

The convention choir sang a Zulu hymn that had neat dance actions. They only had 3 half hour practises!

This is the National Bishop just before service started as we began to gather for morning worship. I love how she's tapping her foot to the hymn Holy, Holy, Holy.

We sang so many marvelous songs during this convention. Some were old favourites and some were new but so beautiful that they are new favourites now. I leave you with these 2 verses from one - I wish you could hear the music too.

Will You Come and Follow Me(The Summons)
Will you come and follow me if I but call your name?
Will you go where you don't know and never be the same?
Will you let my love be shown, will you let my name be known,
Will you let my life be grown in you and you in me?

Lord, your summons echoes true when you but call my name.
Let me turn and follow you and never be the same.
In your company I'll go where your love and footsteps show.
Thus I'll move and live and grow in you and you in me.

Text - John L. Bell, Traditional Scottish Music