Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Ten on Tuesday

1. I had a busy but delightful day subbing in grade one today. They are so eager and so willing to do whatever is asked of them at this stage. And the highlight of their day was a visit from Super Hero Zero because it was day 20 of the school year.

2. I got some pictures developed today. It's always a big treat to open the envelope and see how they look. Digital imaging is great but I still like to hold my memories in my hand.

3. The crockpot very nicely cooked an Italian Beef Roast today - such a nice smell as I walked in the door.

4. Are you tired of hearing about the economy, the stock market and all the accompanying woes yet?!

5. Alphabet Soup - Morning Glory at Seeds From My Garden is hosting again and I missed last week so I'm doing B and C today.

These B things make me happy:

Bible - I have a travel one that goes with me and I love to read it often

blueberries - I could eat them everyday - and it's a bonus that they are so healthy too

Beijing memories - especially after watching the Olympics this summer

bread - in many forms and flavours

brothers - I have two and I am proud of them

Bob - my husband and life partner

birds - especially colorful ones that sing songs

brunch buffets - I love the choices and eating later in the morning

blogging - the photography and writing that I am inspired to do and especially the friends I've made through this new hobby

And these 'C" things make me happy too!

children - we are blessed to have four and the joy and happiness they have brought to our lives is immeasurable

cinnamon - I love it in baking, potpourri or candles

candles - especially on a winter or fall evening -I love the light and the fragrance

Canada - I am proud to live in such a beautiful and peaceful country

chai tea - it's my favourite hot drink, especially from Starbucks

clothes - not so much for me but definitely for our grandchildren

crackers and cheese - one of my favourite snacks

camping and the truck camper we bought earlier this year - this is the first summer we really did much camping and it was marvelous - I hope there are many more outings to come

computers - I do love the myriad things that can be accomplished with these technological wonders, even though I don't understand them very well at all

cherries - one of my absolute favourite summer fruits!

chocolate - especially things like chocolate covered almonds and brownies!!

camera - it's never far away and I don't leave home without it - ever!

Wow - that's obviously a popular letter in my life :))

6. One of the bloggers I have the pleasure of reading regularly is Mary at Owlhaven. Please pop over and visit this mom of 10, including children adopted from Korea and Ethiopia. She's just finished 30 days of frugal living, where she fed her family on a very fixed budget for the month.

7. It's wonderful how many beautiful colored leaves are still on the trees here. Usually we've had a big wind by now and they've all blown off but we are very lucky this year. It's going to be quite bleak when they all fall off.

8. I'm busy looking for recipes and ideas for Thanksgiving dinner. There are so many tasty ones around online or in magazines. Along with these thoughts, I'm reminded how many in our world do not enjoy the abundance that we do.

Lord, - please keep me mindful of the needs of others and remind me to willingly share what we have, all of which is provided by you.

9. Baby Gap has some very cute clothes, including Halloween onesies! I got Silas a blue one with a bear on it that says Born to Be Wild (but I can't find it online).

10. Happy Last Day of September to you! It's one of my favourite months.

Monday, September 29, 2008

30 Days of Autumn

Day 13

I think this would be a great place to take pictures!!

Simple Daybook #11

For Today... September 29, 2008

Outside my Window... an absolutely gorgeous Indian summer day with brilliant sunshine and a temperature of +26 degrees Celsius

I am thinking... about how blessed we are to live in a country of peace

I am thankful for... a stay in Airdrie with our daughter and her family - and for safe travels coming and going

From the kitchen... a pot of chili, fresh honey wheat buns and banana caramel muffins

I am wearing... jeans, a purplish shirt and cute polka dotted slipons

I am reading... The Latest Morningside Papers by Peter Gzowski (a book we've had for several years)

I am hoping... that my whole family can come for Thanksgiving dinner

I am hearing... Canada geese honking as they gather for migration

I am creating... some birthday cards and taking photos for Ali Edwards' project A Week in My Life

Around the house and yard ... phone calls to make for Thanksgiving, farm accounting books to do, lawn to cut one more time, garden to rototill, some Thanksgiving sewing to do

One of my favorite things... the crunch of leaves as I walk in the ditch or across the road

A few plans for the rest of the week.... subbing in grade one tomorrow, accounting to finish, some housecleaning and Helayna's coming for a sleepover on the weekend!

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

So many poems and songs about roads that I can't decide on a title for this picture. Any suggestions?

Be sure to visit Peggy at The Simple Woman to read more posts like this one.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


I've been negligent in posting my weekly grateful list and this is long overdue.

1. Time spent with family - I treasure every. single. moment.

2. Sunday messages from our pastor - he always relates today's gospel lesson to this week's living in a very personal way that leaves me with thoughts and actions for the whole week.

3. Sunshine - the official arrival of autumn means our days are getting shorter now but the bright sun makes it a little easier to bear.

4. Beautiful new fabrics - I'll show you some of my projects soon! Going to a fabric store always results in so many plans and dreams of what could be created!

5. The gorgeous colours of autumn

6. All the bounty of fresh food gathered from gardens this summer and fall.

7. Opportunities for travel and exploration in amazing places around the world. We have been so blessed to enjoy so many places and such kind people.

8. The imagination of children - Helayna lined up all the tractors in this children's store in the mall.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Days of Autumn

Day 12

Colors at Pigeon Lake

Back Home

I had a marvelous few days with these guys and I was really sad to have to come home tonight. I am so, so blessed to be able to drive down within a few hours and to always be welcomed with open arms. Love you four!

After the mail came, she gave some papers to Silas and then she crawled up beside him so they could "Read newspapers now." Notice how he's asleep already?!!

She is just settling into the role of big sister so beautifully. She checks on him, loves to cuddle and on this day, asked him "Have a good nap, Baby Silas?" - just like her mom and dad ask her. They are going to be quite the pair soon.

This little man is growing and changing so much already! He's 3 weeks old now and quite loves to be cuddled by his mom.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


This would explain why I'm not keeping the blog up!

Now that there are 2 to cuddle, I hardly have a moment to do anything else :))

Be back sometime later this week!

Thanks to Heather for the picture.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Simple Daybook #10

For Today... September 22, 2008

Outside my Window
... a grey and overcast day - windy and wet from last night's rain

I am thinking... that we just needed another week of warm weather and so much more of the harvesting would have been finished

I am thankful for... spending time on Saturday gathering the onions, beets and potatoes from the garden - and for Meadow's help doing it!

From the kitchen... broccoli cauliflower soup and fresh chocolate zucchini muffins

I am wearing... black yoga pants and a pink and black shirt with my slippers

I am reading... The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield - still working on this one - it's a great mystery

I am hoping... that my afternoon subbing in grade 4 goes well - I think it might be an inside lunch recess aka chaos!

I am hearing... Josh Groban singing from the CD player

I am creating... a layout about Bob and Helayna in the John Deere wagon

Around the house ... beets to grate, lots of carrots to put in the fridge, and vacuuming that needs to be done

One of my favorite things... the smell of autumn just after a light rain shower - the leaves and soil smell so earthy

A few plans for the rest of the week.... subbing today and tomorrow and then 3 days with Heather, Helayna and Silas - and lots of cuddling time

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

It's slowly ripening!

Please go and check The Simple Woman for more interesting reads.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

30 Days of Autumn

Day 11

Harvesting the last of the garden goodness this weekend


This week's creative goodness!

Helayna has such fun playing with Jonathan before bedtime and this LO records that memory. The cardstock background is actually white so the color is way off on this - sorry :(

And I'm starting an online class, Design Your Life, with Cathy Zielske in October so this is the pre-class assignment "Why I Scrapbook", following her instructions and template. I used some Basic Grey paper that I had left over from a project at the Urban Scrapbook Convention 2 years ago! You'll hear more about the class in the weeks to come!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Compassion International

As one of Compassion International's group of bloggers, my September assignment is to tell you about the letter writing support that is part of our child sponsorship.

Compassion ministers to more than just the physical needs of children and emotional and spiritual support is provided by letters from sponsors to children. From everything I've read on the site, the relationship of one child with his/her sponsors is a precious way to share and support each other. It just melts my heart to read the children's reactions to letters - how they save them for years, reread them to family members, and wait for the next one to arrive.

I want to know more about Thayane, our little girl in Brazil, and one of the ways we can do this is by corresponding with each other. I know how much I love getting mail and I imagine she is just the same, especially when it comes from far away and from someone who is helping to offer hope and life changes by sponsorship. I write to Thayane every month and I was delighted to get our first letter from her last month!!

This is the front of the letter with spots for Thayane to share information. The design of this is so interesting and inviting - just what a little girl would have fun doing, I think. (I've blocked out our personal information.)

It was amazing to read about the whole journey and process that a letter goes through on its way to and from us. The workers in each project help the kids prepare their letters to respond to sponsor letters. The journey can take 3 or more months! I am so thankful to those people who provide translation services. My Portuguese language skills are pretty much non-existant!!

This sweet little drawing just made me so happy! To imagine her sitting at a table with pencils and crayons creating all the tiny bits of this picture brought a huge smile to my face. I wish I could give her a big hug to let her know how very much we love it and appreciate the letter. It hangs in a place of honour on our fridge and I am reminded of her several times a day.

These are the translations of the information from the form on the front.

There is no doubt that receiving this letter has made us love Thayane even more. We think of her often and pray that she knows we care about her and her family. And even more importantly - we pray that she is growing to know Jesus and the love that He gives her always.

If you aren't a child sponsor yet, I really encourage you to consider it. We've made a few small changes (like foregoing the Starbuck's coffee after buying groceries) monthly and the money is quickly there for our child. There are children around the world waiting for someone just like you! Go to Compassion. check out the possibilites and share your love and resources.

And then please, please tell me about your sponsored children!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

30 Days of Autumn

Day 8

Along the banks of Strawberry Creek

Day 9

Fields of grain waiting to be harvested

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Ten on Tuesday

1. What glorious weather we are having this week!! Sunny, warm and bright - even at night with a huge full moon!

2. This little one is such a lot of fun these days. A leaf pulled off made a perfect cabbagehead hat - and got the biggest giggles from her! The next project was rolling up pieces of the leaf and making pretend cabbage rolls. The imagination of a two year old is truly a boundless thing!

3. It's been a long time since I read a really good mystery book - and The Thirteenth Tale is very well written.

4. The freezer is now stocked too! I picked up some fresh chickens from the local Hutterite colony today and Chicken Cacciatorie is on the menu for tonight.

5. Driving through the countryside these days presents another beautiful view, no matter which way you turn. I took a scenic route today and it did my soul good to view the amazing world God has given to us.

6. Our laptop has gone to the local Apple dealer for a minor repair but it means that my computer access now has to be shared with Bob. So I might be missing a bit until it comes back. And I am thankful that we bought the extended warranty since we are 90 days past purchase and that's all the original covers.

7. Alphabet Soup - Morning Glory at Seeds From My Garden has started this fun activity again so I'll join in and share some thoughts too. Today's letter is "A" and here are some "A" things that add joy and pleasure to my life.

Ancestors - I wish that more of the stories and personalities of these important people were preserved but still I am in awe of who they were, what they did and the legacy they left our family.

Apricots - one of my very favourite fruits - especially in pies and jam!

Airplanes and air travel - the world is so easy to enjoy and appreciate when we can travel anywhere, after saving up for fare of course!

Apples - and all the marvelous ways they can be enjoyed!

Architecture - especially in other countries. Doorways, windows, rooflines, columns - cathedral, hut, home or business - marvelous to observe and appreciate.

8. The crunch and taste of fresh carrots from the garden is one of autumn's best things.

9. Here is another blog that I think you might enjoy. Mama Hen over At A Hen's Pace has the most delightful explanation of her blog name. And she writes about Christian parenting in a very real way.

10. I love my camera!! I took it with me on a drive today and stopped several times to capture some colorful scenes.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Simple Daybook #9

For Today... September 15, 2008

Outside my Window... it's a big, bright full moon, after a gorgeous sunny and hot fall day

I am thinking... that autumn is a very special time of year as the growth of summer winds down and nature prepares for a season of rest

I am thankful for... good health, for me and our family as well

From the kitchen... baked ham, scalloped potatoes, green beans, cooked carrots and fresh buns - all cooked at Naomi and Jerry's house tonight

I am wearing... casual brown pants, brown tshirt and an orange vest (that I purchased exactly a year ago in Austria!)

I am reading... The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield for book club this month

I am hoping... that tomorrow is an excellent day for Tyler as he writes the first test to qualify for his North American medical training - it's a 7 hour marathon and it's crucial that he passes - please pray for him and Melinda

I am hearing... the sweet sounds of our granddaughter, Meadow, as she sang songs to me today

I am creating
... a pre-class assignment for Design Your Life, an 3 month long online scrapbook class with Cathy Zielske, at Big Picture Scrapbooking

Around the house ... I have some farm accounting to do and I really want to start creating some Christmas gifts that I have ideas for

One of my favorite things... the gorgeous colours of autumn, especially the reds of pincherry bushes, the golden poplar leaves, and the brilliant blue Alberta sky

A few plans for the rest of the week.... get freezer ready chickens from the Hutterite colony, substitute teach, dig potatoes, and help my Mom dig her potatoes and carrots

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

Please go and visit The Simple Woman to see what others are up to today.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Saturday, September 13, 2008


I went back in time today and found this! Just one year ago today! It brought back so many memories of an amazing time shared with our daughter and her husband and good friends. I really am in awe just remembering all the traveling we've done in this past year. How blessed we have been to travel safely with no problems and to enjoy so many special places around the world. And yes - I would go again in a heartbeat!!!

Three Treasures

Naomi, Meadow and I took a little road trip this week to see new baby Silas and his family. I remember taking a little road trip like this just days after Helayna was born too!

This is a picture i definitely knew I wanted to have taken - our 3 beautiful grandchildren - how blessed we are!

And on the most beautiful day of September, we just had to go to the playground.

So many new things to explore in a different location for this one.

She has an endless fascination with rocks! Big ones, little ones, heavy ones, colored ones - it doesn't matter as long as she can get her hands in them and move them around.

Helayna loves this airplane and she was just rockin' it. Poor Meadow, who hadn't been on it before, was hanging on tightly and their hair was whipping around in the breeze. It was so cute!!

Friday, September 12, 2008


I've been trying to finish one layout each week, in between cuddling grandchildren and preserving summer's goodness for our pantry. I'm so happy to have this one finally finished - thanks to Heather for some design and product advice!

My parents celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2004 and this picture has been in a frame in our living room until now. The journalling is entitled "Lessons Learned from Mom and Dad'. The chipboard letters and numbers were part of the Fiskars prize that I won at Becky's blog. They were fun to use!

Remember the Mosaic of Me post a little while back? I took the mosaic and made it into this layout - a fun kind of thing to have in my scrapbook of me.

Thanks for visiting today! Happy Weekend to You!!

30 Days of Autumn

Day 6

Zucchini blossom

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Friends and Phones

Telephones are absolutely amazing and computers even more so!! Let me explain.

The phone rang this morning and the call display showed a private call. Our neighbor's calls show up this way so I answered, thinking it would be David. (Is that coincidence, L?!!!)

It was a female voice asking for Crystal.
I said it was me and she said "This is Linds."
Blank - my mind is absolutely blank. I don't know a Linds, I'm thinking so I said "I need more information than that."
And the reply is "This is Linds - from blogging."
And my heart raced and I was immediately ecstatic!! Linds - oh, LInds!!!!
Of course, I know you - even though we've never spoken in person - even though you live in England!
But I know your thoughts, and your dreams, and your heartaches, and your home, and your garden, and your job, and your textile arts, and your friends, and your children and - I KNOW YOU and now we've spoken too!!!!!!!

We talked for nearly an hour, our words sometimes tumbling over the other's, so eager to share so much. She found my number via the internet (thank you, computer technology) and dialed and made my day so very, very happy. I cannot wait until we meet in person someday and can spend hours together. We are kindred spirits and friends of the heart.

Thank you, my friend, for finding my number and for dialing and for chatting up a storm with me. It was marvelous! And I look forward to many more calls. I am amazed and I am blessed!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Ten on Tuesday

1. I'm finding out that there are some seriously cute baby boy clothes available in stores these days :)) I found blue receiving blankets embroidered with tiny airplanes and cars and newborn onesies with balls and 'little rookie' on them. So cute!!

2. Isn't email a glorious thing?!! It's so easy to stay in touch with friends and family, no matter how far away they live.

3. Happy mail came yesterday! I won a gift certificate at Stampin' Treasures in Jennifer McGuire's card drive so I had fun picking out new stamp sets. They are even better in real life and I'm anxious to play. Maybe later today!

The tree is so cute and the tag set is going to be awesome for Christmas tags. The little tickets are going to be a Christmas gift for someone.

4. I decluttered part of my cookbook cupboard and found some treasures - and some junk!! Magazines from 1989 - that's nearly 20 years!! The stash of saved ripped out magazine pages really didn't diminish but I've made a file folder for new ideas and will try to test the recipes and make decisions about their worthiness that way. Sadly, I didn't find the one recipe that I really wanted :(

5. I dropped by my mom and dad's this evening - to get 2 zucchini - and I came home with a huge bag of the biggest beets I've ever seen, a pumpkin for Meadow, a braid of onions for Naomi, a bag of carrots, the last of the green beans, 4 cucumbers, 7 tomatoes, some potatoes for Jonathan, and 2 boxes of canning for Naomi and Heather. It's seriously like going to this free market garden and being loaded up with goodness! How blessed we are by their generosity - and with food aplenty that we are surrounded by in Canada.

6. The last two preserving projects from the kitchen will be zucchini relish and beet pickles. I only have enough jars left to do these 2 things!!

7. Sunflowers make me smile!

30 Days of Autumn

Day 4

8. Yeah for a new hairdresser! There are none left in our small town so I've been trying out a few others and finally found one that's not too far away, reasonably priced and who did a good job too.

9. If you are looking for good food and new recipe ideas, go over and visit Sandra. I made her Applesauce Puffs today, using my mini muffin pans and they taste delicious (not to mention how cute they look!).

10. I'm not very excited that we're in an election campaign again here in Canada. It seems like a huge waste of money that could be used to do so much good in many other places in the world.

Monday, September 08, 2008

30 Days of Autumn

Day 3

Cooking crabapples from our tree to make applesauce - I love the colour!

Simple Woman #8

For Today... September 8, 2008

Outside my Window... the sun is coming and going and the leaves on the cucumber plants are curling up from the tiny nip of frost they received one night

I am thinking... how blessed we are that our grandson arrived safely last week and he and his mom - and big sister and dad - are all doing fine

I am thankful for... the safe arrival of our grandson and the miraculous way that God has created him so perfectly

From the kitchen... applesauce and cooked beets

I am wearing... yellow golf shirt, black pants, crocs - and a fleece jacket (how quickly things change around here!)

I am reading... The Swallows of Kabul by Yasmina Khadra

I am hoping... that the showery weather will end, harvesting can continue and Indian summer will soon start

I am hearing... birds as they feed in the crabapple tree and pick cranberries from the bush under my studio window

I am creating... a layout of Helayna playing peek-a-boo with her daddy

Around the house (and yard) ... grass needs to be cut and the garden cleaned out, maybe even some potatoes dug

One of my favorite things... cuddling a newborn baby, especially when he is my grandson!

A few plans for the rest of the week... making relish and another batch of applesauce, preparing sweet and sour ribs and shepherd's pie for Heather and Jonathan's freezer, going to see the baby with Naomi and Meadow and having a playdate with Meadow while her mom and dad are working.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

Go over to The Simple Woman if you want to visit some other blogs today!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Just a Few More!

We have come home and left the Moll's to rest and relax for now. I would have gladly stayed but it is September and there is harvesting to do here at home.

Yesterday when Heather and Silas came home from the hospital, the four of them sat on the chesterfield and spent some time getting acquainted. It was so touching to see them bonding and becoming a strong little family.

Helayna is settling right in to the big sister role - holding him, cuddling him and 'tenderly' touching his head!

She's doing marvelously but she is tired. What an amazing mother our daughter has become! We are so proud of her and her family.

The focus is off but the emotion is right there as she's busy being silly with baby blankets!

And I can hardly wait to go back and see these guys again. I hope it won't be a long time off as I remember how quickly babies change and I don't want to miss any of it! Thank you for 'listening' to me ramble on, as grandmothers are known to do :))

The 30 days of autumn should return tomorrow.