Saturday, January 31, 2009

Garage Party

It's less than 2 months until Darrin and Kelsey's wedding and today his family got together to celebrate  and help them get ready for their life together.  It was planned as a garage party so once everyone was inside, the big doors opened and up drove this!  

Years ago Darrin bought an old car with the idea of restoring it someday and my brother and brother-in-law got the brainwave to get the thing running for today.  It took a ton of work, countless hours and was a project to remember!

Darrin and Kelsey's reaction was priceless!!  They couldn't believe it, especially the beautiful pink paint job!!!

On the icy driveway it spun donuts like a dream!

The sign along with the Oiler and Flames flags were perfect finishing touches.
We played some 'garage relay games'  like set up the tent, eat a plate of hot wings, set together a box of bolts and screws, and chug-a-lug.  Of course, the guys beat the girls!!

And then there were the gifts for the garage - and the house!

They even got matching customized tool belts, filled with all kinds of treats!!

And we took a group picture with the bride, her groom and the pink car!  What a great time and a wonderful memory for Darrin and Kelsey.  They truly are blessed to be surrounded by people who love them and wish them every happiness.  

New 'Furniture'

This is the latest addition to our decor!  

A new treadmill and Meadow had to try it out with Grampa yesterday.

She thought it was very cool!  It's one that you can fold up and put away in between times.  Right now the living room is looking pretty crowded.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


You must go and check out Cathy Thom's wonderful cartoons!  

This could be me tomorrow as Meadow, Naomi and I are going to look at dresses for me to wear to Darrin and Kelsey's wedding.  Yeah - - wish me luck!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


These layouts are from week #8 - "Emphasis" in the Design Your Life online class.  They have been half finished on my desk for many weeks so it's great to have them finished.

Assignment #1 - Demonstrate emphasis using a big picture.  I changed this from the sketch a bit, in order to use the enlarged photo of the whole group that went to South America last winter.  (BTW - visiting the Canadian Embassy was an awesome experience!  You should try to do it sometime when you are in another country - before you have to do it in an emergency. )

Assignment #2 - Demonstrate emphasis using one photo for the whole page.  Thanks to Bob for taking these pictures on his annual mountain hike last summer.   The picture on the LH side is actually the view from the outhouse at the Conrad Kain Alpine Hut.  The 'frame' is the window opening.

Real Life Challenge - use a chalky blue and brown together.  I used paint to create a frame for the squares, making it look a bit like a window.   You may recognize the pictures from the walk at the lake I took a few weeks ago.  Cathy Zielske got the inspiration for this from bedding at Restoration Hardware.

It feels very good to get back in the scrapbooking groove!  Thanks for looking :))

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Ten on Tuesday

1.  Happy Chinese New Year!  Welcome to the Year of the Ox.

2.  The Canadian government introduced a new budget today.  There are all kinds of programs to get the economy back up and running but I don't know how much good it's going to do.  Lots of talk about tax breaks but listen to this:  a family with combined income of $100,000 will save the whopping total of $208 yearly.  That amount of money doesn't go very far spread over a whole year!  And there were no increases to social assistance - as if those people don't need help!!!

3.  Lots of hearts, chocolates and Valentine goodness out in the stores now.

4.  I got a new copy of Better Homes and Gardens magazine today.  It's going to be fun checking out the home decor ideas for the next season.

5.  I bought a carton of the reddest, juiciest strawberries today!  Usually they are half white and woody at this time of year but these are just delicious and smell wonderful.

6.  Did you hear about the 8 babies that were born in California yesterday?  6 boys and 2 girls, weighing from 680 grams to 1.5 kg and all breathing on their own.  They knew the mom was going to have 7 babies but when they performed the operation, there were 8.  I cannot even imagine!!

7.  My online friend Jill is giving away a very cute elephant, Peanut, this week.  Go over and visit her!

8.  Isn't this a cute t-shirt for a mom-to-be?

9.  January is nearly over already.  I love that the days are getting longer but how did the month slip away so quickly?!!

10.  I saw the delivery truck at Canadian Tire unloading racks and packages of seeds today.  Gardening season is not far away for all of you green thumbs!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Simple Daybook #26

For Today . . . January 26. 2009

Outside my window . . . bright sunshine, blue sky, crisp temperatures at -20 degrees C

I am thinking . . . that our family is so very blessed with good health

I am thankful . . . that I got to see my sister today

From the kitchen . . . Meatballs and Pasta in Tomato Sauce and cheesy tossed salad

I am wearing . . . a soft red sweater with embroidered flowers and ribbon, black pants, and black loafers

I am reading . . . Bad Blood, a story in a Reader's Digest condensed book

I am hoping . . . to find the perfect special gift for Darrin and Kelsey's garage party on the weekend

I am hearing . . . the beautiful old hymn, I Come To The Garden Alone, as we sang it at a funeral this afternoon

I am creating . . . layouts for week 9 in Design Your Life, the online class I took this fall

Around the house  . . . fabric and a pattern, empty cookie tins from Christmas baking, lots of empty nooks and crannies as the Christmas stuff is all put away

One of my favourite things . . . Masala Chai Tea, as made by my daughters

A few plans for the rest of the week . . .  an appointment in Edmonton (cancelled from last week because it was so snowy and windy), some subbing, a hair cut, shopping for a dress for the wedding, Bible study and a garage party (aka shower for the groom)

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you . . . the Amazon jungle from the air, as we saw it last winter

Please go and visit The Simple Woman to read more daybooks and list yours!

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Some things I am grateful for today:

1.  A day to worship and praise the Lord - and talk with the Sunday School class about why we come to church.  "It is written that my house shall be a house of prayer."  Matthew 21:13

2.  Bright sunshine and clear skies - even if the temperature is still -20 degrees C.

3.  Black Cherry Berry herbal tea

4.  Tuna Chowder for supper

5.  Bright spots of color amongst the leafless trees

6.  Researching on the internet - so easy to find what you want and check it out in depth

7.  Winter birds like cardinals and jays and the entertainment they bring to the yard

8.  Time and energy to create again

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Things to Check Out

Since I can't seem to come up with any coherent thoughts of my own today, I thought I'd link you to a few favourite sites.  Have fun exploring!

Publishing a book with a year's worth of blog posts is an idea that Melinda and I have had and Bloggled is a place where you can archive and publish your blog.

For Christmas, Heather gave me a beautiful handmade necklace from Lisa Leonard.  I love wearing it and everything Lisa makes is just lovely.

It's less than 2 months until Darrin and Kelsey's wedding and their day will be captured by this photographer.

Looking for some inspiration for meal planning and new recipes?  Sandra has a wealth of information and is so creative in the kitchen.

The Inspired Scrapper is a Canadian site for showcasing talent in the scrapbooking world.  Heather's lucky enough to be one of the contributors.  

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Heather tagged me yesterday and it's a cold dreary evening, perfect time to do something fun.

Rules:  Write 6 random things about myself, link the person who tagged you and post the rules.  Tag six people and link them.  Let them know they have been tagged.   

1.  I was a 4-H member in clothing, garden and dairy projects for 9 years.  It was a great training ground for public speaking, sewing and leadership skills (not so much on the gardening though!).  

2.  As a high school student, I attended the National 4-H Congress in Chicago, Illinois for 10 days.  There was 1 member from each Canadian province and we got to hang out with hundreds of American members, staying at the Hilton Hotel and doing so many fun things.  

3.  I could eat pizza for breakfast, lunch and supper :))

4.  I never ever took a vacation with my parents, brothers and sisters.  We lived on a dairy farm and rarely travelled.  Once the rest of the family went on a short summer vacation to BC but I stayed home to help my grandparents with chores.  It's always been something I wished we could have done as kids - and something I totally planned for our own family!

5.  I played ladies hockey with the Thorsby Gladyators for about 5 years.  The team was 'born' after the moms played the kids at the end of Darrin's first year in hockey in 1984.  The next winter we got own ice time and started practising regularly.  I could write a book about our adventures, on and off the ice!!

6.  I finished my university degree(BEd) when Darrin was in grade 11.  I used to joke that I'd better hurry up and finish before the 2 of us were in university at the same time!  (Darrin was in grade 11, Heather in grade 10, Melinda in grade 8 and Naomi in grade 7 when I graduated.)

And I'm tagging:

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


It's been a long time since I showed you any scrapbooking, what with Christmas and the projects I created to share with others.  I have been working on my December Daily album, as outlined by Ali Edwards, and today I finally finished it!!  Here are a few images - 

the covers are clear acrylic pages and this one has a rubon on it.  You can see the first page underneath it.

And then some random pages - the focus is on the pictures and stories throughout.  I used my blog entries for some of the journaling.

This page has more technique on it than most of them.

And even though the color is washed out, I like these 2 pages that just tell some of our stories of the month.  It was a great project and it will be wonderful to look back on this album every year to recall and compare.  I think I'll try to do it again!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Ten on Tuesday

1.  This Passion Tazo tea from Starbuck's is very, very good!    

2.  It's an amazing day in America!  I watched bits and pieces of today's ceremonies and enjoyed the speeches, the parade, the people watching and the feeling of optimism that was so evident in Washington today.  Yes, there are problems - big problems - in the country but today was a day to celebrate and honour the new First Family and all that they represent for an optimistic future for all people around the world.  

3.    Loved Michelle Obama's day dress and the outfits their girls were wearing.  Have you seen the evening gown?  I've  just had a glimpse of the back of it - looking forward to seeing more on the news tonight.  Designed by a 26 year old designer who came from Taiwan.

4.    These flower arrangements graced tables at the luncheon with Congress at noon.

5.   Here's the luncheon menu.  Interesting that you could actually download the recipes!

6.  American Idol from San Francisco tonight - where do they find these people and how do they know the crazy situations that they come from?

7.  Meadow and I had fun picking books out at the library today.  She was pretty interested in the kindergarten room that was just across the hallway in the Winfield School too.  Just think, in a few years she'll be going there!

8.  Wedding plans are moving right along!  Kelsey and I chatted about the rehearsal dinner tonight :))  She and Darrin are so organized and having everything totally under control.  It's going to be a marvelous day!

9.  Remember all those jars of fruit I canned this summer?  We're enjoying apricots tonight.  It's so, so nice to go downstairs,  grab a jar and enjoy some summer flavours.  I'll definitely be doing more this year.

10.  Can someone please explain to me why instant chocolate pudding will not set when I make it with soymilk?  I need to know the scientific explanation for my failed dessert plans!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Simple Daybook #25

For Today . . . January 19, 2008

Outside my window . . . bright blue sky with the sun shining and the snow melting - doesn't seem like January at all!  Sadly, this too shall pass!

I am thinking  . . . that I should bake a loaf of bread and do something with my afternoon

I am thankful that  . . . we are having a reprieve from winter, that I have food in the freezer, and that our phone plan is very cheap for North American calling :))

From the kitchen  . . . Teriyaki Pork Chops (with a very old and very good recipe from my friend DMB!), Risotto, a crisp fresh salad and maybe Brownies

I am wearing . . . navy blue cords, a white sweater set, a favourite set of hoop earrings and black shoes

I am reading . . . Where the River Ends by Charles Martin ( A gift from my sister, it's a sad story about a man whose wife is dying and he sets off with her on a river journey, one of the things on her list that she wants to accomplish before she dies.)

I am hoping . . . to finish my December Daily album today - I've loved recording the details of one of my favourite months but I want to be done already

I am hearing . . . the hum of the humidifier in the hallway

I am creating . . . a summary layout of 2008, based on this one by Heather

Around the house . . . beds to remake after laundering all the sheets, some fabric and a pattern waiting to be cut out, a list of things to do in the city later this week, and bananas thawing, waiting for me to make muffins for Meadow (she's decided to call me Muffin Lady and phoned to request these on Saturday!  I'm going to bake them in the mini muffin tins - perfect for little hands!)

One of my favourite things . . . Pastor Dan's sermons - yesterday he preached about David and Saul, jealousy and letting go, leaving the judging to God and trusting completely that God's plan will be accomplished when He wants it to be.  And in the introduction, he spoke about his grandmother's Bible, her devotion to study and said "Why do we have to discipline ourselves to read God's word when it's so interesting, the stories are so real and the messages are for us?"  Good question!

A few plans for the rest of the week . . . a day with Meadow, more subbing, an appointment in Edmonton and a trip to the fabric store, Bible study and some creating with my sewing machine and in the studio

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you . . . my garden fountain with ice and water in it.

Be sure to visit The Simple Woman to see what other Monday's are shaping up like.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

So Much Beauty

It's been such a beautiful weekend, with the temperature getting up to +11 degrees C today, and it's been a pleasure to be outside.   

Bark peeling from birch trees

White spruce loaded with cones

Maple seeds still hanging on

What beauty we are surrounded with each day!  Our Heavenly Father has definitely created a marvelous world and I am grateful to see these snippets today.  

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Project 365

I'm sure many of you have heard about, and are probably doing,  Project 365 as outlined by Becky Higgins and featured in lots of places around the web. In short, it's a photo project where you take one picture each day for a whole year.   Heather did "Photo A Day" last year (yes, she has a photo for every. single. day in 2008 -  how cool is that!) and I kind of started but then we went away for a long time and I never came back to it.  I've decided I'd like to try again this year and was trying to figure out some way to post them without having to sign up (and pay!) at Typepad.  

Well, yesterday Heather Ann Melzer posted a link to ShutterCal where you can sign up and create your calendar of photos.  And, equally important, you can view and be inspired by many other incredible photographers!  I have my calendar started over there and I think this is going to be a great way to archive the daily photos.  Go check it out and then come back and link me to your calendar so I can marvel and cheer you on!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Winter Walk

Here in Alberta we set a new temperature high today when we reached +6 degrees Celsius.  So it was a great day to take a walk after I got home from school.

Remember some of the autumn pictures I took around Pigeon Lake?  Here's what it looks like in the wintertime.  

And that old truck that was sitting under the trees loaded with colored leaves?  Here it is again, looking rather forlorn and abandoned.  I love that red door on the little house.

'Waiting for the Ice to Melt' is my title for these dock stands.

And this is the prettiest little planter.

And the breeze and bright blue sky make our flag look gorgeous.

I hope it's not too cold where you are so you can grab your camera, go for a quiet walk and take time to look closely.  Happy Weekend!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009


or   "Mushing, Bumbo and Goin' to Bethlehem" - let me explain!!

Helayna absolutely loves to be outside and she always convinces Grampa to go to the park with her.  The equipment was buried in the snow but she was more interested in playing in the snow anyway.  Too funny when we think back to last year - at first she was even scared to step in the snow!  This year they built a snow fence, snow people who looked a lot like inukshuks, dug a tunnel and then Grampa used the sand pail to make some 'castles'.  Helayna loved using her little shovel to 'mush' the castles as quick as he could build them!  Her little 'Do it again" was priceless.  

That's her in the little pink hat - nearly buried in the snow!

Silas is getting so strong already!  On Sunday he was very content to sit in the Bumbo chair and watch the action.  Soon his Daddy had to carry him around in the chair to save him from big sister's exuberance.

I think he looks so grownup - and very sweet - here!

Yesterday Meadow and I were having lunch when she "thought" she heard Santa up on the roof - so cute!  Then we decided he was gone so I asked her where he went and her response was "to Bethlehem"!  Her next idea was that we should go to Bethlehem too - to see Baby Jesus, Santa and Mommy Mary.  The plans grew to the point where her backpack was loaded with her rainsuit and swim gear, she had another pile of clothes to take along and we were waiting for Daddy to come home to take everyone to the airport.  She didn't think we had time to wait for Mommy to come home from work - we had to hurry and go!!  She was totally into it, with an answer for every question I had and many other ideas, like hikin'  while we were there.   I was starting to worry about her disappointment when reality hit but Daddy's pretty good at handling that sort of stuff - thank goodness!

The imagination of a child is truly a wondrous thing!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Ten (or more!) on Tuesday

5.  A medieval town scene from Rothenberg, Germany

6.  A red and white wooden house from Charlevoix, Quebec

7.  Several pewter ornaments from Amos Pewter, Nova Scotia - this one is the 2007 issue, a lovely gift from Edward and Linda (Mel's adopted parents and our travelling companions in Europe)

8.  An embroidered puffin from Newfoundland

9.  A stained glass angel, from Nova Scotia (given to us by Shelley, Mel's friend who now lives near Lethbridge )

10.  A white china angel from Poland (another gift from M & T)

11.  A lighthouse from another trip to Nova Scotia

12.  A redwood tree from Northern California - our newest addition

There are so many wonderful memories associated with each one - I love them all!!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Simple Daybook #24

For Today . . . January 12, 2009

Outside My Window . . . snowing and windy but milder temperatures (-5 degrees C) and poor driving conditions

I am thinking . . . about a gift for Kelsey and Darrin's Garage Party (our version of a wedding shower) at the end of the month

I am thankful that . . . we could go to Airdrie and help out while Silas was sick

From the kitchen . . . Sticky Chicken Thighs, brown rice, winter salad and leftover Christmas cookies :))

I am wearing . . . brown cords, brown long sleeve tshirt, orange down-filled vest and brown loafers

I am reading . . . just finished The Book Thief this morning - looking forward to discussing it at book club

I am hoping . . . that it doesn't rain tomorrow - crazy weather swings happening up here!

I am hearing . . . Michael W. Smith's Christmas CD - we are still enjoying it!

I am creating . . . layouts for the last 4 weeks of the Design Your Life class - Christmas got in the way of my finishing - I'm looking forward to getting these done

Around the house . . . groceries to finish putting away and still a few Christmas display pieces out

One of my favourite things . . . crisp and crunchy fresh green and red grapes - and they were a good price too ($1.99 per lb.)

A few plans for the rest of the week . . . playdate with Meadow, book club coming to our house, searching for a dress to wear to Darrin and Kelsey's wedding, a shopping trip to find some baby flannelette

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you . . . . the blossoms of a pineapple plant, which each form a fruit, that presses against the neighboring fruit and grows together as one, taken in Bahia, Brazil.  They are native to Brazil and Paraguay.    Did you know that hummingbirds are pollinators of pineapples and their importation is not allowed in Hawaii!!

Head over to The Simple Woman to read more of today's daybooks!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Home Again

This little man came home yesterday, safe and sound from the hospital and is recovering at home.  He still has lots of smiles, coos at everyone and today practised sitting up with  Mommy's help.  He is getting so strong - it seems like he's just racing through babyhood!  We are so thankful that he got excellent medical care and that we could help his family during this scary time.   (Thanks for taking this picture, J!)

These two spent hours outside - building snow fences and snow families, tunneling into snow banks and 'mushing' down snow castles!    And then when they came in, they laughed and laughed at the videos they'd taken.  Helayna loves to watch videos that Bob's taken - fishing and hiking with Meadow, the farm animals and feeding horses at the neighbors, wrestling, Christmas, playtime - she loves them all and could watch for hours!

The Supper Man brought these yummy pizzas to our door last night - a huge treat for Helayna and Gramma!!

So we are home and relaxing before the week's activities start again.  I'm trying to finish my book club selection - they are coming to my house on Wednesday and I still have 200+ pages to go!

Friday, January 09, 2009

Please Pray

This little guy has been battling an infection ever since last Sunday and while the antibiotics have started their job of working on the bacteria, late this afternoon a surgeon at Children's Hospital removed the infected node near his left jawbone.  He and his mom are staying overnight and hopefully he'll be home tomorrow.  Please pray that this spot will heal quickly, that there will be no other complications and that this little family can soon be back to normal.  It's been a long 3 weeks for all four of them.  

We spent the day with Helayna -  setting up her big girl bed, doing lots of playing and being outside for an hour and half this afternoon.  I'm sure she would have stayed out even longer but Gramma and Grampa were getting cold!  I'll keep you updated on things as they develop here.  

Thank you for your love and concern!   

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Happy Birthday, Bob!

It's Bob's birthday today so we went for Chinese food and then had birthday cake and ice cream.  Meadow sang "Happy Birthday" all by herself - it was the sweetest song!  And she helped Grampa blow out his candles - all 8 of them!!

And Naomi, Jerry and Meadow gave Grampa a new chair for camping - complete with "a table for his hotdogs and a place for his coffee cup!"

And my favourite blurry shot of the evening!