Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Gratitude Gifts Today

My life continues to have boundless gifts in it!

- sun (actual sun!) peeking over the horizon
- noticing how much further north on the horizon the sun is already
- sunlight streaming down onto the floors

- apple branches beginning to bud in the warmth of the house

- tiniest little stems poking out of soil and reaching to sunlight
- setting a batch of buns to rise
- a good mystery book
- fresh sheets on the bed
- fat, fuzzy pussy willows on the table
- saskatoon - apple cobbler with cream
- hot soapy water covering dishes
- steaming water, pouring out of the tap when others have to gather and walk for just a little bit of water
- intentionally thinking about and planning things I want to do this summer (inspired by Becky)
- a new look on the fireplace

- changing out decorations and welcoming spring
- seeing Celine Dion on Oprah’s show 
- Hallejulah, as sung by the Canadian Tenors
- leftovers
- sun setting after 8 p.m.
- a very special card that arrived in the mail - a lovely surprise!
- photographs of our grandchildren

- memories of games played
- being able to spend days with my husband
- God’s grace that sent Jesus to give me life, an abundant life with Him
- the Resurrection and the joy it brings

holy experience

Monday, March 29, 2010

Simple Woman #82

For Today . . .  March 29, 2010

Outside my window . . .  it's sunny and +15 degrees C!  It's so beautiful outside!  There are only a few pockets of snow left where the deepest drifts had been and the Canada geese are honking loud and clear as they circle and fly further north.  

I am thankful . . .  for the change in the seasons.  I am looking forward to green grass and seeing the leaves on the trees again.

And I also am thankful . . .  that I still have potatoes and onions from last year's garden.  

I am praying . . .   for Bob's dad who celebrated his 88th birthday on Saturday with a big family gathering.   

I am thinking . . .  about seeing family this weekend. 

I am creating . . . 
  on my quilt again - it's been stacked away for far too long!

I am celebrating . . . Holy Week as we move towards the cross and then the empty tomb.

From the kitchen . . .  Tropical Granola (thanks again for the recipe, Jill!) for breakfast, cheese and tomatoes on toasted oatmeal bread for lunch, and roast beef - mashed potatoes and gravy - creamed corn - roasted asparagus - mashed carrots and turnips - fresh whole wheat honey buns - and apple pie for supper.  We are having friends tonight :))

I am wearing . . .  black track pants, red tshirt and still a fleece jacket.

I am reading . . .  Luke 22 - The Last Supper  (I skipped ahead to read these chapters during Holy Week.)
                           Reclaiming the "L" Word (Renewing the Church from Its Lutheran Core) by Kelly A. Fryer - chapter 3 "Jesus is Lord".
                           A Prisoner of Birth by Jeffrey Archer - "a story of fate, fortune, redemption and revenge."

I am hoping . . .  to go for a bike ride tomorrow.

I am hearing . . .  the Dr. Phil show on CTV.  I don't watch this very often but I'm working in the kitchen so I turned it on.

I am going . . . to vacuum and dust as soon as I finish this.

Around the house and yard . . . all the winter dishes and lingering decorations have been packed away and the spring wreath is hung, the bathroom is clean and I am ready for spring!

One of my favourite thin
gs . . . playing games with friends.  I think there will be one or two on the agenda after supper tonight.

A few plans for the rest of the week . . .  some closet cleaning, sewing, scrapbooking, a trip to the bottle depot, things to mail at the post office, a meeting, and several church services.  

[add]A quote for today . . .  Epiphany  (from StoryPeople)
She saw herself reflected in the store window & then the sun changed & she disappeared & all she could see was her eyes & she remembered thinking, I make a very nice floor lamp & that was the day she decided to quit her job."

Here is a picture thought I am sharing . .  .  tiny little plants that Naomi has started are coming to life.  I hope I can keep them alive this week!

Once again I am using Peggy's idea over at Simple Woman Daybooks.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Blogging for Books

Here Burns My Candle 
by Liz Curtis Higgs,  2010, 454 pages.
Recently I had a chance to join “Blogging for Books”, a book review program sponsored by WaterBrook Multnomah, and I just finished reading “Here Burns My Candle” by Liz Curtis Higgs, her first new release in 4 years.  You may remember her as the author of the “Bad Girls of the Bible” books.  
“Here Burns My Candle” tells the story of Lady Elisabeth Kerr and her widowed mother-in-law, Lady Marjory Kerr during the 18th century Scottish uprising of Bonny Prince Charlie.  Living in Edinburgh, Lady Marjory’s two sons quickly join the Prince’s army when it comes through town and leave their wives behind with her.  Both Elisabeth and her sister-in-law, Janet, are Highlanders by birth which further complicates their relationships.  Elisabeth struggles with the auld ways and eventually turns to the Bible for comfort and strength.  
The author’s descriptions of the city are accompanied by a sketched map that helps readers to track the comings and goings of the characters, something that I personally found very helpful.  I enjoyed the  detailed descriptions of clothing and Lady Elisabeth’s skills as a seamstress.  As the family’s fortunes slip away and they are ostracized in the city, she takes on running the household and cooking too.   I think the author has done a excellent job of researching and filling in historically accurate details.  The Scottish dialogue definitely adds to the flavour of the book.
The story is a retelling of the Biblical story of Ruth and Naomi, very well done in its development of characters and plot.   Each of the short chapters begins with an apt quote, many of them from Scottish writers and poets, a detail that I liked.  The book moves along in a very readable and interesting manner.  If you like history and the retelling of old, familiar stories I think you will find this book a very good read.  
I am happy to share my copy of the book so leave me a comment by Thursday and I’ll send it off to one lucky reader.
Disclaimer:  This book was provided for review by WaterBrook Multnomah.

You can read the first chapter here.
Please click over here if you are interested in the Blogging for Books program.  

Saturday, March 27, 2010

New York Highlights #5

The whole reason that Melinda and Tyler are living in New York City is so that Tyler can complete his clerkship at a hospital.  We walked down to see him and have a little tour of the hospital one day.  They live about a 25 minute walk away.

The walk was a great way to see the neighborhood.

I was amazed at how many triangular buildings are built on the corners of streets.  It makes really interesting architecture.

And before we knew it - there was our destination!

The Green Family with Dad wearing his short medical student lab coat.  Residents wear a 3/4 length coat and attending physicians wear a full length one.  Makes for easy identification!


We went up to the 12th floor where there was a very good view.  

These pictures give you a little idea of how many buildings crowd together in this city!

Friday, March 26, 2010


The first day I was in Calgary was a wintery day!  We played at a playground for 20 minutes, warmed up in the van and then played for 20 more minutes.  Poor little Silas' teeth was chattering by that point so it was time to go home.  The next day was quite another story though!  By noon the sun was out even though we still needed mitts and by late afternoon, it was a balmy +10 degrees.  Alberta weather!

With the sun shining, the bike and car had to come out.  And they were on the move!

His little feet were just a-motoring as he whizzed along!  I had to keep adjusting the steering so he wouldn't veer off onto the lawn or into the cars parked alongside.  He's such a boy with his love of vehicles :)

There's something I like about this picture with the little person, the little tires and the big cars.  She sails along too!

She Says, He Says

After spending 2 days with Helayna and Silas, these little gems stick with me.

"It's not a secret - it's not a fairy tale - Jonah was in the whale - for three whole days - 1, 2, 3!!!!"

"Jesus loves the little Helaynas,
All the Helaynas of the world,
Yellow, green, black and white,
They are precious in His sight,
Jesus loves the little Helaynas of the world!"

And while we were laying in bed last night:
          "Gramma, thanks for loving me!"
          And I think to myself, "OH, sweetheart, I am so blessed -
          You just fill my heart and my world with love!"

Her little brother is just starting to talk now.  If it has wheels and moves, he probably can name it!  Bus, car, truck, tractor, bike - he knows them all.  He loves dogs, can 'woof', 'meow', and growl like a bear.  "Mama" is definitely a favourite word and he can ask for milk, water and bubbles.   It's so much fun getting to know him as a little person now.

 What blessings are these grandchildren of ours!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Gratitude Gifts Today

Today I smile as I think of the blessings by which I am surrounded.

- waking without the alarm clock

- blue sky

- melting snowbanks

- a shower

- fresh towels

- the washer and dryer humming along making my laundry chores so easy

- the vibrant red of fresh strawberries

- a glass of water

- branches waiting to bud - and even though they just came in yesterday, I still had to check this morning

- time to read a bit

- starting to read the third gospel, Luke, in my Bible

- finishing more tasks :)

- making a quick casserole from basic ingredients

- fresh veggies, -cleaned, cut and ready to use - waiting in the fridge

- this message from Meadow "Please call me right back!" (which we were happy to do)

- a little leftover bit of cream cheese and jalapeno jelly to spread on a cracker

- assembling gift bags

- hanging clean clothes back in the closet

- tulips

- thinking about how to write a book review, a new challenge

- peanut M & M candies

- finishing a gigantic task (well, it was gigantic to me!)

- a weight off the shoulders

- salted mixed nuts

- safe travels

- a tiger brownie treat

- music to listen to

- a warm welcome

-  the promise of new life, hidden but already swelling

- His life, given for me, so that I might have life and have it abundantly!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Simple Woman #81

For Today . . .  March 22, 2010

Outside my window . . .  a grey, cold day with high humidity and temperatures in the -5 degrees C range.  Spring is taking a break right now.  Update - I just looked outside and it's snowing - lots of great big white flakes!

I am thankful . . .  for  the sacrifice that Jesus made by giving up His life for my sins.

And I also am thankful . . .  for telephone service.  Sunday evenings is a time when I try to catch up with our kids.

I am praying . . .   for Jonathan, our son-in-law, who is celebrating his birthday today.  

I am thinking . . .  about how I will prune the mountain ash and apple trees next week. 

I am creating . . . 
  a layout using today's journalling tips from Amber at Write. Click. Scrapbook.  You should check it out - it's a great idea!

I am celebrating . . . getting so many things done already this morning.  (Note to self:  I should do this more often.)

From the kitchen . . .  Oatmeal with Pears and Seeds for breakfast, Cream of Cauliflower soup for lunch, Chicken Cacciatorie with Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Sweet & Sour Braised Red Cabbage for supper.   Maybe a batch of gluten-free granola and some Empty-Tomb Buns (using a share from Ann's blog) later today.   I'm home so cooking is on the agenda :)

I am wearing . . .  black track pants, pink striped tshirt,  and a rose colored fleece jacket

I am reading . . .  Mark 16:  Jesus' Resurrection and the great commission - "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation."  (This is the last chapter of Mark and so tomorrow I will start reading Luke.)
                           Reclaiming the "L" Word (Renewing the Church from Its Lutheran Core) by Kelly A. Fryer - the book our small group is studying.
                           Here Burns My Candle by Liz Curtis Higgs - only 100+ pages to go!

I am hoping . . .  to see the sun and warm temperatures again soon.

I am hearing . . .  the ticking of the clock, the hum of the dryer and otherwise, complete quiet. 

I am going . . . to Calgary this week :))

Around the house and yard . . . beautiful red-orange tulips in the kitchen and on the coffee table.

One of my favourite thin
gs . . . checked off to-do lists!

A few plans for the rest of the week . . .  a day of subbing, two days with family including swimming lessons and playing at playgrounds, putting out some spring decorations,  finding pussy willows, bringing in some apple branches to force, and my father-in-law's 88th birthday dinner.

[add]A quote for today . . .  

“Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope... and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”
—Robert F. Kennedy
(1925-1968); politician, senator, civil rights activist

Here is a picture thought I am sharing . .  .  my brother and some of his family, including 2 year-old twins, Madisyn and Marissa.

Thanks to Peggy for inspiring me to keep a Simple Woman Daybook!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Poetry for a Sunday

                                       Almost Spring

 As winter turns the corner
And spring is on the way
I wait with mounting happiness
To see what comes today.

I also love the cold days
With frost upon the sill
But something special happens
Once winter’s had its fill.

The crocus buds are swollen
The daffodils sprout so tall
Something special happens
As spring time makes its call.

So get ready for the changes
That happens none too soon
When spring time rounds that corner
And flowers start to bloom!

Marilyn Lott

(photo at Sands Point Preserve, Long Island, NY)

New York Highlights #4

New York City is filled with famous places, interesting buildings and tons of spots to explore!

Work on St. Patrick's Cathedral was begun in 1858 but was halted during the Civil War and resumed in 1865. The cathedral was completed in 1878 and dedicated on May 25, 1879, its huge proportions dominating the midtown of that time. 

  • The cathedral is built of brick, not marble because brick is stronger. However, it was then covered with marble, quarried in New York and Massachusetts.
  • It can accommodate 2,200 people.
  • The site of the church takes up a whole city block, bounded by East 51st Street to the north, Madison Avenue to the east, East 50th Street to the south, and Fifth Avenue to the west.
  • The spires rise 330 feet (100 m) from street level.
  • The windows were made by artists in Chartres, France, Birmingham, England and Boston, Massachusetts. The great rose window is one of Charles Connick's major works.
(from Wikipedia)

The inside reminded me so much of some of the European cathedrals we visited.

We walked down to the New York Public Library but the building was closed on this particular night because of a NY University Law School function.  The lions guarding the entrance were lit with pink lights and the limos pulling up gave the whole street an air of elegance.

Continuing on our way we walked through Times Square past several theaters, 

the moving stock quotes board, 

and into the heart of neon lights!

This was my absolute favourite,  painted on the side of a tall building!!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Introducing -

Cameron Elizabeth, our newest grand-niece!

She is so tiny, very beautiful, 

and was thoroughly enjoyed this afternoon at her baby shower. 

Her daddy (our nephew) and mommy are quite thrilled with her.

And Gramma and Grampa are settling into their new role nicely :))  Thanks for hosting us today!  

Thursday, March 18, 2010

New York Highlights #3

We went to a performance of "In The Heights" at one of the Broadway theaters - and had a great time!

In the Heights is a musical with music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda and a book by Quiara Alegría Hudes. The story explores three days in the characters' lives in the New York City Dominican-American neighborhood of Washington Heights. The score features hip-hop, salsa, merengue and soul music. The musical's 2008 Broadway production was nominated for thirteen Tony Awards and won the Tony Award for Best Musical at the 62nd Tony Awards. (from Wikipedia)

The show ends with Abuela's picture up on the storefront.  It was such a great snippet of life in one neighborhood in NYC and I could imagine the same feelings being found in any community.  

The main character, Usnavy, is named after the first ship that his parents saw when they arrived in New York.  US Navy was painted on the side of that ship.   I love that explanation!

It was a great show and I'm so glad Mel and Tyler were able to go with us!  I'd go to another play in a heartbeat!!

Color Inspiration

It's St. Patrick's Day so here's a little celebration of the green in my home.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Strong Life Test for Women

Holly blogged about this book today and I thought you might like to take a little test.  
P.S.  I came in as a teacher - no surprise there!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Gratitude Gifts Today

On a day when some things seemed hard or went wrong, I still count these blessings.

- noticing how far the sun has moved north as it peeks over the horizon

- a gold and orange sunrise

- leaving early

- bus supervision with the grade 6's

- Safety Patrols

- seeing an old acquaintance and catching up on some news

- enthusiasm during phys ed class

- time to work one on one with a student for story writing

- coffee + hot chocolate + white chocolate coffee creamer

- quiet students, on task

- finishing a task just as the bell rings

- enchilada casserole, even better the next day

- celery sticks

- students who can stay on task even when chaos is reigning

- supportive colleagues

- apologies

- computer-based research projects

- support from the office

- colored pens

- photocopiers

- sending mail

- new stickers

- Creating Keepsakes magazine in the mailbox

- an after school nap

- mango rooiboos tea

- clean clothes

- pondering behaviours that went awry

- prayer - lots of it!

- knowing that I did the 'right' thing

- the end of the day