Thursday, March 31, 2011

Lists of 2011 - #13

Listography #13 - Guiltiest Pleasures

1.  Starbuck's Chai Lattes

2.  Pepsi with Lime

3.  Chocolate covered almonds

4.  Reading in bed in the morning

5.  Using beautiful writing papers for lists and letters

6.  Fresh cut flowers in the middle of winter

7.  Long visits after school with teacher friends

8.  Phone calls to family

9.  Reliving our travels through photos

10. Fresh baked bread with butter

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Gratitude Gifts Today

Our daughter and her two little ones are here for a few days and we are having a very good time!  We are busy every minute of the day and all five of us fall into bed exhausted at night.  We are so very blessed to spend time with our children and grandchildren and we treasure every smile, every hug and every conversation  - every single time we see any of them.

And I am reminded again of how God uses the little children to show us how we should live.  Believing, whole heartedly, trusting, full of joy and laughter, pausing to smile and share hugs,  bouncing right along through turmoil and even discipline, and always welcome at Jesus' feet.  Oh, that I would be more like that!

I see blessings and I count them.  And then I forget to pause and notice and record and my eyes are glazed over.  But when I am reminded and He surprises me again, I see only myriad gifts and my heart soars!

#2264 - #2296

- little ones snuggled in bed first thing in the morning

- long, clear icicles hanging off the eaves

- a daughter in the house

- text messages that let me know the ones farther away are having fun

- time to create

- their enthusiasm to make music

- bacon on cheez whiz and toast - and Helaya's comments

- splashing in the swimming pool

- hot tub, also at the pool

- dish soap

- a full day of shopping and visiting with Naomi and her little ones

- new-to-me tops

- playing in the snow with Helayna

- snowmen

- imagination!

- snacks

- kids music in the CD player

- safe driving for the whole week

- lots of days of subbing

- visiting with friends over coffee

- climbing snowbank mountains

- her little hand tucked into mine

- all of Silas' words and long sentences

- their laughter when Grampa chases them

- hands full of little vehicles

- warmer temperatures

- new (to us) bed set up in the guest room

- sinking and shrinking snowbanks

- late night discussions while sitting on the bed

- leaving it in His hands

- leaning hard into His arms

- not questioning Him - just trusting

Friday, March 25, 2011

Five on Friday

1.  Driving on icy roads is not fun and I'm. quite. tired. of it after this week.

2.  I am officially on spring break and really wishing that I could be on Vancouver Island - my very favourite place to be at this time of year.

3.  This scarf is so cute!  I'm going to try making it using these easy instructions.  The pictures Monika posted definitely make it sound like something I can do!

(photo from Monika's blog)

4.  As long as we've been married (almost 35 years), I've never seen the snowbanks at the end of our driveway as deep as they are this year.  They are like mountains!  (I'll take a picture tomorrow.)

5.  I love ordering and picking up printed pictures.  The last few of our Christmas vacation in Fairmont will be ready tomorrow and then I can put them all in the album.  I'm looking forward to sitting down with it and reliving the memories :)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Lists of 2011 - #12

Listography #12 - Words I Love

1.  adore

2.  eucharisteo

3.  snow day

4.  summer afternoon

5.  Christmas

6.  grandchild

7.  forgive

8.  grace

9.  letters

10.  pay cheque

11.  compassion

12.  memories

13.  friends

14.  leftovers

15.  blooming flowers

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Recipe Box Swap

It's time for another recipe to add to Randi's recipe box swap :)  Today I'm happy to feature this main dish which we love!

Jellystone Pork

from Eat, Shrink and Be Merry 
Janet and Greta Podleski

1 tbsp. butter
1/3 up finely minced shallots or green onions
2 tbsp. grated gingerroot
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/3 cup apple jelly
3 tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 tbsp. cider vinegar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup light sour cream or plain yogurt

2 pork tenderloins (12 oz./340 g each)

1.  Before grilling pork, get all of the sauce ingredients ready so you can whip up the sauce while the cooked pork is resting.
2.  Preheat grill to medium-high heat.  Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper.  Place pork on a grill rack that has been lightly brushed with oil.  Grill pork for about 16 minutes, turning occasionally.  The outside should be nicely browned and the center should have just a trace of pink.  Transfer pork to a plate, cover with foil and let rest while you make the sauce.
3.  To make sauce, melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat.  Add shallots, gingerroot, and garlic.  Cook and stir until shallots begin to soften about 2 minutes.  Be careful not to burn them.
4.  Add apple jelly, Dijon mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper.  Mix well.  Cook and stir for 3 minutes until jelly completely melts and sauce begins to thicken.  Reduce heat to low if it's bubbling too much.  Remove from heat and stir in sour cream.
5.  To serve pork, slice it thinly and arrange on a small platter.  Drizzle sauce over pork.

Note:  You could roast the pork in the oven at 350 degrees F for about 40 minutes.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Gratitude Gifts Today

It's another Monday but winter has come back with more snow, blowing winds and poor driving conditions - again.  It feels like winter has been so long and the sun has been hidden so much lately.  But I am reminded that He works even when the snow is deep, the trees are empty and the ground is frozen. This is the season of resting in Him and trusting Him in everything.  Spring and new life will come - He assures me of that.

So I count on - noticing in small things just how much He gives every. single. day.

#2230 - 2264

- cold easing a little

- hot tea in the morning

- gathering for Bible study

- reading more than the familiar passages

- discussing each other's questions

- fresh perspectives shared by others

- a vehicle to drive

- full tank of gas

- conversations and understanding another point of view

- liver sausage and mustard on toast

- smell of red peppers roasting

- organ playing as the church fills

- littlest ones coming to Sunday School

- packing away the last of winter decorations

- bringing out spring colours

- watching Meadow play hockey

- meeting two of Darrin's college friends who are dads and hockey coaches now

- hugs and kisses from Blake

- visits with my Mom and Dad

- hearing about my sister's projects

- bright tulips on Naomi's table

- watching students enjoy phys ed

- remembering how to factor numbers

- a beautiful new school

- little grandson sleeping on my shoulder

- whole days spent with our grandchildren

- baking cookies together

- tasting dough :)

- book club gatherings

- great ideas

- enjoying the company of fellow readers

- reading His word

- God's protection as I drive

- grace that God freely gives to me, new every day

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Our good friends, Audrey and Aime', invited us to join them this afternoon to see a performance of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" at the Citadel Theatre in Edmonton.  It was a wonderful musical production with an amazing set, wonderful costumes, beautiful lighting, great singing and superb acting.

(photos by the Edmonton Journal)

Written by Victor Hugo in 1841, this melodrama is set in Notre Dame Cathedral and tells of love gone terribly wrong.

Claude Frollo (seen on the right in this picture), a priest in the cathedral, becomes obsessed with the dancing gypsy girl, Esmeralda.  She is in love with a soldier, Phoebeus, and is wrongfully convicted of his death.  In the dungeons of the cathedral, while awaiting execution, she is rescued by Quasimodo, the deformed bell ringer.  The play ends with great pathos and many expired characters.

This version of the play is a world premier by Edmonton's Catalyst Theatre and this is an interesting review.  We came home to do some more research on the author and the story.   I love when a production stimulates discussion and you come home asking lots of questions!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Scenes From The Backyard

You know you live in the country when -
the deer come looking for grain at the bird feeders!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lists of 2011 - #11

Listography #11 - I'm Lucky Because . . . .

1.  Every morning God gives me a fresh start.

2.  I have a home of my own.

3.  I am a mother to four healthy, strong, wise, beautiful, and kind children.

4.  I have an amazing daughter-in-law and three son-in-laws who love my children.

5.  I get to spend time with our wonderful, beautiful grandchildren.

6.  I have a university degree.

7.  Our home is in the country.

8.  There is lots of food in our house.

9.  My parents are healthy and still living in their own home.

10.  I have never had a broken bone.

11.  I can read and write and count.

12.  I have more hobbies than I have time :)

13.  My husband loves to travel almost as much as I do.

14.  I am rich in friendships.

15.  I was in 4-H when I was a teenager and I learned how to public speak, take care of animals, look after a garden, sew clothes and be a leader.

16.  My camera is my friend too.

17.  I have travelled to five continents in the last five years.

18.  Jesus died that I might have life and have it abundantly!

19.  I am Canadian.

20.  I come from a long line of amazing women.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Gratitude Gifts Today

Almost overnight it seems that winter has decided to fade away and spring is much closer.  The days are so much longer, especially with the start of daylight saving time, and sunshine has flooded through the last few days.  Puddles are forming where the ice is melting,  icicles are dripping off the roof and the kids wanted to abandon their jackets at recess today.  How quickly the weather has changed!

And even more dramatically than the weather has changed  here, so have the lives of those who live in northern Japan changed forever.  What devastation and ruin the earthquake and tsunami have brought to the land!  I pray that those affected might somehow know God's love and grace as they live through these days.  And I pray that I might be see how to best help and be God's hands and feet in this.  For now all I can do is pray fervently for God to work miracles.

And my days continue to be filled with His grace and my joy.  What abundance and safety I am daily granted!

#2203 - #2230

- the incredible way that God takes care of every single detail of our lives!

- Tyler being accepted for residency in Canada

- that all 3 of our daughters support and love their husbands so fully

- hearing about weekend adventures that are completely enjoyed

 - beautiful warm temperatures

- feeling like spring will actually come

- hot water for morning showers

- bright, beautiful daffodils on the table

- unexpected days of subbing

- Grampas who can go swimming with little ones

- big juicy oranges

- vision for future developments

- living in this safe place

- weekends

- educational assistants and their help in the classroom

- children's picture books

- chocolate cake

- slow cooker simmering away

- casseroles in the freezer

- Friday evenings playing cards with friends

- freshly vacuumed floors

- a dishwasher humming along

- creative time

- sprouts on potatoes

- walking the Lenten pathway

- knowing that He is coming again!

- adjusting my life to walk more closely to Him

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Watching the news today, it was awful to see the devastation that Japan has suffered after the earthquake and tsunami.  It made me think so much of chapter 5 in One Thousand Gifts when Ann talks about wondering how to trust God - even when bad things happen.  

"How to lay the hand open for this moment's bread - when it will hurt."  p. 80

And then her realization, shared with me and all her readers - 

"Take the pain that is given, give thanks for it. and transform it into a joy that fulfills all emptiness."  p 100

"All is grace only because all can transfigure." p. 101

And He transfigures me and uses me.  How shall I react to this tragedy? 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Lists of 2011 - #10

Listography #10 - If I Could I Would -

1.  Visit the girls we sponsor through Compassion International in Brazil and Ethiopia.

2.  Take all of our family on yearly vacations to places like Hawaii, Disneyland, Prince Edward Island, the Galapagos Islands, eastern Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Germany - you get the idea!

3.  Camp our way through all 51 of the United States and all the provinces and territories of Canada.

4.  Renovate our bathroom - top to bottom!

5.  Have our front and back yards professionally landscaped - with yearly maintenace :)

6.  Build a new lodge at our local church camp.

7.  Travel with my Mom and sisters - to places like Italy to pick olives, the Netherlands to see the tulips blooming, India to see the Taj Mahal, France to attend a cooking school and Germany to visit the places where my grandparents were born.

8.  Help our kids and their families with buying their homes.

9.  Spend time with National Geographic photographers on location.

10.  Learn how to swim and play guitar.

11.  Go on an Antarctica cruise.

12.  Completely redo my scrapbook studio with room for sewing and quilting, scrapbooking and stamping.

13.  Hire someone to do the farm accounting.

14.  Go to Afghanistan and help in the education system, especially with women and children.

15.  Attend the Passion Play in Oberammagau, Germany.

16.  Learn to line dance.

17.  Pick a different charity each year and make a major donation to a big project that they have.

18.  Have my husband cook supper on the days that I work - imagine that!

19.  Scrapbook one layout every single day.

20.  Prevent weeds from growing in my organic garden.  

21.  Operate a bed and breakfast home with an attached bookstore / coffee shop and bakery / scrapbook store / fabric and quilt shop (sounds like a mall, actually!).

22.  Use a high speed commuter train to go to Airdrie and Calgary.

23.  Travel to Nepal and Mongolia.

24.  Pay off our loans.

25.  Visit my blogging friends all over the world.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Around Here

I'm using a little prompt inspiration from Ali Edwards today :)

Around here winter continues on and on and on.  The temperatures have moderated but the snow is still SO deep.  Bob spent the whole day yesterday plowing driveways open so that a big grain truck can get in tomorrow and load out some grain that a neighbor has stored in our bins.

Around here we are rejoicing mightily with Melinda and Tyler as they prepare to move to Fredricton, New Brunswick!  You can read all about it over at their blog.   God is so good!

Around here the substitute teaching days have dried up!  I have a grand total of 2.5 booked for this month.  Not quite sure what to think about this but I'm trusting God on it.

Around here we are celebrating Shrove Tuesday, otherwise known as Pancake Tuesday, and the start of the season of Lent tomorrow.

Around here I have some Health Advisory Council reading and meeting prep to get through today.

Around here small projects are getting worked on.  The decluttering of the basement, farm accounting and using summer fruits and vegetables are keeping me busy.

Around here we are planning for the garden and preparing to start some seeds before the end of the month.

Around here we are enjoying much longer days and looking forward to daylight saving time starting on the weekend.

Around here Bob and I are sharing one computer this week.  A bit of a technology hiatus which is probably a good thing! 

Around here I am remembering that today is International Women's Day and that there are women all over the world to be honoured and to be helped. 
"International Women's Day (8 March) is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. In some places like China, Russia, Vietnam and Bulgaria, International Women's Day is a national holiday."  (source -

Around here it's been a very good day!

Monday, March 07, 2011

Gratitude Gifts Today

Today was a day to long be remembered!!  Our son-in-law Tyler is waiting to enter a medical residency program and the match day was today.  God has led and guided and provided for Tyler and Melinda for the past 5 years and today He once again directed them down the next path on their journey.  I'll share more details about this once Mel and Tyler have had a chance to process a bit and once they've shared the news with those closest to them.  God is so, so good!!

And He keeps providing and I keep noticing.  And by noticing, time stands still for a brief moment and opens the way to me having enough time to live this one life I've been given!  (paraphrase from Ann's book)

#2179 -#2203

- sons

- squares of sunshine in the bedroom

- shadows of swings waiting for little ones

- sound of washer and dryer humming away

- clean counter and dishes drying

- a gift of baking to share

- our Bible study group

- Praise CD in the player

- corn chowder

- cheese scones

- Sunday worship

- knowing that He can change a life

- leftovers for lunch

- full grocery boxes

- orange, purple and pink in the sunrise

- hugs and kisses first thing in the morning

- coloring together

- phone calls

- afternoon naps for everyone in the house

- amazing Dads who spent long hours with their little ones

- pizza for supper

- God's words to us

- His goodness spilling over into our lives

(My laptop is in the 'hospital' for a few days so I'll share photos once I have it back.)

Saturday, March 05, 2011


We spent a few days in "the south" visiting our family that lives there.  Breakfast and Sunday morning with Darrin and Kelsey was wonderful.  I know you've heard it from me before but I have to say it again - I love being with our adult children.  It's fun to see them with their partners, to listen to their stories and share in their successes now that they are pretty independent.

We also spent time with Heather and Jonathan,  Helayna and Silas.   And we got to hang out at gymnastics class one morning which was lots of fun, especially for the two little ones!

The warmup was carrying little stuffed animals 

from one end of the mats
(it was friend day so Helayna's little buddy came too)

to Mom who was at the other end -
and then taking them all back, one by one!

They both liked the rings -

and the long bouncy trampoline.

I was surprised at how well she can do somersaults already -

and how he can bounce and balance on the trampoline.

They had a little circuit that they had to do

using all the cool equipment that this club has set up.

Look at those arms - 
I am amazed at this little strong man!

This is such a great place for the kids
to learn and practice a whole bunch of new skills.
And I'm so glad we got to see them and share in the fun!

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Lists of 2011 - #9

Listography #9 - Things I Love to Photograph

1.  Our grandchildren

2.  Our children and their partners

3.  Sunsets

4.  Flowers

5.  Mountains

6.  Architecture

(I love the memories that go with this tent of my brother's 
and our quadding trip!
Taken through the smoke of our campfire)

7.  Places we've travelled to

(Coptic church in Cairo, Egypt)

8.  Projects

9.  Food

Banana Maple Walnut Cake

10.  People having fun

11.  Everyday objects

(Seen in JFK Airport, New York City)

12.  Color

I had to include pictures of each one - thanks for looking!

Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, March 02, 2011


I ran the random number generator tonight and the winner of my giveaway (the one celebrating 1500 posts) is Jill at Mama Loaf!  Congratulations!!!  I'll send the treat package off to you right away.

Jill is the first (and only) blogging friend that I have actually had the joy of meeting face to face.  We drove out and visited her at home the first time we were in New York City.  It was a wonderful time but far too short!  I'm looking forward to seeing her again one day and to spending a long, long time together.

Thanks to everyone who left a comment.  Hugs to each of you - thank you for continuing to visit my blog!

Happy Birthday, D!

Happy Birthday to our son!  I wrote this post about him just a few weeks ago - so glad I recorded these thoughts about someone who is so very special.   It's good to reflect on the years and remember hockey on the skating rink on the lawn, the dogs that he's loved over the years,  how he learned to ride the bike on the front lawn, what a help he was with chores and fieldwork, how very even-tempered he's always been, when he went away after high school graduation, summers back at home - the list could go on and on!

You are an amazing man.

We've celebrated a lot of milestones.

You have been blessed with health and strength, 
wisdom and kindness, intelligence and a big heart.

May you continue to enjoy every day
and God's care and blessings always!
We love you very much!