Monday, October 31, 2011

Gratitude Gifts Today

October is drawing to a close and the forecast is for snow later this week.  It's the end of the growing season and my thoughts are turning inward too.  It's time to reflect and plan and get excited for Advent is coming - and the celebration of Jesus' birth is getting closer!

#3208 -3238

- a plain, ordinary day at home
- the most amazing news :)
- planning projects
- warm temperatures outside
- more bowls of ripe tomatoes

- spinach + goat cheese + mushrooms + candied pecans = yummy salad
- bowl full of candy treats
- music, glorious music with a message for me
- leftovers from hosting coffee at church
- beauty in tree branches and candles' glow

- safe trip home for Mel and Samuel
- memories strewn along with the toys scattered
- fabric sales
- online inspiration for shoebox gifts
- jars of sauerkraut

- little visitors in costume
- candy :)
- pear-walnut coffee cake
- sunshine on a windy autumn day
- leaves covering the lawn

- sadness that makes the remembering poignant
- memories of teaching together in Belize
- scenic way home
- Bible study group gathering 
- garden laid to rest

- leaves twirling in the wind
- blog post about grandchildren and how God loves us as we love them
- camera lens fixed and computer working again
- lesson and sermon on being humble
- God's all-knowing, all-loving grace to me

Right Now

Inspired by Amanda Soule once again (I tell you she has so much inspiration wrapped up in her head that's shared on her blog, SouleMama!) to capture today.

RIght now, I am...
:: marveling that it will be November 1st tomorrow and we have not had one snowflake fall yet!  It really has been a lovely October.

:: tired of cleaning out garden, pots and greenhouse.  
:: laughing  as I pick up and put away all the toys that our grandchildren scattered across the living room last week.  So many treasured memories of their antics and conversations!
:: overwhelmed  that I still have a 20 lb. box of unripened tomatoes and 20 lbs. of apples, both from our garden,  to deal with.
:: pleasantly surprised that I have nearly everything I need for the Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes I want to finish this week.
:: wondering, what to do with the tomato plants in the greenhouse.  They aren't growing much and it's supposed to dip down to -6 degrees C by Friday.  That means the heat would have to be on constantly and I dread even thinking about what our electricity bill would look like!
:: grateful that my 17 - 85 mm lens is back from the repair shop, rebuilt and working wonderfully. 
:: hearing the wind as it rattles around the house today.  
:: going to giveaway all the Halloween candy, I hope!  We don't usually get many kids out here but I always buy treats, just in case - and then guess who eats them all up with some help from me?!
:: planning projects to sew for Christmas.
:: digging that Sew, Mama, Sew is starting their month of Handmade Holiday projects tomorrow!
:: knitting nothing - I wish I knew how!
:: listening to Blessings by Laura Story.  I heard her on the radio in the tractor this summer and downloaded this song.  I love it!
:: saying goodbye to another batch of tomatoes who are cooking themselves into salsa.
:: inspired by Ali Edwards to begin my December Daily album building.  
:: happy to be home for most of this week.
:: delighted to hear 'tidings of great joy'!
:: waiting for the vacuum cleaner to propel itself around the house :)
:: being so very grateful for 56 years of living and all the joys of having a family!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Five on Friday

1.  It's so very quiet at our house today.  Melinda and Samuel left yesterday to return home to Fredericton and we miss them so much.  The "Where is Grampa Bob?" question didn't get asked once today! 

2.  I had a huge reminder this week that life. is. so. very. short. and you just never know what will happen - which makes the time we've spent as family over the past month even more precious.

3.  Two months until Christmas!  And we haven't had one flake of snow yet :))

4.  Hopefully picture posting will resume very soon.  My laptop is currently at the computer hospital!

5.  The jars of sauerkraut I made this year are processing in a hot water bath and will soon join the rest of my bounty on the pantry shelves.  I still have tomato plants in the greenhouse and boxes of them ripening in the basement.  I don't think I'll make my November 1st deadline for finishing canning!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Lists of 2011 - #43

Listography #43 - 10 Halloween Costumes You Have Worn

1.  Wicked witch

2.  Hockey referee

3.  Ketchup bottle

4.  Construction worker

5.  Farmer

6.  Clown

7.  Old lady

8.  Hobo

9.  Nurse

10.  Teacher

(This year the teachers at one school I sub at are all dressing up as characters from Robert Munsch stories - very clever, don't you think?!)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Monday, October 24, 2011

Gratitude Gifts Today

I have to remind myself that every single, tiny-and insignificant-as-it-may-seem, thing is a gift from my Heavenly Father.  God gives it all and it's up to me to use it in some way.  To use it in praise and worship of Him, to share it as a gift or token to someone else, to pass it along that the way might be smoother and brighter for another person.  So today I count on, noticing and committing to praise and service.  All is grace, as Ann says.

#3177 - #3208

- safe arrival of Melinda and Samuel
- little boy trailing Grampa everywhere
- a house filled with those we love
- hearing him talk about cousins and uncles and aunties
- giggles and smiles

- 5th birthday parties
- how excited she gets
- that everyone made her feel special
- gifts and toys picked especially for her
- birthday meals

- Mamas who make special decorations
- birthday cakes
- little brothers who love big sisters
- leftovers
- walks to the park, just them and I
- last lingering blooms

- reading stories, all nestled together
- filling the fridge with groceries
- safe driving
- phone calls, so easy and yet so meaningful
- time that our children can share with each other

- empty rows of carrots
- onions hanging in a mesh bag
- big pot of turkey barley soup
- pumpkin chocolate cake
- foccacia bread for sandwiches

,- amazing love that He would do it all for me
- safe and secure in God's plan
- online devotions to start the morning
- music seemingly written just for me
- my great big God

Sunday, October 23, 2011


Just savouring the morning-after goodness of a certain little girl's 5th birthday party -
The trying on of new clothes (and realizing that her long legs need size 6 pants),
the little hands strumming on the new guitar,
the whirling and twirling of the Snow White costume,
the reading of a stack of new books,
the listening to a new CD (Tschaikovsky Visits America - which she loves),
the sleepy yawns and tired eyes,
the playing and laughing at a new game, Whack-A-Mole,
the cousins finding their way together after nearly 10 months apart,
all the goodness of a family being together.

She's called me to walk to the park with her!
I'm off on a new day's adventures!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Five on Friday

1.  Apparently the USB connection on my laptop no longer works - which makes downloading pictures impossible :(

2.  Just the thought of roast turkey and sauerkraut with pork hocks today meant that I stayed home from the church's Harvest Supper.    I think I'm feeling better after a two hour nap.

3.  Birthday party celebration for Helayna is on our weekend agenda.  Turning 5 is exciting!

4.  It's so much fun having Samuel and Melinda home for a few days.  Samuel is definitely a fan of Grampa Bob and his tractors!

5.  Nothing quite like a mug of chicken noodle soup at 1:30 in the morning :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Lists of 2011 - #42

Listography #42 - Things I Wish I Could Do Better

1.  Swim

2.  Play musical instruments including the piano and guitar

3.  Climb and hike

4.  Draw

5.  Make pastry

6.  Home renovation projects

7.  Keep the weeds out of flowerbeds and gardens

8.  Keep my house clean

9.  Photography

10.  Recite scriptures from memory

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Gratitude Gifts Today

"But when the Spirit of the living God lives inside of you, then your living is also your worship. Everything that is is because he is I Am. ”For in Him we live and move and exist.” (Acts 17:28) We are able to worship in all that we do. And anything worth doing will also be worship. What else would it be?"
(from Emily @ Chatting At The Sky)

I love those words!  Together with our pastor's question "What are you going to do with all that God gives you this week?" I am looking forward to a week of living in His grace and counting the little gifts I notice for all gifts are from Him!

#3152 - #3177

- golden leaves on trees
- bright orange Hubbards squash on the counter
- pale green shreds of cabbage fermenting
- a beautiful Morden Yellow tomato from the greenhouse
- brilliant orange marigolds lingering on in the garden

- traditional methods of making things like sauerkraut
- a birthday invitation in the mail
- turkey roasting in the oven
- simple harvest meals
- sitting long around the kitchen table

- looking at pictures we took in Europe again
- hearing about the grand adventures friends had
- cutting fabric to sew a nightgown
- finding just the right birthday gift
- staying under the budget

- stacking potato sacks in a safe, dark place
- water soaking in around the apple trees
- a counter full of baking
- pulling the last beets from the garden
- beautiful blue sky

- eating frozen blueberries
- hearing that Melinda and Samuel are on their way after missing a flight
- musical reminders of how much God loves and cares for me
- studying scripture
- looking for opportunities in everything He sends my way

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Five on Friday

1.  From the kitchen this week it was all about zucchini!  Zucchini Chocolate Bundt Cake, Zucchini Bran Muffins, and Savoury Zucchini Squares.  Still to come - Vegetarian Lasagne with - you guessed it! - zucchini.  I'll share recipes next week.

2.  There are currently 4 - 20 lb. boxes of tomatoes stashed in the basement, waiting to ripen.  I still want to make another batch of salsa and one of tomato sauce.  It seems like the garden - and the work! - just goes on and on this year.

3.  We haven't had a real killing frost yet and it's the middle of October!  Amazing and so wonderful!

4.  The big blue Alberta sky and lingering coloured leaves continue to be absolutely gorgeous!

5.  Only 3 more sleeps until a certain grandson and his mama arrive in Alberta for a visit!!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Lists of 2011 - #41

Listography #41 - Things I Like To Wear

1.  Scarves

2.  Earrings and bracelets

3.  Capris

4.  High heels (even though my feet don't always agree!)

5.  Jeans

6.  Down-filled vests

7.  Dresses or skirts

8.  My gramma's pearls

9.  Warm jackets and coats (in the winter)

10.  Leather gloves (especially for driving)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Gratitude Gifts Today

It's Thanksgiving weekend here.   Between gathering with family, eating traditional foods and giving thanks for a season of growing and harvesting, is the feeling that I am so very glad that my thanks happens every day.  And I am thankful that my God extends His grace to me, new and fresh every day.  Reading Ann's book, 1000 Gifts, has produced in me a changed heart and a changed way of looking at my life.  How very amazing and wonderful is my God who supplies all, far beyond my needs and expectations - every single day!

#3112 - #3152

- a day without internet service
- creating cards
- baking bread and buns
- eating a bun with butter melting on it
- golden morning sunrise

- cutting up flannel to make a quilt
- sewing a new zipper into Samuel's jacket and praying for him
- planning Christmas gifts
- patterns for little ones
- raking leaves

- newly shingled roof for our daughter and her family, finished in two days
- 6 men, tools and building talents
- helping Naomi in her kitchen
- rocking Maƫlle to sleep
- a yard full of kids

- appetizer lunches
- 4 women working together in the kitchen
- Thanksgiving supper
- pumpkin pie with whipped cream
- full plates

- camping in the driveway
- grandchildren coming in to wake us in the morning
- reading in bed with them
- playing "Go Fish"
- building fairy houses with rocks

- leftovers
- pulling out tomato plants that produced well
- gradually emptying the garden
- Bob's help in the potato patch
- last sweet peas of the season

- freshly dug carrots
- golden leaves still clinging to branches
- +17 degrees Celsius
- making sauerkraut with Bob's mom
- potatoes dug out

- God's amazing bounty in the harvest
- sharing the plenty we have with others
- being able to pray for a friend who needs healing
- trusting that God has it all under control
- learning more from His word

Sunday, October 09, 2011


More pleasing to Me than all your prayers, works and penances
is that you would believe I love you. 

~Jesus' words to Marjory Kempe in 1667 (quoted by Manning, TRG)

Friday, October 07, 2011

Lists of 2011 - #40

Listography #40 - Things That Inspire Me

1.  Knowing that God does it all for me

2.  Encouragement and examples from others, including those in blogland

3.  Wanting no regrets and loose ends when my life here ends

4.  Our grandchildren and children - their love, their curiousity, their smiles and hugs

5.  Colours

6.  Sharing my talents and what I make

7.  Friendship and neighborliness

8.  Travel and seeing people around the world

9.  Music and scripture

10.  Projects and deadlines :)

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Simply Ten Good Things

Using another one of Amanda Soule's awesome ideas - just a simple list of some good things in my day.

a haircut
more tomatoes
a frozen turkey
bologna, cheese and tomato with relish on a fresh whole wheat bun
pie plates at the thrift store
boxes of apples
cutting flannel and batting
praying for a long-awaited baby to arrive safely
an orange pillowcase bag
hot soapy water for washing dishes

Gratitude Gifts Today

 I've been reading the New Testament in my Bible and am currently in the book of Romans.  Yesterday we attended service at Rockpointe Church with Heather and Jonathan and the sermon was on Romans 4 - exactly where I was  in my reading.  It's amazing how God orchestrates stuff like that!

In this chapter, Paul talks about Abraham, his faith and his relationship with God.   I knew that Abraham was an old man when his wife Sarah conceived a child but I had no idea that he had to wait for 14 years for God's promise to come true.   Are you like me and often wondering when (oh, when!) will God keep His promise or answer my prayer?  It dawned on me that I might have to wait 14 years sometimes but God always comes through if I have big faith.   The pastor talked about 'Big Faith, Big God' and how we sometimes fail to believe how big our God really is - there is nothing He can't do!!   It was an awesome service.

When we have faith, God's grace is boundless - and I already knew that but hearing it again was exactly what this wandering spirit needed to hear.  Faith that He can do anything - faith that He can do more than I can even imagine - faith that praying and giving it to God is far better than my worrying.

 So I count more grace-gifts and thank Him for filling my life with more than I even realize.

#3086 - #3111

- no frost until October 1st
- Bob picking the last apples from the top step of the ladder
- a box and a basket full of tomatoes to take south
- picking pumpkins and squash off the vines
- marigolds shining on in the garden

- connecting with challenging students
- watching their faces light up as they imagine the story
- maps and finding places
- educational assistants who really know and understand kids
- flexibility about when I go to work

- visits with our children and their families
- weekends away from home
- watching our son in the kitchen and in the garden
- Kelsey's first hockey goal
- pumpkins hiding and surprising K

- last Farmer's Market of the season
- watching Helayna pick out a pumpkin
- yellow leaves covering the path
- Sunday afternoon walks
- big sticks + streams = happy kids

- travelling home safely
- memories of two days
- planning for the next week
- still more tomatoes to pick
- His amazing, boundless grace!


Well, actually I'm not missing but our internet connection has gone silent :(  So for now I need to ask for your patience while we attempt to get back on the interwebs.  I'll be back as soon as I can!