Friday, December 28, 2012

Lists of 2012 - #51

Listography 2012 - #51 - Favourite Photos from 2012

1.  January - watching Dreberts ski

2.  February - Maëlle keeping Grampa company in the hospital

3.  March - visiting Darrin and Kelsey

Celebrating Bob's Dad's 90th birthday

4.  April - Maëlle turns 1

Easter egg hunt

Working provincial election

5.  May - Peyton Mae is born

Baby chicks arrive

6.  June - Malachi John is born - Crystal visits Greens in Fredericton

7.  July - Canada Day shower for Peyton

8.  August - Quilting with Audrey

Greens come to visit 

BC Fruit trip with DonaMae

9.  September - garden harvest

10.  October - harvesting and a second batch of chickens

11.  November - cold weather means snuggling in front of the fireplace

12.  December - Building gingerbread houses

Peyton gets mobile and loves the tree

Our Christmas tree

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Advent 4

Advent 4

Stir up your power, Lord Christ, and come. 
With your abundant grace and might,
 free us from the sin that binds us, 
that we may receive you in joy and serve you always, 
for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, 
one God, now and forever. 
(Evangelical Lutheran Worship, 2006, page 20)

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Greetings

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

From our home to yours -
may your Christmas be filled with the joy and light of Jesus coming into our world!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Lists of 2012 - #50

Listography #50 - Favourite Christmas Ornaments

1.  Creche from Peru

2.  Porcelain Nativity

3.  Holy Family that my Mom and Dad brought from Philadelphia when I was 16

4.  Gramma snowman from grandchildren

5.  Pewter Chickadees from our good friends in Nova Scotia

6.  Set of red glass balls from Darrin and Kelsey

7.  Cloissone' hearts from China

8.  Metal star from 10000 Villages

9.   China bell from Krakow, Poland

10.  Wooden family from my Mom

11.  Stained glass angel from Shelley, Mel's friend

12.  White porcelain angel from Poland

Five on Friday

Quote of the Day
“I have found that if you love life, life will love you back.”
Arthur Rubinstein (1887-1982);

2.  I love this article on What's Your Word for 2013!  I like the idea of keeping a notebook and using Pinterest to record ways you've experienced the word.   I'm going to pray about this.  Thanks to Compassion for the article.

3.  Yesterday morning I was struck with a cold/flu bug so precious little has been accomplished since then.  I must find some energy somewhere and do the things I wanted to for Christmas.   Please send healthy thoughts my way!

4.  Our tree is up at last and now it looks like Christmas!

5.  Photo of the week:

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Twice in the last few weeks I've had the opportunity to create cards with people dear to me.  It's always fun to come back to papercrafting.  I've gotten far away from it the last while, between quilting, grandchildren and gardening.

Here's the first batch that I created with Terri (thanks for the fun evening, T!).

And then my niece, Pam, is planning to help build a school in rural China sometime soon.

So a group of her friends organized an event and gave the proceeds to her fund, Change for China.  

It was great to see her and to help along with her dream in a little way.  And in the bargain, I got some lovely Christmas cards to send out.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Gratitude Gifts Today

#4947 - #4787

- a yearly reminder in Advent of His coming again
- time to sew
- supper ready at 6 p.m.
- sleeping in
- quilted wall hangings

- creating with my niece
- seeing friends rally around her
- Christmas music
- sharing Sunday lunch with new friends
- cookies baked by a friend

- candles burning bright in the night
- cold, cold weather - but no snakes
- cooking lunch in a rush - having something to cook
- serving and loving outside of my comfortable box
- seeing another's perspective

- pear cheddar pie
- ordering books and games online
- sweet Christmas oranges
- morning sunrise, pink and gold, framed by the car window
- 3 p.m. golden light shining in the window as school dismisses

- Christmas teas
- finding just the perfect thing
- snowflakes falling
- inspiration
- life stories about passion, hope, miracles and service

- 1000 people laughing together
- hearing the words "thank you for producing food for us"
- a mail system that delivers boxes
- family photos
- God's protection while driving as the moose turned away from my lane

- babysitting Peyton
- marvelling at her little hands and feet
- giving her a bath and inhaling her beautiful smell afterwards
- late night chats
- surprising Helayna at school

- laughing with friends
- that I am supported by incredible women
- knowing that God holds us close even on incredibly painful days
- sure and certain trust that He calls us home
- the hymns of Christmas and their messages

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Advent 3

(photo by MaritaBliss)

Lord Jesus, 
Master of both the light and the darkness.
We ask that you send the Holy Spirit
upon our preparations for Christmas. 
That we who have so much to do would seek
quiet spaces to hear your voice each day.
That we who are anxious over many things
would look forward to your coming.
That we who are blessed in so many ways
would long for the joy of your kingdom.
That we who have heavy hearts
would seek your uplifting presence.
We are your people walking in darkness,
seeking your light.
Come, Lord Jesus.

(from ELCIC Advent prayers)

Five on Friday

Quote of the Day
“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”
Albert Einstein (1879-1955);
theoretical physicist, philosopher, Nobel Prize winner

2.    You must go to Starbuck's this week and order an Eggnog Chai!  They are absolutely delicious :)

3.   I have a stack of Christmas cards that are almost ready to mail.  But the printer ran out of ink so I can't print more copies of our Christmas letter.  The finish will have to wait until tomorrow.

4.  Are you still doing Christmas baking?  I have grand plans to make Butterscotch Confetti Bars, Raspberry Almond Thumbprints, Fudge Puddles and Chocolate Pinwheels this week.  I'll have to be super efficient with my time - wish me luck!

5.  Photo of the week:

Gingerbread House In The Works

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Lists of 2012 - #49

Listography 2012 - #49 - Books I Read This Year

For book club:

The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

Purge by Sofi Oksanen

A Walk Across the Sun by Corbin Addison

Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks

People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks

The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman

The Virgin Cure by Amy Mckay

The School of Essential Ingredient by Erica Bauermeister

The Rules of Civility by Amor Towles


The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks

Earth's Children (re-read) - Jean Auel
       Clan of the Cave Bear
       Valley of Horses
       The Mammoth Hunters
       The Plains of Passage
The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman

7 : An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker

The Postmistress by Sarah Blake

Chocolat by Joanne Harris

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother  by Amy Chua

Ellis Island by Kate Kerrigan

Bloom by Kelle Hampton

The Girl in the Blue Beret by Bobbi Ann Mason

Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis

The News from Paraguay by Lily Tuck

In progress:

Priceless by Tom Davis

Julie & Julia by Julie Powell

24 - that's 2 a month!  Wow - I didn't realize I had read that many.  If I had to pick only one to take with me to a desert island, I don't know which one it would be!  The book club reads were all good. (There was 1 book I didn't read this year - long story - I moved on!)  And if you only read one book in the next year, pick The Five Love Languages - it's relationship changing.

Thank you to Shelfari for helping me to keep track of this year's list!  I don't think I would have remembered all of them on my own.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Agriculture is Life

Some days it's just very good to listen, be encouraged and get pumped to continue on the paths we've been called to in life.  Today was one of those days for us.

Farm Credit Corporation, our agricultural lending institution, conducts 10 forums across Canada each year and we attended the one in Red Deer.  Unfortunately we missed the morning session presented by Amanda Lang, CBC's senior business analyst where she talked about innovation.  Her remarks were referred to by people throughout the rest of the day and we hope to hear her some other time.  Loading a B-train full of grain and sending it out took first priority on this day!

The afternoon speakers were fantastic - so happy that we got to hear them.   First up was Martin Latullipe, captain of Canada's 2001 world university hockey team (he was injured while playing), now working as a motivational speaker.  This clip from his website says it all:

"Martin delivers a high-energy, theatrical performance characterized by humor, lots of fun, and great takeaways. He inspires and motivates. After listening to Martin’s presentation, audiences will never see their personal impact in the same way. They will immediately begin looking in the mirror of success and start creating legacy in their personal and professional lives."


His examples were profound stories of how people make an impact, realize potential and create legacy. And he was such a cheerleader for agriculture but I guess that's what motivational speakers do!
Here are a few of my notes:
Our response determines our level of success.
3 seeds to keep winning:
1.  Focus on the dream, not the doubt.  (This is the challenging one for me - and by the jab in my side when Martin spoke those words, someone else in this partnership knows it too!)
2.  Choose to give what you do and how you do it, great purpose.  Create a legacy in other people's lives. 
3.  Celebrate progress, make it your measure of success.  Focus on the 3% chance of making it, not the 97% chance of failing, based on a true story he told.  Believe in miracles and live in the moment!

The second afternoon speaker was General Rick Hillier, former Chief of Defence Staff and overseer of the Canadian mission in Afghanistan.  He spoke about leadership and shared many stories from his military career, as well as some including his wife.  The crowd definitely related to him and emotions in the room went from hilarious laughter to sobering tears-in-our-eyes as he talked about the men and women serving our country around the world.  


Things to remember:

Communicating is hardest with those closest to you.  (Ain't that the truth?!)
Leaders are all about people.  
Inspire your people to bring body and mind to work.  
Draw inspiration from the people around you so you can keep going.  
Practice perpetual optimism and a passion for what you do.  It will move others to do and be better.  
Be inspired by recognizing the hero models right around you.  As a leader, share their passion with others.

I'm going to write more about FCC's "Agriculture More Than Ever" campaign next year.  


Monday, December 10, 2012

Gratitude Gifts Today

#4902 - #4947

- finding pictures from our South American trip, printed and in an album
- wrapping gifts
- ordering online
- pumpkin hummus
- December Daily scrapbooking project

- cuddling little ones
- happy mail
- banana bread
- school assemblies
- text messaging

- playdough
- afternoon naps
- leaving supper set out
- red Christmas fabrics, red poinsettias, red candles
- sharing snacks and laughter

- Bible study discussions
- white twinkling lights, white perogies, white Christmas trees
- visiting with friends while touring lovely homes
- special gifts from faraway places
- hard conversations worked through

- Advent candle, altar candles, sun shining
- hosting coffee after church
- watching movies - and staying awake!
- fresh veggies and dip
- lunch packed for tomorrow

- pinning the binding on a quilting project
- unpacking Christmas decorations
- boxes of nuts and fruit
- fresh, soft, melt-in-your mouth Mejdool dates
- Christmas programs

- carrot loaf
- great discussions with grade 6's
- 3 gifts silver - bracelet from Eqypt, tea kettle, ornaments
- sleepovers
- reading books in bed

- 3 gifts sweet - poppycock, hot chocolate, eggnog covered almonds
- baking bread and buns
- keeping kitchen counters clean
- warm hats and mitts
- meeting friends for supper

- long, long discussions with friends
- working hard on relationships
- all my sins covered every day
- grace, grace, grace
- celebrating the Saviour's birth again