Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Gratitude Gifts Today

#4755 - #4795

- whole school assembly quietly hearing about an amazing father and son, the Hoyt family
- quiet hallways
- arms to carry things
- grocery sales
- finding small Christmas gifts

- leftovers
- chocolate covered donut :)
- green tomato salsa finally finished
- new pyjamas for the grands
- gluing paper together to make cards

- Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes to fill
- birthday gift collected
- days of subbing
- book club gatherings
- lively discussion and a pool of ideas

- apple cider
- podcast of WE Day
- singing "Happy Birthday" over the phone
- new words from Maëlle
- meeting Meadow at the door when she comes home from school

- baking cookies with little helpers
- watching them lick the spoon just like my kids did
- Olympic themed birthday party, complete with games and national anthems
- photos of Helayna throughout the last year
- birthday cake

- holding Peyton - she's grown so much!
- Jolly Jumper bouncing as she practices her moves
- Halloween outfits and decorations
- grilled cheese sandwiches with basil and tomatoes (thanks, D & K!)
- beautiful warm sunshine melting snow

- Monday mornings at home
- putting away garden vegetables in muffins, sauce and relish
- bags of grated carrots carried to the freezer
- all the dishes washed
- Halloween treat bags to share

- daily devotions and scriptures
- switching the radio from awful news reports to praise music
- His protection while traveling on icy roads
- His word and the promises in it
- talking about what this means for us and how to be wise stewards

Friday, October 26, 2012

Five on Friday

1.  "Love your home - its physical spaces, its personal history, the relationships that define it."  Thomas Kinkade              

2.  Our book club read "Purge" by Sofia Oksana, translated from the Finnish this month.  It was an amazing historical crime fiction novel about two women in Estonia.  Full of family relationships, intrigue, and suspense, it gave me a look into life under the Communist regime.  There were so many themes to ponder and twists and turns in the plot.  And I haven't even finished reading it yet!  This is the second book we've discussed about the international sex trade - such a huge, sad and somber issue.

3.  Pinterest is full of Christmas ideas these days!  Oh, my - so much inspiration!

4.  I am so very proud of my nieces who both were at Alberta's first WE Day this week.  They are amazing women who serve their communities and inspire others in so many amazing ways.  I encourage you to watch the podcast - the energy is incredible.

5.  Photo of the week:

the top of Samuel's treehouse tree

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Lists of 2012 - #41

Listography 2012 - #41 - 10 Things I Love About My Daughter(s)

Three daughters - three lists?
Or 1 list with 30 things on it?
Or 3 lists with 3.3333 things for a total of 10?
And 1 more list for our precious daughter-in-law?
Or just make the list already?  :))

Dedicated to K, H, M and N -

1.  Our daughters walk with God and lean on Him.  What a great example for their families!

2.  They love their children with every fiber of their being and take such good care of them.

3.  They've each married a wonderful partner who loves, encourages and appreciates them.  (So thankful for those men!)

4.  Each one of them is committed to healthy eating, preparing food from scratch, using local food and preserving summer goodness for winter use.

5.  They love their cameras and use them often :)

6.  Exercise is an everyday active part of their lives, whether it's a video and an exercise mat, a bike ride, a run with the stroller or a walk after a big meal.  I'm so proud of them for taking good care of their bodies.

7.  They are volunteers in their churches and their communities.

8.  They appreciate their grandparents and our family history.

9.  They believe birthdays are very special occasions and they make them special for their families.

10.  They love the outdoors and our beautiful country and take every opportunity to hike, camp, ski, bike and explore - with their little ones in tow!

11.  Intentional spending and the wise use of money are part of their everyday.   They make good choices for their families.

12.  They are country girls who love wide open spaces, fresh air and animals.  I think each of them would love to have a pen of chickens in the backyard, a few lambs playing in the grass, a pot-belly pig to scratch and cats and dogs playing with the kids - perhaps one day!

I am so very proud of these 4 beautiful women!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Gratitude Gifts Today

#4720 - #4755

- reading books over and over with the grandchildren
- Blake singing "Jesus Loves Me"
- lights burning brightly as the nights lengthen
- 3 sets of vehicle lights shining as the combine repairs progress
- every single seed of canola - it might never have grown at all - all a gift from God (to paraphrase Ann)

- supper ready before 10 a.m.
- baking pies with Naomi and Mom
- coring apples with Blake and Maëlle
- cinnamon and sugar on top of Mom's pies (no one else makes them like this!)
- taking apple pie to the field for supper

- pictures of harvesting
- eating supper inside the van while the wind howled outside
- neighbors coming to help combine
- more and more pails of beets gathered in
- last row of carrots dug

- going to bed at 9:30 p.m.
- donuts :)
- my orange vest from Austria
- helping to setup for book fair
- marking spelling tests quickly

- delicious food at the Harvest Supper
- enjoying a movie with our Bible study group
- afternoon nap on a Saturday
- hot cup of coffee to warm my fingers
- autumn inventory in the yard

- Sunday dinner ready - on Saturday night!
- Amazing Race and amazing places
- my Gramma's pearls
- blog friendships
- text messaging

- a greenhouse to grow tomatoes in
- a dishwasher
- all the good food that He grew for us this summer
- how much abundance He has blessed us with
- singing praise hymns

Sunday, October 21, 2012


I was desperate for some cards last week so I did a little creating.  In the process of moving things around on my table, I found a photograph that just needed a layout too :)  I used the leftovers to create the cards. The card designs were inspired by the Stamp It Vol. 9 issue of Papercrafts magazine.

The photo really doesn't do this one justice (the card itself is actually turquoise cardstock the colour of the chevron washi tape) - but I mailed all three of them off before I realized this was the only picture I had taken.  The hexagons are chipboard by Pink Paislee from the Nantucket line and the #2 made it perfect for a second anniversary card!

Five on Friday

1.  Quotes I love:


via Pinterest

2.  The Harvest Supper at our church is tonight and I am definitely looking forward to sauerkraut and pork ribs as well as a piece of pie!  Of course there will be lots of other good food too.

3.  Three nights this week we had supper in the field which is an event filled with memories for me.  My Mom took many meals to the field wherever my Dad was working when we were kids and our whole married life I've done the same.   It doesn't matter what the food is - it all tastes better when it's eaten outdoors!

4.  It seems to me that the beets are multiplying overnight in our garden!  We do have 2 very, very long rows that my enthusiastic planter-husband put in and so far this fall I have dug 12 (yes, you heard it right - 12!) five gallon pails.  And I'm sure there are at least 2 more out there!  That count does not include all the bunches I pulled throughout the summer as I thinned them out and gave them away.  Do you need / want some?????

5.  Photo of the week:

(technically imperfect - 
but so many memories in each element)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Lists of 2012 - #40

Listography 2012 - #40 - Favourite Recipes

This could be a very long list!  But in the spirit of my lists this year, I'll limit it to 12 favourites.
(H) means a heritage recipe unique to our family - kind of a family secret :)
If you are interested in any of the others, let me know and I'll be happy to share.

1.  Brownies (H)

2.  Poppycock (H)

3.  Banana Oatmeal Muffins (H)

4.  Chicken Cacciatorie

5.  Raspberry Cheesecake

6.  Honey Wheat Buns (H)

7.  Swarties' Hash Browns

8.  Sauerkraut and Ribs

9.  Mom's Apple Pie

10.  Green Rice

11.  Tortilla Espanola

12.  Shortbread (H)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

World Food Day

World Food Day, celebrated around the world today, aims to focus the world's attention on hungry people and what we can do help change lives.  This amazing CBC link talks about Molly who lives in Kenya, benefits from the World Food Program*  and then shows videos that she took as part of a special project.

At the end of the video you'll be invited to take a short quiz and when you do, a donation is made to the World Food Program by an anonymous donor.  Please go and do what you can to help!

* WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. Each year, on average, it feeds more than 90 million people in more than 70 countries.

Monday, October 15, 2012


Last year, the Pioneer Woman talked about a very cute baking pan she had that made lovely little acorn shapes.  Well, I found that pan at Superstore for just $9.99 :) and it was the last one they had - score!

So today Blake, Maëlle and I made banana muffins and baked them while Meadow was at school.  They are just adorable.

The instructions give a tip for putting icing on the flat sides and then gluing them together to make a 3-
D nut shape - wouldn't that be clever?  Next time we'll try that.

Such a little addition to my kitchen but it made me - and my helpers -  very happy today!

Hello, Monday!

Hello, middle of October - suddenly this year is running away!

Hello, day with the grandchildren.

Hello, picture day at school - hopefully I can do her hair the way she wants.

Hello, three days of subbing.

Hello, apple pie-making.

Hello, Bible study group - we missed you over the summer.

Hello, harvest supper - sauerkraut and ribs, turkey and pumpkin pie - yum!

Hello, beets - how many of you are still in the garden?!  Are you still multiplying?!

Hello, sewing machine - it's time to get some Christmas gifts made.

Hello, sweaters and corduroy pants - it's much chillier these days.

Hello, new batch of sauerkraut.

Hello, Monday!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Five on Friday

Quote of the Day
“There’s always going to be bad stuff out there. But here’s the amazing thing - light trumps darkness every time. You stick a candle into the dark, but you can’t stick the dark into the light.”
Jodi Picoult (born 1966);

2.  I'm at the Rural Alberta Community Physician Attraction and Retention Conference today - how's that for a long title?!

3.  My plans to do a bit of a photo walk downtown got rained out :(  Better rain than snow, I guess.

4.  The world is full of amazing people, doing amazing things, with amazing attitudes!  I had a great reminder of that today.

5.  Photo of the week:

special Thanksgiving drawing from Meadow
(whipped up just as quick as could be when she got home from school)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Lists of 2012 - #39

Listography 2012 - #39 - Things I'm Grateful For

1.  God's love and Jesus who saved me

2.  My health - and the health of my whole family

3.  Freedom

4.  Abundance - of food, shelter, clothing - everything I need

5.  Our grandchildren and their parents (our children)

6.  My senses

7.  My parents and my siblings

8.  Education

9.  Universal health care

10.  Literacy and books

11.  Friends

12.  My camera :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Taste of Winter

No matter which window I looked out today, the view was the same!

It was snowing when I woke up and the white flakes just kept coming all day long!

By late afternoon, it let up and the golden leaves still hanging on and the snow-capped evergreens created a very pretty picture.

Tonight's forecast is for -8 C and more flurries but a reprieve is predicted for Friday.  Oh, the joys of autumn in Alberta.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Gratitude Gifts Today

#4673 - #4720

- candles burning brightly
- digging potatoes without a fork or hoe
- more tomatoes in boxes
- a few precious apples from our tree
- 50 pumpkins from our volunteer plants

zucchini, ambercup squash, spaghetti squash, 
pumpkins and onions - all from our garden

- more pails of beets and potatoes
- much needed rain
- waterslides with grandsons
- impromptu plans
- groceries for Thanksgiving weekend

- chocolate covered almonds
- a shy little one saying "it was a good day"
- late evening nachos
- 20 lbs. of big beautiful onions from our garden
- daily blog visits for inspiration and wise words

- making Soule Salsa
- a whole container full of chopped cilantro
- taking time to make and send cards
- long afternoon naps
- her "what did you make in the oven today?" as she comes in the door after school

- more pails of beets and sacks of potatoes
- grain combined, straw baled, field empty
- building puzzles together
- Maëlle's help putting clothes in the dryer
- watching them skate at the arena

- yellow leaves "raining down"
- car heater blowing warm air
- special envelopes tucked in a bag for Gramma and Grampa on Thanksgiving
- pumpkin pie with whipped cream
- watching the cousins visit together

- heritage pictures from 50+ years ago
- history books
- cream puffs
- 80th birthday parties
- fresh flowers, many fresh flowers

- rolling up cabbage rolls
- vacuumed and scrubbed floor
- making cranberry sauce
- chickens, happy as can be
- gathering around Thanksgiving tables

- digging carrots with Auntie Ruth and Mom
- visiting with nieces and nephews
- Thanksgiving display at church
- Mom's turkey stuffing
- my Dad's giant pumpkins

- that He gives us everything - everything!
- His grace new for each day, no matter what

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Five on Friday

Quote of the Day
“Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.”
Khalil Gibran (1883-1931);

2.  Only 80 days until Christmas!!

3.  We've had two nights in a row of frigid (like -6 degrees C) nighttime temperatures - summer is definitely over.  I hoped my sunflowers would make it to Thanksgiving but they are droopy and finished.   It's supposed to warm up a bit NEXT week - I really need to get the garden root vegetables pulled out and put away.

4.  I canned my first batch of sauerkraut this week!  I made this one all by myself for the first time :)  I will need to make one more batch so I have enough to share around the family.  My pantry shelves are getting very full!

5.  Photo of the week:

In Nose Creek Park

Friday, October 05, 2012

Lists of 2012 - #38

Listography 2012 - #38 - Photos I Wish I'd Taken

I only have a few regrets in my life and this week's topic reveals one of them!

1.  Newborn photos of our son and daughters

2.  Little fingers, toes, ears, smiles - the closeups of babies

3.  All the firsts - first smile, first rollover, first sitting, first crawling, first steps, first tooth - and so on.

4.  Reading together when they were little

5.  My pregnancies - I have 1 photo from 36 months total of being pregnant.

6.  More people pictures when we were on vacations (seriously - I have more pictures of elk in the mountains than of the people who were on the trip!,

7.  Pictures of our parents with our children when they were little - I have some from birthdays but didn't do it regularly.

8.  Farm pictures of Bob working, especially in the dairy barn

9.  Photos of the kids helping me in the kitchen and the garden

10.  Pictures of our vehicles through the years

11.  Photos of building our house

12.  Everyday photos of the things we ate, the games we played, the people who were in our lives.

I guess the lesson learned from this is that when you know better, you do better.  So our grandchildren are blessed - I take lots of photos of them and their parents take even more!  And each one is just a precious reminder of their days.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Gratitude Gifts Today

#4623 - #4673

- students laughing in the gym
- listening in as they share jokes with friends
- Maëlle's laugh as she watches Blake (he can entertain her like no one else!)
- more potatoes dug
- cattle grazing in the early morning autumn mist as the sun rises

- smell of autumn leaves
- empty boxes as fruit is preserved and eaten up
- mailing cards to loved ones
- time for wandering through the new Winners that opened in our community
- little treasures to tuck away for Christmas giving

- thinking about sending shoeboxes with Operation Christmas Child
- new books
- home for supper
- pansies, sunflowers and sweet peas blooming on
- bumper crop of squash and pumpkins this year

- more tomatoes
- days of subbing with good plans and wonderful students
- amazing education assistants
- safe driving
- taking the scenic route

- me in bed by 9:30 p.m. (giant surprise!)
- breakfast with grandchildren
- walking to the bus together
- seeing the community gathered at the playground at 7:45 a.m
- watching her climb aboard - all grown up and confident

- seeing her in her learning space
- sitting together on the floor while she reads about beetles
- shopping together
- finding ways to support others around the world (Tom's shoes)
- supper ready in the crockpot when we got home

- frozen fruit yogurt as a treat
- jars and jars and jars all full
- photo albums filled with memories
- reading stories together
- help to fill the shopping cart

- picking one treat
- time at the playground
- hungrily eating lunch together, all 3 of us
- watching them play together
- a walk in the park

- taking photos
- watching Heather take photos
- words of wisdom on Sunday morning
- lunch with friends
- text messages from our children

(smallest and largest of my tomatoes in the greenhouse)

- picking more tomatoes
- gradually cleaning out gardens
- sales
- His love, no matter what anyone else thinks
- feeling completely surrounded by grace and love