Thursday, February 28, 2013

Lists of 2013 - #8 - Animals I Love

Listography 2013 - #8 - Animals I Love

1.  Dogs, especially German Shepherds - we've had some of them over the years and they were wonderful companions.

2.  Elephants - their very social behaviour, curiosity and care for each other is amazing.  I am still in awe of the fact that we saw so many of them in Africa.

3.  Dolphins and whales - graceful and elusive, adding to their mystery.

4.  Birds, especially little ones like hummingbirds, colourful ones like bluejays and graceful ones like swans.

5.  Giraffes - so regal and unique in the animal kingdom.

6.  Porcupines - what was God thinking when he created these?!

7.  Mountain goats and their incredible climbing abilities.

8.  Polar bears in all their grandeur.

9.  Turtles - no one else quite like them with those shells.

10.  Pandas - another unique one.  I loved seeing them in China but in the wild would be truly amazing.

11.  Bees - fascinating workers who produce something so sweet.

12.  Penguins - how the fathers care for their babies impresses me!

13.  Big cats like cheetahs, tigers and leopards.

In My Kitchen

Inspired by the ever-amazing SouleMama

Today in my kitchen, I:

- emptied 2 jars of sauerkraut into the crockpot (only 6 jars left - I must make more next year)

- opened one jar of pear-plum salsa and one jar of tomato salsa to serve tonight

- whirled up pumpkin hummus in my food processor

- mixed together Bacon Double Cheese Burger Dip

- seperated 2 smoked fish for tasting

- stirred up Frozen Lemonade Vodka Slush 

- melted white chocolate and made Valentine Confetti

- baked and stacked a Russian Honey Cake

- left some things on the to-do list for the next gathering

- made very good use of Pinterest!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

2013 Joy Dare

#382 - #435 (a random sampling)

- having to apologize and accept an apology
- being connected wirelessly
- inspiration from the Voskamps who are serving in Haiti
- Shrove Tuesday and preparing for Lent
- marked with a cross of ashes: knowing whose I am

- gifts behind a door: warmth on a windy day, our home, smiling faces
- groceries put away and produce washed
- safety while driving on icy roads
- baking chocolate chip cookies
- clean counter tops

- gifts that help me feel the love of God: studying the words of the Bible in our small group, music and songs, the beauty of creation
- open, honest, challenging conversations
- adjusting my thinking, being open to new possibilities
- gorgeous pink, purple and gold sunset
- quiet weekend mornings

- audiobooks
- family day gathering
- delicious snacks
- warm new slippers (reminded that He walks with me)
- natural cures for a lingering cold

- memories collecting in a "Good Things in 2013" jar
- paging through a scrapbook made long ago
- chocolate fondue
- playing orphanage with Meadow and Blake
- Maƫlle's giggles as she played with Grampa

Friday, February 22, 2013

Five on Friday


Quote of the Day
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
Mark Twain (1835-1910);
[Samuel Clemens] humorist, essayist, novelist

2.  It's been such a busy week - and the one ahead looks to be about the same! Full of good stuff but non-stop from start to finish.  We are definitely not bored - but sometimes my blogging definitely takes a back seat to life.  

3.  I invested in a new phone this week.  Lots of possibilities - lots to learn!

4.  Look at this bright cheery kitchen.  I love the yellow - imagine it in orange!!  

5.  Photo of the week:

 Winter Ride

Lists of 2013 - #8 - Places I Have Lived

Listography 2013 - #8 - Places I Have Lived

My whole life has been spent in Alberta, never more than an hour from the farm where I grew up!  I love to travel but I just realized now that I've always lived close to the ones I love.

1.  My dad purchased a farm using money he had saved while working for Calgary Power, installing the power lines that were being strung through rural Alberta in the early 1950's.  The farm was just west of Millet and about 8 miles east of where he'd grown up.  The yard contained a big old two-story house and various out-buildings, including a barn and grain elevator.  When he and my mom married in 1954, they moved to this farm.  Last summer while on a garden tour, I had the opportunity to go back and see what's happened to the farm now.  The yard is so very beautiful with a waterfall and pond just off the deck of the house and a lovely garden area.  So many memories flooded through me that day!

2.  When I was 9, my parents purchased my grandparents farm, where my Dad had grown up, and we moved there in December.   This meant a change of schools for us but we knew many of the kids since we attended the same church.  Moving here meant that my Dad became a full-time farmer, leaving his stucco and plaster job that he'd juggled for 10 years.  My parents still live on this farm.

3.  My college year was spent at Camrose Lutheran College, now the Augustana campus of the University of Alberta.  It was a small liberal arts Christian college, less than an hour from home, with a student body of less than 500.  I lived in the student residence, worked in the kitchen for a few hours every week and took first year courses in home economics.

4.  The college did not grant degrees so after 1 year, I transferred to the University of Alberta and the faculty of education.  I lived with 3 friends in a two bedroom apartment just a few blocks from the campus.

5.  During the summer after my third year, we married and I moved to Bob's family farm.  We spent nearly 20 months in a tiny 2 room house that had been built for his grandfather.  It was cozy but had no laundry or shower facilities - thankfully Bob's parents lived just across the yard and shared their water with us.

6.   And that brings us to the home that we currently live in - the one that we moved into 36 years ago.  Bob and his brother logged the trees and sawed the lumber and then he built the house with his Dad.  It's served us so well and is the only home that our girls have known.   Really, Darrin too since we moved in on his first birthday.   So many memories made here!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Five on Friday

1.  Quote of the week:

2.  Bob did some more net ice fishing with a friend this week.  Lots of big, beautiful whitefish in our freezer and in the smokehouse.

3.  So very close to finally purchasing something we've been talking about for more than a year!  Just a little something but I think it will be enjoyed.

4.  I bought a scoop of Smarties at the bulk food store this week that fit right in with this month's Color Suite at Scrapbook & Cards Today.  This shouts "spring" to me!

5.  Photo of the week:

Maelle playing with her stacking Holy Family
(baby Jesus, her favourite, is safe inside!)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Lists of 2013 - #7 - Red Things I Love

Listography 2013 - #7 - Red Things I Love

1.  Strawberries

2.  Raspberries

3.  Tomatoes (in all their forms)

4.  Red tulips

5.  Red leather gloves and shoes

6.  Red cheeks on little ones

7.  Red gingham tablecloths

8. Red poppies

9.  Red cardinals and red-winged blackbirds

10.  Cherries

11.  Red glass balls on the Christmas tree

12.  Red barns

13.  My red quad (Honda Fourtrax 350) 

Thanks to Pinterest for all images.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

2013 Joy Dare



#299 - #382 ( a sampling)

- Christmas photos and their stories
- time to scrapbook and save the memories
- a shiny clean house
- friends gathered for brunch
- caramel baked French toast

-  Bob pushing the grocery cart
- discussing good food, good health choices
- 3 gifts red: vine-ripened tomatoes, hanging our paper Valentine banner, red tulips
- Sunday dinner in the oven before going to church
- 3 gifts found in writing: recipes, February Joy Dare prompts, the Bible

- visits over tea
- 3 gifts found when bent down:  leaves frozen in the ice, hair barrettes lined up in little one's golden fluff, long braids on grade one girls
- sleepovers with grandchildren
- watching them at gymnastics
- doll babies lined up in the big bed

- trekking around in the snow in the yard
- cleaning off the slide so they can fly down it
- honey vanilla tea latte' 20% off on Tuesdays
- more days of subbing
- a haircut and new colour

- early dismissal
- calling Melinda on her birthday
- floors vacuumed and washed
- creating Valentine crafts with Meadow
- pizza on naan bread

- winter skies
- guests for brunch
- quiet time to think, write and read
- more December Daily pages finished
- "Their lives would never be the same once they met Jesus - and ours will be changed forever too!"
- His light shining in all the spaces of my life

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Capture Your 365 - February, 2013

Katrina over at Capture Your 365 posts great photo prompts and amazing examples daily, with little snippets of wisdom along the way.  I made a little promise to myself about the February list :)

1.  Heartfelt sentiment
 framed in our home

2.  Shadow

the morning shadow of our house

3.  A Pop of Red

one of Maelle's babies

5.  Nap

Maelle's napping spot right beside more babies

6.  Backlit
morning smoothie ingredients

7.  Use Your Senses

what I saw when I looked out the bedroom window

8.  More Than One

at 6:45 a.m. she kept busy by bring all her babies, 
one by one to Daddy's bed 

9.  Through the Looking Glass

just me, my camera and a woven knot scarf
(using these directions posted via Ann's blog)

Friday, February 08, 2013

Five on Friday

1.  Quote:

2.  Linds posted a link to So you're feeling too fat to be photographed this week.  We women are so hard on ourselves, aren't we?  I'm trying to take her advice to heart!  Because it really is true - our family wants to see us in pictures with them!

3.  And then she posted about Learning to make things - which is an awesome article about how the education system could work better!

4.  This "Yarn Bombing" post on Flickr made me smile!  How clever some people are!

5.  Photo of the week:

 A whole bunch of creating with Meadow today

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Lists of 2013 - #6 - The Best Birthday Party Ever

Listography 2013 - #6 - The Best Birthday Party Ever

So many ways to consider this prompt!  I'm going to share a few birthday memories that are highlights for me.

4 years old
my aunt took me to a studio photographer

1.  For my 16th birthday, my parents hosted a hayride evening at our farm.  It included two church youth groups, which was wonderful since they had lots of cute guys!  One of them even became my husband many years later :)  My Dad drove the tractor around the fields and we pushed each other off, sang songs, cuddled and generally had a great time.  Right near the end I fell/got pushed off and landed in a snow-covered puddle that soaked my arm right up to the shoulder - I don't think I'll ever forget that! 

2.  My sister planned '50 Hours of Fun' for my 50th birthday - a 3 day extravanganza of quadding, games, family and food.  It was an absolute blast and I am so thankful that she did it for me.  Melinda even surprised me by coming home and at first I didn't recognize her - I totally was not expecting to see her there!

3.  The years when Easter and my birthday fall close together.  My aunt will often host a family gathering then.

4.  My 40th birthday when friends gathered at our house and even composed a special song for me. 

5.  Every single birthday party that each of our grandchildren celebrates - it's such excitement and their parents make it so very special for them.

6.  Celebrating Bob's 60th birthday with our children and their families in Fairmont - nearly a week of togetherness and fun.

7.  Traditional gatherings with friends for all the early January birthdays.  One that stands out is when we all went to a Mexican restaurant in the city many, many years ago!

8. My Dad's 70th birthday when we did family pictures and Tyler met everyone for the first time.

9.  My Mom's 75th birthday when everyone dressed in red (her favourite colour) and we surprised her at a local hotel. 

10.  The 60th birthday parties for each of my parents when our family wrote and acted out skits about their lives.  It was hilarious!!  We included everyone down to the youngest grandchild, dressed in costumes and had these awesome scripts.  What wonderful memories and photos we have from those events!

11.  Our children's first birthday parties and how Bob worked so hard with them beforehand so they could blow out that little candle.

12.  Once the staff at school  bought long johns from the local bakery and made the number 40 for me - and then some friends sang "Happy Birthday" over the school intercom!  What a surprise that was!

13.  It's really all about the people gathered together, sharing laughter and loving me.  Those 3 things make it a perfect birthday party every time!  The rest really is icing on the cake :)

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Happy Birthday, Melinda!

Today is our daughter's 33rd birthday!  It's incredible that our children are in their 30's when I think about it.  They probably don't want to be called middle-aged yet but in a few years they will be at the halfway point in life expectancy.  If they are nearing middle-age, there is no way around it - I am passing middle aged! 

Two ways to look at that - and I am choosing the better way.  The way of multiple blessings and amazing chapters and great adventures and such incredible joy that is my daily life.

Because this daughter of ours lives on the other side of the country and because it's been many years since we've actually spent her birthday together, I'm feeling a little melancholy today.  Here are a few pictures that bring back so many sweet memories of our Melinda!

 1980 with my Gramma Hetman

1983 swimming lessons

2002 Convocation at Acadia University

2004 Wedding day in Chester, NS

2005 Surprise visit home for my 50th birthday

2013 Mama to 2 sweet boys, Fredericton NB

Happy Birthday, Mel!

Monday, February 04, 2013

2013 Joy Dare



#251 - #299 (a sampling)

- chocolate covered almonds
- just a little bit of new fabric
- finding the next chapter book
- listening to a little one talk about saving his money
- little girl crawling away

- winter songs in the CD player
- a willing partner for card playing
- a tray of cookies
- subbing on a 'no busses running' day
- warm houses on cold winter nights

- a teacup and saucer and a set of pearls from my grandmothers
- afternoon nap with warm quilt and heat pack
- oil of oregano
- still 4 summer onions left
- feeding her first foods

- Bible studies
- last day of the week Fridays
- grocery shopping together
- fresh daffodils
- watching the grandkids play hockey
- little boys running hard

- snowball fights from the treehouse
- hauling wagon loads of wood with Blake and Meadow
- wagon races in the driveway
- feeling so filled with His blessings
- reminders of God giving His son for me

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Dear January

Dear January,

How in the world did you slip away so fast?

You brought fair skies, warm temperatures and dry roads one day and within 24 hours you swept in freezing wind, blowing snow and icy driving conditions.  And you repeated that more than once this month!

You brought evening card parties with friends that entailed much laughter, some misplays and delicious food.

You brought 7 days of subbing, one even on a 'no busses running' day.

You brought a weekend shared with three of the grandchildren and weekdays shared with another three.  And there were phone calls to hear the two far away ones playing, talking and having fun.  You reminded me again, many times in fact, of how very thankful I am to be a grandparent.

You brought a week of net ice fishing for Bob and smoked fish for us to enjoy.  We remarked how blessed we are to live near the lake and to eat the fresh catch provided.  The cold wasn't nearly so bad while working with friends at good, hard labour.

You brought some time to think and relax, some time to create and sew, some time to read and visit.  This time of rest for the land has been a time of rest and renewal for us too.

Thank you for giving us so very much this first month of 2013.


Saturday, February 02, 2013

Blast from the Past - A Little Trip - and Summertime Dreamin'!

We took a little quad trip out to Medicine Lake, west of Rimbey, yesterday with our friends, Audrey and Aime'. It was a grey, drizzly kind of day but only actually rained while we were driving out there. While we were on the quads, there were a couple of times we thought it was going to start raining but it just drizzled a bit and then stopped. A provincial recreation area takes up one side of the lake and there is lots of wooded

Our little group, marvelling at how industrious beavers can be! At this spot the dam they had built across the creek must have been nearly 75 feet long and 3 feet high.

When you've the leader, sometimes you get into problems that need a helping hand!

Aime' got stuck in the muskeg - maybe buried is a better way to describe it! - and needed to be winched out.

Five on Friday

Quote of the Day
“If you are working on something exciting that you really care about, you don't have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.“
Steve Jobs (1955-2011);
Co-founder Apple Inc.

2.  It's February and time for a new list of photo prompts from Katrina at Capture Your 365.  I'm challenging myself to grab every one of these 28 prompts this month.  Want to join me?  I'd love to see your shots. 

3.   Oil of oregano + Kleenex + hot pack + tea with honey and lemon = trying to get rid of this sinus cold, once and for all!

4.  I guess it's time to pull out the seed catalogue and contemplate garden plans for this year.  The tomatoes will soon need to be planted - but it seems like I just picked the last ones!  Actually we used the last of our own tomatoes this week- pretty awesome, I say!

5.  Photo of the week:

Playdough Figures
by Silas and Gramma
(more than an hour's worth of fun!)