Monday, December 30, 2013

Thoughts As The Year Ends

Story is built into every single one of us. Your story matters, because it’s part of God’s story down through history, not because you punctuated everything correctly.  
Jennifer Dukes Lee

I've been missing from this blog lately but God's still working in me and my story continues to unfold.  It's amazing how He works, in ways mysterious and far more wonderful than I can ever imagine.  It's amazing the blessings He pours into my days.  And His plan for my life is simply amazing, even though I don't yet know what that whole plan will be.  I know that He holds 2014 and me in His hands, safe and secure and stunning in all His glory!
And what was marvellous about 2013?  
1.  Our beautiful grandchildren continued to grow and thrive.
2.  The growing season was long and produced bounty in fields and gardens.
3.  I was blessed with days of substitute teaching and professional growth.
4.  We shared evenings, games and conversation with many good friends.
5.  Creating with paper and fabric continued to make me happy.
6.  My kitchen was a happy place whether baking, canning or preserving good food.
7.  God protected and kept us safe while farming, working and driving.
8.  A new challenge of teaching confirmation class has the Holy Spirit working in my life in so many wonderful ways.
9.  Many good books were read and contemplated.
10.  My iPhone became my camera of choice and recorded many beautiful moments and precious memories.
(First set of photos taken on my iPhone)
I am looking forward to a new year, resting in His promises - I hope you are too!!

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Dear October

Dear October -

So much was accomplished as your 31 days flew by!

Most of our activity this month centered on the farm and garden:
- harvest was completed with some long days, surprisingly few repairs and lots of grain in the bins.
- - so much grain, in fact, that we had to use bins at 3 additional locations - a first for us.
- Meadow, Blake and Maƫlle had a ride in the combine with Grampa Bob and a pizza picnic in the van.
- bags and bags and bags of potatoes were dug, as we harvested some experiments.
- the last group of chickens were butchered and put in freezers.  I miss them!
- the last of the greenhouse tomatoes were picked.
- 2 rows of carrots and 1 of parsnips remain buried in the garden.
- 110 lbs. of cabbage from the garden was sliced and made into sauerkraut.




As well, you brought these highlights:
- my church confirmation class spent a morning working at the local food bank and attended 2 district youth events.
- I did 7 days of subbing.
- I spent 6 days and had 1 sleepover with grandkids.
- Helayna, Silas, Heather and Jonathan helped with garden harvesting one Saturday and Bob's parents came to help twice.  (So thankful for all of that help!)
- my book club read Barbara Kingsolver's novel "Flight Behavior" but I missed the discussion night.
- Helayna celebrated her 7th birthday.
- I sewed a Little House In The Prairie dress for a Halloween costume.
- we enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner with our son-in-law's family.
- we took one Sunday drive, circling through the Brazeau Dam area, to enjoy the coloured leaves and the season.

Thanks for a month of blessings, busy-ness and safety!

Love,
Crystal

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

10 Things Right Now

Ali Edwards almost always inspires me - so here's my take on a prompt she used this week.

10 Things in my life right now:

1.  I have many tomatoes sitting in boxes, waiting to be made into salsa and spaghetti sauce.  Not sure when that's going to happen!

2.  There are still potatoes to dig.  Bob's exuberance in planting this spring is not matched by his availability for digging this fall!

3.  Squash has made its appearance in cookies, pies, soups, and pasta sauces this fall - all good ways to use this prolific vegetable.  The colour it adds to food is positively beautiful!



4.  I am so enjoying my confirmation class students at church.  They are curious, cooperative, eager and fun to be around.  I am amazed at how God is working with us each week - it's amazing what He does with all of us when we open ourselves up to Him.

5.  Winter could stay away until December 20th for my part.

6.  I love when our granddaughters come to visit and head straight to my scrapbook room to create.  Their creations hang on our fridge until they are replaced on the next visit.

7.  This Caramel Apple Upside-Down Cornmeal Cake is on my must-bake list this week.


8.  My niece reminded me this week that Christmas is 2 months away and then someone said that was 9 more Fridays - and I felt panicked!

9.  Our chickens are gone and I miss them.  I wish winter wasn't so cold and long so that we could keep some laying hens around.

10.  We are thinking about a trip to the East Coast to visit a certain special family in the not too distant future.  

11.  Just because -
I miss blogging.  I need to do something to change that!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Thanksgiving Thoughts


It's a gorgeous autumn weekend here with beautiful leaves, crisp temperatures and golden sunshine.  It seems like the right time to record some thoughts and share them again.  

1.  As we gather in our harvest from garden and field, this set of harvest photographs reminds me that there are so many farmers around the world who have also been blessed with abundant crops.  

2.  I'm going with my class of confirmation students from our church to spend a few hours working at our local food bank next week.  This is a first for all of us and I'm happy that we are spreading our wings a bit.  We are also taking along produce from our community.  



3.  These days of coloured leaves and beautiful sunlight are good for the soul!

4.  This week I baked pumpkin muffins and pumpkin cookies, and then we had pumpkin French toast for breakfast.  Another day there were baked apples and applesauce.  Ah, the flavours of autumn!  Apple pie baking is still on my radar but I have too many other projects going on right now.  



5.  The ever-amazing Kelle Hampton at Enjoying the Small Things wrote this wonderful letter, "Dear Daughters, Be You" .  I love the message for my daughters and my granddaughters.  

Happy Thanksgiving!  May you live a life of thanksliving for all He's given us!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Five on Friday

1.
Quote of the Day
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
African Proverb -

2.  We have had 2 weeks of glorious summer weather, even though it's September!  It's the warmest September ever says the weatherman.  It's been great for wearing summer clothes and for growing things.

3.  My cucumbers are in overdrive, producing nearly 20 lbs. every few days!  I have never had this many and I've even tried a couple of new recipes.

4.  Ali Edwards is doing her famous A Week In My Life project and after doing it last year, I had to join her.  I've taken lots of photos recording what's happening for us this week.  I even got some printed and into an album already - so happy about that!!

5.  Photo of the week:


Little helper doing dishes for me

Friday, August 30, 2013

Five on Friday

1.
Quote of the Day
“The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.”
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900);
novelist, playwright

2.  Last week I bought corn at the Farmer's Market (ours needs a few more weeks to grow) and I wanted to grill it on the BBQ.  This post at Our Best Bites outlined 3 awesome methods, including one that did not require soaking.  I've done it twice now and it's. absolutely. the. best. way. to. do. corn!  Try it - I guarantee you'll love it :)

3.  The garden is still going strong with peas, beans, beets, carrots, cucumbers and cabbage all ready. I think the only thing we are still waiting on is the corn and it's coming!

4.  This morning I picked a small yellow squash, which was delicious steamed and served with butter and a hint of maple syrup for lunch.   The good news is there are lots on the plants.

5.  Photo of the week:


Roasting Marshmallows
(and really interested in how the stick was cut!)

Friday, August 16, 2013

Five on Friday

1.

Quote of the Week
Laughter is the fireworks of the soul.
~Josh Billings

2.  You. must. read. this!  Kelle Hampton writes about her beautiful daughter, Nella.  So, so precious - make sure you watch the video too.

3.  The weather for most of July and the first 10 days of August was cool, with highs in the mid-20s.  We had periodic showers and things grew slowly and steadily.  This week the temperatures have gone up - and everything is growing like crazy again!  The chickweed is taking over my garden.  So now I have weeding to do, right when everything is ready to pick and preserve.  My days do not have enough hours in them!

4.  I shredded the first big zucchini of the year and made muffins and chocolate cake today.  It. was. delicious!!

5.  Photo of the week:


Fun with Grampa
At the Playgroundgrand

Pantry Inventory


Peaches from last year's trip to BC

There are only a few full jars on my shelves:
2 salsa
1plum
2 peaches
2 apricot
12 pears
 (over-estimated on that one)
3 sauerkraut
8 relish
0 beet relish
(that was a hit!)
2 raspberry jam

Definitely time to plan another trip 
and work hard to restock!