Saturday, September 30, 2006

Autumn Surprises

Serious find last night when I went shopping!!! I've never been to Home Sense but my sister said to check it out because it's all home decor but kind of like Winners is for clothes. Well, I had an awesome hour and a half in that place! I checked out every aisle and every display, some more than once. And these are a few of the treasures that I came home with. Can you tell that I'm an autumn girl?! The mugs are going to be gifts (the polka dot one has a tiny china pumpkin sitting in the bottom of it - too cute - glad I'm not going to be keeping it clean though), the small prep bowls come with a small whisk that has a striped china handle, the mini bundt pans are so I can try making that pumpkin cake next week, and the jack-o-lanterns are cutouts on a tin luminary (shaped like a triangle with a spot for a candle in the middle, about 18" high). The autumn tablecloth was less than half price - the prices here are so affordable. And then there were the gifts I bought but they shall remain a surprise! The cashier said the Christmas stuff is going out on Sunday - I can only imagine what it will be like! Definitely a "must-visit-again" store!

Friday, September 29, 2006

This Week at School

Busy but fun - that describes this week at school!!

Today was our day to do the Terry Fox Run so at 10 this morning, all our students and the junior and senior high students set out on the walk through town. The traffic stops at the highway to let groups through and lots of people come out to wave and walk with us. It's been a great community event for many, many years. My class raised more than $400! Community spirit is alive and well in our town! At the finish, the elementary kids got juice and a snack - and had lots of fun playing in the leaves!!!

The weather has been so gorgeous all week that we just had to go outside as often as possible. Art this week was going out to observe and then sketch trees. It was fun to see the observation skills and interpretations of trees that developed. At the end of class, I showed them how to do leaf rubbings. "It's just like opening a present - you don't know how it will look for sure!" they said. I think this little trick is one that you remember for your whole life. I love introducing them to small wonders!!

And now it's the weekend - time to go discover some wonders in nature myself!!!!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Way Back When!

We had some sad, sad news today that a friend of Darrin's from highschool died last night. And it just made me realize how blessed I am with health, family, energy, causes, creativity and a world full of beauty. I know it isn't that way for everyone and that it might not always be so for me but for now I want to be thankful and savour the moments of a life well lived.

And then I found this old photo from the fall of 1982 and our potato digging day together and I remembered how much I love our children! The 2 on the right hand side are mothers now - wow!!!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Photography Tuesday

In the October issue of Scrapbooks, Etc. the Snapshot Savvy column by Daniela Berkhout talks about taking great landscape shots. Here's my take using Wizard Lake in the late afternoon as my subject.

The horizon is in the top third of this picture (high horizon) and your eye is drawn to the water.

In this one the horizon is in the bottom third of the picture (low horizon) and your eye is drawn to the sky. Cool stuff, I think! So, grab your camera and go out to experiment especially with all the beautiful colors of autumn out there. Let me see what you do, please!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Autumn Colors

The drive to school was just beautiful this morning! The early morning sun was shining on the leaves, which have erupted in gorgeous colors over the weekend. Maybe the fact that we got a new windshield in the car on Friday helped!! On my way home I went a different way through the countryside and over to Wizard Lake, just to check out the scenery. It was even better than I had hoped! Here are a few shots from my hour long walk through the park. I had fun naming them!

"Yellow Leaves Over A Rock" (sounds Japanese, doesn't it?!). I love how there's just a glimpse of red way in the background.

"Red Leaves and White Berries" - these were the most amazing leaves with their red centers and gold edges. I love the contrast of the white berries - I think these are dogwood bushes.

"Golden Trees Beyond the Playground" - big trees, pure gold, towering over this most amazing play structure. I am so taking Meadow here next fall to do a photo shoot!! (By the way, my photos are just like this - no cropping or enhanching.)

Ah, glorious autumn!!!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Happy Birthday, Mom!

80 years young!! We had a little gathering today for Bob's mom's birthday. What a special woman she is! Rich in the gifts of humility, peace, servanthood, music and love, she has enriched our lives every day. I am blessed to have a mother-in-law that has accepted me as one of her own, supported my decisions, encouraged us, never interfered, cared for our children, and shared the bounty of her kitchen, her garden and her sewing. Happy, Happy Birthday, Mom!

I hope that I can be the kind of woman she is when I am 80!

Friday, September 22, 2006

10 Things

to be grateful for today - lifted from another blog today but I can't remember where I read it! My apologies to the originator.

1. Days set aside at school for professional development with the challenge of new discoveries, thoughts and effort.

2. Sincere, dedicated thought put into developing our school's mission and vision statements and colleagues who trust and contribute.

3. Beautiful pink roses made into a corsage.

4. Hot buttered popcorn.

5. Our dog hurrying to meet me when I come home at the end of the day.

6. Comfy rocking chairs.

7. Phone calls from Melinda and Tyler as they leave in the morning for Poland.

8. Sunshine!!!!

9. Being empowered by school admin.

10. Potluck breakfasts!!!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Photography Tuesday (or Thursday!)

This week I've been thinking about the messages/information/tales of our life that we leave behind for others. Then I found these pictures of some little shops in the Stanley Market in Hong Kong and I thought of an interesting assignment.

Have you recorded your favorite places to shop? Where do you buy your groceries - your clothes - your scrapbooking supplies - your vehicles?

Just think of the messages your children will glean from these photos many years down the road. What a wealth of information will be gained from a few simple pictures taken today!!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Sixty Years Ago

More than 60 years ago, Bob's parents posed for this picture after they were engaged. This weekend we are celebrating my mother-in-law's 80th birthday. So I've put together a few
Layouts and this is one of my favorites. Patterned paper is from last November's kit from S! made by 7 Gypsies, Prima flowers, MM sequins and Harlequin font. Tomorrow I'm going to visit her and find out the answers to some questions about her life, whicn will be a major focus in the book. I want her to truly tell her story, even if I have to work on the album for a long time yet.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Fall Food

This magazine totally caught my eye yesterday at the drugstore! I love that cake!!! It's made in 2 bundt pans and then glued together with frosting. The stem and leaves are colored marzipan. I just might have to try creating this for some big gathering, as it will definitely serve a crowd.

I haven't been buying many magazines (other than scrapbooking ones) lately but the gorgeous fall colors on the covers are calling my name these days. There's lots of inspiration inside between the articles, the ads and the gorgeous pictures.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Right in Fashion!

We had supper at Naomi and Jerry's last night and Meadow was dressed in the most adorable outfit - light brown cords, a striped brown and pink shirt and little pink boots! She looked so sweet!!

The boots were a gift from Kelsey and Darrin and they fit her perfectly now. They have a brown fuzzy lining. I want a pair too!!

This little one has a closet nearly filled with sweet clothes. Naomi says every time they go to church they come home with another gift from someone! Everyone has been most generous with their wishes, prayers and presents for our precious Meadow. It just warms my heart to know that she is surrounded by all these people who care - and that is something that makes my heart glad today!

Happy 50th

Birthday to Play-Doh! Created 50 years ago for a little sister, it was only white at first. Do you remember playing with this when you were little? I have a great recipe for the homemade stuff that our kids loved when they were small. I should make some for the classroom to use on rainy day recesses.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

A Visitor

This little guy was in our garage today, trying to navigate his way out. We think it was a young hawk but we've never seen one this close before. I think his feathers are so beautiful!

I'm working on a scrapbook project for Bob's mom's 80th birthday next weekend. I got 8 pages done today, using Making Memories Boho Chic line of products. So easy to create when the color choices are already there. I really want her to journal her life's story in this book so I'm keeping it simple and focussing on the very oldest photographs. It won't be totally finished next week - my goal is to have the story recorded by Christmas.

And the rain continues ------

Saturday, September 16, 2006

This Week at School

It was rainy for the last 2 days of this week so the kids were confined indoors during recess time. I love watching how they can entertain themselves with just a few game pieces or building blocks. They really do love to do stuff together, especially if it means they can visit!!

Have you ever noticed that the old games of Snakes and Ladders, Old Maid or dominoes are completely new to lots of kids?! Sometimes I want to tell families to step away from the TV!! There's a whole other world out there that you could be enjoying together.

Next week we are into serious working times in math and reading. It's been fun getting to know everyone and I have more diversity in levels than ever before but we'll have fun learning together. Today after school we set up the Mission Impossible obstacle course for phys ed classes for the next few weeks. I know the kids will be excited to see it on Monday!!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Photography Tuesday

Have you ever gone on a fabulous vacation and then sort of forgotten about how special it was until you look back at your pictures? Exactly 2 months ago, we were in Hong Kong - it seems like a lifetime ago!!!

King's Bananas - only about 6 inches long - they were grown in China for the king - no one else was allowed to buy these little guys.

Lychee nuts - stripped from their bunch of hanging branches - you peel off the tough fibrous outer layer to get to the grapelike fruit underneath. The white one is half peeled. There's a seed in the middle, about the size of a plum pit.

Both of these were in the Stanley Street Market fruit stall in Hong Kong.

What about the fruits you eat and enjoy? Take some pictures today!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Then and Now

The inspiration for this layout came from some other work, that I saw (but can't remember where?) this summer, featuring old photographs. The little square picture is 50 years old - can you believe that??!! My brother was just a few months old there and he turned 50 in June. I really wanted to create a page based on the theme of then and now so in August I managed to get another picture taken with the 2 of us and I was set. The papers are out of the August kit from S! and the title is handcut. There is a tag (with Maya Road ribbon on it) under the big picture explaining the significance of the page and some things I admire about my brother, Del. I machine stitched around each flower for added texture. I am so happy that I created this!!

How Many is TOO Many?

We went to Naomi and Jerry's for supper last night and while we were there we just had to take a few pictures of Meadow! She was busy smiling at Grampa and was in such a good mood that we just kept snapping away. When I went to download the pictures today, there were more than 130 pictures of her!!!!! Granted, we had the camera on continuous shoot for awhile so you can see her smile progress right across her face in the course of about 6 pictures. I'm going to have to do some serious editting! But for now , here are some of my favorites.

I love this one of her and Mommy!! Aren't they a beautiful pair?!

Jerry does this horsey ride thing with her that is just too cute! She sits on his knee and he bounces her around while doing this hilarious rodeo radio announcer routine.

"Now entering the ring on her pony Sunny is Meadow Drebert, the youngest competitor at this year's Stampede. Grampa Bob brought her down in the trailer today. She has her pony stabled at his place you know. Now her first lap is just a warmup but ladies and gentlemen she is looking mighty fine tonight. Give a little wave to Mommy as you go by there. And now we're off and running in tonight's barrel racing. Here she goes around the first barrel (as Meadow leans way to one side on his knee) and now she's rounding the second barrel(as she leans the other way). Oh, that was a close one. And she's coming down hard to the final barrel and she's around. Now bring that pony home, Meadow! There she is with a time of 16.7 seconds. Not her best ride of the year but a pretty good time nevertheless for such a young rider. Yes sirree, she'll be back again real soon. We'll be watching for this rider at the next Buck Lake Stampede. Give a wave to Mommy and let's hear a round of applause for Meadow!!!"

We were all in stitches laughing so hard and Meadow was loving it! If he stops, she starts fussing until he finishes!

She had a very good cuddle with Grampa when she first woke up. He hadn't seen her for more than a week so he got lots of time with her, especially at first when she was so happy. Those sweet baby smiles can sure lighten the cares of the world!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Check this out!

I found this blog yesterday -
and it was like a gift! She has such words of wisdom and encouragement - they went straight to my heart. You should rush over and check it out.

One of the things she suggested really struck me. It was the idea of just sitting down and journalling for 5 minutes every day. Write about a picture, an experience, an event - something that draws you in at that time. I think my blog is a little like that. I sit down to write and my thoughts are focussed. What is on my mind - what do I want to share - what has inspired me - what might I want to remember about this day?

The second thing was her entry about gladness. So for today, here are 5 things that make me glad.

1. Autumn and the sounds, sights and smells that go with it, especially the harvest sunsets when the air is laden with dust from combines toiling through the evening.

2. Days when there are no demands on your time or energy. .We had one of those "do whatever you want" days yesterday - relaxing and rejuvenating in a big way.

3. Fresh, crisp apples picked right off the tree, our tree, in the garden.

4. Researchers who have ideas, time and energy to explore issues and suggest new ways of thinking and doing things, especially in education. I am constantly challenged and committed to make my teaching better for my students.

5. My health and energy - how blessed I am and yet I take it for granted. Thank you, Lord!

What makes you glad today?

Saturday, September 09, 2006

This Week at School

We made it through the first week - both the students and I!! My class has 21 students this year, 9 girls and 12 boys. They are happy to be back with their friends, as evidenced by the amount of visiting they like to do! The weather has been hot so by the middle of the afternoon, everyone's tired but we have perservered and are moving along. The best part of the day, according to them, is recess of course (wasn't that how it was when you went to school too!). We have 4 new students in our class and I think it's going to be alot of fun in grade 3 this year. I definitely have some planning and homework to do this weekend.

There are about 25 new students in the school and yesterday we added another half time kindergarten class which meant moving all the art and science supplies out of the one empty classroom we had and setting that up for kindergarten. I'm glad I'm not that teacher - she's got a busy weekend ahead of her!

Meadow and Naomi came to visit me one day after school which was wonderful! Everyone on staff got to meet her and ooh and aah! I hope she'll come again soon so the kids can meet her!!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Good Eating

This is a wonderful new salad that I had for supper last night, courtesy of the food columnist on CBC radio. She was talking about using apples and gave this simple recipe for Tuna Waldorf Salad. I'll be making it often during the winter. It's delicious - hope you try it!!

Tuna Waldorf Salad
1 large apple, coarsely chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
1/2 can flaked tuna
2 tablespoons coleslaw dressing
Combine all ingredients and mix lightly. Serves 1.

Photography Tuesday

At the birthday party on Saturday night, I captured this rather cool still life shot. It was dark in the party tent and the centerpieces of candles, flowers and table decorations caught my eye. I love the effect created by the candle light on water in the vase and the side of the wine bottle.

Your challenge this week is to watch carefully to see what night lights surround you and preserve some of them. Have fun!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Thought for the Day

"Whenever I try to recall that long-ago first day of school only one memory shines through: My father held my hand." Marcelen Cox, writer

Monday, September 04, 2006

Happy Birthday, Kim!

Our good friend, Kim, celebrated her birthday on the weekend, with a lovely surprise party planned for her by her children! The food and wine were delicious, the chocolate raspberry cake was to die for, the company was lively and it was a great party for an amazing woman. May you enjoy life each day, especially as you become a grandmother in the next couple of weeks!

Another special event for us this weekend was the opportunity to meet Kelsey's (our son's girlfriend) family and have a barbecue at their home. We knew they would be a special family to have such a beautiful and lively daughter - and we were 100% right! Gracious hosts, their family shared humour and offered friendship to us. Thank you so very much - we were delighted to spend the evening with all of you! And - you should see the view from their house!!! At the top of a hill, the house faces west and looks into a beautiful valley with rolling hills, lots of trees and the Rocky Mountains in the distance. It was a stunning view - and the sunset was so colorful. They definitely have a glimpse of heaven out there! Alas, I didn't have the camera out - didn't want to be too crazy on the first visit! Next time!!

Saturday, September 02, 2006


My two dear friends, Audrey and DonaMae, were honored yesterday for teaching for 25 years with our school division!! Congratulations to both of you (I know you are lurking here!)!!! You have both been the best friends a person could ever want with your listening ears, warm hospitality, great advice, funny stories, wonderful families, willingness to hang out and do stuff, and mentoring of me. I feel blessed to know you and to share life, even when we don't see each other or talk for long periods. You have made a difference in the lives of my children and hundreds of others so thank you, thank you, thank you!! And for goodness sake, enjoy the long weekend!

And sad to say - I only have a very few pictures of the 3 of us and I can't even find one of them this morning. So I will search them out and post as soon as I find it. Sorry!

We are off to Calgary for a birthday party, barbecue, and some R & R this weekend. Hope you have a great last weekend of summer - be safe - and take lots of pictures!!!!!!!

Friday, September 01, 2006

The Look!

Here they are! The brand new glasses - that cost an arm and a leg!! But I picked them up today so they qualify for the health spending account that supplements my benefit plan - which basically means I pay 1/3 of the full amount. Thank you for my job!!

So - what do you think???? The camera decided to do the soft focus thing - not sure about that.

Bottom line is - I can see better, especially for reading - yeah!!!