Monday, April 30, 2007

Moments to Remember

The absolute highlight of this weekend was meeting Stacy Julian, the founding editor of Simple Scrapbooks and the genius behind Big Picture Scrapbooking. She is so funny, talks a mile a minute, cares deeply, freely shares her passions and in inspiring beyond belief! She is tall and slim and has an really infectious laugh. I loved hearing about her family and the everyday realities of her life, some of which she joyfully captures and shares in her scrapbooking. She celebrates life in all of its beauty and its heartaches. If you ever have a chance to be in the same room as she is, you MUST run (yes, I repeat RUN) to meet her!! I could have listened to her and chatted all day. After class, we visited a little longer and ended up with Esther and I inviting her to bring her family and come to Alberta for a quadding weekend! Now, wouldn't that just be a cool thing to have happen - here's hoping!!

This was the first thing I did when I met Stacy Julian! I was so thrilled and honoured to meet this woman who has inspired and validated women around the world. She genuinely wants people to live a happy, fulfilled life and to celebrate who they are.

There were so many photo ops and Stacy was so gracious! I have no idea how many of her books she autographed but it was alot.

In her "Finish Line" class we created a mini-album using 30 - 40 pictures in 90 minutes! It was crazy hectic - she even timed us in some parts!! I had my pictures sorted, cropped and put down in great time so I won a lime green Big Picture Scrapbooking USB card on a bracelet! I was so surprised and delighted, to say the least. It's going to be a constant reminder of this awesome class. I'll share my album later this week.

On Saturday evening, there was a reception for everyone who's taking the online class "Glimpses". Everyone shared (all 40+ of us), either a few ideas from their album or an idea that will go into the album eventually. It was so emotional to catch these glimpses into the lives of incredible women. The stories and feelings that were shared were just so amazing. The tissue box made several rounds of the room!! We had brownies and milk (served by Kayce, Stacy's partner) for snacks. There were lots of brownies left and Stacy was so happy that she got them!

Each person at the reception got a pair of glasses - "Catch A Glimpse" - after we'd shared our entries. I love this picture - one of my favourites from the whole event! My sister and her friend were my roommates for the weekend - we had lots of fun together and were quite the assembly line in some of the classes.

Stacy signed a tag with a little personal message that I'm going to put on the dedication and inspiration page at the front of my book.

Can you tell that I loved it?!!!!! If you are still with me, thanks for listening to the rave!!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Amazing Weekend!!

Unique opportunity
Real life thinking
Better than ever
Amazing women
New ideas, products and techniques

Synchronized stapling!
Crazy early mornings and late nights
Rewarding classes
A very full goodie bag
Pink - Cactus Pink!
Big Picture Scrapbooking with Stacy Julian
Opportunities to laugh and to cry
Only way to be - Scrap Happy
Keeping life real, one memory at a time

Oh so many cool products
Naturally supporting each other
Very amazed to get to the Finish Line
Embossing with Gel-a-tins
Number - 150 of us
Totally worth it
Only event like it
Need to go next year!

I'm home from an amazing time! There's so much to tell you about and so much to show you. I've got to let it all settle a bit and I'll share what happened over the next few days. The acrostic poem gives you a few hints! For now I'll just say it was a lifetime memory event.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Good Times

are here!!

These are some pictures that Naomi shared with us this week. Meadow is just starting to walk! She took 3 steps over to Daddy the first time and is gradually gaining confidence. I'm sure by next week she'll have it mastered.

Enjoying the spring air - all tuckered out on a long walk with Mom and Dad

She's ready and raring for summer

I'm off to a reading conference on Friday and then to the Urban Scrapbook Convention with my sister for the weekend. Stacy Julian, a magazine editor from Simple Scrapbooks will be here to share wisdom and inspiration - I am so excited to meet her! I will share all the details when I get back.

I hope you are doing something special this weekend too! Kick back, relax, and enjoy the springtime weather - see you later!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


In my effort to learn more about the capabilities of Adobe Photoshop and photo editing, I created this little piece of art! I'm just so pleased with what happened although I'm not sure how it will ever benefit any other pictures I might take. I still am woefully inept with Photoshop but I had fun. Does that count for anything?!

The original photo!

Poster feature which totally changes the look

This one has the watercolour feature applied - looking much more like a painting now.

On this one, I used the 'twirl' feature to create a sense of movement in the blossom. It reminds me of water swirling down the drain!

Happy Birthday, Dakin!

Our nephew, Dakin, turned 18 on the weekend! Wow - where has the time gone? I can remember when he was born and then all the fun our kids had playing with him over the years. He is finishing grade 12 this year (this is his grad portrait) and heading way across the country to Acadia University in Wolfville, NS to study political science. He is excited about studying new things in a new place in an environment that will stimulate and challenge him.

May you enjoy every new adventure, make amazing friendships, follow your dreams and always stay connected to your roots! You will always be in our prayers. Happy, Happy Birthday!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Images of the Farm

I went on a little mini quad tour around the farm yesterday through the mud, over stream and up the hill. Here's some of what I saw.

It's so wet in the pasture where the cows usually hang out that Bob opened the gate and let them come up into the hillside pasture. They are delighted to be on higher, drier ground. This reminds me of Western movies where you see the silhouettes of cattle.

Some of our baby calves, frolicking as their moms eat

Supper time in the field on the farm!

It was nice to cruise around and splash through the mini-lakes that are dotting our lower land.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Water, Water Everywhere

including the basement! Yeah - not so much fun!

I went downstairs to the laundry room to get my jeans to wear to school yesterday morning and when I got partway down the stairs, I realized there was water in the basement! Let me tell you - that woke me up in a hurry! I had started the washing machine the night before and even though the washer had gone through the complete cycle and turned itself off, the sensor that turns the water off when the tub is full malfunctioned. So water continued to run in the machine for about 9 hours! The floor drain couldn't take all the water so it proceeded to flood the basement. Good thing I went down in the morning (not something I do every day) or it could have run all day too. Needless to say, I had to go to work so the mess was left as it was.

By the time I got home, lots of water had drained away so there were islands and ponds pretty much throughout. I spent several hours sorting, carrying and mopping last night - most productive Friday night I've had for years (usually I collapse by the end of the week)! Today I took a half ton load of stuff, mostly wet boxes and paper, to the dump and turned the fans on downstairs. And started washing rugs and other stuff that was wet. It's pretty much under control now and it actually feels good to have some of that stuff gone. I knew it had to be dealt with but was saving the purging for a summer project. I guess summer came early to my house but you couldn't tell by looking outside. There's snow and water everywhere out there too.

Lesson learned - do not leave the washing machine running and go to bed! You never know when appliances will malfunction. Thanks for reminding me of that. Bob!

Friday, April 20, 2007


Some random goodness taken on a quad trip last fall! I sure do wish this snow would go so we could get out and do some touring. We've tried twice this month and both times the weather has been the pits! So I had to go into the archives and relive some memories.

My sister and brother - just having fun together

Love this random one of the photographer herself!

This old house provides so many interesting photo ops.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Inspiration Awaits You!

In my reading and wandering through blogland, I came upon a thread where Jen invited others to share blogs that they loved or felt inspired by. I have found some very interesting sites and good people in this world. I feel privileged to have glimpses into the hearts and souls of other women. Their blogs can be so humourous, humble, filled with gratitude, inspiring in message or activities, and just plain fun to read. I am grateful that our daughters, especially Melinda, introduced me to this phenomenon called blogging. So here are some other blogs that fascinate me - be sure to go over and say "Hi"!

From the world of scrapbooking, Ali E brings her incredible creativity and joy in everyday living. She inspires me daily, her son and husband are cool guys, and she just plain does good things.

With a unique view of the agricultural lifestyle, especially cattle and ranching, Ree will knock your socks (or cowboy boots, as she would say) off with her photography, recipes, kids and wit. She's quite the Pioneer Woman!

Morning Glory is a thinker and challenges me to consider so many different things from her blog, Seeds from My Garden. She is also a grandmother who is filled with faith, love and an encouraging heart. She takes beautiful pictures of sunsets!

Do you have any idea how many photography sites there are? Neither do I - but man, I've found a few that have incredible work. I found one where the guy had won these prestigious awards like "International Wedding Photo of the Year" - and he was from Edmonton! So cool. This woman, Audrey, does photography of kids, babies and families. I really would like to take a seminar from her - too bad she lives in Chicago. Meanwhile I live vicariously through her website - and plan poses with my granddaughters!

Lately, I've found some people who are doing incredibly kind work for people in other places. I've always liked helping kids in other places and Kelli is really involved in charitable work. She's off to Mozambique soon and then to South America in the summer. Go over and see what she's up to today.

And for the best travel pictures, pictures of granddaughters and news of my family, go visit Melinda, who is in Europe or Heather. These were the 2 that encouraged me to start a blog in the first place! Thanks, Girls - love ya!

I know, I know - it's more than 5 but I guarantee you will not be disappointed by any of them. There are many, many more that I could tell you about but I'll save more for another day.

And on a side note, I took the scenic route home through a ditch tonight. Yeah, it's been snowing most of the day and the road was covered with that slushy sleet that was starting to freeze and my car decided to try skating. It very gracefully executed a 180 degree turn but the road wasn't quite wide enough so it had to use part of the ditch too. Luckily it was just a few miles from home and Bob and pulled me out. Man, I hate winter driving, especially when it's in mid-April!

Growing Things

Somehow, even with all the cold weather and clouds we've been having, plants are actually starting to grow. The seasons come and go, life ends and life is reborn. It's pretty amazing, isn't it?

Also amazing is the fact that it's supposed to snow tonight! The white stuff is already coming down in Calgary, I hear. Could we just get some sunshine and heat happening here, please?!!!! I hope you are getting more springtime than we are.

Monday, April 16, 2007


Such a sad turn of events today in Virginia. My heart aches for the young lives lost, for families who have to face such loss and for all the people on that campus whose lives are changed forever today. Please tell me that none of you were personally affected by this. A time to remember that only God can guide us through the pain and helplessness of this and the despair that must have caused someone to do this.

Sending big hugs to each one of you today and praying that campuses everywhere might be safe and free from these acts. Remembering all of you who are students, completing this term and preparing to write exams - good luck!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Sunday Visits

One of the weekend traditions that I would love to have is visiting our granddaughter(s) if possible. Meadow lives close by so for now it's her that we get to see. She is becoming so vocal, able to grasp things and is totally interactive now. It's very funny to listen to the range of sounds that she can make - everything from grunts to growling to blowing bubbles!

Playing with treasures from Grampa's pocket - you should have seen how quick she could get that pen out!

She's quite close to walking but wants to go so fast that she loses her balance easily. Na thinks she'll go straight to running!

Trying on Grampa's glasses - but they didn't stay on very long.

A little kicking-lay-me-down game.

We went for supper to the Eco Cafe' - always yummy regional food there. I even have a couple of pieces of Chicken Pizza ready to take for my lunch tomorrow!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Sewing Seeds

I finished these 2 little skirts today and they will be on their way to Africa soon, along with more than 103 others!! A while back I posted a link to Randi's blog where she had an idea for her daughter to take skirts to an orphanage in Africa when she goes later this summer. Many generous people have sent skirts and I'm excited to see pictures of the girls when she gives them out! I can just imagine the smiles! So much good from people who don't even know each other but want to share and bring some happiness to others. These will be in Monday's mail - my seeds which have awakened a desire in me to use my sewing skills again. Maybe Meadow and Helayna would look cute in one of these!?!?

Friday, April 13, 2007

Photo Assignment

I was inspired to document a little piece of my everyday life today. Grocery shopping, circa 2007.

I put myself through university by working 2 evenings and every Saturday at Safeway. It's still where I prefer to do most of my grocery shopping. Do you think this is something my granddaughters might want to know someday? I think so - that's why I spent a little time capturing some pictures this afternoon. I wish I had some pictures and thoughts about my grandmothers' grocery shopping trips. I know they used to take the horse and wagon and drive 10 miles into the nearest village to get the basic supplies. Gramma didn't go very often, that's for sure!

So many amazing patterns and colors in the produce aisles.

I know it's non-grocery but it's still a must-stop-at place on my route.

Little bottles of goodness so neatly lined up.

My favourite frozen dessert treat!

I didn't really realize how many kinds of tea are on the shelves!

So I'm challenging you to document your grocery shopping - it says alot about who you are, you know!!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Asian Noodle Soup

I made this for supper this week and it's going to be my entry into a recipe circle journal now. (Watch out, Vicki - coming your way after it makes a stop at Jackie's!)

Asian Noodle Soup (from Anne Lindsay's New Light Cooking book)

1 tsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. minced gingerroot
3 green onions, chopped
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes (I used 2 fresh chili peppers)
1 cup thickly sliced mushrooms
3/4 cup thinly sliced carrots
2 cups chicken stock(made with Oxo powder)
2 cups water
1 Tbsp. lime or lemon juice
2 tsp. fish sauce
2 tsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. sesame oil
3/4 cup uncooked fine egg noodles
1 boneless skinless chicken breast, thinly sliced
3/4 cup trimmed snow peas
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh coriander (optional)
1 cup fresh spinach leaves

1. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat and cook garlic, ginger, onions and pepper flakes, stirring for 2 minutes.
2. Add mushrooms and carrots, cook, stirring for 5 minutes or until moisture is evaporated.
3. Add stock, water, juice, sauces and oil. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes.
4. Stir in noodles and chicken, bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 - 10 minutes, until noodles and chicken are cooked.
5. Add snow peas and spinach, cook for 2 minutes. Stir in coriander. Taste and adjust seasonings, if desired.

Serves 2. This recipe is easy to double or triple and is delicious the next day too. It's a very light and tasty soup.
Rice stick noodles or rice vermicelli may be substituted for egg noodles. Add them at the end and cook for 2 minutes. Cabbage or bok choy could be substituted for the snow peas and spinach.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Just a little late

Randi posted this challenge for yesterday and even though I'm a day late, I thought I'd still play along.

My favourite:
color - orange
food - pizza and fresh breads
holiday - Christmas
book - The Silver Chalice by Thomas Costain
singer - Josh Groban
movie - anything with Julia Roberts
vacation - anywhere! but I really love Vancouver Island
hobby - scrapbooking and photography
dessert - cheesecake
flower - tulips
fruit - berries of any kind
outdoor activity - quadding
pet - dog
TV show - ER
drink - Starbuck's Chai Latte', milk, iced tea
snack - nachos and cheese
scripture - Isaiah 40: 31
2006 memory(ies) - Meadow and Helayna's births and walking along the Great Wall of China
ice cream - pumpkin with pecans from the Marble Slab Creamery
clothes - jeans and hoodies
sounds - the voices of my kids when they phone and the cooing and laughter of our granddaughters
summer sport - golf

So, just a few random thoughts about me! What are your favourites?

Monday, April 09, 2007

Happy Birthday, Audrey!

This is my dear sister-in-law, Audrey, who is celebrating her birthday today! I think it's pretty neat that we celebrate our birthdays side by side this month. We hope you are enjoying a special day with cards, presents, and cake. May the year be filled with much happiness and many special days. ((( HUGS )))

Here's a funny story: when I went to the hospital to have one of our kids ( I think it was Heather or Melinda), Bob did the check-in part because I went straight to the labour room. When the nurse asked for my birth date, he gave Audrey's - the one he remembered instead of mine! It's a joke between us now - one of those family story memories that make all of us smile!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Amazing Race - Happy Easter!

this year was a bit different with teams having to find colored eggs at each stop. Inside was the clue for the next activity and at some stops we had to take pictures to prove we'd been there. We downloaded all the pictures and watched them on the TV instead of taking time to print them this year. It was another blast of fun and we made lots of memories together!

Our group photo after everyone got back from the Race - all 21 of us, plus Heather who stayed behind with Helayna. They will join us next year - I'm sure this is an annual event now!!

First stop - this communications tower where our egg was at the top of the big hill. That's Leo with the white hat in the background who is racing up the hill to find it - he was such a trooper and gave 110% through the snow!

Work stop #1 - at the greenhouse, bag 10 - 20 lb. bags of potatoes in the root cellar and take them to the office to be weighed. There weren't enough potatoes in the cellar so we only got 7 bags but the team after us had to clean up the rotten ones and they only got 5 bags! Other teams had to wrap the legs of plant tables with double sided tape, fill 300 pots with soil and wash some planting stuff. Each team chose an envelope which had their task in it. The owners of this place had a hoot watching us all!!

We had tons of trouble finding our egg with the clue in it at this RV dealership. Someone on our team (who shall remain nameless!) looked in the compartment twice but didn't see it!! So we were the last team away from this stop.

Checking out an airplane at the Camrose airport - not a very busy place! And after this we got lost for a good 10 minutes before it clicked and we realized we were on the wrong side of the highway - DUH! - to get our next clue at Gramma Peggy's apartment.

Work stop #2 - wash and dry 50 doors at the Habitat for Humanity "Restore", which is totally run by volunteers.

We got a clue at Dairy Queen but only had time to order one free sundae before the next team arrived and we had to hurry off or be left in the dust (or should I say the ice cream!).

At the shooting club, these modern Merry Men tried to shoot an arrow at the balloon to find the next clue. Let's just say they were less than successful and we finally had to stab the balloon instead of hitting it!

At the last stop, someone stole the bag with our eggs and the clues so the organizers had to come and rescue us and get us all back home. I think there were some disappointed kids when they opened those eggs and found only clues - no treats! We finished our day together with a potluck turkey supper at Esther and Larry's.

Good times - fun and laughter - memories - family and friends - the key ingredients for a perfect Easter celebration. Today we are resting in the marvelous news that He rose after dying for our sins and so we have peace and eternal life! Happy Easter to you!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Going . . .

on another Amazing Race! This time it's the Camrose Edition. For the second year, my family is meeting today to have a ton of fun together. We'll be divided into teams and then have a few hours to race around like crazy and follow instructions to get points and take pictures. First team back to the starting point gets a whack of extra points but they must have all the required elements completed too. It was hilarious tearing around Edmonton last year, especially going to West Edmonton Mall on the Saturday before Easter - traffic everywhere!! Instead of getting our pictures developed - to prove that we had been to all the places - this year, we are going to plug the cameras into an LCD projector and watch the slide shows after supper. Should be a blast! Here are a few pictures from last year's event.

First stop - Strathcona Farmer's Market - get your picture taken with the Hutterites!

What's at 9259 - 93 Avenue?

Last stop - team picture at CycleWorks - must be wearing helmets!

You should try this with a group of family and friends - seriously, it's the most fun we've ever had together at Easter!! Email me if you want more details and instructions.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Spring Is . . .

no where in sight this weekend!!
It's the coldest, snowiest, blowiest Easter weekend that we have had for many, many years! The temperature is just below zero but the wind has a chill factor of about -25 degrees C. and it's awful outside. Our plans for quadding blew out the window
and instead we are fighting the elements and trying to care for newborn calves. Two of them spent the night warming up in our calf hutches and this morning they went back to their mothers. Meanwhile another one is shivering so we gave him some extra milk and he'll come in to the "calf motel" tonight. Then a heifer is trying to calve but it's been a long time with no progress so Bob and Darrin are currently loading her on the trailer and she's going to the clinic where the vet will work with her. When one complication develops, it quickly can snowball into an avalanche around here!!

Thank goodness for cheery brightness on the kitchen table today!

We are eager for +9 to hit here, hopefully by mid-week, and we need a whole lot of sunshine to dry up all the snow and mud. It's hard farming in all this wetness.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Sunday, April 01, 2007

The End of a Good Thing!

Meadow had her first quad ride with Naomi and Jerry yesterday. I missed it but Na took these pictures - thanks!

Sitting with Grampa in the tractor - this reminds me of Darrin when he was little and how he would ride for hours sitting in the back window seat.

So my spring break flew by, as per usual, but I had a great time hanging out at home, with my sister, and with our kids and grandkids. I got a few tasks around home accomplished, did some creating, lots of visiting and a bit of shopping. All around good things for a week of relaxing and rejuvenating. Tomorrow it's back to reality, especially as there are less than 60 days of teaching with kids before the end of the year. Yikes!! That is going to fly by so very fast, I know. And spring seems to have headed south - it's snowing here again tonight!