Friday, June 29, 2007

Happy Birthday, Esther!

It's my sister Esther's birthday today. She is such an amazing woman with a heart for helping others. She is an event coordinator extraordinaire, coming up with THE most unique, fun activities ever! She's the one who got me hooked on scrapbooking and she continues to inspire me with her photography and creativity. We love to quad with their family too. I definitely am blessed to have such a wonderful sister and friend!

She loves to be outside no matter what the season is and always challenges me to be more active. Thanks, Sis - I know it's good for me!

She is so good at cuddling babies! This time it was Helayna.

She takes awesome care of our parents, helping them with medical stuff, shopping and yard stuff. Thanks, Sis!

We hope you are having an awesome time camping this weekend! May you enjoy a year filled with beauty, peace and tranquil moments. Love ya!

The Classroom

"The classroom should be an entrance into the world, not an escape from it." John Ciardi

I hope that has been true for the students I've taught over the years. This quote has been like a guiding principle for me as a teacher. I strived to link our learning to their lives and to what they would experience when they went home. I wanted them to connect to things they had seen and also to things they had never heard of before. And then I wanted them to yearn to know more about the people, places and things that were out there just waiting to be explored. I think I did that!

And so today I go back to finish the paperwork (there's quite a mountain of it!) and dismantle the corner of the room that was my 'office'. There's a closet full of binders, books and other stuff, a desk with 4 drawers to empty, and a bookshelf that's about half full of teacher resources. Oh, yeah - and the filing cabinet! 4 drawers of paper - that could take a while! The paper recycling will need to be emptied a few times, I'm sure!! I was there until 10 p.m. last night and sorted all of my children's story books. I knew I had many but not that many!! I'll show you how many tomorrow, okay?!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Quote of the Day

"A great teacher never strives to explain his vision - he simply invites you to stand beside him and see for yourself." Reverend E. Inman

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Happy Birthday, Jerry!

This guy celebrated his birthday yesterday! Jerry has had an amazing time since this picture was taken, just 4 days after his birthday last year. We're wishing him everything that is good today.

Doing what Dads do best - carrying little ones on their big strong shoulders!

Four years ago, the day he married our daughter! We are blessed to have him as one of our son-in-laws. He is a man of God who guides and supports his family every day. He is a dad who wants all that is right and good for his daughter and he is a partner with Naomi in marriage and in parenting.

May all your days be happy ones and may there be plenty of good catches on your line in the year ahead!!

Happy Birthday, Del!

It was my brother, Del's birthday yesterday and I wanted you to get a glimpse of who he is. He's done many interesting things but he's always been a farmer and today he has an elk herd and beef cows. He is quite the story teller, remembering detail upon detail, and loves to tease his nieces and nephews (and sisters too!).

Taken in 1962, he's the one on the left, sitting on the front steps with our younger sister and brother.

Del and Marcia(his sweet and very talented wife) with our parents

Del is the great adventurer - hunting, guiding, or quadding. He has a wealth of knowledge about the outdoors and I'm amazed at how he knows where we've been. He doesn't get stuck too often but when he does, it's something to take a picture of!!!

We're wishing you a very happy birthday and adventures galore, with safe travels, in the days ahead!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

It's Official

I've finished report cards for this year - and for next year too! I've decided to take a leave of absence from my teaching position for next year so I won't be doing any report cards, or other school stuff for that matter. It was a long and thoughtful decision process but now that I've decided, I am looking forward to doing many other interesting things. We have planned a trip to Poland with Mel's Nova Scotia parents, Edward and Linda, to visit Melinda and Tyler in September. We'll come home in time to celebrate our niece's wedding and then Helayna's birthday. There are a few other travel opportunities we would like to take in and of course spending time with our 2 granddaughters is a huge part of what we want to do as well. I will definitely miss my friends, who are more than colleagues, and the professional life that I have at school but I really feel like it's time to step back and consider what I want to be doing with my energy and time every day. So, I have one week of school left and then some packing and giving away of stuff before I begin this new chapter in my life journey! I think it's going to be quite a ride :))

Saturday, June 23, 2007


Meadow and I hung out together last night while Na and Jerry went out to a retirement party. We had a wonderful time playing, reading, playing, eating, playing, folding laundry, playing - well, you get the idea!

She's behind the wheel already! The neighbor's little girl left this car at Na and Jerry's and Meadow is in love with it. She sat in it and I pushed her around and around on the deck for a very long time. She was spinning the steering wheel and opening and closing the door just like a pro. It was a ton of fun to hang out with her!

Meadow had so much fun later on when we went to the school playground too. We did a little swinging, played in the rocks(for a long time), and tried out the slides. She was mesmerized when 3 older kids came over to chat and play. Her little eyes didn't know which way to look - she was so busy taking it all in!

And so far today, I've done 5 loads of laundry, organized some recycling, filled the propane bottle (and found out they sell soft ice cream at the local country convenience store!), took the garbage to the landfill, and made 4 cards. Oh, and done some report cards, which is supposed to be my main focus this weekend!!

And Helayna and Heather are going to be here for a visit next week - yeah!!! I'm looking forward to that, hence the push on getting report cards done this weekend. Back to the grind - catch you later, when they are all done!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Celebrating Summer

On this, the longest day of the year, I've created this list of things I'm looking forward to this summer:

- Meadow's birthday

- a Red and White picnic on Canada Day to celebrate Heather's birthday

- some weekend quadding trips

- veggies from the garden

- swinging on the patio

- using the barbecue

- having Mel home for a visit

- a Josh Groban concert

- new swings for the granddaughters

- spending some time with my sister

- a bridal shower

- Kirsten and Peter's wedding

- going to the pool or lake with our grandbabies

- fresh raspberries and cream

- painting my studio

- Dad's 75th birthday

- scrapbooking, especially with my girls

- picking strawberries

- going to BC for fresh fruit

- corn on the cob

- visiting the Farmer's Market

- purging my closets

- defrosting the deep freeze

- enjoying the potted herbs

- warm evenings on the patio with the scents of my flowers

- new potatoes with cream and dill

- reading

- not worrying about school starting again (more on that to come!)

Aby over at Creative Organizing inspired me on this list. I'd love to see yours!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


"That's Aroma" was our destination last night when we went out for supper to celebrate Naomi's birthday. This restaurant offers a menu chock full of garlic and it's a favourite eatery of Na's. I'm not such a big fan of garlic but I must admit that the Tarragon Shrimp with Roasted Potatoes was very delicious, as was the roasted garlic and foccacia bread that we had to start. Eating out with 5 little people (Jerry's nieces and nephews) made for a busy, busy time but they were all very good diners.

The birthday girl got to wear this lovely garlic headpiece when she received her complimentary berry cheesecake! (Kind of reminds me of those hats they make for the bride at a shower.)

Naomi and her nephew, Caiden, were studying the kids birthday cake cookbook that she got.

This is Meadow's other gramma, Judy. She has 3 grandsons and 2 granddaughters.

Meadow was fascinated with the garland. She was so surprised when she saw Na wearing it on her head!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Happy Birthday, Naomi!

It's our beautiful daughter, Naomi's, 26th birthday today! It seems just a short time ago that we were busy making silage, I cooked supper for the men (and 3 little ones) and then we went to the hospital and she was born. How time has flown by! This youngest child of ours is a woman of conviction and purpose whose heart is full of love for God. She loves to cook, work in her garden, entertain, read and go fishing. She has always loved the water and swimming(and Meadow is just like her in that way). Happy, Happy Birthday, Na - may your day be full of kisses, birthday cake and lots of laughter shared with those you love. We are so proud of you and pray that God will always bless you. XOXOX

Her first triathalon in Manitoba two summers ago. She was at the top of her class, which would be exactly where she strives to be in any athletics that she undertakes.

Just a little more than a year ago, with her husband, before their lives changed so dramatically!

Almost one year ago our daughter became a mom herself. It's so beautiful to see her caring for her precious little one.

This year of maternity leave has thoroughly been enjoyed by these two. Just a few more weeks and then Naomi will go back to her job in intensive care at the hospital.

Naomi is such an awesome Mom - striving to be the kind of mother that God would want her to be. She is committed to walk with God and be an example for her family. This was taken at Meadow's baptism in October.

As a family, these guys are always on the go whether it's swimming, fishing, riding around or playing at the gym. I love how they are encouraging an active lifestyle for themselves and their family.

Meadow sure does love her mom! She reaches for her and gets so excited when she sees Naomi.

Heather took this picture one day when they met halfway between their homes to visit and hang out with the little girls.

All my pictures of her as a little girl are on the other computer so I will post those another time. I'll share some of her wedding pictures then too.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day!

It's hard to explain the special place that my Dad holds in my heart and in my life but I really want to honour him today. I just called to talk to him but he's out checking cattle and looking at the crops, which is a typical evening for him. He's always been a farmer and I was blessed to grow up on the farm, where strong family values, Christian life and community service where modeled by my parents. My dad is a quiet man, with a heart of caring and sharing for others. He loves the land, animals(especially the farm dogs and cats), the seasons, anything that grows and being outdoors. Serving at church, as a 4-H leader, on the Camp board and in various other organizations has always been part of his commitment to others. His grandchildren bring a smile to his face and he loves to do things with them, from buying their bicycles to attending graduation ceremonies. I am blessed to call him my dad and I pray that he will continue to be a dynamic part of our lives. Happy Dad's Day!!

And the second set of wishes goes to my father-in-law, Bob's dad. He is a man of awesome woodworking skills and has built many houses, churches and other buildings in our community. He helped Bob build our house and crafted our cupboards and desks. Last year he built cribs for Meadow and Helayna and he's always game to create anything that anyone in the family asks for. He's well known in the community for his beautiful work and for the community service that has spanned his whole lifetime. He also loves growing things, including apple, pear, and plum trees and his latest venture is into mulberry trees. If there's a tree available, he's interested in it!! We celebrate him and the family memories that he's given us!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Moving Day

We're helping Naomi and Jerry move from this lake house to Jerry's family home today. One trailer is loaded and over at the 'new' place ready to be unloaded and the second trailer is getting the last few things put in it and will go this morning. The trucks may need to go back for one more load of the last 'couldn't fit it in' stuff and then the unpacking will begin. It's going to be a busy day!!

Thursday, June 14, 2007


When I was in Calgary, we dropped by to see Heather's friend (and former band teacher), Kim and her precious little girl. Oh, and her husband was there too! I think it's so amazing that a teacher student relationship has developed into a friend to friend and mother to mother relationship now. They only live a few minutes away from each other and are a mutual support team. A woman can never have too many friends!

Helayna and Amyah - only 7 weeks apart in age and so, so cute together!

They were so excited to see each other - talking and laughing - just so sweet to see!!!

These two are going to be quite the pair together as they get bigger, I think!

I love the look between Helayna and I that Heather captured here! I was amazed at how much Amyah has grown up! I think it was all her blond hair that struck me the most. Thanks for the visit, Kim!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Happy Birthday, Brent

It was my little brother's 50th birthday yesterday so this post is in honour of him. He was the one who had the all the plans for climbing trees, robbing birds's nests, hunting gophers and all the kinds of play with which farm boys keep themselves busy. Many evenings after supper, my brothers would wrestle on the kitchen floor, coached on by my Dad. Life was never dull with 2 brothers, almost exactly 1 year apart in age.

Our family portrait, taken in 1960, before my youngest sister was born. (Sorry, E!) I can still remember how un-impressed my dad was to have to go to the studio for this picture! Brent is the little guy in the sailor suit.

If you could read the logo on his hat, you'd see that it says "Wetaskiwin Aerial Applicators" which is his crop dusting business. He's a pilot and is in love with planes and flying - has been ever since high school!

Out in the cattle pen with Cory, his son, and our dad. He is involved in the beef cattle business along with my parents.

I know this summer will bring lots of excitement to your life, Little Bro, so travel safely and enjoy all that life brings you. Many more years of good times and happiness are wished for you!

Monday, June 11, 2007


When we go to Calgary, we are so lucky to be able to stay in this lovely place that Kelsey's family has. They are so wonderful to share it with us - thanks H & R!!! I've noticed some cool buildings in this area so on the weekend I captured a few images.

This is the awesome view from the condo.

Can you see the tip of the Pengrowth Saddledome in this?

Kelsey gets some very yummy things at this bakery, I think.

Such an appropriate painting on the side of a bakery, don't you think?

This one's for my friend Carm! It's a beautiful Italian restaurant by the same name as her blog. I love the way they've painted it on the building. I'm sure the food is great but we haven't had the opportunity to eat here yet.

There's a beautiful domed church up the hill and the sun glistens off the copper roof.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

A Little Visit

It's always a treat to see our kids and their families and this weekend was no exception! These 3 made me feel so welcome and let me hang out, just smiling and having a good visit. I've already told them I'm coming for a whole week this summer but I probably still won't want to go home! Thanks for the visit, Guys!!!

Helayna got her high chair all set up and thoroughly enjoyed sitting in it to eat and to watch everyone else.

I got to feed Helayna supper twice and lunch once - she's such a good eater! It was fun just to sit with her and sneak bites into her mouth while she chewed on her own spoon.

Just doing a little reading while waiting for Gramma to load the stroller so we can go out for a walk

We went for a very long walk while Heather and Jonathan went out for brunch. The trails around their home are perfect for strolling and picture taking.

Helayna loves to swing and I am very happy to go with her to the playground every chance I get!

This was our self-portrait while swinging!!

Friday, June 08, 2007

Going to

visit this little one in Calgary today!! Be back tomorrow - with lots of new pictures and stories!!

I'm sending a huge congratulations out to my friend, Audrey, who's riding her bike in the MS Bikeathon this weekend. 168 miles to Camrose and back, whatever the weather - she's got a headlamp handy just in case she has to limp in after dark - just kidding!! I totally admire her ambition and perseverance for keeping herself physically active - you go, girl!