Monday, July 30, 2007

She Did It!!

On Sunday, Mel entered her first triathalon and I got to be the official photographer!

Part 1 - a 750 metre swim - Mel's a strong swimmer and she was away like a flash. Here she is in the blue swim cap, ready to lap the swimmer ahead of her.

After a swim of just over 15 minutes, she was out of the pool, heading into the transition area to grab her bike.

Part 2 - 20 km on the bike. Ever since she's been in Nova Scotia, Mel has done lots of biking and developed a love of this sport. She felt she should do best in the bike portion of the race, even though she had a rented bike (a very nice road bike, mind you!). Here she's leaving the transition area and heading out onto the road.

Just finishing her ride and getting ready to enter the transition area, Mel was neck and neck with Seena, a girl in her heat.

Leaving the bike and heading into the run, at this point Mel said "My legs feel like Jello!"

Finished in 1:24.43!! She was very happy with her time, which was better than she had hoped. It was great to be her cheerleader, support team and telephone message person. Tyler phoned 3 times while she was doing her triathalon to get the latest breaking news - I know he would have loved being here and probably doing the race too. I'm sure Mel will convince him to try one with her soon.

Happy Anniversary!

Happy Anniversary to my sweet husband, Bob, today. We were married 31 years ago and sometimes it seems like just a year or two ago. Then we look at our children and granddaughters and realize it's been quite awhile ago. We've had many adventures, much laughter, thousands of discussions and more than 11,000 days together!!

I love watching you as a grandfather, always making Helayna smile and taking her around the farm so she knows about life in the country.

I love watching you as a grandfather, tickling Meadow and filling your pocket for her to empty.

I love you - my partner, my sounding board, my advocate, my mechanic, my friend, and my lover! I look forward to sharing days and days with you doing things we both love.

Sunday, July 29, 2007


I needed some creative therapy last week so I locked myself away for a few hours!

Ali Edwards was a guest for Emily Falconbridge while she was busy having a new baby and her challenge was to use some junk mail while creating. It just so happened that was the day we got some stuff from the Bank of Montreal Investor Services so I took the text and pictures to use in my LO. I added some brads, rubons and patterned paper. It was fun to be in my studio doing something totally different and totally relaxing.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Summer Storms

With the hot, hot temperatures it's inevitable that we'll have some summer storms and this week has been no exception. Our prairie skies can change so quickly that it's really fascinating.

It looked pretty scary for awhile.

Two air masses colliding over our house.

Just a little later, great big hailstones came down for a bit and then we got some smaller pieces too. I love how the sheets of rain are coming off the roof here.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Mountain Sheep

In case you haven't figured it out, this week is all about the things we saw while on our quadding trip up at Grande Cache. Today I want to show you a fascinating group of mountain sheep that we saw down in one of the abandoned coal mines. From up high on the ridge above the mine, we had no idea these little guys were 'hiding' in one of the areas. Once we quadded down into the mine, we saw the flock of ewes first and later, further down on a ridge, saw some young rams resting and 'playing' by butting their heads. Bryce and Ed crawled closer to them and watched through the binoculars. At one point, Esther and I thought the 2 boys were bears, as they crouched behind some bushes!! We never did see any bears but were definitely aware of the fact that we were in bear country, their territory.

We were on a little plateau about 100 yards away and watched this flock for quite awhile. They didn't seem the least bit concerned by us and continued eating and relaxing.

"Heads up, Ladies - someone's coming!"
Esther and I slowly drove down the track and quietly drove closer. It was amazing to be so close, right in among them.

Aren't these three just the curious ones of the flock? I love how they posed for us.

Once the second quad came down the trail, the group decided it was time to ramble away a little further. It was cool to see how agile they were on the steep slopes of loose rock.

Heading off, looking for greener pastures - and less people probably!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

At the Sand Dunes

After packing up our camp early on Sunday morning, we started home and decided to stop in Hinton and check out the Athabasca Sand Dunes. It was quite the experience as a strong wind sandblasted us periodically. The quadding was very different from the heights and rocks further north. This area is a haven for dirt bikers and racing quads as they can throw sand all over the place. Our quads with their big tires are great for muddy places as they 'float' across but here they just spun out.

The trail to the dunes was very rocky at the beginning, then it changed to sand and many, many moguls! It was like riding a mini roller coaster!

Of course all the guys had to try going up the same hill. No one was successful in reaching the top so I guess it was an even draw!

The dunes shift and change every day depending on the winds. Ed had fun climbing some of them but it would have been a whole lot more competition if Darrin and Bryce had been there!

It was so peaceful to drive along the edge of the lake.

The end of a wonderful weekend spent exploring new places and marveling at God's greatness .

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Our Weekend Continued

The weekend provided so many pictures that I want to share a few more with you today. This post features the people who made the adventuring fun!

Our group on the trail, early Friday morning.

My sister, Esther and her husband, Larry - event coordinators extraordinaire! Thanks to them we have all the camping equipment, food and know-how to survive in a grassy meadow for 3 days!

Darrin and Kelsey, on top of the coal mine

Our friends, Audrey and Aime', who were kind enough to share their camper with us. Up some of the steep slopes, Audrey rode 'shotgun' on the front, after one of their quads experienced mechanical difficulty and spent the rest of the time watching the fun from the trailer (to use Aime's words!).

The 3 Amigos from Calgary!

Ed, our nephew, usually is the leader of the pack. With his daring and experience, he's able to get us into many interesting situations but he's always able to get us out of trouble too! I love the way his tire tracks lead right into the water here.

We ended our weekend with a few hours in the Athabasca Sand Dunes along Brule' Lake, just outside of Jasper National Park. I'll show you more of those pictures tomorrow!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Views from Our Weekend

We quadded in the Grande Cache area, north of Jasper and south of Grande Prairie this weekend. We got up onto ridges that had so many amazing views!! No matter which way you turned there was another beautiful scene and you could see for miles.

Wildflowers, in every color, lined the quad track. As we climbed higher the flowers got smaller but they were still abundant in so many beautiful colors.

Little pools and streams of cool water tucked in among the trees and along the trails.

Darrin's friend, Bryce, who added lots of fun and energy to our weekend. He and Darrin became friends at university and they are constantly teasing and challenging each other. Just like brothers!

This really was a time for us to enjoy quiet and solitude with some of the special people in our lives. Just exactly what summer vacations should be!

Home Again!

We are home after a great long weekend away quadding in Grande Cache. It was absolutely amazing and the views were breathtaking. The company was delightful and the food was scrumptious. Pictures (I'll have a hard time choosing from the 300+ that I took) coming soon. Catch you later!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Alphabet Soup

Today's thoughts of gratitude are brought to you by the letter "B".

1. my husband, Bob - the man who makes me smile, laugh, think, try harder, attempt the unknown, and who sometimes tries my patience! I can't imagine going through these days without him and I look forward to many shared adventures, quiet talks and debates in the years ahead.

2. books, books, books - for me, for kids, for gifts, for escape - I am blessed to be in a place where the printed word and text are so easy to find and enjoy.

3. beverages - milk, water, chai latte, juices, iced tea, salted Caesars, wine - so many choices for so many occasions.

4. blogs - and so many newfound friends around the world who challenge my thinking, encourage my writing, support me and share their lives and passions via weblogs. I am blessed to have developed marvelous contacts and friends!

5. babies - Thank you, God, for little ones sent to fill our lives with joy and love. Their smiles, their development and their innocence make me slow down and savour each moment. I am reminded that Jesus told us to become like these little ones - how amazing to see the world as they do!

Thanks again for the topic, Morning Glory! Go on over and see how similar our lists are - I think we are 'blog sisters'!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Some Creating

I took some time last week to create this little paper bag album as part of my baby shower gift for Madisyn and Marissa. I loved making it and I loved the end result. I hope Rhonda will have fun filling it with pictures and memories of her girls.

Front cover

Inside pages

Pockets with little pullout page inserts

The back
Products used were L'il Davis patterned paper and chipboard, Bazzill cardstock, Stampin' Up ribbon, assorted buttons and brads and a big flower punch. I think I'm going to do another one of these for a gift that I'll need later this summer.
Thanks for looking!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Sunday Scenes

Our Sunday drive yesterday took us north to the area where my Mom grew up. This is the church where my parents were married and as a little girl I can remember going here with my grandparents. It was a nostalgic kind of Sunday drive.

When you walked through the tall grass and clover, tiny little orange butterflies would rise up in a cloud! They were so tiny and quick that even when Bob 'stirred' the grass, I couldn't really get them in a picture.

My favourite picture - but it was really hard to capture them with their wings open! As soon as they land, their wings fold up as they sip nectar from the flowers. I was finally successful!

Something about rocks and water just call a guy to throw skipping stones!

My favourite man!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Meet . . .

Marissa Rae and Madisyn Leah, my newest nieces, who were born on June 20th!! (Their dad is my brother, Brent.) They are just so, so sweet and we all cuddled them alot at a baby shower yesterday. They had the cutest little short sets on and actually weren't too hot in the 33 degree Celsius heat that we are having.

My mom holding grandchildren #11 and #12

My mom, Kelsie(big sister #1), Marissa, Rhonda (the mom of 4 beautiful girls), Madisyn, Kayleigh(big sister #2 - no, these 2 aren't twins!), Rhonda's mom

My sister, Esther, who just has a love for all babies!