Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Mercy and Grace

If you are a mother, you must go and read Ann's thoughts over at A Holy Experience. I wish I had thought like this or had this kind of thinking to guide my early mothering. Such encouragement - for mothering and for life. Thanks to Mary at Owlhaven for the link.

May you reach and touch the cross and feel God's grace in today.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Ten on Tuesday

1. Raspberry season is in full swing now. I've picked 2 ice cream pails so far and need to go back out now that it's a bit cooler.

2. Remember the fishing trip off Vancouver Island? Well, the box of fish arrived today so we'll have to have a fish fry one day soon.

3. Speaking of fish, Bob spent the afternoon with Meadow, Naomi and Jerry today. Here's a look at the action.

4. We had to get a big (read - 8 gig) memory card for the small camera yesterday so that Bob can take lots of video on the hiking trip to the Bugaboos this weekend. It wasn't very expensive at all! 2 years ago, I paid nearly double the price for a 512mb card. Crazy how that electronic stuff can come down in price.

5. We had a little excitement down the road tonight when the neighbor's load of big round hay bales caught on fire while he was hauling them home. Luckily the fire department was at their Tuesday night training session at the firehall so they came quickly and contained it. Anything that was rubber on the truck is pretty much melted so Bob's gone with the tractor to pull the last bale off the deck and then pull the truck off the road. Luckily no one was injured - trucks can be replaced.

6. Summer storms are a-happening in Alberta. We were at Heather and Jonathan's yesterday and suddenly the black clouds dumped a bunch of hail and rain down. The hail was coming out of the downspouts and made little drifts on everyone's lawns.

Grampa and Helayna went out to play a bit.

7. We had a most delicious supper and lovely visit with the Molls on Sunday. I wasn't thinking when I took this picture - I should have turned the camera so you could have seen the belly bump - sorry!

8. A completely surprise meeting yesterday was to see Meadow, Jerry and some of Jerry's family come into the restaurant while we were having supper! Meadow and I were especially delighted to see each other again :)) It was nice to see Gramma and Grampa Stenberg who came from Minnesota for Amanda's wedding again too.

9. We got our first letter from our Compassion sponsored child in Brazil today! What a happy mail day it was to see her happy little hand drawn and colored picture of 2 people beside a little red house waving at us. I'll be popping a reply in the mail tomorrow. This letter was written on April 30th so it takes a little while to make its way up north.

If you haven't checked out the Compassion link on my sidebar, I really encourage you to go visit and consider sponsoring a child. It's not very much money each month and the help will change a child's life. It's what Jesus would do :))

10. Here's the recipe for another of our favourite salads.

Brie and Apple Salad
from Garden Greens by Company's Coming

4 cups mixed salad greens
1 red apple, with peel, cored and thinly sliced
4 oz. Brie cheese, thinly sliced or diced

Arrange in a bowl or on 4 individual salad plates.

Mustard Dressing
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. grainy mustard
1 tbsp. maple syrup
1/4 tsp. salt

Put all 5 dressing ingredients in a small jar. Shake lightly until well combined.
Drizzle over salad green mixture. Makes about 1/2 cup.

Serves 4.

I sometimes substitute a pear for the apple and it tastes just as good.
The dressing is so quick, easy and light. Enjoy!!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Simple Woman Daybook #3

For Today... Monday, July 28

Outside my Window... the bright yellow fields of canola and freshly cut hay are whizzing by as we drive home from Airdrie.

I am thinking... about the marvelous time we had playing with Helayna this morning.

I am thankful for... living close to our family and the privilege of seeing our granddaughters - and their parents! - so often.

From the kitchen... nothing today! We are stopping to eat at The Eco Cafe, a local restuarant on our way home.

I am creating... a layout about my parents 50th wedding anniverary (4 years later!).

I am going... away on vacation next week.

I am wearing... denim capris, a yellow Acadia University golf shirt, and sport sandals.

I am reading... the August issue of Creating Keepsakes magazine.

I am pick raspberries later this evening.

I am hearing... the CBC Radio One afternoon show.

Around the house... will soon be a suitcase to unpack and a backpack to fill for Bob as he heads out hiking in the mountains this weekend.

One of my favorite things... is having either one of our granddaughters coming to cuddle, sit on my knee and read stories.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week... raspberries to pick, freeze, and make into jam, book club and our anniversary to celebrate!

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you... that reminds me of the love God showed us by giving His son for our sins.

I hope your week is sunny and blessed!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Amanda & Bruce

Yesterday we had the privilege of celebrating with Amanda and Bruce as they were married. Amanda is our son-in-law Jerry's younger sister. This picture shows all of Amanda's family and they are quite the clan now. Taking a picture with 5 little ones is a challenge but they are all here and that's what matters most. The pictures were taken and refreshments were served after the ceremony at Naomi and Jerry's home. The yard was gorgeous, the sun wasn't too hot, the company was lively and the day was a very good beginning to their new life together.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Have you seen - -

Wordle? That's how I created this amazing collage remembering the wedding we were at today. I think it would be a fun way to add words to scrapbook layouts.

It's an amazing place to visit and spend some time playing! I had fun creating several word collages and modifying the text, font and colors. I even learned how to save PDF file! Go over and try it out. I guarantee you'll enjoy it :)) I think this could be an excellent vocabulary word kind of game.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Summer Work - or Fun!

I felt a little like the busy ant working her summer away this week! But it was all good :))

Start with lots of these -

mash, add sugar and pectin and -

Voila!! Ready for winter!

Thursday, July 24, 2008


This week I am grateful for:

1. The miracles of growth, development and pregnancy - so much happens in just a few months and it is truly marvelous! Heather only has about 6 weeks left until we welcome a new little one. We pray that these last weeks will proceed safely and smoothly.

2. The privilege of shopping with Kelsey and her mom and getting to know them better (nothing like 12 hours together :)). And then being treated to a pedicure at the end of the day - what a wonderful treat - I was spoiled - thank you SOOOOO much, K!

3. Strawberry jam for the freezer.

4. The sweet voices of our granddaughters as they play and I chat with their moms on the phone. I can hear their excitement as they 'cook' and 'clean' and 'paint'. Man, these little girls have enriched our lives beyond measure!

5. Summer Sunday afternoons at the lake - such a great time to relax and visit with friends. Thanks, A and A!

6. Ricotta Berry Muffins - from the Serious Eats website - they are deeeelicious!

7. Coolling breezes that waft through the windows as darkness descends and it cools off outside.

8. A garden that produces fresh food for us to pick and enjoy - no transportation costs, no pesticides - only hard work and God's goodness in sunshine, soil, rain and the miracle of seeds!

And my Dad is having a procedure tomorrow that will hopefully deal with the kidney stone that's been plaguing him lately. I appreciate your prayers for him and my Mom.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Ten on Tuesday

1. I'm so happy there's a u-pick strawberry farm nearby where I can get beautiful fresh berries. And I can support a farm family who are providing some serious good food locally grown at a very reasonable price.

2. These Super Noots look so cool! Stacy Julian mentioned them on her blog yesterday and I would love to get some to share around with kids I know. I think I'd even like to keep track of what I'm eating using this system.

3. Visits with Mom and Dad are always nice! I had coffee with them this afternoon and caught up on the news while seeing the newly painted house.

4. I love getting magazines in the mail! Better Homes and Gardens came today - first issue of a brand new subscription and it looks great!

5. I'm thinking about lots of family and friends who are celebrating wedding anniversaries this month. Summer weddings are definitely popular around here.

6. We are enjoying Ginger Bounce Rooiboos Tea these days. Rooiboos tea is caffeine free and has many health benefits. You can search for it on Wikipedia to find out more.

7. 16 days until the Olympics begin in Beijing!! We are really looking forward to the games and to seeing Beijing again, even if it is on TV!

8. Strawberries for the freezer, for jam, for muffins - and maybe even a strawberry pie - are in the house! My favourite way to eat them is sliced in a bowl, sprinkled with brown sugar and swimming in cream - yum and only a summertime treat (the calorie thing, you know)!

9. We are experiencing lots of thunderstorms these days. Hot muggy days in Alberta produce fantastic electrical storms and rain showers. We were awakened to deep rolling thunder this morning.

10. Recipe share - I've had requests to share some salad recipes so here's the first one.

Carrot Slaw (from Melinda Green)

Peel and medium grate 5 - 6 carrots in a serving bowl.
Add 1/2 cup dried cranberries and 1 can drained mandarin orange sections.
Gently toss with 1/4 - 1/2 cup flavoured yogurt (vanilla or any fruit flavour will work).
Serve with burgers or other summer meals. Leftovers will keep in the fridge until the next day.

Monday, July 21, 2008


Over at Heather Ann Designs, Raven has a challenge to scrap how someone you love has changed over time. As soon as I read about it, I remembered this picture I had just found again and knew that I wanted to use it.

The top photo shows our daughter Heather (and a whole bunch of cousins and her brother) with her 2nd birthday cake. She just turned 30 this month so I created this LO to celebrate how she's changed. My, how time has flown!!

Simple Woman Daybook #2

For Today... Monday, July 21

Outside my Window... the sun is shining, the temperature is +30 degrees C and Bob is working on the forage harvester

I am thinking... about a layout that's on my studio desk

I am thankful for... the privilege of going wedding dress shopping with Kelsey on the weekend

From the kitchen... chocolate chip cookies, whole wheat buns and minute steak for supper

I am creating... a then and now layout about our daughter's birthday

I am going... to play with Meadow on Wednesday so her mom and dad can get the yard ready for Amanda's wedding

I am wearing... black shorts, striped tank top and white flipflops

I am reading... A Sunday at the Pool in Kigali

I am hoping...for lots of strawberries when I go picking tomorrow

I am hearing... birds chirping in the trees outside our house

Around the house... is a box ready to close and send to Melinda and things to take over for the wedding " 'tween" in the garden

One of my favorite things... a summer Sunday afternoon by the lake with our friends

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week... strawberry jam, floors to wash, a letter to our Compassion child, hilling the potatoes, and hay to bale

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

apples growing on our tree

Friday, July 18, 2008

Look At This!!

Look at who made the paper today!

This is the online version that I found. If you live in Calgary, check the Neighbors section of Thursday's Calgary Herald paper to see the complete story. (If you find it online, be sure to click to see all of the pictures. ) It was a complete surprise to Heather and came via Canadian Scrapbooker magazine. Helayna was very excited to see herself in the paper :))

And in a sidenote - I'm off to help the bride (Kelsey) with some shopping tomorrow :))

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Happy Mail

This big box was waiting for me at the post office today! Recently Becky at Live and Learn had a giveaway to share from Fiskars (you know the scissors people - they also have tons of cool scrapbooking stuff) and I was lucky enough to win it.

Just look at all the goodness in this box!! Flocked papers, new alphabet stickers, pens, border punch, butterfly punch, felt shapes, glitter, fingertip craft knife, , flowers, pebbles, ribbon, acrylic stamps, and 2 shape templates! My word!! I was so surprised at all the wonderful treats from Fiskars. I can hardly wait to play! First up - glitter and border punch, I think - followed closely by the stamps.

A huge thank you to Fiskars and Becky! I feel so privileged to receive such a generous gift. It's Christmas in July in my studio!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


You should see this marvelous quilt that is being given away at Old Red Barn Co.!! (Click on this link to get there - the picture link isn't working - not quite sure why not.) It would look awesome on anyone's bed - especially mine, I think! Go and check it out - and enter for a chance to win. Thanks to Randi at I Have To Say for the link.

The Big Fishing Trip

Last week Bob had a chance to go fishing on Vancouver Island with a good friend of ours and 2 of his buddies. It was a last minute thing but something he's always wanted to do. They flew to Ucluelet on the west side of Vancouver Island - the same place Naomi and I visited a few years back when she ran her marathon. Here are some pictures that Bob took.

Sun coming up as the boat heads out in the early morning.

I love this picture with the wake and all the fishing rods!

Such beautiful blue water - which apparently does not make for good fish catching. Something about the algae growing and the fish can't see the hooks - interesting theory!

They had supper at the Wickannish Restaurant over at Long Beach.

There were lots of surfers in the water. Bob said.

The lodge with rooms where they stayed.


And did you notice that there are no pictures of fish?? Apparently they did catch some but not nearly what they hoped for. The weather was uncooperative for fishing out 20 miles on the bank on the second day so they stayed in around the islands and caught some rockfish and ling cod. A good reason to go back another time, Bob tells me!! And sorry, Mel - there will be no halibut for Christmas dinner!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

10 on Tuesday - Salads

I was thinking about salads this week and discovered that there are 10 I would call favourites. I'm sure you've tasted them but let me know if there's any for which you'd like the recipe. I've noted my original source in brackets.

1. Taco Salad (Bob's aunt Lil)

2. Tuna Waldorf Salad (Western Producer)

3. Japanese Cabbage Salad (Company's Coming Salads)

4. Carrot Slaw (Melinda)

5. Pear and Brie with Mixed Greens (Company's Coming Salads)

6. Strawberry Mango Salad (Melinda)

7. Veggie Rice Salad (Chatelaine)

8. Pasta Salad (my sister, Esther)

9. Spinach Salad (Company's Coming Salads)

10. 24 Hour Salad (my mom)


I was ever so surprised when I went to Linds' blog, Rocking Chair Reflections today and saw that she has bestowed this award on me!

It's my very first blog award and I am humbled to think that someone else enjoys my ramblings, questions and photos. I just recently started tracking visits to my blog and I am amazed at the community of bloggers and visitors that drop by. The map feature is especially wondrous as it shows pinpoints from the Yukon to England to Poland to Australia to Singapore to Virginia to California (and many in between). So if you are one of those visitors, I thank you for visiting and sharing your time with me. I invite you to comment and share your thoughts and your site so that I might reciprocate and visit you too.

Now I must share this award with 3 blogging friends. Thank you to these people who inspire me to write, to pray, to smile, to enjoy life, to be a friend.

1. Becky at Live and Learn is an amazing photographer and such a wise woman. I love her thoughts on living with God in every day and how she loves her family.

2. Donna at Quiet Life is also known as Miz Booshay, who posts on the Pioneer Woman's photography site with beautiful pictures and how-to's for wanna be photographers. I love how she ends each post with 'Encourage one another' - such good advice.

3. Mary at Little Red House is a new blog find for me. She has the most beautiful home and her yard and garden are so pretty. I love her little finds and I've been trying to incorporate more thought and beauty into our home as a result.

There are so many others I could honour too. These give you a little sampling of who I am honoured to read and where I gain some of my inspiration. Please go and visit them too!!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Simple Woman Daybook

On a rainy Monday morning, I had a chance to do some online browsing and found several things worth noting. One of them is this blog The Simple Woman. I especially like her Monday morning activity so I've joined in today. Feel free check her site for more interesting reading - it will definitely start your week out enjoying a simpler lifestyle.

FOR TODAY - July 14, 2008

Outside My Window the flowerpots are filled with purple wave petunia blossoms, yellow and purple faced pansies, peach tea roses and fragrant herbs.

I am thinking about the visit we had with Meadow, Naomi and Jerry while Bob helped replace their leaking hot water tank.

I am thankful for warm and sunny summer days of rest and renewal.

From the kitchen banana brownies (recipe courtesy of Stacy Julian) and hamburger soup for supper.

I am wearing jeans, flip flops and a green tshirt.

I am creating a scrapbook page about last year's quadding trip to Nordegg.

I am going wedding dress shopping with Kelsey on Friday!

I am reading "Our Lady of the Lost and Found" for July's bookclub.

I am hoping for sunshine this week so we can the hay cut and baled.

I am hearing the CD Praise and Worship Songs for 2007.

Around the house things are tidy from the weekend but the floors need to be washed.

One of my favorite things is to sit on the patio, smell the flowers and drink my tea.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:
- weed in the garden
- mend some clothes
- save my pictures to the hard drive
- visit my friend Carol
- bake rhubarb muffins
- make the bed in the guest room

Here is picture thought I am sharing

showing the goodness of my garden.

Thanks for visiting!

Custom Made

Look at this magazine cover I created online today!!

You can do this too! Just go to Big Huge Labs and follow the instructions - fun and easy!! Thanks to Mary at Little Red House for the inspiration!!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Quote of the Day

Itaipu Falls, Brazil

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime."

- Mark Twain


These 2 layouts have been on my desk for a long time so it feels very good to finally have them completed!

Meadow at our Iron Chef Challenge on Easter weekend

12 Moments from June 12 - finally finished it a month later!

Saturday, July 12, 2008


This week I am grateful for these things:

1. New potatoes from the garden - we had a good-bye supper with Mel and Tyler on Monday night and I served some with cream and dill - one of my favourite summer foods, I think. I remember planting the first ones on May 5th and thinking that I might be able to dig some while the Green's were home.

2. Creative inspiration from so many places and so many amazing people, including our daughter Heather - I always come home from a visit with her eager to scrapbook again

3. Nectarines and cherries - I could eat them all day long!

4. Summer roses - this tea rose has 15 buds on it right now! It was a Mother's Day gift from Naomi and Jerry and I am enjoying it so much!!

5. Bridal showers - Jerry's sister Amanda is getting married in a few weeks so Naomi had a shower for her last night. It was fun to learn more about her and Bruce - and to see her excitement over the wonderful new things she received for their home.

6. Summer trips with friends - Bob went away on a fishing trip with 3 other guys to the Canadian Princess Resort on Vancouver Island. They didn't catch too many fish but they did have a wonderful trip, from a few of the stories I've heard. It makes me happy to hear about the fun and the discussions that good friends can share. We are blessed to be surrounded by very special friends.

7. Hugs and kisses from granddaughters - I am so grateful that we get to see them often!!

8. Summer rains that bring moisture to nourish growing things. The canola crops are blooming in our area now and the landscapes are gorgeous with deep greens, golden yellows and big blue Alberta skies.

Friday, July 11, 2008

A Summer Day

Today Helayna took me to the BIG park! It's got more playground equipment, a huge grass area and - the best part for her, I think - a pond!! We had lots of fun together -

- throwing rocks in the water

- climbing on the little wall

- going down the BIG slide

- and trying to hang on to the purple dinosaur. And of course, taking pictures!!

I got lots of hugs and cuddle time too. I am so blessed to feel these little ones share their love and just relax in my arms. It's a feeling that fills my soul and one I can treasure until the next time I get to see them.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Crowsnest Quadding

We headed south into the Crowsnest Pass area of southern Alberta and British Columbia for our latest quad adventure, just a couple of weeks ago. It was another memorable time together.

One of the reasons we headed to this area, was to visit our nephew Ed who is working at this coal mine as part of his engineering coop placement. He gave us a tour around the mine site and explained some things to us. It's hard to believe he's just 20 and is already in the field, making decisions and plans for facilities. It's very cool to watch people grow up and begin their careers.

We saw them loading trucks with coal.

Ed in his office

After the mine tour, we headed out to investigate new trails on our quads. There was lots to see and navigate through. We had to cross this rushing stream just in front of the fallen logs. The current was so fast that it pushed the back wheels on the quads around. We all got safely through without being drenched.

Cruisin' along

The weather was absolutely perfect - sunshine and blue skies all around. (Can you name the artist who used that line in a song?!!)

Sometimes when you come around a corner, the most beautiful views open up in front of you. This one was breathtaking!

We found some snow in which to play and get stuck.

The trail ended high up in this bowl. There was still lots of snow around and we spotted mountain goats higher up on the mountain. I was glad to get safely up - and back down!!

Bob was in charge of cooking breakfast on Sunday morning. We'll make a cook out of him yet :))

The guys tried fishing a bit but weren't successful. Good thing the view was excellent!

From this area, it's possible to quad across the Canada - US border and get into Montana. We got sidetracked so didn't get to do this ride - perhaps another time. Thanks for riding along today!