Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Monday, May 30, 2011

Gratitude Gifts

As this month ends and the days of spring go by, there are still surprises everyday.  The weather has been so warm and sunny - and then on Saturday night we had frost!  It went to -4 degrees C nearby and there were a few plants that were touched and have black top leaves.  I think our fruit trees were protected and the saskatoons were finished blooming.  Most of Alberta has had frost warnings for the past 3 nights.

Even amidst life's surprises and twists and turns, His goodness is constant.  There are no surprises from Him!  Or if there are, as in the case of Mary and Joseph from our Bible study this week, He has it all figured out and we only need to trust Him.  When I think of what was asked of Mary and her response, I see myself as severely lacking in so many ways.  May I be reminded of her life often - as I count on each day!

#2541 - #2564

- green, green grass without dandelions

- brownies
- playing along with the grandchildren's pretend games
- holding Maëlle
- supper ready at 10:30 a.m.
- first spinach salad from the garden
- promise of flowers to come

- sunny afternoons
- greenhouse tour
- seed potatoes
- pink Rocky Mountain Lavendar geranium

- wind that blows mosquitoes away
- unpacking new-to-us toys
- birthday cake in kindergarten
- fresh tulips from Naomi's garden
- plants safe from the frost

- praise songs while driving
- reassurance that a friend is doing okay
- sewing
- grilled cheese sandwiches
- phone call from my brother
- soft ice cream
- pictures in the flowers

"Two Pansy Friends"

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Six on Saturday

What was supposed to be Five on Friday has now become Six on Saturday!  Still sounds good to me!

1.  The dandelion field that is supposed to be our lawn is currently being mowed down!  Seriously, after the rain last weekend and a bit of heat now, every. single. dandelion seed that was ever on the lawn has sprouted and bloomed!  The bright yellow is cheerful but the height was approaching "let's graze the cows" status.

2.  I was a lucky winner in the Sew, Mama, Sew Giveaway last week!  This very sweet little diaper clutch is coming to me - thanks to Tiffany at twilltapeshop.com.   I think it will make a perfect gift :)

(photo from Tiffany's blog)

3.   I put together a birthday gift this morning and now I really don't want to give it away!  But I know it will be loved and appreciated where it's going too.

4.  Apple trees in full bloom this week make me very happy - so gorgeous!

5.  We had spinach salad, using the first volunteer spinach from the garden, last night.  It was delicious and I am excited to be able to use fresh lettuce and radishes soon.  You just can't beat the taste of picking something and eating it within an hour!

6.  My beautiful new barbecue (a wonderful birthday and Mother's Day gift) is making grilling an easy and enjoyable way to serve supper these days.  So far I've done asparagus, roasted vegetables, Italian sausages, pork chops, chicken thighs, salmon, burgers and steak.   Using the rotisserie is on the agenda soon.  Thanks, D & K, N & J, for this generous gift.

Friday, May 27, 2011


I was absolutely amazed at how many people were involved with the Sew, Mama, Sew giveaway event earlier this week!  There were 550 giveaways in the 3 categories and I was  able to only enter a handful of them.  I think you'd have to be on your computer day and night to get around to everyone!

I was thrilled to have 209 people stop by my blog!  I'd initially thought that maybe I'd get 50 - 75 comments and as the number grew, I started thinking about how I could share with a few more of these visitors.  So I decided to offer 3 giveaways - it's not like I don't have enough fabric in my stash and sewing a few more pillowcases won't take very long.

So random number generator chose #94, #70 and #140 which means that the prizes are going to :

The Sewing Dork said...

My dream project is a mystery to me at this point, but an entire weekend alone without the kids to sew seems like a dream...
come see me too (I'm local) for a giveaway.

pianomama said...

My dream project is a King size quilt out of Hometown by Sweetwater.....adore that fabric

thriftyfinn said...

Thanks for the chance!

It blew me away that I had visitors from Turkey, Greece, Portugal, the UK, Finland, Australia, New Zealand, the US and Canada!  Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that would happen!  So I'm sending a treat to Calgary, Alberta, one to Colorado and one to Finland.  Blogging and the internet are amazing, aren't they?  I did try to return the favour and check out as many of my visitors as I could.  I wish I could send everyone a treat - Canada Post would love me!!  I definitely am looking forward to the next Giveaway Day in December - now, what shall I create for that???

Lists of 2011 - #21

Listography #21 - Songs I Could Listen to Over and Over

1.  Hallejulah by  The Canadian Tenors

2.  You Raised Me Up by Josh Groban

3.  Highly Favored by Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith

4.  Lead Me To The Cross by Hillsong

5.  Call On Jesus by Nicole C. Mullen

6.  Because You Loved Me by Celine Dion

7.  Seasons of Love from the RENT soundtrack

8.  Good Vibrations by The Beach Boys

9.  Forever Young by Rod Stewart

10.  Thank The Lord For The Night Time by Neil Diamond

A whole bunch of oldies on this list!!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

What Color Are You?

Go and try this very cool voice of color test!  It was interesting and I loved seeing the decor samples with my color palette at the end.  A great way to spend a few minutes appreciating color and the role it plays in our lives.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Gratitude Gifts

After a busy week of fieldwork and seeding, Bob was able to seed all the grain and then the rain began during the night.  It was perfect timing!  The seed is planted and now the miracle of growth begins and we wait for the harvest.  The days ahead will be filled with all that the crops need to flourish and we will watch the skies for storms and leave all the rest to God.  This is definitely the season when I enjoy being a farm family.

There is so much goodness in this season as plants grow and flower.  The promise of what is to come makes the days of waiting worth it.  In awhile there will be berries and fruits, kernels and roots but in the meantime, we rest in God's provision.  And I count on with all the goodness that He bestows.

#2514 - #2541

- sun's rays streaming through the clouds as the day ends

- surprising our grandchildren

- watching them love the water and swimming

- green leaves

- seeds in the ground and fieldwork finished for now

- the warmth of a greenhouse

- great. big. tomato plants from Bob's parents

- mayday trees in bloom

- first rhubarb crisp

- sewing again!

- colour, everywhere colour

- fruit trees in bloom


- tucking away an extra cupful of rhubarb to use in the winter

- opening the dishwasher to sparkling clean dishes

- more days of subbing

- visiting on the phone with our children

- plants growing quickly

- volunteer spinach ready to eat

- eating creamsicles on the deck

- packages of seeds

- a vacuum cleaner

- new quilting book

- visiting

- little boys on bikes

- knowing the the Master controls the seed, the growing, the harvest

- knowing that He controls my life in just the same way

- that He cares for all this and all of us - what a joy!

Giveaway Day at Sew, Mama, Sew!

May 26 - Giveaway Closed
Winners have been contacted and I will post them soon.

Welcome - and if you are visiting via the links on Sew, Mama, Sew, I'm so happy that you stopped by!  I have had the pleasure of winning a few things via their site over the past few months (a book and 2 sets of Kona solid color charms) and I want to pass on some goodness to others today.

When I first saw the invitation to join the Giveaway Day festival (because, really - a chance to win is always worthy of celebration), I debated about signing up because I've been teaching fulltime for 2 and a half weeks and because it's so busy on the farm and in the garden right now.  Then I decided I could send some sewing supplies, at the very least, and when I remembered the lovely pillowcases I've made for a few gifts this year, I knew I could give them too.

So, I've sewed a set of sweet pea pillowcases to give away along with a purple (our granddaughters' favourite colour) fat quarter package of 6 pieces.  And I know that this category is for sewing supplies but I thought a little extra something handmade might make you smile!

I am happy to ship internationally (I know how disappointing it is to be left out!) and this giveaway will stay open until 11:59 p.m. on May 25th.

When you enter, please tell me what your dream project would be - I love to hear what others are yearning to create!  And if you are one of my regular readers, please enter too - and then go to Sew, Mama, Sew to visit other bloggers and enter for a few more chances to win handmade items or some supplies.  There are so many amazingly creative people in blogland and I guarantee you will soon be inspired to start sewing too!

Note - there are 3 different giveway lists and each of the links above will take you to another one of them.  Have fun and good luck!!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Five on Friday

1.  Today the neighbor walked his cows 2 1/2 miles down the road to their summer pasture at our farm.  There were no cowbells and I missed taking a picture of the drive - but I still feel like I'm in Switzerland when I say "summer pasture!"  Remember Heidi and her grandfather taking the goats up the mountain?

2.  Lots of grain is being planted these days.  And the dust blows and the mosquitoes bite!

3.  In the past 24 hours, suddenly all the fruit trees have started blooming.  They look gorgeous and the smell is divine.

4.  I noticed today just how many colors of green there are when the leaves first appear.

(poplar tree growing in the ditch)

5.  I spent a good part of the day planting, watering and rototilling.  It was wonderful to have a day outside to enjoy spring and marvel at how fast everything is growing.  Thank you, Lord - for the growing and for the day.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Lists of 2011 - #20

Listography #20 - Things That Are Over-rated

In my humble opinion -

1.  Video games

2.  Celebrity lives

3.  Reality TV shows

4.  Tim Horton's Coffee

5.  Walmart

6.  Scary Halloween decorations

7.  Facebook

8.  Pickled herring

9.  Diet soft drinks

10.  Immaculate houses

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


A few years back, circle journals were a hot project in the scrapbooking world.  I joined two groups and faithfully completed layouts in each journal as it came to me, using the journal topic that each participant had chosen.  The first group was made up of 13 people - and that journal has not yet arrived home!  I wish I could get it back - hopefully one day.   But this weekend I finished my entry - and the journal! - for the last person in the second group.

Jackie chose the topic "Happiness" and this is what I created for her book.  I quite like how it turned out with all the little tags and I know Jackie is going to have fun seeing what everyone shared with her.   Another checkmark on my to-do list!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Gratitude Gifts

This middle part of May (goodness, how can that be already?!)  brings our grandson's birthday and I definitely miss being part of his celebrations.  He lives right across on the other side of the country, which is much too far away for my liking, but we were able to Skype with him on his special day.  It's just amazing to use all the technology that can keep us connected!  Last night I found some pictures of the day he was born and then some of his party with us last year - and I am amazed that this little bundle of boy has grown into a running, babbling, energetic, full of smiles little man!  Happy, happy Birthday, Samuel - we love you!

In both our Bible study and the pastor's sermon this week, I was reminded that the plan God has for us can often seem strange - think of the story of Joseph (Genesis 39 - 50).  And even though we believe in HIm, we are not guaranteed that we will be treated 'fairly' or that we will live a charmed life.  But I do know that He is my Gate  (John 10) and His is the path I travel because He is with me.   And I need Him there and He stays with me - and His grace falls on me daily.

#2489 - #2514

- Samuel's second birthday

- a mommy and a daddy who love their son with every ounce of their being

- Canada Post who delivers birthday presents

- barbecued burgers and a multitude of salads

- bird songs as I walk along the road

- Blake's smile and his arms reaching out to me (really it just melts my heart!)

- another visit to the greenhouse

- growing things

- mosquito repellent (it's essential right now)

- bumblebees and the promise of pollination

- Meadow's excitement at every plant in the greenhouse

- pansies - and the reminder of my gramma

- friends and late night conversation

- doctors and medicine for a friend

- Saturday morning with no alarm clock ringing

- fields drying

- plants for my pots

- telephone, email and Skype

- envelopes of pictures found

- memories, memories, memories

- chats with my sister

- the smell of cultivated fields

- learning more from His word

- welcoming a new couple at church

- living in Him, rejoicing and trusting

Friday, May 13, 2011

Lists of 2011 - #19

Listography #19 - Favorite Childhood Memories

1.  Getting ice cream revels with Grampa Hetman  at the creamery in Onoway.

2.  Washing cucumbers in the big washtub with my Mom when the local county councillor bustled onto the yard.  He  talked about upgrading the nearby gravel road so the bus could get to our farm because I was starting school soon.

3.  Sitting on my dad's knee at the kitchen table  and reading the whole grade one reader ("See Dick and Jane") on the first day of Christmas vacation.

4.  Going to watch the parade in Wetaskiwin - and seeing my Dad and his stuccoing partner come down the street with their truck, throwing out candy - when he'd told Mom that he had to go to work that day.  She'd really wanted him to come with us to the parade and he kept his part in the parade a complete secret from us.

5.  Helping milk cows in the barn while my parents discussed buying his parent's farm - and telling them it would be a good idea because Gramma had running water and my brothers were always so dirty at the end of the day.  I was 8 years old, I think!

6.  Coming home from school one winter day while Mom and Dad were in Edmonton (they went like once a year - it was 40 miles away!) and going to check on a cow who had just calved.  She needed a vet and I ran over to Uncle Dick's (our neighbor) so he could come and help.

7.  Dressing up with Aunt Addie's hats and purses (she was Uncle Dick's wife and we were like their grandchildren who lived far away in Grande Prairie and Fort St. John).

8.  Gramma and Grampa Hetman arriving with a big Dole banana box full of fresh donuts.

9.  The geese at their farm, especially how quiet and sleepy they would be in the afternoon, after Gramma fed them chopped grain with poppyseeds, soaked in milk!

10.  Laying on the floor upstairs and looking through the grate, down in to the living room where the adults were visiting when we had company.

11.  Chasing the boys at school on the merry-go-round.

12.  Crying when I was supposed to go with Dad to take Gramma Hetman home when my youngest sister was born.   He was taking all 4 of us kids so that Mom and the new baby could have a quiet afternoon - but I got to stay home too!

Apparently this lead prompted a whole host of memories to come rushing to the surface!!

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


It was National Scrapbooking Day on Saturday and Heather and I spent the day at a crop event in Calgary.  It's been a long time since I've sat down and created from noon til midnight - and that's just what we did!

Several scrapbookers that I admire, including Stacy Julian and Leigh Penner, have lately done "Right Now" layouts that feature their children.  So I took that inspiration and created layouts featuring our grandchildren.  I am half done this little project and am so happy with how it's turning out.  Someday I'd love to mount these and display them in our living room.

Becky Novacek said today that she'd like to wallpaper her house with pictures of her grandchildren - and I'd be just fine with that idea!!




The journaling describes some of the unique characteristics of each of them at this stage in their lives.  I'm looking forward to having all 6 of them completed soon.  Thanks for looking!

Monday, May 09, 2011

Gratitude Gifts

Spring is definitely being enjoyed with all its warmth and new growth here.  This morning I noticed that the trees have a definite green tinge to them and the lawn is looking very green.   I was thinking about how our lives reflect this change in the seasons too.  The last two Sundays I've gone to church with Heather and Jonathan, where the pastors are preaching a series on ICHTHUS (the Greek word for fish). Last Sunday it was about our Saviour and this week's topic was Sanctified.  It means set apart for God's purposes, after accepting Him as our Saviour.  Some of the doubts and worries that have troubled me lately fell away yesterday and I feel like new attitudes are growing in me.  How very blessed I am to experience His grace in this way and so I count His gifts to me!

#2456 - #2489

- sun shining brightly
- a rainbow as I drove out of the rain
- warm temperatures
- green leaves starting to peek through
- a day of creating

- an evening with my Mom, just us 2
- walking Helayna to Sunday School
- talking to our grandchildren on the phone
- scrapbook layouts that capture them right now
- lawn growing again

- supportive colleagues
- energy as I work for several days in a row
- a visit to the greenhouse (thanks, N!)
- beautiful growing things
- pussy willows turning to leaves

- chai latte'
- snacks packed along
- strong hands to open tight lids (thanks, J!)
- help transplanting 65 tomato seedlings (thanks, H!)
- mayday tree budding
- hearing frogs croak

- fields being seeded
- Mother's Day phone calls
- first watermelon of the season
- setting plants out for a bit of fresh air and sunshine
- watching my daughters become mothers
- my Mom and my mother-in-law
- water and plants

- the reminder of baptism and new birth for me
- to be loved unconditionally
- reading His word
- being taught what that word means for me daily
- God's promises for me

Friday, May 06, 2011

Five on Friday

1.  It's National Scrapbook Day tomorrow and Heather and I are going to an all day crop sponsored by Scrapshotz in Calgary.  It's the first time I'll spend a whole day scrapbooking since last May!  I bought this new paper trimmer to use tomorrow.  It seems kind of bulky but it's going to have to work.

2.  My mom and I went to see a local community drama production of "Faith County" last night - and we laughed alot!  One of my teaching friends played one of the main characters and she was priceless.  The story revolves around the local county fair, competition between two women in a craft class and the search, by 2 of the women, for husbands.  Drama queens at their best!  It was good to spend time with my mom as we celebrate Mother's Day this weekend.

3.  I'm 2 days into a three week long stint of substitute teaching in a grade 5 and 6 class and it's going to be lots of fun.  But man, oh, man it's crazy busy and there's so much to do every day!

4.  Education Week in Alberta ended today and the school I'm at had a giant book exchange.  Kids brought in their used books and then could exchange them for the same number of new-to-them books.  There were so many books and they had so much fun!!  What a great way to share books.

5.  Some of our family is quadding tomorrow - and I'm really sad to miss it.  We had to postpone from an earlier date because of all the snow and the wet fields.  I hope those who do go take lots of pictures!

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Lists of 2011 - #18

Listography #18 - 10 Things I'd Tell Myself Before I Became a Mom

1.  Your life will never be the same again!

2.  To be a mom is to live with your heart outside your body forever.
(I read this somewhere - I don't know who's the author.)

3.  God never gives you more than you can handle.

4.  This too shall pass.  (my sister's famous quote)

5.  Travel and experience lots of life with your girlfriends.

6.  Find a good babysitter that your kids love.

7.  Trust yourself!

8.  Don't listen to everyone else's worst case scenarios.

9.  You'll never be able to afford kids - but  you'll be a millionaire once you're a parent.

10.  Grow up with your kids.

and just because -

11,  God will take care of you - and them.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Gratitude Gifts

Another month ended and we are living in the days of Easter now.  These are the days of remembering that He took all our sins so that we might live forever.  These are the days that remind me that there is really no other way to heaven, except by believing and then thanking Him for taking it all from me.  All the good I try to do doesn't matter one single bit if I don't accept that He is my Saviour.  It's only through Him that I live and breath and have my being - and it's through Him that I have grace every day.

#2411 - #2456

- snowbanks reduced to nothing
- waking to sunshine
- hiking around the yard with grandchildren
- finding the first stalks of rhubarb pushing through the ground
- tiny purple crocuses blooming beside the snow
- planning for weiner roasts
- little hands clasped across carseats
- Sunday's message about our Saviour
- dads that cook Sunday lunches
- playing Cinderella and Three Billy Goats Gruff

- piles of folded laundry
- plants growing in containers

- a windowsill full of note cards
- blue sky and puffy clouds

- new shoes
- soup for lunch
- fresh bread
- a new barbecue (thanks D & K, N & J!)
- babysitting our beautiful grandchildren
- little boys playing

- summer plans
- greenhouse opening
- peanut butter chocolate cups
- Mother's Day
- colors
- the vacuum cleaner
- first bike rides

- last bags of summer fruit from the freezer
- the right and responsibility of voting
- bills paid
- turning the calendar to find new pictures
- finding birthday gifts

- learning more about Bible heroes
- healing for a broken body part
- tax returns filed
- buds on branches

- book orders
- dishes washed
- weddings
- sound of tractor starting after a complete overhaul
- my husband's pride in completing the job well
- delphinium growing

- encouragement
- thoughts of my grandma
- reading this:  
Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die." John 11: 25 - 26