Thursday, June 30, 2011

Lists of 2011 - #26

Listography #26 - Times When I've Had An Audience

1.  Our wedding

2.  4-H public speaking competitions

3.  High school valedictorian

4.  As a teacher at school

5.  As president of kindergarten, elementary parents association and band parents

6.  Reading lessons at church

7.  Providing professional development sessions on math to teachers in Belize

8.  Sharing the Belize experiences with Rotary club

9.  Working as summer staff for 4-H and attending camps, seminars and special events

10.  As an emcee for weddings, anniversaries and birthdays

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Late last summer Meadow picked out some material and asked me to sew her pyjamas.  I cut them out - and there they sat until I found them about a month ago!  So I stitched them together for her birthday and I think she'll still be able to wear them this summer.  They are cute!

A little lace added to the pocket and sleeves make it perfectly girly!

Gratitude Gifts Today

More reasons to celebrate this weekend!  BBQ's with friends, Sunday worship, summer birthdays, achievements to applaud and beautiful weather to enjoy - life is full indeed!

Today I read a post at Getting Down with Jesus where Jennifer tells about her nephew in hospital and the message she got from God while keeping vigil at his bedside.  Can we really thank and praise Him when it seems all is bleak and He is quiet?  Can we praise Him when we lose our job, a child is lying ill in hospital or we are put in an awkward situation because of our faith?  "This is the day that the Lord has made.  I will rejoice and be glad in it."


#2681 - #2710

- fresh flowers blooming profusely
- slideshows and reminisces
- technology that helps in amazing ways
- blossoms on pepper plants

- homemade pita chips
- nectarines
- tea with honey and lemon
- laundry folded and put away

- clean sheets on the bed
- incredible sermon message
- chatting with friends
- catching up on news
- morning sun reflected in from a new angle

- knowing just how to help
- vibrant rural communities
- pastors that inspire and act
- watching my Dad with small children

- birthday parties
- singing Happy Birthday and watching them glow
- presents piled high
- little ones watching with excitement

- birthday cakes
- little boys opening gifts
- big boys taking photos
- smooth as glass lake in the evening

- weekly instructions from the pulpiit
- being Christian means having to sacrifice sometimes
- reminders that God walks every step of this journey with me
- seeing Him all around me in the beauty of creation

Friday, June 24, 2011

Five on Friday

1. Today I had the great pleasure of representing our Health Advisory Council at the official opening of the CIMS (Courage In Motion) Centre at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital in Edmonton.

From the invitation:  "This virtual reality / robotic medical rehabilitation facility will provide enhanced physical rehabilitation and mental health therapy to both military and civilian patients using the CAREN (Computer Assisted Rehabilitation ENvironment) system.  A remarkable rehabilitation system that is the second unit in Canada (the other one is in Ottawa) for clinical use, it is the only one in western Canada and the eighth unit in the world."

"The simulator is officially known as a rehabilitation  virtual reality lab.

It combines a moveable, changeable patient platform with a wraparound, floor-to-ceiling video screen. A computer system allows physiotherapists to measure and analyse a patient’s response to different challenges.

“You have total control, not only of the environment you’re seeing, but of the terrain,” said Dr. Ed Lemaire, a clinical researcher at the rehab centre. “You can bounce it, put it on a slope, or on an angle. The platform is computer-controlled and can move in any direction.”  (credit to David Pugliese, in the Ottawa Citizen, April. 2010)

It was amazing to see a Canadian Forces prosthetic patient demonstrate a maze activity and do another drill simulating walking on uneven terrain while shooting at targets.  A civilian patient also demonstrated a virtual motorboat slalom drill.   One of the speakers described  the turntable style apparatus as "a Wii on steroids"!  

Funding for this $2.3 million system came from the Canadian Armed Forces and Alberta's Ministry of  Advanced Education and Technology.

And I didn't get an opportunity to take a picture :(

2.  Rain  - it's raining again!  We've had a week of rain and showers and only a little bit of sunshine.  Plants are definitely thriving!!

3.  I had to buy some birthday, retirement and congratulations cards today and when all was said and done, I filled up the punch card and got a free one.

4.  Mediterranean Dip is on the menu for a little barbecue that we are going to be attending tomorrow.  I'm making pita chips to go with it after seeing that a small bag of chips at the store was rather expensive!

5.  Two of my good friends are retiring from teaching this year and this beautiful picture was commissioned by the school staff as a gift for one of them.   It's so perfect, including so many little touches that are a reflection of her personality and her teaching.

 The wonderful artist is local and went to school with our kids.  (Her mom is the other retiree - do you think she'll paint a picture for her too?!)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Lists of 2011 - #25

Listography #25 - Ten Words to Describe the Man in My Life

1.  Hard working

2.  Honest

3.  Loyal

4.  Mechanical

5.  Inventive and innovative

6.  Adventurous

7.  Determined

8.  Physically strong

9.  Humourous

10.  Tender hearted

Wordless Wednesday

Sidewalk chalk art by a kindergarten student

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Right Now

On the longest day of the year . . . .

right now, I am ...
:: marveling that this is the longest day of the year - and the days are going to start getting shorter now!!
:: revisiting my opinions about some important discussions.
:: plotting summer vacation plans.
:: finishing repotting the last tomato plants.
:: stopping to enjoy the small bits of sunshine that sneak in between rain showers.
:: wondering how I can get all the sewing projects done that I want to give this weekend.
:: casting about for clothes to wear to some business meetings later this week.
:: listening to the evening news announcing Prince William and Kate's itinerary for their Canadian visit.
:: queing cards, letters and packages to mail - whenever the strike at Canada Post ends. 
:: feeling excited for my friends that are retiring this month.
:: loving the birthday celebrations of this month.  It's Blake's 2nd birthday today :)
:: hoping to squeeze in all the things we have planned for this weekend.
:: wanting desperately to get rid of the laryngitis and summer cold that landed on me today.
:: thinking about my sister and brother-in-law's 26th wedding anniversary today.
:: making lunch for tomorrow using leftovers.
:: planning to phone a friend that I haven't seen for far too long.
:: reminding myself to give God thanks in everything, good and not-so-good.
:: savouring summer flowers in all their glory - bright colors and beautiful shapes.

bouquet from Naomi's garden

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Gratitude Gifts Today

The month of June is full of celebrations for our family.  Birthdays, anniversaries, Father's Day, summer, end of school - so many reasons to gather and share good times.  I am reminded that our Heavenly Father rejoices and celebrates with us too, not only on one day of the year but daily in so many ways.  And I am reminded to pause and give thanks for all that He gives me  every day - His goodness never ends!

#2647 - #2681

- hugs from my Dad
- a house full of little ones
- picnic table set up in the garage
- birthday cakes

Handy Manny toolbox cake, made by our daughter

- perfectly enjoyed birthday gifts
- telephone calls from our children
- birthday decorations (thanks, H!)
- new potatoes with cream and dill

- novel studies online
- little helper washing potatoes
- entertaining in our home
- willing helpers in my kitchen (special thanks, Mom and H!)

- rainbow shining under dark clouds
- lawn chairs
- creating a new recipe
- bouquets of fresh flowers

- growing plants
- wild roses blooming
- golden yellow sunlight shining again!
- God's love for me, never failing, never keeping track - always steady and strong                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Birthday Celebrating

Happy Birthday, Naomi!  We are so thankful that God placed you in our family thirty years ago.  You are amazing and we are blessed by your love and care.  May you enjoy all the adventures the year ahead will bring!

Happy Father's Day to my dad, my husband, and our son-in-laws - amazing men and fathers!

My dad's hands holding Maëlle, his newest great-grandchild

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Lists of 2011 - #24

Listography #24 - Things I Am Good At

1.  Baking and cooking

2.  Reading stories to children

3.  Typing

4.  Sewing

5.  Milking cows

6.  Driving the tractor and forage harvester (but my husband might dispute this one because  he says I'm just an operator of equipment not a true driver / mechanic!  And he's right!)

7.  Understanding nutrition and food science

8.  Giving gifts

9.  Teaching

10.  Seeing both sides of an issue

Wordless Wednesday

On the pump at our local bulk fuel dealer's

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


This week I wanted to sew a little something to go along with a cookbook for a wedding shower gift so I used "The Perfect Apron" book by Rob Merrett  -

and created "Gipsy Spirit", minus the pocket.    Printed fabrics are from the "Eva"line by Basic Grey - yes, the scrapbooking company! - and I think it turned out to be very cute!  I will make this again, for sure.

The book has instructions for 35 different aprons and patterns are included.  Each apron is shown in full color and the step-by-step techniques are very easy to follow.  It's definitely fun to just look at this book!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Gratitude Gifts Today

Beautiful summer days, weddings celebrations, Sunday worship, plenty of work, and unlimited blessings to go with all of those - that's what filled this week up!  Sometimes when I feel like the day is less than perfect and there are problems and worries, I begin to count and am so, so amazed at how my attitude can be changed.  All of this, and I mean every. single. little. thing., is given by God in His gracious love and I am amazed that He does this for me day after day after day!  And He does the very same for you too, if you just stop and note it.  Blessings indeed!

#2593 - #2647

- early morning light
- green branches waving in the breeze
- yellow flowers of carragana bushes
- fresh basil leaves on a sandwich

- little brown wren flying into the birdhouse
- big bluejay sitting on the fork handle
- greenhouse sheltering plants
- cranberry blossoms

- Farmer's Day pancake breakfast
- a quiet day at home
- ongoing transplanting
- plant fertilizer

- digging out old shoes that still fit
- baking muffins
- fresh fruit for breakfast
- taking breakfast to them

- pizza baked on the barbecue grill
- dressing up
- wedding service
- wrapped wedding gifts

- reminders of our vows and years we've shared
- wedding band, circle of promise
- visiting and reminiscing with friends
- community history book with stories captured

- heartfelt words from bride's father, groom's brothers and others
- dancing together
- amazing food
- hugs

- sharing lunch with our church family
- planning for next year's programs
- afternoon naps
- water to give plants

- days of subbing
- time for shopping
- perfect birthday gifts
- thrift store finds

- book club friends
- books to read
- enthusiasm
- laughter shared

- beautiful yards
- spaces that are filled with living and loving
- phone messages
- tall trees sheltering our space

- sewing projects
- barbecued burgers with melted cheese
- new recipes
- prayers at night

- His incredible goodness to me
- His love, without fail, every single day!

Monday, June 13, 2011


A wedding is such a wonderful event and we were lucky enough to celebrate one this weekend!  Brett's mom is a dear friend of mine and I taught Kristen way back in playschool.  Both families live in our community and we enjoyed being part of their special day.  Photos tell the story best :)

And just because I have so few photos of my friends, here are the three of us!  
I am blessed to have these wonderful women with whom to share joys and sorrows.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Lists of 2011 - #23

Listography #23 - Favourite Things to Do in My Free Time

1.  Sew

2.  Scrapbook

3.  'Play' with our children and grandchildren

4.  Read

5.  Travel

6.  Hang out with my sister

7.  Make cards

8.  Go camping

9.  Take photographs

10.  Bake

11.  Write letters / send cards

12.  Visit with my friends

13.  Check out blogs

14.  Go for drives and explore the countryside

15.  Look at my scrapbooks and photo albums

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Monday, June 06, 2011

Gratitude Gifts Today

A quiet day at home - transplanting squash and zucchini,  putting some asters in a pot, watching plants emerge from seeds, sewing something special, reading blogs and books - resting in His love and grace.  As the season moves through the last days of spring complete with frost and one last (I hope!) round of snow, my heart is full of thanks and joy at all that I've been given.  God's love is endless and that is reason to celebrate!

#2564 - #2593

- blooming lilacs
- the smell of lilacs as I go by on the path
- a day at home
- computer and printer

- friendships
- open window + birds singing + wind rustling leaves
- birthday gifts
- hearing Bob practise his German conversation

- sunset stroll in gardens
- zucchini roots poking through holes in the pots
- fruit forming on the tomatoes
- washing machine working away

- a new box for plants
- juicy green grapes
- hockey games
- pictures of our children and grandchildren

May, 2010

- inspiration online
- packages ready to mail
- delicious oranges, crisp from the fridge
- pots of flowers outside on the grass

- meals shared
- last apple pie from the deep freeze
- smiles from Maëlle
- sewing and new fabric

- finishing a neglected project
- vacuumed floors
- homemade sweet potato fries and salmon burgers
- evening walks
- His love for me!

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Thinking Handmade

Anna Maria Horner, a wonderful fabric and pattern designer, featured this video on her blog today.  It made me want to pick up my embroidery needle and preserve the tiny bit of knowledge and skill that I have.  It's definitely making me think twice about buying machine produced goods that are produced in factories  sweatshops.

I would love to visit this spot in Cyprus!

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Right Now

Right Now, I am ...
moving plants in and out of the greenhouse and the garage, trying to keep them safe from cold temperatures
appreciating the last of the 2010 frozen apple pies, baking now
planning birthday celebrations - this is the busiest month for family birthdays - 2 grandchildren, a daughter (and another one in early July), a daughter-in-law, a son-in-law, a sister and 2 brothers
falling behind on housework
anticipating the second game in the Stanley Cup playoffs - Go, Vancouver, Go!
laughing with Meadow on the phone
feeling creative and quite happy that some projects are being finished
enjoying a quiet day inside, sewing, baking and reading
remembering to pray for Melinda, Tyler and Samuel who have arrived at their new apartment
hoping our plants survived the snow and freezing temperatures last night - the growing season here gets shorter every year!

zinnia in my pot

Thanks to Heather and Amanda Soule for this post idea and inspiration!

Friday, June 03, 2011

Five on Friday

1.  I found a tiny but oh, so lovely, quilt shop in Spruce Grove today.  At Woodland Quilting, the walls were covered with samples and the shelves were stuffed with beautiful fabrics.   They had Basic Grey fabrics and many gorgeous fat quarters.  If you are in the area and looking for fabric, I highly recommend stopping by.    I wish they had a website that you could check out.

2.  There is a weather warning for frost - AND snow tonight!!  It's the 3rd of June - what the heck??!!

3.  The Company's Coming cookbook company has a new book titled "Whole Grain Cooking".   It features grains in everything from appetizers to desserts.  I have a huge collection of books from this company and I'll be watching for this one to add to my shelf.

4.  Melinda, Tyler and Samuel are on their way to Fredericton, NB this weekend.  If you could say a prayer for safe travels and a community to call home I (and they) would be most appreciative.

5.  I completely missed that in May this little blog celebrated its 5th birthday!!  It's been 1577 posts, sharing stories and pictures and celebrating this life I lead.  Thanks for being along for the ride!

Thursday, June 02, 2011

lists of 2011 - #22

Listography #22 - Things I Am Loving Right Now

1.  Sunshine

2.  Green growing things

3.  Flowers - on trees, in pots, growing everywhere :)

4.  Tomato with basil and jalapeno havarti cheese on toast

5.  Being a grandmother to 6 littles

6.  Fresh spinach and fresh rhubarb from the garden

7.  Skyping with Samuel, Melinda and Tyler

8.  Sewing birthday gifts :)

9.  Lilacs in a vase

10.  Crisp, cold watermelon slices

11.  Listening to our son and daughter-in-law's plans

12.  Chai chill-lattes