Wednesday, November 30, 2011


I always start my December Daily album on the 1st Sunday of Advent so I already have a few pages created.  But I've been working the last 2 days and getting a good photo of the pages hasn't happened yet.  Progress is being made on a few sewing projects but again no pictures.  Do you sense a pattern here?!

But perhaps in the meantime you'd like to play in your kitchen and make a batch of this delectable shortbread.  I guarantee it's easy and 'melt-in-your-mouth' good.

Whipped Shortbread
(from Country Woman magazine, November/December, 1992)

3 cups butter, softened slightly
1 1/2 cups icing sugar, sifted
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups cornstarch
candied cherries or colored sugar (optional)

Using a heavy-duty mixer, beat butter on medium speed until light and fluffy.
Gradually add dry ingredients, beating constantly until well blended.  Mixture will be stiff.
Roll dough into 1 inch balls and dip in colored sugar or place a small piece of cherry on top.
Flatten tops of cookies slightly and place on ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake at 300 degrees F for 20 - 22 minutes or until cookie is set but not browned.
Let cool slightly on sheet and then carefully transfer to cooling rack.
Yield - 10 - 12 dozen cookies (recipe may be halved for 5 dozen)
May be stored in airtight containers in the fridge for 1 - 2 months.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Gratitude Gifts Today

"With all my heart, I am waiting, Lord, for you!  I trust your promises."     Psalm 130:5

And while the waiting for His birthday is numbered in the next four weeks, I count on - because He never waits to show me His love and care.

#3341- #3381

- warmer weather
- good driving conditions
- reading to students
- volunteers
- icicles hanging from Christmas lights

- school secretaries
- students practising for Christmas concerts
- enthusiasm and smiles as they describe their parts
- amazing music teachers
- stacks of photocopying

- cards in the mail
- library books
- old pictures
- a day with Meadow and Blake at our house
- Christmas poinsettias from a nearby greenhouse

- scrapbooking with her
- pulling out supplies so it will be just the way she wants it
- hearing "I can do it this way because it's my book"
- celebrating that she wants to do it herself
- looking at pictures of when her mama was a little girl

- cuddles from little boys
-  lemon and ginger tea
- little girl hair buns
- Samuel's request for us to come to visit (we would go in a heartbeat if we could)
- baking Christmas cookies

- first Advent candle lit
- Sunday School class with one pupil - wonderful teaching opportunity
- 80th birthday celebrations
- families who come together to celebrate
- the love and support of our faith family

- orange and pink gilding the sky as the sun rises above the horizon
- a new ceramic travel mug
- time to sew
- more corners cleaned out and tidied up
- fondue night

- waiting with calm and a peaceful heart
- working with others, on a special project to make a difference
- Advent devotions
- His light that fills the darkness
- the love of my Saviour - that empowers me

Quote of the Day

(image from

"See joy in what you give - not what you get."

Very good advice for the Advent season,
posted on the signboard outside the local Anglican church today.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Five on Friday

1.  Meadow and Blake came to our house today while Naomi went to the city.  We had great fun with the paper punches, books, toys and our imaginations :)

2.  I'm enjoying Stash Merry Mint Green tea these days.  It's just right for cold days.  (Thanks for the recommendation, H!)

3.  My sister sent me this video from one of the TED talks.  It's so worth listening to and very compelling to use each day in a way that makes the world better.  You will be inspired!

4.   The sun was gone and it was dark by 5:00 p.m. tonight.  Still a whole month before the shortest day of the year.  I'm not liking this very much!

5.  Here's a delicious idea for a winter breakfast that cooks in your crockpot!

image from

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Lists of 2011 - #47

Listography #47 - Things I Am Thankful For

It's just a little list but it holds so much meaning -

1.  Good health

2.  A place to call home

3.  Our amazing children and their families

4.  Peace in our country

5.  Living in a rural location

6.  Electronic communications - especially email and cell phones

7.  The ability to read

8.  Pictures and scrapbooks

9.  Time - to use in so many ways

10.  Enthusiasm all around me - from children, friends and family to share and pass on

11.  Smiles

12.  Abundant food

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


For Helaya's birthday, I made her a little fairy nightgown.

It was perfect since she celebrated with a fairy theme this year!  

It's so much fun sewing for the little ones in my life :)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Gratitude Gifts Today

Our pastor spoke about the year ending yesterday as we look to the beginning of Advent next week.  He suggested we reflect on the year past and then think about how we will share whatever God gives us in the year ahead.  It was definitely a challenge for sharing with "the least of these" as Matthew 25 says.

#3308 - #3341

- time to read while the furnace blows warm air
- old, old movies
- warm slippers
- a reliable vehicle on very cold days
- warm mitts and boots

- perogies made by Bob's mom
- family gathered
- strong and healthy little ones playing together
- our nephew and his wife who hosted the family gathering
- everyone bringing food to add to the feast

- having everything ready the night before it's needed
- a major (and much needed) attitude adjustment overnight
- reading words from Ann that reinforced my adjustment
- a crockpot
- sunshine sparkling on snow as we drove to church

- Bob's aunt's fruit bread - and the loaf she slipped under my arm
- hotpacks and a microwave to warm them
- shared suppers
- friends who open their home
- chocolate angel food cake with buttercream icing and fresh raspberries

- a wonderful baker friend
- playing games and sharing laughter
- messages - and then conversations - with Melinda
- Samuel playing the harmonica on the phone for me
- listening to Helayna read via video

- hoodies
- finding little gifts for Christmas
- giving away packages
- toys collected by Bob's family for Santa's Anonymous
- making a gift certificate

- how God can turn me around
- that He forgives me and my whining
- seeing it all differently by His grace

Right Now

November 20, 2011

right now, I am ...
:: marveling that it's the last week of the church year before Advent begins
:: revisiting the conversations we had around the supper table tonight
:: plotting how I can get all the sewing done for Christmas that I'm dreaming about
:: finishing the last piece of a delicious chocolate angel food cake that my friend sent home.
:: stopping to think about how I can share what God has blessed us with
:: wondering what pictures I need to print for a little scrapbook project
:: casting around for a few more Christmas gift ideas
:: listening to Hymns by Out of Eden
:: queing more bags and boxes for the second hand store
:: feeling that it was a busy weekend but the week ahead is calmer
:: loving the fresh white snow that's covered everything 
:: hoping the temperature moderates a whole lot this week - it was minus 28 degrees Celsius at 8 pm last night
:: wanting to be finished one of my worst things to do ever!
:: thinking about the Christmas cookies I want to start baking
:: reminding myself that Christmas is about people and memories
:: making notes on the calendar for December committments
:: planning to enjoy every day of the month ahead
(prompted by Amanda at SouleMama)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Five on Friday

1.  Winfield Mighty Ducks - 7     Warburg Sharks - 3
It was a very good game by both sides - and our favourite player hustled like a trooper!

2.  Butternut Squash Ravioli, in all its red and yellow striped glory, from Costco is delicious.  I made a white sauce with onions, peppers and mushrooms to go over top and it was a quick but very yummy supper this week.  I highly recommend this pasta.

3.  The saskatoon tree in front of our house is hosting 3 big beautiful grosbeaks this week.  They love eating the leftover berries and it's cool to watch them work very diligently to nibble them off the stems.

4.  SouleMama showed this awesome Acorn Cakelet Pan (from Williams and Sonoma) with her pumpkin muffins this week.  It makes the sweetest shapes ever and definitely goes on my wish list!

5.  Bob's family is gathering for an early Christmas celebration tomorrow.  I've had to get in the Christmas spirit in a real hurry this week :)  Off to wrap three little gifts.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Quote of the Day

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion;
 if you want to be happy,
 practice compassion. ”
Mary Stewbeck -

(from Values)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Lists of 2011 - #46

Listography #46 - People That I Love

In random order:

1.  Our (soon-to-be 8) grandchildren - Meadow, Helayna, Silas, Samuel, Blake and Maëlle

2.  Our four children and their amazing partners:  Darrin and Kelsey, Heather and Jonathan, Melinda and Tyler, Naomi and Gerald

3.  My husband, Bob

4.  My parents, Gus and Elfriende

5.  My sisters, Teresa and Esther, and their families

6.  My brothers, Del and Brent, and their families

7.  Our amazing friends - so, so many of them and so, so many memories

8.  Our Compassion sponsored children, Helene in Brazil and Dinknesh in Ethiopia

9.  Doctors and nurses who work tirelessly to help people feel better

10.  People who work hard in service industries and who can still smile and be courteous

I could go on and on but I'll leave it at that :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


A few weeks ago, the talented Danielle Flanders shared a giveaway on her blog (you should drop over and see her beautiful creations) - and I was the lucky winner!!  This lovely package of Echo Park's "Season's Greetings"  arrived a few days ago and I am really looking forward to using it in my December Daily album.  The package includes all the papers, alphabet stickers, element stickers, cool brads and a set of clear stamps.  Thanks so much, Danielle - it was like getting an early Christmas present!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Gratitude Gifts Today

Taking words right from Ann and one of her posts from Ecuador (where she was touring with Compassion International) last week:
"And thanksgiving only becomes thanksliving when joy in the blessings given from above — overflows into the blessings given all around.
Thanksgiving only becomes thanksliving when the thanks for His vertical, coming-down grace — is expressed as a horizontal, reaching-out grace.
Thanksgiving only becomes thanksliving — when thanksgiving to God overflows into a joy of giving.
The joy of giving thanks – is ultimately expressed in the joy of giving."

How absolutely true!

#3278 - #3308

- being able to follow along on the Compassion Bloggers trip
- God's amazing people in Ecuador
- being convicted to do something
- feeling God move my heart
- beautiful photographs

- sewing, sewing, sewing
- going from lengths of fabric to completed projects
- beautiful colors and coordinating prints
- packing shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child
- adding letters and closing the boxes

- lively discussions
- pondering
- knowing that is exactly what He means for me
- weekly challenge from the pastor
- worship music

- spinach dip
- chocolate ganache
- turkey dinner
- cups of tea
- visits with friends

- my sister coming to visit
- long conversations
- candles glowing
- breakfast together
- hugs

- bags out of our house
- emails from our children
- a little voice whispering, "I'm a Christian, Gramma!"
- God's love and tender care of our grandchildren
- writing letters

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Five on Friday

Okay - well make that Saturday!

1.  It snowed last night!  And it looks very cold and winter-y outside today.  Today makes me even more thankful for the beautiful long fall we had.

2.  Naomi challenged me to do the 30 Bags in 30 Days challenge this month.  So far, 10 bags / boxes have departed for recycling, the secondhand store and the garbage.  I'm on a roll!

3.  For inspiration today, you must check out the Write. Click. Scrapbook site.  They have three awesome challenges posted as part of a Saturday series.   I was excited to look back in my photo archives and I found this picture that I took exactly one year ago!

I was at Heather and Jonathan's unloading some empty jars from the car and Helayna hung these 'bracelets' on the tree :)  What a happy memory for today!

4.   The first batch of poppycock was made - and half consumed by our Bible study guests - yesterday :)  Let the season begin!

5.  And on that note, the Canadian Tenors Christmas CD, "The Perfect Gift" is playing now.  Thanks, S!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Lists of 2011 - #45

Listography #45 - Things I Have Broken or Lost

1.  My glasses - only once!  I was on a 4-H awards trip to Chicago and near the end of the 10 day trip I lost my glasses.  I still have no idea where they went.  Maybe got left behind while visiting with other delegates - we did do lots of circulating between different state rooms!  My mom was less than impressed when I got home.

2.  Drinking glasses of all shapes and sizes - they just seem to slip out of my hands!  And in the kitchen they are the most likely item to bite the dust.

3.  A navy-blue fleece half-zip jacket - I wore it one winter and it was never seen again.

4.  If I can stretch the word "broken" to include vehicles - our red Dodge Caravan that was written off after hitting a tree in the ditch just a few winters ago.  It was a sad day indeed!

5.  The handle on the cream pitcher for my set of Royal Albert china.

6.  Not all of them have really been my fault, but a "few" repairs have been required on the forage harvester and hy-dump when I've been driving during silage season.

7.  A fence post that was clipped off by the riding lawn mower when I was cutting the grass.

I'm sure Bob could add to this list of mine - if you asked him!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011


This week I'm packing up shoeboxes to send to Operation Christmas Child, sponsored by Samaritan's Purse.  I started out thinking I would do two but once I got going,  I had enough items to actually pack four - which made me even happier!  Earlier this fall, I was inspired by Melissa, at One Crafty Mumma, who sewed something cute for her nephew and by Josie, at Mr. Monkeysuit, who made something special and put it in a shoebox last year.   So I made up my mind that I was going to create something to put in my boxes this year.

This is a fabric cars caddy, all closed and packed -

and here's what the inside looks like!  There are six little pockets to hold the vehicles along the bottom and then a little road / playmat along the top.  It was really easy to create - the tutorial is so easy to follow.  I love how it turned out and I hope some little boy will be thrilled with it too!

And this is what I put in the girl's box:

There's a zippered pouch and a traveling art show caddy.

The art roll unfolds to this -

and the pouch opens up like this.  

I stuffed it with sewing supplies including some fabric, needles, buttons, embroidery thread and scissors. Perhaps it will make an older girl / teen smile too!  I think more of these projects just might be in my future :)

Gratitude Gifts Today

Resting in all the goodness that  He provides and counting on with a full heart!

#3238 - #3278

- a new calendar page
- reorganizing fabric bins and finding lace and ribbon
- the washer and dryer working merrily away
- freshly folded fabrics
- looking back at layouts of the grandchildren when they were little

- uninterrupted days at home
- easily finding online information about Green Zebra tomatoes
- oatmeal with pears, walnuts and maple syrup
- washing the outside windows
- empty greenhouse

- slowly gathering treasures for Christmas gifts
- an evening out with good friends
- delicious Chinese food at my favourite local restaurant
- laughing at a drama production
- sewing for the Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes

- Silas' conversation on the phone
- how Blake is talking so much more
- sweet Maëlle and her happy smiles
- Helayna's excitement and birthday happiness
- watching Meadow's hockey game

- missing Samuel and resting in the memories
- rejoicing with Darrin and Kelsey
- their news about a baby in the spring!
- trusting that this new little one will grow in His perfect way
- grandchild #7 - how amazing!

- basic ingredients + a can of soup + some seasonings = easy supper
- warm gloves
- taking out bags and boxes of things we don't need
- second hand stores that accept donations
- photo challenges from Shutter Sisters

signs of fall
(elm seeds on a November day)

- cards in the mail from Leigh
- supporting her as she prepares for a trip to the Congo
- Christmas lights strung up
- visiting in a parking lot
- an extra hour of sleep

- bloggers who go to places that I can't
- God's reminders that I am a "child" of His
- seeing myself in our grandchildren
- recognizing my rebellion and outbursts as He must see them
- knowing that He holds me just as I hold them

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Five on Friday

1.  The temperature started dropping yesterday afternoon and it went from +8 to -11 degrees C in about 6 hours.  And along with that, came our first skiff of snow.  November = winter, I guess.

2.  After we did some garden work, I washed all the outside windows.  And then I put up our Christmas lights :) which led to me thinking that we need another few strings to really make the house look festive.  We'll see if that happens!  I just had them on for a few hours and now they'll stay unplugged until December.


(but I think I'll change this up yet)
I like my time-lapse photography!

3.  Meadow has her first hockey game tomorrow.

4.  We are going with four of our good friends to see a local drama society production of "Social Security" tonight.  I'm sure it will be a good time plus we'll be supporting the local arts community.

5.  I chopped 30 cups of tomatoes today in preparation for salsa making.   And I still have lots to ripen.  It was a very good year for tomatoes!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Lists of 2011 - #44

Listography #44 - Best Desserts

1.  pumpkin or apple pie

2.  brownie pudding

3.  rhubarb crisp, especially the first one of the spring

4.  berries + brown sugar + cream

5.  strawberry shortcake

6.  pumpkin cheesecake

7.  raspberry mallow squares

8.  ginger ice cream sandwiches

9.  Christmas pudding with warm caramel sauce

10.  cream puffs

Walk With Him Wednesday

stained and worn
not much to look at
made into something beautiful
when filled up
and growing -
just like me
when I am planted
and growing 
in Him!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011


My beautiful niece, Jen and her husband, Will are expecting their first baby in December.  Her sister, Mel, hosted a baby shower a few weeks ago and I made a rag quilt for her gift.  This is the second one in a month and I used the things I learned last time to make this one better :)  Naomi helped me pick out the fabrics and Jen said it matches what they've done with the nursery - yeah!!

The front


The back where I pieced in some prints

Label on the back
(a local quilt store gives one of these panels 
with your order sometimes)

I'm so happy I could make this little one a special gift!