Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy Last Day of 2011!!

My last week of December has not been one for blogging!  I've been enjoying family, friends, food and visiting - and the computer has been shut off.  Sometimes living life is just more important.

Thank you, dear readers, for visiting and for reading about my family, my faith, my passions and my adventures.  I hope that we will continue to be friends in 2012!

May your celebrations and memories be filled with joy and happiness!
May you enjoy good health and loved ones in the days ahead!
May God's presence fill your days with light and love!

Happy New Year!

Lists of 2011 - #52

Listography #52 - Favourite Photos of 2011

The last list of the year!  What a great project this has been - I'm looking forward to collecting these lists and saving them in a mini-album.  I think they'll be so interesting in the years to come.

Oh, my!  Where to start with this last prompt??  It was fun looking back through this year's archives and smiling at so many wonderful memories.  Here is our year in review:


Snowshoeing in Fairmount

Huge snowbanks

So much fun to play on


Tobogganing and snowmobiling

Sewing projects


Starting seeds


Baby lambs


Baby M arrived

Easter egg hunting


Potatoes planted in sacks and first eaten on May 28th

Little helper at the greenhouse


Inside the greenhouse

4 Birthdays


Quadding in the foothills

Picking raspberries in New Brunswick

Little boys on tractors

Little girls on hoodoos



Summer skies


Peaches in the Okanagan

Birthday fun

First days of school

Canning and preserving

Checking the grain with Great-Grampa


Fall hikes


Tired little boys

Sunrise on the farm

Exciting news


Last tomatoes picked in the greenhouse

Baby M growing up


School assemblies and awards

New homes


Family gatherings

It's been an amazing year, full of blessings, fun and great times!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Lists of 2011 - #51

Listography #51 - Best Christmas Gifts

1.  our family all gathered together

2. an overnight Christmas day trip to Jasper,  just Bob and I

3.  a pair of diamond studs

4.  my first laptop computer

5.  photobooks

6.  scrapbooking mini-albums

7.  hardwood floors

8.  cameras (I've received a few of them over the years)

9.  snowshoes

10.  books

11.  pyjamas

12.  a handcrafted necklace with our children's names on it

and from long ago -

13.  a green plastic lunch kit with a new hairbrush inside from my Dad when I was in grade two

14.  brand new white figure skates

15.  a new Christmas dress, sewed by my Mom,  every year

Gratitude Gifts Today

In our family, this week in December has a habit of being ultra busy and filled with special events - other than the usual Christmas ones, that is!

Nine years ago Naomi and Jerry were married on December 21st - how in the world can it really be that long ago?!

This year, Darrin and Kelsey just moved into their beautiful new home.  I was so happy to be able to go and help a bit - and stay overnight too!  (And I was so disappointed with myself when I realized that both camera batteries were dead - and the charger was at home.  So I truly lived in the moments and saved up the pictures in my mind.)

There are so many special things to add to the counting this week.  And there are so many, many reasons to offer Him my thanks during this last week of Advent.

#3452 - #3472

- sunlight streaming in the church windows
- listening to little ones tell the story
- special costumes to make the story real for them
- thinking again how very much God loves the little ones
- remembering that I am His child too

- helping our children
- watching as they work and make decisions together
- friends and family who pitch in to help them
- the little special touches that turn a house into a home
- a Dad who brought a special gift to his daughter

- Samuel's voice thanking us for Christmas gifts
- hearing how he is enjoying each item
- finishing sewing projects
- anticipating their reactions
- giving gifts as a way of honouring Him

- lights in the darkness
- Nativity scenes
- candles burning brightly
- Christmas trees
- the birth of our Saviour

Christmas Shopping At The Mall

Thanks to Mary at Owlhaven for sharing this!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Five on Friday

1. Meadow and I finished a surprise Christmas present for her mom today.  She is so excited to see Naomi's reaction for this project that she dreamed up all by herself.  I'm so happy that she asked me to help her.  I hope it will be the start of many more creative days we can spend together.  I love the idea of our grandchildren creating with me :)

2. Tomorrow I'm meeting up with some of my family to deliver Santa's Anonymous gifts to families in the city.  It's such a great way to help out at this time of year.  As my sister would say, "We made a memory" by doing it together. 

3.  Jennifer wrote, over at The High Calling, this week of "A Very Mary Christmas", her memories of waiting to be chosen as Mary, in the Sunday School Christmas concert.  If you've ever worn a bathrobe or  dishtowel costume (and even if you haven't!) , you will see the amazing eternal message in her writing.

4.  Christmas baking is non-existent at this house right now.  I have made several batches of poppycock - but they've all left the house, which is probably a good thing!

5.  There are some beautiful displays of Christmas lights in this area.  It's so much fun to wander around through the towns and countryside looking at them.  I hope you take some time to do the same in your community.  It definitely makes me smile and remember that Jesus came to be the Light of the world. 

Happy 4th Sunday in Advent this weekend!

Saturday, December 17, 2011



Thank you so much to all of you who entered my giveaway this week!!

Random number generator picked commentor #14 as the winner!  Congrats, Rachel!  I'll email you right away and get those pillowcases (and a few other treats) off to you so you can enjoy them for Christmas.

As an extra thank-you to all of you, I picked a second winner - and #48 - Cal in Chile -  was chosen.

I wish I could send to all of you :(  I will get around to visiting all of you over the holidays though.  I'm definitely  looking forward to that.    It's always fun to meet new bloggers - thanks so much for visiting me!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Lists of 2011 - #50

Listography #50 - The Best Part of the Holidays

1.  God sent Jesus to us.

2.  All of our children (or most of them this year!) coming home with their partners and families.

3.  Christmas Eve candlelight church service.

4.  Sharing gifts.

5.  Baking and eating cookies and special treats.

6.  Beautiful music.

7.  Colored lights on trees and houses.

8.  Decorations and ornaments collected over the years.

9.  Delivering Santa's Anonymous gifts.

10.  Cards and letters from friends and family.

11.  Candles.

12.  Special food.

13.  Special events like concerts and gatherings.

14.  Reading the Christmas story again.

15.  Sewing special projects to give to others.

16.  Watching our grandchildren get excited about Christmas and seeing how they can be involved in every aspect of it.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Gratitude Gifts Today

Unwrapping more of His graces and goodness today.  And then thinking about what Ann at A Holy Experience says:

"It’s the meek, the humble, who will receive Him still — the ones laid low, the humble ones close to the earth, close to the humus, the ones bent down. God didn’t come with any buzz — He simply comes for the broken and unlovely."

That's me, no question about it.  So very thankful that He sent His son and that He keeps giving, even today.

"Preparing for the holidays is primarily a preparing of the heart. Because what comes down is love and the way to receive love isn’t to wrap anything up — but to unwrap your heart."

Oh, my - that's true, isn't it?  Unwrapping - unwrapping my heart and opening it up to all that He gives and all that He expects of me.  

#3418 - #3452

- more sewing projects finished
- beautiful colors + beautiful prints = beautiful fabric
- a growing stash of handmade
- thinking of them as I sew and wrap and send
- a great big box mailed off

- watching her hockey games
- playing with little B while she skates
- rocking little M to sleep
- hockey coaches who teach more than skills
- remembering when it was our kids playing

- a new idea about giving to charities
- checking off lists
- Christmas music
- sharing activities with my parents
- more Christmas concerts

- Christmas cards and pictures arriving in the mail
- a dishwasher
- planning Christmas meals
- bountiful food
- candles glowing bright

- fresh parsley from two plants that came inside
- crunchy carrot sticks
- decorated trees
- finding old ornaments
- telling big M stories of Christmas when her mommy was little

- Christmas M & Ms
- givewaway weeks
- inspired seamstresses
- smell of popcorn popping
- visiting and laughing with good friends

- God's love for each of us
- Mary's open heart
- preparing my heart for His coming
- how very blessed I am in every way

Monday, December 12, 2011

Giveaway Day at Sew, Mama, Sew!


I am thrilled to be participating in Giveaway Day at Sew, Mama, Sew again!  Welcome to all visitors!  I'm delighted that you decided to drop by.

My giveaway is a set of standard size "Holiday Cardinals Pillowcases" and is part of the Handmade for the Home category.

To enter, please leave your name, where you are from and then tell me what you wish you could be doing right now!  Remember to leave your email address or link to your blog so that I have a way of contacting you.  This giveaway is open to all visitors - I am happy to ship internationally.  Entries will close on Friday, December 16 at 5:00 p.m. PST and I will notify the winners by Sunday, December 18. 

Be sure to visit Sew, Mama, Sew this week and check out the links in all 5 categories of giveaways.  There are some wonderful treats being shared.  Good luck everyone and Merry Christmas!  Thanks again for dropping by.   

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Five on Friday

1.  Jill at MamaLoaf wrote an excellent post titled, "wait and see" this week.  It's excellent reading!  I love how she sees Him everywhere - what a great reminder!

2.  There are so many generous giveaways going on all over the web these days.  Be sure to visit me - and whole bunch of others - who are participating in the Sew, Mama, Sew December giveaway day on Monday.  There will definitely be lots of great things to win and great ways to be inspired!

3.  I'm going to make a couple of Brownie Wreaths as gifts this year.  They are so simple - and so unique.

4.  I saw this on Pinterest today - thanks to my friend, Sue, for sharing it.

5.  This new printer has come to live at our house, after the last one kept coming up with Code 5100 error every. single. time. I wanted to print something.  I guess having the same printer for 7 years is pretty good.  But now I have to learn all about the new features of this one - another learning curve :)

Friday, December 09, 2011

Lists of 2011 - #49

Listography #49 - Things I Wish I Didn't Know

I had a hard time with this list.  I didn't want to list things that made it appear like I want to bury my head in the sand and pretend that I live in this isolated world that has no connection to others.  So my take on the prompt is more one of "things that I wish (didn't exist) so I didn't have to know about them".

1.  human trafficking

2.  poverty

3.  abuse of any kind

4.  violence in sport

5.  corruption

6.  injustices done to Aboriginal peoples

7.  lack of clean water and proper sanitation

8.  war

9.  chemicals sprayed on food

10.  genetic modification of plants

Thursday, December 08, 2011

It's Beginning to Look - -

A Lot Like Christmas!

A winter storm blew through central Alberta on Saturday so I stayed at Heather and Jonathan's, safe and snug.  We had to get some groceries and along the way, a few Christmas items were added to the cart.

Helayna was absolutely thrilled to get her very own little Christmas tree.  She picked the jingle bells to add and they have such a lovely sound.  She rearranged them all evening.  After supper, she presented a little play she made up, "The Two Trees", for our viewing pleasure.  She is so, so excited about Christmas.

It was a good day to acquire Christmas decorating items - 50% off for this beautiful wreath, which looks lovely on the dark green door.

And Silas' favourite was his Advent calendar with it's tiny morsels, all stamped with CARS images.  That morning he ate Sally :)

Heather has an old hutch that was my grandmother's first set of cupboards, about 60 years ago.  She creates the loveliest displays on it.  And Helayna moves her tree all over the place :)

The Christmas decorations came out of the boxes and this little creche found a home on the mantle.

For one of their Advent traditions, Heather wraps all the Christmas books and everyday through December they open one or two.  They love to cuddle with Mommy and read these "new" books.

And outside?  Everything was frosted with a fresh dusting of white snow - which Helayna and Heather kindly swept off my car.  It's December in Alberta!