Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Oh, January!
You slipped by with hardly a blink
and only a week of your usual cold weather
with minus thirty temperatures,
cold, cold mornings
and vehicles started often to keep them limber.
You gave us days of above zero
with only a little snow
that even melted
and left icy patches everywhere.
We celebrated birthdays,
attended a concert,
watched hockey games,
played school and car shows
and cuddled babies.
The sewing machine whirred along,
the garage was closed up tight again,
and plump Pigeon Lake whitefish were cleaned.
I subbed eight and a half days -
and came home sick on one of those days.
Christmas was finally packed away
and here we are welcoming
the month of hearts!
Good bye first month of 2012.

Counting Gratitude Gifts

 Today Ann posted that she'd heard from a lady who counted ten thousand gifts and from someone else who'd counted one thousand in just eight days!  And she shared that her book, One Thousand Gifts, is at #6 on the New York Times bestsellers list - how amazing!  I am so thankful for finding her blog, reading her book, being part of this amazing community and, most importantly, for realizing how very much God blesses me with goodness.

The month is ending but my list keeps growing as I notice more of what He gives me, moment by moment.  Ann shared a quote from G. K. Chesterton that rings with me.
I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought,
and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.
G.K. Chesterton
I like that idea alot!  And so I count on, filled with wonder and happiness that so much is given to me by Him!

#3573 - #3600

- being able to participate in recycling
- familiar faces in a new situation
- students that have grown and matured in 8 years
- how to give modelled by my Gramman and my Mom
- red berries on white snow

- sleeping in
- beautiful handmade cards
- sewing
- driving safely home in the dark
- taco salad

- Bible study group
- wisdom gained by studying His words
- supportive friendships
- snacks
- bits of snack stacking up

- forgiveness
- caring friends
- smiles and hugs
- whispered thanks
- fresh local fish

- Bob cleaning that fish
- healthy supper choices
- 50 birthday candles burning brightly
- hugs from little ones
- texture of dried plants

- a journal to record His gifts
- that He sends little children to be our models and our reminders

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Five on Friday - Linked

1.  1.  Randi over at i have to say is hosting a sew-along starting on February 14th.  She's going to make a new ironing board cover - which I desperately need - so I'm going to join in.  How about you - would you like to do a quick makeover for your laundry room?   Come and join us!  

P.S  Randi is also the owner of a lovely online fabric shop, Fresh Squeezed Fabrics.

2.  Meadow had the idea of sewing a dress and wanted some help this week.  So - with a little help from the fabric manufacturers (who so very nicely pre-smocked some pink material) we were able to sew a sun-dress in an hour yesterday - fastest dress ever!  I forgot to take my camera along so we don't have a picture but I found this photo online at Bug Fabric which shows the Minnie Mouse option.  The one we used had Disney princesses on it.  It sure was easy and turned out great!

3.  I took 4 memory cards in to Costco the other day - and came home with 500+ pictures!  They ranged from Thanksgiving right through to last week.  Definitely an overdue project.  Did you know that Costco is having a special sale early in February and 4 X 6 photos will be $0.06 each?  A very good time to print photos!

4.  "Now, as always, the most automated appliance in a household is the mother."  Beverly Jones in "Chicken Soup for the Soul:  Food and Love"

5.  Our Health Advisory Council is doing a pilot project using an online forum to gather information next week.  This is a first attempt and we are really excited to see what the 50 invited participants will share with us.  We are trying to chart a path into the social media realm!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Lists of 2012 - #4

Listography 2012 - #4 - Least Favourite Smells

1.  Pickled herring

2.  Vomit

3.  Diesel fuel or gasoline

4.  Sour milk

5.  Cigarette smoke

6.  Bad breath

7.  Decomposing mice (don't ask how I know this!)

8.  Stinky tofu (it's available from street vendors on every corner in Taiwan - we'd cross the street to get away from it!)

9.  Dead fish along the lake shore

10.  Burning garbage

11.  Durian fruit, also found in Asia

12.  Outhouse on a hot day

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Stethoscope

This is an amazing video!  See if you can guess what the message is :)

Counting Gratitude Gifts

The third week in January already - and His grace just keeps giving me more than I can imagine.  Waking in the morning to know that He created the day, He is in the day with me and He brings the day to an end gives me comfort and brings peace to all that might develop in the day.  And my eyes are opened to see more and more! 

#3538 - #3573

- surviving -33 degrees Celsius with no problems
- warm winter clothes in layers
- staying inside
- furnace blowing warm air
- hot water

- rocking chair
- reading from my Bible
- seeing the same words - one of His surprises!
- reading a book about being His voice and hands
- sharing

- pizza for supper
- picture outtakes
- conversations
- heeding messages spoken
- supper waiting in the fridge

- thoughts from Ann about a House of Prayer
- moderating weather
- plans changed - for the better
- finishing a project
- red berries hanging on the bush

- glistening brussel sprouts
- birthday gifts
- evergreens silhouetted in the blue winter sky
- celebration of a life well-lived
- folded laundry

- guitar music
- gathered around the supper table
- pumpkin pie with whipped cream
- singing along
- home concert

- His forgiveness every day
- every need supplied
- His presence
- trusting Him
- the promise of eternity with Him

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Five on Friday - Linked

Some things for you to explore online during this cold weather -

1.  This post from Momastery is a great read about relationships - and a great reminder.  Thanks to K for posting it first on Facebook.

2.  Anna Maria Horner has some cool color and fabric ideas on this Play Schedule post.  She's an amazing fabric designer.

3.  Winter gardening is alive and well in New Brunswick!  Thanks to Mel and Tyler who sent us this link to a CBC interview with Chester's Fields Farm.  Be sure to watch and be inspired.  Bob's brain is churning with more ideas now :)

4.  This Apple Pear Salad from the Mennonite Girls Can Cook site is a delicious taste of freshness on a cold winter's day.

5.  I love this 20" Little Leaves wall hanging quilt from Quilted Treasures in Minnesota!  The blanket stitches and the random leaves scattered on the pieced background are adorable!

(photo from sewdomestic.com)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Lists of 2012 - #3

Listography 2012 - #3 - Favourite Things to Do When I Am Alone

1.  Read in bed

2.  Read blogs and search Pinterest

3.  Sew

4.  Scrapbook

5.  Read the Bible

6.  Sleep in

7.  Bake or cook, especially for others

8.  Look through my scrapbooks and photos

9.  Read magazines

10.  Eat nachos and cheese sauce

11.  Take photographs

12.  Talk to our children and grandchildren on the phone

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

From Kelle Hampton

Almost two years ago I was introduced to Kelle Hampton, just days after precious Nella Cordelia was born to their family. Nella has an extra chromosone which makes her really special. I have learned so much about life, loving children and celebrating difference by reading Kelle's blog and watching her with her little ones. This video with its precious images and beautiful children melts my heart.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Gratitude Gifts

I decided to join Ann on her Joy Dare this year and so I'm using her prompts this month to look at things differently, to search outside of normal every days and find more of His grace and His love for me.   I love how they are making me search and see Him in new ways!

#3503 - 3538

- tiny chickadee, sitting on the window frame, peeking into the garage
- Christmas cards mailed off to loved ones
- dill pickles made with cucumbers from our garden
- ham bone cooking to make broth
- sunshine laying in rows on student desks

- favourite yellow sweatshirt with picture of winter on it
- fresh eggs
- hot water bottles
- the candid observations of grade one students (you look green!)
- 16 hours of sleep, even if somewhat interrupted

- garage enclosed and doors fixed again
- protection against cold, cold temperatures
- reliable vehicles
- first one to drive through the snow
- heater blowing warm air

- reading buddies
- amazing colleagues
- a new addition to Bible study
- meeting with friends again
- quotes to live by

- "Go out and live.  And do everything as if doing it for me.  Then they will see Me in you." (my paraphrase of a discussion)
- warm clothes for the arena
- playing with littles
- cutting out new sewing projects
- little girls happy to be reading

- reading lists by those I love
- hearing that little movements are being felt
- pizza for supper
- meals without buying groceries
- intense discussions

- how the Bible study message meshed so perfectly with Sunday's sermon
- hearing the call and the answer - "Here I am, Lord!"
- knowing that He loves me even more than I love my children
- online devotional message that shares the same words!
- ABIDING in Him, moment by moment

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Right Now

Inspired by Amanda Soule once again (I tell you she has so much inspiration wrapped up in her head that's shared on her blog, SouleMama!) to capture today.

RIght now, I am...
:: marveling that we have had such a mild winter with hardly any snow.  I think that's about to change as the prediction is for -28 degrees C tomorrow night.
:: tired  after watching Meadow play two hockey games today.
:: laughing  after reading Heather's blog and seeing family pictures from the past 4 years.
:: overwhelmed  by nothing right now :)
:: pleasantly surprised to get some Christmas fabric on sale in Drayton Valley.
:: wondering what to make for dinner tomorrow.
:: grateful that we get to enjoy our grandchildren so often.
:: hearing the saw in the garage as Bob fixes the side door after installing new garage door opener earlier this week.
:: going to church tomorrow morning.
:: planning what seeds to order - The Cottage Gardener heirloom seed catalogue arrived yesterday :)
:: digging fresh new sheets and pillowcases on our bed.
:: sewing a couple of little things for someone who has a birthday soon :)
:: listening to the Calgary Flames - Los Angeles Kings NHL hockey game on TV.
:: eating Pistachio - Cranberry - Goat Cheese Red Leaf Lettuce Salad with Poppyseed Dressing
:: saying "Happy Ukrainian New Year" today.
:: inspired  to buy a new plant to replace my dying poinsettia (I must have overwatered it because it's lost nearly every leaf it had).
:: happy to be feeling better after getting sick at school on Thursday - the poor grade ones said I looked green so I decided it was time to go home.
:: delighted to have received so many lovely cards, pictures and letters this year. 
:: waiting to take down and put away the Christmas decorations - we enjoy them well into January!
:: being able to read is such a pleasure!

(I love the way the highway goes right through this part of the mountain!)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Lists of 2012 - #2

Listography 2012 - #2 - Things to Do This Winter

1.  Sew pyjamas for the grandkids

2.  Finish December Daily project

3.  Sew a rag quilt  - crib size :))

4.  Finish painting the kitchen and living room

5.  Make another batch of salsa

6.  Make several sets of cards to give as gifts

7.  Snowshoe often - if we ever get any snow!

8.  Do another 30 Bags in 30 Days project in the basement

9.  Host book club

10.  Cook the last pumpkin

11.  Host a card party

12.  Print and share Christmas photos

If - - -

Continuing with thoughts of Christmas:

If you could shop at only one store for Christmas gifts, which store would it be?

Hands down, no question about it - that store would be a bookstore for me!  Nearly everyone that I shop for gets a book and some of them get several.  This is a little glimpse of the books that I gave to our children and grandchildren this year.  I love that everyone can have a book to read in the days immediately after Christmas.

So - do tell!  What store must you shop at?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Last year I sewed two Christmas banners - and gave them both away!  So it was time to make one for our house this year.

I used 15 different patterns and had to cut one piece upside down to make it work!  The other side has the trees right side up.  

My projects to share with many friends and family members this year were sets of pillowcases.  I think I sewed 16 sets - and still have fabric for a few more.  Some of them were sewed under pressure - and given away before I could snap a photo!  These few pictures give you a peek of what they looked like. 

I really loved making - and sharing them!

Gratitude Gifts - Christmas Edition

It's day #9 of 2012 and I have a grand total of 2 posts up!  That's really quite sad but now that the holidays are officially over and it's back to school today, I've resolved to get back into writing mode.

We had such a wonderful time of celebrating, worshiping, visiting, eating, and making memories this Christmas.  I simply must post my list of grace gifts.

#3473 - #3503

- that He sent His only Son 
- the wonder of that miracle
- carol music reminders of the Gift
- candles burning at Christmas Eve service
- words of Scripture

- being included in celebrations with our dear friends
- Christmas dinners
- beautiful table settings
- visiting and laughing
- gift exchanges

- playing games together
- late nights and late mornings
- new pillow and new kitchen items
- photobooks
- cards and messages

- grandchildren playing outside the window
- help in the kitchen
- Skype
- Christmas ornaments
- our Christmas tree

- Christmas cards and letters
- wrapping presents
- poppycock
- singing together
- bringing a bit of joy to the front door

- lights on houses
- hospitals, doctors and nurses that work through the holidays
- good medicines
- aunts and uncles
- acting out the Nativity story

Friday, January 06, 2012

Lists of 2012 - #1

Heather organized another listography project - just what I was hoping she'd do!

Listography #1 - Goals for 2012

1.  Finish painting the living room, dining room, kitchen and entry way

2.  Collect 2011 Lists with photos, into a mini-album

3.  Grow a good crop of carrots (didn't happen again last year!)

4.  Start seeds earlier in March

5.  Make sets of cards to give as gifts

6.  Welcome two new grandchildren

7.  Celebrate my Dad's 80th birthday

8.  Celebrate Bob's Dad's 90th birthday

9.  Have guests for dinner at least once a month

10.  Spend the best chunk of one entire day with each grandchild by themselves

11.  Finish reading the New Testament

12.  Sew, sew, sew!!

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

One Little Word

It's the second day of a new year, all fresh and empty and poised.
And I'm feeling a little lost and trying to make an absolutely perfect start -
and then I read Ann's words and I'm reminded
that I just need to abide in Him
and all things will be made new every day.

And as I'm thinking and wondering and stretching
to find that one little word that will speak to me each day,
it comes suddenly and with certainty.


Abide in me, He says.

Every day, in every way -
just be with Him,
lean on Him,
rest on Him.
And He will be with me -
and I'm very sure that this is the word He has chosen for me.
A word sent to show me
that He is the one who orders my days,
who sends me grace,
who gives everything,
who is always there.

Abide - I am abiding in Him this year.

(Thanks to my friend, S
who had these beautiful angels
on her Christmas table.)