Friday, March 30, 2012

Five on Friday

1.  Spring is coming and there are beautiful flowers in so many special spots to see!

These are at the Keukenhof Gardens in Holland.  Someday I want to visit and see it for myself.

2.  While I'm on the topic of gardens (!), I went to a video conference class on "Environmentally Friendly Gardens" this week.  The instructor was an entomology professor from Olds College and really knew about beneficial bugs and how to encourage them in your yard.  The next one is "Growing Vegetables for Our Short Season" and I'm definitely going.

3.  I'm going to attempt to recreate this centerpiece.  I even have the perfect container - rescued from a box that Naomi was sending to the thrift store :) and I got 5 dozen eggs from our local chicken farmer yesterday so I am set.

4.   I've managed to sneak in a little sewing this week - it's a special project that I'm giving away so I can't show you yet :)  Think spring and colorful!

5.  I filled an empty plastic container (that once upon a time held salad greens from the produce department) with seedling starter and sprinkled some lettuce seed over the top on Monday.  Then I watered it, replaced the lid and put it in a sunny window.  Today it looks like nearly every seed has sprouted and I'm hoping to have some baby leaf lettuce soon.  I'll cut it back and hopefully it will re-grow two or three times before the garden lettuce is ready.  I'll let you know how it goes.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Lists of 2012 - #13

Listography 2012 - #13 - Favourite Quotes

There are so many to choose from for this week's list!  But here are some that I have on my Pinterest board and a few that I love this week.


2.  "Wherever you go, go with all your heart."  Confucius

3.  "Happiness is not by chance, it is by choice.:  Jim Rehn


5.  "Education is the best provision for the journey to old age.:  Aristotle

6.  "The longer I live, the more beautiful life becomes."  Frank Lloyd Wright

7.  "“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine


9.  "Summer afternoon - Summer afternoon... the two most beautiful words in the English language."   Henry James

10.  "Nobody can do for little children what grandparents do. Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children." ~Alex Haley

11.  “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain



Here's a little baby project that I sewed up last week!

Kelsey had been given a nursing pillow but it didn't have a cover.  So, with a little trial and error, this is what she now has to use when the baby comes.

I will make a few more for her in other fabrics - this was really just a trial run!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Gratitude Gifts

#3865 - #3900

- good food like Parmesan Scalloped Potato Stacks
- rice krispie squares
- fresh pear with cheddar cheese slices
- leftover Chinese food for lunch
- buds on branches

- sharing treats with the grandchildren
- smiles, so many smiles
- amazing comments from junior high students
- gathering memories for a 90th birthday party
- tiny tomato seedling

- salted mixed nuts
- practising piano with Meadow
- Blake protecting his treat of frozen raspberries
- talking to Helayna on the phone
- Silas' precious sense of humour

- sewing for Kelsey and the babies
- words of scripture
- sisters
- amazing mothers
- brilliant day

- words of thanks
- birthday cake
- yellow tulips with pussy willows
- family pictures
- everyone looking at the camera at the same time :)

- "Happy Birthday" in song
- adding pages to Bob's dad's scrapbook
- watching curling on TV
- discussions with friends
- hearing God's words

- seeing His direction in our lives
- visiting with nieces, nephews and cousins
- delicious birthday lunch
- taking lots of pictures
- ABIDING in Him again

Monday, March 26, 2012

Hello, Monday

Hello, Spring Break!

Hello warmer temperatures (I hope).

Hello spring cleaning.

Hello provincial election campaign.

Hello clean cupboards.

Hello trip to the thrift store.

Hello last week of 30 Days of Lists.

Hello tomato seedlings.

Hello herb seeds.

Hello grocery shopping.

Hello evening games.

Hello hospital visits (only to visit others).

Hello garden seminar.

Hello Sunday dinner guests.

Hello end of March.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Five on Friday

1.  I bought a package of beautiful Easter cards - and wrote out all 6 of them in one day!  Kelle at Enjoying the Small Things has an ongoing gig with Hallmark that encourages us to send happy thoughts and the women at (in)Courage do something very similar.   I adore getting pretty envelopes and cards in my mailbox, so I paid it forward.  Why don't you do the same today?

2.  The kiwifruit that I brought home from the store yesterday have "Product of Italy" written on the little labels.  I should have looked closer at the grocery store - that's an awful long way from my town - ouch!  And then I saw the label on the Bartlett pears - Australia!!  Oh, my - it was an exotic fruit week here.

3.  We've been eating grain-free lately and tonight I made Cinnamon Apple Scones using almond and coconut flours.  They. are. delicious!  Here's the recipe in case you're interested.

Apple Cinnamon Scones
(adapted from

1  1/2 cups almond flour
1 cup coconut flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 eggs
4 Tbsps. honey
1/3 cup melted butter or coconut oil
1 apple, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Grease a baking sheet with butter or coconut oil or line with parchment paper.  Mix all ingredients well,  Fold in apple.  Drop 1/4 cup of dough onto the baking sheet, shape into triangles.  Bake 15 minutes.

- I made the almond flour and coconut flour using my blender.  You just have to be careful not to overprocess or you'll end up with almond buter!
- I grated my peeled apple and it mixed up very nicely.
- I baked mine for 17 minutes and then cooled them for 5 minutes on the baking sheet before cooling on a wire rack.
- Mine are round - I didn't make them into triangles.
- Yield:  9 scones, 3" rounds.


4.  It snowed more than 6 inches this afternoon!  We are back in a winter wonderland and the roads could be very interesting in the morning.  Spring equinox??  I guess the memo didn't make it to Mother Nature!

5.  I've done some creating this week - but I can't show you yet!  Let's just say it involves babies :))

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Lists of 2012 - #12

Listography 2012 - #12 - Things I'd Like to Do Every Day

1.  Sew

2.  Read

3.  Play with each of our grandchildren

4.  Eat delicious, fresh food

5.  Walk into a neat and tidy kitchen

6.  Snap a unique photo

7.  Enjoy fresh flowers on the table

8.  Go for a walk in a new spot every day

9.  Use a renovated bathroom

10.  Not worry

11.  Mail a card or letter

12.  Eat dessert!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Right Now

Right now, I am...
:: listening to the evening news on TV

:: eating brownies that I found hidden in the deep freeze :)
:: feeling a bit worried about how to set up the photo display for the 90th birthday party this weekend.
:: working on my 30 Days of Lists mini-album.
:: loving the hugs, kisses and smiles that I got from Meadow, Blake and Maëlle when I stopped by unexpectedly after school.
:: appreciating the longer hours of daylight and the sunshine.
:: dreaming about the two new babes that will join our family this spring.
:: plotting a trip to see my sister next week.
:: enjoying a cup of ginger lemon tea.
:: thinking I should start some spinach and lettuce using the winter sowing method from Kevin Lee Jacobs.
:: planning on sleeping in tomorrow since I'm only subbing in the afternon. 
:: sewing a few surprise things for the new babes.
:: looking forward to reading book 2, The Plains of Passage by Jean Auel, as soon as I finish the next book club read (only 80 pages to go).
:: treasuring the smooth days in junior high that I've had this week.
:: feeling happy and thankful that our son and daughter-in-law are celebrating their 3rd anniversary today.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Gratitude Gifts

Slowing -
noticing -
savouring -
recording -
smiling -
abiding in Him!

#3830 - #3865

- warm weather blown in by a chinook
- snow being eaten up by the warm sun
- English breakfast tea
- travel mug to keep tea hot
- Greek yogurt with saskatoons and maple syrup

- broccoli with cheese sauce
- pork hocks with sauerkraut
- round glass cookie jar
- granddaughter sleeping peacefully in her crib
- chattering grandkids on the trampoline

- little boy reading "Old, New, Red, Blue"
- walking home together after school
- Easter cards
- freeways that move traffic easily
- finding pictures of the past

- apologizing
- home alone
- how small they all were back then
- first family home
- student artwork

- new book to read
- sewing for new babies
- spring look inside the house
- phone messages
- tulips

- cheeseburgers
- leftovers for lunch tomorrow
- Sunday School lessons
- ideas for summer garden
- candles burning softly

- His grace new every morning
- how amazingly He creates each child
- the plans God has for me and each person
- good health
- the message only He can give

Hello, Monday

Hello middle of March!

Hello day with the grandchildren.

Hello 3.5 days of subbing in high school.

Hello junior high students.

Hello insanity!

Hello spring equinox.

Hello more daylight than night.

Hello anniversary and birthday in our family.

Hello book club.

Hello spring break!

Hello lazy days.

Hello Bible study group.

Hello memories display.

Hello 90th birthday party.

Hello busy week!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Dear Swings

Dear Sturdy Old Swing Set,

It's been a joy to have you used again these past five years, after you sat still for such a long time!  The days of kids plopping onto the wooden seats, pumping high, and then jumping off were just a distant memory but there's still life in you - and our grandchildren have found it :)

It's very good these days to have the grandchildren come and sit in the new black baby seats that have been hung onto your sturdy steel frame.  At first I thought three seats might be too many but now I'm starting to think that we'll need more.  We added new clips and chains since the original ropes had frayed completely off but it really didn't take much to get you working again.    You still sit in the backyard, between the house and the garden, and you have lots of years left in you yet, I think.

Sinking your long legs deep into the earth and pouring cement into holes to anchor you in place was a very good idea those 30+ years ago.  Even now you don't budge as we do running under-ducks or get three kids flying high.  The only thing that causes you to tremble  is when the lawn mower gets too close and bumps you.  I can remember my Dad helping Bob to get you set up just right - he was so good at helping for his grandchildren.  Swings are still a fixture at his home.

Meadow, Blake and Maelle climbed into the seats after I came home from school a day or two ago and they kept me busy with pushing.  Blake called for "More, more!".  Maelle laughed out loud as she swung back and forth in the middle.  And Meadow was up to her usual tricks of kicking her boots off, laughing like crazy and trying to twist the chains up.  It was a great way to de-stress after a day of subbing!  Their joy and laughter at the simplest of things restores my soul.  Not to mention that the time gave Naomi a chance to finish supper preparations inside the house.

Thank you for providing hours of fun over the years.  You have been a faithful and patient friend!

Gramma Crystal - and the Grandkids

Friday, March 16, 2012

Five on Friday

1.  National Geographic had a special online article this week titled Best Spring Trips to take in 2012.  Go and look at the pictures and read about the places to visit if you are yearning for a travel experience today.

#1 is the Cherry Blossom Festival 
in Washington, D.C.

2.  And did you know that National Geographic does not allow you to use Pinterest from their site?!

3.  I stopped at a local store earlier this week to check for a certain kind of tomato seed - and I was absolutely blown away by all the new choices this spring!  Seriously, you have to have a list when you walk in because you will be so tempted by all the pretty pictures on the packets.

4.  This excellent post by Lindsay at Passionate Homemaking on observing  Lent and Easter with a variety of projects looks awesome.  I like the nature scavenger hunt that has a family looking for objects to remind them of the life of Jesus. 

5.  Here's a great little article on starting seeds.  I especially like the chart, even though it's American.  

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Lists of 2012 - #11

Listography 2012 - #11 - Places I'd Like to Spend the Night

1.  At any Bed and Breakfast Inn on Vancouver Island

2.  In an igloo - in a very cozy sleeping bag!

3.  Sleeping in a tent while on safari

4.  In the north watching the Aurora Borealis

5.  Staying at any one of our children's homes

6.  In our camper while on a quadding adventure

7.  At church camp while at a women's retreat

8.  At Pioneer Woman's lodge

9.  At the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel

10.  On an Alaskan cruise ship

11.  At Linds' house in England :)

12.  At Uluru in Australia

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

12 on the 12th

I finally had a chance to take a dozen pictures that represent my day on the 12th of the month!

 ELLA Publishing Co. has a "Take 12 in 2012 " challenge so here's my take on March 12th.   I tried in January but I got sick at school and then in February it didn't happen either.   So  I'm very happy to have done this!

Edited to add:

1.  7:39 a.m. - Getting ready for a day of subbing in Calmar.

2. 8:02 - Lunch (tossed salad with nuts and chicken, yogurt with saskatoons, grapes and nuts) and breakfast (banana and cheese) to go, along with water bottle and chai tea in my travel mug.

3.  8:35 - Sub plans for grade 5/6.

4.  10:10 - Recess on the playground - bright and warm - perfect for soccer.

5.  11:14 -  Long division - Divide, Multiply, Subtract, Bring down - or Dad, Mother, Sister, Brother to help remember the steps!

6.  1:21 p.m. - Time to read - love the sun shining on his face.

7.  3:05 p.m - they've all gone home.

8.  6:30 - Our front lawn - last week it was covered with a foot of new snow.

9.  6:50 - Packages of seeds bought at Peavey Mart today.

10.  7:25 - Sun setting

11.  7:34 - 200 seed cups planted in the last 2 days.

12.  8:56 - The first full day on daylight savings time and already we are eating supper late - didn't take much for us to adjust  to longer hours of daylight and busier days!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Gratitude Gifts

The writing down,
the looking back,
the reflecting,
the Thanks
because of what He gives
to me each day -
joy in each part 
of this recording
of the 
one thousand (and more) gifts!

#3795 - 3830

- branches to prune off the apple trees
- snowbanks shovelled away
- a neighbor with a snowplow
- quiet evening at home all alone
- golden light on snowbanks at the end of the day

- email messages
- Pinterest and little girls' dresses
- message from a potter that something is ready
- quinoa cooked for breakfast
- hot water

- jars of nuts from the 2011 harvest
- making almond flour
- salads of all kinds
- teaching nutrition in health classes
- playgrounds at noon hour

- grade 5 students with energy and enthusiasm
- gameboards
- warmth in the greenhouse
- moist seedling starter soil
- potato sprouts

- seeds with all their promise
- dreaming of flowers and fruits
- a reminder that He wants time
- "I Am Who I Am"
- discussions at Bible study

- welcoming new participants
- that He loves me and sent His son
- the hymns of Lent
- Almond Berry Scones
- a roasted chicken from Costco

- sub plans all laid out
- Sunday lessons from the Bible
- "Clan of the Cave Bear" by Jean Auel
- "A Holy Experience" - Ann's blog
- knowing that He has it all under control

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Saturday in the Greenhouse

With the days getting longer and the sunlight growing stronger, it's time to think of the greenhouse and growing things again.  I thought a little Saturday series might be fun to do in order to keep track of what's happened out there each week.  We'll see if it plays out that way!

Bob's been busy thinking about how to save more of the day's heat for the chilly nights so that plants can start growing inside before the danger of frost is past here.  That usually doesn't happen consistently for probably another six weeks so if we could get a jump on the growing season it would be great.

Bob's mom kept some potatoes for us to use for seed and they have strong shoots starting to develop so today they went under a thin layer of soil to start rooting.  They'll be moved into growing sacs in a week or two.

I sorted through the old seed packets and will send an order for new seeds off to The Cottage Gardener this week.  I filled some little planting pots with seedling starter and dropped in the last of 2011's tomato seeds.   I hope they still have some germination power left buried deep inside!

The temperature in the greenhouse has been very warm this week with all the sunlight we're getting and it was positively spring-like to be in there today!   It makes it seem like winter has disappeared - until you step outside into the snow again.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

10 Things

Shimelle and some of her friends have a little 10 Things project that they do on the 10th of the month so I thought I'd join in this time around.  My collection is built around today's short - but productive - shopping trip.

1.  Fabricland had a 50% off sale on quilt batting, notions, flannel and fabrics - basically everything in the store.  Many quilting cottons were 60% off!  Let's just say that it was a good thing I was only in the store for 90 minutes :)  And I have added to the stash of Halloween, Easter, and quilt fabrics.

2.  The colors and patterns in a fabric store make me very happy.  My new scheme today included grey - lots of beautiful grey.

3.  Nachos + cheese sauce = a yummy favourite snack after missing supper..

4.  Costco has big heavy bags of potting soil for $9.99 each.  It's the best bargain in town.

5.  If you have heavy things to load, Costco offers carry-out service - thankfully.

6.  I scored big time on some fun chocolate treats today.  I am so excited to share them at Easter time.

7.  I gave my winter jacket a break today and just wore a hoodie when I went shopping - it was perfect!

8.  Chapters had a special on today - buy 3 books, get the 4th one free - I wish I'd known before I got to the checkout.

9.  Tomorrow I'm bringing in some apple branches to force so I can have green leaves for Easter :)  All the spring things in the stores inspired me.

10.  And I am off to bed since daylight saving time is arriving in just a few hours - not shopping related but reality!

Friday, March 09, 2012

Five on Friday

1.  After reading the book,

we are trying to eat a wheat free diet.  It's challenging - especially when it comes to baking and favourites like pizza - but we are seeing a difference in our health already.   Heather and Jonathan tried a recipe for Cauliflower Pizza Crust and it was delicious.  So today I made a Chicken and Veggie Pizza on a Cauliflower Crust.  The recipe is on this post and she showed some good techniques to make it work better.  It's now on my list of great substitutes!

(photo from

2.  After the big snowstorm earlier this week, it's turned warm and certainly seems alot like spring with puddles everywhere.  Spring must be just around the corner :)

3.  Our little Maëlle is getting very close to walking.  The other night, I was holding her hands and she was taking steps when she just let go of my fingers and wanted to stand there all by herself.  She's getting brave, brave, brave!  What a little go-getter she will be when she's walking :)

4.  Jennifer at Getting Down with Jesus shared a great post about her husband, "What a Man Will Do When He Becomes a Miracle" this week.  This song was featured - the words are so profound!

5. Are you ready for daylight saving time to begin? Sleep fast on Saturday night so you can wake up early :) Our poor granddaughter has a 9 a.m. hockey game in a town nearly an hour away from their home - what a way to start a day!

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Lists of 2012 - #10

Listography 2012 - #10 - Things I Haven't Finished

1.  December Daily albums for 2010 and 2011

2.  green quilt - rectangles and squares sewn together and pieced into strips - there it hangs

3.  mastering any part of Photoshop Elements

4.  painting the living room and entry

5.  reading The Girls for book club - and I don't think it's happening

6.  washing fronts of the cupboards

7.  sewing leggings for Maelle - I think she's outgrown them

8.  more batches of salsa - 2 pails of tomatoes are still waiting in the freezer

9.  organizing my fabrics

10.  ordering seeds

11.  cleaning out the basement

12.  sewing pyjamas for the grandkids

13.  hanging the mirror in the hallway

14.  washing or dusting the blinds

15.  scrapbook layouts about the grandchildren - I did 3 last April and the rest are stacked and waiting

Wednesday, March 07, 2012


 Randi at I have to say, is hosting monthly sew-along projects throughout 2012.  In February, she shared an easy tutorial for making an ironing board cover.  I haven't had a new one for years and years - mine was a sad, threadbare, stained mess - so I decided to use some of my favourite fabric and sew a new one.

It was really easy to make and I love how it turned out.

This should make ironing a happy chore, right?!  Actually I don't mind it at all and having a new cover makes me very happy.  I can see myself making a few more of these for family and friends.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Gratitude Gifts

A new month and new graces given each day.
How very amazing is this life that I've been granted!

#3750 - 3795

- toys scattered throughout the house
- little Lego villages
- yellow Lego 'combine' unloading grain
- time with just Silas
- text message requests to sub

- pregnancies progressing noticeably :)
- little girl sitting in the booster chair eating supper
- cuddling Maëlle as she falls asleep
- playing peekaboo in the mirror
- soft pink sleepsac that she loves

- big green salad for supper
- loads of fresh laundry folded and put away
- clothes to wear on cold winter days
- guest room bed freshly made, waiting for visitors
- new ironing board cover

- green gel pen for March counting
- filling the tea chest
- lime green bow on birthday present
- supper with friends
- pictures of a holiday in Australia

- pink hoodie
- wedding rings
- silence and time to contemplate words and actions
- bodies fighting illness
- sharing lunch

- last minute sub calls
- bag of blueberries found in the deep freeze
- honeydew melon
- safely home after driving on snowy roads
- visiting our niece

- drawer emptied and sorted
- another bag to give away
- Greek lemon yogurt
- shovelling snowbanks
- snow stacked

- golden light on the snow at day's end
- plowing through snowbanks to get up the driveway
- road trips
- spending time with my parents
- watching them enjoy the new home

- reading
- anticipating the discussion
- messages from God
- thinking about how the Holy Spirit leads
- ABIDING in Him

Monday, March 05, 2012

Hello, Monday

Hello Monday!

Hello March!

Hello new sewing projects.

Hello days of subbing.

Hello house cleaning.

Hello seed catalogue.

Hello longer days.

Hello sprouting potatoes.

Hello blanket of snow!

Hello sky and land all melding white together.

Hello snow shovel.

Hello snow shoes :))

Hello tracks in the snow.

Hello deep, deep quiet.

Hello Bible study group.

Hello pictures of the weekend.

Hello road trip memories.

Hello Compassion daughters - your letters are on their way.

Hello spring cleaning.

Hello bags going to the second hand store.

Hello drawers with empty corners.

Hello daylight savings time - you are coming back already?  Oh, my!

Hello Good Day (thanks to Amanda Soule and Ali Edwards for the link this morning).

Friday, March 02, 2012

Five on Friday

1.  The amazing Kelle Hampton, over at Enjoying the Small Things, wrote a wonderful Hallmark post called It Takes a Village, this week.   My daughters and their friends do things like this all the time and I am so proud of the ways they support and love each other.  And Kelle's new book, Bloom - Finding Beauty in the Unexpected, is available for pre-order now - I can hardly wait to read it!

2.  The youngest of our grandchildren is just about ready to start walking on her own!  She's getting very brave about pulling herself up and letting go of the furniture.  It's so hard to believe that she will have her first birthday in just a bit more than a month - and that her Mama is getting ready to go back to work after a year's maternity leave!

3.  Happy Birthday to our son who celebrated his birthday yesterday.  It's been an amazing year for him - and the one ahead promises to be even more exciting!

4.  I joined the 30 Days of Lists project for this month.  I'm looking forward to challenging myself with some extra creativity.  Please come over and join us!

5.  Our Bible study group is reading Heaven is for Real this month.  

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Lists of 2012 - #9

Listography 2012 - #9 - Stores I Wish I Could Shop At

Some for me, some for my house, some for my family -

1.  Urban Barn

2.  J. Crew

3.  Lisa Leonard Designs

4.  Etsy

5.  Quilt Stores(any and all!)

6.  Gymboree

7.  Kunitz Shoes

8.  Atmosphere

9.  Pier 1

10.  Pottery Barn

11.  L.L. Bean

12.  Nordstrom's