Friday, April 27, 2012

Five on Friday

1.  I haven't taken a ton of pictures but I still think I'll be able to document our week for my "Week In My Life" album.   I definitely have taken more self-portraits this week!

2.  It looks like spring has headed south!  Tomorrow's high is predicted to be a whopping +3 degrees C!

3.  I absolutely love this card by Leigh Penner!  She always creates pretty things!

4.  Our Mayday tree is breaking into leaf after the rain we've had this week.  I'm sure it will be blooming very soon - insert great big smile!

5.  I love the light in this photo!  The 500PX site is so inspiring!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Gratitude Gifts Today

#3991 - #4026

- new teatowels in favourite colors
- bits and pieces of fabric for a special quilt
- soft and cuddly minkie fabric
- new jeans
- help with transplanting

- steadfast faith by my grandparents and parents
- special teacup and saucer from my grandfather in 1967
- grapes + cheese
- phone conversations
- purple and white pansies, like my Gramma loved

- new games in phys ed classes
- watching the grade fives have fun
- voting
- cutting strips of fabric
- creative colleagues

- reading conference
- new ideas and strategies
- buying books
- visiting with colleagues
- afternoon caffeine break

- praline cheesecake
- knowing He is with us when (not if, but when) trials come
- care and love in our small  Bible study group
- finding the perfect gift
- Sunday dinner shared

- growing things in the greenhouse
- watching "Amazing Race" in India
- packing lunch with good things to eat
- democracy and election days
- photos printed

- good hair day
- rescues
- an unexpected hour for reading
- "A Week In My Life" project
- knowing that I am always forgiven and always loved by Him

Lists of 2012 - #17

Listography 2012 - #17 - Things To Do This Spring

1.  Welcome two new grandchildren :))

2.  Sew baby things.

3.  Plant the garden.

4.  Transplant tomatoes again.

5.  Visit favourite greenhouses and then plant pots full of flowers.

6.  Revamp flower beds along north side of the house.

7.  Paint garage door.

8.  Celebrate Mother's Day with my Mom.

9.  Spend time with all of our grandchildren, including a visit to Fredericton.

10.  Create an album for "A Week In My Life" project.

11.  Use tomatoes in the freezer to make some salsa.

12.  Clean out old raspberry canes.

13.  Take pictures of growing things again :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Hello, Monday

Hello April 23 - 29.

Hello provincial election.

Hello working as a deputy returning officer.

Hello a whole new experience.

Hello counting ballots for 13 senate nominations!

Hello packing food and drinks for two people for 14+ hours.

Hello 3 days of subbing.

Hello video conference class on growing vegetables in our short, cool summer.

Hello book club.

Hello discussion on The Virgin Cure (it should be good).

Hello (possible) road trip.

Hello tomato transplants - how lovely you are looking!

Hello A Week In The Life project with Ali Edwards!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Quote of the Day

"Autumn marks the end and a beginning.  The summer peach harvests are complete, the leaves in their final month of work before they begin to yellow and fall and the tree takes its rest.  Some leaves have been busy since March, laboring through three seasons to produce a fat harvest.  In October they turn bright yellow, orange and scarlet.  They complete the valley's canvas, vivid against distant gray mountains and browning fields and still-green vineyards.  As they begin to drift to the ground, both the branches and the earth share their colors for a few weeks."

from Wisdom of the Last Farmer (2009) by David Mas Masumoto

Friday, April 20, 2012

Five on Friday

1.  There is a provincial election in Alberta on Monday and I'm working as a deputy returning officer for the first time.  I hope I remember to do everything I'm supposed to - in the right order!

2.  I love pre-shrinking new fabric - and then folding it all neat and smooth, ready to be cut into.  A friend at work inspired me to visit a quilt store - I am planning to sew tomorrow :)

3.  Cutting into brand new fabric and stacking up quilt pieces also makes me very happy!

4.  Big Huge Labs has this very cool map feature.  I still have a lot of the world to visit!

5.  I found this sign on Pinterest - it speaks directly to me!

And with that, I'm off to bed - because I have a reading conference to attend early in the morning :)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Lists of 2012 - #16

Listography 2012 - #16 - Places I've Lived

1.  on my parent's dairy farm - both of them (we moved when I was 10 years old)

2.  in room 222 at Camrose Lutheran College (now Augustana campus of the University of Alberta)

3.  with family friends while working at a summer job at Woolworth's

4.  in an apartment with 4 friends while going to university

5.  in a tiny 2 room house that was Bob's grandfather's, right after we got married, until our house was built

6.  in our current home - for the past 34 years!

Gratitude Gifts

#3966  - #3991

- pushing Maëlle in the swing
- dividing a chocolate bar to study fractions
- eating the 'extra' pieces
- new dessert plates
- sisters

- bouquets of pink and white tulips
- Easter landscape with grass growing now
- morning coffee at recess
- watching Amazing Race with friends
- turquoise and brown glass bead necklace from Tanzania

- Tazo sweet orange tea
- new bracelet (thanks, E!)
- pink rubber boots
- wrapping Maëlle's birthday gift
- sweet birthday cake made by her Mama

- fresh, crisp, colorful vegetables in the fridge
- visiting around the table at my parents' house
- safely driving through snow and sleet
- robins trying to stay warm
- icicles dripping off the patio roof

- a changed perspective
- cousins gathered for her birthday
- Maëlle's steps on her own
- God's forgiveness, constant, when I need it most
- leaning on Him for everything

Monday, April 16, 2012

Hello, Monday

It started as rain late on Thursday night and by 8 a.m. on Friday morning, it was snowing - great big fluffly white flakes that piled up through the whole weekend!  The sun didn't really make it out on Saturday and the temperature hovered just a few degrees below zero, not freezing but definitely looking a whole lot like winter.

So, Hello Monday!

Hello tulips blooming on the table.

Hello two days of babysitting.

Hello two days of subbing.

Hello election polling station training.

Hello accountant - it's tax time again.

Hello International Reading Association conference - my favourite!

Hello Bible study group.

Hello more transplanting.

Hello and welcome to year two, Maëlle!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Quote of the Day

"Mothers have multiple hearts -
one that beats inside them,
rhythmically pumping blood up and down, in and out -
and one for every child she welcomes. "

Kelle Hampton in Bloom

Saturday, April 14, 2012

I . . .

Inspired by Becky Higgins today -

i was … reading Kelle Hampton's book, Bloom, this morning - and crying and laughing my way through every chapter. 
i am … wrapping a gift (or two!) and making a veggie tray for a special someone's first birthday party tomorrow.
i think … I am blessed to live in this place in this time.
i wonder … what our new grandchildren will look like - only about a month to wait for the first one to arrive now!
i wish … I had taken many more pictures when our children were little - one of my biggest regrets in life.
i save … pop can tabs for Helayna to give to her school.
i always … wish the day had more hours.
i can’t imagine … living far away from all of my children - it's bad enough having one way across the country and 2 more that are a 3 hour drive away.
i believe … every child needs to know unconditional love, especially from their Gramma.
i promise … to live in the moment and allow space for God to work in my life.
i love … reading and creating.
i scrap … less than I want to but I love every layout and project that I do finish.

Five on Friday

1.  This post about "Can you help the honey bees?"  by Kevin at A Garden for the House, should be read by everyone, especially gardeners!

2.  Now here is one for mothers, especially For The Mamas of Preschoolers.  Even if your kids are older, or you have grandchildren now, you will still relate to it.  And if you know someone who needs to hear those words, pass the link on!

3.  And it's snowing  here again!!  Maybe I shouldn't have thrown out my winter boots, even if they were falling apart!

4.  Tomato transplanting continues on.  We are at 140 so far!  Perhaps I should open a mail order business and share them around.  I know our friends in NS are wondering if I've lost my mind :) - there may be something to that!!

5.  Via Ann's blog A Holy Experience, read this article "22 Things You Can Do to Change Your  Photography Forever".  There will definitely be one or two things that you will want to do  - guaranteed!   I'm going to work on #4 and #12.   Let me know which ones you decide to tackle :)  And on that note, I must end with a photograph!!

Easter Egg Hunt 2012

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Lists of 2012 - #15

Listography 2012 - #15 - 10 Children's Books I Love

1.  On The Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman

2.  The New Baby Calf by Margaret Wise Brown

3.  The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown - Check out this version on Youtube!

4.  The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

5.  The Party by Barbara Reid

6.  Whoever You Are by Mem Fox

7.  I Already Know I Love You by Billy Crystal

8.  You Read To Me, I'll Read to You by Mary Ann Hoberman

9.  The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

10.  Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr.

I seriously could make this list much, much longer!  For today, I picked only a few of my very favourite books for the littlest ones. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Gratitude Gifts

Easter is such an amazing time - so much for which to be really and truly grateful!

#3935 - #3966

- that God would rescue me
- the gift of His only Son
- His words of wisdom
- His reminder through bread and wine
- glorious music for Easter morning

- attending both sunrise and regular service
- sharing Easter breakfast
- smiles and greetings "He is Risen!"
- watching Bob assist at services
- Pastor washing my feet

- somber moments of reflection
- walking The Way of the Cross
- our faith community taking the message out to the streets
- strong men taking turns carrying the cross 
- the shadow of the cross

- letting the events of Holy Week guide our activities
- Resurrection buns
- treasures in the mail

- live theatre shared with our small group
- amazing cast that brought the story to life
- safely driving on the worst roads ever
- naps
- birdsong
- hiding eggs
- Easter egg hunts

- birthday gifts
- cards and messages

- phone calls
- birthday dinner
- new furniture!
- a new book

Right Now

Right now, I am...
:: waiting for a great supper idea to materialize!
:: guessing that the grandchildren will have enough chocolate eggs to last for a few days :)
:: wondering how I am going to find time to do all the sewing that I want to before spring forces me outside.
:: loving the memories of Easters and birthdays past.
:: anticipating  having a new element in my oven after baking 3 batches of buns on the weekend at 275 degrees!
:: reeling with the thought of transplanting more tomatoes - I've already done more than a hundred!
:: listening to Easter praise music including Casting Crowns.
:: downloading Facetime so we can chat with Samuel and Melinda.
:: counting 6 days until Maelle's first birthday!
:: hoping that there are no more days of terrible driving in wet, heavy snow.
:: believing that I am truly blessed by my family and friends.
:: confirming that nights are still well below zero around these parts.
:: making plans to get our taxes prepared.
:: thinking that I've been very blessed to get more days of subbing this week.
:: doing some letter writing this week.
:: deciding when it would be best to book a visit to New Brunswick.
:: getting excited about seeing leaves on trees again.
:: wanting to sew!
:: hearing the Easter songs that the grade ones and twos sang and danced to today.  They are still echoing in my head!
:: leaving school still thinking (and worrying!) about the grade 3 - 4 music assembly that I have tomorrow morning.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

He is Risen!

Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life.
Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,
and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.
Do you believe this?"           John 11: 25 - 26

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Five on Friday

1.  I posted my 1800th entry on this blog this week!  In one month it will be 6 years since I started this writing journey and it's quite amazing to look back and see what I was doing back then!

2.  Over at (in)Courage this week, Heather wrote this poignant and amazing piece entitled  "When Love Hurts." that you really must read.

3.  I love this sign that I found on Pinterest!  It came via

4.  There are so many great colours and patterns everywhere for spring.  Look at this ad for bed linens!  It was the inspiration for a new set of digital papers over at Designer Digitals but I'd love a set for the bedroom.

5.  I'm really looking forward to hiding eggs for the grandchildren to find this weekend.  We have snow here but I think we'll still go outside, just in our boots!  I hope you have fun hiding and finding this weekend too.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Lists of 2012 - #14

Listography 2012 - #14 - Projects to Tackle

1.  Make 3 quilts in the next 4 months

2.  Transplant tomatoes, nearly 200 of them

3.  Spring cleaning, including washing some walls

4.  Finish painting walls, outside window trim and garage door

5.  Paint fascia board on the house

6.  Aerate the lawn

7.  Spend a day with my sister (a fun project)

8.  Work the provincial election

9.  Replenish my stock of cards

10.  Make Mother's Day treat for Moms

11.  Burn CDs for family of Bob's Dad's birthday

12.  Wash patio table, chairs and swings - and sit in them :)

Wednesday, April 04, 2012


 Prompted by Monika at i love it all, I signed up for the 30 Days of Lists project for the month of March.  I enjoyed the daily focus on a prompt and put them all together in a simple composition book (that I got when I took a class from Stacy Julian a few years back).   A stack of Basic Grey tags that were left over from other projects made interesting title plates on each page and I used up a whole bunch of stickers and rubons - which explains the creative spelling in some places.  It was awesome to think up the journaling and then use up some supplies on this very fun project!

Here are the first 9 pages that I created.

#1 - Challenges for this month:
- finish 30 Days of lists AND record in book with supplies
- take 12 B&W photos on the 12th
- sew tablecloth and ironing board cover for Naomi
- babysit 2 days
- sew 2 quilts
- start tomato seeds
(some of these are carrying over into April - yikes!)

#2 - Goals
- cook and eat grain-free, especially wheat
- sub half-time
- clean another section of the basement = bags to thrift store + bags to garbage
- sew Meadow's nightgown
- bring apple branches in for forcing

#3 - Perfect Weekend
- longer than two days
- sleeping in
- not much scheduled
- books to read
- time to create
- a road trip
- clean house before the weekend
- photo ops and a camera
- good food
- friends and family
- chocolate and dessert
- sunshine

#4 - I'll Put Off These Things Until Tomorrow
- farm accounting
- vacuuming
- washing windows and walls 
- exercising
- cleaning out the basement
- garden weeding
- throwing out pictures

I forgot to take a picture of #5!

#6 - Things to Collect
- fabric - in all colours and patterns
- scrapbook supplies, especially paper
- dishes and cups, serving platters and bowls
- earring and bracelets, on holiday too
- books and specialty notepads

#7 - I Am Inspired By
- nature and our world
- colours of all kinds and intensities
- my children and grandchildren
- other bloggers
- my job and children
- the seasons
- my mother, sisters and grandmother

#8 - Say No To
- refined sugar
- sitting instead of exercising
- evening snacks
- wasting time online
- cleaning procrastination
- weeds in the garden
- messy floors
- a cluttered basement

#9 - Happy Places 
- wherever our grandchildren are
- talking to our children and grandchildren on the phone
- Vancouver Island in the springtime
- on a tropical beach like Zanzibar
- on a trip to see a new part of the world
- sleeping in
- where chai latte's are served
- on a golf course
- with friends, camping and quadding
- in bookstores and libraries
- in front of the fire, reading

Monday, April 02, 2012

Gratitude Gifts

#3900 - #3935

- snow almost gone from the lawn
- almonds to use for almond meal and baking
- quiet morning to read
- spring break!
- fridge restocked with fruits and vegetables

- spring decorations around the house
- text messages
- one more package of beets found in the freezer
- planting potatoes in the greenhouse
- video-conference class on environmentally friendly yards

- seeds
- sprouts
- planting
- pussy willows
- daffodils

- creating
- perfect avocadoes
- special displays
- finding the perfect color in my fabric stash
- Easter pillows

- birthday gift (thanks, A!)
- hospitals and help
- geese honking overhead
- a new month
- arrangement of flowers and eggs

- sub plans all laid out on the desk
- reading first thing in the morning
- laughing with students
- sun shining on the playground
- summer jackets and rubber boots

- the challenge to accept God's plan for this week
- studying what this means for us
- the hymns of Holy Week
- knowing that no matter how dark the events, He will arise!
- all the hope that His resurrection gives to me!

Dear April!

Dear April -

You have totally snuck up on me!
It seems like we were just celebrating Christmas
and now here you are with all your promises of spring.

You showered us with snow this morning
but by afternoon your warm rays of sunshine
had melted away all traces of the white stuff.
Puddles are gathered everywhere
and I am sure the kids will find everyone of them
on the school playground tomorrow.
Your sun rises by 7:30 in the morning now
and it lingers until well after 8 p.m. already.
And the warmth, oh the glorious warmth
of all that sunlight feels so very good!
Yesterday in the greenhouse
all your rays grew our potatoes
ever so nicely, in just one day.

I heard geese honking across the sky today
and I'm sure the robins will soon be here too.
The smell of earth fills my nostrils
when I go near the garden
and the first dandelions
will soon be poking up around the house.
There is so much promise as you unfold
spring for us.

Halfway through you we will celebrate
 Maëlle's first birthday - how exciting that will be!
It doesn't seem possible that she's been here
for twelve months already
but she is getting to be even more adorable
as she explores and expands her world.
I am most delighted to share my birthday month
with her - we will have grand parties together, I think,
especially with big sister and brother planning cakes for us!

So it's quite a pleasure to welcome you,
dear April -
even though winter wasn't too long or hard this year.
We look forward to all the glory of Easter
and our Saviour's resurrection this week.
Thank you for bringing new life
and the reminder of God's gift of salvation
into my life again.


Sunday, April 01, 2012

Saturday in the Greenhouse 2

Since I last wrote, we've had some cool temperatures and snow and then this week it finally seems like spring has arrived.   Daytime temperature inside the greenhouse has been up to +90 C and the vent and door have been open for awhile every afternoon.

I planted tomatoes, herbs and peppers into the seedling trays.  So far the tomatoes are up and the peppers are just peeking through.   It could be a scary thing transplanting these guys if they all grow!

Have you looked at seeds in the store lately?  Oh, my - the choices!  There was a whole line of new packages just for container gardens and Livingstone Seeds now has see-through packets so you can see how many seeds you are buying.   These little guys are a treat for my Dad, who loves sweet peas.

Strawberry Sundae Sweet Peas

Starry Night Sweet Peas

And our big project this week was planting more than 150 potatoes into bags!  There was a lot of mixing of dirt, filling of bags and shuffling to get them all settled inside the greenhouse.  They are growing like crazy already!