Monday, December 28, 2009

NBA Christmas

Home from the whirlwind tour of Alberta - 1 night in Revelstoke, 2 nights in Calgary, 3 nights in Olds, and 3 more nights in Calgary. We haven't been "home" for Christmas for 3 years, so it was great to be with family!

We started the visit with my Mom's birthday and a family dinner that night. Got in a little skating at the local rink, a few sled runs down Gramma's back hill, coffee at Tim Horton's in Olds with an old friend, and Christmas Eve at church in Didsbury with lots of carols. Christmas morning started early with a nose bleed (Jacob), otherwise we might have slept in til 8:30, even with a 2 and a 4 year old in the house! I loved watching everyone open their stockings up and just know that this was a simple Christmas. The economy has been good that way to make us think about what it's really about.

My brother hosted Christmas dinner at his new house in Cochrane where we had a lovely sit down dinner (during the basketball game) for 19 of curried goat, turkey, oxtail, plantain, multiple veggies and salads too numerous to name, Jamaican rum cake and pumpkin pie. The best gift of all was announced before dinner - I'm going to be an AUNTIE again! My brother Paul's wife is expecting!! We're all rooting for a girl (except Jacob).

We had a bit of time to visit with a few different and wonderful friends that we wish we could see way more often!

And we're home to a quiet house with lots of good memories and thankfulness for 2009.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

It's Ours

Happy Birthday to me, we got our new house (1/2 duplex) today! Keys in hand. The people moved out this morning and we went over and did cartwheels in the empty living room tonight (well the kids did- they hadn't seen it yet). We bought a half duplex last month for an investment property so have been busy moving money around, doing paperwork, seeing lawyers etc. Now we just have to rent it out! Know anyone? We showed it tonight and they loved it. If they have good credit, we might have it done before we head home for Christmas.

Great back deck for summer BBQs.

The Heavens Declare!

the Glory of God

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Guard yourselves

On a recent internet search for a gift we are making for Jacob, I came across this!!! After the gross factor left me, I had a good chuckle! There are other things you can make too from these beloved items! This is the model he'll be getting with a bag of mini's. KD figured we had better make 2, so we can have a little self defense. Actually the girl across the street is going to come over and make it for her brother for Christmas. Then we can send them both OUTSIDE!

This Little Piggy

Aren't these the cutest?

Monday, December 14, 2009

I Had to be Reminded it was Monday

See this is why I shouldn't commit myself to doing something this regular. I almost forgot AGAIN! Well actually I didn't this morning, but did as the day wore on...
So I'm thankful...
28. that I didn't miss today's post.
29. that my girl had a great, fun time doing a Christmas gift exchange tonight (it isn't always easy with these girls)
30. for the pretty flakes that are falling tonight
31. for skipping Bible study and just having coffee
32. that my Christmas shopping is done!
33. for the wonder of thinking about the big PLAN- that He chose for it to involve a baby- who would do that?
34. for Christmas cookies and the ability to bake them together
35. the beauty of the world captured in digital and people so gifted at it
36. the similarities we have between us all
37. the silly license plate game my family plays and that I'm currently winning, and as part of that game Jacob yelled out 'Titz' and didn't know it was a bad thing.
38. for step by step craft instructions on projects that looked a lot easier than they are
39. watching my boy cuddle with his dog makes all the chewed suede boots worthwhile
40. that I'm still not quite 40! make that not quite 39 for another 25 hours!

holy experience

Sunday, December 13, 2009

I Love this Time of Year for this Reason

Yes - my fridge. It's time for the yearly update. That doesn't mean it's when all the outdated and molding items get removed, although that's a fabulous idea, it's when we start to get new family photos in the mail with some of the Christmas cards. The faces of loved ones that have been my constant companions for the past year or sometimes more, are replaced with the kids looking a little older, or new babies added to the family, or a few more grey hairs. There are some photos I have loved that have been there for many years, they have sticky spills and finger prints on them, but the faces have welcomed me on early mornings, or snack attacks, or which each meal that has come and gone through this kitchen. I sometimes see clean fridges in other people's homes, and like the idea for a moment, but then think I could not do without the love I know has come from each special person smiling at me. And I think of the prayers I have prayed for you as I've looked at your eyes on my fridge. So keep sending or we both miss out :)

A Typical Family Evening

This is what ensued after the angel warrior scene at church last night (of course these things always go on at the top of the stairs) :

While I had the camera out this was...

(note jeans again)

and this is
AFTER .... Jacob was told he might need to be bribed to cooperate for the family photo shoot when Auntie Tara does our pics in AB. I think I need to take a lighting course.

Meanwhile, in the kitchen, completely oblivious to the goings on elsewhere...

We always wear out toques when we make chocolates :)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Too Many Cookies?

We're busy getting ready for Christmas having spent the afternoon baking some of the usuals (I actually haven't baked anything in this past year's photo- oh no!). I minimized the list a little this year since we are planning the drive home to Calgary if their weather smartens up- we haven't even had snow yet and the kids are getting fiesty about it making a firm request in meal time prayers.

This evening was our church's Living Nativity and I liked that the angels were sword wielding/fighting warriors, who said "Fear Not". The ballet dancing, pretty flowy angels just don't quite warrant being afraid of. It definitely drew the attention of all the 11 year old boys in the crowd. "Ain't no pansy Jesus!" (that was a quote from one of our pastors that I like to say)

The other night, some other shenanigans ensued. I think it started out as being Santa, but changed rather quickly into how fat can I get? All involved decided that those people on the 'Biggest Loser' really do have a difficult time just doing little things, like getting up off the couch. And that maybe some moderation in Christmas cookie consumption isn't all Mom's bad idea.

Erin had to join in the entertainment after rolling her eyes at it for awhile.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


If you know Jacob at all, you know he is all about comfort. There is no pretense in the boy, he could care less what anyone else thinks of him. Sometimes to our detriment by what he says, like when he was 5, to the rather round bellied grape farmer, "Do you have a baby in there?" This goes as well for what he wears. Style is the least priority, the feel of the clothes on the body is of utmost importance. So, since he was old enough to have his own opinion, I have not been able to get the boy to wear anything but athletic pants. We're not talking just sweats, he mostly wears like track pants, and I try to get a little bit of style going. But the problem is he's on his knees an awful lot playing (cars, Lego, sports, hockey, tree climbing, being a very active 11 year old) and they wear holes through them so fast!
I've been trying to get him into jeans just for the durability of them. I've tried many approaches, taking him shopping, trying them on- that doesn't go so well since he hates it the best of times. Bringing some pairs home...
WELL last week Costco had a fabulous deal and I bought 3 pairs in varying sizes and styles. I figured even if they sit in his drawer, they were only $12. Well mercy of all mercies, he liked one pair and he's decided maybe he'll start wearing them, and the first time he put them on without prompting was to go to church. I snagged a quick photo (maybe that didn't help the situation, since he hates attention on him too), but I had to!
His legs look so much taller and thinner in the form fitting clothing :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Post from Erin =)

Just wanted everyone to see this shocking video about Christmas.

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Tree

Friday we headed out to get the Christmas tree. I think I've felt rushed this year, and just wanted to get it done. But off we went. We hit snow, and ice on the way up the forestry road, so couldn't get very far up hill so we walked up trying find something among all these tall skinnies. There wasn't a speck of snow when we left home.

After tromping through the woods for an hour, we came across a beauty, half way down quite a steep embankment. I stayed where I was and the rest scrambled down and precariously chopped this baby down.

Funny how it looks so much prettier covered in snow than in my living room! It was a bit Charlie Brownish and I felt the urge to go to the tree lot and buy one. I figured that was just my pride getting the better of me, and we did a little "grafting" and it looks loved and well decorated now.

This little one also came home with us (the tree and the girl).It was pretty socked in by the time we headed down, so we headed for home and did our traditional wiener/s'more roast in the back yard.

I almost forgot it was Monday! I don't feel particularly thankful today, so this is a good thing for me to do.

holy experience

9. Monday mornings... to be encouraged with other women and read God's Word
10. seeing a neighbor Dad making a skating rink for his boys in the front yard
11. fast food dinners on a day that doesn't feel like cooking
12. having my house almost all clean all at one time (I'm having people over tomorrow)
13. a parcel in the mail today - with polka dots :)
14. a husband who folds laundry
15. fudge
16. cherries frozen in the freezer that remind of summer
17. funny old men in Costco
18. poinsettias
19. photos to look back on
20. "3 Sisters" that arrived today
21. my boy that helped to decorate the mantle, I confess, I had to help it a little, I just couldn't leave it be
22. pretty lights on the tree
23. warm mittens
24. thinking about warm, cozy nights watching movies
25. Knowing that when Jesus said, "Lord take this cup from me" that He chose to follow through anyways
26. quick interaction with people through the internet- doesn't it just amaze you how we can just chat like we're in the next room?!
27. Erin made the city volleyball team and she feels great about it!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

For Tara

I figured you must be missing him...since you wondered...

Oh my aching heart... how can one face be so cute and lovable and so mischievous at the same time? I want to kiss him and kick him at other moments. Did I just say that? I would never kick a dog!! Would I? Where are my favorite gloves anyways?

How can you deny the longing in those eyes?

Take note of the drool in this shot...

I'll zoom in so you can get a better look... the drool ended up on my pants... my standards keep going down... first children, then a pet, there's no hope for cleanliness... but happiness YES!

Oh those eyes.... those begging, longing eyes...
We were trying to eat lunch and avoid the stare...
They are glistening with love for you (or whatever happens to be on your plate, or in your hand...)

"See I can sit really still and behave when there's good incentive."

What's for Dinner?

What's for dinner? Don't you love that question? I was going to say" hate that question", but rather than be totally negative, I'll use my good Canadian sarcasm to get the same point across.

This is what happens when your husband is doing a lot more of the grocery shopping and cooking. You get to have "narwhal tongue" for dinner. I love the creative minds of teenagers!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


YAY it's December 1st! I love this day! It's like the season can begin!
We enjoyed our first family walk last night after dark admiring the Christmas lights and coming home for hot chocolate. It's like a December tradition. Tonight there will be more lights I'm sure.

The advent calendar is up, and as the kids are getting older, we aren't doing the usual chocolate every morning-- even before breakfast. And hanging the little ornament on our advent tree just isn't too exciting anymore. But this will be!
So....I've NEVER done this before, but wanted to spoil the kids a little this year because they've gone without allowance and other things since before the summer and been so good about it. It all started with getting this great advent calendar for Jacob, so I then had to go out and find little things for Erin to open up every day. So for 24 days, they get a little something every day! It wasn't ready for before school today, but when they come home it'll be there! Can't tell you what because I have some blog readers that would have their surprise spoiled.

And my Christmas cactus is starting to bud!

Monday, November 30, 2009

One Thousand Things

A friend of mine is part of a blogging gratitude community and I began to think it was a really great idea! Bringing thankfulness into each day, and cherishing the small things. They post every Monday on their list of up to 1000 things. So, I'm climbing on board and dragging you with me!

holy experience

1. Warm slippers on a cool rainy day
2. Ability to work and make income
3. A warm bed- that is sometimes hard to get out of in the mornings (warm is seeming to be a theme already)
4. Kids that are really so easy to parent - at the moment
5. Chocolate chip cookies
6. A Mom that phones often, even when it sometimes seems at the busiest moment, sorry Mom
7. Finding my dog curled up on the downstairs couch gave us a good laugh, he's not allowed even in that room!
8. Having a friend e-mail even amidst her super busy schedule

Sunday, November 29, 2009

My Dad

Today is 16 years ago that my Daddy went to heaven to be with Jesus. It really is a better place for him with all the pain and suffering he endured for 8 years. I remember the details of the day well, like it was yesterday. How I had arrived home from school and received a phone call from the Dr. at the hospital, where he had just recently been admitted for some kidney issues that weren't really a big deal. The Dr. couldn't find my Mom, who had run down to grab some dinner and clear her head with a brief walk. Something had changed with my Dad, and he said, "he doesn't have much time, maybe a half hour, can you come?" I remember the drive, trying to navigate the quickest route, as there were several, and the one I chose happened upon a major jam that delayed me about 10 minutes, 10 minutes too long. I arrived and he was already gone, and Mom had not yet returned.

Funny how "coincidences" happen... the bed was the one where my first patient as a student nurse in my first year had died.... the nurse on duty recognized me from then... she happened to come around the corner as I was going in the room to prepare me for what had happened. I called my then very new boyfriend, Kevin, to come be with me. He came and met the extended family. Great time for an introduction .

And so the memories cloud around in my brain. Some of them clear and some that begin to blur with time. What an amazing man he was! Patience was not a just word, it was who he embodied, in the body of his that no longer could scratch his own nose, no longer hold anyone's hand, and no longer run or walk, or comb his own hair in that particular way. He learned you have to go with someone else's hair style now, someone else's way of making his day the way it became, completely reliant on someone else. Patient, quiet, trusting, not full of anger, the way I now see patients of mine whose bodies have also failed them. Of course there were moments of questioning, anger, disappointment, but he kept them more hidden from his children. There is only one place where that strength can come from.

And on a day where I think things aren't going so well, I have so much to be thankful for. That I can type this with my own hands, that I can hug my children, that I have the ability to cook another dreaded meal, that I can sleep at night in a warm and comfortable bed, that I have clean water to drink everyday!

And so I wish my children could have known their Papa and scratched his nose. I see his gentle spirit in my girl and how she would have LOVED his humor and soft spokenness in this world of extroverts. And I imagine he and Jacob would have much to sit and discuss, or just sit in quiet and be together sharing some secret joke. And learning a depth of faith that only comes from suffering.

Friday, November 27, 2009


I just don't know what happened to the week. I haven't even started my Christmas shopping, and I'm usually nearly done by now!! This is a bad thing for a super planner type person like me. There are things on the TO DO list that haven't even been looked at - that really need to be. But I'll breathe a few deeps breaths... it'll all happen at some point. I refuse to become stressed by the expectations of the Christmas season. Yesterday was report card day, so we had dinner out, which is our tradition, and made for a great end to the crazy week. Well not quite the end, we were out to a fundraiser for this amazing family that are moving to Uganda. I am feeling the need to hide in their suitcases. Oh my love for that place rose up within me again. I NEED to go there again! Somehow that place captures you... Africa... just the name sounds magical.

I came across this quote on someone's blog, and shall make it my December mantra: Join me.

"To awaken each morning with a smile brightening my face; to greet the day with reverence for the opportunities it contains; to approach my work with a clean mind; to hold ever before me, even in the doing of little things, the Ultimate Purpose toward which I am working; to meet men and women with laughter on my lips and love in my heart; to be gentle, kind, and courteous through all the hours; to approach the night with weariness that ever woos sleep and the joy that comes from work well done - this is how I desire to waste wisely my days."

Monday, November 23, 2009

Moms and Girls

We totally "fluked" upon this group in the fall of Moms who meet together with their daughters every week. We've had the funnest last 6 weeks or so starting to get to know each other. Tonight was our last time together before January, and what is girl time without a little chocolate fountain and a "re-gift exchange"?!

Of course Erin got the noisiest gift to bring home- it sings "You Know you Make me want to Shout" while it dances. Hilarious!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Pray dear sister-in-law has surgery again on Wed.... her 3rd for this endometriosis that landed her in ER twice last week. Glad I'm working that day...across the hall... so I can keep checking in.
... still don't know who the parents will be for our little peanut... still hoping

5 Boats

Kevin's first photo sale was off in the mail yesterday! It comes with it's very own first sale special bonus which is ready to go today :) Just so you know buyer, it's on its way!! It was a good experience in deciding which photo processing to go with. Just as an experiment he had it developed at 3 photo shops in town for a comparison study: Lens and Shutter (camera specialty), London Drugs, and the winner Costco! He's such an engineer and perfectionist. It was nice to get all the family votes on which looked best.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

What's Toast?

Sometimes as a parent you wonder if you are teaching your kids everything that they are going to need to know for life. Are you inspiring them with wisdom? Teaching them common sense? Showing them all the how to's that invade their day to day worlds? How to make good choices? How to be forgiving? I wonder and hope that I am teaching them what they need to know about God and faith, trusting Him, and about relationships, family and friends. And many days I feel I have failed. Today was one of those...

It started with a typical morning of the kids invading the kitchen to find something to eat for breakfast. Now we aren't huge breakfasty people; pretty much only on weekends do I COOK something for breakfast, except the dreaded weekday oatmeal that comes and goes with moans and heaps of brown sugar. The day began like most, and my Erin came in looking for something, anything. I recommended something we don't have a lot at our house (they get bread everyday in their lunches, so I try for other things in the morning) and suggested toast. "What's TOAST?" was the honest, blunt reply. I stood aghast wondering where I had gone wrong. How did I miss this? "What's toast?" How can you not know what toast is? Maybe it's teenage hormones or brain lapses, I don't know, but if I've missed this, what else has she not learned by watching, observing and being told? I guess I'll soon find out...

This isn't my bread (or toast), I totally stole it off this blog.

Friday, November 13, 2009


I am so excited about this!!! Doesn't it just make you want to save the world! The problem is where to start. I find it so easy to get so emotionally attached to an idea or so empathetic to a situation but what can I do about it? I feel so helpless, so incompetent, so easily distracted by my own life. And really what will my $100 do? I want to do so much MORE, but where to start? So maybe this will be a good place, to join with like-minded women and try to do something, anything. To only help one person would make a difference... to them.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fall Purse

Made this the other day with some fabric I just love! My model stuck out her tongue so she's cropped out. Well I was going to leave it in, but she begged...

Sunday, November 8, 2009

It's Ready!

Kevin has been working hard on his new website! And it's finally up and ready! He'll be adding new photos to it and he's also keeping a blog which you'll have to read back on. The purpose of this website, which is different from his original one which was just a blogspot display and interest site, is photos for purchase. So after weeks of messing with Paypal and other things, it should be ready to go! I could NEVER learn on my own how to create an interactive website! He's amazing! Maybe ready for some web design contracts :) So spread the word... he hasn't done any marketing or anything like that yet.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

It Came to Me Again

When a verse comes to me a few times, it usually means pay attention! Especially when the moment you see it, your heart jumps! Isaiah 55:10-12. I had sort of forgotten all about this verse being for me in this season. That's sort of the way it is with us humans hey! We forget. I'm so glad to be reminded, I really need the reminding.

"You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst forth into song before you, and the trees of the fields will clap their hands" (Isaiah 55:13) .

Today in my Bible study I had missed the last day's homework, and was going to skip onto this week's rather than get behind, but felt I should just visit the pages for a few minutes. And there they were.... just staring at me. It was sort of the verses before it that spoke out to me today.

"So is my Word, that goes out from my mouth: it will not return empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it" (v.11)

So rather than just trying to FEEL the joy, claim it and try to live in it, it's more about HIM, letting HIM do it. He already has a purpose for every Word I have read and that He has put into my heart and mind. So it's up to HIM. He will give the joy, lead in peace, achieve His purpose. I guess it's up to me to just follow. So I'm looking for some leading, but know I don't have to control it all.

Phew, that's a relief... Remind me of this again tomorrow :)
I like the heading for the chapter-- "Invitation to the Thirsty". I need a drink!
Reminds me of this song that I love!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Oink Oink

I have a little piggy at home. I don't know what they're doing to actually diagnose the swine flu, but I know they don't want everyone rushing in to get checked out, unless there is a real concern. Sudden onset fever of 102.9, sore throat, fatigue and cough. Sounds like it's hit our house. So maybe it'll be a good week to catch up on some house projects and use my skills at home.

Remember this cute little piglet? Well, I'm asking for fervent prayers again over the next few days! She might become my niece!! Just a little more info. I think I can tell now... KD's brother and wife met her in the summer and instantly fell in love, she was also up for adoption and in foster care. After jumping through some hoops and lots of prayers, the social workers said they had chosen other parents, and the grieving of the loss of it had all begun. Now there is renewed hope on the horizon. It will be absolutely a miracle if this happens, so please pray for that!! That's the short of a long, long story, but we are all ready for a miracle!!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween Fun

I know yesterday I said I hated Halloween, but today was really fun. It's sort of a love/hate thing. One of the riding coaches we know and love had a little Halloween fun day today. This is about the funniest thing I've seen in awhile. She let Erin ride Elvis!!

and Breeze

...but watching her ride Elvis was WAY more hysterical! He's got total attitude! He bit me twice! I think it's called small man syndrome. You should see her get on, she just swings her leg over and nearly touches the ground on both sides. Poor little fella.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Lavendar Cupcakes and other random stuff....

Sorry for the apparent lack of blogging. I just finished 6 community home care shifts and have decided I'm not too crazy about the case management of palliative clients. Way too much to learn and way, way too much paperwork! I like popping in and doing a day or 2 but not having to take on all the concerns of the whole case load. I respect those who are doing this every day, and so realize how much there is to learn.

We made a nice batch of lavender cupcakes, no photo, for Erin to take to her volleyball wind up party. They were just about the prettiest color I have seen for awhile, esp. since the rain has hit all week.

Have I told you I hate Halloween? and have been suckered (that's not a bad word is it?) into another year of trick or treating... Now tell me how old is too old? Erin and her friend were going to take the "little sister" to make it more ligit, but now the "little sister" isn't allowed. So we shall get in the community spirit and not be scrooges about the whole thing. KD just came in to ask if I was "OK" with the wooden guns they were cutting out in the garage for the costume. Do I have a choice now that they're aleady in the jigsaw for the CIA agent? This is the LAST year! I know I could be creative and get into sewing some great costumes, but because I dislike the holiday so much.

I found this STUNNING view of the lake completely by accident one day and I kept this little spot back of my mind. So yesterday me and my man were out and I got in the drivers seat and went up there. He didn't even know it was there! Imagine your house on the edge of that view? But we went INTO snow going UP!!

What did they call that place on "Happy Days"? Prominence Point? Glad I wasn't there with Fonzie :)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

My soccer girls'. This is our summer team! Our winter indoor team is much smaller. In the summer we need about 14 players minimum at each game (11 vs. 11) and people take holidays and stuff. This photo of myself actually keeps me motivated to stick to my diet/exercise regime :)