Thursday, December 12, 2013

WestJet Makes Me Cry

I don't normally share videos on here, but I recently watched this video, and I'm not gonna made me cry! 
WestJet is a Canadian company, and whenever we fly (which is hardly ever!), we try and use them.  And here's just another reason why I love them....

Saturday, December 7, 2013

A Quiet Morning?!

This morning, I'm reveling in something that rarely (if ever) happens around here....and on a Saturday morning, none the less!  I am home.  Alone.  HOME ALONE! 
Art took the 3 younger girls to the church for their practice for the Christmas concert and then him and Hannah were going on a shopping date for Hannah's secret sister.  So that leaves me home.  alone.  It's a Christmas miracle!
It's funny, I long for these times, and yet, when they are here, I'm not quite sure what to do with myself!  After the flurry of getting everyone ready and suited up (it's -40C with windchill this morning!) and out the door, I'm taking a few moments to sit.  In the quiet.  By myself.  I had a leisurely breakfast.  By myself.  I cranked up some tunes (what I wanted to listen to, not kids music!).  And now, I sit.  Listening.  To the hum of the dishwasher (I can hear it after I turned down my music).  To the quiet. 

As I sit in my new favorite place (this chair!), I realize that listening is a discipline that I am unaccustomed to.  I'm used to talking.  Doing.  Rushing.  Reminding (otherwise known as nagging...).  Ordering.  And then talking some more.  And let me tell you, I'm digging "listening".  It's been too long since I've just sat.  And I am reminded that this is something that I must make time for.  It's something that feeds my soul.  And my spirit. 
And in this quiet, the quiet I many times long for, I realize that, although this quiet is glorious, I do love the sound of life.  The sound of little girls giggling.  And footsteps pounding up and down the stairs.  And the endless chatter.  And the never ending question...."Mom?"  And I am thankful.  Thankful for the quiet.  And the opportunity to sit.  And listen.  But I am also so thankful for the life. 


Thursday, November 28, 2013


As I've said before, baking is one of my forms of therapy .  Preferably something bread-like, with yeast.  My family LOVES it when I need some therapy.
Another form of therapy for me is to decorate.  To mess around with a space, using what I have around the house to make it fresh and new and fun. 
The other night, we headed over to have a visit with some good friends' of ours.  They just moved into a house in the summer, and so now that all the "major" work is done, the fun begins...the fun of decorating!  Art helped put up a shelf in their dining room, and my friend asked me to give her a hand putting some things together on the shelf.  She's been scouring the back roads and garbage dumps for old windows, and has come up with a pile of them, so that's what we used...
Here's the end result... and I think it looks pretty good!

It was great to visit...and have some therapy.  Thanks, friends!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Baby, It's Cold Outside!

This week has been cold.  Really, really cold.  And we've had snow.  Lots and lots of snow.  But, truth be told, it really is beautiful.  Even if it means that my husband spends 3 hours plowing our driveway, plus a few of our neighbors.  We get treated to beautiful sunsets.  And it looks clean.  And fresh.  And cold!
The snow has definitely put me in the mood for Christmas, and my house is now put back together, after being pulled apart.  My Christmas trees are up.  My nativity scene displayed.  And tomorrow?  Christmas shopping.  With no children.  Just my man and me.  And maybe Sunday too...(thanks, Auntie Frieda!)
It's supposed to get above zero tomorrow, so hopefully, some of the 40 cms. of snow that we got over the last week will start to melt.  And make a slushy, dirty mess.  But I won't complain...because it'll feel like Spring after the -25C that we had earlier this week!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Snuggle In

We got over a foot of snow yesterday around these parts.  Seems like winter is here to stay.  I hardly feel ready, yet I know that Old Man Winter won't wait for me.
Today after church, we all changed back into pajamas and piled on the couch to snuggle in.  Ellie Mae cuddled with me for about 2.9 minutes, after which she abandoned me to play checkers with her older sister.  Abby still sits with me, under the same blanket, plugging away at a book she needs to get through for school.  Hannah and Art lay opposite me...and I hear slow, methodical breathing from the man of our house, while Hannah occasionally whispers about things she's found on kijiji that we "must" buy.
These are the days that I want to be permanently etched in my memory.  The days of all my people around me.  The days of falling asleep on the couch while little girls quietly giggle, and older girls still wanting to be around their parents, not yet consumed with friendships and wanting to "get out" on a Sunday afternoon.  And I know that these days are fleeting.  And they are passing all too quickly...
So today on this Sunday, this day of rest that God has given us, I'm snuggling in with my family.  With my napping husband and giggling girls.... and I hope you get to do the same!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Farmfair, and All That Fun Stuff!

This past week was Farmfair, over at Northlands.  Every year, we try and get out there at least one day, and this year was no exception.  My Mom was in town, so she joined us, and we headed out to watch the Heritage Ranch Rodeo on Tuesday night, with our cute cowgirls...
On Friday, my Dad made it up from Red Deer, where he was at a different Ag Show to watch the Girls compete in the Canadian Dummy Roping Championship.  Last year was the first year Abby and Molly competed, and they really enjoyed it, so they were anxious to enter again this year...

Molly practiced really hard this year, and really upped her game and came in 3rd in her age category, winning a really sweet halter.  Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get any other pictures of the Girls roping except this one, because my hands were shaking so bad, I was SO nervous for them!  Good thing it was Art over there, watching them, and not me - I would've made them even more nervous!


Abby practiced really hard this year too, and warmed up really well, but when it came time to rope, she got only the left horn, every single time, and wasn't able to fish the rope over.  She was super disappointed with herself, but we were so proud of her still.... She tied for 7th this year, and she's already talking about coming back next year to do better.

All in all, there were about 77 kids which competed, and it really was a great event!

Molly got her picture taken in the winners circle, and I don't think anything could've wiped that smile off her face!

After the competition, we walked around Farmfair for a bit, with Abby proudly wearing her contestant badge...
We were super proud of the girls, and all the practice and hard work they put into this competition.  Ellie Mae is talking about competing next year as well, so we'll see if that happens...
Friday was also my Dad's birthday, so after the big competition, we headed out for dinner together.  I didn't get a picture of the birthday boy though (oops!), but it was fun to celebrate together with my folks.  After dinner, we headed home to enjoy some coconut cream pie (one of my Dad's favorite's) that Abby and my Mom had made.  It was a great day of celebrating all around. 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

We went to the Big D, I DO mean Dallas

We've just gotten home from a whirlwind trip to one of our dream destinations, Texas.  We surprised the Girls, told them the day before, and headed off for 2 weeks.  It was a great trip filled with many new experiences, lotsa giggling, smiles and fun family time. 

A week was spent in the small town of Gruene, and another week in Galveston.  So many stories to tell, but I don't want to bore you with the details.  Instead, I'll let my pictures do the talking...
At our new favorite restaurant...Rudy's.  The best BBQ around!

I had to take a picture of the bathrooms, 'cuz they were so cool!

One of the things that we loved about Texas is the pride that Texans have of their state.  So proud, in fact, that we found many food items that they customized to show their pride.

We spent a day at Sea World where petting the dolphins was a huge highlight... well as the shows they put on.  The show, "Azul" was especially impressive!  With divers and dolphins and was amazing!

Another day was spent touring San Antonio, which included seeing The Alamo... well as taking in the River Walk in downtown.  Here's a great picture of my folks, who joined us on our trip.

We spent a (too short) day at Round Top during Antiques week.  I had many, many meltdowns while looking at all the cool things that I couldn't bring home. 

Our mode of transportation was "The Hutterite Van", which was very roomy, and so (not) fun to drive.  However, it worked well for us - and all our luggage

Round Top really was amazing, with miles and miles of tents and dealers and antiques and crafts, the majority of which couldn't come home with me due to lack of space.  I told Art that the next time we go, I'm bringing home a semi-load!

The first week was spent in Gruene, which is a great little small Texas town.  Here was the general store, which of course, we had to have ice cream at (a few times!)  Gruene was also about 10 miles from the biggest outlet mall this girl has ever seen (much to my Dad's chagrin!). 

We ate dinner one night at The Gristmill, which had the *best* ribs ever!  It was a really neat restaurant, in the old cotton mill on the edge of the river.  Beautiful!

The second week we spent in Galveston, where we enjoyed the warm, warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico....

The last 2 days of our trip, we visited with some friends in Houston, did a wee bit more shopping which The Girls were very, very excited about - because it was at the American Girl store!

...we ate lots of bbq....

...saw the Fort Worth Stock Yards, which are the historic site where the stockyards and packing houses used to be...

....and where every day, twice a day, they run their small herd of Texas Longhorns down main street.

We flew home, after enjoying a little more than 2 weeks away. 

It was a super amazing holiday, where we sure enjoyed seeing some of the many sights of Texas.  Now the only question is, "When do we get to go back?!" 

Monday, September 16, 2013

A Gift of Days

Do you ever feel like you've been given a gift of a day?  A day that, in your mind, is so absolutely perfect that you don't want to spoil it by talking about it, or even worse, trying to repeat it?  A day that you think to yourself, "That day really couldn't have gotten any better..."
I know, I know, we should really think about every day as a gift, and I get that, but then maybe I need to be thinking of these 'special days' as a surprise gift.  These are the days that just kinda knock you off your feet and onto your knees because you're so darn thankful for them.
I've felt overwhelmed lately at the frequency of these 'gift of days', undeserving at times, humbled that I get to experience something so wonderful, and definitely, most definitely, thankful. 
Recently, we had the day of quadding that was pretty much perfect.  And yesterday?  Another gift of a day....
We were asked to meet some dear friends, who we don't get to see often enough, at their pasture land.  They had to salt cows, and we got invited along for the ride.  We drove for a few hours (made a bit longer by a bridge being closed and having to take a detour) to arrive in absolute beauty.  Trees, mountains, creeks.... an unseasonably warm fall day.... it was bliss!  The guys dropped us girls (lotsa girls...6 little ladies in all!) beside a creek and went to do their 'chores', and we just played.  And played.  I don't know what it is about a little, cold creek, with lotsa rocks that makes everyone so happy.  Myself included!  The girls all played and splashed and got really cold feet (and legs, and hands!) while us Moms got to visit a bit.  And play a bit.
My bigger girls sure enjoyed keeping tabs on the littler girls...

A climb a few rocks and look at a few little waterfalls...

And splash each other.  And their Mom.  And their Dad.  A lot.

The water was crystal clear....

And many rocks were chucked....

And smiles were abounding...all day long.

And I got to hold a new addition to our friends' family...a wee boy... (but of course, I missed pictures of him!  oy!)
After playing and eating and visiting and laughing, the day quickly came to a close, and we had to head back home.  Boo hoo!  But on the way home, we got to see some wild horses... well as a spectacular sunset, which I took pictures of, but can't even post, because the pictures didn't come close to doing it justice.
It was a long day, but an oh, so good day.  A day that was good for my soul, to be with friends, and my wee little family.  It was a gift of a day.