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.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Here's a whole boatload of randomness for you today.  There is absolutely no rhyme or reason...just random:

1.  I'm making granola right now.  I'm telling you, if I could make this scent and put it into a candle, I'd be a millionaire!  Art and I have granola. every. single. morning.  For real.  Add it to some yogurt, and you've got yourself a healthy, yummy breakfast.  And it smells good too! 

2.  I was at the bottle depot today.  Twice ('cuz I'm a sucker for punishment!).  And is it just me, or do they ask everyone, "Have you counted your cans and bottles?"  Ummm, NOPE!  Isn't that what your job is?  I mean, I know I brought in 10 garbage bags of bottles... but really?  Am I supposed to keep a running tally every time I send one of the girls out to the garage to put a can in?  Or am I just being ignorant to the ways of bottle depot-ing?  Help me out here, friends! 

3.  We cleaned out the chicken mansion on the weekend.  I was kinda dreading it, but I am telling ya, once we all donned our carhartt's, we were a well-oiled-chicken-poo-cleaning-machine! (I'm not sure if that's something to be saying out loud, but whatevs.)

4.  Molly is becoming a chicken whisperer.  Most days, she'll go out and hang with the hens, putting some scratch on her pants and sitting very, very still.  After a few minutes of this, she has them eating out of her hand.

5.  Moses is kinda crippled these days, and he's decided on a new mode of transportation which he LOVES.  The only problem is when I'm driving, sometimes his foot hits the gas.  Then it makes things a bit sketchy.  Oh well, he's a senior citizen, and he's gotta have a bit of crazy every once in a while!
5.  These little girls, they like to giggle.  A lot.  I hear them whispering and giggling in the morning, during school, while doing chores, when we're out doing errands, and when I tuck them into bed.  They giggle and giggle and giggle.  I like it.  A lot.  I hope they'll always enjoy each other this much!

6.  Our turkeys are getting butchered next week.  I can hardly wait to see how much those bad boys weigh.  We raised 9 of them this year, and the plan is to keep 2 and sell 7.  They are all pre-sold, so that's good.  The Girls will be paying for the processing, and keeping the profit.  They are pretty excited about that!
7.  Guess who's the new 4-H Sheep leader?  Oy!  Heaven help us all....
8.  The other night, I saw the reflection on the house from this:  Need I say more?


Friday, September 6, 2013

Happy Friday

Those who know me well know that I love Fridays.  Fridays mean that the weekend is (almost) here.  And when the weekend is here, that means that my little family gets to spend time all together.  Sure, we usually end up working together, either on a project around the house or yard, but it's ok.  Because we're together. 
It seems like the weekend means less work for me, when in reality, that's probably not true, but my workload seems a little lighter, 'cuz my Hunka Hunka Burnin' Love hubs is around (incidentally, I changed his contact info on my phone to say Hunka Hunka Burnin' Love, so every time Art calls or texts me, that's what comes up.  These are the things I do to amuse myself....)
Anyhow, I regress....the weekend is what I'm talking about here.  But not really, 'cuz all I really wanted to post was a few pictures from my walks this week.  My walks remind me that God is in the details much more than I imagined.  Because really, who could dream up this beauty but Him?! 

So, my friends, Happy Friday to you.  And to me.  May you enjoy your family and your time on the couch this weekend.  (I'm kinda hoping for rain, because then I can have more time on the couch...).

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

School Has Started

Alas, it's begun again.  The School Year.  I know that we've had the last 4 months off, but it always feels like fall arrives too early, and we are struggling to get back into some sort of routine again.  Normally, we go to BC for the end of August/beginning of September, but since we had an unexpected trip there this summer, we decided that another trip out would be a bit much.  So, started.
Yesterday, our first day, we headed to the Telus World of Science.  Molly, Ellie Mae and I had never been, but the others had, so it was fun to go together.  We started off the morning at the Body Worlds exhibit, which was fascinating!  They had a number of bodies, donated by different people, preserved through plastination.  It was so interesting to see all the different nerve endings, blood vessels, bones and muscles that our body holds.  Truth be told, a few of our family members got a bit of a queasy stomach looking through the exhibit, but it really was super interesting.
The Girls were quite surprised that the first day started with a field trip, but it was a perfect day to go.  It was pretty much empty there for the whole time we were there, so we had our run of the of the benefits of homeschooling, I suppose!  It was great that Art was able to join us for the morning, and after lunch, he headed back to work and the Girls and I took a few hours to continue making our way through the center. 
Today, it was back to "real school", as the Girls called it (although I kept repeating that yesterday was "real school" too...), and we got down to business first thing this morning.
Truth be told, when it's 26C in Alberta in September, the last place we want to be is inside doing school, but we have lots of fun things planned for the next few months, so we do need to get some "real school" accomplished.
Hopefully, by the start of next week, it'll be a bit easier to stomach getting up and going on school work, and we'll be right back into the swing of things.  Hopefully.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

One Last Hurrah!

Since it was the last weekend of summer, we decided we needed to have one last "Hurrah!" before we start school this week.  So on Saturday, we loaded up the kids and quads and headed out to Brule Lake area, right close to Jasper.  We had asked some friends to join us with their family, and so after a 3 hr. drive, we arrived, mid morning to our destination.  Between the 12 of us, we had 2 rangers and 5 quads, so we were a force to be reckoned with (a slow moving, full of little people force, that is...)
After unloading and getting geared up, off we headed, on our adventure!
For the first half an hour or so, we had to make our way down the hill/mountain, entrenched on this crazy "road" (if you can call it that!) of sand, with the sides taller than me!  Good thing we didn't run into anyone coming up the mountain, 'cuz we would've had to back up a long way to let them pass!
After we got down the mountain, the terrain opened right up to spectacular views as we rode along the river.  Incidentally, this is the same river that we often stop at on our way through Jasper for a nice, cool walk (look way, waaay down that post!), so it was neat to see it at a different point.
The fun thing about quadding here is that there's lots of sand dunes, so the men had lots of fun running up the dunes, and most of the little people wanted to get in on that action too! 
We stopped at one point to have a picnic lunch along the river...
...and then, in the afternoon, when it got hot, we had a bit of an unconventional water fight.  With quads.  And rangers.  I think Hannah and Art were the instigators on that one, but they also ended up the most muddy!
And what fun would a day out quadding be unless someone got stuck?!  All I can say is, "It wasn't ME!"  But no worries - that's what winches are for!
All in all, this was a pretty darn near perfect day... spent with family (and friends)....
...enjoying each other's company.  And the view.  Wow!  What a view!