puzzle pieces

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My List of 2009

So as I'm sitting on my couch looking at the window view, drinking hot drinks, and fighting this bug with all I am:)...I'm thinking. Lots about the past year.
I just decided this morning that I'm going to get the kids to write down at least 10 thing about the past year....either something they did, liked, something not so good, anything about the 12 months past. I am too. And when we're done I want to put it together in a book of Us- and try to do it every year. Sometimes it is pretty neat to look back and see where you have been and what you have come through.....
I did a list up - and it's more than 10 things. It's actually more like 46 things. I thought I would share a part of them here. (Feel free to stop reading at any time. It's more of a list for me to wade through, and not all items are that exciting!)

My List on 2009 looks somewhat like this:

1.   I gained a sweet sister-in-law.
2.   Tried Sushi for the first time.
3.   Ran two 10km races and one 5km with my kids.
4.   Bought a canoe and paddled it in 4 different lakes and one river.
5.   A wonderful uncle of mine passed away.
6.   Went to a Brad Paisely Concert and a Keith Urban Concert. (Never have been to one before this year.)
7.   Booked my very first "Hot" vacation which I will take in 2010.
8.   Watched my marriage unravel at a frightening pace.
9.   Am (still) watching us both be stitched back together again.
10.  Made my first Tiramisu Dessert.
11.  Biked from Canmore to Banff and back again in an afternoon.
12.  Planted almost 300 trees in my yard (with help!)
13.  Started a BLOG :)
14.  Re-finished an antique desk.
15.  Watched a most perfect sunset while sitting in a kayak on the lake by myself.
16.  Stood under a meteor shower.
17.  Starting to realize friends are like seasons...sometimes they do move on.
18.  Went to a Pumpkin Patch for the first time ever.
19.  Lost my patience more than 300 times.
20.  Painted my first picture that I actually hung on a wall.
21.  Became the mom to yet another teenager.
22.  Took a drive down a Scenic Wine Tour road and stopped in to sample.
23.  Finally realized that family is the only thing you can count on to be there all the time.
24.  Consolidated mortgage, loans, and overdraft to add on years to our mortgage payments.
25.  Planted a garden with a ton of sunflowers but no potatoes.
26.  Had to put our favorite horse down.
27.  Took a trip with my sweet sister to Victoria, B.C. in the spring.
28.  A dear elderly friend passed away whom my kids adored.
29.  Hiked YOHO for the 3rd time in one year.
30.  Got caught in a tornado during a long weekend canoe trip.
31.  Took hundreds and hundreds of pictures using my phone camera.
32.  Started a book. (Which may take me years to complete:)
33.  Re-arranged my Living Room at least 4 times.
34.  Bought a guitar and am trying to learn to play it.
35.  Went to Spruce Meadows for the first time with Molly and some good friends.
36.  Took up wearing aprons.
37.  Slept on a hill out in my yard and watched the stars come out. (only a few mosquitoes)
38.  Made it through the year and I am still smiling.

There's a few more but I'm sure you've had enough if you made it this far.
I can't say I have liked all of this year. I can say I have learned alot, am learning still, and enjoyed a tremendous amount of it. And I truly hope I can take those not so great times and grow in them, and become better because of them.
I hope.

And I hope your 2009 has been one of many happy wonders, joys, and growing times.
And here is to the next year to fill.....
Best wishes in 2010 to all of you.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Just thought I'd write a note to say hi.....and I hope you all had a wonderful Holiday Time.
I'm feeling a LOT under the weather...which is something new for me. I cannot remember the last time I was feeling like this.....but like everything else this too shall pass.
So until it passes I'm curled up, surrounded by Christmas candles, drinking hot drinks of any kind, and dazedly watching my energetic kids carry on...quite easily without me:)

I had a perfectly wonderful time with my family this past week. A little drama here and there for excitement, but a lot of hugs and laughter and dancing.
Looking forward to hearing how your holidays went......

Talk soon,

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Final Countdown Day....

Saving the best for last- the Reason for all this hoopla of the season- this month of December brings.
You get caught up in everything else....but the other day my youngest asked me "why do we even do all this?"

~It's For This~

Taking this day to remember, to thank, to be grateful...that we meant enough for Him to give us a gift like this.

Merry Christmas to all of you.
Enjoy it all....the good- along with the not so great. We have this life as a gift....but the bigger part of it is yet to come.We aren't here for this life. We were created for more than what it is you're in or living thru right now. Accept His gift to you....cause guess what? It's Free:)
And there is so much more yet to come......


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

23~ Games, Chicken, Chocolate, and Winter Pictures

I can't believe almost all the days have been counted down. I haven't even finished my list yet!
So I guess for Door 23 I have to count more than just one thing I love about this month....

It seems that every year around this time we open the game cupboard. Maybe it's because we seem to hibernate a little more because of the cold. Or it's because we don't seem as busy with other stuff so we have more time. Maybe it's just because it's starting to be just the "thing we do around Christmas". We play games. Every day. Sometimes it's just 2 of us, sometimes it's the entire household. But the game cupboard seems to constantly be open. I love this.


Need I say more?

Then there's a strange one...but I DO have to include it because it IS a highlight of December for me....
The Festive Special at Swiss Chalet. Sadly I did not take a picture of the quarter chicken dinner I ordered last week when I went. I must not have been thinking properly and devoured too quickly....but the chicken, fries, sauce, stuffing, and  chocolate truffles at the end of it all stands out as a high priority for me come December.

Then there's.....


Can YOU believe there's only 1 more day left and then it's CHRISTMAS?!?


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

22- Christmas Cards......

.....it seems they're going out of style in a way, or at least I don't send out as many as I used to. We seem to rely on e-mail or some sort of electonic message "system" to send our Christmas Greetings nowdays. Which- don't get me wrong- is fine, dandy, wonderful. But who doesn't like getting some sort of Christmas Greeting in the mail?
I have a book that I bring out each December to sit on my coffee table. It's part of the "Christmas Card Songbook" put out by Hallmark. At the beginning of the book is an interesting "chapter" on the Christmas Card and it's origination.

"More than a century ago, in 1843, London businessman Henry Cole originated the Christmas Card custom. His idea of Christmas in an envelope came only 3 years after the English postal reform that made it possible to send mail to friends near and far for a penny." (The Story of the Christmas Card~Hallmark)

In this book are pictures of past Hallmark Cards, from as far back as the late 1800's.
(I wanted to post some here but because of copyright laws thought it best not to! But look for the book- "The Hallmark Christmas Songbook"- probably at a Hallmark Store or even through Amazon. Or you can come look at mine:))

Here are some cards I've received in my end-of-the-driveway mail-box this December....

One of my favorites, made and sent by my Aunt....

Merry Christmas in an envelope!


Monday, December 21, 2009

18, 19, 20, and 21





~18, 19, 20, 21~

Friday, December 18, 2009

The winner.....

And the winner of "Your Favorite Thing This Time of Year" drawn from the Santa Hat is........



Thank you for sending me your favorite Christmas "thing". I loved reading it.....and your Christmas Morning sounds lovely, the way you spend it with your family! Your family's traditions sound wonderful and I think it's so neat how no matter how old your kids get....they still feel family is important and don't want their Christmas to change!
(You have just won a bottle of Avocado and Hemp Lotion in Creamsicle (my favorite)  which I purchased from the Christmas Craft Sale. I can mail it to you (hehe), or you can come over for a visit and pick it up from me whenever you would like!)

Thank you to all of you who entered.....your favorite things, moments, and memories were fun to read!
I hope you have a wonderful weekend!!!

(And Happy Birthday to You Molly-girl! Love you!)

Thursday, December 17, 2009


17th reason to love December....
I became a mom to a pretty-near perfect daughter during this month in 1996!

She is one of the most wonderful blessings I've been blessed with.
She has a heart of gold. She's quiet, but has an incredible sense of humor.
She loves God tremendously.
She treats her brothers with a love and respect I wish I could learn!
She's giving to everyone around her.
She's an amazing violinist and pianist.
She loves to read and write as much as her mom:)
She has more patience than anyone I know.
She bakes yummy gingersnap cookies.
She does things around the house all the time for me- without me asking her.

One year we flew out to Victoria, B.C. together....and then last fall we traveled to Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. We got to see our favorite authors' home  (Lucy Maud Montgomery), try lobster for the 1st time, (well- I did...she snapped pictures:), lay on west and east coast beaches, and just spend some wonderful times together.
I have to say she makes a wonderful friend!

So tomorrow she turns 13.
I am going to bake a Turtle Cheescake for her day.....
and I had better
wrap presents, finish planning surprises, and
go spend moments with my still- 12 year old daughter.....


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas Cactus, Icicles, and Wine...

Seeing as how I sort of skipped over this past weekend, I thought I better catch up and open a few more doors on the Countdown Calendar.....

3 more things to love about this month:

Icicles hanging from strange places, but still beautiful.
(These are hanging off a grain bin.)


This is something new I found to love this fall...
Cranberry Fruit Wine from a winery in Summerland B.C.


And the last opening for today....
Christmas Cactus.
My mom has an enormous one of these, and every year I have envied the fact that she gets bright pink/red blooms for Christmas and then again at Easter. So I had to buy my own this year. Since I took this picture about a week ago,those small buds have opened and I now have my own pot of pink blooms- and just in time for Christmas!


Pssst...don't forget to send a comment or e-mail about what it is that YOU love about this month. The draw for a Christmas Sale Item out of the Santa Hat is coming up on Friday.....

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

13 ~jingle bells~


One of my favorite Christmas Eve's was a few years ago. My mom booked a sleigh ride for the entire family....and Christmas Eve was spent riding in a hay filled wagon, the runners sliding over smooth trails, under snow covered pine and spruce trees. It was a clear and chilly night.
We even tried to sing:) (My sister, mom, and I....I think the others thought we were a little over-zealous.)
But isn't that what Jingle-Bell Sleigh Rides are for?


Monday, December 14, 2009


Dear Winter,
I just wanted to write you and let you know how much I like you this year.

Last year was a hard year. I was going through struggles in many areas, and your season hit me hard. The cold felt unbearable. Your snow felt suffocating. The grey days felt black and the blue skies felt as though they were mocking me.  It felt as if you would never end.

But this year....I like everything about you. Alot.
I am amazed how the blue skies contrast against the white of your snow.
I love how the snow falls on white and grey sky days. How it lands and rests on the top of my mailbox, my steps, and tree branches. I like being able to ski in the drifts, and slide down icy hills behind my house with the kids. I don't even mind your cold. Even the -30 days. I'm not even dreading the weeks and months of you that are still ahead.

I just thought I would write to tell you all this, and let you know how grateful I am for your season.
Thank you for all of it.


I was talking with a wonderful new-found friend last night. Something she said struck me. It had to do with those certain times in our life....

When we're in a miserable season of winter, it IS hard to see thru the blizzard of it all. It's hard to imagine that we'll ever come out of that place of loneliness, heartache, that empty spot. What we need to remember...or, have those who are around us and love us to remind us of- is  that there WAS a Spring and Summer before this. And there will be again. And maybe even the next Winter will be brighter than this one is.
Eventually we WILL find ourselves in another season. Or back in the same one... But this time around we'll see through the blinding snow. We'll be able to look at a blue sky and see it for what it is, rather than something that mocks us. The cold won't bother us and the snow on a grey day will be a thing of beauty.

We weren't designed to withstand a permanent winter of misery. It eventually ends and you will come out stronger and better for it.
I know.
It's happening to me.


Friday, December 11, 2009


When I was a little girl...I had a favorite word:

I adored that word...for it seemed to me that everything good came in a PACKAGE.

~A "package" of candy.
~After shopping we would take our parcels and  "packages" out to the car.
~A "package" came in the mail.
~Good things come in small "packages".

PACKAGE                                                               package

package     Package                        package

I have to say that for today.....
the thing I like about December is wrapping up gifts and turning them into PACKAGES!

(p.s....don't forget to tell me why YOU like this month of December...
you just might get a package in the mail....)


Thursday, December 10, 2009

10~Christmas Craft Sales (and Christmas Draws!)


Molly's Handmade Quilts

~Mom's Handmade Creams, Lotions, Body Scrub  
~My Sister's Organic Cinnamon-Clove Cleaner
and Lemon Glass Cleaner

And here are those Aprons ~by Mom

I'm not one for shopping- but you have to say there is something about shopping at Christmas Sales. Everyone's creativity seems to be evident around this time of year.....and what a fun way to shop for gifts!

E-mail me or send a comment to this blog about why YOU love this month of December and/or Christmas....and Your Name will be placed in the Santa Hat.
The Prize: Something I bought from the Craft Sale I attended.
(pictured above)
You have until Friday, December 18th~
so, tell me what YOU love.....


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

9...Together Time

Crazy Together Time

"Quality" Mom and Molly Time

Time Together.....
i find that over this month we get together with friends and family so much more.

it's wonderful.

This door to Christmas has to be one of my favorite.


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Bake on Number 8

Of course you can't go through Christmas without all the baking and food and kitchen-time together. And all the chocolate and eggnog and yummy calories ~ that don't really count, by the way........ It's Christmas!

Christmas Sticky Buns


Monday, December 7, 2009

Days 5, 6, and 7

Over the weekend.....Another 2 days have been opened on the calendar countdown to 

were 5 and 6.

For number 7 today, I would have to say I love Christmas Lights....and all the lights that seem to glisten around our home and every where else you go throughout this month. Lights on trees, candle light, Christmas lights on houses. There are the white lights and colored lights, lights in all shapes, sizes, and forms.
Why is it we love lighted areas over the dark ones?
Why do we go towards light instead of away from it?
It reminds me of the conversation that took place in a schoolroom way back, regarding light vs. darkness and whether dark actually existed.
The only thing that DOES exist between these 2 CAN be light. The only way Darkness can be present  is because of the lack of LIGHT. 
The light in a room can be shut off, darkness can not. 
Light cannot be quenched by darkness....yet darkness can be expelled because of light.

I'll be pondering this thought today....

(P.S.   I was curious to see how darkness came about, so I opened the Bible to Genesis 1. I had never really thought about this before but "God created light and it was good". Nothing is said about the creation of darkness. But He did just so happen to divide the light from the dark. And the darkness which was present before creation began, surrounded  "the earth that was without form, and void"...and then...... light was created.)


Friday, December 4, 2009

Number 4.....

the 4th thing to love about December....
S N O W M E N.

Snow men that come in all forms......teapots and trays,

snowmen on display,

salt and pepper snowmen,

and my absolute favorite: Real Snowmen.
(This photo was taken of Ben a couple years ago. I think he thought it may actually be real. Or was just astounded that after hours of work, piling up snow and topping it with carrot and hat....could actually produce a man taller than his daddy!)

Happy Weekend Everyone!