puzzle pieces

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

time ticks

Looking through clothes my kids have outgrown, I found this little dress Molly used to wear when she was tiny. I remember how she looked in it, how she felt when I picked her up and cuddled her while she had it on. My sweet baby girl, with curly! hair and big blue eyes and a mouth like her Great Grandma's. She would run barefoot wearing this dress, playing in the backyard....too little to get on the swing by herself.
And now....time has ticked on.
She is still my little girl but in grown-up things. Taller than me. Wearing make-up and writing e-mails, loving her riding boots a little more than girl shoes or bare feet.

Of course there is no getting little girl days back....but I do have the memories.
And I can still make more- with her and all the other people in my life.

A relative of my husband passed away this last weekend.
Mike was recalling parts of this man's life to us....speaking fondly of things he did and how he was as a person.
It was great for Mike to have those memories of him...something to look back on and remember him in who he was.

Memories can be made anywhere...not JUST on a trip or special occasion.
Sometimes the most beautiful and dear memories are the ones that
aren't planned- they just happen.
But whenever or wherever they do...make sure to grab them as they tick by.
People I love are growing up. They won't be small ever again.
I'll be gone from this blog world for a couple weeks. Making memories.

~Cherish Yesterday~
~Dream Tomorrow~
~Live Today~

Happy memory-making to all of you....

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

New Food

I never intended us to start "eating healthy" when we decided to enter these triathlons this spring/summer.
It just happened somehow.
I'm not saying we never eat our share of sugar and other "snacks"....but for some reason I got lured into this "Eat Clean" eating by certain family members.
Never thought eating like this would taste quite so good...but it does.
Well....I think so.
Just the words "Eat Clean" and "no sugar" and "more fruits and vegetables" strike fear in certain kids for some reason.
Even if I do change the recipe and, (gasp), add sugar-
if it comes out of my "Eat Clean" recipe book I seem to have to "encourage" the meal.
(What words can do....'cause it tastes great! Really!)

Berry Flax Protein Shakes

Crustless Quiche with Spinach and Feta
7 Grain Cereal Porridge (can't give up my brown sugar though!)
Sweet Potato Fries

Broiled Grapefruit with Maple Syrup

      Orange Julius with Soy

And one of my favorites....
Banana Date Breakfast Bread

[Recipe is altered by me a tiny bit. ]
I'm not a banana fan so I took a couple out, added more dates, and made a few changes elsewhere.
I'm sure it could be altered to your taste too:)

1 banana
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup apple sauce
4 eggs
(combine above ingredients- blend well)
1 1/2 cups brown flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp sea salt
(combine these dry ingredients and mix well with egg mixture)
Fold in.....2 cups chopped dates
pour batter into loaf pan and sprinkle whole flaxseeds on top.
Bake at 350 for approximately 45 minutes.

No one complains about this for breakfast.
(and I really didn't think I even liked dates before I tried it.)

Healthy...er, um, I mean.....Happy Eating!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

weekend moments

Blooms from last SPRING's visit to the coast......
Not an eventful weekend, but memories were made and we
 had wonderful together moments.
Corben's last basketball session was on Saturday.
I really didn't know if the whole "try out Basketball" thing would work,
but he loved the season and finished it!
And- he wants to go back, which is huge for this child. He can't usually stay
interested in one thing for more than a day or 2 before he's on to the next idea!
I came into the living room and found this....my CHRISTMAS Cactus, blooming again. Someone told me they bloom at Christmas AND spring....yay!
I can now call it my my Spring Cactus...(until next Christmas rolls around and it
will once again be called my Christmas Catus.)

I watched the boys play catch in the front yard, and my dog snooze in the sun
beside a pair of rubber boots which someone had just used in our mud puddles.

~A very long walk with a wonderful friend.~

~A 4 mile trek down our gravel road with my 8 year old...chatting about how God made billions of people all different from one another.
We made $1.30 picking bottles and cans from the ditches.~

~A pajama party with Molly, and watching the movie SeaBiscuit together. She just finished reading
the book...and our rule is always read the book before you get to watch the movie.
Of course she said the book was better.~

~Listening to our guys in the next room watch and talk about the Saturday night hockey game.~

~Enjoyed a blueberry pancake breakfast that I didn't have to make.~

And to end the weekend, we all went on our very first Bike Ride of the year.
After spending an hour getting the bikes "tuned up"......
...we were off for a few (too many for some) miles.

Our excitement on the bike ride would have to be the Porcupine we saw up in a tree.
We all stopped to observe him, as we have only seen the "damage" these guys have done to our dog and horses....and never had actually seen the creature that caused it all.

To end the day, we all piled in the van to get Chinese food from our favorite place in town.

It was a quiet but really good first weekend of SPRING.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Another New Day

I love my morning
runs down the country gravel road.
I feel like I'm on top of the world,
and I love knowing that the day is new with no mistakes in it yet.

Being human...it's impossible to have a perfect day.
But it's nice for the hour I'm running my miles to hope that maybe today will be better than yesterday.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Green Day

i love any excuse to have a party. even a small one.
this year i decided to teach my kids how to plan and organize and carry out their own party for an occasion, so i let them all choose a couple of "holidays" throughout the year and plan something special for that day.
the first one on the list, (because i got Valentines Day), was St.Patrick's Day.
it was Molly's turn to plan first - and here is what she came up with.....

a St. Pattys Day banner

clover cookies

lime shakes (delicious!)

our fancy table...where Molly shared what she "researched" on
St.Patricks Day and the reason why we even celebrate it in the first place.

can't wait for our next day to celebrate!
HEY! isn't the first day of SPRING on Saturday?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

my 'memory' kitchen

It seems I spend the majority of my time in the kitchen or laundry room.
Example...I did 6 loads of laundry yesterday.
Example....packed 2 lunch boxes, made breakfast, baked banana bread, made lunch, prepared supper, and sat at the kitchen table for approximately 2 hours working on grade 4 and 5 math.
My 2 most- used rooms in the house.

It helps to be surrounded by things I love and good memories...especially the days the porridge boils over, math is a struggle for all of us, or I have to figure out what to make for supper...AGAIN.

Here are a few of my favorite things:

Another apron made by my mom....she gave me for my Birthday.
I love her aprons!
They make me feel a little more cheery while I cook up yet another meal....
My sister gave this to me as a Mother's Day gift one year.
It reminds me of the business my kids started a couple years ago....
selling and delivering farm eggs to neighbors.
(Although- they didn't sell them 25 cents a dozen!)

Another gift given to me by my mom.....my most favorite teapot so far.
Hopefully I can use it one day in my Bed and Breakfast.

A Christmas gift from Molly to me....
an adorable Recipe Box which sits in my kitchen window.

I'd show you the things I love in my laundry room....but presently I cannot see the room.
The 6 loads of laundry are now piled up waiting to be folded and I think there's 2 more loads in the dirty  basket to throw in....

oh happy day

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Spring thoughts...by others

Thank you to all who e-mailed me comments on Spring and what it is YOU love about this season.

Here are some reasons why Spring is a favorite time of year for others.....

~I have always loved how our dull, brown, dirty world turns green, clean, and colorful in a matter of a few weeks. It really is a miracle.~

~warm sun and green sprouts and birds chirping~

~New Beginnings~

~Taking walks with Friends!~

~Spring makes me hopeful even when other things aren't so hopeful.~

~The beauty of the blossoms on fruit trees.~

~The NEW beauty of it all.~

~Getting rid of snow gear.~

~No layers of clothes...and spring shoes!~

~All the birds sitting in the trees in my yard.~

5 names were randomly drawn and your Spring Package will be sent to you soon!
Thanks for your comments/mail!

Happy almost Spring Day!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Vulnerable Love

My weekend moment?.... included too much thinking these past 2 days.
But I think it was the good type of thinking.
(Well...I'm hoping that good may happen in SPITE of all that thinking:)

Lately I've seen myself become dependent upon other's acceptance of me as a way to fill me. I thought this was a teenage thing...something I grew out of way back when. But shockingly I've found myself right back in the same spot...feeling a sense of unworthiness if I can't control a situation or be liked in another. In turn I have found myself backing off of relationships, tired of hurting -or hurting others.

This weekend I had an "A HA!" moment. One of those moments where you hear or read something that applies to the situation you're in....and it all of a sudden clicks. Do you ever get those?

Ironically, I opened a book (which I haven't picked up in a very long time),  to a page which held the exact words I needed to hear (read):

"For a woman to enjoy relationship, she must give up her need to control and her insistence that people fill her." (Captivating, by John & Stasi Eldridge)

I've been seeing relationships in my life become stilted, awkward, even ending, over this very thing.

And then...another thing that completely caught my attention was a paragraph written by C.S.Lewis,
(The Four Loves):

To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it careful round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless- it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable....The only place outside heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers of love....is hell.

And here it clicked.
What wonderful things to come upon while I meander down this road of thought on relationships with others.
It was a good part to my weekend.

(Today is the draw for the Spring Giveaway...Tomorrow 5 of you will have a package in the mail!)

Friday, March 12, 2010


I think disappointment in life is a given.
Life is never perfect, and we all seem to go through ups and downs. Our world never seems just "right" somehow....like we are always trying to attain that perfect dream yet never able to grasp it.
Most of us have ideas and dreams which we seem to plan or map out for our life.... what we desire and hope to happen- And we believe this way is the best way for us to travel. When our dreams of things don't occur in order or the way we think they should, or even happen at all....we plummet.
And ask why.
I think the happiest people are those who have come to accept that life isn't perfect and never will be. And that life will only be as good as you allow it be....taking the bad with the good and making the best of it- Regardless of any disappointment.

I truly think the easiest thing of all...would be to have faith. A faith that accepted the fact that Someone bigger than us has it all under control. And that the bigger picture of our lives can't be seen right now, but at the end of it all we will look back and realize that everything that happened was for a reason- and it completes a huge and beautiful picture.
Everyone of us IS part of that big and beautiful picture...we need only to grasp that fact and hold on for dear life as we bump around this life from one disappointment to the next.

"Write your plans on paper, and let God have the eraser."

Happy Weekend Everyone....and don't forget to enter the Spring Giveaway!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

more Spring!

I have never "featured" any one yet on this blog, but in my search for spring over the last few days I came across some artwork I absolutely love.
And...it feels springy!
And alive and happy.

And once again I think it's so inspiring to see other's imagination in their work!
It's "enjoying" to view other people's ideas and wonder of things!!

Here are a few pieces from  Sascalia  which I
 found through her Etsy Shop. 
(She has also been added to the Blogs i follow- be sure to check it out!)

And another favorite.....
Aren't these so very HAPPY?!

You can find find these pieces as well as others, here:

(And don't forget to enter the Spring Giveaway....see yesterday's post!)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Spring Giveaway!

Spring is almost here...yay!
(I know I may be pushing it for us Albertans.
But it helps to be optimistic!)
One of my most favorite of all seasons.

I love the smells.
The birds coming up to my windows.
The way the air feels different- warmer and springy.
I love watching the trees, knowing they're getting ready to dress themselves with new buds.
I like checking under my windows every week for peeping bulbs.
I don't even mind the mud all too much... especially if there are gi-normous puddles in
my driveway to hop in! And I really do puddle jump!

In celebration of spring...I'm having a Spring Giveaway! Yay!
Simply write and tell me why it is YOU love spring.
You can leave a comment on this post or e-mail me.
Either way, don't forget to send me your address too!

I will randomly choose 5 winners and a Spring Package will be mailed to you!
Have all your comments on your love for spring in by March 15th.....and
you just may get a package of spring in the mail.

HAPPY (almost) SPRING!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Do Not Conform

Do you ever feel like you don't fit in?

Maybe it's not a matter of fitting in....
but standing out.

I'm trying this today.

Monday, March 8, 2010

For Today

For today I want to remember that it takes work to keep things together.
And to reach the goals you have set for yourself and this life in which you live...
it's just plain, old, hard, and sometimes (yuck!) work.
And more often than not....it helps to have others on board with you.
Working together isn't always smooth or easy. It's often harder than if you go it alone.
Life is relationship.
No matter how hard, that's what it is.
Without relationship it wouldn't be much of a life.

Trying to stick together today.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Guest Posting at Design Delights

This blogging world sometimes seems strange to me. But through it I have gained a few dear friends, and been inspired by those much more creative than I.
It's interesting how each of us as individuals have so much to contribute to one another....how we can all learn, be inspired, and be delighted by those around us and what they find "delighful"!. Whether this is in the actual "real world" or "blogging world"...at times it can be quite the same.
One dear friend I have gained thru writing here and checking out other's creative sites, is Melissa at Design Delights.
She has an eye for the beautiful, finding delight in everyday things.
Her love of simple, wonderful things- inspires me.
And I have learned that people are blessings no matter how far away- that they can add a wonderful new dimension into your life even from a distance.

She has left on a trip to Israel for a time, and while she is away asked me to Guest Post for her on Friday.
Though my post will not be quite as beautiful or inspirational as I find hers to be, I am honored that she asked me to put something into her sweet and Delightful blog.

You can check my post and her blog out here.
And for more of her Weekend Delights, you can find them here.

Have a Happy (and Inspired) Weekend everyone!

(i feel like i have spring fever!)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


I've been incredibly busy lately- with work, school, everyday things, running kids here and there.....and it's been catching up with my me. My mind has been busy too for the last few days, and I find myself feeling a little blue.
Even though yesterday was only Tuesday, it felt like it should be the end of the week already.

But.....on the day that was Tuesday, (which felt it should be a Saturday), a bit of sunshine was given to me.
When I walked into my sister's home for the kids' piano lessons, she told me the flowers on the table were for me.
What a blessing that was! Everytime I have felt a bit overwhelmed the past 24 hours...I simply walk by the flowers she gave me- and smile.
Thanks sis...you are the most wonderful sister in THE WORLD.
Those flowers brightened up my day...my week....and will brighten my days yet to happen which will be  full of everyday living!
I love you tons and tons.
(And not just because you bought me flowers!!!:)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

More than Dance Lessons

My feet ache. They actually ache more than when I ran my last 10km race in the mountains.

We just got home from Dance Class- a class where we are to be learning 5 types of dances...all of them new to me!
But with every class we take, I learn more than just how to do the Waltz or Fox Trot or Cha Cha. I'm learning more about me. And I don't know if I like it.
I always knew I liked to be "in charge". I remember being very young, and having the entire neighborhood group of kids organized to "do church" in my backyard. Kids that were twice my age were taking "orders" from me, and for some reason they listened- and some how I mangaed to be the usher, song leader, AND the pastor of the entire backyard church. It seemed an easy feat, and as I grew older I felt that taking charge must be my calling.
When I was a bit older, I remember organizing a "Club" with my brother and sister. And- somehow I managed to "organize" the entire thing, at one point holding the president, secretary, AND treasurer position.
(At this point I would like to take a moment to apologize to anyone out there who had to put up with me.)

Ah yes...the bossy child.
But I never saw it that way. Even when I was told I was bossy, the term seemed quite unjustified. What? I was only trying to lead everyone else, who didn't know what they were supposed to be doing. And of course, my ideas were quite brilliant....and quite organized. (Another apology here.)

Which leads me to dance class- the one I just came home from. The one where I am to be learning 5 different types of dance- but not alone. With a "partner". Which means it's to be a joint effort. I think.

One of us needs to lead or there's no direction. And guess what? I want to be the leader.
I end up dragging and pulling when I'm not supposed to.
I'm supposed to wait until I get a nudge from my partner....letting me know which way to spin or promenade.
Oh it's so very hard to give up the leader position. Especially when I think we would do much better traveling over to one side of the room, or spinning at a certain time to the music.

Does any one out there understand this?
To give up my position as the leader is extrememly difficult. And painful.
More painful than my aching feet at this moment.

There's so much more for me to learn than just dance in Dance Class.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Happy March

A new month with lots to look forward to.

 I only wish our Alberta's March looked somewhat like this:

One could always hope.....

Happy March first~day!