Thursday, September 15, 2016

Still Young at Heart!

Yes, I've been absent from blogger,
but spending time with family makes it worthwhile.

We are celebrating our 43rd  anniversary this week.
And yes, our life is filled with family.
Who would of known how our lives could change over so many years.
 Years ago I read a book by Edith Schaeffer, "What is a Family?"

Today I look back over the years and see how our lives resonate with so many of her ideas.
She explained that a family is like a mobile.
But that it is very different than the mobiles one can see of animals or cars and trucks.
Imagine yourself looking at a mobile of your own family tree starting with yourself and your spouse.
It started with a man and woman, (John & Marg)
The family is an intricate mobile made up of human personalities.
The family is a moving changing collection of human forms dangling on strings.

Then we had three children, who are effecting each other 
intellectually, emotionally, spirituality, physically and psychologically. 

Now each child has grown and has a partner, which again sends the pendulum swinging.
Each individual is moving and growing and changing in many different ways.
And now each couple is having children.
There's no two years, or two months or two days that are exactly the same anymore.
Even when mobiles are smashed and torn, sagging and destroyed,
so can families have their struggles and challenges.
Meanwhile we continue to value human relationships and give support where needed.
Hopefully we can continue to offer hope and encouragement,
 for those who treasure the values of family life.
Our life has changed this past year as we welcomed the birth of 
Joy Anna on Feb.13, 2016 a sister to Ivy. 


Suzanne and Christopher have been busy, not only having two babies in two years,
but both of them completed their degrees of Master's of Education this past June.


Watching her smile is total JOY!
 Then came another birth, Cannon Jacob, March 22, 2016 to Joe and Mikki.
He came several weeks early so we reorganized our lives and drove to Truckee
spending five weeks enjoying and supporting the new family.
Cooking, laundering, cleaning.......


I must admit, I fell in love with the snow-covered Sierra Mountains.
We visited every ski resort, a total of fourteen.
The Olympic Village at Squaw Valley, was our favorite place.
A short walk of 2 km and we were seated outside with a Starbucks coffee.


 We enjoyed our daily visits, and walks, and many hours
were spent cooking, cleaning and laundering.


This past summer Mikki took a maternity leave and lived in Seattle, 
 while Joe continued guiding his clients up and down Mount Ranier.


And this little man has been introduced to sleeping in a tent.
Just like his Mama and Papa!!!


Our two little newborns know how to capture our hearts.


A quick trip to Europe in May, which had been planned prior to the new additions
was another highlight as we visited family. 
A gondola lift up the highest mountain in Germany, the Zugspitz,
was just perfect as the skies cleared to give us a perfect view.
We waited four days for clearing signals.


Summer time came and past quickly.
Many wonderful days camping with the family at Manning.
Levi and Silas both enjoyed their first canoe trip up Lightning Lake.


This year both boys were gifted a Swiss Army knife.
Their Opa carefully showed them how to use them.
Camping in the woods without a knife just doesn't work.


A drive up to the Alpine Meadows is a must with Jeremy and Tara and the boys.
The beauty of mountain tops, trails and alpine meadows was stunning.
Our search for  marmots was in vain. 


An idle day of fishing and canoeing brought back many memories.


Spending time together and reflecting on memories of 
skiing and camping trips which have become family traditions for many years.


I love watching John farm....he loves it and finds himself 
feeling satisfied once again after renovations are complete.
Occasionally I love to ride my bike to the farm and give him a hand.


With this kind of view, working and riding become truly pleasurable.


This years' combine and harvesting crop was another day more than
 rewarding in the life of country living.
If you ask John when he will retire?  He says, "Then what should I do?"


Every once in awhile we love to get into the Olympic Spirit.
We enjoyed watching a qualifying match for FIFA  World Cup 2018.
What does it take for Canada to make the finals?

We may be active and busy,
but these little faces make it worth it all.

"What is a family?
A family is a mobile.  A family is an art form.
A family is an exciting art career, because an art form needs work."

We value family in it's ever changing state.




Monday, May 9, 2016

Mother's Day Surprise


It's Mother's Day!
My best gift ever...having all my grandchildren together.
We planned this day in advance.
As you see, my absence from my blog tells you I'm busy.
Busy with new grands!

There were screams and hollers as they arrived.
Nobody knew that Mikki was arriving with Baby Cannon.
He was born March 22, 2016.
Five weeks after Baby Joy, Feb.13, 2016
We spent five weeks in CA helping them along their journey.

Great Oma, Tanta Trudy, Alan and Sherie.
A pleasant surprise for all.

 And you know who got all the attention..from young and old.

 Tanta Trudy hand stitched a quilt full of color and beauty for each new grandchild.
Of course Ivy owned it very quickly.
I think Joy will need to wait awhile.

And of course we took time to enjoy a table full of prepared foods.
It was a bit chaotic as you know...
just when i'st time to eat, the baby's alarms started ringing.
those poor nursing girls....
I guess we've all been there.

Truly this was a special day to  honor the women in our home.
We gathered together, from all generations.
Except for one little photogenic man.

You can guess who really stole the show...

Joy Anna, Feb.13, 2016 
(Suzanne & Christopher)

Cannon Jacob, March 22, 2016
(Mikki & Joe) 

 Yes, this is our first time gathering all five grands around us.
Lots of laughter.

The best Mother's Day ever!



 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Ivy's Paska Tutorial

Just a few more days and we can all imagine the smells of Paska coming out of our kitchens.
For some of you, who are a bit late, here's a quick tutorial, short and sweet.
Ivy has been very enthusiastic as she loves to sees all the Easter decor.
Today was her special day to make Paska...smile and follow along.

She is totally aware that Easter is happening..
you only need to visualize her facial expressions.
How much does a 2 year old know about Paska?

First step, is to stir the eggs..

While she stirs, I'm preparing the dough in my mixer.
Her job is to turn the buttons on and off.

Meanwhile tasting is important,
while I make sure we also talk about texture.
What's soft dough and what's hard dough?

Sticky, Sticky...
Greasing your hands is important, as she does her final knead.

There may not be beaters, but licking the bowl is the best.

And then the bread goes into the Big Red Bowl and goes "nite nite"
and a warm blanket is placed over the dough while it rises.
Nite nite, also allows her to have a little nap, while I rest.

"Oh no, Ivy...we finished kneading the dough."

The dough is placed by the fireplace and she peaks once more.

Now it's 'wake up time'...and she is ready to prepare the pans.

And of course she adores the tea towel with all the Easter eggs,
as she covers it one more time for another little nap.

Then the bread is baked and iced, while sprinkling is her favorite part.

As you can tell, she loves it.
How much fun to take home fresh Paska for her family.
Her special recipe is from her Oma.

Hope this helps to make your life easier....

Next she's running in the deep grass looking for eggs.
She's learned that we work first and then play.
Have a wonderful Easter.