Monday, January 28, 2013

Birthday Booties!

My daughter and I have had this conversation over the past days.. 
"Mom, remember when you made me wear those boots to school?"
"You thought they were classy and stylish. 
Little did my friends no what 'Sorels' were." 
Today, everyone pays the big buck to own a warm pair of 'Sorels' 
All I knew at that time was that they were practical and you were guaranteed warm feet.
"But Mom, all my friends called me, Booties."
My apologies go out to my daughter, who just had another birthday this weekend.

I'm still trying to pay you back...
and so I decided to give you another pair of 'booties.' 

Here is our young bride from this summer...and she is so happy.
She loves her dog, Drift.
And I know she loves her husband too.
She may be a teacher, but on the sidelines she has been
 participating in dog agility classes for years.

She's off with the truck, camper and dog, to an all weekend tournament.

Drift's friend is Miga who loves to travel along as a companion.
Together they love to win their most prize possessions.
Honk, next time, when you see this trailer and
two dogs flying past you on the freeway.

 This proud owner has just earned a Master's Certificate in dog agility,
while I was thinking a 'Masters of Education'

And many more awards posted all over her fridge.

Happy Birthday, Suzanne!

May these 'booties' keep your feet pleasantly warm on your next outing.

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Mountains are Calling!

The mountains are calling my name....
Blue skies...
Fresh powdery slopes...
My bags are packed.
My therapist is coming along.
Why is she dragging me this far?
We have mountains that offer similar programs much closer to home.
Over the last few weeks, she confronted me
that I have not given her a prime time spot on my blog

Ski boots and skirts?
I wonder what's going on in her mind?
I wonder who needs therapy?
It's  time for some therapeutic assessments.
Anyways I'm up for the adventure. 
Stay tuned...
As I will venture to share the results later.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Life Beyond Basketball!

My last few days have found me living in the courts of basketball.
THE MEI Eagles have been known for their top ranking years of success.
As with most teams, success comes and goes.
With every high, there's a low.

MEI's Screaming Eagles Marching Band kept us all entertained.
The MEI Screaming Eagles are a high energy high school marching band
 consisting of students from grade 9-12 from the Mennonite Educational Institute in Abbotsford, British Columbia. The band has performed many high profile events such as:CFL Grey Cup Parade, Rogers Santa Claus Parade, BCHL All Star Game, 2007 CFL West Final,and many more events.
These students may not play basketball...but you can tell, that they love band

But meanwhile there is a new group of young men working hard,
in developing their skills and passion for basketball.
They are committed to bringing MEI back on track.

Who is this young man with passion and drive
to commit to such a difficult task of coaching these rookies?
Jon Schmidt, my nephew, who formerly played at TWU,
has taken on the new coaching position.
He plays one hard disciplined game.
He takes pride in his work.
He has the drive, passion and intensity which it takes
to bring MEI basketball fever back to its fans and  bring them to the next level.
We are proud of your accomplishments, Jon and wish you much success.

And our Uncle Hal was also there.
He is a former student and fan from the 60's from my brother's era, who loves
basketball, loves the kids and the kids love him.
At times he will hold his hand high in opposition to a referee call.

Meanwhile, I also had the opportunity to watch my niece Sarah Martens, (#2) also play
this past week for the Yale Secondary Team.
She has just recently recovered from an acute attack of appendicitis.
Sarah, you had a great game and a great win.
She's got the spunk and energy which will contribute to their success.

So the slogan says, Basketball is Life!
Today, a few of us would argue with that motto....,

as I watch my young grandson, Levi, skillfully compete at the various levels.
He has just been rewarded a high honored leadership position for his age level.
I love watching him make his technical moves as he supports younger children,
 giving them encouragement and helping them rise to the challenge.
Martial arts allow individuals to grow physically, technically, mentally and emotionally.
It centers on fostering positive life skills and character development.

Meanwhile Silas is not sure what he likes.
He likes a "Nuffing Day" at our house.
("Nothing Day")
where we teach him numbers, by playing with the Rook cards.
He loves to compete and flash his Rook.
He is orderly and keeps his cards stacked in the same way as I do.
He's knows his numbers, his colors and suits.
And he knows the rules.
" A card laid, is a card played."
One thing I can guarantee, he won't give up his pointers.
He loves a competitive game just like I.

Some may argue my point, but...
Who says there's no life beyond basketball?
I can't believe that I am really saying this...
after all those years of playing ball myself.
It's all about perspective!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Hosting Bloopers!

Over the past months we have all been busy working with our editors for the new 'Celebrations' cookbook. Towards the end of our edits someone suggested that we compile a list of  'hosting tips'.
We all joined in sharing different tips that have been tested and proven in our kitchens.
Well this weekend it was my turn to host guests.
I used several of the recipes from the new book.
I checked off my duty list diligently.
Complete meal preparation early.
Set the table in advance.
Shine the sinks.
Empty the dishwasher.
Trash any dirty dish rags.
Hang a pretty tea towel.
Those are just a few of the tips to follow.

The company arrived, and I had them sit down immediately at the table.
As they sat down, I began to put the prepared dishes on the table.
When suddenly...
I stopped.
Excused myself.
Asked them to come and sit around the coffee table.
Poured everyone a glass of punch and set out a bowl of nuts.
They looked at me and I looked at them sheepishly.

"I'm over 60 and you need to give me some slack."
"I forgot to cook the rice."

We all had a good laugh.
And just then I reminded myself, that I was the one who had made the suggestion 
about learning to laugh at yourself when things don't go as expected.
It paid me back well.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Looking Back.

These last few days have been quiet...I've been putting about cleaning, laundering, reading, and reflecting.   Signs of Christmas are over, but not in my heart, as I reflect over the past year, thinking and thanking God for all the wonderful events, friends and family that have been a part of my life. I  My Christmas tree and decorations are still being enjoyed while the soft background music allows me to enjoy the days to come. I have so enjoyed perusing through my photos from this past year and there are many reminders along the way to show me how others have truly and significantly shaped my life.

January started off with a Bang!
I did not think anybody could ever drag me to Vegas,
but here's Judy and I doing our weekly plank exercises
as we both go into the New Year celebrating our 60 birthdays.
We go back along way...and have sure enjoyed our times together.
What will we do this year Judy?

My actual birthday, Feb.13th, 1952-2012,
standing on the shores of Saint Monica, waiting to board
the Cunard for a 12 day voyage to Hawaii.

He's the engine behind me....
We both love  cruising and knows how to plan the details
that created a special surprise trip just for the two of us!
Laughter is enjoyed along with his well designed surprises.

And our dearly beloved Papa turned 100 on March 2, 2012.
Thank you Helen for all your love and support that you continue to give to Papa.

Papa enjoys a hearty laugh as he celebrates with family and friends.

We will never forget our family ski trip in March.
A handsome young man, Christopher asked for our
daughter, Suzanne's hand in marriage...
And of course we said

April was the month for a tour for farmer's wives.
We headed south to the boarder, Seattle and guess who forgot her passport?
We all enjoyed the shopping, food and sights of Seattle.
It's never long enough.
And of course, you will recognize some familiar faces.
Not only cooking brings us together, so does farming.

Ah....Memories of my five years working as the Volunteer Coordinator
at our local hospital, Chilliwack General Hospital.

Recruiting volunteers and developing programs became
part of my duties which fit so well for things that gave me passion.

And then there was that day....
I retired May 31....and I can still feel that pit in my stomach.
I loved my work, I loved my boss, and felt valued all the time.

June demand more of my time as we prepared for another party for Papa!
We hosted family and friends from afar.

We were so delighted to have family from Europe attend this special occasion.

Suddenly in July, the focus changed once more.
I am sure you have spotted these two old Mennonite women in previous blogs.
They made their appearance out of no where again. 

We all arrived together in the month of July with members from Menno Media.
We sat down and signed new contracts for our upcoming book called
Celebrations, due to be released May 1, 2013.

The whole weekend Summit was hosted and prepared carefully
by many of the authors themselves.
It game me time to think about wedding decor as we hosted supper.

 The decor for the wedding was white accessories with brown linen
accents, coffee beans, yellow sun flowers and our own back yard.

August came and we enjoyed every last minute which led up to the wedding.
No greater joy than to have both of us escort her through the doors. 
And it looks like I was giving instructions once again.
These friends knew exactly what I needed.

Thank you to a wonderful group of girlfriends
who have been there to support me for many years.
We are a bunch of lifers.

Then a quick trip to Osoyoos with my favorite little men.
They bring me joy beyond...they bring me laughter.
And I love them to pieces.

September brought my sister and I closer together,
as we celebrated birthdays and  anniversaries together.

But what we did not know, was that we would both be
planning a celebration of life for my
dear brother Lorne, who passed away far to quickly.
Dec. 3, 1950 - September 12, 2012.
We miss you Lorne!

October, brought us together again, as a family,
around the patio table, enjoying a feast of turkey which was deep fried.

The warm evening allowed us to build a campfire...sharing memories,

and playing with fire...
Are there any adults who don't enjoy a fire?

November brings me many happy memories and smiles as
we, together with friends enjoyed a get away to the warm Pacific Islands.

And you can see,
we really knitted up a stash as we created our winter
touques for Christmas gifts. Have you ever heard of the Fish Hat?
Many good times chatting, eating, knitting, walking and
enjoying the warm ocean waters.

 December arrived and I am reminded of some unique surprises,
Water funnels created for watering the trees and

 Wooden dowels created to making  noodle racks.

Once again, as I look back I am thankful for my family and friends,
who have been a support along my journey.
There have been many surprises this past year which have made me smile.
I hope I can go into the New Year smiling and looking at
and savoring the moments that allow me to cherish Christmas all year long.