Thursday, December 22, 2016

Christmas 2016 or the year it almost didn't happen

We have been so sick for almost a month, or longer so the usual Christmas preparations have been thin and sporadic.

We managed to find the world's smallest Christmas tree, we placed it on a desk in the living room so our newest rather troublesome family member wouldn't eat it!!

This newest member, Willis the dog, also made our annual family photo a bit of a gong show. Well, more than normal. I didn't think we'd get the photo done this year. But we managed to sneak it in tonight. May not be our best effort but we got it done!

I asked the kids to change into some nice clothes. A few minutes later the girls come out, dolled up, hair done, make-up on, and Gavin is laying in his sweatpants with his hair a mess. Signs of the future I guess. Willis resented having to wear his sweater! Unfortunately I also look as though I am on Prozac. Wes is always handsome, the man is photogenic!

We are thankful for so much this year. We are thankful that Wes still has work and that we are still managing in a very difficult economic climate. For this we are truly thankful.

May God bless you and your families!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Power in weakness

We live in a society that favours the strong, the winner, the fit, the healthy. We live in a society whose notion of success is based on evolutionary teaching. You are strong, therefor you survive.

Our strength is our power. You've heard the sayings; "What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger;" "When the going gets tough the tough get going."

We succeed and or fail based on our own inner worthiness. If we are at the top we can pat ourselves on the back. If we happen to be at the bottom then we are to be pitied.

Even Christians are guilty of this thought pattern. The prosperity gospel is just a 'churchified' version of this same mentality.

I suppose this all works. Until it doesn't.

I was watching a show the other day. Its a show where blacksmiths compete to make different types of swords (I'm going somewhere with this, be patient).

There is a great deal of skill involved. The metal must be heated and cooled and the process repeated various times. The process of heating the metal can make it very strong, if done right. But a slight error in length of heat or the bringing down of the temperature to quickly can in fact weaken the metal.

I mulled over this for hours!

Getting personal here, I guess I feel that our experiences in life have taught me many things and have made me wiser and more empathetic. But, I also feel that they have weaken me. Our struggles have introduced fear into my life in a rather large way. I struggle with fear. I feel that some of the things we have gone through have left large hidden cracks in my life.

So what do I do with this?

Frankly the world and the answers of society have nothing for me. Pick yourself up and move on. Get yourself a hobby. Focus on your strengths.

None of these ideas are bad but none will heal a hidden crack. Nothing society offers, no advice, no guidance can heal the inner hurts.

I was telling a close friend the other day how stressed I was feeling and she finally said, "Why don't you do that prayer thing you do."

I read a lot, I watch a lot, I think a lot. But for me nothing makes more sense than trusting God and allowing Jesus to transform my life. I don't have to figure out how to heal my weakness. I just need to admit it and rely on God.

I'm broken, I'm weak.

I'm OK with that.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Pre-Summer Fun

We had all sort of fun this summer. Lots of pictures, but just no time to put them on the blog.

We visited Dinosaur provincial park and almost got carried away by mosquitoes. We visited Moose Jaw (we love Moose Jaw) and saw my Aunt Mary and Uncle Bill for lunch and had dinner with a friend I used to work with. Janice has the most lovely family and we enjoyed that so much!!

We got down to see Wes' Aunts and Uncles (well most of them - sorry Sandra and Keith).

And we finished up our Saskatchewan tour with a camping trip in Cypress Hills. LOVED IT!!

The kids had art camp. We played with neighbors, we took excursions. And... we had a visit from our lovely little cousin Lilly and her mom Marcia.


A wonderful summer. We were sad it ended.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

First days

If I can I'll post some pictures from our summer vacation. I'm falling behind.

The kids are all at school. House is so quiet, not sure what to do with myself. For two months my day is driven by the kids activities and adventures and then suddenly its over and now I don't know what to do with myself!

They all had a great first day and came home super enthusiastic. I was thrilled. Nothing makes a Mom happier than seeing her kids happy!

Here they are on the first day.

Saturday, August 06, 2016

Kid picts from the Arboretum in Trochu

Took a few picts of my favourite little munchkins!

Friday, August 05, 2016

Gophers galore

So on my list of things to do with the kids, like forever, has been a visit to the "World Famous Gopher Museum" in Torrington, AB. Yup! It is the World Famous Gopher Museum, it says so on the side of the building.

Years ago when I lived in Olds, the reporter at the newspaper I worked at returned one day from a visit. He was doing a little piece about it. I could not believe my ears and ever since then I was determined to one day go to this little spectacle in the country. So this summer the kids and Grandma Joan and I braved this great adventure.

Well, it did not disappoint. I mean, how could it. Its about gophers. Gophers are among the most highly prized and loved wildlife in Canada. Along with Magpies and squirrels, oh and hares that eat your carrots!!

I was, I must admit smaller than I had anticipated and I really had not anticipated anything large. The girls thought it was supper cool. They had all these little dioramas with gophers dressed up in people clothes. All lovingly painted and every details, down to a toilet paper roll (that's what Mari called it, I'm pretty sure it was meant to be paper towel roll, but potato-potatah). It was really pretty carefully done and pretty cute, if (and I mean a big if here) you can get past the GOPHERS!!

It took me back to a time where I found myself driving from point A to point B in Saskatchewan with Stan Barnard of Estevan Sask fame. We were chatting away whiling away the very flat miles when suddenly to my horror we were headed swiftly and aggressively towards the ditch. My foot pressed hard against the imaginary passenger side break and my life flashed before my eyes (it was then I decided I needed to get out more). And just as suddenly we corrected and were back on the road, driving along safely as though nothing had happened.

I turned to Stan, trying to figure out whether or not he had just had a seizure.

He turned to me and said sharply, "gopher!"

Oh, I see. This attempt on my life was for the sole purpose of violently squishing one of the world finest rodents. Such love!

So, as you see the irony of the situation standing in this museum devoted to such a wonderful creature was a bit too much for me. I did however hold it together. It wasn't until much later when explaining our day to my husband that I fell apart. I was telling him how the lovely old lady who was manning the museum very proudly showed off their rare... wait for it... albino gopher. I mean, can you blame me for almost peeing my pants.

Bronwyn found this very exciting too, but when telling her best friend couldn't remember the right word so she called it the "bi-polar gopher." Again I held it together until bed time. See how mature I am becoming!!

The day was filled with amazing scenery, bright yellow canola fields dotting the horizon and we found a wonderful arboretum (say that three times) in Trochu, really a find worth revisiting.

As for the gopher museum, if you are ever in the area give it a try! Let me know how you get on.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

More summer adventures

Just east and a bit south of Calgary is a little town of Mossleigh. I have never been there before but this year, thanks to a groupon discount, we took the family out that way for a train excursion. It was a lot of fun with a mock train robbery and shoot out. Kids loved it.

We dragged Grandma and Grandpa along too.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

I feel guilty

So I'll make one more post tonight!!

We also took a day trip to Big Hill Spring park just north of the city with Grandma Joan. Who was also a great sport! She did great climbing that mountain. If you have little ones and you want them to explore the wilds in a somewhat safe and contained way, then head to this park. It afforded a great deal of safe adventure!

I'm back

Very sorry it has been such a long time since I last posted. Not sure why. Well, my computer hasn't been working the best, but our lovely neighbour helped us out so now it is working better! Yeah for great neighbours!

We've been busy having a few adventures here and there, close to home. While Wes works, we all play! Nice eh?

Here are some pictures from our little day trip to Sheep River Falls in Kananaskis.

Grandpa is such a great sport!!

I'll do my best to remember and come down and load a few more pictures tomorrow. I'll try!!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

The ant hill

On a field trip with my daughter, we wander North America’s largest urban park, Fish Creek Provincial Park, in small groups looking for insects and wildlife. Any animal with any sense, vacated the area when they heard a bus of screaming grade two children turn in to the park boundaries. Thank heavens for the insects. It’s still cold so you have to dig for them.

Oh, except for the large mound, the ant hill, swarming with ants of all sizes. They are black and red in colour. One can only guess for every ant on the surface there are more within the mound, like an iceberg.

Oh the excitement, the screams the unwillingness to handle the ants and the kids were excited too. Ahem.

The day was nice and I’m sure I’ll be able to suppress the memories in time.

Except the ant hill. That image is stuck in my mind.

I like to listen to various viewpoints, atheist, other religious positions and one of the most common is that God, if he is real, is a force. A creator type of being who started things spinning and then sits back and lets it role. He looks down on his creation like I looked down on the ant hill. God sits at a distance, detached.

I can understand why people believe this, but I personally don’t agree.

It boils down to our world view. And mine, to be blunt is shaped very much by the Bible. It is the tool I use to understand my God better.

I don’t feel like an ant. I don’t feel like God is a force, out there detached. I don’t feel an absence in the heavens.


Because I believe what I read, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Did you catch that? He knows how many hairs are on our heads. Alright, not a huge challenge when you consider my husband (just kidding), but my head? He knows how many hairs are on this super thick Bailey scalp!! Wow!! He knows the details of his creation to that degree. He knows my name, my thoughts. Even the best entomologist would not be able to name the thousands of ants in an ant hill. He wouldn’t be able to know each ant in that detail. But my God does.

I have seen his hand in my life in a way that shows me his love and concern. He doesn’t prevent the bad from coming, but he guides us and helps us grow through it all.

And even the best entomologist wouldn’t understand his creation enough to see the need for salvation. Even the luckiest ant has never experienced (nor has need as part of God’s natural world) a saviour.

To me God is not a force. Because, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

No other world view offers that. Not one.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Beautiful February weekend

We have had beautiful weather for the last couple weeks. Several Chinooks and an overall mild winter have combined for a wonderful break to winter. We got out for a little walk over the weekend. Super enjoyable.

The kids have dragged out their bikes and scooter and their roller blades. Downside is that our little backyard rink is now a puddle but it lasted longer than we thought it would so we are still happy.

If the weather turns ugly again the kids will be very disappointed. They are geared up for spring.