Wednesday, July 31, 2013


I was just following little Oh around...
observing his natural curiosity of summer.

He found this little stump and set himself there to ponder life.



I love Summertime!

Monday, July 29, 2013

little red hen

There are days when I wonder what happens to a woman when she slips from that role of raising children to nurturing the relationship of grandparent to grandchild.
We moved onto the farm when our boys were 13 and 15 and I can tell you that there was never a hen then that came poking around my house. 

She came in carrying her little friend and they both seemed quite relaxed about it.
I didn't blog back when the boys were 13 and 15 and maybe if I had there would have been a few more allowances then too.

The little hen rested quite happily in the loving arms if this three year old and was happy to be toted around. 

After a little visit in the house I mentioned what a lovely day it was outside and shouldn't we all go outside and maybe the little hen was sleepy and would like to go back into the hen house.

Farm life with grands...
it's a good thing.

I love summertime!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Turning Two

Little Oh turns two today.
He has become such a source of joy and amusement in our family.
When he was born two years ago on my beloved's birthday he became a gift that has continued to bless us.

He smiles all the time unless he is hopping mad and even then those hopping mad moments are so momentary we laugh at how he is able himself to change the subject when an annoyance takes hold of him.

He loves his Daddy..
his run bike....
his brother and sister.

He loves trucks and his Grandpa his Omi and Opa...
and he loves me too.

He loves water.

He loves his Mommy.

Did I mention he loves his bike?

Dear Heavenly Father....
Thank you for our darling little boy.
Thank you for his smile and his infectious laugh.
May his heart always remain soft and the determination you have given him keep him unswerving in the years to come.
Thank you for his ability to take unhappy moments and swiftly switch his attention to happy moments.
Father we pray that his love for you will grow.
Thank you for the gift of two year olds!  

Happy Birthday to my beloved...and Little OH!

Monday, July 22, 2013

An Okanagan Storm

While we were visiting the kids...
the storm clouds began to gather and I felt a bit hopeful that there would be some interesting weather.  

Some of my favorite Okanagan memories when we camped there for 14 years included the summer storms.  They rush in with blustery winds and dark storm clouds and they almost always include thunder and lightening.

I wasn't disappointed.
The beach cleared and since our the kids trailer was right next to the beach we stayed to watch the storm roll in.

The sky was beautiful.

And then we ran for cover.
It poured hard and thundered and lightened for a few minutes and then it was all over.

In the meantime..
the little ones were quite happy to hunker down for the few minutes.

It wasn't long and we were back at the beach.

It took the rest of the campers awhile to come out of hiding and that was just fine by us.

It is a rare day for the beach to be empty at this beautiful campsite.

Soon there was a competitive game of hot potato in the water.
I laughed watching the imagination of the young ones tossing that ball quickly.

Everyone loves a good beach...

Friday, July 19, 2013

a visit to the land of Ogopogo

A quick trip this week to see the Ogopogo was planned and taken and finished all quicker than you can imagine.

We camped at this same campsite many times when our children were little.
We were never alone and enjoy the company of our children...
our dear friends and their children.

When we ran out of eggs..
we went to the store but when you can call Grandpa and tell him you are out of eggs...
chances are he'll hand pick the nicest ones and tuck them into the car.

They have enjoyed their camping trip and we enjoyed having a peek into how they camp as a family.

I woke up early before leaving and popped some bread into the oven because what is eggs without  toast?

Since we were invited we thought we may as well set up a tent and stay the night.

We were snug as bugs in that little tent.
 It was purchased years ago when our boys  were into backpack hiking and convinced us that a good quality tent would last many years.

Who knew then that the tent would be useful to visit them as they end their week of camping in the place we once considered our family favorite summer spot?

To be continued....

all for now..

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Cherry Harvest

"Bring an ice cream pail"...he said.
"The cherries are ready to pick and we better get them before the birds do."

We planted that cherry tree last spring so I didn't go find an ice cream pail.
I picked one bowl and decided that would be "insensitive" to his harvest hopes and selected a 6 cup measuring cup.

I waited at the bottom of the ladder...
dreaming of cold crisp cherries.

He was down quicker than my dreams could take root.
And....that was that.

Now I really want to have my fill of cherries.
Perhaps a day trip is in order.
The Okanagan valley is within driving distance and they have a schedule here of their Fruit Ripening Dates.  
According to them...cherries should be in their harvest prime.

I'll let you know...
if I found the real cherry harvest.

all for now...

Monday, July 15, 2013

Kingdom Rock at VBS

I never missed out on attending VBS.
Back then it was called DVBS which stood for Daily Vacation Bible School and instead of it being during the day it was held each evening for a week.
I have distinct memories of calling it any of those letters in various orders and finding those letters very confusing.

My Mom taught DVBS faithfully for many years and maybe because she did I remember more of the preparations.  Kool-aid and cookies were ready in the church kitchen and mid way through the evening we would run outside for recess.
It was at DVBS where I learned to play various of children's games where we would hold hands in circles and sing songs.
"I wrote a letter to my love and on the way I dropped it...
a little puppy picked it up and put it in his pocket...."

Our little country church would burst at the seams with community children who didn't otherwise come on Sunday mornings to Sunday School.
My Mom must have invited kids because our car was loaded up with kids we gathered along the way.  We didn't have mini-vans back then but then there were no seatbelt laws either.

Last week Friday we were invited to the VBS finale of our grands.
I was happy to go to hear the program and enjoy a hotdog lunch and popsicles with the kids.

I must have had my own VBS pictures in my mind and was pleasantly surprised to see that VBS has moved along in technology as the rest of the world has.
Their finale program consisted of the songs they learned about Jesus and standing strong for God.
Their worship leader sang with enthusiasm and they all followed along with the choreography of the kids on the big screen.
The program ended with them all taking the books they made for children in India to the front.
I came home and looked up the program Kingdom Rock and can see why the children enjoyed it so much.

They stood in their little groups with their team leader and I can tell you that in the case of my grands...she did not have to worry that they would wander off.

I think perhaps beyond the impact of the lessons they learned I was blessed by this young woman who took a week out of her summer to be a friend to these little ones.

Eventually she said to them...
"well...I think I will say my goodbyes".

On the way home...
I heard the sniffles in the back seat and wondered what on earth was wrong.
"I miss her" came the choked sob from the back.

Oh dear...
I looked at my beloved and said...
"what..are we chopped liver all of a sudden?"
After a few hours she got over it and maybe she'll see her again next year.
I know that my grands will remember their kind team leader and be more than happy to go back to VBS again next summer.

The babies will also probably be back again at the VBS finale for their fair share of popsicles and maybe we'll go back again too just to be blessed by the ones that take a week out of their summer to bless children from the community with the love of Jesus.

If you have children at home that could use some summer fun with other kids...
check out the nearest VBS and enroll them before it is too late.

VBS..a summer memory worth revisiting again.

all for now..

Friday, July 12, 2013

Thursday's Lunch Invitation

I'm not usually at a loss of words on how to tell a story but as I write this on Thursday evening my heart is full and I'm still feeling the rest and peacefulness of the afternoon.

For those of you who live in Canada I don't need to explain to you what a Member of Parliament is but for the sake of those out of country I'll give a brief explanation.

Members of Parliament are elected in their local constituency and represent the regional and local concerns of the people that live in their riding (electoral district).
They work in Ottawa when Parliament is in session and also have offices in their home ridings.
Our Member of Parliament is Ed Fast.

Though I had not up until yesterday met the Honorable Ed Fast and his wife Annette face to face..
our shared faith and our Mennonite heritage have connected us and of course we feel we know him because we have been most happy to have him as our MP since 2006.

Anneliese and I live in Abbotsford while the rest of the Fraser Valley Girls (of MGCC) live in the Chilliwack riding.
Anneliese and I were talking one day and thought it would be wonderful to be able to somehow present a book to the Prime Minister and his wife.
Anneliese has known the Fasts "forever" and so she offered to call up Annette and see if we could take her to lunch and leave a book with her that could be passed on to our Prime Minister and his wife.

She agreed that lunch would be wonderful and invited us to her house.
I was beyond excited.
Lunch invitations are not something that clogs up my calendar and well...
let's face it...
I was going to the home of my Member of Parliament...
for goodness sakes.


Annette also invited her long time neighbour and very good friend Marilyn.
The ease in their friendship and their common gift of encouragement and hospitality put us on an afternoon course of being blessed.

Three salads which were all unique and delicious...
cheese biscuits that kept me eyeing the basket..
 lightly sweetened fruit water and delicious coconut yogurt parfaits...
eaten on their beautiful back deck was ...
absolutely refreshing to my body and soul.

We chatted about our Mennonite Girl story..
 the connection between the three of them...
our families...
and our wonder of what is still to come in the lives of us all.

As I saw the pulse of their hearts I was encouraged in a new way to rest in God's plan for Mennonite Girls Can Cook.
Whether we sell tens of thousands of books or more than that...
it is all part of God's plan and we will simply be grateful and thankful and willing for the opportunity ahead.

They prayed for us and shared scripture with us and blessed us as we ended our time.
I had no idea the blessing that awaited me yesterday afternoon.
The food was wonderful but the blessing of that visit was beyond what I realized I needed. 

At the end of our visit...
my camera made it's appearance in a less subtle way.
A picture of us to remember the fun conversation...
the inspiring women we had lunch with...
and the bond that we have in various ways.

As the shadows were reminding us that it was no longer afternoon but early evening...
Annette heard her husband's car coming up the road. 
 (we all know the sound of our husbands vehicle =)

Just in time for a photo op...
introductions and a quick chat and we were on our way.

My beloved was just finishing mowing the lawn when I got home.
 I ran into the house and opened up the refrigerator to see what I could toss together for dinner. 
Burgers on the grill and a long chat in our tent made an already wonderful day...
the best.

all for now..