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Monday, November 2, 2009

Yardwork...






This time of year brings a whole new meaning to yardwork around here. Being surrounded by trees is worth the work but it's such a hard time of year to get motivated to go outside. It's blowing and raining lots here but we had a break from it all a couple of Saturdays ago and took advantage of the blue sky. We introduced our Japanese student, Ayano, to leaf raking. She was a good sport and helped here and there with raking the leaves into a pile...but she was tickled when she realized why we were making such a big pile. The girls had a blast running and jumping and even little Isaac seemed pretty happy surrounded by crunchy leaves. We ended the day with a hot dog roast out back....but by then it was coooold!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tea Time...






Our Japanese student, Ayano, treated us to a green tea ceremony the other day. It was a neat experience for our girls, who to my surprise enjoyed the tea! Here at home we may haul out the cute tea set but I quickly fill the kettle, dip a tea bag in and we're good to go. For this tea time we watched as Ayano brought out a neatly packed box full of all kinds of utensils for the ceremony. First she made sure everything was really clean, then she carefully measured out the powder into one container, and then re-measured it into the actual bowl/cup. She carefully mixed it with what looked like a bamboo whisk. It was quite hot at first but we all took turns sipping from the cup. My inner mom was screaming that we really all shouldn't be drinking from the same cup during this crazy flu season...but the other part of me respected that this was a custom and that we were honored guests. It was a great few minutes spent making another memory. Thanks Ayano!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Pumpkin 'Patch'






Why the quotation marks around patch you ask? Well... the term 'patch' was a stretch of the imagination for this field trip...but Abby had fun nonetheless. Abby is in preschool this year again and this was her first field trip of the year. There are a few pumpkin patches to choose from around these parts. Most offer petting zoos, hay rides, apple orchards, hay mazes...you get the idea. Well, this farm had just opened for business and I'll give them 'A' for effort! I think it could have been a little better prepared but luckily a group of 4 yr olds are less worried with the details than I am. The kids had fun petting the goat, pig and bunnies. There was a hayride and at the end they got to pick a pumpkin....off the lawn. Well...can't win em' all. Mr. & Mrs. Mann are very active farmers in our community and their main farm focus is berries...I've bought a 'few' berries off their stands in my days. Mr. & Mrs. Mann were so kind and informative to the children. Here's a few pics from our trip. Luckily it didn't rain because it's been one wet week around here!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Fall....


This is what I get to see every time I pull up my driveway in the fall. I love this vine that has taken over the cedar tree. The picture doesn't do the color justice but it'll have to do. The colors are so beautiful around here right now...I love driving these days! I know that if we let this vine keep going it will eventually choke out the tree but I don't have the heart to cut it down.....

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Houseguest...






We've been toying with the idea on and off over the past few years about whether or not we should host a Japanese student in our home. We figured it would be a neat experience for us and for our kids. So, this year we followed through with it and decided to go for it! We have been having a great time with Ayano. Ayano is a sweet girl and fits just fine into our family. To communicate we rely mainly on basic words, body language and sometimes draw pictures, but we're getting by just fine. The students came here through Global Partners and are here for 3 weeks. This particular group of girls wanted to experience Halloween in Canada. Our family isn't huge on Halloween but we do celebrate the beautiful fall season and all God's beautiful nature. Here are a few pics of Ayano. She wants to learn to cook and bake so she definitely came to the right home! So far she has been able to experience a bonfire cookout, a traditional turkey dinner (thanks Mom!), a traditional mennonite meal of perogies & farmer sausage, a tour of UBC, a trip to the local senior's home, a trip to Metrotown via the SkyTrain, and there are lots more activities planned in the weeks to come!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Homeade Potato Skins...





Last weekend we had some friends over for a wine & appy evening. I loooove having appetizers for dinner...it's so great to sample a bunch of little things that all have good flavour! I had been craving potato skins so I decided to make a batch. I don't think I've made these since the New Year's Eve party so it was more than time for another batch! Here's the recipe:
8 medium baking potatoes - bake potatoes at 400 degrees for 1 hour or until tender. Cool for 15 minutes. Cut into wedges and scoop out the majority of potato, leaving about a 1/4 inch on the skin. Lay Potato skins on sheet for baking ( I use my stoneware)
Mix together: 4 tbsp oil ( I use olive), 2 tsp seasoning salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1 tsp paprika, 1/8 tsp thyme. Brush over potato skins.
Now the fun part....chop up a bunch of goodies to sprinkle over your potatoes. I used farmer sausage, green onion, red pepper, green pepper and cheddar cheese.
Bake in 400 degree oven for 20 - 25 minutes.
I serve mine with salsa and sour cream.
Enjoy! (PS...the rest of the potatoes that you scooped out are perfect for shepherd's pie!)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

It's all about the food....




Right now it seems like that's all Isaac is interested in...FOOD. I can't believe how this little man can pack it away! This is definitely one of the big differences I see from when the girls were this age. As soon as we even walk towards the kitchen he starts pointing and saying 'mmmmmm...' He gets very excited about his food. These are a few pics of him enjoying watermelon at my parents' place a few weeks ago. P.S...that's my old highchair he's sitting in!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Hosting the Heritage Ladies...






No, the title is not what you think..no one came in costumes from the pioneer days and we didn't have any butter churning contests. The Heritage Ladies are a group of women from our church, Heritage Alliance. A couple of weeks ago I hosted these fine ladies for their fall kick-off wiener roast. Usually it's done over a fire in a field somewhere but with the burning ban still on we had to BBQ instead. I've hosted these ladies a few times in the past, a couple of times here and a couple of times at our 'old' place. I LOVE these ladies. The are a unique group of women who are dedicated to relationship with each other and Christ. I have similar relationships with girls who are at the same stages of life as I am, but these ladies are past the stage of young families and have much experience and wisdom to share. I love watching these ladies interact with each other and support each other through life's curve balls. To be able to spend and evening peeking in the window of this group was such a neat and encouraging experience. I have great relationships with a few of these women and I treasure them. They are incredibly supportive, especially to women who are experiencing difficult situations in life. I got to sit in with them on this evening and hear about their summer adventures, pray with them and feel uplifted by them. They are known as a fun and crazy bunch but it goes so much deeper than that. We sure missed you Marnie... So, thanks ladies for visiting our home..you know you are always welcome here!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

I'm just D'Andy...


yep, that's me. Just thought I'd do a quick post on this cute greensleeve that Kim gave me for my B-day (amongst other goodies). I love a good coffee...and quite often I'm enjoying one with Kim. This one is personalized just for me! I thought it was so neat that Kim's daughter found this and thought of me! And would you believe it came with a full coffee too? Now that's a friend!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Scrap Project...





A while back Kim and I decided to do a project made completely out of scraps. There's something really satisfying about using up a bunch of small pieces of fabric, that you probably could've just thrown away, to make a completed project. So...Kim upended her scrap bin and I dug out mine and we got to work. We cut all the scraps into small squares and proceeded to sew a ton of triangles! It was a nit-picky kind of project but a great one to do over a cup of coffee and visit with a friend. In the end I ended up going with pinwheels and made this square table topper. It will look great on my table! It turned out to be quite large. The only part of the project that wasn't scraps were the borders. Kim was kind enough to stipple it for me to give it that antique look. I'm so happy with how it turned out.... I did a rough calculation and there's well over 200 pieces of fabric in this project!

Monday, September 28, 2009

1st Haircut!





So, I have to admit, I didn't realize how long Isaac's hair was getting until I heard a few too many comments...you know...the "oh, are you growing his hair out?"...and the, "you have old man hair don'tcha buddy?" and then there were the two girls sitting behind us in church having an argument about whether or not he was a boy or a girl. Time for a haircut. I have to say, I'm not used to this yet...with the girls I just let it grow and I have to drag hubby kicking and screaming (well, ok, not really, but close) to the barber. So, all of the sudden the light-bulb came on and I realized, oh...he really needs a trim! So...we bathed him and sat him in front of the mirror. He wouldn't have anything to do with a towel around him and proceeded to bat away my hands every time I tried to get near his head. I finally gave him a new toothbrush with a bit of toothpaste on it and it seemed to keep him somewhat occupied. Needless to say, it was an exercise in patience...not one of my greatest virtues! So it's done. He looks so adorable...not because of my 'hack job' but because he looks a little more like a little boy now and not such a baby! I saved his hair, of course, and some of those locks are 2" long! Next time we won't wait so long...and next time, someone else can do it!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Puppy Update...






There's 8 of em'. We've got boys, we've got girls, we've got long haired, we've got short haired, we've got black, we've got brown, we've got mixed...but most of all...we've got toooo many puppies! I shared in a previous post about the birth of these little guys (here), and now here we are 6 weeks later. The puppies are super energetic and love all the attention they can get! Well, it's time for us to think about finding homes for the pups. A friend of mine works at a vet clinic and knows lots about animals and where to find good homes for them. Heather's going to give us a hand and I am so thankful because I wouldn't know where to start! We've done this once before but it seemed like last time everyone came to us by word of mouth...I don't think we'd be as lucky this time around! We are going to keep one but which one is the question? Rob and I are leaning towards the little black guy with the brown markings...he reminds me of a shepherd or maybe he has a little rotty in him. Either way...he's a cutie. Olivia is in love with 'Jack'. Jack is the little black one with the white chin. These are going to be big dogs by the looks of things! So, soon they'll have their shots and checkups then off they go...this is getting too expensive!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fall Fair...






Kim and I did our annual Campbell Valley Fall Fair Sale this past weekend. The weather cooperated for the most part and we had fun hangin' out and meeting new and 'old' friends. We worked hard to get ready and we had fun setting up a booth that was fall themed and enticing for people to walk through. One of the fun parts of doing a weekend like this is when our families come out and join the fun. The kids loved watching the magicians, making/flying kites, petting the Ilamas and having a ride in an old fashioned buggy pulled by the beautiful horses! I'll show individual projects later, but here's an overview of our weekend!