Saturday, 31 August 2013

Fourth Month of 100 km

Another 100 km in the books. It wasn't easy this month. At first I thought maybe I could do 150 km if I walked to and from school every day the past two weeks. Problem was there were plenty of days with meetings somewhere else, days that were going to be too hot, and the simple fact that driving is just so nice! I have walked most mornings since school started - but this week I had to do some extra walks. Thursday I did 9 km, Friday I did 8 km, and today was back to my regular 6 km. Phew! Made it to 100 - no more, no less.

Too bad another month starts tomorrow!! The exciting thing, though, is that this month I will go over 1000 km since I started walking! According to Daily Mile I'm currently at

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

First Day of School

Today was our first day of school. As if there isn't enough to do and worry about - but today a news crew from CBC showed up as well. They were in the courtyard while everyone was milling about, which was very exciting. Then they went around with our principal to find interesting things going on in classrooms. They decided what we were doing was interesting enough to stay and film us for about 15 minutes. Oh my shattered nerves! LOL Apparently it will be on the news next week.

Besides the news crew, it was a terrific day. I have a really nice bunch of kids. I'm excited about this year and looking forward to a lot of great discussions and reading a lot of great books together.

Friday, 23 August 2013

Jill's August

For the month of August Jill has been babysitting her cousins. I wish I could have her babysit my kids - or babysit me. She's so fun!

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Chef Peirce

Allen is always interested in helping Peirce learn more about things he expresses an interest in - especially if it helps with a scouting badge. That's how this started. He set up a deal for Peirce to be able to go to Joey Tomatoes and learn about being a chef! He made a pie while he was there. So fun!

Happy Anniv? Happy B-day?

Got an awesome email from Dale today. Turns out I'm 17,000 days old!

Man, I'm old!

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Happy Birthday Jill

15 years old! How did this happen?!

Today is Jill's birthday. Our world totally changed when Jill was a great way. I am amazed sometimes at what a great girl she is. She is disciplined and a hard worker. She's smart too! I love how she loves to read. We have great discussions about books. She's always positive. She's always enthusiastic. And she truly likes everyone.

Well, okay. Maybe she doesn't like everyone - but she is nice even if she doesn't! She's not one of those catty girls at all.

I'm always so proud of her and how she sees the good in everyone. Life is always just fun when Jill is around! So glad she's part of our family.

Here are some pics of her birthday celebrations in Edmonton. The Letourneaus were there too!

Crazy  cousins!

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Early Celebrations

Yesterday we drove up to Edmonton to wish Jill a happy birthday. I made a couple cakes (regular and gluten free, of course) and off we went. We took Jill out for lunch and then went to her new favorite ice cream place. It was so great to visit with her, even if it was for a short time! Love that girl!

This is the quilt I made for her. It's really fun for us to look at it and talk about all the memoriesfrom each of those t-shirts. It's not a quilt that can be entered in any contest. Real quilters would tisk tisk at a bunch of it - but she loves it - and that makes me happy. :)

We had to leave around 4:00 to get Allen to an appointment in Drayton Valley. His appointment was with a client he has had for years and years. We have visited them a number of times. I love love love where they live. They live in paradise! Today Peirce got to shoot a bow with their son, Austin. I think he could have stayed forever! His non-stop talking on the way home gave us the hint that perhaps he enjoyed it.

Can you believe that scenery? That is their yard!

It was a great, great day!

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

He's Home!

Peirce just had his longest time away from home. He went with Allen's parents on a trip to South Carolina and was gone for just over two weeks. Can you imagine??! It was a great time for all. Can't wait to hear all the stories. After his trip with Grandma he didn't have much to say - but things would come out here and there. I suspect this trip will be the same.

One thing that he told me right away was that he learned to crochet! He made a couple of face cloths and now he is working on a Harry Potter scarf. Very cool! He also told me that he thinks the Christensens are his favourite cousins now. He really enjoyed visiting with them. So glad he had that opportunity!

Allen and I drove down to Lethbridge bright and early. Allen was going to do some work for my mom on her shed. She needed the roof shingled. Apparently he knows how to do that! (Who knew?!) When I asked him about it he said he learned when he was 8 years old. And his last shingling gig was when he was 11. I was a little nervous - but it turned out great.

I went off to Raymond to pick up Peirce. It is so great to have him home again!

Monday, 12 August 2013

Ginger Muffins

Jill and Peirce have been gone for most of August. It's so strange to make muffins, and have them last for days! Not to worry. They'll be home soon and gobbling everything all up.

Today I made Ginger Muffins. It is one of my favorite recipes in the Company's Coming Muffin cook book!

Gingerbread Muffins
The taste of Christmas and the comfort of home all in one muffin.
Serve warm with butter.
Hard margarine (or butter), 1/2 cup 125 mL softened
Granulated sugar 1/2 cup 125 mL
Large eggs 2
Fancy (mild) molasses 2/3 cup 150 mL
Milk 1/4 cup 60 mL
All-purpose flour 2 1/2 cups 625 mL
Baking soda 1 tsp. 5 mL
Baking powder 1 tsp. 5 mL
Ground ginger 1 1/2 tsp. 7 mL
Ground cinnamon 1 tsp. 5 mL
Salt 1/2 tsp. 2 mL
Ground cloves 1/4 tsp. 1 mL

Cream margarine and sugar together in large bowl. Beat in eggs,
1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add molasses and milk.
Beat until mixed.

Combine remaining 7 ingredients in medium bowl. Add to margarine
mixture. Stir until just moistened. Fill greased muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake
in 375°F (190°C) oven for about 20 minutes until wooden pick inserted
in centre of muffin comes out clean. Let stand in pan for 5 minutes before
turning out onto wire rack to cool. Makes 12 muffins.

1 muffin: 274 Calories; 9.3 g Total Fat; 352 mg Sodium; 4 g Protein; 44 g Carbohydrate;
1 g Dietary Fibre

from Home for the Holidays © Company's Coming Publishing Limited

Friday, 9 August 2013

Looking Back on Walking

Summer is coming to a close, and so I've been a little reflective lately. More to come on my summer reflections later.

Today my partner was too tired and cancelled so I walked alone. It was one of those days where I wanted to cancel too - but yesterday I only did 2 km so I figured I really better walk today. I told myself I could just do a short one. Once I got out there I decided maybe I could do 5 km. I got to a corner where we sometimes go further and make it a 6 km walk and decided I could do it. Funny how getting out the door really is the hardest part!

Since I was walking alone I had lots of thinking time.  Where I get to walk is great space for thinking! It's so beautiful! Here's a pic I snapped this morning on my phone. I took it because I saw a deer. Can't see it in the photo though.

I thought about how walking went last summer. Last summer I started about mid-July and did 22 km that month. It just about killed me. In August I did 90 km. That just about killed me more. I would often come home, shower, and then sleep the rest of the morning. It seriously really wore me out.

I walked all through the year. These are my stats for the 2012-2013 school year:

July - 22 km
August - 90 km
September - 51 km
October - 69 km
November - 80 km
December - 29 km
January - 30 km
February - 62 km
March - 101 km
April - 100 km
May - 44 km
June - 6 km

Last month I did 103 km.

I'm particularly proud of November, December, January and February. Those are tough months to keep doing it around here. Truthfully, March was pretty hard too because we had so much snow this year - but while my km's were lower, I did keep doing it! The end of May was when we got our van. It was sure hard to walk when I had this sexy new van to drive - and that's what I did. Plus, June is just so darn busy, I ended up not walking at all. Thank goodness summer was just around the corner!

February was when I realized I needed to set a goal that would push myself. 100 km's is definitely a push. I'm going to see if I can do 100 km every month this next school year. I'm not going to be able to walk home from school like I did last year. This year I'm going to be driving Jill in the mornings to seminary and swimming. I'm going to have to figure out how to add in a walk after school (there's no way I can do it in the mornings.....we get up early enough as it is! Swim mornings start at 4:30 and seminary mornings start at 5:00 for me. I can't add in a walk in the morning). However, while she's swimming I could do a few km's. We've entered a photo contest with a rec center near us, and so far we're clobbering the competition. The prize is an annual family pass. If we win I might just have to go workout there a lot. I will use the treadmill and add in some other stuff. I have thought for a while that I should add in some weight training.

The school year is going to be tricky. I can't stop now though. I can finally, honestly say that exercise really is a part of my life. I have to keep doing it. It's so easy not to do it. Being a working mom is brutal. But I will just look at it as the one thing I do for myself and just learn to make it a priority.

And here's the crazy part. I just figured out that this month I should be able to get to 135 km's quite easily. If I just do 5 km six days a week (I often do 6 km) I will get to 135 - so I'm going to try to do 150 km's to push myself.


Yup. I'm going to do 150.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Bumps in the Road

This week I've had a chance to get together with some old friends a couple of times. It has been so great! I have also been updated on some issues going on amongst some of my extended family. It's been kind of sobering to hear the hard times my friends have gone through the past couple of years, and the hard times some of my family is going through.

I've done a lot of thinking about it all. It is always nice if you have someone to weather the storms of life with you. I feel a little guilty that I wasn't aware of the challenges my friends were going through. I sure would have been happy to provide a little support. I also look at some of the challenges people in my family are going through. There's really nothing I can do except show love and be supportive.

One thing I've learned through my own challenges is that nobody else can fix me. I also watch other people and often try to remain not too emotionally involved, because I can't really fix their challenges either.

The other thing I've learned is that life is just full of challenges! And despite those challenges, it's possible to be happy. Some people run into issues and it becomes all consuming when it really doesn't have to. There are some challenges that truly are all consuming - and some of my friends have really gone through those. However, I look at other people who think they have big problems and I think they really don't know what a big problem is - yet they sure like to act like their problems are debilitating. I sure admire people who faces challenges and don't tap out.

My life isn't perfect or simple either. There are plenty of things I wish were different. However, there are plenty of things that bring a boatload of joy to my life. I will choose to focus on those things. I have also realised that finding joy in the simple things in life might just be the key to happiness. I've never really been one to compete or worry about whether my house or clothes or kids or whatever is fancier, or even just as nice as someone else's. It doesn't really matter. What I have suits me just fine and that's good enough. I don't really want for anything. Life is really very good.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Quiet (Susan Cain)

I have been reading this book called Quiet. I love this book. (Update: I have also blogged about this book on my book blog) I have often struggled with where I fit in this world of people. I like people - but I like quiet time too. I like to talk, but I really don't like small talk that is of little importance.

Ch. 6, p. 137....sensitive types usually think in an unusually completes fashion. It may also help explain why they're so bored by small talk. "If you're thinking in more complicated ways," she told me, "Then talking about the weather or where you went for the holidays is not quite as interesting as talking about values or morality."

I work with people who do fascinating things when they have time off. They swim with dolphins. They travel to exotic locations. They hike. They go on winery tours. They spend time with people.

I find when I have time off I just want to stay home and have some quiet time! I love being home. I've always been that way. I used to love staying home on the weekends. I'd organise my room, sew, and read when I was in high school on weekends whenever I could. Yup. Nerd.

Our culture puts extroverts on a pedestal. The term "introvert" seems to hold a negative connotation. The author of this book has gathered research and historical figures to show how powerful introverts can be. I watched a video of Susan Cain a long time ago (the video is below) and figured I pretty much got what this book was about. The book has so much more though! It really helped me understand myself and people I know, both extroverts and introverts alike. 

The good news is, mostly no one is totally an introvert nor totally an extrovert. We all have our introvert times and extrovert times. The trick is managing ourselves so we can be extroverted when we need to be, and introverted when we need to be.

After reading this book I realised that's okay. I'm not just a nerd. I have introvert tendencies! And the best part is the world needs people that are slightly introverted like me!

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

And last of all: This link is hilarious. So many truisms on introverts!!

Friday, 2 August 2013

Walking in the rain....

Walking in the rain....I must do it for the galmour.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Busy Kids

Well, they're off.

Tuesday Jill left for Edmonton for a month. She is staying with Allen's sister and babysitting for the month while Allen's sister works full time. I already miss her terribly.

Today I took Peirce down to Raymond for his next adventure. He's going with Allen's parents to South Carolina to visit his cousins there.

....and we're all alone at home. Weird.