Monday, October 27, 2008

Stillwood Crop 08

So, what do 29 women aged 20 to 75; (I'm guessing here), career girls, moms with young families, farmer's wives, business women, and grandmothers all have in common? How can such a varied group spend 4 days and nights together and all get along? Welcome to the world of dedicated scrapbookers!
This past weekend Dogwood Lodge at Stillwood Camp and Conference Centre was filled to capacity with above-mentioned 29 women and all the things their scrapbooking hearts hold dear. Boxes and totes full of paper of every shade and pattern, brads, ribbons, stickers, cutters, pens, stamps, ink pads and rub-ons, and for the techincally savvy - even a computerized cutting system called a Crikcut. As you can see from the pictures, we came with alot of stuff. One participant, who shall remain nameless, brings her whole craft room and after hastily mounting one or two portraits in her grandkids album, spends the rest of the weekend turning out beautiful cards and hand decorated calendars. Lucky people who are on her greeting card list!

Scrapbookers are a fun and generous group. There's lots of laughing (it reaches a hysterical level after midnight) sharing of stories and tips on getting just the right look for your page. If you find yourself needing something you don't have or didn't bring, someone else will supply it. Not quite sure what embelishment will highlight your photos? There will be two or three girls leaning over your page to offer their advice. Of course our resident expert is always willing to leave her projects to come and help.

My project this time was to work on ABC books for my 2 four year old grandsons. Here are a couple of the pages I did as well as some of the cards I made.

The food at the camp is terrific and plentiful with snacks provided for the evening (they are famous for their butterhorns!) and we can put aside our everyday responsibilites and spend time doing what we love.

On the way home the sun was shining and the leaves so colourful that I found myself stopping several times to take more pictures!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

What a week its' been. So much fun to have the kids and grandkids all here. The kids from Seattle came Friday night. It was Baby B's first visit to PopPop and Nana's and Grandboy N and Grandprincess were thrilled to be back again. The last time they were here was for Oma's funeral in June and then the last stage of Mama's pregnancy kept them all close to home. We had a fun Saturday, doing food preparation for Sunday's meal, making and playing with Play doh, riding bikes and playing trucks in the basement playroom.

Then the Saskatchewan contingent arrived Sunday morning, Grandboys E and K were so excited after their first (remembered) plane ride and when the cousins were all reunited, the excitement reached an all time high. The baby had to be admired and held, stories of the trip had to be told and of course, they all had to go into the hot tub as soon as could be arranged.

The toys came out and Nana's newest acquisition - pop beads - became an instant hit with adults and children alike. (Check them out at Costco - they're in a plastic bottle with a yellow lid and have a large 'Parents' label.)

Of course Grandprincess was in her glory (as was Auntie C) but the boys loved them too - only they made SUPERHERO" necklaces, bracelets and rings!

At 2:30 the extended family came in a rush each bearing their contribution to the feast. How blessed I am to have a family who insists on helping with the meal - all I had to make were the pies, the turkey, the stuffing and the gravy.) The weather was so gorgeous that we'd told everyone to join us for an excursion to the Othello Tunnels near Hope. If you're unfamiliar with them, they are in the Coquihalla canyon and were part of the Kettle Valley Railway in years past. There are 5 tunnels separated by bridges and you can walk through them. It was a great way to work up a good appetite.

Dinner was fabulous as usual - we were 24 at the table this year. I love having the house full of family. There was one big hole though - Mom was spending Thanksgiving at the throne of God this year instead of celebrating here with us. We miss her so much. She was so much a part of everything - chatting with the kids, playing with the grandkids and so interested in everything. She was a huge help too, setting food out, and cleaning up in the kitchen so that there was little to do after she went home. She is at the top of my list of things to be thankful for.

After dinner we put the food away and headed outside where we ended our day around the campfire.

As the grandkids sang in the table grace:(to the tune of "Frere Jaques") :

Thank you Father, Thank you Father
for this food, for this food,
and our many blessings, and our many blessings,
Amen, Amen.

Psalm 95 says:

Come, let us sing for Joy to the LORD;

let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.

Let us come before Him with thanksgiving and extol Him with music and song.

For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods.
Amen and Amen!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Busy Busy

I looked back at my last post and realized it's already 2 weeks ago. Time is just flying by.
what Am I so busy with?

Oil Sands Trade Show - we dedicated a week to the trade show in Edmonton. It was tiring but so much fun and very worthwhile for future business. I even had a bit of time to do some shopping - found a few Christmas presents and 3 pair of new shoes!

Ladies' Bible study started last week. I had to find something to fill in for the material I'd ordered back in Sept and hadn't arrived yet. I found out yesterday that the company I'd ordered it through closed its doors right after I'd called in my order - why oh why didn't they email or call to let me know so I could get the material elsewhere.? I wasted hours trying to call/fax/email them and then more hours trying to round up enough books for the group. I'm still short a number of books so I had to photo copy pages and pages (Yes, I had permission).

We spent a weekend at our friend's 'cabin' on Little Shushwap lake - we were 7 couples altogether and had a lovely, relaxing time. We walked, ate great meals, played scrabble, funny rummy and golf, celebrated 2 birthdays, discussed ideas and caught up on each other's lives. Thanks to Gerry and Jan for their generous hospitality.

We bought hardwood for the dining room floor and so we've been moving furniture -table, 10 chairs, buffet and china cabinet (do I really have THAT many dishes?) which are now filling up the floor space in the living room and kitchen. The floor is done - it's gorgeous. I had a decorator friend come in and give me colour advice ( am I brave enough to follow through?). We want to do some electrical before painting and putting up trim and there's not enough time before the weekend so we have to move the furniture back in so we can have Thanksgiving
Our children are all coming home for Thanksgiving. Horray! We will have a housefull for 2 days and a partial housefull for a week. The kids from Seattle will be here Friday to Monday (our newest grandboy will have his first visit to PopPop and Nana's) and our kids from Saskatchewan will be here from Sunday to Saturday. Of course, our kids from Greendale will pop in often over that time.

Thanksgiving dinner is at our house on Sunday afternoon - extended family and a friend or two - we should number around 25. Yes - it will take place in the unfinished dining room. This is nothing new - if we'd waited to finish anything in our house before having company - we'd be very lonely people.
We are very excited to have the whole family home. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.