Sunday, December 21, 2008

Candy Cane Popcorn!


















Here it is! I broke my back trying to get popcorn and nuts 'n bolts done in the same night and now I'm paying for it - sick, sick, sick.
But doesn't it look yummy?
Pop about 18-20 cups of popcorn
Pour about 3 two-handed handfuls of white chocolate (melted of course) over.
Crush at least 5-6 candy canes in food processor. Pour over chocolate.
Mix all together until completely covered.
Lay out on counter to cool.
Pour into Glad 2L freezer bags. Decorate with ribbon.
Enjoy!

Seeing Baby!

videoIntroducing our little baby! He or she is moving around, kicking, flailing arms, everything! You can see he/she yawning (well, opening mouth at least!) Andy and I were able to see all this on Friday at our 18 week ultrasound. Isn't technology fantastic?!
videoI think our baby must be really smart and very loving already, because if you look closely at this one, you'll notice that baby actually makes a slight "I LOVE YOU" sign with fingers! Wow.

videoCheck out the feet action in this one! Amazing!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

First of the Christmas Baking! (Finally)










I am so glad I finally have some energy to get stuff done around here!

Last Saturday I made shortbread and gingerbread cookies, then started to put up Christmas decorations (and this was after the funeral for an old family friend - I had the privilege of playing the piano for him). There should be a picture of the aftermath of decorations, but I'm too embarrassed because doing all this wiped me right out and the house is still in shambles! Sunday we had church and choir practice, braved the cold to visit with some friends and then some family and when we came home, we went straight to bed! What a busy weekend! Monday it didn't stop because I spent all the time between preschool in the morning, till my students came in the afternoon decorating the gingerbread cookies and using the leftover chocolate to dip an entire bag of pretzels! These pretzels are the BEST for dipping! (I got the last bag at Extra Foods in High River!) And if you have kids, what an easy and fun activity!




So now that I have all these things done, I still have to make a tonne of candy cane popcorn (don't worry Megan, it's coming!) and a huge batch of nuts and bolts.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Recipe Request for Crepes


Okay, so the crepes were so good but not only do they taste good, they must sound good too because I've had a few requests for the recipe. So here it is. I'm including 3 different measurements with each ingredient because you've got to triple or quadruple it if you're making for more than 2-3 people. So the triple is in ( ) and the quadruple is [ ]. Does that totally confuse you?

Basic Crepe Batter

4 eggs (12) [16]
1/4 teaspoon salt (1/2) [1/2]
3 Tablespoons oil (9) [12 or 3/4 cup]
1/2 cup plus 2Tablespoons water (2) [2-1/2]
3/4 flour (2-1/4) [3]

Beat eggs with whisk. Add the rest and mix well. Let batter "rest" 1-2 hours before serving.

for 1 crepe, use 1/4 cup of batter. I pour the batter into the pan with one hand while the other hand twirls the pan around so the batter will coat the pan. Usually the first one you make is horrible, but then you get the knack after a few.

To prepare ahead, stack between wax paper and freeze.

Pictures courtesy of Jessie Ursenbach from a crepe morning last year.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Crepe-tastic!


Ooh, these crepes were so so yummy! Becky, you are such a better blogger than I! You had pictures and commentary up the very next day! I had to make you wait almost a week! Anyway, for all those who don't know what the heck I'm talking about, Andy and I (more emphasis on the I) had three of my girlfriends (Birdie, Becky, and Candia) over for a crepe and girlie gab night. Yeah... Andy mostly hid in the basement. We don't blame him though! We loved all the girl talk!


The crepes were fantastic and yummy! My favorite was the Nutella and raspberry one with whipped cream on the top. I would have photographed it better except that we were just too excited to actually eat them! So I didn't bother setting it up so much.

Latest baby news? Nothing much about the baby, more like symptoms of it being there. I feel very "stretched" today. It seems like the belly is starting to come all at once! I've been getting a lot of headaches lately, which really wipe me out. And I'm still craving all things raspberry. Well, except that raspberry cheese fudge that Andy bought me. He was so sweet, thinking that it would be a great treat for me. Well, it was more cheese than fudge or raspberry, so the taste was a bit odd. Okay, a lot odd. It was kinda gross. We gave it to my Mom who seemed to like it.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Lub Dub-Lub Dub

Or was it Swoosh-Swoosh Swoosh-Swoosh? Well, Andy and I heard the heartbeat of our wee babe yesterday! What an exciting thing!

Our first checkup with our widwife was great and everything is going very well. I'm even gaining weight! I told my Mom how much I've gained in the last three months and she replied, "Where are you putting it?!" I guess to most people I haven't really started to show yet, but it's there and it's healthy.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

And Baby makes 3... or soon to Be


Andy and I would like to announce that we are expecting a bouncing bundle of joy sometime near the end of May! (Exact due date is May 22) We are thrilled! We are excited! We are a little bit nervous! But I'm sure all will be well.

How am I feeling, you ask? Well, some days it's like I have an alien parasite sucking the marrow out of my bones... literally. I've been super [super] tired, and only nauseated if I get too hungry or if I eat certain things at certain times of the day. No throwing up (thank goodness! and cross my fingers that it will stay that way!). The worst thing is that I have huge hormonal pregnancy acne so I feel kinda like I'm 13 going on 30 or something like that. I'm twelve weeks pregnant, and they say the tiredness will soon go away, but will come again in the third trimester. The baby is doing well as far as we know, and we have our first big appointment with our midwife team next Wednesday.

We'll keep you posted as we go!

btw, Here's Andy and I on Halloween - a burglar and Rocket Man. Dig the wigs?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Random things in my life right now

I'm such a sporadic poster!
But to let you know some things I've been up to lately:

I started an online "Art Journal" class with the amazing Dina Wakley. Check out her blog through the link on the side of my page. I'm learning how to layer textures and how to use paint. I've always been intimidated by paint because I usually use way to much or not enough and it ends up being disaster. But my first assignment from last week actually turned out not too bad. The part that is way harder than the painting is the journaling! Who would have thought?! When I have a few pages actually completed (in another few weeks) I'll post them then. Or maybe I'll post week-by-week so you can see the beginning to end process? I'll have to see what I'm up for.

Christmas is coming quick! Especially if you are making some presents by hand! Quick quiz: How many of you will be giving home-made gifts? What kind of gifts do you make? I seem to always make peppermint popcorn in glass jars, and shortbread cookies. They are both Christmas staples in this house!

Now that I've sat down and written the above, I entirely forget what else I've been up to lately. I thought there was more, but it appears that I am just really very boring.

Well, Andy is back home and he did a fantastic 1st year welding, so way to go Andy! And I'm glad to have you home again.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Off to Blairmore!

Well, I'm off to Blairmore tomorrow for a scintillating scrapbook weekend! My good friend Kacey and I are driving down tomorrow afternoon. I'm excited to scrapbook again. Even when my sisters-in-law came over conference weekend, I didn't get much done because I was sick. But this weekend I hope to get more caught up than ever! And maybe do a few Christmas presents!

I will miss Andy, but he has only ONE WEEK LEFT of his 1st year welding, then he's back to work machining and back in High River full time with me! Have I mentioned that Andy is top of his class and frequently gets unbelievably high marks on all his exams! That's my Andy! He also finished the garage this weekend, and I'm so very proud of him - he did all the drywalling, mudding and taping, and painting pretty much solo. Well, he did have a lot of help from my fantastic father too. So congrats Andy on a job well done! Now you have more time to do some other things around the yard?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Happy Anniversary, Happy Birthday, Lucky Me


I'm so behind! I've been busy and not busy, sick and not sick. Did everyone catch that awful stomach flu last week? I knew about a dozen people who had it the same time I did. Nasty.

But on to more exciting things! Like, happy one year anniversary to Andy and I! Andy planned the day and all along I assumed we were going to Banff. He first took me out to Black Diamond for breakfast at the Barn (A favorite for us. I wanted to take a picture of the pancakes - they were huge! - but I forgot my camera in the car). Then we followed hwy 22 up to the 22X or Spruce Meadows Trail. I thought we'd head straight for Banff, but instead turned into Calgary. I was confused and Andy would not tell me where we were going. Then when we turned into Deerfoot Meadows or Run or whatever that place is called (with the IKEA) I joked that he was so nice to take me to IKEA even though I know he hates to go there. Well, we didn't go to IKEA. Instead, Andy said to me, "I want you to have your camera today. We don't have to wait until Christmas!" So, we got the Canon Digital Rebel Xsi!!!!! Wooooo! This is the LUCKY ME part!

So, we've both been playing around a bit and figuring things out with this new camera. So fun and exciting! I love my Andy for giving me a surprise like this! Oh yes, and my present to him was a mini album comprised of pictures and text from our dating life - things that we both had written in our dating journals!

Next, was Andy's birthday! Yay! Happy Birthday Andy! It was games at the church with a potluck supper. The highlight of the evening was opening and playing with Paul's present to Andy. Uh... we're not really sure where Paul scored this beauty, but the guys sure had fun rolling around in it! We kept joking that maybe Paul nicked it from the Rotary Club? Anyway, I'm glad you had a good time Andy!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Medieval Fair - Paul's Birthday Bash


Yes, I know it has been awhile and now I'm playing catch up. Starting with this fabulous Saturday that Andy and I spent at Paul's farm near Millarville.
Paul organized this entire event for his own birthday and it was amazing! Almost everyone showed up dressed in Medieval costume, and the games were amazing! He even had performers come to do flame-eating and belly-dancing. The man of the day was our King Paul, who was dressed to the hilt! Andy was so proud of his own costume. Paul had even made two "horses" for jousting.






















There was jousting, axe throwing, spear throwing, and eating without utensils (I think that was Paul's favorite part)!




Thursday, September 11, 2008

Making the Dress LO



Since Andy has been away for school during the week, I've been able to get a bit of scrapbooking done. I finished this one yesterday, showing different stages of working on my wedding dress. The large picture is the one I like best, because it shows that as Halli was working on my dress, I was stitching up the flower girl dresses. We were just sewing all around! The green bits of fabric are from the sash, which we hadn't put on the dress yet.

"Docking" a la Franky


Andy and I watch this Japanime cartoon called
One Piece. In one of the last episodes, the character Franky gets all the other characters to "dock" (attach themselves to him) so they can make one big robo-pirate. It was a ridiculous idea, and one of the characters didn't want to. Nico Robin was so annoyed that Franky even asked. She refused, saying, "As a human being it is embarrassing." and told them never to ask her to "dock" again. Andy thought it would be cool to try it with the nieces and nephew. They were game to try it. The girls "docked" on his arms, being the weapons, and I'm not sure what Iarnan was supposed to be. They thought it was grand though.



Friday, September 5, 2008

"the coming of the winter"

I was recently on a blog I frequent. I was asked the question, "What are you most anticipating about fall?"
I had to think for a minute, because already the colors of the leaves are changing and it's getting cold - I've been sleeping with wheat bags in bed since Andy has been away at school! And you who know me well know that I absolutely hate the cold (why do I live in Canada?). So asking myself what I'm most anticipating about fall just makes me think of how depressed I will be when it keeps getting colder and colder and colder and colder.
But I dug deep. There are some things that I've always adored about fall, and when I remember these things, I don't feel the woe of winter coming on so strong. So, I'm making a list of all the things to look forward to this fall that will make me happy and help me count my blessings.
My list:
  1. Wonderful smelling crispness in the air. Just breathe it in!
  2. My first wedding anniversary! yay!
  3. Fall colors (they're best in Eastern Canada or Northern AB,SK,BC)
  4. Crunching leaves underfoot
  5. Snuggling
  6. Sleeping under the stars in the back of the truck (with many many blankets)
  7. Less yard work.
  8. More scrapbook time!
  9. Getting back to work with all the kids I love! - piano, girls choir, Cantos tours, pre-K
  10. Birthdays to look forward to
  11. Soups. yum.
  12. Lovely, heart-warming wintery songs. John Denver "Rhymes and Reasons" comes to mind, "so you speak to me of sadness and the coming of the winter..."(then it gets happier)
  13. Scarves. You know me, I love my scarves.
  14. Sweaters and vests and blazers.
  15. Hot chocolate, herbal teas, hot carmel apple ciders, and steamers.
This picture was taken a few years back at the farm in Rosemary. It's one of my favorites. Reminds me of good times.
Well, there's my list. What does yours look like?

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Getting back to reality

Well it's been awhile, but hey, I've gotten a lot done in the last few weeks. I've been in Calgary as a caregiver to a young boy with autism and downsyndrome while his family went on vacation. This was my third summer with him and it was great! Since he likes to watch his shows, I set up a scrapbook area to work while he is occupied. I had several free hours a day that way. I finished a slideshow, phoned all my piano and choir peeps, set up most of my fall schedule, and scrapbooked 2 mini albums and about 18 pages! I feel so accomplished!

Thanks to my wonderful husband for taking me out on a lovely date the night before I left him. We drove his 1958 Ford Edsel to Okotoks, where we went electric skateboarding on the wind-y paths down by the river. I wish I had some pics of that, but I left my cam in the car! Oh well, we'll go there again and I'll post pics then. It was a gorgeous night and a fun ride. Thanks Andy!



I had a few goals as I started to scrapbook during this time, and I'm pleased to say that I actually accomplished these goals! Have a look:

#1. Use more negative space on my layouts. I find these layouts refreshing to the eye,
not having to look at all the millions of pictures that are crammed onto one page. How did I do? Let's see:












#2. Use my stash! I have so much stuff that I save because it's too "pretty" for this page or that, but then in a year it will be old news. So I gotta rip and tear and use bits and pieces here and there.

#3. Use my sewing machine. This is one of my favorite layouts, from the
picture to the journaling to the scraps of paper and ribbon I used.



#4. Do more journaling on the page. I got some cute journaling stamps and used my computer for others. I love it!


Thursday, August 7, 2008

Of Hiking and Napping...






This past Saturday, Andy and I went with our friends Paul and Sara for a hike on Paul's land. It was beautiful being in the trees and moss and such! We had a picnic and a nap at the top of the hill.

In the morning, Paul and Andy were 
up early, doing "Heat 'n Beat", when
they forged their own weapons. They threw their spears and sword head at dead trees and kept Sara and I worrying.






When we got back from the hike, Paul started up "The Claw". 
If you have ever watched Hallmark's The Magic of Ordinary Days, you will know what I am referring to! It's actually Paul's old machine, and he's actually the one who drives it in the movie! So cool!

Thanks Paul and Sara for a grand day of outdoor adventuring!

Sun (well, mostly) and sounds at Folk Fest 2008

What a great weekend I had at Calgary Folk Festival. We saw many fantastic musicians and hung out with great friends.  Here are some of the highlights:


Josh Ritter tops them all. My husband teases me that if any man asked me to run away with him, I would say no to all except Josh Ritter. After seeing his hockey hair, I'm sticking with my man! But I will always love Josh's amazing musicianship and wonderful voice!

Andrew Bird is the King of Layers.  His band was amazing!! So many layers of sound, so imaginative!


New discoveries 
are always an exciting part of going to Folk Fest. A few years ago it was that musical gem, Luke Doucet.  This year it is Claire Jenkins avec Band. So much energy and such catchy tunes! And Claire Jenkins has a beautiful voice!

And who could forget the ever lovely Julie Doiron with her simply-put lyrics...




It's so nice to enjoy these sorts of outdoor musical adventures with friends, so thanks to Andy (I know you only did it for me), Birdie & Lewis, Jessie, and Selena! We huddled close when the rains came, and we cheered loudly for our favorites! Fun times!