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Archive for the ‘Friday’s Fave Five’ Category

Susanne hosts Living to Tell the Story and encourages others to share blessings of the week on Fridays. Here are a few of mine from the past few weeks.

We’ve been traveling for much of the past three weeks. We had many blessings during our time away so I’ll share a few of them here.

1. Conference We attended a conference in North Carolina for our mission organization. It truly was a blessing to reconnect with old friends and make new friends during the conference.

2. Beach After the conference was over we headed to the beach for a week. My husband grew up on the South Carolina coast and was longing for some time in the ocean. We had a week full of fun and interesting experiences, though the ocean is not my best friend right now. Want to know why?  I shared my story on Facebook and will repost it on my blog in a day or two.

Boardwalk at Holden Beach

The mighty Atlantic

Holden Beach, NC

3. Family How wonderful to spend time with family and old friends! My husband and his three siblings were together for a few hours one evening and three of them spent time together later in the week. Nieces, nephews, and some of their children made time to see us and long-time friends made a point of touching base with us throughout our stay.

Three of four siblings

4. Southern food There’s just something about southern food that is special. This northerner picked up a few favorites years ago during my fifteen-year sojourn in South Carolina so it was fun to return and taste the cuisine again. Sweet tea, shrimp and grits, scallops and crab, various styles of barbecue, fresh, juicy peaches, and even black raspberry jam (a favorite from my growing-up days in Ohio) plus some interesting new gluten free items were all culinary highlights of our trip.

5. Garden Leaving for the States a few days after Victoria Day meant I had to scurry to get my garden in before our trip. Our daughters kept an eye on things for me and I returned to thriving herbs and kale with the promise of peas, carrots, beans and squash later this summer. Oh, and the flowers my husband planted are doing well too.

Cheerful pansies

Lovely lavender

Fresh kale

Here are a couple more pictures from our trip. If you use any of my photos, please credit Deborah Talbert or purplegrandma.com. Thanks!

North Carolina forest

Interesting evergreen

Hope you had many blessings to be thankful for this week!

 

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Susanne hosts Living to Tell the Story and encourages others to share blessings of the week on Fridays. Here are a few of mine from this week.

1. Spring! After all that snow in April we have finally been enjoying exceptionally warm and sunny days. Three of our daughters came over Monday night and we grilled shrimp skewers and ate outside. Anna made another British Cooking show recipe for the family to enjoy.

Alberta skies

Anna bakes our day!

2. Provision We are rejoicing that this week God provided Anna with a better paying job.

3. Vocabulary I love words. I love the nuances that words give to a sentence or story. I love learning new words and playing games like Balderdash that teach new words.

Sadly, I’m not a very good speller. I used to ask my mom how to spell certain words (my mom was a wiz with spelling and grammar.) She would ALWAYS tell me to look it up in the dictionary. This did not make sense to my young mind. How can you look it up if you don’t know how it is spelled? And, of course, she would then say, “Sound it out.” So, I would look it up, sound it out, and learn something.

But when I was bored I would sit and read entry after entry in the dictionary just for fun. I learned about forms and tenses and definitions and punctuation, and pronunciation (I just had to look up that spelling!) and all kinds of helpful details.

This week a young man came to our door selling security systems. (He reminded me of a young Larry Fitch, a man I first met in my college days whose life has blessed my family at various times in the years since.) This salesman was giving me his spiel in a friendly, non-pushy way when out came the words incremental and decremental. Now, incremental I knew, but decremental? That was new to me. I’m afraid I heard little of his talk after that. I was turning the word over in my mind and delighting in the fact that a techy kid at the door taught me a new word!

4. Progress I have about half of my culled books ready to sell. Yay for sorting and purging!

5. More deals The first Tuesday of every month two local grocery stores offer a percentage off your shopping that day. One offers 15% and the other 10%. I made it to both stores this month to pick up items each stocks that the other does not. When I got to the checkout at the 10% store, they were giving customers 15% off that day. That was an unexpected blessing.

Thanks to everyone who told me my FFF link wasn’t working. I think I have it fixed now!!

Some pictures of my cute grandchildren in China

Clover field beauty

This stuff is itchy!

Brotherly love

Here are some custom order cards from this week for Purple Grandma Designs

For a 102-year-old mom!!

Custom order card

Custom order card

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Susanne hosts Living to Tell the Story and encourages others to share blessings of the week on Fridays. Here are a few of mine from this week.

See this picture? I took it today. It is a blue sky with clouds and sun. I am very thankful for that blue sky after a long stretch of dismal gray days. See this second picture? I also took it today. No more snow in the yard! Shadows from the sun! I am extremely grateful for the snow being gone, for sunshine, and for blue skies!

We seem to attract interesting animals in our neighborhood. Drake and Dessa Duck showed up again this week, hanging out on a neighboring roof and complaining about the late April snowstorm. Yesterday this rabbit was spotted ‘running laps around the house’ as my helper, Kathleen, pointed out. See how he hides in our brownish grass? Amazing to think that he was pure white just a few weeks ago. At least we have not had any visits from the moose that were spotted outside our town earlier this week.

Yesterday when I was out shopping I passed a grocery cart with two little girls in it. The younger one grinned and waved as I walked by and the older one scowled at me. I’m not sure why, but this made me really miss my own grandchildren. It is easy to focus on what you do not have, but it is not profitable or even proper for a Christian to do this. I am so blessed to live at a time when I can regularly see or speak to my family in China through technology and spend time with them at least once a year. This is what I will focus on: just a little over two months before they get here!

I don’t regularly buy Tide unless it’s on sale. At the store, all the varieties had sale prices on the shelf tags except the one I prefer. When I took one to the front to get the price checked, the Tide I liked was only $2.50 a bottle! I zipped back to the display and grabbed three more bottles. Good deals on things we need are always a blessing.

I discovered an interesting-looking gluten free scone mix this week made by the Namaste company. I have tried and liked several of their other products so I was hoping this would also be good. I made it today and am very happy with the results.

Here are a few of the cards I have been working on for Purple Grandma Designs

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Susanne hosts Living to Tell the Story and encourages others to share blessings of the week on Fridays. Here are a few of mine from this week.

Windows open and birds singing. We have had a weird, weird April weather wise. Last weekend brought a big snowstorm followed by a few spring-like days. The forecast is for more snow this weekend. Sigh. Despite the fickle weather, I am extremely grateful for the days when we can open the windows and air out the house. It’s nice to hear the birds singing, too. And spring can’t really be that far away for us, can it?

Technology Yesterday I had to go to Costco to take care of a problem with my husband’s new glasses and pick up a few things. I was walking down one of the main aisles and saw a display of drones for sale. I find technology fascinating (though my proficiency with it does not match my appreciation for it!) and mentioned seeing the display to my husband. We had to go back today to fix the glasses problem and while there, my hubby wanted to look at the drones. Long story short, we came home with an early anniversary gift for him. It was fun to watch him figuring out how the drone worked. An adopted granddaughter stayed glued to his side mesmerized by the buzzing and flying of the drone.

More technology My daughter-in-law does an amazing job of regularly posting photos and video clips of their life in China so those of us in North America can keep up with their lives. I’m grateful for the technology that makes this possible. Our youngest grandson is recovering from whooping cough and our oldest grandson from a stomach bug. Even though we can’t be there with them to help, we can pray for them during these times and have peace that they remain in God’s care at all times.

I love, love, love this picture of my grandson in a backpack in the change room while his mama is trying on clothes.

Taxes, part one. I finished all the accounting and other necessary information for our Canadian taxes and have turned it all in to our wonderful tax lady. Now I just need to pull together the papers I need for the US taxes. The hard part is done, and because we live out of the US, we have an automatic extension to file each year. Doing taxes is probably my least favorite responsibility and I am always very relieved when that work is behind me for another year.

Beautiful violets My African violets continue to thrive and it looks like I need to transplant them again or maybe prune them. My black thumb has evidently been banished and I am able to keep plants alive. Speaking of which, I am very eager to get my garden planted, but we need the weather to cooperate first. Last week of May is usually the earliest things get planted safely here.

I tried a few different filters on my violets photos. Which one do you like best?

For those of you who are friends on Facebook you have read the two installments about the ‘our’ ducks. Here are a couple of pictures of Drake and Dessa Duck, new neighborhood residents.

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Susanne hosts Living to Tell the Story and encourages others to share blessings of the week on Fridays. Here are a few of mine from this week.

Family birthdays We have three family birthdays in March and one in early April. Last Monday night we enjoyed a family dinner to celebrate these birthdays. I made cards for each person based on their favorite colors and a favorite activity of each. I forgot to take pictures of the cards, but each person seemed to enjoy the personalized cards. The non-birthday girl, Anna, made a beautiful and delicious Party Pyramid Pavlova, based on the recipe from Mary Berry of The Great British Bake Off fame.

Community I have been blessed beyond measure to be included in fellowship with my children and their friends. Last week I celebrated my youngest daughter’s birthday by joining with her friends for Saturday brunch at Café Linnea. We enjoyed warm fellowship and delicious food together. My pedagogic training was in secondary education, and much of my counseling experience is with millennials.and post-millennials. I truly enjoy engaging in conversation with teens and young adults so last Saturday’s outing was special.

 

Renovations Renovations on our main bathroom are almost finished, and it’s looking great!

Weather finally changing We had a surprise dump of snow earlier this week. Thankfully it all melted by mid-afternoon. I guess the farmers are happy for the moisture and I’m glad for the overall warmer days. Right now it’s raining and I’m glad it’s not snow!

Bonus When we upgraded our phones this week at Costco we were given several hundred dollars in Costco gift cards as an unexpected bonus, an unusual deal which really was the best deal of the year!

Here are a few snow shots and hazy sunset photos from this week.

 

 

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Susanne hosts Living to Tell the Story and encourages others to share blessings of the week on Fridays. Here are a few of mine from this week.

What a winter this has been for sickness! I have been struggling with viruses for most of the time since we returned from China at the end of December. The calendar tells me it is now spring. I will be extra happy when the calendar and the weather here both agree that it is indeed spring!

16 Personalities It has been fun and deeply enlightening to explore and better understand the elements that make up my personality. This new awareness that I am indeed an introvert and what that looks like practically, has been truly helpful. This month I was asked to answer the questionnaire on 16 Personalities as part of a study my husband and I are doing on biblical stewardship of money. According to this test I am a Mediator and my husband is Logician. The point is, from my perspective, to understand how God designed each of us so we can live and work together with greater understanding and harmony.

Ministry Wives’ Fellowship Yesterday we enjoyed a Ministry Wives’ Fellowship at one of our local churches. We were challenged to respond biblically to hardship and pain in our lives. The time of fellowship was a blessing and an encouragement.

Progress on sorting books Over the past few weeks I have made significant progress in sorting through and paring down my library of about 1,500 missionary and church history biographies. I have a few more shelves to sort through then I need to finish looking up prices for the ones I am selling. Hopefully, in a few months, I will be ready to e-mail out a list of books for sale.

Pictures of the grands I love that my daughter-in-law and son regularly update us with photos of our grandchildren. They will be with us this year in July, which is only a few months away. Yay!

Flamingo GF chicken Over the four years that I have been gluten free, I have tried a number of gluten free products. Some were ok, many were truly awful, and a few were good. Occasionally we have chicken strips or chicken nuggets at a family gathering. Sometimes I wish I could have just a taste of one, but of course, if I do, I will get sick so it’s not worth it. Recently discovered gluten free Flamingo Chicken Strips made by Olymel. We bought some on a special deal and I made them this week. These chicken strips are very, very good. I love crunchy stuff, and these have a pleasing crunch with no weird taste or texture. Even my husband thought they were delicious!

Primarily due to sickness I have not been out taking pictures lately. Next time I hope to post photos of new cards, as well as some new rural Alberta shots.

 

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FFF heart.

Susanne hosts Living to Tell the Story and encourages others to share blessings of the week on Fridays. Here are a few of mine from this week.

Birds singing Our central Alberta weather has been mercurial this month. From bitterly cold to record breaking warmth, we’ve experienced it all within the same week. Wednesday was that record breaker for us and it was lovely to open windows, watch the snow melting and even hear some birds singing. I don’t care what the groundhog says, I’m ready for spring!

Reliable transportation My husband and I were reminiscing about our previous vehicle and how we had to guess when we needed a refill because the gas gauge was broken. We tracked mileage which helped, but we never mastered the refill game and ended up running out of gas several times. That is no longer a concern with our new vehicle and we are very grateful for the provision of this new car.

Family night My husband is not much of a games person, and though I really enjoy playing board games, I do not get to very often. When we were in China in December our son introduced us to the game Dixit which, surprisingly to me, my husband enjoyed. Our girls bought him Dixit for his birthday last month and we played it on Monday. It was lots of fun!

Thoughtful spouse My husband asked me to make Valentine’s cards for our daughters and since the girls are big Star Wars fans, I made them Star Wars themed cards I found on Pinterest. My husband gave them the cards with some candy and flowers on Monday night. I’m so grateful that he wanted to do something special for them on this holiday that can leave singles feeling lonely..

My thoughtful husband

My thoughtful husband

Unexpected sales One of my girls took some of my Purple Grandma Designs Valentine’s cards to work to see if anyone wanted or needed a card. I was amazed and blessed that she sold every one of them! These sales help pay for my supplies so I can also give away cards to bless and encourage others.

Here are the last of this year’s Valentine cards from Purple Grandma Designs.

img_7997 img_8000

I snapped a few phone shots of people snowkiting in some fields near our home. I did not even know what it was called – had to look up parasailing on snow and found out it’s called snowkiting. My phone does not take the best pictures, but this will give you an idea of what I saw.

Snowkiting near Beaumont

Snowkiting near Beaumont

February sunset colours

February sunset colours

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