Friday’s Fave Five #28

fff winter button

Thanks to Suzanne at Living to Tell the Story we use Fridays to recount at least five blessings from the week.  Check out Suzanne’s blog to find out how you can join in too!

1.  Divine protection  The past couple of weeks God granted special safety to several members of our family.

Our youngest daughter, Emma, was at the Bund, a waterfront section of downtown Shanghai, on New Year’s Eve when over thirty people were trampled to death and dozens more injured.

Another two daughters, Laura and Anna, flew home January 2 from their holiday trip to Scotland. For some weird reason, the last leg of their flight from Calgary to Edmonton, required a 15 hour layover. Calgary is three hours away by car so Sarah, the remaining daughter, drove down to fetch them. That day a winter storm hit and Sarah witnessed multiple collisions and spin-outs on the QE2, the large highway between Alberta’s two major cities. After picking up her sisters from the airport, conditions worsened and they witnessed several more accidents. The girls pulled off at a Motel 6 and enjoyed a safe and restful evening before returning home the next day.

Just this morning on my way to physio, an older gentleman almost pulled his van into my car as I was preparing to park. I truly believe that God spares us from many more dangerous situations than we realize.

2. A few days away My husband has been longing to get away for a few days, but it just hadn’t worked out on several levels. A colleague in ministry and his wife own a property with two beautiful log cabins on it. They live in the larger one and use the second one as a guest house for family and friends. We were invited to spend some time there and enjoyed a quiet couple of days on the prairies.

Sunset on the prairies Cabin on the prairies



3. Longer days! December and January with their short days and cold, gloomy weather can be really tough on the body. Many of us suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) in the winter due to the lack of sunshine. This December was amazing with above average temperatures and mostly sunny days. Thus far January has been very cold, but that is bearable when the sun is shining, which it has much of the time. Psychologically it helps to know that we have passed the winter solstice and that the days are getting longer. Yay!!

4. New clothes Since my six week post-op check-up I have been able to get out and resume many of my regular activities. Preparing for the first day back to church I put on one of my skirts and it slowly slid down. One small yank and it fell to the floor. Same with skirt two. It’s fun to get rid of the old clothes and pick up new ones (at least new to me) on my continuing weight loss journey.

5. New stove on the way There comes a time in the life of any appliance to stop repairing and just replace the thing. Last week our oven sizzled and snapped as the heating element burned through. Two of the burners don’t work properly, the bottom storage door is broken, the handle has been repaired several times, and the self clean feature and door lock mechanism stopped working a couple of years ago. I was able to order a new stove at a great price. We have to wait until early next month for delivery, but that’s ok. I’m glad for a microwave and a toaster oven in the meantime.

Friday’s Fave Five #23


On Friday we take a few minutes to share five blessings from the week.  Suzanne at Living to Tell the Story hosts this weekly exercise which has truly encouraged me to both think about our blessings and to thank the Lord for them.

1. Beautiful weather We have had a week of absolutely beautiful weather.  I am so grateful for every day of warmth and sunshine. Thank you, Lord!

2. Harvest We live in a small town outside of the large city of Edmonton.  When you drive out of our town in any direction you see field after field of crops – wheat, canola, barley, and much more.  The farmers have been working hard to bring in the harvest this week.  It is fascinating to me to watch the huge machinery pulling in acre after acre of beautiful crops.  Just as I never tired of the mountain views when we lived in Calgary, I never tire of all the lovely farms around Edmonton.

3. Making cards  When I am having a bad day with my fibromyalgia or my arthritis I sometimes work on making cards.  As a pastor’s wife I have found that my new normal, as determined by my physical limitations, is very different from ministry in my healthy days.  In searching for  new way to minister to the ladies in our church I started writing notes of encouragement, and giving my scripture cards to our ladies on special occasions.  I find making the cards is a good way to start using up my cabinet full of scrapbooking odds and ends, and a therapeutic outlet for me on my down days.











4. Progress!  My amazing oldest daughter is now down 135 lbs, working closely with her doctor and is swimming and training for a 5 k run.  She’s my accountability partner and I am happy that as of this morning I am down 36 lbs.  Yay!

5. Kale chips Don’t remember if I have mentioned this before but I have discovered kale chips, and absolutely love them.  The recipe is super simple and the result is far tastier than you might imagine.  You rinse the kale, tear the leaves into 1” – 2” pieces, spread them on a kitchen towel or paper towel and dry them as thoroughly as possible.  Spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet and drizzle olive oil on them then sprinkle with seasoning (I use pink salt.)  Bake at 275 for 20 minutes and voila! Crispy, delicious, and nutritious chips!

What are some of your blessings from the week?

Friday’s Fave Five #20

FFF daisies

On Fridays we stop to recount a few blessings from the week.  I have found it to be a wonderful exercise in gratitude, and it forces me to think grateful thoughts, even if it’s been a discouraging week.  Thanks to Suzanne at Living to Tell the Story  for hosting this!

1. Encouraging kids Is it ok to brag a little about your kids?  I say yes, when they have accomplished some impressive feats.

Our family members have always had weight issues, and our oldest daughter recently underwent bariatric surgery, a procedure called sleeve surgery.  She followed pre-op instructions carefully, had the surgery, and has stayed within her post-surgical restrictions.  As of today she has lost 110 pounds.  Our second daughter has combined an Atkins and exercise approach and has lost over 50 pounds.  Our third daughter, who has type 1 insulin dependent diabetes, has been using the exercise room at her work as well as watching what she eats and has lost over 20 pounds.  After sorting out my low thyroid issues I am now down 27 pounds.  My daughters have inspired me and help me stay on track.  And that is a huge, huge blessing!

2. My crazy raised garden I’m not sure why I find this so humorous, but one side of the bottom of my raised bed herb garden gave way after a few days of torrential rain last week.  I currently have the sinking garden of Beaumont on one end of the planter and a giant corporate zucchini take-over of the planter on the other.  Every time I look at it, I laugh.  My husband and son are kindly planning to rebuild it on Monday and all of the plants will have to be moved.  I am hopeful that they will all survive the transplanting.

3. Home for the summer I cannot completely express how wonderful it is to have most of my family here near us this summer.  The noise and fun factors both will increase when our daughter-in-law and grandchildren arrive at the end of the month (they are enjoying sibling and cousin time with my daughter-in-law’s side of the family for the next couple of weeks!)

4. Powerful thunderstorms We had some doozy thunderstorms overnight a couple of times this past week.  I am always amazed at the majesty and raw power of these displays.  It reminds me of our days in South Carolina when we would gather on the front porch and watch thunderstorms.  My husband used to tell the children it was God talking. (There are quite a few biblical references to God’s voice thundering.  A few of these are in Job 37 and 40, Psalm 18 and 29, and Revelation 19.)

5.  Yummy quiche My youngest daughter made me a crustless quiche for dinner.  It was delicious!  It’s always satisfying to try new foods (or re-introduce foods into my diet) that don’t make me sick.

Have a blessed week!