Thursday, November 30, 2017

November Remembered

with its parade of pacific storms in our part of the country...
has come and gone.

We honestly never know what to expect in November..
though rain is a guarantee.

Snow on November 2nd was not expected.
By nightfall, it was almost impossible to get to Heidi's place on the hill.

The coolish temperatures left us with beautiful mountain views for the next week or so...
until the clouds and rain arrived.

We had three birthdays to celebrate this month...
so we decided to start off the celebrations with a family bowling night.
What fun!
Bowling with such little balls was foreign to Pauline...
the Swiss student who is spending the winter with Tim and Heidi.

Apparently five-pin bowling is a Canadian thing.
Is that true? 

The kids all had a great time.

Brynja suddenly realized she missed out on the group photo...
so this shot was just for her.

Micah is eight...
a charming, delightful grandson.
He loves Lego, jungle animals, science and is good at Monopoly too!
Where have the years gone?

Emme and Spencer are now sweet sixteen!
I think they have been celebrating all month.

A cousin party was a good way to start!
But they had another big party in the planning for months in advance.
They wanted the whole family to join them in cheering on their good friend, Jordyn Huitema at the Canada vs. USA women's soccer match at BC Place Stadium on November 9th.

What a fun time we had! 

We all wore our red  #23 Huitema hoodies and made a lot of noise for Canada.

Jordyn got to play...which is quite something for a 16 year-old from Chilliwack...
and the game ended in a 1-1 tie.

That was definitely a 16th birthday celebration to remember.

Oh yes...and then there was this!

They went out bright and early on the morning of their 16th birthday to write their driver's exam.
The computers were down and it was not meant to be.
The computers were still not working at the end of the day...
and then the offices were closed for the long weekend.
Can you imagine having to wait four extra days to get your L? 
That is the first step (of many) toward a full driver's license in British Columbia. 

They have now graduated from driving tractors and ATV's to driving a Mini Cooper.

I am looking forward to having them take me for my first ride!

We had a lot of rain this month...
but my photos are mostly from the 'good days'...
the ones I want to remember!

In the middle of a very wet week we had an appointment in downtown Vancouver...
and the rains held off during our time there.

It was quite lovely on the waterfront.

Back at home I have had a good view of the birds on our fields all month.

Though the trumpeter swans are beautiful huge birds...
once nearly extinct...
they have taken to wintering in our area and are not appreciated on the farm.

We chase them away daily...
often many times each day. 
It does not take long for them to clean off an entire field of winter wheat!

Besides the trumpeter swans,
the ducks and geese have also taken a liking to our farm.
Several hunters have been out there...
encouraging them to move along. :)

As the month neared the end...
all things Christmas were beginning.

Maggie and I visited the annual Christmas display at the local greenhouse last weekend...
and went out for lunch.
Her pick?
IHOP for pancakes. :)

November brought a lot of wet, grey and dreary days...
and also memories of evenings around the cozy fire.

A storm blew through last Sunday, leaving us without power...
but we made our way to the home of friends...
where the lights were on and the food and fellowship was good!
It brought back memories of Sunday afternoons from yesteryear...
where we always gathered around the Faspa table in one home or another.

Faspa is the low-German term used for the Sunday evening meal served in most Mennonite homes at one time...fresh buns, cheeses, meats, preserves, and cakes.

There is no mountain view today...
but I'll leave you with a picture of a brighter November day.
The leaves have for the most part 'gone with the wind'...
and we look forward to December. 

I wish you all a wonderful 'month before Christmas' your prepare your hearts and your homes.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

October Snapshots

I am glad I live in a world where there are Octobers. ~ Anne with an 'e'

Let me share a few end-of-October postcards taken in my neighbourhood these past few days.

From the blueberry fields to the path along the river... seems the whole world was aglow this October!

We have had record breaking warm temperatures this past week, and most of the snow has disappeared from the peak of Mt. Cheam.

The late grapes are ripe for the picking.
The birds are eyeing them too!

The last crop of grass came off the fields mid-month...but the grass kept right on growing.

Out with the petunias and in with the winter pansies.

One Sunday afternoon drive found us in Columbia Valley...
right along the Canada/US border.

There were no border  guards and no passports required...
though I suspect there were cameras on duty.

We stayed north of 'the wall'. 

Columbia Valley is a laid-back little community that dead-ends against the border. 
It's the kind of place where bikes are parked on the road and left unattended.

Memories of Thanksgiving...
which seems so long ago already.
There is much to be thankful for.
Every day.

Heidi traveled to Nepal on a Himalayan Life missions trip...
which left Maggie and Lucy without a 'hands-on-mommy' for a few weeks. 

Thankfully, Pauline was there for them.
And I took them to track events and music lessons.

Lucy started violin lessons this fall and is doing amazingly well!

Maggie is a long distance runner.
She runs effortlessly...
and always places near the front in district meets.

We had the privilege of seeing Roy & Rosemary in concert with Chilliwack Symphony orchestra a few weeks ago. So good!

A quick trip over the mountain passes and the long bridge...
had us in Kelowna to celebrate my sister-in-law Martha's birthday.
We surprised her big-time!

Kelowna in October is lovely! 
Snow on the Coquihalla pass...not so much.

Last week we were in Whistler for two days.
It was sunny and warm...
the leaves were beautiful!
Had we been there a week earlier, we would have been dealing with over a foot of snow.

We had nachos on a patio in the village and watched crews putting up Christmas lights.
Good thinking...
to put up lights while the weather is pleasant.

Every leaf is a flower!
And that is a wee peek into life 'on my front porch' and beyond during the month of October.

Wishing you many treats on this 'tricky Tuesday'!

Sunday, October 1, 2017

September Memories

Fresh snow-capped mountain peaks and churches seem a good way to begin this post.

It is Sunday, after all.

I'll start with the the corn harvest...very fresh in my mind, since the last of the corn came off the fields on Thursday afternoon.  Despite our very dry summer, the corn crop wasn't too bad.  And for that, we are thankful!

I don't recall ever having such dry and dusty fields during corn harvest in the valley.

Earlier this month, we celebrated birthdays. First one...

...then another. My dad's 95th birthday called for a big celebration, and we did that a few weeks earlier when all the whole gang was 'home'. But on September 14th we took him our for dinner, and (as always) he chose pie over cake. What a blessing to still have my dad with us, to have him share with us from his seemingly endless storehouse of memories, to listen to his wise council, and to enjoy his company.  Did I mention playing Rook?

After months of hot and dry weather, we finally got some much-needed rain mid-month.

Storm clouds and rainbows were a welcome sight.

Thankfully, once that rain was gone...we were back to lovely summer weather.

One weekend evening we drove up to the lake with Maggie and Lucy for square pizza on the deck at Beethoven's Pizza. They have a gal from Switzerland living with them for the next few months, and she joined us for the outing. It was a lovely end-of-summer outing and Pauline enjoyed seeing the lake...and the pizza, of course.  She has no choice but to speak English, since none of us speak French.  She is doing great!

Last weekend we attended a memorial service for an old friend.  He and his wife moved away from our community some years ago, and he has had many health challenges since that time.  The last time we chatted with Arwin was a chance meeting at a Tim Horton's in Merritt some time ago.  That quick stop turned into a lengthy visit.  It was meant to be!  Our hearts go out to his wife, Judy...left behind but not without  hope!

One Saturday we participated in a 'family bike ride' with Maggie and event that raised funds for Himalayan Life.

It was a lovely 16 kilometer bike ride along the Vedder Trail...until I had a flat tire and it became a 'walk-not-a-run' for me.

Maggie (right) and her friend, Emma, spent the rest of the day serving lemonade to hot cyclists and thirsty patrons at the Refinery Fest Market, all in an effort to raise funds to build a school in a mountain village in Nepal.  Oh, and Maggie also had a birthday this month.  She has a heart of gold, is a great sport and is a sweet nine-year-old who I am blessed to call my grand-daughter.

These two will soon be 16, but for now they are helping their friends celebrate. Yesterday we decorated a pumpkin cake together for their good friend, Haley.

 And those are just a few of the happenings around here this past month.

Fall has arrived.  Don't let the dandelions fool you!  This photo was taken a few nights ago as we were having dinner on the back patio. Enjoy the month of October!