Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year!

Happy 2007 to each and everyone. May it be healthy, happy and joyous!

I know for Pappa and I and hopefully Cameron too, we have had a blast this weekend, eating bridge mixture, juices mixed with 7up, oatmeal for breakfast with brown sugar and cinnamon, Swiss Chalet for lunch with GG and Auntie Maddie, Church this morning with Pastor Ken preaching at Trinity. Going down the big hill on 104th that can be very scary, and seeing the huge Canadian flag hanging down because there wasn't enough wind (a novel idea especially lately). Tonight's dinner consisted of homemade Pizza with Pepperoni, just the way Cameron likes it.
Cameron and Pappa had several games of chess, Pappa said he is so much better at than the last time. Countless games of Kerplunk (Thanks Aunty Amy for the vintage game!, even G.G. had a go with Cameron and lost!) We read several chapters of Charlie and The Chocolate Factory--we cut it off tonight just as we were about to meet the Ooompa Loompas. All in all -- a pretty darn fine weekend to celebrate the new year. We rang in the new year with New York via CNN blowing horns and throwing streamers and the party animal is now asleep! God Bless Him.

I include three pictures here, and as I never know what kind of order they will come out in here's a brief description. One is of our very first New Year together when Cameron was only 4+ months old, we brought in a brand new Century together. The other two are from last year 2006 wearing paper hats, and tonight's photos ( you can tell which one this is as we look a little older (that would be Pappa and Nanny!)
May you all have happy memories of New Years past and present, God Bless Us Everyone!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

New Year's Is Almost Here!

How do I know? Well, our Grandson is here a day early. He got his haircut today and skipped the skating in lieu of a trip to the Mall with Pappa and then a few chicken mcnugs at you know where! Pappa 2 days in a row, what happened to you?

Here are a few crazy shots of our beloved Grandson with new haircut! He looks so much older with this cut.

We just finished a Christmas like dinner of roasted chicken, broccoli, mashed potatoes, gravy and cranberry sauce and buns. While I'm blogging Pappa and his Number 1 Grandson are washing and drying the dishes-I like having 2 men in the house! As soon as they are finished, Kerplunk and hillarity will ensue.

Well, they are done now, so I'm blogging off.
. . . Now where did I hide the Bridge Mixture!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Light Four Candles to Watch for Messiah

Light Four Candles to Watch for Messiah, Let the Light Banish Darkness

Today the fourth candle will be lighted today at our church and in our home in anticipation of the Nativity of Our Lord.

My work at Trinity Lutheran is done, the bulletins are ready for the morning service and the 2 candlelight services to be held tonight and Christmas Day worship. Our Pastor, Terry, was so excellent, he produced hard copies of all of the Christmas and post-Christmas bulletins, which made it so much easier for me to get out of the office early yesterday.

At home, the majority of our preparations are done, we are ready to receive our family on Christmas day. If it weren't for our family coming over, our house would look like it were any other day of the year, but as we have our Grandchildren and children coming, we couldn't disappoint.

Pappa put up lights and snowflakes in my office, also known as the children's dining room. The jewels for the jewel pie are ready, the nanaimo bars are made. I usually do more. Not this year. All of the presents are finally wrapped. We went out for a nice dinner at the White Spot. We reminisced and reviewed our year, just Dick and I. It was nice. When we came home I wrapped the last 2 presents and sat down in the living room with Dick. You know, we don't use this room nearly enough. Note to self, be sure to take time out and sit in there more often. Dick had some Kalua (spelling), I my scotch and 7.

I still haven't found the hidden pickle in our Christmas tree. Dick has hidden it extra well this year, but I'll bet Claire with her eagle eyes will find it right off, perhaps--I had one scotch too many!

We call Claire, Claire-voyant. Weeks ago Claire told her mommy that Nanny has bought her the doll she wanted for Christmas. How did she know that? Could it have been when Pappa measured her in the doorway, on a wall in a closet under the stairs and the dolly was sitting right there, in a bag, with the top showing? Probably. But she will be happy to get it no matter what. Isn't it amazing though at the age of 5 she didn't say, Nanny why is that dolly in the closet? It must be the magic of Christmas.

To each and everyone reading my blog, I thank you for checking in. May your Christmas festivities bring you some magic too.

I wish each and everyone of you a Very Merry Christmas, and a Joyous, Healthy New Year!

With love, Allyson xxxooo

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Christmas Memories

This is a picture of my sister Madeleine and I taken at a McGavins Bakery Christmas Party. When I look at my sister (on the left) I can see how much her son Bryan looks like her, super amazing. I saw him the other day at my dear father-in-law's memorial and when I looked at him it was like looking at my dear Dad. But I digress, what else is new?

I must have been 2 nearly 3 or possibly, 3 nearly 4, when this was taken and if I was 2, Maddie would have been 5 or, 6 if I was 3. My hard working mom made the lovely outfits for us. I don't know what colour they were, I should ask her that shouldn't I? But I know the leggings and coats were made out of one of her old winter coats. I wonder whose old coat the muffs, collars and buttons covers and hats were from?

Ah the good old days of yore!

The Third Sunday in Advent

Light Three Candles to Watch for Messiah, Let the Light Banish Darkness

It is so hard to believe that tomorrow the third Advent Candle will be lit.

This month of watching and waiting has also turned into a To Do List 100 items long. So much to do, so little time seems to be the cry of most of the people you talk to. As organized as we were with the bulk of the shopping list ticked off, it feels like I'm running on a gerbil wheel.

However fast your gerbil wheel is spinning, I hope you have time to reflect, dream, love and be loved.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Thinking of You

E and S,
Our family sends its love. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

The Second Sunday of Advent

Light Two Candles to Watch for Messiah, let the light banish darkness.

It is so hard to believe that we are now officially half way to our Christmas celebrations. And in so little time how life has changed for our family.

Last Sunday we celebrated my dear father-in-law's 90th birthday, you may have read about it in one of my darling daughter's blog. We were all so very happy to all be together, with the exception of our youngest, Amy and Tyler. So many lovely pictures were taken, there were laughs, there was tenderness, there was happiness tinged with sadness as our beloved Opa was frail, but he was smiling and enjoying himself so. Very sadly by Tuesday morning Opa was taken to the hospital after he had a fall during the night and sadder still, in the early hours of Friday morning he slipped the surley bonds of earth.

These last few days have been a rush of emotions, memories and planning for his Memorial on Wednesday. If you are reading this, we ask that you remember Opa's entire family in your prayers.

We loved you deeply Opa and we miss you so very much. May God comfort all who mourn.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

This Is Not A Christmas Wish List!

With visions of Sugar Plums dancing in most children's heads, my darling, my one and only Grandson wrote out his New Year's Wish List! How I love that boy!

Last year we had the pleasure of his company and we played games, made pizzas, he had a haircut earlier in the day, we laughed, we pretended to direct an orchestra, the whole 9-yards of fun. And here's the thing, he remembered more than I did about the day, so I asked him to write me out a list to remind me of what it was we did. Hence the wonderful Wish List.


Kerplunk, Aunty Amy's old game

Pizza (homemade) Pepperoni-for him


Chess (with Pappa)

Ice skating (optional)!!!!!

Hair Cut



Chocolate covered Peanuts (and other stuff) = Bridge Mixture

I don't know about the rest of you, but I can hardly wait for New Year's Eve day.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Advent Is Almost Here!

Is it only me or is it had to believe that the First Sunday of Advent is this Sunday?

My well worn but ever present bits of wood holding the candles for our Advent celebration are waiting on our buffet, waiting to have the first candle lit on Sunday. We will go to church on Sunday morning and sing the first verse of Light One Candle To Watch for Messiah while they light the first candle. Christmas is just around the corner.

Watching and waiting during this lovely time of year anticipating all that Christmas means to our family and yours too. The celebrations, the traditions, the music and remembrances are just up the road a little bit. As you prepare for the Christmas season, try to stop and enjoy, remember and reflect on the true meaning of what Christmas really means.

The Snowflakes Worked or, Who Do You Blame for the Snow? I Know Who I Do!

Last Saturday afternoon Pappa and Nanny were so lucky to have two little sleepover girls named Claire and Carly. The snow had just begun to fall after they arrived for our weekend adventure. When Claire looked out the window she got so excited and exclaimed "The snowflakes worked!" When I enquired further about this comment she explained to us that they had placed snowflakes on Nona's window. I'm guessing that they discussed the possibility that maybe by hanging these on the window it could encourage the real thing. I'd say that their supposing was correct and now I know who to blame for all of the difficulties travelling to and from work and going to the grocery store. But then, when I really stop to think about it, I must really thank them too for the beautiful picture postcards of snow on trees, and lawns and roofs and also for the Christmas card look of the land. But please Nona Carly, Catie, Claire and Cameron, take them down as soon as possible because Winter isn't officially here yet!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Thinking of my Dad Today

My dad has been on my mind since my alarm went off this morning. Had he lived, he would have been 91 today.

At dinner last night with my mom she said, dad wouldn't have wanted to live that long. He didn't want to become a burden to anyone. Before he died he was a robust, strong man. He gave the best hugs. He always said he loved me.

I remember his last birthday, his 87th. It just so happened that I was caring for Cathy and her kids, perhaps it was her gall bladder, whatever the reason, I am so glad I was there. I brought the Happy Birthday sign and balloons and hung them up and set up the dining room table where the three of us ate breakfast together. It was so nice, he in his PJ's and his thining hair a little mussed up. Mom and I sang Happy Birthday to him. We ate our Porridge and toast, we drank coffee and he ate his morning banana which he cut up with a paring knife. We reflected on all the good things about life. And because I was staying over, my mom decided the entire family should go out to dinner to celebrate-her treat! As it turned out, this was the last time all of the immediate family were together. Following the dinner only my beloved and I returned to their home. We talked late into the night, shared a few laughs, stories and sighs. It was a wonderful day.

Dad was wise. He was honest. Fiercely independent and private. He knew when to keep his counsel and when to share. He had such a nice way about him, and was so well thought of by young and old alike. He was in love with my Mother until the day he died. He loved and was especially proud of we 3 children, all 7 of his grandchildren, and was blessed to live long enough to see 3 great grandchildren whom he greatly loved and enjoyed. Dad was a real "gentle - man". I was blessed to have him for my dad and I will miss him forever.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Photos Hidden Away in my Camera

Finally, we got 2 rolls of film developed. It's scary how the time flies. Some predate Cameron's 6th Birthday! That's the trouble with old technology. You have to wait until the roll is finished to share the shots. Here are a few of our new favourites of our 6-pack!

One our Baby girl sent us from a recent Halloween Party. TDM and Amy alway find some "famous" couple to go as. Can you guess who? Her initials begin with B.S. and his K.F. I can't tell if she's chewing a wad of gum though!

The other pictures are ours, Mae Mae with the big, big eyes! A recent visit with Abby. And Some summer fun!

This is the stuff that that gets you through the wet November days! Stay dry everyone.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

A Day with Our Newest Grandaughter!

We had such a wonderful day yesterday.

About 10:00 a.m. yesterday morning we finally got to have a loooonnnnggg visit with the newest member of the "Aporta" family. When we first arrived, April and Abby were on the couch looking the picture of elegance and beauty. There is nothing more beautiful than a baby nursing at a mother's breast.

Pappa, the baby-hog got to hold and caress Abby first and I was really wonderfully proud of how restrained I was not to rip her out of his arms, but I finally got my turn! We sent him to the swimming pool so that I could get down to some serious adoration.

Sitting there all snuggly, with this tiny, perfect being sleeping on my shoulder, put me in Nanny heaven. This child of my child, so helpless and precious. The squeeks, the sighs (hers and mine), the sneezes, all take on such significance.

I did manage to do an odd job or two around the house, I mean it's only fair, I couldn't very well sit there all day long with her, but I would have if I could! I made a huge pot of chicken soup for future days or nights when cooking isn't an option, and I cooked them a chicken dinner, with all the fixings. I think they'll let us come back. My son-in-law Nick said the nicest thing, which I will paraphrase, "that it was a nice way to start the weekend." Thank you Nick, I was very much touched by your sentiment. I know it was a wonderful start to ours too.

After final hugs, pictures and sighs we took our leave. It is a day filled with memories I shall cherish forever.

Life is good. We love you baby Abby.

Nanny and Pappa xxxooo

Friday, October 27, 2006

Time Change Blues

Hi Mommas,

I was listening to a pediatrition this morning on CBC radio. She made the following recommendation about feeding your little ones so that by Monday hopefully their schedules will be in sinc with the "real world".

Beginning tonight, feed your children 20 minutes later than you usually would. And put them to bed 20 minutes later.

Do the same tomorrow night (Saturday).

On Sunday, put them to bed at their usually scheduled time, forget the 20 minutes.

She reminds listeners, no carriage rides, no car rides, during this time, as you well know, they will be sleeping on you!

She says babies especially should be ready by Monday morning to have their schedules revised to the new time change.

GOOD LUCK ONE AND ALL! I hope it works.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

It's Genetic!

Catie about 2 Murrayville!

Cathy about 2 on Lockhard Road!

Grandson Cameron with carrot tops! (above)

Pappa with sea weed!

I think the pictures tell the whole story don't you?

Too excited to sleep!

The birth of my newest,pink cherub has left me too excited to sleep. My heart and mind are in the hospital, wondering how the night has been for April, Nick and BB, er I mean, AA-Abigail Autum. It is truly amazing how the birth of one so tiny and perfect can make you react. All night long I have awoken from my slumber smiling and saying her little name over and over.

On the long drive in from Langley the moon was so beautiful. It was this ball of orange no longer a full moon, more a three-quarter moon. As we drove over the bridge that leads down to the tunnel, it was reflecting on the river in the most glorious way. I wanted to take a picture, but Pappa and Aunty Cathy said, "some things are just better rememembered". Two against one, no picture, but I will always and forever remember that lovely sight. A glorious autumn moon for a glorius new granchild, Abigail Autum. God is good.

Isn't She Lovely or Should I Say, Aren't they Lovely!!

After nine months of waiting and praying and dreaming our newest little princess arrived. Abigail Autumn arrived this evening and we couldn't be more delighted. She arrived early, like her cousins, because she heard her mommy and daddy talking about her and she just couldn't wait to meet them. She was so alert when we visited her, her big eyes open and looking around, sucking on her fists and ready to face the brave new world!

In the individual poll we took in our immediate family, Pappa guessed right, a girl, 7 lbs. 12 oz! Way to go Pappa!

We welcome you baby Abigail and we look forward to each milestone along your journey of life. May you be happy and healthy and as joyous as we all feel right now. We celebrate you!

How did we get so lucky?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

This puts things into perspective

Where do you stand financially with the rest of the world? I know I'm always poormouthing, but I don't think I will do that anymore.

Try out this site to find out where you stand. You will no doubt be as amazed as I was! If it doesn't work out for you, then go to:

I'm loaded.
It's official.
I'm the 793,757,388 richest person on earth!

How rich are you? ››

Monday, October 09, 2006

A Conversation with Caroline Mae

Last night when all of her siblings were tucked safely into bed, after her Thanksgiving Feast, Caroline was ready to tell us in the quiet of the evening, when all eyes and ears were her's alone, about her day.

Don't you just love how babies coo and croon? Those beginnings of vocalization. The facial expressions, so darling. The way the little mouth works out the sounds as they eminate. In Caroline's case her big, brown eyes, looking me straight in the eye. So very precious. You wouldn't dare look away. During these conversations, babies tell you everything--you just must listen ever so closely. Last night that was the conversation I had with our darling Caroline.

It was our first, and it won't be our last. I look forward to hearing so much more from her, I just know she will have a lot to tell me. She is wise beyond her years.

Go, Go, Go, Go, Go . . . . . Stop

Last night we have the most wonderful Thanksgiving Dinner at Earl and Silvana's home. There was food in abundance and everyone in our family, with the exception of Nick and April and BB (they were off feasting at Aunty Jolene's), were there and was it was wonderful.

The table was set so beautifully. And on each place was a napkin holder carefully and lovingly created by our grandchildren. Mine was done by Carly, it had all sorts of wonderful googely eyes on it and stickers and wooden craft pieces. The Queen of England wouldn't dare ask for better! And that was just mine, all of the rest were wonderful, and individually crafted with such care.

Sometime during the day Nona asked all of the children what they were thankful for and their responses were the Dinner grace, written down by and read aloud, by Cameron, twice, because he spoke it so softly. The children were thankful for so many things, Mommy and Daddy of course, but the one that stood out for me that I can remember was Caties-when asked she said she was thankful for her pillow. Amen to that Catie!

We shall I say, stuffed ourselves with Turkey, mashed potatoes, roasted veggies, baby sweet potatoes, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, also known as jam to some, mashed carrots and turnips (my daddy's favourite), brussels sprouts, bread and buns, and wine. We further indulged in homemade Pumpkin Pie with or without whipping cream-divine, and jewell pie and coffee. We were truly thankful that there wasn't more-our waistlines couldn't take it!

Both before and after supper the children were busy with these neat little Halloween Activity Books so wisely purchased by Aunty Amy and greatly received by the children. You are a star Aunty Amy for this quiet activity! But before dinner I should add, that all of the Men, Uncle Tyler, Papa, Daddy and Cameron were putting together this snap out and put together Fire Engine (now why was that Uncle Tyler?) purchased at the Richmond Night Market. I believe the men thought it was balsa wood, but Cameron understood it to be falsewood! But Pappa, the ultimate authority on wood for some reason, deemed it to be some sort of plywood. As for myself I like Falsewood better!

Maybe it was the turkey, maybe it was the wine,only 1 glass. I don't know what the reason was but I asked the kids did they want to go for a walk? Did they? Well they jumped into action, shoes and hoodies were found in short order and out we all went. We took a sidestreet to see the spooky house (getting ready for Halloween), we saw trees that were entirely yellow, and red. We saw the first stars of the evening.

Just the 5 of us, Catie in her stoller, Carly, Claire, Cameron and me. They walked along so nicely, telling me this and that about whatever it was we passed, so full of information. At one point I said, "if you want to you can run up to such and such a spot", and off they went. It was then that I remembered the old fun game of go, go, go, go, go, stop. They ran backwards, they walked backwards, they walked sideways facing out, they walked sideways facing in, they hopped, they skipped, they ran, they tiptoed, they jogged with such exuberence! What fun to watch these lovely grandchildren of mine so filled with life, laughter and joy. They are the greatest gift of all and I love them all for reminding me over and over again what life is really all about.

I hope that whoever reads this blog today has as wonderful a Thanksgiving Memory as I do. Blessings on your homes, Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

A Thanksgiving Prayer

This church lady is grateful for so much, family, friends, health, love and laughter. I copy out here a prayer from the Lutheran Book of Worship for Thanksgiving.

Most gracious God, according to your wisdom the deep waters are opened up and clouds drop gently moisture. We praise you for the return of planting and harvest seasons, for the fertility of the soil, for the harvesting of the crops, and for all other blessings which you in your generosity pour on this nation and people. Give us a full understanding of your mercy, and lives which will be respectful, holy and obedient to you throughout all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Saturday, October 07, 2006

My Triplets Celebrate!

This is the first chance today (and it is already well past dinner time), to blog-in and add my congratulations to my wonderful family. A few months ago on BCTV, is it still called that?, a mom gave birth to a child on her birthday, and it was also her baby's daddy's birthday, and they gave the odds of such an occurence, they were pheonominal, but I can't remember for the life of me what the odds were, darn. Imagine what the odds would be if it were 4 April?

In addition to April 7th being my favourite day of the year, October 7th is right up there with Halloween and Christmas Day. I mean who couldn't love this date.

My handsome husband, my very first love since the age of 15 and he 18, has brought about many the celebrations, especially when we were legal, that is, one year after we were married in '67! All celebrations prior to that were all done illegally mainly at the Alcazar Hotel -- in the pub, people -- clean up your thoughts, by the Vancouver School of Art. Boy those were the days. Now today we celebrated and are already home from a very early dinner at Pasta Polo--we're getting old, I admit it! I adore this man. I am blessed.

After being married for over 4 years, we rejoiced the day we discovered Cathy was on her way! We were so excited, we named her two days after I discovered my period was late--that is how excited we were. I remember the day we found out, there was a big announcement on the news that Maggie and Pierre Trudeau were expecting their baby too, and we went, like, who's that? Big deal! We just knew we were in for a load of great days ahead. We took the prenatal classes in Kerrisdale, practiced our breathing exercises, level 4-we sang, You are my Sunshine, and everyone in the delivery room wished daddy a very happy birthday and the rest as they say is history! Our original, Cathy came into our lives with the same peaches and cream complexion she has today. She has always brought us so much joy, love and laughter. We are blessed.

Three years later with just as much joyous anticipation, and a little trepidation, because of the Dalkon Shield, Miss Amy arrived. We always joked that she would be born holding it in her hand! Thank goodness she wasn't! We took our childbirth classes through the Vancouver Childbirth Association, at a church in North Vancouver even though we lived in Richmond at the time and we sang, You Are My Sunshine during stage 4 of labour, and everyone wished Daddy a very Happy Birthday in the delivery room when you arrived. Your daddy picked out your name. He just loved that name from the start and I couldn't very well turn down such a heartfelt request to name one of our greatest gifts Amy. Amy our lastborn. Born in 50 minutes start to finish! She couldn't wait to get here and we couldn't wait to welcome her! Always a great source of joy, amusement and laughter. She has enriched our lives so very much. We are blessed.

Now today our middle gal, April sits and waits just like her momma did, waiting for her October Baby to arrive. Filled no doubt with equal parts of joy and anxiousness. She brings me back to my October days so many years past. We are blessed.

To my darling Triplets-A VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY, one and ALL! You were born to be a blessing.

I thank all of you for love. I am a wealthy woman and my life is so much richer because of all of you. I am truly blessed.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Alabare and an Interesting Affect

As anyone who reads my daughter's blog, Murrayville Mom, would know, on Sunday morning our beautiful grandaughter, Caroline Mae was Baptised at Trinity Lutheran Church in Delta. It was a wonderful, sunny, happy, day. Pastor Terry wowed them with his Homily (but he does that every week as far as we are concerned), he blessed April and Nick's Baby-to-be at the Communion rail, and the family as a whole took up 4 pews! It was a wonderful day. The worshipping community had only seen Dick and I, they had heard rumours of family, and with the exception of Cameron and Claire attending with us, no-one else ever has.
As soon as Dick and I walked into the Sanctuary, little Catie called out Nanny and the fun was about to begin. Holding Catie, we settled into a pew, along with Cameron and Claire. Miss Carly was wandering around like Goldilocks, trying to find just the right place to sit, and as it turned out, she found many! Pastor Terry welcomed us and it became instantly apparent that Catie would not be sitting through worship today! She got down, she lay on the floor, she squeezed her head between my feet (which were planted firmly on the ground as I stood at the end of the pew, trying desperately to block her escape--all to no avail), she was complaining, I had to let her through. As she made her escape up the aisle, I decided I'd better follow her lead and leave. Just as this was happening, our pianist began playing Alabare which is a very peppy, Spanish song which we sing when using Setting 6, from With One Voice.
And this is where the interesting affect comes in...
For all of Catie's strong desire and determination to leave the Sanctuary, she stopped stone-still. I picked her up and began to sing along with the congregation. Catie's eyes scanned the congregation, and she silently watched and listened, she uttered not a peep. She was mesmerized by the fact that this entire body of people were all singing together. She didn't move a muscle, she just took it all in, and as soon as the hymn was over, she resumed her escape for freedom. I can't help but wonder, what was going through that little head of hers during the hymn, and we'll never know, but she sure was fascinated.
Catie in action during one of the pictures.
See Catie Run!
As a postscript, Catie's little Cousin, Matthew, whom his momma had worried over how he was going to be during service, fell fast asleep and didn't awake until the end. He is a good little Lutheran Andrea!

Friday, September 22, 2006

On the Threshold of Motherhood

Today our much beloved middle daughter, April begins her Mat Leave! I don't know who's more excited, her or me. I do know that she is oh so ready for what lies ahead. A new precious little life. A miracle in the making. Labour pangs and pangs of love await. She is ready, and so are we to welcome this new little member of the family.

Enjoy this time April, you are going to be a wonderful mommy!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Who Does This Remind Me Of?

My beautiful niece, Andrea sent me some lovely e-mails today and one of them had this cute little duck with 5 little ducks on her back. Now let me think, who in my family might this represent!

A Breakfast Surprise

Scenario: Last night before we fell asleep Dick and I decided as there wasn't a scrap of bread in the house for morning toast, that we would go out to our favourite breakfast place, The White Spot.

I got up out of bed, picked out my clothes, and took my shower. Happily singing, away drying my hair. Dick raps on the door. "We've got company. Cathy and all the kids are here. We won't be going out to breakfast" he says. "What's the problem?", I asked with great trepidation. "Their power's out."

So you say to yourself, how did they react? No server to wait on them hand and foot, no breakfast treats? They must have been so disappointed.

Nope, only the best darn morning a Nanny and Pappa could hope for. Pappa and Cameron went out to Cobbs and picked up a loaf of bread, which was fresh hot from the oven. The lady even gave them a plastic bag for later storage.

Four little ones all squeezed around a very small table. There was milk in cups to be poured, bread toasted in the oven under the broiler, as it would have taken forever in our little toaster oven. Peanut butter to spread on toast and love enough to make your heart beat extra fast.

We got the most delightful hugs, kisses, laughs and love.
Claire beat Cameron in a game of Tic Tac Toe. Cameron beat Pappa in his first game of Chess. Carly used the Master Key for a game of hers that we store over here. Catie wore her "smart hat" (a rolled up Quaker Oats bag). Baby Caroline, was our smiling little "spit bug" and their hard working Momma got to put her feet up for a little while.

I doubt very much that we would have had any memories of a visit to the White Spot, but I am smiling still thinking of our delightfully unexpected breakfast visitors! And the plastic bag for the cooled down bread? Well, we put it away for another use, as there were only a few lonely slices left. A perfect morning.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

All Wrapped Up in Dreams

Today was the nicest Sunday I can remember in a very long time.

My beautiful nieces Andrea and Erika and my sister-in-law, Lilli, held a surprise shower for my beautiful little mommy-to-be, April. And surprise of surprises, April was surprised and right on queue, and as we knew she would, she cried tears of joy.

All of the lovely little things she received, so tiny, so soft, so precious, selected just for this wonderful little baby cradled so tenderly in her womb.

We ate, we laughed, we reminisced. We played games. One game in particular drew each and everyone back to childhood. It was about songs. We were given words of a childhood song, and you had to write down the title of the song. I only got 7 correct. There were 2 that I've never heard before, (I wasn't alone!), which prompted those that knew them to sing them -- it was such fun. By the end of the game, I think everyone sang a few bars of something. And right on queue, Erika asked the girls if they remembered, the peanut butter song, and instantaneous song burst forth from Cathy, April and Amy, actions and all! I was transformed back to days when my girls were the little ones. It is stuff such as this that memories are made of. Thank you Lilli, Erika and Andrea for a wonderful, wonderful afternoon.

April on the quilt we returned to her today. Where did the time go?

Easter, 1973. Opa with, baby April, along with cousins Erika, Andrea and sister Cathy, in the back of Uncle Richard's new car. Pre-Amy days. I remember the moment this picture was taken as if it were yesterday.

Monday, September 04, 2006

New Beginnings

Even though summer isn't officially over until later on in the month, Labour Day for me has always marked the end of summer, more to the point, the beginning of a new year.

Before my husband Dick retired he was a school teacher. After we had the girls and they were school age, Labour Day really marked an ending of a year.

Summer's gone. No more summer nights of kids playing out on the block with their friends until darkness fell and parents started beckoning them home. Structure must return --in summer there were no routines to speak of except for making your bed and keeping your rooms tidy -- fat chance on that score! No lunches to be packed, no recess snacks to be readied. Who cared how your playclothes looked? No last minute notices, report cards or notes to be signed. No more visits to Playland and the P.N.E. No more camping at Haines Point! Everything that we treasure about summer comes abruptly and rudely to an end on Labour Day. The playhouse with the stained glass window that sits under the shady Bing cherry tree will be abandoned along with the plays in the carport. Summer's gone.

Tomorrow is the start of a brand new year. Our Grandson Cameron begins Grade 2, Kayla begins Grade 1, Claire starts Kindergarten, and Carly goes back to pre-school to become the next graduating class at her pre-school. Tomorrow morning when the alarm goes off, a new year begins. Life becomes an endless round of routine and predictability. A new year begins.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Decorators in the Making

Look at these three beauties, April, Amy and Cathy, my girls, my beauties, my prizes! Everytime I see this picture, it makes me smile.

This picture was taken by their daddy while I was supposedly napping in the bedroom right next to theirs. Let that be a lesson to all you moms out there! I know Cathy recently had a similar experience, and I'm betting that when "BB" gets here, April will experience it too! And Amy, watch out for Miss Kayla, especially when her "cousins" come for a sleepover!

Now the only thing little that remains from this picture is one little white chair that has somehow escaped the Little Red Riding Hood syndrome. "This chair is too small and she broke it!" Now a whole new generation of little ladies, Catie and Carly and Claire, love to lay claim to it each time they come over for a visit. Pappa and I aren't too sure how much longer it will last. The joints are getting looser and creakier (kind of like Nanny and Pappa's) each time it is picked up and set down!

Who knew way back then that these three little girls were just practicing their skills as decorators. We sure didn't. But I can tell you one thing, they all have a nack and an eye for decorating. Each and every time I go to one of their homes, I come away super impressed. So girls, I'm glad we didn't get mad, we just got out the old Zenet B from Russia and took a picture instead!

Thank goodness for cameras.

Love you!
xxxooo :)

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Eureka! I finally found it! Here are the pixs of some of my "handiwork". Claire's school bag which I gave her today, and she was so so excited to see. And "BB's" receiving blankets. I can't believe it actually worked this time. Now hopefully, my blogs will have a visual interest to it.

Now I need to figure out how to allow non-bloggers like my 2 beautiful daughters, April and Amy and niece Andrea, to respond!

Love you all!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Sewing Up Dreams

For the first time in many weeks I managed to carve out enough time in my day (not to mention good lighting, as in daylight), to do a little sewing. Nothing fancy. Just straight lines, I almost excell at straight lines.

I sewed Claire a bag with a drawstring. She needs the bag for Kindergarten for her shoes and smocks and whatever else the teacher in her wisdom requires of parent's of kindergarten children. I also sewed 9 soft and comfy receiving blankets and 2 burp cloths for my Daughter April and her Husband Nick's baby, whom we lovingly refer to as "BB". Not items of any great import that is for sure, but as I was sewing I couldn't help but dream dreams for what lies ahead for both Claire and "BB". All of life's lessons -- everything from the elemental need to be swaddled and learning to pass your own burp to learning to be a Doctor, which Claire thinks she wants to be. Sewing up the hopes and dreams from a Nanny who only wants the very best that life can offer her beloved Grandchildren. All of them, Claire, "BB", Cameron, Carly, Catie and Caroline too!

As I was sewing I recalled something my dear friend Helen Johnson, now deceased, and one fantastic and real seamstress used to say. (She sewed me some beautiful dresses in my day, not to mention my wedding dress, and all the girls their graduation dresses and the beautiful Christening Gown worn at all 4 grandchildren's Christenings, and soon Miss Caroline will wear it too, and hopefully "BB" too), but I digress. She always used to say, "I say a prayer for the bride and groom with each stich I put into a wedding gown". I always remember that as I sew and you can believe me when I say it, that as I sewed each of these simple items, I said a prayer for Claire and "BB" too.

Sweet and Happy Dreaming Claire and "BB" it's all yours for the taking!


Friday, August 18, 2006

A Sunflower for Miss Carly

On the eve of my beautiful grand-daughter Carly's 4th Birthday I can't help but think how quickly her four little years have gone. From the moment she came into the world, we have been blessed by her presence in our lives. I cannot imagine life without her.

I have all these lovely images in my head. Her first breath. Pappa and I were at her birth, the only one in her family, except of course for her mommy's birth! Her huge giggles and smiles as an infant. Bathing her in the kitchen sink. Helping to care for her when her mom was recuperating from surgery and being there the first thing in the morning to see that smile as big as Texas. I remember crying all the way home from Cloverdale to Richmond when I left to go home. Her Baptism at Our Saviour Lutheran, and all the wonderful pictures of her siblings, friends and cousins sitting on the church pew right at the very front of the Sanctuary, the very spot her Nanny and Pappa sat when her mommy and daddy were married. Carly sitting up on the rug, inching her way forward to pick up the book that was sitting on the floor -- and the look of delight and accomplishment in her face when she reached forward and picked it up. And when my father died, baby Carly being there for us to snuggle and love when the void was too much too bear. This loving child, who seeks out my lap when I'm sitting down always commenting on the cross I wear around my neck saying "Pappa made that" or simply the word "Jesus". Or asking me again, "how come you have spots on your teeth?"

Oh yes, our Carls is a big girl now, pumping herself on the swing, jumping so high on the trampoline with her strong little calf muscles, climbing up the green slide, making crafts at the table, pasting down items while counting as her preschool teacher taught her do, one, two, three, four, five, six, while her little finger tips turn white from pressing so hard. Going down a three story slide with her Pappa at the Walnut Grove Pool, through a tunnel, twisting and turning, sliding down, down, down, arriving at the bottom of the slide with the biggest smile you ever saw, asking to go again and again! She says she going to be a Singer when she grows up she says and I believe it -- she loves to sing.

This dear little girl with a face that reminds me of a Reubens painting, how we love her so. Carly Ann, Nanny and Pappa love you very much. Have a wonderful fourth year little one, we can't wait to see what you will do next!

How did we get so lucky?

Friday, August 11, 2006

Pink Roses for My Sister

It's my sister's birthday today and just like when I was sharing a bed with her (we did that until we moved to Vancouver when I was 12) when I first woke up, I said to myself, instead of to her, "it's Madeleine's birthday".

It's amazing to me that no matter how old you get and I'm getting up there, some things are never forgotten. A birthday was something to be celebrated, excitement of presents, whether yours or hers, no matter -- cake, candles, fun. Possibly a new dress that mom made for you if you were the birthday girl, and new black patent shoes to go with it, a package from our Granny in Winnipeg, gifts from your siblings and friends. The possibilities were endless and the anticipation almost as great as if it were Christmas morning.

My first best friend was my sister and my brother too of course, but he was a boy and 6 years older than me so our relationships were different. My sister and I played dollies together, went to Brownies, my mom was "Brown Owl", swam in the lake in Kelowna, we both hated the peach fuzz rubbed on our cheeks by our brother Richard in jest, rode the school bus together, or when we moved into town, rode our bikes to school together, tried knitting-can you say diaster, delighted in wearing outfits that were the same, and we slept together. On nights when we didn't want to go to sleep, and I'm sure that was most nights, we would talk into the night until mom or dad yelled up, "goodnight girls!" We had this silly saying, I'm going to stab you with my little rubber knife, and with that, we'd poke a finger in each other's back's and laugh uproariously. Dad and mom yelling up, "don't make me come up there!"

Looking back now you wonder, who were those little girls? Life goes on as it must, the mundane happens, wonderful things happen, sad things happen, but through it all that sisterly friendship lingers, haunts, delights. And on this day, August 11th, I thank my beautiful sister Madeleine for all of the love and patience, advice -- solicited and unsolicited, care and concern. You are loved and admired by me for all you do and for how you have carried yourself through adversity, hell and triumph! The pink roses I brought you today aren't enough. I love you Maddie, Happy Birthday from your sister, Allyson

Friday, August 04, 2006

Apple Dumplings Piled Up to The Sky

I wonder if anyone remembers an old Disney cartoon and this poor starving character was dreaming of food, glorious food, and he sings a song about it, and one of the line goes, Apple Dumplings Piled Up to the Sky! Well I'm having nightmares about apples, way too many of them.

When we moved to The Grove as we call it, I don't think we realized it meant we had an apple grove, (and where the heck is the walnut grove anyway we still haven't found one? But I digress.) With only 2 trees, I guess a grove would be putting too fine a point to it, so not really a grove, thank goodnes, but we are blessed with apples galore and they are beginning to drop from the tree. The sad thing is, we don't even know what kind they are, but the "red" ones are ever so tastey (even if some of the apples have a few marks on the outside) and "green" ones smell heavenly and are looking pretty fine. Just ask my Grandson Cameron who took great delight at pointing out how heavy the branches were!

Since we don't have a freezer, as in the family sized one that used to take up space in our former laundry room, we will soon be overrun. Believe me two people can only eat so much apple betty, I know we've tried, or so much apple sauce and even though I was a baker's daughter, I don't make apple pies and the idea of running them through the juicer leaves me non-plused. So we invite you to dig out your favourite apple recipe and then come around for a bag of apples. We've got plenty to go around. So don't be shy!

Monday, July 31, 2006

They Say a Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Our "middle" daughter April who herself will be a mummy in Fall asked me to e-mail her some of her old baby photos. She's going to a baby shower and the hostess "Jolene" is going to do something with them.

Looking at those photos in the album takes both my husband and I back to when it was our turn. When did the time fly by? How could 30+ years go by so darn quickly? If we could relive this time, we would. Fortunately the camera was invented to help us remember.

There is nothing more wonderful than looking at the pictures, capturing the moments in time and memory. Their tender little smiles make us smile to this day.

Now we eagerly look forward to receiving new pictures of our grandchildren. It's our daughters' turn now. We pass the torch to the next generation. Now we know how Pappa and Granny and Oma and Opa must have felt.

(I tried to post some pictures here but failed One of these days I'll succeed. You'll have to take my word for it, they were so cute.)

Sunday, July 30, 2006

The Angels had a Terrific Bowling Party This Morning!

Just when you thought you might get a little extra shut-eye, all cozy and comfy under all the covers . . .

The static on my clock radio indicating lighting, a thousand and one, a thousand and two a thousand and three a thousand and four and THUNDER enough to rattle the roof and rain enough to swamp our back 40! To quote an Advent hymn in With One Voice, one of our Lutheran hymnals, My Lord, What a Morning! Let's hope this rain helps the firefire fighters in our Province. And let's further hope it didn't start thousands of new forrest fires. I can't wait to go for a walk in our ravine later on today to see if West Mundy Creek is rushing by!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Happiness Is . . .

Time to sit and enjoy an extra cup of coffee instead of rushing off.

Going for a morning walk with your husband, in less than 100 degree weather.

Finding a DVD to enjoy on a Saturday night, one that will make you laugh.

Finding a rougue branch of a plum tree, ripe for the picking, and finding out how exquisitiely tastey they are.

Visiting your daughter and husband and 5 delightfully active and healthy grandchildren and being smothered with words, sounds, arms and legs and a lap that is way too small!

An e-mail from a happy daughter, ready for a trip to San Fransico.

Life is good. That's what Happiness Is!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Now I can send responses to anyone!

My darling daughter Cathy urged me to start up a site, I really just wanted to respond to babymerriman (sorry if it is mispelled)! Baby Ben is such a cutie-pie.

I am one lucky lady, with 5 beautiful grandchildren and another on the way. Basically I just like to read the blogs, but time will tell how much I will get into it.