Category Archives: Memories


Floriade is a festival of flowers in Canberra every spring. It features many tulips but includes a range of other flowers as well.

The last time I visited Floriade was probably at least twenty years ago. It was as impressive as I remember it.

My dad and I visited Canberra last weekend and stayed with my brother, sister-in-law and nephew.  We decided to go to Canberra so my dad could attend and present a short speech at the 90th anniversary of the church we attended when he was the minister from 1975 – 1980. It was also the church where Andrew and I were married in 1990. It was fun to be back there and catch up with a few people I hadn’t seen for many years.


We also enjoyed Saturday night Jazz on the lawn, hearing David preach on Sunday morning and the views from the National Arboretum.

Days of Summer part 1

We are half way through July now and have been enjoying some hot sunny summer weather. We have had very little rain and a level two drought has been declared for the Ottawa area. This is particularly odd as most of our Canadian summers have been punctuated by thunder storms; when we played softball the storms invariably came during Thursday night games, once A16 started track they seemed to appear at the weekly Twilight meets. Not so this year the grasslands around us remind me of Australian summers.

After my attempt to take and post a photo a day in March where I managed 24 out of 31 days and again in June where I only managed 11out of 30, I decided to change my approach. Over the summer I am trying to take photos every day and then pick one each day to post. They are all on my Pinterest board Photo of the Day. Some days photo opportunities and kodak moments present themselves. Other days I have to search for or create them myself.

My Dad asked about my last header image of the large canoe. I took that very close to home back in May. I was up very early to deliver A15 to a bus heading to Washington so I thought I might take some early morning pictures. On the way to the bus at 5:30am there were some great opportunities but we were rushing to make that bus. On the way home an hour later the sun was well and truly up so I had missed the best shots. I did stop at the park and take a few of early morning dragon boat training and liked the reflections of everyone’s coloured sweaters in the water as they paddled. The new header photo was taken on an evening walk home from the same park.

Here are a few pics of our summer so far. I will continue to update the photo of the day collection here.

Buried in Sand

After reading about B10 & J10 covering themselves in snow up to the shoulders my dad sent me this picture of both of us at the beach.  I look very serious about the whole buried in sand concept!


Today I happen to be celebrating my birthday, while half way around the world my parents are celebrating their fiftieth wedding anniversary.  My birthday is actually the day before their anniversary but with the time difference we can make one phone call and cover all the congratulations and best wishes!  Last week I managed to send off a little parcel to them with cards, a drawing, a poem, a book and a dvd slideshow of pictures of our family from 1990 until now. We all contributed something and the postal service co-operated making it possible for them to open the package before they left to join my brothers’ families, their brothers and sisters, and some friends for a party on Saturday night.

The dvd slideshow was fun to put together because I started with Andrew’s and my wedding photo and then picked a few photos from each year since.   I found such cute photos of the children.  An absolute favourite of all three has to be this one:

I am very thankful for these three children, my wonderful husband and my dear parents.  I hope that Andrew and I can celebrate one day, as my parents are this weekend, a happy marriage of fifty years.


Autumn is…

Autumn is heaps of freshly raked leaves,
Maples exploding in scarlet and amber,
Reflected in lakes still and shimmering.

Autumn is the sun relunctant to shine,
Visible breath in the chilly air,
Frost etching spidery patterns on the windows.

Autumn is twilight rambles in the woods,
Lively music from rides at the country fair,
The sweet scent of harvest apples in the air.

by L14

Fun and games

Due to March break and the weather there were no rehearsals today. We did not leave the premises. It was a nice change to be muddling around at home all day. Granted there was shoveling that had to be done on and off all day, but everyone lent a hand to do that. Everyone has sore muscles as a result, I think, because the snowbanks are now taller than Andrew. It takes effort to throw snow that high!

Before they had even had breakfast the children all gathered in the bedroom downstairs where L13 and her friend P13 had slept last night. When I looked in they had drawing books open in front of them and sketch books on their laps and all were drawing. After breakfast they decided to have some fun with A11’s latest online discovery: sound effects and voice generating sites. Using a children’s book about Moses and the children of Israel they recorded the whole story with appropriate crackling fire and crashing waves sounds as well as carefully chosen voices for God and Pharaoh.

In the afternoon the line between shoveling and fort building blurred a little, as is to be expected. When they came back inside soaked and rosy cheeked, we had a couple of games of Clue. I remember playing this when I was a child, I recall it being Cluedo, but it is the same game. I loved it then. It was fun this afternoon too, but not quite as enthralling as I remembered. “I think it was Professor Plum in the Billiard room with the candlestick.” More entertaining than the game itself was the banter about the suspects and their methods.

The evening finished with a couple of episodes of the Cosby Show and a couple of last looks out the window at…tomorrow’s task.

Christmas Tree

After days of requests from B7 the children and I headed out to buy a Christmas tree last Saturday. We did not venture out to a Christmas Tree farm, miles out of town, as we did one year. That time we drove out to a farm with friends so we could have the whole experience: riding on the cart out to field, tramping through the snow, choosing the tree, drinking hot chocolate and collecting greenery for a wreath. It was freezing! By the time we had walked down one row of trees we were so cold we didn’t care which tree, we just wanted to get back where there was a fire. Hot chocolate did not go very far in warming us up or in giving me the warm happy feeling of going out into the forest and bringing back a tree. This is why I don’t leave the city to buy my tree any more.

Last weekend we found our big Balsam fir tree fairly quickly. As we have cathedral ceilings and very little furniture in our living room I like to fill it with a big tree. I put it in the van and tied the back door down as it wouldn’t shut. On the way home we made two quick stops leaving B7 and A11 in the van as I couldn’t lock it. After the second stop L13 and I came back to the van and it wouldn’t start. I tried a couple of things, and checked the manual. The temperature was -17°C outside and the van, having been open for a while was not at all cosy. A11 and I managed to shove the tree a little further into the van so I could at least lock it while I called Andrew for assistance. We waited in a coffee shop, thawing out with hot chocolate and coffee until he came to save us.


Our tree is now decked out in bows, bells and baubles collected and made over the last 17 years. Its lights are turned on around 4 o’clock each afternoon as it gets dark and there is a growing number of gifts around the base. B7 has set up his train track to surround the tree.

Choosing a tree in Australia was a slightly different experience. We did go out to a Christmas tree farm, not far from where we lived, but we chose from rows of pines not firs. There were a few other subtle differences also. That is our little Miss L in the photo with my dad.



Our Thanksgiving Boy


Seven years ago, on our first Thanksgiving, we were invited to a neighbour’s house to celebrate with her family. As Thanksgiving is not a celebration in Australia we had no traditions of our own. We were thrilled to be included in a family celebration with new friends we had known for only one week. We were sitting down to a full and delicious meal and I was checking my mother’s watch from time to time. My neighbour noticed and joked that I was timing contractions. I was!

We took the girls back across the street and tucked them into bed before calling the midwives to meet us at the hospital around 10:00pm. At 11:52pm our big baby boy was born. By 4:00am I was back in my own bed with a baby in a bassinet at the end of the bed.
So blessed, so thankful, so delighted to have our Canadian son.

Seven years later we are no less delighted but feel even more blessed and thankful for him and the joy, love and excitement he brings to our lives. Happy Birthday B7.


Get smarter

Towards the end of the summer for some reason I remembered Get Smart, the tv show, and how much I had enjoyed watching it as a child. Consequently we introduced our children to Get Smart. As I imagined they would, they found it very amusing and kept asking for more. After eight or so episodes we are taking a break, but the damage has been done. There are new phrases in their repetoire. I have often used, “Good thinking, 99,” knowing that they children had no idea what I was talking about. Now they do.

B6 has incorporated Maxwell Smart’s lines in a rather unexpected way. They keep popping up during his math lessons! When reaching a familiar type of question he comes out with, “Ahh, my old friend, Complete the number pattern”.

Or when he needs a bit of assistance I might prompt him with a question like, “What are we counting by here?”

To which he replies,”I’d like to handle this myself, if you don’t mind. Now, what are we counting by here?”

Perhaps when he gets a wrong answer he will start using, “Missed it by that much.”