The posts on this blog are copied from my private blog: "At The Rose Cottage". If you are interested in viewing The Rose Cottage, which has more personal family posts and pictures, email me at stewcrew9 at

Saturday, August 21, 2010

On The Move

My husband wants our family blog kept private, and I had been removing the more personal information or pictures from the posts on that blog and copying them here for public reading. I just don't have time to do that anymore, so if you are interested in viewing that blog, just email me and I will send you an invitation. :)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Trip Pictures #2

Last post I left off as the kids were joining the parade...and here they are as they passed us on the rout. The girls had fun holding all the little kittens and such that were brought as props for the float.
Here is Marilyn watching the parade with her youngest son, Marshall.
Marilyn is one very special girl! We worked together nearly 20 years ago at our local IGA grocery store - actually, our families knew each other from before that. After Marilyn and Dan married and finished Bible School, they moved away to pastor a church in northern BC. Dan's sister, Leanne put them in contact with us again for singing...thanks, Leanne! It was such a blessing to be there!

After the parade, the kids got set up in the park. It didn't work for them to be in the shade and it was a hot day...but they drank lots of water and it didn't bother them.

This is standing back in the park area - the kids are singing just to the left of the picnic shelter. Out of site to the right is a kids park and concession stand. To the left is a tent with a BBQ going on. People milled about - some stayed the whole concert, others came and went. Many of the songs had a strong gospel message...who knows what seeds where planted?

After the concert we headed back to the Froese farm. We had a bite of lunch, Steve and I laid down with the little ones for a nap, the older children headed over to the house to visit. They helped feed ducks, water trees and visited. I walked up after a while and enjoyed getting to know Irene a little.

We headed over to Dan and Marilyn's for supper. Marilyn made a delicious, gluten free dish of Salsa Cinnamon Chicken - it was a surprising mix of flavors, but very good!
We had such a GOOD, hear-to-heart visit...just like we had been close all these years! How does that happen? I wonder if it just because we have the same Saviour?

For the evening, we were invited by this lovely couple... jam with some family they had visiting. We enjoyed this and met some more wonderful people. It was a lovely evening, even though it did get rather late (especially for us folks on Alberta time). It was a special memory.

This is the view from their deck...

Then it was back to the cabin for night. We made a corporate walk to the outhouse as Emily is scared of bears. ;) On the way, Jeremy spotted this toad and Emily just had to carry it back to show Daddy (who was already in bed).There was lots of laughing, teasing and family camaraderie as we got ready for bed and settled down for the night.

More to come in a later post....

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Trip Pictures #1

We pulled into home Thursday afternoon around 4:30 - all safe and no vehicle trouble (other then a rock in the windshield). I thank the Lord for keeping us all those miles!

We all agreed that although it is always nice to be home, we left a piece of our hearts at our land. It was a BEAUTIFUL! I'll will tell more about that later - I am going through my pictures and I will post some, starting at the beginning of our trip. I have hundreds of pictures and am thankful I took them - they become the "diary" of our trip.

Steven will often remind us, "Never despise small beginnings." In a way, that could be the theme for our trip - it applied in so many ways.

We started off last Friday morning and headed north-west: into the Canadian Rockies. As we headed towards Jasper, we stopped one place along the way - Bridal Veil Falls and Panther Falls.
This is Bridal Veil - the creek that feeds this tumbles from another 1100+ feet up the mountain.

We walked back to view Panther Falls - you can walk right up to the precipice and look over a sheer cliff with the falls shooting out from the rock beside you (I didn't try it, nor did we take the little ones!). The stream (torrent) that feeds the falls is amazing. We walked along it as it whirled and roared through its rock channel. Both these streams come right off the snow pack/ice at the top of the mountain.

At the top of the pass, we stopped to view the ice fields. The glaciers are huge! It was odd to be so warm standing in parking lot (note Emily's bare feet) while looking up at these sheets of ice!

This pictures shows our new trailer. It worked well for us as it was easy to pull (I even got used to it and I have never pulled a trailer before) and it held all our STUFF so the van was less crowded.

As we drove north-west, the mountains opened up into a beautiful, green, fertile valley, surrounded by rolling, wooded mountains with the taller, snowy peaks beyond. Leanne warned me that I would want to move here - and she was right! It was an amazingly pristine and beautiful place.

We were very glad to drive into McBride - after ten hours on the road!

We followed Dan's (the pastor) directions to the church and met Dan and Marilyn again - after 17 years!!! I loved seeing Marilyn and getting to visit after all that time - and getting to meet her two boys! More on that later, though.

Dan showed us the way to our host's home - Bud and Irene Froese. Again, I am amazed how God has people everywhere - and these folks were definitely His people! They were so hospitable to us! They showed us the way to the cabin they were allowing us to use - just down the hill from their house and an easy (and gloriously beautiful) walk. They had supper for us which they had so sweetly made gluten free. The chili was even made with venison - so we felt right at home. :)

A stream ran below the cabin with a couple logs across for a bridge. This water came right off the mountain and it is so pure, they can use it for drinking right from the creek! This is the way we walked to go up to both the big house...

...and the little house. :)

This is looking toward the Froese's home from near the cabin. The Froese still had two of their five children at home: Roberta and Wayne.

The view from the Froese's garden. It was clear that these were hardworking people - they farm about 1000 acres, raise buffalo, have a large garden (actually several), ducks, horses, etc. They even hatched duck eggs and had the little guys residing in their bathtub until they were big enough to move out to the pond.

I have some more pictures of the Froese farm, but onto what we did Saturday morning. The town had a parade and the church had a farm-themed float. They had the kids jump on and join in - they had fun being a part of the float which actually won first place. :)William sat on a little toy John Deere tractor on the float with Graeme behind him to keep him from falling off the trailer.

Well, that is as far as I have gotten in my pictures. I will post again - of the kids singing and our time visiting with new and old friends. :)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Impromptu Holiday

Since Steven had to work over the May long weekend, he said he would take off the first nice day he could. The next Wednesday was the day we chose. Steven took the boys and Emily out to work up our garden area at his parent's farm. They spent some time shooting gophers and hiking around.
In the evening, he wanted to go fishing. Emily offered to stay home with the two youngest as they really needed to get to bed early. She said she had done lots of fun things lately and she wanted me to have a chance to get out. :) What a sweetheart!

We drove down to the Red Deer River. It was kind of muddy from all the rain, but still "fishable". This is one of our favorite areas to fish, hunt, canoe or just enjoy. It has such a wonderful ruggedness and is full of contrasts.
On our walk to the fishing hole, I trialed behind the others to enjoy SEEING life - many people look without seeing and they miss so much.
This fat bumble bee was clumsily working around the bright purple pea vetch.

There is almost no soil here - at least I don't think this clay can be called soil. It is slimy and slick when wet and bakes hard and almost white when dry. On it's smoothness, every print or track can be seen...even the paths from worms.
There is a starkness and harshness to the shadows.
Hardy plants still find a foothold and push up through the crust.
Every touch of softness, beauty and color stands out against the hard lines of the rock and mud.
And flowing through the middle of this dessert-like landscape is the river. Its banks are thick with willow and huge cottonwoods that are rich with wildlife - an outdoor playground.

Climbing the bank.
Flowers from my girlies.

Some of the wildlife we saw up close...
A duck and her bobbing brood.
Many, many bunnies where hopping around.
A great, fat beaver waddled on the bank for a while, and then slipped into the water to swim past us.
And a ring-necked pheasant! That was a trophy to see!
And some "Amy-inspired" photos...

And a few minutes at the campground park to finish up a lovely evening.

I am looking forward to some warmer weather again so we can do more things outside. It israining again today and is quite cool. We started the spring with dire predictions from the farmers because of how dry it there is more then enough water, we just need some HEAT!
It'll come. :)


Monday, June 7, 2010

God Surprises Us...Again

Do you ever get surprised by God?
I do.

I won't go into all the details of the situation, but we were going to buy half a beef from a local farmer. Our friend works for this farm and we were going to split one beef and the second beef was for the farmer. We were going to do all the butchering and cutting.
I began to feel like we were being taken advantage of - we were buying this meat, plus doing all the work - and we had not even been told a firm price!
I complained.
I didn't even pray about it.
God surprised me - in mercy.
We found out yesterday that the farmer GAVE us the meat in exchange for the butchering.
I nearly choked on my complaints!
Steven preparing the garage Friday morning for a day of butchering.
It took us most of the day. The steer had been a big one - 1600 lb live weight. Half of that would have been the hide, offal and bones - so we cut up about 800lbs of beef! Graeme and Mitch butchering (one of our friend's four boys - they all came and helped at different times during the day, which was a wonderful help!).

Kind of blurry picture, but this is Graeme trimming roasts.

The second beef was butchered out at Steve's parents' shop on Saturday. They have a meat saw and there were more people to help. Emily was really the only one from our family that helped as there were so many others.
We were able to get our garden planted on Saturday morning. It is also out at Steve's parents' place. I really enjoyed planting. Now that all the children are helping, it goes so fast and isn't half the chore it used to be. I forgot my camera at home, so I didn't get pictures, but later in the day, we went out to pick up the older kids who we had left there.
Emily was helping with the butchering. Steven, Clara and the boys were gopher/blackbird hunting.
The little ones were playing on the swing set...

William hasn't figured out how to slow himself down on the slide - every time he goes down he lands with a resounding "THUNK" on his bottom. It doesn't deter him as he laughs and runs around for another slide. I snapped a picture of him on the way down - anticipating the "THUNK".
We finished up a busy weekend with a quiet wiener roast with Grandpa and Grandma. Then Steven took me out for a few minutes of hunting. I got to try the .17 and I killed several gophers!
What a fun date...sitting side-by-side in the middle of a field - sharing a gun - blasting gophers - keeping a sharp look out over our shoulder for the bull... red-necked romance at it's best! ♥
At least I thing so. ;)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Early Bird

Taken through a dusty window early Friday morning. Our sunrise is now at 5:17 am...
that means, no sunrise pictures for a while! As much as I love mornings, that is just too early! Well, now that I think of it, maybe I will have to get up early at least once to catch a summer sunrise...but I'll wait until we actually get some summer weather to try it out!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


My Dad sent me this picture of my Mom's hand from last weekend.
The cast had gone on that morning (it is even a pretty one :).
Her fingers were still swollen and dark but she didn't seem to be in much pain anymore.
I was up to see her last night after supper. She was sitting in her recliner and I sat in the next one. There isn't much to do while there - she doesn't visit or even look at me much. She did respond a little (eye contact) when I first came and when I got up to leave, but mostly sat with her head down. I hold her hand and touch her face. That seems to bring a response.
I took other pictures of her, but somehow I can't share them.
She is so changed. So unlike herself.
I want to protect her - or what there is left of her.


This morning dawned sunny and cool. It has been cloudy, rainy, snowy and cold for about a week and I was craving some sunshine!!!
Steve had to install a kitchen in Calgary today, so he was leaving early - I was making breakfast at 6:30 and I couldn't resist slipping out fro a few minutes to catch some morning sun...
It was just rising above the tall fence in the back.

How is this for a "natural heart" Amy? :o)
Hopefully that is the last frost of the season!

I loved this next picture - the light was so beautiful!
My lovely orange tulips are almost done for the year.

The little girls had been playing with the kittens (did I mention that Emily's cat had kittens??? Does anyone want one???)
They had tucked this one (named "Felina") into their play bed on the couch...
and she fell asleep that way! It WAS rather cute.
Last little tidbit for today...
Jeremy ("The Bird Man") caught a baby robin in the yard today.
It was amazing to see the parents swoop around in concern.
He showed the baby to the little ones and then safely deposited it in the apple tree.
Hopefully it has escaped the neighborhood cats!
That was some tidbits from our week. :)
So, till next time...


Saturday, May 29, 2010

It's Beginning To Look a Lot Like...Spring

Springtime in Alberta...

This is not unusual, even for May. Thankfully, it is just a nice, cool shower and not a snow storm!
It is supposed to warm up to a balmy 6C this afternoon, so the snow will turn to rain again shortly. :)

Since it has been so cool and wet, it is perfect weather to spend some extra time in the kitchen! My rice bread turned out magnificently yesterday...maybe it was the low barometricpressure??? Emily also did a mountain of baking for the freezer - cookies and 3 kinds of muffins.
I am actually thankful for the cool weather...
then I can stay inside - free of the guilty call of outside work - and get caught up on some of the inside jobs.
A cup of tea would be nice as well.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

This Is Ridiculous!

I have mentioned Manly's new bike - it doesn't have petals so he just pushes along with his feet. It is supposed to teach them their balance by coasting...and it really does work! When he first got it, he just stood up and walked with it. Now he sits on the seat and really coasts. He will pick up his feet and go down the little incline on our sidewalk. :) Every time he does it, I am sure that he is going to wipe out, but somehow he manages to hold on and steer.

Well, the other evening, Steve and I were enjoying some time outside after supper. Steve was looking at the bike when he suddenly burst out laughing. He showed me the sticker on the bike...

Yep! Since we always try to follow every letter of every sub law that was ever made by every level of government or industry (NOT! GAG!), we dutifully got out the instruction manual and let Manly peruse it at his leisure. :)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Little Things

"The little things in life are really the big things in life."
As far back as I can remember, I have been enamored with little things -
the tiny, perfect details in nature -
the things that busy, hurried people miss seeing.
Have you ever laid on your tummy in the grass and just looked at the perfect form of each blade with its tidy crease down the middle?
Have you ever marveled at the tiny, curly petals on a dandelion?
When studied closely, the commonest things in my life reveal to me the greatest intricacy of God's design.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Since The Rain... Things Look So Much Better

Does anyone else remember that song, "Since The Rain"? Back in my radio days, I liked it and if I remember correctly, Ian Tyson sang it. Anyway, once in a while I think of it on a fresh, sweet morning after a rain. We had a good heavy thunder shower yesterday evening so...
This morning was one of those mornings - full of sweet smells and sparkling beauty.

This next picture is what I call a "Tulip Kiss". Doesn't it look like it is puckering up?? ;)
I never used to be a morning person - in fact I was a confirmed night hawk. I have defected to the morning crowd over the past ten years.
Last night after Bible study, I saw so many people out walking and biking and I was tempted to join them. However, there were still some jobs to be done in the kitchen and I didn't want to get to bed late. I have to be in bed dozing by 11:00PM for me to be worth anything in the morning. I comforted myself that the morning would be mine. I had a whole hour of quiet morning sweetness of my very own.

It was worth waiting for...there weren't even any mosquitoes out!

My transportation for the morning was my new bike. :) It took me (or rather I took it) on a lovely 5 mile pedal, mostly out of town. You can see my handy basket that makes carrying my camera easy. :D I am so thankful for this lovely gift from my husband!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


"Always do the important before the urgent."

This is my new motto.

A few weeks ago I was feeling so discouraged with what I was not able to accomplish in my days.

I was feeling so dissatisfied with how many important things were being left in order to accomplish the urgent.

What do I classify as urgent?

Baking Bread (what will we have for lunch without it?)
The Phone Ringing
People's Expectations
My Own Unrealistic Expectations

What do I think of as important?

Teaching little girls to read.
Reading stories to children.
Phoning a friend to encourage her.
Painting a picture.
Listening to my teens.
Sitting on my Hubby's lap.
Watching a sunrise.

I know that sometimes the urgent thing is the most important thing for a moment... but not for every moment.

So I am asking myself throughout my days,

"What is the most important thing for me to do right now?"

In spite of what is urgent.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Spring Fever

We have all had a case of spring fever this last week.

The four walls of our little house seem to be marching in on us and we all have this itchy, got-to-go-somewhere feeling.

We have all dealt with it differently.

The way that I usually deal with it is to do something creative.

Sometimes that is using my camera.

Sometimes that is sewing.

Yesterday that was painting.

I just got a new set of watercolour pencils.

And a new book of paper. J

This meadowlark was my first project with the pencils.

I have enjoyed watercolours and acrylics in the past,

But the pencils were something new.

I thoroughly enjoyed them!

Here are some of past projects:

This is a copy of a painting I did of my Granddad and his horse.

This is in our living room: lighthouses.

Doodling around doing pictures of Steven and the children.

So, I have my new pencils and paper sitting on my dresser. When I feel the spring fever coming on, all I have to do is pick them up and create.

It seems to work as an instant cure for me.