Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Edmonton Festivities 2012

My sister researched and gathered the websites for many annual festivities in Edmonton, Alberta. Check them out below, and thanks sis!

Jan. Winterlights in Mill Creek "art festivals that celebrate the winter experience"

Jan. Ice on Whyte Ice carving competition

Feb. - Illuminations - same people as the Winterlight Festival in Louise McKinney Park

Feb. - Silver Skate Festival  Edmonton's longest running winter festival. There's a triatholon, skate 10km, ski 10km, run 5km. Evening light shows.

May long weekend to Labour Day - High Level Trolley Car

June 20 - July 1 Canada Day Celebrations 

June 22 - July 1  Edmonton International Jazz Festival

June 26-July 22 Freewill Shakespeare Festival at Hawrelak Ampitheatre (Tuesday and Sat. matinees are pay-what-you-will). Children <12 free. Playing Julius Caesar and The Tempest

July 2 - August 30  Ghost Walk in Old Strathcona  Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday Nights ONLY

July 3-8 Historic Edmonton Week  

July 6-15 Street Performers' Festival Sir Winston Churchill Square

July 13-15 Whyte Avenue Art Walk

July 19-28 Taste of Edmonton in Churchill Square

July 20-29 Capital Ex

July 28-Oct 14 Edmonton Corn Maze 

Aug 4-6 Edmonton Heritage Festival at Hawrelak Park

Aug 9-12 Edmonton Folk Festival  - sold out

Aug 10-12 Cariwest Festival downtown with a parade

Aug 17-19 - Dragon Boat Festival 

Aug. 18-19 Edmonton Latin Festival  downtown

Aug 24-26 Fringe Festival in old Strathcona

Aug 31-Sept 3  Symphony Under the Sky at hawrelak ampitheatre

October - Haunted Hike in Sherwood Park 

Oct. 17-28 LitFest

Nov. 29-Dec 3 - Festival of Trees

http://www.festivalseekers.com site for all the festivals in Alberta

On going - What the Truck? Check their twitter feed #WhatTheTruck. It's a celebration of food trucks and food truck culture in Edmonton with creative chefs, tasty food, vibrant, accessible and pedestrian-friendly events.

Art Gallery Walk

Ukranian Village

Fort Edmonton Park

Huge Snowball Fight http://www.snowbattle.ca no snowball fight in 2012 but back for 2013

Walk in the River Valley

Alberta Art Gallery

cross country ski in river valley

Every Wed night from Apr - Sept, Edmonton Overlanders Orienteering Meets "smart people running"

We hope that this list helps you and your family enjoy our fine city year round.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Victory with Food Storage!

Welcome! Last week I lead a discussion on home storage and decided to post the info and links here for people to reference, rather than do a hand out. Click the provided links to get further information. Read on and be inspired!
Check the expiration date on your ideas about home storage.
You may need to throw some of them out!
It's true! The First Presidency has simplified home storage to increase our chances of being successful at it! The following covers the what, why, how, where and when of home storage.


A New Approach

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints published the pamphlet All Is Safely Gathered In: Family Home Storage, outlining new guidelines for home preparedness that give Church members a simplified, four-step approach to building their home storage. They are as follows:
1.   Gradually build a small supply of food that is part of your normal, daily diet until it is sufficient for three months.
2.   Store drinking water.
3.   Establish a financial reserve by setting aside a little money each week, and gradually increase it to a reasonable amount.
4.   Once families have achieved the first three objectives, they are counseled to expand their efforts, as circumstances allow, into a supply of long-term basic foods such as grains, legumes, and other staples.
Of the new guidelines, Presiding Bishop H. David Burton says, “Our objective was to establish a simple, inexpensive, and achievable program that would help people become self-reliant. We are confident that by introducing these few, simple steps we can, over time, have more success.”


Rachel Bruner answers this question in her article "Why Food Storage". She elaborates on the following 4 points:
  1. It's a commandment from God
  2. It's necessary during emergencies and natural disasters
  3. Being prepared gives us peace (fun little "be prepared" video)
     4. It teaches us basic food preparation 
“Many more people could ride out the storm-tossed waves in their economic lives if they had their … supply of food … and were debt-free. Today we find that many have followed this counsel in reverse: they have at least a year’s supply of debt and are food-free.”
— President Thomas S. Monson “That Noble Gift—Love at Home,” Church News, May 12, 2001, 7.

My 'why' is because I am grateful every day that I've never had to tell one of my children that there was no food for them and I want to keep it that way.


Our first goal is to "gradually build a small supply of food that is part of your normal, daily diet until it is sufficient for three months." Melanie Cooper had a great method for this in her article "How to store what you eat". Her idea is to take 7 meal plans each for breakfast, lunch and supper and calculate what you need for each meal.

An example for one day is
  • Breakfast: oatmeal so I would store powdered or canned milk, oats, brown sugar and canned fruit
  • Lunch: tuna sandwiches so I would store mayonnaise, pickles, tuna, ingredients to make bread
  • Supper: spaghetti so pasta, pasta sauce, parmesan cheese, and canned corn.
Calculate the quantity you usually serve and each meal then multiply each meal by 12 and buy the ingredients that lend themselves to long term storage. Make note of your planned meals (so that you use them) and spread the use of your 3 month storage over 12 months, replacing the ingredients as you consume them. Wouldn't it be easy to just follow this meal plan for the first week of each month? 

Now to the 4th goal: Long term supply of food

“For longer-term needs,” explains the All Is Safely Gathered In pamphlet, “gradually build a supply of food that will last a long time and that you can use to stay alive, such as wheat, white rice, and beans.”

"Establishing long-term storage is easier than some might think. Dr. Oscar Pike and his colleagues in the Brigham Young University Department of Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Science have done several in-depth studies on long-term food storage. They discovered something surprising: properly packaged and stored low-moisture food retains much of its sensory (taste) quality and nutritional value for 20 to 30 or more years after being placed in storage—much longer than previously supposed.

"This means Church members can store certain foods long-term without the worry of regularly rotating the food. They can be confident that their supply will be there to keep them alive if they have nothing else to eat.

Are you ready to find out how simple and affordable this is?!? If you visit the food storage calculator at Provident Living you may be surprised to see that it has been reduced to calculate the quantities for only 2 items: grains and legumes. Because that is how we make this program achievable: by simply storing food that will keep us alive in a crisis. Now, since you have completed the first goal and have 3 months worth of food that you normally eat, let's calculate how many legumes and grains we need for 9 months for one person (to arrive at 1 year's worth of food stored) according to the family home storage center order form (click on link for current prices):
  • For 1 person for 9 months, you need to store 225 lbs of grain and 45 lbs of legumes
  • 225 lbs of wheat and 45 lbs of navy beans fit into 8 boxes
  • The 39 cans of wheat and the 9 cans of navy beans cost $180
  • The 32 pouches of wheat and the 7 pouches of beans cost $155
—Calculated with prices in Canada on May 22, 2012

Are you picking up what I'm laying down? For $155 you can purchase 8 boxes of food to finish up your 1 year food storage. Totally affordable and how hard could it be to find space in your home for 8 boxes?


Let's say that more than one person lives in your house, or you are storing food for children in college, where could you store that? Well, I would suggest purchasing your food in the can form because the boxes are not as tall (7 inches) and the cans are super strong building blocks...for a bed. Using the boxes of cans, stacking the boxes 2 high you can create a bed base for a mattress that is the same height as a regular bed (abandoning the box spring). Making bed bases for 2 single beds would take 48 boxes (24 per bed) and would provide 9 months of food for 6 people. A queen size bed frame would take 36 boxes to make. And you don't have to worry about accessing this food because it will keep for 30 years. If you get to the point where you need to use it, moving your mattress to get it is not going to be a big deal. An extra bonus? Save money on a bed frame and good-bye dust bunnies under the bed!
That is the absolute simplest way to get this done... Well, storing 1 year of beans and rice and skipping the 3 months of regular food would be the simplest. But from this simplicity you can make it as complicated as you like. Tee hee. Truly, you might want some brown sugar to go with your boiled wheat and some ketchup and salt to add to those navy beans, butt it's not necessary.


Now. Phone the newly assigned Godfreys of Sherwood Park to make an appointment where they will help you use the dry pack cannery facilities in Sherwood Park.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

My One Little Word for 2012

  1. Lightness of spirits or mood; gaiety or joy.
  2. A source of joy or happiness; a comfort.
    1. A shout of approval, encouragement, or congratulation.
    2. A short, rehearsed jingle or phrase, shouted in unison by a squad of cheerleaders.
  3. Festive food and drink; refreshment.
  1. To make happier 
  2. To encourage
  3. To salute or acclaim; applaud.
I've spent a week using my new word and I think it's a keeper. If you want more info about "One Little Word" click to be taken to the description at Ali Edward's blog. Ali's aim is to "choose a word that I can focus on, mediate on, and reflect upon as I go about my daily life".


I was a professional cheerleader one month, which was S-U-P [clap] E-R fun and really focused on one aspect of 'cheer'. I enjoyed it, so I want to explore it further. Obviously the fourth definition must be explored...what an unexpectedly delicious definition for 'cheer'!

How I plan to use my word:
  1. cheer on my children.  One of my sons experienced a very pointedly unkind act at school before the holidays and it just reminded me that if I'm not cheering him on, who will?
  2. find cheer in what others are saying.  I want to listen to others with the goal to encourage them, or applaud them, or comfort them.
  3. be cheerful during family meals.  There is noise. There is complaining. There is belching. There is a crabby mother. There isn't cheer. THAT was 2011! In 2012, I will bring to the table a lightness of spirit, gaiety and joy (despite the belching). 
  4. search out what brings me cheer.  I am not very self-aware when it comes to what brings me joy. I will have a better idea by the end of 2012 and I will be seeking those things out. 
  5. cheer on myself.   Point the V, Dot the I, Curl the C-T-O-R-Y, Victory [clap-clap] Victory [clap] GOOOOOOO Sondi! Tee hee. I am going to applaud at least one thing that I do every day. I could start a 'cheer' journal...
This kid knows 'cheer'! It took 45 minutes and an army of strangers returning popped skis after nasty falls to get him down his first run off the chair lift, but he just picked himself up and went...for another lesson. Butt he enjoyed himself.

If you do decide to choose a word for 2012, make sure that you find a way to remind yourself of your word. You can buy charms, or necklaces with custom words on them. Or a small vinyl sticker in your bedroom could work.


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Calendars

I have made family calendars for the past 8 years. I have hand made them and color copied them, I have tried Costco, a photo shop in a local mall, and an online photo shop that did 12x12" size. But I highly recommend Lulu.com if you decide to do one. Sign up with their website for their promotions and you'll get their coupons for between 20% and 35% off. If you order 5 or more of the same calendar, they are $9.99 each plus $3 S/H (before coupon). And they are super quality and you can choose a calendar with Canada dates. Here are the 2 that I made for gifts for this Christmas. LEAVE this post NOW if you are related to me! Just joking - no one related to me visits this blog. I made one for each side of the family. The first is for my husband's side. All of the pictures were taken at his niece's wedding. Fun to have such gorgeous photos to work with. The second is for my side of the family. My grandma sold her cottage this month and so I had to make a calendar full of lake memories. I didn't plan to make my mum cry on the first of every month of 2012, but I suspect that she will. I've printed some photos of the disgusting blue-green algae blooms for her to look at to remind her why it's not such a bad thing to try out some different vacation spots in the future.

Happy holidays!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Warning: Family Christmas Letter

Everett was added to a photo of our family at my niece's wedding (He wasn't able to attend the wedding).

I asked the family what they considered to be their highlight of 2011.

We had to prompt our 14 year old. Grayson agreed that he really did enjoy Scout Camp in the summer. That they always received mustard but no ketchup received much coverage as did the stop at Peter’s Drive-In in Calgary during the drive home.

Kepler responded with “my basketball game this morning. It was awesome!” His community league team had not led the whole game and with 17 seconds left, they were down by 1 point. Doug (the coach) called a T.O. After, Kep’s teammate passed the ball straight to the other team. [Groan!] Then Kepler intercepted the next pass [Yay!] and dribbled down but fumbled the ball [Oh, no!] but snatched it up just before it went out of bounds. He then made a basket [Hurrah!] and his team joyously mobbed him.

Everett quickly replied with “remember that time that I took money to get Skittles from the vending machine but punched the numbers in wrong and I got crackers and cheese instead? Chortle. Guffaw.” That was the highlight of your year, Everett? Funny kid.

After careful consideration, Sabine chose her first day of grade one. She was excited to load her backpack with her supplies, choose from her new clothes, and find her desk in her new classroom. Her best friend phoned to arrange that the two of them wear matching outfits: peacock shirts, cranberry jeggings and hot pink beanies for that first day. All of my babies are in school!

When Doug was in grade four he did a report on the Great Barrier Reef. It was the first time that he had even heard of a reef and he was fascinated. The highlight of this year was spending an afternoon snorkeling off the coast of Hamilton Island on the Great Barrier Reef, en route to a conference in Brisbane, Australia.

I’m going to choose the Bayly family reunion at my grandma’s cottage at Pigeon Lake. My youngest brother’s wife planned it and it was so fun! She recreated all of the holidays: the kids opened Christmas stockings the first morning, hunted for Easter eggs, visited a haunted house and trick-or-treated to the rooms in the cottage, and blew out candles on cupcakes that they decorated. Canada Day celebrations included a street hockey game and the most enjoyable water fight of all time. If every wife had the chance to pelt her in-laws with saturated sponge balls I can only imagine that the world would be a more satisfied place. Just kidding, In-laws.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Professional Health Care Worker

I only set professions for the first half of 2011 and it shows in my lack of posts and accomplishments. All of my children started full day school in September and I really have nothing to show for it... if you don't count reading a lot more books than I used to. Hmm... maybe I was a librarian for September! Tee hee. But it's important to me to look back with a positive attitude, so I have decided that I did work on health. I have improved my energy level, my attitude towards myself and life, and developed a peaceful way to deal with depression.
  1.  My energy level improved when I started fueling this body of mine. I started eating avocados (with salt and lime juice - YUM!) weekly and more fruit and veggies daily. I have been known to reach 4 pm wondering why I felt like having a nap and then realize that I hadn't had a meal yet that day. Silly me.
  2. Through conscious effort I have managed to curb the stream of negative thoughts in my head. I was waking up in the mornings to the thought "you are failing as a mother". Like, that thought was what woke me up from sleep. Not a nice way to start the day and I felt like I had no control over it because it came from my subconsciousness. But I do have control over it, as I learned from a very interesting book by Byron Katie. She has a very interesting philosophy about how to train our minds. I had to start telling myself positive things when I was conscious of it, and that gave my subconscious positive material to work with. Our minds are very powerful.
  3. In November I had about 1 week of depression. Nothing unusual for me but I was so pleased with how I handled it. I took control of it. Did you ever have that experience as a child where you realized that you were in charge of your dream and you were able to alter it? I did when I was four years old - I remember telling a big monster as he stormed down my street toward me that I knew he was just a dream and I didn't believe in him. His shoulders slumped and he turned around and trundled away. I felt so powerful! This November, instead of just drowning under the tide of depression, I managed to tread water. I accepted that I was sick and that it wasn't my fault. I indulged in watching funny shows and reading wonderful books. I focused on getting supper on the table each night which helped keep my spirits up unlike the guilt and negative speak that my mind would provide when I didn't even do that for my family. And then when I woke up one morning with an interest in life again, I just stepped back in where I had left off.
So, likely this was not an interesting read for you, but I needed to get it written down so that I could look back on it to remind myself of the truths that I have found. Now to plan my professions for 2012. I'm thinking of choosing a life skill to focus on each month so that by the end of 2012 I will have 12 new habits.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Kitchen is Open!

My husband took the children camping with his parents for 6 days at the beginning of July and I had 6 days to myself in my house. It sounds dreamy but luckily my mom made it into my version of a nightmare by leaving her dog for me to enjoy. But I did manage to paint the kitchen ceiling, freshen up the cupboards with a coat of paint and paint the walls gray (Stonington Gray HC-170 by Benjamin Moore, inspired by the grey of my Regis shampoo bottle). It was looking very fresh. Then my hubby came home and we picked up the supplies to do the wainscoting. SOOOOOO easy. They have 32" lengths of beadboard and then they package the baseboards and caps together, that have grooves to hold the beadboard. Using just a jigsaw and our kind neighbour's finishing nailer my DH and I completed our first home improvement project together.

Do you think that we could take on wall papering now?!?

Click here for the "before" pictures. Well, I didn't match up the pictures too well and most people commenting on that post thought that I was posting "after" pictures. Butt I will post matchy pictures once I do the valance and vinyl. I'll do that in September once the paint has fully cured on the cupboards. I ordered some modern material off of etsy for the valance. Love etsy.