2009 high points

made lots of homemade jam rode my bike to work very often in the spring and summer had a 24 mile bike ride made Roman an I Spy with my Little Eye quilt made Avery a rag quilt read over 60 books started reading the BBC top 100 book list; am reading things I never would have without the list and I am expanding my knowledge in lots of areas took the plunge on volunteering at the prison got my craft room more functional had a great visit to Arkansasmade it through the year without complaining in front of the kids about a certain topic got a new job that's teaching me lots Read more →

2009's goals reviewed

“Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.” ~Voltaire Regarding New Years Resolutions, Mark Twain said this on a January 2nd years ago. "Yesterday, everybody smoked his last cigar, took his last drink, and swore his last oath. Today, we are a pious and exemplary community." That is good for a smile isn't it? It's the clean slate time of year again. A new beginning. Since I started my new job, I've not been quite on top of things and have felt thick-headed for a couple of months. I'm pulling out of the mully-grubs and think I'll be more energetic soon. Christmas is a glorious time of year in our family. I love love love it. This year was wonderful. Even with my lower energy, it was a beautiful time. Today is the day where I review my 2009 goals. They are listed below, with the status of... Read more →

2009 christmas letter

December 2009 Merry Christmas from the Gordon Dykstra Family! I say this every year, but it bears repeating: I love this time of year and one of the things that make it special is hearing from you and learning how the year was for you. We’re not the greatest at keeping in close contact with our friends, but I try to connect at least once a year just to communicate that we still think of you and love you. So, if you’re reading this letter, know you’re thought of and loved. You may recall that we moved out of Edmonton to St. Albert (a “bedroom community” of Edmonton) last year. 2009 was our first full year here and it was delightful. We rode bikes all over town in the spring and summer; school, church, library, farmers’ market, shopping and the like. Lovely! We’re about three blocks from the girls’ school,... Read more →

weather and such

This is the thermometer outside my kitchen window and this is what she looks like right now. Two nights ago Edmonton was the second coldest spot on the earth -- a chilly -47 degrees. With the windchill it was -56. Somewhere in Siberia was -48, giving it the #1 coldest title. One thing I love about Canada is how the weather makes us strong. Seriously, Canadians are tough. It was -40 yesterday and church was about as full as always; people still shovel their sidewalks; still drive; still go shopping; the kids still walk to school, . . . The necessity to carry on makes Canadians strong and I love that. Here are a couple photos of my backyard this morning. While I was out there to take a picture of the thermometer, I snapped some backyard scenes. Read more →

stacie, hammin' it up

Life has had me by the tail ever since I got home from Arkansas and I've not captured many of my memories from the trip. I told about the photo shoot my sibs and I had with my dad. Before we had the opportunity to have a group picture made, my hammy sister, Stacie, captivated all the cameras. She is a ham-dinger. I wish I'd gotten a little more of that gene, but I didn't so I just get to enjoy her. She is so funny and entertaining. I lub' 'er lots. As you can see in these pictures, she put on a show. So unintimidated, acting like a teenager getting her picture made. As you can also see in the pictures, we were all waiting for her to finish the production. Read more →

michael, the farmer

I've been gone. I was negligent. I was overwhelmed. But I'm back, with bells on. Well, not really, but you get the idea. Life is good. My new job schedule is starting to gel and I'm getting the hang of my work. I told Gordon that until my probation is up (3 months) I'm going to be afraid of the boss saying, "this just isn't working." It's never happened before, but this job is the closest thing to feeling out of my league that I've ever had. (That, of course, doesn't count the cake decorating stint where being fired would have been just too cool.) You know how I get all reflective and spend a lot of time navel gazing as each year closes, right? Well, this week I've been thinking about the year and its blessings. I've had a number of blessings this year, but right now I want... Read more →

status on 2009 goals

There is a book called Write it Down, Make it Happen. I haven't read the book yet, but the title makes so much sense to me. I seriously doubt if any of my 2009 goals would be being accomplished if I didn't write them down and post this status report. This update keeps me on track in a remarkable way. I know for the reader it's dry and boring, (pointed out to me by my swisser, Stacie), but it is something that propagates my success. Another reason for this monthly status update is that I'm in a group where we link back to each others' goal status. It helps me a lot. If this bores you, I'm sorry. 1) Give up fiction for January and Lent. Status: January was a success but during Lent I've read CS Lewis and Angela's Ashes. 2) Give blood 4 times. Status: I gave in... Read more →

status on 2009 goals

January is over. Is it just me or did that go by quickly? I thought I'd assess my progress on my 2009 goals. I've listed the resolutions I made here and my success (or not) thus far. 1)- Give up fiction for January and Lent. Status: I made it through January fiction-free. 2)- Give blood 4 times. Status: No blood given yet. 3)- Clean up my recycling act. (My recycling has suffered since moving to a town that doesn't have the awesome recycling program Edmonton has.) Status: I've done very well. It's been a grind as I've hauled my recycling to Edmonton all month. I work in the city, so this is really no big deal. Just hauling my blue bags around is a drag. 4)- Work towards running 10K. (This is my loftiest goal of the year.) Status: I'm running two miles (about 3+ kilometers) a day three days... Read more →

goals for 2009

“Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.” ~Voltaire Regarding New Years Resolutions, Mark Twain said this on a January 2nd years ago. "Yesterday, everybody smoked his last cigar, took his last drink, and swore his last oath. Today, we are a pious and exemplary community." That is good for a smile isn't it? Over the past two weeks I cannot count the times I've heard "80% of the people who make resolutions have fogotten about them by February." But I still make them and I still keep some of them. I never keep them all, but maybe that's because I make too many. It's something I love to do. I really, really love starting the year with a new set of goals. My 2009 goals for this year, in no particular order: 1) Give up fiction for January and Lent. (so far, so good) 2) Give blood... Read more →