Thursday, February 20, 2014


Last weekend (Friday to Sunday... not the extra Monday for the long weekend), Eric and I took off for a much wanted and needed weekend.  Maddy was away at Youth Quake (I can't even begin to tell you how it delights the heart to have your kid come home from something like that so passionate about Jesus and serving Him.... that's good stuff, people) and the others went to Uncle Brent and Auntie Glenda's.
For my birthday Eric gave me a weekend at our brother-in-law's cabin.  I could have gone by myself (extremely tempting) but I kind of like having Eric around, so I took him too.  It was sooooo good.

Driving there, we saw a gorgeous sunset.  Through the slightly sparse trees, the sun was blocked enough that we could look directly at it - a great round glowing ball sinking over the horizon.  Not 5 minutes later, on the opposite horizon, the moon retaliated actions.  It looked the same size as the sun - huge - but a muted glowing pink that slowly rose.  Eric commented that if we were on a rise, we probably could have see the edge of one going down while the edge of the other came up.  It was amazing.
The cabin is great - simple but lovely.  We got snugged up for a cozy weekend of fires, snow, reading and watching olympics.

Saturday morning Eric made french toast.  He always makes it way better than I do.  I'm pretty sure that the reason for this is the extra cup of butter he uses to fry them.  And I really don't think I am exaggerating here.  Never underestimate the power of butter.

Usually I pray for large, softly falling flakes of snow..... my favourite.  And that is what happened in the morning.  Later when we went for a walk, the sky was bright blue but there was still snow.  Perhaps the light wind was just blowing individual flakes, but there was snow.  And it looked like a snow-globe.  Tiny little flakes, glittering and reflecting the sun floated down.  Not hard to see the snow on the ground glittering - that happens all the time (and always breath taking, in my opinion), but while it is falling?  Almost never.
Once we hit the lake (and saw what looked like hundreds of ice fishing shacks far out on the lake), I lay down for a snow angel and rested there a bit, looking up.  It was such an amazing sight.  Snow flakes falling distinctly seen against a perfect blue sky.  Awesome.

We also climbed around the side of the house in snow past our knees.  So great.  At night when I couldn't sleep (around 12:45 - 1:30 a.m.) I went outside and sat on the side of the deck in the deep snow.  It was so mild out and the moon was so bright (full), it was calling me to enjoy it in the silence of what felt like the whole-world-but-me-sleeping.  The highlight of my weekend.  It was awe-inspiring.
And how can you go wrong with a cute man (being your husband of course....), gorgeous weather, a real-wood fire stove, snow, silence and this:
A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller
The Original Illustrated Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning
Jesus Calling by Sarah Young
The Bible by God (totally non-fiction)
a journal from Marlo (sniff, sniff.... I miss her)
the movie Defiance.
Good stuff people.
When we got home and went to pick up the kids, they made it clear that they did not want to come home (I didn't have the heart to tell them that I didn't want to come home either).  They had a very good time.  They had just went outside to work on a snow fort (built with "bricks" from packed down ice chipped off from the driveway!).  We figured we'd join in with the fort building.  And while I thought I would have rather been snuggled up reading more good books, that was a pretty fun way to end our time!

giant smoking stogies

Today I was sitting on the couch and getting frustrated with all of the stuff that gets left around.  Then I took a closer look.  This was laying under the coffee table.  How can I get mad about this?
Okay, well, she still doesn't have to leave it laying around, but if she hadn't, I wouldn't have see Lucy's cute drawings.
My mom moved into an apartment complex at the beginning of the month.  All of us most lovely kids were there to assist her, because, of course, we are the most lovely kids.  We all were a little unsure about her move knowing that she had to give up a lot of space, etc. but she is quite happy there.  And if a mom is happy, the world is a better place (I hope my kids and husband read this and take it to heart.....).

At work my boss has been sympathetic to my needs and regularly seeks to give me some creative outlet.  She is great that way.  She's great anyway - but I really appreciate that about her.  We have a little chalk board area in the cafĂ© connected to the library, so I dabbled a little on there.
She also suggested to the students in charge of decorating for a youth event that they ask me to help.  I was asked to do the theme verse to go with the piratey - nautical theme.  It didn't turn out fabulously (the picture makes it look extra lame) but it provided good memories.
Do you notice the the right side is more narrow than the left?  Well, I wanted to burn the edges so I took it home - I thought the school would appreciate my not setting off the sprinklers in the library....  My initial attempt was a normal, start burning the edge and blowing it out.  The problem was that the paper was sort of coated somehow so it took a while to catch on fire and then was very hard to blow out.  That equals taking-forever-to-burn, so I needed a plan B.  I rolled up the paper as tightly as possible (this is a 5 x 16 foot poster) and Eric and I went outside to try to burn the ends all at once by setting the whole end on fire.
It worked great.  Except for the fact that it was hard to put out - particularly the inside part of the roll.  Eric held it, I lit it and then he doused it out in the snow.  Most of it went out right away, but the inside part was protected so it kept burning.  Once I noticed I had to shove handfuls of snow in the tube to get it out.  And then did it ever smoke!  Eric decided it would make a great giant stogie.
Repeat with the other end of the tube....  It was hilarious.  But you probably had to be there.  And you should have been.
And now I should end this post with these delightful girls.  Bye.

thanks, louis the madman

The past few days have given us amazing weather - mild, clear but still cold enough to not meld the local rink!  So Monday, Louis Riel* day, was mostly enjoyed outside.  And in good Manitoba form, the family built a quincy/quinzhee…. sort of.  I real quincy is a built by digging a hollow out of piled up snow.  Which is what we did, but we cheated by making a different roof.  One wants to not have to crouch down in one's own home, doesn't one?
After many hours of working on the fort in the back yard, they scraped that bad boy and chipped away it's very firm and frozen walls (they used water to ice it over and give it more strength) and used parts of it to build up the entrance of the quincy.
Being that Eric is the biggest and strongest, most of the credit should go to him.  He is not fond of the term quincy, believing it is not even a real term (to which all real Canadians ask "is he a moron?  seriously…."), but we use it anyway.
I spent most of my time distracting the kids away from the real work by wrestling them in the snow and giving (and receiving) snow-washes.  I'm a good and diligent "help-mate" like that.  I know my wifely duties.  The kids are pretty adept at finding their own distractions as well, though - especially having snow much snow, including a huge snow pile, right in our very own back yard.  Aside from playing, building the quincy and all that, Cade put ample time in trying to stay out of camera range.  He is NOT fond of me with my camera.

 *Louis was a politician in Canada and the founder of Manitoba.  He was also a bit of a nut-job, way back when.

In the evening we had Kim and the kids over for dinner and then did a little skating.  Not nearly enough skating for the kids' liking - but is was a school night after all.  Once again, Cade and Lucy in particular practiced their skating skills - a new one Eric taught them - the cross over when taking a curve/corner.  Cade was undaunted.  Pretty much all he did as work on that skill.  He is a focussed guy.

olympic mania

We are all about the olympics here at the Ackermann house hold.  While we don't really have a space where we can having them going most of the time, they are on pretty much whenever possible.  During dinner, we having the computer at the table with us.  During Saturday morning breakfast, it is going as well.
And after everyone else has cleared away, Lucy still remains.... if it is ice skating, that is.  She has determined that she is going to be an olympic skater - only she doesn't want to wear those "ugly dresses" that they all wear.  I told her that I would be plenty happy if she was the first female ice skater who wore something other than those dresses.

Falling asleep on the couch watching the olympics is good too.  Although I think by the smile on someone's face, she may not really be asleep.....
Cade has also determined that he is going to be an olympic athlete.  Snowboarding, of course.  He wants to do the snowboard cross - speed and jumps combined.  Pretty sure both of these two kids could do it too if they continue to show the determination that they have in learning so far.  The time and expense may be an issue, however.  Snowboarding in particular could be tricky being in Manitoba.  But, I guess if Mark McMorris can do it in Saskatchewan, Cade Ackermann can do it in Manitoba!
Our favourite countries are all at the top too.
I should have also included Germany and the Netherlands (for Opa)... and maybe a little one for Norway on behalf of Mia's class at school (that is who they represent for the school-wide competition). Considering how small Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, and Norway are.... I think they are kicking the US's bootie.