Monday, November 27, 2006

Back from the South this time

Stephen and I ventured to Swift Current for a tournament this past weekend. It was a shorter stay than anticipated, as Kindersley lost all three games, and therefore were not in the finals. Stephen played some fine hockey, checking guys left and right, and even got a goal - you won't notice it in the stats, though, since he tipped the puck into his own net! We got to come home on Saturday afternoon, but just caught the final buzzer of Adam's game in Kerrobert. Too much WalMart, I guess. It was nice to run into my cousin's son, Devin Heidt, whose son plays for the Saskatoon Frostbite (cool name!). Layken is a 2nd year Bantam, and an aggressive forward. A nice, polite young man, as well. I also chatted with some of the coaches for the Prince George team that was there, and this may surprise some of you, but they know the Schwab's. Small world.

Derek decided he wanted to be a goalie this weekend, and Clem says he did a fine job between the posts. His team beat Wilkie 12 - 2. I hope he got that goalie thing out of his system now, and gets back to his normal defense position!

Adam had a great weekend. His Bantam team beat Battleford 10 - 6, and Adam got two goals and an assist. In fact, his line got seven of the ten goals. He also spent a bit of time in the penalty box. He didn't do anything wrong; apparently the ref, Ian Fischer, was picking on him again! The Bantams traveled to Consort on Sunday for an exhibition game, but lost 7 -1. Adam got the only Kerrobert goal.

We got hit with our first real winter storm today. It started snowing late last night, and has continued pretty steadily all day, along with an east wind. It really looks like winter here now. (Maybe it will put me in the Christmas spirit...) It is -33 with the windchill, they say, although it didn't feel too bad this afternoon. It was quite festive singing Christmas carols at the Buena Vista this afternoon, watching the snow fall. The residents there really enjoy the music, and they almost all sing the Christmas songs, since they know the words.

Tonight is a rare night at home, but the rest of the week looks ordinarily busy. More driving coming up this weekend, as Adam goes to Lucky Lake to play the Outlook team (255 kms). Stephen and Derek have home games.

Stop by again for a visit!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Back from the East

East of here, that is.

Stephen and I left on the Klipper bus Saturday morning for snow-covered Humboldt. The Klippers played a great game, and beat the home team 10 - 4. My dad's cousin, Doug Veness, lives in Humboldt with his wife, Vera. They have been involved with the hockey scene there for years. They came to watch Stephen play, and then took me back to their place for a wonderful supper (homemade noodles - yum!) while Stephen ate with the team. Doug and I went joined the Bantam team at the arena for the Junior game - the Junior Klippers fell to the Humboldt Broncos - and then Stephen and I went back to Doug's for the night. Doug thinks Stephen has quite a bit of Schraefel in him. Doug's Dutli uncle used to carouse with Bud Schraefel at times, so he knows the family. We had a great visit with them, and the hospitality was second to none. Thanks, Doug and Vera! Doug was a groomsman at Mom and Dad's wedding, and he is also my sister's godfather. And now another connection - he hums all the time, just like Dad. It is obviously a Veness trait.

The bus left Sunday morning for Warman, where we had a 1:30 game. The competition proved to be a bit stronger, although maybe it was just that our kids didn't totally show up for the game! They did pull off a 4 -3 win, but it wasn't pretty. A successful four-point road trip, though. A cold north wind blew us home in time to join Clem, Adam, Derek, and Dylan for supper.

Stephen and I are off to Swift Current this weekend for a tournament. Mom and Dad are hoping to join us there for some hockey entertainment. Derek and Adam will be staying home with Clem, as both have games in town for Minor Hockey Day on Saturday. They had this weekend off, except for Derek's practice on Saturday, so they are impatiently waiting for the up-coming games.

Adam's Bantam team played a great game last Thursday against the league's #1 team, Unity. They held them to a 1 - 1 tie until the start of the third period, but had to take a 4 - 2 loss. It was good hockey, though. Adam assisted the first goal, and spent a bit of time in the penalty box. He is a bit of an aggressive player. Must be the Schraefel in him. I'll have to ask Doug.

Adam and Stephen got their report cards on Friday, and they've escaped the forty lashes promised for failure. A little less talking and a bit more studying should make for better results next term. Stephen won first place in the school's division three art competition for Remembrance Day. He sketched a portrait of Bud in his navy uniform, and another of an older Bud in his Legion uniform, and combined them with a quote from Bud's headstone. It is very touching, and quite imaginative. Stephen is surprising us with his artistic talents.

Our yard looks a bit like a skating rink these days. Most of the snow we had melted just enough to turn into ice when the temperature dropped again. Last Thursday we had a very strong wind. The boys had a hard time getting to the house when the bus dropped them off - the wind was blowing them across the icy yard! It is milder today, and Clem is bagging some wheat to ship off to Vancouver. They grow wheat grass and turn it into juice which they sell at little kiosks for an exorbitant price. What a world.

Thanks for dropping by our little corner!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Flames Fans

Uncle Rob sent these pictures of the boys night out at the Saddledome watching the Capitals and the Flames complements of Nexen Inc. and the Kerrobert Novice Hockey team, allowing us to have a quiet evening out. Derek had a ball. Thanks Rob!
Derek 8

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Hockey Happenings

What a weekend! Adam's team tied Kindersley at three goals a piece last night, in a well-played game. Lots of penalties as the team gets used to the new "rules emphasis" enforcement, which, in English, means don't impede the progress of the puck carrier with your stick, I think. Anyway, I thought they were serving pizza in the penalty box, because so many of our guys kept going in there. Adam was the first to put his feet up for two minutes - I was such a proud mom. Stephen got a call a couple of hours before the game to fill in for an injured linesman, so he was busy, too. Derek ran the music during the breaks in play. He did a fine job, until he got hungry for a hot dog just after the second period. The third period was much quieter.

Stephen's team managed to hold on to the lead for a 5-4 win against Battlefords today. Stephen played a fine game, showing his strength in front of the net. Some of the smaller Battlefords players were bouncing right off when they tried to check him. After the game, we all went to the Kindersley Inn where the parents watched the football game (we won't go into that) and the kids played on the waterslides and ate pizza. We left Stephen to catch a ride home with another Kerrobert player, and headed back to Aunt Linda's to meet the gang. Derek had stayed in Kerrobert to play shinny, and Adam refereed a game in town this afternoon, so they were already there. There was a great feast waiting for us, as usual. Aunt Lorraine must have had six kinds of cookies, all delicious. My cousin Allan and Lori were there with their brand new baby boy, Andrew. He is just adorable. As Grandma Schan would say, he's a really nice baby - he has a nice head. (You had to know her...) My cousin Carla was there from Hardisty with her three little ones, and all the locals were there, too. Bobbi sang her newly written song, which I think she is planning to record. It made us all cry, so it's a keeper.

Another family history tidbit, just for Carl. And because we just observed Remembrance Day. John McCrae, the author of the famous poem, In Flanders' Fields, was a 2nd cousin to my paternal great-grandmother, Grace Fisher Veness. Grace was born in Scotland, as were John McCrae's parents, although they came to Canada as children in the mid-1800's and settled near Guelph, Ontario. John McCrae was a surgeon in World War I, and died of pneumonia (I think!) in France during the war. Stephen did a presentation on this distant cousin for last year's Heritage Fair at the school. John McCrae's great-niece is Giells Turner, wife of former Prime Minister John Turner. My dad is not all that fond of that last bit of family lore!

And I'm off for my little holiday tomorrow, so check back later in the week in case there's news!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Russian Roots

My favorite sister, Lisa, has arrived in Russia to take up her new position as a teacher of English. She is currently in Moscow, which she described to our mom as "bleak". Sounds like home, today anyway! She will be teaching in a small town outside of Moscow, from what I understand. I am hoping she will be able to travel at some point to areas closer to the birthplace of our ancestors. They were Germans who immigrated to Russia in the late 1700's - early 1800's, but kept much of their ethnicity in their new homes in the Odessa region near the Black Sea. Perhaps Lisa will even meet some distant relatives, like we need more of those! Our paternal German ancestors were among the founders of a village called, very originally, Huck. What remains of it is now called Splawnucha (sp?). It is near the Volga river. Our maternal ancestors were in villages nearer Odessa, close to the Dniper river, I believe.

We have had warm but wet weather here. Clem was in Saskatoon for the SARM convention (I think I saw the back of his head on the news one night!), and they had freezing rain and snow. He holed up in a hotel for an extra night, but still had dangerous driving conditions on Thursday when he came home. The roads right around here weren't quite so bad, as we didn't have as much snow, but the dirt roads became quite icy as the snow we did have got packed down by the traffic and polished by the wind. Ah, the joys of Saskatchewan in the winter. Luckily, we have hockey to distract us! We watched the Kerrobert Pee Wee's do a job on the Elrose team yesterday, and stayed to see Eston show the Tigers how to play the game. I have way too much Luseland blood, I guess, because I still take pleasure in seeing the Tigers get beat! (Don't tell anyone I said that! The poor President of Kerrobert Minor Hockey may take even more flack.)

Adam's Bantam team is going to try to win their first game tonight when Kindersley comes to Kerrobert. Angus Phillips is heading up the coaching staff this year, so we expect no problems. Stephen's team is playing at home in Kindersley against the Battlefords AA Bantams tomorrow at noon. There is a parent get-together after the game, at which the parents can watch the football game (Go, Riders, Go) and the kids can swim in the hotel pool. We won't stay long, since our presence is also required at a family get-together at Aunt Linda's. Her son, Chris, is getting married next year, and his fiancee and her dad and step-mom are in town to meet the gang. I hope they're prepared - it can be somewhat intimidating, from what some of the Schan "wanna-be's" have told me. What with the "name that cousin" quiz at the end of the evening and all.

I am off to Saskatoon on Monday for a two-day retreat at Queen's House, so I will miss Derek's first home game Monday evening. I am confident that they will do well, though. I am a bit worried about Clem getting everyone to where they have to be from Monday until Wednesday, but I have made a calendar of events for him, so he'll likely manage his role as Mr. Mom.

Check back on Monday - I'll try to get you the results of our weekend games. You can also keep up with the Kerrobert teams at

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Update from the farm

We woke up Saturday to a layer of ice from an early morning rain, but luckily it only rained right at our place! Clem and Derek left at 7 a.m. for a Novice game in Macklin. Kerrobert was easily handling the home team, so the coaches decided to mix things up a bit. Ordinarily a stay-at-home defenseman, Derek "Big Bird" Schraefel got to play center, and turned out to be a goal-scorer. Four goals - two in one shift - and two assists. He was still vibing after the hour drive home!

Our two Bantams had the weekend off, except for Stephen's Sunday afternoon practice. I wasn't looking forward to sitting in Kindersley for two hours, but found to my delight that the football game was on TV in the arena lobby. I missed all but the end of the first half, watching the Kindersley/Unity Bantams play, but thoroughly enjoyed the second half. I thought of my Uncle Mark, and how he must have enjoyed that Rider win from the comfort of his Edmonton home. I also thought of my brothers, Mark and Jason, who were at the game. I've quit thinking about Jason since I learned this evening that he was cheering for Calgary. Some people just don't have any loyalty.

Speaking of which, I also enjoyed watching the Luseland Mallards defeat the Kerrobert Tigers in the SWHL league game in Kerrobert Friday night. Adam and Stephen talked me into taking them, and I'm glad I did. Luseland has some real talent again this year, and I got to catch up with some long-time friends I don't get to see often enough.

Clem leaves tomorrow for the SARM convention in Saskatoon, so I will be a single parent for a couple of days. It shouldn't be too hard - I'll just hang out at the rink, feed the kids rink burgers and wait for the practices to end!

Thanks for stopping in!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Schraefel happenings

Another very busy weekend, which I suppose will be the norm for the winter!

Stephen played two home games. They lost the first (should have won!) and won the second, after a "pep" talk from the coach before the second period!!! Stephen got a goal from the point, but broke his favorite hockey stick during the game. Now he's using what would have been his mother's new winter coat!!!

Adam went to "Take Your Child to Work Day" with a friend of ours who owns a furniture/electronics retail store in Unity. It sounds like he had an eye-opening experience; maybe school isn't so bad after all. His Bantam team started practicing this week, and I think they will have a good year. Adam is getting to be a very good skater, and a strong right-winger.
Clem and I took Derek to Calgary on Monday so he could take Uncle Rob to the Flames vs. Washington game. I'm not sure which one of them had more fun, but they both enjoyed watching Ovechkin play. Anyone who can rock Phaneuf and Regier like that is to be admired. Rob and Amber (well, maybe just Rob) asked to have Derek for a sleepover, so Clem and I had a very enjoyable evening browsing a mall and sampling one of Calgary's finer dining establishments. We both returned home much more relaxed than when we left. The DVD player with headphones in the van might have had something to do with that, as well, as Derek hardly said two words all the way home. Probably a record for him.

Marj is recuperating in her own home from her broken arm, with some care from the family. Cathy stayed for a week to help, and now Chris is home from Mexico to check in and provide whatever Marj needs. The bone hasn't set straight, but Marj decided she won't be pitching any ball games anymore, so it probably doesn't matter!

My sister, Lisa, has left the country again, this time for a position in Russia as an English language instructor. She starts next week, in a community near Moscow. We follow her escapades via her blog ( You might enjoy doing so, as well. She is an excellent blogger.

Clem's new position as president of Kerrobert Minor Hockey is proving to be very challenging. Hopefully things will settle down a bit in the near future so we can just enjoy the boys' recreation of choice.

Until next time,