Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Christmas from the Schraefels!!

Ho, ho, ho!! Merry Christmas! Hope this finds you all happy and healthy, and not suffering from turkey indigestion. We had a wonderful Christmas celebration at the Schraefel ranch again this year. It was perhaps nicer because we finally got around to doing something with our "porch" (it's only been just about 12 years since we moved here!), which, after new flooring, new paint, and new trim, we now call the sunroom!! My family was all home, and we had a great time, especially with little Copper. Chef Jason and his right hand, Terri, fixed up turducken again, to everyone's delight. In case you don't know, that is a deboned turkey layered with dressing around a deboned chicken layered with dressing around a deboned duck stuffed with a different dressing, and slow-cooked for about 8 hours. Delicious!!! There was much appropriate groaning after the meal. Aunt Linda, Chris and Tamara joined us Christmas day so we had some new things to talk about. All in all a great holiday.

Here's precious Copper, all dolled up in her Christmas outfit!

Cousin Ashley was here from Prince George, too.

Stephen seems to have taken a shine to wee Copper.

And Grandma and Grandpa are pretty enamored, as well.

My sister, Lisa, is back from Russia, and it is so good to have her home. No news on her future plans, yet. I think she will just be enjoying the Canadian amenities for a while!
We all received Russian gifts this year, and the boys like their new Russian scarves.

Derek likes his new hockey bag from Grandpa!

Here's the crew gathering around for supper.

Jason, Terri, Copper, Lisa, Rob and Amber are all sticking around for a few days, so we'll get some more visiting in. Derek is hoping for a hockey game on the dugout - he told his uncles to bring their gear! Stephen doesn't get much of a Christmas break, as he is back at practice tomorrow and has a game in Paradise Hill on Sunday. Their team won another game last Saturday, and did fairly well in the PA tournament, especially after the Rosetown team tucked tail and ran home before the semi-final game! Derek and Adam both get a bit of a break, although I'm sure we will be pestered to take them to town for shinny. Right now, we can't pry them away from the PS3 they received for Christmas!

Have a great holiday, and hope to see you soon!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

You know it's winter...

...when the kids are skating on the dugout. They had a blast on the weekend, scraping and skating and getting some fresh air. It was pretty cold, but it is somewhat sheltered on the dugout. The only thing missing is a yardlight for skating after dark (and pucks with some kind of GPS system so we don't have to wait for summer to find them!)

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Hockey, hockey, and more hockey

OK, Bruce, here we go!

Someone asked me the other day if I was ready for Christmas. After stifling the urge to smack him, I said that if they were having Christmas in a rink, I'd be there for sure. Seems like that's the only place I've been for weeks!

Stephen's team has been having a little more success. They finally won a game (9 - 3 in Melfort), and then tied the first-place team, Tisdale, at a tournament in Swift Current. They also beat Clavet and tied Swift Current at the same tournament, but couldn't hold onto the momentum to take their arch rivals, Rosetown, in the 2nd place final. Stephen played some very good hockey, and had a mad on in the game against Rosetown - he was a one-man wrecking crew in the third period. He has the weekend off, and then we're off to a tourney in PA next weekend.

Derek's team is trampling over every opponent they meet. Biggar phoned to say we were uninvited to their tournament, but we play them again tomorrow in Kerrobert. The snipers will rack up some points, I'm sure. Apparently there was some bad blood between Kerrobert and Macklin last weekend, as our boys like to throw their weight around. Glad it wasn't us in the news instead of Brampton and Niagra Falls!

Adam's team hasn't lost a game yet. They have a large roster, with some boys returning from AA to play their last minor season at home. It is a combined team - Kerrobert, Luseland, and Dodsland - which makes for some interesting logistics. Adam is doing quite well. He got a goal and an assist in the same shift last night in Dodsland against Outlook. He has to fit in his points when he can, because he spends quite a bit of time watching his teammates play the game. Oh well, the trails of being a rookie. They are on their way back from Elrose right now, and the last I heard it was 3 -2 for KDL with 10 minutes left in the third. They beat Elrose by one point in Luseland last week.

The boys shoveled off the dugout last night, and spent most of the day losing pucks in the snowbanks. They had a good time, though, and it's great that they are getting some fresh air and exercise. As soon as I can find the right cord, I'll post some of the pictures Clem took today.

Well, I better go. Heard tonight at the Tiger game that AA hockey has ruined minor hockey in Kerrobert. Clem will be surprised, since he is the president, and I don't think he's heard yet!

Bye for now. Thanks for checking in!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Copper visits

Copper brought her mom out for a visit. We were very excited to see her again. Actually, Stephen and Adam saw her for the first time

Auntie Lorraine came out, too, and brought some homemade gifts. This hat has a matching sweater.

Copper is quite a little talker, and really likes to be included in the conversation.

She went to see her great-grandmas for a few days, and then returned for my cousin Allan's wedding. She was the hit of the party, naturally.
That's it for this time. Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Some decided victories!!

Two for the right teams and one for the wrong one!  

Sunday saw three hockey games with Schraefels on the roster.  Derek's team played Unity in the 2nd place final of the Kerrobert Atom tournament, and came out on top, 14 - 0.  They had won their first game on Friday with about the same score over the Luseland/Dodsland team, and tied a Lloydminster Tier I team on Saturday, which put them in the B final.  Lloyd didn't like the hitting, since they don't hit until Pee Wee in Alberta (the wusses), plus I think their egos were a little bruised having to work so hard against a house team from small town Saskatchewan.  They won the tournament, beating Kindersley by a huge margin, and there were no complaints about the hitting in that game!  Derek is taking to hitting like a duck to water.  He came home from practice tonight all revved up because he's one of the two top checkers on his team.  A mother's pride and joy.

We didn't actually watch Derek's final game, as Stephen was playing in Kindersley at the same time.  Unfortunately, that was a decided victory as well, only for the other side.  Tisdale stomped the Klippers 14 -1.  The first period wasn't too bad, just 4 -1, (Stephen got an assist on the goal, and wasn't on the ice for any of theirs), but it went downhill, quickly, from there.  Tisdale has an extremely strong team, with some big hitters and fast skaters and a couple of incredible goal-scorers.  It was humiliating for Stephen's team, but to their credit they kept working to the end. We had a team potluck right after the game, so that lightened the mood somewhat.

After our bellies were full, we wandered over to the other Kindersley rink to watch Adam in his first game of the season.  They have a very strong team, with lots of 3rd year players, some who have come back from AA play.  The combined Luseland/Kerrobert/Dodsland team beat Kindersley 11 - 0, which was humiliating for the poor home team.  Kindersley Minor Hockey was not having a good day!

The Rebels football team lost the provincial semi-final game in Southey 26 - 14, in what was for the most part a very close game.  We kept getting updates at the rink on Saturday, and the score at half-time was 7 - 6 for Southey, then 15 - 14 in the 4th, then 18 -14 with four minutes left.  It was tense.  The team was pretty subdued on the bus, but recovered enough to get to the Sr. Tiger game when they arrived back in town.  The game announcer (a certain redhead with a great voice) welcomed them home and gave them a cheer.  The whole town is pretty proud of them.  And there's always next year!

But enough sports.  My niece came to visit today!  She is adorable.  I will let you see for yourself next time I post, because I took lots of pictures!!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A farewell visit

My dear cousin, Colin, his dear wife, Temple, and their adorable son, Carter, stopped in Kerrobert on their way from Edmonton to Fredericton, New Brunswick, where they are moving. I'm happy for them, as they are very excited, but sad for us that they will be so far away. Although, it is a new travel destination...

They came out for brunch yesterday, and Carter fell in love with the tractors. The child has no fear, and climbed right up, no problem.

Carter looks an awful lot like his dad.

But then so does Colin.

Bye, guys. Have fun! We'll miss you!

Have a horrible Halloween!

I hate Halloween. I always have. I guess maybe when I was very little, I enjoyed all the candy. But then my mother forced me to wear the Aunt Jemima costume she made for me (she spent a whole lot of time and effort making incredible costumes for us!), and that has sort of stuck with me. Now as a mother - an uncreative, unsewing mother - I dislike Halloween for other reasons. First, I couldn't make a costume to save my life. Second, my kids ALWAYS ended up having to bring treats for the Halloween party at school. Third, living on a farm means I have to go into town and spend the day either carting kids around to beg for food, waiting for them to show up after they've been out begging for food, or crossing my fingers that they haven't been up to any tricks/been caught doing any tricks. All in all, it's just a bad day for me. So I hope everyone else has a horrible Halloween, too.

Besides, there are more important things to think about than some pagan holiday. Like football. Or hockey. The Rebels beat Loreburn last Saturday in the 1A provincial quarter-final play-off game. There was a team brunch, a motivational speech from the head ref (!), fireworks, mega people, and a huge 50/50 prize. All in all, a great day. The team is off to Southey on Saturday for the semi-final game. Should they win that, they will host the final game on November 10 - the day of my cousin's wedding. Wouldn't want to make things too easy. I'll be glad when football is over. Adam is getting a bit worn out. Yesterday he had morning and afternoon football practice and an evening hockey practice. He was wiped!

Stephen's hockey team has yet to win a game. He got his cast off yesterday, so we'll see how that goes. He's played the last four games (if you count the one he got thrown out of !) with the cast on, but you could tell it was hard for him to pass and shoot accurately.

Derek's team has started practicing, and will host a tournament this weekend. It is his first year of checking, but I don't think he'll have much problem with it. He has been defending himself from his big brothers for years now, and can dish it out to match. His team looks strong again this year, so it could be another fun year. I'm torn between watching Derek's first game of the season and going with Stephen to Battleford on Friday in case they finally win a game.

Check in later to find out what happens!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

It's not whether you ...oops, been there, done that...

But apparently, they're not playing the game so well.  The Klippers lost to Battleford 5 -3 on Saturday.  It might have gone better if the Klippers had shown up for the second period.  Stephen played OK, but hurt his back checking one of the Barons.  A heating pad, an anti-inflammatory, and a hot bath later seemed to do the trick, and he was feeling better today for the game against Prince Albert.  Not better enough, though, and they went down again, 6 - 4.  The Klippers played quite a bit better today, and stronger goal-tending might have made a difference.  Oh well, next weekend they have two more chances to 
up the stats.  Thank goodness for the Flames (ha-ha Oiler fans!) and the Riders!

Derek had hockey practice yesterday, and it looks like they will have a strong team again.  He's still doing the Big Bird thing, hanging around home and looking after the blue line.  Adam is a rookie on the combined Kerrobert/Luseland/Dodsland team, and they practiced tonight.  They are also looking good, with some big strong skaters.  It should be an interesting year.  Adam will have to finish the football season first.  They have their first playoff game on Saturday (one hour before Stephen hits the ice in Kindersley!), and they are getting pretty excited.  Should be a good one.

That's about it for the news around here.  No school tomorrow, so I will try to get some work out of these money drains.

Thanks for checking in!

Monday, October 15, 2007

It's not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game!

Or so they say.  It sure feels better when you win, though!  Thank goodness the Flames have picked it up a bit, or the residents of this household would be looking for rope!

The Rebels lost to Biggar in their last league game on Thursday.  They played a half-hearted game for the most part, but picked it up and went ahead in the last minute, only to have Biggar score with 25 seconds left, a beautiful "Hail Mary" toss.  Adam didn't see too much playing time, but did OK when he was in there.

Stephen went with his team on their first road trip, to PA and Melfort.  They lost both games, and were down to only ten skaters in the second game after a couple of injuries and a couple of fights.  Not a great start to the season, but maybe next weekend's home games will be better!

Derek jumped out of bed this morning, excited to be starting hockey tonight.  Actually, it's a power skating course for the next five days, but they will be dressed in their equipment, which for Derek means his new pants and gloves.  Boy, he looks good - let's hope he can still skate!  I feel sorry for the kids who have to play against him.  He's an Atom, and they start hitting this year, and he is one solid kid.  He's just pumped!

I started teaching catechism again yesterday.  Fifteen kids, ages nine and ten, most of them boys.  Apparently 18 years of living with Schraefel males has affected my brain somewhat!

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Never a dull moment!

Another crazy week here at the Schraefel ranch!  It started with a call from the cops - actually, one cop who was calling as a football coach - to say that he was taking Stephen to the hospital for x-rays on his wrist.  I was working at the library at the time, so I said I would meet Stephen there when I closed in half an hour.  The nurse said she didn't see anything on the x-ray, but that the doctor would be back in town in about two hours, and to come back then.  So off we went home for supper, with Stephen wincing every time he moved, and looking somewhat green around the gills. Turns out the doctor DID see something, and Stephen is now sporting a bright blue cast.  He is done football for 
the year (obviously, and sadly, since the Rebels are in first place and going into playoffs!) and is out of hockey for 3 to 4 weeks (and the Klippers start their league games on the 13th!)  Oh well, I guess it could have been worse.  I hope he remembers this next year when he wants to play football!

Adam bought a 1987 Chev half-ton (from his dad, so "bought" might be overstating it somewhat).  He has been very busy cleaning and polishing and outfitting it with stereo equipment, the most important part of the vehicle, don't you know.  It's comforting to know he still can't legally drive it.  I wish he would be that particular about his room!

Derek got himself an ipod nano today, and we have been in misery ever since.  He is having trouble getting songs on it,  so we all suffer the consequences of his bad mood.  I almost hate to take the nano away the day he buys it, but that will probably be the next step!  

Clem is celebrating his special day today.  He looked for something to get for himself, but decided he has everything he could ever want.  I may have to remind him of that next time he's surfing the net for a swather.  Unless that is what he decides he would like for an anniversary gift tomorrow!!

Thanks for stopping by to wallow in it with us.

Monday, October 01, 2007

A sports-filled weekend

OK, no pictures this time.  Even though Adam looked quite a sight in the shiny purple tank top which he wore home from his Grade 10 initiation party.  It did clash with his yellow puke pail, though.  I'm glad those parties are out of the way, and I can now keep them home for another year, since they obviously can't hold their liquor.  Apparently they don't take after the Huck side that way.

Saturday was the big football game at Macklin.  The Rebels didn't find it too hard to beat the Sabres 32 - 6, so even the rookies got to play in the 4th quarter.  Stephen played defense on five downs, and was in on three quarterback sacks.  He is quick and strong, and will be an asset to the team.  He was pretty excited, too.  Adam was in the game a few times, mostly offense, but helped Stephen on defense at the end.  All those early-morning practices are paying off.

Stephen's hockey team had their first game on Sunday.  Derek video-taped the whole thing.  He did a pretty good job, but what I liked best was that he couldn't talk while he was taping.  I had to miss the end of the game to get back to town for the fall supper at the church, but we watched the whole game again when we got home!  The Klippers fell to the Battlefords Barons by one goal, mostly because of goal-tending.  Hopefully, that will improve with time. Stephen played a strong game, and was throwing guys around left and right.  He will be 
a force to be reckoned with this year, I think!  

Aunt Hilda and Uncle Keith Caldwell are returning to Chemainus from their trip to Thunder Bay, and came out for breakfast this morning.  We had a really good visit, and it was so nice to see them again.  I hope I get around like that when I am that age!

Just a reminder for you "anonymous" people in the comments.  Please, please sign your name, or else click the "other" button before you post and add your name there.  It is frustrating not to know who is "lurking"!!!

Bye for now!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Long time, no write

Sorry folks, but it's been a whirlwind around here.  We finally got the combining done last Sunday, Sept. 16.  Stephen combined all afternoon, then went to Kindersley for his first hockey practice of the year.  Yes, that's right - he's playing AA again.  He looks pretty strong, so hopefully he can maintain some self-motivation and be a leader on the team as a 2nd year player.  Adam and Derek will play for Kerrobert teams again this year, and they are just gearing up now.  Powerskating is booked for the middle of October, and that will be their first time on the ice this season.  

Football is taking up much of our time and energy at the moment.  The Rebels are 4 and 0, and looking good for play-offs.  Adam is seeing more playing time this year, so he is pumped.  He's #38, the tallest on the team, I think.  It took four Wilkie players to haul him 
down in this game.


Stephen, as a rookie, likely won't see the field this year, but he enjoys the practices and the conditioning. He's a good cheerleader, too.  I can always hear him shouting from across the field. His buddy, Dylan Phillips, gave him a nice haircut for initiation.

I really liked the back view.

He got quite tired a little later in the evening.

Stephen "celebrated" his 14th birthday on the 17th.  I use the term "celebrate" quite loosely, as he didn't look too happy, anticipating the outcome of the birthday photos.

Somehow, the boys aren't looking as cute as they used to for these special moments.

Clem surprised Derek (and me!) with an early birthday present while I was in Scotland - a dirt bike!  He is pretty happy to have some wheels, but it needs a little engine work, and has been sitting for a while.  Here was the first day.  It's a pretty cool little bike.

Terri sent some more photos of our little Copper.  She's two months old now, and cute as ever.  

She's been to visit Grandma and Grandpa already.

This shot is not as good of Copper, but I must say Uncle Rob is looking quite dashing.

I think it's safe to say we have all fallen in love with the little thing!!

Thanks for stopping by again.

Friday, August 24, 2007

The long days of summer

Life has been racing along, as usual. The rain has stopped the harvest, unfortunately. Clem is getting a bit antsy, but he luckily hadn't swathed anything before the rain. The peas, lentils, and oats are in the bin, with just wheat, barley, and flax left standing. If it ever quits raining, he should be able to straight-cut the wheat and barley, and maybe the flax, and finish quite quickly. However, we haven't yet been able to order the weather we need, and after 11 years on the farm, we are still trying to learn patience!!

Adam and Stephen have started football practice - 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. each day. Apparently the school thinks we don't make enough trips to town already. So far they have only been to one morning practice together - one or the other decides to sleep in - so we are thinking that the two of them will make one good player! School starts next Tuesday, the 28th. Too bad, it's been so nice to have them laying on the couch watching the Simpsons twelve times a day, with the TV real loud. Or fiddling with all my office tools as they sit at the computer playing Runescape and on MSN or Facebook. But I guess I will adjust to a quiet house with no shoe blocking the doorway (yes, only one of those huge shoes is needed to impede the entering or leaving of this house, although there are usually a minimum of three there lest I actually manage to get by one without stumbling). I have taken out a small loan and purchased all the supplies they will need until at least November ("Mom, I'm out of loose-leaf", "Mom, I lost my calculator", "Mom, are there any....." - well, you get the idea).

To break up these last days of summer, Adam decided he should open every cupboard and drawer in the shop, gather all of Clem's good tools, haul them out to the shelterbelt trees, and build himself a tree house. Naturally, there is no good wood in the trees, so he has had to scrounge lumber and fence posts from other parts of the yard, and haul them over there, as well. The result is a strange looking platform high in single tree that I wouldn't climb onto for all the money in the world. He and his brothers and friends seem quite pleased with themselves, though, and I haven't heard the theme song from the Simpsons for a few days.

Even the neighbors came to check it out. Lyle the engineer suggested another support beam!

Marg Allcock, our landlord on two quarters of land, invited the Wrights and us to her home in Outlook for a visit. She treated us to supper at the Matador hotel restaurant. Yummy! Her daughter-in-law, Gail, was visiting from Vancouver, so it was a good time to catch up on all the news.

I'm off to lunch at Denzil with the aunts - hope we can find something to talk about!!!

Thanks for checking in.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Happy Birthday, Derek!

My baby turned 9 yesterday. He was born in the middle of harvest, while we waited for the wheat to be ready, so it was only fitting that we celebrated his birthday in between crops. He was so excited for his special day. I love that he wears his emotions on his sleeve, without inhibition. (Most of the time; sometimes it is not so pretty.) He has expansive feelings - he is hugely happy, hugely angry, hugely excited, hugely sad, or hugely whatever, and he goes from one to the other with the flip of a switch. Our lives are always interesting! And he gives the best hugs, to everyone and anyone, again without inhibition. I hope that is something he will never lose as he "matures". Wouldn't it be nice if we had all retained a bit more of that impulsiveness from our childhood days?

Clem's brother, Carl, is visiting from Saudi Arabia, so Jack and Margie hosted a Snell gathering on Tuesday evening. We had a wonderful roast beef supper, along with invigorating conversation, lots of laughs, and of course, Caesars! Jack and Margie are the consummate hosts.

Bobbi decided, to Derek's delight, that he should have a birthday candle on his ice cream cone.

We had a family birthday supper last night, complete with Derek's requested Panago pizza and homemade turtle cake. Carl, Chris, Bob, and Dylan joined us for a great evening of laughs and hugs.

He had a great day!

Earlier in the day, as I was trying to figure out Facebook (two hours, people - don't do it!!), I glanced out the window and saw my nine-year-old son driving the front-end loader through the yard. They grow up so fast!

Glad you dropped by - see you soon!