Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Advent is Winding Down

The sunrise at our house this morning.

Folded paper Christmas ornaments we made this year...I'll try to post pictures of the other ones we made too.
Good morning!

Last working day before we go home for Christmas! Hard to believe December has flown by. This may be my last blog before we go, so a couple orders of business.

First, Happy Birthday to my long-time friend Ryan (since Kindergarten!) on December 25th!

Second, if you have any spare Canadian Tire money, Camp Silversides (address on their site) would love to take it off your hands to pay for a new generator.

Third, if you're looking for us in the next week, try one of our parents' houses.

Last, a Merry Christmas to all and to all a Good Night! Make sure that you take specific time to build into those people close to you and to remember that the miracle of the birth of Jesus Christ is the real reason for our celebrations!

Lots of love from the both of us.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

En Morsom Tog At Se

I'm not sure how I got this, or who made it, but I think it might have been my brothers a couple Christmases ago. Dorks!

Oh yah, I'm done school for the semester now! YAY!!

Male 1/2

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Useful ways to procrastinate studying:

1) Make your own snowflake at this site. They'll even let you download the finished product. Watch out, addictive! Ask my brother or husband. :) One of the above snowflakes is mine and one is Brent's. Your guess as to which is which.

2) Catch up on the local news via the local paper. The Lacombe Globe

3) Send a virtual message in a bottle here.

4) Or, if nothing else works, do a little watersliding.

Now you know all my secret anti-studying techniques. ;)

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Jeg behove en bog!

Pictures are of our bookshelves, by Brent, who was playing around with camera. I like the little angel in the one. :)

Anyway, these relate to my real reason for posting: Believe it or not, the end of the semester and a three week break is almost in sight and I was reminded by a friend to take advantage of the relative decrease in workload to catch up on my reading. In case you didn't know, I am an avid reader of both fiction and non. I particularly like biographies, Victorian literature and history--both real and historical fiction.

So...all you blog-readers out there, do you have any book recommendations? I can't promise to read all, but I'd love some suggestions.

In reciprocation, I will offer but one author who has written children's lit, Christian lit, philosophy and adult fiction. She is a very thoughtful author, giving insight into the place of Christianity in literature, academia and life in general. So, I recommend Madeleine L'Engle, most famously known for A Wrinkle in Time, but writer of many many others.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Nu Ar Det Jul Igen

Translation: Now is it Christmas again (literally) Now it is Christmas again (properly).

Friday night Theo came with us and we got a Christmas tree! It's just a cute little gaffer with a bit of a bald spot. We don't have a lot for the tree yet (although considering we've bought none, we're doing pretty well--Thanks Mom and Dad :)). So it's a bit of a Charlie Brown tree, but I am just glad to have one. Siebenga family tradition is to set up the tree on St. Nicholas Day--the sixth. Growing up we picked one up from the neighbour who cuts it out of his tree line so I have little experience picking a tree out of a lot. S We had to buy a stand for it--cost nine dollars at Canadian Tire. It's red and green and has a little dish for water.

So far we have all the ornaments from Brent's parents on and the star that we got from Rach and Trev for Christmas last year. :) We're going to make Danish paper heart baskets tonight. I'll show pictures as they are finished. :)

Also, Saturday afternoon Brent and I took the train downtown and attended a singalong of Handel's Messiah, Hallelujah chorus and all. It was wonderful. The Calgary Philharmonic put it on. The orchestra was on stage with the soloists but the choir sat in the audience with us. The audience was divided into soprano, alto, tenor and bass sections but since Brent and I wanted to sit together, we sat in the tenor section although he is a bass and I am an alto. The conductor was Handel himself! (Although he looked surprisingly like the conductor of the Calgary Philharmonic). We arrived too late to buy the score, so I sang along from memory for the first half and then one of the tenors offered to share his score so I read off it for the second half. Next year we'll be sure to get there in time to buy a score! If you ever have an opportunity to participate in something like this, I highly recommends it. It cost fifteen dollars, about a quarter of what one of the evening non-singalong versions of the production cost, and we got the same show as them plus the interactive element!

Monday, December 04, 2006

It's December!!

It's December and Advent begins. Oh how I love Christmas time! A couple orders of business for today. First: The Nativity Story Looks to be really good. Put out by the same guys as Lord of the Rings (New Line Cinema). Heck the trailer makes me start to cry. Definitely going to see this one. (Have to view through Internet Explorer, doesn't work through Firefox). Second: one of the giraffes at the Calgary Zoo had a baby! Check out the story and pictures. Third: I found this last Christmas and I was reminded of it. I figure it warrants revisiting since it's so cool. That's all for this morning!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Conservative Leadership race

Probably you are not all as dorky as me in following the Alberta Conservative Party leadership race but I believe there is reason for celebration.

First, the reason to follow the race whether or not you are a small c or big C conservative. Whether you like it or not, the Conservatives will continue to be in power in Alberta for a very long time unless something disastrous occurs. Sorry all you left-wing readers, but that's reality. Consequently, if you want to have an effect on the direction Alberta takes, the leadership of the party is where you must look.

And the reason to celebrate: Ed Stelmach, a quiet, scandal-free farmer from Northern Alberta is our next premier-to-be. I believe he shall do well. Middle of the road, not too left or right, no bad connections, family man, interested in environmental concerns and (big bonus) not a creep like Lyle Oberg.

So Hurray for Ed Stelmach!

Here's a story about the election: Stelmach chosen
He ended up winning by quite a bit indeed.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Lake Louise Tea House last summer

Last summer we went for a hike up the teahouse above Lake Louise. I was talking to a friend tonight about the place and got to thinking about how much I enjoyed the tea, the tea house and the whole trip. Here's some reminder pictures:

Another random blog

So...I didn't win the Undergraduate Research Symposium. Difficult to compete with 65 hard science posters that were five feet by four feet. Nope, can't win against that. Anyway, random cool item for the day: Digging to the other side of the world. Check it out. I was heartily disappointed when I realized I was not in China but rather much closer to...Antarctica???

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

An interesting point

Saw this on another blog today: I rarely rarely wear make up. As a matter of fact, for the most part, I don't know how to wear make-up. But it bothers me greatly that there are girls who believe they cannot be seen without it. What happened to the beauty God gave them? Does it really need to be enhanced? I'll admit, sometimes it's kind of fun to get dressed up and don some mascara or lip gunk or whatever to look pretty. But when you discover you feel you can't do without it, there's something wrong. And as for weight and don't want me to get started on that...

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

A lovely wake-up call

An interesting day indeed: I was just snuggling in bed this morning half asleep after Brent left, not wanting to get up and go running when the phone rang. Who could it be at seven thirty but someone with a fifteen hour time difference--Rachel!! So I had a lovely long chat with her until she had to go to bed at one o'clock her time. Thanks for staying up to talk! Then I realized I have a yucky sore throat and was not going to go running in the snow and -15 degree weather. So I pulled on my insulated coveralls (it's cold down here!) and started working on my latest paper...and not much else has been accomplished today except a coffee break at Coffee and Scream and a stop over at the library. And now if someone could please bring me dessert that is not too rich but still very tasty and which will sooth my screaming sore throat. Thank you! P.S. Pictures courtesy of Rach and Trev in far away Korea. P.P.S. They are in need of some Earl Grey tea if anyone has the inclination.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

My latest major accomplishment

I've always liked having my hair frenchbraided...keeps it out of my face and it's unique looking and it makes me feel like a ballerina. Growing up, my mum always did it for me and it wasn't until I was married that I figured out how to do it myself. However, because my hair is getting quite long, even when it was braided the long braids kept getting in my way. So yesterday I figured out what to do with the braids. From thence cameth my major accomplishment in recent history. Second image (shh don't tell Bec and Eric). We discovered our sometimes pretended adopted dog likes to cuddle:

Friday, November 17, 2006

An Eventful Week

Its been quite the week around here. Monday was a day off from school for both of us so Kirstin wrote a paper and I finished two jobs. Tuesday we went home to Lacombe to a funeral and then Kirstin's parents house for supper. The rest of the weeks seems to have slipped into a crack somewhere, just disappeared. Seemed just like yesterday that I was chatting with a classmate about how "tomorrow if the first day of November" and now its half way through! Hard to believe that we've only got four more weeks of school left before our Christmas break.
Speaking of Christmas, Kirstin's mom loaned us a great cd for our trip home Tuesday night. Its called Now it is Christmas Again. You could almost call it a cd of a Christmas Eve service at church, just feels that way. I (Brent) listen to it at least twice a day now!
Last night we went to see a concert of Daniel Taylor and James Bowman at the Eckhardt-Gramatté Recital Hall in the Rozsa Centre located on the U of C campus. These two men sing counter-tenor, meaning they sing so high that if you close your eyes you would think its women singing instead of men. They were accompanied by a classical group of mucisions, and again, if you close your eyes you would think you were in a ballroom in the 17th century. Kirstin didn't care for the singing, but thought the music was great. I liked it all, even the counter-tenors. Did I mention the tickets were free? Kirstin won them from CKUA, so our education last night was totally free!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Kathe Kollwitz

Kollwitz was an artist that I learned about in my German Culture class. She was born in the late 1800s and lived through imperial Germany, through WWI, then the Weimar Republic, then the Nazi take-over and WWII, and finally the division of Germany into East and West. Her husband was a doctor in the poor part of Berlin and she was exposed to the great vulnerability of the poor, particularly the women and children. Also, her younger son enlisted in WWI and was killed early into the war. Much of her work involved women and children and the effect of war and nationalism upon the vulnerable. Here are some examples. Some of her work chokes me up.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Banff Mountain Book Festival

This past couple of days Brent and I have been away to beautiful snowy Banff. You may say awww, you poor guys "having" to be in the mountains BUT It WAS work (for me) and required lots of mental exertion for both of us. We went to seven seminar sessions wherein authors spoke about their books, two "literary lunches" where we were fed whilst listening to readings by two authors from their books, two evening programs where we heard from four adventurers about their travels, and went to a small session (just my mountain lit. class) to talk to Greg Mortenson, one of the authors and evening speakers. So...what did we learn from our experience. Well, rather than write it out here, I'm going to highly recommend that you all read Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and an American journalist. I will give the disclaimer that the book itself I did not find particularly good but the ideas and Mortenson's work I find tremendously interesting. Please please read the book if you have time, and let me know what you think. The concept of girls' education is compelling in what it returns to the cultural and physical community. Some websites that might help: The book's website Mortenson's organization's website Also, I got to meet Sharon Wood, the first North American woman to ascend Everest (and come back alive). There's much, much more I could say about the week...if you're interested, you'll have to ask in person. :)

Monday, October 30, 2006

This just in...

Weather Report for Trevor and Rachel (because I love you). It's COLD and snowy hereabouts. I ran this morning in about minus ten or more and when I got home my legs were frost-bitten (that's what I get for just wearing thin running tights). Thought I would take some pictures so you could see what you're missing out on (and decide if you're glad to be elsewhere or not...)

Friday, October 27, 2006


Last night's concert

Last night Brent and I went to the Jack Singer concert hall and heard Harry Manx and Michael Kaeshammer. For those of you who don't know, Harry Manx plays what he calls "mysticsippi" kind of a cross between Indian and blues. He has a hoarse but very lovely voice and also plays about four different styles of guitar, mostly with them face up on his lap while he picks and slides up and down the strings (hard to explain, you have to listen). I recommend particularly "Wise and Otherwise" although I hear good things about "Mantras for Madmen" too. His website, has some examples of his music that you can listen to. Michael Kaeshammer is a piano player/singer about our age. He does a lot of boppy jazz and sings in a hoarse voice like a younger Harry Manx. At the same time as playing the piano, he also played a set of high hat cymbals or a bass drum or a second electronic piano or plucked the piano strings. Very talented individual. His website is The concert was awesome. In the first half, Harry and Michael each did a set of songs. Then in the second half, they pretty much just jammed. Played some Indian/blues, played some jazz. Someone in the audience yelled out "We love you Michael" and Michael said "that's my mom". The audience loved them both. They did not one but TWO encores. It was great. If you ever get a chance to see either of them in concert, I highly recommend it. I haven't heard Kaeshammer's albums but we're going to buy one sometime soon, so if you're interested in how he sounds, just ask!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The hazards of giving blood...

So Monday (snowy day!) I had an appointment to give blood at the university. Funny that the University has scheduled blood clinics...I would have thought that the crowd around there wouldn't be very conducive to getting good blood. Anyway, I went in, having drank a liter and a half of water, thinking I was good and full of excess blood. BUT, after going through all the steps for screening (regarding drugs and being Africa and...stuff) I finally got in a chair. I always ask for an experienced nurse because I have SMALL veins and have had bad experiences with nurses digging around in my arms trying to hit the vein. So this I did, but she STILL couldn't find the vein in my right arm, even the one closest to the inside of my arm. So...they bandaged my arm up with NEON PINK tape and put me in a chair for the opposite arm where they managed to find a vein with relatively little digging. For an idea of comparison, my brother takes about five minutes to donate a pint. I, on the other hand, took a whopping eighteen minutes...after which they bandaged my left arm up with NEON PINK tape. Good thing I had a long sleeved shirt to wear or I would have looked pretty humorous to my classmates... ah well, it was worth it. :) I got strawberry kiwi juice. :)