Friday, July 21, 2017

Changing map of Europe over the years...

I haven't written in this blog in ages.
One of these days I'll get caught up.
I discovered a link to a changing map of Europe so I'll post it here. I can't seem to find bookmarks, so this should do.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Our European trip; May 17 - June 2, 2017

Three weeks ago we returned from our trip to Europe, to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary.
It was shorter than 10 years ago, and Matthew didn't come with this time. We visited London, Somerset, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Port Meirion, Dublin, Oxford, Paris, Maastricht, Frankfurt and Heidelberg.

The above 2 photos were taken at YVR before we set off. As usual we got there by taxi too early, but I always have a fear of not getting there in time, so we browsed the shops, and had supper before boarding the plane. I think YVR is a very pretty airport.

After 2 nights in London we traveled by train for 2 hours to Castle Carry, where we caught an expensive taxi to Wells. We spent 2 nights here, and I could cheerfully have spent 2 weeks. John Chant, a distant relative of the Palmer family, came and picked us up at noon and drove us to 
Stoke-sub-Hamdon, place of the Palmer ancestors. It was a dream come true! Here I am with John at Ham Hill.

Here I am at Stoke Priory, a medieval hall in 

John and Robert in Stoke Priory.

Another of my dreams come true; St Andrew's Cathedral, commonly known as Wells Cathedral. Elizabeth Goudge was born close by in 1900.

And yet another dream come true; Geufron Terrace where my paternal Grandfather, John Griffith Williams was born, in Blaenau Ffestiniog. We loved Blaenau!

Robert at the Llechwedd Slate Mines.

We visited Port Meirion on our full day in Blaenau.
We rode the one hour long old Ffestiniog train down, and spent a few hours. This is where "The Prisoner" was filmed 50 years ago.

Capel Pisgah, a renovated Welsh miners chapel, where we stayed for 2 nights.

On our way to Paris!

In Paris!

In Dublin, Ireland!

In the doll museum in Paris!

In Theu and Ellie's garden in Maastricht!
We had a delightful time.

By Loretta Houben

Sunday, April 23, 2017

30 years ago today....April 23, 1987

30 years ago Robert and I bought our first home on April 23, 1987. We had been saving for 5 years. I was 26 and Robert was 28. I felt we were getting quite old. The house was $110,000 and that was the highest we could afford.

 This was the year after Expo '86 and properties were starting to increase in value. When a home came for sale, there were "bidding wars". Many offers were put in at one time. We offered $1,000 more, as our real estate agent s
uggested, and our offer was accepted, plus appliances, as a young pastor owned the house, and he liked us when he found out Robert was an assistant pastor/preacher at the local church nearby.

 We were THRILLED to be home owners! The house was built in 1949 and we thought it was ancient! It needed a lot of work inside, so after living here for 7 years we moved a few blocks away to our present location, to a house which was only 3 years old.

In 2003 the dear old house was torn down, and this is the current value of the property. (taken from the BC Assessment website)

 By Loretta Houben

Sunday, April 16, 2017


Happy Easter!
He is risen indeed!
I'm so thankful for this day. I believe in the Cross on Mount Calvary, and I believe in Christ Jesus who has saved me from my sin, and took my place so I have the hope of Eternal Life.

Me and Robert on Easter Sunday 2017.

Myself in the outfit I bought for our 35th wedding anniversary on April 3rd.

Daffodils in Victoria BC, where we spent our 35th anniversary.

Me in the Victoria butterfly gardens, which I enjoyed thoroughly! Robert below.
If you stand still, the butterflies land on you.

Eating our fancy dinner at the James Bay Inn Hotel, where we stayed. It was built in 1911 and it was fantastic, in the historic area of James Bay in Victoria BC.

Clover Point in Victoria; we had a lovely weekend away.
I'm so thankful for my dear hubby, who has stood by me all these years.

On March 31 my Dad was rushed to Burnaby Hospital with a serious infection. It had entered his blood, and after tests and an MRI the Doctor finally found a blocked 3" in circumference kidney stone. After an operation, my Dad, Jack Williams was finally released home on Good Friday, after spending 2 weeks in hospital.
We are so thankful and relieved, as he is 87. He did very well, and knew all the nurses by name. He was a great trooper!

By Loretta Houben

Friday, March 17, 2017

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Yesterday I was in a crafting mood!
I love to browse Pinterest, and I get really inspired by the crafts I see there.
Someone had designed an Altoid tin box, so I used what I had on hand and copied it.
I found the images on Pinterest and printed them on paper.
I used dimensional sticky tape underneath them.
I used fabric and lace and ribbon and shamrock embellishments I already had on hand.
I think it turned out cute!
My box is a vintage Sucrets cough candy box made in the USA from my parent's collection.

The other week I created shamrock "candy" using the shamrock bead embellishments.
I cut lollipop sticks in half, and lined them up under the shamrock, layered on top of packing tape. Then I carefully placed another layer of tape on top, and I used a bit of the cardboard stapled to the end, which had been on the bead bag. Cool, eh?

Here is a closeup of the candy. I saw an idea online using heart beads for Valentine's so I decided to try it with the shamrock beads, which I found at Dollarama.

I put these photos on my doll blog too, but thought I'd also add them here.

By Loretta Houben

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Spring ahead....

Today is Daylight Savings Time.
It's actually tonight, of course, but if I don't think about it during the day and try and adjust my brain I just know I'd forget!
I wish the day would be abolished. I really dislike changing time. It makes utterly no sense to me.
We have electric light and people never go to bed on time, no matter if the sun is up or not.
It's very strange.
But I'm so looking forward to Spring this year.
I found the above image at this link.
I find these lovely things on Pinterest.
I'm planning to print and frame it for my pink sewing room. That will cheer me up a lot.
I got really sick again on March 1st.
I was struck out of the blue with a tickle cough which became an upper respiratory infection. I haven't had a normal cold in over 10 years, so the things which strike are horrible. Then a few days later Robert got it, and it didn't seem like he'd be as sick, but he rapidly got more ill than me. The only way to get rid of it is to sleep around the clock, and steam yourself with Vix.
Eleven days later I'm finally feeling much better.
Then it snowed 6 inches on March 4th, and it finally melted yesterday, March 10th. We've sure had an awful winter.
Bring on SPRING!
By Loretta Houben

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Happy 28th birthday, dear Matthew!

28 years ago today I became a mother. We only had one child; our son Matthew. We wanted more, but it wasn't to be. Some things you just have to accept. I'm not sure where the years have gone. I tried to enjoy them all. We've had so many fun times together. 

Matthew was such a placid happy baby. At 2 months he learned how to sleep through the night, and he never bawled his eyes out for no reason. We seemed to understand each other perfectly from the first week. 

The hardest thing was I had an emergency C section as Matthew turned out to be in the breech position, and no one knew it to the last moment. But thankfully the doctors and nurses saved us both, and we've enjoyed the past 28 years of life!

 Matthew was so cute. 
He just became more cute over the years!
These are the only photos I have of his first day of life, as we had a film camera. We didn't get our first digital camera until 12 years later, in 2001.

 This is Matthew's hospital photo. I wonder if they still have those? I have so many sweet and precious memories.
I'm thankful God blessed us with at least one son!

By Loretta Houben