(VIDEO) ALS Ice Bucket Challenge -- Altona Fire Department

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has gone viral, with those taking the challenge nominating more people, creating a "domino" effect. The challenge reached the Altona Fire Department -- here's a look at their experience:

Elexis Penner Blog: That Noise? That's Me, Kicking and Screaming

Stained Glass Secrets

by: Elexis Penner

That Noise? That’s Me, Kicking and Screaming



If you are calmly ecstatically waiting for that big yellow bus to come around to whisk the beloved youngin’s away to fun and adventures, know that you are not alone.


In Jen Hatmaker’s hilarious blog, she writes, “Yes, the girl who bemoaned homework folders and daily school requirements and reading minutes and All The Things is now on her knees, begging the teachers to take these children back.

You understand this, right? We had the fun. We surely did. We did the swimming and the vacations and the sleeping in and the loosey-goosey living, and now ladies and gentlemen, I am very much over it.”


Love it. But personally, I’m not looking forward to school – I’m just not.

I know. Maybe part of it is that my kids are older and more independent. They are not getting bored and hounding me for things to do. Or at least they’ve learned not to look bored, as it usually doesn’t end well for them.


A recent conversation with my daughter went like this…


Me: Well if it’s any consolation, I’m not looking forward to school starting EITHER.

Her: Yeah, because you won’t have your SLAVE around anymore…

Me: Nooooooo. Not entirely.


Besides, a little boredom does them good. I think back to my childhood, and we were bored all the time. Except we didn’t call it bored – we just called it summer.


Now, to the normal, relatively organized mother, school means routine, and things happening when they should. And this is good. This is how you raise respectable, contributing members of society.


But to moms like me, this means things need to be done at certain intervals, and with a certain dependability, or else bad things happen. Children get sent on field trips without lunches. Or get left waiting after soccer practice. For hours. In the dark. And for moms like me, this causes a certain amount of, let’s say, debilitating claustrophobia.


While I abhor mosquitoes and I opposite of like jungle weather, some of the reasons I love summer are these:


I don’t have to grocery shop with any particular lunch supplies in mind – scrounging is a perfect summer skill-builder.


The time from 4:00pm and on does not need to be plotted out with the military precision of a Navy SEALS team. Honestly, most nights go something like this:


4:05 Bus arrives to drop off kids.


4:08 Shoot hastily thrown together supper of leftover sloppy joes down throats of unsuspecting children.


4:15 Yell at all children to make sure they have their hockey equipment slash soccer cleats slash saxophone slash whatever the heck they need for whatever thing we are on our way to before – oh for crying out loud what do you mean you’re supposed to be there 30 minutes earlier than usual today??!! And yes, you DID tell me that you were bringing cupcakes for both teams after the game. But I got distracted by something shiny before I had a chance to write it down.


8:30 Get home, unpack stuff – as in, throw aforementioned music/sports paraphernalia on pile in entrance.


9:00 Clean up aftermath of supper, as if it can be called that…


9:45 “Mom, I said that I was going to bring 21 fresh fruit skewers for our Jamaican festival tomorrow. Remember? It was in the note I brought home.” Right. Something shiny must have happened.


10:45 I find myself staring into the bathroom mirror, debating whether or not it’s really worth it to brush my teeth and muttering, “How in the fricken frack am I going to get 21 skewers into a backpack without anyone being impaled…”


Soooo, whether the sound of that bus rolling up to the end of your driveway causes joyful feels or not – it’s coming. I’m sure when the day arrives I will kiss their shiny happy faces and wave goodbye and smile. And there will be a pleasant little buzzing inside that feels kinda like anticipation – there always is.


Let the games begin.

Top Ten Tomatoes -- The Lawn and Garden Journal

1,2,3,4 or 4,3,2,1......Here are the results of the Lawn and Garden Journal Tomato Survey.  Here is how host Duayne Friesen set up the ranking.  1st place votes were given 3 points, 2nd place 2 points and 3rd place 1 point.  Duayne added that Beefsteak Variety is a confusing class as many tomatoes get generically heaped into that category but there are many, types of Beefsteak tomatoes. The category Beefsteak will have received the most points (20) but individually they finished out of the top 3.

Here is how Duayne compiled the overall ranking of the Top Ten:

Prairie Pride
Bush Beefsteak
Ultra Girl
Sweet Million

Thanks for your participation in the survey, and if you'd like to add your "voice" to the list, email Duayne at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it "> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Manitou Opera House Foundation Project

Many of us have enjoyed that gem of a concert house - the Manitou Opera House. And most recently, we have been made aware of a need -- an ambitious project undertaken by the Manitou Opera House Foundation. Here is how Al Thorliefson explained the project to Al Friesen....

The Manitou Opera House Accessibility Project will also be the recipient of proceeds from a series of concerts: the Fall Concert Series 2014.

Beginning Sept 5th with Quinton Blair

October 10th - traditional Irish music with Comhaltas

Nov 21 -- Merina Dobson- Perry and Friends

Dec 13th and 14th with the Borderline singers

Tickets can be purchased at Sam's foods in Manitou or purchased at the first concert

Christian Programs Committee -- Morden Corn and Apple Festival

MC Jayme Giesbrecht with the Torchmen Quartet

The 48th Morden Corn and Apple Festival wrapped up Sunday with a full day of Christian music, and closing words from chair Chris McPherson. Jayme Giesbrecht was there as MC, starting the day with a Sunday morning worship service, organized by the Christian Programs Committee. Rick Wiebe is a committee member, and Jayme spoke with him about his thoughts on organizing a day of worship:


Congregational Singing led by Southern Gospel singer Aaron Ruston of Saskatchewan

Patti Schroeder accompanying Aaron on keyboard.

A backstage prayer for guest speaker Ron Pearce of Empower Ministries International

The Torchmen Quartet

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