June 27, 2015

Unexpectedly Quiet

I have found myself to be unexpectedly quiet here in recent days.
I suppose that means it's time for a little break.
In the meantime, I'd like to leave you with these lovely thoughts...


"...is it our business to pry into what may happen tomorrow?
It is a difficult and painful exercise which saps the strength
and uses up the time given us today.  Once we give ourselves up to God,
shall we attempt to get hold of what can never belong to us -- tomorrow?

Our lives are His, our times in His hand, He is Lord over what will happen,
never mind what may happen.  When we prayed, "Thy will be done,"
did we suppose He did not hear us?  He heard indeed, and daily makes
our business His and partakes of our lives.  If my life is once surrendered,
all is well.  Let me not grab it back, as though it were in peril in His hand
but would be safer in mine!

Today is mine.  Tomorrow is none of my business.
If I peer anxiously into the fog of the future,
I will strain my spiritual eyes so that I will not see clearly 
what is required of me now."

Quoted from Keep a Quiet Heart
by Elisabeth Elliot ~ Page 53.

I'll trust to connect with you all soon.
After a little more time of quiet.  Thank you for extending grace.
May the Lord bless each one of you with His peace and presence.

With Love,
Camille

June 22, 2015

The Quotidian (22. 6. 15)

Quotidian: daily, usual, or customary;
everyday; ordinary; commonplace. 


An experiment.


Getting everything ready for our support teacher's visit.


Pretties on the deck.


Waiting for fresh batteries.


Over-consumption of marshmallows (apparently).


Heading out to hike Grouse Mountain.


Reading.  Of course.

Happy Monday Y'all!
With Love, Camille

June 19, 2015

Small

Way out in the middle of the prairie, or, looking down from 30,000 feet
while flying in a plane, we find ourselves impressed with the fact that we are small.
From space, the world looks like a marble and we are smaller still.

Perspective is a good thing.

The longer I live this life, the more I like (and embrace)
the idea of being small.  Not in the physical sense.
Rather, in the greater-scheme-of-things sense.

In light of the greatness of God.  And eternity.  Small.
It helps to ponder eternal things and fill up our hearts with them.
To reflect on His redemptive work.  His perfect plan.
At the end of it all, these are the things that matter most.


So, I am seeking in this life to embrace the smallness of me
and the greatness of Him.  Less of me.  More of Him.
"For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." Philippians 1:21
He is the only One worth living or dying for.

"And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God and the Father by him."  Colossians 3:17

May we be found living our lives for Him.  For His glory alone.
Only made possible by His grace and in His strength.  Through His enabling.
Moment by moment, day after day, until He calls us to our eternal Home.
And, that will be gain to us.  If we belong to Him, the best is yet to come!

With Love,
Camille

June 15, 2015

The Quotidian (15. 6. 15)

Quotidian: daily, usual, or customary;
everyday; ordinary; commonplace. 


View from between the railings.


Ground level ~ enjoying the just-moments-before-permanently-installed fire pit.


Fire pit produce.


Hydrangea in early bloom.


Sweetie on the roof.


Young man and his not-working lawn mower ~ in the neighbour's yard.


Austin's roses and Emma's work.

Happy Monday Y'all!
With Love, Camille

June 12, 2015

Veggies on the Grill

Veggies on the grill is one of my favourite go-to summer sides.
A few years back, I learned about the grill basket and promptly acquired one. 
It's been put to good use around here.  Mostly for grilling up veggies. 

The method is simple and the ingredients can 
be as varied as you want them to be.

First, choose the types and amounts of veggies you will need.
Then, clean and chop those veggies up into big chunks and divide into freezer bags.
Last, pour in a good amount of Zesty Italian Dressing and
let marinate in the fridge for several hours or overnight.


Don't forget to place the bag(s) into a casserole dish to catch any potential leaks.
Turn at least four times during the marinating process ~ the more, the better.
The next day, fire up your BBQ, place the empty grill basket 
on the rack, and let it get smokin' hot.  

Drain excess dressing off your veggies and dump into the grill basket.
Be careful.  The oil in the dressing might cause splatters and flares.

Reduce heat to medium, and stir frequently to get an evenly cooked batch of veggies.
Close the lid of the BBQ between stirrings in order to allow 
the veggies to cook more thoroughly and give them a smoky flavour.


This particular batch served the five of us generously.
There were enough for seconds all around.

This is what I used ~ one large red onion,
a big handful of asparagus, two large red bell peppers,
1/2 lb mushrooms, and one medium head of cauliflower.
The veggies were divided up between two freezer bags
and a full bottle (475 ml) of dressing was needed for the two bags.

Do you have a grill basket?
If so, what do you cook in it? 

Happy Grilling!
With Love, Camille

June 9, 2015

Our Summer Eats

For the summer,  I've put together a simple food plan.
It just doesn't happen every single month.

Confession.  It actually hasn't happened around here for the last few.
It seems I'm always confessing about these things.
Well, it is what it is.  And, this should put all that right.



Summer always is a little trickier (in my books) since everything has
to be quick and easy and not create any more heat in the house than necessary.
At least, that's my summer meal plan motto.

We don't have air conditioning.  We don't need it.  That is,
for most of the year we don't.  However, for a few weeks in the height of summer,
it would be nice.  Actually, in the last few days, it would have been nice.
But, it won't happen.  Not in this house.



So, simple, quickly put together, and non-heat producing meals are best.
I formulated this plan on one of our recent hot-in-my-estimation days.  80 degrees.
Don't laugh.  It was 80 degrees outside as well as in.  Too hot for me.
The fan was strategically positioned and aimed in my direction.

Under those conditions, this is what I came up with.
It's my plan for the summer that seems to already have arrived.
In full force.  Good thing I'm prepared.  :)

Rather than make a day by day plan, this list has more than
three weeks' worth of meal ideas which can be rotated as necessary.
Along the way, I might throw something extra into the mix.
(Some of your ideas, perhaps?  Yes, please.)
My hope is that this will be enough to keep us going all summer long.

Auto-pilot and ease of operation are my goals
for meal preparation when the temperatures rise.  In order for that to happen,
I need to have a plan in place.  In my experience, anyway.
Oh, and stick that plan to the fridge.  And, implement it.  Yes, those things, too.

Welcome summer ~ I'm ready for you!



Dinner Ideas:

1.  African Dish
2.  Idaho Tacos
3.  Chicken Wraps
4.  Burgers (or from a box) on the grill
5.  Skillet Dinner
6.  Salmon on the grill
7.  Chicken on the grill
8.  Salmon Salad
9.  Pasta Primavera
10.  Black Beans and Rice
11.  Eggs and Beans on toast
12.  Refried Beans and Rice
13.  Farmer's Breakfast
14.  Steaks (from the half cow) on the grill
15.  Stir Fry something or other
16.  Crock Pot Roast Beef (from the half cow)
17.  Whole Chicken in the crock pot
18.  Taco Salad or Tacos
19.  Sloppy Joe's
20.  Mexican Salad
21.  Janine's Indian Chicken
22.  Hobo Beans
23.  Pulled Chicken in the crock pot
24.  Shish Kebabs

Lunch Ideas:

1.  Salmon sandwiches
2.  Grilled Cheese sandwiches
3.  Tuna sandwiches
4.  Egg Salad sandwiches
5.  Ham sandwiches
6.  Refried beans, Salsa, and Cheese on toast
7.  Pizza Buns
8.  Mini Pizzas
9.  Toasted Tomato sandwiches

Sides:

1. Potato Salad
2.  Grilled Veggies
3.  Greek Salad
4.  Quinoa Salad
5.  Coleslaw
6.  Broccoli Salad
7.  Caesar Salad
8.  Veggies and Dip
9.  Pasta Salad

There you have it.  Our summer eats.
Anything to add to the list?  Any tips or tricks?
I'd love to hear how you handle meal prep in the heat of summer.
Please share.  I'm all ears.  Tell me everything.  :)

Happy Summer-ing.
With Love, Camille

June 8, 2015

Summer Stack

Emma took an online English course this year in school.
It just so happens that it was written and administered by our very
own (one and only) homeschool support teacher (who is a treasure).
This very same teacher also happens to have taught Austin in the classroom 
when our boys attended the little local Christian school (Emma never went).

We have a history with this particular teacher, and it is a good one.

A summer reading list was required of the students who had taken her course.
Complete with reasons as to why the books had been chosen.
The assumption is that they will continue to read.  All summer long.
It goes without saying that this has always been Emma's plan.


After a quick survey of the shelves downstairs and up,
Emma produced her very own summer stack of books.
She'll likely be finished ahead of fall.  It is how it is.

I have fond memories of my own summer reading as a young girl.
Squirrelled away in our little tree house, I would read while the
summer breezes blew.  For hours on end.
Pollyanna was my chosen companion the summer I turned twelve.
The unabridged and original classic was read from my grandmother's copy.

Published in 1913.  A rare treasure.


It was a magical experience.  One that I'm not likely to forget.

What about you?  Do you have a favourite summer-time read?
A sweet memory (or two?) to share from a summer long ago or the most recent one?
Any particular books you might recommend for our girl?  Or her mama?
Please do share.  We're all ears.  Both of us.

Happy summer reading!
With Love, Camille

June 5, 2015

As it Comes

"...the very essence of anxious care is the imagining that we are wiser than God,
and the thrusting ourselves into His place to do for Him that which
He has undertaken to do for us...

...He who cannot calmly leave his affairs in God's hand,
but will carry his own burden, 
is very likely to be tempted to use wrong means to help himself.
This sin leads to a forsaking of God as our counsellor,
and resorting instead to human wisdom...



...Thus want of confidence in God leads us to wander far from Him;
but if through simple faith in His promise, we cast each burden as it comes upon Him,
and are 'careful for nothing' because He undertakes to care for us,
it will keep us close to Him, and strengthen us against much temptation." **

Seeking to trust Him with every moment of every day.
Believing that He truly does all things well.  For His glory and our good.
Knowing that He will give the grace and strength for each circumstance as it comes.
Resting in His perfect loving care.  For now and always.

Happy Weekend!
With Love, Camille

**Quoted from: Spurgeon's Morning and Evening ~
May 26th Morning Reading

June 4, 2015

The Quotidian (4. 6. 15)

Quotidian: daily, usual, or customary;
everyday; ordinary; commonplace. 


Clay wins over math (sometimes).


The location  may vary, but, the activity often doesn't.


Flowers on the deck.  Girl in the yard.  Happiness in the heart.


Mount Vesuvius and Pompeii.


Battleship...


...with a brother.

Happy Thursday Y'all.
With Love, Camille

June 1, 2015

Just Out of Sight

It's difficult to wrap our minds around the reality of it all.
He is not physically here. And, we miss him.  But, we know he lives.
What a sweet comfort to our hearts that knowledge is.

We still have our Austin.  He's gone on ahead.  
Just out of sight.


Death is the last enemy.  We were not created to die.
But, sin came.  And, so did death.  However, the Saviour also came!
One day, in our eternal home, there will be no more sin.
No more death.  No more suffering or sorrow.  No more tears.

It's almost too much to comprehend.  
Too wonderful for words.


Until that day comes, we must carry on living our lives in this world tainted with 
sin and sorrow and suffering.  For as long as we are called to stay.
We must follow our Saviour wherever He leads.  Until He calls us home.
And, we will find it all to have been worth it.  At the end of it all.

When we reach the other side.


What a precious reality we have because of Him.
What a wonderful Hope!  What an amazing Future!
We serve a loving Heavenly Father Who provided The Way.

All who come to Him will not be cast out.

So, though we do not celebrate this day, we remember.
And, we rejoice.  We know that is what our Austin is doing.
Because our Saviour lives, we know that our Austin lives.
And, one day, we will live together forever in our eternal Home.

For all of eternity.  World without end.

"Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life;
he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live."
~ John 11:25 ~

With Love, Camille

May 27, 2015

Best Things Last

"See, then, the happy estate of the Christian!  He has his best things last, 
and he therefore in this world receives his worst things first...

...Even now he grows rich by his losses, he rises by his falls,
he lives by dying, and becomes full by being emptied;
if, then, his grievous afflictions yield him so much peaceable fruit in this life,
what shall be the full vintage of joy afterwards in heaven?"


"If he can sing in a dungeon, how sweetly will he sing in heaven!
If he can praise the Lord in the fires, how will he extol Him before the eternal throne!
If evil be good to him now, what will the overflowing goodness of God be to him then?"


"Who would not be a Christian?
Who would not bear the present cross for the crown which cometh afterwards?
But herein is work for patience, for the rest is not for today,
nor the triumph for the present, but afterward.
Wait, o soul, and let patience have her perfect work." **

May we truly have our eyes fixed on those eternal, everlasting, 
and enduring best things.  Everything else pales in comparison.
At the end of it all, nothing else really matters.

With Love, Camille

**Taken from Spurgeon's "Morning and Evening" ~
May 18 evening reading

May 25, 2015

The Quotidian (25. 5. 15)

Quotidian: daily, usual, or customary;
everyday; ordinary; commonplace. 


A spring/summer wreath to replace the Christmas one.


Sometimes we do the papers without any children ~ for pay.
This was on one of the days they were gone adventuring.  :)


This is the best sauce!  (HOT, but good.)


And, this is how we enjoy it ~
brown rice, black beans, diced avocado, diced tomato, 
pickled jalapenos, sour cream ~ drizzled with Sriracha sauce.


The office and the men.


Our Austin's memory lives on.
(The music school as well as our online school have both created and funded
ongoing yearly scholarships/bursaries in his name.  What a wonderful blessing!)


One of the lovely gifts Miss M brought with her ~ so sweet!


After the adventure ~ waiting to be unloaded and put away.


Saying good-bye...until next time.

Happy Monday!
With Love, Camille

May 21, 2015

Snip. Snip. Snip.

It's all because of Howie.
And, I love him for it.  Just one of the reasons.

If it were left up to me, our children might never grow up.
I can tend to mother them beyond what's reasonable.
The temptation to tie them too tightly with my apron strings tugs at my heart.
Howie brings a wonderful balance to these tendencies of mine.

He encourages a methodical and age appropriate cutting of those strings.
I won't lie.  At times it's a little bit painful.  But, it's all for the best.

Our boys have gone camping.  Without us.  A few times.  
On one occasion, they travelled clear across the Province.  Into the heart of bear country.
If it had been up to me I am sure I would not have let them go.  Well, maybe at 30.
They not only survived, but, they thrived.  The timing was right.

They seemed to grow a little taller on that trip.
I am quite sure they must have.  Inwardly, at the very least.

 ~ From the above mentioned trip in 2014 ~

Just the other day, they took Miss M and Emma up to Grouse Mountain.
The very next day, they loaded up the van with bikes and Calvin drove to the ferry.
Once there, they unloaded those bikes and rode onto the ferry
along with the cars in order to spend the day on Mayne Island.

Howie and I stayed home.  Alone.
Snip. Snip. Snip.  Slowly, but, surely.

 ~ Just before they made the trek up Grouse Mountain ~

None of these things would have happened if I hadn't had assurance from
my better half that it was a good thing for them to do.  Without us.
It feels strange to make room for their wings to spread and give them the liberty to fly.
I cannot think about it too much, however.  I've even been known to leave when they do.

I'm always thankful when they arrive back home.
Safe and sound.  But then, off they go again.  I cannot tie them down.

~ After their day on Mayne Island ~

What a blessing it is to know that they are in the Lord's hands.
And, He loves them so much more than we ever could.
It truly is such a comforting thought.  So, I rest my heart there.
By His grace and in His strength.  Seeking Him for wisdom each step of the way.

What about you?  What are some of the ways in which you are
encouraging your children to soar?  What ages and stages are you currently in?
If your children are grown, what did you do to foster a healthy independence in them?
Please share your wisdom and experiences....I'm all ears.  :)

Many Blessings, Camille

**Grouse Mountain photo courtesy of Miss M ~
Thank you so much for sharing!  :)

May 19, 2015

The Quotidian (19. 5. 15)

Quotidian: daily, usual, or customary;
everyday; ordinary; commonplace. 


The mess.  Remember why?


The supervision.


As it showered on day #2, more of the roof came off. 


And, then, they were done!


Abandoned, but, too precious to move.


The big clean up.


All the way from Switzerland (oh. dear. me.) ~ thank you, M and T!  :)


Preparing to pray.


Sweet friends.


A precious moment.


Thank you, T and S ~ you bless us!  :)


The promise of plums ~ laden with fruit.


Above the kitchen sink ~ thank you, Emma!  :)



Happy Tuesday Y'all.
With Love, Camille