January 29, 2015

Art Incorporated

A few new pieces of art have recently been added to our home.
Calvin had some calendars printed which included a number of his photos.
The one he made for me had carefully selected Bible verses added to the pictures....love!

Last summer, my Dad created some more of his beautiful drawings.
He shared one of them with us.  A Grizzly mama bear with her cub is
featured in it with one of the Rocky Mountains in the background.
It currently lives in the office area of our home.

Do you remember this?  Well, that led to this, which resulted in this.

We've had this frame for a number of years, but, it was never put to use.
Once the bathroom had a fresh coat of paint, I was inspired to hang art.
Guess where the picture came from?  An old calendar.  Free!
It's hanging on the wall to the left in the photo above.

The hand towel rack that had been pulled out of the wall needed
to be installed in a different spot than it had previously been in.
And, these two little plaques go perfectly in the space created.

I especially love the Bible verses featured on them.
What precious promises the Lord gives His people!!

So, there you have it.  Art incorporated.
How do you incorporate art into your home?
What is your favourite tip for doing it frugally?

Happy Weekend Y'all!
With Love, Camille

January 26, 2015

Cheesy Lentil Bake

I originally came across this recipe here.
It's been made quite a few times since then.
I have tweaked and altered it so that it's just the way we like it.
With teenage tummies to fill, you can't go wrong.
Frugal and delicious and easy.  What more could you want?

I serve it up with a pot of rice and it fills six very hungry
tummies right up.  Full to the brim.  Adjust accordingly.

3 cups water
2 cups brown lentils, rinsed and drained
1 whole bay leaf
1/4 tsp dried ground sage
1/4 tsp dried thyme leaves
1 large onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tin 14 oz diced tomatoes with green chilies and lime juice
1 tin 14 oz tomato sauce

4 large carrots, diced
4 large celery sticks, diced
2 red peppers, chopped
1/4 tsp cayenne
2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Mix together first nine ingredients (up to and including the two types of tomatoes)
in a 10 x 15 inch glass baking dish.  Stir together well.
Bake uncovered for 30 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

After the 30 minutes of baking, stir in the remaining chopped veggies and spices.
Cover with foil and bake for a further 45 minutes.

Serve over rice and sprinkle with cheese and let sit until the cheese melts a little.
You could also just sprinkle the entire dish with cheese prior to serving to streamline things.
I hope you like it as much as we do.  Enjoy!

Happy Monday Y'all!
With Love, Camille

January 22, 2015


I don't usually jump on the word bandwagon.
Actually, I've never done it before now.

I don't expect it to become a new tradition, either.
But, these last few weeks, the first few of this year and the last few of the last,
 some things have been rattling around in my brain and in my heart.
These reflections have been revolving around the idea of purpose.

The purpose of life.  Mine, in particular.

It's so easy to fall into the false notion that life is pointless.
Especially for the stay-at-home Mum who has children that
are growing up way too quickly and seemingly need less and less of her.
Perhaps (maybe especially) since one of those has grown up and gone on ahead.

But, is it really pointless?  Or, are these thoughts filled with lies?

Lies.  That's exactly what they are.
And, we are not to fill our minds with these sorts of thoughts.
But, rather, we are to fill our hearts and minds with truth.
What does God's Word say to our hearts on such weighty things as these?
What is the purpose of all of life?  Of my life?

Well.  That's a big question, isn't it?

The Shorter Catechism sums it up nicely with question number one.
Q:  What is the chief end of man (woman could be substituted here)?
A:  Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever.

"Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do,
do all to the glory of God."  I Corinthians 10:31

"Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire besides thee.
My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart,
and my portion forever."  Psalm 73:25-26

So, there is purpose in every single thing we do and say if it is done in light of the
eternal weight of it all.  If it is done for the Lord.  According to His Word.
And, that is where purpose meets real life.  What gives purpose.  Who gives purpose.

The reason for it all.

May the Lord help us to follow Him wherever He leads
and do all that He calls us to with all our strength.  With purpose.
At the end of the day, all that matters is this.  Truly.
May we live like it is so.  Always and forever.

"For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."  Philippians 1:21
May the Lord make this to be true of me.
In His strength.  By His grace.  For His glory alone.

Many Blessings, Camille

January 19, 2015

The Quotidian (19. 1. 15)

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

Ready to be returned.

Making a mess dinner.

Leftovers from fall ~ waiting for spring.

Only in the house ~ practising.  All. The. Time.

I don't mind where school work takes place ~ as long as it happens.

A gift to Emma from the RCMP officer who checked in on us
in the days following Austin's home-going to heaven.
Emma had him propped up behind her while she did her work.

Happy Monday Y'all!
With love, Camille

January 15, 2015

Quite By Accident

I've been MIA ~ Quite by accident.
I don't know how it happened.  But, I haven't been here
and, other than busyness and life and school and things of that sort,
there really is no reason at all.  *Wink*

I usually announce my absence prior to it happening.
In this case, it surprised me and before I knew it, it was done.

So, just so you know...I hope to have a few things to share soon.
In the meantime...here are words not my own.
Sometimes, being quiet is the best thing after all.

"The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble;
and he knoweth them that trust in him."  Nahum 1:7

Happy Weekend Y'all!
With love, Camille

January 6, 2015

Best Baked Oatmeal!

I know I've shared baked oatmeal recipes before.  I still like them.
But, this one is my new favourite.  The recipe was found on Jenny's blog.
And, I've made it over and over again.  It's one the kids request
and get excited about.  I've even been known to serve it to company.  Yup, it's true.  

If you bake up a batch, I'm sure you'll understand why.

I like it made with blueberries or raspberries or a combination of both.
It's wonderful all three ways.  See?  Told you it's been made many times.
It was what was for breakfast this morning....with raspberries.

Here's what you need.

1 cup Sour Cream
1 1/4 cup Milk (I use Almond Milk)
2 Eggs, beaten
2 Tbsp Butter, melted
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
3 cups Rolled Oats
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
2 tsp Baking Powder
3/4 tsp Sea Salt
2 cups Frozen Blueberries or Raspberries

Here's what you do.

Mix together sour cream, milk, eggs, butter and vanilla in large bowl.
Stir in the oats until well blended.
Mix together the brown sugar, baking powder and sea salt in small bowl.
Stir the dry ingredients into the oat mixture and mix together well.
Fold in the frozen berries.  Pour into greased 10 x 15 inch glass baking dish.
(You could bake this in a 9 x 13 baking dish for a more cake-like product).

Bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 25 to 30 minutes 
until set in the centre and browning on the edges.

Depending on how hungry your people are, this will serve 6 to 8.
Serve hot in a bowl with cream or milk.  Enjoy.

Happy Tuesday Y'all!
With Love, Camille

January 2, 2015

On the Other Side

We were almost too busy to think.  It was a mercy, really.
However, the tears still came.  At random and sometimes inconvenient times.
But, those tears were good.  And, it was good.  All of it.

And now?  We are on the other side.

We survived our first Christmas at home without our Austin.
And, yet...we weren't without him.  We aren't without him.
He still lives.  Just not here.  
It's a comfort to remind ourselves of this truth.
He remains part of the fabric of who we are as a family.
Who we are as individuals.  He is missed and always will be.

Until the day we are called Home to Heaven.

The Lord graciously allowed us times of quiet in the midst of
the busyness of it all.  We were alone on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Things were different and things were the same.
We kept many of the old traditions.  But, some things were altered
or eliminated completely.  Some things were added in.

It was necessary and it was good.

Through it all, we were conscious of the prayers of God's people.
The Lord carried us through and gave us His comfort and peace.
Sorrow and joy were mingled together.  I imagine that is how it always will be.
From here on out.  And, we are settled with that.  It feels right.

It's a blessing to know that we don't walk this path alone.

I was reminded recently (by a lovely friend) of the fact that we all 
carry sorrows of one type or another.  Each one of us has grief to bear.
True, the vehicle by which it comes to us may be different,
but, the pain is real just the same.  It is deeply felt.

What do we do with it?  How do we cope?

Either it will drive us away from the Lord or to Him.
The key is to look to the Right Source for our comfort.
To dig deeply into His Word for the answers.
To fill our hearts and minds with His Truth.

Truly, it is the only way forward.

The only way to find lasting comfort and peace.
The only way to keep from crumbling completely.
The only way to rejoice in the midst of sorrow.

The only way.

May the peace of the Lord flood your souls
now and always.  May He be your everything.
Always and forever.

With love, Camille

December 17, 2014

Missing Austin and Merry Christmas!

Christmas is upon us and we find ourselves
missing our Austin in the midst of it all.
We always will.  That will never change.
Never, that is, until we are called into eternity.

There will be no missing there.

In the meantime, we remember and we look back.
It hurts.  But, we are so very conscious of our Austin's gain.
He is no longer bound by the temporal.  By sin.  By suffering.
We can't help but rejoice when we think of where
he is and what he is doing.  All the time.

He will never die again.

It truly is an amazing thought.  A comforting thought.  A steadying thought.
It takes the sting away when we fill our hearts and minds with the reality of it all.
And, we rejoice because this is why our Saviour came to earth the first time.
To save His people from their sins, and to give them eternal life.  

To prepare a way for His people to be with Him.  Forever.

Austin made this tree ornament for me when he was ten.  
He hand-printed these sweet words on the back of it ~
"To My Dearest Mom Merry Christmas!  Love, Austin xxxooo"
It has a prominent spot on our tree.  I'm a mixture of emotions over it.
And, through it all, the Lord is good.  So very, very good!

This is just one of the many ways I am missing him.
All that he has done is all he will ever do ~ here.
I miss what will never be this side of eternity.  I miss him.

We are planning to be home this Christmas season.
There are many things on the calendar ~ too many?
Our front door threatens to be worn out with all the
comings and goings ~ but, it is good.  And, we are thankful.

There are many voices out there vying for your attention.
I like to take mine out of the mix especially at this time of year.
Quiet reflection is hard to come by at the best of times.
But, at Christmas?  It's nearly impossible.

So, I leave you with these precious verses from the Word of God
to ponder in your hearts at this wonderful time of year.
It really is all about Him!

"And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS:
for he shall save his people from their sins."  Matthew 1:21

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government
shall be upon his shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor,
The Mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6

"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life;
no man cometh to the Father, but by me."  John 14:6

"All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; 
and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."  John 6:37

May the Lord bless you each with His peace and presence now and always.
May He continually be your all in all.  Your everything.
May you follow wherever he leads.  For all your days.
Until He calls you from this world into the next.

He is faithful.  And, He is good.  Rest in Him.

My plan is to take the next couple of weeks off from blogging.
I hope to catch up with you all early in the New Year, Lord-willing.
If you should choose to leave a comment here it will not appear until then.
Thank you for always being so understanding of these breaks I take.
Y'all bless my heart and make me smile.  Truly.

 Merry Christmas from our Home to Yours!
Much Love, Camille

December 16, 2014

London and Wales ~ Final Installment

We went on a few walks with our Auntie Mary during our time with her.
Some were journeys down memory lane ~ for her and for me.  It was good.

One of those walks took us down a local path for a visit with Honkey the Donkey.
(I am not sure how he got his name, but, it seems everyone calls him by it.)
He was abandoned at the property of the people who care for
him about 25 years ago.  The current owners were given one payment for his board
and then the original owners never returned.  He was left with lovely people.

Isn't he cute?

Or...maybe not?

Do you remember when I mentioned the previous trip to Wales I took in 2008?   
It was on that visit that I had the opportunity to meet Honkey.  Here's proof. 
This is me meeting Honkey, and you meeting the much younger me.  :)

 Isn't the property just lovely?  You can see the gate in the centre of the photo below ~
Honkey lives in the pasture beyond it.

On our last morning with Auntie Mary, we went for one more walk.
It's referred to as *Top Farm Walk* since there is a farm on it by that name.
We were about to leave this cute little house for the last time.

Just prior to our walk, we stopped in to visit with Auntie Mary's
neighbour for a quick good-bye.

The sun was bright,  so it was difficult to get a good picture ~
but, here we are with our friend, regardless!

Top Farm has horses.

Much to the delight of our girl ~ remember this?

Calvin caught some photos of us coming....

...and going.

As well as a few views along the way ~ of course.

We said our good-byes and gave hugs all around.  And then we were gone.  
We drove back down toward London in preparation for our flight home the following day.
Along the way we stopped for photos.  (Surprised?  Didn't think so.)
This is our little rental car (it accommodated seven...barely).
We are all in this shot ~ if you include Calvin's shadow.

Calvin took this photo....

...while Emma was taking this one.  :)

It was a great blessing that we were able to take Auntie Mary with us on our journeys.
This car was an upgrade from what we originally ordered ~ there were two *jump seats* in
the very back where the clothes are in this shot.  Emma mostly sat there ~ sideways.

This is the field Calvin wanted to take photos of ~ the reason we stopped.
May as well make it fun, right?

Fraser really enjoys Coca Cola.  We don't have this type in Canada, so it was a novelty.
(He actually prefers the classic recipe, but, it was fun to try something different.)

One thing that I found very interesting in England was the well thought out placement of
these rest areas ~ Welcome Break is a brilliant idea! It's a one-stop-shop experience.
Each one is equipped with a choice of restaurants, coffee shops, convenience stores,
as well as a hotel and service station.  Usually, they were the same ones at each stop.

We watched for them and discovered that they
were strategically placed every hour or so along the major route.

Unfortunately, I don't have a *normal* photo to share as the camera was on paint mode ~
but, these images give an idea of how it (almost) looked.  It is definitely
one of those things we want to remember about our trip.

After a good night's sleep and a wonderful breakfast in our hotel (free with points!)
we headed on over to Heathrow to return the car and to catch our flight home.

Once again, we had plenty of time once we were through security.  (The way I like it.)
On this occasion, our extra time was used up with last minute souvenir shopping and eating.

And, then...we were off!
Calvin took this photo above the far north ~ amazing, isn't it?

We arrived home at about 4:30 in the afternoon our time ~
it's much easier to travel west (which is what we were doing on this
leg of the journey).  My brother picked us up and we went out for a bite to eat.
It took us a few days to get turned around, but, we did it with relative ease.

And that, my friends, concludes this chronicle of our recent trip to the UK.

We are so thankful to the Lord for the gift of this vacation ~
we know that all things come from His loving hand.  Always.
We do not in any way imagine that we deserved this ~ not at all.
Rather, we see it as a gracious gift to our family.  It really was!

Thank you for persevering through all these posts, and for joining in with me
in the remembering of it all ~ you bless my heart.

With Love, Camille

*Posts in this series ~ IntroductionPart OnePart TwoPart Three
Part FourPart FivePart SixPart SevenFinal Installment

**Photos in this post courtesy of my two photographers ~ Calvin and Emma.
Thank you SO much my loves...you bless my Mama heart.  xoxo

December 15, 2014

London and Wales ~ Part Seven

We had a total of two Sundays with our Auntie Mary
which meant that we were able to enjoy lovely visits with her church family.
It's amazing how that is ~ those you worship with
do become like family.  It's a wonderful thing!

Monday was our final full day together.

We opted to have an *easier* day and just do three things.  ;-)
We went to see the Acqueduct near Llangollen (pronounced fthlan-goff-thlen) ~
in which canal boats and canoes may be seen travelling along its waterways.
We went into the town itself and then, we circled around past 
a ruined Abbey on our homeward journey.

First stop, the Llangollen canal ~ see the canal boats parked?

Auntie Mary with me ~ have I mentioned we love her?

Calvin and Fraser with canal boats visible beneath them.

Yes, we walked across.  There are no railings on the other side of the waterway.
It is very high up ~ 127 feet above the river below.

Do I look a little uneasy?  Just a little.

The next two photos were taken on my previous trip to Wales in 2008.
We didn't get images like these on our family trip, so, I've included them here.

I remember thinking at the time that I was glad the children weren't with me.
It was (is) a little scary.  In the photo below you can see the buildings at the other end
of the walkway ~ that was the direction from which we had come!

In order to get this shot, I went down a little path just below
Auntie Mary in the photo above and looked up.  It's a magnificent structure.

This is the view from the centre of the aqueduct ~ the River Dee is below.

And, this is the view from a bridge within the village of Llangollen.

After we parked the car, we walked along the street and went in and out of shops.

Just ahead of us on the left you will notice a beige and green awning.

This is what was beneath that awning.

This photo is for Poppa ~ he spoke of these pork pies longingly.
I wish I could have brought one home for him.

So, we left Llangollen in time to view the Abbey before darkness set in.
We were there late enough in the day to warrant free admission.

It is amazing to think that this structure once had a roof and no grass underfoot.

Calvin was in his element.

Emma once again took photos of Calvin taking photos.

The shot above is Calvin's and the one below is Emma's.
They took these pictures at approximately the same time.

See me with Calvin and Auntie Mary in the distance?

Our three men inside the building which still has a roof on it ~ from two photos above.

The image below is one that Calvin captured from the same vantage point.
The next two shots were done using HDR imaging techniques.

Amazingly beautiful, wouldn't you agree?

Calvin had us stop so he could get a view shot on our way home.
We pulled over and he took a photo of us in our little car as well as the view.

See?  Howie is in the driver's seat, and I am seated directly behind him.

This is the view Calvin captured.

Almost done ~ only one more post to go.
With Love, Camille

*Posts in this series ~ IntroductionPart OnePart TwoPart Three
Part FourPart FivePart SixPart SevenFinal Installment

**Photos supplied by my two photographers ~
Calvin and Emma.  Thank you my loves.  xoxo