September 30, 2009

The Solid Rock

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus' name.

On Christ the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds withing the veil.

On Christ the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the 'whelming flood;
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.

On Christ the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

Edward Mote (1797-1874)

September 28, 2009

The Best Marriage Advice

**Photo of one of our Bibles and our wedding rings ~ by Camille**

When we were just on the verge of getting married, we were given the best advice ever! I can't remember who it was that said it, but we have proven the truth of it over and over again. We have been blessed with 18 years of marriage, and we have used this tried and true advice and it works, by God's grace...every time!

What is this advice, you might ask?

If you are a Christian this will make perfect sense to you...for I am speaking of something that involves looking outside of ourselves to the one true God of Heaven and Earth...our Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ. If ever you argue or disagree with your spouse and cannot see eye to eye on a matter, it is then that you must do what follows.

Get on your knees together to pray. Pray out loud. Confess your sin...not his or hers! Easy to say, but very hard to do! You both must do this. Very often, before you are even finished praying, the Lord will mend the rift and you will be reconciled.

This, by the way, is THE MOST difficult thing to do! Be sure to have this strategy in place before it is needed. Commit yourselves to it and implement it as necessary.

A strong marriage has been depicted as one where the husband and wife are both growing closer to the Lord the two lower points of a triangle...and the upper point represents God. The closer they get to God, the closer they get to one another. Interesting analogy, isn't it?

BTW...if your spouse is not a Christian and you are...DON'T despair! You can still commit your way to the Lord in prayer and seek by God's grace to live in harmony with your spouse.

God's Word says..."Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear." I Peter 3:1-2 See also I Corinthians 7:10-16

Emma's Shelf

A magazine inspired me with the idea for this little shelf in Emma's room. 
The plaid dress was one of my favourites ~ Emma wore it for most of her first winter. 
The little sun hat and shoes were also part of her baby wardrobe. 
Amazing how quickly they grow!!

The little bunny and star were gifts along the way as 
were the other items on the top shelf. 
It was so much fun to decorate our little girl's room!

Many Blessings,

September 26, 2009

Frugal Food Shopping Idea

I just wanted to show you some of what I found at Amazon's Grocery Department. All these products came via "free shipping" (from the States to the States) and they were much cheaper than I could get them at my local grocery store...yaaay! Check it out and see if there is anything you can save $$$ on!

September 25, 2009

Homemade Chicken Broth

This is something I've been thinking about lately. Yes, Chicken Broth...and Beef Broth, for that matter!

Christa posted this recipe for homemade chicken broth on her blog that I plan on trying to make today. It is so much better for you to make homemade broth...why you might ask? Well, this article might help you get started in your research. I am beginning to realize that in so many things, the "old" ways really are the best!


Michelle at "She Looketh Well" posted an AMAZING tutorial on her blog with videos on the "how to" of Chicken Stock. Head on over (click on the highlight in the previous sentence) and check it out!

September 24, 2009

Boys' Camping Trip

Last night the boys got their turn to "camp out". Reports are that they slept very little and had lots of fun! Great memories were made. What a perfect ending to the Summer!

September 23, 2009

Camping With Daddy

Last night Emma was taken on an overnight camping our back yard. This was the first time Emma ever slept in a tent and was she ever excited! Amazingly we had a HOT day least for us it was HOT! It got up to about 80 degrees and it is supposed to be nearly as warm today. What a GREAT beginning to Fall!

September 21, 2009

Quote of the Day...

This picture was taken in 2008...Emma was six

Emma said the cutest thing the other day and I wrote it down
so as not to forget it!
We will have to repeat this at her wedding.

"I think Daddy's the BEST man in the world!
Even though he's not the President,
he is the BEST man in the world today."

Emma (age 7)

September 19, 2009

Lydia's Online Shop

My friend Lydia has an online store with a few handmade items for sale. She is a stay-at-home Mom with a husband and three blessings from the Lord...this store is a way to supplement the family's income. Somehow this reminds me of the Proverbs 31 woman. :)
Check it out at Happy Home Gifts.

September 18, 2009

Natural Cleaning Tips

Something I am seeking to do is use natural cleaning products and as few chemicals as possible in our home. Not only does this help with our health (I'm thinking it must), but it will save money as cleaning products are very expensive! Let's do things Grandma's way...really, the best ways are learned from Grandma, right?

Essential Cleaning "Products"...

**More Pictures Below**

Recently I was asked to "teach" a little class at a church ladies' meeting and the topic was "natural cleaning alternatives". Here is what I shared...

Cleaning (Stove Top, Corning Ware, Pyrex):
Use baking soda on a glass safe scrubbie and a bit of water...scrub and rinse until marks are gone. This works well to clean off those "baked in" brown speckles on your white corning ware.

Stain Removal (Blackberries, Raspberries, Blueberries):
Pour boiling water through the cloth until stain is may need to scrub under hot running water with Sunlight Laundry Soap (comes in a bar). (The trick with berry stains, and most other stains, is to leave it until you can get to it...don't do the "wet washcloth rub" or you will set the stain!)
**Scroll Down for Pictures**

Scouring Powder for Stainless Steel:
1 part salt
1 part baking soda
Mix together and sprinkle on stainless steel (pots, muffin tins, sinks) and use a wet cloth or scrubbie to scour the stains out!
**Scroll Down for Picture**

Stain Removal (Ball Point Pen):
Pump hairspray...not aerosol (Technically this would not fall under the "natural" category, but it is the only way I know to deal with pen stains!)
Spray on stain and scrub under running hot water, spray again until stain is gone. Launder as usual.
**Scroll Down for Pictures**

Wonderful Vinegar!
Vinegar is wonderful because you can use it in so many ways:

-Mix a small amount into a bucket of hot water and wash laminate flooring...I do this and it saves so much money...those "special" cleaners are so costly and have questionable ingredients. The trick is to wash a small area and then wipe with a dry cloth right away...don't skip this step! I know you will be amazed with the results.

-Mix with water in a spray bottle and do your mirrors and windows with it

-Add to the "rinse" cycle of your laundry for a natural fabric softener

-Pour Baking Soda in a sluggish drain and pour vinegar over top until it stops hot water to flush

-Soak your feet in a solution of at least 1 cup of vinegar mixed into a sinkful of warm water...scrub with a pumice stone to soften rough areas

-Pour vinegar directly on a cloth (undiluted) to kill the black mould in your window gulleys...throw away the cloth when you are done!

Dried blackberry stain on white...yikes!!

Pour boiling water through the cloth...


Stainless Steel Muffin pan cleaned with the scouring powder...both muffin cups looked the same prior to cleaning...the one on the left has been done (I'm hoping that's obvious)!

Ball point pen written on fabric and cleaned with pump hairspray (not aerosol)...Picture #1

Picture #2

Picture #3

Picture #4...elapsed time, about 5 minutes. It required a rinse, a little scrubbing and a little more hairspray...amazing!

"Nature's Bleach" is another blog post over at The American Home which deals with more natural cleaning tips...enjoy!

Anyone else have any other great natural cleaning tips to share?

September 16, 2009

The Battle

Have you ever noticed that when you are being used of the Lord, or are seeking to let Him use you, you come under special spiritual attack? It has been the case with us many times. It is not a unique situation, every true believer of the Lord Jesus faces this type of trial on occasion.

When you have had an opportunity to witness to someone or to encourage someone in the Lord be aware of the fact that the Devil will be working to sideline you somehow. Suddenly, it seems, and without prior warning there will be a flare-up between you and your spouse or conflict with your children or your parents. I can testify to this happening in our fact, we have come to expect it! Does that mean we live in fear? No, but we do see that we must fortify our marriage and our family with the Lord's Word and prayer.

"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." Ephesians 6:12

"Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world." I John 4:4

What a blessing that we are not left to face these battles alone. The Lord is all-sufficient and He is Greater than the Devil, not to mention, He has already defeated this mutual foe! Fortify yourselves with the Word of God and prayer. Memorize Scripture and bring every thought captive to the Lord Jesus Christ. Don't listen to to yourself. We often don't obey the simple instructions we find in the Word of God. Philippians 4:8 tells us what to think about...judge everything according to this verse and assess if you are bringing your thoughts into subjection to the standard set before you there. If you are discouraged, take heart...the Lord NEVER gives more than we can bear WITH Him!

If you do have conflict, pray about it together...out loud! Confess your sin in front of those you have offended and look to the Lord together in prayer. The Lord delights to hear and answer these prayers...He will give you what you need! What a blessing that the Lord does not leave us to ourselves. "...I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." Hebrews 13:5b

"Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:16

Back Yard Update

Nearly one month ago we (actually, it was my men...I really had nothing to do with it) installed sod. Here is the back yard looking out the back door to the left...

And looking from the bottom of the deck toward the right...

To see where we've come from refer to this post from almost 1 1/2 months ago! :)

September 14, 2009


Picture for emphasis; no real gossip going on here! :) does this title make you feel? Are you on the receiving end or giving end of this one? Guess what? The answer should be "neither"...that is, if you are following God's Word and living according to it!

"...they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busy bodies, speaking things which they ought not." I Timothy 5:13 (emphasis mine)

What if someone wants to "share" something with you about someone else who doesn't happen to be around? Do you listen? Or do you politely, and as graciously as possible, say that you would rather not hear it, unless it is something good and worthy of repeating to the person being "shared" about? This is the acid test of our convictions on this we feel it is harmless or won't go further? On the flip side, if this person "sharing" is confiding in you, do you think they might "share" with others about you? You can be sure of it. Careful what you say and think before you speak. Such amazingly good advice, and it comes straight from God's Word, the Bible.

"Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers...Let all bitterness, and wrath, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."
Ephesians 4:29,and 31-32

September 11, 2009

An Encouraging Homeschool Article

I enjoyed reading through an article entitled "The World is our Classroom" today. It will likely be one I will want to re-read in days to come, so I am bookmarking it for future use. You might enjoy reading it too, especially if you are educating your children at home.


We have been blessed to be a part of a
Christian Hockey league for the past 5 years.
This unique league offers more fun and less pressure...
we are not grooming any of our boys along to be future NHL players
(just don't tell them that).

Here are the boys trying on gear to take inventory...

And here is the inventory
(for all four of my men)...
drying in the sun on our new cement area in the back!
Very soon this will be drying out after games in my laundry room...
now, how does that sound??

September 10, 2009

Music Lessons

Many children are required by their parents to take music lessons, I suppose our children are no exception! We did make sure they were in fact interested before we began. The boys began learning their instrument of choice the same year we launched our home school, which means they are entering their fourth year of lessons. Emma has had to wait until now...she is so excited!

Here are pictures of each of the children with their teachers...

September 9, 2009


My Mum-in-Law hand wrote this out onto an old envelope for my husband...he has kept it in his Bible ever since. It was copied from the back of a church bulletin and where it originally was taken from is unkown to any of us...let me know if any of you can point us to the original source. In the meantime enjoy!

Someone asked Martin Luther, "Do you feel that you have been forgiven?"

He answered, "No, but I am as sure as there is a God in Heaven. For feelings come and feelings go and feelings are deceiving. My warrant is the Word of God, naught else is worth believing. Though all my heart should feel condemned, for want of some sweet token. There is ONE greater than my heart, Whose Word cannot be broken. I'll trust in God's unchanging Word till soul and body sever. For though all things shall pass away, His Word shall stand forever."

Martin Luther (1483-1546)

September 8, 2009

School Begins...

Looking from the corner of the room 
where my exercise bike is toward my desk...

Looking back the opposite way toward the bike...

Looking from my desk toward the window...

View from the door looking into the room...all four kids in one shot here! 
**FYI...the blackboard with chalk writing on it says 
"the original ice cream bar", but all you see is "bar" with a price...
thought I'd like to clarify. :)

Well, here is where we "do school" for the most part. 
Sometimes things do go on in other areas of the house...
most notably, the kitchen table, but most of the formal learning takes place here. 
We are thankful that the Lord provided a room where we 
can have desks and keep things organized for our school tasks.

In the "pre-homeschool" days my homeschool friends would come over 
and see the "play room" and comment on how perfect it was for a school room! 
"Well," thought I, "that will never be required in our home.
The Lord is not going to ask me to school my children at home."

Hmmmmm...ever think something will never happen to you? 
The Lord is infinitely good and leads us so gently along, doesn't He? 
We are so thankful now that He has given us this wonderful opportunity
and we joyfully (usually) have taken it on. 
Whatever your school situation looks like for 
your family this year, may He bless you in it!

Many Blessings,

September 7, 2009

Encouraging Our Husbands

Just had a quick moment at my computer tonight and read this encouraging post by Michelle at "She Looketh Well". We are called to encourage and build up our husbands...let's look to the Lord for ways to do just that!

Corn Maze

Some of the corn we bought...and ate!

The kids working hard peeling the husks off the corn.

View of some of the kids at the beginning of our adventure!

Some of the kids and Mum (that's me) ready to take on the maze, not knowing how difficult it would prove to be.

A little bit lost...I'm waving, see me?

View of the maze from an airplane!

Two funny kids...hmmmm

We had a fun time trying to decipher the local corn maze...not an easy feat (it took about 1 1/2 hours), but there was lots of laughter and going around in circles. We were there with about 25 others from church...what a great family thing to do! Howie didn't get into many pictures this time, he was our "official" photographer and "field guide"'ll have to ask him how that went!

Summer is now "officially" over...and the last of the corn has been eaten...well, except for the cobs I saved to make corn salad with. Yummy!

September 6, 2009

Dying to Self

This poem has been taped inside my husband's Bible for as long as I can remember. I had a copy in my Bible too, but over time it came unglued and it is no longer there. These were copies of a copy...does anyone know who it is attributed to? Please let me know so I can give credit to the author.

Can any of us really live like this? The answer is NO, not in our own strength...may the Lord give us each the enabling to respond in every circumstance with true thankfulness and joy!


When you are forgotten or neglected, or purposely set at naught, and you do not sting and hurt with the insult or the oversight, but your heart is happy, being counted worthy to suffer for Christ,

When your good is evil spoken of, when your wishes are crossed, your advice disregarded, your opinions ridiculed, and you refuse to let anger rise in your heart, or even defend yourself, but take it all in patient, loving silence,

When you lovingly and patiently bear any disorder, any irregularity, and unpunctuality, or any annoyance; when you stand face to face with waste, folly, extravagance, spiritual insensibility, and endure it as Jesus endured it,

When you never care to refer to yourself in conversation, or to record your own good works, or itch after commendation, when you can truly love to be unknown,

When you are content with any food, any offering, any raiment, any climate, any society, any solitude, any interruption by the will of God,

When you can see your brother prosper and have his needs met, and can honestly rejoice with him in spirit and feel no envy nor question God, while your own needs are far greater and in desperate circumstances,

When you can receive correction and reproof from one of less stature than yourself, and can humbly submit inwardly as well as outwardly, finding no rebellion or resentment rising up within your heart,

Are you dead yet? In these last days the Spirit would bring us to the Cross. "That I may know Him...being made conformable to His death." Philippians 3:10

Christ, only Christ, no needless bustling sound,
Christ, only Christ, no self important bearing,
Christ, only Christ, no trace of "I" be found.

Author Unknown

September 4, 2009

Amazing Oats!

I have been reading through Michelle's blog for awhile now, and she has some great encouraging posts on a variety of topics. She also has some wonderful ideas for feeding your family in a more healthy way. Her recent post entitled Nourishing Breakfast Idea contains the recipe for a new way to cook oatmeal...what a yummy breakfast. I never knew oatmeal could taste so good! All of us loved it...hope you do too!

September 3, 2009

Sharing the Gospel

**My Bible ~ opened to John 3:16**

Are you ever afraid to witness to someone? Does approaching the subject seem daunting to you? You are not alone...many people, including me, want to share their faith, but they are hindered by shyness, fear, or simply not knowing where to begin.

Many years ago as a single girl living at home and working to save for college, I was discouraged about the fact that I was working with many ungodly people and yet had not been witnessing to them. It was a daunting task as most of them were part of the partying crowd which made me a tad bit nervous. As I drove to work one particular day I recall praying that the Lord would give me opportunities to share the Gospel and my faith. The Lord delights to answer this type of prayer!

A young man at work began to ask questions about the Bible and thus began an ongoing conversation about the things of God. The Lord paved the way for a natural witnessing opportunity...He truly is a Wonderful Saviour! I completed my work there not long after that and went away to college. A few years later I ran into that same young man in the Christian bookstore, of all places. Obviously, I expressed my amazement that he was in such a place and he informed me that he had become a Christian! What an exciting and encouraging day.

It seems that very often you will not find out when you have been used of the Lord to draw someone to Himself. Some of us are not the last link in the chain, but we are very often links in the encouraged and know that it is all of the Lord...he will accomplish His perfect will, we are just called to be faithful. Pray a prayer similar to the one mentioned above and watch the Lord work. You will be amazed how the opportunities will naturally come up to share the will not be difficult at all!

September 2, 2009

Getting Organized...Baby Steps

Two of my friends were asking about a couple of little thoughts are running through my brain. Something I was reminded of on this site and have put into practice over the years is this: Take it in baby steps! Set the timer for whatever amount of time you have and tackle one closet, or one shelf in that closet, one drawer or whatever. Even if you only have 15 minutes, do a small area. Very often we get frozen in the overwhelming thought of so much to do that we do nothing! Imagine what could get organized in your home if you only adopted this one steps and only one a day! This is what I just did yesterday...organized this little feels so much better. Maybe next time I will have to post "before" and "after" pics...or then again, maybe not! :)

Managing Chores

Everyone loves this topic! Well, maybe that's not accurate, but they are a necessary part of day to day living. Our home is no exception...there are chores to be done every day.

One of the things that frustrated me when my children were attending school outside the home was that I felt like everyone's servant, or maybe I should say, slave. Don't get me wrong, serving is a good and godly characteristic...but the children were expecting to be served rather than to serve. How could we teach them this valuable lesson in the "off" times when they had so many other pressing things requiring their attention? When home school began at our house, so did the earnest!

A godly Christian friend of mine has ten children and an orderly, clean, well-functioning home. Not wanting to reinvent the wheel, so to speak, I asked her advice. Chores are done by all the children on a regular basis in their family. How does that play out? Is there a master list? Do they rotate? Who teaches them the tasks?

The children are trained in a particular chore, or chores depending on their level of ability. Then they are always responsible for that chore. When it is "chore time" there are no guesses as to what is expected, and Mum knows who is responsible if it's not done right. No rotation happens. After a year or two the child is proficient enough to teach the next child the chore and "pass the torch" and moves onto another task which they will do for the next year or two. What a great idea! It works well in our home...maybe you will implement this too. Let me know what you think!

BTW...what used to take Mum (that's me) about two hours to accomplish can all be completed in about 30 minutes, which leaves Mum free for other school. :)

September 1, 2009

Sanity Saving Laundry Tip

The back door without clothes and...

...With clothes! :)

Winter is coming; in the Pacific Northwest this means lots of wet weather. How do I keep my sanity while dealing with what seems like an endless supply of wet, muddy clothes? One of the things I implemented while the boys were young was the concept of "outside clothes" and "inside clothes". What a wonderful time saver. Another benefit was that it enabled me to keep a relatively clean home with a little less effort.

The system works like this:

Dedicate some clothes for "outside" only and let the kids wear them and get as wet and muddy as they like. When they come inside, hang them on a clothes horse, or something like it (we use a giraffe rack on the back door), to dry out until the next day. When the next day arrives they put those same clothes on dirty, but dry. Use them over and over again and only wash once every week or two!

"Inside" clothes are just that, only used for inside the house! These will only need a wash after a few days wear, unless your children are perpetual "spillers". If they fit into this category, take heart, they will eventually grow out of that tendency. Develop this system to fit your family's needs and you will be amazed at how much less "piled up" the laundry bin gets.