September 30, 2010

Feeling Overwhelmed?

Too much to do?
Too many commitments?
Where can we find help
at such times

I've been there.
I'll likely be there again.
We do not need to give up in despair ~
There is something that can be done!



Refocus on those things that REALLY matter.
It may be helpful to write it all down.

A list, perhaps?
Just point form ~
things that *must* be done.

Then prayerfully consider the list.
What can be crossed off?
You may find that the bare basics
are all that are left.
It may be that in this season all that can be
handled are the bare basics.

And that is O.K.A.Y.

God calls us to be faithful.
But to what?

To the things we've "signed up for"?
The things others expect of us?
The things we expect of ourselves?
Or to HIM?
And to HIS calling on our lives?

Just Do the Next Thing.
But be sure that *next* thing
is in line with what HE desires.

Certainly, if you are the Mom of any
little people...the next thing may be to
feed them, bathe them, read to them...

You will know what it is.
I will too.

Wait on the LORD first thing in the morning.
Lay out the day before HIM.
And the LIST.

Pray for wisdom to know what you should try to
accomplish that day.
If it's *just* feeding, clothing and caring for
the little people (spiritually as well as physically)~
That is enough.

Your work is noble.

It is a high calling to raise up the next generation.
For they will raise up the next generation.
Who will in turn raise up the next...
Are you beginning to see the picture?

Are we raising them up for HIM?

Susannah Wesley was a great example of a
Mother who had this higher vision.
Why do we know about her?
Because of her children...
And her God!

For an honest look from a precious friend of mine
(who is the mother of eight children) ~
Please Click Here.

Only click on the link provided
if you want to be challenged to do what is right!
But...I would HIGHLY encourage you to ~
I don't think you will regret it...she is so
sweet and loving about it! :)

May the LORD bless you each in your homes!
In His Love,

September 29, 2010

An Amazing Resource ~ For ANY Family

We have enjoyed looking at this
GIANT timeline of world history
with our children.
It's been a wonderful addition
to our home library.

It comes in a fold out format
with a cover, or not, depending on the
way you plan to use it.

If you have a large wall space (like a hallway or a playroom)
available for displaying a timeline such as this ~
you would want to order the book unbound.

We don't have a wall space as described above.
Our book is bound and we lay it out on the floor ~
The children read it on their tummies.

Adams World History ~
an accurate account of the history of the WORLD
chronologically laid out in a GIANT timeline format!

There is SO MUCH to take in!
Children (and their parents)
could literally spend hours studying the fascinating facts
which are laid out so beautifully.

REALLY, it is truly amazing and wonderful
to see the Hand of God throughout history ~
HIS story!

September 28, 2010

Easy Homemade Tomato Soup

Emma is learning to cook.
She loves to browse through recipe books...
especially her own!

"Christmas Fairy Cooking"
was the first cookbook she ever received.
She has thoroughly enjoyed kitchen-testing some of the
user-friendly recipes within it ~
with great results.

Now we have entered the zone of "real" cooking.
A sweet friend recently
gave her a "regular" cookbook.
She immediately began searching for something
to whip up in the kitchen.

One of the first things we tried was this recipe.
It's quick and easy!
Great for a last-minute lunch.
Just serve up with grilled cheese and you are set!

~ Easy Tomato Soup ~

Adapted from "Kids' Cookbook"
by James Mitchell

~ Ingredients ~

2 large onions, chopped
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
28 oz tin Diced Tomatoes
4 cups Vegetable Stock
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 Tbsp Sugar

~ Instructions ~

Fry onions in large pot with olive oil
until transparent.
Add remaining ingredients.
Bring to boil.
Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered,
for 15 to 20 minutes.
Use stick blender in the pot to blend until smooth ~
Or transfer to blender on the counter and blend till smooth.
Season to taste.

Serves 4 generously.


September 27, 2010

The Overhaul!

We have just begun our fifth year of homeschool.
We have not always home-educated.

In fact,
we used to be opposed to it!

Our playroom was deemed the *perfect* classroom
by our homeschool friends.

the LORD wasn't going to call us to
do such a thing

A playroom it would remain.
Or so I thought.

For four years our schoolroom was just as it appears
in this post.

But this year we made some changes.
We only removed the little red table with
its one remaining chair.
Everything else was kept.
Most things were rearranged ~
The Overhaul! feels
So. Much. Better!

811. Thankful for an area in our home to "do school"

812. Thankful that the LORD called us to this!

813. And thankful that the children WANT to!

814. Enthusiasm of the children

815. The branching out and searching out on their own

816. New discoveries

817. Making discoveries together

818. Field trips taken together
(instead of with their separate classes)

819. Working through problems with our children

820. Their willingness to work at it

821. The "thank you" from a child and the hugs that follow

822. The sparkle in their eyes when they "get it"!

823. That I'm not too old to learn :)

824. Access to amazing resources

825. Thankful that we are able to teach from a
Christian Worldview

826. Thankful that the LORD promises to give us
the wisdom and grace and strength we need

827. A husband who believes in what we are doing

828. And who encourages along the way

829. And for his help in rearranging the room...
until midnight one night!

830. Getting to the bottom of the piles

831. Finding a place for everything!

832. A reading couch for the school
that was found at a garage sale many years ago

833. That the reading couch can be a bed for the child
who gives up their bed for an overnight guest

834. For Kristy who has had many a sleepover :)

835. Bookshelves and bookshelves and
books and books and books

836. For "Little House in the Big Woods" ~
our current after lunch read-aloud...

837. And thankful for my friend
@ Wanting What I Have
who rekindled the idea! :)

Many blessings,

September 24, 2010

What's Next?

Sometimes we get frozen into doing NOTHING.
But, we KNOW we should be doing SOMETHING!
What should our motto be at times like that?

This is mine...

~ Do The Next Thing ~

From an old English parsonage down by the sea,
There came in the twilight a message to me.
Its quaint Saxon legend deeply engraven
Hath it seems to me, teaching from heaven.
And all through the hours the quiet words ring,
Like a low inspiration, do the next thing.

Many a questioning, many a fear,
Many a doubt hath its quieting here.
Moment by moment, let down from heaven,
Time, opportunity, and guidance are given.
Fear not tomorrows, child of the King,
Trust them with Jesus, do the next thing.

Do it immediately, do it with prayer;
Do it reliantly, casting all care.
Do it with reverence, tracing His hand,
Who placed it before thee with earnest command.
Stayed on Omnipotence, safe ‘neath His wing,
Leave all results, do the next thing.

Looking to Jesus, ever serener,
Working or suffering be thy demeanor;
In His dear presence, the rest of His calm,
The light of His countenance, be thy psalm,
Strong in His faithfulness, praise and sing.
Then, as He beckons, do the next thing.

Author Unknown

Often quoted by Elisabeth Elliot

September 22, 2010

Fast Food ~ Homemade!

Ever feel like just taking the family out to eat at
a fast food restaurant after a long day?
Does making dinner sometimes feel like an overwhelming
task to tackle?

Don't give in to that feeling!

After all, you have to pack everyone up into the car,
unload them all at the restaurant,
keep them safe while you are there,
load them back up again,
and maybe even give them all
baths them when you return home!

Here are a couple of quick solutions I use.
Would you like to share some of your ideas
in the comments section?
I'm sure we would all benefit from some fresh inspiration for the
"I can't make dinner tonight"
thoughts we sometimes think! :)

How about whipping up a salad with pre-washed organic greens,
half a tin of salmon, any assortment of chopped veggies ~
I especially like to add some sliced avocado ~
and a handful of raisins added in for good measure?
Make this up on individual plates ~
this saves on dishes and ensures that the ingredients are
distributed evenly amongst your guests.
Serve with a roll or slice of bread on the side.
Voila! Dinner is served!

Scambled or fried eggs anyone?
Make it colourful by quartering a tomato on the side.
Serve with steamed veggies and a roll or toast.

We have even had a feast of corn on the cob.
Yum Yum!

Ideas anyone?
Add them into the comments section ~
It would be wonderful to hear from you!


September 21, 2010

Favourite Devotional Books

There are a few special books that I cherish.
Other than the Bible, of course ~
It's the MOST important book I own!

But, there are a few devotional books that are
wonderful to dig into for
an added dose of spiritual encouragement.

A long-time favourite of ours is
Spurgeon's "Morning and Evening".
It really is a TREASURE!
I cannot speak too highly of it.
We feel as though Spurgeon has pastored us over the years...
so encouraging!

We recently were told about "365 Days With Calvin",
which is edited by Joel R. Beeke.
We find it to be a refreshing addition to our collection of
spiritually encouraging books.

Jerry Bridges' "Holiness Day by Day"
was one we were given just a little over a year ago.
It has been a blessing to us both since then.
Such practical insights are found within it.

The first two are based in the KJV of the Bible.
Jerry Bridges' book is not,
but do not dismiss it because of that...
it is still most definitely worthy of a read!

I tend to look up the verses in my own
copy of God's Word and read the context of the verses
referred to in the devotional for that day.
Of course, we always want to focus on the Word of God ~
these types of books are just helps and encouragements along the way.

May the LORD help us each day to spend time in
HIS Word and prayer ~
HE is Worthy!


September 19, 2010

Grandpa Can Cook!

Not long ago my Dad invited
Emma and her Mummy (that's me)
to have dinner at his house.

He would COOK!

AND it. was. good.

We had a lovely visit.
We ended our time together
looking through some old photos
and sharing stories of the past ~
the long past.

Family history.

My Dad agreed to let me take those old photos home.
I took notes so that they could be properly labeled.
How precious these things are.
They mean more than gems or jewels.
These are the real treasures.

Thank you Dad!

Continuing this Monday to give thanks
to the ONE Who gives all things!

Really, the numbering of blessings is one of the
most wonderful of practices that I have begun.

Would you care to join us?
We are either thankful or unthankful ~
there is no neutral ground.

Would you be one of those who will take up the challenge to
continually give thanks?

It is a life-altering discipline.
And SUCH a blessing ~ try it and see!

796. A Dad who gives of himself

797. These precious days and moments

798. Good food prepared for me ~
A real treat! :)

799. Family history to learn about
and a Dad who still remembers the stories

800. The photos that are now mine!
I've wanted them for years! :)

801. Moments to hide in our hearts as memories

802. Joy on the face of the little girl
as she looks into the face of her Grandpa

803. Joy on the Grandpa's face as he looks into
the face of the little girl

804. That my Dad lives only a few minutes' drive away

805. That we can even ride bikes to his house!

806. Thankful that he loves the same Saviour we do

807. The prayers of a father for his children
and for their children too

808. Time together ~ we don't know for how long

809. Thankful that our times are in HIS hands,
and we have NOTHING to fear if we are truly HIS!

810. Thankful that HE gives the desire to share HIS grace with others ~
might we all be faithful to lovingly point the way

Many Blessings,

September 17, 2010


Do you ever get worried
or burdened down with care?
Is there too much to carry on your own?

We were never meant to carry it all alone.
The LORD never leaves us
if we belong to HIM.

"Cast thy burden upon the LORD,
and he shall sustain thee:
he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved."
~ Psalm 55:22 ~

"Casting all your care upon him;
for he careth for you."
~ I Peter 5:7 ~

May the LORD minister to each of you,
kind friends,
with the Word of HIS Truth.
HE is greatly to be praised!
How precious HE is to us!


September 15, 2010

Skor Bar Trifle

Now THIS is worth every calorie!
Or, at least, you could get lulled into thinking such
thoughts when you try your first spoonful!

It originally was supposed to be a layer cake,
and called for a cake mix.
To simplify things, I altered it to become a trifle dessert,
which is served in a bowl.

I recently discovered a new cake recipe that works
so well in this trifle.
My friend Linda from Prairie Flower Farm
has it featured on her blog ~
You will find her recipe at the very bottom of this post ~
just omit the icing.
Of course, you could use a regular cake mix,
but the homemade cake is more dense,
and in my opinion ~ better.

So, how do you create Skor Bar Trifle?

Bake a chocolate cake.
Use a mix or the above recipe, or one of your own.
Let it cool.
Once it's cool, cut into little chunks.

Whip up 500 ml (2 cups) of whipping cream
with 1/4 cup cocoa powder and 1/2 cup sugar in it.
Whip until stiff.

Crush 4 Skor Bars ~ chocolate bars with hard toffee inside.
Stir the little crunched up pieces of Skor into the
chocolate whipped cream.

Layer the cake and the cream mixture in a pretty bowl
alternating twice, ending with the cream.
Decorate with another crushed Skor Bar,
or with chocolate sprinkles, or just a dusting of cocoa powder.

Refrigerate until serving time.

September 12, 2010

Heritage ~ What Are We Building?

We each have an heritage.
And we are leaving one behind.
Where have we come from?
And what are we building?
Who is in our family tree?
And WHO is the Maker of us all?

We have been placed by HIM in the
family we are in.
None of us have perfect families,
but we have a PERFECT God.
Are we living our lives for HIM?

HE uses all things to mould us into HIS image
and to shape us for HIS use.
Are you mouldable?
Am I?

~ My Dad and his sister Fran around 1940 ~

~ Beverley, Fran, Don, and Walter ~

Continuing to number the "ordinary" blessings
in this life that HE has given...

771. A legacy to leave for our children

772. The ability to be useful in HIS Kingdom in this home ~
what a thought!

773. Heritage to discover

774. Following in HIS paths

775. Leading our young ones to do the same

776. Making memories

777. The first day back to school and the beach was quiet ~ perfect!

778. Walking at the beach with our children ~
these days are passing too quickly!

779. Thirteen-year-old who comes alongside me
and joins hands with mine

780. Eleven-year-old who joins in on the other side

781. The fresh fall weather

782. Sounds of the ocean and birds and crickets

783. The girl that notices and thinks and says some of the same things
I am thinking! How precious!

784. The flowers that are picked just for me and given with love ~
thank you Fraser! :)

785. Train rumbling by

786. Boys that run

787. Girl that jogs alongside and chatters

788. She asks "What are we having for lunch?" ~
I ask for ideas. We go home and make it together! :)

789. And "What are we having for dinner?" ~
And planning the rest of the day's meals together
hand in hand in joy...the days are flying by!

790. Returning to "order" and "schedules" and "back to school"

791. Clearing out and cleaning up

792. Fresh beginnings

793. The return of rain

794. The energy to do the things that need to be done

795. The wisdom to let some things go :)

Many Blessings,

September 11, 2010

Bite That Tongue!

Oh I talk A LOT!
I always have...just ask my parents!
AND my husband! :)

BUT...what does the Bible say about this??

"In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin:
but he that refraineth his lips is wise."
~ Proverbs 10:19 ~

"Be not rash with thy mouth,
and let not thine heart be hasty to utter
any thing before God:
for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth:
therefore, let thy words be few.
For a dream cometh through the multitude of business;
and a fool's voice is known by multitude of words."
~ Ecclesiastes 5:2-3 ~

"The tongue can no man tame;
it is an uruly evil, full of deadly poison.
Therewith bless we God, even the Father;
and therewith curse we men,
which are made after the simlitude of God.
Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing.
My brethren, these things ought not so to be."
~ James 3:8-10 ~

Oh. Dear. Me.

The Scriptures really do say it all.
Do we take the time to consider what we are speaking about,
and to whom?

Should they be listening to what I am saying?
Should I be saying the things that I am?
Am I following this Scripture?

"Let your speech be alway with grace,
seasoned with salt,
that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man."
~ Colossians 4:6 ~

And these?

"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."
~ Ephesians 4:29 ~

"Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, 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 4:31-32 ~

Oh that the LORD might put a watch over my tongue!
And that I might have wisdom to use my words
to please and honour HIM!

"Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise:
and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding."
~ Proverbs 17:28 ~


September 9, 2010

Crab Bisque

My Mum-in-Love and Emma and I
enjoyed time together at a little tea shop a few months ago.
It was a delightful day.

Mum and I ordered soup for lunch and it was YUMMY!
This little tea shop has British owners and I felt bold enough
to ask for the recipe.
Maybe it's because they know Mum and share her heritage.
Or maybe it's because I'm just bold.
Whatever the reason, it didn't matter.

It all fell flat.

The man who created the soup was not there to
tell me his secrets.
The man's wife said that he likely wouldn't
be able to be much help anyway.
He doesn't write his recipes down and
"tweaks" them as he cooks.

What to do?

I was craving some of that soup.
I *googled* Crab Bisque...
I called my sister...
I looked in my recipe books...
but *the* recipe elluded me.

Out of desperation, the following recipe was created.
And now, I'm sharing it with all of you...
I do hope you enjoy it! :)

~ Camille's Crab Bisque ~

~ Ingredients ~

1/3 cup Butter
2 or 3 medium Leeks (white and light green part only)
4 large New Potatoes (red, white or yellow)
2 Red Bell Peppers
6 cups Water
2 Organic Vegetable cubes (stock)
2 tins of Crab Meat (drained)
2 cups Half and Half Cream
1 tsp Curry Powder
Salt, Pepper and Cayenne Pepper ~ to taste

~ Method ~

Melt the butter in a large heavy pot over medium heat.
Add in the chopped leeks and toss and cook a few minutes.
Add in the chopped potatoes and red peppers and cook a few more minutes.
Add in the water, vegetable cubes and spices.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and simmer, partly covered,
for about 15 minutes ~ until the potatoes are softened.
Blend soup in a blender, or use a hand-held stick blender right in the pot,
to make the soup smooth.
Add in the drained crab meat and cream.
Stir and simmer another minute or two.
Adjust seasonings to taste.

Serves six generously.


September 8, 2010

Update ~ Chicken Broth Questions/Answers

This post comes as a result of the questions left in the
comments section on yesterday's post.

If you do not have the ability to watch video on your computer,
the tutorial link I gave will not be helpful!
So, here in a nutshell are the instructions for the way I make broth.

~ Camille’s Chicken Broth ~

I get a 4 or 5 pound organic bird and I roast it
(I actually cook two of them) and we eat "roast chicken dinner"
the first night.

Then I strip off all the meat and put it in the fridge for the soup making day.
The carcass and skin and bones all get refrigerated until the next morning.
In the morning I take the carcass (skin, bones and all),
and put them in my stock pot.
I pour cold water to cover so that everything is under
the water by about an inch or so.
~ If you need to, you can add ice cubes to make it really cold,
because it's going to sit out for awhile.
I pour in a few tablespoons of organic apple cider vinegar
and let it sit covered on the stove without the
heat for at least an hour.
(Apparently, this draws the calcium out of the bones).

After the hour is past,
roughly chop two large carrots,
a large onion and two or three stalk of celery.
(I use more for two chickens).
Add them into the pot.
Turn the heat on high and bring to a boil.
Skim off the foam that rises to the top.
Turn down the heat to keep at a very very gentle simmer...
barely, but still slowly simmering.
Continue to skim off foam until it is clear.

Now cover your pot with the lid cracked a bit to
allow steam to escape ~ Very Important.

Let simmer like this all day...
try for 12 hours.

At the end of the simmering time you can plunge a
whole head of parsley into the mix and let sit for a few minutes.
This adds more nutrients to your broth.

Strain all the chunks out through a fine mesh strainer and discard.
If you want really clear broth, use cheese cloth to line your strainer.
At this point many people "clarify" the broth by letting it cool
overnight in the fridge and then skim off the layer
of fat that rises to the top.
With the organic chickens I don't find there is much fat
(especially since I make the stock from a previously roasted bird),
and a little fat adds to the flavour.
I don't do this step, but you can ~ it's a personal choice.

Your stock is ready to be used!
I make soups like normal,
but this stock is not salty,
so more salt would be required than "normal"
if you are used to using cubes or powdered "stock".

For my friend at "Wanting What I Have" (and anyone else, including me)
who are wondering about canning broth ~
I asked my friend Christa, and this is what she kindly shared with me.
**Obviously, you will want to be safe while doing such a thing,
so researching it out is a good idea!
Here was her answer ~

"I process my chicken stock in a pressure canner for 25 minutes
at 10 pounds of pressure.
You CANNOT process chicken broth or stock in a water bath canner."

Thank you Christa for helping us out here! :)

Any other questions?
I do hope you all give it a is SO good!
AND so good for you!


September 7, 2010

The Benefits of Stock

Homemade stock (chicken, beef, or fish)
is something I have been learning more about this past year.

Why did Grandma make broth?

Was there a purpose to it,
or was it something she just couldn't buy in cube form?
Maybe the answer is BOTH!

Last winter I made chicken broth faithfully ~
it was a staple in our diet.
I don't know whether it's by coincidence or not,
but we had the healthiest winter we can remember since having children!

Michelle at "She Looketh Well" posted an amazing video tutorial
on her blog to demonstrate the step-by-step method she uses to make stock.
I do mine in basically the same way and it is WONDERFUL!!
Just click on the link above to find her tutorial video.

Two of my favourite uses for this chicken stock are
Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup and
Tanya's Turkey Soup.
Yum Yum!

**Update ~ I answered questions that were asked
in the comments section in another post.
Find it by clicking here.

September 5, 2010

Memories of Summer

Summer gives way to fall.
The seasons ebb and flow and
I continue to give thanks.

the seasons.

The weather changes and so do the activities.
We look back and wonder where the time went.
How did it go so quickly?

"Back to School"?

We embrace the life God gives and the things in it to be done
and we enjoy remembering the moments...

741. Little girl stretched out on her tummy colouring ~
pink socks in the air

742. Quatchi and Mukmuk ~
deeply discounted Olympics stuff

743. The birthday celebrations...Fraser's and Mine

744. The silly moments...

745. Shoes lined up at the front door...
ready to slip on at a moment's notice

746. The continued (maybe?) promise of corn ~
this was a new experience for us

747. Whites on the line ~
bleaching in the sun

748. A "photo moment" with one of God's little creatures...

749. Two oldest helping out with some painting ~
they did a great job too!

750. Two middle children making a tent out of cardboard boxes and
asking to spend the night ~ those crazy kids! :)
Just a side note ~ this box was from our new deck furniture and this
"tent" was created on the night of our "cousin cook-out"...

751. "End of the season" sale on lovely hanging baskets...
about a month ago!

752. Oldest mastering the "art" of reading directions ~
and assembling our new patio chairs mostly on his own...
thank you Austin!

753. Patio furniture found at a "clearance" sale ~
God's blessings!

754. Father and son working together

755. Entrepreneurial young men ~
And the neighbours that hire them! :)

756. Enjoying the new furniture ~
photos of the boys taken in secret. :)

757. A Daddy that will colour with his little girl...precious!

758. Rooftop experiences ~
and thankful that nothing got broken! :)

759. Oldest saying ~ "Mum, this is so MUCH fun...
Dad's playing with us!" ~
An impromtu water fight on a hot summer's day ~
the "little" things!

760. Oldest and youngest boy climbing "the" tree together ~
shared excitement and experiences...conquering fears!
AND again ~ thankful that nothing got broken! :)

**Do you see the little white dot at the top of the tree?
That would be Austin ~
Be. Still. My. Heart!

761. Corinthian Bells ~
Windchimes from my sister...thank you!! :)

762. Homemade blackberry syrup...oh yum!

763. Daddy and two youngest camping out in the backyard

764. The *last* outdoor fire of the season

765. Roasting hot dogs on an open fire

766. More S'Mores!

767. A few more days of sun before fall weather sets in

768. Stars in the night sky...God's handiwork ~
the wonder of it all!

769. Excitement of youth and...

770. How it rubs off on us...

Many Blessings,