March 31, 2012

In HIS Grip ~ An Update

How my heart aches.  And yet, God gives His peace.
There's a long road ahead.  We've only just begun...

Oh the tears we have shed!
Oh the strength that HE gives!
How wonderful to be held firmly in HIS grip.
It appears that Austin's heart has been
compromised far longer than we at first believed.

His 2009 echo-cardiogram (ultrasound of the heart),
upon closer examination, seems to show
impaired heart function, which would mean that
it went undetected at that time.

Hindsight is always 20/20.
This heart condition, it would appear,
predates the earliest signs of Crohn's Disease.

We had no idea.

We could have suddenly lost him.
He is in what appears to be the advanced stages of heart failure.
There are still more tests to be run, and medicines to take.
There is the potential for a pace maker to be inserted in the next little while.
We are waiting for the results of blood work and
will not have all the answers from that for at least another week.

So, we wait.

God is in control.  And we rest in Him.
Where would we be without Him?
What a comfort it is that we are not!

I cannot even fathom life here without Austin.
And yet, that is a very real possibility.  Not imminently. But, eventually.
Unless the LORD intervenes.  We pray that HE will use the means.
And we pray that HE will do the miraculous.

It appears that Austin's heart has sustained irreversible damage.
He has what is known as Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM).
The favourable third (in my previous post) does not appear to be his lot.
We know that God is able to heal. We pray that He will.

But, we know that He is still Good if He does not.

We thought we had given our children over to the LORD years ago.
But, this turn of events has shed new light on that.
We must hold them with a light hand. They do not belong to us.

May we live this out.  Day by day.
By His Grace.  For His glory.
Austin is fully informed.  And he is processing it all.
And God is giving him grace.  But, he will have to grieve as well.

And then live.

Please pray that the LORD will continue to give him all
that will be required for this journey.
And please pray that we would be able to be a blessing to him as we seek 
to point him and ourselves to the LORD.

And, of course, please pray for healing! God is able.
And to think that he says to us ~ "I sure hope you're not losing sleep over this!"
He really has no idea!

Thank you to each one of you for your prayers and loving concern.
We sense the Lord carrying us. He is such a gracious and loving Saviour!
We are blessed.

"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace,
whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee.
Trust ye in the LORD forever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength."
~ Isaiah 26:3-4 ~

Much love, Camille

**If you have missed the other posts
in this journey, and would like to read them ~
Please click here for the first, and click here for the second,
click here for the next, and click here for the last.

March 28, 2012

Full Circle ~ An Update

We've come full circle.
Austin began life as a heart patient.
And he is one again.

We had no idea that his condition was as serious as it is!
And we had no idea that it was his heart troubling him
rather than Crohn's Disease.  What a shock!

On Monday (the day after he was admitted),
he was transferred to the ICU at Children's hospital
due to a heart condition that we were unaware of.
He is currently still there.

As an infant, he had open heart surgery.
And now, his heart is enlarged.
Dangerously so.

~ Austin in 1996 ~

Crohn's Disease is on the back burner. It's secondary.
This particular heart condition is rare ~ Only 1:100,000.
And life-threatening. Scary.

One third of children who contract this malady die.
One third live with impaired heart function.
And one third recover completely.

We pray that Austin will be in the latter category.
But, if he is not, we know that ALL things work together
for good for those who belong to the LORD.
HE truly does all things well.  And we rest in HIS perfect plan.

Austin loves the LORD.  This is the most important thing.
Everything else pales in comparison.  It's first.
How precious it is to know that our son knows his destiny.
Such a comfort at such a time.

Please continue to pray.  The journey to come is a long one.
We will not have answers to all our questions for months at the earliest.
In the meantime, we live.  And we grieve.
But, we do not despair.  HE is giving grace and strength
outside of ourselves.

May the LORD help us to honour HIM day by day.
How gracious HE is to us!  We are so thankful to belong to HIM!
Thank you SO much for your prayers and for your concerns.
They are such a blessing to us all!  We know that the LORD
is in control of this storm.

"...the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm,
and the clouds are the dust of his feet."
~ Nahum 1:3b ~

"The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble..."
~ Nahum 1:7a ~

Many Blessings to you each one!
In HIS Love, Camille

**The next post in this series is found by clicking here.
The third post is here.  The fourth post is here.

P.S. I am currently unable
to repay the visit to you at your place...
please know that I have not forgotten you!

March 26, 2012

The Big Guns

Sometimes the Big Guns are required.
There's no shame in that.
Through God's Providential Care, our child with Crohn's Disease
is in Children's Hospital.  He is there by design.

And God is Good.  Always.

We see His Hand in all the events that have led to this moment.
We see His Loving Care being displayed to our precious son.
He is sick.  Very sick.
And he is receiving amazing care.
We are so thankful for this mercy.

What a blessing to know that it is the LORD Who holds us.
We are standing on the Solid Rock.

We still believe that an excellent way to
manage this disease is through diet.
For the long term.
But, right now, he needs the Big Guns.
And he is getting them.  By God's Grace.

Please pray that the LORD would have His way in this storm.
And that we would have wisdom in the midst of it all.
Thank you so much for your kind friendship ~
it is a great blessing.

I will be offline for the next little while ~
just so you know where I've gone.

Much Love to you all!

March 21, 2012

Drip. Drip. Drip.

Drip. Drip. Drip.
Yup.  That's me.  Sometimes.
Not good.  Not good at all!

My friend just blessed another friend's daughter 
with a wedding shower.
She gave a devotional talk to the bride-to-be.
But, we were all there to listen in.  And it *hit home*.

The verse?

"A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a
contentious woman are alike."
~ Proverbs 27:15 ~

The examples she gave were real and true.  Sadly.

She said that if we treated co-workers like

we sometimes treat our husbands those co-workers would avoid us.
Yup. Indeedy.

Again, we must all sit up and take notice.

Why would God's Word address this if it were
not true?  And true often.

It is a universal vice.

We all, at one time or another, will struggle with it.
And it is sin.  And where ought we to run with our sin?
That's right ~ to the Cross.

The LORD died for this.

HE will give strength and grace to live for HIM.
He enables us to do as we ought to.  And, HE forgives.

How wonderful it is!

One day at a time.  Moment by moment.  With HIM.

"Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, 

sweet to the soul, and health to the bones."
~ Proverbs 16:24 ~

On this journey too.

Many Blessings, Camille

March 20, 2012

One by One

I did not deserve God's mercy,
yet, He gave it.
I am not deserving of His grace,
but He continues to supply it.
Because of the finished
work of Jesus Christ.

As time goes on,
I am more and more aware that
what I actually deserve is
eternal separation from Him forever.
Outside of Christ....

I deserve Hell.

Oh the thought of it!
And yet, He chose to extend Life to me.
He continually gives grace and mercy.
He promises to save all who come to Him.
How Amazing and Wonderful!

Are you HIS?

"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 ~

Run to Him today!

This knowledge has put into
perspective quite a few things.
We have had recent trials and struggles.
Sorrows that even those closest to us
know nothing of.

And yet, through it all,
there is joy.
And peace.
And comfort.

And we have been provided for.
And we have been sheltered.
And we have been encouraged.

The LORD is Faithful.

What more can be said?

The list continues to grow.
The mercies abound.
The graces are numbered.
And we rejoice!

All we have is from His Hand.
Numbering God's gifts ~
One by One.

1609. That I do not get what I deserve ~
That's Mercy!

1610. That I get what I do not deserve ~
That's Grace!

1611. That the LORD is merciful ~
Extending Life to me!

1612. For godly influence

1613. For godly teaching and instruction
in a wonderful church

1614. For internet connection
and audio broadcast live
when we are unable to be there in person

1615. That my Dad thought
to blow this photo up so long ago ~
He was is a treasure!
(Fraser, Calvin, and Austin Summer 2001 ~
2, 4, and 6 years old)
Be. Still. My. Heart.

1616. That these boys are growing
up and following the example of their
Daddy in so many ways

1617. For a Dad who takes his
sons on business meetings ~
What a blessing!

1618. For a *new to us* van to drive in ~
truly an *extra* and not a *need*

1619. Mornings like this...

1620. Last effort of winter ~
But Spring is coming!

1621. Birthdays and birthdays and MORE birthdays ~
Four in the space of 7 1/2 weeks!

1622. The joy on their faces! :)

1623. Celebrating with family
and friends

1624. Learning and growing...
still (thankfully)

1625. Provisions and seeing that
they come directly from our Loving
Heavenly Father ~
A pair of Sunday Pants for Calvin
on sale and a pair of Sunday Shoes
from the Thrift Store (the label on
the sole said they were Italian made!)

1626. Music ~

1627. And that the piano had
its tri-annual tuning...

My journal sits on my counter.

I list as events unfold.
Sometimes many all at once,
and other times in a trickle.

Would you like to begin?
Just grab a pen and a journal,
set them out on the counter,
and list out your blessings.
Find the joy in the moments ~
As they arrive.

Enjoy the journey!

Many Blessings,

March 19, 2012

Chai Tea Latte ~ Homemade

Chai Tea Latte with Vanilla
is my preferred indulgence
whenever I go to Starbucks.


Recently, I was there
with a friend and our
two little girls.
As, per usual, I ordered
my usual.

And my friend asked if
I wanted the recipe for a
homemade Chai Tea.
You know what I said, right?

That's right.

So, now I can share with you!
Are you excited?
You should be! :)

Measure out 1 cup water per
tea bag and set in a pot to boil.
(I really like this made with
Vanilla Rooibos...but,
any regular tea will do!)

Reduce heat to simmer and add
1 heaping teaspoon each of
the following whole spices (not ground) ~
Cardamom, Cloves, Fennel, and a Cinnamon stick.
Simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes
with lid partially vented.

Add in a heaping teaspoon of brown sugar
and 1 cup of full fat milk.

Heat through, but do not boil.
Strain and serve.

This recipe makes enough for one
GIANT mug or two regular sized ones...
with no option for seconds.


Thank you my sweet
friend for sharing! :)

Many Blessings,

March 14, 2012

Let it Roll

Ever observe a duck?
He dives under the surface ~
Bobs up ~
And all the water
just rolls off his back.

It's amazing.

We are to be like this
when it comes to some
things in life.
Let things roll off of
us without sinking in.
The negative stuff, that is.

The nasty words of others.
The hurtful actions.
Especially those things
that were unintentionally hurtful.


We are not to absorb those things.
Doing so can lead to bitterness.

I speak from experience.

It's never a good thing
to harbour nasty stuff in our hearts.
To replay it over and over
in our minds.
To share the hurt around
in the form of gossip.
To lash out and bite back.

Not a good thing at all.

Only by the Grace of God are we
able to let things go.
Turn the other cheek.
Pray for those who mistreat us.
Show love in the face of hatred.
Only by HIS grace are we
able to move on.
In HIS Strength.


Breathe deep.
These are the *real* things.
And HE alone is able.
Look to HIM.
Draw strength from HIM.
HE will meet us in our need.

For HIS glory.

May HE give us all
daily the grace and strength
we need to follow HIM
in these ways.

Many Blessings,

**Photo in this post
courtesy of our precious Calvin ~
Thank you so much! XO

March 12, 2012

Dairy Free Mint Ice Cream!

You would never know this
ice cream has no sugar in it ~
Just honey.

And no CREAM either ~
Only coconut milk!


It is yummy.

and one *secret* ingredient
to make it green ~

Can you believe it?
Shhh....don't tell my kids! :)

I found the original recipe here.
And then I tweaked it ~
Just a little.

If you are looking for
dairy-free, sugar-free, grain-free recipes,
The Unrefined Kitchen
is a great resource!

~ Mint Ice Cream ~

Three 400ml tins premium quality coconut milk ~
Or just two if you use the liquidy stuff...
Make sure these are full fat, not *lite*! :)

1/2 cup Liquid Honey

1 cup Baby Spinach Leaves ~
Lightly steamed and cooled

2-3 tsp Peppermint Extract

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Chocolate Chips to taste ~
My photo does not show chocolate
chips since this was a chocolate-free batch.
It's super-duper yummy with chocolate
chips in it though!

Scoop off the top heavy cream from
your tins of coconut milk and
discard the watery stuff ~
Or, if you are using all the contents
of the tin, just use two.
(I have done it both ways,
and I prefer the taste when
the watery stuff is not included).

Place into blender or a deep bowl.

Add the remaining ingredients
and blend ~ I use a deep bowl and
mix it all up well with my immersion blender.

Taste and adjust flavourings.

Process in your ice cream maker according
to manufacturer's specifications.

If adding chocolate chips,
do so at the end of churning and
fold in until well distributed.

Transfer to a freezer container.
Store in the deep freeze until
ready to use.

Thaw a few minutes prior to scooping.



March 7, 2012

A Slice of Life

Just yesterday,
I kept the camera handy.
My desire was to preserve some
memories of this stage of our lives.

A Slice of Life.

Splashes of colour.

Emma has begun
making friendship bracelets
in earnest.

Each one has its
own unique combination
of colours ~
So pretty.

Just had to snap this one...

...And this one too.

Calvin frequently rushes
outdoors to capture
something special on his camera.

Emma copies him.

It's a joy to see
this love of photography
acted upon.

Fraser can often be heard
creating music on the piano.

Austin joins in and they
collaborate their efforts.

I *love* how music is
a part of the *everyday*
in our home.

A stack of vintage (1970's) Disney
comic books (thank you Grandpa!)
sits on the table
(or beside the tub)
as Emma enjoys.

Other reading material
is employed as well ~
just not in the bath! :)

I am so thankful! :)

And yes...

We use workbooks
as well as the computer.

Our wannabe architect *loves* to build things ~
Currently, this rollercoaster
lives in the kitchen.

The ordinary things
make up most of life.

We stop.
Take notice.
And the *ordinary*
things become precious.

The moments.
The days.
The months.
The years.

And they build upon one another
to make memories.
We capture some of them.
And then they are gone.

How quickly one
season gives way to another.
And this is life.

May the LORD continually
give HIS grace to live it for HIM!

Many Blessings,

March 3, 2012

The Old Way

Sometimes the Old Way
really is the Best Way!

I thought I needed to revamp
my system

Home responsibilities
for the children were divided up.
And matrixed.
And rotated.

But, I found it
was a little too
complicated for my liking.
I didn't have a good handle on
who was to do what and when.

I discovered that I liked the
old way of doing things better.
With adjustments.

Of course.

My old system was lacking
in some areas.
So, it's been overhauled.
And, re-instated.

Each child has a responsibility
or two (or three).
The same one
(or two or three).

They know what to do
and when to do it.

If something is not being done,
I know which child has neglected their duty.
It's foolproof.
(Is anything REALLY foolproof?)

And easy.


In our system ~
(which, btw, I learned about from
my friend with ten children) ~
The children's jobs stay the same for at
least a year at a time.
This way, they become proficient at them,
which makes it MUCH easier on us all.

Yippee! :)

How do you manage responsibilities
around your home?
Do you have a chart?
Do your children switch jobs
or keep the same ones?
Or, do you do everything?
(That used to be me ~
But, I found that I really NEEDED
the help of our children.)

On a side note...

I sincerely hope
this type of thing
never occurs in your home if
one of your children is assigned
the task of vacuuming.
It only happened here once ~ LOL!
(Click on the link above to discover
what is wrapped around the power brush...
the guilty party shall remain nameless).

Happy Homemaking!

March 1, 2012

On the Lighter Side

They really are addictive.
And these are no exception.

I cannot bake unless
I am prepared to eat.

And, at the moment,
I am not prepared to.

my family doesn't complain
when the cookie jar sits empty
for M.O.N.T.H.S.

Recently, I taught
Emma a few things about baking.
Her first project?

And these were the ones she baked ~
with a little help from Mummy.

And now,
the cookie jar is empty.

Are you willing to
fill yours up?

~ Basic Chocolate Chip Cookies ~
(Adapted from the back
of a Hershey's Chipits
Chocolate Chip Bag)

2/3 cup Butter, melted
2 cups Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
2 Tbsp Water
2 1/2 cups Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Vanilla
Dash of Sea Salt
2 cups Chocolate Chips
(Milk or semi-sweet)

Beat together first four
ingredients in mixer.
Stir in everything else
except the chocolate chips.
When everything is mixed
together nicely,
stir in the chocolate chips.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment.
Drop batter from spoon
well spaced apart ~
These will spread.

Bake at 375* F for 8-10 minutes.

Cool on pan before transferring
to wire rack to cool completely.

Store in your cookie jar for a few days,
or freeze for longer storage.
Be forewarned...
these are super duper good frozen!

I know.

Happy Baking!

**Disclaimer ~
The title for this post
does not reflect the caloric
value of its contents. ;-)