August 29, 2013

Comforting Words

Our precious Auntie Mary gave me a lovely little book
on one of her recent visits to Canada.
I put it into my purse thinking I would read 
snippets of it here and there.
It's full of short quotes from letters which 
Samuel Rutherford wrote nearly 400 years ago.

Recently, I took it out of my purse so I could take it along
on a day trip to visit my friend on the Island.
The trip required over three hours on the ferry ~ lots of time for reading.
I found it to be full of rich nuggets
that ministered to my grieving Mama heart.

Such encouragement, comfort and truth
can be discovered within its pages.  It's precious.
I am sharing a few lines from this little book here today.
May these words be used to encourage your heart as they have mine.

"They are not lost to you that are laid up in Christ's treasury in Heaven.

At the resurrection ye shall meet with them: 
there they are, sent before, but not sent away.
Your Lord loveth you, who is homely to take and give,
borrow and lend."

~ Calvin, Austin and Fraser Circa 2002 ~

"She is not sent away, but only sent before,

like unto a star, which going out of your sight, doth not die and vanish,
but shineth in another hemisphere:
ye see her not, yet she doth shine in another country."

"The child hath but changed a bed in the garden,

and is planted up higher, nearer the sun,
where he shall thrive better than in this out-field moor-ground."

Comforting words?  Absolutely.

Many Blessings,


**All quotes in this post are taken from Samuel Rutherford's
"The Loveliness of Christ" ~ a rare gem of a book!

August 21, 2013

Austin's Resurrection Bed

It is such a comforting thing for my Mama heart to consider this ~
Austin's body was sown in corruption, but, it will rise in glory.
Just as the Lord Jesus Christ's body was raised up
in perfection from the tomb, so will Austin's.
From this very spot ~ his resurrection bed.

"But now is Christ risen from the dead,
and become the firstfruits of them that slept."
~ I Corinthians 15:20 ~

"So also is the resurrection of the dead.
It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:
It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory:
it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:
It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body.
There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body."
~ I Corinthians 15:42-44 ~

**Our last name was photo-shopped out of this image**

The grave marker was fashioned from a slab of polished black granite.

We are so pleased with the workmanship of the carving ~ 
the family who did the work are true craftsmen.
We are also thankful for the message it conveys.  
John 6:37 was Austin's favourite verse ~ please click here to read it.

Austin's trust was solely and alone in the finished work of his Saviour.
Our son's body rests in the ground until that glorious day
when all God's people, in the twinkling of an eye,
will be caught up with the Lord Jesus Christ in the air.

"In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye,

at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound,
and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, 
and we shall be changed."
~ I Corinthians 15:52 ~

What a day that will be!
Rejoicing in the thought of it.
Praising our Great God for the Truth of it.
Life here is temporary.  Life there is permanent.

Many Blessings,

August 20, 2013

Fresh Memories ~ A Thankful Post

We are in the midst of the everyday and the routine
and the sometimes-not-so-ordinary things that make up our lives.
Nothing new, really.  However, it is.  
We are making fresh memories together.
Memories are always being made ~ it's the nature of life.

These are the moments that we will cherish in years to come.
That's how it is, isn't it?  
We look back on precious days and events and ordinary
things that reside in photos and in our memories.
They are held in highest esteem.  
Interesting how that works, don't you think?

We long for long ago.

Why do we do that?  Sometimes it robs us of now.
It can keep us from really living this day.  In this moment.
Do we take notice and stop to consider
that these things ought to be treasured up now?

I'm storing up these memories.  These treasures.
I am seeking to live in the moment as the memories are made.
Cherishing and enjoying and entering into every little detail.
May the Lord give grace to hold everything with a loose hand
all the while praising Him for the gifts He gives.

They are all from Him.  They all belong to Him.
He may claim them back at any time.
We are not entitled to any of them.
Yet, He graciously gives and we live because of Him.

My list today is made up of the random things that have been

such lovely blessings in recent weeks.
The here and now is precious.  We are not guaranteed tomorrow.
This ought not to make us tremble.  If we are the Lord's we have nothing to fear.
It ought, however, to make us thankful ~ for every little thing.  
Thankful for every gift no matter how small or insignificant.

Everything is a gift.  Directly from His hand.

Our niece and her husband have a little teeny tiny doggy ~

Her name is Charley, and we were blessed to have her stay with us.
Isn't she just the absolute cutest thing you ever saw?
(Emma is allergic to dogs ~ this was a trial run to see if she
might tolerate one this small.  Apparently she doesn't.  Isn't that sad?)

The boys were blessed to be able to take two separate camping trips ~
The first was in the mountains, and included lots of hiking.
The other was to a little local island, and involved a ferry and bikes.

The first trip found our two boys out in the bush

with two boys from our friends' family.
The photos from that trip will likely be featured in future posts ~
God's creation is absolutely stunning.

I am thankful to have a husband who tells me that

we must let the boys do these things ~ it's a rite of passage into manhood.
They were safe and went with responsible young men.
It certainly is a blessing to see them developing these kinds of friendships.

The second trip was to Mayne Island and involved Betsy for transportation.
There were six boys on that trek.  The boys were taken to the ferry
where they loaded up their gear on their backs and bikes,
and journeyed over to the island.
It was an adventure, for sure!

I take no responsibility whatsoever for the food choices they made ~ LOL.
I am thankful that they all stayed safe and enjoyed their time away together.
God is Good to provide such wonderful friends for our boys ~ we are thankful.
The photo below shows the young men as they ventured out ~
Calvin and Fraser are together on the far right.

Emma missed her brothers.
She planned and shopped and decorated their room
to welcome them home from their first trip away.

See how she decorated the bed?
Confession ~ it was done a little too early...
we ate the chocolate bars and I had to replace them ~ LOL!  

I am thankful for sibling friendships ~
Austin's absence from the photo below is painful to my Mama heart.
However, I am thankful that he is where we will one day be.
And, again, God is Good.  Always.

A lovely friend sent me this praying angel ~
wasn't that just the sweetest thing to do?
It's a reminder to my heart that God's people care 
and that we ought always to lift one another up in prayer.

Another sweet friend sent these home-made journals ~
One for me and one for Emma.
We are so thankful for the love shown to us in these
beautiful ways ~ God is so Good!

I'm thankful that my Emma desires to learn
the finer arts of the home ~ she is learning to knit.
This is her first attempt at it.
I thought I would start her out small with a dishcloth...

...but, it grew and grew and grew!
Can you believe that I only cast on 45 stitches?
What happened??!!
We're not sure what this will become...
but, we will figure something out.  :)

I am thankful for a special time out with Emma's Grandma and my Mum-in-Love.
We were able to go to a tea room and enjoy...

...Afternoon Tea!  Isn't this just the prettiest tray of goodies?

It was a real treat.

God's Goodness to us comes in these and a myriad of other ways.
We are thankful for His Loving Hand upon us.
He is gracious and kind and does all things well.

In what ways have you been blessed this Summer?
Feel free to share in the comments section of this post ~
I'd love to hear what's been a blessing to your heart.

With Love,

August 15, 2013

Only a Moment

A few Sundays ago, after the service, a precious friend
took time to talk and listen and encourage.
She said something that has been such a blessing to my heart.
"The days are long, but, the years are short."
It will only seem a moment before we are ushered into glory.
Life here is temporary.  Life there is permanent.

Helpful words?  Yes.  Comforting?  Absolutely.

Every elderly person I have ever spoken to
says the same thing ~ life flies by!
And, in the twinkling of an eye ~ eternity begins.
It happens this way for all of us.
The big questions, in light of this, are these ~

Where will we spend it?  Where will we go?  Are we ready?

It is not on our own merit that we are welcomed into Heaven.
It is all the Lord's.  All of it.  We depend on His works.  Not ours.
The Lord Jesus Christ's perfect life lived on our behalf.  

The complete and perfect payment of the penalty 
for the sin of His people.  He took our sins upon Himself,
in order that He could bestow His perfection on us.
The Lamb of God.  We must look to Him.  Trust in Him.
Surrender to Him ~ utterly and completely.

In His work alone is Salvation to be found.

It's the only way.  He is the only way.

What is He to you?  Is your peace found in Him?

Is He your all in all?  Do you trust Him with your never dying soul?
 Settle with Him before the time He has granted you is gone.
Before we know it, it will be!
We all face the same reality.  Time is short.
We only have this moment ~ none other is guaranteed.

Flee to Christ while He may be found!

"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 ~

The best way to be found of Him is to read His Word.

Begin by reading Genesis, and then read the book of John.
His Word, the Bible, is True.  It's Powerful.
The words can only change us if the words are read.
We can only be changed by the power of the Living God.  By His Grace.
In light of this, please ask the Lord to open your eyes to see and
enlighten your heart to understand.  He is able.  He is merciful.
And, He graciously answers prayers like those.

The greatest thing in all of life is to belong to Him.

Be sure you are His and He is yours ~ nothing is more important.  
Absolutely nothing.

Many Blessings,

**Photo in this post courtesy of Calvin ~

Thank you my love!  XO

August 9, 2013

The Only Way Forward ~ Ten Weeks

There are times when my breath catches in my throat ~
 it seems as though I may suffocate with the reality we are facing.
When I try to comprehend what it is that we've been called to,
 a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach rises up and threatens to overtake.

When the tears come, as they often do ~
it feels as though they might overwhelm me.
It's a difficult road we have been called to.  Almost crushing.

Austin's absence is felt.  

Keenly.  Everywhere. In everything.
We miss him so very, very much!  

Everything we do is shaded by the grief we are dealing with.

In the midst of this sorrow, however, there are happy times.  
It's the nature of life this side of eternity.
There is conflict in my soul over the reality of it.

How is it possible to be both happy and sad at 

almost precisely the same moment?
 It does seem to be contradictory.  But, it isn't.
It is who we are.  Who we are becoming. 

This journey is being used to shape us.  
We are among those who have tasted bitter sorrow and continue to live.
To experience both sadness and happiness 
in this way is not unusual.  We are not unique.

To accurately put it all into words, 

however, is impossible.

~ Calvin, Fraser and Austin circa 2003 ~

Tomorrow marks ten weeks since the LORD called our

precious Austin Home to Heaven.  

Ten Weeks.  Such a long time.  Such a short time.
There is still more to come.  Much more.
It can be crushing to think this through to its end.
Life without our Austin here can be unbearable to imagine.

But, then we remember.  

We reign ourselves in.  We must!

We remind ourselves of the LORD's promises.  
We remember that He is Faithful.  And, that He is Sovereign.
We remember that He is Good and Perfect.
And, that His ways are always best.

 He will never leave nor forsake His own.
His ways are right.  He carries His people through.
Moment by moment.  Day by day.  One step at a time.
He truly does all things well.

It is not blind faith to live like this.

Rather, it is the only way forward through this maze of grief.
We cannot comprehend walking this path without our Lord.
By God's great grace, we do not have to!
He is with us each step of the way.

And the waters will not overflow ~

It's one of His promises to His people.

 ~ Emma and Austin circa 2003 ~

Throughout these days, we seek to remind ourselves of Austin's gain.
His gain, rather than our loss.  Our loss is great.  But, his gain is greater.
He is experiencing many, many blessings ~ we try to keep our thoughts fixed there.
We focus on what is True.  We focus on Heaven and its reality.

We focus on the Lord and His Word.
We point one another continually to these precious things.

"Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, 

neither have entered into the heart of man,
the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him."
~ I Corinthians 2:9 ~

It's then that the comfort comes.  Only then.
It's then that the breathing becomes easier.  Only then.
It's then that my mind is calmed.  Only then.
Only when my eyes are focused on the Truth.

The reality that Austin continues to live ~ in Heaven rather than here.
The reality that Heaven really is our Home.
The reality that we will soon be there as well.
While I ponder these things, I am able to rejoice.

I can rejoice in the fact that Austin is now free.
Free from sin and death and suffering.
Free from this world and all its vices.
Free to worship unhindered.

Truly free!
One day, we will be set free as well.

This is not our home.  Heaven is.
May we live like it.  May we be patient for it.
May the Lord enable us to be useful while we remain here.
For HIS Glory.  By HIS Grace.  In HIS Strength.

With Love, Camille

August 8, 2013

Homemade Caramel Syrup

Oh. Dear. Me.
This stuff is crazy good!
Eaten by the spoonful, poured onto pancakes or waffles,
or drizzled over ice cream ~ it's scary to think of all the possibilities.
Never again will it be necessary to purchase caramel topping.

This will fit the bill ~ every time.

And, if you need to pay an actual bill, 
it might work as a substitute for money.
My Dad accepted some as payment for his lawnmower 
blade sharpening services ~ true story.  :)

Click here to find the original recipe ~

You won't be sorry you did.  
Well, maybe you will ~ perhaps I will post an exercise routine next.
No, not really ~ but, you could create your own.
Trust me ~ it may become necessary.  *Wink*

Many Blessings,

August 6, 2013


Fourteen.  Our Fraser is fourteen!

It only seems to my Mama heart to be such a short time ago
that the Lord loving placed him in our home and family.
How precious it was to welcome our third son.
Fraser, on that day, became little brother to
both Austin and Calvin ~ they were thrilled.
And, so were we!  

On birthdays in recent years, we have made an effort

to go on a family outing to celebrate.
For his birthday, Fraser chose to go on a bike ride ~ similar to last year.
The year prior, we went out whale watching for the day.
Summer seems to be the time for activities such as these.

We are so thankful that we have been able to make 

these precious memories together.
They truly are gifts from the Hand of our Great God.

This year was much simpler than the last two.  

We got close enough to see the water,
but, no boat or ferry were required.
We just needed two wheels each and the trailer to get us there.
A family bike!

Howie, however, promptly got a flat tire and opted

to wait quietly while I cycled with the children.
On the return portion of our trip, Calvin got a flat.
Lesson learned ~ don't go cycling without a repair kit along.
Oh well, we still had fun.  :)

The birthday food Fraser requested turned out to be a real treat.

For breakfast, he asked for a cup of coffee (not something he's normally allowed),
hash browned potatoes, bacon, mangoes, and Sugar Crisp cereal.

It was decided that we would order in pizza for dinner

and have a home made coconut cream pie for dessert.
We are all about traditions around here ~ food is a big part of that.

Fraser, you have always been cheerful and easy-going.
We thank the Lord for you!
How wonderful it has been to watch you learn and grow.
You are growing up right before our eyes ~
both physically and spiritually.
Your tender heart and kind ways are a 
great blessing to each one of us ~ please don't stop!  :)

It's been so encouraging to see the Lord's hand upon you.
He is your Saviour, and, that is the most important thing of all.
As you look to Him and follow Him,
we want you to know that we are lifting you up to Him in prayer.
We look forward with you to see what it is He will call you to do.

Your love of languages and cultures is a gift from Him.

We take pleasure in watching the joy it brings you to learn 
about the various places, people and languages of the world.
We all enjoy listening to you create music on the piano ~
what a wonderful thing it is to have these abilities to bless others with.

What does the Lord have in store?

Whatever it may be, use it all for His glory.

He alone is worthy.
We love you so very, very much!
You will always be our precious Freighter Mater.

All our Love,

Daddy and Mummy

August 3, 2013

Home Education ~ Two More Questions

In my last post, I sought to answer the first 
of three questions my friend had asked about home education.
This post addresses questions two and three.

Question Two ~ What Curriculum do you use?

Answer ~ Over the years we have tried many different curricula.
I have *loved* a few, strongly disliked some, 
and never got around to using others.
Interesting how that works, isn't it?
I would caution any parent just beginning down the road 
of home education not to get carried away.
It is SO easy to do!  

My advice?  Don't buy up everything that appeals to you.
Just buy what you need, borrow what you can, and make do with the rest.
Take it one year at a time and enjoy the journey.
Last year, I shared some of my favourite resources on this blog ~
Click here if you wish to view that post.

Initially, the most important thing to do is to read,
and read, and read some more.
Try to get outside and enjoy some fresh air daily ~ exercise together.
Explore God's creation in the great outdoors and then come inside 
(or stay outside) and read about what you've discovered.
It's a great blessing to direct the attention of our children
to our Great God throughout the day. 
Make much of Him and His Word ~ you will never regret it.

Encourage creative play with sand, water, paint, etc.
Life really is one big giant classroom.  It's unlimited in its scope.  
There is so much to glean from just observing the order of it all.

Keep it simple.  In the early days, especially.
It's a wonderful thing to in-still a love of learning and discovery in your child.
There is no need to reproduce the classroom setting.
Learning takes place all the time.  In many ways.  Through many sources.

We maintained the idea that the basics were most important.
Establish in your child a love of reading.
Teach them to spell and write and figure numbers.
It's simple, really.  These are the basics.

Other things stem from that.

There will be a natural progression from the basics into the other subjects.
One thing very often does lead to another and another.
It's a beautiful thing, really.  :)

Science experiments are easily done in the kitchen or back yard.
History is learned about in books and through audio and visual media.
Your child may choose to demonstrate learning by acting it out.
Opportunities for art and music and sport can easily be incorporated into life.
It's not difficult to add things in, but, it can be challenging to remove them.
Build your home school carefully and thoughtfully.  You won't be sorry you did!

If things need to be tweaked, don't despair.

Each year of our home education journey we have changed 
at least one thing.  It's normal.  Even healthy.
But, if something is working well ~ don't change it!
Rejoice that you have found what works for you and enjoy it.

Question Three ~ How do you connect with other home school families?

Answer ~ Oh, the ways and means are so varied!
How wonderful it is that, should you choose to travel this path,
there are many that have gone before, and many will be on the road with you.
There are local homeschool groups that can be joined.
They will have a variety of programs available for both parents and children.
There will be field trips and mom's groups and support for all manner of concerns.
The opportunities are may avail yourself to all of it or none of it.

We are linked to a school that has many parents who like to do

field trips and outings throughout the school year.
There are times we have opted in or out depending on the season
we found ourselves in as a family.

Another option is to build your own circle of friends through

meeting other moms on outings such as these.  
I have friends who met weekly for a number of years
when their children were small.
It was a wonderful support group for them all.

God is Good.  He supplies our every need.

He will be Faithful to supply the needs of our children as well.
Each year, it seems, those needs will have a way of changing.
One thing to keep in mind as we home educate our children
is to recognise that things will not stay the same.  Life changes.
We must be flexible and go with the flow.
We ought to seek the Lord for wisdom through it all.

Trusting Him each step of the way!

With Love,

August 2, 2013

Home Education ~ Where Should We Begin?

I have a sweet friend who is interested in home education.
She is in the planning stages and has asked some questions.
I thought perhaps some of you might be wondering some of the same things.
That's why this post has been written ~ I trust it will be helpful.

First off, please let me share this thought ~
Home education is not necessarily for everyone.
I do not believe that it is a sign of ungodliness if you do not home educate.
There are godly parents in our circle of family and friends who
send their children to both public schools and private schools.
We do not intend our views on these things to be taken as judgement
on what they have chosen before the Lord to do in their own families.

It really is a decision that we each must come to 
through much prayer and waiting on the Lord.
It's not an easy one.  Especially in this day and age.

We all desire the best for our children.
For us, the best included home education.
For others, it means public or private school or a combination of both.
We answer to the Lord for the choices we make,
not for the choices others make.
They do not answer to us, and we do not answer to them.
On matters such as these, we must allow conscience to dictate.

How liberating this is!

Having established all the above, please know that this post

is meant to give answers to those who are looking for them.
It is not my intention to change the minds of those who
have already decided one way or the other.
I really do believe that these things are between you and the Lord.
I just had to clear the air on that.  :)

Question number one ~ Where should we begin?

Answer ~ With the Word of God and Prayer.

He is the One that will lead and guide and give wisdom.
We all ought to seek Him as to what He would have us to do,
and then, be willing to follow wherever He may lead.
If He leads us to home educate, He also will give the strength 
and grace that will be required day by day to carry it out.

Then, if the decision to commit to home education is made,
or, if you are still unsure of the way forward for your family ~
begin by getting your hands on a copy of this book.
I cannot recommend "When You Rise Up" by RC Sproul Jr. enough!
It is a wonderful book to revisit each year of the home 
education journey ~ it's just so affirming and encouraging.

Ask the Lord to guide you to those who have gone before

who you may glean from ~ this is so valuable.
Even if you are the only home educating family in your church
or neighbourhood, there will still be those who may be of assistance.
You may just have to get a little more creative in how you find them.  

The specific practical answer to the question is as follows

(assuming that prayer and seeking the Lord has taken place first) ~

In Canada, each Province has its own set of rules.
Apparently, it's like this in the States as well.  
In our Province, a child is to be registered with a school
by the time they are in grade one. 
It is not a requirement to register your student for Kindergarten.
However, you may register or even enroll them for that year
if that is your preference.

There are basically two types of home education streams in our Province.

Stream One ~ You just register your child and do your own thing.
In this stream, you are not accountable to anyone 
and do not have to submit anything.
You can be as structured or non-structured as you like.
No one will be checking up on you.
You keep your own records if you are interested in doing so.

Stream Two ~ You enroll your child with a school and 
are answerable for meeting learning outcomes 
as determined by the school board.
You receive a report card created for each child
based on work accomplished ~ this is done by your support teacher.

In this instance, you submit a portfolio of 
evidence for learning accomplished throughout the year.
Usually, this requirement is met by weekly contact 
with a support teacher via email and three larger portfolios at 
approximately three month intervals September to June.

Under the umbrella of the second stream,
there are three general ways of accomplishing your home education goals.
When your child is enrolled, you may choose from the three following options.

Option One ~ Fully online studies or live streaming of classes or DVD courses.

In these instances, a teacher is assigned to your child, and they do their work from home.

Your child would need his/her own computer as he/she would be on it much of the time.
The parent acts as a facilitator, but, is not required to teach the child.  
The parent is there to help the child, and the teacher helps them both.
There are many schools and curricula to choose from to fulfill this option.

Option Two ~ Fully Individualised Course of Study.

In this instance, the parents choose the curriculum.

There are literally thousands of options in this department.
You work with the teacher assigned to you from the school you choose to enroll
with to facilitate the needed outcomes for each year of school.  
There are many, many ways to fulfill these demands in creative ways.
In this option, the parents are the ones facilitating and guiding the course of study.
This has been the option we have used for most of our children's education ~
especially in the elementary years.

Option Three ~ Integrated Course of Study.

In this instance, the parents choose some of the curriculum, as above,

and the child is also enrolled in some online courses.
This may be viewed as *the best of both worlds*,
in that the parents still have autonomy to decide what the child studies,
while making use of online support from teachers in various subject areas.
We have tended to use this option for the high school years.

A little while back, I did a series of posts covering 

some of our home education journey ~
The first in that series may be found by clicking here.
There are five posts to read...just follow the links from one to the next.

The following questions are answered in the next post ~ Click here to find it.

Question Two ~ What curriculum do you use?
Question Three ~ How do you connect to other home educating families?

May the Lord bless you all as you seek to follow Him

wherever He may lead.  He is Faithful!

Many Blessings,