October 30, 2009

Sideline Business?

**You can click on the picture for a larger view...that is, if you want to! (If you don't, you will miss seeing the date on that magazine...too funny!)**

One of my three boys (who shall remain nameless) seems to be a budding entrepreneur. He rigged up this box full of "goodies" as a self-serve store on the counter behind the toilet in the "boys" bathroom downstairs. He strategically placed it there for hopeful sales. There is even a cup provided for the payment! It made me chuckle...how about you?

October 28, 2009

The Yummiest Pumpkin Dessert

Just in time for American Thanksgiving! You will NOT be disappointed if you make this your feature dessert for the holidays...It is so incredibly yummy AND easy!! Let me know what you think! :)

Batter is poured directly into greased 9 x 13 inch pan...

Crumble topping is made from a dry cake mix and butter...

Sprinkle topping onto the unbaked "filling"...and bake!

Pumpkin Dessert

Mix the following ingredients together well. (I use my Kitchenaid stand mixer)


4 beaten eggs
1 ½ cup granulated sugar
1 – 385 ml tin evaporated milk
1 – 796 ml (28 oz) tin plain pumpkin
2 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Ground ginger
½ tsp. Ground cloves
Pinch salt

Pour into a greased 9 x 13 inch pan.

Cover the above with the following crumble topping.

Crumble topping:

One golden cake mix (dry) ~ I use Betty Crocker brand
¾ cup butter (do not use margarine)
Cut the butter into the cake mix to make a crumble topping. Sprinkle this topping onto the wet (unbaked) filling.

Bake at 350 F for a total of 60 minutes.

After 30 minutes of baking, sprinkle ½ cup of pre-toasted chopped pecans on top of the half-baked dessert. Return to the oven to bake for 30 minutes longer. I omit the nuts due to allergies in our home...so I just leave it in the oven for the full 60 minutes until set and browning on top.

Allow to cool and serve with fresh whipped cream and a sprinkling of nutmeg on top. You won't believe how good this is! :)

It can be frozen and thawed at room temperature if by chance you have any leftovers!

**Years ago I was introduced to this amazing recipe by my sister-in-law...it is a big hit every time I serve it. In fact, we had new friends over last Sunday and the lady (who is a Grandma) said she wanted the recipe so she could make it for her family on Thanksgiving...now how's that for an advertisement? :)

October 27, 2009

Kids Devotional Books

All of these books have been a blessing to our family over the years. The boys have each used "A Faith to Grow On" for their own personal quiet times in days gone by. Pastor John MacArthur teaches the basic truths of God's Word faithfully in an easy to understand format...in "bite-sized" chunks. The book pictured above has a different cover than the one you will find at the link provided, but the content is the same.

The "Miller Family Series" of books incorporates Biblical truths into stories that each of our children have enjoyed. We have used these books as read-aloud supplements to the Word of God during quiet times. The Miller family is fictional and the stories are set in an Amish community.

"Leading Little Ones to God" has a more in depth and thorough handling of the Doctrines of Scripture. Do not be afraid to delve into these deeper truths with your children...they are very rich and necessary for their appreciation of the God we serve. This book has chapters that are usually only a couple of pages long; a very manageable amount for family devotional times. You will likely find that the ideas presented here will facilitate wonderful discussions with your children. Once again, the cover is different from the one you will find at the link, but the content largely remains the same.

Seek, with the Lord's help, to set aside time each day to have devotions with your children. We are, after all, to "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6

**I have noticed that there are those that get reimbursed for their "reviews", which is just fine. But, I am not one of them...this (and all other recommendations that I have made) are completely unsolicited and represent my humbly submitted opinion**

October 26, 2009

H1N1 Vaccination Controversy

Today I was emailed a link for this you-tube video which features Doctors in the United States who are speaking out against the H1N1 Vaccine. Take the time to watch (6 minutes) and be informed before you go ahead with any interventions. I do not want to stir up fear...only promote awareness.

If you have already been vaccinated against this flu virus, please know that God is ultimately in control of all things and nothing happens to us that is outside of His Sovereign care!

"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." II Timothy 1:7

"The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth forever: forsake not the works of thine own hands." Psalm 138:8

**See also Psalm 91**

October 23, 2009

(Nearly) Flourless Chocolate Cake

You will not believe how amazing this is until you try it!!
It really is too good for words and so very simple to make!!

~ (Nearly) Flourless Chocolate Cake ~
What you need:

7 oz. bittersweet chocolate squares
3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp butter (1 and 3/4 sticks butter)
1 cup + 2 Tbsp sugar
5 large eggs
1 Tbsp flour

What you do:

Line an 8" springform pan with parchment paper and butter the sides of the pan 
(9" pan will work too) and preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Melt chocolate and butter over very low heat so as not to burn the chocolate!
(You just barely want this to be melted together and smooth).
Stir in the sugar and mix well. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Add the flour and stir well.
All the above can be done in the pan you melted the chocolate in...
and use a wire whisk to mix it together...it is so incredibly easy!

Pour batter in pan and bake for 25 min. The centre of the cake should be just barely set. 
Take out and set on cooling rack for 15 min. Once the 15 minutes is up, 
remove the sides of the springform pan (loosen sides of cake from pan with a knife) 
and then turn it upside-down on a parchment-lined plate.
Now the cake will be upside-down.
Remove the parchment paper from the bottom of the cake. 
Place the serving plate on the exposed bottom of the cake and turn it over. 
Remove the plate and parchment paper from the top of the cake. 

Voila! You are a master chef. :)

Cool completely before serving. 
Serve with sweetened whipped cream and raspberry sauce.

~ Raspberry Sauce ~

Simmer enough raspberries to get 2 cups of juice when strained through cheesecloth. 
Cool. Mix 1/4 cup of corn starch into the cooled juice in a small pot.
Stir well with a wire whisk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, 
then simmer for two more minutes.
Add in the juice of one lemon (fresh squeezed) and honey to taste...
it should still be a bit tart to compensate for the richness of the chocolate.

This is crazy good!! I served a piece to my husband and children one Sunday recently, 
and we had half the cake left over. I promptly FROZE it so I would not EAT it for breakfast 
(and lunch...and dinner) the next day.  I hope you like it as much as we do. :)

Refrigerate or freeze the leftovers. If you freeze, 
wrap it well and when it comes time to thaw, 
let it sit in the wrapping at room temperature for a full 24 hours.

Many Blessings, Camille

**Quite some time ago I searched the internet for a flourless chocolate cake recipe 
and found this one...but now I cannot find the site it came from. 
I have edited the wording and added in the raspberry sauce...which is my own recipe.
If you know where credit is due, please let me know so I can link back.  **

October 21, 2009

Elementary Math

What does the title of this post conjure up within your heart? Fear? Dread? Anxiety? PANIC?! :)

We began educating our children at home only a few years ago and I didn't know where to begin with curriculum. It was all so overwhelming. I asked a friend who was homeschooling six children at the time to advise me. Apparently she had tried many different types of math programs and books, but hadn't found what she wanted. She had been looking for a curriculum that would explain and make understandable the "why" behind the math. That's when she told me that Professor B Math had been a blessing to her family. One of her children, who had previously hated math, began to love the subject...now there's a "success story" for you! It definitely influenced me.

When we got the first package in the mail and began working through the course I wanted to hurry my older child through the process thinking that he was beyond the concepts and should begin in the middle somewhere. How foolish! While working with his brother, who was in grade two at the time, the light bulb went on in my head! (I actually got really excited...in a MATH lesson!!) I discovered that it was necessary to begin at the beginning and I was amazed with the results. Austin, who had been struggling in math, was finally "getting it"...and I was so excited. Here we are three years later, and he is still reaping the benefits of having used this excellent program.

**I have noticed that there are those that get reimbursed for their "reviews", which is just fine. But, I am not one of them...this (and all other recommendations that I have made) are completely unsolicited and represent my humbly submitted opinion**

October 20, 2009

First Fire of the Season

I love a real fireplace with a real fire...even with the potential mess. :) The other night we had the first fire of the season during our evening family devotions. After the Bible time was done the kids sat in front of the fire...all ready for bed. I love it that Emma is resting her head on Calvin's shoulder...so precious!

October 19, 2009


My three men with their "Mummy Salon" haircuts! No, I am not a hairdresser by trade, but have done lots of haircuts in my day. Unfortunately, I did have to learn by trial and error. In the early days it was quite an adventure and you might say a little "hit and miss". I even "scalped" Howie and he had to put eyeliner on the bald spot which I had created for a week! It's true! If I can do haircuts, anyone can.

October 17, 2009

How Firm a Foundation

These bookmarks are very precious ~ The pictures are "clickable" so you can see the lovely printing of the sweet little girl who wrote them out for us. The story behind them is precious too...I'm sure you guessed that! I would have to say that I didn't pay much attention to this hymn before Howie and I were given these bookmarks, that is, until our little niece (only eight years old at the time) was so thoughtful to share.

Why? Here is the reason...

When our first born was only six weeks old he was diagnosed with a very large VSD...which in layman's terms is a hole in the heart. It was so large that there was virtually no septum between the lower two chambers of his heart. He was nearly nine pounds at birth, but failed to thrive...he wasn't gaining weight like he should. A series of doctor's appointments led to an x-ray which revealed the potential problem. I was told the news over the phone.

BUT God is so good and He never leaves us...we, as His children, are constantly in His perfect and loving care.

Fast forward nearly one year.

Austin was prayed for, by people we didn't even know (and many that we did), all through that year. We believe he was sustained by the Mighty Hand of God. He "should have" required surgery by about four months old, but it wasn't necessary until the age of one. God is so wonderful and gently leads us along. We live in a sin-cursed world, one with sickness and pain and death, but God is Faithful and is Always in control!

Open heart surgery was scheduled for a week after his first birthday. It was a frightening time, but I can testify that through it all God was there. Not once did He give us more than we could bear...With Him! I could go on and on about every minute detail of those days, but suffice it to say that the Grace of God was there for us When we needed it. All was supplied by our Loving Heavenly Father.

Fears really were assuaged. God carried us through. He also mercifully carried Austin through.

In the days preceeding surgery, our niece was impressed with the fact that this was the hymn we needed for this difficult time. She took it upon herself to make bookmarks for both of us. As you can see they are still treasured and kept safely in our Bibles. Here is the hymn...so precious to my heart!

~ How Firm a Foundation ~

How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said,
To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?

"In every condition ~ in sickness, in health,
In poverty's vale, or abounding in wealth;
At home or abroad, on the land, on the sea,
As days may demand, shall thy strength ever be.

Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God, I will still give thee aid;
I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by My gracious, omnipotent hand.

When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow,
For I will be with thee, thy trials to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

When through firey trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace all sufficient shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.

The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I'll never, no never, no never forsake!"

Rippon's "Selection of Hymns", 1787

Wooden Railway Track

I love it when my kids play together nicely (which implies that this isn't always the case)! This wooden railway set has been "in the family" for quite some time now...the boys were "gifted" it in bits and pieces over the years...mostly from Grandpa...thanks Dad! It's a "keeper" kind of play set similar to Lego and it all fits into one big bin which can be hidden away in a closet between uses...perfect! :)

October 16, 2009

Day by Day

**Taken from our front porch a few mornings ago...click to enlarge**

Day by day and with each passing moment,
Strength I find to meet my trials here;
Trusting in my Father's wise bestowment,
I've no cause for worry or for fear.
He whose heart is kind beyond all measure
Gives unto each day what he deems best,
Lovingly its part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling toil with peace and rest.

Every day the Lord Himself is near me
With a special mercy for each hour;
All my cares He fain would bear and cheer me,
He whose name is Counsellor and Power.
The protection of his child and treasure
Is a charge that on Himself He laid;
"As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,"
This the pledge to me He made.

Help me then in every tribulation
So to trust Thy promises, O Lord,
That I lose not faith's sweet consolation
Offered me within Thy Holy Word.
Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting;
E'er to take, as from a father's hand,
One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,
Till I reach the Promised Land.

Carolina V. Sandell-Berg (1832-1903)

October 15, 2009

Chicken Pot Pie

My friend Christa posted a recipe for Chicken Pot Pie on her blog the other day. I just made two of these for dinner tonight and they were yummy! How can you tell summer's over and the comfort food cooking has begun?

October 14, 2009

Roasted Root Vegetable Soup

Fall is here! 
 Time to roast some veggies and make a hearty soup. 
 While the ingredients for this yummy soup are roasting,
 your home will smell so wonderful!! 
 FYI...what you see here is a DOUBLE batch!

~ Roasted Root Vegetable Soup ~

What You Need:

Olive Oil (for coating veggies)
1 small Butternut Squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
2 large Carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
1 large Parsnip, peeled and cut into chunks
1 small Turnip, peeled and cut into chunks
1 large Onion (yellow), peeled and cut into chunks
1 bulb Garlic, remove loose outer skins and cut off tops...leave whole
1 medium Rutabaga (or Swede), peeled and cut into chunks
1 large Sweet Potato (I used Yams), peeled and cut into chunks
4 small Red Potatoes, scrubbed and cut into chunks (skin on)
Sea Salt
Freshly ground Black Pepper
3 Bay leaves
Parchment Paper
8 cups Chicken Stock
Several fresh Basil leaves (I omitted ~ might try it in future)
1 cup Cilantro, chopped (I omitted ~ as above...we'll see...not big on cilantro)
1 tsp. crumbled, dried Thyme
1 tsp. chopped fresh Rosemary

What You Do:

Preheat oven to 375 or 400 Farenheit. 
 Prepare all the veggies listed down to the potatoes. 
 Spread on a very large cookie sheet or in a roasting pan. 

 Drizzle olive oil over all (about 3 to 4 Tbsp), 
making sure some gets into the garlic bulb. 
 Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Toss bay leaves on top.

 Cover with parchment paper and roast for 30 minutes. 
 Remove parchment paper after 30 minutes of cooking time and stir veggies.
 Roast for another 30 minutes and remove from the oven. 
 Discard bay leaves and any black bits...set garlic aside.

 Place the veggies into a stock pot and add the stock. 
Squeeze the garlic out of its skin and add to pot. 
 Puree with a hand blender (if you have one) otherwise, 
puree in batches in a blender or food processor. 

 Be careful not to overload your blender...do it in small batches! 
 Return to the pot and add in the basil, cilantro, thyme, and rosemary. 
 Bring soup to a gentle simmer and adjust seasonings.
 Add more stock if needed to get the consistency you want. Enjoy!

I like to serve this with a dollop of plain yogurt in it...yum, yum! :)

**Recipe adapted from "The Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook" by Tosca Reno (2007)

October 13, 2009

Beach Walk

We live near enough to the beach to make use of the three mile
promenade pathway for our P.E. class.
Because we homeschool, we can be flexible about the time
we do it ~ sometimes it's been after math and sometimes before...
and sometimes not at all.
But when we do go, whenever it is ~
it's a blessing!
We are so thankful that the Lord has blessed us
with this beautiful place to get our exercise!

You may notice that the last few pictures are of the children running
up a steep grassy hill.
This has been a tradition of theirs for some time now...
it is a real accomplishment to make it to the top in one piece!
I even took the challenge not too long ago...
but once is enough for me! :)

October 9, 2009

Peacefully Headed for Destruction

The Titanic...we all know it as the ship infamously remembered for its maiden voyage. My husband likes to tell a story (his own) about that ill-fated night when she met her watery grave. It illustrates perfectly what we are doing when we witness to someone who is headed for eternal destruction in Hell.

What was the most loving thing to do on that night nearly 100 years ago? 
Can you think of the answer? Hopefully this little story will reveal it perfectly.

Imagine that you are one of the first class passengers on this grand and glorious ship. 
You have had a lovely evening meal and are cozily tucked into your soft, comfortable bed. 
The cabin is swaying with the movement of the ship and all is well. 
As you are dozing off into a peaceful slumber, there is a jarring of the entire ship 
and the movements cease. All is perfectly still. A loud knock comes at your door. 
How rude! The knocking persists, and now there are shouts of urgency.

"Get out! Up on deck! Hurry! No time to waste!"

You are inclined to ignore the pleas...
after all what could possibly need to be dealt with at this hour? 
You are warm and comfortable. Morning would be a better time to talk.
Soon you hear scurrying in the hallways. What could be the matter?
What is all the commotion about? You open your door just a crack and 
hear the other passengers chattering amongst themselves.

"Do you really think it is safe? Should we leave this ship? 
Are you sure the news is accurate?"
What news, you wonder?

Of course, we know the story and how it ended. 
That night only 706 souls were saved while 1,517 perished in the frigid Atlantic waters 
for lack of life boats or disbelief. For whatever reason, 
many felt they were safer to stay on board the Titanic. 
After all, it was the "unsinkable" ship! 

What foolishness to step into a tiny life boat in the middle 
of the dark night only to wait and hope for rescue. 
No, it would be best to remain on the unsinkable Titanic...or so they thought.

Do you see the comparison between this story 
and the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ?

In this life it is as though we are all sailing on the Titanic. 
We are doomed to destruction unless we get into the "life raft". 
We cannot save ourselves. No one can live the perfect life required by God. 
We are all sinful. Even one sin is enough to keep us out of Heaven 
and separated from God for all eternity. 

"For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23 

And because of sin death has come to every living thing. 
"For the wages of sin is death: but the gift of God is eternal life 
through Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 6:23

The Lord Jesus Christ is the answer to our problem
We cannot make God accept us. We deserve Hell. 
Amazingly, He has provided THE WAY to be made right with Him.
 "But God commendeth His love toward us, in that,  
while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8 

It is like the Lord Jesus Christ is our life raft. He is the Son of God, not just a man, 
but fully God and fully man. But He lived as a man on this earth for His people, 
to live that perfect life we could not live and die the death we could not die...
to take all the punishment for our sins upon Himself.  To consume God's wrath.

That all who come to Him for salvation
 might be freed from the clutches of sin and death and Hell.

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; 
and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 
Not of works, lest any man should boast." Ephesians 2:8-9

The Lord Jesus fulfilled the requirements of the Law and 
we must turn to Him to be saved from our own sin and coming destruction. 
Not sink with the Titanic, if you will. Trust in His saving power. 
Confess your sin to Him and tell Him you are in need of the Saviour. 

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, 
and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." I John 1:9

Don't trust in your own merits or righteousness...
that is like staying on the ill-fated Titanic, 
"...all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags..." Isaiah 64:6 
"As it is written, THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NO, NOT ONE." Romans 3:10

The most loving thing you can tell another living soul is the Truth. 
The Truth is that we are all doomed to eternal separation from God and punishment 
unless we repent and turn to Jesus Christ as our Saviour and Lord .

"...Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved..." Acts 16:31

With Love, Camille

*image of the Titanic above may be subject to copyright*

October 8, 2009

Easy Egg Frittata

**picture will enlarge if you click on it**

Michelle posted this recipe in her "Breakfast Challenge"...we love it! We had it for breakfast this morning...so yummy! I don't have a skillet that can go into the oven so after the first stage of cooking I put it into a casserole dish and finished baking in the oven as instructed. One other comment...the spinach is fresh and it is a whole pound that you will need for this recipe! I used 15 eggs today. Hope you enjoy it too!

In the Night Watches

I couldn't sleep for part of the night. I went to bed too early...but it was necessary...after about 5 hours I woke up. I quietly spent some time praying...visited with my hubby, since he was just coming to bed...and then got up. Here I am at the computer. I have been blessed by reading this beautiful post on homeschool. It is so inspiring and lovely...what are we building in our children today? Good food for thought. I think I will go back to bed now and pray some more...

October 7, 2009

The Violin

**Austin's violin**

Austin had no chance!

When he was a baby I believe I indoctrinated him with a love for the violin. 
Classical music would be playing and when the violins were 
featured in a piece I would draw special attention to them. 
"Listen, listen," I would encourage, "Do you hear that?" 
Again, with a look of rapture on my face, "Austin, those are the violins!"

How could he help it?

His desire has been to play the violin since the tender age of four. 
We did not offer our children music lessons until our first year of home school. 
Austin was eleven. "What instrument would you like to play?" I inquired. 
The answer was not a surprise...he has not looked back since. 
Now he even composes his own music! What does the Lord have in store?

Many Blessings, Camille

About Me

**Click on the image for a larger view**
Michelle over at "She Looketh Well..." has initiated a blog party...go on over to her blog to link up and enjoy "meeting" some new friends in the blogging world. She has encouraged us to tell a little about ourselves and why we blog, so here goes...

Who am I?

First, I am so grateful to be a child of the King of Kings! What a blessing to remember that this is our true purpose here and in eternity...God created us for Himself. How often we forget...

Second, I am a wife and aspiring helpmeet to Howie (only with the help of the Lord can I do this at all)! My husband and I celebrated 18 years of married life this past July.

Third, I am a Mum to four. Austin is nearing 15, Calvin nearing 13, Fraser is 10 and Emma is nearing 8. I am so thankful for these treasures from the Lord and grieved that I don't cherish the days with them enough.

Fourth, I am a sister, sister-in-law, daughter, daughter-in-law, etc...and seek to be godly, by His grace, in these roles as well.

Why did I start blogging and what is my purpose in it?

My sister began writing a blog and that was my introduction to this "other" world. I thought I would never write one myself! Just like I said I would NEVER home school and God would never ask me to! Hmmmm...we all know how THAT goes!!

This blog is meant to be a journal of whatever is on my heart or in our lives, which pretty much covers everything! Especially when homeschooling is going on in the house, and there are four children always home, and there is food to be made, etc. I enjoy learning more about "natural" food choices, healthy living, and ways to make our home more welcoming for those that live within its walls...these things will make their way into my blog as well. My desire is that in the "everyday things of life" the Lord would shine through. Occasionally He will lay something on my heart to share that I have been learning in His Word...or a special hymn or poem. My prayer is that the Lord would use this regular girl's thoughts and daily occurrences to touch a heart or two...for HIS GLORY.


October 6, 2009

Cream Cheese Cupcakes

**You can click on the images for a closer view**

I got this recipe originally from my sister...I don't know where she got it from, but they are a BIG hit everywhere they go!!

Cake ingredients:
1 cup sugar
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 cup water
1½ cups flour
½ cup cocoa powder
½ tsp salt
1/3 cup oil (I use olive)
1 Tbsp vanilla

Filling ingredients:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
½ cup sugar
1 egg
½ tsp salt
1 ¾ cups milk chocolate chips (I use Chipits brand)

Cream together filling ingredients and stir in chocolate chips...set aside. Put all cake ingredients into mixer and beat well. Fill lined muffin tins half full with cake batter. Top each cupcake (while uncooked) with a heaping Tbsp of filling mixture. Each cupcake will be a little below paper.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes (I find they are usually done after 25 minutes...careful to not overbake them!)

Hints: Top will be slightly golden when done. Do not double recipe. Best made into 18 cupcakes...resist the urge to make fewer than 18 as they will be a little too big. These also freeze well...what a blessing, since it might be dangerous to have too many of them "handy"...if you get my meaning!