January 29, 2010

When Mummy's Not Looking...

Calvin and Emma got up to a little mischief...

Calvin ~ the photographer...

And his subject ~ Emma, the flying girl!

A little excitement took place in the living room ~
with no apparent damage to the furniture or the child.

Never. A. Dull. Moment.

January 28, 2010

Healthy Changes

A little while back I was asked to share some of the things we have implemented in our home to facilitate healthier eating and living. This is the post that brought on the question. Thanks J for asking! :)

Before I launch into this topic, please know that my kitchen and home is a "work in progress" and the things mentioned here have been developing in my mind and in practice since we got married 18+ years ago. I have by no means "arrived" and still have lots to learn ~ and I am human ~ occasionally I "fall off the bandwagon"! It is also important to note that I do not believe that this is the only way to do things. Neither do I believe that the way we do things is going to guarantee a longer or happier life ~ that can only come from the Hand of the Living God ~ HE gives us the very breath we breathe.

But for those of you who are interested ~ here it is!

One thing I have always done in my kitchen is use butter...I was always afraid of all the funny names on the side of the margarine containers. When I read what was in butter (cream and salt) I felt much better about using it. The other oils I use are olive and coconut...that's it.

I try to stay away from "non-stick" pans. I didn't always do this ~ but over time I noticed that the coating wore off of those pans and ended up (presumably) in our tummies...yuck! Can't be good for a body! One of my pieces of kitchen equipment that still has that coating on it is my waffle maker ~ are they even made without it??

Oatmeal is a staple breakfast in our home ~ not only because of the nutritional benefits, which apparently are many ~ but also for its effect on the budget! Oatmeal is also an easy grain to soak ~ which is something I am just learning about now. See? We are always learning in this life! :) The why's and how to's are explained in some detail in this Passionate Homemaking article. Michelle posted some soaked oatmeal recipes on her blog to help implement this new way of doing things. You will find the instructions for soaking steel cut oats and baked oatmeal here and here. Once again, do not get bogged down with all this information ~ the only grain I am faithfully soaking at this time is oatmeal ~ baby steps, remember?

Another place I found some information on incorporating healthy food ideas into the diet was at In This Season blog.

Hormone free / Antibiotic free / Chemical free meats and milk ~ organic if possible (which is not always feasible) ~ But definitely hormone, antibiotic and chemical free.

Organic free range eggs.

Organic produce (as much as possible) but if this is not something that will fit into your budget there are some fruits and vegetables that matter more than others. Stephanie posted this helpful article on her blog addressing the choices we must make at the grocery store...organic or conventional?

I am also beginning to realize that broth is important...so I am seeking to be diligent to make chicken stock fairly regularly.

I use whole grains in my baking (mostly) and substitute it where I can in recipes.

I use organic sugar, sucanat, organic honey (be careful with babies and honey) and Maple Syrup ~ as close to nature as you can get!

Proper soaking of beans just requires a little planning ahead ~ it is not difficult to do and beans are so economical! You can buy a bag of dried beans for about the cost of one or two cans of prepared beans. Why not buy the bag and soak and cook lots of beans at once and then freeze the prepared beans for future use? (I would advise freezing single recipe amounts and labelling accordingly).

I try to incorporate fish into our diet at least once a week, if not more. Salmon in particular is nutrient dense. You would want to be sure it was wild and not farm raised though...important point! :)

We use filtered water ~ I was getting tummy aches from our local tap water...again, this is something you might want to research for your area.

Another thing we do is use fluoride free toothpaste...research for yourself whether this is an option for your family. I became increasingly uncomfortable with fluoride exposure.

Speaking of "exposure" ~ I have never felt very comfortable with having a microwave in our home. It is very easy to live without ~ really, it is! :)

We are seeking to use more natural medicines and avoid over-the-counter meds as much as possible. This post gives some information on Oil of Oregano. Another natural oil we use is Tea Tree Oil ~ it's very effective at treating ailments such as Althlete's Foot. Having said this, there are times when conventional medicines are necessary and should be taken ~ do not be unwise in this regard!

Natural cleaning products are another area of change that could improve your family's overall health. In the early days of blogging I wrote an article called "Natural Cleaning Tips" ~ it may be that there are some things you might like to implement that will be just as effective and much cheaper than what you already are using!

One last thought for you to consider ~ which I believe is more important than anything else I have said ~ NOTHING is to take the place of God in our lives...HE is the ONE we ought to worship ~ not ourselves. It is easy to replace God with anything that becomes too important to us. This blog post by Lindsay is fabulous and really a call to be wise in all we do in persuing health and well-being. Remember that even one change for the better is a step in the right direction and will likely contribute to better health overall.

**Dislaimer ~ I am not a medical professional, just a Mum who is seeking to do what she can for the health and well-being of her family. Whatever I have said in this article is just a sampling of what I have done in my home ~ it may not be the right choice for you!

Be very careful not to jump onto every bandwagon that goes by! As always, take it in baby steps!
DO NOT try to change everything all at once!!

AND be sure to discuss any changes you plan to make with your husband ~ some things just may not be feasible for your family ~ and that is OK!

January 27, 2010

Great Novels for Kids

These are some books from our personal library that I can highly recommend. Links have been provided for the ones I could find for purchasing online. Another place to look would be your local library ~ which in fact may be the best place to begin!

Freddy the Pig is the feature character in a series of books which are full of fun and a sense of humour. The animals all converse with one another and have incredible adventures. My children have really enjoyed Freddy!

Little House on the Prairie is a classic series of nine books which feature the life story of Laura Ingalls Wilder as told to children. She lived the life of a Pioneer Girl in the late 1800's of America. I devoured them all as a girl and have since revisited them as an adult. Every little person enjoys being read to, and these are delightful "read-aloud" books.

After reading the account of Pa digging a well in "Little House on the Prairie" to my two oldest boys (they were 3 and 5 years old at the time) I discovered them outside digging ~ with man-sized shovels!

"What are you doing?" I inquired.

"Digging a well," came the reply.

"Do you think you will get water?"

In a man-sized voice, the oldest answered, "We're hopin' to ~ might take a couple days."

Oh. Dear. Me. It really was too funny!

They worked peacefully together in their free outdoor time for two days and that hole got deep enough to climb into. Oh the inspiration that comes from a book! :)

**Mary Poppins is another enjoyable read-aloud. The adventures in this book are unbelievable ~ Mary Poppins is a nanny and from the perspective of the children in her charge, she always has a new trick up her sleeve. My little girl begs for more and listens intently while I read.

**Update (January 29, 2010) ~ We are currently nearing the end of this book, and I just came across a chapter that I was not entirely comfortable with. The setting for this particular chapter was the zoo, and the creatures were apparently "moving as one" and told the children that they and the animals and the objects of the earth are all one ~ a new age and evolutionary thought. I explained the error in this way of thinking to Emma and continued to read. It is for this very reason that I have given a word of caution at the bottom of this post. Always read with your "antennae" up and be on the lookout for erroneous teachings ~ however subtle they may be.

Heidi is a classic novel which was included in my childhood reading adventures. The inside cover of my copy reveals that it was my Mom's Christmas gift in 1951 when she was a young girl of seven. Heidi is a sweet orphan who is cared for by her Grandfather in the Alps and transforms his life ~ one of a hermit ~ to one of joy and fulfillment. It's a lovely story that will capture the hearts of all who venture in.

Anne of Green Gables is the first in a series of eight books ~ many are unaware of the set that goes with the title volume. They are full of wit and insight and humorous moments centering around red-headed Anne, a very loveable orphan. They are beautifully written by Canadian author Lucy Maude Montgomery. :)

Pollyanna features another orphan (much like the previously mentioned Anne), who goes to live with her Aunt. The similarities of the stories end there and one finds that Pollyanna is worthy of any young girl's friendship. I still have very fond memories of the summer I became aquainted with Pollyanna and she made such an impression on me. The combination of warm summer days and the quiet solitude of reading outdoors added to my fond memory of reading this wonderful novel.

Charlotte's Web is one of those books that many school children read during their elementary classroom days ~ often by grade four. If your children have not read this book, get your hands on a copy and enjoy! It is the story of a girl and her pig which are befriended by a kind spider who tirelessly works to prevent his falling prey to the fate of all pigs!

Ann Voskamp has recommended a number of books for girls on her blog ~ you will find the list here. I have not heard of all the books she recommends ~ but many of them are in our own library. I plan to search out some of the unknown titles for our own little girl. As with anything, you must feel comfortable with what you bring into your home ~ use both Ann's list and mine with discretion.

Happy Reading!

**I am not compensated in any way for these recommendations ~
they reflect our personal choices for our family.

January 26, 2010

Mexican Salad

Super Easy and Super Good!

This is a hit at our house and there are virtually no prep dishes to clean up. 
You will find this on our table at least once a week through the hot days of summer ~ 
But I have served it twice in the last week.

Why the sudden switch?
My friend thanked me for sharing this recipe with her and 
told me she had made it THREE times within the first few weeks of January ~ 
that's the inspiration behind its appearance at our winter table! 
 Maybe it will coax an early arrival of spring? It doesn't hurt to try! :)

Mexican Salad

**Adapted from the
Kraft What's Cooking Magazine ~ Summer 2008 Issue

~ Ingredients ~

Salad Greens (I use organic mixed baby greens)
Tortilla chips (crunched up)
Tins of kernel corn ~ drained (I use two small for six of us)
Tins of black beans ~ drain and rinse (I use two small)
Shredded cheese
Kraft Peppercorn Ranch dressing 
(or sour cream ~ healthier)

~ Method ~

Layer the ingredients in order given on individual plates
according to the appetite of your family/guests. 
This recipe can be doubled, tripled or made for just two...
soooo handy for those hot days and there are no prep dishes to clean up!!


Many Blessings,

January 25, 2010

Numbering Graces

How wonderful in the midst of the trials and troubles of this life, to pause and reflect and give thanks! Continuing to number the graces that God, our loving Heavenly Father sends our way. If we will only take the time to see ~ slow down to find ~ God's riches abound toward us!

"It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord..."
Psalm 92:1a

211. The Violin ~ and someone to play it! :)

212. The Piano ~ photo by Calvin...my budding photographer!

213. Yummy drink on a cold day ~ mmmmm!

214. Blonde head bent over school work

215. Spelling words out loud to herself as she creates a second grade journal

216. Watching the "light bulb" go on inside a young learner

217. Learning WITH my children

218. Richness of God's Word ~ New every morning!

219. Early morning quiet

220. Grey days ~ Makes us appreciate the sunny ones more

221. Violin and Piano playing at odds in opposite ends of the house ~ me in the middle!

222. Neat printing of a seven year old

223. Leakless roof ~ a blessing!

224. Sidewalks and paved roads

225. Little (and not so little) boy snuggles

226. Wisdom found in Proverbs

227. Educational DVD's

228. "Answers" magazine

229. AIG ministry

230. Howie's "kind" eyes

231. Repentant children

232. God's Grace evident in the lives of our children

233. Double pane windows after many years without

234. Carpeting

235. Music teachers

Many Blessings,

January 22, 2010

Where Does Our Help Come From?

**Just above Banff, AB ~ Photo taken in May 2009**

Psalm 121

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills,
from whence cometh my help?

My help cometh from the Lord,
which made heaven and earth.

He will not suffer thy foot to be moved:
he that keepeth thee will not slumber.

Behold, he that keepeth Israel
shall neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is thy keeper:
the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.

The sun shall not smite thee by day,
nor the moon by night.

The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil:
He shall preserve thy soul.

The Lord shall preserve thy going out
and thy coming in
from this time forth,
and even for evermore.

~The Holy Bible~

January 21, 2010

Lemon Loaf

This past weekend I made this yummy loaf and used the above recipe found in the "Company's Coming ~ Most Loved Treats" cookbook by Jean Pare ~ a Canadian cookbook author! :) I hope you enjoy it as much as we did! FYI ~ I used butter and a fresh lemon and I lined my pan with parchment paper instead of greasing it.


January 20, 2010

Prayer Basket

I am not sure where this idea came from, but it works really well! We like to remember to pray for people, but sometimes we have SO many to pray for that we are afraid we might miss someone.

Well, no more.

All the people and special requests we have said we will pray for get written out on their own little piece of paper and put into this "basket" which we keep near our kitchen table. At meal times we pull a request out of the pile and pray specifically for that person or request. Once prayed for, the little piece of paper goes into a "holding" location until all the papers have been used up.

When the "basket" is empty we put all the papers back in and start again. Each person can draw a name or request at each mealtime, or just one name/request can be prayed for per meal ~ choose whichever system works best for your family. Another good time to use the basket would be during family devotions in the evenings. By using a system like this, everyone and everything you've pledged to pray for will be remembered! We love it!

"...the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." James 5:16b

January 19, 2010

Adjustments ~ Following HIM

The freshness of the New Year seems to have faded. But it is never too late to assess how and why we do things the way we do. I came across two wonderful articles (linked below) as 2010 began and they both made an impression on me. I hope to go back and spend a little more time thinking through the content ~ prayerfully considering the changes HE is asking me to make.

Ann Voskamp penned this encouraging "New Year" article ~ please take the time to read and digest...such a lovely way to help in the quest of "refocusing"!

And I love what Mary Grace had to say at Books and Bairns on the subject of priorities ~ this one really "hit home".

A disciplined life is one we are called to as Chistians ~ yet, it is so easy to get "off track". Any time of the year is a good time to re-evaluate ~ not just in January! May the Lord help us each to follow HIM with all our hearts.
**Mayne Island Lighthouse ~ by Camille 2009**

January 18, 2010

Bountiful Blessings

Monday arrives and another installment of the "Thankfulness Journal" is offered. May the Lord help us all to be more aware of His Bountiful Blessings!

"Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits,
even the God of our salvation..."
Psalm 68:19a

186. Unlimited access to the Throne of Grace through the Lord Jesus Christ ~ Amazing thought!

187. Artistic Dad ~ Who put pencil to paper to create these praying hands while a young Bible School student in 1964

188. Opportunity to exercise as a family ~ at the beach no less!

189. The best husband in the world! (Calvin took this picture and really "captured" his Dad ~ love it).

190. Red Olympic Gloves! (I have a pair too...thanks Mom!)

191. Love in our home and lives...

192. Tea lights and their pretty holders

193. Calvin who brings joy (and "spice") to our lives!

194. Washable felts! :)

195. Children spontaneously doing piano duets

196. Super Glue! :)
197. One on one time with the children
198. Spurgeon's "Morning and Evening"
199. Small warm hand tucked in mine ~ won't last forever!
200. Whipping wind and sting of rain on face ~ ability to feel
201. Boisterous Shoreline ~ Waves crashing
202. Blustery Day!
203. Seagulls soaring overhead ~ God's design in creation
204. Distant Auntie brought near by a phone call
205. Phone ringing ~ familiar voice on the line
206. Birth announcements
207. Crazy Squirrel running the lines today ~ his antics made me laugh
208. My little cookie making girl ~ determined to "do it all herself"!
209. Emma cheerfully asking if she could do dishes for her regular chores
210. Thankful that today's hockey injury wasn't much worse ~ elbow will heal

Many Blessings,

January 14, 2010

Answers ~ In Light of Haiti

Tomorrow I plan to reveal who has won an "Answers" magazine subscription ~ How can we, in the comfort of our homes, reconcile the terror and sorrow that those in Haiti are facing at this very moment?

In light of the recent catastrophic earthquake in Haiti, I would like to offer a few thoughts.

Our world is tainted with sin.

It is not the perfect world that God originally created.
We are all subject to the cruelties and ramifications of sin.

Sin brought death, disease, calamity and sorrow.

None of us is immune.

We all need the Saviour.
Jesus Christ came to save us from our sins.
He came to deliver us from the bondage of sin and eternal separation from God.

Is He your Saviour?

Catastrophes such as the one just experienced in Haiti are because of the curse of sin.
The Sin I am referring to is that which was committed in the Garden of Eden by our first parents.

Adam and Eve fell.

Therefore we all fell.

"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin;
and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned."
Romans 5:12

Our only hope is to flee to Jesus Christ ~ He alone can save!

Every time something dreadful happens in this world we ought to think of the Cross and the work accomplished there. Our Merciful God humbled Himself to become SIN for us that we might be forgiven and justified.

"Answers" magazine is produced by Answers in Genesis. This organization is careful to acknowledge the state of mankind without the Saviour, and the glorious hope of all those who place their trust in Christ.

I was struggling with whether it was even right to announce a winner tomorrow, but then came to the realization that it could not be more appropriate. We, as Christians, must be equipped to give a reason for the hope that lies within us. We have the greatest hope and we need to share it. This magazine has been a wonderful tool for our family to use as we seek to be a witness for our Saviour.

The world needs the Saviour.

We have the Good News.

Share your faith.

And pray for those afflicted that God might deliver them ~ not only physically, but spiritually as well.

January 13, 2010

Homemade Refried Beans

These are the beans after the soaking stage...ready to be cooked with the onions.
OH...do try them...they are so much better than anything you can get out of a tin! :)

I got this recipe from my friend Terri's blog. They are absolutely yummy! 
I altered it to allow for the proper soaking time. Pinto beans (which is the type you need) 
require about 12 hours to soak. Cover the beans with simmering water and let stand 
(away from the heat) for about 4 hours. Pour off that water and repeat.
After about four more hours repeat again. At this point you would once again drain
the water and add fresh ~ then you add in the onions and continue 
from the part in the recipe after the starred note from me...
the cooking stage. If this is not clear, please ask!


2 cups water
8 ounces dried pinto beans (about 1 1/4 cup)
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup butter
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Mix water, beans and onion in 2-quart saucepan. 
Cover and heat to boiling; boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat. 
Let stand 1 hour. **This is the original recipe with the shorter soak time...
if you use the longer soaking instructions given above you would
add the onions after your last soaking time with fresh water and begin here.**

Add just enough water to cover the beans. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. 
Cover and boil gently, stirring occasionally, until beans are very tender, 
about 1-1/2 hours ~ Add water during cooking if necessary.
Mash beans ~ I use a hand blender.
Stir in butter and salt until completely absorbed. Stir in cheese until melted.

Serve with whole wheat tortillas that have been warmed 
under the broiler and add extra shredded cheese, 
diced peppers of all colors, cilantro, etc. Yummy!

**I usually double this recipe to have extras ~ 
keep in mind that I feed the equivalent of six adults in our home!

**Another tip ~ You can make up a batch and divide 

into portions to freeze for future use ~ I've had success freezing this recipe.


Many Blessings, Camille

January 11, 2010


Continuing on in the journey of thankfulness ~ Grateful to God for His bountiful gifts. Joining in once again with the "Gratitude Community" in numbering the mercies He bestows. All is Grace!

"Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: be thankful unto Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting; and His truth endureth to all generations."
Psalm 100:4-5

141. Summer's gold ~ this past September

142. Pink and blue of the sunset...moments later they vanished into night
~ photo taken last week

143. The opportunity to "catch" this sunset!

144. Mummy and Emma moments
~ taken in Banff spring 2009

145. Picnics

146. A picnic spot at the Banff Springs Hotel
~ No we did not stay there! :)

147. Adventurous spirit!

148. Safety during said adventurous moment! :)

149. Amazing photo by firstborn
~ It took a few shots to get this one!

150. Mountaintop experiences ~ literally!

151. Children who have caught the "bug" and are doing a thankfulness journal!
152. Quiet shoreline ~ waves gently lapping
153. Horizon on the sea
154. Flash of pink running at the edge of the shore
155. Three young men jogging together ~ Austin, Calvin and Fraser
156. Happy faces greeting us along the promenade
157. Blogging friends
158. Great post-Christmas deals
159. Gifts stashed away for Christmas 2010!
160. Betsy's quick fix ~ free of charge! (Our van)
161. Oxford Hill
162. Empty Chocolate Boxes (no more temptation!)
163. Orthodontic Appliance for Emma
164. Braces for Austin's teeth
165. Funds to pay for Ortho treatment (see above)
166. Mild winters
167. Calm days
168. Dreams
169. Empty laundry hampers
170. Full laundry hampers ~ indication that there are precious people inhabiting this home
171. Working appliances
172. Hum of the washing machine
173. Doors loudly closing ~ little men live here
174. Velcro un-zipping...children who can do for themselves
175. Emails from Austin
176. Task lighting to illuminate my kitchen sink
177. Mountain view from kitchen windows
178. Snow capped mountains pink in the morning light
179. Furnace that faithfully circulates warm air through our home
180. Order restored
181. New schedules created
182. Time to spend with my children ~ they soon will be grown!
183. Little girl that lovingly cares for her dolls
184. Reading aloud to Emma on her bed at night...right now it's "Mary Poppins"
185. Memories

Many Blessings,

January 9, 2010

At Calvary

**Photo taken between Tsawassen and Victoria ~ on the Ferry Trip**

This hymn has been playing through my head lately and it is so beautiful.
There is so much Truth here...
May it be a blessing to your heart today!

At Calvary

Years I spent in vanity and pride,
Caring not my Lord was crucified,
Knowing not it was for me He died
On Calvary.

Mercy there was great, and grace was free;
Pardon there was multiplied to me;
There my burdened soul found liberty,
At Calvary.

By God's Word at last my sin I learned;
Then I trembled at the law I'd spurned,
Till my guilty soul imploring turned
To Calvary.

~ Refrain ~

Now I've given to Jesus everything;
Now I gladly own Him as my King;
Now my ransomed soul can only sing
Of Calvary.

~ Refrain ~

Oh, the love that drew salvation's plan!
Oh, the grace that brought it down to man!
Oh, the mighty gulf that God did span
At Calvary.

~ Refrain ~

William R. Newell (1868-1956)

January 8, 2010

Organizing Life!

Want to know what's been going on in our school this week?

An overhaul!

Here are the new schedules ready to be put to use!

Oh dear me...how much more we get accomplished in our home when we have a list and a plan. I suppose we are all similar in that respect. After all, God is a God of ORDER. I have found that I am simply unable to function efficiently WITHOUT a set schedule.

Having said all the above, I DO appreciate that there are as many variations on homeschool as there are homeschooling families...PLEASE DO NOT feel as though you have to do it this way! God has us all in different SEASONS of life as well ~ keep in mind that I do not have a nursing baby anymore...'nuff said! Some days I wish I was more of a "relaxed" kind of girl, but I was not created that way...I find that STRESSFUL!! ;-)

During the fall semester the boys were following a daily routine and list of duties, but that system was in need of tweaking ~ THESE new schedules are the result. I do realize that even those of us who do best in a set routine must be flexible to allow LIFE to happen ~ After nearly four years of doing this, I am at least grasping the wisdom of that! Ultimately, God is in control of ALL things...and that includes THE SCHEDULE! :)

Are you a "schedule" Mum ~ or do you like to take life as it comes?

January 7, 2010

The Piano

I grew up playing the piano and took lessons most of my school years. When we got married I did not have a piano ~ it was a luxury we could not afford! It was ten years before a piano came into our home...a thirty year old gift from the Lord. I was expecting Emma at the time. The evenings were the only times I had to devote to playing. I was rusty ~ still am ~ but determined to learn some new music. Pachelbel's "Canon in D" was the piece I chose to devote time to learning. I loboured over it evening after evening and learned most of it during the last six months of my pregnancy with Emma.

One day when she was still a newborn we were home together ~ just the two of us.

She was fussy.

I rolled her bassinette over to the piano. "Canon in D" was the piece I chose to play. It brought tears to my eyes to watch her visibly relax and calm down. It was soothing to her! If you ask her today she will tell you her favourite music is "Canon in D" ~ how precious is that?

January 6, 2010

Real Foods Diet ~ Healthy Eating!

Lindsay over at Passionate Homemaking has done a fabulous job of breaking down the steps toward more healthy ways of eating and preparing food. If you click on the link provided you will find her article...please go and see if there is even one thing you might change to encourage better health for you and your family!

As with anything...do it in baby steps and NEVER try to accomplish it all in one fell swoop. Even one small change per month would make a HUGE difference at the end of only one year!

**UPDATE ~ I have written a more in-depth article on this subject in response to J's request in the comment section of this post. Healthy Changes is the name of the post ~ click on the title to get yourself over there.

Happy Eating! :)

January 5, 2010

Thank You Notes ~ A Lost Art?

Little things mean alot ~ Everyone loves to receive a "thank you" note!

Our children are old enough to write a little note to each one
who kindly gave them a gift this past Christmas.
When they were little they would colour a picture and I would write the note for them.
We have found that through this exercise the children learn
something of the art of appreciation.

I am sure many of you do the same thing.
 Whatever form it takes I can guarantee it will be well received!

Everything is so fast paced in the world these days ~
wouldn't we all benefit from slowing down and taking notice of the little
(and not so little) things that make life so special?
Every one involved benefits from building relationships and sharing love along the way.

By God's Grace (and it IS His Grace ~ the Source of anything good)
we are seeking to teach our children to value those things that really matter.

The REAL things.

January 4, 2010

Practicing Thankfulness

It has been a blessing to join in with the "Gratitude Community" in giving thanks for all things. Since beginning this journal of thankfulness I have found that I am noticing the "little" things more and consciously thanking the ONE Who gives all things richly to enjoy! Praise HIM from Whom all blessings flow!

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning."
James 1:17

And the numbering of gifts continues...will you join us?

101. The promise of spring and the seasons...our cherry tree last spring! :)

102. My Fraser ~ Number 6 lining up a shot (Photo by Calvin!)

103. Date with hubby...a quick walk and...

104. ...Starbuck's ~ Chai Tea Latte with Vanilla...mmmm!

105. Thankful that "Old Betsy" (our van) was "fix-able"
106. Betsy was mended with very little inconvenience
107. We can cross the line for gasoline...blessings! :)
108. Thankful for "Nexus"...quick border crossing pass
109. Hard working husband
110. Eyes to see with
111. Ears to hear with
112. Mind to think with
113. Children that make a mess
114. Full tummies
115. New camera to play with
116. Beach to walk at
117. Free parking!
118. Online shopping
119. Money to buy books
120. God's Light...to illuminate my heart
121. Perspective
122. Trials and troubles...they drive me to my knees
123. Work for the children
124. Old-fashioned neighbourhood
125. Children for my children to play with
126. Bikes to ride
127. Woods to ride in
128. City conveniences nearby
129. Protected little quiet street to live on
130. A home to call our own
131. God's mercy in not stripping from us the many blessings we took forgranted
132. Not getting what I deserve
133. Getting what I don't deserve
134. Taste buds ~ As my hubby says...God didn't have to give us any! :)
135. Buddy (the neighbour's dog)
136. Amazing neighbours
137. Dog walking jobs
138. Paper route
139. Character building experiences for the children
140. Laptop

Many Blessings,