February 27, 2010

Count Your Blessings

Count Your Blessings

When upon life's billows you are tempest-tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Count your blessings, name them one by one;
Count your blessings, see what God hath done;
Count your blessings, name them one by one;
Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.

Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings; every doubt will fly,
And you will be singing as the days go by.

~ Refrain ~

When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
Count your many blessings, money cannot buy
Your reward in Heaven, nor your home on high.

~ Refrain ~

So amid the conflict, whether great or small,
Do not be discouraged, God is over all;
Count your many blesings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey's end.

~ Refrain ~

Johnson Oatman, Jr. (1856-1922)

February 25, 2010

Focus on the Family ~ Radio Theatre

Focus on the Family ~ Radio Theatre is the organization that produced all the stories you see in the picture above. They are very well done and actually make you feel as though you are living IN the story! Much better than a movie ~ they "play on the screen of your imagination" and are thoroughly captivating!

Many miles have been covered in our minivan and during some of our excursions we have enjoyed listening to these wonderful stories. They have timeless appeal ~ our family has enjoyed them over and over and over again. From the fictional world of "The Chronicles of Narnia", to true stories such as "The Hiding Place" ~ there is something for everyone. Our children range in ages from nearly 15 down to 8 and they each thoroughly enjoy these productions. On your next road trip consider taking one of these gems along ~ you won't be disappointed.

**One word of caution ~ These are very realistic and engaging...you really will feel as though you are there. Age recommendations are given on the back of each of the stories and you will find that some may not be appropriate for young children due to their intense and realistic content. Thankfully, there is no foul language to worry about, and they uphold decent living on the part of the characters.

**Disclaimer ~ The views held by the producers of these productions are not always reflective of our own. We have occasionally had to discuss important matters with the children as it pertains to spiritual things. Use discretion and seek the LORD for discernment while you listen. I would encourage you to listen along with your children to know what is being presented to them as truth.

February 23, 2010

Olympic Project Day

Last Friday was the presentation day for the children's Olympics projects. We met in the local library and the children displayed their work. Each chose a different topic within the Olympic theme. Austin wore the torch bearer suit Howie wore when he carried the torch for the Calgary 1988 Olympics. That was very special for Austin as his project was all about the Olympic Torch and its origins and history.

Grandpa and Daddy were our special visitors. You can see all four of the projects lined up here. Austin's is at the far left. Fraser's is next ~ all about the participating countries in this year's Olympics. Calvin's is third from the left ~ Alpine Skiing was his chosen topic. Emma researched the history of Figure Skating (with help from Mummy). Each of the children wrote a research paper as well.

One of the teachers was interviewing Austin in this photo.
All four children are in front of their displays.

We also had the opportunity to go skating as a family prior to the library time. All the other children involved in the day were able to participate as well.
Left to right ~ Fraser, Austin, Calvin and Emma.


Howie with Calvin and Fraser...

Daddy and Mummy ~ see my official Olympic gloves? :)

Howie has been very busy at work this last while,
so it was extra special that he was able to join in with us! :)

February 22, 2010

Rejoicing in His Blessings

Another Monday of rejoicing in His blessings is upon us! How blessed we are to give thanks and recognize the tracings of His hand in everything. Really, we are nothing without Him ~ He sustains us by the Word of His Power. God's blessings bring joy and we rejoice in Him!

"Rejoice in the Lord alway, and again, I say rejoice."
Philippians 4:4

And the numbering continues...

282. Thoughtful gift of an "old" picture of the boys in a sweet frame ~ memories!

283. Austin ~ near man...forever my "baby"! :)

284. Calvin's brown eyes ~ a novelty since all my family (growing up) has blue!

285. Fraser's boy-ish freckles and cheerful smile ~ complete with Olympics tatoos :)

286. Emma quietly reading her "chapter book" ~ a new adventure being discovered...

287. The promise of a lily...

288. Flowers gifted by a friend ~ so thoughtful!

289. Childish moments (without Mummy's consent)...

290. Hockey Dad ~ a blessing to his boys!

291. Chorus of man/boy cheers after a Canuck's goal :)
292. Blonde little girl hair to blow dry
293. Her spontaneous and unprompted singing of "Standing on the Promises"
294. BCAA membership
295. The benefits of said membership when keys were locked in the ignition at a distance from home ~ with all the children in tow :)

Many Blessings,

February 19, 2010

He Giveth More Grace

This beautiful hymn was running through my head the other day ~
May it be a blessing to your heart as it has been to mine.

He Giveth More Grace

He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater;
He sendeth more strength when the labors increase.
To added affliction He addeth His mercy;
To multiplied trials, His multiplied peace.

~ Refrain ~

His love has no limit,
His grace has no measure,
His power has no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus,
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again!

When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources,
Our Father's full giving is only begun.

~ Refrain ~

His love has no limit,
His grace has no measure,
His power has no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus,
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again!

Annie J. Flint (1866-1932)

February 18, 2010

Cream Soup Alternatives

I found the recipes (reposted below) to use as a substitute for various canned condensed soups at this website.

There is no longer any need to buy canned tomato or mushroom soup to use in your recipes. What a great find...no MSG or any other scary ingredients! The one thing I would like to substitute with a healthier alternative is the white flour ~ Any suggestions?

Cream Soup Alternatives

For one can of cream of “whatever" soup use the following simple, four ingredient recipe:

Basic Cream Soup:

3 Tbsp Butter
3 Tbsp Flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup chicken stock, water or milk


Melt butter in heavy saucepan. Blend flour and salt into saucepan while cooking and stirring until bubbly. Use a wire whisk to prevent lumps and stir in liquid ingredient choice slowly. Medium thick sauce is comparable to undiluted condensed soups and makes approximately the same amount as a 10 oz can.


Cheese ~ Add ½ C grated sharp cheese and ¼ tsp mustard
Tomato ~ Use tomato juice for the liquid in the basic recipe and add a dash each of garlic powder or garlic salt, onion powder or onion salt, basil and oregano.
Mushroom ~ Saute ¼ C finely chopped mushrooms and 1 Tbsp finely chopped onion in the butter before adding the flour.
Celery ~ Saute ½ Cup finely chopped celery and 1 Tbsp finely chopped onion in butter before adding flour
Chicken ~ Use chicken broth or bouillon for half the liquid in the basic recipe. Add ¼ tsp poultry seasoning or sage, and diced cooked chicken if available.

It's very simple to "reconstitute" this to enjoy as a bowl of soup. Just stir in about 1 cup of liquid such as broth or milk (for a cream soup) after you have made the initial recipe. You may need a little more to ge the consistency you want. If you are going to use this in a recipe that calls for the condensed soup straight from a can you would skip this step.

February 17, 2010

Sweet Treat

A wonderful package came in the mail yesterday from a sweet friend. Do you see what it is? Homemade marshmallows! There were TWO containers FULL of these yummy treats. I had never tasted homemade marshmallows...but now they are on my "must try to make" list.

Oh. Dear. Me.

Fun Times were had at our house!

A special thank you goes out to my friend who must remain anonymous for obvious reasons! :)

February 16, 2010

Novels for Young Men

G.A. Henty Novels have been a wonderful addition to our family's library.

Our oldest boy has been reading these novels for the last couple of years and gives them rave reviews. They are appropriate for all young people ~ not just boys.

One thing I really like about this author's work is his attention to historical detail ~ Austin has learned many historical facts without "studying". Henty also portrays accurately the consequences to actions whether good or bad ~ the main characters generally make good choices.

Overall, the reading experience is simultaneously educational, interesting, and challenging. Recommended for those who are seeking an advanced reading experience. Don't let the cost deter you ~ I believe many libraries have copies for loan. If your local library doesn't have them available, you might request they purchase some for their shelves.

**I do not receive compensation for any of my opinions ~ they are just that...opinions! :)

February 15, 2010

The Thousand Gifts

Monday arrives and the documentation of "The Thousand Gifts" continues ~ will you join in? It has been a blessing to my heart to participate in such a venture ~ finding joy in the seemingly small and insignificant. God is so great and gracious and gives and gives and gives again!

You will find the reason behind the numbering within the first post of this series ~ feel free to begin your own journey of thanks...it would be lovely if you would choose to join us!

"I will bless the Lord at all times:
His praise shall continually be in my mouth."
Psalm 34:1

267. Peaceful homeschool moments...

268. Oldest child teaching youngest child...

269. Work getting done

270. And a room in which to accomplish much! :)

271. Artistic son ~ entertainment for the youngest after a math lesson! :)

272. Daddy and smallest son engaged in impromptu prayer
273. Down filled comforter on a cold night
274. Drying racks to air out hockey equipment ~ *knowing wink*
275. Friends ~ new and old
276. Walking partner ~ Esther :)
277. A hard floor under the table instead of the carpet that used to be there
278. A teenager who loves to listen to Classical Violin CD's on the stereo
279. Sunshine after months without
280. The chatter of children
281. Amazing children's resources ~ God graciously provides and leads!

Many Blessings,

February 12, 2010

Think on These Things

**Ferry trip between Tsawassen and Victoria ~ 2009**

The children and I are currently reviewing these verses ~ previously memorized.
Such encouragement from God's Word!

Philippians 4:4-8

Rejoice in the Lord alway:
and again I say, Rejoice.

Let your moderation be known unto all men.
The Lord is at hand.

Be careful for nothing;
but in everything by prayer and supplication
with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

And the peace of God, which passes all understanding,
shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true,
whatsoever things are honest,
whatsoever things are just,
whatsoever things are lovely,
whatsoever things are of good report;
if there be any virtue,
and if there be any praise,
think on these things.

Holy Bible

February 10, 2010

Chocolate Molten Cakes

Head on over to Miss Jen's Blog ~ Blessed Femina and you will find the recipe for these amazing little cakes! I have made them for company a few times now (too dangerous to just make them when there is no one around to share with) ~ and they get rave reviews. They are best served with freshly whipped cream.

Do enjoy ~ but with friends! :)

February 9, 2010

Olympic Torch Relay

The Torch for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics came through our city today ~ at 6:30 AM! We rose early to take it all in. Unfortunately, one of our children missed it ~ he chose to sleep instead. I must say, I was tempted to do the same thing ~ but all our younger children were very eager and had no trouble with getting out the door at that hour. Fraser even found the time to put temporary tatoos on his cheeks! :)

February 8, 2010

Fun and Games

We had a special day in our homeschool last Friday. We played the game "Life" and did a few Physics experiments ~ one which made use of our dominoes supply. Calvin and I each took a turn behind the lens of the camera.

If you look closely you will see Austin and Emma at the end of the Domino chain...Emma is lying on her tummy with her feet up behind her.

Photo by Camille

Next two photos by Calvin...

And the game of Life ~ lots of lessons to be learned here!

A fun time was had by all ~ even Mummy!

266. Eternally thankful today for my children and the privilege to have them with me for this brief season!
Might we all slow down to really appreciate what we have.

Many Blessings,

February 5, 2010

Scripture Memorization

This topic is near and dear to my heart as it is so vital to "hide God's Word in our hearts". We ALL need to do this ~ not just the children! I appreciate what Stephanie had to say on her blog regarding this subject. Memorizing Scripture as a Family is one of her posts that I plan to refer back to.

Susan at "Joyful Mom of Many" also referred to this article and it seems to be a great resource to use.

And Ann Voskamp at "Holy Experience" recently wrote this article on the topic as well.

It matters not which method you choose to implement ~ just begin!
Let's all work on this together!

"Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee."
Psalm 119:11

February 3, 2010

Idaho Tacos

I got this idea from FB ~ It's not really a recipe, 
it's just a combo of ingredients that work together wonderfully well! 
It is SO easy to make and gets rave reviews at my table. 
It can be adapted for those hot summer days by just cooking up
the baked potatoes on the BBQ ~ 
wrapped them up in tin foil and baked until done. 

That way, your house will stay cool, and you will have a hearty meal 
to feed those that are hungry for more than a salad! :)
Idaho Tacos

Baked potatoes ~ one per person

Scramble fried beef (or whatever meat you choose) 
with taco seasoning mix ~ I like to try to avoid the taco seasoning mix, 
so I seasoned the meat with cumin, chili powder, salt, garlic powder, 
onion powder and cayene pepper ~ to taste

Shredded cheese


Sour cream

Chopped green onions

Chopped tomatoes

Diced Avocado

Cut baked potatoes into slices on the plates,
sprinkle shredded cheese on top, then the beef and all the toppings ~ Voila!

Enjoy!! :)

Many Blessings, 

February 1, 2010

Abundant Blessings

Abundant blessings are all around us ~ thankful that the Lord gives ears to hear and eyes to see. Won't you join us? The gratitude community extends an open invitation to all who would desire to see the tracings of the hand of God in the ordinary and in the everyday things of life. If you do not have a blog, a private journal is a lovely place to record your journey of thankfulness.

"O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good: for His mercy endureth forever."
Psalm 107:1

236. Sibling friendships ~ and the bond grows stronger

237. Quiet moments and calm waters

238. Balmy January days

239. The morning exercise view ~ once again a "Calvin" picture!

240. Early morning fog ~ beautiful! (Calvin's photo)

241. Garbage pick up service!
242. Garbage men who do the collecting
243. Mail in the mailbox ~ even bills! :)
244. Mail lady faithfully doing her job
245. Excel Budget program designed especially for me by my smart hubby!
246. Crock pot ~ dinner ready when we are!
247. Sewing Machine ~ from my childhood and now my own ~ Thanks Mom!
248. Serger ~ From the early days of marriage ~ Thanks Sweetheart!
249. Opportunities to share Jesus Christ with others
250. Emma's sweet little girl voice
251. Christmas cards from dear ones far and near ~ just filing those away! :)
252. Cozy sweaters for cold winter days
253. The smell of coffee brewing
254. Chocolate ~ carefully!
255. Steel Cut Oats ~ a yummy way to start the day!
256. Maple syrup ~ a treat
257. Living in Canada
258. Living close to the Ocean
259. Living near extended family
260. Photographs of loved ones
261. Neighbours that care and keep watch!
262. Angels ~ commissioned by God to watch over us ~ Psalm 91:11
263. Youth Group for Austin
264. Finding long lost friends on Facebook
265. Facebook chat with my distant (in miles) sister

Many Blessings,