May 31, 2010

Beauty in the Imperfect

In the imperfections of life I am reminded that this is not my HOME.
Eternity is what really matters and where I will spend it.
Do you know for certain where you will spend eternity?
This life is not all there is.

REAL life comes after this one.
Our days here are very short...
even the longest of earthly lives are but a vapor.
Eternity is FOREVER.

My list of thanks this week documents some of the reminders
that this is not my HOME and I am not my own.
I belong to HIM.
HE can do with me exactly as HE pleases.
I exist to bring GLORY to HIM.

So in the imperfections of life I see beauty.
In Heaven nothing will be marred.
All will be forever PERFECT.
What a GLORIOUS thought!

There is beauty to be found in the imperfect ~
it is a blessing to enjoy this day regardless of what is
"unfinished" or "needs fixing".
The days are fleeting and the truly IMPORTANT things
often go unnoticed unless we really SEE!

"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth,
where moth and rust doth corrupt,
and where thieves break through and steal:
But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven,
where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt,
and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
Matthew 6:19-21

496. Laundry collecting just as the bins are emptied

497. Broken glass in the sink ~ Casualties of hand washing...

498. Imperfect garden beds ~ do see recycling in the mix...Emma seizes them from the bin for play.
FYI ~ The jug looking thing is an empty Maple Syrup bottle...oh YUM!

499. Little-boy-chewed guard rail on the bunkbed

500. Tear in the linoleum ~ my feeble attempt at installation

501. Missing doorknob on the front door ~ that would be the inside! :)

502. Broken and glued "treasures"

503. Mildew growing in the caulking

504. Dust that collects

505. "Dings" in the laminate

506. Warped laminate from the time the dishwasher had a leak

507. Scuffs on the wall

508. Mud that is tracked in

509. Tears in favourite articles of clothing

510. Stains that won't come out

511. Broken dishwasher

512. Chips out of the edges of the kitchen doors
(not installed that long ago!)

513. Betsy's broken door

514. Unfinished bedroom

515. Trim that isn't painted

516. Weeds

517. Grey hairs

518. Old injuries that resurface every now and then

519. Beginnings of arthritis in the fingers

520. Shifting teeth in spite of long-ago braces

521. Wrinkles

522. Sun-faded furniture

523. Congenitally missing teeth in two of our children

524. Chipped dishes

525. Five colds on our holiday

Find the inspiration for this post here.

And here.

Many Blessings,

May 28, 2010

How Great Thou Art

**Rocky Mountains ~ photo by Camille 2009**

O Lord my God! When I in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds Thy hands have made,
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed,

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God to Thee;
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Saviour God to Thee;
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

When through the woods and forest glades I wander
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees;
When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur
And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze;

~ Refrain ~

And when I think that God, His Son not sparing,
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in:
That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin;

~ Refrain ~

When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart!
Then I shall bow in humble adoration
And there proclaim, my God, how great Thou art!

~ Refrain ~

Stuart K. Hine (1899-1989)

May 27, 2010

Wonderful Collection of Books

Over the years we have built up our home library to the point of overflowing.
Both my husband and I have a weakness for books!
One of the bookshelves in the schoolroom has books doubled up.
And yet, we still find more books to bring home.

What is this teaching our children?
They say children will follow your example more than your words.
Will they value books as we have?
Will they read the MOST important BOOK every day?
Oh we do pray to that end.
We desire to see them glorify God in their lives and
pray that they would be equipped to teach and lead the next generation for HIM.

The Rare Collector's Series of books is worth looking into if you are building up your library.
Or if you want to give something of lasting value to a young person in your life. They work well as read-alouds...and the stories tend to be thought provoking
as well as touching in the way the valuable lessons are taught.

If you live in the Lower Mainland of BC you can find these titles at The Valley Gospel Mission Bookstore.
Phone 604-530-7880 for hours of operation and directions.

**I do not receive compensation for any of my reviews ~
they are humbly submitted for your examination only.

May 26, 2010

How to Keep Your Marriage Intact

**Photo of one of our Bibles and our wedding rings ~ by Camille**

When we were just on the verge of getting married, we were given the best marriage advice ever! I can't remember who it was that said it, but we have proven the truth of it over and over and over again. We have been blessed with nearly 19 years of marriage in which we have used this tried and true advice and have found that it works, by God's grace...every time!

What is this advice, you might ask?

If you are a Christian this will make perfect sense to you...for I am speaking of something that involves looking outside of ourselves to the one true God of Heaven and Earth...our Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ. If ever you argue or disagree with your spouse and cannot see eye to eye on a matter, it is then that you must do what follows.

Get on your knees together to pray. Pray out loud. Confess your sin...not his or hers! Easy to say, but very hard to do! You both must do this. Very often, before you are even finished praying, the Lord will mend the rift and you will be reconciled.

This, by the way, is THE MOST difficult thing to do! Be sure to have this strategy in place before it is needed. Commit yourselves to it and implement it as necessary.

A strong marriage has been depicted as one where the husband and wife are both growing closer to the Lord the two lower points of a triangle...and the upper point represents God. The closer they get to God, the closer they get to one another. Interesting analogy, isn't it?

BTW...if your spouse is not a Christian and you are...DON'T despair! You can still commit your way to the Lord in prayer and seek by God's grace to live in harmony with your spouse.

God's Word says..."Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear."
I Peter 3:1-2
See also I Corinthians 7:10-16

Many Blessings,

**Repost from the archives under the title "The Best Marriage Advice"

May 24, 2010

I Will N.E.V.E.R. Understand!

Although I have T.H.R.E.E. boys,
they are still capable of coming up with new ways to amaze me!
The boy who did this will remain A.N.O.N.Y.M.O.U.S.
And, in his defense, this took place about two years ago ~
I like to think he now knows better.

Can you see what happened?
They say a picture speaks a thousand words and
in this case THREE pictures may reveal more than you ever wanted to know!
Whatever possessed my boy to do this to my girl is beyond me.
Her shrieks of horror were heard all over the house.
Thankfully he shut the power head of the vacuum off
before more damage was done.
The joys of motherhood abound! :)

The B.A.L.D. spot left after the...

B.O.Y. used this...

On her H.E.A.D. ~ While it was R.U.N.N.I.N.G.!!

Poor thing!
Oh the joys (and sorrows)
of motherhood!

Many Blessings,

May 23, 2010

Life's Fleeting Joys

The weeks fly by.  The Mondays come and go.
The documentation of thanks continuesAND as I plod along,
I find myself being transformed by this "new" way of thinking.
We are called to this.  Joy is found in obedience.

"In every thing give thanks:
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."
I Thessalonians 5:18

456. Clean dishes piled up in the drying rack ~
Remember that my dishwasher is broken?

457. Window seats on the airplane

458. WestJet! :)

459. New apron for our girl

460. Treasure found at an antique store in California

461. Constantly feeding the washing machine with dirty clothes...
and they come out clean!

462. Listening to my composer on the piano ~
what does the Lord have planned?

463. Crumbs (and chunks) on the floor...
we have food to eat and children to eat with ~
they won't always live here :(

464. New recipes to try

465. Play clothes that get dirty ~ the children are healthy

466. Opportunities to serve

467. Peaceful land to live in

468. Peaceful home

469. Peaceful street to live on

470. Church family to be a part of

471. Finishing the pile of ironing ~ ahhhh

472. Freshly laundered Sunday clothes...ready to be worn

473. Blonde bangs to trim

474. Recent visit with my sister...
a treat as she lives far away

475. Doing dishes with my sister ~
reliving distant memories

476. Hospitality of my sister and her family ~
they invited all SIX of us to stay!

477. Cousin friendships

478. Visiting a church a few thousand miles from home and
finding fellowship amongst God's people ~ joy!

479. Hearing two amazing sermons on the same Sunday ~
delivered with a Scottish accent :)

480. Exploring new (to us) parts of God's creation

481. Enjoying the diversity of plants found in the desert

482. Safety as we drove the Southern California Freeways!

483. A new appreciation for how relatively little traffic there is at home! :)

484. View of the mountains from 38,000 feet

485. Cloud pictures from the airplane window

486. Enjoying the perspective that flying gives ~
we really are SMALL and HE is GREAT!

487. Cheap flights!

488. The simple things

489. A van to drive and the ability to do so

490. A van to share and the flexibility of schedules
that enable us to have only one

491. A fresh batch of hand-me-downs

492. An invitation to return! (See #476)

493. Reminders to enjoy the moments

494. New beginnings

495. Patience and forgiveness extended to me ~

grace upon grace

Many Blessings,

May 21, 2010

A Wonderful Hymn!

A Sovereign Protector I have,
Unseen, yet forever at hand,
Unchangeably faithful to save,
Almighty to rule and command.

He smiles and my comforts abound;
His grace as the dew shall descend,
And walls of Salvation surround
The souls He delights to defend.

Inspirer and hearer of prayer,
Thou Shepherd and Guardian of Thine,
My all to thy covenant care,
I sleeping and waking resign.

If Thou art my shield and my Sun,
The night is no darkness to me;
And, fast as the moments roll on,
They bring me but nearer to Thee.

Kind Author, and ground of my hope,
Thee, Thee, for my God I avow;
My glad Ebenezer set up,
And own Thou hast helped me till now.

I muse on the years that are past,
Wherein my defense Thou hast proved;
Nor wilt Thou relinquish at last
A sinner so signally loved!

Augustus Toplady (1740-1778)

May 19, 2010

California Flowers

Our family was able to go visit my sister and her family in California at the beginning of the month. It was lovely to reconnect and spend some extended time with each other. One of the things my sister and I share is the joy of photography ~ I continue to learn...and by no means have arrived!
But it is enjoyable all the same!

She and I took MANY pictures of flowers. These are just a sampling of the ones we saw. I don't know the names of them all, but I do think that they display some of the creativity of our Great God!
Isn't HIS handiwork GLORIOUS?

"...Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow;
they toil not, neither do they spin:
And yet I say unto you,
That even Solomon in all his glory was not
arrayed like one of these."
Matthew 6:28-29

May 18, 2010

Chewy Chocolate Cookies ~ Oh My!

Thy Hand Hath Provided posted a recipe for Chewy Chocolate Cookies ~
it is the second recipe shown in her post.

Oh. Dear. Me.


Too Easy!!

Hop on over...grab the recipe and follow her directions to a "T",
but be sure to let them cool on the cookie sheet.
I found they were too soft to transfer to a cooling rack right away ~
they are meant to be chewy after all.
I challenge you to whip up a batch and not eat every last one!!
They are destined to become your new favourite chocolate cookie...
that is, if you are one of those who likes chocolate cookies!
But who doesn't? :)

May 17, 2010

Tender Mercies

The days pass and the joys mount higher ~
reflection is often necessary to really appreciate today.
Oh that I would slow down long enough to drink it all in!

"The LORD is good to all:
and his tender mercies are over all his works."
Psalm 145:9

Continuing to number my days and His tender mercies ~
grace upon grace...

436. Endless supply of flowers for my little vase ~
lovingly picked just for me!

437. Little helper ~ eager to be of use!
Remember that my dishwasher is broken? :)

438. Soap bubbles...

439. School project ~ a tiny glimpse into the
sheer magnitude of our Great God's marvelous Creation

440. Neighbours willing to fill in on the paper route
and collect mail while we were away

441. Safe return of my Mom from Egypt

442. Imaginations of a child

443. Chocolate Molten Cakes

444. Bald eagles soaring overhead ~ three of them!

445. Little girl who keeps up as I "power walk"

446. Reading about our niece's adventures in AFRICA!

447. Ability to pray for loved ones far away

448. Our hearing and answering Heavenly Father

449. Fresh spring breezes filling the house

450. The gate slamming shut ~ boys live here

451. Empty fridge ~ boys live here

452. Full fridge ~ boys live here and God provides!

453. The "shhh" of little (and not so little)
boys in a bunk bed waiting for Mum to say goodnight

454. Little girl reading "The Bobbsey Twins" in bed
as she waits for Mummy to tuck her in

455. Oldest son who quietly goes to bed and still allows Mum
to kiss him goodnight

Many Blessings,

May 15, 2010

Bless the LORD!

Psalm 103:1-5

Bless the LORD, O my soul:
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name.

Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits:

Who forgiveth all thine iniquities;
who healeth all thy diseases;

Who redeemeth thy life from destruction;
who crowneth thee with lovingkindness
and tender mercies;

Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things;
so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.

Holy Bible

May 14, 2010

Salmon Burgers

This recipe was given to me by a dear friend ~
Thanks Claudia! :)

It is an easy (and yummy) way to get salmon into your diet ~
We all know how good it is for us!

Salmon Burgers

1 lb canned salmon with liquid
⅓ c flour
¼ c cornmeal
⅓ c wheat germ
2 eggs
½ c chopped onion
¼ c chopped green pepper (I omit this)
1 Tbs lemon juice

Flake salmon, mashing bones well.
Mix all ingredients together. Form into flat patties.
Brown in oil over medium heat until nicely browned on both sides.
Serve in a bun with tartar sauce or with rice and veggies on a plate.


May 11, 2010

What We All *Should* Be Doing...

Food for thought...when we lose weight (or are trying to) ~ it is important not only to exercise, but to do light resistance training. I didn't always know this and I haven't always been faithful to do it, but it's very easy to add into the daily routine. Apparently, women are extremely susceptible to muscle and bone loss while dieting. Even if you are one of the fortunate ones who does not need to lose weight, you will help protect yourself against osteoporosis if you work some of this into your day.

Get some dumb bells (start with light weights...even one or two pounds) and search out a basic routine on the internet or from a book and do it! One of the programs I have used is this easy "8 Minutes in the Morning" routine by Jorge Cruise. It is a great place to begin!

Increase the weight when the exercises become too easy. Just be sure to begin with very light weights if this is new to you! Even 10 minutes a day will make a difference.

Now, where ARE those dumb bells? ;-)

May 6, 2010

A Sacrifice of Praise

I find it very easy to complain.
It is much easier than giving thanks ~ shameful, but true.
Yet, we are commanded to give thanks ~ in all things.
Once more I seek to see the good and give the thanks ~
A sacrifice of praise.

"By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually,
that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name."
Hebrews 13:15

411. Opportunities to play

412. G.I.A.N.T. tub of Legos

413. Little hands that piece the colours together

414. Photography fun and the ability to get down to that level!

415. Interactive learning

416. Bananagrams to play with ~
spelling practise without "trying"

417. K'Nex Rollercoaster to build

418. Watching and enjoying the accomplishment

419. Sharing in their pursuits

420. Learning the art of "YES"...

421. ...AND watching from a distance as Emma and Daddy run
barefoot by the water's edge and I stay on the path ~
Beach Walk joys as the days grow warmer! :)

422. Planning and Dreaming

423. Enjoying the fleeting days and the moments of NOW

424. Boys that play chess AND hockey! :)

425. The nights when our street is not quiet ~
makes me appreciate the many times it has been!

426. Neighbours that look out for each other

427. Children for my children to play with ~ right in front of my house...
just how I always wanted it to be

428. Surgery that may prevent blindness in one we love

429. Chicken Noodle Soup for dinner ~ yummy, nourishing goodness

430. Things to look forward to

431. Six voices chattering around the table ~
none of us are "the quiet type" day it will be silent and I
will wish it all back again!

432. Busy children

433. Messes ~ one day things will stay as I arrange them...
then I will remember these days with tears wishing them back again

434. Random piano duets between the second and the last

435. Friendships developing amongst the children ~
amidst the challenges of learning to live with one another in harmony

Many Blessings,

May 5, 2010

Hockey Night in Canada!

Do you know the story behind this piece of music?

A Canadian classic in the hockey world for many many years ~
It was the theme song for the Saturday evening featured hockey game on CBC.

It came time to renew the contract and CBC didn't offer enough for it, or some such thing. Long story short, they lost the right to play it for those Saturday Evening games. Since then, CBC hosted a contest to find a new theme song. They found one which has been used for this entire hockey season.
It is very good ~ but not the one I grew up with.
THIS is the song I remember and will always associate with hockey.

My boys love the "old" song.
Calvin is learning it now, but Fraser was the first to play it.
He even performed it at a piano recital ~
it went over REALLY well.
Of course it did ~ we are Canadians! :)