December 31, 2011

Nothing to Fear

On the Eve of a New Year,
we pause to reflect.
We remember the Goodness of
our Great God.
We look back on *good* days
and *bad*.

And through it all...
we know the Hand of the
LORD is upon us.
Guiding our moments.
Guiding our days.
Leading us ever to Himself.

Where will HE take us
in 2012?

Nothing to fear.
Only hope.

We fix our eyes on HIM!

Whether this coming year
holds joys or sorrows,
we trust.
The LORD truly
does ALL things well!

May the LORD bless each
one of you in the coming year
with HIS peace and presence.
May you know HIS hand upon you.
And HIS joy within.

"The LORD bless thee,
and keep thee:
The LORD make his face
shine upon thee,
and be gracious unto thee:
The LORD lift up his
countenance upon thee,
and give thee peace."
~ Numbers 6:24-26 ~

In HIS Love,

**Photo courtesy of Emma ~
Thank you my little love! xo

December 28, 2011

Of Transfusions, Prednisone and Resting

It was a shock.

Our child with
Crohn's Disease needed blood.
Two units of packed cells.
Just to get him out
of the critical zone.


A little.



After about 10 months of only
using natural means
to treat this disease,
he needed a boost.

Two things.
One was the transfusion.
The other was a pharmaceutical.

Prednisone is currently
the drug of choice.

Not the route
we wanted to take.
But, the one
that made the most sense.

For now.
And only for a very
short period of time.

The LORD willing.

We continue to use
supplements and diet
to manage this disease.
It all seems to be working.

God is Good.
All the time.

Through it all we pray.
We trust.
We lean on the LORD.
We rest.

What else can we do?


And sometimes,
that is the point.

The place where we need to be.
Completely and utterly
dependent on HIM.

The book of Job is such a comfort.
Job's reactions through
all of his suffering
were upright and godly.
He was beyond reproach.

We, of course, are not.

But, we serve the same God.
Job's God is my God.
that thought is!

We continue to trust that the
LORD does all things well.
That HE makes no mistakes.

We look to HIM
each step of this journey.
We know HE is in control.
HIS ways are perfect.

We rest.

If you find yourself
in a difficult place,
do not despair.
The LORD never gives us
more than we can bear.
With HIM.

"For I know the thoughts that
I think toward you, saith the LORD,
thoughts of peace, and not of evil,
to give you an expected end."
~ Jeremiah 29:11 ~

Look to HIM.
Rest in HIM.

Many Blessings to each of you,

**Photos in this post courtesy of
our precious Emma ~ Thank you! xo

December 13, 2011

How Wonderful!

How wonderful it is that
we have a season set aside to
celebrate the birth of our
Precious Saviour.

How wonderful it is
that this is a time when the
world seems more open to
hearing about HIM.

What is this season all about?
The gifts?


We have enjoyed
celebrating Advent
together most evenings in our home.
Oh, what a precious time this is!
Oh, how the TRUTH comes out and the
Saviour is exalted!


We aim to keep Christmas time
as stress free as possible,
and we seek to focus on the REAL
reason for it all.

Yes, we do have a tree.
Yes, we do give gifts.
But, we strive to keep it simple.
We seek to continually direct our attention
to the LORD and focus on the reason
for which HE came!

It all leads us to the Cross.
The purpose for HIS incarnation.

HE did not stay in the manger.
HE grew into a man.
HE lived the perfect life that
we could never live.
HE died to pay the penalty for the
sins of HIS people.
HE rose again,
conquering death and Satan.
HE lives!

Are you one of HIS?
If not, there could not be a better time
to turn to HIM for Salvation.
Today is the day!
There may not be a tomorrow.

Above all else,
whatever you do in this life,
the MOST important of all is that you
make sure you belong to HIM!

THAT's what CHRISTmas is all about!

May the LORD
bless each and every one of you
this Christmas and
throughout the coming year.

I am taking a blogging break
for a few weeks.
I will look forward to catching
up with you all when I am
back online.

Merry Christmas!

In HIS Love,

December 8, 2011

A Christmas Eve Tradition

Every Christmas Eve we have dinner by the fire.
Ever since the children were little.
It began with just Devon Cream Tea on the menu.

And includes all this!!

As the children grew there was a need for more
and more and MORE food!
We do a full-blown appies spread.  It's dinner.

What's on the menu?

Layer Dip for Nacho Chips.
(Recipe to follow)
Red Pepper Jelly on a brick of Cream Cheese
served with Rice Crackers.

Store-bought Sausage Rolls with Dijon Mustard.
Mandarin Oranges.  Hot Apple Cider.
And of course...Devon Cream Tea!
(See recipe below)

~ Gina's Layer Dip ~

8oz Pkg Cream Cheese (softened)
1/2 Cup Sour Cream
Mix together and spread into
a 9" glass pie dish.

Spread a layer of salsa over this.
Sprinkle with grated Cheddar.
Chop some green onions and tomatoes
and sprinkle over the cheese layer.
Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
Serve with Unseasoned Nacho Chips.

SO easy and SO good!

~ Devon Cream Tea ~

Purchase some REAL Devon Cream.
Straight from England.  Click Here to view the brand I buy.

U.N.B.E.L.I.E.V.E.A.B.L.E. is actually SCARY how good it is! :)

Once you have some of the good stuff on hand,
you just need to whip up a batch of Rich Scones.

Recipe taken from Company's Coming
"Muffins and More" by Jean Pare (a Canadian!).

~ Rich Scones ~

2 Cups All purpose Flour
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
1/2 Cup Butter, cold
1 Egg
2/3 Cup Milk

Mix together all dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Cut in butter until crumbly.
Mix together egg and milk in small bowl.
Stir wet ingredients into flour mixture and mix quickly with a fork.
Pat into a rectangle on your counter.
Be careful to not over-mix!
Cut into triangles or circles.
Place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
Bake at 425 degrees F for about 15 minutes until golden.

Cool on cooling racks.

Once cooled, serve your split open scone
with the cream and some fresh strawberry preserves on top.
And be prepared...this may become a new tradition!

What special family traditions
do you revisit each year at Christmas-time?
Please share in the comments of this post.
I would love to read about them!

Many Christmas Blessings
to each and every one of you!
With Love,

December 5, 2011

A Few Ideas...

In a baking slump?
Need ideas?

Here are a few of our favourites.

Apple Tart

Absolutely the BEST
Cinnamon Buns ~
A Christmas Morning Tradition!

Whipped Shortbread ~
If I only bake one's these!

Click Here
to get to a post from
last year...
if you need a little
encouragement in the
gift-giving department.

Be encouraged!
It's not all about the amount
spent or on the trappings of the Season.

It really is all about
the LORD Jesus Christ.

Let's prepare our hearts for HIM!

Many Blessings,

December 3, 2011

Faith-Building Gift Ideas

Need some gift ideas?

How about one of the following
I've compiled a list of some of
our favourites below.

Happy Shopping!

A One Year Subscription to "Answers" Magazine ~
this is a fabulous resource for any family!

If you have not heard of
Answers in Genesis,
I would encourage you to go and check out their website ~
you will find that they have so many amazing,
faith-building materials available...
really, it's wonderful!

C.H. Spurgeon's "Morning and Evening" devotional ~
This is a classic and a *must-have*
(in my opinion) for every Christian.
We have found the readings in this devotional
book to be a blessing to us year after year after year.

Jerry Bridges' "Holiness ~ Day by Day" devotional ~
Another classic daily reading that will become a favourite.

"365 Days With Calvin"
is a recent addition to our own
library and has (so far) been a blessing.

If you are a Christian homeschool family,
and you do not have a copy of
"When You Rise Up" by R.C. Sproul Jr.,
you *must* get your hands on one!
It is so incredibly encouraging to those of us seeking to do
this task with joyful hearts as unto the LORD.
I cannot possibly tell you in this little space
what a blessing it has been to my own heart and life.
It really is *that* good!

"Little Pilgrim's Progress"
is a faithful adaptation of
Bunyan's classic work that in no way undermines the original.
If you have children between the ages of 9 and 14, this would
be a great blessing to read aloud with them.

This book is a blessing and
seeks to answer these and many other
questions from a biblical standpoint.

It is such an encouragement
to the weary Christian's heart.

"Both Paul and James speak of rejoicing in our sufferings
(see Romans 5:3-4; James 1:2-4).
Most of us, if we are honest with ourselves,
have difficulty with that idea.
Endure them, perhaps, but rejoice?
That often seems like an unreasonable expectation.
We are not masochistic; we don't enjoy pain.

But Paul and James both say that we should rejoice
in our trials because of their beneficial results.
It is not the adversity considered in itself that is
to be the ground of our joy.
Rather, it is the expectation of the results,
the development of our character,
that should cause us to rejoice in adversity.
God does not ask us to rejoice because we have
lost our job or a loved one has been stricken with cancer
or a child has been born with an incurable birth defect.
But He does tell us to rejoice because we believe
He is in control of those circumstances
and is at work through them for our ultimate good.

The Christian life is intended to be one of continuous growth.
We all want to grow, but we often resist the process.
This is because we tend to focus on the events of adversity themselves,
rather than looking with the eye of faith beyond
the events to what God is doing in our lives....

We are to look beyond our adversity to what
God is doing in our lives and rejoice in the certainty
that He is at work to cause us to grow."

~ Quoted from
"Trusting God Even When Life Hurts"
(Pages 186-87)
by Jerry Bridges ~

May the LORD guide us all
as we seek to follow HIM.

Many Blessings,

November 30, 2011

Entering In

Howie came up with a
great idea awhile back.
The idea?

To allow the children
each a twenty-minute block
of time to share with the rest of us
whatever they wanted to.

A family version of
"Show and Tell".

It went over well.
An understatement. :)

Fraser is our resident
atlas/languages/professor sort.

His pick?

Google Earth.

We visited places I had never
heard of and discovered new things.
What an adventurer!

Calvin is our budding photographer.
Some of you may have noticed
that I feature some of his work
here on this blog.
He's serious about it.

We enjoyed looking through
a photo album that he put together
last year after a family vacation.

Happy Memories!

Austin has been learning
a little about programming.
He has created little games
and question and answer sorts
of programs to tickle the funny bone.

He's even opened up a
you-tube channel as an avenue to
showcase his virtual rollercoasters.

Under that serious-looking
exterior there lurks a sense of humour.
Wonder where he got that from?

Emma has a serious love for
all things *Nancy Drew* ~
She shared an excerpt from
the book she was reading at the time.

The *original* series of novels are
being devoured at a rapid rate.
We have most of the earlier set
of books...what fun! :)

She then showed us her collection
of shells that were acquired
on our recent trip to visit with
Auntie Beverley.

God's Glorious Handiwork!

And the boys entered in.

It was an enjoyable time
spent learning just
a little bit more about
the unique individuals God
has entrusted us with.

What an honour it is to
seek to raise them for HIM
and for HIS glory!

Many Blessings,

November 27, 2011

Does the Wind Blow Fierce?

Life throws you a curve ball.

God is Good.
All the time.

In the midst of life's trials
and struggles and difficulties

There is Hope.
There is Peace.
There is Comfort.

And it is all found in
the LORD Jesus Christ.

"...My grace is sufficient for thee:
for my strength is made perfect in weakness.
Most gladly therefore will I rather
glory in my infirmities,
that the power of Christ
may rest upon me."
~ II Corinthians 12:9 ~

Even when we feel like this little leaf...
Just hanging on while the winds blow fierce ~
HE holds us!

What a thought!

We are not actually in control of

Are the winds blowing furiously
in your neck of the woods?

Are you facing something
that seems to be insurmountable?

Be assured of this my friend ~
We do not hold on to the LORD.
If we belong to HIM...


Doesn't that just make things
seem a little bit brighter??

"Behold, I have refined thee,
but not with silver;
I have chosen thee in the
furnace of affliction."
~ Isaiah 48:10 ~

May HE help us all to
fix our eyes on HIM.

And to know beyond a
shadow of a doubt that
All is Well.

Many Blessings,

November 21, 2011

Feeding 29

When Austin was baptized, we asked all our family and the
Pastors and their families to join us after the service for lunch.
There were 29 of us.  What did I feed a crowd like that?

BBQ Meatballs (among other things)...
About Two Hundred of 'em!
Always a hit. A sure win.  Y.U.M.

A lovely lady at a church we attended years ago
faithfully brought these yummy morsels to church potluck dinners.
Unfortunately, I could never get any on my plate...
they always disappeared so quickly!

So, without ever trying them, I asked for the recipe.
And she kindly shared.  I'm so glad that she did.
And now...I'm sure you will be too! :)

~ BBQ Meatballs ~


1 Egg
5 oz evaporated milk
1 cup quick cooking oats
½ cup finely chopped onion
1 large clove garlic, finely minced
1 ½ lb. ground beef
1 tsp salt
1 tsp chili powder
¼ tsp pepper


1- 1/2 cup ketchup
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 tsp liquid smoke
1 - 2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
Bring all ingredients to boil in a small saucepan.
Reduce heat and simmer for two minutes.
Set aside to pour over the meatballs
when they are done cooking.

In a large bowl,
combine all meatball ingredients (except the meat).
Mix well and then add the meat.

Mix well once again and form into 1 inch balls.
Place about an inch apart
on a jelly roll pan (cookie sheet with sides).
Bake uncovered in 350 degree oven
for 20 to 25 minutes till cooked through.
Drain and place in 13 x 9 inch pan
and cover with sauce and bake for 10 to 12 minutes longer.
If heating the meatballs from cold, 30 to 40 minutes is about right.

Comfort food at its finest.
Enjoy! :)

With Love,

**I have no idea where the original recipe for these yummy meatballs came
from...if you do, would you please share so I may link back to the
book/site where they are found? Thank you!

November 18, 2011

Marshmallow Root Tea

Just a little something to share.
It's really too good not to.

No, I don't mean it tastes good.
At least, not particularly.

But, oh is it G.O.O.D.!

I have a little history
with kidney stones.
not really a little one.
It's been big.

As in, if I don't do something
about it, I could lose the kidney.
Not good.

But I digress.

I was recently told a little secret.
A wonderful secret.
And I am going to share it with you!

Marshmallow Root Tea
is the secret.

Oh. Dear. Me.

Does it ever relieve
the pain I have been experiencing.

And how.

it hasn't taken the stone away.
But, it has provided a reprieve
from the throbbing I was experiencing.
I do still have to deal with the stones.

Oh well.

What to do?

Get your hands on some
marshmallow root tea.
Spoon a teaspoon per cup of water
into a small pot.
Bring to a boil.
reduce heat and simmer ~
with lid slightly vented ~
for 20 minutes.

Strain and enjoy.
Up to three cups per day.

I just leave my pot on
the stove all day with the lid
on and the heat off.
When I want another cup,
I reheat to boiling and
strain into my mug.

Do not leave on the stove
longer than 24 hours without refrigeration.
It can go bad.

And, please, do see your Doctor
or Naturopathic Physician if
you are having any pain
or symptoms of kidney distress
of any kind!

As an added bonus,
it seems to be a wonderful tea
for our child with Crohn's as well!

Many Blessings,

**Disclaimer ~ I am not a medical
professional and I am not authorized to
give medical advice.
I just share what has been working
for me with the desire that it may be
of benefit to someone else.
Please do consult with your Physician
prior to consuming any herbal remedies!

November 11, 2011


The LORD is Good!

Prior to any of our children
being born into our family,
we prayed for their Salvation.

We prayed that they would
love the LORD and follow HIM.
We prayed that HE would have their hearts.

We continue to pray.

This past Sunday,
Austin followed the Lord Jesus Christ
in the waters of baptism.

He obeyed the LORD's command.
By God's Grace.

"And Jesus came and spake
unto them, saying,
All power is given unto me
in heaven and in earth.
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
Teaching them to observe all things
whatsoever I have commanded you:
and lo, I am with you alway,
even unto the end of the world.
~ Matthew 28:18-20 ~

We are rejoicing!

Rejoicing in God's Mercy.
In HIS Goodness.
In HIS Grace.

"All that the Father giveth me shall come to me;
and all that come to me I will in no wise cast out."
~ John 6:37 ~

May the LORD have the hearts of
each of our children.
Be encouraged.
As long as there is breath,
there is hope.

The LORD is Faithful.
And HE does all things well.

Many blessings,

**Photos courtesy of Calvin ~
Thank you my love. xo

November 8, 2011


He lied about his age.
He was young and full of life.
The only boy of a farming family.
He was the baby.
He went.

He never came home.

Letters were written from France.
They would have been cherished.

The boy never came home to
be cherished in their place.

He never got married.
Never had children.
Never lived beyond his teens.

November 11th is
Remembrance Day in Canada.
May we all remember those who
went to fight for our freedoms.
For our liberties.

May we pray for those who
are fighting and defending even now.

May we always be thankful.
May we never forget.

Many Blessings,

**Letters in this post
were written home by Camille's
Great-Great Uncle Johnnie
during WWI ~ 1915.

November 5, 2011

Some of Our Journey

What a journey this has been!
God is so Good.
All the time.

What a blessing it is to
rest in HIS Goodness.
In HIS Grace.

~ Photo courtesy of my Emma ~

Some of you may
be on a similar journey.
Crohn's Disease
is a tricky thing to deal with.
It's not simple.

Simply not.

We have been to see a
G.I. Specialist at
Children's Hospital in Vancouver.
We have been to our GP.
We are also seeing a
Naturopathic Physician.

They all have something to offer.
Advice to give.
Instructions to follow.

When we first got the
Crohn's diagnosis we were not surprised.
It was something we already figured he had.
It was, in some ways, a relief to know.

We started using dietary supplements.
We altered his diet.
We have been following this one.

Things went well.
Very well.
For a few months.

Then, some things stopped going well.
A flare up.

Not uncommon for those with Crohn's.
But, at the same time, disheartening.
Our son has been careful to follow
his dietary restrictions and recommendations.

No chips.
No chocolate.
No grains.

He is committed.

We continue to follow the
principles laid out in Elaine Gottschall's book ~
Breaking the Vicious Cycle.
We are also following the advice
of our Naturopathic Physician and General Practitioner.

Sometimes adjustments are necessary.
We are willing to do whatever it takes
to help our son get well.


We seek the LORD for wisdom.
We pray.
We seek the wisdom of Physicians.
We weigh it all up.
We act.

I would like to share some of
what we are doing and going through
to be an encouragement to those of
you who may be in the same boat.

I also want to record it
for future reference.

To bring down the swelling
in our son's leg
(a manifestation of Crohn's),
we are administering a poultice
of grated potato and carrot with ice chips.
Wrap this in cheesecloth
and apply to the swollen area for about
an hour at a time.
Do this at least twice per day.

For settling and soothing the abdomen,
soak a flannel cloth in
Castor Oil infused with Lavender
and Chamomile and place on the tummy.
Cover with plastic and have
the child lie down on his back
and apply a hot water bottle to the area.
Lie still for an hour or two.
Do this twice per day.

For tummy cramping,
we are using a tincture of
Viburnum Opulus.
For our son, the dose is 30 drops
in water three times per day.
During a flare up,
it may be administered up to six times
per day, if necessary.

He also is taking a
natural anti-inflammatory twice per day,
a GI repair supplment at every meal,
a probiotic twice per day,
and vitamins.

As well as all the above,
we are keeping his diet very simple.
Nothing that will stress the system
is allowed.

I am currently making up
a big batch of hearty beef broth.
Chicken Stock is also an important
healing food that is being administered.
Did you know that homemade broth
has so many amazing nutrients in it?

Emma was recently feeling sick,
so I took some rich Chicken Broth
from the freezer and boiled it up for her to drink.
She started to feel a little better.
Her fever broke the next day.


Maybe, but I don't think so! :)

May the LORD give us all
wisdom as we seek to lead our families
in the journey of good health.
For HIS Glory.
By HIS Grace.

Many Blessings,

**Disclaimer ~ I am not a medical professional.
I am just a Mum sharing some of the things that
we are using to help our son.
Please consult with your Doctor
prior to administering any drug or supplement.
Dosage amounts will vary due to weight and
the age of the individual being treated.
Some people will respond adversely to some treatments.

October 30, 2011

Sometimes... can be difficult.
It's been a little that way for us lately.

Our son has Crohn's Disease.
Crohn's is nasty.
No two ways about it.  Nasty.

We are using means.  We are not flying solo.
We are praying for wisdom.
We are consulting with physicians.
We are seeking the LORD.

The Great Physician.

What a blessing it is to know that HE is in perfect
and Sovereign control.
HE does not give more than we can bear.  Ever.
With His help and grace and strength, we can face anything.

God's Grace is evident in the life of our son.
He says that he has nothing to complain about!
He continues to be thankful.

What a rebuke.
What a blessing.

Today our Pastor preached from Philippians.
How encouraging it was!

"Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord."
~ Philippians 3:1a ~

We don't rejoice in circumstances.
Sometimes circumstances are hard.

We rejoice in the Lord.
We can always do that!
Think of what HE has done for us!

"Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss
for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord:
for whom I have suffered the loss of all things,
and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,

And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness,
which is of the law, but that which is
through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which
is of God by faith:

That I may know Him, and the power of his resurrection,
and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.

Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect:
but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which
also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus."

~ Philippians 3:8-12 ~

How Precious HE is!

May the LORD give you the grace you need this day
to face whatever it is you must face.
HE is Faithful!  Look to HIM.

Many Blessings,

**Photos courtesy of Emma ~
Thank you my little love xo

October 27, 2011

Oven Baked Hash Browned Potatoes

Jennifer Jo and I seem to have similar taste buds.
I like her recipes.  And this was no exception.'s EASY!

(Is that a word?)

You can make these for a few or for many.
It all depends on how many potatoes you begin with.

Oh YUM!!

Head on over to Jennifer Jo's
for her recipe for these fabulous

You won't be sorry you did.
Your family will thank you.

The End.