January 31, 2012

Boys and Their Toys

Last year for Christmas
I bought Howie and Calvin each a
remote controlled helicopter.

At the mall.
For a price.

I didn't purchase the
As it turned out,
that might have been a
good idea!

They broke.
Both of them.
In short order.

Fast forward to this Christmas.
Add another boy (Austin)
who requested one.
Fraser had no interest.

Calvin found them
online through Amazon
for half he price I paid last year.
Three were ordered.

And this year,
they already know how to fly!
B.O.N.U.S. :)

This is what I saw
attached to my computer
over the Christmas break...

Are you an online shopper?
I find that it makes my
life a little simpler ~
With the added bonus of
some great savings.
What a blessing! :)

Have a happy day!

**One thing to note ~
Amazon's prices fluctuate.
The helicopters I bought were
$10 cheaper than they are listed
for right now.

January 30, 2012

Got Quinoa?


A *new* grain that
is touted as a super food.
Even though it is technically
not a grain at all!

Have you tried it?

Quinoa is versatile
and so healthy for you!
There are many ways to prepare and serve it.
A bonus boost of nutrition is
promised each time you do. :)

It can be served as a side dish,
much like rice (and as easy to prepare) ~
Although, it is bland and
not my favourite way to eat it.
In fact, a bag of quinoa
sat in my pantry for ages while
I pondered what to do with it.


I just got my hands on
this quinoa cookbook .
And I've already employed it.
I needed some ideas to incorporate
this food into our diet that would
please the taste buds.

One day for lunch last week
I whipped this soup up.
And it was a hit.

The only mistake I made was not
doubling the recipe.

~ Sweet Potato and Coconut Quinoa Soup ~

Slightly adapted from this cookbook ~

Quinoa 365 ~
The Everyday Superfood

2 Large Sweet Potatoes
2 Tbsp Coconut Oil (or Butter)
1/2 cup Onion ~ diced
1/2 cup Quinoa
3 cups Vegetable Stock
400 ml (1 2/3 cup) Coconut Milk
1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp Chili powder

Wash and peel the sweet potatoes.
Dice into 2 to 3 inch pieces.
Boil 5 to 6 minutes to soften.
Drain and set aside.

In another pot,
fry the onion in the oil
over medium heat until translucent ~
Do not brown.
Add the quinoa to the pot
and fry for a few minutes until
it begins to smell slightly nutty.

Add the vegetable stock to the
pot with the onions and quinoa,
and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium and cook
for about 15 minutes ~
until the quinoa is cooked.

Add the drained sweet potatoes to the pot.
Puree the mixture with a hand blender
or in a food processor.
Return to pot on low heat and add
in the spices and the coconut milk.

Stir to blend.
Thin with water or stock, if necessary.
Heat slowly.
Taste and correct seasonings.
Serve and enjoy.

This recipe made about 5 good-sized
bowls of soup.
Next time I will make double. :)

Happy Cooking!

January 25, 2012

Underneath are the Everlasting Arms

Giving Thanks.

A way of thinking.
A way of living.
A way of praising.

God is Good.
All the time.

We often forget when
we are in the midst of trials.
The storms of life.

But, God never changes.
He is always the same.
And He always cares.
Always guides.
Always gives grace.

"And underneath are the everlasting arms..."
~ Deuteronomy 33:27a ~

The list of thanks grows.
Marches on.
Through the storms.
Through the valleys.
On the Mountain.

Through it all
there is J.O.Y.

Never ending.


Because of the LORD ~
Only in HIM can it truly be found.

In an effort to remind
myself of this amazing Truth ~
I purpose to count.
I purpose to number.
I purpose to record.

1551. Tin grins are "in" ~
Calvin is the third of our children to wear braces.

1552. Clean sheets and boys
who know what to do with them :)

1553. First *real* snow (January 14,2012)
and the joy it brings

1554. A system for the wetness

1555. Fraser's love of languages

1556. Hebrew sticky notes...

1557. ...All over the place!

1558. Everywhere! :)

1559. And that I said *yes* ~
At first, to my shame, I didn't

1560. Coffee with cream and sugar!

1561. That the two boxes of
for Christmas are GONE! :)

1562. Pen Pals for Emma

1563. Friendship bracelets ~
One from me and three from her

1564. The way she hums "How Firm A Foundation"
while she works on more bracelets ~

1565. It won't always be like this ~
Capturing the moments!

1566. Bracing breeze at the beach
and how good it feels to have made the effort to go!

1567. Hot chocolate instead of coffee

1568. Listening to our very own composer
do some composing

1569. Unexpected deep clean ~
To find my ring

1570. Getting things DONE!

My journal sits on my counter.

I list as events unfold.
Sometimes many all at once,
and other times in a trickle.

Would you like to begin?
Just grab a pen and a journal,
set them out on the counter,
and list out your blessings.
Find the joy in the moments ~
As they arrive.

Enjoy the journey!

Many Blessings,

**I'm taking a little bloggy break until
next week ~ if you should choose to leave
a comment it will appear at that time.
Thank you for understanding ~
Happy Weekend! :)

January 24, 2012

Quick and Easy Thai Soup

Thai food is a favourite in our home.
Since coconut milk is often found in the recipes,
dessert is optional.  A good thing, really.

I gave this soup a try last night.
And tonight, I made it again.  It is that good.
Rave reviews all around.  SO yummy!

I had roasted chicken meat in the freezer.
Please tell me you have some, too?

Coconut milk and Thai curry paste are necessary ingredients.
Run out and get them if they are not already in
your pantry.  Now you are set!

Click Here to find the original recipe.
The way I made it is as follows.

First, I used roasted and cut up chicken meat instead
of the tofu.  I am not a tofu-lovin' girl.  That's just me.
If you love tofu...go for it!

~ Creamy Thai Chicken Soup ~
(Doubled from the original)

2 Leeks ~ cleaned and finely chopped...
white part only (You could also use a
medium-large sized onion)

1 Tbsp coconut oil for frying

1 Package Thai Curry Paste
(50g size) ~ Use two for more *kick* ~
I think I may just do that next time!

2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger

6 cups chicken stock

2 cans coconut milk (400 ml size)

2 Tbsp Sugar ~
I use organic dehydrated cane juice

4 cups chopped roasted chicken meat

8 cups stir fry veggies ~ chopped into bite-sized pieces
(You could use the frozen variety, but I chose to use fresh.
My mix included mushrooms, broccoli, and sweet peppers)

Melt coconut oil (or other type of cooking oil)
in heavy pot and stir fry leeks, ginger, and curry paste
for a few minutes until the leeks become limp.

Add chicken stock,
coconut milk, and sugar.  Bring to a boil.

Add chicken meat and veggies.
Return to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, covered,
until veggies are cooked ~ About ten minutes.
Taste and season with salt, if necessary.

I served ours over a scoop of rice in each bowl.
We ate it like soup with a spoon.
It would be lovely without the rice.
I served it that way to make it go further.

With my children, it was necessary. :)

Happy Soup-ing!
Blessings, Camille

January 21, 2012

A Life Imperfect


We all, it seems,
at one time or another,
want to escape.

Get away from it all.

Leave behind all our responsibilities ~
For a month, a week, a day.

But, will that really fulfill?
Will that really be enough?
More importantly, is it godly?

We ought to go about living our lives ~
In the Moment. In the Midst of it all.
The Trials. The Chaos.
The Noise. The Mess.

Is it possible to glorify
God with a Life Imperfect?


By HIS Grace. With HIS Mercy.
In HIS Strength. For HIS Glory.
Look to HIM.
HE has all the answers.
HE is not a difficult task-master.
HE delights to give us all we need.

Moment by moment.

"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God,
that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not;
and it shall be given him."
~ James 1:5 ~

When I assess my life, more often than not ~
I find that I am the one who is
the difficult one.
I expect too much. Demand too much.
For my own glory.


Ultimately, that is the reason!
Ugly as it is.
How wonderful that our
Precious Saviour forgives.
And forgives.
And forgives again.

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

Look to HIM. He never will fail you.
And take life one step at a time.
In His strength. For His Glory.
That is where true fulfillment
and joy are to be found.

Only in HIM. He alone is Perfect.
And one day, if we are HIS,
we will be eternally perfect too!

What a thought!

"I can do all things through Christ
which strengtheneth me."

~ Philippians 4:13 ~

Many Blessings to
each one of you, kind friends.
In His Love,

**All photos in this post courtesy
of our little Emma ~
Thank you Sweetie Pie! XO

January 18, 2012

Burnaby Village Museum

Burnaby Village Museum
is a local family favourite.
Especially at Christmas.
Decorated and lit up for the Season,
it is magical.

A re-created early 1900's
town with authentic buildings
and volunteers in period costume ~
It's a little like
stepping back in time.

In the evenings leading
up to Christmas, there are activities
and extra special things for families to enjoy.

We found ourselves there
one evening a few days before Christmas.

Our first stop?
The Carousel. :)
Calvin was my photographer ~
he chose not to ride.

A recent addition to the museum is
a beautiful, completely restored
Interurban Tram Car ~
From the era before most owned their
own transportation.
My Dad rode on one of these
as a young boy growing up in Vancouver.
(A little slice of personal history).

Did they look as nice as this back then Dad? :)

Here's a portion of the *main street*
with Howie and Fraser facing the camera.
I'm at the far left in this shot and
Emma is running toward me...
we're a little blurred ~
See us? :)

My Sweetie and me! :)

Thank you Calvin for taking
the photos!
It's tempting to stop
bringing my camera along with
me to things like this.
But then I remember that
it's necessary.
Often the photographer
gets left out of the pictures! :(

Next time it's my turn Calvin. XO

What are some of your family favourites?
Do you have special places you like
to visit during Christmas?

Please share!

Many Blessings,

January 16, 2012

Spelling Worries?

Spelling a struggle?
A Worry?

Having trouble remembering
all those *rules*
to teach to your children?
Looking for a program that
will cover all your bases?

The Phonetic Zoo
is a wonderful resource.
It has been a great program
for our family.

There are three levels ~
A, B, and C.
Level A begins with words such as either,
neither, and peacock.
Not really *beginner* words,
but it is where this program starts.

Emma is currently in grade four
and is working on the first list.

The third list is considered
high school level.

One of the greatest things about it
(in my opinion),
is that it is student-directed.
The student listens to a CD.
The words are given.
They write them down.
The correct spelling is dictated
to them as they mark their own work.
The rule of the program is
that they do not advance to the
next lesson until 100% is achieved.

It really works!
And it is not something
I have to worry about any more.
Yippee! :)
I hope you enjoy it as
much as we do.

Click Here
to get to the Phonetic Zoo website.

Happy Spelling!

**Disclaimer ~ I just share what
works for us and what we like.
I am not compensated in any way.

January 14, 2012


I need a plan.
It's how I'm wired.


I used to be opposed to the
alarm clock.
I would wake up at a reasonable
hour on my own.
Usually 7 AM.

But, not always.

Sometimes I slept in.
It was easy to let our schedule
fly out the window on those days.
The structure was gone.
Yes, we still got things done.
But, no one knew what to expect.

It felt horrible.

Hence, the need to revamp the system.
Revamp *the plan*.
My plan includes the alarm.
It has really been helpful.

It keeps me accountable.
Starting and ending
at the same time every day
is a BIG part of *the plan*.

Keeping it simple and
structured is imperative.

It's what works.
For me.

We homeschool.
Structure to our day is
so important.

Day after day.
The same.

My plan allows for flexibility.
Life happens.
I get that.
And there are seasons.
I get that, too.

But, as much as is possible,
*the plan* must be adhered to.

A time for rising.
A time for schooling.
Times for eating.
Times for exercise and worship.
Time for scheduled appointments,
work and play.
A time for resting.

A framework for the day.
Each day.

For me,
teaching is best done in the morning.
I have a block of time set aside for that.
Nothing is to interfere.
No chatting on the phone.
No computer work.
No appointments.

I need to be home.
And my mind must be too.

Afternoons are available
for appointments,
shopping and playing.


We are all in various seasons.
My plan may not be what works for you.
Your *best* time to school might
be the exact opposite of mine.
(If you homeschool, that is).
Our days will be different from yours.
But, the principle is the same.

A plan is necessary to accomplish
what is necessary.

The goal?

A peaceful home.
Where we all know what to expect.
That we might bring Glory to God.
Each day.

By HIS Grace.

If you desire to implement a *plan*,
I would encourage you to pray.
Ask the LORD what HE would have you
keep and what HE would have you
eliminate from your schedule.
Ask your husband what his vision
for your home life is.
Together, make a plan.

And then,
be flexible.
Enjoy the life God has given you!
And live for HIS Glory!
Each day.

"But ye, brethren,
be not weary in well doing."
~ II Thessalonians 3:13 ~

Many Blessings,

January 10, 2012

Hot Fudge Sauce

Easy to make.  Yummy to eat.
Never ever need to buy
ready made again!

What are you waiting for?
This sauce will work well on any ice cream ~
I'm sure of it.  Actually...I know it.

First hand.

Here is the recipe ~
As found in the Tenth Edition of the

For your convenience
(not to mention your eyes)
the ingredients are listed below.

3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup evaporated milk (5 oz can)

In small heavy saucepan
melt chocolate pieces and butter
over low heat.

Add sugar and gradually stir
in the milk.

Boil gently over low heat for
about 8 minutes ~ stir often.

Remove from heat and serve
warm over ice cream.

Makes about 1 & 1/2 cups
of pure yumminess.
Store leftovers in the fridge.

And try not to eat it
by the spoonful!

Don't say I didn't warn you.


January 5, 2012

All of It

So much to be thankful for.
So much that can be taken for granted.
So much to slow down and consider.

God's Grace.
God's Mercy.
God's Blessings.

All from HIS hand.
What we call *good*
and what we might even call *bad*.

But God's Word calls
everything HE does in our lives
for our Good.
All of it.

It comes from HIM.
Recognizing HIS hand in it all.
It comes from HIM.

All of HIM!

The last time I counted
here on this blog was about
three months ago!
I have logged 75 (this marks 76)
posts numbering my thanks.
I have not forgotten what a blessing
it has been.
I purpose to continue.

By HIS Grace.
For HIS Glory.

For ALL that HE has done!

1516. Walk at the beach ~
Just me and my girl!

1517. The way she chatters on and on

1518. Impromptu game of chess between two
of our children

1519. Christmas decorations

1520. A freshly cleaned yard and lights in the trees

1521. Visible reminders that our Precious Saviour
is the LIGHT of the World!

1522. Hand-me-downs for ME!

1523. That they co-ordinate with my wardrobe

1524. The LORD is in the details!

1525. Emma just after opening her
main gift from us ~
Two homemade robes...one for Emma
and the other for her doll.
(Completed *just in time* the night before ~
I certainly did not plan it that way!)

~ Photo by Calvin ~

1526. Celebrating Advent as a family ~
A wonderful tradition!

~ Photo by Calvin ~

1527. More traditions

1528. Memories and making new ones

1529. Old Betsy (blue) and her
10 years of service (she is now 17!!) ~
for our children to learn on!

1530. God's provision of a
*new to us* five year old van
imported from California.

1531. Hard times that drive us to the LORD

1532. That the LORD is IN the hard times

1533. That HE never leaves us nor forsakes us

1534. Precious Promises

1535. The lessons we learn through our struggles

1536. The lessons the children learn through theirs

1537. The steadying knowledge that our Great God
is absolutely Sovereign and does ALL things well

1538. Blood for our child

1539. The donors who gave it

1540. Prednisone

1541. A reprieve from this disease over Christmas

1542. A conservative and open-minded GP

1543. A conservative and open-minded Naturopathic Physican

1544. Leftovers and meals in the freezer

1545. God's People and their prayers

1546. Blogging friends and their prayers ~
Thank you SO much!

1547. Friendships through this means

1548. God's Goodness to us over and over and over again!

1549. That HE knows how much we can handle ~
And NEVER burdens us with more!

1550. That my lost ring was found! :)

My journal sits on my counter.

I list as events unfold.
Sometimes many all at once,
and other times in a trickle.

Would you like to begin?
Just grab a pen and a journal,
set them out on the counter,
and list out your blessings.
Find the joy in the moments ~
As they arrive.

Enjoy the journey!

Many Blessings,

January 4, 2012

Sweet and Salty

My friend Trisha shared this
recipe on her blog recently.


And Oh SO easy!
Too easy, actually ~
I've made it LOTS!

~ Homemade Kettle Corn ~

1/3 Oil (I use Coconut Oil)
1/2 Cup Sugar (I use Organic, unrefined)
1/2 Cup Popcorn (unpopped)
Sea Salt to taste

Melt oil and sugar in pot
over medium heat on the stove.
Add popcorn.
Cover with a tight fitting lid.
Shake the pot over medium-high
heat until popping slows right down.
You will need oven mitts for this step.
Do not keep on the heat too long
as it will burn...not good!

Immediately pour out onto foil.
Salt to taste.
Allow to cool slightly
and call all your loved ones to share.
It makes a generous amount...
but it doesn't last long.

We LOVE it!
Thank you Trisha for sharing
and for allowing me to re-share here. :)

Happy Popping!

January 3, 2012

Sliding Back to *Normal*

For the six days
right over Christmas
it was a flurry of activity around here.
Family coming and going.

And with all that coming
and going, we sought to
remember the REAL Reason for it all.

God is Good.
We are thankful that HE came!

The first day of our *six days of Christmas*
was my Dad's birthday.
On the 22nd.
Roast Beef,
Yorkshire Pudding
and Chocolate Log Roll
for dessert were on the menu.

A Tradition.

My sister and her family and my brother
came by after dinner for a visit.
Complete with an open fire.


What can beat a REAL fire?
I'm so glad we didn't close it in
years ago like we were tempted to.

Then we had our Christmas Eve
a day early (the 23rd).
And celebrated Christmas as a
family on the 24th.

Christmas Day we went to church
and then spent the afternoon
with Howie's parents.
They are unable to make the trek
out to our home for Christmas Eve Dinner by the Fire,
so we took it to them...on Christmas Day.
SO thankful that we still can.

On Boxing Day (26th) my Mom and
Sister and her family came to our
home for Turkey and all the Trimmings.

That night our niece stayed for
a sleep-over with Emma.
F.U.N. Times!

The 27th we spent the day
with Howie's family at his
brother's home.
Turkey with all the Trimmings
once again.

How blessed we are!
How thankful!

As wonderful as it was
to have had all those precious
family times...
As wonderful as it was
to have made some precious

We must slide back
into *normal* living.
It's where the daily
grace for life and living are.
Here's to *Normal*...
whatever THAT may be! :)

As you slide back into
your *normal*,
may the LORD give you daily
HIS grace and bless you with HIS peace.

In HIS Love,

January 2, 2012

Lesson Learned

My Engagement Ring.

I have had it for over 21 years.
In all that time I have only lost it once.

A few weeks ago.
For a whole week.
I, however, didn't know it was missing
until after six days.
(I wear my gold wedding band
all the time...it's the diamond ring
that I often go without.)

The Ring lives in a special
hiding place.
If it's not on my finger,
it's there.


Except for that time mid-December.
It wasn't.
When I discovered that it was missing
I prayed.

And then...
I had Howie take apart the plumbing
under the kitchen sink.
I sorted through six days' worth of garbage.
I sifted through a full vacuum bag.
I cleaned behind the fridge and stove.


We went to church on Sunday morning.
We listened to a wonderful sermon.
And I was distracted.
I tried not to be.

And then the Pastor had us
turn to Genesis 3:15.
Like he had the week before.

And there. was. my. RING!

Laying there.
Right where I had put it.
The week before.
Oh. My. Heart.

Yes, I did read my Bible that week.
In Isaiah.
In the New Testament.
But not in Genesis.

Moral of the story?
Do not play with your ring
in church.
Keep it on your finger.
And pay attention to the sermon!