May 29, 2012

MRI Results ~ An Update

"Oh that men would praise the LORD for His goodness,
and for His wonderful works to the children of men!"
~ Psalm 107:8 ~

What great things the LORD has done!
Please join with us in rejoicing
in God's Goodness to our family!

Today we had our follow-up appointment
at Children's Hospital in Cardiology.
Austin was there for another Echo and an ECG.
After those tests were done,
we were seen by the Cardiologist.

He gave us the results of the
MRI that was done last month.

We expected damage to be shown.
It was assumed that it would be there.
Medically speaking, it should be there.

But it isn't.

Austin has Dilated Cardiomyopathy.
His heart is still functioning in
reduced capacity due to this condition.
He is on three heart medications.

The Cardiologist said today
that Austin will ALWAYS need heart meds.
As long as he has this heart.

But, we serve a Great God!
He is the Great Physician.
He is able to do the impossible.

He already has.

And so, we pray.
And we thank HIM for this
wonderful news.
HE has done this!
We praise HIS Holy Name!

"And thou shalt rejoice in every good thing
which the LORD thy God hath given unto thee,
and unto thine house..."
~ Deuteronomy 26:11a ~

We seek to live one day at a time.
Each day is a Gift.

Thank you to each one of
you who has faithfully prayed for our
family in these last few months.
The LORD hears.
He answers.
And He does all things well.


In HIS Love,

May 26, 2012

A Day in the City

Austin had an appointment
at Children's Hospital.
We had Auntie Mary with us.
So, we decided to make
a day of it and head into
the city.

We packed a lunch
and drove straight to
Stanley Park.
First stop ~
A park bench to sit
on while eating.

It was lovely.

Fraser and Emma didn't fit
on the bench,
so they got prime seating!

They were happy with
the arrangement. :)

It was a special time ~
Made extra special because
we had Auntie Mary with us! :)

The photographers
worked hard for their shots.

Do you see the
Lions Gate Bridge
in the background?

Howie had a little moment of peace ~
This was taken with the *zoom* lens
from quite a distance away! :)

Of course we had to have
a few photo shoots ~
Thank you Auntie Mary! :)

Calvin enjoys taking
*action* shots ~
And I enjoy posting them!

Sheer joy! :)

On the way home we were able
get into the third lane through the tunnel.
(During rush hour a lane opens
up on the opposite side).
It's a great thing!

We took Auntie Mary to
the White Spot for dinner
where most of us enjoyed a Legendary. was good!

God has graciously given
us a precious Auntie who
we love very much.
It has been such a pleasure
to have had her with us this
last little while.

Blessings to you each one!
With love,

**All photos in this post courtesy
of Calvin ~ Thank you my love. xo

May 24, 2012

Shadows of the Eternal

Spring brings its own special joys.  Fresh and new.
Rejoicing in the LORD and HIS Goodness.
Seeking to continually give HIM thanks.

Once again ~ I number.  I count.  I rejoice.
The joy never ends ~ Because of HIM!
These are but shadows of the eternal.

1676. Hawaiian Sweetness ~ Thank you Dad! :)

1677. Inaugural use of the line ~ For another season

1678. Rocks to be placed

1679. Workers to do the job

1680. Teaching moments

1681. Saying yes...this was the first
time I allowed her to do this :)

1682. A quick walk down the pier

1683. With Auntie Mary! :)

1684. Six days with Auntie Mary

1685. That Austin gained 15 lbs in 5 weeks!

1686. Amazing blood work results

1687. The *old* Austin is emerging ~ how it warms my heart!

1688. That Howie and Calvin were able to go on a business trip together

1689. That we have two vehicles ~
how did we manage for so long with just one?

1690. Spontaneous help ~ two who cleaned up the kitchen to surprise me

My journal sits on my counter.

I list as events unfold. Sometimes many all at once,
and other times in a trickle.  But, always by HIS Grace!

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, Camille

May 21, 2012

Potato Doughnuts

Okay, these really are scary!
Clog your arteries time.  But, oh are they Good! :)
Make them at your own peril.
I will not be held responsible.  *Wink*

Want the recipe?
For the once-every-ten-year doughnut feast??
You know you do!

My growing up years are speckled
with memories of fabulous food.
My Mom is a fabulous cook.

And so it went.

Potato doughnuts were a treat.
We didn't have them often.
But, when we did.  We did.

I remember the kitchen being taken over by
doughnuts hot from the cooker.

Oh. Dear. Me.
I cut the recipe in half and there were still about 4
dozen doughnuts to contend with!  And again...

Oh. Dear. Me!!

Don't worry. We shared.  I froze some ~
Although, they really are best hot off the press...think ~ Krispy Kreme. :)

~ The Ingredients ~

2 Tbsp (or packages) Yeast
1 cup warm Water
2 tsp Sugar
4 Eggs
3 cups Milk ~ scalded
1 cup Butter ~ softened
1 cup Sugar
1 Tbsp Sea Salt
1 tsp ground Nutmeg
1 cup well mashed Potatoes
(previously cooked and cooled)
8 cups Flour
Oil for deep frying (I used Canola)

~ The Method ~

Proof your yeast in the warm water with the 2 tsp sugar
dissolved in it for about 10 minutes.
It should foam up. That's how you know it will
do the job in the dough.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, pour the scalded milk
with the softened butter and mix until melted.
Stir in the 1 cup of sugar until dissolved.
Using a whisk, mix in the eggs, sea salt, nutmeg,
mashed potatoes, and the foamy yeast mixture.

Add in 4 cups of the flour and stir in the remaining 4 cups
a cup at a time until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
Knead in enough flour to make a soft dough.

Set in a warm place and cover with a clean cloth.
Let the dough rise double.  It may take an hour or so.

Once doubled in size, punch the dough down.

It will be very soft and slightly sticky.
Lightly flour your counter and roll out to about
half the desired thickness you want your cooked doughnuts to be.
Cut into doughnuts and let sit on the counter
until risen to nearly double in size.

This will likely take another hour.

In a wide heavy bottomed pot, heat about four inches of oil to 375 degrees F.
Use a candy thermometer for an accurate reading.
Or, use your deep fryer if you have one! :)

Carefully slide a few doughnuts into the oil and flip over with tongs when golden brown.
They don't take long ~ 10-15 seconds per side.
Careful you don't burn them or yourself!  Hot oil is HOT!

Set out cooling racks with paper towels spread on them
for the doughnuts coming hot off the press!
The paper towels will soak up any unwanted extra grease.

Remove doughnuts from the hot oil
with tongs and set on the paper towels to cool a little.

While still warm, toss a few at a time in a bag partially filled with icing sugar.
You could also use your favourite glaze after they are completely cool.
Call the masses...there will be enough for a crowd!
Oh, and be sure to enjoy!

Many Blessings, Camille

May 18, 2012

Rejoicing Again!

Last November,
Austin was baptized.
We rejoiced.

And now,
we are rejoicing again!

Calvin expressed his desire
to be baptized during the winter months.
A few things delayed the process,
which meant that he had to patiently wait.

This past Sunday,
Calvin followed his Saviour,
the Lord Jesus Christ,
in the waters of baptism.
He obeyed the LORD's command
in the Scriptures to do so.

"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. Amen."

~ Matthew 28:18-20 ~

We are eternally grateful
to the LORD for His Goodness.
For His Grace and Mercy.
We praise Him from
Whom all blessings flow!

The LORD has done this.

Auntie Mary was able to join with us ~
She was already in town for the wedding.
Many of our extended family were able to come and witness
this joyous event as well. We are so thankful!

May the LORD be glorified
through the lives of each
of our children.
We pray that He would graciously
lead each one to Himself.
We depend completely and utterly upon Him.
HE alone is Worthy!

If you are praying for unsaved
loved ones, be encouraged.
As long as there is breath,
there is hope.
Continue to pray.

"Continue in prayer, and watch
in the same with thanksgiving."
~ Colossians 4:2 ~

The LORD truly does
all things well!

Many Blessings,

May 17, 2012

Great Things ~ An Update

The LORD has done
Great things!

We stand amazed at
HIS providential care over
our precious Austin (and all of us)
in the past (nearly) two months.

The road ahead is still a long one.
We will not know the full picture for
perhaps another year or more.
But, God is already there.
We have nothing to fear.

All things are possible
with our Great God!

We rest in His perfect plan.
He does all things well.
His ways are always best.

"For with God nothing
shall be impossible."
~ Luke 1:37 ~

Currently ~
Amazing things are happening.

We praise HIM for HIS Gracious
and Loving Hand upon us.
We daily marvel at all that HE has done!

Austin gained 15 lbs in 5 weeks.

He went from being bed-ridden (in the hospital)
to being able to walk 45 minutes (or more) non-stop!
His speed and stamina increase
nearly every day.

He has been eating us out of house and home ~
Just like a *typical* teenage boy.
I cannot begin to tell you how

The regular routines of being both
a violin student and teacher have begun again.
School work is being tackled.
Siblings are being teased ~
And they are teasing back. :)

Austin has even been able to take on household
responsibilities once again ~
Currently, he's my vacuum guy. :)

"O magnify the LORD with me,
and let us exalt HIS Name together."
~ Psalm 34:3 ~

Thank you to each one of you who
has prayed for Austin.
The LORD continues to daily give
His grace and strength.
He does the unseen.
The Amazing.

As this journey continues,
I plan to post updates ~
The LORD willing.

Thank you so much for the
kindness and love shown
to us in so many tangible ways.
We appreciate each one of you!
We are blessed beyond measure.

In HIS Love,

May 16, 2012

Faith-Building Stories for Kids

I've been using these
books for devotional times
with Emma.
We read the suggested passage
of Scripture and discuss it.
The stories provide further
opportunity for teaching
and encouragement.

The boys have,
at one time or another,
used them too.

The stories are based on
true events and are
encouraging and uplifting.
They often reveal something
Great about our
Wonderful Saviour.

He truly is Great.

This "Building on the Rock"
series of books would
make a wonderful gift.
It would also be a great
addition to any home library.

Click Here
to find them on
Christian Book Distributors.
At the bottom of the page of the link provided,
you will find the books listed individually
for purchase separately.

We are thankful that
they were given to us! :)

Many Blessings,

**I am not compensated in
any way for this review ~
I share because these books
have been a blessing in our own home.

May 15, 2012

Homeschool Favourites

Getting Started in home education?  Want some idea of where to begin?
I was asked (via email) by two friends of mine a similar question.
And so, this post was born.

Six years ago, we began our own journey in home education.

The home school world was SO BIG.  And it still is.

We sought to keep things simple.

We tried to refrain from doing everything all at once.
Initially, we thought it was a good idea to stick with the basics.
As time went on on, we were able to add more things to our repertoire.

We also found that some things were not necessary,
and we discontinued them.  It was (and is) a process. :)

"When you Rise Up" is a *must read* for 
any Christian homeschool family.
If you are beginning your own homeschool journey,
I would encourage you to prayerfully read this book!  It is SO encouraging!

The LORD is Faithful.  If you belong to Him, He will guide you.
I found it very encouraging to know that there are many options.
It was also a comfort to realise that I could change from 
one curriculum to another, if necessary.

What a relief!  
And what a blessing!

A gracious friend allowed me to copy what she was doing with her children.

She gave me links and suggestions.
As you may (or may not) know, there are M.A.N.Y. ways to home educate.
No two home school families are carbon copies of each other.
And that is good.  Variety, after all, is the spice of life.

Over the years, I have gathered some of my own favourites.

You will find links to many of them within this post.
If you are just beginning, and you have young ones,
these are a few of the resources we use.

We have been thrilled with our elementary math program.
Professor B Math demystifies many of the concepts
I struggled with as a child.  Click Here to get to the home page of their site.

It, however, does not cover the *extras*

such as measurement, geometry and graphing.
Those aspects of the child's math program would need to be
taught by using supplementary resources.
We have not found this to be a problem at all.

Answers in Genesis seeks to defend the

Biblical account of creation from a scientific stand point.
We have found many of their resources to be such a great
blessing to our family over the years.

Click Here to view the Biblically sound Science curriculum we
have used for the elementary and junior high school years in our home.

I *love* this program for spellingIt's been such a blessing to know
that the children are kept on track by it.  And they learn to spell! :)

Emma Serl's Language Lessons for the elementary grades
truly are wonderful! We are enjoying them immensely.

Excellence in Writing is a terrific resource for those

who want their children to learn to write well.
It is something that I have turned to for each of our
children along this homeschool journey.
They have a variety of products at a variety of levels.

History lessons are a real pleasure with "The Story of the World"

by Susan Wise Bauer.  Click Here to find the first book of the series.
We all gathered around on the school room couch in the
early days and the children listened as I read.
I have happy memories of that
special time spent learning together.
She does include the legends and stories from various 
cultures from around the world ~ it's always best to be in tune
with what is going into your child's mind.
These books are a pleasure, but, they do require discernment.

If you are interested in reading a little of the

*why* behind our decision to home educate our children,
please Click Here.

And, if you are not just beginning,

and you are happy with what you are using....don't change!
Enjoy the benefits and blessings that come with continuing to use
what is working well for you! :)

Many Blessings,


**Disclaimer ~ I am not compensated in any 
way for these recommendations.
These products have been used successfully by us in our home,
and I delight in sharing them with you.

May 11, 2012

Budding Entrepreneur?

What do you think?
Will anyone hire these two?

Emma created this flyer by herself.
I don't know if Natalie is aware of what she's been committed to. :)
The flyer says (and I quote) ~

"Emma and Natalie at your service!
$2 each

Natalie and Emma will pull your weeds, plant your flowers,
rake your lawns, and sweep your driveway.

If you would like us to do this for you...please call!

We could do this on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
We do not work on Sunday.  Thank you."

At that price, I think I'd be foolish
not to employ them ~ Wouldn't you agree? :)

Many Blessings,

May 10, 2012

Banana Nut Bread ~ A Classic

Please tell me you
have some yummy ripe,
speckled bananas sitting
on your counter to use...
'cuz I have just the
recipe for you!

It's a Classic.

Growing up,
my Mom would whip up a loaf
or two of this
fabulous banana bread ~
Complete with chocolate chips.

Everything goes better
with chocolate, don't you think?
We certainly thought so ~
It was our motto. :)

Classic Banana Nut Bread
(With Chocolate Chips)

~ Originally written out
from a recipe that my Mom had
written out...long, long ago!
(Tweaked a little, of course) ~

1/3 cup Butter, softened

1/2 cup Sugar
(I use organic and I use less...
perhaps 1/3 cup)

2 Eggs

1 3/4 cups Flour
(I use 1 cup Unbleached All Purpose,
and 3/4 cup Whole Wheat ~ Organic)

1/2 tsp Baking Soda

1 tsp Baking Powder

1/2 tsp Sea Salt

1 cup mashed Bananas

1/2 cup Pecans, chopped

1 cup Chocolate Chips
(If you use Milk Chocolate,
reduce sugar by half)

Cream together butter and sugar.
Add eggs and beat well.
Stir together dry ingredients
with a wire wisk in a medium sized bowl.
Set aside.
Mash bananas, measure,
and set aside.

Add about 1/3 dry ingredients
to mixer and blend.
Add about 1/3 of banana
to mixer and blend.
Continue adding dry and wet
ingredients alternately to mixer
until all used up.

Stir in nuts and chocolate chips.

Scrape into a parchment paper
lined (or well greased) loaf pan.
(Mine is 9 1/2" x 5" x 3")

Bake at 350 degrees F
for about 50 minutes until done.
(It sometimes takes nearly an hour) ~
Test with a toothpick in the centre
of the crack ~ It should come out
relatively clean...not gooey. :)

About that cracked top ~
Apparently it's supposed to be there.
It means you've got banana bread success!
Who knew?

Once it's out of the oven,
Turn out onto a cooling rack.

Cool completely
(if you can wait that long)
before slicing.
It is especially nice warm,
but really, loaves like this are
best left until completely cool
and even until the next day
to fully ripen.

Just be sure to cover
when cool to keep it from drying out.
This loaf freezes well.

While you are at it,
you might want to make two ~
One for now, and one for later.


May 9, 2012

Of Curls, Weddings, and Beginnings

Our niece was married last Friday.
Nearly 21 years ago, she was our flower girl.
Emma was given the privilege of doing the same for her.

Full circle.  A tradition.

Emma read while I curled her hair. It took over an hour!
The style had to hold for more than five hours ~
the photos were being taken prior to the ceremony.

Emma was sent off with instructions
not to move her head!  Poor thing. :)

The ceremony was beautiful.  The bride was lovely.
(I haven't had permission to post photos yet, so I will leave you to your imagination).

The vows and rings were exchanged.  The documents were signed.
The kiss was given and received. :)
The unity candle was lit.

The couple were introduced as Mr. and Mrs.
And there was joy all around!  As it should be.

Austin and Fraser had the honour of
playing the background music at the reception
as guests found their seats.

Calvin was our photographer. We forgot to get a family picture.
I am so sad.  But, as I told Emma prior to the big day ~
"It's not all about us!"  And it really isn't.

The bride and groom were sent off in style under a tunnel of love.
We were so happy to have been able to witness
the beginning of their lives together as husband and wife.

It's such a joy to witness two young people who
love the LORD as they are united in marriage.
May the LORD be glorified in and through them ~
And may HE bless them abundantly in the years to come.

Blessings to each of you as well!
With Love, Camille

**Last three photos in this post courtesy of Calvin ~
Thank you my love! XO