November 14, 2013

Six Weeks of Quiet ~ Merry Christmas!

Precious Friends ~ I am thankful for each one of you.
Your friendship and kindness to our family is such a blessing.
In the last number of months we have felt loved and encouraged.
Thank you all so very much.

This is a wrap-up post for the year.

Yes, for the year!  I cannot believe how quickly time passes.
I am taking six weeks of quiet in this space ~ I trust you will understand.

May the Lord bless you with His peace and presence
throughout the Christmas season and in the coming year.
May you know His loving hand upon you leading and guiding in all you do.
May you know Him as your Saviour and follow Him wherever He leads.

May He be your Everything!

Christmas has always been a very special time of year for us.
We have many family traditions tied into this season.
It's not all about the gifts ~ it's about The Gift!
We have sought, over the years, to teach our children
that our Saviour really is the best Gift of all.

~ Thomas Kinkade Christmas Card ~

We love to celebrate Advent and refresh our minds
with all the wonders revealed about our Saviour in God's Word.
We have always enjoyed going to Burnaby Village Museum
and taking a walk around Stanley Park ~ together.

We delight in secretly making plans and wrapping and giving.
We gather with friends and family
We eat yummy things and visit by the fire.

Our Christmas Eve celebration always includes a special dinner

made up of appetizers and Devon cream tea.
We eat on that night in the living room and linger around the glowing fireplace.
Christmas Carols are sung while we gather by the tree. 

We have so many happy memories of Christmases past.

This photo is one of the last we have together as a family ~
It was taken last Christmas shortly after Austin's pacemaker surgery.
We've included it in our family's Christmas letter this year.

We do plan on returning to all our usual traditions in the future.

This year, however, we are switching things up a bit and 
making some changes.  It's a year of transition.
A year of firsts.  We are making new memories.

Without our precious Austin.  

We still plan to celebrate our Saviour's birth.

We plan to gather with family and friends.
We plan to give gifts and send cards.
We are not abandoning tradition altogether, but, 
we must have a year of transition.

Everything is still a little too fresh.

Since Austin was taken Home to Heaven, things have not been the same.
Christmas will never be the same.  We will never be the same.
As we ease ourselves into life here without our precious son,
we seek to remember that He is with the Lord.

Our Austin is celebrating his first Christmas in Heaven ~
with our Saviour!!  What a thought!

He is perfectly content and joyful.

He is praising the Lord constantly in perfect peace.
One day, we will be there too.
It truly is precious to consider these things.

By God's great grace, we will honour the Lord in the days to come.
We will remember Him and praise Him and worship Him.
Because He is worthy.  And, He truly is the best Gift of all!

My plan is to be absent from this space for the next six weeks.

Please do not be alarmed at the fact that any comments you 
may choose to leave will initially disappear, and then will take time to publish.
(Please do let me know you were's always a blessing to hear from you).

I do not plan to check in at all until the end of December.

This includes publishing comments and visiting with you in your space.

It's just what I must do.  Thank you for always extending grace.
Please know that I value your friendship and do
hope to reconnect after this time of internet quietness.
May the Lord bless you as you seek Him.  Now and always.

Merry Christmas from our home to yours!

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given:

and the government shall be upon his shoulder:
and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor,
The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."
~ Isaiah 9:6 ~

Much Love,

November 11, 2013


a girl just needs a quiet place to read.

As you can see...Emma found one!  :)

With Love,

**This was how I found my girl the other day ~

She was unaware of my presence until the photo was taken.

November 9, 2013

Mini Breakfast Cheesecakes ~ THM Style

Cheesecake for breakfast?  Is it legal?  ;-)
Is it really possible to eat these little yummies and continue to lose
or to maintain a good weight?  Good news ~ Yes!  :)
This was my breakfast this morning ~ shhh...don't tell.

This is only recommended if you are doing it the Trim Healthy Mama way.
The trick is not to mix fats with sugars/carbs.  
Always wait 2.5 -3 hours before changing your fuel source.
That way, your body burns the fat as fuel and doesn't retain it for future use.

Want to know how to bake some cheesecake

that will treat you kindly and will produce no guilt?
Not even if you should choose to indulge in it for breakfast?
Remember the rule ~ no carbs for at least three hours after consuming.
Two of these will stick with you that long...don't worry.  Yippee!

First, let's discuss the supplies.
Individual custard cups are a must-have for these to turn out right.
You could substitute a large cup muffin tin, but, the cheesecakes will sink.
That would be okay in an emergency.  But, real custard cups are the best option.
Mine are 4 inches across at the widest point and 2 inches deep.

Now...on to the recipe.  :)

~ Mini Breakfast Cheesecakes ~

(Recipe altered from the original found in Trim Healthy Mama)

1 lb (500 grams) Cream Cheese ~ room temperature

2 Large Eggs ~ organic, free-range, if possible
3/4 cup Greek Yogurt ~ Fat Free
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice ~ fresh squeezed
1 tsp pure Vanilla Extract 
10 tsp Truvia (or sweetener of choice)

**If you don't want to follow THM, you could use sugar ~

You'd need about 1/2 cup granulated sugar for this recipe.

Mix all ingredients together in stand mixer.
Once ingredients are well combined, whip like you would for whipped cream.
Beat together until light and fluffy ~ this will take quite a few minutes.
Grease your custard cups with butter and fill nearly to the tops with batter.
This recipe will make 7 mini cheesecakes.

Set custard cups onto a jelly roll pan (cookie sheet with sides),
and add water to the pan as shown above.
Set into the pre-heated oven to bake.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes until tops are just turning golden.

Remove to cooling racks to cool completely.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold.
Serve topped with Greek Yogurt or whipped cream and berries.
These are also super duper yummy all by their lonesomes.  :)

Enjoy!  Banish the guilt!

Many Blessings,

**This recipe is THM *S*

November 7, 2013

Yummy Chicken Casserole ~ SCD Compliant

This is one of our favourite recipes from the 
Specific Carbohydrate Diet ~ otherwise known as the SCD.
I always bake it in a 9 x 11 inch pan and cut it up 
into single serving portions and freeze them for future use.
It is so handy to have such a lovely meal to pull out as needed.

Today, I am posting my version of the recipe originally 

found in one of my favourite cookbooks for the SCD.
I'm sharing because I promised my sweet friend I would ~
So, as promised, sweet it is!  :)

This chicken casserole is gluten-free and Crohn's friendly
and it's yummy as well.  You can't miss!
Think, meatloaf meets fancy chicken salad ~ baked.

I severely altered the original recipe.

No slight on the girl who wrote the book ~
She creates fabulous recipes!
(One of the reasons why I love it).

~ Chicken Meatloaf ~

4 cups cooked chicken meat ~ diced

3 large eggs ~ beaten
2 shallots (tiny little onion-looking things) ~ peeled and minced
1/2 cup shredded carrot ~ shredded like cheese
1 sweet bell pepper (red, yellow or orange) ~ diced
1 cup fresh shiitake mushrooms ~ cleaned and diced
1/4 tsp powdered ginger
2 cloves fresh garlic ~ minced
1/2 tsp ground coriander seed
1/2 cup green (spring) onions ~ chopped
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup butter ~ melted
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

**If you don't do well with milk products, 

you could omit both the butter and the cheddar.
Substitute extra virgin coconut oil for the butter and leave out the cheese ~
It will still turn out wonderful.  Enjoy!  :)

Put all ingredients together in a large bowl.
Mix together well ~ with bare hands is best.
Press into a parchment paper lined 9 x 11 inch glass baking dish.
Bake uncovered at 375 degrees F for 50 minutes until golden brown on edges.
Let stand 10 minutes in the baking dish prior to serving.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Serve hot with a side of rice (not SCD recommended),
or quinoa and freshly steamed vegetables or a salad.  Yummy!
I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Many Blessings,

**This would also be THM compliant ~ S category**

November 6, 2013

Our Future Hope

I've recently been pondering this Truth ~
Our future hope is Austin's present joy.

What an amazing thought ~
How much we have to look forward to!
May we have the grace to patiently persevere.

God is always Good.
His ways are always best.
He is sufficient in all things.
It is a precious blessing to belong to Him!

With Love,

**Image courtesy of my little 'Em ~ 

Thank you my love!  XO

November 4, 2013

How Do We Prepare?

Trials.  How are we to prepare for them?
It's not *if* the trials come ~ it's *when*.
We are not promised a pathway of ease and comfort.
On the contrary.  If we belong to the Lord,
we will face difficulties.  Troubles.  Trials.

It's what we are often called to.
For His glory.  For our good.

Difficulties help to wean us from this world and prepare us for the next.

Trials and troubles refine and sanctify our hearts that we
might be more useful in our Lord's Kingdom here and for all eternity.
All these things are applied to our hearts lovingly
by our gracious Heavenly Father.  He does all things well.  All the time.

So, how do we prepare?  

Is it possible to be prepared?

This question has been posed to us in recent days.

There actually is an answer.  And, it's yes.
Yes, we can prepare.  Yes, we ought to prepare.
Yes, there is something that can be done.

Begin by searching out Who our Great God is.

Study His character.  Dig into His Word.
Equip yourself with Truth so that in the evil day 
you will be able to stand.

Great resources for learning more about the 

attributes of the God of Heaven are readily available.
The London Baptist Confession of Faith ~ 1689
is a wonderful document full of doctrine.  Doctrine = Truth.

It was compiled by a number of godly men

in the 1600's in England who purposed to chisel out
the great doctrines of our faith, and write them down in a concise
manner, so that they could refer their congregations to it.
It was a point of reference to which they could all return
again and again to fortify themselves in what is true.
It would be used to keep error from creeping in.

It is not meant to replace the Bible.

In fact, it is full of God's Word as proof texts for the statements
that they made.  It's a wonderful supplement to the Bible.
It sums up the fundamentals of our faith.  It is deep and it is rich. 

Daily devotional times in God's Word and prayer is important.
If we want to grow and learn, we must have these times of quiet.
Our all-time favourite devotional book is Spurgeon's "Morning and Evening".
Time and time again it has been a great blessing full of wise words
and deep encouragement for our troubled hearts.

I prefer the original KJV rendition as it has Spurgeon's

words unaltered contained within its pages.  He was a master with words.
He is commonly referred to as the Prince of Preachers.
That's my little endorsement of the original work.  :)

Filling our minds with Truth in the form of godly preaching is imperative.

Attending a church where God's Word is faithfully preached is necessary.
Surrounding ourselves with godly friends is wise.
Memorising Scripture is such a precious blessing to 
the heart of the Christian.  Those words hidden in the heart
will return in times of deepest distress to comfort the soul.

My recent favourite verses are these ~

"Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name;

thou art mine.  When thou passest through the waters,
I will be with thee: and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee:
when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned;
neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.
For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour."
~ Isaiah 43:1b-3a ~

Another wonderful book full of faith-building and

encouraging words is "Trusting God" by Jerry Bridges.
This book has been such a blessing to our hearts.  
It's so full of wisdom and truth.  
It's not a quick read.  There is so much to digest.
But, it is so worth the effort in order to glean from Mr. Bridges' insights.

So, yes.  The answer is a resounding yes!

We can prepare for trials.  We do not have to fear them.

We have been given precious promises by our Great God
that He will never leave nor forsake His own.
He is Faithful.  He will never give more than we can bear.
Of course, at times we will feel like it is much more than we are able to bear!  
But, in the spiritual sense it never will be.  It's His promise.
We move forward following the Lord as our Shepherd.

In His strength.  By His grace.  With His peace and comfort.

"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.
Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, 
in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake:
for when I am weak, then am I strong."
~ II Corinthians 12:9-10 ~

Only with Him.  Only in Him.  Only Him in us.

Many Blessings,

November 1, 2013

Always There

Five months ago, today, the Lord called
our Precious Austin Home to Heaven.
We think of him daily.  His absence is felt.
He is missed in the little things of life,
and in the not so little things.  Painfully so.

There are tears.  Every. Single. Day.

The reality of life without our Austin

is sinking in.  It's always there.  Always with us.
We will carry it with us until the day we die.
It's part of who we are.  Who we've become.

We feel it.  Keenly.  And, it hurts.

So very, very much!

 ~ Austin in Fall 2009 ~

However, Austin is not hurting.  He is not sad.
He does not cry.  He is happy and complete.
He is praising the Lord without hindrance.
He does not have to battle the world,
the flesh and the evil one any longer.

He has been freed from his body of death.

One day, that body will rise in perfection.

It will be reunited with his soul.
One day, that will be true for us, as well.
What a precious future we have if we are the Lord's!

Our hearts are fixed more and more on Heaven.

Less and less on this world.
And, our Precious Saviour is with us in this journey.
He is Faithful.  He is Good.  He does all things well.
His Word is a comfort to our hearts.
His Truth is what keeps us from despair.

So, we walk this day with Him.

Each step.  Moment by moment.  Looking to Him.
It's the only way forward.  There is no other option.
It's a battle to keep our eyes focused.
A battle to keep our hearts set on what's True.
It's what we must do.

By His grace.  In His strength.  For His glory.

May we always be found giving Him praise.
He alone is worthy.

Many Blessings,

October 30, 2013

Chocolate Pecan Muffins ~ THM Compliant

Have Y'all heard of Trim Healthy Mama?

I kept hearing about it so much, and I was intrigued
enough by all that I read, that I bought the book.
These girls have much to say that makes a lot of sense.
I don't know enough about them to endorse all that they
may stand for, but, the initial results I've had
from eating the way they suggest have been positive.

I've felt better than I have in a long while.
I've dropped 10 pounds without starving myself ~ it really has been painless.
And, the cravings truly are not there or, can easily be satisfied
while staying on plan and continuing to achieve your ideal weight.
It isn't a "diet" in the conventional sense ~
 it's a way of eating and nourishing oneself that is easy to stick to.
It tends to regulate blood sugars and help the body find a good balance.
I have found it to be both satisfying and energizing.  :)

Are you interested to learn more?
Click here to find the book for sale on Amazon.

One thing to mention, and it's a significant thing if you ask me ~
these sisters do not endorse sugar of any kind
if your goal is to lose weight and/or balance your blood sugars.
That means no honey, natural sugar, raw sugar, or maple syrup
for those who are trying to achieve the specific goals mentioned above.
These authors would not include growing children in that restriction.
All of God's good food is encouraged in their case.
And, for everyone, a balanced approach to nutrition is promoted.

They encourage the use of Stevia in a couple of forms.
One of those is Truvia ~ I don't know for sure how I feel about it.  

In the meantime, I have been using it.
That's my disclosure for this post, and I felt it was 
necessary to give it prior to sharing the recipe.  
There.  Now I feel so much better.  *Wink*

Having said all the above, I don't see why you couldn't make these
muffins with regular sugar if you don't want to follow the plan.
I've not actually made them without Truvia, so you'd have to give it a try to see.
According to my calculations, this recipe would require approximately 
3/4 cup to 1 cup of sugar to achieve the same level of sweetness.

Oh, and just so you know.  I still have sugar occasionally.
When I do, however, the scale shows me that I've done it.
It's so empowering to know how to quickly arrest that situation
and stop it in its tracks before it gains a foothold.

Now, on to the recipe!

~ Chocolate Pecan Muffins ~
(Adapted and modified from one of the recipes
which may be found in Trim Healthy Mama)
**These would fall into the S category**

6 Large Eggs ~ Organic, preferrably
2 tsp Vanilla ~ I use the pure extract
1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp Golden Flax Meal
1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp Almond Flour
1/2 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/3 cup Truvia sweetener (or 3/4 cup to 1 cup sugar)
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
1 cup Chopped Pecans
1/3 cup Coconut Oil, melted

Whisk together eggs and vanilla in a medium bowl and set aside.
Measure all dry ingredients together in large bowl and
stir until no lumps remain ~ I mix with my fingers.
Mix egg mixture into dry ingredients, stir lightly with a fork.
Add in melted coconut oil and stir together well.
Let sit a minute or two to let batter rise a little.

Spoon into prepared muffin tin.
I use parchment liners in my muffin tin,
but, you could grease the muffin cups prior to filling.
Fill to the tops of the liners ~ I use the large size.
Makes 10 large muffins.

Bake at 375 degrees F for 18 to 20 minutes.
Tester should come out nearly clean. 
Be careful not to over bake as your end product will be too dry.
Serve warm with butter.  Enjoy!

Many Blessings,

**Disclaimer ~ I only endorse things that I use and enjoy.
I am not compensated in any way for my opinions.
They are just that ~ opinions.  Please do your own research
in order to be sure that you have made the right choice for you.  :)

October 28, 2013

Down Under Up Here

We've had a visitor.  

All the way from "Down Under" to "Up Here".
At least, from our perspective it's up.  :)
It took fourteen hours of flight for our guest to finally
arrive in our neck of the woods.
Australia really is on the opposite side of the globe.

What a thought!

This is the first time we have had the opportunity

to host the daughter of a blogging friend in our home.
Isn't it amazing what can happen when you blog?
Real live people are on the other side of the screen.
Sometimes, they are on the other side of the world.
Those people have the potential to become our friends.

And, that's how it happened.  What fun!

Miss M's Mum sent us treats from her homeland.

Included in the mix was a tube of Vegemite.
Now, that was a taste experience!
I preferred the chocolate.  :)

It's been like having a big sister for Emma around here.

They went ice skating together and played "Life".
They cleaned the dishes together and made friendship bracelets.
And, that was only on the first day.
Emma will be sorry to see her go.  

On her second day with us, we put her to work.

The employment?  Baking a Lemon Meringue Pie.

It was yummy, nummy!  SO good.  

Her Mum was right ~ 
she knows what to do when it comes to baking.

We headed out for the afternoon to our local beach.

The girls climbed up a big rock at which point
Miss M informed us of her fear of heights.
Ann...I was trying to take good care of her ~ truly!

They conquered it.
However, coming down was more of a challenge.
Thankfully, nothing got broken or even bruised.
I breathed a big sigh of relief when they were once again on solid ground.

Just prior to her flight out of town today,

we were able to scoot down to the city and visit Stanley Park.
It was a perfect day ~ warm-ish with blue skies and sunshine.

We've all become fast friends.

A pile of leaves is an open invitation for this ~
Wouldn't you agree?

The real reason she came to Canada was to 
visit with friends who live on the Prairies.  
So, we only had her with us for the weekend.
Just before she leaves for home, we will have her for one more day.
We are looking forward to it ~ I think she is, too. 

Thank you, Ann, for letting your girl come stay with us.
It's been a blessing to us all.
Anyone else want to send me their young people?
Let's talk.

With Love,

October 21, 2013

Making Messes

I'm at it again.  Making messes.
It seems to be something I'm good at.  

We live in an older home ~ 40+ years.
With that territory comes the need for tweaking
and re-doing and upgrading ~ multiple times, it seems.
Things break.  They wear out.  They get used up.
Boys live here.  'Nuff said.  :)

The boys' room wasn't on my radar.

However, not long ago something in the closet caught my attention.
And, before we knew it, the closet was emptied and gutted.
Then, I enlisted my Dad to come and help out.
He built all new shelving and supports ~ all to my specs.  
Tomorrow, he plans to hang the doors.

Thank you SO much, Dad!  :)

Tackling the closet led to moving all the furniture 
(except the bed) out so the carpet could be cleaned.
Where did all that stuff end up?  
In Howie's office, down the hall, and in the mud room.

Like I said before ~ It's a mess.
My poor Sweetie.  

All of these things led to my brilliant idea to strip the walls of the
posters of planes and hockey guys and the world map.
Those wall embellishments left behind a gazillion holes that required filling.
My sweet husband did the job for me ~ Thank you my love!  :)
All that filling has left me with walls to paint.

It's how it goes.

So, we are in a mess.  But, it's a work in progress.
The plan is to be done by the end of the week.
Anyone out there willing to cheer me on?
Encouragement in a situation like this is always welcomed ~ LOL!

It will be a little quiet in this space while 
this project is being completed.
Happy week to you all!

With Love,

October 16, 2013

What About Socialization?

What about socialization?

All those who have been home educating their children
for any length of time, know that this is 
THE all-time most popular, always-asked question.
I cannot tell you how many times it's been posed to us.

Many.  Over and over.  Again.
And Again!  :)

~ Emma (centre) with two friends at 
our weekly skating outing ~

Rather than re-invent the wheel,
I am going to share with you a well-rounded,
thorough, and well-thought-through answer via a link.
My friend Heather, who blogs at Cultivated Lives, nailed it.  
Find her wonderful post by clicking here.

I am sure you will be encouraged by her words.
Just as I have been.

~ Fraser and Emma playing Skip-Bo ~

Thank you, Heather, for writing such a

well rounded, well thought through article on this
topic that we all must wrestle with.
Not just those of us who home educate.
All of us.

Many Blessings,

October 10, 2013

Time Stands Still

Our Austin is outside of time.

For now, we live within it.
That means that Calvin, Fraser and Emma
will catch up to their big brother in age.
If the Lord allows, they will pass him.

In this way ~ Time stands still.

It's a strange thing, really.

I never thought I would live longer than any of our children.
I thought they would all outlive me.
However, that was not to be.

Our desire for each of our children is that they

would love and serve and follow the Lord all their days.
And that they would go to live with Him in Heaven for all eternity.
I never expected that any would be called Home first.

But, one has.

Our Austin has gone before us.

~ Calvin, Fraser, Austin, and Emma in 2004 ~

Our destiny is the same.

Not for anything good in us.
But, because of the goodness of our Saviour.
He is perfect.  He lived perfectly.
He died to pay the penalty for the sins of His people.
That each one might be made acceptable with God.
So that one day we might go live with Him for all eternity.

What an incredible thought!

May the peace that comes from these truths be yours.

May you know without any doubt where you will spend eternity.
If you are not sure where that will be,
Please seek the Lord while He may be found.

"...behold, now is the day of salvation." 

~ I Corinthians 6:2b ~

"...Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ,

and thou shalt be saved..." 
~ Acts 16:31 ~

"All that the Father giveth me shall come to me;

and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."
~ John 6:37 ~

Many Blessings,

October 8, 2013

The Harried Here and Now

It's easy to do.  I admit it.

Easy to get caught up in the here and now.
Easy to forget that this is not our Home.
The Lord is gracious to send us trials to wean us 
little by little from this world.
To cause us to cling to Him more closely.
And rely on Him more deeply.

To make us long for Heaven more.

"...having lost sight of the "sweet by and by", too many Christians
busy themselves with the harried here and now,
and they themselves are consumed by consumable things."

"Because the church doesn't really have heaven on its mind,
Christians tend to be self-indulgent, self-centered, weak and materialistic.
Our present comforts consume too much of our thoughts, and it we're not careful, 
we end up entertaining wrong fantasies about heaven --
or thinking very little of heaven at all.
No Christian should ever fall into that trap."

Quoted from "The Glory of Heaven" by John MacArthur, page 65.

We are reading as much as we can on Heaven these days.

Since our precious Austin was called Home ~
 we find ourselves wanting to know more about where he is.
We are seeking to be careful to choose books from reliable sources, of course.
There has been much written on Heaven that is not Biblical at all.
The Bible must be our basis for formulating ideas about the eternal.

This book, among others, has been a great encouragement to our hearts.

Truly, if we are the Lord's, then Heaven is our Home.  
We are just sojourning here as long as our Lord deems best.
For as long as He desires to use us here.

Until He calls us there.

How precious it is to rest in His perfect plan.

How precious to know that our times really are in His hands.
May we live for His glory each and every day.
May we be used to promote His Kingdom and serve Him.

By His grace and in His strength.

Moment by moment.  Day by day.
As long as He gives us breath.

With love,

**Photo in this post courtesy of our Calvin ~

Thank you my love!  XO

October 7, 2013

Cauliflower Soup ~ SO Yummy!

Okay.  This is just about as good as it gets.
Comfort food at its finest.
Truly.  One yummy bite after the other.
Calvin proclaimed this to be his all-time favourite.

Is it time for soup where you live?
We've turned the heat on in our home,
and the rains have started.
It's time for soup!

Click here for the recipe.
You won't be sorry.  Promise.
Even if you don't like cauliflower ~
You'll like it anyway.  Give it a try and see.  :)

Many Blessings,

October 3, 2013

Seeking to See

It's a good thing to notice the seemingly little and insignificant
things in day to day life and living.
The little things really can be the most precious of all.
It is too easy to take so many things for granted.  So often.
When we overlook the little, we miss out on so much.  Too much.

Much of life is little.  Insignificant.  Routine.
But, these things are not little at all ~ they're big.
All added up and rolled into life ~ these moments are significant.
Very significant.  Very precious.  Anything but routine.

We often don't realise this until we look back.

On this day, I am starting up again.  Beginning afresh.
Seeking to see the tracings of His Hand in the everyday things of life.
They are there and they are precious.
 If only we will stop to consider.
If only we will slow down to take it all in.

These moments?  They are all precious gifts from His Hand.
By God's Great Grace, I am seeking to slow down to see.
These are the moments to cherish.

I am thankful for the ability to teach my girl to sew.
She is learning on the very same machine I learned on.
Isn't that something?  I *love* it.  :)

I am also thankful that she wants to learn!

Thankful, too, that our little project (a joint effort) turned out.
It was a skirt for Emily ~ Emma's doll.  :)
See the little purse?  It was a gift from a precious little friend.
Thank you Miss's perfect!

I am thankful for my young men who work diligently at their studies.

And, I'm thankful for moments like these (above) when we catch
our Fraser doing what he loves best ~ studying about other lands and cultures.

This young man is able to work in the office
while Howie works in the background ~ it's a gift.

We are finally able to tackle the boys' room and fill 
all.those.holes. ~ Can you tell I'm excited about it? 

Yes, Calvin and Fraser both contributed to the state of the walls.

I was sad that I neglected to get a before photo for memories' sake.
They had posters of airplanes and countries and hockey plastered everywhere.
It was a sight to behold.  Maybe it's a good thing I forgot to take a picture.

Yes, a very good thing.  Smile.

I am thankful for this little rose tree and that we were able to plant it in this spot.
It was a gift in memory of our Austin.  Gorgeous blooms were produced all summer long.
Every day, as I come and go from our home, I pass by it.

Our precious Austin's entire memorial service has been 
preserved for us on DVD ~ thank you so very much Jonathan!  
We are very pleased with how well it turned out ~ what a gift of love.

I enjoy seeing the boys' hockey gear drying on the rack in the great outdoors.
It's been such a blessing to have hockey in our lives for all these years.
When the boys were little, I didn't like the idea of them playing hockey.
However, I now see that it's been a blessing, and I am thankful.

Our street is street-hockey-friendly.
As the streets all around us have become busier, 
ours has remained very much the same as it always has been.
It's another gift.

Emma was sick last week ~ it was a precious thing to see her tucked in on the couch.
It's even more precious that she is almost all better now.  
God is always so Good.  No matter what.

Still in her housecoat, she blew some bubbles on the back deck.
Thankful that she is still little girl enough to enjoy these sorts of things!
The laughter we shared as the bubbles blew away is a memory to cherish.

Isn't the bubble in this photo a powerful visual 

of how fleeting these moments really are?

May the Lord help us to enter into the moments He gives.

All the moments string together to make a life.
By God's grace, and in His strength, may we live them all for Him.

He alone is worthy of all our praise.

May we be found praising Him with our lives.
With all our hearts.  For all eternity.

Many Blessings,