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,