February 27, 2014

Charley aka "The Lioness"

Actually, we are dog-sitting ~ Charley is a tea cup yorkie.

That means that she is in fact a dog, not a baby.
And, yet...she seems a little like a baby in my books.
She likes to be cuddled and she requires lots of attention.
The kids are thrilled.  Howie is thrilled.  Charley is thrilled.

Clearly, it's a win-win all around.

But, what about me?  

Well...it depends on who is going to be in charge of the baths.
And, there will be many of those.  After all, it's winter here.
Winter in our area means that there will be lots and lots of wetness.
I don't do well with a wet and muddy doggy in the house.

Not too well at all.
But, I am sure it will all work out ~ 
maybe Spring will come early this year?  Maybe.

Although Charley is a little package, 

she is big on personality and spunk.

Last time she stayed in our home, she showed us her wilder side.
Hence, the very appropriate nickname ~ The Lioness.
She is fearless and bold and makes her presence known.

Anything she might choose to challenge would come out on top.  

Every single time.  Without a doubt.

But, she thinks otherwise.
This is going to be an adventure.

Mostly, though, I think it will be fun.
And, so does Charley ~ I'm quite sure of that.
As I type this, she is snoring (yes, snoring!) on my lap.
Yes, Charley will be just fine.  :)

Happy Weekend Y'all!
Many Blessings,

February 26, 2014

Someone Famous?

We live in the Lower Mainland of Vancouver.
My brother was privileged to drive some of the executives of 
team USA to and from the various venues as part of his job at the time. 

As a perk, he was given some free stuff.
And, since we are related, and, since he is such a great brother
he shared some of it with us.  See?  I told you he was sweet.  :)

One of the items we were given was an 
official Olympic team USA jacket.
It's warm and cosy ~ I've mostly claimed it for my own.

The last few days, I have been wearing it on errands.
And, twice...twice!...I've been asked if I had been a competitor,
or, if I were someone famous from the last Olympics.  Dear me.

I do tell the truth, and briefly inform the one inquiring
how I came to be in possession of it.
But, somehow, I feel a little fraudulent when I wear it.  :)

What about you?  

Would you wear it or keep it hidden in your closet?
What would you say if you were mistaken for being someone famous?
(I do sincerely hope the answer to that last question 
is that you would tell the truth)!  I am sure that you would.  ;-)

Have a happy day!


February 24, 2014

Snowed In

We live in Canada.  However, we rarely get snow in our part of the country.
This winter has been typical in this regard ~ mostly, we've had rain.
It's only snowed twice ~ just prior to Christmas, and again these last few days.

The first snow made its appearance while we were gone.  

And, on the very same day it snowed here, it also snowed in Arizona.
So, we didn't miss out.  We've enjoyed a little white stuff twice this winter.
Usually, however, it's gone within a day or two.  It's just how it is.

This past Saturday evening, the most recent snow began.
By the time we went to sleep, it was beginning to collect in earnest.
In the morning, we woke to a beautiful winter wonderland.
Out the front door, it looked like this...

And, out the sundeck door it looked like this...

Because it snows so rarely, and because we live on a side street,
the snow plough doesn't usually make it down our road.
Due to that fact, it's most often best to just stay put.

So, on Sunday, we were snowed in.

Our church is an hour's drive away.  It wasn't wise to venture out.
We are so thankful that the services are live-streamed both
in the morning and the evening.  What a blessing!

Although we were snowed in, we were still able to attend via the internet.
Modern technology does have its benefits ~ especially in these sorts of situations.
We are so incredibly thankful for the live broadcast that is provided each Lord's Day.
Every time we have found it necessary to join in by that means,
it has blessed our hearts abundantly.  Our thanks to those who make it possible.

Now...back to the snow ~
it was several inches deep by late morning...see?

I went outside and snapped some photos.
Here's a shot of our front window from the edge of the yard ~
See the kids inside?  See the snow falling?  
It snowed all day long, and continued on into the evening.

On the inside, I captured Emma quietly reading on the couch ~
snug and cosy and warm.  So wonderful.  So thankful.

What is it like where you live?  Do you have lots of snow or none?  
Does your area handle snow well?  Or, do you get stranded when it comes?

We are somewhere in the middle on that score.  The main roads do get cleared.  

We have found, however, since we aren't on a main road, it's usually best to stay home.
In just a matter of days, all our snow will be gone ~ not a bad thing, really.
We'll just have to enjoy it while it lasts.  It's a novelty to have any at all.

Needless to say...the kids are thrilled.  

They are enjoying every minute of it.  Of course.
And, today?  The snow continues to fall in earnest.  It's still piling up.
We have declared today to be a day off.  It's officially a snow day!

Warm Hugs to you all!

February 22, 2014

Just Like That

It was Howie's birthday yesterday.  He's another year older.
I know, that's how it works.  But, it always surprises me.
It kinda sneaks up and then, there it is ~ just like that.

My *little* brother invited us to have a date night at his home.

He always does things so nicely, and, he makes the most wonderful food.  
How could I refuse?  I couldn't.  So, I didn't.

If your little brother invited you for dinner
and offered to cook, would you go?  Well...maybe not.
However, in my case, it's always a wise move to say yes.

The table was pushed right up to the windows.

The candle was lit and the room was cosy.
The food was absolutely amazing ~ as per usual.
It's his hobby to create yumminess in the kitchen.
And, sometimes, we get to be the fortunate taste testers.

Want to know what was on the menu?  Yes?  Okay, I'll tell you.

We were served sparkling apple juice, gourmet burgers with some sort of 
hand-crafted herbed butter tucked inside ~ stacked high with avocado slices,
roasted elephant garlic, bacon and feta cheese...all on a fancy grilled bun.
And, for dessert?  Individual pecan pies (from the bakery) complete
with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream on top were set before us.  Dear me!

We were spoiled rotten.  And, thoroughly satisfied.

Now...don't you wish you had a little brother like mine?

Sorry, he's already taken (as a brother, that is). 
And, I only have to share with one sister.
We've learned to share nicely, by the way.  At least, we try.  :)

But, I digress.  The point of all this is that it was Howie's birthday.
It was such a treat ~ we thoroughly enjoyed our night out.
Thank you so much Nathan!  You spoiled us both. 
You are the best ~ most of the time.  ;-)

With Love,


February 19, 2014

Rejoicing Yet Again!

Austin was baptized two and a half years ago,
and we rejoiced in the goodness of our Great God.

Then, six months later, Calvin was baptized,
and we rejoiced again.

This past Sunday, Fraser was baptized, 

and we are rejoicing yet again.

God is so infinitely good and gracious and merciful.
He saves.  He receives all the glory.  It is His work.
We are so grateful that He is leading our children unto Himself.

Baptism doesn't impart righteousness to the believer.
Rather, it is an outward display of the inward work that has already transpired.
It is a public testimony and profession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  
How precious it is to witness the Lord's people following Him in this tangible way.

As parents, there is no greater joy in all this world
than to observe in our children the desire to follow and serve the Lord.
Nothing thrills our hearts more than to know that they will spend all of
eternity with Him.  It is absolutely the greatest thing of all.

We rejoiced to hear the testimony of our Fraser
as he shared with us how his hope and trust is in Christ alone.

Being submerged under the water and raised up out of it symbolizes
 the individual's identification with the Lord Jesus in His death, burial and resurrection.
When Fraser became a Christian, that is exactly what happened in the spiritual sense.
The Lord removed his spiritually stony heart and gave him a heart of flesh.
When we come to the Lord in repentance and faith, 
we die to self and the world, and are raised up to live in newness of life for Him.

Our lives are not our own.  We have been bought with a price.

We ought to live solely and alone for His glory and honour ~ 
by His great grace and mercy.  Until He calls us Home.

Truly, there is nothing more wonderful than that.

Nothing at all.

Many Blessings,

**Photos courtesy of our Calvin ~ 

Thank you my love!  XO

February 18, 2014

Happiness All Around

It happened again.  Jennifer Jo shared a tempting recipe and I made it.
This dessert was simple and quick and delicious.
Some refrigeration time is required ~ patience is necessary.
Otherwise, it's painless.  No muss.  No fuss. 
Happiness all around.

As Jennifer points out in her post, no fancy ingredients are required.  
It's a pantry pudding that doesn't deserve the name.  Not at all.
I also agree that whipped cream is lovely for the finishing touch.

However, it is not necessary.  

I've enjoyed a few all on their lonesome.  Dear me!

There's no need to re-write what has already been 
written about this chocolate pudding.  Its name, on the other hand, 
just doesn't fit for something so satisfyingly yummy.
But, chocolate pudding it is.  You won't mind when you taste it.

Howie said it reminded him of a mousse ~
perhaps that's what we will refer to it from here on out.
Chocolate Mousse Pudding ~ there...now I feel better.

Click here to find the recipe.  Hurry on over.  
You'll be glad you did.  And, so will the ones you love.

Many Blessings,

February 17, 2014

Gooey Bars ~ As Promised

This post is for Miss T ~ As promised.
However, y'all will be glad she asked.  I'm sure of it.
This is a not-to-be-missed-but-at-the-same-time-scary dessert.
Scary in a good kind of way ~ is that even possible?  Yes.

Just limit how much and when, 
and you'll probably be okay.  Maybe.

When I came across the instructions for these bars,
I knew I had to give 'em a try.  And, I was right.  Where have they been all my life?
A little tweaking was necessary since there were virtually no measurements given.  
Crushing the graham wafers by hand wasn't a favourite, so I opted to use them whole.

All in all, I've made them three times now.  

But, who's counting?  Not me.

Not for the faint of heart or the not sweet of tooth.  These are, however, 

perfect for anyone who does not fit into either of the categories listed above.
That would be you?  Me too.  :)

Gooey Bars ~ (Or, whatever you wish to name them).

Originally posted here ~ tweaked and adjusted slightly by moi.

Line a 9 x 13 pan with parchment (not wax) paper (or, grease your pan).

Line exactly to fit with a single layer of graham wafers.
Drizzle 1/4 cup butter evenly over the wafer layer (do not omit).
Sprinkle 1 and 1/2 cups chocolate chips (semi-sweet or milk) over the wafers.
Sprinkle 1 cup (or more...I like to add up to another half cup) 
broken pecan pieces over the chocolate chips.
Evenly spread 2 cups shredded sweetened coconut on top of the pecans.
Drizzle one can (300 ml size) of sweetened condensed milk over all.

These will hold together nicely once they are baked

because of the condensed milk ~ just in case you were wondering.

Now...bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 to 30 minutes until golden.

Cool and cut.  May be frozen if you can make them last that long.
I dare you to try.  Don't eat while hot...they will burn your mouth.  Ouch.
(I'm still paying for the too-early sample I took from the first batch.)

Have fun and be sure to share the love!  :)

Many Blessings,

February 14, 2014

Almost Ready!

The invitations have been sent.
The table has been set and the food is being prepared.
We are waiting for our guests to arrive ~ Almost Ready!

Last time we did this ~ Emma was eight.
Soon, she will be twelve ~ how time flies. 
How precious and wonderful these days are!

Have a lovely weekend!
Many Blessings,

February 12, 2014

Making Deliveries

My Emma and I have been making deliveries.
Yesterday and today, we drove over 150 miles,
crossed three of our city's beautiful bridges,
and visited 13 local branch offices.

We were delivering mugs and hot chocolate to our clients
in order to help Howie ~ it was something we could do.
And, we had fun doing it ~ together.

Emma is good company.  :)

I will be happy to get back to the regular routines of life ~
but, it was lovely to have had this little diversion with my girl.
What have you been up to ~ routines or diversions?
Whatever you have been doing, I trust it's been lovely.

Many blessings,

February 6, 2014

Hobo Beans with Cornbread

Comfort Food.  Warm and Cosy.
Sounds lovely, don't you think?

We live in Canada.  Although it's not been a snowy winter in our area,

it has been chilly enough to crave some comfort food.
And, the recipes I am sharing here today fit the bill perfectly.

Good enough for company (it's what I plan to serve to friends on a future Friday night),
or for a warm-em-up-and-keep-em-home type of evening with the family.
Either way, I think you'll be satisfied with the effort put into it.
Oh, and the hobo beans simmer all afternoon in the slow cooker.

Ready when you are.  Sounds perfect, doesn't it?
Well, what are you waiting for?  You gonna give 'em a try?

Jennifer Jo and I share similar taste in culinary pursuits it would seem.

When she shares recipes, I sit up and take notice.
I often can be found, after reading her writings about food, 
gathering the necessary ingredients and cooking up a storm.

When she posted about Hobo Beans it was no different.  So, I made them.
Jennifer shares her recipes in the most creative of ways.
It's like reading a story...the story behind the food.  With humour.

And, the food is good.  Very good.

Hobo Beans ~ Altered and Adjusted from Jennifer's Blog.

(The alterations are not because her recipe is lacking ~ not at all.
Rather, the alterations were necessary due to the fact that 
Jennifer has secret ingredients along with stashes from the summer
and other countries that make improvisation a necessity.)

  1/2 lb Bacon ~ crisply fried and crumbled

2 lb Ground Beef
2 medium yellow cooking Onions ~ chopped
6 cloves Garlic ~ minced

1 lb dried Black Beans ~ fully cooked (soak at least 18 hrs prior to cooking)

(This translates into 2 cups dried beans, which become 6 cups cooked.
You can substitute any beans you like ~ red, white, etc.)

  2 tins Crushed Pineapple (12 oz size) ~ Do NOT omit

1 tin Diced Tomatoes (28 oz size)
1 cup Brown Sugar ~ lightly packed
1 tin Tomato Sauce (15 oz size)
1 Tbsp prepared Mustard
2 Tbsp Chili Powder
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
Sea Salt added after the cooking time ~ to taste

Fry the bacon and remove from pan.  Drain some of the grease ~ but not all of it.
In the same pan, scramble fry the beef, onions, and garlic until cooked through.
Combine all ingredients together in your slow cooker.
Mix together, cover, and turn the heat to high for an hour or two ~ until bubbling.

Reduce heat to low and let simmer for another 4 to 5 hours.

(If your crock pot is not big enough, or, you don't own such a thing,
a heavy-bottomed stock pot on the stove will work nicely.
Mix all ingredients together in your big pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer,
cover your pot, and simmer away for a few hours, stirring occasionally.)

These beans do not require any toppings.  They are so yummy by themselves.
However, a good cornbread on the side, and maybe even a salad,
would round out the meal nicely.  Six hungry people will gobble it all up.
But, with these extras to make it go further, you could probably feed eight.

I could not improve on the Cornbread ~  I didn't even try.
It was so yummy my children exclaimed that it was like cake.
I had to agree.  It was amazingly good stuff.  Try it and see for yourself.
Click here to get to Bevy's place where she shares the recipe.
You won't be sorry you did ~ I'm sure of it.

Happy Weekend, Y'all!  

Now, go...cook up your own storm.  ;-)

With Love, Camille

February 5, 2014

Simple Rice Pudding

Simple Rice Pudding ~ 
Made it.  Liked it.  Simple and quick!
If you like rice pudding, you'll like this.
If you don't, I cannot help you.  And, I cannot understand.  :)

I added in some cream and a little more vanilla

to get it *just right*.
If you have leftover rice...this is just perfect!
Click on the link above to get to the recipe.


Many Blessings,

February 4, 2014

To Really See

Very often, we want back what we had when it's gone.
But, we don't want what we have when it's here.
It's how it goes sometimes.  Crazy, isn't it?

Perhaps, if we slow down to really see
the blessings of now, we won't wish them away.
We'll drink them in and rejoice!

And, so...today, by God's grace, I am rejoicing.  
Will you join me?  Will you take time to notice the little things
and the not-so-little-things that are the gifts of today?
You might be surprised to see.  To really see.

You may find that these sometimes-messy-moments 

might just be the best gifts after all.

~ More sunshine and blue skies...SO welcomed by us all

~ The sounds of home...water filling up the tub,

pages turning, furnace humming, 
and the click of computer keys as Fraser works next to me

~ The way the trees rustle in the breeze and 

that I can just look up and out to see them

~ Crossing things off my *to do* list...what a feeling!

~ The school we are connected with and how

they left Austin's report cards online for me to print whenever I was ready

~ The things the teachers wrote and how they made me cry

~ That they graduated Austin and gave him final marks for all his courses

even though he hadn't completed all the required assignments 
when the Lord called him Home to Heaven
(the night prior to his passing he was studying for a Geography exam)

~ That some memories can make me smile and even laugh

~ That the Lord is with us in this journey

~ And, that we do not walk this path alone

~ How gracious and merciful and wonderful our Great God is!

~ Waking up to a new day and seeing the dark turn to blue

with a few wispy-pink clouds floating past

~ Spurgeon to read while I ride

~ And, that each sermon is just the perfect length

to read in the time it takes to complete one session of cycling

SO thankful on this day (and always) that I belong to Him.

"I will sing unto the LORD, because He hath dealt bountifully with me."

~ Psalm 13:6 ~

Many Blessings,

February 1, 2014

Eight Months

Eight months.  Eight!

It's been eight months since the day we were forever altered.
Almost seems impossible ~ and yet, it is true.  
Austin is not coming back.  Ever.
The reality of this sinks in just a little more as time passes.
Just a little more as each day comes and goes.

And, if I let it, that sinking feeling can make me sink.

But, then.  Then!  By God's great grace, I remember.

I remember His promises.  I remember that one day He will take us there as well.
I remember that He does all things well.  That His ways are perfect.
I must fill my mind with Truth.  Focus my heart on eternal things ~ continually.
Austin's gains are great.  Our loss is great as well ~ too great for words.
However, his gains are greater ~ much greater.  

Greater than we can even comprehend!

The next time we see him, we will have passed through the veil.

We will be on the other side.  We will be in eternity.  Forever.
Heaven is our Home ~ it's where we are headed.
It's where our focus ought to be.

Eight months ago today, 

our Precious Austin was called Home to Heaven.
June 1st was Austin's best day.  It's true.
The day the Christian passes into eternity is always their best day.
The best day, ever.  Take a moment to consider ~ let it sink in. 

Isn't that an incredible thought?

We must continually remind ourselves of these truths.
Those who die in the Lord die well.
No matter what means the Lord uses to call His child Home,
the end result is the same ~ Eternity in Heaven with the Saviour.

It cannot possibly get any better than that.

Not a day has gone by without tears.  Without sorrow.
But, we do not grieve as those without hope.
Our hope is found in the Lord Jesus Christ and His promises to His people.
We are so thankful to be counted in that number. 

He is so Good.  He is so Faithful.  Always.

We, however, miss our Austin terribly.
Memories flood in.  Daily we speak of our son.
Daily we remember.  Austin is never far from our thoughts.
That will never change ~ not until the day we die.

Calvin, Fraser, and Emma are daily on our minds as well ~ of course.

They are in our home continuing to live the lives they have been called to.
Austin lives as well ~ just not here.  He lives there.

God gives grace and strength for whatever

He calls His people to.  We feel it.  He is near.  He is faithful.
He promises never to leave or forsake His own.
It's a precious blessing and comfort to belong to Him.

May the Lord help us all to live each day

to bring glory to His Name.
He alone is worthy of all our praise.  Forever.

Many Blessings,

**Images in this post of our precious four ~ Fall/Winter 2009