December 31, 2015

Our Austin

In the summer of 1994, we learned that we were expecting.
Howie and I had been married just three years ~
we couldn't have been more thrilled at the prospect of becoming parents.
Austin would be welcomed into our hearts and home as our first child.  
In those days, we didn't find out if we were having a boy or girl.

We wanted to be surprised.

The nine months of pregnancy were uneventful.
I felt well and was able to function normally.  It was such a blessing.
We expected our baby to be healthy ~ there was nothing to indicate otherwise.
Austin was born on April 8, 1995 ~ he weighed in at 8 lbs 13 oz.
At the follow up appointments at the doctor's office,
however, it became apparent that he was not thriving.

He had trouble gaining weight.

When he was six weeks old, it was discovered that he had 
been born with a very large hole in his heart ~ a VSD.
Practically no septum existed between the lower two chambers of his heart.
He would need open heart surgery to do the repair.  A patch was required.

However, the surgery was not to take place until the 

beginning signs of heart failure were apparent.  It took nearly a year.
For the entire first year of his life, we were seen frequently
by specialists at Children's Hospital and in a pediatrician's office.
He was monitored closely and cared for diligently.  We were thankful.

Austin had open heart surgery on April 15, 1996
He was one year and one week old.

We prayed.  People around the world prayed as well.  The Lord sustained us all.

The work was done and the healing began.  How relieved we were!
Austin had a muscle bundle in the area of the patch that occasionally caused 
the electrical impulses to be interrupted.  He would need a pacemaker.

Again, we prayed.  Again, the Lord's people prayed.

And, once again, Austin was sustained.  The pacemaker was not required.
Or, so it was thought.

Many years passed.  Many follow-up visits to the heart clinic were logged.
Again and again, he was sent home with a relatively clean bill of health.
He was not to be treated specially.  He was allowed to exercise without restriction.
And, he did.  He played hockey, ran, rode his bike and swam.  He was active.

When he was fifteen, he began to show signs of Crohn's Disease.

The focus shifted from his heart to Crohn's.  And, rightly so.
However, approximately a year prior to the digestive issues manifesting,
his heart was beginning to fail.  We had no idea.  None at all.

To look back on that now can be devastating ~ humanly speaking. 

However, God's ways truly are higher than ours.  
We rest in His Sovereign purposes.  His perfect plan.

While Crohn's was being dealt with, the heart grew worse.

Much worse.  Critically so.  And, then, we ended up in ICU at Children's 
just prior to Austin's 17th birthday.  He was diagnosed with DCM
It was a dire situation.  And, it hit us like a tonne of bricks.
We were reeling, but, the Lord in His mercy and grace caught us and carried us.

Austin recovered steadily on the outside.  Things were looking good.

However, his heart made no great strides forward toward recovery.
It was too sick and too enlarged.  He needed a pacemaker.
God provided, and he was given a pacemaker in December 2012.
The hope was that it would help his heart to recover some of its function.
It was not to be.  It was not in the Lord's perfect plan.

The Lord took our Austin Home to Heaven on June 1, 2013.


We know that our God is great and does all things well.

His promises are sure and true.  We love His Word.  
It is such a comfort to our grieving hearts.
Only in eternity will we fully understand the whys behind this story.
However, it is not something we must know now.

"...the LORD gave and the LORD hath taken away;

blessed be the name of the LORD." Job 1:21b

"...shall we receive good at the hand of God, 

and shall we not receive evil?" Job 2:10b

"But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay,

and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand." Isaiah 64:8

Our greatest desire for each of our children is that they would

 surrender their lives to the Lord Jesus Christ.  That He would be their Saviour.
There is nothing more important to us as parents than to know that they 
will go to be with Him when they die.  This is Austin's reality at this very moment.
His testimony was clear.  He was trusting his never dying soul to his Saviour's care.

He is worshiping the Lord in Heaven.  Perfectly.  Without hindrance.

One day, because of God's mercy and grace extended to us through the blood of 
the Lord Jesus Christ, we will be called Home to Heaven as well.

At the end of it all, this is all that really matters.

How precious it is to follow our Saviour and rest in His promises.
Austin's favourite Bible verse is such a comfort to the seeking soul ~

"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

Our Great God is Faithful and will always honour the promises He makes.

The message of our Austin's life is this ~ be ready for eternity.
None of us knows when we will be called out of this world and into the next.
The time is now to come to the Lord.  He is merciful.  He will save.

The Lord Jesus said ~ "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, 

and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; 
for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."  Matthew 11:28-30

With Love,

**Originally published on my blog as a supplement page ~

It was first published in the Fall of 2014.

Our Family

My name is Camille, and I am a sinner saved by grace.
The LORD Jesus Christ is everything.
Nothing else is worth living or dying for.
Eternity truly is what matters most.  

I am a wife and mother who stands in need 

of my Saviour each and every day.  Every. Single. Day.
By God's grace, and in His strength, we home educate our children.
We are so grateful that the Lord called us to this wonderful lifestyle.

We are not perfect.  We do not do things perfectly.

We are continually learning and growing and changing.  And, that's okay.

In fact, it's necessary and right and good.
And, through it all, the Lord leads and guides and gives grace.
He forgives and gives His peace.
What more could we possibly want?


My family is a precious gift from our loving Heavenly Father.
Each one is on loan from His hand.  They belong to Him.
I have been learning this lesson more deeply in recent months.

May I never forget these Truths.
And, may it be that I live in the reality of them 
more and more each day.

The LORD blessed me with a sweet husband, Howie ~ he is God's gift to me.
He is an entrepreneur and amazes me with his tenacity and perseverance.
He works hard and cares for us well.  I am thankful.
Together, we have been blessed with four precious children.

~ Photo of our precious four in 2006 ~

Our oldest son, Austin, was taken Home to Heaven 
 after many years of good health and strength.  His faith has now become sight.
Austin was artistic and had a dry sense of humour.  He enjoyed playing
the violin and creating music with his younger brother, Fraser.

Austin's immediate plans were to attend school in order to pursue a career as an architect.
A serious heart condition, diagnosed only fourteen months prior to his death,
 ended his earthly journey and ushered him into eternity on June 1, 2013.  
He was eighteen.  You can read more about his story by clicking here.


Calvin is our resident photographer and entrepreneur.

He has always been energetic and a hard worker.  He makes us smile.
Calvin enjoys cycling, hockey, and camping in the great outdoors.

Fraser is our professor.  He studies languages and cultures
with a dedication and determination that amazes us.
He plays the piano and composes his own music.
Fraser also enjoys cycling, hockey, hiking and camping. 

Emma is our princess.  She is the baby of the family,
and came to us after our three boys.  She brings joy to us all.
Emma loves to bake, play piano, and reads constantly.

Please make yourself at home and feel free to join us on this journey.

It's sometimes messy, sometimes exciting, and very often routine.
May God be glorified through it all.  He alone is worthy of all our praise.
May God bless you as you visit with us here in our home on the web.

With LoveCamille

**Originally written as a page at the top of my blog ~
It was posted in the Fall of 2014.

Why Blog?

"Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do,
do all to the glory of God." ~ I Corinthians 10:31

We have all got stories to tell.  And, we are all unique.

The blogging world is no different ~ much diversity is evident within it.
Some blog to keep family and friends informed on the happenings of life.
Some blog to encourage, equip, or inform.  To share knowledge.
Others enjoy the art of writing ~ blogging is a natural outlet for its pursuit.

And, it's enjoyable ~ let's not forget that point.  

Many blog just for the fun of it.

~ Circa 2005 ~

So, as many bloggers as there are out there ~

there are just as many answers to the question ~ Why Blog?  Fair enough. 
 I am only equipped to answer that question from my perspective.

It all began for me around 2007.  My sister had moved

to Maine on the east coast of the USA, at which time she began writing a blog.
I had never read a blog prior to reading hers.  It was a whole new world.

It was lovely to keep up with their lives in that way ~ complete with photos.
However, the whole idea was too *out there* for my liking.  
I would never do it ~ it was far too frightening a thought!

Obviously, I eventually got over those fears and took the plunge.

But, why?  For what purpose?

~ 2012 One of the last family photos we have with Austin ~

For the longest time, I read only two blogs ~ my sister's as well as
that of a Christian home educating mama who didn't know me.
I had *randomly* (I don't believe in *chance*, so I use that word loosely)
come across her blog.  The year was 2008.  

I read silently.  I was a lurker without knowing what that was.  :) 

She didn't just write about family events.  She also wrote about her faith.

Hers was a blog of mixtures, and I liked it.  I read for about a year without her knowledge.
The words she wrote touched my soul and ministered to my heart.  It was powerful.
Nearly a year of reading transpired before I was able to pluck up the courage 
to tell her I had been there.  It was a big step into the unknown.

I still was unsure of how the blogging world worked ~

I had no idea what she would think.

Well, she quickly became my friend.  A true friend.

Over the years, we've exchanged notes in the mail and chatted on the phone.
We've prayed together.  The invitation to visit in person has been extended.
She is a precious sister in the Lord ~ and, one day, we will meet.
We may have to wait until Heaven, but, it will happen.

The impact these two blogs had on me was huge.

More than two years after my sister began her blog, I began mine.
The publish button was first clicked at the beginning of August 2009.
Life has not been the same since.  It's been a good thing ~ surprisingly good.

My purpose in blogging is the same as in life ~ to glorify my Saviour.

Do I always fulfill this perfectly?  Of course not!
But, my God is Great and worthy of all praise.  He always does all things well.
And, He walks this path of life with me. 

He forgives when I fail.  He picks me up when I fall.

It's a wonderful, beautiful thing.  It's precious.

~ 2013 At Austin's memorial service ~

So, why blog?  For me, the answer is multifaceted.

I blog to chronicle life as it happens, record my thanks, and encourage.

I can also be found sharing recipes, home-keeping ideas, and favourite resources.
Things pertaining to motherhood and just-for-fun random stuff
will appear from time to time as well.  It's always changing ~ just like life.

Sharing my faith is another reason I blog ~ 

perhaps, when all is said and done, it's the most important one of all.

My walk with God affects all I do ~ it reaches into all of life.  This blog reflects me. 

It gives a glimpse into the everyday happenings of us ~ the good and the not so good.
Sometimes it's random and sporadic ~ it ebbs and flows with life.

Through it all, I aim to keep it real and truthful.  Honest.

My prayer as you visit here is that you will be drawn closer to

the Lord Jesus Christ and affected for eternity.
Because, at the end of it all, eternity is all that really matters.
May the Lord help us each to live in light of this.
By His Grace and for His Glory.  Alone.

With Love,


**This was originally written as a page at the top of my blog ~
It was first published there in Fall of 2014.

December 10, 2015

Especially at Christmas

Christmas ought to be a time of peace.  A time of quiet reflection.
However, it often isn't.  In fact, just the opposite can be true.
As Christians, we are called to live in the moment.
Even at Christmas.  Perhaps especially then.

To focus our attention on what is right before us.  And, give ourselves to it.
Just this day.  Not yesterday.  Not tomorrow.

"Take therefore no thought for the morrow; for the morrow
shall take thought for the things of itself.
Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."  Matthew 6:34

It's so easy to borrow trouble from the past or from the future.
We don't have grace for the worries of either.  We are promised grace for now.

"...but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind,
and reaching forth to those things that are before,
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling
of God in Christ Jesus."  Philippians 3:13b-14

We aren't guaranteed a tomorrow.  Today is all we are given.
And, by God's grace, we can live fully present in it.
We can trust our Great God for His provisions for this day.
He promises that He will supply all the needs of His people.

For today.  For always.  Forever.

As I've pondered these things in recent days, some things have become more clear.
We each have enough on our plates to deal with in the day in which we
find ourselves without looking too deeply into the past or the future.
We ought not to dwell in either of those places for long.

We have grace for today.  For this moment.
And, really, what more do we need?

Not that grace isn't available for the past or the future.  It is.
But, grace and strength are given by our gracious Heavenly Father
exactly when they are needed.  He is faithful to provide them to His children.
Not a moment too late.  Rarely early.  Always on time.

"My grace is sufficient for thee;
for my strength is made perfect in weakness."  I Corinthians 12:9a

We can trust our Great God to meet us where we are.  If we belong to Him.
We are called to seek Him for wisdom to know what it is we ought to do.
And, we are able to request His strength to accomplish the task.

And, that is it.  Nothing more.  Nothing less.

What a liberating and freeing way to live!  Simply wonderful.
By His grace and in His strength.  Day by day.
Moment by moment.  All for His glory.  Alone.

So, this Christmas, may we find the peace that only
the Saviour can give.  And, may we follow Him wherever He leads.
May the Manger lead to the Cross in our hearts as we worship Him.

Now and throughout the coming year.

Merry Christmas from our home to yours!  I'm taking a little blogging break
and hope to catch up with you all early in the New Year.
Sending you big hugs and warm wishes for all things wonderful!

With Love,

December 2, 2015

A Beautiful Reminder

This anonymous poem is a beautiful reminder of the fact that it  
is not all about me!  (Where did I get that idea, anyway?)
It's a constant battle to die to self, isn't it?  But, oh so necessary. 
My heart is blessed and challenged each time I ponder these thoughtful words.

I would benefit from revisiting them often. 

"When you are forgotten or neglected, or purposely set at naught,   
and you do not sting and hurt with the insult or the oversight,   
but your heart is happy, being counted worthy to suffer for Christ, 

When your good is evil spoken of, when your wishes are crossed,   
your advice disregarded, your opinions ridiculed,  
and you refuse to let anger rise in your heart,   
or even defend yourself, but take it all in patient, loving silence,  

When you lovingly and patiently bear any disorder,   
any irregularity, any unpunctuality, or any annoyance;   
when you stand face to face with waste, folly, extravagance,   
spiritual insensibility, and endure it as Jesus endured it, 

When you never care to refer to yourself in conversation,  
or to record your own good works, or itch after commendation,   
when you can truly love to be unknown,  

When you are content with any food, any offering,   
any raiment, any climate, any society, any solitude,  
any interruption by the will of God,

When you can see your brother prosper and have his needs met, 
and can honestly rejoice with him in spirit and feel no envy nor question God, 
while your own needs are far greater and in desperate circumstances,

When you can receive correction and reproof from one of less stature 
than yourself, and can humbly submit inwardly as well as outwardly, 
finding no rebellion or resentment rising up within your heart,

Are you dead yet? In these last days the Spirit would bring us to the Cross. 
"That I may know Him...being made conformable to His death." Philippians 3:10

Christ, only Christ, no needless bustling sound,
Christ, only Christ, no self important bearing,
Christ, only Christ, no trace of "I" be found."

Author Unknown

With Love,

**Photo courtesy of Calvin ~ 
Thank you my love.  XO

November 30, 2015

Two and a Half

Tomorrow marks two and a half years since 
our Austin was called home to heaven.

It's an incredible thing to ponder.  An amazing thing to consider.
It cannot fully be comprehended this side of eternity.
I am not sure if it will ever be fully comprehended.
Heaven is too wonderful for words.

(Austin, Howie and Calvin ~ 2011)

There are, however, things we know for sure about where our Austin is.
What we do know has been revealed to us through God's Word, the Bible.
Only a few men were shown some of the wonders of heaven.
And, they were told what could and could not be written about what they saw.

Paul said it was not lawful to speak of the magnitude
and magnificence of it all.  John had similar sentiments.
The things we have been told are wonderful. 
Sin, sorrow, suffering, sickness, death, and every evil thing are all absent
Only goodness, peace, joy, love and every perfect thing are present.
The Lord is there.  What else could we want?

HE is Everything.

(Fraser, Howie, Austin and Calvin ~ 2008)

What is our boy experiencing?  All good things.
He is with the Lord.  He worships Him perfectly.
Along with all those who have gone on before.

"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard,
neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God 
hath prepared for them that love Him."  I Corinthians 2:9

But, we miss him.  Oh, how we miss him!
His laughter and music.  His quiet presence.  His voice and smile.
His chair sits empty at the table.  His room is now occupied by Calvin.
His things wait to be sorted.  His violin sits silent in its case.

We are taking everything step by step.  Some things just have to wait.
And, that is okay.  There is no time-table for this process.
We rest in the Lord's perfect timing in it all.
And, He continues to give grace and strength.

He continues to give joy in the midst of sorrow.
Smiles through the tears.

 (Calvin, Austin, Fraser, Camille and Emma ~ 2006)

One day, we will be called home to heaven, too.  One day.
Until then, may we be found following our Saviour.
Wherever He leads.  For however long He has us here.
We are in His loving hands.  There is no better place to be.

So thankful that our Austin is safely Home.
Eternally grateful for the peace and comfort that knowledge brings.
Resting in God's perfect time when He will take us Home as well.
Together with the Lord.  Forever.

With Love,

November 27, 2015

Campbell's Substitute

This tomato soup is a wonderful Campbell's substitute.
It's gluten free and yummy and made up with simple ingredients.
Quickly put together, and satisfyingly good ~ it's a win!
Comfort food at its finest.

What you need:

3 - 15 oz (398 ml) tins Tomato Sauce
(I use Costco's Kirkland brand Organic Tomato Sauce)
*2 and 1/2 cups Water
*1 Tbsp Chicken Bouillon Paste
(I use Organic Better Than Bouillon)
1 tsp Sea Salt (or to taste)
1/3 cup Sugar (I use evaporated cane juice)
1 and 1/2 cups Heavy Cream

*Homemade stock could be used in place of the
water and bouillon.  Increase the amount of salt to compensate.

What you do:

Pour three tins of tomato sauce into medium pot.
Turn heat on to medium-low.
Add in the water, bouillon (or stock), salt and sugar.
Stir and bring to just simmering.

Remove 1/2 cup of simmering soup and add it to the cream to temper it.
Once the cream has been tempered, it can be slowly added to the pot.
Stir constantly.  This step will prevent curdling of the cream.
Heat through and serve to six of your favourite people.

With Love, Camille

**If desired, the amount of cream may be reduced to 1 cup
and the water increased to 3 cups in order to cut back on richness.

November 25, 2015

The Quotidian (25. 11. 15)

Quotidian: daily, usual, or customary;
everyday; ordinary; commonplace. 

Fraser and Pizza.

Fraser and Howie in Whistler on business.

Olympic Rings from the 2010 Winter Games.

Quality Time with Brother #3.

Quality Time with Brother #2.

On a Sunday afternoon.

Warms my heart.

Nothing beats a real fire.

Sheets on the line in November!

Ready for giving.

Twice per week for ten years.

Piano recital ~ Emma...

...and Fraser.

Calvin's creative outlet.

Happy Wednesday Y'all!
With Love, Camille

November 21, 2015

Temporary and Eternal

We had an opportunity to chat with one of our neighbours.
He lives up the road and around the corner.
We'd never met before.  So, we introduced ourselves.

The house right next to us was in the process of being destroyed.
At that moment, he came riding up the street on his bike.
He was angry that he had not been allowed to salvage
parts of the house.  And, he wasn't shy about saying so.

We watched the demolition.  Together.
Within an hour, the house was a pile of rubble.
It was shocking how quickly what seemed solid and stable wasn't.

A visual illustration of redemption was unfolding right before us.
This whole thing has played in our minds and hearts ever since.
Two extremes.  Two outcomes.  This analogy can be applied to any of us.
Into which camp do we fall?  Whose side are we on?

None of us deserves to be saved.  We are corrupt.
We cannot do anything to save ourselves.  We need rescuing.

The hedge tree on the far right
in the photo above was dying.

With no effort at all, that tree was removed.
Subsequently, two trees from the neighbour's yard were dug up
and laid on the grass in front of our home.
All it took was an effortless few seconds.

For Howie and the boys, it would have meant hard work.
But, it was done quickly and easily as we stood by and watched.
Those trees were saved and ready for transplanting.
The dead tree would be replaced with the living one.

What a picture of mercy!


The house was destroyed from the top down and the outside in.
That powerful machine collapsed it all in a matter of minutes.
While we watched, our neighbour expressed his anger over
the destruction of the things that could have been sold or salvaged.

He was outraged.

Within my mind an eternal picture was forming.
What was happening right before our eyes
was a natural spring board into talking about the real things.
The eternal things.  The things that matter most.

It was such a vivid picture of this verse:

 "While we look not at the things which are seen,
but at the things which are not seen:
for the things which are seen are temporal;
but the things which are not seen are eternal."
I Corinthians 4:18

 This is the lot of this world.  This universe.
Certain destruction.  We are not told when.
But, we are told that it is coming.
 However, there is hope.  Certain Hope.

The Lord Jesus Christ said this:
"...I am the way, the truth, and the life:
no man cometh to the Father, but by me."  John 14:6

The time to consider these things is now.
The time to set our house in order is today.
We are not guaranteed tomorrow.
We depend on Another for our very next breath.

And, it is to Him that we owe everything.
It is to Him that we must run for everything.

"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus,
 and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him
from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

For with the heart man
believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession
is made unto salvation.  For the Scripture saith,
Whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed.

For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek:
for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him.
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord
shall be saved."  Romans 10:9-13

The Lord promises that if we will come to Him, 
He will not turn us away.  We cannot come in our own merit.  
We only bring our brokenness.  The Lord Jesus Christ
is our only Hope.  The only Way.
"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 

"And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one
which seeth the Son and believeth on him,
may have everlasting life: and I will raise him
up at the last day."  John 6:40

The living tree was placed in the dead tree's spot.
What a beautiful picture of redemption.

So, in the tearing down of a house, and the replanting of trees,
there is an analogy of something much greater.
Something much more permanent.

We are living souls.  Though this world will perish,
our souls will live on forever.
Where will we stand on that final day?
Whose are we and where will we find ourselves?

These are questions that must be answered.
We are not guaranteed tomorrow.  It is not ours to hold.
We can, however, trust in the One Who holds the future.
There is no better place to rest our hearts.

"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me;
for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest for your souls.
 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."  Matt. 11:28-30

Run to the Lord Jesus Christ.
True and lasting peace is found in Him.
He is the Answer we need.  The Answer we seek.

With Love,

November 3, 2015

Stepping Back

Winter is on its way.  I feel it in my bones.
The winds and rains have arrived.  Our furnace is up and running.
We've had milder than normal weather which has resulted in a new record.
It's always a challenge to see how long I can wait before caving in.

The other day, Emma was wearing her winter coat indoors.
I don't think she was hinting at anything.  She was just cold.

The time has come for change.
A few adjustments are needed here and there.

Stepping back from the blogging world is necessary
from time to time.  At least, for me it is.
To refresh and refocus.  To set things in order.
To attend to a thing or two.  To reflect and be still.

I'm learning to embrace it.
It is what it is.

Lord-willing, I will be back in a week or two or three.
In the meantime, may you know the loving hand of
our Heavenly Father always to be upon you.
And, may you know the peace that only He can give.

With Love,

**Photo courtesy of my very own Calvin ~
Thank you my love.  xoxo