February 29, 2016

The Hard Part

What is the hard part of this journey of grief?
It's the same as it was at the beginning.

Being faithful to speak Truth to ourselves.  
To stand firmly upon it and not to waver.

And, as we seek to do all the above,
we must refuse to feel sorry for ourselves.

It's not for the faint of heart, that's for sure.
But, it is always worth the battle.
And, through it all, the Lord remains faithful.

One foot in front of the other.  Step by step.
Moment by moment.  Until the day we are called Home.

Whatever it is you may be facing, be sure to face it with the Lord.
Fill your hearts and minds up with the Truth found in His Word.
Stand upon it.  Rely on it.  And rest your soul in Him.

With Love,

**Image in this post from a family day out in 2012.

February 22, 2016

The Quotidian (22. 2. 16)

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

What I see when the shed door is ajar.

Locking it up.

Business trip with Dad.

Just entering the world of Apple.

Loving these prints.

And this one, too.



Zoomed in...paparazzi shot by Emma.

Three of my men.

Sun in her eyes.

The cake.

My Sweetie's birthday.

Opening gifts and cards.

From the four of us.

Emma's artwork.

From this morning's walk (by Emma).

Happy Monday!
With Love, Camille

February 18, 2016

Literally Thousands!

My Sweetie took our Emma on a short business trip.
They were gone two whole days with one night in between.
And, the computer (which is soon to become Emma's) was all mine.
So, I did what any normal Mama would do ~ I sorted photos.

That's what you would have done, right?

Back in the day, when our littles were little,
I captured life with a film SLR gifted to me by my Dad.
 All the photos were printed and sorted and labelled and
immediately filed into albums.  In order.  Always.

But, then.  Then!

2005 arrived, and we entered the world of digital images.
Oh. Dear. Me!!  My life has not been the same since.
Take as many photos as you like?  Yes, please.
Save them all to print off later?  Sign me up.

But, later never seemed to come.

 Fast forward to 2016, and there are literally thousands
of images languishing on my computer that beg to be properly sorted
and printed off.  Others should be deleted and forgotten forever.
That, however, is difficult to do, isn't it?  Someone might want them.

Maybe.  One day.  I seriously doubt it.

It's a long, arduous task which won't go away on its own.
It must be done.  And, I must do it.  So, I'm off to the races once again.
Only now?  Emma and her Daddy are home.  :)

Are any of you in the same boat?
It would be encouraging to know that I'm not alone.

Happy Thursday!
With Love, Camille

**Images in this post 
are from approximately 2006-2010 

February 17, 2016

If All I Did Was Cook....

If all I did was cook....life would be busy enough.
With five of us here most of the time, food and all that it entails
makes up a large part of what I do day after day.
The planning, shopping, and cooking can sometimes be overwhelming.

And, there are only five of us (how I miss the days when we were six).
Some of our friends have double (and more) our number
in their families.  I can only imagine what it must be like for them!

Being wife and/or mother is busy.  It's a calling.
It's no wonder that many have dedicated their lives to being full time homemakers.
Running a home is no small task.  We are called to be keepers
of our homes and help-meets to our husbands.  What an incredible occupation!

It must be noted, however, that there are those who have a heart for the home,
but, find themselves in the position of needing to help out financially.

My heart goes out to these ones as I know that
there are still so many responsibilities that require attention and time
within the four walls of their homes.  Somehow, it all must get done.
It is a balancing act of grace and strength and endurance.

How life unfolds for some of us will not necessarily be the same as it does for others.
We must be faithful to work within the sphere we have been called to.
And, seek to be a blessing to those around us while we do it!
In the midst of it all, God's grace and goodness abounds.

As we seek Him for it, the Lord promises
to give wisdom for the journey He has us on.

Not long ago, a blogging friend of mine wrote a lovely post on homemaking.
Click here to read her words.  I am sure you will be blessed just as I was.
May we all be found encouraging one another as we navigate the life
the Lord has called us to by His grace and for His glory.  Alone.

With Love,

**Images in this post are from 2010 ~
Emma was nearly eight years old.

February 12, 2016

Flashback Friday ~ Nearly Eight Years Ago

Nearly eight years ago, the Lord graciously gave our family
a road trip that landed us in Desert Canyon, USA.

We really had no idea how precious the memories
we were making would become.

It was the first week of September, and while our children played on the shore
of this lake, other children were just beginning another school year.

Austin and Fraser enjoyed a little impromptu fencing session.

Howie captured us all on a bench enjoying some sort of treat.
L to R: Calvin, Austin, Camille, Emma, and Fraser.

All my men on the mini golf green.
Emma and I opted out and took pictures.  :)

Since it was September, everything was greatly reduced in price.
So, we rented two jet-skis and took the kids out on the lake.

The Lord is so very good to us, isn't He?
May we all remember that every single moment is a gift from Him.
And, may we be found praising Him throughout all of our days.

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above,
and cometh down from the Father of lights, with Whom is no
variableness, neither shadow of turning."  James 1:17

Happy Friday!
With Love, Camille

February 9, 2016

Crock Pot Chicken Curry

Who doesn't love to come home to dinner all ready to go?
Sadly, it's rare for the Chief-Cook-and-Bottle-Washer to have that happen.
That is, unless the crock pot is employed.  And, employ it, I do.
Not often enough, however.

There are a few reasons for that.

One of those being that crock pot meals tend to be a little on the blah side.
At least, the ones I've put to the test over the years have been.
This recipe is anything but blah.  Far from it, actually.
It's been my *go to* for the slow cooker in recent days.

I've shared it over the last few months with two lovely
ladies who raved about it's yumminess.  
One even told me she had been craving it.  Surely a compliment!
 I'd say that is a slow cooker success story, wouldn't you?    

There is quite a bit of *kick* to this meal.
If you are a little shy about spicy hot things, cut back on the cayenne pepper.
On the other hand, if spicy is your thing, then, go ahead and double up on the cayenne.
We find that it's nicely spicy with the amount I suggest here.

See all those lovely spices just waiting to be whisked together?

Crock Pot Chicken Curry ~
Mennonite Girls Can Cook featured the recipe that propelled
me forward to land on the specifics below.

Here's what you will need:

4 medium sized yellow flesh potatoes, with skin on, cut into chunks
1 large yam (dark orange sweet potato), peeled and diced
2 medium yellow cooking onions, finely diced
3 large bell peppers, diced (I like to use red or yellow, not green)
 3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small cubes
2 tins (6 oz size) tomato paste
2 tins (15 oz size) full fat coconut milk
6 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp sea salt
2 Tbsp red curry powder
2 Tbsp garam masala
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Here's what you do:

Prepare and layer the potatoes, yam, onions, and peppers
into large (6 Quart size) slow cooker.
Place the diced raw chicken over top of the veggie layer.

Whisk together the tomato paste, coconut milk, minced garlic,
and spices to form the sauce.  Pour over the veggies and chicken.
Separate the layers with a spatula to allow some of the sauce to be
incorporated throughout the dish.  Put the lid on and leave it while it cooks.

Don't lift the lid until you are ready to serve dinner!

Cook on low heat for 6 to 8 hours.
My slow cooker is extremely hot, so, six hours is enough.
You should see the sauce bubbling at the edges and all
the veggies should be tender when it's fully cooked.

Serve over a bed of rice and
sprinkle with shredded coconut and raisins.

I like to set a covered casserole dish in the oven on the
delay cooking setting to have rice ready at the same time
as the curried chicken.  Then, there's nothing to do but serve it all up!

Here's what you do to make oven-baked rice:

Measure out rice (1 cup per three people)
and water (double the amount of rice) into a covered casserole dish.
Be sure you have enough room for the rice to expand by about double.
Stir together, cover the dish, and place in the oven on the centre rack.

Set the delay bake cycle to come on an hour and fifteen minutes
prior to the time you plan on serving dinner.
Set the heat to 350 degrees F and the baking time for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
(I usually make a double or triple batch of rice this way.  If you are only cooking
one cup of rice, I'd reduce the cooking time by about 15 minutes.)

When you come through the door, dinner will be ready!
This Chicken Curry is enough to feed approximately 8 to 10 very hungry people.
Leftovers are even better due to the flavours having had a change to mingle.
We like shredded coconut and raisins on our individual servings.

What about you?  Do you have a favourite slow cooker meal to share?
I'd love to hear how you employ the crock pot on your crazy-busy days.

Happy Tuesday!
With Love, Camille

February 4, 2016

Hope and Where to Find It

It was a shock to us all.  Perhaps most of all, to Austin.
Just imagine asking for a little more rest, and waking up in heaven!
We have found ourselves contemplating what his reaction was.

It makes us smile to think of it.

It truly is a wonderful thing to consider.  Amazing, really.
But, for those of us left behind, it can be difficult to navigate.
The waters of grief can threaten to overflow and pull us under.
We must fight to keep our heads above water.

Not easy to do.  But, definitely worth the fight.

So, how do we carry on?  Where do we go for comfort?
What keeps us grounded and sane in the midst of grief?
Who is our greatest support throughout it all?
What do we fill our hearts and minds with when we feel overwhelmed?

The way to navigate these waters is with the Lord.  With His Word and with His people.
We seek to soak our hearts in passages of Scripture that fortify our souls.
We love I Thessalonians 4:13-18 and I Corinthians 15, in particular.
Psalm 139 reveals that even before we were born, all our days were fashioned for us.

Isn't that the most incredible thing to ponder?

It is a discipline to constantly redirect our gaze on eternal things.
To fill our hearts with Truth is necessary and good.
It doesn't come easy.  But, it is a battle which must be fought.
By God's great grace, it is a battle we keep on fighting.

Whatever it is you may be facing, may you be found filling up your
hearts and minds with Truth.  It truly is the only way forward.
The only way to keep from sinking in despair.  The only way to survive.
One step at a time.  With eyes firmly fixed on the eternal.

After all is said and done, the eternal things
will be seen for what they really are.  The real things, after all.

With Love, Camille

*Image in this post courtesy of Emma ~
Thank you my love XO

February 3, 2016

Grace Laced

The walls in our recently re-decorated bedroom have remained
mostly bare for the better part of the past year.
Howie and I both had ideas about what we wanted to do,
but, it was tricky to pull it all together.

 I couldn't have told you exactly what I was looking for.
But, I was quite sure I would know it when I saw it.

A little over a week ago, I landed on a blog I'd never been to before.
Beautiful artwork was featured across the header of her blog.
I noticed a *Shoppe* button, and clicked through to find
the perfect solution for our walls. 

I love how Scripture is incorporated into each piece.
And, the colour scheme perfectly complements our room's decor. 

We are both incredibly pleased with the results.
It all came together too easily for words.
In these, and a myriad of other ways, we see the goodness
 of the Lord.  His loving hand is evident in every detail of life.

May you know His loving care over you as well.
And, may you see His hand in every little thing.
With Love, Camille

**I am not compensated in any way for my opinions.
I'm just thrilled that I stumbled across this lovely artist's blog. 
Perhaps you will be, too?

February 1, 2016

The Quotidian (1. 2. 16)

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

Just before bed.

Novel Study.

Work Station (just one of many).

My Composer.

Scary good!

 My Fire Builder.


There's nothing quite like the real thing.

Setting up the game.

Playing the game.

Letting them wait.

Mama's Driving School.

Happy Monday!
With Love, Camille