May 21, 2015

Snip. Snip. Snip.

It's all because of Howie.
And, I love him for it.  Just one of the reasons.

If it were left up to me, our children might never grow up.
I can tend to mother them beyond what's reasonable.
The temptation to tie them too tightly with my apron strings tugs at my heart.
Howie brings a wonderful balance to these tendencies of mine.

He encourages a methodical and age appropriate cutting of those strings.
I won't lie.  At times it's a little bit painful.  But, it's all for the best.

Our boys have gone camping.  Without us.  A few times.  
On one occasion, they travelled clear across the Province.  Into the heart of bear country.
If it had been up to me I am sure I would not have let them go.  Well, maybe at 30.
They not only survived, but, they thrived.  The timing was right.

They seemed to grow a little taller on that trip.
I am quite sure they must have.  Inwardly, at the very least.

 ~ From the above mentioned trip in 2014 ~

Just the other day, they took Miss M and Emma up to Grouse Mountain.
The very next day, they loaded up the van with bikes and Calvin drove to the ferry.
Once there, they unloaded those bikes and rode onto the ferry
along with the cars in order to spend the day on Mayne Island.

Howie and I stayed home.  Alone.
Snip. Snip. Snip.  Slowly, but, surely.

 ~ Just before they made the trek up Grouse Mountain ~

None of these things would have happened if I hadn't had assurance from
my better half that it was a good thing for them to do.  Without us.
It feels strange to make room for their wings to spread and give them the liberty to fly.
I cannot think about it too much, however.  I've even been known to leave when they do.

I'm always thankful when they arrive back home.
Safe and sound.  But then, off they go again.  I cannot tie them down.

~ After their day on Mayne Island ~

What a blessing it is to know that they are in the Lord's hands.
And, He loves them so much more than we ever could.
It truly is such a comforting thought.  So, I rest my heart there.
By His grace and in His strength.  Seeking Him for wisdom each step of the way.

What about you?  What are some of the ways in which you are
encouraging your children to soar?  What ages and stages are you currently in?
If your children are grown, what did you do to foster a healthy independence in them?
Please share your wisdom and experiences....I'm all ears.  :)

Many Blessings, Camille

**Grouse Mountain photo courtesy of Miss M ~
Thank you so much for sharing!  :)

May 19, 2015

The Quotidian (19. 5. 15)

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

The mess.  Remember why?

The supervision.

As it showered on day #2, more of the roof came off. 

And, then, they were done!

Abandoned, but, too precious to move.

The big clean up.

All the way from Switzerland (oh. dear. me.) ~ thank you, M and T!  :)

Preparing to pray.

Sweet friends.

A precious moment.

Thank you, T and S ~ you bless us!  :)

The promise of plums ~ laden with fruit.

Above the kitchen sink ~ thank you, Emma!  :)

Happy Tuesday Y'all.
With Love, Camille

May 15, 2015

Soul Nourishment

Our pastor faithfully preaches Sunday by Sunday
from God's Word.  We are so blessed to sit under his ministry.
It's soul nourishment.  Just as our bodies need physical food,
so our souls need spiritual food.

We cannot go too long between meals.

Since our Austin left this world for his eternal home,
I have come across others who have buried children just as we have done.
Some have turned to the Lord in their time of sorrow,
while others have sought to fill the void with a wide variety of things.

~ Our precious four in 2008 ~

Those who have turned to alternate things for the answers
do not seem to have found lasting comfort.  Lasting peace.
In fact, they seem to be trapped in the deep waters of despair.
There seems to be no way out.  No source of relief.  No comfort for their souls.

My heart goes out to these ones.  I cannot fathom their pain.
You see, I can run to the God of all comfort with mine.

It's the only way we stay sane.  The only way we are able to continue on.
The deep anguish and grief are still there, but, they are tempered by His grace.
God's Word is full of comfort for our souls.  It keeps us grounded in the truth.
The eternal things are what really matter.  And, eternity is not far off.

We are comforted by that very thought.
It's what helps to shape our purpose each and every day.

Whatever it is you may be facing this day,
whether you are full of joy or sorrow or somewhere in between,
know that the best way to put one foot in front of the other is with the Lord.
In fact, it is the only way to do so with lasting and eternal purpose.

With lasting and eternal peace.

My prayer for you is that you will know the God of all comfort as the Saviour of your soul.
And, that you will find peace with Him. If you wish to discuss any of these things further,
please feel free to email me ~  I am praying for you!

With Love, Camille

May 11, 2015

The Quotidian (11. 5. 15)

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

All things Anne.

Monopoly with a friend.

Ready to dig in.

Just the three of us ~ a real treat.
(Taken after we had eaten our fill...see previous photo.)

After exam #3 ~ one more to go!

The result of a pact made with myself
to dry all our towels on the line from now until September.

The van scrubber team.

A quiet moment alone.

My paper boy.

The table lovingly set.

Some of my treasures.

The gifts ~ so sweet.  :)


Prep work.

Delivery of supplies ~ to fix this.

A worker outside my window.


Ready to go!


Supplies in the sunlight.

Finishing up for the year.

Wedding season.

Happy Monday!
With Love, Camille

April 28, 2015


"Be still and know that I am God...the LORD of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our refuge."  Psalm 46:10a and 11

Seeking this day to give place to the stillness.
Just feeling the need to be silent here for the next little while.
I am unsure of how long this quiet will last.  A week or two?  A month?

Thank you, as always, for the grace extended to me in my absence
from this space.  Each one of you is a blessing to my heart.
Lord-willing, I will plan to publish comments and visit with you upon my return.

"The LORD bless thee, and keep thee:
The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace."
Numbers 6:24-26

With Love, Camille

April 27, 2015

Crowd Pleasing Chili

As promised in my last post, here's my chili recipe.
But first, I'd like to share a little of its history.

My little brother wasn't a fan of kidney beans in our growing up years.
So, my Mom altered her recipe to accommodate his preferences.
My sister and I still make our chili in the adjusted way.
See what an influence little brothers can have?  :)

Years ago, when our church would have pot luck meals,
I brought this.  And, it all went.  Every. Single. Time.
Hence the name it's been awarded ~ Crowd Pleasing Chili.

And, just a word on adjustments ~ this recipe is very forgiving.
Substitute your favourites in place of my suggestions.
I have had to alter and tweak it in the past to make it work for dietary
restrictions and requirements.  For example, I have used my own *from scratch*
baked beans and ketchup and soaked and cooked my own kidney beans.
I've sweetened the whole lot with honey.

You will find my old standby recipe below ~
adjust to suit your own needs.

What you need:

3 pounds ground Beef

3 medium cooking Onions, diced

3 coloured sweet Bell Peppers, chopped
(I like to use red, yellow, and orange...not a fan of green)

3 - 28 oz tins diced Tomatoes in their own juice, undrained

3 - 14 oz tins Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed
(this is the equivalent of 5 cups cooked beans)

3 - 14 oz tins Heinz Baked Beans in tomato sauce, undrained
(again, the equivalent of 5 cups cooked beans)

2 cups Ketchup (adds sweetness...if you wish to omit,
then use a tin of tomato sauce and add sweetener of choice to taste)

3 to 4 Tbsp Chili Powder
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
3 Bay leaves (remove at the end of simmering time)
1 Tbsp Sea Salt (add at the end of cooking time)

What you do:

Scramble fry the beef until nearly done and add in onions and peppers.
Saute until meat is fully cooked and the onions are translucent.

Add in all remaining ingredients, except salt, and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer (partially covered) for 1.5 to 2 hours in order to blend flavours.
If it's still a bit runny at this point, remove the lid completely and simmer it down.
Stir in sea salt, remove bay leaves, and adjust seasonings to taste.

Serve in bowls with grated cheddar sprinkled on top
and cornbread on the side.

This makes enough to feed about twelve hungry tummies.
I like to make lots to have some left over to freeze or to serve the next day.
This will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days or for a few months in the freezer.
Be sure to bring leftovers to a boil prior to serving.

Happy Monday Y'all!
With Love, Camille

April 24, 2015

Let's Talk Food

So much of my life seems to revolve around food.
My sister and I text back and forth frequently.
She asks what I am doing.  I ask what she's up to.
Very often we chat about food.

Our texts generally follow a simple pattern.
What you up to?  Grocery shopping.  Cooking.
Cleaning.  Schooling.  Costco run. Typical stuff.  Life.

I've shared my month long meal plan in this space twice ~ here and here.
What were the results?  I am not sure.  It's tricky.
Perhaps I am going about this all wrong.

One thing is certain.  I like having a month long plan
at my fingertips to call upon at a moment's notice.
I like having staples in the house to put all those meals together.
But, the budget.  Did having a plan make it stretch further?

The jury's still out on that one.

In recent days, I have been flying by the seat of my pants.
A few days at a time is all I can muster in the food planning department.
Sometimes, we have eggs and toast and steamed veggies for dinner.
I seem to be an all or nothing girl when it comes to meal planning.

So, what have we been eating around here?

Roast chicken dinner, and then homemade soup the next day.
Chickpea and Pasta soup ~ actually so yummy I made it twice in large batches.
Roast beef dinner with popovers. (SO much beef in the freezer!)
Tex Mex Chicken soup with store bought rotisserie chicken for the meat.
Chicken wraps.  Salmon loaf.  Salmon fillet baked with maple syrup sauce.
African Dish and good old Mac and Cheese ~ comfort food at its finest.

What's next?  Shepherd's Pie, Refried beans with rice and veggies,
and a big pot of Chili ~ recipe to follow (some day...soon, hopefully).
Update ~ Chili recipe may be found here.  :)
Oh, and black beans with rice topped with avocado, tomatoes, etc...
And, there you have it.  A plan of sorts.

What about you?  Any food news to share?
What's your favourite go-to meal?  I'm all ears.

Happy Weekend!
With Love, Camille

April 21, 2015

Hands Wide Open

Oh, how easy it is to cling to those things we love most in this life.
We hold on tightly, fiercely, in order never to let them (it?) go!
So much trouble comes to our hearts when we grasp with a strangle hold
those things that are of utmost importance to us.

It may be a person, an object, a method, an experience.
Whatever it may be, it must be kept in its proper place.

 Anything that we set up in our hearts in the highest place
can actually become an idol.  It's true.  And, it's got to be de-throned.
Sometimes, that can be a painful process.  But, a necessary and a good one.
We are allowed to love and to cherish.  Actually, we are encouraged to do so.

Just not above the One Who deserves to be loved best.

Since we have already buried one child, the fear of needing
to bury another could threaten to overtake us.
God wouldn't call us to that, would He?  Surely not!
But, why couldn't He?  After all, He is the giver and sustainer of life.

Our children belong to Him before they belong to us.

Life here is uncertain.  Fragile.  Life in heaven is eternal.  Secure.
Perspective is set right when the heart views things rightly.
The only way to accomplish this is through filling our hearts with truth.
That truth is foundational to all that follows.  To all that matters.

Seeking these days to live life with hands wide open.
To hold people, things, methods, and experiences lightly.
Actually, to not really hold them at all.  But, to let them all go.
Into the Hands most capable.  Into the Hands of the One only able.

Because HE already holds it all.  And HE holds us.
What a precious, steadying, comforting, magnificent thought!

With Love, Camille

**Images in this post courtesy of our Calvin ~ from his earliest collection
of photos taken with his good camera.  :)

April 20, 2015

The Quotidian (20. 4. 15)

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

A springtime read.

Planting trees.

Trying to figure out how to fix it.

My View.

Sister Love.

Sibling Love.

Parent Love.

Birthday Outing.

Pilot and Co-Pilot.

The City at Dusk.
(This is a bird's eye view of our recent cycling route.
Stanley Park can be seen in the distance ~
it's the dark patch of land at the top centre of the shot.)

Happy Monday Y'all!
With Love, Camille

*Flying photos courtesy of Calvin ~ Thank you my love.  xo
**A special thank you, J and C for the use of your plane ~
What a blessing it has been!  :)