A Heart Toward Home

"...But as for me and my house, we will serve (worship) the LORD."
Joshua 24:15

Monday, December 30, 2013

God is Good ALL the time!

I knew it would be a while before I could blog, just didn't expect it to be this long.

God is good ALL the time...is what I think of every day!

On December 8, 2013 around 8:30 p.m. we lost our home to a house fire. God got Bryan, the kids, and I out and not one of us was injured. It went so fast that if the fire had been while we were sleeping there is no way humanly possible we could have all gotten out. I praise God every day that we are all safe and together.

We lost ALL of our things, but that is exactly what they are...things. Every one of them can be replaced. God is sovereign and desires that we trust Him greater. Our prayer every day is that God would receive ALL the glory as we pass through this trial and tragedy.

Again, Thank you to each you who have prayed for us, showed us love, and reached out to us in our time of need. God has used each of you to be a source of blessing to our family!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Taking Some Time

Our family has been so blessed with love, support, prayers, and generosity from family and friends. I pray that in the weeks to come I will be able to share all that we have been through this week. Keep praying for us.
With Love,
The Camp Family

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Thankful Thursday!!

I am thankful for:
204) having a meal in the freezer already prepared and just needing to be thawed and cooked.
205) a new recipe.
206) the children playing in the leaves.
207) a ladybug.
208) the rose colored lips of my children.
209) the peace of God that passes all understanding.
210) the compliments of my husband.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Christmas Card 2013!

Our family wants to wish all our family and friends a very Merry Christmas! May God be the center of all your celebrations and may He be the LORD of your New Year!

With love,
Bryan, Cantina, Isaac, Sarah, Elijah, Timothy, and Joanna

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Isaac's First Deer!!

Isaac has been very interested in hunting and fishing for a couple of years, but he has not had very many opportunities to do both. Then when we moved to Lawrence County in July that is what his new friends do all the time. :) Isaac's interest has been heightened from being around these new friends.

God has blessed us with 10 acres at our new home and a great place for Isaac to hunt and fish. He was on our land and was by himself when he killed this deer. I would have never thought he would kill a deer. Ha! He did a GREAT job, so proud of him! He came running up to the house to get Bryan, Isaac was so excited!!

You can read Isaac's story on the kids' blog, click here.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thankful Thursday!

O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether. 
Psalm 139:1-4

I am thankful for:
197) overnight guest. 
198) the windows being open and feeling the cool breeze.
199) baking for my family.
200) individual time with each child of ours.
201) an all knowing God. He knows EVERYTHING!
202) a note from a child.
203) the laughter of my hubby. I love to laugh with him!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Fried Okra

We LOVE fried okra! I will not eat okra any other way. :) Normally when we get okra I wash it, cut it up, and freeze it. This summer when we got a ton of okra I wondered if there was another way to put it in the freezer. A lady at church suggested that I wash it, cut it up, bread it, and freeze it that way. I thought I would give this a try...I am so glad I did!

I washed the okra, Isaac cut it up, the little boys and I put it in buttermilk and then in a bowl of flour, then Sarah laid it out on a parchment lined cookie sheet, we placed it in the freezer and when it had froze we removed it and put it in zip lock bags to go back in the freezer until ready to eat.

This has been great! I love already having the okra ready. The sad thing is since I didn't know how this would turn out I didn't freeze all of my okra this way. I will next year!! :)

Saturday, November 16, 2013

A Visit from Pop and Gigi!!

Last weekend Bryan's parents came up for a visit and to see the kids play basketball. We were very excited when Bryan's mom emailed and said that they wanted to make a trip up to see us. :) Bryan and I didn't tell the kids and Bryan's parents met us at the gym for the first basketball game. The kids were very surprised and were tickled that they could spend some time with Pop and Gigi.
After the first ball game we came back to our house. I had made soup that morning before we left, so when we arrived lunch was ready. Then after a yummy lunch Bryan and his dad cut down a tree that was too close to the house and needed to go. We have plenty of trees here!
Of coarse it was something we all watched as the big tall tree tumbled to the ground. The kids thought it was "cool". :) Bryan's dad is great at helping with things like this.
Here is Gigi with her girls.
Gigi and Timothy
Mother and Son
Here is Pop with Joanna
We had a great visit with them and look forward to seeing them at Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thankful Thursday!

I am thankful for:
190) making cookies with the kids.
191) parchment paper.
192) wheat berries. I thought I was running low and I found a whole bucket...yay!
193) Wednesday night supper at church. (What a blessing, means I don’t have to cook!!)
194) shelves in the basement for storing things.
195) pumpkins to make pumpkin puree. (See picture above)
196) freedom in Christ from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:1-2)

Friday, November 8, 2013


I am thankful for:
183) doing art with the kids.
184) warm potato soup with a hot grilled cheese sandwich.
185) the boys John Deere gator.
186) a home with two and a half bathrooms. :)
187) Jesus the Messiah.
188) a cool fall day outside.
189) the colors of fall.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

5 Years Ago

Here is the picture that I said I would share. (click the words "I would share" to see Timothy and Joanna in these cowboy outfits) :) This is 5 years ago, Isaac and Sarah dressed up for Trick or Treat. WOW...time does fly!! Bryan's mother (Gigi) made these outfits for Isaac and Sarah and now the younger ones are able to enjoy them as well. We love these outfits and especially since they are handmade with love from Gigi!! She has made us other things and we will always treasure those items and the time she put into making them. Thanks Gigi!!!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Dressing Up Is Such A Treat!!

If you have visited our blog very much you probably know that this blog is a way to keep family and friends up to date on what is going on here. Because both sets of grandparents live 4 hours away and are not able to visit often I like to post pictures so that they can see what the kids are doing and what is happening in our lives.

Here is a picture of our children dressed up and enjoying our church's Trunk or Treat. We are not fans of Halloween but the kids have lots of fun dressing up! :) The cowboy outfits that Timothy and Joanna have on are the costumes that Bryan's mom (Gigi) made for Isaac and Sarah when they were little. I will have to see if I can find that picture and share it. :)

I can not believe it is November 3rd already!! It will be Thanksgiving soon! Lots to be thankful for! (check out the "Thankful" post on this blog). :)

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Elijah's To Do List

For some time now Elijah has been asking to go and stay with Paw and Maw (my parents) by himself. We have arranged that while my dad has some time off at Thanksgiving that Elijah will go and stay a couple of days. He has already started planning out his stay and Bryan and I overheard him on the phone with my mom asking her "When am I coming to stay with you and doing what I want to do?" Have to love the honesty of children. :)

Here is his plans for his stay with Paw and Maw as he has wrote them out. I will try and translate.
Stay up at nap and watch TV. Eat peanut butter. Eat chocolate bars. Buy something. Play outside. Play inside. Eat something sweet.

The last one is the only one I am having trouble translating. He even has forgotten what he wrote. Elijah writes his words just like they sound to him. We are working on phonics. :)

These are the little notes and memories that I want to remember forever and share with him in the years to come. He is our thinker and he has thought out this trip. I just love this little guy!!

Friday, November 1, 2013


See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, 
because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God. Ephesians 5:15-21

I am thankful for:
176) the kids playing soccer.
177) homemade apple butter.
178) making aprons with the girls.
179) a handmade quilt.
180) a new season (fall).
181) my crockpot.
182) God’s still small voice.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Homemade Peanut Butter

 For about a year I have wanted to experiment with making peanut butter. Not sure how it would work or if it would be worth the effort. Well I finally got some dry roasted peanuts and took the plunge. Elijah helped me and did great at operating the food processor. :)
We put 2 cups of peanuts in the food processor and blended it for about 2 minutes. Then repeated until all the peanuts were gone. Now we have peanut butter! I have been using it in some recipes, but too nutty tasting for us to eat plain. :) The kids had fun seeing the process...it was neat and very easy!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Helpful Hint

Anytime we discover something that works for our family I want to share it so that others might see if it works for their family. :) That is what I call Helpful Hints!

With little ones around we have a TON of books just for them. Our bookcases are overflowing. Before we moved I decided to take a few boxes and divide the books up and leave some out. This past Monday I got out a new box of books and put the others that were out away. Elijah, Timothy, and Joanna were so excited!
They were looking at books for 30 minutes or so. It was really like NEW books to them. All our kids love books and I love it that they do enjoy books so much!
In a couple of weeks or so I will swap these books for another box of books. I have also done this with toys and it goes well also.
Here are the boys looking at their books! We don't do alot of TV watching but we do alot of book looking and reading!! :)
Made this mommy smile! I enjoyed watching them enjoy looking at the books. Gave me some time to help the big kids with some school work.

Do you have alot of books?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Thankful Thursday!

We enjoyed our pool this summer and are looking forward to enjoying it for many years!
Grape Jam made by The Camp Family

I am very thankful for:

169) gift cards.
170) my freezer for storing up food.
171) homemade grape jam that our family made.
172) sewing machine given to me by my mother in law.
173) The Great Physician.
174) a hubby who thinks about me.
175) our pool that we can enjoy with the kids.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Baked Pork Chops

Bryan is always so good about going by the grocery store to pick up things we need and if he happens to see a good sale we will pick that up too. He recently found some pork chops on sale and bought 2 packs (which is what our family would need :)). We don't eat pork often so cooking it is not something I am very good at. :)
Isaac was helping with supper the night I was going to fix pork chops. He likes to cook and be my helper. Isaac really likes experimenting. I knew that we wanted them baked and to seal in the juiciness I needed to sear them on both sides. We started off with Isaac rinsing them off and patting them dry. Next we dipped them in buttermilk and seared them in a skillet. Once they were seared we dipped them in bread crumbs and spices. This mixture has no set amounts...I used some bread crumbs I had left and added the seasonings that we like (paprika, onion powder, seasoning salt, etc.).
We dipped both sides in the bread crumb mixture and placed them in a greased (I use palm shortening) casserole dish. With the oven preheated to 350 degrees we covered them with foil, placed them in the oven, and baked them for 45 minutes. While they were baking in the oven Isaac and I made some gravy in the skillet we used to sear the pork chops in. After the 45 minutes was up we got them out and drizzled the gravy over the top, covered them back up and baked for another 20-30 minutes.
I didn't know how this would turn out, especially with the gravy on it...but these were absolutely the best!! I am sure it was due to Isaac and I doing this together. :) We all devoured them and will keep this recipe for future use. The gravy really made these delicious!!

I hope this makes sense and if not please comment and let me know.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Big Sister, Little Sister!

I don't always think about Joanna looking like Sarah until we pull out pictures of Sarah when she was little and Joanna says, "That's me!"

So I thought I would share a few pictures of both of the girls and you can see their resemblances and why Joanna insist that those pictures are of her. :)
Here is Sarah at age 2 eating toast.
Here is Joanna sitting at the table waiting for her breakfast.
This is Sarah taking a bath at Maw's.
Here is Joanna swimming at the pool.
Sarah on a trip that we took right before she turned 3.
Here is Joanna and Timothy playing outside.
Sarah has always liked cooking!
Joanna is showing off her apron that we made.
Here they are recently together.
Sarah loves playing dress up and she loves having a sister to play with!
I pray that these two will always be close and best friends! Sarah was 7 1/2 years old when Joanna was born and I thought they would not be close but I was so wrong!! These two are crazy about each other and I just love to hear Joanna say Sarah's name or call her "Sissy". :)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Three Years!

That’s how long its been since Bryan and I have had a getaway together. Too long!! I was pregnant with Joanna and it was the week of Thanksgiving. Bryan did a great job planning that wonderful get away for us.

Then for Pastor Appreciation this month, four families in our church gave us a getaway and took care of our children. Bryan and I were gone for 2 days. It was nice and refreshing. I know that the kids were well taken care of. :) I enjoyed this time with Bryan and then we were both ready to see the kids and love on them when we returned home!
Our getaway was to Pickwick State Park. It was beautiful! The picture above was the view from our room. The state park is very nice.
We saw lots of boats and barges. The campgrounds were really nice. We both said that we would have to bring the kids back one day and make it a camping trip! :)
Bryan and I took our bikes and enjoyed riding through the state park. The bike ride was very nice and the weather was perfect!

It was so nice to not have to cook, clean, wash clothes, etc. for a couple of days. Trips like this make me love my family so much more!! :) It is good for our marriage and for our parenting.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Overnight Guest!!

When we lived in Alabama we homeschooled under a church that had a school. One of the perks was that the homeschool kids could go on Mondays and participate in enrichment with the school kids. This was a good experience for Isaac and Sarah, something that they still talk about. One of the greatest blessings from their time there was we met a family that are still close friends to us. Sarah and their oldest (Eliana) were in Kindegarten when we met them...that was 5 years ago. :) The picture above was taken in December 2010 when we were in Alabama for Christmas. As I was looking for a picture of the kids I realized that I have more pictures of them than I thought I did. YAY!!
At that time they had 3 children and we had 3 plus I was pregnant with Timothy. Alot has happened in 5 years...we helped them move across town, they really blessed us with meals when Timothy was born, they were there to help us when we were packing up to move to TN, we have had our 5th baby and they have welcomed twin boys! We use to get together often when we lived in Alabama and now we try to stay in touch through email and text. Their girls even came up for Sarah's birthday this summer and when Sarah goes to Alabama she usually spends a day with them. (In the picture below: Eliana, Sarah, and Hannah)
Almost 2 weeks ago Mrs. Sara (the mother of this lovely family) text me and said they were headed north to visit family and could they stop at our home for a visit and to break up the distance. Of Coarse!!!!! We were tickled that they were coming. They had stopped by our home in Unionville a couple of years ago but our visit was cut short because their little boy (only boy at that time) was sick and they needed to get home. (In the picture below: (their) Elijah, Timothy, and Isaac)
They arrived right at supper on Wednesday night and we enjoyed every minute they were with us. They stayed til after lunch on Thursday and then they packed up and headed north. It was so nice to see the kids play together and us to get to talk (while watching 10 kids). :) (In the picture below: (our) Elijah and Joanna)
It was an adventure with 10 kids under the same roof but nobody seemed to notice. We are so thankful that God gave us an opportunity to be together. When we get together it is interesting because we both have Sarah's and we both have an Elijah. We usually have to clarify who we are talking to. Adds a little more fun in the mix. (In the picture below: Caleb and Josiah)
Not sure what it was that caused us to make a connection almost 5 years ago but God does. We are very thankful that he has given us this family as friends! They love the Lord, have some of the same convictions that we have, and strive to make Jesus the center of their marriage, family, and home.
The picture above is Sara and I. Usually we are the ones taking the pictures but we did ask Isaac to take a picture of us. :)
Here are all the kiddos right before they had to leave. :) We are so blessed!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Thankful Thursday!!

One of my friends from Shelbyville Mills gave me this Tortilla Maker as a going away gift. It was this friend and her mother that got me started with grinding our own flour and learning about eating healthier. I will always be thankful that God placed them in my life.
I miss Laura! Her son and Timothy were right about the same age and were friends. Timothy misses Lane too! :(
Here is the sweet note that was included in the box. We had been out of town on a trip to the beach in May and when we arrived home this was waiting for me on the front porch. We are so blessed with such special friends! :)

I am thankful for:
162) a visit with family.
163) a getaway with my hubby. :)
164) watching a movie with the kids.
165) our tortilla maker. (See pictures above) 
166) deer meat.
167) our children memorizing God’s Word.
168) a new school year.