Sunday, September 30

go higher

My oldest and I were chatting about the autumn weather....how sweet theirs has been and how opposite ours has been. He made an interesting statement about how perhaps it seemed like a wonderful fall because they are now in an apartment that is up higher. Their previous apartment was at street level and between the other apartment buildings and all the trees, the light that came through their windows was much more filtered and limited. Now in their new apartment they have much more light and brightness, especially in the mornings, and it brightens the entire day. In fact, they have so much more light that they immediately had to find a darkening curtain to put up in Little Lovey's room as she was suddenly waking up at the crack of dawn!

Our spiritual life is a bit like that. When our daily routine gets crowded in the crazy busy stage we stay at street level. God comes through in filtered and limited ways and it affects our view on life. When we elevate our walk with Him a bit higher by being in the Word more, praying more, worshipping more, fellowshipping more, suddenly our way is lighter and brighter as we draw closer to the Lord and new things about Him are revealed in this better view.

May you step higher in your garden to get a better view of our Lord!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, September 29

the flower's shadow

"Every flower, even the fairest, has its shadow beneath it as it swings in the sunlight." ~ author unknown

Although my personality is typically optimistic, here's the pessimist wiggling out of me...I knew yesterday was just too good to be true. It was a gorgeous day that was being fully enjoyed. As I was contentedly dozing on the couch with Lovey while the grandangel Little Lovey was napping in her room, we were rudely awaken by a blasting horn outside our window. As I peeked out, I saw a small city vehicle stopped next to my car. Oh oh! I raced down all the stairs to see what was the matter. The man proceeded to tell me that I was illegally parked as I didn't have a permit for that parking space where I had moved the car earlier in the morning. What? I explained that I did have a permit which was displayed in my window. Nope. Wrong permit. I was actually in a "special" permit parking place. Yikes! I apologized profusely for parking in the wrong place as I had mis-read the sign - there are permit parking signs all over the place in this city as their parking regulations are so rigid - and it was an oversight on my part by not being more observant to this particular sign. The woman who held the permit for that particular parking place was parked behind my car and graciously (said tongue in cheek as she had turned me in) offered to pull up into her parking space and I could pull back into the one she held. So, I ran back up all the stairs to get my car keys feeling thankful that I was here when it happened or my car would have been towed away and impounded. As I arrive back to my car, there was the ticket stuck into my driver's side window. Apparently mercy wasn't mine on this day. I opened the envelope and had to steady myself as I read the amount :::whispering::: $250!

Yup, there's a whole lots of directions I could take this post from this point. Unfairness. Justice. Rules. Mercy. Kindness. Revenge (the woman lives below this apartment). Denial. Brokenness (in more ways than one). Letter writing to city officials. Anger. Tears. But I think I'll go with one word.

Grace.

God's undeserved mercy and lovingkindness.

Although I may totally mess up by doing something by my lack of observance causing me to sin, God's grace is mine. It's a gift. And because of that gift I will be able to get through this situation where man's rules have judged me.

Yes, the day that was blooming like a flower had a shadow cast upon it, but God's grace has sustained me.

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, September 28

the new park

After our main duties were done - breakfast, then a shower for grandmama - I decided to fully embrace our babysitting duties on this beautiful autumn day. So, out came the stroller so we could walk a few blocks to find the park.

As we walked up to the park, there was a small handful of moms chatting while sitting in a grassy area. The actual playground area was nice and my granddaughter had fun running from thing to thing with a loving aunt and uncle willing to accommodate her every wish. As I walked along with them to keep an extra eye on the little climber, I noticed the moms of the other playing children. They were either standing or sitting along the edge of the playground area talking on their cell phones. In between the sound of children chattering, you'd hear various cell phone rings. Technology has invaded another area of life...the park.

High schoolers relate to one another on Facebook or sitting on chairs side by side playing a video game of sorts. People sit alone in restaurants with a cell phone to their ear. Or walking in a mall talking on the phone. Okay, I'll give the shoppers the benefit of the doubt as my oldest daughter will call home while out shopping for siblings to get their current sizes. But what happened to the apparently old fashioned way of talking face to face with someone? Engaging in a lively conversation where you can read their faces as well as hear their words? Giving someone a physical hug when they are having a hard time instead of facebooking them a "gift" on a rough day?

Yes, technology with its many benefits has enlarged our community of today, but at the same time it has isolated people from one another. And that's the part I think is sad.

By the time we left the park, the little grassing sitting chatting group of moms was gone, but I wish I could have encouraged them in their conversational endeavors for I believe that their lives will be richer by the snatches of time they have spent with one another.

Take some time along your garden path today to chat face to face with someone you normally wouldn't take the time with ~ you'll be delighted by the results!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, September 27

the moon in the sky

This morning I was in the land of vibrant colors and chilly temperatures. Tonight I'm in the land of green and warm temperatures. A long day of driving provides a completely different view. This morning I sat at my computer while glancing out the window at a field with deer grazing. Tonight I look above my laptop at apartment windows across the street all softly lit. A long day of driving provides a completely different view. This morning it was birds chirping outside my windows. Tonight it's cars driving outside my open windows. But even with a long day of driving, at this very moment I am looking at the same moon outside this window as my husband is looking at outside our bedroom window. And there's something comforting about that. Kind of like even though we are far apart, God is still there watching over both of us from His place in the heavens. And that makes me smile :-)

Blessings from a city garden,
Tammy ~@~

oatmeal bullets

There is an easy way to be a favorite AWANA leader and that is to shamelessly bring a treat for your clubbers every week whether they've earned it or not. This past week I brought one of our family's favorite baked cookies and the girls loved them. They are affectionately known around here as:

OATMEAL BULLETS

1 cup softened butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 package vanilla instant pudding
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1 1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
Optional: 1 cup raisins or chocolate chips

Combine butter, the sugars, pudding mix, and vanilla and beat until smooth and creamy. Beat in the eggs. Gradually stir in the flour and baking soda, then stir in the oats (and optional ingredients, if using). Mixture will be stiff. Roll into balls about an inch in diameter and bake on ungreased cookie sheets at 375 degrees for about 10 to 12 minutes. I can't tell you know many the recipe is suppose to make since we have a lot of finger dippers in our house, but probably 5 to 6 dozen :-)

Enjoy!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, September 26

another changin'

Changing of the seasons means changing of the closets.

The boys are ridiculously easy as they are not particular about anything and their clothing needs are minimal. I really don't need to do much at all with them except note whose pants are now at floodwater stage which is NOT cool and in fashion if you are a boy! Can you imagine boys wearing capris?

But the girls. Oh my. Now THAT is another story. We literally have boxes and boxes and boxes of clothes. Remember the shoes? Yup, the clothes have multiplied much like the shoes. YIKES! And these aren't all brand new things, but most are hand-me-downs from friends and family. Doesn't make an iota of difference to the girls and still mandates a fashion show with every single item to see if it fits. Really, three girls trying clothes on and off and on and off and on and off and things getting tossed on the bed and on the floor and in a box and, well, quite honestly, the project drives me close to insanity! But we did whittle the clothing piles down A LOT today and three boxes went to the thrift store. Today I have to go through the laundry baskets downstairs to see what may be down there that needs to be sorted to a closet, a box for next year, or a box to give away. So at least there is a slight glimmer of hope in completing this task. And because we are being so thorough it should be an easier transition next spring when the weather starts getting warmer again.

And through this project I can once again praise my Heavenly Father for caring for our family in abundant ways. Indeed, He has clothed our family in as much splendor as the lilies!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, September 25

pick a tree

The world is full of colour!
'Tis Autumn once again
And leaves of gold and crimson
Are lying in the lane.
~A*deline White

Yesterday afternoon when I took this picture looking down our driveway, I noticed that quite a few leaves had already fallen. Early this morning when I drove down the driveway, I noticed that the rain of last night had brought down many more leaves. It was like driving on a quiet leaf roadway instead of crunchy gravel.

Ohhh, this is such a hard transition to make each year as the season changes! From great and dramatic color in the woods to bare brown trees which offer no cover. Fortunately we have some pine trees which provide green color in the woods year around. It was interesting as one of the boys shared yesterday that when they were little boys they used to saw and chop on trees during the winter. They thought that the trees were dead because they had no leaves. They didn't realize that the trees were just resting for a long season.

Sometimes believers go through seasons of rest. It can be a time of renewal and refreshment as they continue nourishing themselves with the Bread of Life. They are like the evergreens as they continue to stand out on their faith. But I've also seen believers resting to the point of looking like dead wood. They instead withdraw from the Lord and look like the rest of the world around them. Barren and without life.

My pick is to choose to be an evergreen whether resting or working!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~



Monday, September 24

a reminder to stop

You can pass the same exact spot for years and never really pay attention. Yesterday as we drove into our driveway after church, the road sign several feet down caught my eye. Stop ahead. And although my camera doesn't quite capture it, the colors of the trees were dazzling as we are almost to our peak color stage.

Stop.

It would be so easy to get caught up in the business of the day.

Stop.

Sometimes God needs to get our attention so that we take a moment to breath in the beauty around us.

Our weather was absolutely perfect yesterday. Sunny and in the 70's with a light breeze. How could anyone stay indoors and not stop to catch the beauty outdoors? (Well, actually someone did stay indoors when finding out our favorite football team in all the world's game was actually being broadcast on one of the few TV channels we actually get in on our antennae and he was able to watch an amazing game - I listened via radio) I tackled washing windows (inside and out) and window screens for our bedroom, bathroom, and closet. Then I worked on pruning the dead branches off my lilac bushes and pruning back a few pine trees whose branches were shading flower beds and an area of my garden. Off to the garden where I pulled all the corn stalks, dug up all the potatoes and onions, pulled some squash. Emptied a couple of my flower planters that had gotten touch by frost and had died off. AND I took time to look around and breath in the beauty around me in God's handpainted creation with every task I did. And I smiled.

As I fell asleep to the sound of the gentle breeze outside my open window, I thanked Him for smiling on my day :-)

May you enjoy the beauty of this autumn season, too!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Sunday, September 23

sing praises

"All the earth bows down to you; they sing praise to you, they sing praise to your name." ~ Psalm 66:4

Enjoy this day of worship and gathering with other believers to sing praises to our God and King!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, September 22

soccer girls

We had a long morning of soccer today. One early game and one late game. We arrived early and were the last ones to leave the field. My pictures loaded backwards, so this picture is from the game that finished right before noon. My daughter played midfielder for the entire game and did great...spoken by a true mother, eh? Actually, she is respected by her teammates and they aren't afraid to pass her the ball as she can run with the best of them. Her team won :-)

This was from the first game of the day and I almost deleted the picture because the sun cast a haze over it. BUT, it was kind of a cool picture as I loved how her bangs were flying as she was running. She came to the came with a headband on to keep her bangs out of her eyes, but during a quarter that she was sitting out all the girls were doing hair! LOL! So, the next time I saw her on the field she was without the headband. Her team lost.

The morning was sunny and almost pleasantly warm. I did get a little sunburn from the combination of sitting and watching soccer, then working in the garden later on. Actually, I can tell the season is changing because the garden isn't so predominately sunny later in the afternoon anymore as the sun is taking a lower position in the sky. So, when the sun shines now it is hitting the tops of the nearby woods which casts shadows on the garden.

I'm so glad the Son of the universe never changes and is always dependable. Wouldn't it be cool if you'd get a sonburn from being too exposed to God's word in a day?!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

an often forgotten praise

Last night I woke up during the middle of the night to take a bathroom trip. And after crawling back into bed, I thought about how cool our bodies are made. While sound asleep, my body is still working. Heart beating, lungs breathing, kidneys filtering, digestive system breaking down, muscles rolling me over without conscious thought, dreams playing as my mind hasn't truly stopped, alarm going off to wake me up to get up to go to the bathroom. All those things intricately working together without instruction. All those things taken for granted on a daily basis.

That knowledge is nothing new. How often have I talked about it with the kids as we've gone through a science or health lesson? Many many a time. How often do I stop and thank God for His marvelous creation of my body? Not enough!

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful." ~ Psalm 139:14

May a forgotten praise be remembered and come from your lips as you walk along through your garden today!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, September 21

gems of beauty

Sunshine always makes my spirits soar! My steps are light, my mood is jolly, and life thrives when the sun is shining into the windows of my home. Perhaps that is why this month has been more challenging as it's been a September much more gray and cloudy than usual. Gray hasn't meant a lot of rain, just a heaviness of the air. But when we have this kind of weather I immediately think of someone I know who delights in cloudy days. No doubt when it's like this her steps are light, her mood is jolly, and life thrives in her household.

Yesterday it was necessary to run errands at two different times of the day and while driving on this gloomy day, I was struck by something....the brilliance of the tree colors. Each tree and its color was so distinct along the roadway. When it's sunny out, although beautiful and bright, the tree colors tend to all blend together. It was like the clouds and darkness of the day were able to reveal a hidden breath-taking-away beauty.

It's much like life. When circumstances are dark and difficult and the clouds keep hanging, God will reveal beauty in a way that only He can. I can now look back at about a year and a half after my mom passed away and recognize a time of depression that I was passing through although I didn't realize it then. Hindsight is wise, isn't it? But what sticks out in my mind from that time were the gems of blessing God sent unexpectedly from time to time that reminded me that no matter how difficult the days were, He was there with me. And I'm amazed that even writing that at this moment still brings floods of emotion with it. God is faithful beyond our comprehension.

May you find gems of beauty in your garden on the cloudy days!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, September 20

who is it?

From my devotional this morning:

"The expression of Christian character is not good doing, but Godlikeness. If the Spirit of God has transformed you within, you will exhibit Divine characteristics in your life, not good human characteristics. God's life in us expresses itself as God's life, not a human life trying to be godly. The secret of a Christian is that the supernatural is made natural in him by the grace of God, and the experience of this works out in the practical details of life, not in times of communion with God." ~ Oswald Chambers

My ponderings take me to....is it me or is it Him? The opinion can't be based on what others see as they may not know our motives....and sometimes we don't even know our motives. Only God sees us in completeness and knows where there is still work to be done in our lives. All I do know is that my heart's desire is for the fruit of His Spirit to continue to grow in my life. And I trust He will do that!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, September 19

the corn continues

There was a window of about thirty minutes of time which I was able to spend in the garden today. My garden has sadly been neglected in the last few weeks due to LIFE filled with bustling activities. My corn model is pointing to perhaps the same ear of corn she had pointed to before. No, it never got picked to eat. As I opened an ear of corn, I was surprised at how good it looked. We may try an ear or two tomorrow for lunch although I anticipate it being tough and mushy soft. Ideally I'd like to pull all the ears of corn and throw them in the field for the deer, however, the dogs are known for eating them when I do that, crazy pooches! The corn stalks have one more purpose, so depending upon the weather in the days ahead, they will be pulled from the garden soon and I'll take one final picture of our corn's journey.

And notice the woods behind the corn as the trees are all turning reds, oranges, and yellows. The days may be comfortably warm right now, but nature around our home is starting to shout, "AUTUMN!"

Enjoy the sights and smells of autumn!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

about seventy-five

After school today, my hope was to get out to the garden for a bit as I was beginning to feel like my garden was a long lost friend whom I hadn't visited with in a long long while. One thing I knew I wanted to do while out there was to take a picture of my corn model. Upon calling her, we needed to search for flips or shoes for her little feet. Nothing by the entryway that was garden worthy, so off to the girls room to look through the closet. Frustration quite possibly doesn't express what I was feeling as we dug through shoes, shoes, and more shoes until we found a good garden match. Off we went and hopefully the pictures turned out so I can post them later. Back into the house to get supper going, but before I started that it was important to call the girls together to work on a mission - take every single shoe out of the closet, find its match, decide what you want, decide what you don't want, and let's get some order!

Once supper was in the oven and on the stovetop, I returned to the girls room as they said they were ready to go through all the shoes. They had neatly lined them up into pairs. The only single shoes were dress-up shoes which meant its match was most likely in the large rubbermaid container of dress-up clothes. Just for fun - and yes, I do believe the joke was on me! - I counted the pairs. My thought is...can a girl ever have too many shoes? Really, can she? :::whispering::: there were around seventy-five pairs of shoes for three girls! Yup, no wonder I couldn't find Lovey's garden shoes as they were in the mix of around one hundred and fifty shoes!

Sorting began. What shoes fit who? What shoes does no one want? What shoes can be tossed because they are too beat up, chewed up, or just plain broken? What shoes are dress-up? What shoes can be handed down to the granddaughter? What shoes could be taken in to the thrift store? What shoes could be boxed up until next summer? Sorting ended.

The two middlers ended up with around five or six pairs, the littlest around ten pairs. Definitely an improvement, eh?!

Now I'm feeling convicted that perhaps *I* need to go through my closet and sort through shoes....NAW! LOL!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

fresh air

One of the things that makes me sad as summer departs is having to keep windows closed in the house as the weather turns much colder. I love having all the windows open to freshen each room and it takes awhile to adjust to being closed in once again. Suddenly my house smells like house - wet dogs, sauerkraut and pork roast, boys shoes, burnt toast, you know, any scent that makes you go blech especially in combination with one another in a stuffy house. Perhaps that is one of the reasons I'm a candleholic :-)

So it was a nice surprise yesterday to find that with some of the cloudy drizzly weather came warmer temperatures and it was actually warmer outside than inside. "OPEN UP THE WINDOWS!" was my battle cry. Ohhh, even if it was a damp warm it was wonderful to have air moving through the house again. I could hear my chick-a-dee-dee-dees out feeding on the deck :::contented sigh:::

And this morning there's a fresh cool breeze gently blowing through my windows. Although it's gloomy and drizzly again today, this fresh air is invigorating to my spirit.

Our spiritual lives can sometimes be like that. Rather stuffy and blech. A weary season as we get caught up in life. And then there comes a day when we awaken from the dullness and God opens our hearts to receive a breath of fresh air from the Holy Spirit and we are invigorated once again. Suddenly Scripture is popping out at us from all over the pages and it's exciting! And a keenness comes alive which sharpens our vision enabling us to see how God is so so busy working all around us :::contented sigh:::

My hope is that you, too, feel fresh breezes blowing along your garden path on this autumn day!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, September 18

shhhh!

"There is hardly ever a complete silence in the soul. God is whispering to us well-nigh incessantly. Whenever the sounds of the world die out in the soul, or sink low, then we hear the whisperings of God. He is always whispering to us, only we do not hear, because of the noise, hurry, and distraction which life causes as it rushes on." ~ F.W. Faber

When I read this in my devotions this morning, it caused me to sigh. How come when you long for that quiet to hear the Lord, life is anything but quiet? In fact, at this moment the dog and kitten are wrestling around by my bed and although they are not speaking, their actions are distracting. It almost makes me long for :::whispering::: winter. Shhhh! Don't tell anyone I said that! It's not the frigid weather that is appealing, but the slower pace. The routine in place. No outdoor chores that I have to do. Going down by the woodburner in the early morning to get the fire going and sitting there to do my morning devotions curled up next to the cat who has slept there all night. Quiet. No rushing. Distractions at a minimum. Sighing again.

But just writing that paragraph is revealing to me. I want my quiet time to come easy, don't I? I don't want to have to work at it, do I? But relationships do take work and commitment and that includes our relationship with the Lord. It takes carving out daily time to spend with Him when there will be the fewest noises, distractions, and hurrying. Definitely a challenge for a mom of many! Yet hearing the whisperings of God makes the challenge not only worthy, but the benefits priceless.

May you, too, find quiet moments to hear God whisper to your heart!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Sunday, September 16

ten and one

Being in the midst of football season, it has the sound of a football newscaster..."we're at the ten and one year line looking to make it several more years until we score another adult in the family".

What a delight this middler is! She was the largest of all my babies weighing in at just under ten pounds when she was born. Although she was big, I have to say it was my easiest and one of my favorite births. Of course, my memory could be muddled because I spent so much time pinching myself after they said, "IT'S A GIRL!" for she arrived after a brother, a sister, then four brothers. I know that was part of the reason I was oblivious to the fact that I was hemorrhaging quite badly as my heart was dancing at the fact we finally had another girl! Such an easy going little thing as a baby and still has a happy heart. It's a joy watching her grow up as my daughter as well as my companion in giggles and watching God's word come alive within her young life.

Happy birthday, my dear daughter!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

catch it

"It's a crazy world and life speeds by at a blur, yet God is right in the middle of the craziness. And anywhere, at anytime, we may turn to Him, hear His voice, feel His hand, and catch the fragrance of heaven." ~ Joni Eareckson Tada

As we come to worship on this day and the clamor of the world quiets for a moment or two, may our hearts turn toward Him to hear His voice, to feel His hand, and to catch the fragrance of heaven!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, September 15

poor fuzzababy

After we got home from soccer later this afternoon, everyone was a bit chilled. My littlest decided to lie down in bed under the covers to warm up...with the kitten. When I peeked in on them, the kitten peeped open his eyes at me. Lovey had him all wrapped up in "pinkie" (her favorite blanket) underneath the covers as well as snuggling him close. As you can see, her very favorite thing in all the world to affectionately snuggle who is known as fuzzababy, well, poor fuzzababy has been tossed aside for a warm purring prince!

The part that made me smile the most was about ten minutes later when she came tip toeing out of her room and told us all to "shhhhhhhhhh!" because she had finally gotten the baby to sleep :-) It sounded just like something I've said a million times through the years. However, she is the baby of the family and has never heard me say that! Isn't that interesting?!

I often wonder what life will be like when this last one grows up as she certainly is a little lovey who regularly warms my heart :-)

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

the snail

"By perseverance the snail reached the ark." ~ C.H. Spurgeon

As I sit here shivering - yes, we had a hard frost last night and it's 29 degrees now and we have to leave for soccer in an hour and can you say brrrr?! - I was thinking about all I wanted to get done this weekend. During the school year I live for the weekends and the opportunity to get caught up a bit on my household cleaning. But I'm obviously not going to be getting caught up at all this weekend as there's too many other priorities to consider. I'm going to barely be considered a snail as I ponder some of my goals. Is there something slower than a snail?

And yet, I needed to take another look at what will be happening this weekend. Spending time watching the girls, spending time worshipping, spending time fellowshipping with other believers, spending time with my husband working on this week's Bible study, spending time in the Word as I prepare for Monday's Council Time message at AWANA, spending time celebrating a daughter's birthday.

"The more time you give to something, the more you reveal its importance and value to you." ~ Rick Warren

As I look at the list, I don't think my priorities are totally out of whack...God, husband, family, believers, friends, others are all included. Guess I figured out my problem - *I*...*I* will not be doing things *I* think I need to be getting done. Guess if God thought those *I* things were important He would have made sure they were included in this weekend, eh?

So, back to being a snail as I consider the things *I* need to get down around my household and living like a golden retriever today as I mingle with friends and unbelievers alike on the soccer fields!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, September 14

a gigglin'

You know the whole laughter is good medicine thing? Our family tends to have a good sense of humor although rather wacky at times. It keeps us healthy...hehehe! Anyway, we started a practical joke tradition of hiding some oddity in the grandbabies diaper bag right before they'd leave for their long ride home. You'd know when they got home and unpacked because an email would be forthcoming. And giggles would begin! Somehow this tradition expanded. This summer my daugher-in-law returned a small boxes of items that had come home with them by accident and in it was what came to be known as the creepy pez guy (actually it was a Stars War character and I don't remember what his name is and probably couldn't spell it if I could remember what it was! LOL!). I giggled when I saw it! After that I took a trip with one of the boys to visit my daughter and husband. Right before we left, I tiptoed into the bedroom and stuck the creepy pez guy next to their computer practically holding my hand over my mouth to restrain the giggles. But my prank backfired and her husband actually liked the creepy pez guy and now asks for pez refills as gifts LOL!
When we had taken our son to college, we stayed with them again. It had been too busy for me to even ponder an oddity to leave behind this time. However, they have a few interesting things in their apartment that they have picked up at thrift stores and I was admiring the scottie dogs who were guarding a thermometer. After getting back home, a day or two later my daughter called asking what the temperature was. It was a strange question and I told her I'd have to go into the kitchen to find out. She wondered if I knew what the temperature was inside the house. I was totally puzzled when she followed up with the question of whether or not we had unpacked. THEN I knew she was up to something and immediately got back to unpacking. AHA! There were the scottie dogs in my shopping bags! LOL! Actually I kind of like them and don't think I will be passing them along to anyone else.

What causes me to write this tonight? Well, I was picking up some things in the toy room and ran across something that caused me to get to gigglin'. I dare not share it here as it needs to be saved for someone special :-) Just another thing to use for our practical joke family tradition...hehehe!

BEWARE! LOL!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


forty-five

Having just returned from my lunch hour errands, I can verify per my outside car thermometer that the temperature stayed on 45 degrees. Yes, the weatherman was right and call me a doubting Thomas, but I had to see it to believe it. Add that cool temperature to blustery winds and it's downright chilly out!

But the thought that warms me the most is the change in our weekend. This weekend the local soccer league holds their annual tournament inviting teams from around the area. It is a lot of fun as our teams get to play new teams instead of rotating through teams that they already know. But depending upon the age group, you typically spend a full day at the soccer fields. In fact, one year, the championship was played in semi-darkness and the trophies were awarded with car headlights on so we could all see! This year we would have had one girl playing on Saturday, one on Sunday. However, we got telephone calls from coaches from both teams saying that several teams had dropped out (I wonder if this cold weather played a part in their decisions?) and the tournament was changed to more of an in-house tournament and now both girls are playing on Saturday. Woo hooo! I'm so relieved! Only one day at the soccer field :-) AND now we can enjoy our Sunday! Worship, Bible study, a baby shower for the beautiful baby girl that I was honored to watch come into this world, AND a birthday celebration for a daughter.

::::::::::dancing:::::::::: and hoping that will warm me up! LOL!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

what month is this?

Okay, I'm confused. What month is this? Gray, misty, and cold outside. November? Wait, my calendar says September! Brrrrrr! The highs for today are the MID-40's! The lows predicted for tonight in the 20's! I will definitely have to cover my tomatoes in the garden tonight as there are so many ripening tomatoes still on the plants. And I hope my husband has enough tarps around right now that are not in use that could be put to use to cover other veggies in the garden. If it were later in the month I'd spend the day pulling the garden out, however the predication is for weather in the upper 70's next week giving us more garden growing days.

But, I have a new dilemma this growing season as I purchased a plant that is not typical for this area as we are definitely NOT considered tropical here. I couldn't resist as it was so pretty with its pink blossoms - it's a mandevilla which I affectionately call a mandyvilla :-) I had to read in my gardening books and search online for information about this new plant added to my garden. It was small back then and came with a small hoop to climb on. But it didn't take long and I needed to replant it and find a trellis to stick into it's new pot. No success on the trellis. What I ended up doing was taking some willow branches and easily bending them to make my own trellis. The neat thing about that was after awhile we noticed that the bare willow branches had begun to leaf as the ends were stuck into the moist soil. So all summer long I've enjoyed this rapidly climbing blossoming plant on its leafy trellis.

Now to the dilemma. As I was told, it would only be a one season plant unless I kept it potted to be able to move it indoors to a sunny part of the house as the weather started changing. No problem, right? Besides the deer had recently found my beauty and had chewed up the willow leaves and worked on the blossoms...grrrrrr!...so it was definitely time to move it to a safer warmer environment. But this is no longer the sweet little plant that started in the spring, but quite a large plant which is probably at least seven feet tall and growing! Ideally I would love to keep it in our bedroom which is the sunniest warmest room throughout the winter. However, when I had considered that option in the spring it was prior to a sweet little kitten moving into our house...a kitten who now loves to cause havoc with my plants...grrrrr! So I've temporarily moved my mandyvilla into our bathroom which does get good light and which I can close the door to keep the kitten out. The only problem was bumping into the plant in the middle of the night as I got up to use the bathroom! YIKES!

I'm thinking I'll need some more creativity in dealing with this plant in the days to come. But what fun it has been to learn about something new in my garden and how best to grow it.

In many ways, it's like growing kids. There's always a new challenge before us that we need to seek God's wisdom to know how best to grow them because each child is so uniquely different. And our perspective changes as challenges that seemed big in the beginning are minor to some of the challenges that come up when they get older. His word is filled with advice and we also have the blessing of seeking out godly counsel from others. And usually some creativity is needed on our part to make things work. Too often it can feel like a burden as you try to figure things out and unexpected events come into your life, but I encourage you to find joy in the process. To become excited by the challenge! To look forward to the adventure!

Off to start a fire in the woodburner before my mandyvilla begins shivering!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~



Thursday, September 13

time to overcompensate a bit

It tends to happen after a season of busyness in our household. Downright sloppiness in a variety of areas. Chores are done half way, attitudes get grumbly, tasks are ignored. With school getting back on track and life getting back in routine, those areas are jumping out in BOLD PRINT to this mother. Enough!

As a mom I know that consistency is huge in child training and I am the main one who has to get back on track. So this morning at devotions many areas will be addressed with the children. They are not all at fault, but each one probably has an area that needs some work. And I have to make a point of watchfulness to ensure they are following through. Much more time consuming, but I know it will be worthwhile in the long term. With a lot of people in one house, we have to work together as a team with everyone doing their part.
And they are actually much happier with that consistency and with a smoother running household. And I'm much happier (you know the saying...if mama ain't happy!).

It's interesting because I posted some of my frustrations last night at our family blogsite and here is my oldest's response this morning:

"I understand about the crackdown. You gotta lay down the law to reign things back in. Aren't we all like that though. We get slack and then have to overcompensate to get back on track?"

Isn't that true? It does take overcompensation to get back in balance. And I can see that in areas of my own life. It will take overcompensation to get them back where they need to be. My eating has gotten sloppy over the summer months and I need to sit down and examine where to change things, rework an eating plan, figure out my walking schedule, and get back on track. My bedroom, especially my desk, has become consumed with piles and I need to overcompensate with a large chunk of time to tackle this project and get it back in order. My general journal and prayer journal have been neglected and I need to sit down and update them which will take early morning hours when the house is quiet. The list goes on with items that need overcompensation to get back on track. But once they are done, life will be more in balance and the household will run smoother.

It is sometimes so so overwhelming! And yet we have a God with mighty big shoulders who reminds us to turn our burdens over to Him. He will give us rest. And in Him is the strength we need for each day whether it be for the normal daily tasks or for a bit of overcompensation in areas as we tackle projects.

May you take a moment to examine life on your garden path and see if there are areas that may need some additional weeding today.

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


Wednesday, September 12

sizing changes?

This afternoon one of my daughters and I took a quick trip to do some shopping. I had some gifts to find for various people - particularly clothes for her birthday and she's picky! - so off we went on such a sunny day.

After many trips in and out of the dressing room, she found a skirt, a pair of pants (why are they called a pair?), and a couple of tops. Yes, I did repeatedly ask her if she loved what she picked out because experience has shown that if she absolutely does not love it, the clothes do not get worn. And after a shopping trip like this I'm always so so thankful for boys who'd wear just about anything mom picked out on her own!

At the same time, I wanted to find a few things for myself. I've lost weight over the last couple of years and it is time to get rid of clothing that looks baggy and find some new things for this cooler season. I've had a large variety of sizes and styles in my closet for a LONG time I've either been pregnant or nursing most of my married life which equals a constantly fluctuating shape requiring a constantly fluctuating wardrobe. Time to get rid of all those things that are too big and are definitely out of style! Besides, my girls don't like those old mother clothes! LOL!

So, at the store I guesstimated my newer size and was amazed at how big they were. I kept going down in size number until I found something that fit. And then had very little to pick from in that size. You know, back in high school when I weighed about 15 pounds less than I do now, I would have never in a million years fit into that size number! Have the companies who manufacture clothing changed their sizing systems? Drastically? Have they accommodated a heavier population by lowering the numbers for bigger sizes so people don't stop and think about their weight? Really, it just seems kind of crazy to me. And I'm by no means skinny as I still sport my baby pudge which refuses to leave. I'm wondering if I'd lose another five or ten pounds, where would I buy clothes? It was certainly impossible to find things today for a small petite lady like myself...

Just my ramblings for today :-)

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, September 11

wrestling whys

When I sit down in the mornings and write, I typically don't think about who may be reading. Perhaps it isn't thought about because blogs are such a hit and miss kind of thing. There may be regular readers or there may be people who bump your site from a word search never to return. Therefore, I don't write for a particular audience. I just write. It comes from wherever I am at the moment and has no general theme. It could be daily life or it could be ponderings. But my hope is that it is real.

Perhaps it is too real at times. A dear friend called me after reading my blog today. She was concerned and wanted to make sure I was okay. After I assured her I was fine, my wrestling thoughts were shared and understood because her heart aches in the same way over many of the same people.

No, I'm not wrestling with God over something that has come into my life, but rather many lives swirling around me. The big C. Cancer. I've never liked it when the kids have said they hate something, but the reality is I hate cancer. Big time. I've watched my mom struggle with it as it hit two different areas of her body and I've watched my inlaws each with their own cancer battles. And it seems like so many people around me are struggling with it at the moment. A 38 year old mom buried today after the abrupt return of brain cancer. Another mom around the same age began chemotherapy on Monday for an aggressive breast cancer. An older mom/grandma who is a dear AWANA helper for me lying in the hospital this week after major surgery for cancer which has affected her female organs. A friend's mother buried a couple weeks ago after the return of her cancer. My daughter-in-law's mom currently undergoing radiation for the next part of her fight against breast cancer. Another couple where the wife was given no more options for fighting her cancer. Every time I turn around at the moment there's someone new. And I hate it. I hate cancer.

And I ask God why? WHY? These are believers who love the Lord. WHY? Who have a testimony to share about Jesus with the world. WHY? Who have young families. WHY? Who are grandmothers loving the delights of their hearts - their grandchildren - and are filled with wisdom. WHY? Who are actively serving in ministry. WHY?

Yes, I could give you all the Biblical answers of WHY. My head knows it. No need to remind me. I trust God's plan and purpose even in this. But my heart. My heart hasn't caught up. And sometimes it yells while I pound the pavement. But mostly it aches. And it weeps. And it still asks why......

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

w & w

This morning my husband and I woke up early. He had to meet a friend for their weekly early morning breakfast and I decided it was time to get back on track with my walking as it has been neglected through the summer. We are headed into a cooler season and although I enjoy walking outdoors, it is nice to take advantage of indoor walking. Our local high school opens their fieldhouse track to walkers and runners for about two early hours on school days. There usually aren't a lot of people there and although once in awhile I'll see someone I know, but for the most part I walk alone with a steady pace.

Today I wasn't just walking. I was wrestling. Wrestling with God. I was praying. Praying to God. And the combination moved my usual nice steady pace to a bit more pavement pounding speed.

Walking and wrestling. More walking and more wrestling. For an hour.

The truth is no one can ever win a wrestling match against God. He already knows my heart, so everything I was wrestling with was no surprise to Him. However, it helped me to pour it out and to know He was listening. My heart is full of unanswered questions which will most likely not be answered until eternity. And you know, getting those answers then probably won't matter an iota by that time.

When I got home from my walking and wrestling session, I opened my Bible to find a particular Psalm. But as I opened it, my Bible fell open to the end of Job. Yup, right where God is answering Job's many questions with answers which are questions...questions that no human being has answers to yet our all knowing God does. And I felt like Job.

"The LORD said to Job: 'Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him? Let him who accuses God answer him!'

Then Job answered the LORD: 'I am unworthy -- how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth. I spoke once, but I have no answer--twice, but I will say no more.'" ~ Job 40:1-5

Wrestling match over. I will say no more. It's another walk of faith and trusting God knowing He does have all the answers in His plan for our lives.

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, September 10

how many days?

It's obvious. Christmas is coming, right? In how many days?

The obvious clue is that we can hardly pull our mail out of our mailbox at the post office because it is stuffed to the brim with catalogs. No, we don't have the small-sized mailbox, it's the medium-sized one to accommodate all the mail our family gets on a daily basis. But with all these catalogs that have just started coming, we'll need to change our mailing address and super-size our mailbox in the process.

Ah, yes, so many catalogs for so many different things. Only in America where the entrepreneur spirit is alive and well! I just wish every company didn't have OUR mailing address *sigh*

Wishing you a very merry season of catalog shopping!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

a new club year

"Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" ~ II Timothy 2:15

This is the key verse for the AWANA Club and I've written it in the King James Version because that is how I learned it way back when our family began our journey with this ministry. Our oldest was in kindergarten at the time when we became involved in a new church with the AWANA Club program. And our family has been actively participating ever since in various roles.

I've served as an assistant to the commander (my husband), club secretary, club director, listener, game director, and from the beginning, the store keeper :-)
Tonight we begin our new club year and it will be a busy season until we finish in April. This marks my second year as an actual leader and it is my favorite role in the program. I'm working with the Chums which are 3rd and 4th grade girls. They are so sweet and have tender hearts to receive God's word. I love to share Jesus with them and I hope they will grow out of my group knowing how much He loves them.

Autumn is an exciting time in a church as it is a new season for many ministries. All the youth programs kick-off as well as home and Sunday morning Bible studies. There is an excitement in the air as God's word works in the hearts of His people.

May you, too, have autumn changes which excite your heart for God!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


Sunday, September 9

it's gone

Delete.

A lengthening post has been puttered around on all day, but it just wasn't coming together. Perhaps there's just too many things swirling around in my head today. Incredible highs and incredible lows all in one day. It's hard to process extremes. So, therefore I hit that button at the top of my keyboard. Ba bye!

Maybe tomorrow after a good night's sleep some of it will appear clearer.

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, September 8

not those likenesses, please

Forgetful.

Ungraceful.

Sometimes like mother, like daughter is a gut wrenching thing. Especially when you see things in your daughters that you know they didn't inherit from your husband.

This fact was brought home to me again this morning. Up early, get the girls going, jump in the car shortly after 8:30 AM to get to their soccer games. Get settled on the sidelines and do the traditional kick the ball thing with Lovey while waiting for the games to start. See the teams line up for referee inspection and then watch your daughter come racing off the field toward you. She forgot her shin guards! When I asked the girls last night before bed if they had everything together for the morning, they assured me that they did. Apparently the shin guards left inside a dresser drawer weren't together with the rest of the uniform that was together. And apparently she didn't notice during the warm-ups that she didn't have her shin guards. Which meant that I had to run back home to get them...and yes, I did consider not getting them and letting said child not play at all but figured that the consequences were tough enough with having to miss at least half of the game as it would take me that long to go back and forth because this is a child that loves soccer and is very good at it. Not only did I have to run home, but when I got back the excellent parking place was long gone and I had to park a long ways away from the field.

Perhaps it was easier to have grace about the whole thing because as soon as it happened I recognized myself. Forgetful. Now I don't think that has always been a major problem in my life - although definitely a minor one - but it has worsened in the last few years. And I inwardly cringe when I forget important things. And then guilt and shame like to ride those coattails...ugh! I don't want her to carry those burdens with her forgetfulness, so hopefully I'm more merciful than not with my responses since she claims this characteristic with her mom. And I look for ways to encourage her to be better at remembering.

Perhaps it is easier to have grace with her because she also claims another one of my characteristics. Ungraceful. She trips, spills, bangs, drops, scatters - check a thesaurus for other like words - just like me. My family affectionately called me klutzmeier growing up (and no, it was never used in a mean way and I learned to laugh and shake my head, too). Klutzy to the max. And when my daughter does something like that we just look at each other and say with a smile, "just like mom!", because this is a trait that I haven't outgrown either. She may not be graceful in general, but you should see this girl move a soccer ball down the field! Wow!

Rather than write about all the likenesses I see in my children that have come from me, you know, the likenesses I wish they didn't have, I think I'll stop now. Another day we can talk about the wild colt, the procrastinator, the shy one, the...enough! Better to focus on how God makes us a new creation :-)

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

out for sup

Last night when my husband came home from work, he offered to take the family out for supper. Woo hoo! I had a plan for supper, but hadn't started it yet as it wouldn't take long to make (thank you, procrastination...hehe!) We pulled out the newspaper to pick a place as we hadn't been out to eat for quite awhile and were interested in eating where a Friday night fish fry was offered which is so popular where we live. Once we decided, the van was loaded up and off we went!

The place we chose was a popular seasonal restaurant which offers an all-you-can-eat in lumberjack style meal plan. Perfect for when you have older boys...and even the girls did a mighty fine job. And it was the restaurant's final fish blast for the season, so the timing was also perfect.

Oh, and did I mention that I once worked at this restaurant? Yup. Thirty, no, thirty-one years ago. The summer after my first year of college. Single girl. Made lots of tips. Had a great time with the fellow college aged employees. What? Thirty-one years ago? It seems like yesterday but it was a lifetime ago. My, has my life changed in that amount of time! I'm quite certain that back then I could have never imagined what my life would look like today...married, nine children, one grandchild, homeschooling, and still living in the same house. Many many challenges between then and now. Challenges I could have never conceived back then and challenges which immaturity would have never been able to handle. However, God had a plan. He still has a plan. And I'm thinking if I live another thirty-one years I will look back to now and think...many many challenges between then and now. Challenges I could have never conceived back then and challenges which immaturity would have never been able to handle.

Praise God for his faithfulness through the years! Praise God that He walks with us through all the many many challenges! Praise God that He is patient with us as He matures us with each step! And praise God for His plan which continually unfolds day by day and year by year!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, September 7

climbing the mountain

Ah, yes, the best part of our homeschooling week - spelling test day!

My habit for years has been to do my ironing while reciting spelling words for the end of the week test. It has been a good way to keep up with what could be considered a mundane task to some people. To me it is a glorious task! I do enjoy ironing :-)

Every year when we finish up school in May, my ironing falls behind in the summer. I made a plan to help me keep up with it during the summer, but, alas, it was too hard to do. And there is literally a mountain range of clothes in the laundry baskets begging for my attention. Yes, yes, I do know that if we'd fold clothes right after they were done in the dryer there'd be less ironing, but we never seem to catch them then. Plus the clothesline clothing always needs some pressing unless we have a very brisk wind blowing them dry. So I'm excited about school starting again so I can begin the challenge of climbing the mountains! Perhaps even more exciting will be the new found clothing hanging in my closet as the school year progresses...hehe!

It's funny because I can still picture my grandma ironing. She'd have a spray bottle of water handy and would often starch items. I can picture my mom ironing, too. And as a little girl I'd beg her to let me iron. Finally she did. Socks! LOL! Looking back now I'm certain the iron probably wasn't even turned on. But I loved to lay the socks out and iron them one by one.

So, off I go to sing my rise and shine song reminding my children that it's spelling test day!

Blessings,
Tammy, the radical ironing woman ~@~

Thursday, September 6

obstacles

From my devotional today:

"A river is victoriously persistent, it overcomes all barriers. For a while it goes steadily on its course, then it comes to an obstacle and for a while it is baulked, but it soon makes a pathway round the obstacle. Or a river will drop out of sight for miles, and presently emerge again broader and grander than ever. You can see God used some lives, but into your life an obstacle has come and you do not seem to be of any use. Keep paying attention to the Source, and God will either take you round the obstacle or remove it. The river of the Spirit of God overcomes all obstacles. Never get your eyes on the obstacle or on the difficulty. The obstacle is a matter of indifference to the river which will flow steadily through you if you remember to keep right at the Source. Never allow anything to come between yourself and Jesus Christ, no emotion, or experience; nothing must keep you from the one great sovereign Source." ~ Oswald Chambers

When I read this it reminded me of early spring when the snow begins melting. Up by our garage - which is at an incline at the top of our driveway - are large piles of snow which accumulated from plowing the driveway all winter. As the snow melts, it forms streams down our gravel driveway and the kids are drawn like magnets with sticks and shovels to form their little rivers. Sometimes a chunk of ice will flow down and get stuck causing the river to flow around it until one of the kids later discovers it and works at getting it back on track. Or perhaps one of us big people will drive a car over the rivers and the tire tracks completely divert the rivers. But nothing can completely stop the flow for the source is bountiful.

So it is with our lives. Time keeps flowing. And in the midst of the path comes obstacles. Some are easy to maneuver around. Others cause us to pause a bit. And a bit longer. And when we get tired of trying to figure out how to get around them, we finally call out to our Heavenly Father who either shows us the way around or removes the obstacle allowing us to see clearly once again.

The key with any obstacle is to consider the Source. Keep your eyes on the Source. And allow His Spirit to flow through you.

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, September 5

watch your words

As I was cleaning the kitchen while waiting for the canner to get done, I reflected back over the day.

It felt good to start school again and to get back at our morning devotions. I will confess that although it isn't my intention, they tend to gradually slide out of our mornings once summer gets rolling. My bookmarks were still in place from the last time we read our chapter of Old Testament and our chapter of New Testament. So, we began where we last left off...Leviticus 24 and Acts 24.

Why am I always surprised when God lands us right where we need to be in His Word? Our key verses of discussion ended up being Leviticus 24:10-16, 23 which spoke about someone who cursed God and received the consequences of being stoned. It brought up a topic which I have talked to the kids about but God's Word put it so much stronger. Not that anyone is using God's name in vain or cursing, but the older ones are letting their language slide into slang or sometimes crude talk which is bothersome or name calling which can be downright mean. I know, you thought my kids were perfect - HA! - but, alas, they aren't. And they needed the reminder that their words reflect their heart...and that there are consequences for every word that comes from their mouth.

Indeed, a good way to start a new school year.

May you, too, pull weeds where needed in your garden!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

good night, tomatoes!

The last batch is finally done :::yawn::: With adding about a dozen tomatoes from my garden I was able to get 14 quarts of tomatoes canned this evening. My hope is that there will be more tomatoes available in the days ahead as 14 quarts won't be near enough to carry us through the winter. At least the kitchen is cleaned up and this project won't interfere with our schooling in the morning.

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

it's only oatmeal, right?

:::sniff sniff:::

I was finally getting around to cleaning up the kitchen this afternoon when I grabbed the pan off the stovetop to take it over to the sink. It was the pan that I had cooked oatmeal in for breakfast. And there was still a lot of oatmeal left in it. Why? Because my oatmeal lovin' son is off to college and wasn't here this morning to clean the pan out! Another adjustment. It'll mean more leftovers until I finally get the hang of cooking for fewer mouths. Now to see if I can find Terry2's recipe to use up my leftover oatmeal......

Another tomato update: The call came this afternoon. She only had half a bushel of canning tomatoes for me and really had no idea whether or not there'd be many more in the future. She's going to do some scouting around in the next couple of days. The blessing though was picking them up a little while ago and being given a bunch of her less than perfect tomatoes! Maybe with what I have in the garden to add to these I can get a couple canners worth of tomatoes :-) Of course it's in the mid-80's right now which makes for a hot kitchen, but the blessing will be some hot chili this winter!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

ready or not

The kids are ready and the house is settled enough - at least for them - to officially start school this morning. I don't feel ready yet and my mind is whirring with all that is left to do, but I will commit to sitting at the kitchen table for the morning to get everyone going on this year's studies. At least they've been unofficially doing some school which makes it easier. And I do have our rough draft schedule for the year made out already, so it won't take too long to put it down in formal print. Oh, the littlest is already up and playing in the newly enlarged playroom still as happy as a bug in a rug :-)

Tomato update: I have not missed tomato canning season as I found out they've only had a bushel or two come through the farm market this late summer. Apparently the area of the state where the tomatoes come from has been hard hit by the large amount of rain which has fallen and that has affected the tomato crop. They are soggy! I've never heard of a soggy tomato before. Anyway, their produce truck is traveling there today and I'm on the list for a few bushels of tomatoes if available. Tomorrow MAY be canning day :-)

It's a beautiful morning as I write and the weather is forecasted to be very warm and summerlike. And yet as I look out my window, the woods no longer looks that deep shade of green as the leaves begin fading. A season of change both outside and inside. It's a good thing. A very good thing. And I'm thankful to have the solid rock of the Lord beneath me through all the changes.

Have a good day! :-)

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, September 4

as happy as a bug in a rug

As I was pondering the day in my exhausted state at this late moment, my four year old quickly came to mind. I hardly heard a peep from her all day nor hardly saw her. There was a tremendous amount of activity with shuffling around in the house and errand running outside the house. People were coming and going all day. Things were being moved up and down the stairs. Laundry was going. Containers were gone through. Large bookshelves were unloaded, moved, then loaded back up with books. The playroom was enlarged again back to a resemblance of the olden days before our family was so large. And a little girl was as happy as a bug to have rediscovered so many things in our house as items were shuffled around. She was sad, but very tired when I finally tucked her into bed tonight. I'm sure she didn't even realize that two of her brothers were sleeping in different rooms tonight. Nope. She was thinking about how wonderful her play table was in its new spot :-)

Having had children who do not handle change well, I was amazed when considering how very flexible my little girl was. Her day didn't skip a beat in the least...if anything, her day was enhanced. HA! The child did better than her mother! Give me time to ponder my future so I can be best prepared is my motto. Now I know where my non-easily-changed children get it from! I think she must get this easy going characteristic from her daddy? Maybe from her Heavenly Daddy as His Word talks about being content whatever the circumstances.

And here I was talking about flexibility this morning before we even started...

I do know that I will be as happy as a bug in a rug, too, as soon as my head hits the pillow!

Blessings from one tired mama,
Tammy ~@~

one more week

Home again. Whew! But that is the only thing that feels normal. One more week, I think, of life out of sync.

Typically we begin school the last week of August or at the latest the first week in September. I'm not ready yet :::sigh::: however, the kids can get started on their own today. It will be easy to catch up with the younger ones once the dust settles.

My oldest daughter and husband are here yet today, so we are going to get busy at moving the boys around in rooms. To think, it's been over a week since a room has been vacated and although I've done some cleaning in it, we have not been home long enough to do the actual moving yet. Just add this to the list of household changes.

Also today I need to check with the local farm market about tomatoes. I'm hoping they still have a good crop of tomatoes available for canning. It would be heart breaking to hear that they are no longer available and my family would revolt at the knowledge of no homemade chili all winter. There's quite possibly more beans out in the garden that need canning, too. I'm almost afraid to walk out into the garden as it has been so sadly neglected over the last week or two :::another sigh::: so, add this to the list of non-schooling tasks for the week.

And have I mentioned that my laundry is WAY behind? The girls' room is a disaster? Seasonal clothes need to be gone through? Appointments need to be made? Cards need to be sent? Bills need to be paid? Meetings need to be attended? Gifts need to be found? Soccer treats need to be baked? My bedroom desperately needs to be cleaned as it's lost it's calm haven retreat feeling?

But, man, what a weekend! Perfect weather to be up at the cabin. Even more perfect for the ten people camping in tents. Besides family, we had six twenty-something friends of theirs enjoying our retreat in the woods. Talk about energy! Fishing, boating, laughing, saunaing, hiking, paintballing, laughing, stargazing, campfiring, log tackling, eating, and did I mention laughing? What a joy it was to have good clean fun! But, man, what a tired mom I am this morning!

"Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand." ~ Proverbs 19:21

Plans. I have many plans. I have lists of plans. But praise God that He interrupts my plans with times of fun and fellowship!

May you, too, have plans which are flexible enough for the Lord to change to fulfill His purposes.

Now, back to work! LOL!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~




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