Friday, November 30

those tests

"The tests of life are to make, not break us. Trouble may demolish a man's business but build up his character. The blow at the outward man may be the greatest blessing to the inner man. If God, then, puts or permits anything hard in our lives, be sure that the real peril, the real trouble, is what we shall lose if we flinch or rebel." ~ Maltbie D. Babcock

Our human minds would like to think that as believers in Jesus Christ our lives would be without difficulty. But if that were the case, our faith would soon dwindle and we would have no need for God. Instead we are faced with some incredibly difficult tests of life which bring us down to some very low points. The benefit of that is there is only one place to look and that is UP. Up to our Savior. As we look up, the burden falls down. Conflict is replaced by the peace found only in God.

As one who can testify to kicking and screaming at God a bit in my early days, I've learned that rebellion against Him only prolongs the tests of life He has so graciously provided to built my faith. It's taken me many years, but I *think* I've learned to look UP a lot quicker now. It is so much easier to let go and work WITH Him rather than against Him.

Whatever you may be facing on this day, know that God is on your side. Just keep your eyes UP!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, November 29

how much more?

How much can I do for Christ? We are accustomed to say, "As much as I can." Have we ever thought we can do more than we can?

This thought was lately suggested by the remarks of a Christian friend who told how God had laid it upon her heart to do something for His cause which was beyond her power. When she dared to obey Him, He gave her the assurance of His power and resources, and so marvelously met her faith that she was enabled to do more than she could otherwise, and accomplish her heart's desire, and see a work fulfilled to which her resources were unequal. ~ A. B. Simpson

:::gulp::: Am I the only one who looks at my schedule for the day and frequently asks the Lord to "just get me through the day!" ? How often has the thought come to me to accomplish MORE than I see possible?

Yet look at this Scripture verse: "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us" ~ Ephesians 3:20

I tend to believe that what God sees us accomplishing is much much more than what we could ever imagine and certainly much much more than we ever ask.

So how about joining me in the challenge of seeking God's will for our day....asking for His complete plan which may mean accomplishing much much more for Him than we could ever imagine!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, November 28

the brrrr holiday challenge


Winter is upon us where my family lives. My family loves to be active outdoors and thrive on snow and ice. It is not uncommon to hear loud "woo hoos" on a day where the snow is falling hard and heavy. Activities range from sledding to ice skating to broomball to hockey to cross country or downhill skiing to snowboarding to igloo building to, of course, much shoveling. But as I've gotten older, I really don't enjoy winter activities as much. I just don't like getting cold...period. I tend to opt for more of the sideline watching or inside the house baby watching. You know, by the warm fire :-)

But how essential it is for exercise to be a year around activity if we want to live well. I am thankful for indoor exercise options that I have nearby with my local Curves or walking in the early mornings at the high school fieldhouse. However, two days this week I balked at going to either one. The temperatures were in the teens, it was very windy and blustery outside my window, and snow was falling. I really really REALLY didn't want to leave the house. Remember, I don't like COLD. And yet, I knew I needed to go. The upcoming holidays are not only stressful and routine faltering, but they are filled with plenty of seasonal food temptations everywhere you go. Either one of those things are worthy of exercise, however when you put them together they make exercise essential for a
woman's well being.

Perhaps the best thing to do as we come into the holidays is to plan ahead as much as possible. Find a time when you can work in regular exercise. Plan lighter daytime meals when you have evening events which you know will have calorie laden tables at them. Better yet, on those days make sure you've drank your water quota for the day and have a big salad before you leave the house and your appetite will be curbed. Make wise choices when faced with so many options...relish trays instead of cookie plates. And the best option, commit your plan to the Lord asking for HIS HELP to keep it a healthy holiday season.

"A man's heart plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps." ~ Proverbs 16:9

To read about the journey of other Live Well participants, go here!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, November 27

secretly encouraging

The character quality for our before-school devotions this week is...encouragement! One of the statements that was in today's section was...tell about a time when someone secretly encouraged you.

Isn't that a neat thing to think about?

Can you think of a time when someone encouraged you without them knowing it? You know, the times when someone says something very randomly to you and your heart ends up floating? What a ray of sunshine that can be!

Think of those who you could secretly encourage. Maybe a family member right in your home, maybe a friend down the road. It could be in the form of an unsigned note to someone who lives locally. Actually that would be hard for me to do since my handwriting tends to be distinctive...but I could have one of my older kids write it for me, right? And it could even be done in cyberspace in blogworld on sites that allow anonymous comments.

Secretly encouraging...it is a perfect example of giving being more delightful than receiving!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

how's the taste?

A couple of days ago I read something interesting about the "train up" which comes from the familiar verse of Proverbs 22:6. Here it is:

The root meaning for the term "train up" is "palate or roof of the mouth". The Arab midwife would take olive oil or crushed dates on her finger and rub the palate of a newborn baby to create in the infant a desire to suck. A real meaning of "training" is to create a taste or desire. Our task is to develop in our children a hunger or desire for spiritual things, to cultivate an urge to follow God. ~ David Jeremiah

As I've been pondering this a bit, I thought about how people cultivate a hunger or desire. It typically doesn't just happen on its own. An example would maybe be my kids reading about soccer. May sound like something they'd like to do. They could buy the soccer shoes and soccer ball. Find a water bottle. Talk to someone who plays soccer. Sit on the couch and watch a soccer game on TV. But the clincher would probably be once they put into action all they've read about and watched as they go out on a soccer field and actually played the game.

And isn't that somewhat like what we do with our spiritual training of our children. We can read them Bible stories. Give them their own devotionals as they get older. Have additional resources available for further study. Allow them to participate in children's ministries. Let them watch their parents walk of faith. And then when they leave our home our hope is that they, too, will have a desire to continue serving the God they've grown to love.

Let them watch their parents walk of faith. I think of the coach that one of my daughter's had this fall for soccer. He was actually the goalie for the high school soccer team and loved playing the game. Not only did he have great knowledge to pass onto the kids on his team, but he was actively practicing and playing the game at the same time he was coaching. And he brought to the team an enthusiasm for the game. His example certainly cultivated a love for the game in the kids on his team.

Let them watch their parents walk of faith. How are we doing as parents? As moms that are home full time with our children, are we taking the knowledge we have from God's Word and practicing it in front of our children? Do we have an enthusiasm and joy from knowing the Lord that we live out on a daily basis? Do we stop and pray when necessary with them, praise God with them, ask for their forgiveness when we mess us, and thank God as He blesses us? Are we actively and moment by moment running the race or is it just a Sunday morning thing?

"Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!" - Psalm 139:23-24

May our walk with the Lord before our children be something that develops a taste in our children for their own walk of faith with Him!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~



Monday, November 26

ah, yes, four

Somedays...I think...wouldn't it be great to be four again? Get up and get dressed in your favorite ballerina dress, girly denim jacket, fluffy pink scarf, sparkly pink shoes...then grab pinkie blanket and fuzzababy and wander around the house singing as you go without a care in the world?! :-)

Nawwwwww, much more fun pushing fifty and getting wiser by the day, right? LOL!

All I know is that I'm doggone tired tonight and she's still bouncing around here happy go lucky as we just got home from AWANA Club :-)

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

back on track

:::::creak:::::

:::::creak:::::

:::::CREAK:::::

:::::CREEEEEEEAK:::::

Yup, that's us trying to get back on track again!

You see, we've been on a two week break from schooling. Now that my husband and sons are back home safe and sound, I can officially announce that information. They took a huntin' trip out to the mountains and did some menfolk bonding. The last time my husband hunted out that way our oldest was twelve years old. Fourteen years ago. Now our youngest son is thirteen years old and my husband thought it was time to take the boys before they were all grown up. They kept a journal on their trip and I've really enjoyed reading about their daily adventures as they made some new memories. Such creative descriptive writers we've raised! And the bonus is having meat in the freezer.

It's been two weeks of the girls and mom at home. Just hanging out. Having friends over. Watching chick flicks. Eating what we want. Mom getting some deep cleaning done. Girls playing. Staying up late. The girls sleeping in late which has been heavenly for me as I LOVE a quiet house in the morning.

BUT...back to reality. And it isn't going to be easy. We had a good rhythm going with our schooling before this break and I foresee a challenge ahead because of the length of the vacation we enjoyed. Plus I traditionally have a hard time keeping up with school in the month of December because of all the other distractions that come with the holidays.

Definitely a "handle with prayer" journey for the next month...

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Sunday, November 25

worship today

"Worship is not taught from the pulpit. It must be learned in the heart." ~ Jim Elliot

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, November 24

the extent of my sewing

As my kids grow a bit and are in their own beds, I typically take them shopping for some fabric so I can tie a quilt for their bed. Then that quilt is free to go with them when they leave home. The quilts are nothing fancy, but are THEIR quilts which makes them special.

On my "to-do" list was quilt mending. My 21yo son has a dog that goes between our house and his house...we all own this pooch :-) One day he had left the dog alone in his house and the dog got bored or mad or whatever and chewed a hunk of his quilt. So, the quilt showed up at my door with a plea for help. This poor quilt has already had one major mending/addition as my son had worn off the top edge of it, so I had put on a thick green flannel top border. I told him that the mending patch wouldn't look too pretty since it had to be so large in a weird spot, but he didn't care. So there you have it!

It does make me feel, I don't, maybe sad whenever I sit at the sewing machine to just mend. I miss the days of all the sewing I used to do and perhaps needs to set aside some time on a regular basis to do just that - SEW! And yet, even mending someone's special quilt is an act of love, don't you think?

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

growing onions

What tends to happen after grocery store shopping is that my helpers put everything into the upstairs kitchen pantry. The problem is that often I see things on sale while shopping and buy extras which are intended to go into the the downstairs food storage pantry. Only my children aren't mind readers, so they pile up the upstairs pantry shelves with these extras until you really can't find anything because it is so cluttered and piled up. So, yesterday I was taking things that I had cleaned out of my upstairs kitchen pantry downstairs to my food storage pantry. And lo and behold - as an explanation to this strange picture! - most of my onions from the garden were growing again :::sigh::: It seems strange that I hadn't noticed it before because I do go in and out of that pantry a lot, but typically I grab what I need and head back upstairs. Guess we have some onions that need to be used up now. I always wanted to try French onion soup...I can already hear my kids groaning about that thought and pleading with me, "no, mother, no, no, noooooooo!" hehe...

But these growing onions reminded me of something other than soup. The dynamics within a family. The squeaky wheel gets the grease kind of thing. The kids who are the most extroverted and active tend to get the most attention...probably because they are also often the ones most likely to be into trouble through the years! Then you have the ones who tend to be more introverted and keep busy on their own with their easy going personalities. They are the ones who are suddenly wearing capris - before capris were in - and they've never been in with boys! And when you mention their pants are looking small, they mention their toes have been pinched in their shoes, too! YIKES! Not only have they grown without a lot of fanfare, but they've also developed good AND bad habits without much notice. They may be the ones who are smart as a whip and school well independently. But they can also be the ones who get stuck on a math problem on Monday and don't move ahead in their book, so on Friday when you are reviewing their math work they are now a week behind!

Growing onions in the food pantry is a good reminder to myself to make time to connect with the easy going ones of our household. To encourage the good character traits growing in their lives and nip those bad habits that may be quietly developing.
To give them the assurance that they are just as important and loved as the squeaky wheels.

May you, too, spend time among the onion row in your garden today!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, November 22

new thanks

"Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations." ~ Psalm 100:4-5

As I'm waiting for the pumpkin pie baking in the oven, it seemed like a good time to start counting my blessings. I know it sounds cliche', but God is good...all the time! And rather than name all my blessings here, I'll list the ones that are "new" since last year at this time.

*God meets us in all our challenges
What comes to mind is my husband. A little over a year after his dad passed away, his mom passed away right before Christmas last year. All through the winter he was dealing with his own health issues and after many tests and a biopsy he was diagnosed with hyperthyroid which both of his siblings also have. We looked at the options and he went with the radioactive iodine pill which he took in the spring. Since then he has been continuing with regular blood tests as they adjust his medications which could take up to a year to stabilize. At least he's starting to feel a little better now. We also hit a bump in the road this past fall in our marriage. It is taking hard work, but God is giving us the strength and wisdom as we go.

*Homeschooling does work
There is that moment in time when you have one leaving the nest and you suddenly think about all the things you hadn't yet taught them :::gulp::: Perhaps that moment comes as a reminder to us that we are just God's helpers and He is the ultimate Teacher. And then begins the prayer covering. After a few months away from home they walk through the door for Thanksgiving and as they chatter away there is evidence that their foundation is still strong and standing. As much as the 3 R's and ABCs are important and essential, godly character traits are what carry them through life. It's a good reminder to me as we continue homeschooling children ranging from pre-school through high school.

*Our family continues to grow
A year ago at Thanksgiving our oldest daughter brought home a young man for us to meet. About six weeks later he came alone to ask my husband for her hand in marriage. This spring we celebrated with their wedding! It is a joy getting to know our new son-in-law. We also grew in another way as Scooter (better known as the Prince by me because he is an amazingly handsome kitten) joined our family in August. There is nothing like the antics of a kitten romping, jumping, leaping, and purring. And probably the sweetest sign of family growth comes in the next generation as two sweet little grandangels are being formed in secret expected to arrive in the spring and summer next year :-)

May our hearts be thankful daily for blessings whether they are old or new or just the ordinary! God is good...all the time!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


Wednesday, November 21

do not enter

As I've talked to women, a problem that seems to be common to most women is this: doing well on a healthy eating plan, falling off that plan with a bad day, being upset about falling off, and then continuing in that manner of eating because of their sense of failure. Suddenly that five or ten pounds that they've worked so hard to get off over the last few months are BACK. And quite possibly, they've brought their friends! :-p~

Perhaps the reason I've been thinking about this is....Thanksgiving! My favorite meal of the year to prepare, cook/bake, and EAT! YUMMY! Thanksgiving is always the perfect meal to overindulge, don't you think? And the leftovers are heavenly, particularly the pecan pie :-)

DO NOT ENTER.

Over the past couple of years as I have been more seriously working on weight loss and getting healthy - taking care of ME - this is a lesson I was determined to learn. It's okay. *IF* I've messed up on a meal or a day, it's okay. It isn't the end of the world. Look at it, learn from it, and MOVE ON. DO NOT ENTER into the zone of beating yourself up because you've failed and then continue on that destructive path. Pick yourself back up and go right back to doing what you were doing before it happened.

When you know in advance that there's a challenging meal or day(s) coming, prepare yourself in advance with good planning. It may be an uncoming birthday celebration, a dinner out with your husband, company at your house, or those hormonal roller coasters we all tend to ride - ugh! Make wise choices. Look for low glycemic food items. Keep portion sizes down. Put good snack items in easy reach. Find complex carbs and good protein of you need to graze. And if you end up eating a bigger piece of birthday cake than you knew you should have, it's okay. Pick your self back up and do better tomorrow!

Think back through the Old Testament and all the battles fought by the Israelites. When they were attentively listening to God, He always gave them His battle plan for taking over a land or people. The plan was of great benefit for His people if they followed it wisely. We, too, can have a battle plan as we consider a healthier eating plan which we will benefit from if we follow it wisely.

Thanksgiving is a meal that we can have an advance plan in place. Turkey is a good protein, but watch out for the side dishes! Stay away from the creamy saucy dishes or limit them to a spoonful just to get a taste. Same thing with those sweetened cranberry and jello salads. Look for green salads, steamed vegetables, whole wheat grainy dinner rolls. Ice water with a twist of lemon instead of a glass of eggnog. And skip the pumpkin pie if you are full! Okay, I know NONE of my family would do that. In fact, I have to bake extra pumpkin pies because we've had a strange family tradition develop through the years of having a piece of pumpkin pie for breakfast on Friday morning :-) Doesn't mean that *I *have to follow that tradition or have the big glob of whipped cream on top, especially if the Thanksgiving meal was one of overindulgence for myself. I can choose the DO NOT ENTER zone of not continuing in a pattern of unhealthy eating and can make wise choices the morning after Thanksgiving.

With a healthy plan in place which includes nourishing foods to energize your body as well as the Lord walking with you, the battle can be won!

You can follow the journey of other Live Well participants here.

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, November 20

uh huh

"With all the difficulties and problems that God brings into our lives, things which we would never choose for ourselves, I wonder sometimes if they are simply God's messengers to keep our feet on the ground and away from a proud heart." ~ David Jeremiah

Uh huh. There's no doubt in my mind that statement is true. After I read it last night, I thought back to situations in my own life that knocked me off my feet. Took me down to the bottom to show me that I was nothing, absolutely nothing, without Christ holding me up. True humility. Even talking about it feels prideful though, you know?

And I believe pride is part of our natural sin nature as it has been there since the very beginning of mankind. Perhaps that is why we can so easily recognize it in other people...it's part of us.

The Scripture that immediately comes to mind is this one: "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, humbled himself and became obedient to death--even death on a cross!" ~ Philippians 2:5-8

Can we completely empty ourselves and serve others humbly?

Only step by step with the Lord's help.

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, November 19

november gray

Leave a little light on
somewhere, in some room,
dark rainy days;
where, in the deepening gloom,
I, damped and greyed
by weather, might
in some unexpected place
glimpse warmth and cheer.
Those who feel that light
is utilitarian only,
have never known
the desolation dusk can bring
to being lonely.

~Ruth Bell Graham

November has to be the grayest, gloomiest, dampest, darkest, dreariest month ever! The early morning began with a rain wet snow mix which turned into a damp mist the rest of the day. The fog has hung in the woods all day long making an eerie habitat for woodland creatures and setting in melancholy for those who gaze out their windows. Every room has needed a light turned on from morning until now as dusk is setting in more heavily. It does give one a depressed lonely feeling. It is hard on those of us who are energized by sunshine and have only seen rare glimpses of it throughout the autumn months this year :::sigh:::

My curiosity wonders what November is like for the rest of the country?

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

my cranberry salad recipe

My daughter-in-law just emailed me for my cranberry salad recipe :::sniff sniff::: It feels like such a compliment! Since our Thanksgiving will be different this year, I won't be making this recipe. So, it seems proper to post it here for someone else to enjoy. I can't really remember where it originated from, but I liked it the first time I made it because it had reminded me of a cranberry salad my mother-in-law made one of the first years after we had met. Enjoy!

Mom's Cranberry Salad

3 oz package raspberry jello
3 TB sugar
1 bag fresh cranberries
8 oz can crushed pineapple, drained
2 crisp red apples, cored & quartered
1 orange quartered - do not peel

In a small bowl combine jello and one cup of boiling water. Stir until thoroughly dissolved, then set aside but do not refrigerate. Using food grinder, coarsely grind cranberries. Transfer them to a large bowl and stir in sugar and pineapple. Let them stand ten minutes, stirring occasionally. Put apples and orange through the food grinder, then stir them into the cranberry mixture. Add jello and stir well to combine. Cover and refrigerate. Makes 8 - 10 servings (it varies depending upon the crowd!)

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

off balance

Once in a great while I will wake up with this....vertigo. My head feels off balance which, of course, makes the rest of me feel off balance. It seems to happen whenever I sleep most of the night on my back which I don't typically do since I'm a side sleeper. However, I woke up in that position this morning. Quietly I prayed since I was already in the position that I typically like to roll into to pray before I leap out of bed. Then when I stood up from bed....WHOA! I immediately noticed it! So I'm moving slowly right now and not moving my head much but focusing in one place at a time. I'll take something to try and alleviate it and hope that it will just fade throughout the day. It's an unexpected detour for my plans for the day.

That happens in our spiritual lives from time to time. We seem to be going along just fine and suddenly we are off balance. Sometimes we can look back and see where we've been off course a bit and sometimes there's no sign of what threw us off. It usually requires us to slow down and not be busy looking around at the world, but to be still and just focus on God. Not a bad thing at all, is it?

Now to work on my list for the day to accommodate the detour.....

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


Sunday, November 18

all day hope

"Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long." ~ Psalm 25:4-5

A day of worship! May He speak to your heart today!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, November 17

in that deep place

From a devotional:

"Do not wait for some ideal situation, some romantic difficulty, some far-away emergency; but rise to meet the actual conditions which the providence of God has placed around you today. Your crown of glory lies embedded in the very heart of these things--those hardships and trials that are pressing you this very hour, week, and month of your life. The hardest things are not those that the world knows of. Down in your secret soul unseen and unknown by any but Jesus, there is a little trial that you would not dare to mention, that is harder for you to bear than martyrdom.

There, beloved, lies your crown. God help you to overcome, and sometime wear it." ~ Selected


Ahh, this speaks to the very omniscience of God. Think Psalm 139:1-6. God has complete knowledge of me inside and out. Complete. This is something no human can ever acquire about anyone else. Only God. Only God with his infinite awareness, understanding, and insight. Who else then could help us better than He who knows the trial that is deep within us and unspeakable to anyone else? Only God.

He is faithful. Press on. We will overcome.

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

frosty punkin

When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock. ~ James Whitcomb Riley

It really is fun to read the original poem. I'm thinking that most of the words wouldn't make it through spellcheck...hehe! One of my daughters had this poem last fall for part of her spelling class and though not very excited about it, after several times of reciting it she found the rhythm and it was enjoyable to listen to her recite.

This picture was taken a few days ago when the frost truly was on the punkin! Actually it was snowing like crazy at the moment. Yup, there's those corn stalks from my garden. The punkin from the other side of the steps has been cut up for its abundance of seeds to put in the oven for our eating pleasure. And this poor frozen punkin will be next to meet such a destiny. A sign that our autumn is quickly turning into our long winter.

May you enjoy the waning days of autumn with a heart of thanksgiving!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, November 16

a surprise of the best kind

Welcome to my home! I'm cooking a big pot of soup - can you tell by the size of the spoon? LOL! Actually, I'm not cookin' a thing, but grabbed the spoon so I'd have a prop to go with my new...

APRON!

What a wonderful totally unexpected surprise to get a package in the mail! You never know what may happen when you post on someone else's blog sharing three things you'd like for Christmas and a cyberfriend whom you've known for several years stops by there, too, and sees what you wrote and before you know it...there's a package in the mail! How very truly blessed it made me feel :-D

It is such a pretty apron that I'm almost afraid to wear it being the messy cook that I am, yet the fabric looks delightfully durable and worthy of even myself wearing it with pleasure.

And you know, every time I put this apron on I'll be reminded of this special friend and will whisper a prayer of thanksgiving for her as well as God to bless her life just as richly!

"I cannot even imagine where I would be today were it not for

that handful of friends who have given me a heart full of joy.
Let's face it, friends make life a lot more fun. " ~ Charles R. Swindoll

Thank you! :::sniff sniff:::

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

renew renew renew

From my devotional last night:

The only way to survive in a world which tries to slowly poison our minds is to renew our minds each day. The psalmist says in Psalm 1 that the blessed man is the one who delights in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. When I open my Bible for personal devotions, I know that I'm looking at the very Word of God. It's different from everything else around me. What I'm reading is in a whole different universe. I'm getting a transfusion of heavenly culture into my system. I know that if I try to make it in this world, I'll get pulled down. I'll never be happy following the world's plan.

But when I came to Jesus Christ, the happiness of this world was ruined for me. I've got the Holy Spirit inside me, and I can never be happy unless I'm walking with Him. People can try to be happy, but they'll never achieve it apart from the Lord. Christians can try to follow the world's plan for happiness, but the only way they will find it is to let the Word of God cleanse and renew them. ~ David Jeremiah

Last night my oldest daughter called me and chatted for quite awhile. Actually, I think she was using me to stay awake as her husband got off work at midnight...hehe...but that plan never works well because mom can't stay awake to talk. After our usual chit chat, she was sharing again about someone she knows from school who has remained in touch. Constantly in touch as she calls my daughter a few times a day. Constantly in a state of dysfunction and indulgent sin. Constantly exploring new age (or should I say old age?) philosophies the latest of which is astrology and numerology, exploring various s*xual options, enhancing it all with alcohol. What's fascinating about it all is that my daughter lives a life completely the opposite of this person (I hesitate calling her a friend because it is not a reciprocal relationship) as my daughter's foundation is Jesus Christ. Right now my daughter is a listening ear to someone she sees who is seeking the world's happiness in all the wrong places and who is chasing love which she will never find until she meets Jesus.

I also think of a friend who is dealing with an acquaintance whose life is far from the Lord, a mess on many levels, and whose needs are constant. I think of my college-aged son who has seen freshmen pursue the world's happiness on many levels which only drags them into seeking more because sin will never satisfy but will only grow more demanding.

Light. My heart believes that somewhere in these lost lives they recognize light and are drawn to it. Jesus Christ is the light of the world and He is the foundation of my daughter's, my son's, and my friend's lives. Yet, at this point, the lost refuse to know more about Him. I trust that God does have a plan.

And as I pray for each one of these dear people in my life, I pray that they will be drawn into the Word daily to be renewed and strengthened. That a daily transfusion of His Word will renew their minds. And that walking with the Holy Spirit will daily renew the peace and joy that comes from God and which the world can never attain.

Renew. Renew. Renew.

It's a good reminder for all of us as we live in this world.

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


Thursday, November 15

all thumbs up

"There are days when any electrical appliance in the house, including the vacuum cleaner, seems to offer more entertainment possibilities than the TV set." ~ Harriet Van Horne

Nope, I'm not much of a television watcher at all. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that television reception at our home comes through an antennae on the roof and picks up four channels - one clear, the other three questionable depending up on the weather or which way the antennae has turned in the wind. It's never reindeer on our rooftop...it's the pitter patter of boy feet up there turning the antennae until someone yells out the door, "it looks good!" Or perhaps I'm not a television watcher because it's rare to sit and watch a program that seems worthy of my time. A majority of the programming seems to be "garbage in, garbage out" and falls far short of the words found in Philippians 4:8 - "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things." Not all television shows fall into the nasty category and I think everyone has their own lines that they draw for thumbs up or thumbs down.

Yup, I am a movie watcher once in awhile. I primarily pick the old familiar ones or go by the recommendations of friends and what they've watched and enjoyed. And we just watched one that got a thumbs up by everyone in the household and which I can heartily recommend:

The Ultimate Gift


It's the story of a grandson that comes from a very wealthy family and the series of gifts his grandfather leaves behind him as a legacy. Keep kleenex nearby as it is definitely a sniffler assisted by a fountain of tears. And I'm delighted to say that Sara Groves sings one of the closing songs :-)

Enjoy!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

trouble comes and goes

"When we think about people trouble grows; when we think about God trouble goes." ~ author unknown

I need to write a letter in which I'm at a loss of words. I know, that is almost an oxymoron, isn't it?

Let me back up a bit. Sometime this year communication with a family member broke. And I don't know exactly when. I think it may have been around the time of my oldest daughter's wedding in the spring. And it is with someone who it has taken years to restore a relationship with which was a direct answer to prayer. Our family's year has been so crazy busy that it wasn't until this fall that I had been thinking about the fact that this person has dropped out of our lives. My husband and I talked about it for awhile as we looked back and neither of us have any idea of what happened or why. We just know that the relationship is broken.

So, how do you write a letter asking for forgiveness when you do not have any idea what is wrong? How do you apologize and say you are sorry for an unknown offense? How do you acknowledge hurt that unintentionally must have occurred?

The letter has been written and re-written many times in my head. Today I hope to put the rough draft down onto paper as I would like to get this in the mail complete with pictures of the kids to arrive before Thanksgiving.

I'm counting on the fact that through prayer and with God's help, the trouble indeed will go....

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, November 14

no more excuses



Last night after talking to someone, I was struck by something....excuses. Oh yes, as mothers we may hear lots of excuses all day long from our children about why they can't do something. But there is a topic that brings out excuses in mothers big time and it's that dreaded single word - EXERCISE. And that's what I heard last night as someone shared their *reasons* - yes, excuses - why they couldn't fit in exercise.

And yet, how can we deny this Scripture:

"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body." ~ I Corinthians 6:19-20

The last sentence is a command. Period. Some translations use the word "glorify" instead of honor. We are commanded to honor/glorify God with our bodies. And you know, God's commands aren't there to harm us, but to help us avoid pain in our lives. When we don't follow this particular command, what happens? Physically we feel like yuck, emotionally we are beaten down, spiritually we may be separated from God typically by our own choice, mentally we make up excuses. Blech, eh?

And I do understand. I've BTDT. A large growing family has consumed my life for many years and I could give a list of all the, um, *reasons*, I couldn't exercise. Instead of taking a walk after supper, I had to work on the laundry. Instead of playing baseball with the kids in the field next to the house, I had to clean up the kitchen. Instead of going on a bike ride, I had to clean out a closet. ETC. But guess what? After being a homemaker for so many years, I have found that there will always be work to be done within the home. It is never ending. But health? Are there any guarantees that once your kids are grown up you will be healthy? Chances are if you haven't taken care of yourself through the years, you may have some bigger health issues to deal with later. And you know what else? YOU are the only one who can take care of YOURSELF. No one else can do it for you. Not your husband. Not your children. Not your best friend. Only YOU.

So, you know what I say? JUST DO IT! Get up early before your husband leaves for work so he can watch the kids and you can take a walk or if you have gym facilities or a Curves close by, go there and work out. Take 30 minutes for a bike ride with the kids. Don't just watch the kids in the swimming pool, join them. Buy an exercise video to do at home or find used exercise equipment to put in your basement. Find a parking space at the end of the lot so you get some extra walking to the store. Use the stairs instead of the elevator. Be creative. JUST DO IT!

And reap the benefits by feeling so much better all around AND honoring/glorifying God at the same time :-)

May you be hopping, skipping, and jumping down your garden path today!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, November 13

let's get real

Randi is hosting a "Let's Get Real Monday" on Tuesday. You can enjoy other responses or participate yourself by going to her site. It was good for me to take a moment or two to stop and think about the good and bad things that are a part of my life. Here we go!
The topic is MY HABITS.

---What is one good habit that I have?

An early morning routine of a daily quiet time with the Lord AND exercising three times a week at Curves and walking for an hour once or twice a week.

---What is one bad habit that I have?

My name is Tammy and I am a book-a-holic. Now there's nothing wrong with books, but I have a ridiculous amount of books and bookshelves. The habit really got bad during our early years of homeschooling. Our local library holds an annual used book sale and we would bring home boxes and boxes of books as I'd choose any book that could be used for our schooling. So our shelves are filled with books that deal with science topics, history topics, language helps, geography, health, early childhood, math helps, sports, animals - you name it, we've got it. And what I am FINALLY having to admit - and trust me, it's hard to admit it - a majority of these books have not been opened by anyone in our twenty years of homeschooling :::gulp::: I have found that any book we actually need for schooling purposes is easily accessed through inter-library loan. So, next summer when the library is asking for books for their used books sale, I will be donating boxes and boxes of books. Please hold me to it!

This habit has carried itself into my personal collection of books, although there are fewer books I could actually part with to donate. Guess God will have to work on me a bit more in that department, eh? An extension of this habit is that I currently have several books by my bed with markers in them. They are all good and I want to read them all at once! I always used to be a read-one-book-at-a-time-from-start-to-finish kind of person and I need to get back to that way of reading.

---What is one habit that I would like to cultivate in my life?


Have been changing over my desk area the last several days, I've been organizing all the stationary, notes cards, greeting cards, and my favorite pens. It's caused me to realize how much I've fallen out of the habit of regular writing to others - you know, the old fashioned manner of snail mail. Pondering it I realize that computer reading and writing has taken over the time I typically might have used to hand write a note or two of encouragement, send an anniversary card or birthday card, write a long overdue letter to a relative. It's a habit I would like to get back into regularly instead of doing it only sporadically. Really, is there anything more delightful then getting REAL mail in your mailbox instead of endless junk mail or catalogs?

Soooooo, what about YOUR HABITS?

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


Monday, November 12

no foolin'

We can't fool our kids. At home, you and I are the real you and I. "Do as I say, not as I do", won't cut it. What we do is so powerful that it can destroy everything we say. We had better live out what we say we believe from the Word of God, or our words will act more like poison than fertilizer in the soil of our children's hearts.

If we don't model a real, genuine relationship with Jesus Christ, there's little chance our children will grow up to possess what we lack.

~David Jeremiah

Perhaps this caught my eye because it was kind of about gardening or perhaps it was because :::::gulp::::: it was such a powerful statement to consider.

Can you think of any situation that it speaks more powerfully to than a homeschooling mom? We are with our children 24/7 and our children do see the "real you" - the good, the bad, and the ugly.

So, what seeds are we planting in our children's lives and how well are we fertilizing the soil they are growing in? Are we presenting an example that says Jesus to them? Or are we poisoning them with worldly traits such as greed, worry, anger, lust, and general hypocrisy?

My thought is it comes down to our relationship with the Lord. *IF* we are actively and consistently spending time in God's Word, in prayer and worship, in living out what is maturing in our own faith, we will then be God's tool to plant these things in the lives of our children. It doesn't mean perfection. It does mean being real which is indeed a lesson in grace. And is there anything more amazing than that?

Walk the talk today on you garden path!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~



Sunday, November 11

for today

Spirit prepare me,
Prayer shape me,
Love surround me,
Faith prod me,
Hope take me,
Christ meet me
In service today.
Amen

~E. Lee Phillips


Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, November 10

WOO HOOO!

It took me a good chunk of the afternoon, but I DID IT!

The first snag was that my smallest screwdriver wasn't small enough, so I had to make a run to the local hardware store. Not a problem there except they were holding a big promotion of sorts and it was packed with people in there. Plus they were making fresh popcorn right by the door with the option of fresh caramel popcorn...I can still smell it! Yum! LOL!

The second snag was that one of the screws wouldn't come out and I thought perhaps I had stripped the top of the screw. I had to IM with my college son who was actually at work - as a computer tech - who told me to make sure the laptop was on a hard surface and to push down real hard and he was certain the screw would turn. Okay, so I was doing it on my lap as I had the instructions from the internet brought up on the dinosaur computer screen in front of me...and you know, it IS a LAPTOP computer :::groan::: I was about to give up, but gave it one last attempt and the screw turned!

The third snag was that it was a larger chip and took some wiggling to get into place. It felt like it was in where it belonged...but it wouldn't register the memory when I turned the computer on. So back to IMing and my son said it probably wasn't securely in place and to take it out and try again. I did. Several times. Nothing. So I IMed him back and told him I'd call after he was done with work.

As I was going to set it aside and do something else for awhile, I decided to put the old memory chip back in to see how it worked and looked. Hmmm. Figured out an easier way to slide it into place and decided to try it with the larger memory chip. And...it worked! Woo hoooo! I was so so excited! Hey, I may never be a computer tech, but who says an old dog can't learn new tricks, eh?

It works wonderfully allowing my laptop to process quicker and smoother.

I hope your challenges this day worked out as well :-)

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


there is a motive

Okay, I do realize there's a lot of posts here today, but there is a motive behind my madness.

You see, my faithful ol' Mac laptop has been giving me fits lately. It is draggin' down and beachballin' until it drives me almost to insanity...grrrrrrrr!

So one of my older computer literate sons suggested a memory chip which arrived yesterday. "Easy as pie to install, Mom" he shares with me and sends me the link to the instructions. My choice is to wait until one of my older sons is home to do it for me - which could be Thanksgiving or Christmas - OR do it myself.

I think I can do it myself.

I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.

*IF* you don't see me for awhile, you'll know I couldn't.

If it doesn't work, I'm hoping that I can still access my blogs and favorite places on the internet via our old dinosaur computer. Otherwise, see you later in the year! LOL!

Enjoy some new challenges along your garden path today :-)

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

my corner

Here's *my* corner of the household :-) To the left of the lamp is the window where I regularly gaze out at my garden and get the weather predictions for the day. Actually, you get the "neat" picture as I was in the process of taking everything out of the area. After I emptied the bookcase against the wall and picked up my stacks of books and papers on the floor, I thought I had better take a quick "before" picture.

Before what you may ask?

The desk I've been using came into my life many years ago as an unfinished piece of furniture. I lovingly stained and varnished it before putting it into use. It has suited my purposes for many years, but sadly I've recognized for quite awhile that I had outgrown it for the needs I had. So I began to look - just a little - for a new desk. Nothing. The next solution seemed to be to do a major sorting, sifting, and cleaning of my desk area which I determined I'd do during our break after Christmas.

And then I saw her. A beauty beyond comparison on a simple picture hanging on one of the bulletin boards at church. I have no idea how long the picture had been up there as quite honestly I don't even regularly check that particular bulletin board. But I inquired and got the dimensions, measured my corner, figured I could place her on my bookshelf wall since she was too big for my desk wall, talked it over with my husband, and called to say I'd take her. Let me tell you about God's timing. The owner said I could either pick her up right away or wait until late next spring as they were leaving in a couple of days to warmer places for the winter months.

Quickly I packed up my corner which meant boxes of "stuff" piled up in our bedroom and the strong males of the household went to pick up a new desk for mom. I am so thankful for their willingness to do this for me as this move was no small matter. It was one heavy oak matter.

A beautiful rolltop oak desk now sits in my corner and let me tell you she is a beauty and an answer to a heart's desire since childhood (am I the only one who has ever wanted a rolltop desk?). I have a long way to go in organizing my new desk, but when she's settled in, I'll post a picture :-)

Isn't God good?

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

and stylin' mom


Okay, then there's me. My hair has been long for quite awhile and I guess you'll have to use my profile picture as the "before" although that doesn't really show the back length. Although I had short hair way back in high school - dinosaur days - for the most part it's been longer with a bit of a natural wave. What has been interesting is that after she cut my hair all these curls popped out! What's the saying? you're not getting older, you're getting better? Yup, that's my hair! It's getting better! Woo hoo! These pictures were taken the morning after my haircut, but since then my hair has adjusted to the shorter length and is keeping a nice overall curly curl. I do miss throwing it into a ponytail in the early mornings before I go to walk or exercise and instead deal with a bed-head look. Other than that it is an easy cut as I just scrunch it a bit after a shower.

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

the little stylin'


Here's the littlest, my Lovey, with her new haircut. Can you tell she LOVES it?! LOL! Cutting some length off helped to thicken her hair and it does look cute :-)

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

stylin'



You know how everyone talks about wanting a doctor or lawyer in the family (okay, and I'd have to add a meteorologist, too, since I'm a weather watcher person, although I'd probably be yelling at them all the time because of their forecasts *grin*). Well, when you have three daughters at the end of the family line and you are a hair fixin' challenged mom, then it's nice to have a fourth and oldest daughter who is a licensed cosmetologist working in a sweet salon :-) It is an incredible blessing to have someone who can do all the hair (and nails) around here. She enjoys stylin' her brothers' hair, too.

For many years we've worn the traditional hair of homeschooling - LONG. And truly, I love the girls hair long as it is so so pretty. But I'm coming around and allowing a little more cutting and trimming and stylin' of all our hair...even if it means being guinea pigs as she tries new things (no offense meant to guinea pigs, of course).

She was home a couple of weeks ago and out came her scissors. One daughter only got a trimming and thinning as she felt her hair was too "poofy" and I don't have pictures of hers, but I will put up a series of posts of our new looks around here.

Enjoy :-)

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

easy faith

My devotional this morning talked about Abraham and his testimony as a great man of faith. It reminded me of a precepts Bible study I participated in a few years ago that was about Abraham. I pulled out the study to see if I had written down a timeline, but I don't see one (however, just glancing through the study reminded me how much I ENJOY precept studies!). But I do recall us talking about how very many years it was in-between the encounters that Abraham had with God during the 175 years he lived. There were no Bibles to pick up in-between these times to reassure him of the promise God made. Abraham simply walked in obedience and faith.

Fast forward to today's world of Bibles in any version wanted, reference books and commentaries galore, books about Christianity on a multitude of relevant subjects...anything we want to know about God is available at our fingertips. And His Word is loaded with promises from God. You'd think this would make our nation one of great dynamic faith! Ahhh, quite the opposite seems to be the truth. Easy faith seems to result in no faith at all.

It's interesting to note that Christianity is growing rapidly in countries where persecution is apparent and a copy of a Bible is rare.

Yes, we are blessed with a multitude of resources to help grow our walk in faith, but let's keep our Bible - God's Word - as the foundation we are building on as we turn to that first and foremost.

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


Friday, November 9

the awards

Having recently followed a link to this site, I thought it would be good to announce to those who are readers of mine and fellow homeschoolers, the opportunity to nominate your favorite homeschooling blogs. There are 23 different nomination categories to chose from and the nominating process will be open until November 17th. Those who make it through this process will be the official candidates for voting on during December. Here's the site:

2007 Homeschool Blog Awards

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

where oh where?

Okay, where did the top leafy gardeny banner go for my blog? Is it just my computer being funky or has it really disappeared and left behind a green strip?

Back to all those end-of-the-week school corrections.....

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

your task

With snow falling outside our windows, it's a busy morning around here. As you go about your mothering duties, I'll leave you with a quote to chew on - and hopefully encourage! - for the day ahead.

"Whatever you do, do it so well that people looking on will feel that the task was reserved especially for you by God himself." ~ Dr. Benjamin Mays

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, November 8

a well done experiment

This morning as my third grader was looking over her science reading for the week, she made note that we could skip one of the experiments since she already knew what would happen. The experiment required putting a moist piece of bread on an uncovered plate for several days to see what happened. Having experienced that first hand via our bread drawer, she was an expert as she related stories of the grossest findings! I quickly reminded her that we wouldn't have so many experiments if my children would eat the bread ends (better known as "heels" depending upon where you live) instead of waiting until their mom remembers to make them for her toast in the mornings. Sheesh!

Dontcha love how homeschooling is always a live experiment in the making?! LOL!

Enjoy your garden path which may be scattered with spores, molds, funguses, and mosses!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

watch out

'Tis the season! Nope, not that season. Winter driving season. Driving takes on a whole new meaning this time of the year as conditions can vary from day to day. Some days you don't even bother going out because it's blowing and snowing like crazy making hazardous roads. Other days may just require a little extra caution. The reality of living here is that a small patch of ice doesn't really put you in the ditch...it instead tends to land you into trees. Big trees. Oh, and into other cars, too, as you are spinning around. YIKES!

This morning was a perfect crisp in the 20's kind of morning. We do have a little snow on the backroads which was enough to make you slow down a little. While I was walking at the high school, the radio announcer mentioned that drivers should take it slow as there was freezing fog scattered throughout the area making roads slippery. Although I hadn't noticed it on my short jaunt, it could be unexpected for other travelers...and since I'm not a radio listener, I would have never even known about it until too late.

As I was walking, I thought about how easy we can fall into spiritual danger if we don't use caution. Some situations are obvious to avoid like the nasty winter weather. Other situations may alert us to caution and we know we need to keep our spiritual antennae up as we proceed carefully. Then there's those situations which we totally don't see coming at all until we've CRASHED. How essential it is to keep our spiritual ears tuned in at all times to our Heavenly Father who holds the "forecast" in His hands!

May you walk down the garden path of changing weather with confidence knowing God walks with you rain or shine or freezing fog!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, November 7

stuck in the middle

From my devotional:

Bless the Lord, O my soul. ~ Psalm 103:1

This Psalm and its opening verses is in the very center of the Scriptures by an exact count of letters and verses. So let it stand in our lives, as we look backward and forward and upward in grateful thanksgiving, and as we sing in its closing strains, "Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless his holy name." Lord, center my heart in Thee and in the spirit of love and praise. ~ A.B. Simpson
Isn't this a cool verse to be stuck in the middle of the Bible? And so appropriate as we enter a season of thanksgiving? Even in the midst of difficulties, there is so much to be thankful for now. So often we take things for granted rather than recognize the Lord and all He has given. All those little things that bless our hearts.

Take a moment to ask God to open your eyes to the little things which so easily miss our glimpses which He has blessed you with and praise Him from your heart!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, November 6

say it aloud

"Compassed about
with a great cloud--"
the Scriptures say;
--if only I could hear
one shout--
the distant roar
of that great crowd--
just some small word--
aloud--
aloud--
to cheer my way.

~Ruth Bell Graham

Can you think of a single person who doesn't need a word of encouragement? Nope, I can't either. I think everyone can use a little encouragement daily. I mean, imagine "running the race" totally alone with no one cheering for you. Ahh, it could be done with the Lord's strength as He is our Great Encourager...

"May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word." ~ II Thessalonians 2:16-17

And using God's strength, we, too, can be encouragers along the way...

"Therefore, encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." ~ I Thessalonians 5:11

Think of it as offering a cup of fresh cool water to someone running a hot dusty long race. And it's so simple to do. A phone call, a note, an email, a greeting at the grocery store, a hug at church. Even at home with those we see all day long...think of a way to encouragement your husband or children by giving an encouragement in an area perhaps they aren't typically encouraged in by others.

May your garden path be strewn with the petals of encouragement today!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, November 5

pink and sparkly


Now, if you were four years old wouldn't you think these are the most delightful shoes ever in the whole wide world?! :-)

My oldest daughter and her husband are still in town for a long weekend, so we girls went shopping this morning. Ohhh, what fun! Actually, we were looking specifically for a couple pairs of shoes for one of my other daughters and somehow the other three daughters were trying on shoes, too. We, um, ended up bringing home, um, SEVEN pairs off shoes for all of us girls! Girls...shoes...goes together as well as creamer in my coffee...hehe! And they were ALL on sale. And no, I typically wouldn't buy a pair of incredibly awesome pink and sparkly shoes, but I figured they could be passed down to my granddaughter, right? :-)

Enjoy something fun in your garden today!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Sunday, November 4

this day

"This is the day which the LORD has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it."


Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, November 3

a tremble or two

Another good quote on prayer....it must be on my mind as it keeps popping up in my reading right now. Hopefully it will encourage others to reflect on their prayer lives, too!

"The one concern of the devil's is to keep the saints from prayer. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work, prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but trembles when we pray." ~Samuel Chadwick

How about making him tremble a bit this day?!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, November 2

from this morning

Just a cool little God moment from today. Remember what I posted this morning about prayer? About not limiting God?

We've used the same handwriting program forever - "A Reason for Handwriting" - as I like the daily set-up and the kids enjoy coloring the picture, writing the verse, and adding a letter on the bottom to send to someone we know when we get to the end of the week.

Today my 3rd grader's verse to finish out the week was this:

"The earnest prayer of a righteous man has great power and wonderful results." ~ James 5:16

Don't you think it goes with the devotional? :-D

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

the growing kitten

Thought I better take an updated picture since our kitten just turned five months old. Our "cheesey" littlest is holding him just like she always does...like a baby. For the most part, Scooter tolerates it well. We've had to talk to her about NOT holding him when he's in a frisky mood, but I think she's learning that the hard way as he has scratched her a couple of times recently. He is our main distraction during morning devotions if someone tosses a crumpled piece of paper on the floor. There will be nothing but wild running up and down the kitchen as he bats the paper to and fro. Of course, the kids love watching it so it does happen regularly. And at night he's busy catching (and eating....aww, yuck!) moths that are flickering around in the kitchen. He simply adores Shadow the German Shepherd who feels mutual and Muffin the Golden Retriever/Lab tolerates him for the most part. Scooter will sleep on anyone's bed at night and in general has one of the best cat personalities of all our cats. We'd love to find a pretty female kitty to become his partner, but so far no success.

Anywho, that's the kitten update!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

spelling definition practice

During one of our weekly "mom irons while giving spelling tests" lessons, one of the words was:

indulgent: lenient, tolerant, pampering

The sentence in the book used for this word was:

Grandparents have a reputation of being indulgent with their grandchildren. Grandparents have a reputation of being lenient, tolerant, pampering with their grandchildren.

YES!

Even though we had littles in our household when our first grandchild arrived, it has been fascinating to see how differently my heart has reacted to this precious little one. It really is difficult to put into words the type of love you feel as a grandmama. And I'm certain that this love does tend to lead to a bit of being lenient, tolerant, and pampering.

A recent example. The sweet little miss was in need of some bigger shoes, so we looked for the bag that had those sizes in them to send them off to her (yes, our scenario isn't typical as the shoes we sent had been worn by my youngest daughter within the last couple of years). With the shoes were several tissue paper wrapped dollar store surprises for my sweet curly-haired dimple-cheeked granddaughter to be opened one by one on days when she wakes up with that twinkle in her eye...and before she actually gets into trouble as we don't want to be rewarding her two year old disobedient moments. Hopefully these new surprises will keep her busy and out of trouble which would bless her sweet expectant mama, too!

Oh, what fun! Oh, what joy! The reward of future generations is a blessing indeed!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

no limits

From my morning devotional:

"Beware in your prayer, above everything, of limiting God, not only by unbelief, but by fancying that you know what He can do. Expect unexpected things, above all that we ask or think. Each time you intercede, be quiet first and worship God in His glory. Think of what He can do, of how He delights to hear Christ, of your place in Christ; and expect great things."
~Andrew Murray

Limiting God.

Believers limit God by not even taking the time to tap into the greatest tool of their spiritual arsenal - prayer. And when time is taken for prayer it is limited by our earthly expectations. But, ohhhhh, how His power can be displayed when we intercede by letting go of all that is on our heart and mind turning it over to Him and allowing His will to be done! Suddenly we have great expectations knowing He is released to work....without our interference. What an adventure! To see how He will creatively answer beyond anything we could come up with from our human point of view.

Unlimited God.

Take some time to share the difficult things on your heart today in prayer. Let go and let God. There are no limits to His answers. And be ready for the adventure :-)

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~
Blog Widget by LinkWithin