Monday, December 31

early morning reading room

Ahhh, the challenges of being an early bird mother. Especially when no one is sleeping in their regular beds. Especially when people are sleeping in unusual places in the household. Especially when making coffee in the kitchen will wake people up. Especially when someone is sleeping on the floor in your bedroom next to your desk.

So, this morning I resigned myself to scrounging on my desk for my Bible, devotional, journal, and notebook as quietly as possible in the dark. From there I tiptoed into the master bathroom where I could turn a light behind closed doors to do my quiet time. Ah, yes, what we commonly joke about being the *reading room* in our house was truly my *reading room* this morning. I'm certain God does have a sense of humor...hehe! I was quickly reminded of how often I tell my children that God hears our prayers wherever we are...truly He does! He met right there with me - even without the benefit of a cup of coffee! - as I went through my morning devotional time.

And as soon as my household began waking up, I could wander out amongst the living once again. Find the coffee. Make the breakfast. Chat at the table. And finally get back into my corner of the bedroom to type this up. So much for the unspoken rule I have of posting before 8 AM as we are now preparing the lunch menu for the day.

Enjoy this last day of 2007!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Sunday, December 30

oh, give thanks

"We give thanks to you, O God, we give thanks, for your Name is near; men tell of your wonderful deeds." ~ Psalm 75:1

May your hearts and minds be thankful, too, as we close out the last Sunday of the year in worship!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, December 29

leave a blessing

My days are full and busy right now as I enjoy this time of having all my family together. So, I'll just leave you with the opening lines from my morning devotional for this day. Take it to heart wherever you may be - home or away or running errands.

"It is probable that God lets every human being that crosses our path meet us in order that we may have the opportunity of leaving some blessing in his path, and dropping into his heart and life some influence that will draw him nearer to God." ~ A.B. Simpson

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, December 28

unpoetic indeed

"The colored sunsets and starry heavens, the beautiful mountains and the shining seas, the fragrant woods and painted flowers, are not half so beautiful as a soul that is serving Jesus out of love, in the wear and tear of common, unpoetic life." ~ Faber

A mother's life could often be considered common and unpoetic. Very daily. Very routine. And yet, if all is done with an outpouring of love that she has found first in her Heavenly Father there is great beauty displayed in each task. Even the most simple meal can be a banquet. Dusting and vacuuming can make her household sparkle and shine. A smile at the doorway when a weary husband comes home from a long day of work can lighten a load. Reading the same book "one more time, mom!" can brightened a child's countenance.

Serving with the Father's love mixed in each task.

Common.

Unpoetic.

And a great blessing to all who discover it!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, December 27

the volume switch

Our household tends to be noisy, especially with three girls on the end of the family line. When the phone rings, I always wander into another room with the phone and close the door so that I can hear the caller.

The weekend before Christmas a son came home from college. The volume switch got turned up. Mealtime around the table became much livelier and suddenly Atlas was popping out everywhere and four boys were wrestling at a moment's notice.

Today my oldest son, his wife, and their two year old Lovie arrive. The volume switch is about to get turned up yet another notch. Last night they called with the final details and I was able to talk to my sweet granddaughter and ohmigoodness does she ever TALK now! Big words! I'm afraid the dialogue between her and my youngest will be much more animated and LOUDER this time as they tussle over things that they both want at the exact same moment.

In a couple of days my oldest daughter and husband will be arriving. The volume switch will explode. Everyone will be talking at the same time around the table at mealtime and it will be impossible to keep track of the conversations. Board games will go into full swing. Late night movies. And eating galore. Hopefully I can shoo them out into the great snowy outdoors a time or two so my poor mind, body, and soul can survive these lively days.

I CAN'T WAIT!

WOO HOO!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, December 26

the cookie platter

Eat a nice Christmas dinner at 4 PM complete with homemade creamy vanilla ice cream and a platter of Christmas cookies for dessert.

Refill the Christmas cookie platter after the kitchen clean-up is complete and place it back on the kitchen table so everyone can nibble through the evening.

Notice that the Christmas cookie platter has only a few tasty treats on it in the morning when you wake up.

Notice that the red kitchen tablecloth has been dramatically pulled to one side.

Realize that THE DOG is most likely the culprit who ate the majority of the Christmas cookies off the platter.

GRRRRRRRRR at the dog calling her NO NO BAD DOG for gobbling down all those treats that took hours to prepare.

Learn my lesson and plan to keep the Christmas cookie platter up on the kitchen countertop in the corner where NO NO BAD DOG can't reach them!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

make it real

After some discussion over at Donna's on December 1st (sorry, I couldn't get a direct link to that post to work), I picked up the book The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson to read to the kids. We finished it up last night. We did enjoy the story, giggled a bunch, and chatted about kids we knew who might fit the Herdman family profile. Actually it brought back memories of a family I used to babysit for when I was in high school - OY! The Herdman children were definitely full of life and curiosity!

But the book was eye opening in a surprising way. It told the story of children who had no knowledge about God, God's Word, Jesus...nothing.
It is hard to look from that perspective when your background has put you in the church from day one. After all, those are the third world countries around the world that know nothing about the true living God, right? No sirree, it's right here in America. In fact, over the holidays churches around the country were packed with visiting relatives who knew nothing about God. Nothing.

And as I was sniffling while reading the last couple of pages, especially when Imogene Herdman had Christmas come over her all at once (and don't worry, I'm in the witness protection plan so my children can't tell friends that their mother was crying AGAIN while reading a book), it made me ponder the whole Christmas story told year after year. My hope is that we will be sensitive to all the *regular* Christmas visitors in our church who may be hearing the Scriptures for the first time ever realizing that the Holy Spirit can do some awesome work in a heart prepared for Him!

Christmas blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, December 25

upon Christmas Day

There was a little Baby once
Born upon Christmas Day;
The oxen lowed His lullabye
As in His crib He lay:
His tree, it was a lonely tree
That stood upon a hill,
Its candles were the mighty stars
That shine upon us still;
His toys were flocks of little lambs,
He loved to see them play:
It is for Him we are so glad,
Now upon Christmas Day.

~Christ*ine Chaundler


Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, December 24

finding open spaces

From my devotional this morning:

We should be better Christians if we were more alone; we should do more if we attempted less, and spent more time in retirement, and quiet waiting upon God. The world is too much with us; we are afflicted with the idea that we are doing nothing unless we are fussily running to and fro; we do not believe in "the calm retreat, the silent shade." As a people, we are of a very practical turn of mind; "we believe," as someone has said, "in having all our irons in the fire, and consider the time not spent between the anvil and the fire as lost, or much the same as lost." Yet no time is more profitably spent than that which is set apart for quiet musing, for talking with God, for looking up to heaven. We cannot have too many of these open spaces in life, hours in which the soul is left accessible to any sweet thought or influence it may please God to send. ~ From Streams in the Desert

Oh dear...isn't that something to ponder with such a busy day or two ahead? It's been such a busy month and if I'm sitting around at all I've often chided myself about lost time. And what am I busy with? Perhaps too much of what the world says is necessary this time of the year.

And yet what does my heart yearn for when life is so so busy? Finding open spaces to spend some quiet time with the Lord. Especially as we charge forward into the last days of this year. Time to think back over the year and consider the new year ahead. And I don't want it to be MY vision, but GOD'S vision as I look forward.

Finding open spaces.

May you, too, find a quiet place amongst the busy of the holidays!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~




Sunday, December 23

unto us

Isn't this a beautiful pin? It was given to me as a gift by a family whose birth I attended over the past year and was a joy to wear this morning to church. Simply stated:

"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord." ~ Luke 2:11

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

time to sing

Why do the bells of Christmas ring?
Why do little children sing?

Once a lovely shining star,
Seen by shepherds from afar,
Gently moved until its light
Made a manger's cradle bright.

There a darling baby lay,
Pillowed soft upon the hay.
And its Mother sung and smiled:
"This is Christ, the holy Child!"

Therefore bells for Christmas ring,
Therefore little children sing.

~Eugene Field

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, December 22

the unjoy of baking

One thing I always look forward to every Christmas is baking all of our favorites. In my head I go through everyone's favorite recipes to make sure I have the ingredients on hand before I start. It's typically a marathon baking session since I usually don't have much time to bake until a few days before Christmas. Well, except for the year that I did a cookie recipe a day throughout the month of December. Now THAT was fun! We tried a bunch of new recipes that year because there was time to do putzy things each day - fancy cookie wreaths, twisted cookie candy canes, chocolate and vanilla checkered cookies, etc. I think that was also the month I gained twenty pounds :-p~

All week I've been mentally preparing my list of ingredients as I anticipated starting my holiday baking today. OH JOY! And it's turned out not to be an oh joy kind of thing :::sigh:::

For you see, my oldest has been struggling with some odd health symptoms that began last year around this time. He went back and forth to the doctor a few times, tried some meds, then finally proceeded to more invasive testing. Finally this fall he got the diagnosis of Celiac Disease. Even that seemed like an odd diagnosis at the time since he does not have some of the classic symptoms. But lo and behold, as he has worked hard to change his diet and eating habits, he's been feeling much better. Truly much better. And for that I am very thankful!

Okay, back to the holiday baking and the realization that my son will NOT be able to eat his favorites. In fact, as I've gone through the day I have concluded that he will not be able to eat almost anything I'm baking that has been traditional in our family for this holiday. I think *maybe* he can eat the fudge, but I'll have to have him check the labels on the ingredients.
So instead of being a day of joyful baking, I find that I'm sniffling a lot which I guess I could always blame on perimenopause hormones instead of this very silly over sentimental heart which I tend to wear on my sleeve.

Yes, I did buy a couple of gluten free baking mixes to bake for him. And even more importantly, I did remind myself of the theme of our recent devotions about being content. In ALL things. Because really it isn't about the food at all...it's about the fellowship we'll be having around the table which I wouldn't trade for anything on this world!

May your holiday baking be a source of joy for you as you bless your family!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

21st and 22nd

Somehow I missed doing a jig here yesterday as it was the shortest day of the year - the 21st of December! The daylight hours are going to begin lengthening! Woo hoo! And today - the 22nd - is the official "First Day of Winter". Okay, excuse me while I snicker as I do believe the weather was saying WINTER way back at the beginning of November in our location :-p

Changing seasons.

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven." ~ Ecclesiastes 3:1

Although the seasons come with a regular rhythm, our lives are going through different stages each year as they arrive.

We have had one go away to college before and have been through that season; having a new one doing the same thing is different. For our dynamics have changed. It's familiar and yet it's not. Our family here has developed a rhythm this fall while our son has been away developing his own rhythm as he transitioned into college. As he arrived back home last night, it came with the realization that we will all be in an adjustment period for a bit. There will be some obvious bumps along the way. And hopefully we will all grow in lessons of grace in the process.

:::::humming Amazing Grace while I do a gentler version of a jig:::::

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, December 21

a shopping cart

Life is very busy for me right now. Yes, it 'tis the season which makes it busy, but I'm moving at a much slower pace with my gimpasauras back. I think of so many things I could blog about throughout the day, however the time is not available to write with other priorities pressing as the clock ticks. Therefore it was a blessing to receive an email yesterday from my favoritest (I know that is not a word, but I like it...hehe) daughter-in-law in the world and have received permission from her to share it here since it was prime blogging material consistent with my theme. The report of the behavior of my granddaughter could be brought into question as to its validity since it would be hard to believe that such a sweet perfect angel could have such a tantrum! Yet, there could be a hint of truth considering she comes from the stock of a "firstborn" and an "only" which may indicate some inherited strong-willedness, if you know what I mean...hehe! May you enjoy her ponderings:

So, yesterday was another marathon shopping day for me and Lovie. I tried to "bribe" her into good behavior by offering a reward at the end of our shopping trip--a "good girl treat". Before we went into each store I would rehearse the requirements for a "good girl treat" with her: listen to Mommy, obey Mommy, no touching, sit on her bottom in the cart, no taking her shoes and socks off...you know the basics :-) Well store #1 was a major flop complete with grabbing things, yelling, and almost completely undressing in the cart. Store #2 was much the same, Store #3 culminated in her lying down on the floor yelling "NO!" and becoming rigid when I tried to pick her up, and finally Store #4 was a veritable snatch and grab for her on every aisle. We got in the car at that last store and I was scolding her for her naughty behavior and told her she'd lost her treats. I stopped scolding in mid-sentence when I heard myself say, "Why are you so bent on disobedience???!!" And it was like I heard God saying those exact words to me at the exact time. (Weird I know...but true).

Now, I've been a Christian for a hair over 20 years. And sometimes I compare stages of my walk with God with the stages of growing up. There's the learning to walk, wobbly stage, the rebellious teenager stage, the "I know everything" stage, the falling in love with Him more stage, etc. Yet, in the car I realized that more often than I care to admit I am the toddler in the cart with God. As I thought through my Lovie's behavior I realized a lot of what she does is an attempt to "help". But in reality I see it has a hindrance to my agenda--a slow down to the things that need to get done. And then it dawned on me: How, HOW, often do I sit in the cart reaching for things I want or trying my best to "help" God out and all He wants me to do is sit in the cart, obey Him, and let Him get His thing done--accomplish His purpose and reward His child in the process. And there I am snatching and grabbing. HOW frustrating it must be to Him?? How many times does He say, "Why are you SO bent on disobedience???" It was a humbling thought as all of a sudden I was placed on the same level as my sniffling treat-deprived daughter.

It also gave me a new perspective on parenting during this season. A little more patience....a little more teaching...a little more love... Just like my Father.

Meanwhile, I will try to keep my hands in the cart and my shoes and socks on and learn the same lessons along with my daughter.

Now tell me, aren't I extremely blessed to have this daughter-in-law who loves the Lord?!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, December 20

zero

On the occasions my husband picks up the Sunday paper, eventually I get my hands on the comics section. I had to cut out the "Get Fuzzy" comic this week for my daughter and I. It is Satchel walking with an ice cream cone when the ice cream plops out and lands on the floor. You see frustrated Satchel walking to the door and writing something on a message board. The last frame is Satchel next to the message board which reads: "Days Without an Accident" and a BIG RED ZERO.

HA! We should have such a thing in our household! And yet every day this week either my daughter or I would do something klutzy, giggle, and call out "ZERO!" I guess we really don't need that board as I have a feeling we're just gonna stay at "ZERO!" LOL!

Hoping your "Days Without an Accident" is a big number like a bazillion!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

no jingle jangle

Anyone familiar with that old cowboy song that went something like this, "I've got spurs and they jingle jangle jingle" ? Well, I've got spurs and they DO NOT jingle jangle jingle...

Let me back up a bit.

Recently I had ordered some items for an AWANA clubber which came in after we had AWANA this week, so her mom was going to stop by yesterday to pick them up. She didn't show up. In the afternoon the girl called to say her mom was home and had forgotten to stop. No problem. I had to run the dog to the vet, so I'd be happy to drop her things off somewhere else if it would help. Yup, she wondered if her boyfriend's dad's office would work since it was close to the vet? No problem. And did I mention that her boyfriend's dad is a c.h.i.r.o.p.r.a.c.t.o.r? Someone we've know most of our child raising years since they have kids the same age as ours?

You know, I was going to wait this OUCHie back thing out until Friday to see if it improved. But it was like the Lord opened a door completely. And He waited to see if I'd be stubborn or go with the opportunity He provided.

I called the office and went in after the dog's appointment.

Talked about my symptoms, brief exam, x-rays.

My neck's natural curve had been disrupted a long time ago by what appears to be a violent whiplash forward, then backward. The 5th and 6th vertebrae in my neck are turned a bit, the disk between them has been degenerating, and each one has a nice spikey looking bone spur on it. YIKES! I had most likely done something that put my neck in the right position for the spurs to pinch the nerve. Ya, something like crawling around on the living room floor looking for shattered glass and ornament pieces under the furniture.

No cure. The solution is adjusting the neck to get it in proper alignment and then doing exercises to help keep the vertebrae in place. He did the first adjustment and it wasn't anything like I expected. I did survive. And I will improve. And God is good all the time!

Since I've never been in a car accident, I really can't recall what could have happened 20 years ago or so that put my neck in this position. Maybe a bad fall sometime? Guess it really doesn't matter now, does it? It would have only been a matter of time before something happened that would have revealed this...and I'm sure it isn't a coincidence that our devotions have been talking about contentment in ALL situations this week BEFORE Christmas.

May your day have lots of jingle jangles as we near the celebration of Christ's birth!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, December 18

never defeated


This past year has been such a wonderful Live Well Journey for me. It got kicked into high gear early in 2007 when my daughter was suddenly engaged with plans to be married in May. That gave me the initial kick and I was able to keep up a good momentum through the summer and into the fall. Slow and steady...that's my motto! For about eleven months.

Enter December. YIKES! The hand thunking episode began a series of challenges and they haven't ended yet as my upper back is suddenly giving me major OUCHes. What has been the hardest is not being able to exercise this week. Exercise is not only a GREAT natural stress reliever that works for myself, but also does my metabolism GOOD by giving me energy for the day :-) Okay, then throw in the two zabillion gazillion things on my holiday "to do" list - many of which I can't do at the moment because I can barely move - and suddenly I'm grazing in the kitchen which I've been very disciplined about over the past year. I am grazing primarily on healthy stuff, but still...ugh! It feels like a nasty downward spiral :::sigh:::

"Even though good people may be bothered by trouble seven times, they are never defeated." - Proverbs 24:16 (NCV)

Better than a diet. Better than exercise. Better than eight glasses of water a day.

GOD'S WORD. Talk about an awesome personal trainer, eh? I got Him...how about you?

Be encouraged, women of the LORD! WE CAN DO IT!

Follow other Live Well participants journeys here

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

the gimpation situation

Since the spelling vocabulary word "succinct" does not apply to my blog posts except on rare occasions nor apparently does it apply to my blog comments, I've had to move my "verbose" comment to a post since that does describe me more efficiently.

How I became a gimp in 100 words or more:

I'm not certain what triggered the kink in my upper right back, but I know something happened sometime during the weekend that has brought this on my poor body. Perhaps it was when our Christmas tree went crashing to the floor while the kitten was climbing up its trunk causing several ornaments to be shattered as well as my heart as I picked up shards of glass and other ornament pieces while crawling around on the floor. The tree is now anchored by fish line to the ceiling which was what my husband initially had planned to do right away, but, life interrupts around here and sometimes things don't get done :::sigh:::

All I know is that a sore area on my upper back on Sunday was a much nastier kink that had moved into my shoulder and neck also on Monday morning when I woke up. I canceled out exercising, took a couple of ibuprofen, and kept busy with AWANA stuff from morning until night.

Around 4 AM this morning the kink was making me uncomfortable to sleep. By 5:30 AM I decided ENOUGH and that since it wasn't horrible I'd get up, get dressed, and go do my walking since I missed exercising yesterday morning. So, as I was crawling out of bed my arms instinctively reached out for a stretch. BAD MOVE. Blue lightning pain moved through that entire area making me think that going to heaven immediately would be the best option! YIKES! Then a wave of nausea came on! BLECH! (Doesn't this sound like the recent scenario when I thunked the back of my hand?!) By now my poor husband was awake and ready to offer assistance. There was no way I could lie back down, so he helped me into the chair next to the bed with the bathroom garbage can nearby. He found the heating pad and snuggled me into the chair with a quilt. It was impossible to find a comfortable position to ease the pain. I took a couple of ibuprofen on an empty stomach. I know, blech again. Around 7 AM I finally felt like I could stand up and dragged my heating pad over to my computer chair so I could at least read a bit....hehe....

Since then I have been moving very slowly and trying hard not to move the right side of my body much. I've taken more ibuprofen, too. And in general I feel like yuck :::sigh::: My husband and daughter have both offered to massage that area, but honestly, the thought of someone touching anywhere near there brings back the blue lightning thoughts.

Yes, I've effectively been put out of action. And my wonderful children are encouraging me to take it easy and rest while they so willingly do their school work watch movies today. And as soon as this latest dose of ibuprofen is working well, I'll move to the chair in the kitchen by all those Christmas cards that keep calling my name each time I walk by...

Aren't you glad you asked, Donna? :::weak grin:::

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

thank you :-)

Just wanted to take a moment to say thank you to those who have publicly and privately been an encouragement to me during the Homeschool Blog Awards. Out of about twenty blogs in each category, I was pleasantly surprised with a second place standing in the New Homeschool Blog category and a third place in the Best Encourager Blog category.

It was also fun to surf through so many other homeschool blogs throughout the voting process and find some new favorites to add to my list. I'm encouraged by all the enthusiasm found in the homeschooling community. Some of us old timers need that to rub off on us a bit!

Perhaps the biggest challenge was knowing there was a new reading audience popping in and out of my own blog throughout this time. Suddenly you are more self-conscious about how and what you write about on a daily basis. YIKES! Hopefully I stayed true to my usual rambling self...hehe!

So, THANK YOU from the bottom - and top and middle and whole - of my heart!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, December 17

angel time

With twenty AWANA Chums in my group this year, I've been trying to come up with an idea of something I could make to give them for a gift as we finish up before the Christmas holidays. Although I love living where we do, shopping options are so limited and there is no craft store to run to at a moment's notice. In one of my catalogs, I saw angel pins and decided that if I could find the items I'd need, it would be a fun thing to make for each girl. Beads...very easy. Colored crosses...easy. Angels...challenging. But I finally found some angel charms on individual bracelets at the dollar store and although it was a challenge to remove them, it worked. Each pin could be made unique and individual so that no two are the same. I finished them up last night and early this morning I wrote out a note to each girl and attached the pin. They can wear them on their AWANA uniforms or on anything else.

Now to get moving so I can finish up getting the AWANA store ready for tonight...

Have an angelic day!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Sunday, December 16

a Christmas miracle of hope

It has been hard for me to get into the Christmas spirit this year and I believe that part of it has been related to some of the heavy burdens of family and friends around me. Life and death kind of things. It forces your perspective to change.

One of the blessings in my life has been participating on a board of Christian homeschool moms for over ten years now. Through the years many of us have met each other and have become a close knit group sharing all the ups and downs of life. Our greatest bond has been our prayer support of one another. An example would be one of the mom's asking for prayer as her teen aged son Jacob was back in the hospital with his weakened heart. We have witnessed his condition continually worsening as he was put on the heart transplant list. And we kept praying. His life was slipping away and he wasn't predicted to make it through the weekend. Then yesterday morning they were notified of a heart and he was rushed into surgery. Last evening we were updated that Jacob had come through the surgery and was pink again! He still has a recovery process to go through, but we are all rejoicing in the new hope of his life. And at the same time are praying for a grieving unknown family who has experienced a loss this weekend for with life has come death.

How often can God's people testify that He comes in the nick of time and not a moment too soon or too late?! Always in perfect timing. HIS perfect timing.

One word prevails - HOPE. As God's people we can cling to that when darkness surrounds us. HOPE. For God has promised us that He will never leave us nor forsake us. HOPE. And the Christmas season is brighter now. HOPE.

"The Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love." ~ Psalm 147:11

May you, too, be reminded of the gift of HOPE which is yours!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


Saturday, December 15

last day to vote!


A special THANK YOU to those who nominated my blog in two categories: Best Encourager Blog and Best New Homeschool blog. TODAY is the final day to vote, so if you haven't done it already may I encourage you to go and VOTE for all your favorite blogs!

For those who may be visiting my blog for the first time, please go HERE and read a bit about my homeschooling journey.

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

a party

This is the poem my daughter picked out of the poetry book to read after taking her spelling test yesterday. Perhaps you need to know my girls to smile at its appropriateness OR perhaps you have your own little girls who delight in such things. Enjoy!

The Christmas Party

We're going to have a party
And a lovely Christmas tea,
And flags and lighted candles
Upon the Christmas Tree!

And silver balls and lanterns,
Tied on with golden string,
Will hide among the branches
By little bells that ring.

And then there will be crackers
And caps and hats and toys,
A Christmas cake and presents
For all the girls and boys.

With dancing, games and laughter,
With music, songs and fun,
We'll make our Christmas Party
A joy for everyone!

By Ade*line White

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, December 14

a preschool counting game

There are times when we don't have to work too hard to find ways for our kids to learn. Take the season we are in right now. Combine that with a kitten in the house. Bingo! Math game for a four year old! Every morning there are ornaments on the floor in our living room. The job my littlest has is to find the ornaments, put them in a pile, and count! Today it was TEN! YAY! It is hard to see in the picture, but the culprit is actually lying on the tree skirt behind her left shoulder. He will attentively watch where she puts the ornaments back on the tree and when no one is around, back to work he goes! Quite an entertaining game for the two of them :-)

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

our teachers

From my devotional:

The little ones God gives to us do not come by accident or as interruptions to our lives. They come as God's good gifts to us, entrusted as a stewardship from Him. Children are not only given to receive love from their parents but to be God's teachers. What parent would say they have not learned about sacrifice, patience, priorities--not to mention learned more about God's love for us, His children--as a result of being a parent? Children are a gift for which parents should thank God every day. ~ David Jeremiah

Although I read this last night before bed, I had to smile to myself as I was attempting to type it out this morning while at the same time my four year old was relating the tale of her LONG dream. Just another lesson learning more about sacrificing my time, using my patience, putting priorities in order. I finally stopped typing so I could hear the whole LONG tale. Then she was happy and went to snuggle in my bed to warm up.

Many people will readily confess that children are a gift of God, but how many have considered those little gifts our teachers? Especially in the homeschool realm where we wear the teacher hat from sunrise to sunset? And yet, as I ponder it and look back over my life, I can see how much my children have been instrumental in teaching me many lessons. God has used them to mold me and polish me into the person I am today. And I have a feeling they aren't done yet! LOL!

May you, too, thank God for those little teachers who live in your home!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, December 13

a small hurdle

My confession...I've had a hard time getting into Christmas this year. Can't really pinpoint why really. Everything has been in place - early cold snowy weather, our Christmas CDs playing, my cards and family pictures in hand this fall, the Christmas tree up, decorations up, Lego town in progress, family letter completed, Christmas program practice at church.

Yesterday I finally pushed myself out the door to travel a bit to do some Christmas shopping. Ideas began popping up as I went from store to store and I was able to complete the bulk of my shopping. There's still a few things I need to order through catalogs in the next day or two. But the hurdle I ran into was shopping for my littlest and my granddaughter. I came home with absolutely nothing for them. Why? Because everything I saw would be perfect for them! Clothing, dolls, play kitchen items, dress-up items, games, coloring books, reading books, more dolls, stuffed animals, DVDs, CDs, you name it...it would have fit those two perfectly! I have visions of my grandchildren someday sniffling and crying because grandmama doesn't give them gifts...why?...because grandmama can't make a decision since she wants to buy everything! And I guess *everything* collides with the very practical side of myself.

The funny thing is that I'm really not about *stuff*. In fact, we had a family discussion about Christmas and *stuff* as we were coming into this season. A majority of gifts planned are necessity items or consumable type things. We all agreed that Christmas was about relationships - our individual relationships with God as we remember His coming and our relationships with one another. Truly, we're not looking forward to a holiday of opening gifts, but rather a holiday of hanging out together.

And here I thought writing out my thoughts about it all would help me come to a conclusion about those two little girls and Christmas gifts, but alas, it hasn't! The hurdle remains. To be continued, eh?

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, December 12

the roaring lion



Late last summer when we were meeting with other team members as we prepared to lead a marriage Bible study, I recall our pastor forewarning us of possible spiritual warfare as the enemy wouldn't be happy with what we were doing....encouraging others to strengthen their marriages. And indeed the attack came to my husband and I unseen and hard enough to knock our relationship momentarily off its feet.

Late last weekend I was thinking about that same warning as I began to recognize the enemy at work again, but in a different area of life....encouraging others to live well. Same thing happened as the attack was unseen and knocked me off my feet on a path I was doing well while traveling.

Remember that weird klutzy moment of "thunking" my hand hard going out the door after doing my hour walk last week and how it threw me off the rest of the day because I really didn't feel well? I wrote about that the next day, Live Well Wednesday, and was so challenged all that day and the next day and the next day and the next day in taking my own advice. Typically if I fall off my living well wagon, it's on something my sweet tooth craves. Nope, not this time. A 9 x 13 pan of taco dip was the first lure. Mindless eating was the entrapment. The kids had it out and were chitter chattering away as they chipped and dipped and there I was chipping and dipping with the best of them! And it had a snowball effect. The final blow was eating a Mexican burrito which was way too spicy hot for my snowland tastes which gave me a good case of indigestion for two days. Let's say I really really really felt like blech. And then I really realized what was happening!
"Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith...." ~ 1 Peter 5:8-9b

That's right...RESIST!...STOP!...STAND FIRM...YOU CAN DO IT! When I finally recognized what was happening and how defeated I was becoming - and he is a sly devil, isn't he - I was able to do just that...resist...stop...stand firm! And you can, too!

He doesn't want us encouraging one another to exercise or eat in ways that would be healthy or to drink enough water or to share other tips for living well and he for sure doesn't want us giving glory to God for helping us do those things.

So, I say we all :-p~~ the enemy and o/^ (high five) one another for the progress we've made with God's help! WE CAN DO IT!

Follow the progress of other Live Well participants here

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, December 11

those stars!

Just yesterday morning I was commenting about the stars in the sky. This morning as I was checking the morning headlines, this one popped out at me: Best Meteor Shower of 2007 Peaks Dec. 13 How cool is this?! Actually, it would be QUITE cool for our family as temperatures are expected to drop down to zero or below for the lows toward the end of the week which is a tad bit different than staying up and watching for meteor showers during August, you know? But, perhaps someone who reads here would be interested in some winter star gazing :-)

Enjoy!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

with fear and that big word

TREPIDATION: nervous agitation *synonyms - terror, panic, dread, fright, dismay

One word to go with the big word...DENTIST

Although I couldn't tell you a thing about what my dentist looked like when I was growing up, just the word "dentist" conjures up many things. The rural dentist's office had a certain smell to it, a certain look to it, a certain sound to it...and a certain pain to it.

When my parents moved while I was in college, we got established with a young new dentist in town. I've known him longer than I've known my husband and he's always been our own family dentist. My oldest daughter benefited from hand-me-downs from his girls through the years and my husband has taken hunting trips with him. He is well liked by our family and is considered a friend.

Last month I broke a piece off a tooth, but he was on vacation and no appointments were available for quite a while. I could go in right away to see the other dentist in the office, but chose not to since the tooth wasn't bothering me. Yesterday was my appointment and I once again that familiar feeling came over me as I got ready to leave...fear and trepidation. I have absolutely no complaints about our dentist as he's been absolutely wonderful. Yet I'm amazed at how those childhood thoughts immediately come to mind when I think "dentist". Fortunately my tooth wasn't bad enough to need a crown and was just a matter of filling plus forming a new edge. No pain. And good conversation as we caught up on life.

Today two of my children go in to the dentist for their regular clean and check-ups. They won't think twice about it and will bounce out the door for the appointment. As they go back to the hygienist's chair, they will eye up the prize basket. They will sit still, love the flavor of the cleaning paste, exclaim over their awesome new toothbrushes, pick their prizes, and are good until the next time. I'm so relieved that going to the dentist is a positive experience for them :-)

As I raise my children, I often wonder what experiences will stand out in their memories. Will those thoughts bring warm fuzzies or sadness or joy or trepidation? Even now as I talk to the older ones about various experiences we've had as a family, their interpretations have been formed through the eyes of being a child even though as an adult I see the same experiences in a different way. Interesting, isn't it? Perhaps my parents would have a whole different perception of our old dentist than I have...nawwww! LOL!

Truly, the only thing I would like my grown children to leave home with is not only knowing the love of their earthly parents, but knowing the love of their Heavenly Father. For when their earthly parents are gone and a memory in their hearts, the love of their Heavenly Father is what will carry them through all the rest of their days. That is a truth that I've realized more and more as our own earthly parents have passed away...

Off to do some schooling before we need to leave for the :::whispering::: dentist!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~




Monday, December 10

the stars in the sky

A combination of the lasting effects from Mexican food a couple of nights ago (never again!) and a mind filled with a list longer than my arm for the day ahead caused my eyes to open early this morning. It made no sense to lie there thinking about it, so I arose to start the day. It did make sense to go and exercise so early since my household was still sound asleep. Ever so quietly I got dressed and out the door. Immediately I caught my breath as the brrrr cold air hit my face. Below zero again. An instant later I caught my heart as the blackened skies were loaded with stars! I felt like my four year old who loves spinning as I spun around to gaze at every inch of the sky. AWESOME!

"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge." ~ Psalm 19:1-2

Although God is a part of my daily life, He can often blend into the routine. It is reminders like this that awaken me once again to how incredibly awesome my Heavenly Father is not only as the Creator of the universe, but as the keeper of my heart.

This day my little light will shine brighter having been renewed by the display of my Father lights! May He renew your delight in Him, too, as you walk along your path today!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Sunday, December 9

day by day

Thanks be to Thee,
Lord Jesus Christ,
for all the benefits
which Thou hast won for us,
for all the pains and insults
which Thou hast borne for us.
O most merciful Redeemer,
Friend and Brother,
may we know Thee more clearly,
love Thee more dearly,
and follow Thee more nearly,
day by day.

~Richard of Chichester



Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, December 8

as a referee

I just read the following quote on a page of a parents newsletter than came from my son's college:

"No matter how calmly you try to referee, parenting will eventually produce bizarre behavior, and I'm not talking about the kids. Their behavior is always normal." ~ Bill Cosby

Just made me chuckle a bit as I had flashbacks of some refereeing that has gone on in our household through the years. Actually, my favorite times have been when I haven't been involved at all, but the kids have set up their own *court* complete with judge and jury...hehe...

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

like the hands of a clock

"Boys do not grow up gradually. They move forward in spurts like the hands of clocks in railway stations." ~ C. Connolly

We've had a spurt here.

Since the boys have come back from their trip, many people have commented about how much our youngest son has sprung up. Seeing him all the time, it has been harder for me to actually notice with the exception that we seem to be eye to eye. Ahhh, but others are telling me it isn't an eye to eye thing. That it must be an illusion to myself since he's noticeably taller than me. Okay, so that isn't that hard to do since I am vertically challenged.

But yesterday morning. We were doing our weekly spelling tests down by my ironing board when he came for a shirt. This is a boy thing at our house. Come to the laundry area. Pull one shirt off and throw it in the hamper. Pull a shirt out of your laundry basket and throw it on. Iron? What's an iron? Apparently the boys love that slightly wrinkled look :-p~ Anyway :::thud::: that's when I noticed that he looks skinny! Gone is that boyhood roundness and friendly pudge! It's happened with each of his four older brothers as they hit the early teens and their first growth spurt. They went from boys to young men in the blink of an eye!

What's a mother to do? Two in one week. The youngest daughter and the youngest son. Both suddenly growing up! I'm afraid to look in the mirror as perhaps I've suddenly aged as quickly and have a full head of gray hair now! Yikes!

Ah, the seasons of life...count it all joy, my friend :-)

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, December 7

what's the weather

This morning while exercising, the ladies were chatting about the weather forecast for the upcoming weekend. Everyone had a different take on the predicted snow amounts and how cold it was suppose to get because they all had a different source of information. And what was interesting was that every meteorologist basically has many of the same tools to make their predictions. Radar, barometric readings, temperature, relative humidity, wind patterns from around the world, etc. Yet, their conclusions all vary a bit. And then the weather does what it wants anyways! Our conclusion was that being a meteorologist has to be the best job a person could have because they can consistently be wrong in their job and still get paid!

Isn't that a lot like being a mother? We have many sources of information to review as we train out children and can use many different tools, but sometimes the results aren't what we hoped for as we note their behavior. And what works for one child, doesn't work for the next one, or the next one, or the next one, or...right down to the last one. Then it seems you have one child figured out and their sibling is suddenly challenging you (I've always wondered if they kept a chart hidden away listing whose turn it was to drive mom crazy each day!). Really, sometimes it feels like blunder, after misstep, after lapse, after blooper, after a comedy of errors, after "you fill in the blank"! And yet, I still have my job as mother.

While God is perfecting me in the process, He is also humbling me to my knees as I see what HE does despite me. Those rays of sunshine fall down upon my garden as he takes all the rain and storms and mistakes as a parent and brings forth a thing of beauty...adult children who bless my socks off every time I think about them.

"Conscientious parents convey their attitude and values and faith to their children subtly, through the routine interactions of everyday living. Values are not taught the children. They are caught...during the routine activities of daily life at home." ~ Dr. James Dobson

Persevere. You may not be the perfect parent, but you are guided by the Perfect Parent. You are His tool to help Him craft His beloved child who lives in your home. He will do all the refining and polishing when they reach adulthood. And know that if you make God a priority in your own life, it will show in your everyday living before your children. That's the stuff you want caught!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, December 6

my littlest skier

A new season. For the kids. For me.

All the fresh early snow has been a delight for the kids. Their kind mother...that would be me...has had to remind them that school needs to come first, then play. So, they get up in the morning and work hard on their schooling. But there's been more than schooling being done as they have been creatively planning their own winter olympics. I've seen all the pictures and contestants listed as they've been busy writing and drawing and even planning their team uniforms. So far their events include skiing, sledding, and snowboarding with hopes that Dad can get down to the lake to begin clearing for the annual ice rink so that more events can be planned. :::whispering::: it has been one of those wonderful moments of them working together without conflict which I hope will last a bit longer....

Late yesterday afternoon I looked out my window to the field next to the house. Lo and behold, there was my littlest all by herself cross country skiing. I watched with amazement as she made her way up the small incline to the house. I actually held my breath wanting time to stop as I captured this moment. STOP. When did my toddler grow up? I confess that I've noticed recently that our conversations have been changing. Bigger words. Longer sentences. Deeper thoughts. STOP. Could my littlest really be growing up? I've seen it happen before over and over in my household, but my heart wasn't quite prepared for the littlest doing that growing up business.

A new season. For my kids. For me with my heart full.

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

a song in the night

Ice breaks many a branch, and so I see a great many persons bowed down and crushed by their afflictions. But now and then I meet one that sings in affliction, and then I thank God for my own sake as well as his. There is no such sweet singing as a song in the night. You recollect the story of the woman who, when her only child died, in rapture looking up, as with the face of an angel, said, "I give you joy, my darling." That single sentence has gone with me years and years down through my life, quickening and comforting me. ~ Henry Ward Beecher

This morning as I was praying for a young family which has recently received a devastating diagnosis, I thought back to this paragraph which I had read earlier in the week. Even in the midst of difficulty, they have been speaking words of hope. That is their song in the night. They have put their faith and trust in their Heavenly Father as He walks them through a dark time.

"And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." ~ Philippians 4:7

May we, too, when faced with impossibility in our life rest in the perfect peace found only in God.

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, December 5

an almanac of sorts

This morning during an ironing session, one of my daughters read me her history lesson for the week. The man of the hour...Benjamin Franklin.

Benjamin Franklin had come from a family of seventeen children. Suddenly our own family feels small! One of the things that I find neat about Benjamin Franklin was that he followed a passion he had - books and reading - by pursuing a profession that went along with this passion - printing and writing. Shouldn't that be one of the visions we should have as homeschool parents? To encourage our children in professions that will allow them to pursue their passions? And I can see how God worked that out in my own life when as a little girl I desired to be a teacher. My favorite thing to play was school with dolls lined up with books on their laps as I taught them on my little chalkboard. My dream to do that "when I grow up" was not dashed when I didn't complete college for God had a whole 'nother way of fulfilling that passion. Homeschooling my own children :-)

And although I've heard this reading about Benjamin Franklin seven times before, today I was struck by his annual publishing of Poor Richard's Almanack. It was his way to reflect the times through weather observations, poems, calendar notations, sayings and proverbs, astronomical and astrological predictions, even math exercises. Okay, I may not cover astrology at all, but as I thought about it, isn't my daily blogging a modern day form of almanacking? Look at the definition of almanac: an annual publication of miscellaneous information. That describes my blogging perfectly, only on a daily basis. Cool! I have something in common with Benjamin Franklin!

I leave you with one of his sayings which speaks directly to the season:

"How many observe Christ's Birthday; How few His precepts! O, 'tis easier to keep holidays than commandments." ~ Benjamin Franklin

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


not recommended



This weight loss method will not apply to most people unless you are in a special classification of God's creation best known as, um, *klutz*.

Yesterday morning I was awake early and jumped out of bed to get ready for walking at the high school. It was nice to be there for a good brisk walk on a track that was busier than usual. I think because it was busy and therefore more distracting I was suddenly surprised to see my hour was up. Since I hadn't done the final lap at a slower place, I decided to walk just one more lap. And then I was done. Changed shoes, grabbed my water bottle, threw on my coat and headed to the doorways. As I was attempting to tug my gloves out of my pockets while pushing the bar midway on the door to open it, I somehow (being the klutz I am) *thunked* the back of my hand on the edge of the bar...HARD. So hard that as I came out through the door I had that electrical shock feeling pass through me causing me to stop, bend over, stoop down, and pray I wouldn't pass out (did you ever have that happen when you hit your funny bone hard or your knee?). Not only was I feeling faintlike, but a wave of nausea passed over me. There I paused for a moment or two feeling thankful I was so early that there weren't a bunch of students coming in at that time, and got my bearings enough to get to my car. Again I felt thankful that it was so cold out so I could just sit there with my head bowed down on the steering wheel waiting for the car to warm up. Still feeling woozy, I slowly drove home and sat still with my eyes closed for a few minutes once I got into our quiet house. YIKES!

Throughout the day I felt a bit light-headed and the nausea lingered all...day...long. Certainly takes away your appetite and I considered it my sympathy nausea in honor of those family members currently enduring morning sickness. Trust me, I do not recommend this as a weight loss method, especially since not everyone can easily accomplish it unless you are a *klutz*

So what's a mother to do about weight loss since being in the midst of the holidays there tends to be a whole lot of baking going on in households. In fact, one of my favorite years was spent baking a different batch of cookies every day of December. It allowed me to try several new recipes. It also allowed me to sample cookies all month long. YIKES! This is far from being a recommended weight loss method, eh?

Hmmm, some tips for the holidays? What has worked the best for me is only baking or preparing what I need when I need it throughout the holidays. Our family's favorite holiday treats are best done in a marathon baking session right before Christmas so that they won't be in easy reach for weeks. And I try to keep my water bottle right on the counter next to the baking supplies so that I reach for that more frequently than nibbling on a fresh cookie cooling on the rack. Fill up on a fresh green salad before going to a holiday meal event. Look for recipes for low fat appetizers. Pick ONE of the most delectable cookies on the treat table NOT one of each kind. Wear a pair of pants with a snugger waistband as a reminder that you don't want to overeat. And don't squeeze out exercise because your schedule is too busy. Not only will exercise help keep you on task, but it is a GREAT stress reliever and energy giver. And if you fall off the wagon big time at an outing, don't stay down. Get right back up the next day and stick with your living well vision!

And remember the reason for the season. The birth of Jesus Christ. I think of the verse in Matthew stating that He will be called Immanuel which means "God with us". God is with us. We do not walk alone. He is our strength moment by moment. Especially in this living well daily walk. Call upon Him!

To follow the journey of other Live Well participants, go HERE

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, December 4

snow and "bugs"

It's that time of the year...

It's winter. We have snow. WE HAVE SNOW. Just like other seasons and the things that make those seasons special...the same kind of thing happens with winter. I go to switch the laundry or answer the phone and when I get back into the kitchen my students have disappeared and the house is quiet. Why? Because we have wonderfully fluffy white snow! And the kids are all outside playing in it. Some are sledding, some are cross country skiing, some are snowboarding. Sooner or later they wander back into the house with rosy cheeks and need a cup of hot chocolate to get them back on track. And don't forget the marshmallows, mom! This is a typical frequent occurrence at the beginning of a new season. It will soon wear off and only the big snow storms will draw them outdoors for extended times.

It's winter. We have "bugs". WE HAVE "BUGS". Just like other seasons and the things that make those seasons yucky...the same kind of thing happens with winter. We're out and about among a variety of people and pretty soon someone here doesn't feel well. May be a tummy ache, may be sneezing and sniffling, may be a pounding head and chills. And it seems to go through everyone who lives indoors in our house. Some are in bed, some are bundled up on the couch watching movies, some are in the kitchen looking for a popsicle. Sooner or later they wander into the bathroom for their favorite flavor of Emergen C and a soft tissue. It seems to be something that happens early in winter and then hopefully we get back on our feet with our immune systems stronger.

It's winter. It's long. And once again I'm thankful to be homeschooling with the built-in benefit of a flexible daily schedule which allows us to travel through the ups and downs of life with barely a bounce along the way!

Enjoy your winter day :-)

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~




Sunday, December 2

be a tree

"Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers." ~Psalm 1:1-3

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, December 1

snow in its finest moment

Could anything be finer than living in a winter storm warning area where inches of snow keep falling out of the sky? Time to get out the mitten rack to dry everything by the cozy fire! Tra la la la la la la la la!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

cookie christmas tree

Ahhh, yes, this is what my daughter almost didn't get to create this morning due to our forgetfulness...the making of the cookie Christmas tree! Doesn't it look yummy! We put it up in the bay window above the kitchen sink and are hoping the kitten doesn't knock it down when he jumps up there like a no no bad cat.

Tis the season!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

the woes of the early month

Ohhh, yes, turning the calendar page to a new month...perhaps I need to begin doing that the day before :::sigh:::

We had a phone call from one of my daughter's AWANA leaders this morning wondering if she was still coming to the event for their group as she was an hour late! :::thunk::: My daughter had earned a place in the cookie baking event at church this morning after working hard in a contest that her AWANA group had been challenged to complete. ONLY neither one of us had remembered and we were both still lounging around in our jammies on a lazy Saturday morning! Quickly we both got dressed, grabbed the things we needed to bring for the baking, and off we drove on this snowy morning. Fortunately our church is close by to our home. She missed the first hour, but there's two hours to left to have fun.

And now as I flip the calendar, I see I've also missed getting cards in the mail for a couple of early December birthdays :::another sigh:::

I wish I could find a good working solution to the early month woes that happen on a regular basis around here. I never remember to flip ahead when coming to the end of a month. Perhaps I need to hire a personal assistant, eh? Hmmmm, wondering if my daughter-in-law would move close by so she could keep me on track with her lists like she did the week before my daughter's wedding? Maybe just come and stay through December as I'm gonna need help? Can I bribe you with a pie? LOL!

May you be doing better than myself with this the first day of December!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

cold winter

Cold winter's in the wood,
I saw him pass
Crinkling up fallen leaves
Along the grass.

Bleak winter's in the wood,
The birds have flown
Leaving the na*ked trees
Shivering alone.

King Winter's in the wood,
I saw him go
Crowned with a coronet
Of crystal snow.

~Eileen Mathias

We've been in a cold spell this week with temperatures in the single digits and the wind chills putting us in the teens below. Brrrrrrrrrr! We have enough snow on the ground to cover it, but in the areas where we didn't get the raking done you can hear the sound of crinkling leaves as you walk over it. The birds are feeding heavily this morning as a snow storm approaches. King Winter is arriving in all his glory and my children sing and shout, "HALLELUJAH! Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!" And now that I will turn all the calendar pages to December this morning, I have much more peace about singing and shouting with them :-)

May you enjoy the coming of winter in your little garden as we enter this merry month!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

homeschool blog awards nominee

For those who are visiting here for the first time, it seemed like a good idea to give a brief summary of our homeschooling journey. It began in the fall of 1987 when our oldest child was in first grade and there were three younger siblings. A month after that oldest child graduated from college, his youngest sibling and our ninth child, was born. She remains our youngest and is unofficially in preschool...okay, she likes to color and write at her whim :-) Currently we have four that are officially homeschooling - a third grader, a fifth grader, an eighth grader, and a tenth grader - the most at one time was six students with a preschooler and baby in the mix. Those were mighty crazy busy years, yet what a joy it was at the same time having them altogether and seeing the bond they have now.

Back in the early years, homeschooling totally consumed us and was our life. It transitioned through the years blending into our family and now homeschooling is just part of our daily life. There is still delight in a little one learning to write their name, a young one figuring out reading, a middler mapping the world with faraway places, a high schooler mastering algebraic equations. As you give them the tools in the beginning, learning comes alive and grows not only up into high school, but all through life.

We still get calls from people in the community who talked to so and so who knows so and so who knows us and is looking for information about starting homeschooling. Or moms who are struggling with an area of homeschooling with their grade schooler and figures I must have experienced the same thing with at least one of mine and seek advice. Or parents working through high school curriculum and wondering how to pursue college. My role has transitioned from learning everything I could about homeschooling to becoming an encourager to other parents coming along the way. And it has been a delight to use my own experiences to help others as well as a ministry as God has grown my faith through the years.

May you be encouraged as you walk down the challenging path of homeschooling!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~
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