Friday, February 29

try the ten rules

As I look at the weather forecast for the days ahead and sigh once again, cabin fever settles in a little deeper. Ahhhh, how to get out of this slumpish feeling. Then I ran across this quote:

"Ten rules for getting rid of the blues: Go out and do something nice for someone else, then repeat it nine times." ~ Anonymous

Sounds like a plan, doesn't it? Every time we do something nice for someone else we think they are the ones who are being blessed, but actually the giver is abundantly blessed at the same time. And besides, Jesus calls us to be servants. That should be enough of a reason to try the ten rule plan. Especially while singing the cabin fever blues.

So try it today. Even within your own household. Think of ten nice out of the ordinary things you can do for someone which would bless their day, then DO IT! I dare you! :-)

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, February 28

grrrrrrrrrrrrr!

Nope, those grrrrrrrs you are hearing aren't coming from the handsome cat of the picture...they are coming from ME! You may think that it's because he's back up in my kitchen sink window knocking things down so that he can get a better view of the birds since that tree is part of their flight pattern to the bird feeder. Nope. We have a different problem involving this most beloved cat.

You see, he truly is the most wonderful kitten - almost full grown cat - we've had in a long time. He's living up to the reputation of Booga who lived twenty some years loving his family. Scooter, better known as Scootszee, has the most charming personality. He's fun. He loves all of us. He purrs. He loves the dogs. He loves going outside (okay, I don't like that part much as we try to keep our cats indoors since they get eaten by wildlife). He endures littles. He plays. He's handsome with a big fluffy tail that he flicks and flashes for all to see. You're not seeing a problem yet, right?

I so vividly remember being in the third grade and watching my dog give birth to five puppies. I can't tell you the year without doing some math, but the date was May 9th. I'll never forget it as it was the most awesome thing ever and probably the start of my birth doula career, eh? hee hee! And you know, that is something we've never done with our kids - the whole puppy/kitten thing. And the whole time this handsome cat was shaping up to be such a wonderful example of his species, my mind was beginning to think of fatherhood for him. If we could just find a pretty girl kitten to come and live in our house eventually bearing just one litter so the kids could experience this aspect of pet life.

But alas. The search has been fruitless. And I thought perhaps in the spring when kittens are more abundant we'd have some success. But alas. The search now needs to end.

For you see, there's been a hint or two of misbehavior with this dashing male cat. I, without a good working nose, noticed it myself yesterday. It's never a good sign if mom notices it. It means it's one bad odor. And I spent much of my day crawling along the floor in search of the odor. The good part is that I did some intense cleaning in areas. The bad part is a I never did pinpoint the source. And later in the day we weren't smelling it. The only conclusion I can draw is that he's only marking territory in the house and not actually urinating in places. Either way it's still totally unacceptable behavior. Totally. Blech. Grrrrrrrrrrr.......

The call to the vet was made. He can't get in for THREE WEEKS to have his surgery done. I requested to be put on "the list" in case they have a cancellation before that time as the sooner the better.

:::::sigh:::::

"I've had my trials and troubles. The Lord has given me both vinegar and honey, but He has given me the vinegar with a teaspoon and the honey with a ladle." ~ William Bray

Praising God for both the teaspoon and the ladle on this day in my garden!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, February 27

be a Joshua



As we were doing our devotional time before our schooling yesterday, we were reading in chapter fourteen of the book of Joshua. Joshua was looking back to the time he was sent by Moses as a servant into the promised land until the present day - ever faithful to his God throughout that time - and then he made the coolest statement starting in verse ten: "Now, then, just as the LORD promised, he has kept me alive for forty-five years since the time he said this to Moses, while Israel moved about in the desert. So here I am today, eighty-five years old! I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I'm just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then."

WOW!

Really, how many of us will be making such a statement when we are eighty-five years old? Wouldn't YOU like to be as strong and vigorous at eighty-five as you were at forty?

Since I believe God's Word is truth, I have to believe it's possible. And I believe it is possible through following the Living Well principles we talk about each week. Eating proper portions of healthy foods. Exercising regularly. Drinking adequate amounts of water. Getting plenty of rest. Spending time daily in God's Word to study, pray, and worship Him.

Sound easy? Just as Joshua didn't do it alone, neither can we. Place in your heart the words the LORD spoke to Joshua as he began his journey, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." ~ Joshua 1:9

Amen? AMEN!

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

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, February 26

being a grandmama

Over two and a half years ago my very first grandangel was born. She arrived six months after my mom had passed away, a few days after my father-in-law had been buried, and while my mother-in-law's health was in a fragile condition in nursing home care. Yes, I knew I was a grandmama because I had sewn a baby quilt for this special baby and glowed over the pictures as they arrived since I couldn't go at and visit as my family had gotten sick right after her birth.

Looking back, I can now say it was an odd transition time for me. I wasn't suppose to be a grandmama because my mom was the grandma only my mom wasn't there anymore and the other grandma wouldn't be with us much longer to be a grandma either......which made ME the grandma! Only my heart and head hadn't truly caught up with that whole notion. After all, I still had a bunch of kids was I was raising and weren't you a grandma AFTER they were all raised and gone? Hmmmm......

But over the passage of time my heart has caught up quite easily. I can't hardly contain the joy I have over that little sweet thing - especially every time she says "grandma" - and have been blessed to find out that many of my feelings about my grandangel are perfectly normal and experienced by other grandmothers. It is a wonderful kinship to share with other women in this season of life :-)

Ahhhh, enter the recent arrival of grandangel number two. My heart has melted into a literal puddle! This time I was blessed to hold this precious baby less than 24 hours after his birth and hogged held him every moment I could. All those quiet moments in the days ahead of looking at that little face with that touch of familiarity to it. And pondering the role of being a grandmama more seriously. I thought much about the role of grandparents in my own children's lives while growing up and am perhaps thinking about it more deeply as we lose those special people one by one. It is easier now to see the gift they were in the lives of my children and a wonderful example as I more fully grasp my own role as a grandmama.

Since it was the topic on my heart in recent days, I've written about it over at Heart of the Matter today. I hope you will have a moment to go and read :-)

Have a wonderful day in your garden no matter what season of life you are in!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, February 25

praising and growing


"Praise is like sunlight to the human spirit: we cannot flower and grow without it. " ~ Jess Lair

In the newspaper recently there was a book review on a book about depression. The author of the article expanded the topic a bit and also talked about the phenomenon found in cold climates known as *cabin fever* as well as adding a bit on SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). It was interesting to read as I could go through the check list and often say, "uh huh, uh huh, uh huh". I'm certain that hormones this stage of life don't help either :-p

There were also tips that were given to help get through these winter months. One idea was fresh flowers. Those who know me can see me smiling, can't you?! I absolutely adore fresh flowers :-) And guess what my husband randomly brought home on Saturday after coming home from errands? Yup, a small fresh bouquet of flowers. The combination of the flowers and SUNSHINE kept me smiling :-)

Then I read this quote and said, "WOW!" How true! Have you seen how your children's faces light up whenever you praise them? Even over the littlest things they've done? They smile. They beam. They grow! And it even works with husbands *wink*

So put a little praise into your garden today and watch it smile and grow!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Sunday, February 24

imparting worship

"The greatest stumbling block for children in worship is that their parents do not cherish the hour. Children can feel the difference between duty and delight. Therefore, the first and most important job of a parent is to fall in love with the worship of God. You can't impart what you don't possess." ~ Noel Piper

May your heart delight in worship today!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, February 23

my rolltop desk

As I was searching through my photo file this morning looking for a specific picture, I ran across this one which I suddenly remembered I hadn't posted yet. So here it is!

To get the background of my desk story and a look at my old desk - kind of a before picture, although it is two different desks - go HERE As you can see in the comparison, I still haven't gotten rid of many of the things on my wall. Scraps of paper with devotions, verses, and sayings which continue to encourage me regularly...the kinds of things I just can't quite part with yet as I still glance at them when I'm sitting at my desk. And did I mention how much I love all the nooks and crannies in this desk as well as more drawer space? Absolutely LOVE it :-)

Anyway, it's nice to look at this picture of my wonderful desk right now because it looks a tad bit LOT different this morning. YIKES! Definitely time to clean it off again!

Have a great Saturday in your garden!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, February 22

a train ride

How cool is it to take your first train ride on your birthday? And to realize that your mother who is forty years old than you is taking her first train ride the same day? That was our adventure yesterday.

Our original plan was for my husband to drive to get us. I had packed with that fact in mind. Yup, my first oh oh :::sigh::: But due to possible *bug* carriers in our household - my husband being one of them - we felt it best for none of our family to come into the apartment and to instead prevent possible exposure. We had to go with another plan for getting home which meant Amtrak for the first part of the journey.

Oh, did I mention that I thought it would be a good idea to bring other things home with me since their apartment is small and doesn't have much storage. You know, like maternity clothes of mine that had been borrowed and some canning jars? Yup, my second oh oh :::sigh::: Add another suitcase. I mean, we were just walking onto a train and walking off one. How hard could that be? Especially with a newly turned nine year old to help me?

=:-O

Umm, well, where my son had to drop us off meant walking around a corner and down the block to get into the train station. It took us a long time to get that far since the big bag kept slowly sliding off the suitcase we were pulling. It meant I had to put everything down in order to help my daughter who was pulling it. We finally got into the building to the next challenge - not one but TWO escalators to get down. Yikes! Two men walking behind us offered to help get us down the first one. YAY! We made it over to the second one and a kind lady helped us get off it as the sliding big bag had slid again. YAY! We found the ticket counter and the cost ended up being less than I thought it would be. YAY! The train was already boarding, so our next challenge was getting to the boarding gate. Honestly, I thought my arms were going to break off before we made it that final stretch. We got to our car and there was no conductor in the doorway. Ugh. I had no idea what to do since I had never rode on a train before. So, I stepped inside the doorway and found a man waiting for his wife in the restroom. He hadn't seen the conductor either. But, he offered to help us get onto the train and showed us where to go. YAY! They were traveling to the same location. YAY! He was insistent about bringing ALL our luggage to the upper level - I still don't know why, but I trust that God had a reason since I could see where others had set their luggage - and he made sure we were settled. He also helped us off when we reached our destination. YAY!

It was a good ride although I confess to feeling a bit of motion sickness when we first started out. Perhaps being overheated when I finally landed in my seat from carrying all those heavy bags may have contributed to that. And not eating lunch. My traveling companion was doing some schoolwork then made a word search puzzle for me. I solved it and made one for her. And we went back and forth for a bit doing that which we both enjoyed. Then it was time to settle in with my book until we go to our stop.

Thankfulness entered my heart as I saw my son waiting for us. We loaded up the car and headed for Taco Bell for a bit of birthday supper to eat on the ride. A bathroom stop showed me "why" people had stopped to help. I must have looked like a crazed woman with the dry winter air putting enough static in my hair to make it stand straight up all over the place! LOL! They must have felt sorry for me, eh? Or for my daughter who had to travel with this woman?

We made it home safe and sound. Car quickly unpacked by the capable hands of older sons. Birthday presents were opened at 9:30 PM followed by birthday cake.

Lessons learned from the day:

KEEP BUSY! From the moment I posted on here that the grandbabymoon was over, my emotions were in my eyes and ready to fall out. So, I kept busy cleaning and getting things set in the apartment before I left to keep from being a continuous grandma teardrop.

PACK LIGHT! And if you don't, thank God for providing incredible help along the way from perfect strangers.

SERVE OTHERS! If you see someone who needs a hand, don't hesitate to help. Too often that urge is resisted for a variety of reasons, but you can be a blessing to others in indescribable ways.

STAY CALM! Looking back, I can't recall a moment of feeling panicked or frustrated or crabby (I'm going to ask my daughter this morning to verify this) although I certainly could have been quite easily. I'm giving all the credit to God for that as He did, in unexpected ways, answer my prayers in the morning as I committed my day to Him. He's cool :-)

PRAISE GOD! My heart was so full by the end of the day as I considered how richly God has blessed me. Blessings of people who I so dearly love.

Time to set my day in motion as I have much to catch up on!

Have a great day in your garden!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


Thursday, February 21

the time has come

It's over. My grandbabymoon is over.

My daughter and I head back home today with some alternate travel plans since there's a tad bit of sickness at home which changed the original plan. A new adventure for both of us! Stretching my wings once again.

Having been away for almost a full week in a place that feels like home since I'm with people I love dearly, it's time to go back to reality. Back to the rest of my family who are missing the presence of their mom. Back to my household which my husband assures me is in top notch running condition - okay, so we both laughed at that statement! Back to our schooling which now needs two weeks of corrections since I missed the end of last week. Back to a calendar of activities. There will be much to do.

The long traveling day ahead will give me time to think and work on my *LIST* for the days coming up. Once my household is back in reasonable order, my priority will be sewing a baby quilt for this sweet little prince I've been holding as much as possible. I look forward to that project with pleasure and joy knowing it will also be a time of prayer for him.

'Til we meet back here again tomorrow........."The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all." ~ Philippians 4:23

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, February 20

stay healthy



'Tis the season! And it's not a very jolly one either :-p~

Last week at church an ER doctor shared during study that the flu had officially arrived in our area as many cases were being seen. Before hearing that, many people I know had been dealing with respiratory illnesses. And if it wasn't that, it was that stomach *bug* going around. Blech. And ugh.

Upon hearing that news, I went into high alert *grin* by getting pro-active with my family. Airborne, Emergen-C drinks, vitamins, good balanced meals, and fluids, as well as keeping the kids out of large group settings as much as possible. We had a grandbaby coming and I didn't want health to keep me away this time (the kids got sick right after my first grandbaby arrived). And it worked! When I left home, everyone was healthy.

Now that it's almost time to go back home, that's no longer the case. Sounds like one possible case of flu and all the family had a good exposure to the stomach yuck. I'll find out more when I call home later to see if anyone has fallen victim to the *bug*. Suddenly my going home plans are in limbo, but I'm relieved that God has a plan for my return.

Living well. It's not something you do just when you need to stay well. It's a lifestyle that is incorporated into you daily life. Exercising. Eating correct portion sizes of healthy foods. Drinking water throughout the day. Using supplements when necessary. And especially during seasons of illness, avoiding sugars as they break down your immune system big time.

Living well. It's something you need to do for YOU as a wife and mother. It's a daily lifestyle that is necessary to give you strength to take care of all the responsibilities God has placed in your life.

Living well. It's something that includes spiritual health. Do spend quiet time with the Lord each day. In His word. In prayer. In praise. In worship. In thanksgiving.

Put it all together and you'll be living well and doing it abundantly!

"I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." ~ John 10:10b

Until we meet again, stay healthy!

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

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, February 19

traditionally speaking

"Our first conscious challenge to think seriously about what role traditions would play in our own family came--as it does for many people--with the birth of our first child. The moment we set foot into our apartment with our newborn, panic poured over me. We had walked out this door as two, I realized, and now we were walking in as three--forever there would be one more of us. We were responsible for this life, and I couldn't even keep a philodendron healthy!" ~ Noel Piper

Wow! I still remember that feeling as we began life as a family and figured out our traditions. It was a process through the years and we still seem to be adding new things into our lives which become our family's routine or a special tradition. Some things as parents we don't even consciously think about, yet the kids are quick to remind their mom and dad that the *tradition* has been overlooked. And yes, traditions work well for some of us sentimental types :-)

As I read the quote, I immediately thought of my oldest daughter and husband who are expecting their first baby this summer. What traditions will they bring forth from their own families and what will be unique to the two of them as they grow their own family?

And I also thought of watching my son and his wife as they've just brought their second child home. There are traditions already in place as the two became three and now four.

As I look at our family, our son's family, our daughter's family, and all the future families to come from their parents, my prayer is that each family will have God firmly planted and centered in their lives as they build and grow traditions. Traditions that may include special foods, special activities, special dishes, special gifts. May all parts and pieces include God and hearts full of thankfulness to Him.

Enjoy the traditions in your family's garden!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, February 18

calling home

Last evening I called home to check on life. I knew it had been a busy day there with church in the morning and an outing for the afternoon and evening which included the entire family. It's always interesting calling home because if you get one of the boys on the phone the conversation is rather short and to the point; if one of the girls gets on the line you hear every detail of every moment and the phone call goes forever. Not wrong, just different. And, of course, my portion of the conversation was easy when they asked how I was doing....um, ya, mom's just been holding the baby a lot (as I'm doing right now as the household sleeps and I regress back to one handed typing like the olden days). And it's not called hogging the baby when it's done out of necessity...for those of my family who throw out that accusation! *grin*

The disappointing thing in the flow of the conversation was finding out that specific things I had asked specific people to do while I was gone hadn't been done :::sigh::: They knew the household manager was out of town :::another sigh::: Unfortunately that meant talking to the boss...better known as Dad. At least I know now that someone will be following up with specific children although not quite like mom would do. Not wrong, just different.

Aren't you glad that when you call your Heavenly Father that He's always there and you don't have to wait until He gets home from an outing to call? That as you pray and cover the essentials with Him, you know He's already on top of it and working on them? (although we do like to remind Him because it seems like His timing is off sometimes *wink*) That you know you can trust Him completely and He is the only One who will never fail you? Aren't you glad?

I am.

There's a lot to be done at home today for schooling and for an AWANA event tonight.
I've covered the bases with my two main men for the day ahead. I'm glad :-) I can let go and return to baby hogging, I mean holding :-)

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Sunday, February 17

behold and worship

"Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD" ~ Psalm 127:3a

Enjoying the scent of baby and spending time with my future generation on this day of worship!

May your hearts be filled with praise and thanksgiving, too!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, February 16

the sun is shining

Waking up to the sun shining through the windows this morning, I knew I couldn't be at home because there's been so many cloudy days this winter. The other clue that "we aren't in Kansas anymore, Toto" was hearing car horns honking, people talking outside the windows, doors closing, and the TV still playing on the floor underneath us (it must have been an all night TV marathon going on down there). It takes a moment to get your bearings when you aren't home.

And it's taking me a moment to get my bearings over having a grandson. I never expected it to feel different than having a granddaughter. But it does. And the only conclusion I can come to so early in this process is that as I look upon that sweet little face I see the continuation of our family line. Our name will live on through another generation. There's just something awe inspiring about that thought.

"I will make Your name to be remembered in all generations; therefore the people shall praise You forever and ever." ~ Psalm 45:17

Yes, the sun is shining! And I look forward to the day ahead of entertaining the little princess as we await the arrival of the new little prince later today :-)

May the sun be shining in your garden today, too!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, February 14

thankfully praising

It's been a long day, but what a delight to end the day with an announcement!

A grandson :-)

Our first grandson :-)

Grandpa told me tonight that he thinks he needs to buy one of those old collector cars so he can drive his grandson to get ice cream in the summer as soon as he's old enough.

Me thinks some new Tonka trucks for the sandbox will be a less expensive option! LOL!

Tonight my heart is in awe of God's goodness. Thank Him and praise Him with me!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

lovingly launching

Valentine's Day is a perfect day for launching!

Today marks the launch of a new social networking site for homeschooling moms called The Homeschool Lounge. It's a place where you can create your own page, join into a variety of discussions, blog, share tips, advice and laughter, chat together. The main page of this site is public viewing, but it is a members only place on the web for the safety and comfort of homeschool moms. It's been fun being a part of this new place as Tiany has been getting it ready and I'm still learning the ropes - ya, the old dog new tricks kind of thing :-) Do check it out and "be my friend"!

Ohhhhh, but today marks another launch as my daughter-in-law called early this morning and is in active labor. Grandangel number two is anxious to arrive! I'll be pacing throughout the day as the weather isn't the best for traveling between here and there.

Your prayers for both launches would be lovingly appreciated!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, February 13

back in action



Out of action.

My regular exercise schedule has been out of action since mid-December when I pinched the nerve in my neck with those silly bone spurs on my vertebrae. I was allowed two months of medical release at Curves which means next week I'll go back as I'll once again be a paying customer and I am doing better physically now. Back to three days a week and getting the opportunity to try out the new Smart Workout.

Out of action.

My regular walking schedule had been out of action for almost two weeks when I broke my eye glasses and could no longer drive my car. Yes, I could get rides by other drivers for most of my activities, but trust me, there aren't a whole lot of people volunteering to pick me up at 5:30 A.M. so I can walk for an hour.

Back in action.

Since I got my new glasses later on Friday, I could now return to my Tuesday/Thursday early morning walking schedule barring anything like snowstorms (yes, you guys know that the frigid cold weather doesn't scare me off...he he). So on Tuesday morning I was, well honestly, not leaping out of bed. It was more like a whispering to my husband to push me out of bed because I was long overdue for some exercise. And being the good guy he is, he did just that...then rolled back over and went back to sleep!

Back in action.

It did feel good to get there and begin walking. YES! Um, then about twenty minutes into the walk I began thinking of the couple of errands I needed to run on the way home. Maybe I could just walk 30 minutes and run those errands early? And trust me, I watched the clock as I neared that 30 minute mark. And when I made it to that point I almost had to ask one of the older couples who were walking to grab my hands and pull me along because I so so badly wanted to leave. But I persevered asking for God's help and kept walking. And shortly before the one hour mark my legs began feeling like lead and cramping up a bit. It's been a long time since that has happened. But I persevered asking for God's help and kept walking until I hit my full hour.

The surprising thing to me was how easy it was to get out of the habit of exercising AND how quickly my body regressed. Both were a subtle process that I barely noticed. YIKES!

Back in action.

Yesterday and today I have felt more energetic and feel certain my metabolism needed that kick in the pants that the walk gave it. It has also helped me look more seriously at my recent eating activity which also was beginning a subtle process downward that I barely noticed.

Back in action.

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" ~ Philippians 4:13

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

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, February 12

those little splinters

Okay, since I can't get around having to go through the cold season of winter, at least I can count my blessings in the process, right? The thing that blesses me the most is the warm even heat that comes from our woodburner which is our main heating source. It is a delight to snuggle in the chair down by the woodburner with a good book as you are also assured to have a purring cat nearby. And my heart is thankful for the hard work my husband and sons need to do in order to keep us warm throughout the winter - the cutting, the splitting, the stacking, the carrying in.

I don't mind the little bit of work I need to do throughout the day of checking the status of the fire and throwing a piece of wood or two into the woodburner if no one else has done it recently. However, I don't know if my hands are more delicate - I doubt it - or we are burning different types of firewood this season - most likely not - BUT I'm regularly getting little splinters in my fingers when I'm loading the woodburner. OUCH! Every time it happens, I head up to my sewing machine to find a sharp needle and my tweezers to get the splinter out. Usually that's the end of it.

Usually.

Not always though. It seems that from time to time a tiny piece must stay under the skin as the spot gets red, sore, and even a little infected looking. So, back to surgery with my sewing needle, tweezers, some peroxide, and a little soaking afterwards. And fortunately that seems to do the trick.

Sheesh, it doesn't seem fair that when you are doing something that is helpful and good that you have to suffer for it, eh?

Wait! Isn't life a bit like that? You're busy doing things for others that are helpful and good and you get hurt in the process. Might be someone's unkind or criticizing words that feel like a splinter to your spirit. You may feel like you've forgiven and taken care of that hurt, but then it festers up again. Back to doing another examination of the wound with a one-on-one with your Heavenly Father. A more thorough cleansing. A true letting go of the hurt within your heart as forgiveness and grace are mixed more heavily into the process. And God faithfully heals the wound.

"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." ~ Psalm 147:3

Off to check the woodburner on this frosty morning!

May your garden path be splinterfree!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, February 11

talkin' about love

This bear was something that came from my mom's things when she passed away and had been given to her by a caregiver. Somehow I ended up with it and I keep it over by my rocking chair. Today I'm writing about a mother's love over at Heart of the Matter, so I invite you to go and read. And if you have time, scroll down that page and read some of the excellent articles found in the new February edition of The Heart of the Matter.

"Maternal love: a miraculous substance which God multiplies as He divides it." ~ Victor Hugo

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Sunday, February 10

do all

Do all the good you can,
by all the means you can,
in all the ways you can,
in all the places you can,
at all the times you can,
to all the people you can,
as long as you can.
~John Wesley


Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, February 9

a new look

Since I had to take some pictures this morning for something else I'm writing, I thought I may as well take a quick picture of my new glasses that I picked up late yesterday afternoon. It's a very different look for me. My husband says I look like a secretary...he he...guess that works for a homeschool mom as well. Basically my family won't see the glasses on me much unless I have to leave the house as I need them for driving and not for everyday life within the house.

May you see life in your garden through a fresh new look provided by God daily!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, February 8

know the code

All fingers. Yup, I'm all fingers when it comes to those verification boxes for blog replies. And all those fingers were certainly tested during the bloggy giveways where I needed to leave a comment. I do understand why people have that option and I don't have a problem with it. Sometimes it's just a matter of not having my fingers on the keyboard in the right places and not paying attention. But more frequently it's just that some of us have a hard time figuring out the letters since they are never in plain old type. Some are slanted, some use small and capital letters, some throw in numbers, some have letters turned and twisted and jumping. And I'm left trying to figure out if that is a 'j' or an 'i' or a 'B' or an '8' or an 'S' or a '5'. Now, it wouldn't be bad *if* when you missed the code the first time the exact same code came up the second time and you could change the one character you had wrong. But, no, they give you a new round of things to figure out :::sigh::: I actually had an email arrive yesterday saying the spam guard blocked my message....truly it wasn't because I was a robot computer; it's just that it took me three tries to get the code. That's okay...you can say, "oh that poor mother who has aging eyes" and I won't feel offended. It really is okay. I just keep trying :-)

Sure makes me glad it doesn't take a lot of code figuring out to get to heaven. Know the code. Simply.....Jesus. It only takes one attempt and you're in. He's not going to be offended when you fail and sin as he knows you aren't perfect. He'll forgive you and won't call you a spammer. He loves you. Abundantly. He wants your every reply prayer!

J.E.S.U.S.

Simple!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, February 7

winter cabin fever tip #1

Although I don't think of myself as a girly girl kind of person, I will confess to loving Bath & Body Works products. Fortunately there aren't any of their stores close-by as it would be devastating to my limited budget! However, when I'm traveling and see one of their stores it only takes moments to get inside. It is especially dangerous to my money situation if any of my girls are with me because, of course, they are required to pick something out, too - and trust me, I don't have to twist their arms to do so!

Typically I only use one favorite scent three seasons of the year and will occasionally rotate in a couple others which I enjoy. In recent years, I've been picking out a lighter more fun scent for the summer months.

So, here's my winter cabin fever tip #1. And I will say I'm only experimenting with it today, so I can't promise it works *grin* Instead of putting on my favorite of favorites body lotion after my shower today, I used my lotion from last summer - Coconut Lime Verbena. As soon as the lotion my hands and the scent wafted up to my nose...SUMMER! It was wonderful! I instantly smiled! I'm going to keep it out to use after each hand washing time today and breathe in summer all day long :-) And the bonus is that the sun is shining again :-)

Yup, a girl has got to do what a girl has got to do when she lives in a cold climate location which has such a LONG winter season.

May you be enjoying this winter day in your garden :-)

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, February 6

forgetting the behind



At the beginning of the new year I joined an early morning women's Bible study group which was starting a study on Philippians. We just finished up the overview of the book today and will begin digging into the meat of Philippians as we journey verse by verse in the weeks ahead.

You know how you can read the same Scriptures through the years and each time something new hits you? That happened this morning for me as we were talking about chapter three and Paul's pressing on, straining, and reaching forward for the goal...the prize up ahead. Here's what caught my eye:

"...but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead..." - Philippians 3:13b

Yes, we often talk about the pressing on part, but how often do we talk about the "forgetting those things which are behind" part? How much do those things from the past continue to affect us? You know...old meal habits, excuses for not exercising, junk food stress eating, laziness, lack of motivation to drink ALL THAT WATER, etc. We need to take all those nasty things from the past and get rid of them. Forgetaboutit! Move forward replacing those nasty things with sensible and healthy living well strategies. Remember that we are new creations in Christ (II Corinthians
5:17) and are transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2). The behind is just that...BEHIND. Leave it there! And NOW you can press on! Live well!

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

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, February 5

a garden full of flowers

"If I had a flower for each time I thought of my mother, I could walk in my garden forever." ~ Author Unknown

Today marks three years since my mom passed away. My garden overflows with flowers as she is never far from my heart.

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, February 4

the eyes have it

Kind of lost a bunch of time today, so I'm behind posting here. This morning was my eye appointment, then my husband driving me around to take care of errands, followed by a migraine strength headache from all those bright lights flashing in my eyes at my appointment, and just completed a chit chat phone call from my oldest daughter.

So, the eyes. Surprisingly my distance vision hasn't changed much at all since I last had new glasses which has to be at least five years ago. The reason I can't wear my glasses for reading anymore is the plain and simple fact that I'm getting older and the muscles that work with my eye lens don't work as effectively anymore and are more rigid. And the reality is my eyes will continue that process so that I will eventually need magnification for reading.

So, I had two choices. To get a pair of bifocals which would have the distance vision part I need and the nothing part for reading and being able to wear my glasses constantly. Or to get single vision glasses like I've had and only wear my glasses when I need to leave the house. Easy choice, don't you think? I am not ready to feel old yet no matter what the calendar says so I'm going with the single vision glasses since it works well at this time. Actually, I like not wearing glasses around the house :-)

So, I had a ton of choices. Styles of eyewear must number to infinity! I was going to get some glasses similar to what I had and then on a whim decided to go a bit more trendy. They kind of reminded me of a pair my mom had when I was little. I'm certain my kids are holding their breath to see what mom picked out...he he! Anyway, I think they will be a fun and a different look for me. I'll post a picture when I get them to get a less biased opinion than my family's.

They should be here by the end of the week. I told her I needed them ASAP as I have a grandbaby coming any time now and wanted to be available to leave on a moment's notice, so she put "RUSH - BABY!" on the order. Works for me :-)

Oh, and one small glitch in the appointment....a small hemorrhage was found in the back of one of my eyes. Could be a random thing or possibly health related, so I need to follow up in three months. Always something, eh?

Time to go get something done around such as checking all the schoolwork that was to be completed in my absence. I do hope that Candyland sitting on the kitchen table is only an indication of break time........

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Sunday, February 3

the rock flowers

From my devotional:

I have always been glad that the psalmist said to God that some things were hard. There is no mistake about it; there are hard things in life. Some beautiful pink flowers were given me this summer, and as I took them I said, "What are they?" And the answer came, "They are rock flowers; they grow and bloom only on rocks where you can see no soil." Then I thought of God's flowers growing in hard places; and I feel, somehow, that He may have a peculiar tenderness for His "rock flowers" that He may not have for His lilies and roses. ~ Margaret Bottome

If you are in a hard place right now, remember that even there beauty can be found!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, February 2

bloggy giveaways winners!

Last evening I had fun signing up for a few more bloggy giveaways and also stopping by to visit many who commented here. What fun! What variety! What a carnival! A big thank you to ALL who have participated :-)

Once life quieted here a bit today, I sat down to do my totally unscientific drawing which meant writing out of names and putting them into the appropriate basket. I then went looking for Lovey to do the official picking of the names.

The hardest part was blindfolding the little one without catching her hat! She picked one name from each basket for the official winner. And the winners are :::::drumroll please:::::

Set # 1 - Vegetarian Cookbooks: Elise

Set #2 - Lighter Eating Cookbooks: Tiff

Set #3 - Cholesterol Reducing Cookbooks: Lori

Congratulations, winners! I will be contacting you for your mailing addresses so your cookbooks can get into the mail this coming week!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

and now ears

It seems that each night I have an idea of what I want to blog about the following morning and often that gets changed once I sit down to type in the morning. For example, I was going to post about the bloggy giveaway later this morning once my girls were up and we did the drawing...BUT...times, they are a'changin'!

One of my littles - who is pretty much growing into a middler now - developed a cold this past week. Nothing major but she mentioned a new symptom yesterday - plugged up ears as she called them. Those plugged up ears became majorly hurting ears in the middle of the night. Since her cold medicine had worn off, I gave her more to help her get back to sleep. An hour later she was back saying she had been unable to fall back to sleep. So we whispered quietly and I took her back to be tucked into bed. A couple hours later she was back yet again in tears because her ears were hurting so badly, so I gave her something else and had her very gently blow her nose which she hadn't been doing (!). I got her settled into daddy's recliner chair in our bedroom so she'd be more upright while I softly massaged her lymph areas around her ears, face, and neck. Of course, I'm sure the favorite treatment option was the piece of gum I offered to get her jaw moving to open up those ears. By now she felt sleepy, so I snuggled her with blankets and left my little light on nearby.

Being an early bird, I thought about just staying up at this point, but the house was very cool. So, I turned up the furnace and crawled back into bed to warm up while I waited for the house to warm up. My mind flashed back to when this daughter would have been quite small yet because she couldn't verbalize what was happening other than "owie" and having a fever. She had double ear infections with one eardrum bursting. Although not feeling well at all, she smiled at the sweet nurse we had as the ENT doctor came in for the exam. The smiling didn't last long as the doctor needed to suction her ear out. The suctioning part was bad enough, but the noise the machine made was horrid. Poor sweet girl. But she was a trooper for each visit we had to make as her ears were re-checked. And she never had another ear problem since that time....until right now.

Thinking back to those days long ago, I'm convinced the best treatment option was when I was lying next to her on her bed to help her fall asleep and gently massaged her face while praying for her. Hmmm, I think that may still be the best treatment option as it did wonders again this morning as she is still asleep in daddy's recliner next to my desk as I type.

God is good....all the time!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~




Friday, February 1

speaking of eyes

Ummm, "be not wise in thine own eyes" from Proverbs 3:7a, yup, I'm definitely not wise in my own eyes.

Yesterday while I was sitting I felt something move on my head. I reached up to pull my glasses down and they fell apart in my hand. The thin frame had snapped on the top where it attached at the nose-piece. And I found that the bottom half of the frame was made of something similar to fishline.

Yup, my own eyes are no longer wise. It's not a major problem as I pretty much no longer wear my glasses during the day which is why they ride on the top of my head. I only need them for distance vision which basically means when I drive the car or need to look out the window to see what the dogs are barking at in the woods.

And I've known for awhile that my eyes were no longer wise as they've been changing quite a bit over the last year or so. I cannot read at all with them on nor like them on when I talk to someone close by. So I know I've been headed down the path of, um, you know, bifocals :::::sigh::::: But, who wants to willingly walk down that path? Now I'm forced down that path and I may do a little kicking and screaming as I go!

The blessing is that I was able to get an appointment on MONDAY morning to be seen for an eye exam (it's been quite awhile) and to get fitted for new glasses. I'm hoping the glasses don't take long to come as I may need to travel soon. I don't think new grandbabies wait on their grandmamas to get glasses, do they?

It's interesting because my devotions this morning had two passages about Jesus with blind men and restoring their sight (Matthew 20:30-34 and Mark 10:51-52). Really. Isn't that cool? The best wisdom and the clearest vision come from one source....God. My eyes may be unwise for the moment, but my heart can tap into a Source of Sight and see!

May your vision be clear as you go down your garden path today!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~
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