Saturday, January 31

the main track

From my devotional based upon Philippians 3:13b - "But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead."

"One of Satan's favorite employees is the switchman. He likes nothing better than to sidetrack one of God's express trains, sent on some blessed mission and filled with the fire of a holy purpose.

Something will come up in the pathway of the earnest soul, to attract its attention and occupy its strength and thought. Sometimes it is a little irritation and provocation. Sometimes it is some petty grievance we stop to pursue or adjust. Sometimes it is somebody else's business in which we become interested, and which we feel bound to rectify. And before we know, we are absorbed in a lot of distracting cares and interests that quite turn us aside from the great purpose of our life.

Perhaps we do not do much harm, but we have missed our connection. We have got off the main line.

Let all these things alone. Let grievances come and go, but press forward steadily and irresistibly, crying, as you haste to the goal, 'This one thing I do.'" ~ A.B. Simpson

Ahhhh, this past week I pinpointed a familiar feeling I had been experiencing. That restless frustrated annoyed upset distracted depressing feeling. For I recognized experiencing the exact same thing before when a man from the Democratic party took the presidential office. Clinton was his name. His first one hundred days threw me in a tizzy.

Then I got a grip. Scripture pulled me back on track. God is in control. Nothing that happens surprises Him. He knows all things. Even if everything around me is falling apart, I can completely trust Him. The only and BEST thing I could do was PRAY. Then PRAY some more!

At least I got a grip earlier in the process this time.

But it's been even more interesting this time around because there's been other little things in my life at the same time easily causing the same feeling. Things not even related to politics. Things that make me want to growwwwwwwwl! Definitely things that would be in the sidetracked category that seek to absorb me and turn me from the main track.

The enemy is pretty clever, isn't he? Seeing that he already had me traveling in a direction he wanted me, why not throw a few more things in the way of distraction!

HA! I'm on to him now and I'm done wrestling with all the distractions!

Again, delving deeper into God's Word and spending time in prayer have put me back on track clarifying the vision and purpose God has for me.

Whew!

May you be traveling on the main line today and not be fooled by the crafty switchman!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, January 30

it's running

A few weeks ago my littlest had a runny nose. Actually, she called it a snuffy nose because she had to keep snuffing it...until the snuffing would drive her mother crazy at which time that snuffy nose would welcome a kleenex! Because we weren't certain if she was beginning the dreaded *BUG* that the rest of the household was getting, we kept her away from church, play try-outs, and AWANA. And the snuffing continued. No other symptoms with it. She still has it a bit.

And guess what? Now *I* have the snuffy nose! No other symptoms, just a nose that prefers to run constantly. Unlike my daughter, I'm not much of a snuffer and prefer the kleenex blowing. The weird thing is that it's a tingly runny nose that feels like it's going to sneeze all day long, yet it doesn't. Then suddenly there is a rare sneeze and it feels ohhhh so good!

I'm not certain if this qualifies as official sickness that requires bed rest and a good book for mom? But I'm thinking that since I basically feel quite normal, it just means I haul a kleenex box around with me all day......or snuff.

Hope your day is snuff-free!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, January 29

a plate full of *ham*

Ahhh, yes! This is an old photo I found in my computer file as I believe it was taken over seven years ago and includes five of the finest *hams* in our family. The photo was taken after the production of Hansel and Gretel when the Missoula Children's Theater came into town. What a blessing this event has annually been for a family with kids who LOVE to act! And I'd love for you to read more about our experiences over at Heart of the Matter Online as I share about a wonderful opportunity for kids that may be coming to your community!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

a thankful task


Early Wednesday morning I didn't wake up in my own bed, but rather opened my eyes to darkness at my oldest daughter's house. I quickly got up and showered as I needed to get on the road to meet a 9 AM commitment in a city three hours away. After warming the car up and saying our goodbyes, I was on the interstate in a matter of minutes as I worked my way out of a major city.

Traffic was minor going my direction.

Traffic was major coming into the city. Car light after car light in a steady stream.

Before 6 AM on a weekday morning.

For the next thirty minutes.

I was amazed.

And ohhhhh, so thankful!

Suddenly I greatly appreciated my work as a lady of leisure stay at home mom! Yes, there may be days of being up early tending to the needs of my family (or perhaps nights of being up with babies) and sometimes we end up having *one of those days*, however I'm doing my task in my favorite place on this earth....in the place I call HOME! Could there be a greater blessing than that?!

To follow other thankful hearts, go visit Thankful Thursday at Lori's this week.

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, January 28

only a dress?

Some may think this is only a dress. A typical flower girl dress. But I'm here to tell you that it is MUCH more special than that!

Five and a half years ago this dress was worn by my then youngest daughter for the wedding of our oldest son. It was the match to the dress of the other flower girl who was the next daughter in line. At the time, those two dresses seemed like quite an investment for a one time event.

Wait a minute! Those dresses were both worn again by my two youngest daughters when their oldest sister got married two years ago this coming spring.

Okay, so those dresses got two wearings making the investment a bit sweeter.

Wait a minute! One of the dresses was worn again for flower girl purposes by my granddaughter who was chosen as part of a wedding party last fall. It's fun to think that she wore a dress that was worn in her parents' wedding.

And I'm thinking that these two dresses have the possibility of more wearings in the future as there are bound to be more weddings in our family....and no, this isn't an announcement of an upcoming wedding in our family! LOL!

Guess those flower girls dresses weren't such a bad investment after all, eh?

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~




Tuesday, January 27

the truth test

From a devotional based on I Thessalonians 5:21 - "Test everything. Hold on to the good."

"It is a great thing to be able to receive new truth and blessing without sacrificing the truths already proved and abandoning foundations already laid.

Some persons are always laying the foundations, and they present, at last, the appearance of a lot of abandoned sites and half constructed buildings, and nothing is ever brought to completion.

The fact that you are abandoning today for some new truth the things that a year ago you counted most precious and believed to be divinely true should be sufficient evidence that you will probably a year from today abandon your present convictions for the next new light that comes to you.

God is ever wanting to add to us, to develop us, to enlarge us, to teach us more and more, but it is ever in the line of things which He has already taught us, and in which we have been established.

While we are to prove all things, let us hold fast that which is good." ~A.B. Simpson

When I read this on Sunday, I was struck by how you can see this happening today. As the winds are blowing through the church at large with new philosophies, people are adopting new truths and abandoning spiritual truths which are basic to the Christian faith. Quite easy to do. Walk through the Christian section of any bookstore and you will be overwhelmed by the books available.

Then this morning I read the following:

"Thanks to our splendid Bible societies and to other effective agencies for the dissemination of the Word, there are today many millions of people who hold 'right opinions', probably more than ever before in the history of the Church. Yet I wonder if there was ever a time when true spiritual worship was at a lower ebb." ~ A.W. Tozer

Interestingly, the first quote was written probably over 65 years ago and the second close to 50 years ago. How can I not think of Ecclesiastes and the fact that there is nothing new under the sun?

But there is something that will outlast the sun and that is God's Word. When reading an article or book that you are discerning is *off*, do test it against what God's Word says. Abandon man's philosophies and
stick with God's Word which is Truth and you won't be blown around. You will stand on a foundation which you can continue building upon during your lifetime.

May your day be filled with sunshine and Sonshine!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~




Monday, January 26

simple woman's daybook for January 26

For today January 26th

Outside my window......it is fifteen degrees below zero at the moment with clear blue skies. I just read this morning that the statistics for January to this point have our average temperature for January as 4.9 degrees. BRRRRRR!

I am thinking.....about going through my box of maternity clothes, washing them up, and taking anything not too outdated(!) to the pregnancy center.

I am thankful for......a warm home and all the bills currently paid.

From the learning rooms.....we are learning about telling time, diagramming compound subjects and verbs, mathematics in daily life, finishing up end of the semester exams, and I have a student still trying to catch up after being sick.

From the kitchen.....I'll pop some muffins in the oven for this cold morning.

I am wearing.....a long sleeved top with a pink hooded sweatshirt over it, a denim skirt and my fuzzy socks.

I am creating.....a cleaner desk!

I am going.....to the post office later, dropping off a couple kids to babysit for a couple hours for a special youth pastors and wives winter retreat, and then to AWANA Club tonight. (And yes, I went to the post office last Monday, too, only to remember once I got there that they were closed for the holiday!)

I am still reading.....the book Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry and enjoying it very much!

I am hoping.....if it has to be this cold that at least the sun will shine at the same time since it does warm up the rooms on the south side of our home.

I am hearing.....my husband loading the woodburner.

Around the house.....there's little piles of things I'm sorting through as I do some cleaning.

One of my favorite things.....is looking at older family pictures and being amazed at how much my children have grown up!

A few plans for the rest of the week.....include AWANA Club, traveling tomorrow to drop a daughter off at a daughter's house, training at the pregnancy center, and working on putting together everything for filing our taxes.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you.....

Here are the cookies I puttered around making yesterday for a treat for my AWANA Chums. I haven't made pinwheel cookies in a long time, but we all quickly remembered how good they taste after I put the extras on a plate! YUM!

If you'd like to do your own daybook or read about others on this day, please go HERE

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, January 24

panic averted

Although some of you younger readers may not understand, when you hit your late 40's early 50's short term memory becomes a thing of the past. Survival of the fittest only happens if you have a notebook that never leaves your side. A notebook that records all those short term things you need to do that you will not remember unless you accidentally run into something that reminds you to do them. And sometimes you don't accidentally run into those kinds of things for weeks which is why you keep a notebook!

Soooo, let's just say that *IF* that lifeline notebook suddenly disappears it's hard not to feel a tad bit of panic arise.

Soooo, let's just say my lifeline notebook did go missing. All this week. Uh huh. NOT a good thing!

I checked all the places I could have set it down as it does travel with me throughout the house and when I run errands. Not in my purse. Not in my Vera. Not by the ironing board. Not by my computer. Not by the woodburner. Not by my bed. Not on my desk. Not in the car. Not in the bathroom (yes, it even goes there). NOT ANYWHERE!

And then last evening when I was looking for something else, I found it! Panic averted! My lifeline notebook was on my desk, but had somehow gotten mixed into a pile of miscellaneous non-important papers that need to be put somewhere. My most important thing was with my most non-important things :::sigh:::

I will now assign a permanent resting spot for my notebook just as I have had to do with my eyeglasses so that this will never happen again!

Glancing through my notebook this morning, I see that there are some things that I missed doing that I really needed to do :::sigh::: but I've also taken care of some things that I did without the aid of my trusted friend and that is an encouragement!

Off to really take care of business in my garden!

Enjoy your Saturday and all the details of life wherever you keep them!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, January 23

a new word

Fridays are always the longest day of my week as I spend the day correcting schoolwork. Even if I do bits and pieces of the correcting through the week thinking that will make it easier on Friday, it still ends up being a long day. LONG.

It seems that this school year my *putterer* always seems to be the last one corrected on Fridays and it also seems that it ends up happening AFTER supper when I'm really getting tired of sitting and doing corrections.

Why? I dunno. Perhaps to give me something to smile about at the end of the day?

For you see, the blanks in every quiz and test this child takes are always filled. Yup. It always looks good when I look over the papers UNTIL I start looking closer and realize the *putterer* just didn't feel like looking up some answers. I find this particularly on questions in science or history quizzes/tests when names of politicians, movie stars, or Bible characters are filled in for some answers.

Tonight was a fine example and on an unexpected subject....literature.

The question read like this:

____________ is the use of words that express something contrary to their literal meaning.

The answer, of course, was prefiberal.

Yup, now my *putterer* is making up creative words! I honestly did laugh out loud when I read it. Prefiberal?!

And the correct answer is ____________?

I'd offer the correct commenter a prize, but I'm too tired to think of what I could offer. Perhaps a candy bar?

Enjoy the little bit of Friday that is left!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

sunshine SONshine

Ohhhh, I just do not do well with the cloudiness of winter. Day after day of cloud filled skies. At least when we get a flurry of snow there is beauty outside our windows, but the GRAY. THE GRAY!

Then one day the sun will peek out and I kept getting drawn into my bedroom with the big picture window on the south side of the house! Mmmmm! Sun! The beautiful warm life giving sun! Truly, it makes me want to stretch out on the floor in front of the window to soak it all in. And I probably could if there was room. The dogs and cats also gravitate to that very spot on sunny days :-)

And sometimes life gets busy and quiet times get squeezed more than normal. There is a spiritual grayness that starts covering your life. Oh, those little quiet times hold a bit of beauty, but the GRAY. THE GRAY!

Then one day the SON shines into your life as He draws you into the Word more deeply with a rare extended time spent with Him. You long to soak in every bit! Mmmmm! The SON! The beautiful heart warming life giving SON!

This time of the winter my heart starts longing for more of both....the sunshine and the SONshine. Too many days stuck indoors with everyone on long gray cold days. No place to escape for extended times in God's Word as we are all here for 24/7 stretches of time.

:::sigh:::

Yet I know that God knows the desires of my heart and I'm confident He will provide long moments of SONshine when I least expect it. Not only am I looking forward to that, but also perhaps an unexpected peek or two of sunshine coming through my bedroom window. Mmmmm!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


Thursday, January 22

thankfully walking

Early this morning when I was headed out the door, it was with thankfulness that I walked to my car. What a blessing it is to have our local high school open their doors early to those in our community who enjoy walking or running on their fieldhouse track as well a jogging through the hallways. It is especially a blessing during the midst of winter as we live in an area where there are no sidewalks. To go walking on the icy backroads would be risky as there is no where to go when cars come by unless you want to leap onto a snowbank! Okay, my dogs or kids would probably love that, but not me!

Early this morning when I parked in the high school parking lot, I added another thought of thankfulness which was that the high school is only about a five minute or so drive from home. For as I grabbed my water bottle to go inside, I realized I had forgotten my walking shoes! YIKES! There was no way I could walk in my clunky heavy winter boots! So, I quickly made my way back home, grabbed my shoes, and headed back into town. A third reason to be thankful was that I had woken up earlier than usual and was about fifteen minutes ahead of my normal walking time, so that means I was actually ON time and hadn't caused myself to fall behind on the start to my day. Whew!

May your heart find things to be thankful today!

To follow other thankful hearts, go visit Thankful Thursday at Lori's this week.

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, January 21

scrabbling

Everyone in my household knows I'm completely and totally addicted to Facebook Scrabble. I LOVE it and will jump on and off my computer throughout the day to play a word. My record isn't great, but that's okay. I'm all about challenging my brain to work and think a bit. And yes, I refuse to use the online Scrabble cheater helpers that some people I know use....and you know who you are!

The problem, however, is that there's others in my household who also enjoy playing Scrabble but aren't on Facebook.

Time to drag out the old Scrabble board which is barely held together in the middle. There were some missing tiles that are no longer missing because we made paper versions of the letters. We keep a dictionary handy for validation and also a list of the two letter words which are allowable. And Scrabbling we go!

Do you have a favorite game that comes out in the winter months?

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, January 20

squandering is over

"Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of." ~ Benjamin Franklin

Hey, Benjamin Franklin ended a sentence with a preposition and he isn't even a Midwesterner!

But, boy oh boy, can I embrace this quote today!

It seems that the past few months have had many obligations on the calendar such as *the holidays* or other big events. Things that needed more of a personal focus. Things that needed to be scheduled into life. Things that squeezed out a lot of other daily tasks and regular routine.

When that happens, I do find myself squandering time. Perhaps it's because I know I don't really have time to do such-and-such because I have this other big stuff to focus on, so I procrastinate with the time I do have. Anyone else do that? Or am I just a master procrastinator of daily tasks?

It's not that there aren't still activities on our calendar right now, but they are more of the regular part of our routine such as AWANA Club once a week.

So finally, yes FINALLY, I feel like I can take care of household business that needs to get caught up on during the winter months. And finally, yes FINALLY, I feel like I can work into my days some special projects.

I'm motivated! I'm focused! And I'm excited!

Let's just hope that I get a lot done before I run out of energy! LOL!

So, how are you doing with your time? Into the hibernation of the winter season or considering using this stuck indoors time for something productive?

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, January 19

simple woman's daybook for January 19

For today January 19th

Outside my window......the skies are gray and there's a light snow in the air.

I am thinking.....about my list of projects and how I'll fit them into a full schedule.

I am thankful for......all our bills being paid so far this winter.

From the learning rooms.....the littlest has been having a great time making pictures and the alphabet from a set of stencils we have, there's more work on fractions, the different "cases" of pronouns will be learned, chemical bonds will be studied, and one poor student will be working hard to catch up after being ill all last week.

From the kitchen.....a special luncheon for travelers headed on a long trip home today.

I am wearing.....a short sleeved deep pink top and my exercise pants. Back to Curves after missing a week due to illness.

I am creating.....a neater working space in my sewing area as it has become cluttered with lots of odds and ends that have been used on projects over the last couple of years.

I am going.....to run some things to the post office this morning and then to AWANA Club tonight.

I am reading.....the book Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry.

I am hoping.....that we are done with sickness around here for awhile!

I am hearing.....my granddaughter singing while she eats some cereal at the kitchen table.

Around the house.....the floors are covered with toys as our granddaughter has had a blast playing with all her favorite things during her visit.

One of my favorite things.....is not having to go anywhere on a frigidly cold January day and being able to snuggle down into my warm house!

A few plans for the rest of the week.....will include getting back into our routine tomorrow, traveling for some training on Wednesday, and doing a bit more deep cleaning.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you.....

Playing in the early evening outdoors while it is lightly snowing! I could not get my red eye feature to work on my camera or in iPhoto and I'm not certain it even works on dog eye! LOL!

If you'd like to do your own daybook or read about others on this day, please go HERE

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, January 17

morning giggles

Around 2 AM I tucked my granddaughter into a makeshift bed while her parents and their group of friends had at least another hour of travel to spend a snowy long weekend at our cabin. This morning we woke up to girl talk and giggles coming out of the bedroom down the hall. Later when I peeked on them, they had all crawled into the same bed and were playing under the covers with a frog flashlight. So, I quickly pulled the covers up and took a picture. Of course, they all immediately closed their eyes with the flash, but the smiles are still on their faces.

Around our house there'll be a noisy messy giggly few days ahead :-)

Enjoy the weekend around your house!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, January 16

not normalcy

After getting back into a routine last week and feeling like life was returning to normalcy, we hit this week which has been the weirdest, wackiest, craziest, strangest kind of week in a long time. Perhaps it was the fact that I was sick and not used to that total down and out feeling plus needing to take care of others that were sick, too. Or the fact that the girls auditioned for a play, got parts, and we've not only been doing some running for the practices but also had the bonus of listening to a variety of lines and songs during the day as they've been enjoying this extra activity? Or maybe this extended subzero weather day after day has been the culprit along with its accomplice a full moon? Or could it be the preparations for a crew stopping through for supplies as they head further north into the deeper tundra leaving behind a sweet granddaughter for the weekend?

I dunno. I guess I'll just keep going through the motions of trying to catch up and keep up until life settles back into normalcy. Whatever that is....

May your day have a bit of normalcy! :-)

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, January 15

a definite advantage

It's TWENTY DEGREES BELOW ZERO at the time I am typing this (8:30 AM) and that is not factoring in the windchill which drops the temperature even more. Yes, it is indeed a very crisp extreme cold outside at the moment! Brrrrrrrrrr!

And here we all sit about to begin school for the day. It's a definite advantage of homeschooling....we don't have to close when a widespread area of the state has schools closed due to the extreme cold temperatures or a heavy snow storm passing through the area. Nope, we go about our school day as normal. What's interesting is that we will get phone calls from children who want to play today because they don't have school. Sorry, unavailable.....

What will be even nicer is being able to play in warm May when our schooling is done for the year while the local schools are still stuck in school during June as they make up their cold/snow days.

Uh huh.....definite advantage :-)

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, January 14

a basketful of prayers

Wonder what's in the basket?

It's a basket FULL of prayers!

To find out more, you'll have to stop over at Heart of the Matter Online and read my article about an after-the-holidays tradition :-)

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, January 13

s.l.o.w.l.y.

It's taken me all day to finally plop down here. But perhaps the reason I haven't settled here all day to actually write is that there is absolutely nothing worthwhile that's happening around my household to share. I mean, who wants to read about sickness? Blech......

Back around New Year's when I had taken my daughter in for a strep test, I asked about flu in the area. "Nope", the doctor said. At that time he had only read of four cases diagnosed in the state.

So today I went online to check influenza symptoms and we have most of them.

Fever over 101 for adults, 103 - 105 for children...check.

Chills and sweats...check.

Headache...check.

Muscular aches and pains...check.

Sore throat...check.

Weakness and fatigue...check.

Loss of appetite...check.

Runny/stuffy nasal congestion....a bit of this, so check.

Cough...NOPE.

Chest congestion...NOPE.

So I guess we really don't have the influenza because we are missing the whole chest congestion/coughing part for which I am very thankful, although I will say that there are a lot of chest aches and pains.

But I'm wondering what we do have because we do have symptoms that aren't listed anywhere like the following ones which members of our family have experienced:

*All the evening lights in the house look very yellowish and hazy.

*It's difficult to read or even watch movies.

*Although you are listening to all the sounds around the household while you are lying in bed with your eyes closed thinking you aren't sleeping, suddenly your eyes jump open and you have a little pool of drool on your pillow.

*There is a "couldn't care less" attitude about everyone and everything else that may be happening in the household.

*You are certain that the chills you are experiencing must be from the sub-zero temperatures outside, so you pile more blankets on top of your quaking body which is guaranteed to quickly raise a temperature higher than any thermometer can keep up with on a good day.

*After you finally get over the hump, you'll continue to feel like blech and yuck and ugh for several days.

So, who knows what we have?

I'm just thankful that it is slowly going through our family as the memory is still quite vivid of several years ago when many of us came down with the influenza at pretty the same time. I actually had to write out a chart with all our names to track temperatures, medicines, foods, drinks, times to set the alarm clock to get up to check fevers, etc. Ahhhhh, memories!

Here's to good health! And sooner rather than s.l.o.w.l.y. would be a bonus!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~




Monday, January 12

i heart faces


YAY! They've officially launched! Two blogging friends - Amy and Angie - have launched a wonderful photography sharing forum for all those who love taking pictures capturing all the different emotions found in faces. Each week you - yes YOU! - can enter a favorite picture of yours for their currently running themed contest. If you're not brave enough to submit an entry, take some time to visit the different people who have entered the contests as the pictures are amazing!

So, congratulations Amy and Angie! Now what are you waiting for? Go a
nd visit them at I heart faces NOW!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

simple woman's daybook for January 12

For today January 12

Outside my window.....there are hazy looking skies and the temperature is struggling to get above zero. Snow is in the forecast for later today.

I am thinking.....that I REALLY don't enjoy being sick!

I am thankful for.....a husband who keeps the household running when I'm down and out.

From the learning rooms.....we are working on letter blends, fractions, sentence diagramming, book reports, geometry proofs which still seem meaningless to me after all these years.

From the kitchen.....my husband is currently pickling fish.

I am wearing.....my jammies and my flannel robe over them.

I am creating.....a box full of hats, mittens, scarves, and coats which are no longer worn and are in good condition so that they may be donated to the local food pantry.

I am going.....nowhere! at least until I feel better :::sigh:::

I just finished reading....."The Illuminator" by Brenda Rickman Vantrease, a novel set in the late 1300's when the Lords and the Church held all the power. Yet, at the same time John Wycliffe was working on translating God's Word into English so that the Bible could be brought to the common people. It was a very risky task and the book tells the twists and turns of the tale of a man who illuminates the Scriptures for the church with beautiful paintings and scroll work, but also secretly works for Wycliffe. It was an interesting read although I will caution that there are some inappropriate parts.

I am hoping.....we will all be healthy soon!

I am hearing.....my girls chattering as they are working on their schoolwork in the kitchen by me. My littlest is doing a funny finger snapping thing while talking.

Around the house.....life has settled into more order now that the holidays are over. The kitchen needs a clean-up this morning since the child who was in charge of it yesterday is sick.

One of my favorite things.....is watching the kids have fun out in the snow!

A few plans for the rest of the week.....are changing. I have to make some phone calls and find replacements for myself as well as cancel appointments. Hopefully if I take it easy early in the week, I'll feel much better by the end of the week!

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you.....

One of my older sons had a youth leaders luncheon meeting last week, but had the time wrong and missed the luncheon part. So when he was done with the meeting, he stopped at the grocery store and purchased a loaf of French bread, a package of sandwich meat, and a half gallon of strawberry milk. He stopped by home to make his lunch and read the WORLD magazine. It just looked funny to see him eating that huge sandwich. No, he didn't finish it all in one sitting, but packaged it up and took it back to his place to eat for supper.

If you'd like to do your own daybook or read about others on this day, please go HERE

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Sunday, January 11

a winner!

Just one of those occasions where I need to break my "no blog posting on Sunday" rule because I forgot to post my HOTM drawing winner yesterday. I enlisted my favorite drawing out of the basket girl to help me pick a winner for the Wild Wacky Weather kit :-)

And the winner is :::::drumroll:::::

Congratulations! I'll be emailing you for a mailing address!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, January 10

where are you parking?

"The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking places." ~ Anonymous

I often think of how busy anonymous must be with all the quotes that come from him! LOL!

It is quite evident that my list that provides the directions to the road to success on this Saturday is full of LOTS of parking places. So many things I want to get caught up on today yet it just isn't happening. And I'm blaming the *bug*!

Seems I've finally caught that miserable *bug* that has been casually taking victims in my household. Only my daughter had it quite badly for over a week during our family gathering during new years; the rest of us have slowly picked up enough of its symptoms to cause us to feel lousy and not officially sick. So you're caught in the limbo of being well enough to do some things, but feel lousy doing them....if that makes any sense.

:::sigh:::

Time to get out of my cyberspace parking place and slowly plod through the next thing on my list.

I do hope you are doing better than I am on this day!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, January 9

gazing at faces

"Family faces are magic mirrors. Looking at people who belong to us, we see the past, present, and future." ~ Gail Lumet Buckley

As I get older, I have found that I enjoy gazing at our family's faces. Soaking in all the impressions that make them who they are and seeing other family members features in those glances. Some things are easy to spot as distinctions such as the hairline from my husband's side of the family which all the boys seem to have, especially as they get older. The ones with eyes of blue that want to turn green or the deep chocolate brown of others or the daughter with the eyes that sparkle. Those apple cheeks and dimples, too. Such variety in each one.

And yet, there is something that others see that connects all our children as being in the same family. Knowing that causes me to gaze and wonder....what is it that is common to all? Perhaps I'll never figure that out no matter how much I gaze and wonder.

But there's something that I've noticed much more prominently lately whether in pictures taken at a certain angle or a glance in the mirror. I see my mother in me. For a brief moment I gaze and wonder....what is it that causes the resemblance? The nose? The eyes? The face shape? The smile? Something that is noticeable to me as I'm getting older.

It is a bittersweet thing as it makes me sad and happy at the same moment. Sad because it instantly makes me miss her presence in my life and happy because as time goes on I'm afraid of forgetting certain things about her and "seeing" her in myself helps me to remember.

To remember....today would have been my mom's 71st birthday. May my mirror reveal a smile with the tears as I glance at a familiar face found in mine.

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


Thursday, January 8

celebrating an anniversary

It's a delight to celebrate the first anniversary of Heart of the Matter Online! It began a year ago as an online homeschool magazine and has transitioned and changed into one amazing resource site filled with encouragement for homeschooling parents. The creative talents of "The Amies" and the team of writers continues to bless me regularly. I invite you to go and check out their new quarterly magazine which is now available in three formats: flipbook version (ohhhh, that is SO cool!), pdf format for downloading onto your computer, or the blog version to scroll through at your leisure.

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, January 7

endure and enjoy

"Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must." ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I think this will be my motto for the day.

I woke up with a twinge of a headache and thought perhaps the cup of coffee in my hand as I headed out the door to Bible study would cause it to vanish. But, alas, it has only worsened as I've gotten home and begun our school day. Most likely hormonal in nature, there will be nothing that will really help this headache to go away throughout the day ahead. Endure.

Yet outside my window is a softly falling snow. Peaceful, calming, and quiet. Instead of the usual gray winter day with no snow, this is a welcomed winter scene outside my windows. Enjoy.

If you are having a day of enduring, may God also bless you with some moments of enjoying.

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, January 6

surviving the distractions

Everyone who survived the first day back to reality after the holidays, please raise your hand!

o/

Sometimes I think mothers need more survival tactics than they use on the reality show "Survivor"!

Actually, it felt good to start our morning around the table with devotions and to see the kids begin their studies without much prompting. It's a nice season to be transitioning into of having our family scale weigh more toward older children than younger children. They know the routine. The expectations. The rules.

Then there's Little Lovey.

She's not quite there yet.

Typically she's the first one I work with after our morning devotions. We've been doing it that way for the first half of the year. That's been the routine. The expectation. The rule.

So while I was helping everyone else as they were getting started yesterday morning, Little Lovey disappeared into her land of play. When I looked around the house to find her, then I got distracted by some Christmas decorations in the living room and began putting those away. Once done with that area, I again went to find her - she was actually in the kitchen and close to where her school things are stored - and then I got distracted and started collecting all the Christmas dishes to put away. When that task was done, she was gone again! We played that cat and mouse game most of the day until finally the cat caught the mouse and we did her schooling shortly before 3 PM. Once again I was reminded that my littles work better in the morning :-)

I can't really blame the mouse since the cat was so distracted all day as well.

On to day two after the holidays with hopes that the cat and mouse do better today!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, January 5

a birthday giveaway!

Woo hoo! Heart of the Matter Online turns one year old this week! And to celebrate they are hosting a TOSGA (The Old Stuff Give Away) contest. Feel free to join in by finding a gift to give away like scrap supplies, unused curriculum, hobby materials, books, whatever! Go to this LINK to get all the rules and details of the contest so that you may participate, too, or just to get the list of everyone who is participating this week.

My giveaway gift is a Wild Goose kit entitled "Wild Wacky Weather". You know how we homeschoolers always buy way too many things that often end up sitting on a shelf. Well, this is one long forgotten thing I found on the back of a shelf this past summer when I was doing some deep cleaning for a garage sale. I had originally purchased the kit for my boys to use when they were all of grade school age and the kit is still wrapped in cellophane. Oh well! It will still be a fun kit for someone else to use for their homeschool learning adventures!

To enter my contest, please tell me what your favorite weather is in your comment. A winner will be drawn on Saturday, January 10th. This contest will be open to US residents only.

May all your days be sunny and warm!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

simple woman's daybook for January 5

For today January 5

Outside my window.....
it was a crisp 15 degrees BELOW ZERO when I got up and the skies are blue promising a sunny day later.

I am thinking.....
about a variety of things. Since all those things are still swirling around in my mind it would be impossible to write them out here!

I am thankful for.....
a warm spot in the house to write this!

From the learning rooms.....we are going to attempt to get back on track for the long stretch ahead of schooling through the winter months. Some incentive will come as we begin going past the halfway point in books. I do know the reality of how hard it is to get back into the routine after a holiday vacation stretch of no routine :::sigh:::

From the kitchen.....
I'm thinking about a big pot of chili for tomorrow!

I am wearing.....a long sleeved peach colored shirt and a denim jumper with warm fuzzy socks.

I am creating.....hmmm, that is part of my pondering above. What to start on first? I think the priority will be the two babies quilts. Of course, no sewing will be done until my sewing machine is done getting cleaned and checked at the repair shop.

I am going.....hopefully only to AWANA Club tonight.

I am reading.....well, actually I'm re-reading Crazy Love which I had read in December.

I am hoping.....for a productive day ahead!

I am hearing.....my husband getting dressed and ready to head out to his work garage. Otherwise it's still pretty quiet as the children catch up on sleep which was lost during the holidays.

Around the house.....we still have too much Christmas lingering! Away with you!

One of my favorite things....
is thinking about my grandbabies and their sweet unrehearsed smiles.

A few plans for the rest of the week.....
we'll get going on our schooling, the Christmas tree will get undecorated and taken out of the house, all the Christmas decorations scattered around the house will get boxed up and put away, laundry will get caught up, and the girls bedroom disaster will get worked on getting cleaned.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you.....

This is a view of the two aprons I had sewn for Christmas gifts. It was a new pattern (yes, I did go :::THUD::: when I saw the price on the pattern!) and after sewing two I have a better idea of how I would change the patterns as there were things I didn't like about it. They are rather girly with the ruffles!

If you'd like to do your own daybook or read about others on this day, please go HERE

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, January 3

wanted....another week of vacation!

From my gardening flip calendar:

"Follow the wisdom of the rosebush: There is a time to bloom forth with glorious color and a time to rest and regenerate."

Okay, I'm ready for the rest and regenerate part! LOL!

It seemed like the holiday season was a forced blooming for me this year. For whatever reason it was hard to get into the season and I felt like I was trudging step by step day by day. My baking was late (I STILL have special ingredients on my kitchen countertop for Christmas recipes!), my cards were late with many sent AFTER Christmas, the gift wrapping was last minute as I finished projects.

The busyness began with the Thanksgiving season, bloomed over this past week, and then there'll be a half day to rest and regenerate on Sunday before we start back to school on Monday.

Somehow I don't think I'm going to be ready to do that....

:::sigh:::

Remind me in August to add another week of vacation into our school calendar so I get an extra week off in January, okay?

Enjoy the tail end of your holiday time!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, January 2

garden daydreaming

Usually the trickle begins in January, but in the busyness of the holidays I forgot to mention that my first - and so far ONLY - gardening catalog arrived in the mail before Christmas! I put it aside until I'd have time to browse through it and dream a bit. This is the company that I typically order from, so I'd like to already be considering some new things to plant this coming year. We'd like to add a couple more apple trees in the yard this summer as well as re-establish our raspberry patch.

So, as soon as it gets quiet around here again, I'm going to spend some time daydreaming about gardening that big snowy patch in my yard :-)

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, January 1

by the doorway

A peek by our doorway tonight....which explains why it takes our family so long to get anywhere....it takes FOREVER to sort through all the shoes and boots to find the right ones to put on your feet!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

the tradition of the new year morning

Typically not staying up much past seeing the New Year's arrival, my New Year's Day favorite morning tradition is to make the rounds. For you see, although I go to bed at midnight, the kids are allowed to stay up as late as they want as long as they are quiet so the rest of us can sleep.

So my morning roll call as I wandered around the house before 8 AM found that two boys were still up and hadn't slept at all, one boy had just gone to bed, one went to bed at 6 AM, one threw up at 4 AM (way too much candy) and then went to bed, and the rest of the family went to bed somewhere between midnight and 4 AM.

Of course, the babies and littles were the first ones up this morning.

The household will be in a state of various napping throughout the day.

And so goes the relaxed first day of the year :-)

Do you have favorite New Year's traditions?

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~
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