Thursday, April 30

a lesson on history

If you ever have an invitation to go through The Truth Project Bible study, DO IT! It is a twelve week study presenting a Christian worldview on twelve main areas that are being challenged by the culture of today. Each week is quite in-depth and will make you think hard as you solidify your faith in the true God.

Our most recent study was on HISTORY which is an area that I'm unexpectedly enjoying more and more the longer we homeschool (I know, can you believe it?!). It was fascinating to see the power of historical revisionism which has been happening actually since the beginning of time.

One of the Scriptures referenced with this lesson was Isaiah chapter 46, most specifically verses 9 - 11: "Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please."

God is sovereign. His plan is HIS STORY.

The more I've pondered this over the week, the more clearly God is showing me that it isn't about my story. At all. We can certainly get caught up in our lives and how important they seem to be, can't we? My story is a speck of dust in the immense history of the world.

It takes me back to what my purpose is and that is to bring glory to God in all I do. To be willing to go where He takes me as His purposes will stand. Forever.

Digging some deep furrows along my garden path this morning, aren't I?

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


Wednesday, April 29

sun for all

"The sun does not shine for a few trees and flowers, but for the wide world's joy." ~ Author Unknown

May the sun be shining in your garden on this gorgeous spring day bringing your heart great JOY!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, April 28

a repeat of history or not

There's an obvious attempt to repeat family history around here and it's requiring all my best efforts to discourage it.

You see, about nine years ago there was a little boy in our house that desperately wanted a dog. He knew what color it should be and that its name would be Little Muffin (yes, he was a devoted fan of Arthur). It was all that he thought about despite his parents saying "no".

Yes, it was definitely the squeaky wheel syndrome.

So, we made a deal. His oldest sister would be gone for the summer while she volunteered at a Christian camp. *IF* he could take good care of Rosie who was his sister's dog for the entire summer, we would talk about getting a dog for him.

Let's just say that Rosie had a summer of pampering! She was always fed on time, brushed daily, walked, talked to regularly, and even bathed after rolling in dead fish down by the lake.

We had no obvious choice but to honor the agreement, so be careful parents as to what you promise!

And in God's perfect timing that August, mixed yellow lab/golden retriever puppies were listed in the newspaper. Upon visiting them, we came home with a puppy that met the requirements he had dreamed about and was appropriately named Little Muffin although she is far from little now and is better known as Muffa around here.

And he had taken good care of her for many years, but at the age of seventeen having a dog is a bit less appealing and he gladly allows others to brush her, walk her, or feed her when she "goes psycho" (his term for her wild behavior when she's hungry) in the morning.

Enter a daughter who would LOVE to have her own dog. She watches the newspaper and lets us know what's available for puppies. We remind her that she already does have a pet - a cat that she fell in love with as a kitten when she stayed at her friend's house who somehow made his way into our home and our hearts. But she makes a good point about him....he does love us all and rotates where he sleeps to keep everyone happy. Scooter is definitely not a one person cat.

So, of course, any sensible person could deduct that she needs her own dog, right? And to prove her point in being responsible enough to take care of a dog, guess who is getting pampered this time? Yup, Muffa. Good ol' Muffa thinks she's gone to dog heaven on earth!

There's been suggestions that perhaps she could be Muffa's adopted owner, but that doesn't work in her mind because Muffa is almost nine years old and really doesn't like to fetch balls or walk very far. My daughter is convinced that she definitely needs a puppy. Then I remind her that we already have two dogs. Nope, that doesn't work either as Muffa is getting old and when she's gone Shadow would enjoy having a companion. Every opposing point I present, this girl has a comeback! She's becoming a very squeaky wheel!

:::::sigh:::::

Heaven help me! LOL!

My point in telling this tale? Beware of those squeaky wheels as you walk along your garden path as you never know what you may be getting yourself into once you decide to take care of the squeak!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, April 27

a *2* winner

A big thank you to all of you who celebrated my two year blog birthday (or is it anniversary?) with me by leaving such kind comments! You are all the BEST! It makes it a little more special to do a giveaway like this since those participating can be thought of as my friends :-)

I put everyone's name into the basket.....

Had the judges close by to verify the drawing.....

We started the :::::drumroll:::::

And the winner was picked.....


AMY!

Congratulations! I'll send you a quick email to officially notify you and you can send me your mailing or shipping address so I can get this off!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

simple woman's daybook for April 27


For today April 27


Outside my window.....it is heavily overcast with some rain in the air. At least we woke up to warmer temperatures.

I am thinking.....about how to work out computer time for the kids once the new computer is set up and running as I know they will all want to be on it all the time which is simply not acceptable.

I am thankful for.....the rain we've been getting. We do need MORE!

From the learning rooms.....we're heading down to the final weeks of schooling which feels so good! I'm looking forward to getting a book about lapbooking in the mail this week to try my hand at something new with my girls.

From the kitchen.....there's still some chocolate chip cookies sitting on the counter baked by a daughter who has suddenly taken a great interest in baking. It's good that she's enjoying this new found craft, but bad news for my shouting fat cells!

I am wearing.....my black exercise pants and an old Curves t-shirt.

I am creating.....a cleaner play room area by sorting and tossing. Hopefully I can be strong in this task and not hold onto JUNK!

I am going.....to have to make a phone call I'm dreading :::sigh:::

I am still reading.....Saved by Angels by Bruce Van Natta

I am hoping.....that the weather has transitioned enough that the road limits will be lifted around here this week and my husband can get back to work!

I am hearing.....my daughters squabbling in their bedroom about the littlest not picking up her things.

Around the house.....we're seeing more spiders right now with spring coming! Yikes!

One of my favorite things.....is getting mail from my son in the army!

A few plans for the rest of the week.....attending a banquet tomorrow night, training at the pregnancy center, a trip to the vet (if I can make the call) and opening weekend of fishing!

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


We've had a cool rainy trend in the weather and I got tired of having to bundle up indoors, so I finally broke down and started a fire in the woodburner. It didn't take too long until the house felt cozy again. I'm glad the weather is warmer today so we can let the fire go out again hopefully until next fall!

If you enjoy reading daybooks or would like to participate yourself, please stop over at Peggy's Place

Enjoy your day!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

start with 'a'

There's a new "get-to-know-you" thing going on over at Heart of the Matter Online on weekdays that will help you get to know other homeschool moms. It's called All About YOU....A to Z and is a fun way to share things about yourself AND find those who have common likes and dislikes. Go check it out!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, April 25

continuing

"The greatest need of our souls and bodies is to know Jesus personally, to touch Him constantly, to abide in Him continually." ~ A.B. Simpson

You know, there may be a lot of things I regret spending way too much time doing in my life, but spending time with the Lord is not one of them. In fact, I don't think I could ever say that I regretted spending too much time with Him....if there is such a thing. Those days when there was an extra measure of time available to spend in the Bible or in prayer or in songful worship didn't throw my day off but instead allowed my day to go better since my focus so easily continued on Him throughout the day.

"Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days." ~ Psalm 90:14

May your mornings start in a way that keeps you abiding in Him continually!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


Friday, April 24

organize your kitchen

The Organized Homeschool Carnival is back on track and the theme for week number SIX is organizing your kitchen.

Take a minute and head over to check out all the contributors for Week 6 as they share thoughts about menu planning, recipes, chores for kids, shelf and drawer organizing, and other helpful kitchen hints. Hopefully you'll learn something new that will enhance this special room of your home which truly is the center of the life of a family.

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, April 23

it's simple

"We have no right to judge where we should be put, or to have preconceived notions as to what God is fitting us for. God engineers everything; wherever He puts us our one great aim is to pour out a whole-hearted devotion to Him in that particular work." ~ Oswald Chambers

To read these words is always timely for me! As a mom who has been home full-time for a long time, there are stretches of time when the daily grind can get rather monotonous boring repetitious worthless fill-in-the-blankous. And my attitude about things can get rather, um, indifferent.

And yet.

And yet THIS is WHERE God has placed me no matter what *I* may think on a given day. He created and designed everything in the universe, so who am *I* to question where He engineered me to be or what job He engineered me to do?

My one great aim on a daily basis should be to put my whole-hearted effort into this particular job....MOM....and to do it with a PASSION because of my devotion to Him.

"Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might....." ~ Ecclesiastes 9:10a

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men..." ~ Colossians 3:23

Pretty simple, eh?

Now go and DO IT in YOUR garden!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, April 22

*two* celebration

There are days when I ponder whether or not to keep writing and maintaining a blog due to the time commitment and energy it takes....and then *out of the blue* comes a note of encouragement in my email. A bit of encouragement apparently goes a long way as today I celebrate a blog birthday or anniversary - or whatever it is called - of TWO YEARS of ~@~Garden Glimpses~@~!

To celebrate I'm having a my own little giveaway as I celebrate YOU my faithful readers who stop by daily, regularly, or once in awhile. Please leave a comment on this post and a way to reach you by email if your email address is not listed in your profile. I'll hold our official drawing for a winner as well as announce the winner next Monday, April 27th.

The celebration basket this year includes:

*a yellow spring hand towel
*a packet of wildflower seed mix and four packets of favorite flower seeds
*a garden hand shovel
*flowered gardening gloves
*a garden picture frame
*an Old Yankee Home Sweet Home candle
*a set of the Fruit of the Spirit Scripture cards
*a collection of Mary Engelbrett items with a gardening theme: sticky notes, a bookmark, notecards, a journal, a magnetic list, a small notepad, and even a packet of kleenex

Celebrate with me!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, April 21

awaiting spring


My world is blanketed today
in silent white
that fell without a sound
all through the night.
It padded every crooked rail,
it carpeted the lawn,
transfiguring each naked twig;
and with the dawn
I smiled to see,
upholstered and serene,
the children's swing
beneath the tree,
incongruous in this wintry scene
...awaiting Spring.

~Ruth Bell Graham

Obviously Ruth was a much better woman than myself as I didn't smile when I looked out the window this morning. All though it snowed all day yesterday, the snow was melting in many places where it landed and only slightly sticking on the ground. The colder temperatures and the continued snow throughout the night resulted in this morning's scenery. It is still snowing and the wind is a blowin' right now. The forecast is for this to mix with rain this afternoon as we get above freezing. Oh joy! And to think, less than a week ago on a bright sunny warm day the girls were running through the sprinkler just a few short hops away from the snowy swings of today....

May YOUR garden weather be much more delightful than mine!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, April 20

simple woman's daybook for April 20


For today April 20

Outside my window.....there is fresh snow on the ground with two to four more inches predicted for the next day or two :::sigh:::

I am thinking.....that at least snow is moisture for the dry ground which is better than nothing, right?

I am thankful for.....God's Word which truly is sharper than a two edged sword no matter what anyone says.

From the learning rooms.....we are going to use these crummy weather days early in the week to get a lot done since the kids tend to disappear outdoors with the beautiful warm spring days which will be returning soon!

From the kitchen.....
I think we need to eat up some leftovers which includes the last of the Easter eggs.

I am wearing.....
a dark pink t-shirt and my exercise pants as I've been to Curves this morning already.

I am creating.....a baby quilt! Traveling around and visiting all the Quilt Festival links has inspired me to get back to my quilting. It's been way toooo long and I have the *bug* now! If you are a quilter, do click on my sidebar link to the Quilt Festival over at Amy's and plan on not getting up from your computer for several hours!

I am going.....
do some ordering today and it will include a new family computer! Woo hoo!

I am reading.....Saved by Angels by Bruce Van Natta.

I am hoping.....
that we are finally getting well around here. One of my daughters seems to be jumping from one thing to the next and I hope to get a good report on her ear this morning.

I am hearing.....
my husband rumbling around in the kitchen.

Around the house.....
things are fairly picked up right now. I need to get caught up on some laundry though and work on my inside project list since the weather is perfect for that.

One of my favorite things.....is listening to all the spring birds chirping away in the trees in the morning.

A few plans for the rest of the week.....
will include women's Bible study, traveling to train at the pregnancy resource center, and a blog anniversary! It will be nice to have a quieter week then usual.

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

Some spring greenery which is coming up by our fence in the front yard. Of course this picture was taken on Saturday when the weather was just starting to cool down and now no doubt these poor little flowers are shivering in the snow!

Have a good week!

If you enjoy reading daybooks or would like to participate yourself, please stop over at Peggy's Place

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, April 18

where's the manual?

It's often been said that babies should come home from the hospital with a manual for parents to help them with parenting their new *model*. That thought has come to mind often when I consider our children....all the same *make* as they have the same two parents, but each one definitely their own *model* as they are each so unique. It seems there's always something new to learn about each one.

However, I now more clearly see the need for a manual to help parents get through the letting go experience with each grown up *model*. Each child chooses a pathway to go and you help them along using your own experience and knowledge to guide them. But even these experiences are unique to the child going through them.

I remember going through a parent orientation session for the second child in our family to attend college and thinking to myself, "Ya, ya, I already know all this!" only to find out that this experience has been quite different than our first. Oh, I knew enough to be covered on the basics, but hadn't figured into the equation who this child was and have found myself surprised and needing to adjust my thinking.

So a month or two ago when I was told not to expect much contact from my son in army basic training, I remember nodding my head "okay" and figured it would not be much different than when the others had left home. You never know when you will hear from them or how often you will hear from them or if you will ever hear from them (yup, that would be my son currently in college!)

Now that we are almost four weeks into the process I'm saying.....

Hey! Where's the manual? When are we going to have the parent's orientation session? Why didn't someone explain the "not much contact" concept to me more clearly? How long does this part last? When do I actually get to talk with my son? Will it be like this forever?

:::sigh:::

I thought I was prepared and now find that what I thought and what the experience has been doesn't match up. At all.

Two phone calls for less than five minutes each and two notes home in almost four weeks. It's quite a transition for a mom who has had fairly steady daily contact for over 22 years with a kid who made me smile and loved on me regularly.

And the blue funk set in complete with tears every time I thought about him.

Then God in His wisdom allowed a friend to cross my path. Someone who had been in the armed services. Someone who knew what basic training was all about. Someone who explained the necessity of cutting off contact for these young men. Someone who encouraged me by expressing all my son's strong points - faith being one of them - and how those things would pull him through just fine. Yes, someone who was a God sent blue funk buster who arrived in perfect timing!

Can I encourage you a moment? YOUR life experiences are valuable, even those very difficult things which you could not understand any purpose for them at the time. Perhaps you still can't understand the "whys". Perhaps you never will. However, God can use YOU to minister to someone else who is experiencing something very similar. Be open to the Holy Spirit's leading in your life and allow
yourself to be a God sent blue funk buster for someone else.

Although manuals may not come with stages of parenting, how thankful I am that God does provide encouragement along the way by using His children and their gifts and talents to bless others!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

(As an update, we have since received an address to write letters which is very welcomed because now we can encourage him with mail. And we've received a longer letter from him which has been more upbeat. Life looks a little brighter now!)

Friday, April 17

a grandma's butterflies

My love for quilting began as a child when I'd sit under a quilt frame playing while above me were my grandma and mom who would be busy chatting and hand stitching on a quilt.

Found in my cedar chest is a favorite treasured quilt of mine that my grandma had made many years ago. It is a handmade collection of thirty-five blocks of butterflies....

It's fun to look up close at many of the blocks as now many of those fabrics would be considered vintage! And it's fun to look at brightly colored butterflies as spring is arriving! :-)











I hope you enjoyed this peek at my favorite quilt!

Blessings,

Tammy ~@~

a quilters festival!

In order to be a kind and loving friend, I feel that I must indeed post a warning to those who may read here who are fabric lovin' quilt lovin' kind of gals. For this morning over at Randi's she announced a link to a very wonderful blogging festival for quilters. If indeed you'd love to be distracted for the next week, read further. If not, continue with your typical blog hopping day.

Upon reading about the festival, I quickly grabbed a quilt that instantly takes me back to memories at my grandma's house as this quilt was on one of the twin beds I slept in each time I visited her.

She had sewn and quilted this for everyday purposes. Maybe someday when my kids are grown up, I'll throw it back on a twin bed, but for right now it is a treasure to me that is kept in my linen closet to preserve memories.

But, back to the purpose of this post!

Amy over at Park City Girl is holding an online Quilt Festival April 17 - 24. Not only can you take a picture of your favorite quilt with its story on your blog and post your link at her site, but you can then follow everyone else's links and see a multitude of wonderful amazing quilts! And there's more! You can do all kinds of blog hopping visiting her sponsors who have offered quilt-type giveaways as part of the Quilt Festival, so be sure to leave a comment at Amy's site to be entered! Woo hoo!

Truly, a quilter's paradise :-)

Enjoy!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, April 16

sniffling can be good!


Perhaps? Possibly? Maybe?

Could spring really be arriving here?

As the weather has been sunny this week and the high temperatures have climbed into the 60's, I'm cautiously optimistic. Although there's still snowbanks spotted in the yard and along the driveway indicating winter is still here, there was a friend sitting next to me at Bible study last night sneezing and sniffling with :::drumroll::: spring allergies! I apologized to her for being so happy about the arrival of spring, but she said she'd manage with her allergies if it meant winter was over.

Although I do enjoy summer and fall, we have such LONG winters that my heart dances with joy when spring arrives! Could there be a season that more vibrantly shouts, "GOD!" as new life is seen everywhere while creation comes alive again? The Creator of all is busy reminding us of His presence in a world that seeks to ignore Him.

"Be exalted, O God, above the heavens, and let your glory be over all the earth." ~ Psalm 108:5

YES!

If you have a heart full of thankfulness today, be sure to share it with
others by linking over at Laurie's who is hosting Thankful Thursday!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, April 15

how about a vulture?

The other day I was thinking about how much I missed the Christian Women Online weekly feature called "Live Well Wednesday". It did help keep me accountable on a weekly basis which is something I'm sorely lacking nowadays. Perhaps that is why the following poem gave me a hearty laugh and a reminder to watch how I eat!

The Vulture

The Vulture eats between his meals,

And that's the reason why

He very, very rarely feels
As well as you or I.
His eye is dull, his head is bald,
His neck is growing thinner.
Oh, what a lesson for us all
To only eat at dinner.
~
by Hilaire Belloc


Still want to graze between meals? (And if you aren't certain what a vulture looks like, google it online....I refuse to spend hard earned money on a good picture of a vulture for my blog! LOL!)

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, April 14

closer than you may think

Many of my favorite "field trips" have occurred on family vacations. While traveling there are always random points of interest to check out (even at rest areas), museums on about any topic known to mankind, and state parks or national wildlife refuges to hike through at your leisure. With the current changing economy however, vacations may shift to a lower priority on your budget list.

While voting recently in our April elections,
at the entranceway of our town office I found colorful brochures that were published by our local chamber of commerce. Paging through it, I was surprised by all the things listed to do in our local area. Some of the categories in the brochure were upcoming community wide events, museums, factory tours, the performing arts series, nature centers, trails to hike or bike, and a nice area map making it convenient to find these places.

It reminded me of the letter my 4th grade children are required to write to the chamber of commerce office found in the state capital and the large envelope that then comes to our mailbox in response. All kinds of free information and brochures are included of places found in our state which could be possible field trip options for a family. Many of these places are not greatly publicized and are easily accessible within a day's travel from home resulting in wonderful educational experiences at an economical cost. You never know what you may find along the way.....

So I encourage you to check out the often overlooked "field trips" found locally or statewide!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

the swirling un-block

Hitting the pillow totally wiped out last night, I anticipated sleeping in this morning. It came as a surprise to wake up on my own early this morning instead of by a feverish child like the last few mornings.

So I jumped out of bed, did a mom's fever check on the two youngest, got dressed, and went to walk at the high school for an hour.

With only a few other walkers this morning, I was able to ponder and pray. And ponder some more and pray some more.

Refreshment in its finest form!

Once back home and settled in at my computer, I started writing. Taking a break to refill my coffee cup, my husband and I met in the kitchen by the coffee pot and talked a bit. Coming back to the computer I had lost my train of thought, so I started writing a new post about something else that I had been thinking about this morning. Interrupted by a dog barking and needing to get up to see if it was a valid bark - it wasn't....as usual - I realized I had lost my train of thought about what I had been writing and began writing yet another new post. One of the girls wandered into my room to give me her health update this morning and when I returned to my writing, well, guess what? Once again, I put the current post into the draft file and began writing about something else I had been pondering this morning. Then I noticed a pamphlet on my desk and realized I had something else I needed to write about instead.

See the pattern?

My mind is swirling! I'm not having a writer's block, but in fact could easily put up five or six or maybe a dozen posts today!

Perhaps fortunate - or unfortunate? - for my readers, our schooling was sadly neglected yesterday due to other things which had the priority of my complete attention, so my writings will sit in the draft file until another quiet moment....

At least I have a draft file full of ideas for when that quiet moment happens!

Have a good day in your garden filled with swirlings of the nicest kind!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


Monday, April 13

simple woman's daybook for April 13


For today April 13


Outside my window.....the skies are very cloudy and it is in the mid-30's.

I am thinking.....about all the logistics of letting kids go and some of the unexpected things that come with that process.

I am thankful.....that most of the Easter candy is GONE! Let's not talk about who ate a good portion of it this year :-p

From the learning rooms.....we are down to the last six weeks of our schooling! Woo hoo!

From the kitchen.....I have cookies to bake this morning for the after AWANA Awards refreshment time tonight.

I am wearing.....my denim skirt and a warm hooded sweatshirt.

I am creating.....
a list of things I need to get focused on indoors before my free time moves outdoors once the snow is gone.

I am going.....to be running around shopping for AWANA store items today.

I am reading.....
again, nothing in particular, just dabbling in my reading right now.

I am hoping.....this fever *bug* ends soon :::sigh:::

I am hearing.....
the dog munch down her breakfast. Soon I'll hear the paw paw at the door for her to go outside.

Around the house.....
there are pieces of green Easter basket grass everywhere!

One of my favorite things.....
is listening to the kids look for their Easter baskets and smiling to myself when the oldest can't ever find theirs. It makes me smile, too, when all the younger siblings complain about the oldest one getting the biggest chocolate bunny and how they can't wait until they will be the oldest kid in the house.

A few plans for the rest of the week.....getting through every thing I need to do for the AWANA Awards tonight, Bible studies mid-week, travel and training for the pregnancy resource center one day, and catching up on note writing.

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

Here's a peek at some of the Easter eggs we colored on Sunday.

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

Have a great Monday!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, April 11

Easter Saturday

A curiously empty day,
As if the world's life
Had gone underground.
The April sun
Warming dry grass
Makes pale spring promises
But nothing comes to pass.

Anger
Relaxes into despair
As we remember our helplessness,
Remember him hanging there.
We have purchased the spices
But they must wait for tomorrow.
We shall keep today
For emptiness and sorrow.

~Elizabeth Rooney
Awaiting the Resurrection celebration tomorrow.......

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, April 10

can we even imagine?

This morning we were reading about the visit which the Queen of Sheba had with King Solomon in the book of Second Chronicles chapter nine. I was caught by verses five and six:

"She said to the king, 'The report I heard in my own country about your achievements and wisdom is true. But I did not believe what they said until I came and saw with my own eyes. Indeed, not even half the greatness of your wisdom was told me; you have far exceeded the report I heard.'"

Don't you think that someday when we enter the gates of heaven we will feel the same way when we finally do meet God? Although we talk about how awesome and amazing and incredible heaven will be and read about the glow that Moses had from his encounter with God, do you really think we can comprehend the greatness of it all? Perhaps our reaction will be much like Queen Sheba's and we'll say, "I heard about heaven and my Heavenly Father and believed it to be true, but not until I walked through the heavenly gates and saw with my own eyes that only a small portion of the glory of God was told to me for what I am experiencing far exceeds anything I could have ever imagined."

And this thought passed my mind again this afternoon while attending a Good Friday service. As we walked through Scripture following Christ's final walk, one of the last verses read was Luke 23:43 - "Jesus answered him, 'I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.'"

Paradise.

Can we even imagine?

I will try to withhold my "ALLELUIA!" until Sunday (thank you, Steph, for your worshipful thoughts on that topic) and instead be sorrowed by the cost. The burden of the sins of the entire world placed on the shoulders of the only One - Jesus Christ - who could sacrificially pay the price.

Can we even imagine?

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


Thursday, April 9

a different kind of turtle

Continue reading this post with caution for it includes a recipe for a very delicious dessert that includes chocolate.....



Chocolate Caramel Turtle Cake


1 box German chocolate cake mix
1 1/2 cups water
3 eggs
1 1/2 sticks butter or margarine, melted
14 oz package of caramels
1/3 cup evaporated milk
12 oz package of milk chocolate chips
1 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts

Beat together cake mix, water, eggs, and melted butter until smooth. Pour 2 cups of batter into a greased and floured 9 x 13 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

In a double boiler (or microwave oven), melt caramels and evaporated milk. Pour over the cake as soon as it is removed from the oven. Work quickly before the caramel mixtures stiffens. Sprinkle milk chocolate chips and nuts over the caramel. Pour the remaining cake batter over the "turtle" filling and return to the oven. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until the sides of the cake start pulling away from the pan. If desired, after cutting and placing pieces on a serving plate, dust with powdered sugar and drizzle chocolate syrup on top.


~~~~~~~~~~

This recipe appeared in our local paper early this winter and I finally made it for the first time last night as our Bible study dessert. It received rave reviews and recipe requests plus it was easy to make, so it seemed like a good recipe to share here, too.

We did have one problem as somehow the oven got turned off unnoticed after the first baking, so when I went to take the cake out of the oven after the second baking it was obviously not done. I then discovered what had happened, turned the oven back on, and baked it longer. Fortunately that didn't seem to affect the recipe at all.

The thing I would maybe try next time is putting a bit more batter in the first layer - maybe 3 to 4 cups? - so that the turtle layer was more centered in the cake. It would also taste delicious being served warm out of the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.

One last tip....there was a note at the bottom of this recipe to cut the squares small as it is a rich dessert. I didn't notice that note until today as I typed the recipe....hee hee....and can testify that it is a good tip to follow!

Enjoy!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

singing the song

It ain't over until the last one sings.

I thought I was the last one to sing and I hadn't sung yet and since it had been a few days I thought it meant that the song had ended.

Got it?

LOL!

But I heard the song at 4 AM and it wasn't coming from me. Actually, I take that back because I didn't hear it first. My husband did! Honest, I'm telling the truth! He nudged me and then I heard it....

"Mommmmmmmm"

It was my littlest calling me, so I leaped out of bed to see if she had lost Fuzza, Fluffa, and Pinky again.

Nope. She said her ear was hurting. So, I went to get some tylenol for her and after it was in her mouth I began the mother recording...."you know that mom keeps telling you girls to keep a hat on your head because it's not really spring yet and the air is still quite cold and then you end up with earaches."

Which brought on her reply, "But mom, my ear doesn't hurt!"

"What?!"

Her explanation was simple, "I said it hurts BY my ear. Right here."

No longer able to rely on the light of the full moon completely shining in their bedroom, I had to go and turn on the hall light. Sure enough, she wasn't pointing at her ear but above her ear close to her temple. As I went to touch the spot to rub it, my hands felt fire. Fever without a doubt. 103.2

Where did this come from? I thought that her runny nose when everyone else was sick with various symptoms was her version of the *bug*. No other symptoms, just a runny nose that she'd snuff all the time and which didn't slow her down from playing. And everyone was done with that *bug* stuff, right?

By now all three girls were awake as she explained quite loudly that her legs were hurting, too, and the other side of her head was hurting and she didn't like that cool washcloth on her skin and look at the moonlight shining right on her sister's face and wasn't it fun that the dog was sleeping in there now because he knew she had a fever. So, I snuggled her close and told her it was time to be quiet so the medicine would work and we prayed together. As she calmed and became dozey, I checked her temperature every 15 minutes until I was assured it was going down well and then went back to my own bed with one thought on my mind.

It ain't over until the last one sings.

I await my turn :-p

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, April 7

kitchen tips

The kitchen truly is the heart of the home with a steady daily heartbeat. Perhaps that is even more so for homeschooling families since often our studies or projects are done at the kitchen table. As the center of the home, I have found it even more important to keep things organized in this room. If the kitchen is cluttered, my mind usually matches it! Truly, there is no room in the home where this saying could be more valid - "a place for everything and everything in its place" - especially when I see the collection of stuff piling up on our kitchen peninsula. Eyeyiyi!

For many years we lived with a small kitchen area which became quite a challenge with nine kids. What a blessing our kitchen addition was almost five years ago! I loved setting it up in a way that would be workable and well organized for me and my family

So how about some tips to make life in the kitchen more manageable for mom:

*Go through your cupboards and drawers making an honest assessment of things you never use, then totally eliminate them. Yup, give them away, throw them away, sell them away.....just get rid of them! Keep only the items that you regularly need whether dishes, utensils, pots and pans. If there's certain things that are perhaps for seasonal/holiday use or for special purposes like canning season, put them in an area that you don't need to access all the time so you aren't constantly having to work around them. Simply put....the less stuff, the better!

*Keep a good supply of staple food items handy so you can always come up with a quick meal in a pinch. Things that come to mind are canned vegetables, a variety of pastas or rices, meats (in the freezer), and baking supplies especially bulk chocolate chips.

*Rotate through simple meals that your entire family enjoys. Make a menu plan for the week ahead so you have special ingredients on hand. As homeschooling moms, a crockpot is a must as the meal can be put in it before you start schooling for the day and by suppertime the entire house will smell good!

*Tired of the same old meals? Look online! You can find just about any kind of recipe you want. Or better yet, ask for a gift subscription to one of the Taste of Home cooking magazines so you can browse with your kids and let them pick out a new recipe that sounds good.

*Assign regular kitchen chores for your kids. We used to have different kids rotate through the jobs on a daily basis - set the table, clear the table, wash the dishes, dry the dishes, sweep the floor, vacuum the floor. As the kids have gotten older they prefer to have all the kitchen jobs for the day and rotate days iwhich means days "off" for them. Trust me, they do check out the calendar to see who is stuck blessed with holidays or big family weekends!

*Have a kitchen meal helper assigned for each day. Choose one of their favorite meals for that day and they'll be even more willing to help! Not only will it make it easier for mom after some consistent training, but they'll leave home knowing how to cook or bake a variety of things in the kitchen.

*For this mom, fresh flowers when possible and a lit scented candle aglow are MUST HAVES! And no, this tip has nothing to do with kitchen organization, but it certainly keeps me happier!

Do you have a favorite kitchen tip that makes life easier in your house? Do share!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

I {heart} faces - my friend and I


Week 13 - Kids Entry - My Friend and I

Okay, week after week I've been able to resist entering Angie and Amy's contests because, well, I never really had a decent picture to enter....but they got me this week! This is one of my favorite pictures which was taken last summer of my littlest on her birthday with her friend who came to play for the day. My daughter simply adores her friends and it always shows on her face as she can't stop smiling! :-)

To visit other entries for this week, please stop over at I {heart} faces

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, April 6

springing into cupcakes

As I walked into the kitchen this afternoon to bake my cupcakes for tonight, I had a slight moment of panic. I suddenly remembered that the last time I made cupcakes I had used up the last of the cupcake liners. And hadn't replaced them. Oh no! Quickly the drawer was opened revealing that indeed what I thought was true was actually true :::sigh::: I pulled the drawer out a little further and noticed some Christmas cupcake liners AND some Easter cupcake liners! Two dozen to be exact! PERFECT!





God is good all the time! All the time God is good!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

simple woman's daybook for April 6


For today April 6

Outside my window.....
the skies are blue and it's in the lower 20's this morning. The forecast says a slight chance of snow late day :::sigh:::

I am thinking.....about how busy this week will be with Easter and the end of AWANA coming up.

I am thankful for.....
the fact that I have not gotten sick yet and I don't plan on it either!

From the learning rooms.....
kids not feeling well has thrown off our schedule a bit, so some catching up will need to be done.

From the kitchen.....I'm going to make some cupcakes for my Chums and put jellybeans on top!

I am wearing.....
my black exercise pants, a white t-shirt, and a dark green hooded sweatshirt as I just got home from Curves.

I am creating.....award bags for my Chums and hope to shop a bit this week to fill them.

I am going.....to start writing a letter to my son so as soon as I get an address I can stick my letter right in the mail!

I am reading.....nothing in particular right now but jumping around between a handful of books.

I am hoping.....
for good health for our family who live near and far.

I am hearing.....quiet at the moment. Does quiet have a sound?

Around the house.....
it's actually been quiet with kids not feeling well, so the house is staying cleaner than normal.

One of my favorite things.....
has been watching this huge flock of finches come in to our bird feeders recently. They are so lively and cheery as they fly from the branches to the feeders to the ground to the branches. It's like watching an international airport!

A few plans for the rest of the week.....
would include AWANA Club tonight, a couple Bible studies, training at the pregnancy center, a Good Friday service at church, coloring eggs, and basket hiding!

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


These were the five cars that were carved in Grandpa's workshop, then painted by the kids for the AWANA Grand Prix that was held on Friday. The caterpillar brought home a third prize trophy for the Design category.

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

Have a great Monday!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Sunday, April 5

simply thank you

There are many thoughts on my heart at the moment, but they can best be summarized in two simple words.

Thank you.

Writing an article in which you put yourself in a vulnerable position is not an easy thing to do. The *publish post* button suddenly wavers before your eyes. Should I or shouldn't I? Perhaps the article should be placed back into the draft folder for another day and a different topic be addressed instead? And yet in my heart I knew it was time, so I held my breath, pushed the button, and knew that God would be with me whatever the outcome.

The Tale of a Son was published at Heart of the Matter Online this past week and my eyes filled with tears with each public response as well as by those private notes which came my way. Once again I'm quite certain that I ended up being way more encouraged than those I encouraged!

And then came the even sweeter icing to the cake as the very same day the article was published we received the first letter from our army son. What fun it was to read!

So again, my heartfelt thanks to those who live far and near for your encouragement!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, April 4

the seeds of your heart

"A seed hidden in the heart of an apple is an orchard invisible." ~ a Welsh proverb on my gardening flip calendar

How often do you eat an apple and consider the wonder of the seeds? It is quite amazing when you think about apple seeds and the power they hold to create orchards. Of course, our attempts to start apple trees from those seeds have never been successful and I tend to think God has a lot more to do with the process of orchard development than me.

How often have you looked at your children and considered the wonder of who they are? It is quite amazing when you think about them and the power they hold to touch the world for Jesus. Of course, the longer you parent, the more you realize that we are only one part of foundation building and God is the one who does the most work in our children. He will take the work we've done, cover with His grace all our parenting mistakes, and then shine through them wherever they go touching a multitude of lives once they leave our homes.

Continue to be a steadfast gardener in the lives of your children who are like seeds planted firmly in the heart of your life. Faithfully water, fertilize, thin, and prune as needed. Don't fear the winds that blow for those very things will cause them to put their roots deeper into the love of God. And above, use the most powerful tool available - PRAYER - for the Master Gardener is accessible at a whisper for garden consultation!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, April 3

organize your projects

It's week number FIVE of the Organized Homeschool Carnival and this week's theme is organizing your projects.

Take a minute and head over to check out all the contributors for Week 5 as they share different ways to store papers, lapbooks, notebooks, old projects, basically anything that tends to build up in those homeschool piles around your home! Hopefully you'll find some ideas that will work within your own storage spaces.

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, April 2

about a son

Over a year ago when I was contacted by the Amies over at Heart of the Matter Online to be on their writing team, I had various ideas about homeschooling topics I wanted to write about and created a draft file. There was one article I kept coming back to, but could never finish writing. I'd pick it back up again after a couple months and still experienced a writer's block.

It's easy now to look back and see why. God was still writing the story.

And as I kissed one of my older sons good-bye a little over a week ago, the story was ready to be written as peace settled in my heart.

Please take a moment and go read The Tale of a Son

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

*****A special thank you to Angie and her sister for using their amazing photography skills on the last photo of this article which my daughter took of her brother, his favorite dog, and her daughter in the backpack.

Wednesday, April 1

cheating on the lesson of patience

The saying from my gardening flip calendar was...."If you want to learn patience, plant tulips and anticipate their cheerful blossoms."

If you live where I do, you will REALLY learn patience if you have to wait for your planted tulips to blossom in the spring. Especially when it's snowing like crazy on the first day of April and you know your tulips are still sound asleep in their little flower beds.

So when you feel your patience begin to weaken, it is VERY important to buy a bunch of tulips ready to bloom. For their cheerful blossoms are a wonderful reminder that spring will indeed be arriving soon.

I hope.....

*****After seeing my poor tulips look gloomy under the snowy sky in this post, I just had to add that you must trust me that they look wonderfully cheery under the lights in my kitchen :-)

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~
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