Wednesday, September 30

it came and it conquered

It was bound to happen sooner or later. After all, it is the very end of September.

A very hard frost grazed our wooded land.

Another is expected tonight.

I covered as much as I could in the garden last night and it's evident this morning what didn't get covered as it looks well frozen. The flowers that were already waning didn't get covered last night and are definitely done for the season. And no, I didn't take any pictures because it all looks quite pathetic!

Much garden and flowerbed work is ahead as the main clean-up begins.

And it's time. I'm ready. The gardening season is done and I'm as ready to rest from it as it is ready to rest from a season of growth.

Only the carrots will remain for a bit longer as the frost tends not to hurt them, but instead to sweeten their bite. They will come out of the garden for canning before the snow arrives.

Yes, much garden work is still ahead. And I'll get busy with it as soon as the temperatures get out of the 30's!

Enjoy your garden day whether shivery cold or warmed by the autumn sun!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


Tuesday, September 29

the yum of fall

Absolutely no doubt about it....fall is actually here! It roared in on the wind yesterday and has chilled the woods around me. It was quite a temperature difference to walk out the door early this morning compared to the past few weeks leaving the house at the same time. Brrrrrrrrrrrr!

And it was quite a temperature difference to walk back into the house an hour later. It felt toasty warm! I thought it was from having all the windows closed up now, but my husband set me straight within moments. Just a matter of testing out the furnace to make sure all the lines were working well on both levels. I should have known that since accompanying that warmth was the dusty smell of heat running through all the registers that haven't been used since early last spring. Guess I have another project to add to my long list....dusting.

Yes, fall is here. Another sign is APPLES! Yesterday was spent peeling LOTS of apples for applesauce. They are "seconds" from our farmer neighbor which means they may have some odd spots on them which is easy enough to remedy as I peel them. Unfortunately the "seconds" category also means they are often odd shapes and sizes which means they won't work well in my wonderful Pampered Chef peeler thingy so each apple needs to be hand peeled. My kids were scooping applesauce out of the pan while it was still cooking which kept me busy peeling to keep up with their applesauce eating. Is there anything more wonderful than warm chunky applesauce on a cold blustery day? YUM!

At the end of my applesauce making for the day, I put some applesauce away in a container to use this morning for another fall favorite - baked oatmeal. I don't think we've had that since last winter as it does taste the best on cool mornings and it tastes even better with fresh applesauce on top. YUM again!

The next task was making a quick dash out to the garden to gather all the ripened tomatoes to make a fresh batch of chili for supper last night. Am I allowed to say YUM again?

While the chili was simmering away on the stovetop, I peeled even more apples as I'm also on the hunt for a new apple crisp recipe. The one I made last night had a crust in the bottom which was a nice change. It's a recipe I'd have to tweak a tad bit for our family and I made notes on the bottom of the recipe in case I get back to trying it. I'll let you know which recipe wins the contest once we've tried several. Of course, as often happens around here, I may end up going back to our original recipe as the favorite.

Whew! With all the standing and peeling I did yesterday, I'm looking forward to a little more sitting and coffee sipping. Can I suggest a wonderful activity while doing that? Heart of the Matter Online is hosting a Carnival of Homeschooling today. There are a multitude of links to follow on a wide range of topics. Go check it out!

Enjoy this fall day in your garden no matter what your activity may be!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, September 28

simple woman's daybook for September 28

For today September 28th

Outside my window.....
it's a very blustery day with many gray clouds and a light rain in the air at the moment. I think we've already reached the high temperature of the day - 52 degrees.

I am thinking.....that I'm glad we have a nasty weather day like this because I won't be tempted to go outside for any reason at all. Sooooo many things I'm behind on indoors that need tending.

I am thankful for.....God's continued provision for our family as we pay the first of the month bills. Just enough to make ends meet - not a penny more, not a penny less. God is good!

I am wearing.....my black exercise pants, gray t-shirt, and a sweater now thrown over to warm up enough so I'm brave enough to jump in the shower in our chilly house this morning.

I am hearing.....the wind blowing so fiercely outside my bedroom window.

I am creating.....a clean area by my big bedroom window to do some quilting. It has the perfect light!

I am not going.....
anywhere today! Woo hoo! I have no reason to leave the house today for a change and am thrilled about staying PUT.

I am continuing to read.....through the book of John.

I am hoping.....
that this wind blows through more rain clouds because we desperately need more rain than the light intermittent showers we've gotten since last night.

On my mind.....is knowing that now that the weather has changed I need to do the seasonal clothes change over with my girls and I'm dreading it in a very big way.

From the learning rooms.....will hopefully come some lapbooks as my girls and I get creative this week.

Noticing that.....we'll be turning the calendar page in a few days and I'm wondering WHERE September went?!

Pondering these words...."The actress who takes home the Oscar may have reached the pinnacle of her acting career, but the Oscar we seek is to be known as the heart and hands and feet of Jesus in this world." ~ Carolyn Custis James

From the kitchen.....
are apples everywhere. This is the week I need to bake apple pies, apple crisps, applesauce, and maybe attempt a few new apple recipes to use up all these apples!

Around the house.....the windows are closed up and that stuffy house feeling is returning :::sigh:::

One of my favorite things.....is little girls playing dress-up and giggling the whole time about their imaginary adventures.

A few plans for the rest of the week....soccer practice on Tuesday, Bible study on Wednesday, and a soccer tournament of Saturday. And quilting :-)

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

.....of one of our dogs after swimming on a recent September day. Once we got back from the lake, she dug around in the sand under the porch steps and settled in. She has a sweet view through the steps as contemplates her simple life.

Thank you for stopping and visiting my daybook today. If you'd like to read other daybooks or perhaps do one yourself, stop over to Peggy's at The Simple Woman's Daybook for today.

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, September 26

siren prayers

As I sat down to write, suddenly I heard sirens outside my window. We live about five minutes from the small local hospital and from time to time hear the ambulances go out. The local volunteer fire department and police departments are also close by and often their sirens mingle with the ambulance. All I know is that there were more than one alarm being sounded at this moment.

And I prayed. Don't know who. Don't know what. Don't know where. Don't know how. But God does.

Also from time to time, we hear a helicopter overhead. Since we don't have helicopters at our small local airport that is another alarm of an urgent medical situation at our hospital that requires the care of a larger hospital downstate.

And I pray. Don't know who. Don't know what. Don't know where. Don't know how. But God does.

Because we don't know, most likely family and friends of the person in an emergency situation don't know either. Be the person who may not know any of the details, but does know PRAYER is essential in such a critical situation. You may be the only person praying for them at that moment. Be obedient. Be faithful.

PRAY!


And now, of course, I have totally lost whatever I was originally going to write about, but I'm certain it will come back to me later or in a day or two.....

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

UPDATE:
One of the boys on my soccer team told me about a fire at a house close to where his family lives which happened this morning. Guess I know what the sirens were about and a few more details in order to pray more effectively.

Friday, September 25

the september of oh nine

A little fairy told me....

Okay, so maybe she really isn't a little fairy and maybe she didn't really tell me, BUT....

.....I've heard that this glorious amazing simply wonderful summer weather we've had all month when it was suppose to be fall-like September crisp is about.to.end.

We've had a difficult month adjusting to a fall schedule because of this weather since our summer weather was not summer weather. It was cool from June through August and I constantly had a sweatshirt on to stay warm. Then suddenly it changed to warm sunny upper 70's when September came and my sweatshirts were put away. The windows in the house have stayed open day and night. The children don't go to bed early for school in the morning because it feels like we are on a summer schedule of staying up later. Each day the sunshine beckoned us away from indoor tasks to walk out the door to enjoy our favorite outdoor tasks.

It is about.to.end.

This morning when I went left the house to exercise, the well blended bright sunny woods did not greet me. Instead it was foggy and gray which made the individual colors of trees POP before my eyes as I drove down the road. When did all that happen?

The lifting fog is to reveal a day in which cloudiness moves in and a chance of rain follows it as the temperatures begin their drop down to more seasonal numbers.

It is about.to.end.

And I'll always remember this as the perfect September of oh nine!

I hope that September in your garden has been just as delightful!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, September 24

thankful simplicity

Not only did I get up on the wrong side of the bed this morning after being awakened by a coughing coughing coughing husband starting at 4 AM and never falling completely back to sleep, but when I stepped out of bed I also hit "the wall" as I realized how much I needed to tackle today. The thought of vigorously working again today was simply not appealing after so many days in a row of busyness.

Grrrrrrrrr.........

In my heart I knew this was NOT a good attitude to start my day and it would take a conscious immediate effort to change the course of my day. And what could be better than a thankful heart to do that?

So, I checked into Thankful Thursday to see what the topic of the day was and read Laurie's post about simplicity and getting back to the basics of life. Her words were just what I needed to hear this morning!

Here's a quick list of my thankfulness at the moment:

***I'm thankful for women who write words of encouragement as they are lead by the Holy Spirit as they speak to my heart right when I need it!

***I'm thankful for this one last beautiful day of summer-like weather as the forecast shows that more typical autumn days are ahead.

***I'm thankful to continue to be healthy despite sleeping next to someone who has been battling a nasty cold for over a week.

***I'm thankful to be a stay-at-home mom who has enough flexibility in my schedule to forgo all the busyness for just one day and spend this one last beautiful day outdoors if I want puttering on garden clean-up. It would give me a much needed day of refreshment and simplicity as well as some quiet time with the Lord as I ponder the basics of life.

***And I'm forever thankful that God loves me just as abundantly on mornings when I wake up grouchy on the wrong side of the bed hitting "the wall" as He does on mornings when I wake up cheery on the right side of the bed when the wall is a million miles away!

If you are looking for thankfulness in all its simplicity today, please visit Laurie who is hosting Thankful Thursday this week.

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, September 23

using mom muscle

*IF* you are a mom to a handful of sons and think that someday when those sons grow up that their wrestling competitive ways with one another will end, I'm here to tell you to forgetaboutit! They still LOVE it whether little boys or grown boys!

Case in point....this past weekend at our home.

Their oldest sister received the honor of measuring the biceps of her brothers AND her husband who also had to participate in this manhood ritual. One by one they pumped themselves up into an Atlas pose as she used my sewing tape measure on the peak of her brothers' arms. It really was a funny thing to watch and they all simply LOVED the competition as much as the arguing afterwards about whether the winning measurement was really accurate.

Manhood muscle power at its finest.

What about momhood muscle power?

"She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks." ~ Proverbs 31:17

How you doing with that?

Honestly, I laughed out loud when I read the word VIGOROUSLY. Somehow that word is not one that I would use to describe how I'm tackling my household work around here right now. In fact, the descriptive word might be quite the contrary....antonyms are slowly or aimlessly. Bingo!

"The Lord gives strength to His people...." ~ Psalm 29:11a

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

It looks like I know Who can give me strength to do all things including my household tasks.
And if I'm working vigorously at my tasks, my arms will become stronger, right? I will be able to compete with my momhood muscle power! Woo hoo!

May you seek the Lord daily for the mom muscle power you need in your garden!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, September 22

never enforcing

Leaving you with a good quote this morning as we still have some family here who will be leaving this morning and then we'll have to work on getting our house back together as we attempt to get back on track with our routine and daily life. I've given up on the whole back to normal thing anymore! There is no such thing as NORMAL! LOL! (Right, Karen?)

~~~~~

"Our Lord never enforces obedience; He does not take means to make me do what He wants. At certain times I wish God would master me and make me do the thing, but He will not; in other moods I wish He would leave me alone, but He does not." ~ Oswald Chambers

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, September 21

simple woman's daybook for September 21

For today September 21st

Outside my window....
we're heading toward dusk with clear skies and a setting sun as I'm doing this toward the end of the day instead of first thing in the morning.

I am thinking.....about the past weekend and the many things I want to savor a bit longer.

I am thankful for.....the special times that our family can all come together to hang out and enjoy food, fellowship, and fun.

I am wearing.....a yellow t-shirt, blue shorts, socks, and my walking shoes.

I am hearing.....the chirps of crickets outside my window and the sweet noises of my granddaughter inside the house.

I am creating.....a guest list for an upcoming wedding in our family.

I am going.....
to bed early tonight! I'm exhausted!

I am continuing to read.....through the book of John.

I am hoping.....
to hear soon that family members have all arrived safe and sound to their destinations whether by car or plane.

On my mind.....are all the things that I will need to get done tomorrow to get the house back in order.

From the learning rooms.....we are no doubt falling behind in our schooling as we've needed to take a couple days off recently.

Noticing that.....more and more leaves are coloring my woods.

Pondering these words....
from Oswald Chambers - "It is impossible to conduct your life as a disciple without definite times of secret prayer."

From the kitchen....
.I've been busy preparing favorite meals for the past three days and we enjoyed the bounty of leftovers for supper tonight.

Around the house.....
are many cluttered signs of a well spent weekend.

One of my favorite things....are the smiles and kisses and hugs of my grandchildren.

A few plans for the rest of the week.....
include more good-byes to family tomorrow morning, soccer practice tomorrow night, Bible study at our home on Wednesday, catching up on schooling, more garden clean-up, and soccer games on Saturday.

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

This is a picture of my son who was home on leave this past weekend after being gone since March. He was not only overjoyed to be home with us, but he thoroughly enjoyed hanging with his dog every moment even if it meant lying on the tile kitchen floor. I have a feeling this poor pooch is going to be rather sad when he realizes his boy is really gone again....

Thank you for stopping and visiting my daybook today. If you'd like to read other daybooks or perhaps do one yourself, stop over to Peggy's at Simple Woman's Daybook

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


Saturday, September 19

the buzz in the garden

Perhaps the happiest spot in my garden is the sunflower rows. I have a variety of colors and heights that are all smiling away day after day





This time of the year as you walk by the sunflowers you can hear the buzz of the climbing bees as they get their fill of pollen. It's a busy buzzy fall garden sound.

And so it is in our household as we get busy buzzy with our schooling. The happiest part of our new school year is getting back into our morning devotional routine as my children of all varieties and heights surround the kitchen table. I've written a bit about my this favorite part of our homeschooling over at Heart of the Matter online today, so stop over to read Buzzing through God's Word

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, September 18

in range of home

In March we kissed and hugged one of our sons good-bye as he headed off to Army Basic Training.

He graduated from that in July and went on to Army Airborne school.

He graduated from that in August and went on to Army Ranger training.

He graduated as an Army Ranger this morning and is currently enroute for a flight home!

Wooooo hoooo!

He will only be here for a couple of days as he arrives tonight and flies back out Monday afternoon.....but we are all so very excited that we will get this special time with him!

Thanks and all glory be to God!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, September 17

scruff, shake, and kick

"There are certain things we must not pray about--moods, for instance. Moods never go by praying, moods go by kicking. A mood nearly always has its seat in the physical condition, not in the moral. It is a continual effort not to listen to the moods which arise from a physical condition, never submit to them for a second. We have to take ourselves by the scruff of the neck and shake ourselves, and we will find that we can do what we said we could not." ~ Oswald Chambers

:::::sigh:::::

It has once again turned out to be a week that is not normal. No matter how I try to force this week into a routine, it won't head in that direction at all. A collection of daily happenings shout "flexibility!" even though my heart stubbornly wants to cling to finally settling into normal routine life.

Add to that a late evening when I walked into the kitchen to clean up my canning for the day and found TWO jars had broken in the canner leaving tomato pieces all over the place. It was one of those hands thrown in the air moments which made me turn back around out of the kitchen leaving the mess for the morning.

The morning which would be THIS morning.

THIS morning would be the one that followed last night.

Last night would be the one in which my husband did not sleep well AT ALL because he's coming down with a nasty cold/cough kind of thing and his restlessness all night lack of sleeping meant that I had a restless lack of sleeping kind of night, too.

THIS morning would be the one where I had picked up my devotional book and as I started paging through it was interrupted by my husband who needed me to pick him up after he dropped off a vehicle for repairs since his brother hadn't come in for work yet. So, I set the book down and jumped in the car in my bathrobe to follow him to the repair place.

THIS morning would be the one that when I returned I discovered that I set my devotional down on a page in May. You know, the page that talks about MOODS.

I think that THIS morning I may be dealing with a MOOD that is definitely rooted in a multitude of physical symptoms which include tiredness and hormonal wackiness. And since Mr. Chambers has adequately exhorted me about this MOOD, I find that I have only one thing that I must do....

Grab it by the scruff of the neck, shake it hard, and kick it out!

I will follow this by a nice warm shower.

THEN I will deal with the kitchen!

Please feel free to use the scruff, shake, and kick method - when necessary - in your garden!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, September 16

a pink thirteen

Boy.girl.boy.boy.boy.boy.

GIRL!

Thirteen years ago today!

It's hard to believe that it was thirteen years ago that one sister was ecstatic and five brothers were mesmerized by the sight of baby pink in our house. Arriving at just under ten pounds, this sweet little girl charmed us all with her easy going personality and smiles which is still who she is today :-)

Happy 13th birthday, my sweet brown eyed girl!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

P.S. This is a rare photo on my blog because my boys do not want their pictures on mom's blog. Ever. Hee hee....I think I can get away with this one!

P.S.S. I totally forgot that once upon a time I had a WHITE bedspread on my bed! WHAT WAS I THINKING?! I remember how often I had to wash it because of all the bed jumpers! Perhaps I should go through my old photo albums more often because I'm sure I'd find a LOT of things from back then which I've forgotten about....

P.S.S.S. This brings us back up to three teenagers in the house! Yay!

Tuesday, September 15

a peaceful knowledge


"I delight in the inward knowledge that Jesus Christ, the Son of God and our coming Lord, will be sufficient for every situation which is yet to come to pass. We will never panic along with this present world system as long as we are fortified with our knowledge of who Jesus Christ really is." ~ A. W. Tozer

I love when I read words written well over fifty years ago that are still so applicable today! And why are they? Because they are based on the truth of God's Word written over thousands of years ago and which are still applicable TODAY!

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." ~ Psalm 46:1

My heart is thankful to know that God's Word never grows old.

May your garden be peaceful because you know who Jesus Christ is!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, September 14

simple woman's daybook for September 14

For today September 14th

Outside my window....I watched a big orange sun come up this morning. It looks like it's going to be another beautiful warm sunny fall day!

I am thinking.....about the many things I want to accomplish outdoors before the weather changes.

I am thankful for.....the unusual lingering warmth this month since it means I can still keep the windows of the house open day and night to let the fresh air blow through the rooms.

I am wearing....a white t-shirt and black exercise pants with my purple crocs.

I am hearing....the chirps of crickets outside my window.

I am creating....a list of things I need to catch up on during my after schooling hours.

I am going....
to the farm market this morning to pick up two bushels of tomatoes.

I am reading....
through the book of John as our pastor suggested our congregation read it this month and I'm also reading through the book of Habakkuk for an upcoming women's Bible study.

I am hoping AND PRAYING....
that my son will receive favor and be granted some leave time home soon.

On my mind....
is my son who is going through his last week of Army Ranger training and the anticipation of his graduation at the end of the week if all goes well.

From the learning rooms....the children have begun their schooling but I'm not quite fully prepared yet and am still finishing up some of my teacher's tasks as well as finding some of my correction manuals!

Noticing that....the green green wonderful green of the woods is now fading into yellows with little bursts of bright color here and there.

Pondering these words....
from The Message version of John 1:14 - "The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood."

From the kitchen....
will be busyness the next two days as I work on canning tomatoes.

Around the house....
there are still many remnants of summer such as swimsuits and beach towels that are hanging from the deck railing.

One of my favorite things....is sometimes surprising my children by saying "yes!" to something I typically say "no!" to for various reasons.

A few plans for the rest of the week....
will include daily watering the garden until the rain comes, canning tomatoes, soccer games for all three girls, Bible study in our home Wednesday evening as we begin The Truth Project, correcting schoolwork at the end of the week, praying for good news from my son later in the week, and a possible *away* soccer tournament this upcoming weekend for a daughter.

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

Peas! We have had such an unusual garden summer with different crops producing much different results than other years due to the sustained cool weather. One surprise was our pea patch which began slowly, but continues to produce more and more pods of peas and the bushes are STILL blossoming! Our favorite thing to do in the garden right now is to stand and pick peas to pop right into our mouths. Yum!

Thank you for stopping and visiting my daybook today. If you'd like to read other daybooks or perhaps do one yourself, stop over to Peggy's at The Simple Woman Daybook.

Have a great day!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, September 12

Stella's smile

Two black dogs both full of boundless energy. They were visitors to our cabin last weekend. The bigger one is my oldest daughter's dog, Cooper, and the smaller one is the dog of friends of my son's family and her name is Stella. They hung out a lot together since both dogs are in constant motion and in this picture they were keeping a close eye on the fishing line of my granddaughter.

But can I talk about Stella for a moment? Her tail was in constant wagging motion. Her step was always light and prancing. If a dog could smile, I'm certain she'd have a constant ear to ear smile on her dog face. She got along with the other dogs - even our Muffin who likes to gruff a bit - and every person that was hanging out for the weekend. Her tail wagged whether she was chased out of the kitchen, walked on new unknown trails, canoed over calm waters, or traveled from person to person at the campfire. Her owners are planning on taking her along when they move overseas for a ministry position next year, but I tell ya, if they decided to leave her behind I'd take her in a second! (did I really just say I'd add another dog to our family? someone take my temperature as I must be feverish!)

A dog filled with complete joy.

Know any people like that? The kind of person that always has an ear to ear smile on their face? The kind of person who gets along with everyone? The kind of person who is content in whatever situation they find themselves whether unknown or familiar?

Yup, I want to grow up to be just like Stella!

"If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete." ~ John 15:10-11

Guess that's the answer to be able to grow up just like Stella, I mean, Jesus!

Smile and spread some joy in your garden today!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


Friday, September 11

swimming through september

Our family has been greatly enjoying the summer that never came until September. We are thriving in temperatures that get into the upper 70's each day and sleep well with cooler fall temperatures at night. This weather has also meant a longer season of swimming which is something the kids didn't do much of all summer because high temperatures stayed in the 60's.

We have been blessed through the years to own a piece of property across the street on a beautiful lake with a sandy beach and shallow beach waters for our littles. When we walked down there yesterday I finally remembered to bring my camera along to record how far down our water levels are as our severe drought continues.

It's hard to believe that the water at the point where my littlest is standing used to be slightly under the dock. You could sit at the end of the dock and dangle your feet into the water. Because of the current shallowness it's recommended that NO ONE dive off the end of the dock anymore.

The lake water used to come all the way to the right of this picture going slightly under the main dock. This entire beach area was all sand, but as the water has slowly been disappearing grass has grown up. The area between the grass line and the water line is how far the lake water level has dropped just this past summer.
The kids used to be able to jump anywhere off the dock and land in water, but now it's a long sandy dock to run down to find the only jumping-in water available at the end.


But all is not lost. The older ones can still swim out to the raft where the panfish who love to nibble on you lounge underneath and the younger ones can play in the sugar sand of the shoreline.

With the weather forecasted to stay like this into next week, we anticipate taking advantage of more days of swimming to the raft and playing in the sand. And with this enjoyment comes our continued prayers for RAIN!

May you find unexpected delights in your September garden!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, September 10

a simple cup of kindness

My husband makes the best cup of coffee around! He has no special formula for making it so wonderful as it seems to be more of an *eyeing it up* kind of process. As I walk into the kitchen after exercising in the mornings, I always head right to the coffee pot for my first cup of coffee. Mmmmmmm! Even more special was being recently blessed to find a note on the coffee maker. Awwww, that simple act of kindness made me smile all day long and the post-it note is now stuck on my desk.

Think of ways you can bless others in your garden today with a simple act of kindness!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, September 9

time to power up

At Curves this morning at the end of her workout, one of the gals went to the computer to check how she did as she uses the Smart Curves program which monitors your progress on each machine. Once again she was frustrated because she consistently does poorly on the first machine no matter which machine she uses first. As we talked about it, we thought that as she starts it perhaps takes her that first machine to warm up a bit. Maybe she needed to really jump on the first machine and attack it! Give it her all! Beat it up a bit! We even suggested calling the nearest TV station to film her getting on the first machine and she could wear the "CURVES is not for sissies" shirt as she worked out mightily. The discussion was enough to make us all giggle a bit as we left for our day.

As I thought about it on my short drive home, it reminded me of what happens with my devotional time through the summer months. You'd think it would really flourish each morning as my schedule opens up, but what happens instead is that it dwindles. Too many other things seem to get me going on my day or there's multiple interruptions such as a husband who gets up early to go to work or there's too much noise in my household later on in the day when I try to make some progress. Instead of being charged with spiritual power during the summer, I get a weak start and remain on low maintenance.

Ahhhh, but summer is over. The lingering is subsiding. I sense an aggressive return back to God's Word. With school back on track our mornings begin with a devotional time as we work through the Bible. New Bible studies will begin Sunday mornings at church. Tonight we will begin hosting a Bible study as we will present the intro to The Truth Project complete with perfect weather for a campfire. Plus I recently talked to a friend who led our early morning Bible study as she wondered if it was time to get going on a new study. Ohhh, no one needs to call the local TV station to film this return to power, but perhaps it would be fun to wear a shirt that says "God's Word is not for sissies", eh?

"Great is our LORD and mighty in power...." ~ Psalm 147:5a

May you tap into that power today as you walk through your garden!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, September 8

a longer linger

It can be a problem.

Lingering.

The dictionary definition of the word linger is tarry which doesn't necessarily have a bad connotation, but the next word does, at least for me....procrastinate.

The weather outside has been quite likely the best we've seen all summer. Sunny, in the 70's, wonderful. Day after day. Ohhhhh, we do need rain, however, our growing season is now at the harvest point and the flowers are beginning to wane, so it's nice to tarry with the windows open and our wanderings remaining outdoors.

Yet, this kind of weather does keep me tarrying outside which means procrastination on tasks inside. And I can easily justify it by saying there's one long winter ahead where we'll be stuck inside.

Plus we still have family here with some leaving this morning, some this afternoon.

Sooooo, can I linger a bit longer? I promise I won't let it turn into procrastination!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, September 7

the blessing of labor

"The world does not consider labor a blessing; therefore it flees and hates it, but the pious who fear the Lord labor with a ready and cheerful heart, for they know God's command, and they acknowledge His calling." ~ Martin Luther

May you joyfully consider the calling the Lord has given you and always labor with a ready and cheerful heart!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, September 5

the last of the lingering


Looks like it's going to be a perfectly gorgeous weekend to enjoy the last days of summer with family and friends! I hope to spend a moment or two paddling in our canoe during sunny skies as well as sitting on the dock after sunset to catch the full moon and starry skies.

May you, too, be blessed with a time of refreshment from your labors over the next few days!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, September 4

thankfully trusting


"The act of thanksgiving is a demonstration of the fact that you are going to trust and believe God."
~ Kay Arthur

My heart is thankful this morning! As a family we will continue to trust and believe in God for our provision, even when He provides it in unusual ways late at night on our doorstep!

God is good all the time....all the time God is good!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, September 3

sitting with a friend

"There is a great difference between having 'company' and having a friend in the house. The friend we can treat as a member of the family, but company must be entertained." ~ A.W. Tozer

This is a recent favorite picture of mine of my youngest son and his best buddy way up in a tree. The picture is zoomed in and honestly I almost didn't see them up there because there were quietly sitting in camouflage. They've been buddies since they were both little guys and we think of this best friend as one of the brothers since he blends into our family. An example would be this summer when he worked with my husband and boys on a landscaping job. Each morning when he got dropped off here, he'd go in the kitchen to see what there was for breakfast, make his sandwiches for lunch, and head to the mudroom to find a pair of work boots that would fit him. He knows our family lingo and on overnights will sleep on the floor by our dog as he did the first day that dog came home as a puppy. Yup, a friend who is family.

"The more perfect our friendship with God becomes, the simpler our lives will be. Those formalities that are so necessary to keep a casual friendship alive may be dispensed with when true friends sit in each other's presence. True friends trust each other.

God is not satisfied until there exists between Him and His people a relaxed informality that requires no artificial stimulation. The true friend of God may sit in His presence for long periods of silence. Complete trust needs no words of assurance." ~ A.W. Tozer

Growing up my understanding of God was of some faraway person who lived in Heaven. It was a relationship based more on fear as this God stayed distant. Yet one of my favorite hymns growing up was "What a Friend We Have in Jesus". It was hard to comprehend the combination of a distant God and a friendly Jesus.

Yet when I made a profession of faith almost twenty-five years ago accepting Jesus as my Savior and having His Word opened up to my heart, my understanding of who God was changed. A friendly Jesus introduced me to a loving God who is always present in my life. As the years have passed since that time, He has proven Himself trustworthy over and over again as I take time to to sit in His presence. And I'm thankful that He still loves me even when I get wiggly during those long periods of silence as I learn to completely trust Him in all things!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, September 2

glorious garlic

Yup, that's garlic. It may be difficult to tell by this picture, but it is a type of elephant garlic. The big boys of garlic. And I have only one word for it.....YUM!

This spring when our part time neighbor who farms in another part of the state came to check out his place and then stopped here to drop off a large bagful of asparagus, we talked about his spring plantings and somewhere in the conversation the topic of garlic came up briefly.

That garlic conversation was long forgotten by me until he stopped here last week. His garlic was done and being harvested. He remembered me in the process, so he brought along this treasure when they came up to their place.

He gave me the necessary instructions for planting it later this fall, as well as what to watch for next summer and when to harvest the bulbs. My task will be to find a place in my garden to plant it and mark it well so my husband doesn't till it under when he does the final tilling of the season.

I'm excited about this unexpected blessing in my garden!

How about you? Any unexpected blessings in your life?

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, September 1

rememberance

Every year I plant some flower seeds into my garden as they brighten my day every time I walk down the paths. Flowers help to make my garden smile (that was for you, Tina!)


This year I threw in a variety of zinnia seeds and they are happily growing along the garden fence. Yesterday when I was picking beans, I glanced up and thought how nice it would be to cut some and bring them into the house. But I couldn't do that without taking a picture or two first.


Somewhere I had read that zinnias are considered the flower of remembrance. They bring forth the remembrance of a loved one. A recent wedding program noted that there were zinnias in the church as a remembrance of those missing from the special occasion.


As I consider the zinnias currently blooming in my garden, I find it interesting that over the last couple weeks I have had two dreams with my mom in them. I have not had a dream with her in it since she passed away four and half years ago. In the dreams she is present, yet doesn't speak. I wake up and want to fall right back to sleep because I want to hear her voice. But you know how that doesn't ever work to do that....


As I've been pondering why my mom has suddenly appeared in my dreams, perhaps it is because of some of the challenges before me now and in the days ahead. Her presence brought me a calmness and peace in the dreams. I felt secure knowing she was there. It was a remembrance of her unconditional love.


That remembrance of unconditional love brings me right to God and the perfect peace that comes from knowing Him.

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." ~ John 14:27

May your garden hold smiles of remembrance and God's peace through the tears!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~
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