Sunday, November 29

Simple Woman's Daybook for November 30

For today November 30

Outside my window.....
the skies are mostly sunny and the temperatures are more seasonable which means it's cold enough to snow.

I am thinking.....about this past stretch of holiday days.

I am thankful for.....God who is an expert in healing broken hearts.

I am wearing.....a white t-shirt from Hawaii and a pair of jeans.

I am hearing.....chatter in the kitchen while my oldest daughter cuts a brother's hair.

I am creating.....a Christmas gift list for each member of the family.

I am going.....to write out all the activities on my December calendar and hopefully not faint when I look at the finished month.

I am reading.....Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris which so far has been outstanding.

I am praying.....for wisdom in knowing what needs to be said and what God needs to say instead of me.

I am remembering.....that this too shall pass and will bring with it a stronger faith.

I am hoping.....that we stay healthy in the month ahead.

On my mind....is the challenge of difficult relationships.

From the learning rooms....will be getting back on track with our studies after having a week off.

Noticing that....the scale stayed steady through the Thanksgiving season while eating all my favorite foods of the year. Whew!

Pondering these words...."We're not rebelling against institutions or even against people. Our uprising is against a cultural mind-set that twists the purpose and potential of the teen years and threatens to cripple our generation. Our uprising won't be marked by mass riots and violence, but by millions of individual teens quietly choosing to turn the low expectations of our culture upside down." ~ Alex and Brett Harris

From the kitchen....will a final batch of applesauce today.

Around the house.....there's still many signs of grandchildren who have found every possible thing to play with in our home.

One of my favorite things.....is playing Christmas music in my kitchen once Thanksgiving is over.

A few plans for the rest of the week....the children's Christmas program practice at church tonight, Bible study, and getting a focus on the month ahead.

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

This is one of my favorite teas when the weather is cold and nippy outside.

Thank you for stopping and visiting my daybook on this day! If you'd like to visit others who are participating or write a journal yourself, please stop over at Peggy's Simple Woman's Daybook

Enjoy this last simple day of November!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, November 28

the laze of a day

"No one can decide how you spend your time but you." ~ Thomas Kinkade

My day is luxuriously lazy being spent lounging with my little and big girls with the playing grandangels mingling throughout the house.

How are you spending this day? Whatever you may be doing, may it bless you from head to toe!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


Friday, November 27

losing to gain

A busy family time here with many table conversations as well as people coming and going. The realization suddenly came that it's not Sunday - like it feels - but Friday and I hadn't yet blogged for the day. So, I grabbed my quotes journal and determined that I'd pick a quote of the day from the choices found on the two pages I opened. And I found a quote that fits many discussions over the last day or so, or at least it does in my mind....

"Sometimes the best gain is to lose." ~ George Herbert

Can you think of situations in your own life where this would be true?

Back to hanging out...

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


Thursday, November 26

shout your thanks

Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
Serve the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.
~ Psalm 100

May you spend some time shouting for joy and giving thanks to our Lord and God on this grand Thanksgiving Day!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, November 25

some "aha!"s

As I'm waiting to turn down the oven on two pumpkin pies now baking, I think back to just a few minutes ago as I was rolling out the crusts for these pies. I came upon my second "aha!" moment of recent days.

"Aha!" Making pie crust isn't that hard, only takes a few moments, and makes a lovely dessert that my husband REALLY loves. I need to make pies more often and bless him!

My first "aha!" moment came a week ago when I finished baking my husband's favorite cookies for him to take on the menfolk's hunting trip up to the cabin. There wasn't much time left, but I asked him if there was something else that I could quickly make for him to take. He said he could only think of his two favorite things - krispie treats or my lemon bars. When considering the time we had to work with, I opted for the krispie treats because those are so quick to make and take. And yes, I need to make those more often, too, as everyone loves them. But no, the "aha!" wasn't really about that - although that comes close to being an "aha!" so perhaps it was a double "aha!"moment. The "aha!" was more about my lemon bars.

"Aha!" Making my lemon bars seems to be only a once-a-year kind of thing as I bake them at Christmas and my husband REALLY does love them. I need to make lemon bars more often and bless him!

I quickly squashed that lemon bar "aha!" because as much as we may love the taste of those yummy lemon bars, the simple truth is that they are U.G.L.Y.!!!!! I'm not exaggerating in the least. You know those pretty light yellow with powdered sugar lemon bars you see at church functions? Ya, mine look nothing like that! They are just plain U.G.L.Y.!!!! At first glance, you'd probably think they are butterscotch bars as they have a deep golden color on top that looks like it would be leather to chew through in order to get to the yummy lemon filling inside. They are definitely deceiving, although definitely delicious, and these lemon bars are destined to never leave my house nor be served to anyone other than family. I know, I know, perhaps I need to swallow my pride.

And perhaps I need to swallow my pride in other areas of my life.

Isn't it easy to judge a book by its cover? Or a person by their face? It happens way too often and the Holy Spirit is pricking me a bit about it. Like when we are out and about perhaps shopping and the kids will whisper to me something like "that person is a real creeper!" Judging by appearance when we know absolutely nothing about that person.

I'm reminded of that exact thing when shopping this fall for a family gathering and having a grocery cart full of food. An older gentleman with a leathery gruff face made a rough comment to me about how I apparently was buying the store out. I couldn't quite read his face and responded with a smile assuring him that I had left plenty on the shelves for him to pick from. He suddenly smiled back and thanked me for not taking it all. The smile on his face revealed a whole different side of his personality. His smile later when I passed him on my way to the checkout reminded me that not everyone we see are automatically *creepers*.

No, I'm not saying throw all caution to the wind and approach all strangers with a confident smile (although really, what would Jesus do?), but be willing to risk sharing the love of Jesus with someone who may not look good on the outside but is worthy of us learning about the story of their life on the inside. A simple genuine smile can be the beginning.

Now, if I can just get over the lemon bar ugliness, eh?

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, November 24

a thank you for you

For today all I have is.....

.....a simple thank you!

Thank you to all of you who blessed Garden Glimpses with your vote for Most Encouraging Blog during the recent annual homeschool awards put on by The Homeschool Post. Your support is much appreciated!

Each year these awards allow me to catch a glimpse of the variety of homeschoolers who are busy writing and sharing. It's been fun to find some new blogs to read as well as hoping others have become new friends here.

Now on to preparing for my next big thankful moment in our household....Thanksgiving!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, November 23

Simple Woman's Daybook for November 23

For today November 23

Outside my window.....
the skies are mostly cloudy and the temperatures are quite mild for this time of the year.

I am thinking.....that this week has too few hours for everything I'd like to accomplish.

I am thankful for.....a quieter household while the menfolk are hunting.

I am wearing.....a dark blue skirt with a three quarter length sleeved cream colored top that has small dark blue flowers all over it.

I am hearing.....the girls chatter while they eat their breakfast.

I am creating.....a new place for our old computer to be set-up as I don't like the space it takes up in our living room, especially since it seldom gets used anymore.

I am going.....to FOCUS on the projects on my list! Really, I am!

I am reading.....Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris which I snatched off the dresser of an older son who is gone hunting.

I am praying.....for safe travels for family members later in the week.

I am remembering.....last year's Thanksgiving Day and how wonderful it was to have everyone home and together!

I am hoping.....that I will be bold to TOSS as I clean through a couple clutter spots in my house.

On my mind....is a son far away who has difficult weeks ahead and whose life is encountering so many spiritual battles. My heart is kept in an attitude of prayer for him.

From the learning rooms....will only be a bit of reading with my littlest as this is a scheduled school vacation week.

Noticing that....there are still alyssum plants doing well down by my rock garden. They must be close enough to the house to have been protected a bit by the colder weather. It's nice to see the greenery and delicate white flowers.

Pondering these words...."If we as Christians do not speak out as authoritarian governments grow from within or come from outside, eventually we or our children will be the enemy of society and state." ~ Francis A. Schaeffer

From the kitchen....will be quiet cooking until the pie baking begins Wednesday morning.

Around the house.....there's a bit more peace and orderliness as I've cleaned areas of the house that were out of control. Wish it would stay this way :::sigh:::

One of my favorite things.....is talking to the grands on the phone, even if all they do at the other end of the line is giggle :-)

A few plans for the rest of the week....the children's Christmas program practice at church tonight, continued cleaning projects, the return of our hunters, family arriving, a Thanksgiving meal, and hopefully some more girls time at the end of the week!

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

This was the center of a quilt I just made and gave away to a single mom who is due with her first baby sometime in the next few weeks. I hope that it will be a reminder of how much God loves her in midst of the circumstances and challenges she is facing right now.

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

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving week!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, November 21

changing movie times

Although movie rental places in our town have come and gone through the years, there's been two main ones that have been here from the beginning. Early on we decided not to patronize one of them because they had an area in their store that contained movies with an end of the alphabet rating.

We aren't heavy movie watchers, but tend to randomly stop to see what's new or perhaps when we need a movie because the weather is keeping us confined indoors.

Honestly, I rarely watch movies throughout the year because my they tend to be the type the older guys of our family like or the ones the younger girls gravitate toward. Plus it's hard for me to justify regularly taking a couple of hours to just sit. I'm a mom, after all, and can find lots of other things to do with a couple of hours.

Until hunting season.

Then the girls and I walk up and down the aisles as I find mom kind of movies to rent in order to get my movie fix for the year.

And what a surprise greeted us last night when we walked into the movie store to see signs up stating they were permanently closing at the end of the month!

As someone who really doesn't like change, I guess it may be time to consider alternatives.

There are a couple of Red Box spots in town now, so we would be able to rent new releases that way. And I suppose we could actually check out Net Flix as an option. Plus there's always our public library that gives us access to movies.

But quite honestly, I'm going to miss walking up and down the aisles at the local movie store often stumbling upon some good movies by accident as I stop to read back after back of each movie. It'll be harder to do that with the options now available....

:::::sigh:::::

Perhaps I could go with another option when I get a hankering for a movie by watching one of the movies we already own. Seriously, I don't think I could ever watch Pride and Prejudice too many times or would find ever find watching the Anne of Green Gables series a burden.

May you enjoy this weekend in your garden whatever the entertainment may be!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, November 20

the ninth tale

Time to throw in a lighter post this week, eh?

Since my readers rarely make requests, I've been working hard to fulfill a request that came from my last circuit post back in October and which had this comment:

"PS. PLEASE OH PLEASE OH PLEASE post a picture from that wedding!!!!!!"

It took a while to find a couple of pictures that gave a good vantage point and which I could easily crop.

But wait a minute! You have to hear the story first!

Way back at the end of the summer of 2002, my oldest daughter convinced me to join Curves with her. It seemed to be a great way to finally get back into shape which is something I wanted to do before the wedding of our oldest son the next summer. We began working out and I was delighted to see results! For awhile. Within a couple of months I started gaining a little weight which seemed to coincide with a calendar whose numbers were beginning to blur as I kept count *if* I could keep my eyes open long enough to look at the calendar. A secretly taken pregnancy test confirmed my suspicions.

While keeping a secret stash of saltine crackers in my bedroom to prevent those who know me too well from discovering this news (and you know who you are!), it took myself awhile to absorb the news. It had been well over a year since I had gone through a summer long miscarriage process and in my mind I had resolved that perhaps my childbearing years were over. After all, I was over 44 years old and we had a wedding coming up. A wedding which would be ten days before my due date and a full day of travel away.

My breath was held until right before Thanksgiving when I connected with my doctor for a heartbeat check and ultrasound. Positive on both counts. It was now time to tell the family.

Have you ever had news that was tremendously exciting, yet may not be well received? This situation would be a perfect example of that as we shared the news of an upcoming baby to all of our family surrounding the Thanksgiving table. Too bad there wasn't a movie camera rolling to capture the varied reactions....

The months passed and the pregnancy progressed well as the wedding date came closer and closer. As we talked about the many options, soon a decision would need to be made. At my final appointment before the wedding, my doctor checked me and gave me the cold hard numbers - 3 cm dilated, 80% effaced - and I told her..."I'm going!" with complete peace in my heart.

A motorhome was secured for the drive and a good friend from the OB department of our local hospital provided me with an emergency childbirth kit as our travels would take us through areas of the country where hospitals were few and far between and she knew my history of fast labors and deliveries.

And off our family went to the wedding! What a wonderful event that I'm so glad I didn't miss as it was a beautiful occasion!


And it remained a beautiful occasion until I had contractions begin right after the ceremony.

I whispered the news to my husband and plopped down on a chair for the entire reception barely moving or eating or drinking.

After getting back to the hotel, getting the kids settled in the pool, and continuing to have contractions, the decision was made to head to the hospital to get checked. We borrowed someone's car - remember, we had traveled in a motorhome - and made the short jaunt over to the hospital where the exam confirmed the same results I had at my doctor's visit. Monitoring confirmed the contractions and they brought me the biggest styrofoam cup I've ever seen filled with ice water and told me I needed to DRINK. So, I drank and walked and drank some more and finally told my husband that I was so worn out from everything that I needed to lie back down. After a catnap and an empty cup, the contractions stopped.

Dehydration. I had hardly drank a drop the whole day of the wedding because I did not want to have to constantly be going to the bathroom which is typical of late pregnancy. I didn't want to be squirmy sitting through the wedding and I didn't want to be squirmy for the reception, so I just avoided drinking. WHAT WAS I THINKING? We made the decision to go back to the hotel for the rest of the night.

In the morning I felt fine, kept drinking, and we headed back home without a problem. That week my oldest daughter plopped me into a lawn chair and I supervised the planting of our garden. A few days later I kissed a couple children good-bye as they headed on a mission trip.

Nine days after the wedding and a day before her due date, my sweet ninth baby arrived in a labor that was very similar to my first one. A sweet nine pound, eight ounce bundle of joy who is still known as Lovey around here.

So, there you have it! That's my story - complete with a couple of verifying pictures - and I'm sticking to it.

May you have happy stories in your garden which are worthy of remembering with a smile!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, November 19

the significance search

"The world is never anti-God; it is little-God. It wants me to have just enough of God to make me 'nice', but never enough to make me expose its heart. Worldly people worship 'the God who doesn't interfere.' The Bible gives me a choice: Am I to be God's normal man, or the world's? Whatever I choose, I am bound to please and bound to offend. The eternal question is: Who is worth the pleasing? Moses did not take long to answer: 'I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life that you and your offspring may live, loving the LORD your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days.....'(Deuteronomy 30:19-20)" ~ W. Glyn Evans

Reading this last night before going to bed was a confirmation of what was heard earlier in the evening after going through the eighth session of The Truth Project in our home Bible study. As humans we hunger for significance which we think can only be found through notice and recognition of the world around us. It is the world we seek to please with our choices hoping to achieve a relational significance. Even believers in God do this as examples were given from Matthew chapter six of giving, praying, and fasting in a public manner. Jesus often rebuked religious leaders of that day for their big show of faith based on law. Yet no matter how hard we work at this significance it will always be hollow and never satisfying.

What we tend to forget is that as believers we have the Holy Spirit indwelling us. Christ lives in us. This relationship gives us power we can tap into for life as we are never alone. Our search for significance will be directed within our relationship with our Creator. For it is only within this relationship that we will find satisfaction and life. And at the end of the length of our days, it truly will be the ONLY relationship that will make a difference. At that point, all the recognition and significance achieved in the world will be like chaff blowing in the wind.

Is there significance in numbers? No.

Only God.

You and God.

Simple significance can be found in your garden!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, November 18

always a season

Have I mentioned that I really enjoy the current season? Ohhh, you thought I was going to say autumn, didn't you? No, it's a season that comes twice a year to our location and can be enjoyed late winter/early spring and late fall/early winter. It's commonly known in our neck of the woods as the "OFF SEASON".

We live in a wonderfully woodsy many laked location with four vibrant season which draws vacationers and second home owners. EXCEPT during the off season. Those two brief times of the year is when suddenly you only bump into locals everywhere you go. Short encounters of a greeting, perhaps a hug, smiles, and a short conversation. I LOVE it! And it is greatly enhanced on days when the sun is shining :-)

Thinking about the fact our family has always lived in the same house same location, I feel immensely blessed having moved frequently growing up. My children all have strong roots as they leave their home in the woods.....and travel to large cities to live. Talk about a contrast!

And more recently that contrast has been mentioned again as an older one has talked with me about having grown up isolated from the bigger world around them. Viewing the general morals up close has been a very revealing and rather disappointing look at the culture of our country. As their eyes are opened to the temptations that abound and the depth of sin, it comes with the realization of how differently they've been raised. We may have talked about a lot of it as they were growing up, but now they are witnessing firsthand the darkness of sin in the world around them.

It always brings me back to parenting techniques and raising my children in a more isolated world. The right thing or the wrong thing? Good or bad? Too protective or not?

At this point with God's grace covering all my parenting blunders, I'd have to say yes. Good thing. With four children living out in the cities and a fifth revving his engines to leave, I see young adults who have remained solid in their faith. Instead of being drawn into the temptations of the world, they have recognized the foolishness of man and have chosen to stay on a godly path. Their home environment did not impart personalities of isolation, but quite the contrary as that security allowed them to develop an outgoing confidence which results in friendliness and helpfulness to others as well as loyalty to those they love. Ohhhh, lest you think they are perfect, they're not and have areas of their life to work on just like everyone else. And lest you think I have this parenting thing all figured you, I don't. Each child presents new parenting challenges I've never encountered before so I spend plenty of time blundering my way through it. And hopefully in the process, loving them like the Lord loves me.....

In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy the off season out and about our little spot in the woods as well as enjoy the parenting season in and about my home!

Enjoy your garden day whatever the season!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, November 17

not really forgotten

My short term memory seems to be exactly that. Short term. Meaning that I don't remember a thing the instant later. It's even hard to pull up some long term memory items at times.

Yet, I'm relieved to find out that all memory has not been erased as I sometimes suspect, but it's stored in file folders in my brain that perhaps need a dusting now and then.

And I've been smiling over some recent dustings.

Like seeing the recent picture of my granddaughter standing on the kitchen table. I had forgotten how much kids love to climb! I recall the many toddlers that required us to stack the kitchen table chairs up against a wall to prevent them from immediately climbing up on the table whenever we weren't at the table. Or the master climber who not only climbed but loved to JUMP and required stitches on his forehead when my husband and oldest son were out of the country and I was home with a newborn baby and our other six children. When I found out later that the "wood pile" that had been climbed was NOT the pile of split wood needing to be stacked but instead the pile of stacked lumber that was over my head, well, I just about fainted! Ah, yes, I had forgotten, but quickly remembered and it made me smile!

Or like suddenly needing to help a friend yesterday by babysitting for her many while she made a quick dash to the doctor. All those little ones running around and busy and chattering and going here and there and everywhere. How could I have forgotten what life was like when all my children were home and we had so many littles running here and there and everywhere chattering the whole time while busy and into everything? Ah, yes, I had forgotten, but quickly remembered and it made me smile!

Or what about listening to my littlest sitting next to me as she sounds out words and reading begins to click as sentences begin to roll off her reading tongue. Is it really possible that God has blessed me with the honor of hearing each one of my nine children learn to read while they sat next to me and the sounds of letters suddenly made sense to them? Ah, yes, I had forgotten, but quickly remembered and it made me smile!

Or what about the times when ministries I've been involved in have faded away as the doors closed leaving me wonder what the Lord has in mind as I wait on Him. Hasn't the Lord always been there in amazing ways when He brings new ministry possibilities into my life which will stretch and challenge me? Ah, yes, I had forgotten, but quickly remembered and it has made me smile as He has done it once again!

Fortunately we don't stay stuck in seasons of life never being given the opportunity to forget. Because when we do remember it brings with us a renewed reminder that God can be trusted to faithfully walk with us through all the challenging seasons of life! And that indeed makes me smile!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Sunday, November 15

Simple Woman's Daybook for November 16

For today November 16

Outside my window.....
the skies are mostly clear and blue promising a mild late fall day.

I am thinking.....that this week is going to fly by as there's so much to do before the boys head out for huntin' season.

I am thankful for.....a stash of fabric that could keep me quilting for a long time.

I am wearing.....a denim skirt with a dark green hooded sweatshirt thrown over a minty green shirt that was too cool to wear in the house on this frosty morning.

I am hearing.....a snoring dog over by our bed.

I am attempting to create.....a Christmas list for myself that has more than candles on it, although I truly would be happy if that was the only thing I ever got as a gift.

I am going.....to hopefully get at some deeper cleaning again this week.

I am continuing to read.....God's Pursuit of Man by A. W. Tozer

I am praying.....for continued provision for our family as we are very soon heading into my husband's slow time of his work year.

I am remembering.....the better days of the medical care system when everyone paid for all their services and insurance was only for the big emergency kind of things.

I am hoping.....to get all my photos organized so I know what I need to print off my camera and clean out my camera card.

On my mind....are the opening verses of yesterday's sermon from Titus chapter three knowing that it will only be through the mighty power of the Holy Spirit working in my life to conquer my ohhhh so weak flesh so I do NOT to express my thoughts and react to the current government administration in a manner that would not be Christlike.

From the learning rooms....will be corrections, corrections, and more corrections as the teacher has been schoolwise distracted over the past week.

Noticing that....my vision continues to change making some tasks more difficult as I get older. Anyone want to thread my sewing machine needle for me?

Pondering these words...."We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." ~ Winston Churchill.

From the kitchen....will be some baking for the boys to take hunting with them.

Around the house.....I've noticed that my laundry area has gotten quite out of control and I need to clean it up. There's still piles of summer clothes caught up with our current clothing and I need to get them packed away!

One of my favorite things.....is little girls playing together and giggling.

A few plans for the rest of the week....a women's meeting tonight as well as the start of the church's children's Christmas program practice, schooling and corrections, quilt sewing clean-up so I can start the next quilt, Bible study mid-week, a package sending to my son's family, and a note or two to friends.

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

Here's a picture of the pineapple upside down cake that I baked for my husband's recent birthday. It's a once a year rare treat that he enjoys!

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

Have a wonderful late autumn day!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~



Saturday, November 14

when small equals great

Life as a mom can become quite a mundane kind of thing, can't it? We go through our tasks day after day for our family who surround us and at night go to bed knowing we'll repeat the same thing the next day.

How many diapers have been changed over the years? How many dishes washed? How many times has the question "why?" been answered? How many situations have required settling disputes between siblings? How many places in the house have we cleaned up a hairball? How many times have we sighed when someone left something in an inner pocket that went through the washer and dryer and which has left its mark behind on everything? How many times have we dealt with the effects of Mr. Nobody immediately AFTER he's left the premises? And the "how many" list grows.....

It can all seem pretty meaningless, especially if you glance at the newsfeeds and websites at the end of the day and read about what all the "important" people are doing.

Life as a mom.

"To God there are no small offerings if they are made in the name of His Son. Conversely, nothing appears great to him that is given for any other reason than for Jesus sake." ~ A. W. Tozer

WOW! Has your life as a mom just been put into proper perspective?!

Do you need more?

"'For Thy Sake' will rescue the little, empty things from vanity and give them eternal meaning. The lowly paths of routine living will by these words be elevated to the level of a bright highway. The humdrum of our daily lives will take on the quality of a worship service and the thousand irksome duties we must perform will become offerings and sacrifices acceptable to God by Christ Jesus." ~ A. W. Tozer

Turn each item on your "how many" list into a way to worship God by your act of service. Little steps will make big strides in a change of perspective.
Try putting a little smile into each act and suddenly irksome leaves the premise with the love of God staying behind.

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving." ~ Colossians 3:23-24

Be encouraged and walk the paths of your garden 'For Thy Sake'!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


Friday, November 13

a fabric break

Can we take a break for a moment and talk quilting? I've been busy cutting and sewing a baby quilt over the last week or so and wanted to stop and tell you about an exciting package I received in the mail last week.

It all began back in April when Randi mentioned a Spring Quilt Festival over at Amy's and I entered my grandma's butterfly quilt in the festival. When the Fall Quilt Festival came around last month, I entered a quilt that I made for my grandson which I called grandma's sunny woods. It was such fun both times visiting all the quilt links of participants, but the bonus this fall was winning one of the participating comment prizes! Woo hoo! A $25 gift certificate at Pink Chalk Fabrics

What fun! I looked and looked and looked and looked through her fabrics and could not narrow down my choices. Finally, the decision was made to chose an eclectic collection of my very favorites and yes, I did go a tad bit over my $25.

The package arrived quickly after I ordered and required dancing around the kitchen before actually opening it.

The ten fabrics were very nicely bundled together as I slowly took them out one by one.

A couple of boy designs, a few bold flower prints, a very fun paisley print, and several pink flowered fabrics. And please excuse the picture which does NOT do the fabrics justice as it was raining out when they arrived and I had to take an evening indoor picture which unfortunately yellows them from the lighting. Instead, please take my word as trustworthy when I say that I love each one and have already put several into use on the baby quilt I'm currently sewing.

Okay, my fabric break here is over now and I need to do a bit of sewing this morning on a quilt top that is almost complete BEFORE my children are up and ready to start a new day of schooling!

Enjoy your day!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, November 12

when the great leaves blow


"When great leaves fall, the winter is at hand." ~ William Shakespeare

Over the past week we have been blessed with some incredible weather which has departed from the the typical cool gray days known to be November. The sun has been shining and the temperatures have even risen into the 60's. We were given a second chance to get outdoors and work on yardwork which had not looked very inviting during the weather of October.

It is on days like these that I'm thankful to be a homeschooling family because we can work hard in the mornings and have the flexibility to take afternoons off for some outdoors working time. Fresh air, sunshine, and plenty of exercise does make everyone happier and healthier!

The wind fully cooperated by disappearing which kept our piles of leaves easy to build and pick up. The yard was beginning to look so nice and neat once again. Life was good and worthy of a break when we were done. Keeping up with this task will make the yardwork in the spring soooo much easier.

Leaving the house early this morning in the dark to go walking at the local high school, I noticed that the wind had picked up.

Leaving the high school to come home an hour later, I noticed that a red sunrise was up over the horizon. "Red in the morning, sailor take warning" immediately came to mind.

Leaving the garage in the daylight to walk up the path to the house, I noticed that the mighty oaks had finally dropped many of their great leaves which had blown all over the nice neat lawn.

Yup, our smooth sailing weather was taking a turn and with it would be the return of a messy yard. And how could it not be? Our yard is placed in the middle of a great woods!

Parenting has stretches like that, doesn't that?

Sometimes it feels like things are moving along quite smoothly. Life is nice and neat and we feel like we can take a break. Then some of those great leaves start blowing all over in our lives as our children challenge us with character traits that definitely need some cleaning up. And how could it not be? Our imperfect children have been born into the midst of a world full of sin! Once again we need to pick up the tools our Heavenly Father has provided and lovingly correct and discipline where necessary. Being consistent on this important parenting task will make our job much easier as our children mature and leave home as young adults.

It's a comfort knowing that the Lord is with us during the long season of parenting and that He will help us when the winds blow....

"Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain." ~ First Corinthians 15:58

Therefore, be encouraged!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, November 11

a red poppy reminder

Around our country today, we pause to thank and honor ALL veterans who have served honorably in the military whether during wartime or peacetime. It is a time when we can shake the hand of a man or woman in appreciation for faithfully serving in our nation's military by protecting our freedom and sacrificing their lives by actively doing their duty.

In our family we have fathers who served in the Korean War and World War II as well as uncles who have served in various branches of the military. Having joined their ranks this past year is one of our sons who is now an Army Airborne Ranger and is anticipating deployment in the new year. Having read the oath he took as a soldier and having heard him recite the Ranger Code, my heart is humbled by the commitment our military personnel make to our country and I do not take the sacrifice lightly that each one has made. That sacrifice is beginning to sink into my heart as the mother of a soldier and has increased my prayer life by the tenfold.

Please don't walk past those with a bucket full of buddy poppies. Pause for a moment, shake their hand and thank them for their service, and then take a buddy poppy as a reminder to daily pray for those in military service.

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, November 10

encourage me!

YIPPEEEEE! The Homeschool Post has officially announced all the nominees for the 2009 Homeschool Blog Awards!


YIPPEEEEE! My blog has been nominated for "Best Encourager Blog"! Thank you to those who have encouraged me by getting Garden Glimpses nominated for the third year!

Voting takes place now through November 21st for twenty-five different categories. Please take a moment to check out the main voting page with all the information and rules. Scrolling down through the page will bring you to the categories.

If you are one of my regular readers - you don't have to be a homeschooler - and would like to bless my little heart, find the Best Encourager Blog category. Click on it which will take you to the list of all the nominees. Garden Glimpses is on the top. Click
on the dot to the left, then hit the VOTE button.

Ready? Here you go: HSBA 2009 Voting

Thanks so much!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

better than lotion

In my world of randomness, there are sometimes things like this.....

.....which I often don't find out about until I download my camera and see that once again unauthorized personnel have used my camera.

Yes, it's a dog with his head on the pillow all covered up for a nap. Since I knew I had occasionally seen the dog lying on the foot of the makeshift beds that we formed when my oldest daughter and granddaughter came for a visit, I wasn't totally surprised. But sheesh! The pillow? The blanket? Fuzzababy?

After they went home and k
nowing that the dog had slept on the makeshift beds, all the bedding got thrown into the wash. And when it came time to throw the sheets into the laundry from the bed my oldest daughter had slept in, the usual battle resulted. "Noooooo! We want to sniff her a bit longer!"

Ahhhh, but I'm getting smarter! I went into the bathroom and pulled out the bottle of lotion that is on the counter that everyone uses and reminded them that the coveted scent comes from that particular lotion. ANYONE can have that scent. It's available to each person who comes into our house. So, if they wanted that scent, all they'd have to do is use that lotion themselves. Simple, eh?

It was simple until the lotion ran out and I had to purchase new lotion last week finding that they changed all the labels! YIKES! It was so easy before to just pick up the replacement because I knew what it looked like and had never really looked to see if it had something special in it or if it was a restoring lotion or if it was an advanced moisturizer or if had collagen elastin in it or whatever. Yup, yikes again! Since I don't have a good "sniffer" even sniffing each lotion didn't help me much. I guess the ultimate test will happen when my oldest daughter comes home, wears the lotion, and the girls do the sniff test on the bed she sleeps in.

We can all have a scent from the things we put on the outside, but a more accurate fragrance of who we are comes from the inside. As I find my heart drawn to godly women who cross my path, there is a distinct essence about them that isn't found anywhere else. Getting to know them better leads me to the foundation of those qualities.....God's Word.

God's Word. Available to everyone and anyone and can be found anywhere. It is never changing or newly improved, but has been solidly trustworthy and steadfast since the beginning. Oh sure, you can walk past it and indulge in the many Christian books out there each with their own philosophies, but if they aren't worthy and solid, you could end up smelling like a dog. Blech!

The best fragrance will come from those who pick up the Bible, read it, and use it in their lives. It isn't a once in awhile thing, but is instead an ongoing steady filling of God's Word that permeates every area of their life as God's Spirit works leaving a lingering heavenly scent everywhere they go.

Perhaps some wonderful advice that would come not only from fragrant godly women but straight from God's Word would be these verses:

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me--put these things into practice, and the God of peace will be with you." ~ Philippians 4:8-9

Yup, better than any lotion out there!

Use it in your garden and see what happens!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, November 9

simple woman's daybook for November 9

For today November 9

Outside my window.....
the skies are mostly cloudy with a mist in the air this morning, but this is expected to clear with nice weather again later.

I am thinking.....that the days are going way too quickly as we head to Thanksgiving. So much to do with so little time.

I am thankful for.....the larger job my husband is on right now with weather that has been so ideal. You never know what kind of weather you may be working in this time of the year and this warm dry stretch has been a tremendous blessing for this particular job!

I am wearing.....a denim jumper with a long sleeved bright blue scoop necked top.

I am hearing.....the shower drip which reminds me that I need to ask my husband about that.

I am still creating.....a baby quilt that is laid out on my bed right now as I rearrange blocks.

I am going.....to hopefully get outside to help the kids rake leaves.

I am continuing to read.....God's Pursuit of Man by A. W. Tozer

I am praying.....for a son faraway who is getting all his wisdom teeth surgically removed right about now, for a friend who lost her job on Friday, and for the families who lost loved ones in the Fort Hood tragedy.

I am remembering.....the days I worked as a veterinary assistant before I was married as the dear friend from church who was my co-worker reminisced a bit with me after lunch yesterday. We certainly had some interesting experiences!

I am hoping.....to get back on my wreath project as it remains out on the front deck just waiting for me to pick it back up again.

On my mind.....is what an unfortunate season the Green Bay Packers have been having and perhaps it is time for change in many of the management leadership positions. (Yes, that's probably the most random thing you'll ever read in a Simple Woman's Daybook, but it's been a topic of discussion in our house since their loss yesterday to an 0 - 7 team.)

From the learning rooms.....has been some fun - and a little frustration -as we figure out lapbooking for our history and science chapters.

Noticing that....a daughter is growing up as she often no longer engages in the same activities as her two younger sisters on a daily basis.

Pondering these words...."Use what talent you possess; the birds would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best." ~ Henry Van Dyke

From the kitchen....
will perhaps be some cookies baked to send to a son.

Around the house.....it's quite picked up this morning which is a good way to start a school week!

One of my favorite things.....is watching my girls "ice skate" in their kitchen "arena" complete with outfits, music, and much giggling.

A few plans for the rest of the week....schooling, a congregational meeting, recognizing Veteran's Day, Bible study mid-week, quilt sewing, and a baby shower.

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


Late summer garden sunflowers! How I miss looking out my window and seeing the rows of varied sunflowers. They always look so majestically happy to me and hum with a flurry of bee activity.

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

Have a wonderful late autumn day!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, November 7

tending to chocolate

"Some people turn to chocolate. Some buy shoes. I tend to my garden."
~ From my gardening calendar for today

My garden is a wonderful escape for several months of the year. It's like a mini-retreat away from the stress of life when I wander out there any time through the day or evening as it quietly grows beneath the eyes of God.

Then the season begins to change and my garden is only viewed through my bedroom window as it goes through a season of rest.

So, then I need to resort to the next best option. Yup, chocolate. And yup, I've scored big over the past week. Two different nights two different children had other commitments which prevented them from being home on their kitchen duty nights. They tried to switch their night with siblings who had no interest in making the switch. They tried to offer money to siblings to do this evening chore which didn't work either which is a bit surprising with Christmas coming up. Hitting a dead end with both attempts, they came to their mother who no longer has a garden to tend to these days.

Can you see the glimmer in my eye?

Now, I wouldn't take advantage of the situation if it were the younger ones unable to fulfill their commitment, but since it's the older ones who need to find out that freedom from responsibilities does come with a cost, I struck a deal with both. They got a night off from kitchen duties and I scored a special dark chocolate bar and a small chocolate concrete malt. Shameless, I know....hee hee!

Actually, it is a win win situation for me. Although *I* like to be DONE with the kitchen after supper and use that time as my down time (or in other words, I'm a morning person and barely move after supper), it is nice to be the kitchen cleaner upper person. My kids do a fine job, but my eyes see more of the detail work that needs to be done which results in waking up to a cleaner kitchen to start my day in the morning. Bonus!

Of course, it would probably be MUCH better for my waistline if I took money for these jobs and saved for pair of shoes, eh?

May you enjoy the weekend ahead with or without chocolate!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, November 6

the never ending season of life

As a gardener, I can always draw many parallels between life in my garden and the seasons of life.


A couple weeks ago after our garden was completely harvested, my youngest and I were busy planting again. This time, however, it was for a crop that would need a lengthy time to grow before being ready for harvest. My article over at Heart of the Matter Online today talks about The Long Season of Parenting as I considered the parallels of gardening and life once again. Take a moment to read, gather simple parenting tips to help you endure, and leave a comment!

Such good timing, too, as I was reminded yesterday of how parenting is extended way beyond the time when our children leave home. With other Americans around the country, I watched with shock as the tragedy unfolded at Fort Hood, Texas. Events like this have become much more significant in my life over the past year as I've become the mom of an army soldier. Slowly I've been learning about the sacrifice that soldiers and their families go through to serve their country and preserve freedom. As my heart fell into a rhythm of prayer for the rest of the day, it was interrupted in the late evening by another prayer need when my phone rang. Our college son was on his way to the ER giving me limited updates with a cell phone that went in and out. It was a relief to know before bed last night that he should recover without any problems.

Yes, our children grow up and leave home, but they are never ever far from our hearts or our prayers as we continue to be a part of their lives through the years!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

a worthy wife

This week during our devotional time, we began the book of Job for our Old Testament reading. The first chapters are so devastating as Job loses his family, all his possessions, and finally his health. All Job had left was his wife....

His wife said to him, "Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!"
He replied, "You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?"
In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.
~ Job 2:9-10

One commentary stated that his wife was possibly spared to cause Job even more grief and suffering than the actual losses would have given him. Yikes! Ohhh, she's like a Proverbs wife alright. You know the one....quarrelsome like the constant dripping on a rainy day OR so quarrelsome that her husband would rather live on the corner of a roof or in a desert OR as disgraceful as decay in her husband's bones or foolish enought to tear her own house down. Yikes again!

Take a moment to ponder your wife life. Are you a wife whom your husband can have full confidence in? A supportive wife whether life is going well or filled with difficulties? A wife who is worthy of her husband's praise? Ohhh, I'm not talking about the Proverbs wife who took a life time to sharpen all her skills, but the wife of today. The kind of wife who has a tone of voice that her husband enjoys listening to OR a wife that her husband can't wait to sit by OR one who brings him good health OR a woman who is greatly satisfied in building up her house. Indeed, the kind of wife whose love and trust in the Lord gives her a pleasing countenance that blesses her husband and flows into the lives of others.

Overwhelming to consider? Perhaps. Especially when you are having *one of those days* in your household. Yet even small steps will bless the socks off your husband! Really!

May you be a wise wife whose smile brings joy to your garden whatever the circumstances!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~





Thursday, November 5

begone foolish chatter

"The wise in heart accepts commands, but a chattering fool comes to ruin." ~ Proverbs 10:8

There's been WAY too much foolish chattering going on around my household lately which tends to walk hand and hand with a disobedient heart. The combination wears on a mother's countenance until it's thinned to a narrow wisp of a thread. Ahhh, yes, I am chiding myself for not acting on it sooner, but today that wisp of a thread broke and the offending child with the unwise heart was granted many lines of writing the above Bible verse as a portion of the correction given by a calm mother.

The word is out! Mom is tired of chattering fools! Beware of consequences!

Perhaps the afternoon will be quieter as the warm sunshine pours through the windows giving me good light to do a tad bit of quilt work.....

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


Wednesday, November 4

de-distracting

Over the past weekend I was blessed to enjoy a completely quiet house for a dark evening when the power went out and for most of the following day. The only sound heard during that time within my house was the paw paw on the door by the doors of our dogs wanting to come in and out. No TV, no radio, no CDs, people big or small, no nothing.

QUIET.


For many years I've lived in pretty constant noise. Never noticed it. The volume just gradually went up as our family expanded which was to be expected because we had a lot of different people doing a lot of different things all at the same time. As older ones left home, they'd come back for visits and mention how noisy it was. Hmmm, I must have grown a calm tolerance of household busy sounds.

And then as I've been inching slowly toward menopause my tolerance for noise has gradually inched away. It's not that I mind the actual sound. I mind what the actual sound does to my mind. Total loss of focus. Complete distraction. Those two combined mean I have a hard time completing a task.

"Whatever excites the curiosity, scatters the thoughts, disquiets the heart, absorbs interests or shifts our life focus from the Kingdom of God within us to the world around us--that is a distraction; and the world is full of them." ~ A.W. Tozer

Mr. Tozer aptly describes the word *distraction* although he leaves out the whole having a houseful of kids part. Plus he doesn't talk about the frustration that results or how the quiet gentle godly spirit a mother desires to have can leave the premises at times when the distractions become overwhelming.

"Distractions must be conquered or they will conquer us. So let us cultivate simplicity; let us want fewer things; let us walk in the Spirit; let us fill our minds with the Word of God and our hearts with praise." ~ A. W. Tozer

Having some quiet time did allow me the solitude I needed to stay focused on a few tasks. There were no interruptions and I could simply move through the house putting this or that away and come right back to my project without skipping a beat. It allowed me to look closer at my house and consider areas that needed to be simplified. Areas that needed many more fewer things (isn't that a contrary statement!). And this quiet house allowed me to freely spend a time in God's Word, prayer, and song with no interruptions. Wonderful!

Having these mini breaks on a somewhat regular basis would be an encouragement to my well being at this point in my life. However, that is not the reality of my daily life. Adjustments need to be made to conquer distractions. To spend more time with the Lord in the morning as that does calm my heart and helps me to focus. To purposefully tackle tasks during the day. To continue to simplify our household and rid us of all the peripheral clutter that does distract and require time to maintain. And to steadily whisper and remind myself that I CAN do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me!

May you weed out the distractions along your garden path in order to maintain a quiet spirit within!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, November 3

what's your song?

Last night after supper one of the older boys was sitting at the kitchen table with the littlest and had his iPod earphones split between him and her. He wanted to teach her a new song to sing, but she didn't really want to do that and instead just wanted to listen to some of his music. All of a sudden she started singing along. Not a strange thing to him or her since they both heard the music, but it was kind of weird to the rest of us who were in the kitchen.

Then this morning while I was walking there were TWO different people listening to iPods, one a walker and one a runner. All of a sudden one or the other would sing a line out loud and then it would be quiet. I'm sure it wasn't a strange thing to either one of them, but it was kind of unusual to the rest of who were walking the track.

I think our walk as Christians can appear the same way to those around us. As we read God's Word and listen to the Holy Spirit working in our lives, sometimes we may say and do things as God works in our lives that startles others around us who may think we're a bit strange or unusual or weird.

And you know what? That's okay!

"The power of the gospel changes him, shifts the basis of his life from self to Christ, faces him about in a new directions and makes him a new creation." ~ A.W. Tozer

Or even better....

"And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for him who died for them and was raised again.......Therefore, it anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" ~ Second Corinthians 5:15, 17

Which results in this.....

"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." ~ Romans 12:2

Through God's grace with Him as our resource, we need to continually be growing, changing, and maturing in our faith in Jesus Christ. And in doing so you just may sing a song or two that someone else hears, actually recognizes, and encourages you by singing along!

Enjoy your day!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, November 2

simple woman's daybook for November 2

For today November 2

Outside my window.....
the skies are a continued cloudiness.

I am thinking.....that I really need to be more decisive as I'm going through bookshelves right now and should only keep books I've read that are worthy of these shelves AND books that I am committed to reading in the future. The rest of the books really need to be boxed up and moved out. They really do....

I am thankful for.....the time change and the return of getting up early in a quiet house.

I am wearing.....a denim skirt and a multi striped shades of green mock turtleneck.

I am hearing.....my husband talk to the dogs as he lets them back into the house.

I am creating.....a quick pink baby quilt.

I am going.....to stay home as much as possible this again week and hopefully avoid the illness that is going around our community.

I am reading.....God's Pursuit of Man by A. W. Tozer

I am remembering.....how life was in our early married days and how much better things are now, especially since realizing a while back that I can't change my husband as God is the only one big enough for that job.

I am hoping.....
to do a simple craft with my girls that I saw this morning on a post called A Paper Harvest over at the HSBA Post

On my mind.....is thinking over yesterday's sermon in conjunction with the book I am reading about real authentic change found in our lives through the years as a believer.

From the learning rooms.....schooling is going well and I'm enjoying listening to my littlest with her simple reading skills which are getting better every day.

Noticing that.....when my life is more settled, my children are more settled. Truly, a mother does set the temperature of her home.

Pondering these words...."Our civilization cannot survive materially unless it be redeemed spiritually." ~ Woodrow Wilson

From the kitchen....
will no doubt be some more applesauce.

Around the house.....coats and hoodies not hung up, but slung over chairs. This ever changing weather leaves us in limbo of never knowing what to wear when we leave the house.

One of my favorite things.....is the tickle of my husband's bearded hunting face. I'm glad it's gotten beyond the prickly stage!

A few plans for the rest of the week....schooling, Bible study mid-week, quilt sewing, and continued deep cleaning throughout the house. And yes, I'm still working on that wreath....

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


Here is a picture of our crabapple tree during a recent early snow. The day after it snowed, all the green leaves completely dropped off the tree. As of today, the tree looks lonesome with no leaves but tons of crabapples still clinging to the branches. I'm surprised we haven't yet seen the deer eating the crabapples off the tree.

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 today.

Have a wonderful late autumn day!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~
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