Wednesday, December 30

puzzling away

From my devotional this morning:

"The sign that God is at work in us is that He corrupts confidence in the natural virtues, because they are not promises of what we are going to be, but remnants of what God created man to be.  We will cling to the natural virtues, while all the time God is trying to get us into contact with the life of Jesus Christ which can never be described in terms of natural virtues.  It is the saddest thing to see people in the service of God depending on that which the grace of God never gave them, depending on what they have by the accident of heredity.  God does not build up our natural virtues and transfigure them, because our natural virtues can never come anywhere near what Jesus Christ wants.  No natural love, no natural patience, no natural purity can ever come up to His demands.  But as we bring every bit of our bodily life into harmony with the new life which God has put in us, He will exhibit in us the virtues that were characteristic of the Lord Jesus." ~ Oswald Chambers

Reading this paragraph this morning feels like finding a big piece of the puzzle I've been searching for yet not knowing what it looked like.


The struggle began last summer when after some meetings our church decided to take a break from doing the AWANA Club.  There were several valid concerns that had come up and it made sense to step back for a bit.  Yet, it took my heart a while to catch up with this decision since I had enjoyed serving in this ministry for over twenty years.

A month later the decision was made to take a break from traveling weekly to the pregnancy center.  No longer making the volunteer trip over an hour away would add around $60 or so back into our much needy monthly budget.  Yet, it took my heart a while to catch up since I missed the travel prayer time and working and fellowshipping with an amazing staff of dedicated Christian women whom I had gotten to know over the past year.

A month later the decision was made to end my contract with Curves. Adding another $30 a month back into our monthly budget once again was needed and helpful.  Yet, it took my heart a while to catch up as it meant discontinuing regular contact with women from our community I had gotten to know over the past seven years and which was really my lifestyle evangelism ministry hopefully living as a light before them without preaching.

Three of my favorite things gone. 

The loss has been felt as I've slowly settled into a new routine over these last few months. My family life is getting refocused as my schedule has become less busy month by month.   Yet as my calendar has cleared, it has felt temporary.  Like there is a purpose in these changes which is beyond my vision.  Having no idea what that may be,  I've been keeping busy at the known tasks before me on a daily basis.  

Then I read my puzzle piece this morning.  It caught my breath as it gave me a peek into the what next. Perhaps these slow months of changes in my life have been slowly preparing my heart.  Am I ready? An even bigger question, am I willing? Am I open to something new? Does God have some new purposes ahead that do not use my natural virtues? How exactly will God stretch me as He transforms to become more like Him?  And isn't that my ultimate vision as a believer in Jesus Christ? To become more like Him using whatever circumstances He may have for me?



Big thoughts to ponder at the end of the year.  Big adventures to consider at the beginning of a new year!

What are you thinking about as you close the year? 


Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, December 29

my dream shop

When I sat down here this morning, I was off to a good start.  My devotional has been good and there were thoughts to share.  And then I was interrupted.

Again.

And again.

And again.

Interruptions are a part of my life and I can usually pick right back up where I left off, but after each interruption it became harder.  Too many other things cluttering my mind on this day.

Then after lunch it was time to focus on my multiple errands in town.  Each place I stopped was busy with people and it seemed to take extra time to complete my task.

Now that I'm back home, well, the brilliant thoughts of early this morning have faded as the daylight begins leaving the sky.

So, instead I'll leave an offering of a link on this late afternoon.  A link that kept appearing on the Christmas lists of various bloggers.  A link that keeps showing up on my Facebook sidebar.  A link that is my new favorite place to visit when I no longer want to think, but want to dream.  It's a quilters paradise and the only place my family need shop for me in the future.....

Fat Quarter Shop 

Now, time for me to fix a cup of tea, check the fire, switch laundry, start supper, wrap the last presents, and do some more cleaning!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, December 28

Simple Woman's Daybook for December 28


For today December 28

Outside my window.....it is mostly cloudy and lightly snowing.


I am thinking.....about a lot of things the Lord keeps whispering to me as the new year approaches.

I am thankful for.....my son's family arriving safely to their home last night after traveling on some treacherous roads as they returned from holiday visits with his wife's family.


I am wearing.....my warm black exercise pants and a t-shirt with a warm pink hooded sweatshirt thrown over it.


I am hearing.....my husband plowing our driveway.


I am creating.....a menu for when all the kids will be here later in the week.


I am going.....to make out a list of those last minute gifts so I can finish my shopping.


I am only reading.....my devotional in the morning and one at night before bed.


I am praying.....for the pregnancy resource center where I volunteer as their building experienced flooding from rain and snow on a roof that is in need of repair.


I am remembering.....how much I enjoy the lull between Christmas and New Year's Day.


I am hoping.....that the colds that the girls have will remain only colds with runny noses and don't turn into something else before the rest of the family comes home.


On my mind.....is preparing for family to arrive as we'll soon need to readjust all the bedrooms to accommodate all who will be sleeping here.


From the learning rooms....we are officially *OFF* school this week although I'm hoping the older boys will work on a little bit as they are behind a little bit.


Noticing that....my children are growing up.  It happens so gradually when you are with them all the time that you barely realize it. 



Pondering these words....."Cooking may be as much a means of self-expression as any of the arts." ~ Fannie Merritt Farmer.

From the kitchen.....we'll be eating lightly for a couple of days since we know the kitchen will be busy with cooking toward the end of the week.

Around the house.....is an atmosphere of relaxing laziness.


One of my favorite things.....is going through my rubbermaid containers filled with fabrics and dreaming of what I could make with those fabrics!


A few plans for the rest of the week....shopping, cleaning, rough drafting our end of the year family letter,  and memory making with all my children home!


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



A little glimpse over my garden gate as my garden sleeps under snow cover.  I'm wondering how those garlic bulbs are doing! 

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 at Simple Woman's Daybook


Enjoy these holiday days!


Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, December 26

energized!

I see it!  The sun!

After several cloudy days of snowy flurries coming and going - which was a delightful enhancement to the days of Christmas - how wonderful it is to see sunlight streaming through the windows of our home!

It is amazing how energizing the sun can be to my well being.  My face immediately smiles.  

And it's just amazing how energizing the Son can be to my well being.  My heart immediately smiles.  

As I ponder the sun outside my windows and the Son within the pages of His Word, I'm energized to tackle the day ahead.

How about you?  Ready to tackle the world on this day after Christmas?


Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, December 25

Do you know?

On Christmas Day my true love said to me....

....it sure is QUIET!

With six kids here opening presents this morning, it was quiet.  Six kids and it's quiet?!  They are all growing up and there's less hoopla and wrapping paper flying.  More conversation mixed into the smiles.  


Recently I was thinking back to another Christmas when our house was filled with littles and that lead me to some other  pondering.  Take a moment to read more over at Heart of the Matter Online where I share my thoughts as I wonder...Do you know?

Enjoy this day as we remember our reason for the season who thankfully did not remain in the manger, but instead became our Savior!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, December 24

choosing cozy over frightful

On the day before Christmas, my true love asked of me....


....what can I do to help you today?


 At least my at home "to do" list has shortened enough to be manageable on this day that it's an easy answer.


Run my errands for me!


It's currently snowing like crazy and I have no desire to be out driving on a busy last minute shopping kind of day while the roads are filling up with snow.  My husband, however, drives through anything and enjoys being out and about with people.   He won't mind stopping at the bank, picking up the mail, and shopping for all the things that look yummy to him ONLY the things on my grocery list.  That leaves me in a nice warm cozy home to finish up some baking that I still want to do and then work on a bit of cleaning.  If I stay on task during the day, it should be a wonderful evening of worship followed by a relaxing fondue dinner and the annual watching of It's a Wonderful Life.


Goodness, I'm blessed!


May your day be as blessed as you finish up the last minute preparations before celebrating the remembrance of the birth of Jesus!


And........LET IT SNOW!


Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


Wednesday, December 23

the excitement begins

On the twenty-third day of December, my true love said to me....

....it's about to get exciting around here!

Around lunchtime my husband will jump in the car to drive to the airport and pick up our son who has been in the Army since March. With the exception of one long weekend pass that he used to fly home and back in the blink of an eye, he has not had any extended time home. It will be so wonderful to have him here when we don't have to watch every moment on the clock squeezing in all the people he wanted to see and food he wanted to eat. NOPE! He'll be lounging around here for about eleven days hanging with family and friends.

And it'll get even more exciting when the rest of the family comes home in a week! Lots of noise and eating and talking and present opening!

Honestly, I could be quite content the rest of my days without my family ever spending another cent on presents as I'd rather they invested their pennies on trips home for my most cherished gift is having my family all together plopped around the table chattering together.

May you treasure the days in your garden, especially during the memory making holidays!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, December 22

those little men

On the twenty-secondth day of December, my true love wondered to me....

....what happened to the dishes?

It appears the little men must be on strike again. What little men you ask? You know, those little men that my younger children think live inside dishwashers. Those handsome little guys who scrub the forks that they put into the rack with gobs of food on them or the knives with a sandwich worth of peanut butter slathered on them. Those crafty little men who know how to use their tools to remove the most stuck on dried on food known to mankind which is still attached to plate. Ya, those men....

Those men who don't exist as an older wiser son is quick to remind his mother after pulling a yucky fork out of the silverware drawer (yes, sometimes they actually DO put this stuff away when they unload the dishwasher amazingly not noticing a problem). This same son quickly admonishes his mother to talk to those younger children about proper dishwasher details.

:::sigh:::

Consistent training is a must, isn't it? Day in and day out. I know there are a few other housekeeping details that need to be addressed, too, as things tend to get a bit sloppy when mom isn't being consistent which tends to happen a lot when life is especially busy. Like now. Yet a few minutes of my time this morning will save me time in the long run and will help my household to run smoother.

Besides, the sooner I deal with the little men issue, the sooner Mr. Nobody may disappear from our house as well.....

May you have a delightful clean dishes day in your garden!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, December 21

Simple Woman's Daybook for December 21


For December 21

Outside my window.....it is snowing a bit amidst gray skies.

I am thinking.....that sometimes my kids handle disappointment better than I do.

I am thankful for.....safe travels on snowy roads.

I am wearing.....my flannel bathrobe over my jammies and fuzzy socks. Seems I'm not moving too quickly yet this morning.

I am hearing.....glorious silence as my husband has headed off to work and all the kids are sleeping in this morning.

I am creating.....a list of all that needs to get done over the next couple of days.

I am going.....to go stocking stuffing shopping sometime the next day or two.

I am only reading.....my devotional in the morning and one at night before bed because there isn't time to do any other reading right now.

I am praying.....for our country believing that no good can come from legislation that is crafted with deals behind closed doors and voted on in the darkness of night while the American people sleep.

I am remembering.....the years of harmonizing Christmas songs sang in church while standing next to my mom.

I am hoping.....that I can stay on task the next couple of days as I'm not feeling very energized at the moment.

On my mind.....is preparing for an event happening in the new year.

From the learning rooms....we are officially *OFF* school this week although the older boys will be working on schooling to catch up on days missed when they helped their Dad work on a job site.

Noticing that....it is finally really winter on this date! No longer can my children tell me they really don't need hats, mittens, scarves - or even their winter coats! - because it's still fall.

Pondering these words....."One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas Day. Don't clean it up too quickly." ~ Andy Rooney

From the kitchen.....we'll be baking cookies, cookies, and perhaps more cookies.

Around the house.....is all our stuff from traveling yesterday which had been dumped in the kitchen upon our late night arrival back home.

One of my favorite things.....is watching my grandchildren KNOW us as they get a bit older! I love those smiles of recognition when we first see them on a visit!

A few plans for the rest of the week....baking cookies, wrapping packages, reading Christmas mail, making a run to the airport, and celebrating the birth of my Savior.

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

This snowman was forgotten in a box for several years along with another larger snowman as they apparently have been lost in our storage until this year. It was a delight to see him again!

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 at Simple Woman's Daybook

Enjoy this day and may you have a truly wonderful merry CHRISTmas!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, December 19

a safe arrival!

As I've been busy buzzing around today, I realized that I forgot to mention something this week....


:::::drumroll:::::


My grandson's Christmas stocking arrived safe and sound to him this year! After getting lost never to be found in last year's December mail, it's such a delight to know that this year's repeat version made it there. The stocking I made this year is basically the exact same one I did last year.

Here's a look at some of the cross-stitching on the name part of the stocking, although I've since noticed from other pictures that I used a different alphabet script for his name on this year's stocking. I don't think he'll mind.

And here's a look at the rest of the stocking with hand quilting along the deer trail. Since I needed to crop this picture for the blog, I see that it isn't as clear as I'd like...sorry about that!

Yes, I realize that a boy with baseball gear and a bunch of deer seem like an odd mix. But, if you knew his daddy, you'd know they are a good blend as his daddy has always loved baseball AND deer hunting. Perhaps my grandson will as well....

Back to your regularly scheduled weekend :-)

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


travel tweaking

On the nineteenth day of December, my true love reminded me....

....of our upcoming schedule.

Our schedule keeps tweaking a bit in the days ahead which certainly keeps life exciting.

Our son's fiance graduates from college tomorrow and yesterday we made the decision that weather permitting we hope to travel there to share in this celebration which also means I have MUCH to get done today!

Our Army son was scheduled to fly home on Wednesday the 23rd, but he called last night with some exciting news which will possibly delay his return home a day or two. He'll have firmer details on Monday and will be able to adjust his flights accordingly when he knows more. I'm certain that changing flights right during the holidays is a cinch and not costly at all, right? :::thud:::

Another son is traveling with his family today and after looking at the current weather map from his home to his destination, I'm thinking he should have tweaked his plans. YIKES! He often seems to be traveling in bad weather which is a great weight loss plan for this mother as pacing keeps me busy until I get the phone call saying they've safely arrived at their destination. (And as a side note....don't all mothers say things like "drive safely" or "drive carefully"? One of my boys once made a comment that it was good that I reminded him of that because he had been planning on driving wildly careening here and there hoping to make record time to where he was going.....)

Around New Year's Day all the older ones will be traveling home for our family Christmas celebration and no doubt the weather will tweak their plans a bit as well as keeping their guardian angels quite busy while they are on the roads.

Fortunately our home schedule tends to be flexible enough for whatever tweaking needs to be done which keeps the falalalalaaaaalalalalaaaaaa in our holidays!

Enjoy your weekend before Christmas and if you're traveling, remember to drive safely!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, December 18

on to a new day

On the eighteenth day of December, my true love assured me....

....today will be better!

Ever have one of those days?

YIKES!

You know, the kind of day where you wished you had never gotten married and had children? The kind of day where it seemed the kids were drawing numbers to see who could argue with you next right up until the time you went to bed? The kind of day where things appeared to be headed in the right direction but repeatedly went the wrong way? The kind of day where every single word you spoke was misinterpreted? One of those terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days?

Ever have one of those days?

THAT was my yesterday.

"Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." ~ Lamentations 3:22-23

Today is a new day! A new song is in my mouth! I'm putting on God's armor to face the moments ahead!

May you be reminded of God's great love and faithfulness in your garden today!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


Thursday, December 17

the toasting of the seeds

On the seventeenth day of December, my true love toasted for me....

....cookie sheets full of pumpkin seeds.

Yes, it may seem like the wrong season to be eating pumpkin seeds since November is long gone. However, Thanksgiving was a bit late on the calendar this year and once it was over there were our garden pumpkins still sitting on the entry porch soon to be solidly frozen.

One by one the pumpkins have been brought into the house and put into a very large bowl so they can thaw. One by one my husband has taken on the project of cutting open the now very soggy pumpkins and pulling out all the seeds to toast in our oven.

Since he hasn't done this before, it has been a process of practice. The first seeds attempted were badly burnt and greatly overly seasoned. The next ones were slightly burnt and heavily seasoned. But the ones in the oven right now have sent a pleasant pumpkin pie scent into the air. It's wonderful to think that perhaps he's figured out the right combinations to produce something everyone in the family will eat. Perfect timing, too, as there's only one pumpkin left on the porch to bring in for thawing.

Instead of snacking on sweet things, we'll be snacking on pumpkin seeds a bit longer. And did you know that pumpkin seeds weren't just a healthy snack, but are actually a helpful natural source for eliminating intestinal parasites and worms? Ya, my kids would all say, "Gross, Mom!", but it's true....hee hee...

Ah yes, may you have wonderful scents floating through the air of your garden!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


Wednesday, December 16

away or a way with writing

On the sixteenth day of December, my true love gave to me....

....a stack of Christmas cards in the pile of mail.

Can anything be better than snail mail this time of the year? I absolutely dance around in my kitchen as we open card after card! Every card, picture, and letter gets puts into a special basket for the family to graze through as they have time. Catching up once a year with many family and friends far away truly is a treasure as I enjoy reading their family letters.

However, a couple of days ago I heard a song of satire written about Christmas letters and it wasn't pretty. At all. And it's causing me to ponder this annual letter a bit more, especially since I'm not in a scramble trying to get cards, letters, and pictures in the mail before Christmas. This year our family is instead sending out a letter AFTER the holidays as we are waiting on all of our family to come together for a family picture which won't happen until perhaps the beginning of the new year.

When I write out our annual letter, I always email the rough draft to the older ones and set out a copy for the younger ones to read and everyone has the opportunity to critique, correct, and cross out before the final letter goes to print. Hopefully that takes out anything in the letter that would be TMI or prideful sounding or depressing or etc.

So tell me....do most people really dislike these letters? Or do you enjoy them? Or is it the writing style that is offensive?

May your garden be flooded with cards and letters that bring a smile to your face!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


Tuesday, December 15

courting adventure

On the fifteenth day of December, my true love said to me....

...."I'm headed to the courthouse!"

In all the years we've lived here, this is the first time he's been summoned to the county courthouse for jury duty. He had to call in late yesterday afternoon to verify that there was still a hearing for today because sometimes cases will settle before the court date. The recording told him to report for duty at 8:30 AM. There are so few details on the paper that he didn't know if he'd need to bring a lunch for the day or how long to expect to be there or anything.

Personally, I think it could be a grand adventure.

And personally, I've been summoned twice but both times was released from the requirement. I think one time I was at the very end of a pregnancy and the other time I had a newborn.

All day I will look forward to his return and hope he did NOT find it to be a yawn worthy experience, but rather an experience that he can spin me a few tales over supper tonight!

Enjoy your day....ten days and counting, but who's counting?!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


Monday, December 14

Simple Woman's Daybook for December 14

For December 14

Outside my window.....it is snowing fluffy snowflakes! The forecast is for three to five inches, but I think we may already have that much on the ground from this snowfall that began during the night.

I am thinking.....that I better get my husband's business bookwork finished up first thing this morning so I can focus on other things that need my attention.

I am thankful for.....a husband who works in all kind of weather.

I am wearing.....my warm favorite sweater and a denim skirt with warm fuzzy socks on my feet.

I am hearing.....my husband shoveling off the porch.

I am creating.....a new list for the week ahead so hopefully I don't forget anything.

I am going.....to print out my master address list as I now realize I had printed out the wedding address list.

I am still trying to read.....Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris, but haven't had much quiet reading time since Thanksgiving.

I am praying.....for work possibilities for my husband during the upcoming winter months.

I am remembering.....the potato buns my mom and grandma always made over the holidays and wondering if the recipe is somewhere in my house?

I am hoping.....that my Christmas shopping is completed by the end of the week AND wouldn't it be wonderful if it was all wrapped by then, too?!

On my mind....is a "bug" someone placed in my ear.

From the learning rooms....we are adding "ing" to words this week as well as doing some lapbook work.

Noticing that....the daylight hours are definitely shortening and I need to fight the urge to want to go to bed immediately after supper!

Pondering these words...."The end of self is the beginning of God."~ A.B. Simpson

From the kitchen....I'm considering some new soup recipes to try.

Around the house.....the living room is still totally discombobulated (isn't that a fun word?!) as the Christmas tree came in later on Saturday and I haven't had a chance to reorganize the furniture yet. The kids are kind of enjoying it all kitty whoompas in there.

One of my favorite things.....is the hearty laughter of friends!

A few plans for the rest of the week....going through the Christmas boxes and decorating the house, a visit to the dentist for the four youngest on Tuesday, a meal together and Bible study on Wednesday, some more online shopping, and baking.

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

We went over the river and through the woods to find the perfect Christmas tree on Saturday at a new tree farm. It was the perfect day to look for a tree and we found one a wonderful one this year. Although it isn't decorated yet, the smell of pine in our living room is divine!

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 at Simple Woman's Daybook

Enjoy this beautiful December day!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, December 12

a tree break

On the twelfth day of December, my true love said to me....

....time to get our Christmas tree!

Can you believe it? The month is flying by and we still haven't gotten our Christmas tree yet! But it looks like we will be experiencing a heat wave over the weekend with high temperatures rising into the 20's, so hopefully we'll be able to take advantage of a couple hour open break one of the afternoons to go to the tree farm and cut a tree!

We haven't even gotten any of our Christmas decorations out of storage yet either. It seems that all the fresh snow has been enough of a reminder that Christmas is indeed coming. But it's time to get merry around here as we pull out all the old familiar ornaments and little decorations.

Much to do today and tomorrow, so I'm off to get busy!

Enjoy your weekend!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, December 11

the calm before the busy

On the eleventh day of December, my true love said to me....

....whoaaaaaa, look at the weekend schedule!

Lots of things going on this upcoming weekend and I wrote out a list early this morning hoping that I won't forget anything important. With each event it seems there's something to wrap or bake or sew or remember to do.

After the list was made out and set nearby for any additions, I snuggled into my rocking chair with a blanket on my lap as I worked on finishing the hand quilting on my grandson's Christmas stocking. The one I made last year and sent with Advent books for him and his sister never arrived in the mail and got lost in the black hole of metropolitan mail. Fortunately I have the pattern for the cross-stitch name part and plenty of the same fabric to fashion his own special stocking. My hope is to finish it by noon so I can UPS it - yes, this time I WILL be able to track its travels! - this afternoon.

As I sat thinking about the day and weekend ahead, I realized how much I really enjoy the quiet of handwork. Having been in a season of quilting and sewing has slowed my pace a bit and given me some quality time to not only ponder, but more importantly to pray. Two hours of a quiet house this morning allowed me to cover a large list of prayer concerns. How thankful my heart is to have this brief moment in time before a busy few days ahead!

Of course, I've also determined that working on aida 18 count cross stitch is no longer something I enjoy as my eyes cannot take those little squares anymore. It's been a real challenge to not only read the pattern, but to cross stitch it as well. Perhaps it's time to thin out all those many many cross stitch books that were my mom's and only keep the few I may attempt someday....on aida 14 count. I will keep her floss stash though as it is one of those priceless collections of just about every single color. What a treasure!

And I've also determined that I thoroughly enjoy hand quilting and would love to spend more time on that in the future. Although I was mighty tempted during the fall quilt festival by all the machine quilting that everyone is doing nowadays, there really is nothing like the look, feel, quaintness, and simplicity of hand stitching. Maybe I can even find someone to help me thread the needles with those little eyes. The best part perhaps is the time taken which forces a person to slow down a bit as they stitch. Yes, that truly a treasure!

However, that time is over as I hear my household waking up out of their warm beds into a house chilled by below zero temperatures. Time to get busy!

May you find some quiet moments of doing things you enjoy within your garden!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, December 10

warm is the word of the day

On the tenth day of December, my true love said to me....

....brrrrrrrrrr, time to bundle up!

It seems like our whole country is cold right now, doesn't it? Subzero temperatures aren't uncommon especially when you factor in wind chill numbers.

Trying to keep our bills down, I'm encouraging the kids to bundle up a bit more as we keep the woodburner going. The sheets on the beds are now all flannel and we're throwing extra blankets on each bed. The curtainless windows on the shady sides of the house are being blanketed, too. I'm thankful for the departing snow clouds as warm sunshine is streaming into the southern windows warming each room. Warming soups are on the menu, also.

And when I think about keeping warm, my mind keeps wandering to the making of quilts that can be used for snuggling....

Do you have any keeping warm tips from your garden? Do share!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, December 9

the school of winter

On the ninth day of December, my true love said to me....

....all the area schools for miles are canceled.

Well, except for us. An added advantage of homeschooling is the ability to work on our schooling during rain, shine, sleet, subzero, or snow. It may be snowing and blowing and chilling outside our windows on this day, but our books can still be opened without skipping a beat. The only thing that could throw us off a bit are the high winds we are experiencing which have a way of knocking out the power if utility lines come down with the trees.

Now to see how the weather develops throughout this winter storm warning day as a decision will have to be made about hosting Bible study tonight.

Off to stoke up the fire in the woodburner as these cold winds have chilled the house enough to make us want to do school in bundles of blankets!

Enjoy this day in your garden whatever the weather!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, December 8

a bonus on the eighth

On the eighth day of December, my true love turned to me....

....and laughed when I told him I believed the weatherman!

Yup, he did laugh out loud and reminded me about how many times the weatherman is ALWAYS wrong! When the weatherman says sunshine, it's clouds. When he says lots of rain, it's drizzle. And when he says lots of snow for later today and tomorrow, it may be only light flurries.

Yup, he did laugh out loud and reminded me that the weatherman has a job where he can ALWAYS make mistakes and still keep his job.

Sounds kind of like my job as a mother. I, too, can ALWAYS make mistakes and still keep my job. God's love and grace is sufficient to cover me like a warm fuzzy blanket and it allows my kids to keep loving their mom. Of course, making chocolate chips cookies and allowing them to stay up late now and then are bonuses that help my job security.

Now, if only God would provide the weatherman with the bonus of a big snowstorm....

Enjoy this day in your garden whether there's snow falling or not!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, December 7

Simple Woman's Daybook for December 7

For December 7

Outside my window.....
the skies are a bit cloudy and the temperatures are in the teens.

I am thinking.....there's several things I need to get at early this week which will make the entire month more manageable.

I am thankful for.....God providing just as we have needs to be met.

I am wearing.....a long sleeved white shirt with a sweater over (see below) and a denim skirt.

I am hearing.....the snowplow going down our road as it clears away all the snow flurries of the weekend.

I am creating.....my shopping list for our special holiday treats baking that I'll start this week.

I am going.....to hopefully travel to a neighboring town to do a little shopping this afternoon with a couple of my girls.

I am still reading.....Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris.

I am praying.....for different friends who had experienced loss of family over the past year as I feel the familiar ache in my own heart during this month.

I am remembering.....that everything that needs to get done always gets done and if it doesn't get done it didn't really need to get done. Clear as mud?! LOL!

I am hoping.....that we really get the snowfall predicted for midweek!

On my mind....is a son who will be transitioning in the next couple of weeks.

From the learning rooms....we have been working hard and I'm loving listening to my littlest read words and smile when she properly sounds out a new hard word.

Noticing that....the more I fight this hormone roller coaster during this season of life, the worse my attitude becomes. I do much better emotionally and mentally when I let go and go with the flow (in a manner of speaking).....

Pondering these words...."Every saint can have his body under absolute control for God. God has made us to have government over all the temple of the Holy Spirit, over imaginations and affections. We are responsible for these, and we must never give way to inordinate affections. Most of us are much sterner with others than we are in regard to ourselves; we make excuses for things in ourselves whilst we condemn in others things to which we are not naturally inclined." ~ Oswald Chambers

From the kitchen....will be a batch of plain ol' chocolate chip cookies today.

Around the house.....there's things that still need to be put away from my cleaning out the mudroom project of yesterday.

One of my favorite things.....is snow flurries in December!

A few plans for the rest of the week....the children's Christmas program practice at church tonight, Bible study, some online shopping, Christmas stocking stitching, and adjusting a couple of Christmas program costumes.

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


When we were going through a box of clothes from my oldest daughter which her next sister down can finally wear, we found that most of the clothing was quite outdated or things this daughter didn't really like. In the box was this old LL Bean sweater which I don't recall my oldest daughter ever wearing and which was most likely a hand-me-down from someone else. As it was thrown into the castaway pile, I tried it on and loved it! It's baggy, but warm. It's nubby, but comfortable. And it's my favorite thing to wear now :-)

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 at Simple Woman's Daybook

Enjoy this December day!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, December 5

the icing

On the fifth day of December my true love exclaimed to me....

....there's ice on the lake now!

Ohhh, it's a thin layer of ice, but with low temperatures in the teens the ice should continue to form nicely.

My girls have been beside themselves waiting and waiting and waiting for the weather to finally get cold enough for ice on the lake. And during that waiting there have been many spins and glides across the kitchen floor in preparation for all the things they want to attempt this winter on the real ice.

Is there a special activity you enjoy when the winter weather finally settles in?

May your weekend be one of doing your favorite things!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, December 4

starts with a smile

On the fourth day of December, my true love shared with me....

....our annual first Christmas card of the season.

And it didn't even come in the mail!

No, it is always found the week after Thanksgiving when one of the menfolk rolls the garbage disposal container from the end of the driveway back to the garage. The card is from our "sanitary engineer" better known as the garbageman around here.

What made me smile this year was his signature below the print of the card:

"Starts with a smile" and his name

Isn't that a neat way to be greeted at the beginning of the holiday season which perhaps helps nudge you to a better and happier attitude?

We also received our first Christmas card in the mail yesterday, too, from an extended family couple who are usually early senders.

Add to that light snow flurries this week, sending out the Christmas gift idea list to everyone, and pondering getting the Christmas decorations down this coming weekend. And I can't forget listening to my littlest work on her solo verse for the Christmas program as her sweet little girl voice sings about kneeling at the manger.

I think we may be smiling a bit more now!

What's making you smile in your garden today?

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


Thursday, December 3

the land of Z

On the third day of December, my true love said to me....

....."Time to get up, Hon!"

The days are definitely shortening and the chance of snow flurries in the passing clouds seems to darken the indoors even more on a daily basis lately. Having hormones in a constant state of flux takes my energy to new levels of low. Throw in a calendar that is overflowing and this wanna be type A mama heads to new levels of Z.

Zzzzzzzzzzzz Zzzzzzzzzzz Zzzzzzzzzzzzz!

"Time to get up, Hon!"

It's not that I don't wake up early. I do.

It's not that I don't hear my husband get up and grind his coffee beans. I do.

It's not that I don't hear the dog paw on the door to come back indoors. I do.

It's not that I don't think about all I have to do on the day ahead. I do.

I do for a moment, then I close my eyes and doze back into a land of weird strange dreams.

Zzzzzzzzzzz Zzzzzzzzzzz Zzzzzzzzzzzz!

Hopefully I won't sleep through Christmas!

What letter of the alphabet would describe your garden days right now?

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, December 2

drying on the second

On the second day of December, my true love gave to me....

....a visit from the appliance repairman.

At least I *hope* he'll be stopping by today!

A week ago today my boys returned from their first part of the hunting season and emptied out the clothes they had worn into the hampers. Fortunately there weren't many since deer are very unhappy sniffing out clean hunters and my hunters didn't want to take any chances with particular deer. After Thanksgiving, they left to spend a couple more days hunting and their second return meant emptying out all of their clothes into the hamper. Still not bad.

But during this time period I didn't do much regular laundry at all since family from afar had arrived and we were all busy eating and chatting and laughing and playing and lounging.

After the last of family had headed home on Monday afternoon, we stripped the sheets off the beds and I quietly tiptoed into the laundry area. Actually, I didn't need to tiptoe at all because the mountainous piles of laundry deafened any sound I would make!

One load of laundry washed and thrown into the dryer with the second load washing. When it was time to switch the load, alas! Everything in the dryer felt cold and wet. Thinking perhaps that I hadn't really turned it on the first time? or someone had opened the dryer right after I had started it and didn't turn it back on? or the setting wasn't locked in?....I then made sure everything was right and started the dryer again. Fifteen minutes later I rechecked the clothes in the dryer and had the same verdict. Cold and wet.

:::sigh:::

The heater unit is perhaps done. Period.

And the repairman couldn't come until *maybe* today.

Soooooo, in the meantime, I found a bunch of hangers and hung up what I could in our woodroom to dry and by the vent where the heat rises to the upstairs. I also found a nice clothesline in the laundry area, grabbed the bucket of clothespins, and strung the line through the laundry area by tying one end on the staircase railing and the other end on a plumbing pipe. Two loads of wet laundry were hung throughout the house to dry.

Without realizing it, I had a couple bonuses happen with this mishap. All this drying laundry put much needed moisture into our house as the woodburner makes our air extremely dry. I also saved the cost of running the dryer for two loads that day and have done another couple of loads since then. It has required taking the time more immediately to do some ironing, but that is a bonus as well as I needed some quiet time to ponder the days ahead.

Perhaps in the days ahead I'll continue to use this method. Well, except for towels. I really have never been a fan of stiff air dried towels. But everything else would be fine, eh?

On this second day of December, have you found unusual ways to save some money?

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, December 1

on the first day

On the first day of December, my true love gave to me....

....no sense of panic.

Ya, that always comes later in the month.

HA!

Or later today when I get around to flipping all my calendars.

HA HA!

Actually, right at this moment I do have a sense of calm.

One huge item which is a tremendous time soaker throughout the month of December is Christmas cards. Buying them, signing them, addressing them, writing the annual letter, taking the family picture, printing the family picture, and then sending them. And I've crossed that off my list for December.

I can already hear the gasps from those I know!

Do not fear for it has instead been added to my January list.

For you see, this annual tradition is quite important to me because it does connect me with friends and family once a year. However, this year we have no family picture and I cannot send cards without that primary item. Our family picture will be taken AFTER Christmas as we anticipate our son in the army being home for ten days over the holidays. Our family Christmas celebration will take place closer to New Year's Day this year.

So, instead of Christmas cards going out in December, a family new year's letter will go out in January complete with a family picture.

Whew!

Yes, I can still putter around on the family letter throughout the month, and yes, I can still address envelopes throughout the month, but the bulk will be done in January when the pressure around me is much much less.

On this first day of December, are you thinking of ways to make your holidays a bit easier this year?

Enjoy this day!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~
Blog Widget by LinkWithin