Wednesday, June 30

the garden helper

One of the wonderful blessings of watching my grandchildren for a few days was being able to walk a couple of blocks away to the home of the pastor and wife of the church where my son's family attends.  
Their home is on one of those narrow city blocks of tightly nestled beautiful old homes, but when you slip through the back gate you are welcomed into a beautiful little green flowered area which leads to another little opening.
Once through that opening you'll find a small sandbox area on one side where the kids played for a bit in the shade and a small vegetable garden on the other side which my daughter-in-law has been blessed to plant.

Unfortunately the combination of a heavy rainy weather pattern and a shady plot has not been beneficial to the little garden this summer.  The vegetables that have been successfully grown over the past couple of years have been either washed out or too water logged to survive.  As a gardener, my heart was sad to see the state of the garden.  And yet, the carrot rows were still hanging in there.
And even more amazing was that the tomato plants were doing quite well.  Not only have they had to battle the extreme rains, but they only get a brief time in complete sun when the sun is at a particular point in the sky and can peek over the fence and underneath the boughs of a large tree that tends to cover the garden.  The leaves are a little yellowed from the excess moisture, but I do think that there will be a wonderful blessing of tomatoes in the days ahead.  

Life feels a bit like that for me right now.  There have been plenty of rainy times over the past few months and a storm passing through last night threatened to wash out everything, yet a spot of green growth could be seen which has the hope of growing into a wonderful blessing in the days ahead.  But it will take a lot of Sonshine and some strong fertilization of God's Word.  Fortunately both are readily available!

May your garden have a good balance of rain and sunshine....if not, you know Who has the help you need!  Jesus IS the BEST gardener!

Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, June 29

"You learn something every day if you pay attention." ~ Ray LeBlond

So often moms - especially homeschool moms - feel they always need to be teaching their children something. It's ALL about learning!  BUT even moms can learn something new each day, right?  

So what's something new you've learned about lately?  *IF* you share it, then we can all learn.....if we're paying attention, that is!

Tammy ~@~

Monday, June 28

a grain stop

Having gotten up early this morning to travel through city traffic for a couple of hours, it was nice to finally drive in less traffic and much easier to pull on and off for a gas station stop.  Although this wasn't the first time I've stopped at this place for gas on my travels, they didn't have this special addition the last time we stopped here a few years ago.
A petting zoo.  Nothing too extravagant plus the animals had just been fed when we walked through the area so they weren't very interested in us, but still fun to see some critters we typically don't see much of around home. 
One of my daughters quickly spent a quarter or two for a grain mix to feed to the animals....
.....while my littlest seemed to prefer to watch from a distance and gave up her handful of grain to her older sister because she decided she didn't want those animals licking her hands!

Ahhhhh, yes, it was a nice break for the girls during a long ride and a good opportunity for me to get out of the car to stretch my legs and wake up a bit!

May your summer trips have unexpected and fun breaks, too!

Tammy ~@~

Saturday, June 26

smile language

Everyone smiles in the same language.  ~ Author Unknown
One thing we've been doing every day since I arrived to babysit for the grands is to take a walk to the park a few blocks away.  Once there we are intermingling with kids and parents of every color, size, shape, and language.  As a people watcher, I find the park a very fascinating place and I think I have as much fun as the kids do.  They enjoy the swinging, sliding, spinning, climbing, jumping, running while I enjoy the smiling.  Smiling at the children who so easily smile back and chatter with me. Smiling at the parents who are there to unwind on the benches from the cares of a world that doesn't smile much. It's amazing how when you keep smiling a door opens and pretty soon they smile back as you engage in general conversation.  

I like to carry that smile down the sidewalks with us as we walk around the blocks or hike all the way to the grocery store.  And sometimes I will surprise these serious looking city folk with a "hello!" added to my smile.  Yes, I love the challenge of smiling to watch others smile back because a smile truly is in a language everyone can understand!

But in my heart I wonder how they'd react if I'd smile and say...."Smile!  Jesus loves you!"

Maybe I should try it.....

Tammy ~@~

Friday, June 25

no wonder

Leaving early in the morning from our home in the woods to arrive in the afternoon at an apartment in a big city, besides a couple of short stops for a mom who was drinking coffee, there were also a couple of short stops at toll booths.  One of my daughters commented that she loved stopping at toll booths and then had no specific reason why she loved doing that.  While I was puzzling over her comment, she asked me why there even were toll booths.  Easy maintain the roads so that we would have good roads to travel on....all said while we traveled on the worst stretch of road of our entire trip!  No wonder kids have a hard time believing what their parents tell them sometimes, eh?!  LOL!

May your day be spent NOT puzzling over things that will never make sense!

Tammy ~@~

Thursday, June 24

the pink of seven

It seemed like a simple task to ask an older brother to do yesterday while he was out shopping....."pick up a bag of balloons and please make sure there's some pink colored ones in the mix."  He brought home a bag of only pink balloons and we belly laughed as we blew them up because they were sooooo huge and his little sister could almost totally hide behind them!  
Happy birthday to my littlest sweetest youngest daughter!  My, oh my, but those seven years have flown by!

Enjoy the birthdays that pass through your garden!

Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, June 23

storms or pickles

Since my husband had a meeting at church last night, I was the designated parent to travel with my youngest son to his away game.  An away game which turned into a double header to add a make-up game that had been rained out which meant we had to be on the road by 4 PM which was fifteen minutes after I got home from traveling home from the pregnancy center.  An away game that was in upper 80 degree weather sitting on a bleachers in the bright sun of a blue sky day.  
As I sat and watched him way out in the outfield, I realized that this could be his last year of baseball as he has hit the highest bracket of community baseball for youth his age.  It was kind of sad to think that all the time spendt watching my five boys (and my oldest daughter) playing baseball off and on through the years was coming to an end as baseball had been a family tradition that began the moment my husband and I met on a baseball field.

I smiled as a gaggle of little boys who had just finished up their little league games with their baseball gloved hands walked behind the bleachers talking about playing "pickle" and soon were avidly playing and laughing and sweating like crazy.  Then I witnessed my own son playing pickle as he made a move from third base to home.  YIKES!  WHAT was he thinking?....only to find out later that this was one of their *plays* that the coaches signal them to do but unfortunately the guy at bat missed his bunt which caused a very very close pickle which my son managed to remain safe at the end of the play.  Whew!
As the second game rolled on, the dark clouds began slowly rolling in across the sky behind the baseball fields.  It looked like rain would eventually be coming our way during the night.  Having a much better second game than first game, the crowd was watching the game much closer as the clouds discretely continued getting darker and bigger.  
And all would have been fine - at least back in the olden days - until modern technology interrupted with the use of cell phones which have weather radar tracking to tell us what was happening at 10 PM when the game finished.  An ominous red cell prompting tornado warnings to the counties northwest of us was headed our direction at about 25 mph.  We jumped into our car skipping a stop in town for some real food and quickly scurried home.  Once in the driveway and confirming it on TV, it appeared that the storm had diminished and passed north of us.  Whew!

Yet around 4 AM this morning a strong storm woke our household up with bright lightning, loud thunder, strong winds, and pouring rain.  Our power went out returning a few hours later.  The garden shows the effects with some flattened plants which will hopefully bounce back and there's also branches are down in the yard.

You know, some storms in our lives can be watched slowly coming on the horizon as we wonder when and how bad they will be once they do arrive.  It's always nice when our concerns are later diminished as we've prepared our hearts and minds for whatever may come.  But some storms come upon us suddenly for which we cannot prepare.  We look at the damage and know that only the Lord can fix things.  Storms and the fear that can come with them.

I'm am so thankful to know the Lord is with me whether the storms of life come slowly or quickly.  He promises to never leave me nor forsake me and is faithfully watchful over my life, even during the times when I get caught in a "pickle".  Knowing this gives me great peace.....

May you know this peace in your garden, too!

Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, June 22

ready for wherever

"The real business of your life as a saved soul is intercessory prayer.  Wherever God puts you in circumstances, pray immediately, pray that His atonement may be realized in other lives as it has been in yours.  Pray for your friends now; pray for those with whom you come in contact now." ~ Oswald Chambers

As I read this section this morning, I thought of how perfect it was for my day ahead.  Shortly I'll be traveling to the pregnancy center for a volunteer shift and as always have no idea what may lie ahead for me there today.  The scenarios presented are never the same and cannot be predicted when working with a variety of dynamics.  There is only ONE way to be prepared as you walk through those doors and that is with a covering of PRAYER.

But wait a minute!  I don't think Mr.Chambers was ONLY writing this for those who worked in certain areas of ministry.  He was writing this to ALL who believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior which would include moms.  

We need to pray....for our families, for our friends, for our neighbors, for whoever may cross our paths on this day. We need to pray NOW.   When you are willing to be a regular intercessory praying mom, your heart and mind are open to wherever God leads you.  He'll give you the words when opportunities are available to share about your faith.  It could come through a phone call, someone who knocks on your door, or helping someone at the grocery store.  

YOU as a mom can be part of God's great adventure of reaching the world for Him!  What are you waiting for?  Starting praying NOW and keep your heart open to His leading.

Have a great day! 

Tammy ~@~

Monday, June 21

Simple Woman's Daybook for June 21

 For today June 21

Outside my window.....the skies are blue with patchy clouds as it looks to be a beautiful day to mark the first day of summer.

I am thinking....about all the spots in the house I want to sort through before my garage sale.

I am thankful.....for technology and the brief emails from a son who is in a dangerous part of the world. I can't imagine how difficult it had to have been for parents with children serving in the military years ago with such limited contact.  

I am denim capris and a t-shirt.

I am hearing.....the sound of fireworks in the late evenings as people apparently can't wait for the fourth of July!

I am creating.....a *care package* for a son and trying to figure out the customs form that is required to go with it.  Do they really want me to list out how many oatmeal cream pies I'm sending, how much they weigh, and their value (which would be priceless to the son receiving them)? 
I am send back the boys' set of schooling DVDs today.

I am reading.....Don't Waste Your Life by John Piper
I am praying.....for work projects calls to continue coming in for my husband.
I am remembering.....days with my oldest daughter when she was little as I watch and listen to her sweet little daughter. There's so many deja vu kind of moments that happen and bring back memories.

I am hoping.....that this silly blister that I got over our wedding weekend is finally healed enough that I can get back to walking without rubbing it raw again.

On my the antibiotic I'm on for my tooth abscess and the side effects I'm having from its harshness to my entire digestive system.  Wondering if perhaps I should make some phone calls today and switch it?
From the learning rooms....there are a couple of children still finishing up and will need to stay on a schooling type schedule for a while longer.

Noticing that....that my wild rose plant is about to bloom.

Pondering these words....."The disproportion between us and the universe is a parable about the disproportion between us and God.  And it is an understatement.  But the point is not to nullify us but to glorify him. " ~ John Piper (I love this quote!  We live in a culture that wants to put God at our level instead of recognizing how awesome and mighty and infinite and, well, the list could go on and on when you consider God....yet He loves me a little speck in the enormity!  How can I not want to bring glory to His name?)

From the kitchen.....there's the need to give my fridge a good cleaning out!

Around the house....are many little messes as I'm sorting things all over the house and leaving little piles as I put things where they need to go. 

One of my favorite keeping windows open day and night.

A few plans for the rest of the week.....are saying good-bye to my daughter, granddaughter, and pooch sometime today;  heading to the pregnancy resource center tomorrow for volunteer work and catching a son's baseball game; a birthday for my youngest midweek; and traveling later in the week to babysit for my grands.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you....
A good reminder for the summer days ahead....beeeeee happy!

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

Enjoy this June day!

Tammy ~@~ 

Saturday, June 19

the clash of wills

My writing begun early this morning was interrupted and my train of thought evidently left the station because I can't seem to pick it back up now as my afternoon is scurrying past.  So how about a quick quote to think about this weekend instead?

"Frustration is not the will of God.  There is time to do anything and everything God wants us to do." ~ Elisabeth Elliot

Hmmmm, I'm guessing that my frustration some days comes from a clash between what I want to do and what God wants me to do.

How about you?

Tammy ~@~

Friday, June 18

call dad

My husband had an interesting phone call first thing yesterday morning.  Someone had found a cell phone on the ground and called the number saved that made the most  We hadn't heard of a lost cell phone in the family, so an email went out to all of them and the one who had lost it replied that they had already made the contact to get the phone back.

How thankful I am that there are still honest people out there who so willingly do the right thing. This situation also reminded me of all the times I pray for God's protection over my children and the interesting ways He answers.  It's a good reminder of how faithfully God does care for all the little details of our life and the lives of those we love.

It was also nice to know someone automatically called dad.  Dads tend to be reliable sources of information and easily accessible.  Kind of reminds me of our Heavenly Father.  You can call Him whenever you want night or day as He's easily accessible.  He is a reliable source of information for living and will point you to where to find your answers.  Always loving, yet a firm disciplinarian when necessary, especially during those times we *think* we are getting away with something.  Unlike our earthly fathers, this Father does see everything and knows every little detail about us and that will never change His enormous abundant love for us.  He is the King and I'm delighted to be His princess!

So, what's stopping you?  Pick up the phone and call your Father on His heavenly line.  No need for voice mail as He'll pick up on the first ring!

Tammy ~@~

Thursday, June 17

the early scents

Took a moment to walk through our wet knee high grass to pick my first peony and first rose.  
The white peonies aren't as scented as the pink ones about to open, but that light pink rose.  Ohhhh, that rose!  I put it in a vase in my bathroom and my girls regularly visit it for a sniff or two.
It ranks right up there with my most favorite scent that came a few weeks earlier....lily of the valley!  I wish they lasted longer, but they come and go so quickly I hardly get but a sniff or two.  

What's scenting up your garden today?

Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, June 16

testing tastebuds

A nice thing about summer is having a bit more time to visit some of my fellow bloggers and to actually have the time to try things found on their blogs or to follow their links leading me to good and interesting places.

Some recent discoveries were Randi's yummy popsicles that she and her daughter had made and which we made yesterday.  
You can see by the smile that they were a success here!  Of course, the hardest part of making these wasn't gathering the ingredients, but finding my Tupperware popsicle makers which I had put away in a place I would remember (ever do that?!) at the end of last summer.  We're looking forward to trying other fruits and will probably try vanilla yogurt in future pops.

Another thing I tried yesterday was Tracy's Green Monster drink that she posted about recently.  Since I didn't remember to take a picture, you'll have to check out hers - she is a wonderful photographer - and know that even if the drink may look a little too green for you, it really doesn't taste green at all.  In fact, Tracy's version has chocolate in it....hee hee.  I also followed the link where there was a listing of several yummy variations of this green drink.  I'm hoping this drink will give me more energy.  And if you live locally, no excuses for not trying this easy to make drink as spinach is currently on sale at a local grocery store.  I can't wait to use my fresh garden spinach!

And thinking of food and drink, yesterday while cleaning I ran across my box filled with recipes that I had clipped out of here and there and everywhere.  It does seem best that I begin trying these recipes or else toss them out.  As much as I enjoy finding recipes online, the reality is I have to print them out.  How much easier it would be to try recipes that are already printed out for me, right?  Hold me accountable, okay?

Off to get busy indoors again so *if* this rainy gloomy gray weather actually does move out of here I can fully enjoy the outdoors!  

Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, June 15

accommodating seasons

My mind was led back to the early baby days.  Bringing home a newborn baby and adjusting to those frequent wake-ups of a hungry newborn.  At first it's quite do-able as you can't get enough of looking at that sweet baby face even in the dark, but after a few weeks a tired young mom begins to long for sleep and there's a little more spirited fight within - which may be accompanied with a whine or grumble - to take care of this necessity of motherhood.  That is soon followed by the stage of trying to figure out what you can do to get the baby to sleep longer at night so you can get some sleep, too.  Maybe if you watch their daytime naps closer and keep them short or keep them awake later or change your diet or add some white noise or the list goes on.  After trying a variety of things which have not made a dent in this baby's schedule, you finally give in and realize this is life with a baby.  Time to accommodate this schedule with things to make life easier like closing the bedroom door around the 4 AM feeding so when this baby finally settles into a good early morning sleep you won't be woken up by other children getting up and remembering to set down bowls and cereal boxes so they can eat without your help.  Or not staying up late to finish up this or that but instead going to bed when the baby goes to bed.  Or keeping a water bottle and a snack nearby so thirst and hunger aren't nagging during the night.  Once the schedule has been supported a bit, it seems that you actually get used to sleep deprivation and life goes smoother.

Deja vu.....the feeling that one has seen or heard something before 

My mind was led to today.  No baby schedule to attempt to figure out, instead a body headed into menopause.  At first the waking up off and on all night is do-able since it's new and you aren't certain how long it will last or exactly what else will be ahead and you realize that there are some benefits to this new season of life.  But after a few weeks of interrupted sleep accompanied by hot and cold episodes and daytime fuzzy brainedness, a tired older mom begins to long for sleep and there's a little more spirited fight within - which may be accompanied with a whine or grumble - to take care of this normal passage of womanhood.  That is soon followed by the stage of trying to figure out what you can do to get your body to sleep longer and better at night.  Exercise during the day, cut back on coffee sipping ending by noon, plenty of water, a little bit of soy added into the diet, perhaps a supplement or two.  After trying a variety of things which have not made a dent in your body's symptoms, you finally give in and realize this is life with a menopausal body.  Time to accommodate this schedule with things to make life easier.  Going to bed earlier to capture the best sleep of the night.  Or praying for loved ones while you wait for the hot to change to cold.  Or eating a light snack before bed and keeping a cold water bottle nearby for the ups and downs of the night.  Once the schedule has been supported a bit, it seems that you actually get used to sleep deprivation and life goes smoother.

Yup, if you can't fight it, you might as well join it in the best manner you can come up with for the season of life you are currently living.
Funny, but I was recently reading on my doula email list about the things that doulas keep in their labor bag and one suggestion was a hand held paper fan for when a laboring mom hits that 'hot' time.  As I was thinking about what a great idea that was for a new mom, I suddenly realized it was also a great idea for an old mom, too, and picked up a pack of four hand held paper fans from the dollar store.  

May you find ways to accommodate life in your garden no matter what season you are in because a contented mom is a very good thing!

Tammy ~@~

Monday, June 14

an ice cream treat

At the beginning of the month, I was assigned an easy job for our church's women's gathering - being part of the treat team.  My task was some cookie baking and making up a special dessert from an online recipe.  Since the recipe was easy to make and perfect for the summer months, I thought I'd share it here.  I'm not sure what it's official name is, but it comes from Taste of Home and I'm calling it.....

Lemonade Dessert

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup cold butter, cubed
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream, softened
1 can (12 ounces) frozen pink lemonade concentrate, thawed

In a small bowl, combine the flour and brown sugar;  cut in butter until crumbly.  Stir in pecans.  Spread in a single layer into a greased 15-in by 10-in by 1-in baking pan.  Bake at 375 degrees for 9 - 12 minutes or until golden brown, stirring once during the baking time.  Cool for about ten minutes.

In a large bowl, beat ice cream and lemonade until blended.  Sprinkle half of the crumbles into a greased 13-in by 9-in dish.  Spread with ice cream mixture; sprinkle with remaining crumbles.  Cover and freeze overnight.  Remove from the freezer about ten minutes before serving.  Depending upon how big you cut the pieces, it'll serve about 12 - 16.  Yummy!

The next time I make this, I think I'd like to try it with a can of frozen limeade as that would taste good on a hot day, too!


Tammy  ~@~

Saturday, June 12


While sitting here doing my devotions, I heard a vehicle come up our gravel driveway.  I knew my husband was at church cooking breakfast for the men's gathering, so I had no idea who would be stopping by so early on a Saturday morning.  

Walking into our kitchen, I noticed both dogs silently looking out the kitchen door as they watched the vehicle park by the big work garage (and if you know our dogs, you know it's odd for those two to be quiet whenever anyone comes to our house).  I opened the door for them and they stood on the porch rapidly wagging their tails until the person got out of their vehicle.  Then they happily sprinted across the wide driveway to greet my brother-in-law as he was walking toward the business office.  

He saw them coming and immediately stopped to spend a few minutes to talk to them while he petted and gruffed their fur amidst the tail wagging.  After their time of greeting, he went into the office and the dogs slowly wandered back to the porch pawing on the door to come back in.  

It made me pause for a moment and consider greetability (okay, looks like I've once again made up a new word!).  Some people obviously have it as shown by my dogs who know this person cares about them and will take a few moments to make them smile.  Are there people in your life who make you smile when you see them coming toward you?  People who you know care about you and will take a few minutes of time to greet you?

This time of the year is when I can notice it even more as we have such an influx of tourists and snowbirds who are back for the summer.  When I run my errands it's often typical not to see anyone I know in the busy local stores.  And then....and then I see a familiar face and both of us break out in smiles as we take a few minutes to greet one another.  But it's important to take that greetability a step further as I often see shoppers lost within the grocery store as they try to find things for their weekend excursion.  It's not that difficult to stop for a moment, smile, and then ask them if they need some help finding items (and no, the grocery store doesn't pay me a commission).  That happened again recently when I made a quick stop at the Walgreens to pick up one little thing on my way home from the post office.  An older woman looked lost and I asked if I could help her.  She had been scouring the shelves for Pez refills for her grandchildren who were coming for a visit.  It just took me a few minutes to walk up and down the aisles and find them tucked away not even close to the Pez dispensers.  She beamed as I handed them to her.  Such a small thing, yet such a big thing.

Being approachable.  Having greetability.  Do you have it?   Do those who don't know you recognize it?  Do those who do know you approach you with their tails wagging a smile and perhaps a hug?

Show a little of God's love today in your garden with a little greetability to others!

Tammy ~@~


Friday, June 11

the rain of school

A simple blink and the month of May disappeared.  A week of family home early in the month, two weddings with our own family wedding at the end of the month making it three weddings in one month, planting the garden and flowers, transcripting and a college application, and the daily routine of eating, sleeping, and living.

See anything missing in that paragraph?

Um, schooling.  Homeschooling, as a matter of fact.  Not totally missing, mind you, but it went on cruise control as four of the students were pretty much *working* on their own with my attention only briefly on the fifth as she still needs me as her full time teacher.  Even with cruise control on, the eventual follow-up should have been easy since I had scheduled our schooling to end the middle of May. 

After spending last week with my daughter-in-law and grands here, this week was the "let's take a look at our schooling" week and God graciously accommodated me with a cloudy rainy cool weather week which took away any desire to want to be outside (and yes, the truth around here is that the TEACHER has the hardest time staying inside once the calendar turns to June!).  

It was easy to quickly evaluate where everyone was with their schooling.  The first grader only has a few spelling tests left which isn't bad since I didn't start that book until she was reading well so she's actually well ahead of the plan and easily takes a test or two a week.  She also loves to read a bit every day which is also good because I love to hear her read and give her a hug and a kiss for every hard word (can a mother over-encourage?).  With the fifth grader, I've discovered she's taken the skip through her days approach only stopping here and there to stop and pick a daisy.  In other words, she's been sitting and doing school when told, but picking and choosing what she wants to do and leaving the rest.  She's been put on a summer school schedule which will have her sitting and working each morning completing each area with mom correcting before lunchtime until all her studies are completed (and yes, there were tears on her part and my part at the end of her evaluation). My diligent eighth grader is the shining student as her work was all completed and has kept my red pen busy writing okay on page after page.  She should get the applause today as the last chart is marked and she officially moves into high school (can you believe my girls are hitting high school already?)  The boys in high school both have some subjects completed for the year, but the least favorite subjects are lagging.  They've both been working exceptionally hard this week spending their days and evenings tackling the books which was only made possible by the rain eliminating the need to work with Dad (which did interrupt some of their May schooling) and baseball games getting canceled. 

So, yes, we needed a rainy week to help ease the severe drought our area has been experiencing, but we also needed this rainy week to help ease our school year to an end.  There has been success on both accounts and for that I am very thankful!

As the thunder rumbles here, I'm off to one last day of schooling for this week and am actually looking forward to it.  Soon we will be all done :-)

May good things rain in your garden!

Tammy ~@~

Thursday, June 10


The daily flow of life around my household tends to be a steady busyness no matter what the day or season.  There isn't a lot of sitting still time for myself as there are plenty of things to keep myself immersed in doing.  Like yesterday when I was working on school corrections with a couple of my kids when the phone rang and my husband asked if I had heard the news....

Jumping online, I quickly saw the report. Four soldiers died when a NATO helicopter was shot down.  This followed Monday's loss of ten soldiers.  The article noted the statement by Secretary Gates:   "We do expect a high level of violence, particularly this summer because we are going into places where the Taliban has basically been in control for two years or more. We do expect this to be a very tough summer."  His statement was followed by a remark made by Pentagon Spokesman Bryan Whitman shortly after the incident:  "It's been a tough week. The level of activity is high... and the opportunities for hostile contact have gone up."

And in the midst of busyness, my breath was caught for a moment.   The human emotion that comes with a mother's heart cannot be denied as life pauses for a second.  

Just as quickly the thought and the emotion that came with it was taken captive and given to Jesus.  I know that I cannot dwell on what takes place in the world, especially when it could involve a son who is in unknown locations.  I can only keep my heart in the place of peace that Jesus offers.  That peace stays constant knowing Jesus is faithful as I pray not only for my son's physical safety, but for God's protection for his emotional and mental safety.   My prayers for him are not just when I rise in the morning or when I go to bed at night, but whenever his name is whispered to my heart as I pray to a God who knows exactly where he is and can protect him mightily. Those prayers go quickly from my heart and are released to Jesus which allow me to keep moving through my busy days without worry.  It also gives me great peace knowing the rest of my family prays for him in the same manner.  

As my heart calms, it takes the next step by praying for the families who will receive news that will take longer than a moment to absorb and come to terms with as they lose a loved one.  May God give them His peace.

So, if you ask me how I'm doing, I'll say fine and mean it.  Really.   

This seems like a fitting way to end and would be my hope for all of you who have something happening in your life causing you distress, restlessness and worry:   "Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you." ~ Second Thessalonians 3:16  

Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, June 9

an improved dog's life

After noting the sad condition of our dog's thick furry coat which tends to be the standard for her all summer long as she's frolicking in and out of the lake water, rolling in the sandy soil, and developing snarls galore which take forever to comb out, it was definitely time to take action.
We wanted to take our pretty golden retriever/labrador mix and turn her fur into something more summer manageable and comfortable for her and us.
Even her pretty back end with the waggly tail needed some help as she disliked having that fine tangling fur combed out.

Knowing that it would be costly to take her in to a dog groomer, my oldest son  began looking online for pictures and descriptions about trimming up golden retrievers as a possible option.  We developed a plan and out the door we went to call her to the porch.

It didn't take long to realize that the regular hair clippers that we had would NOT work on her long thick hair. We thought perhaps the clippers blades were too dull so we used the new hair clipper that we had bought to replace the old hair clipper which we didn't think we'd want to use again after using them on the dog.  Nope, the new one was not successful either.  On to the other plan.  Scissors clipping.
It took much longer than we expected, but she held so nice and still like a very good dog while two of us scissored away.
In the end we had quite a pile of fur left on the porch.  The birds should be happy to have this fluffy fur for their nests.
I'm guessing a dog groomer would cut her fur much shorter, more evenly, and she'd look more like a labrador like her mother, but at least her long tangling fur is gone and she should stay happier and cooler throughout the summer months with her new fluffy cut which contributed to nicknaming her Baaaa. 
You'll notice we kept her waggly happy tail long :-)

Here's to a new and improved dog's summer life!

Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, June 8

really? a dog's life?

What can I say?  Sometimes it's a dog's life, you know?
And despite how awful this picture looks of our dear pooch Muffa, she is actually quite happy.  Her day was spent running and swimming and rolling and eating snacks as she followed toddlers.  Once we all settled into lawn chairs around the campfire at the end of a beautiful day, she collapsed into a wonderful contented nap.  However, seeing her in this messy condition prompted us into action.....

Stay tuned!

Tammy ~@~

the fritter urge

Welcome back from the summer mini blogging break enforced by Blogger!  It was actually kind of nice as I found myself puttering around doing odds and ends around the house instead of vegging on the computer which tends to be my preferred activity when finally having an open free day after a rather busy time.  

May came and went with a swoosh!  June is threatening to do the same thing. Since I annually have a way of frittering away this month as we leave our normal routine of schooling and head into the freedom of summer activities, I am determined NOT to let that happen this year.  As my calendar is filling up and my project list is being made, I am going to number my days and stay on task.  There are projects I want to get done to simplify and open up my time for other tasks which pull at my heart.  

I'm quickly reminded that I often feel like a child with a short attention span as I just glanced away from my computer to look out the window at my garden which seems to have grown by leaps and bounds over the last few days.  Yup, here it comes again.  That old familiar feeling of wanting to fritter away some time while I wander up and down the garden rows.  There really isn't much to do in the garden yet as the rows aren't quite ready to thin and the weeds are few, but that doesn't stop the frittering urge.  Good thing it's cool and cloudy with a chance of rain as that will keep me indoors and on task, otherwise I'd simply be considered hopeless!

May you use your time wisely today, too, keeping your frittering to a minimum!

Tammy ~@~

Saturday, June 5

tipping the graduate

Here's a little tip of advice which would be good for newly graduated high schoolers:

"Resolved:  never to do anything which I should be afraid to do if it were the last hour of my life." ~ Jonathan Edwards

Could be good advice for older folks as well!

Enjoy your weekend!

Tammy ~@~

Friday, June 4

the sweet linger

From my gardening flip calendar this week:  "The air is filled with the sweet perfume of flowers in bloom." ~ Author Unknown
Had I mentioned the heavenly scent of our wedding flowers?  I had no sooner walked through the girls dressing room when I turned my head to the bouquets.  Not only were they beautiful, but the aroma was incredible!  What a blessing to have three of the bouquets still in vases from the wedding to allow the scent to linger throughout our home.

Take time to stop and smell roses in your garden today!

Tammy ~@~

Thursday, June 3

the Rock of June

It's been a busy week around here as my daughter-in-law and two grands have stayed for a visit.  We've been busy on some BIG tasks which take much time and have kept us busy.  The time is passing much too quickly which reminded me that I hadn't yet flipped any of our calendars to the new month.
How did it get to be June already?  As I was writing down all the June events on the new clean calendar page, I could only shake my head knowing that a full schedule tends to lend itself to another month flying by.

"The Lord alone is my rock and my salvation." ~ Psalm 62:6

The verse of the month reminds me that even with the daily busyness, there is a constant solid rock to my days that will keep me steady even when activities have a way of knocking me off balance...the Lord alone!  

Make sure you get some alone time with the Lord during the busy summer month of June!

Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, June 2

mega messy marvelousness

We topped off our past long weekend with time at our family cabin.  The weather was amazingly wonderfully warm and unfortunately the air was full of skeeters (or more commonly known as mosquitoes).  One of the places where the skeeters were mildly deterred was by the smoky campfire which tends to be one of our family's favorite places to hang out and chat.  The campfire was enhanced by some mega gigantic white and pink marshmallows that my oldest daughter brought along and which of course we had to attempt in our classic smores.
What fun to squish these melty mega marshmallows in between the graham crackers and watch the chocolate disappear somewhere in the mess.  And mess it was as both little and big had plenty of marshmallow licking to do off faces and fingers!  YUM!

May all your messes be sweet in your garden today!

Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, June 1

a private concert

We are back home after a long busy wedding weekend followed by an extended day or two at our family cabin.  Sooooo much to think about.  Sooooo much to unpack and put away.  Sooooo much to consider for the days and weeks ahead as summer has arrived.

But in the meantime, can I share one of the many highlights of the wedding?  My daughter-in-law was the pianist and also filled in as one of the singers when one of the bride's friends was unable to attend the wedding due to a death in her family. 
Late on Saturday morning while the bridal party was busy with a host of things in their rooms at the church, she was busy playing through all the music for the wedding.  I was blessed to walk in to the sanctuary as she was playing and listen to what felt like a private concert.  The music flowing through the room was prelude music which I would not be able to hear since I would be in the girls' room during that time, so I sat and closed my eyes and listened for a few moments.
Ahhhh, some of my favorite music!  From Pride and Prejudice, of course!  Simply wonderful!

May you enjoy beautiful music in your garden!

Tammy ~@~
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