Sunday, February 28

so sew nice

Travels before the weekend took my three youngest to their oldest sister's house to spend the week.  She'll be bringing them back home on Friday when her family travels here to attend a wedding.  I've been looking forward to a quieter house with the menfolk which will allow me to focus on a few projects without interruption.  I've been primarily looking forward to some quilting projects and spending some quality time at my sewing machine.  What a wonderful surprise to find a little note right by my sewing machine.....
Awwww, what a sweet girl! She knew right where to leave a note for her mom to find!  And it has the classic line that each girl writes on their notes to me..."your most fav (or favorite)"  Those girls!  They love to write that line in all kinds of places around the house....the chalkboard, the message pad by the phone, in my notebooks, accidentally in other people's notebooks, and over their sister's notes to me.  They truly are EACH my most favorite making me feel blessed indeed!


How about leaving a love note somewhere for someone special in your life to find today!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, February 27

with joy to adopt

Although there are many advantages to blogging, I think the one thing I've enjoyed the most has been getting to know other people that would not have crossed my path within my every day life.  Developing friendships beyond daily blog posts has been a blessing in many ways as we get to know one another and share in the ups and downs of life.

Can I share one such friend with you?  Kimmie who writes over at Over the Moon with Joy.  I cannot remember how I ran across her blog or even when, but it must have been a couple of years ago that I began reading her posts.  Her love for the Lord was evident as she was raising her family with one homemade and five adopted children.  I followed her journey as she and her Knight adopted a sweet baby from Ethiopia last winter and prayed for her as she later set in motion a new ministry to share her great heartfelt passion for orphans which began with lovingly hand sewing dolls who travel around the country.  You can read more about her Orphan Dolls and I'd encourage you to take a moment to read the journal section. 

More recently Kimmie and her Knight have been traveling the adoption path in Ethiopia again as they have been seeking to adopt a new daughter who has been longing for Christian parents over the last few years.  They are getting closer to the end of this journey as the paperwork goes through the final processing stages which brings them closer to traveling to meet this new daughter - whom they've nicknamed Princess Sweetness - and bring her home in the weeks ahead.  

While waiting, they have another task to work on commonly found with the adoption process - finances.  It may look like a mountain to our eyes, but knowing God's goodness and abundance there is no doubt that the need can be met.  Local friends of theirs have been putting together a special adoption fundraising benefit event which will be held TODAY.  Although those of us who don't live nearby won't be able to attend, there is an adoption fundraising button available on Kimmie's blog at the top of the sidebar so that we may donate at any time to help them on this part of the journey.  If you are able, please donate.  If not, a whispered prayer for their adoption would be greatly appreciated as well.

It's is an exciting time for their family and I look forward to the days ahead when they will finally greet Princess Sweetness who has been lovingly prayed into their family! 

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~



Friday, February 26

Learning with Groucho

Since I typically blog first thing in the morning, I often forget about things that happen the day before and blog about things on my mind as I start my day.  Doing it this way could cause people to wonder if we really do homeschool, but we do.  Homeschooling for our family is perhaps more of a lifestyle thing that is a natural part of the daily flow of life.  We eat meals, we do laundry, we work on schooling, we let the dogs in and out, we play outside, etc.



But every once in awhile something happens during our homeschool day which sticks in my mind and makes me smile.  And that happened recently when I was correcting a test and found an incorrect answer.  When we run into something wrong, I always ask the student if they just randomly picked an answer or if they had a reason for picking their answer.  Doing it this way has occasionally turned up a wrong answer in a test key as we search the text reading or else reveals that there were several possible answers and they did not choose the best one.  

The recent multiple choice question that was wrong came from an American history test and the question was:

*Why did most Americans move West?

The student's answer was:

*to mine the rich silver and gold deposits 

When I questioned the answer, I expected the student to pull out her textbook.  Instead the instant reply was that was why they were traveling by train in the movie Go West. Yes, she based her answer on a Marx Brothers movie!

As I considered the large collection of Marx Brothers movies we own, it made me wonder how much of my children's learning has come from Groucho?  After all, they can all quote line after line after silly line from those movies!  Yup, I can hear it now.....all I learned, I learned from Groucho Marx and his brothers!  Yikes!


By the way, the correct answer IS:


*to seek new land and better opportunity for their families


I guess it's time for me to seek better learning opportunities for my children, eh?  LOL!


Enjoy your day even if you don't have bushy eyebrows and mustache!


Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, February 25

not chilly with chili

YAY!  Enough with the silly holidays!  Today is National Chili Day!  

Chili is one of our winter staple menu items and the main reason I can a bunch of tomatoes at the end of summer.  I love making chili because it is a menu item that does not need an exact recipe and it still tastes good.  Out of all our family, I only know of one child who isn't a huge fan of eating chili and will pick the chunks of tomatoes out.  Anyway, here's my rather loose chili recipe:

MOM'S  CHILI 

*2 to 3 quarts of canned chopped tomatoes
*2 to 3 quarts of water (it's my way of rinsing out the jars for the dishwasher)
*1 to 1 1/2 pounds of ground beef finely chopped, browned, and drained
*1 medium onion finely chopped and thrown in with the ground beef while browning
*1 to 2 cans of chili or kidney beans (or I've used other beans that I have on hand like black beans, etc.)
*A couple shakes of salt, pepper, and chili powder 

Typically while I'm browning the ground beef, the other ingredients are being put into the soup kettle in any order.    Once all assembled, simmer for a couple of hours.  I usually end up adding a bit more water toward the end of the cooking time because of the last additional item necessary for an upper midwest version of chili.....a couple handfuls of elbow macaroni (or other types of noodles) to simmer and cook the last thirty minutes before serving.  Additional chili powder can be added in the individual servings. 


The children in our family traditionally add a heaping handful of crushed saltine crackers to any soup I make.  Some will put chunks of cheese into the soup first to melt, then add their crushed crackers.  I often wonder if they even know what kind of soup I've made since their favorite seems to be cracker soup :-p


It is the perfect food for a winter day!  Enjoy!


Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, February 24

a winter refresher

Perhaps the hardest stretch of our homeschool year occurs right now.  We are a little over halfway through our studies and cooped in the house most of the day.  So what a blessing it's been to be able to attend the Winter Homeschool Refresher Conference put on by Heart of the Matter Online.  The list of speakers is excellent as they cover a wide range of topics and you are guaranteed to come away from each presentation being encouraged.

Although there's only one more day left to the conference, signing up also allows you access to all the MP3s that will be available within the next couple of weeks.  And it's only $12.95 which would be considered priceless when considering the amount of information, resources, and encouragement that is received!  So what are you waiting for?  Go register now!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, February 23

a single inconvenience

I interrupt your regularly scheduled busy day to let you know that I missed announcing a holiday.  Yes, indeed, yesterday was Single Tasking Day!  Can you imagine?  How could a mother ever single task?  Take a day like today where I've been repeatedly interrupted with any task I attempted to do, like blogging which is why I'm so late posting.  One task?  For a day?  Sounds impossible.

But, do not fret, because there is another holiday coming up tomorrow called Inconvenience Yourself Day.  Does the thought of that make you laugh more than yesterday's holiday?  And who comes up with these things anyways? Certainly not a mother who knows life is all about inconvenience and multi-tasking.

So, I thought I'd attempt to do both holidays tomorrow by inconveniencing  myself by attempting a single task for the day!   We'll see how far I get.... 

Happy holidays!

Blessings,
Tammy  ~@~

Monday, February 22

Simple Woman's Daybook for February 22

 
For today February 22

Outside my window.....the skies are cloudy and there's big snowflakes falling at the moment.

I am thinking.....that I like posting this better on Mondays than Tuesdays, but it's nice to have that option if I ever need it.

I am thankful.....for the mild sunny days that we've had recently that allow my thoughts to wander to spring!


I am wearing.....a denim skirt and a three quarter length sleeved olive green top with a sweatshirt thrown over it.

I am hearing.....the dog barking at a squirrel way up in a tree.

I am creating.....new storage organization in my bedroom and getting a little better at tossing unnecessary things in the process.


I am going.....to stay home for the early part of the week since there's nothing on the calendar which makes my heart feel quite content!

I am reading..... my devotionals and the Bible.

I am praying.....for clear dry weather toward the end of the week. 

I am remembering.....that feisty baby I brought home from the hospital eleven years ago and how that feistyness continues to be a part of that child's personality.  What a challenge it is to direct that characteristic into positive directions!

I am hoping.....to squeeze in a little quilting play time this week.

On my mind.....is wondering how long I'll be waking up during the night flushed with incredible heat and whether or not the same thing will soon be happening during the day :::sigh:::

From the learning rooms....it will be work work work as my girls school ahead so they can enjoy some vacation time next week.

Noticing that....the birds are singing and chattering more in the woods when I'm outside. 


Pondering these words....."Don't do what others can do and will do when there are so many things that others cannot do and will not do." ~ Dawson Trotman

From the kitchen.....I need to get better organized with meals and remember to take things out of the freezer in advance.

Around the house....there are remnants of a birthday celebration yesterday.  Perhaps I'll leave some of them up since there's another birthday on Wednesday.

One of my favorite things.....are the little notes my children write to me.

A few plans for the rest of the week.....are an early morning women's Bible study at church plus hosting Bible study midweek, a birthday the same day, lots of working on our schooling, attending sessions of the Homeschool Refresher conference that the Heart of the Matter Online is sponsoring this week, hemming a skirt, traveling at the end of the week if the weather cooperates, and watching Olympic coverage throughout the week.


Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you....
As I was wandering through the snowy yard yesterday enjoying the incredible weather, I was amazed to see such spring looking buds on my big lilac bush.  Since it's only the end of February, I was surprised that the buds were so formed since there's so many weeks of winter weather left until spring actually comes.  Could this lilac bush know something I don't know?  Here's to hoping!

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 LAST Monday in February!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~ 

Saturday, February 20

a sunshine break

The milder daytime temperatures around 30 degrees this week, sunshine streaming through our windows PLUS a typical long Friday of of sitting through school corrections prompted me to wander outside for a few minutes during our lunch break.  The sunshine felt so so SO wonderful on my winter face that I wandered over to my husband's work garage to pull one of the summer chairs out of storage.  The chair was brought over to the snow covered sandbox where I love to sit in the summer. 
Seeing that the ground was definitely not level as the sunshine had melted the snow right night to the little storage building, I set the chair in a rather precarious position in the snow bank carefully climbing into it.  Peacefully I sat for about fifteen minutes with my eyes closed.  Did I mention that the sunshine felt so so SO wonderful?

Then the dogs barked, the kids called, and my peaceful quiet time was over.  But what a blessing that brief little moment in time had been while enjoying God's creation as it provided the perfect refreshment to carry me through the rest of the day !  

May God provide simple little refreshments in your day, too!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, February 19

hiding with fruit

One of my morning devotionals this week was based on Colossians 3:3 - "For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God."  The devotional talked about different workers within the church body.  Some have labor that is quite evident to all and they emerge larger than life.  Others blend so wholly with others that you scarcely notice them.  It wasn't hard to see where I fit when I read this sentence:

"The nearer we come to Christ the more we are willing to be lost sight of in our fruit and let others be more prominent, while we are the glad and willing witnesses of our testimony, and hold up their hands by the silent ministry of love and prayer." ~ A. B. Simpson

My life has been blessed by those who wholeheartedly serve others in an eminent yet humble way with the gifts God has given them.  My life has been blessed by being able to wholeheartedly serve others in a quiet behind the scenes ministry of love and prayer.  One is not better than the other.  The key is drawing nearer to Christ and allowing the fruit to be the testimony and not ourselves whether we are out in front or supporting from behind.

It takes all parts to allow the body to work well and in harmony.  Wherever God has placed you, may you obediently serve!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, February 18

avoid the wrecks

"Young people are confused.  We turn our children out in high-powered cars onto the highway of life without road rules, road signs, guardrails, center lines, and with faulty brakes and wonder why there are so many wrecks.  Your children need love, appreciation, and guidance -- love your children and let them know it."     ~Ruth Bell Graham

There's nothing I can add to that except a simple AMEN!

Have a great day loving, appreciating, and guiding!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, February 17

an old hello

When I first joined Curves over seven years ago, I had to find a pair of shoes that  would ONLY be worn for Curves since they do not allow you to wear street shoes on the recovery pads.  Looking through sale merchandise one day while shopping, I was blessed to find this pair of shoes way marked down most likely because they were a small size and not highly stylish.  However, they worked perfectly for carrying back and forth to Curves when I went to exercise.  
 When I quit going to Curves last fall, I put these faithful shoes away in my closet and had forgotten all about them until I was searching searching searching this morning for a different pair of shoes that I typically wear daily around here (and which I still haven't found, btw....strange).

So on they went and I'm happy to report that my feet are happy to be wearing them today.  

Sometimes we forget about old friends, especially when they are out of our sight for long periods of time.  

Over the last week I've been in touch with a friend who I've known since grade school and who I usually only hear from once a year at Christmas.  She lives in the town where my son is getting married and since I needed some help with the rehearsal dinner planning, I got in touch with her.  What a delight it's been to email back and forth, especially knowing I will be able to see her again this spring!


Old friends.  Does someone come to mind?  How about making a connection with them today by email or phone or mail?  You'll both be blessed with a bit of happiness on this winter day!


Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, February 16

Simple Woman's Daybook for February 16

 
 For today February 16 

Outside my window.....the skies are blue and it should be a mild winter day with sunshine.  My favorite kind of day!

I am thinking.....about how quickly February is passing.

I am thankful.....that God puts people in our path right when we need them.


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

I am hearing.....the dog pawing at the door to come back in again.  In.  Out.  In.  Out.

I am creating.....a list of women's ministry in our church.

I am going.....to work on getting my high schoolers' records in order.

I am reading..... my devotionals and the Bible.

I am praying.....for a friend's struggles as she waits on God for answers. 

I am remembering.....watching the Olympics 18 years ago when I was very pregnant and wouldn't go into the hospital until the closing ceremonies were over.


I am hoping.....that I can learn how to applique on quilts or else my new idea will not work and I'll have to figure out another way to do it.

On my mind.....is a list a mile long with energy only a centimeter in height.

From the learning rooms....it has been so much fun to watch my littlest constantly writing down random words.  She's so excited to read!

Noticing that....the daylight hours really are stretching a little bit at a time.


Pondering these words....."When a person, yielding to God and believing the truth of God, is filled with the Spirit of God, even his faintest whisper will be worship." ~ A.W.Tozer

From the kitchen.....will be ham and scalloped potatoes for supper which is a family favorite.

Around the house.....are extra blankets and pillows in the living room as we settle in to watch the Olympics daily.

One of my favorite things.....is hand quilting and praying.

A few plans for the rest of the week.....are an early morning women's Bible study at church plus hosting Bible study midweek, a birthday later in the week, hopefully a bit of walking, and some deep cleaning in between as I continue to work on my list.  It looks like it may be a light week of activities!  YAY! 


Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you....
This is my pile of recent sewing threads.  I don't have a garbage container by my sewing machine, so the snippings tend to pile up.  I've since started a thread jar to set there, so we'll see how many different colors of threads I'll use throughout the year.

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 your February day!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~ 

Monday, February 15

a simple move

The Simple Woman's Daybook is making a move from Monday to Tuesday to make it simpler for those participating.  Monday mornings tend to be busy after coming off the weekend and needing to start the new week off on good footing.

However....there is still the option to write your entry on Monday and post the link on Tuesday when it comes up on the main site.

Changes.  Decisions.

Because I don't post on Sundays, it typically isn't a problem to have a post ready to go on Mondays.  In fact, I like the accountability that it begins my week with as I look over the Monday before and see how well I did with what I was planning on doing.  I'm afraid doing it on Tuesdays will throw me off for the week.

Changes.  Decisions.

You may see me back later with my simple day entry or you may see me tomorrow.  Time will tell....

Simply enjoy your Monday, okay?

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, February 13

only with God's love

With this being the big LOVE weekend, there's plenty of phrases about love, poetry about love, and Scripture verses about love abounding everywhere you go!
In honor of this loving holiday which will be celebrated tomorrow, may I share my hope and encouragement for you as I consider the topic....

"May the Lord direct your hearts into God's love and Christ's perseverance." ~ Second Thessalonians 3:5

For it is quite easy to love those who are near and dear to our heart.  Loving them easily flows no matter what the cost or sacrifice.  Yet there are those who pass through our lives who do not fit into that category and who pose a real challenge when it comes to lovingLove does not come easily with them as we lean on our own strength and it is only through God's strength and His love that we can persevere to love them.  If you need more tips and encouragement to live out such a love, read through the book of First John.  It's short, only five chapters, but speaks powerfully on the topic of love.

From me to you on this weekend of loving others, consider yourself hugged, dear reader!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, February 12

crispy veggies

A surprising hit at a recent women's gathering at church was.....vegetable chips!  While I was out and about doing some shopping yesterday, we stopped at a wonderful natural foods store to pick up a couple of things and I saw bags of these vegetable chips for sale instantly picking one up to take home.
I poured them into a bowl knowing my food grazing children would be curious enough to try them.  And they did with very mixed reviews.  My hopes that this crispy snack would be another successful way of getting more vegetables into my children have weakened.  Perhaps this is just a good snack for adults who have learned that vegetables are really good for you in whatever form?

Have you tried them yet?

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, February 11

the slug has gotta go!

Early November.

That was the last time I went walking.

When the menfolk were headed off to their annual trip to the cabin for deer hunting season mid-November, I woke up with a sore-ish left knee and decided I'd take a little break from going walking until it felt better which worked well until I was on my feet most of Thanksgiving weekend while family was home.  The sore-ishness turned into incredible pain.

December was spent avoiding the stairs in our home as much as possible, walking within the house as little as possible, and calling Advil my new best friend.  When all my kids were home over New Year's weekend, I repeated my Thanksgiving weekend by staying on my feet most of the time.  The sore-ishness that had improved a bit turned back into incredible pain.

Once life settled in January, I made an appointment to see my chiropractor since my walking funny to avoid pain had the consequence of throwing the rest of my body off.  Sore back, sore hips, sore neck.  While there he did some manipulating of my sore knee to see when or where it hurt the most and followed up with an adjustment on it.  OUCH!  His conclusion was that the injury was most likely a slightly torn miniscus.  Probably not a new injury as I had done nothing to it causing the initial pain, but highly likely an old injury re-surfacing.

Yup, a very old injury. I remembered back to my high school days when a guy would frequently come behind me and "knee" me by pushing his knees into the back of my knees.  A foolish attention getter indeed and one time I must have been standing in a funny way when he did it because it put me to the floor in pain.  My mom took me to the doctor and all I can remember now is that we wrapped it for support and I had to stay off it for an extended time (yes, this was before the days of multiple x-rays, scans, MRIs)  So who knows what the diagnosis was back then.  The bonus was that I didn't have to take phy ed class for a very long time.....hee hee... 

Looking at the injury recovery to this point has meant a special set of exercises twice a day to build the knees muscles and taking the supplement glucosamine.  He's also done some knee adjustments on it regularly.  The wonderful part is that it has been gradually improving.  The pain is gone now although there is still a sensation in the knee every time I step or sit or move that leg.  He said it could take months before it completely heals and recovers.

All that to say.....I've been a slug in the exercise department since early November  :::sigh:::  And once you get in that pattern of no exercise, it seems everything kind of slides and you turn into a major slug.  No energy, no motivation, no nothing.  Until you suddenly get a brief fleeting moment of clarity in this sluggish frame of mind and say....WAIT A MINUTE!  What's happened here?  

Remember when you felt a million times better?  Remember when you had more energy?  Remember when you were watching what you were eating?  Remember when you were sleeping more peaceably?  Remember when stress melted away with walking?

Fortunately that brief fleeting moment of clarity did awaken me a bit.  But I also realized I couldn't do it on my own.  My sluggish state had also led me into a sleepy morning habit which would need to be eliminated. Time to call on the big power to shock my system back into early morning habits.  The God alarm clock.

At 5 AM this morning I woke up.  My attempts to go back to sleep did not work.  I knew God had held up His end of the deal;  now I needed to hold up my end of the deal and obediently get out of bed.  I tried bargaining for a while, but finally did get up and out of bed and to the high school fieldhouse at 6 AM to walk the indoor track.  And I walked my full hour.  And I am still alive to tell about it.  

We'll see how my knee feels as the day wears on, whether it aches at bedtime, whether it is in pain by morning, whether I say hello to my old best friend Advil who I haven't spoken to in a month.  Yup, we'll see.  

My hope and prayer is that the slug has left the building and been replaced with a new spring to my step as well as returning to some healthier habits in general.  Yup, we'll see!

So, if you've been in a winter slump and feel like a slug, just know that YOU are the only person who is going to get YOU moving!  And if you can't get yourself going, ask for a big power burst from the Lord who will give you the strength!

Here's to a slug free garden!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, February 10

a gallon of surprise

Grocery shopping is my job around here primarily because I am able to stay within our tight budget and keep junk food to a minimum which is primarily why the kids love it when Dad needs to pick up something up for me at the grocery store because the phrase "tight budget" tends to NOT be part of his vocabulary and he always picks up some kind of item that mom would say is definitely junk food.  

But I digress.

This morning when I had to make a quick stop at the grocery store after Bible study to pick up some saltines and cheese to go with our soup supper, I stalled out in the milk aisle as I reached for a gallon of regular ol' milk.  For lo and behold, they had chocolate milk in the gallon size ON SALE.  Over a dollar off per gallon.  In other words, even less than regular ol' milk.

So, mama tight budget stood there for a moment or two debating whether or not to buy one or to buy a couple of gallons of the regular ol' milk and let the kids use some chocolate syrup, that is, if they even ventured a thought about a glass of chocolate milk.  

Do I? Don't I?

Let's just say there was dancing in the kitchen when the gallon of real chocolate milk entered through the door when I got home.  Yes, actual dancing! 

Don't you love how easy it is to make our children happy with little surprises which don't take a lot of time or expense or effort?  It was a good reminder to myself to do more of that spontaneous kind of thing.

May you find little ways to surprise those you love as you go though your garden days!


Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

 

Tuesday, February 9

amazing prayers

Once the Super Bowl started on Sunday, I knew I'd be sitting for the next few hours with the exception of taking a break during the halftime program.  Why you ask?  Because I really do enjoy watching football and I didn't want to leave when the infamous commercials were on.  It was great not to be disappointed in either manner.  The game was close for the most part and the commercials brought a chuckle.

But the commercial that caught my eye was the one announcing a new season of The Amazing Race.  We tend to be sporadic watchers of that show because of when it is typically shown and our general forgetfulness to remember when it is on, but it is fun to watch.  

And I can't help but think every single time I watch it that my oldest daughter and one of my sons should have entered to be a team.  They would be an amazing team!  They are athletic, creative, crafty, competitive, feisty, and each love a good challenge.  Plus they would love flying all over the world.  They have always gotten along well together and could work well at a team using their individual talents.  It would have been cool, although I suppose God spared me the heart pitter pattering that would have taken place as I wondered where they were flying and whether or not they were okay as they took on the challenges of The Amazing Race. 

But alas, I don't see this happening in the future as life goes on and the older ones have followed their individual paths which don't include television adventure game shows. Nope.  They are instead using all those same wonderful God given characteristics as they tackle life in professions which they love.  As a parent, could there be anything more amazing?  

My hope for each one as they leave the nest is that they go with a heart that will love and serve God wherever they are and that they will have a profession or role that they will enjoy as it stretches them.  So far so good.  

But there's still five here who are learning and growing and maturing.  How important it is to continue praying for their futures!  

And how important it is for me to remind those of you with little ones at your feet to stretch your prayers from asking the Lord to just get you through the day to asking the Lord to help you guide your children and encourage them in areas of their life that will be a vital part of their futures.  To pray that their childlike faith of today will grow into a maturing faith of tomorrow.  To pray that their gifts and talents will be encouraged to grow to be used in their futures.  To pray that your mother's love and care of today will lead them to more fully understand God's unconditional love and care for all their days.  

Amazing prayers which will carry our children through lives which have the potential of being amazing as they love and serve God through the paths He takes them on.

May you look further down your garden path and cover your children with amazing prayers!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, February 8

Simple Woman's Daybook for February 8


For today February 8 

Outside my window.....it's cloudy with a chance of snow later today.

I am thinking.....about how quickly my February calendar filled up despite my best efforts for that NOT to happen.

I am thankful.....that God has a plan even when we can't see it or figure it out.

I am wearing.....my flannel bathrobe since it's chilly in the house and I'm not brave enough to jump into the shower yet....brrr!

I am hearing.....my husband talking to his phone again as he tries to figure out its features.

I am creating.....a thread jar.

I am going.....to enjoy some fun and fellowship this morning.

I am reading..... my devotionals and the Bible.

I am praying.....for the continued relief efforts in Haiti.

I am remembering.....some of the music that came from the days of my youth after listening to the Who last night during the Super Bowl halftime while I folded laundry in the other room.


I am hoping.....that I can continue crossing things off my list and stay on task.

On my mind.....is how perfectly God designed our bodies to work and wondering why He didn't figure out a smoother hormone plan for women as they transition into menopause.

From the learning rooms....we'll see if a daughter will be more willing to work with her mama this week.

Noticing that....the dog's back is sore again after a day of playing, running, and jumping with kids over the weekend.


Pondering these words....."It is not great talents that God blesses so much as great likeness to Jesus." ~ Robert Murray McCheyne

From the kitchen.....our frig is full of leftovers, so you know what we'll be eating for a couple of days!

Around the house.....are my quilting supplies.  I need to get the quilt off the frames, the items put back into their places, and fold the quilt up for hemming later.

One of my favorite things.....is seeing the cat curled up by a sunny window in the afternoon.

A few plans for the rest of the week.....are a valentines party this morning for my younger ones, a surprise party later for an older one, sending off valentines in the mail, a women's ministry meeting, early morning women's Bible study at church plus hosting Bible study midweek, a bridal shower later in the week, and finishing up this quilt.


Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you....
Here's a peek at the valentines that my girls made to give away this morning. 

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 your February day!


Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, February 6

catching a quilt

Some things in life are taught, some things are caught.

My love for quilting was definitely a caught kind of thing.  I grew up playing under my grandmother's quilt frame while she and my mom were tying a quilt.  When I became a mom myself, soon I found myself tying quilts with my mom at her house.  The day I received my own set of crib sized quilt frames made by my step-dad was one of great joy since I wouldn't have to keep borrowing my mom's all the time.  When she passed away, I then inherited her large quilt frames.  So my older children grew up under my mom's quilt frames - and she often let them help a little bit - and my younger children have grown up under my quilt frames.

Although there's been times women have asked to watch a quilt come together and be put on the frames, I hesitate to share this craft for I really have no idea "how" to really do a quilt.  I've only learned by watching and catching what my grandma and mom have done.  Someday I'd love to take quilting classes and see how much of my knowledge is accurate and how much more I could learn to make my quilting perhaps easier. 

It was recently a surprise to hear my oldest daughter tell me about her first quilting adventure.  She had wanted a throw quilt for their living room couch and made her way to the fabric store to pick out a combination of fabrics she loved.  Throughout the project she'd call for a tip or two and off she went learning as she sewed, tying her quilt in a unique manner (she has no frames), then sewing the hem.  

I could not help but smile when she sent me a picture of the final product!  I'm so proud of her!  And the tradition of caught not taught quilting has continued  within my family.

Perhaps this is on my mind as I put a quilt onto my smaller frames this morning.  It will primarily be tied with a little hand quilting and shouldn't take long to do.  The hem will be hand sewn and should be a nice thing to work on over the weekend.  There's nothing like hand hemming a quilt as it keeps your lap warm on cold winter days!

May the children in your garden catch relaxing hobbies that you enjoy! 

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, February 5

missing moments

As I sat down to write this morning, I do what I often do to help me gear up for the day ahead.  I glanced up at my wall calendar to check the date.  

The little red heart drawn next to the number 5 on this month of February immediately caught my eye.  Then it caught my heart.

Plans of what I was going to write about vanished.  Instead I pulled my quotes journal off the top of my desk and paged through looking for one that would be appropriate for the day. It didn't take long to realize I could not use a single word written about mothers because they all made me cry.  

Typically my heart is prepared for various dates that are filled with memories, but not today.  I don't know if it's from an accumulation of recent struggles.  I don't know if it's from an accumulation of messed up hormones.  I don't know if it's from an accumulation of desiring wisdom from the person whom I trusted completely, knew loved me unconditionally, and who for so many years was only a phone call away.  I don't know....

All I do know is that my mom passed away early on this morning five years ago today and I'm missing her like crazy at the moment.

And if your mom is only a phone call away, give her a call today.  For me.

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, February 4

inside the cows?

My younger girls frequently *ice skate* on our kitchen's tile floor as there is an open area that leads to the rest of the house.  And they don't just *ice skate* as there is typically music playing that they *ice skate* to while they glide and spin and listen to their mother say things like....."You had better be careful or else you are going to fall and crack your head open."

The *ice skating* music tends to be of the classical type or something like Dean Martin or Frank Sinatra, but yesterday they were listening to an old Disney princess CD left behind by their oldest sister which was a bit livelier.  However, I had to stop and ask them what the words were that they were singing as the words didn't make sense to me from what I knew of the song.  Surprisingly, I was hearing correctly.

"It's what's inside the cows!"

WHAT?!

And I couldn't help but burst out in laughter!

They replayed the part again and I guess it kind of did sound like that was what they were singing on the CD, but certainly wouldn't have made sense if you listened to all the words in the song.

The correct phrase that should have been sung from their mouths?

"It's what's inside that counts!" 

Communication.  How important it is to be a good precise listener!  And of all the arts that have gone by the wayside, the art of listening seems to be one that is disappearing.  Why?  Perhaps because it takes time.  It takes effort.  It takes concentration.  It takes complete focus on another person and away from self.  It's an art that can't be rushed.  And honestly, it's hard to do any or all of those tasks in the world of hurry and rush we live in.  But, ohhhh, what a treasured art listening is especially in relationship building!

It's critical as a parent when dealing with children, as a wife dealing with a husband, as a friend dealing with a distraught friend, as a business person listening to a customer's complaint.  Because if you aren't really listening, you can't truly discern what you are hearing and you may not catch something that specifically doesn't make sense with rest of what is being said.   Like with the girls song.


That perhaps comes in most importantly when listening to man's teaching about God's Word.  Listen carefully and do hold up what is being said to make certain it is consistent with what God's actual word says.  


That very thing came up last night as I was in the beginning pages of a free book that I just picked up.  I was humming along thinking that much of it made sense yet there was something that felt a bit like a "tickling of my ears" (Second Timothy 4:3-4).  As I read a bit further, the author mentioned the name of a pastor who had influenced her by his teaching and suddenly the tickling stopped and was replaced by alarm bells.  I knew of this person's teachings and do not agree with the majority of his interpretations.  So, I set the book aside.  Now to decide if I want to continue to read this book and take what is consistent with Scripture to apply in my life or not waste my time wading through it with discernment since I know there are bound to be major areas of disagreement.  

Yes, listening is more than something we do with our ears.  It is something that we do with our eyes through reading.  But we also listen with our eyes as we watch.   A perfect example of that comes from my birth doula work.  A mom can be saying "ouch" as she is in labor, but my eyes scan her body to look for signs of how serious that "ouch" may be.  Are her hands clenched or relaxed?  Is her face strained or calm?  Is she swaying or locked into a position?  This same type of watchfulness can be applied whenever we are are avidly listening to another person as their body language speaks to us.


Listen. Listen well.  Develop the art.  If you feel you aren't a good listener, pick one aspect at a time to work on in your life.  Maybe focus on stopping what you are doing when someone is talking to you (how often do moms stay on a task while their child or spouse approach them in conversation?).   Maybe focus on checking body language while listening - their eyes, their hands, their movements.  Maybe slow down your own thoughts to just listen and not focus on your response.  Maybe pray that the Lord places a love for others on your heart that sparks the desire to want to hear what another is saying.  And maybe others reading this have other thoughts on tips to help become a better listener.

Listen.  Listen well.  Develop the art.  Because what's inside does count!


Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

 

Wednesday, February 3

the good and pleasant part

"How good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!" ~ Psalm 133:1

There are days and then THERE ARE DAYS! 

Monday was one of THOSE DAYS when the girls could not get along with one another no matter what and neither could the boys.  I had things I had to focus on and instead I seemed to constantly be putting on my mother's judge hat.....grrrrrrrr!

Yesterday was a bit better, but there was still a bit of fractiousness leftover that gave me a minor grrr.   

Right now two of the girls are sitting at the kitchen peninsula doing their schooling and SINGING together.  The littlest is busy happily typing on the old manual typewriter.  The boys are busy working on their schooling in their rooms.

Of course, I'm not foolish enough to think it will last all day knowing a squabble could break out before I even finish typing up this post.  However, at this moment in time I would like to shout....

"HOW GOOD AND PLEASANT IT IS WHEN BROTHERS (AND SISTERS) DWELL IN UNITY!"

Whew!  Thank you for letting me shout that while the moment lasted! 

Okay, now back to the regularly scheduled day in your garden :-)

Blessings,Tammy  ~@~

Tuesday, February 2

it's short

January, which is typically such a long month, is now over and we've moved on to the shortest month of the year.  Dear beloved February.
Although I knew the month would be starting out with a bang, I've been so so SO looking forward to a quieter month ahead.  And then a friend gently shook her head at me while telling me that the month was bound to fill up with activity and now I'm shaking my head as I find it to be true!   Suddenly there are several activities inviting me to attend and how did I forget that there are not one, not two, but THREE family birthdays this month?! 


Oh dear.


This short dear beloved February may go by much quicker than expected!


Guess I had better get busy!  What are your special plans for this month?


Blessings,
Tammy ~@~ 

Monday, February 1

come as you are

Perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of homeschooling has been watching how my children dress each day, particularly the little ones.  We have no dress code here, so the choice is up to them as long as they come dressed for the day when they arrive at the kitchen table for devotions in the morning. 
It's brought to mind some observations through the years and if you'd like to learn more, please stop over at Heart of the Matter Online and read my article "Come as you are"


Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Simple Woman's Daybook for February 1

For today February 1 

Outside my window.....it's cloudy and still below zero this morning.

I am thinking.....about how happy I am that February has arrived as it's the shortest month of the year which is a very pleasant winter thought.  


I am thankful.....that my Christmas/end of the year letter mailing is finally done!


I am wearing.....my denim skirt with a red turtleneck top and a dark blue hoodie sweater over it.

I am hearing.....a dog snoring.

I am creating.....a list of projects for February.


I am going.....to try shaking this hibernation feeling and get busy this month!


I am reading..... my devotionals and the Bible.


I am praying.....for my sweet granddaughter to get better as she's been battling a nasty cold which has made her very crabby.


I am trying to remember.....to give my camera photo card to a friend this week so she can work on a seemingly hopeless picture for me.


I am hoping.....that my words tonight will be the Lord's and not me blabbering.


On my mind.....is how ancient and slow my laptop is getting and wondering how I can save or make enough money to replace it this year.

From the learning rooms....we're over the halfway mark in our school weeks which means the books are starting to get smaller!  YAY!


Noticing that....the daylight really is beginning to linger longer.


Pondering these words....."If we never have headaches through rebuking our children, we will have plenty of heartaches when they grow up." ~ C.H.  Spurgeon


From the kitchen.....I need to dig through my dried bean supply and make a big pot of soup with the ham I have right now.

Around the house.....are the messes from my littlest.  She LOVES to play all day long and I need to be more consistent in reminding her to pick up after she's done and before she starts something new.

One of my favorite things.....is watching Jane Austen movies with my girls - both near and far!


A few plans for the rest of the week.....are the women's gathering at church this evening,  a chiropractic appointment tomorrow,  early morning women's Bible study at church plus hosting Bible study midweek, meeting with another doula client at the end of the week, and some sewing.


Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you....
It never ceases to amaze me how I can't get my children outside to play when the weather is ideal no matter what the season, but if it's nasty out there's no way I can keep them indoors!  Last week the girls were insistent about cross country skiing through our bit of property when the temps were hovering around ZERO.  They bundled up and loved it!  Go figure....

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 first day of February!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~ 
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