Wednesday, December 26

still preparing....

Some Christmases are different than others.

Like this year.

My husband traveled to pick up one college son on the Wednesday before Christmas.  The other college son drove home that evening.  Both college sons weren't feeling well having come down with nasty colds.  That same Wednesday evening my husband said that he suddenly wasn't feeling well at all and ended up spending the next few days totally down and out in bed with what appears to have been the flu. Those three passed it on to two daughters.

That left me and little diddle to take care of the regular household duties AND  take care of those who were sick AND prepare for Christmas.  

Which means the house is a disaster, the family is slowly getting better,  and I'm still preparing for Christmas.  

No problem since our main Christmas wasn't yesterday, but is coming up over the New Year weekend when all our family comes home.  There'll be 21 people squished into this house for a few days.  Unless sickness throws that off, too  :::sigh:::  

Since I wasn't able to get out shopping much and there really is limited shopping here and thanks to a friend who blessed me with an idea that came in the mail, I decided to use what I had on hand to make ornaments for the kids still at home.  I did a quick quilting, then hand stitched their names and the year on the back.  The result is above.

Right now I'm working on finishing up some other handmade gifts for each "big" member of the family.  I'm realizing that this project was really one of those "your eyes are bigger than your stomach" kind of things because it's been incredibly much more time consuming than anticipated. Plus it has to be done so secretly to prevent those living here from knowing what I'm doing.  A real challenge.  I'll post pictures next week after these presents have been opened....that is, *IF* they get finished!

Hope your post-Christmas is not a working one like mine, that everyone in your household is healthy, and that you can enjoy every moment of celebrating the true reason for the season - JESUS!

Tammy ~@~

Saturday, December 22

the difference in a day

From this morning's reading:

"George Müller said that he learned not to stop reading the Word each day until he felt happy in God.  Then he felt prepared to go out and do his day's work."      
~ Andrew Murray

Wow!  How would that concept work in the schedules of today's world where a minimal ten or fifteen minutes is penciled in daily for a devotional time?  IF that much?  Life starts quickly in the morning and sometimes even that short time gets bumped down.

Imagine *IF* we got up early and each morning read the Bible until we felt happy in God.  May mean getting up earlier.  May mean lingering longer.  May mean breakfast is not served on time.  

Imagine the difference it would make in your day's work *IF* you did that each day.

Thinking about it right now with Christmas racing to the forefront in our homes, imagine the difference it could make in all of our holiday celebrations *IF* God's Word held such a priority each morning.  

Definitely something to consider with the new year upon us as perhaps the one resolution you desire to keep!

Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, December 19

a puff of caramel

While we were on babywatch at my oldest daughter's house, her husband made a wonderful batch of caramel corn.  We knew we needed to repeat such a yummy treat once we got back home.  After calling to get his recipe and the suggested improvements, we decided to just use the recipe on the bag of the Old Dutch Puffcorn and I must say it was delicious. Here you go:

Caramel  Corn - Old Dutch Style

1 package Old Dutch Puffcorn
1 cup butter (not margarine)
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
2/3 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

Combine butter, brown sugar, and light corn syrup in a two quart sauce pan.  Cook on medium heat until mixture has melted.  Once mixture has melted, add the baking soda. (Note:  this will cause the mixture to foam.)

Pour Old Dutch Puffcorn into a large roaster pan.  Pour caramel mixture over the Puffcorn and stir until mixed.  

Place in the oven at 250 degrees for 45 minutes stirring every 10 - 15 minutes.   

Remove from the oven, pour onto waxed paper, and break apart.  Let cool, then devour *wink*

We have not tried this variation yet, but it sounds just as yummy:  For a scrumptious addition to this already delicious recipe, drizzle melted chocolate over the mixture after you remove it from the oven.


Tammy ~@~

Monday, December 17

Simple Woman's Daybook for December 17

For December 17

Outside my window.....the skies are a calm cloudy gray with temperatures in the mid 20's.

I am thinking.....about how life has been so busy that I haven't blogged for over a week.

I am thankful.....that God is an ever present help.  He's there for the little and big things.

I am wearing.....a pair of khakis, a red turtleneck with white snowflakes,  and warm socks.

I am hearing.....silence.  My house is very rare quiet at the moment.  

I am wondering.....what it will take for people to turn to God.  He is the ONLY hope and light in this dark world.

I am creating.....Christmas gifts.  I'm finding out that it is one of those "your eyes are bigger than your stomach" kind of things as the project I've picked is incredibly time consuming.  The idea certainly looked delightful when I came up with it!

I am take our old dog to the vet today to be put to sleep.  One of my very least favorite tasks as a mother who has seen lots of cats and dogs come and go over the last thirty some years.  

I am reading.....the book "How to Act Right When Your Spouse Acts Wrong" by Leslie Vernick.  This is an excellent book for ALL marriages.

I am praying.....for God's peace, joy, strength, and wisdom for some difficult conversations ahead.

I am remembering.....the smell of Christmas cookies baking in my Grandma's kitchen.  What a powerful memory!

I am have enough energy to get everything done over the next week. 

On my how broken the world is all around me.

From the learning rooms.....we will be working hard on schooling so we can enjoy next week OFF!

I am learning....that people only share their life stories when they trust you and believe you care about them.  

Noticing that.....the sunshine always improves my mood. It's much too gray this time of the year.  

I am looking forward to.....Christmas being over because all of our family gets together for New Years and I can't wait to see them all!

Pondering these words....."When we are weakest, He is strongest—and when we step far out of our comfort zones, we step right into the comfort of Christ." ~ Ann Voskamp

From the kitchen.....a batch of carmel corn disappeared yesterday.  YUM!

Around the house....we are enduring the strong scent of primer and paint as a room is getting a makeover.

One of my favorite opening each Christmas card and letter that arrives via snail mail.

A few plans for the rest of the week.....include today's trip to the vet, taking a daughter to script readings twice, working on Christmas gifts, a couple of days of work, Christmas card writing, baking, preparing for college sons to come back home, a chiropractic appointment, and house cleaning.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you....
Here's one project that was recently completed and mailed off - a Christmas stocking for my newest grandson.  His mama actually picked out the fabric for it when we were shopping during the weekend before he was born (as we were hoping all the shopping and walking would put her into labor!) 

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

Tammy ~@~

Saturday, December 8

the chosen tree

And there she is!  The daughter that picked the winning tree that will grace our living room with its bountiful full branches filled with ornaments from top to bottom from now until the new year.  

Actually, I was surprised that all the girls wanted to take the drive to the tree farm to find a Christmas tree to cut down. With the exception of my littlest, my older girls tend to turn their cute little noses up at a host of normal activities around here.  Yet today they were excited to take part in this annual event and were actively going from row to row to find the perfect tree that would get the family vote.  They even enjoyed getting a peppermint candy cane from the owners while the tree was loaded onto the trailer.  I think I'll count this as my first Christmas miracle this season as it was an enjoyable time from start to finish!

Let's hope the pine scent wafting through the house will trigger some necessary Christmas spirit and motivation!

Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, December 5

get off the mountain

Here's a quote from yesterday:

“It is possible to work so hard for God that we forget about communion with him. Mountains of work and crumbs of intimacy generate dangerous imbalance. We can be very active yet totally ineffective. Our effectiveness has everything to do with balance, joining activity with intimacy, serving God and communion with God.” 
~ Jose Luis Navarro

We are living in a culture of work and achievement which take precious amounts of time. Abundant amounts of time. We need to get off that mountain and realize that crumbs won't sustain us.  Time spent with God is never wasted.  Through time spent with Him comes more clarity in purpose and you may find that you are working on a mountain that is a total waste of time since He has a different plan in mind.  

Stop moving.  

Start connecting with God.

Be effective in your moving.

It's simple!

Tammy ~@~

Saturday, December 1

go and tell

"Go home to thy friends and tell them how great things the Lord has done for thee." ~ Mark 5:19

Such an interesting verse for December.  Such an interesting passage of Scripture that goes with it as all the previous verses from the beginning of chapter five until this verse in Mark tell about the demon possessed man and the herd of pigs.  

December.  My mind went from the celebration of the baby in the manger to this passage for the month.  Huh?  

And yet what can impact the unbelieving world around me most during this advent season?  Telling them about the Savior of the world who came as a baby in the manger OR telling them about the Savior of the world who comes to bring new life and healing to everyone who believes in Him?

That takes away the "Huh?", doesn't it?

Do use this advent season as a perfect time to go and tell others about the great things the Lord has done for YOU!

Tammy ~@~
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