Tuesday, December 31

a toast to the new year

Day 31 - New Year's Eve

my place at the table

The last meal of the year was held with my family at home.  It was a wonderful way to end the year.  This also ends my month of a "photo a day challenge" for the month of December. 

Happy New Year!

Tammy ~@~

Monday, December 30

smiling at night

Day 29 - smiles with a friend

smiling with a puppy

Here's a picture of my granddaughter with her new friend - the newest puppy in the family who is here visiting.  The puppy - who is nine weeks old - is a sweet little guy who is doing well in the midst of all the hubbub around here right now.

Day 30 - night

the lights of waiting

A picture from outside showing the lights on in the kitchen and out by the big garage as we were waiting for family to arrive for our holiday celebration.

Tammy ~@~

Saturday, December 28

just loop it

Day 28 - scarf

scarves of many colors

Perhaps the photo of the day was looking for a picture of my winter scarf?  However, my winter scarf is boring.  Plain red warm fleece.  So, I decided to get a quick picture of a few of my SCARVES.  What a wonderful accessory item that so easily changes up any outfit.  Not just by it's color or style, but often by the way you tie it.  I love my scarves and am thankful that they continue to be in style.

Tammy ~@~

Friday, December 27

bundled for fun

Day 26 - bundled up

ready for the cold

Little Miss Frostbitten Cheeks of 2013 now needs to make sure her face is well bundled up when she goes outside in the winter weather.  And yes, the poor monkey lost her eye somewhere.

Day 27 - fun

for a grand pup

This may be the first Christmas stocking I've ever made for a pet.  The cross stitch pattern was a more complicated than I anticipated as I wanted to make the coloring match the pup going by pictures I had.  Trust me, Miss Luna is much cuter than my rendition (although I think I got her smile right!).

Tammy ~@~ 

three days in one

Catching up on my photo a day challenge with three days in one.   I forgot to take a picture yesterday, so I guess I'll still be in catching up mode today!

Day 23 - presents under the tree

wrapped and ready

Since our main family Christmas celebration is closer to New Year's Day, our present pile typically isn't too huge for Christmas.  We like to make it look like more presents though by wrapping every little thing!

Day 24 - favorite Holiday tradition


A holiday tradition that began in my growing up years was having a fondue supper after the Christmas Eve worship service.  That tradition has continued in our home and is a relaxing lingering way to spend the evening since the kids are usually over-excited about the next day.

Day 25 morning

the edge of the wrappings

We had already picked up all the torn wrapping paper and stacked boxes by the time I remembered to take a picture. Here's the edge of the Christmas day wrapping papers.  It's always an amazing thing to consider all the time and energy that is put into gifts only to have the unwrapping time take moments.

My hope is that you are enjoying this holiday time with your family!

Tammy ~@~

Sunday, December 22

plenty of red

Day 22 - red

plenty of red

My poinsettia plant is huge and RED!  Putting it by my December calendar page seemed perfect since poinsettias were the flower of the month.  

The verse for the month is:  "For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways." ~ Psalm 91:11

When singing a verse of a Christmas hymn in church, I was reminded of a way that the angels keep us.  It's interesting because I've never really noticed or thought more deeply about these words until they literally jumped out at me when we sang "It Came Upon the Midnight Clear".  From the third verse:

"And ye, beneath life's crushing load,
Whose forms are bending low
Who toil along the climbing way
With painful steps and slow,
Look now! for glad and golden hours
Come swiftly on the wing.
O rest beside the weary road
And hear the angels sing!"

Feeling a bit beneath life's crushing load lately with steps that are painful and slow as I toil along the climbing way, I was blessed to hear the word REST.  REST beside the weary road. It's okay, stop and rest.  AND hear the angels sing.  I think my spirit could use the blessing of hearing the angels sing.

How about you?  Are you weary?  Could you use some rest? The angels who have charge over you will sweetly sing to you the good news of Jesus Christ.  That kind of news is what helps keep us on our way.  It refreshes, renews, restores.


Tammy ~@~

Saturday, December 21

all over town

Day 21 - your view right now

all aboard!

The annual Lego town is being constructed all over our living room.  I was sooo proud of my youngest who actually managed to set up the train tracks all by herself.  Last year we were having major problems with keeping the train running, but whatever she did, she did right because it's running like a charm!  

Should be pleasantly quiet for the next couple days as this will keep the girls busy while I work away at all my Christmas details.

Tammy ~@~

Friday, December 20

in the bright with some merry

Day 20 - merry and bright

early morning moonlight

As much as I long for sunshine this time of the year, this is the bright light that welcomed me early this morning when I opened up my curtains.  The moon has been so bright this week and those clear skies gave us some sub-zero night time temperatures.  Brrrrrrrr!

Even with the brrrrrrr! and the bravery it took to step outside, that moon seemed rather merry to me making me smile! Listening to Michael Buble's Christmas CD at the end of the day while I post this is making me smile, too!

Tammy ~@~

Thursday, December 19

two white dresses

Day 18 - holiday outfit

a sparkly white dress

Here's the Christmas dress full of sparkles that my youngest will be wearing for Christmas this year.


Day 19 - tree topper

the keeper of the tree

This sweet angel sits on the top of our tree smiling down on all of us as she watched over our Christmas tree.

Sorry I had to combine two days in one.  It's certainly a busy time of the year.  Finished up a few big projects in a row at work, so I can FINALLY focus on Christmas at home! Yippppeeee!

Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, December 17


Day 17 - a beautiful sight

taking a peek

A recent ultrasound of a sweet new grandbaby due in the spring.  Can't think of a more beautiful sight!

Tammy ~@~

Monday, December 16

the greenery

Day 16 - wreath 

a rustic wreath

Here's a glimpse of the wreath hanging by our door.  It was actually made by someone I work with who used to work in a florist shop.  It's beautiful, smells wonderfully, and I love it! She wouldn't let me pay her for it, so I'm adding it onto my list of Christmas blessings.

Tammy ~@~

Sunday, December 15

still my favorite

Day 15 - favorite Holiday movie

while you were sleeping

I've watched a lot of Christmas movies, but this one remains my favorite.  And yes, we only have it on video.  It's been watched once already this season and will probably get watched again since I only accidentally caught part of it when my girls were watching it unannounced.  And yes, I always always always cry at the same part even though I know it's coming!

Tammy ~@~

Saturday, December 14


Day 14 - joy

the joy of a child

There are two pictures that precede this one as my littlest grandson climbed his way into trouble.  He was sooo happy to have made it this far without someone snatching him into their arms to find something else for him to do.  He LOVES to climb. He LOVES to smile.  I'm fascinated watching him travel through the house and see the looks on his face with each new discovery.  It truly is so much more fun when it's a grandchild doing these antics rather than the parent who is on guard all the time for correcting and teaching.  

My hope is that you have children around your home during the holidays to see the joy of their faces in the wonder of the season!

Tammy ~@~

Friday, December 13

on the tree

Day 13 - ornaments

hanging on faith

No fancy schmancy photo programs here to do a collage of ornaments, so I had to pick just one ornament to highlight. The decision to pick this one was easy.  For you see, this whole holiday would seem rather empty and cold and materialistic and self-centered without this piece.  


We celebrate Christmas and the remembrance of the King of Kings who humbly came to this earth as a baby born in a stable.  If He hadn't come, hadn't lived, hadn't died for our sins, hadn't risen again to give us life, there'd be nothing to have faith in that would matter.  Nothing at all.  Our faith in Him does matter because it whispers eternity to our hearts.  

May you hear His whisper of love for YOU during this season!

Tammy ~@~

Thursday, December 12

a borrowed drink

Day 12 - cup of hot cocoa or cider

chai latte 

Since I'm pretty much a coffee only kind of drinker, I had to borrow a substitute for this picture.  One of my daughters was enjoying a chai latte which looked close enough to being a cup of hot cocoa.  Actually, if I'm in the mood for something different as a hot drink on a cold winter's day, my favorite is Good Earth's Sweet and Spicy tea.  YUM!

Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, December 11

sing along

Day 11 - Christmas music

music for the season

Our Christmas CDs are brought up to the kitchen right after Thanksgiving and stored in the cabinet right next to the bowls. It's quite an eclectic collection of music.  It's nice to add new CDs to our collection and we almost added a new one this year. I just couldn't go country no matter how much the girls would have liked it.....


Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, December 10

all about snowmen

Day 10 - wrapping paper


We don't do Santa around here, so all our Christmas wrapping paper tends to be wintery, you know, like snowmen.  They are a cheery bunch when gathered under the tree in present form.  

Tammy ~@~

Monday, December 9

Simple Woman's Daybook for December 9

For December 9

Outside my window.....everything is snow covered with the current temperature in the single digits.

I am thinking.....about all I need to do today and telling myself I probably shouldn't be on the computer right now!

I am thankful.....that we found our Christmas tree so early this year as the warmth of the lights on it is a blessing on these darker days.

I am wearing....a long sleeved cream colored top covered by one of my favorite heavier yellow button up sweaters with a pair of khaki pants and warm socks.

I am hearing.....Christmas music playing in the room of one of my daughters.

I am wondering.....if this is going to be one of our coldest winters in a long time.

I am creating.....a list of things I need to make as Christmas gifts.  

I am going.....to do some much needed snow shoveling before I run into town on my errands of the day.

I am reading....."A Disruptive Faith" by A.W. Tozer

I am praying.....for a friend whose husband has been very ill with an unknown diagnosis as all the tests are coming back negative.  

I am remembering.....other Christmases when there were lots of little kids living here and there was a constant feeling of excitement in the air.

I am hoping.....our streak of good health will continue.

On my mind.....is how this is suppose to be a merry happy time of year but often is quite the opposite when the struggles of life are present.

From the learning rooms.....we are looking forward to a couple more weeks of schooling and then taking a break.

I am learning....to trust God's timing in ALL things.

Noticing that.....gas prices are down.

I am looking forward to.....a new year!

Pondering these words....."I can't brag about my love for God because I fail Him daily. But I can brag about His love for me because it NEVER fails." ~ Author Unknown

From the kitchen.....we will need to start our holiday baking soon, but it is kind of nice to have daughters who aren't looking forward to having tons of sweet things tempting us constantly. Therefore, we can probably bake less and do it closer to when family will be coming home.  

Around the house....are more blankets scattered here and there as we've already had a taste of below zero weather.

One of my favorite things.....are the surprises that come with Christmas.

A few plans for the rest of the week.....include shopping both online and locally, family Christmas letter designing, a few days of work, and a board meeting at the end of the week.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you....
Our cat snuggling in his favorite place this time of the year, primarily because he loves to drink the tree water.  This is also my Day 9 - Cozy for the December photo-a-day challenge.

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

Tammy ~@~

Sunday, December 8

hanging out

Day 8 - stockings

Christmas stockings 

Our stockings were hung up on the fireplace at the very beginning of the month.  With the exception of the one of the far left that my mother-in-law gave us a long time ago - it says "Bah Humbug!" on the top - all of my children's Christmas stockings were made by me.  There are fewer and fewer every year it seems as they keep growing up and getting married taking their stockings with them!

Tammy ~@~

Saturday, December 7

a sweet treat

Day 7 - baking cookies

cookies in progress

Seems to be in the new rage in baking this year - cake batter treats.  My girls are making cake batter chip cookies with white chocolate chips and plenty of sprinkles.  We'll see how they turn out....if there's anything left after taste testing!

Tammy ~@~

Friday, December 6

Five Minute Writing - Reflect

Up for the challenge of five minute writing?  Write for five minutes on one word.  No editing. Post it.  Then read what others have written and encourage them.  The moment I read the word for today - REFLECT - I knew it would be a challenge because I've been doing so much of it lately.  How to put all that into 5 minutes?  GO:


As soon as all the hubbub of the Thanksgiving holidays was over, my mind went into a major mode of wanting to reflect over everything that had happened over the year - all the tangled hurting relationships, all the challenges of the ministry I'm working in, all the brokenness in the world around me.  

The interesting thing that I noticed during this time of pondering is that I kept catching myself writing the year 2014 on checks that I write.  2014?  It usually takes me months to adjust to a new year!  All I can think of is that my mind subconsciously wants to be DONE with this year.  It's been a hard year.  God's been collecting tears by the bucketfuls.  I'm weary of all the deep thinking that has taken up my year.  

What I desire now is to take all of that and begin to REFLECT. I want to reflect back to a broken world all the hope and faith and trust and love which I know are solidly found in our God as He has been working on healing my heart little by little all year long.  

Yup!  Guess my heart is ready to be done with 2013 and to start the new year now.  To be a light to the brokenhearted. To reflect God in the relationships, ministry, and world around me.

Here's to 2014!

Tammy ~@~


Day 6 - your favorite meal of the day


Ohhhhh, yes, my favorite meal of the day is breakfast!  Making breakfast from scratch is also my favorite - pancakes, waffles, French toast, oven oatmeal, egg dishes, bagels, hot cereals, yogurt, and yummy smoothies!  Each recipe has variations that fill us up and starts our day.

This was my breakfast this morning - a smoothie which had spinach, bananas, cantaloupe, pineapple, blueberries, and flax seeds.  I poured some almond milk over all of it and used our Nutribullet to blend a wonderful smoothie.  YUMMY!

Do you have a favorite breakfast?

Tammy ~@~

Thursday, December 5


Day 5 - green

pre-trimmed Christmas tree

The reason this picture popped out to me is that the snow coming down outside the window cast a soft white spotlight on our tree as it was waiting for the lights and ornaments to be placed all over it. 

The tree is now happily decorated and well lit putting a soft glow in our living room every day.

Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, December 4


Day 4 - today's temperature

28 degrees 

Stuck our thermometer into about 8 inches of snow on our porch.  Although it's hard to see, it's snowing like crazy right now which is part of a winter weather advisory for our area. I'm good with snow once December comes, so I say....


Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, December 3

a candle

Day 3 - a candle

first advent candle

Here's a peek at our Advent candles.  We've lit the first one for the first week  of Advent and you can see the wicks of the other four in waiting.  

With the short days of December, I love the warm glow of candles in my home in the evenings.  There's something cozy about that glow that is calming.  Perhaps a little too calming as I'm tempted to call it a day after we eat supper and head to bed!

Tammy ~@~

Monday, December 2

a game

Day 2 - your idea of "cheer"


Remember playing 'telephone' when you were a kid  and how funny it was when the last person in line repeated the message?

The new game we picked up right before Thanksgiving is much like that only it's a combination of drawings and writing what you think you see on the spiral bound books that get passed around the table.  We played this game each night over the long weekend with a minimum of 8 people at a time - there are supplies for up to 12 - and had an absolute blast! Everyone has a two-sided card that has a list of six items on each side.  The dice is rolled and you write down the item that corresponds with the number and pass your booklet to the person next to you who has to quickly draw it.  Once they've drawn it, they pass it to the person who is next to them who writes down what they are seeing and passes it to the next person.  ETC. Trust me, when the picture gets back to the original owner it is seldom anything like the word that they had written down in the beginning.   

God's Word says that laughter is good medicine.....if you are in need of good health, check this game out and take a good dose of it because it really does make you laugh out loud A LOT!

Tammy ~@~

Sunday, December 1

a book

Day 1 - something you are reading

A Disruptive Faith - Expect God to Interrupt Your Life 
by A.W. Tozer

Browsing through the bookstore at Focus on the Family back in September, it would have been easy to fill my arms with books. But I knew it would be impossible to take that many back in my carry-on luggage, so I settled on only a few.  This was one of them.  

The author, A.W. Tozer, is one of my favorites.  His books are never a quick read, but ones I need to linger over as I "chew" on his thoughts and words.  This particular book is on a never before published teaching of his about faith. 

I'm not very far into this book yet, but here's a quote to consider:  "Christ was made perfect through suffering. Some things you will never know until you have suffered.  I wish I did not have to write this.  I have an edgy feeling sometimes that I wish I did not always have to say the truth.  It would be wonderful to quote nice things and tell people how good they are.  People would congratulate me and say, 'That was wonderful.  I feel so much better.'  But the truth is, there are some things you cannot know until you suffer." 

That truth hit my heart.  Why?  Because I have found it to be true.  Suffering brings knowledge with it that you would never know any other way.

All that to say....this book should be an interesting read.

Tammy ~@~


NOTE: I'm trying something I don't think I've ever done in all my years of blogging - participating in a Photo-A-Day Challenge through the month of December. I suppose you really aren't suppose to write anything with your photo of the day, but it's hard for a writer not to write, you know?   If you'd like to join in, please link up at Lulabelle's Blog

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