Saturday, November 29

yumonions

Remember that gluten free creamy mushroom soup I posted about the other day?  Well, it went into my green bean casserole recipe for Thanksgiving dinner and tasted great!  Of course, it certainly helped to come up with an option for the French fried onions in that recipe and I can say I found a great recipe for those over at The Country Basket ---> Gluten Free Crisp French Fried Onion Topping recipe


The recipe was easy to make (I used the Bisquick gluten free baking mix and used a large red onion) and the result was yummy.  I know that I had fewer onions on the plate when it was time to put the recipe together, so there were many snick snackers in my kitchen who confessed their taste testing and gave me their opinion. Thumbs up! 

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

  

Friday, November 28

don't forget to give


The day after Thanksgiving has collided with taking  five minutes to write about one word with a community of others. Write with no editing, post it at Kate's Five Minute Friday, follow the link before yours leaving behind a word of encouragement.  The word for today is GIVE.  Ready?  Set? Write!


::give::


There's something that happens when you become a mother. You are more or less forced to learn how to give give give to your family sacrificially.  The thing is, however, that those little ones grasp your heart so tightly that it doesn't really feel sacrificial most of the time.  It feels more like "I'd go to the moon and back for you because I love you so."

In the process, you lose who you are.

In the process, you keep giving because you truly do love your family with all your heart.

Then they grow up, come back home for visits, and expect the same giving giving giving.  Their attitude collides with the process you've been traveling in recent years of finding out who the missing person of you really is.  

And with tears you wonder how you failed so miserably in modeling to them the gift of giving and serving from the heart?  To give and to serve because of love?

STOP!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, November 26

Good Food making

Sooooo, cruising through recipes to find some new gluten free ones for Thanksgiving and as always find it hard to duplicate our old favorites without a lot of extra new ingredients and time.  What a delight to find a recipe that mentioned using Progresso™ Vegetable Classics Creamy Mushroom Soup! Gluten Free!  Of course, I haven't yet used it and can't guarantee it actually tastes good (you know how that goes with GF stuff), but I'm hopeful enough to try it.  Also received a tip that the local natural foods store had a boxed GF plain stuffing mix that was selling like hotcakes, so I'm trying that, too!  (sorry, forgot to take a picture)  Picked up GF pie crusts while I was there as those worked well last year.

My break is over.......back to pie making!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, November 20

did you notice?


Sitting by the woodburner as I wait for the fire to be set for the night, I took a peek at the word for this week and decided to write it out right now.  It's the weekly challenge held on Fridays where you write for five minutes on one word.  No editing.  Post it.  Link it up at Kate's Five Minute Friday.  Then take some time to visit the link before yours — or several before yours — leaving behind a word of encouragement. The word is NOTICE.  Ready?  Set?  Write!

::notice::

Heads are always down as we connect with one another via technology in our hands.  Socially joining with anyone in an instant is the normal in today's culture.  Yet studies keep popping up about how lonely people really are.  They actually feel disconnected when it comes to real life.  

There's just something about having someone notice you.  

It's that acknowledgement that you are a real person with real feelings.

Being involved in a ministry where I do sit down one-on-one and face-to-face primarily with women, it's fascinating to watch their body language change as someone actually takes the time to notice them.  Their words come tumbling out and they don't have to question whether or not someone is actually listening because they can see that I'm engaged with their every word.  It's the eye contact.  It's the smile.  It's the pauses in the conversation during the difficult parts that don't need an instant reply.  Because someone is there to notice. Someone is there to care.

I tell ya, we need to slow this world down to stop and spend real time with one another.  We need to put down the technology, and really listen to the life stories that can't be shared in a text.  Truly be the hands and feet and heart of Jesus when we take the time to notice another person who could use His love.

STOP!

(And there's probably a whole lot more I could say on this topic because it's dear to my heart as I live in this hurting world, but I'll leave it at that!)

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, November 18

the color of schooling

Since winter has decided to come early, all my outdoor work is done for awhile with the exception of shoveling which I do minimally, if at all.  Knowing how busy life gets once we get past Thanksgiving, I decided to work on a couple of indoor projects around the house.  No, not really projects, but areas that have been driving me a tad bit crazy because they are chaotic.  

Like the school cabinet in our kitchen.  It was jam packed with a variety of things such as spiral notebooks, school folders, crayons, pencils, loose papers, markers, old coloring books, textbooks, and tons of miscellaneous.  The task was one of separating, sorting, tossing, and putting away. 


This is the colorful accumulation of pencils, crayons, markers, and some of the miscellaneous that will be going back into the school cabinet. I should say, this is the collection that I kept as all the little pieces of crayons, stubby pencils, dried up markers, and broken pens were tossed into the garbage.  I'm thinking that we have enough pencils and crayons to not only last the rest of our homeschooling years, but well into eternity if we could take them with us.  

Without a doubt, it feels so much better to have that area cleaned up and organized again.  On to my next project.....

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, November 15

a thunderous fall


A prayer request was shared with me today that took my breath away.  A situation that was devastating to hear about and will have far reaching ripples into the lives of many other people. I feel stunned.  Unable to focus and wavering between praying and wanting to have one of those ugly sobbing fests.

Of course, the main question is WHY, God?  How does a believer get pulled so far away from God's truth to fall so far from God?  Is it that our culture — the enemy really — has been desensitizing all of us to what sin is that it's losing its ugliness? Its darkness?   I mean really, the word SIN has become antiquated these days.  Unrecognizable.  

Yet it's ever present.  Ever waiting.  And only a breath away for anyone of us to fall into as not a single person on this planet is immune from its pull.

That's why we need to cling to the One who has conquered sin.  Jesus.  

And that's why we need to pray for those who have fallen big and for those who are feeling the ripples of pain from that fall.  

Lord, have mercy!  Give us the strength to help us stand firm in You!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, November 14

real peace? real still?


Five Minute Friday is here for all who not only love to write, but love the challenge of doing it quickly!  For five minutes write on the word of the day.  No editing.  Post it.  Link it up at Kate's Five Minute Friday.  Click on the link before yours and be sure to leave a note of encouragement behind.  In fact, click on several of the other links and leave lots of notes of encouragement behind!  The word for today is STILL. Ready?  Set?  Write!

::still::

One of my very favorite passages of Scripture is of Jesus calming the storm.  My very favorite version of it is actually found in the Jesus Storybook Bible (I love this Bible and wrote about it a long time ago right HERE).  In fact, I actually read that specific story from that specific Bible a few weeks ago in front of church as part of a testimony about God's Word.  I know, rather odd, but it worked for me.

In that Scripture passage, I love that the storm was really really raging and Jesus slept.  When he awoke, it was a simple, "Peace! Be still!" which was followed by a great calm of the wind and waves.  That was real peace.  Real still.

Are we able to do that in our quiet moments?  Find that real peace, that real still?  Because I think that a lot of times we can hunker down in the quiet to spend time with the Lord when everyone in the house is sleeping and although we are silent and undisturbed on the outside, there's a lot of restless ruffled up far from tranquil waves and wind within.  And you know what the honest truth is?  Sometimes we'd like Jesus to keep sleeping so WE can figure out the best way to calm the storm.

It's often only when the waves and wind are about to throw us totally overboard that we truly do give it all over to Jesus. We let go of us.  We hold onto Him.  And that's when we can find real peace.  Real still.

Stop! 

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


Tuesday, November 11

clearly in the blur


Yup, this was the view out my window early this morning. Not much of a view, eh?  Snowy, very windy, leaving the woods looking like a fuzzy blur.  I didn't need to open my window to know that the view was also cold.

"Can't see the forest for the trees" came to mind.  

"Every snowflake is unique and one-of-a-kind" also came to mind.

In other words, sometimes you can't pick out a single detail because life is such a fuzzy blur.  Other times you are so busy looking at every little detail of your life under a microscope that you miss the big picture.

As I thought about those two opposite and contrary ideas, I was startled by the thought that sometimes the two can both be happening at the same time in your life.  Really, they can.

Have you ever experienced that?

Over the past few years I've looked at a lot of details of my life up close and personal and yet that vantage point hasn't made my vision for the future any clearer.  So that takes me back to square one which is....trust God.  For every moment. For every detail.  For every step.  For my future.

Pretty simple actually, don't you think?

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~




Monday, November 10

Daybooking in November


For November 10th


Outside my window.....the snow is coming down heavy.

I am thinking.....about how I may need to reschedule a few things this week because of all the snow (I've already canceled a few plans for today).

I am thankful.....for coming home a day early from a weekend of family time to get ahead of this weather.

I am wearing....my flowered denim jeans, a white top with my pink shaker sweater over it, and my fuzzy pink socks.

I am hearing.....the squeak of my youngest daughter's desk as she takes school books in and out of it.

I am wondering.....if the snow predictions are accurate for the next 36 hours and if this truly is the beginning of winter.  Could be another long one!

I am creating.....a list of Christmas ideas.

I am going.....to leave my car in the garage today and not venture out.

I am reading....."Transforming Grace" by Jerry Bridges

I am praying.....for a friend who is taking forever (much to her dismay) to recover from bronchitis.  

I am remembering.....that I haven't taken out any of my fall decorations yet.  Not sure that I should take them out anymore as I may need to instead pull out winter decorations.

I am hoping.....to "nail it" on a birthday gift I'm making for someone.

On my mind.....is how to best minister to those who have a totally different worldview than mine.

From the learning rooms.....are some writing projects for both girls.  I wish they loved to write as much as I do!

I am learning....that as believers in Jesus we often don't like to talk much about "refined sins" but instead focus on the big ones.

Noticing that.....the wind is picking up a bit and swirling the snow.

I am looking forward to.....the next time my family is all together.

Pondering these words....."Your calling is radically this: Gloriously hijack every darkness with grace." ~ Ann Voskamp

From the kitchen.....maybe I'll make some applesauce this afternoon and it'll be a pot of chili for supper.

Around the house....are the dumpings of clutter from last night as we came through the door after a weekend away.

One of my favorite things.....is watching my grandson say "no" about everything, even the things he means "yes" but refuses to say it.  He's really a little character.

A few plans for the rest of the week.....include Bible study tonight, hopefully work unless we really do get snowed in, a couple of meetings, and continued cleaning projects as I determine what stays and what goes. 

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


Hard to catch a picture as the wind is blowing, the snow is snowing, and the chick-a-dee is flitting quickly in and out at the birdfeeder just under the porch roof.

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

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, November 7

only place to turn

Friday is here once again, so it's time for some fast writing. Here's the deal - you write about one particular word for five minutes without editing. Post it.  Link it up over at Kate's Five Minute Friday.  Read the post before yours and leave a blessing behind.  Simple!  Here's the word for today - TURN. Ready?  Set?  GO!

::turn::

This really hasn't been an easy week for me.  In fact, it's been a miserable week.  Primarily, I'm just not a fan of November. Period.  And that is for several reasons.  The time change and the complete darkness by late afternoon.  The cold weather and the arrival of snow which is still on the ground (and we just so happen to have light snow flurries at the moment! grrrrr!) The woods which has pretty much lost all it's color and is a lot of brown and gray.  The lack of sunshine.  

Then throw in the elections of national, state, and local politicians and all the rhetoric that comes from them as well as a phone that rings constantly with all sides shouting out a message.

Then throw in having to send off a package in the mail that brought with it the renewal of heart rendering pain of an unresolved situation. 

Then throw in finding out about a little bit of undercover deception of a teenager. 

My mood went sour. My heart was done.  My own strength to deal with any of it was gone.

I knew I could only turn in one direction at this point.  To God.  My whisper was :::help me:::

And He ever so faithfully did just that.

STOP!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, November 4

it's all about the promises


People talk a lot about God's promises, but have you ever thought about this?....

"The Bible is full of God's promises to provide for us spiritually and materially, to never forsake us, to give us peace in times of difficult circumstances, to cause all circumstances to work together for our good, and finally to bring us safely home to glory.  Not one of those promises is dependent upon our performance. They are all dependent on the grace of God given to us through Jesus Christ." ~ Jerry Bridges

If you believe in Jesus Christ all of these promises are yours. Free.  It doesn't matter if you messed up big time or you've obediently followed all the rules.  God doesn't operate on a rewards system;  He operates on a grace system.  

Believe in Him.  Trust in Him.  Rest in His grace.  Soak in His promises.  Be transformed by His grace!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, November 3

the last of the garden

(snow amongst the strawberry leaves)

Back and forth I went once it snowed last week - if the snow is going to melt, the carrots will be fine....if the snow is going to hang around, then I need to pull the carrots out of the garden.

Can I just say I really love love love pulling fresh carrots out of my garden in the morning for my smoothies?!  But I  faced the reality last winter that I can't leave the carrots out in my garden — even with straw covering them  — because my garden gate freezes which doesn't allow me access into the garden.

So it warmed up enough that most of the snow melted (YAY!) and the carrots happily stayed tucked into their garden bed. Then this morning I checked the forecast and extended forecast, and I knew the time had come as too many cold with a possibility of snow days were ahead.

(pulling a carrot or two or twenty)

Recruited a garden helper with garden clothes on as we pulled what was left of a wonderful summer crop of carrots.


The carrots came in all sizes and shapes, but we were especially delighted with the longer straighter ones since they are easy to peel.


Unexpectedly, we ended up with two containers full of carrots which was many more than would fit in the refrigerator veggie drawer.  So that meant we also ended up with an unexpected project this afternoon of canning all the carrots that wouldn't fit in the drawer.  And also quite unexpectedly, my garden helper said she's LOVE to peel them!  So, she was busy peeling while I was digging out the canner and the jars and the lids.  As soon as that was all set, I worked hard to catch up to her by being the carrot slicer.


How nice it was to hear the pop pop pop of lids once we pulled the jars out of the canner tonight!

I can now officially say my garden is done for this season. Whew!  Time for it to rest under a layer of snow for several months and perhaps we can get caught up on life INDOORS.

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, November 1

November's leading


A good reminder of how we should live comes from a part of couple of verses from  God's Word - "Lead a life worthy of the calling with gentleness, patience, and love." ~ Ephesians 4:1-2

Even better is the following verse which gives a good reason why - "...eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." (verse 3)

These verses are even more critical to live out unselfishly within the body of Christ today as the enemy seems ever so busy to cause dissension and division between those who are called to work together as one body (read verses 4 -6). 

It doesn't mean that anything goes to preserve peace and we throw out all accountability, but rather efforts of restoring and reconciliation need to be in the foremost place in our hearts and minds. 

Seems like a good way to live as we head into a month of thanksgiving!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~  
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