Wednesday, December 31

and the finish

The last of the photo challenge pictures for December:

day 29 - early morning

A rarity....the sun coming up and peeking through the trees. Wish we would see more sunshine, but at least January seems to be much sunnier (and also much colder....what a trade-off!)

day 30 - smiles

The backside of a coffee mug that my grands made for me is worthy of a smile AND will probably put a smile on my face each time I use it!

day 31 - celebrate

The frontline of a variety of sparkling drinks for toasting in the new year.

And so ends December.  On to the new year!

Tammy ~@~

Sunday, December 28

clicking six pics

Catching up AGAIN.  Actually, I've been held up because the photo of the day for the 23rd was 'baking'....and truth is, I just started my holiday baking, ummm, TODAY, ummm, which is the 28th.

day 23 - baking

As I said, I began my holiday backing today and started it with one of our favorite cookies - rainbow cookies.  They need to be chilled for a couple of hours, so I mixed them up as the first of all the chilled recipes.  That way they can chill while I'm doing other baking.

day 24 - loved ones

My youngest was honored to start the Christmas Eve worship service at church with a solo as she sang the modern version of Away in a Manger.  She was very nervous but did beautifully with many thanks to our friend who played the guitar for her.

day 25 - aftermath

A peek at part of our post-present wrapping pile.

day 26 - busy

Most of our family followed what has been a Christmas Day tradition for the past few years - a day of downhill skiing.  It tends to be a quiet day on the slopes and they have a blast.  I was one of the stay-homers and spent most of the day finishing up handmade Christmas ornaments.  (Do you see a theme here?  I was behind with EVERYTHING this year!) Here's a peek at a bunch of the ski boots drying out at the end of the day.

day 27 - relax

After much busyness, my son's dog finally settled for a nap. I'm not sure this could properly be titled 'relax' as he's only partially relaxed as he awaits someone coming toward the door to let him back out to run run run.  But at least he's trying to relax and rest.

day 28 - fresh

The coffee this morning came from freshly ground fancy coffee beans that were gently processed through the press.

And now I'm caught up again!  Whew!  It's pretty busy around here, but hopefully I'll be able to gracefully finish up the challenge for December.

Tammy ~@~

Monday, December 22

the flying days.....

Looks like I need to catch up on several days for my photo challenge this month!  It's been much too busy.....

day 17 - gift

Not all gifts come wrapped and ribboned, but are simple acts of service for others.  We had record inches of snow in November and my son-in-law shoveled our roof.  What a wonderful gift!

day 18 - happy

One of my sons graduated from college on Saturday and look what I received from him - a dozen beautiful roses!  Flowers - especially received in the winter - instantly make my heart happy.

day 19 - decorations

One of the fun angels that I found at a craft show many years ago.  

day 20 - mail 

The best part of this season is the mail that arrives each day - cards, letters, and photos.

day 21 - front door

Expecting wreaths and lights and pretty decorations?  Not on this front door. This is the main entry point for our woodburner, so there's always wheelbarrows full of wood ready to bring into the house.

day 22 - shopping

I simply cannot resist a good sale at this store as the scents are wonderful. Picked up two gifts here which I was tempted to keep!

Okay, I believe I'm all caught up.  Back to the busyness of the season....I'm not sure I'll ever be ready!

Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, December 16

warm enough

day 16 - bundled

It was very cold around Thanksgiving, so it was nice when it warmed up a little bit making it warm enough for the littles to bundle up for the outdoors and play in the snow.  

Our sledding hill has gone through a major melting spell since that time, but the snow returned last night turning everything white again.  

Tammy ~@~

Monday, December 15

a bit o'cheer

The Homeschool Post

day 15 - enjoy

Okay, so this really isn't a "photo of the day", but it is a picture that brings a smile to my face as it means I have readers who enjoy my blog and were willing to nominate it in the category of "Best Encourager Blog" for the Annual Homeschool Blog Awards. Yipppeeee!

I would enjoy YOUR VOTE for my blog and it's simple to do. Just click on this link - Best Encourager Blog - scroll down to "Garden Glimpses", click in the circle, and hit the vote button on the bottom.  You can actually vote one time per day for my blog until the end of December.  

Thank you so much!

Tammy ~@~

Sunday, December 14

the yearly stocking project

day 14 - handmade

Brought in my container full of Christmas fabrics as I have Christmas stockings to make.  It seems each year I'm making one or two as our family grows.  I do enjoy making them, but really should be doing this during the fall months instead of now when there's about a million other things to do at the same time. The most time consuming part is the cross-stitch design with their name, especially when it's a pet!  But it is also relaxing to sit and cross-stitch as long as I'm paying attention and not thinking about too many other things at the same time.

Tammy ~@~

Saturday, December 13

the cutting of the tree

day 13 - tree

A family tradition that we've had for quite a few years is to travel to the closest tree farm.  It's fun to jump out of our warm vehicle and into the crisp cold air to tramp up and down the rows of Christmas trees to find the one that is perfect for our family.  The problem tends to be that everyone has a favorite tree that they think should be THE tree for the year. So, there's a lot of back and forth until we come to the conclusion of which one will the THE tree as the saw is placed at the base, the tree is cut down, and dragged out to the road.

This year's tree looked to be smaller than what we've picked before, but it's actually a perfect fit for the spot it's in. There's nothing like that fresh pine scent in the air and the glow of the tree lights in the evening.  Mmmm mmmm, good!

Tammy ~@~

Friday, December 12

prepare without the bah

Thought I would combine my photo-of-the-day challenge with the weekly Friday writing challenge.  Every Friday a group of bloggers from all over the place contemplate one word.  They spend five minutes writing about it without editing, post it, link it up at Kate's Five Minute Friday, then visit the link before them to leave a word or two of encouragement. Today's word is PREPARE.  Ready?  Set?  WRITE!

day 12 - stocking


Taking the annual trip to cut down our Christmas tree right after Thanksgiving seemed like a good way to launch some enthusiasm about Christmas.  But alas.  As I sit here with less than two weeks to go, I'm still looking for the enthusiasm I need to prepare for such a wonderful time of celebration.  Bah humbug seems to be a more fitting description of my badattitude this year.  

I dunno.  It seems to be a combination of things - too many cloudy gloomy days, too many loved ones who have passed away through the years in December, too many memories of other Christmas times that were marvelously wonderful, too many changes over the past few years.  And primarily, a very hard season of life right now.  

Yet all of that doesn't change the real reason of the season, does it?  

Sometimes we have to wade through all the bah humbug clutter to remember that we prepare not because of us, but because of Him.  Jesus.  

Born in a manger and destined to become our Savior.  THAT is worthy of a celebration of JOY!

Maybe I should take that stocking down, eh?


Tammy ~@~

Thursday, December 11

cozy blessings

day 10 - cozy

There is absolutely nothing in the world like sitting by the woodburner through the winter months. It is THE best!   The problem is, however,  that it's a little bit too cozy. My homeschoolers love to curl up in comfy chairs with their books right by the warm little fire and pretty soon I notice they are snoozing!  

day 11 - blessings

Counting my blessings and the one most dear to my heart right now happens to be the blessing of praying friends.  Is there anything more wonderful than a quick text to a friend for prayer support and knowing that they will immediately pray for you?  

Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, December 9

call it cloudy

day 9 - weather

Outside my window at work watching the clouds pass  in various shades of gray.  Snow covered yard with icicles hanging in weather with temperatures in the upper teens. Often the sky and the ground match in color.

This weather gives me a constant longing for sunshine and warmer temperatures.  Only four or five months to go........

Tammy ~@~

Monday, December 8

new tunes

day 8 - new

We seem to have started a new tradition over the last few years - finding a new Christmas CD to listen to in our kitchen. This year's winner is Michael Buble' Christmas.  Mmmm hmmm!  Smooth wonderful favorite Christmas tunes are wandering around our ears each time we walk into the room.

Tammy ~@~

Sunday, December 7

#1 yum course

day 7 - dinner time

Yup.  Yum.  Number One.  

When it comes to one of our favorite homeschooling courses this semester, it's definitely Home Economics - Family Consumer Sciences.  In other words, FOOD! Tonight we enjoyed a specially prepared meal that consisted of mandarin salad, toasted parmesan bread, garlic potatoes, and slices of a wonderfully marinated broiled steak.  

Yup.  Yum.  A+ when it was all done!

Tammy ~@~

Saturday, December 6

through the days of December

At the beginning of the month, I determined I would do a photo challenge through December again this year and found a good list over at The Idea Room - December Photo A Day. Of course, it's taken me some time to find the time to post the actual pictures.  Soooo, catching up today with multiple pictures.

day 1 - red & white
A red shovel stuck into the white snow at the top of the sledding hill

day 2 - errand
A sign of errands run around town - ugly black snow dropping off the car when you get back home

day 3 - candle
My all time favorite candle ever and always on my list as a gift idea - Old Yankee Candle Home Sweet Home

day 4 - silver
A simple handmade by a daughter loaded with silver glitter ornament made by a daughter last year

day 5 - ornament
Keeping with the daughter theme, a favorite ice skating ornament

day 6 - sparkly
A green snowflake ornament catching the sunlight coming in through the window today

Now to see if this photo challenge will put a little 'umph' into my Christmas spirit.

Tammy ~@~

Friday, December 5


Have you noticed how quickly Friday comes each week?  It's once again time to gather with other writers all over the place to write for five minutes on one word.  No editing.  Post your link on this word over at Kate's Five Minute Friday and be sure to click on the link before yours to leave a word or two of encouragement.  The word for today is DEAR.  Ready?  Set? Write!


Each time I see the word of the week and begin thinking about it, I always try to write on the first thought that comes to mind without over thinking.  First glance at today's word DEAR brought up this:

"All I once held dear, built my life upon....."

This line is the first line of a song by Graham Kendrick entitled Knowing You.

Our lives are such a journey. As I grow older and consider all I once held dear in this world I live in, I find it lacking.  It is loss, it is spent, it is worthless when compared to knowing Jesus.  Because knowing Jesus is the only thing that will truly be solid in a world of craziness.  Knowing Jesus brings you truth and love and hope.  Knowing Jesus is the only thing that will get you through the many storms of life. The bottom line is that knowing Jesus is THE most important thing to hold dear.

Here's a beautiful version (because there are so many flower pictures!) of this song:    Knowing You


Tammy ~@~

Monday, December 1

from great to mega

The verse for December -  "I bring you good news of great joy for all the people." ~ Luke 2:10  

I love this passage of Scripture.  The setting is so incredible - shepherds out in the field keeping watch over their sheep at night.  My mind pictures the shepherds gathered around campfires and takes me back to memories around our own family campfires through the years.  Mesmerized by the dancing flames of the fire, giving those who constantly need to poke the fire with a stick a hard time, s'more messes on our faces and hands (probably not s'mores back then, eh?), and then, of course, the stories that are told.  

Yes, consider the setting when an angel of the Lord appeared to them with the glory of the Lord shining around them.  I know how hearing a twig in the woods behind us can cause everyone around a campfire to JUMP, so when the verse says the shepherds were filled with fear when the angel appeared, I'm tempted to guess that's an understatement.  If that weren't enough, what the angel shared must have been just as incredible.  

Good news of great joy for all people.

I have the word 'great' circled in my Bible with the word MEGA written by it.  

Good news of MEGA joy for all people. 

How about spending the month of December sharing with others about that MEGA joy?  Up for the challenge? It's good news that the entire world needs to hear about. Good news that brings hope.  Good news that came into the world wrapped in blankets.  Our Savior and Salvation. Jesus.  He's pretty mega, just sayin'.......

Tammy ~@~
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