Friday, August 31, 2007

Simply Summer

The end of the summer is my favorite part. We get to cool off a bit, and reap the harvest that we have sowed. I have a very small garden, so we only planted our favorites. Zucchini, beans, tomatoes, broccoli, romaine, spinach, celery, and a host of herbs.

Me and my little friend, Ruby. We had quite a few beans ready today. Perfect for our supper.

Lisa-Marie age 3, loves to cut off mama's head when she takes pictures........giggle, giggle.

I so enjoy the simple meals of summer. A big yummy salad, chicken patties on whole wheat buns with all the fixins, and a big pitcher of ice water.

These are the roses my dear husband gave me on our anniversary, aren't they beautiful......
We had such a lovely, simple, and full day here today. My very favorite kind of day. We are starting to get a nip in the air at night here in the Pacific NW. You can smell fall in the air.

Have a blessed evening, Tami

Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Heart of a Home

This is my spot, where I spend time with the Lord. My trusty companion, Blaiz, always follows me down, even if it's the very early morning. I would love to say, that I have a comfy chair in a quiet corner to sit when I have my time with the Lord. But alas, I chose the kitchen table, not for it's comfort, but because I am ensured that my family will stay asleep.

My trusty work-horse of a kitchen sink. Lots and lots of action here. But truly, a very pleasant spot to spend my time. I have a wonderful view of a Wisteria vine growing atop our fence and the sun comes streaming in during parts of the day.

Another work-horse. This 1950's double-ovened range that we payed 65.00 for, is a joy to use. I bake 6 loaves of bread at once, I can cook a whole thanksgiving dinner at once......I just love it and hope to never part with it.
Much loved and much used pots and pans. Mostly cast iron and stainless steel is what I use.
Again, my quiet spot. I've become fond of this spot. So early in the morning, drinking up God's word along with my cup of coffee. Writing down all the wonderful words He gives to me before my day begins. A candle glowing, reminding me that Christ is the light of the world, and to daily show that light to my children. God is so good.

Have a very blessed evening and a beautiful Friday tomorrow. Blessings, Tami

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A Loving Gift

This photograph is one of the loving gifts my husband gave me for our anniversary. He set up a whole photoshoot in our garage and very sneakily photographed the children without me knowing......what a guy.

He knows me well. We have a whole collection of black and white photos on the wall of our livingroom. I was absolutely thrilled to be able to add a new picture of the children. What a priceless gift.

Here's another corner of our livingroom, bejeweled with lovely photo memories in antique frames.
I just love this one.......4 sets of dirty feet, all tired out from a full and glorious day, ready for a good bath.

I just love photographs, each one captures a moment in time, that is forever gone, but revives each time we look at the image.

I love taking photographs, too. It enables me to preserve these very special moments while my children are young. Time passes too quickly for me, I think.

Last night, we had a very lovely and delicious meal at a local Italian restaurant. It was such a nice anniversary, and such a beautiful day.

Have a wonderful evening. Blessings, Tami

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

My Knight on Shining Chopper

Today is our 15th wedding anniversary. Above is my gift to my husband. I took the above photo of the painting with my gift from him. He is an amazing and generous man.

My husband loves motorcycles. This painting is my interpretation of a photograph taken by our 10 year old son. The original photo was taken on the 4th of July, on our way to our friend's house. We drove in the van and my husband rode his bike. My son was so happy to have pleased his dad with a wonderful photo.

I sure hope he enjoys his gift, for it is given from my heart.

God has so blessed me with a wonderful man, that loves his family with all he is, and who provides with all his heart.

I am so happy to say, that I love him more deeply now, than I ever have.

We'll be going to dinner later, a nice evening out, just the two of us.

Here is a picture of us on our wedding day. I was 21 and he was 25. We were so young and had no idea what marriage held for us. The Lord has held us up, through every hill and valley, and protected the sacredness of our union. Praise you Lord, and thank you for giving me the perfect husband for me.

I hope you had a wonderful and blessed Tuesday. Tami

Monday, August 27, 2007

Love of Life

I just love the way children approach life. Full steam ahead, all or nothing, an adventure at every turn.
We had a wonderful Sunday together, enjoying a little festival going on in our town. We walked "downtown" and made a quick stop for coffee and treats.
We have such wonderful little businesses near our home. We are in an urban housing environment, but the closeness and smallness of the town we live in, makes it such a nice place to make our home. The "big boys" took a few turns on the rides and my dear husband peeked a bit a the car show. We headed back home, balloons in hand, very ready for an afternoon rest.
I love days like this. Nowhere we have to be, but just spending time together. Days like this go almost in slow motion, giving us that much more time to enjoy one another.
Thank you Lord for my wonderful family. Help me savor each and every moment I have with them. Amen.

I hope that you had a very blessed Monday, I am ready for rest. Blessings, Tami

Sunday, August 26, 2007

One of My Favorites

The Family Castle by Nancy Rakovsky

Our castle stands atop the hills, and offers strength of spirit. Place your hand little one unto mine, and I shall lead you to it.

The family castle is now your home, the stones grow ever stronger. For the castle's built on love and hope, alone you are no longer.

Behind these walls that rise up high, lies a garden lush and green. It's offerings bountiful as the sea, and beauty yet unseen.

Drink the waters that beckon you near, they'll fill your heart with hope. Feast on the knowledge offered here, for that will help you cope.

Our fires will fill your soul with warmth, to cast off the chill outside. Yet stay not here within these walls, they were not built to hide.

Swing wide the gates so you can see, the world lie at your feet. For without what hides beyond, the castle's incomplete.

Mount our stallion strong and true, for he shall be your guide. His legs have carried those of us, who've ventured far outside.

Fear not what you do not yet know, lead on and find your star. Fill your pack with experience, that you shall gain afar.

The good times will outnumber bad, though sometimes you shall fall. It's that time that you should seek, the strength of the castle wall.

For no matter the path you choose to take, no matter the strength of tides. You need only to look inside your heart, for that's where the castle resides.

Our "Family Castle"

Have a beautiful and very restful Sunday. Blessings, Tami

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Simply Saturday

Today started out like most Saturdays; lingering for a long time in our big bed, surrounded by little cuddly ones wrapped in fuzzy blankets, so happy that Daddy is at home all day. Above is the very happy Nolan, nestled contentedly next to me.

We started out the morning with a quick treasure hunting adventure and a stop for donuts. I was so exceedingly blessed to find two Hannah Whitall Smith books today for next to nothing. "The God of All Comfort" and "The Christian's Secret of a Happy Life" have been on my radar for awhile, and the Lord blessed me doubly today.

During quiet time today, I finished this cute little applique on one of Nolan's plain sweatshirts. He is very pleased. The rest of my quiet time was spent desperately trying to finish my dear husband's anniversary gift. I will be unveiling it Tuesday, on the big day.

Our Saturday ended with a grocery shopping trip to Costco, and a quick dinner there.

What a simply full and wonderful day together. I relished every ordinary moment of it, and am so happy to be a wife and mama. Thank you dear Lord.

I received news tonight, that Jewels' daughter-in-love, Claire, is in labor. So very exciting. We will be praying for her family tonight as this newest blessing is delivered into the arms of a very loving family.

I am ready to settle into my comfy bed. Have a wonderful night of rest, Tami

Friday, August 24, 2007

Treasured Memories

Today, I found myself going through my 5 year old son's preschool artwork.
I had them stored in an accordian folder, and not very accessible to the little hands who created these wonderful works of art. Along the way he had chosen which pieces were most special to him, and now it was time to display them.
I decided to create a scrapbook for him out of the humblest of supplies.I used a brown paper grocery bag to create the cover and the back. A few page protectors to hold the treasures and 3 brads to hold it all together.The artwork on the front is courtesy of J.D. himself.

The sweetly decorated gift bag that held my "hand-made with love" Mother's Day gift last year.

A sweet valentine he made for me. I had to fold it up to get it to fit. When I open it up, it fills my heart.

Sweet little handprints, that before we know it, will be full grown.

Well J.D. is thrilled with the results. I love the fact that he can now look over all of his creations, and remember the fun times he had in preschool.

I hope to do this for our two younger children when they've finished preschool.

Sometimes I just cannot believe how quickly time passes. I hope to not let any memory making opportunities pass me by. To grab on to each and every one, wishing I could slow down the passing of time just a little bit, to cherish their littleness a good while longer.

Have a wonderful evening and weekend. Blessings, Tami

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Child's Play

Several months ago, my husband and I decided to really look into our children's toys. Specifically, what they were made out of, where they were manufactured, and whether they were really teaching them something of value.
With what I believe was the Lord's leading in this situation, we began to weed out many types of toys.
We enlarged our collection of wooden blocks.
We agreed to keep our beloved Legos.
(Lego fully discloses the type of plastic they use, and it was an okay type.)
We increased our art and craft supplies. We made playdough.

We rid our home of most commercially-made and media-influenced toys.
This has opened up the world of "hand-made with love" kind of toys.

The most amazing and wonderful thing happened. They were beginning to use their imaginations and creativity so much more. They stopped asking to watch television. They began to *really* play. (And I was more than happy to join in.....)

We thrifted an absolutely gorgeous hand-crafted rocking doll cradle for my daughter. This will be something she can save for her daughter.
These are the thing we realized:
-Children do not need a lot of toys.
-Kids will turn just about anything in to a toy.
-We weren't giving creativity enough room to thrive.
-We weren't reading enough to our children.
-Media was more of an influence than we cared to admit.
-We like making toys and creating with our children.
-Our children treasure hand-made gifts from the heart so much more.
-Hand-crafted toys will last generations.
Most of all, we are just trying to make a lighter footprint on creation and trying to achieve a simplicity in our lives that involves less consumerism.
Plus, there is so much joy and fulfillment to be gained from creating with our children. We are not only creating the tangible, we are creating memories that will last a lifetime.
Have a very blessed night of rest and a joyful day tomorrow. Tami

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A Long Day

My husband and I were both not feeling well today.

On the bright side, I got to just sit for 3 hours and watch "The Sound of Music" for the very first time. Yes, you read correctly, I am the only grown person on the face of the earth that had never seen it. I absolutely loved it. My kiddos absolutely loved it, too.

I am so absolutely tired and ready for sweet slumber.

I hope to rise early tomorrow morning and get in my quiet time with the Lord.
He has been gently waking me and giving me such sweet companionship in the wee hours before my family gets up.
What a blessing this has been.

Goodnight and blessings, Tami

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Beauty in the Ordinary

Tiny perfect little tomatoes.

Jars full of ingredients waiting to be made into nourishing food for my family.

A repurposed mason jar glowing beautifully with candlelight .
Bracelets made by hand, each bead handpicked with love and care.

Fruit waiting to be gobbled up by the many little mouths in my house.

Plums so close to being ready, just waiting patiently to be enjoyed.
My prayer is that we all experience beauty, in even the most ordinary of days.
"Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places
where other people see nothing."

-Camille Pissaro
Blessings, Tami

Monday, August 20, 2007

Bit by Bit

"The true economy of housekeeping is simply the art of
gathering up all the fragments, so that nothing be lost.
I mean fragments of time, as well as materials."
The American Frugal Housewife - 1833

Bits of fabric saved over the years. Pillowcases, clothing, fabric napkins, a shower curtain, a sheet, a fleece blanket, and patience.
The ingredients for a less than conventional quilt.

I love taking bits of old fabric that might have otherwise been discarded, and creating a source of warmth and comfort for my family.

The challenge is to spend little to no money at all, to use what you have on hand, and fill in the gaps with pieces picked up along the way.
This is where patience comes in. It can take awhile to collect enough fabric.

The first time I made one of these quilts was about 10 years ago. This quilt has been so loved, and has seen many a little person learn to scoot and crawl on it. It has many repairs, but this adds to it's history and meaningfulness. My kiddos call it the "big blankie".

A few weeks ago, I was going through my bits and pieces and discovered that I had enough to begin another "scrap quilt". I've completed it just in time to welcome the cool nights that will be upon us very soon.

I find that quilting is such a wonderful way to build patience. Patience is so much a part of our daily walk with God and without it, we are left disappointed. God's timing is always perfect, and waiting on God takes patience. I heard a quote once, "God works for those who wait for Him". I always remember this when I find myself impatient for His answer or His leading.

The rewards for being patient are always so very sweet.

Have a blessed Monday, Tami

Sunday, August 19, 2007

One of My Favorites

"Be Thou My Vision"

Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart,
Be all else but naught to me, save that thou art;
be thou my best thought in the day and the night,
both waking and sleeping, thy presense my light.
Be thou my wisdom, be thou my true word,
be thou ever with me, and I with thee Lord;
be thou my great Father, and I thou true son;
be thou in me dwelling, and I with thee one.
Be thou my breastplate, my sword for the fight;
be thou my whole armor, be thou my true might;
be thou my soul's shelter, be thou my strong tower:
O raise thou me heavenward, great Power of my power.
Riches I heed not, nor man's empty praise:
be thou mine inheritance now and always;
be thou and thou only the first of my heart;
O Sovereign of heaven, my treasure thou art.
High King of Heaven, thou heaven's bright sun,
O grant me its joys after victory is won;
great Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
still be thou my vision, O Ruler of all.

Have a blessed day of rest, Tami

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Pure Joy Revealed

My eldest son, Kane
My sweet daughter, Anya

My middle son, Gage

Sweet angel again

My youngest son, Rafe