Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Pumpkin Fun

We did some pumpkin carving here yesterday! What fun.

According to my little kiddos the best part was picking the pumpkin seeds out of the goo.:~)

We had a great time, and afterwards enjoyed roasted pumpkin seeds and fresh lemonade for snack.
Have a wonderful day! In God's Love, Tami

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Journal Art

Amanda over at Hidden Art has been following the Salt blog, by creating works of art centered around a weekly theme. I am a little behind in getting started, and I am varying my themes a little bit. I am making my version of an altered book to house my weekly creations.

I am using a book from the 50's. It has very nice heavy weight pages and a bookcloth cover. I have never done anything like this before. The finished product will be an encouragement and inspiration journal, where I can refer to themes like happiness, God's power, simplicity, grace, joy, my family, my little home, prayer, Jesus is Lord, contentment, vision, etc. I am using colored pencils, magazine cutouts, clip art, handwriting, drawing, photographs, bible verses, famous quotes and poems. Whatever inspires me.

Eventually, I will name the journal and decorate the cover. I happen to love the cover, the title of the book is "Lightning and Thunder" which symbolizes, to me, God's immense power. So maybe I will just leave it and add a bit of personalization.

Well, that's it so far. I pray that when it is finished, the journal will be a place for me to visit for comfort, inspiration, and encouragement. A reminder of all the gifts that God has given me, and the greatest gift of all, Himself.

One day I will share it with my children, with hope that they will be inspired too.

Have a restful night and a peaceful and productive day tomorrow.

In God's Love, Tami

Sunday, October 28, 2007

One of My Favorites

I read this poem for the first time on Jewel's blog.
I immediately wrote it down and took it to heart.

The Little Home by Edgar A. Guest

The little house is not too small
To shelter friends who come to call.

Though low the roof and small it's space,
It holds the Lord's abounding grace.

And every simple room may be
Endowed with happy memory.

The little home, severely plain,
A wealth of beauty may contain.

Within it those who dwell may find,
High faith which makes for peace of mind.

And that sweet understanding which,
Can make the poorest cottage rich.

The little house can hold all things
From which the soul's contentment springs.

'Tis not too small for love to grow,
For all the joys that mortals know,

For mirth and song and that delight,
Which make the humblest dwelling bright.

Bless you all in your little homes today.
Have a nice day of rest.

In God's Love, Tami

Friday, October 26, 2007

My Utmost by Doing the Dishes

There is a reason that I am showing you my messy kitchen sink. I'll explain.

While treasure hunting earlier in the week, I was blessed with a copy of "My Utmost for His Highest". While contemplating it's purchase, I flipped to the page for February 17th, and knew I had to buy it. The title for that day is "Taking the Initiative Against Depression". I bought the book.

Many of you don't know that I struggle with depression. I have not always, but after the birth of my 3rd baby I suffered from post-partum depression. Ever since I have had waves of it that come and go. I do not talk about it much, I just give it to God. Many times I have prayed for God to take this depression from me, after reading this article, I won't pray for that anymore. I will pray to have the eyes to see God's inspiration and to obey His leading in doing the most simple and natural things.

February 17 - "Arise and Eat" (1 Kings 19:5)
"The Angel in this passage did not give Elijah a vision, or explain the Scriptures to him, or do anything remarkable. He simply told Elijah to do a very ordinary thing, that is, to get up and eat. If we were never depressed , we would not be alive-only material things don't suffer depression. If human beings were not capable of depression, we would have no capacity for happiness and exaltation. There are things in life that are designed to depress us; for example, things that are associated with death. Whenever you examine yourself, always take into account your capacity for depression.
When the Spirit of God comes to us, He does not give us glorious visions, but He tells us to do the most ordinary things imaginable. Depression tends to turn us away from the everyday things of God's creation. But whenever God steps in, His inspiration is to do the most natural, simple things-things we would never have imagined God was in, but as we do them we find Him there. The inspiration that comes to us in this was is an initiative against depression. But we must take the first step and do it in the inspiration of God. If, however, we do something simply to overcome depression, we will only deepen it. But when the Spirit of God leads us instinctively to do something, the moment we do it the depression is gone. As soon as we arise and obey, we enter a higher plane of life".


The thing that I am led, instinctively, to do when I am depressed is the dishes. If my kitchen is a mess you know I am having "one of those days". I know in my heart that if I would just do the dishes I would be lifted up. Now I understand. God is telling me what to do, I was just not listening with the right ears.

Praise you Lord for this new understanding. I will listen, I will see, and I will obey. You are such a loving, merciful, and gentle God. I fall on my knees and thank you. I feel set free. Amen.

Have a wonderful day in the Lord. I pray that you are blessed by this revelation, if any of you struggle similarly.

In God's immense love, Tami

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A Ray of Sunshine

We are having very typical Pacific NW weather today........Rain, rain, and more rain.
Yesterday, though, was a whole different story. It felt like a warm and sunny day in June.
As soon as my dear husband arrived home, the talk of a long walk began. We quickly headed out to enjoy the glorious weather that was our gift for the day.

The colors of the leaves were breathtaking. Reds, oranges, and golds bursting everywhere. The sky was so blue without a cloud in sight.

We did a fair share of collecting treasures too. There were loads of pine cones, seed pods, and my children's very favorite "flower" in the whole world, the Dandelion.

This is the dwarf maple tree in our front yard. The leaves are bright red.

I pray there is a little sunshine in each of your days. Blessings to you and your precious families.

In God's Love, Tami

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Wee Friends

It seems that I am into all things small lately. We have been working on some little dolls this week. I found the most wonderful book called "Felt Wee Folk" at the library.

The dolls came together very easily and my kiddos are clamoring for more.

I made a 4" tall Mama and decorated a peg doll for the daughter. The book does have directions for the smaller sized felt doll, but I had the pegs already, so I thought I would give them a try.

I am going to pick up some silk flowers and make the fairy doll next. Isn't she so pretty!

Have a blessed Tuesday each of you. I am off to make more precious playthings with my little kiddos.

In God's Love, Tami

Monday, October 22, 2007

Who Am I ?

This is an amazing list of bible verse references that are so wonderful for reminding us who we are in Christ. I pray that you are as blessed by this, as I have been.

  • I am a child of God (John 1:12)

  • I am Christ's friend (John 15:15)

  • I am a branch of the true vine, a channel of Christ's life (John 15:1,5)

  • I am chosen and appointed by Christ to bear his fruit (John 15:16)

  • I am a son (daughter) of God. (Romans 8:14)

  • I am a joint heir with Christ, sharing His inheritance with Him. (Romans 8:17)

  • I am a temple-a dwelling place-of God. His spirit and His life dwells in me. (1 Corinthians 3:16, 6:19)

  • I am united to the Lord and am one spirit with Him. (1 Corinthians 6:17)

  • I am a member of Christ's body. (1 Corinthians 12:27, Ephesians 5:30)

  • I am a new creation. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

  • I am reconciled to God. (2 Corinthians 5:18)

  • I am God's workmanship -His handiwork- born anew in Christ to do His work. (Ephesians 2:10)

  • I am righteous and holy (Ephesians 4:24)

  • I am hidden with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:3)

  • I am an expression of the life of Christ because He is my life. (Colossians 3:4)

  • I am chosen of God, holy and dearly loved. (Colossians 3:12, 1 Thessalonians 1:4)

  • I am a holy partaker in a heavenly calling. (Hebrews 3:1)

  • I am a child of God and I will resemble Christ when He returns. (1 John 3:1-2)

  • I am born of God, and the evil one cannot touch me. (1 John 5:18)

  • I am free forever from condemnation. (Romans 8:1)

  • I am a saint. (Ephesians 1:1)

  • I am complete in Christ. (Colossians 2:10)

  • I am confident that the good work that God has begun in me will be perfected. (Philippians 1:6)

Have a wonderfully blessed and healthful day.

Remember who you are.

In God's Love, Tami

Friday, October 19, 2007

An Honor and a Thank You

I was so surprised today, when I opened my inbox to a Thinking Blogger award from Amanda at Hidden Art - What an honor.

There so many blogs that make me think. Amanda's blog is definitely one of them.

I am so saddened to say that the blog that made me think the most is no longer.

My #1 would have to be Jewels @ Eyes of Wonder, hands down.

2. Rhonda @ Down to Earth

3. Jenny @ Little Jenny Wren

4. Carrie @ Living on the Meadow

5. Stacy @ With Great Joy

Here's the fine print:

There are rules for those receiving the thinking blogger award. As always, you have the option to not participate. I completely respect that.
Rules are–

1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think.

2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme.

3. Optional: Proudly display the Thinking Blogger Award with a link to the post that you wrote

Well there is my list in no particular order. All ladies that challenge me daily in my thinking and encourage me to be the woman God intended me to be.

Have a beautiful and blessed day.

Thank you so much Amanda for the honor, bless you. In God's Love, Tami

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

So Tiny...

I have always loved tiny things.

As a child I can remember being mesmerized by "The Borrowers" books. Everything they had was tiny and re-purposed from something else. (Another reason to love them).
When I played dolls as a young girl, I would pretend to make tiny pies in bottle caps and used all sorts of re-purposed household items to decorate my doll house.
Last week I came across this tiny vintage tea set while I was out treasure hunting with my mom. Isn't so sweet? It must be from the 1940's, because the stamp says "Made in Occupied Japan". The second photo shows how actually tiny it is compared to a regular tea cup and saucer.

It's ownership now safely sealed with Miss Lisa-Marie, who could barely contain herself when she saw it. The set sits safely next to her teacups in our little china cabinet.
This morning she brought it out and very gently and sweetly played with it, then put it back until next time.
Oh, the joys of being a child. I relive it each day with my children during their wondrous adventures and playscapes. I may even enjoy playing more now as an adult, than I did then.........:~)
I pray that you all had a joyous time playing with your children today.
I'll be on the look-out for more tiny things, as it seems, Lisa-Marie is fond of them too.

Blessings to all and sweet slumber.
In God's Love, Tami

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Bread Day

I love baking bread.
One of my favorite parts of bread making is the smell of it baking. When my dear husband comes through the door, he just smiles, because he knows warm bread and butter are waiting for him.
We bake all our own bread. I say *we* because I have the best bread-makers-in-training here. My children love it, and I can't wait for them to learn fully as they get older.
Bread making is one of the things that we do, as part of living simply and frugally.
Such a basic staple that provides such a sense of warmth, coziness, and well-being, not to mention nourishment.

I pray that my children remember fondly our bread making, and choose to pass on this tradition to their children. They will leave our home, fully grown, and fully capable of making bread and hopefully many, many other things, too.

I pray that you all had beautiful and productive Tuesday.
In God's Love, Tami

Monday, October 15, 2007

Autumn Splendor

We had one of those amazing days yesterday. I couldn't have asked for it to be more full of love and family. We went to early service at church. Which I love to do. Afterwards, we picked up a dozen of the most amazing donuts I have ever had. Seriously, they are the best. (I confess to having a deep love for these donuts :~)

We had a lovely late morning, doing all of those outside chores necessary to prepare for winter. The weather this last weekend was such a blessing, the sun was perfectly warm and so energizing. Weeding, mowing, putting the garden to sleep for the winter. We also did a few little maintenance repairs to the house.

I love the act of "buttoning up" the house for the winter. A small taste of what generations of families have done and continue to do, to keep warm, dry, and safe. These preparations, made so much more sweet, by doing them together.

We took off for some fun, to our "secret" park. This park is situated inside a neighborhood. The perimeter of the park is formed by the backyards of these homes, and it only accessible by 2 pathways. It is a city park, but is so private and special. My kiddos love it. It was snowing tiny Maple leaves when we were there. There has been no rain for several days, so the leaves were dry and light and wonderful for laying on. The picture above is Michael, all buried in the Maple leaves. He was quite pleased.

We headed home near dusk, and gave the kiddos a much needed bath. After lots of wonderful stories, we got them off to bed.

I will always remember this day. It is forever etched on my heart. All day, I was overcome with such gratefulness to our Lord God, for making me a wife and mama. I do love it so.

I pray that each of you had an equally special weekend with your family. Have a blessed Monday, too. In God's Love, Tami

Sunday, October 14, 2007

One of My Favorites

Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing - Robert Robinson 1758

"Come, thou Fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing thy grace; streams of mercy, never ceasing, call for songs of loudest praise. Teach me some melodious sonnet, sung by flaming tongues above. Praise the mount! I'm fixed upon it, mount of thy redeeming love.

Sorrowing I shall be in spirit, Till released from flesh and sin,Yet from what I do inherit, here Thy praises I’ll begin; Here I raise mine Ebenezer; hither by thy help I'm come; and I hope, by thy good pleasure, safely to arrive at home.

Jesus sought me when a stranger, wandering from the fold of God; he, to rescue me from danger, interposed his precious blood. How His kindness yet pursues me. Mortal tongue can never tell, clothed in flesh, till death shall loose me I cannot proclaim it well.

O to grace how great a debtor daily I'm constrained to be! Let thy goodness, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to thee. Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love; here's my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above.

O that day when freed from sinning, I shall see Thy lovely face; Clothed then in blood washed linen how I’ll sing Thy sovereign grace; Come, my Lord, no longer tarry, take my ransomed soul away; Send thine angels now to carry me to realms of endless day."

Last week was so very full and lovely. I hope to have more time to write this coming week. I pray that you are all having a blessed and restful Sunday. In God's Immense Love, Tami

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A Gift and Another New Friend

This is what I saw from my kitchen window yesterday morning, as I was finishing up my quiet time with the Lord. All I can say is what a gift from God.

This little fella is "Blue Pirate Boy", J.D.'s very newest and very best friend. It seems with all the doll making that has been going on, my little men want in on the action. As I did with the last doll I made, all the materials were scraps and things I had on hand. J.D. is *so* pleased, and would now like very much, a little wooden bed for his pirate guy. It's a good thing he has a birthday coming up next month.

We had a full and wonderful day today. We had roasted chicken, steamed broccoli, and green salad for dinner. The house still smells so good.

I pray that you all had a blessed and productive day. In God's Love, Tami

Monday, October 8, 2007

A Cherished Memory

One of my most treasured childhood memories is of my paternal grandma making playdough for me. She was a Sunday school teacher for 19 years and had all sorts of fun things she made.
The recipe I have for it, is handwritten by her, and a treasure to me.
Her handwriting is so beautiful, graceful, and precise. So much like her.

We made "birthday" playdough on Saturday as part of our festivities. It is *so* easy to make and a great project for the kiddos to help with.

Here is the recipe for Playdough:

1 cup flour

1/2 cup iodized salt

2 t. cream of tartar

2 T. vegetable oil

1 cup water mixed with coloring of choice

Mix all of the ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Stirring constantly. As it cooks the mixture will get VERY thick and form into a ball. It will be very hard to stir, but keep going until the ball is formed. Remove from the pan and let cool a bit.

Knead the playdough while it is still warm. Store in an airtight container. Enjoy!

I pray that you all had a blessed weekend. Have a wonderful and productive Monday. In God's Love, Tami

Sunday, October 7, 2007

One of My Favorites

"Christ is believed in, talked about, and served, but He is not known as the soul's actual and very life, abiding there forever, and revealing Himself there continually in His beauty."

a passage from "The Christian's Secret of a Happy Life" by Hannah Whitall Smith

Thank you Lord for abiding in me and showing me Your beauty everyday. Amen.

Have a wonderful day of rest. In God's Love, Tami

Saturday, October 6, 2007

A Day of Celebration

Today my youngest little man turned 4 years old. He is such a little sweetie. I love that he prefers a snuggle with me over anything else. The wonderful hat he is wearing is "The Birthday Hat". Each person in our family gets to wear this bedazzled hat during their birthday festivities. This is a favorite tradition. The hat is quite silly and so fun to wear.

We have many fun birthday traditions at our house.

Each child gets measured and marked on the door frame. They love to see how they've grown. We also have a vintage cotton tablecloth that we write birthday wishes on with a laundry marker. Over the years, it will be so fun to look back on each person's handwriting.

Normally we do not buy processed cereals, but come your birthday at our house, you get to choose a box of *the* worst one possible to savor for your birthday breakfast.

This is the birthday banner, that the children and I made. We use it every birthday. We have rid ourselves of disposable party decorations, in favor of the kind that are created with love and lots of imagination.

Meet Corduroy. This is Nolan's favorite gift. I fashioned the sweet little green overalls, and my dear husband made the cute little bed. If you have a copy of the book "Corduroy" you can see where the inspiration for the bed came from.

The Tinker Toys were quite a hit with all the kiddos.

I just love my snuggly boy.

Here are more party decorations that I made. The pennants were made from scrap fabrics, and they are strung together with 4 yards of edge binding.

Nolan requested a "moon" cake. Well this was my best attempt. I made gray frosting to make it look like there were moon craters. He thought it was pretty cool. It was chocolate inside.

We had such a wonderful day of celebration. We have made a conscious effort over the years to make festivities and family the focus if our birthday celebrations. We really enjoy making and giving gifts to one another, but try not to have gifts be the main focus. I just love making my loved ones feel special on their birthday and everyday.

I am off now to an early bedtime. Today was full and lovely. I pray you all had a wonderful and peaceful day. In God's Love, Tami

Thursday, October 4, 2007

The Makings of a Friend

I see so many beautiful hand-made dolls all over the internet. My very favorite are the ones made in the Waldorf or Steiner tradition. Little Jenny Wren makes the most beautiful dolls and is so talented at it. She inspired me to make one of my own. (I hope that she doesn't mind that I used one of her dolls for my inspiration.)

In the spirit of the original Waldorf dolls, I used supplies I had on hand. The materials I used probably aren't completely appropriate, but it is what I had. I had a stray white sock that I used for the head, some leftover multi-colored yarn I quickly fashioned into a hat, and some velour salvaged from one of my daughter's sweatshirts. I used a polyester batting for the stuffing, again not authentic, but I had it on hand.

My sweet daughter chose a few accessories for "Madeline", like the crocheted flower and button on the front. She also decided on the eye and mouth color. I always *LOVE* to include the children, when I am making things for them. They are so delighted by the process, and feel the love that I am pouring into these sweet playthings.

I love making things for my children, and hope that Lisa-Marie gets *so* much enjoyment out of this squishy soft little friend.

Have a blessed and peaceful day. In God's Love, Tami

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

I've Got Mail!

I was so excited when the mail came today! My package from Elizabeth came with my beautiful fabric napkins. Aren't they just lovely! She did a beautiful job. The fabric she chose glistens in the light and is so festive.

The napkins look so beautiful set next to a few of my favorite friendship cups. I can't wait to use them for tea.

Thank you so much Elizabeth. I hope that your package arrived today, too. A BIG thank you Rhonda Jean for organizing the swap and for graciously including all of us. (Even the very late-comers, like me:~)

I pray that you all had a productive and peaceful day. In God's Love, Tami

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

My Little Corner

There is a little corner in my home set aside just for me. It completely embodies creative chaos. My projects are mostly in a state of process. So even if I just have a little moment or two to work, everything is there and ready for me.

I have found that if I put my sewing machine away, I never use it. If my knitting needles and yarn are tucked away, I lack inspiration. I do tidy up my area every once and a awhile, especially after I have completed a big project. (right now would be a good time for me to tidy...)

Here are the fabric napkins and a few little extras that I mailed to Elizabeth yesterday. We had such fun participating in Rhonda Jean's napkin swap.

I have so enjoyed having a little corner for my many creative endeavors. There have been seasons where I don' t have the time to spend there. My little corner waits for me. As we enter the "birthday season" and Christmas season, I am so thankful to have a place where I can make "handmade with love" gifts for friends and family.

Have a blessed and productive Tuesday. In God's Love, Tami