Thursday, November 29, 2007

Finding My Groove

This is the view from *my* chair. I have spent a lot of time here lately thinking.
Homeschooling is the ultimate in answered prayers, and I am slowly finding my groove.
There are so many things to consider, and if you have a right-brained learner like I do, you've got to get creative.
Truly, I am loving every second of this new adventure before us. I am constantly aware of my own "programming" towards education and am learning a new way. We are striving to provide a more natural approach to learning through truly *living* our learning experiences.
Thank you all so much for the encouraging comments since I announced that we are homeschooling. It means so much to have support and encouragement.
We have been so busy this week and I look forward to some wonderful relaxation this weekend.
The local historical society is hosting a holiday tea on Sunday afternoon, and I am going to get all dressed up and take my darling little daughter to it. She is so excited to spend the afternoon doing "girly" stuff.
I hope and pray that you all have a blessed and productive Friday and a restful weekend.
In God's Love, Tami

Monday, November 26, 2007

Our Thanksgiving Journal

We have joined so many of you in keeping a Thanksgiving journal.
A treasured place to chronicle the things we are thankful for.

I found this wonderful vintage leather binder at a thrift store. It still has the yellowed notebook pages in it. I embellished and distressed the cover a little bit and am using the original papers on the inside. I strengthened the lined paper with cardstock so we can enjoy the pages for years and years.

I used the hymn "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" as my first page and then wrote down what each person is thankful for on the next 2 pages. The next pages house a few special photos. I am sure that I will change the format and design each year. As my younger children begin to write, it will be so special to see how their handwriting changes over the years.

I get all giddy about looking back over the years at everybody's answers. I pray that this will become a treasures heirloom.

I hope and pray you had a very wonderful Monday.

In God's Love,Tami

Sunday, November 25, 2007

One of My Favorites

Goodnight, Little People by Thomas Hood

The evening is coming, the sun sinks to rest,
The rooks are all flying straight home to the nest.
"Caw!" says the rook, as he flies overhead.
"It's time little people were going to bed."

The flowers are closing; The daisy's asleep,
The primrose is buried in slumber so deep.
Shut up for the night is the pimpernal red;
It's time little people were going to bed!
Goodnight little people,
Good night and good night;
Sweet dreams to your eyelids till dawning of light.
The evening has come, there's no more to be said;
It's time little people were going to bed!

Well, I am off to ready my little ones for bed. We have enjoyed our extended weekend so much. I pray that you all had a peaceful and restful weekend. I am so thankful for each one of you as we enter this special season of our Savior's birth.
As our tradition stands, we put up our Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving. I love the lights and the sparkle at night. Such joy washes over me as I revisit each special ornament on our tree. What wonderful memories and traditions we have.

Have a wonderful night. In God's Love, Tami

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

I pray that you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your families. We have lots of family festivities planned for tomorrow. I will be sharing our new tradition of the Thanksgiving Journal in the next few days.
Have a very blessed day with your precious treasures.
In God's Love, Tami

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Unveiling

Most of my energy this last month has been put toward making gifts for my 3 kiddos that have November birthdays.
We are a homemade-with-love kind of family. I am always challenged to make something that they will enjoy and that is useful. We love making toys that provide open ended play for lots of merry-making.
So here it goes, a pictorial guide of all the makings of this month.

This is Sara. My sweet daughter is simply in love with her newest friend. She is a cloth doll, made mostly with materials I had hanging around.

My dear husband made this beautiful doll bed and I made the bedding. You can't tell but I used a vintage linen fingertip towel for the front of the dolls quilt. The linen has the most beautiful and delicate embroidery on it.

This is the quilt I made for my oldest son. I saved old cotton shirts, denim, flannel sheets and shirts, and cotton pillow cases for quite awhile. I used a washable wool blanket for the batting and a *so* soft flannel sheet for the backing. It is quite lofty and snuggly and is keeping my sweet son so warm at night.

My middle little guy could only think of one thing he wanted.......A knight's costume. I had to buy the helmet, but was able to make the tunic and cape. He was *so* excited.

Here is the finished mini art quilt I did a few weeks ago. I have it hanging in one of my favorite areas of our home. The kid's art corner. They have each contributed a creation or two. And love to see their art hanging proudly.

I was so happy to see their excited faces as they each opened their gifts. I really do enjoy making gifts for my family.

As our birthday season closes, the holiday season begins. I'll take a little break and then dive back into gift making.

I pray that you all had a wonderful and joyous Monday. I am relaxing today and enjoying having my children home.

In God's Love, Tami

One of My Favorites

"The Voice of Truth" ~Casting Crowns

Oh what I would do to have
The kind of faith it takes
To climb out of this boat I'm in
Onto the crashing waves
To step out of my comfort zone
Into the realm of the unknown where Jesus is
And He's holding out His hand
But the waves are calling out my name
And they laugh at me
Reminding me of all the times
I've tried before and failed
The waves they keep on telling me
Time and time again.
"Boy, you'll never win!"
"You'll never win!"
But the voice of truth tells me a different story
The voice of truth says, "Do not be afraid!
The voice of truth says, "This is for My glory"
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth
Oh what I would do to have
The kind of strength it takes to stand before a giant
With just a sling and a stone
Surrounded by the sound of a thousand warriors
Shaking in their armor
Wishing they'd have had the strength to stand
But the giant's calling out my name
And he laughs at me
Reminding me of all the times
I've tried before and failed
The giant keeps on telling me
Time and time again.
"Boy you'll never win!"
"You'll never win!"
But the stone was just the right size
To put the giant on the ground
And the waves they don't seem so high
From on top of them lookin' down
I will soar with the wings of eagles
When I stop and listen to the sound of Jesus
Singing over me
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth

This song came on the radio as I was driving to pick my son up from his last day of public school. I was completely terrified and *so* nervous about the huge decision we had just made.

As the words of the song played in my heart, a calm came over me.

The voice of Truth is telling us to homeschool. I will choose to listen and believe the voice of Truth.
I pray that you are having a wonderful and restful Sunday.

In God's Immense Love, Tami

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Everything a Place

I was looking around my home the other day and noticed that I use a lot of re-purposed items for storage. I like to think of new ways to give old things a job and a purpose. This old tin holds my jumbled stash of embroidery thread.

I fell in love with this old enamel pitcher, beyond food use, but perfect for our crayons.
My favorite vintage suitcases. (The 2 on the bottom were given to my grandma for her high school graduation in 1939). I use them to store photos and books.

A vintage straw purse is the perfect place to store all my trimmings and odds & ends.
This little enamelware cup is a wonderful treasure holder.

My favorite *free* treasure. This perfectly worn suitcase was just sitting in a free pile calling my name. I keep my extra candles in it.

William Morris said, "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful". I love it.

In my house, if it is beautiful it also has to be useful.

I pray that you all had a wonderful Thursday. We have had such a busy week and I am still promising the unveiling of all the handmade-with-love-gifts.

On another note, we are celebrating our decision to begin homeschooling. It is a long time prayer that has been answered. Praise God.

Have a restful night and productive day tomorrow, In God's Love, Tami

Monday, November 12, 2007

Thrifty Finds

We are having such a wonderful time celebrating the birthdays of 3 of my kiddos right in a row. We have 2 more to go this next week. I will be unveiling the gifts that I have been busy making after their grand presentations.

I spent a little time on Sunday doing some treasure hunting. I came home with a few fun things. Don't you just love the vintage kid's cookbook. It was printed in the 1950's and the illustrations are so bright and cheerful. I couldn't resist for .69 cents.

This hardbound book with a bookcloth cover will be perfect for one of my art journals. Again just .69 cents. YAY!

This beautiful little handpainted wooden bowl is only about 5 inches across, perfect for the little nature treasures that we gather.

And lastly, the perfect gingham lined basket for my sweet daughter's "dishes". She loves to play the cook.

I am thankful today that my family is warm and dry, protected by God's provision.

I pray that you all had a blessed weekend and that your Monday is joyful and productive.

In God's Love, Tami

Sunday, November 11, 2007

One of My Favorites

Father, We Thank Thee ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

For the flowers that bloom about our feet,
Father, we thank Thee,
For the tender grass so fresh and sweet,
Father, we thank Thee,
For the song of bird and the hum of bee,
For all the things we hear or see,
Father in Heaven, we thank Thee.

For blue of stream and blue of sky,
Father, we thank Thee,
For pleasant shade of branches high,
Father, we thank Thee,
For fragrant air and cooling breeze,
For beauty of the blooming trees,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee.

For this new morning with it's light,
Father, we thank Thee,
For rest and shelter of the night,
Father, we thank Thee,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee.

I love this poem *so* very much.
With Thanksgiving approaching, I have been pondering and praying daily about how much God blesses us beyond what we may ever deserve, and how thankful I am every day for my life and for all the blessings in it.

Have as blessed and restful Sunday, Tami

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

A Bit of Stitchery

I am *so* busy this week with gift making, but I took some time out to start a little art quilt. Inspired by Amanda at Soulemama, I took a sweet drawing that my daughter did at age 3 and recreated it with embroidery. It's not completely finished yet, but you get the idea from the photo.

My sweet angel is so excited to have her art hanging in our home.
I saved her drawing in my journal for a long time just waiting for an opportunity to use it creatively.

I love the way she captured us, you can clearly see my arms wrapped around her as little baby all snugged up in a blanket. I was amazed when she gave it to me.
I got a little crazy with the mix of fabrics and trim, I think it turned out quite pleasing though.

Well back to quilting, I only have 6 more days.........

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

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Busy Days, Beautiful Weather

This is a photo of our backyard yesterday morning. We are having the most glorious fall weather. It's been sunny and dry, with a crispness in the air, I love it. The sky has been the most magnificent color of blue, so beautiful. God is so good to give us all the wonderful colors of nature to enrich our senses.
I am the busiest lady this week. Three of my darling kiddos have birthdays this month.
I love to make gifts for them, so that is what I am doing this week. Every spare moment I have been working on a quilt for Michael, to keep him nice and warm this winter.
I made a doll for Lisa-Marie, and Daddy will be fashioning a bed for her new friend.
J.D. will be receiving some knightly dress up gear and a wooden bed for his pirate boy doll.
I will be sure to unveil all of these treasures after their presentation.

I must be off to fit in some gift-making time before bed. I also want to spend time on my Art Journal. I plan on posting my creative progress later in the week.

Have a wonderful and restful night with your treasured families.
In God's Love, Tami

Sunday, November 4, 2007

One of My Favorites

I love this verse because it applies so greatly to raising our families, and the atmosphere of our homes.

Colossians 3:15-17
"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts,
since as members of one body you were called to peace.
And be thankful.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly
as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom,
as you sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs
with gratitude in your hearts to God.
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed,
do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through Him."


Have a blessed day of rest with your wonderful families.
In God's Love, Tami

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Dress Up Fun

We dress up and go trick-or-treating on Halloween. Our little downtown area has a safe trick-or-treating area, where all the downtown businesses give out candy. Our church also has a Harvest celebration that is great. The older children also participate is dress-up festivities at school.
Because of the nature of the occasion, Halloween can be a difficult decision for alot of families. We do celebrate it as a fun-dress-up, get-treats, family-time holiday. My kiddos always dress in something non-scary and fun.

I set to work this year making a few costumes. My oldest wanted to be a magician. My sweet daughter wanted to be a princess. I found premade superhero costumes for the little boys and a premade princess dress.

Here's our little downtown area where the kids trick-or-treat safely. They start handing out candy before dark, which is so wonderful for families like ours, whose children go to bed early.

And here we are all done with candy collecting and ready to head to the festivities at church.

I had such fun making capes and crowns, hemming up a princess dress and finding a top hat and gloves. It is always a exciting challenge to try and do something fun for each of them.

I pray that you all had a blessed and productive day.

I will write again, as soon as my sugar-induced headache wears off...LOL!

In God's Immense Love, Tami