Thursday, January 31, 2008

Our Nature Box

My children love to come home with little nature treasures.

We collect during our outdoor adventures,
at parks, and on neighborhood walks.
We love pinecones, moss, lichen, rocks, nutshells, shells, cool bits of wood, etc.

My favorite treasure is our precious collection of "egg rocks".
It has become quite the quest to find little pebbles that are shaped like perfect little eggs.
We have them in just about every size.
I would love to make a little nest for them out of twigs.

I came across this old jewelry box last week and thought how perfect it would be for our nature treasures.
Today, we decoupaged all sorts of nature inspired clippings to the top of it.
I think it turned out quite lovely.

My children *love* projects like this.
They get so excited.

Each time we go out it's like a treasure hunt.
Now we have a very special place to put our precious findings.

Have a truly blessed Thursday. In God's Love, Tami

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


"Mommy, please make this doll for me...."

How can I resist that sweet smile. It will be my pleasure, my dear.

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

Little Gems

"If you wanted to gather up all tender memories, all lights and shadows of the heart, all banquetings and reunions, all filial, fraternal, paternal, conjugal affections, and had only just four letters to spell out all height and depth, and length and breadth, and magnitude and eternity of meaning, you would write it all out with the four leters that spell HOME."

"But home,- that word quickens every pulse, warms the heart, stirs the soul to its depths, makes age feel young again...."

Here are father, mother, child, brother, sister, companions, all the heart loves, all that makes earth lovely, all that enriches the mind with faith and the soul with hope."

~The Golden Gems of Life
First published in the late 1800's

These beautiful and encouraging words are from this precious book. If you own an original copy of this book you are truly blessed. If I ever come across a copy, I would hope to be able to buy it. What a treasure it would be.

I hope and pray that you all are having a blessed week. In God's Love, Tami

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Popcorn Love :~)

Another week is sailing by.
I cannot fathom how quickly the time is passing.

We are so joyfully busy with the dailiness of our life here in our little cottage. The perfect kind of busy. Lots of hours spent reading and cuddling, learning and talking, cooking and cleaning, living and loving. The very best of life.

We had a wonderful new snack today, homemade kettle corn. It was so delicious. A little sweet, a little salty, a bit crunchy, and a bit chewy. I'll post the recipe giving credit to Crystal Miller at The Family Homestead website. She has a wonderful family. They live here in Washington. Check out her website, it is fantastic and full of encouragement and inspiration.

Here's the recipe:

Homemade Kettle Corn

¼ cup olive oil (I used a little less oil)
¼ cup cane juice crystals
½ cup pop corn kernels (I used about 3/4 cup instead)
1 t salt

In a large pan that has a lid heat the olive oil until nice and hot. Add the popcorn kernels. As soon as the first ones start to pop sprinkle the cane juice crystals over the kernels, put the lid on and start shaking up the popcorn in the pan while the pop corn pops away. When all the popping has slowed way down, dump the popped corn into a bowl and sprinkle with salt. One warning.. when the popcorn it hot and coated with the sweetener it is VERY hot to the touch. So let it cool a minute before serving.

This is so yummy and my kiddos loved it. Thanks Crystal!

Have a blessed Friday and a restful weekend.
In God's Love, Tami

Friday, January 18, 2008

New Year, New Journal

I started a simple daily journal after reading about Jewels and how she kept hers. That was last June. My first journal is now full and I am ready for my new one. Isn't it pretty? I love birds, so I couldn't resist.

Over the past 6 months, I have faithfully recorded even smallest details of our life, in order that my children might someday have a glimpse into my life, and how it was enriched my them.

My daily journal also feeds my creative side, with clippings, recipes, poems, prayers, all the colorful details of daily life. I buy thrift-store magazines or they are given to me. Sometimes I will print out scriptures or poems that move me.

I truly love journaling this way. Unstructured and free-flowing, no lined pages, lots of scribbling and doodling everywhere, images that please my eye and inspire me. Occasionally, I will make lists and mark off my accomplishments for the day.

We are moving forward, time is passing, capturing the tiny details that I will eventually forget, with hope that writing them down will make their sweetness linger.

If you have never journaled this way, try it. It is the way that has been so fulfilling for me. Thank you Jewels for your inspiration.

Have a blessed Friday and a restful weekend. In God's Love, Tami

Thursday, January 17, 2008

4 Little Monkeys.....

I don't even know what to say about this.

Except, that I let them do it long enough to get a cute picture :~)

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

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A Breath of Fresh Air

Wednesday is nearly over, and this is my first chance to share the great fun we had last Sunday afternoon. My dear hubby was finishing up with yard chores, so I bundled up the kiddos, and we headed off to a nearby nature park.

Those ducks and seagulls were mighty hungry. There is always a huge gathering of them.

Children in desperate search of any early signs of Spring. They brought to show me, anything that might indeed verify that Spring was on it's way. Not many signs, we did however, come home with a basket-full of tiny pine cones.

I just love knotty old trees. So beautiful.

More tiny pine cone gathering. Such a cutie!

A little boy sincerely hoping that these white berries were a sign of Spring.

Children are the most amazing of God's creation. The joy that their wonderment brings, fills me to overflowing. When we partake in the most natural and simple activities with them, we truly see their heart. A heart that is all for God, and the wonderful world He has created for us to live in. What a blessing.

I pray that each of you is having a productive and blessed week. In God's Love, Tami

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Time Flies :~)

As we were sitting down to dinner, it dawned on me how quickly the week had passed. My days whizz by in a flurry of activity. With the added element of homeschooling, I feel my plate quite wondrously full.
I love being at home, and find joy in the rhythm of our days. I feel an immense amount of freedom in homeschooling. I am so grateful for the gift of learning *with* my children.
We can create boundless adventures, learn as we live, and be ever so grateful each moment for the gift of one-another.
I am still in awe of it all. I am *so* thankful that our Lord saw fit to open doors and soften hearts in order to bring my children home to learn. What an awesome God.
I hope and pray that each one of you had a blessed week.
God give you rest tomorrow. Blessings, Tami

Monday, January 7, 2008

Old and New

I am finally getting around to showing some of the fun gifts I made for Christmas. I made this doll for my sweet daughter. Her name is Charlotte, and she is fashioned after Laura's rag doll in "Christmas in the Big Woods" from the My First Little House books. My sweet little lady just loves her. We must have read that book 50 times already. Christmas is over and she still wants that book sweet. We are going to start reading "Little House in the Big Woods" soon, my kiddos will love that.

This lineup includes most of the little rag dolls and friends I have made for the kiddos lately. There is a pair of vintage Polish wooden dolls, that I fixed up and we gave to Lisa-Marie for Christmas. The boys always want things like dinosaurs, robots, superheros, etc......I aim to please :~) Quite a fine little group of new friends.

I finally managed to get in a little treasure hunting this weekend ~ Yay!

I have been looking for a new sewing/craft desk or table for a while. I found one this weekend for a whopping $17.50........It is vintage and it is made of all real wood. A nice sturdy piece, I love it!

I am a huge fan of crochet, but I prefer to knit. So I am always on the look-out for other people's crochet handiwork. I found this beautiful wool granny square afghan. It just the perfect snuggle size.

This beautiful platter will serve us well. It is so pretty, and a little more sturdy than my fancy china.

The crowning jewel is this wool braided rug. My sweet daughter's room was desperately in need. I was about to give up on finding a vintage one, and was nearly ready to buy new.....gulp, they are a few hundred dollars. This perfect rug showed up just for me.........for $10.00! I was very excited and my sweet girl loves it.

I have always preferred old versus new. I can't remember when that began. I enjoy the hunt, and also the feeling of being transported back in time. The giving of new life to a discarded item. Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. Use it up. Without realizing it, I have had this mentality my whole life. I love being resourceful and a good steward of the incredible blessings that God has given us.

I pray that you all had a blessed Monday. And thank you again for all of the caring notes and all the prayers on our behalf during the last month. It is *so* appreciated.

In God's Love, Tami

Sunday, January 6, 2008

One of My Favorites

"How Great is Our God" ~ Chris Tomlin

The splendor of a King, Clothed in majesty
Let all the earth rejoice, All the earth rejoice
He wraps himself in light, And darkness tries to hide
And trembles at his voice, And trembles at his voice

How great is our God, sing with me
How great is our God,and all who sing
How great, How great Is our God

Age to age he stands And time is in His Hands
Beginning and the End, Beginning and the End
The Godhead, Three in one Father, Spirit, Son
The Lion and the Lamb, The Lion and the Lamb

How great is our God, sing with me
How great is our God, and all who sing
How great, How great Is our God

Name above all names
You are Worthy of all praise
and My heart will sing how great Is our God

How great is our God, Sing with me
How great is our God,and all who sing
How great, How great Is our God

I just love this song so much ~ I found myself singing *way* louder than I should've while making lunch.......really *way* too loud. By God's grace, my children love me in spite of my singing voice. :~)

I pray that you all had a restful Sunday. Peace and productivity be with you this week.
In God's Love, Tami

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

A New Year, A Fresh Start

My dear husband started his new job today.
I am thrilled that he found a good job, and I am a little sad, too.

The last month has been such a gift of togetherness for our family.
What a blessed time to have him home. There is such a beautiful and easy flow to our days, when Daddy is home. It's like everyday is the weekend.

I will look back on December of 2007 and be thankful, as I am for all of the precious time we spend together as a family.

Tomorrow will be the first day back to our normal schedule.
I am excited to sit down with my son and decide our studies for 2008. He loves anything that has to do with animals. We will be using this as one of our major themes this year. Everything else is still coming together.

The new year always gets me into decluttering mode. I also like to write out my menus for the month, go through the kids clothing, and start planning for the rest of 2008.

I pray that you all had a glorious start to the new year.
Have a productive and peaceful Thursday.

In God's Love, Tami