Tuesday, May 27, 2008
The children helped paint this very colorful birdhouse. There will be 2 more houses on the other posts also. We are hopeful the birdhouses will get utilized, maybe as winter roosts, because the sun is way too hot for nesting where they are.
I put my tomato plants out this past weekend. I have 3 varieties this year. I love using bamboo and jute twine to make my tomato cages. You can add support wherever you need it throughout the growing season.
I can see all the sweet little apples growing on our tree.
Our salad garden is filling in so nicely. We are enjoying nightly salads. Yummy! The strawberries are fruiting. I cannot wait to enjoy them.
We are having lovely weather here this week. There has been enough refreshing rain in the nighttime hours to nourish the plants and beautiful sunshine during the day. I think Spring has finally come to Washington.
I pray that you are all having a blessed and productive week. In God's Love, Tami
Saturday, May 24, 2008
It is such a treat to peek inside their little lives and see what they consider treasure.
This is my sweet daughter's box. It is a shabby green vintage jewelry box with bright pink lining. She loved it the moment she saw it, and had to have it for her treasures.
She left her box open and as I walked by I was delighted to sneak a peek inside her box and her little life.
- her "Pretty" handpainted rock
- a construction paper flower
- a homemade bead necklace
- a *kiss* photo of Daddy and I
- a collection of pennies
- lots of little papers and notes
- her ABC photo book that I made
I noticed that most of the items in her box are gifts given to her. Her love language possibly?
The boys have equally interesting stuff in their boxes. My kids really enjoy having a place to save those things that have meaning to them at this moment. I can imagine that over the years the contents will change. I will treasure being able to have a glimpse into their lives at each stage.
Have a blessed Saturday and a restful weekend.
In God's Love, Tami
Friday, May 23, 2008
Thursday, May 22, 2008
So I decided to put forth a valiant effort to be prepared for once. I put together a "morning basket" with all the essentials that I need to wake early and meet the Lord. I often pray for the Lord to wake me in the night to meet with Him. He constantly answers my prayer and then I find myself unprepared. Not any more.
This handy little basket sits right next to my bed, ready to be scooped up at any hour.
I have my bible, my prayer journal, my ipod, loads of pens, matches, and a scented candle in a mason jar. Oh how I love to read the bible by candlelight. The pages of most bibles are so thin that candlelight shines right through the pages and makes them glow. It is truly beautiful.
So there you have it. No more excuses. I am prepared Lord. Beckon me softly from my sleep, Lord. Amen.
Have a restful night and a blessed Friday.
In God's Love, Tami
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Friday, May 16, 2008
Break out the summer skirts, I am in heaven.
We spent this morning at the park with preschool friends.
Now the children are enjoying a little quiet time, and I have a moment to write about our week.
A few weeks ago we made these yummy Chocolate Sugar Cookies. They are Martha Stewart's recipe and we love them. They are so rich, that one is plenty. Make sure that you use unsalted butter, I used salted the first time and unsalted is much better.
Our little children's garden is coming along nicely, salad gardens fill in so quickly, and are an instant reward. I love that.
My bigger garden is coming along also. We have moved our fence out to the very back of the property line. The back of our lot faces an alley. We park back there sometimes. We are converting that back parking area and some of the grass in to my *bigger* garden and the chicken area. I am so excited! You can see my coop in the photo, just waiting to be moved to it's new home as soon as we finish moving the fence. We also need to finish the demo of the old fence, but you can see the new fence in the background. It will have a panel of lattice on the top for light to filter through.
I am a country girl at heart. We bought our home 14 years ago, in an urban housing neighborhood in a smallish town. We love our town, but I yearn for more open space. My dear hubby has put so much of his heart and soul into making our home a beautiful one, which makes the thought of ever moving a painful one. We are here for the long haul, so I am choosing to grow where I am planted~literally. I am trying to reclaim some unused areas of our lot and make them *work* for us. I guess we are what you would call "urban homesteaders". My vision would be to grow the majority of our own produce and have fresh eggs. This garden is a small step in that big dream of mine.
On Mother's Day our first baby birds of the season took flight for the first time. It is so cute to see them flutter around while the Mama and Daddy feed them and gently guide them in their first flying lessons. This bird house hangs in our large Sweet Gum tree. We have a *birds-eye* view of the lives of these sweet little creatures outside our dining room window. This is the 6th year that we have had nesting birds in the birdhouse. Each year the pair have 4 hatchings, one each month from April until July. I am so blessed to be able to witness this miracle with my children. Birdwatching is one of our favorite things to do.
This weekend will be spent getting closer to having a real garden, and we are sure to be blessed with beautiful weather. Yay!
I can feel our homeschool year winding down, as every moment of free time beckons us outdoors. There is so much energy in the air. So much inspiration, I love this time of the year.
Well I am headed outside to enjoy the rest of this blessed day. Have a wonderful weekend.
In God's Love, Tami
Monday, May 12, 2008
-- Lona Fowler
Sunday, May 11, 2008
This quote comes from a book called "Little Spoonfuls of Chicken Soup for the Mothers' Soul". My dad gave this little book to me 8 years ago, while he was suffering with Pancreatic cancer. Little did he know how often I would refer to it's pages and be comforted by it's words.
My dad was a man of few words. This sweet little book was his way of encouraging me as a young mama, knowing that he wouldn't be there to encourage me as the years passed on. The Lord took my dad Home in January 2001, a few months after he gave this book to me. So this Mother's Day, in addition to celebrating my mom and mother-in-law, I am thinking of my dad and how much I miss him, and how much he taught me about being a good parent.
I pray that you are all having a blessed Mother's Day and a restful Sunday.
P.S. My dear husband's gift to me was getting seriously busy with my expanded vegetable garden and future home to our chickens! Yay! What a wonderful gift! The children blessed me with gardening tools that I appreciate so very much.
In God's Immense Love, Tami
Sunday, May 4, 2008
I came across this quote at Seaside Enchantment.
Friday, May 2, 2008
"Where did all this stuff some from?" -This is a question I often ask myself.
Another is, "Why are we keeping these things?"
We have *so* much more than we need, and this bothers me. We are not big consumers. I would even call our family anti-consumeristic. But, we still have lots of *stuff*, truly unecessary stuff.
I de-clutter *a lot*. Always a big bag waiting in the laundry room to be donated. And still too much.
I find that tidying stuff, keeps me from actually cleaning. It seems that, by the time I am done tidying in order to then clean, my time is all eaten up. I want time for tidy and clean.
I am by nature, orderly. I've discovered, a person can be orderly with much and orderly with little. It seems to me it would be less time consuming to be orderly with little. This would free up time. A precious commodity for all of us. Precious time with Jesus, my children, my husband, my friends & family.
I came across this excerpt from an essay entitled Stuff, by Paul Graham.
"I have too much stuff. Most people in America do. In fact, the poorer people are, the more stuff they seem to have. Hardly anyone is so poor that they can’t afford a front yard full of old cars.
It wasn’t always this way. Stuff used to be rare and valuable. You can still see evidence of that if you look for it. For example, in my house in Cambridge, which was built in 1876, the bedrooms don’t have closets. In those days people’s stuff fit in a chest of drawers. Even as recently as a few decades ago there was a lot less stuff. When I look back at photos from the 1970s, I’m surprised how empty houses look. As a kid I had what I thought was a huge fleet of toy cars, but they’d be dwarfed by the number of toys my nephews have. All together my Matchboxes and Corgis took up about a third of the surface of my bed. In my nephews’ rooms the bed is the only clear space. Stuff has gotten a lot cheaper, but our attitudes toward it haven’t changed correspondingly. We overvalue stuff."
If you go to Paul Graham's whole essay, it is such a good read. So much of it rings true of me, the eternal treasure hunter and bargain shopper.
Have we become numb to our over-abundant lifestyles. Has this way of life crept in and taken over. I say time and time again, "I do not remember having this much stuff growing up." Talking, of course, about the mounds of children's toys at my house. (Even after down-sizing my kids have way more than we ever had, I think my kids still have too much).
"Things" are too easily accessible. If we want more, we can have it, and cheaply I might add. It is very easy to attain too much in today's times. It is hard to resist the temptation to have things just because we can.
It takes courage to let go of things. It also takes faith. Faith in our Lord God, that he will provide for our needs.
It's hard to rationalize getting rid of something that you may need some day. Is keeping it being a good steward or is keeping it not trusting God? This is a question I grapple with often. I am still grappling, as I still have a cupboards full of stuff I am keeping just in case.
I am not a wasteful person, this adds to my indecision. If we have spent money unwisely on something, and really don't use it, do we keep it? Should we give this unused item away or sell it, and learn a lesson in unwise spending?
I am thinking that all of these unanswered questions of mine are the reason we have too much stuff. We haven't learned the answers to our questions yet.
I am pretty sure I know where it all comes from , we bring it in. It is not reproducing under the beds, although this is a pretty good theory :~)
And now after this lengthy internal dialogue, I am pretty sure that I know why we keep it. We are torn. We are sentimental. We are undecided. We don't know where to begin.
I think the answer for me begin with not bringing in anymore stuff in that we do not *need*. I have a healthy grasp on what a real need is, so I won't be trying to convince myself that I *need* one more vintage mixing bowl :~)
My plan is that when we have a handle on this, I can then begin to weed through our stuff and decide what we really use.
Ahhhhhh, I feel so much better. A plan.
For me, to be freed from excessive possessions means, a clearer more open path to relationship with our Lord, more time for my family and friends, and an uncluttered mind, body, and soul.
When I have fewer *things* to care for, I have more time for the most important calling of my life, to be a servant of the King, a wife and mama to my family, and to be a light to my friends.
Thank you for bearing with me as I muddle through the *clutter* in my head. I appreciate you all, and you are a blessing to me.
Have a beautiful Friday. In God's Love, Tami
Thursday, May 1, 2008
Her blog is wonderful and she is a delightful lady.
There are countless bloggers out there that make my day.
It's hard to only choose six.
I think I will pass this on to:
Carrie at Pine Meadow Chronicles
Peggy at The Simple Woman
Stacy at With Great Joy
Amy at Living, Learning, and Loving Simply
Andrea at The Flourishing Mother
Heather at Homemade Joys
If you 6 ladies feel like joining in, just pass this award onto 6 bloggers that make your day.
Have a blessed and productive Thursday!
In God's Love, Tami