Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Our little potager is coming along nicely. This past weekend we finished contructing the lattice tops and the shorter border fence. My dear hubby and I need to clear out the sod, reposition the chicken coop, build the chicken run, the beds, and a garden gate. There will be 2 raised beds for vegetables and the chicken coop and run will be housed in the garden. I am beyond excited to finally have an area carved out just for this purpose. A dream come true.

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

Just A Peek

Each of my children has a *treasure box* where they keep their most prized possessions.

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

The Un-Microwaved Life

We got rid of our microwave about a year ago. We had all sorts of reasons why. Possible health risks? Toxins? Altered food taste? Better safe than sorry?

Mostly I just hated what our microwave represented in our lives. Quick, quick, quick.

We settled for bad tasting and low quality cooking because it was fast.

How many other areas of my life are microwaved. Instant gratification. Have it fast and have it now. What happens to children who never have to wait for anything? Scary.

Patience is almost always learned. Not many people come by it naturally. I think that patience is beautiful, because it produces such sweet rewards.

Mostly I want a life that is savored and experienced fully. Taking time to notice and experience every little detail, even the most basic activities in my day. There is beauty to be found when we take the time to notice.

I love the way a hearty stew comes together, the browning of the beef turning the stew a deep rich brown, chopping the beautiful vegetables, combining all their vibrant colors in my big shiny pot, the wonderful smells and as it cooks down, all the ingredients seem to meld together. This takes all day, and it is wonderful.

Things that some to quickly to us, make us miss out on the process, and the beauty in the becoming.

That is why I don't like microwaves. I miss the *making*. The *process* and it's beauty.

I want the experience, the journey, just as much as I want the end result.
This applies to my food, and it most certainly applies to my life.

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

Thursday, May 22, 2008

My Morning Basket

One of the areas that I struggle with in my life is *lack of preparedness*. You would think that with 4 kiddos that I would be motivated to be more prepared. Nope........
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

One of My Favorites

I love getting *mama-flowers*.
I pray that you all had a blessed and restful Sunday.
In God's Love, Tami

Friday, May 16, 2008

Simply Spring

Oh, has Spring ever hit Western Washington. It is 80 degrees today!
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

Middle Time

I came across this beautiful poem on Laurie Elliot's blog, Blue Forest Soapbox. I just had to share.


Between the exhilaration of Beginning
and the satisfaction of Concluding
is the Middle Time
of enduring, changing, trying,
despairing, continuing, becoming.
Jesus Christ was the man of God’s Middle Time
between Creation and . . . Accomplishment.
Through him God said of Creation,“Without mistake.”
And of Accomplishment,“Without doubt.”
And we, in our Middle Times
of wondering, waiting, hurrying,
hesitating, regretting, revising;
We who have begun many things—
and seen but few completed;
We who are becoming more—and less;
through the evidence of God’s Middle Time
have a stabilizing hint
that we are not mistakes,
that we are irreplaceable,
that our Being is of interest
and our Doing is of purpose,
that our Being and our Doing
are surrounded by AMEN.
Jesus Christ is the Completer
of unfinished people
with unfinished work
in unfinished times.
May he keep us from sinking, ceasing,
wasting, solidifying—that we may be for him
experimenters, enablers, encouragers,
and associates in Accomplishment.
-- Lona Fowler

Isn't that just the most beautiful. It inspires me beyond words. Thank you Laurie for letting me share it.

I pray that you all have a blessed and peaceful day. (she types as her children are all wrestling on the floor and creating the utmost in joyful noise......LOL)

In God's Immense Love, Tami

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

"A mother's love is like a circle, it has no beginning and no ending. It keeps going around and around, ever expanding, touching everyone who comes in contact with it. Engulfing them like the morning's mist, warming them like the noontime sun, and covering them like a blanket of evening stars. ~ Art Urban

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

One of My Favorites

"The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature." ~ Anne Frank

I came across this quote at Seaside Enchantment.
This quote is absolutely how I feel, when I am in nature, experiencing God's creation.

I pray that you all have a restful Sunday.

In God's Love, Tami

Friday, May 2, 2008

Where Did All This Stuff Come From?

Title: "Overabundance"

"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.

My perfect home would have blank spaces ~ breathing room. Cupboards that are tidy but not full, drawers that are neatly arranged but not full, a few blank walls, everything in its place.
Room to breath, room to imagine, room to grow.

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

She Made My Day

Last week, Laura at Harvest Lane Cottage bestowed this sweet award upon me.
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