Saturday, December 31, 2011

::Christmas 2011::

{my beautiful new pendant from my family~a peace dove}

Here's a recap of the gifting that went on around here.

Some handmades made their way into the mix. I would have liked to have done more, maybe next year. I really enjoyed making monogram mugs using thrift store mugs and a porcelain pen. (via Designmom) On Christmas morning, the mugs were waiting for the kids with hot cocoa mix and a candy cane.
I knitted a Mario hat for a Rafe (the Mario graphic based on this pattern) and knitted a tiny doll cardigan for Anya's new dollie. We made homemade gift boxes out of scrapbook paper (instructions here), and some new Christmas Eve birdy earrings for my Anya.
My husband and kiddos gave me the most beautiful silver dove pendant and farmer's egg crates (found here) for all of the beautiful eggs our chickens give us. My sweetie daughter upcycled a thrift store bracelet by adding the charms. This was a special mama gift for me and I love it. I am hoping that she will bring me little treasures to put on it every so often.
Anya is the one who gets the most into gift giving. On Christmas morning she makes sure that everybody has lots of little treasures to open. Chocolate bars, nearly spent gift cards, plastic toy rings, handmade ornaments, coins ~all wrapped~(with gift tags) something for each of us. She is so special in that way. Always thinking of others.
The chunky turquoise and red coral bracelet ~ my 81 year old grandma made this for me~She is hip!
The few electronics and games that we got seemed to rule Christmas Day........I am okay with that.
Hubby Eric is custom fabricating a recumbent bike, so we got him a bike seat and wireless odometer. He was happy.
I purchased some doll dresses on Etsy ( here ) for Anya's doll to go with the sweater I knitted.
Grandma knitted a doll blanket and made a pillowslip. She is in doll heaven.
The boys, did I already mention electronics and games? Oh, and BB guns ~ enough said.

We had such a lovely Christmas. It already feels like it's weeks in the past. I love the peace and quiet after the holidays, but I wish Christmas would linger a little longer.

Have a very Happy New Year's Eve!

I pray that 2012 holds many wonderful memories to be made, new things to learn, and lots of special times with friends and family.

Blessings in the new year!

Monday, December 26, 2011


{Can you see Mario?}

{Christmas Eve}

{Christmas Morning}

{Beautiful view on Christmas Eve}

We had so much joy this Christmas season.
I pray that each of you had just as much and even more.
I am going to enjoy this quiet time with my family cooking, knitting, sewing, and cuddling with my favorite little (and big) ones.
We'll talk again after the New Year.

Friday, December 23, 2011


Honey Almond Granola

6 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup sliced raw almonds

Combine these first 5 ingredients in a large bowl.
In a small saucepan over medium heat combine:

1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter (yowza!)
1/2 cup honey

When the butter/honey mixture is melted, pour it over the oats mixture. Stir to coat all the oats.
Spread granola onto a parchment lined large jellyroll pan. (or use 2 medium pans)
Bake @ 350 degrees for a total of 35-40 minutes. Lightly stir every 10 minutes to keep the browning even. Oats should be a toasty color and the sugar caramelized.
Completely cool on pan. Break up into smaller pieces and store in airtight container.

I usually add the yummy stuff in after baking:
dried cranberries
chopped dried apricots
chopped crystalized ginger
shredded coconut

This is very gift-worthy granola. Our daily granola recipe is a little less *rich*.
This is a terrific treat though.

::Whole Lotta Baking Goin On::


We are in the final stretch!
We've made Honey Almond Granola (not the lowfat version BTW-hello butter!), PB Blossoms, Pretzel Kisses, Christmas cut-out cookies (my grandma's recipe), Chocolate Crinkle cookies, & Rice Crispy Treats. I might throw in a little fudge, too.
When I get a chance, I'll put the granola recipe in the recipes tab at the top of the page. It is so good and totally gift-worthy.
The next few days are a whirlwind of family, friends, food, and fun.
I pray that you all have a blessed and very Merry Christmas with your loved ones.
Peace, joy, and love~

Thursday, December 22, 2011


{Anya having her little Christmas cry in 2004}

Well, it happened. My annual 3 days before Christmas cry. It's where my plans to keep it simple collide with the reality of having a large and extended family.
There. Done. Let's move on.
I hope that you are all having a joyous and productive day, with or without tears :)
Blessings, Tami

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

::Christmas Corners::

{Advent candles before dawn}

{Our tree}

A look at a few of the Christmas corners in our home.
I love bringing nature inside during the holidays. We collected these greens and berries from around our neighborhood. This is something we do every year.
I wrapped most all of our gifts with craft paper and printed off some lovely free labels from the wonderful artists on the web.
Our stockings are handmade using old felted sweaters. They are made in a patchwork design. I then embroidered each child's inital on the front. They are sturdy, and rustic, and mama-made with lots of love.
I was looking over our home and I realized that we keep our decorations very simple. Our home is small and becomes quickly overwhelmed when all the surfaces are overtaken with stuff. Simple seems just perfect for us though.
I am off to finish the gift baking with my kiddos.
{Our stockings}

 Sorry for the terrible pictures it is really hard to get good photos when it is so gray outside :)

Have a blessed day, Tami

Monday, December 19, 2011

::Follow the Sun::

 Here in the Pacific NW the sun is a rare sight during the very dim and gray winter months. When the sun comes out it changes my whole day. I snapped a few photos the other day, it was just so wonderful.

Today, the gray and the rain resume. You'd think after my whole life here that I would be used to it. I *am* thankful for the marked change in seasons in these parts. It makes me appreciate the sunshine so much more. I say that now, but come February ask me again. (It rains nearly every day in February).
A little snow would be nice to get everybody in the Christmas spirit. Not likely, but it would be such a delight!

notice the can actually see it when it's sunny!
 A few years ago, we had a 2 feet of snow during December. I loved it so much. I didn't drive anywhere for 2 weeks, we walked to get our groceries, the kids played all day long on their sleds, and we stayed dry and warm in our cozy old cottage. I would love that again some time.

I know my chickers love the sun!
I am off now to enjoy having my family home for the next 2 weeks! That's what gets me in the Christmas spirit!
Have a blessed Monday! Tami

Sunday, December 18, 2011

::Some thoughts::

     I think so much about how I would like to spend the precious amount of time I have after the days tasks are completed.
     I know that I love to write. Blogging and journaling satisfy me in that.
     I would also like to be a person that teaches. I don't want to be a teacher, as in college degree, but a person that folks can come to if they want to learn something. Does this make sense?
Mostly, I would like to help people learn skills, homemaking arts, etc. I can see teaching knitting, sewing, bread making, soapmaking, or canning. Knowledge I believe is useful, knowledge that is being lost because it is not being handed down through the generations anymore.
     I love to make things. Having a creative outlet is very important for me. Being able to create everyday is vital for me. I don't generally sell the items I make though. Mostly, I love to make things that bless my family and gifts for loved ones. I do sell a few things through Etsy, and I find that fun.
     I actually sounds like I have a pretty good idea of what I want.
Now I will just pray for direction. And that's a good place to start.
Have a blessed day, Tami

Saturday, December 17, 2011


Our traditional on the floor photo 2011
Here's a little peek at the Christmas goings on at our house.
Our Christmas Photo.
There's a funny story behind taking the kids photo on the floor every year.
When Rafe and Anya were tiny babies, a month old to be precise, I could not for the life of me figure out how to get a Christmas picture done, let alone get out of the house :)
The babies were too little to crawl away, Kane was 7 and would stay where I put him, so I only had to contend with a very wiggly 2 year old Gage.
We managed to get a decent photo that year and I was so thankful.

 The only year we didn't get a floor photo was when the babies had just turned one. I had to strap them in their highchairs in front of the Christmas tree to keep them in the photo!

This is one of our loveliest Christmas traditions.

Have a blessed Christmas! Tami

Friday, December 16, 2011


I am ready to start writing again.

     The last 2 years have seen a great deal of change for me. With my children in public school full-time, I am at home alone during the day  (I am forgetting to mention, of course, 3 loyal dogs that follow my every move ).
     I am still struggling to find my way, without my children here during the day I have had to adjust my idea of what I AM during the hours that they are away. My days were filled with their "joyful noise", now it is quiet. I *am* slowly learning to enjoy the quiet.
     My family's presence gives me wholeness in the truest sense. I was created to be a mother. What is my purpose apart from that? I would like to know. First and foremost I am a wife and mother. Beyond the most important part of my life, my family and my home, I would like to do something that brings me joy.
Maybe writing will help me find my way.

You'll hear from me again soon.

Have a blessed weekend, Tami