Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Abbie is here

My step-daughter, Abbie, has been visiting with us from Seattle since Saturday. She leaves on Friday. I've just been attempting to maintain order and continue to get ready for the move.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Abbreviated Christmas Story

In those days, the emperor wanted to count all the people that he ruled. He ordered everybody to return to where they were born. Joseph and Mary had to return to Bethlehem. It took them nearly a week to travel there. When Mary and Joseph arrived, they saw people everywhere. People were camped in the streets and beside the road. Mary was tired. They stayed in a cave. The people kept their animals inside that cave. Since they kept the animals in the cave, they called it a stable. Joseph said to Mary, "Let's go into the stable. We can make a bed on the straw. It's better than sleeping outside." They went to the stable so Mary could rest and Joseph made her a nice bed using the straw. That night, Mary's baby was born. Mary wrapped him in and long strips of cloth to keep him warm. She made a bed for him in a manger full of straw. Mary and Joseph were very happy. Mary and Joseph named him Jesus as the angel had said.

Dear God,
Thank you so much for giving us Jesus. Thank you so much for all you do for us. Thank you for loving us. Help me to love as You do. This I ask through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Friday, December 19, 2008

This Mommas Heart Aches

The kids all brought home all of their school Christmas Crafts today. They are all out of school until next year.  Miranda brought a ton of things home. One of her crafts was a Snow Woman cut out of cardboard and glued together puzzle form then painted. Here is a picture:

This is her snow is pink has Breast Cancer!

(Yes my heart stopped!)
My poor children! It must have been awful to go through this so young. Kiera she wasn't even BORN yet!! I can't help but wondering how this has affected them each. About two months ago Miranda found one of my hats I had used while bald and had it on and said she wanted to keep this hat so she could wear it when she loses all her hair because she has Breast Cancer!
Geesh...this poor Momma's heart just aches for my kids. Here come the waterworks!!


Why do we have to wait for special moments to say nice things or tell people we care about them?

Randy K. Milholland,

December Breast Exam Reminder

When you're young, breast cancer is probably the furthest thing from your mind. However, it shouldn’t be. Although breast cancer in young women is significantly less common among those from 20 to 39, it does happen. Don’t believe it won’t happen to you, I was diagnosed with breast cancer at 38 while pregnant with our sixth child. Finding time to incorporate breast self exam into your monthly schedule is easy when you realize just how important it is. Since my birthday in on the 19th of the month I have chosen to do my exams on the 19th of every month and I will remind my readers to do their exams your's too.
  1. Except for certain types of skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common form of cancer diagnosed in women of all ages. Although the most confirmed and noteworthy risk factors for developing breast cancer are gender and growing older.
  2. Younger women diagnosed with breast cancer often experience a more aggressive cancer and a lower chance of survival. This fact alone is enough to make early detection and breast self exam crucial for younger women.
  3. Generally, screening mammograms are recommended at age 40. Sadly, this occasionally results in younger women not being diagnosed with breast cancer until the cancer is in a later stage, and can lower their chance of survival.
  4. Because breast tissue isn't as thick when you're younger it can make diagnosis of breast cancer difficult. For this reason young women should begin monthly breast self exam at age 20, so that you can become familiar with how your breasts look and how they feel, thereby making it easier for you to notice any changes in your breasts.
  5. Because the lifetime risk of breast cancer is one in seven for American women, establishing good breast health practices while you are still young can reduce your chance of getting breast cancer at a later stage.
Remember, anytime you see or feel any kind of change in your breast(s) you should see your health-care provider. Only a qualified medical professional can definitively diagnose the cause of breast issues. Breast changes don't always mean breast cancer, but they do mean you should see your doctor.

Click HERE for instructions on how to perform a self breast-exam.

Source: Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Thousand Words Thursday

"Mommy, Coloring is completely exhausting!!"

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

WFMW - Moving and Packing

I haven't done a Works for me in a while because I've been so busy with legal matters and moving! :)) Anyhow. I thought I might just share how I pack. I have very very rarely had breakage.

  1. For China and plates I use disposable Styrofoam plates in between each plate. Really cheap and cushions the HECK out of it.
  2. Glasses get wrapped in dishtowels or hot pads.
  3. Designate a color (sticker) for each room.
  4. Note on the box what is inside and if it can wait to be dealt with.
  5. Keep clothing in dresser drawers. I put socks and undergarments in a pillowcase THEN in the drawer to keep those pesky guys from flying the coop!
  6. Tape screws, bolts and other loose items to underside of furniture. Make sure you bag them first.
  7. Keep items from the same room together as much as possible. This will make it easier to sort the contents after you move.
Of course the #1 TO DO is PURGE, PURGE, PURGE!!!!! That I have done and continue to do. Two truckloads GONE and more in process!

For those prayers covering us....Keep it up please!

Visit Rocks in my Dryer for more Works For Mes

Photo Wednesday

Sorry about the flash...I don't have a scanner but in packing for the move I came across this photo of Miranda and me taken in her classroom on 5/12/06.
Right in the midst of chemo..yep! The only picture I let be taken throughout the whole deal. Here I am! And yes..fatter than a COW....I kinda wish I was one of those who LOST weight on chemo rather than GAINED 40 pounds!! Oh Well.
January 24th is my cancerversary THREE YEARS--WOO HOO!!
And Kiera will be three in March!
Check your Boobies Ladies!!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Ambrosia Fruit Salad

1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
2 1/2 cups shredded coconut
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 (8 ounce) can fruit cocktail, drained
1 (8 ounce) can pineapple chunks, drained
1 (11 ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained
3 cups miniature marshmallows
1 (10 ounce) jar maraschino cherries, drained (optional)
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

In a large bowl, combine the whipped topping, coconut, chopped nuts, fruit cocktail, pineapple, mandarin oranges, marshmallows, cherries, nutmeg and cinnamon. Mix together well and refrigerate for 30 to 45 minutes.

Today is the day! Lana and Lisa are having a giveaway to win a beauiful, black wrought iron cookbook holder. It would be a great addition to any cook's kitchen. Enter at Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays

Not Me Monday

It's time for Not Me! Monday! I am an imperfect mama and it does a body good to admit that! To that end, I hereby declare...

I did NOT have to take our cat to be put down Saturday. Not Me!
I did NOT lie and say he was a stray because I couldn't afford the fee. Not Me!
I did NOT scream and yell my Josh's name while he was marching in the parade. Not Me!
I did NOT drive arount to the END of the parade to embarrass Josh again and rack up more candy! Not Me!
I did NOT serve funnel cakes for dinner last night. Not Me!
I did NOT get stressed out COMPLETELY and have yes TWO hissy fits in one day over all this legal rigamaroll regarding moving. Not Me!
I AM not sitting here typing a post ans not ready to take Kiera to speech in FIVE MINUTES!!! BYE!!! Not Me!

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Acceptance is not submission; it is acknowledgment of the facts of a situation. Then deciding what you're going to do about it.

-Kathleen Casey Theisen

I Praise You

I praise You, Lord that I can trust
The path you have me walk.
I need not know where it will lead
Because I know You know.
I need not understand why or where
I trust leave those both with You
And yet I listen in my prayers
In case You want to share.

Sometimes I’d like to know the why.
I’d like to understand
Sometimes I’d like to know the where
So I could make some plans
But then I think that if I knew
I’d interrupt Your plans
For Your ways aren’t for me to plan
But just to hold Your hand.

Many times we find we are walking a path we don’t like or understand. Sometimes it seems we have been down the same type of path at other times. Our finite minds always want to understand our circumstances. We want to know where we are headed so we can “chart our course.”

In the Christian walk our “chart for our course” is in the Bible. Our path leads to eternal life with God, our Father and Jesus Christ, His Son and our Savior and Lord. The directions God wants us to take on our way to our Home are His choice. We are on this earth to give Him pleasure. We do this with our fellowship with Him, our trust in Him, our obedience to Him and our love for Him. All these, fellowship, trust, obedience and love, can be carried out without knowing the why’s or where’s of our walk.

It is so nice to be able to just walk and trust. I know where my walk will end. I can trust God’s hand to guide me every step of the way. When my finite mind pushes it’s questions into my attention, I can pause, turn my eyes on my Father, and choose to trust His wisdom and love. Peace overflows as I do this and I can continue my walk in fellowship, trust, obedience and love.

From my Mom's blog here. Stop over and tell her what you think!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Good Bye Sam

Dear Sam,
I'm sorry we had to put you to sleep today but you were hurting and we just couldn't take it any more. We loved you our dear favorite cat. You were a beautiful, very patient, loving little guy. We are sorry the mean ole dog across the street stole you away from us. You didn't even make it one year. We will all miss you.

Your human family,

Tammy, Kevin, Josh, Garit, Nathan, Miranda, Abbie and Kiera

Friday, December 12, 2008

Just a Thought

It would be nice though, wouldn't it?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

PSF - #3 - Christmas Parade

Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

Here's my eldest's last marching ecperience this year.
I did NOT embarrass him by yelling and cheering him!
Yes we drove around to the end of the parade to see it AGAIN!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Continued Cat Curse

I think some of you have been following our story of the Cat Curse...well Sam is still with us...he was attacked by the neighbor's dog and apparently something is leaking inside him. He turned bright yellow but as you can see he's not quite so yellow anymore.....maybe those nine lives really do exist??

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

WFMW - Laundry

I am one of those women who fold straight out of the dryer into separate baskets....well I used to be!

Last week I decided to dump the entire week's worth of clean, UNFOLDED (yes, I said unfolded, wrinkled clothes) laundry...dump them all on my king size everyone in the house to my room and have everyone grab what belongs to them! Worked like a charm! Even my 2 year old got into it (MINE...MINE).

I did it again yesterday...and again, it worked like a charm! So much for folding and bending and squatting all week long. No more kids digging through clean, folded clothes making a mess of them. You gotta love making things easier on Mom!!

Photo Wednesday

I don't feel well!! :(


1 1/2 cups white sugar
8 whole cloves
3 cups water
3 cinnamon sticks
1 1/2 cups orange juice
1 cup lemon juice
1 gallon apple cider

In a saucepan, combine the sugar, cloves, water, and cinnamon. Bring to a boil, and continue to boil for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and allow to cool for 1 hour. Stir in the orange juice, lemon juice, and apple cider. Return to the heat, and boil for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove cloves and cinnamon sticks before serving.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Tackle it Tuesday

Well, it looks like we may be moving out of state which means---MASSIVE FLINGING!!

Just today alone I filled up the entire bed of a full size pick up truck with clothes, dishes and STUFF. I can not believe how much I discarded!! I'm so jazzed! Even if we don't wind up moving it still needs done. I went through my laundry room, kitchen and my bedroom. Yesterday I did all but one drawer of the filing cabinet! Everything gone! No more ugly filing cabinet.. yippee! I got rid of a whole laundry basket full of VHS tapes too.
I still need to tackle all of the children's clothes...definitely NOT looking forward to that! I think I'll do the toddler's room tomorrow (Tuesday) then onto the bath and older two daughters' room. I'm a little nervous to deal with the three boys room!
Sorry but I didn't even THINK about taking pictures. I sure should have! I've been at it for eleven hours and don't seem to be able to stop! Flinging is addictive! ONWARD!!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Friday, December 5, 2008

A Different Christmas Poem

I shoplifted this from my newest blogging buddy, Michele @ Michele's Morsels Beelieve

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.

The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know, Then the
sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.

Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.
A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..

To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."
"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.

No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at ' Pearl on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ' Nam ',
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.

I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue... an American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.

I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall."

" So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."
Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our
U.S service men and women for our being able to celebrate these
festivities. Let's try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us.
Holiday Mail for Heroes is a partnership between the American Red Cross and Pitney Bowes to deliver one million holiday cards to American service members, veterans and their families in the United States and around the world. To read more and send a card please click here.
My brother, David, is in Iraq, please also pray for him and his family, thank you!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Focus On Christ at Christmas

Our family has been hit really hard by the country financial recession. It being Christmas is just compounding it. All of the kids realize that there just isn't extra money for gifts this year and we have signed them up to receive a gift each from a local charity. 
My question for you this week is:
How do you keep the focus on Christ at Christmas instead of gifts?
If you’d like to participate, just post your own question on your blog and leave your link here. Don’t forget to visit the other participants! It’s a great way to make new blogging friends!
(Please leave you answer and a link to your Aloha Friday in the comments section!)

Wonderful Love

God, it’s so wonderful
The love You’ve given me
Teach me how to pass it on
to everyone I meet.
Help me not to criticize
But lend a helping hand
Use me, Lord to help someone
to find for them Your plan.

It is so easy to criticize other people. We can find so much falt: how they dress, how they talk, how they look, what they do. It’s amazing how easy it is to fall into a critical spirit yet how hard it is to reach out in love and acceptance. Join me in the challenge of finding something positive in everyone you see today. Make a determination to speak a kind and encouraging word and to help them in some way. Sometimes help is just in the words, “Thank you.” It may be to hold a door open for someone. I could even be in letting another driver into the long line of traffic you’ve been sitting in. Will one car more really make a difference in your schedule? It might make a big difference in the one waiting to get in. Let’s practice God’s love by encouraging and helping.

This is a devotion written by my mom, she has a devotional blog here. Please stop in and visit her. And give her a note of encouragement. She is very diligent in posting these wonderful devotionals but doesn't get many readers. Drop by and check out some of her writings.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

T13 - Christmas

I stole this from my friend Nina at Juggling Mama
1. Do you use wrapping paper or gift bags?
I like using paper but more and more I find myself using bags but definetely paper for the kids, what Christmas without a MESS.2. Real tree or Artificial?
Artificial...I used to always buy a real wreath though so we get the aroma!
3. When do you put up the tree?
The day after Thanksgiving ALWAYS.
4. When do you take the tree down?
If my folks aren't coming soon to celebrate, the day after Christmas. Garit's birthday is New Year's eve so I want it down before then.5. Favorite Christmas gift you ever received?
The beautiful diamond tennis bracelet, which I am too scared to wear! I don't even have an engagement ring but I have this gorgeous thing!6. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
Pleading the 5th on this one.
7. Favorite Christmas Movie?
White Christmas with Bing Crosby8. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
As early as I possibly can afford to, I collect throughout the year and store in my special hiding places.9. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
Derby Pie! Second place Sweet Potato souffle.10. Are your Christmas lights clear or colored?
We switch back and forth but the last couple years have been colored lights.11. Favorite Christmas song?
Hip Hope Noel on the Disney Christmas Sing A Long.12. Angel on the tree top or a star?
Angel, absolutely!!!13. Open the presents Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
Christmas morning has always been the tradition in my house. If they get PJs or special dresses or shirts for the Christmas eve service I let them open those early!
Merry Christmas!!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Photo Wednesday

This is my FAVORITE photo of my third son Nathan.
Taken by my Mom at Jack In The Box (I miss that place)
in Washington State eons ago...he's 9 now! :(

For more great photos click for these fine sites:

Are you playing today, leave us your link!


Kim from Homesteader's Heart has gifted me with this wonderful Christmas Spirit Award. Of course with receiving awards, there are some rules that come along with it. For this particular one, the rules are very simple.

They are.... You must be a true Christmas lover to receive this award. The person to whom you give the award must also be in love with Christmas. You must link back to the person who gave you the award. You must list 5 things that you love about Christmas. If you can't limit it to 5 things, then keep going till you run out of space! Pass the award along to as many people as you like. That can be 1 or 45; it's up to you. But, you must pass it on to at least one person in order to keep the Christmas cheer going! Let your recipients know that you have tagged them by leaving them a comment on their blog.

Here goes: 5 things I LOVE about Christmas!!!
1. Christmas means that Jesus was born, He gave Himself as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. Without Him this day would not exist.
2. I admit I LOVE the Christmas lights. I I put them up in all the doorways of the house and we don't use lamps at all all month long, it's really festive.
3. White Christmas with Bing Crosby. Love, love, love it!
4. Treats, treats, treats and I never feel bad. Snickerdoodles and Derby Pie mainly!!!!
5. I just love the excitement of all of the kids at Christmas. It is genuine excitement for all of mine for the appropriate reason..Christ not gift receiving.

Now I have to tag 5 other people. Here are my choices. You, You, You, You & You Yes I want you to do it!

Also, Kel @ Girl in the Glasses, was sweet enough to think of me and gave me this:

The rules for this award are:
1. Put the logo on your blog
2. Add a link to the person who awarded you
3. Nominate 10 other blogs
4. Add links to those blogs on yours
5. Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs

Okay I've done this same stupid post TEN times! The links won't work - Geesh!!!! GRRRRRRR sorry ladies, I'm cheating now:

I have decided to post any awards and tags I receive at the end of each month. If you give me one and I don't get around to it right away...just know I appreciate your thinking of me and I WILL get to it! Thank you guys!!

Book Review: Holding Fast

Holding Fast: The Untold Story of the Mount Hood Tragedy
By Karen James

I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I was afraid it was going to be too sad, I was actually a bit nervous when I ordered it. Karen James is an excellent writer and I was very impressed on how well she wrote her story. I'm certain it was a difficult process.

This book is indeed a "heart jerker". I felt like I was able to know the family and feel like I was actually a part of the entire process that Karen and her family went through. It was actually an inspiring story, surprisingly so.

I believe that when our souls connect in love and through faith, the ones who go before us never really leave our side. If I remain still enough and pray for God to comfort me, I am filled with the wonderful, memorable joy of my husband's love.
I won't share my absolute favorite quote in the book with you you'll have to read it to get that one. Karen James was, and is, a truly blessed woman and she knows it and she has shared it with all of us so each of us can find hope and faith.

Did I say that this was an excellent book? Well it is! GO GET IT!!!! I am actually inspired to do a little research and actually drop the author a note of appreciation for sharing her heart with me.


LOL!!! Is this how you feel after all that turkey??
Found this here.

Monday, December 1, 2008

My Recipes From Hawaii

Macaroni-Potato Salad
(sounds a little weird but it is absolutely delish!!)

1/2 lb macaroni, cooked & drained
3 red potatoes, cooked & cubed (I cheat and use one can of cubed potatoes)
1 Tablespoon salt
1 Tablespoon vinegar
2 cups mayonaise
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 Pkg frozen peas, thawed and drained

Mix it all up together gently and chill well!

Not Me Monday #1

Woo Hoo! I'm gonna have to start making notes though my chemo brain can't remember all this stuff at the end of the week!
  1. Regarding the crab at the beach of Friday, "Miranda, if you kill him, he'll die!", nope I didn't say that--not me!
  2. I did NOT create an avalanche of all the storage boxes while retrieving the Christmas Decorations! No, Not Me! I'm organized!
  3. I did not start the washer for the third time, same load cuz I kept leaving it there, Nope, not me!
  4. I definitely did not cook two turkeys within 24 hours because there wasn't enough the first time around, just for our immediate family!
  5. I did not destroy an entire batch of chocolate chip cookies, do you mess up cookies. Well the oven being turned off instead of the timer I'm sure had some responsibility.
  6. I did NOT sleep through my eight year old daughter getting ready and getting on the church bus to go to Sunday School. THAT is a confession!!!! Does she not need me anymore.
  7. I did NOT start crying at the park when a woman I had just met asked me if we were going to be okay financially for Christmas this year. Oh Come On Tammy!!!!!
  8. I did NOT gain back all of the weight I lost last month in two weeks, No, not me!
  9. I did NOT only cook one meal on Saturday! Not Me!
  10. I am SO NOT about to delete blogs that I follow because they are not following mine! I just can't keep up with the feeds, ya know. Consider this notice...
  11. I did NOT let Ki take not only one but TWO naps right around 5 pm this week just so I could make dinner, nope, Not me!
  12. I did NOT break three (3!!) glasses this week! Not me!
  13. I did not run out of dish soap for three days!! Yes, through Thanksgiving!