Thursday, February 28, 2013

♥ The Birthday Boy ♥

From the moment Luke woke up on his birthday (this past Monday the 25th), he was full of himself.  He knew this was HIS day and he let everyone know......and was full of wit and charm all day long.  He kept asking if he was bigger.    The Little Emperor was in charge of the day.  :)  For anyone within hearing distance, he would say, "I'm so glad it's my birthday".   And of course, he got lots of attention.

He wanted a fishing birthday cake, and really the entire party sort of took on a fishing theme (more on that below).  He had a choice of having a birthday party with kids coming over, or going to The Children's Museum during the day and having a family party that evening.  He chose the Children's Museum and the family party. 

So when we got up Monday morning, Joy completed her schoowork in record time and we were off to the Children's Museum.  He was SO excited.  He just couldn't stay with one thing....he was here and there and everywhere, over and over again.  I think it's safe to say he had a good time.  He loved that museum.  When I asked him his favorite part, he said it was the fishing part....and he did spend a good bit of his time there.

Here are some highlights from the Children's Museum adventures (and of course, his Joy was right there beside him because he doesn't go far without her):

Loading and exploring the Fed-Ex plane.....

Luke, the can tell he was a busy little bee here!

Luke the fireman........

Luke the surgeon....

Luke the policeman.........

Luke the grocery clerk and shopper....

Joy had a little fun of her own...... (checking her blood pressure and playing with the green screen dancing)......

Luke the mechanic....

Luke the dentist....

More fun...

Then that evening we had the family party.

The decorations........

The cake.....

The present opening.........

Playing games........


Playing with his toys.....

He told us he had a great birthday and I think he loves being 5!

And his sweet little sleeping self at the end of a LONG, FUN, and EVENTFUL Day! 

It's still so hard to believe he's already five!  What a blessing he is!  :)

Thanks for stopping by! 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

♥ Tis the Season.....♥

I love Peeps Season!  :)  I get a little excited to see these out on the shelves!

Notice.....Four of them are mysteriously missing....hee hee!  :)

I'll take any color.  I'm not even partial to bunnies or chicks.  Just give me any or all of them please.

And I am ashamed to say that I can eat a box of them on the way home from town.

It's a good thing that Peeps Season doesn't last all year long.  :)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

♥ Chats on the Farmhouse Porch 82 ♥

I enjoy jumping in and joining Patrice's Chats on the Farmhouse Porch.  It's great because ANYONE can participate!  I love seeing what questions she comes up with.  I'm glad to be able to participate this week.

Everyday Ruralty

So here we are Patrice's questions (and my answers).......

1. Is there a room in your home that you'd like to redecorate or remodel?

Why, yes, of course!  Isn't there always?   We can barely finish one thing til I have the next one planned out in my head (poor Jason)!  :)  Okay, the next one won't be the one that I really WANT to do, but probably the next one that needs to be done.  Next on the list will be Colt's old bedroom.  He's been living out in an apartment for over a year and a half now, so it's time.  I suppose if he's not going to move back home (hint, hint, Colt), we really should do something.  It is serving for a collection of stuff right now.  But the room I'd really like to redo is the master bedroom and bath.  But at least I'll have that one to look forward to in the future!  :)

2.  Did you watch the Oscars?
Nope.  Not interested.  I totally agree with Patrice's words on the subject.  Way too overrated; those folks are not the role models I want my kids fashioning themselves after; and they are paid way too much.  Anyway, just sayin' that I totally agree with Patrice.
3. How many pair of blue jeans do you own? 
Quite a few, but I tend to wear about the same four or so.  They just feel good.  They're broken in.  :)
4. What was your favorite toy as a child? 
Probably dolls.  I liked to pretend to be a mother and a school teacher.  I knew from a young age that being a mom was definitely for me!  I tended to like the names Rachel and Rebecca for my dolls back then.  :)  And another thing that was a favorite was playing school.  I liked to "write books" and always had pen and paper in hand. 
5. If you could visit a country in Europe, which would you choose? 
 Well since my first choice in a place to visit is not in Europe, I will have to say Ireland.  Ireland has always interested me.  Scotland sounds pretty interesting too.  And now because I have a good friend, Sarah, (made through blogging), I'd like to visit her in England.
Remember, you can participate too!  It's fun.  Just answer the questions and link up with Patrice of Everyday Ruralty
Thanks for stopping by today!  Have a great rest of the week!  :) 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Pinned it, Made it! Monday ~ Week 29 ~ (and Luke's 5th Birthday)

It's time for the 29th week of Pinned it, Made it! Monday, and this is the first time I haven't had something to share that I've made or tried from something I've pinned on Pinterest. 

So......I figure that this is a perfect time for me to feature a few favorite things that YOU'VE linked and shared on previous Pinned it, Made it! Mondays.   I love everything shared.....really....but I'm just going to have to pick a few favorites for today.....and reserve some for future days like this.

So here's three that I chose to feature today:

Cindi of Cindi's Country Corner shared how she dried fruit which can also be strung it to make a garland.  I've not done this yet and have been wanting to do it.  I like this simple method!  You can check out her post explaining her simple method here

And I have an attraction to penny rugs.  Karen of Homespun Simplicity tried her hand at one and I think it's beautiful.  She almost makes it look easy to me!  (Sorta kinda....anything with needle and thread intimidates me) is something I'd really like to try one day!  You can read more about how Karen made her penny rug here.

And the third one comes from Jamie of My Boys.  Now Jamie is always doing fun things with her boys and they always get my attention.  I really liked her idea of Blessing Bags.  I can see us using these in our homeschool group for a service project or even Joy and Luke and I making some of these to take to the hospital and share.  I think they really would be a great blessing to the recipients!  This is such a lovely way to teach our kids to be a blessing to others!   You can read more about putting these together here.

Now, it was so hard to pick just three......I will have to do this every now and then because it was fun too!  

Thank you to everyone that links up with me for Pinned it, Made it! Monday....I appreciate you all!

Now I know you were probably better than me and actually did try something out that you've pinned on Pinterest this week and we'd love to see it!  Won't you link up and share?

To participate in Pinned it, Made it! Monday, here are the guidelines:

1) Just do a post about what you’ve pinned and made from Pinterest, then come back over here to Country Girl at Home and link that particular post (not your blog in general) on this post below.

2) I don’t mind if you link up more than one post….multiple entries are fine.

3) You must add my Pinned it, Made it! Monday button on your post or sidebar of your blog linking back to Country Girl at Home. You may get this button code on the page at the top of my blog labeled “Buttons”. Just copy and paste the code into your post.

4) Be supportive and visit blog entries. I do ask that you visit at least one and leave a comment there. And don't forget to leave me one here! :) We all love comments, don’t we? It’s encouraging and uplifting!

5) By linking up and participating, you give me permission to use your entry photo if I decide to feature an entry.

Thanks again for stopping by!  I'll try to do better next week and have something to share that I've pinned and made.  Pinning wasn't a problem last was the making! 

As you read this on Monday, February 25th, this is our Luke's 5th birthday! 
Sorry for the blurry photo.....taken with my phone again + a wiggly little boy......

Oh my goodness, it sure doesn't seem possible.  Seems like no time ago, we were looking at his 2 year old birthday pictures on the computer as we waited to go to China!  We went to the restaurant he chose after church Sunday and will be actually celebrating more on Monday!  We just gave him a cupcake with a candle to blow out today with his dinner....he'll have his birthday cake Monday.  (My kids have a way of stretching birthdays for days).  :) 
I'll be back later to share more about his birthday celebration(s).  But I wanted to say Happy Birthday Luke!  We love you to the moon and back!  You are such a blessing!  :)

Have a great week!  :)

Saturday, February 23, 2013

♥ A Lazy Saturday ♥

I have a list of things that I need to accomplish today, yet not many things are crossed off my list yet.  It is definitely one of those lazy Saturdays.

Maybe it's because it just feels good to be home after a stay in the hospital and a day of no school?  Or maybe it's just because we can?   I don't know, but it feels good.  However, I really must get more done.

The living room looks like it typically does when Luke is playing (shirtless I might add....not sure when that came off) while also watching The Magic School Bus.......

Joy is watching the probably 10th episode in a row today of Once Upon a Time (I have to admit I'm getting interested too even though I've only seen the first two episodes)........

And even our cat (Bambi) makes me feel lazy.....just look at her......oh the life of our cat......

And me?  I'm still in my Snoopy pajamas and fuzzy socks.......

I can't, however, say that Jason is being lazy since he's been outside most of the day (along with my dad) taking down our landscape fence that has been on its last legs for awhile and really bit the dust after the last storm.  What a guy!  :)

A lazy Saturday, yes.  But......... tomorrow is another day.  :)

Again...please excuse the poor pics taken with my "dumb" phone.  I still don't have a new lens for my camera yet.

♥ Tammy ♥

Friday, February 22, 2013

Faithful Friday - "Let the Little Children Come"

It's Faithful Friday time!  Faithful Fridays began by Joy ( my daughter) wanting a way to share our Christian faith with the blogging community.  She started it around the age of 9.  It is meant to be an encouragement and a way to share Christ.  I hope you are encouraged and blessed.  :)     

Today I want to share something that really made my day and blessed me.   Of course, a child can really get to me anyway!  This little six year old girl is retelling the "story of Jonah" entirely from memory with no prompts. It's obvious that she loves recalling Biblical accounts (I call them accounts because I tend to think of stories as fairy tales and they aren't fairy tales....they're history). And this little girl (Mary Margaret) loves retelling them with great expression! Her mother states that she is now 8 years old and that she travels to churches telling the "story" of Jonah, the "story" of Noah, and the "story" of David.

It's no wonder that Jesus wanted the little children to come to Him and told the disciples so when they tried to get the children away that had gathered around Jesus.

"People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them.  When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.  Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

Mark 10:13-15 (NIV)

God can use a willing child that loves Him, just as much, if not more so, than grown folks! He's obviously using this little girl.

Anyway, enjoy this beautiful retelling of Jonah's story by a precious Mary Margaret.  Love her hairbow!  :)

And aren't you glad that God is a God of second chances? He gave Jonah a second chance as well as all the folks of Nineveh. Boy, I know I sure am!

Be sure and check out Joy's and others' Faithful Friday posts by visiting Joy's blog.

Be Blessed!  Have a great weekend!  :)

♥ Tammy ♥

Thursday, February 21, 2013

♥ Crocheting Again ♥

Crocheting for me goes way back to when I was a little girl. I watched my mama crochet as I was growing up and I so wanted to learn as I watched her. So she taught me. As a little girl, having the fine motor skills to make it all come together wasn’t the easiest. And my mama never held a crocheting needle the “correct” way and so I learned it just like she did it. And now for the life of me, I couldn’t hold it the “proper way”. I remember practicing by making chain, after chain, after chain. Boy, was I proud of myself!

I’ve made a few afghans, shawls (back when those were in style), and even a vest. However, it’s been a few years since I’ve picked up a crocheting needle. I did teach Joy to crochet when she was younger, probably about 8 or 9, and it actually came naturally for her to hold the needle the correct way, in spite of me.

And right now in our homeschool group, we have a lady teaching a crocheting co-op class. She said adults were welcome and so I jumped right in. My hope is that I can learn to read a pattern. Everything I’ve ever done has been shown to me by someone, and I have never in my life used a pattern.

On the first day of class, she just got us started on a simple scarf with a double crochet stitch. It didn’t take me long at all to get back in the swing of crocheting and finish this scarf, which Joy has already claimed.  She grabbed it and proceeded to model all the ways she could wear it.  :) 

So I’m back at it. I enjoy this. Crocheting is relaxing to me. It is something I feel comfortable doing. I like the way it feels in my fingers. I love all those beautiful yarn colors. And especially after seeing Sandra’s projects from our Sunporch Chat yesterday (all those vibrant colors), I knew I wanted to get back in the habit of crocheting.

And it's made Joy want to crochet again.  She's already started her own scarf project too.

Now knitting…..that’s a whole different story. Using two needles just seems way more complicated!

So what about you…… you crochet, knit, sew, or stitch? Now, I know there are going to be some of you talented ladies that can do it all and I’m going to feel really inadequate. Lol! Really, I think you’re pretty awesome if you can do it all!

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great day!  :)

♥ Tammy ♥  

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Sunporch Chat ♥ with Sandra of Diary of a Stay at Home Mom ♥

I'm so glad you dropped by my sunporch today! Sandra from Diary of a Stay at Home Mom is visiting with me today. She's been blogging longer than I have (two years longer actually) and she's really good at it.......I know you're going to enjoy her visit. She loves everything about home! Her favorite dessert is pecan pie, so that's what I'm serving today, along with coffee. So make yourself comfortable......your slice of pecan pie and cup of coffee is waiting.......and enjoy! :)

Meet Sandra.....


1) How long have you been blogging and what/who gave you the desire to blog?

I started blogging in 2006, and what initially drew me to it was the fun and friendships that were forged through women of like minds.  Homemakers sharing their lives, showing us what they were crafting and cooking and motivating others, offering kind words and laughs and wisdom.  Blogging has changed so much since I first started and I can't say that I like the new blog world, I much prefer the old way.

2) How did you choose the name of your blog and why?

  I wanted a cute catchy name, I kept seeing all these blogs with the coolest names out there, so cleverly picked....but nothing was coming to mind. So I decided to just keep it simple and go with what it really was, just a Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.

December 26

3) What variety of topics do you post on your blog (examples - home decorating, family, gardening, recipes, adoption, homeschooling, crafting, etc....)

Oh boy, I think I'm an open book and I tend to post on a myriad of topics, everything from family, to military life, to recipes, gardening, homeschooling, crochet, period dramas, books and simple living. Mostly, it's just a journal about my daily life as a Christian Military Spouse, the ups and down, the laughs and the cries.
November 26

4) Tell us a little about yourself and your family.

My husband is a Tech Sergeant in the United States Air Force. I have two children, an almost 14 year old girl and an almost 10 year old boy, Jasmine and Nicholas. They are the lights of our lives. We are a military family, striving to do the best we can with what comes our way, loving God, and trying very hard to live a simple life. On a normal weekend you will find us taking walks with our two pug girls, Lola and Bella, bike riding, gardening, visiting local history museums or just playing a board game or watching a movie. We love spending time together.

  Family pic

5) How would you describe your decorating style?

I love primitive, country, simple home decorating. Truth be told, if I could, I would totally live in the Little House on the Prairie's tiny home. I don't think we need to be surrounded by too many things, the essentials are just fine for me. Everything in my home screams cozy, lived in, and again simple. 
December 26

6) What's your favorite color and why?

Pink, and funny enough I never used to like it when I was growing up, I found it too girly.  Ha!  But over the years I have completely embraced the girly thing, and now it's my absolute favorite color, I think it because it tends to portray me as a woman, as a homemaker as girly and ladylike.

7) Tell us a few of your favorite things (collections, things that make you happy, etc.).

Cookbooks. I collect them, I love them, I read them all the time and I have learned so much from them. I also collect items from Cath Kidston, her color combinations and the home items just make me smile. Oh and yarn, you can never have too much yarn right? Or books? Or Candles? Or OLD books? Come to think of it, I may collect a lot of things.


8) What do you like to do in your spare time (hobbies, crafts, etc..)?

Crochet is my love. If I'm not puttering around the house, I am usually sitting with my crochet hooks and yarn and making things for my home. There's something very relaxing about the rhythm of the fingers, intertwined with the yarn and the progression from a single chain to a beautiful item for the home.

9) What does your dream house look like? (Describe and/or include photo)

I've always wanted to live in an England Cottage. I know, it's kind of silly since I have never even been to England, but I would like nothing more than to live in a white cottage with a thatched roof, pink tulips growing out of window planters and surrounded by green grass. Simple white walls inside, quilts on the beds, a fireplace in the living room, crochet blankets draped over comfy chairs...and a big kitchen with beams on the ceiling and flowers on the window sill. A girl can dream.


10) If you could visit anywhere, anytime, where would it be and why?

England.  Without a second thought.  I'm a huge Anglophile and have been in love with England for as long as I can remember.  I would like nothing more than to visit old castles, Stonehenge, Dartmoor and Cotswold.

11) Would you share with us a favorite homemaking/organizing tip or recipe, etc..?

I would love to share this chocolate cake recipe, Mix in a Pan Chocolate Cake. I love it because you can make it in a small pan which is perfect for our family of 4, and I don't have to worry about a lot of leftover cake.

Mix in a Pan Chocolate Cake

12) Tell us something about yourself that we might not already know from reading your blog. (something unusual, etc..)

I think everyone knows me pretty well, but I'm not sure if many people know that I can't swim.  LOL  And that I really don't like driving, if I could get away with never doing it, I would be fine.

13) I know you guys are a military family. First of all, we thank your family for the sacrifice you all make by serving our country! I know it’s not easy! Would you tell us a little bit about life in the military? (Anything you’d like to include here, Sandra, where you’ve been stationed, how it affects your family, your thoughts, future retirement…anything on this from any angle you choose).

Thank you Tammy :) I will have to start by saying that military life is not easy, at all. I think the hardest part is not being able to put down roots, have our own home where we can say that our children were born, spent their childhood, grew up etc. I have been a military wife for 16 years, my husband has been in for 22 years and we are currently looking at retirement, as soon as May of this year. We were stationed in Idaho for almost 10 years, our children were born at the base hospital and we grew to love the area, and then got orders to Arizona and have been here now for almost 6 years. The ups and downs of military life are hard, not just on the military member who constantly has to leave his family behind to get in harms way, but for us wives who are left behind holding the fort, being mom and dad and dealing with the "falling apart" of everything, the minute he walks out the door. It's almost a joke amongst us military folks, the minute there is a deployment we know that everything will break, go wrong etc. It's equally hard for the children who don't always understand why daddy has to leave for months at a time, in their mind there is nothing more important than daddy being home, so when they cry at night for daddy it's heartbreaking. You quickly learn to say you understand when you don't, and you quickly learn to hide your own heart breaking so that you can comfort your children. But with all that said, I wouldn't trade this life for anything in this world. It's a blessing to be a military family. No, it's not easy, and if you are not committed to each other, it's very easy for it all to fall apart. But we push through and we do our part for this beautiful country.


14) I know you guys are also a homeschooling family. Could you tell us a little bit about how you came to homeschool, life as a homeschooling family, etc….(anything you’d like to tell us here, Sandra, from any angle).

My children went to public school for a few years, and everything was going well, then we moved to Arizona and suddenly were faced with the worst school district ever. We tried to stick it out, but it got to the point where my children cried every morning asking me not to take them to school. They were being bullied not only by other kids but the teachers as well, and that is where I put my foot down. My husband and I tried to do things the right way, we contacted the teachers, we contacted the principal and nothing was done, the bullies were protected, the teachers were excused and because we took a stand, they came down on my children even worse. We tried the school district and our calls were never answered and when they were they were NEVER returned, it was like fighting a losing battle. So we took the plunge and it was the scariest decision I've ever made, I was terrified of messing up my children, not doing the right thing. But we never looked back and now, 3 years later we are beyond happy, my children love homeschooling, we love it as a family and I've been able to brush up on many skills that I had long forgotten, every day is a learning experience.


15) Tell us a way God has blessed you and/or your family.

Let me count the ways.  We have definitely had our problems and have faced some very hard times, through sickness and health, through wars and family deaths and two miscarriages.  God has continued to bless us daily and we wouldn't be where we are today without Him in our lives.  We believe that God brought us together.

16) Share any words of wisdom and/or a favorite quote you'd like to leave with us.

Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful. ~William Morris

Words from Tammy:  Thank you so much, Sandra, for coming over for a Sunporch Chat.  Whenever I visit your blog, I feel a strong committment to family and home, and I love that!  It is evident that you take you role as wife and mother to be the highest calling!  I so admire your sacrifice and committment as a family to our great country.  Again, our family thanks your family for serving our great country!  And of course, I love homeschooling families too!  And I love your crocheting projects!   Thanks for being my guest.  :)

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Sandra and I thank you for joining us today.  I hope you enjoyed the visit, the pecan pie, and coffee!  You know I love your comments here, but Sandra would love for you to also stop by and visit her corner of blog land, Diary of a Stay at Home Mom, and follow along! 

Have a great day!  :) 
♥ Tammy ♥