Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wanted: Forever Families!

There are some of cutest kids on the BAAS individual list (which is our agency), waiting for their forever families to find them.  It was hard to pick which ones I wanted to mention, but I felt like it was supposed to be these today. 

First of all, there's this little handsome guy that looks like he's loaded with personality.  I guess I'm automatically drawn to those personalities.  Spirited is what I call them!  Anyway, meet "Bart".

This is what it says about Bart:  Bart was born on 1-18-2005. His special needs are lower development indexes, meaning he is relatively small; his head is slightly oblate. He is a friendly, bright and curious boy who learns fast. He has outgoing personality and is very active. 

That little guy looks like he could fill a home with so much fun, love, and laughter!

Next we have adorable "Molly". 

This is what it says about Molly: Molly was born on 8-15-2009. Her special needs are congenital defect in left hand and leg.

It doesn't say anything about her personality, but I see personality written all over that cute little face!

BAAS (Bay Area Adoption Service) is a wonderful agency, and the coordinator for the Waiting Children Program is awesome....the best out there!

Could YOU possibly be the forever family to "Bart" or "Molly"?  Email me at or Xiaoqing (BAAS China's coordinator) at   If not you, then please pray with me that the invisible red thread connecting them to their forever families is found soon so they can come home!

Thanks so much for stopping by!  Have a great evening!  :)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

ScEnTs oF fALL

It smells like fall in our home today............and here's the reason why:

Caramel apple pie fresh out of the oven.........made from Lisa's (Primitives from Above) recipe.

New yummy primitive room sprays.......stix and cider, mamaw's apple dumplings, and pumpkin crunch cake....

And my old faithful Yankee candle Autumn Wreath scent flickering in the kitchen.....

It sure does make a cozy fall atmosphere here in our home.   And I'm lovin' it!  

Thanks so much for stopping by today!  Have a great week!  :)

Friday, September 24, 2010

A Great Day for Apple Picking

Today we had our first homeschooling "field trip" for the school year.  Our homeschool group visited a local apple orchard for apple picking. 

When we woke up this morning, I told Luke that we had to get ready because we was going to pick apples.  He obviously didn't understand what that meant because he came to the breakfast table, expecting an apple for breakfast.  When he didn't get that, he told my mom on the phone something about an apple as well as jabbered about apples in the car on the way over.  Then when we stopped to check in at the market, he noticed some baskets of apples, and I guess he thought we were buying apples then, and was very excited.  I had to tell him again, that he was going to pick apples off a tree. (It's hard to remember that he doesn't know the meaning of all those English words just yet).  Well needless to say when we arrived at the orchard and he had his little bag, and caught on to what we were doing, he had quite a time!

He picked and picked until his little bag was so full that he had to drag it behind him!

Joy had no trouble filling her bag either!  I was a little worried about how much we would owe at check-out, but it turned out that we ended up only spending $5 on apples! 

Joy and her friend, Molly Grace posed for a picture at the orchard.

After picking, we headed back down the gravel road to the market, to pay for our apples, and even added a package of deep fried peanuts (which I had never had and are actually pretty good).  I wish I had tried the cajun deep fried ones though.

We noticed they had pumpkins.  Joy and Luke picked out a pumpkin each to take home.  Luke kept trying pumpkins, until he finally found one he could lift and handle!

Of course, we had to take a photo in the pumpkins.

And in the corn stalks.

It was a lovely day for a field trip.....wasn't quite as hot and I think I can tell that the cooler weather is headed our way.  There was a little breeze in the air.

Then it was home for Mr. Luke to take his nap.  He slept for a little over 3 hours, so I think we wore him out.  He left his half eaten apple sitting beside him waiting for him when he woke up.... so he could finish it.         

Now it's time for the caramel apple pie and apple dumplings........something nice to look forward to this weekend!  :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010


According to the calendar, we are now officially into fall, BUT, it certainly doesn't feel like it in our neck of the woods!  It's about 97 degrees here today! 

I've actually done most of my indoor fall decorating already (which is not alot).....done a couple of weeks back when we were having some cooler weather and it was overcast and just "felt like fall".  But today, I'm having trouble "feeling" it!  :)

However, I do know it's coming.....I'm holding out and hoping that we don't just jump into cold rainy weather, but actually get to enjoy all the things I love about fall....which leads me to what I wanted to post today!  I love so many things about fall and I really wanted to know what all YOU loved too, so I asked you to tell me in a comment for the fall giveaway.  I really enjoyed reading your favorite things about fall.  So to get you in the mood for fall, I've gathered your favorites from the comments.  


~ warm rich colors of nature ~
~ first bite of the season's crisp MacIntosh apple ~
~ mums - their colors so brilliantly burning ~
~ the cozy feeling ~
~ cool crisp nights ~
~ beautiful colorful foliage ~
~ baking in the oven filling the house with yummy scents ~
~ creating fall and Christmas items ~
~ yummy scented candles ~
~ sweaters ~
~ the colors and scents ~
~ cool crisp mornings/warm afternoons/cool nights ~
~ apple cider ~
~ harvest time on the farm ~
~ pumpkin spice latte ~
~ snuggling up with a good fire in the evenings ~
~ watching the cats (babies) all snuggled nice & toasty ~
~ cool evenings with a fire to toast marshmallows ~
~ falling leaves of every color ~
~ watching squirrels scurring about, hiding their nuts & corn ~
~ spiders building webs across the road overnight ~
~ watching caterpillars cross the lawn looking for a place to build cocoons ~
~ making apple crisp with hickory nut/oatmeal topping ~
~ high school football games ~
~ making apple butter and applesauce ~
~ crunchy leaves under my feet ~
~ apple picking ~
~ smell of a fire outside ~
~ sleeping with the windows open ~
~ gorgeous color of the leaves at their peak ~
~ the feeling in the air ~
~ festivals ~
~ the decor ~
~ clear sky at night that gives way to the stars that shine so bright ~
~ aroma of the maple trees in the fall ~
~ smell of the foods - pumpkin bread, apple pies, turkey.... ~
~ wearing 3/4 sleeves and a light jacket ~
~ cozy nights reading aloud with the children snuggled under blankets ~
~ sipping homemade cocoa from scratch ~
~ back to school memories ~
~ start of a new school year for the kids ~
~ jeans and sweatshirts ~
~ baking ~
~ hayrides ~
~ crunchy leaves under our feet ~
~ kids playing in piles of leaves ~

So don't you agree that all of these things definitely define fall?  Now if the weather would cooperate!  :)

In the meanwhile, these goodies helped get me in the fall mood....some of Colleen's wonderful salt dough fillers for autumn! 

I ordered these from her and she was so nice to include "extras" too! Aren't they great?   I plan to get the last bit of my decorating done this weekend.  I'll be back (hopefully this weekend) to share my very simple fall decor!

In the meanwhile, thanks for stopping by!  Thanks for all the sweet comments!   :)


And to Lisa B., who asked in a comment if that was my home in the header of my blog.....I couldn't find an email address to email you or I would have done so!  Yes, that's our humble home!  Thank you for sweet comment! 


~ Tammy ~

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Picking Up Where We Left Off....

Last year we started a little remodeling project - our upstairs guest bathroom.  Then, I was waist deep in paperwork for the adoption and all my thoughts were elsewhere but into that project, not to mention the finances involved with the adoption halted anything else planned.

Also last year about this time, I used birthday money to purchase the ceramic tile for the bathroom.  Jason did all the trim work in the distressed deep barn red and we painted the walls a color called Molasses.  Isn't that a yummy sounding color?  That's as far as we got.  As a matter of fact, when we had our homestudy for the adoption, it was just stuck in construction mode. 

Here's where we are right now:

Now, it's time to finish it!  I just had a birthday again (the end of August)....and wouldn't you know it......I always end up spending most of my birthday money on things for decorating my home, more so than personal things.  (I did get a new purse and wallet though).  Anyway, I just purchased this shower curtain that comes with rag ties. 

This is my starting point.  I'm not even exactly sure what direction it will take, but my wheels are turning.  I just knew that I needed a little break from using red in my curtains and shower curtains, so this is a change for me.  I've never used this much black in decorating.  I'm looking forward to using the black and tan. 

Oh, and my mom bought me this stool as part of my birthday gift.  It was also inspiration for the black.  

I'll share it with you as  it all unfolds.  I'm excited to be decorating again! 

As always, I'm very appreciative that you stopped by today!  Have a great day!  :)

~ Tammy ~

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Winner for the Fall Giveaway!

So sorry to keep you waiting on the drawing for the fall giveaway!  We were supposed to draw at noon, but didn't make it home by noon after an errand to town, so it was a little later this afternoon before we were able to get to it!  

But not to keep you waiting any longer.....

They were mixed up really well......there were over 100 entries all together. 

Joy reached in and pulled out a name.....

And we couldn't believe it, but it was EXACTLY the same person that won our last giveaway.........

Linda of Parker's Paradise!  Linda, you must be doing something right to be winning another giveaway!  Congratulations!  I'll be emailing you to send the goodies your way so you can add them to your fall decor!  :) 

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Boy and His Tractor

Did you know there's a special connection between a boy and his tractor?  

Once upon a time, there was a little boy named Luke who loved vehicles....all, trucks, (especially 18 wheelers), 4-wheelers, construction equipment, and tractors....just about anything with wheels really.  Well, we were out in the backyard back behind the pool area where Jason was working on our outbuilding and Luke spotted it.  "It" was a kid sized John Deere tractor hidden under a couple of saw horses piled with lumber.  That tractor has been there for a LONG time.  It belonged to Colt.....and Colt is 21.  Not much gets past Luke.  I managed to redirect his attention to something else, because I didn't have any idea what was lurking under that pile of stuff and planned to have Jason get it out later and give it a good washing.  

Well, Luke didn't forget.  He was outside with my dad on Labor Day and took him by the hand and led him around back directly to the tractor.  I bet you can imagine what happened next.  Pop didn't try to redirect attention.  The next thing I knew, the tractor was sitting on my sunporch with a very proud Luke proclaiming "Luke-ah's tractor".  Now mind you, it was dirty, duct-taped in spots where it was busted, and minus the pedals.  But you would have thought it was the best of the best by how proud he was of his tractor.  So, he and Pop took it back outside and Pop turned Luke loose with washing it and "taking care of it".  Luke was SO proud.  The rest of these pictures tell the story.  Never mind the way he was dressed.  I had no idea I would be photographing him when I quickly grabbed mismatched shorts for him to play outside (first thing we could find that was clean).

And so the boy and his tractor are living happily ever after. (Thank you, Pop)!  :)


If you came over to sign up for the fall giveaway, scroll on down to the post below!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Fall Giveaway!

Fall is without a doubt my favorite season of the year, if Christmas doesn't count as a season.  For the sake of my being able to name them both, we'll say fall is my favorite season and Christmas is my favorite holiday!  :)

I've just started getting out my fall decorations and slowly sprinkling them throughout the decor.  As I'm sitting here typing this post, there is "the look" of fall ouside...... if you know what I's overcast and the leaves on the trees are rippling in the wind!  I've gone through the house turning on my lamps, adding to that cozy feeling that fall offers!

Anyway, since I'm so anxious for fall to arrive, I decided I'd love to share my excitement and have a fall giveaway!  Someone else will just have a little something more to add to their fall decor!  :)

Here's what's included:
You may double click on the picture to take a closer look.

I didn't do the stitchery.  It was lovingly stitched by my friend, Betty, who loves to stitch!  She gave me quite a few stitcheries "to do with what I would like".  As a matter of fact, she has spoiled me because I haven't done a stitchery in over a year because I have quite a stash of beautiful ones waiting to be framed!   So....all I had to do was tea dye it, paint the frame, add the homespun border and then frame it!  Also included is a little rustic wooden bucket of fall picks of leaves, pumpkins, berries and pinecones.   

Entering is simple. To have your name entered once, just leave me a comment and tell me your favorite thing about fall.   To be entered twice, let me know that you are also a follower.  New followers are gladly welcomed!  And lastly, you can be entered a total of 3 times by posting the giveaway on your blog.  If you don't have a blog, be sure and leave an email address or email me with your email address privately, so I may contact you if you are the winner!   

The winner will be drawn on Wednesday, September 15th at noon (central time) and announced shortly after.  Oh, and due to shipping costs, the giveaway is open to those in the continental US.  (So sorry to have to do that....I wish shipping costs were more reasonable).       

Thanks so much for stopping by and entering!  And thank you to my followers, or as I prefer to say "faithful readers".  I really appreciate you!  :)

~ Tammy ~

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Could One of These Kids Be Yours?

China has a way of changing one forever.  I will never be the same, having been there.  I'm so very glad that China requires travel to the country to adopt, because otherwise I probably would have been content to have Luke escorted over to us, primarily because I'm just not a big fan of flying.  China opened my eyes to so much.  

I came home and thought about all the children still waiting for families.  I look at Luke and think about what his file said and how his medical needs might have kept him from being in a family and then I think about all the beautiful children still waiting, in orphanages or foster families, for the love of a forever family. 

I have to give my Joy, whose has a huge heart and is so compassionate, the credit for urging me that we should DO something.  Actually, she took the initiative and asked if she could email and see if SHE could advocate for some of these kids.  I gave her my permission, not knowing if anyone would let her at her age.  I was so happy, (and she was bubbling over), when we both received an email back from FTIA (Journey of Hope) not only giving their permission, but thrilled that she would want to help. There have been other agencies that have sinced emailed giving their blessing as well and thrilled that she wants to help!

Therefore, Joy and I together, have decided that weekly we will pray about finding certain children and posting their pictures and information on our blogs, in hopes that they will find their way to their forever families.  

So this week, I have chosen four children that I felt led to mention here.  Maybe the boys just have a soft spot in my heart right now, but all of the ones I am showing you today are boys.  After taking a look here, please visit Joy's blog, Doodlebug, and take a look at the children for which she felt led to advocate.

First of all, this is Sean.

Sean is 11 years old.  (That's the age of my Joy).  This guy really grabbed at my heartstrings!  He has so much to offer and just listen to his desire for a family!  The description about Sean says he is bright and has been living in a foster family for 4 years but desperately wants a forever family - maybe with an older brother and sister.  He's in the 4th grade and his favorite subject is computer.  He enjoys reading about science and technology and his favorite sport is soccer. Sean’s personality fills a room! He is great with the younger kids and was nicknamed the “Little Director” because he was keeping them all in line for their program. Sean was disappointed last year when he participated in another Journey of Hope program but did not find a family. He wants to live in America because everyone has a house! (That part really gets me....all he wants is a family with a house).  Sean was born with cleft lip and palate and has had surgery for both. He may need some reconstruction and some dental work; however his speech is excellent and he liked practicing his English on the volunteers from Journey of Hope.  You can click here to see a video of an interview with Sean.  Sean is also an encourager, so I read.  He was encouraging his friend, Natalie (also waiting for a family) to smile for the Journey of Hope pictures.  Natalie is never far from his side.  He sounds like such a sweet guy!

Next, we have Ben.  He is so precious and this medical need seems so manageable to me.  He even looks like he has a spark in his eye, don't you think? 

Ben is 5 years old and a charming little boy. He has a diagnosis of thalassemia. The medical team was amazed at how well he is doing, and his overall health. At this time, he gets blood transfusions every two months and does perfectly between those transfusions.  Ben has excellent gross and fine motor skills. He is described by his caregivers as smart, the “little boss”, and cooperative. Ben came to his orphanage at the age of three. He is often the leader. His language development is on target. This friendly little boy has so much to offer. To learn more about thalassemia, please watch this video.

Then, we have Drew.  Just look at that adorable face!  Handsome...

His description says:  Drew is a 4 1/2 year old whose beautiful face will capture you. Drew has congenital DY of the spinal column. The volunteers were unsure at first how Drew was physically affected by this condition, until they saw him jump down three stairs! His gross and fine motor skills are great! Drew is in kindergarten and his language is superior. He is confident, outgoing, and friendly. He toilets independently and performs many activities of daily living with minimal assistance. He is just an amazing boy. Our medical team suggests an MRI of the spine and possibly a surgery upon Drew’s placement with his family.

And there's Mason.  He is a cutie too!  

Mason is a 5 year old boy who is in the Half The Sky pre-school program. He has had surgery for a spinal meningioma and also has a right club foot. Mason was a very cute performer in his program. His caregivers say he has a good memory, is clever and can dress himself. They also report that he is quiet and likes to watch the other children dance, but he didn’t seem to shy away from the microphone during the Journey of Hope program!

Could one of these kids be yours?  Could they call you mom or dad?  If you would like to know more, please email me (on the email button on the side of my blog) or visit FTIA, Journey of Hope, for more information.  There are many more children listed there as well.

Even if you can't adopt one of these kids, you can pray for forever families for them!   God bless you all for taking a look!  What a great report to be able to come back and say they have a forever family!

Thanks for stopping by!  :)


Oh, and come back Friday and enter my fall giveaway!  And thank you so much for stopping by!   :) 

~ Tammy ~


Thursday, September 2, 2010

A Mayberry/Country Girl Day (And More Nashville Outings)

Last week, Joy, Luke, and I went along with Jason on a business trip to Nashville, except we were able to play during the day while he had to take classes.

Here's the kids out on the balcony at our hotel...

We did get dad to ourselves in the evenings though....going out to dinner and then coming back to the hotel for swimming.

The most memorable highlight of our week in Nashville was meeting Mandy, a sweet blogging friend, and her children, Zach and Leah Kate. We met at a beautiful park with lots of playground equipment for the kids, who, by the way, hit it off quite well. It was a beautiful breezy day for a picnic outing.

I really enjoyed talking with Mandy on our shady park bench! She's a sweet Christian lady, and it's very obvious that she loves her family and home dearly. We found we have much in common and found lots to talk about....non-stop. Meeting Mandy on her blog has been a blessing, but meeting her in person was even more special!

Mandy makes wonderful blocks, signs, and more through her business Creekside Creations........and she brought me these!

I love them and can't wait until this weekend to start my fall decorating. Thank you, Mandy!

At the end of our picnic, the kids schemed together and thought swimming would be nice and smoothly persuaded us. Mandy and I got to talk even more later, as the kids swam in the pool at our hotel (well in between me jumping up and running back and forth because Luke was bailing off into the water after the big kids, even when they weren't prepared)!

It was a wonderful outing and I'm so glad they could meet up with us! Thank you, Mandy, Zach, and Leah Kate!

In addition to our outing with Mandy, we found a great mall on one day and the fleamarket at the fairgrounds on another day where I did a little "me" shopping for my birthday. :)

One day we visited the Discovery Center and Joy and Luke had a great time. It was two floors of fantastic hands-on kids' fun!

Another day, we found The Monkey's Treehouse, which is a huge indoor fantasy playground. It was geared more for younger ones, but Joy had a good time playing with the little kids. I suppose all the school-aged children were in school at that time.

Luke was content to sit and play with cars, trucks and planes. I had to laugh though because he was trying to pull off a tower that was attached to a play table and a little older boy of about four or so was telling Luke, "YOU CAN'T MOVE THE EQUIPMENT". Of course, Luke didn't understand what he was saying and he just parroted back what the boy said in exactly the same tone. I'm sure the boy thought he was being sarcastic when actually that's the way he's learning his English, by copying phrases he hears. Anyway, it gave me a chuckle, even though I'm sure a certain little four year old boy wasn't too pleased with him. :)

Joy enjoyed the treehouse and playing around with the dress up and doll house....just for fun (and making some of those moms stare at her she said). I'm super blessed with this girl who is always such a help to me and so good natured about it too!

We're back home now and I have to say, especially after living out of a hotel room for 5 days/nights.....

There's no place like home!