Archives for May 2015

Sunday Scriptures

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This verse sounds really nice and warm and fuzzy when you read it. But we should probably remind ourselves of verse 11 and the entire context – it says we are to “rejoice and be glad” when others 1) insult 2) persecute and 3) utter untrue things about us because of Jesus. When these things happen, our first instinct is usually not to be super glad. But Jesus says we should. Why?

Two reasons: 1) Because the approval of others is not our reward. The over-arching theme of our life is not to gain the approval of people, but of God. Is it nice when others approve of us? Sure it is. But it’s not our focus. Heaven is our reward. And 2) Because the same things happened to him. And to the prophets before him. So those of us who believe in Jesus Christ and find ourselves facing persecution have company. There is comfort to be found in the strength of the many great saints who have come before us – “for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

When things seem bad… Rejoice and be Glad!

– Jacob

42 Easy Steps to Take your Children to the Pool

This Is How We Do It: Pool Days

Pool babies

These two were the inspiration behind the 42 Easy Steps to Take Your Children to the Pool

By now, pools across the country have opened and the summer swim season is in full swing. This is my first summer with two kiddos and I have taken them to the pool (and the beach) by myself a handful of times this month. Let me tell you, there is a BIG difference between taking one child to the pool and two children. And as for you mothers of 3+ children… HOW DO YOU SURVIVE?!?!

Just in case you need a a few tips on taking your children to the pool, I’ve devised an easy to follow how-to:

42 Easy Steps to Take your Children to the Pool

1. Decide to go to the pool.
2. Dress preschooler in swim trunks. Then undress and redress him because they “feel funny.”
3. Help preschooler put on sandals. Of note: Allow at least 25 minutes for step 3.
4. Dress baby girl in swimsuit with regular diaper, keeping in mind you will need to change her to a swim
diaper upon arrival at the pool.
5. Find baby girl’s matching bow, sandals, and cover-up and wiggle her into all three items.
6. Pack the pool bag with towels, swim diapers, sunscreen, and toys.
7. Prepare snacks for the kids: sliced apples and strawberries, dry cheerios and bottled water.
8. Throw cookies in to a baggie as a replacement snack at the whiny request of the preschooler.
9. Change into your swimsuit while holding baby girl because she will cry if she is placed on the floor for more
than 7 seconds.
10. Locate preschooler in the playroom and notice he is naked because his swim trunks “feel funny”.
11. Repeat steps 2 and 3 while holding baby girl.
12. Load children, pool bag, floatation devices and purse in to the car.
13. Realize you forgot the baby’s sunhat.
14. Race upstairs to get sunhat while hoping your preschooler doesn’t learn how to unbuckle his carseat and
start the car in the 30 seconds you leave them unsupervised in the car.
15. Drive to the pool while mentally reviewing if you packed everything you will need for the pool.
16. Park your car and unload purse, flotation devices, pool bag and children.
17. Enter pool area while carrying your baby, pool bag, floatation devices and purse while attempting to
wrangle your preschooler from the pool’s edge, while repeating, “Please stay next to Mommy!” at
increasing decibels.
18. Find a lounge chair that is in the shade so that the children won’t get too much sun.
19. Unload bags and take off baby’s cover up, sandals, matching bow and diaper.
20. Change baby into swim diaper while repeatedly saying to preschooler “Please stay away from the pool!” at
increasing decibels.
21. Redress baby in swimsuit, matching bow and sandals.
22. Ask yourself why you didn’t just bring a naked baby to the pool.
23. Slather sunscreen on both children while they act like you are covering them with screaming hot acid.
24. Secure children in floatation devices and enter the shallow end of the pool.
25. Frolic in the frigid water for approximately 6 minutes.
26. Preschooler declares to everyone in attendance at the pool that he needs to “pee right now”.
27. Drag children out of the pool and run like crazy while carrying your baby girl in her floatation device to
the bathroom.
28. Realize that you are entering a public restroom without shoes on and pray you don’t contract some nasty
foot fungus.
29. Peel wet swim trunks off preschooler just in time for preschooler to “pee right now”.
30. Repeat steps 2 and 3.
31. Leave restroom and decide the kids should eat their snacks now while you are already out of the pool.
32. Lay beach towel out for baby girl to sit on and eat cheerios and lay towel on beach chair for preschooler to eat his apple slices cookies on.
33. Glance up at the clock and realize that it is almost nap time.
34. Decide that time is of the essence and in order to avoid “melt down city” you must leave the pool NOW.
35. Walk around the pool deck gathering up all of the pool toys while holding your baby girl and instructing
your preschooler to “Please stay away from the pool!” at increasing decibels.
36. Pack up the pool bag, floatation devices and purse and carry them out while holding your baby girl and
wrangling your preschooler towards the parking while he screams, “I don’t want to leave. I don’t want to
take a nap. I’m not tired.”
37. Put the pool bag, floatation devices and purse in the car and secure children in their car seats.
38. Begin the drive home.
39. Children fall asleep in the carseats before you pull out of the parking lot.
40. Arrive home. Park in the garage, roll the windows down and turn off car. Leave the door to the house
cracked so you can hear them if they wake up.
41. Turn on Keurig and brew a cup of coffee because you know that when they wake up they will ask to go
back to the pool.
42. Enjoy your 15 minutes of peace and quiet while drinking coffee. You’re going to need to save up your
energy to repeat steps 1-40 tomorrow.

Luke at neighborhood pool

Luke is finally gaining confidence and independence in the pool! He picked out this Tadpool brand float and it’s been a game changer!

As I mentioned, last week I traveled to Watercolor, Florida with both kiddos by myself for Lyla to do a photo shoot. What was I thinking?!? It actually wasn’t too bad, except for the drive home where it was pouring rain, Lyla was screaming and Luke was screaming at her to stop screaming! Shoo, that’s a six hour period of my life that I don’t ever wish to repeat.

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Lyla Rae playing in (and eating large amounts of) sand!

 

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The water was chilly, but it didn’t stop Luke from jumping the waves!

I would love to hear your tips for taking your children to the pool! What works best for you and what items are must-haves for pool days?

Sunday Scriptures

Screen Shot 2015-05-23 at 10.40.01 PMIf I’m being honest, I must say I had never really heard this verse before. I’ve read it before, but never really studied it. So when I saw this verse for the week, I had to do a little back reading and a little digging to determine the context and how I should apply it to my life.

In this verse sometimes quietness is interpreted as peace and trust can be interpreted as “confidence in God”. To me, those words make more sense. Of course, this week is the letter Q in the ABC Scriptures so the verse starts with “Quietness”, but I like to read it like this:

“Peace and confidence in God is my strength.” Isaiah 30:15

So, however you choose to memorize this verse, it’s a wonderful verse to recite in moments of weakness. Actually, it would be a great way to start every day!

Happy Sunday!

 

 

Eight Years

Some days I feel like our wedding day was literally yesterday, while in reality it was eight years ago today. EIGHT YEARS?!?! How in the world did that happen?

I’m not really sure how the time has flown by so fast, but I do know how our story began. We didn’t start dating until we were 16, but we attended preschool and kindergarten together. Crazy, huh?

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Mrs. Morin’s afternoon kindergarten class

According to this photo, Jacob was quite the ladies man in kindergarten. Hah! You can tell by the clothes, the hair and the tv that this grainy picture is a product of the 80’s. I believe it was 1989.

Since we meet a new set of friends every time we move, we are always getting asked “How did you all meet?” We always joke around and say “preschool” just for shock factor. Our story actually began in June 2001, just after our sophomore year of high school had ended. So, if you care to read on, here is the abbreviated story of us:

In June 2001, our high school baseball team was playing in their regional tournament. One of the players, Jacob Tamme, and I had been messaging back and forth on MSN Messenger. Seriously, that was the hot new thing then. Crack me up! Anyway, I’m not even sure what our conversations entailed, but I ended up sending Jacob an e-mail wishing him good luck in his baseball game. He then invited me to come to his game to watch him play. And, of course, I went!

A week later, I got my driver’s license and he asked me out on a date that night. Of course, I had to pick him up because he couldn’t drive yet. That’s one of the perks of dating an older woman when you just freshly turned 16. We went to the Danville Cinemas (the old Danville Cinemas) to see Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. Worst.movie.ever. And then we finished off the date with dinner at Sonic. My curfew was 10pm so it was a short date, but it was the first of many that summer.

We ended up dating through the rest of high school and college. Technically, Jacob was still in college when we got married on May 19, 2007.

Wedding reception

Wedding Day – May 19, 2007

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We were 22 years old and were really just babies!  We had dated for six years though, and we were so in love. We still are. We have our ups and downs like any couple does, but there’s no one I would rather be growing old with. And lately, I think the rate of growing old is rapidly increasing! Hah!

Sunday Scriptures

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God always has a way of giving us exactly what we need at the exact moment we need it. I’m prepping to drive Luke and Lyla to Florida for a photo shoot on Monday. I meant to get my hair cut and get my nails done before we left, but that just didn’t work into the schedule this week. I was a little upset about not getting these things done because I honestly just don’t feel good about not being “fixed up” when I meet new people. Especially new people at a photo shoot of all places. So, I was sufficiently bummed last night and I just knew that Lyla would be dubbed the baby with the frumpy looking mama. Ugh! Then, I looked up the verse for this week and saw 1 Samuel 16:7… I hear you God! While I still really wish I had my hair cut and dyed and my nails neatly polished, because goodness knows I need it, what I look like is not at all what matters! How I treat the people I meet and how I interact with them this IS what matters. And, to top it off, no one will even notice my frumpy hair with all the cute babies at the photo shoot. Well, at least I’m banking on that! Fingers crossed!

Like my Mama always said, “Pretty is as pretty does.” Good reminder for today and always.

Happy Sunday!

Summer Bucket List

While it’s not “officially” Summer until Memorial Day, (Well, actually it’s not official until June 21st, but seriously, no one really starts Summer then!) we are having the unofficial start today because the pool opens! I was a life guard at a community pool for six summers and the pool always opened on Memorial Day weekend. However, in Georgia pools open earlier and we are excited to get a jump on our pool time!

Like most of us, I’m a creature of habit. I usually find us spending our days playing legos, reading books, baking and running errands with a weekly trip to the library. However, I want Summer to be fun! I want it to be different. When I was growing up, my mom was a teacher and had Summers off. She always had fun things for us to do and it was magical! I want to share that same fun, Summer spirit with Luke and have it be different than the rest of the year.

To make sure we don’t fall in to our normal routine, I made a Summer Bucket List for our family. Of course I made a list; I’m the list queen! Jacob may or may not have rolled his eyes when I asked him to contribute to said list. He’s more of a “fly by the seat of his pants” kind of guy which compliments my love of list making quite well. So, Luke and I had a little brainstorm session and came up with 19 activities we want to do this summer. I’m not going to stress out about getting these items marked off, although I do love to cross things off a list! I just want to have a list of fun things to do when we start getting stuck in a routine this Summer.Screen Shot 2015-05-15 at 7.59.46 AM

You can definitely tell which items I added: learn Mommy’s phone number and Summer reading program, and which items Luke added: bake cookies, have a sleepover with cousins and go fishing. What’s on your Summer Bucket List?

Weekend Wrap-up

IMG_8824There are some days that you will never forget. Last Friday was one of those days. Our general contractor for our forever home, Charlie, called us Thursday night and asked if we would be busy on Friday… We were pretty busy but he had a surprise plan up his sleeve that would trump anything on our to-do list: We were finally going to break ground on the house!!!

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Family Photo on our future front porch!

Early Friday morning, we met Charlie and the excavation crew at Tamme Valley Farm. After a quick discussion over Burke’s donuts and coffee, we gave the go-ahead to break ground. They asked Luke if he wanted to do the honors and of course he said YES! It was certainly surreal seeing our son operating (obviously with help) heavy machinery and taking the first scoop of earth out of our future basement! And just like that, I was able to cross off #12 on my 30 in 30 list!

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Jacob and I started “building” this house in our heads and our hearts nearly three years ago and we have been working diligently over the past nine months with our architect to dial in every detail. This is our forever house. When we move in to this house, we plan to never move out. That statement alone brought me to tears on Friday. This is our HOME!

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Day one, done!

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Lyla Rae with the man who makes the magic happen on our house, Mr. Charlie!

On Saturday morning, my entire family ran in Jennie Carol’s Memorial Mother’s Day 5k Run. My five year old niece, Lucy, decided she wanted to run, so we all ran with her. Even my parents ran! I was SO proud of them! We thought they were going to walk it, but Lucy and my parents (and the rest of us) finished in 39 minutes!

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Jennie Carol’s Memorial Mother’s Day 5k Run

The picture below CRACKS ME UP! That’s Lucy running with her pony tail bouncing and just chatting away with Luke. She talked the entire race and never got out of breath! I wish I had that girl’s lungs! And then, can we talk about Lyla? She pulled her bow off and her headband down and was using it as a teether! Hah! She looks like she’s been kidnapped and gagged! I promise no baby girls were harmed during the race!

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After the race, we enjoyed brunch at The Bluebird with Jacob’s family. If you live in Central Kentucky and haven’t eaten there, you need to put it on the top of your to-do list! That evening we had a picnic and went hiking at Shakertown. There is a gorgeous waterfall on one of the hikes and the kids had a blast playing in the water.

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Mother’s Day morning was extra special because it was also Lyla Rae’s baby dedication at church. We celebrated with her cake on Friday night, since we had to drive back to Atlanta right after church ended. And, she gave me the best Mother’s Day gift ever… she *finally* slept through the night! Hallelujah!

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Jacob introducing Lyla Rae to our church family for her dedication to the Lord.

The privilege of dedicating Lyla to the Lord made this morning so special. We promised, along with the congregation, to bring her up in the ways of the Lord and to teach her about God’s word. I pray everyday that Jacob and I will not only teach her the Bible, but live it out daily for our children to see.

Of course, after church we had to take the obligatory Mother’s Day pictures!

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The Elmore Crew

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The Tamme Crew

I just love this picture of my mom with Luke!

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Late Sunday afternoon, we made the drive back to Atlanta. The babies slept nearly the entire drive, for which we were so very thankful!

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This is what a big weekend in Kentucky will do to a kid! Hah!

Children’s Book Week Giveaway Winner

Thank you to everyone who entered the Children’s Book Week Giveaway! I loved reading about your favorite children’s books and it looks like we need to purchase a few new ones to add to our collection! As my mama says, “You can never have too many books!”.

Luke had the honor of drawing our first giveaway winner! He was so excited to help!

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And the winner is…

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Dana Stigall, you are the winner of the Children’s Book Week Giveaway! I’ll be contacting you soon for shipping information!

 

Sunday Scriptures

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What a fitting verse for Mother’s Day! We often remind Luke of this verse when he is “not making a happy choice”. I need to be reminded of it as well. Even as an adult child, I still need to honor and respect my parents.

Speaking of parents, Happy Mother’s Day, Mama! I don’t know how Andrea and I got so lucky to have you as our mother, but I am so grateful for you! You are a selfless servant to your family and church and the best “Besta” to your grandbabies!

We just arrived back in Atlanta from a wonderful weekend in Kentucky! As always, it went by SO fast! We packed just about all we could in to 2 1/2 days. We are all exahausted, but the good kind of exhausted. The kind where you rushed from one event to another from morning til night, but you couldn’t possibly pick one to leave out! I’ll be recapping our weekend tomorrow and announcing the winner of the Children’s Book Week Giveaway!

Tamale Pie Recipe

I meant to post this recipe on Tuesday for Cinco de Mayo, and well, that didn’t happen! While we don’t really celebrate this Mexican holiday, we certainly celebrate Mexican food! It’s one of the Tamme family favorites. I made this tamale pie for our family last week and it was a hit! I had made it once before, but it was even better this go around! It’s a super easy dish to throw together and is oh, so good!

I found this recipe on Pinterest in the wee hours of the morning while I was rocking Lyla. I’m not sure what moms did before iPhones when they were up all night with their babies, but I can’t imagine not having mine! I shop, read my Bible, shop, peruse Pinterest and Instagram, shop… Anyway, this recipe is from Skinny Mom and calls for reduced fat versions of everything. We don’t really believe in low-fat items in our house (other than 2% milk, which we rarely drink), so I use full fat versions and it works just fine.

Also, if you haven’t seen how to make Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken, you should really check it out here. It’s seriously life changing! I make a batch on Sundays and it lasts us most of the week. It’s great to throw on salads, make chicken noodle soup or this tamale pie.

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Tamale Pie (from Skinny Mom)

Ingredients
12 ounces boneless chicken breast cooked and shredded (see link above)
10 oz red enchilada sauce
2 eggs
1/3 C. milk
1 can cream style corn
4 oz. can diced green chiles
1 packet of taco seasoning
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (you can omit this if you don’t like the heat)
1/2 C. shredded cheese, Mexican Blend
1 box Jiffy cornbread mix
chopped fresh cilantro

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, combine skim milk, egg whites, ½ Tbsp taco seasoning, red pepper, cream-style corn, corn muffin mix and green chilies.
  3. Stir ingredients until moist and then transfer mixture into a round pie plate coated with non-stick cooking spray.
  4. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Corn cake will be done when golden brown.
  5. While corn cake is baking, toss shredded chicken with remaining 1 Tbsp taco seasoning in a small bowl.
  6. Remove corn cake from oven and pierce generously with fork, making indentations all over corn cake.

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    Corn cake fresh from the oven. I’m always tempted just to eat this before adding the rest of the ingredients!

  7. Pour red enchilada sauce over pierced corn cake.
  8. Top enchilada sauce with chicken and sprinkle with cheese.
  9. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted.
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  10. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes.
  11. Top with fresh cilantro  before serving.IMG_8675

Don’t forget that Saturday is the last day to enter the Children’s Book Week Giveaway! We’ve had lots of entries so far and I’m so excited to see who will win! You have to get your comment in by midnight on Saturday and I will be announcing the winner on Monday, May 11th!