Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Hope your Christmas was wonderful, and that the new year brings many blessings!
Love to all,
Friday, December 25, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Its Tuesday, and time to join Kim for Tea Things Tuesday. Kim has run out of tea things…can you imagine?…so today is our last get together…be sure to visit Kim and the other tea lovers and see what they’ve chosen to show you…I know you’ll love everything! Just click on that little teacup to the right, and you’ll be there!
The Rose Petal Tea Society had their December tea on Saturday, and I’d like to share some photos with you. It would have been great to have all of you there, too…this is a great group of ladies, and I know you would love them, and they would love you!
In case you don’t remember, the Rose Petal Tea Society is a tea club that we started over 5 years ago. In the first year, we went to tea, or had a tea in a home, every other month. By the second year, we had decided that we wanted to meet every month…we just couldn’t wait til the next tea! There are about 18 of us, and we usually see at least 14 in attendance, so we have to find extra chairs, put tables together, etc., to fit us together, but we always have a fantastic couple of hours together. Because this is our December tea, of course, it also became our Christmas tea, so we exchanged gifts…it was great fun…we were just like those little girls of years ago, waiting in anticipation to see what we got!
Do you see this gorgeous crocheted tablecloth? If I could have fit it under my jacket, it would have been in my house today! And the Christmas plates that are clear, but with an etched design were stunning…I only wish I could have captured the detail better…they were outstanding…and vintage… so we can’t just run out and buy them!
Is this teapot beautiful, or what? It isn’t actually a Christmas teapot, but the colors lend to the season perfectly, especially sitting alongside the Christmas cactus plants, just beginning to bloom…such a pretty sight!
Notice the little Christmas village on the sideboard behind the ladies, and the framed artwork on the wall…lovely vintage items in this beautiful home! No, no, I don’t mean the girls….oh, my, no way!
Keep your grubby hands off my gift!
“Afternoon Tea”…a book full of new ideas and recipes…YUM!
This is a real teacup made into a pin cushion…adorable!
Our lovely hostesses, Kathy and Sheila…thank you for a wonderful tea!
I hope you enjoyed our tea party! I’m sorry I didn’t show you last month’s tea…it was also beautiful, but my photos didn’t turn out, so I didn’t post them. Maybe a new camera will be under my tree this year?
I also had a small tea on Friday for my Bible study friends…here a few photos of the table before they arrived.
Ever since I changed my blog background to the three column, my photos have been chopped off on the right side…any ideas on that?
I have been really much more busy than I want to be, and haven’t had time to answer emails, or visit your blogs, but I hope to be caught up enough to find an hour tonight to do so…I miss seeing everything you’re doing, or writing about…visiting my blogging friends refreshes me, and I am really missing that right now! Just know that, even if I’m not leaving a comment, you’re in my thoughts and prayers!
God bless you all…have a wonderful day!
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Yesterday, I posted a very moving video about Santa bringing the soldiers home...if you didn't get a chance to see it yet, I hope you will today. A sweet little girl's voice sings to us, as she asks Santa to bring her daddy home. It was her heart's cry to someone in whom she believed could bring anything she asked for. No doubt, every wish on her Christmas list had been filled by her parents, but she won't know that until she's older. I thought about it...we know who the true Giver of gifts is...do we have that kind of faith in Him? Do we trust Him enough to pray for our needs? Or do we receive gifts, and somehow think that they came from someone else...like "good luck", or "fate", or "our own hard work"?
Do we treat Him like a Santa Claus, and only talk to Him when we want something?
Why Jesus is Better Than Santa Claus
Santa lives at the North Pole...
JESUS is everywhere.
Santa rides in a sleigh...
JESUS rides on the wind and walks on the water.
Santa comes but once a year...
JESUS is an ever present help.
Santa fills your stockings with goodies...
JESUS supplies all your needs.
Santa comes down your chimney uninvited...
JESUS stands at your door and knocks, and then enters your heart when invited.
You have to wait in line to see Santa...
JESUS is as close as the mention of His name.
Santa lets you sit on his lap...
JESUS lets you rest in His arms.
Santa doesn't know your name, all he can say is "Hi little boy or girl, what's your name?"...
JESUS knew our name before we were born. Not only does He know our name, He knows our address too. He knows our history and future and He even knows how many hairs are on our heads.
Santa has a belly like a bowl full of jelly...
JESUS has a heart full of love
All Santa can offer is HO HO HO...
JESUS offers health, help and hope.
Santa says "You better not cry"...
JESUS says "Cast all your cares on me for I care for you."
Santa's little helpers make toys...
JESUS makes new life, mends wounded hearts, repairs broken homes and builds mansions.
Santa may make you chuckle but...
JESUS gives you joy that is your strength.
While Santa puts gifts under your tree...
JESUS became our gift and died on a tree...the cross.
We need to put Christ back in CHRISTmas, Jesus is still the reason for the season.
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).
NOTE: I posted this morning while getting ready for church and failed to copy and paste the link from which I found this...it is from http://www.thoughts-about-god.com/christmas/jesus_better.htm. A few of the first commenters thought I wrote it, and while I greatly appreciate the wonderful words of praise, I am NOT that creative! When I found it, I just copied and pasted it to my post, and had to hurry off, then all during the service, I thought about it and hoped no one would think it was me...I'm so sorry...I did not intend to deceive you into thinking that I wrote it. Whoever did write it did a wonderful job.
May your Sunday be filled with love and wonder...God bless you all!
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Please join me as I fill my morning with song by visiting Amy for Then Sings My Soul Saturdays. I wasn't going to participate today, as I am still very busy, but I found this video and had to share with you.
We know it isn't Santa that brings them home, so please join me as I pray for our wonderful soldiers, that He will bring some home, and those that cannot come home for Christmas will feel the love of their families from far away, and that they feel the presence of God walking with them...that they are covered with a blanket of His protection as they sacrifice their comfort, and sometimes their lives, with their courage and dedication to the freedom that has been given to us by Almighty God.
May the good Lord bless each and every one of you.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Please join our lovely hostesses, Kathleen for White Wednesday, and Sue for Rednesday…you can find their buttons on the right…one click and you’ll be able to visit many wonderful blogs, full of colorful and festive items just waiting for you to see!
Yes, we had snow! We are just about an hour east of San Francisco, so snow is not something we see at our elevation, which is just above sea level, so you can only guess at the excitement we all felt when we woke up to SNOW!
What is interesting is that the snow didn’t come down on my city, but only on the neighboring cities! I’m not sure exactly why, but the only reason I can think of is that we are just a few feet lower, and it missed us. As we drove up the street, we could see the snow on the mountaintops, and when we got to the corner of the intersection and looked to the right, we couldn’t believe what we saw…there were blankets of snow right in front of our eyes!
For all of you bloggers that are showing photos of snow in your front or back yards, this is nothing, but for us, its wonderful! Its a miracle we didn’t get into an accident…I was snapping pictures as I was driving, often veering off to one side of the road altogether, and at some places, almost stopping dead in the center of the street! People understood, though…the drivers were all smiling at each other…we were gazing out our windows to catch every glimpse we could, knowing it wouldn’t last long. Amazingly, we still had snow on the mountains this morning, due to temps in the 20’s last night, but what had landed on front lawns was long gone.
Here are some photos. I was absolutely giddy…I just couldn’t stop saying “Look, honey, look at that beautiful snow!” And he would say “mmm-hmmm”
If it would snow at about 40 degree or warmer weather, I would welcome it…I love snow, but its the cold I don’t like!
Here is a snowflake that’s all warm and fuzzy…it was made by my good friend, Lynn, at www.lynnslovelies.blogspot.com . She does beautiful crochet work, and she made this for me as a gift…
when I bought this gorgeous scarf…I LOVE it! The photo does not do it justice…its much prettier in person, and so soft…it snuggles right around your neck like a soft blanky. I was going to model it for you, but hubby couldn’t get a good photo of me, and I didn’t want to ruin the prettiness of the scarf, so I hope you can tell just how lovely it actually is. It arrived in only a few days after ordering it from Lynn’s etsy shop, so if you need some beautiful handmade gift items, be sure to visit her and see what other lovelies she has to offer.
I do hope you are all enjoying these days before Christmas, preparing your hearts for a celebration of the birth of our Lord.
God bless everyone... continue to pray throughout this season for our military and their families, for the lonely and hurting, for the sick, and for the lost that need to know the miracle of Christmas Day, the day that our Savior, Jesus Christ, was born.
Monday, December 7, 2009
Welcome, friends, to my tea cottage! Its Tea Things Tuesday over at Kim’s blog, www.shabbypinkandpretty.blogspot.com, where you will find all things tea. I’m going there in just a minute, so please join me as I visit Kim and the other tea lovers for a look at their latest additions.
My dear blogging friends, this poem is long, however, if you’ve never read this before, you will not regret taking the time…it is wonderful! I received a little ornament book when a friend and I gave our car club ladies a tea about 12 or 13 years ago. We read it that day, and I’ve read it at every Christmas tea I’ve had since then…and I still cry. I know you will enjoy it and it will touch your heart. I have a few pictures at the end. Now let me pour you a cup of tea…English Breakfast, or perhaps Cinnamon Spice…and let’s get comfortable while we read this precious poem together.
A Cup of Christmas Tea
by Tom Hegg
The log was in the fireplace,
all spiced and set to burn.
At last the yearly Christmas race
was in the clubhouse turn.
The cards were in the mail,
all the gifts beneath the tree.
And 30 days reprieve till VISA
could catch up with me.
Though smug satisfaction
seemed the order of the day,
Something still was nagging me
and would not go away.
A week before, I got a letter
from my old great Aunt.
It read: Of course I'll understand
completely if you can't,
But if you find you have some time
how wonderful if we
Could have a little chat and share
a cup of Christmas tea.
She'd had a mild stroke that year
which crippled her left side.
Though house bound now,
my folks had said
it hadn't hurt her pride.
They said: She'd love to see you.
What a nice thing it would be
For you to go and maybe have
a cup of Christmas tea.
But boy! I didn't want to go.
Oh, what a bitter pill,
To see an old relation and
how far she'd gone downhill.
I remembered her as vigorous,
as funny and as bright.
I remembered Christmas Eves when
she regaled us half the night.
I didn't want to risk all that.
I didn't want the pain.
I didn't need to be depressed.
I didn't need the strain.
And what about my brother?
Why not him? She's his aunt, too!
I thought I had it justified,
but then before I knew,
The reasons not to go I so
painstakingly had built
Were cracking wide and crumbling
in an acid rain of guilt.
I put on boots and gloves and cap,
shame stinging every pore.
And armed with squeegee,
sand and map,
I went out my front door.
I drove in from the suburbs
to the older part of town.
The pastels of the newer homes
gave way to gray and brown.
I had that disembodied feeling
as the car pulled up and stopped
Beside the wooden house
that held the Christmas cup.
How I got up to her door
I really couldn't tell...
I watched my hand rise up and press
the button of the bell.
I waited, aided by my nervous
rocking to and fro.
And just as I was thinking
I should turn around and go,
I heard the rattle of the china
in the hutch against the wall.
The triple beat of two feet
and a crutch came down the hall.
The clicking of the door latch
and the sliding of the bolt,
And a little swollen struggle
popped it open with a jolt.
She stood there pale and tiny,
looking fragile as an egg.
I forced myself from staring
at the brace that held her leg.
And though her thick bifocals
seemed to crack and spread her eyes,
Their milky and refracted depths
lit up with young surprise.
Come in! Come in!
She laughed the words.
She took me by the hand.
And all my fears dissolved away
as if by her command.
We went inside and then before
I knew how to react
Before my eyes and ears and nose
was Christmas past, alive, intact!
The scent of candied oranges,
of cinnamon and pine,
The antique wooden soldiers
in their military line,
The porcelain Nativity
I'd always loved so much,
The Dresden and the crystal
I'd been told I mustn't touch.
My spirit fairly bolted
like a child out of class
And danced among the ornaments
of calico and glass.
Like magic I was six again,
deep in a Christmas spell.
Steeped in the million memories
That the boy inside knew well.
And here among old Christmas cards
so lovingly displayed,
A special place of honor
for the ones we kids had made.
And there, beside her rocking chair,
the center of it all,
My great Aunt stood and said how nice
it was I'd come to call.
I sat and rattled on about
the weather and the flu.
She listened very patiently
then smiled and said, "What's new?"
Thoughts and words began to flow.
I started making sense.
I lost the phony breeziness
I use when I get tense.
She was still passionately interested
in everything I did.
She was positive. Encouraging.
Like when I was a kid.
still sent her into fits.
She demanded the specifics.
The particulars. The bits.
We talked about the limitations
that she'd had to face.
She spoke with utter candor
and with humor and good grace.
Then defying the reality
of crutch and straightened knee,
On wings of hospitality
she flew to brew the tea.
I sat alone with feelings that
I hadn't felt in years.
I looked around at Christmas
through a thick hot blur of tears.
And the candles and the holly
she'd arranged on every shelf,
The impossibly good cookies
she still somehow baked herself.
But these rich and tactile memories
became quite pale and thin,
When measured by the Christmas
my great Aunt kept deep within.
Her body halved and nearly spent,
but my great Aunt was whole.
I saw a Christmas miracle,
the triumph of a soul.
The triple beat of two feet and a
crutch came down the hall,
The rattle of the china
in the hutch against the wall.
She poured two cups. She smiled and then she handed one to me.
And then we settled back and had
a cup of Christmas tea.
You loved it, didn’t you? There is a sequel as well…if you are or know a tea lover, or really anyone at all, this would be a marvelous Christmas gift. It is something they will read for years to come, and it will warm them just as much as a cup of hot tea.
A miniature “A Cup of Christmas Tea” set that I purchased when I went to tea about 12 years ago.
A Hallmark Madam Alexander “A Cup of Christmas Tea” ornament that I found 2 of 3 years ago. You can still find them on ebay.
“A Cup of Christmas Tea” ornament…
and the little book that was given me years ago.
This is the full size teacup. I do not have one, but I’m hoping to win it on ebay this year. I find them, watch them, then forget to bid on them! And here is the teacup. I do hope you’ve enjoyed reading the poem while sipping on a cup of tea with me.
Do come back again on Wednesday for more pictures of Christmas decorations around my home…they will be in red and white. Remember to pray for our military and their families, for our nation, for the lonely and for the ill. Remembering to give to others with our time, our compassion, and our smiles is so important, every day, of course, but especially now, when people are so needy of someone to care about what is going on in their lives. We can get so busy with our own lives, seeing others can escape our gaze…let’s keep our spiritual eyes open so we can “see” what is going on around us.
God bless you all!
p.s. I do not know why my photos are cutting off to the right…any ideas? Also, I’ve lost the ability to change my font color…suggestions on that???
Good morning, friends! I finally finished, well, almost finished, my Christmas decorating, and am happy to share a little of my home with you while linking with our beautiful Cielo at http://houseinroses.blogspot.com/ . She has a wonderful blog full of wonderful goodies to share, so be sure to see what she has for you today…you will love it!
I have very little time this morning, so I’m not going to “talk” about my photos…in short, its our family room and part of the dining area!
God bless you all!
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Thank you to our lovely hostesses, Charlotte and Ginger at http://bloggerspirit.blogspot.com/ for Spiritual Sundays. Please visit this wonderful site…there are many bloggers that have shared something for you today. Just click on the blue sky to the right.
I’m also joining Lisa’s blog at http://www.extravagantgrace.net/. Lisa is hostessing “Bringing Holy Back to the Holidays”. Please visit her as well…lets find ways to bring HOLY back to the holidays. Her button is also to the right.
Please come in for a cup of tea…I’d like to share some thoughts with you.
As I bring out several boxes full of Christmas decorations, or as I think about the gifts I want to give my friends and family, or as I lay down in a very comfortable bed, after having a good meal, taking a hot shower, and making sure all windows are locked, my thoughts are drawn to images of the homeless that live up and down a long, busy street not far from my home. I only see adults, but I know there must be children out there, living on the street somewhere. What are they thinking about right now, with Christmas so near. Are they asking for toys, or a warm bed? Do they want a Barbie, or a jacket?
There are many organizations that help the homeless, both adult and children. We see those large, round bins at the different stores, where you can donate either toys or food. We receive requests through the mail for monetary donations so these organizations can provide a Christmas meal for a family.
In our busyness of decorating, baking, shopping and blogging, let us remember that we are to help those in need.
As I was researching different places that were offering help to the homeless, I found an article, and I’d like to share a little of it with you.
“What does the Bible say about the homeless and the poor? Does God have an opinion on whether or not the impoverished are society’s responsibility?
The word “poor” occurs 205 times in 197 verses in the KJV Bible. God’s view on the poor is very clear. Jesus is an excellent example of what a poor person was in his day. In fact, it is safe to say that Jesus was a homeless person at least some of the time (see Luke 9:58). The people that Jesus associated with were homeless and poor as well. Paul, who was a close follower of Jesus wrote “even until now we…have no certain dwelling place” (see 1 Corinthians 4:11). And finally, Paul writes that God’s only begotten Son became poor although he was rich for our sakes (see 2 Corinthians 8:9). It is very evident in just these three verses, that God loves poor people very much. If God made Jesus, his one and only Son, a poor and homeless person, then it is safe to say that God actually esteems the poor and glorifies them.”
It doesn’t seem to me that we think of the homeless in this way. Something to think about.
With Christmas so near, many people are feeling more sadness than joy, for any number of reasons. Even those of us with families and homes can feel sadness. I really think it is because we are focused on people and things rather than the reason we celebrate Christmas…the birth of Jesus. I know I talked about this before, but we seem to forget. One day, we’re thinking about the spiritual side of Christmas, and the next day, we’re stressing out over what to buy for someone. At least that describes me, and I suspect we’re all like this to one degree or another. I don’t believe the Lord would have us stop enjoying Christmas…He is the ultimate Giver of good gifts to His children, so of course, He is delighted that we give to those we love. But I have to remember that He loves the homeless as much as He loves my kids, and I have to remember to love them too.
Please continue to pray for our soldiers and their families. Pray for those that are in any kind of need, whether physical, emotional, or financial…we all need prayer for something…just pray!
God bless you all!