Monday, September 29, 2014

Mondays are for Grace

"All beauty is a breadcrumb path that leads us to Christ."

-- Steven DeWitt

Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Tea Trolley

The most exciting thing around here which concerns tea is my newly improved pantry!!!! In order to hide water softener pipes which used to be in Michael's office we needed to knock a hole in my current small pantry and, to make wise use of the space, turn the area under the stairs into an enlarged storage area. In the process Michael kindly painted my pantry a nice green to match the kitchen and he painted my china shelf a deep cream. I'm so pleased with the results!!!!

Not only that but Michael built me shelving to line the walls of the new addition. Now I can walk in and grab tea cozies, china, or extra fruit. It is so much better than having things shoved in cupboards and drawers and thus not so useable.

And now for the reason I have china and tea cozies..... A friend for lunch called for scones and the opening of a special jar of jam.

Imagine my delight to find this surprise package of tea in the mail one day!!!!! A friend in England sent Christina and me packets of all kinds of Twinings tea!!!!

I use my glass tea holder pretty much everyday. It normally has a strainer popped into the top so I can enjoy loose leaf tea. Here it is at a soccer game, helping me to relax after a busy day.

And one day Laura came up with this little coffee maker invention out of her own legos.

This teabag was designed in Beatrix Potter colors! And even the flavor and description go along with her precious stories.

Sometimes there is nothing else like apple pie. It's that time of year!

We also enjoyed homemade pies at a friend's earlier this month. Homemade sour cherry pie from a tree in their own yard is awfully hard to beat!

Every fall I make my favorite Roman Apple Cake. Everyone loves it!

Here's a snapshot of my weekly tea with my neighbor -- gluten free banana madelines invented by my friend on the spur of the moment:

 I helped to host a baby shower for a missionary friend this month. We made shortbread for the favors. Yum, yum!!!!

The shower was a tri-country theme, representing the three cultures that this new baby will be growing up with -- American, Ugandan, and Scottish.

Here is the Scottish room:

And this was our American room:

And here is the Ugandan room with the tropical punch:

And here is the celebrated baby himself!!!!

In an interesting set of circumstances this lovely set ended up in my trunk free of charge! It was a special gift from God! Now we have enough seating on our back patio for our entire family (7) and this makes a lovely place to sit down for a cup of tea.

And one more tea setting from another lunch with a friend -- gf buckwheat scones with fig butter and, have you seen the Rooibos Pumpkin Spice tea from Trader Joe's?!!! It is GOOD!

And now it is time to wind down the week and prepare for the Lord's Day tomorrow, anticipating worship, fellowship with friends and family, (tea!!!!), and the Lord's Supper -- our first taste of heaven here on earth. Happy weekend to you all!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Words and Wool

Now that Rachel's sport has ended for the season life is starting to feel a bit more sane around here. :) I did finish and block Laura's "Tiny Tea Leaves" but have not yet found time to weave in the ends and sew on buttons. I need to do this soon because it is the perfect fall sweater for her.

I finally figured out where in the pattern I am for my Mondo Cable Cardigan. There are increases and cables to keep track of so I couldn't just jump back in. But, now it is smooth sailing.

I had a moment to sew a week or so ago and came up with a new product -- tartan zip cases. I'm planning to make them in larger sizes to hold knitting projects.

And I did finish and deliver a fall order of flowers to my local knitting shop.

All summer I've had a large stack of tea cozies cut out and I finally got a few sewed together. They've gone to their homes which means I need to sew some more!

I love my acorn bunting! It is hanging on the hutch and I will have to photograph it there. I found a simple, free, crochet acorn pattern on ravelry and then crocheted them into a bunting.

I've been sewing plaid roses while helping the kids with school. Now I just need to upload them to Etsy....

And I am enjoying teaching the calligraphy class at homeschool co-op. I have an excellent group of kids and I love seeing the artistic things they produce!

 As for books.......

Autumn from the Heart of the Home, 10th Anniversary Edition by Susan Branch is mine for another week. I intend to buy this book as soon as I can -- classic Susan Branch, it is filled with beautiful illustrations, incredible recipes, and all kinds of inspiration for the autumn season. Planning to make the pumpkin lattes this weekend!

The Little Village School by Gervase Phinn was just my kind of relaxation novel -- set in rural England, involving interesting and believable characters, a good plot but not too heavy or involved. I did learn a new use for the verb "post" -- in this novel it is used for food being taken from your plate and put in your mouth -- several of the characters "post" food to their mouths! ha ha ha!

Grace Filled Marriage: The Missing Piece, the Place to Start by Dr. Tim Kimmel is a marriage book to recommend. There is plenty of practical advice but the book boils down to giving your partner grace. There are many definitions of this word but what Kimmel is getting at is showing the same kind of love and undeserved mercy to your spouse that God has shown to us -- no strings attached.

A Seaside Practice: Tales of a Scottish Country Doctor by Dr. Tom Smith was an entertaining enough book but not quite of the caliber of "The Little Village School." However, this book is based on real life experiences.

For more ideas on books and knitting/crochet, visit Ginny's Yarn a Long.

Please note: this post contains affiliate links.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Camping 101

Finally, after so many years, my wish to take the children camping came true! I suppose we cheated a whole lot, but it was a first step! Maybe in the future we will do more of this!

First of all, we chose to camp out at my mom's. Second, I asked a friend to help and she brought all the equipment.

We arrived after school in time for afternoon snack. Christina and the cousins joined us and we sat around outside enjoying the beautiful weather.

Of course everyone loves Arthur! (He turned one yesterday!)

 And the cousins had a grand time running around everywhere and getting free rides in the wagon.

As dinner approached I stuck our "chicken in a packet" on the grill.

Oh was it good!!!!! Chicken with barbecue sauce, red potatoes, and peppers. Yum, yum!

There were 11 of us sitting around the table outside. It felt very festive indeed!

Afterward John and Laura mixed up some pudding!

And then we fired up the grill once again for s'mores.

Check out that yummy s'more with homemade gluten free graham crackers (not my work).

Sticky business!

We took turns visiting Job the donkey.

And when night came we turned on the Coleman lantern -- boy, did that bring back memories!

And we actually got some sleep! Here are the tents in the morning.

And a few happy campers!

Grandma let some slip inside for an early morning treat.

And for breakfast we enjoyed pancakes, sausages, orange juice, strawberries and whipped cream. The perfect camping breakfast!!!

We had such a blast that we may need to make this camping adventure a yearly event. And, I think it's taken me one step closer to camping on my own....!