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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

High Tea

Today I had the pleasure of hosting a tea party.If you know anything about me, you know I love a good party! Parties where I get to use a lot of pretty dishes are my favorite.Parties to HONOR a woman of God are my 2nd favorite! Although there was a fresh coating of snow this morning,
the tea party continued on.
And I got to use the beautiful green dishes that Jake got me for Christmas,
(via my sister who saw them, purchased them and made a call to my Man~I love my sisters)!!!

I was up until midnight last night decorating, making flower arrangements, baking, cooking, waltzing about my kitchen while everyone else slept. Did you know how wonderful the midnight hour can be? (when you're doing whatever you want that is)!!

I had some old, large bread pans that I filled with pebbles as a helper in keeping the arrangement upright. Found some old hymnals and cut a few lines out, glued them on the sides, tied a ribbon around them and placed them on the table. Purchased an arrangement at Costco and the *realist* looking fake flowers from the Dollar Store.

The favors for each lady were made by my sister Yvonne and I. I love how she makes something out of nothing and this idea turned out so beautifully.....and was a blessing to the lady receiving it.
We cut out verses from an old hymnal and glued them onto a piece of stock paper. Added a few buttons at the end, tied some twine around the top and placed them on each tea cup. I never tire of reading the time-worn words.


on the heels of old friends....

Beautiful ladies full of love, life, liberty and longing!
An HONOR to fellowship with.

I like to follow the three "S's" when serving tea:
savory, scones, sweets.

SAVORY~strawberry, feta, roasted almond salad with poppy seed dressing.

mini sandwiches~homemade "mini" loaves of bread with:
horseradish, roast beef topped with port wine cheddar cheese
roasted red pepper cheese spread topped with avocado slices.
TEA~I steeped the teas in three different tea pots. Color coordinating them so I could remember what I was serving.....white=white tea, blue=blueberry tea, floral=chamomile tea.

Elisa, my glamorous, beautiful, talented long lost friend from Australia. She and her Mom, Miranda were visiting Pennsylvania, the purpose of this gathering.
SCONES~I followed my recipe that I've been using for years.
Along with fresh lemon curd and devonshire creme, (I may or may not eat this stuff by the spoonful when no one is watching)!

SWEETS~blueberry, walnut bread.
chocolate covered strawberries
, (thank you to my friend Angie for making these for me in exchange for a massage....I like my "bartering" abilities)!
Banana-pineapple-walnut mini tortes with cream cheese pineapple filling and raspberry topping.
This was a BLAST to make, (at midnight last night).
Started with a good ol' box of banana bread, added some pineapple and walnuts to it. Baked it in the largest pan I had. It baked thinly. Cooled and cut out circles of cake using a small juice glass. Placed layers of cake/filling/cake/filling/cake/filling/raspberry! So easy and so delicious!!

"The most beautiful discovery true friends make
is that they can grow separately
without growing apart."~Elisabeth Foley~
P.s. A HUGE THANK YOU TO MY SHRISH, (sister) for keeping my children so today could happen with smoothness and sanity!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

It's tough being a woman when.....

Just yesterday I received a question from my friend Cheree in Cape Town, South Africa. She, along with her husband Merle and 3 children live and minister over there. She was asking a question and hoping to share some of the responses at a retreat she is planning. She is planning to launch a Beth Moore study on the book of Esther. "Humorous, or thoughtful, or heartfelt responses all qualify," she said.
Her question was this:

why is it tough being a woman?

Here were some of my answers:

  • It's tough being a woman because there's so much "square footage"(as my husband puts it) to shave!
  • It's tough being a woman because we judge one another with such harshness when that's the last thing we want done to us.
  • It's tough being a woman because 3 weeks out of the month our life is wonderful, beautiful and just right, and on that other week, well, we're not even sure if we should have been born!

  • It's tough being a woman because we often question the love we receive and doubt the Love we need.
  • It's tough being a woman because we easily go blind, such as when we open our closets and see nothing to wear.
  • It's tough being a woman when the world only looks at the cover of who we truly are.

If you get a moment, would you take some time to answer for yourself? Cheree will be reading the responses here as well, so hopefully we can help her out and be amused and perhaps inspired along the way!!!
Thanks Ladies!!

(pictures taken around my home by Michelle Bailey Walls for a college photography amazing right?)

Monday, February 14, 2011

hApPy VaLeNtInEs DaY!!!

our wedding cake

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE VALENTINES DAY, however I'm not really into the whole exclusive holiday stuff. The celebrations that make others feel left out because they might not have someone to love, (or someone to love them). LOVE is a tricky deal. Beautiful and tricky. Truly, to those that have arms to fall into.....FALL WITH ALL YOU'VE GOT and to those that will go to bed alone or with sadness/pain/loneliness in your hearts.....tomorrow is a new day and the sun will shine again, (and perhaps it will be 50*)!

"Shall we compare our hearts to a garden -
with beautiful blooms, straggling weeds,
swooping birds and sunshine, rain -
and most importantly, seeds
~Grey Livingston

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Prayers for my husband~his sexuality

"Lord, Bless my husband's sexuality and make it an area of great fulfillment for him. Restore what needs to be restored, balance what needs to be balanced. Protect us from apathy, disappointment, criticism, busyness, unforgiveness, deadness, or disinterest. I pray that we make time for one another, communicate our true feelings openly, and remain sensitive to what each other needs.

Keep us sexually pure
in mind and body, and close the door to anything lustful or illicit that seeks to encroach upon us. Deliver us from the bondage of past mistakes. Remove from our midst the effects of any sexual experience~~in thought or deed~~that happened outside of our relationship. Take away anyone or anything from our lives that would inspire temptation to infidelity. I pray that we will desire each other and no one else.

Show me how
to make myself attractive and desirable to him and be the kind of partner he needs. I pray that neither of us will ever be tempted to think about seeking fulfillment elsewhere.
I realize that an important part of my ministry to my husband is sexual. Help me to never use it as a weapon or a means of manipulation by giving and withholding it for selfish reasons. I commit this area of our lives to You, Lord.

May it be continually new and alive. Make is all that You created it to be."
~"The Power of a Praying Wife" by Stormie Omartian~
"Drink water from your own cistern,
and running water from your own well.
Let your fountain be blessed,
and rejoice with the wife of your youth.
As a loving deer and a graceful doe,
let her breasts satisfy you at all times,
and always be enraptured with her love."

Proverbs 5:15-19

P.s. to the 5 male, married readers of this blog~~~you're welcome!!! ;)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

5 ways to Spice up the Spice up!!

Well, it's Valentine's Day season. And that has nothing to do with this post. It's a nice time to remember your Lover and all....and do special things for them; buy them gifts, write a card, hug an extra hug. We all have an opportunity to SHOW our love in one way or another on a regular's right there if we take the time to realize it in the midst of everydayness. It's not easy, but it can become a habit. This post is about one way we can show our husband's we love them.....

"We're hitting a top priority in a man's life right away. I feel we can contribute to our husbands' happiness in these areas most dear to their hearts. I've observed that frequently the sexual relationship is a low priority on women's minds. It isn't that the wife cares nothing about that part of her life. It's that there are so many other things screaming for her attention, such a raising children, work, finances, managing a home, emotional stress, exhaustion, sickness and marital strife.

In the wife's juggling of priorities, sex can end up on the bottom of her list. For a wife, sex comes out of affection. She doesn't want to be affectionate with a man who makes her feel angry, hurt, lonely, disappointed, overworked, unsupported, uncared for , or abandoned.

But for a husband, sex is pure need
. His eyes, ears, brain, and emotions get clouded if he doesn't have that release. It's important to make sex a matter of priority in your marriage. Whether all conditions are perfect or
whether you feel like it or not isn't the point. The point is meeting the needs of your husband and keeping communication lines open. There is probably no more important means of fulfillment for a man, and no area where he is more vulnerable.

If your attitude about having sex comes down to only what you need or what you don't want, then you don't have God's perspective. He says our body is to be used to comfort and complete the other person. Something is built up in the man and the marriage when this need is met by his wife. Something is diminished when it is not. You leave yourselves open for temptation, and far more destruction than you can imagine, when this area of intimate communication is neglected. It can happen to anyone, and that's why the sexual aspect of your marriage and your husband's sexuality need to be covered in prayer. And it's best to start praying about it before you have to."

An excerpt from Stormie Omartian's book~
"The Power of a Praying Wife"

There are so many variables in EACH of your homes and I recognize that. There are marriages that are unhealthy and very difficult in other areas and so it automatically spills over into the bedroom. I don't want to make it sound so *simple* because it's not just about having a great sex life and then all your problems are's obviously not that at all. There are physical, mental and emotional issues that are not even being addressed here. That's not what this post is about.....what it IS about is keeping the spice in an already healthy marriage.....which can be difficult in it's own right.

So,without further ado,


1.) BUY SOME NEW UNDERWEAR~~I don't know about you, but most days I reach into that drawer and skim over the ones that: a.) are too tight, b.) are too big, c.) um, are those maternity?, d.) are ugly, e.) I wouldn't be caught dead in. So, just spend $20 and buy SOME NEW ONES. A goal of mine would be to reach blindly into my drawer and be fine with anything I pull out! (Sure, good luck with that one)!

2.) FEEL GOOD ABOUT YOU~~start by SHAVING. I remember the days that I would shave just in case he would accidentally rub by my leg, now there are many days that I work pretty hard to keep my prickly, poky legs away from his. I feel better about myself if I'm smooth. And hair conditioner works pretty well if you don't have shaving creme/gel. HAVE A BEDTIME LOTION~~A fragrance that is only used at bedtime. Something soothing and calming and use it consistently. A smell that will conjure up thoughts of bedtime and all that can go along with it. It's also a great time to let the lotion moisturize through the night hours.

3.) KEEP YOUR BEDROOM YOURS~~the kids have their own room(s) for a reason. Try to keep anything that is THEIRS out of your space. I don't even let the kids play in our room, (well, it's a rare occasion anyway if they do). I'm not too proud to say, "get out of my room." With a smile of course.....well, not really. Create a bed that you would want to crawl into. Soft sheets with a high thread count, (250 or more), snugly blankets and beautiful pillow cases, (all of this is relatively inexpensive and normally not a purchase that is made very often so spending a little upfront goes a long way). Buy some linen spray to keep the sheets smelling fresh between washes, (and in case your husband farts under the sheets at night)!

4.) SAY SOMETHING~~Your husband probably doesn't know what you want or need. Here's my best line:
"I'm your only option for sex and you're my only option for a date!" or how about this one that I've used before: "my love tank is empty, I'm sputtering out by the side of the road, there's dirt in my fuel filter!" Hey, I'm just trying to speak his "language"!

5.) MINISTER TO YOUR HUSBAND~~preferably with your clothes off!! We as women have such a POWERFUL, GOD-GIVEN PLACE in their life and heart and body. We are anointed to bless them like NO ONE ELSE CAN! Stay tuned tomorrow, I'll be posting a prayer that you might be interested in.....

"He felt now that he was not simply close to her,
but that he did not know where he ended and she began."
~Leo Tolstoy~

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Snow Day Party

Today I threw a Snow Day party because, well, it was a snow day.
My friend Michelle, (remember, one time I told you about her here) is in school to become a photographer and she's got what it takes to say the least! She had an assignment in which she needed to "photograph an event." Well, we came up with this idea LAST NIGHT to CREATE our own event....thus, SNOW DAY PARTY! I was invited to my own tea party today, but it was cancelled so at 9am I made several calls/texts/emails to some neighbors of ours and their children.

By 11:30am this place was a hoppin'!!
I had some snacks on hand....juice boxes, cheese curls, animal crackers, gold fish, licorice, gumballs, and some of the other Mom's brought the "good" stuff: apples & carrots for good measure!, (which were barely touched)!! so the boys helped me put everything into clear jars, hung some lanterns and set the GOODIES around the table. Michelle made strawberry cupcakes and brownies which were DELISH! We also went through 14 cups of coffee and one container of creme brulee creamer!! 13 kids, 6 Ladies, 1 house=
Welcome to CRAZYVILLE!!

Michelle did a WONDERFUL job capturing the "event."
Hope you're enjoying the little moments of our morning through her lense(s).
It was LOUD, there was LOTS of sugar intake before Noon,
and I wouldn't change a thing. I enjoyed living through these little eyes. It sure doesn't take much to make their day! Cheese curls and a cupcake.
BESIDES, this is what snow days are all about.....
enjoying a little BREAK in life!

"I'm less interested in why we're here.
I'm wholly devoted to
while we're here."
~Erika Harris~
p.s. a thank you to my dear friend Vickie for introducing me to this song by Elizabeth Mitchell~~"Three Little Birds"!