Faith Family Friends

Celebrating the Joy of Living & Home Making ~

Baking, Cooking, Decorating, Tea Time, and taking Inspiration from those I love and the world around me...

A sharing of my heart and my home from a Christian perspective

...with a wee bit of whimsy added.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Merry Christmas ~ Taking A Break

Hello dear friends~ Christmas is just a few days away and everyone is busy preparing for the holidays.



I have not taken a break in a very long time so I am going to take one now. This will be my last post for a week or so. My two memes, Tea Time Tuesday and HOME, will be on hold but I know you will all understand. I want you to know that whenever I sip a cup of tea, I will be thinking of you, my bloggy friends.





I wish you all a Blessed Christmas season.
May you be filled with the Peace and Bounty of the Season and the Love of Family and Friends.




Jesus is the Reason for the Season!


The world was blessed at Christmas
with a miracle of Love....
a guiding star and angel choir
rejoicing from above.
They pointed to a tiny Babe
within a cattle stall-
a Saviour bringing peace on earth-
the greatest Gift of all. ~ Author unknown



Thank you for making me a part of your lives here in blogland and I'll see you soon.


From my home to yours Merry Christmas!


Sharing from my heart~ Sandi

Friday, 21 December 2012

An Update On My Son

Hello bloggy friends~ Several of you were asking for an update  on my son, some of you even emailed me. You are such a wonderful bunch of friends! 




Well, I heard from a little birdie that all is well! I am thrilled to tell you that his check up went well and he can hear in that ear. He has to go back again in another three weeks for a recheck and by that time the swelling should be down. I don't know if he will ever have 100 percent hearing in that ear but at least he can hear. 
He will still have to take it easy for a little while but everything is going as it should. We're happy!

So thank you so much for your prayers for him. Prayer really does change things! God has heard and we are so very thankful!



Now I'm going to have myself a nice cup of tea and relax! Would you care to join me?



Chocolate Chai is in the pot, the tree is lit and the fire is going. A cup of tea and a wee nosh is just the thing.

Have a fabulous day, my friends. I appreciate you all!

Sharing from my heart~  Sandi

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

HOME



A Very Happy Christmas to you all!
Hello dear friends and welcome to my last HOME party before the holidays!


"Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and a talk beside the fire: it is the time for HOME." ~ Edith Sitwell


I bet you're counting down the days till Christmas just like I am.  
It has been such a busy week for me and all day yesterday I had computer woes so it really threw a wrench into preparing my HOME post for today. Therefore, my lovely friends, I won't be featuring anyone's post today. I'm so sorry about that because I know some of you really enjoy the features. 


Today, I would like to share a couple of recipes with you. So please come in and join me for a cup of something hot and a piece of my home made fruit cake.




"There's more, much more, to Christmas
Than candlelight and cheer;
It's the spirit of sweet friendship
That brightens all year.
It's thoughtfulness and kindness,
It's hope reborn again,
For peace, for understanding,
And for goodwill to men!" ~ Author unknown




For you teacup lovers out there, the teacup is made by Royal Stafford in England; established in 1845.

Do you like my new teapot? It is Bella Casa made by Ganz. It is an early Christmas gift from my son and his family. I think it's so pretty with the holly teacup.




The darling tea towel you see beneath it is made of linen and came from Ireland. I love the Christmas robins on it!


You know that I have a love for our little feathered friends and our son is in Wildlife Conservation so he can identify and enjoys talking about the birdies with us.

Speaking of my son, he sees his surgeon tomorrow for follow up after his surgery. We are praying for good results and I will keep you posted.

I made these fruit scones for our tea this week and they are just the thing with a cup of tea or coffee. I will share the recipe below as I had a few ladies ask me for it. 



Fruit Scones

2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/3-1/2 cup shortening
1 cup mixed fruit {the kind you use in fruit cake}
1 beaten egg added to
2/3 cup milk

Mix first six ingredients together and cut in shortening. Add fruit and mix in. Add egg with milk and stir until a soft dough forms. Gently knead on a lightly floured surface. Roll out thick and cut out scones with a glass. Brush the tops with milk and sprinkle with a little sugar. Bake in 450 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

Drizzle with icing when hot from the oven.

Icing
1 cup sifted icing sugar
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 TBSP milk





Almost every year for Christmas, I make fudge, Peanut Brittle, and Almond bark. Today I will share my recipe for Peanut brittle.



It makes great hostess gifts and sweet little packages for family and friends.




One of my son's music teachers enjoyed receiving it at Christmas-time. He always told me it was his favourite confection and he looked forward to receiving it every year. Rich and creamy, it is filled with peanuts and oh, so buttery good!


Peanut Brittle

Grease a baking sheet.
In a saucepan, combine:
1-1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup water

Heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves. Then bring to a boil and continue cooking until it reaches the hard crack stage {300 on candy thermometer} or until a few drops in cold water separate into hard, brittle threads.




Remove from heat and stir in
2 TBSP butter
1/2 tsp salt
1-1/2 cups salted peanuts

Quickly pour onto prepared baking sheet.



Cool and break into pieces. Enjoy!



"Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas." ~ Peg Bracken


This is my little teacup tree which I added Baby's Breath to. The wee rocking horse was a gift from my middle son when he was a little boy.




I am so happy you have joined me at HOME today and I do appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment as I love hearing from you!

Now that my shopping is done and my baking is finished, I'm going to curl up on the couch and watch some Christmas movies. The big day will be here before we know it.


Thank you for making my HOME party a joy to bring to you each week. I hope you will plan to join me in the new year too.

Let us remember to pray for those dear souls in CT who lost their loved ones last week. May God comfort them and give them peace in their time of trial.

Merry Christmas from my HOME to yours! God bless you and your loved ones!


"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." ~ Luke 2:14


"The greatest Christmas gift of all
Was never placed beneath a tree,
But lay within a manger
Beneath a star, for all to see." Unknown


I am joining the following parties as well~

Home and Garden Thursday ~ http://blissfulrhythm.blogspot.com/
Tea Cup Thursday~ http://missspensersblog.blogspot.com/
Share Your Cup Thursday~ http://jannolson.blogspot.com/
Cottage Style Linky Party~ http://lavendergardencottage.blogspot.com/
Tutorials Tips and Tidbits ~ http://www.stonegableblog.com/
Home Sweet Home~ http://thecharmofhome.blogspot.com/
Open House~ http://bernideensteatimeblog.blogspot.com/
 


Sharing from my heart~ Sandi

Monday, 17 December 2012

Tea Time Tuesday



"The heart, like the mind, has a memory. And in it are kept the most precious keepsakes." ~ H.W. Longfellow
  
Welcome to my last Tea Time Tuesday before Christmas, dear friends!

The holiday season is a magical time of year. Twinkling lights grace evergreen trees, cinnamon and gingerbread fill the air, and greetings of "Merry Christmas" and ''Happy Holidays" can be heard around every corner.



It is one week before Christmas and I am enjoying the sights and sounds of this beautiful season. In the midst of all the merriment, however, my heart hurts for those who have lost loved ones in that terrible tragedy last week. Indeed, it will not be a joyous time for some and my thoughts and prayers go out to them. May God bless and comfort them at this time!

Christmas Past
"Each Christmas I remember
The ones of long ago;
I see our mantelpiece adorned
With stockings in a row.
Each Christmas finds me dreaming
Of days that used to be;
When we hid presents here and there,
For all the family.
Each Christmas I remember
The fragrance in the air;
Of roasting turkey and mince pies,
And cookies everywhere.
Each Christmas finds me longing
For Christmases now past,
And I am back in childhood
As long as memories last." ~ Carice Williams




I love Christmas, the past as well as the present! I have been blessed in that my parents made Christmas a very special time and it is a tradition which I have passed on to my children. My hubby also shares this same love of the holidays and so we savour each day and moment. For all too quickly, it will be over for another year.....

Peace and goodwill in each loving home,
Beauty and magic so surely your own.
Sweet Christmas angels - moments of love,
Part of the wonder God sends from above." ~ Garnett Ann Schultz " - Victoria magazine




Christmas is family time....Here are two of my lambies; Zachary 4 and Jenna-Lynn 2. They are excited for Christmas this year.



"The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other." ~ Burton Hillis 

Last night we had our son and his family over for our family time and we had a feast of finger foods. I served mini cheese balls, pigs in blankets, veggies and dip, pretzels and chips, cheese and crackers and smoked oysters, as well as olives for BJ and me.
For dessert I served my fruit cake, chocolate, pumpkin pie with whipped cream and yes, tea. Even the little guys drank tea. Sorry I don't have any pictures of them drinking tea. Maybe next time. It was a lovely evening.....

My beautiful DIL Joanna.


Joanna and Cameron, BJ, Jared, and my son Jeff.


This Thursday we will know how well my son's surgery took. Fingers crossed!


Now on to today's tea.... I have a new teapot to share with you which Hubby gifted me with for Christmas. He had special ordered it for me and I am totally loving it! I have had it for about a month and I have been anxious to share it with you.

This is one side of it. You know how much I love little birdies.


My favourite, red transferware, is adorned with florals and birdies, making it a delight to my eyes. It has a nice sturdy handle which is comfortable to hold while pouring tea. No name on the bottom but it matters not in this case.

This is the other side. Isn't it sweet? It has such nice lines and it's a lovely size for a tea party.




Snow flakes in the air
Carols everywhere
Olden times and ancient rhymes
Of love and dreams to share.

Sleigh bells in the air
Beauty everywhere
Yuletide by the fireside
And joyful memories there.

Christmas time is here
We'll be drawing near
Oh, that we could always see,
Such spirit through the year....~ From A Charlie Brown Christmas




"Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas." ~ Peg Bracken


Cuppa tea?





"Tykes on sleds and shouts of glee, icy-window filigree, sugarplums and candle glow, part of Christmas long ago." ~ Jo Geis


I have baked you some fruit scones drizzled with almond glaze and there are chocolate wafers to nibble on.



Please help yourself to a cup of Darjeeling. 




"Christmas is a season for kindling the fire for hospitality in the hall; the genial flame of charity in the heart." ~ Washington Irving





I want to wish you all a lovely holiday and the Happiest of Christmases!  Thank you so much for your wonderful support and friendship over the past year. You are the ones who make my tea parties a most lovely pastime. Hugs to you all, sweet friends; God bless you and your families!



And let's remember to pray for the families of those who lost loved ones in the senseless shooting last week. God bless and comfort them.



"And it came about that while they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth.
And she gave birth to her first-born son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn." ~ Luke 6-7

"For behold, I bring you good news of great joy which shall be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." ~ Luke 2:10-11

Let every heart prepare Him room....

Merry Christmas!


I am joining the following parties as well~

Heart and Home ~ http://angelwingsandapronstrings.blogspot.com/
A Return to Loveliness ~ http://blissfulrhythm.blogspot.com/
Tea Cup Tuesday~ http://artfulaffirmations.blogspot.com/
Tea Cup Tuesday ~ http://www.marthasfavorites.com/
Tuesday Cuppa Tea~ http://antiquesandteacups.blogspot.com/
Friends Sharing Tea ~ http://bernideensteatimeblog.blogspot.com/
Tea Talk ~ http://the-teaist.blogspot.com/
Tea Cup Thursday~ http://missspensersblog.blogspot.com/
Share Your Cup Thursday~ http://jannolson.blogspot.com/
Cottage Style Linky Party~ http://lavendergardencottage.blogspot.com/
Home Sweet Home~ http://thecharmofhome.blogspot.com/

Sharing from my heart~ Sandi

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

HOME



"By the fireside still the light is shining,
The children's arms round
the parents twining.
From love so sweet,
O who would roam?
Be it ever so homely, home is HOME." ~ DM Mulock

Welcome HOME dear friends!

I hope your week is filled with holiday magic and amidst all this busyness, you are also able to take a few moments to sit quietly and reflect upon the beauty of the season. 

Thank you to all of you who have been praying for my son. He is feeling better although he has a way to go yet. I will keep you posted.

Last week's HOME posts were a feast for the eyes as you all shared such wonderful posts. I couldn't possibly choose any favourites so I thought I would share those that received the most views....

Janet at Rosemary and Thyme shared her festive tablescape with my favourite 'red transferware.' Set with this lovely china, she added whimsical pieces like a wee church, little trees, and pretty ribbon. Love her chargers too. Wouldn't you love to dine at her table?




If you're looking for ways to decorate your entry way, then check out Judy's at Gold County Cottage. She shows off her beautiful dried hydrangeas and other wonderful elements which invite you into her warm and welcoming home.  



Kitty at Kitty's Kozy Kitchen served up Hillybilly Spaghetti Pie as well as sharing her fabulous tablescape. A yummy setting and food too, Kitty always has a delicious recipe to share with us.




Debbie at A Debbie-Dabble Christmas shared her Christmas dining room. If you love a Victorian Christmas theme resplendant with pearls and lace, ribbons and roses, then you must check out Debbie's fabulous dining room complete with a darling tree and perfect pink Santas. Visiting Debbie's blog is like taking a step back in time.


And Stephanie at The Enchanting Rose shared her tutorial on her gorgeous lace snowflakes. These would be gorgeous on a tree or a gift package. I'm going to try these myself one of these days as I adore anything lacy!




Thank you ladies for sharing your wonderful talents with us.

Today I would like to share a few of my decorating ideas as well as a couple pictures from my Christmas Tea this week.

I made a centerpiece using some of my faux snowballs and real long-stemmed roses then added some snow with Picmonkey.



I used a pretty seasonal basket and filled it with evergreens, a sparkly birdhouse which I painted and glittered, and a little birdie, as well as some silver balls for the powder room.



Also in the room, I took my cottage planter which I keep out all year round and replaced the pots of roses with little evergreen trees which got a dusting of 'snow.'




On top of a little chest in the living room, I made a vignette featuring the wee bird's nest my son found for me. I sprayed snow on the cloche and arranged a few sprigs of evergreen around it with two little pewter birdies. I tucked a couple of plates in the drawer too.




At my Christmas Tea this week I featured my vintage Rose Chintz china in a seasonal setting.

A cup hanging on the tree....


Coffee or tea, anyone?




I am sure you have all seen these little canning jar votives. Spray snow on the jar and fill with some epsom salts and a votive. I glued some lace around the top.




"There are two ways of spreading light; to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it." ~ Edith Wharton


Thank you for visiting my HOME and if you have something HOME related I would love for you to link up with me.



I am joining the following parties as well~

Home and Garden Thursday ~ http://blissfulrhythm.blogspot.com/
Share Your Cup Thursday~ http://jannolson.blogspot.com/
Cottage Style Linky Party~ http://lavendergardencottage.blogspot.com/
Tutorials Tips and Tidbits ~ http://www.stonegableblog.com/
Home Sweet Home~ http://thecharmofhome.blogspot.com/
Open House~ http://bernideensteatimeblog.blogspot.com/
Vintage Inspiration~ http://www.commonground-do.com/
Potpourri Friday~ http://twenty-eight-0-five.blogspot.com/


Sharing from my heart~ Sandi
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