May 30, 2008

Ronald McDonald House

Once a month, the youth group at our church gathers the menu items and goes to the Ronald McDonald House next to Cincinnati Children's Hospital and fixes supper for the residents and patients there. We've been doing this for over two years, I believe. Whenever Scott Susan, the youth director isn't able, I drive the church van full of food and young people down there. It's alot of fun and a great way of fulfilling the Great Commission by feeding the hungry, binding up the broken hearted and healing the sick. I know, we aren't doctors and nurses but you'll have to admit there's nothing like a good homecooked meal when you don't feel well. Smile! The residents and staff volunteers are ALWAYS VERY glad to see us.
Last Friday was our turn to go and since Scott was out of town, I took the van full of young people and food downtown and supervised the meal prep. This is such a pleasure.
We have a GREAT bunch of kids!

This little guy is staying at the Ronald McDonald house while his bone marrow transplant "takes". Isn't he adorable? He's four years old and from Michigan. His mom told me so far so good - but the other little guy that had one done the same day wasn't so blessed-he's already enjoying heaven. I think this little fellow needed the love and attention we gave more than the food. For whatever reason, he found me and claimed me for the evening. He brought back alot of pleasant memories from the five years we were in Africa - even made me a little homesick!
This month was also pretty special when one of the folks that has been there for a while, came up to me and in very broken English thanked me profusely for the food. Her son is a patient at Children's and has had no appetite. Believe me, this is VERY distressing to the parent of a child who's ill and yet doesn't want to eat. Our Benji's been that way after just about every one of his eight surgeries. Anyway, the parents had fixed him a small taco and taken it over and he ate it all and wanted more! He also asked them to ask us what seasoning we had used in the meat so they could make it again. I had taken my big thing of taco seasoning from Sam's to season the meat with so I gave them what was left (about half) and rejoiced with them. This family has been very distant and reluctant to our advances at friendship so this was a real miracle. They are from Columbia, South America and who knows what the future will hold!

This month, my friend, Michelle, came with us for her very first visit. She was a big blessing as she washed and shredded the lettuce for our tacos and washed a PILE of dishes.
Thanks so much for coming along and all the work you did, Michelle!

So next time you go through the drive thru at McDonalds and see the little collection bin under the window, you know what the money's for - providing a home away from home for sick kiddos and their families!

May 27, 2008

Tuesday's Teatime ~ Mother-Daughter Tea Part 2

Good Afternoon, Ladies! It's time for our Tuesday afternoon teatime! We'll enjoy our fresh scones, mock Devonshire cream, strawberry jam and Constant Comment tea while we look at the pictures of the Mother-Daughter Tea I hosted last Tuesday! We had a lot of fun and the ladies drank a lot of tea (seven teapots full and about three gallons of iced tea)!
Aren't friends just the greatest? I was so thankful Karen and Sharon came to my rescue and helped at the tea. Here they are (Karen's in the yellow and Sharon's wearing pink) helping to place the food in the proper areas as the ladies arrived for the evening.
As the ladies arrived, Karen relieved them of their food and Sharon gave the ladies 12 and under a questionaire to fill out and the ladies 13 and older a different sheet of paper with a unique question on it that they had to get answers for from 15 other ladies. Some of the questions were: 1.What's the favorite book you've ever read beside the Bible?,
2. What's your favorite song?
3. If you had a million dollars how would you spend it?,
4. What's your favorite snack?
5. What's your favorite beverage?,
6. What were you doing 10 years ago?,
7. What's your favorite childhood memory?, etc.
Later in the evening we went around the circle and each lady shared her question and a unique answer or similar response. It was very interesting and sometimes really funny.
Here Marylou,her mother and daughter, and Karen and Kianna are getting settled in. Each lady brought her own tea cup and prizes were awarded for the prettiest, funkiest and most unique. I wish I would have taken a picture of each winner with their teacup. Oh well, maybe next time! Whoops, did I say "next time"? I must be really tired! ;)
Heather Dickinson, her daughters and new baby were our guests of honor for the evening. We appreciate the sacrifices they make as a family in order to share the Good News with the people of Columbia, South America. We were also VERY glad little Elijah made his entrance in time that Mommy could be up to making it to the Tea!
After Heather asked the blessing, she led the way in the buffet line.

There was plenty of time for fellowship throughout the evening. Here Connie and Kristin are sharing.

It's hard to tell what Tammy's telling Grandma Jowers and Margaret; but, don't let the serious look on her face fool you! She's one of the best perpetrators of laughter- the good medicine!

When I first gave out the invitation to the Tea, I told the ladies that I would take keepsake photos of them and their daughter. That's when we thought there'd be only a couple dozen attending. When the numbers started rising, I decided I 'd better get someone else to do the pictures. Brenda Herring does an awesome job and she so graciously came and did photos - after going for her ultrasound where she found out she'll be having a boy later this fall! Congratulations, Brenda! And thank you SO much! You made a memorable evening even more memorable! You can see a couple of the pictures she took here:

For the ladies 12 and under attending the tea, we played three games. The first was a tea bag toss. There were two teams and they had to toss a tea bag back and forth with a hat. The team that got the farthest apart without dropping their tea bag won. Adrean and Sarah won this game and received a special gift to take home.

One of the other games we played with the younger ladies was like hot potato but instead of a potato it was a hat filled with tea time attire. Whoever had the hat when the music stopped, got to put on one of the teatime accessories. These young ladies were the winners.

The other game we played was "Pass the Gift". You start the gift out with whoever and read a poem . Oddly enough, the young lady who started with the gift did end up with it! You can find the poem on, this game was a lot of fun.

Then it was time for the rest of the ladies' games. We started out by reading the questions they'd been given on arrival and had worked on throughout the evening. One of the question sheets had been marked with a rose stamp for a special door prize.
We also played "Pass the Gift" but with a couple little extra twists from the younger ladies version. And no, the person who started this time did not receive the gift in the end!
The winner also received a gift for her neighbor on her left!

When the young ladies 12 and under arrived, their questionaire was "How Well Do You Know Your Mother?" It had various questions they answered and if they were too young we had some of the older young ladies to help them (or a couple of the moms helped their daughters which kind of defeated the purpose but they didn't understand so...if I had this game again, we'd pay closer attention to this detail). After we played "Pass the Gift" with the ladies 13 and up, I read the "How Well Do You Know Your Mother?" questionaires out loud and then gave them to the mothers to keep. We got a lot of good laughs out of this one. Moms are REALLY special people if you ask their kids and sometimes they have some interesting quirks! - at least in their children's minds! Lol! One of the these questionaires also had a rose stamp so that little girl and her mother received a special gift to take home as well.

I failed to take a picture of the favors I made for each of the ladies but this is a picture of the ones I copied. It's a sweet paper doily carefully folded with a tea bag inside and a bow and flower sealing it. Each attendee received one of these to enjoy at a tea party they could later enjoy at home. All in all it was a delightful evening.

May 26, 2008

Happy Memorial Day!

This is Ross McGinnis. He is my third cousin. His grandpa, Tim and my dad were very close cousins as boys. Some of you may remember the story that was national news a few months ago about the young soldier who saw a grenade coming into his Humvee. His buddies in the Humvee had no idea what was happening so this soldier threw himself on the grenade to save his buddies. That soldier was Ross. Next Monday, his parents will be at the White House to receive a Medal of Honor for their son's bravery. Only one soldier and one Marine have received this medal since our war with Iraq and Afghanistan began.
You can read Ross's story here:
Freedom isn't free.
These brave young men and many just like them are fighting for our freedoms.
Thank you, Ross!
Thank you, Ryan and Josh and Joe and Brent and Luke!
You are in our prayers!
We'll keep a yellow ribbon 'round the maple tree until you're all home - safe and sound!
We've had a wonderful day enjoying the freedoms you are fighting for!
May God richly bless you!
God Bless America!
Land that I love!
Stand beside her and guide her
through the night with a Light from above!

We started out our wonderful Memorial Day with the parade and ensuing ceremony in the lovely city of Loveland. The American Legion put together an awesome program of music, a speech by a veteran of World War II, taps and a gun salute. The ladies of the American Legion were selling crepe paper poppies made by disabled veterans and their president gave a little speech with the story of the poppies, too.
My grandma always had one in her car so we got one for each of us.

This afternoon was spent with our friends, Wayne and Sharon Hutchinson and their family at their property. We enjoyed a yummy cookout, walk in the woods and lots of fun and fellowship. Thank you, Wayne, Sharon, Kaitlyn, Kyle, Katrina and Klayton!
You're wonderful friends!

We plan to end the day with a visit to Dan's brother, Dean's grave. We'll place some flowers there for his parents (we were already there Saturday) and then drive over to King's Island to watch the fireworks. Home for ice cream and off to bed - grateful for all the many wonderful freedoms we enjoy because of those who've given their lives for
our country and the freedoms it provides for it's citizens!

God Bless America!

May 24, 2008

Mother- Daughter Garden Tea ~ Part 1

This Tuesday, I hosted our church's monthly Ladies Night Out. About a dozen of the ladies get together the third Tuesday of each month and just fellowship. Sometimes we all bring a dish to share and sometimes we go to a restaurant. In January, we planned who would host which month's meeting, the theme, etc. I took May and being the tea lover that I am, said we'd do tea and croquet on the lawn.
Usually my yard is in peak performance and I thought this would be fun and . . . like I said, there are usually only about a dozen ladies so no big deal. ;) About the middle of April, I put together these invitations, rolled them up, tied them with a bow and placed them in a basket to hand out on a Sunday evening at church. Of course, all the ladies are always welcome at these meetings so each lady received an invitation. I put this clipboard in the foyer with an RSVP sheet and menu where the ladies could sign up for either
"Scones & Muffins", "Sweets", or "Savories".
Remember, I live in a cottage. A dozen ladies and their daughters is no problem; but, the numbers started climbing - 50, 60, 70, 80 until the Monday before the tea there were 81 ladies/ daughters RVSP'd to come to my tea!
Oh, boy! This was my baby - no committee or anything to help!
Sink or swim - do or die, we were committed!
Time to rally my troops - aka "DJ" and "Lorna"! Could have never done it without them.
We've been having a late Spring here in southern Ohio which being interpreted means, "It's been raining cats and dogs!" - and it's been chilly, too. There's no way I could fit 80 people in my cottage so it would have to be cancelled! "No", my pastors wife said, "you can have it in the Comargo Camp Dining Hall if it rains." Well, it rained all day Monday so that evening, DJ, Lorna and I went out to Comargo and set up the dining hall.
Tuesday evening, fifty-eight of the eighty-one people came for a fun evening of food, fellowship and games!
Here are pictures Lorna took of the food buffet before the ladies started partaking:
Scones and Muffins
Muffins and Fruit
Fruit and Vegies
Savories and Sandwiches

Check back next Tuesday for more on this Tea. I will share the games we played with pictures, other activities and the favors I made and gave to each guest.

Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!

May 22, 2008

Thursday Thirteen ~ "I"

Here are some blessings I enjoy or have enjoyed that start with the letter "I":
1. Ice Cream ~ mmm yummy! I don't really have a favorite ~ chocolate chip cookie dough, moose tracks and mint chocolate chip are among them though!
2. Ibuprophen ~ so thankful we have this wonderful pain reliever available .
3. Information ~ especially the immediate access to it via the internet!
4. Indiana ~ where my parents and two of my sisters and their families live ~ a beautiful state where I've spent 5 years of my life.
5. Images ~ I enjoy viewing images with the most wonderful gift of sight.
6. Influence ~ I 've been blessed by the most positive, godly influences which have made such an important impact on my life.
7. In-laws ~ I have the some of the best in-laws in the world!
8. Inspiration ~ positive influences are a daily inspiration to me ~ especially that of my Heavenly Father.
9. Interstates ~ living near a large city at the intersection of three states, I enjoy our country's wonderful interstate system.
10. Interaction ~ I enjoy interacting with my family ~ including the family of God.
11. Interior Design ~ love it!
12. Irises ~ such a beautiful intricate flower. I have white and purple ones blooming right now.
13. Irish heritage ~ one look at all my freckles and you know I'm Irish! My Great Grandma and Grandpa Fair came over from the old country.
I trust you're having a blessed week. I hope to publish a post tomorrow with pics and details of the Mother - Daughter Garden Tea I had Tuesday with 58 guests. I apologize for no posts the past couple of weeks. In planning a tea for 81 (23 either didn't show or cancelled the day of the tea), there hasn't been much time left for blogging! LOL!

May 8, 2008

Thursday Thirteen ~ "H"

Thirteen Blessings beginning with "H".
1. Home - I love my home! Wherever I'm hanging my hat, tis home!
2. Heaven - A blessed hope and where I'll someday be finally home!
3. Hope - what a blessing to have "bright hope for tomorrow!"
4. Hydrangeas - one of the most beautiful, intricate flowers God created. My daughter got me an Endless Summer one for Mother's Day last year that I just love.
5. Hats - aren't they such a beautiful crowning adornment protecting us at the same time? LOVE hats! Rachel used to be the Hat Queen- wonder if she still has a few? (She looks REALLY cute in them too!)
6.Houses- wonderful protection from the elements and the world. Some are so beautiful!
7. Highways- nice smooth roads that go just about anywhere. I 'll never forget enjoying them after coming back from Africa where roads are mostly cow paths.
8. Homeschooling - so thankful we're able to enjoy this legal alternative to an education.
9. Homemaker - my current job discription
10. History - one of my very favorite subjects
11. Holiness - thankful for the way of holiness
12. Heritage Lace - one of the favorite lines we carried in our store and with which I love to decorate.
13. Husband - thankful for the father of my children and all this special man has added to my life!
Enjoy a blessed weekend!

Vintage Thingie Thursday

Aprons, vintage things, oh my! Sounds like something right down my alley! When I read about this fun meme on Karla's blog, I thought, "Now that would be fun!" So today I join the rest of those celebrating vintage things at . Won't you join us and share a picture of something old and meaningful to you? . . . And if you're like me and LOVE beautiful old things, it'll just be a matter of what you show and tell about first!

This beautiful lace curtain fluttering in the breeze at my bathroom window is actually a vintage tablecloth I picked up at an Estate Sale in Florida. I love the way it filters the sun shine in the afternoon. I just folded it over the rod (which gave it a "valance") and then gathered it up twice on the bottom and pinned it for a balloon curtain effect. A lovely vintage item I enjoy everyday ~ no linen closet living for this piece!

May 6, 2008

Tuesday's Teatime

Well, girls, I wanted to set up one of the tables for the Mother-Daughter Garden Tea I'm having here at my cottage tearoom on the 20th; but, it just keeps raining and it's not supposed to quit until Saturday! I'm not complaining about the rain as we really need it but it's not really condusive to a Garden Tea, if you know what I mean!
We'll have to post that picture later, I guess.

So for today, I'll do a little tea and also pick up on the one theme I wasn't able to join in on
~ that of handmade tea related linens. I was finally able to locate this lovely table topper I purchased from our neighbor's Estate Sale many years ago. Do you see the darling teapot embroiderd in the front? There are three of them evenly spaced around the edge!
I think of Virginia often ~ as her muffin tins are my favorite. They are VERY old yet they bake a beautiful muffin EVERY time! I'll have to share a picture of them on next weeks
"Vintage Thingies Thursday's" post.
And since we are thinking of Virginia, we'll have
Blueberry Muffins made in her tins with our tea!
They'll match our little cloth and china "to a tea"!
Have a "tea-lightful" week and don't forget to stop over at and visit all the other entrants' blogs.

May 1, 2008

Thursday Thirteen ~ "G"

Good Morning! I hope you are having a wonderful week so far! Blogworld has taken a back seat this past week as Spring colds and life as a Mommy took precedence. We'll pick up where we left off and try to do a little catch up too with Gracious Hospitality's Teatime Blog-a-Thon.

"G" is a very interesting letter - with two different ways of saying it in the English language. "G" as in God or "g" as in geranium. It doesn't take up as much space in the dictionary as some of the other letters and there seem to be alot more nouns than adjectives or adverbs.

Anyway, here are 13 "G's" I've encountered on my life's journey:

1. God - I serve a gracious and glorious God. I'm glad He's the Guardian of my soul. His glorious gift of grace makes my heart glow with genuine grateful love!

2. Groom - I married my gallant groom in Glencoe, Alabama - just outside of the city of Gadsden. Rev. William Gale (who introduced us) assisted my father in marrying us.

3. Gay - my middle name. When my mother chose that name in the late '60's, it meant happy and carefree.

4. Golden Gate Bridge - we crossed this grand structure in 2006 when we did a vacation/ furniture delivery to California.

5. Gingerbread - the white wooden kind on houses ~ LOVE that stuff! The more- the better!

6. Garden - One is nearer God's heart in a garden than anywhere else on earth - so the saying goes! I LOVE to garden - flowers more than vegies. A garden gate, a green grassy lawn, a gingerbread laden gazebo with garlands of gardenia and red geraniums planted all around ~ a wonderful place for a group of friends to gather! No, I don't have a gazebo but who wouldn't love one? By the way, don't you just love the picture at the top of this post?

7.Godiva chocolate - especially white chocolate truffles~mmmmmmm!

8. Grandparents - my fathers side is German. I have two wonderful grandmothers still living one 88 and one 92.

9. Guava - my very favorite fruit juice - mmm, yummy!

10. Groceries - shopping for groceries can be an interesting game. I'm so blessed to be an American where I can go from one beautiful, safe, clean, comfortable, well-stocked grocery store to the next and buy whatever I may need to feed my family. God bless America!

11. Glass -I really enjoy collecting pretty glass serving dishes and drinking glasses.

12. Garnet - my birth gem.

13. Gelatin - we have flavored gelatin for every Sunday dinner. It's actually good for you, strengthening nails and bones. A glass of un-gelled gelatin is the perfect remedy for those suffering with nosebleeds.

Have a wonderful Rest-of-the-Week!