Super Lunar New Year!

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We had a fun celebration on Super Sunday starting with a exhilarating church service. Two of our pastors squared off with a sermon duel with the theme of finishing strong. Quarter one was about Solomon and his varied appetites that kept him from finishing strong. Quarter two was about Moses and his anger that kept him from finishing strong. Quarter three was about Judas and his greed that kept him from finishing strong. Quarter four was about Jesus and although it seemed that He wouldn’t finish strong because of his crucifixion he rose again to victory over death and sin. In order for us to finish strong we need to follow Him. There were penalties thrown and commercials in between quarters, a half time show, and Bibles with football binding given out to kids in the end zone after touchdowns!  In the end and maybe a bit prophetic Pastor Alexander with the help of his stand in after his injury on the field (sprained tonsils), pastor Goetze, edged out Pastor Wolfgang for the win.

We came home pumped up and started a few preparations for our Super Lunar New Year Bowl party.

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It was fun to gather up goods to set a Chinese New Year themed table for our party. This inspiration started in January while I visited San Francisco’s Chinatown with an old friend of mine.

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These three wine covers were the instigators for the table. A large variety of these were offered for sale in every shop Alice and I went into on our visit to Chinatown. I kept handling them but walking away. Finally in the last shop we visited my resistance was depleted and I bought these three. Look at those little hats with the braid attached! They were only $1.99 each!

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Now I was in search of more items to complete my table and room decor. There are several large Asian stores around our area and I went to one where I found the Lucky pockets, candy, almond cookies and fortune cookies.

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The lanterns, dragons, plates and napkins came from a party store.

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Before hand I queried each of our guests for the party about their favorite Chinese take out dish. We ordered each of these dishes and picked them up just before our planned start time. This take out idea really made hosting the party easy peasy. We heated up the Panko shrimp from the frozen section at Costco that went real well with sweet chili sauce. We would recommend it if you ever need an appetizer for a party.

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The one thing I prepared from scratch for our party was this Egg Flower Soup. You can click over to Mennonite Girls Can Cook to get the easy recipe today!

Happy New Year to all our Asian friends who are celebrating today!

B is for Birthday Blessings!

Two of our sons and our new daughter-in-law have birthdays in January (15, 16, 19) along with a nephew, brother and niece (16, 22, 25). On Friday night last we had an early birthday dinner celebration for our oldest, Josh.

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Since we were having a couple Russian dishes for the main meal the table was set in a Russian theme.

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We had Loppsha (Russian Noodle Soup) for our starter.

Our main dish was Golubstzi (phonetic spelling of the Russian pronunciation) for cabbage rolls. This photo is from another time we had this dish.  I forgot to take a new photo on Friday night.

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Our son and daughter in law were celebrated in Northeastern Washington, too. We couldn’t be there but they sent us this photo from their celebration with their Birthday Cookie!

pictures dj15 For our boys, our dil and the rest of our family who have birthdays in January we pray this special blessing from the Lord…

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. Numbers 6:24-26 (ESV)

I’m linking up to ABC Wednesday started by Mrs. Nesbitt and administrated by Roger and a team of volunteers. Thank you!

T is for Thanksgiving

Give thanks to the Lord for he is good; his love endures forever.

Here are some of my Thanksgiving Tables over the last few years.

2010

Thanks to God for my Redeemer,
Thanks for all Thou dost provide!
Thanks for times now but a memory,
Thanks for Jesus by my side!

2011

Thanks for pleasant, balmy springtime,
Thanks for dark and stormy fall!
Thanks for tears by now forgotten,
Thanks for peace within my soul!

2012

Thanks for prayers that Thou hast answered,
Thanks for what Thou dost deny!
Thanks for storms that I have weathered,
Thanks for all Thou dost supply!

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2013

Thanks for pain, and thanks for pleasure,
Thanks for comfort in despair!
Thanks for grace that none can measure,
Thanks for love beyond compare!

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Thanks for roses by the wayside,
Thanks for thorns their stems contain!
Thanks for home and thanks for fireside,
Thanks for hope, that sweet refrain!

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2014

Thanks for joy and thanks for sorrow,
Thanks for heav’nly peace with Thee!
Thanks for hope in the tomorrow,
Thanks through all eternity!

Words: August L. Storm, 1891

I’m linking up for ABC Wednesday started by Mrs. Nesbitt and now carried on with the help of Roger and a team of volunteers. T is for Thanksgiving, Thanks, Thankfulness, Tables.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends in the United States!

Sweet Pea Table!

I love pink and green. This table was set for ten for a dinner on my niece’s birthday a few years back while she and some of her family were visiting us in August.

The last time I participated in Pink Saturday was back in 2009! I’m in the pink today and it’s raining and I have time to visit some participants so I’m joining in! How Sweet the Sound ~ Pink Saturday with Beverly! Hi Beverly…

What are your plans for the weekend? The only things on our schedule for Saturday and Sunday are church and a soccer event. I woke up this morning to the sound of rain which is a very welcome sound in these parts!

It’s Guinness Time…

…and time for Kathleen’s St. Patrick’s Day Crawl at Cuisine Kathleen! This is the 7th annual crawl!

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It was a March miracle that I actually put together a tablescape and photographed it for the crawl.

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Will you be making Corned Beef and Cabbage or Irish Stew or something else that says “Ireland” for St. Patty’s Day?

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We saw this at the Crown and Trumpet in the town of Broadway in the Cotswolds.

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I hope to get around to see all the St. Patrick’s Day tables joining Kathleen’s crawl!

The Three Birds Pub…

…or Public House. All secrets will be revealed and all projects will finally be shared from the mysterious sewing and planning for this evening of “Celebrating” good friends and good food.

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We had a wonderful time at a “Thank You” celebration at this old house Pub on Sunday November 10th. We wanted our friend from England (who now lives in Washington) to know how much we appreciated his offering of his parent’s home in Porthtowan to us this past September. He not only offered their home but also gave us some great recommendations for things to do while we were there.  Our guests were very surprised when they arrived to our house Pub on Sunday!

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We decided to name our pub “The Three Birds” because of the 3 birds on our stained glass window.

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The reader board is from a business our son Josh had when he was in high school. Dear spray painted one side of it with chalk board paint that you can buy at craft stores. We used Union Jack duct tape to frame the chalkboard and frame some other signs that we made for the evening. Our daughter in law, Laura, did all the printing on the chalk boards. The printing on the signs were my effort…oye.

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In England a lot of Pubs have Beef and Yorkshire pudding as specials on Sundays so we decided to do the same since our meal was on a Sunday, too.

As you stepped into ye olde pub you were greeted with various scarves from English premier league futbol (soccer) teams.

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We had lots of fun with our signage…

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We carried the bird theme wherever we could. These sweet birds were in a flower basket that Josh and Laura gave me for Mother’s Day symbolizing my 3 little birds that are all grown up now.

2013-11-10 Pub Night2Laura printed the names on the place cards, too. See the bird place card holders?

Pub Night 045This was another Chalk Paint project that Dear painted for me. I bought the white photo frame from Michael’s on clearance for $11.88. I liked the shape of the wood frame. Dear took the glass out of the frame and spray painted it with the Chalk paint. We let it dry and waited a few days before we treated the chalk paint as directed by rubbing chalk all over it and then wiping it off. Now it was ready to go. I stuck on the stickers and Laura printed out the menu.

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These banners were some of my sewing experiments. The front banner is just a short twine tied between our island pen lights with 3 of the 12 napkins I made for the table. There were only 9 of us at the table so I used these 3 to fill in the air space in our kitchen/eating area trying to cozy things up to look more like a pub. I’ll be brave and show more close up detail on my sewing efforts at the end of the post.

Pub Night 025Each place setting had a poppy broach that I made by cutting off individual poppies from a bouquet stem of poppies that we bought at Hobby Lobby. I used wire cutters to do that and then attached stick on pin fasteners on the backs so they could be pinned on easily, or not so easily as it turned out. The reason we decided on the Poppy broaches was to commemorate Remembrance Day/Veteran’s Day since our time together was on Veteran’s Day Weekend and Poppies are worn extensively in England during this time.

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The centerpiece was filled with some items that we would see on pub tables when we were in England and some things I added. I wanted to use as much pewter as I could.

Pub Night 011I used pewter mugs that Dear and I bought in England in the early seventies for our flower arrangements.

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The napkin rings were silver tea pots. All the plates were made in England. I used a combination of three different blue and white transferware.

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These are the rough cut napkins that I made from a yard and a half of British themed fabric. I was able to get 12 napkins from the yardage I bought. I trimmed the runner with some bias tape I found in my MIL’s old sewing box. I also used bias tape for the little triangle cut outs that were left over from my original Pub banner.

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Now to the most important reason for our evening…our guests!

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The lovely ladies with their poppies on. Left to right, Katie, Laura, Gwen, Terri, and Sophie. Terri and Gwen are sister in laws. Terri is married to Gwen’s brother Luke. Luke was too sick to be able to join us. Sophie is one of Terri and Luke’s daughters.

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Our guest of honor Gabriel with his wife Gwen and Josh and Laura. It was fun to share our England experiences with our friends and to thank Gabriel in person for his generosity to us and his great suggestions on what to see and eat in Cornwall.

Last but not least was our dessert.

Sticky Toffee 017Sticky Toffee Pudding. I will be posting the recipe at Mennonite Girls Can Cook on Wednesday, November 13th.

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We said farewell to our guests with our stomachs full and our hearts full. A most wonderful evening. Our kids helped us clean up and we went to sleep content with visions of Prime Rib and Yorkshire pudding dancing in our heads. If you want a tried and true recipe for Prime Rib and Yorkshire Pudding for your Christmas Holidays this year make sure you order one of our Celebrations Cookbooks. If you gift someone with this book you are also gifting children in Kenya who need clean water to live well. All of our author royalties go to this cause.

Sticky Toffee 013For the next couple days I think I’ll sit with my feet up and enjoy this book that I first heard about on Vee’s Blog, A Haven for Vee.  It finally arrived last Saturday. We ordered it before we traveled to England! What is on your schedule this week?

I’m linking up to Cuisine Kathleen’s Let’s Dish. As soon as her direct link is up for this week I’ll add it to my post. It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to link up. Looking forward to seeing what’s going on in Dish world!!

Snow & Ice ~ Tablescape

Kathleen at Cuisine Kathleen hosts a weekly meme called Let’s Dish. This week she challenged us to come up with a scape using the theme of Snow and Ice. Here’s what I came up with…

We sat at a version of this table on Sunday night with our son and his wife to celebrate our son’s birthday. I’m sorry to say I forgot to take photos of our actual dinner…oops! Our dining chairs are off to the upholsterer and we aren’t sure when we’ll be getting them back so we are using some of our folding chairs for the time being.

Here in the Pacific Northwest we’ve had several foggy days. The sun finally made a breakthrough on Tuesday afternoon. We are going to have our rain pattern return for a few days with a dry weekend promised so far. With our freezing fog we’ve had some ice issues. Do you have snow and ice in your neck of the woods?