Friendship and the Tea Trolley

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Yesterday I spent some much needed time with my wonderful friend Diane at the Tea Trolley. When the owner said, ” Just what the doctor ordered,” her words were oh so true! We both needed the time for a nice, long visit in a relaxing and beautiful setting while drinking yummy, soothing tea. It was PERFECT TIMING and PERFECT FRIENDSHIP in the PERFECT SETTING.

 

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God knows what we need and orchestrates our lives so perfectly, even though we sometimes can’t see it. My prayer is that I learn to trust Him more with the  details of my life, because even though I don’t always feel like it, He knows what is absolutely the BEST for me. And yesterday that was chatting with my friend Diane and sipping apricot tea.  :>

 

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So much yumminess!

 

And matching cups and teapots!

 

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I love her pretty little dessert cups!

 

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And skrumptious lemon curd!

 

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Have yourself a cup of tea with a friend today!

 

 

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Black Bean and Corn Salad

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This idea came about as a way to make the brown rice I have to eat so often for health reasons a bit more interesting. It’s super fast and easy with the shortcuts I used, and it definitely made the brown rice more exciting!! I even ended up throwing everything together and it is so yummy!

 

The corn, cabbage and garlic REALLY make the whole thing work!!

With so many GMO issues, please make sure at least your corn is organic, if not all of the ingredients.

 

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Black Bean and Corn Salad

 

5 cloves of garlic, chopped

2 Tbl olive oil

1/2 bag organic frozen corn

2 cups cooked black beans

1 bag of shredded cabbage

1/2 cup sliced olives

salt

pepper

Parsley

**Saute the garlic in the olive oil for 1-2 minutes, then add in the corn, black beans, cabbage, salt and pepper. Add more olive oil if needed. Saute for a few minutes, stirring often until hot, then add the olives and parsley, stir and serve!

The mix of flavors is AMAZING!!! So yummy!!

 

 

 

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Happy eating!!

 

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Camp Crop 2014

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I spent last weekend with 7 other wonderful women scrapbooking our little hearts out for FOUR.FULL.DAYS at our annual Camp Crop retreat for the 6th year!  We had such a fabulous time catching up, crafting and laughing together…A LOT!! This was my absolute favorite year! The past couple of years, I’ve tried to tell myself to relax and not worry too much about the number of pages I finish, but treat the time like a combination of crafting and relaxing. I had to because of health issues. But I think this year I finally took it to heart and thoroughly enjoyed time crafting, visiting and relaxing!! It’s so much fun getting together with these same women every year and I love these special women.

 

Here are some of the unique things I worked on over the weekend (excluding photos of my photo pages as I forgot to take them):

 

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I made a cute little house album kit first to get my inspiration juices flowing.

 

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It has sweet doors that open like a house if you put it together the way I did. My favorite part. ; >

 

 

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Open sesame:

 

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Inside the house, notice I tried to make wallpaper:

 

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Another “room” view:

 

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And the top, blue photos are the back. Now to figure out what photos it will hold!!

 

I also decorated the cover of my idea book…FINALLY:

 

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My station:

 

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Loving these pages:

 

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Heather’s twine and ric rac collection:

 

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Paula’s yummy coconut cupcakes:

 

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We each gave little gifts to the others as we prepared our meal, (we each prepare ONE, love it!), and I decided just a few days before to MAKE the gifts. A variation of my new favorite wares in my ETSY shop.

 

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I took photos of the other ladies too, but not sure they want to be on  here for all to see. :>

 

It’s so great to get away with your sweetheart and so great to get away with girlfriends. I highly recommend it!!!

 

 

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Paper Flower Bouquets

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The past couple of weeks I’ve spent a couple of days making Paper Flower Bouquets with this little sweetie!

 

Every year around May Day, we like to deliver flowers to her neighbor friends and run! (This was the first year we got caught!! )  :>

 

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I put together old scrapbook paper, bendy straws, flower shaped post it notes, stickers, a hole punch, and shaped punches and we set to work. We didn’t finish them in one day, so I asked if I should leave the materials for her to finish, but she wanted to make them together. So sweet. : >

 

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I actually like this way better than buying flowers to deliver (it’s harder to find flowers to pick in our California towns), because we get to craft together AND surprise her friends! Win Win!!

 

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So much fun! And you can make it work for just about any age with a circle punch and flower shaped post its! We decided not to make the effort to cut out flower shapes as we had each injured our cutting hand.

 

Don’t wait for May Day, do this activity ANY day!! Everyone involved will be blessed!

 

Have a blessed day!!

 
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A Day That Changed Our Lives Forever

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Today marks the day 12 years ago that we went from being parents, to being childless, after 16 months with the most adorable, loving, precious little girl. That day she went back to her first mom, who was still on drugs at the time. What a blessing to have her in our lives fr even that short amount of time. And honestly, as hard as the past 12 terribly difficult years have been, I would do it again. Of course hind sight is always helpful and I would be more prepared for the possibility of something like this happening.

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Thankfully the past 2 years have finally brought me some healing, due to various helps that have come my way. God has been with me all along the way, even during the times it seemed He was so far away. I may not understand His purpose, but I try to trust Him with the struggles every day. I’m thankful He has drawn me to Himself and is always here for me with the right words, even when others may use words that hurt. God always knows the right words. :>

“He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3

The Lord is near to the brokenheartedand saves the crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18

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We had one sweet Mother’s Day together, but I’ll always treasure it.

You can read more about our story HERE.

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Book Review: The Last Bride by Beverly Lewis

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Here I am with another book review from Bethany House already. I picked a book three months in a row, but didn’t get the confirmation for this one, so I thought I was only getting two. I was super duper happy when this one from my favorite author arrived in the mail!!! Of course it’s the one I wanted most as my free book to review for them. I love this program!! And if you’ve read any of my other reviews, you know they don’t give me these books so I will just say they are great. I’m honestly sharing my own opinion here.

 

So here’s the summary:

“Of her Old Order parents’ five daughters, Tessie Miller is the last to marry. She has her heart set on Amishman Marcus King, but Tessie’s father opposes the match.

Impetuously, Tessie and Marcus elope to the English world, then return to Hickory Hollow to live as singles, trusting they’ll convince the Millers to give their love a chance over time. But when the unthinkable happens, Tessie faces the almost-certain censure of the People. Will she find a reason for hope in spite of her desperate plight?”

 

Intriguing, right? So I immediately guessed one twist, but not the other one! Completely took me by surprise, but I won’t reveal it so you can be surprised when you read it. :>

 

I loved the book! Intrigue is always interesting, even when some of the mysteries are known by the reader, but not the characters. It isn’t too often in our current culture that deception is shown as sin, but it is here. Two people seeking to follow God can still be blinded by their own wants and desires to act in deception. Also it’s another reminder that we never know how long we have to make things right with our Lord. There is a great confession and forgiveness scene as a reminder of God’s grace when we are willing to repent. As usual, Beverly creates wonderful, interesting characters which she develops in depth.

 

One thing I did not expect, was a sub story line about infertility, just before I leave for a conference focusing on that very topic. Because of my own struggles in this area and failed adoption, I really related to this aspect of the story and really felt a connection to Tessie’s sister Mandy and her struggles. Beverly is not afraid to tackle the difficult issues, which I’ve appreciated since I first discovered her in 1999 in our church library.

 

I loved the book and I’ll be rereading it many times as I do with all of her books! It’s definitely worth your time! :>

 

Happy Reading!!

 

 

 

 

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Hope In Every Season

Garden Lunch With A Friend

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Last week I had lunch with a dear friend at a Garden Cafe here in town. We had a lovely time chatting together, eating yummy food, then walking through the garden prettiness afterward. I love Cecil Bruner Roses, above!

 

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I love the way they look like flowers!

 

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For my cousin in law who loves glass bottles!

 

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Love, love, love!!

 

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Fabulous time as always!

 

P.S. These are all cell phone photos.