Friday, December 21, 2018

Christmas Teas with Friends New and Old



Christmas is  the such a wonderful time of the year truly and I find it such a blessing to be a guest at other friends' homes! Getting to share the season with friends and family is such a treat and today I wanted to share two special days with you all. 

Two special luncheons where friends gathered to share the Love of the season... Pour yourself a hot cup of tea or another favorite beverage as this will be a bit of a journey; however, I hope you will be truly blessed...





Two luncheons  so different in decor and style of home but very much the same... The first place we are visiting today is my friend and Bible study teacher Peggy Hayes' home in Denton. 



We held our last study of the year where two special stories about the birth of the Christ Child were shared.

Peggy read to us from the gospel of Luke ch. 2...


The Birth of Jesus

1In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2(This was the first census that took place while a Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3And everyone went to their own town to register.

 



There was no room at the inn... 

4So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.


And an angel appeared...

8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”


A few tears ensued and smiles spread all around as we finished out study time and felt His holy presence.

Friends Peggy Luigs (L, Peggy #2), Carrie Ballard (back) and Peggy Hayes
(R, Peggy #1), our hostess.

 Our potluck menu


We moved all our study things off the table and shared our potluck luncheon of homemade chicken tortilla soup made by Peggy #1. A Raspberry Balsamic vinaigrette-topped salad with chopped pecans, mandarin oranges and ruby red Craisins and baby Roma tomatoes. There were tortilla chips for crunching on top of our soup and sides of crackers and cheeses and delicious Kosher bologna.






Now I don't tend to "shove the Dove" as Pastor Brian used to say not to do at Calvary Chapel of Murrieta some years ago, so only a few times a year will you hear me really pour my heart out for our Creator.
Today is one of those days...
:)

One of the many wonderful crosses in Peggy's home.


Peggy's home is filled with red everywhere ~ her favorite color! She also loves quilts and a casual country decor using long-loved and thrifted finds to create her loving home.  She has many beautiful crosses and Nativities, of which I've shared a few.

I shared a post last year about the scripture quilts which Peggy makes for friends ~ so inspirational! 


L-R:  New friend Jane, Carrie, Peggy #1, Peggy #2, and another new friend
Nancy, who is a pastor's wife.

Food for thought



Here's the gang! This was a wonderful day with good food of both kinds to nourish our holiday season-wearied souls. I for one am really glad that the Christmas Story was read as I needed to hear it again.

I hope you needed it too.
:)

Laura's super cute ornament display in her kitchen ~ based off the one I'm linking here!



Tea at friend Laura's home  was the very next day and she invited three friends from her church to come hang with Cindy {who writes the blog County Road 407and myself for the day.

Laura as you know writes the blog Decor to Adore 
and has become a good friend over this past year as has Cindy. We like a lot of the same things just as my friends in California do ~ decorating our homes for each season, thrift shopping and antiques.  And of course a heart for Jesus!

Don't you just love this pink decorated Christmas tree in it's little cart??!


Laura's theme

When Laura was thinking about what colors she wanted to do this year for Christmas her daughter suggested pink {I think it was} so Laura took a look through her Christmas decorations and ornaments to see if there was enough...

Happily there was enough and a pink-and-white decor for the Christmas season enveloped their beautiful home! 

This beautiful china hutch is part of a set of antique oak pieces brought
back from their living in Germany when Mr. Decor was stationed overseas.


Love, love the villages and castles on these vintage china pieces ~ so pretty!


Which goes along with the pinkish-red transferware china Laura collects ~ another similarity we have as I found some Johnson Bros. china a couple of years ago just after we moved here to Texas.



Here is a simple Christmas vignette on this blanket chest in their foyer complete with a sweet German Bavarian-style Advent carousel on top.  Fresh greens from their trees outside complete the decorations and show the Advent piece to its best advantage.




In a hutch in her living room near their Christmas tree sits a display of white ironstone creamware decorated with silvery Christmas balls set on beds of snow. Little cottages and tiny decorated chalets sparkle in the cabinet's light... 



And more little Christmas houses beckon over on the antique carved server in the dining room.  Soft wisps of angel hair snow cozily wrap snow drifts around the town and church...


And the Gunn's two weenie doggies came and visited with us, too!  This little guy is now 16 years old and such a lover and so jaunty in his Christmas neckerchief...

I apologize for not getting a good shot of both of them. I did try but you know how it is with kids and dogs and photographs ~ too much excitement to sit still!


A place setting for Jesus

After much visiting and meeting new friends we brought our soup bowls into the kitchen and served up the delicious chicken, spinach and cheese tortellini soup ~ heaven in a bowl!


Love this alcove for the range and all the brick!  The copper pans and sieves
remind me of the copper pans and moulds my mother collected.


Sprinkled with little slivers of parmesan cheese and pine nuts the soup had a nice crunch that satisfied all of our palates.  


I believe this is Johnson Bros. "Friendly Village."



The Advent wreath

As we began the meal, Laura had us each in turn light a candle as she shared the story of the Advent wreath and what each lit candle means ~ this is a wonderful tradition her family has celebrated for years!

Each part reminds us of the coming of Jesus. The circle of evergreen branches represents "eternity."
The candle lit in the center represents Christ as the "light of the world."  The other candles lit in turn beginning on the fourth Sunday before Christmas represent as follows:

1. "Prophecy candle" ~ traditionally a purple candle and the first lit, in remembrance of the prophets but mostly Isaiah as he foretold of the coming birth of Christ.  This candle represents "Hope."
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14, NIV) 

2. "Bethlehem candle" ~ or the "Love candle," symbolizing Christ's "Manger," and is the second purple candle lit.
"This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." (Luke 2:12, NIV)

3. "Shepherds candle" ~ which represents "Joy" as the shepherds heard the Good News and went in search of this great news.  This is the third candle lit and it is traditionally a pink or rose-colored candle.
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. (Luke 2:8–11, NIV)
4. "Angels candle" ~ lit on the fourth Sunday of Advent, the Sunday before Christmas, is the third and final purple candle lit.  It represents "Peace."


My own little scene at home...


The symbolism of the day was not lost on us and more happy tears were shed for a baby born long ago whose sole purpose was to come into this world to save us all from sin and claim us as His own.
:)

Our next course was a lasagna Laura made and served with a light salad which was wonderful! There wasn't much talking around the table as we were just enjoying the meal and the ambiance.

After visiting for a while longer, we were ready for dessert and I brought in my Victoria Sponge...




This naked cake was what I brought to share and didn't look this pretty when it first arrived ~ LOL!

A funny story: I made a cake the day before but it completely flopped and didn't rise.  I tried using Splenda instead of regular granulated white sugar and probably overbeat the mixture, so... Don't do what I did when you mix your cakes, friends! ;)

These two vanilla sponge cakes came unfrosted from Wal-Mart's bakery here in Denton, Texas and thankfully theirs were wonderful!  Put together with lemon curd in the middle and a Mock Devonshire Cream frosting topped with berries and sprigs of rosemary, since I didn't have a sweet pine tree close by.



The Great Cookie Exchange

Laura had set up a fun cookie exchange between all her friends and each of us was gifted with a Dollar store lidded bowl for taking our loot home.  




This is Cindy and she is sooo sweet!




Here is Laura with Gerlie on the left.






Yours truly cutting us all BIG slices of the cake.
;)'




Here are Cindy who is my other blogger friend (L) who also lives close by in pink {was definitely the color of the day!} sitting next to Nancy {I think? I am terrible with names and I do apoligize and will correct as I ask forgiveness!}.  She and the other Cindy were running off soon to help feed a group of people their church supports.




And here is gang #2!  
These last photos are courtesy of Laura Ingalls Gunn of Decor to Adore
who lovingly sent the to me.
:X



Two lovely days meeting and sharing a meal in our Savior's honor with old and new friends.
Much to be thankful for...


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Christmas blessings to you,

6 comments:

  1. Beautiful pictures. Merry Christmas.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It truly was a delightful day. Merry Christmas!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Merry Christmas to you, too, Laura! It was a delightful day!! <3

      Delete
  3. This looks so beautiful and such fun, Barb. Both of them! (And I love the cake -- great save idea!) What a glorious way to begin the holiday.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. These two days were really wonderful and were just what was needed. Thank you, my friend! <3 Thank you for saving my cake! :)

      Enjoy your New Year, Jeanie!
      Barb :)

      Delete

I appreciate your leaving me a comment, thank you!
Hugs,
Barb :)

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