Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Reflections of the Past While Looking Forward to the Future

I have certainly enjoyed the Christmas holidays. Our family enjoyed some much needed chill time as we warmed by the fire while experiencing a white Christmas in South Carolina! The last white Christmas here was in 1963! Perhaps I’m just getting old, but time seems to be passing by more quickly now. This past summer and fall seem like a whirlwind now. Sometimes I wonder just what I did with my time. It helps me to do a little review from time to time. My biggest project for the summer was completing the Bunk Room at our summer cottage. IMG_0547 You can view that post here. We also finished the lower screened porch which was a lot more work than it sounds like. I rescued a wonderful server at a sale on the side of the road and transformed it into something beautiful for the porch.IMG_0607 You can read about it here. Then I made a lamp and changed the fabric on the cushions here. IMG_0771_1 I did the flowers as we celebrated my niece’s beautiful wedding in August.IMG_0404 I made window treatments and a tablecloth for my Sunday School classroom. I enjoyed cooking and hosting several large gatherings of family and friends. We made a trip to ChinaIMG_1050 including a brief trip to Xi’an to view the terra cotta warriors. IMG_1423 ( I’ll be blogging about this later.) Then we had a wonderful Thanksgivingthanksgiving table 041 and Christmas. IMG_1760 Now my thoughts are turning toward the new year. It is amazing how turning the page on a calendar can give us the feeling of a clean slate. I have high hopes of eliminating some clutter from my life.  I have already started  by purging my closet and a few Christmas decorations. I will be making a trip to Goodwill today. I have made a list of potential home improvement projects for the coming year to go along with my high hopes of exercising more, eating more healthy food, and spending less and saving more.  By this time next year I should be writing my last two checks for college tuition as both kids will be in their last semester!! My goal for the New Year is to make the best of every day that God gives me.

Wishing you a very Happy New Year!

I will be linking to Southern Hospitality Top Projects  and to Savvy Southern Style Best of 2010.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas in the Dining Room

I love Christmas! In my opinion, you can never have too many Christmas decorations! I love the festivity of the season, the sights, the smells, and the hustle and bustle. While my goal is always to have the house decorated by the first weekend in December, I often fall short but I try to enjoy the process rather than becoming overwhelmed. I’ve learned to schedule my outdoor decorating around the weather forecast first. As I work inside the house, my goal is to do whatever I can to make the biggest impact with the least amount of effort. Setting the dining room table makes a big impact with a little effort. IMG_1760 I leave the table set throughout the holidays. When we eat in this room, we simply use the plates and I return them to the table after they are washed. In this room, I use my Bethlehem Christmas dinnerware that I designed and produced in 2003. This dinnerware gives us the opportunity to share the Christmas story with all of our guests and visitors. I have even had plumbers who were in the house making repairs stop at the doors to the dining room to inquire about the dinnerware thus giving me the opportunity to share.  The centerpiece consists of a fruited garland. I found a nativity set in the same jewel tones as the dinnerware that I place on cake stands in the center of the garland.  IMG_1726IMG_1727IMG_1728  IMG_1733 Then I use some of the angels from my collection as exclamation points to the centerpiece. IMG_1734IMG_1725 I don’t use a tablecloth in this setting, but instead I use  silver plated trays as place mats.IMG_1689 I stack the salad plate on the dinner plate for an added layer of interest. There are eight place settings that tell the story. The first is the angel speaking to Mary. IMG_1700 Next is Mary and Joseph making the journey to Bethlehem.  IMG_1766 Shepherds are abiding in the fields. IMG_1699 The angel of the Lord brings good tidings.IMG_1744 The heavenly host proclaims His birth! IMG_1694 The Bethlehem star points to the Christ child. IMG_1704 Mary ponders these things in her heart. IMG_1703 The wise men brought gifts and worshipped Him. IMG_1752 More angels flank the punch bowl on the side board as well as the Bethlehem Christmas dinnerware platter and a framed print of the Christmas story. IMG_1743
My hope is that you will have a Christ filled Christmas this year!
Dinnerware: Bethlehem Christmas can be purchased here.
Silver plated trays purchased at the Mikasa store several years ago.
Ruby goblets purchased at the Mikasa store several years ago.
Sterling flatware International Silver Wild Rose.
Nativity set purchased at Lord and Taylor several years ago.

I will be linking to Tabletop Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch.

Triple GiftingThis Christmas

This Christmas, I'll be triple gifting! For one recipient on my gift list, I purchased a bag of Lottie's Christmas Blend coffee from Cup of Hope. It smells delicious, and I'm not even a coffee drinker! The second gift is the hope that my purchase will give to coffee farmers in the Phillipines who receive support from each sale.  The third gift is the support for missionaries in the Phillipines that my purchase will also be supporting. Perhaps, one of those farmers will come to know Jesus and experience the true hope of Christmas this year. A triple blessing for a mere $12! Help spread some hope this Christmas. Visit Cup of Hope and make a purchase.

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