Sunday, February 26, 2012

Style Secret: Flower Belt

Have you seen the pretty flower belts that have been out for a while now? Rather than buying one several of those darling belts, I like to simply attach a coordinating pin/hair clip to one of my basic skinny belts. The accessories are much more versatile as separates that can be joined. =)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Today is Thankful Thursday #18! One of my highlights of this past week was the Mother-Daughter Valentine Tea, which I posted about on Saturday. There are many behind-the-scenes things I'm thankful for about the party, including . . .

1. A sunny and unusually warm Saturday before the party. Mom, Peter, and I decided to take advantage of the unseasonably mild weather, to rearrange our porch furniture, ahead of time. Moving tables and chairs from inside to outside and from outside to inside was so much easier, not having to deal with snow or frigid temperatures.

2. Peter's help hanging streamers. We had some good quality brother-sister time listening to music and talking while we decorated the porch together. =)

3. The fine china I've inherited. I feel very privileged to have inherited my grandmother's lovely set of china, as well as a set from another godly mentor. It's my honor to carry on their legacy of hospitality.

4. The supermarket deli and bakery. What a relief to have the freedom to purchase chicken salad and scones already made! With all the things I'm currently juggling in life, I knew it would not be realistic for me to try to make all the refreshments from scratch. So, I planned my menu based on what was available pre-made. The supermarket deli and bakery saved me a lot of time and a lot of stress preparing for the party.  =)

5. My family's cheerful support of my idea and all their assistance in making the party a special occasion for everyone who came.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Mother-Daughter Valentine Tea

This afternoon I hosted my second annual Mother-Daughter Valentine Tea. This year my guests were my third grade girls and their moms. What a special time we had!

Mom and Peter helped me rearrange our seldom-used sun porch
into a delightful tea room.

Dad had the bright idea to give me a lovely centerpiece for the dining room table, as my Valentine's flowers this year. Flowers are all the more fun to receive when they can be enjoyed with others!

All ready for the party to begin!

Yep, I had a relaxed smile minutes before the party began--
thanks to my fantastic crew.
This party was truly a family effort.
I could not have pulled it off without all the cheerful assistance
my mom and dad and brother gave me. =)

As the guests arrived, we had a little photo booth set up to take pictures
of the moms and daughters--and a cousin-butler too!

Our super butlers, Peter and Jason!

Peter, the Furniture-mover, Streamer-hanger,
DJ, Photographer, Butler Extraordinaire.

After the tea time, we gathered in the living room for a devotional.

For the devotional, I had little surprises wrapped up in packages,
for the guests to open.
Each object reminded us about God's love.
 Here Kate holds a bottle of Powerade, which reminds us that "God has not given us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, of love, and of a sound mind" (2Timothy 1:7).

Elaiyna reads the card that explains her gift.

Our group picture =)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Today is Thankful Thursday #17! I hope everyone had as happy a Valentine's Day on Tuesday as I did. In fact, that's what I'm especially thankful for this week.
  1. I'm thankful that I can choose happiness. It's all too natural as a single to bemoan singleness anytime of the year, and all the more during the Valentine season. But choosing to embrace where God has me in life right now--choosing to live fully where He has me--I find so much to enjoy in this holiday.
  2. I'm thankful to celebrate the festive occasion with my third graders. What fun! Our class party was an exuberant, time celebrating friendship and God's love. How could I help but chuckle receiving all the cheesy, cartoon-y valentines from the kiddos?!
  3. I'm thankful to be part of a loving nuclear family. How special that together we can celebrate God's love and faithfulness--everyday.
  4. I'm thankful for the lovely candlelight Valentine's Dinner we enjoyed as a family. Originally, we were looking forward to going out to eat, but at the last minute Peter found out he had to work late. So, we decided to get Chinese take-out instead. The parents of one of Mom's piano students who own a Chinese restaurant, graciously treated us to our dinner. Their spontaneous gift made our holiday meal all that more special.
  5. I'm thankful that this evening after dinner I had a chance to work on preparations for my upcoming Mother-Daughter Valentine tea party. Over the years I've found that directing my focus off my single self, by preparing something special for others is one of the best defenses against depression on a day that many grumble as "Single Awareness Day."
Wow, so many blessings and so many happy memories from my 2012 Valentine's Day. I've always loved celebrating Valentine's Day, but I think this year's was one of my all-time favorites!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

I always enjoy Valentine's Day--yes, even though I'm still single. [sigh: someday . . . ]. I like to think of it as a day to celebrate God's love.

Here are the little Valentine goodies I've made for my third grade class. At the top of the picture is one of the little packages all wrapped up and ready to give. The rest of the picture displays the contents. These little valentines were easy but time-consuming to assemble. I had fun watching a movie with my family last night as I worked on this project.

The pink scroll has the following message:
Happy Valentine's Day!

Enjoy these little Valentine goodies! On this festive occasion, I hope they help you celebrate the sweet love of God. “We love because He first loved us.” (I John 4:19)

A Hershey's Hug to remind you that God's love for you is everlasting.“I have loved you with an everlasting love, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” (Jer. 31:3 and Deut. 33:27)

Cinnamon Red Hots to remind you that Jesus’ love took the heat for your sins. “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son [to be] the propitiation for our sins.” (I John 4:10)

A heart-shaped chocolate to remind you to love the Lord your God with your whole heart. “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” (Deut. 6:5)

A Hershey's Silver Nugget to remind you to love God's Word supremely. “The law of Your mouth is better to me than thousands of coins of gold and silver.” (Psalm 119:72)

Conversation Hearts to remind you to share God’s love with others.“And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works.” (Heb. 10:24)
I assembled the gifts using mini paper baking cups, wrapped with cellophane. Those mini baking cups made such cute yet inexpensive packaging! The size of the packages worked perfectly to cut squares of cellophane that were 1/3 the width of the cellophane roll. I used generous pieces of curling ribbon to tie the cellophane around the paper cups, so that I had plenty of left over ribbon to secure the pink scrolls. Voila!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Today is Thankful Thursday #16! In keeping with this week's Spirit Week and Homecoming at Calvary Baptist Academy (CBA), where I work as a teacher's assistant, I've decided to list a few things for which I'm thankful about CBA. . . .

My "School Colors Day"
costume from Spirit Week.
Go Calvary Kings!
1. I'm thankful to be part of a Biblically-solid, vibrant church that is discipling the next generation for Christ.

2. From textbooks to playground equipment, I'm thankful for all the material resources and facilities that God has provided for the CBA ministry to thrive.

3. I'm thankful to spend my days in an environment where we can freely talk about Jesus.

4. I'm thankful for my 3rd graders, who warm my heart.

5. I'm thankful to be working with an excellent teacher in 3rd grade. Being Mrs. D's assistant in her class this year is a wonderful hands-on learning experience.

I feel so privileged to have my job!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Today is Thankful Thursday #15! Last weekend my family and I had the privilege of going back to Toledo, Ohio, where we used to live, to attend the wedding of one of our good friends from high school. There are  many things to be thankful for, such as . . .

1. The day off school on Friday. I needed that catch-up day before going out of town for the weekend. What ideal timing between my work schedule and the wedding!

2. Audio books and iTunes to listen to in the van.

3. The hospitality of dear friends.

4. Catching up with a number old friends. How blessed we are to have long-time friends who care about us, pray for us, and laugh with us!

5. Safety on the road. We had clear weather driving on Friday night but hit some slippery, snowy road conditions on our way home Sunday evening.

What a special weekend!