Wednesday, December 30, 2015

So this was Christmas...

Hello everyone.. 
Welcome to the Blessed Hearth this day.. 

The above photos are just some sweet memories of our lovely Christmas Day !
We had a wonderful time with all of our children, grandsons and my Mom and Step-Father... 

They started arriving around lunch time after they had breakfast and opened their gifts at home... 

Terry was up early and we worked together and then everyone pitched in to get everything ready.. 
They were such a help.. 
This old gal is not quite what she used to be so I really appreciated all their efforts.. 

The turkey and ham got roasted and lots of veggies, stuffing and rolls..

Shonda brought this salad.. 
Apple Cranberry Bacon Candied Walnut Salad with Apple Poppy Seed Vinaigrette belongs on your table this Thanksgiving and all Autumn long! The perfect STRESS FREE make ahead side!
Apple and Candied Bacon Salad.. 
Soooo good... 

I made this salad...
Lemon Fennel Salad..

After dinner we all sat around and exchanged our gifts... 

Among the gifts were a few homemade ... 
Trevor made me a snowmen and Shonda filled a vintage cup with roses and carnations and made me a JOY board which I have loved for a couple of years.. 
These two are getting quite creative as they grow a bit older.. smile.. 

Later we had coffee, tea and desserts..
They brought pies and squares and I made Cherry Cheese Squares and this dessert.. 

We all had a big laugh over me not wanting to share my birthday Tim Horton's coffee pods (our famous Canadian coffee) with everyone.. 

Shonda thought it was time for Terry and I to open a big present..  Written on the tag were the words.. 
To Terry and Faye from Santa and the word SHARE..

We all laughed so hard when we opened it up to find this.. 

 66 Tim Horton's pods.. 
Ok... I shared some of them.. hahaha... 

Then everyone did their thing.. 
Playing games, guitars and just laying about and talking.. 
So much fun.. 

As this Christmas week comes to a close I am just so thankful for the blessing of family that God has given us.. 
Our children are wonderful and our grandsons are so precious to us.. 
And very happy to still have my Mom and Gerald able to be with us and enjoy the day .

I know we all feel the same about our families, eh? 
So love the Christ of Christmas!!

Well, sweet friends, thanks so much for visiting this past year.. 
I appreciate your comments and emails and such so much.. 

Blogging is so much fun and sometimes I go through busy or dry times but you are on my mind and it is always good to get back to you all..  

I pray you have a great New Year's Day and that 2016 will be all you would like it to be.. 

May we all draw closer to our Saviour and put Him first in our lives.. 


Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Christmas Love....

Good Evening, dear hearts.. 
Well, I am almost ready... smile.. 
Actually, I still have quite a bit to do but the candles are lit, the tree is trimmed, some presents are wrapped and there is a bit of baking finished.. 
But still.. 
There is cleaning to do, desserts to make, more gifts to wrap, a bit more decorating that I would like to do and a turkey and ham to cook... 

So excited !!
Our babies will all be here on Christmas Day, Lord willing and it is to be a lovely sunny day.. 
There is even a bit of snow on the ground.. 
God is good.. 

Just shared a few pics of our tree and such.. 

I wrapped some of Terry's presents today.. 
I love this old Christmas song... 

Just click on  the words above.. 
Such a beautiful song that reminds me of Christmas many years ago when we were young... 
I thought it would be nice to wrap my darling's presents in pretty papers and pretty ribbons of blue.. 
Do you suppose he will get the connection?   grin..

I remember our first Christmas Day together 45 years ago.. 
We were living in St. John and were planning on getting up first thing in the morning and packing up the gifts and Shonda and being home at Mom and Dad's in time for dinner.. 
We woke up to a humongous storm and there was no way we could get there.. 
We had not bought a turkey or anything since we thought we would be at our parents so we had to eat just hot dogs.. grin.. 

Terry gave me a sweet old bureau set as we called them then.. 
A mirror, brush and comb and a magazine rack which he wrapped in newspaper.. The sweet guy.. 

Then he dressed up in his coat and such and started shovelling all the way to the main street... 
Can you imagine?  

When he finished that we packed everything up and he put chains on the car and we headed to Salisbury.. 

By the grace of God we arrived at the foot of our street and had to walk up Boyd Street to get home as the side streets were not ploughed and it was supper time.. 
I still remember walking into the house.. 
My parents couldn't believe it and my sister was so excited!
They were happy to have Shonda there for her first Christmas..

Such sweet dear memories... 
I have been missing my Dad the last few days.. 
He loved Christmas so much...  

Well, my dear sweet friends I want to wish you the very best Christmas !!
May you put Christ first in your day as we remember the wonderful gift that was given to us on that day so long ago... 
And may you create many sweet memories for the pages of your heart...

Thank you so much for being such faithful readers this past year.. 
Also I love your comments and look forward to hearing from you each post... 
Thank you, too, for all of your emails and wee gifts and cards that find their way to my mail box.. 

You all rock... 

God bless your sweet hearts... 

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Baking Aunt Hilda's Boston Brown Bread...

Hello my friends.. 
I thought I would share my day with you today...

I went to bed last night with a plan.. 
I decided that I would spend all day today just baking.. 
I was so anxious to get at it that I didn't sleep that great and while still dark this morning I got up and came out to the kitchen..

I spent a little time with the Lord and then drank my coffee and dug out my cookbook.. 
You know the kind I mean.. 
All handwritten and a bit grubby.. smile.. 

I usually only make a few things since the kids have all their own homes now but this year I thought I would make extras and give some away.. 
A very good intention, don't you think?  grin.. 

Well, I started on making a favourite but also an easy one as I thought that would be encouraging to see something all made and baked sitting on the counter so early in the morning.. 

These are so easy and delicious.. 
Our daughter-in-law gave me the link for the recipe.. 

You can find the recipe HERE

They make a good sized batch.. 
Very good so far.. 

I love my little pantry because as you can see .. 
I am a messy cook.. 

I made up my mind though that today was going to be different !
I bought a cook book from a thrift shop this week and one of her great tips which I have tried repeatedly to do but usually fail at is ,, 
clean as you go... 

Good advice, eh?  
And I did.. 
After the bowls, cups and such were washed in soapy water I moved on to recipe #2.. 
My Aunt Hilda's Boston Brown Bread... 
You start out by boiling up fruit for 15 minutes then cooling... 
So while that was going on my sweet hubby made my breakfast.. 
Two over easy fried eggs... 
and a glass of tomato juice... 
I sort of went over the recipe book a bit more then decided I needed to get my shortbread made and put in the fridge for an hour .. 

Got it made and put in the fridge then started on my aunt's recipe.. 

Got the ingredients all together and then decided I needed to call my Aunt Eleanor because I didn't think all the dough would fit into just 1 tomato juice can and I needed her advice.. 
These two aunts are my Dad's sisters.. 
Aunt Hilda has passed away but I knew Aunt Eleanor would know and of course, she did.. 
It would be better to use 2 cans which I had washed and ready.. 

They turned out rather well but I think I could have cooked them a few minutes less.. 

Here is her recipe.. 
Boil for 5 minutes.. 
2 cups of water
2 1/2 cups of raisins ( used golden, sultanas and current mix)
Cool 15 minutes 
1 cup white sugar
1 egg beaten
1 tsp. vanilla 
Sift together.. 
2 3/4 flour 
2 tsp. baking soda 
1/2 tsp. salt.. 
Mix together and add 1 cup cherries and 1 cup of walnuts.. 
* Spray Pam into two large juice cans and line with parchment paper.. 
This is not in the recipe but my aunt remembered that her sister used cans.. 
Just draw a circle on parchment for the bottom and fit some around the sides.. 
Divide dough into two parts and put into the cans.. 

325 degrees 1 hour and 15 minutes.. 

This made 2 good sized breads.. 
I don't think it would work in just one as it might run over.. 

I made up the shortbread cookies and a batch of nut toffee ... 
I also made lunch for us and a big batch of chili to freeze .. 
Besides chatting on the phone to my sons, my sister a couple of times and my Mom that is all I accomplished.. 
But I did clean as I went.. smile.. 
I am just soooooo slow..
I want to make a couple pans of squares and a few other things..
But I have next week.. right? 

This is a dear little enamel tray that I found at the thrift store..  

Hand painted, too.. 

This is what our countryside looks like... 

Mild temps but a bit of snow overnight... 
We may have a green Christmas as mild temps are called for.. 
That is fine with me as our 3 children and their families are to come for Christmas day... Yeah!! 
I love that they will be here on the big day... 
Usually, we do Boxing Day together but some of the grandsons need to work on that day but everyone is off for Christmas Day.. 
Lovely, eh?  

By the way...
I have another issue with my blog.. 
If it is not one thing like being hacked it is another.. 
Just today I lost 16 or so followers from the Google followers on the widget on the sidebar.. 
What is with that I wonder.. 

If you cannot see yourself there then please follow again if you don't mind.. 
Hopefully, it will get fixed and this too shall pass... 
If your thumbprint pic is missing then you won't see the posts on the Reader... 

There are more important things to worry about.. 
This is just annoying is all.. 
Looking forward to hearing from you and thanks for your sweet comments on my kitchen redo.. 

Have a great weekend and enjoy the Lord's Day.. 
So thankful for the gift He gave.. 

God bless... 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

My new Christmas Kitchen...

Good Evening my dears.. 
Welcome to the Blessed Hearth tonight.. 
Come on in.. 

Can you believe that a week from tonight will be Christmas Eve.. 
The time seems to just fly by.. 
I love the build up to Christmas day, don't you? 
This week has been especially nice to me.. 
I just keep thinking that I still have two weeks.. 
No panic.. lol.. 
Now next week will be no time to procrastinate of which I excel at... 
I am one of those people who gets so much more done when the pressure is on.. 
Next week I shall be a miracle worker.. lol  

Speaking of procrastinating... 
Here are some pics of our kitchen.. 
Almost all done.. 

I decided to just post them even if there are not perfect photos perse.. 

Here is how it used to look.. 

And now... 

We used a kit called Rust-Oleum.. 
It contained everything we needed to paint the cupboards... 

Terry and I washed and scrubbed the doors after he had taken them all off and then Shonda came and she and her Dad painted them .. 
It took all day..

I will be honest and tell you that after they had been painted I almost had a melt down because I did not like them at all.. 

After they finished painting,  Shonda and I decided we could not wait to see what they would look like with the rather dark gel stain on..
So she did one of the doors and I disliked it intensely.. 

Oh, dear Lord !
I wanted them a bit darker but I really do not want the primitive look any more!
Just the more updated country look.. 
This one was dark and blotchy, sort of.. 

Poor Shonda... 
She didn't know what to do when I just sat there looking a bit  freaked out! 
 And on top of that, I did not want Terry to know I did not like them.. 
I have this problem with paint that goes way back.. 
I can pick paint for crafts and such easily.. 
But to put paint on a wall.. 
Well, let's just say I am not always successful.. grin

Yikes !! 
After noticing the look on my face and the fact I was trying to let on that sure it was ok that sweet child of ours starts laughing kind of hysterically... 
I am sitting there looking devastated and Terry says.. 
"She doesn't like them!"

To make a long story short.. 

We got out the tablet and start looking through Pinterest for painted kitchen cupboards.. 
Then to compound the fracture, shall we say, the first one we found was someone who hated the product and said it could not be painted over but had to be sanded down to the bare wood.. 

Can you just imagine how I felt?  

I have waited 20 some years to have them painted and now I didn't like it and they were all painted... 

We kept looking and I did finally find a few pins of kitchens painted the same and I thought that I did like them.. 

In the end I just went to bed and fervently prayed that by some miracle I would . . 

The first thing the next morning even before coffee the dear girl grabbed a drawer front and put the gel on and wiped it off.. 
Oh thank God...
What a difference!! 
The paint was now dry and the gel came right off and did not blotch up.. 
And thank the dear Lord... I thought they looked great ! 

The more we progressed from stain to varnish and putting them back on I actually did love them.. 

The kitchen is so bright now and I am a person who loves light.. 

We also replaced our table, chairs and hutch with a new set.. 
It is distressed just a bit and almost the same as the cupboards.. 

The process has taken so long because of hunting season and such... 
We still need to redo or replace the counter top but that will wait until after the holidays... 

Sorry for the long drug out story but 
all is well that ends well, eh?  

Here is a wee project that I finished.. 

I had a page from an old book enlarged and then recycled an old frame.. 
You can use old cards, too.. 
Love putting more of Christ into the holiday decor.. 

How are you all making out with everything.. 

I still need to decorate the living room, bake and put up some fresh greenery .. 
Our grandsons were here on Sunday and helped Grandpa put up the tree.. 
The earliest I have had it up in years.. grin.. 

Thank you sweet friends for dropping by and I love your comments and can't wait to hear from you... 

God bless.. 

Friday, December 11, 2015

A Gift...

Hello everyone.. 
Welcome to the Blessed Hearth this evening.. 
Just a little post for you.. 

Almost everyday I think about a sweet friend of ours who passed away several weeks ago.. 
Her name was Marilyn and I thought the world of her..

She was married to my husband's first cousin and I met her in 1970 at our wedding.. 
We did not really get well acquainted for several years but we would meet at family gatherings and so on..

In the late eighties I started selling crafts at some shows in St. John and she became a customer, as well.. 
When we had open house here twice a year she and Clayton would always arrive and down through the years we became close.. 

Christmas was her favorite time of year.

She loved the season and excelled at preparing for it and everything she did was done with love and joy.. 

I thought I would share a few Christmas memories that I have from my sweet friend that seemed to make Christmas more special. 

To begin with when we went to the front door there would be a basket hanging and filled with  red and white berries, cedar and pine. There would be some white lights and when the door opened it would smell like Christmas... 

In the front hall there were little lamps lit and some fresh greens would make it so cozy.. 

She would send out gorgeous Christmas cards with her wonderful script.. 
I always enjoyed opening the envelope from them.. 

She also loved books.. 
 Beatrice Potter and Rosamund Pilcher were faves.. 
And Tasha Tudor, of course... 
She introduced me to Tasher's work many years ago... 
She encouraged me to buy the Victoria magazine and to study it and learn whatever I could from it.. smile.
She was a teacher in all of her ways.. 

 When we would just drop in she would prepare a little snack.. A lovely drink with crackers and a delicious spread, tiny gherkins, wedges of different cheese and some wonderful shortbreads and sweets along with her famous fudge of white chocolate and cranberries. 
And a nice hot cup of tea.. 
It would all be placed on the coffee table with her beautiful old dishes.. 
It always made me feel special that she would take the time to entertain us so beautifully..
It always felt kind of old world like if you know what I mean.. 

She bought gifts for her many friends but I doubt there would be  anyone who loved her gifts any more then I did. 
I would look forward to them like a little kid .. 
I told her once that I hoped she would never forget me at Christmas.. grin.. 

The dear girl.. 
To begin with the gift would be in a very special container.. 
Perhaps a hat box, a big old basket,  or maybe an old tin or gorgeous bag..
There would be tissue and Christmas Chocolate lining the bottom..
Then a new Christian Christmas novel tied with a piece of ribbon.. And always a little bit of something Irish and it would be all wrapped up with a sweet seal sticking it together.. 
She knew I love anything Irish and she gave me sweet tree ornaments, plaques and such..
And an antique piece of some type.. 
A glass depression dish full of Christmas pot-pourri that she had purchased at auction from the Red RoseTea mansion.. 
Or a beautiful old silver piece that she thought I could fill with greens for the dining table.. 
One time there was a dear old vase that was her mamas. She had it sitting on her dresser and would fill it with a little fresh flower..
 I appreciated that she would give me something that meant so much to her.. 
Sometimes there would be bottle of celery relish or some preserve.. 
But always there would be a piece of Belleek pottery. 
I think most of my collection is from Marilyn.. 

As you can see had a special talent for gift giving.. 
 She would put so much effort into each one and make it so special.. 

Her Christmas spirit was genuine and visiting with her would inspire me to come home and get at it.. grin.. 

I miss her.. 
Belleek ..

I am so thankful for my friendship with Marilyn and all of the friends in my life that God has blessed me with..
They are a gift from God.. 

Christmas is all about gift giving..  

John 3:16
For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.. (NIV)

God gave us the perfect Gift when He gave us Jesus!..
He is the perfect gift.. 

Well, my dears this is all for now.. 

Like everyone else we are busy but I will try to share some Christmas decor pics with you next time.. 

Thank you so much for visiting and your lovely comments.. 

I hope you are having a great time preparing 
for the special day..

God bless !

Thursday, December 3, 2015

A painting...

Good Evening my dears.. 
I hope you are having a good week.. 
We are in the midst of a storm here in New Brunswick.. 
A lot of rain which has now turned to snow.. Probably a lot of slush... 
Hopefully, it will not amount to very much.. 

I wanted to share something kind of special with you all.. 
Do you remember this post? 

You can find it by clicking Here..

Well, a dear girl who follows the blog is an artist.. 
Her name is Pat Hamilton and she sent me a message on the Face Book page for the blog and told me she was inspired by the photo and was painting it.. 
Then she sent me a copy through email and here it is.. 

Here are a few close-ups she sent, too.. 

Didn't she do great work! 
I think it is lovely.. 

Thank you so much Patricia.. 

Oh and before I go... 
Here is a sneak pic of my kitchen getting done.. 
very slowly... 

I am decluttering and such and will show another pic after I get a few more things done.. smile.. 

God bless..xo