Thursday, May 31, 2007

I am:

:: E L I N O R ::

You are Elinor Dashwood of Sense & Sensibility! You are practical, circumspect, and discreet. Though you are tremendously sensible and allow your head to rule, you have a deep, emotional side that few people often see.

(Yeah, I guess that is about right. :o)

I am Elinor Dashwood!

Take the Quiz here!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Taking the Good with the Bad

Today the girls competed in the 11 county Regional Congress for 4-H. Olivia presented her Political Awareness speech. She did a very good job and received many positive comments after her presentation, even one public educator telling her she wished all of her students could hear her speech.

There was only one other person competing against her, and his speech was good too (about hearing loss). Olivia placed second (or in this case last). Most of those around us, including our 4-H leader AND the boy that won, were pretty shocked that she did not win. After viewing the judges score sheets it was very obvious why she did not win. Two of the judges gave her high scores, one even gave her a 99 out of a possible 100. The other gave her an 88, her only comment was that Olivia's speech was too controversial. (uh??? kids need to be interested in their government, their constitution, education...controversial??? uh OK? ) Actually she didn't like Olivia mentioning, abortion, gun control, government control over education, etc... But she did give her a fair evaluation on her presentation, with an 88. But what gets us is the last judge, who gave her a 68. ?????? She would not even look at Olivia during the speech, and gave her low scores on topic and research. Ummmmm...could it be she is a liberal? I won't mention her skin color or gender, just incase that did not influence her.

Emma had her quilt entered, she did not place, but she was gracious about it, smiling and congratulating those that did win. :o) At least she is willing to learn and participate.

We were disappointed with the outcome today, but like I told Olivia, "You've got to take the good with the bad. If you are going to be in politics or the public eye in any way, you've got to have thick skin." Knowing how to receive criticism, even un-fair criticism, gracefully is VERY important! We did not come home with any blue ribbons today, we do not get to move on to the State level, BUT more important we did come home with some humility and a little stronger character. It was a good day!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Tea Invitations and a Guest Book

This Tea's invitations were made with some torn paper,
a poem and dried baby's breath.On the inside it said:
Ana Smith is our guest of honor
May 25th at the Brodock Manor.
From 2:00-5:00 in the afternoon,
we look forward to receiving your RSVP soon.
Please do so by this date
May 19th,
for the tea will be at Highland Lake.

The Guest Book was made from some pretty paper and simple clip art on the computer.
Add some pretty ribbon to bind it and you have a beautiful keepsake.
On the inside each page had a Victorian flower and a Bible verse or a quote.
The front and back covers had poems about friends and tea, and a recipe.
The guest filled the pages with well wishes!

Hosting a Tea

We were honored to host a SURPRISE Sweet Sixteen Birthday Tea
for our friend Ana Smith.
This was loads of work, but so worth it! We planned tea for 40.

My WONDERFUL, SMART, CREATIVE husband designed this tent to go over the food table. After most of the serving was over we put the netting down on the other side to keep flies and bugs off the food, which is always a big problem when serving food outside.

We had a beautiful bunch of young ladies (and moms) in attendance!
Ya gotta love the hats and gloves!
This was the gift table, along with the goodie bags for everyone to take home.

The goodies bags were little satin bags that my friend Belle had given me.
Inside each one I placed a spiced tea bag,
a spoon that was filled with peppermint candy (melted then hardened),
the rose pins I made,
and a little scroll with a poem about friends and tea.

Sweet Hannah...just a swingin'.

Five tables with the topiaries that I made and roses scattered,
but none so beautiful as these sweet girls.

Olivia helping serve lemonade and iced tea.
We did have hot tea available...but it was 85 degrees outside. :o)
Olivia and Ana...kindred spirits.
Little girls and swings!
The Menu:
Lily Tea Sandwiches
Veggies and Dip
Chocolate Dipped Marshmallows
Chocolate Dipped Apricots
Chocolate Chip Scones
Strawberry Devonshire Cream

Chocolate Covered Pretzels
Iced Tea
Raspberry Crystal Light
What a fun time we had!

Chocolate Chip Scones and Strawberry Devonshire Cream

Mix together:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter
Do not over mix.

Add: 1 large egg
1/2 cup heavy cream

Be careful not to over mix.

Add in 1/2 -1 cup chocolate chips.
Form into a wedge shape and place on an un-greased cookie sheet.
Bake at 425 for 10-15 minutes.
Strawberry Devonshire Cream
1 -8oz. package of cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon Strawberry Flavoring
Beat these together until smooth, set aside.

With mixer mix 1 cup whipping cream until soft peeks form,
add 1/4 cup of sugar and whip until hard peeks form.
Fold whipping cream into cream cheese mixture.
Keep chilled until serving.

This is PERFECT on a chocolate chip scone!

Lily Tea Sandwiches

Cut the crust off the bread.
You can cut 2-3 slices at one time with a serrated knife.

Roll flat with a rolling pin.

Trim off the bottom of the square and pinch the top corner under (not shown here...sorry). Fill with your favorite filling, I used cucumbers (chopped up small), cream cheese, sour cream, dill and salt. Use a piece of green onion for the stem and a small piece of carrot for the center of the flower.
Roll the bottom and pinch together.
Keep covered and sealed until served.

Petti Fours~Substitute

I have never been able to do a good job at Petti Fours.
In my frustration this is what I have come up with as a
substitute until I can make them well.
To save time and mess during serving,
these little cakes are a good alternative to Petti Fours.

Bake the cake mix in a cookie/baking sheet.
It will be about 1/2 - 1"in height after baking.

Cut into small squares, placing one on top of the other so they are the same size.
Optional: Pipe icing around the edge of the first layer and add strawberry filling (jam).
Place second layer on top. You could skip the layer and filling and just ice a thicker layer.
Using a 16 or18 star tip decorate up and down, and then across on the top.
With a 103 or 104 make a rose bud.
Add leaves with green icing, or use fresh mint leaves (above).

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Pround Mama Moment

Olivia gave her speech on why young people should care about politics and government to the Blount County Republican Meeting tonight. She did an excellent job on presenting her speech and we were so proud of her. She spoke just before Gary Palmer of the Alabama Policy Institute. He was so encouraging to listen to, and had many, many kind words for Olivia, publicly and privately afterwards.

He spoke of an analogy of planting oak saplings, so that one day they would grow up strong, referring to the leaders of the next generations, which is part of what Olivia's speech was about. She told him after the meeting that she did not plan on being a great oak (leader) one day, that she hopes to be a helper, a supporter of a Great Oak (a strong Godly leader). He paused and looked at her, smiled and said, "Olivia, you WILL be a great oak, because great oaks have many acorns." It was all I could not to cry! As we were leaving the building he was walking behind us, talking with someone else. I heard the other person saying, "She (Olivia) does not want to be a leader." Mr. Palmer replied, "The hand that rocks the cradle, rules the nation."

It was an exciting evening. I look forward to see how God is going to use her love and passion for truth, righteousness and government for HIS glory!!!


Here are Olivia's herbs that she brought in today for drying.
She loves to garden!

We did manage to get the kitchen painted this week.
Olivia and Emma did a great job helping.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Victorian Napkin Rings

Napkin rings can be made from lace or ribbon.
Using hot glue, vintage buttons, tie tacks...whatever...
I glued small pieces from some silk flowers (baby's breath) to accent the buttons.

I made 40 of these for a party.
They will be great to have on hand when we have little get togethers.

How to Make Mints~Tutorial

This is for making Pink Roses and Green Leaves
You will need:

Almond Bark
Mint Extract
Color (paste)
Candy Molds
Double Boiler
Melt half a package of almond bark in a double boiler.
Once melted keep it on med-low heat to keep it melted.
Don't keep it on high heat.
This can also be done in a microwave if you do not have a double boiler.
Once melted, add the coloring, this needs to be the paste coloring, not water based.
Only a little coloring is needed.
Then add 1 tsp. of mint extract.
Mix together.
Fill the molds. Tap molds on counter top to settle.
Place in freezer to chill solid, about 10-15 minutes.
When solid, pop out of mold.
Do the same with the pink in the rose molds.
Arrange on a plate.
These can be placed in a Ziplock bag and saved in the freezer for several weeks.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Hand that Rocks the Cradle

This week I am reading Mom's Who Changed the World to my daughters. As they become older I find that I need to keep encouraging them even more to stay focused and remember why God created them. They are women, not men. They will be helpmeets one day (we pray). They both have very strong, independent personalties, which can be good if it is channeled in the right direction. After all, it will take courage and independence to stand against the culture and seek to live a holy life. It will take determination to submit to their husband, birth children and be a keeper at home (Titus 2:5), while the world (even Christians) tell them they are wasting their lives away serving their husband and children.

Today we are learning about Susanna Wesley. I just love this quote from her son, John Wesley:

I learned more about Christianity from my mother
than from all the theologians of England.

What a high calling and responsibility we have as mothers. The hand that rocks the cradle, rules the nation.

Victorian Rose Pin~Tutorial

You will need:
Paper or Silk Flowers
Sheer Ribbon
Silk Leaves
Hot Glue
Self-stick Pins
Wooden Hearts

I bought a bag of assorted sizes of wooden hearts from Michaels
and the self-stick pins.
I love the look of the sheer ribbon. Cut a small strip, about 5-6", fold in half, one end being longer than the other. Twist the wire stem around the ribbon 2-3 times, cut the wire off.
Glue the ribbon/rose to one side of the heart.
I couldn't find any pretty paper leaves I liked so I just used the leaves left over from the topiaries that I made and cut small leaves out.
Glue them on the other half of the heart.
I made a bunch of these (40) for a party we having.
I just love the paper flowers so much more than the silk ones.