Monday, June 10, 2013

An Anniversary Picnic







Such patient girlies you all are...well, some of YOU, anyway! Maybe I will take pictures of wrapped gifts more often just to keep you guessing and on your toes, but I know that a few of you peeked...because you told me. Anyhoo, for the rest of you who love surprises...

TODAY is our 21st wedding anniversary and my hubby gave me the most beautiful handmade bread boards ever...





Aren't they adorable? They were packaged in burlap and tied with jute. They come in a set of four different styles and sizes.

My sweet friend, Diana from Vintage Home Designs makes every one of these mini bread boards by hand. Not only do I love her blog, but I love how she and her hubby enjoy life together! They have fun and live a simple life...and her love is a firefighter, too! I know her blog will soon be among your favorites as well! Thank you, Diana for my treasured anniversary gift!

As soon as I opened them and smelled the fresh wood, I knew since it was my year to plan our anniversary, I was going to pack a picnic and the bread boards would serve as plates. They were perfect!

Anniversary Picnic Menu:

Anniversary Champagne



BBQ Shrimp Baguettes



Our very favorite KETTLE CHIPS



Orange Infused Nectarines with Fresh Blueberries from our Neighbors



Champagne Frosted Cupcakes





{BTW, thanks to this, the cupcakes arrived in tact!}


Picnic Details:

The blanket we used was an engagement gift from hubby. He bought it for me along with the salt and pepper shakers while he was on a missions trip to Portugal. It is still so special and he still is so touched that we use it...even on the GRASS!





The sandwiches were wrapped in white recycled parchment paper from the shrimp purchased at the deli...then placed in a brown sandwich bag to keep it cool.



Decorations were kept simple: I used a paper bag to punch out tags for our food and also for the banner I made which was his card!





The napkins were wrapped with recycled jute from the gift-wrapped bread boards



The burlap that the bread boards were wrapped in served as a liner for our picnic basket and was used as a runner. My hubby loved it!




I packed a canning jar our candle, bur since it was breezy on the hill, we popped it into a champagne flute and shared a glass, which was by far more romantic!

Before we were married, he was working at a camp. He would send me a letter almost every day and it said: To the future Mrs. Pearson...I loved seeing my new last name! So, instead of anything else, the banner had to be PEARSON!

MUSIC...we love music. Very seldom do we NOT have music on in our home. SO, thanks to Pandora, we had lovely music for the evening.




ANNNND even though we did not meet in Paris, we had the most fun sitting on Chapman Hill taking in the fresh air, sounds and sights. We laughed and talked and dreamed about the future while looking at the Montgomery Park sign! "Our Spot" holds so many fun memories with promise of many more memories to come...like grand babies rolling down the hill while watching the vaux's swifts fly over head!



ANNNNND aside from our "Come to Jesus Meetin' " with our children it was a wonderful day. They blessed us with a gift certificate to GUSTAVS! ALL on their own. We were overwhelmed!

ANNNNNND...after we picked up from our picnic, we took a stroll around the neighborhoods and went house paint shopping and met the.nicest.people!

A special night with the love of my life!







I LOVE YOU, 2, Mr.Pearson



Thank you for choosing me to be your Mrs. Pearson!



***Oh how I miss our "come to Jesus meetin's" with our children!!  :}  Another reason I love to blog...it is so fun going back through the old archives of our family journal.  :}

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Hospitality is...Blueberry Lemon Scones




Okay girlies...here is your chance to make and take something really easy and yummy! If you are still looking for teacher gifts, these may just be what you are looking for. Wrap them in little bags and don't forget a chilled Starbucks Coffee Frappuccino and you will have a sweet little gift that any teacher will appreciate and your little elves will be proud to deliver...

HOSPITALITY:

Sometimes hospitality has nothing to do with having people into your home...I know not all of us are up to having people over and that is fine. There are times when I know God puts someone on my heart and I want to do something and I may just have a little bit of time to do something. There are also quite a few times when I would like to take a meal to somebody and the timing is not good. Scones are something you can easily make up ahead of time and grab from the freezer. You can take a few scones, some milk or orange juice, a jar of jam and take it to whomever for a light breakfast or for a pick-me-up during a move. It is also great to have on hand if you have guests who show up without a lot of time on your end to prepare. Just being ready and anticipating the unexpected will put you at ease and will make your company feel appreciated and planned for. It really is a treat for you and for the recipients of your hospitality!

Blueberry Lemon Scones
Lisa Pearson

Ingredients:

2 cups flour

5 TBSP. butter, cut into smaller pieces

¼ cup sugar

2 Tbsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. sea salt

1 Tbsp. soy flour {or 1 egg yolk}

1 cup full fat Daisy Sour Cream or plain yogurt

½ cup dried blueberries or chocolate chips, currants, dried cranberries or whatever floats your boat!

Zest of 1 small lemon {I use orange zest, too, for differnt flavored scones}

*heavy whipping cream and coarse sugar for tops of scones

Directions:

Whisk together dry ingredients.

Add butter and blend with pastry cutter or with flat beater in stand mixer.

Add wet ingredients together to flour mixture.

Add berries and zest.

Blend until ingredients come together.

Transfer to lightly floured surface.

Pat into a disc about the size of your hand spread out.



Cut into 8 triangles.



Place scones on SILPAT or parchment lined pan.

Brush with cream and sprinkle with sugar.



Bake at 4oo* for 12 to 14 minutes…or until golden.

Top with something very YUMMY like fresh strawberry freezer jam and maybe Devonshire cream!

If you want to make up several batches, you can pre-measure all your ingredients at one time and store individual batches in the freezer. This will save a ton of time. Just mix up dry ingredients and follow directions from there when you decide to make the rest.





Blogger is not letting me comment, so I will answer a question on here. The yogurt and sour cream do not HAVE to be full fat, but I just think it tastes better. Reduced or lowfat is fine...fat free is NOT.OK. It truly is NOT. :) Plan on walking before beddie bye time...it is worth it in flavor and texture. :)

Sunday, June 2, 2013

AMAZING GRACE



It has been months and months since I have sat down to write.  I am not talking about whipping up a quick coleslaw post or a box cake mix fixed up with fancy buttercream frosting…but what is really truly on my heart.

Sometimes it is quite easy to hide behind what one may think people want to read…but since this is supposed to be a family blog journal and I want to be able to look back and see and remember feeling God’s very presence in my life and in the details of how He has chosen to guide our family…I decided today was the perfect time to document away!

These past few months have been tough…quite dark at times, if I am honest.

My husband has been home and off work for about three months with SEVERE back pain and a herniated disk. 

As I tried to stay as cheery as possible for him, there were nights I would turn my wet cheeks from one side of the pillow to the other…only to soak the other side as well. Never had I seen my STRONG STRONG hubby so weak and in so.much.pain.  There was absolutely nothing I could do to help him.  
It’s pretty hard crying quietly…sleep as we knew it was no longer called sleep…but referred to as cat naps.  During this time, we had plenty of time to s l o w way down and to let reality sink in.  The reality of life is that we are NOT guaranteed health, we are NOT guaranteed anything, but we are guaranteed GRACE.  It has been our theme.  It has been a constant. No matter how exhausted and terrified we may be…God is there.  No matter how far away we have strayed, we still have His grace.

A hurt back is nothing compared to the loss of life due to war, cancer, bombings, natural disasters, murder etc.  But when you are confined to your home and there is nothing to keep you busy and your mind occupied with the tasks of the everyday rush…it is interesting how quickly the blind folds fall from your eyes and how one can be moved to tears as you empathize not only with your pain, but with the pain others are going through simply because you suddenly are in the same waters with those who, too are helplessly trying to swim to shore before giving up and drowning. 

Last year I took our daughter to the beach for the day.  It was unseasonably warm and beautiful.  We did all of our favorite things and since she is the queen of taking pictures, I could hardly wait to get home and show her daddy all of the fun we had as momma and daughter.  It was shocking and disappointing that the “beautiful” images we had taken of our rock were dark.  The surroundings were still a bit breath-taking but nothing like what we had pictured.

As I was scrolling through the pictures this last month, it dawned on me that it is the darkest of times that can be the most.beautiful…and no matter how you try to explain to others the beauty of trials…others can only see the “dark images” and not the beauty.  No, it isn’t glamorous…and most of the time it is downright nasty and ugly, and the last time I checked, fear is not something I look forward to…but the reason I am writing this is to remind myself and to encourage YOU that there is always redemption and ALWAYS GRACE.

My hubby and I were reminded of the life of John Newton.  Talking about a dark life, WOW! {by choice, but still!!!}  God turned it into a beautiful thing.

I have loved the song AMAZING GRACE since I was little…but for the first time ever, I read the words “’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved, how precious did that grace appear the hour I first believed!”  The power of GRACE is unmistakeable!

“Through many dangers, toils and snares I have already come; tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home.”  The power of GRACE!

“The Lord has promised good to me; His word my hope secures; He will my shield and portion be as long as life endures.”  Because of His GRACE we have HOPE!

So, if life is bleak for you and if the only beauty you can see is far away outside your window in what seems to be a distant land…pour your heart out to God, turn your wet cheeks heavenward and ask God to dry your tears.  Thank Him for never leaving you…even in the cold, deep, dark waters as He guides you safely to shore.  AND although others may never see the beauty of the “’day”…you will have the sweet memories of you and your God together…learning that despite the dark images, the days were indeed filled with His glory,  His majesty…and a heart that learned the definition of GRACE.