Category Archives: Tea Time Tuesday

Tea Time Tuesday: A Word Aptly Spoken

“A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” Proverbs 25:11

If you ever received a note, message or card where someone has taken the time to write out words of love, affirmation, encouragement, inspiration or wisdom to you personally then you know the powerful effect of the written word.  In fact I would be willing to bet that you have some of those meaningful notes, cards or messages stashed away in a special drawer, box or in the attic. 

Sometimes I wonder in this new age of facebook, twitter, text messages and email if the future generation will have the joy and pleasure of re-reading  and treasuring words of love and affirmation given to them by friends and family?  I hope not!

I have a box (actually I have three boxes!) of cards and notes that have been given to me over the years from my husband, children, parents, siblings, friends, business partners and former students.  If I ever need a good “pick me up” or am feeling unloved or unappreciated (any of you Moms out there ever have one of those days?) I can simply open up one of those boxes and read through those wonderful words once again.  They always lift my spirit and refresh my soul.

Today during Tea Time Tuesday we talked about the value of loving, affirming and encouraging others through our written words.  I pulled out one of the boxes and read some of  them to the girls.  We talked about the importance of not merely signing a card with your name but taking the time to write out something sincere, heartfelt and meaningful.  It does not have to be long but needs to be thought out.  We shared many things you could include:

  • adjectives that you could use to describe someone
  • stories you could tell to remember something special about them
  • prayers of blessing on their lives
  • words of wisdom that would add value to their life
  • giving encouragement or inspiration
  • adding relevant Bible scriptures or quotes

Let me share two different cards as examples.  The first is from Gloria Grupe, a dear family friend who always takes the time to not only remember my children’s birthdays but is also really gifted at making cards meaningful.

Dearest Joy:

God loves you dear one – so precious to the Lord.  I hope you are having a good birthday celebration. Always be a good thoughtful helper to Mom and the younger ones.  I saw you one day playing with Daniel when he could not even walk yet.  You were playing and entertaining him while your Mom and I were talking. You were on the kitchen floor. Now you have a brother and new sister.  You are the closest in age — a very special teacher you are.  They need to know all the very important things you know at 7 years old.  That is part of God’s plan for your life, that you be an example, helper and teacher to the younger ones. I know you will do a very good job!

Have a Happy Birthday,  Lots of love and blessings, Gloria

Isn’t that a great birthday card to my 7-year-old daughter?  What a blessing to have a wise older saint in her life that not only speaks words of love and blessing but also gives guidance and purpose for her life!  I could not ask for a greater birthday gift for my children. It challenged me to write with purpose to those who are following along behind me in years.

The next note is from a dear friend who is also gifted at using words to express love and appreciation. Here is a portion of her note:

The gift of your friendship spans more than words can say and is truly among the greatest gifts I count in my life. How blessed I am to have a friend who…

  • I can trust to never veer away from God’s eternal truth
  • has proven to always put God’s interests first
  • lives a life that does not shift as sand among the circumstances of life or the popular notions our culture offers
  • is not afraid to look me square in the eye, tell me the truth, then push me to be better
  • has a good & cheerful heart (Proverbs 15:5) Everything you do is a celebration. You lift life from the mundane, welcoming everyone you know to join in with you

Now about everything else…it would take a book and among the chapter titles would be: Motivation, Inspiration, Encouragement, Excellence. In your full & overflowing life you have always included me. I know you would do anything for me and I hope you know I would do anything for you and your family.  As Jacopo told the Count of Monte’ Cristo – “I am your man (friend)…for life!”

This letter not only blesses my heart but inspires me to greatness. What a gift to be able to use such a simple thing as a note, card or letter to bless and inspire others!  And better yet…it is free! 

We had a lovely tea time and each of us walked away motivated to write some notes of love, affirmation, encouragement and wisdom to our precious friends and family.  I hope to instill a lifelong desire in my children to use the power of the written word to make a difference in the lives of those who cross their paths.

 

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Tea Time Tuesday – beginning again

Our school year routine is back in full swing!

It is a bit different for me this year because for the first time since 1998  I only have two home schoolers (6th grade and 2nd grade).  Last week I was a bit melancholy about the whole situation as it seemed a bit small, quiet and lonely.  But this week I have recovered and began to get excited about all the great things we have in store for us this year.  I am a fairly eclectic homeschool Mom not really following one system or philosophy of schooling. 

One of the things that we have recently decided to do together is reading biographies of great men and women of faith  – George Mueller, Amy Carmichael, Hudson Taylor, Charles Spurgeon, Jim Elliot, David Livingston – to name just a few.  This week we began with Brother Andrew, reading his biography together aloud and stopping to review vocabulary words (grammar), looking at maps to see where his home in Holland was as well as how close they were to Germany (geography), going on the Internet for a picture of the Nazi Germany flag (history), and discussing how their own great-grandfather was killed in World War II.  All of that while being inspired and challenged by God’s work in  Andrew’s  life and his amazing faith.  Now that is my kind of school! (We also spent the late afternoon while the “littles” were napping watching Sound of Music because as we were reading the girls were reminded of things in the movie concerning the German invasion of Austria before the war….music, history & culture – bonus!)

We also started up our weekly – Tea Time Tuesday!

Tea Time Tuesday (yes it is on Tuesday because I love alliterations!) is something that we began years ago when I had four daughters being homeschooled together.  I decided to set time aside every Tuesday afternoon during the school year to have a “formal” tea complete with the fancy china, delicious teas, homemade goodies, classical music and a decorated table. Besides it being enjoyable, relaxing and fun I wanted to use this time to be purposeful about training, teaching and mentoring my daughters in:

  • proper manners, ladylike behavior and etiquette
  • modesty in dress and action
  • purity and godliness
  • relationships and courtship

As we sat down today to have our first tea of the season I realized that these two girls were very young when we began Tea Time Tuesday events and that perhaps we needed to “begin again” in our training.  So today we chatted over tea about the use of the words – please, thank you, you’re welcome and excuse me. We discussed that your napkin should be in your lap and used to dab your mouth clean (as opposed to wiping your mouth on your sleeve which is the norm for the 7-year-old right now).  We also brought out one of our favorite books…”The Princess and the Kiss” and read it aloud.  What a great message about saving your heart for the man you will marry! (complete with beautiful illustrations)

I have also decided that even though my high school girls lives are full to the brim with school work, sports, clubs, church, chores and jobs that I need to make time at least monthly to have a “Tea Time” with them during their final years of being in our home so that I can continue to influence them in these areas through reading books, telling stories and having discussions.  I will simply have to put it on the calendar and “make it happen”!

Perhaps we’ll call it – Team Tea for Three?

We also solved the problem of “the boy” wanting to disturb our tea party by setting him and our neighbor boys up in the farthest back corner of the backyard and giving them PB&J sandwiches and apple sauce with some ice tea (with of course plastic plates & cups). That kept them distracted long enough for us to enjoy our tea time! (another lesson for the girls?? “Food – the way to a man’s heart.”)

 I guess I have a few years to decide what type of similar idea that Dan can regularly do with “the boy” (and hopefully by then it will be “boys” should we get the desire of our hearts – adopting two young boys from Ethiopia) to instill these values, philosophies, paradigms and character qualities in him. (ideas anyone?) Although you can be sure any boys in our home will also occasionally attend our tea time so that he can learn to play the role of a proper gentleman as well as being wild at heart!

PS – If you want to read my other blog posts about past Tea Time Tuesdays you can find them here.

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“Tea by the Sea”

It’s Tuesday and that means it’s tea time! And at the beach it is – “Tea by he Sea”.  The weather couldn’t have been more beautiful and we were joined by a few friends who are staying in a house down the street.  As the late afternoon sun’s rays sparkled upon the ocean, the gentle breeze blew and our classical tea music played softly behind the sound of the waves we enjoyed our tea, cookies and relaxed conversation. No courtship classes at the beach….just tea by the sea!

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Tea Time Tuesday

It was rainy & cold this afternoon as we prepared for our weekly Tea Time Tuesday – so we decided to do it around the fireplace in the living room. It was cozy and warm and very relaxing as we sipped our tea and ate fresh baked peanut butter cookies and chocolate truffles (well at least that is what the girls ate – I had Ezekiel bread drizzled with flax oil and sprinkled with cinnamon – resolved to stick with my diet plan).

Rachael Ruiz – a regular tea time friend!

 We continued to read through our book – When God Writes Your Love Story.  It was a great chapter today on being faithful.  The girls seemed to really get into this chapter as the author explored the concept of being faithful to your spouse even before you know who that spouse will be. Yes, somewhere out there is the man whom they will someday commit to love for a lifetime – why not commit to loving them even now?  Why not be faithful to wait patiently for that person that the Lord has for you instead of giving your heart, soul and body away to others along the way?  I believe that if we raise our children with these hopes, dreams and standards that they will forgo the heartache of broken relationships and the sadness of painful memories. This chapter was especially compelling.

Tuesday Tea Updates from Christmas Time

Yes – We did have Tea Time Tuesday during the holidays (except for Christmas Day & New Years Day)  The best part of these teas was having Michelle home to join with us.  The first Tuesday she was home we had our dear friend Nicole McBride & her daughter Alex over as our special guests.  Nicole shared her incredible story of how the Lord brought her & her husband, John together. It is always wonderful to hear others stories who have followed Gods plan and are enjoying the blessings of a solid marriage.

Another Tuesday before Michelle left,  I asked her to share her views on dating, courtship and marriage with her sisters.  What a joy as a mother to hear your adult child sharing your values and passing her the wisdom and influence on to her sisters.  Michelle is such a wonderful role model and example for the rest to follow.  She is greatly admired and respected by them as well. We look forward to her being back home the next two Tuesdays for tea! (She is coming back from Hawaii along with the family she is working for to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of JECHS at the Founders Gala!)

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Tea Party Recipes

Many people have asked for the recipes used at our tea parties – so I thought I would post them here – Enjoy!

Also a great reference book about having Christmas Tea is called – The Twelve Teas of Christmas  by Emily Barnes

Almond Chicken Tea Sandwiches

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and chopped
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, blanched
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • salt & pepper
  • butter
  • mini white or sourdough  bread (2×2 inch)

Mix chicken, almonds and mayonnaise.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Butter bread & put a spoon of mixture in between slices.

Shrimp Crescents

  • 3 oz of cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon catsup
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 1 cup finely chopped shrimp, cooked and cleaned
  • 1/3 cup chopped celery
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped onion
  • 10 mini crescent rolls

Blend cheese with mayonnaise, mix in catsup and mustard. Stir in shrimp, celery and onions. Use as filling in sliced crescent rolls

Cucumber Cream Cheese Slices

Slices cucumbers 1/4 inch thick.  Spread softened cream cheese on top.  Lightly sprinkle with salt & pepper

Egg Salad Sandwiches

  • 8 eggs, hard boiled and grated
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons pickle relish
  • salt & pepper
  • white bread

Combine all ingredients.  Put filling in between slices of white bread. Cut off crusts and cut sandwich into triangles

Blueberry Scones  (from Granny Borden – recipe sent to us for our very first tea party)

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 3 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 tablespoons blueberries
  • 1 to 1 1/4 cups milk

Preheat oven to 400 F. In large bow with pastry blender, cut butter (let it sit out for awhile so it is softer) into flour mixture until it resembles course crumbs.  Add sugar, baking powder and blueberries. Mix well

Gradually add milk, tossing gently with a fork, until soft dough forms. Turn out on floured surface, knead gently to form soft dough

Roll out dough 1 1/2 inches thick.  Cut out scones with biscuit cutter & arrange on cookie sheet 2 inches apart(or if you have a scone pan – you can skip this step & just press dough into scone pan. Gloria Grupe gave us some as a gift several years ago – what a blessing!) Brush top with milk.

Bake at 400 for 20 minutes until golden. Remove from pan. Cool on rack.

Serve with lemon curd & clotted cream! Delicious

Cinnamon Scones

  • 2 cups white flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 egg slightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 400F. Blend together flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.  Cut in butter. Mix milk, egg and vanilla in another bowl. Add flour mixture, and stir until just moist.

Shape dough into 8 inch round loaf and cut into 8 wedges and separate slightly (or use scone pan) Bake for 15-20 minutes. Makes 8 scones.

PS -We always make PB & J sndwiches for the little girlies (as some of these fancier ones are lost on them!) Just cut them in triangle slices without the crust and voila!  – fancy tea sandwiches for them

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Tea Time Tuesday – Happy Birthday Grace!

Today at tea we celebrated Grace’s 9th birthday!  My “sweet baby Grace” is nine….where did those years go?  Grace was born during a season of God’s incredible grace upon our lives as we were in the midst of living by faith day to day (isn’t that how we should always live?) as we were working to found Jim Elliot Christian High School. She was our first Christmastime baby which made the Christmas story – the “great with child” Mary traveling to Bethleham and the birth of a new baby seem very realistic for us all.

Happy Birthday Grace!

We began our tea with each one sharing the things we love and admire about Grace.  We decided to take a break for a few weeks from courtship classes and spend tea time singing Christmas carols and work on memorizing Luke 2:1-20.  We all love singing Christmas carols and as the girls get older and their voices mature, I am so very impressed with how beautiful they sound.  We always sing ALL the verses of each song too! (there is incredible meaning and deep theology in many of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th verses of those beloved carols)  It was such a wonderful time together singing praise to God during Tea Time Tuesday.

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Tea Time Tuesday

It’s been over a week since I have sat down to do any blogging….not for a lack of things to share….they are buzzing around in my head continually…so beware if I get “on a roll” soon you may be inundated with posts sharing all that has been happening lately!

But despite all the craziness surrounding me on all sides, we do stop on Tuesdays for tea time.  Today as I got ready to set the table with all the Christmas china for our first tea of the holiday season there was a knock on the door and the postman handed me a package. (don’t you just love brown paper packages?)  Joy and I quickly tore it open and there was the most beautiful tea pot I have ever seen, sent as a gift from my dear mother. (who has been the inspiration for our teas!)

Isn’t it simply stunning?  I love it!  What perfect timing too.

Today we read the next chapter in our book for our courtship classes.  It emphasized the difference between romantic feeling type of love and a deep committed unconditional love. A love that gives expecting nothing in return.  A sacrificial and unselfish type of love.  A love that survives the test of time, tragedy and trials.  A love that is steadfast and never ending.

I have living examples of this life long love and commitment. My own parents would have been married 48 years this month, if my Dad had not passed away 12 years ago and yesterday was my in-laws 52nd wedding anniversary.  A few years ago at their celebration of 50 years I was asked to sing a song for that event that is truly a beautiful testament to the commitment we are to make in marriage.  It is called I Will Be Here by Steven Curtis Chapman.  These are the powerful words that all our marriages should commit to –

Tomorrow morning when you wake up and the sun does not appear,

I will be here

If in the dark we lose sight of love, hold my hand and have no fear,

‘Cause I will be here

I will be here when you feel like being quiet; When you need to speak your mind, I will listen.

And I will be here when the laughter turns to crying; through the winning, losing and trying, we’ll be together,

‘Cause I will be here.

Tomorrow morning if you wake up and the future is unclear,

I will be here.

As sure as seasons are made for change, Our lifetimes are made for years,

So I will be here

I will be here, and you can cry on my shoulder; When the mirror tells us we’re older, I will hold you.

And I will be here to watch you grow in beauty, And tell you all the things you are to me;

I will be here

I will be true to the promise I have made, To you and to the One who gave you to me.

I will be here!

I have seen too many marriages fall apart in recent years.  Couples who I would have never thought would walk away from one another. Couples who appeared to love the Lord and love one another.  Yet somehow they have been able to turn their back on the commitment they made to loving one another through all of life’s trials and tragedies.

My prayer for those of you who are married and reading this today is that you would renew that life long commitment each and everyday of your lives to your Lord and to the one that He gave you to love. I pray for my children that they will find their perfect match and then commit to choose to love that person for life, no matter what comes their way.

Dan, my dearest husband….I once again commit to you to be here!

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