Celebrations, Decorating, Family & Friends, Hospitality, Life Lessons, Valentine's Day, Writing

A WHOLE LOT OF LOVE GOING ON

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Today’s the 28th of February. Are you ready to flip the page on your calendar?

Although the shortest month of the year, February was always big at our house because of my birthday on the 14th, as was May for Will’s. It still is. As usual, I started celebrating early over lunches, dinners, and coffee dates. I loved being with everyone who wanted to help me celebrate.

Valentine’s Day fell on the second Tuesday, the day my writing group was to meet at my house, so heart-pansI decided to make a cake for the meeting.

What fun to use my mother’s heart-shaped pans and copy a Valentine cake from the February issue of Tea Time, a beautiful little publication devoted to the art of creating memorable tea parties. You can see theirs at Tea Time.

In fact if you want a clue as to what my decorations looked like, you’ll have go there because I FORGOT to take a picture of it. (But the group can vouch for my slightly lop-sided strawberry hearts.)

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Although my hearts weren’t perfect like Tea Time’s, we had a great party–even if I do say so myself.

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My guests surprised me with cards and little gifts.

Several folks read some serious pieces they had written about the love of God that seemed appropriate for the month dedicated to love. After all, writing about Him is the central purpose for our getting together.

But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him. Romans 5:8

Afterwards we laughed and talked over cake, candy, and coffee. It was a joyful celebration. I wish you could have been here. 

Looking back at the month, I asked myself if I made good use of the time.

Concerning revisions to Thomas’s story, I confess, I didn’t do much on that front. But I spent lots of time with family and friends or thinking about th consider that a high priority.

And I did ponder Thomas’s fate as I crafted Valentine boxes to give as little gifts and bookmark favors for the writing group that were inspired by the February issue of Better Home and Gardens.

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You tuck a little piece of candy inside.

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There’s no doubt about my enjoying all that crafting.crafting

I  also read a blog, Novel Rocket, every day and considered the advice of successful writers. As I cut and pasted pretty papers, I pondered what I might need to cut or add to Tom’s life to fill out the plot. How I could enhance his character so you’d know him better. How to add atmosphere for a greater sense of place.

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Today, the craft supplies are back on the shelf, and I’m returning to Thomas–or Tom. (His mother still calls him Tommy.) The’s jury still out on what I’ll call him in the final version, but at the moment, it’s Tom. Maybe you have an opinion on that.

All in all, I’m happy with the way my February began, progressed, and ended. But I’m also eager for the  next thing, which is March. I know it will be filled with lots of love, too.

And once again, I find myself praying to the One who loves me best.

Lead me, Lord. Help me complete what we’ve begun. Guide me in all I do in the coming days.

That’s my prayer for you, too.

May God lead you in the way you should go today and everyday.

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, And He delights in his way.

Ps. 36:23

Family & Friends, Family Memories, Life Lessons, Thanksgiving, Traditions

THE FEAST

THANKSGIVING WEEK

Our Thanksgiving celebration was excellent. Although Gary and Bonnie and his boys couldn’t be with us (we have to share), we still had a houseful–nineteen hungry folks.

The Georgia Days

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Brad, Terry, Caroline, Maria, Emily, and me

This group drove most of Tuesday to be with us. They spent Wednesday helping me cook, taking care of Brad’s mother’s estate business, and shopping with a break for hamburgers with Gary and Josh at the Buffalo Grill.

Show Time

Maria and her crew helped make Thanksgiving Dinner happen from table preparation to clean up.

You may have heard my sighs of relief.

The North Little Rock Johnsons

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Seated: Randi, Erika, Graham, Gayla. Standing, Christy & Jeff, me, Erik, and Terry

This crew joined us midday. They came bearing gifts of bread pudding, compliments of Jeff; a festive white cake; and the essential bags of ice.

Yum! Yum!

The Hillcrest Days

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Spencer, Sierra, Bryan, behind me, and Betsy

Brad’s brother, Bryan, and his family swept in with Betsy’s not-your-run-of-the-mill-mashed potatoes, salad, apple cheesecake, and chocolate pie.

Smack! Smack!

The West Little Rock Rodgers

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Cathy, Terry, me & Dudley

Cathy and Dudley, arrived with amazing smoked pork tenderloin and a fancy cherry strudel pie.

Oh my! Scrumptious!

I was thrilled to receive a beautiful hostess gift Cathy created. I took one of classes. Read about it here. at the Arkansas Art Center Museum School.

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Isn’t this cashmere and silk scarf gorgeous?

Gratitude

 

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We repeated our tradition of writing expressions of thanks on leaves to adorn a little Gratitude Tree.

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Erika, Randi, & Graham, making Gran happy

Serious Eating

By the time everyone was assembled, the turkey, dressing, gravy, sweet potatoes, green beans, and two pies–apple and pumpkin–were ready. Four pans of Sister Schubert rolls were in the oven. Our kitchen island fairly groaned under the weight of everyone’s culinary masterpieces.

After a blessing, we dined like royalty, laughing and gabbing through another memorable Thanksgiving dinner.

Aftermath

Afterwards, those wonderful girls: Betsy, Gayla, and Maria cleaned up. I helped as much as they would allow, which was very little.

“Go put your feet up,” they said.

I tell you, their mothers trained them well.

Later, we spilled out onto the porch and lawn for photo ops.

When everyone headed home, Maria’s gang hit the stores again. Terry and I threw up our feet and rested.

What a wonderful day!

I wish you could have been here with us.

Wherever you spent the day, I hope you felt as blessed as I did.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.  Ps. 136:1 ESV