Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Mother's Homemade Birthday Tea

Tea Table at Mrs. White's Home - with a pretty bell just for fun.

Last month, I invited the children and grandchildren home for a visit. I wanted to make it a special afternoon so they would have a lovely time.   It gets harder to have all the family visit during Thanksgiving and Christmas time because some have to work, or they live a distance away.  As they get older, their own family celebrations begin to form.  We have to be flexible.  Whenever possible, it is good to create special times to call the children home.

I thought my birthday would be a perfect excuse to have a gathering.  I told the children I was going to have a tea party.  Here is what I did:

Menu and Place cards for Mrs. White's tea party

I cut out several pieces of paper and placed them in a tray.  These were labeled as "place cards."  As soon as the grandchildren arrived, they could take one to decorate and write their own names.  This would be a fun activity for them during the party.

I created a simple, hand written "menu" and placed it on an empty picture holder.  Here is the menu:


Cucumber sandwiches
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
Celery with Cream cheese and chives


Mint Frosted Chocolate Cake
Cherry- Pink Frosted Chocolate Cupcakes
Chocolate Chip Cookies


Tea - Sugar cubes - Lemon
Hot chocolate - Miniature Marshmallows

I had spent two days before making all the food as well as cookies, cake, frosting, and cupcakes.  I used a box cake recipe and used half for a single layer cake. The other half was used for 24 mini cupcakes.  I made homemade buttercream frosting. This was from a plain recipe in an old Betty Crocker Cookbook.  I divided the frosting in half so that I could create 2 different kinds:

1.  Mint - I used a tiny bit of mint extract and a drop of green food coloring. This went on the single layer cake.

2. Cherry - I used a bit of red food coloring, to make it pink!   Then I added 2 or 3 teaspoons of maraschino cherry syrup for flavoring.  This went on the miniature cupcakes.

The cookies were made from a traditional chocolate chip cookie recipe.  We had a difficult time saving some for the party. We kept eating them!

I used artificial, pink and purple, flowers to decorate the sideboard table. I have had these for years already, so there was no extra cost.

I had two teapots. One was for tea, the other for hot chocolate.  Years ago, one of my grown daughters had given me a Christmas teapot. This is what I used for the hot chocolate!

I mixed the cocoa in a glass measuring cup and then added some milk to cool it down. Then I poured it into the Christmas teapot.  The grandchildren were delighted to be served this very special drink! 

Next, they found a wonderful surprise at the tea table.  I had filled the sugar bowl with miniature marshmallows! I showed the babies how to use the sugar tongs to take out one marshmallow at a time to put in their hot chocolate.  One of them said, "May I have one marshmallow, Me`me?" I said, "You may have four!"  They were delighted!

Sugar tongs and bowl to hold miniature marshmallows!

I served lasagna and sandwiches.  I had to set up a card table and chairs for extra seating in our parlour.  It was so nice to have everyone enjoying the food and the fun of it all!

The grandchildren kept looking at the tiered tea tray.  They would say, "I would like a cookie next!" Or they would ask for another "bell - shaped peanut butter sandwich." (I had used my cookie cutter when making the children's sandwiches.)  Sometimes, I would see the 2 year old looking up, dreamily, at the tiny cupcakes at the top of the display stand.

The grown-ups enjoyed all the food and service. They loved watching how much fun the children were having.  It was a lovely afternoon.

 Sometimes, we mothers have to "make" our own fun.  We have to create homemade events to bring cheer to the family. This doesn't have to cost much, just some grocery money. We can create crafts and projects with our imagination. 

Very often children and grandchildren have no idea how to make a birthday happy for Mom or Grandma.  They don't know what would make an adult happy.  This is why it is often fun for all when mother uses these times and seasons to serve the family by inventing a happy, homemade, celebration.

Each of the grandchildren took home their own place card as a remembrance of the day. They were also given a lunch bag full of home-baked treats.   I remember one of my girls telling me how excited her children were at the anticipation of "going to Me`me's tea party."   They all had such a lovely time.  I am so grateful!


From the Archives -

Home Economics Lesson - Feeding the Family.

A Homemade Gift for Baby - Tea Napkins.

D. L. Moody's Mother - Poverty in the 1800's.

Mrs. White's special book for homemakers:"Introduction to Home Economics:  Gentle Instruction to Find Joy in Christian Homemaking." Paperback, 200 pages. 

An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email. 

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Christmas Snow Storm in Vermont

Snowstorm in the evening at Mrs. White's Vermont Estate

A few days ago, we had a heavy snow storm which lasted for days.  Beautiful, peaceful snow fell  day and night.   We lost phone service the first morning.  It was restored by afternoon.  Next, the Internet went out.  This was not working for a couple of days.  We were grateful for the warmth of our cozy wood stove.  We enjoyed the beautiful view out the front picture window.

Papa has already decorated the property with Christmas lights. To make me happy, one snowy evening, he turned on the lights of our outdoor Christmas tree.  Then he had me go outside with him to see the amazing sights.

Christmas Tree at Mrs. White's Vermont Home

 Papa brings out our Christmas tree, from his garage, every year and sets it up out front. He built a special stand to hold it securely in place.  The very large Christmas trees, behind it, are heavy with snow.  They have grown too tall for him to decorate.  They make our 6 - foot tall artificial one look tiny by comparison!

Papa took these pictures with his own camera.  This morning I asked if I could share them with you here.  We spent quite a bit of time figuring out how to get the pictures from his camera to my computer.  We did not understand the fancy technology, but finally discovered an easy way to do it.  We simply took out his memory card and placed it into an attachment which then plugged into my computer.  I thanked Papa for letting me share his pictures.

One of the things that make me smile are the sights of Christmas. They are so peaceful and cheerful.  In the evening, as I walk in the parlour, setting things to right, Papa will say, "look outside and see your Christmas tree."  This means he has turned on the lights.  I love to see them!

The snow outside is thick and heavy. We have enormous snowbanks all through town. It is classic Vermont at this time of year.  I hope to find a small nativity to set up on my sideboard table.  I want to start getting things ready indoors for a happy Christmas season.  This makes the children and grandchildren delighted with home and family.  It is a special time of serving others and helping to bring happiness to those around us.

We will be singing a lot of Christmas Carols. Our favorites are "The First Noel" and "Silent Night."  I want the grandchildren to learn them all and to love them just as we do.

This is the time to bake cookies and make fudge. This is the greatest season to practice homemaking and hospitality.  We welcome guests out of the cold winter world.  We usher them in to sit by the warmth of the firelight. We offer them coffee, hot soup, and fresh bread.  We give them a place to rest and to delight in the prettiness of the season. 

All worries are pushed aside.  We give our troubles to the Lord, in prayer, and then we go about our home-keeping. We remember to "do all to the glory of God."  This will give us peace and joy, as it cheers the hearts of our families.

May you have a blessed December.

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

Eight years ago, Mister sets up the lights on our Large Christmas Trees while I keep house.

 An evening of good wishes and a beautiful song, 2012  - Christmas in Vermont.

Lessons from my Childhood - Manners Learned at the Finishing School.

Mrs. White's special book for homemakers:"Introduction to Home Economics:  Gentle Instruction to Find Joy in Christian Homemaking." Paperback, 200 pages. 

An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email. 


Friday, November 30, 2018

Dear Christmas Mothers - Presenting the Winners

"Dear Christmas Mothers" by Mrs. Hultquist

Early this week I posted a giveaway for a precious book, "Dear Christmas Mothers" by Mrs. Connie Hultquist. She wrote letters for homemakers to encourage them in their Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations.  This book is sure to bless you and  inspire you to have an old-time Christmas with great faith and joy in the Lord.

Your entries for a chance to win a copy of the book were a delight!  I enjoyed reading about your Christmas memories and thoughts. I love that so many of you crave an old time Christmas at home.

Thank you so much for taking the time to enter and inspire us all with your comments!

~ (Note - Shortly after I posted the giveaway here on the blog, we had a major snowstorm in our rural Vermont town. I had no internet for days and it has just been restored this morning. Thank you for your patience in waiting for me to process the comments. I am also working on responding to emails, which I hope to get through by next week. Also, it will take me awhile to write another post here. I wanted to share with you something special we did for my birthday last week. I also wanted to share some lovely pictures of the quiet home life we had during our major snowstorm. Papa had taken some pictures and I want to see if he will let me share some with you here.  I hope to work on these over the next several days. In the meantime, please feel welcome to read the archives.  A list of suggested posts is also at the end of this message.  Thank you for visiting! ) ~

There were two winners, which I will now present:

1. Joan

"I adore the peace of late church on Christmas Eve. My favorite memory is driving home after church in the snow. The town was quiet and the Christmas lights made everything feel magical. Thank you for offering this giveaway!"

2. Anne

 "The older I get, the more I long for simpler and less commercialization of Christmas. It saddens me that everything has to be instant. My mom always set the loveliest table and had a full sit down dinner, everything homemade. I try to scale back each year in the store bought gifts and make more homemade food gifts."

 The winners have already been contacted. God bless you and thank you so much for taking the time to enter!

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

No Money for Christmas - To Encourage the Downcast Housewife.

The Old Ways - Building our Homes with Little Money.

Mother's Sweet Faith in Poverty - All of God's Children Have Shoes

Mrs. White's special book for homemakers:"Introduction to Home Economics:  Gentle Instruction to Find Joy in Christian Homemaking." Paperback, 200 pages. 

An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email. 


Tuesday, November 27, 2018

An Old Time Christmas Book - Giveaway

Library of Congress: Tripp Family, 1936 Christmas, Iowa

I love the idea of having an old -time family Christmas.  The modern, commercialized version can get very stressful.  It is good to go back and look at old family photographs to see what Christmas looked like for our Mothers and Grandmothers.  In the photograph above, you see a plain tree with a few ornaments and some tinsel.  It is pretty and simple.  The girls are wrapping presents together.  The living room is lovely and what one would call "old fashioned."   This is similar to what my home looked like throughout my childhood. It was the same for my mother. There is something so special about a simple old fashioned Christmas.

Today, I want to share with you a special book for homemakers which will greatly inspire you to have just such an old time holiday with your family. It will be a home-centered, family-centered, Christ-centered Christmas.   I will also be giving away a copy of this book. 

The book is called, "Dear Christmas Mothers" by Mrs. Connie Hultquist. It is a compilation of some of her letters during Thanksgiving and Christmas time.

Have you met Connie?   She started hand-writing letters to homemakers many years ago.  Then in the year 2000, her Marriage Testimony was published in Nancy Campbell's "Above Rubies" magazine.  By this time, Connie was writing her daily letters over the Internet, using a small email machine.  This is when I met her, 18 years ago. She has encouraged and inspired many wives and mothers to be old-time homemakers for the Lord.

Her marriage testimony is currently being made into a movie through Pro-Family films. These are the same people who have worked to help make the movie "War Room."  You can find out about Connie's upcoming movie, "Bring Him Home," and read more about her marriage testimony on their Page.

Mrs. Hultquist calls herself “Straight up hillbilly.” She knows how to live through depression-era times. Her “underground wisdom” is enlightening and inspiring. Her letters are endearing, heartwarming, and educational.

I read her Christmas book every year and find great encouragement and ideas for my own home.  I will share some quotes out of her letters from the book:

"We had to start early to gather presents for each of our children.  Mary, our sixth baby, was just 8 months old for her first Christmas, and Jimmy was in the Navy.  Well, I had to send Jimmy his present early to get it there in time for Christmas.  I sent fudge and Christmas cookies to remind him of the tastes of home." (page 9)

"I was sitting in the living room and looking at the low and sweet Christmas lights.  What an old fashioned Christmas home!" (page 40)

"You know what, Christmas Mothers?  Children don't know that you are poor unless you tell them.  . .  . We mothers used to mainly make our Christmas with our hands.  I would make the cut out cookies galore. They are so simple to make with just the most basic ingredients, and then I would frost them with simple butter frosting." (page 48)

"Sometimes we need to go back to the old ways to get our stability. In this age of feminism, we have, as women, lost our direction.  So we must go back to the bend in the road to a time when life made some sense.  A place where Mother was the Star of her Home." (page 104)

Some of the chapter titles include:

"An Old Time Christmas"
"Good Mothers and Happy Homes"
"A Snowy Morning"
"A Hand Made Christmas"
"Christmas Fudge"
"A Christmas Homestead"
"Cherry Kolaches and Hot Soup"

The book is paperback, 116 pages.

The Giveaway  (Closed)

I will be giving away TWO Copies of this book.  There will be two winners.   Each one will receive a copy of "Dear Christmas Mothers."

To enter for a chance to win this book, just leave me a comment telling me something about Christmas.  This could be a family memory, a tradition, or  how you decorate your home. Any comment about Christmas will be an entry for a chance to win the book.

For additional Entries:

1. Post about this on Facebook.
2. Share this on your own blog or other social media.
3 - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email. 

*Please leave a separate comment for each entry.*

One random winner we be selected on Friday, November 30, 2018. (U.S.  Entries only.) If I am unable to reach the winner within 48 hours, an alternate winner will be selected. Your entry is only valid if you include a way for me to contact you.   

* This contest is now closed. The winners have been notified in Dear Christmas Mothers - Presenting the Winners.

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

 Remembering my Childhood - When Television was Special.

I Will Never Regret Staying Home with my Children - A Humble Parlour as a School of Theology.

Make it look like - The Maid was Here.

Mrs. White's special book for homemakers:"Introduction to Home Economics:  Gentle Instruction to Find Joy in Christian Homemaking." Paperback, 200 pages. 

An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email. 


Friday, November 23, 2018

Domestic Happiness

Flowers at Mrs White's Table

This year has been very difficult for my family, as well as for many others.  There have been deaths in our extended family, and the missing of those close ones who have been in Heaven some years. We all have trials and hardships we have to go through.  Sometimes stress from extended family, personal loss, or the worries and burdens we feel about family members, as they struggle in life, can make us miserable.   It is hard enough dealing with our own personal problems (such as chronic illness or paying bills), we have to learn not to take on the pain of those around us.   We will always care. We will always worry.  But we cannot let burdens take away our joy.

My husband has watched the movie "Fireproof" a couple of times this year, without me knowing.  It gave him some good ideas and he has been extra kind.  I have learned from him how important it is to be good and pleasant and to give to those we love, without conditions or expecting anything. It is a kindness based on personal contentment in the Lord.   This is part of being happy.

Some of us have grown children who are going through painful trials. This hurts our mother hearts.  It can overwhelm us with grief and cause us to always try to "help" or "fix it" for them.  But we have to learn to give the burden and the worry where it belongs, in the Hands of God through prayer!  He cares for the sparrows, takes care of His children, and He will surely take care of these trials.  There is a hymn that has been going through my mind over the last evening. It was a lesson to me on how to be happy, reminding me that burdens should be left at the foot of the cross, and I can walk away in peace and happiness. The song is "At the Cross" by Isaac Watts. The chorus is:

"At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away,
It was there by faith,
I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day"

I have a little grandson whose parents are struggling through difficulties.  Whenever he would visit he loved to sing songs he learned in nursery school.   Because he loved music and singing, I would sing hymns to him and he loved them.  He loved the chorus of "Trust and Obey" where it says, "To be happy in Jesus."  He loved the word "happy" in a song.  In my car radio, I have a CD I always play of Elvis Presley Gospel music (from 1967).  When grandson rides in the car with me, his favorite song is "If the Lord Wasn't Walking by My Side," which has "happy" in the lyrics. Some of it is as follows:

"I don't know just what I'd do
If the Lord wasn't walking by my side
When I was drifting (when I was drifting on the sea of despair)
And I was wandering (I was wondering if Jehovah's up there)
When Jesus found me, (Jesus found me in my sinful life)
He heard me praying (he heard me praying on my knees at night)
Now I'm singing (Now I'm singing this happy song)
Because I'm happy (because I'm happy as I go along)
And I don't know (I don't know) just what I'd do
If the Lord wasn't walking by my side
What would I do, (What would I do when a tear fills my eyes)
What would I do (What would I do when it's my time to die)
Well I'd be lonely, discouraged
Burdened on the way
If the Lord wasn't walking by my side every day"

There are little common courtesies we do in a day that uplift one another in the home.  We can keep each other happy if we work at kindness.  But we must remember, it is impossible for us to exude joy if we do not strive to have it in our own hearts. We have to practice every single day to stay happy.  I love to sing hymns and read hymns because these stay in my mind and bring me peace. They are brought to my mind throughout the day to provide joy and contentment.  I am reminded of holy and godly things and this keeps me looking up instead of all around me.

When my husband goes out of his way to check on me in my homemaking, before he goes off to do a project in the garage, he is showing me kindness.  When he asked me if I wanted something special for my birthday this week (even though we don't have the money to waste), he is showing me kindness.  He is reminding me to always be happy.    In turn, I do the same for him and for my children and grandchildren. I serve them in love with sweet manners.  But we cannot do any of this in our own strength because trials can destroy our attitude very quickly!  We have to be slow and steady in the Lord - Bible reading, daily prayer, and the singing of hymns must be regular habits in the home to help keep us happy.

We can have joy in the Lord regardless of our circumstances. The key ingredient in this is TRUST.  If we trust the Lord with everything in our lives, and know His promises in the Bible, we will draw close to Him for comfort and guidance.  This is the greatest form of Happiness in life.  We show this by our sweet behavior (in manners and courtesy) to those in our home. This is the fruit of that trust in the Lord. 

My husband and I will often say to each other with a gentle, prodding smile, "Are you happy?" or we will say, "Be happy." This is how we remind each other what is truly important.  We instantly stop worrying for the moment. It gives us a time of respite to think on the word "happiness!" We know it has everything in the world to do with our level of gratitude to God for our very lives.

Be happy.  Be blessed.

- Mrs. White

P.S. Next week I will share with you the special thing we did for my birthday, which always falls on the week of Thanksgiving.

From the Archives -

Marriage - When Groceries are the Presents.

Joyful Days - Gracious Homemaking.

Financial Adventure - Living in Reduced Circumstances.

Mrs. White's special book for homemakers:"Introduction to Home Economics:  Gentle Instruction to Find Joy in Christian Homemaking." Paperback, 200 pages. 

An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email. 


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