Faith Family Friends

Celebrating the Joy of Living & Home Making ~

Baking, Cooking, Decorating, Tea Time, and taking Inspiration from those I love and the world around me...

A sharing of my heart and my home from a Christian perspective

...with a wee bit of whimsy added.

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

A Piece of History

I can't help flying up on the wings of anticipation. It's as glorious as flying through a sunset. ~ Anne of Green Gables

Good morning dear friends! Hope you are all having a lovely day.

While I was away from my blog, my youngest son spent a week in Paris at a conference; his fourth trip to France! I never dreamed he would do so much traveling but life does surprise us. 

This is a photo he took out the window while flying across the English Channel. On the left is England and on the right is France. I thought it was a cool picture.
He took a few pictures of Notre Dame. You can see at the top right, some of the damage caused by the fire. I'm glad he saw it a couple of years ago, before the fire took place.

One never sees Paris for the first time; one always sees it again. ~ Edmondo De Amicis

My son couldn't remember where this was but it's impressive.

In a couple of months he flies to Portugal where he has been once before. He has been to Europe a number of times in the past seven years. This is one of the perks of his job. 

Why am I telling you all this? Well, I am leading up to something.

Folks travel all the time and they have been doing so for centuries. Back in the late 1800s, Alexander Macdonald, a wealthy Scots-born industrialist, who immigrated to Ohio, took a trip to Prince Edward Island with his family and fell in love with it. So much so, that he commissioned a summer home to be built here in 1895 which he called Dalvay by the Sea. Dalvay being named for his boyhood home in Scotland. 

For many of you, this will not look familiar but for those of you who are Anne of Green Gables fans, you will recognize this hotel as the White Sands Hotel, a grand gathering place for many events in the Anne of Green Gables series as well as the Road to Avonlea series.

This beautifully built hotel is exquisitely designed both inside and out in the Queen Anne Revival style. It was a bit of a playground for my hubby when he was growing up and he introduced me to it when we were going together. When his sister got married, she held her reception there. It was a lovely setting for such a memorable event.

Sunday afternoon, we went out to take some pictures. When we first arrived, we were delighted to see dozens of Canada geese down by the pond getting ready to take a swim. They were very tame and didn't seem to mind our being there at all.

Every summer Mr. Macdonald would bring his family and staff to Dalvay, PEI and spend his vacation here. At the end of the summer he would throw a huge party and invite the surrounding community where my hubby grew up. Mr. Macdonald was a very hospitable man and of course, the Islanders of the day loved him.

I don't know the story behind this carriage but I'm sure there is one.

I think it is serendipitous that this hotel was chosen for both the Anne and Avonlea series. Anne of Green Gables is famous the world over and the grand hotel, is one stop of many for visitors to our Island. 

In July of 2011, it was the scene for Prince William and Kate when they visited the Island.

courtesy of Pinterest

Hubby and I were there and saw their helicopter because we were on Dalvay beach that day. It was rather exciting for us because the beloved royals were visiting Hubby's old stomping grounds. There was no opportunity to take pictures that day because they were closely guarded but it was the talk of the town for quite some time. At one point they enjoyed a feast of lobster and clams on the beach. We Islanders found the prince and his wife very down to earth people, but then the prince is his mother's son! Diana was loved the world over.

For many years, Dalvay beach has been a favourite spot for us to relax and soak in the wonderful salt air. This beach is a little quieter than the others further up the coast.

There are tidal pools for the little ones to play in and the ocean for the many swimmers who go there.

I love the Island this time of year because it truly is a beautiful place. We have clean fresh air and miles of sandy beaches to walk. One can visit Green Gables and explore the grounds and all that it has to offer, or go to the Charlottetown Festival and see the Anne of Green Gables play. There is more to see of course but today I'm talking about the grand hotel and Anne.

If you're ever on PEI, you must visit Dalvay by the Sea as well. They serve scrumptious meals in their restaurant. And if you listen closely, you may be able to hear Anne Shirley reciting The Highwayman.  
courtesy of Pinterest

Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi

Monday, 3 June 2019

A Bit of An Update

Don't wait for someone to bring you flowers. Plant your own garden and decorate your soul. - Luther Burbank

Hello dear friends! How is everyone?

I have been missing from Blogland for about a month because I have been down with a bad flu bug which just didn't want to leave me. Whenever I thought I was over it, I would relapse. This happened over and over again. 

You see, I pick up flus and such easily because of the neuromuscular condition I have. My immune system is very weak and unfortunately, there has been a lot of flu on the go here.
While I was away, I saw my neurologist who is increasing my meds because I am having a few health issues associated with my condition. It has been a hard time but I'm getting there. I know it can always be worse and I am grateful for doing as well as I am!

As I was pondering what to share with you today, the scripture verse from Philippians 4:8 kept coming to my mind.

"Finally brethren, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things."

I have many favourite verses in the Bible but this one pretty much tops the list!

Life sometimes comes at you with a vengeance. Sometimes it's not easy to keep a smile on your face, or a positive attitude, when faced with adversity.

These gorgeous white roses were part of my Anniversary bouquet from a month ago.

When the chips are down, I find if I keep my mind on all the attributes listed in Philippians 4:8, it is easier to keep a positive attitude. Where there is faith in God, there is hope! The two go hand in hand.

When I began my walk with the Lord, I came to Him empty-handed. I had nothing to give Him but myself, which wasn't much! I was lonely and lost! But the trade off was incredible and literally, out of this world!

He gave me a new heart and a new life! He gave me so many wonderful gifts like; love, joy, peace, companionship, a great big family, and a mansion at the end of my journey here on earth. He gave me the assurance that He would never leave me nor forsake me.

He has blessed me with a loving husband who happens to be my best friend, three of the most adorable sons that a mother could hope for, and five darling grandchildren. Yes, even on my worst days, I can tell you, I am blessed! 

My intent is to encourage you today. I hope I have accomplished that.  This is my story. What is yours?

Blessed Assurance
"Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Saviour, all the day long.
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Saviour, all the day long."
-Fanny Crosby {1820-1915} 

Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi

Monday, 6 May 2019

I'll Be Seeing You Soon!

Hello my sweet friends! Isn't that photo of the ducks just too cute? I found it on the Internet somewhere.

I have been missing here in Blogland and I wish I could say I have been on a cruise or something fun, but I have been ill off and on since early April. As soon as I feel better, I will be back with a post. Meanwhile, take care and God bless you all!

Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

A Look Back At Some Easter Tables

At Easter time the flowers bloom
The skies are bright and blue
The world's as joyous as can be

So is my thought of you. ~ Author unknown

Hello dear friends and Happy Easter

I have been blogging for a long time; ten and a half years, actually. During that time, I have hosted many tea parties. These are a few of the settings from over those years. I hope you enjoy.

My beloved Rose Chintz coffee pot from my Auntie P.  I have several cloches too and under this one is a bunny and a bird's nest my son found for me years ago.

This one is from last year when I used the darling bunny and basket I had won from an artist friend, Celeste, who lives in Texas. Just a wee peek at my favourite table cloth from my friend Bernideen. The pretty dessert is a recipe another aunt gave me; Banana Split Cake. Most of my recipes you can find on my sidebar under Search This Blog.

My aunt and uncle had sent me those little chicks so I used them in this setting.

This yummy dessert is Sudden Pudding/Baked Caramel Pudding. I am using a Royal Albert teapot and teacup.

Yellow tulips, a hydrangea wreath I made, home made coconut cake, and different makers of china are joined by some bunnies for this one.

Three mini cakes; two adorned with Easter eggs and a third with a carnation from a bouquet.

While we're at it, why not enjoy a tea sandwich too? These are chicken salad on white bread and peach chutney on cream cheese, whole wheat bread rounds. 

It's not the tea that makes teatime special, it's the spirit of the tea party. ~ Emilie Barnes, "If Teacups Could Talk."

My final setting, some lovely pink and yellow tulips are the centrepiece for this table.

I miss my virtual Tea Time Tuesday parties and No Place Like Home parties. I stopped mine for health reasons as many of you know. Have you noticed how few Tea/Home parties there are now? It's rather sad! 

Moving on...
What does Easter mean to you? As a little girl, Peter Cottontail hopping down the bunny trail was really what I cared about. Of course my parents indulged my brother and me with pretty Easter baskets filled with chocolate, marshmallow and coloured eggs. We were never disappointed. But as time went by, Easter took on a whole new meaning!

I still enjoy the lovely pastel colours of Easter, the bunnies and chicks. Obviously, I enjoy decorating with them too. However, Easter is really a celebration of a more serious nature.

is akin to Christmas... The celebration began in remembrance of our Saviour and Lord Jesus. At Christmastime, we celebrate His coming as a Babe in the stable so long ago.  At Easter time, we celebrate His death and resurrection. Because He lives!....and the good news is, He's coming again!

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life." ~ John 3:16

I wish you all a lovely and Happy Easter during this holy week. May the Lord bless you and your loved ones!

Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi

Saturday, 13 April 2019

Beautiful Blues

Let your joy burst forth like the flowers in the spring. ~ unknown

Hello dear friends! I have some luscious shades of blue to share with you today. Isn't the hydrangea simply gorgeous? I love the petals, as delicate as butterfly wings in varying shades of blue.

I have tucked a little bird's nest into it, just because. The little twigs accompanied the nest when my son found it for me. 

This bird's nest was once home to a red-eyed vireo.

I have been sick with the flu bug this past week. Actually, it really started two weeks ago with headaches. I generally don't have trouble with headaches and I have been mostly housebound but this too will soon pass. 

Tea today is with lemon. I've been drinking gallons of lemon water and lemon ginger tea.

Rainy days should be spent at home with a cup of tea and a good book. ~ Bill Watterson

It is raining here today although it is mild. For me, it's a good day to stay put. 

Tea with lemon.

Flowers, books and tea, what could be better when one is down with a bug?

When you have flowers, books and tea, you are never alone. ~ Alexandra Stoddard

My Churchill Blue Willow teapot and Johnson Brothers Blue Willow teacup are being put to use today as well as this Enoch Wedgwood teacup which depicts Royal Homes of Britain.

Homemade peach danish for my hubby.

My youngest son is celebrating a birthday today. Happy Birthday, Sweetheart!

Thank you for your visit today and I hope you are all keeping well. I wish you a weekend filled with joy!

When you wish someone joy, you wish them peace, love, prosperity, happiness...all the good things. ~ Maya Angelou

Sharing from my heartSandi

Friday, 5 April 2019

Of Bunnies and Family

Spring had come once more to Green Gables - the beautiful, capricious Canadian spring, lingering along through April and May in a succession of sweet, fresh, chilly days, with pink sunsets and miracles of resurrection and growth. ~ L M Montgomery - Anne of Green Gables

Well, here we are in the merry month of April. Are you glad it's April? I certainly am and I look forward to the earth waking up this month. The grass turning green, a few flowers poking up from the ground, and other delightful surprises await us after the long cold winter. I'm not sorry to see winter come to an end. No, not for a moment.

We had a wicked storm overnight on Wednesday into Thursday with hurricane force winds. The wind just about uprooted our bird feeder but Hubby put it back in place when he got home from work. Today, the wind is much calmer and the goldfinches are happily filling their tummies. I love springtime!

Looking out our kitchen window the other day, we noticed the little brook behind our house was running freely. We also saw a little bunny in our neighbour's back yard feasting on something tasty. This was the best shot I could get because he was a distance away but you can see a few brown patches on his white fur. 

Soon he will be completely brown and we will not recognize him when he visits the back yard again. There are a few bunny rabbits around. The next day he was in our back yard but our next door neighbour's dog started barking and scared our little bunny away. Thankfully, the bunny has been back several times so he braved the barking of the dog. I am so glad we live on the outskirts of the city where we are only five minutes from the shops but nature abounds in our neighbourhood.

I don't share a lot about my family but March brought some wonderful surprises our way.

Two of my grandchildren won medals in their competitions. Zachary won a gold medal in Jiu Jitsu. He is the little guy in the middle.
His little sister Jenna-Lynn won silver with her team in gymnastics/cheer leading. She is the little girl on the far left holding hands with the girl at the top.
These little sprigs are my middle son's children. I love how family traits are carried from one generation to another. 

My thirteen year old grandson drew this picture the other day. He also plays football.

My youngest son just bought his first home and he's pretty excited! 
He left home at eighteen to follow his dream of becoming a Math professor. He began his formal education in Alberta, far from home. After that he went to U of T and then his post doc took him to the US. Last year he achieved his goal by becoming Assistant Professor. He and his little family will be moving into their first home as soon as it is completed. My son has worked very hard for this and we are thrilled for him! He also has a birthday coming up next week; Happy Birthday, Sweetheart!

Our oldest boy, who has been suffering with that bad concussion, went out to the beach to take a walk on Sunday. It was the first warm stretch of weather we've had although I dare say it wasn't overly warm out on the North Shore. He came across this lovely piece of driftwood on his walk. 

He is coming along but he's still experiencing some rather unpleasant issues. Unfortunately, he will go back to work next week because his benefits have not kicked in yet and he has a family to care for. 

Other things may change us but we start and end with Family. Family is everything! ~ unknown

My beloved auntie had her picture taken last week by my cousin. Doesn't she look lovely! I'm hoping to visit my auntie this summer. We live in  different provinces so I don't see her as often as I like. Miss you, Auntie P!

Before I go, I will pour some tea. I made a cottage pudding yesterday with a nice warm sauce over it. One of my bunnies is joining me. Would you care to join me too?
Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

If you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely. ~ Roald Dahl

Sharing from my heart ~

Monday, 25 March 2019

Spring Is Here, So Let's Party!

Spring is nature's way of saying, "Let's Party!" ~ Robin Williams

Spring is finally here on PEI and with the mild temperatures, the snow is going down quickly. Soon it will all be melted into the ground.
I love tulips and these are so pretty! They are the same shade of pink as the vase they're in; a delicate blush pink. Underneath is a pink damask tablecloth with spring tulips on it, setting the stage for tea today.

I decided today would be a good day to have a savoury and a sweet. I feel like celebrating after the very long winter we've had. 

We are having egg salad sandwiches and cake for tea. I call this my 'skimpy' cake because it didn't rise as high as I would like. 

Perhaps a bit of egg yolk escaped into the whites, although I didn't see any. No matter, the cake still tastes good and I sandwiched the layers together with lemon curd.

The Hampstead teapot looks like it is leaning into the cake but it isn't. I like how well my Aynsley teacup matches it. 

This sweet teapot I found last summer at our Anne of Green Gables store in Charlottetown and I fell in love with it. I have quite a collection of teapots so I gave two pots away to make room for this beauty.

From a whimsical child's teapot to an elegant English teapot, to collectible teapots that adorn some homes, they are a subtle reminder of all that is good in this world. ~ Barbara Roberts

This set is Royal Albert.

Egg salad is one of my favourite tea sandwiches and I haven't had one in a while so I decided to make them today. Hubby took some for his lunch. The crusts were still on his but I like to trim the crusts for tea time, don't you?

Tea is a meal for all seasons; it's also suitable for all occasions. ~ Angela Hynes

Spring is here so one of my sheep is joining us. Perhaps my bunnies will make an appearance next time.

We had some rain over the weekend and today we had a little snow but it won't last long. The farmers like this late snowfall as they claim it is good fertilizer for the ground. We like to see our farmers happy.

I would like you all to know, dear friends, that your prayers have helped because my son is beginning to feel better. He still has some vertigo and some terrible migraines and he's still not ready to go back to work but he's come a long way from where he was five weeks ago. The CT scan showed that all is well so we thank God for that. 

It has turned into a beautiful sunny day and the birdies are busy at the feeder. Yesterday I saw some grackles and a couple of robins. Hubby saw a sparrow so I know that Spring really is here. I expect all the songbirds will be back in another week or so. Don't you just love this time of year?

Thank you for your visit today and God bless you and your loved ones! Till next time, take care!

There is not one blade of grass, there is no colour in this world that is not intended to make us rejoice. ~ John Calvin

Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi