Monday, April 14, 2014

Happy Birthday to you AND you!

We have a tradition in our family that on your birthday, we all get together and my Mama cooks your favorite meal.  Since it was Mama's birthday this month, I decided to host the party at our house.  My brother, Jon, has a birthday two days before her's, so I planned the gathering in honor of them both.

I set the dining room table for the adults.  I pulled out my always appropriate white tablecloth, and then dug around in my sewing closet until I found some spring colored fabric remnants, leftover from past home decorating projects.  I used these to add some color to the table setting.  I had actually already hemmed the pink gingham square and used it several years ago for something, and the green Greek key-styled pattern was bought for throw pillows in Brack's room.  (I ended up using a vintage tractor pattern instead, so this piece was perfect for last night.)  I simply trimmed the edges with my pinking shears.  It still may become pillows one day, or I may use it somewhere else.  You never know!  Simple white-on-white striped napkins complemented the other textiles I used.

Choosing a clean white pattern ('White Satin" by Nikko) for my everyday dishes was the best decision I ever made.  These are appropriate for any occasion, and over the years, I have collected lots of bright colored and patterned salad plates to mix and match.  For this dinner party, I pulled out my gold chargers that I usually use during Christmas and a brass pot for the plant I used as a centerpiece. Gold candleholders and gold-tipped flatware rounded out my place settings.  I've already confessed my weakness for colored stemware, and here you can see another one of my treasures - a pretty pink pattern called "Heritage" by Fostoria. 

I picked up a pretty little cyclamen at Lowe's to use as a centerpiece.  Cut flowers are pretty and I really like to gather seasonal cuttings from my yard when I can, but often I will choose a house plant or annuals that I can use again in another place.  This little plant now resides in our bathroom window, where it gets the perfect amount of filtered light!

Together, my brothers and I have six growing kids who are picky, but hearty eaters, so I spent all of Sunday afternoon preparing lots of food to suit every taste.  I slow-cooked a beef brisket which was really good.  I also had a smoked Boston butt, which the kids all enjoyed smothered in barbeque sauce.  Jon loves hashbrown casserole, so it made an appearance, as did green beans, a baked mac and cheese and kale coleslaw with garlic rolls on the side.  I tried a new recipe for squash and corn casserole on Friday night while my in-laws were visiting, and it was a tremendous hit!  It serves an army, so I added a little more cheese on top and reheated the leftovers.  We finished it off last night. I will share this recipe with you very soon!

For dessert, I made my go-to sour cream pound cake.  Always a hit, I served it with strawberries and Breyer's vanilla bean ice cream.  Gerald's mother had made him his favorite cake over the weekend - a yellow cake with poured chocolate icing (the kind that hardens when it cools).  He had tried to hide the leftovers, but the kids discovered it and polished that off, too!
After dinner, the kids led us in a devotional where they read several of their favorite passages. Copeland gave us a little talk about "not giving up and not giving in".  They also led us in several devotional songs.
Brack read from Genesis chapter 1 about the creation of man.
He ended with, "Cool story, huh?!"
Anne Welch did a great job leading singing!
After the devo, Jewell read a little tribute she wrote about Uncle Jon.
And Mary Reagan shared her "Ode to Mimi".

The birthday girl with three of her grandkids.

Copeland ended the evening with a prayer and thanked God for our family and for all the memories we were making.  Amen to that!


I'm so glad you stopped by my neck of the woods!
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