I began drinking hot tea when I was just a young girl. You see, Saturday mornings at 9 a.m. was the scheduled day for my weekly, hour long classical piano lesson. Halfway through this lesson, my teacher (an elderly gentleman who played the pipe organ just down the street at The First Baptist Church...) would have his housekeeper prepare us a pot of hot tea. Oh, I can say at first I wasn't too keen on drinking hot tea, but as time passed I began to enjoy it and can say that today it is one of the simple pleasures I enjoy.
There's nothing like brewing a hot cup of tea on a cold day. And YES...I do it in a pot; that is part of the ritual that makes tea drinking so enjoyable...
Robby bought me this pot last year for Valentine's Day. It came from World Market and I just LOVE it!
And when drinking hot tea, I think it's BEST when you drink it from a tea cup!
This is one of my favorite tea cups; it it part of my set of original wedding china.
Along with the teapot, Robby also bought me a tea box to store some of my favorite teas in...
This afternoon's tea choice was Ginger Peach Black Tea. These teas have wonderful flavors. Caitlin brought me lots of them just before she graduated college last May. She had money left over on her food plan card so instead of wasting it...we got TEA!
There are so many cute items for tea drinkers; Isn't this a sweet dragonfly tea infuser?
My sister got me this awesome tea thermos for Christmas this year; I can't wait to try it out!
Tea is not only enjoyable but research has found that there are also many health benefits associated with drinking tea. Here are just a few:
Tea has antioxidants that may protect cells against free radicals
Tea boosts the immune system
Tea is calorie-free
Tea increases you metabolism
Tea may lower your risk of heart disease
Tea can lower bad cholesterol
Tea is a great cancer fighter
Tea flavonoids may be bone building
I like to drink hot peppermint tea for a scratchy throat and cough. Tummy Ease is a wonderful quick acting tea for stomach aches and chamomile tea is great to drink at bedtime to help you sleep.
What started out many years ago as a break for my fingers on the piano has turned into a lifelong simple pleasure for me. You should try it too. HOT tea on a COLD day...There's nothing like it!
I started taking down my Christmas decorations, mopped the floors and did some laundry. Everybody has pretty much dispersed, except for the boys who will be rolling in Sunday to travel to Atlanta with Robby to watch the LSU Tigers play in their bowl game. The thing is...Winter has finally hit (ugh...). For us, here in the south, we just don't handle temperatures in the 30's and 40's very well. People start getting sick and I start staying in to avoid getting whatever it is they have. Unfortunately, Caitlin caught a bad cold just before she left going back to Ohio (Where it is REALLY cold...), Robby has also now caught a cold and poor little Parker Ann has RSV. I am continuing to take all of my vitamins daily, including Vitamin C in hopes that I can escape getting sick...
My two sick girls.
Parker has to stay in and take it easy for a while longer; she can't even return to school until the 8th.
Here's what Caitlin returned to! And I think I'M miserable with the cold temps here?!
Baby Holli grew while she was visiting YaYa and Poppi! Sadly, Caitlin won't be able to travel now that she is getting close to 7 months along in her pregnancy.
Well, I'm hoping that winter only lasts for a couple more months here and we are back to shorts, sunshine and warmer weather soon! Here's wishing you all a VERY BLESSED NEW YEAR!
Our family had a wonderful Christmas celebration with all of my kids making it in for the holiday. It was a different Christmas as far as weather goes though. Thunderstorms and tornadoes ripped though here leaving many people we know without electricity and torn up homes. Fortunately for us, we only had the storms and now the temperatures have dropped from 80 degrees, just days before Christmas, down to the 30's! I'm just going to share a few pictures I took and I'm sure you can fill in the captions. I finally gave in last night and had that injection in my thumb so I am supposed to be "taking it easy" with the use of it today. So...Here they are; Our BIG, FAT, Southern Christmas!
The box of stockings I prepare each year. 10 this year!
Preparing for Christmas evening meal for over 30 people.
Sisters, daughter and cousin.
Parker's "Happy Birthday, Jesus" cake...THIS says it all!
On Christmas Eve, there is only one thing we ever plan on doing; going to church. For Christians everywhere, we are ever mindful of the "true" meaning of Christmas and never so much for me as on the Eve of Christmas when my family attends our Candle Lighting Christmas Service.
Ever since the children were very young, we would dress them in their Christmas best and head to town for this service. Upon entering the church you can hear the sound of Christmas carols coming from the pipes of the organ. You see people who live far away, visiting their families, and there is much hand shaking and hugging going around. And then as the service begins, a much more thoughtful mood begins to descend upon my soul, as everyone stands to sing Christmas carols of old and then responsively read about the birth of the Christ Child from the Bible. Each year that I attend this service, it becomes more meaningful to me. I look around at my family and think how much God has blessed us over not only the past year but our lives. And I am thankful; very thankful because it is only by the grace of God that we are all in attendance, in possession of our health, have roofs over our heads and food in our stomachs. Yes, we are blessed, indeed.
And then the candle lighting part of the service begins. As people file row by row to the front of the church, there sits wooden built trees, holding candles, one to be lit by each family. Our family's tradition over the years was to let each person take a turn being the lighter of the candle each year. Now that my children are all grown, it is back to just Robby and me lighting our own candle, while our children will light a candle with each of their own families.
After the entire congregation has lit candles, we all sing another Christmas carol before filing out. More hugging and Merry Christmases go around and then it's back home with the family. This annual Christmas tradition is the most meaningful one to me. After all, Christ really is "The Reason for the Season".
The Rogenmoser Crew (Minus Ryan and Allison who were on their way in late from New Orleans)
After barely catching my breath from the day before, we got up early and went to church Sunday morning, ate lunch and then prepared for our Annual Cookie Cook-Off! The Christmas cookie baking day started about 6 years ago when I found my little nest of four down to one. And for some reason that one, was not with Robby and me on that particular weekend. I was feeling a little down and, as usual, he decided to pull me up outta the dumps (Did I tell you he was good like that?!). The first thing he did was to get on the Internet and choose several cookie recipes. The next thing we did was to head off to the store to buy an ENORMOUS amount of ingredients...I wondered what city we would be baking cookies for; there was NO WAY we could eat everything that he had planned to bake. In the end, every counter was covered with hundreds of cookies that we placed in tins and took to people. It was a great day and it worked; I didn't think about missing my kids at all while I was cooking! I tell ya, this is a great guy I've got here! Anyway, once the kids heard about our adventures in cookie baking, they all decided that they wanted to be involved the next year. And so a new family tradition was born. I snapped some pictures of the now annual "Family" event yesterday to share with you...
This was Parker Ann's first year to be an "Active" participant in the the Cookie Cook-Off.
And "Active", she was! She wanted to bake her cookies FIRST (And, of course, got to...). She put on her Christmas apron, got her step stool out along with a bowl and spoon and declared herself "READY TO BAKE COOKIES"!
Sarah and Aunt Ca Ca attempted to help her.
She took a couple of breaks to "cheese" for the camera.
And YES, this was too tempting to NOT sneak a little taste while Mommy was rolling the cookies out to bake.
Once Parker's cookies were in the oven, everybody else got to take their turn. David decided that he wanted to make his absolute favorite...A Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake!
Robby was on hand to help everyone with everything from "mechanical difficulties" to monitoring the temperature of syrups to rolling and cutting out cookies.
Caitlin and Kevin were up next...Notice how she STILL chose to wear the little furry Christmas apron even though Baby Holli was hanging over the top of it!
Caitlin decided that she had been "Craving" pralines so that is what she and Kevin made.
Ryan and Allison popped in on their way from Texas back to New Orleans. They were both thankfully feeling much better. And although they did not have time to bake cookies with us this year, they did bring a contribution that Allison had made over the weekend...
A bag of white chocolate coated pretzels. YUM!
It was time for me to prepare the ingredients and roll out my dough to made some wonderful Short Bread Cookies. I decided to score them with Christmas cookie cutters.
And here are the finished products...
Parker Ann's Chocolate Chip Cookies
David and Codi's Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake
Caitlin and Kevin's Pralines
And my Short Bread Cookies
It was fun getting together to do the Cookie Cook-Off once again. I look forward to having my two new little grandchildren there next year to continue this family tradition of ours!
From OUR FAMILY To YOURS...MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!
I hope you all enjoy old and new traditions with your family this year.