Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Another Sweet Mug Exchange

"Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver."
2 Corinthians 9:7
(KJV)

I know I've said it before, but I must say it again.

I am continually blessed and amazed at the number of dear friends God has brought into my life
through this wonderful world of blogging.

I am not sure how I ever came across sweet Stephanie's blog.
It is called The Enchanting Rose, and, truly, the name fits it perfectly.
Each time I go there, I indeed not only find it enchanting, but it is encouraging to me, as well.
One visit there will reveal the heartfelt kindness Stephanie puts into every single post.
I have so enjoyed getting to know her and her sweet mother, Debbie.
We not only visit through our blogs, but also through many, precious email exchanges,
not to mention the times they have so graciously dropped something special in the mail
that has always seemed to make its way and arrive in our mailbox at just the right moment.
These two lovely ladies enrich my life so much, just by being in it.

This was my second time participating in sweet Stephanie's Mug Exchange.
I had SO much fun the last time, I couldn't wait until it happened again,
and, let me just say, my dear friends, that this time around did not in the slightest way disappoint.
(You can read about my first mug exchange experience by clicking here.)

In blogland, do you know how the Lord brings a fellow blogger across your path,
you connect, they are a dear blessing to you, then, without meaning to, the two of you sort of drift apart for awhile, then, one day, the dear Lord somehow reconnects the two of you in the sweetest of ways?
Well, that is what happened through this Tea Cup & Mug Exchange.
I had no idea the dear Lord would pair me up with a sweet friend and sister in the Lord
whom I had "met" online a few years ago, then somehow lost touch with.
But, He did!

Imagine my thrill when I received a box from Amazon
with these goodies tucked inside, along with a note from none other than dear Mary Stephens from The Cotton Apron!!!

I tell you, I was SO excited, and it just made my whole day!
Just look at what was in that box!!!


When I opened it up, I found...


a beautiful apple mug that came in its own special box...
the box alone was a gift in itself!
So pretty and "autumn-like"!!


Then, there was this yummy bag of Decaffeinated Hazelnut Coffee...oh, my!
Can I just tell you how much we have been enjoying it?

Since, Kevin, Zach, and I all love iced coffee, I have started making it in large quantities.
It is so wonderful having it ready to just reach in the fridge and pour out a fresh glass or mug full!

Hazelnut Mocha Iced Coffee

I make a 12-cup pot of Hazelnut Coffee....pure deliciousness!
Then, in a pan, on medium heat, I mix approximately 4-6 cups of milk, 
about 4-5 heaping tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa,
about a cup or two of Half & Half,
and several generous dollops of local honey.
I love to use local honey, for two reasons...
it supports our local vendors, and, in my experience, it seems to help build immunity to local allergens.

(Sorry to not be more specific on the recipe quantities...
I sort of just eyeball it, until it is the "right" color.☺
We like our coffee with lots of cream, so you may just want to experiment and adjust quantities, 
to your individual taste. )

As I continued pulling sweet, little packages out of my box, I found these...


a musical journal,
the prayer and praise edition of a Bible Promise Book for Women,
and this precious bookmark that says, "Keep Calm, and Pray".
I LOVE that!!


Keep Calm, and Pray!
Such amazing advice, and the best I've seen in the "Keep Calm" series.
Praying IS very calming.

I have been often thinking of Jesus' precious words in Matthew 11:28-30,
"Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: 
and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

These precious gifts from my dear sister in the Lord just meant the world to me
and made my day so much brighter!
And, now we have reconnected, and I am so enjoying her blog and our communication again.

Kevin and Zach always enjoy the mug exchange almost as much as I do!

They love going shopping with me for the sweet lady I am to send a package to,
and they surely enjoy diving into the goodies I receive!
So, it is a family blessing for us...that keeps on giving...long after the exchange is past.
 Stephanie always gives us a choice as to whether or not we would prefer a tea cup or a mug.
Since I personally prefer coffee over tea, I always choose a mug.
What joy it brings to be reminded of that special person each time I see or use the mug!

Tomorrow, (Wednesday, 11/2/2016), Stephanie is hosting a link-up for all of us to share
what we sent to our tea cup/mug partner, and what we received.
I forgot to take photos of what I sent...I am always so eager to get it all wrapped and sent off,
I seem to always forget to do that...but, thankfully, I did remember to take these pictures of the loveliness I received.
I will be linking up this post there, and I would like to invite you to follow me over to our tea party
to check out all of the special, heartwarming posts!
It is always so much fun to see what everyone gave and received!

I want to say a special thank you to dear Stephanie for all she puts into doing this for us!
I can't imagine how much effort and energy and time it requires of you, dear friend,
and I just thank you from the bottom of my heart!

May God bless all of the givers and receivers and special friends I have met along the way,
and may He bless each of you dear readers.
You are all very close to my heart.

70 comments:

  1. What a wonderful gift. I love how everything goes together and that bookmark is perfect. I strive to remember that with the year I've had!
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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    1. Dear Betsy! It was SO nice to see you had stopped by! I have missed you, and I do hope you are feeling better. I should have stopped to check on you by now. Please forgive me. I can't seem to keep up too good these days! I am praying for you and am hoping things will improve for you soon. Sending you much love and gratitude for your kind visit!

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  2. How fun and perfect for fall. Yes, dear Stephanie is the sweetest little thing. I have participated in every one of her exchanges. She has a lovely mission with her teacups and mugs. Happy November.

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    1. She sure is! That is so neat that you have participated in every, single exchange! I just think it is so wonderful. So happy and thankful for your sweet visit!

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  3. Good evening, my lovely friend. Oh, how I enjoyed seeing what sweet Mary sent you! This was her first time participating and my, she did a phenomenal job! The mug is darling and so fallish with the apples. The journal is simply delightful as is the devotional.

    Thank you for joining the exchange, dearest Cheryl. And THANK YOU for the loving, heartfelt words. You are such a precious lady and it's an honor to know you. Much, much love to you!

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    1. Mary surely did a phenomenal job! She just sent the most perfect gifts, and I love them every one! I think the mug is my favorite thing...I love the fall and love decorating with apples, too, so it was all just so perfect! Thank you, dear friend, for ALL you do for every one of us!! You are so dear to my heart!

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  4. What a beautiful package! Love the apple mug. I joined in the tea cup exchange last time around, and it was a lot of fun. This time it's fun for me just seeing what the rest of you exchanged! :)

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    1. Oh, that is so wonderful, Bethany! I am so glad you were blessed to participate the last time and so happy you are enjoying seeing what was exchanged this time. Thank you for your sweet visit and kind words...you are a blessing to me!

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  5. Oh Cheryl, what a wonderful, heart warming post. You are so sweet and kind with your words of love, thank you.
    My that is a lovely gift package you have received and from a dear friend whom you lost contact with, oh that just puts a smile on my face.
    Those books are precious and I'm sure you will enjoy them immensely.

    The Lord bless you~~

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    1. Thank you ever so much, dear, sweet friend! I am so thankful to be a part of this beautiful blogging community and am ever so grateful to God for allowing our paths to cross! You and Stephanie are just so dear to my heart. God bless you abundantly!

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  6. Dearest Cheryl...how glad my heart is to know that you were thoroughly blessed in dear Stephanie's mug exchange! Oh, just look at the sweet gifts Mary graced you with...and a darling Autumny mug too! What a joy it must have been to receive such wonderful ''happy mail'' from an old, dear blogging friend! And I am certain she had the most fun picking out lovely things for you, Cheryl! Iced coffee...oh my, yes! Any coffee is delicious! {{Smiles}}. In the summer my dad and I enjoy our iced coffee too...so very refreshing!
    I am truly delighted to hear that this exchange was a blessing to you...you are such a dear friend and always giving of your time, love and prayers and I thank the Lord for bringing such loveliness to you! All my love to you and so many big hugs!
    Kelly-Anne

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    1. Dear Kelly-Anne! How wonderful it was to see your sweet comment here! I am ever so grateful for your kind words and visit!! You are such a precious friend to me, too, and I just thank Jesus for allowing paths to cross. May He just bless you so much today! I got your dear email and will respond to it as soon as I can. Sending you lots of love and hugs across the many miles, sweet friend!

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  7. What a beautiful gift! I love everything! I know what you mean about blogging friends. I have one very special friend that I've known for years through our blogging and we are now very good friends who text each other every day and encourage one another. How wonderful to have someone like that. God brings people into our lives to bless us and it's so amazing that these friends may live hundreds of miles away!

    I'm so thankful I met you, too, dear Cheryl! You're such a sweet and loving person and I'm blessed to call you friend!!

    Blessings - Julie

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    1. Oh, that is so wonderful, Julie! God brought that dear friend into your life to see you through and be an encouragement. He is SO faithful to us, isn't He? I am so thankful that you are one of the precious friends He has brought to me through blogging...you are so dear and kind. I do trust Jesus to heal you speedily, and I want you to know I am praying for you. Sending you big hugs and much love, sweet friend!

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  8. What a great idea the mug exchange is. I suspect it would be difficult to take part from the UK because of the expensive postage.

    On second thoughts ... would it not be a great idea if we had a mother-in-law exchange? You can have mine anytime and she'll fly over on her broom if you wish.

    God bless.

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    1. Oh, Victor! You are so funny! Your mother-in-law must be quite the character...are you sure you are ready to part with her? She certainly spices up your life, doesn't she? How boring things might seem without her, after being so used to the interesting elements...ahem...she brings to your life!! Thank you for always making me smile! Your presence in our lives is a true gift and blessing! My regards to your mother-in-law. :)

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  9. I too love the mug exhange, Cheryl, and have just put my post up. It is lovely to connect with people from far away. What a nice selection you had from Mary, I follow her blog too.

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    1. Oh, that is wonderful! I read your lovely post and am just so sorry you have been ill. I should keep up with blogs better. Praying for you and sending you lots and lots of love!

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  10. How perfect for autumn! Such a cozy box of gifts, and the music journal is just lovely. <3

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    1. Isn't it just the sweetest? Autumn is my favorite season, and this mug will take me there, eve when it is other seasons! I love the journal, too...I love to sing and play the guitar, so it is just perfect. Thank you for your sweet visit, Skyeler. What a joy it is to meet you today!

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  11. It's so nice to meet you, Cheryl, and to see the wonderful gifts that you were blessed with from Mary. Our dear, sweet friend, Stephanie, is such an angel to organize this lovely event with such thoughtfulness, and love. Enjoy your new mug and all your special gifts.

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    1. How lovely to meet you, too, Kitty! Stephanie surely is an angel to us all..such a dear, sweet blessing. I hope you enjoy all of your goodies, too! Have a wonderful day!

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  12. Love all of your sweet treasures and getting to meet another blogger through Stephanie's Mug and Tea cup exchange. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

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    1. Oh, it is so nice to meet you, too, Cindy! I don't think Stephanie realizes the vastness of her online ministry...this is just an amazing way of bringing us all together. So thankful for your sweet visit and kind words! I hope you will come back often. :)

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  13. Cheryl,
    Yes, I agree that Stephanie's exchange is wonderful...in so many ways!!! I love your mug! Fall is my favorite season and the boxed mug set you received is so "fall like." Fall is't fall without a trip to the apple orchard! Your other gifts are lovely too!
    Linda
    mysewwhatblog

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    1. Oh, how nice it is to meet you, Linda! Thank you so much for your sweet visit and kind words! You are right....a trip to the apple orchard is always in order in the fall. We just went and bought some the other day! God bless you, my new friend!

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  14. A box full of love and good will. Love the mug -- apples say FALL to me ... perfect for this time of year. Your "recipe" for coffee sounds delicious.

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    1. Oh, thank you so much! I am so grateful for your visit and kind words. So happy to "meet" you today! God bless you. :)

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  15. I adore Stephanie! I'm so glad to know of her mother's blog. I'll go visit. What a lovely gift!
    Pray pray pray!
    Laura

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    1. Oh, dear friend, I surely am praying. I feel so heavily burdened over the things you and I have been talking about. I am so happy to introduce you to dear Debbie's blog. Her and Stephanie are such blessings to us all! Sending you much love today, sweet Laura!

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  16. What a fun package! You were very blessed.

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    1. Oh, I surely am indeed! Dear Mary made everything so special for me...then after I received the box, later, I got a dear, handwritten letter from her in the mail! I love getting mail!! So, it was just a precious blessing to me in so many ways. Thank you for your visit, Ang. I do trust all is well with you and your family. :)

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  17. Oh dear Cheryl, such delight that arrived in your mailbox! How wonderful too that you were able to connect again with a dear sister in Christ too! The apple mug is so delightful and the hazelnut coffee sounds soo wonderful... I sure wish I could pop over and enjoy a mugful with you! Mary knows you well, pray on indeed... such a lovely bookmark! This is just a day full of joy as I see each lady's heart blessed beyond measure and all because dear Stephanie goes to such work to make this a special time for all of us. We are blessed, and I am enjoying my "tea partying" today! Hugs to you today dear friend, love and appreciate you so much!

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    1. Oh, dear friend! It was sheer delight! I feel so incredibly blessed in so many ways. Oh, wouldn't it just be the sweetest fellowship if you could pop over for a mugful of coffee with me? I think of that, and just the thought makes me smile. :) I love and appreciate you so very much, too, my faithful friend. I am praying much for you and your family!

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  18. Your autumn mug, coffee, journal and devotional book with bookmark are lovely gifts to receive and I read above it was Mary's first exchange so she chose well for you.
    It was nice to visit you through the exchange.

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    1. Oh, it was so nice to visit with you, too, Judith! I just love meeting all of you new ladies and the way this mug exchange brings us all together! I am so incredibly blessed today, enjoying this wonderful tea party with all of you. God bless you, my new friend. You have a lovely blog! By the way, lavender is my favorite color, too!

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  19. How wonderful!
    Thanks for sharing.

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    1. And, thank you for reading, dear TC! I was SO blessed by my visit to your place today...I was just in tears as I read the words I SO needed to read right now. God surely knows what He is doing when He orchestrates our connecting this way. I pray your son feels better soon, bless his heart. :)

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  20. Hi Cheryl! I love seeing all the back and forth for the teacup exchange! I have done this in the past, and really loved the community feeling you get from everyone. Your package looks great :)
    Blessings,
    Ceil

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    1. Oh, it is such a lovely, heartwarming sense of community! You are so right. Now, I am already looking forward to the next one! Dear Stephanie...I don't know how she does it all, but she surely is a blessing. I hope God just floods her with many return blessings. God bless you, too, dear friend. :)

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  21. She did a wonderful job picking out these treasures for you.

    Stephanie is such a blessing to us all - and the exchange is SUCH a fine way to make new friends.

    It was nice to find you, through her. God bless!

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    1. Mary surely did do a wonderful job. She is just precious. And, dear Stephanie! May God just bless her abundantly for all she does. So happy to meet you, and to see your lovelies at your blog! I just LOVE that mug you received. So beautiful and rare-looking. God bless you...so happy to meet you, Michele!

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  22. You received such beautiful gifts from Mary, and the apple mug is perfect for this time of year. Such a cute box that it came in ;) I think the biggest gift you received was your renewed friendship! What a wonderful way to reconnect.
    Wendy

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    1. Isn't it just perfect? I am SO grateful to Mary and her sweet thoughtfulness! I agree that the biggest gift is the renewal of our friendship! What a wonderful way to word that! Thank you ever so much for your sweet visit and words. I will be coming to see you now! God bless you. ;)

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  23. Hi Cheryl, so nice to meet you and thank you for stopping by and your kind comment and new following. I just love the treasures you received. The apple mug is lovely and perfect for the season along with the other special goodies you were gifted. Love the Pray bookmarker. What a blessing that is and yes, praying brings calmness. The verse you share from Matthew is one of my favorites. There is also a hymn written from that verse "Come unto Me" and I used to sing it as a child. I had to smile as I was reading the words. They mean so much to me.
    So nice to find you through the exchange. Not only do we make new friends with our giving but our visits too. Stephanie's efforts to bring us this event twice a year, delivers blessings in many ways.
    Wishing you a wonderful evening and have fun visiting.
    Blessings and Joys be yours, xo

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    1. Oh, thank you so much Celestina! I am just so grateful for it all, and just look at how many new friends we have all made today! It is just wonderful, and I am so thankful you stopped by and are following now, too. What a wonderful day it has been! God bless you, my new friend. :)

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  24. Hi Cheryl! What a lovely package you received from Mary! I am familiar with Mary's sweet blog and she has featured a couple of my photos on her blog. You have been given lovely gifts...and like you said, that beautiful box is a gift in itself, as mine was! Stephanie's exchange is such a great way to meet new friends, and your case, be reunited with an old one! Hugs to you sweet friend!♥♥♥

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    1. Oh, how wonderful that she has featured your photos! It has been such a pleasant day meeting new friends and catching up with old ones. So thankful for dear Stephanie and all she does for us all! Sending big hugs back to you, dear friend!

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    1. It surely was. Thank you so much for your kind comment and visit! I will be coming to visit you now. :)

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  26. I always love seeing what everyone gets and gives... So much fun!!

    ~Trisha

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    1. Oh, I know what you mean! I love seeing them, too! I have had a ball looking at so many sites and meeting so many new friends! So thankful to meet you and ever so grateful for your visit, Trisha!! :)

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  27. Cheryl, thanks so much for you kind words! I have enjoyed getting in touch with you again! ((hugs))
    I have been meaning to send you an email or snail mail and maybe I'll get it done this week. Today I was sick and didn't accomplish much, but I did get my mug exchange blog post up, so I feel like I did do Something! :-) hehe In an effort to actually get something done on time this week I managed to mail a birthday card to my sister so that it might arrive on her birthday - but I forgot the stamp. So, yeah....it's going to come back and be very late. So, you're not the only one I'm late in communicating with. ;-)
    Rejoice in the Lord!

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    1. I have enjoyed getting in touch again, too. I am so sorry you have been so sick, and I do trust Jesus to touch you speedily. I loved reading your blog and appreciate your kind words so very much! I will look forward to hearing from you when you feel better...until then, take care of yourself, my friend. :)

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    1. I think so, too. Each time I see it, it makes me smile. :)

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  29. A mug exchange is such a fun idea. I love getting a special mug from time to time.❤️

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    1. Me, too! Such fun, and the best part is all the lovely friends we get to meet along the way! Thank you so much for stopping by and for your kind words. :)

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  30. Lovely gifts indeed, you received, Cheryl. The mug is perfect and I love the Bible promise book, it looks like a great read. Love the book mark. It is always a good thing to try to keep calm and pray, isn't it. 'Tis a delight to meet you!

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    1. Yes, it truly is a good thing to keep calm and pray. Whew, sometimes the keeping calm part is not so easy! LOL! It is a delight to meet you, too, Kim! God bless you..thank you for stopping by!

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  31. Oh my goodness, what a lovely package you received!! Very nice, Cheryl!! And your iced hazelnut coffee sounds quite delish! I lean toward tea, as a rule, but I enjoy a flavored coffee now and then; I'll have to keep your recipe in mind!! :)

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    1. Oh, you will have to let me know if you try it and how you like it! I like iced tea, but I am not too much for hot tea...just on certain occasions. I have to be in a certain mood, I suppose, LOL! Thank you for your sweet visit, Denise! God bless you, my friend. :)

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    1. Oh, it was! I am very grateful to Mary, and thank you so much for your sweet visit, Lynn! God's blessings to you!!

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  33. How neat that the exchange gave you the opportunity to reconnect with a friend that you've lost touch with. The package that you received is lovely!

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    1. It truly was such a dear blessing, Margie! Thank you ever so much for stopping by! God bless you. :)

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  34. Oh my what beautiful gifts you received in your parcel especially the Keep clam book mark which has to be just about the best I have ever seen. This was my 2nd joining in with the swap and I already can't wait for the next one to commence. Hugs ValeryAnne(aka Mrs A).

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    1. I know what you mean, ValeryAnne! I am so looking forward to it already, too. :) I so appreciated your sweet visit and kind words! God bless you! :)

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  35. Dear Cheryl, Thank you for sharing this precious story! There are people that come along in our lives that have such a gift at making us feel like we are a special gift to them.

    Your special package looked like it was filled so many lovely things. I couldn't think of a lovelier person to receive them. :-)

    My husband started me drinking iced coffee and well, I think I'm addicted! I LOVE it! It's like a dessert in a cup! We have a local store that had free coffee Fridays and I took advantage!

    Thank you for sharing this delightful post!

    Blessings to you my sweet friend. :-)

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    1. Oh, it surely was filled with so many wonderful things! I was so grateful. :) And, I am so thankful for you, sweet friend, and the gift of your friendship and support. May God bless you abundantly!!

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