Monday, November 29, 2010

Treasure and Teaparties.....

As I mentioned in my Thanksgiving day post, last Wednesday I went to a lovely little antiques mall with my MIL and found some treasure to bring home...This treasure was 3 orphaned teacups and they inspired an afternoon garden tea party that same day...

The table is set...

But where is Nanma?

I'll get her says lil Sara..Screaming at the top of her voice...
"Nanma Tea Party" all the way to the house, over and over again lol

Here they come...Look at that excited little face.

Photo credit for the above 4 images goes to my eldest daughter Mic...
She appears below in the orange shirt

All the girls are at the tea party, even Nadia the dog who hates to miss anything.

Lil Sara was so excited to be having a tea party with her Nanma, before we even got the table cloth on the table she had gone inside and go her little wicker chair, even if it is to short for the table, that is the chair SHE wanted lol

Tasting to make sure her tea (milk) is just right...

Since I only found 3 teacups at the antique mall I gave lil Sara a white cup to use...But she did not mind, this was her first time using real china and that was enough to make her proud of herself.

As the tea party was not planned I did not have any cookies in the house so cut up a couple of strawberry pop-tarts into "fingers"...This did not fool the littlest guest at all, but she was still happy to nibble on them between sips of her milk.

A look at our table...
The "scones" are left over buttermilk biscuits from breakfast with jelly and cream added...very yummy indeed...This was the first time the Alice pot has actually been used, it held more than enough tea for everyone...the milk jug and sugar bowl I got on special from Target last year, I also found the tiered cake server during the same trip for just $1.99..The tray of course was one of my recent thrift store finds...Lace table cloth came from Dollar General years ago and the blue underneath is a bed sheet, shhhh don't tell...Napkins I made a couple of years ago with fabric from the $1 rack in Walmart.

This lovely handmade doily was created by Hubby's Granny many years ago...My sweet MIL brought me a bag full of them and matching table runners this visit.

I paired each orphan cup with one of my plain white saucers,
they look like there were made for each other.

Now a closer look at the Orphaned Cups:

Yup more blue and white cups for me...

Look how pretty the inside rim is...

Lovely detail even on the handle...

Made in England...

Can you believe these pretties were just $3 for all of them??
How could they not come home with me??

Sharing this treasure and our garden tea party this week with:

Rose Chintz Cottage & Inspirations - Tea Time Tuesday

Lady Katherine Tea Parlor - Tea Time Tuesday

Wander Lee and Pam's - Tea Pot and Tea Things Tuesday

and party Co-hosts:

Martha's Favorites - Tea Cup Tuesday
Terri, Artful Afirmations - Tea Cup Tuesday

And lastly

Marty, A Stroll Thru Life - Table Top Tuesday

Feeling Spiritually Lifted...

Before I post the tea party, I thought I would give a little update on yesterday's church service...Sara was more than happy to be returning to the Pine Grove Church Nursery, I barely had my foot inside the door and she was gone to play with the other children...I got my parent security badge and headed into the service...

Each song we sung lifted my spirits more and more, the sermon was tailor made for my heart...For the first time in years I actually felt like sitting in church was a blessing rather than a chore...The rest of my day was wonderful, even Sara's over tired tantrum later in the day did not frazzle my nerves like it usually does...You can believe I am looking forward to our next visit.

As an added bonus, I got a phone number from one of the ladies to set up a play date for her 3yr old son and Sara, something I have been praying to happen for months now...I am feeling very encourage this is where God wants us to be.

Praising the Lord

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Could This Be Our New Church?

Today will be our second time at the Pine Grove Baptist Church, our first visit was lovely and I honestly felt like I had "come home" but would like to attend a few more services before making a decision to move...Lil Sara had a wonderful time in the nursery which was full of other toddlers and since she is in desperate need of socialization this is a very good thing.

I am excited to see what the regular preacher is like as on our previous visit he was away and his son gave the sermon which was very good and spoke to my heart, I am hoping today will be the same...I was also warmly received by the members and did see a few familiar faces since most of our immediate (5mile radius) neighbors attend Pine Grove...It is only a 5 minute drive from our house v's the 15 minutes to our other of the many reasons for the change.

Yesterday was an exceptionally trying day with Lil Sara, whom got out of bed in a bad mood and was cranky and whinny all day...I am in desperate need of a spiritual lift this morning so today's service could be the deciding factor to if we have found a new home church.

I have also being "trying" to meditate on Psalms 91 during this rough spiritual season in my life though meditating on anything with a toddler demanding attention can be a challenge...For those of you praying for us, I thank you and ask you to continue to do so.

Blessings and Love

Saturday, November 27, 2010

My Goal This Week....

This week my goal is to finish up the Main Street Photography website after over a yr of delays by both parties...I would love for it to go live to their domain by Wednesday or Friday at the latest.

There is only tweaking left to be done, some sample photos to be switched out and we should be good to go...This of course is easier said than done with lil Sara demanding my attention most of the time.

Currently she is sitting in the front room whining about the fact her big sister is not playing doll house the right way apparently...Unfortunately with the lack of coherent English skills coming from the toddler the situation can be a challenge to rectify....But this does highlight the reason why this is my last commercial site build until Sara is in school full time.

Don't get me wrong I love the little princess but she just happens to be one of those children that at this age can make just getting a load of laundry done a challenge, so it is not a good season in my life to be designing and coding a websites for a paying clients...So instead I will just focus my creative energy of fun toddler friendly crafts, decorating the house and sneaking in my blog entries.

So having said all that, now she is occupied by my darling teen I should get to work on said website.

Blessings Kelsie

Friday, November 26, 2010

Company and Weather to be Thankful for...

One of the many blessings of living in rural Florida is the weather in November is just perfect to enjoy a Thanksgiving feast under the oak tree...It was a lovely 80 degrees with a soft breeze and of course the view did not hurt either :)

You may have noticed the table arrangement plans changed from my previous post...We still had the same tablescape, just changed location to eating outside to enjoy the lovely day...Also lil Sara decided to nap thru lunch, which I did not mind at all, allowed me to enjoy my meal lol

This week alone gave us so many things to be Thankful for...But mostly to be able to enjoy the company of David's family for a few days tops the list and we can't wait for the next visit...

We made the most of every minute they were here...David and his dad built a "horse swing" for little Sara and planted a huge gardenia by the house.

MIL and myself had time to squeeze in a wonderful shopping trip, including a mini antique mall where we both found treasures to take home...My treasure being 3 little teacups that inspired us to return home and have a lovely garden tea party with the girls which I will share photos of on Tuesday ;)

We then headed to Walmart to find lil Sara a dress for the upcoming family photoshoot...It was a delightful time with her being more than happy to try on and model each dress for not just us, but for several of the staff members also...Lots of lace, frills and princess spinning was had before the final decision to buy the lovely tulle layered gold dress.

Thanksgiving day David's oldest brother and his wife made the day trip from Orlando to enjoy a late lunch with us and then in the evening we all ate birthday cake to celebrate an early 75th Bday for FIL...We finished the day enjoying the view of the evening sky...Another blessing of rural life, once we turn off our house lights all you can see is the twinkling of millions of stars.

I hope everyone else's holiday was a blessed as ours.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sharing My Thanksgiving Table

I hope the lovely hostess' of the Tuesday Tea Parties do not mind me sharing my Thanksgiving table instead of a tea today...Since both involve gathering around a table and sharing delicious treats from lovely china I hope it is ok.

On Thursday we will bring in a larger table so we can sit 8 more comfortably and this table will be moved to in front of the breakfast bar to be used as a buffet table for all the yummy food.

I know during the dry run not all the silverware was in place or the glasses, they happened to be in the dishwasher at the time lol.

Now for a break down of the elements that make up my Thanksgiving table:

The dinnerware I of course shared last week as my best thrift store find EVER..You can see the post HERE if you missed it. Napkins are from Bealls for 40% off. Table Cloth is a Shower Curtain form Dollar General because it was the only thing I could find in the color I wanted. Candle sticks I already had for a project I have not gotten to yet.

My center piece is functional with my thrift store oval serving platter holding the salt and pepper shakers (also thrift store). I found this sugar bowl and milk jug set at Target ages ago, but since they are both quite large, they will be functioning as a gravy jug and the cranberry sauce will go into the sugar bowl....The leaves and berries came with the pumpkins I purchased a few days ago and tie in nicely with the berries on the napkins.

This is my take on a "Music Sheet Wreath"...First thing you might notice is that I did not use music sheets but pages from an old law text book I picked up for $2 at the thrift store...I love the large blocked numbers on the top of each page...I also could not just leave it well enough alone and soaked half my pages in a red food coloring bath to turn them pink...I also just had to add some glitter (pixie dust) to the ends for some extra sparkle lol...I was going to share the original tutorial on another blog but now I can't find the link...Oops sorry.

And of course my painted pumpkins with the berries to just add a little whimsy to the event...

And lastly the pilgrim family that will grace our buffet table:

Thanksgiving Day Menu


Turkey Breast
Smoked Ham


Sweet Potato Casserole
Green Bean Casserole
Sautéed Squash
Corn on the Cob
Coli/Broc Cheese
Deviled Eggs

Bread Rolls
Cranberry Sauce


Pecan Pie
Pumpkin Log
Sugar Cookies

I hope the family enjoys our First Thanksgiving in the new house.

I am sharing our table today with

Rose Chintz Cottage & Inspirations - Tea Time Tuesday

Lady Katherine Tea Parlor - Tea Time Tuesday

Wander Lee and Pam's - Tea Pot and Tea Things Tuesday

and party Co-hosts:

Martha's Favorites - Tea Cup Tuesday
Terri, Artful Afirmations - Tea Cup Tuesday

And lastly

Marty, A Stroll Thru Life - Table Top Tuesday

Monday, November 22, 2010

Duck killer is probably a Bobcat....

A little update on the dead duck...As I mentioned in my previous post the duck had been buried under a pile of leaf litter in the woods not far from the pen...On closer inspection the scratch marks look a lot like that a cat would make when burying its scat...but a very large cat to have been able to take my 9 pound duck.

So I got online and did a little research and from what I read it looked to me like a bobcat was the responsible party...Since it was over the weekend I had to wait till today to be able to talk to one of the wildlife biologists from the Florida Dept of Fish and Wildlife about what I had found...I described to him what I had found and seen over the weekend and he confirmed my suspicions that we more than likely have a bobcat in the area again...Neighbors had to kill one about 6 to 12 months ago for killing their life stock...Which turns out to be fortunate for us because they have offered us the use of their traps and motion camera...I also sent the biologist photographs I had taken of the "duck mount" to see what he thought...Waiting to hear back from him on those.

We had thought about a year ago we had seen something that "could" have been a bobcat passing through our old backyard...Now we are pretty certain we did...Around that time we had been losing chickens and it would tie into the time frame when the neighbors were having trouble.

I hate the idea of having to kill it but it is to much of a dangerous animal to leave roaming our property...I am also worried for our outside cats and even my 11yr old dog...Maybe with my reinforced chicken pen preventing it getting anymore food it will move on to else where...Let's hope so and that we have seen the last of it.

On with some good news...I am running right on schedule with my Thanksgiving prep work...Helped I put Sara in daycare today instead of tomorrow...I plan to share photos of my table tomorrow will yall...The thrift store plates look so pretty :)


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Bumps and To Do lists....

The count down to T-Day (Turkey Day) continues and I am slowly working my way thru my to-do list but of course there is always interruptions to the flow of things.

Yesterday morning when hubby went to let the chickens and ducks out of the pen he came up one duck and one chicken short...Well we found the chicken Leo sitting in one of the nesting boxes but alas our sweet Tweedle boy Dee was most certainly gone...Something during the night had pushed the wire out, right next to where he and his bother Dum sleep and taken him.

So after I finished painting my pumpkins and doing the dry table run for Thanksgiving (waiting for Sara to take a nap so I could work outside in peace...yer right! funny me) I got to go out to the chicken pen and fix the hole and re-enforce the rest of the pen...I also added a door to the actual coop so for double measure we can close them in at night, but now it means they have no chicken yard access until we get out to release them each morning...The point of the yard was so they could have some roaming room before we let them out to wander the property during the day *sigh*

While fixing the fence that borders the trees I noticed a pile of feathers about 15 feet from the pen, on closer inspection, whatever killed our duck chose to bury it in the "woods"...So now I am thinking it was possibly a dog...I am so sick of loosing my birds to dogs because their owners are not responsible to keep them under control...The fact the chicken pen is lite up by the driveway security light also backs up our dog theory, as I don't think a coyote would risk being that expose and then leave its catch behind.

Now if this was not enough, last night Sara chooses once again to act the fool and in the process bump her head on a door...I get sick to my stomach every time this kid bangs her head...Of course she does it right at bed time (actually after bed time because she decided to lay down on the living room floor at 4.30pm and take a nap...yes the same nap I had been hoping she would take at 1pm...arg) So back to the head bump, because it was almost 9.30pm I now have to keep her awake until 10.30pm...Needless to say I did not get as far into my to-do list as I would have liked yesterday.

So today's goals are:
Clean bathrooms
Make bed in guest room
Change sheets in other rooms
Put away folding up then start on the next round of laundry
Finish special craft projects with Sara
Have teenager clean car
Write shopping lists and prep guides for next week
Shampoo Hot Sauce out of speaker in living room (this is what happens when the angel throws a bottle across the room and it explodes)
And now wash couch covers since while I was typing this she "spilled" her apple juice on them
All while answering the ever present "mummy" and try and keep up with potty training.

Between you and me, I miss having a "job"...I did less work then lol

Please keep me in your prayers

PS: For those of you who ask hubby on the phone how things are and he says "No Drama's Here" that only means no drama he personally had to deal with....Gotta love

Friday, November 19, 2010

Quick Pumpkin Make-Over

The count down has definitely begun for T-Day...I did a dash to Dollar General this morning hoping they had a pilgrim or 2 left for me to make a center piece for the table...I know leaving it a little late most places have already sold out of all things Thanksgiving...

Fortunately for me DG still had a few things and yay already on the clearance rake...I did find my pilgrims but will share those another time...I want to show you the super quick make-over I gave these little fellows I found on the clearance rake for just 80 cents each...You can believe I grabbed the last 6 in a hurry...I have been coveting all the lovely white pumpkins I have been seeing the last few weeks and finally I have a chance to make my own...yay

Here is a before paint but with flowers, berries and leaves removed...and then with the first layer of paint added and rubbed back...I used Vintage White craft paint...

The finished pumpkins have 2 coats of paint rubbed back for a lovely shabby chic look...The berries were part of the original "garland" the pumpkins had on them, I simply used my hot glue gun to reattach them after the paint was dry.

I can't show you the rest of the table yet as I want it to be a surprise, but I am super happy with the results..Another thing on my Thankful list :)

Blessings Kelsie

Email Address Change...

Yesterday morning we switched to Hughes net who offer a much faster and better service for much less than what we were paying for WildBlue...And with no contract, so if and when DSL becomes available out here in the sticks we can make the change if we like without receiving any penalties.

The downside to this is, now I have to go thru everyone of my online accounts and change the email address..This is always a PITA because I am worried I will miss an important one like when we moved from NC to FL Hubby forgot to change his eBay account over and then when he wanted to use it again a couple of years later he had no way to retrieve his long forgotten password...Oops.

We have left ourselves with a grace period where both the new and the old addresses will work for the next week, in the meantime I guess I will write me a list and slowly work on making the change over as Lil Miss Sara allows lol.

Blessings Kelsie

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

One Year Ago Today....

We began clearing the way to build our family home on the location we believe is very close to, if not on the place the original homestead stood over a century ago...I also began this blog on that day as a way to document and share this journey with our family and friends...Along the way both the blog and the house have become so much more than I ever dared to dream...

This photo was taken from the top of the driveway when we arrived for the first time in Feb of 2004...The old trailer had been the home to Hubby's Great Uncle, the final family member to live on the property before we moved here a couple of yrs after he passed away...He is still our neighbor as he is buried in the family plot that shares a border with our 5 acre parcel.

Following are some then and now photos taken from the same spots in the yard one year apart...

Top of Driveway
17th November 2009, minutes before clearing began

20th November 2009, clearing completed

17th November 2010

North West Corner of Front Yard.
17th November 2009, minutes before clearing began

20th November 2009, clearing completed

17th November 2010

Thank you for traveling this far with us...I hope you will stay with us as we see what lies ahead...

Will be sharing this anniversary for


Monday, November 15, 2010

This weeks TO DO list..

I have noticed so many of my favorite bloggers are in the kitchen baking up a storm or crafting the most gorgeous creations for the coming holidays...How could I not be inspired by yall?

This week we are (I am ) going to be busy around here.

I will be in the kitchen baking with my eldest daughter for Thanksgiving and getting our favorite soup prepared to go in the freezer to be used next week...Will try and share that recipe with yall :)

Main Thanksgiving menu is settled, now I just need to get the shopping done for it.

Preparing the house for company..Fortunately with the new house this is easy to do and leaves me free to just be excited they are coming and count down the days till they arrive. (8 more sleeps yay)

I have a very special craft project to work on with lil Sara.

And I am not sure if I will have time this week, but I am itching to get started on our homemade Christmas decorations for the inside tree using some of the amazing tutorials I have come across in blog land...Picked up pink spray paint and silver glitter last night...All other materials will be sourced from around the house or the great outdoors...Fortunately I have a pretty well stocked craft room for most any other pieces we might need...Finding them on the other hand can be a challenge lol...This yrs theme is going to be Pink/White/Silver homemade decorations.

I also need to find some nice fabric to make napkins to match the new dinner set...Walmart carries only one brand of napkins and none are the color I want and they are over priced too...I can make 6 to 8 at the same price or less than one of their 2 pks...I wish target was closer to us.

So I think that is my extras I need to get done this week...I am sure I will think of more as the day goes on lol.

How are your holiday preparations coming along?


Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Tale of 2 Teacups....

Our story begins one Friday morning not too long ago...Last Friday to be precise...When I entered the thrift store with the intention of dropping off my eldest daughter who does volunteer work there and donating a pillow cover that was the match to one I had donated the week before but had been in hiding...Leaving my older daughter to watch Lil Sara in the kitchen wares while I popped the cover into the office to be re-united with it's mate...

On my return to kitchen wares I happen to glace at the cup rack and my eye was immediately draw to 2 cute little blue and white teacups.. Alas, what a shame they did not have matching saucers.

Images of having a lovely tea party with these cups nested in their matching saucers danced through my head...Then I reminded myself I was NOT buying anything today and gathered up my toddler and turned to my left to leave....and that is when it happened...

Not just the matching saucers but the ENTIRE dinner set (though only 4 teacups instead of 8) was sitting on the shelf calling my name...I turned to my daughter and asked her if she thought they would let me make an offer since I was sure the price tag they had on it was over my budget...but was too scared to look and see....Quickly I spoke to the manager and made her an offer of $20 for the entire set...she even more quickly agreed and sent the girls to fetch a box to pack it up for me...At the register the other manager rang up my naughty guilty pleasure and then gave me my daughter's discount as well...SO now I have the entire set for just $15...

What a lovely table I will be able to lay for our Thanksgiving dinner and one more thing to be thankful for...

Now it was not until I reached home that I took the time to look for a stamp...Remember I simply purchased it because I loved the pattern.

Interesting, even though they are the same size plates these 2 have different stamps on do the other pieces...then some also have no stamp...Curious...I am a novice at this so anyone that can shed any light as to why this is so I would be very grateful.

This seems to be the most common stamp on the set

Then this one

This stamp is only on one piece and is super blurry in is not just my bad photography this time lol.

I later found out they were glad to finally sell the set, as it had been tucked away on the shelf for months...Thank you to the person that moved those cups for me to see them...

What little research I did have time to do revealed that the set is Homer Laughlin and the pattern is called Sturbridge or also known as Blue Onion and it is a discontinued pattern from the 1980's...A quick glance at told me that I paid about 10% of what the actual value of the dishes are...So I think I am going to chalk this up as my best Thrift Store find EVER.

Little tip for those of you living in the Chiefland FL area, check out the Hospice Thrift Store next to Winn Dixie...You just never know what you might find.


PS: Today (Monday) when I took Daughter to work 2 more cups and 3 cereal bowls had come to light at the store...Bless the manager, she would not allow me to pay for them since they should have been with the other pieces when I purchased them and besides the bowls had chips in them...She is so sweet.

I will be joining the following tea parties on Tuesday to celebrate.

Rose Chintz Cottage & Inspirations - Tea Time Tuesday

Lady Katherine Tea Parlor - Tea Time Tuesday

Wander Lee and Pam's - Tea Pot and Tea Things Tuesday

and party Co-hosts:

Martha's Favorites - Tea Cup Tuesday
Terri, Artful Afirmations - Tea Cup Tuesday

And lastly

Marty, A Stroll Thru Life - Table Top Tuesday