What is THIS all about?

Thanks for coming to my Blog! I am a Daughter of a King, Daughter, Sister, Wife, Mother of five, MomInLaw of two, and Gram of three. Designing and creating feeds something inside of me! This blog will be sharing about my faith, my family, my life, my creations and collections. I am on a journey to learn balance and will be sharing about that as well. Enjoy!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Decoration Day/Memorial Day 2013



I was raised by parents who are very patriotic.
I have grown up "Loving My Land, America".

Coming from a singing family, it is easy for me to break into song at the sight of the American flag, 
or hear a song in my head when I see military personnel in uniform in an airport. 
I have also been known to express gratitude to them spontaneously,
for their hard work and sacrifices made to keep someone free.

In Memory of those who have died, serving their country, but more importantly,
providing Freediom from oppressive governments and people.

I have some other thoughts to share, but right now I have some flowers to place on a few graves.

I love this vintage picture that belonged to my husband's Grandmother. I keep it 
on the top of my kitchen cabinets to remind me....

Have a Memorable Memorial Day, I will post more later!
Hearts, to My Land American and you, my bloggy friends!

Betsy

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!!


I often go walking in meadows of clover
And I gather armfuls of blossoms of blue.
I gather the blossoms the whole meadow over.
Dear Mother, all flowers remind me of You!

Oh, Mother, I give you my love with each flower
To give forth sweet fragrance a whole lifetime through.
For if I love blossoms and meadows and walking,
I learned how to love them, Dear Mother, from You!


The beautiful white, with a hint of peach, roses in this bouquet were
given to me by Daughter*2 and her hubby for Mother's Day.
There are a dozen. They cannot be here so they gave them to me early. I added them to an
arrangement I already had, after removing the spent flowers.
I just love them and wanted to share their beauty with all of you!

Happy Mother's Day to all of you!
If you are not a mother, you can still have a Happy Mother's Day,
Celebrate your own Mother and the things you learned from her.
How to behave as well as how NOT  to  behave!
(That comment is specifically for MY children!)

I am Grateful to my Dear Husband, that he wanted to have children with me,
and grateful for the blessing of five amazing, humorous, fun, sassy, intelligent,
thoughtful, silly, musical and patiently forgiving children.
They make our lives so rich! 

I am grateful for a MomInLaw that is so kind and generous and good and loving to me
and has such a good time with our family. She helps me so much, and
has been for 32 years. She treats me like I am her own daughter.

I am grateful for a Mother who rocked me, read to me, encouraged me, spanked me,
cheered me, listened to me, sewed for me, taught me so many things 
cried with me, laughed with me, rejoiced with me and
loved me through everything life brought our way. 

I am thankful to Heavenly Father for the blessing of such good examples of Mothers in my life. 
I hope that I will be the Mother my children at least laugh at later in their lives
if not think of me fondly! I think they think of me fondly...and in frustration, and 
patience and understanding and hunger, and when the laundry isn't done, and. . .
when there isn't any gas in the car, and when I am late. . .again...
and when dinner is on time and it's their favorite meal!
Thanks for loving me, kids! At least it was not boring around here!

Happy Mother's Day to you all!

Heart hugs!
Betsy

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Prom Dinner with THE dishes!

Last weekend was the Junior Prom Dance at our high school and my Daughter was invited
to attend with a friend, who is also a cousin to her cousin....but not HER cousin.
The guys in the groups' Mothers all had things going and I offered to do the dinner at our home.
Daughter*4 is our youngest and there have not been any formal Ladies ask Gentlemen
Dances at her school! I WANT to be able to do some formal dinners for her!
She has been the server for her siblings formal dinners as she grew up, and
it is HER turn to get to be the princess and be served! 
So, Daughter*2 and Hubby came out to help me! I helped them with something, too, while 
they were here, so it was a great swap! SILaw set the table!!!! And took pictures for me. I intended to take more, but somehow the dinner priority arrived! This isn't even the final way the table looked before dinner!
My Battenburg lace cloth.....get this....used to be a shower curtain! Our Son....hehehe.....
decided to try out the scissors when he was little and cut a huge chunk of fabric
from the shower curtain, bless his little heart....*rolling eyes*. I just
couldn't let that beautiful center go to waste. When helping for a nieces wedding reception, my Sweet MomInLaw carefully cut around the center medallion so I could have this for a table cloth. 
Doesn't it look pretty amazing over the colored topper? 
I used a green topper under the battenburg, since my yellow and green dishes accents are
in our dining area on display for the spring, as you see in THIS POST. The battenburg lace napkins in the cups I have had for years. I got them on 75% discount along with a 120 inch table cloth, there are 12 napkins!
I made placecards for each of them and placed a wired daisy around the stem of the girls goblets.
Daughter*4 made her own corsage and her date's boutonniere and there were flowers left over. 
The plates shown are the American Ateleier Athena Charger Plate, Athena Dinner Plate, Sweet Olive Designs Fancy Scroll Collection, and the top saucer is American Ateleier Baroque. We used the saucer for the dessert plate. Doesn't the Baroque look great with the Athena? It is a great compliment to the other dishes, but adds even more variety to the table! So many combinations with dishes!
This was our side table, of course, we have to serve our Sheffield Cider! I think they went through four bottles. The silverplate cooler I found on ebay very inexpensive and gave it to my hubby for Father's Day last year. He thought it was great! We have wanted one for a long time, even though we do not drink alcohol, and since we actually make sparkling cider now, it just seemed like the right time to find a good deal on one! (And I get dishes for Mother's Day, he could get dishes for Father's Day, right? *smiley Face* )
We started the meal with a glass of our Heirloom Raspberry Cider. It is a limited edition sparkling cider that we have only had a few months. (Actually, I don't like this one as well as the others. They have a more complex taste than this cider does, and I like the depth and variety of flavors in those complex ciders)
This was how it all looked the night after the dinner and pretty much looks like this today.
Someday soon I hope to refinish my table and chairs. Hopefully this summer.

This group of teenagers always has a great time together.
The guys looked nice in their tuxes, but had to take an "OREO" picture.... still the same little boys they have always been! *smiley face*



The girls are very good friends. They run around with lots of girls and include anyone that wants to come with them to have good, clean, silly fun.  This "Charlie's Angels" pose is always a favorite of theirs. Some of these kids call me Mama E., they are like adopted children to me! And being able to do this warms my heart! I don't know why it is SO MUCH FUN for me...but it is! I can't seem to stop myself! I could not have done it without the help of Daughter*2, her Hubby and my MomInLaw's encouragement! Thanks so much for making it a wonderful evening for The Princess! SonInLaw even made molded herb butter for me to serve with the Asparagus! He is awesome! Some time I might actually remember to take pictures of the food!
We will see what Mother's Day dinner brings!
Hearts to you all!
Betsy

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Blissful White Wednesday ~ My White Dishes

You have seen some of my dishes before, but here is their story! And they are Blissfully White to me!
These are a long story... like all my posts! But this one you'll be amazed at...
American Atelier Athena Ironstone, a pattern that was discontinued at the end of 2008. 
I had purchased most of my dishes before the style was discontinued, but I still picked 
up pieces here and there from ebay and an online store that still had pieces left, as well as 
getting some pieces as gifts from family for all the yearly times you get gifts!

Last December, for my birthday, we found this dishes cabinet on Craigslist for an amazing deal! I was so excited, I have always wanted one of these and this was in the wood finish I wanted, at a price we could afford. It was love at first sight, just like the dishes! 
I had never seen dishes I LOVED before! The first time I saw them, they were in a catalog and at a price I could NOT afford. So, I cut out the picture and price list out of the catalog and folded it up so I could look at the dishes longingly over and over until they were no longer available, but I could always have the picture...I have never had fancy dishes. 20 years ago we bought PyroCeram Corningware dishes that were a commercial grade corning ware. I have LOVED them. Even with five children, they have lasted and lasted, drop after drop, but they were just regular plain white dishes. When I saw these, 
I knew they were just what I wanted in my fancy dishes.
It was just before Christmas of 2005, and I was about two weeks into one of the rough anxiety times I have had over the past 15 years. When I get in that particular place, I really sequester myself. I don't talk to anyone (believe it or not), I cook and eat really healthy, no sugar or dairy, I clean my house like crazy, and exercise every day. I immerse myself in positive music, positive thoughts, prayer and scripture. I could see where things were heading, I had been there before, and I decided that I would call the catalog and see if there were any dishes left to keep me company in my self induced isolation. (My body hurts so badly during those times, and emotionally I am a wreck, so it is just easier to stay at home mostly. I only go grocery shopping and to church.)
The dishes weren't pictured in the most recent catalog and I hoped what they still had would be on clearance. And they were! In the second picture, you can see some of the pieces I got from there. The large pitcher, the gravy boat, the salt and pepper shakers, and the butter dish. There was also a 9" vegetable bowl and a creamer (the picture to the left) and sugar dish set. I asked if they were on clearance and she said, "More like clearance, Clearance, CLEARANCE!" There was also one box of dinnerware, or the computer said there was one box, so I said, "I will take it all!" When the box arrived, there wasn't actually a box of the dinnerware, they couldn't find that box. But when I looked at the invoice I was so surprised! The cost of those eight pieces and two lids, was only about $20....plus shipping! I could not believe it! (I found out later that in the less expensive online store, just the pitcher sold for $16!) And then the REAL fun began!

I started looking on ebay and after a month or so, guess what I found. . .? ? ? An entire set of these dishes, in a service for eight. . .Eight Charger plates (the large plates in the back in the above picture), Eight dinner plates (on the bottom of the stacks in the picture on the right), eight salad plates (in the picture above this picture in the stack on the right) Eight Bowls (on the left of the picture on the right...figure THAT out!), eight saucers and cups, a Teapot, cream and sugar, salt and pepper, three canisters, a 9"vegetable bowl, a pedestal cake plate and server, a 13" platter, a gravy boat, a large pitcher and a butter dish!!!! I also found the dishes in an online store. I was able to purchase this entire set for the online price of 7 of the charger plates, plus the shipping.

I was so excited when the dishes came! But when I opened the box... 7 pieces were broken, even though it had been packed well. Broken dishes were 3 charger plates, a cup, the cake plate, a bowl and a plate. I talked to UPS, the shipper, and told them what happened. They asked me to figure out what it would cost to replace the dishes. During the time I had been looking for the dishes, I realized that a nursery home decor store about 2  1/2 hours from me carried these dishes! But they were as expensive as the cataog had been. So I went to the online store, with discounted prices and copied and pasted the pictures and information into an email to UPS. I also took pictures of the broken dishes, so they could see what mine looked like after being shipped. I gave them the quote from the nursery home decor store as well as the online store info. They thanked me and said an adjuster would be vising my home to check the packing job of the shipped dishes. No one ever called or came but what did come was a check from UPS in the amount I gave them from the online store....which just happened to be nearly the same amount I had originally paid for the ENTIRE SET OF DISHES!! So, YOU KNOW what I did then...went back to ebay and within a few months ANOTHER set for eight came up for auction! Not all the pieces were there in this set, but there were a few pieces that I didn't have yet! Six large mugs that are wonderful for hot chocolate! So, I bought another platter, salt and pepper, sugar and creamer, dinner plates, salad plates, bowls, cups and saucers, teapot, vegetable bowl, gravy boat and butter dish! And I only spent the amount of the check from UPS! I have never had anything like this happen to me! Two sets for the price of one that was a really reduced price. The really interesting thing is that there has not been any more sets like these come up on ebay since. I have watched! And these dish prices have risen there for individual pieces!.

But, I did find a few MORE pieces, also made by American Atelier, the style is called Baroque, and it has a similar look and groups so well with the Athena dishes. Each plate is different in pattern or shape and is so much fun to mix with different colored salad plates or dessert plates. For the Spring, I have yellow "Fleur de lis" dishes by Sweet Olive Designs that Daughter*2 and her hubby gave me for Mother's Day last year. They were purchased from One King's Lane and I just love them! The white plates and bowl with the yellow flowers and green leaves belonged to my Mother's Mother, who died when I was a year old. I have always adored these dishes and was so happy when I inherited them. It warms my heart to have these dishes where I can see them and reminds me of the times, as a girl, I felt so "grown up" when my Mother let us eat with these "very special" dishes!!! : ) They still make me feel special and loved. I also have other vintage clear goblets and dishes in my dishes cabinet that I got from my own Mother, or antique shops or thrift stores. The waffle iron was my hubby's Grandmother and it still works! We even use it!
Some of the silver and glass items in the picture to the left are from my Mother's things, some of my Mom~in~law's things, the silver bowl in the back was a wedding gift 32 years ago. The mini wine cooler/toothpick holder I purchased from Lululizinlalaland's Etsy store, La Croix Rosion. It was made in Sheffield, England and since our sparkling cider is called Sheffield Cider, it was just too perfect and I had to purchase a few of them from her! She also had those lovely vintage French rusty keys, they usually hang on the door knob of the cabinet. The bottle coaster was another item I found on ebay that was made in Sheffield, England. It had a small piece broken off of it and I got a great deal on it! I use it when I do cider tastings as well as when we drink cider for special dinners. Some of the goblets are crystal and from the thrift store and the goblets on the left are the ones we use  everyday. I have really enjoyed these dishes and continue to. I try to use them at least once a month for a family meal and more often for lunch with my hubby. One day our son said "Dad, can't you make her stop buying those dishes?", he was 14....My hubby said "Oh, leave your Mom alone, she loves those dishes!" I said to him, "Someday you will all leave me, and all I will have for fun is my DISHES!" Now I have enough for all my kids to get some dishes and they enjoy the special family dinners we have with them. I have tried to take some tablescape pictures with them, but I never get everything done in time to take pictures before the meal.
When the kids were younger, we would have candlelight dinners with everyone dressed up and on their best behavior. They would ring the doorbell and introduce themselves as they "arrived". They each spoke with some kind of an accent, and treated each other as guests and friends. My hubby even participated. He asked how I wanted him to dress, and I said "However you'd like, just not in jeans and a t-shirt." Once he came dressed as "Elvis" in a suede jacket and greased hair with LOTS of cologne on. Another time he came as James Bond...dressed in his wetsuit with a swimming mask on his head!
Sometimes our meal was Pizza or homemade macaroni and cheese on paper plates, but there was music and candles and fun and we have great memories of those meals. Now we use nice dishes and candles and eat fancy food, and are still making wonderful memories of fun meals together. And now our son even thinks the dishes are great! He just wants to inherit some! If you made it all the way through the post, thanks for reading my LONG stories!
Heart hugs to you!

Betsy
Linking to 
Blissful Whites Wednesday
at Timewashed
Thanks so much, Becky!
The counter between the pantry and the refrigerator. Vintage Madeleine and
LadyFinger pans from Lululiz's Etsy shop, La Croix Rosion.
The pan in the back makes small Madeleines, and Grandgirl*1 is going to share
this pan with me, so we can make tiny ones for hot chocolate parties!
Also, Daughter*4 and I are trying to drink more water so we placed our carafes on the
counter as well, to use for our water glasses and they look nice
as part of the counter decor.

This post was featured at
Blissful Whites Wednesday!!!
Thank you, so much, Becky!
I am so glad you like my dishes!