Wednesday, June 22, 2011

First Day of Summer Fun!

A fun day at Balboa Island!
We couldn't have had a more perfect day!
Jaclyn, our little beach bunny was busy building sand castles!
 Jimmy splashing in the waves and Jaclyn being a little hesitant!
A photo of the Balboa Pavilion from the early 1900's. 
Today this well-known landmark is a restaurant and a fun place to catch a cruise to Catalina!
Balboa Island is also a great place to have a Balboa bar or frozen banana!
A Balboa bar is a vanilla ice cream bar covered with chocolate and/or nuts and sprinkles! Yum!
There's lots of neat vintage signs, too!
The Balboa pier with Ruby's Restaurant at the end.
Ruby's is such a fun place to eat! The menu is 1950's style hamburgers, fries, milk shakes and even vanilla, cherry or chocolate coke! We watched the dolphins swimming by, too! What a fun day to start the summer!


Monday, June 20, 2011

Some Yard Sale Finds

Lately, there have been so many yard sales in my neighborhood! Here are just a few items I've found recently. 
This sweet vintage spice rack was $2.00! 
It's damaged in the upper right-hand corner but, that's nothing a little wood patch and white paint can't fix!
 The after photo! 
I just love it now and it fits perfectly in my kitchen!
This clock was $.50 and did not work! But, oh well, I really don't need another clock. Maybe it would make a nice chalkboard!
I just removed the clock part and used some wood patch to fill in the little hole, then sprayed with chalkboard paint! 
I also found four of these small dainty cups and saucers for just $1.00! A week later, I happened to see this same cup and saucer at our local antique mall selling for $12.00! 
I used my glue gun to attach the cup and saucer to the candle holders. . . . yet another yard sale find!

I am constantly amazed at what I discover at yard sales! Yes, there's certainly a lot of just plain old junk to wade through! But, I love to find something unique, or something I can fix up or paint to my own liking.  I could never begin to decorate my home without all these treasures I find at yard sales! 

I'm linking to Thrifty Finds this Week at Southern Hospitality
The Nester for "Best Yard Sale Finds Ever"!


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What is Pin Money?

I first saw these cute little "pin money" purses on the pages of Romantic Homes magazine several years ago! I had never actually seen one until a few weeks ago when I was browsing through our local antique mall. I thought it was so adorable with the ceramic flowers and rhinestones! Since it was only $6.99, I just couldn't pass it up! I really didn't know too much about them and so after googling, I found out they were made in the 1950's! They are still around, but mostly on ebay.
The expression "pin money" first originated in England where pins were first introduced from France by the wife of Henry the 8th! Since pins were quite pricey back then, ladies set aside some money in order to purchase them for dress-making. However, it was their husbands who gave them this special allowance!
Photo from Romantic Homes Magazine
I think they make a sweet collection all displayed together!
Today the term "pin money" is money set aside for extra little luxuries and treats! I guess you could say I purchased this pin money purse with my own pin money!

I am definitely keeping my eye open for more!

I'm linking to:
Vintage Thingies Thursday at the Colorado Lady
Vintage Inspiration Friday at Common Ground
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage

Monday, June 13, 2011

Old-fashioned Oilcloth!

I've been wanting to cover my kitchen table with vintage, old-fashioned looking oilcloth for quite awhile now! I've seen oilcloth in stores and on blogs, so I finally ordered some a few weeks ago. There are lots of online sources and I bought mine here.  I needed 1 1/2 yards for my round table. Since my table is 48 inches across and the oilcloth was only 47 inches wide, I had to sew a piece on the end to make it just a little bit longer. There is a small seam at the very end, but it is hardly noticeable. It was very easy to sew with!
I just LOVE red and white polka dots! But, I had a such a hard time deciding which oilcloth fabric to choose! There are so many pretty choices! 
I stapled it underneath all around the table, so it would stay on tight.
 Oilcloth is very easy to care for, too! I just clean mine with a little dish soap.
This is the after photo of a tool caddy I found at a yard sale for $.50. It had Disney characters painted all over it!
 I forgot to take a before picture, but I primed it first to cover Winnie the Pooh, then painted it.
My oldest son Josh found these cute dishes at a friend's yard sale a couple years ago and bought them for me! He knew I liked cherries! He's so sweet! They were only $5.00 for 10 place settings, including bowls and mugs! The green checked silverware is from a yard sale, too. They were $1.00 for 8 place settings!!!
So, with some of the left over oilcloth, I made a banner! I'm not sure where it will end up, but put it here for now. I was thinking of maybe making a patio pillow with the rest!
My kitchen definitely needed some more color! I think it looks great now, especially for the summertime! 

I'm linking to Masterpiece Monday at Boogieboard Cottage,
Show Off Your Cottage Monday at The House in the Roses.
Table Top Tuesday at A Stroll Through Life and
Rednesday at It's A Very Cherry World!!


Monday, June 6, 2011

Four Years Ago!

It's hard to believe that it has been four years since we saw Jaclyn's sweet face for the very first time. We knew the referrals were on the way because we heard that the China Center for Adoption Affairs had mailed them out and we were to be included in this batch! After waiting 19 long months, today was the day we would finally find out who this little girl is that would change our lives forever!
I was nervously waiting that day for our agency to call with the exciting news!  But, already having four biological children and experiencing their births, I wasn't quite sure exactly how I would feel. Although, I can truthfully say my feelings and emotions were no different! I use to joke, it would have been far easier to give birth, than to do all of the paperwork, home studies, more paper work, more home studies, the 19 months of waiting and even more paperwork!!!
The very first photo we saw of Jaclyn!

When the call came that morning, we found out we had a daughter and her name was Kong Ci Song. She was almost 2 years old and was living in a foster home in the Guizhou Province. I also learned that she was abandoned when she was about 1 year old. Unless babies are found with a birth note, their birthday is an estimate and typically, the doctor will assign one. The doctor determined her to be approximately 1 year old and made her finding day, her 1 year birthday!

A few days later, I sent a care package to her orphanage. I included some toys, photo album and a disposable camera. I was really hoping that by sending a camera I could catch a glimpse of her life before. Here are some photos that her foster mom took for us.  
I am so thankful God put adoption on my heart. Jaclyn has changed our lives and I truly believe she was always meant to be a part of our family. I know adoption is not for everyone and it's not my intent to make anyone feel they should adopt. 
I sure wish I had those red shoes!
Jaclyn today!

It's hard to imagine from our middle class perspective ever having to make that decision to abandon a child! In China, because of the One Child Policy, parents have no choice!

The One Child Policy-
 The One Child Policy came about in the 1950s, when Mao Tse-Tung urged his people to have lots of children to strengthen the country. The population growth from this edict led the government in the 1970's to be worried that China would be unable to feed their citizens. So, in 1979 the Chinese government implemented the One Child Policy. The goal of this policy was to keep China's population below 1.3 billion by the year 2000. Today, China is home to over 1.2 billion people. Couples who violate the One Child Policy are subject to fines (equal to three years salary), community ostracism and even jail time.
Baby boys are more valued in Chinese society than are baby girls because boys carry on the ancestral name, inheritance laws pass property on to sons, and sons are responsible for taking care of aged parents. Because of this, many couples will abandon a baby girl, which amounts to thousands of baby girls abandoned every year!
The babies are abandoned in public places (such as busy streets, railway stations and in front of public buildings) so they will be found quickly. The babies are abandoned as infants,  usually when they are only a few days old. In addition to little girls, special needs babies (both boys and girls) are also abandoned because most parents in China do not have the money to provide for their needs. Once found, the babies are given a medical exam and then taken to orphanages.

143 million orphans around the world are waiting!


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