America

My country, ’tis of thee,Sweet land of liberty,


Of thee I sing;


Land where my fathers died,

Land of the pilgrims’ pride,


From ev’ry mountainside


Let freedom ring!

Let’s Party… The Art of Homemaking.  Show and Share.  BTTCG at Berideen’s. No Place Like Home  Tuesday at My House

Tweak it Tuesday.  Inspire Me Monday.  Inspire Me Tuesday.  The Scoop.  Titus 2 Tuesday.  Thrifty and Vintage  

Make it Pretty Monday.  Monday of Many Blessings.   Let’s Talk Vintage.  Wow Us Wednesday.  Talk of the Town

Share it.  Tuesday With a Twist.  Vintage Bliss.  Inspire Me Wednesday.  Work it Wednesday.  Home and Garden Thursday

Share Your Cup.  Share Your Style.  Thursday Favs.  Suburban Simplicity. Moonlight and Mason Jars.  Wonderful Wednesday 

Thoughts of Home.  Rooted in Thyme.  No Rules Weekend.  Vintage Charm Party.  Making Broken Beautiful.                      Home Sweet Home.  Feather Nest Friday.  Friday Features.  Your Inspired Designs.  Shabbilious Friday. Tada Thursday 

Olives and Okra.  Friendship Friday   Friday Favorites Morning Cup of Joe.  5 Star Fru Fru.  Home Matters.  

Sweet Inspiration.  Best of the Weekend.   Vintage Chic.  Peace Love and Link.  Share it One More Time.  Sunday at Home

Inspiration Monday.  Make Your Home Sing.  Busy Monday.  Amaze Me Monday.  Dishing it/Digging it.  Little House Links

Finding Silver Pennies.  Inspire Me Monday.  Merry Monday

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A Sanctuary

Early in our marriage my hero and I agreed that we would not place a television in our bedroom.  We hoped the room would be a private refuge from the world and a place of peace and harmony.  We have done a pretty good job keeping our agreement. It is the only room in the house, outside of Saturday morning snuggles, that is Princess free which means we are free to display glass…without constant worry. Come on in…


One of my favorites collections…quilts! I think they lend a cozy element to any room.


The perfect place to curl up and read. A little patriotic touch with the pillows…plus a nod to my half British hero. Isn’t the antique Tibetan Cabinet beautiful?


Probably my most favorite furniture piece in the house is this antique Chinese Chicken coop…completely cleaned and restored as a wardrobe.


Before we had a Princess room, we had a guest room. It was decorated lovingly with English Victorian furniture and antique perfume bottles…not the safest element in a toddler’s bedroom. It makes a crowded but lovely display…safely away from busy little fingers.

When my hero and I were dating we were delighted to discover our mutual love of glassware.  This is a small sample of our merged collections…and a few recent purchases.  I love the afternoon light through this window.  It has often stopped me in my tracks with the beauty.


My Princess and her beloved Baba…they also stop me in my tracks with their beauty.  Happy Father’s Day!

Let’s Party…

Monday of Many Blessings.  The Art of Homemaking.  Show and Share.  BTTCG@Bernideen’s.  No Place Like Home

Tuesday at Our Place.  Tweak it Tuesday.  Inspire Me Monday.  Inspire Me Tuesday.  The Scoop.  Titus 2 Tuesday

Thrifty and Vintage Finds.  Make it Pretty Monday.   Let’s Talk Vintage.  Wow Us Wednesday.  Talk of the Town

Share It.  Tuesday With a Twist.  Inspire Me Wednesday.  Work it Wednesday.  Home and Garden Thursday

Share Your Cup.  Share Your Style.   Thursday Favorites.    Suburban Simplicity

Moonlight and Mason Jars.  Wonderful Wednesday.  Thoughts of Home.  Rooted in Thyme.  No Rules Weekend

Vintage Charm Party.  Making Broken Beautiful.  Home Sweet Home.  Feather Nest Friday.  Friday Favorites 

Your Inspired Design.  Ta da Thursday.  Shabbilious Friday    5 Star Fru Fru.  Morning Cup of Joe.  Home Matters

Friday Favorites.  Sweet Inspiration.  Best of the Weekend.  Share it One More Time.      Peace Love and Links

Sunday at Home.  Inspiration Monday.  Make Your Home Sing.  Busy Monday.  Amaze Me Monday.  Dishing it & Digging it 

Little House Links.  Finding Silver Pennies.  Funtastic Friday.  Create With Joy  Olives and Okra  Vintage Bliss

Presenting….The Dining Room

I hate to admit, a majority of our meals are eaten in the kitchen.  It just seems easier with a three year old who still throws rejected food downward…we’re working on that. I love the idea of a formal room dedicated to dining and conversation.  I imagine 100 years worth of happy announcements from soon to be parents, heated debates from teenagers and life advice passed from generation to generation. This dining room has heard talk of war, discussions about the generation gap and dreams for a prosperous future. I envision wide eyed children listening in rapt attention to a grandparent’s tale from the old country and tear streaked cheeks when faced with a empty chair that was filled just the day before…life happened in this house…and we strive to add our voices to the very essence of this home.


Our dining room, like our living room, is a bit crowded with our treasures from around the world.  I try to keep a happy balance of high and low elements with a few touches of whimsy.


With a very formal antique crystal chandelier,  I  wanted to create a more casual window detail.  These grainsacks from Europe add a rustic touch…and they were super easy to do.


Looking for an adult beverage…just open the antique Chinese cabinet.  My favorite vintage suitcase holds glass decanters and seltzer bottles.


A simple patriotic touch on the table seems so appropriate in the Summer…

…and speaking of Summer, the Princess is quite taken by our vegetable garden, although she does seem a little perplexed as she contemplates a radish.

Let’s Party…

The Art of Homemaking.    Show and Share.    BTTCG at Bernadeen’s.     No Place Like Home.    Tuesday at our House

Tweak it Tuesday.     Inspire Me Monday.    Inspire Me Tuesday.    The Scoop.     Titus 2 Tuesday.    Thrifty and Vintage

Make it Pretty Monday.    Monday of Many Blessings.    Let’s Talk Vintage.    Wow Us Wednesday.    Talk of the Town

Share It.   Tuesday With a Twist.    Inspire Me Wednesday.    Work it Wednesday.    Home and Garden Thursday

Share Your Cup.    Share Your Style.    Thursday Favorites.    Thursday Inspiration.    Suburban Simplicity

Moonlight and Mason Jars.    Wonderful Wednesday.     Thoughts of Home.   Rooted in Thyme.   No Rules Weekend

Vintage Charm Party.   Making Broken Beautiful.    Home Sweet Home.   Feather Nest Friday.   Friday Favorites

Your Inspired Design.   Shabbilious Friday.    Must Love Home     5 Star Fru Fru.    Morning Cup of Joe.   Home Matters

Sweet Inspiration      Best of the Weekend.    Share it One More Time.    Peace Love and Link.   Sunday at Home

Inspiration Monday.    Make Your Home Sing.    Busy Monday.   Amaze Me Monday.  Dishing it/ Digging it

Little House Link.  Finding Silver Pennies.    Anything Blue.  Ta da Thursday

The Call Of The Front Porch

True story….I was ready to rent this house the first time I laid eyes on the front porch.


I think you can see why.   Come on up, the drinks are always cold…and always free!

Fluttering flags…


…and a lovely antique potato wagon bursting with blooms.  

The perfect space to celebrate life…

…and show off newly discovered skills. ( I made this wreath myself, not perfect…but what is in life.)


Could you imagine a better spot to relax and ponder good literature?

Let’s Party!

The Art of Homemaking.     Show and Share.     BTTCG at Bernadeen’s.     No Place Like Home.     Tuesday’s at Our House

Tweak it Tuesday.     Inspire Me Monday.     Inspire Me Tuesday.     The Scoop.     Titus 2 Tuesday.     Thrifty and Vintage Finds

Make it Pretty Monday.     Monday of Many Blessings.     Let’s Talk Vintage.     Wow us Wednesday.     Talk of the Town

Elizabeth and Co.     Share it.     Inspire Me Wednesday.     Work it Wednsday.     Home and Garden Thursday

Share Your Cup.    Share Your Style.     Thursday Favorites.   Thursday Inspiration.   Suburban Simplicity.   

Moonlight and Mason Jars.    Wonderful Wednesday.     Thoughts of Home.     Rooted in Thyme.     No Rules Weekend

Vintage Charm Party.     Making Broken Beautiful.     Home Sweet Home.   Feather Nest Friday.    Friday Favorites

Your Inspired Designs.     Shabbilious Friday.    5 Star Fru Fru.     Morning Cup of Joe.     Home Matters.     Friday Favorites

Sweet Inspiration.      Best of the Weekend.     Share it One More Time.     Peace Love and Link.    Sunday at Home

Inspiration Monday.    Make Your Heart Sing.     Busy Monday.    Amaze Me Monday.    Digging it and Dishing it 

Little Homes.    Finding Silver Pennies.     Anything Blue.  Tuesday With a Twist.  Ta da Thursday.  Olives and Okra

A Broken and Beautiful Smile

Sometime, in the early stages of our adoption journey, my husband and I had to make the difficult decision as to what special need child files we would be open to review. With the average wait of 6 years and climbing for  “healthy” girls from China, the special needs program offered a shorter wait and often included very minor or correctable needs. 

 After much prayer we listed the needs we felt we could manage and waited for God to put his plan into action. Flash forward about 6 months and we received that highly anticipated phone call and email file! As I gazed at that beautiful face I noticed her big brown eyes and smooth skin, her adorable ears and her gentle hands…I did not even notice her unrepaired unilateral complete cleft…it just did not matter, she was our baby.  

Our Princess was 20 months old and living in the remote mountains of Northern China. 

But what is a cleft palate/lip?  A cleft is a gap in the mouth that didn’t close during the early stages of pregnancy, and this kind of birth defect happens more often than you may realize. It is estimated that, worldwide, a child is born every 3 minutes with a cleft — about one in 500-750 births. Sometimes a cleft condition can be easy to see because it’s an opening in the lip. Sometimes it’s harder to tell if someone has a cleft because it’s an opening in the roof of their mouth (called the palate.)
There are many risk factors that can increase the likelihood of birth defects. While some causes are still unknown, genetics and family history, pre-existing medical conditions, poor nutrition and exposure to harmful environmental substances can affect the healthy development of a baby. As a result, these factors could also be the cause of a baby born with a cleft lip or cleft palate. We will never know why it happened but we will never know where her outstanding fine motor skills came from either…and that’s OK.  

 Our Princess after we met her in China, already charming her Mama and Baba

 Cleft lip and cleft palate can be repaired through a series of surgeries and orthondontics.  While it can be corrected, it really is not an “easy fix”…despite what you may see in Operation Smile advertising.   Our brave girl has had 3 major surgeries and some pretty extensive speech therapy with quite a few more surgeries in her future…continuing into her young adulthood.


Her first surgery at Johns Hopkins 

  She is a spunky bright little girl who charms everyone she meets. She is very determined to speak clearly and has made huge strides with her speech therapy.  The only real struggles we have with her are probably universal to every family with a three year old….Does the phrase “I do it myself” sound familiar? She is our joy and we are humbled and honored that God has entrusted her into our care.  It really is a miracle.