Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Well Hello, Sweets! It's so good to SEE you! I'm throwing my cyber-arms around your cyber-neck and giving you a big SQUEEZE because I've missed you so much! What a long time it's been since I've been here last! I have been on a "Bloggy Break" for about 3 weeks and it has been really great. I finished up not one but TWO swaps, worked on not one but TWO big surprises that I'm going to unveil in just a couple more weeks and spent some lovely time with my own little family. It's going to take a few posts to "catch up" but I'm going to do a little bit of that today and then go from there!

FIRST, I want to thank you SO VERY MUCH for the precious responses you left on my last post about my friend, Marianna and her son, Andrew. I forwarded them to Marianna and she thanks you, as well. She updated me the other day and it seems an elderly lady passed away and her children are selling Marianna's family the exact same model of wheelchair lift that was stolen for a fraction of the $8,000 a new one could cost. It's still very pricey but doable because of the generous contributions being recieved by the person in charge of the new "Andrew Teller Fund" established in Andrew's name. The Tellers are floored by the outpouring of generosity, goodwill and kind sentiments from you and lots of people locally in the South Bend, Indiana area. So for those of you who left a comment, said a prayer or donated funds in Andrew's name, THANK YOU. Marianna, her family and I are all very grateful to each one of you.

Next, I want to show you the incredibly yummy swap gifts I got from the sweet Natalea Kandefer of (here's her shoppe: Kandeland). We were paired up for Artsy Mama's "Vintage Party Swap" and had such fun creating party pretties for one another! I asked for "tea-party"-themed items and oh boy did Natalea deliver!!! Wowzers! Look at what this sweetie sent me....

Here's how it arrived. Soooooo yummy and pretty, right? And when I pulled back the pretty papers, look what I found!

Here's a list of what I found inside this incredible package:

-"Tea Room" sign
-Vintage tea cup and saucer
-Vintage milk glass (hobnail) sugar and creamer
-5 tiny tea spoons
-Bag of raw sugar sticks (so cute!)
-Honey sticks
-Treat "pedastal" dish
-Two gorgeous tea-cup cards (blank)
-A book about the history of tea
-A magazine about tea
-Tea-cup-shaped cookie cutter
Isn't that all so beautiful and perfect for me??? I am particularly fond of tea parties and even more so lately, but that's for another blog! ;)

And now here's what I sent Miss Natalea. She has a two-year-old daughter who will turn 3 in the Fall so she asked for party items for the upcoming festivities. Here's most of what I sent her:

-Favor bags
-Party supplies (plates, cups, streamers)
-Vintage pink rose-shaped napkins
-Altered pink satin hanger (for the bday girl's party frock!)
-Altered candle holder
-10 tiny "ladies" in pink
-Vintage Holly Hobbie honeycomb tabletopper
-Vintage girl's straw hat
-One of my "signature" ;) birthday cake tags

What a fun swap! Thank you , Kari, for hosting this one!

And just last week I was sweetly surprised by this incredible gift package from the dear Joni of Vintage 1955. I featured a darling vintage spindle of lace a few weeks ago and she sent me this gift to say "thank you." Isn't that so kind of her? Just LOOK at the detailed (sewn!) tag that topped the package... And vintage goodness inside!

In addition to swaps I've been working on not one but TWO big surprises that I am going to reveal in just a little while. These are not little surprises! THEY'RE HUGE! Here is just a HINT....
There is also some construction going on over here. I have mentioned before that we built our house next to my inlaws last year. The plan has always been that my father-in-law would have a HUGE garage/shop built on part of "our" property and that we would all share it. He has always wanted a bass boat and this garage will be home for the new boat! So this last week the foundation was poured and the wood was delivered. James and his dad will work on building this monstrosity over the next few months and James will learn a thing or two about wood-working. Andrew was quite excited about the digging, tractoring and dumping of cement that went on here. Here's a really bad photo of him looking on while the cement was poured....

Oh and here's a couple piccys of the day trip James and the kids (read: NOT ME! I HAD A BREAK!) took to Yosemite. We live in Central California where we are literally 2 hours from the gorgeous California coast and less than an hour from the mountains. It's only about 2 hours to Yosemite National Park which is just GORGEOUS and a must-see if you're ever visiting here. People come from all over the world to see it. James and I used to go up there for hikes and day trips when we were dating and even got engaged up there! But on this day it was just James and the kids...
Just look at that sky.

Pretending to fish???
Those little dots by the water are the girls and you can see the waterfall (one of them!) waaaay up there on the mid-right...
I claim no responsibility for Emily's hat. It seems it was in the bag with the hats and mittens??? Kinda Little Miss Muffet-ish, dontcha think?? :) Emily took this shot of James and Andrew. James sometimes wears a beanie at night in the winter so when he put this on at Yosemite, Rachel asked, "Daddy, why are you wearing your jammie hat??"
In the piccy below you can of course see Andrew in the backpack and the girls in the stroller but in the BACKGROUND is Half Dome WHICH I HIKED WHEN WE WERE DATING! cow...that was hard! All in the name of love, I tell you...I was VERY MUCH in love at the time and it was seriously 12 hours of the hardest hiking I have ever done in my life. What a feeling to be on top of that peak, though! And here's Andrew in the late afternoon....all tuckered out!
I wish I had a shot of Happy Mama, cleaning and crafting away at home while the rest of the family played in the mountains but I don't! But wow...what a great thing to have a husband who WANTS to take the kids for the day and give me a break. All you mamas know how necessary this is and what an extra treat it is to not have to "take" the breaks or insist upon them. I just love that guy!

I'm going to stop there for today! Phew! That was a lot for one post! Back to work I go. Hope you are each having a lovely Thursday. Tonight is Open House at the school and Emily will be participating in the May Pole dance. She is quite insistent that I bring the camera along tonight but not to take pics of her winding the May Pole. Oh no! She wants me to take pictures of the INSECTS in her classroom. Ewwwwwww.....


Alison Gibbs said...

Oh what fun to play at home all by yourself

Jessi Nagy said...

cute cute cute!!! welcome back!!!! awesome swap stuff!!!!

Victorian Lady said...

Welcome back! :)


Rebecca said...

Soo glad that you had a wonderful break. Sounds like you go a lot accomplished!! Yes, it means a lot when Hubby does something soooo sweet. Glad they had a fun time in the mountains while you had a great break at home!

Hugs and Blessings,

leesiebella said...

Heeey, Welcome Back!


We missed you! But I'm glad you had a nice break!

What sweet piccys from Yosemite! Love 'em!


Betty said...

Wow! A hubby who will take three kids to Yosemite! He's a keeper! Welcome back Cheryl! I can't wait for the big reveal!

Jennifer Hayslip said...

Welcome back sweetie pie!!! Your goodies from Natalea are SO sweet and fabulous! You are ready for another mini tea party now! And the swap goodies you made her are the SWEETEST! LOVE your gift bags!The girlie image is SOOO CUTE!!!! Im sure she loves ALL her goodies. WHat FUN & SWEET pics of the kiddies on their day out with daddy. That one picture of Rachel just CRACKS me up!!! I swear the facial expressions on her face sometimes are just priceless! So animated! The pic of Andrew and James is awesome! He is such an AWESOME HUBBY!!! Hope to see a Monday Yummies soon! :)) XOXO

Heather ~ Pretty Petals said...

Welcome back Cheryl!! Been missin you... :))

I love the pretty views you have shown from your hubby and kiddos day trip... wow... I cannot believe you hiked up that mountain!! I am pretty certain I would have killed myself if I did!! lol

Gorgeous little swappy gifts and I can't wait to see you big projects. xoxo

Our Hands For Hope said...

Was that swap fun!!! I got to play with this one too...

Unknown said...

Girl I love the party items you made for the swap! I also really love the photos taken at Yosemite park...beautiful! Glad you had a relaxing break! Can't wait to see what you have up your sleeve!


Anonymous said...

Welcome back sweet girl!!!! I've missed you!!!
It must be so awesome to live in's such a beautiful state!!

*huggies* Dara

Natasha Burns said...

Welcome home!!!! Missed you and your happy fun posts! Love the pics of Yosemite, it looks incredible and how sweet of James to take the kiddies for you. LOVING the swap goodies from you and from Natalea, wow oh wow you two were a fantastic pair!

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness you're back!!
I have sooo missed your blog posts.

This entry was worth waiting for though...such beautifully inspiring photos!!

Britta Lee

Kari said...

Welcome back! What fun stuff you got for the swap. So glad you had fun with this one!!!

Heidi said...

Welcome back! I loved the Yosemite photos. I had a good laugh at the jammie hat comment! I love kids!


Cheryl Miller said...

So nice to have you back, Cheryl! Glad you had a good break. Thanks for the wonderful pics of your little family. Looks like they had a gorgeous day in sunny California! It's still FREEZING here!

Southern Lady's Vintage said...

What a beautiful family! I am so glad that you and your family had such a great time together! The photos are awesome! Thank you for sharing!

I love your blog and will be adding it to my blog roll!