Take Me Out To The Ballgame

Just a few weeks ago, we were blessed with the opportunity to host 2 young men (high school) in our home from Canada.  The Canadian’s came to play a 5 day long baseball tournament against 8 other state teams: Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Missouri, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.  It’s kind of crazy they come to our little remote town in the middle of no where Oklahoma.  But they do, and it’s a BIG DEAL. {College scouts come from all over}  Anyway, what’s even more insane is that 200 of these baseball players stay in homes of families in the community.  I believe that most families house 2 boys, but there are some families who had up to 5 in their home.  Over the 7 years we have lived here, I’ve heard heartwarming stories about this tournament…really the experience of hosting the players.  Now we know why.
Take Me Out To The Ballgame

Above is one of our boys {yes, we host families used that term} we hosted at bat. {For privacy’s sake we will call him #17}  I love this photo because it also has the whole team and coaches in the background too.  Below, 17 is running from second to third.

Take Me Out To The Ballgame

Take Me Out To The Ballgame

Above 17 makes it to home plate.  I love how my camera captured him looking as though he is on his toes.  17 played designated hitter about half of the time while the other half he played outfield.  Now let me introduce our next boy, #21.  He is one of the pitchers on the team and stands at 6’4″.  He is TALL!  And he can pitch a fast ball.

Take Me Out To The Ballgame

I swear it looks like he almost does the splits when he throws the ball.

Take Me Out To The Ballgame

Take Me Out To The Ballgame

There was a digital display of the speeds for all the pitches thrown and below shows the speed of one of 21’s pitches.  I know he threw some faster ones, but this is what it was when I decided to take a photo of his speed.

Take Me Out To The Ballgame

Take Me Out To The Ballgame

In the above photo you can see how tall 21 is compared to the rest of the team.  Below is both the boys after a win!

Take Me Out To The Ballgame

One night we had a team swim party and they still played baseball…{that’s 17 with the bat}

Take Me Out To The Ballgame

Below – Us host moms took a photo together.  We had fun talking about ‘our boys.’  All of us host families got to know each other.  It’s like we were a big extended family.  We sat together at all the games…cheered for our boys.  We all had great experiences with our baseball players.  It was fun learning more about the Canadian culture.  There is NO TELLING what they said about our southern accents.  Best of all is how quickly they were able to integrate into our families.  My son loved having ‘brothers’ for the week.  All of the kids enjoyed having older ‘brothers.’  The other moms talked about how they would play with their kids and help out around the house.  They were true gentlemen with gracious manners.

Take Me Out To The Ballgame

Below 17 plays catch with my daughter.  Isn’t that sweet?

Take Me Out To The Ballgame

I caught a quick shot of the boys in the back yard before they started their outdoor adventures.

Take Me Out To The Ballgame

On the next to the last night of the tournament they announced all of the players and their host families.  We walked on the field. (below)

Take Me Out To The Ballgame

After, we took a big photo of the team with all the families. (below)

Take Me Out To The Ballgame

Take Me Out To The Ballgame

Take Me Out To The Ballgame

Believe it or not, the last photo was before they boarded the bus to go to the airport.  I’m glad I wasn’t in the photo because it was sad for me to say goodbye to these 2 young men.  We ate meals together, I helped them with their laundry, drove them to their games…basically did all the things mom’s do for their own kids.  What can I say, I’m a softy.  I’m so glad we had this experience before we move back to Texas.  I hope to keep in touch with them and know they have a bright future playing baseball at a college here in America.  By the way, in case you are wondering how Team Canada did in the tournament…they won 2 out of 9 games.  However, they beat their record from last year where they lost every game.  You have to understand, baseball is not a popular sport in Canada.  As a matter of fact, they don’t have high school or college baseball in Canada.  These 2 boys come from a private club team.  So the Canadians have a little disadvantage competing against southern boys who have probably played baseball since they were tiny.  #17 has only been playing baseball for a couple of years.  Personally, {& yes, I’m proud to say I’m biased} I thought they did great!  I was very impressed with the team and their coaches.  I was worried they might be in bad moods after losing games, but they never were.  They were happy to be here and happy to be playing the game.  For us Team Canada families, they are number one.

Baseball brings joy,

Vintage Bridal Shower Part Two

Vintage Bridal Shower Part TwoWelcome back to the vintage themed bridal shower I helped host for my dear friend, Tandy.

Today I will feature all the goodies we served.  My other two sweet hostesses were the amazing chefs who made and prepared the food for the shower.  It was a good way to divide the tasks.  I was in charge of the invitations (which I will be sharing with you in a future post) and the decorations.

Vintage Bridal Shower Part Two

My Happy Helper

I must mention how grateful I am for my sweet 10 year old daughter who helped me clean the house before the party.  She mopped the kitchen, breakfast area, mudroom, laundry room, and 2 bathrooms for me.  I was so thankful for her being a happy helper.

The gorgeous book to the left is Tandy’s Instant Photo Book.  I asked her to bring it so we could have it out as decoration.  The book will soon be filled with photos from her beautiful wedding day.  I remember her telling me she bought it from a store on ETSY.  I have a feeling I will need to get the name of the shop…you want to know don’t you?

On to the treats!

Vintage Bridal Shower Part Two

I was so excited to use the china my parents gave me along with platters and pretty formal serving pieces.  Don’t you just love the milk glass cake stand my Oma gave me?  I adore the holes for ribbon.  Not sure if the holes were intended for ribbon to be weaved through them or not, but I sure love dressing it up that way.  The cake almost didn’t make it.  The bottom tier was made with fresh strawberries while the top tier was made with fresh pineapple.  It was nice and moist (extremely delicious) which made it slide around during transit.  We were happy (and relieved) the cake made it here whole and together.

Vintage Bridal Shower Part Two

Vintage Bridal Shower Part Two

Vintage Bridal Shower Part Two

Vintage Bridal Shower Part Two

The above chocolate dipped cones with fruit were a huge hit!  Brenda, one of the hostesses, is an art teacher (she was my oldest daughter’s art teacher.)  I’m thinking her skills came in handy, don’t you think?

Vintage Bridal Shower Part Two

Tandy’s mom, Carri, the other hostess, made fresh whipped cream for the fruit. (above photo) {I added the chalkboard tag ;)}

Vintage Bridal Shower Part Two

Look at how Brenda arranged the veggies above.  She hollowed out pieces of bread and carefully arranged the vegetables.  They are like little vases of colorful flowers.  I’m extremely impressed with her masterpiece below.  It’s practically a work of Van Gogh how she arranged the cheese and grapes with celery.

Vintage Bridal Shower Part Two

Vintage Bridal Shower Part Two

Carri made the yummy spinach dip above and served it in a bread bowl. {excuse the way the spoon is sticking out…my bad}

Vintage Bridal Shower Part Two

At the last minute I decided to order some French macaroons.  I’ve seen them served at showers on Pinterest.  We found a French bakery in Tulsa.  These little pastries made me gain 5 pounds! {Well, those and all the leftover cake left at my house.}  The macaroons are colorful, pretty and delicious bites from heaven.  Oh and a little warning…the blue ones made our teeth blue…so don’t look too closely at our teeth in pics.

Vintage Bridal Shower Part Two

We also served sausage meatballs (thanks to Tandy’s Dad,) pinwheels (cream cheese & veggie concoction rolled up in tortilla) {bummed I didn’t get a pic of those}, salsa, crackers and veggie chips.  Carri made yummy raspberry lemonade to drink with all our treats.

Vintage Bridal Shower Part Two

Carri & Brenda looking at Instant Photo Book

Vintage Bridal Shower Part Two

One of our creative friends made this for Tandy

Vintage Bridal Shower Part Two

Carri & Tandy

Vintage Bridal Shower Part Two

Isn’t she a beautiful bride to be?

What a wonderful celebration of LOVE!  Thanks for coming by. Vintage Bridal Shower Part Two  Please come back again.  Follow Family Brings Joy on your favorite social media sites.  You can find me via the icons at the top right of the page for Facebook & Twitter.  My Pinterest and Instagram are also on the sidebar to the left.  As always, I thoroughly enjoy ALL comments.  Comments are a bloggers nourishment.  They help us keep writing and creating great content.

Showers bring joy,

Vintage Bridal Shower Part One

Between the blasted heartbleed virus, busy life and editing pictures I’m a little late in posting this.  I apologize.  As a matter of fact, I’m still weeding through which photos I want to share.  I’m down to 42 out of almost 200 photos taken.  Instead of weeding through them again, (and postponing another day) I decided I would split them up.  This post will be the decorations, while tomorrow’s post will be the food table.

You will find I was able to make most of my decorations…

Welcome to my friend’s Vintage Bridal Shower (hosted in our home.)

Vintage Bridal Shower Part One

The shower sign you see used to be a shelf in one of my kid’s bedrooms.  I shopped in my attic and found the wood board calling my name, “use me!”  I sanded it a bit and used the chalkboard spray paint to paint one side.  I have to confess I don’t draw letters this pretty.  I used my Cricut to make the letters and traced them with chalk.  I liked the idea of using the board as a sign on my front porch.  I can erase the chalk after the shower and write another word for whatever occasion I want.

Front door wreath:

Vintage Bridal Shower Part One

This wreath was made from a pool noodle.  I recycled a soft old blanket that had a whole in it by cutting it up in strips and hot gluing them on the noodle.  I made the blue flower with the blanket and hot glued the buttons on to the center.  I made the pinwheel out of kraft paper.  The wood fan in the background is one of the party favors we gave the guests.

Come on in to the foyer.

Vintage Bridal Shower Part One

I finally painted the heirloom desk given to me by my Oma.  I used my favorite paint, Annie Sloan Chalk paint in old white.  The shower helped motivate me to breathe new life into this desk.  I temporarily (for the shower) placed it in the foyer to use as a welcome table.  I made the ticket garland by sewing the tickets together.  I hot glued one of the girls old locker chandeliers which was sitting in my garage to the top of the old suitcase.  The veil was mine.  Tandy’s mom was one of the shower hostesses and she brought Tandy’s card box she plans to use at the wedding as well as their engagement photo.

Vintage Bridal Shower Part One

Vintage Bridal Shower Part One

To the right of the foyer is the dining room.

Vintage Bridal Shower Part One

Vintage Bridal Shower Part One

I made this heart garland with my paper heart punch.  Placed 2 hearts together and sewed them together one after another.  I used scrapbook paper with her colors of coral, turquoise, cream and browns intermixed with (actual) map and music paper for a vintage feel.  When it’s finished you fold back the hearts to give it dimension and voila!  I think this was my favorite garland I made.  I bunched several paper poms together to make a sort of pom bouquet to hang down from the ceiling.

Vintage Bridal Shower Part One

Vintage Bridal Shower Part One

In the foyer to the left you see:

Vintage Bridal Shower Part One

I made the below garlands.  Sewed circles together for the top.  The bottom pom garland was made from tulle and tied onto cord.

Vintage Bridal Shower Part One

Vintage Bridal Shower Part One

Both of the above garlands were hanging in the foyer and you saw them as soon as you walked in.

Living Room:

Vintage Bridal Shower Part One

Vintage Bridal Shower Part One

Vintage Bridal Shower Part One

I shopped from home for most of what you see here on this mantel.  If you’ve been reading for a while you will recognize many of the items.  I did find the coral candle holder and vase at my favorite local discount store Walls.  The Precious Moments couple was on my wedding cake.  I added some scrabble tiles spelling the bride and grooms names onto the old type setting drawer.  I have a close up of their names on Instagram (@familybringsjoy)  I found the blue hanging pails at Hobby Lobby.  The white flower bouquet is also from Hobby Lobby.  I forgot what the live pink flowers are called in the other blue pail.  I bought the burlap bunting at Hobby Lobby, but I cut out the big letters using my Cricut and the small letters using my QuicKutz.

WARNING: The following garland might shock you:

Vintage Bridal Shower Part One

The panty garland was hung in between the living room and kitchen.  I thought it was a cute idea and added some great conversation to the shower.  Tandy was happy to take the pretty undies with her.

Vintage Bridal Shower Part One

In between the living room and breakfast room:

Vintage Bridal Shower Part One

I kind of went crazy making the circle garland, but I think it added a special touch.

Me with the beautiful Bride to be:

Vintage Bridal Shower Part One

I had so much fun crafting all the decorations for Tandy’s bridal shower. Feel free to pin away and share this post with everyone.  I hope this shower will inspire many more for future celebrations.  Thank you for joining us!  If you have a question, please email me or ask in the comment section of this post.  Only 11 more days until the wedding Tandy!  Come back tomorrow for all of the food we shared. Vintage Bridal Shower Part One

Celebrating with friends brings joy,

Monday Brings Mermaids

Monday Brings MermaidsAre you looking for a good book to read?

Do you like fantasy as much as I do?

Or maybe you want to change genres to spice things up a bit for your leisure reading?

Well, then I have just the book for you!  It is called Fire of the SeaMonday Brings Mermaids and it was written by one of my very special friends, Lyndsay Johnson.  Her book is being released TODAY!  I’m about to buy my copy.  Lyndsay sent me the first chapter to review last June and it is already published!  The fact it went through the editing and publishing process so quickly proves it to be a winner to me!  Besides, who doesn’t like mermaids and romance?  The following is the synopsis you will find on Amazon.

Sharp, sleek, and golden. Like the dagger she has worn since childhood, eighteen-year-old Aeva is all three of these things. But there is something else that this mermaid and her prized weapon share – they are both hunted. Hidden within the caves off Iceland’s dark shore, Aeva waits to take her place as the next ruler of the Mermaids. But when Aeva uses her potent and alluring song to save a drowning human, she disrupts a delicate balance. Realizing she has unexpectedly bound herself to Gunnar, Aeva is torn between duty and love. Aeva severs one life to begin another, and soon finds herself not only rejected by the sea, but also stalked by an old enemy. As the worlds of myth and man intertwine, Aeva will challenge fate to protect her own sacred relic and the man she loves. But legend and lies cast an intricate net. With time and safety quickly unraveling for Aeva and Gunnar, there is only one clear course: Find and defeat Delphine before she can shift again.

Lyndsay also has THE BEST book trailer video I have ever seen:

Fire of the Sea by Lyndsay Johnson (Book Trailer) from Lyndsay Johnson on Vimeo.

Get your copy today by clicking the link below.

After I order my copy I will be taking my Son, the middle child, to get his driving permit.  Yikes!  Oh the grey hairs having 2 children driving will produce.  Wish me luck and PRAY HARD. Monday Brings Mermaids

Books Bring Joy,

Creatively Switching Rooms

Creatively Switching RoomsThis morning I will be packing up my oldest daughter’s room…technically not her room, her belongings in the room.  Now that she is in college, we promised our youngest daughter she could move in to the room.  I’m hoping this activity will not bring too many tears or emotion.  In essence all I am doing is switching rooms.  So it’s not like my oldest won’t have a place to stay when she does come home to visit.  But when she isn’t here visiting, my youngest daughter’s room (which will soon be my oldest daughter’s) will be a guest room.  Are you thoroughly confused now?

I think I’m going to try and make this activity fun by transferring her memory board square items onto scrapbook pages.

Remember when I shared how we made her memory board wall? (you can see the original post by clicking here.)  Below was what it looked like not long after we installed it.  Now it is completely filled with photos and high school paraphernalia.  Those items will quickly transfer onto 12 x 12 scrapbook paper and be a perfect addition to her scrapbook.Creatively Switching Rooms

I’m so overdue for some craft therapy.  My craft room has mainly been used as a gift wrapping room since Christmas and I’ve been craving to get in there and do something creative.  Problem is, it’s quite the mess!  Maybe now that I’ve finally put away the Christmas decorations, I can tidy the room up so I have a place to create again.  Speaking of my craft room…my very sweet best friend from Haven (Home Bloggers Conference) featured my craft room on her site.  Candace’s post from her blog Vintage News Junkie is titled Top Ten Craft Room Makeovers.Creatively Switching RoomsCandace has put together a pretty awesome collection of craft rooms.  I always love to see how people organize and decorate their hobby rooms.  Hop on over to her site and take a look.  I am honored my craft room was included…just so glad you can’t see it now.  I’m not feeling too transparent to show it to you today.

Well, like my Grandma used to say, “I’m off like a dirty shirt” to pack up my oldest daughter’s room. I can do this. I think I can. I think I can.

Happy Monday,