Friday, September 4, 2009

Hello, We're Fine and We've Moved!

Hello Blog Stalkers...


We're doing well, sorry it's been a while! I believe that it is a 'blogging break' record for me. As much as I love this blog {and you all} my house is thanking me because it's actually picked up, not clean, but picked up. Thank you for your thoughtful emails over the last few days, checking in, to make sure everything is ok.

In a very small nutshell...

  • Erika hasn't had her baby yet!
  • I've been making sock monkeys {pictured above and below} for Craft Hope, and encourge y'all to do the same! Follow that link!
  • I had wonderful day on Monday with two precious friends who came from Tallahassee with their babies.
  • I've been trying to choose exterior paint colors for my house, 7 quarts of paint later {and several consultations from gracious family, friends and neighbors} I've finally decided. A very big thank you to my SISTER for graciously running down her favorite paint colors for me.
  • We also spent a few hours with Hornet in the ER on Tuesday night.

After dinner the little rover climbed on the red children's chair in the kitchen and had a seat. He was looking so cute. I was loading the dishes when I glanced over to see that he thought it would be a good idea to stand on the chair. It wasn't a good idea. He immediately fell over off the chair and landed on his head. I was horrified and watched it all take place in a matter of seconds. I scooped him up and made sure he could move his arms and legs and then for about 10 minutes he just wasn't acting normal. He cried at first but then was acting confused, lethargic, wouldn't crawl and wouldn't be his typical "hornet"-self. I tried to be the calm, collected mother-that-I'm-not. And then came the pale skin and profuse vomiting and I decided that it may be more than a little bump to the head. Before I knew it I was on my way to the ER in the backseat of a friend's car with an eerily calm little boy, wrapped in a beach towel. It was quite convenient that our friend just so happened to call the ER doctor beforehand and was still in his own white coat, which helped us quickly bi-pass the swine flu-infested waiting area. The next thing I saw was the kind face of our pediatrician who met us there to treat him. They both stayed with us in the ER until we had the results of the CT Scan, which were negative for any head trauma or fractures. Praise the Lord! And, I must add, I didn't have my camera and they both teased me for not having it! Very rarely is it not handy! :)

So, the little rover is back to roving. He has a large bump on his head but seems to be doing fine. Justin and I both are so grateful that the little man didn't suffer any major trauma and for the selfless compassion of both friends. We stand amazed of both.


In other news, I've been busy working on a new blog. It's been a long time coming... like several months of behind the scenes work. I know just enough about computers, CSS, and HTML to cause a giant mess! But thankfully, I have not been alone in my new endeavor, I have had the gracious help of two others who actually know really well what they are doing! More on them a little later...

My new site is and I hope you will add it to your reader, blog list, etc. It is a new and improved site that will allow me to host my own documents and much more. This will also be the location where the new sponsors will be popping up in the next couple weeks. Thank you, to all the patient business owners who have been waiting for me to get my act together, this was the majority of the "hold up". This blog will remain here but I will no longer be posting here. If you have a link on your blog please be sure to update it with the new site's address.

Marla {photographer and question-answerer extraordinaire} will be there with all the answers to your questions in the next couple days! I've seen a few glimpses at her responses and I'm already thrilled with what I've learned!

And I will be there soon with pictures of my precious neice, I can't wait to get my hands and lips on her and eat her little face off! I'm so excited, I almost feel like I'm the one having the baby, minus the large belly, indigestion, and kicks to the bladder.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

JM Tries to Walk

I'm out of words today. I'm not sure these need any words. If you have a total of 58 seconds to spare, these might make you smile. I've had a long day and I keep watching little man and he makes me laugh so hard. He used to crawl on all fours, he's now traded that crawl for a monkey crawl, the same monkey crawl Paige exclusively used until she walked... where do they come up with this stuff? I fear I'll be returning soon with some walking footage!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Books & A Bellyache

Hello and Happy Wednesday!

The dryer is tumbling and the washing machine is spinning. John Martin is fast asleep in his crib and Paige is playing 'baby dolls' in the playroom. Today was going to be my first morning at CBS. Unfortuantely, the little man came down with a bellyache yesterday, one that required 12 diapers and 5 wardrobe changes all in a matter of a few short hours. A bellyache that I feel quite certain no mother would appreciate him bringing with him to the nursery to pass on to their child. Be sure to wash your hands after you read this... I don't want any of y'all to catch it either. The good news is he seems to be feeling much better today than he did yesterday! Praise the Lord!

I thought I'd show you our favorite books these days. These are the ones we 'go to' regularly... ones that are sure to please, sure to entertain {both reader and listeners}, and sure to teach life lessons that impact little minds and hearts.

First, we'll start with a NEW book, one that came highly recommended to us, The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name by Sally Lloyd-Jones. Sally is a British-American and a member of Redeemer Presbyterian Chuch {Tim Keller's church} in Manhattan and the author of another favorite, Little One, We Knew You'd Come. I can't say enough wonderful things about this book and it's illustrations {by Jago}. The way Sally tells each account from the Bible is so easy for little ears and hearts to understand, yet, lacks no detail. And just as it's title suggests, every story "whispers His name". As she goes through the accounts of the Old Testament she intertwines the New Covenant and what and Who is to come. It's good people! So good. It can be found in the First Pres bookstore, if you're interested!


And the illustrations are so wonderful...


As are the words that accompany them...




The next two books on our favorites list are not books with Biblical messages, however, they are wonderful old books that embrace the traditional role of family.

One being, Richard Scarry's Best Story Book Ever... {thanks, MommaSis and Annmarie}


And second, being my personal favorite by Richard Scarry, What Do People Do All Day?...


This copy belonged to Justin as a child, it clearly has been read a few times and will continue to be read until it can no longer be read. The girls absolutely love Lowly Worm, he's always hiding in the most unpredictable places, who knew a worm could be so entertaining?

Here are a few glimpses behind the cover...







If you're in the market for new or old books, you can't go wrong with any of these! What are your favorites?

Be back soon...

Monday, August 24, 2009

While the Cat's Away

... the mice will play.

Justin was out of town all weekend. It's hard when he's gone, we miss him a lot but I've come to recognize I tend to be more intentional with the children when he's gone; we plan our meals, fill our days, make time for fun outings, etc. I'm not at all suggesting he leave more often, but perhaps weekends like this are good for revealing areas I could do much better at in the motherhood department.

With that said, I don't think Justin will approve of our most entertaining encounter of the weekend. But nonetheless, little brother was a complete sport about it. All 3 were in the girls room when Morgan came running into the kitchen insisting that I close my eyes, hold her hand and allow her to lead me to her bedroom. When I opened my eyes I thought I'd die. They dressed him up...

Without further adieu I introduce to you Johnna Martina and his sisters, who will get major paybacks one day.

Bless his sweet soul, he wasn't sure at first, but with all our giggles {and the girls screaming} he finally decided it was fun. And after that picture sequence Justin may decide it's not safe to ever leave town for the weekend again! I'd be okay with that!

We also squeezed in haircuts. Since John Martin has graduated to the big kid table we borrowed his highchair. When I saw Raiger sitting up there with the black cape, how could I not take a picture? I probably should have done a clean sweep of the countertops first... oh well, they always look like that.


She was so good and with the promise of some Care Bear fruit snacks she did just as she was asked.

And last but not least, would the mothers of small boys {or big boys} please confirm that this is completely normal?


Not the pink chapstick, I know that's not normal. I'm referring to the fact that he stays right under me most of the day. The girls have always been happy to play in other rooms with toys, this little guy wants nothing to do with being in a room that I'm not in. I'm not complaining, I know one day he'll pretend he wants nothing to do with me. :) Now if I could just convince him to let me hold him and rock him like little tiny baby. He likes to be close to me, just not that close.

Friday, August 21, 2009

He's Been Promoted!


To celebrate his new "status" at the big kid table, I put John Bon Martin in his new Rockstar Stroller and took him for a stroll outside yesterday.

At first I just called him John Bon Martin and he wasn't sure if he liked it...


So I decided I would bust into Livin' On Prayer... "whoooa we're halfway there, livin' on a prayer..." He still wasn't sure.


"Take my hand- we'll make it I swear..." {can you tell at this point he's loving warming up to my rendition of Bon Jovi?}


And finally, he decided he LOVES my singing...



I was confident I made a Rockstar out of him, until I started the chorus all over again...


Next time, I'll try How Great Thou Art and refer to him as John Martin Luther, I think it will go over better.

Have a great weekend!

Love, Darby & John Bon Martin

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Please Lower Your Flags

Kipper's gone & so are my girls... I lost them to preschool.

Kipper's stay was short and sweet. I wish I could tell you that his responsible owners sought after him and took him home. Unfortunately, Kipper ran off and I can only hope it was to go home. Thanks to some faithful stalkers :) I know right where to find Kipper and here shortly we may just hunt him down and offer his owner a little dinero for his sweet soul... and then we'll promptly remove his "parts". Shhh, don't tell him.


John Martin LOVED him. You can see here he's about to break his neck just to see the little fella.


Justin was doing some last minute tidying in the yard on Monday morning, which included the use of a wheelbarrow. John Martin was straight from the bed and what better way to wake a little rambunctious boy up than take him for a jaunt around the yard in a wheelbarrow. It almost convinced me to sell all my strollers.




Now to the more painful subject matter: school has started! {And if that's as painful as it gets around here, I am considering myself blessed beyond measure.} Both of the girls started preschool yesterday. Morgan is in the 4-year old class and Paige is in the 3-year old class. I really don't know where the summer went, but I've always said that, even when I was school-aged. I know myself all too well. I am not an organized person. I am not a punctual person. Monday night I spent 30 minutes getting ready so that we could BE ON TIME for preschool. I set the girls alarm clock, laid out their clothes and got their table all ready. They were so excited when they got up... it was almost like some superhero school fairy swept in!




Fresh Keds. Does it get any better? The night before {you may have noticed, because you all notice EVERYTHING} I had the wrong pair laid out {the dirty ones on the left}. Paiger quickly retrieved her new, clean school shoes.

The results of a little late-night "prepping": 2 little girls ready for school AN HOUR EARLY!



I asked them if they'd play quietly in the playroom so I could shower, they strongly protested because I would cause them to be late... I concured, threw up a pony and off we went.

Paige was a little more apprehensive about school when we arrrived.


Thankfully sister was there to comfort her. And it helped that Paige has the same teachers that Morgan had last year.

We ran into cousin, Chapel, in the lobby and couldn't resist one last picture.


Paige did so well and went to her classroom with slight hesitation but didn't shed a tear, which always makes it easier on mom! Morgan has never had a problem going to school, she loves it. She went right in and never looked back!

Thankfully Paiger just goes 2 days a week. So please whatever you do, don't feel too sorry for me, it's not like I'm running an empty nest. Rover will keep me plenty entertained while the girls are at school...


Monday, August 17, 2009

We Call Him Kipper


We turned our renovation efforts outdoors this weekend. It resulted in trees going down, Mule rides, stump grinding and a furry new friend, we call Kipper*.


He belongs to someone, not us, someone who put a red collar on him with no tags. We are temporarily caring for him until his rightful owners come get him. We've also explained to the girls that Kipper's owners are going to come get him and that he'll only be here until then. He's a playful, oafy pup and appears to be under 1 year. He's also a MALE, very MUCH a MALE, I told Justin this morning I'd like to take him to be neutered. Justin said he didn't think his owners would appreciate me taking care of that for them. I'm going to give them a few more days to claim him and then Kipper and I are off to the vet's office for a little PROCEDURE.


He's very lean and fits through the pickets on our fence which can be quite a problem. He's about as sweet as any dog can be and would make a great companion for anyone. He will follow you around the yard and then lay at your feet when you stop moving. He was still in the yard this morning when we woke up. I was half hoping he snuck out and found his way home and half hoping he was still there. Eufaby tolerates him fine. She immediately told him it was her house and she was in charge around here... dogs do that you know. But now she just looks at him and rolls her eyes, as if to say, "you're invading my territory".

Non-Kipper news.... Justin's been thankful for the help of another male this weekend.


And John Martin was elated to be included in the help, even if his help only involved being a co-pilot for a quick jaunt around the yard.

Happy Monday, folks! I hope you all had wonderful weekends too!

*Kipper- we named him after a video we have called Kipper the Dog. Do any of you know what I'm talking about? It's a little British dog named Kipper and it is so cute! The girls love it. I picked it up at TJMaxx or Ross for a few dollars and it's one of their favorites.

Friday, August 14, 2009

coming up for air & the pleated apron

Someone asked what I was doing in the last post... I was right there with them making fruit salad when I smelled a stinky and looked down to John Martin only be taken back by the disaster surrounding us that took the children less than 5 minutes to create.

Usually on days like the one I showed previously {which has been very similar to most of our days this week} I start self-talk that sounds like this, "How in the world am I ever going to have my house picked up? I need 3 or 4 clones. I can't keep anything clean. I clean one room only to turn around to find another disaster. I just finished cleaning up from lunch and now I have to think about dinner... what are we going to have dinner? I have frozen chicken breasts... I guess I'll thaw them out..." then I reach in the freezer to find...


a smiling hedgehog,

that gently reminds me of the joy of the Lord; that I get to take care of these children {and their messes}, that I get to have them home with me, that I get to do their laundry, that I get to prepare their lunches, and that I get to make dinner. That all of the little things that I find to be slightly frustrating have been entrusted to me. And I am thankful...

Or was, until I couldn't find anything to serve with the frozen chicken breasts... it's a vicious cycle you know!

The little ones have also made a discovery. A discovery I really was hoping to introduce them to the summer before they leave for college. But Morgan came in and said, "Mom do you know there's a website called PBSKids. ort ?" I tried to tell her there was no such thing... that it was all pretend... she didn't buy it! :) So, here's our newest challenge.


Sharing time on the computer with 2 kids who don't like to share time on the computer with each other. Conveniently, if they need a potty break they don't have to go far.


A lot of you asked about the board behind me in the picture with the apron. It is a bulletin board that I covered with outdoor fabric and added nailhead trim. I found mine through a local freight company but the brand is Best Rite and they have fabulous products! You should go see. If you've been around long, you know I have a fascination with all things "teacher supply store-ish"... I can add their site to my list. One hangs by our back door {which is open for light}. It is 4 feet tall by 8 feet long.


And I have another one in the playroom that is 4 feet tall by 10 feet long... it's the biggest one I've ever seen and I LOVE it! It has cork around the outside and dry erase in the middle.


It conveniently came with map clips, so I immediately had to find a map, or two.



The map came from a friend who's a teacher that I met through the blog {that will probably make her feel uncomfortable... but it's ok, we're real friends now, not just internet friends}. The retractable map has both the United States and the World. It's really fun!


And last but not least... the apron tutorial. Both fabrics I used were vintage. The floral was my mother's {and has nothing noted on the selvage} and the turquoise came from my grandmother's stash.

Thank you, Marla for hosting the tutorial at your site for me. Please click on this link to save or print the step by step tutorial

Please make one this weekend! It's very easy and I made the step by step tutorial {with pictures} very easy to follow. I would love to see any you make! Feel free to make as many as you want to give away but please refrain from mass producing them to sell for profit on etsy {or elsewhere}... unless you want to give me 90% of the proceeds and then we can talk!

Happy Friday!