Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Longleaf pine seedlings after a site prep burn.

Hey friends! Darby is having severe blog withdrawals and has asked me (Justin) to let you folks know that we are, in fact, alive but that we still don't have internet at our new house. So rather than work on bonified billable work, I am blogging for her while she gets our house ready all by her pregnant self!

We have spent that past week in our new house and are enjoying it immensely--and we've added our cur to the list of occupants. I don't have any pics to share concerning our house or our family but I do happen to have a nice shot of longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) seedlings that were planted on our farm after a prescribed burn last year.
By the way, I've been reading some of Martin Luther's sermonds that he preached in 1532 during the Advent and on Christmas day. Wonderful stuff! And did you know that he is to thank for putting lights on Christmas trees? It's true. You can find that and other great stories of Christmas traditions in Ace Collins' book The Stories Behind the Traditions of Christmas.

We hope you all have a wonderful Christ-centered Christmas!


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Sunday, December 2, 2007

It's beginning to look alot like a...

2007 kitchen, rather than a 1968 kitchen!

Sorry I've been MIA, apparently this very small child that is dwelling in my womb has sucked every ounce of energy out of my body and I have 2 small children outside the womb that have 10x the energy that I have... what's a woman to do?! And, on top of all of that, Justin's been out of town this week, we're still in the rental house with no furniture (except beds) and things can only get better from here!

Now, for my "glass half- FULL version" ... we did get the granite installed this week and the plumber came and plumbed the sink and the dishwasher. I must say again... that it's beginning to look a lot like a kitchen.... for your viewing pleasure a few before and afters. I wanted to "photoshop" a microwave in above the ice maker and refrigerator drawers... then I realized I didn't know how to do that. A microwave will sit perfectly (on a shelf that hasn't been built yet) above the under-counter appliances. And we're still waiting for the gas company to run our gas line for the range... we saw some "spray paint" in the yard and hope it's a sign from them! We're also short one corbel for under the bar... you'll see the spot where it goes.

We'll start with the befores...

And the "almost" afters...

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Why are kids so stinkin' hilarious?!

I think kids are hilarious! The things they say, the things they do, the things they wear; they keep me laughing all day long. Last night Justin and I took a trip to the new house to check out the progress (I snapped a few pics of the Christmas decorations)...

Before we left for our outing Paiger found a cooler in the kitchen. She held it like she holds Carol, like it was her baby. Anyway, I snapped a picture of her and her cooler on the way to the house... (don't mind the dirty face & clothes).
The other thing that kills me about kids, especially Morgan, is their independence. Morgan loves to do everything herself and has for about the last 10 months. Within the last 3 to 4 months her favorite thing to do herself is dress herself (which includes picking out her own clothes). Her choices usually make me cringe but I try to ease the pain with a good chuckle and tell her how proud I am of her. It especially pains me when I spend hours making her the cutest outfit and she wants to wear a cruddy orange tank top with pink pants... and usually the fight isn't worth making so we just cover the orange tank top up with a sweatshirt. Anyway.... this morning I was getting breakfast ready (trying not to throw up in the sink...) and going on about my business when Morgan made her grand appearance and informed me that she was "all ready to go to school". I couldn't resist a picture. Here's what the outfit consisted of: a navy cardigan sweater (nothing underneath), a pair of pink knit shorts, white Auburn socks (War Eagle!) and white sandals. And ohhhh she was so proud of herself. Unfortunately for her and fortunately for me... it was too cold to wear this get-up to school today.
Instead the sweet child changed into the most precious Hanna Anderson hand-me-down dress with Christmas ornaments all over it. She was thrilled to wear it and I was even more thrilled that she wanted to change out of her own selection!

Happy Tuesday!!

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Monday, November 19, 2007

Another Confession...

This is what the girls did (as I watched and savored) last night while daddy worked on the house. As I mentioned before we are all out of furniture here at the rental house which makes for prime dancing room. Little Raiger had to partake too. It was her first "dancing" experience. She loved being a part of the festivities. She also enjoyed eating the paint, which thankfully was non-toxic. I do believe the girls have become ballerinas by day and artists by night!!

Watching them "dance" about the house and "paint" together gave me such a peace about the third Stickler baby which is due in July (on Raiger's birthday)!! I've had some reservations about posting our news and wanted to be sensitive to my handfuls of friends who so strongly desire to have babies. I am constantly in awe of the gift of life and continually give thanks and honor to God for the blessing; never once taking it for granted. Besides starving to death and feeling as though I could sleep all day... I'm doing pretty good. Keeping up with the girls will probably make the next 8 months fly by. Now we're all the more ready to be in that house!!

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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Confessions of a QVC & HSN watcher!!

In recent years television watching has turned to crap (pardon my language). But the truth is that if you would like to watch tv in the evening (and have basic cable-- so no: TLC, Discovery, History, HGTV, or Food Network) then you are limited to shows that are about sex, rape, crime, murder or total debauchery. Which leaves you with 3 wholesome channels: PBS, HSN, and QVC. I just read my friend Jennisa's blog where she mentioned buying some Bare Essentials make-up, which prompted me to blog about my random tv purchase. It all started several nights ago when Joy Mangano (this over zealous entrepreneur woman who created some fabulous hangers) began doing a couple different demonstrations on HSN with her Huggable Hangers. I thought to myself, "Wow, I'd really like to have some of those!!" I've been thinking about transforming my closet when we get to the new house and these little gems would be so nice. But I refrained from the purchase. However, last night she was on again and this time it was "Todays' Special Value" and it was "the deal of the year" and "they won't be this price again until next July". Well, there's no way I could wait until next July. So, I summoned Justin into the room to see if he thought we "needed" them. I really think he thought I lost my mind. I've been watching these home shopping programs for years. I know the hostesses names and what time they come on but I've never considered buying anything. Well guess what.... I bought myself 132 Huggable Hangers from HSN last night and I can't wait for them to get here. They were expensive but I've convinced myself that they will be worth it. My clothes won't fall off these hangers, my pants won't slip to one side and I'll never have to pick up another article of clothing off the bottom of my closet ever AGAIN! And.... they're only 1/4" wide so I'm going to save a TON of space! Can you tell that Joy Mangano is quite the saleswoman? I'll be sure to take pictures once I get all set up in the new closet!! I might need my friend Anne to come help me organize my closet with my new hangers... she organizes her closet by color! I wish I had this talent!

Speaking of new closet... we're getting closer to being in the house. This Saturday, Justin and a bunch of guys moved all our furniture to the new house, with the exception of our beds, which makes living here at the rental house very interesting. The appliances are coming tomorrow and the counter top guy is coming tomorrow to measure and template the counters... which will go in the week after Thanksgiving! It's all so exciting and I've been working on a few Christmas decorations and can't wait to make the house "festive" for Christmas!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Ok, we found it... right where I thought it was... the very bottom of the trash can.... just the thought (& smell of it) make me want to gag. I looked, Justin looked, then I went outside and recovered the prior bag of trash and sorted through it (w/gloves on)... all to no avail. Then late last night Justin searched again and low and behold... it was in the very bottom of the bag. I've sprayed the camera with Lysol and wiped it down with antibacterial wipes. (Anne you'd be proud... actually you'd probably be grossed out and would have thrown it away and bought another one!)

In case you are wondering why on earth my 15 month old had my digital camera...

You see the girls and I went to run some errands yesterday morning and apparently between loading the girls into the car Squash kitty snuck (I know it's not a word but "sneaked" doesn't sound right) in the house. When we returned from our errands I walked in the house with one arm full of Raiger and one arm full of Arby cheddar melts and found Squash curled up on our sofa. I couldn't believe it. While Morgan was still in her car seat, I snapped a quick picture of her. She was so cute and so illegally in the house and she was rather annoyed because I was interrupting her beauty rest. Anyway, I sat down the Arby's, the Raiger, and my camera and scooped up Squash and went to the car to get Morgan. When I returned the camera was gone... and now we know where it was! Sweet Raiger, I forgive you. In fact, when I asked her last night if she put mommy's camera in the trash she nodded her head "yes" but I looked and couldn't find it... apparently, I didn't look hard enough! So glad it didn't make it's way to the dump!!

Monday, November 12, 2007

If you were 15 months old...

If you were 15 months old, looked like this, got a hold of your mommy's digital camera and put it somewhere...

where would you have put it?

And unfortunately for me... (as I've searched through 2 bags of rotten trash) it's not in the trash can!

This may have been the same culprit with the Almay Smart Shade make-up. I keep asking her where mommy's camera is (which she was last spotted with around 10:45 am) and she gives me the sweet innocent look you see above!

The search continues...

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Thursday, November 8, 2007

Playing House!

I love to play house; when I was younger and even more so now! I guess that's why I'm itching so bad. Itching to get into the house! We're getting closer everyday. These last couple weeks we have been working on the tedious things (patching dry wall, repairing crown moulding, painting trim and window mullions, etc) that take a long time and have relatively little to show for it. But that's ok, at least it's getting done before we move in. Painting is not fun to do once you're all moved in.

I was working with my friend Lindsay on our Christmas cards this year (she's a WONDERFUL graphic designer in Dallas, TX-- CLICK HERE FOR HER WEBSITE) when I realized that Justin and I have been married 5 years (6 in March) and every single Christmas we have sent our Christmas cards from a different house! This is nothing to be proud of, rather explains why I feel as though sometimes I've lost my mind. (Speaking of, I found my Smart Shade make up on Sunday... a really short (3 year old) robber must have stolen it and put it in a toy box!) If you've ever moved (even just once) you know the stress of it and if you've ever moved with children then you can take the amount of stress a move causes and multiply that times the number of children you have. Pretty soon you can institutionalize yourself! Can you tell that I'm almost there!?

Despite all the moving, I somehow have mustered up the energy to play "house" once all the boxes are unpacked at each house we've lived in. Here in the rental house that has not been the case. I have not played house since we've been here and I'm chomping at the bit to do so! I consider myself a "people person". I love to have people over. We have been in the rental house for 7 months now and in 7 months I haven't had anyone over. Did you know that it's driving me nuts? We don't have a table and chairs here. And since we eat our meals either on the floor or on the couch I've been a little hesitant to reach out to new friends to have them over to sit on the floor and enjoy a meal. Soon and very soon we'll be able to sit at a table and invite others to do so with us!! I can't wait!

Here's what I can't wait to do:

hang the blinds

hang the curtains

make our bed

decorate and arrange the girls bedrooms

lay out the rugs

turn on the lamps

arrange the furniture

wash dishes in a sink that doesn't back up

eat meals at the table or bar

and have more counter top space in the kitchen besides 2.5 feet x 2.5 feet

and of course..... turn on Christmas carols and decorate for Christmas... if all my boxes are unpacked by then!

Wooo hooo!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

And she's off...

Our little 15.5 month old is bipedal and we are thrilled. She's actually pretty close to mastering it in just 2 short days. She took her first few steps Sunday night and now she has very little trouble navigating the space between our walls. We are so in love with her (and her sister) and we are so proud of her latest accomplishment!! You go, Raiger!!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Birthday Video

Couldn't resist a little footage of the Birthday song!

Morgan Turns 3!

Yesterday was the big day for our sweet oldest daughter, Morgan. She turned 3. I can hardly believe it. She was born 3 years ago in Anniston, AL. We had no clue what we were in for. The last 3 years have been so precious with her in our lives. She's chatty, bright, sweet, and adds so very much to our family. I love the things she says and wish that I could remember them all. She told me she wanted a "little girl" iron for her birthday, of course, I couldn't resist. She's been so busy ironing and now she wants a "little girl" washer machine. :) Sunday morning she wanted to wear her bracelet with a cross on it so that she could "praise Jesus" when she was at church. She told me this morning that she couldn't wait 'til she turned 4. Her only request for her party was that there be lots of balloons and Curious George. GiGi did great and came through like a champ with the theme. Balloons and George paraphernalia everywhere. She loved every minute of her birthday and we did too!

Cousin-fest 2007

Tambourine from Lucy Ford

Not sure about this face, she was happy though!

Opening presents w/cousins


The fruits of her labor

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Eufaby (u-fob-eee)

We have a WONDERFUL dog and she never gets credit on the blog, mainly because she's not living with us while we're in the rental house. Erika and I got her while we were juniors at Auburn. She came from some guy friends of ours who could no longer keep her. One of which was Michael Nebrig. I've probably only seen Michael (& his sweet wife, Krista) 3 times since I graduated (6 years ago) but he never fails to ask about Eufaby. I can do nothing but sing her praises to him. Well, a few minutes ago I found myself reading Michael & Krista's blog rejoicing that I had Eufaby and Michael and Krista do not. Now, Eufaby doesn't have long hair so hopefully she would have been spared from the wrath of the clippers but you have to read Krista's last post. It made me laugh so hard!! Krista, I can sympathize with you... this is probably something I'd do too (seeing as how I'm cheap and all) but next time, you may want to dish out the $80 for George! Does he seem to mind his new "style"? You have to let us know!!

Click here to read her post!

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Thursday, November 1, 2007

I Can't Resist!

I can't resist sharing pictures of my Fairy Princesses from last night. There are several pictures... feel free to scroll through them!! As you will see there are a lot more of Paiger... she tends to hold still and be an easier target of the camera; I'm trying to find the positive in this not walking yet business. She can push her stroller, as you will see!! We went to church for the Fall Festival and had a wonderful time. We somehow managed to make it home with NO candy. Morgan didn't even know they were giving it out and spent most of her time in the "jumpy" things. We were so thankful to not have to endure the "candy battle" when we got home!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Reformation Day!

Ok, so she's dressed for Halloween but... I decided to spice things up a bit and rather than say "Happy Halloween", which is rather cliche and very pagan in nature, I thought I'd get your wheels turnin' this morning and offer you a "Happy Reformation Day". So, do you know what it is? I must admit, I used to not know either. I had not ever celebrated Reformation Day prior to my precious time at Faith Pres in Anniston, AL. Reformation Day marks the day in 1517 when Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenburg. At that time Luther was dissatisfied with the teachings and practices of the Catholic church, mainly the abuse of the practice of accepting indulgences (money in exchange for the pardon of sins). This prompted Martin Luther to argue that we are justified through faith in Christ, who paid all debts of all sinners in full by his ultimate sacrifice. Thus, starting the Protestant Reformation. Because I do have friends who are Catholic (who read this) it's only fair to mention that not only was the Protestant Reformation started, but also, the Catholic Reformation which focused on examining their theology, doctrine and having a personal relationship with Christ.

Moving right along to more shallow and less important issues... a few years ago (I think 4) we bought a chair. It was a chair that was kinda ugly. I knew it wasn't "cute" or "fun" when I bought it. But it was a good deal. And if you don't know me well but read this blog, you've probably learned that I am cheap. And since the chair was a good deal I bought it and made it work. I decided it was time for the chair to have a makeover. I love a before and after picture so I thought I'd show y'all an exciting transformation that can take place at an upholstery shop. Without further adieu here's the ugly chair before...

This is the best picture I could find... it's from our house in Tallahassee. The chair was covered in a fabric that was "atztec" in nature and faded hues of red, gold, and green. Not all that exciting. Well, with the help of my sister I found some outdoor fabric that is stain resistant and weather resistant (so if our new roof leaks the chair won't get wet). Anyway, one trip to upholstery shop, $150, and 5 short days later, the chair is covered in a cute navy blue and white trellis fabric (which I think is even pictured on E's website in yellow?) and adorned with some antique brass nail head trim. Pretty dramatic, huh?! It's a little loud but I love it and think it will be very nice in the family room!

I was so pleased with this chair that I made a run to the Highlands Antique Mall yesterday with my SIL (sister-in-law) and found a few more items in my favorite booth (which just so happens to be the cheapest)... and decided I couldn't pass them up!! I now have 2 (Thomasville) wing back chairs and a Chippendale sofa for my living room!! I may have to wait until next year to have them upholstered but at least I snagged them before anyone else did! Can't wait to show the afters... but for now, here are the befores!

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Floors! Floors! Everywhere!

We had a great weekend here at home and had the pleasure of keeping our two nieces so that their "mommy & daddy" could go to Auburn to watch the Tigers win! Morgan and Paige love their cousins and the girls are welcome back anytime. Friday night I thoroughly enjoyed myself at "Girls Night Out" with 10 ladies from church! We had a wonderful dinner and watched The Devil Wears Prada. It was great to get out of the house and actually stay up late. If you know me well at all, you know I have a hard time staying awake past 9... you'll be delighted to know that I managed to stay awake during the whole movie! It was a very cute "girlie" flick! Here is a picture of my nieces. Paisely (left) and Penelope (aka "Nellie"). They were great house guests and only ate one smores granola bar! :)
The floors are all FINISHED and look fabulous! They're a little dusty as the dust seems to still be settling from all the grinding they had to do on the high parts of the slab. We are very pleased and they even cut us a huge deal! I'm not sure if they felt sorry for us after all the debating over whether or not to keep the terrazzo to save money or if it was just out of the kindness of their hearts! We do know it wasn't a mistake (Justin questioned him on the bill) and for that we are very grateful! They were super nice guys and very patient with us! Here are a few pictures! Now, we have to hop on getting all the shoe molding down and start crank on that kitchen... it will be time to move in before we know it!!

I knew he'd smile when they were all said and done!

Sewing room/Office... but the blue counters are going to go... I changed my mind

They are building a really small (8,000 sq ft) house next door... at least it won't be a bad view

A good decision to put wood in all 4 rooms!

And last but not least the rooms that caused us much grief! I'm very relieved to see the wood throughout!

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Friday, October 26, 2007

I just finished my 3rd Granny Kat's Pumpkin Roll and thought I'd offer you a little advice:

-Line your cookie sheet/baking pan with parchment paper... it makes it so easy!
-I did mine in a 16x12x1 cookie sheet. The batter doesn't spread all the way across the entire sheet... probably 4/5 of the way. But it doesn't melt all over the place so you can just spread it evenly across the pan even if it's not all the way to both ends... make sense?
-Wet your dishtowel completely under the sink and then wring it out really good. Don't soak it but don't just spritz it with water either!

Erika, I made one for you to take to the tailgate tomorrow... you girls think of me when you eat. How is that I always seem to miss out on these fun gatherings!?

Oh, and by the way, Lenzie, Graves, and Abby... I was just teasin' about your blogs! I hope y'all know I love to read what's going on in your lives and I imagine y'all all have much better things to do than update your blogs... 3x a day! :)

Top of the Morning to ya'!

I wasn't going to post this morning... but then I started thinking... I get so disappointed when I click on blogs that I enjoy reading to see the same (burrito {Lenzie}, kids sitting in a pumpkin patch {Graves}, new baby {Abby} ) over and over again. So, I thought, although I have nothing tremendously noteworthy to say this morning, at least you'd have something "new" to look at when you click on this blog! :) And for those of you who like to "stalk" I hope that gives you just tad bit of excitement this Friday morning!

Seeing as how fall is now in the air in LA (lower Alabama) I'm going to make my all-time favorite dessert this afternoon... Granny Kat's Pumpkin Roll. It's the same recipe I've used for years and always tastes DELICIOUS and is much easier to make than it looks! And always gets "oooos and ahh's" from a crowd. So, if you're looking for something festive, fun, pumpkin & cream cheese, I highly recommend this one! Mmmm!

We've had a productive week at the house and by the grace of God we are still married and sleeping in the same bed. It's been a rough one this week. That dad gum terrazzo will get you every time. As aforementioned in this blog, we discovered terrazzo as we peeled back (sounds so easy) our carpet, linoleum, and tile and thought we'd see what we could do with it. We went ahead and ordered the floors for the "great room" (kitchen & family room) because we had decided to put floors in there. I'm a little bit particular and like a seamless look and think floors should only change at thresholds. Well, last week we decided we'd at least clean the terrazzo and see what it looks like. I told Justin that if he spent all this time (4 days!) cleaning them, would he promise to not be upset if I still don't like the look and want wood?! Well, 4 days later, lots of sweat equity and long hours... unfortunately (for Justin), I still wasn't big on the terrazzo. Don't get me wrong... I think it could be really cool in the right location (sun porch etc). But seeing as how our house is more "traditional" I just couldn't find myself happy with it. It was only in the kitchen and den and the transitions into these 2 rooms were drastic and involved thresholds because the wood was higher than the terrazzo. The wood (wild pecan) looked so "finished" and "rich" and the terrazzo looked so "cold" and "unfinished". There's a big stone fireplace in this room and to me the wood would be more appropriate in this room. So, after much debate (thankfully not too heated) and great patience on behalf of our floor guys (who sat around looking at us yesterday as we tried to make up our minds) we decided to put the floors in the kitchen and family room too. It was a stressful decision and we could have saved a lot of money... however because the floors are tongue and grooved coming back later wouldn't be easy and would leave the floors with strange thresholds... where as now the look will be seamless.

For your viewing pleasure I'll attach a picture. I think you'll see what I mean about the rooms (which are open to one another) look drastically different and that the wood will look EXCELLENT throughout! :)

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