Monday, March 31, 2008

One of these squirrels...

One of these squirrels...

Put their kitchen utensils in my kitchen utensil drawer...
and it made me smile this morning when I opened it!

Here are a few more pictures from our weekend! Paris & Nicole with their "dog purses"

My cute husband enjoying a frosty beverage on Friday afternoon!

Morgan checkin' to see if anything was in the bird house... just wasps! Yikes!

Morgan and Rusty waiting for friends to come over on Friday morning.

Paige got busted draining all the water out of the "water" table.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Didn't think it was possible but...

I lost a little sleep last night and have a few more to add to my list...

101. I worry a lot
102. I worried about people who might think that I think if you have fake hair or nails that I perceive you as "fake"... so I need to clarify. I personally don't color my hair or have "faux" nails... these aren't my cup of tea. Probably because (like not getting dressed in the morning & not applying make-up) I'm too lazy to keep up things such as these. I'm certain I'd have the worst roots and chipping polish you'd ever see! If you do either of these things... that's great and I don't think any less of you! I have plenty of friends with hair that has been chemically treated and two blond children who will probably highlight their hair for the better part of their years! :) My language wasn't "seasoned with salt" on these items in my 100 post so I may just have to take them off or reword them. Please be gracious with me!? And instead of saying, "I don't get into fake people" I should have said, "I get irritated with people who aren't honest or real".
103. I do not believe you have to be Reformed to be a believer. I do believe, however, that you have to be "transformed" by the Gospel!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Get Ready, Get Set, Go!

When I called for recipes (or shortly there before) I met a very sweet and kind "reader" in Birmingham. Her name is Shireen Wright and I knew we'd click from the get-go! She emailed me and was so "real" and her words were so tender. Do you ever meet people like this? You can just see the love the Lord pouring out of them. I'm serious when I say this; I've never met her in person but she just bubbles with the Lord and it's so encouraging. Anyway, I told her I wanted to interview her for the blog and then I just read this on her blog and feel like I know her even better... y'all go read it! She's a fascinating woman. She's 30 years old, 1/2 Iranian, 1/2 Alabamian... and she speaks Farsi, English & Spanish... and loves the Lord... how cool?! We're going to get together when I make my way to B'ham (or when she makes her way south!). Anyway, she "tagged" me(which I'm guessing in blog language means "tag, I'm it" to do the same! :) So, get your cup of Joe, sit down and if you are interested in knowing 100 things about me... read on!

1. I was born in 1980 in Norfolk, VA
2. I've moved too many times to count since then
3. I have one sibling, a twin sister (who's on an adventure with a "friend" she met through blogging... you have to read her blog about it! She's so fun, I love her so much!!)
4. I lived with my sister until I got married in 2002.
5. When people ask me where I'm from, sometimes I don't know what to say, but usually answer "Louisville, KY" which is where I spent the better part of my childhood... however, my parents no longer live there.
6. My parents live in IL now on a farm that I LOVE (my dad works in Chicago but I would say he probably would still claim the farm for now)
7. My sister lives 2 hours from me at the beach in FL
8. I am a morning person
9. I love listening to birds
10. I can identify most birds... common & uncommon
11. My husband also loves birds
12. I accidentally watered the wrens (mom & babies) in my fern earlier this week... they survived & dried out and I apologized
13. Morgan (out oldest daughter (3)) can also identify most birds that can be found in our backyard
14. Justin and I love to garden
15. We have gardened every year since we got married (& at Auburn when we dated too)... this year he's already started planting... with my increasing waistline it's hard to get up and down... I told him I wanted to help "pick"
16. I love cucumbers (and anything else we grow)
17. I love cucumbers with tomatoes & feta cheese--- it could be a meal for me
18. My children don't like cucumbers (not even with homemade ranch)
19. I have brown hair & brown eyes, my children have blond hair & Morgan has blue eyes
20. Morgan is my middle name
21. Paige is not my middle name (but I still love her the same)
22. Our son, who's due in July, doesn't have a name
23. I love coffee in the morning... I break rules. I drink 1 cup of regular (Dunkin' Donuts whole bean ground by me) with Splenda and whole milk... mmm! I'm drinking it now.
24. I tend to wear my jammies until it's time to leave the house (my husband is not a fan of this-- I'm working on getting dressed early in the morning)
25. I only wear make-up 1 day a week... Sunday
26. I do moisturizer & sunblock daily
27. because... I love to be outside
28. I'm kinda "plain-jane" and don't really get into anything "fru-fru" like clothes & make-up. I don't really do anything fake... nails, hair, etc. I also don't get into "fake" people...
29. My sister is a fashionista and provides me with most of my clothes & shoes... her hand-me-downs often still have tags on them!
30. If I buy clothes, they probably come from: Ross, Target, KMart (which has cute clothes!), or Walmart (however my favorite pair of jeans I bought from Gap... they are called "Long & Lean" but I had to have them altered because I'm only 5'4" and they were too long with my flip-flops.
31. I'm borrowing most of my "new" maternity clothes from my friend Ann who was so kind to loan them to me.
32. My children also get a lot of hand-me-downs from my sister-in-law, Jennifer, who has 1 little girl. We get shoes, clothes and jammies. And she buys really nice & cute clothes!
33. If the girls have on a matching outfit, I probably made it. And I make their bows too.
34. I love to sew
35. I have a Viking sewing/embroidery machine
36. I sew primarily for my children
37. My mom taught me the basics of sewing in high school, my friend Tami taught me more about sewing and smocking when I had Morgan
38. I went to Christian Academy of Louisville for high school
39. I loved most my classmates and still do. I have PRECIOUS high school girl friends that I only see every few years but they are all so precious to me.
40. I have been a Christian for as long as I can remember. The earliest age I can remember having a "saving knowledge" of Jesus was probably 8.
41. I was raised in a non-denominational church... A BIG ONE... Southeast Christian Church
42. I am now in a PCA church.
43. I am Reformed
44. In a nutshell, that means, I believe that "For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers." Romans 8: 29 and "For he chose us, in him, before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will- to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves." Ephesians 1:4-6
45. In another nutshell, I believe that I am a big sinner with a bigger Savior. I am saved by His grace alone, not by anything that I have done or will do. Through His mercy, His grace was given to me freely through the sacrifice of His Son. I believe after being justified by faith in Him, we are sanctified by the Holy Spirit. I could go on and on... I'll save it for another day!
46. For my reformed friends Adam & Ashley, I believe church is for believers. :) (that's kinda an inside joke, but because this is the world wide web, I better clarify so I don't get ripped apart) I believe that the purpose of the church is to edify & educate believers for the purpose that they may be better equipped to reach out to those who don't know Jesus and bring them to the church. So, I don't think non-Christian's shouldn't go to church or be reached by the church, I just think the church can "slip" into a dangerous "place" of watering down the Gospel in order to "cater" to non-Christians who are there. Make sense? Pastors who don't use Scripture and give messages of false hope (or messages of "prosperity") make my skin crawl! You know who I mean!? Do I think the Gospel should be presented in every sermon... you bet! And do I think I need to hear it every hour of every day, you bet! I also think our church could do a better job of reaching the lost...
47. I like to exercise (talk about change of pace!)
48. I like to read
49. I like to blog
50. I like to cook
51. I like to eat
52. I love my Savior
53. I love my husband
54. I love my family
55. I love my friends
56. I'm reading The Shack by William P Young and I'm studying I Peter (it's a good one!) and "Get a Life" by Vicki Courtney (if you want a daily "devotional book" but don't know where to start-- this one's a good one! I always want a recommendation on devotionals... you hate to just randomly grab one-- I highly recommend this one! I'm doing it in a group but it would be good on your own too!)
57. Both I Peter and "Get a Life" talk a lot about submission
58. I'm terrible at submitting
59. I think I know best on most occasions
60. Sometimes I do, usually I don't
61. My children are still sleeping
62. Paige slept with us from 4 am until I crawled out of bed at 6 am... she's hopefully still in our bed
63. She has fallen out of our bed 2x
64. I am opposed to children sleeping in the bed with their parents... therefore, I oppose myself on mornings such as these
65. I would like to plant 3 hanging baskets today
66. I spend too much money sometimes
67. Money is tight right now and I'm hoping I can be tighter! :)
68. Sometimes I buy things that I see that I don't need...
69. I've learned it's better to stay home than to "run" to Target because then I buy things I don't need. I can't buy things at Target from home... well I guess technically I can but I can't just browse the aisles. It's usually the "clearance" aisles and racks that get me
70. I love fountain drinks
71. I love diet coke
72. We do Netflix
73. I love to travel
74. Don't do much traveling these days though
75. I've been lots of neat places
76. The most impactful trips I've been on have been mission trips to: Romania, Cuba, & Jamaica
77. My husband just brought me a Bays English muffin with butter & apple butter. Bays English muffins are REAL English Muffins... don't be fooled by impostors!
78. All of the bathrooms in our house are circa 1968, still.
79. I'm working on being okay with this
80. I had some moms over yesterday from church for a playgroup on the patio... it was a great time, but pretty hot.
81. Usually I like it hot.
82. I will be very large & hot this summer
83. I am hoping to deliver my 3rd child "the way God intended for women to deliver their children"
84. Morgan was born "this way"
85. Paige was a c-section
86. Both hurt really, really bad
87. I won't hold it against them
88. Both were big babies (and both a week or so early)
89. This little guy will probably be big too
90. He moves a lot and I love it
91. My dr is not really BIG on VBACs but she's willing to let me try and I appreciate her for that. But no induction and I appreciate her for that too.
92. I get nervous at the drs office and have to sit there for a few minutes before they take my BP... I'm getting better and try to not get nervous
93. If you are still reading I am impressed
94. I love to make & eat breakfast- hot breakfast... like eggs, bacon & grits... too bad I told you I already had an English Muffin because now I want a hot breakfast too! :)
95. I'm really excited about the cookbook... y'all have submitted over 50 recipes and it's going to be good! If you haven't submitted yet... please do so!
96. I can't wait to see my parents next weekend and my cousin, Erin... they're all coming from IL and I'm really excited to see them
97. My dirty floors gross me out...
98. I've been using Wet Swiffers on them but they tend to leave streaks--- any suggestions?
99. Sometimes I'm mean to my husband & children
100. they always forgive me... and they're mean to me sometimes too... and I always forgive them! :)

The end! That was pretty random! Ok, now I guess I get to tag someone... I'm going to tag 2 people Ashley in Huntsville (I think!?) (who I mentioned earlier, her husband tends to blog more than her and I want to know more about her!) and I tag Chris in Memphis. Ashley also graduated from Auburn and we both lived in the same dorm building but weren't friends. I missed out! And Chris, is married to my pledge sister and friend Kristen (but we called her Graves-- last name). He also graduated from Auburn and I only knew of him, I didn't know him personally at Auburn. On another Auburn note, my most precious friend, LA, also went to Auburn and we knew of each other but didn't "know" each other. I always love to see how God orchestrates friendships such as these! So War Eagle my blogging friends!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Can You Blame Me?

For shopping at Walmart when they have items such as these? I walked by and absolutely couldn't resist! I mean, honestly, what do kids do to swimsuits... mine absolutely wear them out in a matter of weeks... snagged, faded and all worn out. So, why not buy 'em at Walmart and let 'em loose in 'em?

The Raiger keeps us in stitches around here. I snapped a few pics and a quick video of her yesterday. She seems to be growing and advancing at record speed... slow down my little baby girl!!

She brings at least 2 Carols to the table now and feeds them while she eats... you know "twins" skips a generation.... should could be preparing for her future!

Monday, March 24, 2008

I'm Drooling...

over all these recipes! This is punishment to me to type all these in at 4:25 pm, I have drool running down my chin... not really, that's gross but my tummy is growling. They all sound so wonderful and I'm really excited about the final product. Only a few of y'all have included pictures... and the pictures make it so much more fun. Please don't send pictures of the food... trust me people & kids are prettier! :) If you didn't include a picture but would like to please email it to me!

Thank y'all so much for participating... I promise it's going to be so good! Get to digging in those recipe boxes and send me your favorites!! Speaking of favorites, Erika sent me this on Easter as a reminder of the "Good Ole Days". I'd say this is circa '86 in Atlanta, GA and I remember it like it was yesterday!

Erika (L) & Darby (R) It appears as though I slept with a cat or Erika beat me up racing to the baskets... she's a fiesty one when it comes to Easter baskets!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Resurrection Day!

Thankfully I've bounced back from the crud I had and was able to enjoy a beautiful Easter morning with my little family. We had a wonderful time at church and sang "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross" and it made me overflow with joy at the thought of His resurrection. So, I thought I'd post it here if anyone wants to be reminded (I tried posting the playlist song but it didn't want to work. Here are the words; click on them to link to a YouTube video)...

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

His dying crimson, like a robe,
Spreads o’er His body on the tree;
Then I am dead to all the globe,
And all the globe is dead to me.

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

After church we had a great time at Justin's parents house eating lots of good food... which any pregnant woman would love, especially one that hasn't eaten in a couple days! The children opened all their Easter goodies from their grandparents which included an assorted array of colorful Crocs. Even the little Raiger got a pink pair to match her sister. She was so proud of them.

Here are a few more pictures from our morning...

for those of you who remember Carol... this is Carol IV and super squirrely Paige

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Great Hunt '08

Something has gotten me... some sort of bug. It's been a while since I've felt this rotten. It's one of those bugs that makes you want to curl up on the bathroom floor with a pillow, heating pad and 5 blankets. And I've had a lovely low-grade fever to accompany all the nausea. Morgan and Paige both have asked to see the "bug" that I have... I wish I could show it to them and then squash it dead. Needless to say, Daddy escorted them to the Annual Egg Hunt at his parents house this morning with all the cousins. I begged him to take lots of pictures and I'm so thankful that he did so well. My fever broke this afternoon, I managed to crawl out of bed and I'm hoping to be well enough tomorrow to celebrate the Resurrection of our Savior!! Happy Easter to ALL!

Let the Games Begin

Morgan & Lucy Ford

This one is for you dad... Paige doing what she does best!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Why Moms Can't Shower...

I have no clue how much she ate. She thought it was delightful! I didn't!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Thanks Sister!

Don't adjust your screens... it's me still. I was starting to get nauseous every time I looked at the orange & brown. Don't get me wrong, I like it, I'm just sick of it. So I called up Sister this afternoon after I saw the header she did for Seleta and asked her if she'd do something for me. This is what she came up with. It not only made me laugh but also reminded me of this picture of her in Morgan's stroller so I decided to go with it. When she has kids I have a feeling they might be pushing her around while she works on the computer! Since Spring is here I decided to do a little "decluttering" on the blog! Still waiting for all your wonderful recipes!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Calling All {Super} Readers!

For the longest time now I've wondered "who's reading" and now I have this idea and I'm hoping all you readers will pull through for me!! {pressure, pressure, pressure} Over the last couple months a lot of y'all have come out of the "closet" and I get these funny emails saying, "I hope you don't think I'm a stalker or weird or anything... but I found your blog and I've been reading..." Of course I don't think your weird... just totally normal. Why do you think I don't list out all the blogs I read on my blog... because there are so many I'm embarrassed to confess and I don't personally know 1/2 of them!

There are a couple things in life that I absolutely love to do... and one of them is cook. As long as I can remember I was in the kitchen with my mom. She is a fabulous cook and taught me all the tricks of the trade. I can remember being in middle school and making a Lemon Meringue pie from scratch! Now mom would argue that I loved to cook, but that I didn't love to clean up. I've learned to do both now! :) My friend Chris Hill posted this post on his blog about a company called "Tastebook" that will print all your recipes and bind them (for what I consider a nominal price [$35] & they look really good) and my mind went wild... I thought "what if I asked all my blog readers (whether I know you or not) to email me a tried and true recipe or two?!" What a collection that would be! And guess what? If any of y'all are interested you can buy a copy too.... for $35! What a steal. I was reading through Chris & Kristen's recipes and I'm already itching to get a copy of theirs!

Here's what I want you to do (and I'll do the rest and let you know when it's ready):

1) Email me @ a recipe that you LOVE and know is GOOD (please don't send one you haven't tried) if you have more than one send 'em on... depending on how many I get they all may not make the cut... and please don't send all desserts I'm sure there will be plenty of those. I want salads, veggies, casseroles, drinks, aps and more! And if you want to include a "blurb" about the recipe (if has a history or sentimental value to you) that would be fun too!

2) If you want to reveal yourself great, if not, that's ok too. But at least I'd love your first name and where you are from (everyone will get credit in the book for their recipe)... and if you are scared to do that... I guess you may remain anonymous!

3) If you want to email me a picture to go a long with your recipe that would be fun too! They allow you to add a picture to each recipe! How fun!

Ok, start thinking about your recipes and email them to me. I'll accept recipes for 4 weeks and then I'll close it up. But don't worry, I'll drive you nuts between now and then reminding you to email me the recipes. Once I've added all recipes and pictures to the book I'll make it public so y'all can see page by page and then order if you'd like! And please even if you're a stalker and haven't revealed yourself... it's ok, I want your recipes too! :)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A Much Needed Escape...

Justin and I had a fabulous 24 hour escapade to the lake (Silver Lake- a small, private, spring-fed lake near Marianna, FL) on Sunday. His parents kept the girls and we headed south for a little R&R. We both came to the realization that we don't do this often enough.... and sadly to say, if ever! The last time we got away (just the 2 of us) over night was a trip to Cumberland Island 4 years ago and we didn't even have kids then. We're hoping to be more intentional about treating ourselves to some time away... it's very beneficial to our mental health, especially mine. I've been in this rut of feeling like all I ever do is clean the house and tend to the children... oh wait, that is pretty much what I do. God has convicted me of this "rut" and I'm truly working on finding joy in folding socks, scrubbing toilets, scrubbing behinds, and pouring milk... and then wiping it up when it gets spilt. Anyway, it was such a special treat to not have to put anyone in jammies, brush teeth, read stories, and put them to bed... not to mention the other 1,000 chores that come in a 24 hour period! Justin's parents graciously kept the girls for us and we enjoyed peace and quiet that only the lake has to offer! Trust me, with a house that's still not finished I was tempted to stay here and get things done... I'm glad Justin talked me out of that one!

Thanks, Chris, for the pictures below... you seem to capture the lake in all it's glory. The lake has a sand bottom and is spring-fed. The water is CRYSTAL clear (as you will see) and appears to be bright blue... that would be the color of the sky reflecting off of crystal clear water. It's the most beautiful lake I've ever seen in my life. No brown water.... you can always see your feet no matter where you are in it! That's my kinda lake! :)

the view from the porch

the water

Another view from the porch... the covered dock you see is where Justin asked me to marry him 6 1/2 years ago! :) precious memories!

The Saturday before we went on our trip we enjoyed a quick trip to the farm. We had a lot of fun... the girls both love to explore. Here are a few pictures from our farm outing:

the Raiger & her fruit-roll-up
Ava & Morgan (Ava's 11 months older and 11 inches taller!:))

Daddy & Raiger

Mommy & Raiger

Look @ all that HAIR!
The girls and I had big plans today! We were going to go play with my good friend & pledge sister from Auburn, Tara, and her 2 little girls, Towns & Cate. Morgan got sick in the car on the way there and puked everywhere. I mean, everywhere. If you recall, I'm not a fan of pukers but this little puker I love and felt very sorry for. We had to cancel our trip to play and we were all so disappointed. Morgan is a projectile vomiter (I'll spare you any more details... you can let your imaginations run) and I spent the afternoon in the car, disinfecting and cleaning. If you've ever disassembled, cleaned a reassembled a car seat you know it takes the better part of a day! Once she got it all out of her system she seemed to be just fine. Maybe it was bad apple juice? Who knows! I'm just glad it's behind her.
The girls were down by 7:45, it's 8:50 now and I'm ready for bed myself. It's been a long day and I'm one tired Mama!! Good night my friends!

Sunday, March 16, 2008


I put the socks on the girls this morning and they were a little tight... so when you sew the trim on stretch the sock out just a tad to allow enough "give" to get them on comfortably! I'll edit the post below! I would hate for someone to make them and then not be able to get them on! :)

post signature

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Ladies, Start Your Sewing Machines!

There are so many things that I WISH, WISH, WISH people had told me much sooner than I figured out on my own. Here's something I did this morning that I would love to share with any of you who sew (particularly for little girls). I'm sure many of y'all have figured out that I am one of the cheapest persons on the planet (my mom may come in first, sorry mom!). However, I do enjoy nice things... so what do you do when you like the niceties in life but can't AFFORD them... you make them!

When Erika and I went to our grandfather's funeral last year we stopped at Sikes & Kohn's. If you've ever been to the beach (north FL) from B'ham or further north you've passed it between Montgomery & Troy... it's the giant shoe store. The store is easy to miss; the shoe billboards are not. Anyway, I bought Morgan 3 pairs of precious eyelet ruffled socks for $6 a pair. I know, it's crazy to spend that on socks but they were super cute and I loved them (& we've managed to keep up with them). Well, this week I went to Target and bought these....

And this morning I made these...

For the price of 1 pair of socks, I made 3 pairs (earlier today I said 6... I got confused) and probably could have done more had I bought more eyelet. I bought the ruffled eyelet trim at Walmart for $1.32 a yard. I would estimate that 3 yards of eyelet trim would do 6 pairs of socks.

Here's a quick tutorial on how to do it...

** Never turn the socks inside out... always keep them just as they would be if you were putting them on. It only takes one stitch: ZIG-ZAG

First, starting at the back of the sock zig-zag the eyelet around the top of the sock. The eyelet will slightly overlap the sock on top. Slightly stretch the top of the sock as you attach the eyelet, this will allow enough "give" to get them on comfortably. Here's a picture for the visual learners out there.

Before you go ALL the way around stop just short of reaching the point where to started. Remove the sock and cut off the excess trim.

Next you will put the eyelet trim right sides together like this... (still not turning the sock inside out)

Then you will do a "tighter" zig-zag to bind the ends of the eyelet together. It will not look beautiful or "finished" but because you turn them down the other side looks finished.

Trim away your strings and turn down the sock... voila, a cute little sock for a fraction of one just like it!

Here's where you stop at the back of the sock. Not absolutely perfect, but as my grandmother would say, "On a galloping horse, who would know!"
Ok, stay tuned to see what I did with this $40 worth of fabric...

I'm 1/2 way done so here's a hint...
Have a wonderful weekend... and y'all have to let me know if you make any SOCKS! :)