Saturday, November 29, 2008

Christmas Time's A Comin'

"I saw Momma kissin' Santa Claus!"

We're still at the farm... journeying home tomorrow! Look forward to sharing our trip with all of you!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I've been informed...

taken from Erika's iphone

That my kids don't miss me. And... haven't even asked about "mommy and daddy". Seems as though I may need them more than they need me!

J and I postponed our leaving until now {early Tuesday} due to the bright green that covered the radar screen between Alabama and Illinois. There should be no green today!

We'd love your prayers for travel mercies as we spend the day in the car... and it would probably be ok to pray that John Martin doesn't cry alot {thanks ;)}!

Can't wait to see my girls and be with my family.
I'm thankful for each and every one of you, your kind comments, and the encouragement that you give me!

Enjoy the time you have with your families and I can't wait to read everyone's Thanksgiving updates!

Time to hit the road.....

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Did Y'all Know..

I have the best sister on the planet. Guess what? Erika and Chance have the girls. That's right. They came and got them yesterday and have taken them all the way to ILLINOIS. If Uncle Chance didn't drive the biggest rig on the road I'd have thought longer about it. The girls were ecstatic about the trip. Erika had a nervous smile the whole time they were loading up yesterday. I kept asking, "are you sure you're ok with this?" She'd just kept smiling and then asked what to do if either of the girls needed to poop. Hilarious. It should be exciting. We are so grateful for their selflessness. E had a long week. Her stunning design work was slated for the cover of the Jan/Feb issue of Cottage Living which also featured a full spread on 3 of her kitchens and her own personal kitchen. But she didn't want me to tell you... because she's cool like that. And if you didn't see the news with CL... you can check it out here. And she still offered to take my children. If anyone needs a break it's her! And I'm certain a 12 hour trip with a 2 year old and 4 year old isn't exactly RELAXING. I hope she will blog about their traveling experience!

They drove from our house to Decatur, AL yesterday and spent the night with Jennie-Marie & Carlton and made the rest of the journey today. The best part.... we didn't tell Mom & DaddyBoy that the girls were coming! Mom was quite surprised to step outside the house and see 2 little blondies standing in front of her! I'd love to have seen the look on her face!

We'll be joining them late Monday night.

Justin and I have thoroughly enjoyed the "quietness" around the house. We made a quick trip to Tallahassee today to celebrate a new baby coming in just a few weeks. I've told you before how very much I love that city. It's beautiful and what's more beautiful is the house we were in and the company I was with. I always cherish what little time I'm afforded with old friends.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Pardon Me While I Dote!

That's really all I can say... IT ROCKS!
Happy little children.
Doing happy little things!
And being GRATEFUL along the way!
Today was my "first" PRESCHOOL experience and I was the possibly the PROUDEST mother in the ROOM!

The Raiger was possibly the PROUDEST little sister in the room.
And GRATEFUL herself to be included in the "snacks" portion of the program {or "show", as Morgan called it}.
Morgan knows winter is upon us; you can see she's preparing for her hibernation. My friend Emily totally ROCKED the toddler tablescape... the turkeys were her part!
Seriously, how cute are they!?
During the "show" the little INDIANS sang 3 or 4 songs.
I had to have total SELF CONTROL to not run up there and eat them ALL UP!
They were so PROUD of themselves; we were even PROUDER!

-----------CHANGING GEARS-----------

Do you press your coffee?
We used to not.
Now we do.
It tastes so much better pressed and it FROTHS.
You can get a French Press @ Tuesday Morning for less than $5.
We've had a few fires this week and I've consumed close to 1 bag of MARSHIES!
Oh my!
They're dangerously good!
Does your house smell good?
If the answer isn't an immediate "YES", try this:
1 apple {on the brink of death is fine}
2-3 C water
6-8 cinnamon sticks {you can get these at what I call "the DG" for $1}
1 handful of cloves
1 dash of nutmeg
the juice of an orange {or OJ from the fridge is fine too}
a splash of vanilla


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Crayolas get cozy!

You stinkers! You emailed me and asked me to show you what I'm making for Christmas presents. So, I guess I'm caving and starting with those people that I know don't read the blog... my children. This is for Morgan. I believe she will love it. It's made from scraps I found in my sewing closet. She saw me working on it and asked, "Mommy, are you making another quilt?!" It's perfect to fill with her coloring books and all the crayons fit neatly in their place. The fabric was "prequilted". There's no pattern for this one... just did it from scratch but made sure it would hold several coloring books. I bet you could do it too! Do you have a little crafter on your list? If so, I suggest you give it a try. If you aren't friends with a sewing machine, you can find something similar here.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


We had a delightful weekend and I spent a LOT of time sewing! I'm making ALL of our Christmas presents this year {there will be more posted on Christmas thoughts later} and I was delighted to spend time behind Kenny {the new Kenmore from DaddyBoy... which I LOVE btw}, Vicky {the Viking embroidery machine} and Sally {my Singer serger}. Yes, I had a full blown sweatshop running here and you can see my fuel pictured above. I wish I could show you what I was working on but those of you on my list wouldn't be surprised... maybe I'll give you a sneak peek later on this week!

After I finished up some of my projects I went back to that pesky quilt. Are y'all so tired of hearing about that silly little quilt? Well, I decided I wanted to LOVE it and not just LIKE it. So I went back and quilted it. Just X's across all the squares. I washed it. And well, now I LOVE it. It's wrinkly, soft, and even better than before. I came home from a baby shower today and Justin had John Martin wrapped in it... I thought my heart would melt!

Sometimes I leave y'all hanging on previous posts, one of which is the floors... we had an industrial dehumidifier in here for 5 or 6 days and it took care of most of our problems. The only person who notices what little "water damage" we have is me. So, we're thankfully leaving well enough alone and the insurance people CANCELLED the claim! Praise the Lord! The 2nd thing I've left y'all hangin' on is my Aunt Glenny. She is home and thankfully doing better than expected. Her speech is showing signs of improvement and she is comfortable. I look forward to seeing her over Thanksgiving! Thank you for your prayers for her!

Speaking of family and Thanksgiving, we are planning to spend the Thanksgiving holiday at the farm with Mom and DaddyBoy and the rest of my extended family. I have a mission while I'm there {I'm telling you so to hold myself accountable}: record some family history. I've been reading Rick Bragg's newest book The Prince of Frogtown and Justin and I listened to Ava's Man {which I've previously read, along with All Over but the Shoutin'} on the way home from NC last month. Bragg has shown me just how little I know about my family. And because tomorrow is not guaranteed I intend to spend some time with my living grandparents and get some history! Bragg is phenomenal story teller. If you've never read any of his books I suggest you start with All Over but the Shoutin'. He grew up in Jacksonville, AL, which is not far from a place we hold near & dear, Anniston. We lived there for one very precious year; Morgan was born there. Anniston is a BEAUTIFUL small town in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains with kind people and a lot of charm, and holds sweet memories for us.


In other news, I cleaned up the blog this weekend... can you tell? Narrower margins and a new search bar! I was going to attempt to add "labels" to all my previous posts, but I've been at this too long and the time it would take to categorize all previous posts made my head spin. So, if you've read something on here before and want to find it again just do a search and hopefully it will pop up!

I hope each of you had a delightful weekend too!

Friday, November 14, 2008

I have TWO helpers!

Since you asked...

I have two people that help me. {And I'm not talking about my children or my husband-- although they all help me too, not necessarily the ways I always want to be helped but they do help!}. I'm talking about 2 women. They are both older than me but not "old".

One is named Annie. She babysits for me one day a week for about 4 hours. She is truly a gift and blessing to me, my children, and our family. I wish I could have her more often. She makes me a more pleasant mommy. The girls go to "school" for 6 hours every week. That's 3 hours on Tuesday and 3 hours on Thursday. While they are in school I am usually at home picking up {blogging or sewing} while the man-child is napping or fighting a nap. While I cherish those 6 hours of time I am never quite "alone" because the man-child is with me. Those of you who have been there and done that know that "alone time" is essential for a human being's sanity. Annie has afforded me alone time during the week and I'm grateful. I no longer have to take my children with me to Sam's. She's a sweet, sweet person who I consider a friend. I need to get a picture of her and John Martin because he loves her!! {and the girls do too!} Maybe next week.

The second person who helps me is named Melinda. She cleans my house twice a month, usually every other Thursday. She is a blessing to me, makes me a better mommy, and makes our house smell good and look even better. She also {inadvertently} forces me to pick up my house every other week so that she can get to the floors, toilets, beds, and counters to clean them. She first came the week before John Martin was born and has been a tremendous help ever since. I probably won't ask to take her picture... that might make her feel a little strange, can you imagine: "Excuse me, Melinda, do you mind to pose with that mop in hand while you wipe tee tee dribbles from our toilet?"

Both are worth the sacrifices I must make in order to have them. I'd rather be a happy mommy with a clean & tidy house than to buy a new pair of shoes or new outfit... or try to clean my house myself while shouting at my children "WATCH OUT FOR THAT PILE, DON'T WALK ON THE FLOORS THEY'RE WET, COULD YOU PLEASE GET OUT OF THE BED WHILE I MAKE IT?" or even worse, "Y'ALL STAY HOME, MOMMY'S GOING TO WALMART, I'LL BE BACK IN A COUPLE HOURS!"

Happy Friday, friends!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I Tied the Knot!

Actually I tied a lot of knots. But "knot" until I tried to "stitch in the ditch" {seriously, what would I have done before YouTube!?}. Y'all went all "quilt-y" on me and I had to GOOGLE "stitch in the ditch". Thankfully that sweet girl on YouTube helped me.

I was longing for the "quilted" look so I tried it. Y'all, I am so stubborn. I asked for your advice and then I convinced myself that I didn't have to tie it.... that I could quilt it. The best walking foot in the history of the world, combined with 1,000 pins, and my inexperience would not have made a successful looking quilt. So I gave up after one attempt at one row.... and tied the knots. I'm happy with it. Not thrilled but happy. But it's always fun to try something new. I figured I can throw it on the table and put food on it, throw it on my lap, or lay it on the floor for the young man to roll all over and spit up all over! Here are some quick pics. I'm off to get the girls from school!
ps- Quilters, you amaze me! The cutting nearly killed me and I hardly had to cut out anything! 7" squares... y'all are probably laughing at me! :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Hello Quilters

Dear Quilters,
I have a new appreciation for what you do. I thought I'd just "throw" a little quilt together for the holidays. Ha! There's no such thing as throwing together a quilt for the holidays. And I didn't even "bind it"... because I have 3 kids and that would take stinkin' forever. NOW... I have to quilt it... so anyone want to tell me how to do that? Like... what foot to use and any other helpful hints would be appreciated!

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Carnival Came to Town

The CARNIVAL came to town! In our town we celebrate PEANUTS. 50% of the peanuts grown in the United States are grown within 100 miles of our house! What a fabulous thing to celebrate! Growing up Mom & DaddyBoy always took us back to their hometown for the annual "Ag Days" celebration {aka Agriculture Days} it was always at the end of the summer around harvest time {they celebrate soy beans & corn up there}.

Paige wore her boots {although they didn't last long... thankfully I don't leave home without her fail proof Crocs}: It was one of those blue sky days that makes you feel so good. Unfortunately the corndogs don't make you feel so good... but they do taste good:
And... what's a trip to the fair without an Elephant Ear:

And Cotton Candy:

And llamas {or maybe it's an alpaca?}:

I accidentally forgot JM's sunhat so we had to stop on the way so I could run in a local discount store. It was slim pickin's for children's sunhats in November. If I was only looking for a Christmas stocking or ornament. But I managed to find a pile of Nascar toddler hats and a pair of toddler sunglasses. I didn't know who #9 was but I hoped he was GOOD, FAST, & FRIENDLY. Justin was thrilled when I returned to the car with a Kasey Kahne hat. In fact, he said people {Caroline, was it you?} have said that he looks like Kasey Kahne. I don't necessarily see the resemblance, oh well! We cracked up at him all day. He was so helpless, clueless and cute in his hat and sunglasses... it's ok to snicker! We sure did on many occasions!
We thankfully didn't have to spend ANY time at this site:

Because we travelled like this: {yes, {click to enlarge} Paiger is sitting in the stroller with JM. And no, he wasn't too thrilled about sharing his ride! Maybe I should look into those 3 seat strollers?}
By the time we returned home the Raiger had snaked the Nascar cap and I had to steal a picture of her and daddy after a wonderful & exhausting day!

Before I had children I would always joke with Justin that the local Peanut Fair was "overrated"... just a glorified travelling carnival. But now that I have children it's so much more. It's an absolute delight! Being a mother has revealed a lot of my selfishness and pride. I'm learning to delight in seeing my children delighted. That's why we took them to the fair, let them eat some junk and skip their naps. That's why I bought Morgan that super cheesy Strawberry Shortcake bathing suit at KMart last summer and actually let her wear it in public. You would have thought I took her to the moon over that bathing suit. That's why I let her wear the outfit that she picked out on Sunday morning to church. She had it lying across her bed when I walked in her room and exclaimed, "Isn't it beautiful, Mommy!?" When really the whole ensemble was quite atrocious. But she didn't know and she didn't care. She thought it was beautiful, and each piece was... just not together. I couldn't dare tell her, "No, you won't be wearing that to church. You're going to wear a beautiful smocked dress and a pretty bow like all the other little girls living in the South."

I'm learning, I tell you, I'm learning. Learning to live and learning to delight in all little things that bring joy to little children!! While asking myself over and over, "Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ." Don't pat me on the back, I {pridefully} explained to most people at church she chose her own outfit. As if that wasn't obvious.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

November in Alabama

This could be one for the record books.

I have fond memories of making SNOWMEN in November when I was a little girl.

My little girls will have fond memories of SWIMMING in November {on the 7th to be exact}.

The leaves were changing & falling while they prepped their "boat" for the water. They said it wasn't cold.

They were lying.

I was busy praying they didn't need to be rescued because I WAS NOT going in after them.
Pre-swim baby brother did need to be rescued from his horrible and terrible holding cell crib.

The girls accompanied him in his cell while I attempted to clean his room.
He will grow into a man who will probably wear pink.

We've started to "secure his manhood" early with pink pacis, pink blankets, and he's even been spotted sporting BOWS {pink of course}!
And it won't be long before he's ripping Snow White from the hands of Raiger!

Then I'm sure his daddy will rush off for a train set & bulldozer!
Happy November!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Today, Today, Today

It's one of those days {drab, dreary & chilly} that calls for a spot of tea. So, a spot of tea I have and I thought I'd share a few things with you on this very SPECIAL November 4th...

I tried, I tried, I tried... and I was denied! Let me start by saying that there was a great deal of red tape that kept us from pulling off our "Election Day" bake sale at a local polling location. I again, am so grateful for those of you who volunteered to bake and sit. I was quite discouraged with the last minute "no" that I received on Saturday! In lieu of the bake sale, would you consider a donation on the Cookies for Kids Cancer website?

Although I wasn't there to sell cookies, I did make it to my polling location to cast my vote. I need not tell you who I voted for... I think you all know and there's no need to stir up any more controversy. I will tell you this, I have a total peace about who ever makes it into office! I'm just itchin' to see who it will be! I love a close race! Doesn't it make it all the more exciting? I will do my best not to tune into the tv tonight... the news media makes me nuts. But the Duggars don't. Did you see Josh get engaged last night? How bad did he want to kiss her? He was crackin' me up.

Today is Morgan's 4th Birthday! We started the day off right with Batter Blaster pancakes with a candle sqooshed in the center. I took her to school in her "new birthday outfit". I haven't sat and sewn in so long that I had to whip this one up over the weekend. The first thing she told her teacher was that she had a pocket on her pants... I guess a pocket can be thrilling if you're not used to one! I stole the "4" idea from Meg. She and her dainty little classmates will be enjoying peti fours in honor of her big day! I was quite impressed with how they turned out {no, I didn't make them}. I snapped a picture and ate inhaled one myself before taking them to the mighty little munchkins. They looked good and tasted even better! They were just the right size for preschoolers and {believe it or not} cheap to boot!

The little {BIG} man has reached a milestone unfortunately it's not sleeping through the night ROLLING OVER! Can we all give him a big round of applause!? He was so proud and we all cheered him on in his new lease on life. He no longer will be starting aimlessly at the ceiling.

He also tried out the bumbo seat this morning... another new lease on life! Can you see he likes it? He also accompanied me this morning to the polls and was a perfect angel! Kristen, thanks for being on call in the event of a meltdown! The young man slept the entire HOUR that I was there! I'm glad I didn't leave him in the parking lot with you! :)

And what's a post without the Raiger picking her nose sporting an outfit she selected all on her own! You go sista' in your red boots!!

Ok, my tea is long gone, my dishes are piled up and it's time to get back to reality! Happy Birthday, Morgan! Happy Election Day! Here's to a new chapter in the history books of America!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Don't Stress...

I gave up my orthodontic retainers {after 10 years of wearing them} after Morgan was born. I guess Erika is waiting until she has her first child. She called this morning to tell me she accidentally left it here. I panicked. Leaving your retainer in my house {within reach of children} is like leaving prime rib on the counter with a dog in the house. So, I shuffled off to the bathroom hoping it was safe and sound on the counter. Nope. The "case" was there but no retainer. I told Erika the search would begin but that I could make no promise that it didn't get flushed down the toilet {like baby Jesus did from our Nativity set}.

Well, Erika... I found it. Safe in sound in the girls doll house. Appropriately, it is in the bathroom. When I took it away Morgan said, "why does MommaSissy have that crown?"

Erika, it's time to give up the crown. But never fear, if you're not ready to give it up... I can mail it to you!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Guess Who Stinkin' Surprised Me?

This squirrel! {and she was a good citizen and voted before she came!}

the girls and I are having fun too!

Shireen, this is the dress from Walmart that took me 20 mins to decide on... it was all of $15!

my girls & her girls

Here's what we've done:

  • brewin' up some more apple butter {we're licking the air right about now}
  • drooling over the new Nov/Dec issue of Cottage Living... y'all check out Anne Turner Carroll's spread {p. 32-38}... we're smitten with her kitchen!
  • went to Big Lots for to reload on cinnamon... 2 Big Lots patrons asked me what I needed so much cinnamon for {I was only buying 3... I really only needed one but when they're $.99 why not get a couple more}; you better believe I told 'em for some Apple Butter... both explained to me that they loved Apple Butter!
  • we hit up the Highlands Antique Mall and both were self disciplined and didn't buy a single thing... although we saw some college girls dropping some of "daddy's money" and we thought "girls... that is short lived" but didn't want to ruin the moment and tell them.
  • we found a house for Mom & DaddyBoy... now if we could just get them to buy it and move SOUTH!
  • now we're home hangin' with the crumbcrunchers and trying to decide on dinner! I'm thinking Steak Out! :) We'll see!

"what do you think, Sister?"

Mom & DaddyBoy... it's waiting for you! :)

Morgan loves her MommaSissy!