Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Before I shut my mouth...

First, I'm already sweating no words for a month! It should definitely be a challenge and I love a challenge.

Second, I got all these shoes at Shoe Carnival yesterday. When we moved last year I put all my winter shoes {boots & dress shoes} in a garbage bag to move! A giant NO NO around here. They all got tossed. Slowly but surely I'm reloading. I'm about the cheapest person on the planet and even TJMaxx's shoes are too much for me. Well... praise the Lord... look what I found. The red ones were $5 {and they're LEATHER}, the brown ones were $6, and the black & navy were $7! How 'bout that ladies!? Aren't they cute!?


Third, I'm all ears for THINGS TO DO AND SEE IN CHARLESTON. Susie, said to email her... but blasted blogger doesn't attach your email addresses. So... comment and tell me your favorite must see and do's in Charleston. Justin's been before. I've not. We do have dinner plans every night for wedding festivities. If y'all want real words and not just pictures you'll have to check Erika's blog post-trip.

Fourth, a HUGE HIGH FIVE to the Hill family on their new addition, Gracie! Way to go Kristen! We're praying for a speedy recovery! Good job, dad on the updates and Caroline, you're going to be an awesome big sister!

Monday, December 29, 2008

There are 31 days in January


This week's a wild one. I feel like I'm just coming up for air from Christmas and now I am planning, packing, cleaning, and shopping.

Planning:: all the details from travel arrangements to nanny services {insert 'makes me a tad nervous'} for our upcoming long-weekend getaway to Charleston, SC for a very SPECIAL wedding
Packing:: for myself, my husband and our nursing son
Cleaning:: because my husband who clearly didn't consult me scheduled for our house to be appraised on Wednesday
Shopping:: for my husband who tends to wear his dress clothes to the farm and stain 'em all up and shopping for myself who on any given day could be a contestant on "What Not to Wear". Thankfully, my dear sister, came to my rescue this past weekend. I must have tried on 150 different things. She picked the final wedding outfit... she says, "she loves it"... it seems to have a little sass but remember that is coming from a contestant on "What Not to Wear". We did have a final "pre-purchase" wardrobe assessment {via E's iPhone} from our favorite fashionista.

Now... January 2009 is right around the corner. My intentions for January are to take a "blog staycation". I'll be posting 1 picture a day and little to no text I'm really not sure how I'm going to do it because I'm quite a verbose person. I hope that each picture will somehow reflect and represent that day in our life and continue to give you a peek inside!

Speaking of a peek inside... not only did Erika help me shop this weekend, she also helped me hang the little man's curtains and she snapped some pretty special pictures of the girls. I hope that Erika knows how much she means to us. The girls adore her and so do we. She's giving of her time and money and we are so grateful. She patiently watched me try on a million different things, gave me honest opinions, and paid Annie to keep the kids so we could go at it alone. Then we returned home exhausted and she helped me hang his curtains... which was no small task. Thank you, Sister! I love you so very much and can't wait for our upcoming weekend together.

I'll leave you with a little of her handiwork {with the camera and design}... Happy New Year! See y'all January 1.

Two's Company

JMs room 2

Peter Rabbitt

JMs room 1

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Top 3 Christmas Lessons

I am loving all the pictures and videos of your precious children on Christmas morning! My reader was exploding for several days... and I've now managed to work my way through.

Christmas was wonderful at our household. We have so much to be thankful for. Our children are healthy and happy and we woke up to a warm house {& warm weather} and more food then we could possibly eat.

However, I will make note of a few observations::

#1- No one acknowledged my plea for no toys... {with the exception of my sister who came through with some awesome books!} The aftermath:

toy disaster

#2- Adults enjoy & appreciate homemade gifts MUCH MORE than children do. Unfortunately, my kids would have been more excited about overpriced Disney crap toys. Thank goodness we did have one over decorated, pink & purple, Disney princess bike and one overpriced pink and purple worm riding toy hiding in the closet that we brought out at the very end.

handmade gifts

#3- Next year I may save my time, energy and money and just buy PEZ & Twizzlers.



twizzlers 2

They were the biggest hit. U N T I L .... I told her that she had to eat her breakfast first...


Which resulted in the first of several "candy meltdowns"... maybe I should reconsider #3. The people at Old Navy must have had her in mind when they made those jammies:: she is one tough cookie {especially when it comes to CANDY!}. I can't blame her too much... you know what they say, "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree!" She's also sweet as candy and I could gobble her up in one bite!

The young man was on his best behavior... we're anxious to get him in on the action next year.

jm sofa

We really, really, really missed celebrating with Mom & DaddyBoy this year {and the rest of momma's family}. However, we are grateful for the good times we shared with Justin's side of the family and MommaSis' & Uncle C. We laughed really hard together... and that's always so good for the soul! :)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmastime in Alabama

Y'all... I was starting to fear that I wouldn't be able to squeeze in another post before Santa squeezes his fat body down our chimney... it's been a little nutty around here but nothing Erika and I couldn't capture on film memory.


I asked Santa for a fat baby... he conceded. Can y'all tell he's still not sleeping through the night, but rather eating through the night?


We spent the better part of Tuesday baking cookies for jolly ole Saint Nick. The kids had a blast and Tami and I planned a Christmas party for 2009... our wheels were turnin' and we're both already excited about next Christmas!



One of Justin's best friend's mother brought the kids the cutest gingerbread houses I've ever seen!! There was a snowman hiding inside. She said the girls will do it with her next year... unfortunately, I fear it won't be near as cute! Thanks, Janine!!


I hope Santa is hungry... we've got lots of cookies for him! I also hope he's not diabetic.


I tend to be of the opinion that PRESENT-ation is important.... and lots of fun! And I have thoroughly enjoyed all the labels I've spotted in the last few days! :)



I mentioned that Erika was here... did I mention that she brought her girls too?


Penelope was eyeing these, or maybe it was the breakfast casserole that sat next to it? {Mimi, do you see I'm using all my beautiful candlewick that you sent me home with? I love it!}


I did a few last minute things for the girls... a couple of superhero capes! Morgan has told us that she'd like a "talking princess"... slightly worried that the cape will disappoint. I guess we'll see.


As we exchanged gift this morning with Erika and Chance... I overheard him tell John Martin he's going to teach him to drive next Christmas... and something about giving him an old red Ford Bronco? :)


The hours are few before Christmas morning and {like a child} I simply cannot wait. We're headed to our church's candlelight service this evening and then to celebrate with family before we attempt to tuck in two three overstimulated children!

I hope that you each have a very blessed and Merry Christmas!!!

ps- If you click on any of these pictures it will take you to an album full of others from the last few days.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Peanut butter Pretzel Pillows


Here's a peek at our peanut butter-filled, chocolate-covered pretzels that I've dubbed "pillows" because they look like delightful little chocolate-covered, sprinkle-veiled pillows! We made these for our neighbors but of course we've each snuck our fair share.... they taste even better than they look!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I eat Noah for breakfast....


Who would have given him Noah to chew on.... no, not the Raiger!


She's about as innocent as they come!

Hope all of Santa's helpers are having productive and delightful weekends!

Friday, December 19, 2008

And the winner is....

Comment #45... which belongs to Mandi who blogs at: You Have Stolen My Heart!

Her comment said, "Too cute! Thanks for offering to give one away! =)"... so I'm glad you like it... now you have one for your precious little girl!

Email me darby613{at}gmail{dot}com and we can chat!

Merry! Merry! to you all and thanks for playing!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

This one's for the kids...

Since your chances were rather slim a few days ago I thought I'd do another quick Christmas giveaway. This one is for the kids.

Speaking of kids. My kids donned bathing suits and sunscreen yesterday... and played in water outside. And I thought November was shockingly mild. It's December, folks....

In the sweatshop this weekend I finished up a few more Christmas presents for the children...

And I thought y'all might like one... since I have 1 apron left over! So, up for grabs:: one child size apron with the applique of your choice {dino or owl} and a name! Comment to win and I will draw a name Friday {tomorrow} at 3 pm CST! Even if you don't have kids you can comment... I bet any niece, nephew or grandchild would be appreciative!

Oh... there's one stipulation with this drawing. Since this one's for the kids I want to encourage you with the words of a thirteen-year old boy named Logan {who lives on a working ranch and places a call to the radio station}. He's wise beyond his years... you'll see. As we go about the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season... remember this child was sent for a purpose:: our redemption & salvation. If you have any questions... email me there's nothing I'd rather do than tell you more!

Merry! Merry!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Let Me Help a Sista' Out

The following is a pic-tutorial of how to create your own labels in Microsoft Word.

A few words to the wise:
  • print on plain paper first
  • I used solid sheets of "label paper" like this. Be sure you get ink jet paper for an ink jet printer or laser paper for a laser printer.
  • which allows for fun square or star shaped labels too... the sky's the limit
  • make your margins smaller so you can squeeze more on a page

Click on each picture for the bigger picture...

Merry! Merry!

And the winner is...

Thank you, Random.org, for providing me an unbiased winner of the dish towel. Also, thank you for allowing me not to have to cut up 183 pieces of paper to draw from a hat. Ok, so there were some duplicates, one spam, and a couple "deleted" posts but to save a mother of 3 some time I went to Random and asked them to pick a single integer between 1 and 183...
As you can see it graciously selected comment #11.

That would be...

I pirated that picture from her blog. From a quick perusing of her site I gather she is an architecture student at Auburn. {War Eagle, my friend!} And it looks as though she has just finished her beautiful portfolio and applied for Urban Studio! What a talented young woman she is!

So, congrats Julie! Email me darby613{at}gmail{dot}com and I'll get this little towel to you!

And to the rest of you... thank you for your lovely comments and since your chances were rather slim... I better do another giveaway! Stay tuned!

Monday, December 15, 2008

For Our Teachers... {on a dime}

Here's the breakdown...
  • Lunch bags from Walmart {in the card aisle-- not Christmas aisle} $.20 each
  • The polka dot tissue paper came from this same aisle
  • Pretzel rods from WinnDixie
  • Candiquick chocolate {it's so EASY!} from WinnDixie
  • I bought 8.5"x11" sheets of adhesive label paper from Office Max and printed off several different designs. You can make about 60 {6 per sheet} custom stickers for $8. I designed mine in Microsoft Word. And the only negative is that I had to cut them out... but it's not too bad, I don't mind cutting. And I will also use these on all our Christmas presents.
  • Dishtowels from TJ Maxx {4 for $7.99} and they're GOOD ones.
  • The ribbon I had in my ribbon box.

I would say that each gift cost about $2.75 {maybe even less}.
Looks like a lot more doesn't it?

I embroidered Morgan's pre-school teachers towels. Paige's MMO teachers are getting them without the monogram {because there are 4 of them}... still cute though!

The best part of all... doing the entire project on Saturday with my very enthusiastic helpers!

BTW, y'all are killing me on the dishtowel giveaway... I wish I could make hundreds of them and send you each one. If you haven't commented jump over there and do so!