March: in like a lion…


I am not even sure what the phrase “in like a lion…out like a lamb…”  really means, but for some reason thought it fitting for the month we’ve had so far!

It started with Grace losing her first tooth!  Almost exactly 5 and a half years old, and her first tooth fell out with no drama, tears or anything of the sort… which was awesome.  Coincidentally, it fell out on March 4, which was the day we were taking the girls to see the Disney Princess show at TPAC.

Most of the little girls in attendance were dressed to the nines in their favorite princess attire… but Harper… she insisted on wearing her elephant costume, which was awesome.  She has a mind of her own.  The funny thing was that all the kids who saw her costume were a tad jealous, I think!


The weather has been amazing…summer like temperatures.  So much so that we’ve had water play almost every day.  Since the neighborhood pool isn’t open yet, we’ve got to beat the heat somehow!  I am not complaining though, I absolutely love it. It’s been in the 70′s and this week it’s in the mid 80′s all week.  BLISS!


A little tennis time was in order….

And today, Chris and I took Grace to register for Kindergarten!  I can’t believe she’s old enough to start.  It seems like just yesterday she was born and Kindergarten seemed a lifetime away.  Nope.  Time flies, like it always does and it doesn’t seem possible that she is old enough!  Can you tell she is excited…?

Of course, being the optimum planner that I am, and the mom who is always on top of things… I forgot 2 of the 3 key, essential pieces of the puzzle in registering her: the birth certificate and the immunization form.  Hey, but I did remember proof of residency…that counts for something, right? Oh well… We go back on April 9 for her assessment and again on the 26th for the Kindergarten open house.

And one more piece of news…and welcome to 2012 surprise we’ve had this year:

Yes, you see that right… a baby.  (Not 2… thankfully… just one, but each one had to have a picture to hold).  And drum roll please…. we just found out that it’s a BOY…. !?  What???  Excuse me?  Is that even possible?  Well, I guess as evidenced from the current announcement, anything is possible, right?

The middle picture accurately sums up how Harper feels about having a boy, but Grace is super excited.  She is so sweet that she would have been happy about either.  Harper is opinionated and slowly coming around to the idea but on the night we told them they were having a brother, she prayed: “Dear Lord, thank you for my baby brother….but I wanted a sister.  Amen.”  and Grace only had one “condition…” she is NOT watching boy shows.  That’s OK, Grace, I’m not either. :)

So, moral of the story is… almost exactly one year after you give all your baby stuff away… you will most likely find out that you are pregnant again.  Don’t say I didn’t warn ya.

So, that being said… if anyone has anything they’d like to pass along… let me know, all we have left is the crib…and the double bob, and I think maybe I can dig up a high chair.

There ya have it… March:  In like a lion…out like a ________?  We aren’t sure yet.




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Why February is fabulous


Truth be told, I have always had the desire to live very near a beach.  Every single time I go near the shore, I think to myself…why don’t we live here?  I can remember even thinking this when I was a young kid. I dream of warmer winters most of all…and the possibility of seeing dolphins every single day.

But what is fabulous about this February is that I feel like I am at the beach in my own house…in Tennessee!  It’s amazing.

I love the fact that all my windows are open and the thermostat reads 71 degrees.

I love the fact that almost every day, the kids have been able to go outside and play barefoot.

I love the sun beating down on my skin and the fact that we stood in the rain today and were not cold.

I love that we grilled burgers on the patio last night and the breeze felt warm like the beach.

I love walking every day with short sleeves and still sweating a little.

This February has been fabulous.  I don’t even care that there is one more day in Feb this year than normal.  Bring it on… especially if it will be above 65 degrees.

Don’t get me wrong, I am still dreaming of the beach… but I’ll take this.  And it makes me wonder if our climate was like this all the time, if I’d even have as much of a desire to move there? Who knows.  For now, thank you Lord for Feb 2012 and the cray warm temperatures.

Oh, and one more thing I am SO thankful for… Daylight Savings time is almost over… or is it beginning… who knows? who cares?… but there will be more sun in my life and longer days and oh, how I can’t wait.


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The stuff delima

Source: via Jamie on Pinterest


(I have no clue why the font is supersize…and wordpress is not user friendly, so I have no idea how to change it…!)

After several epic battles with the girls this morning, I am left perplexed.

The first of the battles started when I poured 2 bowls of cereal, one into a purple bowl and one into a seafoam green bowl of the exact same size.  The child with the green bowl threw a fit and refused to eat because she didn’t like the color of the bowl.  (which by the way, she picked out at the store… but I digress)

I responded to her by explaining that there are millions of kids in the world that don’t have any breakfast to eat at all, and if they had been given her green bowl full of cereal and organic milk, they would have been overcome with thankfulness for the gift just given to them.

So, she didn’t have to eat at all.

I explained that when her stomach growled later because she was hungry, that she was to remember the kids who go hungry every day because they don’t have any food.

Not 10 minutes later, the other child threw a fit because she didn’t want to wear any of her shoes.  She had at least 4 pairs to choose from and none were good enough.  Earlier we had the same fit about a dress…from her FULL closet, she didn’t like any of her clothes and wouldn’t wear any of them.

We had the talk again… Kids everywhere don’t have clothes to choose from, much less a clean outfit to wear every day, and that shoes are a luxury that so many people don’t have.

They don’t get it… how can they?

I am reading the book Kisses from Katie to Grace right now, but it’s still almost impossible for her to understand the gravity of the situations that kids live in around the world… and luxury that is theirs, every day.

What should I do…?? I’ve debated taking all but 5 dresses out of their closet, boxing them up and putting them away; taking all but one pair of shoes out of the house….reducing their toys, books and stuffed animals down to single digits….but not sure that will solve the problem.

How can we raise kids that are overwhelmingly THANKFUL, content and ready to bless others?? How can we expose them to the things going on with other kids in the world without actually going to another country to see it first hand?    Periodically we do box things up, give them to charities, or others who are in greater need, we give money to the church and do not give in to every whim that the kids have.  We talk about people less fortunate and how we need to help them…

We are still drowning in stuff compared to the rest of the world…

Oh, and you don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a lot of stuff…

Ahhh….what do we do?  How do we help them learn? Ideas, advice…?

I am just praying about how best to handle this situation!


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My kind of snow

*We woke up at 10:15am to beautiful, falling snow.

*Promptly woke the kids up and bundled them up to head outside.

*I made coffee, turned on the heat in the sun room, and prepped my camera. (I do not go out in the snow if at all possible…it’s nice from a warm distance)

*Chris takes Grace out to make her first ever snowman. It’s unbelievable that in her 5 years of life we’ve never had a wet enough snow to make a good snowman!

*Harper soon follows, and they finish the snow-lady

*Everyone’s cold except me :) and they come inside

*Snow stops in a couple of hours

*We end the day with a temp in the high 40′s and all the snow is gone!

*Today’s high is in the mid 50′s.

*This is my kind of snow.

And to make the weekend just perfect, my amazing, beautiful friend came over on Saturday mid morning and did up a whole delicious breakfast just for us.  The kids were in heaven with their sweet potato pancakes…and Chris was totally and completely spoiled with the delicious food.  June comes from a line of cooks and they do not mess around and do not disappoint.  Seriously, these were the best pancakes I’ve ever had. I tried to document the greatness…

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Love is…

Yesterday Chris cleaned the whole house… well, everything except the bathrooms… he vacuumed, dusted, put away clothes, washed windows, cabinet fronts, and even put some orange peels and mullings spices to simmer on the stove.  All I did was lay on the couch and read a book.  It was glorious.

Mom took the girls and made treats with them for their classes at school.  Heart shaped jumbo marshmallows dipped in dark chocolate and covered with sprinkles…

Grace offered Harper the only Belle spoon that was clean to use with her breakfast… this is an everyday point of contention if both spoons aren’t clean at the same time!

Harper returned the favor and let Grace use the only clean Belle fork the next time

My grandmother ‘JoJo’ kept the girls this morning for their weekly visit and made them a delicious lunch, had cute valentine activities for them, and showered them with one on one attention.

Hyacinths are still blooming in my living room and making the place smell lovely, I need more flowers in my life right now

The weather is supposed to warm by wednesday and we’ll again see the 50′s, which my heart and soul long for.

My friend Cordell, who works at the Goodwill and never EVER forgets anyone’s name gave me a valentine today.  I still have the one he gave me last year.  He is so sweet.

Happy Valentine’s Day, yall… We will be having our cookie cake tonight as Chris has a game tomorrow night.  Cookie cake has to be the best thing ever invented.  The girls picked it out for daddy….it says “kiss me.”




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still alive

Still alive and here…January has been a doozie (sp?) and I am glad it’s over, if I do say so myself.  But can we say enough about this weather?  Seriously, amazing.  Warm, most days in the high mid 50′s or mid 60′s and a good amount of sun.  I.Love.It.  I swear it is a gift from God because I’m not sure I’d have made it through January if not for this gift!

Yesterday the girls and I went after school to pick up some flowers to plant… because it was so gorgeous and warm, and we needed some flowers in our lives.  They picked orange, yellow and purple violas because they ‘smelled so gooooood.’  (as compared to the only other flower available this time of year: pansy)

Anywhoo… Today is my mom’s birthday!  Yes, we are ever so glad you were born.  You are the most selfless person I know, are always more than willing to help, can show up with the most beautiful bouquet of flowers at the most amazing time, can make us all smile,  and the kids, if given the choice would much rather live with you than me… That pretty much says it all!  :)

It’s beautiful again today, maybe a high of 65 and sunny.  I am in heaven.  Thank you Lord!  Oh, and let me add that my porch is at least 70 when the outside temp is 65.  It’s glorious.  I love it, it’s amazing.

Hopefully I’ll be back here in a few…and February will bring a few more quiet moments than January did… But we are alive and hanging in there… More to come.

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When I was pregnant with Harper, I went into preterm labor at 27 weeks, they told us that she had an abnormally enlarged heart encapsulated with fluid.  Through twice weekly ultrasounds, the doctors watched as the condition resolved itself.  Two weeks before her due date, they said her heart looked perfect, and were wondering whether the techs performing the ultrasounds had done something incorrectly to produce such results.  We say it was Jesus.

Yesterday she turned 3 and is more spunky than ever.   “Taste and see that the Lord is good.  Oh, the joys of those who trust in him!” Psalm 34:8

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The whole shebang.

We’ll start with Christmas Eve.  I love this day, I wish it would last forever.  There is so much excitement of what is to come, we get to go to the Burton’s for Christmas festivities with them that night, and it’s always so much fun to go to bed anticipating something great the next day.  I love it.  I think I like Christmas Eve more than Christmas Day even…

I’ll have to explain the above picture… Harper was being awfully quiet and it was time to pray for the meal, I called for her and got no response… then looked around the corner to see only her feet sticking out.  She was hiding and devouring a roll that she had stolen off the counter! Sneaky little girl. It was hilarious to watch her eat it as if no one was on to her schemes.  Notice the headband.  Someone asked her: “Harper are you a hippie baby…?” and she responded… “Um, nope… mama is.”  …and she may be right.

“And then the stockings were hung on the chimney with care….in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there..”  Notice what St. Nick left on the floor?  Footprints!  Oh, the kids loved this.

Just before we woke the kids up.  (yes, we had to wake them again this year…!)

…And yes… the goodwill bikes!  Aren’t they awesome? Look brand new?

And…here is Grace making her Christmas presents.  SEWING them!  I didn’t get a pic of Harper sewing, although she did do one. I had to make sure and guide her hands a little more so as not to get a needle through the ole finger.

Chubby fingers on the sewing machine are just so cute.

Well, that was our Christmas in a nutshell!  We had a great time with family and friends at my mom’s house for lunch…although I forgot my camera so I will have to hijack hers and get the picts on my computer.  Christmas night we watched Miracle on 34th St. (the new version) and I hope we can make it a tradition.  I love that movie for some reason… and I am not a movie gal.

And then came the 26th… I don’t like the 26th…never really have.  All the festivities are over and now you have to weigh exactly how long you can fesably leave the Christmas decorations up without looking like a loon!  It’s a precise calculation, you know…! I love Christmastime… by far my favorite time of the year… I may start my decorating in early-mid November next year… because well, I want it to last as long as possible.  :)

So, this week I am pondering this new year.  My friend challenged me to really pray about it… specifically…. and prepare my heart for WHATEVER may come in 2012.  And I am reminding myself that in less than 11 months, we can do this Christmas-thing all over again! And that makes me happy!


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Love (for lack of a better title)

Here’s a little project I was going to give to Chris for Christmas, but then I thought: ‘He’s a man, he will totally not get it, he’ll think it’s the dumbest gift ever, and really would have wanted something else…’  So, I just went ahead and hung it up.  There was a huge, vast empty wall above our bed, and it is now located there…and I LOVE it.  Now, to his credit, he says he loves it too and would have liked it if I had given this to him as one of his gifts… but he’s nice like that.

The girls had their Family Day-Grandparents Day-Christmas Program on Wednesday.  For some reason every single picture we took was blurry.  Here are the best 2. I guess it is 100% impossible to get that many 2, 3 and 5 year olds to stand still enough for a clear picture.

Please take note of Harper’s “Taylor Swift hair.”  The girls saw her once on an awards show with a side ponytail, and now it’s the coolest thing ever and if they want to look really fancy, they ask for “Taylor Swift hair.” Harper did a little swaying while she sang Jingle Bells, it was quite adorable.

Grace, poor thing was so nervous, but didn’t want to show it.  She did great and sang her song just perfectly: Feliz Navidad…

Tomorrow is Christmas!  Tonight is Christmas with the Burton’s.  Fun times.  Oh, and I am really proud of the fact that every single one of the girls gifts this year came from the thrift store or I handmade it for them.  It’s not about the money, right? They will get just exactly what they asked for, and more… and a lot of money in savings for them later!

I get so many questions about my shopping habits/philosophy with the Goodwill/thrifting… so i am working on a post about it. But here’s a little bit @ this year’s Christmas presents:  I’ve known what the girls’ Christmas wishes for a while now, so I have been diligently looking, searching, praying (yes, praying) and combing through ‘the bins’ to find the perfect gifts that will fill their wishes.  To me, this is much more thoughtful than just running into Walmart all willy-nilly to find the first obnoxiously packaged, overpriced thing that fits the bill.

See, my mom got me these amazing, vintage button boards for my birthday… almost like sample boards that a tailor might use to show customers what kind of buttons to pick from… these are one of a kind… and did I mention, amazing…?  She combed through a bunch of junk and found the diamond in the rough… she knew I’d love them…and I knew the work, and Divine intervention it took to find something like that, and that made it even more special.

Ok, I am totally not saying that if you shop at regular stores for gifts they are not special… No… for you, that shopping may be a labor of love… just like mine at the thrift store..!  I’m just telling you why I love to thrift for my family…. :)

But, secretly (or not so secretly) I really don’t want people knowing all the amazing stuff you can find second hand…so forget I said anything… KAY…..?  MMMM-KAY.

**EDITED TO ADD:*  Chris thought the walmart comment was harsh… and again, I mean nothing against people who don’t have the patience or the desire to go thrifting that is totally fine!  This is just my love language and I love to do it… and I am just telling you why.  Thank you Chris for making me really self conscious, but I trust that if any of you that read my blog know my heart behind this.  Walmart gives me the hives.  I’d say 90% of America is not like me… and that is fine! New gifts are amazing as well.  Thank you Chris Burton. (Maybe he took offense because he can’t and won’t step foot into a thrift store…) (Your gifts are special to, honey… and thoughtful, and we love them…)

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Christmas time is here…

We’ve decorated the Christmas tree.  Harper refused to put ornaments on it unless she was standing on the ladder.  Is anyone surprised by that?  After Grace watched her decorate about half of the top, she decided it was safe enough to try her hand at climbing the ladder. We made gingerbread houses that were almost a disaster.  Surprisingly they decorated with more candy than they ate.  Thank the Lord.  Somehow I pulled off the icing and it hardened well and the houses are still standing.   (Side note:  What do you do when you have pretty poor quality photos because of indoor lighting… ?  Open up photoshop and slap a vintage look on them, and they they are cool again… well, I guess according to perfect blog world they are…right?!)

Chris and I went to an ugly Christmas sweater party.  A lot of people actually thought my sweater was cute.  Well, Sha-Zam; and Chris actually got ‘honorable mention’ for the ugliest sweater there.  Bam.  Please excuse the ethereal looking cloud at our feet.  I have no idea, also don’t mind the three pounds it looks like I’ve gained only on the right side of my face.  That is just the out-skirts of my other pigtail that has gone a little wild.

And, this really has nothing to do with Christmas except for the fact that everyday is Christmas for me at the GWO.  Here is a chair that I found, and in true mom fashion she said:  ”Eww, I don’t really like it.  It looks to me like an ugly 70′s vinyl chair.”  You know, that’s fuel for my creative fire.  I love when people question what I buy only later to like it! :)

Anyways, I love the fabric that I put on it (from a half finished vintage dress I found), but truth be told, it matches nothing in my house… So I was just practicing… Eventually I will find another amazing fabric that goes with something in my house and re-cover it again.  I just wanted to see if I could do it and if it would turn out like I’d envisioned… I’m pretty pleased!  But since I like the fabric so much (what’s not to like about a big adorable floral print?) I may just keep it like it is and let it make it’s own statement.

Let’s see… we’ve also made Christmas ornaments, tried to make bird seed ornaments that bombed, painted and played outside (it was 67 degrees today, hallelujah).

One peculiar thing has happened since our trip to Disney… The kids won’t sleep anymore!  It’s driving me cr-a-zy.  No naps, not well at night, and they are cranky.  Seriously cranky. Which in turn makes me cranky.  Seriously cranky.  I will lose my mind if Harper gives up her nap before she’s 3.  Wait, let me rephrase that:  I will NOT allow Harper to give up her nap before she’s 3.  I am gonna lay down the law… somehow.

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