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My name is…

Recently, my precious angel, born of my womb
that I carried selflessly (forgoing all things sushi) for 39 weeks
began to call out to me in the night

It must be me she was calling out to
since Big Daddy “doesn’t do” night shift

At 1:30am this morning,
what did I hear coming from the baby monitor?

Dada, Dada, Dada, Dada

Returning to her nursery at 5:30am
I received the biggest smile ever
one that melts the heart and makes you not care about
the bags under your eyes
or the fact that you now consider
4 hours of uninterrupted sleep a luxury

With the voice of an angel my darling daughter said,

“Dada, Dada, Dada, Dada”

While feeding her oatmeal she proclaimed her thanks, enthusiastically

While playing with her on the floor
she looked at me with those big gorgeous eyes and said again

As I put her on the floor with her toys and left to start dinner
She called me back with

So, my precious baby girl has named me Dada.

I have no idea what she will call Big Daddy
But really, that’s his problem isn’t it?

My name is now Dada

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Fall Decor

It’s not easy trying to bring Fall to Sunny Florida, ya’ll.

The Palm trees and the bamboo just don’t change colors unless they are DEAD;
and then they are not so much a marker for fall, so much as a potential hurricane hazard.

Still, I must admit that I am a teeny tiny bit nostalgic for our days in Pennsylvania when we had leaves to jump in and trees changing colors.

But don’t tell Big Daddy I admitted that.

While reading blogs (instead of newspapers) this morning and following the veritable rabbit trail to new blogs (that I must add to Google Reader, even though I’m not 100% sure how to find it again) I happened upon Layla’s blog, the lettered cottage, and saw her fall centerpiece post…and I was inspired.

So what to do?
Of course I had borrow that idea and make my own.

Here is my fall floral arrangement.

Complete with organic limes from Whole Foods.

I’m sure Big Daddy appreciated the fact that my inspiration hit me
in the organic produce aisle at Whole Foods.
What do you think?Actually, I’m just teasing.
Big Daddy didn’t seem to care.

Thanks Layla for the inspiration and I sure do wish you the best on your HGTV auditions.
When I had my store, Style House, I was lucky enough to appear on 3 episodes of Smart Design and I’m still flying high from that accomplishment almost 6 years and 4 kids later!

I’ll post more of my fall touches to the blog later this week.
Try not to bite your finger nails down in anticipation.
Stubby nail bitten nails are never in, no matter the season.

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Bible Study: week one

My friend Amy Bayliss wrote a 10- week Bible Study that really caught my attention, based on Proverbs 31. I invite you to join us for this study as I post my thoughts here as well.

Week one: Shattering the Myths

Well, this study started out with a bang for me. I had absolutely never before read that it was believed that the author of “The Wife of noble character” in Proverbs 31 was Bathsheba or that the woman she describes is not an actual woman, but a description of her wishes and desires for her son.

Of course I had to do a little research on my own to find out more about this eye opening revelation. Here is what I found:

Bible Track
The perfect wife
Bathsheba: Finding Faith after failure

  • List three things about Bathsheba that stand out to you.

She was an adulteress
Helped her son Solomon become King
She took her sin, turned it around, and was blessed

  • Questions to ponder: What is the one verse in Proverbs 31:11-28 that you would most like to accomplish?

Proverbs 31:28 speaks to me the most.
Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her

I feel that my children are my legacy on this earth. I would want them to look back on me with pride and to feel that I taught them well. To know that I loved them and desired the best for them. I often tell my children that I’m so glad that God let me be their mother. I would really like them to feel the same way. If my children can look back on their time with me and say, “Our mother loved us and taught us to love and respect the Lord”. I will have succeeded on earth.

Its taken me a long time to come to this point where I really only care what my children and my husband think of me. In a time when I watch marriages around me crumble, marriages that I often thought were better than mine, I would want to know that my husband was proud of me, that he cherished me, and that he was so glad that he married me—- he would praise me to others.

I have a lot of respect for my husband and so it is understandable that I would feel pride from receiving praise from someone that I regard so much.

While I still aspire to be a Proverbs 31 woman—-I see it for what it is now.
A beautiful poem, something to aim for, but not something beat myself up over or feel like a failure because of.

When I read it again, knowing it is the words of a wise mother to her son, I see it clearly, and I realize that I want that for my sons too. You always want better for your children. So it is quite possible that the woman who wrote this, was not all of those things, but she wanted that for her son—-better.

I strive to be better each day.
Proverbs 31 is now something to inspire me and something for me to aspire to—-knowing that I may never do it all at once, and that there are things that I may never even attempt (plant a vineyard, makes linens) and that’s okay.

How do you feel about Proverbs 31?

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Craft: Picture Me Stick Puppet

2 popsicle sticks
1 photo of your child
2 pieces of patterned paper
glue stick


  1. Cut one popsicle stick in half with scissors
  2. Cut out clothing for stick figure (dress or pants and shirt)
  3. Cut out head of child from photograph
  4. Glue headpiece onto stick figure
  5. Lay dress or shirt onto stick figure, below head to get placement for arms
  6. remove dress or shirt piece and glue “arms” onto popsicle stick
  7. Glue clothing
  8. allow glue to dry for at least 15 minutes before using

Don’t be a perfectionist with this craft. Allow your child to have fun making this craft and designing the clothes—so what if the arms are a little off and the clothing isn’t perfect? It is still a fun craft and it involved cutting, gluing and dramatic play!

Although your kids will absolutely love seeing a stick puppet of themselves, don’t forget to make one of Mom and Dad and the family pets. They will enjoy acting out scenes if they have the entire family to play with.

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Craft Time: Table Settings

As part of our curriculum I’ve added “Life Skills” to our lineup.
Since my children are all under six years of age they actually enjoy this subject, but I’m told that this will soon come to an end so I’m enjoying it while it lasts!

Life Lesson: How to set a table.

I wanted them to set the table for each meal as part of their job.
In our family I prefer to use the term job over chore.
Because, a chore is exactly that—– An unpleasant or burdensome task.

While job is something you can take pride in.
You have a job.
You have a purpose.

“Mom, I don’t have a fork”

“Whose job is it to get a fork?”

When you’ve completed the Placemat above your child can use that as a visual reminder of how to set the table. My three year old daughter has no problem placing the dishes and silverware on her placemat, and she takes great pride in it.

You may also choose to label each item on the placemat, although we did not do this. To get the perfect size placemat I just traced one of our favorite placemats, but you can cut them to any size. If you round out the corners it looks a bit more professional.

If you aren’t up for an art project you can purchase a cute tablesetting kit from Constructive Playthings (see item #XX-89840 currently on sale for $15.97 (so don’t say I never passed on a money saving idea).

Williams Sonoma also has a cute Melamine Puzzle Tray that is part tablesetting instruction and part puzzle. It’s pretty cute and if I wasn’t so impressed with myself for creating this tablesetting craft using my left over scrapbooking papers I may have considered it. But you are obviously free to purchase and let me know how it was!

Flip Flops and Applesauce also has a cute story to share with your child to help them remember how to set the table.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.