Thursday, February 25

Personal Challenge: Day 5 - Back to the Basics

Day 5:
todays challenge:
Imagine all the things we could get done if we didn't have social media....
for example: Facebook & Twitter.
Let's try it out and see just what happens when we take a break for 24 hours.
Take notes on what you accomplish in the time not wasted.

So.. here I go.. not a moment wasted today!!!


Wednesday, February 24

Wishful Wednesday

Today, Kelsey, is doing Novel Characters...

'I wish' .... I could play a character's role in a book and it would be Allie Hamilton from The Notebook!

I love the time period. I love the story. I love Rachel McAdams.

If I could pick another it would be another Rachel flick.

Claire Abshire from The Time Traveler's Wife.

I have not read the book, but I have the movie and LOVE it! I think Rachel just portrays her characters in such a real, gentle yet strong way.

But really girls... let's all face it! If there is absolutely ONE character you're just dying to be...
of course, it's the one and only..

Miss Scarlet O'Hara!

My grandmother introduced me to Gone With The Wind at the age of 5. I have been in love with it since! It is now one of LK's faves, as well.


Nothing new...

Hey Ya'll! Well, nothing is really going on today, so I just really dont have much to blog about. So, I found this cute quiz over at Short Southern Mama's blog. I thought it was fun... A quiz to find out your true color..
{go here to take it}

My result...

"You are quite the powerful thinker. It’s this talent that allows you to overcome a plethora of great obstacles. Luckily, this doesn’t affect your ego and you give off a pretty easy-going appearance. You enjoy the finer things in life and also have an attraction to art. If you can help it, you try not to rock the boat. But you also can’t stop yourself from searching for new ideas, methods or styles."

Last thing for today...

Day 4:
todays challenge:
Often times we can get caught up in negative self talk.
Or in being negative period.
We tend to speak to ourselves more horribly than we would ever imagine speaking
to someone we love.
So today, that stops.
With every negative thought that comes into your mind,
first immediately STOP it...
And then, replace that thought with what is TRUE and positive.
Even better, get some index cards and write out the negative thought on one side,
and the truth on the other.
Along with the truth, you could find a bible verse or quote that further encourages
you in that area.
Notice what a difference you feel about yourself and about life at the end of the

I am definitely LOVING today's challenge! Don't we all do this??! It's definitely true what they say.. "We are our own worst critic!" I know I am! I am always doubting myself.... Did I do this ok today? Was I good enough at this today? I should have spent more time with that today. I should not do this anymore! You know the drill! Well, today's the day... I'm done with that! From now on, I will do my possible best at everything and at the end of the day I will know that I've done my best and move on. No more second guessing my way through life! :)

The other day I found this verse and fell in love with it. I think it speaks such truth.

She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come"
Proverbs 31:25

I also love this one...

"But godliness with contentment is great gain."
1 Timothy 6:6


Tuesday, February 23

personal challenge: 21 days to a better ME!

Today, as I was blog browsing, I came across this challenge on Julie's blog. She is following along with Summer , who started this! I thought that this sounded like a great idea!! I mean, I'm happy with myself.. but everyone could use a little sprucing up, right?! So, why not...

I'm behind a few days, so I'm throwing them all into one to get caught up.. here we go!

Day 1:
today's challenge:
Think of something you are willing to give up for 21 days,
and commit to it once and for all.
Write it down.
Tell someone so they can help to hold you accountable.
and remember,
it's just for 21 days.
you can do anything for 21 days.

What am I giving up?? I'm going along with Julie here.. Cursing! Now, I dont curse hardly ever.. I think it's completely unattractive. BUT, one does slip out every now and then.. particularly while driving.. ha! So.. I'm going to do better! AND - if I can swing it.. I'm going to try to give up caffeine too! Surely, I can make it 21 days?! RIGHT?? :/

Day 2:
today's challenge:
Let today be a day that you are focused on going out of your way to show love
and kindness to the people around you.
Whether that means sending a card,
writing a thoughtful email or note,
doing a chore for someone,
or spending extra intentional time with a friend, child or family member....
Whatever it may be, just find as many ways as you can throughout the day and do
And do them with a heart full of love.

Well, I am FULL of Love today!! I finally finished LK's Birthday Thank-you notes! I even dropped a few lines to a few special ladies in my life! :) Tonight I plan on spending a little quality time with my sister at Zumba and Yoga (lord, just kill me now.. ha!) and I even have some story time planned with a certain big bad six year old at home!!! This is one area I definitely need to get better at.. showing my love! Well, friends and family.. get ready for the wave of love from this girl! :)

And today's...

Day 3:
todays challenge:
Today's focus is on the blessings in your life.
My mentor mom keeps a blessings journal,
and each day she keeps track and writes down all the blessings of her day.
I think it's such an incredible idea, one that can only bring about joy.
So grab a notebook and keep track of each and every blessing that comes your
When you're looking for them, you'll be sure to find them.

What a great idea!! Definitely starting a journal!
Today's blessings... money in my bank account, a good chat over bagels with the two loves of my life, sunshine, happiness, a sweet text from my hubby that began with "God, I love you!"
... and the day is just beginning! :)

So, go over to these ladies blogs and join along with the challenge! :)

Monday, February 22

Hello Sunshine!

Gosh - what a MOST needed break in wintry weather this past weekend!!! Saturday was absolutely gorgeous with highs almost to the 60's! We definitely took advantage of the warmer weather and headed outside!

Chris and I managed to get out in the garden and start preparing for spring! :) We weeded, trimmed bushes and got the soil ready for new pretty flowers and new mulch! We also got the garage cleaned out and re-organized. That definitely makes for a happy wife! ha!

After dinner, we all headed down the street to the neighborhood park! The kids had a ball! I didn't realize how much energy they had stored up! They ran and played for about an hour, till dark! We even took their scooters so we could walk around the path.

Sunday, after church, we headed to Corky's for lunch! YUM! Definitely a family favorite! :) Just after lunch, the rain started moving in, so the kid's went down for a nap, Chris got to work on changing my oil & brakes and I got to finish my project from last week! ..........
(drumroll, please).....


(pronouced CHAW-LEE and LOW-LAH - in your best British accent!)

If you have kids around the 5-6 age, I'm sure you remember this Brother and Sister duo from Playhouse Disney...

Charlie and Lola.. the best brother/sister team ever! Lola was a little ball of energy always getting herself into trouble while Big Brother Charlie was always bailing her out! :) LK LOVED this show!!

Although the roles are a little reversed in our house! ha! :)

When LK saw these, she immediately wanted to name them C & L. Good thing Ethan liked it too! :) Yes, they took FOREVER to make!!! But aren't they so dang cute?!

Of course, Miss Lola HAD to have pearls! :)

and Mr. Charlie wouldn't be complete without a necktie! (we'll see how long THAT stays.. ha!)

And thank you to Southern Butter for showing these on her blog (that's where the picture I showed you on Friday came from!). Her's were just so cute that I had to try them for myself! :)

So, needless to say, our weekend was great! Nice and relaxing! :) I hope yours was too!


Friday, February 19

Hodge Podge

Goodness.. this has just been the longest week! It's definitely been "one of THOSE weeks"! ha!

We started Monday off with no school for President's Day. I mean, really?! These kids have missed enough school because of snow and ice already! Was it really necessary to miss Monday?? UGH!

The weather was YET AGAIN snowy and super cold on Monday! I'm beginning to hate it! The last time I checked, I lived in Tennessee NOT New York! I didn't sign up for this much snow! Dont get me wrong... it's pretty! But when you have to drag two kids around in it..! Luckily we have ended the week with extremely beautiful days! The sun has been out and the temps have been above 40! Woo Hoo! It's even 50 today! :) Hopefully it'll stay nice through the weekend so we can get some stuff done around the house. I noticed that garage is in quite the mess and the back door is covered with mud from the dogs. All the ice that melted created a mud pit by the back gate and of course the labs have had a field day playing in it!

Among other things, the Olympics have kept me up entirely too late every night this week! I just can't turn them off! I have to say that Shaun White completely amazed me!! How does he do that?! So, of course, since I've been up late watching the Olympics.. that means that mornings have been a little rough! ha! LK has barely made it to school on time all week! OOPS! ;) We are all promising to do better next week!

LK is still getting birthday gifts! No wonder this child acts so spoiled! :) Miss Candice sent her Frenchy.. Fancy Nancy's puppy! So, now we take Bitty Baby and Frenchy everywhere.we.go! Dont you just love little girls and their dolls?! :) Since the weather has been so crummy, we've been stuck inside. That calls for alot of crafts, coloring, games, books and puzzles! I was so proud of LK. The other night she put this 100 piece puzzle together all by herslef! It was an adorable puzzle.. complete with glitter! :)

I snapped this pic of Ethan at school the other day! Ms. Katherine said that he refused to take his nap and finally fell asleep right at 2 o'clock. This was at 2:20! Hilarious!

Last night I finally tried my hand at making my Great Grandma Mae's Old South Banana Pudding! I've been scared to try it b/c her's is just so delish and I didn't want to ruin it! But, I've been craving it.. so, I called my grandmother for the recipe! Surprisingly, it was pretty good! Definitely NOT Grandma Mae's (i think she left out the secret ingredient.. ha!) but good none the less! After making this, I decided that I definitely need a large footed triffle dish. It just isn't the same without the triffle dish! I couldn't layer it up the way I wanted! So.. I'm definitely putting that on my "Mother's Day" list! ha!

Yes - as far as I'm concerned you ONLY use Vanilla Waffers for Banana Pudding!

I've also been up to my eyeballs in notecard orders this week! But everything is looking SO cute!! I also decided to start another project (what am I thinking?!). I'm not finished yet, but I'll give you a sneak peek....

Stay tuned! :)
One last thing - CONGRATS are in order for my sweet friend April! Sometime around October 4th, she and her sweet family will welcome Baby #2 into the world!! Yay for precious Addyson becoming a Big Sister!! :)

In one day I found out that two close friends are expecting!! That makes 3 in one week with Jessica's annoucement! Your are definitely NOT helping the baby fever, ladies.. NOT.AT.ALL! haha! :)

*sorry for the poor quality of the pics.. all I seemed to have handy this week was the iPhone! :(*


Tuesday, February 16

Roots and Wings

Just before Lilly Kate was born, I found the above photo and quote by Anne Geddes. I fell in love with it and immediately purchased a copy for her room! And.. it's still there to this day! I just found it to be so true and honest. It's exactly what I hoped and prayed for my sweet baby girl.

Quite honestly, I haven't given it much thought since. I've become more focused on other goals for my kids.. a good education, a good balance of discipline, activities, teaching her to makes friendships and be a good person.. you know, the usual! But the other day, this quote sort of smacked me in the face again!

You see, LK has been getting into a little bit of trouble lately at school. Nothing big, just a lot of talking and socializing. (yes, she's only in Kindergarten, so i see the trend that's already starting!!! OH BOY! ha!) Her teacher and I were talking and she told me that Lilly is just a ball of energy and that she's friends with everyone in her class, so there's just no good place to put her without her talking to her neighbor. Of course, as a mother, I immediately worried about her getting into so much trouble. I wanted it to stop! I wanted her to understand that there is a time to talk and a time not to talk! As I started telling her teacher that we were trying new discipline techniques to try to get her attention on the matter, she quickly stopped me. She said what is quite possibly the most amazing compliment for both me and LK that I've ever received....

She told me not to be so hard on Lil for talking so much. Yes, she needs to know when and where to talk, but really just so she doesn't miss class lessons and fall behind on her work. She told me that there is a fine line with LK. She told me that LK is one of the most self-confident children she's ever seen and we have to be careful not to break her spirit. Apparently, when Lil was Star of the Week, she got up in front of her entire class and sang a song.. THAT SHE WROTE! I was blown away. When I was Lilly's age, I was painfully, ridiculously shy. There is NO WAY on earth that I would have done that! Mrs. Jeffrey told me that I should be proud of my "never-met-a-stranger-take-on-the-world-head-on" little girl. She told me that whatever I've done as a Mom has been incredible for Lilly Kate. To be honest, I dont think I've done anything special as a Mom. I think this is all just part of who Lilly Kate is. I've known from Day 1 that she was a special creature. She came into the world on her own terms (5 weeks early and perfectly healthy!) and has made her own path along the way. She does not conform and does exactly WHAT she wants WHEN she wants! She's level-headed, imaginative, carefree, smart and at the same time, tinderhearted, kind and loyal. Now, I know that she will be the type of girl who can stand up in front of anyone and have her say, do what's right and never back down. Most people would give anything for the type of self-confidence that this girl posesses! (i know i would!) Her teacher told me that she sees great things in LK's future and that what LK posesses is what she hopes for most with her own girls. And that the last thing I should be worried about is LK talking too much and having too many friends. :)

I almost cried while Mrs. Jeffrey was telling me all the wonderful things about my child. I knew that it wasn't me who was a perfect mom.. lord knows, I struggle every day to be better and better. But I knew that I had just gotten lucky. God decided to let me have this incredibly little being and I'm just lucky enough to call her MY little girl.

So, right then and there, I knew that my goals had changed. Yes, I still have the sames ones that I mentioned above, but they've shifted just a little. I've gone back to just before birth and to the quote...

"There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these is roots; the other, wings."

My main goal now.. NEVER break her spirit! Do everything in my power to further instill that self-confidence. With that she can back away from drugs, she can say no to pre-marital sex, she can graduate from med-law-or whatever school she wants to go to, she can lead a board room and be confident. Without that... she has nothing.

My main goal is to give her the wings to make her fly and provide the roots, so she always knows where God is and where Home is!

Am I a lucky Mom or what?! I wake up everyday and I thank God for letting me get to have this wonderful little girl in my life!


Sunday, February 14

Valentine's Day!

When LK and I got home from the Fancy Nancy event, I was suprised to find out that E and Chris had gone out to buy Mommy a Valentine's Day gift! Chris had already opened (well, purchased.. ) his gift early in the week. I had a plethora of all my favorites waiting on me! They got me an 8-pack of the mini coke bottles, a pack of Snickers, a box of Cocoa Krispies, a new juice decanter (the one with the yellow lid that i've been dying for!), a new Yoga mat!!! and the "Time Traveler's Wife"! I was so excited!!

So, of course, LK was a little jealous that I got to open my gift early. We decided to go ahead and give them their gifts. I'm sure you remember me mentioning the lap trays that my friend, Haley, is making. Well, I had her make up a couple for my kiddos for V-Day! They turned out adorable!! The kid's absolutely LOVED them!

After the kid's opened their gifts, we headed to Noni and Papa's for dinner (late lunch here in the South!) :). Noni had made enough homemade fried chicken to feed an army! It was DELISH! The kid's got even more Valentine's goodies and lots of candy!

We spent another night relaxing at home, watching the Olympics and then watching my new movie! Gosh - I just love that movie!

I woke up Sunday morning to breakfast in bed! My husband is just THE BEST! He even turned "High Society" on for me! Nohting like a romantic Grace Kelley, Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire movie to start off your day! :) After breakfast and the movie, we headed to church for the late service. We've had to miss the last few weeks due to sickness and bad weather, so it was nice to get back to church!

After church we ran a few errands and came home to another yummy dinner, made by Dad! So far, Valentine's Day has been perfect!! I'm so blessed that I'm able to spend it with my 3 (well, 5, if you include the puppies!) FAVORITE Valentine's!!

The kid's are out of school tomorrow for President's Day, so we excited about being able to relax for an extra day! :)

I hope everyone has had a wonderful Valentine's Day!! :)
XOXO's - The Stickles Family


Fancy Nancy Tea & Story Time

We didn't do much at all Friday or Friday night, however, watching the Olympics was really fun! I always look forward to the Olympics and it was more than entertaining to watch Ethan re-enact the ski jumpers!

After spending all day Friday recovering from the bug, we were more than ready to get out and about on Saturday! Luckily, we had plans to meet up with LK's friend Anna-Claire, her mom Courtney and her GiGi, Ms. Paula. We had heard through the grapevine a few weeks ago that Davis Kidd Booksellers was having a "hush hush" Fancy Nancy Story Time! Of course, we immediately bought our tickets and made plans to get the girls together! So, we woke up early Saturday morning and started getting dressed up!

As you can see, Frenchy required her own purse! OH BOY!

It was SUCH a fun event! The girls began with decorating cookies with PINK icing (as if anything else would have been acceptable..ha!), then moved on to making a Valentine's Day craft. After craft and cookie time, it was story time! Following story time, the girl participated in a parade. It was just adorable to see all the little girls dressed up! I think AC and LK had a ball!

We were so excited that Miranda and her little sister Loren were also there! Miranda is one of LK's classmates and she also goes to church with AC! What a small world! The three of them just loved being all together!

giving a little sass...

Story Time!

practicing their princess wave!

the girls walking in their parade! (doing their princess wave!)

getting their "Tea".. (pink lemonade)

Courtney and Anna-Claire

all the girls...

After we left Davis Kidd, we headed to McDonald's to treat the girls to lunch! The girls insisted that they sit at their own BIG girl table, while us Moms and Grandmas sat at a different table. This day, in part, was a make-up day for the girls because Anna-Claire was unable to make it to LK's birthday party due to the icy roads a few weeks ago. So, she was sure to bring along LK's birthday gift! LK LOVED it!! It was several Fancy Nancy book along with a Fancy Nancy puzzle and some extra glittery lotion, body spray and lip gloss!

We had such a fun time with Anna-Claire, Courney, Ms. Paula, Memaw and GooGoo! We are definitely looking forward to another girl's day very soon! :)