Monday, November 30, 2009

Tennessee Christmas

Oh how I love this time of year! The lights, the presents, the bows... Once it is all done, I love to just sit and stare at all of the beauty. For me, there is such a standard in the way things should be, I have a vision in my head and I know what I want! Do you ever do that? So I start decorating and create this image the best that I can. This year it seems I have done things in sections... I started with my home decor, a couple of days later I proceeded with my tree, the only thing left is the outdoor lights(which is the hubbies job!) However, I did make some cedar swags for my front porch benches with some left over cedar branches. I think they look beautiful, very Tennessee Christmas!
And of course a glimpse of our tree! It was pretty rough getting this thing completed this year, so I turned on the Christmas music and tried to enjoy it as best as I could. The time did pass quickly with the music filling my mind with Christmas!

I saw something in Better Homes and Gardens and I loved it, and I knew I could do it too! Here is my version of BHG's Ornament Centerpiece:

But it seemed kinda lost in that tray... So I added some ribbon and Wa-La! It was very easy to do this... Gather some ornament balls, hot glue them together, garnish with some cedar bush!

I love the ribbon, it adds that certain color splash I was looking for! And last but not least, ornaments from the light fixture! I stole this idea from a couple different people; Heather, Pam... and I'm sure many many more! But I just love it :) It is so simple and I love the decoration it brings into my kitchen.

If you have some of your favorite Christmas decorating ideas, I'd love to hear them! Happy Holidays everyone....

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Special Visit!

On Tuesday I had a special visit from two very special people! I have not seen this friend in ages, but she is the reason I met my wonderful husband and before that, she is the one responsible for introducing me to Stampede! ( a local bar/country dance club) Oh the good times we have had...
Almost nine years later, she lives in another state and has this super cutie pie that has stolen my heart!!! This is Riley :) Isn't he the sweetest thing?

We took the kiddos to the park and they had a blast!

They loved the slides and climbing and bouncing!

I love that after all of these years, it almost seems that not a moment has past between Bethany(1) and myself. Yep that's right she is a Bethany too ;) We have a lot of fun with that one! Except for the fact that we both have children now. Life is too cool!

Here is Bethany(1) with her little man.

And me and Ella!
After the park, we headed home for some lunch and some Barney Time! Aren't they cute sitting in the bean bag...

Thank you both so much for coming to play with us; It was a very special treat!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Presley Faith!

Presley Faith is here and she is just precious! Matt and Heather sure have a knack for making beautiful healthy babies. Presley joined our wild family around 12:48pm on Friday November 20, 2009. She weighed 8lbs 11oz and 20 1/4 inches long. She is actually the smallest of Heather's girls! I figure Heather may do an announcement post on her blog, but she will probably be a little busy so I thought I would go ahead and share my pictures until she has a chance to share hers!
Matt & Heather before delivery.
Me & Heather

Mom, Heather, Rylee & Me

Matt is ready to go!

Our first time seeing Presley! Tears of joy...from Gramma and Aunt Bethy. Rylee was so excited to see her and did not want to leave the nursery window. She loved just watching her.

Reagan holding her baby sister for the first time! She looks so happy to me here, I just love this picture.

Rylee and Reagan checking Miss Presley out!

Heather seeing Presley for the first time since her delivery.

And last but not least... One proud Aunt! I love my girls :) I have the best nieces and nephews an aunt could for!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

PT Day 4

I can't believe it is Thursday already! This means so many things to me; It means tomorrow (Friday) I will have a new niece! Just the thought of her coming into this world brings tears to my eyes, I'm so excited! Stay tuned for some sweet little pictures....
It also means that Ella has been using the "Big Girl Potty" for four days! I am so proud of her :) Yesterday afternoon, went pretty well I must say. She was very good at telling me she had to go and/or just going on her own! Panties are still a little hard, but today she is doing very well at pulling them on and off. Before bed, I told Ella that if she needed to go pee pee during the night to call me.... Guess What? She did! I was shocked. 3am and I hear "Momma, Mommmma!" "Pee Pee!" I was out bed faster than I was the first night she had come home from the Hospital!! And let me tell you the poor, sleepy child could not even stand up but she went potty and I was proud to give her that M&M at 3am!
We have had a great day today! I am even being brave and letting her nap in her panties... Don't worry, I lined her mattress with a trash bag and another sheet over the bag, but she used the potty before bed and I just want to test the waters!
I have talked a lot about pee pee, and not a lot about #2! It always seems that this is the hardest part, getting a child to go poopy in the potty. It was hard! The first day, I had to follow her around and try to catch her in the act, but I'm telling you she is a pro now! And she is so proud of herself when she does # 2 in the potty ;)
**Daddy is bringing home a surprise for the "Big Girl" tonight...her very own Elmo panties! I think she will love them...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

PT Day 3

Let start by saying...I am exhausted! I am tired of being cooped up in this house and I know Ella is too!
Potty training is having its ups and its downs. This is a process and I am trying to be as patient as I can! But I totally get why it is so easy to just put it off for another time. For me, we have come this far and I am not giving up now!
For the past two days, we have been naked as a Jay Bird! (Ella that is...) Today we introduced panties, Yay panties! I have had them out and she has played with them over the past two days, if she managed to get them on, she could keep them on. The thing with panties is that she is a little confused... I mean the whole naked thing, there is nothing to catch the pee pee, but panties, well they are kinda like a diaper, right? Let's just say that I have washed panties at least twice in the past two days!
Today she really has done better with these pantie things on! (I say that imagining what Ella thinks of them!) She has pee peed in two pair, BUT she has caught herself and gone to the toilet, which to me is GREAT! Ella is napping early today since she woke up 4:38am and then again at 5:06! So we are both pretty tired today. My hopes are to clothe her after her nap and see if she can continue to progress! It's going to be a battle just getting her into clothes, since she is much happier running around naked :)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Potty Training Day 2

So we ended the day yesterday with one more accident and two more successes!

Day 2 has been very interesting! When Ella woke up, I'm pretty sure she had a dry diaper, which is great! However, when I tried to take off her PJ's and diaper, she got mad at me and laid back down, pushing me away :) Then she said "Mama Pee Pee!" So I said "Hurry let's take your clothes off!" But I was too late, her diaper was nice and warm. HA!

So we went on with our morning, eating breakfast, playing, etc. The hours past; 9:30, 10:00, 10:15... No pee pee or poopy! She has sat on the potty MANY times, but no go? She is holding it in! So I go for a different approach "Ella you have done so well by not having any accidents, her is a gummy for trying!" 10:25 Ok seriously, she has had drinks and food, why isn't she going? 10:30 "Ella if you go pee pee on the potty, I will give you a sucker!" She runs straight to the potty... SCORE! Yeah, not quite. She ends up getting so mad at me because she wants that sucker. After a small tantrum, she has a little leak. She caught herself and went to the potty! It took another 3 or 4 minutes to actually potty, but she did it! And it was a lot! Let me tell you, she really enjoyed that sucker.

So now it's nap time and I tried to re-enforce that when we get up from nap time, we will go pee pee in the potty! It has been a long day and a half, but that is to be expected. More pee pee talk to come...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Potty Training Day 1

According to the Farmers Almanac this week in November is the "best days" to potty train. Now, I will say that I don't really believe in stuff like that, BUT since we have had so many attempts at potty training (none have stuck), I thought I would give it a shot. In the past, Ella has always been the one to iniciate this, so today it was Mommy's turn!

After getting some pointers from Chronicles of a Baby Wise Mom, I pulled together a basket for toilet paper, treats and a potty book. I moved the potty into the living room (just something I thought I would try) and awy we went!

We have had a great morning! On ly one accident as of now. We will continue working until she is confident enough to go to the bathroom on her own. I have cleared my schedule this week and plan to be very patient :)

Things we have done today:
Toilet in living room
Bare Naked Baby
Treats! (M&M's have been very successful)
Lots of Praise

If you are reading this, say a prayer for both of us :)

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Is a good thing!
We have decided to make some changes around our house. For a while now, I have been wanting to paint our bedroom. Back when I bought our duvet(in which the colors weren't at all what I thought), I had to make a quick change in paint for the bedroom. Once the paint was on our walls, it looked very orange or Autumn looking, I should say. I HATE painting, HATE it! but I finally committed to changing this color. Below is a picture of a pillow or should I say inspiration. I took this to the paint store with me and matched up the back round color. When I started trimming out the bathroom, I got really that I had chosen the wrong color again! That this color was too light... Grhhhh! But now that the bathroom is finished, I really like it :) Now I just have to find the time and patience to finish the bedroom!
This is a better picture of the "orange" and the new color.

Moving on....
Do you see anything different?
That's right! No railings.

We removed our old, dry rotted railings and posts and installed these brand spankin' new square fluted posts! And we decided not to re-do the railings. I love it! It looks so much different, but the more I look, the more I love! now I guess I should paint my benches white, considering they are the main focal points now.

And last, but not least: A quick shot of my little ballerina! Grandma made this adorable tutu for Ella today and she has worn it all day. We even made a road trip to Big Daddy's in South Pittsburg and this little ballerina stole the hearts of every "hunter" in the store! Every time she walked by all of the men, she fluffed her tutu and tilted her head ever so slightly...Oh NO she is just like me! Yikes....

WAIT! I forgot to show you my new toy! "I got a road bike, I got a road bike" Have I told you how incredibly sweet and generous my husband is? Well he is! I found this baby on craigslist and I knew this was the one. I have a lot to learn, but I'm so excited to be able to ride with my girlfriends!


Ella and I love this song and we love dancing to it too! I thought it would be appropriate to share it with this post considering it is about FAMILY.

I have a large, beautiful family. Full of happiness and joy, full of children and giggles, full of life! My sister is about to give birth to her third little girl and we are so excited :) The women in our family came together to celebrate with Heather and shower her with love! We put together a brunch and spent the morning laughing and talking about our children....Blissful!

This is me, Mom and Heather

I never realized how much we actually do look alike!

Here is Pam, Melissa, Heather, Mary Helen and myself.

We decorated Mary Helen's dining room in Harvest Decor, it was beautiful!

Instead of cake or petite fours, we had miniature pecan and chess pies (from Julia's, nonetheless!)

We decorated the table with miniature pumpkins and gourds and a beautiful red and yellow mum. After our brunch, we took a moment to pray the 'Baby Blessings' over Heather and Presley. We are so lucky that God has blessed us with a wonderful family!

Sunday, Jeramy, Ella and I headed to the farm! It was a very cold day so we bundled up and had a blast.

Ella loves to help Daddy at the farm! Here she is following him down the road...

This is my life, my family!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

It's raining, it's pouring, the old man is snoring
Went to bed with a bump on his head and didn't wake up in the morning!
(didn't wake up 'til the morning) actual verse, ha!

This has been our theme song lately. Ella loves playing in the rain, but then again what doesn't she love! She is a girl of many excitements...

So she stands on these steps, going up and down as we sing this song. In which I never realized how morbid that song is. Maybe I have the words wrong?

We have had to get really creative with all of this rain. Ella decided to put on this old straw hat and scoot around in that stroller with Chelsea Bear. It was too cute!

It is rare that you will find this:

Usually this wild child is running from one side of the coffee table to the other, but not tonight. She needed some cuddle time with her Daddy! When that opportunity arises, you have to just sit back and snuggle.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Happy Fall Ya'll!

As far as excitment, I don't have too much to report...But I do have a lot of pictures to share! Ella is a hoot lately, she is so full of life and creativity. She is really into playing with her doll and I get so tickled when I look in the rear view mirror and she is clapping her dolls hands together to the music. Hilarious. She also is into to wheeling herself around in her doll stroller. Silly Girl! One day I came in and she was just hanging out in it watching tv!
Since I've been home, I have joined a group of Mothers called M.O.P.S. (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting new people in my community! One of of the Mothers hosted a play date at her house, a pumpkin party! I made rice crispie treats and put little plastic spiders in them, it was really cute.

We decorated pumpkins in these coll monster stickers! Ella really enjoyed this part!

Moving on... How cool are forts! Ella is loving her some forts. We have a flash light and this is where we like to hang out and read books, change diapers...what ever we can do in there :)

It may not be the architectured fort but to Ella it is a super fun place!

Last Thursday I got to go to the Zoo! I mean we got to go to the zoo...
Melissa, Carson and Campbell invited Ella and I to go to the zoo with them. I was so excited!!! Ella has been with them before, but for me it was my first. I love the zoo! Melissa's little neighbor, Mallory, also went with us. She is a sweetheart! Ella and I had a blast, we all did... We took a picnic lunch and enjoyed a wonderful morning taking in the sites

Probably my favorite!

The petting zoo was of course the kids favorite!

Here is Melissa and Ella looking at the turtles!

The turtles were pretty cool too!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

House Project # 2 --- CHECK!

But first I have to show you some pictures I took of Ella today. It seems to me that she has really done some growing here lately. She is talking more and more every day and she is really into playing with her food ;) Seriously, she will get bowls and measuring cups and transfer her snack from one thing to the other, it is really cute!
Yesterday I learned that if I take my eyes off of her for one minute, she will have made the biggest mess you have ever seen! Example #1) Ella loves Danimals Yogurt Smoothies. She loves them so much she thought her "Chelsea Bear" would love them too! I walk into the living room and Chelsea Bear is covered in smoothie and it's all in the rug as well as all over Ella's hands. My consensus is that Chelsea Bear probably isn't the biggest fan now ;) Example #2) If you leave the child alone to eat her scalloped potatoes, make sure she has on a rain coat and a hood or hat! Otherwise she will turn her potatoes into finger paint and hair gel!

Have I told you how much I am loving being able to stay home with her? I can not explain the emotions involved and I feel so Blessed and fortunate to have this opportunity! I feel like a Mother, I feel like Ella and I have never been closer, don't get me wrong; she is still a HOT mess... But she is the best of the best! Being able to enjoy these moments with her is priceless.

My little drama Queen!

Now for the post: The Arnolds finally have landscaping!!!

Yeah this project is about 2 yrs late, but it's done and we love it. And Glory to God that it has rained every single day since we have planted it :)

Below is a picture of our walkway; This is what you will see when you pull up to our home. We decided to plant Soft Touch Hollies and variegated Monkey Grass in this area.

Moving to the front of the house; we captured the corner with Adagio Grass. This is to separate the soft touches with the laurels.

In front, we used Otto Lukin Laurels. We chose these laurels as opposed to Skip Laurels because they will grow wide and somewhat tall, but not overly tall like the Skips. We also staggered each bush. Right now, it is very noticeable but hopefully they will fill in nicely!

On the other side of the front steps, we continued with the Otto Lukins and acceneted with more Monkey Grass. There was a wide area on this side that needed to be filled with something. Our idea was to keep this simple looking and that it is. We couldn't be happier!