I've got the kettle on, ya got a minute to visit?

I'm so happy you dropped by! Stay and visit awhile and please leave me a comment- it's so encouraging to hear from you!

Friday, September 3, 2010

If I didnt know better.....

I'd say the technology gods have it in for me!  First, my iPhone died at my momma's over the summer- completely killing EVERYTHING on it! Now......woof.....

My hard drive died.

Yep, died.

Initially I didn't panic because my precious, generous, thoughtful momma had sent me a flash drive to back up my pics because SHE treasures them and didn't want anything  to happen to them.  Then I realized......uuuugghh (it hurts to type it) FLIP videos!  Disneyworld, Abby's birthday, me and Ben playing in the snow.....*sigh**

So the hard drive is at Best Buy as we speak.  Andy guffawed last night when he looked at our copy of the work order that states very clearly..."Customer mostly cares for Flip video files"

"What did you say to them, Marla???????"

"Well, um, mostly that I just really care about them retrieving my FLIP files."  (she said as she innocently grinned, tilted her head down slightly, and batted her eyes.  WHAT? Momma said it worked on my Daddy!)

Hopefully we'll get it back soon, buy a new operating system, and get back to blogging with photos.  Until then, I'm afraid you only get my thoughts....and not my views. And you only get those when dear hubby is feeling generous with his laptop! ;o)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A New Porch

I have a big, fat, ugly porch. It's very sad because it could be quite lovely. I don't have a ton of money to sink into it right now, and even when I did I hesitated because our porch furniture was stolen right after we moved in. Now that was 9 years ago, and the neighborhood has changed quite a bit since then- but it still makes you wonder. I would LOVE a country cottage feel on my front porch- a beauty that welcomes company into my very old-fashioned 1920's bungalow.

I mostly find pieces by "curb shopping" (as a certain little girl calls it). I found 2 farm chairs this morning which I intend to paint white to couple with an end table that my daddy stripped and took apart. I am going to use it's top and put some Ready made table legs on it. But I need help. I have NO talent for placement! (be it furniture, pictures on a wall, knock knacks- you get the point.) I am determined to get to work on this so post your thoughts/ideas please! I'd love to hear them. I'll try to post some pics but my computer has died and I'm not sure my phone will let me!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Oh Heavenly Wednesday!

Some Wednesdays are, honestly, quite forgetable.  They come uneventfully, and leave in the same manner....


Why, you may ask?  What makes this Wednesday so memorable?  What makes this Wednesday so far more fabulous than any other given Wednesday?

Did you catch that?  Here.....let's see if I can zoom in on that precious little bit....
Sweet Mother of Blogdom!  Can that be from whom I think it is????? Mrs Alicia Paulson???  Is it my long awaited.....

YES! YES! Oh the tears are streaming down my face! (I'm serious people!  Did you read about the week I had last week with Abby?)  But how should I indulge?  Should I save it for after the kids go to bed and make a cup of tea?  Should I get a glass of lemonade and go sit on the glider on the porch with it?  Ooooo, how about the hammock?  Oh dash it all.....I'll just look at it right here standing at the kitchen counter (where I spend 90% of my life anyway!)!  Oops, what was that which just fell out??

Oooooo, a lovely little postcard- I'll just flip it over and....EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That's it.  Confirmed.  BEST Wednesday of my life EVER!  So let's just get started flippin through th.......

10 minutes or so later.......Marla is getting up off of the kitchen floor, rubbing the back of her head with a glazed over look in her eyes.

It is astounding.  Beautiful.  Intimate.  Detailed.  Personal.  Inspiring.

BEST Wednesday.....ever.......

Abby update....

Dear Friends, I thank you so much for your prayers for Little Bit.  That was one scary week!  She has never had a temperature of 103.7, and has CERTAINLY never had a temperature for 6 days running!  Monday we went in for more bloodwork and the dr gave Abby a clean bill of health! (That little trooper didn't even flinch! Are we sure she's my child? I mean really- she doesn't mind picking up large dead bugs or having blood drawn!!) Anywho, the doctor said she believes that the virus just REALLY attacked Abs' blood.

Abs is back to school and enjoying her third full day.  She loves it, and particularly likes the "Little Bitties" that come to school now (a 4 and 5K were added).  Thank you again, Friends- for your calls, emails, and prayers! We love and appreciate you!

Friday, August 13, 2010


I am writing to let u know that we Cains are quite desperate for your prayers right now. As some of you know, Abby has had a fever since Monday afternoon. We went to the dr on Tuesday because she hit 103.7 but they said it was just a virus (not our normal dr) I called our normal dr on Wed ANC she said if Abby wasn't better by Friday to bring her back in. I took her in this morning and they did a lot of bloodwork. Her numbers came back pretty low, which is not terribly abnormal if you have a virus, but the dr said that even with a virus they were low so she tested her for mono as well (which will come back Monday). We have to go back in Monday morning for more bloodwork. If it is just a virus, the numbers will hold or begin to bounce back. If they haven't, then we will be sent to a hematologist for more in-depth testing (leukemia). PLEASE pray her numbers come up and it is just a virus (or mono). And please feel free to pass this around to those you know would pray for Abby!

Thanks so much!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Back for good!

Hello Blogdom Friends!  I hope you have had a refreshing, reflective, easy-going summer.  My summer has been completely outta sorts!  As you can see from above, this has been our hottest summer yet!  I didn't plant, I didn't go outside, I didn't even refil bird-feeders.  Yes!  You heard me!  Empty's a travesty, I tell you!  I came home from my last blog entry and found that our air-conditioner had broken!  But bless my MacGuyver of a husband's heart- he rigged it so we can run it with it set on 80......we have completely and utterly changed our cores to accept 80 as the new 72!  I have, quite honestly, all summer, been in a heat-induced funk!  But, we did manage to do a few extraordinary things this summer that I'll share with you.....

We attended the "Birmingham Members Day" which is a day where all of the local family entertainment venues (i.e. the Zoo, McWane Science Center, Vulcan, Southern Museum of Flight, etc.) open up for free so that you may try them out.  This is my boys enjoying some time in the cock-pit.

My precious girl, whom I admire so much, decided she was hot and didn't need all of that hair so she donated it to Locks of Love!  Here she was just a little unsure.....

but then it was too late to change her mind....

and look how adoreable she is with short hair!!  I am so proud of her for doing what she can to kick cancer in the behind! (We hate that ol yucky cancer...HATE it!)

Then the kiddos got invited to a backyard bible study at a new friend's house.  They had a great week- and we ran into some old precious friends who we thought had moved!  Hooray for finding old friends again!  Pam led the study and I was inspired by her servant's heart towards those kiddos.

As the summer began to wind down for us, Abby's school moved and we went over to see if we could help out! What great helpers those girls were as they worked together so nicely!

And now, here we are!  This was Monday, Abby's first day of third grade at Crestwood Day School and Ben's first day of kindergarten with me at home.  I've gotta think of a name for our school.  I have been calling it the "Cain Family School of Genius" since Abby began kindergarten! lol!  Anyone have any ideas?  Our home is lovingly referred to as "Cainberly" (only by me, of course) so maybe I should work that into it!  Oh, and promptly after the first day of school, Abby got sick and hasn't returned all week!!  Here's the eerie part...I missed my first week of third grade due to illness too!  Isn't that something?!

So, Dear Friends, I'm now on a schedule with school again, working on finishing projects in the house (painting, organizing, etc), and beginning to start on Christmas there's lots of crafty thoughts floating around.  I'm so excited to be back to blogging, and I hope those 12 of you over there that read my blog before I took the summer off will come back and visit again!  I've missed you!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Famous Last Words

"I'm only on vacation"......bwahahahahahaha! 

So I thought I'd take a little vacation, visit Momma, rest a bit, then head home and finish some projects which would make for some mighty nice bloggin'.  Well.......

I'm at Momma's again!  And this time, it's no vacation.  I went home on Saturday the 3rd and returned Monday the 12th.  Beth had been in the hospital for a week!  13 years ago Beth had a botched surgery that compromised her kidneys and has provided her with a lifetime of problems. So when she presented with severe abdominal and back pain at the ER, that was the first thought, but it was wrong.  Tuesday my poor sissy had yet another organ removed (leaving her with only 1 disposable organ - her spleen- and why they didn't just take it out or put in a zipper I'll never know!)  The culprit this time?  The gall bladder.  She's home today and mending quite nicely.  All goes as planned, I'll be back on my way home, again, tomorrow.

THEN perhaps, maybe, things will get back to normal.  But I won't hold my breath.......

Thursday, July 1, 2010

I'm only on vacation!!!

By now, many of you may be asking yourselves "What happened to Marla?" No, I didn't give up blogging.  We haven't lost our internet connection.  My children haven't gotten the best of me....yet! I'm only on vacation.  The kids and I left home last Friday- headed to Pensacola, then left Sunday for Gulfport.  My sister got married at the courthouse in Pensacola Friday afternoon and we've been driving my momma crazy visiting my momma and will go home Saturday.

I have been hitting the fabric shop and sleeping late- which has been the best vacation EVER!  Momma and I started a little sewing project which has manifested itself as a comedy of errors.  I found a pattern for a skirt that was made with a striped fabric that was sewn up the center of the front and the stripes were inverted and met in a "V".  I bought extra fabric and we laid it out and cut it out- and with Momma's 40+ years of sewing expertese we still managed to lay it out wrong with the "V" in the front and a mountain in the back!!  So we braved rainy weather to go back to the fabric store for more stripes.  Momma said she's run in to grab it whilst I entertained the children in the car.  Momma came right back and plunked the fabric in my lap.  To my surprise, and hers, she had bought the wrong stripes!  So then I went in and got the correct stripes!  So if you're keeping up, you'll note that I now have enough fabric for 3 skirts!!! hahahahahahahahha!!!!!!!  Oops, speaking of skirts, I need to go get to work on them-I'm running out of vacation time....

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

If you don't read another thing today.......

please go read Julianna's post at .  It will make your day, as it did mine.

Lilies, and chairs, and owl pellets, oh my!!!

Hahahaha!  That title just tickled me!  Well, I'm back!  You may be wondering what I've been up to in these 2 weeks that I took a blogging break.  Well.....

we've been having some fun....

and hanging out with friends...

We've also been trying to get in a good habit of regular nature study.  We started this off well with a trip to the Ruffner Mtn Nature Center for a story and lesson on owls...which I finished up with a lesson in grossology 101. Owl pellets.

(Don't worry, they were synthetic!)  We are also journaling and enjoying The Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock.  I found (thanks to Lynn at "A Mother's Journal" over there to the right...) a great blog based on this fabulous nature guide.  Please pop over there and see what you think, as I think it is a MUST see for everyone!

We also went to see the Cahaba lilies in bloom.  They are said to only exist in half-a-dozen places on the earth!  What's so amazing about them is they actually grow right in the MIDDLE of the Cahaba River!
But don't get me wrong, we observe PLENTY of nature on our own little plot of Birmingham...

We just returned from a lovely visit to see my sister-in-law and her family.  We stayed on Lake Hartwell in South Carolina and had the BEST time!  I just can't believe how my precious nieces and nephew have GROWN!!!

*sigh* Time moves too fast.
On the way home from South Carolina we stopped at IKEA in Atlanta because, well, me and the kids are addicted!  They love the play room and I love the 45 minutes of unique and affordable shopping!  Anywho, remember that chair I told you I got off the side of the road for the schoolroom???  No?  Here's a hint...

so at IKEA Ben planted himself in a chair and would not get up until we agreed to get one for him (and his sister).  Check this out.....

Isn't it too cute!?

Well Dear Ones, I'll leave you with this last little bit of catch-up...Today I have been working around the house and finally got to this little project I've been wanting to do for Abby for 2 years!  This is at the head of her bed...

I applied Wallies which are wall-paper cut-outs.  I am going to highlight them with some glitter paint.
Ben is wanting a space theme on his side of the room and asked that I paint it on his pull-down shade.  The shade needs to be replaced so I will have to go get one before I can complete that project.

So there, I believe that catches you up on most things.  As far as school, I have some prep work still and I need to find a used Tapestry of Grace Year 2 but then I'm ready!  Abby is planning to cut her long hair and donate it to Locks of Love after Beth (my big sissy) gets married on the 25th.  Ben and Abby have art camp in July and Abby has ballet camp in August.  VBS is next week and I am in charge of, you guessed it, preschool crafts!  Andy is enjoying the world cup and Clemson beating Alabama in baseball.  There, it's official!  You're caught up!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Ahhh Fini! The schoolroom is done!

After 3 bags of trash, a trip to the thrift store, countless hours of sorting and cleaning, and the help of a precious is done!  Yeaaaaa....happy dance...happy dance!!!

I don't DARE show you a "before" picture for fear that you would never show your precious face at my blog again, muchless my house!  Let's just say.....I couldn't REALLY open the door to get in! (Shameful!  Shameful, I say!) But here are a few "after"s
The projects left to hang are on the table, and it's a little dark. (So sorry, but I'm reading a book on how to take better pictures- honest!) I'm going to make a new curtain for the closet.

This is the door into the room, play area with cubbies, art shelf, and nature study desk.  Look at those bookshelves! (See #10 of my last blog entry!  And most of our books are in storage!!! eek!!)

Now for some of my favorite things in the schoolroom....

The Eeboo ABCs.  Eeboo has the most beautifully illustrated children's learning items.  They have 1-2-3 cards like these that are birds that I am pining for!

I found this lamp at a neighbor's yard sale last weekend.  It's absolutely perfect and I love it!  Best $4 buy ever!  It's in our reading corner.  An IKEA chair and ottoman will join it there today, I think. I totally found it on the side of the road!  It looks BRAND NEW! When I asked the owner about it, she said her hubby didn't like it when she got it home and they inherited some of her grandma's furniture so it got the boot! I donated it to the Crestwood Day School, but Steph said she didn't think she would use it, so it's comin to the Cain School of Genius! (LOL, that is a joke- definitely NOT the name of our school! More like the Cain Family School of "What's That Super Cool Bug??")

These Audubon Field Guides are extra special to me.  They were my father's- he inspired me to teach my children about nature.  If I had a penny for everytime we have cracked these guides open to find out about an animal or plant or moon phase, I'd be a quazillionaire!

This is our nature study table where we will keep our nature journals each day.  I found the tablecloth (and the hand-embroidered runner under the lamp) at the thriftstore and I H-E-A-R-T it (them)!!!

SO, all I have left is to find a rug for our open space, whip up these...

 cute cafe curtains (from Sew Darn Cute by Jenny Ryan) and take down the drapes for the summer, and hang some stuff on the walls!  Kindergarten, here we come! (Again!)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

10 Things You May Not Know About Me.....

  1.  I am a lover of all things Jane Austen.  I would gladly dress in "Regency-Wear" every day if I could get away with it!  Check out this website.  Jennie was a speaker at a homeschooling event I attended and I H-E-A-R-T her patterns!!!
  2. I am slowly but surely changing the Cain Family Food Culture.  I have not had a pop in almost 2 weeks, I've switched from pancake syrup to Agave Nectar, and am contemplating signing up under a farming co-op for veggies, fruits, meat, and dairy that is all locally produced.  Check it out- Grow Alabama
  3. I am freakishly afraid of needles.  I've had 2 c-sections and I sew for a hobby- go figure!
  4. I love taking tea...the act of enjoying a proper setting of tea. (See #1)
  5. I absolutely ABHOR summer.  That's right, I said it!  I hate summer!  I wish we could go straight from Spring to Autumn because I detest mosquitos, heat, and humidity.......hence my dream to live in Maine.
  6. I dream of living in Maine!
  7. I was healed of the beginning stages of cervical cancer when I was 18.  Seriously.  If you don't believe in the miracles of God, come over for lunch- I need to talk to you!
  8. As a mother, there is something about bird nests that resonates in my soul.  I attribute it to the care and keeping of young, making your home a safe place, and the gentleness with which birds care for their babies.
  9. I am deathly afraid of tornados, my house burning, and driving off of a bridge over water.  I have also, in recent years, become deathly afraid of flying.  This is extreme considering I have always LOVED to travel, have been overseas twice, and have never had a really terrible flying incident.
  10. I'm addicted to buying children's books.  I see a book and I think "Oh!  The kids would LOVE to read that one day!"  They're going to have to take them all with them when they leave my nest!  Our space will triple.  But I love finding them and remembering when I read them when I was's so sentimental.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The BEST day!

Mother's Day is one of my most favorite days!  Our rule is I get to do whatever I want on Mother's Day and Andy gets to do what he wants on Father's Day.  Yep, it's a sweet set-up!  So after church we headed to Carraba's for lunch and then I decided I wanted a nap and then to go for a walk so we headed to the Cahaba.  Look at these precious babies!

HeeHee...we told the kids there were trolls under the foot-bridges so Abby decided to investigate....

After our stroll we went for sorbet at Doodles in Cahaba Heights.  You gotta see my gifts........look at all of these lovely flowers!



And a miniature Orchid
But the sugar on my smacks was what Andy brought me back from New Mexico.......

a cookbook from my favorite restaurant and key lime truffles from my favorite chocolate shop!
Sigh....I heart that man!

On the craft side of life.... I've been honing some sewing skills by making a play outfit for Abby (that's the back of the top)and a pair of (obnoxious)shorts for Ben.  Got LOTS more to work on though!