September 30, 2009

44 Degrees

Photo from Atipiks

I talked to K, at the Christian Appalachian Project yesterday. I had contacted her because I woke up to a chilly house yesterday. My toes were cold when they hit the hardwood. While I brushed my teeth, I thought of our babies. I thought of their toes.

I wanted to know what the current blanket count was. 425. Astounding. I told K about the weather here, about my own cold toes. This was her response:

"[The blankets] have all been distributed. There is still a great need for them. It was very chilly this morning here also, down in the low 40’s. The further you go out in Eastern Kentucky the colder it is. So I would most likely say that not every baby out there was very warm this morning. It would be a great time to kick off another sewing spree..."

There you have it, Folks. It's time to man our machines, to crank out more blankets for the babies in Eastern Kentucky. It was only 44 degrees there this morning; I checked.

When my babies were babies, they would each sleep on their tummies a lot. I'd swaddle them or cover them with a cozy blanket at bedtime, but all 3 kicked the blankets off. Then when they got chilly in the night they would tuck their tiny feet and legs up underneath them and sleep in a little ball. I would go in and find them stuck that way in the morning, fast asleep. Shivering.

People, there are babies in America sleeping like that EVERY SINGLE NIGHT.

It just breaks my heart.

I'd like to ask you to be a part of the Mountain Baby Blankets project. If you're already part of our project, it's time to start sewing again. The Christian Appalachian Project has already distributed 425 blankets BECAUSE OF YOU - but they need more! They need more blankets, sized infant through twin, for the poverty-stricken babies and young children in Appalachian (Eastern) Kentucky. The CAP will take anything handmade as long as it is machine washable (no wool). Your blanket can be handsewn, quilted, knit, or crochet. It can be a yard of flannel you've serged into a receiving blanket. And you can buy your blanket if you don't sew.

I urge you to communicate this need to your sewing bees, your church groups, your Great Aunt Toonie. Let's all work together to warm up these babies!

Please contact me by leaving a comment with your email address, or email me at racheljcox at yahoo dot com if you want to help!

Let's be His hands and feet. Well, in this case, His blankets.

God bless each of you.

September 29, 2009

"I Teeeeuuuuuuuuuwwww!"

Would you believe that I left my camera at the new house on the night we celebrated Moo's birthday with sprinkled cupcakes? You betcha.

The good news is, I have learned how to take pictures with my cell phone and email them to myself.

Isn't she big? And she has SO MUCH MORE hair than last year.

She has one curl that, when extended hits her in the middle of her back below her shoulderblades.

She loves horses. "Oh-see! Oh-see! Oh-see!" For her birthday, the boys and I found a vintage Barbie horse that neighs when you move it's hooves. She looooooooves it. "I seep wif my oh-see, Mama." (Translation: I sleep with my horsey, Mama)

She has started using her imagination in playful ways. Just yesterday she was eating animal crackers and I heard her chirping to herself at the table. I was washing dishes. Then she said, "Mommy! Look, Mommy, a doggie!" She had the elephant cookie galloping across the table. She made galloping noises and then chomped his head off with a giggle.

She raises her hands to praise Jesus in the car. Well, she is copying me singing something on the radio, but she raises them all the same. I see her little pink fingers in my rearview and smile so big.

She loves to take a stuffie to daycare with her. Sometimes it's Hilda the Hippo, or Baby, or now Oh-see (even though he's hard plastic, she grips him awfully tight). Today she took "ban-ket", which is the flannel strawberry blanket Aunt Mindy made for her when she was very little.

She loves Kiki. LOVES Kiki. And Kiki is such a good sport. Mabel likes to lay her out on the floor and then ride her like a horse. Kiki just lies there, ears folded back. She never hisses, never scratches. Sometimes Mabel lays Kiki out (I'm telling you, the cat just lets her lay her out on the floor!) and then lays across her, perpedicular. Like a big X on the floor. There is Mabel, face down across the cat, and Kiki underneath looking at me with pleading eyes. If I could stop laughing I would totally stop the carnage. Mabel also likes to carry Kiki upside down by the hind end, tail curling around her face, front paws frantically grasping at nothing.... or by the head. They are good friends, those two.

My girl is so big. Hard to believe I'm picking out a tricycle for her already.

I love my Moo. Happy birthday, M!

September 28, 2009

Red Or Pink?

Nana, here they are. Radio Flyer tricycles. Photos from
Which one would be cutest for the Moo? Both have bells and pom-poms, so I'm having a hard time deciding.

Problem Solved

Today I bought myself a housewarming present. Nothing too extravagant, but boy oh boy, do I love her.
She's the Simplehuman Fingerprint-Proof Rectangular Recycler. Organization of trash & recycling problem SOLVED!

September 26, 2009

From The Trenches

We are here (Praise God)! We have moved in to our new home.

We have amazing and excellent friends, whom I will owe beers and sweets for a very looooong time. Good thing I can bake.

I even hooked up my wireless modem in order to say hello to all of you fine people. Hello, Fine People.

The boys are sharing a room for the first time in a year. So far, so good.

Mabel is nonplussed with all of the changes. She napped in the pack and play today while we were unloading... right smack in the middle of the front yard. Being a big birthday girl takes a lot out of you, you know.

Yes, Mabel is 2 today. We've celebrated with mama-made cupcakes and singing, with carrot cake from daycare Deb, and tomorrow, we're doing it up proper with a brand new dress for church, a candle and pictures this time!

Would you believe that I cannot feel my fingers typing? Can't. I took the day off on Friday to paint my living room. It used to be dark hunter green and now it's oyster white (actually Fleur de Sel from Sherwin Williams). Then I went home and packed up the rest of... the rest. Today I moved all day and I'm more than half unpacked. So, I can't feel my fingers.

I can, however, feel my back and feet. They are screaming at me.

Kiki likes her new place. She's still investigating and smelling, and she's certain there have been other furry things here before and she's determined to sniff their path, I guess.

At some point this week I have to get the last few things from the old place and CLEAN it. Sounds like fun.

So, here I am. In the trenches. Knee-deep in boxes.

I'm going to bed now. Time to catch up on The Office on Hulu and then pass out, comatose.

God is gooooood.

September 24, 2009

A Note To Mindy's Uterus

Please pardon this note, penned to my Person, Mindy's production organ:

Dear Mindy's Uterus (a.k.a. Muterus),

Please do everything within your pink, squishy, cuddling powers to produce a girl. Mmm-kay? I mean, I realize that it is not up to you, but I believe you have powers. Uterine powers. And... I'm living vicariously, so you're going to listen to me, Muterus. Are we clear?


Because of this:

photo credit

Seriously, Muterus, I am not kidding. Produce a taco, not a turtle.

That is all.


Auntie Rach

September 22, 2009

Still Time For Inspiration

I found some more inspiring photos today. For sources, click here.

I'm sorry, but I think I must get some Ikea Expedit bookshelves for the boys' room. It's going to be pricey to ship them, but... look at these photos! Toys AND books organized in neat little white, modern cubes? Holy crap!

Ahhhh, I can think of several cubby places in my new house that will require some wallpapering.

Oh you can bet that I fell right out of my chair when I saw that nightstand. I slobbered all over everyplace. I have that lamp.

Mmmmm.... yummy.

September 20, 2009

I'm Alive, But Packing

I'm knee deep in boxes, chucking some crap I've found, and sorting through the rest. We move in 6 days!

All of the children have been helping me pack, doing their part. They are excited. So am I.

So... I have contractors to meet this week, meetings, a volunteer dinner on Monday, football practice x 2... OY.

I'll be back soon!

PS: I also took a break to update my blog header because Judy was sick of looking at my shoe. :)

September 15, 2009

Speaking of Antebellum

Earlier I mentioned how much I loved The North and The South miniseries when I was a kid, partially because I also love antebellum, or pre-Civil war design. Yes, I know I'm more of a mid-century modern gal, but I also love to mix and match.

Good Lord. Judy would call me "eclectic."

I may or may not have mentioned that I was looking for a dining room table for our new place.

Today, I found our table. It was fashioned in the mid- 1800's. Interesting. Almost certainly Antebellum design.

It's a solid mahogany, gate-leg, drop-leaf table in near-perfect condition. It will seat 6 easily. I didn't take pictures of mine yet, but it is similar to this:

My finish is lighter and the legs, while straight, do not have feet like this example. I can't wait to show it to you!

Lifelight Music Festival

It was such a blessing to go to the largest Christian Music Festival in all of the United States last week. To take my kids. To worship with almost 200,000 other people.

As you can imagine, there is a lot of ... parking. Below is Lot 6, a good quarter mile from the gates. For those of you who are not agriculturally inclined (not that I am), you are indeed looking at acres and acres of short alfalfa. My nose hollered at me the whole weekend.

TO GOD BE THE GLORY! (By the way, this picture was taken Friday, when only 60,000 people were there. That's why it looks so empty.)

This is my Carmen. She's been my boss, my pray-er, and is now one of my best friends. I love you, Lady.

Lots of reasons to love this festival.

Our church band is led by a wonderful musician. He's a recording artist who can bring you to your knees AND blow the roof off of the building in worship. The band took the stage shortly after midnight on Friday. Andy (with earplugs) was in the front row for the first half of their show.

By the time the show was over, this is what I found.

Why no darling sleeping picture of Moo? BECAUSE SHE WAS AWAKE.

We can't wait to go back next year.

The North And South

I was 8 years old in the fall of 1985. My dad allowed me to stay up past 8 on school nights to watch what he figured was an educational miniseries on television: The North And South. True, I did learn a lot about history (and amputation!) while watching (and that's possibly why I LOVE antebellum homes), but mostly I watched because of Orry.

I was in love with Orry Main.

I had no idea that Patrick Swayze was the actor who played Orry, but I knew I LOVED him as much as my little 8 year old heart could. I looked forward to the series on TV every year and they repeated it a few years in a row. Such sweet Orry-ness.

When I was a bit older a different Patrick Swayze movie came out. I was not allowed to watch Dirty Dancing, though. Not until years later when my friend Jennie and I snuck and watched it like 11 times in a row when we were 13. She had a life-size cardboard Patrick in her room and we memorized all of the dance moves to several of the dances in that movie.

We even convinced our boyfriends to practice the dances with us - lifts and everything - while we called them "Johnny." And let me tell you, we had NO IDEA what we were doing, lol. We were in the field beside the high school and we were all LIFT: COLLAPSE, LIFT: COLLAPSE. Those poor boys were hating it, except we were dancing and flailing our legs around like crazy. Ahhh, youth.

Man, I loved me some Patrick Swayze. I mean, look at those arms! Have you ever been wrestled by a pair of arms like that? I have been and I can tell you, they are HUGE and STRONG and delicious. In fact, arms like that can make you forget anything you're worrying about.

I heard on the news this morning that Patrick died yesterday. My heart dropped into my belly. In addition to his acting, I always thought he was a good, good man. It makes me so sad. I hope his arms are strong and big and healthy again, and that his heart knew Jesus.

In other, less, I-was-a-pitiful-teenager news, I have been thinking lately about another South. The South side of our new home:

Love, love, love it!

September 9, 2009


Mabel is all sorts of used to her big girl bed. Unlike Andy who HATED moving to a big bed, Mabel climbed up there the first night I offered her to do it and hasn't looked back since. She did flop out onto the pillows for a few nights that first week, but she's on her own now.

Bedtime routine consists of the following:

"Mama, I poo." (this can mean pee or the real thing) "Mama, change me."

A fresh diaper and tickles

Galloping to the bed and flouncing down into place (Here is a shocker: Moo is NOT the lease bit graceful)

Discovery of binkies and squealing, "Binky! Binky!" snarfle...suck, suck, suck...

I sit beside her on the edge of the bed and she pulls her plug out, and makes a fish face

Goodnight kisses

"Love you, Mommeee."

"Night night, Mommeee."

We fold our hands in front and she repeats after me, "Thank you, Jesus. I love you, Jesus. Amen."

Sometimes we sing "Jesus Loves Me" but usually her eyes are already droopy.

I say, "Close your eyes!" and she slams them shut and covers them with one hand. Then she watches me between her fingers as I leave the room.

One more time I tell her I love her lots and she unplugs and says, "Love you, too, Mama."

Some nights (okay, most) I sneak back in after she's asleep to watch her curls blowing in the gentle breeze from the open window. Sometimes I sneak in and take pictures, and am later thankful for actions in Photoshop.

Go, Phillies!

I know, it was confusing to watch them as well. I couldn't tell which was which. Trevor was #8 and Andy was #9. It took Andy 3 games and dozens of strikes, but he finally hit the ball 3 games before the season ended. Once he hit it, he never missed it again. Cool, huh?