Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sweet Tea...sweet nectar from heaven!

Truly, the only beverage that is a necessity for me is sweet tea.  My momma made it daily when I was a child and it went with EVERY meal...even PB&Js at lunch time!  I even remember my younger brothers having sweet tea in their bottles.  My cousin, Martine makes great sweet tea which I am sure she learned from her mother who is actually the one who taught my own momma the secrets to the perfect pitcher!  There are only a handful of places that make sweet tea to my standards.  Cracker Barrel has an almost perfect ratio of sugar to tea and Chick-fil-a makes a mean sweet tea, as well.  Then there is the ultimate sweet tea to which I aspire.  It is found at a BBQ joint in Decatur, Alabama called "Big Bob Gibson's".  When my family and I travel to Alabama from here in Oklahoma to see my cousins, we make sure the trip includes at least one giant glass of their sweet tea!  Now, I keep up the tradition of serving the house wine of the south here at the Triple P.  I often have friends ask how I prepare it so I thought I would give a little tutorial.

First, you need to bring about 6 cups of water to a rolling boil.  Once the water is boiling, add 4 FAMILY SIZE tea bags to the water and continue to boil for 1 full minute.

Once the minute is up, remove the pot from the heat and put a lid on it.  Keep it covered for a full ten minutes.
 Now comes the star of the show!  The S-U-G-A-R!  Add between a cup to a cup and half to your tea pitcher.  Once the timer goes off (you used a timer, didn't you???) pour the tea into the pitcher on top of the sugar, sans tea bags.  This will melt all the sugar.  This is the most important process in making perfect sweet tea.  Once you pour the sugar in, begin stirring to make sure all the sugar gets dissolved. 
After the sugar is all good and melted, fill your pitcher with water while constantly stirring.

Now you are ready to pour your sweet nectar from heaven into one of your favorite cups as I have done.  Enjoy your sweet tea, oh yes and ROLL TIDE!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Craft Lately???

Been busy playing with my new Cricut and may have gone a little nuts with the vinyl.  Had some ideas from blogland that I wanted to try.  First, I gave my front door a little address treatment!

Found this pretty frame at Hobby Lobby and thought it would be great in the master bath.  I put some coordinating fabric behind the glass to match our shower curtain and then did a little Cricut love with our anniversary date!

This is not a Cricut craft but one I had been waiting for the time to do.  Got an unfinished wood frame from Hobby Lobby and painted it blue,  I sanded it and then stained it.  I used burlap for the background and then covered a chipboard "P" with buttons and hot glued it to the burlap.  I really wish I would have painted the chipboard first.  I wasn't thinking of how much the chipboard would actually show.  I then added a tag holder found on the scrapbook aisle at Hobby Lobby and distressed a little piece of paper and wrote our last name inside.  I really love this!

 This is really my favorite project lately!!!!  I used my Cricut to cut some black vinyl letters for the kids' bathroom.  I love that the cartridge I have has a few fun images like this splash of water.  It really makes the bathroom look more kid friendly!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Window + Chalkbaord Paint = LOVE!!!

My friend and hair girl, Mandy had the inside track on some old windows.  Not only does she do fabulous hair, but her decorating style rocks!  After seeing what she did with a window by turning it into a dry erase board, she brought a few over to the Triple P for me to play with.  Well, I got out my chalkboard paint and got busy!  First, I decided to hang it sideways so I could use it as two divided lists.  My husband removed the hardware and put it on the "bottom" to hold a piece of chalk.  My mommy bought me a Cricut Create as an early birthday gift and I couldn't wait to add some vinyl lettering to this masterpiece!  The left side is my daily "To Do" list...

The right side has our lunch and snack menu for homeschool!

I even used my Cricut to make a little bunting for the bottom for the Triple P!  Can't go wrong with the combination of chalkboard paint and a Cricut!!!

***Linking up to Met Monday at

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I got a new job...well, TWO new jobs!!!

So, I got two new jobs that I start on August 8th!  I am really excited and really nervous.  I've been a stay at home mom for the past 8 years.  This is going to be an adjustment.  What are these new jobs?  Glad you asked!  I am going to be teaching kindergarten and 2nd my my babies.

We have decided to surrender to homeschooling.  Why?  there are many reasons...some selfish.  We really love our public school here.  It is one of the top in the state.  We bought our first home here because we knew one day we would have kids and we knew the schools here were top notch.  My mini-belle went through Pre-K, Kindergarten and 1st grade there and we had nothing but wonderful experiences.  My little cowboy just completed half day Pre-K and truly thrived.  I can't brag enough about our schools here.  However, I hate being a slave to the school schedule.  I hate having to schedule family time around fall break and spring break.  Those are times my husband will never be able to take off of work.  Then there is Christmas break.  My husband's busiest time at work is during that same time so he doesn't get the benefit of having the kids home from school.  And of course, there is summer.  The time that EVERY family in America is traveling and invading our favorite vacation spots.  We would rather take the kids on a road trip in the cooler months...see the foliage...wear a sweater...not be OVERCROWDED!!! 

So there is the scheduling thing but there is more to it.  I truly begged God for these babies.  I am talking about lying face down on my living room floor sobbing and praying and begging to be a mother.  Our mini-belle is an IVF baby and our cowboy is a surprise to even the doctors.  How can I send those babies to school and let someone else who doesn't love them half as much as I do spend 6 hours a day with them 5 days a week?  Senseless! 

But the main reason for this HUGE transition is the Lord.  I really felt the urging to homeschooling a year ago.  My husband...not so much.  This was not a decision I could have made without his leadership.  I had to let it go until he was just as sure.  God moved in both of our hearts and after much prayer and seeking wisdom from fellow homeschoolers and friends, we made the decision in May to take control of the education of our children.  Then...the pressure started...

I attended a homeschool conference and began researching curriculum.  If I had a dollar for every hour I spent online comparing prices and courses and reading reviews!  There were lots of trips to Christian bookstores.  I spent the last days of my kids being in public school organizing closets and cabinets and making room for all that comes with a kindergartner and 2nd grader.  We had to tell our families who are still unsure about it all.  We have researched co-ops and support groups and tried to ease the fears of our own parents who sent us both to public school and see no point in our choice when we live in one of the premier school districts in our state.

All that said, God has done amazing things in confirming our decision.  We have received newsletters and email daily devotions for homeschool parents that serve to further our resolve as well as point out more positive aspects of being a homeschool family that we never even thought of.  The Lord has eased any fears we had about our decision and given us such peace about the journey ahead.

Some have asked if we think it is a sin to send kids to public school.  Absolutely not!  We do not believe God has called every family to do this.  However, it would be a sin for US not to do it because God has clearly asked this of our family.  If we chose not to, we would be in complete disobedience.

The truth is, I am already a little jealous of some of my friends.  They are planning things for the first week of school that I will not be able to participate in.  They are so excited to have their days free since their children will be in school.  They can eat lunch together, go shopping and work on projects at home UNINTERRUPTED!  Yes, I am very jealous.  But, my babies will have Jesus in every lesson thanks to the curriculum we have chosen.  We can go to the zoo or the science museum anytime we want to.  If the weather is exceptionally beautiful, we can go ride bikes.  We have so much fun ahead of us!  What a blessing!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Tornado in my Town

I am sure most of you have heard of the devastating tornado in Joplin, Missouri.  I watched the news with heartbreak.  As sad as I was for those who lost so much, it seemed far away and a little unreal because I couldn't see the devastation in real life.  Well, now I have.  You see, we call our little house "The Triple P" and that stands for "The Parnell (our last name) Piedmont (our town) Plantation (makes our house sound bigger then the 1300 square feet it is).  Our sweet small real life Mayberry...the place I spend most of my days...where my pastor preaches while wearing cowboy boots...where there is no stoplight...where I talk with neighbors while parked at Sonic...where there are John Deere Tractors driving down every road every day...where our barber shop lets you get a cut now and pay later...where people still pull to the side of the road as a funeral procession passes...where our Sheriff wears a cowboy hat...where there is a field full of cows at the end of my street...where my husband and I choose to buy our first house because it was far enough away from the city to see the stars at night.  Yes, my precious town and my wonderful neighbors are now on the national news because of our tragic position in the path of a killer tornado. 

(This is the actual tornado crossing into Piedmont)
We are blessed in Oklahoma to have the nations BEST meteorologists.  The storm that produced the Piedmont tornado (as well as 6 others in our state at the same time) was on their radar 2 days before.  Every local channel broke into regular programming at noon on Tuesday and never went off the air.  There was nothing but weather on every channel.  Each meteorologist gave a timeline of when each storm would arrive in each town in the storm's path.  There were storm chasers all over our county and they relayed their video live to each station.  As each tornado formed and its path was determined, sirens were sounded and as most Oklahomans know, that means get underground!  I say all of that to say, our weathermen saved lives.  There is NOBODY better at that job then these Oklahoman men.

My family and I were blessed to have friends who lived a short distance away who shared their storm cellar with us.  We rode out the storm and emerged without any damage to either of our homes.  Once we returned home, we found our whole neighborhood was untouched.  However, we quickly learned that just a mile and half away, the scene was quite different. Trees were stripped of their bark and power lines rest on roads like balls of yarn A couple housing additions were completely destroyed.  Some homes had only their foundations remaining.  At last count, there were more then 100 houses that were a total loss.  Each of those houses contained a family and their clothes and their photos and their furniture and their memories.  Sadly, we know many of those families.  Many are members of our local church.  Others, we do not know personally but they are our neighbors, our fellow Piedmontians.  I have never witnessed such destruction so close. 

After the news got around of who was most hurt by the storms, our community ran into action.  Within 2 hours, our church became a command center.  There were tons of people who showed up to help in any way they could.  Within 24 hours, it was overflowing with donations of food, clothes, bath items, gift cards and even money.  There were work crews dispersed across town to help people salvage what they could and help free storm shelters from debris so those safely inside could get out and start picking up the pieces.  Now that we are 72 hours away from the event, the whole operation is a well oiled machine.  There has been 24 hour activity in our community and I am in awe at how many people are willing to sacrifice vacation days, finances and free time to help their neighbors...even neighbors they did not know until today.  This town has shown itself to be even more wonderful then I thought.  God has blessed Piedmont with wonderful families who get knocked down but just as quickly get back up and dust themselves off again.  God has also blessed Piedmont with people who don't think twice before helping their neighbor, no matter the sacrifice.  Funny thing is, nobody sees it as a sacrifice.  God Bless Piedmont. 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Re-do for the Original Laundry Room Re-do

Doesn't this look like a fun place to spend a lot of time?  NO!!!!!

But THIS does!

I removed the cabinet doors above the washer and dryer and painted the inside a cheery yellow!  I then used various baskets from Hobby Lobby to corral everything.  I made tags for all the baskets and aged them with distress ink.  I even found some cute brown pom-pom trim that I hot glued onto the shelf edges.  I wanted a yellow/green/burgundy color scheme.  I love FALL and wanted the entire area to just ooze autumn!  I found these super cute sunflower clothes pins at Hobby Lobby after Halloween for 90% off!
The original shelf with detergent was very different a week ago. (This whole makeover, other then this shelf is a year old)  I made some homemade laundry detergent from a recipe I found on line that I have fallen in love with!  So...what I previously had wouldn't work with my new products.  I have even been using white vinegar as fabric softener in regular loads and believe it or not, it DOES NOT make clothes smell like vinegar.  I use regular fabric softener on towels because I love them to smell pretty!  The vinegar is in a olive oil bottle from Kitchen Connection and the fabric softener is also in a bottle from the same store.
The buttons are my Aunt Lib's buttons that I  modged  podged onto scrapbook paper.

I made tags for all the bottles.  I bought tags at Hobby Lobby that I aged with my distress ink and tied them on with twine.  I even already had this cute box in a stash of kitchen nesting boxes.  It is perfect for my Shout and Bleach Pen and extra bar soap for my detergent.  The basket hanging on a nail holds all loose change and things I find in the laundry.  This little basket is how I support my Sonic habit!

This is the bulletin board one of the walls where we keep a lot of Log Home pics to remind us of our dreams!  I covered it in fabric.

I am linking up to Met Monday over at Between Naps on the Porch!  Go look at all the other great DIY ideas!!!

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Monday, April 18, 2011

Patterns a'plenty!

When my mother was packing up her sewing room before she moved this last fall, she came across something priceless to me.  She found some old patterns belonging to my Granny.  My Granny is actually my dad's mother who passed away when I was 21 years old.  My Granny made me a lot of baby doll clothes for my Cabbage Patch Kids when I was younger but these patterns were for womens' clothing.  Keep in mind these were patterns from the 50's.  In fact, inside one of the pattern packages was an old newspaper clipping from Birmingham, Alabama dated 1952.  My mother wasn't sure how she came to owning these patterns but I was VERY eager to take them off of her hands and already had ideas for them before I even made it home.  Here are the results!!!

I covered a chip wood letter from Hobby Lobby with matching fabric from my shower curtain.  Not a pattern but I wanted to show you anyway!

 I framed 2 of the patterns in a document frame with fabric matching my shower curtain as the backing.  This is hanging just below a cabinet in the master bathroom.

Here is another pattern I hung in my bathroom just as you walk in the door.  I love how the ladies in the drawing look so FANCY!

These patterns are hanging in my laundry room.  The lower pattern is my favorite because it actually has my Granny's maiden name written in her handwriting.  PRICELESS!

I put another pattern in a shadow box and put it on top of the china hutch in the dining room.

It is a pattern for aprons!  Perfect for a kitchen area!
I am linking up to  Met Monday at Between Naps on the Porch!!!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Country "Lunchables"

My sweet Cowboy is my lunch partner every day here at the Triple P.  He gets out of Pre-K at 10:50 so I pick him up and we come home to start our together time before my Mini-Belle gets out of school.  I occasionally buy those Lunchables for my Mini-Belle's lunch box because she loves the ones that let you make your own pizza.  My Cowboy...not so much.  However, since he wants to be like his big sister, I bought him the ones with the crackers, cheese and meat slices.  He LOVES them!  i realized it was silly to pay for something that contained items we already had in the fridge just because it came in a divided container.  Then it hit me!  I use muffin tins for the Mini-Belle's after school snacks so why couldn't I use it for a faux "Lunchable"???  To get my Cowboy to go for it, I have to call it a "Country Lunchable".  My babies want EVERY THING to be from the country.  When we go to our Sonic here in our hometown, they order "Country Dr. Pepper" or "Country Sweet Tea".  I remember stopping at a Sonic on our way home from the mall and my Cowboy asking, "Does THIS Sonic have Country Sweet Tea?"

Well, here are a few of his Country Lunchables lately.  For some reason he eats EVERYTHING I give him if it is in this muffin tin.

Yogurt, summer sausage snacks, milk, orange wedges, cheese cubes & Ritz!

Apple sauce, cheese cubes, Ritz, little smokies, ranch & carrot sticks!

                                          Fat free pudding, banana slices, Booste Kid Essentials (he drinks one of   these EVER day), broccoli & carrots, chopped up beef brat, cheese cubes!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Fabulous Foyer!!!

This is what our foyer and closet has looked like for the 10 years we have lived here...only messier!  The hall was okay but the closet a glorified junk drawer.  The hall was rockin' it '90s style with two tone walls and wall paper border (that I picked out with love) and Sexyman was ready for some updating.

 Check out what can happen when you crank up the Sirius Radio to the 80's station and jam while you and your husband paint the walls (burnt almond) and trim (breakfast blend)!!!

 Here is the REAL treat!!!  Got this great idea at  No more closet door...painted interior...lamp...clothes rod removed...carpeted floor...

 ...key hook on side wall to grab keys as we leave the house...
 ...cute "L" and "C" wall hooks on other side wall for my Cowboy and Mini-Belle to hang their coats and backpacks on in the afternoons!  Couldn't be happier!!!