Tuesday, June 28

:: Prayer Pager Info ::

This week we started the prayer pager ministry through the Olivia Charles Foundation and Double Oak Community Church. A family in our community lost their little girl at the beginning of this month and are now the recipients of our first pager.

Prayer pagers provide a tangible way to communicate God's love to those experiencing difficult circumstances. Pager recipients will know when they have been prayed for and their pager number is called. Please join us in this new ministry as we offer individual prayers to those in need. It is our hope that they will feel the presence of our Lord and Savior, who “is close to those who are brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18)

As the Holy Spirit prompts you, first PRAY for these individuals, and then CALL their prayer pager number. Simply dial "111#" after the tone, and then hang up. The recipient does not answer, and you will not have to talk, nor will the pager reveal the number where the call originates. Your prayer will then be delivered to the person for whom you prayed.

Please pray for the family in our community who are longing for their little girl and then dial this number 334-705-9211. From personal experience, I can tell you that receiving prayers from complete strangers and KNOWING when someone is praying for you is life-changing.

Thanks for helping us continue to spread Olivia's light!

If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

Wednesday, June 22

:: Prayers, Please... ::

Parrish and his buddies Camden and Lukey started swim lessons this week and are loving it, as evidenced by the "spiderman" jump below. His little foot gets better every day and he's worn tennis shoes on BOTH FEET every day this week. The incisions don't exactly make them comfortable to wear, but each day he tells me, "Look mom, I can run faster today!!"

I guess the swimming is really wearing him out, because one night this week he fell asleep snuggling with Tappy at 6:00! Water really wears them out.

Tappy is on summer break from teaching 7th grade math, so we get her for the summer (at least part of it anyway!) We're so excited she's coming back and forth to stay at the Prickett's Mt Laurel carriage house. We've had a ball having some un-rushed quality time this week.
While she was here she turned me onto the Pioneer Woman's iced coffee and helped me make the coffee concentrate to have on hand this summer. The hot weather always puts a stop to my hot coffee drinking, so this is the perfect thing for my summer morning cup. Click the picture below to learn more..I'm telling you, if you are an iced coffee addict, this will save you a lot of money and time spent in the car!!

Now getting down to more serious business...I have some prayer requests. We're working really hard with Zeekee Interactive to develop the Olivia Charles Antiques website. As you can imagine, it is a lot of work for all involved! But, we are IN LOVE with the design so far. The pictures are black and white on the static page and turn to color as you roll your mouse over them and we are LOVING our bead-board background. The prayer request here is that the site will come together quickly and accurately and be a big success to help raise money for The Olivia Charles Foundation. Which brings me to my second prayer need...

We are in the process of starting the "prayer pager" ministry at Double Oak to serve our Birmingham community. We are not aware of another prayer pager ministry in our area and have both felt God calling us to start this after we were so benefitted by it ourselves. It is one thing to have people tell you they are praying for you, but another thing all together to KNOW exactly WHEN they are praying for you. This was so powerful to us and we hope to give that spiritual experience to others. The tragic passing of a precious little girl in our community gave me the push I needed to get the ball rolling last week because I would love to be able to provide her family with a prayer pager. But our hope is that it encourages not only those that are ill or mourning, but also those struggling with addiction, abuse, homelessness, depression, etc. as all our legitimate, yet different reasons.

God's hand has been at work in this the whole time because when I emailed my friend Allyson who got us our prayer pager to see if she could put me in touch with the person who started their church's pager ministry, she was able to put me in touch immediately and it turns out she is the mom of some older Chi O's I knew of while at Auburn. It is a small world. She was so helpful and encouraging to me and is going to be mailing me lots of helpful documents to use as templates to customize for our needs. I am so thankful for her help, encouragement and prayers and would like to ask each of you to pray for this ministry. That it would be what God intends for it to be and specifically that we would find a local communications company that can provide the pagers. If any of you have suggestions, please let me know.

On top of these other two prayer requests, which are all-consuming and heavy on my heart and mind, we are also trying to sell our house. (We have a tendency to take on a lot at one time...Go big or go home, right?!? Or maybe that should be go big and go crazy! Ha!) Anyway, please pray that our house would sell quickly to another family who will enjoy it and love it as much as we did. We are both anxious and sad to move and leave behind so many special family memories in this house, but are truly ready to start the next phase of our lives and we know that Mount Laurel is where God wants us to be. So, if you know of anyone looking in the 280/North Shelby County area for a house that's been loved and well taken care of, please pass along this link: http://www.weichert.com/37858366/

Thanks for lifting us up, friends.

Saturday, June 18

:: Cures for Boredom ::

What's the cure for stay-of-your-feet boredom? Making an army helmet out of your popcorn bowl is a start.

Making a pop-up Father's Day card? Even better! I found this super-easy pop-up card tutorial through my Cool Mom Picks Newsletter. (If you don't subscribe to this...trust me, you should!) I know Father's Day is tomorrow, but you still have time to make these with your kids. And I know Dad will love having a card handmade just for him by each of his kids! You can checkout the tutorial at ohhappyday.com.
Parrish used his scissors to cut out his favorite stickers to use as the pop-ups for his daddy. Pirates and knights....the perfect combo for a 4-year-old boy!

I made up a quick poem...

And Parrish practiced his letters by addressing the outside of the card to his Daddy.

Next up? Removing the bandages from P's foot.

Now if we can just keep him from picking at the glue on his sutures! So far cutting the toes from a sock and covering it has worked pretty well. I think he forgets it hurts when it's covered up!

Thursday, June 16

:: The Home-Stretch ::

Today, these pins....

...came from this little guy's left foot. I couldn't believe those big pins were in that little foot.

We were at Children's from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. and Parrish hadn't had a bite to eat since last night at dinner, but we all hung in there and the outcome was great. A huge answer to prayer was that the doctor was able to use glue on the incisions instead of stitches. This means Parrish's heavily bandaged foot will stay that way for the next 24-48 hours. Saturday he'll be able to walk with his boot. Sunday he can get back in the pool and bath and Monday, (drum roll, please!!!) he can put his little tootsie back in a shoe and walk without the boot! We've been waiting 10 weeks for this moment. The road has been long but the Lord has sustained us and watched over our baby boy every step of the way (literally). If Parrish had gotten stitches today instead of glue he would have missed at least half of his swim lessons that start next week. God is good!

Please pray for Parrish's patience (and mine, for that matter) these next few days. He is not thrilled about keeping weight off that foot and especially dislikes his bandage, as you can imagine. We're so close and he's been so patient throughout this ordeal...I'm just trying to make these last few days as much fun as possible for him, which is tough considering he doesn't think much of anything that doesn't involve running, jumping and climbing outside.

But it won't be long til he's boogie boarding again!
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Tuesday, June 14

:: Hope Way ::

A trip that begins with a flat tire on our trailer on the side of the road usually doesn't bode well for the remainder of the excursion, but in this case we got the bad out of the way early and the rest of the trip was relatively uneventful (at least there were no unwanted events, anyway!) Luckily, the tire change that could have added 3 hours to the trip only took about 30 minutes thanks to the quality equipment in the trailer and the expert skill of Cannon the mechanic.
It was actually nice to get out and stretch our legs on "Hope Way." I had to smile to myself when I saw the road sign where we noticed our flat tire. I think Jesus wanted us to have to pull over on that particular road. I felt like he was making me a promise for the hope that lies ahead. So in a flash what was bad turned to good and we were on the road again.

We stayed in Panama City Beach, which is right next door to Rosemary, at a condo with our friends The Mims. The first night and day we were there by ourselves so we ventured out to the Boathouse Restaurant (I do not recommend this place-the food was not very good-but the view of the boats and marina made up for it) The highlight of the night for Parrish was getting to see the big pirate ship dock, so of course we had to go and inspect the boat up close and snap an "arghhh" picture.

As a welcome surprise Sommer, one of my best friends from high school who I haven't seen since our wedding, was in town visiting her parents at their beach condo in PCB, so I finally got to meet her kiddos and hubbie and also got to see and catch up with her family. It had been too long!

Once the Mims arrived that afternoon it was non-stop pool, beach, ocean, pool, beach, ocean, "I want a popsicle", pool, beach, ocean, build sandcastles, go boogie boarding, hunt for seashells...you get the idea.

To get Parrish to keep sunscreen on his face I bought blue "zinc." He looks like an indian tribal chief in most of our pictures, but I'll take that over a sunburn any day!

During our down time inside we saw a lot of this...little heads sticking up over the top of MAC books, ipads, iphones, etc. We had to laugh. At one point Parrish said, "Mommy, you are so good at downloading and love to do it!" First, as if the highlight of my day is downloading new games and books. Second, I am positive I did not know the word "download" when I was 4. By the time they are 12 they are going to know so much more about technology than us parents. I am going to have to take a class just to have any parental control! :)
Friday my dad (who Parrish calls Pop G) and step-mom Phyllis (who Parrish calls Nana P) drove over from Tallahassee to visit and help with Parrish while we worked at the West Indies Festival in Rosemary selling our Olivia Charles Furniture. Pop G is a big kid and all of the little ones (Cade and Arlington included) instantly attached themselves to him. He taught the boys how to ride the waves on a boogie board so he was obviously their hero. So much so that one night Cade was talking in his sleep and screamed out for "Pop G!!!!" It was hilarious!

We had a great dinner at J. Michael's Restaurant in PCB Friday night. The men had been fishing earlier that morning and brought home lots of delicious red and black snapper. Their boat captain told them about J.Michael's because they will cook your catch and provide sides, etc for a reasonable price. They call this the "hook n cook." Cute. We ended up splitting it 3 ways-fried, blackened and grilled-and all were divine. I am still dreaming about their slightly sweet hush puppies with whole kernel corn inside. To me they were more like a beignet and less like a hush puppie. Too bad they weren't open for breakfast. I would have made the trip!

It was a kid's paradise, too. There were play areas inside and out and they gave out balloons which the boys promptly had us blow up so they could bat them back and forth (and into the plates of our neighbors). Thankfully it was a kid-friendly place so a little latex in their potatoes didn't seem to bother them!
My sweet hubbie worked our booth at the West Indies Market in Rosemary all day on Saturday and Sunday and it was HOT! We drove over both mornings and stayed until after lunch but by then the kids were melting and needed the pool at our condo badly, so we headed out and left Cannie to do the selling. It was a great success and we were thrilled with the number of new customers we gained over the weekend, all while getting to see some of our Bham and Montgomery friends, too!
While browsing at the market, Terri and I discovered precious kids tee's by Notably You (notablyinviting.com or www.facebook.com/notablyyou/) Their artwork is precious and if your little boy is into super heros like mine, they have versions of their favorites that us moms would actually call cute. The sailfish and camping tent are my faves. Parrish got Pop G to buy him a ninja shirt (which was my least favorite in the book, but even that turned out adorable) And I couldn't resist buying him the tent. Above is his final product. Check them out. They are around $20-25 each. She also does precious invitations!

And no trip to PCB is ever complete without a trip to ride go carts on the wooden elevated track followed by sticky cotton candy and a shoot-out at the arcade! :)

One of the most bitter-sweet parts of the trip for me was watching Terri and David's daughter Arlington, who is just a few months younger than our Olivia. She was totting around and loving the sand and water and I just kept thinking, "this is not how it's supposed to be." Olivia should be here with us. We should be watching her do the same things Arlington is doing now. We should be watching them play together. I was so torn between wanting to spend every minute with Arlington and wanting to run away and hide from the reminder that I would never be watching our baby girl do the same things. I did pretty good until Saturday night, but by then had kept it in long enough and pretty much had a break down and hid in my room from dinner until the next morning alternately crying and reading a devotional for encouragement. That night after falling asleep I had a dream that Olivia was still with us. We were in a store and I was walking by the baby girl clothes as I always do thinking "she's not yours anymore, you don't have a baby girl to dress, why are you looking at these clothes still?" And then all of a sudden she was in my arms again and it was all a nightmare and she was really still here with me and I had the biggest sense of relief I had ever felt. Then I woke up and the dream had been so real that for a few minutes I was really confused by the feeling of relief I still had. I halfway expected to see Olivia until reality settled back in and I realized it was only a dream. A glorious, wonderful dream, but still...only a dream. And that is where Olivia will always live. In my heart, mind and in my dreams...until we see you again, sweet baby girl.


Sunday, June 5

:: A fabulous find & big decision ::

Yesterday I had the pleasure of going to Target all by myself. Now, as much fun as this is, it is also a recipe for spending too much money because I have the time to browse aisles I usually rush by in a frenzy while Parrish hangs off the side of the buggy begging to GO HOME! :) So yesterday I found myself drawn to the stationery aisle and while there discovered these fabulous dragonfly letterpress cards from Papyrus for Target. They weren't exactly cheap-$15 for $10, but they were cheap for letterpress stationery and I decided I could personalize them at home. Sometimes personalizing at home works for me, sometimes not, but because these were flat cards it was as easy as entering the measurements into the "page setup" screen (6.35 L x 4.25 H in case anyone is wondering) and centering the text of your choice at the top (I had to modify the top margin to make sure it wasn't printed too low and used a dark periwinkle blue to coordinate with the beautiful lined envelopes in the font Savoye LET 42 point.) I am using these as personal stationery but am going to go back and buy a few more boxes to personalize for gifts.

The whole point of going to Target was to get expandable organizers for my cosmetic and toiletry drawer and a hanging pant rack to organize my crafting ribbon. You might be asking yourself why the sudden organizational blitz at Casa Prickett? Well, we've decided to put our house on the market. This comes after a month of thinking, praying, planning and ultimately doing what we think is best for us as a family. We hope to move to Mt Laurel where Cannon's parent's have a house and we have lots of friends. We've come to this decision with mixed emotions as this is the house we became a family in and the only home Olivia and Parrish have ever lived in. But, in thinking about having more babies one day I just cannot imagine changing Olivia's room or walking around the house and seeing her swing in the exact same place. Both for her, for us as a family, and for any future children's sake, we think it is best to move forward while still carrying her memory and her things with us to a new home. We have loved this home so much and hope that a new family will love it as much as we do. Please pray that this would work out as God would have it and that we would ultimately get to make a move. As sad as we will be to leave our HL friends, we have to remind ourselves that really we'll still just be 5 minutes away!

Anyway, as you've probably experienced, moving prompts a whole lot of de-cluttering, cleaning, organizing & finishing of yard and house projects that have been put off. So we've been busy the past week working to get the house and yard ready for showings. I've cleaned and organized every drawer, cabinet and closet and Cannon spent 24 hours in the yard. I am happy to say that we are on the home stretch and hope to have the house officially on the market sometime next week. If you know of anyone looking, please let them know! I'll post a link to our virtual tour once it's put together.

One of the projects we finished was Parrish's pub wall. I first saw this idea in Cottage Living. A designer had done her interpretation of one in her living room by gathering her favorite things-paintings, drawings, decorative items, etc and grouping them together on her wall in the most amazingly precise, but haphazardly-appearing way. To achieve this look in Parrish's big boy room I cut out large pieces of craft paper in the sizes of the items I wanted to group and played with the layout on the floor and then taped to the wall before we started hanging the actual items. It's been a few years in progress, but I think it turned out really cute. The clock was Cannon's grandfather's, the orange mirror is from CB2, the wooden cross came from our lake condo, and the dogs are framed vintage book prints.

The stick initials were made from using the forms from two years of buying the Ballard Designs Cedar Initial Wreaths at Christmas. I stained them dark brown and Parrish and I walked down to the lake and collected interesting sticks. We then hot glued them puzzle-piece style onto the forms.
Prior to becoming Parrish's big boy room, this room was a guest room and already had the olive green walls and 5-panel headboard Cannon and I made and then attached Crate and Barrel Sconces to. I just added a little camo....

A stuffed GUND deer head....

And some personal touches like these bronzed cowboy boots that Parrish lived in when he was 2. You don't always think about bronzing shoes other than Sunday school walkers, but I like the more casual, modern appeal of bronzing their favorite shoes-even if they are rubber soles from Wal-Mart! These are on Parrish's dresser, but they would also make adorable book ends.

This dresser was purchased for pennies at the Mt Laurel garage sale. The acorn pulls are original. My sweet mom "Tappy" used oil-based orange paint on the originally dark brown chest to give it a face-lift and I sprayed the metal acron pulls to mimic oil-rubbed bronze.
One of my favorite finds for the room was this brown and white cowhide rug. I found it at our local Cowboys Gas Station of all places! Just when I think I'm going somewhere you won't shop! The decopage trunk at the foot of his bed was his great grandfather Christy's footlocker from his time in the Navy.
We used CC's old church pew in the room for seating and an inconspicuous spot for storing baskets of toys.
Parrish (aka Spidey) spent part of the time that his Daddy and I were cleaning dressing up in his new Spiderman pool gear and showing us this "spider man" face. Classic.