Monday, November 29, 2010

A New Christmas Tradition

I LOVE Traditions!!  In all shapes, forms and sizes!  I think they make a person/family and provide you the opportunity to "tell your story" to your family and the people around you. 

Christmas time is my favorite time of the year to grow our family traditions.  Although my family has traditions other times of the year, our Christmas traditions are the best!

Our traditions include...
* Christmas Scrapbook: I created a scrapbook solely for Christmas.  Each year gets a 2 page spread and it includes a copy of our Christmas card, pictures from our ornament swap, and a family picture.

*Ornament Swap: This was something started after Braxton and I got married.  Each Christmas we purchase and ornament to give to each other and we write a note to go along with the ornament to tell why this ornament reminds us of the other one. 

* Duckworth Christmas Dinner Menu: Steak, baked potatoes, salad, and other items

*And many other traditions....

So, as Parker and Paisley are getting older, I want to help provide new traditions for them!  This is not a new tradition for everyone, but it is new to us! 
And here it is...
The Elf On The Shelf

I wanted to introduce the elf last year, but didn't really feel Parker was ready.  I think he would have understood but I didn't want to risk it.  I know this year he will get it and it will be fun!

I am really looking forward to reading this book to Parker tonight and naming our elf.  We are probably going to encourage Parker to name the elf "Drew" because Parker's first name is Andrew. 

And probably my favorite part about it the elf is ALL of the mischief he will get into.  I have had time to do a little research and listen to many stories from friends about what each elf has done.  I hope to post a few pictures and will definitely have to add pictures to our Christmas Scrapbook! 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Happy Paisley
(at 6:00am in the morning!!)

Catching a view of her bed head!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010


The last four weeks my husband, Braxton, has been teaching a series on Wednesday nights at our church entitled
"Modern Day Servant Hood".

He has challenged the class to think of how they can be servants in the community, to their family and to their church.  I have been helping (just giving him my thoughts) on his series and have enjoyed what he has had to say.  Little did I know that God would "test" my servant hood this week!

Tuesday evening I had a meeting at church after work.  So before the meeting Braxton and I met for dinner with the kids and then he took the kids home.  Once the meeting was over I ran to Wal-mart to pick up a few items.

I was was 7:45pm when I got to the check out line and I still had heels on my feet!  I got in a line behind a lady and her teenage daughter.  The cashier scanned her groceries and bagged them, and she paid cash for part of the groceries and started to pay the difference with her check card.

The check card failed the first time.  She was shocked that it didn't work and commented that she had just made a deposit that day.  So she tried it again...and it failed. 

At this point I felt a tug at my heart.  I felt that I needed to step in.  I told God,
"if this is you, you will have to do a little bit more tugging if you want me to do something"!

The cashier suggested she try the card as a failed again.  The lady even showed the guy her deposit ticket with the amount she had deposited!  He then suggested that she try the ATM that was right across from our check out line.

She tried the failed again! 

I could feel my heart racing and God speaking to me, telling me to


The mother and daughter started digging through their bags, deciding what they could do without. 

And then I asked the question, "How much is the balance?"  The cashier responded, "$42.51".

Those were my words. 

I swiped my debit card, entered my pin number and smiled at the lady.  She thanked me and walked out of the store with her buggy of groceries.  As she walked out, I told her, "God Bless You".

What did I sacrifice that night?  $42.51?  Are you willing to sacrifice $42.51 to help out show someone the love of be His servant? 

What did God sacrifice for us? 
He gave His son!  He sent His one and only son to earth so that we could have Everlasting Life!

I don't know who I impacted more.  Was it the lady and her daughter?  Or was it the cashier scanning our groceries?  Or maybe it was the customer standing behind me?  The one thing I hope comes from this is, is that God's love was evident in what I did. 

"Lord, teach us to sacrifice just as you have sacrificed for us!
Teach us to be your servants. 
And teach us to love!"

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Miss Paisley Madison Reno

She is HERE!!!  Well, she has been here for a week. 

Paisley Madison Reno

arrived on
Wednesday, July 28th
at 7:52am

She weighed 10lbs and 2 oz
She is 21 inches long.

Here are a few pictures taken at the hospital.  Mommy and Paisley are doing well!!

Mommy and Daddy with Paisley

Her first kiss!!

It took Parker 4 days to "want" to hold Paisley!


Friday, July 23, 2010

Kari Jobe singing "You Are For Me"

This video - I can't get it out of my head!  No matter what we face, God is ALWAYS For Us! When the world seems to be against us...when are circumstances seem unbearable...when WE are unbearable...God is there. Not just for the person next door, but for ME!

"You Are For Me"
sung by Kair Jobe

So patient
So gracious
So merciful and true…
So wonderful in all You do

You know me
You see me
You know my every move
You love for me to sing to You

Lord, I know that You are for me
I know that You are for me
I know that You will never
forsake me in my weaknesses
I know that You have come now
even if to write upon my heart
To remind me that

I know that You are for me
I know that You are for me
I know that You will never
forsake me in my weaknesses
I know that You have come now
even if to write upon my heart
To remind me who You are

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

1 Week...7 days...less than 168 hours

We are only 1 week away from meeting our little girl, Paisley Madison Reno.  Wow...never thought I would go full term with this child!  Especially knowing that Parker was 3 weeks early.  But it has happened.  And as "upset" (only because my belly is huge and I am miserable in the heat!) as I am that I have carried this child around for 39 weeks, I am blessed to know God has had his hand of protection on me and Paisley during this pregnancy.  We had a rough start in the beginning, especially with the fact that she was a surprise, but no other complications except for 2 stomach bugs.

As my OB checks me each week, she smiles and laughs a little bit because Paisley is NO WHERE near ready to come out!  No dialation what so ever!  She must hate hot weather least in my belly it is a controlled temperature.  Dr. Ingram tells me how lucky I am to be having a c-section, otherwise I would be in labor for DAYS.  Isn't that just lovely to hear?

And Parker?  How are we getting him ready? 
Well, I have been asking him every day this week...

Me: "Who is coming to see you next week?" 
Parker: "Nana and Papa" (my parents) 
Me: "Yes, and who else is coming?" 
Parker: "Nana and Papa!" 
Me: "Yes, I know Nana and Papa.  But who else is coming?  Is Paisley coming next week?" 
Parker: "Noooo, just Nana and Papa!" 

At least I have tried!  I also tried reading a book that Braxton's mom gave Parker's cousin when he found out he was going to be a big brother.  I even changed the names in the book to "Parker" and "Paisley".  It helped for the first page, but then Parker wanted nothing else to do with the "I'm Going To Be A Big Brother" book.  I guess we will just see what happens!

The question now looming everything ready for Paisley's arrival?  Pretty much!  We (mostly I) planned so much for an early arrival of Miss Paisley that I was pretty much ready at 36 weeks!  The house is clean except for a few counter wipedowns and a clean sweep of the toilets.  Bags are almost packed...just waiting for the last few items.  Car seat bases are ready to be installed in both of our vehicles.  AND....Parker and Paisley's shirts have been purchased!

Of course Parker's shirt will have a "P" and it will read "Big Brother Parker".  Paisley's shirt will have a "p" and it will read "Little Sister Paisley".  Can't wait to take their picture in the shirts!  It was really the last purchase that needed to be made.  Now...hopefully they will arrive before we leave for the hospital on Wednesday morning! is all set!  We will arrive at St. Vincent's Hospital at 5:30am to prepare for the c-section.  My surgery is scheduled for 7:30am.  Miss Paisley Madison Reno should arrive around 8:00am! 

Thursday, June 24, 2010

"C Date" Is Scheduled - Wednesday, July 28th

Yes...I am calling it the "C Date"
because it is the date of my C-Section for Miss Paisley's arrival! 

My due date is Friday, July 30th.
And my c-section is scheduled for

Am I bummed?  Well a little!  Why?
2 reasons....
# 1 - My doctor is on vacation and I had to choose another doctor...
#2 -  I was really hoping for the week before...not 2 days before my due date!

All of this scheduling will only be "good" if I do not have any complications
OR if I do not go into labor for the scheduled date. 
Which could happen...especially considering this is baby #2!

I am excited about having a July baby!  With me and my sister,
we never got to have "warm"
birthday celebrations - her birthday is January 1
and mine is December 10. 
Usually our birthdays were planned around holiday events,
Christmas musicals,and tons of Christmas parties. 
At least Paisley can have pool parties...maybe even a lake birthday party! 

This is of course very different than when we had Parker! 
Our due date was April 1st (hahaha! - no joke!).  And for my family, we were
trying to plan it around my sister's pre-planned weekend trip and Easter.
Easter NEVER falls in March but every 100 years or so...
and in 2008 it was in March!  I could not have imagined having Parker on
Easter weekend and my family not being apart of the celebration! 
But...Parker surprised us all because I had to have a "emergency"
(due to preclampsia symptoms) c-section on Friday, March 14th.
Trust me...everyone was happy because it was the preferred weekend!

So what is preference with Miss Paisley?
I want her to be healthy!  No respiratory problems like her big brother. 
No NICU time like her big brother - 7 days!
When I leave the hospital...Miss Paisley needs to be leaving with me!

But...I will be very honest and say, I hope Paisley arrives on Monday, July 19th.
This is my grandmother's birthday - Juanita Duckworth.
What a great day to share!?!?  And maybe if Paisley arrives she will inherit
my grandmother's traits (well some of them...) - especially the one
of being a good cook!!

And what is my prediction?
I predict Thursday, July 15th! 
Parker arrived at 37 weeks and the 15th would be almost 38 weeks.
Just my wishful thinking!

Worst part of the scheduled c-section...I have to take off my toe nail polish!
Bummer!  Don't worry...the first thing I am packing in my hospital
suitcase is a cute fuchsia nail polish!
As soon as I am wheeled out of recovery,
my mom or my sister MUST paint my toe nails!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Behind! What? Me? Never!

How long have you known me??  Two years? A few months?  My whole life?  Well, you can't tell by the consistency of my blogs, but I am OCD about many many things.  I guess my blog is just not one of those these days. 

From baby showers, to a family funeral (we will miss Nanny VERY much!), to a holiday weekend and a stomach bug, all of those have put me in a tissy and I just can't seem to keep up.  Then add to the fact that I am trying to keep up with a 2 year old while being pregnant during an Alabama summer does not help either!

And NO I can not believe that Miss Paisley will arrive in 8 weeks (if not sooner!).  So much to do!  We are still in the transition mode of getting the last few items of Parker's out of the "baby" room and into this big boy room, but we lack one piece of furniture to make the transition.  Paisley's room is close to being ready.  Here is the bedding that my mom and sister gave me for one of my showers.

It looks so ADORABLE in her room.  I am just waiting on the last few pieces - her window valances and the room really will be complete....let me take that back!  I still need to build up some creativity about what to do above her bed.  Since I LOVE her name so much, I may stick with what I did for Parker when he was a baby (not one anymore - he is a "big boy") and paint her letters to match her bedding.  Maybe...

The other thing on my mind is the lack of a vacation!  I so was looking forward to going to the beach this summer, even if I was going to be hot, huge and uncomfortable...I still wanted a little time to relax, but that is not going to happen.  Hopefully Braxton's sister and brother-in-law will have their pool open soon so we can enjoy a few hours of vacation.  But I must remember that vacation will be here in only 147 days!  WOOHOO!!  The Duckworth Family will be taking a week long trip to Disney World in Orlando, Florida. 

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Relaxation, Productive & Blessings

How do I get so far behind on my blog posting??  Unreal!  You might not be able to tell it but I have a case OCD...but so much of it went down the drain when 2 things happened in my life!  1. I got married to someone who was not OCD and 2. I had a child.  I really don't know what is going to happen when child #2 arrives.  Do you think it might go backwards and I will gain back some of my OCD?  I can only hope!
I read many other blogs and love the blogs which have daily themes.  It keeps you in the routine (ummm...remember the OCD) and it gives readers something to look forward to.  Well I don't have that many readers, but I enjoy routines!  Which is why I will call my Thursday posts -

Threebie Thursday

Hopefully on Thursdays I can keep this theme going for awhile - that is if I keep remembering to post on Thursdays!  My plan will be to post about 3 current things going on in my life.  And this week is all about RELAXATION, PRODUCTIVITY, and BLESSINGS!

This weekend I enjoyed a WONDERFUL girl's getaway at the Red Rooster Retreat which is located on Smith Lake.  I am not a huge fan of Smith Lake (sorry peeps!) because I am very partial to Guntersville Lake and the surrounding areas.  Nothing man made about Guntersville Lake - just God's creation!  My family and I have been visiting Guntersville Lake on a REGULAR basis since I was 6 or 7 years old.  So many memories made....but back to Smith Lake and the Red Rooster Retreat. 
This was actually my 3rd visit to this retreat. It is a great opportunity to visit with friends, relax and SCRAPBOOK!  My college roommate, Erica, is also a scrapbooker.  She is actually the one who got me addicted into scrapbooking.  She is gracious to plan this weekend by setting the date, gathering money and just making sure everyone knows what is going on!  (Thanks, Erica!!)  She is from Scottsboro, so all of the people who are on the retreat are from the same area.  Not to worry, I have become very well acquainted with these ladies (especially Erica's mom, aunt and cousin)...and they are like old friends. 
So why is it so relaxing?  Well if you are a woman who has to cook and clean and just tend to someone whether it be a spouse or a child, it gets tiring and sometimes you just want a break to do something you love.  That is what the RRR is about.  They prepare all of your meals and you don't have to lift a finger to clean up the whole weekend!  And the best can stay up ALL night long and scrapbook (or quilt, paint, play cards, read magazines, etc.)!  When I say prepare meals - I mean all of your meals...including yummy desserts!  That is how I spell RELAXATION!
Unfortunately this may be the last time we visit the Red Rooster Retreat....sad, I know!  You see Erica refers to the RRR as the "Fertility House".  The first time we visited in 2007, I was pregnant with Parker.  The second time we visited in 2008, Erica was pregnant with Aly Grace.  And now the third time we visted, I was pregnant with Paisley.  Erica is refusing to go another time because she can't be the one to get pregnant!  We will see who wins this war!!

Sticking with the RRR, it was also a productive trip!  A little over 2 years ago, a friend I used to work with came to me and asked if I was interested in making a scrapbok for her daughter.  She is not the most creative person (at least when it comes to scrapbooking), but her other talents far out-weigh what I am capable of!  I agreed and actually had a WONDERFUL time making her daughter's first book.  A few months ago she emailed me (she lives in Huntsville and I in Hayden) and asked me about making a book for her second daughter.  "Of course I would LOVE to" was my response!  Not only do I enjoy helping people out anyway that I can, but I get to use my creativity and it allows for a lifelong keepsake to be created! 
I began on her daughter's book when I arrived at the RRR on Friday afternoon.  When I left Sunday around lunch time (we left early to dodge the yucky weather) I only had 4 pages left to complete.  THAT WAS SUCH AN ACCOMPLISHMENT!  Sunday night when I finally arrived home, I stayed up and made sure I finished the last 4 pages.  That is what I call a PRODUCTIVE weekend!

I have an older sister...much older!  Actually she is only 7 years older than me, but when you are 7 years old, 14 seems so far away!  (She will probably kill me after that comment!!)  We might not have gotten along when we were younger, but in the last 10 years I see her as one of my closest friends!  We have fun together no matter what we are doing!  One of our favorite things to do is people watch - nothing planned, but if we are out in public we are people watching...and I promise you if you ask us what we are thinking our opinions are pretty much EXACTLY the same!
Elesha has been blessed with 2 beautiful children, Gavin, 5 and Dakota, 8.  I have posted about them previously.  I love those kids so much!!  And before Parker came along, they were first in my heart!  And a few months ago, my sister made the decision to have a tubal reversal.  So she traveled ALL the way to North Carolina to have surgery a little over 9 weeks ago.  After having a reversal, your chance of becoming pregnant is lower, and if you do become pregnant you are at a high risk.
On Saturday, April 24th, my sister called the house and asked "How does January 7th, 2011 sound?"  I asked her where we were going and she replied "To the Hospital!"  Elesha found out she was pregnant!  What a BLESSING!!!  She has since visited the doctor a few times for blood work and her first ultrasound.  Everything to this point looks great!  The doctor and staff in North Carolina where amazed at the news!  She will be closely monitored during this pregnancy because she is a "high risk" pregnancy.  We know that God is in control and we will continue to pray blessings on her and this tiny baby.  I NEVER thought I would be pregnant while my sister was pregnant!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Parker's 2nd Birthday Party

What a birthday filled weekend we have had!  It all started with cupcakes for his class on Friday at school.  Then Saturday was the big party!  Mickey Mouse Clubhouse was the chosen theme.  Boy was Parker surprised to see all of the Mickey Mouse goodies!

It all started with a fabulous cake!  (No I didn't make it!)  I would love to claim it, but I can't!  A relative of a fellow church member, Michelle, made the cake.  And it really did taste as good as it looked.  Parker loved the cake!  He went with me to pick up the cake.  When he saw it he wanted to touch it and of course eat it. 

Other decorations included balloons.  My child loves balloons.  I know what you are thinking...every child loves balloons!  But, my child REALLY loves balloons.  There were plenty for his taking.  He especially the Mickey balloon!

We were so blessed to have almost all (minus my sister, brother-in-law, niece and nephew) of our immediate family members present.  Not too mention the friends that also joined us for the special party.  Parker got presents galore!  Including a remote control car, a lawn mower that blows bubbles, a Mr. Potato Head, puzzles, cute shirts ("Dirt Is My Favorite Color" and "King of the playground"), Little People barn and animals, kids bowling set, Cars watch and even some necessities like sheets for his new bed, decorative pillows in the shape of a football and baseball and his comforter for his bed.  I haven't ordered it yet, but he is also getting an outdoor play set.  He will LOVE it!

Parker has been practicing his candle blowing skills for over a month now!  I will light a match and sing "Happy Birthday", then he blows it out at the end of the song.  He was SO ready Saturday to show everyone his new skill.  We even sang it twice so he could blow out his candle twice!

The party was a huge success and I crashed as soon as eveyone left.  I was sore from all the cleaning the night before and just plain tired!  Here are few other pictures from the party and the birthday weekend.

I am not a professional photographer and I try not to be obnoxious about how cute Parker is, but these pictures just about proves all of my thoughts about him!  A heartbreaker in the making!!!


Thursday, March 11, 2010


Yesterday was the big day! I had my ultrasound appointment to find out the gender of baby #2. This pregnancy has felt different than my pregnancy with Parker. I haven't been as sick...I have been much more worn out...and the baby doesn't move as much as Parker did, even in the early months. I just felt it was different. Oh, there were lots of predictions...LOTS! But only some of the people could win.
Our appointment was at 8:00am. I was anxious...more than wanting to find out the gender, I wanted to know that the baby was okay. I needed to know the baby had 2 arms, 2 legs and a healthy heart. The last few weeks have been mentally tough. The thoughts that run through your head that the baby is not okay....just a little trying on a pregnant woman! add to the anxious feelings I had, it was raining and traffic was HORRIBLE!!! There were wrecks all over the interstates and so we chose the highway like everyone else. We ended up being late, but luckily we didn't have to wait too long.
After the usually measurements (by the way I am measuring about 5 days early) and checking to make sure that all of the body parts where there, we got to see HER!!! Clear view and no doubt that it is a GIRL!!! I was happy and Braxton was nervous! The questions and thoughts that crossed his mind....
"We will have to pay for her wedding...ballet class...prom dresses...I don't know how to put a bow in a girl's do I play with a little girl?....she is going to be expensive...I just don't know what I am going to do with her!"

Good thing he had the day off from work to think about it all! And after much discussion and thinking...we decided on a name for our sweet little girl.

Paisley Madison Reno

Here are a couple of shirts I am looking at purchasing now that we know what the baby is.

I need this shirt right now!
A cute shirt for Parker!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Almost 2...really?

It is so very hard to believe that my little "baby" is almost 2 years old! It really does feel like yesterday that I was laying on a surgery table waiting to hear the first sounds of his cry. It truly is amazing how fast he has grown up. I can't say he is the best speaking almost 2 year old, but he knows alot about sports and how to throw a ball!
So in planning his birthday party this year, I wanted to stick with a theme that I knew he would enjoy. We (Braxton and I) threw around the idea of Elmo, Mickey Mouse or maybe Sesame Street. Well, we finally decided on one with the hlep of Parker! MICKEY MOUSE CLUBHOUSE!
The boy loves that little mouse and all his friends. He calls Mickey (and Minnie) "Mimee" - he has a tough time with the "ck". But he knows all of the characters from Donald and Daisey to Goofy, Pluto and even Pete on the tv show.

Here are the cute finds for his party...

Balloon for the guest of honor! (The thing is huge!)

Dessert Plates for Mickey cake and ice cream

Instead of hats we have Mickey Ears (I have tried to get Parker to wear his and he refuses!)

And last, but not least! A Pinata for the kids - with lots of candy!

Maybe Parker will remember this one as a memorable day with his closest friends and wonderful family. And just maybe we can have some spring like weather that day just like last year! Parker is getting a big surprise for his birthday...a outdoor swing set and slide! Now it will even be harder to get him to come in from outside.

Monday, February 15, 2010 Alabama!

While all the "northerners" laugh at the southerners, we were enjoying the snow! Yes, it never snows and it especially never snows in Hayden, Alabama! But it did this past Friday. We knew there was a threat, and of course the schools canceled classes. To everyone's disappointment we woke up to nothing! But that didn't last long....around 10:00am the first BIG flakes began to fall. It was a pretty snow.

Even though the church was closed (because the daycare was closed) I still needed to go into work and complete the bulletins. Nanny (Braxton's grandmother) kept Parker for a few hours. We got home around 3:00 and waited for Daddy to arrive so we could play in the snow. Even though we have had a few minor snow storms (hahahaha!), Parker has never really had the chance to play in it. This was his first experience. And boy did he love it!

His first taste of snow! I love this little boy!!!!

Daddy trying to get him to sit on the trashcan lid and ride down the hill. He did not want to do this!! It was my idea!!!

Learning to throw snow balls at Daddy!

All bundled up and having fun!
He kept getting closer and closer and we kept hitting him with snowballs!

On another was Valentine's weekend. I celebrated my 6th Valentine's Day with Braxton. We actually had our first date on Valentine's Day in 2004, when we went and watched "50 First Dates". I love my husband so much and I am so glad that we are spending our lives together...forever!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Reading List...

I promised myself I would be better about blogging...well that hasn't happened! How will I find the time to blog when there are 2 kids to tend to? I must find the time, and I will find the time!
It is hard to believe that January is long gone and we are almost to the 1/2 way point of February. Time flies when you are busy and having fun. I wish I was having more fun than being busy. So what has consumed me the month of January? The answer would be READING! I don't really know why I am on a reading kick. It usually hits me around the summer months when I can sit out side, or hang out at the lake with my family,
or better yet sit on the beach listening to the ocean waves. But no, my reading kick hit during the cold month of January. Since January 1, I have completed 5 books, and my 6th book will be finished by Tuesday evening!

Here is my list...

1. "When Joy Came To Stay" by Karen Kingsbury
2. "Nanny Returns" by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus

3. "Left Behind" by Lahaye and Jenkins

4. "Dear John" by Nicholas Sparks

5. "Tribulation Force" by Lahaye and Jenkins
I am going back and reading the Left Behind series because I never finished them up when I graduated college. I read books 1-7, but then stopped. So I am going back and reading them now. And I am enjoying them so much! I have a goal of 20 books in 2010. I have gotten off to a pretty good start!

I am one of those readers that wants every book to become a movie! Even though I am talking about myself, I have to say that I have one of the best imaginations. The imagination can really make the book come alive.