Thursday, January 28, 2010

Life Lessons Courtesy of Go Deigo Go

The day has finally arrived - my sweet, beautiful, little blue-eyed Charlotte has learned a bad word. Thankfully it was not a word that sometimes slips from her Mommy's lips that is "oh so bad," but it is the word "stupid."

I remember the first time I heard it out of her mouth. She was just saying different words, holding her doll. When it came out of her mouth it sounded like "Sooba." I immediately asked Charlotte what she said and she quickly repeated it. I was thinking, did she just say "stupid?" So... I asked her. She nodded her head yes. From that day forward, we have begun disciplining her for saying this word.

The other night as we were watching "Go Deigo, Go!" they began to sing a song. I wasn't paying much attention, but Charlotte immediately turned around, wide-eyed and said "Mommy!" pointing to the television. In the song they sang a word over and over again - a Spanish word meaning up and it sounded like... you guessed it "sooba." All this time I thought she was saying "stupid" and she was only saying "go up" in Spanish. I felt horrible. Now I am the one who taught her to say "stupid" all because I didn't know that she was actually speaking Spanish.

While this is very funny to me (and Doug and I, as well as my mother, have gotten a good chuckle out of it) my training has come back to haunt me. Two nights ago while bathing both of the kids in the tub I slipped up. The kids were splashing and being a little too silly and without even thinking about it I said, "Charlotte, that is just stupid." Well, immediately I was corrected. Charlotte said very emphatically with a finger pointing up at me "Mommy, you not say that." I heard Doug chuckling in the next room and I started scrambling trying to figure out how to correct the situation. I promised Charlotte I would go to time out and I thought to myself... at least my hard work is paying off. :) Thanks Deigo for teaching this family a little life lesson and a new word in Spanish. :)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Stickers and Such

New Valentine Gift Sticker - set of 24

New Valentine Gift Sticker and Card Set

The card and sticker set with the giraffe - my personal favorite!

I have not done a good job of sharing these great stickers that I offer in my shop. Frankly, I had forgotten that I don't even have a decent photo until I had customer ask if I offered them. I guess I can't remember everything. :) So... I am working hard to add my round labels to the family of goods over at The English Pea. These have been added to the 2010 Be Mine Collection. I hope to have photos of the everyday address labels and party favor stickers soon. The awesome thing is, I offer two sizes. Yeah! :) Check them out at

Monday, January 25, 2010

Pretty Pictures

Many of you saw our Christmas picture and I have been wanting to blog about the wonderful photographer who snapped that photo. The photographs you see above are also her handywork and I couldn't be anything more than pleased.

I found out about Laura through a friend of mine, Joy Blevins Derrer. Joy and I go way back and she lives in Marietta with her two precious children. Laura had taken her little Thomas' picture after his birth and when I took her a meal last Spring after the baby was born, she showed me the pictures Laura had taken. Her style was exactly what I was looking for.

One thing I LOVE about what Laura does is she not only captures color, but for our family, she captured personality. This is not easy to do. I felt many of the photos captured who we are as a family and the bonds that we have with one another. The little looks, the movements in still frame, the joy we feel together. So... if you are looking for a good photographer check her out at You won't be disappointed.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

We Don't Get to Choose!

Sorry for another blog post without pictures, but I wanted to jot down these thoughts and share them with you. I do have a funny post coming soon as well as some exciting news to share - no I am not pregnant, but that will have to wait until another day.

I have been struck by this thought lately and today, at church, the sermon only reiterated it. Our church is doing such an amazing series and today they spoke on loving completely - but in the way the Lord loves us. This concept is not a new one to me. Doug even said when the sermon started that he had heard this message a million times, but I reminded him that God can always use a similiar message to get a different point across. I believe He did that for me today.

You see, the thought that has been on my mind lately is that there are many things about me, Alison Moore English, that I didn't get to choose. I didn't get to choose my race, I didn't get to choose my family, I didn't get to choose where I was born or where I would live as a child, I didn't get to choose how many siblings I would have, I didn't get to choose my talents, and so goes the list. All these things were chosen for me.

Now in my case this pretty well overwhelms me because I didn't get to choose the wonderful life, family, and talents that I have been given. It humbles me that I have done nothing to deserve what God has blessed me with. Others, maybe even you reading, may not feel this way. Your circumstances weren't or are not so great. You wonder if you got the raw end of the deal. This in itself makes me realize that I need to be thankful. Regardless of your feelings about the choices that were made for you by our Heavenly Father, there is one thing you do get to choose - HIM!

I was really struck by this today. I have been a Christian for twenty-five years and became commited in my faith at twelve. I realized today that there are many times that I do not choose my God. I do not choose His ways, to love others, to forgive, to move on. I still choose myself. This too is humbling. I have been so blessed with things that were given and I still choose myself.

Obviously this got me thinking of how God wants me to love and choose to do for others. That is also a choice I get to make - and maybe seek to give to those who were given circumstances, lives, parents, siblings that have not been as much of a blessing in their lives. I pray I seek to choose to love those who God places in my way and I choose to seek what He has for me!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Schedule

Let me preface this post by stating that what I am about to say is basically for chronicling life as I know it and for mommies out there that are wondering what would be good for their families. What I do with my children and my family is not for everyone, but this has been so beneficial for me I wanted to share it.

All my loyal followers either have recently met me or have known me for quite some time. All of you know that I have two little ones under two. Most of you know that I work 10 hours a week for Chick-fil-A (six of those at home) and probably spend anywhere from 15 to 30 hours a week on my stationery line. Not to mention the household that has to be run. I am like most of you - very busy.

We all have our ways of dealing with things, making our lives run smoothly. We have our rules - the things are children will do and not do, we have the things we wish we didn't allow them to do and the things we are proud of. We all have our own way of doing things and there is no right or wrong way of being a good mother (except for the list that we all know qualifies you for child services).

One thing that we do in our house - and have done from the beginning - is a schedule. Honestly, this has been our saving grace. Yes, there are pros and cons to this kind of structure and depending on your stage in life with your brood, scheduling effectively is not always possible.

Some of you did not choose this avenue for your family or children and I do not condemn you. So... please do not feel that this post is judging you. This just really works for us.

In order to have my day run, to get all the "work from home" tasks done, to have time to rest, for me to be patient, loving, and emotionally available for my children, I need a schedule. I am a task oriented, structured type of person and having established times for things helps the English house run smoothly. We deviate from "the schedule" but most days we do the same things.

For those interested here are the things that I love about it.
1. I know most of the time why my children are fussy depending on what time of day it is - if it is nap time, they are sleepy; if it is around 11:30/12:00 they are hungry. There are times I don't get it right, but even with a little bitty one, I usually have an idea.
2. My kids sleep in their own beds. If you like yours sleeping with you more power to you. I am not knocking you, but I don't like sleeping with my kids. I don't sleep well when they are with me and when I don't get enough rest I am not at my best as their mommy.
3. They normally go down for naps/bedtimes without a fuss.
4. Both kids pretty much slept through the night by 3 months (we still have nights where this is not the case, but the schedule helped establish night sleeping patterns).
5. I feel discipline has been easier because of the boundaries a schedule sets.
6. I get time in the afternoon to myself and at least two hours in the evening to spend time working on projects, relaxing, or spending time with my wonderful hubby.
I honestly could list more but I won't bore you. With a set of Irish twins and all the "extra" work I have to accomplish, our gracious Father and the English Family Schedule have been my saving grace - not to mention a husband who goes out of his way to be a HUGE help. :)

So, again, no judgement if this isn't the thing for your family. Just know that if you have knocked it in the past, it is working for at least this family. :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Standing Tall

I believe I also named a post this when Charlotte began pulling up on things. I really should go back and look to see how old she was. Our little guy turns 11 months next week and he has been doing this for several weeks now. He truly thinks he is big stuff - the picture of he and his sister "helping" with the laundry is evidence. It is hard to believe he will start walking soon. Not sure I am ready for this, but there isn't a lot I can do about it, can I? I am ready for them to be able to run around a play together. They already have such fun. I imagine Douglass Charles' walking will just make their time more enjoyable.

Today I actually got asked if they were twins. He was sitting and Charlotte was standing, but I must confess I wondered when this would begin happening. Many of Irish Twins say that right around 2/3 is when the questions start coming. With Douglass Charles being younger I guess it could really begin sooner. Such fun! Still don't think I would want twins, but this is the closest thing to it and it is fun!

Monday, January 18, 2010

"Be Mine" Winner...

On my last post I had hoped to get more comments, but that is okay. Because my two commentors were the bravest of souls - to say what they liked or what they would do with my little valentine cards - I am going to award them both with a set of six from the 2010 Be Mine Collection. I mean, how can I choose between two? So... Kelly and Dana, I will be contacting you by email to find out which cards you would like for your six pack. Thanks for commenting!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Be Mine

Giraffe "be mine" card

Choose from several images - different recipients get differnt cards, right?


Even something for the boys!

Very simply - be mine!

I decided at the last minute this week to put together a few cards for the day that represents love. These cards will be available in my shop this weekend. I will be offering a smaller pack of 6 - which is a new quantity for The English Pea.

I am really excited about these. They are basic, simple, and I feel can be used for friendship or love. They definitely offer a different twist on your traditional valentine.

I would love to hear your feedback and how you would choose to use the cards, so... in exchange for your kind words, I will offer a set of six (you get to choose) to the comment that tickles my fancy the most. I will announce the winner on Monday! Happy commenting! :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Tulips In Winter

It has been way too cold for my liking lately here in the south so I thought I would share the very Spring like outfits I made my nieces - and Charlotte - for Christmas.

Tulips are by far one of my most favorite flowers and when I found this smocking plate I immediately wanted it for the girls. I can't wait to get a picture of them all dressed up together in their matching outfits. Flannery just has the dress, but Charlotte and Adeline both have a top/pant set - because they are big girls, of course.

Hoping this brings you a little warmth on a cold, January day!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Douglass Charles, Charlotte, Flannery, and Adeline

The Cousins with their Aunt Sarah and Aunt Emily

When I was growing up we loved to get together with our cousins. I only had two - that I didn't get to see enough - on my mother's side, but I had FIVE on my father's side (all from the same family - I know, lots of kids). We had such fun!

I am so glad that Charlotte and Douglass Charles have cousins around their age. Right now, they have two on my side of the family and we are looking forward to hopefully - one day (no pressure Meg and Grant)- having cousins on Doug's side. The good thing is that there will be plenty of kiddos. With six children in my family and four in Doug's, we have GREAT odds for LOTS of cousins.

The kids had a blast over the holidays playing together. I can't wait until this summer when they will all be on the move. Such fun!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A Tale of A Girl's Boots

Ten, nearly eleven years ago, I found my home in a western store in Atmore, Alabama. I sat on a shelf and waited for someone to enter, to try me on, to purchase me and take me home. I dreamed of the adventures I would have - the life I would lead - I was a cowgirl boot after all.

One fine afternoon a somewhat awkward young woman walked into my store. She had a list of items she needed. She did not fit the mold - you know, the horse ridin' cowgirl type and I wondered why she was there. Her list included a few things - skirts for square dances, Wrangler jeans for riding, and a pair of cowboy boots. I cringed as she picked me up, tried me on, and said I would do.

Little did I know where I was headed. This young, 21 year old girl was headed out West, to the Colorado Rockies to work on a Dude ranch. Those first months were wonderful. I square danced, I rode along as we galloped through the mountains on a fine steed, I waited tables in a big cabin lodge. I heard the girls laughter, I felt her tears, I experienced her adventure.

After about a year my joys were squelched as I found myself living in a dark closet. The girl had moved back East. She came in that dark closet often, sometimes to throw shoes on top of me, replace old ones, or just dig around for something she couldn't seem to find. Everytime she would enter I would think, "Maybe we are headed back to our adventures."

Oh, I occasionally came out - a couple of costume parties, a trip to ride a horse, but never was I worn for anything more. My days of adventure were over.

That 21 year old girl is a 31 year old woman now and for some odd reason she has kept me around all these years. I take my place in the closet next to her Birkenstocks from back in High School and College - who have seen even less wear than I. Recently, she has drug me out of her closet and I have been worn round abouts like her other more favored shoes.

Her adventures have changed. She is married, has two children, and her feet get as much action as they did so many years ago on that ranch. While not galloping through a forest, with the wind in her hair, her adventures seem to have so much more purpose. Her life with more meaning. Caring for others more than for herself, busy all the time.

While as a cowgirl boot I was born for adventure and hard work I find myself happy that she has let me stick around all these years. Sometimes life's adventures give one a different story - a different adventure - than they planned, but one that brings joy, happiness, and ultimately a life worth sharing!

Friday, January 8, 2010


Charlotte playing with the family of Carolers

My dad playing the piano before church

"Mommy, Daddy, boy and girl" as Charlotte affectionately called them

I am a very traditional person. I love heirlooms, I love my grandmother's china that she passed down to me, and I LOVE traditions - old ones and new.

Being home always makes me nostalgic - and holidays only make it worse. Our family has several traditions and the above photos are just a few that I wanted to remember.

Charlotte fell in love with many things at Nana's house (like the many, many nativity scenes that are on display everywhere - mom collects them). Her favorite - other than playing with "baby Jesus" - was this family of carolers that has been in our family for many years. I, too, played with these figurines every Christmas and it was precious to see Charlotte care for them as I once did.

Whether my parents think so or not, we grew up in a musical home. Classical music was played A LOT (I specifically remember Vivaldi blaring on my father's stereo) and we all took piano at some time or other - some of us moving on to other instruments. My dad also learned when he was young and when we were little, he spent many a Sunday morning tapping out old hymns as we readied for church.

There are other Christmas traditions that I will always cherish. The candlelight service at First Pres (which I got to take the kids to this year), our annual watching of "A Miracle on 34th Street" (the old black and white version) on Christmas Eve, the message my father prepared every Christmas morning (that I hated as a child because I wanted to open gifts, but have come to appreciate now), and the Christmas party we had every year with friends coming over Christmas night to celebrate.

I am so thankful that I grew up in a home that was rich in traditions. Honestly, it is those things that I remember - not the gifts I received on Christmas day. I hope that Doug and I can pass the same onto our children.

Meeting Sweet Flannery

Charlotte enjoying her new cousin - I have got to teach her about personal space because she has NONE!

Playing some more

Matt monitoring the two girls - he was brave to let my child be SO close.

We also had the pleasure of meeting Henry, Courtney Dettling Sirmon's little guy. Henry was due one week after Flannery and wound up being a week older. His momma is practically a member of our family, so of course Henry is too. :)

A not so great picture of Doug and me with Flannery

As I have mentioned before my sister, Lauren, welcomed her first child in August. Lauren and her husband, Matt (soon to be Dr. Matt), live in Dallas and because of the distance between us - and our limited finances - meeting each other's new little ones was quite impossible. So... you can imagine how anxious the two of us were to see each other this Christmas and hug and kiss on the other's new baby.

Flannery is a sweet, little thing. She looks like her father when she is both laughing and angry - in a very feminine way of course - but she still has that glimpse of Moore. My kids have it too - the little taste of my gene pool that makes you go "I can see it, but I am not quite sure where it is coming from."

We so enjoyed being together and sharing mommy stories. Charlotte and Adeline also loved their new cousin. They both fought over holding her and Flannery normally complied.

Again, it will be too long before we get to see little Flannery again. The goal - this summer. On a side note: Lauren and Matt get the Christmas Award for the furtherst drive with a child. My hat's off!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Christmas at Nana's

Flannery and Nana

Silly Addy

Papa playing in the tent with Charlotte and Adeline - they LOVED this!

Mary Catherine (my sis-in-law) with Adeline and Flannery

One of the many disputes amongst the girls - they really do play well together but sometimes they don't feel like sharing. Please take note of my mother in the back. She is laughing at this HYSTERICALLY!

Originally we had planned to spend Christmas at home this year. I was sad - knowing that ALL of my family would be home - but I agreed with Doug and felt it was time. About a month before the big day, while driving home from church, Doug asked me a question. He said, "What do you think about going down on Christmas Eve and surprising your mom for Christmas?" He knew immediately by my response how I felt because I started crying.

For those of you that know me well you know that I LOVE my momma. I have always been a momma's girl and because I was the oldest and she needed me so our relationship is probably a little different from most women and their moms'.

We only let my youngest sister know that we were coming and we rolled into town before lunch. We walked in the front door with both kids and my mom was sitting, chatting on the phone. She didn't even turn to look so Doug slammed the door. She spun around and screamed with absolute shock and delight. I come by my weepy nature quite naturally. She started crying.

It was a precious time as we all got to be together, celebrate our traditions, and meet the newest additions to the ever expanding Moore family. The photos above are just a few of our Christmas at Nana's.

The Throwing of Paper

We had two Christmases at our house. One on the 23rd (our family Christmas) and one on January 1st (with Doug's parents). Because the pictures look so similiar - because we are in our living room - I decided to group them together.

The baby had no idea what was going on. He was just happy to have paper and new things to chew on. Charlotte was a little more aware, but seemed to be overwhelmed with all the different gifts.

Here were some of the kids favorites:
Charlotte - received two tea sets - a porcelain one from Doug and me and a Disney Beauty and the Beast on from her Ma and Pa. She LOVES them and we play Tea Party several times a day. She also loves her princess slippers that her Ma and Pa gave her as well as a bath set of Dora and Boots and a plush set of the same - one from each set of grandparents.

Douglass Charles - a scooby doo mini basketball from Ma and Pa and the tea set - he loves to crawl into our tea parties and grab each thing, place the pieces in his mouth, all while Charlotte screams "NO BABY!"

Needless to say, with all the spoiling from the grandparents and the aunts and uncles we have cleaned out our spare bedroom and it has become a playroom. Now to clean out the old toys to make room for the new ones. :)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Mmmm... so you are thinking it is January 5th, 2010. Where are all those Christmas pictures? They are coming. Our Christmas wrapped up this last weekend with a 3rd celebration with my inlaws and like I always do, I forgot to take pictures and I was waiting on others to share their loot. They shall be here soon - for those that are interested. :)