54 In Articles


Guess who’s one?


John Martin celebrated his first year of life yesterday. I spent most of the day reflecting on his first year and what a gift he is to us! I fully recognize that these little creatures are a reward from him, one that we are most grateful for. All I can conclude is that it has been absolutely wonderful and sleepless year and yet it seems like he was born 5 years ago.

I had no problem finding pictures of him. These are the last 12 months of his little life:


I love watching his little doll face {& hair} {& teeth} change through the months. We’ve come to know this little man so well and all his little antics. His sisters are absolutely smitten with him and have given him several nicknames. I think the only one I’ve ever shared on here is “Hornet” {which was not given by them but me} and while they call him that too, they usually call him “O.O.”. I know, strange isn’t it? I believe it originated with Cheerios because they’ve always called Cheerios “O.O.s” and since he likes them they call him “O.O.”. Along the same lines of “O.O.” they also call him “Double O” and well, there’s “Ya Ya”, “Mr. Mouse”, and “Mr.” too.

So, Mr. Mouse had a big first birthday yesterday, with a birthday gathering and the whole 9 yards. I must admit it totally stressed me out and I didn’t even have to do anything besides get my house ready. I think the fact that we’re leaving TOMORROW on an 11-12 hour car trip for 2.5 weeks added to my madness. For those of you who think I have my act together, rest assured, I don’t.

His cake was a flop, but Mr. Mouse, Sr. assured me Mr. Mouse, Jr. wouldn’t give a rip. Justin has also questioned me on more than one occassion as to why I have our grill adorned with geraniums, so in his honor, I’ll include this picture {note: his Mexican import}.


The show went on and our family not only accompanied us but my sister-in-law brought all the food. Seriously, does it get any better than that? We get together with Justin’s family {they all live in town} regularly and I think we’ve decided this is the way to do it, whomever’s house we bombard is exempt from preparing any food…. genius if you ask me.

We had a great time, I traded my whine for wine and lightened up.


These are my sister-in-law’s discussing something very important like bathroom breaks, foot detox or Monsters.


You can tell Jennifer is a very passionate person, every picture I have of her she has her hands in the air and she’s waving ’em like she just don’t care. Now, if you work with her, go tell her she’s on the blog. She doesn’t read.

Back to the little man, we sang to him and he loved it.


Then we tried to get a family picture, and he didn’t love it. Morgan and Paige look like they were thrilled about the idea too.


All he wanted was cake.



Until he realized it wasn’t cake that he wanted.


And then he decided it was milk that he wanted.


And when he polished it off he was quickly whisked away, wiped down, and put to bed.

Not only did my SIL bring a delicious dinner {which she called “Pork wrapped Pork”} she also brought homemade cupcakes for the kids and ice cream pie for the adults.


The plates were licked clean and a good time was had by all.

Everyone was sent home with peach jam.


And Swedish Fish {which was my only creative endeavor for his party}.



Before I go, let’s talk about the peach jam.


I used the recipe included in the box of Ball Liquid Fruit Pectin. I did run my peaches through the mini food processor because I’m not a fan of huge chunks and I also added 1 tsp of cinnamon. But other than that… there’s not much to it. I use the “water bath method” which is what you see in this picture. You can find most of your supplies at the grocery store, at least, our Winn Dixie has a great supply. I bought my water bath pot at Walmart. The directions come in the box of pectin, one box of liquid pectin {2 pouches} will yield 7 {maybe 8} 1/2 pint jars, takes 9-12 peaches, and a LOT of sugar {7.5 cups} so if you try it you may want to pick up a bag of sugar too. I’ve made 3 batches and have only worked 1/2 way through my box of peaches.

And while we’re on “kitchen talk” I’ve been informed that Efurd’s IGA in Cowart’s {for you locals} has ordered and stocked the Betty Crocker Homestyle Fluffy White Frosting {that keeps popping up around here} and I can assure you, if you try it, you’ll love it! Remember, it’s in a small box, not can. It’s powder and you add boiling water too it, and mix it for 7 minutes. And then you’re in heaven licking your fingers and eating it by the spoonful.


I would certainly covet your prayers for travel mercies tomorrow! Hornet proved to not be fond of his carseat on our short jaunt to the beach on Sunday. He cried 97% of the trip and if that’s the case tomorrow I will certainly lose my mind. We’re headed to Illinois to visit with family and I absolutely cannot wait… now, I need to go pack. Be back soon, probably from IL where I can’t wait to sit on the porch swing with mom and drink my coffee!


I added a link to Erin’s blog on the last post!

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  • Maegan
    July 1, 2009 at 6:31 am

    Nothing like benadryl for Hornet and his car ride if it gets too bad… my lil one since she has started facing forward has turned into a bit of a monster in the back seat… I fully understand your issue here. Have a safe trip… glad Hornets party went well!

  • Maegan
    July 1, 2009 at 6:31 am

    Nothing like benadryl for Hornet and his car ride if it gets too bad… my lil one since she has started facing forward has turned into a bit of a monster in the back seat… I fully understand your issue here. Have a safe trip… glad Hornets party went well!

  • Ashley
    July 1, 2009 at 6:32 am

    have a fun & safe trip! do you all come through ky ever? it would be fun to grab a quick lunch sometime!

  • kathy
    July 1, 2009 at 6:35 am

    Hey, I live in Illinois! Suburbs of Chicago! Welcome and have a great time. Hope your little one eventually got used to his car seat.

  • Tiffany
    July 1, 2009 at 6:40 am

    Can't believe he's already 1! Happy Birthday JM! Praying for a safe, quiet trip! Have fun!

  • Diane
    July 1, 2009 at 6:42 am

    Happy 1st birthday John Martin!! Hope you enjoy your family trip to Illinois. I'll bet you get spoiled there! And thanks Darby for including all your readers in the birthday celebration!

  • The Harris Family
    July 1, 2009 at 6:48 am

    Happy B'd JM and Prayers for you all!

  • Kellie
    July 1, 2009 at 6:49 am

    Happy First Birthday JM!!!! Hasn't it FLOWN by???? It looks like your family in-town is much like ours here (Will's side) – we get together often with lots of fun and food!!! 2 things you might try while changing JM's diaper and riding in the car – suckers – they can get messy, but are pretty entertaining while they last – dum dums are a great size, but pose a choking risk if you think he has pretty strong jaws and might suck the candy off the stick!!!! The other thing Henderson loves is an electric toothbrush – his in particular is a firetruck one with red lights flashing when it's turned on – the vibration soothes his gums and distracts him while we change his diaper – it's worth a try!!!! have a great trip and keep us updated with glorious pics of the family and the farm – what fun you are going to have!!!!

  • Melissa
    July 1, 2009 at 6:56 am

    Happy birthday to John Martin! Glad the party was such a success! I love the idea of the hostess not having to furnish the food! Safe trip, will say some prayers!

  • Lynn
    July 1, 2009 at 7:12 am

    awww. Happy Birthday JM!!! so cute! good luck traveling.. 12 hours in the car is a long time for anyone, let alone toddlers! said a prayer! 🙂

  • Erin
    July 1, 2009 at 7:15 am

    Ohh, Happy Belated Birthday, Hornet! I CAN'T WAIT to see you all!! Love you! Be safe on the drive up!! XO

  • Kristen
    July 1, 2009 at 7:20 am

    Happy Happy Birthday to JM!!! He is such a cutie pie! They are all just precious! What a fun family party…those are the best kind! Hope y'all have a wonderful, safe trip!

  • Christen
    July 1, 2009 at 7:24 am

    Happy Birthday John Martin!

  • Dona
    July 1, 2009 at 7:25 am

    A wonderful time was had by all! I really think next time all your blog friends should be invited! I can just make lots of pork wrapped pork! I do love the new host house does nothing rule" Next family event is at my house! Have fun and be careful!

  • Christie
    July 1, 2009 at 7:43 am

    Happy Birthday to sweet John Martin! He sure is a cutie pie! I hope your car ride is peaceful and uneventful! Good luck!

  • stewart and james
    July 1, 2009 at 7:47 am

    happy birthday to your little man!


  • Surrounded By Boys
    July 1, 2009 at 8:16 am

    Be sure to bring sweatshirts because BRRRRR it's cold up in these parts!

  • Melissa Wagner
    July 1, 2009 at 8:42 am

    I absolutely can't wait to see y'all. I will pray for travel mercy and that JM will be a sleeping angel on the 12 hour ride. But if he doesn't, just know that Mackenzie and I can't wait to get our hands on him!! We can't wait to see Erika and her baby bump and see Erin and give her a hard time about being "over the hill"!!!! We miss you! Can't wait for the 4th! Enjoy your time with all of your family!

  • Becky
    July 1, 2009 at 8:57 am

    first of all, a sweet happy happy birthday to baby blog boyfriend (and from AC, too!) you come to my house and aunt beckbeck will teach you how to sleep.

    safe, cry-free travels for tomorrow!! have the bestest time in the world. i know you will!!

  • christy
    July 1, 2009 at 9:15 am

    I love the idea of the host(ess) not cooking! How on earth has my family avoided this for so long?! I am usually the hostess & the head chef for 80% of our family gatherings.

    Love the JM photos, he is such a doll!

    Safe travels & have a great time!

  • Christina
    July 1, 2009 at 9:25 am

    Our first noise free car ride??? From Merritt Island, FL to Huntsville, AL … no sounds coming from the back. The reason? I bought an entire season on Spongebob and my kids watched the entire season. Not ONE peep for 13.5 hours. My hubby and I were about to go insane from the intro song but it was sooo worth it. So, if you don't have a DVD player in your car, borrow one!! It is soooo worth it. Nemo worked well when my little guy was 1.

    Good luck!!! And Happy Birthday, Hornet! (Love that nickname!!)

  • duchess
    July 1, 2009 at 9:46 am

    Can't believe he's already one. Didn't you just post about going to the hospital?

    He's looking so much like his sisters now – adorable.

  • Amanda @ Serenity Now
    July 1, 2009 at 9:52 am

    Happy Birthday to Mr. One! 🙂 There's nothing cuter than a little one digging into cake. You had a great party! 🙂

  • Kathty
    July 1, 2009 at 9:54 am

    Have a safe trip! I would not try benadryl, he could be even more irritable. Take lots of goldfish crackers and cheerios to occupy him. He is so darn cute. I haven't heard of liquid pectin. Might have to try that. I love peach jam!

  • Anonymous
    July 1, 2009 at 10:20 am

    Looks like y'all had a blast! Love your blog, you inspire me!

  • alston
    July 1, 2009 at 10:27 am

    happy birthday to the little guy! i hope you guys have a great trip and that the hornet falls in love with his carseat:)

  • The Gotbeters
    July 1, 2009 at 10:38 am

    Happy bday! Arent boys wonderful? Busy but oh do they love their mommas, so sweet! can you lean over his carseat and nurse him? Can you turn him around now that he is one? just a few thoughts:) will be praying for you! My two boys hated the car also…not fun!

  • Kyle Lynn
    July 1, 2009 at 10:56 am

    Happy first Birthday John Martin! That was my Grandfathers name. Thanks for posting Erin's link. I am off to check it out.

  • Meleah
    July 1, 2009 at 11:02 am

    I also found the Betty Crocker box frosting at our grocery store (Ingles) here in SC! Can't wait to try it out!

  • Autumn
    July 1, 2009 at 11:03 am

    What a happy day! My little one just turned 1 about 2 weeks ago. Hope you have a safe and quiet drive!

  • cedwards55
    July 1, 2009 at 11:27 am

    Happy Birthday John Martin. You are the cutest little man ever. Prayers are with you for your trip to God's Country. It's 73 degrees here today. Hope it stays around for you.

  • Jennifer Leverette
    July 1, 2009 at 11:30 am

    You really posted a picture of me with food in my mouth…and the whole world reads your blog. Someone at work did send it to me-too funny! I am going to try to figure out how to sign up and join the masses. Have a great time in IL!

  • morethanthestarsinthesky
    July 1, 2009 at 11:37 am

    Love the packaging of the Swedish fish! Did you do that? Of course you did! I don't know why I ask :).

    Amanda in Alabama

  • lindsey
    July 1, 2009 at 11:56 am

    happy birthday john martin!! what great photos! i hope the trip to IL goes well! can't wait to see pictures! tell your mom and dad hi, i bet they are loving getting to have you all there. 🙂

  • Ashley
    July 1, 2009 at 11:56 am

    Man, you PACK the information into these blogs. I cannot keep up! And, please tell me I will get more sleep over the next year than you did…ah!!!! JM is adorable. He is just the cutest thing…love the pics and the birthday party. Makes me excited a/b Kate's summer party schedule…have fun in IL. We will pray for easy travels…hang in there, it will be sooo worth it to be up there in the cool/non humidity!! With your family!! Oh, and your NEW camera…think of all the great pics!

  • beki
    July 1, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    No way! I can't believe that it has been a year already. Happy Birthday, Mr. Mousey Hornet-o 🙂

    (OMG, I'm so happy I read through this comment before I clicked "publish" – I had a typo on hornet, yeah, the "t" was a "y". I nearly spit out my drink!!)

    Safe travels to you all, may the happy kiddo travel gods be with you.

  • Jessica
    July 1, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    Happy Birthday to your precious little guy! I think it was about a year ago I started reading your blog–when Erika posted about him being born! Here's to many more fun, family filled birthdays.

  • annek
    July 1, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    Cute! I was singing to him from Fl…did you hear me? You got a comment from Jennifer!these Blogs do that to you…make you want to get in on it! haha
    Have a GREAT time in IL!

  • Megan Shirley
    July 1, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    We have borrowed the nickname "Hornet" for our 20 month old son too. Hope you don't mind. He is a precious little sweetie pie unless he gets tired and then . . . he becomes the Hornet. Our daughter even recognizes the difference and says "Oh no! Ford is the Hornet now Mommy!" (just before he pulls her hair). Fun times 🙂

    I LOVE your rule about not cooking if it is at your house. We may have to borrow that one too!

  • erika
    July 1, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    i am sad i missed the birthday party!!!! mommasissy loves you hornet!!!!
    see you tomorrow!!!
    ps- Jennifer is STYLIN' in those shades.

  • kate
    July 1, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    Happy First O.O.! He is the cutest. I love the 12 months in pics too (clever idea, need to know how to do that one). Have a great time at the farm! Good luck with JM in the car seat….

  • Amber
    July 1, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    Happy first birthday!!! Your pictures are always the greatest. Good luck on the car ride!!!

  • The Birds Nest
    July 1, 2009 at 3:36 pm

    Have a great time in IL. I just got back from being home for a week. Why is it that we always seem to just miss each other in IL? I totally would have come to visit you on the farm!! Have fun!!

  • Allyson
    July 1, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    Happy Birthday!! John Martin is SO HANDSOME!! Man, he's cute! Hope y'all have a great time. I'll pray for your ride! Love you!

  • Susan
    July 1, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    Your favors are adorable!!! Where did you find the little whales?

  • Stephanie
    July 1, 2009 at 6:19 pm

    I can't believe he's 1 already! Where does the time go? You have such a beautiful family. Lucy has the same bathing suit that Paige had on – they are so similar (well atleast their mommies are!). Hope your trip goes well! We'll be praying!

  • Cstargel
    July 1, 2009 at 8:01 pm

    I'm a blog stalker (although I have outed myself before!) but had to tell you that I cooked the garden delight chicken recipe tonight and it was DELISH!!! Thank you so much for sharing it!! I'm always looking for new things to cook! Hope the car trip went well!

  • kerisullivan
    July 2, 2009 at 6:08 am

    Darby- I'm actually writing about the recipe for the chicken with zucchini you put on recently. My fiance wants to know where you live so he can come kiss you!! I do NOT cook (EVER) but thanks to your pictures, felt bold enough to try. He had the fire extinguisher ready but was happily surprised. As was I! Thanks for making me feel like I might have a chance at being a good wife 🙂

  • Jessica {lovely jubbly london}
    July 2, 2009 at 6:32 am

    Happy 1st Birthday John Martin!

    Love the idea for someone else to do the cooking when hosting at your house- brilliant! Prayers for safe travels.

  • Kendall Boggs
    July 2, 2009 at 7:50 am

    He is just the most beautiful little thing I've ever seen. I wish I could send you a pic of Gregory my son (who's 24 now). Hornet looks just like Gregory did!
    Be safe sweetie!

  • Amanda Thrasher
    July 2, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    I am behind on your blog. We are at the beach with extended fam and I just snuck away to get some 'puter time. It's funny that we've never met. I dreamed about your family last night as if it were my own. And then to see these precious pix of JM. I think I was thinking since i was with my family it was about the time you'd be embarking on the trek to the family farm. Hope yall have a magical trip. Post pix. Do erika and chance get to make an appearance? Back to the fam. It's Grady and my night to be in charge of hor'doerves and happy hour. Think I'll insist on "WINE" vs. whine. No whiners aloud at our happy hour. Happy trails!

    July 2, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    ONE? How can that be?

  • Amanda
    July 3, 2009 at 7:19 am

    what a great party – LOVE the Swedish Fish!!! would love to meet you in IL if you have time or want too…I'll be there off and on over the enxt few weeks helping my peeps some – have a safe trip and good luck, even w/patient" and "easy" kids, its a tough drive! Best-

  • The Magic Onions
    July 6, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    Another lovely post… your family is absolutely gorgeous! Happy Birthday Mr 1!