Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Have Mardi Gras beads...will travel!

Packing for five to go three different places isn't what I'd call fun! We are a very close-knit family, so separating us all isn't my favorite thing to do! But a great friend of ours and her aunt were having a special birthday party out in New Mexico, so who were we to not join in the fun?!?

Thankfully, we are blessed to have some amazing friends who were so wonderful to step in and help with the girls. Sooo, once everything was planned, it was time to put them into motion...getting the house/laundry, meals taken care of, making sure that everyone (including pets!) were taken care of, and lots and lots and lots of packing...tucking notes, gifts and surprises into various, hidden places was the name of the game! Ughh...I thought I'd never get it all done! And yes, I did forget some key elements out of my own suitcase, but "just buying it when you get there!" always seems to work! And um...the fish...I didn't remember to make provisions for Bluey until we were flyin' high in the sky! (He was fine when we returned!)

So we were ready to take off! We dropped off two, picked up one, dropped off one more, and then Craig, Ricci and myself were off! Saying goodbye to the girls is always by far the most difficult part for me...but they were all quite excited to be staying at their friends' digs! Yes, I HATE saying goodbye...and I can never make eye contact with anyone on the first leg of any plane trip...for fear of everyone seeing me cry like a little girl. Then, of course, as I board the second flight, I'm good to go! I guess by the time it takes me to realize that I'm boarding a second flight somewhere, my subconsciousness has come to the realization that "I'm not in charge; He is; they'll be okay!" And after that first drink, I'm great...funny part is that my 'drink' is nothing more than a tomato juice on ice! tastes so much better flying at 30,000 feet!

After we landed, we thankfully collected all of our luggage, got our rental car (which for some reason they upgraded us to a nicer SUV...don't remember what it was exactly!) and headed off into the sunset! Awww...sunsets out west are so beautiful!

As for our first destination...don't forget who we had with us...Miss Craig (not feeling her tippy-top self!) saw that Walgreen's off in the distance! So we did make a pitstop and then drove up into the hillside of the Sandia Mountains where the party would be held Saturday night. By this time, sweet Miss Craig had completely lost her voice! Ricci said that had to be her world's worst nightmare...someone that has a lot to say...someone that others want to hear what they have to say...someone who could barely whisper, "Oh, honey-child!" by this time! "Bless her heart!"

After unloading Craig's luggage with her family, helping with a little prep work on the Mardi Gras decorations and foods, we all drove back down into Albuquerque to the first of several parties! These peeps know how to celebrate! What a crowd it was...and what an honor it was to be included in that fun evening of great family stories of back home in Louisiana, lots of laughter and lots of yummy food!

The next morning (hmmm...I wish I could wake up every morning with two extra hours! I love that Mountain Time Zone!), we got up bright and early and did some driving around (getting lost if you ask me...hee hee!) before heading over to the birthday brunch where we were so graciously greeted by the family members that we knew and met even more wonderful friends and family. The brunch was delicious, and the gathering couldn't have been any more fun and special! As everyone was making plans on how they'd spend their day, Craig's hilarious cousin, Steve Jr., gave us a great hint about where to shop...he said that we had to visit Jackelope's, a great place... "like World Market on crack!" Boy, was he right! We loved was similar to an open World Market or our Southeastern Salvage, and we bought some great souvenirs for the kids and their friends, and even some special things for our annual Cinco de Mayo'll be here before you know it!

So after brunch, everyone went off in different directions. Ricci saw an REI in the distance, so we went their first, of course! Then we headed off for some sight-seeing and shopping. Everyone suggested that we visit Old Town Albuquerque which was a lot of was full of life with tourists, horse-drawn carriages, shopping, great restaurants, etc. "New Mexican" restaurants to be exact...which cracked Ricci and I up every time we heard someone say it. (At first we just thought the town was fun of new restaurants that were Mexican...nope...they are New Mexican restaurants!)

After a full day of acting like a tourist and just enjoying being with one another, we headed back to the hotel to get ready for the big Mardi Gras birthday celebration! What fun it was! The food was amazing...different, yummy appetizers, jambalaya, gumbo and King Cake! Arra...please share some of those recipes with me! And none but Craig and her great-grand-daughter MaryBeth outlasted the Second Line Dance! She may not have had her voice back yet, but she wasn't droppin' out of the Second Line Dance!

The next morning we all enjoyed worshipping with Craig's family at her nephew's church; then we all said goodbye to one another as some had to rush back to the airport. Ricci and I took the afternoon to drive along Route 66, then up into the Sandia Mountains to the ski resort up there. The snow and views were amazingly spectacular! Then we headed on up to Santa Fe. The drives out there are just so beautiful! And the art and history...I look forward to learning more about the rich history out there along with taking the girls back there to see it all again!

The next morning we packed up and headed back over to get Miss Craig (who still had little to no voice!) before heading to the airport. The trip seemed to fly by...from beginning to end...and what fun it all was! On the way back through Dallas, we were able to have a quick bite to eat with Tara and her girls at the Grand Hyatt. Then after Miss Craig and I stepped through the wrong doors, poor Ricci came and helped us get back in through security...which stopped him! Now, I'm talkin...full body scan with some pretty impressive equipment that I've never seen! I'm just thankful that after they took digital images of his face and everything (we're laughing hysterically about this now, but then...not so funny!) security found a forgotten hotel key in his shirt pocket! Whew! So we were back in the air in no time and headed home!

We so appreciated getting to see everyone and celebrate such a special weekend with them! What a great time it was! And just as soon as we landed, L brought us our car and our AngelWings, and then we received a call that dinner was awaiting us all at the Steves! How blessed we are to have friends that love us like they do! What great care you showed to our little loved ones....the girls had a great time being with their friends and no harm came to them while we were away....except for Lovey, who was quoted saying, "No! No! Please don't make me sleep under a Georgia Bulldog blanket!"

Nan, all I have to say is "Come on over...Lovey's got a nice LSU blanket awaiting your next stay with us!"

Monday, February 23, 2009

Add your name to the list too!

Oh...this has the potential to be a great fundraiser! The girls and I have partnered with Firstgiving to help us with our fundraiser for Bethany Christian Services. Won't you please help us by donating a gift of at least ten dollars?

Bethany Christian Services is a Christ-centered, not-for-profit, pro-life, adoption and family services agency with more than 75 locations in 32 states and ministries in more than a dozen countries.

Bethany is the largest adoption agency in the country! In addition to adoption services, Bethany also provides pregnancy counseling, family counseling, foster care programs, refugee services, orphan care, and an infertility ministry called Stepping Stones.

Bethany is supported through reimbursement for services and gifts received from individuals, churches, corporations, and foundations.

Firstgiving is the leading social fundraising platform, and it's amazing how simple and secure it is to provide an online donations and/or leave a supportive message on our page. Donating through this website is simple, fast and completely secure. It is also the most efficient way to support our fundraising efforts by automatically processing these donations for us, saving you the hassle of collecting and forwarding checks. However, if you'd feel more comfortable sending us the money without using the Internet, feel free to contact us, and we can make the arrangements for you! Any help is greatly appreciated!

Our family has made a personal goal for this February and raise a minimum of $1000 by receiving at least $10 from 100 of our friends, family and associates! And we're hoping that many of you are partnered with a company that offers a matching program that will increase your investment!

A gift to Bethany can be a caring way to honor loved ones both living and deceased. Your gift will help Bethany in ministry to protect and enhance the lives of children and families. On this blog, I'll be showing our progress as well as keeping an updated list of names of our helpful friends/family (and a link back to your blog/website, if you like!); however, if you'd prefer your name not be listed, then just let me know! We're just so appreciative of your support --anything great or small! Please forward this link to anyone who you think might wish to donate too! Together we can make a HUGE difference in the lives of those around us!

** Charitable Donation Receipt for your taxes is available for printing.

To help us reach our goal, please visit our website,
Thank you!!!

1. DixieChirps & Co.
2. Mrs. Sherri Martin
3. Dr. & Mrs. Erik H. Stoer
4. Nekey Shirley
5. Anonymous
6. Anonymous
7. Mark & Chrystie Moody
8. Richmond family

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Laissez les bon temps rouler!

What a crazy January/February we've had thus far! I absolutely love the Christmas holidays for every single reason of why we celebrate, but I have to admit that I almost enjoy more the hum-drum days that follow!

Although we still haven't seen the hum-drum days of winter as of yet (except the first week of February when I got to do nothing but snuggle with the girls and make sure that they were as comfy as possible while they were all under the weather!), but we've all thoroughly enjoyed these months of the new year!

We've enjoyed getting to see various family/friends come through town! Ricci's aunt and grandmother came for a short visit, and it was wonderful to have the time to just sit by the fire, chat and laugh about crazy things! I enjoyed helping host a baby shower at our home for two good girlfriends, Brite and Jan; driving the girls to various field trips, classes/clubs, etc.; having our eldest tested with the CAT...and whew...she did really well! (Even though I know it's the Lord who I'm ultimately held accountable, it was great to know that according to the CAT, we're not doing such a terrible job homeschooling after all...she did really well!)

I just think this picture is just too cute not to share!

And perhaps the highlight of my January was the honor in being able to attend the placement of a Bethany baby with the family that adopted this lovely child. At the end of last year I joined the board of directors, and what an extension of my heartstrings have already been touched by this ministry! For those of you that aren't familiar with Bethany, Bethany Christian Services is a not-for-profit, pro-life, Christian adoption and family services agency, supported through reimbursement for services and gifts received from individuals, churches, corporations, and foundations. [Click here, if you wish to help the girls and I raise a $1000 donation by asking 100 of our friends and family to each donate a minimum of $10, which is greatly appreciated!]

Yes, I've noticed that life has seemed to really speed was especially noticeable when Ricci looked at me and said, " are you going to accomplish all that's on the calendar for just today?!?" Life did seem to be slower when the girls were, we can accept more challenges and responsibilities, give of ourselves to others, etc. What a joy life is!

The girls' Prairie Club's Valentine Tea party...too cute! Even Auntie Craig had to join in!

February has brought its own aunt and uncle dropped by for a brief visit; we were blessed with a week (our winter break?!?) of snuggle time to get through cold/flu yuck; we've celebrated with friends over their triumphs and are praying on our knees with friends' enduring hardships. Over Valentine's weekend (yes, holidays are several days...not just one day!) Ricci and I were blessed with getting to go away to New Mexico for a FUN Mardi Gras birthday celebration for two lovely ladies, Auntie Craig's 85th and Aunt Katherine's 90th...don't let the ages fool you...these two began and more importantly ended (after most had fallen off the line!) the Second Line dance at our Fais do-do! What a treat that was to be with them and their family and to see God's wondrous American Southwest!

Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Jen Daniels' new CD release!

A friend of ours, Jen Daniels (who just had twins! congrats again!), is releasing her newest CD, titled "Come Undone." I placed a widget on blog's right sidebar...listen, take, and/or share! I'm sure that you'll enjoy her music as well! And as one that's not a regular concert-goer (unless one can visit/move about freely! ;), I highly recommend your catching her next in concert!

PRE-ORDER through PayPal her New Album "Come Undone"
$16.50 - all pre-orders ship April 1

Or check out some of her other songs at Some of our favorites are: It's a Good Day to Live, Welcome to Your Life, and In My Coat!

I am so LOST!

Okay...I am so LOST in this TV series! What the heck is goin' on?!? Ricci and I have had a couple of episodes stockpiled, so we finally sat down late last night to watch them, and I can't tell you where/when/who people are!

I used to sit on the edge of my seat while watching it, but now I just sit there thinking, "No need to run, Jin, you'll just reappear somewhere else in the woods a matter of seconds!" Ricci and I both agree that we're only watching it now to reclaim the investment that we've put into it AND to see how it's all going to end! What on earth kind of upbringing did these writers/creators have?!?

All I have to say is that if I were on that freaky island or in LA with "Ben," then I'd be stickin' close to Sayid, Jack or Locke!

Well, we've had a full day with birthday parties (Happy Birthday, Jonathan! Happy Birthday, Emmaline!), running errands and shopping, so my sweet loves are fed, bathed, jamified and enjoying some good 'ole I Love Lucy, so I'm off with Ricci to watch the last episode that we've recorded...not that it's getting me anywhere! I may go and join the girls!

Am I the only one that's LOST here?!?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


It's BOGO @ TGIF! Here's another great offer that a really great friend [;)] sent's a "buy one entree, get one free" deal from TGIF's, and it doesn't expire until March 1, 2009! Woohoo! I just think we'll have to run downtown to have a little lunch date with our daddy here soon!

Thanks, Alma...via P-Daddy!

Stinky Brown Bag

If any of you are on the mailing list for Qdoba (one of our family's favorite eateries), then you've already received this email, but I just had to post it, for I think it's hysterical! As a business major in college, I appreciate great advertising, and this one is a memorable one! Besides, I'm also sharing this great deal! AngelWings and I especially love their Mexican Gumbo (one can pick either steak, chicken, or veggie)...hmmm! I'll warn's a huge serving, so we usually share!
Subject: Stinky Brown Bag

Attention All Employees,
There is a brown paper bag lunch in the break room refrigerator without a name. It’s behind the ranch dressing and it smells like bologna. If this odorous brown bag happens to be yours, PLEASE DISPOSE OF IT IMMEDIATELY.
Then go to Qdoba Mexican Grill for lunch. They’re now offering any chicken entree on their menu with handmade chips, a choice of salsas and a regular fountain drink for only $6.99 (click here for the offer). It’s a great value and you can choose from any of their 18 different chicken dishes. So, whoever you are, you no longer have to be the SAD PACKER.

Thank you,
"Propelling work to the next level"

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Here today, gone tomorrow!

Last Monday was an interesting day...full of surprises! (We like good surprises!) Right as we were running out the door to meet Aunt Jan and Uncle Eddie for breakfast, the rain started turning into snow! It was so beautiful! The 'city' had already salted the roads (wahhh...please stay off of 'our' road!), so the roads were fine, and everyone was out and driving about, but it did feel so odd to be driving in it as if nothing was unusual.

The further we drove down the mountain, the snow did turn into a slushy rain, but there was still an excitement in the air! And after a lovely breakfast that Uncle Eddie and Tressie treated us to (thank you, again!), we ran to the store like all true get our milk and bread. (Honestly, we make our own bread, so we only got milk....and a few extras!) Then after dropping Ricci back off at work, and after we ran another errand or two, we headed back up the mountain. As we drove along the road that leads up the mountain, one could see that beautiful snow/ice line that sometimes appears in the is always so breathtakingly beautiful to me! And it reminds me of one reason why we live up there!

As we drove further and further up, the yards were nothing but white, and the entire mountain was still and we drove around for a bit, until the girls couldn't take it anymore and just had to get out and play in it. So I parked the car and enjoyed sitting in the warm car with the windows rolled up (to keep the snowballs from hitting me!), watching the girls play in the snow while I enjoyed the heat and made some calls to my sis, mom, grandmother, etc. (You know that snow down here is worth a call home!) Thankfully, Aunt Jan had just given the girls some fun gardening gloves, so the girls used those to keep their hands warm...thanks, Aunt Jan! After the snowballs stopped flying at me, I did get out and play for a while...'til the snowballs started flyin' again!

This is the bottom third of the huge snowman that sadly never was assembled...who knew a snowball that large could be so heavy?!? Obviously, we didn't!

AngelWing's snowman...scaled down quite a bit!

Thankfully, I had the camera in the car, for as soon as we took this photo, the temperature rose just a degree or two, and as quickly as the snow had fallen...the snow began to melt. Here today...gone tomorrow! It reminds us to be thankful for what we have...thanks, dear Lord, for that beautiful snowfall! So now we sit and await with great excitement our next 'big' snowfall!