Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Farewell 2013... and Holidailies....

What a great New Year's Eve!

We spent the day at the Audubon Zoo with friends for the Noon Year's Eve countdown.  What fun!!   The girls had a great time, even in the cold and rain.

I can remember being very young wanting to stay awake until midnight thinking that I'd see something spectacular when the clock struck twelve.  At most, we'd hear a few firecrackers and loud noisemaker horns from the party at the KC Hall up the road.  I can remember a time when the last thing I wanted to do was stay home on New Year's Eve. My friends and I would head out of town - New Orleans or Lafayette.  Fun times!!  I felt as if I had to go out or it was the end of the world.  Oh, there were years when I did stay home and felt like I was missing out on something spectacular.  I wasn't.

Now, the last thing I want to do is be on the road.  I'd rather build a fire, roast marshmallows, and pop fireworks in my driveway with my family.  There is no where better or no one better that I'd rather ring in the new year with than my family.  That is just what was on the agenda for tonight.  We made a fire, roasted hot dogs, and marshmallows.  Then we visited with neighbors and popped fireworks for hours.  I have completely lost my voice, partially from being sick and spending all day out in the cold.  It's been a long day!!  Let's see who can last until midnight - me or the kids?!?

Tomorrow also wraps up the 2013 edition of Holidailies.  I skipped a few days, but I guess I didn't do too badly over all.   Hope some of y'all stick around for a while.

Now it's back to my regularly unscheduled postings!!

Happy 2014 y'all.

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Monday, December 30, 2013

Not quite hoarders material...yet

I proudly admit I have a bit of a shopping addiction this time of year.  Why?  What do you mean WHY?!  I admit I was at Walmart before 7am on December 26.  Anything and everything holiday is half price after Christmas.  THIS is where the hoarding comes in to play.  I paid $2.25 for gift sets with battery powered Hello Kitty toothbrushes and full sized toothpaste.  I didn't buy one or two...I bought ten.  WHY?  Just a kid's toothbrush is $4.00+ or more.  Same goes for shampoo and conditioner, body wash, lotion, lip gloss, cheap make up, razors and shaving gel, perfume, nail polish... the list goes on.  Gift sets = half price = DEAL!!  I won't have to buy any bath stuff for quite some time.

Then yesterday, we made a quick trip to Target.  70% off almost everything.  Jackpot!!  Even the $1 spot Christmas items were $.30.  How can you pass up crafts, stickers, window clings, etc. for a mere thirty cents?!  The regular Christmas stuff...they had blankets, throw pillows, lights, door mats, stockings, trees, and ornaments galore.  And using a Target card is another 5% off..so...  the $90 that I spent was regular price near $300.

And I admit....  to top off what I already have, at Bath and Body Works today I got 12 bottles of body wash and a few hand sanitizers.  Now before you say that is crazy, keep in mind there are three of us that use this stuff daily.  So we do use a lot of it!!  Some of them were as low as $2.75. I had a $10 off coupon AND by using my Discover card I will get 5% cash back.

So yes....  I am hoarding bath products!!!!  Is it really hoarding though??  They are consumable and we WILL use them.  Yes, I know you probably think I am totally nuts.  BUT don't come crying to me when you are out of shampoo or need a new razor because it is mine... all mine!!!
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Saturday, December 28, 2013


I like Facebook.

There.  I said it!!  And I admit I get sucked into it and spend way too much time on it.  I like seeing pictures of my friends and their kids.  I like seeing the funny memes and jokes. I like finding people from the past and being connected with them again.  I even like the interaction with strangers in the Disney groups.  The for sale groups can be great entertainment, as it seems no one can spell or use the correct word (and you can't always blame auto correct!)  It's a great place to find information - accidents, road closures, and local news as it happens.

But still....a little too often people take Facebook too seriously.  If it's on FB, it has to be true right??  All the giveaways and free gift cards and warnings are real because my friend posted it, right?!?   Common sense seems to have gone out of the window.  The reality is, Facebook isn't real life.  It's entertainment.  Most people post bits and pieces of their day.  It's just a peek into their life.  "Went to the store and found a great sale!"  "Oh no, the school called and Veronica is sick."  "Look at what the kitten is doing!"

Sadly, I have had to hide several of the drama mamas. Honestly, from some FB posts I have wondered if some of you are manic depressive.  If I see your posts and it makes me feel bad, I don't want to see them anymore.  If I can't unfriend for whatever reasons, I hide.  I want a happy FB.  Sure, everyone has a bad day...  but if all you do is complain and whine about how terrible things are, I don't want to see it.  And yes, I am complaining about the people complaining!!!  I won't even touch the marital problems or drama that ensues when *gasp* someone is unfriended.

Sadly again, I sometimes censor myself because a certain person will hound me about every thing I post.  I share a meme that I like, my phone rings - "Who are you talking about??"  Who are you mad at?  Are you mad at me??  Is everything OK?"  All because I shared a picture that someone else wrote the caption for. Even if I make a simple comment about being tired, or being glad that the day is over...  I get that phone call putting my status under a microscope.  Ain't nobody got time for that.
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Friday, December 27, 2013

A much younger voice....

Today's Holidailies prompt is:

Step away from the traditional blog post format.  Record yourself singing a song, or reciting a poem or short story, then share it with us via YouTube or mp3.

Well this former choir girl is happy to oblige!!   Since I currently have a slight cold I won't subject you to my stuffy sounding voice of today!!  I used to record myself singing on cassettes back in the day, but that would take some serious searching to find a decent one.   I dug around on my old files and found this gem for you.  Recorded way back in 1998 or 1999, using a midi file for the piano and my PC's mic, so it isn't the 'best' quality...  but this is one of my all time favorite songs.   Oddly enough, I met my husband partially because of this song... I had it posted on my webpage and he listened to it.  Clint had a small recording studio and had offered to help me make a better quality recording.  And that is somewhat how the conversation between us started..............  

Here is my version of Sarah McLachlan's "Posession"

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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Christmas.....

And in the blink of an eye... Christmas is over!   I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!!!! It was a quiet day here.  The kids even slept until almost 8am!  We had our ordered Christmas dinner and sat around in pajamas all afternoon. Probably the highlight of the day was having neighbors stop by to say hello.  The girls spent the day checking out ALLLL the stuff Santa brought.   So far the Furby Boom is the biggest hit.  The Kindle Fires will take some getting used to because they are different from the iPods they know so well, but I think they will be a hit also.  As for me, I sit here typing from my new PINK Dell Laptop.  

Today:  Shopping!!  The day after Christmas is the absolute best shopping day of the year!  50% off everything!!  I made quick trip to Walmart this morning to scavenge the Christmas aisles.  $2.44 Hello Kitty battery toothbrushes and toothpaste is a bargain too good to pass up!  LOL!  

A few pics from Christmas Eve.....  

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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve!

December has flown by!!  I'm a little sad that soon it will all be over.  The anticipation and excitement is half the fun.  My girls are SO excited and canNOT wait for Santa.  This Mommy is a little excited too.  :)  I can't wait to see their excited faces in the morning.

Today we are baking cookies for Santa!  The dough is made, so it's just a matter of cutting out, baking, and decorating. Tonight we enjoy party food and will open the gifts under the tree.  Time permitting, we'd like to go riding around town to look at Christmas lights since we haven't done it yet!

Enjoy this time with your families.  Even enjoy that annoying relative.  I see all the posts and pictures on Facebook of numerous family gatherings and dinners. Enjoy the gift exchanges, even if you get a bad gift.  Christmas with the in-laws, Christmas at Maw-Maw's house.  That used to be us.  We'd go to my Mom's on Christmas Eve.  My parents would come here Christmas Day. It wasn't much.  It wasn't big or loud, but it was something.  Make those memories while you can because someday it will be just that -- a memory!

From my family to yours -- Merry Christmas!!!

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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Mom's Cookies

This is the first year in many that I didn't do much holiday baking.  Usually by now I have a few containers of cookies sitting on the counter.  I made a batch of thumbprint cookies a while back, but they have been long gone.  We don't really need the sugary junk, but it is tradition!!  My Mom had a table she used just at Christmas to stash the containers of goodies.  Fudge, snowball cookies, pralines, a coconut cake, and the most coveted of all -- fruitcake cookies.  I know, yuck! Everybody hates fruitcake!!  But these cookies are nothing like actual sticky fruitcake.  Just a nutty, cinnamon melt in your mouth goodness!  My Mom had gotten the recipe from a friend in the 70s and it just wouldn't be Christmas with out them.  I made a double batch today, so hopefully that will last until Christmas Eve!

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Saturday, December 21, 2013

Nine years of wonder


Just a number after eight, and before ten.  I'm afraid because next year means double digits!

It seems like just yesterday you were a tiny babe.  I stayed home so I wouldn't miss a thing.  Quiet and curious. Not fussy or cranky too often.  Your first word was "mamamamamama."  Your funny little crawl, more of a scoot on one knee/one foot. Early talker, very late walker!  Last of every toddler we knew near your age to walk, at 17 months!!  So excited about life and everything is an adventure. Baby Einstein was your mantra.  That on screen caterpillar never failed to make you smile.  Brainy Baby Animals was played until it played no more.  Poppi was your favorite toy and he was not allowed to rest in your presence.  He went along with your every demand, as any good Poppi would.

Before long, you were a big sister!!  And your first day of pre-school came and went.  How you loved your little school!!  Bitter sweet was graduation and off to the big world of elementary school.

Kindergarten... First Grade... Second Grade...six, seven, eight. Straight A's across the board and always, always chosen for the first Student of the Month of the year.  SO proud of all your accomplishments.  Talk, talk, talk... non stop.  Still full of wonder about the world around you.  So many memories.... the years are all such a blur!  Where did my little girl go??

Now you are a big Third Grader, celebrating your 9th birthday TODAY!! When/how did this happen??  How am I a mom of such a big girl??

Happy 9th birthday to my Val Gal.  The best Christmas present I have ever received.  Thank you my firstborn for making me a Mom.  It's bittersweet watching you grow up.  Love you more than you will ever know.....

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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Wait.. how many cookies??

Last night Valerie had her Christmas party/show off night at dancing.  There is no recital this year, so instead through out the year there are a few show off nights so we can see what they are learning.  Each parent is asked to bring a food item or drinks to the party.  I got picked to bring cookies, and normally I would bake cookies but this year I bought some.  Since Veronica's party is tonight, I bought the biggest tray cookies thinking it would be plenty enough for both classes.  It was roughly six dozen cookies.

While the girls dance for us, the student teachers prepare a plate of goodies for each student.  They all sit in a circle and eat while talking about their Christmas lists.  After everyone was served, I went to the food table to get whatever was left of my container of cookies because Veronica was asking to try one.

They were all gone.  They had even thrown the container away (?) because it too was gone.

Seventy Two cookies -  all gone.  There are only NINE girls in the class.  NINE girls vs 72 cookies????  And I wasn't the only one who brought cookies -- someone else brought a platter of homemade chocolate chip.  Each girl would have had 8-9-10 cookies on their plate, in addition the other treats that were brought.  Two or three cookies each would have been more than enough!

I'm not saying this is what happened, but I did see one of the student teacher's putting bags of chips a child had brought in her pockets.  My container was MIA.... so now I'm wondering exactly where did it go??   And to add to my dismay, I watched as many of the girls emptied their plates with half-eaten or uneaten cookies in the trash!!!  Like I said, two our three cookies would have been plenty.

Maybe I'm just being petty.  Maybe I'm just not happy that I have to trek to the store today to buy more cookies.  Maybe I just want to know where did my cookies go???
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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Delivery failures

I like to do most of my shopping online.  I admit it is almost an addiction.  It's just so easy to find a coupon, get free shipping, and cash back via shop Discover!  It saves me a lot of time and I get a bit of a thrill for the anticipation of a package being delivered to my doorstep.

This year, however, I am not having any luck with deliveries.

I ordered cards from Shutterfly, and they were sent out in two separate shipments.  One arrived quickly.  The other....   I received notice that it had shipped, and that was it.  Poof.  Vanished into thin air.  No tracking details, nothing.  Thankfully Shutterfly quickly remedied the situation and over nighted me a new set of cards.  

Today I was waiting for a Fedex delivery.  I heard the truck and the driver left a package on my porch.  Only it wasn't MY package.  It was someone else's.  I tracked mine and it showed delivered.  Ugh.  I quickly got on the phone with Fedex who determined it was a temp driver on the route today.  It took a while, but she did return with my package and picked up the other!

And strike three...  My very last gift was shipped DHL Global Mail on December 9th.  Here it is, ten days later..... no package.  The latest tracking info shows it was transported by DHL Global Mail to USPS in Illinois (?) on December 14.  The status still shows "en route" so I am keeping my fingers crossed that it shows up with in the next few days....  they say it will be here by Friday.   If not I'll be scrambling to pick up one last gift.

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Dinner is served.... or not

Quite a while back I posted a picture of our dinner on Facebook.  I think it was chicken and sausage gumbo.  I got a response from someone who exclaimed "OMG Melanie, you can cook???  I thought you only ate restaurant food!!!"

*blank look*

I am unsure where or how the commentor gathered that information.  At that time, I cooked nearly every single day.  By 4:00 when the kids get home, I had dinner ready every day.  The whole leg issue has put a big kink in that routine, but it's not like I never cook.  I have known some stay at home moms (and dads) who don't cook and I could never figure out what they ate. How can you not cook for your family -- ever?  From what I gathered, they picked up fast food or ate at someone else's house.  Not to be mean, but all of them are severely overweight and unhealthy from all the Mc Donald's crap the eat several times a week.  Maybe they didn't know how to cook.  I didn't either at first but it wasn't hard to learn. It's the not cooking ever because you don't want to I don't get.  

Slowly, we are becoming one of 'those' families, and I do not like it one bit.  Today for instance, I spent the morning grocery shopping and picking up last minute Christmas gifts.  School will be out in a few days, so I wanted to get a few more things before the girls are home.  After walking around Walmart and a few dollar stores, I am done for the day.  I picked up the groceries and tidied up a bit. The house is still a wreck.  Clothes and dishes are not even started.  Standing in the kitchen cooking supper feels impossible.  I feel terrible and I just can't be on my feet any longer today.  I keep telling myself this too shall pas...this too shall pass.....     in the mean time, I have no idea what dinner will be.

What does your family do? Do you prefer home cooked meals or dining out?

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Monday, December 16, 2013

The Outtakes

I posted some of the best of our Christmas card photos a few days ago.   Today I will share some of our unedited outtakes.  I have one daughter who likes to take pictures, and one who either runs at the sight of a camera or turns the silliness on full blast.  Can you guess which is which?

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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Snow is snow, right?

This is where snow comes from in South Louisiana!!!

What a treat for us!!  A local bank sponsored a Winter Wonderland yesterday.  The threat of rain seemed to have kept people home, so it wasn't the madhouse it was last year.  The highlight was the SNOW. There was ten tons of the white stuff, which is more than we will ever see in a lifetime.

Also, there was an "ice" rink, so Valerie got to try ice skating.  She loved it!

They also had bounce houses, crafts, a gigantic slide, face painting, balloon animals, a train ride, a horse drawn carriage ride, a photo booth....  all for free!!

The weather put a damper on the activities, as it started to rain harder and harder.  Veronica has been battling a nasty cough for a couple of weeks.  It was cold and damp, so we decided it was best to get out of the weather.  Bummer.

Afterwards, we went indoors to the recreation center for the annual Christmas celebration and more free activities.  Pictures with Santa, food, games, and crafts.

After that, we went to the mall to see the REAL Santa!   (Pic to come)  It was a fun, family weekend of Christmas celebrations!

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Friday, December 13, 2013

Mall of Christmas

I had an appointment at the hospital for a test yesterday, so afterwards I thought I could manage a trip to the mall  (a whole 'nother story but I was so wrong -- I paid the price for all that walking.)  Valerie had gotten the cutest Hello Kitty hat, scarf, and glove set for her birthday.  Veronica has been pining over it, so I decided to buy her one too.

I like going to the mall at Christmas time.  I like the hustle and bustle of shoppers.  I like hearing Christmas music piped throughout the stores and decorations all over.  I like seeing all the holiday gifts on display.  I was walking with Dillard's looming before me when a familiar feeling came over me.  It's hard to describe but it is a feeling that something is missing and wanting more.  My Mom and I were great shoppers.  When I was a teenager and a young single adult, we'd plan big shopping trips, especially in December.  We had a few people to buy for, but mostly we shopped for ourselves!!  We'd go to all the malls with in a few hours driving distance and spend all day going from store to store.  We were great at bargain shopping.

As a young teen, I'd long for something more.  The romantic in me wanted love.  I wanted someone to walk beside me, hand in hand with me through the mall. I wanted someone to take a fun Santa picture with.  I wanted someone besides my Mom to share this holiday spending spree with.  I'd see so many young couples walking around, and there I was with my Mom.  No doubt I'd run into some groups of friends, and I'd be there with my Mom because I had no one else.  You know, the typical teen who doesn't want to be seen with Mom all the time.

Yesterday as I was walking through the mall I had that very same feeling.  I remembered it right away.  Only it wasn't my husband or my kids that I was missing. It was a longing for Mom, my fabulous shopping partner.  I could almost feel the memory of my Mom walking beside me in jeans and a white button down shirt, toting her purse over her shoulder and shopping bags of bargains in hand.  

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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Christmas Cards!

Do you send out Christmas cards?  I do!!  And I love receiving them as much as sending them.  I hang them on the entry way into my kitchen for all to see.

Every year I dress everyone up and we take pictures for Christmas cards.  Usually we go somewhere with nice scenery as a backdrop.  I don't know why I haven't given up by now, because the little ones do not - and that is a big DO NOT- cooperate.  By some miracle though, I usually end up with a few decent shots that are card worthy.  Maybe... 5 out of 100 pics will be ok.  The rest are full of goofy faces and awkward poses and other mishaps.  This year I decided to cut out some of the chaos and we took our photos at home.  I decided the garage door would make a perfect white background - and it did!  I still got my share of goofiness, but it was much easier with out having to trek across town.  I would have liked to take more around the yard but attention spans were running short.

This is the best of what I got for 2013:

Tomorrow some of the bloopers, perhaps?

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