Thursday, June 30, 2016

Throw Back Thursday!!

I was looking for some old pics and ran across these.  It seems like so long ago we were stressing over this house!!  We had a lot of red tape to go through getting started and it seemed like nothing but delays.  We used a floor plan that we liked and customized it to our liking.  Construction began in late July 2003 and we moved in two days before Christmas. (How ironic that Valerie was born almost one year to the day -- December 21!)  It was just me and Clint and it seemed so big and roomy.  It's definitely bigger and nicer than what we grew up in, but with two kids we sure have grown into this house!!

I shamefully admit we still have a few things unfinished.  Nail holes that weren't filled in, moldings that need to be painted.  Oops.  We've slowly been re-painting each room and updating.  So far we've gutted the master bath, updated the dining room, painted our bedroom, the hall bath, the hallway, and the utility room.  We've changed the landscaping a few times.  I'm in the middle of painting Val's room now (pics to come.)  Someday I hope to paint the living area and totally re-do the kitchen, but those are big projects!  Here it is today.  I took these when I went out to check the mail!

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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Tourist Trap

Clint took a day of vacation last Thursday and we had a family day in New Orleans!  Our last visit to the aquarium was with my Dad, and he has been gone nearly five years.  It was past time for another visit! It is rather pricey, but it makes for a nice indoor outing to beat the heat. I thought that going mid-week would be better than a busy weekend.  Well, I thought wrong.  Everywhere we turned, there were campers on field trips.  Hundreds of them in large groups.  We tried waiting off to the side for the group to pass, but they just kept coming and coming - wow.  I know we are all there for the same reason - to enjoy the aquarium - but maneuvering around such large groups was not fun at all.  Even nine year old Veronica went on a rant about how the counselors weren't doing a very good job and were very rude since they had bumped into her numerous times and didn't say 'excuse me' or anything.  We still enjoyed our visit and eventually the crowd thinned out somewhat.

View from the parking garage

After we were done at the aquarium, we walked over to the "Tourist Trap"  aka the Riverwalk Outlet Mall.  We hadn't been there in years either.  It used to be a regular mall, but now it's an "outlet" mall.  The cruise terminal is nearby, so it seems geared toward luring the tourists in.  There are a lot of regular stores but there's nothing discounted about their prices.  There is a lot of tourist geared merchandise - New Orleans clothing, nick-nacks, spices, Mardi Gras themed stuff, and food items.  I admit it is fun looking through all the junk stores and even the kids like looking at the souvenir type stuff.  I saw this in several stores:

The highest price?  $8.  (I've seen it higher than that down at the French Market - another Tourist Trap!! ) You can find this at Wal-mart for three bucks or so...

Of course we fell into said Tourist Trap and had to stop at the real Cafe Du Monde for a treat.  You can't go to New Orleans and pass up beignets and coffee!

On our way back towards the aquarium, we stopped for a bit to sit by the Mississippi River to watch the ships pass.  It was breezy so the heat wasn't all that bad.

There's the river

Not sure why Val is making that grumpy face!

Selfie by the Mississippi

Our final stop was the IMAX theater right next to the aquarium.  I had been here only once before and it was so long ago I don't even remember what I watched.  We saw "Secret Ocean" in 3D.  All the campers seemed to have gone back to where they came from and the theater was nearly empty.

After the film, it was time to head for home.  Lucky us hit I-10 in the middle of 5:00pm traffic!  Actually it wasn't so bad.  Traffic was moving and we didn't hit any gridlock spots.  We made it home with in a couple of hours time.  It was a fun day with the kids --  hopefully it won't be so long before we make it back for a day trip to The City.

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Monday, June 13, 2016

What's Shakin'??

This past weekend was our dance recital!!!

Friday night was our dressed rehearsal.  I'd practiced on their hair a few times to be sure I had it right.   I am SO not a hairstylist.  Putting Veronica's long, stick straight, super soft hair in a bun is quite a task.  Valerie's hair is more than halfway down her back, thick, and super heavy.  I have tried all sorts of bun makers and they just slide right out or have too much hair left sticking out.  THIS baby was so easy and it held up great - Thank you YouTube!

It's a lot of prep work getting ready for these things. Costumes, shoes, accessories....  The kids work so hard and it's a big deal and you can't forget anything!  It is so fun getting Valerie and Veronica all dressed up, though.  Hair, make up, and glitter galore!!  You should see the glitter in my house.... oh boy.

This was Valerie's 8th year of dancing, and she's in tap, ballet, and hip hop.  It's Veronica's 7th year, and she's in tap and ballet.  Our dance school is really small and I like it that way.  It keeps things simple - no fighting over tickets, no big crowds, and everybody knows everybody.  The biggest class is hip hop, and all of the others have under ten students.  Recitals are every other year, so next year is our off year.  Recitals are awesome, but it is nice to have a break.

This year's recital was great!!  The theme was "What's Shakin" and it was all 80s music.  I missed quite a bit of it running to and from backstage.  Luckily Valerie can change mostly by herself.  I just need to help her with hairpieces.  Veronica managed pretty good by herself this time also.  As us dance moms know, it's exhausting but we had a great day!!  

Shhhh - we're not supposed to take pics or video during the recital, but we did anyway!  I'm very proud of my dancing girls.....

And here's their tap videos:

Val's hip hop was to "Thriller."  She's one of the smallest and youngest in the class and keeps up really well with the older girls.

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Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Wordless Wednesday ~ You know it's hot....

when the cats are asking for a shower to cool off....


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