Thursday, December 2, 2010

Winter White Green

I have a hard time believing we are in the Christmas Season already. While the temperature has dropped nicely, I had to wear sandels to the store the other day to pick up some ornament hooks.

Here's other reasons why I have a hard time believing it's Christmas time:
My enormous cabbage. It's absolutely huge. Pretty sure when it's time to pick it, I won't be able to lift it. Nor have a pot big enough to cook it in.

Pea pods. We have tons of these, except they don't last long enough to grow into peas...The Big Apple and myself are guilty of going outside and having a little snack when we think the other isn't watching.

Baby Spinach. Another item that doesn't last long. It tastes too good in my salad to grow into Adult spinach. Spring Mix Salad???? Yup, that's what I planted, and now I have so much salad, I barely can eat it all myself. It's a good think I have a few helpers that can go out and pick a bowl of salad to eat with their dinner.
Sweet little blooms...
In a couple of weeks, these pretty dainty things will be more pea pods for us to eat.
We also have carrots growing, but aren't nearly ready yet.
We also have a ton of basil, rosemary, and oregano.

So, while yall are dreaming of a White Christmas....I'll be dreaming of a green Christmas just the same. :)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Topping the tree....

The Little Apple was given the honor of topping the Christmas Tree with the angel this year.....

Given a little boost by her dad...she completes the tree.....


Maybe she doesn't. The Little Apple proved to be a complete failure at tree topping.

Better luck next year kid.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Santa Claus is Coming to Town!

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Our day was pretty close to perfect! I had stayed up the night before very very late, prepping the turkey, making pies of all sorts, cleaning, decorating the table, etc. The following morning, my husband got up early and put the turkey in the oven and allowed me to sleep has yet to be settled exactly WHO gets credit for making the turkey....the person that did the grunt work, or the one who got up at the crack of dawn to put it in the oven....Vote anyone?

Well, in doing his best to help me out, my darling husband forgot exactly what time he put Big Bird in the oven. I was hoping to have our feast set before us on the table around Noon....but without knowing what time to expect the turkey to be ready, I really had no clue as to when to start the side dishes. Ah well. I turned on the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and sat with my favorite girls in the whole world as they ooooooh'ed and ahhhhhh'ed over the balloons and bands. I hope to one day be able to go to New York City to watch it in person some day.

I kid you not, I went to baste the turkey again at 10:30, and the little pop up thingie they stick in the breast was sitting up. That can't be right!?!?!? We are eating at noon! So I stuck a regular meat thermometer in Big Bird, and sure enough....The bird was done. Fully cooked, looking beautiful....and no side dishes to eat. The potatoes hadn't been pealed for Eben's Famous Mashed Spuds, no green bean casserole, no cranberry sauce (I cheat...this one came from a can this year)...not a thing was ready. I almost literally had to beat my husband off the turkey with a stick so he would not cut it until the rest of the meal was ready.

But it was worth the wait. An hour later, we were seated together at the table, candlelight shining on happy and hungry faces. We are all truly blessed and have so much to be thankful for. The dinner was delicious, and we were blessed with the opportunity to carry some of the meal to a couple whose plans to go out of town were unexpectedly changed...and I think they appreciated it.

We all relaxed and nibbled on the food the remainder of the day. That evening....we went to a very cute event, where we got to welcome Santa to town, and help kick off the Christmas Season.

Now, most of you know, since we are a family that is on the move, we do not get to see our relatives as often as we would like. So we have what we call "Adopt a Relatives" in every state that we live in. And Louisiana has been no exception. Interestingly enough, our "Adopt-a-Granny" and "Adopt-a-Papa" have been back and forth from Singapore the entire time we have lived here. And we are happy that we have them here for a couple of months. The Middle Apple always picks up right where she left off when Papa comes around. We are so thankful for all of the friends that have been a source of love to our kids.
After singing a few Christmas Carols, Santa arrived by fire truck!
I thought Santa and Mrs. Claus were absolutely adorable. Each child could go visit with them and tell them their Christmas wish.
The Middle Apple and Santa in this picture I will probably treasure for a long time.

The Big Apple was rendered speechless when it was her turn to visit with Jolly Ol' St. Nicholas. Santa gave each child a little toy. And there was plenty of cookies to eat......
And cold chocolate (we don't drink Hot Chocolate here in the south where it's 83 degrees on Thanksgiving Day. My kids and I were covered in clothing simply to keep the mosquitoes from eating us alive.
We finished off the day by going to Ms. Stephenie's house and playing a sidesplitting game of UNO and eating a slice apple pie good enough to make you cry.

It really was a wonderful day. We are all blessed and thankful to God each day for our friends, family, health, and finances.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The birth of a tradition...

We have a lot to be thankful for.
A new traditions was born in our home this evening, and it was so well received that I am hoping that we will repeat it every year.

The started with The Big Apple, and her big ideas that everyone in our family should make a big list of everything that we are thankful for, and post it on the wall. (Unable to find an empty wall in our house, we had to confine this idea to the backside of the back door!)So we got some paper leaves, of the bulletin board variety, and got busy. 11 leaves per member of the family tonight, one for every day of the month that we have missed so far, and at least one more a day for the remainder of the month. Once they got started writing, the ideas kept flowing. My family and I were filled with beautiful things that we are thankful for.....some were interesting and humorous entries,, China, Santa, Yellow Elephant, and naptime....
...and entries that make you Love, health, and friends.

We have a lot to be thankful for at our house.

What are you thankful for?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Louisiana Renaissance Festival Weekend.

My husband texted me earlier last week not to make any plans for over the weekend, that he had an idea of how to make the girls' Halloween Costumes get stretched a little further.

Little did I know what he had in mind. He ended up taking us to the opening weekend of the Louisiana Renaissance Festival season. And what a fantastic time we had. These are just a few of the highlights from the weekend.

We listened to plenty of fun and festive music.
We ate and drank the tasty things. This particular jug you buy for $6 and has free refills for the remainder of the life of the bottle. The festival made no money off of this family, as it was refilled many times with root beer, creme soda, and wizard wine throughout the days.
There were lots of animals. There was a very dog show for the kids, a fantastic falconry show, horses to ride, and these little tiny little guys that the girls were content with just feeding blades of grass and petting. They looked like they had worked hard enough that day.
We saw jugglers (the Middle Apple's favorite part, as she got to participate in the show)...
And jousting.....

Now, I simply must share this little story about the Middle Apple....because it's just like her, and while I was sort of mortified that this happened at first, I can chuckle about it now. I am also kicking myself because I wasn't taking video of it.

When we arrived at the jousting, the two knights mounted their horses and the audience took sides on who would win. Red and Gold vs. Black and Gold. Naturally, we picked the Black and Gold Team, we are true Louisiana lovers at heart. The Red and Gold knight was doing his speech about how he was going to slaughter the Black and Gold knight, and then the heckling from the audience started. My Middle Apple, caught up in the moment, yelled at the top of her voice as the Red and Black rode towards his corner on his horse "I'VE NEVER SEEN A HORSE WITH TWO REAR ENDS BEFORE!"

I was rather mortified that she had yelled that (but also recognized it as a line from the movie Alladin), but the audience loved it. So did the Black and Gold Knight. He took the stage on his horse, and said "I see that that little girl over there with her plastic sword has more courage than you do! Ha!" *laughter from the audience* Red and Gold replied in a not so friendly tone, "Well give her your sword, sir, maybe she will actually fight...though I doubt she could lift the sword if she tried." *more laughter* At this point, I'm pretty sure the Middle Apple, a girl who will rise to any challenge set before her, would have taken her plastic sword and taken down the knight herself if not for me telling her to stay where she was. Black and Gold appeared to pondered all this for a second and replied "Perhaps she is unable to lift the sword. And that is why I must fight in her place as her champion!"

The jousting ensued, and unfortunately the Red and Gold cheated terribly and our champion was defeated. This was a little too much for The Middle Apple to bear, as she is a little girl that believes in justice and that cheaters never win. I had to explain to the kids that it's all fake and the knights probably take turns winning. The girls seemed to think that was an acceptable answer.

Our other gem of a moment that happened at the Festival was the opportunity to be "knighted" or made "Ladies of the Court" by Queen Elizabeth. My girls, once again attempting to break those gender barriers, asked to please be knighted and made real Musketeers. My darling husband recorded the ceremony, so we have on record the 3 Apples promising to work hard in school, and be obedient to their parents. Thank you Queen Elizabeth!!! You rock!
And for their courage and bravery, the 3 Musketeers, sworn to protect The Queen, they were asked to personally escort Her Majesty in her processional, and protect her carriage.
They took there job very very seriously.

I hope that you all will go to the Renaissance Festival. We had an extraordinary time, and the girls will be talking about it for a long time. They even asked to write essays about their adventures this weekend. And what kind of homeschool mom would I be if I didn't let them?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

All for One! And one for all!

I created the costumes for this year, I might just take the easy way out and head to the store and purchase them...because I kind of went overboard this year.

I found yards and yards of gorgeous soft velvety type fabric at a yard sale a couple of months ago for a couple of dollars. And from that....Barbie Three Musketeers was born.

I scoured the internet for directions first, and came across a gem of a blog. Brown Paper Packages gave directions for how to easily create each piece of the costume, including the genius creation of Musketeer boots made out of Duck Tape.
It was a ton of work, but totally worth it. Don't you think?

Happy Halloween, y'all!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

And the relatives came.....(part 3, Avery Island)

The following day, we piled in the vehicles as we headed over to Avery Island, home of the Tabasco Factory, and some of the most beautiful landscape that Louisiana has to offer.

We took the tour of the Tabasco Factory.
Cleared our sinus' for the next 10 years smelling the stuff as it fermented.
Admired the gorgeous trees on the island....
We hunted up a few gators....But you won't see us on an episode of Swamp People.
We did some hiking around the island. And just when the children were tired enough....
....we did even more hiking.
The doors to the Buddha Temple were open that day, I had never seen it open.

Unfortunately, the egrets weren't at the nesting spot as usual. I'm used to seening the hundreds of egrets out on their little dock on the island. But we were told that they had migrated for the season.

Monday, October 25, 2010

And the relatives came.....part 2, The Bell Tower

After we took the kids to see Mr. Charlie, we took a break for lunch and at McD's, and let the little Monsterlings run around for awhile.

Then I took them to see the Bell Towers. (pardon the dated's the most current one I could find. The website states that it's been closed since 2004, but I know for a fact that it's wide open and available to the public!) It's a gorgeous little spot that we have been too frequently.

There is a pretty little walking trail where you can observe the wild birds, see large Cyprus trees growing
and play with enormous "man-eating grasshoppers" (at least that is what the Middle Apple calls them.
I love listening to the bells chiming their welcome to us.
"playing" the bells.....

After the Bell Towers, we came home and played Wii, gave the Little Apple a nap, rode bikes, and roller skated. It was such a fun and FULL day.

And the relatives came.....(part 1) The Mr. Charlie

It's always a special time when relatives come to visit.....I think, (and I believe the rest of the family will agree with this statement) that the worst part about being in the military is that visits with family are just too few and far between.

Our honorary guests this weekend were our relatives from MN, Uncle S., Auntie K., and CD Monsterling (their choice nickname for my nephew! I love how it sounds like an awesome Rap Artist name!) , who drove cross country by RV to see us just for the weekend. We felt so special that they would come so far to see us on one of the very few weekends that they have available together as a family.

We had a great time, and we showed them some of our favorite places around here in Louisiana. We wish that they could have stayed longer. But without further are some pics from our adventures.

On their first day here, we decided to take them to see what I think is a little known about gem here in Morgan City. The Mr. Charlie Oil Rig
The Mr. Charlie claims to be the only place in the world where the general public can walk aboard an offshore drilling rig. Our tour guide, Virgil, is a great guy, loves kids, and has tremendous knowledge of offshore drilling and environmental aspects that pertain to it. Entering the inside quarters of the rig....the kids got to try to open the hatch door.
Learning about a jack-up rig in the Rec Room on the rig.

Checking out the goodies (and sampling!) that there are to eat on a rig. Looking out over our city.
Here's a view of the deck where the magic happens.....
Practicing with a tripod lift...used to lift people out of vertical hatches.
As a bonus treat, Virgil grabbed a wrench and opened up a diving bell for the kids to climb in. They thought it was pretty darn cool!
The Middle Apple practicing her swing. (My personal favorite pic of the day. Thanks for manning the camera, Uncle S., my hands were too full of The Little Apple that day!)

If you haven't visited the Mr. Charlie before, you really should. Every time we go, we learn something new. Ask for Virgil to do your tour. He's awesome.