Thursday, September 30, 2010

Catching up...Part II ~ New baby, rock concert, ghosts & a jackpot

Can I just say that "catching up" is really hard to do when you're still finding yourself in the middle of something constantly?
Oh, and a 2 yr old who refuses to nap most days slows the process down a bit too.

Some may have even noticed that my life was full enough this week to cause me to miss (and completely forget about for the entire day) my Music Monday post.

But I will forge ahead with the hopes of having caught up to myself by say...January?

So I left off last time about the end of August.
Summer was winding down, school starting.
Then the ball really started rolling.

On September 3rd, my good friend who also happens to be my sister-in-law, Leslie, blessed the family with a little girl.
I now have a niece!
Those that know me, are aware that she had a son (Ryan) a month before Jude was born and we were very excited to be having two boys almost the same age.
But Grandad (my father-in-law) was adamant that she make sure and also give him a granddaughter (and I also was eager to buy girlie things again!).
So Les and her husband Saleem did their best and granted our wish.

My precious niece, Camryn, who is almost a month old now!

And Camryn napping with her big bro Ryan...

Leslie and her family live in New Jersey, so unfortunately it will be a while before I get to see them.
But since I have no siblings to provide me with nieces or nephews,
I am so blessed to be able to have these two call me Auntie Andrea!

A few days after Camryn was born, Cecilia went to see Paramore in concert with Terry.

They are her absolute favorite band.
We bought the tickets last spring as her end of the year, straight a's gift.
We like to reward her after a good academic year.
Unfortunately I have no pics to share from the concert.
I asked Terry several times to attempt to get a pic of Cecilia in the concert environment, but all I got was a shot of her face. That wasn't quite what I had in mind.

A week or so later I was able to join my mom on one of her Travel'n Gals trips.
Basically it's an organized trip attended by a bunch of ladies (most from our church) to various spots around the state and bordering areas.
They typically shop, tour, socialize, eat, etc.
This is the first trip of this type that I have been able to attend and our destination was Natchitoches, Louisiana, the oldest town in the state.
Now if you aren't from around here, I must teach you how to pronounce that.
It's nothing like it looks.
It's pronounced NAK-A-DUSH.
Weird huh?
Yeah, but it is Louisiana...haha.

We shopped, of course, in Natchitoches.
Lots of little shops with lots of cute things.
Oh, and it's also the town in which "Steel Magnolias" was filmed.
So we took a horse buggy ride around the main part of town and saw some of the areas where they filmed.
I so need to watch that movie again.

Here are a few pics from around town:

A VERY old cash register in a VERY old general store.
Register still obviously in use.
They have to crank it and everything!

A spiral staircase from Bordeaux, France with it's very own ghost story.

"Meat Pies" sampled by my mom and I.
Very tasty by the way.
But in Texas we call them EmpaƱadas.

My view from the front seat of the carriage ride

The best shot I could get of the "Steel Magnolias" house

After Natchitoches, we headed to Alexandria, LA, where we stayed the night.
The next day was full of plantation tours.
Very interesting and very beautiful.
And all included some extremely large trees.
A few plantation pics...

African house built by slaves

This is a window on the side of the African house that something wouldn't let me take a picture of.
I must have tried 20 times to take this pic, but my camera would malfunction every time.
I finally went inside and took the second picture and then was able to come back out and take this.

The Kent Plantation in Alexandria was built by hand, by slaves.
Slave fingerprints can still be found in the bricks.

Inside the Kent Plantation dining room.
The "tile" flooring was actually just painted canvas!

Slave quarters at the Magnolia Plantation.
(duplex style with two families living in each building)

The show "Ghost Adventures" investigated these buildings in one of their episodes.
But it wasn't until I walked into one of the buildings and recognized this sole chair in the corner that I realized that this was the same place.

After a tiring day of traversing large plantations, we enjoyed a leisurely dinner and then off to the casino!
Too bad casinos aren't legal in Texas.
I did pretty well actually.
And it was definitely needed.
So I am certainly grateful.

The next day we started heading back to the Houston area and on the way, stopped at another casino.
This one was way nicer, but wasn't as forthcoming with the jackpots.
So home I went with my pockets and memories much richer.

Well, it is time once again for me to break away from the catching up and get back to the doing.
I will be back sooner than later to finish up.

To be continued...and finished? time...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Catching up...Part I ~ No surgery, BFF, DUI victim & junior high

It hasn't been busy so much as it has been FULL.
There is a difference.
To me anyway.

To me, being "busy" implies that you have too much going on and not enough time to enjoy what it is you're doing.
We have had a lot going on, but not TOO much and I've definitely been enjoying every minute of it.

So what has been going on?

Well, my last update was at the beginning of August and now we're knocking on October's there is much to talk about. Hence the "Part I".

Summer came and went without too much excitement.
There was the impending tube surgery for Jude's ears at the end of August, but our prayers were answered and his ears finally let go of the fluid they had been hanging onto for months and months. So the surgery was cancelled! We will now keep an eye on the situation during cold & flu season and just continue to pray that he grows out of this.

The summer consisted of a lot of hanging out and goofing around.

We also had a nice visit from Scott, my best friend since 9th grade AND the kids' Godfather.
He had just come back from a 2 week mission trip to Kenya and I was eager to hear all about it.
He was also eager to spend time with the kids.
He is loving the "boy" time he gets with Jude as well.

Well, I guess we had one little moment of excitement this summer when someone drove over our mailbox.
Terry happened to be running on the treadmill in the garage when it happened and saw the whole thing.
The worst part was that the driver never stopped...yet left ALL of his side mirror and some other debris on our driveway.
Since Terry saw the car, I made him hunt the guy down and when he did locate the car he attempted to talk to the guy about it.
Well, it wasn't even his car...he was just visiting a relative in the neighborhood and had borrowed it
AND he didn't even seem to realize he had hit anything.

I'm thinking that if I did this to a mailbox
and left parts of my car behind 
and had shattered part of my windshield
and likely banged the door up enough so that it couldn't be opened properly...
...I would probably know that I had hit something.
So yeah, we're pretty sure that he was under the influence of something.
Called the sheriff...nothing could be done since the guy wasn't on the road anymore.
So we still have a temporary mailbox up for now until Terry and his dad can rebuild the original.

The end of August also brought the beginning of school for Cecilia.
She is now a 6th grader.

She seems to be enjoying junior high.
It definitely has been an adjustment, but she is adapting well and loves the opportunity to make new friends.
The worst part of the year so far?
Having P.E. 1st period.
But her first progress report came home last week and she has A's in all her classes thus far...actually, four 100's, a 96 and a 97. Not too shabby!
She is now wishing that she had taken pre-AP (honors) for all of her core classes instead of just science and language arts. The regular math and social studies classes are really too slow for her, but she plans on loading them all on next year.
Glad she's up for the challenge!

Well, I think I'll stop here for today.

To be continued....

Monday, September 20, 2010

Music Monday #13 ~ Gaga for GLEE!

This will be an awesome week of t.v. for me!
Though I don't watch much television, there are a few shows that I just can't miss.
Two of them begin their new seasons this week.
I adore Modern Family, which starts on Wednesday I think, but my absolute fav show is GLEE!

I've been anxiously awaiting the season 2 premiere and tomorrow it will finally arrive!!
So I figured I would use this week's music post to share a couple of clips from season 1.
Can't say I was a huge Lady Gaga fan before Glee came along, but yeah, the show definitely helped bring her into my personal radar.
Here's one of the best Glee performances, in my opinion, from the last season.
Singing Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance", here are the ladies and Kurt:
(I have to share that my fav part of the song is Santana's solo - she's the one in all black)

Another performance from the same episode was this one by Rachel (Lea Michelle) and her biological mother on the show (Idina Menzel).
I am still in awe of how much these two look alike! Are they SURE they aren't related?? =)
Here they are singing the slowed-down piano version of "Poker Face"...also originally by Lady Gaga.

So yeah, I'm totally stoked about the premiere tomorrow night!
So if you want to know where I'll be between 7 p.m. & 8 p.m. tomorrow night...I'll be be Gleeked out in front of the t.v.
And I won't be accepting phone calls.

A post will be coming later this week about recent happenings in our life.
This is the first week all month that I don't have something going on, so I'm definitely going to try to enjoy the downtime.

Have a "glee"ful week!! =)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Music Monday #12 ~ Pomplamoose Multiple Choice

So I wanted to introduce a group called Pomplamoose to all of those who aren't in the know yet.
Well, until just a few months ago, I wasn't in the know either.

I don't know a whole lot about them yet, just that the singer, Nataly Dawn, has the coolest voice, they do lots of random song covers, and they tend to use an odd variety of instruments in their music.
Oh, and one other thing, even though I have their album "A Tribute to Famous People" on my iPod and listen to the songs quite regularly, I have found that none of it can be truly appreciated until watching the videos. Their videos all have the same theme, in that they are pieced together from their recordings of the song.
And these are some funny people.

So when I was trying to decide which song(s) I wanted to post here...I just couldn't decide!
Therefore, today I have created my first musical multiple choice.
I am posting as many of their covers as I feel up to today and YOU have the choice of which to play.

WARNING: You may end up listening to/watching ALL of them...they're just so dang good.

Gotta start with my personal fav:

And just so I don't leave out the fact that they DO write their own songs, here are a couple:

Whew! Well I'm exhausted...time for a nap!
Hope you heard something you liked.

Have a fun week!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Music Monday #11 ~ A Song from Terry

Since we are all home together today, I don't have much time to devote the music post this week.
So I asked Terry to give me a song...any song that he wanted to share with the world (as small as my blog world may be).
This is the song that he gave me....

Oddly enough, after last week's post being on mix-tapes/CD's, he just told me that this song was supposed to be on the next one he was planning for me.
I loves me some Terry for sure. <3

Have a fantastic week!