Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Concrete and a Celebration is in Order!

My day started bright and early (well, early - it wasn't quite so bright) before 6 a.m. I hear Steve telling me, "It's raining." Joy. They were supposed to pour our concrete slab this morning. Rain was not a good thing. The concrete company called, we checked the Weather Channel and the radar online. We consulted with the concrete finisher and Steve's Dad (who is a contractor). If not today, when? There is rain forecast for the next 10 days! What would that do to the dirt pad, ready and waiting for concrete? We decide to go for it and if it rained and ruined our floors (which will be concrete, so the finishing needed to be perfect), we'd just have to put down "regular" floors. So we tell them to come on and I leave with the girls for swim practice. Steve is instructed to take pictures of the process.

Here comes the concrete!!!

Because our pad is so high, they had to bring in a pump truck.

The concrete trucks load the cement into the pump truck.

Here it comes!!! When we came back from the pool and were watching, Morgan said she wanted to do that! I said, "You want to wear those knee boots and stand in all that wet concrete?" She said, "No. I want to get in there BAREFOOT!!!"

All the footings are filled in. Time for the rest of the cement for the slab!

There were a LOT of men working on my slab this morning! At one point, we counted 23 and that didn't include any of the truck drivers!

These guys were working hard to get it all nice and smooth, keeping a wary eye heavenward. The dark clouds kept rolling in, threatening to ruin all their work. But God held back the rains - the men finished, covered the slab with a tarp that will stay for the next 24 hours, and left. Then and only then did it RAIN!!! But before the rains came, we celebrated, Louisiana style!

With a crawfish boil!!!

Yum! But when you are talking about crawfish, you can't pose for pictures all day!

Immediately after I took the first shot, all the smiling faces turned back to their feasting! This is SERIOUS business!!!

Note Morgan's concentration as she peels her crawfish. These were some spicy buggers - no need for hot sauce with these guys! And the corn and potatoes that were boiled with them....mmmmm! That was good eatin', cher!

Brooke is gonna kill me when she sees I've posted this shot of her mouth open! Tee hee hee!!!

Joshua and my nephew, Zac, are getting down to business. Right after I took this picture, Josh said, "Okay, Mom, enough with the pictures. We need to eat."

Concrete poured. Crawfish consumed. Now it can rain!!!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Ginger Needs....

Dragonfly photo that has nothing to do with this post, courtesy of Brooke

My blogging friend in the UK gave a new challenge - go to Google and put in your first name, "needs," and search. Post the top 10 hits. (Don't GO to the pages - you'll never know WHAT will show up!) Simple enough. Here are mine, keeping in mind that most people, when introduced to me for the first time, greet me with "I had a dog/cat/horse/goat/ferret/etc. named Ginger." Thanks.

Ginger Needs...

  1. Ginger needs a family that will help her forget her past. (Dog)
  2. Ginger needs to be grated into tiny pieces. (Spice)
  3. Ginger needs loving. (Dog)
  4. Ginger needs a royal attitude adjustment. (Hmm...quite true on some days!)
  5. Ginger needs a home. (Dog)
  6. Ginger needs to ensure the individuals fulfilling the roles of test designer and test manager were included in the review of the requirements. (?)
  7. Ginger is becoming very stressed and depressed in her kennel. She needs a foster home. (Dog)
  8. Ginger needs money. (That's pretty accurate!)
  9. Ginger needs your help! (Dog)
  10. Ginger needs dunking. (Especially after cleaning out horse stalls!!!)

So I guess this is what I would need. If I were a dog.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day

I am always so grateful to our men and women who serve our country in our armed forces. When we honor them on Memorial Day or any other day, I am always so humbled by the laying of their lives on the line for my country and my family. To those in the military, I'd like to say thank you, but those words seems so trite and so small as compared to the enormity of the sacrifice.
Today, while others were barbecuing, I drove about an hour away and helped a friend move (basically) from south of Lake Pontchartrain to north of Lake Pontchartrain! As I was driving along the interstate, I took some pictures (yes, while driving at a high rate of speed, I was photographing scenery for YOU - okay, so it came out very crooked and many shots blurry because I wasn't actually LOOKING into the camera, simply holding it up, pointing, and clicking). A few posts back, I responded to a challenge about your home state. These pictures would definitely perpetuate the myths of life in Louisiana.

Little house on the bayou. Notice there are NO ROADS into this place. Yup, the only way in or out is by boat. Or on the back of a 'gator! :^)

This is a little community, unlike the isolated cabin above. Some of these places are "camps," but many of them are primary residences. Again, no roads, but if you look closely you will notice electric poles. electric wires surrounded by water. That's a recipe for disaster if ever I saw one!

A neat little swampy area. If I could have gotten closer, there were probably alligators sunning themselves somewhere on the bank. Notice the little white boat in the bottom right corner. I tried to get pictures of the larger shrimp and crawfish boats, but none of those came out. This was kind of like photography without using your eyes. :^)

Another little "community." Again, no roads, definitely electricity, though. But these little places were so tumble-down. "Papa, the roof's caving in!" "Cher, do you want a roof or TV?" Priorities, you know. Some of these places looked completely uninhabitable, almost third-worldly. But there were obvious signs of habitation.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Birthday Club

About 18 months ago, my SIL decided that she wanted to throw herself a birthday party. She sent out darling hand-made invitations that stated her agenda: 12 hours of girly fun including scrapbooking, a tea party, manicures and pedicures, chick flicks, dinner, and relaxing in the hot tub. She also stated the rules: no men, children, pets, annoying acquaintenances, or nosy neighbors. :^) She sent these to a few close friends and we had a WONDERFUL day! We decided right then and there that we needed to do it on a regular basis and we dubbed ourselves The Birthday Club.

We basically meet quarterly and have done different things at different places - out to eat, then cropping at a scrapbook store, another time we did a luau, and, our favorites, a four-course tea. But the basic agenda and the rules stay the same! We have a blast - it's a time for us to get away from our busy schedules. I cannot wait until my house is done - hosting The Birthday Club will be one of my first big events!

The May girls - Ashley, Janet, and me. We are ooohing and aaahing over Mickey's handmade cards!

Today we met for our spring birthdays and they all happen to be in May - my birthday was May 22, Ashley's was the 23rd, and Janet's is the 27th. We started with lunch at a great restaurant in town. I had the Pecan Tilapia! Mmm...... We didn't think to snap a picture until we had finished up all the yummy food.

The Birthday Club, minus one.

Then we went back to my SIL's for dessert (I made the Lime Berry Mousse Trifle) and presents. We walked over to our lot (two doors down from my SIL's house) because everyone wanted a "tour" of my house. :^) Then we talked, scrapbooked, snacked on an absolutely delicious spinach artichoke dip my SIL made, scrapbooked some more, did pedicures, ate a spinach salad with sliced strawberries, walnuts, and grilled chicken. Never got a chance to turn on the movie or hop into the hot tub. But we had a blast!

Me and my "stash!" Perhaps 42 will not be so bad after all!!!

It was a long time before I realized the importance of girlfriends, but I do now. This group of women from all walks of life, different ages, some married, some not, some with kids, some without are such a blessing to me. They are there when I need a shoulder to cry on or someone to rejoice at my little victories. And I am honored to be there for them.

We laugh a LOT!!! Here I am with some Peanuts rubber stamps. I love Peanuts!

Here I am with another Peanuts gift - Janet gave me the fourth Complete Peanuts book - I collect these! Did I mention I love, love, love Peanuts?

Friday, May 25, 2007

Loopy Friends

I have lots of loopy friends. Not loopy in the "silly, strange, crazed individual" definition of the word. Loopy as in "members of my Yahoo homeschool email loop" loopies. I've belonged to the SHS email group for a long time and consider many of these ladies to be friends, although I have never met any of them (okay - there's one loopy with whom I was friends before she joined the email group, but I don't count her) until today. And it was a "famous" loopy as well. :^) I met Amy Grant! (Well, no, not THAT Amy Grant!)

We should have met before. We attend the same church (big church and we attend different services). Our kids attend the same Homeschool PE group, but we've just never met at any of the mom's meetings or drop-off/pick-up time. I first "met" her on my SHS email group and have been reading her wonderful blog. Today was our end of the year swim party and we finally met today!

Morgan, Brooke, & Friends @ HPC's Homeschool PE End of the Year Luau

Amy was a real gem! Such a wonderful person! Her three boys are just adorable! And we had lots of great conversation with another mom from PE. Amy was just as much of a blessing in real life as she has been to me on her blog. We had a great day and have promised that we will definitely get together again soon!

KitKat Attack

I bought a snack of jalapeno poppers from Arby's today to share with Joshua and KitKat acted like she hadn't eaten in a week! She jumped on his lap and was standing on her hind legs. She was so funny! I had to grab my camera, of course.

"Mmmm....what is that appetizing good smell?"

"Smelling is not enough. Just hand over the jalapeno popper, and no one will get hurt. I'm sure it's going to taste delicious!"

"Okay, you rotten boy. I'm working hard here to reach this snack. The least you can do is put it low enough for me to bite. An old, crippled kitty gets no respect."

"Finally - success!"

He did give her just a little bite of cheese. Then quickly consumed the rest of the poppers so KitKat wouldn't be tempted further. Very noble of him, don't you think? :^)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

New Haircut for Morgan

Morgan has been wanting her hair cut. So she went with Steve for a haircut. This is what she looked like before.....

...and this is after.

I think it looks very becoming on her. She is enjoying it swinging about her neck. :^) And trying different looks - bangs pulled back in a clip, pulled back in a band, parted in the middle, parted on the side, flipped up on the ends. The joys of girls!

Tonight was the girls' first swim practice for the summer swim team. They said weren't going to swim this year, but all their friends have been begging them to swim and yesterday the coach called wanting them to come back. So they have caved to the pressure. :^) This week practices are in the evening - next week they'll be bright and early at 7 a.m. Oh boy! This means I get to be team mom. Hurray. I'm so excited. :^/

Supper was Greek Pizza. I started with my standby, Roasted Chicken, Red Onion and Rosemary Pizza, then added fire-roasted red pepper strips, chopped marinated artichoke hearts, and garlic/herb feta in addition to the other ingredients. It was good, although Morgan announced she'd rather it not have artichoke hearts. She ate it anyway. I'm getting ready to go back for another slice. I thought it was rather tasty - artichoke hearts and all!

Here's another layout I finished (actually two of this layout - one for my book, one for Brooke's). The title says "it's all about the accessories" and the journaling says "a string of pearls and a hammer - what more does a girl need? Brooke 12-95" Can you tell I'm behind? :^D Anyway, this was another layout done with the Stampin' Up! Simply Scrappin' Kit Buttons, Bows, and Twinkletoes. I love those kits - for $12.95 you get a LOT of stuff. After six layouts, I still have stuff left over. I've challenged myself to use up the whole thing before going onto something else.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Poodles' Post

Today Mommy turned the blog over to us - Delilah, Abrial, and Cosette. We had a fun day today and wanted to share it with you. Mommy took the pictures. Okay, she did the typing too. We have that "no opposable thumbs" issue going on that makes typing very difficult. But we told her what to say....really!

This afternoon, we had An Adventure. We went across the Back Field to the place Mommy and Daddy call The New House. We just see a big pile of dirt! But we're going there anyway. Follow us! Run! Faster! Faster!!!

Here's Delilah checking out The House. We still don't think it looks like a house, but if they say so..... Anyway, some people they called The Diggers came by today and really made a big mess! We get a Time Out in our Crate when we do this!

Ohh....and there's Daddy, digging some more! Someone should tell him about that Time Out thing. But I think he's too big to fit in a crate.

More important than The New House would be all the Interesting Smells from the Back Neighbors! Those are some of the weirdest looking dogs we have ever seen!!! Abrial was shy. She wouldn't come up and meet the New Neighbors. But Cosette is a Much Braver Poodle.

What in the world is this creature? It reminds me of something Mommy cooks.....what could it be?

Ham! Of course! We should have know!

Well, it's time to head back. Follow Cosette. She knows the way home!

Thanks for playing with us today! Come again soon!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Construction Happenings

The plumbers came Saturday and Sunday and did the plumbing rough-in. All those things sticking up are pipes.

Since you can't see anything from this far away, I'll take you closer and give you a "tour." LOL!

Here's the view from the front of the house - dining room, Morgan and Brooke's bedrooms and bath, guest bedroom and bath.

Our kitchen, breakfast area, and laundry straight ahead, and living room is to the left.

The living room and master bedroom/bathroom to the far left. Porch in the back.

And the front porch. With Steve's "pulpit" as I call it! He built it to hold the house plans. It's actually very convenient.

Monday update

This afternoon when we went to the barn, we found a snake. There is a resident snake in the barn, a king snake whom my girls have named Pharoah. He's a good guy snake, working to keep poisonous snakes as well as rodents out of the barn. We haven't seen him on the days we have our camera, though. This little guy was a baby. He was only about 8 inches long and was dead when we discovered him.

We tried to identify him according to pictures on the internet, but it is difficult since many juvenile snakes look quite different from their adult counterparts. He's not a water moccasin (common around here). He's not a copperhead. After taking pictures, we properly disposed of him.

Busy Monday

Brooke took this picture of a gardenia just getting ready to bloom. I love the green around the edges of the petals. I thought this was a great shot! This gardenia is in the garden next to our new house. It'll be right on the side of our driveway so we can enjoy the heady fragrance every time we go in or out!

Here's another scrapbook layout I finished - one for me and one for Brooke's book. This is also using the retired Stampin' Up! Simply Scrappin' Kit Buttons, Bows, and Twinkletoes.