Thursday, November 25, 2010


For the first time in twelve years, we are spending Thanksgiving with my in-laws.  And for the first time in three years we are actually celebrating Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving has never been a huge holiday for Drew and I.  Our kids were usually in school for the first part of the week, so we weren't able to travel.  The kids are really enjoying having the whole week out of school this year - as I am. It's been a great week!  We spent a few days with my parents while Drew worked, then he meet up with us so we could travel on to his family.

Over the years away we would do Thanksgiving dinner with friends. Some years we would cook, other years eat out or at friends' house.One year in Albuquerque we ate dinner at a buffet held at a HUGE country bar with friends.  I remember thinking that if my grandparents knew where I was eating, they would be shocked! (But the food was great!)

Our first Thanksgiving in Guam, depression hit.  At least for me. While we were use to being apart from our families, we usually enjoyed the holiday. But in Guam thing were different.  We hated the holidays. With no change in temperature or weather, no change in the foliage on the trees.....we had no holiday spirit.  Also, that first  year, we did not have close friends to celebrate the day with like in other bases.  We decided early that week to just have turkey sandwiches for lunch - not to even cook a nice meal for us.

But on that Wednesday I actually ate all the turkey so we ended up with ham sandwiches.  Whatever.

We made a point of not being on island for the next two Thanksgivings. We spent 2008 in Cairns, Australia and 2009 in Singapore. Both trips were beyond good - beyond wonderful. 

But now we are back in the States and we are beyond happy to be able to share the holidays with family. Such as this Thanksgiving - which is very special as we are also celebrating my mother-in-law's 80th birthday

It started last night with about one hundred family members coming over for Cajun pasta - just a place for all the out-of-town family members to eat.  Today was the big Thanksgiving dinner at cousin Regina's house - whom has bought one of the antebellum houses in town and is a professional chef.  She did all the food - and to say it was delicious is an understatement! I think the head count was around one hundred fifty.

Tonight was turkey gumbo at the family house, Liberty Hall while the Saints game was on. Not sure how many was there, but I would guess also close to one hundred. Tomorrow will be a come and go lunch at  Biscuit and Blues - which is a restaurant also owned by another  cousin.  Tomorrow night we are hosted an open house in honor of my mother-in-law for her birthday.  We're excepting around two hundred fifty. in-laws do nothing small.

And I wouldn't have it any other way. While I do get overwhelmed at times at their sheer numbers, they are an amazing bunch of people.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Weekend Thoughts

A few thoughts from our weekend....

*It's so nice to be living in a place that you can drive five hours...without driving in a circle.

*New Orleans is a great place to visit...not sure if I would want to live there.

*Beignets are really a great breakfast...even if there's no protein and I'll be hungry again in an hour.

*A robotic competition is a crazy place to be...while being there for several hours, I'm still not sure what all I saw.

*So very thankful my team did not embarrass themselves this weekend...unlike last weekend...or the weekend before that...and the weekend before...oh, heck! Every week they have played this year!! We need a defense!!

*But mainly at the end of this weekend my thoughts are on the wonderful week ahead where I get to spend time with family as well as my in-laws. It's gonna be a great week.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Human Target

Have you heard of the TV show Human Target? What a fun show! It's based on a comic book. After watching the show, you even get a comic book feel. The sense of humor is right up our alley.

The main character is Christopher Chase. Well, that's not his real name. But that doesn't matter.  He use to be a bad guy - now he's a good guy.  The premise is people who are targeted by the real bad guys need protection. Christopher Chase is the protection.

And of course, he has a few side-kicks. With a great one-liners.

Go ahead - watch it. And be ready for a few laughs.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Bible Study

At every place we have lived I have made sure I was a part of as some type of ladies' Bible study. There's just something special about a group of ladies getting together and studying the Word that thrills me.  Here, our church host one on Thursday mornings.  But to be honest, I haven't been that happy with it.

Over the years, I have gotten to the point of knowing what works for me. And this set up does not work for me.  The class is too big - over 30 ladies, and the majority of the time is spent watching a video.

Don't get me wrong - the teacher on the video is very good - she preaches the Word. But I don't care for her style - too much drama for my taste. But it's just too long - an hour and ten to twenty minutes! There's no time to share, time to visit, time to get to know one another. I will say I'm at a disadvantage as the newcomer - they already know each other's stories.  I don't. I was hoping this time would be to build relationships.

About a month ago, I was invited to attend a study at another church. This group is actually an international organization - Bible Study Fellowship.  This year they are going through the book of Isaiah. I have attended for about three weeks now and am really enjoying it.

Today I attended my first fellowship - it was nice and relaxing to sit without a lesson to go over and listen to the other ladies talk of their lives and what God is doing in those lives right now.

But I do feel a call to our local church.   I'm hoping that in January our church will offer a different study - something that's more to my liking, a smaller group....time to build those relationship that helps grow roots in a community.

That word sums up what I love about ladies Bible study: Community. A place of welcoming hearts, listening hearts - a place to build those relationships that sustain us.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Grands

All four grandparents came in this past weekend to help us celebrate Benjamin's birthday.  My parents came in Friday just before  lunch.  We ate lunch at a local Mexican restaurant - very good. (I'm so addicted to Mexican!). Then I took Mom to the Louisiana Boardwalk. She had never been before. I think she enjoy it - she bought a few things.

After shopping we were at the house waiting for the kids to return from school. My father said we needed to get a picture with all the grandparents and the grand-kids.   Yes, of course, we will.

Then we never thought of it again.


This is the second time in just a few months that we were all together and the second  we all forgot.

I pray we have another chance. And that we won't forget.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

What's In Front of You?

This weekend we celebrated Benjamin's birthday at a local indoor mini-putt-putt. It was a little further away from the house then I wanted, but it was what he wanted.  It bothered me was several did not RSVP and so I assumed that they would not attend. Also, one that did RSVP did not show up. I felt bad for Ben. I wanted the day to be perfect for him - full of all his friends.

At one point I  asked if Ben if he was enjoying his party. He said, "Yes! I'm playing putt-putt, some of my friends are here, I get presents and cake. What more could I want?"

And it stuck me how totally unconcerned he was about those who did not come. He was just happy with what is.

 I love that.  It was just a gentle reminder from the Lord that I, too, need to just be happy with what's in front of me. Be happy with what is.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


I never intended to go so long without posting. I really want to post every few days, but it seems that life just gets in the way. So. What has been going on?? 

Last weekend my dear friend from Maryland came for a long weekend visit. Dawn and I had a great (and wonderful and awesome) time! We talked and talked...ate and ate...shopped and shopped. So much fun! We hit several stores I had not visited yet. Wish she could have stayed longer.

The kids did return to the allergist. All three decided to do the food challenge for chocolate. All three are set for December.  My prediction is that William will react, but the other two won't.  I did promise Melissa that if she is NOT allergic to chocolate, I will make her a plate of brownies.

I see my days of having a monopoly of the chocolate in the house coming to an end.

Also, at the allergist, Benjamin was put back on asthma meds. I wasn't very happy about this. But after talking to his pediatrician about it today, I feel resign to the fact that it'll be a part of our life again.  You should see the counter in our kitchen. It looks like a small pharmacy with all the kids' allergy meds! Each is on at least three different kinds. (And yes, I did breast feed each for a year, thank you very much! So much for that helping.)

I, also got to have lunch with my friend Cheryl.  We met in Guam, but didn't have too many opportunities to get to know one another until now.  She lives about 45 minutes away and we have been able to get together for lunch almost once a month since the summer.  She's a hoot!  And I love hearing her take on things in the world. She is very plain spoken and just calls things like she sees them - no politically correctness at all. So much fun to be around.

Today I was a chaperon for Melissa and William on a field trip.  The school librarian takes the top twenty-five readers each quarter on a special trip as a reward for reading.  (The top twenty-five is based on points earned through the reading comprehensions testing program.)  I was excited that both were able to go.  This nine weeks the trip was to the State Fair.  We had perfect weather and the kids had a blast! I enjoyed getting to know some of their new friends. They enjoyed riding the rides while I kept my feet on the ground. I learned that my body no longer enjoys the thrills of rides last year when I rode the SlingShot in Guam. My two feet stay on the ground these days.

This weekend we will celebrate Benjamin's tenth birthday which was on Monday. He's thrilled that this is a year for a large party. (Here's an old post that talks about our birthday traditions.) And he's also thrilled that BOTH set of GRANDPARENTS will be here to help celebrate. In fact, we're all thrilled. Yes, I honestly love having both sets at the same time. And yes, they all get along.

It's going to be another wonderful weekend!