Tuesday, November 25, 2014

What To Buy My Kids For Christmas (or birthdays)



Hello!  If you are reading this, then thank you for considering my feelings when buying my kids presents.

First off, I wanna say that I read something on Dave Ramsey's page recently that I would like to mention.  It was actually speaking to grandparents, but could really apply to anyone with the desire to give lavish gifts to someone else's children.  That was that you should really ask the parents if the gift is something they would approve of.  So, I am going to make a few suggestions here.  If you have another idea that doesn't pertain to these suggestions and you are unsure, please run it by me or Kyle. Thank you.  :-)

Anyway, here are some things NOT to buy:

-- Toys that make loud noises, for obvious reasons.
-- Things made of paper.  Usually, they will get torn up and create lots of trash rather quickly.
-- Puzzles.  I know we have enjoyed puzzles in the past and have even bought them for our children ourselves.  But then, we learned that the reality of these gifts is that they will end up ALL over the house, and eventually, in the trash.
-- Toys with many pieces.  With the exception of legos, toys with small parts or many pieces quickly become clutter.  We keep the legos in a separate spot, but they are still difficult to deal with.  We make an exception for them, because they are a creative toy.  That being said, we really don't need a lot more lego sets right now, either.
-- To be honest, we would like toy-buying to be kept to a minimum this year.  I know that sounds Grinchy, but we are overloaded with toys.  I am about to do a 3rd toy purge.

If the kids receive these things, we will still be thankful for them and accept them.  The children will still play with them.  They will still receive a few toys from us for Christmas.  The thing is, we would love to tone down the excess.  If you saw our house and the playroom, I am sure you would understand completely.

So then, what do I suggest for gifts:

-- clothes
-- houseshoes/slippers
-- kids soaps, bubbles, and shampoos, and bath sponges
-- character bath towels and beach towels
-- boxes of cookies, fruit gummies, animal crackers
-- cute socks and underoos
-- backpacks
-- sleeping bags
-- bath robes
-- housecoats
-- movie theater gift cards
-- Chuck E. Cheese gift cards
-- gift cards for pizza places or other restaurants that you think the kids would enjoy
-- gift cards or passes for the zoo, aquariums, or museums  (Even places in New Orleans would be acceptable, because we go there sometimes.)

Thanks you guys, and merry Christmas!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

It Was One of Those Mornings

This month, we joined a homeschool group that has quite a few of its members who are also members of our church.  This group hosts a lot of field trips, and I really wanted to take advantage of as many as I could handle.  I went on the zoo trip earlier this month, and I debated on signing up to go on this field trip to a local farm.

See, the thing about field trips is that sometimes Kyle is working and it's only me with the 5 kids.  Genevie is nursing, and it's really hard to manage her and all the others.  This particular field trip was at 9 a.m., and I know already how tough it is to get out of the house in the morning.

Even though I knew it would be a stretch to go, I went ahead and committed myself to going when another family backed out.  You see, without so many committed families, we would lose the group rate of $35 a family. 

So, this morning comes.  Genevie is nursing on and off all night.  Kyle comes in from work in the wee hours of the morning, so he is going to need sleep.  Hence, he can't help me today. I got out of bed, and rushed around trying to get the kids ready.  I finally got them ready, and then I couldn't find anything clean for myself to wear.  I washed 3 loads of laundry yesterday, and didn't wash any of my own clothes.  So, I am frantically running around looking for clothes with no luck.  Meanwhile, the baby is awake, and I'm thinking she will want to nurse soon or the screaming will begin.  Armand is following me around the house crying.  It's almost 9 a.m.  Nobody has had breakfast.  I still can't find any clothes.  I don't know who to call to tell them I'm coming late.  Still can't find a thing to wear.  I'm feeling frantic to the point of a few tears.  I think I asked God to help me several times. 

So, I am trying to configure a plan to make this all work.  I know that they are counting on us for the money for the field trip.  So, I'm thinkin' that maybe we will drive out there, I'll give them the money, then go find a McDonald's to grab breakfast and maybe come back.  I'm not sure when nursing the baby was going to fit into that.

After searching the house, I finally found something clean to wear.  I thew on some make-up, told everyone to potty, changed Genevie's diaper and clothes, and we loaded up the car.

I was still very overwhelmed by the whole thing.  We had the car loaded, and I noticed that my seat had been re-adjusted and the rear-view mirror was out of place.  Apparently, while I had been trying to finish getting out the door, Armand had been in the car messing with stuff.  So, I go to adjust the rear-view mirror, and it broke off the window.  Well, here come the tears.  I got really upset, went back in the house to tell Kyle, who really couldn't fix it anyway.  Went back to the car.  Jean-Michel said "well maybe we should pray."  I agreed.  So Sebastien and I both said a short prayer that we could get through the day.  I set up the GPS, and started heading to the farm. 

By the time we got there, and I got Genevie wrapped in the Moby, we were probably about 30 minutes late, still haven't had breakfast.  My new plan was to see how long we could go without breakfast, because we were there.  I really didn't know what else to do.  I figured that if we had to leave early, we would just leave early.

One of the ladies offered to hold Armand for me, which was very helpful.  The kids were so interested in the farm and the other kids, they never mentioned being hungry.  They did at least have milk or juice before we left the house.

Genevie fell asleep in the Moby wrap.  So, she didn't scream.  Yay!  The rest of the field trip probably didn't last more than an hour.  So, it actually went very well.  At the end I had to call Sebastien back, because he went a little far off looking at the crops.  He came back with a small eggplant that he had picked himself.  That was NOT part of the plan.  I told him to bring it to the farmer, and the farmer wasn't mad, at least.  On the way out, the farm had bananas, brownies, and water bottles for us.  So, guess what?  The kids had breakfast!  No McDonald's after all.  

We had a really nice time, and I am glad we went.  I really should have been more prepared the night before, though.  And, I still need to get my rear-view mirror fixed.  But all-in-all, the field trip was good.

I posted a new video that's pretty cute last night.  Check it out, give us a thumbs up, and subscribe!
Thanks for the support, guys!  Hope your day is better than my morning.

Here it is:

Friday, October 10, 2014

Mammaw's Chili



This recipe is easy to make and tastes great!  Measurements are not so strict, so you can season it to your liking.


Mammaw's Chili

3 cans of pinto or kidney beans
3 cans (small cans) of tomato sauce
3 onions chopped
1 lb. ground meat (turkey or beef)
water (measure it by filling the 3 small tomato sauce cans)
chili powder (lots, you season to taste)
granulated garlic
salt
black pepper
(optional) 2 dabs of tomato paste
(optional) olive oil

In a large skillet, cook down your onions in water and a little olive oil (optional.)  Add ground meat and cook together until meat is browned.  Transfer onions and meat to large pot.  Drain the beans.  Add beans, tomato sauce, and reuse the small cans of tomato sauce to add your 3 cans of water.  (IMPORTANT: Make sure your water is in the SMALL cans.  I once made this putting water in the large cans, and it was not so good.)  Add lots of chili powder.  (Keep tasting it until you have the right amount.)  Season with granulated garlic, salt, and black pepper to taste.  Bring to boil.  Then, turn on low and simmer for an hour.  (My stove doesn't simmer well.  It kinda stays boiling, so I uncover it and let it boil until it thickens.)

Here's the video of me cooking this yummy chili.  Enjoy!


Monday, October 6, 2014

YouTube: Revelations From 9 Years Ago and Today

So, I'm back on YouTube after years on hiatus.  And, my life is completely different than it was back then.

Back then...
-- 2005/2006
-- I was in college.
-- No kids.
-- No REAL grown-up responsibility, but I did pay my bills.
-- Worked as the S.P.C.A., then as a barista while I went back to school.
-- Studied Film at U.N.O.
-- Lived in New Orleans, LA.

Now...
-- 2014, 9 years later
-- Now a college graduate (finally.)
-- FIVE (5) KIDS??!!
-- Responsibilities galore!
-- My current career is homeschool Mom.  (I count that as a career.)
-- Graduated in Lafayette in 2012 at UL Lafayette.
-- Live in Lafayette, LA.

So, stuff I'm learning:

1)  I can now see every imperfection so much more clearly, but I refuse to let myself get all self-conscious.
2)  I never even realized how I actually spoke until now.  I mean, I always knew it was a little unusual, and I've always deeply disliked the sound of my speaking voice, but now I have to face it head-on.  Oh well, no time like the present to get-over yourself.
3)  I've come to realize that although I feel contentment with my life, my persona does not reflect that.   I may be giving off a false impression of unhappiness in my daily life.  I need to work on that.
4)  I really liked editing back in my Film major days.  And now, I'm soooooo thrilled to be doing it again.  Like wow!  I mean, I know that our videos need lots of development, and we need to work on our presence in front of the camera.  However, the editing part is just so much fun to me, especially when I'm editing videos of the kids.  I still need work and practice, but that's one aspect of this whole thing that just feels really right.
5)  This has become a family endeavor.  We have something fun the we can do as a family.  And, if we can actually discipline ourselves to keep this up, we will have some amazing memories we can watch later.

The most difficult thing about it is just finding the time to get it put together.  So, I am hoping that we will be able to continue making videos, and I hope they get better, too.  Thanks for watching, guys!!