Friday, April 30, 2010

Messy Aprons

My friend Amanda from The Daily Sweatpants thought of a great new recipe blog idea. It was a way for us to get our friend Leslie involved, too. We all love to eat and like to cook so we share that over there at Messy Aprons. I decided that I would delete my recipe blog and just put all of those recipes on Messy Aprons. I had 2 students stay after school today to finish a project so it was the perfect time for me to do all of the copying and pasting.

Check us out at Messy Aprons. We plan to have guests post recipes and stories. This month is National Grilled Cheese month so we each made a grilled cheese. They are from plain to gourmet, but both yummy!

Thursday, April 29, 2010


Since Neil has bowling on Wednesday nights, we had the pleasure of of going for a walk and dinner with Amy. Catherine and her roommate came with us, too. We went to Newk's and Bennett was such a good boy. Can you see how much he likes Amy?

Today, Nana and Gigi came in town to shop. They were getting to Shreveport at 11 so I was able to meet them, Catherine, and Erinn (she has decided names for her babies!-go check them out!) for lunch. I was happy to get away on a week day.

After school, I went to get Bennett from daycare. We met them at the mall because they really wanted to see Bennett.

Richard brought a friend over to go look at that land where they will hunt next season. Neil met them over there and then they headed to The Cub. The Cub is a little whole in the wall bar with the best steaks in town. Neil was excited to partake!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Life of a Single Mom Book

I received an e-mail today from one of my old co-workers, Jeff. His wife, Jennifer, has gotten really involved with the single mom's ministry at their church. She now has a published book! I think that it is so amazing that she has written a book. This is what I received from Jeff today:

As most of you know, Jennifer has spent the last year or so writing her book. It is her powerful testimony of God's grace on her life and overcoming the many hardships she has endured. It is also a book filled with inspiration and hope to all of the single mom's out there that are struggling.
Please read her message below, and help us get the word out. We would love for you to support this book by getting your copy today! We appreciate all of you who have stood with us and thank you for your prayers and support!

This is from Jennifer:

Friends/Family/Prayer Partners:
It is with great pleasure, humility, and honor that I announce the launch of my new book, Overwhelmed: The Life of a Single Mom. It is available for purchase on I would be HONORED if you would support this endeavor. This has been a long time coming and I need the support of my family & friends. This book is NOT only for single moms or women. I believe it is an inspiration to all. I believe that is a testament of overcoming and God's grace on our lives.

When I was pregnant, I knew a friend of a friend that was pregnant and single. I had no idea how she was going to do it alone. During Bennett's first 12 weeks, I often wondered about that girl. She also had a newborn baby with no help. I just kept thinking how thankful I was for Neil and the great help he was. I am not going to pretend to know how hard it would be to be a single mom. I just know how hard it is being a married parent! My mom was single during most of my childhood and I know she struggled, too. Yes, my dad helped but I don't know if it is the same thing as having both parents under the same roof.

Please pass this along to anyone you know that could use it. It is sure to be a great inspiration to all!

Monday, April 26, 2010

New Look

Oh goodness! I just pulled up my blog and saw my new look! I just love it! I think it turned out so cute. It even has 2 rotating headers. Thanks to Leslie for creating it.

Neil said that when I reached 50 followers I could get a blog makeover. I am so excited about the new design. Thank you Neil!

Click here to check out the new design: Louisiana Livin'

Saturday, April 24, 2010


We planned a little last minute breakfast with the Burfords. We planned to meet at Strawn's at 8 am. We knew that we would be up because our boy likes to wake up before 7 most weekends. Well today he woke up at 7:45. Ann happened to call and say that Max was going to need a nap so we should just eat over there. Boy! It was great. Chris made a huge breakfast for us. It is always fun to hang out over there. Bennett loves all of Max's toys. We love them and their sweet house. Have I mentioned that Chris built an entire 2nd story on to their house? He did.

Yesterday, Bennett reached for the banana on the counter and said "nana." I was so excited that he recognized it and said it's name.

How cute are these bald-headed boys? They had so much fun playing inside and outside. They have the coolest place. Bennett even got to splash his feet around in their pool. He loved it!

Later on today we had the Super Boil. What is the Super Boil you ask? It is the brainchild of Jay Hanna. Our friends all happen to be Saints fans and came up with the idea to have a crawfish boil while re-watching the Saints winning the Super Bowl. Nikki, Jay's wife even drew up a design for a t-shirt that Jay created in his mind. Do you remember the picture of Drew Brees holding up his baby with all of the confetti after they won the Superbowl?

Didn't Nikki do a great job on the shirt? I think so, too.

Well Jay's idea was to have a crawfish in a Brees jersey holding up a baby crawfish! The shirts turned out so cute.

Leigh, Cole, and Jay

Lindsay, Nikki, and me

Here is the Hanna family plus Leigh. That is Lindsay and Jay's mom on the left. Their parents drove in from Winnfield, LA to attend the Super Boil.

Neil boiled the crawfish and shrimp because he is pretty much an expert at it. Jared grilled oysters. Everything was so good.

My mom wanted to take Bennett to the air show at Barksdale AFB today while we went to the boil. She said he loved it! He would see the smoke and follow the plane the whole way. He even wore his cute little airplane shirt.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Bitten Part 4.

I was called this morning by the daycare so they could let me know that Bennett was bitten...again. Poor sweet angel boy. My mom says that he is so sweet that people just want to eat him up! I think that is true.

Show Us Your Life-How I met my husband.

Neil and I first met officially at a 2002 Sigma Kappa Destination Unknown Fall party at Louisiana Tech. We both had different dates, but ended up dancing at the party. We are pretty sure we met before that party because we pretty much ran in the same crowds. The theme of the party was 2 of a kind or something like that. I was a cop and my date was a prisoner. He was a coach and his date was a cheerleader. He told me later that he was looking at the Party Pics asking his roommate about the"cop" from the SK party.

Here are all of the Sigma Kappas and KA's. To say that I was a bit of a KA groupie might be an understatement. My date and I are right there in the middle. He was only a friend type date.
Fast Forward to June 2003.....we had been seeing each other at one of the most classy places in Ruston...Rabb's. Neil asked me for my number one night and then called to take me on a date. He picked me up from my job at Trinity United Methodist (I was a nursery worker) on a Sunday afternoon. He was with Reeves and my roommate, Merideth. We went to Chile Verde (a Mexican restaurant in Monroe) and he ordered sour cream for me! I thought it was so sweet that he even remembered I loved sour cream! We then went to see Finding Nemo. I ended up giving him a Finding Nemo DVD for our first Valentine's Day and now Bennett watches that same DVD all the time in the car. Funny how things work.

Fast Forward 1 year later from SK Fall Party to the next year same party. We were dates at Party Like a Rockstar. We were punk rockers. I like this picture because it shows how young we look. I'm pretty sure Neil was 12 in this picture. I made our outfits.

Here we are on our first Christmas together. We were actually going to one of Neil's fraternity brother's engagement parties. These friends of his are now some of our close friends...the Raines family.

As I mentioned, I was a big fan of the KA's at Tech. Still am. Neil happened to be the president of his fraternity, TKE. I happened to be the KA Rose (sweetheart) when we started dating. This was not that big of a deal to us, but we thought it was funny. Here I am signing all of the pledge paddles. It seemed like a way bigger deal back in 2004. I just thought I should document. This also happened to be the night that my dad and brother met Neil's family.

Fast forward through 3 1/2 years of dating, traveling, working, graduating, wondering if I would ever get engaged, and having a blast to this 2006 Tech Homecoming morning. We went to Ruston to stay at his parents house for Tech Homecoming weekend. He woke me up with orange juice in champagne glasses asking me to marry him! I was so excited and in shock. Here is the picture that Neil's parents took when we went down to tell them.

And 6 months after that, we were married at the Justice of the Peace. We were just tired of waiting around to be married. So, along with our parents on May 24, 2007 we got married. We were so excited! It turned out to be such an intimate, sweet ceremony.

I wasn't going to write this and I have erased it already, but I decided I wanted to. We have lost some very close friends over not telling that we were married before Hawaii. It still makes me sad to this day (almost 3 years later). Our intent was never to hurt anyone...we just wanted to get married.

Here is our Hawaiian wedding October 6, 2007. This was such a great trip with 34 of our closest friends and family. We think everyone had a wonderful time in Hawaii. I had to take photos of photos because I lost the memory card of our Hawaii trip. It makes me sick every time I think about it.

Now we have our sweet little family. Who would have thought that it would all have started with a dress-up party and Finding Nemo?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Teacher Appreciation Week

This week was teacher appreciation week at Bennett's daycare. I have had the best time coming up with stuff to get them each day. He has 2 teachers and we want them to know how much we love and appreciate them for taking care of our precious boy each day. Lord knows that teachers need to be thanked every once in a while! Ahem.

Monday I got them germaniums. I just love them because they just say Spring! I thought they turned out cute in the little burlap sacks.

Tuesday they received these little note pads and pens.

Wednesday was probably my favorite day. I stayed up making cookie lollipops on Tuesday night. I think they turned out so cute. They were super easy, too. You just make any kind of cookie and put a stick in it before it bakes. I wrapped it in a cellophane bag and tied some cute ribbon. I put a tag with each person's name on it. This is the day that I gave something to everyone that has taught Bennett or helped him. I made one for each of his old teachers, present teachers, director, cook, custodian, and maintenance engineer. I didn't want to leave any of Bennett's people out.

The tag said "Thanks for being so sweet!"

Thursday they received little Vera Bradley photo albums. Thanks to Richard for that! I happened to have some extras left over from Christmas and thought they would be perfect for Teacher Appreciation Week.

Friday this is what they will receive. I was so glad that Jeannie was able to finish them for tomorrow. She is the best monogram/appliqué lady around. She has the best prices and is so sweet!

Professional Photos

I was so excited when Kristin Mosura sent me a text during Spring Break and said that she was doing sessions at Norton's Art Gallery. Well we got the photos yesterday! Yay! I was really excited because we didn't get to have Bennett's 1 year photos taken and I love to document every age!

One of my friends e-mailed me the next week to ask if I still used Kristin for photos because her friend had a $50 gift certificate that she could not use. I wrote her back and said that we actually had a session last week and I would be happy to buy the gift certificate. She wrote me back and said that her friend just wanted to give it away! It was sort of like the session was meant to be.

This was my first time to buy the digital rights to pictures. I am glad I did, but am having a little bit of buyer's remorse. Thankfully my mom and Neil's parents wanted to split it with us! Here are a few of them:

I love this one:

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Un-Typical Sunday

We did not have a typical Sunday today. We woke up REALLY early because Bennett has decided that his new wake-up time will be before 6. I guess that is his new weekend thing. He is still sometimes asleep when I leave for work during the week

We had some Cherrios and watched cartoons. Since Bennett was up so early he had to nap at 10...just in time for Sunday School. So, we missed SS and church. Our teacher has been referring to "The Prince of Egypt" movie a lot lately. We decided to watch it this morning while Bennett was napping. It was pretty good.

After his nap the boys headed to Ruston to visit Aunt Rebecca, Nana, and Grand-Machine. They boiled some shrimp for dinner and wanted to see Bennett. I decided to stay back and get stuff done around here. Bennett's daycare has teacher appreciation week next week so I had to do a little shopping and wrapping. I will post what I am giving them each day this week.

I tried to start another project while they were gone. The tile/grout in my kitchen and I have been having a battle since we moved in to our house. I am sick of it! It always looks dirty and I have tried everything. It is mopped every Thursday and I have even had Stanley Steemer come to "power wash" it. Erinn told me to get a toothbrush and grout cleaner. I tried that today. It did help a little. The problem with it is that it was never sealed. Ugh. Pain in the neck. So, I have been down on my hands and knees with a toothbrush cleaning my tile. I think the only thing I can do now is get it re-grouted. What do you think?

After all of this stuff, I have gotten totally caught up on blogging. I sat right here listening to K-LOVE and made 5 posts. Whew. Now, I have to get to my lesson plans.

Since my boys were in Ruston for dinner I had to privilege of eating at Leslie's house. She is an excellent cook. Thanks Leslie!

Bitten Parts 2 & 3.

I have been called on Tuesday of the past 2 weeks from the daycare so they could let me know that Bennett had been bitten. He was bitten the first time a while back, but it wasn't too bad. This little girl just must really love Bennett! They don't tell you who bites, but they did slip up and say "SHE bit him."

Anyway, this little girl has bitten our boy in the same exact place on his little arm. Just as the bruise from 2 weeks ago was going away we got another one on top of the old one. You can see it in this picture. (Don't worry-he did not drink that capri sun!)

Here is a close-up of the bruise in the shape of a mouth.

I am not mad by any means. I just felt bad for my sweet boy. I know that this happens all the time with kids this age. I just wanted to document this!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Date Night

This weekend happened to be one of those glorious ones where we had absolutely NOTHING planned! It was fabulous to just do what we wanted...and even relax. Mom (Gammy) told us to plan a date night because she wanted to keep the "button" (that's what she calls Bennett). After twisting our arm, we decided to plan a little date.

We went to dinner at Ernest's and dined on their awesome crab claws and limestone salad. I could eat that salad everyday. After dinner, we headed to the Boardwalk.

We stopped at Cold Stone for ice cream and then headed to see "Date Night."
The movie was pretty funny. We both really like Steve Carrell. He is one of our favorites.

Girls Night Out!

Amy, Catherine, and I went to the Junior League of Shreveport/Bossier's Shopping for a Cause Girl's Night Out tonight. (That is the longest title ever!) Shopping for a Cause is just a big Spring Market with vendors from all over the south. They had a little event just for the girls with after hours shopping, a DJ, dinner, and door prizes. I bought a few things. My favorite thing to buy at these things is the wrapping stuff. I just love tulle and wraphia and I buy it every time. I need to stop. I bought some BUNCO Styrofoam cups and rum caramel for Banana's Foster. It was fun to just get out for the evening and hang out with the girls. I forgot to take pictures inside. We got a lady in the parking lot to take our picture before we left.
We missed you Casey!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

A boy and his truck

Janine (Nana) has been telling me that Neil and Andrew used to get down on the floor and push cars and trucks all the time. She said that Rebecca never did that. Well Bennett is just like his daddy and uncle!

I watched him push this truck around for a good 30 minutes on Friday night. I finally had to get out my camera and take some pictures. He was getting so into it even sticking out his tongue while pushing it!

He like to push it even lying down!

Right after, we put Bennett to bed. I went to Barnes and Noble with Leslie for a beverage. I had the double chocolate chip something. It was like chocolate water. We always have a great time when we get to chit chat!!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Bowling League

Every Wednesday night, Neil has bowling. We have been wanting to go watch him play. We decided that this Wednesday would be our day. Amy went with us because she knows pretty much every single person there because she is so popular! There were about 12 lanes of people in the league. Neil plays on a team with Beau, Sean, and Mickey. He knows Beau from Tech and he met the other 2 guys at work.

Here are my boys.

Let's see that 4-step approach! Pretty much everyone that went to Tech took bowling and learned the 4-step approach. I guess it is paying off.

He is using his Saints bowling ball that we got him last year for Father's Day.
Since we only stayed for about 10 minutes...these are all the pictures I have. It was good to see a lot of people I haven't seen in a while. It was a fun group of guys!
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