Thursday, January 3, 2013


It's super late, and I'm FREEZING!  Our living room is so cold, thanks to an open fireplace.  I even have a blanket covering it, but not any help.  Anyway, we were able to have a fantastic Christmas thanks to Secret Santas/Angels and awesome family.  I think my little kids still don't have a clue as to how poor we are!  Phew!  Ben and Kira do, but that's okay.  They're awesome kids!  As we were headed down to Louisiana, I was "picking" houses on the side of the road (a game my mom and I always played) and I called this huge house!  Ben was paying attention and responded: "That's way out of your budget!"  Yes, yes it was.  I could tell that he felt bad, because he added:  "But maybe it could be in your budget if we build it ourselves."  Seriously, a great kid!  He was cracking me up on the way home too, when he started singing along with the "Stuck Like Glue" song.
He is all about the chorus!  I love it!  The video is pretty crazy, so just listen to the chorus.  Yikes!  Don't watch the video.  She's a crazy stalker lady.  Anyways.  On to the vacation!
We have awesome family that helped us go on vacation!  My parents let us borrow their van and paid for the  food and gas for the trip!  Wow!  My sister fed our fish (Scott was really worried about the recent babies, so he was thrilled they were still alive when he got back) and lit our furnace (only once).  And my cousin/Aunt let us stay in the travel trailer behind her house.
We headed down to Louisiana the day after Christmas and there was a ton of snow in Arkansas, so we were super late pulling in that morning.  My kids haven't been on many trips, little less fourteen hour ones, so they were excited to be there.  We took over the travel trailer.  Ben and Josh were in a small bed, all of the girls in the big bed, and Scott and I in a small bed.  It worked out pretty well.  We got to spend a lot of time with my Mamaw (Have I mentioned how much I love her?  Leah is named after her)!  She is so awesome and has so many great stories.  She knows a ton of family history!  I always get updated four generation pictures when we're together.  As long as possible!  We got to go to my other aunt's house and see my cousins and their kids at my cousin's kiddo's party.  We even took pictures of all of the Great Grandkids that were there!  I got pictures of my cousin's baby that was born ten days before Josh and pictures of the crew of five-year-olds born in a little group.  Ben had a blast playing with boys his age!  He was so excited!  I'm glad he got a chance to play with someone his age and could get away from girls for a little while!  Poor guy is surrounded!  Kira did a fantastic job of helping me when asked!  Emma was super shy (as expected), but announced that she was good at lighting fireworks, so Scott let her and grabbed her to run away when it started sparking!  Leah was perfectly willing to run around all over!  Cecilia stuck close to us, except when outside.  Silly girl!  She LOVED the fireworks!  Josh LOVES my Uncle Kenneth!  I was sure he was going to go through a Kenneth withdrawal, but so far, so good!  He liked being with other babies!  He got to play a lot with my aunt's "loaner" baby that she takes care of about half the week.  He's sitting up pretty well now and we were sure that his teeth were going to pop out, and they still haven't!  My poor baby!
The trip back went pretty fast considering how sick Cecilia was!  Poor baby threw up three times and I was just booking it home!  We got home in thirteen hours on the way back and got home at bedtime!  Phew!
Before we left we loaded up on our favorite Southern comforts-  Roux, Raw peanuts (I'm so boiling them tomorrow, maybe), Lemon salt, Mardi gras beads, Caffiene Free Dr Pepper...  I even got a hushpuppy mix! I used to love hushpuppies!  I'll have to make a baked version, but I'm sure it will still be good!
So, now we're in a new year!  It's great to be home!  We cleaned a lot today and got some errands done!  We used some of our gift cards too!  My dad fixed our brakes after my miserable afternoon.  I had the kids work hard to clean the Living Room, so that we could watch a show on Netflix, but the TV no longer works.  It won't show anything but the channel and mute.  Gggrrr...  Then we needed to head over to my parents' house, so that my dad could work on my car.  But, when I picked up Josh, my keys fell out of my pocket.  I didn't realize it until we were out of the house.  So, we were all freezing as I'm desperately trying to find my keys.  I found a couple of keys, so I slowly walked to the backyard in very slippery snow.  I fell several times, my hands were freezing, and my knee still hurts.  Neither key worked, so I walked back, holding onto the fence when possible.  Horrible!  I called Scott and he came.  By then we had gotten in the car, so it was a little warmer.  Hurray for the conquering hero!  He turned on the car while I grabbed my keys and we were off!  My dad fixed my brakes, and the kids got to watch Brave.  We got pizza and then Ben and Kira got to pick out stuff for Walmart gift cards.  Kira's pretty excited about her Leapster!  She got it for under $20 and I went online to find all of the games for $5 each at the Leapfrog store!  So, I got most of them, and I'll give them out for birthdays, since Ben and Emma already have one and Mandy said she got one for Leah's birthday.  Hurray for game variety!  I got 6 games for the price of 2 (including shipping and taxes)!  Interestingly enough, Lexi (my niece) is connected to my stuff as well.  So, I'll be able to buy her apps?  She got a Leappad for Christmas.  It looks pretty cool!
On to the pictures!
 Small rainbow in the sky
 My cousin Joyce with Josh
 Ben playing with boys and Emma
 The five-year-olds
 Ethan and Josh
 Great Grandkids here
 Two mamaws and Josh was a pampered baby!
 He loves having his hand kissed!
 Leah brushing her namesake's hair!
 Cecilia told Leah to sit on her.  Leah (Whya-as Cecilia says) had a bandaid under her nose.
 Kira craving technology time!
 They swapped.  Leah had a harder time!
 Look at those cute girls!
 Looking up at fireworks
 I'm pretty sure this is the one that Super Dad carried Emma away fast enough!
 It started raining, so we did sparklers, poppers and pull confetti from the front porch
 The extended four generation picture!
 One of the many sights in Arkansas

They conked out about 8.  Cute!

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