Sunday, February 21, 2010

Beads, Beads & more Beads!!!


Edd: King Cake
Anne: the cool beads
Bethany: King Cake & the parades
Andrew: the week off, King Cakes, and the parades, just about everything!
Aimee: eating King Cake
Mattie: watching the parades
Thomas: nufing.
Our Mardi Gras week started with a day at home re-cooperating from the weekend festivities!!! Edd made us a yummy dinner...

Seafood Boil!!! YUM YUM YUM!!!! :)
FAT TUESDAY was spent out on the parade route! We saw 3 parades in a row!

We left the house a little before 8am so we could get across the lake and claim our spot before the parade route got too crowded. We found a great spot and then had to wait "a long time" according to Mattie! It was about a 2 hour wait and it was FREEZING COLD AND WINDY TOO!!!

We spent the day with the Whipple family, which was fun! At first there was a lot of snuggling to keep each other warm. There were some pretty interesting people who walked by...

One guy who walked past was in a black afro wig, white suit and a pink dress shirt. I was looking at him trying to decide if I should get a picture of him when he yelled to me, "I LIKE YOUR HAIR, IT'S LIKE MINE!!!!" Once he said that I decided I'd better not take a picture of him.

To pass the time before the parades started and to get warm, Andrew, Connor & Thomas played football with some other boys whose families were sitting by us.
Andrew & Connor had gathered up a bunch of broken bead necklaces and connected them into a GIANT necklace.
After freezing for awhile, I had a great idea!!! Mattie, Aimee & I took the broken beads that Andrew & Connor had collected and started to jump rope with them!
We had quite a few kids, boys & girls, come join us! Best of all, we finally got warm! :)

Our first parade was ARGUS!

Thomas actually had a pretty good time watching! He didn't like wearing any beads though. After a little while, I put Thomas up on my shoulders so he could see better. I guess he got pretty comfortable because he fell asleep up there, we were about 2/3 the way through the first parade!

2nd Parade ~ Our first TRUCK PARADE!

So while you are "parading" (I don't know if that's actually a word or not but that's what I call it) the thing to do is wave your arms and holler trying to get the attention of the people on the floats! "THROW ME SOMETHING, MISTER!" is the parading phrase that you yell!

The people on the floats generally throw out beads. Other "THROWS" include fancy beads...some that are themed with the name of the parade, or Bethany got a really cool necklace with some Mardi Gras faces! Other "THROWS" that we caught were these giant scissors! We also got a bunch of stuffed animals, spears, a t-shirt, cups, cazoos, flowers and a whole bunch of other crazy stuff!!

The bigger the beads, the better! BIGGER=RARE only because they hardly throw BIG ONES!

I caught these BIG PINK BEADS!
Edd and I took turns holding people on our shoulders so they could see better. Other people had modified ladders with seats on top for their kids, like this:

3rd Parade ~ Another TRUCK parade!

The truck parades are different than all the other parades only because the floats are pulled by big truck instead of slow tractors. They move a lot quicker too, which is really nice! :)
Thomas woke up just in time to see the last parade and enjoyed wearing his beads, at least for a little while!

By this time, everyone else was getting pretty tired! Aimee took all her beads off...they were getting too heavy!!! Mattie took hers off soon after that! Mattie had so many beads that I could hardly get them off of her!!!

There were a lot of Saints themed floats, they were even throwing BLACK and GOLD beads!

This tow truck was the end! A bunch of people were throwing their beads trying to get them onto the truck!

Once the parade was over, we headed back to the van. It was amazing how at the beginning of the parades everyone was so excited to get beads and you'd snatch them up off the ground!!!

By the end of 3 parades everyone would just walk past beads everywhere on the ground. There were beads everywhere!! Along with all sorts of other things left behind.

Here's our loot!

When we got home, we each weighed all our beads:
Anne: 5 lbs
Bethany: ~20 lbs ~ B had 48 lbs TOTAL from all her parades
Andrew: ~ 20 lbs ~ Andrew had 44 lbs TOTAL from all his parades
Aimee: 24 lbs
Mattie: ~ 20 lbs...Mattie was too tired to weigh hers and wouldn't let anyone else do it.

Here are the different sizes of beads we got!
Most of our beads fit into these containers...there were some beads that weren't put here!!!
What do you do with all these beads?????
Aimee wants to keep all of hers...they'll probably end up in the attic.

Is the REAL reason New Orleans is sinking that there are too many beads stored away in all the attics???
Theses are some of a really cool beads that we got!

Mattie got this really cool necklace!

The last few days we've spent sorting all these beads by color. Purple and Gold are the winners, then Green, Pink, Blue, White, Silver, and Red. There are a few multi-colored bead strands too!

When Mardi Gras season started, I bought some Green, Gold, and Purple beads to decorate with. Edd asked me yesterday if I feel silly for buying them. I do now...I've got tons to choose from!!! But back then I didn't have any so it was worth it~I just won't be buying beads ever again! I've got my years supply and then some!!!!!! :)

PS. We had a great Valentine's Day! Edd made us some delicious gumbo for dinner!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

What a Wild Week!

Wow, we have had quite a wild week this week!!!

The New Orleans SAINTS won the Super Bowl!!!!!!!!!!!!

It was an amazing game!! INCREDIBLE!!!!! I still get so excited thinking about it!! Starting out 0-10 was pretty discouraging. The second half was a different story!!! Starting off the 2nd half with the onside kick was HUGE!!!

Wow, talk about changing the momentum of things!!! The Colts played hard too, but once we intercepted the ball and ran down for a touchdown, I think that was the turning point!!

They did it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The SAINTS won the Super Bowl 31-17 !!!!

The party afterwards was incredible!!!! There were fireworks being shot off in our neighborhood and all around. You could hear people hollering and honking everywhere!!! It was amazing!!!!!!

They should've cancelled school. There was hardly a soul at school! A ton of people had gone to Miami!!!

Bethany said there were 14 kids in her first class, 13 in her 2nd class, 12 in her 3rd class and it kept going down from there! Bethany said the teachers weren't teaching anything. Andrew had about 7 and they combined with another class for the day. In Aimee's & Mattie's classes there were about 16 kids.

Aimee's teacher took the day off so she could be at the airport with the crowd to welcome the SAINTS home from Miami!

Aimee had 7 kids in her class at the beginning of school, but 5 checked out early even though it was a shorter day! The school district shortened school by 2 hours so people could attend the


We headed across the lake to meet up with Edd at 3:30. Traffic was so backed up already!!! Once we found a place to park, we had to walk nearly 14 blocks to the parade route. We ended up on Canal Street inbetween Royal and Bourbon Streets.

The crowds were HUGE!!!! The parade started at 5 but we didn't see it until almost 7. It was fun to see all the football players! Drew Brees was on the first float that came by. He was grinning from ear to ear!

We ended up leaving before the end of the parade came by, but we did see most everything.

As we were walking away, we got to see the train float turn the corner which had the coach, Sean Payton and the Lombardi Trophy! Pretty neat!!! Definitely a once in a lifetime experience!!!

These were the only normal days all week. We learned there were at least 800,000+ people at the parade. All the roads leading to New Orleans were gridlocked with people trying to get to the parade!

Thursday we were getting some wintery was sleeting most the day... and school was cancelled for Friday in anticipation of more wintery weather!

Bethany commented that they should've cancelled the whole week! But now we won't have to make it all up! :)

I don't think Thomas likes the cold very much. He asked me this week when it's going to be HOT again!!!!

Miracles never seem to cease!!! It snowed again!!! HUGE fluffy flakes were falling from the sky! They were 2-3 inched BIG!!! I couldn't believe it!!! I don't think I've ever in my life seen such HUGE snowflakes!!! The kids played in the snow for a few minutes, then we went inside to enjoy watching it fall and be warm at the same time! Someone did say, I think it was Andrew, that snow wouldn't be fun if it happened ALL THE TIME!!! I agree!!! :)

The snowflakes on the window were put up the day we got our first snow around Christmas time! We put them up hoping that it would snow. I guess we left them up long enough for it to snow again! I'm tired of the cold!!! The snowflakes are coming down!!! Mabye it will finally start to get warm!!! :)

Friday night we ventured out in the cold, it was about 36 degrees, and watched our 2nd Mardi Gras parade, ORPHEUS. We went to our first Mardi Gras parade, EVE, last Friday. These parades are pretty fun!!! The floats are all very different and some are 2 story! As they drive by, the people on the floats throw the crowds various items...mostly beads, but a few stuffed animals and other things like footballs, frisbees, cups, etc!

We went to the EVE parade with a few families from church who have little kids.

We ended up standing next to Mattie's 1st grade teacher, Mrs Hanagriff!!!

Bethany was at the end of the parade route with her friends. Everyone had fun, except Thomas. He was so tired that he fell asleep half way through the parade. I put him in the stroller all bundled up and he slept. Meanwhile, everyone else was catching all sorts of "throws."

When we got home Aimee & Andrew weighed their combined beads...18 pounds of beads!!!

In the Mardi Gras parade magazine that I'd bought, it said the real reason New Orleans is sinking is because of all the Mardi Gras beads people have in their attics!! :)

We went to the ORPHEUS parade with Bishop Whipple's family. This is a picture of Andrew & Connor Whipple.

We had a good time, but once again Thomas was a toot. He was cold and just wanted to go home.

When the parade was over, I put him into the stroller and we walked back to the car. By the time we got there, not even 5 minutes later, Thomas was sound asleep! The kids got a ton of stuffed animals and a ton of beads this time too!

Bethany and Edd ventured across the lake again for more parading! Bethany and the rest of the youth from church were praking cars at our church building on St Charles helping to earn money for camp this summer. I think there are 2 parades that go along St Charles today.

After those parades, Edd & Bethany and some of B's friends from church went to another parade, ENDYMION. Which is still going on right now!

Edd and Bethany didn't get home until after 10pm. They left the parade before it finished. They said the parade wasn't moving very quickly...even the bands were sitting down waiting. After float 8, they decided it was time to leave.

Bethany could hardly move because of all the beads she'd gotten!!! This is 3 parades worth of beads!!! (20 pounds worth!) She got the toilet paper and plunger from the TUCKS parade! They were her favorite throws!!! The crawfish beads with the white shrip boots are the ones Edd wants!!! They were from the float from Chalmette. Chalmette is where the refinery is located where Edd works.

Life near the BIG EASY is never dull!!! I remember about 5 years ago, when Edd and I came down to New Orleans for a few days, we were walking on the streets in the French Quarter and came across someone on stilts all dressed up. They were practicing for a ST PATRICKS DAY PARADE! It seems like they are always doing parades for everything! :)

I think we'll take a break from the parades tomorrow, but we can't miss the Mardi Gras parades on Tuesday!

Happy Mardi Gras everyone!!!