Sunday, April 18, 2010

Birthday Countdown

About six weeks ago, I was asked a very important question by a very inquisitive little boy, "Momma, how many more days until my birfday?"

After hearing this question numerous times since we had all our January birthdays, I decided it was time to help Thomas see how many days.

So we made a BIG calendar that counted down til Thomas BIG DAY!!! Unfortunately there were 42 more days left...


After 1 cousin being born, 2 holidays ~ St Patrick's Day & Easter, 3 fun filled days with the Greenwoods, 4 family adventures, 5 days at church, 6 gymnastics classes, 7 days off from school...not including the weekends, 8 days playing with Spring least, and a whole bunch of family birthdays...cousins', aunt's, uncle's, Grandma Cutler's, Daddy's and Bethany''s almost the BIG DAY!!!!

Today, is Thomas' last day to be 3! :)

Thomas is such a fun little boy! His enthusiasm and excitement for LIFE...including critters and creepy contagious! :)

At times, these past few weeks, Thomas wasn't quite sure he wanted to grow up. Here are a few examples of some of our conversations:

Thomas: Momma, I don't want to get BIG.
Me: Why not?
Thomas: I want to stay this wittle!

another day~

Thomas: Momma, I don't want to get BIG.
Me: Why not?
Thomas: I don't want to be a dad.
Me: Why don't you want to be a dad?
Thomas: I don't want to go to work. It's BORING!!!

another day~

Thomas: Momma, I don't want to get BIG.
Me: Why don't you want to be big?
Thomas: I want to be this size....I want to be as BIG AS ANDREW!!! Can you tell Andrew to stop growing so I can know when I am his size???

Whether I like it or not, Thomas is growing up! He used to be my "VELCRO CHILD" and wouldn't leave my side! Now he has become very independent!! Just today, we were at the park for playgroup, he told me not to follow him...that he didn't need me and I just needed to stay where I was!!!

The day that "the kids" (Bethany, Andrew, Aimee & Mattie) went back to school after Spring Break, Thomas woke up right before Andrew left for school. Once Andrew left, Thomas asked where the rest of the kids were. I told them they were already at school and said, "It's just you and me!" Thomas used to love it when I'd say that and get excited and giggle and say something cute back, but this particular morning, Thomas scrunched his face up and said, "I don't like you. You're BORING!"

He spent the rest of the week playing ALL DAY LONG with the neighbor kids, who go to private school, and were having their Spring Break! One day Thomas played with them from 9:30 till I took him with me to run errands. We were gone just a couple of hours. Once we got back, Thomas was back playing as soon as he could get out of the van! He played until it got dark! I'm glad he is starting to play with the neighbors and make new friends! :)

Yesterday, Thomas impressed the kids by pouring his own breakfast cereal and milk...and did it without even spilling!!! This was the first time he'd done it on his own too!!! The kids thought it was pretty amazing!!! :)

Occasionally, Thomas still likes me. He usually brings me a flower from the garden each day! One day, I just happened to look out the window and saw Thomas looking at different clover flowers, but then he stopped and went over to the rose bush. He picked a rose and brought it in to me...what a sweetheart!

Thomas has been so excited to see frogs again!!! There was one particularly large frog that had eluded everyone Thomas had elisted to capture it. One morning last week, he was bound and determined to catch that frog. Starting right after Andrew got on the bus...about 7:30am...Thomas was checking on the frog and he'd come give me a report. After a couple of hours, Thomas was so anxious to catch that frog!!! He asked me to come help.

After a few failed attempts and waiting for the frog to emerge from his hiding place for hours...literally...I stealthily stuck my hand into the muddy water, which was inside the metal pipe, underneath our neighbor's driveway, and snatched that frog before he could hop away again!!! Thomas was so excited!!! I was his hero for the day!!!! Or at least for the moment! :)

Thomas and I have had so many grand adventures these past few years! It's a little sad to see him grow up, but I'm excited for him to learn and do new things! :)

So here are some pictures of the April birthday bunch. I can't figure out how to drag them where I want them on my laptop. I usually do that on the desktop computer, but it is in a COMA right now...

Thomas loves to help everyone open their presents! Here he is helping Bethany! :)

Here is Bethany after church! Her friends gave her a surprise birthday party during Sunday School! We surprised her on Saturday with a new trampoline! :)

Thomas loves to help blow out birthday candles too! It's good practice for him! :) Big Edd is turning 40 and litte Edd is turning 04!

Here is Thomas and his calendar we made to count down to his birthday!

This Bethany with her violin teacher, Lauren. Lauren's birthday is April 3rd! Bethany and Lauren have quite a bit in common! :) Lauren even likes Bethany's random socks! :)

Happy Birthday Edd! He has had fun letting the kids know that he's old and wise!!! :) Since we have 3 birthdays 3 days apart from each other, we try to pick fun birthday desserts! Edd requestd homemade strawberry shortcake! Bethany requested poppyseed cake! Thomas requested a huge waterfall, jungle cake with a hippo!

The April Birthday Bunch!!! Here is Edd on his actual birthday which was Thursday. He had to pick Bethany up from her GNOYO orchestra practice. They didn't get home till after 8pm. We celebrated his birthday on Friday. Edd made us some yummy crawfish etoufee! :)

Here is Bethany with her birthday cake! Thomas helped me put the candles on and this is how they ended up! :) She looks pretty good for being 51 doesn't she! :)

Sunday, April 11, 2010



We had an early SPRING BREAK this year!!! Edd's sister, Patti and her family came down from Arlington, TX to visit us at the end of their Spring Break! It was so fun to see them again!!! :)

We took them to Honey Island for a swamp tour! The alligators were just starting to come out of hibernation so we were able to see a few of them out sunning themselves. There were also snakes and other swamp life to see...even bees coming from a beehive in one of the trees! Thus the name Honey Island Swamp!

The cousins had such a fun time being with each other again! :)

Thomas, Mattie, Aimee & Allison

Tanner, Andrew, Connor, Quinn & Bethany

Here is a young alligator sunning himself! This one is about 3-4 feet long. The wooden path leads up to one of the houses along the river!!! We saw a few other gators on our tour. The biggest one was only about 4 feet. The BIG alligators wait longer until it is warmer outside so they can warm themselves better!
It's officially "CRAWFISH SEASON!" Therefore, when one comes to Louisiana, one must experience crawfish!!!
Edd picked up about 40lbs of live crawfish! The boys thought it was pretty cool to look at them all swimming in the tub!!! The challenge was, who would touch a live crawfish??? Here's a picture of Connor holding one!

Edd and Scott cooked up the crawfish for us. Of course they had quite the audience. Once the crawfish were boiling, the boys lost interest and moved on...until the food was ready!
Most the kids at least tried the crawfish, a few even really liked it!!!

Edd and Scott ended up peeling crawfish for about an hour after we finished eating because we had so many crawfish!!!

This was Edd's first CRAWFISH BOIL! He was excited!!! It turned out pretty good! Of course there will be a little tweaking the next time to get things just right!

CRAWFISH QUESTION: Do you eat a crawfish with a curled tail or a straight tail?

While Edd and Scott were peeling, I was given the assignment to find instructions on how to preserve our leftovers. While I was hunting, I found a page...ways to tell if you are CAJUN...well I couldn't find the exact one tonight, but the one I did find tonight had this on there:
You know you are in Cajun Country when any carbonated softdrink (soda or pop), is called a COKE, regardless of brand or flavor.
I had always heard about this, but actually saw it in print the other day!!

I was cleaning up some random school papers and came across an announcement paper for Andrew's class Easter party. There was a list of desired items that you could choose to donate for the party. One of the items listed was "canned Cokes!"
Growing up, I don't remember calling the stuff in the can pop or soda. We always called things by their names...Sprite, Coke, etc. After living in the South for nearly 15 years now, I prefer "pop!"

Anyway, we had a great weekend playing with Patti, Scott, Quinn, Connor, Tanner, and Allison! Even Thomas had a good time with all the kids!!! We took them to our favorite park...the scenic way and they even got to see a sunset over Lake Pontchartrain!
Sunday morning, we all sat on one pew at church...what a sight...all those cute kids...nine in all!!! I reminded Edd that's what his family looked like, sort of, when he was a kid since there were 9 in his family...they were a little spaced out more.

Patti and her family left from church to drive back home. So when we got to our house, it was soooo quiet. The kids missed the Greenwoods so much! It was sad...

Luckily, we did have something to look forward to!!! On my phone was a message from our friends, the Jensens!!! The were on their way back from their Spring Break in Florida and wanted to stop by on their way home on Monday!
So Monday afternoon we hung out with the Jensens for a couple of hours!!! It was so fun to meet thier baby, Landon, he's such a cute boy! Andrew and Ashton were practically inseperable!!! Savannah was glad to see Aimee and Mattie too! It was hard for Andrew and Ashton to say good-bye. They met when they were 3, I think, and were best friends from day 1!!! We promised we'd get the boys together soon!!! Not soon enough in Andrew's book though...he was ready to just leave right then with Ashton!!!


Finally, it was time for our Spring Break! We talked about all the different places we could go; Florida, Texas, Georgia, Alabama, Utah???

How about LOUISIANA???

The first half of the week, we did fun stuff around the area...went to Thomas' gymnastics class, grocery shopping at Wal-Mart, played at the park, played outside...lots of good stuff! :)
Thursday and Friday were a little more fun! Edd took some time off work and we went to Fontainbleau State Park Thursday morning. We went on a nature walk, which was fun! The trees were beautiful with their new green leaves and all the Spanish Moss!

When we got to the wetlands, there were cool birds to see! Aimee and Thomas went snake hunting and found one!!! It was in the water and they didn't touch it, just looked at it in the grasses for a few minutes. Turns out the snake was a Cottonmouth! (poisonous) :)

After our nature walk, it was time for our picnic lunch, then off to the beach! :)

Oh, what a perfect day to sit on the beach and feel the breeze! Or play in the water and sand!! :)

The kids played and played and played!!! It was such a beautiful afternoon!!! Edd even caught a nap!!!
The kids collected clams, made mermaids, and had fun splashing around
After a few hours at the beach we went home! Edd cooked us some yummy hamburgers! What a great day! :)
Good Friday, we drove into New Orleans. We were driving along Canal Street when traffic stopped. After sitting a "parking lot" for a few minutes, not moving an inch, Edd
poked his head out to see the problem.
This was the problem...a PARADE!!! Imagine that! It was different to watch a Good Friday Parade!
Once the parade passed, traffic started flowing again. We were getting excited...almost to the Insectarium!!!
But alas, once again traffic stopped! Can you believe it, there was another parade!!! Luckily, it was a short parade group and the police let us pass it!
FINALLY, we made it to the Insectarium! :) Once inside, there were so many things to look at!!! All sorts of bugs!!! Live ones, dried ones, plastic ones, painted ones...they were everywhere! It was so neat!!! :)
Thomas brought his magnifying glass so he could see things, BIG!!
The last room was the live butterfly room! There were all different kinds of butterflies! Edd had fun trying to get a few shots of the butterflies! He got a few really good ones! One of the butterflies landed on Andrew! :)
After the Insectarium, we went back to our side of the lake and played at the Bogue Falaya Park for a little while, then we went out to dinner at Outback! :)
It was a fun week!
We had a good Easter Weekend listening to Conference and spending time with each other! :)