Sunday, November 25, 2012

Our trip to Tennessee :)

It's time to start getting caught up on what we've done this year!  This summer was over practically before it even started!!

We were able to sneak away for a few days on a family vacation!  We decided to do something we've never done and do a vacation with just our family...since this would probably be our last summer all together!

Edd and I realized that all our vacations in the past have been visiting family, which of course has always been a blast!!  :)  We felt like it was time to do something with just our kids before they start leaving us.

So we packed up and drove to the SMOKY MOUNTAINS!!  :)  What a beautiful place...turn after turn, we were totally amazed by the beauty!! 

The night before we left, we were out running errands.  When we arrived back home, we found these on our back porch!!  My sweet visiting teachers had put these together for us!!   

When we got to Tennessee, we drove through the areas where some of Edd's ancestors had lived!!  Both of his mother's parents grew up in Tennessee!  It was really neat to see some of the areas they used to call home!

Once we were checked into our cabin, we settled in for the night and admired the had just been raining and we could see little puffs of "smoke" all around!  

Our first adventure in the Smoky Mountains was to hike the trail to Laurel Falls!  It was so beautiful!!  :)

I took this on the trail on our way back down!  Everything was so green and around every turn was another beautiful view!!  :)

After our hike, we drove through Cade's Cove where there were quite a few neat old churches and houses to see!  But the most exciting thing to see was this...

A BABY BEAR!!!  He had been left behind by his mother.  An off duty ranger told us that the mother has 2 other cubs and had probably left this cub in his "playpen" while the mom helped the other cubs!  The ranger said the bears were checking the cherries to see if they were ripe yet!

This is one of the cabins we drove past.  Most of them were built around 1910, which was around the time Grandma Goodwin, Edd's grandma was born!  It was amazing to see how people used to live when Grandma Goodwin was just a little girl!!  

Sunrise on our second day!  :)  Our teenagers didn't want to get up with the sun!!

Back to the park we went for another day of adventures!!  

We drove up to the trailhead for the Clingman's Dome.  We went on a ranger lead hike, which took us along the Appalachian Trail!  It was really beautiful scenery and at times we were walking through the clouds!!  At one point of the trail we were on the top of the ridge where one side was Tennessee and the other side was North Carolina!!  Part of the time we were hiking on the N. Carolina side.  The kids thought that was pretty cool!!  :)

On the Dome!  

After our hike, we spent some time playing in on of the many rivers!  Edd had gone out on a big rock to take some pictures and accidentally lost his balance!!  Luckily only his one foot got wet!!  :)

We finished the day with a horseback ride!  Edd took the kids who wanted to go...and they ended up seeing another BEAR!!!  

Our last day started in Gatlinburg! We went to the ski resort, Ober Gatlinburg, and rode the alpine slide! Then we headed back into the Smoky Mountains for more adventures!!  :)  

This is where we stopped to have our picnic lunch!  :)

Another old house that we stopped to explore!  It was by a river that we went down an played in!  We ended up running into another family from Louisiana there and talked to them for a little while!  

On our way out of the park, we stopped and got a picture by the sign!  

We all had a great time!!  We were all sad to leave Tennessee!!

On our way home, we stopped at an old cemetary where some of Edd's ancestors were buried.  It was really neat to spend some time in Tennessee and learn to love the land where they had lived!!  :)
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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Changing Seasons

Life revolves around seasons...but in Louisiana the first hint of new leaves on the trees doesn't mean SPRING IS ON THE WAY...

Here is our yard flag and you need a BIG BOW for the mailbox!!!
You also need a MARDI GRAS garland around your front door!!!
and some PURPLE, GREEN AND GOLD in the flower pots too!!  :)
I'd have to say, the garland turned out pretty cute!  :)
Our first Mardi Gras parades were a hit!!  We ventured out to the Mandeville parades with some friends from church.  We had a great time...sorry no pictures of the was too dark.  You'll just have to come visit next year and see for yourself have cool it is!!!  :)
Thomas and his THROWS from the parade!!  
Aimee scored this super long necklace...look it is almost as long as Aimee!!  :)
Some of our beads sorted by color...
Some of our beads rainbow style!!  :)
Some of our beads were still all bunched together like these!!  :)
Mattie got some fun THROWtoo!!  :)
Bethany was at the end of the parade route with her friends.  Here are all the bead she got!!!  
It was also TOOTH FAIRY season at our house!!!  Mattie, Andrew & Aimee have been loosing teeth like crazy!!!  
Oh and we had VALENTINE'S DAY too!
Unfortunately, Valentine's Day sort of takes a back seat in Louisiana!!!  Most people are caught up with all the MARDI GRAS festivities!!  
The kids were excited for some VALENTINE'S DAY candy!

Mattie & Aimee had fun going through Thomas' VALENTINE'S DAY box with him!  
This is what the top of Thomas'VALENTINE'S DAY box looked like it!!  He designed it himself!!  :)
Here are some of our  MARDI GRAS inside!  :)
With a little VALENTINE'S DAY on the kitchen table!  :)
The best way to celebrate the MARDI GRAS season is with KING CAKE!!!  :)
The KING CAKE from Manny Randazzo (above) is one of the best in town!!!  The kind with cream cheese filling is our favorite!!!  YUM YUM YUM!!!  :)
This year we made our own!!!  They turned out super yummy too!!!  :)

Can't wait to do it all again next year!!!  :)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

MJH Successful Soccer Season...GO EAGLES!!!

WAY BACK IN NOVEMBER, Andrew's school, Madisonville Jr High, had their soccer try-outs!  Andrew had been talking about trying out all year long.  So when the time came, I held him to it!!

Andrew had spent one afternoon, just before try-outs, practicing with his friend, LOGAN, who is in our ward.  Logan was on the MJH soccer team last year!  After they were done practicing together, Logan assured Andrew that he would probably make the team!

So with that confidence booster fresh in Andrew's mind, he donned Edd's old soccer cleats and went for it!!

Once I saw the competition, I was a little skeptical about whether or not Andrew could make the team...there were some BIG GUYS out there on the field.  There were also some pretty SERIOUS soccer players too!!

Now, Andrew has some soccer background...he started playing when he was in 1st grade.  He played until we moved to Louisiana, when Andrew was is in 5th grade.  

As I sat and watched Andrew run the drills and scrimmage, I began noticing that he would slip here and there while he was running.  At first I didn't think anything of it, but as it kept happening, I started to get concerned!! 

When practice was over, I asked Andrew why he kept slipping.  Andrew promptly showed me his cleats...well what was left of them!!!  All of the spikes had disintegrated!!!!

I was in total SHOCK when I saw what was left of the cleats!!!!!!!  Andrew told me that with each step he took, more and more of the sole would just be gone!!  POOR KID!!!!  Man, I felt so bad!!!

I mentioned that these were Edd's old cleats that Andrew had worn...well let me tell you HOW OLD...Edd bought these cleats after he brother, John, got home from his mission.  John had just finished two years of being in SCOTLAND as a missionary.  When he got home, he tried to convert all the brothers to the joys of soccer...since John had become quite skilled and wanted to share his new love with all the brothers.  Thus, Edd was talked into buying some cleats, so Edd could be properly dressed for the friendly, brotherly games of soccer that they were bound to have!!!

Of course that was nearly 15 years ago and Edd's cleats spent most of their life "benched" on a dusty shelf in the garage!!!  Until Andrew rescued them for one last glory day!!  :)

So I did what any good mom would...I snapped this picture with my phone and sent it with a text about what had happened to Coach Breaux!  Meanwhile, Bethany took Andrew to ACADEMY so he could get some NEW cleats!!!

This is DAY 2 of soccer try-outs...Coach Breaux is with the clip board checking out Andrew's moves in his new cleats!!!  :)  Most of the kids trying out were 8th graders and there were only a few 7th graders trying out....including Andrew.

Well, as you guessed, Andrew made the team!!!  Andrew was one of the three 7th grader who made the team!!!  :)  They had a few practices and one scrimmage before Christmas.  Then once we got back after Christmas break, it was our soccer whirlwind!!  :)  Here is their game schedule:

Madisonville Junior Boy at Coquille 4:00
Jan   6 Coquille          Pitcher
       13 Coquille         Clearwood
       17 Creekside      Away
       27 Coquille     St Tammany - double header-St Tammany again directly after but called their home game   guessing 5:20 lights
        31 Clearwood    Away
       2-2  Coquille     Creekside
       2-3  Pitcher        Away

Andrew would usually sit on the bench the first part of the game.  About 10 minutes before half-time, Coach Breaux and her husband, would send Andrew and a couple other guys in.  Andrew generated some good plays and a lot of fun!!  

I don't know if it was an optical illusion, but seeing Andrew running around in his soccer uniform made him look so much taller!!!  Maybe he had a growth spurt!?!

One of Andrew's favorite things was to head the ball!!  Andrew is #9!  After one of their games, Andrew told me that they played the whole 2nd half where they could only kick with their LEFT foot so the other team could have a better chance.  

While all the good action was happening on the field, the other kids found ways to entertain themselves...

Here is some classic Louisiana soccer...Mr Breaux in his white shrimping boots!!  :)  It was threatening to rain during the whole game!!  It had rained most the day, but stopped long enough to get the game in.  The rain started again just as the game was almost finished.  


This was the LAST SOCCER GAME...and that is ANDREW kicking in his first goal!!!!  :)  
Andrew was pretty excited that he made the goal!!!  But he still had a pretty good game face as he ran back!!  :)
Here is the team after the game is over!!!  Of course it was another rainy day...both Coach Breaux and Mr Breaux have their shrimp boots on!!  :)
Here is the team shot...they had a great season!!  They only lost one game all season and were the DISTRICT CHAMPS!!!  :)
Andrew only paused for a moment so I could get his official picture for the season!!  :)
Here is their TROPHY!!  It is on display in the front is the center red one!  They had a big assembly a few weeks after the season ended where the team was presented the trophy by one of the district officials!  Of course we are all excited and proud of Andrew and his team for all of their hard work!!