Sunday, July 21, 2013

Louisiana Lagniappe

The time we spent in Louisiana was quite a treat for our family!  We quickly learned about
"lagniappe" (lan yap) which is a little gift given, like when you get 13 doughnuts when you bought just a dozen or "something given or obtained gratuitously or by way of good measure."

Edd's work assignment at the Chalmette Refinery was a 3-5 year assignment.  I think of our last year in Louisiana as our Lagniappe year!  Although there were some tuff times, like Hurricane Isaac, we were blessed to enjoy Louisiana life for nearly 4 years!  

As our time in Louisiana came to an end, it seemed like time just sped up for us like when you are nearing the end of a spool of something and it starts spinning faster and faster and faster until it is done...that's how life least for me.  

We spent the month of March house hunting and getting our house ready to sell.  There were some big projects that needed to get done like replace the crooked big gate, replace the rotting side door, replace the foggy windows, and paint, and of course clean the inside of the house too!    

Amazingly we got everything done!  Check it out...

The kids were amazed that that was our house in the pictures!!  :)

As March ended, so did our "normal" life...

EASTER ~ March 31st   
After our Easter morning we all went to church together.  Once we were home from church, Edd packed up his car and we said good bye to him.  Edd had to make the 5 hour drive to Houston for his new job which started on April 1st.  We were all sad to see him go.  After Edd left, I got some pictures of the kids and we colored eggs...

April was super busy!!!  Our house was officially on the market!  We had quite a few showings and had to leave, which the kids didn't like at all.  We couldn't go very far because we had to take Missy with us.  So we usually went to the neighborhood park.  Funny how when you are forced to do something, it isn't fun at all...well that's how our time was at the park.  Pure torture!!  But we survived our first week!  We spent the first weekend of April in Houston in our new house!!  :)

While we were in Houston visiting Edd and checking out the new house, we got an offer on our Louisiana house!!!  WOW!!!  :)  We were all super excited it went so quickly, but the people buying our house wanted to close at the beginning of May.  We settled on May 17th.  

Edd drove to Louisiana the next weekend and we had a triple birthday party!!!  :) :) :)  Thomas got to open his presents first, even though his birthday was last.  He was super excited!!!

 Check out the cool card from Grandma and Grandpa Cutler and the rest of the gang!!  Thomas thought it was pretty cool!  Bethany was next...she was on her Senior Trip in Disney World for her actual birthday!  She was pretty excited for that, but plenty excited for some birthday presents too!

Bethany's birthday this year is her GOLDEN BIRTHDAY!!!  :)  So she got a few golden presents!  :) Edd got some interesting presents too...he especially liked the wrapping job on this one!!

It turns out that the present was a back massager and some goodies from Mattie!!  :)  After presents, it was time for the cake!  We had candles for everyone.  The total count was enough for Edd, but I split them up...7 for Thomas and 18 for Bethany.  They each got to blow out their own side!

The rest of April was spent preparing for the BIG MOVE!  And more birthday celebrating!  Thomas wanted a TITANIC cake.  So after church, on his real birthday, we made him this cake!  I think he liked it!  :)
I also made these cool worm cupcakes for Thomas to take to school.  They didn't make it on his birthday, but soon after!  Thomas told me that they were pretty good!  :)

While we were busy getting ready for the move, there was a little time to enjoy things...Thomas loved playing with his stuff...this is a picture of "MEGALATOPIA!" 

 This is a picture of the suns rays shining through the trees...on of my favorite views each morning.  :)
MAY ~ was a blurrrr...
Thomas REALLY wanted a TITANIC birthday party!  So we pulled it off!!  We invited Thomas' whole school class, some of his friends from church and his neighbor friends.  I think we had about 18 kids total.  We based the games around the story of the TITANIC.
 Here are the icebergs we made out of whip cream!  I think the kids had a great time!  I even heard from one of my friends, that her daughter was talking about the TITANIC to her dad...he asked where she'd learned all that stuff and she told him she learned it at Thomas' party!  :)

Luckily, I had some special helpers...Grandma and Grandpa Cutler were in town for Bethany's graduation!  :)  We went to Fontainebleau State Park to enjoy the sunset one night.  As you can see it was unseasonably cool...which was quite a blessing!  :)

Thomas making his sand angel!  :)
Beautiful!  :)
This is a picture of Bethany after she got home from her last day of Seminary!  :)  She was glad to be done!

Bethany is holding a picture of little Bethany's first day of Joy School back in the fall of 1998...

Finally, Bethany made it to the BIG DAY she has been waiting for and dreaming of for so many years!!


Bethany will be heading to LSU in the fall!

I think someone is super excited to be graduating!!  Bethany's graduation ceremony was really nice!  And super quick too!!  The read through all name in 18 minutes...there were close to 400 names...I think it was 383 names.  We are so proud of Bethany for doing such a great job in school all these years!!  :)

The packers started on May 10th.  They were so quick they packed my keys and Edd's keys too that were put away in the kitchen.  They also packed up my camera bag, that had my battery this is my only picture from the move with my died after that!
The packers packed all through the weekend.  They had the truck all ready to go by Monday.  It was really weird to see it pull away and walk back into an empty house.  The Edd's went together to meet the moving truck at the new house.  The rest of us camped out in the empty house until Andrew and Aimee were done taking their finals early, except Bethany.  After one night of sleeping on the floor, she packed up her stuff and went to her friend Haley's where she'd plan on staying until she finished work at the end of May.  Our last day in Madisonville was May 15th.

It was sad to leave is such a neat town!!  But we were excited to move back to Kingwood and see our friends that we've missed for 4 years.  We've been back for 2 months now.  It is kindof weird, almost like we've been Sleeping Beauty...and just woke up 4 years later.  Our life in Louisiana was such a neat experience!!  I'm so glad we got to live there for so long!

After church today, we ran into one of our friends from our ward in Louisiana!!!  She and her little family were her visiting...her husband grew up in Kingwood...I knew his mom way back when...

It has been rainy all week this week in Houston...a little different!!  :)  When I walked out of the church this afternoon and was hit by the post rain almost felt like Louisiana!!  :)  We sure has some good times there!!  :)  Our life in Louisiana was a little bit of LAGNIAPPE!!!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Trips to Texas

This spring we've had quite a few trips to Texas!

The first weekend of February we went to Houston to see Cousin George (Dan & Melissa's oldest) get baptized!  The kids had so much fun playing together!!
Henry and Thomas running together at the park.
It was so fun to see all of Dan's boys again!  They have 5 now!
Here are the youngest 3...
Jack :)
Henry :)
Sam :) 
Sometimes I could get away with holding Jack because I have curly hair like his momma!  Henry and I played for a little while, then it was my turn to play with Sam!  :)

 We played at the park for a little while, then headed over to George and Ben's school for some Ultimate Frisbee and more play equipment!  :)
Who can get to the frisbee first?  Ben (Dan's 2nd oldest) gave our kids a run for their money!!  :)
Edd's brother Eldon and his family also came to play!  :)  Here is Eldon's youngest, Ellie, pushing Jack in his stroller!
Ellie and Jack :)
Of course it wouldn't be a Prince get together without a little competition!!  :)
At the school, I think the boys were trying to touch the backboard... 
Can Dan do it? 
Did Eldon touch it?  
While we were at the park, Andrew and Eldon tried to jump the fence...

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We had a great time!

Here is a picture of George that I borrowed from his mom.  I ended up not getting a picture of George this weekend...I guess he was moving way to fast for the camera!!  :)
George, Henry, Dan, Ben, Sam, Melissa & Jack

This trip was to Austin.  Another weekend with family...but this was a sad weekend.  Edd's grandma, Pauline Neergaard Goodwin,
passed away after 99 wonderful years!

Grandma Goodwin was such a sweet grandma!!  :)
She was a wonderful example to us all in many ways.
Even though Grandma Goodwin wasn't very tall, she was a spiritual GIANT!
Grandma Goodwin work hard even till the very end to learn as much as she could about the gospel.  :)

I loved all the sweet notes she would send in the mail for birthdays and such and the fun Christmas presents she always prepared for us!  :)

After the funeral, we had a different Grandma celebration...we celebrated Grandma Leah!  Leah had spent many years making sure that Grandma Goodwin was well taken care of and sometimes wouldn't be able to do all the grandma things she wanted to do.  So we gave her a little surprise party with some fun things that she could use for herself and with her grandkids!

Even Grandpa got some trains from Thomas!  :)

One of Grandpa's brothers, Uncle Warren and his wife Emmie came for a visit...
!  :)

Here are some of Grandma's new toys being enjoyed...
Charlotte loved playing with the Barbies!!  
Jackie found something fun too!!  :)
It was fun seeing John and Melissa again and getting to know their little Elizabeth better!  :)

Of course we had to have some family competition...

It is great to spend time with family!!  :)

TRIPS #3, #4, #5, #6...
As of February 8th, it was official that we were moving back to TEXAS!
We made a bunch of trips back and forth between Houston and Madisonville...
the last trip to TEXAS was driven May 30th!  :)