Saturday, November 22, 2008


I am thankful for beautiful weather. I guess I have to be grateful for "not so beautiful weather", too, because that makes me realize how much I appreciate the beautiful. Today was my all time favorite kind of day. Sunny, blue skies, but still cold with the wind blowing. Now some people might not think this could be, because my second favorite kind of day is totally overcast, rainy days. I know that these two things conflict. But, I love them both. The only difference is what I like to do on those days. On sunny, cold days I like to be out and active. These days inspire me to MOVE. Rainy days, on the other hand, are the best for sitting and listening to the rain on the roof. They are perfect for reading and sleeping. They don't make my eyes hurt to look outside. AND, I think they are beautiful, their own way. I am totally happy with either, but I think my family works better with beautiful days. We went out to the river this afternoon and cleaned and fooled around. It was a wonderful day. Makes me happy to live in Southwest Louisiana!

NOT Thankful

Ok, so I am NOT thankful that I spent money to see Twilight last night. Not thankful that I let my daughter stay out really late to see such a lame movie. Did not like Bella---at all, just BAD. Edward was really awkward. Just badly done. Haven't felt this way about a movie, EVER!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008


I am thankful for notes that people leave me. I found this one from Emma left on top of a cute skirt that I found her at Children's Place for $4. Yes, that says, "I DO NOT LIKE THIS!" I guess she really doesn't like it! So cute.

But, seriously, I really do like people to leave me notes. They mean a lot to me. I have one in my bathroom that Zack left me eight years ago when he left to go to Scotland for business. It says, "Hang in there till I get back, Love Zack" It is still inside the cabinet door where he left it. Above that is a letter I got from my Secret Santa this past Christmas. Mary Catherine leaves me little notes all the time. Reminding me of something or asking me to wash something. It will say....."Mother....Important...please do not forget!!!! Wash my blue shirt" I love these notes and really do not like to throw them away.

I AM keeping that skirt, though. It is adorable. If she won't wear it, we will work on Lily!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I am so thankful for THIS... Ok, so we needed toilet paper and I remembered seeing that CVS had some on sale and I had $5.00 extra bucks from my last visit there. So, I thought I would see what deals I could do.

First transaction........So, I walk in, pick up the sale paper, and see that if you spend $20.00 on Duracell batteries you get $15.00 back in extra bucks and the batteries are already on sale, so that goes farther. So, I had the $5 and $1 of coupons to go toward this purchase. So, out-of-pocket cost is $17.46 for 32 AA batteries pluc $15.00 in extra care bucks for the next purchase! That is a really good price already.

Second transaction........So, then I see that they also have a new L'Oreal product -tinted moisturizer- for $15.98 and get $15.98 back in extra bucks. So, yeah, it was free and paid the $15.98 with extra care buck (ECB) from previous transaction. Tried it is great. Love it! Just the kind of thing I like to use for makeup. Yeah!!

Third transaction........So, still no TP, right? So, they do have TP on sale for $9.99 for 32 rolls, so I grab that but I need $6 more to use the $15.98 (ECB). So, another sale paper shows Crest toothpaste $3.49 and $3.49 back in ECBs. $2.50 more to spend. I found Taylor a long sleeve t-shirt to wear under uniform for school. Cute and cost $2.50! At the register, I paid nothing!!!

So, for just a little more than I would have spent on the TP I have 32 Duracell batteries ready for Christmas or whatever, TP, great new makeup, tube of Crest toothpaste and a t-shirt! AND I have $3.49 ECB for next trip. Gotta love that.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


I am thankful that I finally have entered the land of cute blogs!!!!! Of course, most of the options were already taken by the people whose blogs I read.....but, still! Thanks to Lisa for helping me get updated. I love it!

I can't keep up!!

Ok, I admit it, I am slow. It is too hard to keep this up everyday. BUT, today I am thankful for my daughters. Daughter #1 had a soccer game last night in DeRidder -1 hour north- and she so wanted me to come. I texted her and said it might be hard for me to come because some other daughters were sad. And, I am happy to report, at the ripe old age of almost 15, she was sad. She REALLY wanted her mama to be there. I am so thankful for that. She is sweet, good, and a beast on the volleyball court and the soccer field.

Meanwhile, at home, Daughter #2 led #3 and #4 in preparing supper and a WONDERFUL Family Home Evening for the whole family. They had the table set, refreshments made and had even practiced their presentation on-what else-being grateful. They read poems, told scripture stories, bore their testimonies, led is in "We thank thee, oh God, For a Prophet" ,etc. It was so touching. I am so impressed that they helped me to feel the Spirit in their simple testimonies of what they are grateful for and why. I told them that FHE is for helping families feel the Spirit in our home. I am grateful they reminded me of that.

I love my daughters, every one!!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Thankful, November 14

I am so thankful that I have had the opportunity to earn some extra money working at Maplewood just a couple of hours a day. It will help so much with college expenses. I am thankful that it de-stresses Zack a little. I am thankful that I have a degree in education and that I can use it just a little bit. I am thankful that my kids have a little more interest in learning than most of the kids I work with!

Thankful, November 13

I am thankful for sales! I bought 44 cans of evaporated milk for my food storage for just $.50 a can. That is less than half the regular price. That makes me very happy. I should be worried, because it also means enough milk for pies or custard for a more than a year. Yikes!

Thankful, November 12

For those that know me, you will know that I love my accent. I love all accents, really---well, maybe there are a few I don't love, but most. When I went out to BYU I was talking to some other parents and something was said about my accent and the man sai "Oh, it's not too BAD!" What? Bad? I'm sure he meant "THICK, or HEAVY, or DEEP" In this day of "Anywhere, USA" I think it is accents that distinquish us from each other. Our cities are looking more alike, our homes are more similar, etc. So, I am thankful that when I took this little quiz I came up firmly a "GRITS"--Girl Raised In The South. I didn't see a Cajun accent on the questionaire? How would that work out? But, mine is not a cajun is pure South! Love it!

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The South

That's a Southern accent you've got there. You may love it, you may hate it, you may swear you don't have it, but whatever the case, we can hear it.

The Midland
The Inland North
The Northeast
The West
North Central
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Thankful, November 11

I am thankful for blogs. I know that seems a little silly, but I have friends that have moved away, plus some that I have met again through 'facebook' (from high school) who I can totally keep up with through blogs. I feel like I know so much about them. I love having a little window into my friends lives....those who live close and those that live far away. I just wish that my own FAMILY would read it. (my mother and sister and in-laws) Oh, well. I guess they think they know it all....but there is more!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thankful, November 10

I am thankful that I can get out of the car at a store and just walk in. Seriously, I know this seems silly, but it is so nice to get in and out of the car from my own door and not have to go to the other door and unbukle or bukle anyone. I remeber Gwen talking about how nice this was when Evan got a little older. I am here to tell is. Today, on our trip to see my really cute neice in Shreveport we stopped several times along the way and I was able to get out and go in. Then we came back to the car and I went to my own door and everyone else opened there own door. Wow, it has been 18 years of helping others in and out of the car. I have loved it, but boy am I glad to not have to do that. Although....losing that means losing some other good lots of hugs and kisses.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Thankful, November 9

I am so thankful that Zack and I saw the benefit of me being a SAHM many years ago when I was finishing college. Our plan had been for me to work for a year to pay off my student loans, but by the time I finished I was expecting Mary Catherine, thankfully, and so we decided that I would stay at home. Now the article I have posted here I do love. I agree with it, but a disclaimer.....I am not the home economist I would like to have been. I am good, but have many areas I could improve in. I am, however, VERY proud to have done the work I believe the Lord has called me to do. I am very satisfied that this is the most important job I could have and I am constantly having to change my job description as our family changes. I am also thankful that even though I am not the best CEO of our family....Zack has appreciated and seen the value of my efforts through the years and I am grateful to his efforts for our family through the years as well. In my mind the world works so much better when we sacrifice to have mom at home--and believe me, at times it has been a very real sacrifice. Gladly made!

Hope you enjoy this article I found on a blog.

Common Sense Home Ec

Like most people, I had to take Home Economics in middle school. The class was mostly worthless. We learned how to cook things I could already cook, and we learned how to sew a pillow, a skill I have not since been called upon to use. (Sewing a button back on a shirt would have been infinitely more useful. And I can do that, too.)

But that's middle school. They teach the "Home" part of Home Ec without messing too much with the "Ec". The Ec is required in Kansas only for a semester during senior year. That's just enough time to learn to balance a checkbook, play a stock market game, and figure out that a home mortgage--even without an adjustable rate--is the equivalent of bending over, grabbing your ankles, and taking it in the wallet.

There has lately been an online boom of stay at home moms (SAHM's) who are connecting via the internet and blogging. They are looking up deals at supermarkets, finding coupons, and compounding coupons on top of coupons on top of money back rebates. My wife is one of these and today got over a hundred dollars worth of groceries for fifteen bucks. Be sure to check outher blog here.

To solve the problem of too many bills coming in, most families do only one thing: mom goes to work. It's actually considered a matter of equality, proving that a woman can do just as much as a man. Well I could have told you that without all the protests and women's books. But how much do two incomes actually help families?
The kids get raised by someone else; There is always a battle for who gets which car on which days; School plays and field trips get missed; The home is more of an apartment than a domicile; The home garden is replaced by a lawn that is seen as more of a status symbol than a piece of nature; Meals are prepared in a hurry or eaten out, negating the ideas of home cooking and family time. (And anybody who's been to Applebee's with two kids under age 3 can attest that it is more stressful than quality time.)

Okay, so most of these are more emotional reasons for staying home, but that's where this SAHM movement comes into play. Being a SAHM isn't about just being around for the kids. This is where the real world picks up to provide that missing link lost between sixth grade Home, and twelfth grade Ec. And too many people miss it.
These women could actually be called Home Economists, if that title would not require a degree of some kind. They actually make it possible for a family of 4 on a teacher's salary to pay off all debt, including the house, early. They do all the tasks of a 1950's mom, as well as all the tasks of a 1980's CFO, minus the need for greed (A visual: give Gordon Gecko a spatula). They re-define home cooking by trying some very tasty and healthy new recipes that have nothing to do with a casserole dish. I can eat well for a month without having anything come out of the microwave. And it's done on a dime. The kids are happy, I'm happy, and I notice my wife has done a job.
It seems that an easier way of making this link--aside from figuring it out one family at a time--would be to start the Ec part earlier in school. I came to this realization not only in conjuncture with the Homemaking activities, but if I had had any real concept of money and understood the value of what professional athletes make, I would have practiced so much harder.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Thankful, November 8.......My One Spot on Earth

I am really thankful for my home. It has little resemblance to the home that we bought in October, 1994, but it is better and still has that "grandma's house" feel to the outside that I love so much. We poured a concrete driveway and redid all the flower beds. We have changed the nasty garage to a great office that is quickly becoming a food storage room!! We have moved the laudry around 3 times, from outside, to a closet in the hall, to a whole room just for that. We added on to a downstairs bedroom with a new bathroom and closet to make a master bedroom. We completely redid the upstairs bath. We divided the upstairs into two bedrooms instead of one. And of course, we remodeled our kitchen twice and added on a new room connected to the kitchen. Wow, that seems a little ridiculous...but, we made it work for us and still only owe a very little on it. That makes me feel good with the current housing market.

When I am out of town...espcially far away, I love the feeling of being in places around the country (and now England!) and narrowing my travels down to my one spot on this earth that belongs to me and my family. It is this spot that most of my memories of my family come from. We have lived here for 14 years and I still love to pull into the driveway....especially since we got rid of the gravel!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Thankful, November 7

I am thankful for boys who aren't afraid to be silly and let it all go.

Thanks, November 6

I am very thankful that gas is $2.01 today!! Wahoooo! I can fill up for $80.00. THAT is wonderful.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

November Thanks

Today, I am thankful that I have the gospel. That brings me hope and peace.
Check it out at

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

November is to remember Gratutude

Ok, my friend Lisa is doing this and I thought it was a great idea. Something I am thankful for everyday of November. Today is the fourth so I begin with 4 things.

1 - I am thankful I was able to get out in the beautiful weather and wash my car.
2 - I am thankful that we have a free country and in 4 years we might be able to vote for Romney again!
3 - I am thankful that my daughters are such great friends.
4 - I am thankful that Mary Catherine is not afraid to put herself out there and try things.

Stay tuned every day! It feels good to be grateful!

Election Day

As exciting as it is today to finally have the opportunity to vote, I can't help but dread the arrival of this day. I don't know that we as Americans focus on the right things when we choose a candidate. I heard today on the news that we should remember "not what our country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." I so agree with that statement, and I think in theory most Americans do too. But, when we think of who to vote for all I hear is "what are they going to do for me." That makes me crazy. The most important thing the president should do for me is keep me safe, set a good example, and watch over the general welfare of our country. Most of the rest is our responsibility. Some one asked me what John McCain would do for me with health care. I don't believe anything. Health care is a responsibility, not a right. Barrack Obama speaks often of his mother and grandparents who sacrificed so much to have him be able to go to a great college. That is very admirable. He says he wants others to have the opportunity that he did. They do have the opportunity to sacrifice!!! What he in essence wants to do though is take away the opportunity for others to grow from the experience of sacrificing like he and his grandparents did. That is what builds character. We as a people do not appreciate things when they are just given to us. This is evidenced to me by the TOPS program we have in Louisiana. This is a program where college tuition is paid for students who meet certain standards in high school. Well, lots of people get this program as freshmen and then live it up in college and promptly lose it. They are not having to sacrifice and therefore do not appreciate the opportunity that this gives them. Same with rich kids. Do not appreciate what they have. We should all build in ourselves the determination to achieve. That is what has made America great. We should ALL be conservative with tax money. Just because you CAN get something from the government, doesn't mean that we should. WE are the best answers to our problems.....not government. I hope that we have a great future in this country. I hope that we can remember the great character traits that made this country great. I hope that we can give (not in taxes, necessarily, but privately) to our country and do less taking. THAT is what will make us stronger. PLEASE REMEMBER TO VOTE!!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Halloween Costumes

Emma wanted to be a "Stay-at-home Mom" for Halloween. I wish I could say that she has seen me in the trenches as I enjoyed the blessings of being a mother. But, she is one of my youngest and hasn't seen me looking like she did on Halloween. But, she has been around many mothers in our lives that have been such a wonderful example of motherhood to our family, that to her this is the most wonderful thing she could do with her life. I am so grateful that she has Wendy, Kristie, and others to watch and learn from. Families touch our lives for a time and make an impact. We have had many such families over the years. I know that when we meet again we will be able to pick up where we left off in our friendship. I am also amazed at the degree to which people are willing to share their time and families with us. What a blessing.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Sarah Beth---My Mini Me

Sarah Beth got into my closet in Jena and tried on several of my old dresses from high school events. We loved watching her. I didn't realize I was that little then. Some of the are definitely ridiculous and the kids had a great time laughing at me. We were talking about how I didn't have a dress then that GranJan did not sew. I don't know how she did it. She would work all day, run us around in the afternoon, tutor till all hours, help us and our friends with school work, and still have time to sew really special dresses and everyday dresses. I learned to sew from her and I am very grateful that she took the time to show me how. I now realize how difficult that was....when I am sewing, I just want to be left alone. She had the patience to teach us and to show us by example that we could do it if we needed to. I am humbled at the sacrifices she made in her personal comforts and her time for us to participate in activities and have what we wanted. I didn't mean for this post to be about GranJan, but about Sarah Beth. It is very fitting that she tried them on, because she is just like me. I could just see myself in those dresses as she pranced around in them.

This one was actually my sister's dress. She wore it to her senior prom when I was a freshman and then I wore it in a pageant that same year.

This one was for a Valentine's Banquet. Perfect shade of pink...don't you think!?!Ugh!

This was my Senior Prom dress. We didn't really do very formal that year. Too bad, really.

This one was for another school pageant. The mermaid dress.....

Sarah Beth is a cutie-patootie!

Who Dat?

Sean Laughlin invited Taylor and Travis Trahan to go to a Saint's game with him and his mom, Vicki. Let's just say they did NOT have to beg. They left school a little early on a Thursday in August and drove to New Orleans...where Zack just happened to be working and who happened to be able to get a ticket for himself and met them there.

I don't even remember if the Saint's won, but I do remember that Taylor was very happy to see his Saint's play in the Superdome...even if it was a preseason game.

Yep, that is Drew Brees.

Happy GUYS!!


In late August we sent Alex out to BYU on a plane all by himself. I cried the whole day. It was tough. It was hard for him, but he managed. I am so proud of him for taking care of business and getting everything done. But, I have been soooo curious. I couldn't stand to not have my questions answered. I needed to know what his apartment looked like. I needed to meet his roommates. I needed to see BYU since I had never really even been there. Does that sound like a crazy mom???to send your child to a place you have never even seen to live? I have faith in the church to take care of him.......but, there again, I have been so curious.

We have been talking about me going on Parent's Weekend at the end of October, but I had begun to think that it was just too expensive. The Sunday before the Parent's Weekend Zack was on the computer and he said, "Well, I bought your ticket!" What!!!! Yeah!!! So, on Friday morning I flew to Salt Lake City, via Houston to Dallas. And, finally, after two months, got to see my baby! I made crawfish soup and gumbo for everyone in his dorm, some s, and a roommates family....yeah, they like me! Prepare for some cute pictures....if you like cute boys in ties!

They coordinate ties on Sunday for church. This was light blue day....last They are all great guys and made be feel very welcome. It was a great mama weekend.
So, we celebrated Lily's sixth birthday while we were at GranJan's house for my 20th high school reunion. We decorated pumpkins, played some games, and had a great time. In honor of Lily's Birthday, I thought I would list 6 things I love about Lily at six.

1 - Lily loves to give great kisses.

2 - Lily loves school and is pretty much in charge of the kindergarten at Maplewood. Gwen has seen her at the school several bringing people to office or to get ice from Mrs. Ronda. She knows everyone and everyone seems to know her. A sub told be one day that Mrs. Young has said before she left for the the day that if the sub had any questions she could just ask Lily. When we walk into school she is waving hi and shouting hellos to big kids (Mary Catherine's and Sarah Beth's friends), and little kids. She will run into a crowd of big kids to give the ones she knows a hug! Miss IT!!

3 - Lily is not really shy to get up in front of a crowd. She recently gave a part in the Ward Primary Program. While on the stage to sing she was waving to friends she could see in the crowd. That was funny, but when she got up to give her speaking part she pulled a Sarah Palin and waved at someone off to the side of her.

4 - Lily still has a cute little way of saying some of her words. It is fun to watch her mouth when she talks. It kind of pulls to the side. Such a cute little mouth.

5 - Lily loves babies. I was always worried that our last children would not grow up around babies or smaller children and so they would not develop that understanding of them......My fears were unfounded. She is very loving and understanding and softspoken with smaller children. She thinks that she would love for us to have SEVERAL more for her to take care of.

6 - I just love her. When we found out we were having Taylor we thought it would be impossible to love another child as much as we loved Alex. Not only could we love another, but we could love 5 more. Lily is a wonderful blessing to our family. It is fantastic to see her big brothers who are more than twice her size fold at her request. Lily loves to talk on the phone to Alex at BYU. She hands out hugs to soothe feelings or just show love. I am happy she is in our family. We are very blessed.