Sunday, March 20, 2011

Strangers in a Strange Land (And I Kind of Like It!)

Jacob and I left Friday morning for New Orleans.  We took a slight detour to the Rangers Stadium in Arlington, TX to hit the cool store they have FILLED with anything and everything Rangers.  We got some little shirts for the boys and a few other cool things.  Then, hopped back in the car and headed to Shreveport -- where we got a motel room and spent the night. At one point we were driving down the interstate in the Dallas area behind a semi and things kept pelting us from the truck.  We noticed a swarm of something on the back of the truck and realized it was full of bees and hives.  Jacob laughed and said, "We're being pelted by bees!"  Needless to say it was an interesting drive.  Shreveport was a dirty and interesting city.  The hotel room wasn't horrible, but it wasn't super nice, either. At one point in the middle of the night we heard a strange high pitched sound.  I told Jacob I didn't know if it was tires squealing or some woman screaming.  When we got up the next morning and the coffee pot didn't work -- well, I was ready to get out of there.  We stopped at an old, nasty truck stop for coffee and honey buns and got right back on the road.  We stopped a few times a long the way -- Tourist information buildings had free coffee, restrooms and were VERY clean and had the nicest people inside.  We stopped to eat too. We finally made it to New Orleans around 4:00 PM yesterday. The GPS system got turned around in the French Quarter so we ended up driving around turning left, turning right, turning left. The French Quarter is nothing but one way streets that were made before cars so they're not really wide enough for cars.  PLUS there are herds of pedestrians and people on bikes all around. We finally (with sighs of relief) reached our hotel entrance.

We got settled into our very nice room and then went walking around.  We saw a parade -- which I loved.  They were blaring music that I enjoy (Pop and hip hop), people were dancing, little boys were on floats wearing little tuxedos and little girls were on floats wearing little white dresses.  They were throwing flowers and beads and, needless to say, I enjoyed it.  Jacob asked if I wanted beads at one point.  I said, "Yes!"  People were fighting over beads (well, not literally, but you had to move fast to beat people to them) and suddenly a guy threw a string of beads and hit Jacob with them.  He laughed, picked them up, and placed them around my neck.

We walked around the RiverWalk area and saw the Mississippi River.  It was really interesting -- and very beautiful!

We tried a Neptune Pizza last night.
My best friend will cringe when she sees this picture because of the tomatoes -- but wait, Denisa, it gets better. ;)  This pizza is one of THE pizzas of the area -- shrimp, crawfish, roasted garlic, tomatoes, and a TON of cheese.  It was delicious!

This morning we decided it would be fun to walk to Cafe Du Monde for coffee and beignets for breakfast.  The cafe is a mile from our hotel, which isn't bad.  We took off this morning and there were other people walking around, the streets in certain areas (the farther we got from the hotel) were still dirty from the parades and parties of the night before.  We saw a shirtless young man stumbling around one little road -- have you ever watched a zombie movie?  Well, that is what he looked like.  It was the creepiest thing.  Jacob and I learned at that moment, as we hurried past him, that we could walk really fast.  Ha. We walked past a park where people were sitting and painting, selling their paintings, and visiting with passers by.  It was really neat.

We finally made it to Cafe Du Monde, which was a cute little place.

We ordered our coffees and beignets as well as some beignet mix and, since the place was filling up, and seating was already becoming limited, we got our breakfast to go and walked back to the hotel.

On the walk back we saw the "zombie" trying to get into a mini van.  The door was locked and he just kept pulling on the handle as if he thought it would eventually open if he yanked on it long enough.  We also saw a man sleeping on the steps of a building.  We walked a little farther and a man and woman walked past us with their young children.  I thought, "Oh the things those kids are going to see!"

This is a beautiful, yet dirty, fun and interesting city.  We have enjoyed ourselves so far and plan to try and visit the Mardi Gras World Museum today (if all goes well).

If nothing else we can now officially say that we've been here.
Oh, and my brave and wonderful husband can now officially say that he HAS, in fact, actually driven in the French Quarter.  Have I mentioned he's my hero?  ;P

Until next time . . .

Sunday, March 13, 2011


There are only a couple of days left in the music challenge. This weekend has been all about my two little gremlins.  This morning they boys both crawled in bed with Jacob and me when they woke up.  They both hugged on me and were so love-y and cuddly.  It was sweet. I love little moments like that. 

We have had a fun weekend. We played outside, played catch, played HORSE while listening to 80s and 90s hip hop music (which was a blast), and the guys played board games last night. The boys and I made homemade pizza for dinner last night which was so much fun.  Today we went to Chuck E. Cheese for lunch and had a blast running around playing games with the boys. Everyone says that having children changes your life -- this is so true.  It does change your life, but it changes it for the better. I love my parents and my husband, I love my close friends and family members, but I never knew I could love some one as much as I love my two little boys.  They fill my heart with happiness and I don't know how we ever lived without them in our lives! Jacob and I get to do fun things with the boys that we wouldn't get to do if it was just us -- like run around Chuck E. Cheese and play as many games as we can to see how many tickets we can get.  My boys are still young enough that Jacob and I can act silly and they STILL think we're funny.

One of my favorite times of day is bedtime.  I get to sit with my boys close to me and read books to them before they go to bed. -- filling their little imaginations with images from the stories we read.  I get to cuddle with them and tell them goodnight. When we go check on them before we go to bed they look so cute laying in their beds asleep.  Every time I hear the song I'm posting today I think of my boys.  This song describes things little boys like and tells them to have sweet dreams. We called Alex "Little Man" until he was old enough to tell us he was big.  Ha.  This song is a sweet song that every parent of a son can relate to.  I know some people don't like the Dixie Chicks, but at least focus on the words.  It's a beautiful lullaby from a parent to their young son.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Rhythm Is A Dancer

Today has a been a productive day for me.  We opened all the windows in the house and turned on the fans because it's SO nice outside.  With a little help from Jacob I cleaned our bedroom and dusted and reorganized things.  We went outside to play catch for a while because today is too nice of a day to spend indoors!  We also played HORSE -- which was hilarious with two little boys.  While we were playing HORSE we had U-Verse on a radio channel that plays "old school hip hop and R&B" -- it reminded me of my preteen years.  I really enjoyed it!  So, because of that (and because it's such a beautiful day) I thought I'd post an old song I loved "back in the day" -- a song that is a lot of fun and also has great lyrics.   When I was looking for an old song to post for my music challenge today and came across this song I thought about my best friend.  She loves music -- lives on music, so the part of the song where the singer says, "Rhythm is a dancer, it's a soul's companion," is probably something she can really relate to.  Turn it up and have fun while you listen to it!  I am!

Friday, March 11, 2011


This week has been a busy and interesting one.  Jacob didn't feel well, then we had pipe/sink issues in the kitchen and the boys' bathroom, and Logan was sick.  I did manage to do some baking and cooking this week, though.  I always enjoy it when I have time to actually cook or bake instead of throwing a quick meal together.  I thought I'd share some pictures of a few of the things I've cooked, baked, or made this week -- just because they were all such big hits!

This is the Chocolate Peanut Butter Dip I made from the Deceptively Delicious cook book.  This dip has a weird twist -- but Logan loves it so I guess that means it works!  The above picture is cream cheese and peanut butter.

Then you're supposed to add 6 table spoons of chocolate syrup.  I'll be honest, I added more. (I tasted it first and it just seemed to need more chocolate syrup -- what are you gonna do?) ha

Now, the purpose of the Deceptively Delicious cookbook is to sneak vegetables in so your children get the vegetables they need, but don't realize it.  This is where my wonderful food processor comes into play.  This specific recipe actually has carrot puree in it.  You can detect a hint of carrot when you eat it, but it's not so much to make it yucky (or if you have no children you can just omit the carrots altogether -- it's delicious!)  So, I added the carrot puree and mixed it all together.  I sliced an apple and put it on a little plate with some of this dip and gave it to the boys for their snack that day.  Logan loved it and asks for it daily.  Alex didn't like it because he said he didn't know what it was -- he IS my picky eater.  one out of two isn't bad I guess.  Ha. (And it looks a lot yummier when it's completely mixed -- the above picture isn't quite mixed yet.)

On Wednesday, between having the sink in the boys' bathroom fixed and the pipes in the kitchen fixed I managed to make some homemade applesauce muffins.  These are full of old fashioned oats and applesauce and as far as healthy foods go they are pretty good -- very good when warmed and served with coffee.  ;)
Again -- Logan likes these and Alex won't eat them.   Jacob seems to really like them, though.

This brings us to last night's dinner.  I managed to start everything early enough to be able to make something really good.  Jacob took the boys outside and played football with them since it was such a nice day.  Logan was feeling better and wanted to go out and play -- I'm sure the fresh air was nice.  I sat on the porch and watched for a while before coming back in and finishing dinner.

Jacob loves chicken and rice so I tried a new recipe.  It sounded gross to me at first because you mix a can of cream of celery soup with a can of cream of mushroom soup.  It was actually very good.  A layer of rice, then spread the soup mixture on top, lay cooked chicken breasts on top of that, cover with shredded cheese and tomato slices, parsley, garlic, and onion salt.  It was delicious! 

I don't often get the chance to spend as much time cooking as I would like.  I was able to do that some this week and thought I'd share. 

Army of Me

Today I'm posting something from my college years.  The song actually came out when I was in high school, but I didn't discover it (or Bjork, for that matter) until college.  She is a very odd woman from Iceland who looks like a little girl but has a dirty mouth and is always picking fights with people.  She has a very interesting voice -- it's raunchy, yet soft -- and she has some really interesting music.  I will admit that I do not like all of her music -- actually, she probably has more songs I don't like than songs I do. This song, however, is one that I like -- a lot.  I love the blazing alternative sound of the music and the way the tempo picks up with strange music at the chorus.  Most importantly, I love the lyrics.  "If you complain once more you'll meet an army of me."  This video is strange -- like every other video she has.  It is an interesting and some what weird song.

Good luck!  (LOL)  

Thursday, March 10, 2011

One Of Those Days

I have been home today with a sick 4-year-old boy.  He woke us up early this morning because he was sick.  He went back to sleep for a couple of hours and when he woke up he seemed fine.  He said he felt fine and he was running and playing with his big brother.  I kept him home just in case and I'm glad I did.  He has spent the entire day laying in the living room watching TV.  For those of you who know Logan you know that he just doesn't lay around all day watching TV.  This is a boy who lives in his own little world and spends most of his time in the play room.  Yesterday he was playing with the Bat cave and I heard him singing Happy Birthday.  I asked what he was doing and he said, "It's Robin's birthday.  Batman and  Joker are giving him a party." 

He hasn't gotten sick again but is running a low grade fever.  He watched a Charlie and Lola DVD -- Charlie and Lola are a favorite in our house.  We have books we read over and over again -- Lola reminds me of Logan and Alex always points out that he is the big brother, just like Charlie.  When the video was over I read a book to Logan.  The boys have their own little library in the play room.   I was looking through the books trying to decide which one to read when I saw a book Alex received for Christmas from his grandparents called "One of Those Days."   I quickly grabbed the book from the shelf and thought, "this is perfect!" In the book "those days" are the different types of bad days a child can have.  Being sick is "one of those days."  We finished the book and Logan said, "Again," so we read it again.  "Again," Logan said.  Logan loved that, today, he could relate to the book.  We read it two more times and then I needed to check on the laundry.  I covered Logan with a blanket and told him to rest. 

Reading to the boys before bedtime is one of my favorite things to do.  Reading to the boys and closing the book when the story ends and hearing, "Again," is a great feeling. I'm glad my boys enjoy books and stories as much as I do.  I'm glad I am able to sit with them when they are sick and rub their backs or love on them, watch movies with them and read books to them. 

And the greatest feeling of all, is the morning you get up and they are fever-free and back to their active selves after having "one of those days."

Take On Me

There are only a few more days left in our music challenge -- it has really flown by! Today I am posting a song I loved when I was little and still love today.  I could never get sick of this song.   Jacob and I enjoy a show on BBC America called Top Gear.  We have tried to watch the American version, but the three British guys are just funnier to us -- so we continue to watch the British one. Last night we watched an episode that was on the DVR.  The guys had taken an old combine and turned it into a massive snow plow and put a flame thrower on the end.  They took it to Norway to test it and see if if could plow streets better than a usual snow plow.  It was hilarious!  Jacob and I were laughing so hard! Well, to make a long story short, James May, one of the co-hosts was driving the combine and every time the camera went to him he was listening to Ah Ha while he drove.  When Take On Me started playing I felt myself getting a little excited because, well, I've always loved this song.  The video is a really interesting one, as well -- it's creative and artistic.  Maybe in the future we should do a challenge on creative music videos -- that would be an interesting one.  Ha.

So, here is Take On Me by Ah Ha.

A Ha Take On Me

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

In This Life

Today I'm posting a song that reminds me of my husband.  Jacob and I were friends before we started dating.  I made it hard for people to get close to me when I first met Jacob and he proved he really wanted to get to know me.  He is one of the sweetest men I have ever met.  As a little girl and even as a teenager I thought about who I would marry.  I think most girls day dream about finding Prince Charming and living happily ever after.  I found my Prince Charming AND my happily ever after in Jacob.  Life isn't always perfect -- money can be tight, children get sick, a car breaks down -- any number of unexpected things can happen.  The fun in all of this is not having to deal with it alone.  Having some one there to go through it with you -- a partner.  Some one who encourages you when you need encouragement, some one who picks on you just to get a reaction out of you because they think you're "cute," some one to walk with you when life gets tough, and some one who always makes you feel beautiful, special, and loved. This song makes me think of Jacob.  The first time I heard it I thought of Jacob -- "You give me love, you give me light" and "I'm living and I'm believing that I was meant to be your girl." 
Delta Goodrem is a beautiful woman with a beautiful voice.  Once again, I'm including the lyrics as well as the video.  I hope you like it. 

In This Life by Delta Goodrem

I was nurtured I was sheltered
I was curious and young
I was searching for that something
Trying to find it on the run
Oh and just when I stopped looking
I saw just how far I'd come
In this life
In this life

You give me love
You give me light
Show me everything's been happening
You've opened up my eyes
I'm Following
Three steps fight an honest fight
Two hearts that can start a fire
One love is all I need
In this life

I have faltered I have stumbled
I have found my feet again
I've been angry I've been shaken
Found a new place to begin
My persistence to make a difference
Has led me safe into your hands
In this life
In this life


I was put here for a reason
I was born into this world
And I'm living and I'm believing
I was meant to be your girl
In this life


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Fun of Plumbing

On a normal day Jacob would have been home by now and I would be starting dinner.  Normal is a word that hasn't been used often in our house these days.  I pulled the crock pot out this morning and made a huge pot of the Pioneer Woman's beans.  They have smelled so good all day.  I was going to make some of her corn bread to go with them.  This was my plan and everything was falling into place until the sink clogged up right at 3:20.  The garbage disposal burped and coughed and then the sink began to fill with water.  I tried the plunger -- it didn't work.  I took the boys to the store after I picked up Alex from school and bought two containers of Drain-O -- one for each sink in the kitchen.  I waited 15 minutes like it told me to -- Nothing.  I can't wash dishes and I can't use my dishwasher.  So, to prevent dirtying anymore dishes Jacob volunteered to get dinner.  The annoying problem has been announced and we're hoping to be graced by the presence of a plumber tomorrow who can fix this problem. 

As always -- I'll keep you posted. ;) 

Carry Me Down

Today I'm posting a song that I can put on repeat and listen to over and over and over again and never get tired of hearing it.  I'm not quite sure what it is about this song that I love, but love it I do!  Actually, this band has a lot of songs that I enjoy listening to.  They're one of those bands that you can put the CD in and listen to it all the way through and when it ends you think, "That was good, I'm going to listen to it again." I first discovered this song on MTV.  Jacob and I occasionally set the DVR to record Headbangers Ball on MTV2 so we can keep up with all the new hard rock and metal music and see if there is anything new we like.  This song came on one night when we were watching it and I immediately loved it!  It is one of the most positive songs about death I have ever heard -- especially where hard rock and metal are concerned.  It is beautifully written and has such a great meaning -- the music is good and the lead singer's voice is perfect for the band's sound.  It is just an amazingly encouraging song.  Most Demon Hunter songs are very deep, this one is no different.  I hope you enjoy it.

I am including the lyrics because they read like a poem -- they're beautiful.  I'm also including the video so you can hear the song as well.  Enjoy! 

Carry Me Down by Demon Hunter

If you see me losing ground
Don't be afraid to lie
I know the pain inside my heart
Can't break the fear inside of yours
And if you see me losing faith in what it means to die
Don't let me leave before I know what lies beyond the stained-glass doors

Save sorrow for the souls in doubt
Bleed every care out

Will you carry me down the aisle that final day,
with your tears and cold hands shaking from the weight?
When you lower me down beneath that sky of grey,
let the rain fall down and wash away your pain.

For every word we never spoke,
We have a tear to cry
For every silence like a wall between a better you and I.
So if you see me losing sight of all the death in life
Find the peace in every time I fail to see the death in mine

Let all the fear inside you drown
Tear out the blade and lay it down
Save sorrow for the souls in doubt
Bleed every care out

Oh, the blood is rushing out
Oh, I'm better off without
Oh, the walls are closing in
Oh, Sing for me again

Monday, March 7, 2011

Bouncing off Clouds

I know I have already posted one song by this artist, but I am posting a second one today.  She has so many great songs -- so many that I love.  This is a fun little song with a cute video, so I thought I'd share. My favorite part of the song is in the chorus when she sings, "Make this easy -- it's not as heavy as it seems."  That line can apply to so much in our daily lives!! There have been times I have listened to this song when life gets stressful and think, "You're right, Tori Amos, it's not as heavy as it seems."  LOL. The writer in me loves the line, "Is there a love lost and found."  I always imagine the lost and found bins at schools filled with coats.  It is funny to think of adults digging through love lost in a big bin trying to find the one that belongs to them.  Anyway, I hope you like it.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Rain When I Die

So, today, I am posting a song by a band that I really, really, really like.  I had heard a couple of songs by them and then, when I met Jacob, he really liked them.  He owned several of their CDs and he told me to borrow them because he thought I might like the band.  I listened to them and I didn't like them--I loved them.  They have a really cool, grungy sound and the lead singer's voice is amazing. I always thought Layne Staley was an attractive guy.  He died several years ago and every time I hear this song I find it ironic and I wonder, "Did it rain when he died?"  I was running errands yesterday evening and my iPod was playing random alternative/hard rock songs and this song came on.  I have always liked this song--I like most of Alice In Chains songs.  They have a sound that not everyone likes, so if you don't like it, that is okay, but here's Rain When I Die by Alice In Chains.

Saturday, March 5, 2011


It's Saturday!  I'm so glad.  Jacob and I woke up to find that our favorite alternative radio station is gone and they have replaced it with big band music.  Jacob and I just laughed as we listened to the music.  I said, "Who listens to this?"  I guess Jacob thought that was funny because he laughed so hard at me.  I said, "Well, I'm serious."  More laughter.  This is what our lives have come to.  Things happen and change and we are starting to just laugh it off.  Seems to make things easier.

We have fun plans for this weekend.  We are going out for Cajun food with Jacob's parents today and then tomorrow my parents are coming up and we're going to make Taco Salad and give my mother the gift we all went in on for her.  It will be a fun weekend.

Since we plan to enjoy this weekend I wanted to post a fun song. (The slower, original version is my favorite, but the boys like this one better so I thought I'd post it.) This is a song that Alex and Logan love -- they dance around the living room when it plays.  They giggle and say, "You're an alien."  They think it's so funny.  The music is fun.  I remember thinking that the first time I heard it.  So, without further ado, here is E.T. by Katy Perry (ft. Kanye West).  Have fun with it.  ;)

Friday, March 4, 2011

People Get Ready

This week has been a long one.  I will not be sorry to see it go.  I can honestly say that 2011 isn't looking too kind at this point.  I feel like my little family has been hit with one stupid problem, issue, loss, accident, event . . . after another.  We were hit again last night with some unpleasant news.  At first we were angry, then we were upset.  We talked and talked about it.  Has it added an unwanted element of stress to our lives?  Yes, but at this point we feel we should be getting used to it.  LOL.  My best friend always says, "God won't give you more than you can handle."  My Grandpa Jack used to say that all the time, too.  I was thinking about that this morning and I thought of this song.  This song was originally done by a group in the 60s.  It was written in 1965 and the songwriter, Curtis Mayfield, claims he was a in a deep mood when he wrote this song and it was influenced by his church and what he was taught by the church.  It can apply to life today as well--"All you need is faith to get the diesels humming, don't need no ticket, you just thank the Lord." 

This song has an amazing message.  It was covered by Rod Stewart and Jeff Beck, who is considered to be one of the greatest guitarists of all time.  The first time I heard this song I fell in love with the guitar riffs before I even took time to think about the lyrics.  It is an amazing song and I hope you enjoy it!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Eyes Like Twins

Today I am posting a song that I loved years ago--and because of that I still enjoy listening to it.  I mentioned when I posted the Debbie Gibson song that when I was little I had a pink boom box and would listen to my cassettes on it.  One of the cassettes I had was Wilson Phillips.  It was mellow and pretty and I really enjoyed it when I was younger.  I remember thinking the song "Eyes Like Twins" as really pretty.  I used to listen to this cassette while I played Ninja Gaiden on our old Nintendo.  Now, every time I hear this song (or any song from that album) I think of the ninja jumping around on the little TV screen as I controlled him.  Ha.  The music is beautiful and the lyrics are very poetic.  I hope you enjoy it.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

God Only Knows

For today's challenge I am posting a song by a singer, songwriter, and awesome guitar player--Orianthi.  I really enjoy her music and believe she is a very talented musician.  This is one my favorite songs by her.  Hope you like it.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Our Truth

One of my favorite bands is from Italy and called Lacuna Coil.  It is a bunch of men and one female.  The band has two lead singers, one is a man and one is a woman.  I love their sound.  They're considered Gothic Metal/alternative metal, but most of their stuff doesn't really seem that hard to me.  I love Cristina Scabbia's voice.  I actually have a quote by her on my facebook info page.  She is very intelligent and has an amazing voice.  She has an advice column in Revolver Magazine and I always make a point to read it just to see what she has to say.  The band's sound can be different at times because of their Italian influences and I think that makes me enjoy it all the more--it's something new and different to listen to.  I hope you enjoy it as well!