May 30, 2010

Of course we had to buy Mardi Gras masks in the french quarter of New Orleans. I hope I get to come back and enjoy this interesting city someday soon without kids! Walking up and down old streets and browsing shops in 100 degree weather with 90% humidity is not fun with 5 little ones!
But we did get to enjoy a river boat cruise, and learn a little bit of history about the war of 1812.
Frog Legs, Alligator, Turtle Soup and crawfish for dinner? We made the kids try them all, and I'm surprised they actually did! Of course, we didn't tell them what they were eating until after it was down the hatch!
Mom wanted to spend some time in one of the old cemeteries, which are so interesting and beautiful! The above ground tombs make the cemeteries quite the site! My kids were good sports, even though I think they were scared spit less. I think this graveyard brought back memories from the Scooby-Doo movie "Big scare in the Big Easy," where they're chased through a graveyard like this by mean ghosts!
They were more excited about the Sculpture garden in New Orleans City Park, where nothing is scary! I wanted to make sure our family got a picture by this famous "Love" statue.....but FYI, your not supposed to climb on the statue. I'm glad we got our picture before we found out!

This is where I want my new home to be! We got to tour this marvelous plantation, and drove by to view several more. The "Oak Alley" plantation is my favorite because of the beautiful setting. I wish I could live here!

Viewing all these beautiful building made me wish I could travel back in time and take a riverboat ride up the Mississippi river, which used to be dotted with plantations and sugar cane farms on either side. Now the river levees are so high it blocks the view of everything on the river banks. Too bad.

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

We went to visit the Old State Capitol Building in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The photo above is of the beautiful stain glass windows in the ceiling. Also, just this year they were doing remodeling, and they found a hidden room behind one of the walls that had been converted into a cell during the civil war. It's not part of the main tour, and only available to show upon request, so if you're going to visit, make sure to ask about the cell in the "dungeon!"
Outside of the Capitol building they have this beautiful Virginia Live Oak tree, which we enjoyed climbing on with the kids. I want one of these trees in my yard! Too bad they take 300 years to get like this!

May 28, 2010

Giveaway Winner!

Randomly selected Winner of our $40 CSN gift card is (drumroll!)


Check out her Blog, which features giveways, HERE ( Thanks, everyone who participated...I've tried to visit all your blogs and leave comments, but I haven't gotten to everybody yet. I hope you'll stay my "friend" and keep checking back to find out about our travels, and future promotions for our on-line store and giveaways coming up! Thanks so much!

May 27, 2010

Our favorite part of the trip so far...SWIMMING! Everyone loves it...except maybe The Baby! It's the best way to escape the super-humidity of the south! Right now we're in Louisiana, and headed to New Orleans.

Don't forget to enter our giveaway for a $40 gift card to CSN stores! Have a great day!

May 26, 2010

Day whatever...Hot Springs, Arkansas

We left Little Rock for Hot Springs, which I was afraid would be stinky, like most hot springs are, but surprisingly, these springs don't smell at all! Which was wonderful. Here are my kids sitting by one of the springs. We tried to put our feet in, but it was too hot for us! The earth truly is incredible. I'm constantly amazed at all the natural diversity here in our country.
Here's the kids at the original bath house...where people would come to be 'cured' of anything from a cold to paralysis. Good luck! Of course, the bath houses now don't claim to cure anything, and offer all sorts of spa services. We didn't actually take a bath, my kids were to enthralled with Radio Disney on site (which is why they're not looking at the camera in the first picture).
We enjoyed music, dancing, and games with a crew from Radio Disney, and won some stickers, bookmarks, and other prizes. It was fun, but also very hot, so it wasn't too long before we retired to the pool!

May 23, 2010

Travel Tip: Look OUTSIDE candy Jar!

Okay, so after 3 weeks of traveling in the car, almost every day, I started feeling bad about all the beautiful, interesting, fun and exciting things that my kids were missing out on as we drove by. They were too busy watching a movie (not that I'm knocking DVD players for the car, I love them!), coloring, reading, vomiting, or arguing with each other. If Dad or I pointed out something interesting, by the time they actually looked out the window, we had passed it. So my hubby, awesome dad that he is, came up with the Jelly Bean Jar Idea!

The Rules are pretty basic. The kids try to find interesting things OUTSIDE of the car, and if they're the first person to see something cool, they get a jelly bean! Of course, Dad and I are the ULTIMATE judges of what is really cool, and (sorry Limber) signs and trees DO NOT count! I painted a jar with the words "I Spy, See my Eye," since that's what Bushkin (2) says whenever we play I Spy.

This has really opened my kids eyes to see the beautiful things around them. However, I caution any readers who use this idea. It can be irritating when your 3 and 5 year old yell out every half a second whenever they see a sign; "look, a sign with a bear on it," "Look, a sign with a letter A on it," "Look, get the idea! But it's worth putting up with the silly stuff (which they don't get rewarded for), since we found a way to get them to interact with the world around them.

May 22, 2010

Day 20 & 21, Little Rock, Arkansas

We got into little Rock Wednesday evening, and enjoyed a beautiful bike ride along the riverfront, where they have great bike paths. The next Day was Rainy (again!), but the afternoon cleared up and we took the Kids to see Central High School (pictured above), which is the school famous for the desegregation battle in 1957. I'm sure you've all seen it in school. It was a great opportunity to teach our kids about equality, and how far our country has come. It was a good reminder to Brandon and I of all the things we take for granted, not only equality, but all the blessings of our country. We live in such an 'easy,' wonderful time, it's hard to remember the sacrifices made by thousands before us that make our lifestyle today what it is.
Well, I loved the little rock riverfront bike path, and Central High was interesting, but the best part of Little Rock was definitely this Old Mill! It was in a beautiful little park, and we had dinner here, and probably spent 3 hours just relaxing and looking around. It's actually a replica, but was built in 1930, and was in the opening filming of "Gone With the Wind." I wish I could build my house right next door! This is definitely worth the stop!

Oh, and here's a picture of the little guy, requested by Grandma! He's getting so big! I tried to get one of his cute smile, but he wasn't going for it! Love you.

May 21, 2010

Day 19, Fort Smith Arkansas

We were so excited to have a nice day! We actually had a couple sunny days in a row! My kids found a bunch of blackberries by the river that ran through our campground. We spent the morning picking berries, and got to eat them for dinner, and in muffins the next morning.
Some of us didn't make it back home with any blackberries, but we sure enjoyed eating them along the way!

Never Shop When Your Hungry!

Well, I had to pick up a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread at the store, and I ended up coming home with all of that. This is especially bad since we live in a trailer, and I have to fit it all into my limited pantry and fridge space (shown below), both of which were already full.

But, I'm happy to say I fit it all in! Well, I might have cheated just a little bit, I moved some of our bulkier and less used stuff, like flour and sugar, into a bottom cupboard, and stored some of the cereal bags under our bed, but you do what you gotta do!

May 20, 2010

Caterpillar Birthday Party Decorations

This is my last post from the Caterpillar Birthday Party. My 3 yr old Bubber actually made this up all on his own! He came up with the idea, and taped all the balloons up. I drew the face, but everything else was completely him!

May 19, 2010

Day 17, Eureka Springs

We Stayed in the Cute little town of Eureka Springs, Arkansas. But, I forgot to take a picture, sorry! It's a got a cute little shopping district, and it's a small town in North West, AR, a cute stop it your in the area!

However, I did find this little turtle on my morning run. I saved his life because he was trying to cross the highway, and was about 30 seconds away from becoming Road Pizza. The kids enjoyed playing with him for a couple of hours until we had to leave, and we let him go--far away from the road!

$40 Giveaway with CSN Stores!

I'm excited to offer all my readers and customers a chance to WIN a
$40 gift certificate
to any CSN store. They have over 200 on-line stores, and you can use your gift to purchase tons of different products, from Health and Fitness, to Kids, to Furniture and housewares, to home improvement items like this awesome pendant (my favorite color is Orange!), which is actually part of a track lighting set. Go figure! But, if you love this pendant as much as I do, or even if orange isn't your thing, go check out their stores, I promise you'll find something perfect for you or your home!

It's easy to enter! You just have to be my follower and comment on this post that you're following me.
If you want more than one chance to enter, follow my facebook, twitter, or sign up for my eNewsletter at If you want 2 entries (wow!) post about this giveaway on your blog with a link back to this post! Then leave a comment and let me know you posted this giveaway, with a link back to the post on your blog. So, leave your comment below, and Good Luck!

This Giveaway starts Now, and ends next Thursday, May 27th. The giveaway is only open to US and Canadian residents. To the Winner- Please remember that there may be shipping charges or international fees for certain products when ordering your item.

I finally had a chance to upload pictures of our stay in Branson, Missouri. We had a great time there, and there is plenty to do! I don't know about all of you, but we're BIG Dukes of Hazzard Fans in our family, so we were excited when we saw Cooter's store full of Merchandise and Collectibles! Here's one of the Dukes cars...Limber wanted to climb in through the windows, but she had to settle for climbing in the window of our van!
And here we are at the Dixie Stampede show. We had to pick one show, since it gets a little pricey taking all of us anywhere! And besides, our 3 little ones have very short attention spans! But we took them to this dinner show, where there is a big arena, and you get to eat with your fingers (perfect!), and watch real horses, pigs, chickens, dancers, lot of things going on! Even the little Bushkin made it through!

May 18, 2010

Caterpillar Birthday Party Cheese Ball

I made these Cute little Cheese Ball Caterpillars for treats at the party, and served them with Triscuts and Wheat Thins. I would include the recipe here, but the main ingredient, Rocca Blue Cheese, is made by Kraft Foods, and they discontinued that line of if anybody has a good cheese ball recipe, I'm interested! The antenna's are raisins on toothpicks. Easy, and Yummy! I also made little ice cream caterpillars out of pistachio ice cream, but none of the pictures I took of those turned out. Maybe next time!

May 17, 2010

Caterpillar Birthday Party Invitations

I made these for the invitations to my 2 yr. olds birthday. Sort of a spin off on the Very Hungry Caterpillar. It says:

On Monday, the Very Little Caterpillar ate ONE Raspberry
On Tuesday she ate TWO Peaches
On Wednesday she ate THREE Blueberries
On Thursday the Very Little Caterpillar ate FOUR apples
On Friday she ate FIVE Strawberries
On Saturday she had a birthday party at 10:00 and she invited YOU!
and then she ate one piece of cake, two bowls of ice cream, three brownies, four cupcakes, five cups of punch, six bars of chocolate, seven pieces of candy.....
On Suday she had a tummy ache, so she ate one nice green leaf, and went to bed!
RSVP Hollie: and my number
Here's the "Envelope" I put it in. I cut out two sheets of paper in the shape of a leaf with a bite taken out of it, and then I sewed around the edge with green thread. The invite folds up acordian style, and I slipped it in between the sheets. I was really pleased with the way it turned out. Hope you like it too!

May 16, 2010

I finally get a chance to post some 'craft' posts, since we're not doing anything in this ginormous rain storm! Here's my 'Caterpillar Cake' from my Bushkin's 2 year old Birthday party. It's made out of the 'mini ball pan' by Wilton, and was super easy, only a little time consuming. But I made one caterpillar segment for each guest, and it turned out really cute. The only problem was the cake board....I wanted to cover it in green fondant, but I had to make it so large to hold the cake, that it just didn't make sense. Anyway, the board is cut like a leaf with a 'bite' out of it. Our party Theme was "The Very Hungry Caterpillar," and the party was simple, but fun!