Saturday, July 23, 2016

Birthday parties galore!

We are in full swing of what we call "birthday season" right now. It seems that 90% of our friends all have birthdays in July and Aug. Oddly me growing up most of my friends birthdays were in july too. Today we got to celebrate with Thatcher, Nolan and Maci!
First up was Thatcher and Nolan's party at chuck e cheese. After driving to the wrong one we showed up a touch late. Luckily I like to got to parties early so we weren't all that late by the time we arrived. The willowbrook one is much nicer than the Hwy6 one we thought. The kids loved the mini air hockey table!
Jordan and her friend Mac really enjoyed the big truck!

After that party Jordan and I were guests at Maci's birthday tea party. Jordan was in heaven! AND for the first time ever she got to wear adult make up. Up till now she has just had face paint. She thoroughly enjoyed the make and the clip on ear rings!

We took a few group photos of the girls. First up we told them to simply smile....

Second we told them to give us their silly faces....

Last one they were told to be sassy/sexy and my child does this.....

Yep she is her mother's child!!!! For the record she thinks this is a sexy pose because while in Mexico troy made a comment during our zipline tour that he was going to get a sexy picture of my on the zipline. I said I'd make sure it was a good one and I did the little ears must have heard our discussion. :D

Friday, July 22, 2016

That time jordan stole a little ladies heart.

After our friend miss Elizabeth's birthday lazer tag party we went for a nice walk and visited some ducks and made some awesome "roll down the hill" memories we decided to head to McDonalds for dinner. While at dinner jordan meet a new friend. She makes a new friend every time she plays at a playground, but this one was in her 90's! Jordan was very drawn to this lady that "you have to speak loud when talking to her". :D She played only moment on the playground and instead talked and talked to Ethel. She held hands with her and told her stories and asked many questions. She even took her wheel chair and pushed it over to our table so she could meet us. Ethel seemed to really enjoy her company, as well as jordan enjoyed hers. <3 p="">

I stole as many pictures as I could without interrupting. 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Homeless backpack kits

And The kids wanted to do something to help the homeless and decided they would make and give out some homeless care packages. We have done little 1 gallon ziplock bag ones before, but decided to go bigger this time. We asked for donations and got many good items and more items we couldn't even use. We also made a gofund me page and made a few hundred dollars! I don't think I will use Gofund me again because you have to pay a percentage of donations to them (I believe it was 10%). This time we did full backpacks filled with items like...shampoo/conditioner, deoderant, q tips, tide sink packets, snacks, water, notepads/pens, underwear, socks, meds, baby wipes, toothpaste/brush, razors/shaving cream, emergency blankets, extra bags...and a few even with gift cards to restaurants.  The kids also made cards letting them know we love them and haven't forgot them. Here is some of the stash and two finished bags.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Play date at Meredith's

I'm not in the habit of taking pictures everyday. So I totally dropped the ball on getting some while at my friends Meredith's house. But the kids had a great time.
I did remember to do a picture in the evening. We were doing a make up gymnastics class for jordan.. She was working on stomach strength today.
And this evening I hd our community HOA meeting that is coming up with idea of future projects. I'm working on a sidewalk to connect trails, gazebo and nature scape with water features. I used this as an example of the later..

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Leaving New Orleans.

Leaving New Orleans today. Still is my favorite city in the states. While I was packing up the room troy took the kids to breakfast, because lets face it its easier to pack sans kids! Apparently the hostess who has been visiting with the kids all weekend decided they behaved so well that they should get a treat. She took them to the Hilton Pantry and told them they could each pick a treat......

Yep, London picked his favorite thing...Tomato soup. :D The hostess got a big kick out of that.

Also on the drive home we stopped the Tiger Stop to see tony. He seemed to have been upgraded in his living quarters since last time we saw him.
And found an opinionated house near by. 

And the of course we hit up the huge Buccee's to fill up.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Reminiscing of roadlife! And NOLA zoo day.

Tonight we went out for dinner with a crew while in New Orleans for a quick job. Meeting a new roadwife and chatting with her made me really miss our roadlife.  I shared this blog with her and looked back at all our great moments. I had forgotten some already. And I noticed that I haven't continued with this blog much. After noticing how much I have all ready forgotten I decided to kick it back into gear. Unfortunately we didn't get a group picture at dinner but I did take the kids to the zoo today so I will share those.

Some of our favorite creatures--
Yes it has TWO HEADS!!!!! Yes it's REAL AND ALIVE!!!

Unfortunately but luckily it rained, no it downpoured, on us while there. Unlucky because we weren't prepared. But roadwives are used to that so we improvise! One "poncho" coming up..... (Yes it's a garbage bag lol) I made a "hooded cape" for my backpack and me and london just danced in the rain. 
The luckily it rained part is because the "monkey hill" was soaking wet and made for an awesome mud slide!

We went to an amazing museum yesterday so I'll add those also! (But predate them) 

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Whitney Plantation and slavery museum

To understand where we are, we need to know how we got there. I post a ton about Black Lives Matter on facebook because it's important to me. But I refuse to be an armchair supporter that sits home and just posts stuff with no real action. My two main goals are to be a voice to call out racism and to do the best I can to make my kids, the next generation, more active in ending racism.

Today we took the kids to the nations only slavery museum in the country, The Whitney Plantation. I admit I was nervous about how to explain to my 4 and 6 yr old that black people used to be treated as livestock, if not worse, and not humans. London was somewhat taught about segregation already. But this was a whole new level. With the current events going on and the conversations they are hearing we felt it was time.

When we got the the plantation we were each given a necklace with an excerpt of one of the slaves from the plantation's story. Jordan got a card about a slave boy who was 5 yrs old who got caught trying to learn to write and received 25 lashes for it. This really upset her once we explained what a lashing was. I was pretty nervous to continue at that point, but we did. Our next stop was to go into a church building that was used post war as a school for the kids as well as a church. In the church they had statues of all the kids on the cards that we got. We each found our card's person. When jordan found her statue she softly went up to it and placed her hand on his heart. She was quietly talking to the statue. She was having a moment so we gave her some space and didn't listen in. There wasn't a dry eye that noticed this. Many people afterwards told me how moved they were by that moment. <3 p="">

After the church we were taken to the memorial walls. These walls had all the names they know of for the slaves of just Louisiana. A surreal moment occurred one on girl called to her mother that she found great great grandma's name! I only got one picture of the walls because I was fascinated listening to this family talk and teach about the stories they knew and heard. They were very well studied up on the history and made better tour guides than the one we had. One of the family members was a little boy the same age as jordan. They were buddies throughout the tour. The next memorial area we went to was dedicated to all the slave babies who had died in Louisiana. (under the age of 5). Jordan very much realized that the amount of names was "to much".

Next we were taken to the slave housing. These houses would hold one whole family, sometimes generations. And with women breed to produce more slaves they would have up to 16 kids. Something I learned was that slavery was made illegal for international sales in 1804. But in the USA we kept going and instead started to breed them for more "suitable" workers. (stronger, taller, etc).
The bowls you see in the pictures are what the slaves would put the cane sticks in then boil them down. You may be able to see their are kid statues on the porch of these homes. Jordan sat down next to the one and just sat there and quietly talked to them as if they could understand her. She seemed to feel like there really was someone still there.

After the housing we got to see the "holding cells". These were used to hold the slaves before being sold, up to 15 in one section.

Next up was the kitchen, which is the oldest kitchen of this type in Louisiana. 

And near by was the barn (we didn't go in), which we are told is the only creole style barn left in Louisiana.

Lastly we went into the main plantation home. The guided pointed out that main house was closest to the river and the more valuable the items the closer they were to the river. When she pointed that out London was quick to realize that it meant the slaves were valued less then the barn animals.

At the end of the tour we got a few minutes to walk around under the beautiful trees in the front yard of the house. Apparently they would have monthly lynchings on those trees and while that was going on the family and friends of the house would have parties with food and fun under the body. Those same trees I was looking at for their beauty just seem so horrible at the same moment.

On the way out of the main house on the way back to the front Jordan and her buddy who's family is decedents of a slave from there were holding hands and laughing. It sounds so cheesy but to see those to young kids doing that made me feel so much hope for the future!