Lila has been begging and begging for a sleepover for as long as I can remember. She has always had a lot of sleep issues and so we haven't been able to let her have one. Recently, she has been doing much, much better, and with the exception of some night terrors (which are out of her control), she has been extremely cooperative when it comes to sleep. So, we let her invite Mary Miller to spend the night Friday night. They had an absolute blast, and it ended up turning into a slumber party of sorts because Elise and Bennett slept on the floor in Lila's room as well. They all cooperated and were extremely good- asleep by 8:45, which I think is pretty impressive for a sleepover!

I snapped a quick pic of Elise reading them a bedtime story....

Thanksgiving catch up to come and well as tree-trimming.....need to upload the pics from the good camera.

Happy Holidays!



I am feeling like many are ready to rush through November (as in the several people in our neighborhood who have had their Christmas decor up for a week already!) to get straight into the holiday season...but, I have really been trying to resist that urge and enjoy "fall" around here. As hectic as it has been, I have not found much time for blogging, but we have still been doing plenty of fun things and so I must play catch up and document some of those things.
Poor Bennett was extremely sick last Sunday through Friday and is still recovering...he had a bad fever virus, with the highest fever we have encountered in one of our children ever! Definitely makes us count our blessings that, for the most part, we have very healthy children. He was unable to go to school all last week and was sad to miss all of the Thanksgiving festivities. I had volunteered to help serve at the big Thanksgiving Feasts for both schools, and so I am very grateful that my Mom offered to keep Bennett for a little while on both Thursday and Friday so that I could still do this.
Elise's Feast was so much fun! They pushed all of their tables together and covered with a long table cloth which they had decorated. Elise's Indian name was "White Lily". The kids told us all about the First Thanksgiving, how different things were then (this was AMAZING to Elise), and about all of the rules the little pilgrim boys and girls had to follow. We also got to hear what everyone is most thankful for. It was a fun time and a great chance to get to know some of her classmates better. It went by so fast I didn't get one picture! :(

On Friday I went to Lila's feast....

I thought she was a precious little Indian. She definitely missed her brother, but made sure to bring him home all of the crafts so he wouldn't feel left out. Her Feast was a little more chaotic, as several classes were "feasting" together, but it was still fun to watch and I was thankful to be there!!

We have been enjoying our week "off" and actually have been extremely productive. We did a TOTAL clean out of the playroom. It was definitely time, as it was cluttered with many toys that the kids NEVER play with. So, it provided a good opportunity to talk about donating, sharing, and passing on. So, some needy children will be getting some toys, and some special things were placed aside for their new cousins...
We also did some closet clean outs as well, and sadly I really love doing that. I love the feeling of having it all organized and clean. (And I am by far the messiest in my family- so that is a scary thought!). Elise passed much on to Lila (she totally wants to wear "big girl" clothes now), Lila made a stack in case they are blessed with a little girl cousin, and we got rid of things that needed to be gone...The kids actually liked helping with the sorting, deciding what to keep, donate, or toss...I think they had fun too!

So, today, as a reward for all of the hard work they have done this week, I took them to see the Muppets Movie...

Notice the little group next to E that snuck into the pic!

We met our friends the Kitchens there, and had a blast! The movie was precious!!

Lila ready for the movie!

It was a fun treat to end a few straight days of productivity...

After the movie we went to visit Mimi and Grandpa since we will not have Thanksgiving with them tomorrow. We are looking forward to a low key day with SuSu and G, and Jared and Erinn...Mo and Phillip will definitely be missed, but we know she is where she needs to be and we can't wait to go visit them and the new babies (but hopefully not until the end of January!)!!

Looking forward to a day tomorrow reflecting on what all we are thankful for..shouldn't be hard because there is so much....

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!


Tea Time

Saturday morning the girls were pouting about Bennett getting to go to the LSU game with David...until I told them the surprise I had set up for them! We went to the American Girl Holiday Tea and Fashion show. It is the only "official" American Girl event in Louisiana, and it just happens to be a fundraiser for the school the Barrois girls attend. So, I was thrilled when Kimberly offered to get tickets for me!
The girls were also excited because some of the students from the school get to model in the show, and a few of the girls take dance with them. Was like seeing celebrities on the stage for them!
They did a great job transforming the gym into a winter wonderland...and the girls (and grown ups!) loved the chocolate chai tea they served.

I love Elise stirring her tea, while watching the fashion show...

Lila and Camille with their "big girl" fancy tea cups...

Sweet friends...

And the sillier two!

I planned on taking a bunch more pics after the show, including some of me and the girls and some with Kimberly and her girls, and the whole group, but my battery died right after this! So disappointed! Regardless, we created great memories and the girls loved their special treat!


Bennett's First LSU Game

One of the great joys in my life before getting married and having the kids was growing up a diehard LSU football fan. I was always fortunate that my parents had a good group of friends, and we had seats with them at the 48 yard line twenty rows up. I was spoiled enough to sit with them (often in the aisle when the stadium marshals were not as strict) for essentially every home LSU game from age 2 until my freshman year in college. I was there for the highs (Earthquake game) and the lows (U of Miami), but I have never had a greater experience than the last few games bringing Elise a few years back (click for my post) and bringing Bennett last week.

Although I knew it would be a long day, I wanted him to remember it forever so we arrived in Baton Rouge about 4 hours before kickoff for last saturday's Western Kentucky game.

On the way there, Bennett took a power nap listening to the pre-game show. I let it happen since he would need his energy. When we arrived we had a bit of a walk from the parking spot to Uncle Jared's tailgate. He was great about the walks, asked about all the buildings, and just couldn't comprehend that hundres of people lived in the dorm we walked by. We made it to Jared's, which happened to be in the law school parking lot so I explained to Bennett that the school is where I learned to be a lawyer. He was not as impressed with any of that than with the 5-foot stuffed tiger on someone's car - you pick your battles, right! Here are my favorite regulars of my LSU game day stops over the last 10ish years - Uncle Jared and Aunt Erinn.

Next we walked by some of the frat houses (it was homecoming) and he was amazed at the huge paper mache constructions. Then we walked across the parade grounds, which must have been the biggest field of partying people that he had ever seen. In front of the Union a group had constructed at replica of Tiger Stadium out of donated canned goods, and Bennett was amazed. It was actually really impressive and I was glad to see it standing, and unguarded, when we walked by hours later.

Next was a walk by a few friends spots, then on to the Indian Mounds. I explained the historical significance of them, which led him to ask me yesterday if there were Indians under a hill that we passed in the car. Again, his mind is always going.

We hurried over to the hill to catch the band coming down, as well as try out the football throw and putting contest that was set up.

We also had dippin dots and Bennett danced to a LMFAO cover band. Wish I had caught a pic of that.

Perhaps my favorite pic, Bennett seeing the stadium close up (standing underneath the fighter jet outside the south endzone). He was amazed at the magnitude of the place.

We then met my buddy Bryan and his son Will (also his first game), and hurried into the stadium to grab our seats so we could watch warmups. As I did with Elise, i grabbed a shot of him, his ticket, and his first glimps inside Tiger Stadium.

What a moment!

He loved seeing Mike come around, was not ready for the fireworks, and could believe how loud the band and crowd were for the team running out onto the field. He learned the first down cheer, saw 3 touchdowns, and yelled D-Fence as loud as I expected.

Bennett and Will had a great time during their brief stay (we left at end of third, Will didn't see halftime), but Bryan and I were amazed at their food capacity. Bennett ate a tiger dog, my entire chic-fil-a sandwich, half a bag of popcorn, m&ms, and he and will tag-teamed some cotton candy (the cotton candy won).

Before we headed home we took one last ride on Mike, then made the walk back (shoulders the whole way), into Buzz lightyear pjs and into dreamworld. I hope he dreamed of his next LSU game.

Thanks for being the best buddy I have ever been to a game with.



David post - I wanted to post a few pics from the last few weeks that I found on our camera.
Just like Mom's tea, the kids preschool does a great job at Dad's night. The kids make ties and answer funny questions about their dad's favorite food and tv shows. The best was Lila's anser of "He loves my heart" to the question "My dad loves me because...". Too much.

Next, Bennett and the Blue Sharks finished their fall season with some fun and some pizza and cake (no pics yet due to camera error). Bennett had a great time with soccer, and much like me he would rather defend the goal than score. Even when our team was threatening the other goal, he would often take off in a dead sprint toward our goal in case their was a counterattack by the other team.

Last up is Lila's last soccer game for the fall. The Pinkalicious Unicorns (E's team was also this for two seasons) had a great fall and I look forward to the spring season.


field trip

First I want to thank my family and friends for making my 35th birthday so special. It was a low key birthday, but in the best way, and I feel so loved.

Last Tuesday I had the honor of accompanying Elise on her first official school field trip. We went to the zoo, and we were all so excited!

Here is one of Elise's new friends, Carsten. She is a precious little girl, and probably has the best manners I have ever witnessed in a 5 year old. They are cute together and have lots of fun! She was Elise's buddy for the field trip and I was the chaperon for the two of them. We had a great day.

First stop- elephants! Elise, Carsten, Reese, and Laura. These four girls wanted to scope out the zoo together, and that is exactly what we did.
After our zoo tour and scavenger hunt we joined the rest of the classes for a picnic under the old oak trees...

One of the highlights was seeing the Sea Lions at feeding time. All of the kids loved that! It was a fun memory to make and I am so grateful that I was able to accompany her on her first field trip!

Halloween (finally)

I am so far behind after a busy and fun filled week, but finally I am making time to post a couple of Halloween pics.

After dance we headed to the Brister's house for trick or treating...As she did last year, Suz had a Halloween feast ready, and awesome decorations...

The Mills and Richardsons were with us as well, and Nick even converted his trailor into a hayride! It was a huge hit! The kids had tons of fun and scored plenty of candy!

It was a great night!!


Halloween Dance

I warned you about an obnoxious number of Halloween posts!!

The girls both had dance on Monday night, and were able to wear their costumes. They prepared a cute little Halloween dance and at the end of their classes performed for the parents.

Lila ready for the Monster Mash...

Her sweet little class...

Elise brought back out the Bee costume for Halloween...here they are taking the stage for their performance...

And her sweet class...she has been dancing with many of these girls for 4 years already! Time flies!

I have to admit I was a little annoyed that they still had class, but in the end it was fine. They had a good time, and they were all dressed and ready for us to head to the Bristers for some trick or treating right after!


Trunk or Treat (#2)

I will have to come back to Saturday, where we had an amazing day filled with celebrations- Monique's baby shower and Grandpa Ray's 85th birthday...somehow I am missing some pictures, but I will definitely track some more down!

On Sunday, we attended our second trunk or treat of the year at Lila and Bennett's preschool. It was a beautiful day, and after the horrendous loss by the Saints we needed some fresh air and some fun!

I must say it was a little more relaxing going to a daytime trunk or treat- it is much easier to keep an eye on the kiddos!

Dunking booths,


apple scooping,

animal petting,

more hula-hooping,

football throwing,


more smiling,

and friend-finding.....all makes for a VERY good time!