First day of middle school!

Middle school. I sure hope it’s kinder to them than it was to me.

I promise, they’re happier than the smiles (or lack thereof) would indicate. Especially Miles. That’s his “smile.”

They enjoyed looking at all of their past first day of school pictures, so I had them re-do this one from 8 (eight!!!) years ago.

They’ve changed a little.

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Sigh.

For now, our bus stop is literally a block and a half away, which is amazing. But we will probably move to one a bit further away so they won’t have to be on the bus for two hours (!) every afternoon. I’ll enjoy this little walk until then.

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Getting on the bus!

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Sewing tangent: I made Miles’s jacket and Oliver’s leggings. The jacket was a real labor of love, it’s the Go To jacket by Patterns for Pirates. I’ll post more about it later.

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There’s that smile again!
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Last day of elementary school!

Can you believe it? Today is the boys’ last day of elementary school. Sniff, sniff. Not that they’ll be changing schools or anything, but they’ll be in sixth grade, and things will change a little bit. They’ll be switching classes (though staying with the same classmates all day.) They’ll have lockers. They’ll start learning Spanish (along with continuing French, of course.) They’ll be able to join clubs! Pretty cool.

As usual, I’m gonna get all nostalgic and stuff. And I’m going to post this picture from the first day they started at their school, in August 2011.

And a picture from this morning, the last day of fifth grade:

To compare, a picture from the first day of fifth grade:

Geez, it looks like they were more excited about starting school than it ending. Hmm. Maybe I should look into summer school?

A visit to LSMSA

I honestly can’t believe how long it’s been since I last posted. I’m ashamed. I have no excuse. I really need to post about the trip we made to Natchitoches because it was pretty great. So I’ll start there.

Well, my last post was about being in Alexandria, which ended up being fine. We spent most of it in the hotel because the weather was horrific. We were in IHOP having lunch when a tornado warning went off on everyone’s phone, and I thought, “we’re not dying in an IHOP,” so after checking the radar and being reassured there was no tornado near us, we drove the five minutes down the road back to the hotel. (And there wasn’t a tornado anywhere near the town, thank goodness.)

So we got to Natchitoches the next morning, and went to the hotel, but couldn’t check in yet. We sat in the lobby so the boys could watch a Premier League soccer game (you know, British soccer) and funnily enough, the guy at the front desk was also watching it. After that, we walked around downtown a little bit and got some lunch at Merci Beaucoup. The boys had meat pies for the first time. They liked them. Yay!

Since it was Sunday, not much was open, so we didn’t get to go to Lasyone’s, so had to settle for mini meat pies, but better than nothing!

After lunch, we headed to the school campus to wander around. I couldn’t wait to show the boys around! First, we went to Texaco (where we used to spend hours eating fried food, but now the fried food and food booths are gone – probably for the best), and then I made them take a picture in front of the high school building.

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Then we narrowly escaped a pack of kids doing an Easter Egg hunt (you can see some of the eggs in the picture above) and just wandered around the buildings, then onto the Northwestern State University campus (which Louisiana School is on). They really wanted to see the football stadium for some reason. I may have mentioned that we sneaked into the stadium once or twice. 😇

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Afterwards, we went to a park off campus so they could, what else, kick a soccer ball around. Later, we grabbed some pizza for dinner and I introduced them to yet another bit of Natchitoches culture, Maggio’s drive-through liquor (just a daiquiri for me, obvs.)

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Bright and early the next morning, we met up with a student at the high school for a tour! It was pretty great. The boys got bags of swag, and I got a nice walk down memory lane. So much of the school hasn’t changed (the high school building is largely the same), and so much is vastly improved (the other new buildings like the art/music building, the cafeteria and new student center.) I want to go back! Can I go back? I wish I’d taken more pictures. They can even play soccer, whew!

The boys were pretty fascinated, and dare I say, maybe a little excited about the possibility of attending? The tricky part is keeping them interested for the next few years until they can apply for 10th grade. Fortunately, next summer (in a year), they can attend a week-long residential camp, so I’m hopeful we can send them to that.

Before we left, we wandered around the general store on Front Street, which was my dad’s favorite place. I got Larry an Easter present there, and then we headed home.

And I now know I haven’t really blogged about Louisiana School, and I’m going to have to do that. (Not now, don’t worry.)

 

 

Mid-sabbatical update

(Is is the middle of my sabbatical? The exact middle? I don’t know. I don’t want to know. If it’s more than halfway done, I’ll be sad. Okay, I don’t think it is. But it’s close. That’s okay! As long as it’s not actually halfway over. It’s not. Whew.)

I want to open with this really exciting work thing – I know, I’m not even working! But I haven’t been able to talk about it until this month. Ages ago, I mentioned to our marketing team that sewists use WordPress.com for blogging about sewing a lot. And they paid attention, particularly my friend Michelle, who is on the editorial team and is one of the most amazing and funny and coolest people I know. We chatted a bunch about it at a lunch at the GM, and then she brought it up at one of their meetings. And things led to things and I told her about The Sewcialists website, and then they created this really amazing list called the Anything is Possible list, and look, I don’t want to take too much credit, but I mean, I want to take a little credit, but who ended up on the list but The Sewcialists! And check out this video, which gets me choked up every.single.time!

 

On the other hand, yesterday was a horrible, terrible, not good, very bad day. The van has been not wanting to start sometimes for a while, but it always would start after a little while with some prodding. (I feel bad now that I never named it.) Yesterday, it just wouldn’t. After some coaxing and sweet talking and banging on some parts, and trying to jumpstart it, I finally gave in and had it towed to the mechanic. Fingers crossed it’s not too expensive. I’d just like one more year out of it. At least. George’s car only has one more payment, and it sure would be nice to have no payments for a while, eh?

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When I came home from bringing the boys to the bus stop (where it died, which was not convenient) I found that Ziggy had snuck into my bedroom and was curled up on my bed, which was cute. But the puddle of pee on my bedskirt, where he has peed a few times now, was most decidedly NOT CUTE. Taking the bedskirt off a king bed to wash is not fun, but I’m looking forward to putting it back on even less. Argh.

One positive part of the day was taking the ferry across the river to the aquarium to see Linus giving a presentation with a group of his classmates on the Gulf of Mexico. Thank goodness we got in for free again. The aquarium costs THIRTY DOLLARS if you don’t have a membership. Ridiculous.

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Anyway, while I was at the aquarium, the school nurse called. Of course. Because Miles’s asthma was flaring up. Of course. Fortunately, she was able to get it under control. But I stressed hard about that for the next several hours.

But that’s enough about yesterday. Today I’m stuck at home so I’m going to tackle the reorganization of the upstairs bathroom. Time to throw out the makeup from my wedding, finally. Ha ha! I kid! Um yeah! For sure, totally kidding!

What else has happened? Well, the Saints game. I’m not even going to talk about that. I made some scarves with pockets and sold them to neighborhood moms and, well, I guess I won’t be selling any more until next fall. But they are super cute. I’m going to try some Mardi Gras prints next. The pockets are super handy!

Also.

Linus had a disgusting bump on his arm and we had to get it…dealt with. (Any other words I could use in conjunction with that are too gross.)

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Soccer started back up for the spring.

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gotta tackle the dining room next. eek

We went to visit Granny and Grandpa, and the boys are very very very close to being as tall as them.img_1803

My kitchen is still clean from Kiki’s visit! And yes, I have cooked!!! (and yes, that is clean!)

I ordered new glasses.

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Okay, no more procrastinating via blog post. Gotta go tackle the bathroom!

Swimming with the fishes (part 1)

Every year at the boys’ school, they spend time outside of the school building doing cool stuff and learning and whatnot. For instance, a month at the zoo in first and third grades,  a couple of weeks at an art museum in second grade, a few weeks at the French Quarter in fourth grade, and now in fifth grade, four weeks (spread throughout the year) at the aquarium. And in the final week, they get to snorkel in the giant tank! HOW COOL IS THAT?!?!? I mean, when I went to elementary school, we went to like, the state capitol building. And that’s only because we lived in the state capital. Snooze.

(And yes, they go to public school, so you can’t say it’s because we spend a ton of money on tuition.)

The tank is full of piranha and sharks and other dangerous and deadly creatures, which just adds to the excitement. Naw, just kidding. But it’s got a big coral reef and a tunnel you can walk through, which gave us a good view of the snorkelers from below, and plenty of smiling stingrays (but not the kind that kill you, presumably. And if they do, don’t tell me until the other two have their snorkeling trips later this year.)

Before the kids got in – just what the lower part of the tank looks like. LOOK IT’S MISTER RAY, THE TEACHER!

I love this picture of Linus floating.

Okay, now just a bunch more.

Some video – sadly, I didn’t get anything of Linus and his pal flossing underwater. SORRY.

And yes, you will get two see two more identical posts in the coming months. Complete with unidentifiable children that I will assure you are mine, even though I’m not 100% sure because in wetsuits and masks, all kids basically look the same.

First day of 5th grade!

Yes, you read that right.

FIFTH grade.

Thank goodness they don’t go to an elementary school because if they were going off to a middle school next year I’d probably be freaking out a lot more. But as it is, they’ll be staying at the same school so it’ll be less traumatic for everyone. (Also maybe less exciting though they will get lockers next year at least.)

Anyway, that’s not the point. The point is, when they started at their school, they looked like THIS:

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and today they look like this:

 

Holy cow.

This year the bus picks them up in the neighborhood, which is exciting. There will be some kinks to work out, just like there were last year. It was 40 minutes late picking them up, for instance.

OF COURSE I brought my camera!

Well, it’s just as well the bus finally arrived because yesterday my van broke down. Hooray. So this was how I spent the latter part of my morning. Yippee.

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Now go and pity-buy some grocery bag dispensers or tote bags, why don’t you?

Last day of Fourth grade!

I cannot believe how fast this year went. I mean, this year really went by in a flash. Even the boys thought so. I think partially because they rode the bus and partially because third grade went at a snail’s pace because of whooping cough. But I am already predicting that fifth grade is going to go by even faster because my sabbatical starts in December, so by the time that’s done in March the year will be practically over and OMG MY BABIES ARE ALMOST IN MIDDLE SCHOOL.

First day:
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Last day:

Okay, they don’t look that different, except for their hair.

At the bus stop with the girls:

Mary Catherine was excited on the first day about the bus, today was my turn to show my excitement:

Our golden steed, driven by our knight in shining armor, Mr. C…

On to fifth (!!!) grade!

25 year reunion!

It’s getting to be overwhelming but if I put it off much longer, I’ll just never do it. So I’ll just do it.

The most important thing was my 25th high school reunion, which I already posted a little bit about in my last post, since I wore a bunch of clothes I made to it. But it was more than just showing off my sewing prowess, believe it or not. Getting to hang out in Natchitoches (Na-ka-tish, duh) brings back such fond memories and of course getting to see friends I hardly ever see is so great.

I wish I’d taken more pictures, though. So let me give a quick (?) recap.

Friday, Ren and I drove up, somehow managing to miss major rains and flooding in New Orleans, but not missing the police officer waiting for me to do 51 in a 35 in a small town near Bunkie. (“Let’s take the scenic route,” said Ren. “It’ll be nice,” said Ren.) Continue reading

Outdoorsy stuff

Last week I went on a field trip with Oliver’s class and brought a camera. Here are some pictures I took of things besides 10-year-olds (except my own, of course.)

The program is called Earthkeepers and they teach it at the Jean Lafitte National Park (the Barataria Preserve in particular, I think) and it’s quite pretty. This all is sounding familiar. Did I blog about it already? When I went with Miles? Well, at least this time I have good pics.

a pretty path through the woods

Ollie looking at me like he’s a teenager and I’m an idiot

can you see the spiders?

caterpillar!

snake!

classroom in the woods!

Ollie being cute in the hat I made for myself that he stole

2017 in review

Years that end in 7s have typically been pretty eventful for me. Well, at least two of them have. I spent a good chunk of 1997 in London, which was life-changing for me. And 2007 brought a trio of little clones into our lives. So I expected 2017 to be equally eventful for me personally. I mean, hey, it was also the year I was 42, so expectations were high.

But it didn’t end up being particularly noteworthy, at least not for me. In fact, generally speaking, I’d say it was not a great year overall. But for our family, it was fine. Let’s recap. Continue reading

Busiest weekend ever!

Here’s how it looked:

Saturday morning:

Up bright and early(ish) to go with Stephanie to City Park. We have a mutual friend who works there, and she needed people to be in the background at the amusement park for promotional materials for a Christmas event. Let me tell you, it’s not easy to find Christmas accessories at this time of year. Normally I’d be grateful for that. But not when I really needed it.

ANYWAY, Big Lots came through for us and I picked up a few sparkly headbands and light up necklaces.

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Continue reading