09.04.19 Chauvin Family Weekend Fun!

When Paw Paw and Grannie get to spend the weekend with Madisyn, Chip and his lovely wife Misty, we are very heart happy! Extremely exhausted and brain dead grandparents heaven, but very heart happy!

Friday evening we picked up Madisyn and headed to Olive Garden for dinner with Misty and Chip.  I have to admit that Roy and I made HOGS of ourselves with the delicious food there.  Roy ordered the Shrimp Scampi and I ordered Shrimp Alfredo.  I can still taste the deliciousness of their alfredo sauce covering the delicious shrimp.  We didn’t stop there though.  We both ordered Zeppoli (see the picture below0 which they describe as soft, traditional Italian doughnuts dusted with powdered sugar, served with chocolate sauce for dipping.

Somehow my not perfect eyes thought there would be four of these on the plate.  Wrong! There were 8 to 10.  Roy and I should have split an order but being the HOGS that we are we wanted our own.

This is me and my sweet son Chip who treated us to that fabulous dinner.

Saturday started with a stop at Starbucks for coffee and breakfast.  I never go out for breakfast so this was a treat for me! Then it was on to Mississippi to see our granddaughter Kallie at her new apartment.  She goes to college there. I’ve never seen a college student’s apartment like this one.  Very nice! No pictures there but I got to meet her new roommate and visit with the one I already knew.

Sweet Madisyn getting ready to get in the water!

The swimming pool at the apartments was fabulous.  Misty and Madisyn swam and Grannie sat on the edge and put my legs in.  It was a very unusual pool.  The first ten feet were very shallow, then a few steps down into the 3-foot pool. We were the only people

Next, we ate lunch at Wendy’s.  My favorite fast food is their Apple Pecan Chicken Salad and that’s what I got. We came back to Ponchatoula for some girl time pampering at Polish Nail Bar and Boutique.  I got my nails polished a blue to match the blouse I planned to wear to church Sunday.  I am a traditional pink or red polish girl but it seems the fashion now is any old color, so I’m in style!  Things have changed, shaking head!

After a delicious dinner cooked by my son, Chip and Misty we all ate around the dinner table enjoying some quiet family time.  Dinner around the table with all the family was something we always did with our sons growing up and it makes my heart happy to enjoy that time with Chip’s family.

The day was full of activity and fun ending with time at the local roller skating rink.  This brought back old family memories of us all at the roller rink.  Chip, Misty, and Madisyn skated away! Misty is a GREAT skater, Chip is a work in progress and Madisyn needed the plastic pipe thing to skate.  They all had a great time going round and round and round the rink!

Chip and Misty!

Madisyn whirling around the rink!

Here’s the skaters with I think, Madisyn on her tippy toes!

After all this fun and activity Grannie fell into the bed and didn’t move all night! Sunday morning we headed to Hammond for church.  We stopped at the local fabulous Doughlicious Donut shop for a sugar start to the day.  I loved the bench with the sprinkles donut pillow! Sprinkle donuts are my favorite!

Chip and Misty handle the Information Desk at their church, The Harbor in Hammond.  Madisyn was getting a big hug from Misty, Chip was his silly self in the background!

We are looking forward to going back to our church next week. We’ve been spending time at their church which was great but it will be wonderful to get back to our Trinity family!

We wound up our weekend activities at El Agave in Hammond.  D E L I C I O U S Mexican food.  We were in Mexican food paradise!  This is one of their favorite places to eat and I now think it is Roy and mine! Aren’t these people below just precious!

My sweet hubby and his adorable wife!

We went back to their home and rested a while before bringing Madisyn to her mom’s home.  What a blessing this weekend was.  We see them from time to time but being able to be with all three of them all weekend was a BIG blessing to Roy and I.  Seeing the bond that Madisyn has with her dad and her stepmom makes my heart so happy.

Ya’ll have a Blessed week!

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Click on the links below to go there!

Wacky Wonderful Wednesdays

Some Things I Learned About Dementia

05.29.19 Harriett and Rosalyn’s Family Reunion 2019

This is not about Ted and Bill’s Excellent Adventure but it comes close.  Harriett and Rosalyn’s Family Reunion 2019 is in the books and I think it went well!.

Harriett and Rosalyn – two old gals loving life!

In years past we’ve gathered as a family two times a year, at Mother’s Day and Thanksgiving. We did this either at my house or my sister’s house.  Before that we did it at our mama’s house, Jo Traylor. This was always a time where we enjoyed some delicious food, played fun games and had a memorable fellowship.  Several years ago we stopped doing that.  We were living on the road in our motorhome and were seldom here to do this.

I’ve done a lot of thinking about my husband and sons after this dementia thing takes me to Heaven to be with God.  It’s become very important that my sons and my sister’s son and daughter have a renewed relationship. And that it be a relationship that lasts even after I am gone.  We’ve lived in our tiny house for a year now and I decided it was time to renew that event by having Harriett and Rosalyn’s Family Reunion.  A once a year gathering that I am hopeful will go from our house this year to one of the cousin’s house next year, and so on.

Watermelon and Blueberries

One thing I’ve always loved about these gatherings when they were at our house was the deep cleaning and sprucing up our house and gardens got.  This time was no different. We have more gardens now but the house is smaller!  I always start three weeks ahead of time doing a little each evening or day until the big day.  It saves me from losing my mind trying to do everything in the last few days.

Roy’s broken body parts this year did put a crimp in the planning but God is always looking out for us.  A dear friend who asked to remain nameless showed up to cut our grass and weed eat a couple of days before the event.  This brother/sister in Christ will always be remembered for this awesome gesture and hard work.  God Bless You dear nameless friend!

Our son Chip, his wife Misty and daughter Madisyn showed up early the day of the event and helped with setting up everything.  They also did a lot of the takedown and put away afterward with help from some of their cousins! I won’t ever clean this much again but it feels good to have even the tops of the door frames spotless for once!

The reunion turned out to be such a blessing to me and I’m hoping to all the 20 something others. For the most part, we gathered in a big circle down by the pond or around the tables near the house.

 The kids love rock painting and hiding.  I gave each of them several rocks that I painted that were ready for hiding.  They took them home to hide at places around where they live.  Then they painted several rocks that I’m working on finishing up by spraying with clear spray after gluing on one of my labels.

After we ate we played games. The first was tossing water balloons from one person to another backing up a step after each successful toss.  What we were surprised with was the toughness of the balloons that didn’t seem to want to burst which is where the big fun is! It was a hot day so a busted water balloon felt good!

The water balloon toss game!

After that, we played the MInute to Win it game trying to get a cookie from your forehead down to in your mouth not using your hands, just the muscles in your face.  First, we had the four adult cousins try this, looking quite funny with their contorted facial expressions.

Then several of the children cousins played and were just downright precious! I was very happy that since it was at our house and I was the host that I didn’t have to play and look totally silly!

 

Roy got his drone out and took an aerial video of some of us in our gathering circle! He took several other aerial photos.

More photos from the 2019 Harriett and Rosalyn’s Family Reunion

That wraps it up folks!  I have an extremely wonderful family and I love each and everyone of them bigger than the moon.  Three were not able to come, Annie, Sally and Nancy.  We missed you guys a lot!  Can’t wait for the 2020 Harriett and Rosalyn’s Family Reunion!!

Have a Blessed Week!

 

 

 

05.14.19 Kallie Girl’s Ponchatoula High School Graduation – Part One, the Ceremony

 

Our oldest granddaughter, Kallie Barnes, graduated from Ponchatoula High School on Friday evening.  I‘m thankful that the next graduation will be 7 to 8 years from now as this one stirred up a lot of emotion in my heart!  Ponchatoula High School is in Ponchatoula, Louisiana.  It is where both of our sons graduated from lots of years ago. They are 37 and 40 years old so it’s been almost 20 years. Wow, they are old!!!! I’m not but they are!!

 

Back to Kallie! I tend to get sidetracked and go down memory road. Friday night at Southeastern Louisiana University’s University Center we were blessed to see this precious young lady graduate.  A big milestone for any young person.  These are some photos from the big event!

Kallie in her beautiful white dress for under the graduation gown!

Kallie and her bestie (from childhood to present) Madelyn Crowley. Madelyn goes by Madi in real life! Yes, they are pretty inseparable! They even plan to go to Southwest Mississippi Junior College together, majoring in Nursing!

Kallie’s cousin DJ Redden, her mom Misty Chauvin, her stepdad Chip Chauvin, cousin Haylee Perrotto and little sister Madisyn Chauvin waiting for the big event to begin!

Kallie’s nieces Raylynn, Alaina, her sister Stephanie Barnes and Stephanie’s boyfriend Travis Hahn. There were other relatives there supporting Kallie, I just didn’t get their picture!

The Ponchatoula High Orchestra

After all the graduates marched in the Pledge of Allegiance was said by all in attendance.  We are proud to live in an area where this is still respected.

The Senior Choir sang a combination of classical and hip hop music

The big moment arrived when the seniors lined up to receive their diplomas!  Here is Kallie waiting in line for her turn!

Drum roll please!!  The PHS Senior Kallie becomes PHS Graduate Kallie!

Only a mama (Misty) could get this picture, picking her daughter out of the hundreds of graduates!

And in our area prayer is still a respected moment.  This was taken right before they prayed. A student gave the closing prayer and I know God was smiling!

All Ponchatoula alumni in the audience participate in the Alma Mater.  The video pans to Chip participating with his finger held high!  I love this part of the ceremony, the graduates are all so proud to graduate from such an excellent school!

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 Ponchatoula Alma Mater

Ponchatoula, Alma Mater, we love to sing thy name in praise,
And we cherish pleasant memories of all our happy days.
We love thee dear old Alma Mater fair
In our heart’s a song for you we share
Through the ages sing the praises of dear ol’ Ponchy High.

And the most fun moment of the night when the graduates celebrate and throw their caps in the air!  This is always a special moment in any graduation and this was Kallie’s graduation’s special moment!

A few photos were taken after the graduation outside the University Center with Kallie’s mom Misty Chauvin, her Dad Ronnie Barnes, and her cousin DJ Redden

After graduation we all went to Don’s Seafood for an after graduation dinner.  The food was delicious and the family visiting was even better! All the young girls want a place on Paw Paw Roy’s lap. They let me in the picture too!

Sweet Alaina got Paw Paw Roy to take a picture with her inside Don’s!  Stephanie’s girls have claimed Roy who is Kallie’s Paw Paw as their new Paw Paw!

Madisyn and her Paw Paw.  I couldn’t decide which photo I liked best so here is Roy hugging on his granddaughter Madisyn Ann Chauvin.  Grannie and Madisyn

I planned to include Kallie’s Graduation Party in this blog post.  I changed my mind and it will be in a blog post all its own.

Ya’ll come back now for Part Two!

05.07.19 Chauvin family is expecting a new baby!

Our tallest stalk of corn is expecting its first baby corn!!!  It’s not time for a full vegetable garden update but this new development is too wonderful to wait!

This is the stalk that was started from seed inside and was the only one that lived long enough to be planted outside!  The rest of the stalks were seeds planted directly outside so they are a bit behind that one.

Roy and I are very proud grandparents and cannot wait for the arrival of our newest grand baby, even if it is a corn!

The proud mama corn stalk

Baby Corn, due date unknown!

Ya’ll have a Blessed Week!

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03.24.19 St. Patrick’s Day Parade 2019

Founded in 1971, the St. Patrick’s Parade of Metairie has been taking to the streets of Old Metairie for over the past forty years! The parade consists of floats and trucks, bands, marching clubs, and all the carrots, cabbages, potatoes and beads you can catch! Our family has been attending this parade since before Roy and I were married in the early 1970s!  Roy grew up a  block from Metairie Road and we’d all walk together, as a family, from his house to the parade every year.  After Roy’s mom died we pretty much stopped going.

A few years ago after we got Dora (our motor home) we began coming to the parade again. We parked Dora near the route and enjoying the parade with family and friends again.  Dora’s gone now but I went with Chip’s family to Metairie Road after church Sunday morning.  We missed some of the parade but still got to see around 100 floats!  Roy’s niece Christy, her husband Otis and their son Zachary were there and we loved seeing them!

Chip, Misty, their friend Carlos, Madisyn, her friend Cheyenne and me, Grannie, piled into Chip’s big SUV and headed for Metairie.  Carlos doesn’t walk too well so Chip wanted to park as close to Metairie Road as possible.  There were no parking spaces block after block after block.  All the side streets were packed but somehow Chip managed to find a spot less than a block from Metairie Road.

I’ve never seen so many people out there for the St. Patrick’s Day parade. 

This was an interesting set up. Children will sit on the bench on top of the ladder and can drop everything they catch (except a large cabbage) down the shoot where it will land in a big tub at the bottom.

Madisyn and her buddy Cheyenne with their baby dolls shoved down their sweatshirts.  They did get some odd looks

There was so much waving arms and catching food and beads, not a lot of pictures of the floats were taking !

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Another new feature seen often at this parade were the big blue buckets in the picture below.  They make an excellent large target for the people on the second floor of the floats to throw at!

I didn’t get this photo taken in time for you to see President Trump’s picture on the back of this float with an American flag waving.  I loved it.  of course it was also a New Orleans Saints Football float! 

This young man caught one of the yellow referee flags that were thrown from some fo the floats.  This was in reference to the “non call” that cost the Saints a spot in the Super Bowl. Yes, Louisianian’s never forget……………….

I came home with 5 cabbage, 10 carrots, 12 potatoes, 10 lemons and some other snacks. Way, way less than last year.  That was on purpose but when it started flying off the floats to us it was hard to resist getting more.  I cooked all the potatoes and made potato salad with half and a cheesy potato casserole with the other half.  I made unsweetened lemonade with half the lemons.  Three of the cabbage were cooked and will turn into a cabbage casserole this week!  Lots of yummy food!

Ya’ll have a Blessed Sunday!

03.19.19 The Big Red Barn – Madisyn’s 10th and Kallie’s 18th birthdays!

Our oldest grandchild turns 18 today!  Happy 18th Birthday Kallie Barnes!
Can’t wait to see how this beautiful lady rocks this world as an adult!

We just discovered the coolest, most adorable, fun place in Ponchatoula where we attended Madisyn’s 10th birthday party.  The Big Red Barn Creative Art Center is a perfect place for many different activities, parties, art classes, paint and play, art camps and sewing classes.

As the owner says on her website,

“It’s not Big, it’s not Red and it’s not a Barn, but it is A LOT OF FUN.”

If you have children or grandchildren this is a place you must take them to.  I didn’t know it existed until we learned Madisyn’s 10th birthday party would be there. Now I’m wishing I was a 10 year old so I could go to all of the activities there.

The brilliant young lady behind the Big Red Barn is Melissa Durel-Porter: artist, teacher, dreamer, and dabbler.

Melissa (known as Ms. Missy) has 23 years in arts education for over 23 years. This experience includes dance, creative dramatics, visual art, and music appreciation.  As soon as I met her I liked her!

When you walk in the front door you are in her cheerful play room, filled with toys.  The playroom is used for class discussions, stories, rug/lesson time, and free play. These two pieces of art made up of various miscellaneous objects create a tree and a pink flamingo!

Through a pair of french doors is her art room where most of Madisyn’s birthday party took place.  The room is filled with light and color and is perfect for all sorts of creative art activities.

I am aware that I “may” look out of place with all those little girls but I can’t tell you how much I loved getting to paint with them.

The library/lounge was a comfortable place where the children played and adults rested while the girls painted.  The sewing room has several sewing machines, tons of fabric scraps and vintage sewing patterns and notions.

Another play room had doll houses, a tent play area and just about anything a child would want to play with.

This blog post could be (but isn’t) very very long since there is so much to share about the amazing spaces she’s created at The Big Red Barn.  Every square inch of all the walls are filled with creative art, art supplies, toys, etc.  I throughly enjoyed being there. There are so many activities taking place there that the list would be very long.

I’m going to stop here because her website and facebook space describe it all so much better than I could.

THE BIG RED BARN WEBSITE  http://bigredbarn4kids.com/index.html

THE BIG RED BARN FACEBOOK SPACE https://www.facebook.com/bigredbarn4kids/

Madisyn’s birthday party there was fabulous.  The party theme was Hawaiian luau and all things beachy so we started off by painting flip flops, sand and water on canvas with instruction from Ms. Missy.  I say “we” because yes Grannie Rosalyn and 12 little girls participated in the painting.  I loved it!  One thing I thought was cool was that there was no “example” to look at.  This was to let us be as creative as we wanted to instead of trying to copy the example.

Chip and Misty provided pizza, fruit/vegetables and desserts. The girls and us sang Happy Birthday to Madisyn.  This is such a great birthday party idea and every one of the girls loved it.  Here’s some of their flip flop creations!

Madisyn had a big smile on her face the whole time and was a beautiful Happy Birthday girl! Several of the girls went home with Madisyn for a sleep over. We weren’t there but from the looks of the pics it was a great night which included getting made up by Madisyn’s big sis Kallie!

If you like what you see here or on their website here’s The Big Red Barn’s contact info, 234 SE Railroad Ave, Ponchatoula, LA 70454,  985-373-0468.

After all this fun on Friday night we rested Saturday. I went with Chip’s family to Metairie on Sunday for the St. Patrick’s Day parade!  All about that in our next blog post!
Ya’ll have a blessed week!

 

 

 

 

 

 

02.24.19 Decorating the walls at Casa de Chauvin

Sometimes I really miss all the adventures we’ve had while living on the road in Dora, our motor home.

Since moving into our sticks and bricks home (that’s what motor home folks call their house), the walls are kinda empty except for televisions and a couple of pieces of decoration.

Roy recently came up with a great idea to decorate the walls.  We’re going to take some of our favorite photos from our travels and have them printed on canvas!  The five years on the road were filled with many adventures and we always want to remember them.

I started going through all our travel photos to pick out some fo the ones we love the most from the first photos from 2012 up to the time we stopped traveling last year. What I’m finding, while going through all of these blog posts, is that they are bringing back so many special, heart happy memories. I noticed that our smiles in the photos are such genuinely happy smiles coming from the joy in our hearts seeing all of the amazing things our country has from coast to coast.  God gave us the gift of travel and adventure at a time He knew we most needed it.

I finished that process recently and have picked out 371 photos!  We’d have to add many rooms to our house to have enough walls to hang all those.  I can see this is going to be a huge endeavor to narrow it down to our 10 (at most) favorites.

We didn’t know how these canvas prints would come out.  We first had Easy Canvas Prints make a recent family photo into a canvas print for both of our son’s families for Christmas.  We loved how those came out and our son’s families loved them as well. Using a two for one discount they offered the price was very reasonable.

We looked at several different companies to price having a three part canvas print made from a photo I took while standing on the bridge across Niagara Falls that goes from America to Canada.  This is the original photo.Canvas Campus is who we ordered our three part photo of Niagara Falls wall art from. They offered a free 8″ x 8″ canvas print with any purchase of $99 or more.  Our order was exactly $99 so we sent them the photo below of Roy and I when we went to Colorado the first time and toured the Colorado Rockies stadium.  We got to sit in the dugout and another visitor took this photo where I’m calling down to the bull pen for a relief pitcher! The Niagara Falls split picture is made up of three 30″ high x 20″ wide canvases. It is now hung up on the wall over our sofa.

We love it there! We have such great memories of Niagara Falls and our time on the Maid of the Mist that this is perfect for our living room.  You can see the Maid of the Mist in the lower right hand corner of the photo. Here’s the Coors Field photo on canvas.

l am thankful that God allowed us to experience all of those memories and we are so happy to have been able to share a lot of them with you on Dora and the Explorers!

Next we’ll order three separate canvas prints of three different views of the Grand Canyon.  That will go in our bedroom over the bed.  I plan to have several canvases around the house that are not three part but we thought this was a good place to start so we could see if we like it, and we do!

If you are interested in having your photos put on canvas I’d recommend shopping around.  They all seem to have different specials at different times.  Some of the companies have way higher shipping prices than others.  We were pleased with the final work of both Easy Canvas Prints and Canvas Campus.  The Niagara Falls canvases came in laid out wrong the first time but the company came through sending us the correct prints the second time at no cost and in a very fast manner.

Ya’ll have a Blessed weekend!

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01.31.19 Sunshine, Food and Family

What a wonderful time we had this past sunshiny Sunday afternoon with our family.  A lot has been happening in our families life not leaving much time for to just sit a spell and visit.

We got to do that Sunday with our son Chip, his wife Misty, their niece Haylee, and Chip’s friend Trey who he calls his son, so I think that makes Trey our grandson!   We ate bowls of chili and got to visit.  Here’s Misty, Chip, Trey and Haylee.  All of these photos are clickable to enlarge.

We went down by our pond where we had a nice long visit while Haylee and Trey road around the pond in our paddle boat.

Haylee is pretty good at catching fish with her hand.  This pic shows her holding a piece of bread tempting the fish to jump up to get it!

I love it when Roy brings his new drone out and takes videos and photos.

This is the screen on his ipad he uses to show what the drone sees.  These are some photos Roy took with his drone Sunday afternoon.

In the photo below,our house is on the left.  I absolutely love seeing our area from so high up! 

Having Chip, Misty and those two young people around was fun.  The weather was beautiful and the fellowship was even better!

Ya’ll have a Blessed weekend!

 

01.16.19 Church is Hard, by Arianna Freelen

I sat in a meeting. The discussion was heated. The conversation heavy.

Hearts were burdened. Chests were puffed. Sorrow, pain, arrogance, curiosity, humility, fear, courage, and forgiveness sat together in a single room.

As I looked around the church, I just kept thinking—

Church is hard.

Church is hard for the person walking through the doors, afraid of judgement.

Church is hard for the pastor’s family, under the microscope of an entire body.

Church is hard for the prodigal soul returning home, broken and battered by the world.

Church is hard for the girl who looks like she has it all together, but doesn’t.

Church is hard for the couple who fought the entire ride to service.

Church is hard for the single mom, surrounded by couples holding hands, and seemingly perfect families.

Church is hard for the widow and widower with no invitation to lunch after service.

Church is hard for the deacon with an estranged child.

Church is hard for the person singing worship songs, overwhelmed by the weight of the lyrics.

Church is hard for the man insecure in his role as a leader.

Church is hard for the wife who longs to be led by a righteous man.

Church is hard for the nursery volunteer who desperately longs for a baby to love.

Church is hard for the single woman and single man, praying God brings them a mate.

Church is hard for the teenage girl, wearing a scarlet letter, ashamed of her mistakes.

Church is hard for the sinners.

Church is hard for me.

It’s hard because on the outside it all looks shiny and perfect. Sunday best in behavior and dress.

However, underneath those layers, you find a body of imperfect people, carnal souls, selfish motives.

But, here is the beauty of church—

Church isn’t a building, mentality, or expectation.

Church is a body.

Church is a group of sinners, saved by grace, living in fellowship as saints.

Church is a body of believers bound as brothers and sisters by an eternal love.

Church is a holy ground where sinners stand as equals before the Throne of Grace.

Church is a refuge for broken hearts and a training ground for mighty warriors.

Church is a converging of confrontation and invitation. Where sin is confronted and hearts are invited to seek restoration.

Church is a lesson in faith and trust.

Church is a bearer of burdens and a giver of hope.

Church is a family. A family coming together, setting aside differences, forgetting past mistakes, rejoicing in the smallest of victories.

Church, the body, and the circle of sinners-turned-saints, is where He resides, and if we ask, He is faithful to come.

So even on the hard days at church—

The days when I am at odds with a friend, When I’ve fought with my husband because we’re late once again. When I’ve walked in bearing burdens heavier than my heart can handle, yet masking the pain with a smile on my face. When I’ve worn a scarlet letter, under the microscope. When I’ve longed for a baby to hold, or fought tears as the lyrics were sung. When I’ve walked back in, afraid and broken, after walking away.

I’ll remember, He has never failed to meet me there.

Church is a body, a family, a place to love God and love others through our struggles!

I love MY church!!