Sunday, January 27, 2008


Earlier in the week, Scott told me we were going to go to dinner w/one of his bosses who was flying in from Georgia on the upcoming Wednesday night. So Wednesday came and Scott came home from work a little early so we could beat the crowds at the restuarant.

I was getting ready to go and I get a call from mom, she's asking me how my day was; yada, yada, yada... A nock on the door, I go to the door and look out the peep-hole and low-and-behold, it's my mom & dad's cute little faces staring back at me. HOLY MOLY!!!!

What a splendid surprise! I really appreciate the fact that they were soo, soo, soo busy getting ready for Russia, but they took the time to come out and visit us in our new home & area. I'm so grateful for their love and support.

Though their visit was short it was filled with some great history lessons and back road bajou adventures.

The evening they arrived we went to a local restaurant - Prejean's (pray-jawns). It's a highly respected Cajun place. We had shrimp, pasta, crawfish and aligator!! Every night there is a Cajun band that plays, the back drop takes you to a local swamp, aligators included... This WAS a real aligator, I think it was 12 feet long...???

The second day we went out and about to get to know more about Louisiana, Cajuns, Acadians, Mardi Gras and whatever else we could absorb. We visited the Acadian Cultural Center Acadiana Cultural Center We met a lovely lady named Ruth, she is now our Cajun mom. It was a good thing we were in no hurry, the people here LOVE to talk. So we talked to her, a ranger and others who were working there for quite a while before we watched a couple of movies on the history of people who settled Louisiana-the Acadians. VERY informative! Ruth suggested we visit Martin Lake - She didn't know our last name was Martin. So with a handful of brochures & maps form Ruth, we were off.

We took her advice and went out to visit Martin Lake (Martin is a prominant name of some of the wealthiest people here in Louisiana...I need to see if we're a long lost family they've been looking for-I would think they're looking for their heirs to share their wealth with.)

With dad navigating the crazy, mis-matched maps, we were off to Martin Lake. Before we saw the lake there was a swampy-bayou area...I don't know the difference for sure but anyway here are some pictures...

At the swamp/bayou...

At the lake...

After the lake we got a little "off" course, but we were up for the adventure of just seeing what the road brings. It was fun & interesting to see the outskirts of town and see more of the country. It's Beautiful, and I'm excited to see it this spring when everything is in bloom. In all my travels I've never seen or experienced swamp and bayou land...

Once back to the apt. we made dinner, Chicken Cordon Bleu. I'd never made it before, but with moms great advice we made a delectable meal! Thanks ma!!

The next day we decided to do some shopping. Mom & I wanted to find a few little things for Mardi Gras...We found the perfect place...there weren't a few little things for Mardi Gras, there were THOUSANDS!!!! I think we were there for a good hour...maybe more. We tried on mask after mask, hat after hat and browed the bead isles. PLUS this place had decor for every holliday. It was a lot of fun!

We tried to visit an old, historic cathedrial, but a bad parrelell parking attempt and small roads made us miss the opening hours...Well, that, PLUS I just didn't read the "hours of opperation either...sorry! BUT, it was funny, we just finished listening to the cathedral bells marking the noon hour, commenting on how neat they sounded and we stood there at the door looking at the hour it closed...NOON. :-) BUMMER. We just had to laugh. We then headed down town to the "old" Lafayette and went to a meuseum. WOW, the things we learned. We learned about Mr. Lafayette and his influence and help in keeping America free from the British rule. (He's French)

Back to the apt we went for a late lunch. Scott came home and we went out to see a bit of the shops in the neighborhood. 1st stop, The Backpacker, a store for..well...backpackers... :-)

Then we went to the "Fresh Market". It was an amazing grocery store...gourmet grocery store...we went to get a loaf of bread and an hour later, a handful of samplers in our belly and a new outlook on grocery shopping we headed home. (mom's got a picture...please share.)

We spent the evening eating chips and salsa, mom's favorite pudd'n and anything else we could get in our little fingers while we played Hearts. FUN! It was soo, soo, soo much fun. I just didn't want the night to end, knowing that in the morning..AFTER orange toast...they would step onto a plane and I wouldn't see them for a year or more. WHAAAA!!! Yet, I'm so excited for them and for the journey they'll embark upon as they leave for Russia.

Mom & Dad, words will NEVER express the appriciation I have for your love, and your EXAMPLE of what love is. Thanks again for coming out to visit! We will miss you greatly!!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Journey to the South...

The Journey...

January 10, 2008
Maddie in her new, Grandma Woolsey-made jacket...working hard on guarding the trash while I pack in Utah...

January 11, 2008
As we leave Utah, the first state we get to:

January 12, 2008
One more state closer to Louisiana:

We had a little car problems in the middle of the Navajo Indian Reservation, in New Mexico - atleast it wasn't in the middle of the night, in the freezing cold, no cell service and a pack of starving wolves stalking the car... We only lost about 5 hours, not bad at all...Thanks AllState & PepBoys

January 13, 2008
And now the last state we'll see before we arive in Louisiana:

January 13, 2008
Dunn-ta-da-dunnnn....50 hours later - we'd like to welcome ya'all to

Check out the alltitude... :-)

January 14, 2008 HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!!!
Maddie keeping post in her new neighborhood, from her new home...

Maddie's New Bed

January 19, 2008
Henderson Swamp

January 19, 2008

Catching Up...

Wow, it's been a while... a lot has happened. I'll try not to make this one too long and just do some short ones each day until I'm caught up...???


The month leading up to Christmas is always chaotic...but this year it was chaotic in a different way. I was packing up the house while Scott was in Louisiana, I was finishing up with my job and then trying to do some Christmas stuff. I really didn't think it would be that bad, but as it got closer and closer for leaving to Kanab for the holiday I started to realize that once I got back from Christmas, I would be a guest in the home we've been living in for the past 5 years, and I was LEAVING my wonderful neighborhood and friends in Utah as we moved out to Louisiana. It got more difficult to pack up, but it made it easier to think about all of my blessings, and reflect on what I've learned in the past 6 1/2 years while in Pleasant Grove. Thanks to all of my friends and family in Utah that have taught me so much and showed me so much love and support.

I've been wanting to become more...ummm...domesticated for the past year or so and to say the least, I didn't do such a good job. So, when we decided to move to Louisiana and we felt it would be best if I didn't work, for awhile, I thought that this would be a great opportunity to test out the waters of "domestic womanhood". One of my goals was to start doing patch work quilts. So, I figured it would be better to learn a little before I left. A very talented, charitable, patient friend of mine took on the challenge of teaching me how to sew a quilt. I didn't even know how to do the little bobbin-majig. Well, with some time and a lot of love I was able to finish a quilt for my mother, for Christmas. I was going to do a little baby quilt, but decided I wanted to make a momma's quilt. She'd made so many for us girls and the grandkids, 2-legged or 4-legged. I wanted her to have one.

I loved making it, I've started another one, but havent' got too far yet.

If any of you have read Joni's blog about how Christmas changes as you get older, I will definatley agree.
Christmas has become less about what we may find under the tree on Christmas morning. It has become more of a time to sit down with the ones you love the most and reflect on the trials and blessing of the past. A time to overcome any hurt feelings or the chance to say sorry.
Christmas is about FAMILY: This past year I have felt more of a need to learn more about my ancestors. And in doing so I have found a greater love for them. I started to realize how important it is to share who you are with your family and seek out who your family REALLY is; and get it in writing. A couple of months before Christmas, Bean sent us a bunch of questions about our lives and then we all wrote down and sent her the answeres to the questions and other thoughts and feelings we may want to share. On Christmas Eve she delighted us with a beautiful book with with our priceless memories compiled together.
Christmas has also become a time to share our testimonies of Christ and share/bless those we love with the talents He has blessed each of us with. Joni shared her gift of voice by sining us a beautiful song.
Christmas is about charity & sacrifice, mom and dad worked so hard on getting the house ready and prepared for all of us to come together. They made sure we were comfortable, warm and never an empty stomach. They put off their own need to pack up the house in preperation of moving to Russia for a couple of years for us. They made it possible for the true spirit of Christmas to dwell with us, to touch us, and to teach us.
Christmas IS about Christ, and about His life and example He left for us. Christmas is the time to reflect on Him and what He has done for us.
Christmas is about remembering and to do what we can to follow His example, showing Him our gratitude.
Christmas may actually happen only once a year, but the spirit of Christmas is meant to stay with us through out the year. Durring Christmas we seem to be a bit kinder, a little more forgiving, even more charitable. May I extend a challenge to anyone who might be reading this: In the following week, pretend that it is December; when you may see a person in need, think about what you may do close to Christmas vs. mid-January? Act upon what you feel.

As my family is becoming more spread throughout the country/world, I truely have become more aware of how blessed I am with such an amazing family-Martins and Woolseys!!

Hait-through the eyes of my own camera - 2003