Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Ringing in the New Year, Southern Style

Wow, I can't believe New Year's Eve already happened!  Time marches along quickly.  Saturday was wet and rainy in Mississippi.  I have this goal with my kids that you may have already heard about.  Before Clark goes on his mission I want to visit all 50 states with my kids.  I didn't know if Elden had been to Louisiana or Arkansas so we visited both states that day! 
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Now my kids have 4 states left: Montana, North Dakota, Hawaii and Alaska.  I'm contemplating a trip to Alaska in 2018 with Deb and her family.  We'll see.

That afternoon we went on another drive to see the cypress trees in the buoys and the houses on stilts. On our way there Mike showed us the "Castle".  Have you ever heard of it?  A preacher told his wife he would build her a castle, and he did just that out of bricks and cinder blocks.  I guess it's somewhat of an iconic place to visit.  I'd never heard of it. But now I'm in the know!
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That night we prepared for the New Year's Eve party! 
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Later that night Mike did a magic show for us.  It was a fun surprise!  I didnt' know he was going to do one. He has done several with our families over the years and does a great job.
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Shanna kept doing a "disappearing" trick with some of the younger kids.  Wow, kids can repeat stuff so much...over and over and over and over.  And over. And over.  So funny.
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The movie in the background is "The Night Before Christmas", short cartoon I grew up watching.  I love the songs on that little film!
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I think we started a new tradition here!  I walked into the kitchen where the younger boys were hanging out and asked what song they wanted to listen to.  Hyrum said he wanted to listen to Everything is Awesome from the Lego movie.  I thought that was an appropriate song for New Year's eve!  And then the dance party started.  First it was a few of us, then basically all of us.  It was super fun.
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We even did some fun line dancing.
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There was an encore performance with Paul, Clark and Mike.  It was pretty hilarious!
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We watched another movie...have you sensed a theme with the movies over the holidays?  I LOVE watching movies, but haven't watched very many as of late.  I enjoyed catching up on some the past couple of weeks.  We missed the countdown to New Years by seconds, but found a countdown on line and did our own.  Well, we actually did a countdown around 8pm or so and then another one at midnight.  Since church was the next day Lee and I went to sleep soon after that.

Sadly no one played Monopoly that night.  I did play Dutch Blitz with Lee and won a lot!!!  The new year started right with an amazing breakfast of Scotch eggs, chocolate pumpkin muffins, oranges and milk.  YUM!!!  Lena is a great cook and I loved the things she makes. We enjoyed our church services (and were on time!), and it was fun seeing friends at Lena's ward.  One lady there, Ashley, was in my ward in Missouri!  She and her husband taught lessons that day-I loved hearing from both of them.
Jan 1 2017 Vicksburg

After church we had lunch together and then it was time to say good-byes.  Lois and Deb took off about the same time.  We stayed later till after 5 and enjoyed visiting and some ice cream.  A few kids did play Monopoly.  Not sure who won though as we left half-way through their game.
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Clark rode with the Heits on the way down to Mississippi and bought some fireworks somewhere along the way.  Clark enjoyed lighting them off.
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Thankfully we arrived home safely after driving through the night.  We weren't planning on this, but Lee ended up having patients on Monday so we wanted to get back.  At 7:30 Monday morning we pulled up in front of our house.  I slept for several hours, and then the kids and I unloaded the Chevy and I vacuumed it out.  I did some other stuff here and there.  My friend Brittany brought by some yummy rolls and cake to help out with dinner since we had been traveling.  It was so sweet of her!  We had chili that night so the rolls were perfect with the soup and then we enjoyed the cake for family home evening treat.  I feel blessed to have her as my friend. What would we do without friendships?!
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Cal and Elden (thanks to Cal) have been on a penny kick.  They bike over to the bank and exchange their work money they earned for pennies.  It's kind of funny.  Elden arranged his pennies and new camo wallet just so this morning and wanted me to send this picture to Lois.  Too funny.  And the wallet is camo only because it's the only one I could find in my lazy search that had a zipper coin pouch.
Jan 2 2017

And speaking of money, how is the new year going for everyone with budgeting and money goals?  I love looking at the fresh new year and thinking about what Lee and I will and hopefully accomplish the coming years.  Setting goals is a good thing, and it really helps me to stay focused on something.  I know we haven't been in this house very long, but we would like something bigger, with a larger yard too.  The thought of having two showers (or more!) instead of one sounds amazing...so does a GARAGE!

But we want to do it debt free.  You may or may not have read this on my blog, but we own our house.  We paid it off a couple years ago and it's been amazing!  Sure we qualify for a loan and could pay off  another house somewhat quickly, but if that was the only way to get a home, I'll stay put.  Thankfully, it's not.  So, this year is the big year to start saving for a house!  We saved a tiny bit last year, but we need to push ahead in 2017 and get a nice chunk in the bank.  I'm a nerd AND a spender so having a goal helps me in that regard too.  Lee is a  free spirit and a saver.  I would love to be in a house by the time I'm 40...we better get crackin'! I love the beginning of everything.  Believe it or not, as much as I love budgeting I mess up on it pretty much every single month!  I also love figuring out how much cash we need for the month, going to the bank and then divvying up the money.  Here's to a mess-free budget this January.  I just need to not spend money and then I'll be fine, ha ha.  Isn't that the case always?!  Happy New Year!
Jan 3 2017

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