Saturday, December 27, 2008

all the great moms have Santa's private number!

....and just so you know, i happen to be a great mom! hehe! every year on Christmas eve, just before bed, we call Santa's private cell phone number! he's always glad to stop and talk with blake & brady...and make sure he has loaded everything on his sleigh that they asked him for at the mall! sometimes we forget to ask him for something so that's our last chance to let Santa know. he is usually able to grab that toy on the way out of his workshop! this year was no exception! we dialed him up and he was just about to leave the North Pole. We even got to talk with one his elves! it was the very one that built the 2 scooters that Santa was about to deliver! wow! needless to say, it was an exciting phone call! thanks Santa!!! (you know who you are!)

cookies for Santa!

this Christmas has been CRAZY! i haven't posted here in a couple of weeks because my internet has been down (by the way, i absolutely despise comcast) and have hosted 2 dinner parties and the Swanner family gift-opening tornado! whew! i'm sitting down for a few minutes before i go to my parents house for the Roark version of the gift-opening tornado! this year, the Christmas season has been a little out-of-the-ordinary. my papaw is in the hospital with respiratory issues so we opened gifts with him at Glenwood the other day. and just today, my dad got admitted to the hospital trying to pass a stinkin kidney stone! he's going to miss the festivities tonight, at his house might i add, but he's been so doped full of pain meds for the last day and a half that he probably wouldn't be an active participant if he was there! hopefully things will settle down in a day or two so we can relax in the new year!

just wanted to share a few pics of me and the boys baking cookies for Santa! we made chocolate chip cookies ( courtesy of Nestle Toll House....not homemade!) i think we may have eaten more cookie dough than the actual baked cookies! our blood sugar was probably through the roof! we had a great time, though....and i'm pretty sure Santa enjoyed his midnight snack!! more Christmas posts later!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

weekend in New Orleans

last friday morning, we headed to New Orleans to see West Monroe play football in the state championship. the boys were so pumped about going out of town so they could stay in a hotel! speaking of our hotel, we stayed at the Ambassador Hotel (which is a refurbished coffee warehouse with the original brick walls inside and exposed beams....really unique). there were 2 windows that looked like outside windows, but faced into the hallway because our room was so big. the second night, 3 drunk idiots staggered down the hall and crashed into one of our windows! there was glass on the sofa inside, all over kenneth's clothes, and the floor. we had to call security and the police....gee fun! yeah, right.

on the drive down there, blake and brady got to play in the snow! their first "on-the-ground" snow ever! it had snowed the day before in south louisiana and, even though the temperature was climbing to the upper 40s, there was still plenty of snow on the roadside to play in!

saturday night was when the rebels played at the superdome. they played a hard game and we are so proud of them, although they brought home the runner-up trophy. before the game we all spent the day in the french quarter and the riverwalk. talk about West Monroe people everywhere! this picture is of the boys in front of the cathedral in Jackson Square.

by the time we got home sunday evening, we were pooped! hopefully the rebels will give us all another opportunity to go back to The Big Easy again next year!!

oops! i almost forgot! cafe du monde for beignets was a must after the game! nothing like giving your kids a powdered sugar rush at 11pm right before bed! oh well, it was vacation.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from our family!
remember that the greatest gift of all was given to us during this season....Jesus Christ. amid all the scramble and craziness of shopping malls, wrapping piles of gifts, and cooking for an army of family, keep Him in full focus!
my prayer is that you and your family have a happy and blessed Christmas and a calm, healthy, and quiet 2009!

we love Santa!

what a difference a year makes!

we took the kids to see Santa at the mall last week .... fully expecting to have to come up with another creative way to get brady close enough to Santa to actually be in the photo! boy, were we surprised. last year, blake sat on his lap while brady stood 2 feet away to his left side, just barely in the picture! this picture was from last year.........

pretty funny, huh?! well, for weeks we've been talking about how fun it would be to sit on Santa's lap, and how Santa brings lots more toys than if you just stand beside him, and all of those manipulative things! we also told him how proud Santa was of him learning to "go" in the potty. (for those of you who fought that battle with us, you know the struggle of which i speak!!) it obviously worked. blake just bounded right up to him like he usually does because "he's the biggest kid ever" and brady followed right behind him! we were speechless!

they told Santa just what they wanted and cheesed for the camera like pros! blake said he forgot to ask him for boxing gloves so we'll have to remember to ask for that when we call him on Christmas eve. yes, we call the real Santa right before bed on Christmas eve just before he gets into his sleigh to make deliveries!! i have a "special Santa phone number" that only moms have! (and Santa Claus, you know who you are so get ready!!)
we had a great time at the mall and brady was so very proud of himself. and we certainly were too!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

11 years!

i've just gotta say...i'm married to a really good man! God has allowed me to spend 11 years married to kenneth and they've been happy, funny, hectic, crazy, blessed years for sure!

for those of you who don't know, i'll tell you how we met. way back in 1995, my friend kristi literally MADE me go to an NLU football game with her. yes, back then it was Northeast! we sat in the BSU section. we were either winning really well...or losing really bad....because people started leaving the game early. the stands where we were got kinda sparse, and suddenly we were left with a handful of loud-mouth nuts a few rows up from us! kenneth was, obviously, one of those nuts! we all introduced ourselves and cheered the rest of the game together.

kenneth was, without a doubt, hopelessly smitten with me from the very moment he laid eyes on me .... or so i tell it! (wink!) he and his friends were about to leave to go to his house to watch a movie and they invited kristi and me to come. well, we were idiots who apparently had a death-wish and we said yes! i mean, come on. he could have been a serial killer luring us into his torture chamber, but we decided if we were gonna die.....we would die together! turns out, they were all very sweet Christian people and we had a great time.

i gave my phone numbers to kenneth that night but really didn't expect to hear from him. yeah, right. this is what happened the very next day! i worked in the customer service phone center at Entergy, where lots and lots of calls come in every day. i later found out that he took out my number and decided that if he called the center and i happened to answer the phone, he would ask me out for a real date. you know, what are the chances that i would actually get his call with all of those operators there?? so he took a deep breath and pushed 9 to speak with a representative----"Thank you for calling Entergy! This is Tess. May I help you?" hehehehehe! how funny is that??!! (cue the light shining down on us from heaven!) so, we went out that very night! and the rest, as they say, is history!

we met in 1995, got married in 1997, had blake in 2002, and brady came in 2005. we've had such a blessed marriage and i thank God for kenneth and my sweet boys everyday. hopefully the best is yet to come!

today is our anniversary but unfortunately, it was just kinda blah! i was up and at work at 7am and kenneth left right after lunch to go out of town. this morning at work, one of the babies in my care started getting really bad so i had to ride with him in the back of the ambulance to another hospital on transport. that's really NOT a good thing for a nurse that gets CARSICK! ha! i was feeling sort of icky when i got back to my unit but there in the nurses station sat the prettiest bouquet of roses! (cue the light from heaven again!) they were sent from my precious husband at just the right time! the rest of the day was uneventful so i was able to stare at and smell my flowers all day. i suppose it was a good day after all!

kenneth, if you're reading this, please know that i love you til my heart gets sore! you do so much for me and the boys.....and i can't tell you enough thank you for being the best daddy and husband ever. you're the BEST!

Monday, November 24, 2008

my "walk-in" closet?

okay, i'm having to take drastic measures to motivate myself to clean my closet. i have a 10x6 walk-in closet in my bathroom.....and i use that term loosely......because i CAN'T walk into it! the horrible mess could be a little more understandable if i was sharing this closet with my husband, but he has his own 10x6 closet on the other end of the bathroom! (his is actually pretty neat!)

these two pics are of the above mentioned closet!

if you'll notice, there is a rubbermaid 2-drawer thingie buried in there. i can't open the drawers because of the clothes and shoes piled in front of it! also notice that the built-in shoe racks have ZERO pairs of shoes on them. i can't get the shoes on there until i get the clothes off! this is only the right side of the closet because there is a pile of stuff behind the door so high that i can't even get the door all the way open to get behind there! if you'll recall from an earlier post (i've been tagged) i have around a hundred pairs of shoes, and they are intermingled in those monstrous piles of clothes!

so, now that i have shared my ridiculous closet with the world, it's time to fix the problem! posting "before" pics requires that i eventually post "after" pics...which was the point of this little exercise! it may take several days, but hopefully i can rent a bulldozer and get this mess cleaned up! thanks for reading and being part of my motivation to clean! stay tuned!...and pray!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

elijah is here!

it is with great pleasure, and pride, that i introduce to you
my eagerly anticipated nephew,
Elijah Allen Swanner

for those of you who don't know, elijah's parents are brent and aimee. brent is kenneth's younger brother. after being on modified bed rest for several weeks, aimee finally gave birth to elijah yesterday morning, November 14th, at 4:20 am. he weighed 8 pound and 9 ounces....we certainly make our swanner boys healthy!! thankfully, mom and baby are doing absolutely perfect. i'm sure that when they get settled at home, aimee will post lots of cutie patootie pics of our little man on his blog page. check back later to elijah's blog to watch him grow up.....but hopefully not too fast!

Friday, November 14, 2008

mud bugs

when it rains, it pours. and when it pours, there are awesome mud puddles! there's not alot to say about the following pictures....they speak for themselves! 5 words come to mind:
thank goodness for Oxy Clean!

Monday, November 10, 2008

3am in the ER

question: after working two 12-hour shifts at the hospital, name something fun to do just a few hours later at 3 o'clock in the morning?

incorrect answer: spend almost 3 hours in the emergency room with a sick child....and his brother....while the husband is out of town.

yes, that pretty much sums up my weekend! i heard brady making just awful sounds in the middle of the night trying to breathe. he was wheezing, had a "croupy" cough, and was making rasping sounds when he breathed. kenneth was out of town so i put both boys in my bed, just so i could listen to brady breathe. after about 20 minutes, i decided a breathing treatment was the answer so off to Glenwood we went! the boys, of course, thought it was an adventure! and leaving the house wearing their pajamas with jackets and crocs was the best!

brady had a chest x-ray and breathing treatment. he was so much better after that and was enjoying his little middle-of-the-night adventure....until the nurse came in with the shot! boy, did the mood change! for the next 2-3 minutes it looked alot like a UFC fight! when they finally let us go, it was almost 6am and they boys were starving. thank goodness for Waffle House! the rest of the day was spent laying around the house, chillin out and watching tv. brady is fine now and we've gotten back on our sleep schedule! hopefully, we're done with the early morning excursions!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

look at those pearly whites!

yesterday, both my little chipmunks went to the dentist for the first time. yes, i know blake is 6 years old....but i also know he has perfect teeth! i was pretty sure blake would be okay during the process, but was not as confident about brady! luckily, they both enjoyed it very much! we got x-rays done, teeth brushed and flossed, and fluoride treatments.

dr. corder said both sets of chompers looked great! no problems! one thing that disturbed blake greatly was when dr. corder told him none of his teeth were loose, and it may be 6-8 months before he looses one! he was crushed! all of blake's friends have lost at least 2-3 teeth....but his are just cemented in there! check out his x-ray. the permanent teeth are in the gums below his baby teeth, just waiting to pop through! that looks so cool to me!

after their exams, they both got to pick a treat from the treasure chest. unfortunately, it still had lots of halloween stuff in it and they picked out big rubber beetles! gross! all i have to say is beware whoever sleeps over at our house next....because we may plant bugs in your bed! we're due for another routine check-up in 6 months so maybe blake will have a big gaping hole by then. keep your fingers crossed!

Monday, November 03, 2008


trick or treat! ~ wow! i heard that a million times Friday night! halloween was so much fun this year! the whole day was absolutely crazy. blake had a party at school then we started getting dressed around 4 pm. there are a few stops we have to make at family and friends' homes before we start knocking on neighborhood doors so we had to start really early! we drove all over town, hit the neighborhood across the street, then went to 2 different church carnivals. i was "plum wo out" when i finally got to bed! brady dressed up like a policeman and blake was his prisoner! they were the cutest little criminal and crime-fighter i've ever seen! friday morning, brady was practicing being a cop and he came into my room, being so serious, and said to me, "freeze! i'm under arrest!" ha! i had to tell him to say "you're under arrest"! our dog, cayman, even got in on the fun. he was a police dog! all chaos considered, we had a great day! maybe next year, since halloween will be on Saturday, it won't be quite so nuts!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

family weiner roast!

i love the fall when the weather turns cooler! my whole outlook on life is so much better when i'm not sweating to death! my family has been waiting for just the perfect opportunity to build a fire outside and have a weiner roast...and this was the night! my brother, russ, and his family were in town this weekend so we made a fire in the backyard at my parents' house. we roasted weiners, sausage, marshmallows for smores .... and even canned biscuits.... on our sticks! it was yummy! and what is it about a fire that kids just can't get enough of?! brady found every little twig from here to mississippi to throw in that thing! he finally started picking bark off a nearby tree to throw in it when he ran out of sticks!
this is poppy and blake making their biscuits over the fire.

blake with his special dish: sausage on a clothes hanger!

russ and his family are moving here from Texas this month so hopefully this won't be our only roasting fire this season. daddy & momma are crazy excited about having all their kiddos within 5 minutes of them!

happy fall, ya'll! go grab a bag of marshmallows and set fire to some sticks!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

4th folder pic

i look at several blogs of friends....(and some complete strangers!).....and saw this idea for a "photo tag". i thought it was a good idea so i'm going to share it and then tag a couple of friends to do it! what you do is go to your picture folders on your computer. you open the fourth folder and upload the fourth picture in it. the above pic happened to be mine! my folder was from the Washington, DC vacation that we took last new years. we spent 4 days there and had a really great time with our boys. blake was 5 years old and was able to understand the things that we were teaching him about the United States, freedom, and the people that died to give it to us. i must say that it was extremely cold that week! one of the main reasons we headed north was so the kiddos could see snow. they had only seen snow on tv! well, we didn't get any snow that week....but saw a handful of flurries/sleet on the way to the airport to fly home! bummer! the funny thing is that we flew to the northeast US to get a glimpse of snow, and then we got to see it right here in Louisiana 2 months March! go figure.
anyway, looking at these pics brings back wonderful memories of our little family vacation and makes me ready for our beach vacation next summer! (they haven't been to the ocean and the beach yet either!! what kind of parents are we??)
i'm going to tag jennifer and aimee for this game of photo tag! can't wait to see their pics!

Friday, October 24, 2008

my cowboys

every now and then, my crazy kiddos decide that they are real cowboys....with guns, boots, hats, the works! this was one of those nights! they went so far as to say that real cowboys don't sleep in beds, but they sleep on the ground under the stars. luckily, on the ceiling of their bedroom are about 150 glow-in-the-dark stars! so tonight we had to make "cowboy beds" on the floor. we turned on the room light for a while before bed so they stars would really glow when we turned off the lights! the funniest thing was that they parked their boots by their know, so they could ride the range in the morning! brady laid out his hat beside his boots and blake set out his guns (in case a snake crawls into camp??)! i just had to get a pic of it!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

halloween party

what time of the year do you get to act and look like a complete fool and get away with it? halloween, of course! last night, we had the best time at brandon & jennifer's halloween party! everyone was ridiculously dressed and we laughed the whole night! the digital scavenger hunt was so much fun.....running around town (while we looked like idiots anyway!) taking pics with strangers! kenneth and i dressed like Silky Johnson & a sugar mama! that's about as foolish as it gets!

everyone dressed up so funny so i have to post a few pics of them! hope they don't mind! our hosts, brandon & jennifer, were awesome pirates! aimee and brent came as snoopy and charlie brown (with the help of elijah-in-progress!). john mccain and sarah palin even showed up (matt & jennifer)!! and landon was absolutely hysterical as lawanda!

happy halloween everyone!

Thursday, October 09, 2008


this evening, kenneth and i went to dinner and a movie. we planned this morning to see the new movie, Fireproof. i had heard from several friends that is was a really great movie that really opened their eyes to things that they needed to work on in their marriages. i expected a good movie, with an encouraging message, but took away from it alot more. the movie addresses some of the fundamental things that we allow to go wrong in our marriages....issues of respect, encouragement, and just plain ole love! i realized that no matter how wonderful we think our home lives are, there are always things to work on. one of the statements in this movie that hit me between the eyes was "destroy the addictions that claim your heart". wow. that could mean a million different things to a million different people but it boils down to not letting ANYTHING come between you and your spouse.....because God allowed them to claim your heart FIRST. i pray for the guts and strength to put pride aside and fix things in my own heart and my own marriage so God can be glorified in the union that He made 11 years ago. i highly recommend this movie to anyone who is married or ever plans to be. yes, it's just that good!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

pumpkin patch

kenneth and i took the boys to the pumpkin patch tonight....and the weather was fabulous! we had a great time and picked out 3 perfect pumpkins. tomorrow, i'm on the hunt for a bale of hay so i can fix my front porch for fall! we visited the pumpkin patch at the methodist church by the interstate....because they are always so nice there! thanks to the sweet girl who took our family pic! jessica was supposed to be our "official photographer" but she bailed on us! this year, the patch had the regular pumpkins and the white ones; but also had some pumpkins that looked like they had warts all over them. they were pretty nasty looking! anyway, it's worth going over there to have a look at those gross things! happy fall!

Monday, October 06, 2008

my boys with Les Miles!

my kiddos were so pumped to meet Coach Les Miles of the LSU Tigers this past weekend! brady met him at the Rebel Club luncheon.....and blake was so jealous! luckily, we ran into him again tailgaiting before the WM Rebels game. they were so thrilled to have their picture made with him! he was very gracious and sweet to the boys and seemed to be a great guy.

notice how we have all of our favorite teams represented in their shirts! go rebels, tigers, and saints!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

blake playing football

hope you all had a great weekend! mine was full of football! rebels on friday night; blake played flag on saturday afternoon; and we went to the ULM vs. ULL game saturday night! speaking of blake and his flag football, i thought i'd post a pic or two of him playing! he loves playing but says it's too hot....and up until last week, i agreed! check out that awesome green mouthpiece!

he plays on the flag 2 Kiroli Komet team for 1st graders. they have pretty much the same team as they did last year so they are used to playing together. we're not a very dynamic team as far as winning is concerned, but they are having fun....and that's all that matters!

**a little something to make you check my blog in a day or so!**

friday we went to the rebel club luncheon and were very surprised (like everyone else!) when coach les miles walked in! LSU had a free weekend and he spent the day at WMHS. kenneth chatted with him a few minutes after lunch. that night, we saw him again before the football game and he took a picture with blake and brady! they were thrilled! be looking for that pic here soon!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

the fair!

last week, the fair was in town! i am lovin me some fair! it reminds me of waaaaay back in the old days when i was a little girl! ha! at the fair i used to attend, you had to walk through the "fair barn" to get to the rides. that meant you had to suffer through looking at jars of homemade jelly, homemade quilts, tractor exhibits, and the occasional prize calf before you even got to climb into the Tilt-A-Whirl! and remember those ugly little metal necklaces you got when you threw darts and popped a balloon? that cheapo thing ended up costing about $20! i always got the 2-piece broken heart one...i kept one side and gave the other piece to my best friend. at least the best friend for that week!!

fortunately, my 2 boys are more into the kid rides and the food than playing those horrible games. my parents, poppy & mimi, went with us and we all had such a great time! they bought armbands for blake and brady so they could ride as many rides as they many times as they wanted! gee, thanks. we haven't been up that late on a school night in a while!
hope you enjoyed the fair as much as we did! see ya there next year!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

my cool football players!

wow, this has been a crazy week! in addition to school everyday, monday night was football practice for blake, wednesday was church night, thursday we went to the fair, friday night was the rebel football game, and this morning was blake's flag football game! that's with me working 12-hour shifts and kenneth leaving to go out of town for 6 days. we are plum "wo out"! i had to post this cute pic of the boys before the game last night. they are just hams when a camera is pointed at them! (and check out the cheese on brady's face.....and i don't mean the smile!)