Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Tradition

One of my favorite Christmas traditions is celebrating Christmas with my best friend and her family in Natchitoches, Louisiana.  We love meeting up at a great restaurant, strolling along Front Street gazing at the thousands of lights and watching the awesome fireworks show!  Our restaurant of choice for the last two years is well known and has been featured in magazines like Paula Deen and Southern Living.  Lasyone's is  famous for the Louisiana Meat Pie although we ate fried fish, shrimp and gumbo!  After the delicious meal, we made our way to the lights and scouted out a spot to watch the show.  The night wasn't complete until we visited Santa and made our wishes known for Christmas!  I will look forward to this tradition for years to come!

Monday, December 20, 2010

13 years

Thirteen years ago today, I married my best friend and the man of my dreams!  The first 13 have been fun and full of adventure!  I can't wait to see what the rest of our journey has in store.  

I love you, Matt Endris!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Friends + Family = FUN

Thanksgiving Break proved to be loads of FUN as we spent most of our time with friends and family.

My BFF, Candace, and I spent the Saturday before Thanksgiving shopping on front street in Natchitoches.  Our times together are few and far between but we always pick up where we left off and enjoy our precious time together.  She is the sister I never had.

"Good friends are like don't always see them, but you know they are always there!"

This is the home where all of my childhood memories live.
  On Tuesday, the children and I went to my parents home to help celebrate my dad's birthday and prepare for Thanksgiving Day.  It is always an adventure for the kids to spend time at Nana and Papa's house in the country and I love to see them make memories with my parents!

On Wednesday, my dad celebrated his 70th birthday in style.  We baked his favorite German Chocolate Cake and helped him eat it.  He helped us prepare the house for the guests that would arrive later that evening and Thursday morning.  Mom and I were in the kitchen ALL DAY!  I loved spending time with her and watching her do what she loves and does

Isn't that the largest cast iron skillet you have ever seen?  She was preparing for two dressings.  One spicy dressing cooked in the pig on the grill and the other not so spicy chicken dressing cooked in the oven. 

This is what the children did while we cooked.  Dad made this big bouy into a swing and they love it!  Their cousin, Sarah, came over to play.

Thursday morning dawned and all 48 of our guests began to arrive.  We had family from my mom's side of the family as well as my dad's mother's side of the family.  It was quite a reunion.

My dad's brother and his family.

My paternal grandmother sister and her family.

My paternal grandmother's niece and her family.

My maternal grandmother, my uncle and brother.

The children spent much of their time toolin' around on the golf cart.

Couchon de lait with dressing = hmm, hmm good

The feast!


After filling our bellies, we strolled across the road to see the horses and even took a ride!

After a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration with the family, these sweet friends picked me up at 4:00am on Friday morning and we spent the day fellowshiping and shopping!  It was a blast!

This was one Thanksgiving I won't forget! 

Friday, November 19, 2010

Green Bean Bundles's time to put on the apron and get to work in the kitchen!  I really do love to cook although it doesn't happen as often as I would like.  The foods that I tend to cook and eat (only during the holidays) are some of my favorites and I would like to share my favorite "easy" holiday recipe with you today. 

Green Bean Bundles

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter (melted)
1/2 tsp. garlic
Dash of soy sauce
3 cans whole green beans
1 lb. bacon

Mix first 4 ingredients together in a bowl.  Wrap 4-6 beans with a half a slice of bacon.  Place the bundles lined up in a large casserole dish.  Pour the sauce over the bundles.  Marinate overnight (or cook immediately).  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

I will be making these for our Thanksgiving Dinner at church on Sunday and also for our family dinner on Thursday.  The dish always comes home empty!

Happy Eating and Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm joining my friends at Quit Eating Out for Saturday Swap!

Monday, November 15, 2010

In Awe

I am in awe of the beauty of God's creation and continue to give Him thanks for all things!

81.  the different colors of creation
82.  a soul surrendered to Jesus
83.  new members at church
84.  time alone with my hubby
85.  answered prayer
86.  first fire in the fireplace
87.  sweet fellowship around the campfire
88.  true friends
89.  listening to my son read from the Bible
90.  watching my daughter have quiet time

Joining the others in the Gratitude Community 

Saturday, November 13, 2010


One of my favorite events of the year is our church's campfire service.  Each November we take our service outdoors and sit around a campfire to reflect on what God has done in our lives this past year and give Him thanks!  It is a very uplifting worship experience.  After the service, we celebrate with gumbo, soup and dessert...Yummy!  I love my church family and thank God for blessing us so abundantly!  I am already looking forward to next year's service.

Bed & Breakfast Capital

.....of Louisiana is Natchitoches (Nack-a-tish).  Natchitoches is the name of the Parish where my family lives. (La. is the only state in the U.S. to be divided by parishes instead of counties due to our Catholic heritage.)   It is also the name of the largest city within our parish.  It is famous for being the filming location of the popular movie from the 90's called "Steel Magnolias" and it is also know for it's Christmas Festival of Lights.  It really is a quaint, perky little town that we love.  

Matt and I were given a gift certificate to one of the B&B's in town (that we had never heard about) and to one of our favorite seafood and steak restaurants, Mariner's.  This was given to us for pastor appreciation and it was a much needed gift!!  We delivered our children to the grandparents and began a delightful and relaxed weekend at the Cane River Guesthouse.  We had the whole beautiful house to ourselves and enjoyed kicking our feet up and doing NOTHING!!  If you are looking for a vacation destination where you can relax, check out Natchitoches and give us a call when you get here!

The Guesthouse

Gazebo with Hot Tub overlooking Cane River

Beautiful Cane River
Living Room


Master Bedroom

My hunky date

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Honoring Heros

November 11....Veteran's Day....a day to honor our military men and women.  When I think of honor, I think of my grandfathers who have gone on to be with the Lord, but who served our country well.  I also think of my brother, Jason, my father in law, Leonard and my nephew in law, Mike, who have fought and are still fighting for our freedoms and stand proud to be Americans.  I want to say thank you to them and to all the others who have served our country.  These men are Heroes!  I Salute You!  

 My brother, Jason...Operation Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom

My niece, Brandie, with her husband, Mike....Operation Iraqi Freedom

My father in law, Leonard...Vietnam War

Papaw Ortego, Paw DeBusk, Grandad Williamson.......WWII