Our Family

Our Family
Benaiah, Justin, Melinda, Abishai, Keturah, and Jared

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Year 2, Day 363: Rolled Ice Cream, Trolley Rides, and Christmas Lights!

Today we had a slow start to the day and wasn't sure what we would end up doing.  We were going to go to a grilled cheese shop, but then Everly and I couldn't eat there (she is gluten free, too).  So we ended up eating an early lunch then heading out to get ROLLED ice cream and go on the trolley that takes commuters through the downtown area.  And let me tell you, ROLLED ice cream is something to behold! I will describe them in the captions with the pictures, but it's worth the expense to see the process.  And they had (naturally) gluten free and DAIRY FREE options, so I could eat it without having the fear of what it was going to do to me later.  Win!  We all shared an ice cream with another person because they were so big!  I shared with Abishai and probably ate 3/4 of it myself.  He was more interested in the strawberries and blueberries he wanted to put on it more than the chocolate and sprinkles.  They make the ice cream in front of you (see process below) and they even cleaned the machine in between making normal ice cream and toppings, and making the dairy and/or gluten free ice creams without being asked! Score!

And then the trolley ride!  What a cheap way to quickly see the city!  We went from one end of the line to the other.  Abishai of course LOVED it, and I think he knew it wasn't a train, but more like a bus.  He kept pointing at all kinds of things out the windows.  Our trolley wasn't full, so the kids were able to move about a bit at each stop if they wanted to.  It was gorgeously warm sunny day, nearly 60 degrees! (The next day was even warmer!)  We came home from that and Abishai, who had nearly fallen sleep in the car for 30 seconds, didn't want to sleep because he thought he napped in the car.  But Jared made sure he did.  Dinner was leftovers and then we headed out to another spot in downtown to drive through an awesome display of Christmas lights like what we've done back home in the city park.  We could also get out and see some of the lights, too.  My favorite part was the Star Wars vehicles made out of lights, Pokemon, a ferris wheel, and the crayfish/turtle/alligator display you would never see anywhere else.  I also loved that they made "snow" out of dishsoap and it spewed out of a few chimneys.  And the kids got to ride on the carousel as well.  The light display cost $5 per vehicle and it was fun to think we didn't have to spend money on two vehicles!  Then home we went and some went straight to bed because they were very sick, Benaiah being one of them.  He threw up a few times again yesterday.

One of the funniest moments of the evening was on the way back from lights and we were texting with Leah about Benaiah's condition.  The text string included all of us, so every time a text was sent, one phone would ding, and then another one would ding 1/2 second later, and so forth.  And Jared left his phone alone while driving, so it would ding twice for each message.  So, Shauna and I kept sending messages just to hear them all go off.  It drove Jared crazy!  But it was fun!  Shauna sent some emoji type pictures, too! (see below) I love texting wars!

Cell phone pics:
As promised, some pictures of the Mustard Seed House!  The ceiling is filled with t-shirts that volunteer groups left, filled with their names and year(s) they came!  Some have come every year since Hurricane Katrina hit over 12 years.  There were several Indian Creek shirts there!

"I see mornin!"  Abishai loves having a break from the others for naptime, but he highly anticipates seeing "my Noree" every morning, too.

Chalmette landscaping.

The lawn is hidden by the falling needles from these trees.  It's fine when they are dry, but on the rainy day, icky needles are gross!

Many homes have these brick arches on their front porches.

Tile as their front porch flooring!

Aaron's house has roofing over their porch, so the driveway butts right up to their window.  Their living room was originally a carport.  There is a shed/garage in the back.

Several types of flowers bloom in December/January down here in the 50 degree weather.

Practicing our grammar skills using Christmas mad libs!  And yes, she's still wearing her Christmas/Santa hat.

Always buddies.  Although Nora would rather have a little bit of alone time.

For rolled ice cream, they put the crackers or cookies  or nuts or other bits you find in ice cream on this supremely cold surfaces and crush them.  Then they add the milk (or dairy free alternative) and other ingredients like chocolate sauce and mix it all up like Coldstone Creamery does.

Then they spread out the cream as it cools down into a thin layered rectangle.

They then drizzle on more toppings of your choice like marshmallow, nutella, chocolate and caramel.

And THIS is the BEST part!  They start scraping up the ice cream into rolls like those rolled hazelnut wafers you buy in a tall tin!

Ready to roll!

These two buddies shared and they added some toasted marshmallows to it.  You can add more toppings once the ice cream is in the dish.

It's kind of hard to get a spoonful at first.
Keturah and Everly, best buddies.

Blueberries and strawberries, yum!

Choco loco for Abishai and I!  He was insistent on the blueberries and strawberries more than the sprinkles!  Chocolate, nutella, and almonds.

Fishing for the blueberries.

Gary and Benaiah had one that was like cherry cordial.

5 of the grandkids!  Keturah, Everly, Justin, Nora, and Abishai on Freezy Street!  In the summer, the line goes out the door and it takes two hours to order and receive your ice cream!  Wow!

I've never seen a Texan looking McDonald's!

On the trolley!

It was a gorgeous day for a trolley ride!  90% of our time here, the weather has been cold and drizzly.  Today it was 65 and sunny!

The trolley on another line!  The lines didn't run for very long.  I think ours was a 15 minute ride from one end to another.  I think there are 3 other lines.

Selfie with the baby.

I think every city should have trolleys!  It saves on all the walking you have to do!  And these red shoes are NOT for walking in! My heels hurt and they are pretty slim, and while I have small feet, these felt very uncomfortable and the end of the day.

With only a few other people on the trolley, the kids got to move around and try holding onto the straps.

Downtown landscaping.

Painted after Carrie Fisher died this year.  Her performance in Star Wars: The Last Jedi was not supposed to be her last performance in the franchise.  But, she acted well and her part was perfect for being her last.

Downtown New Orleans at night.

Selfie time at downtown light show!

Fake snow made with dishwashing soap!  I had to stay clear of it because it was getting all over my camera.
Selfie with the cool ferris wheel that moved!

Carousel! $1 per person.  I can only imagine how hot this building would be in the summer.  It has it's own fans in the ceiling!

These two loved this peek a boo spots.
Everybody that went, so, Gary, Jared, Melinda, Aaron, Shauna, Justin, Keturah, Abishai, Everly, and Nora.  Grandma has felt ill all week and the other kids have taken turns feeling sick.

The Mercedes Superdome where the New Orleans Saints play. 

DSLR Pictures: Out of order, i.e. not chronologically synced with cell phone pics, but I don't always have the time to do that.  I'd rather get the blog posted than let it be perfect.

Now for the rest of the pictures of the Mustard Seed House.  Here's the kitchen.  I'm not sure if there was an oven in the brick chimney, but it's empty now.  Some of these homes seem to be 100 years old and I was told, some are passed on from one generation to the next and they don't have the actual deed to them anymore.  That fact made it hard to get funding after the flood.

The first thing Benaiah noticed was that this toilet was on a raised platform.  There are 28 beds, 3 toilets, and 2 showers.

Very basic bunk beds with real mattresses.

A nice shot of the living room.  The red couch used to be Aaron and Shauna's.  I love the little brick archway into the kitchen.  The table is made up of two folding tables and a bunch of mismatched chairs.  Some of them rocked backwards a bit!  The board in the back is filled with names of volunteers that came early on in the clean up process.

Aww, Gary's name is on this one!  We know several folks on this shirt!

Every time this group comes, instead of starting a new t-shirt, they just add the year that they came.  Some have come every year since 2006!

Where the boys slept, which is a converted garage.  The actual owner of the home made a wall with a little space between the overhead outside garage door and the inside wall, leaving just enough room for some basic tools to have on hand for maintenance.  He has the key for the doors.  And he made a special encased area in the ceiling so when the garage door goes up, it can fit between the ceiling and the false ceiling.  This is the coldest room of the house by far so we had to use a fan to bring in some heat.  It does have air vents though.

Playing games with Grandpa.

ASEN got rid of their swingset, but the girls enjoyed time on the trampoline instead.  Everly is the one doing the back bend.

Uncle Aaron made Everly a bar she can do flips and tricks on, as well as a used gym mat she can practice more tricks on!  Keturah got to practice on it!

Justin and Nora playing with the hexbug game.  You have to change the path that the bug goes in so it drops into your box.  The bug moves by vibrating on the path.

Back to the downtown trolley ride!

Sweet kids!

The whole crew! (almost!)

Beautiful porticos near the French Quarter.

Skyline mixed with some rundown buildlings.  We saw a lot of homeless people, too.

The backside of the Superdome and some modern art!

Abishai and his trolley at the end of the line in the heart of downtown!  The driver took a break so we had to wait 10 minutes to get back on.

The kids stretching their legs and enjoying the fresh air.

Keturah was going to make a heart with the rocks.

Talking, talking, talking about the state of New Orleans, church stuff, people stuff, etc.

These benches on these old trolleys can switch directions!

So you can either face two other people.

Or you can turn your backs on them.

Sitting next to his favorite person.  Nora, sit with me!


I'm working on my photography skills.

Abishai told us what each vehicle was when we passed it.  The trolley does fit in between two lanes of traffic so sometimes there was a car to the left and to the right of the trolley and they were pretty close!


Palm trees separating the two directions of traffic.

Again, Abishai has a thing for Nora.

Nice old theater in the background and I love the Christmas decorations on the trolley.

The cables for the trolleys!

Lots of Catholics down here.  Interesting architecture! Attached priest's house.  We also saw a Islamic house of worship with a bunch of Muslims milling about.


More beautiful buildings.

Wow!  I wonder if this was someone's summer home 200 years ago!

The different lines the trolleys can go on.  It's definitely not as intricate as Chicago, San Francisco, or New York, and much less than the bus system of Indianapolis.

We took a detour on the way home to see the coal plants.  Some people must cross the river twice a day to work, so they have to wait on this two lane road.  There was a little turnaround, so we were able to turn the big bus around, but barely.

Making oil into coal and coal products.

A common sight on vacation.  Benaiah plugged in on the big boy chair and the others palying Minecraft.

Yeah for a third controller so the kids can all play together!

After supper, we went to see lights in one of the big parks downtown.  It reminded me of the light display we saw last year at the tractor supply place on the northeast side of Indianapolis.  It's Frosty the Snowman!  They also had music playing and this was the area you drove through.  Some were walking it though.

M&M guy for Grandma.  There were Minions, reindeer, penguins, and other fun characters, including a Superbowl trophy.

In honor of the newer Star Wars movies, an updated C-3PO and R2-D2!

The Millennium Falcon.

Tie Fighter of the Empire.

Po Damarin's X-Wing and BB-8!

Snow speeder!

Name that superhero!  Captain America, Batman, Green Lantern!

Wonder Woman, Flash, Spider-man, Hulk, Iron Man!  But no Green Arrow, boo!

Now THIS is not something you see in your average light display!  You know you are in New Orleans when....you have alligators, frogs, turtles, and crayfish in your light display!

In the gazebo, they had lights flickering off and on according to the music playing.  The kids had a grand time running around in it!

Justin declared, "Mom, you have GOT to come see this!" You guessed it, it's Poke'mon!

Cutest snowman you ever did see!

It was a gorgeous carousel!

Creeper Justin and princess Everly.

Keturah, Jared, Abishai, and Nora.
This is our text string on the way home where we were all a little stir crazy!

I love these Emoji's Shauna made from an app.  You can create your own character an then add things to it.  Doesn't it look like her?
And....we're done!  Phew!