The Year In Review

As we approach the New Year, I look ahead to 2009 with a heavy heart. If you happen to know the McFamily, you probably already know the source of my heavy heart. If you are a loyal blog fan, over the course of the next few (six) months, you will come to understand what is going on around here. It has weighed on my mind every! single! day! since I learned about it on April 18, 2008.

McDaddy and I are praying that God will prepare our hearts and more importantly the kids’ hearts for this time of separation and difficulty. We ask for your prayers too and hope that the time will pass quickly.

On a lighter note, 2008 was an awesome year for us. Here is the year in review….

In Pictures! 

[Note: I will try to keep this brief, but you know how chatty I can be]. You might want to pull up a chair and grab a ice-cold Dr. Pepper from the fridge before we get started.


2-4-08 — Alex finally began wearing his glasses all! the! time! After a full year of eye drops in the good eye, begging, bribing and praying (not necessarily in that order), he finally discovered that he could see so much better with them that he started to wear them all the time.



2-8-08 — The crazy wind storm of 2008 came through and blew McDaddy’s carport down. Thankfully, my minivan was tucked safely inside of the garage when this happened.



March 3, 2008 – Our sweet nephew, Isaac was born. I have a picture of him, but I have not asked for parental permission from the in-laws to post their kid’s picture on my blog. You’ll just have to believe me when I say he is a cutie patootie. He is #9 in the McGrandbaby line-up.



4-10-08  — The boys and I enjoyed a quick visit to New Hampshire to visit McDaddy’s sister and her family. We spent a week with them while McDaddy was in Mississippi with the WV Air National Guard.



4-12-08 — Here is McDaddy arriving home from aforementioned Mississippi trip.



4-19-08 — My first off-roading adventure with McDaddy in his heap (ahem! I mean, JEEP) with the club. This was not a good day for me. I suffered a panic attack and various levels of stress during this outing. [note: neither of those jeeps in the mud belongs to us]



4-21-08 — New life awaits in the rhododendron bush by our garage. Unfortunately the little darlins were plucked from their nest days after their arrival, no doubt by the vicious cat that lives next door. After watching these eggs hatch, I was sorry that the mama robin didn’t build her nest in a safer, securer environment.



4-25-08  — Here is me and my BFF Anita Renfroe at Women of Faith in Columbus.



4-25-08 — Women of Faith in Columbus… God spoke to me in a big way and because of that we “sponsored” Mercy from Malawi through World Vision. Finally, I have a daughter!!!



5-4-08 — McDaddy is promoted to the rank of Major in the WV Air National Guard. Here, his dad (Chief Master Sargent McGrandpa and I do the honors of pinning the Major Rank on). McDaddy is an officer and a gentleman.



5-8-08 — I began a rigorous workout schedule at the YMCA in an effort to lose 50 pounds. 34 weeks later, I have lost 24 pounds.  (Notice my fat cheeks)



5-9-08 — The princess, the Queen and the Queen Mother attend a Mother’s Day banquet at my lovely little church. In case you’re wondering, I’m the one on the left. My mom is in the middle and her mom is on the end.



5-11-08 — Mother’s Day 2008 — Me with the two greatest things I’ve ever been a part of.



5-16-08 — McDaddy surprises McPrincess with a surprise 10th Anniversary trip. I had no idea where we were headed until we boarded a plane for Minneapolis, Minnesota to go here



5-22-08  — Stevie graduates from Pre-School much to my dismay. I was not at all ready for him to start Kindergarten.



5-22-08 — Our sweet nephew, Kirklen was born. Again, parental permission has not been received to publish his picture on my blog, so you’ll just have to trust me when I say he is a sweet, precious angel. He is #10 in the McGrandbaby line-up.



1/1/08 – 12/31/08 — McDaddy modifies his heap (ahem! I mean JEEP) yet again.



6-11-08 — Our sweet nephew, Noah is born. Parental Permission is pending. You know the drill. And, in case you happen to be keeping score that makes 3 nephews born within 3 months. Sweet Noah is Number 11 in the McGrandbaby line-up (all under the age of 6).


6-21-08 — The McFamily camps with friends at Summersville.



6-29-08 — The Princess directs Vacation Bible School for the 7th (and in her words) and last year.



6-28-08  — Our sweet friend from high school Jodie and her husband, Scott come to WV to visit us for the weekend. They also happen to be off-roading enthusiasts.  [Pictured left to right is Me, Jodie, McDaddy and our other high school friend, Tom]



7-21-08 — The McFamily welcomes a new addition to the family. A new camper.



8-7-08 — The Princess enjoys a test drive on a perfect, sunny day in her dream car, the Saturn Sky.  (I just had to add this one).



8-26-08  — Stevie starts Kindergarten. This also marks the first day of school for my sweet nephew, Dylan who stays with us a couple of nights each week.



10-30-08  — Halloween is always a fun time at the McResidence.



11-01-08  — Alex turns “free” years old



11-08-08 — The Princess debuts her blog, From Inmates to Playdates to the blogosphere.



11-11-08 — After a grueling experience with Lowes, our fancy, new bathroom countertop is completed, thanks to McDaddy’s tiling talent.



11-27-08 — Thanksgiving Day at the McResidence.



11-30-08  — Stevie signs up for basketball and plays for The Lakers.



12-11-08 — The Princess turns 35 years old and spends the evening volunteering for World Vision at the Casting Crowns Concert.



12-12-08  — Stevie turns 6 years old



12-25-08 — Christmas Day is spent with both sets of our parents and The Princesses extended family who were visiting from California.



12-26-08 — The McFamily sets off for Orlando, Florida. They visit Sea World and Magic Kingdom.




There you have it.

Our year in pictures.

Thanks for tuning into my daily dose of crazy. Here’s to a joyous and prosperous 2009.

Open Letter to the Infectious Cough Crap

Dear Nasty Cough, Croup, Infectious Cough Crap:

Please be advised that as of this writing the McFamily has hadituptohere! with your shenanigans. We have been planning this trip to Florida for months and now, thanks to you, our plans have been seriously altered.

Please leave my three year old alone. He feels horrible and his little throat needs a break from the raspy nastiness that you have caused.

Our plans to visit the Magic Kingdom have been put on hold, because our boy is too sick to go out.

We need some magic around here.

Magic as in bleach to chase away your nasty self.

We are praying that you moverightalong to find your next unsuspecting victim. It would be nice if you pick someone who is not staying in Room #213.  [Hint. Hint] And, it would be even nicer if you chose someone who can fend for themselves. Not a helpless three year old who can barely tell us what is hurting him.

Your Truly,

Alex’s Mommy

Live From Florida!

Our van has been moving for 10 hours and 53 minutes. We have driven 643.1 miles and according to the trusty GPS we still have 154 miles to go until we reach our destination. The time is 6:24pm. We pulled out of our driveway at 5:15am. It was 24 degrees. We just crossed the Florida state line and the temperature is 75 degrees.

I’ll give you a minute to process the numbers.

Yes, as a matter of fact, I’m worn out.

Both boys are asleep after having watched CARS and Ratatouille and done some serious bonding with their new Christmas friends, Leapster and DS.

I am sitting in the passenger seat of the minivan live blogging. Only, I’m not really live blogging because McDaddy’s air card only works in his laptop and I am on my laptop. So, I am composing today’s blog in Microsoft Word even though I know that once I arrive at the hotel and attempt to cut and paste this sucker onto wordpress it will give me fits because of line spacing, font and who knows what else. My butt in numb and my left leg is asleep, probably due to the fact that my legs are resting on the dashboard (much to McDaddy’s dismay, I’m sure). On top of that, I am bored out of my ever lovin’ mind.

Yet, here I am.

I have been very busy in the car today. I slept for the first three hours. We stopped for breakfast and then I drove for 100 miles.

Yes, McDaddy actually asked me to drive. Which is unprecedented.

I was happy to help out, but, I was even happier to give up the wheel and take my seat back over here in Passengerseatville.

I did get a chance to clean my laptop house and now it is in tip-top condition. I merged files, deleted pictures, changed my wallpaper, worked on the church bulletin calendars for the entire year, moved icons, swept and dusted.  In other words, I have made mad use of my time.

Oh multi-tasking I do love you so very much.

I would love to have internet access here on the open road. If that was the case, I could easily pass the remaining 2 hours and 25 minutes blogging, mySpacing, facebooking, PostSecreting and visiting my bloggy friends in Blogville.

Instead, I will gripe about being bored, uncomfortable and hot. Oh, and did I mention bored?

As you can imagine, I am quite the traveling companion.

The long hours in the car are obviously beginning to weigh heavily on McDaddy’s mind as well. He made mention of three dreaded words.

Time. Share. Pitch.

If you have ever sat through one of these, you are undoubtedly shouting at the computer screen DON’T! DO! IT!

And I don’t want to. Believe me. We made the mistake of agreeing to sit through one of those sessions for free tickets to Epcot five short years ago. I vowed at that time, that I would never again participate in that type of abuse ever again, opting instead to have every hair on my head pulled out.

With tweasers.

That was before I found out that four military discounted tickets to Magic Kingdom is going to cost in excess of $300.00.

No, that is not a typo.

It is however, outrageous.

Outrageous enough to make me rethink my personal anti-time-share experience motto that says, “I-Will-Never-Ever-Participate-In-Another-One-Of-These-As-Long-As-I-Shall-Live-No-Matter-What”.

So, between now and then, I am praying that God will drop four tickets in our lap at an even cheaper rate.

Until then, keep your ears open. If you hear howling that appears to be coming from the deep South, you will know that McDaddy and I have made the gut-wrenching decision to participate in the time-share pitch yet again.

I’ll keep you posted.

Have a great weekend, ya’ll.

[Side Note: Stevie just woke up asking to watch the DVD that Santa left in his stocking. It happens to be, in his words, “A new show I’ve never heard of”…. You may or may not have of it. “Tom and Jerry”. He is laughing himself silly, and, I am enjoying the sweet sound of his giggle]. 

It’s Christmas Eve… What are you doing here?

I am writing on the very rare chance that someone is out there reading my ramblings on Christmas Eve.

Actually, I am waiting to play Santa and thought I’d update you, my loyal blog fans on my Christmas Eve activities.

So far today, I have…..

  • Took a bath
  • Cleaned the toilet
  • Made pancakes for my fellas for breakfast
  • Emptied the dishwasher
  • Filled the dishwasher
  • Replaced all neice and nephew ornaments with current pictures
  • Put my boy’s picture with Santa in a frame
  • Fixed my hair
  • Ran the vacuum
  • Enjoyed dinner with my parents
  • Fussed at Stevie for bouncing into the Christmas tree on that dumb bouncy ball
  • Ate more chocolate than I should have
  • Said “NO” to Alex about 917 times
  • Made Chocolate Delite
  • Read more letters from the Mother Letter Project
  • Hand made more ornaments
  • Checked my hotmail
  • Updated my status on MySpace and Facebook respectively (because people really care about what I’m doing)
  • Watched The Young and The Restless
  • Spilled an entire batch of pancake mix and splattered it for miles
  • Cleaned up said pancake batter throughout the day as I found more of it crusted on furniture and walls
  • Enjoyed a visit from my wonderful neighbors, R & L
  • Packed the boy’s clothes for Disney
  • Called my sweet aunt to wish her a Happy Birthday (I got her voicemail)
  • Opened a sweet Christmas card from my friend, D and her family.
  • Filled stockings
  • Folded 2 loads of laundry
  • Talked to my cousin, Bo
  • Shook some presents
  • Wrapped! More! Gifts!
  • Polished my toenails
  • Checked the weather in Orlando (Mickey Mouse here we come!)
  • Cleaned out the fridge
  • Read the newspaper
  • Picked up 1,882 cars throughout the day  (it may have been the same 23 cars, but I picked them up all day long)
  • Gave the boys a bath
  • Made cookies for Santa
  • Blogged


So far today, I have not….

  • Put on the first dab of make-up  (yikes!)
  • stopped!


Merry Christmas Ya’ll!!!

I’m hoping Santa leaves a red DS and “his very own Leapster” for 2 sweet boys!

Thanks for reading my blog.

You Know You’re A Blogger When….

You Know You’re A Blogger When…..

1. You take pictures of ordinary things that most people couldn’t care less about because it will make great blog fodder.

2. You have almost wrecked your vehicle trying to retrieve a notebook from your purse to jot down the latest, greatest blog idea that just entered your mind.

3. You stay up way past your bedtime to hammer out the next post for your blog. (ahem!)

4. You ignore mounting piles of laundry, large amounts of dust and an ever growing daily docket on TiVo because you are busy blogging.

5.  You view every outing as tomorow’s blog idea.

6.  You add your blog site to your signature in cards, e-mails and utility bills.  (oh, I kid!)

7.  Your normal daily activities become tomorrow’s Thursday 13 list.

8.  You begin to wonder what various objects like your iPod, your van and your child’s backpack would think about if they had a brain and then you blog about it.

9.  You find yourself e-mailing companies (Saturn), for free stuff to give away on your blog. (Sorry saps!)

10.  Your husband has preceded a conversation with….. I’d rather you not blog about this…..

11.  You edit a post 114 times after it has been published.

12. You have contacted family members asking permission to show their pictures on your blog.

13.  You carry a camera because you just never know when you will need photographic proof of a good story.

14.  Heavy traffic makes you happy.

15.  You check your hotmail 27 times each day to moderate new comments (hint. hint.)

16. You visit Google Thesaurus during the writing of a post because you don’t want to be viewed as a goof ball when you use a word improperly.  (yes, it happens)

17.  You start a list and decide you can’t end it on  Number 17.

18.  You keep a close eye on your word count so that you don’t appear too chatty. (ha!)

19.  When you precede a comment with “I’m a blogger, and……”

20.  You can identify the flags from foreign nations because of the neocounter on your blog.

You’re It!

I think I may have set some sort of record today.

I shopped for 8 hours.

With my 2 kids.

My mom.

And a van-load of patience.

Because of that, I am pooped!

I saw this meme over at Faith’s blog and decided to play along even though she didn’t tag me. I was out all day, so she probably had trouble finding me. Anyway, here goes.


8 Shows I watch:

Only 8…. I’ll do my best.

1. The Young and The Restless
2. The Bold and the Beautiful (darn those cross-overs)
3. Big Brother
4. American Idol (Coming Soon)
5.  The View
6. Desperate Housewives
7. Criminal Minds
8. Dancing With The Stars

8 Favorite Restaurants:

1. Outback Steakhouse
2. Longhorn
3. Olive Garden
4. Famous Dave’s Barbecue
5.  Top Spot (Local Hot Spot)
6.  Lonestar
7. Logan’s
8.  Rio Grande (Local Mexican Place)

8 Things that Happened to Me Today

1.  I got honked at for being in the wrong lane.
2. I shopped for 8 hours with my mom and boys.
3.  I ate Chinese for lunch – yummy
4.  I got my first blog award
5. I bought a new fossil watch with birthday money from the inlaws to replace the one that was stolen from me at the Y.
6. I drank 3 Dr. Peppers (naughty girl)
7. I went back to sleep after McDaddy took Stevie to school – yay! for the extra hour.
8.  I wrapped presents.

8 Things I Look Forward to:

1.  My boys enjoying Christmas morning.
2.  Christmas breakfast
3.  Our trip to Florida the day after Christmas.
4.  Spending Christmas with my family.
5.  Our annual family ski trip next month.
6.  Playing Santa
7.  August, 2009
8.  My warm bed that will welcome me in about 3 minutes.

8 Things I Wish For:

1.  I wish for it to be over.
2.  The end of pull-ups!
3.  For God to keep McDaddy safe during it.
4.  My family to be saved.
5.  For my kids to not have to go through it.
6.  For God to be at the center of my life at all times.
7.  A Saturn Sky
8.  Many more healthy years for my parents.

I am not tagging anyone, but invite you to play along!

And the award goes to….

I have been given the Lemonade Award by Gina over at Six in the Country. The lemonade award is for blogs that show great attitude and gratitude.

Gina, I appreciate you thinking of me! 

Upon receiving the lemonade award, I must pass it on to 10 bloggers who in my humble opinion also show attitude and gratitude.

The rules are simple:

1. Put the logo on your blog or post.

2. Nominate at least 10 blogs with a great attitude / gratitude.

3. Link the nominees within your post.

4.  Let them know you have given the award by leaving them a comment on their blog.

5.  Share the love and link this post and to the person from whom you recevied this award.

It will be difficult to pick just 10…. but here goes.

Such The Spot

Walk with me by faith

A Slice Of Heaven

This world is not my home

A Box Of Chocolates

4 Little Men

Heidi Jo What Do You Know

A Day In The Life


These are a few of my favorite things

Now, go show those gals some love and tell them I sent you!!!

Hearshe’s A Princess

After another busy week, I feel free to finally sit, relax and chat for a bit.

If you are a loyal blog fan, you may remember that while airing my dirty laundry a week or so ago, I mentioned attending a ladies brunch at my lovely little church.

We had such a great time, I wanted to share bits and pieces of  it with you. You might want to get comfortable, this could take awhile.

After seeing the pictures, you’ll understand a little better why I had such a royal time.

Typically, we ladies plan a Christmasy (is that a word?) brunch with poinsettias, garland, lights and all manner of Christmas decorations. This year though, we decided to do things a little differently. While consulting with my very good friend, Google about “ladies brunch”, I found a cute idea about hosting holiday tables. I presented the idea to the ladies group and immediately had 8 table “hostesses”. 

Each table would have a different theme and would seat 8 people. The only catch was, each table “host” had to come up with a verse from the Bible to correspond with their theme.

Oh internets, wait till you see the tables.

Here is a peek at each table with their corresponding verse.



This table theme is “On Fire For Jesus” – with the theme verse: For our God is a consuming fire. Hebrews 12:29.



This table theme is “Happy Birthday, Jesus” – One of the theme verses (there were actually 3)  for this table is:  And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger because there was no room for him in the inn. Luke 2:7



Winter Wonderland Theme – As long as the earth endures, seed-time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease. Genesis 8:22



Table Theme – DASIES (Our speaker hosted this table and she told of how God “showed” her daisies throughout a trial she was going through). – I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.  Ephesians 3:16-19.



Table theme – HORSES – My friend recently had to put her beloved horse, Thunder down. Her table was in honor and memory of him. Theme verse – Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In all thy ways acknowlege him and he will direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5



Table Theme – FALL – Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they “fall” one will lift up his companion. But, woe to him who is alone when he ‘falls’, for he has no one to help him up. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10.




Table Theme – Victorian – Through wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established. By knowlege the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches. Proverbs 24:3-4.


And now for my favorite table…..


I’ll give you three guesses as to who hosted this Princess Theme table.

The theme verse for this my table was – Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day – and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. II Timothy 4:8.

Did I mention that I! Am! A! Princess!  The Bible tells me so.

Here are some close-ups of my table.


I hope you can read that. Each table had one of these table plaques that listed the table host, the theme, the verse and a personal holiday message from each host.





Each place setting at my table featured a crown and a giant hershey bar (because you know… princesses love chocolate) which I know you are hoping to see up close.


Can you believe that you can go to google, type in “Hershey” font and voila… it will tell you the font. You can add that to the useless bits of information I dish out from time to time.

Because around here internets, we are about so much more than just entertainment.

Unless of course you were planning on making some of these cute hershey bar labels yourself and you have racked your brain trying to figure out the font used on the hershey bar. Look no further. It is Swiss 911 Extra Compressed.

Your welcome!


And, here was is the back of the wrapper.


I basically copied the information from my table plaque to the back of the wrapper.

It was such a cute little detail that made me and my tables guests smile.

And speaking of smiling, I just remembered that I bought one of those suckers home and haven’t opened it yet.

So, while you’re busy reading about it, I’ll be busy eating it.

Have a great week ya’ll.

In His Footsteps


The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him.

Proverbs 20:7

I’m Not Playin’

TO:  The Groundsquirrel living under our porch

FROM:  The girl in the minivan

DATE:  Today

RE:  I’m Not Playin’


Dear Ground Squirrel:

It has come to my attention that you are living underneath of our front porch. On two seperate occasions, I have witnessed you darting from the porch toward McDaddy’s Jeep.

Here’s a free piece of advice.

Find a new home.

It is a well-known fact that I do not like anything that hugs the ground and scurries from one place to another.

And,  just in case there is any doubt, that would include you.

While I don’t so much mind you living under our porch, I would prefer that you stay under there and scurry to another place when I am out of sight. That does not mean that you should wait until you see my van pulling into the driveway.

If you choose to ignore my warning, you should know that I am not above using the broom in McDaddy’s beloved garage to take care of you once and for all.

You can think what you want, but understand that I am a gal of my word. When push comes to shove, I will probably scream like a maniac, in which case you will be begging to use the broom to put you out of your misery. The other option is I will use the broom and you will never know what hit you.

Either way, I’m not playin and I wouldn’t suggest you test me.

Consider yourself warned.

Just Sayin’

Love, Julie