Not Me! And My OCD

Get all your Not Me stuff here...Happy Monday, y’all!

We’re packed to capacity here at the McResidence as McDaddy’s brother-in-law, and three of his family members are staying with us this week for huntin’ season. (And yes, around here we say huntin’!) If you’ve spent any time at From Inmates To Playdates, you know that we are in the midst of remodeling our basement. That means that half of our basement is in disarray (I love that word!) and the other half is in semi-disarray. The good news is that our house-guests are four men, and they are here to hunt. They couldn’t care less what the accommodations as long as they have a warm bed and a toilet. So, my OCD levels are not as frigged up as they would be if those four fellas were girlfriends. Still yet, I have been swarping this week to get the basement in some sort of order.

We also had Thanksgiving and Christmas with McDaddy’s family this weekend. However, we did not party like rock-stars or eat like pigs. We did, however, enjoy being all together as we watched our twelve children play together. In fact, my favorite mother-in-law is here, along with McDaddy’s sister and her three kids and Tom & Jerry is blaring in the background as we wait for their arrival after a long, fourteen hour drive. Life is good!

And praise God it seriously wasn’t me riding the fourteen hours to get here!

It was not me who whined and begged [unsuccessfully!] for McDaddy to get the Christmas decorations out of the loft on Thanksgiving day because I do not whine.

Or beg for that matter.

It also wasn’t me who argued with the folks at Walgreens because they had M&Ms on a sale display table that they weren’t willing to give me the sale price for.

If you are a big-wig at The Walgreens and you happen to be reading From Inmates To Playdates today,  please understand that all M&Ms on an M&M display with a 2 for $3.00  price-tag should be included in the sale regardless of whether they are holiday M&Ms or regular M&Ms. 

Just sayin’

Also, it wasn’t me who scoured Toys-R-Us on black Friday for an hour looking for a second set of Incredible Hulk smash hands. It wasn’t me because surely I  the crazy OCD non-violence mama would never buy one set of these, much less two for my sweet boys who never hit or smack each other.


Oh, and it wasn’t me who ate her weight in some kind of scrumptious banana pudding concoction that my sister-in-law, Bridget prepared for our family dinner.  Sweet mercy, I need to get that recipe. Maybe I’ll share it sometime.

And finally, it wasn’t me who found herself a bit emotional this week when we sold our beloved 4-Runner. Because seriously? Who cares about a car, right?

Good bye, 4-Runner. WeI will miss you around here! I knew once McDaddy got the itch for a truck, it would be you that got the boot instead of the heap, ahem, I mean JEEP.

I hope you love your new home! Since you are living just a few short miles from us, maybe our paths will cross someday.

That’s all I got for this week, folks!

Head on over to MckMama‘s place for hundreds of Not Me! Monday posts.

Eight Things

Oops… It looks like I forgot to post this on Friday.

Sheesh. Sorry.

A sweet forever ago, Mel over at A Box Of Chocolates tagged me for a short meme. Even though it has been months since she posted this, today seemed like the perfect day to play along. While I am supposed to tag eight other bloggers, I am choosing not to do that. Instead, I will list eight of my favorite blogs and would love for you to visit them! If you visit, be sure to tell them I sent you.

Oh, and in case you are wondering I am not being compensated for plugging them. It just so happens that I enjoy reading these blogs and want to spread the love!

8 Things I Look Forward To

  1. Our family birthdays. My birthday is in two short weeks. 36, here I come!
  2. Christmas. My favorite holiday and favorite time of year.
  3. Picking Stevie up from school. Even though he is in the first grade, I still miss him terribly when he is at school.
  4. Girls’ Night Out – They don’t happen often, but when they do, I whoop it up!
  5. The last day of school – It will mean my PTA duties can take a break until school starts up again. Unless of course, someone else is out of their mind willing to head the PTA festivities and duties up next year.
  6. May 23rd – Mine and McDaddy’s wedding anniversary. I love our anniversary. Mostly because it means I’m getting a gift it was one of the most special days of my life.
  7. Saturday – McDaddy’s family is celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas on Saturday because all 24 of us will be together. Our boys are really looking forward to spending next week visiting and playing with their cousins.
  8. Finishing our basement – We are in the midst of some major renovations to our basement which is scary because hello? I know nothing of interior design. 

 8 Things I Did Yesterday

  1. Went to the grocery store to buy cloves (which by the way were $8.65 for a tiny, little container)
  2. Prepared Vanilla Delight (which by the way was YUMMY!)
  3. Ate way too much!
  4. Clipped Alex’s fingernails
  5. Watched the Macy’s Day Parade
  6. Took a bath
  7. Cleaned the basement
  8. Loaded and Unloaded the dishwasher three times (So thankful for the dishwasher!)

8 Things I Wish I Could Do

  1. Keep the kitchen countertop clear of debris
  2. Blog Design
  3. Surprise McDaddy with a ginormous garage
  4. Get rid of the clutter
  5. Be really good at styling my hair.
  6. Control my temper AT ALL TIMES!
  7. Learn to say NO!
  8. Get more help with PTA matters.

8 Shows I Watch

  1. Grey’s Anatomy
  2. Desperate Housewives
  3. The View
  4. The Young and The Restless
  5. Criminal Minds
  6. Bones
  7. American Idol
  8. Dancing With The Stars

8 Blogs I Read

  1. Big Mama
  2. Boo Mama
  3. Such The Spot
  4. We Are THAT Family
  5. These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things
  6. Slice Of Heaven
  7. The Queen B
  8. Fiddledeedee

Enjoy your Friday, y’all!

Thursday Thirteen – Thirteen Things [and folks] I’m Thankful For!

What better day to tell you thirteen things I’m thankful for than today on this Thanksgiving holiday.

I love Thanksgiving. I have fond memories of waking up very early on Thanksgiving morning to the smell of turkey and pumpkin pie baking in the oven. And, no Thanksgiving is complete without the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  So, yes, I will watch it even today. I will watch it while I dig through the pile of advertising debris as I plot my course for the black Friday shopping extraganza. Yes, I am one of thosepeople. I will rise at O Dark Thirty to hit Kohls, Target, Wal-Mart and probably Sears in search of bargains that likes of which we only see once a year. I’ll be lucky to come away with my sanity. But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy the hubbub. I’ll let you know how that goes.

Now, back to thirteen things I am thankful for, in no particular order. When I say no particular order, I mean just that. It is more a matter of how they popped into my head as opposed to order of importance.

1. My three fellas – This one is a given, but certainly worth mentioning right off the bat. These fellers are the light of my life. (And yes, we do say fellers around here!)


2. Our Home – With so many people losing their homes these days, I sure am thankful for our home and the joy that fills it.


3.  SLEEP – Sweet mercy, this probably sounds silly, but believe me when I say that I am certainly thankful for sleep. The boys rarely crawl into bed with us anymore and it is glorious to wake up at 6:40am when the alarm clock goes off instead of 3:40am when someone needs to be fed or changed. [Not sure why this picture is so small or how it will look once its posted!]


4. The Blog – The fact that The Blog made the short list of things I’m thankful for will probably leave some of you shaking your head. The fact is that I really enjoy blogging and people love me here. So, its a great place to come and blow off steam or just say hi!  I have also met a lot of people who I consider to be URL Friends (the opposite of IRL – In real life friends). [Hey, remember that princess?]


5. The United States of America –  I have to say that deployment, coupled with our trip to Guantanamo Bay left a lasting impression on me. I will NEVER EVER AS LONG AS I LIVE look at the American flag without thinking about the honor, sacrifice, and courage of the thousands of soldiers stationed all over the world.


6.  My Parental Units – I am thankful that I have my parents and that they live close-by. I had a great childhood with two loving parents.


7.  The In-Law Siblings – When I married McDaddy I gained a truck-load of in-laws because he is the oldest of five children. His two sisters and two brothers (and their spouses) are also our friends. I am thankful most especially for four great sisters-in-law!


8. Deployment Is Over – I am so, so, thankful that we are done with deployment. This time last year we were preparing for deployment. We filled out a will, a power of attorney, and all the other stuff that comes with your husband being out of the country for six-months. I am THANKFUL to have him back at home!


9 . My In-Laws– I LOVE my in-laws. They are living in Florida where my FIL is serving on active duty and I miss them terribly. And I’m not just saying that because my sweet MIL, Jean  reads From Inmates To Playdates daily. She is one of my biggest bloggy fans and frequently makes references to my book. The book that she wants me to write. Someday. If the opportunity were to present itself. Not at all sure what I’d write about. I’m guessing it would be filled with crazy, crazy, and well, more crazy. [Keep in mind that it was a hot August day when McDaddy returned home. My hair kept its flip for all of three minutes in the humidity.]


10.  Our Church – The Lord sent us to our sweet, little church about two months before we were married. We have been worshipping there ever since. Most of our friends are from our church. I have no doubt that I could call any of them at any hour of the day and they would drop what they were doing to come to our rescue. I am thankful for the love I feel when I enter the church doors. I look forward to going to church for each service.


11. My new job– Okay, so its not a new job. Its a job that I’ve been privileged to hold since 2003. While there are days that I miss the craziness that happened in jail, I am so appreciative that I’m the one who is there everyday with my boys. When they are sick it’s me who holds them, when they want to make lego chapels, it’s me who gets to help them design it, when they want to play outside on the swingset, its me who gets to sit and listen to them make big plans about pretend repairs and super jumps off of the swings. I am thankful for the chance to be home with them every day.


12. My twin brothers – While I am not as close to my twin-brothers as I would like to be, I am so thankful they are my brothers.


13. A tie between my TiVo and my iPhone – I know this probably sounds silly! These two little gadgets make my life easier and happier. They save me time and just make my world a better place.

That’s all.

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!

You Capture – Food

I went hog wild this week.

In the kitchen.

With the camera.

That doesn’t mean that I got some quality shots, that just means that I was grabbing the camera at weird times snapping away at some grapes and some macaroni salad.

I like to eat.

I don’t enjoy cooking so much because it takes too much time and makes too big a mess.

But it comes with the job, I suppose.

And just looking at these pictures, makes me hungry and probably five pounds heavier.

Take a peek.

My first stab at home-made chocolate-chip cookies. They look much better than they tasted unfortunately. I’m not sure I got them mixed real well.

Here’s some macaroni salad. Luckily, it will taste better than it looks. [Dang, I should have went with the macro setting]

I’m not real sure what happened here with the grapes. I was trying to capture the stem, but instead I captured a great big shadow of some sort. I’m sure they are super juicy though.

My best shot at artsy fartsy. Big, bad Dr. Pepper with the gravy lurking in the shadows and my own goofy shadow in the Dr. Pepper bottle.

And now, on to the good stuff.

Some sweet, delicious peanut butter balls…

and some sweet, delicious coconut ball goodies

These almost look like sausage balls which would also be sweet and delicious.

Okay, I’m off to find something to eat.

Head over to I Should Be Folding Laundry for more yummy You Capture posts.

Next week’s challenge: Tell us a story, using photos about what makes you happy. [Which may or may not include food! Ahem!]

In A Split Second

On Sunday, we learned that a little boy in Stevie’s first grade class most likely had leukemia.

Heartbroken at the news that a little boy who has been a part of my son’s life for the past four years was seriously ill, I prayed that God would heal his body and be with his family as they started down a lengthy, heartbreaking road. In a split second, (or in the time it took to render a diagnosis) the course of this little boy’s life was changed.

The next day, we learned that it most likely was not leukemia, but a problem with his body absorbing sodium. Whatever the case may be with this little guy, I have carried a heavy heart for them since I heard the news. I will continue to pray that the Doctor’s can locate the cause of the problem and that it can be corrected.

I will also continue to count my blessings for two healthy children. In a split second, that could change.

A while ago, our family attended a program in the auditorium of our local high school. Before the program began, our two-year-old-spit-fire, Alex was playing on the bleachers in the auditorium. In a split second, he toppled head first down the bleachers and landed in the next row on his head. As he fell, I noticed his neck was bent and it appeared as though it might have snapped.

For a split second, my heart stopped. Fortunately, this particular spit-fire is one tough cookie and so he was fine after about five seconds of top-of-his-lungs-wailing. I was sitting just a few feet from him, but, I was completely helpless to stop the fall. A fall that happened in a split second.

That incident happened just days after Steven Curtis Chapman’s daughter, Maria was struck in her driveway.

The day before that incident, while we were excitedly preparing for a fun day with our family, I received a call from my friend asking me to send a prayer request out to our church. A little boy, Davin, who was almost two years old, fell from an upstairs bedroom window. He was bleeding from his mouth and he was believed to have broken his neck. My family went on with our sweet, peaceful day. We enjoyed time with our families and the children enjoyed playing with each other. My children, who have never known war, or trauma, or distress, continued to play and enjoy their day.

In a split second, Davin’s life changed.

I simply can’t imagine what the Chapman’s went through after the death of their five-year old. Or, what Davin’s family faced after his fall (he recovered completely by the way!)  Their hearts are most likely filled with regret, desperation and terror. My heart hurts when I hear about children in tragic, life-threatening circumstances.

By the grace of God, we have not endured any of these tragedies. I am typically on edge when it comes to the safety of my children, yet, in a split second their lives can change. And, as was the case at the high school, I was right there. Within feet of the fall. So very often, we as parents, make mistakes. Most of those mistakes only result in close calls. At any given time, however, those incidents can leave us drastically changed. As a parent, charged with the safety and well-being of  my sweet boys, I try to be on guard every minute of the day. An error in judgement or brief distraction can result in tragedy.

Scripture tells us we will have trouble and heartache in this world. Some will have more trouble and heartache than others. Still, I believe in the Sovereignty of God and believe in His word. While I can hardly wrap my mind around the heartache and despair faced by the Chapman’s,  I take a deep breath and trust in my God. I am so very thankful that they are His and that He watches over them daily. 

A split second can change your life.

Recently, my URL friend, Darcie (Such The Spot), wrote a post about how a few seconds changed her life. Thankfully, her sweet son Jayce is okay, but we could all learn something from her post about aquatic awareness.

Today, I am thankful that the God of the wind and the sea watches over my fellas and me!

Fun, Famous Folks and Forgetfulness

I am ready to relax and ready to write this week’s Not Me! Monday post while catching up on the last five episodes of The Young And The Restless. Welcome to Not Me! Monday!

To kick this thing off, let me start by saying it was not me who spent the last hour and twenty minutes trying to design Christmas Cards that, after finishing would have been free. It couldn’t have been me because I am a technological genius (who by the way most certainly did not spell genius wrong the first time I typed it!) and there’s no way the fuji picture site could get the best of me.

Nope. No way, not a chance!

It also wasn’t me who spent the weekend with ten or so of my favorite friends jammin’ to Michael O’Brien ( you may recognize Chonda Pierce on his right) who is wonderfully talented by the way

Matthew West and Mandisa…

while laughing my butt off (not literally, mind you!) to Chonda Pierce

and listening to the likes of author Karen Kingsbury,

Stormie Omartian and Angela Thomas. Is that a line-up or what? If that had been me doing all of that, you can bet I would have to tell you what a great time I had whooping it up all weekend.

After the conference that I didn’t attend, there’s no way that I completely forgot about a birthday party that my boys were invited to that evening. It couldn’t have been me because I am an organization freak who typically writes important dates on our house calendar, my purse calendar and in the calendar on my beloved iPhone. 

Seriously, how is that at 10:30 pm, I remembered that I forgot a birthday party that started at 7pm?

Negligence, at its finest.

I guess that means “Mother of the Year” is out of the question.

And speaking of forgetting things, there is no way it was me who forgot to take her camera along to the conference that she didn’t go to because anyone that’s ever been to a ladies conference knows there will be picture opportunities for those who have the patience to fight the crowd. Especially when Matthew West is there!


It also isn’t me who has put off dusting the bedroom for two weeks because well? Because that would be gross. And irresponsible.


That’s all I haven’t done this week!

What about you?

This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

Just So You Know

To: My Sweet Boys

From: Your Mama

Date: November 19, 2009

RE: Just So You Know


Dear Boys,

November is a month of thankfulness and I am so thankful that God picked me to be your mommy! I hope that I never forget to tell you both how special you are and how much I love you!

I think I missed Just So You Know last month, so let me just add that the two of you were the cutest little Superheroes ever!


Dear Stevie:

You are having a great year in the first grade! You made straight A’s on your report card, you began your second year of basketball this month and you started Cub Scouts. You ended up in the emergency room last month because you fell on the playground and got a big, ole, nasty knot on your head. Sweet child, please slow down. It was a nerve-wracking day for me to walk into the office at your school and see this…

Motherhood sure is tough some days. It broke my heart to see you sitting in the office trying to be brave. I hope I never get another one of those calls. Your biggest complaint was that “you were winning the race” before you fell. I am thankful that the knot healed quickly and that you were okay!

You are a sweet, thoughtful little boy who makes me smile every single day. You sang “Voice of Truth” at our church Youth Service this month.

Yesterday, I was working at your school laminating cornucopias that you all had made. You were asked to write what you were thankful for on it. Tears came to my eyes as I read yours…

 I hope you will always remember that God is awesome!

You decided that you are “old enough to sleep without a stuffed animal” now. Your teddy bear, “Milo” has a place of honor on the shelf beside of your bed and it was all I could do to contain my tears last night. You are growing up so quickly! I’d like for time to stand still for a bit. Six is a sweet age and it fits you perfectly!

I love you, Stevie and I am thankful for you!

Love, Mom


Dear Alex,

You are such an independant little boy! You want to do every. single. thing. all. by. yourself! I love watching you when you are determined! You love pre-school and have made many new friends. Your best friend at school is Tanner. You also enjoy attending Scout events with Stevie. I’m thankful that the two of you are good friends!

You just had your fourth birthday and you are excited about getting to wear underwear to bed at night. You received some bad news at the eye Doctor last month and before we knew it, we were at the hospital trying to explain to a four-year old what was about to happen. I can honestly tell you that my heart shattered into a million pieces as they took you through the doors and you said, “Mommy, I want you!”

At that moment, I wanted to scoop you out of that woman’s arms and run as fast as I could out of the hospital.

Sweet mercy that was one of the most difficult moments of motherhood I’ve faced. I pray that the problem is fixed and that we won’t ever have to go through that again. It was the longest hour of my life.

I am thankful that you got a great report at the eye Doctor after the surgery. You are doing so good with your eye-drops. Putting eye drops in your eyes four times a day for ten days could be miserable. You have been a trooper through the whole thing! We are proud of you!

You haven’t forgotten that daddy spent six months in Cuba and you mention it just about everyday. I never dreamed it would still be so fresh in your mind. I’m thankful that daddy is so special to you that you think about his absence in your life. Daddy is a great role-model for you boys and I am thankful that you all love to spend time with him!

I love you sweet boy!

Love, Mommy

Thursday Thirteen – With A Little Help From Google

So, it’s time for another thirteen of something.

McDaddy is home this evening and we’re watching Grey’s Anatomy. Did I mention that Grey’s Anatomy is a great show? Because it is. It really is.

Today, I thought we’d consult Google for some help with today’s Thursday Thirteen.

So, in the words of Simon Cowell, off we go! (Grrr, I can’t make the blue or the underline go away! Sorry!)

1. Southfield, Michigan arrived from on “Thursday Thirteen – Thirteen Things Stevie learned in Kindergarten” by searching for Ten Things you learned in Kindergarten.

  • Hello, Southfield. The good news is that I’m sure I learned more than 10 things in Kindergarten. The bad news is that I can’t remember one thing I learned in Kindergarten except that I enjoyed talking. I know that because my Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Richardson reminded me of it every. single. day. of my kindergarten career.

2. Hobbs, New Mexico arrived from on “Longaberger” by searching for wife +swarping.

  • Welcome Hobbs! I thought I was the only red-neck in the world that used the world swarping. Not sure what context you meant by searching for wife swarping, but in our house it means that I’m more than likely in an agitated state and I’m cleaning. When swarping, I am probably doing the “sigh thing” to let the male members of this household know that I’d appreciate some help. Thanks for stopping by! Happy Swarping!

3. Pleasant Grove, Alabama arrived from on “Deployment” by searching for sample counseling letter floors not swept, vacumned and mopped.

  • Howdy, Pleasant Grove, Alabama, I’m so glad you are here. If you are counseling people on their floors not being swept, vacuumed and mopped, I’m afraid you’d stay pretty busy around the McResidence. I’m pretty sure my floors could use all of the above at this very minute. Only instead of spreading my fabulosity doing my floors, I’m sitting on my sorry behind blogging like made to get this post cranked out before bedtime. The good news is that the floors aren’t going anywhere so there is always tomorrow!

4. Maryland Heights, Missouri arrived from on “What I Learned At The Funeral Home” by searching for Embalming a Human Body.

  • Wow Maryland Heights, I thought I was the only one interested in watching an embalming. Can I just say that it was quite an experience to watch. And if you get all freaked out by blood and guts then you probably shouldn’t plan on watching an embalming any time soon. However, if you are a freak little different like me, watching an embalming will be quite the experience. Let me know how that goes for you, would ya?

5. Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania arrived from on “The Stupid Deployment – From Inmates to Playdates” by searching for irobot roomba erratic behavior.

  • Hello Beaver Falls, welcome to From Inmates To Playdates! If you are still experiencing erratic behavior, you might try taking the bottom compartments off, cleaning the dust, hair and debris from the wheels and such and then try running it again. If that doesn’t help, it’s possible you might have a feather or small object stuck in the wheel well. If the roomba is still acting crazy, you’ll have to visit google again. Hope that helps!

6. Madrid arrived from on “Letters To Crazy People – From Inmates to Playdates” by searching for letters from crazy people.

  • What ‘s up Madrid? How are things in your neck of the woods? Can I just say that there is plenty of crazy to go around. To crazy people and any other person you can think of. Shoot, for all I know, you’re crazy! And if you are, I say welcome! Come in and have a seat!!! I suspect you and I will get along fabulously!

7. Portland, Oregon arrived from on “Wet T-Shirt Contest” by searching for wet t shirt contests.

  • Howdy Portland! Um, I have no idea why you are searching for wet t shirt contests, but I say party on!

8. Flossmoor, Illinois arrived from on “What I Learned At The Funeral Home” by searching for tell me about the first time you watched someone be embalmed.

  • Oh Flossmoor, I could tell you all kinds of stuff. I didn’t get into a whole lot of detail, but I will say that it was something that stuck in my head for weeks after watching the embalming.

9. Fort George G Meade, Maryland arrived from on “Christ” by searching for Youtube Standing On The Promises-Medley By Selah .

  • Welcome Fort Meade! I am so glad you are here! And Selah is one of my favorite groups! I hope you will take a second to listen to Selah’s Precious Lord and Just a Closer Walk With Me medly. It is fabulous!

10. Birmingham, Alabama arrived from on “What I Learned In Prison” by searching for how to make christmas ornaments out of fishing bobbers.

  • What’s up? Birmingham? Um, I’m pretty sure that I did not learn how to make Christmas ornaments out of fishing bobbers when I was in prison, but hopefully you found something here at Inmates To Playdates that helped you out. And by the way, I would love to see a picture of your fishing bobber Christmas ornaments. We have some friends who would adore them! Oh, and if you’re new here, you should know that I wasn’t really in prison, I toured a prison gift-shop and bought a Christmas ornament which explains how you got here by searching for prison and christmas ornament.

11. Ames, Iowa arrived from on “The Love Dare” by searching for does anyone think the love dare has helped their marriage.

  • Hello Ames, Iowa, I’m glad you’re here! If you are thinking of doing the Love Dare, I would encourage you to DO IT! Whether you are experiencing trouble in your marriage or not, I think it can be helpful. It is a great book and I am learning more about myself than I am about McDaddy.

12. Köln, Nordrhein-Westfalen arrived from on “Wet T-Shirt Contest” by searching for wet shirt contest “*.jpg”.

  • Hello, Koln, Nordrhien-Westfalen or should I just say Germany? I’m happy that you’ve happened upon From Inmates To Playdates, however, I suspect if you’re looking for a wet shirt contest jpg, you didn’t stick around very long. I had to admit that I chuckled when I was your Google Search happen through my feedjit window. I get about eight or ten hits a day on my wet t-shirt post, however, you are the first that added the jpg tag in your search! This post is proof that a good blog title can send some bloggy traffic your way!

13. Bradford, Pennsylvania arrived from on “Wet T-Shirt Contest” by searching for what would you think if your wife entered a wet tee shirt contest.

  • W0w, Bradford PA, what is it with you folks searching for wet t-shirt contest stuff? Um, I can’t speak for others but McDaddy would probably welcome me in a wet t-shirt. He probably wouldn’t take too kindly to me entering a contest (ahem!) but I’m guessing he might think it was pretty cool. No worries though. Me and the girls like to stay dry and warm, so a wet t-shirt is probably out of the question.

Okay, that’s a wrap for another week of Thursday Thirteen. Sadly, I COULD HAVE shared 13 people who found me by searching for the wet t-shirt. There’s a lot of them out there, folks! 

And chances are they aren’t playing a game at a Ladies Retreat.

Thanks to all of you who stop by here daily and those of you who come through the front door courtesy of Google!

The Setting Sun

When I read that this week’s You Capture Challenge was Sunrise/Sunsets, I chuckled.

I chuckled because I try not to make it a habit of being awake early enough to watch the sun rise.

So, with one strike against me because of my inability to function at O Dark Thirty, I would do my best to shoot the sun as it set.

Here’s what I came up with this week….


I shot this picture as I was dropping Alex off at pre-school one morning. I don’t think it was a sunrise because it was almost 9am, but I knew my chances of capturing the sun this week would be slim, so I captured it!

I shot this one from my back deck one evening. I was thrilled with the colors. Around 5pm every evening, this is the scene that we see. God’s handiwork is amazing. [McDaddy, I know you hate the arbitrary use of the word amazing, but in this case, I think it is fitting!]

I took this picture in May when McDaddy was deployed at Guantanamo Bay. Since I didn’t have very many sun pictures this week, I wanted to include this one. It is one of my favorite pictures from our time in Cuba. It was as if God smiled down on us as we stood on Glass Beach.

Kinda makes me wish I was at the beach.

Enjoy your Thursday, y’all!

Be sure to visit I Should Be Folding Laundry for more sunrise/sunset pictures.

The McFamily Christmas Letter

I am an organzier by nature.

And a multi-tasker.

I also like being one step ahead of the proverbial game. Stevie and I both have birthdays in December. In fact, thanks to my unwillingness to reamain on bed-rest on my 29th birthday, I had Stevie one day later on December 12th. McDaddy was happy that our sweet boy arrived in time to be claimed on our taxes and I was happy that I didn’t have to spend one more miserable second on bed-rest but if I had any sense I would have kept my sorry behind in the bed and waited until after the holidays to have my sweet boy. Instead, we have two birthdays, one day apart, two weeks before Christmas and one very L-O-N-G sentence.

For that reason, I try to do as much as I can to prepare for the holiday way in advance so I can enjoy the holiday.

If you are a friend IRL (as opposed to URL) who receives the McFamily Christmas Letter in our Christmas card, you should stop reading right now. If not, you will totally ruin the surprise of our Christmas letter.

In other words, you should not read any further if you want to be surprised when our Christmas card arrives.


There are probably a million handful of people out there who despise the Christmas letter.

We get about six or eight Christmas letters each year and I look forward to them. I also appreciate the cards that are acutally hand-signed by their senders.

I told my BFF Becky yesterday that every year I wonder if I will be able to compose an interesting Christmas letter. And, every year, I surprise myself. During a twenty-minute stint in the pick-up line one day, I started thinking about our Christmas letter. Within minutes, my wheels were turning and I knew if I didn’t get home quickly, I would never remember what I was thinking about.

I’m glad to have this one thing done well in advance of the holiday.

Here is the final product that has become the 2009 McFamily Christmas Letter. It should be read to the tune of Twas The Night Before Christmas… [Insert image of cute Christmas paper here!]

Twas the month before Christmas, at the McFamily abode
Steve’s working for Honeywell, Julie’s cleaning a commode
The stockings are hung on the banister by the door
Hopefully the kids won’t knock them in the floor.
The children are healthy, and snug in this place
They run wild here at home, they sure love to race
Julie’s in her bloggy chair, Steve plays in his jeep
The fellas love to off-road in that big, dirty heap.
When in the back bedroom I hear a big thump
Our sweet little Alex is jumping from the top bunk.
Away through the hall, I fly with a flash
I arrive just in time to see my little boy crash

It’s been a long year filled with deployment stuff
We made it through, but some days it was tough.
After 107 days, Julie and the boys appeared
On Guantanamo Bay with eyes full of tears

The boys were excited, to see their sweet dad
We were all reunited and man, were we glad.
More rapid than before, the days passed quickly by,
And we said tearful goodbyes again with a sigh!
Now daddy! We’ll miss you! Please hurry home!
Our house is just not the same when you are gone!
Daddy was gone six long months with the Guard in Cuba
Spending time with the GTMO folks and a little time for some scuba.
And now that it’s done, we’re grateful for each-other
And Steve and I are sure thankful for two sweet little brothers
Stevie’s in first grade and soon will be seven
He asked Christ in his heart this year so he could go to Heaven.
Alex is four and wears glasses like his brother
He’d rather be in the garage with dad instead of in the van with his mother
As they play together and giggle with joy
Steve and I thank God for our two little boys.
Usually dressed in CARS attire, with shoes on their feet,
Our boys stay busy, their rooms rarely neat.
A bundle of Toys they’re asking for this year
We are just thankful our family is near.
There’s joy in our home and smiles on our faces
We’re thankful to travel and camp in lots of new places.
Our hearts are full and so are our hands
We continue to pray for those serving in far off lands.
Steve’s family is still growing with three kids on the way
There’s lots of nieces and nephews what more can we say?
Alex is potty trained and that makes us real happy
We’re trying our best not to make this real sappy.
Julie dishes out some crazy on her little blog
(www) From Inmates to Playdates is what it is called
You can keep up with the McFamily boys and all their drama
Along with some random ramblings from their crazy Mama.
Another year is done, with many blessings from our Lord.
We’d like to say bless you as this New Year we look toward.
We’ll exclaim it once more before the year is through
Much love and blessings to every one of you!

I have no idea why the document won’t move those two lines. It’s enough to drive me crazy!

At any rate, I’ve got the first part of our Christmas card completed! 

Hopefully this week, I’ll be able to sign the cards and have our Christmas picture printed.

Being organzied works for me!

Check out other Works For Me Wednesday posts over at We Are THAT Family.