You Capture – My Holiday

This Christmas, we were Home for the Holidays! (Which is exactly where I like to be!)


It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! (Especially when there are dozens of cookies involved!)


After fighting with this friggin’ gingerbread house, I thought we were going to have a Blue Christmas!


Oh, Christmas Tree, how lovely are thy branches!


Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree is what me and McDaddy did as we played Santa!


We Decked the Halls with boughs of holly!


Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas played as I decorated these ornaments for the staff at Stevie’s school.


We always want our children to remember the real reason for the season, “O Holy Night


By noon, it was Beginning To Look Alot Like Christmas!


We Heard The Bells On Christmas Day (and some really great 90’s tunes) as the boys and their cousins played DJ Hero on the Wii.


Do You Hear What I Hear? Lots of unhappy children not wanting to sit still to have their picture taken!


Grandma Got Ran Over By A Reindeer! (or maybe it was Alex on his Hot Wheels Trike!)


Santa Claus is Coming To Town came and went!


We Had A Holly, Jolly Christmas!


And finally, We Wish You A Merry Christmas And A Happy New Year!

Head over to I Should Be Folding Laundry for this week’s You Capture!

My Year In Review

New-Years-CarnivalEarlier this week, Jo-Lynne over at Musings of a Housewife mentioned she would be doing a fun bloggy carnival recap of 2009 using the first sentence (or two because I come from a long line of loud) to compile a year in review post. I thought it would be fun to play along.

As I think back on 2009 and the hand it dealt, I remember lots of tears. Ten days into the year, I was shocked to learn that a dear friend had lost his life in a car accident. Three weeks later, our family embarked on a difficult deployment journey. It was not easy, but we made it and I remember to thank God daily for togetherness. 2009 also gave us a new niece (Lydia Kate) along with two more nieces on the way!

In some cases (like January) I had to move on to the second post because the first “sentence” was just a word like WOW!  or some kind of tangent (ahem!). I also discovered that I use some r-e-a-l-l-y long sentences so, you’ll have to bear with me!


I am so happy to report that all manner of Christmas decorations have been stowed away in our loft for another year and my big, blue, bloggy [BBB] chair is back in place at the McResidence. I am coming to you from the BBB Chair and tonight I thought I’d write a post about my funeral.

Ah, my funeral. Must. Read. Now.


Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice.  Psalm 55:17

Day 2 of deployment. It’s going to be a L-O-N-G six months people.


Things not to ask me about today.

Sheesh. I’m guessing from the tone in this post, it is a very long list.


Typically, when I have a problem, I consult nag McDaddy.

Oh, Internets, I’m not so sure I would call it nagging, but McDaddy probably would!


Three months and one day ago, my boys and I watched as McDaddy boarded a plane to fulfill a 6-month deployment responsibility with the WV Air National Guard.

Easily, one of the worst days of my life.


I am so excited to announce that I finally completed a project that I’ve been wanting to do since we moved into our house seven years ago.

The finished project looks awesome!



Obviously, when the idea of Thursday Thirteen – The Alphabet edition popped into my head 20 some odd weeks ago, I gave little thought to what might happen when it was time for me to come up with thirteen words that begin with the letter U.

Because seriously?

 Have you ever thought about “U” words?

(I know, I know! That’s a lot more than just the first sentence. What can I say? I love to tease. After all I did do 26 weeks of Thursday Thirteens going through the entire alphabet during the stupid deployment!)


We’ve had six months of tears, doubt and massive heartache. I didn’t even mind fighthing with 30 red, white and blue balloons because they were all tangled together and because the wind was blowing like mad.

Folks, after six long months, IT IS OVER!


I am the most organized person I know.

May I introduce you to Braggy McBraggerson?


I’ve got a busy weekend ahead of me and I have about 4,387 things on my to-do list.

Apparently, October 1, 2009 was a pretty typical day in the life of me!


This was hardly a typical shopping experience.

You can say that again!


It is 10:25pm on Monday night. I am sitting up in my bed instead of my big, blue, bloggy chair because there are three people sleeping in my living room.

Just another post about some Things I Learned This Week.

And if that’s not enough crazy for you (and also because this will serve as my Thursday Thirteen post this week) you can go read about some other really weird stuff.

Thanks for stopping by Inmates! 

Although I have no idea what 2010 has in store for the McFamily, I am sure of God’s grace and mercy in our lives today and everyday!

Happy New Year, Internets!

Random Things That Work For Me!

I have been thinking all day about what I would write about for this week’s edition of  Works For Me Wednesday!

Then, after we arrived home from The Chipmunk Movie, The Inflatable Jumping Place, Dinner and the Grocery Store, I started swarping. And by swarping, I mean I took everything out of one cabinet and started moving stuff willy nilly into another cabinet. That led to cleaning out another cabinet and that resulted in my cleaning out another cabinet.

After an hour of moving, changing, eliminating and combining, I decided that organization really works for me! Not only do my cabinets look better, they also make me feel better! Funny how that works.

I guess the first lesson that works for me would be to blog first, then swarp.

Otherwise, you’ll be firing up the laptop at 11:03 pm EST wishing you hadn’t spent so long feeding the OCD monster organizing your kitchen cabinets.

Earlier in the day, I spent 73 minutes on the phone with Doctor’s offices and Insurance people in an attempt to sort out bills, claims, EOBs and receipts. I just about lost my sanity, my temper, and my cool. I generally like to take care of those things as soon as they come in, but apparently I’ve been so very busy the past month that I have forsaken my insurance duties. If I had any sense at all however, I would not have waited a total of four weeks because seriously, one can only take so many prompts before she slowly loses her ever-lovin mind, throws her hands up and says I’m done! Don’t get me wrong, I am thankful that we have insurance and I’m thankful that we still have a secondary insurance thanks to McDaddy’s six-month sentence deployment, but my lands there are so many friggin’ hoops.

[On a totally unrelated note, because my thoughts are as scattered as my kitchen cabinets, the stupid phone systems that require you to punch in a bunch of numbers, verify your legal name and offer up your first born before allowing you to talk to a living, breathing person DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE WORK FOR ME! And why in the heck, must you verify the information a second time once the live person answers the phone. Now, if they had an option that said, Press one to speak to someone who speaks plain English, I’d be all over that!]

As I said, Organziation works for me!

Head over to We Are THAT Family for hundreds of other things that might work for you!

Some Things On My Agenda

I was totally prepared to compile an extremely long list of things I learned this week.

Then, I visited Jo-Lynne to grab her link and discovered that she will not be doing a Things I Learned This Week post. I thought I might still post my own Things I Learned This Week because? Did you hear me when I said extremely and long?

I was serious about that.

But I thought about it for a second and decided that I could wait a week and post an extremely long honkin’ list of stuff next week instead.


That decision means that I must come up with something else for today because the eight of you that stop by every morning ready to claim your daily dose of crazy would no doubt show up on the Inmates To Playdates doorstep and be highly disappointed if I didn’t post today.


Man, did I mention that I come from a long line of loud talkers?

I basically said all that to say that I’ll be posting a list of Things I Hope To Do instead of Things I Learned this week.


Take the boys to see the new Chipmunks movie.


Help McDaddy finish the great basement remodeling project of 2009 2010 (I realize this might be a lofty ambition especially since McDaddy will be doing 94% of the work!) The other 6% excites the crap out of me (picking paint colors, carpet choices, painting, and rearranging the furniture!) though.

Clean out every! basket! in! this! house! (All 137 of them)

Clean out every drawer, cabinet, and closet at the McResidence getting rid of things that we no longer need/want, then taking the stuff to the Goodwill.

Renew my Y membership so that I can,

Reacquaint myself with the treadmill.

Rekindle my relationship with the elliptical

and Relight the fire within me to take off excess pounds.


Lose at least 40 pounds.

Find a hair gel and hairspray that I can’t live without. (Any suggestions?) I know this seems silly but it is so true!

Be in my bed ready to sleep by midnight every night!

Work on my stupid temper.

Try not to use the word stupid when I get frustrated or aggravated. (Just keepin’ it real!)

Now, where to start?

I’ll try to keep you posted throughout the year to update you on my progress!

Bag Lady

We’ve had an exhausting, albeit fun-filled week here at the McResidence.

There is a seemingly endless stack of CARS memorabilia and can you believe that Alex received TWO MORE STINKIN’ LIGHTNING MCQUEENS THAT HE DID NOT ALREADY HAVE?

I would have bet the ranch that he had every Lightning McQueen known to man, but, hark, those very sneaky people at Disney added a green ‘tree like’ streak to the side of one of the boogers and called it Christmas McQueen. Also, they added a black streak to him and called him Burnt McQueen.

Genius, I tell you.

They pull innocent kids right into proverbial their trap because for some reason, these kids Alex think he actually NEEDS every Lightning McQueen known to man.

Transformers have replaced Thomas the Train in the Christmas loot this year. Just when I learned the names of Thomas and all of his rowdy friends, I have a whole host of Autobots and Deceptacons to learn. 

Sheesh. It’s enough to make one crazy crazier! 

But it was not me! who Googled the words remove & plastic & bag & from & stove & top on Christmas Eve.

No way was that me because surely to goodness I have more sense than to place a plastic grocery bag on a hot stove top that had not completely cooled.

And since it wasn’t me who typed all of that in, there is no way that I read the information and quickly summoned McDaddy to fetch some WD40 and a razor blade from his lair garage.

Thirty-six minutes later there is no way I was still using the razor blade to scrape plastic bag off of the stove top because me and the patience are not real close friends.

I can assure you that if I had put that stupid bag on the stove top that I could say with 100% certainty that I WILL NEVER make a dumb mistake like that again because the task of scraping that stove top is ridiculous.

Trust me!

That’s it for this week, folks.

Head over to MckMama’s place for more things that people didn’t do!


 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.

Romans 12:10

A Letter To Santa

Dear Santa,

I hope you like you’re cookies and I know that you’re busy and I know that you’re not going to bring me everything I ask for but I don’t care.

Love, Stevie and Alex

PS – Mommy would love it if you would leave a red Saturn Sky under the tree for her, too!

Thursday Thirteen – Ornaments

It is almost midnight.

We had an impromptu Christmas get-together after church. And by impromptu, I mean we had about twelve minutes between the time we walked through the door until our first set of friends showed up. Which meant that objects were thrown willy nilly into our bedroom, baskets of laundry were shoved in our closet and the pile of debris from the kitchen counter-top was tossed onto our bed. I’m sure our friends were not coming over to see if our house was tidy which is good because clearly, we had no idea that we were having a get-together until I invited the first couple, and then another and another and then another. There were fourteen of us total. We feasted on chips and cheese, cookies from the cookie exchange and some sweet treats I made with a couple of gals for Christmas. As always, we enjoyed fellowshipping with our buddies.

Anyway, I said all of that to say that this will be short and sweet.

If that’s possible.

I thought I’d share with you 13 ornaments from my tree. They are not necessarily my favorites because 98% of them are my favorites. There is pretty much a story behind most of them and if I studied my tree long enough, I could probably tell you which one was missing if you were to remove one.

Please keep in mind that my tree sits in (on ?) a rotating Christmas tree stand, so that might explain why a few of the pictures might not be crisp and clear. About half-way through my picture taking extravaganza, it dawned on me that turning the rotator off would be a good idea.


1. This first one is truly one of my favorites. I purchased it at a little gift shop at Snowshoe which is a ski resort. It was the same year the guy in the room next to ours died



2. Another favorite. Stevie made it during his first year in pre-school. It makes me smile.


3. This next one is pretty obvious. I love it because it reminds me “our trip to Europe.” (Spoken in my best English accent, or as English as you can get when you talk like a hick!) You know because I come from royalty and all. (Which explains why there are crowns all over my blog!)


4. This next one was a gift from my friend, Billy Gene (whom I really need to write about someday because OH MY WORD, the story is so sweet, I need to share it someday very soon but for now I’ll just show a picture of the ornament because afterall it is almost midnight!) who sent it the first Christmas after I married McDaddy. (I could go all crazy and photoshopphotobucket edit McDaddy’s name onto it, but that would take time and energy. Neither of which I have right now!) Oh, and did I mention that I love snow snowmen?


5. This next one is just plain funny. It proves my quirkiness. And yes, quirkiness is a real word. Just ask me. No matter where I am, if there is a place to shop, I will find it! [On a perfectly unrelated note, I displayed this ornament last year on my blog. That post recieves many hits each month because apparently there are lots of folks googling the words prison and ornament. Who knew?]


6. Every year, I send about a gazillion Christmas cards complete with a letter and a picture. Each year, I buy a cute family frame and place that year’s Christmas picture inside of it. Sadly, I didn’t think to do this until after McDaddy and I had Stevie. The family pictures are among my favorites. This is the 2007 Official picture of the First McFamily.



7. Before we were married, a girlfriend hosted a Christmas shower for us. We got married in May, however, I thought this was such a sweet idea. I’ve never attended another Christmas themed bridal shower but I would love to. I treasure each gift we recieved (many were ornaments) and could pretty much tell you who each one came from. This Barbie ornament was given to me at the shower by my mama. She is usually attached to an ornament spinner, but for some reason, I have no idea where my spinners are.


8. My absolute favorite ornaments are those made by my boys in their various classes. This one was made in Sunday School at our lovely little church. He would have been 2 years old. That is my nephew Evan peeking around the corner in the silver stocking.



9. Another favorite. Another family Christmas card picture. I believe this one was 2004 although there is a pretty good chance that I am wrong.


10. Another favorite. [Begin rant] If you happen to work for one of those ornament kiosks in the mall (which by the way I would love, because I love decorating ornaments) it is a good idea that you have nice hand-writing. I purchased this from one of those kiosks and when the gal wrote the info on the ornament, it was barely legible. In my sweetest voice, I kindly explained that I wasn’t happy with the writing and she gave me a new ornament. I brought the sucker home, dug out my fine-tip Sharpie and went to town. The ornament will be even more special to Alex someday because it is in my handwriting. [End rant]


11. Each year, McDaddy’s parents buy an official white house ornament for us. Last year, we had the privilege of visiting the White House at Christmastime. I purchased this from the white house gift shop.


12. This next ornaments is one of the newest on our tree. I picked this up at an arts and crafts show. It is made from a lightbulb and I think it is adorable. Capital High is the name of mine and McDaddy’s high school – GO COUGARS!


13. And last, but definitely not least, this one is another favorite. McDaddy and I moved four times the first four years we were married until we purchased our house in 2002. We have four “door” ornaments on our tree, one for every address we’ve had since we were married. [Just in the case you are wondering, I have edited the address from the ornament to protect the safety of the people currently living at our old address. You know, just in case you are a shady character who is stalking my blog looking for a strange house address to rob. It’s a strange world we live in people!]


Merry Christmas Eve, folks. That’s all she wrote.