Meet Our Feet

youcapture 4-1Feet for this week.

Is the topic at hand.

Of yucky, nasty feet.

I’m not really a fan.

I love having cutely painted toes.

But don’t get them close to my nose.

Flip flops are my favorite shoe to wear.

My favorite flops I will also share.

This wasn’t my favorite week.

But I’ll give you a little peek.

Of my little feet.

That are painted so neat.

My sweet, little boys then asked to share.

Their little tootsies once they were bare.

So may I present their cute little smiles.

And their cute little feet that have logged so many miles.

Happy Feet Week, y’all!

Kidnapped by Suburbia is guest hosting You Capture for the next two weeks because Beth is um, a little preoccupied with her beautiful, sweet baby boy, Eli.

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In other news, Erin at The Vintage Pearl is offering a 10% discount to my readers today! You can find out more about that here!

A Post About The Beach (Cake)

I am not Martha Stewart.

Nor am I a pristine model of pearly goodness like that blasted June Cleaver. Seriously, who runs a house like that? Are you telling me that June-Bug cleaned the toilet in those heels? Or magic erased the kitchen floor in that pressed prim and proper dress?

I think not.

I’ll save that rant for another post, though.

Let’s just say that I do magic erase the kitchen floor and I do clean the toilets, but it ain’t pretty my friends. I get all bent out of shape out of breath just from the mere thought of cleaning the floor. You throw in some pantyhose and heels, and you’ll be lucky if I make it across the floor without twisting an ankle.

June, you don’t fool us.

We know your made for television lifestyle was a hoax.

And a big, fat hoax, at that.

What I was saying before I got off on that tangent is that I am not a big fan of cooking. I mean, I don’t so much mind cooking if everything is in order, but if your kitchen is anything like mine, it is safe to say that things are rarely in order. And by ‘in order’ I mean, if the menu has been made out, the groceries have been purchased, the meat is thawed, it’s not after 5pm, the sink is empty, the DVR has been emptied, the dishwasher has been emptied, and there have been no invitations issued for dinner in a restaurant.

So, yeah, pretty much, I’ll cook if its a last resort.

Oh, I kid.

Sort of.

I don’t mind cooking if its something I’m familiar with and I don’t mind cooking especially if what I’m cooking appeals to me on that particular day. I guess it’s pretty safe to say that I cook because its necessary and only if all other requirements are satisfied. For that reason, it was a bit of a surprise when McDaddy and Stevie were awarded second place in the Father/Son Cub Scout Bake-off for their sugary concoction – Beach Cake.

(I’m sure it didn’t hurt at all that the cake was beautifully displayed in a piece of my beloved Longaberger Pottery either!)

I am a bit embarrassed to admit that I, myself have never been awarded a trophy for my cooking. Heck, I’m happy to get a “dinner is good, babe” from McDaddy when I present my latest culinary delight.

I made mention of the 2nd place trophy a few weeks back here at FITP, Inc. and since that time several of you have inquired about the recipe. And by several, I think we all know that I mean two or three of you.

So, since I am all about pleasing the audience, I thought this would be a good day to share the recipe. After all, the county fairs and bake-offs will be starting up real soon and at least one of you might be looking for a winning recipe.

While I’m not real sure why it is called a Beach Cake because there is no sand or sun involved, the Beach Cake was an overwhelming favorite among those sampling the offerings.

BEACH CAKE

Cake Ingredients

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 egg
  • 1 stick of margarine
  • 2 cups of chopped walnuts or pecans (we prefer pecans)

Icing Ingredients

  • 8 ounce block of cream cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 box confectioners sugar

CAKE:

1. Grease 9×13 pan lightly

2. Melt margarine

3. Mix cake mix, egg, margarine, and pecans in medium size bowl.

(Mix will be heavy and tough)

Press mixture into 9×13 pan.

ICING:

1. Mix icing ingredients together (praying over each of them because hello? clogged arteries?)

2. Pour icing mixture over cake.

3. Cook on 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

*NOTE: Cake will appear to be done at 30 minutes, however, you should follow the baking times for the best result. (Don’t you love the way I said that with authority and all?)

Enjoy warm or cool, it’s up to you!

The Beach Cake worked for my fellas! Visit We Are THAT Family for other things that might work for you!

After a brief hiatus in Florida last week, I am back this week to offer commentary about this week’s American Idol show. But before I get started, can I just say that it seemed a bit odd to me that Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana did the mentoring last week. I felt sorry for her because in twenty years, I suspect she’ll look back on that whole montage thing and question her choice of wardrobe.

I know this because, um, at 36 years old, I look back on some of my wardrobe choices of the 90’s and think what was I thinking?

I love the whole dramatic sneak peek of the backstage, contestants, and judges. It’s almost as if I’m rightthere amongst them in the huddle.

We’re down to the top ten, but if I’m being real honest based on last week’s performances, we could probably skip to the top five and save ourselves some time. I’m not sure if the novelty has worn off for me, or if the talent isn’t of the caliber that it has been in past seasons, but, I find myself being very bored at times. I’d keep Lee, Michael, Crystal, Casey, and Andrew only because of the Straight-Up thing he did during Hollywood week. I know I keep referring to that song, but dang that was awesome and I’m waiting for him to bust into it again.

Tonight is SOUL and R&B.

And that sounds very exciting to me because I am a big fan of the R&B movement of the 90’s. I’m looking forward to hearing some Mariah Carey, Luther Vandross and Boyz II Men. And, I suspect, I’ll be making a trip to iTunes at the end of the show.

I have high hopes for these ten contestants.

Siobhan Magnus (Through The Fire) – I suspect we’ll hear the words pitchy because there are notes that are just not good. That girl can squeal with the best of them though. Oh, and speaking of ‘the fire’ someone should throw those boots (shoes?) into a fire. They do not belong on a stage. Wow. Not impressed at all. Not with the boots. Nor the performance.

Simon, I love the shirt, dawg.

Casey James (Hold On, I’m Coming) – Casey is a cutie and he is rockin the guitar. This is a good week for him, but the performance is a tad bit boring to me. He looks comfortable and I suppose the judges will use the word relevant.

Apparently American Idol is going all Dancing With The Stars This Week with the whole dramatic exit interview thing. Apparently their shakin’ things up a bit over here tonight!

Michael Lynche (Ready For Love) – Michael is one of my favorites this year. I think he has a great voice and I’d buy his album (record?) right now if he had one. I love this low-key type of performance. The ballad is his specialty and I’m loving this song choice.

Didi Benami (What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted) – I like Didi’s voice and I like that she picked a song that moved her. The song though is not moving me. Except to move me to the bathroom. Or the fridge. I didn’t get it. *Insert eye roll here*

Tim Urban (Sweet Love) – Oh. My. Word. This song takes me back to my days in Junior High. This was one of those songs I recorded from the radio onto a blank cassette tape back in the day. You know Julie’s Greatest Hits? Did you have those? I had oodles of greatest hits tapes. While I loved this song back in the day, I think that Teflon Tim or whatever his name is, should have chosen something a bit more exciting. His wide eyes remind me of that movie Parafreakin Normal Activity. Seriously, they are giving me the creeps. Not good, my friends. Not good at all. Weird.

Andrew Garcia (I’m Gonna Take You There) – Andrew is another of my favorites. I keep going back to Hollywood Week when he did the whole “Straight Up” diddy. That was brilliant and I know that he has mad talent. I just can’t figure out why he has not performed the entire version of that song. Mad props to him tonight because he is rockin’ this song and it was a wonderful choice for him! YAY, great job big daddy.

Ryan is talking about Straight Up. See, I told you, lots of people want to hear that! Mama Garcia is in the house! 

I’m not so sure about this American Idol cam thing they have going on. Hello? It reminds me of another show that may or may not be recording on my DVR at this very moment.

Katie Stevens (Chain of Fools) – She’s had an attitude adjustment. She looks like she means business what with all the neck extension and all. This might just be her best performance yet. She looks relaxed and comfortable and she was spot on vocally.

Is it just me or do the judges run current in the ground?

Lee Dewyze (Treat Her Like A Lady)-Lee is my favorite male performer. In fact, I’ll step out  on a limb and say that he and Crystal will be the last two standing. His voice reminds me of Danny Gokey. This song fits him like a glove and I suspect the judges will yammer on about being relevant, and current, and amazing, and brilliant, and incredible. Because it was!

See, I told you!

Crystal BowerRocksox (Midnight Train To Georgia) – So, Crystal is my pick this season. She is original and talented and everything in between. And, now, on the piano, she is versatile! She has an impressive set of pipes! It is good to see her without her guitar this week. She rocked the stage. In the words of Randy Jackson, that was HOT!

Aaron Kelley (Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone) – Holy Friggin’ Cow! Finally! The Backstreet Boy shows us what he’s got! I like it! A great week for him! Probably his best performance!

Okay, so it was much better than last week.

And that means it was also more enjoyable!

My Predictions:

Best of the Night: Crystal and Lee

Worst of the Night: Tim and Siobhan

Should Go: Tim or Siobhan

Will Go: Tim

http://frominmatestoplaydates.com/2010/03/american-idol/

What I Learned This Week: Husband Edition

Welcome to my very first edition of What I Learned This Week! I’m thrilled that you’ve decided to join in the fun!

I wanted to do something really fun and entertaining this week, what with it being my first week as host and all. If you know me IRL, you already know that I’m 74% crazy 100% of the time. So, with that in mind, here’s what I’ve learned about men and relationships.

The first thing I would suggest if you are unmarried is to be very careful when choosing a man. You can save yourself a great deal of time, money, and heartache if you get it right the first time! We’ll start with the obvious and move-on to the not-so obvious.

1. MONEY – Lots of gals I know have spent countless hours trying to find a good man with deep pockets. As if somehow money would/could solve all of the problems life throws their way, and guarantee financial security. Remember the phrase, “Money can’t buy you happiness?” Well, as it turns out, you can bet your bottom dollar (pun intended!) that indeed, whomever penned that phrase knew what they were talking about. While money is nice and fine and happy and awesome, all the money stored at the US Mint couldn’t buy you a lifetime of happiness and contentment. Eventually, it takes more than money to make a marriage work.

2. LOOKS –Most women I know enjoy looking at a man who is tall, dark, and handsome. Or if you’re like me, just handsome. As is evident in many of my posts where I talk about my boyfriends, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Don Diamont, Apolo Ohno, and Shemar Moore, I think handsome men are fun to look at. It is also worth noting that McDaddy is the hottest guy I know. Funny thing is, he gets hotter everyday. While a handsome man hanging off of your arm will make you look good, good looks don’t really mean a thing if he’s a joner (which is my word for someone who isn’t up to par!) or a jerk. Once age creeps in the door, just behind marriage and parenthood, those looks could change in a day, so its better to be attracted to a man for his personality.

3. BRAINS – While looks and deep pockets are typically first out of the gate, can I just take this opportunity to let you in on a little secret? Intelligence is very important. Especially when you consider the fact that intelligence reflects on the first two topics of discussion. Who wants to be with a guy – no matter how rich he is – if he hasn’t a lick of sense? Likewise, how many gals do you know who are interested in hanging off of the arm of a fella who is cute as Christmas, but dumb as dirt?

4. ROMANCE – Aha! Romance. If you had asked me fifteen years ago, romance would probably have been real far up on my list of things I look for in a man, because seriously, who doesn’t enjoy a romantic surprise every now and again? Often, we gals gather around a table comparing stories of the romantic things our men do for us, other times we gals complain that there is not enough romance in our lives.  While romance is wonderful, it can often be lost in the everyday hustle and bustle of life. So, chances are romance during dating is probably not a good predictor of how romantic a man will be once he is married.

———-

After twelve years of marriage, I can honestly say that I wasn’t the least bit prepared for the things I would face with this man that I now call my husband. One of the things I am so thankful for is that McDaddy is pretty handy around the house. Anytime we are in the midst of yet another home improvement project, he dives into it with determination and precision, saving us all kinds of money. He is the kind of guy that has the ‘know how’ and the ‘want to’.

5. KNOW-HOW & WANT-TO – This is a biggie!

Did you hear me?

I said, “Know how” and “Want to.” These two phrases are mutually exclusive, but they are very important when used together. The ‘know-how’ doesn’t mean a thing if you you don’t have the ‘want-to’ needed to get the job done. Luckily for me, McDaddy possesses both the ‘know-how’ and the ‘want-to’ gene.

Early in our parenthood careers, I was reminded just how important these two are. While playing outside with his cousins, our oldest son, Stevie, tipped a plastic riding toy backwards and fell onto an acrylic dog-bowl. (Yes, I said dog bowl.) Immediately, I heard the words, “He’s bleeding.” Seconds later, I lost my ever-lovin mind. Holding my sons blood in my hands, I was sure his cranial shell was shattered.

Dramatic?

Well maybe.

But, as you may recall I admitted to being 74% crazy 100% of the time.

Once we arrived at the Urgent Care, part of our responsibility as parents of this sweet child with a busted head was to hold him down, first while they administered the numbing shot, and again when the medical staff stitched the wound. At that very moment, I looked deep into McDaddy’s big brown eyes and thanked the good Lord that he had sent me the perfect man.

At that moment, he was calm, gentle, and level-headed.

Everything that I wasn’t in Room 3 at the Urgent Care.

When I was thinking of picking a husband, you can bet I never thought about how my sweet huband would react in a situation like this one. The fact is, there will be times that you will need to depend on your hubs to take care of business that you don’t have the ability to take care of. McDaddy is everything I want in a husband. He’s handsome, he’s romantic, he has the ‘know-how’ AND the ‘want-to’, he takes care of business, and he is certainly the smartest man I know. As for the money situation, we’ve got what we need and he is a great provider. The fact is that I am rich in love, and and richly blessed.

If you’re in the market for a husband, it is my hope that you find exactly what you’re looking for!

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What did YOU learn this week? Please link directly to your WILTW post, not to your main blog page, and don’t forget to link back here to From Inmates To Playdates! If you need help with any of that, want to grab the button, yada, yada, yada, you can get help right here!

AND, (if you’re still reading, bless your sweet soul!), to celebrate the kick off of What I Learned This Week, I’m giving away two (2) Longaberger bags. One to a random commenter and the other to a lucky linker.

 

Yes, that’s a Halloween print.

Crazy, remember?

Good Luck!

(In the interest of full disclosure, I am not being compensated in any way by Longaberger. I am a basket fan, and wanted to share my love for the product.)

Not A Bit Excited About My New Blog Carnival!

Anyone that knows me, would tell you that I am not easily excited.

Which is good because I received some news last week that could have caused me to SHOUT for glee if I were the type to get excited over the least little thing.

Luckily for those riding in the car with me when I received the news, I rarely raise my voice either.

But, more about that a bit later.

We are just back from a wonderfully chilly relaxing week in Florida which means that Spring Break, 2010 is over and it’s back to the proverbial grind here at the McResidence.

Basically, that means that my week of sleeping late and doing pretty much nothing is but a distant memory, and as of 6:30 this morning, the McBunch were thrust back into the hustle and bustle of the busy life that follows McDaddy and I everywhere we go. A life that includes work, appointments, scouts, PTA, cooking, cleaning, laundry, and homework. Not to mention there are countless bags that still need to be unpacked.

But, of course, I AM NOT complaining, because I do not complain.

Ahem!

I did NOT get all giddy when I received an e-mail from Jo-Lynne at Musings Of A Housewife asking if I would like to take over her What I Learned This Week carnival.

Likewise, I DID NOT squeal with delight when she modified her What I Learned This Week button to match my blog design.

Hear me.

I DID NOT SQUEAL with delight.

But have a look at this sucker.

Isn’t it cute?

Yes, I thought so too!

So, consider this your engraved invitation to join me TOMORROW for my very first installment of What I Learned This Week, hosted right here at From Inmates To Playdates.

Oh, and because I am not easily excited, I may or may not be hosting a giveaway to go along with tomorrow’s carnival debut.

I hope to see you there!

This post is linked to MckMama‘s Not Me! Monday carnival.

Just Because!

It’s our last night in Florida.

The in-laws are in bed. My parents are in their room watching television with our boys (America’s Funniest Videos, no doubt), I am at the computer and McDaddy is doing something on my beloved iPhone. We are leaving out at O’dark Thirty and we hope to be in Lexington, Kentucky in time to meet my cousin and his fiance’ for dinner. If I had my way, we’d sleep until much later, but that’s not how McDaddy rolls.

Just Because.

I love travelling, but I don’t like long car rides. I get bored easily and when I get bored, I aggravate McDaddy.  Not on purpose, mind you, but just because that’s what I do.

McDaddy pretty much expects it.

Just Because I’ve always been that way.

Before we had children, McDaddy and I were travelling to Maryland to visit his sister and her husband. Our  brother-in-law had recently joined the Air National Guard and was training in Maryland. Just minutes after deciding I was bored, I began to fan McDaddy with the map in a grandiose sort of way, saying something like “your comfort is my pleasure” or something as mildly ridiculous as that, and the next thing I knew, a gust of wind caught the map and the map flew out the sunroof of our Toyota Camry onto the busy interstate. I looked at McDaddy with wide eyes and he stared back at me wondering what he had just witnessed.

Funny thing is, we actually needed the map because back in 1999, there was no thought of a GPS and it was also well before we had phones with any kind of capability beyond phoning someone. Back in the day, we actually called Triple A (AAA ?) days before the trip to order a map, and then, someone (usually McDaddy) actually had to read the map. Lucky for us, McDaddy is the kind of guy that studies his route well in advance of the actual excursion, so he had a pretty good idea of where we were headed. Still, it was a defining moment in our marriage because at that moment, I learned that I am dangerous when I am bored and McDaddy learned that travelling with my on any kind of trip would be a just that.

A trip.

McDaddy and I are as different as they come, yet, we get along beautifully.

Late Wednesday night, we went for a walk on the beach. It was a bit chilly, but I barely noticed because I was with the love of my life. And we were walking on the beach. We didn’t encounter one single person that night and I was glad. I like being alone with him.

Just because.

As we trudged through the sand, listening to the waves crashing against the shore, I went and got all philosophical on him and I asked him if marriage was everything he thought it would be. After hesitating for just a second, he said, “No, it’s actually more.” I smiled because I feel the same way. When we stood at the altar and pledged our love to one another in 1998, I knew nothing.

Hear me. I knew nothing.

Had you asked me back then, it would have taken me a lifetime to tell you everything I knew. I was in grad school studying Criminal Justice (ha!) and McDaddy had just graduated with a degree in electrical engineering. I knew I was good at organizing stuff, and I knew that I would keep things tidy because my world requires things to be organized and tidy.  I knew that I would have to learn how to live with another person, and I was certain that I  could screw up a checkbook better than anyone I knew. I was sure the world would be a better place once I launched into  my career and  began saving the world, one criminal at a time, and I also knew that if all else failed, I could make McDaddy a batch of chocolate chip cookies and everything in our world would be right again. (And if I didn’t know it then, I know now that I love a good run-on sentence!) I knew that it would take some work making this marriage thing work, and I knew without a doubt that McDaddy was a reasonable, logical, kind hearted person and that he would make marriage very easy. I knew, even back then that I was blessed to share my life with him.

As we walked along the beach, I thought about the trips we have taken together.

We’ve been to 34 states (at last count), Bahamas, Mexico, Canada, an eight country tour of Europe, and Cuba.

He’s held my hand through eight four very long weeks of bed rest.

Two high-risk pregnancies.

A difficult boss.

Two C-Sections

And lasek surgery

He’s cheered me on during weight-loss efforts.

Breastfeeding.

And two high-risk pregnancies

We’ve weathered storms of change.

Of grief.

Of death.

And deployment.

And as we walked down the beach two nights ago, all of that flashed through my mind as we walked in silence. I knew that marriage was so much more than what I could have ever hoped for, or imagined and I knew without a doubt that God created him for me!

Just Because.

Thursday Thirteen – What’s Your Name, Little Girl, What’s Your Name?

Three sisters-in-law either just had, or are preparing to have baby girls. In fact, there are girls spread generously throughout McDaddy’s family. He has two sisters. And his side of the family has produced 8 nieces. (With another one due in a few short weeks!) Truly, we are a blessed bunch, but I’d be lying if I said I never thought about the fact that I will never had a daughter.

I have come to terms with the fact that I will never have a baby girl. The first thing I think about is having a girl to shop for. A girl to shop with. And, I do recognize that even if I would have had a daughter, there is a very small chance that she may not even like to shop. Still, I would bet the farm that she would. I’m over it now, but there was a time when it bothered my very much that McDaddy and I would not have a little girl. For as long as I can remember, I always thought of myself with a daughter.

Obviously, it was not to be.

No sisters.

No daughters.

Like I said, I’m over it.

Ahem.

[Please Lord, send me two beautiful, wonderful daughter in laws that are good to me my boys. And it would be really nice if they enjoy shopping and doing girl stuff like pedicures and spa days. Pretty please!!!!]

If I would have had a daughter, it would have taken me a sweet forever to choose a name for our little darling. When I am introduced to a little girl or hear a sweet little girl’s name, I smile wondering what name I would have chosen if indeed I would have had the chance. More than likely, her name would have been Kaylie Jayne, or Kaylie Renea, but if it came right down to it, I know it would be a bit tougher than just deciding right away what her name would be.

In McDaddy’s family, the little girl’s names are,

Kamme Annaliese, Kalli Annette, Mallory Renee, Annabelle Grace, Brooke Elizabeth, Madeline Day, Kessa Angeline, Lydia Kate and as of last I knew, a still unnamed baby girl that might be Vada, or Gwynn.

My favorite little girl names, in no particular order, are….

1. Allison

2. Sydney

3. Peyton

4. Clarie

5. Paige

6. Carley

7. Micah

8. Jolie

9. Kendall

10. Keeley

11. Olivia

12. Piper

13. Kaylie

I’d love to hear your suggestions for a little girl. My sister in law is a reader here at FITP, Inc. and I’m sure she’d love to hear your suggestions. And, I would too!

A Moment In Time

PhotobucketI’ve had many “A Moments” this week.

The trouble is, we don’t have wireless here in Florida, so I am using McDaddy’s laptop and air-card to post this blog. That means that all of the pictures that I’ve taken this week are loaded on my laptop and therefore inaccessible to me unless I want to unplug the internet connection from McFatherInLaw’s laptop and plug it into my pretty little pink laptop.

That all seems like a bit much, so instead, I’m using pictures that I’ve taken this week with my beloved iPhone. It’s a bit chilly here in Fort Walton Beach, but even with the chilly temperatures it has been a wonderful, relaxing week.

One of the neatest “a moments” I’ve had this week was during a visit to Eglin Air Force Base. We drove past the hospital where McDaddy was born 36 years ago and I was delighted to find out that the hospital is still there. And since the picture is stashed away on my camera,  you’ll have to take my word for it.

A fabulous moment was experienced when we arrived at the resort where we are staying. This is the view from the couch of our living room.

This was “A Moment” in Lexington, Kentucky on the way to Florida. You can’t really appreciate the sky from the picture, but it was an absolutely beautiful shade of pinkish, red. I was happy that I was awake to see it.

Oh, and speaking of moments, it was “A Moment” of excitement when Stevie and McDaddy took 2nd place in the Father/Son Cub Scout Bake off for their “Beach Cake” recipe. Stevie is still excited about his trophy and even brought it to Florida to show to his grandma and grandpa!

I love special “moments” and enjoyed sharing these with you.

Head over to I Should Be Folding Laundry for more You Capture posts. Next week’s challenge: FEET

The Bag Lady

I posted this early on in the FITP, Inc.and it is buried deep in my archives, however, I’m on vacation this week and am trying to keep my blogging to a minimum. If it’s okay with you, I thought I would post a rerun.

This is a great tip and I hope it will work for you!

 It’s handy and even better than that, this tip is free.

For storing plastic grocery bags, use an empty paper towel roll.

In other words, you can use an empty paper towel (or toilet paper) roll to stuff loose grocery bags into. This little tip works for me and it will work for you too by organizing that annoying mound of grocery bags under your kitchen sink into a neat little tube. For storing the bags in smaller areas (like a mini-van or a camper), you can either cut the paper towel roll in half or use an empty toilet paper roll. It will store perfectly under a seat. A great organziation tip makes my OCD smile!

And that works for me!

Head on over to We Are THAT Family to see other things that work for you!!!!