FIVE years ago

Five years ago today, McDaddy and I were a bit excited about a little something we had going on.

We were about to become parents for the second (and final, as far as we know) time.

I have always been the type that records everything. When I’m pregnant however, my OCD kicks into high higher gear and for some unknown reason I record practically every second of my pregnancy. As I sit here five years later, it’s hard to remember every single detail, so I’m glad I have the scrapbooks to refer to. Especially when I’m sitting here trying to write a blog post.

What I will never forget though, is this sweet face.

Five years ago today,

  • on Tuesday, November 1st, I arrived at the hospital at 6:30 AM for a scheduled C-Section, six days before your due date.
  • you were brought into the world on that day at 11:29 AM
  • I had a three-year-old at home who couldn’t wait to be a big brother.
  • I was much more relaxed about having a new baby than I was the first time around.
  • I could have never known that I was about to give birth to a little boy with a stubborn streak that matched his mama’s.

  • I was giving myself insulin injections twice a day because I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes a few weeks earlier.
  • you weighed in at ten pounds, five ounces.
  • the nurses in the labor / delivery hall nicknamed you “King” because you were such a big baby boy.
  • you weighed more than a set of twins that were born on the same day.
  • I fell in love with your precious face.

  • I was ready to be a mother of two sons.
  • You had lots of visitors at the hospital to meet you.
  • I had no idea you and your brother would be such great friends.

  • I was so excited to bring my new baby boy home.

TODAY,

  • I cannot believe you  are five years old.

  • You have requested hotdogs and a cookie cake for your birthday dinner.
  • You are a sweet, lovable, funny little boy.
  • You can write your name, spell both your first and last name, count to ten in Spanish, and ride a bike.
  • We are having breakfast at iHop because that is your favorite place to eat. You will no doubt have a silly face pancake slathered in strawberry syrup.
  • (and everyday) You are a really cool kid.

Happy Birthday, sweet boy!

I love you very much and I hope you make good on your promise to “still cuddle with me when you turn five!”

A Man And His Hoe

McDaddy decided some time ago that we needed to do something about the parking situation at our house.

We have a garage at the bottom of a sloped driveway, and a single parking place in front of our house beside the road. That means any time one of us happens to be going out, we might have to move vehicles around before leaving if we need to take a vehicle that happens to be in back of the driveway or in the garage.

Our parking spot on the road looks like this.

That just so happens to be the same truck I backed into the neighbor’s mailbox. See, I told you it was long.

Eventually, McDaddy would like a parking place large enough for four vehicles OR our camper and one car. Last Saturday, McDaddy invited a friend of ours over to assist with the parking situation. Josh showed up early Saturday morning and as one might guess with a title ‘A Man And His Hoe,’ he was not alone.

Meet Josh.

And his hoe.

What?

What did you think I was referring to?

Within a few hours, Josh and his hoe did this.

As one might imagine, our boys were in their glory.

They assessed,

The measured,

They watched intently,

They worked,

And they even drew up their own plans as they assessed the job site.

Oh, and just in case you’re wondering the 91 inch. thing is the dirt pile.

Stevie and Alex are actually down in the hole.

I wasn’t the least bit surprised when McDaddy suggested he might drive the heap upon the large dirt pile to get a picture.

McDaddy did what he could do to assist Josh with the excavation.

But, I bet if you asked McDaddy he would tell you that he’d love nothing more than to play with Josh’s hoe now that all of the work is done.

It’s probably safe to say that McDaddy was a tad bit jealous of Josh and his hoe because just look at that beauty. 

Stevie was pretty fond of the hoe, too.

What is it about a man and a hoe, anyway?

I had a hard time deciding on a title for this post. For your entertainment, I thought it might be fun to share some of the ones I considered,

  • Gettin’ down and dirty with a hoe.
  • Hoes ain’t so bad after all.
  • McDaddy and the hoe.
  • McDaddy, his friend, and the hoe.
  • Knock, knock. Hoe’s there?  (Because I have a seven year that constantly tells jokes)
  • There’s a hoe at my house.
  • Welcoming the hoe
  • Get that hoe out of here.
  • A fun hoe.
  • Spending the day with a hoe.
  • Hey hoe, whatcha’ doin?

I’m telling you people, the list could go on and on.

And since I know lots of you are laughing at the possibilities, I’d love to hear your suggestions, too.

Thursday Thirteen – It’s Back!!!

I’ve had a number of you to ask about Thursday Thirteen.

And by ‘a number’ of course I mean, three.

I just so happened to shoot, edit and upload pictures for my You Capture post on Tuesday, instead of waiting till the last possible minute on Wednesday night like I sometimes do. That means that I have a little extra time to compose a Thursday Thirteen post this week.

So, without further ado, lets get right to this week’s Thursday Thirteen – 13 things I did TODAY.

1. Straightened up the house – as I do everyday while the boys are in school.

2. Had lunch at Steak Escape with my friend, Jill (Hi, Jill!)

3. Took Alex to the Doctor because this 3 day old cough hasn’t gotten any better after breathing treatments – as it turns out he has a sinus infection.

4. Sent out PTA letters to head homeroom helpers.

5. Played Words With Friends – which I might be addicted to.

6. Cooked a mediocre dinner.

7. Loaded the dishwasher.

8. Attempted to fold a load of laundry. I discovered the load wasn’t completely dry which means the stupid dryer might be on the fritz, which means the front-loader pair I’ve been wanting might be closer than I think.

I’m kidding McDaddy. Seriously, I am!

9. Entered Pioneer Woman’s giveaway for an electric blue KitchenAid mixer and crossing my fingers that 14,006 is my lucky number.

Just for the record, I’m not sure how much use it would get, but it would certainly look fabulous sitting on my kitchen counter.

10. Worked at Stevie’s school for a little bit.

11. Went to Heaven

Our church is doing a Judgement House this weekend. Stevie and I are part of the cast in Heaven. I get to wear my tiara while sitting on the Emerald Fountain eating a Little Debbie. I cry each and every time Jesus appears to speak to the crowd.

12. Cleaned off the kitchen counter AS I DO EVERY SINGLE DAY!!!!!

13. Ate some Oreos. I know. I know. I’m a bad, bad girl. The hormones do not play around.

Enjoy your Thursday, y’all!

Just Some Things

 Some things I like about fall.

  • the color orange
  • pumpkin pie (slathered in cool whip, of course)
  • November sweeps
  • hot chocolate
  • pumpkins
  • colorful mums
  • sweet pumpkin cinnamon sugar foaming hand soap in the cute pumpkin pump from Bath and Body
  • crisp air
  • scarecrows
  • thanksgiving
  • how cute my pumpkin candy dish looks full of candy corn even though I hate candy corn

  •  yummy smelling fall candles sitting among fall flowers and berries

  •  all manner of scarecrows

  •  the wonderfully delicious jonagold apples I picked up in the Amish Country last weekend (especially when they are displayed in the Longaberger apple pail).

  •  watching this beautiful tree in our backyard as it transforms from fully green to beautiful shades of orange, yellow, and red.

Some things I don’t like about fall:

  • leaves every. friggin. where.
  • daylight savings time ends (especially when its dark by 6pm)
  • thousands of acorns
  • those nasty orange and black candies that people give out on Halloween night.
  • no more flip flops
  • snotty noses that always turn into nebulizer treatments
  • morning frost
  • knowing that winter and its BFF snow is right around the corner.

How about you? What do you like best about fall?

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This post is linked to You Capture over at I Should Be Folding Laundry.

The Right Stuff

 Two weeks ago, our church purchased one hundred of these empty boxes for Samaritan’sPurse – Operation Christmas Child.

After talking to the boys about the ministry, I asked them to decide if they wanted to shop for a boy or a girl. Not suprisingly, (and much to my dismay because geez, I love to shop for little girls!) they both wanted to shop for boys.

We scoured the store for special treasures as if world peace depended on whether we chose a football or a baseball for our boxes. It was sweet watching my boys take such care in choosing  just the right stuff for their box. I answered questions like, “Do kids in other countries like Jimmy Johnson?” and “Do they have batteries over there because once the light-up ball battery goes out how will they make it work again?” It was reminded how blessed we really are.

Here’s what we came home with.

I enjoyed watching the boys divide up the cars and the Now & Laters while they laughed and talked about the children that would receive their boxes. I took the opportunity to talk to them about children in other countries (like the one we sponsor from Uganda) and how difficult their lives are compared to ours. Then, we talked about charity and showing love to others even though they lived far, far away. We then included letters and pictures with our boxes so that those boys will have a little something other than a box full of stuff. 

 

Within a few weeks, these two boxes will be on their way to a far-off country and will land in the hands of two sweet, little boys. In the meantime, our family will be praying for these boys and praying that they are blessed by the things we sent. We were certainly blessed to shop for them and I am hoping this will help our boys to recognize the importance of charity.

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Visit THAT family for other things that might work for you.

What I Learned This Week

As is always the case here at From Inmates To Playdates, there is plenty to be shared about lessons I’ve learned this week.

In fact, Tuesdays are one of my favoritest (is that a real word?) days around here because generally my WILTW posts write themselves.

Quite possibly that’s because I’m a moron.

Here’s what I learned this week, in no particular order.

1. Our truck is much longer than my minvan, as was learned this week two seconds after I plowed into the neighbor’s mailbox.

2. Having a backhoe here at our house to dig three feet holes in the yard makes for an interesting day for our boys.

3. When ordering Tom and Jerry paraphernalia for a certain four-year-olds birthday party, you should go ahead and purchase the cake decoration because there will not be a party store in the tri-state area who carries it.

4. When you are heading up a major fund-raiser for your child’s school, you should be prepared to complete over half of the order forms even though you sent a simple, but detailed instruction form home.

5. It is totally possible for a four-year-old to have blood drawn for a blood test and not shed a single tear. AND when this happens, you will be one proud, thankful mama.

6. When your seven-year-old has permanent teeth coming in behind baby teeth, you can expect his dentist to say he needs to pull the baby teeth. AND when this happens, you will be  one nervous mama.

7. Instead of rifling through the trash when you have misplaced a check, you should probably take great care to look through your purse first.

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You can read the long detailed version of rules here, or follow these easy steps.

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog.

2. Within that post, please mention the What I Learned This Week carnival and link to this post here at FITP.

3. Then link up with the Mr. Linky below.

4. Then visit the other participants and see what they learned this week. Then leave a comment because everybody loves comments!

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He Says, She Says.

 

He says, Chocolate chip cookies, please.
She says, Chocolate cake with lots of icing, please.

He says not very much at all.
She says a lot more than she should most of the time.

He says, keeping the front door open allows the heat out and the cold in (or the cold out and the heat in depending on the season).
She says, Having an open door says welcome.

He says, I love strawberries.
She says, strawberries are gross.

He says, the blinds hanging in front of the sliding glass doors should be closed to keep the house cooler.
She says, opening the sliding glass door blinds allows the natural light in.

And speaking of lights…

He says, when you leave a room, turn out the lights.
She says, a few extra lights makes the rooms brighter.

He says, drive to the next town to get gas because its eleven cents cheaper.
She says, you won’t make it to the next town, you’d better stop for gas right now regardless of the price per gallon.

He says, vehicles are for driving, not for eating in.
She says, I’ll never own a car I can’t eat and drink in.

He says, we’re going on a trip, I’m going out to wash the car.
She says, it’ll be covered in bugs, you should just wait until we return home and then wash it.

He says, you look prettier without the make-up.
She says, are you crazy?

He says, Strawberry jelly.
She says, Grape jelly.

He says, why make the bed when you’re just going to get back in it later tonight.
She says, if you’re no longer in the bed, you should be making it.

He says, cereal is soggy and nasty.
She says, I love cereal and I eat it frequently.

He says, I am not a dipper or a dunker.
She says, everything is better dipped in sauce or dunked in milk.

He says, I order water in restaurants.
She says, are you kidding, who wants to drink water with a good meal?

He says, landscaping is just something else to mow around.
She says, we need to do some landscaping around here.

He says Facebook is an aggravation.
She says, guess what I found out on the Facebook?
(Funny thing is, he always wants to know.)

He says they’ll be fine, let them be boys.
She says, You’re about to give me a heart attack, stop that before one of you gets hurt.

He says the glass if half full.
She says the glass if half empty and probably tainted with some sort of poison.

He says save, save, save.
She says, save, spend, and spend.

While we might not always see eye-to-eye…

He is the perfect mate for me and I feel blessed to share his life.

Bearing Scars

The scars are easily visible.

They are dense and come in all sizes.

The surface is permanently marred. It is forever changed.

The scars remain regardless of the treatment or care given to them.

The scars serve to remind me and I am glad they are there. It hasn’t always been that way mind you. When they were new and fresh, the scars bothered me. I wasted a lot of time trying to combat the scars. Now though, I embrace them.

Funny thing  about scars, they rarely ever fade completely away, and I have come to appreciate that.

I look at the scars and I smile. Years from now when I am searching for reminders, I will run my fingers along the scars and I will remember. I will remember the hours upon hours spent gathered round creating the scars. The scars that resemble tracks.

I will look back and think of times that have passed. Days I can never get back.

I know the scars will always be there and I am fine with that.

For it means that our coffee table was used as a racetrack by our boys.

The scars represent brotherly love.

Innocent fun.

Happy times.

Sweet memories.

Endless chatter.

Healthy competition.

And joyful laughing.

And those are scars I don’t mind bearing.

Orange You Glad?

Orange is one of my favorite colors. It’s bright and bold and beautiful. I had fun capturing orange this week.

Oh lets see, lots of orange and where should we start? These big, beautiful pumpkins was spotted at a roadside Amish mart.

Rainbows like this one offer a beautiful orange shade. It just might be the most beautiful one God has ever made.

Although I doubt Noah would agree.

Attending to business daily, the orange scarecrow he stands guard, he keeps a watch on things, but mostly just the yard.

Never can one have too many pumpkins, especially these ones so small, its part of the reason I love the season we call fall.

Gigantic bowl of taco soup, you sure do hit the spot, so I headed to the grocery store and this is what I bought. The soup is certainly delicious, especially when filled with (orange) shredded cheese. I shared the recipe earlier this week, you can check it out if you please.

Enough about pumpkins and fall, lets focus on this cute space, these bold orange chairs put a smile on my little face.

My rhyme has now ended, that’s all for You Capture this week. Before you head off to another blog, stick around and have another peek.

Orange you glad I couldn’t find an orange Saturn Sky?

Happy Thursday folks!

Taco Soup

Recently, I received an invitation to a jewelry party. I read the invitation and then somehow it got deleted because that’s just the way things happen to me, so I couldn’t remember which kind of jewelry it was. Frankly, it didn’t really matter because I love jewelry and I can always find something I like no matter if its Lia Sophia, Permier, Silpada, gold, silver, or plastic.

Ok, I’m kidding about the plastic, but you get my drift, right?

After about nineteen trips through the catalog, I settled on a pair of earrings. It probably wouldn’t have taken nineteen trips had I not been preoccupied with the refreshments, or in this case, the all out dinner spread served by the hostess.

She had prepared a big ole’ crock-pot of taco soup with a vast array of items to add to the soup and it was fabulous. So fabulous in fact, that I went back for seconds. Each time I piled sour cream, shredded cheese, salsa, and tortilla chips on top.

Before I get started, y’all should know that I have a short list of criteria before sharing a recipe. It must be,

  • Easy
  • Quick
  • Easy

First, head out to the grocery spot of your choice and pick up these things, but don’t forget the sour cream like I did because taco soup isn’t quite the same without the stinkin’ sour cream. Also, my hamburger was browning when I took this picture, so don’t forget it either.

TACO SOUP

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 small can of green chillies
  • 1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans
  • 1 (15 ounce) can of chili beans
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning mix

In a large skillet, brown the ground beef, drain and place in crockpot. Slice the onion and add each can of goodies and the envelope of seasoning. Cook in crockpot for 4 hours on high or 6 hours on low.

Garnish with sour creme, shredded cheese (I actually smother my soup in shredded cheese), salsa, tortilla chips and/or lettuce.

Enjoy.

See, I told you it was easy!