American Idol – Top 6

This time last week I was suffering from some sort of stomach nonsense and I was too sick to hold my eyes open. I am pleased to report that I am much better and finally back to my old, crazy self. I even reminded McDaddy of my wish for a solid mahogany casket in the event that I didn’t make it out alive.

But enough about me and my last wishes ailments… because THIS is American Idol.

It’s Carole King week here on Idol and I must say that I am having a hard time getting past the fact that my beloved Stefano was sent home last week. I was sure it was Haley’s week to go and I was yelling at the television like a crazy person as he sang his last song on the big stage last week. With the exception of the ‘Bennie and The Jets’ week, I’ve thought it was her turn to go each and every time.

Oh, and have I mentioned that I love Babyface! I’m glad to see he’s mentoring with Jimmy Ivine tonight.

Jacob Lusk– “Oh No, Not My Sweet Baby” – What in the name of pete is my boy wearing? Beuller, Beuller. Anyone. Anyone. Sweet moses, I can’t hardly get past it. Doesn’t there come a point when you say, I. Am. Not. Wearing. That? If ever there was a point, it needed to be today. With the poor fashion choices (I say choices because the plaid jacket, (purple?) bowtie, yellow sweater. See there? He had a lot of choices? Aside from the fashion miscues, I have to say I am loving this performance. Jacob seems much more confident and for the first time, I think Jacob proved that he belongs here in the competition.

Lauren Alaina– “Where You Lead” – I had to laugh when ol’ girl was listening to Miley Cyrus’ advice, because you could just tell she was all agog. (I love that word, agog.) And when Lauren started singing, it was obvious that little session with Hanner Montanner really did something for her because she was kickin’ up her heels and kickin’ it in to gear. She’s not one of my favorites, but she did a good job tonight.

Haley & Casey – “I Feel The Earth Move” – Well that was cute. I love their raspy voices together.

Scotty McCreery– “You Got A Friend” – I love Scotty. He’s been my second favorite (next to Stefano, of course) from the beginning, and now, with Stefano gone, I’ll be cheering him on. I’m happy to hear he’s doing something other than country tonight because I think he’ll do it big. Oh friends, he did not disappoint. As soon as he finished the song I just wanted to run up on stage and hug him. He is such a cutie and he did his thang tonight. It was, in my opinion, his best performance ever.

It just dawned on me that Scotty sorta resembles the kid from Mad Magazine, Alfred E. Newman.

Google it. I’ll wait.

James Durbin– “Will You Still Love Me Tonight?” – Holy Hallelujah. Okay, can I just say, that I am now, officially, a James Durbin fan. From the first few a capella lines (which were smooth and perfect in my humble opinion), I was hooked. Tonight’s performance was ‘off the hook’ and he should be very proud of himself. Best performance of his, ever!

Lauren & Scotty – “Up On The Roof” – This was just so-so for me. They both sang very well, but there just wasn’t anything all that special about it.

Casey Abrams – “Hi De Ho” – As far as overall performances go, I think Casey always brings something unique to the stage. He is a gifted musician and I look forward to his performance every week. I love the slow jazziness of this song, and I love the way Casey is making his way around the stage to each of the musicians. As always, I am enjoying his performance.

Did Steven Tyler just call him “Weird Beard”?

Haley Rinehart – “Beautiful” – So, I just ate my words and I must say, they were tough to digest. Haley brung it tonight. I have never heard this song but I love the way it goes fast, slow, fast, slow. This performance reminds me of the week that she sang “Bennie and The Jets”. I will remember it tomorrow.

James & Jacob – “I’m In To Something Good” –

Best of the night: James Durbin

Best Duet of the Night: Casey and Haley

Going Home: Lauren Alaina

What say you?

You Capture – Pink

I live in a house with three fellas.

That means there’s not a lot of pink around here.

My iPhone is wrapped tightly and securely in a bright pink otter box. And my laptop is pink too, though I’m not in any mood to show a picture of my laptop because we are on the outs right now. It is a DELL laptop that is about 18 months young. It is currently hooked up to the old-school hoopty monitor because the lighting or backlight or whatever it’s called is totally dark so the only thing I can currently see on my screen is black. Which is boring.

So, if you’ll excuse me for about 4.3 seconds I need to take this chance to speak my mind (and yes, it could take awhile!) If you happen to be a big-wig at Dell who just so  happened to find From Inmates To Playdates today, please know that I AM NOT A HAPPY GIRL. Hear me! NOT. A. HAPPY. GIRL. AT. ALL.

But, I’ll move on.

Still, I was able to capture some pink stuff within minutes because it happens to be one of my favorite colors.

There’s pink on my address book:

My purse is pink (even though it looks a little yellow on this monitor):

One of my many flowery bags (I love bags of all shapes, colors and sizes),

And lastly, how about these pink, clunky and quite possibly ugliest shoes on the planet which I hardly wear because I am OCD about wearing pink shoes ONLY with a pink shirt and only when I’m not going anywhere too fancy.

Needless to say these puppies don’t see much action.

And because I know y’all are expecting it, I think this little sucker would look good in pink, too…

For more You Capture fun, visit I Should Be Folding Laundry, which coincidentally I should be doing, too!

What I Learned This Week

It is my favorite time of year.

American Idol, DWTS, windows open, breeze blowing, daylight until 8:30 PM, and baseball. Now if the rain would just STOP ALREADY, I’d be good. There is rain in the forecast for the next week.

But my laptop screen is working so at least there’s that, right?

Plus, our parking pad thingamabob is coming together nicely. I haven’t said much about it because I don’t have a lot of good to say about it. It turned out to be a lot bigger than I once thought and takes up half of our yard, but the contractor got the fancy new mailbox fixed and my heart softened a bit.

So, what I learned this week….

1. A fancy new mailbox can make a big, bulky cinder block wall look better.

2. A fresh coat of paint can breath new life into dusty old picture frames.

3. The arctic orange milkshake at McDonalds is really good, but it reminds me of baby aspirin.

4. If by chance you wake up one morning with tingly fingers, stiff knuckles and swollen hands, you might want to stay off of Google unless you want to worry about things like carpal tunnel, MS, rheumatoid arthritis, fifth disease or parvovirus.

5. DiagnoseMe.com is never a good idea. But most especially if you are a crazy person.

6. Listening to an eight-year-old recount the baseball game is *almost* as exciting as watching the actual game.  

What did YOU learn this week?

You can read a crazy long detailed version of the rules here, or simply 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 back to this post here at From Inmates To Playdates. If you don’t know how to link, please ask me.

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

4. Visit the other participants and see what they learned this week. Then leave a comment because comments are fun!

A Crappy Week And Some Big News

Spring Break 2011 is officially over.

It was a crazy busy week, and I think I might have spent at least half of it in the bathroom.

I won’t go into detail except to say that a crazy vicious virus claimed three of us within a week. Alex kicked the shin-dig off with five days of crappy behavior, and then once we were in New York, the crap hit the fan and it took me hostage for three days, and then, just before rounding the week out, Stevie found himself victim to it’s cousin. I am hoping we are all on the mend and it would be just great if it would bypass McDaddy because another victim would mean a whole ‘nother chance to catch it again.

It might surprise you to read that we took a little trip to New York over Spring Break. I am under strict orders from McDaddy to not “announce on the blog” that we’re out of town, because, you know, there are predators out there just waiting and watching for you to leave your home long enough for them to get all up in your stuff and steal it. So, it’s probably a good thing I was too sick to blog while we were away because that way I didn’t have to worry about it.

And before you get too jealous about my being in New York over Spring Break, I should tell you that it was 36 degrees, cold, windy and rainy the entire four days we visited. So there. Still, it was fun to get away with my fellas and not have to worry about cooking and cleaning for a few days.

Not that I worry a whole lot about the cooking part anyway, but still.

I do have some big news to share though. 

First of all let me just remind y’all that I like to push the envelope around here. I debated about how to announce this next tidbit and I want you to know that I thought long and hard about how to tell y’all about it. There are several parts of the story that I haven’t shared yet, and now that I’m feeling better and have the time to tell it properly, I thought this was as good a time as any to let y’all in on it.

Last Saturday morning  I opened a bottom cabinet to get my griddle out because my people wanted some pancakes for breakfast. As I retrieved the griddle, I noticed several white plastic pieces covering the bottom of the counter. It seems that our friend, the mouse, had returned and found a bottle of mouse attractant. As it turns out, mouse attractant does just that. After gnawing the lid off of the bottle, the little joker “left his mark” (as if I hadn’t seen enough of that between all of us being sick) in the cabinet. McDaddy and I spent the next hour cleaning the cabinet out and running every. single. thing. in the cabinet through the dishwasher. Determined to catch the sucker, I left all of the serving dishes and stuff from the cabinet sprawled out on our dining room table. I Lysoled the inside of the cabinet FOUR! times and then McDaddy set two traps and poured a generous helping of mouse attractant on them because when something chews the lid off, it tends to just pour out of the bottle.

THEN.

Then, I had to come up with a place to store ten peanut butter Easter Eggs that I needed to deliver to my friend April when we returned from our trip. I decided to put them on a cardboard box lid and place them in the oven, out of sight and smell from the mouse.

This next part is where it gets tricky.

I’ll just go ahead and tell you that if you are squeamish, or if you are eating, or you get grossed out easily, you might want to skip this next part.

Because look what happened while we were gone?

Remember, I gave you fair warning.

I whooped and hollered when I discovered what had happened. I might even have texted the picture to a couple of friends with the caption, “R.I.P. Sucker” too. He was an uninvited intruder in our home and I was sick and tired of wondering where he (or she) was.

And, if that’s not enough… The next evening I was getting an early start on the Easter baking and preheated the oven. About 9.3 minutes later, there was an awful smell filling my house. The smell of something burning. I opened the oven to discover this site….

For those of you keeping score, that’s ten Easter eggs at $3.25 a pop, absolutely ruined.

Dang.

It’s a wonder I didn’t burn the friggin’ house down.

Good Friday Tenebrae Service

As we entered the doors to our church on Good Friday, the lights were dim and the sanctuary was silent. The was a sign on the door, that simply read, “Enter humbly, worship deeply.”

The Old Rugged Cross was softly playing through the speakers and as I listened, I thought about that fateful day.

“What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called Christ?” Pilate asked. They all answered, “Crucify him!” Matthew 27:22

It was Good Friday and we were attending the annual Tenebrae Service.

The word ‘tenebrae’ is Latin for shadows, or darkness. The purpose of the Tenebrae service is to recreate the emotional aspects of the crucifixion. For that reason, this is a solemn service. The purpose of this service is to recreate the betrayal, abandonment, and agony of the events. In the end, it is left unfinished, because the story isn’t over until Easter Day.

While we wait for the service to begin, eight candles burn. Seven purple and one white. Music is playing softly through the speakers and the sanctuary is quiet.

As the service begins, the Tenebrae service is explained. Seven readers will recount different aspects of the crucifixion. At the conclusion of their reading, they will snuff out a candle. An opening prayer is offered.

And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him. Mark 15:20

The readers, (many of whom are emotional) recounts scripture leading up to Jesus being brutally beaten and ultimately dying on the cross. The last reader – reading from Psalm 22 which Jesus quoted on the cross – snuffs out the white candle. 

When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. John 19:30

The sanctuary is left in total darkness—and near total devastation.

There was no benediction.

There was no talking.

Our church family departed in silence with heavy hearts.

But, the story is far from over…..

And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.  I Corinthians 15:4

He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Matthew 28:6

Without Easter, we would not have victory in the Christian life. A popular Easter hymn – “Because He lives” – reminds us that we can face tomorrow.  Because He lives, we have victory. Because He lives, we have eternal life through Jesus. 

I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end He will stand upon the earth. Job 19:25

Because He lives, we have a hope and future.

Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. Jude 1:21

And most of all, eternal life.

Because He lives.

A Naked Lady

Due to unforseen circumstances, my weekly American Idol review will not be seen today.

Nor will Thursday Thirteen.

I am, however, re-running one of my favorite Letters To Crazy People for your reading enjoyment. It was originally posted back in 2008.

——

Dear Lady at the Y:
 
On Friday of last week, I found myself needing to use the restroom facilities at the Charleston YMCA.
 
As usualy, I was minding my own business. With Aerosmith blasting in my headphones, I entered the bathroom, anxious to get to the fitness center. As I rounded the corner, I saw you standing in front of the mirror blow-drying your hair.
 
Which wouldn’t have been a big deal.
 
Except that you were naked.
 
Totally.
 
Tell me.
 
Who besides you?
 
Does that?
 
It was mighty uncomfortable for me as was probably obvious from the angle of my chin as it dropped to the floor.
 
I rushed into the stall before my eyes popped out of my head, giving you some idea of what I thought of your exhibition. 
 
Naked lady, could you put your clothes on next time? Pretty please?
 
Because I might have my kids with me.
 
And, just because it is the appropriate thing to do.
 
Thank you.
 
A Suprised Y Patron
 
(Who, by the way would never dream of getting dressed in all of her glory in the locker room at the Y.)

Seeing Red

So here’s the deal. I am not Martha Stewart.

I don’t even claim to be crafty, unless you count the fact that I scrapbook, and that’s stretching it when you stop to consider that I am two years behind on that particular project. But that’s another post for another day. Today, I’d like to show you what can happen when you get something in your head.

Maybe that’s never happened to you.

Last week, the boys and I stopped at Home Goods because my friend Becky said they have some great bedding for kids. I have been on the search for bedding since we ordered Alex’s new bed (which is a natural wood stain with bright red knobs) because the toddler set he has on his cool car bed will not work on a big-boy bed. I had actually found some great bedding on a web-site earlier that day, but didn’t have the courage to ask McDaddy if we could take out a loan for it because we need things like food and gas, and $480. seemed a bit much, even for me.

Yes, you read that right. FOUR HUNDRED EIGHTY DOLLARS!

For bedding.

Home Goods had a single bedding set for boys. It was nice, and it was cheap (well, when compared to $400.), but it was a blue and brown stripe pattern. We were trying to find bedding that had some bright red in it to match the bright red knobs that Alex chose. Even though we didn’t have any luck finding bedding, I did find a fancy, huge cork board for $30.00. The only problem was that the cork board had a dark wood frame. (Sadly, I forgot to take a picture before I trimmed it with painter’s tape.)

I snatched that sucker up and immediately wondered if I could paint the frame red to match his new room.

Then, reality set in and I placed it back on the shelf because I have never purchased something with the idea that I could successfully transform it into something totally different without actually friggin’ it up. I made it past two or three aisles before I got it in my head that yes, yes indeed I could do this.

I figured it would need to be sanded because the frame was shiny and slick and I didn’t think the red paint would stick to it. I covered the cork in newspaper and layered it with painter’s tape, so I wouldn’t mess up the actual cork part of it because  have a tendancy to string paint everywhere. I went down to the garage and happened onto a piece of sand paper. I wasn’t sure how hard to sand it or for how long, so I sanded until I got bored.

Which was about six minutes.

I wiped off the sanding crumbs and got to work.

The first coat didn’t go on to too easily and I thought I might need to sand for another six minutes it a second time. I wasn’t sure how that would go over though because the dark frame now had a fresh coat of red paint on it. I did what anybody in my position would do.

I slapped another coat of paint on the sucker and hoped for the best.

After the second coat dried I could still see quite a bit of dark paint through the red, SO, I geared up and did another coat of red. This time, with sweeping success.

I marched right into Alex’s room and pried letters and a chalk board from his walls and gave them a makeover, too.

I painted everything that didn’t get in my way.

I saw red.

Repainting stuff works for me!

Visit THAT family for more Works For Me Wednesday ideas.

What I Learned This Week

Today’s What I Learned This Week post is going to be short and sweet.

Which is a far cry from the long, random ramblings y’all are used to.

We’ve been on the road for most of the day and all I want to do is curl up in this big, comfy hotel bed and look at my eyelids. The boys are searching unsuccessfully for something appropriate to watch on television, and I am sitting up in my bed, trying to hammer this post out before the backlight on the laptop decides to crap out on me.

Again.

So, off we go….

1. McDaddy knows lots of stuff. His vast amount of knowledge surprises me daily. When I ask “How do you know all of that?” he replies with, “It’s just part of what I know”….

2. Niagra Falls is the Honeymoon Capital of the world, though I’m not sure why.

3. As it turns out, mouse attractant does just that. And the bad news is that there is 0% poison on the attractant, which means the mouse can feast nightly on the attractant without any harm whatsoever.

4. A sure fire way to insure that a mouse doesn’t invade your cabinet is to set two traps in the very same cabinet where it feasted on mouse attractant the night before.

5. Steak N Shake cole slaw is nasty. You should opt instead, for the salad.

6. When you are headed North for Spring Break, it’s probably a good idea to PACK JACKETS for your children.

7. You can find absolutely anything on Craig’s List. And by anything, I mean, any thing.

8. There is a city in Alabama called Eclectic. And a person from there visits my blog almost daily. 

What did YOU learn this week?

You can read a crazy long detailed version of the rules here, or simply 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 back to this post here at From Inmates To Playdates. If you don’t know how to link, please ask me.

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

4. Visit the other participants and see what they learned this week. Then leave a comment because comments are fun!

The Rest Of The Story

For a number of years, my family has camped with several other families from our church. And by large group, I mean 40 or 50 people. We enjoy five days of fun, fellowship, and laughter. We eat together, sit around the campfire together, play corn-hole together, swim together, and cook together. It is an event we look forward to every year.

While we were there this past year, we packed up the kids, rafts, snacks, coolers, towels, and sand toys and we headed for the campground “beach”. As we unfolded towels and claimed a spot on the beach, our kids excitedly started grabbing toys and running toward the water.

Almost immediately, a small group of children came out of nowhere and began grabbing our kids’ sand toys and ran the other direction, toward the water. As we talked about the importance of sharing, and patience with our kids, the “other kids” were having a hay-day with their toys. It was like a circus act, because the kids just kept coming. As soon as “the other kids” would put a toy down, one of our kids would run to retrieve it.

Our kids asked very nicely to have their toys back (remember, we are with a church group and we were trying very hard to be a witness) and a couple even marched right over and reclaimed their toys.

Some of our kids prayed….

We even watched as Alex walked right over to where the “other kids” were, and asked politely if he could have “a turn” with his favorite sand toy. It surprised me, because I fully expected him to have a fit.

We enjoyed a great laugh together as we watched our kids take care of business and reclaim their stuff piece-by-piece, even after they were left for dead at the bottom of the beach floor.

And that, my friends, is the rest of the story.

Hurry up, Summer! We miss you!