Who Do We Have Here?

From time to time, I look at the feedjit widget down in my sidebar to get a glimpse into my readership. (Readership, ha!) It still cracks me up to think about the fact that actual living, breathing people stop by here on a daily basis to read this mess.

As is always the case, I am amused at the things that people search for on The Googlethat lands them here on the front porch of From Inmates To Playdates, Inc.

And before you ask, there really isn’t an “Inc.” involved. It just makes the blog sound fancy.

I thought this might be a great time to give a shout out to those of you who arrived here because you searched for the same sort of crazy that I dish out here on a daily basis.

– Weston, Missouri arrived from Google.com on “My Exciting Life” by searching for Amish ear candles.

  • Welcome to my little bloggy home, Weston! I’m so glad you stopped by. Much to McDaddy’s dismay, I did try ear candling after purchasing the ear candles at the Amish flea market. While I am not 100% that it made a huge difference in my ear, (I have exzema of the inner ear. How’s that for crazy?) I do know that it felt good and that it pulled out a big nasty bunch of ear wax, that I am assuming would still be stuck in my ear canal if it weren’t for the candles. You should also know that the popping and crackling that you’ll hear deep down in your ear is perfectly normal. McDaddy was very skeptical of the entire process, even pausing to sing the song “I called the witch doctor he told me what to do…” in the middle of the procedure. He’s never had ear problems though, so you can’t pay too much attention to his opinions on ears and the ear candling process. And before any of you ask, ear candling is achieved by placing a special candle into the ear canal and lighting it, thus pulling all the goop and stuff from your ear canal. Anyway, I’d love to know if the Amish ear candles helped you. I’d suggest everyone try it once in their lifetime, just so they could say they’ve done it.

Swansea arrived from Google.co.uk on “Inmates, Embalming and Minding Your Own Business” by searching for watch someone be embalmed.

  • *In my very best English with a side of redneck speaking voice* Welcome, Swansea! You might be surprised to know that I did indeed watch an embalming. It was a very interesting experience and I would suggest it, ONLY, in the event that you can handle blood, guts, and gore. Otherwise, you should just stick to reading blogs and “Googling’ about it. The process is most certainly not for everybody. I would do it again though if the opportunity should ever arise. That’s just my type of crazy! And before y’all ask, I do not have any pictures from my experience.

– Malvern, Pennsylvania arrived from Google on “Class of ’92, This One’s For You” by searching for big hair and glasses.

  • It’s true, Malvern! I rocked the big hair and the glasses back in the 90’s. And if we wait just a few more years, I’m betting it will be make its way right back down Cool Blvd. It’s not time just yet, though. Rock on, with your bad self!

– Little Rock, Arkansas arrived from Google on “Over My Dead Body” by searching for expensive mahogany caskets.

  • What’s up Little Rock? I remind McDaddy from time to time that when it comes time to lay me to rest, I deserve the very best money can buy. That means solid and mahogany. Not pressed and wood.

– London arrived from Google.co.uk on “Thursday Thirteen – Thirteen Things In My Purse” by searching for organising items in my handbag.

  • Hiya, London. If there’s one thing that makes my heart smile, its a good organized handbag. I just purchased a new handbag a few days ago with lots of pockets and compartments and I love that I can keep things where they belong instead of one bucket full of stuff.

– Houston, Texas arrived from Google on “What I Learned At The Funeral Home” by searching for embalming and funeral homes.

  • Is it hot there in Houston? Because it’s hot here in West Virginia, and I’m guessing that y’all might have us by a degree or two down there. I should be used to it by now, but I am always surprised at the number of people Googling embalming information. That simple fact proves that I am not the only crazy out there. Welcome to my blog, Houston. I think you have found your people.

– Baltimore, Maryland arrived from Google on “A Little Bit Of Gross” by searching for “how to remove milia on my own“.

  • Hey Baltimore! While it is certainly possible to remove your own millia using a tool you can buy at The Mart of Walls, I wouldn’t suggest you do it yourself. It seems to me that there are a whole host of things that could go wrong, and when you’re using a tool on your face, well, that just doesn’t seem like a good idea. Instead, find a really good friend that you trust to, well, cut a small whole in your face, and then let them do it. McDaddy has a small millia just above his eye and I have tried (unsuccessully, might I add) several times to talk him into letting me play Doctor. He is a smart man though, so I don’t anticipate doing any type of procedure on him any time soon. Oh, and it’s worth noting that I turned to a Dermatologist for my milia removal needs.

– ?Apopka, Florida arrived from Google on “Today on Guantanamo Bay” by searching for Guantanamo Bay Windward Loop.

  • First, can I just say that the word, Apopka makes me smile great big. I think it would be fun to live there, just so I could say, “Apopka” when someone asked me where I was from. Course, I’m probably pronouncing it all redneckwrong in the first place, but still. Apopka, I can’t think of too many reasons that one would be Googling ‘Guantanamo Bay Winward Loop’ unless they were headed there or lived there. McDaddy did a six month sentencedeployment on (or is it ‘at’, I never know.) Guantanamo Bay and he lived on Winward Loop. It is a beautiful island with lots (ahem!) to do, so I do hope you’ll enjoy your visit. As far as deployments go, I hear it wasn’t bad at all. My boys and I spent a week there visiting and it was one of the most exciting weeks of my life. I’d love to know why  you Googled it. (Y’all know I”m nosey, right?) If you pop back in, be sure to let me know.

And there you have it, folks.

Many thanks to Google for sending people my way.

And many thanks to all the crazy people out there who visit me every single day in search of my daily dose of crazy. This would be a great day to tell me where you’re from, you know because I am nosey and all.

Have a great weekend, people!

Just So You Know

TO: My sweet boys

FROM: Your mama

DATE: July 27, 2011

RE: Just So You Know

——

Dear Boys:

I might as well start off by apologizing for being a couple of months late on your monthly memo. If my monthly memo writing is a reflection of my parenting, well, lets just say I need to work on my skills. In my defense though, y’all know we have been incredibly busy the past few years months.

Here goes another attempt at documenting your behavior, your likes and dislikes, and some things that um, need to be changed before I go nine kinds of crazy and take y’all out back and hang you upside down from the trampoline poles.

And don’t think I won’t do it.

The first thing I’d like to talk about is this obsession the two you have with all things birdies, butts and farts.

Really. Give. It. A. Rest.

I hear all the time that boys will be boys, but it gets real old hearing y’all make fart sounds with your armpits. Plus, it’s rude to do it in 92% of the places y’all bust it out, so STOP IT ALREADY. That, along with the leg-pit farts too. It was funny the first 318 times you did it, but it has slowly moved on to become a great big source of aggravation.

Still, at the end of the day when I lay my head on my pillow, I am thankful that God chose me, out of all the mommies in the world, to parent you two. You make motherhood so much fun and I love you both very much!

—–

 Dear Stevie,

Child. Do you have any earthly idea how bad you scared me when you had the bike wreck at the campground and fell over like you were dead because you held your breath for too long? Those seconds were the scariest of my life and I would just love it if you could make sure to never ever do that again for as long as you live, so help you God. When your big brown eyes rolled back in your head and your lips turned blue, I died a million deaths right there in the middle of that street. I am sorry that I freaked out, but I’d be lying if I said I had it within me to do anything other than what I did and that was scream like a crazy person.

I am so thankful that you are okay. An entire month later I still have the image of you going down in my head. It haunts me every time I close my eyes.

 

It is also worth mentioning (because I love to mention the crazy) that this little trip to the ER to check out your head, knee and vital organs uncovered the fact that you have an accessory spleen.

Welcome to the extra spleen club, kid!

For those of you keeping score, my kid was born with an extra tooth, and an extra spleen.

I guess daddy and I are in luck if we ever find ourselves in need of a spleen.

You ended a fabulous second grade year with straight A’s and you also enjoyed another great year as a cub scout. At Day Camp, you had an awesome time meeting new friends and going to the shooting range. For the second year in a row, you earned a medal for your BB Gun shooting.

You love: Lego’s, hotwheels, playing Wii, playing DS, reading, pretending to shoot stuff as a spy agent, swimming, wearing baseball shirts, having a mohawk, drawing, playing hide and go seek, running, AND TALKING WAY LOUDER THAN NECESSARY 97% of the time. (I guess you get it honest.)

You do not like: putting up laundry, peas, going to bed, apple juice (which is funny to me because you LOVED it as a toddler), or straightening up your room.

Stevie, you are a sweet child with a big heart and a compassionate spirit. You love to hug and snuggle up on my lap, even though you are more than half as tall as I am. I love being your mom and I’d do anything to S-L-O-W-D-O-W-N time because the teenage years are just around the corner and that makes me all kinds of sad.

I love you,

Mommy

——

Dear Alex,

When daddy and I decided to have another baby, I assumed we’d have another child exactly like Stevie because that’s how I thought babies and families worked.

I could not have been more wrong about that.

No one was more suprised than me to learn that I had birthed (or C-Sectioned) a kid that was a total opposite of the first child we had. You are fiercely independant, with a streak of stubborn on the side. Every milestone in your life has been on YOUR terms and was only slowed down if daddy or I attempted to encourage or push you. And that’s fine. It just took us a good while to catch on to that. One of the biggest differences in the two of you, is your desire to “DO IT YOURSELF”.

You are more than ready for Kindergarten, which is more than I can say for your mama. Your new favorite thing is to spell words and write words. There is all kinds of information in your brain, but you only share what’s up there when you are good and ready.

And not a moment sooner.

Swimming lessons this year went a lot better than swimming lessons did last year, but just like your brother, you really got the hang of swimming during a week at scout camp, watching other boys swim and jump and play in the pool.

You like: to dress yourself, play with your critters, playing DS, watching Tom & Jerry, playing Wii, going to Centershot, runnng, jumping, climbing, riding your bike, swimming, and giving me kisses.

You do not like: sitting down for dinner, peas, or any green vegetable for that matter, waiting, or being stuck.

As a tagalong, you enjoyed yourself immensely at Scout Camp. You made new friends and pretty much latched on to a new friend everyday. You were a good sport in spite of the heat and humidity and even spent a great deal of time with another den away from me. You enjoyed the range and even shot two bulls-eyes throughout the week.

And speaking of scout camp… I owe you a huge apology for that little ordeal with the bandage on your side. On the very last day of scout camp, you were running on the pool deck (even though I had told you 2,382 to STOP RUNNING BEFORE YOU FALL) when you fell down and suffered a pretty deep cut on your side. We visited the first aid stand at the pool and a sweet lifeguard gal cleaned you up and put a waterproof, flesh colored bandage the size of my iPhone on your side. There were several times over the next few days that I asked you to remind me to take the bandage off, not doing it at any of those times because either we were not at home, or we were in the middle of a meal.

When I finally remembered we stopped at a rest stop and we were in the stall together, I noticed that your side was really, really red. I removed that bandage and I was appalled and disgusted at myself becuase that whole area was a hot mess. And it stunk. Never, ever, in my eight plus years of motherhood have I ever felt as incompetent and undeserving as I did at that moment. Thankfully, after some diligent Neosporin applications, it is almost completely healed up. I’m sorry that you had to endure that. Thanks for being such a great sport about it.

It makes ne to sad that you are growing up so quickly. My greatest joy is watching you learn from your brother and hearing the two of you giggle. Even if you are laughing about bottoms and birdies, and farts.

Thank you for coming toward me with fishy lips several times during the day to give me a kiss. It is one of my greatest joys as a mommy. I love you sweet boy, and I can’t tell you how proud I am of you for marching to the tune of your own drummer, even if the tune, sometimes, is hard to comprehend. You are a smart boy who doesn’t miss a whole heck of a lot, despite your efforts to make it seem that way.

I love you sweet boy,

Mama

—–

His Hands

His hand rests comfortably on the back of the church pew. Carefully, I slide my hand under his and our fingers become a tangled mess as they have done thousands of times. My hand is happy there. As I run my thumb along the the edge of his thumb I think back to all of the times that those hands – his hands – have comforted me over the last nineteen years. Trust me when I say there have been plenty.

A few nights ago, our hands rested side by side while he slept. My mind raced, thinking of all the things his hands do on a daily basis.

His Hands….

– work hard every single day.

– are sexy, even when covered in heap, ahem, I mean Jeep grease.

– can fix nearly anything.

– changed a ceiling fan out tonight.

– mean business when he seals a deal with a handshake.

– are covered with freckles.

– have held lots of electrical wire through the years.

– give me a sense of comfort and protection.

– haven’t been adorned with a wedding ring for years.

– are really good at playing the drums at our church.

– do their best work on my back.

– enjoy holding on to small hands.

– pull me back when I’m ready to jump off the ledge.

– fit perfectly in mine.

– are often used to help others.

– had no desire to cut the umbilical cord, either time.

– have probably wanted to swat me upside the head a time or ten.

– are rarely still.

– love holding warm chocolate chip cookies.

– are often gripping a steering wheel.

– are rarely used for discipline.

Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might… – Ecclesiastes 9:10

What I Learned This Week

As promised, I spent some time today at the mall that is in the same parking lot as our hotel.

I bribed the boys with a promise to take them to Game Stop, and then the pool once we returned, (as I am a firm believer in bribery) so I didn’t hear any lip from them about spending a few hours perusing the mall. I am blessed that they have always been very good about accompanying me on various shopping extravaganzas and appointments.

I know y’all didn’t come here to read about my shopping extravaganza though, so let’s go ahead and get started, shall we?

Here’s what I learned this week.

1. At the end of the crop season, Amish women take all the vegetables that are left over and combine them into a tasty salsa, called “Last of the Garden”. If you ever have the chance to try some, you should.

2. Education is very important to the Amish, but they only provide formal education through the eighth grade.

This intrigues me greatly because many Amish people go on to be successful business owners.

3. Amish weddings are traditionally held on Tuesdays and Thursdays in late fall, after the final autumn harvest, and wedding dresses are typically blue.

4. The laundromat is a boring, hot place and I am so thankful I don’t have to use one very often.

5. Apparently, there is something to that whole magnetic field / hotel card key erasing thing. Or so the people at the Hampton desk say.

6. Before making the trek across the hotel parking lot to the adjacent mall, one should probably check the weather, or else be ready to make the trek back… in the rain.

7. For some reason the Macy’s store in this city is much better than the Macy’s store in my hometown.

8. When a child slips on the pool deck and gets a nasty cut on his side and has to be bandaged up by the pool life-guard, a good mother should probably remove the bandage that evening, or at the very least the next day. Otherwise, five days might go by and the mother might determine in her heart and soul that she has absolutely no business whatsoever parenting children.

That’s what I learned this week. Now what did YOU learn?

——-

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!

Room With A View

I am typing this post from a fourth floor room at a hotel in Pennsylvania.

The boys and I are tagging along with McDaddy on a business trip, which we often do during summer vacation. One of my first things to do when we arrive at the hotel, is to look out the window to see what kind of view we have. This particular hotel has a beautiful view, because it is centrally located on the same lot as a shopping mall.

I’ll give you a minute to process that.

Folks, that means that I am living it up this week. Breakfast served in the lobby every morning. Followed by time at the mall. And then the pool. And then dinner out.

Which translates into NO COOKING and NO CLEANING for this girl, as well as MORE TIME TO BLOG which makes me nine kinds of happy. If only I had my TiVo, this week would be perfect. And speaking of the blog, I’d like to thank my BFF, (that sounds so cliche, I know!) Becky for keeping an eye on the place while I was gone. She did an awesome job and I appreciate her spending some time over here, in the midst of her crazy, hectic life. She will most likely be guest posting several times this summer (if she’s up for it) because we have a busy couple of weeks ahead.

It’s been one of those weeks where I question my ability to safely and successfully care for two small children. (Am I the only one that has ever felt this way?) A little incident occurred with Alex (and I use the word little, loosely), that I was totally at fault for, and it was most definitely not my proudest parenthood moment. To be honest, I’m not even able to write about it yet. All I’ll say is that it was bad. So bad that I cried. And that’s all I will say about that.

On a brighter note though, my little family has a lot to look forward to in the upcoming weeks. We visited a laundromat today because our hotel does not have a guest laundry room (but did I mention it shares a parking lot with a mall?) and I only packed enough clothes for one week, even though we’ll be gone for two. While I was sitting there fighting the urge to poke my eyeballs out wasting time on my beloved iPhone, I decided to get my social calendar in order. It dawned on me that our little family will pretty much be busy from now until when school starts.

The whole school starting thing sucks if you ask me, because I HATE SETTING MY STUPID ALARM CLOCK. The one thing I hate most in the world, besides the heat and the humidity is getting up before the butt-crack of dawn. I am not looking forward to that. Not one bit. I know there is always the option of home-schooling, but I think the window of opportunity for that came and went this past year when Stevie brought home a math paper that required me to Google the word, decimeter. I have often claimed that home-schooling only required the parent to stay one day smarter than the student. On that particular day, I knew the homeschooling ship had sailed.

For some odd reason, our school year starts on a Friday, which is not odd at all, if you know anything about our school board.

It is a day I am dreading because not only will Stevie be in the third (THIRD) grade, but my baby, my sweet Alex, will be starting Kindergaten which makes me so sad and tearful. Until I stop to consider the fact that once the idea of him being in school sinks in, I will have six glorious hours a day ALL TO MYSELF. Except for the hours that I spend volunteering at the school. And doing PTA Treasurer business. And going to the gym. And keeping house.

Doesn’t sound like a whole lot will change.

The first day of school is also the first day of a weekend camping trip that our scout den has planned.

The scout den is a peculiar group. When the six boys started out as Tigers two years ago, I don’t think any of us could have imagined that our families would become such great friends. This parents have just as much fun as the kids do, and the boys (and all the siblings) get along beautifully. We had a cookout at our house for the group last weekend. It was nonstop laughing about things that some of us had never even heard of before that evening, thanks to the pharmacist of the group. I am looking forward to spending the entire weekend with this great group of people. In fact, just typing that sentence brings a smile to my face.

How’s that for a daily dose of crazy? 870 words worth.

Have a great Monday, y’all. Stop in tomorrow and find out what I learned this week, which may or may not include something about my worst parenting moment, and will most certainly include a little something about the mall that is within walking distance from this hotel room.

Wait. Did I mention that already?

Disney World with Food Allergies or My Awesome Disney Vacation

It’ s Becky again.

I promise Julie will be back on Monday. A girl can take a couple days off…right? Today I am going to talk about Disney World with food allergies. First off…let me say….We DO NOT VACATION. My six-year old, A, has an Autism Spectrum Disorder. For her, this means, she doesn’t like crowds, loud noises or a change of routine. She also is very outspoken with no filter (kinda like her Mommy). She does not hesitate to comment on: your age, your gray hair, whether you have a husband or kids, your smell factor and how you look. She really is a joy to take places. On top of that, she has an intolerance to gluten (wheat, rye, barley and oats) and casein (dairy). Why did we vacation at Disney World? Well….we wanted to. We try to not let the Autism stop us from living life. It’s hard, but sometimes you say a prayer, take a deep breath and roll with it!

Anyway….on to Disney. We used a travel agency for our trip. It was not necessary, but with all the accommodations needed, I thought it would be a good idea. We used memories and moments travel  (BTW… Neither Julie, nor I are being compensated to mention Memories and Moments Travel. I just thought they did a great job and I wanted to share).

We used the Disney Dining Plan. This gave us a Table Service (fancy sit-down dinner), Quick Service (fast food) and a Snack per day. If you want to read more about the Disney Dining plan, you can find it here. I am trying to stay on topic, but boy it is hard.

I didn’t anticipate problems with the snack. A loves frozen fruit bars and fresh fruit and that was available every place we were going.

I was really surprised with the Table Service. Before our server took our drink orders a chef came out and spoke with us about A’s food allergies and what would she like for dinner. One night both girls had chicken nuggets, fries and ice cream sundaes. You couldn’t tell the difference, except A’s came with a cover on it to keep from cross-contamination. Another night we went to a Mommy and Daddy restaurant (No Characters!!!) and the chef told us, “95% of what we serve has gluten”. I thought “Fantastic! I really messed this one up”. He told us not to worry he would make her a special feast and what a special feast it was. She had a layer of steamed veggies on a platter, a ball of rice on top and 3 DIFFERENT meat kabobs surrounding it. It absolutely blew my mind. I mean one meat would have been fine! It was enough food to feed 4 six-year olds!!!

 

This is A with her Gluten Free/Casein Free Feast!

I was really impressed with the Quick Service meals. I e-mailed Disney about Abby’s food allergies before we left and they sent me a detailed list of the foods she could have and the restaurants at each park that would be able to accommodate us. She was able to eat her favorites and some things that I had not made at home that she liked. She had: hot dogs and hamburgers with gluten free buns, chicken nuggets, and fries. Fries are very hard to get at fast food restaurants because they are fried with the gluten-filled chicken nuggets. A gluten free bun is impossible to find at restaurants.

To give you an example of a typical fast food meal for little A: double hamburger – plain no bun, apples, and a soft drink. This does not even come close to filling her up so I have to supplement with a snack within an hour. It is just easier to cook at home!

A typical restaurant meal is usually an adult meal because the kids meals are usually “kid-friendly” and not gluten-free. This is a huge expense and something we don’t do very often.

I mean y’all….I didn’t have to cook or worry about food for 8 DAYS and that is one one of the many reasons why we will go to Disney World EVERY year until the kids start to protest. The made a very special little girl feel “special”. They made accommodations for her that nobody else does. This was a dream vacation and I can’t wait to go again next year!

Sad to go home

These are the Girls on the last day!  They are sad to go home!!!

In the interest of full disclosure: Disney did not compensate Julie or me for this glowing review. If they want to send me on a free trip, I would not have a problem with that. Julie has my info if Disney or anyone else has any questions!

Thursday Thirteen – How you know he’s a Daddy to Girls!

Hi! It’s Julie’s friend Becky again. I am going to guest post for a couple of days while Julie is” livin’ it up with the Amish!” This is the 13 ways you know my husband, T, is the daddy of girls. We are blessed with 2 daughters, K is 9 and A is 6. There are things, I am sure, my husband never thought he would do 9 years ago when K was born. These are my observations and are in no way endorsed by my husband! 

  1. He not only knows all the name of the different hair accessories, he also knows their function.
  2. He knows the yard work will ALWAYS be his responsibility.
  3. He’s not afraid to carry a pink backpack.
  4. He would rather talk about gymnastics than football.
  5. He knows all the songs on the Dora the Explorer CD and has helped make up hand movements to go along.
  6. He finds himself humming the latest Justin Beiber song. (Baby Baby Baby OH Baby Baby Baby NO)
  7. He realizes he will always be outnumbered
  8. He is confused that “fights” consist of hair-pulling and name-calling.
  9. He will never understand why girls clothes cost so much.
  10. He realizes that girls need more shoes than boys. He’s not sure why, but they do.
  11. He will spend a lot of time drying tears…A LOT of time.
  12. He sees that carrying a purse with stuff in it starts really early.
  13. He can do a really good ponytail, but don’t ask him to braid!

The girls are so blessed to have T for a dad.  Before we had kids, we wanted a boy and then a girl.  I am so glad that God had other plans.

     

A Plan That Involves This Old Girl Getting A Saturn Sky

There is a lot going on here at the McResidence, and not a lot of time to report about it because my family is preparing to set off on what I like to call the great road extravaganza of 2011. And since I’m the one in charge of packing HALF THE HOUSE, well, let’s just say I’ve been busier than a raccoon in a trash pile today. And before you get any big ideas about robbing the joint, you should know that the guy who will be staying here is heavily armed.

And dangerous.

I decided the easiest way to string a bunch of thoughts together would be a nice, neat list, complete with some rambling.

1. McDaddy e-mailed me a list of things that needed to be put in the camper yesterday (because that’s the way we roll) and I spent most of the morning finding the stuff, and loading it all into the van. The entire time I unloaded the van and loaded it into the camper, I left the side sliding door on the van, open. While I was doing all of that, I was also talking on the phone to Becky and listening to my iPod. To my surprise, once I got back into the van, it wouldn’t start.

Go figure.

 2. An hour or so later, I received a text today from a high-school friend (Hi, Dawn!) letting me know that she is selling her Jeep Wrangler. She asked if I’d pass the Jeep info on to McDaddy. What I didn’t tell Dawn was that I made a declaration to McDaddy weeks ago, that I would not discuss one more vehicle, unless the discussion involves a Saturn Sky.

And then, I drove the Wrangler.

And now, I want the Wrangler.

Remember a few months back when McDaddy and I went topless in Justin’s jeep wrangler? The wrangler we drove today was topless and Stevie sat in the backseat hollering like a crazy person that this was “a dream come true!” A big smile came over daddy’s face and I could tell he was proud.

The only problem is that I still want the Saturn Sky too, so I must be very careful in my dealings about the Wrangler because I have a plan. A plan that involves this old girl ultimately getting a Saturn Sky. I’ll post pictures once I get it keep you posted on my progress.

3. And speaking of vehicles. Look what McDaddy brought home last night.

You may be wondering what possessed us to buy a barge.

THAT barge, happens to be McDaddy’s very first car. It is a 1981 Buick Electra that is a whopping 18 feet long. What you can’t see is that the inside headliner is held up by thumb tacks that McDaddy spraypainted to match the material. It now looks like a coffin in there. 

The barge belonged to his papa for years before McDaddy ever took it over. I have no earthly idea what he plans on doing with the thing, but I know if he had his way, he would have an eight car garage with a bay large enough to keep the artifact. It will be interesting to see how this whole car situation plays out.

4. My friend, Becky will be guest posting here on the blog in the next few days. You may remember her from the guest post she did a few weeks back about her favorite iPad apps. I hope you’ll make her feel welcome and leave lots of comments for her. I didn’t say a lot about her post last time, but I really did enjoy it even though she reminded me several times that I don’t have an iPad and she does.

Eventually I’ll be back on my big, blue, bloggy couch rambling on about my latest obsession. Until then, though, I will be checking in from the road and rambling about all the crazy people I encounter.

I know you can hardly wait.

What I Learned This Week [At Scout Camp]

I woke up this morning feeling well and rested.

And a bit sad.

Everyday last week, I woke up at O’dark thirty to get me and the boys ready for cub scout day camp. I had expected to follow Stevie’s group throughout the week, and figured when the heat and humidity got the best of me, I’d snatch Alex up and high-tail it to the mall for a few hours of reprieve, because y’all, the July heat and humidity do not play.

About thirty-nine minutes into the day on Monday, that all changed.

Through an extraordinary set of circumstances several things happened. Three or four adult leaders had to cancel. I was asked to help out with Stevie’s group. Stevie moved to a different group. And it was scorching hot.

For those of you keeping score, that means, I was helping to oversee a group that my own cub-scout son was not a part of. By Tuesday, I was assisting Stevie’s den-leader, Big Daddy (not his real name by the way, but it fits him perfectly) with a group of eleven boys, two girls, and Alex.

Before I tell you more about my week, let me just say the two things I hate more than anything on this earth are 1) waking up early, and 2) being uncomfortably hot. Which is pretty remarkable considering the fun I had last week.

Monday was a whirlwind. The only thing I knew for sure was that I was miserably hot because it was ninety-eight degrees. NINETY EIGHT DEGREES!  I had sweat pouring from every pore, and by noon, my sweat was sweating. And, I think I forgot my name.

I came home, peeled off my sweaty clothes and passed out on my bed.

By Tuesday, I was becoming attached to our little group, and discovered that I was paying more attention to the fun than I was the heat and humidity. It was a wonderful week that I will never forget.

Here’s a list of things I learned. In no particular order.

– I learned that my boys are determined.

– A good chant and a sweet boy with a cute voice will bring a smile to your face every. single. time.

– It is difficult to watch fourteen kids at a public pool filled with 482 other people on a 98 degree day.

– My sweet boy has a pretty good eye. For the second year in a row, he received a medal for being a top BB gun shooter.

– Crocs flip-flops are very slick and should be worn with caution on a slippery concrete pool floor.

– A massage will be helpful around day three. You should schedule it ahead of time.

– It is entirely possible for five adults to get into trouble during the lunchtime story for making too much noise. (Oops!) AND, if you happen to be sitting across the table from the craziest one, you probably shouldn’t make her laugh or else she might spit pop for miles and get you all wet and sticky. (Sorry, Josh!)

– When the registration paper suggests that you should mark every single belonging with your child’s name, you should actually do it.

– When a five year old hits two bullseyes on the BB range, there is a good chance he’ll tell everyone he comes into contact with for the next week.

– Having your boys wear a shirt in the pool makes it much easier to see them.

– Always have extra sunscreen on hand.

– A cold peanut butter and jelly is actually pretty good.

– Even fishing can be fun with a great group of kids. (This was one of the most beautiful afternoons we had in a while. There was a breeze and I enjoyed camp the most on this day).

– Wearing tennis shoes is a bad idea because your socks and feet will be wet within the first hour.

– A good leader would have band aids, bug spray, and sting medication on hand at all times.

– Scouts enjoy the “sweet taste of victory”.

– A really cute closing program that includes an enlarging machine will have the crowd in stitches. (And if you hear someone snorting behind the sheet, it might be one of the leaders.)

– With twelve little boys in a group, you can expect to hear lots of talk about farting.

– Forget the hairspray. It is a waste of time. 

– Little boys AND GIRLS love to shoot guns.

– Bringing a camera to document the week for the kids and then giving out a CD on Friday would have been a fabulous idea, had the idea occurred to me, oh, I don’t know, on Monday maybe.

– The memories we made during Scout Camp will stay with me for a long time.

That’s what I learned this week.

Now, what did YOU learn?

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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!