All Kinds Of Happy

Remember when I first started this here blog and it looked like this?

Back then, I thought this blogging gig might last three months.

For the record, I wrote my first post in November, 2008.

Sometimes I surprise even myself.

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I’m headed out of town for a weekend getaway with the girls. I’ve got 317 things to do, yet here I sit looking at this computer barely able to hold my eyes open. I wanted to post something and thought I’d visit the Photobucket for inspiration.

I just finished making up the games that we will play on the bus (y’all know I’m a party waiting for a place to happen, right?) and gathered up all manner of prizes. Everything except my clothes and phone charger are packed. (Must NOT forget the phone charger!)

I am headed to Louisville, Kentucky to party with Angela Thomas, Kay Arthur, Anita Renfroe (love her!) and Chris Tomlin. It is sure to be a memorable weekend. Angela Thomas will teach her heart out as she brings the message, Chris Tomlin will no doubt lead us in some serious worship and my friend Anita Renfroe will make us laugh till we pee our pants cry.

 What? You thought I was kidding about the whole “my friend Anita Renfroe” thing?

Oh no ma’am. Not kidding. At all.

We’re practically BFFs.

Except that she doesn’t know it yet.

[Please pay no attention to the second and third chin shadow? in the picture. There was no one around to take the picture of Anita and I, so I did what anyone in my position would do. I snapped the picture myself (yes, I am THAT talented!) and with the exception of the three chins you see, I think I did a pretty good job.

Anyway, I’ll fill ya in on the details once we return. I’m sure I’ll have plenty of fun stories. Now, whether or not I’m able to share them or not will be a different story because sometimes we like to get wild and crazy.

Ha!

Oh, AND also, next week is Spring Break which means I won’t have to set an alarm for seven glorious nights!

That makes me all kinds of happy.

Have a great weekend y’all! I know I will!

American Idol – Top 9

 THIS. Is American Idol.

It’s my favorite night of the week. The remaining contestants are being mentored by Stevie Nicks and I sure hope my hairdresser is watching because he is a huge Stevie Nicks fan. I was just in the shop today to have my gray hair hidden highlighted, and had I known that Stevie Nicks was gonna be on the show tonight, I would have told him so. He went to her concert last summer. When we was telling me all about his concert experience, he got all wrapped up in the story and cut lots of my hair off. It was weeks before it was right again. I knew then that I needed to keep his mind centered on my hair and not on a has-been one of his favorite rockers.

Colton Dixon (Everything) – Nothing like starting Idol off with some church up in here. So, remember last week when I said I’d be voting for Colton every week? I totally meant it. You can tell ol boy is singing from his heart. I love it that he is standing there with tears in his eyes talking about “His God”. What a testimony. And what a platform. Good for you, Colton!

I love it when Randy Jackson says something is fly. I think I might start using that term because it is fun. And because I’m feelin’ my age after seeing all the gray in my hair today.

Skylar Laine (Gunpowder & Lead) – Seriously? Colton opens the night in worship. And Skylar takes the stage and sings about going straight to. Ding, dang, dong. Come on people. If I have to watch Skylar do one more fistpump I think I might scream. With all of her running around willy nilly, I can’t help but wonder if she’s not pumped up on steroids. I think Skylar could go home after this performance. The stompin and jumpin and screaching and fist pumpin is just too much for me.

Movingrightalong. 

Heejun Han (A Song For You) – For the first time THIS WHOLE SEASON Heejun stood there and just sang. No gimmick. No crazy. Just singing. And actually, he did a pretty good job. It’s good to see this side of Heejun, instead of the crazy, unpredictable Heejun. [How is it that he wears different glasses every single week?]

Hollie Cavanagh  (Jesus, Take The Wheel) – I’m trying to decide if Hollie’s dress is white patent leather or plastic. It looks good on her. Add a little snow, and her chops to that dress and you get all kinds of dramatic. I think Hollie is having a defining moment. I don’t remember her singing so well in past weeks. Very nice.

DeAndre Brackensick (Sometimes I Cry) – For starters, I like DeAndre. But if I’m being honest, I am not a big fan of this performance. The whole falsetto thing does nothing for me, but he is good at what he does. (Does that make sense?)

Jessica Sanchez (Sweet Dreams) – I know Jessica can really sing. She showed us when she sand I Will Always Love You and then again when she sang last week. For me though? This week was just okay. I don’t feel like she did anything extraordinary in this performance. Like I said, I know she can sing and I feel like she’ll probably be standing on that stage come finale night, but for me, this performance was just a good performance. Nothing fantastic or wonderful.

Phillip Phillips (Still Rainin’) – Two things. 1. I have never heard this song. 2. It doesn’t make a bit of difference because P Squared had me at the first note. He is such a great performer, it really makes no difference what he sings. He puts a fresh, unique spin on every song he sings and that is why I look forward to his performances week after week.

Joshua Ledet (Without You) – I am a huge Mariah Carey fan. Back in the day (some 74 years ago) I had every one of her CDs and knew every song word-for-word. I have high hopes that Joshua can pull this off, especially with the string ensemble playing right along with him. He is singing with feeling and emotion and he killed it.

Elise Testone (Whole Lotta Love) – I love Elise’s outfit. I do not like Elise’s stomp because it reminds me of Skylar’s stomp and I’ve had about all of that I can take for one night. She is rockin out to this performance and it is obvious she means business. Good job Elise!

BEST OF THE NIGHT: Colton, Joshua, and Phillip Phillips

GOING HOME: Skylar Laine

We shall see.

My Two Cents

I typically try to keep things light and fun around here. Well, except maybe for when I write Letters To Crazy People. Believe me when I tell you that I’d much rather write about how much I enjoy this time of year, because there is baseball and Dancing With The Stars/American Idol, cruising around in the Jeep on warm days, later days, and excited kids looking forward to Spring Break.

Instead of thinking about all of that fun stuff though, my mind is racing with stuff.

Ridiculous, stupid stuff.

For starters, WHY do grown adults feel the need to curse in front of children?

What the hizzle?

Now I realize that I can’t shelter my kids from loud, potty mouth fools forever. [You should know that I fought a great big urge to title this post “Potty Mouth Fools”.] It just burns me up when a grown adult decides to let filth spew from their mouth at a practice, or the grocery store, or an office. And then, a responsible parent  has to make a decision. Do you speak up and run the risk of getting punched in the face, or do you just let it go and chalk it up to stupidity and then blog about it?

Seriously, I’d like to swat these whack-a-doodle-doos upside the head.

Just to be clear, I’ll say it again. I understand we can’t shield our boys forever. Really, I do.

I just wish with everything in me that my boys wouldn’t have to be subjected to words that make me cringe. How can a parent think its okay to drop the f-bomb in the grocery store?  Thankfully, I was alone that day, but the potty mouthed mother had two little impressionable darlin’s with her and I can’t help but think they probably use that word, too. Those kids will be the kids telling my kids all about those words. Or bullying some sweet, timid angel.

Sweet Holy Moses, I dread middle school.

I’ve had several disturbing conversations in the past few weeks with other mamas. Why is it that nine-year old children are already asking about things they have no business asking about at nine years of age?  When I was nine (112 years ago), I was still playing school and office. The last thing on my mind were things of that nature. I wish with everything in me that we could freeze time. Our boys are sweet and well-mannered (most of the time) and good students. They enjoy school, and they have great friends. But Heaven help me, they are growing up WAY TO FAST.

And with or without my approval.

This motherhood thing is tough sometimes. All I can do is pray that God will shield their little ears from adult stuff a little longer. And keep them safe from flying baseballs. And keep them safe at school. And keep them healthy. And to come to us when they have a question about something they’ve heard or seen. And well, just to be good boys. In the meantime, I’ll be choosing my battles a battle at-a-time.

And praying hard.

Talk with some sense people.

That is all.

What The Heck Happened?

It was 61 degrees here today. You can’t understand how sad that makes me.

Last week, we enjoyed 75 degree days. That translates to perfect Jeepin weather. I spent a good hour last night creating a playlist that I titled Jeep Jams. I think I might have jinxed the temperature because today I was cruising around in the minivan with my seat warmer on high.

What the heck happened?

Just last week Becky and I spent three hours riding topless in the Jeep and I CAME HOME WITH A SUNBURN.

As always, I learned a great deal of information this week. It dawned on me this week that I learn things each week that I should’ve learned at some point in my academic career. Instead, I was busy talking and not paying attention. 

1. A stale Tagalong is not nearly as good as a fresh one.

2. Before sending an attachment to over 100 people, be sure the attachment you are sending is the right one, and not a funny one your husband edited as a joke. [And before you ask, this didn’t actually happen to me.]

3. A person who shares my name is a real-estate agent in Colorado. Her name shows up on Google Search more often than mine does.

4. Watching a news report about Dick Cheney’s heart transplant might possibly cause your six-year-old to ask heart related questions for days. And drink water with every meal.

5. There are plenty of people who want to complain, but very few who will actually dig in and help get the job done.

6. The temperature must be at least 70 degrees to fully enjoy the topless Jeep.

7. Geometry is just as ridiculous in 2012, as it was in 1988.

8. I still lack the intelligence necessary to understand geometry.

[It is worth noting that I also spelled intelligence wrong in the inital draft of this post.]

9. Thinking back, there hasn’t even been a need in my life to know Geometry.

10. I am still bitter about the D- I received in Geometry even after having a tutor.

11. I have always maintained that as long as I could stay one day smarter than Stevie, I could home school him. After having to “Google” the term decimeter, it is safe to say the home school ship has sailed.

12. It is possible to walk backwards on a treadmill without doing a faceplant. [And before you ask, NO, I was not the one walking backwards.]

13. Google images can be a great help if you are playing “Draw Something”.

14. The utility sink in our soon-to-be mudroom is quite possibly one of McDaddy’s best ideas.

15. Before installing a utility sink, you might want to scrub cleats and baseballs in it two or twelve times just to make sure you don’t need a pedestal.

Yes, I said scrub baseballs.

16. Frozen garlic bread has a shelf [freezer] life. I’m not sure what it is, I just know it has one.

What did YOU learn this week?

For rules about how to link up, go here.

You Capture – Fun

The boys love to laugh and have fun.

Yesterday, our church had an Easter Egg hunt. My boys ran around like crazy people snatching up eggs.

Someone (I won’t mention any names) forgot her camera and had to depend on the beloved iPhone to capture the memories.

I made an attempt at getting a good candid shot of the two of them.

Between the sun and their sense of humor, it was tough.

But I wouldn’t have them any other way.

Unless, they were hanging out the back of this sucker.

Which just screams FUN!

This post is linked to You Capture where this week’s challenge is fun!

Letters To Crazy People

Letters to Crazy People is one of my favorite posts to write because with all the crazy people in the world, the post pretty much writes itself! For some reason, the crazy flag was flying high this week.

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Dear Facebook Friends,

I mean this is the nicest way possible. STOP. ADDING. ME. TO. YOUR. GROUPS. to peddle stuff. If and when I need/want any of your products, I will let you know. There are few things more aggravating than being added to a group of 148 people and then receiving notifications when 147 of them comment on a post.

Your Friend,

Julie

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Dear American Idol Voters,

Y’all got it WAY wrong this week. That clown Heejun should have gone home this week. He lost his darn mind up on that stage, y’all still voted for him. I don’t get it.

Sincerely,

A Disgruntled Fan

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Dear Julie,

For the past two days you have knocked your iPhone off of the treadmill and just about gave the people in the gym a good laugh from falling face first on the belt. Either hold on tight to those hand-rails or be a little more cautious not to hit the earphone cord when you’re on that thing.

Just my two cents,

The biggest klutz you know

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To the people who play Draw Something,

The APP is called Draw Something not Write Something. DRAW ALREADY!

Thanks a bunch,

Picasso Wannabe

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Dear McDaddy,

When I opened the garage this morning, I was swarmed by approximately six hundred flying bugs. I was sure it was the end of time. Can you please take care of that for me? Pretty please? Like before tomorrow?

Thanks!

The girl who squealed like a crazy person this morning

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Dear Crazy Parents,

When you say, “I didn’t even know we sold popcorn here at the school” in March, I will have to fight the urge to tell you that it has been mentioned in EVERY PTA letter that has been sent home since August.

Dumbfounded,

The Popcorn Lady

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Dear McDaddy,

Please accept my sincerest apologies regarding the laundry piles, the clutter, and the things that aren’t getting done around here, but if I’m being honest, you have no one to blame except yourself. You brought that Jeep into my life and its been 80 degrees outside, and well, I’m saving the laundry for a rainy day.

Your sunburned wife

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What would your letter to a crazy person say today?

THIS… is American Idol

I’m watching American Idol and thinking I might as well live blog the show because y’all are probably tired of hearing about the wonderful [Jeep] weather we’ve been having here in the hills of West Virginia. I love watching Idol it and even if the singing is bad, I can always talk about what kind of get-up Steven Tyler is wearing. I’m thinking perhaps Tommy Hilfiger might need to give Stevie T. some advice this week.

Tonight, the contestants will be singing Billy Joel which makes me so happy because there is a chance I might hear The River of Dreams and We Didn’t Start the Fire. And I realize the whole We Didn’t Start the Fire bit is probably a little lame, but it is one of my favorite Billy Joel songs. On top of that P Diddy is mentoring this week. I listened to P Diddy (or was it Puff Daddy?) just this morning while I was at the gym? Diddy, daddy, I’m so confused!

DeAndre Brackensick (Only The Good Die Young) – I think ol boy missed the mark tonight. I was sure he would do a big, catchy ballad. The performance seems a bit karaokish to me. The fact that he’s singing first doesn’t help matters much, either. On the bright side though? I love the big live band playing along with his voice. Makes me wish I could bust my saxophone out.

Erika Van Pelt – (New York State Of Mind) – Okay. First of all. Tommy Hilfiger was so right about her hair. I love it! And secondly, I think she is doing a great job on New York’s state of mind. I loved everything about the performance. In the words of Randy Jackson, “Yo! That was hot!”

Joshua Ledet – (She’s Got A Way) – Joshua was an early favorite of mine. I love his take on this tune and I think he felt the song deep down inside. He totally killed this song. So happy for him! Jennifer, I like you, but I think you’re wrong on this one.

Is it just me or do the judges overuse the words, “You’re one of the best singers in this competition” because they say it after every other performance?

Skylar Laine – (Shameless) – Huh? I assumed that Shameless was a Garth Brooks original. I had no idea until now that Billy Joel ever sang the song. Each time that Skylar sings I get the impression she is mad at somebody. She screams and screeches and I’d rather hear her just simply sing. I’m also kinda surprised that Tommy H. approved of the big honkin’ chandeliers hanging from her ears. Skylar better hope someone drops the ball tonight, or she might be sent home.

Elise Testone – (Vienna) – This is the first Billy Joel song I’m not familiar with, but it was a great match for Elise’s raspy voice. For the first time, I get why Elise is in the competition. I think she did a fine job tonight. Apparently the judges agree because they are on their feet.

Okay, P-Diddy is a trip. I don’t think Phil is feelin’ or heedin’ Diddy’s advice. Good for him.

Phil Phillips – (Movin’ Out) – I don’t think I’ve ever heard this one, either. Phil Philips (who names a kid Phillip Phillips, anyway?) is another of my favorites because he is versatile. He reminds me of Casey Abrams (remember the song he did with the stand-up bass?) from last season. Love, love, love his performance. That right there is why I love this show.

Hollie Cavanagh – (Honestly) – So, apparently I don’t know as many Billy Joel songs as I thought I did because I’ve never heard this one either. Tommy H. did a great job of “styling” Hollie because those pants are the bomb. I can’t put a finger on it, but a few of the notes sound like they are just a tad off. Hollie seems nervous and scared to be on that big stage.

HeeJun Han – (My Life) – First of all, McDaddy has maintained that HeeJun’s “glasses” don’t have lenses in them. I was hoping Tommy Hilfiger would call him out on it so we’d know once and for all. What the heck? He just stopped the piano player. So HeeJun has lost his darn mind right here on the Idol stage. I am hoping he leaves tonight because I don’t think he has even the slightest grasp on what this competition is all about. It aggravates me that Jeremy Rosado is gone and we’re still forced to watch this clown. Yes, I said clown.

Moving on.

Jessica Sanchez – (Everybody Has A Dream) – This is just a prediction. I predict that Jessica Sanchez will be standing on the stage in the finals. That girl can SANG. She is sharing her dream with us. Period.

Colton Dixon – (Piano Man) – That red piano (it is red, isn’t it?) makes me smile. I am of the opinion that the piano is the most beautiful instrument there is and Colton is making that thing sing. I’ve not been a huge fan of Colton’s in past weeks but he sold me tonight. Great job at the piano and great job singing. I suspect Billy Joel is sitting somewhere with a big smile on his face, too. Oh my word, he gave a testimony right on live television. And guess who’ll be voting for Colton tonight? And every other night.

Best of the Night: Colton, Jessica and Phil.

Going Home: HeyJun or whatever his name is.  

What say you?

Cool Cherry Vanilla Cake

On Tuesdays, I drop the kids off at school and drive to my church to help out in the Easter Egg Factory. Only it isn’t really a factory. It’s more like a system. Or a process. A complex time-consuming process. There are approximately 23 people who work in ten different departments. I have been booted off of the molding line because my eggs did not pass the quality control test. Apparently a peanut butter egg isn’t supposed to be shaped like a turd.

I was also kicked out of the packaging department because my clumsy self dropped one too many eggs. I have forever, found a happy home in the decorating department. In fact, I decorated approximately 620 eggs in four hours today.

About half-way through our Easter Egg making, we stop for lunch. A lunch prepared by those of us who work. Last week, one of the ladies brought a cake for the lunch that was absolutely divine. I immediately went to her to get the recipe. Because it fit my criteria (EASY!) for a great recipe, I thought I’d share it here.

Here’s what you’ll need for the Cool Cherry Vanilla Cake. (I have no idea what this cake is really called, I actually named the cake based on the ingredients I used.)

  • Yellow or white cake mix. (I would pick yellow over white every time!)
  • Cherry or any other pie filling. (I plan to try pineapple next time!)
  • 1 small box of french vanilla pudding
  • 1 small bowl of cool whip

1. Prepare the cake as directed on the back of the box and let cool completely.

2. Pour pie-filling on top of cake.

3. Mix the french vanilla pudding powder into the cool whip and mix well. Spread cool whip/pudding mixture on top of cake.

4. Optional – sprinkle with walnut or pecan slivers.

5. Take picture of yummy cake before it is gone. (OOPS!)

This is one really good cake!

(This post is linked to Works For Me Wednesday).

What I Learned This Week

I am so excited to report that my boyfriend Maks is back on television. And even more than that, I’m happy to report that he his shirt is hanging off of his sweaty body.

Oh show tell me more.

I am telling y’all. He is one hot number.

But enough about hottie Maks, here’s what I learned this week.

1. Maks looks good with his shirt off. (Ok. So I didn’t necessarily learn that this week, but it’s true!)

2. And speaking of going topless… I learned it is my new favorite thing to do. Had I known that owning a Jeep Wrangler was so much fun, I would have owned one years ago.

3. The JEEP is much more fun without the top.

4. A juniper tree has red berries that are surrounded by needles.

(You can file that little tidbit under “stupid stuff I’ll never need to know for two hundred, Alex”.)

5. I have no business staying up past midnight. I know that because I get so much more accomplished after getting a good night’s rest.

6. I still don’t like blueberries. (I’ve never been a big fan, but decided to try one this past week just to see if anything had changed.)

It hasn’t.

7. The Draw Something APP is more fun [GASP!] than Words With Friends. Even if you cant’ draw a lick.

That’s what I learned.

Now what did YOU learn?

Exhale

We had a super-duper busy weekend around here.

It was filled with [muddy] baseball [fields] and scouts, and laundry.

LOTS and LOTS of laundry.

McDaddy and I even talked about a way to work a laundry chute into our new mud room.

Thanks to the pre-Spring pollen count, a certain someone had to inhale albuterol through the nebulizer all weekend.

and another certain someone inhaled fresh air when she found a few minutes to take a quick ride in her beloved Jeep Wrangler.

The sun was shining.

The sky was bright.

And I exhaled when I remembered I didn’t have one of these.

This post is linked to You Capture where this week’s challenge is black and white.