The Shoes That Bind

Do you have shoes in your closet that you haven’t worn for years, but refuse to get rid of?

If so, you will absolutely love this story.

McDaddy participated in a 3-on-3 basketball tournament at our church this weekend. The teams were formed by drawing names from a hat. McDaddy was on a team with our friend Shawn, and one of our pastors, Jimmy. I am good friends with Shawn’s wife, Christina. When we first sat down at the tournament, Christina shared a story about Shawn’s basketball shoes. She was unsure of how old they were, but said she had tried several times over the past few years to throw them out because they were old and because he hadn’t worn them in a long time. Each time, she said he would assure her that he would need them someday and insist on keeping them.

Christina, our friend Kelley, and I had a great time trading kid stories and fighting off the urge to purchase every single O’Friggin’Henry Bar from the snack bar because OH MY HEAVENLY DAY they were divine. (I totally added the whole friggin’ part to the name of the recipe, because I friggin’ forgot for about three minutes that I was competing in the biggest loser competition and the only thing I lost that evening was $0.50 each time I bought one of the darn things.)

But shoot, they were good.

About half-way through the dream team’s third game, Shawn walked off of the court with a frown on his face.

This is what we saw…

You see, that, is Shawn holding his beloved basketball shoes (circa 2000 or before) in one hand, and a huge piece out of the sole in the other hand.

Here’s a closer look.

[Note: Even though the O’Henry bars taunted me from the snack bar, as you can see from this picture, I was making a conscious effort to suck down the SIXTY FOUR OUNCES OF WATER required for the competition each day. After all, I had to wash them down with something, right?]

Anyway, back to the shoes. As you can see BOTH shoes were junk.

Since the basketball tournament was only half-over, Shawn still had at least three more games to play.

Without shoes.

I couldn’t hardly talk for laughing . I looked down and asked what size his shoes were. He said he wears a size eight. I offered up my size nines, because it makes sense (in my head, at least) that a mans’ size eight, is probably equivalent to a woman’s size nine. I slipped my shoes off of my feet.

To my surprise, Shawn picked my shoes up and tried them on. Before I could blink, Shawn was standing in our church gym wearing my shoes.

This is what we saw next.

I’m not quite sure you can see this picture well enough to appreciate what is going on here.

 That, my friends, is my friend Shawn wearing my Gray and PINK Skechers.

And this, was Shawn, just before he made the FIRST TWO POINTS while wearing my shoes.

[NOTE: See that window in the background? That’s where the O’Henry bars were hanging out.]

Sadly, the shoes didn’t give Shawn, McDaddy and Jimmy enough force to pull out a place in the championship game, but as you might imagine, the whole dry-rotted FORCE shoe situation gave us a good laugh.

Three days later, I am still laughing about the whole thing.

Shawn took one for the team that day when he laid his pride aside and wore my pink tennis shoes.

May the FORCE rest in peace.

And I took one for my team when I declined a third (yes, I said A THIRD) O’Henry bar.

Heaven help me through the next six weeks. Especially now that Tracy has upped the stakes in our Biggest Loser competition and changed the required 64 ounces of water daily to half of our body weight in ounces.

Just to be clear, I said HALF OF MY BODY WEIGHT.



I stink at math, but best I have it figured, that is A LOT of water.

But, I am committed to my shrinking sunshines and I will give this new challenge a whirl. And since I drank 36 ounces in the last hour and it’s my bedtime, looks like I’ll be losing some sleep tonight as I’ll be up half the night a peein’.

May my bladder rest in peace.

I’ll be back later this week with my Biggest Loser update. That is, if I don’t float away.

Wish me luck!

Let’s have some church up in here

It is Sunday morning.

10:14 EST.

I should be in church.

But instead, I am home with a sick boy.

Our little church has been in revival all week. We were blessed with an anointed evangelist who preached God’s word on my level, without all the thees and thous.

It was some good stuff and I was blessed.

  •  Because God is love, there are several things He expects from us. God is love, but he despises when we sin.
  • All sin was nailed to the cross. All sin is wrong. Big sin or little sin. All sin is the same to God.
  • God wants to hear “I’m sorry” from His children.
  • We need to get to the place in our relationship with God where we despise sin as much as He does.
  • You could be sitting in these pews week after week and still be in a backsliding condition.
  • You may be here this evening, refusing to listen to God’s conviction. When you are not listening to the Lord, you are not where you need to be.
  • How do we commit idolatry? How many are guilty of crafting a God in their mind that overlooks the sin and fits the way we want to live.
  • In semiaries across the US, people are being taught there is no hell. My friends, the Bible does not change. God does not change. Hell is just as hot today as it was years ago. In fact, Jesus spoke more on hell than he did Heaven.
  • God is love. But His love is tough love. There are consequences for our sin.
  • What we like to do as people is sow our wild oats and then pray for crop failure. The Bible is full of warnings about sin.
  • Sin is attractive. That’s why Satan dangles it in front of our eyes.
  • If the Holy Spirit is speaking to your heart, you better listen.
  • If you have a difficult time loving and forgiving, you need some rewiring.
  • We as humans are conditional. In our giving, our relationships and even with the Lord. It’s time that we start loving WITHOUT conditions.
  • God loves you! And why you would turn your back on that love I don’t know.
  • There are some of you who sing in the choir and teach classes and are faithful to the business of the church, but you are disobedient to God’s will.
  • Some choices are a matter of life and death.
  • You should try to live closer to the cross than you did yesterday.
  • Who we are tomorrow, depends on the choices we make today.
  • It is time for us to observe the Ten Commandments and not just read them.
  • If you harbor sin in your heart, you should know that God cannot and will not use a dirty vessel. Nor will he bless you.
  • You walk talks, and your talk talks, but your walk talks louder than your talk.
  • We should be laboring successfully. As God’s children, He expects us to work.
  • If you are a lazy teacher, you’re going to be held accountable for that.
  • You are as close to God as you want to be.
  • Sometimes God says no when we ask for something. We need to understand that sometimes that because He is protecting us.
  • There are things in our life the devil will use to get his foot in the door. He knows what your weaknesses are.
  • If something seems like temptation, guess what? IT IS TEMPTATION!
  • We sing “I Surrender All”, but really, we should sing “I Surrender Some” because that’s what a lot of us do.
  • Many of you are saved, but you’ve lost your joy, and you walk around like you’re sucking on a sour apple.
  • If you are unsaved, Satan has complete control of your life.
  • Just about every sin we commit stems from I — I need, I want, I deserve.
  • We like to go about our own business, but that kind of behavior has consequences. My friends, there are always consequences to evil choices.
  • Satan wants to cripple your witness. He wants to disable us and make us ineffective.

Can I get an Amen?

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me.  – Psalm 51:10-12

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!

50 Random Things That Make Me Happy

1. A good song on the radio (Lose My Soul, Manifesto, I Was Made To Love You)
2. American Idol
3. McDaddy’s picture on my iPhone when he calls.
4. Written notes in the mail.
5. Cranberry Chutney candle from Yankee
6. Words With Friends
7. Home
8. Pedicure
9. Our church
10. Dirty Dancing (The movie, obviously)
11. Good hair days
12. My beloved iPhone
13. Comfortable shoes
14. Spring
15. Pink
16. Heated van seats
17. Fancy bathrooms
18. Empty laundry baskets
19. A new purse
20. Relaxing massage
21. Entertaining
22. My new rocking chair
23. A talented pianist
24. Flip flops
25. 2:20 PM
26. Spell Check
27. The Saturn Sky
28. Neat handwriting
29. Gerber Daisies
30. My people together
31. Creamy blue cheese dressing
32. Unexepected visitors
33. Facebook
34. Parades
35. Organization
36. Lists and marking things off of lists
37. Kelloggs Chocolate poptarts
38. Sunset
39. Olympics
40. My pink laptop
41. Decorated Christmas trees
42. A fresh calendar
43. Arbonne Moisturizer
44. Being out with the girls
45. My new blog design
46. Diamonds
47. Shopping at new malls
48. The Roomba
49. Alex’s love for shoes
50. Holding hands with my fellas

What makes YOU happy?

Daily Dose of Crazy

Friday morning, I got out of bed ready to take on the world. I had a list a mile long of things I needed to do and limited time to get it all done. My sweet Alex and I stopped for breakfast and less than an hour later, I felt like I had been whooped.

Still, I forged along.

I had committed to prepare and copy the church cantata program, in addition to the regular church bulletin that I prepare and copy every week. I also needed to make a stop at the scout store, pick up something at my granny’s house, make a dessert for dinner with McDaddy’s family, and prepare the spare room for my cousin and his wife who stayed at our house this week. And then, at the end of the school day, I was meeting another parent at Stevie’s school to help set-up for Santa’s workshop.

Less than four hours later, I had no desire to move. I did not have the wherewithall to complete the rest of my list so I put a big black “x” down the middle and considered it done.

I felt yucky and probably had a fever however, I was too lazy to get up and find the thermometer, so I don’t know that for certain. I opted out of the last half of the Santa’s workshop setting-up gig and went home to get some rest before our holiday celebration with McDaddy’s family.

The kids had a big-eyed time opening presents and running through the in-laws house like crazy people.

On Saturday, I felt much better, but I was careful to not overeat or eat anything that would cause my gastrointestinal system to cause a commotion.

Thankfully, Sunday was much better and I was able to get a lot accomplished.

Other things I did this past weekend….

Went shopping with my cousin’s wife.

Sorted through a laundry basket full of school papers that have been accumulating for two years.

Whined about the stupid snow.

Almost wiped out on my granny’s porch because of the snow.

Bought six pairs of socks at Children’s Place.

Told the cashier at the Children’s Place she could shove it I wasn’t interested in a gift box after she informed me it was going to cost me $1.25. Joners.

Cleaned off the kitchen counter-top. AGAIN!

With the help of my cousin’s wife, I sorted, stuffed and finished preparing Christmas cards.

Discovered I did not order enough Christmas pictures.

Ordered more Christmas pictures.

Bought a velour sweatsuit at the mall and then decided it didn’t fit properly.

Asked McDaddy to pull the van over on the way home because I knew he wouldn’t want me throwing up in a vehicle.

Ate at Chick Fil-A.

Had my wedding ring cleaned at the jewelry store.

Prepared my weary soul to head up Santa’s Workshop where I’m certain to gather lots of blog fodder this week.

Watched Desperate Housewives.

Squirmed as my sister-in-law removed a mole from my upper left quadrant just before our holiday celebration got underway. (I should mention that she is a physician’s assistant).

Do we know how to have a good time, or what?

Once we were home, I discovered the left side of my pajama top was covered in blood from the mole removal procedure because the bandage had shifted.

Gross, I know.

Had dinner with my parents, my cousin, and his wife.

Went to bed before 11:00 PM on Sunday night, which is huge if you know me.

What did YOU do this weekend?

What I Learned This Week

Guess what?

Yours truly has learned some stuff.

*Gasp* Shocking I know.

Between making plays on Words With Friends with BigMama and Heather, and watching Mike and Molly, I thought it’d be fun to share them with you.

For your consideration,

1. When purchasing something online, you should make for sure that you remember to check on the shipment of the item, especially if you haven’t received any sort of confirmation from the company.

2. If after contacting the company, you discover that your order was never shipped due to an “error in the warehouse” you should totally pretty much insist ask that some sort of credit be given to you.

3. If your ear spends an entire week being red, swollen, and sore, you can expect it to itch off of the side of your head once the infection wears off.

4. As your ear is healing, and itching off the side of your head, a dab of lotion will work wonders for the dry, flaky ear skin.

5. When your sweet four year old celebrates his fifth birthday, you can expect him to tell every. single. person. he comes into contact with for at least seven eight nine days after his birthday.

6. If the weather in your area is acting all bi-polar, it is best to check the daily highs before dressing your kid for school, or else he might burn up in a long sleeve shirt when the temperature hits the high 70’s just a day after it hangs around in the thirties.

7. Before spending 28 minutes looking ALL OVER THE HOUSE for the red Pack 19 cub-scout t-shirt, you should probably look on his dresser, because for some odd reason your son just might neglect to put it where it actually belongs if he gets distracted with making faces at himself in his dresser mirror.

8. If you plan to attend revival the same night you fix a crock-pot full of chili, it might be a good idea to pop a tums or two before leaving for church.

9. Daylight Savings Time is a difficult thing to understand when you are seven. You will wake up thinking you are late for school and you will head out to church thinking it is bedtime.

10. And finally, I learned that our son Stevie has a phenominal memory. After spending two days participating in The Judgement House at our church, he memorized every word of Jesus’ part and can recite it just as Jesus did. It is quite impressive and if I had a flip camera, I would record him reciting it and post it. He was asked to recite it in front of the entire church on Sunday and he did it without hesitation. I was one proud mama.


And now it’s time for you to share what YOU have learned this week.

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 From Inmates To Playdates.

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 comments are fun!

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!

The Weirdest Things

If you’ve spent any amount of time traversing the halls of FITP, Inc. you know that some of the weirdest things happen to me.

Luckily, nothing like that happened to me this week. Ahem.

– It’s wasn’t me who engaged in a battle with a metal drying rack in our camper last week.

And lost.

– Nor was it me who attempted unsuccessfully to stab a bail of straw with a wooden scarecrow pole for the better part of twenty minutes before entering McDaddy’s garage to ultimately retrieve a hatchet to get the job done.

– I most certainly have not been singing the “I Wanna Be A Billionaire So Freakin Bad” song over and over since hearing it for the first time.

And finally, there is NO WAY that an open safety pin fell from my shirt and down into the cleavage part of my bra IN MY SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASS yesterday. I did not sit perfectly still in an attempt to protect my girls from the stupid thing. I also didn’t plot in my head that I would retrieve the safety pin during our closing prayer, only to find out that there would be no closing prayer which meant I had to walk out of class and then to the bathroom before getting the thing out of my bra.


Like I said, the weirdest things.

Happen to me.

Not Me And Not My Quirks.

Are you feeling guilty because you forgot your child’s dentist appointment?

Have you ever been overcome with embarrassment because your child made a grand announcement in a public restroom that “you stink when you use the potty?”

If so, then you are in the perfect place for Not Me! Monday. A blog carnival that was “created out of a desire to admit some imperfections and reveal a few moments you would rather forget”.

It seems my life was full of Not Me! Monday imperfections this weekend while we were camping with several families from our church.

For instance, it wasn’t me who stood perfectly still for the better part of 30 minutes with camera aimed and ready during a lightning storm with hopes of getting the perfect picture.

Unsuccessfully, I might add.

Well, I probably wasn’t perfectly still because the words me and perfectly and still could never be good friends. But, you get my drift, right?

It’s also not me who misplaced that same camera making it impossible to share the cool pictures I did get of the sky and the rainbow because me? I never lose stuff.

It most certainly wasn’t me who considered herself to be “roughing it” at the campground because my precious iPhone wasn’t able to perform in 3G mode therefore making it impossible to play Words With Friends for most of the weekend.

I did not make another one of these cakes for the third time in as many weeks. I also didn’t eat any of it.

There’s no way I decided to skip out on the laundry today, opting instead to write tomorrow’s blog post because I am not lazy. Nor am I a procrastinator.

I would never roll my eyes when reading that someone excepts something when really they should accept it.

What can I say? I’m full or quirks. Pet peeve alert, people.

It is not me who has killed more than her share of ants over the past month and who still found herself killing ants in the camper this past weekend.

Where in the heck do they come from, anyway?

And finally, it isn’t me who completely forgot to write a father’s day post before going on our camping trip this past weekend so that it would automatically post on Father’s Day. McDaddy is a great father and is totally worthy of his own personal blog post.

And so is this guy. My own daddy, Jimmy.

For more Not Me! Monday posts, head over to MckMama‘s place.

It’s Hot And I’m Bothered!

I enjoyed my first full week of summer with my fellas very much!

I usually give summer a hard time.

There’s the heat.

The humidity.

The stupid flying, stinging, insects.

Not to mention the humidity.

But one thing I love about summer is the extra sleep it affords.

I drop-kicked the alarm clock out in the front yard about nineteen minutes after I picked Stevie up on his last day of school and it hasn’t been seen or heard from since then.

We’ve had a couple of playdates because hello? Remember the whole From Inmates To Playdates thing? We love playdates around here. Especially indoor, air conditioned playdates.

The boys are taking (indoor!) swimming lessons and when I signed them up, I was careful to choose a class that wouldn’t conflict with anything else in our schedule.

Basically that means I didn’t want to get my lazy butt out of bed before 9:00 am, so I picked the 11:15 am class.

Priorities, people.

I was a bit apprehensive about the swimming lessons because while my boys love to frolic in the pool, they are not big fans of “going under” or getting water in their eyes. Swimming lessons could have been a big freakin’ mistake. McDaddy shared a story with them the night before lessons about a little boy named Daddy who had a mommy named grandma, who had swimming lessons, but was too scared to actually learn to swim. Then, I added my four cents about bravery, and the cost of the lessons, a threat that might or might not have included the loss of certain electronic devices for not trying their hardest, as well as a bribe for an “Iron Man Mask” IF they are able to actually swim at the end of their lessons.

Upon arriving at the University of Charleston for swim lessons, we pause before getting out of the van. We hold hands, sing “Kum Ba Yah” and then we pray that God will help them to be brave and safe in the water.

While I am not sure they will actually learn to swim, I am pleased to report that they are giving it their all and actually trying to learn. I can’t help but think of my boyfriend, Michael Phelps, and how his mama must have felt as she sat on the sidelines and watched him take his first lessons in the pool. Do you think she had any idea at the time that he’d be breaking records and taking names in the 2008 Summer Olympics? I’m not clinging to the hope that my boys will be Olympic Swimmers some day, but by golly, if they do, I will say the $108.00 (after coupon) was totally worth it. They have seven more lessons, so we’ll see what happens.

McDaddy is working out of town for part of the week, so I’ve planned and schemed to find me and the boys some fun things to do to insure that I won’t be sitting in a fetal position in the corner rocking back and forth answering for the eleventh time why it is that they can’t play the Wii or watch Tom and Jerry the whole entire day. They do enjoy playing outside but seriously, in the heat of the day in the hills of West Virginia, it’s approximately 97 degrees with about 285% humidity, so playing outside is kept to a minimum until the sun goes down.

The other thing I’ll be busying myself with this week is packing.

It seems like all I’ve done the past month is packing, washing clothes to pack, or unpacking. I’m not necessarily complaining, because I don’t complain. I’m just merely making  a statement.

I just got the laundry caught up after our gloriously fun, but hot quick weekend in Florida for the wedding, and now, I”m at it again.

This time, I’m packing for a camping trip. The McFamily will accompany 10 other families from our church and we’ll spend four days eating, fellowshipping, laughing, fishing, boating, eating, and eating. It is a logistical nightmare for the ones who organize the camping spots and the food which is planned several weeks ahead of time. We eat breakfasts and dinners together and spend the other hours of the day deciding who will go on the boat, who will fish and who will stay back with the nonboating, nonfishing kids. I am so thankful for our church family. I’m looking forward to a short (hopefully not too hot!) sweet camping trip.

Oh, and I guess since this is Monday, I should let you know that it certainly wasn’t me came home from church last night and fixed pancakes for my hungry little fellas because anyone with half a brain knows that eating pancakes slathered in butter and syrup at 9:30 pm is never a good idea.

And it also wasn’t me who squealed like a little girl when this thing hopped across my foot on our front porch late one evening last week.

It also wasn’t me who walked three miles out of the way to get into my house and get my camera.

And before you ask, it was not me who crouched down like she was a professional photographer for National Geographic just to snap a picture of the nasty little sucker for the blog. Nope. Not me. Not scared. At all.

And since I’m confessing all the things that I didn’t do, it is not me who visits Google weekly to find out proper spellings of words like Kum Ba Yah, and crouched for the blog.

Not me. No way.

Have yourselves a lovely Monday. I plan to enjoy mine fully, in between the swimming lessons, the humidity, the laundry and whathaveyou.

This post is linked to Not Me! Monday over at MckMama‘s place.