Archives for September 2008

It’s not even October yet…

Only a few days left of my favorite month of the year – and not just because it is the month of my birthday.

I love September because the kids go back to school.

I love September because it brings the hint of Fall.

Fall is my favorite season.

There is so much to love about Fall especially if you live where the leaves turn colors…

and you love …

pumpkins and gourds…
apple cider and pumpkin pie…
the smell of cinnamon and the chill of the night air.

Ahhh, I really do love Fall.

In the coming weeks, I’ll definitely share some of our award-winning Halloween costumes from past years.

We’ve always celebrated Halloween as a fun day to dress up and celebrate Fall.

We’ve never celebrated Halloween as a demon and devil holiday with ghouls and goblins and scary things.

This weekend, Scary Baby got busy living up to her “code name.”

She had a friend over to spend the night on Saturday and she apparently wanted to get a head start on Halloween festivities.

PhilBillPaul got wind of the fact that they had been busy putting flyers on neighbors’ mailboxes and they were preparing to host an event at our house:


PhilBillPaul especially enjoyed the part where she stressed “No food provided” since she knows she gets in big trouble when she starts providing snacks and drinks for any kid who walks by our house.

This is not the first time our creative, lovely, last child has made a flyer and distributed them through the neighborhood.

Nice Dad actually took control of the situation and made her go through the neighborhood and remove the flyers. She insists they only put them at houses with small children.

Small children who would like participate in Scary Story Night with
Scary Baby?

I’m sure that we have neighbors who wonder why her parents don’t supervise her and channel her creativity in different ways.

Sorry neighbors…

I wish I had a good answer other than we are old and tired.

But that’s all I’ve got.

We are old and tired.


Flexible Friday #15 Squirrel Issues

If you are a regular reader then you already know I have issues…


My issue of the day is…


Thanks to Julieann’s comment about that yummy bean cake on Wednesday, she gave me the perfect segue to my already planned post about SQUIRRELS…

How do we go from Pork-n-Beans cake to squirrels?

squirrel reference

I have always had squirrel issues. Rats with bushy tails. I don’t like squirrels.

My current squirrel issues are directly related to my hormone issues from last year which have subsequently created sleep issues and sent me spiraling into The Black Hole discussed here and here and here.

We have a new visitor who has been visiting our roof.


This squirrel is leaping onto our roof from a tree branch and runs along the gutter.


First I hear the faint thud as he lands on the roof. Then he creeps up to my bedroom window. Which is approximately four feet from my pillow and starts chewing on the window sill.


The sound is deafening. And it wakes me up.

And I have sleep issues.

And I hate squirrels.

Luckily, I’m married to handy dandy PhilBillPaul and his trusty handy assistant, Roger Leroy.

They ignorantly bravely went out on the roof with a chain saw to trim the branches so the Satanic Squirrel (SS) would stop eating MY HOUSE.


Nothing more comforting than seeing your daughter handing your husband a chain saw through your bedroom window. Note her enthusiasm if you can see it in the darkened photo.


Please forgive the poor quality photos thus far. I am not a SQUIRREL or CHAIN SAW photographer.

Hasn’t even phased SS – he keeps coming back.

PhilBillPaul thinks he can get SS with The Grunter’s crossbow. I have nixed this idea as I think a dead squirrel in my yard with an arrow sticking out of it might incite some animal-loving neighbors.

I don’t want any trouble.

I just want uninterrupted sleep.

We’ve been told a squirrel trap is our next option.

Lucky for me, we’ve had squirrel hunters living with us for many years.


The Grunter and his assistants have been hunting squirrels since 1997.

Problem is they’ve never caught one.

But darn it, that was a very cute moment when I asked The Grunter what he was doing and he told me the girls were his lookouts so he could catch a squirrel.

Now, I need to address another part of Julieann’s comment…

southern sterotypes

That Pork-n-Beans Cake was a recipe from food-loving Americans and because she inferred it might have come from people in Kentucky who eat possum and SQUIRREL or some other southern state, I bring you this highly scientific data I retrieved from the website about the locations of those who loved BEAN CAKE:

Texas, Ohio, New York now living in Portland, Kansas, Canada, Ohio now living in Pennsylvania, Idaho now living in Nevada and Florida.

NOT ONE MENTION of Kentucky, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, etc.

So my friend, Julieann, just because you moved out West and are no longer here in Georgia, don’t despair. I’m betting you can find squirrel at some restaurant in California!

P.S. In all fairness, I must confess that my Grandad was a Midwest squirrel hunter back in the day. I certainly remember that he and my uncle and cousins would go squirrel hunting and Imogene cooked it. I’m getting queasy again…

Sally – send me that great picture of Grandad and your brother proudly displaying their squirrel vermin.

So you see, squirrel huntin’ and eatin’ are really not necessarily Southern thangs!

Anyone else here NOT from the South ever hunt and/or eat squirrel? I think the Pork-n-Beans cake would be a lovely side dish. Don’t forget to add the bacon bits and peanuts.

Okay, seriously now…I’m sick.


Pork-n-Beans Cake

In honor of my birthday this week, it seemed a perfect time to make this very public announcement in case you ever want to bake me a cake.

I shall never, ever want a Pork-n-Beans Cake.

Seriously. I thought it was a joke.

I felt sick when I saw the title too.

On my Yahoo home page I have one of my favorite recipe sites provide me with daily recipes in three categories.

I do have a dessert category.

I do not have a bean category.

You know I had to click on the recipe when it came up a few weeks ago because I did think it was a joke.

But it’s not. People have actually made it, eaten it and liked it!

I had to dig deeper because that’s just how I am.

I like to read the reviews because there are always good tips from other cooks. Since this cake got 4.5 stars out of 5 from 16 reviewers I had to read the comments and reviews.

My favorite tip of all was from reviewer MJ who gave it 5 stars…

“This cake is moist and tastes great! I do suggest mashing the beans, otherwise you end up seeing whole beans in the cake.

Um, yeah, mash up those beans so you don’t SEE beans in your CAKE.

Reviewer kristina gave it 4 stars and shared these helpful tips…

“I was skeptical about this recipe, but it was a HIT at the office. I made it again, substituting the raisins for bacon bits and peanuts and I cut the sugar in half – amazing. I also used applesauce instead of oil to make it healthier.”

Oh yeah, ADD bacon bits and PEANUTS to your BEAN cake.

You can find the recipe at

Has anyone here ever made a bean cake? Go ahead, admit it here and I promise I will still like you but I’ll know to pass on dessert if I come to your house.

I dare you to make it. But please, no sharing.

Surprise me with cake any time but please don’t ever bring a cake with beans, smashed or otherwise.

Excuse me, I have to go now…I’m feeling really queasy.


P.S. This might actually be a funny cake to bring to a Halloween party. Just a last random thought. 😉

My Favorite Birthday

Check out my post and pictures about my most favorite birthday ever over on my other blog that I share with my friend Leigh Anne.

Don’t just check it out because you’re nosey interested about my birthday. Check it out because…

We are having a great giveaway. A beautiful set of friendship cards that was donated by artist Brian Andreas. Leigh Anne and I are both big fans of his and are so excited that he is sharing his work with us!

Let your friends know about it too. Who knows – maybe they will win and send you one of the cards!

For your chance to win the card set just leave a comment on the Sunday Monday Surprise post. Be sure and enter by midnight PST on Wednesday, September 24th . We will pick a winner on Sept. 25th! Hope you win!!!


P.S. – I’d love it if you’d subscribe to iLashGirls too – just log onto and then put your information in at the end of the short 2 minute movie- it’s free and fun!

Guess Who’s NOT 50 Today?

Well, you know it’s NOT PhilBillPaul since he turned 50 last month.

Yes, I do enjoy saying that as often as possible.

Yes, I’m sure it will come back to haunt me in 5 years.

Because I’m NOT 50 today.

But it is my birthday.

So I’m taking the day off.

Tomorrow I might share some pictures and details about my favorite birthday of my whole life…

Until then,

Happy Monday!


Flexible Friday #14
More Drinking, Yodeling & SAT Prep

Only because the girls got free tickets from the local radio station and not because we didn’t see enough drunk people last week to last a lifetime…

We actually headed back to the same venue for another country music concert.

Call me crazy.

Go ahead.

Most of my family does. I’m getting used to it.

This concert featured Brad Paisley, Jewel and Chuck Wicks.

Wizzy got to bring a friend this time and they had special neon t-shirts from the radio station that made a real fashion statement.

Brad Paisley concert

Note the bag on the right edge of the photo.

Everything went well and we all had a great time. Except for the moment when a very, very intoxicated girl fell on top of my bag and on our blanket.

The girls were stunned and held back their laughter because of the disgusted look on my face and until the drunk girl’s friend dragged her a few feet away where she fell again.

Oh yeah, alcohol looks like a lot of fun.

Another one of those teaching moments for us.

One other thing I could have done without…

Jewel yodeling.

I can’t make this stuff up.

I don’t ever want to hear that again.

Side note: Wizzy invited this particular girlfriend as her dad just left for Iraq on Sunday and she thought going to the concert might cheer her up.
Please send up a prayer for her family and all the other soldiers’ families.
You know how I feel about them.


On a totally unrelated note, we took the girls to a College Fair on Wednesday night and the next day this book was carelessly left on the kitchen island.

SAT book

Did they really listen to something I suggested?

Be still my heart.

It was a proud moment.

I’m sure they’re planning to study all weekend and in every spare moment until the test date so they can take the SAT again and raise their scores.

I’m planning to wear an apron and serve them healthy snacks while they study.

If any of the aforementioned actually happens, I’ll be sure to have PhilBillPaul snap a picture or two as proof.

Have a great weekend!


Little Lesson #8
Anyone Grounded at Your House?

You would think I would have this discipline thing down by the 4th child.

But I don’t.

You might think I learned a few things even though I was both unprepared and unqualified with the first three, and I would be prepared and qualified to parent our totally planned LAST child.

But I didn’t.

Scary Baby’s claim to fame may well be that she made PhilBillPaul and I surrender.

I hope that is not her legacy.

Because I really do believe kids need and want boundaries even though their brains don’t know how to show and articulate this to the world.

This kid would force several child-rearing *experts* to re-write their books on strong-willed, stubborn children if they ever met her.

Unfortunately they won’t be able to meet her anytime soon.

Because she’s grounded again.


The sign went up on the front porch two weeks ago when she was grounded the first time of this school year.

The sign went up because she is very social and when the phone and door bell ring it is almost always for her. I have tried to scare the neighbor kids away but they just keep coming back. Either I’m not scary enough or Scary Baby is so much fun and totally worth facing the Scary Mom.

One week of freedom later and she’s grounded again.

Emotions run high in our house. I accepted that long ago. I am emotional. Prone to emotional outbursts both before and after the coma. I’ve always believed home is where you should feel safe enough to throw a fit if you need to. Sometimes you just have to let that all out. It’s hard to always be good and obedient and proper. Or is it just hard for me?

She has some real issues about staying up too late in her room after she has been tucked in and then falling apart in the morning in fits of hysterical crying and screaming about how tired she is and how she can’t go to school.

It makes for some really stressful mornings and some really grouchy parents.

I recognize that every child is different. I know this because every one of mine is remarkably different even though they’ve been reared by the same parents in the same house since birth. I just did not encounter this problem with the older kids. Only one is a morning person who wakes up singing – that darn Wizzy is Little Miss Merry Sunshine and she learned early not to talk to the rest of us in the morning.

In case the neighbors are reading, we’re sorry about the screaming and we’re working on some diet changes…less sugar, more protein and talking about self-control and making better choices.


Little Lesson (LL): Putting your kids to bed earlier and earlier doesn’t necessarily guarantee that they will actually go to sleep.

Share a Little Lesson (SALL): Any tips on how to actually make them go to sleep? Using Benadryl, Nyquil, etc., does not count as a helpful tip especially if they’re not sick!


Popping the Bubble

I have spent a decade plus a few more years raising my kids in a bubble.

I chose the bubble.

I owned the bubble.

I embraced the bubble.

PhilBillPaul and I discussed the bubble and we decided when we would let the bubble get a little bigger. Or if we invited others into our bubble.

I never really cared what others thought of our bubble. I was more concerned with keeping my kids in the bubble for as long as possible.

My bubble. My rules.

Get your own bubble. Don’t mess with ours.

The bubble got pretty thin in high school. For us, especially thin because it was our teen kids first experience in public school which was a shift in size (huge school) and environment in general.

The last two years I have tried to let more people in the bubble and let the kids experience more things because I want them to make decisions and make mistakes on their own. But while they’re still in our house I hope they will feel like there is a safety net to catch them.

I have shared before that we have diverse music interests at our house. PhilBillPaul grew up loving hard rock. I prefer soft rock and country. We were both glad we missed the rap and hip hop genre. When the kids were born we compromised and listened to contemporary Christian and I would sneak in a little country as they got older.

When I heard that Toby Keith would be in Atlanta performing with Montgomery Gentry on September 11th, I knew that was a concert I didn’t want to miss. PhilBillPaul even likes his music. Country rock with very little banjo has potential for a nice date night.

At the last minute we got two more tickets and Roger Leroy and her friend Sharté came with us.

Toby Keith concert 9/11/08

It was a patriotic celebration and several tributes and songs moved me to tears.

What I didn’t expect was another kind of celebration.

A drinking celebration. Loads and loads of drinking.

Such an opportunity to expand the bubble for Roger Leroy.

Side note: I’m not responsible for Sharté’s bubble.

Here is a big clue that you are really old. And have been living in a bubble for a long time.

PhilBillPaul spent the first 30 minutes of the concert flipping his around in every direction and pointing on drunk people in various stages of drunken inappropriate behavior.

It’s not that I was immune to it. I guess I wasn’t as shocked because I’ve been to Nashville for 3 years now. He pointed out that the last concert he had been to was a Christian music festival we all went as a family.

Once he calmed down enough to try to enjoy the music, his 17 year-old daughter starting pointing out people.

We used this opportunity in between songs and during the band set-up to have lively discussion about important little lessons the girls could take from this concert including:

  • If you think the soft drinks are expensive at a concert, check out the price of alcohol.
  • If you are an idiot before drinking, you are an even bigger idiot when you drink.
  • Parents and their children are watching you be a drunk idiot.
  • “Get Drunk and Be Somebody” is a song title and should not be taken literally.
  • Grown men peeing on a wall in the parking lot is just bad manners.
  • Your mother would not be proud of you if she could see you like we saw you.

As we left the concert, we talked about how it would change the world if they made everyone take a breathalyzer test before they got in their cars at events like concerts and sporting events that sell alcohol.

But it appears this little company has taken matters into their own hands.

DUI Solution

We’re not sure if Jethro in the overalls with his underwear showing was the driver – welcome to Georgia. Roger Leroy made this astute observation concerning career choice…

“I don’t think it would be a very fun job to drive drunk people around.”

I know I won’t always be with them. I know they’ll be exposed to far worse as they go out into the world.

Since the bubble has popped, I hope I let them see enough idiots so they won’t choose to become idiots themselves.

But I also know this parenting gig is a crap shoot and we all just do the best we can and pray they stay safe and know how much we love them.

Life Lesson (LL): You can make the conscious choice to have tons of fun in life without ever taking a drink – I really do know this because that’s a decision I made when I was a teenager.

Share a Life Lesson (SALL): Any good stories you can share to help teach our kids how to not turn into drunk idiots?


Flexible Friday #13 Celebrity in Our Midst

You may remember that this summer I took my lovely daughters to the
CMA Music Festival in Nashville with their friend Sharté and her mother.

Side Note: You also know that Sharté is her code name, right? Because I don’t know anyone who would name their daughter Sharté much like I wouldn’t name my daughter Roger Leroy.

They taped parts of the festival and ABC aired it on television this week.

I’ll be darned if that Sharté didn’t end up with a full head shot on the TV special during the taping of the Taylor Swift video.


I took at least 5 pictures to get this high quality shot frozen on Tivo to preserve the posterity of the moment.

It was almost like the girls were all together again!

We all were squealing and yelling at our house and they were squealing and yelling into their cell phones with each other.

I hear Sharté actually made an announcement in the middle of Cross Country practice to tell everyone about her TV debut.

I’m sure this is just the beginning of her fame and we will be able to say we knew her back in the day.

I hope she will remember our family kindly.

Monday I’ll share more fun we had at another country music concert we attended.

Because if you didn’t know this already, here is what I can promise you will learn on Monday…country music concerts are filled with both little lessons and even bigger life lessons for one and all.

Especially teenagers.

Have you learned any important lessons at any music concerts, country or otherwise? Leave a comment or email me. I will be glad to compile a list so that all the teenagers in our lives can benefit from our many collective years of wisdom!


Post Coma Baby #1

I promised you that I would share something really, really good that came from the crash and the coma…

The good was the beginning of our family that we started just six months after I woke up.

Nine months later, one month and one day before our 2nd anniversary…

In spite of the fact that it was a BIG surprise and I was not and am still not qualified to be a mother…

Our son was born on September 9, 1989.

He turned 19 yesterday.

He was an absolutely delightful baby.

He was a sweet big brother when I brought home twin sisters just shy of his 2nd birthday.

And another darn sister when he was almost ten years old.

He was a babe magnet from his early days.


I won’t reveal the identity of the girls he was surrounded by but hopefully they will enjoy seeing themselves on the internet.

Neighborhood girls were everywhere. Across the street, next door on both sides…


Things were a little too easy in those early years. I knew it wouldn’t last.

He was a popular kid and this got him in a bit of “hot water”…


We told him this better be the first, last and only time we find him in our bathtub with five naked girls.

He outgrew the delightful baby stage too soon and things became more difficult.

PhilBillPaul handled some cross-dressing issues well.


Um, yes, that is a swimsuit top. And his sister’s hair bow. It was hard being surrounded by females all day.

I knew he would grow out of it eventually so I didn’t make a big deal about it.

Until he and Roger Leroy started sharing clothes.


But you just have to pick your battles so I let it go.

Side note: She still won’t wear dresses but I’m glad to report he no longer wears them either.

He’s actually very well-rounded, artistic and played different sports through the years.


Then we had eating issues.

Maybe you remember The Cocoa Krispie Nightmare?

And hair issues.


This is what happens when the Humphreys children get a hold of hair gel.

And please don’t forget, pot issues.

Oh yes–he used pot right in front of us.

From Barney to Batman, we have loved our Boy through all the great times and the challenging times.


He graduated from high school
in May and completed his first year of college during his senior year. We are so very proud of the man he is becoming.

Though most days, he is still The Grunter here at home.

We were very excited to see his new haircut last week.


We haven’t seen his eyebrows in at least 5 years!

In honor of his birthday and with his permission, he said I can reveal his real name on the blog.

But I’m going to let Grandma’s card (and Hallmark) do that for me. Because we all share a warped sense of humor and this card is now in my Top Ten of our family card competition…


Come on, that’s funny.


Good one Grandma! Grandad James Everett is looking down and laughing!

Everett James Humphreys…

Grandad Jimbo would be proud of you too.

Happy Birthday Pumpkin!

I love you to the moon.



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