Archives for October 2009

Halloween Costume Planning Part 2

As promised, here are the other pieces that go with The Grunter’s Halloween costume.


The wig, mask and hat really set it off. His inspiration is from one of his favorite movies. I’ve never seen it – I don’t ask.

He’s still not done building this masterpiece and we’re not sure where he thinks he’s going in it but his girlfriend has said she is not going anywhere in public with him.


We made him add Scary Baby’s cape. Not sure if this is an improvement but anything he can add to cover up that darn suit is okay by us.


So I guess he’s just going to have to be content wearing it around our house and making us all scream.

Happy Halloween! Hope everyone has a fun and safe weekend!!


DWTS-Oompa Update

He DROPPED his partner twice.

Probably not a good move the night before double elimination.

Thank goodness for Tivo so I could rewind to watch.

He pretty much threw her down on her butt.


I really think they should do a better pairing of dance partners. If they are going to sign an Oompa then they need to find an even smaller Oompa girl professional dance teacher for him.

His adorable partner Chelsie is not a big girl but I think he’s at a disadvantage – maybe if he had a tiny Oompa partner to toss around?

Hey, wait. Were there even any female Oompa Loompas? I can’t remember.

Did anyone see the punching bags with the headshots taped on them that Michael Irvin used in his rehearsal for the group dance?

He made the Oompa’s a tiny red one. That made me laugh out loud.

So on double elimination night, Oompa didn’t make it through the dance-off. Shocking but true. I can hardly believe it and I know Wizzy will be bummed that Sabrina the Teenage Witch was eliminated too.

Even showinghis guns one more time didn’t help.

On his last 30 second dance-off, he had to whip off his blazer.

They are still Oompa-sized guns. He’s just a compact guy.

Farewell Little Oompa…

Picture 1

Photo from ABC DWTS


Tuesday is the New Monday

Or at least that’s what I’m telling myself.


That is one of my new favorite words. Especially since living in the land of the teens.

Then I read this article a few weeks ago and find out that it’s very annoying.

The popular slacker term of indifference was found “most annoying in conversation” by 47 percent of Americans surveyed in a Marist College poll released Wednesday.

Oops. Here we go again being uncool AND annoying. Always a day late and dollar short. Yep, that’s us.

I’m telling you at least once a day, sometimes more often, I get a text message from one of the lovely teens with one word.


They are precious, aren’t they? It always makes me laugh a little. I never really found it annoying. In fact, I find in useful to dish it right back to them on numerous occasions.

“Whatever” easily beat out “you know,” which especially grated a quarter of respondents. The other annoying contenders were “anyway” (at 7 percent), “it is what it is” (11 percent) and “at the end of the day” (2 percent).

I think they left off the most seriously annoying word on their survey. See if you can guess what it is.

Here’s my like take on this like annoying word because like I know annoying like anybody’s business so like I just want to like tell you that I like think there is a much more annoying like word than like whatever.

Did I mention like that I like was a substitute teacher like for the last two years at like one of the biggest high schools like in the country?

Yeah, maybe like I didn’t mention that like on this blog. Because I was sort of like afraid that they might like find out I like have a blog.

Like I am an expert on what is annoying.

And it’s not like


If we’re going with an annoying phrase vs. a single word which it seems the survey did not distinguish between, my personal fav is…

“Let me be honest”

Always makes me raise my eyebrow and wonder how often the person speaking is dishonest.

Hmmm, food for thought. I love words.

What’s your favorite overused annoying word?


Breaking News

Or not.

First, I have to confess that I am addicted to Dancing With The Stars and like to watch both episodes on Tuesday so I can see who gets voted off.

If you don’t watch it, this post will mean absolutely nothing to you so go ahead and click off now.

PhilBillPaul has no interest in this show. I have to review the good, the bad and the ugly with my mom or my friend Toni in North Carolina.

Last week I couldn’t stop myself. I had to send Toni a text about a contestant who I really don’t know much about.

Nothing against him or snowboarding but who’s with me on this one?


Louie’s resemblance to an…

Oompa Loompa

disturbs me a bit every time he dances.

Toni agreed and text back “Member of the Lollipop Guild”

I knew she would get it.

Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory is one of my favorite movies of all time.

Every time he starts dancing, I start humming…

Oompa Loompa doompety doo
I’ve got a perfect puzzle for you
Oompa Loompa doompety dee
If you are wise you’ll listen to me

Side note: I’m rooting for Donny Osmond because I appreciate a white man from my generation being able to dance.

And in full disclosure I loved, loved, loved the Michael Jackson tribute last night because we wore his albums out back in the day when he was a young black man. 😉

These are just my personal opinions and of course, I’d love to hear yours if you are a fan of the show.

Which I’ve always thought should be called “Dancing With The Stars Who Are Sometimes Not Stars or Have Never Been Stars.”

Next week tell me if you start singing “Oompa Loompa” when Little Louie (whom I’m sure does not want to be called Little Louie or Oompa Loompa or Oompa Louie or Oompa but I can’t stop myself) starts dancing.


Photos from here and here. Lyrics from here.

Fine, Fine, Fine in Georgia

Thanks to several sweet people who checked on us since I didn’t write on Monday. I had to use Monday to recover from Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

I wish I had some amazing story to tell you but most of those are already written and can be picked up on CNN and other online news sources.

Like the balloon boy hoax.

Don’t get me started on that one.

And since I did tell you all about that car in the sinkhole, I feel compelled to tell you that the driver was arrested on Monday. Seems he did it on purpose.

Really makes my weekend activities pale in comparison. I’m glad to say no one was arrested at my house. Knock wood.

We got Scary Baby off to a pre-Halloween birthday sleepover on Friday night dressed, most appropriately, to match her code name.


Her frightful costume created plenty of screaming and yelling. Though I don’t think it was suppose to come from me as she had a meltdown about which vampire teeth she was going to wear, her black boots were at the neighbor’s and a spider earring disappeared as she walked out the door.

I love Halloween fun to start two weeks before Halloween so by the time we get to the real Halloween, mommy has turned into a very scary witch.

Side note: I know several family members who shall remain nameless can relate to this. The rest of you continue with your sweet Halloween fun.

I think I popped the xanax right after she left because I was aware that I was exhibiting very witch-like behavior sans the costume.

The darling twins came home Friday {again} with only one extra Soldier as it was their drill weekend. An added bonus was that The Grunter did not have to work so it was our first Friday in several years we had the three lovely young adults big kids without Scary Baby.

We took them all to dinner and then went bowling. I’ll save the bowling throwdown story for another day. Suffice to say that we had some bowling etiquette issues with the eight teenagers next to us ending with one of the teenagers being kicked out and the management giving us 12 free games.

Another shining memory for our family.

It should be noted that those teenagers should be very, very glad I was medicated.

We awoke Saturday to Wizzy saying she couldn’t breathe and didn’t think she could go to drill. Roger Leroy headed out with her Soldier friends while PhilBillPaul took Wizzy to the walk-in clinic.

This is the darling twin who has been sick for several weeks and in spite of trying to tough it out, is not getting better. Imagine that her bronchitis has not gotten better after playing rugby, flag football, tubing and early morning cadet physical training. Shocking, I know.

They came home announcing we needed to take her to the emergency room because the physician’s assistant was very concerned about meningitis because Wizzy said she had a bad headache.

As they left for the ER, they stopped back by the walk-in clinic to double check everything because the darling twins were vaccinated in high school for meningitis.

The good news…

No Swine Flu

and no meningitis either.

Two days of complete rest at home with more sleep than she’s had in a year and she still isn’t better.

Sunday, Roger Leroy and Casey got back from drill and spent several hours looking for her lost wallet and ipod.

I cooked a Sunday dinner compliments of Granny’s homemade noodles overnighted from Texas.

I added a Pumpkin Spice Cake with that Maple Brown Sugar Frosting from last weekend’s cupcakes and made some Caramel Apple Kisses with pretzels and M&Ms.


Because we’re still watching our sugar.

The wallet and ipod were located by Casey and Wizzy. In her bookbag. Roger Leroy is like the scarecrow on Wizard of Oz and that’s being polite.

After they ate, they headed back to college. They couldn’t wait for the desserts to cool down so she took a sad little container with 3 kisses back with her.


This is what happens when you set your camera on “cuisine” setting and turn off the flash.

Finally, three hours at urgent care on Monday with chest x-ray and blood work has confirmed Wizzy still has bronchitis and will be staying home for a few more days.

Such a boring weekend here. Please tell me you all had a much better weekend?!


Flexible Friday #46 Multi-Tasking Overload

I’m not a huge fan of cell phones. Big surprise, I know.

It’s a tool that I use daily though I can go several consecutive days without using it and actually like those quiet lo-tech days!

This cartoon made me laugh and then made me think…


Close To Home© John McPherson

Have we taken multi-tasking too far? Can we honestly not get through our shopping trip without taking a call?

With the exception of a true emergency – is it rude to be on the phone as you check out or is it just being super efficient?

Just curious what you all think.

Regardless of your position on the subject, hope the cartoon made you smile. And I hope you aren’t “one of those people” who might need a little taser now and again. 😉

My darling twins are cashiers. I hope they weigh in on this one. Is it harder for them to do their job and provide excellent customer service when a customer is on their cell phone?

I know I’m really just an out-of-touch uncool mom. Like you didn’t already know that…

Happy Friday – have a great weekend!!


Cupcakes To Write Home About

Dear Mom,

The cupcakes I made on Sunday were so amazing and delicious that I really wish I could mail a box to Illinois so you could try them.

But I can’t.

Because we ate them all.

Sorry 🙁

I can tell you all about them though so maybe you’ll be inspired to make them yourself. Or not.

What started out as a recipe I found and printed…Nutmeg Cupcakes with Maple Buttercream Frosting become Spice Cupcakes with Maple Syrup Frosting at my friend Leigh Anne’s house. I sent her the recipe and then she made them before I did. No real surprise since she is a baking and cupcake queen! But I couldn’t believe she changed the recipe so there wasn’t any NUTMEG?!

Anyway, I couldn’t get them out of my mind so I whipped them up this weekend. Except I turned them into…

Nutmeg & Cinnamon Cupcakes with
Maple Brown Sugar Buttercream Frosting


Long name I know, but oh so divine!

You can use Leigh Anne’s non-nutmeg recipe and instead use 2 tsp of nutmeg and 1 tsp of cinnamon. I might just do 1 tsp of nutmeg and 1 tsp of cinnamon next time. No matter what spice combo you choice, this recipe is a keeper! (You could just eat the frosting and not make the cupcakes…just sayin’)

Friday night I had made a fun little Halloween treat with Scary Baby and one of her friends. She wants to go to two neighborhood parties so I wanted to try this Candy Corn Cookie Bark. I will admit the oreos and pretzels made me a little skeptical.


Yum! I would add even more pretzels next time. For much better pictures and detailed directions, visit Leigh Anne’s blog.

As you can see, my quest to cut down sugar at our house is going very well.

It’s October – we’re obviously taking a little break.

I had two perfect treats to send home with Wizzy and Jordan who stopped by on their way back to college after a weekend of fun visiting Jordan’s family.

Jordan also scored Roger Leroy’s little Halloween treat bucket.


Because Roger Leroy wasn’t able to stop by on her busy weekend. I think they saved her a cupcake.

We’re loving our gorgeous Fall weather. Has it snowed there yet?

tiny lol


Your Darling Daughter

Flexible Friday #45 Rugby Fan Rules

I almost forgot to tell you what rule we did learn at our first rugby game.

It wasn’t really about the game. It was about the the fans. All 30 of them. Including Jenna and her dad who drove up to watch the game with us.

First, the backstory. The game was at 5:00 pm and the gorgeous sun was beating down on the field and we were all grateful it wasn’t raining!

But the sun was full on in our eyes so when we saw another family go over to the opposite side of the field lining the woods, we decided to join them.

It was perfect and gorgeous and we settled in to watch and try to understand this new sport.

That lasted for about 5 minutes.

The referee/official/powertripper came over to inform us that he needed everyone back on the other side. At first, we thought he was kidding. It was a field as in literally a field that they lined and set up portable goal posts. (It’s a club sport – funded by the players.)

Jenna’s dad very nicely said “How about if we move farther back by the trees?”

Powertripper said no way. There were LIABILITY issues and we MUST go back to the other side and all fans must stay behind the BARRIER. It was for our own safety and he didn’t want anyone to get hurt.

I really do try to set a good example and obey the rules

As we all started folding our chairs, Ed told us he wasn’t going back to the sunny side.

Who knew we were with such a parent rebel?


He moved his chair back and sat there for the first half.

Then he joined us in a shady corner sort of behind the barrier.

Here’s the barrier…


Thank goodness we all stayed safe.

Behind that ROPE BARRIER.

And in an attempt to even out the rugby picture feature from Wednesday, here are a few shots of Wizzy that she swiped borrowed from someone’s Facebook page.


The girl with BRONCHITIS is carrying the ball.


Darling twins working together.


Side note: Several people have commented privately that I am using the girls’ real names. Yes, I am! Intermittently with their nicknames. Because once they turn 18…I’m no longer trying as hard to protect their privacy. Especially since they remind me often that they are 18 and I can’t tell them what to do anymore. Same rule with The Grunter/Everett.

Have a fabulous weekend! This Fall weather is my most favorite time of year!!


New Four Letter Words

We learned some new four letter words this weekend. Though I really can’t give you clear definitions.



Plus a lovely five letter word.


None sound particularly nice. Maul is the only one I’m vaguely familiar with.

But not in this new context.

Our darling twins have picked up another bad habit sport in college.


Call us narrow-minded but PhilBillPaul and I were less than thrilled to hear this. We know very little about the game except to describe it as “tackle football without pads or equipment.”

Oh wait, they do wear a pretty black mouth guard.

In their first mini-tournament that they insisted we not come and watch because they were still unsure of the rules, Rachel was kind enough to send me these photos. She is number 15.

Picture 1

Lizzie played too. Bottom right corner picture. She was just on the opposite side of the field barely in photographer’s view I guess.

Upon review, I had to ask if anyone else tackled anyone or just her?

She insisted she just happened to be playing right at the photographer’s angle.

She’s also the smallest one on the team (again) and after watching opposing basketball players literally lift her off the floor for years – I was pretty sure I was not going to like watching this.

Side note: No, I haven’t forgotten that they are Soldiers. Yes, it stresses me.

When they invited us to their first official full-length game this past weekend, we headed up to North Georgia as part of our parental obligation.

This after several lengthy discussions with the other darling twin, Lizzie.

Who had been sick enough to go to the clinic and was prescribed an antibiotic for an upper respiratory infection and went TUBING in the river less than 48 hours later.

Exact words:

“Mom it wasn’t strenuous, I just sat in the tube and floated.”

She then continue her quest for resting and healing 5 days later by engaging in a flag football game where she…

“might have broken her pinky…the clinic said I should have an x-ray…where do I go for that?”

Bonus diagnosis at the out-of-network clinic (who declared the pinky the worst sprain they’d ever seen) was BRONCHITIS with 3 new prescriptions including an inhaler and steroid to open her lungs.

She called to tell us before we left home for the game and I paraphrase a bit:

I’m not playing unless we don’t have enough players. I’ve already told the team captain I don’t want to play. And if she does have to put me in the game, it will be in the backfield where no one really goes just so we have enough players on the field. Blah, blah, blah. Lie, lie, lie.

She played. Not in the backfield.

She was actively involved in this scrum.


Well, at least I think this was a scrum. Maybe it was a maul?

PhilBillPaul’s keen observation as he folded up his chair:

Well, it was more fun to watch than cross country don’t you think?

Anyway, darling Lizzie came up to us after the game happy and excited.

With a bloody lip. BIG SIGH.

Oh, and they won.


Never did I think, especially in this day and age, we would be begging them to…

Stop Exercising

Can’t they just be couch potatoes and take it easy for ONE semester?


Or at least try out for a less aggressive sport. Golf? Badminton?

I’m pretty sure there’s a life lesson here. But I’m too old and tired to connect the dots. Other than college freshmen get sick a lot.

Besides I have a lot of reading to do about scrums and hookers.


Flexible Friday #44 Three Random Thoughts

Semi-random. Semi-related.

That’s how my brain is working these days. Some fun, good things are happening that I wanted to share!

This is in spite of some really sad, not-so-good things that have also been happening in the last few months that I’m sure I’ll blog about some day.

But today, I’m sharing only positive things because muffins are always positive – be sure to read all the way to the end.

1. Fun Giveaway about socks. Or not.

My super-human friend Leigh Anne and I launched a new venture this week and we already have clients. We’ve been Idea Coaching with each other for a long time. So many times great ideas are right in front of us. We just need someone else to point them out and give us the confidence, as well as the tools and resources to make them a reality!

Using our years of entrepreneurial business experience helping women start their own business we want to help you Find Your Sock Yarn. (Bet you didn’t even know your sock yarn was lost, did you? Yeah, me neither.)

For more details on why we’re calling it Find Your Sock Yarn, click on over to iLashGirls and read our Moments & Memories post this week and enter to win some free Idea Coaching! Socks and sock yarn not included.

2. Website Design & Training

As a natural extension of Find Your Sock Yarn and with some bossy gentle nudging from Leigh Anne, I have a new website called Standout Impressions.

Very old friends may remember that was the name of my very old, first desktop publishing business before any of us had an email address, laptop or internet service and we traveled in covered wagons.

I love to date myself like that.

Anyway, through the years, I’ve always done freelance projects with a variety of clients. This site is long overdue so I can offer my services to the universe.

Okay, maybe not the universe but if you were thinking you’d like to have a blog of your own or you need a small business website, I can help you.

PhilBillPaul wants me to tell you that my prices are ridiculously affordable and I should charge more. I told him to be quiet and get his own blog if he wants to get all chatty.

I just want you to tell anyone you know who might need my services so I don’t have to wear a red shirt and work at Target.

I love Target. But red is soooooo not my color. 😉

3. Earthy Crunchy {sort of} Maple-Drizzled Apple Muffins

Saw the name of these muffins and had to make them. Love the combo – YUM!


Awesome photo of my prep area don’t you think? Okay so I’m obviously NOT turning this into a food blog.

I’m sure a creative cook could make them healthier. Perhaps add some homemade applesauce or at least some no sugar added applesauce? Maybe some organic yogurt or wheat germ?

Me, I just followed the recipe with the most earthy crunchy thing I did…substituted whole wheat pastry flour for the all-purpose *bad* white flour. I’m pretty sure that move countered the *bad* white sugar.

In the ongoing transition to get Scary Baby to eat healthier, I left the pecans off of three of them just for her. She said through curled lip, “Uh, they were kinda lumpy.”

Those are called tiny apple pieces dear sweet child.

It’s going to be a long, slow process.


Here’s the recipe I got from Recipe Girl.

Maple-Drizzled Apple Muffins

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup quick-cooking oats
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbs baking powder
1½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ cup milk
1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
¼ cup maple syrup
1 large egg, slightly beaten
2 cups chopped, peeled apples (I use Granny Smith)
12 pecan halves

1/3 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbs maple syrup

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease 12-cup muffin tin or line with paper liners.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients (through cinnamon).

3. In a small bowl, mix milk, butter, syrup and egg; stir into dry ingredients and mix just until moistened. Fold in apples.

4. Fill prepared muffin cups ¾-full (this is easiest to do when you use an ice cream scoop). Top each with a pecan half. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until muffins test done. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely.

5. For glaze, mix sugar and syrup; drizzle over cooled muffins.

Yield: 1 dozen

Side note: I got almost two dozen but maybe I didn’t fill the cups as full?

They were delicious! Just perfect in this crisp Fall weather!

Now go check out my new site, enter our iLashGirls giveaway, make some muffins and have a GREAT weekend!!


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