Archives for January 2010

Sugar and Spice Whips the Boys

We’re in countdown mode here at the Humpfreeze house as the darling twins will be leaving next week for 5 months in Arizona. It’s time for their military job training for the Army National Guard.

I won’t bore you with the military’s second language consisting mostly of acronyms about AIT and what their MOS is and their last weekend of RSP.

What I will bore you with is how the darling twins along with their friend Jenna kicked some serious butt at their weekend drill in December. It was family day and I was home sick but PhilBillPaul and Scary Baby went. And luckily Jenna’s family brought their camera. Thank you Ed and Dar!

Nothing like a little friendly competition among soldiers. It’s important to know that the group consisted of about 100 males and less than 20 females.

A little tug-of-war.

Some physical training.

Combatives.

Plus a variety of other events and challenges. In the end, the girls shined!

A total of 5 trophies were given out and 3 were given to our girls…

3 point shoot out:
First Place ~ Lizzie

Drill & Ceremony:
First Place ~ Rachel

Pugil Stick:
First Place ~ Jenna

PLUS Jenna also received a medal for basketball. At the end of the day, she was the only one to receive two awards!

I’m not sure their recruiter really understood that he landed 3 golden female recruits and since I’m the mom of two of them, my opinion appears to be a little biased!

When I asked him if he was beaming with pride at his 3 lovely recruits kicking some butt …

Him: “They surprised everyone including me.”

Me: “I beg your pardon? You didn’t expect them to shine?”

Him: “I didn’t expect them to dominate”

No surprise for us.

The Army National Guard is lucky to have these three amazing female soldiers. We already knew that.

I’m pretty sure the trophies were a little cheesy and mostly for the families’ benefit. While we appreciate the gesture, we don’t need trophies to remind us of how incredibly proud we are of our daughters!

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Health & Wellness 2010

I’m committed to taking some baby steps in an effort to seriously cut down on my sugar intake this year.

And caffeine.

I quit cold turkey 6 years ago and lived through it.

But the caffeine slowly crept back into my life a few years later.

I blame living in Atlanta for this vice. Because I do love, love, love Coke. As in the classic red can Coke straight up over lots of ice.

Side note: I used to blame my caffeine addiction on my mother because she worked at Pepsi. Then I moved to Georgia where most establishments don’t take kindly if you use the “P” word.

No diet soda here because I really do believe artificial sweeteners are way worse for you than plain ‘ole sugar.

Just my opinion.

Wizzy knows this and says she’s going to give up soda too.

Then she brought this home this weekend…

I’m sorry – can you not read that banner?

Real sugar

Limited time only.

This stuff is like liquid carbonated crack.

Not that I have any idea about crack. But I do know this is good stuff.

She brought home a Mountain Dew too but I forgot to take a picture of its very cool retro label. Which I’ve heard is similar to a double dose of crack.

I think she’s going to give up soda in February.

Me too.

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Tubing in the Winter

Seems many folk think that when you say you are taking your family tubing in January in the South that they think you are referring to tubing in a river in ice cold water – which, by the way, is often ice cold water in the summer.

News flash, in addition to sledding on cardboard boxes, garbage can lids and air mattresses, we are actually within driving distance of…

SNOW Tubing

Woo-hoo!

We planned a family day to drive to North Carolina to play in the snow. We wanted to do something fun with the kids before the darling twins are off again on their next adventure – this time to Arizona for 5 months for their Army National Guard job training.

This was no small feat because we had to find a day that none of them had to work and before The Grunter’s new classes started. Oh, and we still have that precious Scary Baby in elementary school. And we didn’t want to fight the weekend crowds because I hate crowds.

No problem, PhilBillPaul and Scary Baby were gracious enough to take a “day off” from their regularly scheduled life and we headed to Tube World on a day where Atlanta was preparing for a blizzard (2 inches of snow predicted)!

First though, about 10 hours were spent trying to locate Mr. Humpfreeze’s Lands’ End squall jacket. Never found.

Please do not ask how you lose a winter coat. My mom already did. It’s a very sensitive subject right now.

Next, two hours at Walmart buying 4 pairs of gloves because any winter items here are lost like socks in the dryer. And boots because my Lands’ End squall boots went missing too.

Fun! Fun! Fun!


The tubes go way faster than you might think.

Tube World is first class all the way with their moving carpet lift so you don’t have to WALK back up the hill!

I skipped a few rides up the moving carpet so I could snap some pictures as they came down.

My glasses were iced over so I took some pictures of other people’s kids. I’m not sure any of those pin dots are my family.

I think this is part of my family…

I think I know these people…

The $1.50 face mask was the best money spent for Scary Baby. Though she didn’t take kindly to the Tube World teen staff calling her “little man”.

Might be because she also had her brother’s old winter coat on. She did take the face mask off during one ride so they could see that she was a GIRL!

We drove home in semi-treacherous weather. Any snow is a blizzard to my kids. The roads were slick and turning to ice. Scary Baby got a snow day on Friday which was a bonus.

Here’s how much snow was on the deck when we arrived home.

A solid inch – look closely. Wizzy ran right out to eat some fresh snow.

Southern babies – it’s fun to see snow through their eyes. 🙂

What did Atlanta folk do with all our snow here last week? To those of you who live in a cold winter state…do you take advantage of playing in the snow?

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Holiday Food Highlights

Food

It’s standard to say food was a highlight, right?

In addition to the pre-holiday baking frenzy, I dug deep and tapped into my inner Suzy Homemaker since we were all gathered together and cooked real meals. Scary but true. I took no pictures of food since you already know how great my photography skills are.

We had our traditional holiday food which include:

  • Fondue on Christmas Eve
  • Sausage & egg casserole
  • Cheesy potatoes twice
  • Cajun Chex Mix x 6 batches (3 batches were given away)

Recipes

But I also tried a couple of new recipes mixed with some old favorites. I’m listing some of the meals here for posterity and to remind the kids that in December 2009, I DID COOK.

Potato Soup and Cheesy Beer Bread
I loved both – the girls said the bread was not their favorite.
Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs with Spaghetti
The girls all loved the meatballs – they were okay to me. The Grunter doesn’t eat ground beef or pasta.
Hot Colby Ham Sandwiches*
PhilBillPaul is not a sandwich guy so it was an exciting moment when I made these for dinner and he liked them and everyone else did too. These were such a hit that I made them for again for New Year’s Eve.
Homemade lasagna with extra cheese
Per the girls request – not a food for the boys. I had one small piece and the pan was gone the next day. No recipe, I just always make it up as I go.
Cocktail Meatballs
Is there anyone left on earth who hasn’t made these – the easiest, weirdest ingredients you dump in the crockpot and they actually taste good?!
Mini Turkey Cranberry Cheese Crescent Somethings
I made these up to use the frozen leftover turkey breast from Thanksgiving. The Grunter even ate one. You can’t go wrong with crescent roll dough.
Buffalo Chicken Wing Dip
They were scrapping the pan for more and PhilBillPaul has requested it for Superbowl. I used ranch dressing and mozzarella because we don’t do bleu cheese! I used less than 1/3 C of the hot sauce and it was fine for us. We don’t like anything super hot.
Warning: Website with recipe has automatic music – a personal pet peeve

*Here is the recipe for the sandwiches that are definitely being added to our family menu and the Superbowl party…I used Sara Lee Soft Dinner Rolls ~ 12 in a pack and they made perfect small sandwiches.

Hot Colby Ham Sandwiches

1/2 C butter, melted
2 T prepared mustard
1 T dried minced onions
1 T poppy seeds
2 to 3 t sugar
15 dinner rolls (about 3-inch diameter) sliced
15 slices colby cheese
15 thin slices deli ham (about 1 pound)
2 C (8 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese

In a small bowl, combine the butter, mustard, onion, poppy seeds and sugar. Place roll bottoms, cut side up, in an ungreased 15 x 10 x 1 baking pan. Top each with colby cheese, ham and mozzarella cheese. Drizzle with half of the butter mixture.

Replace roll tops. Drizzle with remaining butter mixture. Bake, uncovered at 350º for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Yield: 15 servings.

Recipe from Quick Cooking, May/June 2004

I’m now going into hibernation for the rest of winter because I think I cooked more in one month than I did the whole year and I’m tired.

Are you fully recovered from the holidays? List of resolutions for 2010?

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Holiday Highlights

The Grunter was the proud recipient of Scary Baby’s re-gifting prank. She ran out of money bought candy and didn’t get him a gift. On Christmas Eve she ran to her room and quickly wrapped something to give him.

We all knew it was a re-gift. She loves to give. I was thinking maybe a stuffed animal or some art supplies.

Instead, she gave him…

A two piece bathing suit.

Just what he always wanted. She thought this was the hysterical high point of Christmas morning.

It might have been but you shouldn’t try to punk your brother like that. He’s likely to get you back.

He quietly went into the bathroom and came out donning the two piece swimsuit.

Yes, it was odd that it fit.

But he is a skinny white boy just like his father.

You will have to use your imagination as to what this sight for sore eyes looked like.

Because I only emailed the pictures to immediate family.

I wish I had an audiotape of the uproar at my sister’s house when they gathered round my niece’s computer to see pictures of our pumpkin.

I bet Scary Baby will remember to get him a new present next year!

In other Grunter holiday news…

He bought the family a new game. And insisted we all play it on Christmas Eve. Everyone has played it several times and it is no small miracle to have a game that the adults, semi-adults and the 10 year old can play together.

Plus we added another game to our cabinet because my sister and mother said it was a “fun for all ages” game they all played on Christmas afternoon.

We had plenty of extra people in and out visiting and most all who came had to play. Really, you probably shouldn’t come to our house if you don’t like to play games with super loud, competitive people.

Then to end 2009 with a bang, we had another family and about 10 of the kids friends over for an impromptu New Year’s Eve party. Scary Baby and I braved the crowds at Walmart and Target to gather food and blowers while PhilBillPaul cleaned up the house.

A little Euchre, more Quelf and Apples to Apples plus the kids set up Rock Band and some other video games in the basement.

Other Miscellaneous Highlights…

Read two books, watched a ton of football and saw two movies. The movies were swamped with the new releases so we didn’t break our record from last year. We both enjoyed “Up in the Air” and “It’s Complicated”. I give them both Bs.

The girls also went ice skating and roller skating (twice).

Roger Leroy squeezed in a 7 hour defensive driving class on December 30th compliments of her speeding ticket up at college.

All of this and the kids all worked 25+ hours each at their jobs.

Impressive time management skills. Actually, youthful energy is probably more accurate.

How did you spend the holidays? Glad they’re over or wished they lasted longer? Are you back in a normal routine?

Does NO ONE have any hog jowl recipes???

Check back on Friday for our Humpfreeze Holiday FOOD highlights…

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New Year Bargains

With the kids all home for the last few weeks, our grocery bill has increased. The darling twins really eat a lot.

I’m always looking for sales and bargains. Remember our trip to Aldi?

Hard to find a meal all six of us will eat without someone complaining. Makes cooking not so fun.

I know we have our individual food issues. Plus the *no* vegetable thing.

Imagine our excitement when we went out for Mexican food on Saturday night and found a new bargain at the grocery next door.

I’m pretty sure we’re going to have a great family dinner after we buy a couple of pounds of…

Shh, don’t tell the kids. I want to surprise them!

Sliced and smoked.

What more could you ask for?

Anyone have any good recipes for hog jowls?

Humpfreeze holiday break highlights coming later this week. What were your favorite (or not so favorite) things about your holiday?

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