Archives for August 2010

Typo Tuesday

They just keep showing up…

First, the back story on this one.

When I was doing a bit of research for my middle school post and double-checking the instrument names last week, I stumbled upon a school website that gave me some very important information.

Wow – we need to keep encouraging Scary Baby to stick with orchestra to boost her test scores.

Seriously, I didn’t groom any of my children towards any one thing to help their college test scores in the 6th grade and I’m probably not going to start now.

But wait, if I was going to start grooming her now, what kind of instrument should she play?

I really cringe when school websites that are teaching are our children aren’t triple-checked and proofread for exactly this reason.

Full Disclosure: I really did type “are children.” I plead coma on this and do it often which is why I am a paranoid proofreader and have never claimed to be able to proof my own work.

TV Typos

When I’m not taking screenshots of typos, I’m freezing the TV and taking pictures of the TV screen. Yes, I know I should get a new hobby.

Just sayin’ – someone gets paid to type that description.

This one is a technically not a typo.

If you see what I see, what would you call it?

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Room With A View

With a view like this…

…there should be no complaining of boredom or bad days or a host of other things I heard last year.

This is the view from the darling twins college dorm room.

I think they are settled in and ready for a very good year.

We drove up last weekend to deliver a few odds and ends they forgot and took them to dinner.

It is really beautiful up in the small town where they go to school.

For the first time in their 19 years, they are not sharing a room.

Well, sort of not sharing a room.

They are suite mates in this brand new dormitory.

Which means they still share a bathroom but they have separate bedrooms.

A bathroom that is much bigger than all four darling Humpfreeze children share at home.

They have two showers between the four suite mates but only one toliet – go figure?!

Wizzy is rooming with Meadows and Roger Leroy lucked out and is by herself.

It took my covert photography skills to snap a picture of their trash can.

Meadows did her best to stand guard over it but she should know better.

It was refreshing to see some habits never change.

They also explained the story behind the one poster they are allowed on the wall.

Something about their social director status but I wasn’t clear on the monkey pictures.

But then we were walking to the car for dinner, Roger Leroy had to stop for a minute.

And the monkey pictures all made perfect sense.

Hey Jenna,

Roger Leroy is keeping everything very neat until you arrive next semester.

You are going to love the new rooms! I was even impressed with the “hotel” door locks. Hope your mom and dad copy and print this to include in your next letter from home so you can see your new room.

Side note: Jenna arrives for second semester but she’s at her Army National Guard AIT at Ft. Leonard Wood.

Don’t worry Wizzy and Meadows, I know you both pass room inspection with flying colors and you keep your room clean too.

It was a lovely Sunday evening visiting with the darling twins and we’re thankful they have such lovely new digs!

Really though, did anyone else have a view out their college dorm room window like this?

I’ll go first.

No.

My room overlooked a parking lot and the TKE and Sig Ep house.

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Calling All Moms With Middle School Kids

We are in week 3 of middle school here at the Humpfreeze house.

The middle school transition may be the most difficult – in my opinion.

Mostly I think this because it’s been rougher than the first batch of older three Humpfreeze and their transition to high school or college.

Side note: Well, that’s if you skip that first week of 8th grade which was not only the darling twins middle school transition but also their public school transition as we homeschooled in their 7th grade and K-6th grade was in private school…sorry drifting down memory lane…that first week of 8th grade public school where Wizzy saw a knife in a girl’s purse and reported it to a teacher and then we spent some conference time with a counselor and administrator covering it up so the brand new school wouldn’t get a black mark and the girl didn’t get expelled because zero tolerance in the handbook didn’t apply to the knife or that particular girl. Pretty sure that was the longest run-on sentence I’ve ever written. Oh, the fun was really just beginning as The Bubble began to pop with the exposure to all the things I had kept hidden for so long.

Middle school is the age – again just my opinion – where the kids have outgrown a lot of the cuteness and it takes a whole lot of extra love and patience to not ground these children until high school graduation. You just don’t hear a lot of people saying things like “Look at that group of middle school kids, aren’t they adorable?” They are struggling to become more independent but are not quite old enough for any real freedom from those darn parents.

Week 1 of Middle School

Scary Baby’s first week was so smooth we were scared. We’re not pessimists but we knew it was the calm before the storm but we praised her independence. She got up every morning and got herself ready with time to spare. (She saves quite a bit of time by not brushing her hair – a story for another day.) Five days in a row of smoothly going to school is close to a record. Sorry, still no picture.

Week 2 of Middle School

Tuesday, day six. It is crucial that she get her instrument for orchestra T-O-N-I-G-H-T because she will be the only one without an instrument if we don’t take her to the music store right now. We had already spent a good deal of time discussing instrument selection and were unable to convince her that we thought band would be a better choice than orchestra. Never mind our reasons – none of us are musical unless you count the fact that we all have iPods and some of us love, love, love country music.

We simply supported her decision to choose orchestra. In an imaginary coin toss she chooses the viola over the violin. We don’t know why and we don’t care. We are just glad it is not the cello or bass.

Surely you know by now that Saint PhilBillPaul took her that very night to get the last rental viola in the state of Georgia.

And even though we have learned that some nasty little middle school boy commented that her viola was “obviously used” she has been loud and proud about her new acquisition.

Middle school boys are icky.

Wednesday, Day Seven.
It’s all over. She visited the clinic because her stomach hurt. We do not want the clinic to get to know Scary Baby better than the entire student body. We hoped we had left this elementary school legacy behind her. Thank goodness her very sweet and darling brother was available to take some magical Tums® to the clinic so she could finish her day.

I will write part two of this glorious day what transpired that evening in another post.

The best part of this lengthy story about middle school?

When The Grunter entered the middle school office, he says the receptionist was a wee bit busy texting under her desk and looked up quickly and said to him,

“Checking in?”

I’m still laughing that he could have checked himself in as an 8th grader. 7th grader? He turns 21 next month. My poor pumpkin.

I also told him he should have checked in, went to an 8th grade class, sat down and then we could have broke a giant news story about some security risks in the school system since a 20 year-old got past the front desk and could have done harm.

Might have made up for the “covering up the knife in the purse incident” that I’m obviously still holding a grudge about.

Just sayin’

Any thoughts, ideas, suggestions on how to make the middle school transition less overwhelming? It’s obvious that I’m way too old to have a middle school child and poor Scary Baby gets the short end of the parenting stick…

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Typo Tuesday

I know The Bachelorette got in the way of our Typo Tuesday fun.

I know some of you are so glad that show is over. And others have requested I start writing about any or all of the Bravo Housewives show. Who said I watch those?

My darling twins have requested I don’t write about Dancing With The Stars because they don’t watch it.

Geez, everyone has an opinion.

I’m taking it all under advisement and sticking with some Typo Tuesday entertainment for the next few weeks.

Oh my goodness. Such a fun file I’ve been collecting!

I think it’s most fun if I let you find them rather than me pointing them out.

Kind of a little blog “Where’s Waldo” challenge to keep you on your toes.

This is a group I’m not sure would want to join…

This one was titled Behold America’s Educational System Captured in a Single Photograph and PhilBillPaul actually emailed me this. Let’s not hold it against North Carolina – it could have happened in any state! (And apparently did according to the article, it happened in both Florida and Michigan in past years.)

I love bread but…

These were all pretty easy. Did you find them all? How long did it take you?

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Summer Activities ~ Part 4

Special note: Thank you to all who left great comments sharing tips about sending your kids to college. There was a golden nugget in each and every one of them and it’s my favorite way to learn to be a better parent – getting advice from parents who have “been there, done that.” If you missed them, it’s worth going back and reading from seasoned mothers who shared their wisdom.



We had some quality time with the darling twins before they went back to college last week.

A couple of good dinners. A good game of Scrabble.

PhilBillPaul’s word of the night was booger.

Some things never change.

Agnes and Roger Leroy

We squeezed in a movie that 3 of us hadn’t seen yet.

I rarely can sit through an animated movie. Despicable Me started a little slow but Wizzy told us to hang with it because it was really funny.

I found myself seriously mesmerized by the fact that Agnes and Roger Leroy were twins.

I had to dig these pictures out when I got home to see if the resemblance was all in my head.

Frankly, it scares me a little to think of my little two year-old looking so much like a cartoon character.

Am I the only one who sees the resemblance?

I give the movie an “A” but I think I’m biased because they used my daughter as character inspiration.

What was your favorite movie this summer?

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Calling All Parents With College Kids

For us, summer really is over.

Because someone here in Georgia decided school should start on August 9th. What the heck? That’s way too early!

Scary Baby has completed her first week of middle school with flying colors. Oops, no first day of school picture because that’s what happens when you are the 4th and lastborn.

While I was away for a long weekend immediately after our beach trip, the darling twins not only got Scary Baby ready for her first day of middle school, they also got themselves ready.

EARLY.

Please understand these darling twins NEVER get ready for anything EARLY.

But when I got home, they proudly shared with me their stacks and piles of things ready to go back to college.

Small stacks…remember they are cadets at a military college and are allowed to have very little in their dorm rooms!

Are those cleaning supplies?

GASP

Yes, I’m well aware this means they are more than ready to LEAVE again. I could say this with a lump in my throat. And sometimes I do get choked up.

It seems like they just got home.

The darling twins’ summer was abbreviated since they didn’t get home from Arizona until June 25th. And now they are gone again as they headed back to college this past Sunday.

Mostly, I’m proud they want to leave.

Because it means I’ve done something right in the motherhood category.

Dear fellow moms (and dads),

They are supposed to want to leave. They are supposed to want to be independent. They are supposed to want to show you that you spent 18 years raising them up right so they can survive on their own.

You are supposed to be happy for them. Your job was to prepare them for this. Your job is to celebrate the leaving.

But I won’t lie – in so many ways, the years do fly by. And you find yourself second-guessing yourself. Did you teach them the right things?

I was reminded by a good friend whose son left yesterday that if other parents would have been more encouraging and in her words that it would have been helpful if…

“…people would say something like…”he is going to have a great time” or “this is so exciting” instead of looking at me, asking how I’m going to do “letting go of my first one” and then almost watching if I’m going to burst into tears!!”

Are you reaching out and helping other moms as their children leave? Reminding a mom that her child will be fine and she did a good job is exactly what she needs to hear at a time like this.

This parenting gig is still so tough. Let’s lift each other up!

The Leaving and Letting Go

I think this would be a great place to share any tips or hindsight you have if you have sent or are about to send a child to college.

  • What did you do right?
  • What do you wish you would have done differently?
  • How were the first few weeks after they left home?
  • How was the first semester transition for you and them?
  • What was the best tip another mom gave you?

Share your best tips or lessons learned because I promise you it will help another mom who is facing those same feelings and reading this today.

*******

P.S. I got this text from Roger Leroy tonight just as I was finishing this post:

RL: Having my own room is awesome.

Me: Oh yes it is. I remember it well!! And like u, I had never had my own room…always had to share with my sister Julie.

RL: It’s kinda like living in a little apartment…

There are so many fun things about college and leaving home!

🙂

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Summer Activities ~ Part 3

All the darling twins talked about even before they got back home was the beach.

“We’re going to the beach.”

Over and over again. In between car repairs and work schedules and having about six weeks of summer they were going to the beach.

When the beach trip got changed multiple times and looked like it just wasn’t going to happen, leave it to St. PhilBillPaul to have a brilliant idea.

“Why don’t we all go to the beach?”

Never mind that it’s not in the budget. Never mind that all three big kids are scheduled to work. Never mind that mom and dad have work too.

Let’s Go To The Beach

PhilBillPaul’s second brilliant idea was that MOM could work her magic and use the power of the internet and find a last minute beach bargain. In less than 48 hours.

“Yea!!” the children shouted. “Let’s leave on Sunday at 4:00 a.m.”

PhilBillPaul’s third brilliant idea was that MOM could make a breakfast casserole and cheesy potatoes so WE would have food right when we got there and WE wouldn’t have to cook.

What would I do without all the brilliant ideas surrounding me?

Leaving out most of the gorey details of everyone packing themselves and going to bed while mom cooked and sweated in the 150 degree kitchen and made lists and packed DIRTY clothes because…

The Washing Machine Broke

Oh yes it did.

On Saturday while the big kids were all working, PhilBillPaul turned himself black trying to fix the washer which would not drain or rinse the clothes.

Suspiciously this happened after Roger Leroy had C-R-A-M-M-E-D a load of clothes in that was seriously bigger than the washer.

Perhaps we did not teach her how to properly do her laundry. Oh wait, YES WE DID.

The Army and college have taught her that sorting is a waste of time.

I remained calm – surprising I know – and announced that we could do OUR laundry when we got to the beach.

The darling twins could take their wet ginormous load to a laundromat. And Rachel could buy the part she broke. And they were never allowed to touch our washer again.

Side note: I’m pretty sure that Roger Leroy would want me to extend her personal and heartfelt thanks to her sister Wizzy for doing this while she was at work.

This I said because we had paid for the last minute bargain I found and there were no refunds.

Off to the beach we went at a more reasonable time of 6:00 a.m.

The view from our bargain 6th floor condo wasn’t too bad.

And other than one giant scene about Scary Baby and brushing her hair, we all survived.

I’ll be so bold as to say that everyone had FUN.

I asked them if we could recreate the blog header photo.

But this is about as close as I could get.

Everyone was on their own for dinner.

It was very nice that they actually wanted to have one night be a family dinner so we all gathered at Pompano Joe’s.

And I made sure to snap this very important picture after she had told me numerous times to quit taking pictures of her.

I told her the whole goal of the trip was to get her darling toes in the sugar white sand.

She was very specific that it had to be the sugar white sand of Destin.

And then declared, on our last day, that she really doesn’t like sand.

Later this week, I must tell you what happened on the way there and the way back because no Humpfreeze trip is complete without some ridiculous moments that are not funny except to everyone else who didn’t have to be there. Or drive to the Piggly Wiggly.

Stay tuned.

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Summer Activities ~ Part 2

I’m recapping some of July because I’m late for everything these days.

Who are these bloggers who can blog about an activity they did yesterday? Complete with a dozen pictures of the event.

If you came for that, sorry – wrong blog.

First though, let’s recap what I’ve been asked about too many times to count even though it’s such old news now…

Where’s The Bachelorette Finale Recap?

So yes, it’s really true. I had to watch it a WEEK later because we did some spontaneous family travel complete without internet and very little TV. I’m not complaining about missing either of those things because quality time always trumps internet and TV.

There’s really not much to say about the finale since I’m old and can’t remember. Perhaps it is also because short of her sending Chris from Cape Cod home early so as not to put him through the misery of the final rose ceremony there was nothing too memorable.

I did think that was a genuinely nice thing to do – breaking the rules and sending him home early. Now let’s hope he doesn’t buy into the trash TV and become the next Bachelor or {gasp} be on the next season of The Bachelor Pad.

He’s really too good for that. Oh, and I did just remember one really sweet and memorable thing.

The rainbow.

I don’t care how unsentimental you are, if you saw that you had to be touched.

Final words on Ali and her incessant giggling and lack of shampoo…I do hope she lands the TV hosting job of her dreams.

And I guess it’s a good thing Wizzy and I didn’t start driving to Charleston since Roberto is moving to California.

Enough of that Bachelorette nonsense – I’m not even going to touch The Bachelor Pad because Roger Leroy and I watched the first episode a few nights ago and I still can’t talk about it. I’m not saying we didn’t laugh and pause the show several times to discuss it but it far exceeds the self-imposed PG-13 rating of my blog.

On to July summer fun…

In the midst of everyone’s busy schedules, we squeezed in a family bowling night.

You would think Wizzy would keep her smack talking about beating everyone to a minimum but she was at it again.

With no gloating and The Grunter on my heels, mom beat everyone in the first game.

Let the record show: I let her win in the 2nd game.

Culture

The big kids stepped up their game a bit by planning a night out with something a little more high ‘falutin than bowling.

Phantom of the Opera at the Fox Theatre

Here is what happens when my kids get dressed up and attempt a little culture.

They looked nice.

It’s a rare moment when they all are off work and go somewhere together.

After the show, they all shared their highlights on their way to fine dining in Atlanta…Zesto’s for dessert.

Roger Leroy’s favorite part:

“The part where there were fireballs and sparks coming out of the cane.”

Wizzy’s favorite part:

“The End.”

The Grunter’s favorite part:

“Did anyone say intermission?”

I guess we should have exposed them to more culture and less fine dining.

Bowling, culture or The Bachelorette…what have been some of your favorite summer activities?

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Life Without Internet

An entire week without internet.

An internet fast.

I wish I could say I lost a few pounds but alas, I continued to eat during my fast.

Two back-to-back trips meant I was gone from home for eight days.

The first trip was so spontaneous that I didn’t have time to prepare any blog posts and thought I would write when I arrived at our destination.

Spontaneity with a family of six is really an oxymoron.

But we pulled it off and I was sure I would just keep blogging when we got out of the car.

Only to find no internet.

Except on my phone. I’m a creative problem solver and a bit of techno-nerd but I cannot write a blog post on the keyboard of my phone.

Nor can I answer emails other than a few short words on my phone.

I’m an old-fashioned typist – shocking but true!

We’re all fine, fine, fine!

Really, it was a lovely break. All the typing and emailing and reading on the computer screen can be exhausting. I think everyone should try to take an internet break a time or two.

Being tethered to the internet and the wondrous wireless world is great but I still like being with people and have conversation while we make eye contact with each other and aren’t multi-tasking with our laptops and cell phones and other amazing electronic gadgets.

I’ll share some highlights in the coming days. Oh, the fun stories I have to tell of the Humpfreeze family travels.
😉

What’s the longest you’ve gone without internet in recent years?

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