Archives for January 2011

Fighting Red Hens

Look who came home…

…to show us their new team logo.

Roger Leroy found the great picture of the hen and replaced a loaf of bread with a basketball.

Such creativity and not even an art major.

The girls are playing a little intramural basketball up at school.

Side note: Jenna wants you to know she won’t be wearing a collared shirt when she plays – she happened to be in uniform.

Scary Baby is following in their footsteps.

She’s playing basketball at church.

Wizzy is coaching her team and we had to squeeze in our first 6th grade orchestra concert before the game.

What a sweet sister to come back and forth from school to coach her little sister and attend her orchestra concert.

Fun times at the Humpfreeze continue.

While we’re still sick…

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The Sick House

Did I tell you that PhilBillPaul got really sick during Ice Week 2011?

As in the sickest I’ve ever seen him in all the years of marital bliss.

Two weeks later, he is on his second round of antibiotics.

Special bonus…I’ve now been sick for a full week.

I’m trying to find the funny. But mostly I’m finding the grouchy.

Two sick parents equals grouchy house.

If I wasn’t feeling so cra*py, I’d probably feel some blog pressure.

I don’t.

I just continue to blow my nose. I think I’ve cracked two ribs with my coughing fits.

One of the darling twins sent me a text today and summed up what I’m sure all my blog readers are feeling.

Or not.

Wizzy:
Um no blog post today? I’m disappointed

Me:
I’M SIIIIIIICKKKKKK

Me:
Please email me ur guest post & I’ll publish it

Wizzy:
I’m not a writer. I guess I’ll just wait it out.

Guest post anyone? Just email me!

I’ll be back when the coughing stops.

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We Survived Ice Week 2011!

We made it!

The ice and snow fun is almost all gone.

We ventured out of the house on Friday after FIVE school snow days in a row. For those who are math-challenged like me, that was the whole week.

Scary Baby loved it!

PhilBillPaul got really sick in the middle of the week.

The Grunter lived through one full week with no fast food.

We had to cook dinner every night.

We like our pizza crust really thin so the crust from a can might look odd.

I took this opportunity to teach The Grunter how to assemble his own pizza. Big step for him.

Look at that enthusiasm. Yes, we live with that every day.

Who cares what it’s shaped like? (His looked like a turtle.) Add my homemade sauce, sausage, and lots of cheese and we don’t care what shape it is.

Scary Baby and Cloret liked theirs just fine.

Look Who Came Home

On Friday evening the college kids traveled down the mountain and came home. After they went bowling (note: activity #1).

To visit their dogs.

Thank you RL for permission to post this pretty picture.

They only brought five extra people with them for their first night home.

I was too late for photos in The Lounge that night as the guests had put on their pajamas.

I went downstairs and assembled a breakfast casserole, cheesy potatoes and double chocolate muffins for the crowd for the morning.

Saturday Morning

After the smoke cleared in the house, everyone enjoyed a hot breakfast.

I’m not a morning person so PhilBillPaul had so nicely put the casserole and potatoes in the oven. The casserole overflowed in the oven while he slept through the beeping timer and the smell continues to waft through the house as I type this.

Wizzy came home specifically for Scary Baby’s church basketball game.

Before the game we were down to six college girls because one went to work.

Wizzy is the coach of the team and this was their first game.

Sadly, Scary Baby has not experienced as many basketball victories as her darling twin sisters.

Jordan led the team prayer. Ashleigh helped her coach the team. Jenna kept the book. Rachel, Joanna and Jordan provided a very loud cheering section.

15-14 was the final score with a GIANT victory.

She whispered to her former coach of 12 years a.k.a. PhilBillPaul,

“That’s how it’s done.”

While Wizzy went to her doctor’s appointment with Jordan, the remaining four kindly took Scary Baby to lunch. Jenna headed to her own house so then there were five.

After a short nap and a small scene when the six of them walked out to Roger Leroy’s car…the Humpfreeze girls had to come back in and review:

Why we don’t put six people in a five passenger car
(it’s not just my rule – hello – IT’S ILLEGAL)

They were off to the roller rink for a few hours of skating (activity #2).

Wizzy stayed behind and another friend picked her up and she headed back to school with friends – she’d had enough of us.

They spent Saturday night at Jenna’s house (activity #3) while PhilBillPaul sipped on his codeine cough syrup and watched the Falcons get whipped.

We were down to three extras on Sunday and following an afternoon movie (activity #4) they came back to the house for a gourmet meal.

Cheeseburgers and kettle chips. Fan-cee as always!

Gave me the chance to put some patties in the freezer in case we have another blizzard.

I can’t stop the baking.

I mixed up these Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies while they were at the movie.

I substituted caramel baking bits for the toffee bits I didn’t have. Recipe with toffee bits here.

A collective thumbs up from the group and the fact they are all gone means the recipe is a keeper!

Side note: Leigh Anne–try not to laugh at our first Dollar Store cake plate creation. The plate is a bit warped but that’s part of its charm, right?

Blog Shout Out to the Guests

We had cleaned The Lounge before they all arrived. The darling twins had left it in less than stellar condition at Christmas break. Major bonus points for restoring The Lounge to its original condition. The darling twins are piglets as we have previously revealed here and here so thank you Jordan, Joanna and Ashleigh.

Wizzy and Lisa did the same in the basement guestroom.

Is this a tiny light at the end of the tunnel? Please say it is.

Temperatures in the high 40’s this week so we’re looking forward to a *normal* week!

How was your weekend?

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Friday Food Fun ~ Munchies

In case you thought I just stopped cooking cold turkey after our crazy baking week, I want to assure you that I didn’t.

In fact, I couldn’t stop. I kept seeing recipes I wanted to try.

And the family kept eating.

Side note: Any of these recipes would be perfect for Superbowl!

Peppermint Crunch Brownies. Roger Leroy noted that I seemed to be a little obsessed with chocolate and peppermint this year. Was there a point she was trying to make that I missed?

The chocolate chip cheese ball was delish! So easy and so good! We all think it should be renamed the chocolate chip cheesecake ball – sounds much more appetizing.

It wasn’t all sweets…

These hot ham and colby sandwiches are The Grunter’s favorites and Wizzy was kind enough to drive them up to him at work on Christmas Day. Hey people – quit going to the movies on Christmas Day!

The snotty Humpfreeze children and their father barely ate this homemade macaroni and cheese. A little too fancy for them. A little nutmeg and cayenne was very non-traditional and they said “It tastes weird.”

Food photography compliments of Scary Baby.

New Year’s Eve

The Grunter invited a few friends over for New Year’s Eve. No plans for food or drink when I check with him at 2:00 p.m. that day. He said he was “handling it” so I asked if he wanted a little help.

Off to the grocery with every single other person in our county and lines longer than Christmas Eve at Walmart and I bought a few easy things to throw together. Crockpot meatballs and taco dip. Pigs in a blanket you can barely see.

We all got drunk on this beer cheese dip. Just kidding but I really, really liked it.

I made a variation of the Buffalo Wing Chicken Dip too but PhilBillPaul hid it and ate most of the pan by himself. He gave the guests his scraps.

Nice of him to share the food with the rest of our crowd.

Scary Baby tried to get in on their wild game of Monopoly with some little sister guilt. It didn’t work and we made her go upstairs.

He asked his friends to bring drinks and chips at my suggestion. We aren’t sure what these were but no one opened them.

All in all – we finished 2010 with family, good friends and food.

When the ice melts, someone come and roll us out of the house…

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Quality Family Time

The snow and ice have slowed me down from properly documenting December.

The festivities of Christmas Eve were shortened considerably as some of us were working hard to get the Room Makeover complete.

We did stop long enough to have our annual fondue.

Nothing very fancy. PhilBillPaul and I were preoccupied with our unfinished project upstairs.

I snapped a few pictures. We almost forgot the chocolate fondue.

Thank goodness Roger Leroy dumped a bag of frozen strawberries in a bowl and sliced up a banana. Very sad.

And they all got to open that one traditional gift. I think I’ll make an album of 20 years of them sitting on the couch with one present on Christmas Eve.

Then they kindly modeled their new pajamas. The Grunter made sure they sat in birth order.

Side note: This photo was a reenactment of an actual moment just after they put on their pajamas. Scary Baby’s face is expressing her displeasure at being the only 6th grader on the planet without a cell phone. Next year we are starting a new tradition of a NO cell phone holiday.

Game Time

We all love games and I am proud of passing that tradition with the kids. We’ve had kids over that have never played any board games with their family. The times all six of us are together to play is rare with college and work schedules so I really do treasure the times we can play games together.

We were all too tired on Christmas Day to play anything. Finally we pulled it together to play on the day after Christmas.

The completed chalkboard wall screamed “Family Pictionary” and we promised Scary Baby we would all play together.

We drew numbers for teams and all is well as long as we let PhilBillPaul win.

We ended the evening with Apples to Apples.

The Grunter’s partner did not help him win.

Not all fun and games

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Wizzy’s most vivid memory of Christmas 2010. Everything at our house is rarely sunshine and roses. The blog highlights…the highlights.

I asked for a little help from the big kids cleaning up the downstairs after some relaxing, lazy days. After a bunch of back talk and complaining and moaning, I took matters into my hands and started to unwind the vacuum cord.

Wizzy, ever the peacemaker, tried to get me to stop and we started a “friendly” tug-o-war with the vacuum cord. (See we like games even when we are fighting.)

After a minute or so, I might have said something like this,

“If you don’t let go of this cord right now, I’m going to whip you with it…”

Her most vivid part of that memory was the last part of my sentence.

“…until you bleed.”

She has repeatedly imitated me saying this in yet another shining moment of motherhood.

I think I’ve told you before I’m not qualified to be a mother. Especially not to sassy mouthed 19 year-olds.

Back to the games

The night before the darling twins went back to college PhilBillPaul played Monopoly with them and apparently he took no prisoners and whipped them both.

But not until they bled.

Do you still play board games at your house?

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Yay-hoo Snow Activities

We interrupt our regularly scheduled blog post to give you more Southern snow updates.

PhilBillPaul wanted you all to have accurate photos of the total accumulation.

There are some great perks of having an impromptu snow vacation.

I’d like to clarify that some of these activities you see on the news are not fully reported when they put up sound bites and funny pictures.

People tend to laugh at Southerners more than in other parts of the U.S.

I’m not denying that I’m right there with them sometimes.

On Monday the local channels pre-empted all regular programming for the entire day. How many ways can you talk about and show snow and ice?

Reporter #1:
“I’m here at this shopping plaza in Lawrenceville where you can see that all the shops are closed except the grocery store. But there are only two cars in the parking lot because you can’t drive on ice.”

Reporter #2:
“Marietta is experiencing freezing sleet. [reporter bends down to poke snow] See that? There is a layer of ice on top of the snow. This is not good.”

Reporter #3:
“There is another car that couldn’t judge the center median. Their car is stuck on top of the cement they couldn’t see and that’s why their wheels are spinning.”

ALL. DAY. LONG.

Even so, I feel like I need to defend some of the snow activities during this Blizzard 2011.

First, not only do we not have many winter clothes, we definitely do not have winter toys.

We must improvise.

If you don’t have a sled…

Have your dad blow up your inflatable beach whale.

Pictures are blurry since PhilBillPaul was using the zoom from the porch. It’s really, really cold here – some of us are watching all the fun from the windows.

Second, can you even imagine being a wiener dog born in the South and stepping out in to this stuff?

Hello, they have short legs. How are they supposed to go to the bathroom when the snow makes their legs disappear?

Poor Dudley.

Major News Update

The Grunter even went outside.

He and a friend had a snowball fight. Outside. Shut up.

The only thing better would have been if the darling twins had been home trapped with us. I know that’s what they are thinking too.

But they were already back up at college.

At least they sent pictures to show us how yay-hoo soldiers improvise up in the North Georgia mountains.

If you don’t have a toboggan…

Just blow up your raft.

Make the kids sledding on pieces of cardboard jealous.

I love their creative thinking.

The raft doubles as an excellent snow-hauling vessel.

Such talented snow-sculpting soldiers they are.

Side note: Roger Leroy why are you not wearing your gloves?

Love, your mother.

We’re embracing our third snow/ice day but The Grunter is getting nervous about our food supply.

In fact, I think he’s getting the shakes because this is the longest he has gone without some type of fast food since he started driving.

Stay tuned.

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Typo Tuesday ~ Hall of Fame

Sometimes we will just know when one is worthy of the Hall of Fame.

This is one I’ve been saving. I found it last summer.

I won’t divulge the restaurant but will say it was in North Carolina and I made my friend Ann go back in and get a menu for me. Thanks Ann!

Incidentally, we had the dessert pizza.

So far, it’s my personal all-time favorite.

Feel free to email me with your favs and they might just make the blog for Typo Tuesday!

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Southern Blizzard

This is what we do in the South when snow comes.

Sunday night, 10:30 p.m.

We wake up the 11-year old when the snow starts coming down.

Who wasn’t really asleep and then insists on standing on the porch in a tank top and wants her picture taken.

Why yes, that is a pumpkin and old carpet from the room makeover on our porch. PhilBillPaul was going to spray paint the pumpkin white and make a snowman but never got around to it. (He was busy rolling up the carpet and dragging it on the porch.)

Never mind the pumpkin, these are time lapsed photos of the snow accumulation.

Sunday night, 11:30 p.m.

See, now he doesn’t have to spray paint the pumpkin white.

Holy cow it was coming down hard. For a little girl who didn’t grow up in Indiana, Michigan and Illinois this snow thing is fascinating.

Why yes, those gourds are still out on the deck. Why?

Because we are Yay-Hoos.

Don’t miss the spade shovel that they used during the Christmas Day snow. They left it there because no one puts anything away here. Ever.

The shovel and gourds are now buried in what looks like at least FOUR INCHES of snow!

I think he should move the broken fridge from the garage to the front porch.

Hey, at least the snow traps and covers the unraked leaves. Surely the neighbors have to be glad about that.

Happy No School Snow Day Monday!

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Room Makeover Goal

It’s the time of year where I’m suppose to make some resolutions and set some goals for the new year.

The control freak in me objects to this January system. I prefer to make a plan in a random month of my choosing. Preferably sprinkled with a little spontaneity.

A perfect example of this is a tiny goal I set the week before Christmas right after we cleaned up the kitchen from our little baking tradition.

First, I want to make it clear that PhilBillPaul was the catalyst for this great idea. He spends way too much time perusing Craigslist and looking mostly for girlfriend parts. But after his bargain refrigerator find, he has been expanding his search.

He found 350 square feet of laminate flooring for $100. Once he secured this and wasn’t killed at the pre-arranged meeting place (a hotel in a seedy area near the Atlanta airport) and brought it home, I had the brilliant idea that he should put it in Scary Baby’s room BEFORE Christmas.

On the Saturday before Christmas, I suggested that since the darling twins were home with their friend Jordan that he should use the extra hands to help him get the flooring installed.

I’m excellent at delegating.

Did I mention that we bought paint two years ago for her room that still has 20 year-old disgusting carpet in it and the painting should ideally happen before the flooring goes in?

PhilBillPaul loves a challenge and Roger Leroy and Jordan said they’d be glad to help.

I was assigned to go to Walmart to buy paint supplies and get the 2 year-old paint shaken. I almost hate shopping on the Saturday before Christmas more than home improvement projects but felt like I had to do this since I put the whole project in motion.

I also had convinced Scary Baby to not go with one blue and one hot pink wall. Why had we bought hot pink paint 2 years ago? A weak moment for sure.

Anyone need a gallon of hot pink paint?

New room design plan:

“Wouldn’t you love a chalkboard wall instead of a hot pink wall?”

The project began…

We didn’t take a lot of before pictures but her room was a lavender pigpen.

Blurry picture compliments of Roger Leroy.

They got the painting done on Saturday.

Well, mostly PhilBillPaul got the painting done. Seems the big girls needed to take a break and go to a movie.

Flooring installation on Sunday.

Blurry picture compliments of Scary Baby.

Special thanks to Jordan who may have helped with manual labor more than any of the Humpfreeze children. Definitely more than Wizzy and The Grunter in that category!

This is apparently an important part of floor installation.

The Grunter’s main contribution was to complain that all her stuff was in his room.

The paint and flooring obviously wasn’t a surprise.

The end goal was to add some fun surprises to her room for Christmas morning.

For the first time ever, I couldn’t get all the Christmas Eve things I usually do after the kids go to bed. Instead, Wizzy finished wrapping and The Grunter filled his sisters’ stockings while Roger Leroy and I finished hanging everything in her room. And PhilBillPaul put another coat of paint on the chalkboard wall.

We finished at 3:00 a.m. like the crazy people we are. Right after I put up this threatening sign.

After a short nap and thank goodness Scary Baby slept until 9:00 a.m. we enjoyed a lovely Christmas morning with the very last thing being her opening her room for the big reveal.



Side note: The Grunter informed us the white dresser is out of place in the room. We appreciate his decorating tips but she’s eleven and it was my dresser when I was little and is actually the nicest piece of furniture in the room. (Big Lots bed, Ikea table, Walmart desk…we’re big spenders.)

Inside the photo box is a hidden jewelry box where she discovered some more surprises.

Thanks Grandma!

She had to test out her bed because there were two surprises in the bed. She had been begging for a memory foam mattress cover which cracked us up. And Granny sent a new electric blanket!

We even did the closet.

Wizzy helped me pick out pictures and send them to Walgreen’s to print on Christmas Eve.

$7.00 Walmart frame collection that PhilBillPaul painted silver the day before was the best investment in the room. She said the pictures were her most favorite thing.

And the sequined curtains. And the chalkboard wall.

Later in the day, she spun around on her desk chair and said,

“It is better than anything I could have dreamed.”

We’re not going to try to outdo ourselves next year.

And I have no specific goals for 2011 so far.

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Happy New Year!

Phew.

We lived through the holidays with all six of us together under one roof.

That is very rare for us with the big kids and their busy, busy schedules.

I’ll document a few of the things from our holidays and post for posterity later this week.

For now, did you hear the most exciting news that happened ’round here?

Snow on Christmas Day in Atlanta

Two of the Humpfreeze children (plus one visiting friend) ventured outside and built this awesome snowman.

As you can see, we don’t have a lot of winter gear on hand for snowy days. (Yes, those are PhilBillPaul’s weird gourds on the deck.)

Wizzy tested her new coat and scarf.

I know for many of you snow is just no big deal. In fact, you may be knee deep in it where you live, but here in the South snow on Christmas Day is really magical.

I hope your Christmas was magical. Happy New Year!

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