Archives for September 2011

We Don’t Understand Rugby

Here’s a little “Where’s Waldo?” for your Monday.

Except it’s “Where’s Rachel?”

The game last weekend was against Georgia Tech.

She’s the scrawny one in blue to the left of #3.

They lift her up because it’s part of the game. We’re not sure what part but I think it’s when the ball goes out of bounds. Maybe.

And she’s scrawny. We think they need to lift her up higher. This is just our observation since they haven’t asked us for any coaching tips.

She’s #9.

We cheered when she scored. Even though they lost in the end. It was close like 3-2 but we don’t know how to keep score so maybe it was 21-17 or 100-87.

She has no fear. It worries me.

We cover our eyes a lot. Because just like in basketball she doesn’t care how big the girl is, she wants the ball.

I swear she is smiling while watching this pileup. I’m just glad she wasn’t at the bottom of the pile. For once.

We don’t understand this sport. We don’t understand why she loves it so much.

We are thankful only one darling twin is playing this year.

Who here enjoys watching rugby?

Who here enjoys watching one of their babies play rugby?

Why?

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Reflections on a “Normal” Weekend

I’m writing this on Sunday evening after a weekend of what we consider to be “normal.”

I am still challenged to define normal because I don’t think it exists.

I know you have all been covered up with TV, magazine and internet stories about that fateful day in our country’s history. Frankly, I don’t think there are ever too many stories or too much coverage. I think we easily forget on a day-to-day basis as we go about our “normal” lives.

This year, more than others, probably because of the decade mark but also because of the age of my kids, we all talked out loud more.

It made me think of Alan Jackson’s powerful song, “Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning)” as discussions were based around remembering where you were the moment you heard the news of the planes hitting the towers.


This weekend we spent a lot of time talking about 9/11. Scary Baby had so many questions after they discussed it in school and she came home and looked back at our 2001 family photo album.

We prayed for those who lost so much. We spent some time reflecting on the last 10 years of our lives.

Ten years ago…

We had a two year-old whose biggest questions were about things like the caterpillar crawling up her arm at my Uncle Jack’s in Indiana.

My daughters and nieces stood still for a quick photo at our annual Kivett family reunion just a week and 2 days before September 11, 2001.

Just 3 days before on September 9, 2001, our oldest pumpkin turned 12. They all attended a private Christian school and wore mom-loved school uniforms.

All the students wrote letters to President Bush in their classes.

His darling twin sisters were ten.

They donated teddy bears with a pink heart attached with their own handwritten note to give to children who had lost someone on that dreadful day.

How could I know that ten years later…

That our now 12-year old precocious 7th grader would be our most challenging 12 year-old we have yet to raise but we are hoping it will come full circle when she takes care of us in the nursing home.

She always has to test out the college sister’s bunk beds when we visit.

How could I know that ten years later…

Our then 12 year-old pumpkin would become a 22 year-old man-child semi-adult…

Who would still let me take a picture of him with his new book bag in his senior year at college at Georgia State?

How could I know that ten years later…

Those darling twins would choose to serve our country.

No one could have told me my teeny tiny baby daughters would become Soldiers.

But this is our new “normal” and in between the dirty pig rooms and me being a “mean mom” and PhilBillPaul being a “nice dad”, I go to bed every single night and count my blessings.

We spent the weekend doing “normal” things and tried to explain to Scary Baby that this is what we all do to prove they didn’t take our “normal” away.

While Elizabeth was at a Military Ball for her unit…

Side note: Fellow married Soldier in her unit, not a date. Only picture I could get from her.

We went up to the North Georgia mountains and met Rachel and friends for lunch.

Jordan and Jenna loved the pancakes.

We admired the girls’ view out their dorm room window.

Someday we know they will appreciate it as much as we do.

The view makes up for (at least a little) the spartan dorm rooms that they live in as cadets.

The cadet military dorms are a far cry from the typical college student who gets to buy new comforters, build lofts, hang wall art and decorate their new home away from home with brightly colored lamps and fun desk accessories.

The choices they have made will serve them well long after they have to sleep on a scratchy green army blanket.

We are proud parents and we need to sing their praises directly to them more than we do.

We spent a beautiful afternoon watching a not so beautiful sport.

Circus baby is the one with the ball as they played Georgia Tech.

We explained to Scary Baby that we would continue to gather and laugh and love and keep on living in our wonderful country. That we would celebrate our freedom and thank those who continue to fight for it every day.

We promised we would never forget.

We haven’t.

I’m never too busy to stop and watch one more poignant short video and hope you aren’t either.

It seems like such a small gesture to sit in a quiet place and reflect.

If you need anymore good reading to help you remember the richness of our lives that we sometimes take for granted, please take the time to read an excerpt from a book worth buying called The Legacy Letters by TuesdaysChildren.org.

I believe that part of remembering and honoring people is to take some time to feel the pain of what others have lost…

Questions for a father lost on 9/11 from Motherlode, a NY Times blog.

I know it makes me more grateful.

Thanks for reading to the end and helping me remember.

Did you and your family do anything special to honor the heroes of 9/11 over the weekend?

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Macaroni & Cheese Throwdown

Most people I know have seen the news about the Texas fires. Devastating and frightening just to watch – I don’t pretend to imagine what it must be like if you live there. What some of you may or may not know is that Bastrop, Texas is where PhilBillPaul’s mom aka Granny lives as do many of his other family members. Over 500 homes have been lost including PBP’s sister-in-law’s on Sunday night. Please send up prayers as we continue to get updates and pray they all remain safe.

We love, love, love macaroni & cheese. By we, I mean all of us except The Grunter. He doesn’t like noo-noos (or noodles as other people call them). Or pasta of any kind. Hot or cold.

He’s weird.

When PhilBillPaul finally ate lunch at Mary Mac’s Tea Room which is an Atlanta institution, he came home and declared it the best macaroni & cheese he had ever eaten.

I was not insulted but I did remind him of another macaroni and cheese recipe I made for many years when the darling twins were little.

Patti LaBelle’s Over-the-Rainbow Macaroni & Cheese

Even though Oprah’s site has the recipe post with a date of 2006, according to my old recipe card, she shared her mac and cheese recipe way back in 1999.

Every time I made it, people gave it rave reviews. It freezes well so I often cut it in squares and wrapped in individual serving sizes because the girls loved to have it after school or for dinner.

The next week I got Mary Mac’s Tea Room Cookbook from the library and we tried that recipe.

photo credits Scary Baby

This one is more souffle-like and has evaporated milk in the recipe and a dash of hot sauce that gave it a little zip. Way less cheese but very yummy.

Since I didn’t adapt or change the recipe in any way, you’ll have to get Mary Mac’s Tea Room cookbook for the recipe if you want to try it. Lots of great recipes and a great gift idea for any cook who loves southern food!

Voting was unanimous. Neither is healthy. Both were delicious!

Patti Labelle’s is the winner for us.

Do you have a favorite macaroni & cheese recipe? The blue box with orange powder cheese does not count. 😉

 

Treat Bar Winner

Lucky #7 won the cereal treat bars!

Tracy is the winner and her daughter should really appreciate “Lucky #7″ since she’ll be getting charms with her lucky when their prize pack arrives.

Seems Mom really likes the charms!

Tracy, please use my contact form to send me your mailing address so I can submit your information and you can receive your box of cereal treat bars and goodies.

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Golden Grahams Love

Scary Baby has been begging me to buy these treat bars.

I ignored her pleas since we’ve been in a bit of a cereal battle here at the Humpfreeze house. We have spent several years trying to wean her off cereal. We know that starting the day with protein vs. a sugar high is a better for her especially to start her school day.

You know we’re not earthy crunchy. You know we love our sweets. But we are trying to take baby steps to improve our diets and that’s hard when you are a sugar addict!

I know deprivation doesn’t work so I’m always looking for “healthier” treats. I also know that’s subjective and everyone has an opinion on that.

The best progress we’ve made is to keep her choices in the 10 sugar grams per serving or less otherwise it’s like eating dessert for breakfast.

Don’t judge.

Side note: Golden Grahams may be my personal favorite cereal. Ever. Ate it in high school one entire year. Love it.

Lucky Charms. Not so much.

Scary Baby loves both.

I just don’t want marshmallows or chocolate for breakfast.

When I was offered the opportunity to review the very treat bars that Scary Baby wanted soooo bad, I thought this might be a good treat for both of us.

My opinion is that a treat bar with 13 grams of sugar and less than 140 calories per bar could be a good after school snack instead of a candy bar and a soda. (Not saying that was ever her snack!)

We all really liked them. The Golden Grahams treat bar was the definite winner at our house! Four out of five of us preferred them over the Lucky Charms treat bars. (Roger Leroy wasn’t home to try them.)

General Mills is offering one lucky reader a prize package just like they sent us.

Who doesn’t like to get a box of free goodies in the mail?

The prize pack contains:

  • One box of Lucky Charms® Cereal Treats Bars
  • One box of Golden Grahams® Cereal Treats Bars
  • Lunch bag
  • Locker whiteboard
  • Colored pencil set

You can also get coupons if you check out Cereal Treats Bars online for great information and coupons for new products.

Now leave a comment and let me know which treat bar you think you will like the best. Come on, you know you want to try them!

Entry rules:

One entry per person

No entries after Monday at midnight EST

I’ll pick a winner on Tuesday, September 6th after the holiday weekend.

Disclosure: Cereal Treats Bars, information, and giveaway have been provided by General Mills through MyBlogSpark. Opinions on my blog are my own.

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