Crazy Things I’ve Been Busy Doing

Neglecting my blog.

Stating the obvious. One of my favorite past times.

Saying goodbye to the blue bug.

Helping one darling twin buy her first new car.

Watching one darling twin play rugby at North Georgia.

Why does she always have to be the one trying to get the ball?

We still hate intensely dislike this sport game blood bath.

Celebrating the pumpkin’s 23rd birthday.

All he wanted was this pitiful fruit cookie pizza. No fruit, just sweetened cream cheese on top of chocolate chip cookie dough.

Weird, I know. Also, very easy.

Watching two darling twins play rugby at Georgia Tech.

Watching one darling twin get hurt.

Not taking pictures of her being carried off the field.

Taking a picture of their friend Jenna getting hurt. That makes 4 players down in one game.

Worrying about the darling twins and their bad decisions regarding rugby.

Waiting for MRI results from knee injury from horrible rugby game.

Taking one darling twin to the doctor for an echo cardiogram for a newly discovered heart murmur.

Probably caused by playing rugby.

Taking pictures of said darling twin during the test after she hissed “no” when I asked if I could take pictures.

Dining with same darling daughter later that evening.

Two dinners with 5 of us in one week is a new record. We missed you Wizzy.

Listening to Scary Baby say…

“When are you going to blog about our trip this summer?”

Nothing like a little blog pressure from your 13 year-old.

Dealing with middle school issues that we are too old and tired to be dealing with.

Parenting when we are too old and tired to be parenting.

Yes, we know we brought this all on ourselves.

No need to state the obvious to me. 😉

Supervising the setup of a garage sale that Scary Baby begged to have all summer.

Not being present at any time during said garage sale.

Enjoying our gorgeous weather.

Playing golf with PhilBillPaul on my birthday this past Saturday.

Unplugging from the internet and all email for the whole weekend.

Planning a vacation trip with PhilBillPaul for our pending 25th anniversary in two weeks.

I had big plans to plan the trip much earlier in the year. Um, yeah…that didn’t happen.

At this point, we may end up in a tent at a state park. Not knocking those of you who love camping but that is soooo not my love language.

Trying to continue documenting our life in the Humpfreeze family before I die of stress from worrying about my 3 twenties and 1 teen.

Stressing that I am not blogging our stories so they will all know how much I love them.

Endless circle I know – love, worry, stress, love.

Writing many blog posts. In my head.

I really do miss blogging and hope to be back here soon.

What have you been doing?

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Crazy March

I’d like to blame the current heatwave on my blogging break. Who can think clearly when it’s 80 degrees in March?

Have you ever turned your air conditioner on in March? I don’t think we ever have.

But we did turn it on this weekend. Crazy but I don’t like to sweat when I’m inside my house.

Fresh air is really nice except the Georgia pollen is turning everything yellow.

The heat, the pollen, the never-ending projects. March is feeling a little crazy at the Humpfreeze house.

March Madness Delirium

PhilBillPaul reminded me no one is allowed to use that trademarked phrase. Delirium seemed more appropriate than hysteria but neither have the same ring to it.

He’s been pretty excited to watch Indiana win this season. Saturday night’s game was no exception and Roger Leroy was home to watch the game with him.

Saturday at Ikea

I could also blame my March hysteria on spontaneously deciding that PhilBillPaul and I should go to Ikea.

On a Saturday.

The older I get, the less I like crowds.

I thought I could handle it. Especially if we ate at The Silver Skillet first.

Such a cool, authentic old diner.

Delicious breakfast with to-die-for biscuits.

I was fueled and ready for Ikea which is right around the corner.

Or not.

I may have experienced an actual, legitimate anxiety attack as we tried to find our way out of the maze that is Ikea.

A few too many people, a few too many foreign languages, a few too many pieces of furniture to look at.

Not sure the $10 table was worth the stress.

I did recover sufficiently to visit a few more stores. We’re on the search for some inexpensive furniture for another DIY house project that I’ll document here soon.

I took this picture with my cell phone and sent it to The Grunter…

…asking him which monkey he wanted because they were 50% off.

Do people really put this in their house?

Leave a comment and tell me if you have a monkey with a plunger as a hat picking his nose toilet paper holder. I’m fascinated by this purchase decision.

This weekend, two of the darling daughters were with us Friday night so we checked out some futons.

We had to twist Scary Baby’s arm to get her to try out a floor display.

Finally she did.

Maybe she was not very willing because it wasn’t exactly on the floor.

When in Walmart, act like the people of Walmart.

Roger Leroy fit right in.

I think she looks like a giant only because the futon was on a shelf which wasn’t really an accurate scale of a room. We plan to put the futon on the floor so I needed them to test it because I didn’t want to buy another toddler futon.

Obviously we all fit in since their Dad hoisted them up to the 2nd shelf to sit on a futon.

And their mom took pictures.

Yay-hoos. That’s us.

And I can’t wait to show you what I did with this weird stuff.

Because you know how crafty I am. 😉

DIY room makeover coming soon…

Meanwhile, how’s the crazy weather where you live?

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Flexible Friday #47 I Am That Parent

If you have read my blog from the beginning you probably know a few things about me like…

I have issues
Parenting wears me out
Parenting teenagers has still not driven me to drink

And if I ever do decide to take up drinking, you would also know that I would never drink and drive.

I actually made that life decision long before I became a drunk driving statistic and a severe head injury survivor.

The irony of me being the designated driver for friends who drank in high school and college and then me being hit by a drunk driver doesn’t escape me.

I vividly remember that Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) campaign at the time of our crash was “Don’t call me lucky” which is a slogan I have worn out over the years. Being hit head-on by a drunk driver, living through it and having your life turned upside down is not lucky.

Don’t get me wrong – I am blessed and grateful for my recovery and I have a good life.

It has always seemed incredibly selfish to me to put other people’s lives at risk because of your bad choices. (Not to mention putting your own life at risk.)

MADDpopMADD has a new campaign that I am happy to tell you about because I do believe that the “Power of Parents” is worth blogging about. If you have teenagers, the message of choices and of making the choice and commitment to not drink and drive is worth talking about.

Take their quiz or watch their video to help you get started with this important season of parenting.

The Power of Parents campaign with the tagline “It’s your influence” is an important reminder for all of us to remember we can really make a difference with our teenagers. It is our job to do our best to influence them to make good decisions.

I am a nut about driving safety as I’ve shared here before and this is certainly part of that whole process.

Remember…

I am that parent.

I hope you will be that parent too.

Full disclaimer: I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Mom Central on behalf of MADD. A donation was made to MADD in my name to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Just so you know…the donation is lovely but I would have written this without it. 🙂

Have a fabulous and safe weekend!

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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!

MuffinBaking

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.

AppleMapleMuffins

Here’s the recipe I got from Recipe Girl.

Maple-Drizzled Apple Muffins

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

GLAZE:
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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Flexible Friday #33 Airport Bathroom Etiquette

I’ve been so flexible with my Fridays that I haven’t posted for a few weeks.

Between spring break and coming home from spring break and packing to leave again, I’ve been a little, um, irregular.

I flew to Chicago yesterday and there is always so much fun to be had at the airport observing humans and their behavior.

Like the car and people being searched at curbside before I even left Atlanta.

Here’s what I really started wondering as I walked through the airport.

I wondered how we all lived before cell phones? Every other person was using one. Who did we talk to before they were invented? Did we talk to each other at the airport? Or just stare at each other? Does anyone remember?

Here’s one thing that has really changed and I’m going out on a limb here and stating my strong opinion on this one.

When did it become socially acceptable to answer the phone in the bathroom?

Why is this okay?

Is there really any phone call important enough to answer when you are in a bathroom stall?

Frankly, I think not.

If someone died, they will still be dead after you flush, wash your hands and leave the restroom.

I just don’t want to be that connected to ANYONE that I answer the phone in a public restroom.

In addition, I’m not interested in hearing someone else’s conversation while I’m in the bathroom.

Call me crazy but no one is that important.

Please do share if I’m missing the importance of why so many people are compelled to answer the phone while in a bathroom stall.

The most recent airport pet peeve…

A fee if I want to check a bag.

Um yeah, isn’t that what all that space under the plane is for? Bag storage.

So build the bag fee in to the price of the ticket and charge accordingly.

cartoonairlines

I took a chance and paid the $15.00 because I am a risk-taker like that.

Happy to report my bag arrived.

I am also delighted to announce there is NO SNOW and the weather is actually beautiful.

May you all have lovely spring weather and enjoy your weekend wherever you are!

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The End of the Road…trip

WHEW…it is very good to be home!

I slept in many different beds while on the road…

Wait, that didn’t sound right.

I mean I am grateful I had many different beds to sleep in on my road trip.

Um, that didn’t sound much better.

Let me try that again.

Thanks to Merry, Ann, Susan, Sally and Mom for a place to sleep!

Questions for the Volkswagen Beetle engineers:

Shouldn’t the plastic parts withstand freezing temperatures and not break off in a passenger’s hand, i.e. lever to move front seat forward?

Just curious.

Should the small reflective tail light just pop out and hang by the wires when traveling long distances?

I’m just sayin’

If the odometer can track 2,000 miles, why can’t it keep counting up to 3,000?

Holy cow! That translates into over 40 hours in the car.

It really was the longest road trip of my life.

And I am so grateful that the little blue bug started up every single time…

…in the frozen Midwest tundra.

Lest the Volkswagen Beetle engineers think I’m too negative…

The seat warmer feature is a winner!

***********

To recap family life while I was away…

They survived and thrived without me.

PhilBillPaul did an exceptional job taking care of his children.

Scary Baby scored her FIRST basket in a basketball game.

The darling twins were both accepted into different colleges.

The Grunter was helpful and present when Dad needed him.

Here are the darling twins modeling the lovely clearance winter accessories I brought home for them that we rarely need in Georgia.

The looks seriously represent their personalities. Roger Leroy is living up to her code name.

I was too cold to remember to bring anything for Scary Baby so I’m taking her to a movie tonight.

I’ll work on something for The Grunter this weekend.

I’m catching up and looking forward to getting back into a routine next week!

What have you all been up to in these first weeks of 2009 while I was away?

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Last Night Made Six Nights in a Row

When you’re on a roll…

Just keep going.

Last night PhilBillPaul and I did it for the sixth night in a row.

Can anyone check if I should submit this to the Guiness Book people?

Okay, you’re probably right. It’s really not that extraordinary. Except for me.

I should be satisfied that it’s my personal record.

Fine. Whatever.

But last night we did go to our sixth movie in a row.

There aren’t many of his movies I miss and I knew had to see this one.

I give it a solid “A” for all the things I like about movies. It made me think and it took my breath away.

Some of you will never see it because of its “R” rating which was deserved for raw language and violence.

But if you do choose to go, know that Gran Torino is gritty and real and disturbing.

I’m pretty sure we’re breaking the streak tonight. Because the big kids are all going in different directions.

Then again, maybe we can take Scary Baby to a light-hearted, family movie before we get settled in at home to watch Dick Clark at midnight and ring in the new year…

Enjoy this last day of 2008.

Here’s my wish for each and every one of you in 2009…

May you be blessed with enough…

Enough…

Whatever that may be…

With love,

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Holiday Movie Reviews

Sunday night I was thinking I should have posted a lovely holiday message last week and said I’ll be back on January 5th.

But that would have required planning.

Which has not been my strength of late.

I wish I had planned a few posts for the coming days because I know it can be a good feeling instead of flying by the seat of your pants.

So now here is my Monday post on Tuesday which will make total sense when you see how doggone busy I’ve been. Busier than the rest of the universe. Sure. Right. That’s me…busy, busy, busy.

Or not.

So…now it’s time to guess what I’ve been busy, busy, busy doing.

Go ahead.

Guess.

I’ll wait.

Look, we don’t have all day.

Hurry up.

GUESS ALREADY. I’M BUSY.

Geez, here’s a hint:

It is something I did with PhilBillPaul for five days IN A ROW.

STOP IT.

Get your mind out of the gutter.

My family reads this blog for goodness sake.

For FIVE DAYS IN A ROW, starting on Christmas Day…

Sort of as a quasi-Christams gift to PhilBillPaul…

I gave him the gift of QUALITY TIME.

Yes, I know what his primary love language and it’s actually not quality time.

But that’s my primary love language so that’s the gift I gave.

Hey now – good manners dictate that you should be gracious and say thank you for any gift you get.

The quality time I bestowed on him was in the form of going to FIVE MOVIES in the last five days.

Side note: See that line in the middle of the ticket stubs that says: Pass $0.00 Oh yeah…

If your teen is ready for a part-time job, check the local movie theatre. Ours allows the immediate family to go to the movies for free. Thus, PhilBillPaul, an avid moviegoer who will sit through bad movies, has informed The Grunter that he must work at the said movie theatre for the rest of his life. Which is not exactly the career choice I was picturing for him. Pun intended.

Here are my very short movie critiques with the disclaimer that I’m a tough critic, don’t necessarily like mainstream, predictable movies and often like non-box office hits. You can click on the movie titles for more movie details like: plots, professional movie critic reviews and Yahoo! movie reviews in case you don’t value my opinion–I don’t take it personally.

Really. To each his own.

  • 1. Doubt starring Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman
    Unusual, different, love, love, love Meryl Streep. Lives up to its title from beginning to end. No tidy ending, made us think and have conversation which I always like.
    A-
  • 2. Quantum of Solace starring Daniel Craig
    James Bond, *man* movie, cars, boats, dizzying chase and fight scenes.
    C
  • 3. Marley & Me starring Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson
    Dog lover movie, I’m not a dog lover in spite of the two wiener dogs at our house. Still, I cried remembering our own naughty family dog, Andy, who ate at the table with us but when company came we pretended we were appalled when he sat at the table.
    C+
  • 4. Valkyrie starring Tom Cruise
    World War II movie, love the history, love to learn something new during a movie and I did.
    B+
  • 5. Seven Pounds starring Will Smith
    Roger Leroy’s words, “It was kinda weird.” Yeah. I’d have to agree. A little too melodramatic for me or maybe it was Will trying to be melodramatic that I didn’t like.
    C

In previous weeks we did see Australia (Hugh Jackman=lovely=A), Slumdog Millionaire (A) and Four Christmases (C).

I’m telling you, if you like movies, get your kid a job at the theatre!

Might go see The Curious Case of Benjamin Button but at almost three hours, that is a real time investment and I guess I’m not that curious. Anyone want to change my mind?

We’ll definitely see Gran Torino with Clint Eastwood.

So how was your Christmas? See any good movies? Come on, give me your reviews!

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Disappearing Act

One semi-spontaneous trip…

With PhilBillPaul…

And no kids…

Hardly ever happens.

Which led to no blogging

because…

I stayed off the computer for FIVE days.

I’ve been home for three hours…

And it’s way past my bedtime.

Back later to tell you where we went.

And how we managed to leave

3 teenagers + 1 nine year-old

And get away for a mini vacation…

Woo-hoo!

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Flexible Friday #18 Locks of Love

My mom told me today on the phone that she was sure she read last Friday’s post.

Thanks mom.

But there was no post last Friday.

I was so flexible that I didn’t write anything.

Partly due to the fact that my Wizzy has been having some heart *issues* which we believe she inherited from her Nice Dad.

This is how the second half of last week went…

On Thursday we were at a cardiologist making sure she could run in her favorite Cross Country race of the season. She got the okay from the doctor.

On Friday Scary Baby spent the day at home from school and in the evening I took her to our hairdresser because I could no longer tolerate the tangled, scraggly “I’m growing my hair down to my butt” look .

When she allowed me to fix her hair, I was okay with the length.

ScaryBabybraids

But those days were all too rare. Photo circa July 2008. We didn’t take any pictures of the long, tangled look. Add at least 4 more inches of growth and that would bring us to last Friday.

So we headed to get a haircut and I was more than a little surprised when she looked through the hairstyle books and picked a cute shoulder length bob.

When our hairdresser said if she went that short, she probably had enough for Locks for Love, that really sealed the deal.

Scary Baby remembered a girl in her class getting a haircut in the 2nd grade for Locks of Love.

What a special gift it is for a young girl to donate her hair to help make a precious wig for another girl who needs it even more…

Locks of Love

Such a sweet gift of love…

Oh, and Wizzy did run in the race.

With her knees buckling at the finish line, they helped her into the paramedic’s tent where they administered oxygen and hooked her up to their EKG monitor.

We’re patiently waiting for additional test results but she is feeling much better.

Never a dull moment…

I hope this weekend is a little calmer.

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