Josh Humphries + Malin Roghelia (and Family)

Hellacious Weather

The other week, our little town of Tyrone was hit by a wicked hail storm. We had lots and lots of golf-ball sized hail stones, and several stones that were even bigger!

You can see the dogs, curiously sniffing what appear to be alien space rocks:

And here are the two really big hail stones that Malin and Will decided to save:

We still have them in our freezer today, although the defrost cycle in there has shrunk them down a bit.

So we had to make a home-owner’s claim because we have dings in our roof and a lot of cracks and pops in the siding. Lovely. And wouldn’t you know it: the day the adjustor comes to inspect everything is the day after a wintry blizzard, so there is nothing they can do until later in the week (after the snow melts).

I don’t have any pictures of the snow unfortunately. We got a heck of a lot, and had lots of accumulation – even on the asphalt. I worked from home Monday because I could see patches of black ice on the road around my house and the traffic report on the news indicated several ice-related accidents: a patch of ice on GA-400 causing problems and all lanes of I-20 closed due to a jack-knifed tractor trailer. I decided it was wiser to wait until everything melted away, which it did that day. All that was left this morning consisted of small patches of snow in the yard that were shaded, protected from the sun’s rays.

If you want to see pictures of what it looked like, you can use the pictures from last year to get a decent idea.


I have had a few questions from youz guyz about cloth diapering, so I thought I would take a few minutes to type out what we have decided to do. First we are starting with these. They’re called pre-folds. These are not to be confused with the kind that come from Babies’R’Us or Wal*Mart.  These are much more absorbent and way softer. They also last longer.  We are keeping them on the wee one’s body with Snappi’s, I am a little scared of diaper pins and Snappi’s are all plastic and easy to use. Later I think we will try these – which are more of an all-in-one diaper, but I want to get comfortable with cloth before I venture out into uncharted territory. Also I don’t want to buy 20 all-in-ones and have him grow like a weed like Will did and then be out of newborn diapers in three weeks.

For covers, we are using wool soakers – plastic pants don’t  breathe very well, and I worry about smell and rash. I have knitted and crocheted several pairs in different sizes in 100% wool.  Wool soakers are anti-microbial, water resistant, and breathable. They do need to be washed in wool wash and lanolized though.  Also I have sewn up some soakers made from felted sweaters. You really only need three soakers as you do not change them with every diaper change.

Wipes: they do have cloth wipes, but I am not ready to go there just yet (though I may get a pack of these to try out to test the waters). For now I am either getting a bunch of these or the natural ones they have at the B’R’U.

After potty-training Will, I am pretty un-phased by poop, goop, or anything else for that matter.  My only real concern is having enough to rotate around so we always have some clean.  Getting a system down is really where the work will be. We did have cloth night-time pants for Will for about six months, so I am familiar with how to wash cloths that have been peed on so as it does not give rashes or smell.

Okay, that is the rundown. I hope it was informative.

January Recap

Will’s Birthday

Will turned four on Sunday, January 11th. My parents were here, so we were also able to wish my dad a happy birthday that same day. My dad drove all the way down here to Fayette county to have a Darth Vader cake for his birthday.

Will kept asking, 'Why is Darth Vader brown and white instead of black?'

Will had been asking for Darth Vader on a cake for quite some time. His patience was finally rewarded. Okay, just kidding – he really has no patience.

On his actual birthday, we just threw a very small party for him – immediate family only. He received a few cool gifts: two DVDs (Horton Hears a Hoo and Kung-Fu Panda) and a voice-activated R2-D2 robot:

R2 is about 18 inches tall and responds to the sound of your voice… usually. He occasionally acts up (i.e. stops working properly), but can usually brought back into shape (worst case: hard reboot is necessary). Will likes to have R2 watch him play Wii. R2 has motion detectors so he can actually follow objects with his “eye”, so it can be a little surreal to see R2 watching him and turning from the TV to Will and back as if he’s actually paying attention.

Will’s Birthday Party

The following Saturday, the 17th, we let Will have an actual party. He invited his friends from school to come out to Dixieland Fun Park:

The kids got to play for an hours in the “play maze” and then ride on a small indoor ferris wheel. After that, we were locked in a “party room” where we were forced to eat pizza.

After pizza was more Darth Vader cake. Due to a lame restriction of the venue, it could not be a homemade cake. So we brought a Publix cake that was decorated to be a Darth Vader cake:

And, of course, after cake it was time to open gifts. You can see that some of his friends were more than welcome to help open the packages:

Most of his friends (or friends’ parents at least) knew of his obsession with Star Wars, so he received several cool Star Wars-related gifts – like a sticker book and some little action figures. The coolest gift, however, was not Star Wars-related. I don’t think Will thinks it’s as cool as I do, but it is neato. It’s a magnifying digital video recorder. It magnifies up to 400x and records to a USB thumb drive. It is an inexpensive toy camera, but is still pretty cool for getting a look under the microscope so to speak – everything from denim to human skin all looks cooler blown up 400 times bigger than usual. The gift that he least understood at the time but has ultimately come to appreciate the most was a gift card for IKEA: we took him up there, and he picked out a new night light and a stuffed animal octopus that he now insists on sleeping with every night.


One of the gifts that my mom bought my wife for Christmas was a really great cookbook on making charcuterie at home. We were so giddy about it that the first thing we did after getting the book was to buy a meat grinder and a sausage stuffer. We made a country paté for New Year’s Eve dinner:

Blessed and holy pork (unless your Jewish, in which case I guess pork can be neither)

Note, the off-color of the meat is from a bunch of parsley ground into it – nothing sinister here. This recipe was basically a fancy meatloaf: plenty of pork fat, salty, serve cold. The pink ground meat in the bottom of the bowl is coarsely ground pork shoulder (aka pork butt or Boston butt). Since most of the meat was only ground coarsely, the texture of the final forcemeat is not as smooth or refined – thus it is “country” paté.

The day after Will’s birthday party we found ourselves in Decatur and found a butcher shop there that sells “pink salt” (sodium nitrite) and natural sausage casings (hog casings at least). The following Saturday, the 24th, we made knackwurst.

Here’s a pic of “water sausage” as I rinsed out the casings after soaking them for a bit in water:


And here is our wonderful finished product:

Please keep tasteless jokes to yourself. Malin's heard them all... from me :)

I'll be calling my memoirs 'The Sausage Grabber'

We’ve eaten some at various points over the past couple of weeks, most notably as hors d’œuvres on our Super Bowl evening.

Malin snapped a few shots of our mixer (aka meat grinder and sausage stuffer) afterwards. We call these Aftermath:

A bird's eye view of the 'Sausage Shoot'

Auntie K and Uncle Cass

The day after we made the sausage, my sister and brother-in-law rolled into our neck of the woods. They had been on the east coast for the prior week, visiting family and friends all over. Since we lived relatively close to the airport, we were their final destination.

Usually Will prefers to ham things up in front of the camera, like so:

But lately he has been enjoying being behind the camera, too. Observe:

Kristie, a bit surprised by the wee photographer:

Cass, perhaps more prepared for portraiture:

Among other things, we dragged K and Cass up to our most recently-discovered chow-spot: The Porter Beer Bar in Little Five Points. Good times were had by all.

Lego Army

As mentioned above, Will has been making a habit of taking pictures lately. His favorite subject, by far, is his Lego army. I mentioned in a previous post how one of Will’s favorite hobbies is to mix and match all of the Lego-men pieces (heads, helmets, upper bodies, lower bodies) to build Frankenstein figures. Well, now his second favorite hobby is to photograph the fruits of this labor:

Here is a big panoramic shot. If it looks like several pictures all stitched together – well, that’s because it is. (If you bothered to notice little details like that, you have too much time on your hands!)

The Hump-House IS Football!

The title of this post was meant to be 100% sarcasm. We occasionally watch Georgia Tech play football on TV. We’ve even been present at the stadium to see our ‘Jackets play a few times. But that is about the extent of our sports-watching. We caught parts of the Olympics this past summer, but many would generally call most of the events there “athletic competitions”, not “sports” (subtle difference).

We never watch professional football except for the Super Bowl. Last year’s game was great. We were hoping for a repeat. For those that watched, they got to see another good game from what I hear. But we didn’t get to watch it all. Our cable provider lost all of the local channels half-way through the game for a good period of time. As we kept channel-hopping, trying to figure out when they’d have their act back together, we mused that this was pretty much the worst possible timing for such a catastrophe. They’ve likely lost a lot of customers to Satellite over this snafu. We weren’t too upset as we weren’t really rooting for either team.

We saw the first half, with Pittsburgh up by 10 being the last score we saw. We missed the action in the fourth quarter, the back-and-forth, the drama. We’ll survive. Heck, today I accidentally used the word “Pirates” when referring to the victors. I had not, in fact, mixed up my sports. It’s all those Ps and Ts in Pittsburg that threw me (yeah, that’s it!). I caught and corrected myself before anyone else pointed it out. But both the people I was talking with already know  that the Hump-House is, in fact, not very football. After all, we were much more excited about the home-made knackwurst hot dogs and barbecue chicken wings…

Happy Birthday To Me!

Today was the day.

To celebrate, we all crashed a five-year-old’s birthday party. Seriously. We did. Okay, we didn’t crash it. Will was invited. His friend Aaron at school turns five on Monday. So I got some pizza. I got some cake. And the best part: it was free! (Sweet!)

I recently pulled down some pictures from Will’s birthday a few weeks ago. We had two parties: one on his birthday with family and a home-made Darth Vader cake; and another the following Saturday with his school friends at Dixieland Fun Park (with a store-bought Dark Vader cake). I’m working on getting a post together for those soon.

I’ll also have to post pictures of Malin and me making home-made sausage. We made knackwurst, and it is excellent. We found a butcher/deli in Decatur that sold us natural hog casings and some pink salt (sodium nitrite – for curing meat). So we’ll be eating barbecue chicken wings and hot dogs made from fresh, home-made knackwurst for the big game tomorrow.

Fitz, you slay me!

I love infomercials, and this is one of my all-time favs! It features Fitz, the same guy that does the Sham Wow! infomercials:

The Slap Chop
(The 35 sec mark is when it gets really good!)

And not to be missed: the remix version. laughed until I cried:

Remixed Nuts

Humphouse Holiday Week


The Monday before Christmas, we did our celebrations and exchanged gifts with Malin’s mom and Randy. They would be with Randy’s family on Christmas morning, so came over to celebrate with us a little early.

Will loves opening gifts.

Especially when they contain anything related to Star Wars, Indiana Jones, or Batman

My parents and my brother arrived on Christmas Eve. The next morning we all awoke to see Santa’s handiwork. After making short work of ripping through Santa’s presents, we moved on to the general exchange, during which Will made out with even more loot.

His grandparents got him a really wicked Darth Vader action figure – complete with battle damage (but no hole into which you could pour motor oil or grapefruit juice, no dispensor fist…). They also gave him a video game to which he has been addicted ever since: Lego Batman for the Wii.

Malin got him a Yoda action figure. After all, every plastic figure villain needs a plastic figure hero upon which to whoop ass, n’est-ce pas?

Malin and I also bought Will this Georgia Tech baseball cap to match mine:

The three things that Will asked Santa Claus for this year were a bicycle, “knight” Legos (more formally known as Castle Legos), and a knight costume. Here you can see him trying out the bicycle:

Santa brought him the Legos, too, but the costume was actually a gift from Malin’s mom.

Who knew that one of his favorite hobbies would be mixing and matching the heads, helmets, bodies, legs, and accessories of the Star Wars and Castle Legos? It’s a fun hobby yielding memorable characters like the evil jousting goblin that wears a stormtrooper helmet (I’ll have to get a picture of that guy and post it here, won’t I?).

After exchanging gifts, we ate breakfast: a French Toast casserole, scrambled eggs, and sausage links. Ann made it over for breakfast, and Randy came by after finishing Christmas with his family. They joined us, along with Jake and my parents, for Christmas dinner.

Dinner this year consisted of three courses:

  1. Carrot Soup
  2. Fresh hand-made fettucine with a brown butter demi-glace sauce, shitake mushrooms, and pearl onions
  3. Roast leg of lamb with potato croquettes

Sick Weekend

We were supposed to drive to Greenville, SC the weekend following Christmas. My parents and brother retreated to Greenville the day after Christmas. In addition to visiting with them some more, we were hoping to see our friends Audra and Jon and their young daughter Madelyn.

The night after Christmas, Malin, Will, and I went to see The Tale of Despereaux. The movie was decent – better than I expected.

The following morning when were to get ready to leave, we ended up not being able to make the trip. Malin wasn’t feeling very well, Will’s never-ending cough was a little worse, and I felt like complete garbage: a bad cold resulting in a sinus infection – complete with a sore throat and ear ache.

So we stayed home that weekend, trying to recover. Unfortunately, I felt like crap for pretty much an entire week. I finally started to feel better just yesterday (Sunday the 4th). Sorry everyone. We really wanted to visit with everyone, but just weren’t up for the car ride, and probably wouldn’t have been much fun in the shape we were in.

The Empire Struck Back

The next Tuesday – December 30th – Malin was feeling rather gracious. Despite her hesitance to let Will see the first Star Wars movie (she was quite upset at me when she found out that we had watched it one night after she went out), she allowed the viewing of the sequel: The Empire Strikes Back – arguably the best movie out of all six that were made (I would argue that anyway…)

Will was bedazzled by the plot twist. The realization that Darth Vader was Luke’s father – that Anakin and Vader were one – was a total head game. Okay, perhaps I’m putting words into his mouth. But he enjoyed it immensely. Until bedtime…

That night and the following night, he kept us up for hours. He would begin screeching and crying in his sleep. He would wake up from the nightmares and come wake us up. Malin was up with him between midnight and 3am the first night, consoling him and doing anything to get him to fall asleep. The next night, it didn’t begin until about 4:45am, and I was up until close to 7 trying to get him to fall asleep.

The morning after he saw the movie, we asked him what his dreams were about. He answered, “I was dreaming about Darth Vader cutting off Anakin’s hand.”

“You mean Luke’s hand.”

“Yeah. And about Darth Vader freezing Anakin.”

“You mean freezing Han Solo.”


It’s kind of funny how he calls everyone Anakin. When he first heard of Indiana Jones this past Spring/Summer, he kept calling him Anakin Jones. I guess he really likes the name Anakin… It’s a good thing Will doesn’t get to name the new baby.

In an attempt to save ourselves another sleepless night, we put a night light in Will’s room the next day. No nightmares since. It will probably be quite some time before we allow him to see this one again. Although, naturally, the next morning when we suggested that he shouldn’t watch the movie again because it gave him such nightmares, he responded, “No, it’s good for me!”

Dirt, Dirt, and More Dirt

On New Year’s Eve, Randy graciously brought Malin a humongous truckload of nice, dark dirt for her garden. When I say big truckload, I mean it. He brought over a Dodge Ram 4500 with a hydraulic-powered bed specifically made for hauling dirt and mulch – literally.

So that afternoon was filled with shoveling a truckload of dirt onto the beds in Malin’s garden.

The next day incurred even more work, of course: tilling. I got to use our baby tiller – the “cultivator” – to re-till the beds and mix the new, dark dirt with the existing soil and clay.

While we were busy out there, we also moved our hop plant to the garden (it was previously in a natural area off the side of the house).

New Year’s

One of the gifts that my mom had gotten for Malin was an excellent cookbook named Charcuterie. Ever since pouring through its pages, we wanted to cook something from it.

So on Tuesday we went and bought a reasonably-priced meat grinder (an attachment for her Kitchen Aid mixer). We had decided to make a country pâté since all the ingredients were easily available – except for pork liver (which is really hard to find around here). We substituted chicken liver in our preparation of a Pâté de Campagne. The result is tasty – a salty, cold, meatloaf that is elevated to new heights thanks to the use of pork fat (to improve its flavor), sweet spices (think pumpkin pie spices – to make for sublime seasoning), and a small amount of liver (to smoothen the texture).

The pâté, unfortunately, was not actually consumed on New Year’s Eve. We prepared it that day/evening, but it wasn’t ready to eat until the next day.

So that night we made braised beef short ribs with some reheated potato croquettes from Christmas dinner.

We didn’t quite make it to midnight. We offered to let Will stay up with us, but he crashed around 10:30pm. We decided to toast around 11:30pm (Lindeman’s Pêche, not champagne) and then go to bed. We didn’t feel like pushing ourselves to stay up that last 30 minutes. Perhaps that’s lame, but I’d say it’s not. I’d say it’s lame to stay up late for the sake of staying up late. After all, we weren’t at a party or even around other people this year. So with Will asleep, there would be nothing interesting at midnight that we had not seen dozens of times before. Besides, we had both had crummy nights of sleep recently thanks to Will’s Darth-Vader-induced nightmares…

Tasty Tacos

This past weekend was my last weekend of vacation. I greatly enjoyed these two weeks at home, but all good things must come to an end it seems…

On Friday, we met our friends Scott and Karyn at Taqueria del Sol. We caught up, saw their baby daughter Zoe (whom I’ve seen only once before – and she had grown a lot since then), and ate some tasty tacos. We’ll be seeing them again soon because Malin is going to take some pictures of Zoe. I mentioned that we’ll bring some home-made sausages (thanks to the magical instructions and recipes in the Charcuterie book). To that, Scott replied, “As long as they’re turkey sausages.”

He is a bit disdainful of fatty indulgences like sausage. Turkey sausage – ha! I have no problems making a turkey sausage. The book even has a recipe for one. But it sure as hell will include pork fat – because turkey is far too lean to make a proper sausage by itself (as is virtually all meat except for pork shoulder and beef short rib…)

After lunch we returned home. The weekend was slow and relaxing. I brewed beer last night (Sunday). All is right with the world.

Gimpy and Grumpy the Elves

Malin crafted a couple of doll elves for Will to add a touch of mischief to the magic of Christmas this year. My friend Jason coined the names Grim and Gimpy based on Malin’s description of the finished products. But Will preferred “Grumpy” as the name for the grim-looking elf boy.

Gimpy and Grumpy made lots of mischief this year. Without further ado, here was the elves’ schedule.

December 11

The first night that the elves “came to life” was the night of December 10th. The next morning, we found the results of their mayhem. It appeared as if they were trying to put a top on the Christmas tree. Gimpy had crawled high into the tree, and Grumpy had managed his way up to the top of the adjacent fireplace mantle. Gimpy’s outfit is naturally camouflaged amidst the tree, so you have to look hard to see her.

December 12

The next morning, the elves had started to prepare breakfast for Will. Wasn’t that nice?

December 13

The morning of the 13th, we caught the elves trying to eat all of the freshly baked cookies Malin had made. Not so nice – shame on those elves.

December 14

The next day, Will found the elves trying to play his Wii.

December 15

We found the elves the following morning curled up under a blanket on the couch, about to watch Star Wars on the television.

December 16

That night, the elves must have consumed way too much coffee and candy. We found them stuck in the breakfast area light fixture.

December 17

On the 17th, we found that they had brought Buzz – the Georgia Tech mascot – into their crazy games. We found the three of them playing Uno.

December 18

The next morning we found them reading a comic book that Will had recently been given. Our waitress at The Porter in Little Five thought Will was the cutest little boy, so she game him this Disney comic book. Gimpy and Grumpy thought it was a real page turner.

December 19

Apparently elves like to play with Legos almost as much as Will does.

December 20

The next morning, we found the elves again trying to prepare breakfast for Will. They were apparently having trouble figuring out how to get the cereal out of this bizarre contraption.

December 21

Apparently that night, the elves got into the sugar cookies that Malin had just made.

December 22

That night, the elves saved Malin and I tons of trouble. They wrapped all of the gifts for us. I suppose they were sorry for eating our cookies.

December 23

We have a metal rooster on the top of our refrigerator that we call Rusty. He used to be a centerpiece of our breakfast table, but he has since retired, overseeing the whole kitchen from this high perch. We found the elves riding him as if he were a horse. Good fun!

December 24

The elves were caught getting into the candy. Will’s Advent Calendar featured a treat for each day of December leading up to Christmas – a Hershey Hug (like a Kiss, but blended with white chocolate). Gimpy and Grumpy were both gnawing on Hershey Hugs when we woke up. Will was quite upset. “They ate all the Advent candy!” he cried. We reassured him that they had not delved too deeply in the candy, and that the treats in the Calendar were still available.

December 25

Gimpy was caught trying to ride Will’s new bicycle – a gift from Mr. Clause himself. The bike was a little bit too big, of course. Grumpy was found stuck in Will’s stocking, head first with his legs sticking out. Santa brought treats – like a Chocolate Frog and Bertie Bott’s Every-Flavor Beans – and put them in the stocking. Apparently, Grumpy got hungry helping Santa.

We’ll go into more detail about Christmas and what Santa brought Will in the next post. To all of you who celebrate Christmas, we hope yours was merry.

Photo Backlog, Volume 5 – Halloween

This year, the week before Halloween, we went to Uncle Bob’s Pumpkin Farm in Newnan again – a yearly tradition. They have a petting zoo, a hay ride, and some other interesting stuff. They also have a really lame corn maze:

We bought a few pumpkins while we there – for jack-o-lanterns, for pumpkin pie, and for making pumpkin beer (the lattermost, unfortunately, never came to fruition).

This year, all of us dressed up. I haven’t really dressed up since when Malin was pregnant with Will. My costume was admittedly pretty lazy and lame: khakis, leather jacket, button-down shirt, and a cheap prop hat and whip. Yes, you guessed it: Indiana Jones.

Malin spent a little more time on hers; she actually made a big cloak. Will wants her to make him one next year so he can dress up as an evil-doer like mommy.

This year, Will was a storm trooper.

We got a couple of pictures of me and Malin, too.

In this pic you can see some of the house decorations – at least the three ghosts in the front yard.

That Sunday, Will helped to make pancakes, and he wore his Halloween apron – a gift from his grandmother Frannie.

Thus concludes the photo backlog. I think I’m pretty much caught up as far as posting pictures to this blog.

Stay tuned for Christmas pictures, which will hopefully be up before the end of the year.

I hope everyone else is having a pleasant holiday season and preparing for a great 2009.

Photo Backlog, Volume 4 – LA Shoes

Finally! It has been over two months since we returned from our week-long adventure to California, and a recounting of our trek is finally available. There are a lot of photos, so the meat of this post is after the jump.
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