Monday, December 24, 2007
I'm sure you've noticed that Yahoo! and Google change their logos for special events. Well, this week, I noticed that the Google logo was progressing. My hubby then realized that if you click on the current logo it shows you the progression of the logo changes. Back to me. After he pointed that out, I noticed the URL had a file name with a number. I started changing the number (going backwards) and found a whole pile of prior Google Doodle Logos. It was fun to look through them (they are mostly Winter or Olympic in nature, but I found one from July too).
Friday, December 21, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
This picture actually caught my eye on the story, because I took a couple photos in traffic in Chandler last October, of this car. I had never seen such a small car. It looked funny in rush-hour traffic amidst all the big vehicles, almost like a toy!
Monday, December 17, 2007
Thursday, December 13, 2007
The word in the middle of his story made me laugh. Every family has their own made up words, I think to "sklect" may become a part of ours.
Sunday, December 09, 2007
That is the only way a person could DARE post pictures of themselves looking like this. It had been 55 hours since my friend left her two children with me, bringing my total up to FOUR, ages, 5, 3, 2, and 1. I just finished bathing all four and decided to snap a picture of myself (without any "fixing up".) Here you go...
You'd think I just finished running a marathon or something!
If this is how we Mom's look when we have "HAD ENOUGH", then, I can see why kids look at us with wide-eyed horror! Talk about a screaming Banshee... I wasn't even talking and I scared myself... I scared myself silly...
Laughter... it's good for the soul.
PS: This post definitley encourages me to take a little time for fixing myself up in the mornings... even if it's "just" to be at home. Also, I think I need to ditch keeping the scrunchii on hand... wowsers! My hair is EVERYWHERE!!!
Hip-hip-hooray! Last night everyone had AT LEAST eight solid hours of sleep. Three kiddos woke up at 7 this morning, quite acceptable to me. :D
While Abbie's favorite pasttime seems to be squeaking as she chases the cats round-and-round, Alex tends to spend his time playing with the boys, mostly Jack. They're Mischeif Meter has been running a little lower (probably because the initial excitement of seeing eachother is wearing off).
While I was trying to find the best settings on my camera to take a picture of Alex and Jack looking at the tree,
Abbie snuck over to the other tree and pulled down the bucket of ornaments. Now, since these were ornaments I'd left out for your kiddos to "help" with, I just moved them to the middle of the room and let her at them...
...while I went back to trying to capture Alex's smile.
Either he doesn't smile in the morning or he was just too curious about what a candy cane would taste like, but I never caught his smile.
Saturday, December 08, 2007
Friday, December 07, 2007
Suddenly though I've found someone new. She's my introduction into the BIG world of Blogging. I think, perhaps, it will be difficult to find others to match her. Perhaps you even know of whom I speak... The Pioneer Woman. Today I just laughed and laughed over a The Relaxed Homeschooler post of hers. Her blog, Confessions of The Pioneer Woman, has me checking in daily... sometimes more.
I think I also enjoy TPW's blog because of her INCREDIBLE photography. I like photography. Have since high school. I was even "A Portrait Photographer" at one point in my past. I use to sit (for a long time) outside places of worship and watch the brides and grooms going round with their photographers. I would dream about what it would be like to be behind the lens. About two years ago I even got to "assist" a friend's husband, Joe Chott... when he was an up-and-coming Wedding Photographer. What a thrill that was! I love setting the people up and catching the candid photos. I love composing the picture... what I'm not so into is the "tech-y stuff". Perhaps one day, my hubby and I can work together... me taking the portraits and him editing them... hmm... something to think about.
So, homeschooling. I've been thinking about it (really since I was pregnant), and looking into it (for about a year). My son, Frank, missed the Kindergarten cut off by 15 days... I was glad of it. He's not ready "emotionally" for public school (not to mention the emotional upheaval of our recent moves). I wonder if he will be in a year. Anyway, on my recent Arizona trip, I started thinking seriously about Homeschooling. I'd like to start... next month... on a Kindergarten program for him. I can take him through it next year, and, if it doesn't work, he'll still be on track to start Kindergarten in the local Public Schools. But, if it does work, like I think it will, all the better. I just spoke with a local educator who mentioned that with the current BOOM in Wyoming, the schools weren't prepared... many local Kindergarten classes are being taught by SUBSTITUTE TEACHERS! They dont' have enough teachers for the number of students. I know I can give my boys (at a 2:1 ratio) SO MUCH more than a 20:1 or 30:1 ratio! Another thing... I spent a LOT more time with my boys during our move this summer. Well, maybe not time, but with my husband traveling, and us moving from our comfort zone (house, friends, everything!) I learned to be a lot more confident of myself as I observed them learning things naturally. Things that make me go "woah!" Things like memorizing where five different states are and what their names are... without me even trying to "teach" this. Or having my 5yo say "why don't you start at zero" when I'm "counting to three" for misbehaviors.
Anyway, this post is far longer than I'd intended, and I've FIANLLY heard all four kids quiet down, so, time for this lady to get some sleep, because some child will surely be up in the next eight hours and I NEED MY SLEEP!
Let's see what Meriam Webster has to say about it...
Main Entry: kitsch
1 : something that appeals to popular or lowbrow taste and is often of poor quality
2 : a tacky or lowbrow quality or condition
Hmm... that's not quite what I thought it meant. I thought it was something to do with the Retro / 1950's / 1960's movement. Let's see what Dictionary.com says...
kitsch /kɪtʃ/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[kich] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation –noun
something of tawdry design, appearance, or content created to appeal to popular or undiscriminating taste.
I guess that's a little closer to what I had in mind.
Hmmm... I just peeked at Wikipedia and found this quote...
kitsch is most closely associated with art that is sentimental; however, it can be used to refer to any type of art that is deficient for similar reasons—whether it tries to appear sentimental, glamorous, theatrical, or creative, kitsch is said to be a gesture imitative of the superficial appearances of art. It is often said that kitsch relies on merely repeating convention and formula, lacking the sense of creativity and originality displayed in genuine art.
...which perhaps best describes the 50's/60's flavor I was thinking of, but still, not fully. Am I thinking of the right word here? The first time I heard "kitschy" it was in reference to the movie "Down With Love".
Enough, for now; I'm tired and three of the four kiddos are sleeping, plus, my hubby's home, so, napping IS AN OPTION! YEAH FOR NAPS!!!
Thursday, December 06, 2007
I'm also delighted that after their Caribbean Adventure, they are planning to stay in my town for another five days of visiting and even in the state past Christmas. I'm tickled to get to spend so much time with them. As you may have noticed I've been a little "Friend-Sick" lately, so, it's nice to have them here.
Now, The Adventure, that will begin in two days when they drive to SLC airport and we get to start caring for the kiddos 100% on our own!
Whoo-hoo! Becky's at the table waiting to play a game... I'm going to join her now.
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Monday, December 03, 2007
Lately I've come across some different looking games. These two are both described as being "cooperative" games (versus "competitive" ones).
- Fairy Finds Game - Children work together to build a fairy ring in this fun game that teaches cooperation as well as strategy skills. They play against a troll, who wants the beautifully illustrated board for himself, and who can exist only in the form of puzzle pieces kids put together (or not) at the whim of the die. But they can strategize their way out of it.
- Wildcraft! An Herbal Adventure Game - Wildcraft! is a cooperative game, and fosters teamwork and imagination. Players must work together to "win" the game. However, don't let this make you think it is not an exciting journey! Trying to get back to Grandma's house before nightfall along with all the pitfalls encountered along the way will keep you on the edge of your seats.
Though we've been playing games more often since moving to Wyoming, I think I need to play regurally (like daily) for a while before allowing myself to splurge on Wildcraft! or any others... like my friend tells me, put it (impulsive items) on a list for thirty days and then decide if you still want it. :D
While looking around, I also found this site (Keen 2 Learn) that looks like it has a lot of neat educational games.
I'm on a Homeschooling for Boys Yahoo! Group, and there has been a thread about games. Here's the list they've come up with for younger kids:
- Alphabet Game
- Apples to Apples (Jr)
- Big Brain (they have a lot of fun with this one)
- card games
- Connect 4
- Continuo - a puzzle where you create color chains (Rhombo version)
- funagaingames.com – this site has user reviews, lists of best sellers, recommendations, as well as lists of award winners (Mensa, et. al.).
- Go Fish / Memory - Homemade - using index cards and phonics sounds ("Do you have th for thick?" etc.)
- Guess Who
- Hi Ho Cherry-O
- Hungry Hungry Hippos
- Mastermind for Kids
- Monopoly (Jr.)
- Mugginsmath.com games
- Pirates Cove
- Professor Noggin's (we have Earth Science and Explorer's)
- Scooby-Doo (still tring to learn about it)
- Scrabble - for non-readers, just start working with letter tiles to spell words out.
- Shoots and Ladders
- Sum Swamp
- The Amazing Labyrinth
- The States Game
- Wildcraft! An Herbal Adventure
- Yahtzee (one of the kid's versions)
Wow! That's some list! I'd need more than a Game "Cabinet" to hold them all.
Well, that's all for now!
All-in-all, life is calmer and simpler here. My hands (which are great barometers of my emotions, because they dry out and bleed when I'm upset) have only had maybe three minor outbreaks since moving up here.
I'm spening more time than ever with my husband and sons. Also, I'm actually producing things (like: fabric and yarn arts and baked goods). For instance, on Saturday morning, the snow was softly falling and I thought up, designed, sewed, and finished a product all in one morning. It felt so good and was quite empowering and encouraging to take something through the whole process (thought-up to finished item). Here is the fleece-lined, flannel poncho I created for Jack on Saturday...he loves it (but hates taking pictures)!
Why the non-water-proof poncho? Well, he has a rain jacket and he has a snow coat, but the snow coat, while warm, is too big to fit in his five-point harness car seat. I've found that it takes so long to get him in and out of the jacket, that we often just carry it while he rushes in or out of a building to the van. So, I wanted something snuggly and warm that would be quick to throw on him for in and out of the van trips. I'm thinking of closing up the sides, either by sewing them or buttons or something, but I do like that it can be opened flat and put on him like a blanket (especially when he's in his car seat, because this too is too big for his harness system. Also, I had this fabric (and even the Superman "S" Logo) sitting in my closet and ready to go.
The poncho's such a hit that Frank too wants one... though I think his will be used more for playing --- he always is running around with a blanket over his head, so, I'll make his hood HUGE so he can hide in it. :D
Friday, November 30, 2007
If not, I can just go back to journalling in MSWord or even in a notebook. If you're out there, please, say something!
Not only does the kid not like:
but tonight I had to FORCE him to eat RAW CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE DOUGH and, guess what, he didn't like that either!
I mean REALLY!
What kind of kid wants a SALAD for dinner and refuses to eat raw cookie dough? I must have done something wrong! Agh!
PS: Jack, on the other hand, will eat anything we give him ... as long as it's not MEAT. He hardly eats meat, or potatoes, or beans... wait a minute! Don't get me started on Jack's pallette... he isn't even three and he DOES like Cola, and Tea, and Coffee... wonder who (DAD?) slipped him these things!
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
- Harrison Ford
- Mel Gibson
- Sean Connery (did you ever notice that my boys' middle names are Connor and Sean... coincedence? I think not!)
- Dean Cain
- Viggo Mortensen
See what I mean? Tall. Dark. Handsome. That's my MO, but blonde and spikey hair? Pretty weird huh? But if you saw Justin Hartley in action you'd see what I mean. I checked him out on the Internet Movied Database and found that he's only been on TV series so far. I look forward to the future and seeing Justin Hartley on the big screen.
Okay. I think I have The Pioneer Woman to blame for my temporary fit of lustfulness... her and her Chaps / Chinks post yesterday plus Smallville's Arrow episode was just too much good stuff for a girl to handle at bedtime last night!
PS: Justin Hartley plays Oliver Queen/The Green Arrow in Smallville.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
It was good to spend the day with so much family (even our "crazy" ones). It's hard for others to understand how we get along... but it's familiar (hey, that looks like it's derived from the same word as "family".) Maybe that's one of the good things about "The Holidays", that it reminds us of our familiar roots.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
And here's another cute tutorial to remember for the summer.
- Eat the same three bland meals twice every week.
- Make what I like, get zero appreciation, and eat most of it myself while starving my family?
- Yell, scream, and issue threats at each dinner.
- Make four different plates of food at every meal.
I go round and round with this. Actually, while cleaning out some old notebooks today I found a list I made in Arizona titled "foods the boys LOVE to eat"... so, obviously I've been working with and struggling over this for a while. Today I was thinking, "what if I make sure to make at least one dish that each person likes at each meal, and I rotate them to make certain everyone's eating a balanced diet..." Then I thought, "that sounds like a lot of work!"
I've never been one for making lots of special foods, I've always thought they should "eat what I fix". I also think it's my responsibility as a wife and mother to cook foods that are healthy, economical, and satisfying for the whole family.
I always have struggled to plan menus. For some reason, that's just a hard thing for me to sit down and do. I've been doing better at it, but as I do better with planning a menu and shopping for it, it feels like my family does worse for the eating of it.
I'm just not sure what to do. Any bright ideas?
On a related note, here's a super-simple treat I came up with a few years back. I call them my "cheater smores". You take whatever vanilla frosting you like (homemade or store bought) and spread it on two graham crackers. Then, sprinkle a generous layer of M&M's on one of the crackers. Top it with the second cracker and enjoy with a glass of milk. Mmm, yum! Here are a few pictures.
Like I said, super-simple and totally yumilicous!
Friday, November 16, 2007
She was right. It was very nice to have a total stranger pause to compliment me on my work. That's one thing I've missed with being a full-time, stay-at-home-mom... you generally don't get regular praise for a job well done. When I was working 40 hours a week (for ten years pre-kids) there were so many opportunities for compliments and praise.
I would feel like others would think I was being judgemental if I went up to another strange mother of young kids and said "you're doing a great job", but I'm certain, if I look, I can find and start complimenting others more... "pay it forward" and all that.
Which reminds me... I have a friend who was doing a "Pay it Forward" challenge. I signed up with her, and what I need is three people who would like me to make them something... in exchange, they must post on their blog and find three people that they can make something for. You have one year from the date of your post to make the things and send them on. So. If you would like me to make you something, please be one of the first three to post a comment on this thread.
I had the most relaxing hair cut and blow dry this evening. From a very tired lady at the Wal-Mart hair place in Rock Springs, Wyoming. Her name was Tatyanna. I don't know if it was her or the fact that I just finished my third water aerobics class this week... I started exercising again on Monday... YAY ME!!!... but I REALLY enjoyed my haircut this evening! And, by the way, we mother's of young children may THINK that running around after the kids and being on our feet all day counts as "exercise", but it really doesn't! I've been winded this week after just 1 1/2 laps in a pool (33 laps = 1 mile). It's pathetic really, but I'm invigorated by the water aerobics and excited to be exercising again. I'm enjoying it too!
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
- Sherlock Holmes with Jeremy Brett
- Babylon 5
- From The Earth to The Moon
- New Battlestar Galactica
- Lois & Clark, The New Adventures of Superman
These are listed in the order I viewed them, not the order I enjoyed them. Actually, I enjoyed them all. I think a lot of that has to do with the ability to control my viewing... oh yeah, I've also watched a lot of X-Files. But I watch those because my hubby's have wanted to watch them (hubby one and three), they were not things I generally watched without them. Oh! I just remembered another show I use to watch each week, with hubby two we watched "Who's Line Is It Anyway?" I liked that show; funny stuff.
Okay. I'm rambling. One other thing about the Smallville Season 4/5 show... I bit SEVEN nails watching it! I haven't bit so many fingernails in like SIX YEARS! It totally had me on the edge of my seat! Thanks alot Cousin Bobby! I'm COMPLETELY ADDICTED to Smallville now!
The one thing I dislike about cats is kitty litter. I hate dealing with scooping it and smelling it and ESPECIALLY how it tracks everywhere! I've always avoided dealing with litter by having indoor/outdoor cats. Currently though, my cat was adopted and had never been outside. She spazes out when I let her out. So, I (for the first time ever) have indoor cats. I'm also in a tiny apartment without room for the litter to be "stashed away". So, it's in my small bathroom. When we moved in, I ordered the "City Kitty" toilet training kit. After reading through it, I decided to wait until my trip to Arizona was done. As of today, I've started the kitty's on toilet training. Here's a picture of them checking it out right after I introduced it (to them and my boys). The biggest inconvience of this training is that we only have one toilet in the apartment, so, anytime you have to use the toilet, you first have to move the litter pan. With any luck though, we'll be toilet trained by the new year (it typically takes 4-6 weeks for cats to be fully trained). I look forward to a New Year without Kitty Litter sticking to my feet!
Monday, November 12, 2007
As a treat as much for us as for our very patient boys (they rested in the back of the van, played in the dirt and with toys we were finding, and even helped a little), we went to Pizza Hut. We came home exhaused and eventually managed to unload both our vehicles (they were full of boxes and baskets of things we were wanting) into our already cramped 800 sq ft apartment. Perhaps I should mention that six months ago we were living in a 2200 sq ft home. We moved in a whirlwind and had intended to be in another (smaller) home by now. So... we didn't pack for living in an apartment for a long time. Saturday was exhausting, but it was also better than Christmas! So many things we discovered... our things... things we love... before we moved, we eliminated a lot of things we: didn't like, only liked, didn't use, were broken, etc. So, the stuff we moved was (mostly) stuff we still want. Unfortunatley, that last 25% contains most of the items my hubby was looking for. I found everything I wanted and more in our storage dive. I'm rambling...
As a result of the dive, I have a lot of our wall "stuff". Yesterday and today I hung over two dozen things on our walls. The pictures, paintings, and portraits make it feel like "home" and the clocks are just handy to have up.
Besides the pictures, I've unpacked about 5 boxes. I feel like I should have done more... but I'm also quite tired from the dive. Plus, today, I went to water aerobics (for the first time in seven years). Yeah me! While waiting for the teacher I was lap swimming. 1 1/2 laps and I had to stop because my chest was tightening up... what's that all about!? Don't exercise for YEARS and you're body wants to stop breathing! I'm sure I'll be sore by Wednesday, but I really do want to start the water aerobics three times a week. I know it will help me feel better on so many levels.
Boxes make me edgy, like I'm not doing enough. Gotta get through these boxes! Let's see, there are about 15, so, two a day will have be done by the weekend, three by Saturday, no, just go for two. Unpack two boxes a day each day... I can do that! :D
Do you find that certain clothes get you in the mood to do things? When I was hanging all those things on the wall, I put on an apron my girlfriend made (it didn't fit her and I liked it, so, she gave it to me, I fixed it, and it has since become my "work apron".) When I put on my "work apron" my mind just *clicks* into gear and I'm ready to work... especially if I put a bandana around my hair at the same time! I do the same thing with comfort clothes... if I'm not feeling good, I put on some pants with elastic (sweats / flannel / satin PJ's) and my body just *knows* that it's time to rest. I don't feel compelled to push myself like I usually do in jeans and tennis shoes.
The apron is awesome... from a Simplicity pattern #5313 view D. We crisscross the straps across the back too (switch the shoulder seams when sewing) and it stays on better. I love all the pockets, though I've had to repair mine several times from catching the pockets on things (like door fixtures) and I walk by. When I was digging out the pattern, I found the pattern for a kids apron, Simplicity 4286 I was planning to make view D for my boys... perhaps I can throw them together for Christmas. I also found the "lost" fabric to make a present for the friend who gave me the apron in the first place. Guess I was inspired to share my work apron with all of you!
Thursday, November 08, 2007
One of the weirdest things about my in-laws is they're standing "No Presents - EVER" rule. Apparently, many years before I came on the scene, holidays had turned into a cash exchange scene. They would each give each other cards with money inside. They realized how ridiculous this was and made the "STOP" rule.
Then, kids started coming on the scene (right as I joined the clan) and suddenly they found themselves needing to buy wrapping paper again.
I am glad they got away from the mass marketing of it all, but I often wonder if they miss out on some of the pleasures associated with giving to others. The most I've seen them give eachother is a box of chocolate, but after a few years, even that has turned into a massive chocolate exchange.
Personally, I blow them off in a minor way... if I see something small that reminds me of one of them, I'll but it and stash it away, then give it to them. Usually it's under five dollars, but as they say "it's the thought that counts". I have yet to receive any presents from them, and I'm okay with that.
My family? They stopped giving me presents long ago. Never said they weren't going to do it, they just stopped. Again, I usually do something for them, probably because I like to shop and find "deals" all year long.
It's hard; because it's fun to open presents and it's great to be surprised with something you really like. I guess though, I find a lot of joy in watching others open things I've given them and I don't really "expect" to get stuff. I feel so blessed in my life (especially since Tom) and have everything I need and MOST of my WANTS too, so, to have people trying to spend money just to be able to "give" me something seems wasteful. I do love handmade / homemade things though! When I was a kid, we were never allowed to buy a present until after we'd made one for the person. My Mom taught us that gifts from the heart meant so much more. Now that I'm older I see that they certainly take more time and effort, and often they cost more than the same thing store bought, but they are personalized. I enjoy making things for other people and usually spend a lot of time thinking about that person while I'm working on the item.
So, after reading my comments, I guess that I understand and appreciate the lack of present buying for adults. Christmastime truly is a mass-commercial time. I also know that I really enjoy giving and receiving things, as long as it's done with love and not because I "have to" or "should". When you receive something from me, it's because I was thinking of you with love. You may get something on special occassions or you may get a package out of the blue, and I think those kind of surprises are great too!
Lay off the stress of the holidays and enjoy the sights, sounds, tastes, and feels of them!
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Just cut your 2 1/2" strips into 6 1/2" pieces. You'll need five strips per block.
Tom drilled some holes in the back (a big one for the power strip to go through, and several smaller ones for air vents). Then, he attached two rails (at an angle) to hold a small shelf. He cut the shelf to fit, added a finger hole and a few notches at the top for the cords to rest in. Total time spent, less than 45 mintues. I still need to find a fabric to cover the shelf with, but for the time being, I'm tickeled with it just as it is.
Now, all those blasted long ugly black cords are neatly contained in one location. When not in use (and even when charging) we can close the lid and know where they are, but have them out of sight. There is room for another power strip (should we need to add more docks). I like my bread box! :D
Go make one of your own and send me some pictures of your conversion.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Today I worked on a little row of Pumpkins (of my own spontaneous design). The faces are designed and ready to be appliqued on. It was fun and relaxing for me. I designed one pumpkin for each member of my family, then had my hubby and boys set down with their fabric pumpkin in front of them and a sheet of paper the same size for them to design the face for their pumpkin. It's much more random that I would do on my own, but it creates a fun snapshot in time. Just like a project I once did with a Jack-O-Lantern and instead of the "normal" face, I appliqued the face from the Jack-O-Lantern we carved on Frank's first Halloween. Now, I remember his first Jack-O-Lantern face forevermore. :D
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Monday, October 01, 2007
At bedtime, Frank got ready by himself - quickly! We think he was worn out from the day. I laid down next to him in his bed and told him about the day he was born and how we named him. He was delighted and I was so satisfied and pleased. As I was telling the story I mentioned he was all snuggled under a quilt I'd made him (on his first night with us) and I paused to go get the quilt. He's still snuggled under it and sleeping now. :D