Monday, December 24, 2007

Google Doodles

I just enjoyed looking through previous Google Doodles.

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).

Merry Christmas!
Suzy :D

Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas Poems

After reading Heather's GREAT Christmas poem, here's my offering:

The snow is falling,
The roads are slick and cold; brrr!
Friends driving safely.

I always prefered a haiku to the sort of poems where I had to come up with rhymes.

Suzy :D

And They're Off!

This morning I sat in the hotel lobby with Frank, Jack, and Alex while Becky and Abbie slept and Joe loaded the car.
I feel SO SORRY for Becky right now! Yesterday, while watching my boys (so my hubby and I could go for a day of shopping in the city) she came down with Strep Throat. Actually, every since Joe and Becky returned Monday night, she's looked tired and worn out. I figured it was just exhaustion, and maybe it was, but now it's worse.

Yesterday, we drove, and drove. And drove. In a nice storm. Going and coming back from Salt Lake City. It's usually a 2.75 hour drive. Yesterday, we started to head out of SLC at 5:00pm. The storm was settling into the city. The lights were out. The street lights were out. It was slow going. We got on the freeway at 6:00pm (6 miles from where we started) and headed for home. Going into Parley's Canyon, it took us 30 minutes to go three miles. 45 mintues for four miles! In the first hour after we left, we got SEVEN WHOLE MILES!!! There were multiple cars skidded off the road or snuck in the snow and ice, including at least four or five semi-trucks. Those were the BIG hold up. Gratefully, no accidents, just lots of vehicles stuck. That was what the hold up for the hour was. In any case, we FINALLY got home SAFE AND SOUND at 11:20 pm.

Unbeknownst to us, Becky was coming down with Strep yesterday while watching our kiddos. So, we're slow going in the snow, and she's miserable on our couch... I took her to her hotel as soon as we got our van warmed up (I don't drive my hubby's work truck that was already warm). This morning, I took her to the doctor. She got a steroid shot and an antibiotic. After which I watched Alex while Joe finished prepping their vehicle.

Then they left, in another snow storm, for Jackson. It's usally a four hour drive, and miraculously, in the snow, they made it in just under four hours! I'm not sure how Joe did it, but he got Becky to a new place to rest as fast as possible. I just spoke with Becky, and she sounds worse than ever. How would that be? To be in a VERY isolated, cold, snowy, VACATION resort, for Christmas and SO SICK! Hopefully, after a weekend of rest (yeah, with Joe and both kids trapped in a small hotel room) she'll be feeling better in time to enjoy Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Hopefully.

Around here, we've been taking it easy this afternoon. After three weeks of guests, our place is THRASHED. I spent about an hour cleaning up my room, and then snuggled down on the couch with a book. I'm headed back to the book now. Tomorrow will be more of the same. Clean up a bit. Read. Wrap presents.

Suzy :D

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Electric Car for SALE at Wal-Mart!

I just read an article that says as of next year you should be able to buy an electric CAR through Wal-Mart. Wow! That's interesting!!! I'd heard that Wal-Mart may have hit it's prime and was in need of revitalizing, but I just never pictured them selling cars!

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!

Suzy :D

Monday, December 17, 2007

RIDDLE: What Curses Worse than A Sailor?

A Marine!

NOTE: The rest of this post has been removed due to the general whinyness of it's nature.

Suzy :D

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Word of the Day: SKLECTED

Frank "just sklected his way into his room". That is, he moved the Pack-N-Play, Porta Crib away from the door just enough to fit between it and the wall, then he squeezed sideways into the room. After retrieving the desired object, he squeezed out and replaced the crib. I believe that the "sklecting" was actually the "squeezing in sideways".

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.

Suzy :D

Sunday, December 09, 2007

There Were Four In The Tub...

...and the little one said,

move over, move over.

Did you ever wonder how you fit four toddlers in one standard-size bath tub? Here's how...

Have a good night!

Suzy :D

I AM Self-Confident


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.

Suzy :D

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!!!

Sleep - It's a Wonderful Thing!

8:07 am-

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,

(This wasn't the setting for taking a picture by 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.

Suzy :D

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Sleep Deprivation Solution

When experiencing sleep deprivation, look at cute pictures of the kiddo who kept you awake.
Last night Abbie tricked us into thinking she'd sleep through the night. She was asleep by 9:15, but when I snuck into my room and creaked open the closet, she was instantly awake. I had one three hour stretch of sleep, from 12:30-3:30. Other than that, total sleep was about four and a half hours. Here is the offending culprit during her bathtime yesterday.
She looks cute and adorable and anything but a screaming night-time banshee.

Looks really can be deceving!

Suzy :P

Friday, December 07, 2007

I'm Addicted...

... to funny personable, reads. This started with Sarah Meland who wrote for the Nimble Thimbles of the Arizona Quilter's Guild. She wrote their newsletters, and the little blurbs that went out in the monthly state-wide publication. I followed her around and commented on her writing (okay, basically, I stalked her) until she roped me into writing the newsletter the next year. A few years later we talked about taking a creative writting class together... but life and schedules got in the way and it never happened. Now, I live 900 miles away and I'm not familiar with any of Sarah's current writings. I miss reading Sarah.

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!

Suzy :D


"Kitschy". A word I've heard a few times, it seems with greater frequency, but that I can never seem to remeber when I want to use it. Also, I had NO IDEA how to spell it. I just saw it online and thought I'd record it here to help me remember... or at least so I can look it up later.

Let's see what Meriam Webster has to say about it...

Main Entry: kitsch
Pronunciation: \ˈkich\
Function: noun
Etymology: German
Date: 1925
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 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!!!

Suzy :D

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Like Becky said "The Adventure Begins"

Yesterday my friends arrived from Arizona. I feel honored. They drove 900 miles to bring me there children (3yo boy and 14mo girl) to watch for 9 days while they go the The Caribbean for a family wedding. This really is an honor... to be trusted with the care of someone else's young children, and to think the drove so far so I could help them.

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.

Suzy :D

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Serious Shrinky-Dink Art

Take a look at the jewelry on i love blocks. It just reminded me of some super-fun times making Shrinky-Dinks. I was looking for fun projects for the next two weeks with four kids between 1 and 5... I think I'll have to see if I can get my hands on some of this plastic... I think my Mom use to do it with other plastic too, like from a coke bottle or such. I'll have to check into that. FINALLY something to do with the deluxe, super-sized set of Sharpie (rainbow colored) markers I bought last year.

Suzy :D

Monday, December 03, 2007

Educational Games

4 Dec 07 - Post Script: I just added three more games (Dominoes, Marbles, and Monopoly) and another website ( to the list. :D

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.
They are each $30. That seems like a lot to me. Is that the going rate for a "new" game these days? Does the fact that I can't find them used or on ebay indicate that they are great games and so one wants to get rid of them? Also, both are for ages four and up and don't require reading.

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:

  1. Alphabet Game
  2. Apples to Apples (Jr)
  3. Backgammon
  4. Battleship
  5. Big Brain (they have a lot of fun with this one)
  6. Buckaroo
  7. Candyland
  8. card games
  9. Checkers
  10. Chess
  11. Connect 4
  12. Continuo - a puzzle where you create color chains (Rhombo version)
  13. Dominoes
  15. – this site has user reviews, lists of best sellers, recommendations, as well as lists of award winners (Mensa, et. al.).
  16. Go Fish / Memory - Homemade - using index cards and phonics sounds ("Do you have th for thick?" etc.)
  17. Guess Who
  18. Hi Ho Cherry-O
  19. Hungry Hungry Hippos
  20. Kerplunk
  21. Mancala
  22. Marbles
  23. Mastermind for Kids
  24. Monopoly (Jr.)
  25. games
  26. Operation
  27. Othello
  28. Pirates Cove
  29. Professor Noggin's (we have Earth Science and Explorer's)
  30. Qwitch
  31. Rat-A-Tat-Cat
  32. Scooby-Doo (still tring to learn about it)
  33. Scrabble - for non-readers, just start working with letter tiles to spell words out.
  34. Shoots and Ladders
  35. Slap
  36. Sorry
  37. Sum Swamp
  38. The Amazing Labyrinth
  39. The States Game
  40. Trouble
  41. Uno
  42. Wildcraft! An Herbal Adventure
  43. 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!

Suzy :D

What I SHOULD Have Said...

So, what I should have said in my last post was not "why aren't you writting me" but, "I really am isolated up here is Wyoming. I often feel alone and out of the loop. I miss my friends, family, and life in Arizona." That being said, I do enjoy living in Wyoming and I'm not sitting up here wallowing in misery, I just have occassional longings ... usually when I here my friends are getting together for a play date or a Mom's Day Out. Then, I feel a little sad.

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

Suzy :D