Monday, June 30, 2008


WALL-E was good. Not just Disney good, but really good. It was well reviewed, so we had high expectations of the movie. We went to see it yesterday - yes, on opening weekend. We went to a matinee, so it was only $6 per person (remember when movies were only $6 for the full priced shows?). Anyway, it was a well done, well thought out movie that everyone should see. I'm not all about the moral of the story, or the incredible CGI - I wanted a movie that I would enjoy. And I got exactly what I wanted. I was concered that the movie might be too dark for the kids, but it wasn't. I was concerned that the CGI wouldn't allow me to suspend my belief in reality, but it didn't. I was concerned that the little boys couldn't plug into the storyline, but they did. it was a great movie for everyone.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Dear Slightly Creepy Old Man,

Dear Slightly Creepy Old Man - I almost called the police on you a few months ago, and I saw you again a few days ago. I know that what you are doing is in good faith and is part of your need to fulfill your community responsibility. I assume that you are retired, so you are the right person for the job. But dear old man, slapping a magnetic sign on the side of your car that says ______ ________ Community Patrol does not allow you to drive slowly in the shoulder of the streets in thes semi-neighborhood, scoping out houses and creeping out the folks at home. I'm honestly not sure why you are doing this - we've lived here for over a year now and I've never heard that there was a neighborhood patrol, or even a neighborhood association (never even seen signs of it other than a Halloween party and a wine tasting more recently). Not sure if you are a paid employee, but I've seen the sign slapped on two different cars now, the first of which was facing away from the house and almost made me call the police.

So, if you are going to be the neighborhood patrol (which I don't think there's anything wrong with) you need to inform the residents that you are doing so, letting them know that you aren't just a creepy old man driving around with the sign slapped on your car. For all I know you could be looking at my house out to see when we are home and when we are gone, casing the joint to rob it in the future. Even a crime watch sign would be helpful - there aren't any in our immediate area that I've seen. And hten I'd know that you are there to protect me as opposed to scoping out my home.

Signed, Your Friendly Neighbor

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Birthday Party Decision

Every year Max turns a year older, and every year Max has a birthday party. In August. In 90+ degree heat. When he turned 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7, we had a splash party in the back yard (both in Texas and in Virginia). It worked out fabulously - he could invite as many as he wanted, and the kids always enjoyed themselves. This year though, Max has other thoughts about his party. For the first time he is considering having his party at a local laser tag place. Because the little boys have had parties at places like this, it's no biggie for us, but for Max this is a big step. He's been to a party at this place, and we've been there as a family, but his brothers can't play the laser tag part, just the video games. So, Max needs to decide if he wants to include his brothers and have a party elsewhere, or have the laser tag party and hope that his brothers enjoy the video games. I think either way that it will be fine - the little boys had a ball playing the games when the big kids play laser tag. Also, when we have parties in the back yard, Max has invited tons of kids - as many as he likes. But when you have parties at an indoor party place, it's a limited number that can attend - and in the summer it's really hit and miss as far as who is in town and who isn't. So Max's big decision needs to be made shortly, as his birthday is creeping up, and I have no idea which way he'll go.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Ugh - Computer repairs

Well, the great computer repair is in process - yea!!!! Not sure what I'd do without my husband AND without my extended warranty. You see, we bought this Dell laptop exactly four years and ONE MONTH age, and of course purchased he fantastic four year warranty. Yes, if you did the very easy math there, we are one month out of warranty. It was great while it lasted - we made good use of the warranty while we had it, but here's another part that has failed. It's the fan. But there are two, and Tom wasn't sure if it could be replaced as sometimes computer manufacturers are funny about stuff like this. But, the little fan on the left side of the picture below, is costing us a whopping $25 to replace.

So for now I sit and wait, turning my computer off when I'm done so that my video card doesn't get fried (that would be a bit more than $25 to replace!). Tom put my computer back together - it looked so sad sitting there in pieces...

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Big Mac strikes BACK!

As I was driving through McD's the other day for lunch, I was struck by the print ad for the Big Mac. It reminded me of the silly song from the 1970's that we all learned and sang, over and over and over again:

Then, as I was just sitting here a commercial came on the TV that brought me right back to the 1970's. I guess they are hitting up the next generation to try and fill THEIR heads and bellies. It was the same chant from forever ago, and grown ups attempting to make their way through it - I guess no one has ever forgotten their Big Mac chant.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Don't be rude to me and expect me to contribute

Dear political campaign telephone solicitor:
You called my house in the middle of the afternoon extolling the virtues of your candidate and as I support your candidate, I listened politely. You asked for a large contribution and I declined politely but thanked you for calling. This does not give you permission to continue on and keep me on the phone for another three minutes. I again decline your request for a somewhat smaller contribution, but yes, I'm aware that you consider VA a swing state in the next election, and yes, I care about the environment, education, health care, and know how important it is that my candidate get elected. I thank you again for calling and tell you that I am going to hang up now. You continue on, and proceed to actually make me angry. I'm not the type that likes to hang up on folks on the phone, but you have put me in the position of doing so to you. It's gone past supporting the candidate and into a bit of crazy telephone stalking. Finally I tell you good-bye, and I hang up, knowing that I've hung up on you in the midst of your spiel about the candidate.

And the insulting part? You called while driving or outside. I could hear the wind whooshing by as we spoke, and while the conversation was all of about 5 minutes, I thought that if you really support your candidate you could give him the respect to call while at home, not in between errands or while sitting outside at Starbucks. And next time, don't keep me on the phone when I've clearly told you that I'm not interested in donating at this time. If I was floundering in my decision (which I've done twice in past Presidential elections), then that conversation might have sent me over to the other side. Fortunately for you I'm not floundering - and your little error in civility will get a pass this time. I hope that you don't call others with that same attitude though - that won't go over well with someone who is less patient than I am.
Sincerely, Suzie

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Cat Doors For Kids?

Yes, cat doors. We have flies in our house because my lovely children think they were born in a barn. You see, they leave the door open. And it isn't just one door - it's the door between the house and the mudroom, where bugs congregate because they leave the back door open as well. Yes, two doors open and flies in my house. So, I spend the afternoons swatting the three or so flies that have come in during the day. And the other assorted bugs? Well, if it isn't flying then I'm not worrying about it. I figure those guys are too busy figuring out how to get out that they won't bother me (actually it's mostly flies that come in when the doors are left open).

So do they actually have cat doors for kids? I think that would fix the problem for sure. Or, the kids could just close the doors...

Monday, June 16, 2008

It's deafeningly quiet in here

I have a four year old laptop that is so loud that it shifts the threshold of your hearing - I swear it does. It's like being at a rock concert and then walking out - your ears just take a few minutes to adjust. The past few weeks it has been so loud and squeaky on top of that that I knew something was wrong. And now as I sit here typing my fingers are burning, which means that I blew out a fan. Oh, and it's silent in here - eerily silent. The dehumidifier downstairs in the basement is the only thing I hear right now. That can't be a good sign. So, it's off to bed for my computer - my sweet precious computer that better not fail on me anytime soon. I'll get you a new fan my dear, so hang in there an sleep tight tonight. It could be worse - my hard drive could have taken a dump, so I'm glad to know that it's just a fan...

Sunday, June 15, 2008

AHHHH! Losing track already!

So let's see - it's the first, no the day before the first day of the boys' summer vacation. I don't count Saturday and Sunday as part of it - at least not right this second - because they would have had the weekend off anyway. Anyway, here we are in the first week of vacation and I'm already losing track of what day it is. Seriously - this happened when the boys were little and we had no set activities that occurred on specific days. Then it straightened itself right up when Max hit school. Last summer it wasn't as bad - or at least not as far as I remember. I seemed to be able to keep track of the days of the week a bit easier then - maybe it was because the littel boys and I would run around wherever and whenever we wanted, so I wasn't as tied to a schedule then. But now, we five are all quite tied to our schedules, and ours just went poof! Then again, that's kinda cool - not being tied to any regular schedule. It leaves lots of room to play...

Oh, and Happy Father's Day to all of your Dads out there. Keep up the good work!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Gift from Max

I LOVE that my kids are still young enough that they make me handmade jewelery! A few years ago Max brought a necklace home from his Mother's Day Out that he made out of beads and yarn. He smiled at me with a HUGE grin, and handed it over, and I wore it for several weeks, itchy as it was. Fast forward to this past week. Since school was basically wrapped up, the teachers brought in all kind of cool thing for the kids to do. Max came home with various beads, necklaces, rings, and bracelets made from yarn, beads, hemp, and tape! This is his most recent gift to me - and he asked me once again to wear it, and I will with pride.

You see, I remember making gifts like this for my folks growing up. I created all kinds of things for them, and in a sense still do with my scrapbooking and craft projects. Instead of buying cufflinks for Dad I was more likely to produce an ornament. Instead of soem trinket for Mom I would make a frame - with a picture of myself in it, of course! I made countless picture frames, all kind of jewelery, clocks, candles, and who knows what else. I am so excited that the boys have taken this up - and that they are MAKING ME STUFF!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Tim Russert has Died

Tim Russert, an icon in political reporting, is dead of a heart attack at 58. Here's an article about his passing this afternoon :
I'm sad that he was so very young, and that he was such a powerhouse on the political scene and now he's gone. I have enjoyed his show over the years and will miss seeing him on TV - especially during election season. And I'm sure I'm not the only one that will miss him.

My Latest Cupcake Creation

For Max's End of Year school party tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

My Blogging Companion

We've always known that Bunsen was an adventure kitty, but did you know that he was also a blog editor? Often you'll find him here perched above me, offering up edits as I shift in my chair. No, not really edits, more like complaints that I'm moving his comfy seat, but hey, he's a cat and he sticks to what ke knows.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

How I've Spent My Weekends

For the past four years I've spent my falla nd spring weekends watching short folks play soccer. Can't say that I mind one bit - especially when one of those short folks is mine! This seasont he little boys played indoor and Max played outdoor, but next year they will all be in the same league. Doens't make it any easier as far as scheduling, but at least we'll be playing in the same city! Here are some Max soccer pics from two weekends ago, more to come of the little guys soon.

Monday, June 09, 2008

My Little Gymnasts

At the end of the year the gymnastics place that we go to has a class show for each level. max opted out, but Ian and Sam were SOOOO excited about it. They went through the exercises for the parents - the floor, bars, the trampoline, and the beams. Here are a few snaps:

Sam on the High Bar
Ian on the uneven bars



Friday, June 06, 2008

Going All Natural!

Well, not really. But I have found a new obsession of sorts. I picked up some interesting sounding chips at the store, mainly because they were on sale, and I LOVE them. Yes, enough to want to marry them so that they'll live at my house all the time!
And this is only one of several cool sounding flavors. I also grabbed the Buffalo Bleu, but there's also Cheddar Beer, Dill and Sour Cream, Island Jerk, Spicy Thai, and several other cool looking flavors. Who knows if they taste as good as the Honey Dijon, but they are dreamy indeed. And the best part is that they are all natural. Now, not sure if that means that they are good for me, but they are better for me and a whole lot better tasting than the other stuff we have in the house! If you see these, grab a flavor that sounds good - they are yummy indeed! (And no, I wasn't compensated for this endorsement at all - but if they feel like sending me a few bags I certainly woudn't mind!) ;)

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Crazy Hair Day!

The school that Max goes to has a Crazy Hair Day towards the end of each year, and this year was no exception. Now, Max has a close cut buzz, so there's no Mohawk in his immediate future. We almost let his hair go last month, but that would mean that he looked exactly like a floppy dog, this dog to be exact for a majority of the month, and that just wouldn't do:
So we headed off to Sally's, grabbed some green and blue spray color, and ended up with THIS:

Max thought it was super cool, but not the absolute coolest in his class. He says that a little girl had cooler twisty hair that was all orange. I dunno - we did what we could - those darn girls just have more hair! I think it's super cool!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

A Bum Season

Look closely and you'll see kids playing soccer. But don't blink, because this is their first and one of only two full games they've played so far this season. Not a big deal you say, but we are now in the 8th week of the season and the kids have only played two full games and a third that was called in the second half due to lightning. We've had such poor weather and bad luck this season that it's almost funny. The kids are so out of whack that when they DO play games, they are so far behind the curve because they've only practiced and haven't gotten their feet wet on enough real games this season to really gel as a team. But we have three more games scheduled this season, so we might hit the big old .500 mark - not for winning - but for playing games!

(And if you peek on the left side of the picture you'll catch a glimpse of the amazing Coach Tom. He's the coach of Max's team this year and he too is bummed about the lack of games. But hey - it's just one season...)

Tuesday, June 03, 2008


"Mommy - will you be my gurlfriend?"
"Sorry Ian - I'm already married. Go find yourself another girlfriend."

Monday, June 02, 2008


Ahhh...the joys of boys. At least they aren't afraid of the little inchworm.

Have a safe journey through life little worm - I know it can't be easy when you're held captive by a five year old! But he's a good one, so you should be fine little worm. Enjoy your visit!