Friday, December 31, 2010

Ring in the New

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light;
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

-excerpt from Ring Out Wild Bells by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Sunday, December 26, 2010

And it missed us by a mile

Literally (a mile):

Big green hole = the DC area and our house.

*Image from NOAA on 12/26/10

Monday, December 20, 2010

Cool new Google Labs Tool

Google Labs recently came out with a tool that lets you scour digitized books from way back when to 2008, using whatever words in whatever timeframe you want. After thinking of all the bad words that I could put in there (because that's ALWAYS the first thing we think of putting in these things - even though some of us won't admit it!), I added the names of my family. You'll see that Tom shows up most frequently, and I'm barely a blip on the screen:

And if you go through you'll see some cool things like:
In the mid-1700's the REALLY liked dogs more, but only for a very short time.

Espresso still beats latte, but latte is gaining on espresso (in the books at least - I'm not a fan of strong coffee at all).

Between all of the colors in ROY G BIV, Red wins.

Texas is written about more than Oklahoma or Louisiana. Yes, I went there.

People call it the television when they write about it - not the TV really.

Regardless of what you look up, the Google Labs Books Ngram Viewer is a really cool thing to play with! (And yes, for the record, the "S" word tops the list of the ones I typed in, and we swear a lot more in books in 2008 than we did even in 2004 or 1996. And we swear a whole hack of a lot more than in the early 1900's. But we talk about our donkey's less...

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Fiskars Cuts + More (MUCH more!)

I'm a scissor junkie - have a ton, always want more. Never though have I looked at a review of a pair of scissors online - never until today that is. I stumbled on this video review of Fiskars Cuts+More Scissors, and not only was I laughing at the end, but now I'm in serious want of these scissors. Five in one, six in one, whatever. Any scissors that has this particular feature on them NEEDS to live in my house. It's the last feature he demos, and you'll see why I want it at the very end!

So, it's off to hunt up one of these great tools and you KNOW I'm going to enjoy my new purchase with a cool beverage (with adult supervision of course - the scissors, not the beverage)!

Friday, December 17, 2010

The day Aunt Sue came to lunch

I really should let Sam tell you this story, but it's late and he's in bed. He was SOOOO excited to have his Great-Aunt Sue in town over Thanksgiving. And he was even MORE excited when she came joined him for lunch! He asked her to come have lunch with him, and since her flight didn't leave until later that afternoon she did! He was jazzed to have her there, then he talked about it for a few days after. So cool that something as simple as popping in for lunch delights him so much!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Trumpet Master Max

Max - rocking the trumpet at his band's holiday concert at Barnes and Noble. Well, as much as you can rock out Jingle Bells and other holiday standards! He IS the trumpet master!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Winter Hat Hair

Not so fun to have the winter hat hair, but hey, it's the winter. And hey, it's hat hair. Nice.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Getting Closer!

Lucy has been putting on her cool brown boots by herself for a month or two now - actually since she got her new boots to replace those that were lifted at Chick Fil A (but that's a story for another time). But recently she started putting on her sneakers by herself too! She's getting pretty good at it, but she's still hit or miss on getting the shoes on the right feet! She's getting closer every day though - we're up to the jacket and even sometimes shoes on the right feet now!

Monday, December 13, 2010


First there were the star lights over the fireplace:

Then there was the tree:

Then we got a dusting of snow:

And then it all headed south and today we froze our butts off:
Feels like 6 degrees? Really???!!!!

So tomorrow is a new day, and it can't get colder - can it?

Partly Cloudy / Wind


Wind:From WNW at 22 mph
UV Index:2 Low
Sunrise:7:19 AM ET
Avg. High:49°F
Record High:66°F (2001)

Mostly Clear / Wind
Overnight Low


Wind:From W at 19 mph
Sunset:4:47 PM ET
Avg. Low:28°F
Record Low:8°F (1962)

Oh, can.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Gotta love it!

He's only 15 and pulling in performances with big names already! ;)

Thursday, December 09, 2010


Is it wrong to covet a pair of boots - snow boots to be specific? And is it wrong to want a second pair, even though the first pair is also very cool? Oh my. Same general price as the first pair, second pair ON SALE. Does that even matter in the land of coveting? And can I wear snow boots in the NOT snow and avoid looking like a big dork? Or do I really care if I look like a dork wearing snow boots in the NOT snow? What a dilemma...but they are pretty:

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Gingerbread Spice TEA???!!

I bought it only because I absolutely love the Sugar Plum Spice Tea. I had no idea that I'd like this tea even more than the Sugar Plum flavor. Oh my. I think I'm going to buy up all of the boxes I can find. Celestial Seasonings comes out with Holiday Teas every year, and every year as soon as I see them I buy them. But this year there was one on the shelf that I didn't recognize. It is called Gingerbread Spice, and I think I'm in love. I like teas that are fruity or thick, but this one has a completely different taste. It's not only good by itself, but with a wee bit of milk it sends the flavor right over the top. Super yummy! So, back to the store for me - gotta get some more of this before it's gone for the season! ;) Gotta feed my newest addiction!

Monday, December 06, 2010

Here Comes Science!

We LOVE TMBG! The band that brought us Particle Man and Birdhouse in Your Soul (which is currently my ringtone) ventured into children's music a while back and has been nominated AGAIN for a GRAMMY!!!! Yes, They Might Be Giants is in the running for one of our favorite albums - Here Comes Science!

We listen to this in the car all the time. Funny thing though, Sam didn't quite get the lyrics to this song right when we first got the album. He heard "motion, direction, acceleration" without the "D" at the beginning of that middle word. Yes, say it out loud (as long as you aren't within earshot of any kids), and you'll why we had to stop playing the song for a short while. He'd sing it in the car, but he'd also sing it in the store, the bank, the vet, and at school. So sweet little Sam was singing this song, minus the "D" at the top of his lungs, all the time. So we took a hiatus from Here Comes Science and that fixed the problem right up. That, and we worked on the whole DIRECTION thing. ;)

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Beautiful Fall Colors

Seen recently:

LOVE the Fall!

Friday, December 03, 2010

The Sharpie strikes again!

Now, to double back and fill you in on something I learned a few weeks ago. Sharpies and two year olds don't mix. Or at least they don't mix well:
Laundry room sink, walls, washer, dryer...
then the front door and front entry wood floor as well.
At least it wasn't the carpet....

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Robots are taking over

In case you're wondering, the robots are taking over the planet. But they'll be wearing gloves. Yes, gloves.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Halloween 2010

Dragging in here, but Happy Halloween from the Phipps clan! Ian dressed up as Pikachu (a Pokemon), Sam as Colt McCoy (Hook 'Em Longhorns!), Miss Lucy was a bumblebee, and Max was a brain eating Zombie (who didn't scare his little sister!).
This year, for the first time, well, ever, Tom and I dressed up. We braved the cold temps to don our coolest costumes ever. If you don't already know, Tom dressed up as Waldo of Where's Waldo fame, and I hung out in a costume that showed my true roots (not the pink, the hippie!) and was a 70's Go-Go dancer.
I think that we pegged ourselves perfectly this year, so it's going to be a tough task to top ourselves next year. We did have loads of fun dressing up though, so I know well do it again!

Making S'mores

Stealing candy from Aunt Brooke's stash

Lucy having S'mores
And last but not least - Lucy really did get how to Trick or Treat:

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sailed right through Black Friday

Yes, you read that right - we sailed right through Black Friday without purchasing a thing. Then we hit Saturday and realized that we didn't have a single gift for anyone for the holidays. Not a one. So, in the span of about 12 hours, we fixed that problem. A quick trip to Target (a date really but didn't want to get into that right now), and a few clicks online, and we're almost done! Found some cool things for the family gift exchange, grabbed a few things for the boys and the little miss, and stumbled on a new microwave in the process. Didn't know we needed a new microwave, but at $33, who could pass it up???!!!
It's a cute little 700 watt microwave that will supplement our other workhorse (and will cover us temporarily if it craps out). Up until the past year we've always had two microwaves. When we moved into this house there wasn't one installed, and at first we thought we'd be fine with it. Then we saw the $33 option and thought that it would make a great addition to our family. So I guess we did partake of Black Friday totally on a whim (and the shocker - it was Tom's whim!).

Friday, November 26, 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

Can't believe the fairytale is coming to an end

Disney getting out of the Fairytale business? Really? After a wide variety of princesses and princes venturing out to conquer love, forbidden romance, their sworn and unknown enemies, and even their own hair, it seems that Disney is done with them. Tangled will be the last fairytale they conquer. According to this article in the LA Times, kids today just aren't all about the princesses and princes, well, at least not after they turn 5 years old. And those 3 and 4 year olds? Well, they aren't so much about driving to the movie theaters - at least mine weren't. While it makes sense with the increase in popular tween and older kid programing that Disney wraps this one up, it still makes me sad. Cinderella is my absolute favorite. Not because of who she was or what she did, just because she's Cinderella. She's dreamy, slightly quirky and unassuming, independent, and of course she wore a pretty blue dress. Even at my age I still smile when I see her at the parks - makes me feel like a kid again. It's a shame to imagine that there won't be any more Cinderella's, in the near future at least, coming out of Disney studios.

That said, I did have the chance to see Tangled with the boys and not only did I enjoy it but they got a kick out of it too! Check out my review of Tangled here.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Pure Joy

Take a minute to watch this - the kids went nuts when they saw it!

Don't know him, but we love him and his little dancing shoes!

Friday, November 12, 2010


Don't know why they didn't have a show like this before, but Glee is really hitting on all cylinders. Loved the Empire State of Mind in the first episode of this current season, and now this:

which I'll say might be even better than the original, and I simply adore Katy Perry. And yes, Darren Criss is dreamy too.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

In remembrance

Thank you to all of those who have served or are serving now.
Day 103 will always be remembered.

*If you haven't already been reading his blog you need to start now!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Things I learned this week

A brief list of things I've learned this week:

1. If you are my kid, you will inevitably, before you turn four, find and draw with a pen/pencil/Sharpie on the walls/floors/cribs/washer/whatever. It's just the way it is in this family.

2. I can't stop myself from eating Halloween candy, even if I tell myself that I won't. Just have to get it out of the house.

3. Sometimes grown ups act like they are entitled to the world, and that it's your fault that their day isn't going well. (Actually, one of my volunteers learned this the really hard way this week, but I witnessed it.)

4. If your phone doesn't do what you want it to do, buy a new one that does and stop complaining. You'll feel so much better.

5. When you do good for others, people notice.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Thanks goodness it's over!

The elections are behind us now, which means that the phone that sits behind me that I don't even know the number for will stop ringing. Yes, in the past week I received calls from both Al Gore and Barack Obama. Who knew that I was so popular! Not even the Republican candidate for Senate knew that. Yeah, he called me twice for some unknown reason - once on election day to remind me to vote. Thanks! I voted and did my part. It didn't turn out quite the way I would have wanted it to, but we'll move forward and press on! Always fighting the good fight.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Her dog ran away!

When you adopt a pet on your phone and you fail to feed it, play with it, or clean up after it, it runs away. But when you are two you don't really care...

And when all THREE of your pets run away (DOGGIE, bunny, and rock all left within three days of one another) then you still don't care but can't figure out where all of your friends went!

Fortunately your mom knows where to get some new ones and you are back on track neglecting the needs of your favorite pets once again.

(If you know of an iPhone App that acts like a "raise your pet" app but doesn't require actual work on the part of the person that owns the pet, please let me know. Lucy doesn't care but she does get bummed when her pets don't do what she wants them to do - oh - and when they disappear.)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Having fun outdoors

Having fun in the back yard means rolling in the grass. Well, when you have curly girly hair the grass pretty much stays in your hair, and it hangs out there until it's washed, or until your mom picks all of it out piece by piece. Yeah, playing in the backyard is lots of fun!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cows That Type!

In an attempt NOT to purchase any more library books for my daughter (you know they make you pay for them when your two year old destroys them), we tried something different today. Instead of getting her a book that I had to watch like a hawk for two weeks, we checked out a video. And it wasn't just ANY video, it was Click Clack Moo Cows That Type! It's one of our favorites books, and a few minutes into it I got a cool surprise. The story was narrated by one of my favorite country singers - Randy Travis! If you get the chance read the book - it's really cool. But if you have a wee one then definitely take a peek at the video - it might even be available at the local library!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Stormy Weather

Cool storm clouds that rolled in with a front a few days back

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Mi s ng lett rs

What the heck are you supposed to do when the letters on your favorite keyboard rub off? Yes, they are slowly but surely disappearing. And to make it worse, as long as I've been typing and as fast as I type, I still look at the keys to see where the letters are (and use the spell check a LOT). As you can see the letters right next to the P are gone completely, but without typing a letter or two I'm not honestly sure which one is which. and on the other end my A and S are also almost completely gone. At what point am I supposed to buy a new keyboard - replacing the one that I love. I love it so much because of the feel of the keys and the sound it makes when I type - full, authoritative. So while I really don't want to replace my favorite typing buddy, I'm not sure that just any replacement will suffice. It's worse than trying to find a hairdresser (and I'm really picky about that one).

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Things Kids Say #863

Sam: Mommy, have you ever hear of caramel?
Me: Yes, it's the squishy yummy candy stuff. I love caramels.
Sam: No, not that caramel. The kind that when you do good things, good things happen to you.

Yeah. Karma, Sam, Karma.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Dear Cancer

Check out this letter writing campaign ( - they are donating money to the American Cancer Society to help fight cancer. You can write your own, but here's mine:

Suzie P.
Letter ID: 3654
Dear Cancer, You suck - you REALLY suck. You took my mom well before I was done with her, and you are actively attacking a close friend of mine. But, I have another close friend that kicked YOUR butt, so HAH! I hope never to see you again, and although I know that in my lifetime I probably will, you should know that we are a lot tougher than you are. So piss off cancer - I want you gone for good.

Suzie P.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

My little band groupie!

Lucy loves Rocknoceros - even more when she can sneak right up to the stage and watch! Yes, those are her pigtails in the middle of the picture snugged right up to the stage! All the rest of the blurs are kiddos dancing and spinning and hopping around. Loads of fun and great music to boot!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Chilean Miner Rescue

I am sitting here watching the miners in Chile come up from thousands of feet underground one by one - they are being rescued and are being returned back to their loved ones. It is striking me in an odd way - tension for those remaining, grief that they lost these past two and a half months and have had to endure such an event, and relief that at least three of them have been rescued. I can't even begin to imagine what they have gone through, what their families have gone through, or how this profound event will change their lives. I understand only a tiny bit of what the rescuers are discussing in Spanish - what they are sending back down as they prepare the capsule for the next descent into the cave that these miners have called home for 68 days. But what I do understand is how far we've come from writing these men off year ago - trapped so far underground. Technology has allowed us to not only rescue them, but discover that they were alive in the first place, then communicate with them from the get go. This has allowed professionals to help them at each and every step of the way, assessing and building plans for their safe return to the surface. This has allowed their family members to communicate with them as they are trapped down there, giving them hope. And this has allowed all of us to watch and wait and participate in a way that we never could before.

Yet there are 30 men still down there, and it will take hours, even days until we see them all emerge. I guess the feeling is a little overwhelming - technology has brought us right up to the rescue site and we will all sit and wait now to see the safe return of all of these men - these total strangers who have become a part of our lives. Safe journeys to all of you.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

It's so random.

My kids LOVE the word "random" these days. They use it all the time, and I've yet to hear them use it correctly.

"I've randomly decided that I want to go outside."
"I just randomly picked out a book."
"That was so random."

Yeah, random. It's coming out of their mouths on a regular basis and I think it's driving my darling husband nuts.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Lucy's Lost Pet

Apparently when you don't feed your pet rock/bunny/dog/cat/penguin it runs away. when knew? Lucy found out the hard way when her mom didn't feed her pet rock/bunny/dog/cat/penguin for the span of a week and her pet disappeared. But this nice iPhone App let me get her another pet rock/bunny/dog/cat/penguin and she was happy once again.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Sadly, you are not a monster.

My heart is all aflutter for Grover:

And this isn't the first time. I dunno. Isaiah Mustafa, you have some competition. and Go Sesame Street for staying on the ball! (And thanks to the folks at Chuck for realizing what a good fit Mr. Mustafa is for your show!)

Sunday, October 03, 2010

United State of Pop 2009 Mash-Up

I always appreciate a good mash-up, and this one is great:

Friday, October 01, 2010

Important Women’s Health Issue

LOVE this! It's been going around for a long while, but a friend just sent it to me a few days ago and I think that ALL women need to take heed:

Important Women’s Health Issue

Do you have feelings of inadequacy?

Do you suffer from shyness?

Do you sometimes wish you were more assertive?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist about Margaritas.

Margaritas are the safe, natural way to feel better and more confident about yourself and your actions.

Margaritas can help ease you out of your shyness and let you tell the worldthat you’re ready and willing to do just about anything.

You will notice the benefits of Margaritas almost immediately and with aregimen of regular doses you can overcome any obstacles that prevent youfrom living the life you want to live.

Shyness and awkwardness will be a thing of the past and you will discovermany talents you never knew you had. Stop hiding and start living, withMargaritas.

Margaritas may not be right for everyone. Women who are pregnant or nursingshould not use Margaritas. However, women who wouldn’t mind nursing orbecoming pregnant are encouraged to try it.

Side effects may include:

Dizziness, nausea, vomiting, incarceration

Loss of motor control

Loss of clothing

Loss of money

Table dancing



Dry mouth

And a desire to sing Karaoke

WARNING: The consumption of Margaritas may make you think you are whispering when you are not.

WARNING: The consumption of Margaritas may cause you to tell your friends over and over again that you love them.

WARNING: The consumption of Margaritas may cause you to think you can sing.

WARNING: The consumption of Margaritas may make you think you can logically converse with members of the opposite sex without spitting.

Please share this with other women who may need Margaritas. Thank you.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Meet the Cake Pops Lady!!!

I have been following this blog for a while, and now she's got a book out!. Bakerella makes THE MOST CREATIVE little baked goods I've ever seen. Check out this video for a glimpse at how she works her magic, then definitely check out her blog. These cute cupcake pops might even bring me out of baking retirement!

Might even go so far as to say that I'd like to be her when I grow up! See those cute little cake pops and you'll understand why I'm so smitten.

Monday, September 27, 2010

We No Speak Americano

So take THAT traditional Irish Dancing!

You have to check these guys out: Up and Over It

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Breakfast Club - A Classic??!!??

No way that it's been 25 years since this came out:

"But what we found out that each of us is a brain
...and an athlete
...and a basket case
...a princess
...and a criminal."

What a fantastic movie.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Piles and Smiles!

Ever wonder where dollies and animals and blankets go when little girls get their hands on a bunch of them? Well, they get piled up on the couch and the little girl proceeds to climb atop her pile of animals and blankets and dollies and grin. Oh, and in the process she buries mom and dad under the dollies and blankets and animals, insisting that each one have a certain place of honor. Thank goodness for older brothers who can snap pictures as our pile grew so large that it held us down - and Lucy wasn't budging!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Happy Birthday Mom!

Today my mom would have been 64 years old. What a strange thought. She passed away in 2006 at the age of 59, so she'll never see her 60's, or 70's for that matter. In the picture below she is only 34 years old - a little younger than I am now (and yes, it was 1980, so we were still almost stuck in the 70's but moving on to the 80's).
So Mom, hope that you are having one hell of a great party today wherever you are - you always did know how to throw a big bash! Happy Birthday!

Sunday, September 19, 2010