The Shuey Family, etc

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Just saying Hi!

Hey all, not much going on here, just wanted to say hi. School's been pretty crazy, a lot of discipline problems and a lot of noise. I come home with a headache most days. We're getting another full time para (like me) in the classroom soon and I think that will help a lot. But I still love my job and that's what matters!
The girls are doing good, like usual! They are both doing great at school and are in an afterschool program called Girls Inc. They have a computer class on Tuesdays and a sort of cooking activity on Fridays. I like it because then I can do my grocery shopping without them and I spend less money!!
Emerson's car broke down and he's been driving mine. We hope we can get it fixed this weekend or things will be rough. He started his college classes this week. He's taking Algebra 2/Trig and English Composition. Only 3 nights a week, but one night is Tues and it makes it hard to get the girls to Girls Inc. when I don't have a car.
I should go, it's time to switch my laundry and check on the girls. They are SUPPOSED to be cleaning their room, somehow I doubt it!!
Love to you all!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Hey everyone!

I don't really have anything exciting to tell (that's why I haven't posted anything for awhile), but I guess I just thought I'd let you know I'm still here!

Jason's working in Wales this week, so I'm pretty lonely. Actually he's away most weeks at least 2 or 3 nights, so I'm kind of used to it. We're having a cold snap at the minute, it's getting colder every day. I think it's about -5 C right now. Don't ask me what that is in Fahrenheit, because I couldn't tell you - all I know is it feels pretty cold out there right now.

The kids are fine. Shannon has been having her hair done today for a hair fashion show she's in in March. Tonight was just to see what my friend Kate (the hairdresser) could do with her hair, kind of a planning session. Shannon loved it because she got to have her hair washed and styled at the salon. That's always nice, I know I enjoy it. I will have to see if I can get a picture of the kids posted on here sometime soon. I need to get some film developed first.

Me and the kids went ice skating on Saturday. That was fun. It's been a few years since I've been, but I was quite pleased that I didn't fall over once! Liam had never been before, but that boy has no fear of anything. He fell over loads, but just kept getting right back up and going for it. That's Liam though. He never lets a little fall put him off if he wants to do something. Like when he was 2 1/2 and Shannon was learning to ride without training wheels and he wanted to do it too. We took his training wheels off, and off he went down the driveway. He fell, he got back up, and that was it, he kept going! He's quite famous for it on his football (soccer) team. They all say if Liam stays down for more than 5 seconds you know it's a serious injury. They've even coined a phrase - when he goes for a tackle against the biggest lad on the pitch and takes his feet out from under him, they say he's "Bohonised him". Like I said, no fear.

Ok, now I'm just rambling senselessly (nothing unusual there). I am really enjoying being able to read this and see how everyone else is doing, so keep posting you all!

Thursday, January 19, 2006


I have added some links to some other blogs. The Brownseys are my Aunt & Uncle on my Mom's side. The Smiths are my sisiter Jen. And the Deckers are my Mom.

If there is anything you would like on the site, i.e. any links. Please let me know and I will get it on for you.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

So we almost broke a record with the rain here. It rained for 27 days straight. I'm not sure what the record is, I think it's 30 something. But we had one really nice gorgeous day of sunshine on Saturday. We all felt like we had to take advantage of it and do whatever we could outside. So I finally vacuumed out my Jeep, it was getting pretty gross inside! Goldfish crackers in about every imaginable place! I'm really not sure how they manage to make such a mess. And of course the scooping of poop in the back yard. Although after 27 days of rain there wasn't much left! But it did feel good to be outside. The kids just had fun playing in outside with the dog. Then it rained again Monday. It was nice for a while yesterday so we walked to pick up Sydney from school. Ethan was happy because he got to ride his bike. It will be nice to get back into that again. But of course it was nasty again today. There goes that. But what can you expect, it is winter. Sydney started a new class at school today. She's been selected to be a part of the in-school enrichment program. It goes in 9 week cycles I think and they do a different unit each time. This is the first one she's been in. It's a poetry class. She's really excited about it. She goes once a week during her reading time and I think it's 2nd and 3rd graders together. She thought that was cool to be in a class with 3rd graders! She has to write a poem of her own and also find a poem out of a book she likes for her homework this week. I think it'll be a great experience for her. I'll let you all know how it goes. Right now she's been busy with her brownie troop, it's cookie time again. So she's been trying to sell cookies to everyone she knows. But we have to wait till March to get them, that's the hard part! But we always end up buying tons to help her reach her goal. Not that we mind! Who doesn't like Girl Scout cookies! We went tonight to a band concert at her school. One of the girls in her class has a big sister in 5th grade in the band so we went to watch her. It was fun. It definitely brought back memories! I remember having band concerts in school and playing hot cross buns and being so proud! I wish I'd stuck with it, it was so much fun to play. I do still have my clarinet though, but it's been so long, I probably wouldn't even remember where to put my fingers! Sydney says that when she's in 5th grade she wants to be in the band too. That'll be fun. Well, guess that's about all that's going on around here. Hope none of you mind my rambling because that's about all I'm doing tonight! Grandma, I'm so glad that you got on here too! This is such a great way for us all to keep in touch. Hope all is well for you all across the country (or world for Mom and Heather!). Love you all and I'll be back soon!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Good for you, Fayth! I know what that is like, we changed our living room up before christmas to make room for the tree. It's very theraputic for me, I'm sure you feel the same. It helps me feel ok about not moving when I really feel like I should be!
We've been having some pretty crazy weather around here. It was 57 on Friday and it's 3 right now. The bathroom downstairs has frozen, and I'm hoping the kitchen stays ok. This winter has been so weird, temps go up and down, rain and snow and lots of wind, then the sun comes out and it feels like April. We even had thunder storms while it was snowing. It inspired me to write a poem and I wanted to share it with you all.


The thunder cloud rolls by and pulls me from my bed
As I look out the window, I shake my sleepy head
Is this a dream? Is it May or December?
It just doesn’t seem to be the way I remember.

The lightning flashes, so blinding and bright,
I can’t even tell if it’s day or if it’s night.
In my half awake state, the confusion is mounting.
I sit very still and slowly begin counting.

One, Two, Three, Four
There’s a boom and I run to the door.
Looking thru snowflakes it really makes me wonder
Is it true? Did I really hear thunder?

Then, another flash and the street is aglow
I count to three, and now I know
What I thought was a dream, so confusing to see
Really is true, it’s right in front of me

The flash of the lightning, the clap of the thunder
Is actually happening, no more to wonder
I can tell you though, it’s strange to see
A thunderstorm light up a Christmas tree.

Off to do some laundry in my new dryer!!!! Love to all

Sunday, January 15, 2006


Yay! I rearranged my living room today! And yes, I know this may not seem like much, but I've been wanting to for ages. I've never really liked the way we had it, it never felt quite right. But the only place to hook up the cable was on the one wall and since we don't have carpet, we didn't want to run the cable across the floor or anything. So it really was the only practical place to put the tv. But Bryan got some cable today and drilled a hole in the wall and hooked up the cable on the other side of the room for me! So now we can actually put our couch on the long wall instead of angling it out from the corner. I know none of you (besides Erin and she doesn't even read these!) have ever seen my house, but just know that it looks so much better! It's kind of an oddly shaped room, but now it feels like the space is being used a little better. Anyways, just needed to tell you all because it made my day!

Friday, January 13, 2006

Wow is right!

WOW! The more you paint Fayth the better you seem to get! You can almost feel the cool water rippling over those pepples. I love the way your colors are so balanced. You did always have a thing about rocks....Erin used to carry matchbox cars in her little purse but you had to collect rocks and sticks. And Emerson I for one really enjoyed your comments about taking photos. I think I may have even learned something! I certainly know who to go to for advice!

I have a challenging few months ahead of me but I feel thing will come together and I am looking forward to being closer to everyone. Thanks for offering your support Amber. That's probably what I will need most...emotional support. I know in my heart it is the right thing for me to do but sometimes it is easy to drown in the details ya know?

Love and

Thursday, January 12, 2006


Fayth, those are great paintings. I think I will agree that the one of the pebbles is very much you. I can really tell how much of yourself you put into the painting of it. But I especially love the leaves. There is something about your color choices that is really pleasing to look at. They feel so alive! I have tried to paint leaves, but not that close up. I'm in the middle of a painting with ivy and the leaves are taking me forever. I can't imagine how long it took to get those just right. At the risk of repeating myself too much, I'll say again, WOW! I would love a print of both of them. Thank you for sharing.

Mom, I think that is great news. We would love to have you visit sometime when you get back stateside. I think it will be nice to be able to call a little bit more easily and cheaper! If there is anything I can do to help...

Love to all!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Photo Tip of the Day

Fayth, a couple of things to try with your camera:

The blurry pictures are most likely due to a slow shutter speed, a lack of proper lighting, and the natural shaking of your hands, called camera shake. A tripod and shutter release cable with lots of light would be ideal. There are some ways of cheating this though.

The Tripod: Place the camera of a table, bookshelf, chair or any other solid surface. The key is to have the camera close to the same level has your subject. If a table is a little low you can place some books on the table and then the camera on the books. See there may be a use for those encyclopedias after all. The overall idea is you want the camera to be as still as possible.

The Shutter Release Cable: It seams most point and shoot cameras today are not setup for shutter release cables. This goes for 35mm and digital. What most of them do have that people do not think of the self-timer. The self-timer has about a 10-15 second delay from when you push the shutter button to when the camera takes the picture. To use this option the camera must be on a tripod or a solid surface. This allows the camera to stop shaking from the force of pushing the shutter button. Push this button cause the camera to move more than you think.

Review: Placing the camera on a solid surface and using the self-timer can give you the same effect as using a tripod and shutter release cable.

The Lighting: This is the single most important thing with taking picture, yet is the one thing least thought of. People spend years trying to learn how to properly light a subject. Lighting people is a hard subject that I still have trouble with so I am not going to even get into that. Lighting a still life can be a bit easier. We will use Fayth's subject of a painting. This should be fairly easy because it is onto two dimensional, no shadows to worry about. Natural lighting is best. If you are outdoors try and avoid direct sunlight. Working in a light shade is best. On a bright, but cloudy day is ideal. Indoors is another matter. In this case tilt the painting back slightly so any light from the ceiling can come down directly on it. Moving any lamps close with out the lamp shade on can also be a go source of light. Try to avoid anything under 100 watts for it can be to yellow of a light. I good trick is a halogen work light. Most of these are about 500 watts and a close to the correct light temperature of sunlight, 5500°K. Anything under this technically needs an 80A filter. If you would like to know more about light temperature and filters call me and we can talk, it is a very long complicated matter. Using natural lighting from a window is also good. It is a good portrait lighting effect.

I am going to stop now. I could go on for hours and I have probably lost most of you by now. If you are to this point and have not fallen asleep, pat yourself on the back for me!

Any question let me know.


Hey all, just wanted to share some of my latest paintings I've done. Sorry, they're not the best pictures though, just with my digital camera which tends to be a bit blurry sometimes. The first one is pebbles in a stream that I wanted to paint ever since we were camping a couple years ago. I got some good pictures and worked from them. The other one I just finished about a week ago. The way we walk to Sydney's school is through a bunch of trees. And so all fall it is just gorgeous to see the changes and the different phases the leaves go through. I collected a bunch of leaves in all the different colors and went from there. The rock one I think is probably one of my favorites of anything I've done before. For some reason it feels the most like "me" if that makes any sense. I mean, you all know how much I've always had a thing for rocks, so I guess it's no surprise they inspire me so! Anyways, just wanted to share with you all and hear your opinions. Let me know what you think!

By the way, I just realized that if you click on the pictures, you can see them up closer. Didn't know that before!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Where has it been all my life?

I took my first yoga class last night! Thank you for giving me the push to get started Fayth. I had the best time and really feel good today. I was worried that I would make a fool of myself, but I was able to do almost everything-my hips did NOT like one of the standing positions. :) I guess all I can do is keep practicing and it will get easier as time goes by.

Joe is in Phoenix on a business trip all week, so it is just me and the girls. Addie is such a Daddy's girl that I think I will have a rough week. We were supposed to get 5-8 inces of snow last night, but all we have so far is rain. (Thank God!) It is supposed to switch over to snow as the day goes on, but I keep hoping that they are wrong. I don't even know where our snow shovel is!

Hope all is well with everyone. More soon-

Losing teeth etc....

Pretty cool both girls on opposite ends of the country lost the same tooth pretty much the same day!! Big hugs and kisses to them both! I remember when you girls lost teeth. I somehow couldn't bring myself to throw them were all so proud! I kept them for years in my jewelry box. When I first looked at Sydney I thought "Oh my that her tooth?" Then i remembered about the gold coin. Ok so we all know how silly we can me to thinking about baked potatoes, Fayth and what was that about "4 on the floor" Amber?

Well I guess you might say I have some news. I have decided it's time to move stateside. It'll probably take me as much as 6 months to get the logistics sorted out but the decision has been made. I always said I would know when it was time to go and it seems like I woke up one day...actually it was about 5pm when it hit me...and I knew. Considering what I am about to undertake, you would think I would feel anxiety. It's uncanny though the way I get a sense of calm whenever I think about it. Convinces me that it is right. Lots of details to work out of course but the basic plan is to move to NC where I can be nearer to my mom because that's where I need to be.

Love to

Monday, January 09, 2006

Summer thought it was cool as well. She started teething much earlier than Sydney did, at least I think so. And they say that the time period between getting the teeth and losing the teeth is pretty standard. Summer had 2 teeth by 6 months old and started losing them last year. (I think?!) Wasn't Sydney almost a year old when she got her first tooth? I don't remember. Anyways, they'll all fall out eventually!

Amber, that was so funny that Summer lost the same tooth, Sydney couldn't believe it. Although she did think it was a little unfair that Summer has lost more teeth than she has. She calls herself a late bloomer, cracks me up! Anyways, thanks for putting the picture up, that was good.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Hey Fayth! I thought it was pretty cool that Sydney lost her tooth last night. Especially once I realized that Summer lost the exact same tooth this morning! We took her picture so you could see.

Everything else here is pretty normal, not that I'm complaining. Sometimes it's nice to not have too much excitement in your life! I'm starting to get that itchy to move feeling again, pretty normal this time of year. I'll do some deep cleaning and rearranging and then I'll feel much better. Moving is not an option right now, so cleaning is the right kind of therapy.

On to some good news; for those of you who don't know, we've been without dryer for 4 months now. Well, we went yesterday and bought a new one. It'll be delivered on Tues. and you know what I'll be doing that night!! I'm really looking forward to doing some laundry ( I didn't think that I would ever say that!)

Off to do the dishes and get ready for bed, need to catch up on some sleep.

Love you all!

Special visitor

We recieved (well I guess I should say Sydney recieved) a visit from a very special visitor last night, the Tooth Fairy! It's the first time since Dec. 2004 that she's been to our house, so it was quite an occasion. She lost two teeth right on top of each other right after Christmas last year and then it was over a year before another one came out. This one's been loose for a while and has been barely hanging on stubbornly for about 2 weeks now. We've tried night after night to pull it out, but it just wouldn't come. So of course there were lots and lots of tears and whining about it. So last night she goes in to brush her teeth and comes out a couple minutes later with a huge toothless smile and her tooth in a tissue in her hand. I think the best part for her was that she pulled it out herself. She was so happy. So the tooth fairy came last night (very late I might add because Sydney would NOT fall asleep! You'd have thought it was Christmas Eve all over again!) and brought Sydney a gold dollar coin. Here's a picture of her this morning.

Hasta la bye-bye!

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Another rainy day in WA...

Well, the title about sums it up. Another rainy day in Washington. That's about all it's done lately. Guess it is that time of year. Could be worse. Actually I don't mind it that much really, just makes it crummy to walk the dog. Just staying in and cleaning house and doing laundry today, although I really am not motivated to do any of that. Which would explain why it's already 1 in the afternoon and all I've managed to do is take a shower and run the dishwasher (which really was just last night's dinner dishes so should have been done last night.) But I am having really good leftover pizza from last night's dinner! I actually had fresh basil this time to put in my sauce which really makes it so much better, adds a nice zing. So anyways, guess I'm just babbling, not really anything important to say. But really, that's not that unusual. Actually, now that I think of it, I do have a question some of you guys might be able to answer, particularly Dad or Emerson. Ok, I need to get some pictures on slides made of a couple of my pictures (I want to enter them in a contest in a magazine) but I don't have a good enough camera and don't know enough about it to take the quality pictures that I would need. How would I go about getting that done? Any suggestions? Thanks for any input you might have. Well, guess that's about it from rainy Washington.

Over and out.

Monday, January 02, 2006


If anyone talks to Erin please let her know about this blog.
We may have to ban her for life !!!

Happy New Year!

Hey all. Hope you all had fun ringing in the new year. We had a good time. We went to our friend's house that we know through Sydney's brownie troop. There were lots of people and we played this fun dice game called Left, Right, Center or something like that. Really simple, but lots of fun. So anyways, most of the people left by 11, so it was only a couple of us left by midnight. But all the kids were awake and we went out in the front yard with the little horns and noise makers and sparklers and pop-its. It was cold and raining, but fun anyway! So then yesterday (after sleeping till almost 11!) we took the tree down and packed up all the Christmas decorations and all that good stuff. Then for some reason Bryan was in a cleaning and sorting mood so we started going through all the closets and sorting and organizing and throwing away stuff. Really needed to be done, but it's the kind of project that's a lot to take on by yourself, so it was good that Bryan started it. Makes me want to sort through everything in the whole house! That would take me weeks. But it seems to have rubbed off on Sydney too because she's been going through her room and has about 3 bags of stuff she wants to get rid of! I think she's also trying to make room for her new stuff she got for Christmas. Whatever the reason, I'm not going to complain! I need to put her to work on my Tupperware cabinet next! Well, that's about it from here. Amber, glad to hear that Bev is doing better. Mom, that sound like it was really neat to watch the other night. It seems like we're the only ones without snow! Even you and Heather getting some! I guess we got ours last month! Talk to you all soon.

The glow in the snow.......

The snow was predicted but no one really believed it because it only really snows here in "sunny" Italy every 20 years or so. Guess we hit that 20 year mark! I had gone to my bed early with the dog and "Lord of the Rings" (actually a very good movie to sleep to if it's not too loud) around 830 since I had to work early on New Year's Day. Normally on a clear night I can see fireworks for almost 180 degrees from the surrounding hills. All the little villages and towns do their own so it pretty much fills the sky. Quite spectacular! Plus it's nice not to have to leave the house too. When I went to bed it was sort of misty but when I was woken up by the noise of the fireworks of course Lulu would not allow me to fail to investigate. Couldn't believe my eyes when I saw how much it had snowed! Everything was completely white but the colors from the fireworks made me feel like I was smack in the middle of the Aurora Borealis...blew me away! You couldn't actually see the sparkly bits that you normally see but suddenly you'd get a glow of green here...then pink over there overlapped with gold. Hard to describe...but you can imagine how surreal it was. Peace and love to

Hey Emerson...did you ever get a good e-mail for Erin?

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year!

Good morning to all! I just got up a little bit ago and wanted to say Happy New Year to all of you. Can you believe it is 2006? Time just seems to go by so much faster than it ever did before. Everyone warned me that this would happen, but I never wanted to believe them. I think somehow kids warp the time/space continuom (??) or something like that!!!

We are going over to Dad and Bevs this afternoon for our family Christmas, now that Bev is up and moving around better. We are all cooking and bringing dinner to her and there are tons of presents under the tree, so it should be for a busy day. We didn't have a white Christmas, really, just a little bit on snow left on the ground. Today, however, it has been snowing pretty steady since about 2 yesterday afternoon. So for Bev's Christmas Day it'll be white, she's really happy about that.

Several of you have been talking about watching White Christmas, well it is our favorite christmas movie too. The day the Christmas stuff came out of the box the girls saw it and we watched it right away and then again a couple of days later. We'll probably watch it one more time before it gets packed away until next year. The girls know how to rewind the VCR now and they'll watch the "Sisters" song over and over again and dance around the living room! It's so much fun to watch them, especially since I remember singing and dancing to that when I was little. Do you remember that?

The girls got Cabbage Patch Dolls from Grandma Hill this year. They love them!! So I got out the book of patterns and we are making flannel nightgowns for them. They want to make every outfit in the book, but I just don't think I could manage that yet. I told them that maybe after things settle down and get back to normal that we could work on it. So for now they are happy just playing.

I have to go now and shovel some snow. We were gone all day yesterday and haven't shoveled at all since it started snowing. Em and the girls are still sleeping, we were all up until 1 last night so I'm not going to wake anyone quite yet. I'll talk to you all later. I love you all and wish you the best in this coming year!!