Category: technology


Russian Music Box Dancers

I love this!  It is simply AMAZING that these kids can do this!  Wow!

1/31=TAX TIME

As opposed to Hammer time-when it’s tax time, I keep my hammer pants neatly folded in my drawer (with my other vintage costumes!!! Ha ha).  I like tax time–I know that’s weird but it usually involves a great tax return for our family!  I posted this link earlier but thought I’d re-post it considering that it is probably near the forefront of your mind now.  By tomorrow or shortly thereafter, you should have your W2 forms  ready to go!   John just sent me this link that is for free tax software for incomes less than $57,000.  This is a great FREE tool to help you with your taxes!  If you have done taxes manually before, paid someone else to file them, or paid for tax software in the past–change your strategy this year and try this out!  Happy tax time!

Youtube Thursday

I don’t watch American idol.  I guess that is why I am a youtube junkie to get my fill my entertainment quota.  Here is another youtube marvel.   We found this after watching August Rush and being intrigued by the slap guitar in that movie.  Enjoy!

More Youtube love-2 cellos

Youtube is a treasure trove of talented people (of course there is ample of the not  so talented too).  John showed me this video a few weeks ago.  These 2 guys are pretty amazing–classically trained playing modern music.  Awesome!  Smooth Criminal was his favorite just because they play so fast and intensely (although the little fight scene is weird)…but their other work is equally cool.   

Youtube’s got talent

Youtube has really changed how talented people are discovered.  Our family really digs watching it.  Mike Tompkins is one of our favorites.  It’s amazing that he makes all the noises with his own mouth.  Whoa!  20 years ago, only his friends and family could marvel at his talent but now anyone world wide can be entertained.  If you aren’t familiar with him….check this out!

Hairstyles for little girls

My cousin Susanna has this blog on her sidebar.  It’s a blog with hairstyle ideas for little girls.  My girls pour over this blog every Sunday trying to figure out how we are going to fix their hair.  We have a little more time then the headband for school on Sundays.  I really love it!  It has great tutorials and step by step directions on hair fixing for your little girls!  Hopefully we are looking a little better put together these days!  🙂  If you want to branch out a little, this blog refers you to a number of other hair blogs on her sidebars!  Love networking!  Thanks Susanna for sharing! 🙂

Internet Radio

I am light years behind many as far as IPODS and MP3 players go but I love music especially when I’m cleaning or cooking.  John uses this website for internet radio when he’s home and wants music downstairs.  You can type in a group that you like or a song/singer and it will play them and other music that is of a similar genre.  Cool!  I’m excited–When I’ve been home with just the kids and we are cleaning downstairs we are listening to one song at a time on Youtube.

the Magic of the Timer

If you know me very well, you know that I love the timer.  I use it for everything.  I’m a little obsessed with it.  I think it’s magic!!!  Here’s why:

Magically done and not burnt:  The most obvious use of the timer in a kitchen is to time things baking or cooking on the stove.  From experience I’ve learned that if I fail to use the timer, I will blacken my poor pot yet again (oops)–amazing how resilient it’s been.  Usually it’s a matter of getting a bit distracted.  I turn on the stove and go check facebook or go clean the subbasement.  When I come back upstairs, my smeller quickly reminds me that I was cooking (oops).  So, if there is no operator error involved, timer steps up when food is done not burnt.

The timer works wonders in sleep training and timeouts.  The kids know that if they are in time out they can’t come back downstairs until they hear the timer chirping.  It’s precise.  When my babies are sleep training,  I set the timer knowing that I just gave myself permission to let my baby cry for x # of minutes.  I feel like the baby senses the timer and falls asleep nearly every time right before the timer goes off–maybe I’m forgetting about my numerous rescue hero returnsto the room stunts for a bouncing, rocking, swaying fun????….at any rate it also assures the forgetful part of me that I’m not just going to forget about my crying child upstairs.  (I can’t hear the crying in some parts of the house, but if the timer continues to go off until I turn it off and I hear little boy blue I should probably go and at least try to comfort him). 

Note:  Now that my baby is older, he hardly ever cries going to sleep but if I do set the timer and he’s cried longer than 5 minutes-he’s not going to sleep–something else must be ailing him.  Hurray for ever improving abilities to communicate.   He can sign to me if he’s hungry or thirsty.  I need to teach him the sign for-I’m getting a tooth and my gums are rather sore.  🙂

Magically clean in 15 minutes:  I love the fly lady 15 minute strategy-you can accomplish a whole lot in 15 minutes-set the timer and clean like mad for 15 minutes and see your kitchen shine etc.  We do timed white tornadoes (a hurry and clean up as much as you can).  The kids think that cleaning is far more fun when they are racing the clock.  On the flip side, we have also used the timer as a threat…ie you have 5 minutes and if these things aren’t cleaned up…they will be confiscated!    

Our timer has served us well and I plan to continue to benefit from it’s magic.  It’s magic is limited however….I need to come up with another system to remind me to turn off curling irons before church (I’ve come home a couple of Sundays to a hot curling iron–fire hazard????).  It doesn’t work so well in helping one find keys either!  What do you use your magic timer for?

G-mail phone and magic jack

Perhaps you’ve heard of magic jack–it’s a computer device that you can plug in and you can make it your home phone.  We paid $60 for 5 years of service.  I get unlimited long distance-a form of caller ID, call waiting, etc.  The price is really amazing and this is how I justify having our cell phone plan.  I don’t really like JUST having cell phones.  But, the land line is there for this purpose.

On the flip side-there are a few things I don’t really love about magic jack.  The computer HAS to be on to make it work.  There is a great box that pops up whenever you get a phone call.  This means if I’m working on a project and John makes a phone call, my project will be interrupted by the magic jack box–kind of annoying.  At first, we’d have weird echoing and occasionally my magic jack goes on strike against certain phone #’s but generally-I’m getting what I paid for and more.  It’s fine.

If I am having a problem with magic jack however, I could either use my cell phone, or if I’m sitting at the computer, I could use the gmail phone.  You need a microphone with an ear piece device for your computer (we found ours at the dollar tree) and all you do is log into your gmail account.  About half way down the column on the left is a call phone icon.  Click on it-after plugging in your device and you are set for free phone calls.  It works great for being @ the computer!  I think the number that comes up on the other end’s caller id is a CA #. 

It’s nice to have cheap communication options!