Friday, November 30, 2007


It's snowing outside and my two younger boys are running around the house in swim shorts. They're ready for lessons tonight. As you can imagine, lessons are going well. Fun for all!

Many of you that know me, know that I have had an addiction to diet sodas for a long time. I've been wanting to kick it for about 5 years, but have been completely unsuccessful. I've tried replacing the caffeine, and yet I still crave pop. I've tried drinking so much water that I'd never be thirsty, but I just wanted a pepsi! My dear friend Rosemary, told me a few weeks ago that she'd had this same problem, and use regular pepsi to wean herself. I've always been sure that it wasn't just the caffeine that I was addicted to, but maybe the "diet"...nutra sweet- the very reason I wanted to quit. I've heard numbers of bad things about nutra sweet, and am afraid that it will one day prove to be toxic to me.
So I gave it a try. I replaced the diet with regular, and the cravings stopped! Immediately! I'm doing GREAT with just a bit of regular every day, and am hopeful that I can quit one day soon. I used to drink more than I care to least 3 cans a day. Yikes!

I'm off now~ encouragement to any of you who need to quit...

Trying to get healthy...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Nick of Time

We had a close call this morning, a fantastic reminder in the holiday season of candles and small electronics... to be careful! Our kitchen has under-the-counter lighting. A little bit ago Ralph pulled down the roll of paper towels (attached to the cupboards) to find that two of the towels on the roll were marshmallow-brown toasted. Scary! We could've had a house fire in a hurry.

My dear sister-in-law knows this too well, several years ago at a Thanksgiving party at her house someone unknowingly knocked down a candle and they had a serious house fire upstairs. Their beautiful old home was saved, but they were not spared a nightmare experience of having the house worked on for months while they stayed at a hotel.

So as we creep into December, and you're enjoying the holiday candles and such, be careful to keep them in sight, up high if you have little ones, or just go with one of the flameless candles, or candle warmers. Always watch your tree too, make sure it has water and check your lights!

Happy to remind you without tragedy behind it...amanda

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Peace and Quiet??

I've known for years now that peace and quiet don't come hand in hand often. In fact, I'd say that I had to redefine "peace"awhile back. Peace, does not mean quiet. Our house is quite peaceful this morning, and the boys are jumping off the bunk bed right now. I have perfect peace about my day, but that's inner peace...I'm not even sure it's quiet in there.

And quiet. Those of you who've been in the Christian culture for any length of time are very familiar with the concept of "quiet time." A time of the day (by law it's morning) that one sits down to read The Bible and pray. This quiet time has been a huge source of guilt for many. If we don't have regular, long quiet time each day, we aren't good Christians, right? Praying is a ritual, right? Find a quiet place, talk to God, read the Word, wait on God. Well, that concept is constantly challenged by my household.

This morning, I snuck (no such thing) out of bed to have my quiet time. My almost 6 year old crept down next to me, asked for a cup of tea and snuggled up against me with a blanket. As I opened my Bible to read about Joshua, Joey says "Will you read to me, too?" Am I supposed to say "No, this is mommy's quiet time with God, you're not included." THIS, my friends, is a HUGE reason why I homeschool! I want my kids to know God. I want them to sit next to me as I go, experiencing the Great peace and security I find with my Father. So no, I didn't send him away. I read to him. In the next 10 minutes the other boys came down and I read, journaled, thinking this; This is what my life is right now, peace...and time with God, in the midst of noise and chaos. The Bible instructs us to teach our children as we sit and stand and go. We are to pray continually. Our experience with God can go on all day, not just in the quiet. So let the day begin!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Birthday Party for Joe!

Joe had his birthday party this weekend, it was a marathon, by accident. The party was supposed to be a one friend sleepover and trip to the arcade. It ended up being a 5 kid, 7 adult party in the evening, and 2 friend trip the arcade. Long story. Anyhow, Joey had a wonderful time, and was amazing, considering we had extra kids at our house all week and he was tired to start out. He's changing, this 6 year old change, I think I like it. I'm seeing emotional, rational maturity....and I love it! Good fun. Still sad to see them grow, but I like what happens with the relationships. :) I'll do a feature on Joey in a few days.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


The boys had lessons again. This set of lessons was through the homeschool co-op. It was fun to be in lessons with friends. (Joey and Thomas) I was excited to see that the boys are doing really well, really progressing. I didn't put them in at all this summer, took them to play at the pool a lot and all of them got comfy with their faces in the water, and scooting around under there. I'm excited to see the learning this winter. They have no lessons this week, but start again next week. For that session Eli and I will do a class too.

The city of Redmond will be getting a ginormous water park sometime in the next few years. A main attraction, for out of towners and locals alike. I want the boys to hold their own too. I'm also really looking forward to white water rafting with our kids. :) But I do the math....the boys have to be at least six years that will be at least 5 years from now or so. I can't wait!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Eli says....

We were at the grocery store, Eli says, "Look!" pointing at a Tinkerbell balloon. "Taco Bell!"

Joey says...

Joe and I were having a conversation about strengths and weaknesses. Everyone has some of each. "What do you think mommy is good at? What are my strengths?" I asked him.

"Umm, mopping, I guess." Says Joe

Friday, November 9, 2007

Not funny

Ok, so getting a little on the personal side...don't know who all my readers are, so hope I don't embarrass any of you men. I just turned 33, I'm having night sweats! What?!? I'm going nuts about this. I am having other strange things happen too, I really need to get into my dr. I'm so glad to say that Ralph's new job is providing much better insurance, so I can go without wincing. Anyhow, I needed to whine a little. I'm not sleeping well, the boys are getting up daily at 5:30 & I'm unbelievably grumpy. Pulling on that last email....guess I need to go pray.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Early Morning Pep me

Change your attitude! If only it were that easy, "Change your socks, they stink!" It seems that easy when I'm asking it of someone else. "Pull out of that slump, there's no need for you to be so depressed, life is good." "Don't whine! Life is fine!"

However this morning I find myself grumbling to myself & God about things I've been grumbling about for 2 days (boy's don't know about time change, still getting up at 6...I can't seem to catch the housework...etc.) But then it dawns on me. It's easier than I think.
You see, living this free life I'm in, I'm not subject to our emotions.

Philippians 4:6& 7 says;

Don't worry about anything, instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand.

I don't even have to pull myself up by my bootstraps. Somehow, every time I conjure up that image, I see myself pulling hard and tipping over. In prayer, thanking God for what I have quickly changes my perspective. Next, turning over my concerns, grumblings, anxieties in exchange for amazing peace, that is indeed more than my mind can understand. I have experienced this over and over, when I've come to God with my concerns about the "bigger" things in life. Today I'll work on turning over the little stuff.

I don't want to be a grumpy mom, wife, (remember...Ralph is home all day now) and I don't get to hide away.

Need to tuck in my bootstraps, and go pray.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

'Twas October

The good days of fashion

Well, my sister sent this to me in an email today, and I loved it. It pretty much made me laugh my head off. Unfortunately though, I just couldn't forward it to anyone...and I just HAD to share. I know this isn't a typical blog, but I would be robbing you of an experience not to share....

Last weekend I put an exhaust fan in the ceiling for my wife's grandfather. While my wife's brother and I were fitting the fan in between the joists, we found something under the insulation. What we found was this:

A JC Penney catalog from 1977. It's not often blog fodder just falls in my lap, this was two solid inches of it, right there for the taking. I thumbed through it quickly and found my next dining room set, which is apparently made by adding upholstery to old barrels:

Also, I am totally getting this for my bathroom:

There's plenty more home furnishings where those came from, however I'm not going to bore you with that. Instead, I'm going to bore you with something else. The clothes.

The clothes are fantastic.

Here's how to get your butt kicked in elementary school:

Just look at that belt. It's like a boob-job for your pants. He probably needed help just to lift it into place. The belt loops have to be three inches long. And way to pull them up to your armpits, grandpa.

Here's how to get your butt kicked in high school:

This kid looks like he's pretending to be David Soul, who is pretending to be a cop who is pretending to be a pimp that everyone knows is really an undercover cop. Who is pretending to be 15.

Here's how to get your butt kicked on the golf course:

This "all purpose jumpsuit" is, according to the description, equally appropriate for playing golf or simply relaxing around the house. Personally, I can't see wearing this unless you happen to be relaxing around your cell in D-block. Even then, the only reason you should put this thing on is because the warden made you.

Here's how to get your butt kicked pretty much anywhere:

If you look at that picture quickly, it looks like Mr. Bob "No-pants" Saget has his hand in the other guy's pocket. In this case, he doesn't, although you can tell just by looking at them that it's happened - or if it hasn't happened it will.

Here's how to get your butt kicked at the beach:

He looks like he's reaching for a gun, but you know it's probably just a bottle of suntan lotion in a holster.

How to get your butt kicked in a meeting:

If you wear this suit and don't sell used cars for a living, I believe you can be fined and face serious repercussions, up to and including termination. Or imprisonment, in which case you'd be forced to wear that orange jumpsuit.

How to get your butt kicked on every day up to and including St. Patrick's Day

I don't believe that color exists in nature. There is NO excuse for wearing either of these ensembles unless you're working as a body guard for the Lucky Charms leprechaun.

In this next one, Your Search For VALUE Ends at Penneys.

As does your search for chest hair.

And this -- Seriously. No words.

Oh wait, it turns out that there is a word after all. Sweet. I'm guessing the snap front gives you quick access to the chest hair. The little tie must be the pull tab.

Also, judging by the sheer amount of matching his/hers outfits, I'm guessing that in 1977 it was considered pretty stylish for couples to dress alike. These couples look happy, don't they?

I am especially fond of this one, which I have entitled "Cowboy Chachi Loves You Best."

And nothing showcases your everlasting love more than the commitment of matching bathing suits.

Then, after the swim, you can relax in your one-piece matching terry cloth jumpsuits:

I could go on, but I'm tired, and my eyes hurt from this trip back in time. I think it's the colors. That said, I will leave you with these tasteful little numbers:

Man, that's sexy.

Eli says...

We went to the dr. last week, Eli has a rash on his rear. We haven't been in awhile, so I prepared him by telling him that the dr. was going to look at his hiney and see why he had a rash. After the appointment the dr. gave Eli a sticker and Eli said, "Thank you for looking at my bottom doctor." What a kid. You know, I'm sure we're all glad to get a bill of good health after going in for annual visits and all that, next time don't hesitate to thank the dr.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Just Gotta....

1. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet & first car)
Smokey Prelude

2.YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (fave ice cream flavor, favorite cookie)
Vanilla Snickerdoodle. Not too convincing

3. YOUR "FLY Guy/Girl" NAME: (first initial of first name, first three letters of your last name)

4. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal)
Blue Monkey

5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born)
Jean Roseburg Oregon

6. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first)

7. SUPERHERO NAME: ("The" + 2nd favorite color, favorite drink)
Red Tea

8. NASCAR NAME: (the first names of your grandfathers)
Meryl Dean

9. STRIPPER NAME: (the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/scent, favorite candy)
(first off, I was never / will never be a stripper)
Moonlight Skittles

10.WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother's & father's middle names)
Ha! Jean Dean--No joke!

11. TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME: (Your 5th grade teacher's last name, a major city that starts with the same letter)
Jones Jersey

12. SPY NAME: (your favorite season/holiday, flower)
Autumn Orchid

13. CARTOON NAME: (favorite fruit, article of clothing you're wearing right now + "ie" or "y")
Orange Cardiganie

14. HIPPY NAME: (What you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree)
Oatmeal Pine