Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

It was a dark and stormy night .... There was a sudden hush in the house you could smell it in the air PUMPKIN. Then an awful sight pumpkin gut spilled everywhere. It dripped from their hands and spilled across the floor.

It was the great pumpkin carving of 2008! The boys carved pumpkins last night..... yes we let them do the carving for the most part creepy I know! Justin worked really hard to clean out his pumpkin and get it carved. He designed his and as you will see in the photos it changed as he worked on it. Chase did a little cleaning of pumpkin guts but I think Daddy did most of it. He used a stencil he found on line. They both did a great job. I think I am liking Halloween more as they get older. They were so cute when they were little but now they are more involved with the whole process. I know I am rambling. On to the parade of photos.

Justin cleaning his pumpkin notice the face on the pumpkin

Pumpkin Guts!!

Notice the face on the pumpkin now

Justin worked really hard to get it just right

Seems Daddy is doing all the work here...

I should have taken a video Chase did a great job carving

You can see his design a little here

Mommy, Chase and Daddy

Justin with his pumpkin

Sunshine doing her FANG impression

Hmmmm seems Justin's pumpkins has changed once again

Chase and his finished pumpkin

All Done
Hope you have a safe and fun Halloween

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Busy hands ...Helping hands

This morning I went to the middle school to help with the knit and crochet club. We have about 5 girls that came every time we meet and then we always have one or two others. It is fun to see them learning a new skill. Last year I also helped with the club, we ( the adults involved) wanted the girls to have some kind of goal. Last year we ended up making loomed hats the last half of the year for charity. This year the girls wanted to make a felted bag so most of them are working on that project we have one girl who is making a crocheted baby blanket and then we have the ones who come in each week knit a few rows and aren't really sure what they want to make. It seems they all have fun and are learning which is the main goal

After I was finished with the club meeting I went to a county Food Pantry to bag groceries.On Wednesdays they give out food and try to have everything pre bagged to make it go faster. I was there for about 2 1/2 hours and it really made me realize how blessed I am to have all I have. They have a pre set list of things that go in each bag. One of the things on the list was a cake mix, Jello or Pudding. We give food but I don't know that I ever thought to give things like cake mixes. I said something to the lady in charge and she said it was really nice at holiday time for them to have cake mixes. I know what I am going to be sure and donate in the future. It also got me to thinking how thankful that Drew has a good job, we are healthy, and the kids have a good schools to go to. We are able to help those in need and I hope that we are teaching Chase and Justin how important it is to serve others. I would really like to find some place for us to be able to volunteer as a family but I think the kids are still to young for most places. Chase will have opportunities at church and Boy Scouts to help with service projects that the youth are involved in. Before I know it Justin will be in Young Men's and will be serving too!
We have a service group at church that I help out with. We have made hats to donate to a cancer center in honor of one of the women in our congregation. We have made freezer meals several times to have for a quick meal when a family needs it. We have also made quilts to donate. We have only been doing this for a few months but it is fun to get together with the other women and serve those around us.
What kinds of things do you or your families do to serve those in your community? I am always looking for ideas to pass along to our service group or for my family to to use. I would love to hear from you.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Tagged and Awarded

Shellie gave me this award Thanks Shellie I heart your blog too!! Shellie has a great sense of humor go over for a visit and see for your self.

I give this award to

Be Different...Act Normal this is one of my new favorite blogs!

Honey Mommy She has two of the cutest boys ( besides mine of course!)

Gather Round Our Table... Teresa has great recipes

Shellie also tagged me for this
photo this the 6th folder 6th picture

Justin' birthday 2006 ( Yes it was a cookie cake too he loves them!)
4th folder 4 picture

This was taken for a monthly contest when I worked for Tanner photography. We had to take a photo of three identical things. What do you think?
I tag anyone who wants to do this.

You could win this Go Now!

Go over to "The Secret is in the Sauce" You could win this in their November giveaway!

There is still time to enter to win Photo shop this month

So what are you waiting for go over and look around great blogs and great give aways it is a win win all around.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Popcorn Balls

I found this at the BHG website. This would be so cute to use as table decorations for a party and then send home as a favor. I think these would be cute to use in the spring and make them look like funny bugs.

Do you have a good recipe for popcorn balls? I would love to have it.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

My Love Affair with Books

This is my Dream House...

I worked at the book fair at Justin's school yesterday and today. I love being around books and it is so fun to see how excited the kids are when they get to pick out the books they want.

I come from a family of readers both my parents, all of my grandparents and as far as I know all my Aunts and Uncles are readers. We will read anything if I am sitting at the table by myself and don't have a book I will read the back of the cereal box even if I have read it a hundred times before. I read before I go to sleep at night even if it is just a page or two.

When I was little my dad would read to me. I have very clear memories of him reading " The Wind in the Willows" to me. He would come home from work or school take a shower and then I would sit in his lap and read. I hope that my children have fond memories of Drew and I reading to them.

I use to love when we would get the scholastic book order forms. I would sit for hours picking just the right books. We never had a lot of money but we always seemed to have money for books. I honestly don't remember my parents ever telling me no when I wanted to buy books. I have a hard time telling my kids no. In "my world" you can never have to many books.

Trips to the library are another fond childhood memory. When we lived in Columbia SC we use to go to a small branch. I read so many books that the librarian would often help me find books in the adult section that were OK for me to read. I read well above my grade level. This is where I first discovered the book "Mrs.Mike" one of my all time favorites.

I usually read at least 2 books a week and depending on what I am reading and what is going on in my life sometimes I am reading two books at the same time. When I was in high school I would have a book at school, a book in my room and a book in the bathroom. Somehow I could keep all the plots straight and enjoy them all. I was also known to read and watch TV at the same time which drove my grandmother crazy. I still do this sometimes but not as often as I did when I was young.

One of my dreams in life is to own a library. I volunteer at the media centers at both the elementary and middle schools. I enjoy working with the kids and with the media center specialist. I have become friends with them and we always have a good time together.

I read all kinds of books, Mysteries are my favorite but I will read just about anything. I still enjoy reading children's books. I recently bought a book called " The White Giraffe" at the middle school book fair. It is a very sweet story about a girls whose parents die ( you find that out in the first page so I haven't ruined anything I promise) and she goes to live in Africa with her grandmother.

Another of my all time favorites that I read again and again is " The Hiding Place" I would have loved to meet these two ladies. If you haven't read their story please do no mater what your beliefs it will change how you look at life. At lease it did and still does for me.

I am so thankful that my parents were able to teach me to love to read. It is a connection to them that I will always have with me. I hope that I have passed that same love to Chase and Justin and that they in return will pass it on to their children.

What are some of your favorite books? I would love to hear from you I am always looking for the next great read.

You would think that I would be a better writer with all the books I read. Oh well I try.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Fish Tale

Chase won a bingo basket at school last year that had a fish tank and a $20 gift card to Petsmart. So off we went to Petsmart and picked a fish, food, stuff to go in the tank etc. It was quite fun to get it all set up and watch the fish. He picked a dark blue one with a little red and named him Achilles.

It didn't take long for Justin to want one so he got one with his own money. He picked a red one and got a tank and all the stuff that goes with it. He named his fish Phin.

The boys have had fun watching them and I enjoy them too. I had a blue one when I was in high school. How he came to his end is a story for another day. when Drew and I got married with had a fish tank. I kind of missed having fish around. I don't love having to clean the tank but for the most part they are easy pets to have.

Both Phin and Achilles have very distinct personalities and eating habits. When we went on vacation this summer we left them with the neighbors and I just laughed when I was telling them about the fish ending with just feed them twice a day and don't worry about it.

Well last week Achilles started not eating. I did a little research and really wasn't too worried it seems that Betta's do this sometimes and can go up to a month without eating. He has a little hidey hold he likes and he has been swimming pretty much acting normal. Last night I decided I need to check on him and well lets just say he is now in the big pond in the sky. I felt so bad for Chase.

I went down to the basement where Chase was playing Drew's x-box because he got all A's on his report card.( Big cheer for both the boys they both got all A's!) I whispered to Drew what has happened and then told Chase. His eyes got real big and I thought he was going to cry but he just asked how I knew. I told him he asked a few more questions and then he went back to playing the game. End of story


Later Chase came up and watched a TV show with me and then went in his room to go to bed. I went in to tell him good night. I noticed the light was on in the tank. I asked him about it and then noticed he was all covered up. I pulled the covers down and he was in tears. I gave him a big hug ( what else can a mom do?) and talked to him. He said he did not want to flush Achilles. I told him we could bury him in the back yard and he seemed OK with that. We talked for a while and I thought all was well then he teared up again I asked what was wrong he was afraid that Drew would come in and get Achilles and flush him. I went back down to the basement and told Daddy not to flush Achilles.

This morning Chase said he did not sleep last night so we decided to let him stay home. (Not an easy thing to get to do in our home). He wanted me to get a small box to bury Achilles in I was going to the store any way so I told him I would. Never in a million years would I have thought that would have been a hard thing to do. First thing I went to the craft section of the store. The only box they had was about 6 inches square a little big for a 2 inch fish. I went all over the store, the toy section, the party section the bathroom and kitchen sections if it had potential to have any kind of small box I was there looking. I finally found a small box in the office section that has tags in it that would do.

Now I am home and need to go have a funeral for a fish.

Monday, October 20, 2008


Since The Breast Cancer Site began in 2000, more than 11,000 mammograms have been funded for women in need.
CLICK HERE to help fund mammograms it only take a few seconds and can help save a life.

Don't Forget

Knit Witch is having a contest send her your best ghost story.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday Betsy
This is my sweet little sister with whom I share a birthday. Yes for my 13th birthday I got a sister. I love her beyond words and always have. She is beautiful, strong, independent, and really really smart. She has provided me with two sweet nephews and a niece that is cute enough to eat.

She is a much better writer than I am so I am going to let you find out more about her in her own words.

First of all, Happy Birthday! One of the coolest things about being me is sharing my birthday with my sister--I don't personally know anyone else who shares a birthday with a sibling. Thanks so much for featuring me on your blog today!

What is your favorite book Unpossible! I love too many books to choose just one. Some of my favorites are: Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien, Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Almost Heaven by Judith McNaught, The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, and My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett. I'm sure I'll shortly think of 35 others I should have listed, as well.

What is your favorite color I love cool blues, greens, and purples.

What kind of music do you like I enjoy a whole smorgasborg of musical genres, from opera to bluegrass and most everything in between. Lately, I've been listening to Feist, Bob Marley, and U2. The kids and I have regular ABBA dance parties in the living room. I'll be sad when they get old enough to be embarrassed by dancing around with Mom. We also listen to a lot of Hearts of Space, which is a show featuring ambient, new age type music--Brian Eno, Enya... that kind of thing.

What is your proudest moment? I am really proud of all three of my childrens' births, but my daughter's home birth has a special place in my heart. I'm also proud of having completed three novel manuscripts so far.

What are you most afraid of? I'm not afraid of death, but I'm afraid of leaving my children motherless, or even worse, orphaned altogether. There's nothing like being a parent to really bring out mortality anxiety.

What are you really good at? I'm really good at cooking, and I enjoy it quite a bit. I'd also like to think I'm pretty good at writing, although I am still learning and growing as a writer. My most recently-completed novel, a Regency-set romance entitled Reconciliation, is currently under consideration with a NY literary agent. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

What is your favorite time of day? I love quiet mornings when I watch the sun slowly light and warm the woods behind our house. It's also the time of day before I get caught up in children and chores. I have the energy to appreciate that period of the day.

What is your favorite childhood memory? I always loved going out to Utah to visit Grandma Vel. The West is such a different landscape from what I'm used to, it was almost like visiting a different country. She treated us without spoiling. Grandma never talked down to me as a kid. I always knew that my thoughts were important to her. I always felt really good about myself on those visits, which is as much a part of the memory as the wild mountains she lives in.

What is your favorite memory of me? Ooo, I can't choose just one. You were moved out of the house already by the time I really knew what was going on. I always loved it when you came home to visit. You were my special big sister who was already all grown up, and it was such a treat when I got to spend time with you. It's still a treat to spend time with you! There was one occasion in particular I can think of that was not "favorite" in the good sense. It was actually a really bad day. But I needed you to be with me, and you were. There wasn't anyone else in the world I would have had with me that day. I'll never forget that when I needed my big sister the most, you were there--without question, without judgment, without reservation--just there.

" Wicked"

Wicked was wonderful!

It is my birthday today and I share it with someone special.....

I have so much to say but I really don't have time to tell you right now so please come back later in the day. I promise it will be worth it.

PLEASE don't for get to click the breast cancer button. If we get enough clicks for 500 mammograms this month one of the sponsors will donate another 200

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Early Birthday

Last night Drew came into the room and handed me a small gift bag. He said I needed to open this one early. Now if you know anything about our family opening gifts early is just not done. I was excited but at the same time thinking but its not my birthday yet.

H got me tickets to "WICKED" I am so excited!!!! I have been wanting to see this and my sweetheart remembered. I never had to say a word when I saw that it was coming. Thanks honey I really love that you know me so well.

So tonight at 8 I will be sitting in the Fabulous Fox Theater with my sweetheart enjoying the show.

(Do you think he realizes that this will require a shopping trip to find some new cloths?)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Two vents and a Thank you

Dear Store Manager,
When you put up a sign that says "Pumpkins 3 for $13" when I get to the check out and you want to charge me more don't get mad at me. If you want to charge "Pumpkins 2 for $13" by all means do it just make sure that your signs say what you mean.

Dear Bleach Blond chain smoking bubble head fluffing your hair is not a secret sign that it is OK to pull out in front of me when I am going 60 miles an hour down the Highway.

Dear VT's THANK YOU so much for lunch. I really truly enjoyed it and am looking forward to our dinner and a movie night.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Secret Society wantsYOU

I have joined a new secret society...... It is a world where new friend, blogs and comments abound. Here in lies the problem ...We really really don't want to stay a secret we want every one to know about us. I know I know I already told you about SITS, but The Secret is in the Sauce is running another contest. I just found this site at the end of the week. I am already getting comments from other SITS bloggers! I love it. Now I really need to start writing things worth reading no pressure ;0.

It is a really fun way to find new blogs to read. So use the links below and see if you find a new blog to love

Thanks SITS!!!

Here are a few blogs I have found I am really looking forward to find more bloggy friends.
What an amzing family!! I can't wait to read more
amazing lady. Love all the things she finds to share
she makes me think and may just give me some blog ideas
she just makes me laugh!!
good recipe and CUTE Little Lady

Sunday, October 12, 2008

You could be a winner

Found a cool new site and they have a contest going! What could be better. I am excited to find new blogs to read and maybe find some new readers for my blog. I know I am not an exciting writer but I am trying. So go here to " The Secret is in the Sauce" you could win this

*The new PHOTOSHOP ELEMENTS 7! This new version of the Photoshop Elements software is amazing. Take regular pictures to spectacular photos!
*And, to help you get it all figured out: Photoshop Elements 7: The Missing Manual.
If you are a Mac user, the prize is:
*The Photoshop Elements 6 Book, which tells you how to anything step by step.

So what are you waiting for go enter

Friday, October 10, 2008

Money, Money, Money

Our school rocks! We counted Boosterthon money today and we have collected over $90,000 which is 80% of the money pledged. We expect another 12-15% will come in late. The teachers get 10% of what their class total was today. I can't say enough how much I love this fundraiser. The Boosterthon guys help count the money, They run the event the day of, they get the kids excited and pass out the prizes everyday during the week of pledges. The PTA has very little to do( compared to other thingswe could be doing for fundraisers) so for us it is a great event.
Here are some photos with us collecting
the money with the Boosterthon guys

for more information about
Boosterthon Fun Run click here .
I do not work for them nor do I get a kickback just really love this company this is the 3rd year our school has worked with them and it has always been a good experience

Thursday, October 9, 2008

My favorite kind of day

Yesterday was good. I got to do the things I love to do. First a group of us met at church and created some freezer meals. We do this every couple of months. We have several families in our area that have some ongoing needs. We can also use these meals for those times when a true emergency comes up and someone needs a meal unexpectedly. I love getting together with different women and getting to know them better and at the same time serving those in need.

I then went to the library. I love books! that is the long and short of it. In my world there can never be to many books. I tend to find an author and read all of the books written by that author. It is always fun to walk around and find new books to read. I am always looking for new books so let me know what you are reading and some of your favorites. I love "The Hiding Place"
by Corrie Ten Boom. When life gets bad I try to remember to be thankful for the fleas. If you don't know what I mean you need to read the book
It also rained yesterday (and is still raining today) I love the rain. It was the kind of day that reminded me of sitting with my dad and watching the storms. We didn't have any great storms yesterday but in the afternoon there were lots of rumbles. A good day to curl up with a book.

Last but not least I made a breakfast dinner. It just was that kind of day. Eggs, bacon, and biscuits with dripping butter and honey. It was not quite cold enough for a fire but it would have been nice. the only down part of the evening was that Drew ended up having to work until late.

Oh I almost forgot I got to hear one of my all time favorite songs. " American Pie" by Don McLean. I could sing this whole song by heart when I was 4 years old. I have always loved this song it take me back to my childhood and happy places and times.
I hope you had a great day and I hope today is just as good!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Pursuit of Excellence Reading Challenge

Pursuit of Excellence Challenge.
During his closing remarks of Conference President Thomas S. Monson urged us to study and ponder the teachings from General Conference that will be published in the November Ensign and Liahona magazines. This is a challenge to study together and help encourage each other in this study.I hope you will join us.
For more information go here

Sunday, October 5, 2008

How many have you tried? I'v had 63

I found this here and thought it was fun. You can click on most of the items and it will take you to a recipe or site that explains what it is or where it is from. I see I have a lot of things I need to try. while I did not cross off anything on the list there are somethings I want to try more than others

1) Copy this list into your site, including the instructions!
2) Bold all of the sweets you've eaten--or make them a different type color.
3) -Cross out any of them that you'd never ever eat.
4) Consider anything that is not bold or crossed out your "To Do" List.
5) Optional: Post a comment here linking to your results--or just post a comment letting me know how many you've tried, or what you're going to try next!

1 Red Velvet Cake
2 Princess Torte
3 Whoopie Pie
4 Apple Pie either topped or baked with sharp cheddar
5 Beignet
6 Baklava
7 Black and white cookie
8 Seven Layer Bar (also known as the Magic Bar or Hello Dolly bars)
9 Fried Fruit pie (sometimes called hand pies)
10 Kringle
11 Just-fried (still hot) doughnut
12 Scone with clotted cream
13 Betty, Grunt, Slump, Buckle or Pandowdy
14 Halvah
15 Macarons
16 Banana pudding with nilla wafers
17 Bubble tea (with tapioca "pearls")
18 Dixie Cup
19 Rice Krispie treats

20 Alfajores
21 Blondies
22 Croquembouche
23 Girl Scout cookies
24 Moon cake
25 Candy Apple
26 Baked Alaska
27 Brooklyn Egg Cream
28 Nanaimo bar **This is the one I want to try!!!***NOW
29 Baba au rhum
30 King Cake
31 Sachertorte
32 Pavlova
33 Tres Leches Cake
34 Trifle
35 Shoofly Pie
36 Key Lime Pie (made with real key lime)
37 Panna Cotta
38 New York Cheesecake
38 Napoleon / mille-fueille
40 Russian Tea Cake / Mexican Wedding Cake
41 Anzac biscuits
42 Pizzelle
43 Kolache
44 Buckeyes
45 Malasadas
46 MalasadasMoon Pie
47 Dutch baby
48 Boston Cream Pie
49 Homemade chocolate chip cookies
50 Pralines
51 Gooey butter cake
52 Rusks
53 Daifuku
54 Green tea cake or cookies
55 Cupcakes from a cupcake shop
56 Crème brûlée
57 Some sort of deep fried fair food (twinkie, candy bar, cupcake)
58 Yellow cake with chocolate frosting
59 Jelly Roll
60 Pop Tarts
61 Charlotte Russe
62 An "upside down" dessert (Pineapple upside down cake or Tarte Tatin)
63 Hummingbird Cake
64 Jell-O from a mold
65 Black forest cake
66 Mock Apple Pie (Ritz Cracker Pie)
67 Kulfi
68 Linzer torte
69 Churro
70 Stollen
71 Angel Food Cake
72 Mincemeat pie
73 Concha
74 Opera Cake
75 Sfogliatelle / Lobster tail
76 Pain au chocolat
77 A piece of Gingerbread House
78 Cassata
79 Cannoli
80 Rainbow cookies
81 Religieuse
82 Petits fours
83 Chocolate Souffle
84 Bienenstich (Bee Sting Cake)
85 Rugelach
86 Hamenstashen
87 Homemade marshmallows
88 Rigo Janci
89 Pie or cake made with candy bar flavors (Snickers pie, Reeses pie, etc)
90 Divinity
91 Coke or Cola cake
92 Gateau Basque
93 S'mores
94 Figgy Pudding
95 Bananas foster or other flaming dessert
96 Joe Froggers
97 Sables
98 Millionaire's Shortbread
99 Animal crackers

Thursday, October 2, 2008

I've been tagged and a Contest

Go over to Knit Witch and enter her Ghost Story contest.

I got tagged by Shellie

Seven random things about Amanda

1 My sister and I have the same birthday but we are not twins we are 13 years apart
( I' m older)
2 I was the majorette in a parade at school when I was in second grade and was on the local news
3 I wanted to work for the FBI when I was growing up
4 I have had nine surgeries
5 I have two fake teeth because I did not have permanent teeth under my baby teeth
6 I can watch TV and read at the same time
7 I collect rabbits (because my grandmother called me bunny)
I tag Dawnelle, Kendra, Jane, Andrea and anyone else who wants to play along
Thanks Shellie

Run J Run

So yesterday was the Big "Boosterthon Fun Run" the only fundraiser we do at the school. I love it! The kids get to be outside,exercise, and have fun while doing it. They do not have to sell anythingI do not work for Boosterthon nor do I get any kickbacks but if your school is looking for a great fundraiser this is it!

Here are a few of the highlights

Justin and friends waiting to start

Big smile for Mom, Dad and Chase

J and friends

ZOOM....there he goes he ended up doing 37 laps in 30 minuets

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Tooting his horn

Yesterday afternoon J and I went over to the middle school to watch the football game and listen to Chase play in the pep band. It is so fun to see Chase enjoying himself. I have been amazed at how well he has done. Until last year he had never even tried to play the trumpet. Drew and I thought we would have a lot of nights with cotton in our ears but it wasn't that way. I am really proud of what he has been able to learn in just over a year. I think it is fun that he is playing the same trumpet that my brother and sister played!