Sunday, December 23, 2007

4 Things Meme

Found this (most recently) at Woven and Spun, and felt like doing one today.

1. 4 movies you can always watch:

(Always...? Well, more than once, proven.) Sahara, Halmark's Arabian Nights, Karate Kid 2, Stargate

2. 4 bands you can never get enough of:
I don't know about whole bands, but I like Michael Card, Sheila Walsh, John Michael Talbot, and...Twila Paris, in the right mood.

3. 4 towns you lived in:
I don't think there are that many.

4. 4 shows you like to watch:
(Some on DVD) Life and Chuck (new this fall), Monk, and House, M.D.

I really go for episodic-mystery format. Like having things more or less wrapped up at the end of the show.

5. 4 websites you visit (almost) daily:
Stats, bloglines feeds, email...

6. 4 favorite foods:

Fajitas, ice cream, lettuce rolls, good pizza (I will choose a PB & J over bad pizza)

7. 4 places you’d like to be now:

I'm tired but happy where I am.

8. 4 songs that really move you:

O Sacred Head Now Wounded-- perfect pairing of music and lyrics; Everything Burns (don't know why); One Faith (John Michael Talbot)-- esp. the version w/ Michael Card-- so strong. Love Changes Everything (because it's adorably true).

9. 4 books you will always love: (post about these here)

Perilous Gard, Enchantment, Sea Wolf, Jane Eyre

10. 4 colors that will always be in your closet:

Sunshine yellow and the Jewels: Ruby, sapphire, amethyst

11.4 authors you’ll always love:

Francine Rivers, C.S. Lewis, Elizabeth Marie Pope, Barbara Picard.

12. 4 favorite actors/actresses whose talent you honestly respect:

I don't always like the roles they've chosen, but I admire their talent and/or versatility:

Emma Thompson, Will Ferrell, Alan Rickman, Julie Andrews

13. 4 languages you’d love to be fluent in:

Spanish, German, Russian, Italian

14. 4 other countries you would like to live in:

Not for very long, but, basically anywhere I could still communicate i would be willing to live for a time (my own choices being taken into consideration, here).

15. 4 skills you would like to improve:

Singing, guitar, writing, storytelling.

16. 4 items that are “a few of your favorite things(i.e. not-people) :

My Laptop (I spend a lot of time with it), Used bookstores, Hot cocoa, Pretty and functional tea sets.

Friday, December 14, 2007

*Funny* Pictures.

Here are a few that made me Laugh out loud. Some of them, a *lot*.

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

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funny pictures
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funny pictures
moar funny pictures

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

moar funny pictures

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Handwriting analysis

What Your Handwriting Says About You

You are a fairly energetic person. You know how do pace yourself, and you deal well with stress.

You are somewhat outgoing, but you're not a natural extrovert. You think first before you act. You tend to be independent, rational, and logical.

You are balanced and grounded. You know how to get along well with others.

You need a lot of space in your life, and it's easy for you to feel stifled. You avoid commitment and responsibility whenever you can.

You are somewhat traditional, but you are also open to change. You listen to your head and your heart.

You are a poor communicator. No one really knows exactly what you're getting at.

What Does Your Handwriting Say About You?

Naturally I had to laugh at the last paragraph. The above analysis I made looking at a page of story-notes I printed. I have at least three different kinds of handwriting:
  • Print notes
  • Cursive notes (generally cleaner)
  • journaling

Monday, September 24, 2007

A couple quizes

You Should Play the Guitar

You're very independent - both in spirit and in the way you learn.

You can teach yourself almost anything, even if it makes your fingers bleed.

You're not really the type to sit patiently through a music lesson - or do things by the book.

It's more your style to master the fundamentals and see where they take you.

Highly creative and a bit eclectic, you need a wide range of music to play.

You could emerge as a sensitive songwriter... or a manic rock star.

Your dominant personality characteristic: being rebellious

Your secondary personality characteristic: tenacity

What Musical Instrument Should You Play?

Well, I had to tweek the quiz to get my instrument (though I didn't lie) and I think it's a little sad that guitar = rebel, especially since I'm the antithesis of that (outwardly, anyway).

I've always followed those I've felt I should (e.g. parents, husband) without making a big deal about it. But I have no problem speaking my mind, too.

I am an independent thinker. Does that mean I'd be a rebel if I were forced more to be around those I agreed with less?

Your Psyche is Violet

You are spiritual, intuitive, and serene.

People trust you to rescue them from bad situations, and you usually come through.

While you are quite enlightened, you find that your path is very lonely.

When you are too violet: you can't connect to ordinary life or ordinary people

When you don't have enough violet: you lack wisdom and can't learn from the past

What Color Is Your Psyche?

Interesting analysis. Good enough.

Your Ideal Pet is a Cat

You're both aloof, introverted, and moody.

And your friends secretly wish that you were declawed!

What's Your Ideal Pet?

I've come to a similar conclusion (about the cat-- not the similarity). I love the Idea of a dog, because it is more the way I want to be (active, outdoorsy, disciplined) but my lifestyle (indoors, sitting still a lot, preferring low-key company) really fits a cat better.

The right cat, mind you. None of these go-hide-under-the-bed or loud in-your-face types.

Jay enjoys the right cat too, which is very nice. The litter box is about the only killing point for having a good cat. Jay says we'd design a special closet for the litter box, with a cat-door and HRV intake, if we built our own house.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Bag give-away

Looking for alternatives to grocery stores' plastic bags?

Here are a few alternates you can sign up for to try out.


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Preventing TP Unrolling

One from the Simple, but still works, catigory:

Hang your toilet paper so the "tail" falls against the wall, rather than over the top, and you should eliminate most "spinning" unrolls.

That is, the most common movement I've seen cats and kids use is the batting-down on the front of the roll. With the tail falling to the back rather than the front, this direction of rolling will not result in a pile of soggy tissue on the floor.

Silly, yes, but Works for me.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Avoiding Practice?

Making excuses? Probably. But they're real, anyway. And I as I've found the bast way to get my mind to stop spinning is the lighten the load, I'll "share with the class."

So I've started this "intermediate" guitar class, that is going to either make me a real guitarist or kill me (there's no need to be so melodramatic) or make me feel like I really missed something.

Theoretically (according to the syllabus) I'm supposed to be practicing 5 hours a week.

Why are you sitting here typing?! Mainly because the times most ideally suited to practicing-- such as now, when the kitchen is (relatively) clean and there are no current demands on my person-- happen to coincide rather strongly with nap times or bed time where, if the children are not already asleep, I hope they are rapidly approaching.

My current guitar assignments are not conducive to that.

But now, as I've been writing I thought it might be worth a shot (at least today, as Jay's here to stay indoors to hear the sleepers waking) to go set up in the garage and get a few minutes while I have the chance.

8 things from my kitchen

Creating my own meme because of what I want to talk about:

8 Random things from my cooking life.

  1. I like my pasta slightly chewy. My mother would probably say "very chewy." I do prefer that to overcooked. I *really* dislike overcooked pasta-- all pasty and bloated-- it doesn't even have any taste left, and there's nothing to make it take on the flavor of the sauce it's in. Kind of like a drowned earthworm that can't hold any more water. Yeah, that nasty.
  2. Nearly all the dishes I make require a lot of chopping. This is odd because I am not at all a fast chopper, and I'm really picky about pieces being too big.
  3. I like mixing my food. That is, I rarely make separate veggies, starch and meat (though I almost *never* do casseroles). It's mixed in one pot, tossed like a salad, wrapped up in a shell, or a stir-fry/sauce over rice or pasta.
  4. I detest dry food.
  5. I like my cookies chewy (as opposed to crunchy).
  6. When I'm seriously working in my kitchen I'm usually listening to a recorded book. I've decided this this because kitchen work is the only thing that keeps me in one place long enough to maintain continuity. Otherwise I'd listen to them more.
  7. My favorite "menus" aren't a meal listed for each night of the week, but a list of meals I have all the ingredients for. This allows me to pick the meal I'm "in the mood for" that day, while still narrowing the choices and (buying) preparation to save frazzled brain cells.
  8. We don't always put the lid back on the milk (this is no big deal because our milk hardly lasts long enough to pick up any sort of "off" flavor).
Woo hoo! I did it. I created my own meme (not that anything is completely original...). So I'll indulge in another first and actually tag a few people.

There's Kathy, Chrisd, and Christie, because they've tagged me before (even though I didn't always play back by the rules...) and then there's Becky and Prov31, because I'm curious about your answers, too.

As with all these silly things, your interest and time available naturally trumps my invitation, but if you decide to do it, please leave me a link (in case I'm slow getting back around).

Blessings on your day!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

More contests you can sign up for

New Contests at 5-minutes for Mom. My favs:

Land's End gift Certificate

A personal photo printer from HP

Monday, August 27, 2007

LOTR and Narnia Characters

What I find interesting about these quizzes is that they say as much (or more) about how we think of ourselves as they do about what we are like.

To proceed:

You scored as Peter Pevensie,

Peter Pevensie


Lucy Pevensie




Susan Pevensie




Edmund Pevensie


Mrs. Beaver


Mr. Beaver




The White Witch


Mr. Tumnus


Which Chronicles of Narnia character are you most like?
created with

You are most like Elrond.

Although you are very serious, you're not above having a good time. It's just that your definition of a good time is pretty different from other people's. You're very smart, so use your knowledge to help others! At least you're not so pessimistic. People may think you're hard nosed, but all your friends know better.

Monday, July 30, 2007


Well, I haven't done a meme in a while, and I was wanting to sit still just now, so here's some of it ;) (From Christie).

5 reasons I don't do Memes (instead of 5 people to tag):

  1. Excruciatingly self-centered. We've already got blogging for that.
  2. Time-wasters (especially if you get addicted)
  3. Desensitize yourself to giving out personal details (generally not a wise thing)
  4. Self perpetuating with or without meaning, like those "a brick will crush your baby if you don't pass it on" chain letters.
  5. A sense of obligation (after all it was a friend who tagged you) that creates an artificial sense of urgency to actually finish something that (frequently) has no meaning to anyone.
Naturally, none of these stop me when I actually want to do one, but when that happens #5 no longer applies (it now has meaning/interest for me), and I avoid #3 and #4.

So that just leaves #1 and #2, which I endure for my own enjoyment. :o)

4 things that should go into Room 101 to be banished from the earth forever:

Child abuse. All forms. (Christie started with mine)

Wife abuse, all forms.
(Okay, this could get unbearably heavy-- moving on to lighter things...)

Foxtail (the plant)

Pee-rings in the lawn

Root rot
(Can you tell I don't like out-door maintenance?)

3 things people do that make you want to shake them violently:

Telling you what you've already said as though it's a brilliant, original idea.

Acting wounded about something they never mentioned bothered them.

Interrupting my reading with 6 things in 20-minutes instead of getting it all out at once.

2 things you find yourself moaning about:

Too many choices!

Wanting to organize my home-life to stay caught up.

1 thing the above answers tell you about yourself:

Um... I'm brilliant, self-centered and lazy? Wait, thats three things.

I dunno. Anybody else have an idea what it says about me?

Sunday, June 10, 2007

My first blogging picture

This is the picture of when Natasha met Melody for the first time.

Natasha signed "Please-please-please" patting her chest, and opened her arms to hold her new baby sister.

(This "just worked" on Blogger. I still haven't figured it out in Wordpress. *sigh*)

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

An Austen Quiz

The picture's a little corny (I guess it's the only shot in the movie where he actually looks happy...) but the idea is a lot of fun.

I liked that Mr. F is #2. Perhaps mostly b/c I appreciate my Mr. Steady, and also since S&S is the only Austen I know that well.

Wouldn't it be awful to have another book on my reading list just because I wanted to know what the man was like?

You scored as Col. Brandon, Your husband/boyfriend is
most like Col. Brandon of Sense & Sensibility! He is very
attuned to your tastes and enjoys sharing them with you.
While he resists being flashy, he is very generous, though he
will never be overbearing, even if he is correct. The two of you
engage in many pursuits together and enjoy a romantic, steady

Col. Brandon


Edward Ferrars






Edmund Bertram




Captain Wentworth


Who is Your Jane Austen Boyfriend/Husband?
created with

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Scattegories Meme

From Simply a Musing blog.

The game is's harder than it looks! Here are the rules: Use the 1st letter of your name to answer each of the following. They MUST be real places, names, things...NOTHING made up! If you can't think of anything, skip it. Try to use different answers if the person before you had the same 1st initial. You CAN'T use your name for the boy/girl name question.

Your Name: Amy (Jane)
1. Famous Singer/Band: Avalon
2. 4 letter word: Arts
3. Street: Aurora Avenue (double!)
4. Color: Auburn
5. Gifts/Presents: Antiques
6. Vehicle: Automatic
7. Things in a Souvenir Shop: Animal figurines
8. Boy Name: Andrew
9. Girl Name: Amber
10. Movie Title: Aristocats
11. Drink: Apple juice
12. Occupation: Auto Mechanic
13. Celebrity: Jessica Alba
14. Magazine: Acoustic Guitar
15. U.S. City: Austin
16. Pro Sports Teams: A's
18. Reason for Being Late for Work: Ambulance
19. Something You Throw Away: Awful Books
20. Things You Shout: Ack!!!
21. Cartoon Character: Anita (101 Dalmatians)

Really, that bit about it being hard is part of the template. I think I have a pretty easy letter.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

iPod Meme

From Everyday Mommy. I've already got the feeling I'll have at least as many book chapter titles as song titles.


1. Put your music player on shuffle.
2. Press forward for each question.
3. Use the song title as the answer to the question even if it doesn’t make sense. NO CHEATING!

How do you feel today?
The Passing of the Grey Company--The Return of the King (JRR Tolkien)

What’s your outlook on life?
Riddles in the Dark-- The Hobbit (Tolkien)

What does your family think of you?
Soulin' -- Astra Kelly

What do your friends think of you?
He is a Song-- Twila Paris

What do your exes think of you?
Sunrise-- John Michael Talbot

How’s your love life?
Savior of my Heart-- Sheila Walsh

How will your love life be in the future?
The Prophet-- Michael Card

Will you get married?
Where Does My Help Come From-- Shalom Jerusalem

Are you good at school?
The Queen of Narnia-- The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe (C.S. Lewis)

Will you be successful?
Stranded-- Plumb

What song should they play on your birthday?
In the House of Tom Bombadil-- Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien) There is a *neat* instrumental with a similar title by Nickel Creek (is it?); a rollicking, lively tune that would be excellent for my birthday if someone wanted to send it my way...

What song should they play at your graduation?
The Black Gate is Closed-- The Two Towers (Tolkien)

The Soundtrack of your life?
Happy all the Time-- Baby's Best Bible Songs

You and your best friends are?
Two Tragedies (Ouch!) -- The Last Battle (Lewis)

Happy times:
Be Our Guest-- Beauty and the Beast soundtrack (the stage musical)

Sad times:
Journey to the Crossroads-- The Two Towers (Tolkien)

Every day:
Talking Beasts-- Prince Caspian (Lewis)

For tomorrow:
The Storm and What Came of It-- The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Lewis)

For you:
Murlough Bay-- Iona

What does next year have in store for me?
Let the River Flow-- Darrell Evens

What do I say when life gets too hard?
Tradition-- Fiddler on the Roof

What song will I dance to at my wedding?
The Lord Reigns (Actually it was "We Rejoice in the Grace of God," but this works too.)

What do you want as your career?
The Window on the West-- The Two Towers (Tolkien)

Your favorite saying?
Be Bold and be Strong-- Hosanna/Integrity

How will I die?
The Gentle Healer-- Michael Card

This was a *kick*! Some of these are sooo thought provoking... others are just provoking ;o)

Friday, May 25, 2007

Tutu Contest

5 minutes for mom is having another contest, this one for a tutu.

It looks like such fun :o)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Milk-Freezing Wisdom

For those of you who, like me, tend to drink a lot of milk but only like powdered milk for cooking, here is my accumulated wisdom from freezing, thawing and using around 65 gallons since my beginning and biggest find at 50-cents/gallon last Memorial Day weekend.

(And, no, that doesn't include the number of gallons we drank w/o freezing... We go through a lot of milk.)


Be sure the plastic jugs you pick have one or two of those indentations. They'll expand out as things freeze and you don't have to break the seal before you are ready to use it.

It's the ones we had to open (because, in our inexperience, we didn't check for circles) that went bad the quickest.

The floaty spots are fat, best as I've been able to tell. I've never been able to find any consistency in thawed milk's fat separating or not, so I always shake the jug before I pour.

If you use hot water to speed thawing it can give the spots an off-taste, though they might not be fully "bad" yet. I won't drink anything that tastes weird. That said, I have no problem with drinking expired milk.

I find those dates to be highly conservitive and am thrilled when I can find next-day milk for a dollar.

I buy as much as can fit in my cart (sometimes it's too heavy to push) and freeze it all.

When you drink as much milk as we do you can save $20-60 a run. And you don't have to worry about running out of milk.

Milk is pretty consistently good for a week after sell-by (one local market has added a "use-by" under the sell-by date.) and freezing seems to halt the aging, so once thawed we have week (No. problem.) to get through a gallon.

I usually set a new gallon in the sink when I have half a gallon left in the fridge, and that works pretty well.

Milk can be thawed more quickly in water, but that (especially hot water) doesn't work as well IMHO. My own theory is that the hot water speeds up all the aging in the shell of melted milk, making it go bad sooner.

(Oh, and when 1% and whole are both on-sale, I do all this x2. It's worth it to have exactly what you want when you want it! I do the 1% and the rest of the family--DH and two preschoolers-- do the whole.)

Hoorah milk-drinkers!

More ideas at Rocks in my Dryer.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

contest entry

I'm not sure how much longer this contest is going (I didn't see a date for the drawing), but over at 5-minutes for Mom, you can sign-up for a "year's supply" of Nexcare bandages.

My kids love their great "tattoo" designs, and it would be fun not to buy for a while.

Friday, May 4, 2007

"My" Color

Your Inner Color is Blue

Your Personality: Your natural warmth and intuition nurtures those around you. You are accepting and always follow your heart.

You in Love: Relationships are your top priority, and this includes love. You are most happy when you are serious with someone.

Your Career: You need to help others in your job to feel satisfied. You would be a great nurse, psychologist, or counselor.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Signing with Baby

If you sign with your baby, consider teaching him or her "please" (flat open hand circling on the chest) instead of "more" (all fingers tapping in a bunch).

Practically, they mean the same thing to your baby ("I want!") but for parental sensibilities (I like to be asked!), and training to build on further down the road (you keep saying the same thing, even after they can talk), I've found "please" to be infinitely better.

I may have won the prize for the most parentheses this round. ;o)

Have a blessed day!

Friday, March 30, 2007

First one of these I liked enough to post

You are a Romantic Realist

Okay, so you fall in the middle.
You know that love isn't like a greeting card...
Yet you can always find a greeting card to describe your feelings.

You are the best of both worlds
Girly yet independent, dreamy yet serious.
Almost any guy can find balance with you.

It's fun how right this is-- Especially the "you can always find a greeting card to describe your feelings" bit.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

WFMW-- Diaper-change help

Anybody with a baby has probably experienced two things: a wind-up music box of some kind (frequently inside a stuffed animal) that doesn't run very long, and a baby that doesn't like to stay still for his/her diaper change.

Well, I started putting those together, and Voila! I have made a previously useless gift useful (where else am I going to be available to re-wind a music box when it runs out after 15-seconds?) and eeked out a longer episode of cooperation from my 10-mo. old.

So far it's been useless for those stressful middle-of-the-night changes, but during the day at least this works for me!

(I am the Amy Jane from Untangling Tales--link above-- but I recently decided to use this blog for the memes, I think they're called, that don't fit my word/stories theme over there.)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Tuesday's rememinder

It's Tuesday, so be sure to check out Tuesday Tales.

Monday, March 19, 2007

My Main Problem With the World


This is it; right here:
The lack of clear expectations.

So there's this song I love, written for a batch of men to sing, that I haven't heard (live) since I was 15.

Now, at a unique place in life, I have the influence (being in the right place at the right time) to propose it the the men's Sunday school for their "special."

Pastor and Guitar Dude are both present and agree it could be worth checking out. I'm thrilled. This was two weeks ago, and nobody spoke to me again.

This Sunday I wasn't at church and DH comes home with this story that the guys wanted my song, but as they couldn't find me they picked something else.

DH teased, "That's what you get for missing church." I'm thinking, "What do they think? That I've got it tattooed on me or something? Who was going to tell me they wanted the music so I could bring it?"

Anyway, I'm just bummed. I'm going to review it and see if it can be introduced as a general congregational song. Hate to let it go that easy...
Isn't it interesting that with a splash of confidence and a clear plan it is possible to look like (and be taken as) an authority?

Of course it helps to have a known talent in the area as well. Puts more weight behind what you have to say.

Yet Another Blog!

I've been looking at the fun Weeklies that go around, but haven't wanted to clutter up my main blog or confuse the people who read my family centered stuff.

So here we go-- I love this Monday children's book thing, and might move my shorter WFMW over here too.

If I ever find out how to put up pix I may even try a Tackle it Tuesday.

Anyway, now I've yet another blog.

I'll call it a place to play. Time will tell how often I stop by to visit...

Children's Book Monday

There's a House Inside My Mommy.

Such a fun story. Great for a young oldest child, it talks about Mommy being tired, feeling sick ("If I had a house in my tummy, I'd feel sick too") and eating weird things without sound like it's making fun.

It's very gentle and positive. There's no real transition from preggers to the new baby (it just shows up), but for this age group, I think that works fine.

This is now on our list to buy for the next friend pregnant with #2.

More Children's Book Monday here.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Psalm 121

I raise my eyes to the mountains.
Where will my help come from?

My help comes from the LORD
the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not allow your foot to slip;
your Protector will not slumber.

Indeed the Protector of Israel
does not slumber or sleep.

The LORD protects you;
the Lord is a shelter right by your side.

The sun will not strike you by day
or the moon by night.

The LORD will protect you from all harm;
He will protect your life.

The LORD will protect your coming and your going
both now and forever.

What to do?

Here is a practice post.

Give thank to the Lord, our God and King: His love endures forever.

Give thanks to the God of gods: His love endures forever.

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!