Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Family night.

Tonight was our family night. For those of you who read last week, yes, it's a different day this week. Here's how we choose:

Cyra has a countdown chain for our Disneyworld trip. When we were making it, I randomly put Mickey heads about every 7-15 days. When she pulls off a chain w/ a Mickey head, we get to do something fun as a family to get us excited about Disneyworld in December.

Tonight Cyra wanted "monkey night". Hmmm...what to do?

I ended up going to the library and getting every fiction book concerning monkeys in the entire children's section. Sorry kids, Mr. Sock monkey is at the Conforth house for a few days. =(

Then we ate meatloaf that I made in a cupcake tin and topped w/ purple "frosting" mashed potatoes. No, that has absolutely NOTHING to do w/ monkeys...but it was fun anyhow.

After dinner, we played Barrel of Monkeys. Ross beat us all, and Cyra came in second. I came in at 1st runner the loser. That game is actually hard! The pic w/ the monkeys all clustered is one of Ross's turns. One of his was hanging on my a foot, but he ended up getting all of them!

After that we enjoyed a small batch of monkey bread. Which is refrigerator biscuits cut up, rolled in cinnamon & sugar, topped w/ a butter & brown sugar syrup, baked, then dipped in cream cheese frosting.'s as good as cinnabon. And CHEAP! Aldi has those biscuits for .29 a can!

Lastly we watched a Jeff Corwin monkey special. It wasn't all about monkeys, but it got us excited about visiting Animal Kingdom again. I think the girls will enjoy it a little more now that they're older.

Stomach surgery

Campbell opened up Kenady's Webkinz poodle today. She said it was an "assident", I'm not so sure. Ross got stuck fixing it since I was cooking dinner. I was pretty impressed at his patchwork skills.

Straight hair

I tried the hair straightener that my SIL Jennifer sent. It was a fun change! My hubby said it would take some getting used to. I figured I could do it several times a week, just to give my hair a break from all that product. I have to use a lot of stuff to keep it from frizzing up like Campbell's!

Whatcha think? Straight? Curly? Long? Short? Pony? Bun? Shaved? C'mon...I need feedback. Be honest. Brutally.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Blogger Small Group

I've complained non-stop since we moved to IN about not being in a small group. Finding (& affording) a babysitter can be difficult. You can imagine my excitment when I found an online blogger small group.

This week we are reading James chapter 1. They have a format to follow, but I'm just going to type my thoughts. Here goes:

James 1:2 - Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.

This is a constant battle for me. I get angry when the paycheck isn't the right amount. I get angry when I can't lose those few pounds. I get really ticked when I can't seem to make friends w/ my neighbors and even more so when I put up walls and don't allow friends in. These are all small trials, but energy taking none the less.

But, I do remember one time when I was in the biggest trial of my life. My Mom died & I was the one to find her and try to revive her. I was driving down (8 miles) to check on her and had a vision. A vision of finding her dead & of her with tubes in her nose at a hospital. I disregarded it, telling myself to "knock it off. Stop thinking the worst." (Side note - Stacie Orrico's Strong Enoug was playing) I walked into her house and found the most grotesque scene that I had ever seen. I'm sure mostly because it was my mother, not some fiction movie or an episode of ER. The whole time that I'm tending to her I can feel her staring down at me. How could that be? She's laying here, under me as I'm trying my darndest to do mouth to mouth. But, I could feel her hovering over me.

The paramedics took her to the hospital where I met my Dad and we were told that she was still alive, but suffered from a brain aneurysm that was inoperable. So here I was in a small room w/ a doctor that I didn't know and my Dad who was losing his love of 40+ years. I prayed silently. I prayed & prayed & prayed & prayed until I had to start making decisions. My Dad was incoherent. He sat by her side and rubbed her hair for 8 hours. I had to decide which tests to perform. Who to let in, who to send out. What organs, if any, we wanted to donate. Any choices that needed to be made, the nurses came to me.

My pastor came to pray w/ me. His prayer was "Give Mandy the strength she needs today to support her family. Help her understand that in these trials...she will find You." He was right. The one time in my life I felt closest to God was that day, and the few days following. I prayed constantly. I asked for things that were selfless, yet ended up blessing me the most. I listened to Him & was able to bless my family. Because I humbled myself and became my Mom's advoate, my family didn't have to deal with the details that day at the hospital or at the house. I'm thankful for that. No one should have those memories. Instead they got to enjoy their last hours with my Mom. Saying goodbye. Saying I love you. Saying sorry. I have to believe that she heard all they had to say.

And I got to make my Mom proud. She was a take charge, boss people around, tell you how it is kinda gal. I got to be that for her, for just a few hours at the hospital. Even more important than making my Mom proud, I hope I made my Heavenly Father proud. I actually listened and obeyed, which is somewhat of a rarity for me.

Even though this whole situation was pretty sad, I try my best to find joy in it (still). The fact that Jesus showed me things during that week that (had I not been paying attention) I would have otherwise missed. I felt enveloped in love during that time. I kept thinking "How can He love me so much. Look at the horrible things I've done to myself and against Him. Look how I've treated my Mom and yet during her death, He purposely takes action to show me His love."

Seriously, I have to stop now. My keyboard is wet, my mascara is running, and my shoulders are shaking.

As you can see, I really only made it to James 1:12. I read the rest (promise), but the first 1/2 really hit me. Can't wait to see what everyone else posts.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Mr. Right

I feel compelled to do a post about my hubby today.
He has been so great over the passed few months. He's taken time to watch the girls numerous times. And for those of you who say "they're his kids, he should watch them", his job is commission only so taking time away means taking money out of our pockets...literally. So, I don't ask him unless it's unavoidable.

The passed few months I have had more girl sprout meetings than Juliette Low herself. Not to mention massive amounts of cheer coaching I've been doing.

He hasn't complained about the meetings, coaching sessions, trainings, campouts or theatre trips...ok maybe a little complaining, but he forgives quickly.

I know I complain WAY too much about being a SAHM. I really do love it, but sometimes get jealous of my working friends. Time with adults seems luxurious at times. That's all reconciled when I hear about his day at work. =/ Adults can be just as rotten as 3 little girls when they haven't had their nap!!!

Anyway, gotta send out the love vibe to hubby tonight. He'll be here with girls 2 nights in a row.
Question for the ladies - Who thinks that men get better looking w/ age?

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Dancing with the "stars"

I saw this video and thought I should post it. Great job DC. Isn't Amy an amazing teacher?
DC - leave a comment and let us know how much the event raised!!!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Strike a pose

I have been wanting to get a family pic since....well, since I've had a family. We decided that we would get one taken this last Christmas...didn't happen.

Today, I was watching Daley Hake and Carlos Whittaker via mogulus and asked if Daley would come to Indiana to take a family pic for me. I was so surprised to hear him say that he's coming to Indy in June and we could arrange a photo session. First of all, his pics are amazing! I'm hoping he can make this white girl look good. I love any pics of my hubby & kids, so there's no worries there. I am a little worried about cost though. I didn't ask!

Any of you in the area...hook Daley up with some paying work while he's here. Email him and let him know you're in Indiana and Mandy sent you.


So many people have asked how I'm picking my winners for my blog giveaway.
Here's the answer:

Go to, find the Fun & Free section far left). Seventh on the list is a link for a Sequence Generator & click on it. In the first box you put a 1, in the second box you put the total amount of comments. For example - if you have 65 comments you would put 1 in the first box, and 65 in the second. Then click Get Sequence. The top number is your winner!

This is the most fair (and most affordable) way to pick a winner!

Family night.

Last night we had a a Luau themed family night. We invited a newly married couple, Dustin & Allison, over to party with us.

The kids had a blast learning to hula via a DVD from the library. It was a hula workout for beginniners video...they didn't know the difference. Notice Campbell digging for gold. Cute huh? =P

We had fruit salsa & chips and coconut shrimp for appetizers. I made spicy chicken kabobs, beef & pineapple kabobs & fried long rice for dinner. For dessert we had peanut butter & macadamia nut brownies. Here are a few pics a remembered to snap before it was all gone.

Cyra decorated with beach towels, fresh pineapples and check out her toilet paper roll & construction paper palm trees. So cute.

My favorite part was the punch bowl. I froze a little bit of water in a smaller bowl and when it almost frozen, I put a few island figurines. It looked like a little island floating in our punch. If only I had made blue punch!

And after kids went to bed. We enjoyed an "adult dessert".

Bloggy Giveaways Day Five!!!

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Thursday's Winner!!!

Congratulations to Crystal from Conversing With Crystal.

She was the winner of Thursday's Webkinz giveaway.

Thanks for entering! Remember to check back today for the last giveaway.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Wednesday's winner...

Congratulations to Shelly from Shelly's bookshelf for winning my Wednesday giveaway!

Thanks for reading and check back each day for a new giveaway.

Bloggy Giveaways Day Four!!!

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Seriously, it should be illegal to have this much fun. I can't believe how many people leave nice messages....I don't even know you guys! What a great community the blogosphere is turning out to be. To get to know me better, check out my post from Monday's giveaway

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

To flat iron or not to flat iron

First of all, let me address those of you who are asking for "in color" photos. Dream on.

Look at this pic. Do I look like I have some color to you? No? Maybe a little grey? Well, I look like I have more color in this B & W than I do in real life, especially after a long Winter. I'm also out of charcoal eyeliner (ahem - Jennifer) so my eyes are looking old.

Take what you can get people.

Anyway, the point of this post is that I need a haircut. Look how long it is (long for me) It's grown so much this Winter. For some reason it seems to grow out instead of down. Oregonians will recognize this as something we call Springfield hair. Oh yeah.

So, I found this website thank to my SIL. Fun, but nothing that is short & curly. I guess my hair isn't star quality.

Any ideas for a new do? And, any recommendations for stylists near me?

Bloggy Giveaways Day Three!!!

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To those who don't know me, but want to. Check out Monday's giveaway post. Try your best not to judge my breakfast choices.

Yesterday's giveaway was so much fun, not to mention a cool new product! To all of you who entered, I checked out each of your blogs. I love looking at so many blog designs. I really need to learn how to get creative, but who has time?

Just enter a comment to win. Thanks for reading and make sure to check back each day for a new giveaway. For more giveaways of all shapes and sizes check out Bloggy Carnival Giveaways.

Tuesday's winner!!!

Congratulations to WorldsGreatestMommy

Awesome giveaway. Always wanted to try this stuff.

About me..

I'm a mother of five who never wanted to be a mom, and now couldn't imagine life as anything else. (Except on days when the baby eats glass, my son learns the birds and the bees, and the other kids all come down with the stomach flu.)

Thanks for reading. Make sure you check back each day for a different giveaway.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Consumer reports

I'm always on the lookout for a new technique for foot care. After so many years of dance (especially ballet) my heels are pretty rough. I bought one of these a few weeks ago. It's ok - but didn't make a big enough difference.

I've been researching and it looks like this is my best option. I'm pretty sure it'll do the trick. I'm just curious how much replacement pads are. I'm calculating burning through about 2 per month.

The only thing it's missing is a dust collection system. Maybe this will work.

Buyer..I mean renter beware

Carlos Whittaker has a funny post up about his experience with Enterprise Rent-a-car.

Check it out.

Bloggy Giveaways Day Two!!!

Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival Button


Yesterday's giveaway was so much fun. To all of you who entered, I checked out each of your blogs. Really fun to connect with people across the globe!

I gave a brief rundown of myself yesterday. Feel free to read it - just don't judge about my choices of breakfast.

Monday's Winner

The winner of yesterday's drawing is...

kristi mcdaniel said...
You are just the mom that I hope others describe me as!!Thanks,

Thanks for entering Kristi. And congratulations!

Monday, April 21, 2008


I was going through Cyra's camera today.

My Dad got her a digital for her birthday last year during our visit to Oregon. She took so many pictures and TONS, I mean TONS of video. 10 seconds here, 1 minute there.

I found this video. That camera isn't too big, so I shouldn't be mad. But, the insinuation was there!

UPDATE - Cyra officially apologized for saying my butt was big. OK, it is, but I don't need reminding.

Bloggy Giveaways!!!!

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Some of you know me, some don't. Here's a brief rundown on yours truly.

I love my family. Hubby & 3 little darlings keep me on my toes. I'm one of those Moms who bakes cookies every week (no slice & bake here), sews something homemade on a whim, takes one whole day just for dress up, cuts my kids' sandwiches into fun bite-size shapes, writes hand written notes in lunch boxes, throws basement dance parites, cleans occasionally, writes in fragmented & run on sentences and sometimes, yes sometimes allows chips for breakfast.

All that to say that I'm just like any other mom with a blog. I have a lot to say, but the kids don't seem to listen. I blog just to get small taste of the outside world.

But today my friends, today's blog post is different. I'm giving something away...FOR FREE! No, it's not something big. But, I'll be giving something different away each day! Friday's is pretty darn good if I do say so myself. And, I just did.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Fighting Temptations

I decided that I wanted to veg out this morning. I sat down and watched a movie. I chose Fighting's such a funny movie. Here's one of my favorite songs from the movie.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Purple Prince

I'm not ashamed to say that I LOVE Prince's music....almost all of it. It is reported that he scans youtube often (I'm sure not him personally) and removes any of his videos that have been posted. Not sure why!

Anyway, I found this video and it's one of my favorite songs. I thought I'd post it, before it's taken off of youtube. It's off the Diamonds & Pearls album. Great song.

Don't forget Easter!

We didn't get a good Easter pic of the girls in their dresses. They decided to use their Easter dress money for their Disney savings instead, so they chose something out of their closet. Their really picking up on this Dave Ramsey thing!

I don't enjoy ham so I made a roast chicken w/ all the fixins. Ross said my chicken was better than any restaurant he had ever eaten at. Sigh....he knows what melts my butter!

The girls got a movie to share, a small chocolate bunny, bunny ears, lip gloss, a ring pop and my Dad sent them $25 disney dollars. So, I only spent $3 on each girl and $14.88 on the movie. Now THAT's pretty least for me. And honestly, they didn't notice the difference. OK - well maybe Kenady did. She asked "Where's the rest?" I replied "At the store, for someone else to buy!"

All in all, it was a good day.

Happy belated Valentine's Day

I just realized that I hadn't put up any pics of Valentine's Day....Oops. Sorry to my family who probably only reads this blog o mine to see how much kids have changed.

We didn't do much for Valentine's Day. I made the girls some cute black, red & white handbags for their library books. They each got a big candy and $10 disney dollars. I'm doing well not over spending. It's hard, believe me.

Here's a few pics of the two little ones decorating cookies. I didn't get a pic of Cyra. She decorated, ate them and left. I think Campbell just ate hers as well. Oh well, making memories right?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Chirp Chirp

I need help w/ my Twitter...who's in?

Sometimes, when people tweet, it doesn't show up on my page even though I'm following them. What can I do to fix it?

UPDATE - I'm mentally unstable today. Nuff said.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

I've changed

I didn't realize how much I've changed until my Dad came to visit.

He (& Mom) used to spend a lot of time with the girls doing frivolous things like shopping for....whatever they could find to buy. Going to the movies and eating out most every meal.

Dad's been here for 5 days now and we've tried shopping, the movies and eating out. But, none of that seems fun anymore.

Since my Mom died, I've been trying to find fun in things that don't cost money. I want my girls to have fun doing stuff together, not just spending money on things we don't need.

The girls & I spend our days playing board games, barbies, dress up, computer games, sewing, stringing beads, library, baking, art, and cleaning. I think we're moving in the right direction!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

How many do you own?

Just curious. How many bibles do you all have in your home?

I'll have to count and get back to ya'll on that one.

Twitter is fun

OK - so one of you decided to go ahead and join Twitter. Thanks Rachel!

I swear it's fun. Come join me and we can tweet all day.

Chirp. Chirp.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


I was tagged by Amber Cox. I don't even know Amber Cox. I check her blog everyday (more than once) and am excited to one day meet her. Isn't it fun to know you have cyber friends?

The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.
Each player answers the questions about themselves.
At the end of the post, the player then tags 5 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

What I was doing 10 years ago:
Newly married
Living in a single wide trailer in Drain Oregon
Working in a chemical plant
Driving a Toyota Supra
Starting a new job in Yakima Washington

Five things on my to-do list today:
Pick up my Dad at the airport
Buy tea at the store
Return library books
Cook Kenady's b-day dinner
Watch Dancing with the Stars

Places I have traveled:
Cabo San Lucas
St. Thomas
Puerto Rico

Snacks I enjoy:
Sam's Club trail mix
Original Pringles
Double Stuff Oreos
Pepperidge Farm butterfly crackers & cheese
Sunbelt chocolate covered granola bars

Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
I know people say it all the time, but I would really, I would.
Buy new to me cars
Apartment in Chicago
Pay off my mortgage
Add on to my house

Five of my bad habits:
Baking nearly everyday
Leaving folded laundry on the couch
Forgetting to fill my tank (it's 44 gallons!)
Licking the butter knife (after we're done using it)
Staying up late reading or watching old movies

Five places I have lived:
Cottage Grove OR twice(born there and hubby built a new home for us there)
Drain OR (first house w/ hubby)
Yakima WA (moved for a job)
Creswell OR (the cracker box house - 722 sf)
Granger IN (currently)

Five jobs I’ve had:
McDonald's trainer (& b-day parties)
Village Green Resort (banquets & front desk)
Hyundai now called Hynix(Chemical crew)
Marq packaging (HR)
Cottage Grove High School (cheer coach)

5 people I want to know more about. Which is a nice way of saying tag!
Michelle Wegner
Lisa Wege
Jennifer Cook
Heather Pennington
Terrace Crawford

Kenady's 5 today.

What a fun day! My Dad flew in from Oregon to surprise Kenady on her birthday. She was so excited to hear he was spending a whole week.

Sweet Kenady was born at 9:44 a.m. in Eugene Oregon at Sacred Heart Hospital. I went into labor at around 9 a.m. and she was born shortly after. She had the most gorgeous head of dark curly hair....I mean curly. People would stop me and say "is that natural?" I responded (sometimes) with "No, and I can't tell you how hard it was to keep that perm solution out of her eyes." And as bill Engvall would say "Here's your sign!"

I can't wait for her to enjoy her birthday dinner. She requested mozzarella sticks, buttermilk fried chicken, taters & gravy and a pink ballerina cake.

This is a pic of her at 4 months. Precious.


Ok - I finally caved and joined Twitter. Some of you West Coasters don't know what that is so here's a video so you can check it out. If it looks fun, join. Here's my page.

Monday, April 7, 2008


The Associated Press wrote this article about the life and death of Charlton Heston. He died Saturday at the age of 84.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Come on over!

Yesterday (about 3) I got a phone call from an aquaintance / friend. I know her, but I don't KNOW her. She was having a rough day and it was obvious that she had popped the cork on a bottle of Merlot before calling me.

She said "I wanna get my drink on. I know you don't drink, but can I come drink on your couch and then you can drive me home." "Sure." I said.

OK - telling that story is pointless, except it was kind of funny to have someone ask if they can get shnockered on your couch.

THIS is my point of this post:
Last November I went to Oregon to visit my Dad in the hospital after his heart surgery. I stayed at a girlfriend's house...she has 3 dogs, and 9 cats. I didn't know about the 9 cats or I wouldn't have stayed. When I walked into her home she said "You'd tell me if my house smelled like dog rigth?" "Oh yeah! It's smells just fine!" I was lying. It really smelled awful. I can't describe the burn in my eyes. I spent most of my time finding things to do to not just hang out there.

So this friend comes over last nigt. She has severe allergies and I have a small furry friend that has lots of hair that ends up on my floor, couch a.k.a. she sheds a lot. I noticed my friends eyes looking red about 2 hours into her visit (It lasted for 1 bottle of Merlot and 4 hours). I was worried. I asked her if my house smelled like dog. " smells great!" I hope she's more honest than me.

I need someone to come over and do a smell test. Please. I pay with sweets.

This was taken with my old camera phone. It was crap.

Friday, April 4, 2008


I found this blog that belongs to a family in Arizona. Her husband has been in the media for his strange beliefs and even weirder preaching style.

I've been reading her blog lately and find her views interesting. She says that having an epidural during pregnancy should be considered recreational drug use and is not necessary. She then names several medications that she does take. Mostly for her morning sickness, which (if you want to get technical) are all unneccessary. I have INTENSE all day sickness when I'm pregnant that doesn't stop until that baby is out, so I'm an advoacate for these meds even though they don't work for me.

She & her husband also denounce all male gynecologists, calling them perverse. But, she has a big advertisement on her page supporting Ron Paul for President. I am from Oregon and KNOW that Ron Paul is indeed an ob/gyn.

After being so critical of her recent post, I was starting to wonder if I contradict myself often. Then I realized...I hope I do. That would mean that there's still room to grow. There's still a chance for change. I'm not all I'm ever going to be. I'm still allowing God to work me into the person he intends.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

It's a survey!

I've talked to several friends lately about their housecleaning habits. Here's the data I've collected so far:

Friend #1 - Cleans the entire house on Monday because Tuesday is garbage day.
Friend #2 - Vacuums & sweeps once each week.
Friend #3 - Has 5 kids and cleans a different room each day and then has an additional chore list for those things that only need done once each month. She chooses 2 of those things to do each day so they are all completed after a month.

Anyway, I'm developing my new chore list and would love lots of input to help it be the most effective. If you can tell me your routine and maybe anything I might be missing....I'd be grateful!

The Homeless Guy

I just found a new blog that I'm loving. His name is Kevin Barbieux. He's from Nashville Tennessee and he is homeless.

I know when some folks hear the word "homeless" they think of panhandlers and such. But, wasn't Jesus homeless? How could we let these folks know they matter to God? With jobs as scarce as they are, not everyone has money to give. What else can we do besides give money? Would time make a big enough difference? How can our children get involved? Kevin got me thinking of all of these things.

I haven't gotten far enough into his blog to find out the circumstances that surround his homelessness, but have read far enough to discover that he is a great writer. I found myself laughing and crying at some of his posts & comments.

I've never volunteered directly with the homeless. I've made quilts for kids to take when they stay in the mission. I've also given all of my career wear to our local mission's Dress for Success program. But, Kevin's placed it on my heart to think about other ways I can serve. With three little kids it is hard to pay for sitting, but I'm sure there's a need I can fill.

Kevin blogs by using a laptop given to him at various locations (coffee shops, library). I encourage you to read his blog. There's even a spot to send him funds via Pay Pal if that's something you can do.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

April Fool's Day

So here's a recap of the jokes played at my house today.

Ross called and told me that his company wasn't going to pay him on a recent BIG sale he $1500!!! I fell for it.

Kenady told Cyra she accidentally ripped of her American Girl doll's head. She cried, screamed & run upstairs. She was happy it was all a joke.

Cyra told me that she broke my ring. At this point the jokes were old...I knew better.

I made Kool-Aid to drink with dinner. I've never done that! I poured everyone's glass and had them waiting on the table. Ross picked his up to take a drink, but SURPRISE I filled it with jello and put a straw in the middle while it was setting up. It looked just like juice. We all laughed hysterically!

Hope your day was full of laughs!

I'm not surprised...

I took a pregnancy test this morning....seems my hubby should have went in and had his sperm count checked when he had the chance. You think we'll have another girl?