Category Archives: PSA

Childhood Stories With Amanda -or- Let’s have a laugh at my expense

I give you, the story of how I came to be terrified of dinosaurs and museums and dark amusement park rides, and various other ridiculous things.

Once upon a time, long ago in the 80’s, I was a young girl who loved dinosaurs and I loved museums.

Then, when I was 9 years old (this was not in the 80’s, mind you. I’m not that old), I got to go to Florida with my Gifted class because we had the honor of being invited to watch the space shuttle Endeavor make its inaugural launch into space.. While we were there, we spent a day at Disney World/Epcot center.

When we were wandering around Epcot I saw a sign for the Universe of Energy ride.

This ride seemed like a winner because A: there was no line and B: it was a long ride/movie inside an air conditioned building.

Upon entering the ‘ride’ (at this point I thought it was just a movie) you are seated in big long bleacher seats that are facing a giant screen. On the screen you are presented with an exceedingly boring video about the mechanics of fossil fuels and how they effect our lives every day.

Then, all of a sudden, the bleacher seats start splitting apart into three sections and begin turning to the right. As you turn, the ‘wall’ to the right opens up and reveals this

Please note the tracks at the bottom of the picture, that’s what our bleacher cars are traveling on. Also note the dinosaur all the way too the left. He plays a very large roll in this sad tail.

That smug jerk.

Look at the expression on his face? All “La Dee Dah. Just chewing on these weeds. Don’t mind me, I’m just a robot, I can’t hurt you!”


At this point I was mildly freaked out because I wasn’t prepared to be thrust into a prehistoric rainforest dripping with dinosaurs. And I do mean dripping. That cud hanging out of his mouth was oozing with robot saliva…I can still feel it dripping on my me as I scream in horror…but I’m getting ahead of myself.

As you can see in the picture below, the bleacher car travels right past this small flock of long necks. The bleacher car is to the far bottom left.

And this is when things went horribly wrong. Our car was in the exact spot as the car in the picture when all of a sudden it came to a screeching halt. But even though the car stopped, the robo-dinos did not. That dino to the far left kept bending down and slamming into my head with his dripping wet sea weed cud over and over and over and over. None of my friends had gone on the ride with me, so I was packed into my seat with strangers to my left and no room to scoot away from the dino assault. I have no idea how long this went on, but it felt like an eternity.

And when it was finally over, I left that ride a very different girl. Since that day, I haven’t been able to go to museums or amusement parks without suffering from overwhelming anxiety and full on panic attacks. Because I’m obviously the most rational person alive.

Incidentally, The Universe of Energy was revamped in the late 90’s and now your tour guide through the ride is an animatronic Ellen DeGeneres robot, which might just be more scary than the dinos.



Filed under It's all about me, PSA, vents and rants

…and they were never heard from again

I am coming to you, dear reader’s, as the last surviving member of the Leggett clan. A horrible tragedy befell the other 3 members of my family last night and I shall recount the story to you here.

This is, of course, a cautionary tale.

Yesterday evening, after a delightful dinner, we loaded up to take our evening walk around the neighborhood. Presley didn’t feel like walking on this particular evening so she got strapped on and off we went.

The route we decided to take this particular evening was quite long and after about a quarter of a mile, Presley was pawned off between daddy’s shoulders and her own two feet.

Apparently Presley has acquired a taste for 80’s style. Rad.

We’d walked about a half a mile at this point and turned around to discover that we could no longer see our house. That’s fine though, right? I mean, how dangerous could an evening walk in the mountains possibly be…?

Apparently there was no real concern amongst the hikers

We press on

And then we came upon a bit of a road block

I get the feeling they don’t want people trespassing?

Oh surely not. If they didn’t want people to come in they wouldn’t have made the gate so climbable. Obviously.

With that small hurdle behind us we tackle the long, steep trail up the mountain…unsure of what lay ahead

As we reached the top of the hill and rounded the corner, we discovered the most lovely little pond

It appears that people have been here before…people who don’t know how to build a sturdy bench…or giants.

I’m leaning towards giants

Drunken giants

“Hey Mom! Dad wants us to go explore this rusted old shed!”

“Um…honey…I don’t think that’s safe…”

“Oh it’s fine dear! What’s the worst that could happen?!”

Famous last words.

What happened then, faithful readers, is too horrific for words. It will haunt my dreams for as long as I live.

I made the long journey home by myself. Only stopping to let the deer pass…

…and only turning around to ensure that the hideous creature wasn’t coming after me next.

I made it home just as the sun was going completely behind the mountains. After taking a moment to ensure that all the doors and windows were locked, I sat down to let it all soak in.

What? Does everyone not handle their greif with video games?

Please send candy.

And comics.

Oh, and could someone make sure the dish bill gets paid? I need my cartoons to comfort me in my time of loss.


Filed under caedmon, photoabulous, presley, PSA

Country living is so…special

Have I ever told you, dear reader’s, that I hate moths? I really…really hate them. They’re all spaztic and floppy and they can’t control themselves.

People say, “Oh come on, Amanda. They’re just like butterflies.”

Nay. They are not ‘just like butterflies’. There is nothing graceful about moth as it sputters and slams it’s body into a light bulb. Nothing at all like a butterfly.

What was I talking about?

Oh yes, country life.

So I knew there was a moth problem up here and I was a bit screamy and jumpy the first couple of weeks, but now I have, for the most part, learned to coexist peacefully with them.

Well, that is, until yesterday.

We were headed out for our daily trip to the post office yesterday afternoon when I innocently grabbed my purse that was sitting benignly next to my chair in the living room. I already had my sun glasses on so I couldn’t really see the purse strap as I was grabbing it, but I could certainly feel the unmistakable crunch of dead moth under my hand as I lifted it up.

In the interest of journalistic integrity I feel obligated to tell you that the instant my hand crunched that moth I dropped that purse like a hot potato and began screaming and squeeling and jumping around the room like the sissy girl that I am.

And then I began pouring Purel over my hand with such vigor that youd’ve thought it was holy water.

Kevin, being the manly man that he is, calmly scooped up the purse and tossed the offending creature in the trash. But as he walked past me I caught a glimpse of what looked like hundreds of teeny, tiny sparkly pearls in little clusters all over my purse.

Oh no she didn’t! That hussy had the audacity to lay EGGS all over my PURSE before she died on it. Oooooooh no ma’am. Not cool.

And then…AND THEN I realized that I had YARN in that purse. And not just any yarn. No. I had beautiful self stripping, baby soft wool sock yarn that was already 2/3’s of the way knit into quite a lovely sock, if I do say so myself.

I immediately dumped the contents of the purse onto the floor and started frantically picking apart my yarn as Kevin scrapped off the eggs.

Did I mention this is a fairly rare purse handmade in Uganda and was only available at Invisible Children screenings over a year ago and can’t be purchased anymore? Oh I didn’t? How silly of me.

As soon as I was certain that my yarn was in the clear, I dumped the purse in the washing machine and washed it on Hot. Twice.

Excuse me while I go douse my hand in Purel. Again.

In other news…

The kids seem to be a fan of all the insects the mountains have to offer. Especially Presley. She just loves playing with bugs of all shapes and sizes.


But I’m trying not to instill my utter disdain (read:abject terror) for bugs onto my offspring, so I encourage their blossoming interest whenever possible.

With that in mind, when I was hanging clothes on the line the other day, I happened upon a tiny little inch worm. Well, I can handle an inch worm! No problem! Nothing scary or disgusting about those little guys.

So I called the kids out to the back yard and had Presley bring the little guy in the house so we could do some good ol’ home schoolin’ and research what exactly an inch worm is.

We looked in Caedmon’s insect book and didn’t find anything. So I pulled out the Children’s Animal Dictionary, nada.

The kids really didn’t care anymore at this point, but I was bound and determined to figure out what the heck an inch worm actually is.

Google to the rescue!

I clicked on the first link that Google offered up and as I was scrolling through the page this picture jumped out at me

“Huh” I thought to myself, “that’s an odd looking butterfly…”


“Is that…? Surely not…”

And then my eyes land on this sentence

“…larvae of moths of the family Geometridae, a large, cosmopolitan group with over 1,200 species indigenous to North America.”



Filed under caedmon, homeschooling, parenting, photoabulous, presley, PSA, vents and rants

Why I’m glad we don’t own this place, a story in pictures…

The winds they were a blowin’ in West Texas today!





And while I was walking around assessing the damage I noticed this little prize. Turns out this is what the bottom of the fence looks like pretty much all the way around the property. Can we say tetanus everyone?



I know we should’ve noticed that already since we’ve been here a year, but in our defense…the yard is really big. In the year that we’ve lived here I’ve never even been to the far left corner of the back yard. There could be Hobbits living over there all I know.

Anyone want to take bets on how long it takes Wayland to fix it?


Filed under photoabulous, PSA, vents and rants

“Hey Caedmon, let’s see how loose your cast is!”


This is the conversation that transpired moments before Kevin sent Caedmon’s cast flying off of his arm.

Because it wasn’t enough that he broke the poor kids arm, right? No, he has to rip the cast off as well!

Fortunately, he was scheduled to have the cast removed the next day (after a set of preliminary xrays). Unfortunately, the Dr. called in sick and won’t be back to the office for a week!

Men. *sigh*



Filed under caedmon, parenting, photoabulous, PSA

What happens when Presley gets quiet during school time?


Filed under homeschooling, parenting, photoabulous, presley, PSA

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy trip to the ER!

It’s a tradition in our house that we spend Christmas at my mom’s house in New Mexico so we always have our family Christmas the week before Christmas day. We never tell the kids when we’re going to do it they just know that when they hear Feliz Navidad blasted loudly from our stereo, that means it’s Christmas time! (I know, we’re weird.)

So last night was the night. We got Caedmon all tucked into bed and started blasting the music about ten minutes later.

First came the stockings:

Then the big gifts:

And the whole sh’bang:

So all went well. The kids loved their gifts and were busy whirling around the room in their capes jumping off the couch and whatnot.

Kevin kept urging us to go to bed but I was having way too much fun video taping the kids and watching them enjoy the gifts.

Then it happened.

I told Caedmon that when I was a kid we used to play a game where one friend would lie on their back while the other sat on their feet and they would launch them into the air…like superman. He though that sounded like a ton of fun so I urged Kevin to play along. He thought it was a bad idea, but said he’d do it anyway.

Kevin got into position on the floor, knees to his chest and Caedmon hiked himself onto Kevin’s feet. And at that moment Presley realized that she was being left out of the game so she decided to make her presence known by slamming her body full force onto Kevin’s face. As a (literally) knee jerk reaction, Kevin kicked.

I sat there helplessly as Caedmon went flying about 5 feet into the air. Before he even hit the ground I was screaming, “Kevin!! OH MY GOD!! KEVIN OH MY GOD!!!”

He someone managed to twist mid air and land face down with, I thought, his head taking most of the fall. I scooped him up and sure enough he had carpet burn on his for head and he was crying this…weird cry. I checked his pupils and they looked fine but he kept begging to go to bed. I told him he couldn’t do that until he calmed down.

When he finally stopped crying enough to talk to me he kept telling me that his head was fine, but his arm hurt. I turned his arm over and it was swollen and bruised.

So, we loaded up at 10pm and headed to the er.

After about an hour in the waiting room and another half hour doing x-rays and sitting in the exam room, we got the news. A small incomplete fracture just below the wrist. Thankfully the on call doctor was one of our good friends so he spared us a call to CPS even though, when asked how this happened, Caedmon kept saying “My daddy threw me!”

The put him in a plaster splint and a sling and told us to see the orthopedic surgeon today. We’re having a hell of a time trying to get into see him, but that’s a whole other story.

Merry Christmas, Caedmon!


Filed under caedmon, parenting, photoabulous, presley, PSA