Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas 2010

Had a wonderful Christmas break home with the family.  My employer gave us two full weeks off with pay this year!  It was awesome!  Christmas Eve we went to church.  Each one of us had a role in the service.  Mike, Hunter, and I read and Blake and Mordecai did the candle lighting.  It was a nice service but didn't seem as full as normal do to all of the snow that we received.  I think it was at least 10 inches in all!
This is a picture looking out my back door. 

I think everyone was very happy with the gifts that they received this year.

Hunter received a new 42" t.v.

Mordecai was excited when he opened up his present to find a soccer jersey with the name and number of his favorite player, Lionel Messi.  He also got a Hawkeye t-shirt, a Barcelona stocking hat, a snowman blanket and a pillow in the shape of a soccer ball. This was a Christmas like he has never experienced before. I think he had an enjoyable 1st Christmas in the United States.

Blake was happy with his personalized Ipod Touch. He also received some pretty cool accessories to go along with it.

And Mike got Gold Truck Nuts. The boys thought that it would be funny to get them for him for a joke. I was very happy that they took them back to the store. I hate those things. ICK!

Later that day my sisters and parents came up for our family Christmas.  We had some really awesome food, soups, fruit, snacks, and pie!  We opened gifts and started from the youngest and went to the oldest.  I think the twins really enjoyed opening all of their presents.  Grandma and Grandpa Hickey bought them a trampoline but were only able to wrap a picture of it.  I don't think the twins really realize that they will have a trampoline in their backyard this spring.  It will be a nice surprise for them again come spring!





Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and you were able to spend it with the ones you love!  I know I did.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Help Support Cushing's Disease

Hunter is selling bands to help raise money to donate to Cushing's Disease Research. His goal is $1000. If you would like to purchase a band, please email or with your name and mailing address. They are selling for $3 each or $4.50 and we will send by USPS. Donations are also being accepted. Click on the link under Support Cushing's Disease.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Read it once before... but worth reading again

By Regina Brett The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio

To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught
me. It is the most-requested column I've ever written. My odometer
rolls over this week, so here's an update:
1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
16. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.
17. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.
18. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple. [WITH RED]
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: "In five years, will this matter?"
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive everyone everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
35. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
36. Growing old beats the alternative - dYing young.
37. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.
38. Read the Psalms. They cover every human emotion.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
41. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
42. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful, or joyful.
43. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
44. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
45. The best is yet to come.
46. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, and show up.
47. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
48. If you don't ask, you don't get.
49. Yield.
50. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.
"Those who matter don't judge me....those who judge me don't matter." AMEN.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Growing Up Way too Fast

Hunter and Alaina before the Homecoming Dance 2010

Saturday, October 2, 2010

It's the Great Pumpkin!

Today we went to Sanders Pumpkin Patch in Vinton, Iowa. What an awesome place it is! I love this time of year and what a beautiful day! They had so many varieties of pumpkins, gourds, squash, and crafts.

I loved the emu's and ostrich's!!

Ostrich egg.

OSTRICH FACT: Did you know that one ostrich egg weighs 3 pounds and is = to 2 dozen chicken eggs?

The goats were pretty cute too...

and I thought the swan gourds were pretty cool too! We will definately be making this a yearly visit every fall to buy our pumpkins!


Thursday, September 30, 2010

Homecoming Week at North-Linn High School!

Robin (Aitor)

Batman & Captain America



Monday - Famous Duo Day
Tuesday - Senior Citizen Day
Wednesday - Decade Day
Thursday - Super Hero Day
Friday - Burgundy and White Day

Thursday, September 2, 2010

First Cross Country Meet at Oelwein

Mordecai Botchway, Tanner Helms, Aitor Rodriguez

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Quick Trip to St Louis

Took a quick trip to St Louis last weekend with Mike, Hunter, Blake, Mordecai, and Alaina. It was a great weekend that was jam packed with all that we wanted to do in two short days. We left Saturday morning at 6am. First stop was the Delmar Loop area to do a little shopping and eat lunch at Fitz's Rootbeer.

Blake found another cool tshirt that he just had to have!

After we had lunch we continued our way downtown stopping at Union Station to hit the Cardinal stores and to watch the fudge makers at the Fudge Factory.

Next stop: the Gateway Arch.

•The Arch is the tallest national monument in the United States at 630 feet; it is the city's best known landmark and a popular tourist attraction.

•Construction began February 12, 1963 and the last section of the Arch was put into place on October 28, 1965.

•The Arch is a structure known as a catenary curve, the shape a free-hanging chain takes when held at both ends, and considered the most structurally-sound arch shape. The span of the Arch legs at ground level is 630 feet, the same as its height.

•Each year, approximately a million visitors ride the trams to the top of the Arch. The trams have been in operation for over 30 years, traveling a total of 250,000 miles and carrying over 25 million passengers.

•The Arch weighs 17,246 tons. Nine hundred tons of stainless steel was used to build the Arch, more than any other project in history.

•The Arch was built at a cost of $13 million. The transportation system was built at a cost of $3,500,000.

•In order to ensure that the constructed legs would meet, the margin of error for failure was 1/64th of an inch. All survey work was done at night to eliminate distortion caused by the sun's rays. Since the Arch was constructed before the advent of computer technology, relatively crude instruments were used for these measurements.

•The Arch sways a maximum of 18" (9" each way) in a 150 mph wind. The usual sway is 1/2".

Mordecai, Blake, and Alaina looking out the window.

Mordecai checking out the view from above.

After the arch we walked over to Busch Stadium and watched the Cardinals play the San Fransisco Giants. The cardinals won, and Mordecai saw his first homerun!

After the game we headed back to the hotel and we were all fast asleep by 10:30pm. The six of us were up and showered, had breakfast, and were out the door by 9:30am. We headed to the St Louis Zoo and spent the next six hours enjoying all that the zoo had to offer.

Blake enjoying a funnel cake!

Hunter & Alaina taking a break.

Mordecai and the ape!

Another wonderful weekend spent in St Louis!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Bummer :-(

I didn't win the I Pad but I did receive a $20 gift certificate to Brewed Awakenings!!!
Thanks Lisa for all of your hard work!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Thing 13 - Looks like I made it!!!

I have really enjoyed taking part in the Web 2.0 experience. One of the best things about it was that I could do it on my own time and didn't have another meeting or class that I needed to be at... especially during the summer. Thank you to Lisa for all of your hard work in putting this together and of course the great prizes!!! (I hope I win!! Marie, please please draw my name!!!)

Now that I have created my blog and have been posting a bit here and there my plan is to continue blogging. One of the main topics will be blogging about our foreign exchange student from Ghana. He has been living with us since August 11 and will be here through the end of the school year.

Welcome to the United States of America Mordecai!

Wordle: Wordle Blog

Thing 12 - Video Tools

I chose to use Screenjelly since I would not need to download any software to my computer. I also do not have a webcam or microphone on my computer (at least not that I am aware of or have ever used.)

Watch my screen recording at

My video shows you how to request a new password for in case you forget yours. The new password will be sent to your Coe College email account.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

First Day of School 2010

Blake 14 years - 8th grade
Mordecai 16 years - 11th grade
Hunter 16 years - 11th grade

Monday, August 16, 2010

School Registration

Today was a very busy day for Mordecai. After breakfast our family took Mordecai to North-Linn High School to register for the school year. Most of his teachers were available to meet with him and welcome him to the school. Mordecai's schedule for the first semester includes: Intro to Business, AP Calculus, American History, Chemistry, Government, Word Processing, & P.E. He also wants to join FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) From what I gathered, he is very impressed with our school, although it is much smaller than he is used to. In Ghana, the school that he attends has around 2,000 students.

After lunch Mordecai and I went to the bank in Cedar Rapids and opened up a checking/savings account, stopped at the store to pick up a few things, and then headed home so he could go to Cross Country practice. He also saw his first accident involving three vehicles on Blairs Ferry Road.

I believe he is looking forward to the first day of school on Wednesday!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

New experiences

Today Mike and I both had to work, so the boys were on their own. Hunter had a three hour football practice and I told Blake and Mordecai to sleep in. They were both up and showered for the day before I left the house at 7:15am.

Blake and Mordecai went for a walk around town today.

Making chocolate chip cookies, strawberries & swimming in a pool (I was a little worried about this one as Mordecai does not know how to swim.) I was assured that he had floaties on and there was adult supervision.

Mordecai also met a couple more kids that will be in his class this school year.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mordecai's 1st Day in Iowa

We met our foreign exchange student, Mordecai Botchway at the Eastern Iowa Airport. He is from Ghana, Africa. Mordecai will be spending the school year with our family. Here is a picture of him with the group of exchange students that will be living in the Cedar Rapids and surrounding area.
We stopped at Buffalo Wild Wings for lunch on the drive home. Mordecai tried the Blazin' sauce (the hottest sauce) and didn't even bat an eye. He is used to eating spicy food in his country.

After arriving home we gave Mordecai a tour of the house and showed him his new bedroom. He is sharing a room with our oldest son, Hunter. Mordecai had been up since 1:00am that morning to make his early flight from Washington, D.C. to Cedar Rapids so he laid down for awhile and took a nap.

We had a nice meal for supper; pork chops, sweet corn, green beans, and strawberry pie, and then the boys chilled downstairs and watched a movie. Mordecai is not used to the air conditioning in our home so he kept warm by wearing a sweatshirt and a winter stocking cap! Mordecai fell asleep sitting up.

I think this exchange will be a great learning experience for all of us. I am looking forward to this school year.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

RSS Feeds - Thing 11

I love the RSS feeds. I was already doing this... not that I knew what I was doing. I spend time daily reading some of the blogs that I follow and now that I know about Google Reader I feel that it will be much easier and maybe less time consuming to keep up on some of them. Knowing me though, I will probably just add more to follow.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Thing 10 - Creative Commons

Not really sure about this one. I do not know much about licenses and when and if you can borrow something from a website or time I sold something on ebay and didn't use my own pictures... I borrowed some pictures off of ebay so I wouldn't have to take my own and just used them. I guess I shouldn't have done that because I received an email saying to remove the photos??

Well, here is a photo that I thought was pretty, so I am posting it on my site. I found it when looking at the Creative Commons website and it said that I could share it on my blog. So here it is!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Sioux Lookout, Ontario, CANADA

My family went on a 'guys only' fishing trip. They had an awesome time. They ate fish everyday for lunch and were 'unplugged' from all of their electronic gadgets for a whole week. They enjoyed the trip up north so much they want to go back again in a couple of years and take me and grandma along!


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Thing 9: Online Books/Cataloguing & Misc

I signed up for LibraryThing and my username is ambermulnix. I added the gadget to my blog. These are the next four books on my summer reading list. I like how it had a list of recommendations for me. I'm always looking for a good book to read.

My dad, husband, and boys left Friday morning for a week long fishing trip to Canada. I heard from them on Saturday night that they were already catching Walleye and Northern and eating them for lunch. I bought each of them a camera for their trip and hope they are taking many pictures! I'll post pics when they return.

I am keeping busy with things to do around the house. Gong to try and tackle the bathroom this week. It needs a nice face lift. New curtain rod, curtain, rugs, paint, and towels. Here is a picture of my new shower curtain.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Thing 8 - YouTube

Going to the Great Jones County Fair next week with my Aunt Joyce to see Lady Antebellum. Have never seen them before and LOVE their music. Don't actually have tickets since they sold out so quickly, but will try to find someplace to sit and enjoy the music. Wish us LUCK!!

For only the $10 it takes to get in the gate, you can still have a great view of Lady Antebellum or any of the other Grandstand Acts at the 2010 Great Jones County Fair. With our big new stage , the free hillside grass seating is now an even better deal than it was in the past, just in time for YOU to come and enjoy the 2010 Great Jones County Fair!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Thing 7 - Social Bookmarking

ambermulnix is my Delicious account name and I imported all of my bookmarks that I had on my computer. I think this is much better to have all of my favorites here just in case my computer would crash. I'd be lost if I had to start all over with my Favorites! Also, I am taking the time to cleanup my favorites. There are many that I know that will probably get DELETED.

Do you see this as a useful tool? I definately think this is useful. I spend so much time looking for a good site on the web... now I'll look here first and see if someone already found the good stuff and I won't have to waste time looking myself!Would you actually use this? I can see myself using a lot.

Before this excercise I didn't even know or had ever heard of Social Bookmarking. So glad that I decided to do the 13 Things @Coe this summer!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Birthday America!

And I'm proud to be an American,
where at least I know I'm free.
And I won't forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.
~Lee Greenwood

Friday, July 2, 2010

Thing 6 - Me and Twitter - not so much!

Discovery Exercise
Create a Twitter account – √
Find at least 3 people to follow – √
Retweet a post or two from someone you're following - √
Post your Twitter name to your blog - AmberMulnix

Tell us who you're following –

Reflect on your experience using/reading about Twitter. I think it would be much better if I had a good phone. My kids have a better cell phone than I do!! :-)
I don't have a data plan and twittering is not something I think I would do sitting at my computer.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Summer Reading List Update

So, I've knocked off 6 books in the month of June... not too bad.
That leaves me with this list if I don't add anything else to it!

1 eclipse by Stephenie Meyer
2 breaking dawn by Stephenie Meyer
3 Island Beneath the Sea by Isabel Allende
4 Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner
5 Mistress of the Art of Death
6 Hello Goodbye by Emily Chenoweth
7 The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf
8 Not the German's Alone: A Son's Search
9 Odd Thomas series by Dean Koontz
10 The Shack by William P. Young
11 Little Heathens
12 3rd Angel
13 The Condition
14 Mind's Eye
15 Secrets to Happiness
16 The Girl She Used to Be
17 The Pretend Wife
18 Die For You
19 The Visibles
20 The bin Ladens
21 The Sisters Antipodes
22 Hummingbirds
23 Days of Summer
24 The Outliers
25 All He Ever Wanted by Anita Shreve
26 Sea Glass by Anita Shreve
27 Little Bee by Chris Cleave
28 The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Thing 5 - Flickr

My Flickr name is amber.mulnix. I'm struggling a little bit with Flickr but am sure the more that I am on it will get a bit easier for me to navigate. I was able to upload some pictures, add a slideshow to my blog... I haven't figured out how to only add certain pictures... I seem to be getting all of the pics that were uploaded in my slideshow. I also played a bit with picnik. The pic that I posted is of my niece Karly. She wanted me to take a picture of her with Blake's bird Tango sitting on her shoulder.

I've checked out the Flickr blog, mapped one of my photos to my hometown, but haven't been able to locate the 'story in five frames'. Can someone help me out here?

I used Flickr once in the past but didn't do much. I think I only posted a couple of pictures. I have pictures scattered everywhere. I've used Walmart, Walgreen's, snapfish, and many others. I really want to get my digital pics organized and all in one place. This shall be one of my goals for 2010... get all of my pictures in one place!! I think online photo sharing is great. It's much easier than printing or even emailing photos to the people you want to share them with

Still need to check out BigHugeLabs.

My niece, Karly

Originally uploaded by amber.mulnix