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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Lyshie's Birthday Celebration

Since she's growing into a young lady I thought I'd take my Lyshie to the spa to get her nails and hair done. While there we enjoyed a nice lunch at the spa's cafe. It was such a fun time. Lysha's hairdresser was Amber which we both thought was totally cool! Here's the web address for the Somerset Spa and Salon. It's absolutely divine!

After that we ended up going to the Flint Institute of Art. We just love going there. We ended the day with taking her to the Famous Dave's Restaurant which she had a coupon to get a free meal. She's one excited kiddo. Last night we ended up seeing a performance at the Flint Institute of Music. We have had so much fun! It just amazes me how fast they grow up. Monday is her actual birthday so I intend to write her a long letter and we're going to have her cake then. Her Grandma Sandi also sent her a gift in the mail which she does not know is hers and will also open that then. How blessed we are to have these wonderful kids.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Flowers to tickle your fancy.

I wish I had more time to perfect my photography skills. That will however come later on in life. For now here's a few I've recently taken. Thankfully my brother has given me a few pointers I hope to run with time permitting.


I realized I had worked so much more with Allysha by the time she was two than what I am with Jon. So....I decided to start getting very serious about making time for his school every day too. In the picture below it shows what his sister, Allysha, and I have been making for him. We cut out two of each letter from felt. We then matched them together and quickly whip-stitched around them. Yes you can tell it's quickly. lol. We figured since we already had the felt and thread at home it'd be essentially free to make verses going out and getting something from the store.

We have watched a few youtube videos with the alphabet including a youtube movie entitled Chicka, Chicka, Boom, Boom, which is taken from a book. Very cute!

We'll also be using letter of the week for some of our teaching. I will soon have lesson plans up on for teaching basic letter recognition. Within just a couple times of showing him the felt letter A, he is already able to recognize it. How exciting!

Have fun teaching your little ones. I know I do.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Our Fence Update!!!!!

I'm so incredibly excited how fast Matt is able to get this done. It looks gorgeous! We still have to stain the rest of the pickets and the posts as well as trim down the posts and put up the gate - but that's it. Woo hoo! Weirdly enough the yard actually seems bigger. Here are a couple pix looking out the back. Sorry for the mess. You can see the garden in the bottom pix towards the right side of the pix along with a flowering dogwood tree that just got planted.

My Beautiful Hutch!

My mother-in-law recently got married and said there were several things she wouldn't be able to take with her. We had already decided Matt was going to build a hutch just like hers for our kitchen - someday. Well, my mil asked us if we'd like to have it. We offered to pay but she thought the idea of that was ridiculous. We ended up getting the hutch of our dreams this past weekend and were actually able to transport it in our van. Here are some pix. A gorgeous tuscan pix my mom gave me to use will go over the small table by the hutch. Talk about perfect! We desperately needed the room since we actually lost cupboard space when we moved into this house. This has helped tremendously. Thanks Shannon! Oh yes and by the way, the rest of my teapots/pitchers are sitting at the church waiting to find their new home;)

Monday, May 26, 2008

Staying with my bro

We finally got the chance to spend a little time with my brother, Jason and his family. We had so much fun and can't wait to do it again. The night we joined them, we got pizza and went to a park. Talk about fun not only for the kids but for us too. Enjoy the pix.

Uncle Jason with Lyshie

Studly little Jon

Our sweet little niece, Keira.

The Wedding!

My mother-in-law just got married this past Saturday to Allen. They got married in the Peace Garden at Manchester College and had their reception on the grounds as well. Talk about gorgeous!

Allen has 3 girls - all with significant others. Shannon has 4 children all with significant others and 3 grandchildren. Talk about a BIG family. I'm sure you can see that from the pix below.

Woo Hoo - We Went To The Zoo

This past weekend was a very busy one but we had oodles of fun. We went to the Lansing Zoo for starters which we thoroughly enjoyed. Check out our pix below.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

How much are we willing to lose?

We are now at a time where our children are having to learn "lost arts". Do you know what the current lost arts are? Sewing, cooking, and simply taking care of the house - for girls. I will admit I'm not sure what the list is for boys. That is very, very sad when girls cannot take care of their home and family when they get married and instead choose a career where the man has to be left at home - or worse yet, both parents work. I'm sure I'll get a lot of flack for this but that's ok. A few people have told me "well the women on Proverbs had a job"....which is totally taken out of context. SHe was home and did good with what her husband gave her. Titus 2:5 says this of a woman...

to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.

I don't think that leaves any room for argument. Anyway back to the lost arts - another art that is soon to be lost is cursive writing. Several public schools are already putting more computer time for children in place of cursive writing. I'll admit I was not at all concerned till I started reading about the implications of this decision. Do you realize that most of our old documents are written in cursive? Things like The Declaration of Independance and other important documents. It would only take 2-3 generations for cursive to be lost entirely and then the problem of not being able to read/decipher our important old documents. We are in a day and age where things most important are being lost, especially the family as a whole and it's importance in the biblical sense.

I encourage any of you reading this, if you have taken on a role in the home that is not yours to take, to give it back and take on your rightful role. It will be pleasing to your marriage, your children and most importantly God. In that role you will truly be happy.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

More Sweet Mail!

I just got my tie dyed banadana's yesturday from Zupko Zen Creations. This is just one of three. I LOVE Mary's work! She also makes lovely shirts, bow holders, beads and more. Check her out today and support an American work at home mom.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Some thoughts coming out of my head and onto the keyboard...

Here's something I've been thinking about lately - for like the past few months. Sometimes I think we over-analyze things when it comes to natural living. The more I learn the more I realize we need basic minerals, and vitamins for our bodies to "run" properly. This is not rocket science, just plain facts. Here we use deodorant stones, essential oils, homeopathic remedies and more. I'm not at all saying they are bad because I myself use them. But here is where my thinking has come into play lately. Should we come into a serious crisis in the U.S. or all over the world where we don't have the availability or option of buying these products, what would we do? Most people would be at a loss as to how to feed their families, where to get medicines, etc... I'm estimating that it would be at least 95% of all americans would be at a total loss. Watching Juliette De Bacarali Levy on Juliette of the Herbs just astounds me. I would think that if we learned about one native plant at a time, and all it's properties as well as growing conditions and re-planting, we'd really be onto something.

I would like to think that should something horrible happen to my family and we no longer have the internet, food, medicine, etc... I would know what to do. Am I crazy for thinking this way - that's your call I guess but it's just something that I have been thinking about lately.

Any thoughts or comments?

Start Swapping Today

Most people are feeling the financial squeeze which makes swapping/bartering such a wonderful thing. There are now sites online set up for you to do this very thing. Here I am including links for you. If you find these sites through me, please refer me so I can get a free credit - my username is mandikaake is a site where you can go to get rid of your used or unused dvd's that you no longer want. is an online site that let's you trade books of all kinds. Get rid of those unwanted books to get one you've been hoping to get. is a site where you can go to get rid of unwanted cd's and reclaim some of those oldies. - this is an online forum I started for natural parents in Michigan. We have a board set up for those who have things they want to get rid of or swap If you do not live in Michigan send me a message and we'll see if we can work something out. is an online site for essentially cloth diapering mama's - i however no longer cd but still love to chat there. They have occasional swaps as well as an area to list things you might want to swap.

Also, you can get on and other online sites to find swapping in your area. I would also encourage you to talk to your friends about starting up some kind of swapping system. This could really prove to be invaluable to you and your family whether it be swapping time, talent or goods.

Enwrapture Vintage arrived today!


I got my skirts today and am so excited. I got this for a super cheap co-op price. They are real silk skirts that can be worn many different ways. Here are just two pix of the one skirt and there are many more ways than this to wear it. Woo hoo! If you want to know how to get one yourself please contact me by posting a comment on here. Here is their site but I get them for only $8.00 - $8.50 plus shipping.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Backyard Updates

Well I was hoping to till up the garden some more but when it's all by hand it makes things a bit tiring. Still, it looks much better in person and I got everything planted today. Here's what I planted:

Marigolds (pest deterrent)
Lemon Thyme
Beans (green)
Sugar Snap Peas

Can you tell I didn't quite get it all watered?

Now for updates on the deck. Matt got the steps on today and now all he has to do is cover it all up - facing? I have no idea what the terminology is. Anyway, here's our updates.

Working out back

Well my husband is feeling better on and off so he's now working out back. Here are some pix for you to enjoy. We're putting up a fence out back as you can see the posts in the background. He still has to put a few more posts in. Our back door (sliding) was barred up since we moved here till last night when he started putting a small deck up that will lead to steps. The steps will eventually have a flagstone walkway from there leading to a patio but that is a few years down the road. Here's what we have done so far.

Friday, May 16, 2008

What does one do with a telemarketer?

What do you do when you get a call where someone invariably pronounces your name wrong? You know who it is - it's a telemarketer. I do understand it is their job and in the past tried to be as sympathetic as possible. I was very kind, talked to them for awhile and finally made them hang up. Well, now homeschooling and having less time in the day for non-sense (for that anyway) I have now resorted to a different tactic. No I do not yell and scream, no I do not hang up on them. What fun would there be in all that? Instead, I hand the phone over to my 2 year old son and say "want to talk on the phone?". He LOVES the phone as I'm sure all little one's do. Just 5 minutes ago someone called to talk to me about some special service they were offering me as a cardholder. Well, they thought it was special, I did not. As soon as she started her ramble I handed my little Jon the phone. He was also currently watching a Baby Einstein video. He proceeded to tell her about the squirrel that he thought was a dog. Here's how it came out.

"goggy (for doggy), see goggy? goggy and berry. berry, goggy." and so on.

She was loud enough I could hear her over where I was and this of course encouraged Jon to talk louder....

"goggy and berry, berry, goggy".

LOL! So yeah, that is pure entertainment there and it's free and has no harmful effects on the environment. I encourage you to try it sometime if you have little ones around. If you don't have little ones of your own or grandkids, offer to babysit for someone sometime. It's such an enjoyable experience.

Homeschooling is wonderful!

I love teaching my kids at home. Nothing compares with the wonder in their eyes when they learn something new or the joy that comes from knowing they are being taught from a true biblical foundation. Here is a picture of my lovely Lyshie doing math while her brother is "reading". lol.

I hope to soon be able to post all the neat pictures of birds we've found in our front yard. We put out a bird feeder and it seems we can't keep it full for more than a few days now. It's so nice looking out and seeing all those beautiful birds. Lyshie just poked her head out the other and said "there's a red-winged blackbird". We have our handy bird guides available as well as our camera so we can get a picture of them and then blow them up to properly identify them. Pix coming soon!

My Two Boys

Last night was so neat. It just goes to show how important a father is in his sons life. Matt was mowing and Jon decided he needed to be just like daddy. He got his lawn mower and got to work - working side by side most of the time to "mow" our lawn. Enjoy the video!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

My introduction

I suppose I should introduce myself. My name is Amanda Kaake but someday I'll be given a new name. I am a child of the King and while I disobey Him now and again, He still loves me and will always forgive me. He has taken away my old life of sin and destruction and turned it into something for His glory. I have been saved from ruin beyond belief and to this day - almost 10 years later - I'm still blown away with where I was and where He has brought me. In case you're wondering, I'm talking about the Lord God, my Saviour Jesus Christ.

I am a wife to the most wonderful husband in the world. We work so hard at keeping things fresh, new and happy. Of course we all have our days but all in all, we really have a great marriage.

I am a mother to the two most wonderful children in the world. God gave them to me and me to them . My children and I learn from one another and love one another so freely. I'm a homeschool mama and would never change that for the world.

Because of health issues almost 6 years ago I have jumped into the world of natural living. By using natural remedies, natural family planning (or nothing at all - we're more quiverfull), using natural cleaners in the home, breastfeeding, babywearing, co-sleeping, non-vaxing, eating better foods and so much more. It really is a way of life and one I love dearly. The more we learn, the more I'm in awe of how God made us to live and how sad I am that we, as a nation are so far from what he intended.

I simply love life and try to enjoy it to the fullest. It's so very important for our emotional and physical health to be positive. We can either get depressed and angered at life's challenges or smile and laugh at them. If you're an adult, you know by now that we are truly not in control. It's once we let go and give to God that we have true freedom.

Life itself is a journey, while we're here on earth to enjoy and teach other's about Christ. I plan to live life to it's fullest.

Despite Sickness God is good!

Matthew started putting in a fence last Saturday but was not able to finish due to weather and mono. Yes if anyone wants to come up and finish putting up the fence, mow the yard or fix our van we wouldn't mind a bit;)

Despite that things are going well. I am hoping to get my garden fully in no later than tomorrow. I had to use The Claw to get the ground worked up and am currently in here resting. Who cares about workout machines when you have to use The Claw. Nothing compares! lol!

Well, I must be off for now but thought I'd post something on my new blog.