Monday, October 31, 2011

Tweet! Tweet! October 2011

I'm not sure if Twitter is going to keep all my tweets forever and ever. Because they are often little snippets about my very glamorous and exciting daily life (and aren't good enough stories to make a blog post) with my family, I will preserve them on this blog monthly.


Amanda_V
Can I pick up my kid from church day care looking like this?
31 Oct Favorite Reply Delete
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Amanda_V
Every parent is so happy Halloween is on a school day so we don't have to hear, "Is it dark yet?" every minute. My sympathies to teachers.
31 Oct Favorite Reply Delete
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TIME.com
The McRib contains a flour-bleaching agent found in gym mats & shoes that's banned in Europe & Australia
27 Oct Favorite Undo Retweet Reply
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Amanda_V
Turned an ordinary family outing into a science lesson.
31 Oct Favorite Reply Delete
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Amanda_V
Chupaaaccccaaabrrraa! RT My kids just saw the school nurse at the mall wearing shorts. It's like a chupacabra sighting.
30 Oct Favorite Reply Delete
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Amanda_V
It's snowing in the NE? My tomato and pepper plants are JUST NOW producing (thx to the hot 'n dry TX summer).
30 Oct Favorite Reply Delete
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Amanda_V
Phone book arrived today. Had to explain to my confused kids what it was used for in the old days before computers and smart phones.
30 Oct Favorite Reply Delete
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Amanda_V
Wish there was water in the lake. 's boat is currently being used as a jungle gym.
30 Oct Favorite Reply Delete
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Amanda_V
Bonfire with my girls at the lake (no marshmallows tonight), and we can clearly see Jupiter! I think they'd rather see planet S'Mores.
29 Oct Favorite Reply Delete
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Amanda_V
Guy from Galveston making Texas organic sake kura. First organic Sake in N. America! RT : Pure Texas Saké
28 Oct Favorite Reply Delete
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Amanda_V
A legit cuban woman just offered me homemade beans and rice, and I had to turn her down b/c it had meat in it. (not always easy)
28 Oct Favorite Reply Delete
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Amanda_V
The weekly plan looks delish and super easy! Hope my meat eating hubby will enjoy the baked tofu.
28 Oct Favorite Reply Delete
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Linda
Am I supposed to be in favor of the Scholastic book fair? Because all I can think is OMG I CANNOT BELIEVE YOU WANT *MORE* MONEY FROM ME.
27 Oct Favorite Undo Retweet Reply
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Amanda_V
My 4 year old daughter, Brooke, lost her SECOND tooth today!
27 Oct Favorite Reply Delete
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Amanda_V
Geometry in 1st grade? No, she just decided geometric shapes are interesting.
26 Oct Favorite Reply Delete
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Amanda_V
New Children's Museum for San Antonio! $20 mil personal donation from leader & philanthropist Charles Butt.
26 Oct Favorite Reply Delete
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Amanda_V
Worried if gets Siri on his iPhone, then he will no longer need ME!
25 Oct Favorite Reply Delete
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Edudemic
How do we prepare students for jobs that don't exist yet?
25 Oct Favorite Undo Retweet Reply
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Amanda_V
Where is the glass of whiskey? RT Herman Cain Produces Best/Worst Campaign Ad Ever
24 Oct Favorite Reply Delete
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Amanda_V
"Guilt is a top limiter of success for women. It's like putting one foot on the gas and one on the brake while driving." -Karen Buckley
24 Oct Favorite Reply Delete
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Amanda_V
I put on Off!, but ended up with several mosquito bites on the soles of my feet. So, they literally waited until my sandal slightly moved?
24 Oct Favorite Reply Delete
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Dan Rockwell
RT : A person who is nice to you, but is not nice to the waiter, is not a nice person.
22 Oct Favorite Undo Retweet Reply
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Amanda_V
Picture day was a great success, but our photographer was 40 min late. Hoping pics turned out great!
22 Oct Favorite Reply Delete
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Amanda_V
We may be the same person! First, freckles, now shared hate for The Beatles? RT I change the radio when the Beatles come on.
20 Oct Favorite Reply Delete
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Kelley
I change the radio when the Beatles come on. Go ahead & call the sniper.
20 Oct Favorite Undo Retweet Reply
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Amanda_V
I have lotsa freckles, & try everything to fade them. What do YOU think about freckles? Hot or not?
17 Oct Favorite Reply Delete
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Publishers Weekly
Amazon Signs Up Authors, Writing Publishers Out of Deal; “It’s an old strategy: divide and conquer" says Richard Curtis
16 Oct Favorite Undo Retweet Reply
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Sea Shepherd
'Whale Wars' to continue in the Southern Ocean
16 Oct Favorite Undo Retweet Reply
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Amanda_V
Went to a Beer Festival today, and got a 10oz cup and TEN tix for beer. Seriously, that's A LOT of beer. We had fun watching the drunks!
15 Oct Favorite Reply Delete
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Amanda_V
I want this: ClamCase iPad Keyboard Case - Black
13 Oct Favorite Reply Delete
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Amanda_V
Just installed iOS 5. It's pretty, but cranky. Many apps running slow or not responding. Safari not as fast as expected.
12 Oct Favorite Reply Delete
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HuffPostEducation
Texas schools sue state over billions in funding
12 Oct Favorite Undo Retweet Reply
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Amanda_V
No "kiddie" food. RT Q5 What’s the top priority to improve school cafeteria? cc:
11 Oct Favorite Reply Delete
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Amanda_V
: Q4 Start small with your local school, network, learn, then to your ISD.
11 Oct Favorite Reply Delete
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Jess Dweck
Ron Paul could totally win if he were running for Ornery Old Man on Porch.
11 Oct Favorite Undo Retweet Reply
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Amanda_V
Halloween costumes are in progress. Brooke(4) will be Bat Girl, and Maddie (6) will be a Pop Star. I'm gonna be a zombie.
10 Oct Favorite Reply Delete
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Huffington Post
Can part-time vegetarianism help the planet?
10 Oct Favorite Undo Retweet Reply
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Amanda_V
So sad to see college players get severely injured on the field. The helmet leading hit on was terrible.
8 Oct Favorite Reply Delete
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Wendi Aarons
Austin bumper sticker: "If Rick Perry's The Answer, How Stupid's The Question?"
8 Oct Favorite Undo Retweet Reply
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Amanda_V
Brooke (4) says "darn man it!" instead of "damn it!" I'm SUCH an awesome mother!
8 Oct Favorite Reply Delete
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Amanda_V
Maddie fell on this cactus while playing outside at the lake house. Teeny tiny needles all over her hands.
8 Oct Favorite Reply Delete
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Amanda_V
Asked for an off menu sandwIch in the "Cowboy Capital of the World," Bandera, TX. The owners expression spoke a thousand words.
8 Oct Favorite Reply Delete
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Chronicle
Maybe would better serve American society if it focused less on how great it thinks it is:
7 Oct Favorite Undo Retweet Reply
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Amanda_V
Love that the dad's read it! Did u organize that?!RT : 27 Dad's read to almost 600 kids this morning ...
6 Oct Favorite Reply Delete
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Amanda_V
Just contributed to the WORLD RECORD for at Coker ES in . Read Llama Llama Red Pajama !
6 Oct Favorite Reply Delete
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Amanda_V
My kids woke up at 4:00am excited for Read For The Record! I will be reading to 150 of their friends. U can 2 wegivebooks.org
6 Oct Favorite Reply Delete
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Amanda_V
What a classy move by www.apple.com. They are honoring Steve Jobs' life and contributions with his portrait on their website.
5 Oct Favorite Reply Delete
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Wheelie Gourmet
I'm sure a lot of you have school age kids. Let's try to put some pressure on our schools to offer more locally...
4 Oct Favorite Undo Retweet Reply
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Amanda_V
@
I'm loving the Mumford and Sons album.
4 Oct Favorite Reply Delete
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Amanda_V
Don't give up! RT RT : Tough Sell for Healthy Fare in School Vending Machines:
3 Oct Favorite Reply Delete
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Amanda_V
Maddie (6) asked what Ke$ha means by "I brushed my teeth with a bottle of Jack." We decided it was about using fluoride. Yea, that's it!
3 Oct Favorite Reply Delete
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Adam Savage
From Reddit, the most modern workplace sign EVER:
2 Oct Favorite Undo Retweet Reply
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Amanda_V
Delish samosas at ! They are one of the few trucks that have their act together this early!
2 Oct Favorite Reply Delete
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Amanda_V
At a party, and I am the ONLY woman who is not bilingual. I need to get back on my Rosetta Stone!
1 Oct Favorite Reply Delete
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Amanda_V
Brooke (4) asks me to wiggle her loose tooth, then burps and laughs while I'm doing it. It's like her version of the "pull my finger" trick.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Not your ordinary trip to the Pumpkin Patch: Love Creek Orchard

When you go to a pumpkin patch in Texas, you just might get to ride a horse, y'all!



We spent the day at the Great Hill Country Pumpkin Patch at Love Creek Orchards in Medina, Texas , and we got lots more than just pumpkins. In fact, pumpkin hunting and gathering was the least interesting part of the trip. We did so much more....




Hay maze:





We did some crafts and heard stories told by some Texas Cowboys. We learned about Native Americans and saw them dance. Took a few hayrides (which were VERY hard on the allergies):




Fed some cows, donkeys, and even got to see a llama doing her banking:








Native American dance party:





Heard and saw an actual Mexican Free Tailed bat "house." (Can't believe I didn't get a picture of that, and all the poop under their house.)




The best part of our day was when we learned about apple tree grafting, growing dwarf root stock trees, cleaning, sorting, packaging and production. I consumed about 24 oz of FRESH (literally pressed through a cloth right in front of us!) apple juice. It tastes NOTHING like what you buy at the store.


This fabulous lady, Genie Strickland, has been with the orchard for TWENTY years. She told us about the importance of buying local and what that means for the commuinity and the quality of the produce. I loved that Genie took the time to TEACH us what they do using scientific terms and providing a historical perspective. Kids may be little, but they are smart and will remember this part of the day more than any other. Genie knows this, and did a great job.

Genie also gave many examples of how the workers at the orchard don't throw anything away. Even scrap branches and rotten fruit have a useful purpose. She asked the kids to come up with alternative uses for everything that one might throw away.

Maddie got a chance to load the apples into the apple washer/polisher/sorter thingamigiggy. The kids were told to quickly (and gently) dump the apples onto the conveyor belt, but Madison decided to line them up one by one. Zak and I couldn't help but to steal a sideways glance and quiet laugh at our very meticulous daughter. Even when the tour guide suggested Maddie didn't need to line them up, she looked at her smiled, said "okay," and continued doing it exactly the same way.





Our girl likes ORDER.




On the way home, I was talking about the unsung work that goes on on local farms, and Zak wondered if I secretly wanted to be a farmer or rancher. NOPE. Clearly, I don't have the work ethic it takes, but I'm in awe of how much a local farm can do for the community. Due to the most severe drought in Texas history, the farm suffered a near total loss of the late apple harvest. Literally, the orchard's WELL DRIED UP. Employees of the orchard don't just work there year round, they must take on several jobs to make ends meet.




Spending the day (and lots of money) at the orchard was the least we could do to support the work that happens here, and hope we'll be able to return again next year to see the lush green property with trees full of apples to pick and take home!


That is Victor Strickland (Genie's husband!) driving the girls around. I think he had more fun than the kids did!


Honk yer Little John Deere tractor horn if you love farmers!


Better yet, BUY LOCAL if you love farmers.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Brooke lost her SECOND tooth

Brooke, at 4.5 years old, lost her second tooth today. It happened at school, so it was extra exciting.
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Creepy

Partly because I'm cheap, but also because Halloween decorations are so damn expensive, I decided to make my own creepy thing to hang by our door.


It actually hangs by its "ankles" just above my (5'2') head, and I think it's awfully scary....




The Girls call it our Zombie pod or a Mummy cocoon. Because they helped me make it, and know it isn't really a zombie, mummy, or dead body inside, they're really not very scared.



My neighbors, on the other hand, probably think we're really weird. Brooke told one of them that the "ZOMBIE WILL HATCH ON HALLOWEEN!!"





This is the first Halloween the girls will tolerate anything remotely scary. For the past six years, we've been all ballerina-mermaid-princess-cheerleaders up in here (with the occasional dinosaur or spider girl) but FINALLY....


Maddie will be a "Pop Star" ala Taylor Swift (and clearly has a ways to go with the scary part), but Brooke will be "BAT GIRL!" That's sorta scary, right?


Boo.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Hanging Around

Brooke was SO excited about her Halloween shirt that Grandpa and Grandma Mary sent her!

The bat on this shirt glows in the dark, and she was excited to "charge it up" in the light and show her friends at school what it looks like in the dark. (I wonder if she'll get in trouble for turning out the lights all day long?!)

"I can make the bat FLY!" she yelled as she ran around the house.

Zak and I also got some cool shirts. Maddie will open her package today after school.

Thanks Terry, Mary, Terra and Marcus!
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Monday, October 24, 2011

Where the Sidewalk Ends








I ordered a used copy of Shel Sliverstien's Where the Sidewalk Ends a few weeks ago. On many occasions we need quick bedtime stories, and Maddie and Brooke are no longer fond of our short "baby" books that we've had for years. In addition to ebook apps on my iPad that reads stories out loud (hooray for parenting substitutions like ebooks and TV!), Shel Silverstein's quick and funny stories often hit the spot.








At almost seven years old, Madison usually "gets it" and sometimes has to explain a poem to Brooke.




Both Zak and I have fond childhood memories of this book, and I love to relive the stories. I had forgotten many of them, and am enjoying the humor from an entirely different perspective this time.








It's funny how parenting makes you remember your own childhood memories, but those memories look so different from the other side.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Books, Games and Homework using Apps

Maddie and Brooke use the iPad quite a bit. It's been about 1.5 years since we've had it, and they use it everyday.
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Friday, October 14, 2011

Trike-A-Thon

Brooke's pre-k class participated in Trike-A-Thon today in support of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Both Brooke and Maddie have been doing this for several years at our Child Care Center, but this will be Brooke's last year raising funds.






How did she raise money, you ask? By scooting around in circles over and over and over while trying to avoid getting run over and also running into one of her friends. The kids could bring their trikes, bikes, or scooters, "but not a MOTORCYCLE because that would be cheating!"






I suppose it's was totally inappropriate of my to giggle as the children kept crashing, but it WAS FUNNY (and no one was injured). The course was set up on a slight incline so there was a "hill" to go up and down. At the bottom of the "hill" the 4 year olds either had to stop or turn very slowly as the angle was too difficult for them to handle. This is where all the action was.






Unfortunately for you, I only got one minor crash on camera at the :46 marker (and Brooke's crash at the :35 was too far away to see well, then she just complained that her leg hurt from scootin'):


video

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Cirque du Lake House

Maddie and Brooke decided to put on a Cirque du Soleil style show for Zak and I. They chair swing was the main prop.


Brooke did a few tricks using the chair for absolutely every purpose it was NOT intended for. I'm pretty sure my dad never thought about this when he rescued this chair swing from a garage sale.


Then Maddie decided to scare the crap out of us with her acrobatic moves performed 5 feet in the air above a concrete sidewalk.


Maddie also supplied us flowers to throw on the girls after their performances.


"TA DA!"


Maddie may run off to join the circus. She'll likely make some money with her entrepreneurial spirit.



Posted by Picasa

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Read for the Record 2011

Hooray for Read for the Record! It's my second year to participate in helping to bring attention to the importance of early literacy eduction for children. The ultimate goal is the break the world record for reading the same book in one day to as many children as possible all over the world.
I was so happy to have the opportunity to read Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney to the children in the classrooms of both Maddie and Brooke.

My first stop was Maddie's Dual Language first grade classroom. I read the book in English, and Maddie's teacher, Ms. Garcia, read it to the students in Spanish (Llama Llama Rojo Pijama). Each student in her class received a donated book from wegivebooks.org (a non-profit division of Pearson Education).



My next stop was Brooke's Pre-Kinder classroom at her child care center. After reading to Brooke's class, I read to about 50 other children. It's an incredibly rewarding experience, and anyone can do it. Just sign up each year, read to one kid to hundreds, and document the amount of children to see if the record will be broken again.








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Saturday, October 01, 2011

Tweet! Tweet! September 2011

I'm not sure if Twitter is going to keep all my tweets forever and ever. Because they are often little snippets about my very glamorous and exciting daily life (and aren't good enough stories to make a blog post) with my family, I will preserve them on this blog monthly.


Amanda_V
What is it with the constant need for my kids and plants to want to be fed and watered? I'm busy, guys!
29 Sep Favorite Retweet Reply
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Amanda_V
At gymnastics pickup, I heard a 9yo tell a racist joke to 20 kids. Coach was shocked silent. I scolded that kid in front of EVERYONE!
28 Sep Favorite Retweet Reply
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Amanda_V
I'm an over exclamation points user! I can't help it! I'm so excited!!!!! What I have to say is super duper important!!!!!!!
28 Sep Favorite Retweet Reply
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Amanda_V
Just got a box of Read for the Record Llama books in English and Spanish! I'm pledging to read to 150 kids on 10/6!
28 Sep Favorite Retweet Reply
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Amanda_V
Zak just invented a "makeshift blood catcher " using tape. Told him someone has already invented that, and picked a catchier name BANDAID.
24 Sep Favorite Retweet Reply
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Amanda_V
Transparency does not forgive poor decision making. RT One of the best examples of leadership and trans...
24 Sep Favorite Retweet Reply
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Amanda_V
RT RT : Infographic: Textbooks of Tomorrow
24 Sep Favorite Retweet Reply
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Amanda_V
Ah, yes! Satellite re-entry makes perfect sense now! RT : RT : Sat 24 Sep 2011 0:00UT ...
23 Sep Favorite Retweet Reply
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Amanda_V
I re-caulked some tiles in my guest bathroom tonight. I am such my father's daughter! He will be impressed with my handiwork.
23 Sep Favorite Retweet Reply
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Amanda_V
Poor Netflix!! Their dumb decisions will be Case Studies for every college business course next year. via
20 Sep Favorite Retweet Reply
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Amanda_V
Brooke (4) was doing unsupervised couch gymnastics, and the hard wood floor won this match. Big bruise on her forehead.
18 Sep Favorite Retweet Reply
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Amanda_V
The game is STILL on. Ugh.
17 Sep Favorite Retweet Reply
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Amanda_V
After the dead guy fell out of the freezer onto the kids, decided maybe Goonies wasn't appropriate for the kids
17 Sep Favorite Retweet Reply
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Amanda_V
Zak made the executive decision to let the girls (6 and 4) watch The Goonies. This isn't a good idea!!!!
17 Sep Favorite Retweet Reply
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Amanda_V
Ha! RT : Lots of people escaping crowds in Austin this weekend by heading to San Antonio. Welcome ACL evacuees.
16 Sep Favorite Retweet Reply
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GOOD
by Amanda_V
Community colleges are screwed. This is why you should care
16 Sep Favorite Retweet Reply
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Amanda_V
I officially turned into my dad. I placed buckets in the yard to contain the liquid gold falling from the sky to save for a non-rainy day.
16 Sep Favorite Retweet Reply
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Amanda_V
Opened the garage door to leave for school, and all 4 of us paused and then screamed, "IT'S RAINING!"
16 Sep Favorite Retweet Reply
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Amanda_V
LOVE THESE! Just purchased! RT Not all princesses need saving, thank you very much.
15 Sep Favorite Retweet Reply
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Amanda_V
Have you seen this, ? RT Excited for the book to come out next month.
15 Sep Favorite Retweet Reply
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Amanda_V
Old people and technology is a daily combo for me. (I wish my customers were this sweet!) Seniors using a webcam:
15 Sep Favorite Retweet Reply
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Amanda_V
love these cool t-shirts. 100% of proceeds go to fire victims. via RT
15 Sep Favorite Retweet Reply
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Rackspace Hosting
by Amanda_V
More info about Tech Stars' new cloud-focused accelerator in San Antonio -
13 Sep Favorite Retweet Reply
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Cindy Sullivan
by Amanda_V
This life is yours.Take the power to control your own life. No one else can do it for you. Take the power to make your life happy.
13 Sep Favorite Retweet Reply
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Amanda_V
Way to go ! 2011 Best Companies to Work For. This profile by is great!
13 Sep Favorite Retweet Reply
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Alyssa Milano
by Amanda_V
Heroes! Motorcyclist rescued from fiery crash via
13 Sep Favorite Retweet Reply
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Amanda_V
Just got a 615 PAGE unrequested catalog from in the MAIL. It's over 1 in thick!
12 Sep Favorite Retweet Reply
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Amanda_V
Brooke's performing in her schools Grandparent's Day Celebration. No g-parents could make it in person, but they may be watching online.
12 Sep Favorite Retweet Reply
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Amanda_V
What we SHOULD have been taught in our senior year of high school - The Oatmeal via
12 Sep Favorite Retweet Reply
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Amanda_V
My baby, Brooke, just lost her 1st tooth at 4.5 years old. I got it on video, and will post it on my blog tomorrow. She is so excited!
11 Sep Favorite Retweet Reply
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Amanda_V
Hey ! How hard would it be to do this at the lake house?
10 Sep Favorite Retweet Reply
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Amanda_V
Let's have a moment of silence for people who COULD be with us, but are instead dining at Chili's or Applebees.
10 Sep Favorite Retweet Reply
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Amanda_V
Just had my 1st beer (hefeweizen) while at , but didn't want to tweet abt it because I worried they'd kick me out!
10 Sep Favorite Retweet Reply
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Amanda_V
Brooke (4.5) has her first very loose tooth. This Tooth Fairy gig is gonna send me to the poor house!
10 Sep Favorite Retweet Reply
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YouTube Trends
by Amanda_V
Trending: See how fast wildfire spreads - Texas Parks and Wildlife [Official]
7 Sep Favorite Retweet Reply
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Amanda_V
cut their budget by millions this year! 77% of TX firefighters are volunteers. Donate to help.
7 Sep Favorite Retweet Reply
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delrayser
by Amanda_V
1. Cut firefighting budget by 75% the year your state catches fire. 2. ????? 3. GET ELECTED PRESIDENT.
7 Sep Favorite Retweet Reply
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Amanda_V
cooked week night dinner for the 1st time in YEARS, and I forgot. Took Maddie out for after Prnt/Tchr conference. Oops.
6 Sep Favorite Retweet Reply
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Amanda_V
That's my Madison! RT Hello everyone! Check out this amazing PlanetBox video brought to you by Madison!...
6 Sep Favorite Retweet Reply
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Amanda_V
Blog post: I go a little bonkers for a lunch box by
3 Sep Favorite Retweet Reply
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Amanda_V
Why does it take San Antonio 24 months to build a bridge when I could create a HUMAN in 9 months?
2 Sep Favorite Retweet Reply
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Amanda_V
Even though I know Blue Cheese is supposed to have mold on it, it still gives me the major willies.
1 Sep Favorite Retweet Reply
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Amanda_V
Cookie's Week- my 6&4 yos love it. RT Do you have any favorite children's books featuring/about cats? Pls @ me or DM me
1 Sep Favorite Retweet Reply
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Amanda_V
Looks like my 4 year old has been working for this week. She drew on the map:
1 Sep Favorite Retweet Reply