Thursday, December 18, 2008

Politics, Schmolitics.

I don't like to talk politics - or even think about them too much if I can help it. But when I saw this article online recently, I was more than a little excited, and surprised. Obama has chosen Pastor Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his inauguration. :) It's great to see a Christian, who sticks with Biblically-based values, have this opportunity!

Click here to

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Simple Pleasures...

Yesterday when I got home from work Cole was standing in our dining room, grinning.

Why, you may ask, is this unusual? Because normally he's passed out in the recliner, napping. I knew he was up to something, but couldn't figure out what... Awhile later he asked me to come into our bedroom - he said he had something to show me. (Get your mind out of the gutter!)

For as long as we've been married (a whopping 2 1/2 years), I've complained about turning off the lamp before going to sleep. Ridiculous, I know... Try to see it my way - I practically FALL out of bed every night because I can't reach the lamp. I'm kind of a night owl, so moving the lamp to Cole's side of the bed isn't an option.

Enter "The Clapper." Yep. That's right. Just clap twice for on, twice for off. So simple, so wonderful. :) It has to be the best-ever $15 gadget... What a great surprise! We spent the remainder of the evening arguing about who gets the last clap... It's an exciting life we lead.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Lotto Tickets, Eating for Life & Premier Designs...

Don't get me wrong... I would definitely not say that purchasing lotto tickets is the road to financial success. When I was making my list, however, I realized that I had never before tried my luck with the Kansas Lottery. Saturday was the day! I bought ten $1 tickets and won $15! Not bad, huh? I guess I better quit while I'm ahead. Winning that extra cash put me in the mood for shopping, so I hit the mall to get a start on our Christmas lists. I'm now half way done with one person on my list. How frustrating is that??? We (meaning I - because Cole doesn't do much of the shopping) have a LONG way to go!

I'm finally able to check #55 off my list, as well. Last week was my final class in Carrie's (she's the dietitian at our gym, and a friend of mine) "Eating for Life" series... I really feel like I've made some progress with eating habits and I've re-energized my exercise program. Tonight Cole and I are having our post Boot Camp evaluation meeting with Carrie. We're getting weighed, and she's using one of those pincher-things to measure our body fat. Yeah, sounds like fun, huh? Hopefully my BMI will have gone down!!! That's just the motivation I need heading into the holidays.

In other news... I signed on with Premier Designs as a Jeweler in late October. I know... It sounds so official! So far I've had two shows, and my third is Wednesday night. The company has really impressed me - their entire philosophy is Biblically based, they're debt-free and they have the best hostess benefits and commission program of any direct selling company I've seen. I've easily recouped my expenses for starting up, and gotten lots of great jewelry in the process. A show I held in Wichita earned my hostess over $300 (10 items) of FREE jewelry. It feels great to be able to reward my hostesses with such generous benefits. That said, feel free to give me a call if you're interested in earning some free jewelry for yourself! :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

#36: Turkey Trot & Kids Gobble Jog

The first-ever Turkey Trot is complete! Whew!

Over 90 people registered for the trot, with about 72 adult finishers and 12 Gobble Joggers in the kids event. It was a first for Rock Springs and hopefully it won't be the last! Unfortunately, the weather wasn't as sunny or calm as forecasted; there was a chilly breeze. The trees were pretty bare from windy gusts earlier in the week... Hopefully next year we'll be able to have some colorful fall foliage for a more scenic event. We had lots of positive feedback! Runners are a resilient group - the cold weather didn't slow down our turkey trotters - we even had 12 register on the day of the event! Here are some photos of family and friends trotting throughout Rock Springs. Thanks for your support everybody!!!

Paul and Cole.

Jess - lookin' good!

Almost finished!

One of my favorites... :) Mom and the in-laws.
I'm pretty sure this is when she was telling an
embarrasing story about my childhood. Yeesh.

Announcing the winners. I hate speaking into
a microphone. Yuck. "Not it" for next year!

Monday, October 27, 2008

When technology fails us...

Amanda's Stats:

Overall Place - 2128/3493
Division Place - 292/511
Sex Place - 1028/2058
Net Time - 2:14:07
Pace - 10:26

Cole's Stats:
Overall Place - 2805/3493
Division Place - 235/248
Sex Place - 1301/1435
Net Time - 2:28:42
Pace - 11:39

The look on Cole's face when he saw the "official race results" online was priceless. Evidently I beat him by 14 minutes... even though you can see us finishing side-by-side above. So much for those electronic chip thingies being accurate! (Ok, we weren't exactly side-by-side. I really did beat him, but to be fair it was only by a second or so...) I guess he'll just have to run another 1/2 marathon to prove he can run faster than 11:39 minute miles! Poor guy.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Hasta La Vista, Half-Marathon!

#53 is toast! We both made it - with all fingers and toes intact. Our finishing time was about 2:15, a little longer than Cole's original goal of less than 2 hours... I think he understands much better now that finishing is the goal! I wouldn't necessarily say that Cole enjoyed the run, but the overall experience was a good one and he was glad to have done it. When I asked him what his thoughts were, I believe the exact response was, "never again." I guess distance running isn't for everyone.

It's been said that marathons make a great metaphor for life. What a true, true statement. We conquered hills when I just wasn't sure my legs could take me all the way, struggled through intermittent aches and pains, whispered faithful prayers, shared frustrations and joys with each other, watched glassy-eyed as white headed men and women passed us by, celebrated the uplifting songs of live musicians, and kept going until the glorious finish line... It was worth every minute, just to reach the finish!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Ready or not?

Not. We are not ready. The half-marathon is Saturday, and our training has been pathetic. Don't get me wrong - we've been working out regularly. We just haven't been logging the distances necessary to build up our endurance. But Cole says distance running is "all in your head." Boy, is he in for a surprise. Hehe.. I feel totally unprepared in comparison to previous runs I've completed... 13.1 miles sounds looonnnnggg. Reeeeeaaallly long. This may, in fact, be my last-ever blog posting. By the time I crawl to the finish, my fingers will no longer be capable of typing. Worn to the bone, mere nubs. Okay, enough of this whining. I guess it's probably my own fault.

The real question is, Kansas City, are you ready for us?

Sunday, October 5, 2008

1st Annual Zubaz Tailgate!

I was duped... We all were.

I'm referring to the girlfriends and wives who participated in the First Annual Zubaz Tailgate. Somehow the boys convinced us "all the other girls are wearing them!" So we all showed up in the pants, with the exception of Cindy. (She's the smart one in the group.) We were quite a sight. Andy, the mastermind behind our tailgate, is convinced that next year there will be 30-40 participants, and he's nominated me to make a banner. "Annual Zubaz Tailgate - It's a Pants Party!" Here are some of my other favorite pics from the weekend. The Wildcats may have been a disappointment, but we know how to have a good time - win or lose!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Aarrrgh Matey!

I thought I would share a few pictures from Bluegrass... Cole and I on "Pirate Night" and us with Kent out at Winfield City Lake listening to some pickin' at Stage 5.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Blog neglect...

Almost the entire month of September has passed - and only one blog entry? Cole has been nagging me to update this thing... So here are the blogworthy events of my month so far:

Bluegrass! High water forced Walnut Valley visitors out of the fairgrounds and into other campsites, but even a flood can't stop the spirit of Bluegrass! We wound up camping at Winfield Livestock Auction with our normal crew - the cows kept us company! Others were camped in Oxford and at Winfield City Lake. We had a fun visit to Oxford on Friday night, which was Pirate Night. Our group was a scary sight, thanks to Mom's purchase of eye patches, gold hoop earrings and plastic swords! Saturday we made it out to Stage 5 at the lake. Kent rode his motorcycle out from Salina with a buddy, so it was nice to get to share Bluegrass with him this year, too! Hopefully he'll return next year (with Kate) for a more normal Bluegrass. Ha! Bluegrass, normal? Hardly.

#62, check! Last year I joined Junior League of the Flint Hills, a local women's service group. Our primary focus is promoting literacy in the FH region; we also complete various other service projects for local shelters, schools, etc. In general, our members like to take care of eachother, too! We provide meals when a new little one comes along, or a family member is sick, or a spouse is deployed... Karla, another Junior Leaguer, had her baby girl, Kinley, (isnt' that a great name?!) on July 2nd. Karla was only 28 weeks along at the time, and Kinley was born weighing only 2 pounds, 12 ounces. You can view Kinley's CaringBridge website HERE. There are even photos of teensey weensey Kinley! Fortunately, I got to stop by for a visit this week. According to mom, Kinley is doing great - she's up to eight pounds now, and her doctor was even surprised with the weight gain! What a miracle!

#16, almost check... I've had a lot of fun over the past few months lunching with friends! Even though I'm working near Junction City at Rock Springs 4-H Center, I occasionally get to work from home. Usually when I'm in Manhattan, I try to schedule lunch with a friend. I've gotten to eat with Sarah, Heather, Sabrina, Kelly, and Leesa... 5 out of 6 so far... not bad!

#53 and #54, works in progress... The half-marathon training is slow going. My longest run so far has been 6 miles - I'm a little behind schedule. I've completed 80 out of my 1001 miles to run, so I'm averaging a little over 2 miles per day, but I really need to step it up. Cole and I are thinking about enrolling in "Boot Camp" at our gym. Some tough love might be exactly what we need!

Speaking of RUNNING, the Rock Springs Turkey Trot 5k & Kids Gobble Jog is approaching quickly... Don't forget to sign up! The run will be held at Rock Springs on November 8th.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

September can only mean one thing...

It's here! September is finally here. To thousands of people from throughout Kansas (and even the world) September means the Walnut Valley Festival / National Flat-Pickin' Championships, known as "Bluegrass" to Winfield natives, and "Winfield" to all other guests, has arrived. It all begins weeks before the festival with miles of campers lined up to stake-out their campsite. Then the "land rush" takes place. I have had the good fortune of helping out with this event, and I'll never forget it! When I was atttending Southwestern College I skipped one of my morning classes to ride along and help Dad with our camper... (Clearly, Bluegrass ranks above attending class in our family!) You really need several people for the land-rush process. Dad drove and I rode shotgun with coils of extension cords and water hoses wrapped around each arm. My instructions were to sprint from the vehicle and plug in before all the outlets and faucets were taken...

Bluegrass is an experience -from start to finish! So, friends, if you're reading this we've probably tried to convince you to join us at the festival, or at least "Stumble Inn" to our campsite. Join us for some great food, participate in "Doo-Rag Saturday" and, oh yeah, listen to some authentic bluegrass music, too. (: This is what it's all about:

Small Potatoes - One of my new favorites... Great lyrics.

Tommy Emmanuel - Opened for the Olympics in Sydney

Cadillac Sky

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Check out this video, taken after Tyler's "surprise" transplant... His family tells him the great news! (See 8/20/08 entry for more details.)

There are no words...

Friday, August 22, 2008

Book Worm...

My "list" is slowly shrinking... At this point I have fully completed 5 items (wahoo!) and several others are a work in progress. This week I have read two books and pretty much neglected Cole. I'm reverting back to my old reading habits: ignoring everything and everyone around me, staying up way too late and straining my eyes until my vision is too blurry to make out the words. I'm hooked on these Janet Evanovich books - I purchased the first two box sets from and they arrived just in time for my birthday!

So here is a recap of this week's reading:

Two for the Dough - Stephanie Plum does it again... the novice bounty hunter tracks down 24 missing caskets, sees more dead dead men than she can handle, and reconnects with the sexy cop, Joe Morelli... She couldn't have done it without help from her crazy Grandma Mazur.

Three to Get Deadly
- Caught in a scandal, Stephanie hunts down the local candy store owner, and her friends in "the Burg" are less than thrilled with her pursuit of Uncle Mo, who can do no wrong. Lots of surprises in this one. Another gem.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Awesome God

For the last month or so, my youngest sister, Hannah, has been keeping me updated on Winfield High School senior Tyler Groom's heart condition... Tyler is a close friend of Hannah's boyfriend; his story is truly amazing. But - it's not over. He will have a long road to recovery, and still needs PRAYERS. Check out Tyler's CaringBridge website here.

If you take the time to read through the "journal" portion of the website, written by a nurse and friend of the Groom family, you're sure to cry tears of joy... This evening Tyler entered a surgery (at a heart hospital in Oklahoma City) to keep his heart strong enough to wait for a transplant. (Not the technical jargon, I know, but I'm just giving you the basics here.) The doctors were afraid his organs would begin shutting down, and this was the best option.

After they had already begun this first surgery, a HEART WAS FOUND! Had the heart been found after Tyler's operation was complete, there is no way he could have taken it. They would have had him wait three weeks recovery time before a transplant was even an option. The heart was transported to OKC, and given to Tyler. Can you imagine waking up with a "surprise" new heart! Wow!

Also take a look at the "guestbook" portion of Tyler's site... There have been tremendous amounts of prayer for Tyler... Check out his dad's post just before he went into surgery (Aug. 19th at 5:30 am). Goosebumps. God's timing was perfect, as always. Funny how that happens. Remember Tyler in your prayers tonight, and don't forget the donor's family, too.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

#82: Subscribe to Women's Health magazine.

I did it... I officially signed up, and it was less than $16! I'm really excited to start getting healthy advice, recipes and workouts. Cole receives Men's Health currently... and I love it. If the women's version is even half as good I'll be happy. So what motivated me? Well, last night, as a part of the Healthy Eating class I've signed up for, Carrie (the dietitian teaching the course) took measurements, weighed me and evaluated my body mass index (BMI). I wasn't particularly surprised by the results; they only confirmed what I already know. To be really healthy, I need to lose some weight (or as Carrie would say - lower my BMI). So here goes nothing! Having the magazine as an additional reminder can't hurt, and Carrie says I can get to my goal weight by November... I should have gotten that in writing. :)

For a simplified version of Carrie's "exam," click here and find out your BMI!

The list has taught me at least one thing about myself so far. I'm a shopper... and I am beginning to realize that most of the items I've checked off my list are purchases. Eventually I'll run out of things to buy and I'll have to start "doing." Hmm... Until then, I guess I'll just keep shopping.

Monday, August 11, 2008

#80 Buy a new grill for Cole.

It's the Spirit E-210, and Weber says it's the "finest entry-level full-size grill on the market." I guess we agree. The Eilders household was past due for purchasing a new grill, and after our kabobs took well over an hour to cook on Saturday night, we decided it was time. It's certainly not the fanciest option there is, but we're thrilled to be rid of the freebie we've been using for the last two years. My favorite feature is the scale that weighs the propane tank and indicates a low/empty tank! No half-cooked pork chops ever again. :) Get ready our next Kabob-B-Que!

I am super excited that great progress is being made in another area of my list, as well. On Friday, I got permission to start planning a 5k at Rock Springs in October! Hooray! This promotional event will be multipurpose, and should really help to expose Rock Springs 4-H Center to the local community. Mark your calendars and lace up those old running shoes! The race will be November 8, 2008 at 9:00 am. If you would like an entry form, send email to and include your postal address.

Can anyone tell me why my blog indicates over 50,000 hits? I know I'm really not that popular. :) The only thing I can think of is that I check it obsessively for spelling errors, and to see if anyone has commented. (Thanks, Sarah - I think you're my biggest fan!)

Monday, August 4, 2008

Fun in the sun...

Okay... So Cole and I have had a super busy, fun month so far - and it's only August 4th!! We spent last week at Beaver Lake in Arkansas with my parents and some friends. This was our first trip to Beaver, and we would highly recommend checking it out, if you're the lake-going type. The scenery was amazing, the water was calm and clear... perfect for wakeboarding, skiing and (Dad's favorite) the air chair. Here are some pictures from our trip to Beaver, as well as Milford Lake:

Beaver Lake
2008 Summer Lake Trips

In addition to getting a great tan during vacation, I actually completed some of the items on my list! Saturday before the trip, Cole and I spent the afternoon in Wichita. We had to get the Jetta serviced, and it wound up taking much longer than expected. Cole has been working his hiney off lately, and Parker-Hannifin just might be getting the best of him... So I suggested a massage to relieve some stress. It was the perfect opportunity to check off Number 6: Have a couples massage with Cole. We stopped by Sveta's Body Therapy in Bradley Fair for 30 minutes of pure bliss. Wow! I could barely drive afterwards, talk about relaxed... It was probably the best massage I've ever had!!!

Three items complete, 98 to go! Other progress I've made on the list includes:

#48: Take all life insurance OPAIs.
The paperwork and check for my OPAI are in the mail, Cole will officially be $50K wealthier when I kick the bucket. Congrats, babe.

#10: Purchase K-State season football tickets.
Cole's July bonus is in our account, he's out of town for work, and I'm spending away! Kidding :) I was excited to hear that I qualify for young alumni ticket prices for two more years... Go Cats!

#96: Add 50 corks to my wine cork jar.
Thanks to Uncle Bill's fantastic red wine at our recent Niederee family gathering, the jar is plus one... Yum-O.

#51: Lose weight and #55: Take Maximum Performance Eating for Life Class.

I've been weighing myself weekly for about a month, and the scale hadn't budged... but thanks to Michelle's Total Tone class at the gym and Carrie's Eating for Life tips, I am finally making progress! I'm trying to learn to be a "mindful" eater. Our next class is Wednesday, and I'm looking forward to hearing more.

#70: Read 20+ fiction books.

I've always heard great things about Janet Evanovich's books... I've even bought them for my sister-in-law. I finally cracked one open myself, and couldn't put it down. Yes, I read on vacation... call me a nerd, I don't care. I finished up two books last week: One for the Money and Lean Mean Thirteen. Janet gets five stars from me.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

101 in 1001

July 22, 2008 - Starting Date
April 19, 2011 - Ending Date

As if life isn't busy enough... Earlier this week I came across a friend's latest (for lack of a better phrase) "self-improvement project." I'm a sucker for lists... I love the satisfaction of crossing something off, and the idea of taking steps to improve my life isn't bad, either. So, I'm giving it a shot... Creating the list was really pretty motivating. Hopefully my enthusiasm doesn't wane... My plan is to post updates with evidence of completion to help hold myself accountable. Here's a summary of how this whole thing works:

"Mission: Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

Criteria: Tasks must be specific (i.e. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (i.e. represent some amount of work on my part).

Why 1001 Days? Many people have created lists in the past — frequently simple goals such as New Year’s resolutions. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organizing and timing some tasks such as overseas trips or outdoor activities."

If you're interested in starting your own list, here is a website that may be helpful!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Thank God for great friends! This weekend was really fantastic... two of my best friends from college came to visit, and we spent Saturday on the lake (very little water sports, mostly floating and talking a lot) followed up with Coco Bolo's for dinner with sangrias (and even more chit chat at dinner).

It had literally been years since we got together and it is so nice to know that we'll always be able to pick up where we left off. These two girls are so special to me; I can hardly believe we let ourselves get out of touch like we have... We were long overdue for a get together and the girl time was desperately needed. Hooray for Miller moving back to KS... Here's to many more fun times to come!

Speaking of friends, did anyone else hear the rumor that filming starts soon for a new F.R.I.E.N.D.S. movie? Could this be???

The 1/2 marathon training is going pretty well... My longest run to date has been 5 miles, and the training is slowly becoming more consistent... 87 days to go. Seeing Miller this weekend inspired me. She is running like a mad woman, over 50 miles per week, and makes my teeny 5 miler look pathetic... Time to get busy!

Friday, July 11, 2008

♥ ♥ ♥ Love & Marriage

Thought I'd share some of my favorite photos from the summer... We've attended many fun weddings already... :) Congrats to the Steins, Hortons and Bracks so far! (Whew - that's a lot of newlyweds!!)

Monday, July 7, 2008

Milford Lake, here we come! :)

It's official... Cole and I are now boat owners! On July 3rd we purchased a 1990 Glastron 185 Model, and we can hardly wait to hit the lake... We spent the 4th cleaning and polishing our prized posession and plan to head to Milford (the largest lake in KS... a little trivia for you) this weekend for some fun in the sun. HOPEFULLY we didn't purchase a money pit - you never know with used boats. (Although we know that the previous owner has taken good care of this one, so that helps a lot.) Hooray!!! :) More pictures to come...

P.S. Thank you, thank you, thank you for all of your love and support. The last few weeks haven't been easy for us... Without fantastic people like you in our lives it would have been even tougher. We are so grateful! God bless.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Got Hail???

Manhattan has seen some ferocious weather over the last week! During a terrible hail storm the entire west side of town was pounded with up to softball sized hail. Click the YouTube link below to see more. The video was taken from the Manhattan Regional Airport... Tons of vehicles were totaled! Fortunately, we experienced no damage. June has definitely been a busy month for insurance companies in Manhattan and Junction City. Our next door neighbor, who recently returned from Iraq, was driving in the storm and said that the experience was like being bombed or shot at. Quite a statement, coming from a soldier who actually has been bombed and shot at!

Last weekend was spent in Topeka for Jessi and Josh's wedding - what a great time! The Hortons looked fantastic, and we had so much fun celebrating with all of our friends. Two summer weddings down (Bracks and Hortons) and three to go! Whew!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


I'm baaack. Finally! Much has changed since my last post. I figured I'd be terrible about keeping up with a blog - I thought right. Some things worth noting... I am so excited to have accepted a job with Rock Springs 4-H Center as their marketing director! After a stressful and financially draining position with First Command Financial Services, I am ready for the move. There are lots of ideas swimming in my head about how I can spread the word about Rock Springs! (If you know anyone who plans a camp, conference or retreat, I would love to know them, too.) I start the position Monday... eek!

Cole and I had a very productive weekend. Cole shampooed the carpeting and I painted the livingroom... it's about time! We've been wanting to paint since we bought the house. The first bucket I brought home resembled mint-flavored ice cream. Not good. I bought a second bucket and the color was much better. Lots of pressure there - I always end up choosing funky paint colors, but am pretty confident the look is working. We wound up with a brown/olive color... Hmm... Now we need something to hang. Shopping, anyone? :)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


I surprise myself a little - never thought a blog was my style... but here I go! I'll do my best to update this regularly. As my life isn't terribly exciting, I don't intend to drop earth shattering news here, just fun facts in the life of Amanda. :)

Happy 2008 to you all!!! So far the New Year has been pretty uneventful for Cole and I - we've enjoyed the standstill of January after the hustle and bustle of holiday travel. I am working on (thinking about working on) my New Years Resolutions to: 1. Lose Weight and 2. Get Back in Shape. Original, huh - same as every other American... Cole, on the other hand is attempting to gain weight. Unfortunately, he is losing the weight that I wish to be losing. Ahh, the frustration!

In other news...
  • I am psyched about the possibility of the K-State men's team beating KU tonight... Go Cats!!
  • It's that time of year again and we're looking forward to hosting a small Super Bowl get together Sunday... who plays again??
  • Monday we have tickets to watch Will Ferrell in action! He's coming to K-State for a stand-up gig...

More on us later. For now, have a fantastic week!