Saturday, April 4, 2009


It's the moment you've all been waiting for. No more crazy hair on Kaisha, no more levitating children...

Here's the scoop: There are 3 parts to the contest. 1) photo ID 2) make up an explanation, and 3) multiple choice. Points are given for each item as listed, but you never know when bonus points may be given for especially cute or clever answers. (I'm thinking of Thomas answering on Aunt Kristine's contest that she weighed 45 pounds on her wedding day!)

To be eligible you must live within the continental United States and you must post your answers as a comment to this blog (email me if you need help on this). You must not be one of my own children or be my husband. That's about it.

I will announce a winner on Wednesday, April 8th, 6:00 PM. This will give me time to mail the prize on Thursday and you can receive it by Easter!

PART ONE- Photo ID. (10 points for the right answer)

We have 2 cats that look a lot alike, Dot and Dixie. Which cat is pictured below?

PART 2- Make up an explanation (25 points for the answer we like the best)

Tell a reason or story as to why Amanda looks the way she does in the picture below. (Amanda wishes it to be known that she doesn't usually look like this!)


PART 3- Multiple Choice (5 points for each correct choice)

Which 3 of the following are not true:

1. All of the Arend kids have a stuffed pink monkey named Kiki

2. Amanda's favorite color is purple.

3. Emily has had braces off and on since 2nd grade.

4. We have been reprimanded by security at a major league baseball game.

5. We were once refused service at a restaurant because the children had no shoes on.

6. When she was a puppy, Annie was once caught in a raccoon live-trap.

7. We once lived in a hotel, in our own town, for 3 weeks.

8. Emily has kissed an alligator.

9. Jack was once run up a flag pole by his three older brothers.

10. Brenda once lived in Idaho.

Now, for the prize! Lookie below!

I am starved for spring, so I'm offering up a springy prize! A new brightly colored hand towel, a solid dark chocolate bunny, Peeps, nasturtium seeds and lastly, a Reese's peanut butter egg.

Good luck!


  1. Ok ... here's my best shot.

    The cat in the picture is Dixie.

    Amanda had a nasty cold and was so tired of blowing her nose that she put q-tips up her nose and goggles on to catch the drippy eyes. And the qtips in the ears was just for aesthetic purposes ... which, I believe entirely worked.

    Not true:
    Not all of the Arend kids have a Kiki.
    You weren't kicked out of a restaurant because of no shoes.
    And Brenda didn't live in Idaho.

    I have a distinct feeling that I'm wrong on all of it ... but it was fun guessing.

  2. Yea Kristine! You're the first to send in your guesses. I'm not giving clues on how you did, but you will get bonus points for being the first to play!

  3. except that it's me, Judi Buller - my name is illegal, apparently.

    Part One: Yes

    Part Two: Multitasking out of control during cold and flu season

    Part Three: #1, #5, #10 (I honestly and truly picked these before I read Kristine's)

  4. All I know is that Amanda looks insane in that pic. I think that's Dixie. She's soooo cute. ~lissy

  5. I wish I could enter!!!
    I woud soooo win.
    I helped make the answers!!!

  6. This is Lauren-

    Part 1- This is totally Dot. It's a clear giveaway since you have her in a comforter of dots... (P.S. Kitty says "Hi Dot, I miss giving you and Dixie tough love by kicking you with my back feet. We should have a play date!"

    Part 2- Clearly this is a case of Amanda being Amanda. She is good with whatever the situation may be until she is suddenly NOT ok with it and has a breakdown. This has happened before, as you know. Here's how the story goes:

    It was a season of fun. Life was good. The Arends were keeping busy with the rigmarole of St. Patrick’s Day season. Off they went as a happy family, out and about running “arends” thinking everything was grand. Upon their arrival home, they opened the door to smoke wafting out of the house and into the garage.

    Turns out it was an unfortunate cooking accident. A protein fire destined the Arends to a temporary life of luxury. The kids had their swimming pool, and the girls had all the hallway space in the world to practice dancing.

    In the midst of the chaos the family made an effort to live a normal life. They were not used to having such luxuries as indoor swimming pools and free breakfasts, and attempted to move back into the house that they called “home.” It was not pleasant smelling, but the kids were raised properly and did not protest. They made feeble attempts at covering the smell of the fire with little success. It burned their eyes, shocked their noses, and made it into all orifices of their bodies, even their ears! Amanda had had enough of this way of life. It was no longer worth the extreme effort. She could handle it no lnger!

    “MOOOOOMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!” she cried, “we need ozone!!!!!!!!!!” It worked miracles, and their happy little life was mended. Amanda now looks like a normal, happy teenager!

    Part 3- #1, #2, #6, #9 (I would have heard about this, I'm sure...but if it's true, I'd love to hear this one!!)

  7. Lauren again- I'm a teacher who doesn't know how to read directions... I retract number 6 from Part 3!!!!

  8. You people are all so creative!

    Alissa I love your concise response to part 2 (and I fully agree that Amanda looks insane), but where are your answers to the multiple choice? Don't let me down!

  9. #1 Dot for sure

    #2 Amanda trying to convince her parents that she need a personal beauty consultant.

    #3 4,5,6, are false

  10. put more space after the #3, as in numbers 4,5,and 6 are false

  11. Okay...I think I'm ready. Here goes one unlucky girl's shot at a contest...

    1. That is totally Dot or Dixie. I agree. You know I'm right. Give me 10 points, please.

    2. I am so surprised that you chose this forum to release this information, but what a fun way to do it! I do remember well the day you were told that a contest was being held for a government-sponsored national ad campaign to bring awareness to homeschooling. They were requesting photos of real life homeschool kids, hoping to highlight the uniqueness and individuality of homeschool. Because this was taken last year, as evidenced by the background showing Amanda's room in your real house, you were a wise mom/teacher. You, Brenda, had the foresight to know that a new administration would be in office before this campaign was released. Therefore, you chose a picture that could be used either in favor or in opposition of homeschooling, depending on the slant of the campaign.

    In favor: this is science in the real world! It was an experiment in the 5 senses. We've learned that if some senses are compromised, other senses become stronger. For example, a blind person may have a keener sense of hearing. To test this, Amanda's ears were plugged to eliminate hearing, nose was plugged to eliminate smell, eyes were covered to mimic cloudy vision (what doesn't show in the picture is the vaseline covering the lenses of the goggles), and she was covered in her blankets to remove any tactile stimulation. Next, she was instructed to hang her mouth open for 3 minutes and 33 seconds without swallowing to neutralize her palate. It was at this stage that the picture was taken. What happened with the experiment after this point is irrelevant, because I'm simply explaining the picture.

    In opposition...well, the picture speaks for itself.

    So congratulations to the Arend Family for having a poster child!! I'll be keeping my eyes peeled for this campaign to start.

    3. For the false statement...again, nothing would surprise me with this family. But I'll say 1, 5 & 6 are false. I reserve the right to present my arguments in favor of the others.

  12. This is Alex. I totally want those peeps!!!! I love making them go huge in the microwave, because then they are like 3 times as big!

    p.s. That's a great way to stretch your dollar! :)

    1. It's obviously dot!! I immediately knew that because of all the times I've said "Hi dixie" and amanda says, "oh that's dot."

    2. Well if that isn't the craziest I've ever seen her! This picture was taken when she was still in bed, Brenda had just woken her up, and she hadn't had time to take off her gear. Let me explain. The Q-tips in her nose were for the snoring. it was so loud Emily had to plug her nose with someting. As for the ears, Emily also had a horrible snoring problem with all her headgear stuff, so Amanda plugged her ears, too. The goggles clearly go with the ear Q-tips, no doubt about it. Do I need to explain? Oh, yes, I forgot. not everyone has my keen insight. To make sense of the loud snoring coming from the person in the lower bunk, she put on the goggles to envision herself scuba-diving. the snoring was simply her oxygen tank. Knowing amanda, her eyes were up because she was rolling her eyes in disgust at her mom's immaturity for taking pictures of her before she even had time to get out of bed.

    3. 1 is false, that's for sure. 5&6 are also false.

  13. I'm participating to show a little support for Jack. And because my wife really wants that Reese's Egg.

    1. Dot.

    2. Jack's attempt to keep all boys far away.

    3. 1,4,6.

  14. I'm very inexperienced at posting on blogs. I messed up. I want to concur with the rest of my family that the false answers are 1, 5, & 6. Please disregard the 3rd answer of the above comment.

  15. A found your site while blog surfing and decided to join in the fun. Here are my responses to your three questions.
    #1. That's Dot because you have her wrapped close to her dotted blankie. However, since this is such an obvious answer, it has to be Dixie who overpowered Dot to claim the polka dot blankie for her own. Now, she's looking so innocent as if to say,"See, I can look like Dot too".

    #2. Last night for supper, you folks obviously had chili. Emily, who sleeps on the lower bunk, (and how do I know this? Because, Amanda is on the top bunk in the picture.)had 2 bowls of her Mom's famous chili. The consequences of her large appetite took their toll on poor Amanda. As we all know, heat and foul smells rise. Amanda, not wanting her wake her sister's beauty sleep, decided to plug her nose with the Q-tips. Trying to go back to sleep, the noise of the gastronomical meal became too much for her, thus she had to plug her ears with q-tips. Again, not wanting her wake her sister, she tried in vain to go back to sleep. One of the few senses she had left began to take the brunt of the smells. Her eyes began to water so much that she grabbed her goggles in an attempt to save her eyelashes from being burned. Now completely unable to lie down, she had to prop herself up in the corner of her bunk (thus the two pillows behind her back). Her poor mouth became so dry from mouth breathing the remainder of the night, that her tongue curled up from the odorous heat rising from the lower bunk. This is how her Mom found her in the morning, looking none the worse for wear with her hands clutching her comforter as if she was afraid of what she might find when the green haze dissappaited from around her.

    #3. This is a tough one since I don't know you folks very well. Judging by the above pic, I think you guy are as crazy as my kids were growing up. So, here goes.
    I think it is probably #1 as I don't think your son would have a stuffed pink monkey named Kiki. #5. I can't imagine you as parents taking your kids into a restaurant without shoes, and I'm torn between #6 and #10. Taking a wild guess, I'm going to say #6.

    Thanks for a fun contest.

  16. Sorry--First word should have said "I" instead of "A".

  17. 1. Dot.

    2. I think Amanda is pretending to be sick. Amanda's eyes are pretty in the picture.

    3. False = 1, 5, 6.

  18. 1. Dixie
    2. Amanda is drying out her sinuses and ears after a long swim.
    3. 1, 3, & 10


  19. The stories are good!!! Three days to go!

  20. HEHEHE this is Christine! Here are my answers!!

    #1 Dot obviously!!!!
    #2 Amanda has a massive cold (which would explain why she is in bed) and has been sneezing uncontrollably. Her nose is unusually strong and has the power to shoot things to great lengths. She has recently had a bad experience, when her snot shot so far and with so much force that it ricochetted off of the far wall and smacked her eye. Then it bounced off of her eye and flew to the wall. Poor Amanda, thinking that the incident was over, she relaxed slightly and shifted to lay on her side. Then right out of the blue, the evil snot comes shooting from across the room like Superman and shoves itself so far into her ear that it permanently damages her brain (which explains why she is making that HIDEOUS face). As I'm sure you can imagine, she does not want a repeat of the tragic incident. As an extra precaution, Amanda had her mom shove some Q-Tips into her ears, as well as into her nose, in order to prevent further damage to her already-messed up brain. :)
    #3 Numbers 1, 2, and 10 are FALSE!!

    P.S. I NEED those Peeps!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. Brenna, you made my day when you said that my eyes were pretty in the picture! Thanks for that!

  22. 1. The cat is Dot.

    2. Probably because she is sick. It seems like that.

    3. 4, 7, 9.

  23. I now am questioning myself. I'm wondering if you are wording the 10 statements to be purposefully misleading. For example, #1 says "All of the Arend kids...", not "Each of the Arend kids...". So was that one monkey given to all the kids, but it is in Amanda's posession?

    #7: was it 3 weeks? or 3 weeks and 1 day?

    #9: when Jack was run up the flagpole, did all 3 brothers participate? Or just 2?

    See what this is doing to me?! I think I'll just go to Target and buy myself a dumb Reese's Egg. Sheesh.

  24. Question number #1~
    Totally Dot!!!!

    Question number #2~
    Amanda was afraid the ceiling was going to fall down and she didn't want to get any inside of her body. So she plugged her noes and ears with Q~tips, and covered her pretty blue eyes with goggles.
    ( I was probably WAY off!!!)

    Question number #3~
    Numbers #2, #4, and #6 are false.

    When do we find out the correct answers???

    So Is it OK if I do this?

    I love the airborne pictures I know how you did it.


  25. I say the cat pictured is Dot because of the black dot on her head.

    Explaining the picture...
    Amanda wanted to go swimming really bad but couldnt find her wax ear plugs or her nose plugs.
    OR there was a terrible natural gas leak that was creating a very loud, high pitched noise, and she was trying to block the scent and keep her eyes from burning.

  26. I think the first picture is Dixie.

    I think Amanda looks like that because she was playing a game with Emily and Thomas and she was one of those wierd cannibal people that puts things up their noses and in their ears and she didn't want to paint herself so she put the goggles on.

    Not true: 1, 5, 10

  27. 1. It is Dot of course. There is a dot on her head and dots on the pillow case. Dot, dot, and dots.

    2. Amanda looks that way because she was testing to see if she could hear or smell only through her mouth. Hence she plugged the other orifices in her head. The goggles were needed for safety. She is a smart girl who would not want to poke her own eyes out!

    3. Not true #1, #10, and #5

  28. #1: Well gosh...I really shoulda paid closer attention to 'um when I was down there. I'll say DOT

    #2: I say she went insane...just like Lissa said. But she went insane because the day was insane. It wasn't her fault. First her beloved Granny sent her some e-mails with such stunning wisdom in them that it quite muddled her brains. Right when she was nearly recouperated from the revelations in the e-mails from Granny, this freaky babysitter with like the most incredible hair-do showed up and did nothing but talk on the phone. While the babysitter was gabbing, Amanda invented this incredible Garbanzo Bean toothpaste with one of her amazing cousins. But they forgot to patent it so when they advertized it, the evil customers stole their idea and made millions. Then, while celebrating Christmas in October (which didn't help her already very confused little self very much), a cute guy selling scout cookies came to the door. This was totally emberrasing because she was dashing around the yard trying to touch little colored bowls that were lying upside down in the dirt. Then someone sang "O Holy Night" for her, to try to chear her up, and...well...let's just say it didn't sound that great. Finally, to top it all off, she sat on the cat, who scratched her. And of course her mom had to yell "careful!" from the other room. (Like duh, be careful.) All of these things made poor Amanda go completely out of her mind, and thus the strange, incomprehensable behavior which you see captured in the photograph above.

    #3: I'm guessing 1, 5, & 10 too.

    Haha...beat the hour to spare before the contest is over! :)