Well to keep the color lighter next time, add half of your extract at the end of the boil. Keep in mind that a late addition of extract will increase your hop utilization.
When you buy more ingredients for your next batch from a hombrew shop, use mostly DME or LME that is as light as you can get, then use steeping grains to achieve the bulk of the color (and other effects such as head retention, body, etc).
The Malts Chart
on the wiki here is extremely helpful for selection. For steeping grains look for ones without an "X" in the "Mash Required" column. For an Amber Ale, some kind of Crystal is probably what you want though.
Did the guy you bought the ingredients from say what recipe they had been intended for? If they had been for a brown ale or something there might have been some chocolate malt mixed in with the crystal.
Frankly, I'm still really puzzled by your OG. For a 5 gal batch it should have been a good bit higher.