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Saturday, December 31, 2005

We're BACK!

We're back in Lincoln after a whirlwind trip to Utah. Here are some of the highlights.

1. Whenever we go to church sites, we ALWAYS see someone we know. This year it was a family from my former branch in Oklahoma, the other Nelson family. I saw Gayle and Lyle and got caught up on all of the Blanchard Branch gossip (Melessa--you were safe! I don't know if she knows that I know you...know what I mean?)

2. The drive through Nebraska and Wyoming leaves much to be desired. However, we left super early in the morning and that helps with the kids. But, no matter what time we leave or which way we are headed, Big Apple will reach her breaking point about 1 hour before our final destination and not stop crying until we get there.

3. My brother-in-law Eric is one lucky guy. He snagged himself an awesome wife (with a little help from myself and my friend, Gigi). The wedding was great and they didn't mind that the Frog preferred cleaning up the rose petals on the way down the aisle instead of scattering them.

4. The Plaza hotel on Temple Square wasn't too great about having our reservations. But, as soon as we could give them a confirmation number...they were good to situate us in a big enough room at a cheap enough rate. Connie, my new (and only) sister-in-law, handled the arrangements and we thank her!

5. Elder Eyring and some of his family were in front of the yarn store I visited while I was there. I would like to think that he was buying yarn to knit up into lovely scarves or hats but I have a sneaky suspicion that he was really visiting the bridal store located right beneath it. Some grandkid of his must be getting married. Maybe I should knit them something? :)

6. I don't HAVE to visit Temple Square every time I go to Salt Lake City. In fact, just seeing it outside the window of the hotel was enough for me.

7. I'm grateful for the in-laws that I have (and I'm not just saying this because I know they read this blog). They would never try to force feed my baby the kinds of food she doesn't eat yet (like carrot sticks).

8. I had the best elk meatloaf in my whole life. Okay, it was the only time I've ever had meatloaf made from elk but it was DELICIOUS! My uncle Jeff killed it himself. He said something to the effect that I can make socks and he can make great meatloaf. It's true.

9. Mountains are highly overrated. Really. What's the big deal about living by the mountains? They get in the way of where you are going and make you carsick.

10. I took knitting orders for my side of the family for next year's Christmas. I've already started on one of the gifts. If I haven't taken your order yet...start looking for what you would like me to make for you (Nelsons---this means you. Mom, Lisa, etc...). I was having a hard time coming up with things to make these past couple of weeks so I thought I would knit for other people again. We'll see how this works out.

That's about it from here. I didn't take hardly any pictures because we kind of had our hands full. I'm sure I'll get some copies from the wedding and what other people took for us. I'll share them when I get them. In the meantime, have a Happy New Year! I'll be back tomorrow with my plans for Project Fat Arse 2006.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Kid Pics

Sugar Daddy took some pics of the kids this morning. Big Apple was playing with Frog's guitar before her bath so we caught her in the act. Frog was eating one of his many apples a day. That kid can't get enough apples.










We're leaving tomorrow to go to Eric's wedding. I should be able to post while I am gone. We're taking the laptop. Whether or not I have the time, that will be the big question.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas!

It's been a great day here. Our kids are small enough that Christmas is still pretty low-key. Frog doesn't get it. Big Apple definitely has no idea what's going on. But, that doesn't mean we didn't have some fun. Here's our tree. The camera wouldn't let me take a pic with the lights on. Oh well.

Notice anything missing? There are no sweater ornaments on the tree. I never got around to making the hangers and was too lazy to put them on the tree. They'll be ready to go for next year. The kids were pretty good not to mess with the ornaments. We only had one major mishap. Last night Frog got one of the silver balls to burst. It cut his finger. Luckily, Big Apple was not around for that. We got it cleaned up before she knew there were shards of ornament to stick in her mouth.

The Frog has been sitting like this for the past 90 minutes. Not even the tiniest exaggeration.


This microphone came courtesy of Grandma and Grandpa Charlton. It plays songs like "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" and "Old McDonald". He's been singing them over and over. Even with all of that noise, our little Big Apple is all tuckered out. Sugar Daddy, too. Big Apple spent most of the day playing with boxes, paper, and trying to strum Frog's new guitar. No wonder she's so tired!

You all are probably wondering if the Frog liked his drumset and if BA liked her Cabbage Patch baby. Last night, Santa decided that they were getting enough fun things today so he's going to save them until their birthdays. He did fill their stockings (okay...technically BA doesn't have a stocking yet---I'm working on it!) with little goodies so I don't think they'll even miss the fact that he didn't bring them their "real" Christmas presents. Shhh. Don't tell.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Winter Quarters

I've returned to the land of the living. I slept about 12 hours last night and woke up refreshed! I've eaten some toast and am tempting fate by drinking a Diet Pepsi. So far so good. As promised, here are some of the pictures from our trip to Winter Quarters in Omaha. They have a bunch of gingerbread on display and here are some of the highlights. I think I should probably mention that Winter Quarters is the place where the Mormon pioneers camped during the winter of 1846 before their completing their journey westward to Utah. Now there is a visitor's center, the cemetery, and the Winter Quarters Temple. You can find out more information at www.mormon.org


They were all really well done. They had some more on display in the Kanesville Tabernacle in Iowa but I didn't take any pictures of those while we were there. This next picture is of one of the statues in the pioneer cemetery.

In front of the statue you can see a little grave of a baby. Most of the pioneers that died that winter were under 2 years old. One happened to be a child of some of my ancestors (Joseph Skeen, age 2). Being there with my own 2 little kids made the hardships they faced more real to me. It was nice to visit there again.

After Winter Quarters, we drove to downtown Omaha to see some of the ice sculptures set up along the riverfront. I only took pictures of one of the tents. They were pretty elaborate.


And now, so as to not annoy the family members that read this blog...here are some pictures of the kids.


Friday, December 23, 2005

We Interrupt the Blog for Some Puking

We had an awesome day in Omaha yesterday. I've got loads of pictures of gingerbread houses for Melessa and I even managed to get some pictures of the ice sculptures. Oh yeah, a few of the kids, too. Imagine my surprise when I couldn't move without hurting when we got home last night and then I spent the rest of the evening and all night puking and pooping. Food poisoning. In the middle of the night Sugar Daddy's brother, Jared, started puking as well. We narrowed down the culprit to Wendy's hamburgers. Nobody else had a hamburger (except Sugar Daddy but he had a little Jr. hamburger and has an iron stomach). It hasn't been too much fun around here at Hotel Nelson today. I'm so glad the kids are fine. That would have been disastrous. At least Jared and I can make it to the bathroom to puke (most of the time). I've been sleeping most of the day (when I can) and I managed to drink a 7up and eat 6 saltine crackers. It's a crying shame, too, because we have so many goodies in the house.

I think I've hit my limit of sitting upright for the moment. Time to go and take a breather. Let's hope tomorrow is a better day.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The Hostess With the Mostest

This is my first year as Mrs. Dr. Sugar Daddy. We had a Christmas party for his grad students tonight. It went smashingly. The tamales were SO YUMMY!!!!! I was so pleased how they turned out. I'm going to be making them more often now that I've got the skills and an awesome tamale steamer. We also had chips, salsa, and mexican hot chocolate. A couple of SD's students brought treats. Yum yum. Why is it that I love the corn flake holly berry treats so much? I can't get enough of them. Mmmmm.

The entertainment (unplanned) included a piano duet by Sugar Daddy and myself. We are performing it in church in a couple of weeks so it's not that great. That was NOT the highlight of the night. Picture this: Frog dancing to Napoleon Dynamite. Oh yeah. Pelvic thrusts and all. That kid has some talent.

Big Apple had immunizations and her second flu shot yesterday. Couple that with major teething and we've got one unhappy baby. She hasn't slept more than an hour or two at a time for the past 48 hours. Aargh! She is over 22 lbs now and has graduated to her big girl car seat. That means we've got to put Frog in a booster. It's about time. I know he's been over 40 pounds for a while but he just seems too little to me to be out of a "real" car seat. You know, one with the 5 point harness, etc...

Tomorrow we are taking the family to Omaha to Winter Quarters if....Sugar Daddy can get the oil filter off the van. He's been cursing Wal-Mart all day for screwing on the filter too tight. He's had to buy tools and be under the van most of the day. He's going to try one more time tomorrow morning and then we'll be forced to call in for reinforcements. I hope it is fixed soon. I kind of need that van.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Secret Pal?

Secret Pal,

Who are you? I'm dying to know. I haven't received the last package yet but I really can't wait to find out your true identity. PLEASE?

Christy

Monday, December 19, 2005

Hotel Nelson

Hotel Nelson is open for business. We've got Sugar Daddy's parents and 2 of his brothers here visiting. Nothing like adding 4 adults in a house... Actually, I'm amazed at how smoothly things are going. We've had plenty of room. Well, sometimes we're sitting on the floor and the piano bench but that happens when just 2 people come over to visit, let alone four. I've even been keeping up with the cooking. I don't think too many people are going hungry.

I haven't been knitting too much. I started the Snowdrop Shawl from The Yarn Harlot. I've messed up a couple of times but I'm hoping you won't be able to notice it when it is done. Ha ha.

I also finished up my sweater, Sweetness. I still need to get a picture of me in it. I'm trying to decide whether to shrink it first or just take a picture with it big. I made a size bigger than I would need because I thought that would work with the gauge I was getting. Then, I started getting a little smaller, thanks to Project Fat Arse. Now, it's just too big. It's a wool blend so I think I can block it smaller. We'll see how that works.

The kids are enjoying having their grandparents and uncles in the house. Frog has been showing off (and throwing some pretty good tantrums). Big Apple has been crawling all over everyone! Good times.

Here is what I have to look forward to this week:

1. Sugar Daddy's Christmas Party for his grad students. I'm making tamales and atole.

2. Heading up to the Winter Quarters Visitor Center in Omaha. They have all sorts of gingerbread houses on display.

3. Celebrating Christmas with the Nelsons on Friday. I'll be excited to see the kids open their presents.

4. Having so many babysitters in the house that I can get a lot of stuff done around here.

5. Reading as much as I can of the Book of Mormon so I don't feel like a slacker when the end of the year comes around and I haven't finished.

Friday, December 16, 2005

What's This?

Frog has a new favorite phrase. "WHAT'S THIS?" Over and over. All day. He only asks about things when he knows himself what they are. If I say the wrong thing, he gets mad.

Frog: (holding a green lollipop) "What's this?"

Me: a lollipop.

Frog: (holding a green lollipop) "WHAT'S THIS?"

Me: a lollipop!

Frog: (holding a green lollipop) "WHAT'S THIS?"

Me: green?

Frog: GREEN! Mmm hmm. GREEN!

Frog: (holding a huge Nemo stuffed toy) "What's this?"

Me: Nemo

Frog: (holding a huge Nemo stuffed toy) "WHAT'S THIS?"

Me: Finding Nemo?

Frog: (holding a huge Nemo stuffed toy) "WHAT'S THIS?"

Me: a fish?

Frog: FISH!!!! Mmm Hmm. FISH!!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

9 Months Old

My baby is 9 months old today. Wow. She's the sweetest thing around here and we're gonna keep her. Here is a list of some of her skills.

1. The ability to dangle wildly from tables, countertops and the oven door. I had her with me in my Sunday School class last week and while I was teaching the kids started yelling, "LOOK!". I looked and lo and behold, there was my sweet little daughter dangling from the table trying to kick her way higher so she could get her 5 1/2 teeth on the wood.

2. She is a parselmouth. Yes, she can speak to snakes. I'm sure she could communicate with any other parselmouth, Harry Potter included.

3. She turns the world on with her smile. She has got the greatest smile. Her best efforts have been too elusive to catch with a camera.


4. No matter how many times I brush and fix her hair during the day, after a few minutes it always looks like this. Don King, look out.

5. She has taken to greeting me when I come to get her from her naps. She almost always says, "Ah, ma ma ma ma ma" and then blows a raspberry or two. I'm hoping that is a sign of affection and not a commentary on my skills as a ma ma ma ma ma.

Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Coming out of the Closet

I finally came out of the closet and revealed myself to my secret pal. You can find her here at her blog. It's Amy from Some Call Them Sticks and Strings. I was worried that somehow she would find out it was me because a knitter she knows well is a blog reader here (Jessica at Naturally Knitty). Plus, I was Jessica's sister's secret pal for SP4 (Allena at Star Knits). It's turning out to be a small knitting blog world indeed.

I think I'm going to take a Secret Pal break (at least for the 7th edition). I don't know whether it was the holiday season or not but I just had a hard time keeping up with everything.

Speaking of the holiday season...Sugar Daddy's family is coming to visit. They arrive late Friday night. I've been busy trying to get the house in order. The basement has been command central for my card making, gift wrapping, and Frog distracting. It's a little messy. Frog got into some gift wrap and thought it would make a good confetti-like floor covering. So, I've got just a few more days to turn that into a place worthy to be called "Hotel Nelson". I also need to finish Big Apple's stocking although the chances of that happening before Christmas are pretty slim. Oh well. She's a baby. Don't tell her!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Finishing Master

I took a class at my local yarn store and I am now a finishing master. I've got some mad skills now. Watch out. I apologize to anyone that received anything from me that had to be seamed (mainly Deanna). I totally sucked at seaming things up. Not now! Need something mattress stitched? I'm your gal. One of the bad things about learning how to knit from a book is that sometimes things look a littly wonky on the page....translating to some wonkiness in the stitching.

In other news...I found out the store is having a knit-a-long for a Dale of Norway Olympic collection sweater. Instead of doing the Torino sweater, they chose the 2002 Salt Lake sweater because it had a more appealing design to those in the shop. Here are the two colorway choices.


I know that Sugar Daddy would never wear something like this and I'm not really the ski sweater type (see this post's #1) but I really want to make this. So, what should I do? Should I find somebody that wants a sweater like this but doesn't want to make it themselves and have them buy the kit and have me make it? Do I just make it and enjoy my handiwork? Do I become the type of person that wears ski sweaters? Help!

Friday, December 09, 2005

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARY!

You're the coolest 27 year-old I know.

Have a great day.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Tagged Again

I got tagged for a meme about books. I have absolutely nothing else to write about today so I figured I would get right on this. Plus, Sugar Daddy worked at home today so he's letting me have a "break" right now. Well, he thinks I'm working on Relief Society business. I am, kind of. I've got stuff printing as I type.

I'm supposed to list 15 facts and/or personal preferences about books and then tag three more people. Melessa tagged me.

1. My favorite book is The Count of Monte Cristo by Dumas. I love long books and this one is so great. It's got great details, the story moves along, and I love books about revenge. Those who know me personally will not find this surprising. I'm trying to be better, though.

2. My friend, Catherine, turned me on the the Georgia Nicholson books by Louise Rennison. The first one is called Angus, Thongs, and Full-frontal Snogging. They are fictional diaries of a 14 yr. old girl. Hilarious and full of red bottomosity (there's a glossary at the back of the book to help all of us here in Hamburger-a-go-go land).

3. I started a big rift in my last book group by suggesting we read Memoirs of a Geisha. Some people (okay, really just one person) thought it was too dirty. She left the book group and we've been reading some great dirty books ever since.

4. I like to read cookbooks but I don't consider myself a great cook. I rarely try the recipes. I just like to read about food and it gives me ideas for my own creations. I love Rick Bayless' cookbooks and The Joy of Cooking.

5. When I lived in Tehachapi, CA (age 10-14) we didn't get TV reception. I read a lot of books during that time.

6. Right now the only book I'm reading is The Book of Mormon.

7. I usually read 2 books at a time (not including scriptures).

8. I like to read in the bathroom. I always keep something in there. It's quiet.

9. I can't go to the library and check out just one book. I load up my bag even though I know there is no way that I'll get around to reading them all. I like to have variety.

10. I can't think of a movie that has ever been better than the book version.

11. My favorite books are historical fiction.

12. I've been to 2 tapings of Oprah's Book Club (Anna Karenina and One Hundred Years of Solitude).

13. My book group is currently reading Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. I started it but I'm not going to finish it. I don't know why. I just didn't feel compelled to read it, I guess. I'm not going to be able to make it to book group this month either. Maybe that's why.

14. I love the Lemony Snicket books but I don't like to read them. I'd rather listen to them on tape. I hated the movie.

15. I'm going to start re-reading the Harry Potter books again. I usually do this at least once a year. I love them!

I'm supposed to tag three people. If you would like to do it, just do it. How's that?

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Pajama Party Part II

Okay, so I'm not really in my pajamas again. I was supposed to have a Relief Society presidency meeting tonight so I actually showered and got dressed. At 10am the president called and said it was cancelled. This is okay since it has been snowing most of the day and it is still darn cold. I am getting a little crazy staying inside so much, though. I'll have to ask Sugar Daddy how bad the road really are and maybe I'll venture out this evening to run an errand or two. I'm not even getting a lot done. I'm a wrestling referree most of the day trying to keep Frog from killing Big Apple. He's just playing but she's not tough enough for his kind of play. So, I keep on my toes most of the day. BA is eating right now so she's out of harm's way in her crib. I've got Frog subdued with his latest "favorite"---the episode of Lazy Town where they sing their greatest hits. Now he goes around the house saying, "My favorite song is called the 'It's Mine!' song!". He's only told me his chicken joke once today.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Pajama Party

I'm having a pajama party today. I refuse to put on my real clothes. I was going to go to the Y today but decided against it. Why? It's COLD and SNOWY outside. The chances of me getting down the driveway are pretty slim. I would also have to spend about 30 minutes scraping the van. The kids would take forever to bundle up (me too) and the thought of doing that and trying to drive the 5 miles to the Y just to unload them and work out and then load everyone back up again seems too daunting. The wind chill is -16. To my friends and family in Oklahoma, bundle up. It's coming your way. When it gets there, we're actually supposed to warm up. I've never looked forward to 30 degree weather before. So, I think staying inside is just fine. Plus, I'll get to hear Frog say the same joke over and over again like he has the past three days.

Frog: Why'd the chicken cross the road?
Answer: Weedeater.

I know. It doesn't make sense. I blame the VeggieTales.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Wasting Time

How many blogs can I read before I feel the pressure to do a load of laundry so we have some clean clothes to wear tomorrow?

Why am I on the computer when I should be doing the finishing touches on my Christmas cards (pounding eyelets)?

Why am I surfing the net when I should be clearing off the table so we can eat at it once in a while?

Apparently, because I laugh in the face of organization...and I can!

Friday, December 02, 2005

My Twelve Days of Christmas

I spent a long 2 1/2 hours at the mall yesterday and came up with my own 12 days of Christmas. I shouldn't have left the house. There was quite a bit of snow on the ground and my van slid down our rather steep driveway. But, I had a coupon that needed to be used and a reason to buy myself a new outfit and shoes (the ME department Christmas party at the Dean's house).

12 fries from Runza
11 times that Big Apple got hit by Frog
10 minutes spent getting a section of hair straightened
9 items of clothing tried on
8 minutes telling the hair straightening guy that I wasn't interested in his overpriced ceramic hair straightener
7 minutes spent in line for lunch
6 items purchased
5 dollars for a razor cut to thin my thick mushroom hair
4 times I got asked to try lotion
3 times I tried to get back up my driveway when we got home
2 high-heeled shoes from Payless
and finally...
1 crazy trip to the mall!

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

More Finished Objects

FO #39 I'm more pleased with the colors now but I don't like how this hat fits. It makes me look like I have a watermelon on my head. I probably won't wear it much. Maybe I'll have to use my leftovers and make a headband. That would look better with my new haircut anyway.

FO #40 is another mini sweater. No picture to show of that one.

FO#41 Before felting:


And after. Unfortunately I wasn't very good at capturing the size difference. Here is a close-up of the mittens. I didn't do them exactly right. I don't have the pattern centered perfectly. I didn't read the instructions for the women's size (I used the child size measurements when centering) until it was too late. It's not too bad. Don't tell anyone, okay?

I also have a WIP to announce. It's a sweater for Frog. I'm making it out of Bernat 70% acrylic 30% cotton. I used yarn before on a baby dress and I really liked how it feels when it is all knit up. It is also machine washable, which is a plus. I'm making this so I can have something to seam up at the finishing class I am taking at the LYS. I was going to make a sweater for myself but decided that would take too long. I'm barely finding the time to blog lately. I know, the horror of it all.
Here's the purse I commissioned from Shop ESCAPE. I used it all Thanksgiving break (luckily it showed up the day before we left). You can check out her blog at My Escape from the Boys. The purse turned out just like I had hoped (better, in fact). I love the fabrics, the clasp, the size, etc...

Monday, November 28, 2005

Raising the Bar

Project Fat Arse has been kicked into overdrive. I've got an appointment every day this week at the Y. The only thing that might keep me from missing a day or two is a blizzard. Central Nebraska is pretty much in white-out conditions but we've missed it here in Lincoln. I don't know how much longer that will last, though.

About raising the bar...I put Big Apple down to nap this afternoon and when I came in to get her, she was not in her crib. That bang I heard a few minutes earlier must have been her acrobatics to get out of there. She's perfectly fine. I guess I'm going to have to leave the sides up all of the time now. What a nut.

In knitting news: I'm about to finish my pair of felted clogs. I need to take pictures of a bunch of things. I'll try and do that tonight and get them posted later or sometime tomorrow. I also need to find some good yarn to make a sweater. I have to make one for a class I'm taking at the LYS on finishing techniques. That's really my downfall. I can't seam worth a crap. Hopefully this class will help. I just need to get some sweater parts together before the class (on Dec. 10).

Friday, November 25, 2005

Quidditch Sweaters, Nebraska, and Yarn!

Here are my adorable brothers. They put on their sweaters before I got there so I could see them in all of their glory! Joe is on the left and Sam is on the right. Joe is practicing Quidditch on his broom and Sam is holding up his wand.

Sugar Daddy and I got to go and see the HP movie on Thanksgiving. Oh my! So GOOD! It is definitely the best one by far (even though I say this every time a new one comes out). The Quidditch World Cup is awesome. I wish they would have shown more of that. I'm always amazed at how they can put the movie together without ruining a lot of the plot. They leave out a lot of stuff but it doesn't detract from the "full" feeling of the movie. I miss the house elves, though.

While we're here in Oklahoma, we took a family picture to include in our Christmas cards. Off topic: Christmas is one of the hardest words for me to type because I always include a "y"...Christymas. Anyway, for the picture this year we decided to wear Nebraska shirts to celebrate the fact that Sugar Daddy is most definitely a professor at that school and that we are now most definitely residents of that fine state. Here's the one we are going with. Too bad the only "Nebraska" that you can read is on my ample bosom. Bummer. More motivation to kick PFA back into action. Do you notice my new short haircut? My sister was "in the zone" and created my new hairstyle. I'm very much in love with it at the moment.


My mom did an awesome thing this year for Christmas. She gave all the kids and their spouses money. We are supposed to spend it on presents for ourselves and get the presents back to her so she can wrap them up for us. Since we don't live around here, we were kind of exempt from that. But, we did have to spend the money today before we left. We decided to get a new printer for our computer and then split the rest of the money evenly. SD is buying more computer stuff and I went to a yarn store here in Tulsa and spent my money on Noro (color 55) and Koigu Premium Merino (3 skeins). Yummy. I'll take pictures of that later.

I haven't been doing a lot of knitting on this trip. I did finish the hat. I'm working on some more mini sweaters for the tree. I also brought some wool for felted clogs. I'll probably cast on for those soon so I can have them to work on in the car on the way home. My mom just brought me a cardigan that my dad bought for her in Ireland. It's Donegal wool and is full of beatiful bobbles and cables. It got snagged and needs a little mending. I'm her girl for that. It makes me want to make one for myself. I'll have to put that on my list of knits for the future. Better get back to the family! Hope you all had a great holiday because I sure did!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Winter Wonderland

In an effort to prepare myself for the cold weather, I've been knitting myself a winter ensemble. Oh yeah, baby. I've made a scarf (Wavy from www.knitty.com), mittens with an argyle pattern (from Family Circle Easy Knitting magazine fall issue...they were on the cover), and a hat. The hat is too small and I don't like that I used the flamingo pink as the main color. I'm re-doing it with the burgundy color as the MC and the pink as the contrast. But, that small hat still counts as a finished object so I'm now up to 38 for the year.
We're leaving today to go to Oklahoma for Thanksgiving. We'll probably leave in an hour or two. I may or may not be blogging while I'm gone. But, I'll be back in town at the end of the weekend and regular blogging should resume next week.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Lots of Pics

I'm just going to post some pictures here from Eric and Connie's visit. I've gotta keep the family satisfied. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

And So It Begins...

Big Apple took her first step today. She just turned 8 months old on Monday. She's been standing up without holding onto anything for about a week now and then just sitting back down. Today, she decided to move her little feet. I imagine I'll have another full-fledged walker on my hands before she turns 9 months. She is, after all, my freakishly strong little girl.

Christmas List

For all family members that read this blog (or anyone else willing to get us Christmas gifts...):

http://nelsonchristmas.blogspot.com

I did finally update them.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

I Suck

Things have always come pretty easily for me. When I was little, I was a cute, well behaved little girl. I was smart and had friends. I've pretty much succeeded at just about everything I've tried. But, there are a few things that I really can't do at all. *I'm sure my sister, aka Loser, can come up with some other things...I dare you to leave a comment*

1. Skiing. When I was ten I went skiing for the first time. I couldn't stop and plowed down everyone waiting in the lift line. My mom even heard other people talking about that "poor little girl" later that day. I tried again when I was 18. I mean, I was an adult. I had more control over my body. I should be better. Nope. I got caught on the t-bar and was drug up the mountain. I'm not going to give myself a third chance to make a fool of myself.

2. Horseback riding. Everyone in my family knows that I suck at this. The worst part? My dad trains race horses and I grew up on a HORSE RANCH! People would always tell me, "Oh, you're so lucky to live on a ranch with all those horses. I bet you ride a lot." Uh-huh. Sure. If they only knew. The last time I will ever ride a horse was a couple of years ago. I was at my Grandpa's in Utah. Sugar Daddy was there. I was much more experienced than him so I thought, how bad could it be? It was bad. I ended up flat on my back in a field.

3. Macroeconomics. I tried so hard to pass this class. The TA that taught it tried to help me. I was in office hours every week. He told me to drop it while I could. I did and then promptly changed majors.

4. Makeup. I have no idea how to put on makeup. This is probably appalling to my sister, who majored in makeup application in the 6th grade. But, I'm just not that good at it. I've tried to get Janet Jackson's smoky eyes and ended up looking like I was just beaten. In my 9th grade school picture I ventured out on a limb and applied blue mascara. Add big white hoop earrings, braces, a horrible short haircut, and some zits and you've got a great memento of your first year of high school.

5. Parenting. I've been coming to this realization for a while now. It's hard. This is something I'm having to work at more than anything else in my life. I don't know why I didn't expect this. But, I didn't. I thought I would be a great parent. I thought Frog and Big Apple and I would be happy all day, make play-dough together and go jump in leaves. Instead, I'm up to my eyeballs in poop, snot, and drool and neither one of them wants to play nicely. Unlike the previous things I suck at, this is not something I can just quit. I'm in this for the long haul. I'm sure I'll get the hang of things sooner or later. In the meantime, I'm working on it. This is the one thing I won't allow myself to fail. On the upside, I just saw Dr. Phil and things could be worse. I guess I'm not too bad.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

First Snow

We woke up this morning to see this outside. The snow is still coming down but I think it's too warm now for it to stick. Luckily, the streets are not so bad. Just mushy.

I was going to run all sorts of errands today. I guess I'll save them for some other day. I am going to go the Y, though. My friend, Hollie, just got a membership and we're going to meet there later today.

I have a picture of all sorts of knitting related things (and some See's candy that Connie gave us).


My little mini sweaters bring my FO total up to 35. My wavy scarf is on the right. I'm halfway done. In anticipation, we wound up some Cascade 220 into balls. The baby blue is for felted clogs to match my new rob. The pink is for a hat and mittens to be paired with the scarf. After looking outside today I decided to get a move on finishing my winter accessories and less time making little sweaters.

Monday, November 14, 2005

How's That Working For Ya?

We had a little Family Home Evening lesson tonight. We try to get the Frog involved as much as possible. Sugar Daddy showed him a picture of Jesus and asked Frog if he knew who that was in the picture. Frog looked at the picture and then at Sugar Daddy. He replied, "Dr. Phil".



*Just so you don't think our family is totally corrupt...Frog did correctly identify Jesus later in the lesson. He also said the closing prayer. What a kid.

Whirlwind

We had an excellent visit from Sugar Daddy's brother, Eric and his fiance Connie. It was our first chance to meet her and it was also her first introduction to some extended family. I'm just so excited to have another girl in the family (SD has 3 brothers...Eric is the first, besides SD, to get married---it's been a long 7 years!). I've never had a sister-in-law before so I'm looking forward to it.

I guess I'll share more about our visit once I get some pics back from Eric. He snapped so many that I didn't even bother to break out the camera. He had it covered.

In other news: the mini sweaters are still being produced here at chez Nelson. I didn't work on them too much during the weekend but I now have 4 more ready for my tree. I decided to go with red and off-white. Each sweater is going to be a little different. I thought that would keep it from getting too boring for me.

I also found out that we are going to make another trip to Long Beach. There is another conference in January. I can't pass up another trip like that! The only extra it will cost our family are the airfares for myself and Frog. Everything else is covered by the university. I think this time we'll try a little harder to make it to Disneyland. Frog turns 3 in January and I think he might even appreciate seeing the characters (if he doesn't get scared) and riding some of the rides.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

I Can't STOP!

The grey one was leftover wool-ease and the striped one came from none other than the Teletubby hats. I really love the way the striped one turned out but weaving in all the ends made this one take twice as long as the single color sweaters. For those who are counting (just me, I'm sure) this brings my year long FO tally up to 30.

Sugar Daddy is in agreement that our tree would look awesome decked out in mini sweaters (and I may make some mini mittens and scarves...but I don't know if I'll have time). I just need to come up with a color scheme. Should I just make a ton of little red sweaters? Blue? They will be on my tree with plain silver ball ornaments and white lights. Any suggestions?

This addition to my crafting "schedule" has been taking away time from card making and stocking making. I'm not done with Big Apple's stocking. I make the felt applique stockings with all of those beads and sequins. I blame Tiffany. She made them for her family and I fell in love with them. Darn it, Tiffany.

Oh, I forgot to mention...I should probably clean up the house a little bit. SD's brother and regular blog commenter, Eric, is coming to visit this weekend and he's bringing along his lovely fiance. I'm sure it will be a great visit clean house or not---and really, how clean can a house be when you've got 2 kids on the loose?

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Do You Think It Will Fit?

Can this sweater be any cuter? It is from Last Minute Knitted Gifts and I used up some of my leftover wool-ease from the Harry Potter sweaters. It really did take less than 2 hours to make. I finished while Big Apple was taking a nap and I was watching Evita. This ends up being FO# 28 for the year. Not bad. I'll probably be knitting up a bunch of these to put with some Christmas gifts. Sugar Daddy is going to make some little hangers to go inside so they can hang on a tree, or whatever.

Score: 2-0

Who won the epic battle between patience and instant gratification?

Click here. And here.

I didn't buy them.

What did I buy instead? Groceries. Yum yum. Oh yeah, and I had a Runza yesterday. It was a BBQ Bacon one. It was really, really good. But, it had twice as many calories as I burned at the Y yesterday. Oh well. I'll be better today.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Cabled Socks, Chocolate, and NEIL!

I've been dying to make me some nice warm, wool cabled socks. Well, I finally did it. I used Cascade 220 and it took me just over 2/3 a hank to finish them. They worked up nicely on size 4 needles.

The pattern can be found here. I also learned how to cable without a cable needle. That saved me a lot of time working on these. I spent about 4 days on the socks.


There are a couple of things coming out today that I REALLY, REALLY want. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory comes out on DVD and Neil Diamond has a new CD (12 NEW SONGS!). It's taking all of my willpower not to load up the kids right now and head down to my local Wal-Mart. I think I'll just be patient and add them to my Christmas list. And, if I don't get them for Christmas I'll rush right out and buy them then. Do you really think I can wait? You're right. I'll probably be posting pictures of my latest acquisitions tomorrow. I'm weak, what can I say?

Monday, November 07, 2005

A Big Hit

I just got a phone call from my little brothers. Their package arrived today. The sweaters were a big hit! They fit! I'm not a git!

I can't tell you how pleased I was to hear that they actually fit them and they LOVED them! I was a little worried because how many 9 and 10 yr. olds appreciate hand-knit items? They asked me where I found them and when I told them that I made them from balls of yarn they freaked out and thanked me even more. What good boys. I asked them if they were going to wear them to the Harry Potter movie. The reply?

DUH!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

The Latest Meme

I've been tagged by Melessa. It's the 24 hour meme. You list something significant that happened in your life for each hour of the day.

12:00am--This is the time I wish it was around 10pm every New Year's Eve. I hardly ever stay up. I just figure it's midnight somewhere and then go to bed.

1:00am--I can't think of a single significant thing that ever happened to me between 1am-2am. I try to be asleep as much as possible.

2:00am--If I wake up in the night, this is usually when it happens. I almost always have to go to the bathroom and sometimes I can't go back to sleep. I knit or watch infomercials and pray to get tired.

3:00am--Big Apple was born at this glorious hour. We had been waiting at the hospital since about 10pm. I had finally decided to take out my knitting and I told SD, "Watch, as soon as I get started on this...the baby will be born". Before I took my first stitch, BA's birthgrandmother came in the waiting room and said, "Es una niña".

4:00am--See 1:00am.

5:00am--I used to get up this early to be able to make it to school on time. I was on the academic team and we met early in the morning before classes. It paid off. We were the 1992 High School 2A State Champions (Oklahoma). Let me tell you...that has really helped me in life.

6:00am--This was the hour we met our first child, Frog. He was born the day before but we had to drive all night from Indiana to Oklahoma. When we got to the hospital, I held him and didn't ever want to put him down!

7:00am--I had a 7:30am class during college (a couple, actually). One night, SD, a friend (Kim) and I stayed up all night talking and we went to go see the sunrise at the top of Dale Hall Tower. Then, Kim and I went to our 7:30am class...or did we? Sugar Daddy asked me out for the next night and we've been an item ever since. Well, for those of you that know the story I'm leaving out Charlie and Karen. Technically we were still an item during all of that drama.

8:00am--This is when my day usually starts around here. Frog and BA are just getting up.

9:00am--This is when my school day used to start when I was teaching. Last year I taught 8th grade World Languages and Spanish II.

10:00am--When I was a freshman in college I watched The Price is Right every day.

11:00am--Around this time of day I usually try to get something done around the house. Big Apple is usually napping and the Frog can be easily distracted with his music or a DVD.

12:00pm-- All My Children. Although, now I can use the DVR and watch it whenever I want.

1:00pm--Y time! When I go to the YMCA, it is usually at 1pm. That way, when I leave at 3pm...if Frog is going to take a nap (rarely), he usually falls asleep in the car.

2:00pm--When I was a missionary in Mexico, we had our "dinner" appointments at this time. We ate one meal a day with members and this was it. We also weren't allowed to go back to the house for a later meal so we didnt' get another meal until we got home at 9pm. Don't feel too bad. The Mexican people were always very generous and fed us something at almost every appointment. We were never hungry, that's for sure. Maybe that's why even with all of the walking we did, I gained weight during that 18 months.

3:00pm--School's out! That magical hour when the final bell would ring and we could leave the building. Can you tell if I'm talking about when I was a student or a teacher? I think it evokes the same feelings either way.

4:00pm--Uh, Oprah? I must admit, I don't really watch it anymore. But there was a time when I was obsessed. Remember my Oprah post on how to get tickets? I'd still like to see her again in person. That was always fun.

5:00pm--This is the wonderful time of day when I know that Sugar Daddy is going to come home any minute.

6:00pm--When I'm on the ball, I have dinner ready.

7:00pm--Most of my nightly activities would start at this time. Book group, Life Makeover Group, Girl's Night Out, etc...

8:00pm--This is when I wish the kids went to bed. Big Apple is usually down during this hour but the Frog is another story.

9:00pm--As a missionary, this is was the hour that we needed to be back to our apartments. In some of my areas, we would have to be on the bus by 9pm at the latest to be able to make it back by our 9:30pm deadline.

10:00pm--I try to go to bed between 10pm and 11pm. Most nights that works out.

11:00pm--If I'm awake at this time it's because I'm working on a project or I've had too much Wild Cherry Diet Pepsi.

That's it! I finished. Now it's time to tag some people. How about MARY, Jessica, Wendy, and any of the Lincolnknitters group? The lincolnknitters will have to give me their blog addresses so I can read them, though.

Friday, November 04, 2005

And the Winner Is...

Sugar Daddy held the bowl of names (eight of them) and I drew one. SAMANTHA wins! Email me your address and I'll get a package out to good old greater Lafayette for you. Haven't you been lucky with drawings lately? I seem to remember you having won something not long ago. Congrats! She was one of a few people (ahem...Tiffany, the self-proclaimed over achiever) that actually looked up the correct answers. Here they are for the rest of you.

1. What was the first knitting project I finished after I started the blog?
Frog's red sweater.

2. What is the first recipe I posted on the blog?

Cornbread casserole

3. Name one of my "resolutions" for 2005.

Lose 50 lbs. (not gonna happen), get another kid (happened), read more, etc...

4. I had a "Name the Baby" contest in Feb 2005. What was the winning name?

Eva. Okay, Ava. But, we decided to use the Spanish spelling (it is pronounced just like Ava).

5. What is my favorite soap opera?

All My Children

6. What movie did we get Big Apple's nickname from?

Evita from the song that goes, "I want to be a part of B-A Buenos Aires....Big Apple".

7. What was my "career" before I became a famous stay at home mom blogger?

Spanish teacher and Pampered Chef queen

8. How old did I turn this year?

30! Although, my mom would prefer if I were 16. She's not old enough to have a 30 yr. old daughter.

9. Name one of the places that granted Sugar Daddy an interview (besides the Univ. of Nebraska).

UT-Arlington, SUNY-Stony Brook, Univ. of South Florida

10. Who is my favorite singer of all time?

11. What does PFA stand for?

Project Fat Arse

12. What was Big Apple's pirate name?

Bloody Pegs

Bonus: About how many posts have I made in the past year? 258!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

It's My Anniversary!

I went out and celebrated the fact that I've been blogging for a year? How long can I draw this celebration out? If it's anything like my birthday...this could go on for months! Anyway, I bought myself a present.

That's one huge baby blue fluffy robe, 1 pair of jeans, 1 pair of brown cords, and 3 long sleeve shirts. I tried to have Sugar Daddy be impressed with my new acquisitions (I paid $109) but he doesn't understand what good deals I got! What makes it even better is that I'm down a size in my jeans. Wahoo!

In other news: my mom's new husband just had open heart surgery. I want to wish him well. I think he has access to internet while my mom is there with her laptop so I wanted to post some pictures for him. I will knit him any one of these items he chooses! :)

When is it hunting season in Oklahoma? Will I be able to finish it in time?

You can't go wrong with matching sweater vests for you and the Mrs. At least, that's what I always say.

If neither of these will work...I could always just send you my best wishes for a speedy recovery!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

FO# 25 and 26!

There is still time to enter my blog anniversary drawing. You can find the quiz here (or you can scroll down one post). You have until Friday to enter.

I've got some beautiful Quidditch sweaters to show you!


I just finished putting on the patches. I'm really pleased with the way they turned out. I hope that my brothers like them (and that they fit!). Frog decided to try one on for size.

I'm tired of knitting things for other people...at least for the moment. What happened to the Ugg booties? I have some sizing issues to deal with and I'm not ready to do it yet. Maybe next week.

I have two things just for me on the needles right now. What are they? Well...a pair of cabled socks and a scarf. I'm on the gusset right now on the 1st sock and on row 12 for the scarf. I don't have any pics of those yet. Maybe tomorrow. It's bedtime here at Casa Nelson so I'm signing off.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Blogiversary to Me!

It's been almost a year since I've been blogging. It really doesn't seem like it has been that long. But, on November 3rd I will have been at it one whole year. In honor of this milestone, I'm having a little contest. Well, more like a quiz. Send me an email (sra_nelson AT yahoo.com) with your answers and I'll put you in a drawing for a FABULOUS prize!!! You have until Friday November 4th to enter. You don't even have to get them right! Everyone who tries will have a chance to win.

1. What was the first knitting project I finished after I started the blog?

2. What is the first recipe I posted on the blog?

3. Name one of my "resolutions" for 2005.

4. I had a "Name the Baby" contest in Feb 2005. What was the winning name?

5. What is my favorite soap opera?

6. What movie did we get Big Apple's nickname from?

7. What was my "career" before I became a famous stay at home mom blogger?

8. How old did I turn this year?

9. Name one of the places that granted Sugar Daddy an interview (besides the Univ. of Nebraska).

10. Who is my favorite singer of all time?

11. What does PFA stand for?

12. What was Big Apple's pirate name?

Bonus: About how many posts have I made in the past year?

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Trunk or Treat!

We went to the Trunk or Treat at our church this evening. It was really windy and we had a hard time keeping our hats on. But, most everyone knew what we were supposed to be. I ran out of candy to pass out really quickly. I'm glad I did because then I got to walk around and see what everyone else was. I sure hope Wendy posts pictures of her family. She was the Tooth Fairy and I've got some toothpaste to prove it.

Frog---I mean, Laa-Laa spent most of the evening running around. Tinky Winky spent most of the evening chasing him.

Po stayed close to home nice and comfy in the sling. Tinky Winky and Laa-laa were off running around so I took this picture from rather close up. I really like how it turned out.


We did manage to get one family shot. Unfortunately for Dipsy...she didn't have any others to choose from. Oh well. Here goes:
Happy Halloween! May all of you have happy days full of tubby toast and custard.

OU/Nebraska

It's that time of year here in Lincoln. Time for the OU/Nebraska game. I've only lived here since June so I can't claim "Husker" status yet (nor do I think I want to at this time) but I must admit, I wouldn't mind if Nebraska won. Am I cheering for them? NO WAY! But, it's kind of nice knowing that however the game ends up...I won't be fuming mad. With it being a "rebuilding" year for OU, these games aren't as critical as they would be if we were looking at a perfect season. We do have bowl games to think about, though. It looks okay so far. We (the Sooners) scored on the first drive and the score is 7-0. Looking good.

Boomer Sooner, Baby!

Friday, October 28, 2005

Latest Quiz

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More Language Mishaps

This one is for Sugar Daddy, my resident francophile. I've seen on a couple of websites now the use of "wa-la". OUCH! Is it really much harder to type, "Voilà"? Okay, maybe it is if you want to include the accent (ALT+133). But even voila is better than wa-la. You're not even supposed to pronounce it like wa-la! Oh my.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Caramel Apples

I made some really good caramel apples yesterday. I used the little Jonathan apples. My philosophy: little apples=more caramel to apple ratio. They turned out fabulously so I thought I would tell all of my faithful blog readers exactly how I did it. Unfortunately I don't have a picture because I wrapped them up and took them visiting teaching last night.

Christy's Caramel Apples

Before you start cooking, line a cookie sheet with waxed paper. You should also chop up about 3/4 cup of walnuts and place them in a bowl (big enough for the apple to fit inside). Next time I make these, I will also chop up some chocolate chips w/ the walnuts.

approx. 1 lb of caramels
2 tbsp. water

In a saucepan, heat on low heat. I have a horrible electric stove right now and I left it between 2-3 for the first little bit and then lowered it to low once the caramels were completely melted. This makes enough caramel for about 10-12 apples.

Stick those little craft sticks in the bottom of your apples. The Jonathan apples are pretty soft and the sticks are easy to poke in there.

Dip your apples in the caramel. My caramel only covered the top bit of the apple so I used a spoon to drizzle over the rest. Smooth the caramel around the apple and then dip it in the walnut mixture. I rolled it around on the sides first and then did a final dip top down. Place the apple on the waxed paper.

After you do this with all of them, eat one. You'll be glad you did. The ones I gave as gifts got wrapped in a little bit of waxed paper surrounded by cling wrap. Then, I used a cute little rick-rack ribbon I had to tie them up. I also added little tags that said "Happy Halloween". Yummy yummy.

I hope I didn't miss anything. Frog just came in demanding attention so I better go. He informed me he has a message for all of you.

fffdxcxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
333333333333333333333333333333333333333333332222222222222222222222
222222222222222222222222222kjnk hggv22f v2n2m2m,2m2gb2z2b njnbnnjjjjjjhn
bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbzbzzxzzzzzzszzzzzzz
zzzzccccccccccccccccccvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Speedy Gonzalez

I watched The Amazing Race last night. It's the family edition and this was the first time they left the United States. While they were doing all of their tasks in Panama, I cringed through the whole episode. Is the only Spanish these contestants know what they heard from Speedy Gonzalez? Embarrassing.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Separated At Birth?

I can't help but think of Ty Pennington from Extreme Home Makeover anytime I see LazyTown.

The picture above is the guy that plays Sportacus on LazyTown. Now let's see one of Ty.


I'd love to see the two of them in a room together.