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Monday, July 31, 2006

Socks

Here is a quickie post to prove that I finished my July socks in time. Woohoo! I finished them this morning.


Specs: Based on the Gentlemen's Plain Winter Socks in Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush. I didn't use the same heel but the concept was from that sock.
100% Shetland Wool in Charcoal.
I love how they turned out. They are for my uncle for Christmas and I just dropped them off at the county fair. Let's hope that he gets AWARD WINNING socks for Christmas!

Oh, Pioneers!

This funny story has nothing to do with the kids. I went with my friends and two of their kids to the Winter Quarters Visitor Center in Omaha. Our younger kids stayed home with Carl.

We watched a short video and then a sister missionary (Sister D--one that was just transferred from our ward) started to give us a tour. She was telling the kids (ages 10 and 6) that this was a really fun tour because you get to pack a wagon and pull a handcart. I was lagging behind a bit with John (Tiffany's husband) and I said, "That doesn't sound like fun at all". John didn't waste a moment and said, "Do we get to get scurvy, too?".

I think we were the only ones that heard ourselves say that but it was too funny not to share.

Friday, July 28, 2006

T is for...

T is for TIME--the longest time I've ever had a best friend (since 1989).
I is for INTELLIGENT--this girl is as smart as they come!
F is for FUNNY--this is a requirement for all of my friends
F is for FRIDAY--King Friday Wo lives on and on
A is for AMBITIOUS--she's a librarian and a super mom that I really look up to a lot
N is for NIFTY--nobody can whip up a piƱata like her!
Y is for YOUTHFUL--we can still giggle like teenagers talking about our silly antics

Tiffany is my friend and has been visiting here with her family since Wednesday. We are having such a good time--I can't even tell you. It's been a blast. We remember the funniest things and it has been fun reminding ourselves of the stupid things we have said and done. I'll be back blogging in full force next week once things calm down around here.

Lisa--do you remember doing the Humpty Dance song at girl's camp with Julie?

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

New Baby

No, not a new baby for us. I've got my hands FULL for now. But, a blog friend of mine just got a new daughter and I must admit, she's as cute as mine! Go wish them well here.

Smells Like Teen Spirit

From the blog that brought you a report on aromatherapy chapstick and the benefits of those crazy flavored water packets, I bring you Optimism. I like starting my day off by smelling something appealing. This usually involves some kind of shampoo and deodorant. I like them to smell nice. Imagine my surprise when I was shopping and found the Secret deodorant (my brand of choice) that not only smells nice but promises optimism! They also have ambition smelling deodorant but I figured that I could be ambitious but if I'm not optimistic about it, it's kind of useless.

Optimism. Sniff. My glass is half full. Sniff. People like me. Sniff. It's going to be a great day!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

American Inventor 2

I've come up with an excellent idea for American Inventor 2. Imagine this: church pews with seat belts. I think it's a winner.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Shiner

I feel like I've been a sub-par blogger this week. I really just haven't had much to say. This summer is just creeping along and we didn't really do much this week. We have a big day today because there is a pioneer celebration at the park. I'll blog about that next week, I suppose. I'm sure I'll be taking pictures. These are the only pictures we've taken this week.

I was making hamburgers and had on an apron. It was one I got from my Pampered Chef days (if you need any PC stuff, I've got a show that I'm closing tonight or Monday---how's that for a plug---a lady I know just started her business so I'm helping her out) and it has 3 stars on it. Caleb LOVES stars (any shapes, for that matter) and wanted to wear it. He wore that thing for two days. I think he'd still be wearing it if they hadn't ripped the ties out of it. The cutest part was seeing his little bum poke out the back. This picture does not do it justice, I'm afraid.
Eva's had a black eye all week. It happened last Saturday while I was at my knitting group. In Carl's defense, it probably would have happened if I was at home too but, still... Carl didn't see it happen. He said that Caleb probably pushed her into his toy piano and she got it right in the eye. Or, she just happened to fall on the piano. I'm more prone to believe that pushing was involved. But, it hasn't slowed her down any. This picture also does not do it justice.
In other news, the rate of escape out of this house was increasing dramatically this week. Caleb finally learned how to unlock the sliding glass door to the backyard. He would go out back, let Eva follow him and then run around to the front of the house and ring the doorbell before I could even know what was happening. I became afraid to go to the bathroom or even up to the fridge without taking the kids with me and having them in my sight at all times. I would try to tell Carl about this and how I need better locks on both of the doors (Caleb has been getting out of the front door--deadbolt and all--for weeks) but I don't think he realized how important this was until the other night. Carl was watching them and finally "got it" on how they can escape so quickly. That night he installed a chain for the front door (up high) and rigged up a wooden bar (also up high) for the sliding door. No escapes since then. Whew.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Knit This

Remember this knit? I think Carl has worn this ONCE since his interview process. I want my wool back! He's been hemming and hawing on whether or not I can rip this out. I got his permission this week. He told me what he liked and didn't like about it and we came up with a better plan. He wants a v-neck vest that isn't as "heavy". He wants argyle. I aim to please. Here is the pattern I'm going to use. We're going to use black, khaki, and either green or blue (I bought both--so we could decide what would look best). I'm getting yarn from knitpicks. I also ordered a size one circular (my set only goes down to a size two). I can't believe I'm going to knit this on size one and two needles. I told him that he might have it for the next school year (2007-2008). Although, I could get pretty motivated and whip it out in no time.

I have several WIPs (work in progress).

1. Gathering Intentions sweater. I'm working slowly but surely on the back. I only work on this in spurts and when the kids are sleeping.

2. Socks. I'm always going to have a pair of socks in the works. This latest pair is for a Christmas present.

3. Scarf. This is for another Christmas present. I love how it is turning out. But, you'll have to wait for pictures.

4. Teletubbie blanket. I'm trying to get rid of some of my stash and learn some new knitting techniques in the process. This blanket is using what is left from making the Teletubbie hats. I'm making wedges and each wedge is a different color. It's not pretty---but it's just for the kids to play with so I don't care too much. It is really "mindless" knitting and I could always use some of that.

5. Tank tops. I'm starting one for Mckenzie. And, I'll start on soon for Claire (what size, Deanna?). I've got to make Mckenzie's a top priority since they're moving to Virginia NEXT WEEK! I've got a lot of tv to catch up on to make room on our dvr so that will be good tv knitting for the next day or two. Plus, it's TOO DANG HOT to go outside anyway.

Want to know what I'm going to do about the signs? Me too. I still haven't decided but I'm leaning towards telling them to FORGET IT! I can make my own dang sign. But, I know I won't make my own dang sign unless I'm "forced" to by going to this dang sign party but I won't be able to make my own the way I want it anyway. AARGH. I should just forget about it and be done with it. But, it would look absolutely perfect in my dining room! Where's the Xanax?

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

My Way or the Highway

Most of you that know me won't be surprised at all by this blog post. I like getting my own way. Is it the oldest child in me or just a horrible character flaw? I don't know.

The other day I got an email that our local yarn store is going out of business. Well, not really. They are just closing one of their locations. I think I may have been a little out of my mind when I read that everything in the store was going to be 20% off until they close. I went the next day with a list of some of my bigger projects that I need yarn for. I bought 17 balls of Lily Chin's Chelsea (reg price $6/ball), a couple skeins of alpaca laceweight and a skein of sock yarn. I didn't notice until later that I didn't get my 20% off. I was mad enough to take it to the other location to speak with the owner. Oops. Did the email just say 20% off books and magazines? My bad. I'm going to have to return all this yarn because there is no way I'm paying full price right now when I don't really need it at the moment. The owner started freaking out and telling me that this is why she had to close the store in the first place, people finding better deals, etc... I told her that I'd support her store when the prices are the same or less but I'm not going to spend more at her store just because I'm nice like that (I said it in a more tactful way than that). She ended up giving me back 20% of the purchase price if I'd keep the yarn. Do I feel a little guilty? Some. But, she got a big purchase that she wouldn't have received had she not given me 20% off.

In other news, a group of gals from church are having a sign party. Have you heard of this before? You can find out what is being sold by going to this website. At the parties you get to choose from 26 pre-selected signs and you get a discount because you paint them yourselves. I chose a pre-selected sign but Carl doesn't like the font. He doesn't want me to get it unless I can get it in a different font. I emailed one of the ladies that runs the website and she basically told me that she can't do it because once she does it once it will set a precedent and they keep the prices low by offering a small amount for the parties. I can order the sign exactly how I want it but they will do it themselves and charge me about 50% more than if I did it myself (which I prefer). I was going to order at least 2 or 3 other signs from them as gifts (from the list) but now I don't know if I want to do that now because I'm mad they won't do what I want. I understand where they're coming from. Really, I do. But, I'm so stubborn. Should I just suck it up? I won't be able to get the sign I want because there is no way that Carl is going to be okay with paying the extra money. I would still be able to do the ones for gifts but if I'm not getting one myself--how much fun will that really be?

Monday, July 17, 2006

Apology

I feel the need to apologize to all of the people that were hoping to have a nice relaxing lunch at the Pizza Hut buffet on O street. I don't think they realized that I was coming with 2 friends and our 9 kids (ages 16 months-12 yrs). We had a blast. But, you guys? Probably not so much. You're probably not used to watching kids drink the peach juice off a plate with a straw or see a toddler only want to "eat" marinara sauce (mainly getting it all over her face). Not to mention having the adults try to have a conversation over 6 other conversations going on by LOUD children. I'm sorry if you aren't used to this sort of thing. But, a word of warning. We'll be back next week.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Lazy Days

Just enjoying some lazy summer days.

Eva is a little water baby. Caleb could care less. He got a little brave and tried to touch the water but he wouldn't run through it at all. I think he'll get used to it eventually and start to like it.

Enjoy the pics.
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Er

Have I told this story before? I can't remember and I didn't dig back into the archives far enough to tell.

It all started when I began telling Caleb, "You're such a good eater!". He's really good at sitting at the table and eating without making a mess. He LOVES praise (who doesn't?). His face lights up and then he would just repeat what I said over and over. Now he doesn't wait for me to say it--every time he sits down to eat he says, "Caleb, you're such a good eater!". He's also worked out the formula for the sentence in that brain of his and now he applies it to other things. Here's a sample of what I've heard so far.

Eva, you're such a good clapper!
Caleb, you're such a good dancer!
You're such a good shaper! (while he was playing with some of his shapes)
You're such a good water planter!
You're such a good pianoer!
Mommy, you're such a good mommyer!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Sequels

And now for the sequel to my previous post.

Saturday
Saturday morning, Carl had some meetings to go to so the kids and I took it easy at home. We cleaned up a little (again??? I know--crazy--but it was for the babysitter) and watered the plants (my bell peppers are looking sweet!). When Carl got home I went out shopping for the elusive kid sized table and chairs. I went to Bed Bath & Beyond and to Old Navy. Okay, I didn't really expect to find a kid size table and chairs at Old Navy but it was close. I scored a really cute skirt for $5 and they had a matching one for Eva. Hot. We're going to get mother/daughter pictures in those for sure. Still no table.

Then, it was time to pick up the babysitter. First, I had to stop at the movie theater to get the tickets. We saw Pirates of the Caribbean 2. Good thing I bought the tickets when I did because by the time I got the babysitter and dropped her off at our house and we got back to the theater, it was sold out. We had to sit in the 2nd row, but it was WORTH IT! When you're like us and you only get to see one or two movies a year, you gotta make sure you get your money's worth. Oooh baby. We did.

I took the babysitter home and came home to watch the World Cup third place game. I left before we were finished watching it because I went shopping some more. I tried my luck at Osco, Walgreens, Big Lots, and ShopKo. I didn't buy a table but I got a hairbrush (Eva put my previous one in the toilet and I was never quite able to get all the water out and it kept getting my hair wet when I'd use it--gross) and a fly swatter. Then, it was time for me to meet with the Relief Society presidency at Applebee's. We had our meeting there because our 1st counselor is moving and it was kind of her "farewell dinner". I got home around 9:30pm, finished the World Cup match and crashed.

Sunday
Sundays are always a little hectic for us. Our church starts at 11am and Carl has to be there at 8:15 for meetings and then we don't get home until after 2pm. After church this Sunday we watched the World Cup final. Carl was rooting for France so I rooted for Italy (I hate France--I didn't have a very good experience in my travels there and the Italians are much better looking anyway). We were really disappointed in Zidane's exit from the game. I'm really curious to know what was said to him to provoke him to act like that but I'm sure it was bad. That still doesn't mean he should have reacted the way that he did. At any rate, it probably would have ended the same way anyway.

Sunday night was really nice. We relaxed. It was the perfect way to end an unbelievably hectic week.

Monday
Just thought that I'd add...I found a table today at the mall (of all places!). They had one in KB Toys. It has Spongebob on it (which I'm not too thrilled about) but it's going to get trashed anyway (crayons/playdoh/etc...) so I didn't want to get one that was too nice. I think it will work out nicely. I was in a rush to get one because Caleb's preschool teacher is coming tomorrow for the last time this summer (she's been coming once a week) and suggested we have one so he can do some of his learning activities there. We did have our full size card table set up but it wasn't working out that well. I wanted to get it before she came so she can get him used to the idea of doing those certain activities at the table. She said we need to work on him being able to do some activities independently and that way he won't bug me as much when I'm doing other things (like cooking dinner or changing Eva's diaper). We'll see.

The Week That Would Not End

I think I've mentioned already (once or twice) that I had a BUSY week. Now that the new week has started I feel a little more grounded and can revisit the events that transpired (as promised--albeit a little later than I thought).

I think we'll just start with Tuesday.
I've already gone through most of the details of what we did on the 4th. In the morning, we went to Holmes Lake Park for a breakfast and "parade". This picture is of Carl leading the kids in our wagon. Caleb jumped out as soon as they passed me and then Eva rode around solo for the rest of the parade.

After the parade we spent the afternoon watching the World Cup. The next door triplets came over taking cookie orders and then came back with some really cute red, white and blue cookies. Can you tell which color Caleb got?

That evening we went to a friend's house for burgers and fireworks. We stayed for some of the daytime fireworks but left before it got too dark. Those kids were in need of rest (or so we thought). We got home and Caleb and Eva would not go to sleep! So, we stayed up watching fireworks on tv and the kids marched around the house to all the patriotic music.

Wednesday
Wednesday started out like a normal day...except Carl didn't go to work. He was going to but he was working on my computer. That was the day that my remote blogging ended. YEAH! We spent the morning cleaning up the house and the afternoon watching World Cup. The World Cup part probably doesn't surprise you...but why were we cleaning? We had houseguests due to arrive that evening and I couldn't have the house be super messy. They did need a place to sleep, after all.

Our friends, Jen and Cory Thompson (and their 3 kids--all under 5...and their golden retriever), were on their way from Indiana to their new home in Colorado Springs, CO. We had a nice dinner (that I frantically cooked for their 7:30pm arrival--which didn't really take place until just after 9pm). Then, we chatted and got settled in for the night and went to sleep around midnight.

Thursday
We woke up early to see off the Thompsons but they didn't get on the road until after 9am. It was a pretty hectic morning, to say the least. But...we were so glad they came and stayed here! It was nice to see people from Indiana and catch up on where some of our other friends have gone.

This day was Carl's 30th birthday. I didn't get him an actual present because he said he didn't really need anything. He's been buying stuff for himself for the past couple of months and that could count. Not to mention we were going to shell out a fair amount of cash for our "date" later that day.

After the Thompsons left, Carl went to work in Omaha. I got the kids ready for a day long outing and left around 11:30am to meet Carl in Omaha. The kids slept most of the way. I picked up Carl and I had to make a trip to the yarn store. I wish yarn stores were more kid friendly (but, I understand why they aren't--it's the nature of the beast). I can only go when I have someone that is willing to sit in the car with the kids and the only person willing (to be bribed) is Carl. I didn't take too long. I knew what I was after. I bought 1 skein of Cascade 220 and 3 hanks of charcoal sock yarn (all for Christmas gifts). I went to String of Purls. It was my first time there and they have the store arranged by color. It was really pretty but very hard to browse if you're looking for a certain type of yarn. You can't compare it to the other colors unless you carry it all around the store. Back to the main story...

Once I was done shopping, we went to the zoo. It was a really nice day (mid 80's) and the kids were looking forward to it. Every day since then Caleb has been asking to go and see the animals. Here are some cute pics of the kids. They love the aquarium. The sharks and sting rays are always a big hit because you sit in this tunnel and they swim all over and around you. Sitting in there gives me a headache. But, they love it so we stay in there for a while. Last time we went the penguins were the favorite attraction. We saw a little bit of them but they had the lights off in the display so we could only see the ones swimming close to the glass. It was still a big hit with the kids.
Caleb's obsession with Mary Poppins made it impossible to leave the zoo without riding the carousel. I'm standing behind the zebra (yes, I'm that short). Carl wasn't willing to shell out the $1 for Eva to ride. So, he spent the whole ride with a crying girl. Ha ha. Serves him right.


The zoo here in Lincoln is kind of piddly and not worth the cash. I'd rather hoof it on up to Omaha to go to the zoo there. It's really worth it. And, just to prove that we saw some animals...After the zoo, we dropped off the kids with the babysitter (Carl's grad student that lives in Omaha). I think here would be an appropriate place to mention that Caleb didn't have a single potty accident that day! Carl took him to go before we dropped him off and it was the first time he actually went in a toilet that wasn't in our house. Big deal for us and him! YEAH CALEB!

Once we dropped off the kids, we went to eat at Wheatfields. This restaurant is definitely one of a kind. They have a 6 page menu (filled to the brim) and a bakery attached so their dessert menu has almost as many items as the main menu. They had crepes, fondue, wraps, quesadillas, casseroles, steak, seafood, sandwiches, etc... I always get a little worried in restaurants like that because I wonder how they could really be good at producing so many different types of food. Carl got the first thing on the menu (so when we come back, he'll remember what he ordered and can just move down the list). It was a casserole with blue cheese, asparagus, eggplant and some other stuff I would never eat. I got Scampi Scallops on a bed of mashed potatoes and steamed veggies. Their salads are awesome! They have their own dressing and they use real bacon and gruyere cheese! Mmmm. Their butter rolls are also really great. Carl got peach pie for his birthday dessert and I had a caramel apple crepe. We had a hard time walking out of there because we were so full. Carl made me drive the rest of the night so he could "digest".

We headed over to the temple after dinner and did a session. There were a lot of people from our ward there because we had temple cleaning duty that night. After the session we changed into our scrubs and started cleaning. I was the chief feather duster and Carl was the mopper. We were all trying to get our dusters dirtier than the others but to no avail. We found no dust in that whole place. It was the cleanest place I've ever had to clean. But, we did it anyway...and had a good time in the process.

By the time we picked up the kids and drove home, it was almost 1am before we got to bed.

Friday
This was the day that we accidentally slept in until 10am. It threw my whole day off. I think the kids were a little confused, too. But, we managed.

This post is getting long enough and I've got to get some stuff done around the house before Caleb and Eva start to demand things like clean diapers and breakfast. I'll cover the weekend later today or tomorrow.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Lost Time

I think later today I'll have the time and energy to blog about our crazy week at Casa Nelson. It will include some really cute pictures of the kids at the zoo and give you an idea of why the whole Nelson clan slept in until 10AM yesterday without even planning on it! I don't remember the last time I was able to sleep in that late (neither could Carl) but I'm sure it was pre-kids. Even they were pooped beyond belief.

Other items:

I have some requests of my fellow blog readers:

1. Where do you shop online for yarn? I've been having a heck of a time finding good SOLID COLOR sock yarn at a place that charges reasonable amounts for shipping. I also just want a good place to shop online that has good service and good shipping deals. I already know about knitpicks and elann.

2. Where can I find a kid size card table and chairs? Target doesn't have any (except a really cute wooden one w/ 2 chairs that costs about $100), I tried Once Upon a Child, and Walmart.

3. Where do they sell those pop beads? You know the kids blocks that pop together and you can make awesome snakes and huge necklaces? Target, Walmart, the fancy toy shop here in town and Toys R Us don't have them.

Can you tell I've been TRYING to do a little shopping lately? Maybe that's why I'm so tired!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

American Idol Footballer?



Separated at birth? France soccer star Franck Ribery sure looks a lot like American Idol finalist Eliot Yamin. Don't you think?

I'm back blogging on my normal computer. It took Carl a while but we think it's fixed. All of my files are on a cd waiting to be put back where they belong. He couldn't save my itunes music. There goes hours and hours of work. Oh well. I'll have to upload all that music again. What else do I have to do? ha ha

Carl's 30th birthday is tomorrow. We are going to Omaha for a big day. He's going to work in the morning and we are going to meet him at the zoo in the afternoon. His grad student, Kim, is going to watch the kids for us in the evening while we go out to eat and then to the temple (for a session and then to help clean it). It's going to be a late night but I think we'll enjoy ourselves...toilets and all. On Saturday we're going to go to a movie (Pirates of the Caribbean!!!). I think that about sums up his birthday week.

Our 4th of July was pretty standard. We went to the breakfast put on by our church, watched the World Cup, and then went to a bbq at a friend's house. We stayed until about 8:30pm and then came home to watch fireworks on tv. Our kids could really care less about fireworks so we spent $0 on them. I don't think they cared. We sure didn't.

I better wrap this up so I can catch today's World Cup match. Carl stayed home from work (to work on my computer) and now he's just not going in. Could it be because France is playing? Hmmm. My francophile is pretty excited that they're in the quarter finals. I think they'll probably win today, but either way I'll be happy. It would be awesome if Portugal could pull it off.

Monday, July 03, 2006

More Remote Blogging

I'm blogging again from the public library today. Still no computer. It's not so bad. We have a computer set up for Caleb in his room and it is connected to the internet. I can still check my email and things. It's just slow and I'm spoiled. I really miss my music and my files. I've been wanting to make this dessert (graham cracker toffee squares---yeah, don't ask about PFA this week) for a party we're going to tomorrow but I don't have the recipe anywhere else except my recipe document in Word. I guess we'll just bring some chips.

Carl's working dilligently on the computer and is doing his best. I'm starting to question his computer savvy. I mean, it was only 2 months ago that he made me this "awesome" computer and said that it was going to be the best computer I ever had. It was pretty good...while it lasted. I think I'd rather have a not so awesome computer that will last longer than 2 months. I've been mentioning that I'd really like a laptop. We'll see how that works out. I know we can't afford one right now---we're busy paying off all of our debt. Guess what? It's working! We've cut our debt by about 30% in the past two months and hopefully soon we won't owe anything (except our mortgage) to anybody (not even you, ERIC!).

Sorry this post isn't more exciting. I don't have any pictures to post, either. I will tomorrow (or whenever I get a chance to do some more remote blogging) because we've got some good 4th of July activities planned. Sayonara.