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Saturday, May 31, 2008

For Brenda

I leave one comment on your family's blog and now I can't even read it! Oh, the horror. I thought would share this link with you.


Email me, please! I've missed you.
sra_nelson at yahoo.

SMART Habit Saturday

It is time to start thinking about my habit for June. This month is going to have to be about time management for sure. You see, school is out. Almost everything I get done around here is when I only have one kid at home or am alone (rare). Last summer I hired a grad student to help me out with the kids a couple hours a day. She was studying special ed so she got to try out lots of good stuff on Caleb. Win win situation, there. This summer I found another option.


Mary is a lady from church that watches kids in her home. She lives not far from me. She is the one that watches Leslie (the other girl in all those Lincoln Safari pictures). I hired her to watch my kids 2 days a week (12 hours total). The kids LOVE her and the other kids she watches so it gives them some much needed interaction with people other than ME. It also gives me some "free" time so I will want to interact with them all the rest of the time they are with me.

I've been daydreaming about what I can accomplish in those 12 hours a week. My past behavior probably indicates that I will spend a fair amount of that time sitting around or procrastinating. So, I need a plan before I waste away those precious hours.

I'm going to dedicate 1/3 of the time to the house. I keep saying that if I just had some time alone to work I would get some things organized around here. Well, the time has come.

I want to spend 2 hours a week doing something frivolous. Lunch dates, shopping, pedicures, naps, etc...

I will spend 1/3 of the time on my work. I'm starting to buildup my etsy shop inventory. I have some great new ideas for the card organizers. It is time to start churning out some more mini sweater ornaments. I also need to get some more converse booties finished. Once I have a good supply of my items, I'll be more prepared for the winter craft fairs when the time comes.

The other 2 hours a week are going to be flexible.

I'm going to keep a log of what exactly I have accomplished during those hours so I can post it each Saturday. How is that for accountability?

In other news: If you go to this blog post from yesterday, you'll see that I'm giving away a pendant from etsy seller HomeStudio. All you have to do is leave a comment telling me which pendant is your favorite. I'll pick a random winner on June 1st.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Favorite Things--giveaway!

I was working on a blog post for when I'm going to be gone for girls weekend and I had tucked away a few goodies in my favorites on etsy. One in particular is HomeStudio. They are having a sale right now so I figured it would be just downright irresponsible of me to wait until it was over to post this. So, I'm doing it now!

The shop is full of pendants made from old Scrabble tiles. The colors and patterns are really great and I knew I wanted one the first time I saw them. The sale going on (until 5/31) is buy 2 get one free. Will you be able to resist? I couldn't. I picked out a few. I'll probably keep one for myself and hold on to the rest for gifts. Oh, wait. Maybe I could GIVE ONE AWAY on my blog?

To be entered, all you need to do is comment on this post and tell me which pendant is your favorite*. So, get commenting! You have until 5/31 at midnight.

*the pendant you choose may or may not be the one you will receive for the giveaway.


Some of you that read my blog were lucky enough to see some awesome jewelry made by Arbee. She graciously donated some for my autism fundraiser and we raised $150. I hope she's not mad that I'm telling everyone this---I just think it is so awesome! We haven't met but we have some friends in common. This is just one more reason why I love blogging.

Back to the point of my post...she was one of the people that commented on my Pay It Forward post to receive something from me. Now it is her turn to pay it forward and she's going to send out bracelets. I'm telling you, don't miss out! If you hurry, you might be one of the first three commenters. Go here.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Favorite Things Swap

According to Kelly is hosting another Favorite Things Swap. Want to join me? Visit her blog for the details.

What would you include as your favorite things?

Here are a few of mine:



Everyday Food magazine

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Genealogy I Am Doing It!

Every once in a while I get on family history kicks. The last time I was really into it was when I was living in Indiana and I was going through my fertility treatments. It was really fun to find out all the good family stories. I kind of took a break from searching because I had Caleb and it wasn't so easy to get to the family history center. Now, our stake is testing out the new family search (muy, muy awesome) and it is really easy to use and I don't have to go to the family history center! Can anyone say family history with no pants? Love it.

Back to the point.

Before now, I focused on a few lines where there were gaps (maternal grandma, specifically). Now that I live in Nebraska, I thought it would be a good idea to work on my Jacox ancestors. My grandpa Jacox was born in Nebraska (Gothenburg). His grandma is buried in Omaha. I have a great, great, uncle buried in Friend (not far from me at all). There is a picture of my great, great grandpa and his farm in a book at the Nebraska State Historical Society. I'm going to go and see it next week. I'm planning a trip out to Gothenburg for sometime in July. Should be lots of fun. It is around 3 hours away but since I won that free hotel stay, we're going to make it a fun trip with family history one day and land of Kool-Aid the next.

It is going to be a great summer.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Talk About Tuesday

I spent a fair amount of time over the weekend at Joann's and Hancock's. They were having some pretty good holiday weekend sales so I took advantage. I'm telling you, sewing is really taking over a bunch of my crafting time. I'm having a lot of fun building up a little stash and making fun projects.

Books were 40% off at Joann so I splurged and got this book. I have the Last Minute Knitted Gifts so I thought this would be a good companion book. It is! I'm planning on going to PurlSoho when I'm in NYC in August and I'm pretty sure I'll bring home some souvenir fabric and yarn. I made a bird ornament (from the cover) last night for Wendy's birthday. It was pretty easy. I definitely need to practice my blindstitching because you could totally tell where I had to hand sew. Oops. Sorry, Wendy!

Patterns were on sale at Joann (Simplicity for $1) and Hancocks (McCalls and Butterick for $.88). I got a bunch of patterns for bags and accessories and one pattern for clothes for me.

And now, the fabric. I actually didn't get as much as I wanted/could have/etc... I restrained myself because I really only have so much room for my fabric stash and I didn't have plans for all of it.
The two fabrics on the left are heavier home decorator fabric that I'm going to make into a messenger bag. The rest of the fabric will be bags or totes or other little things. I'm really digging this reversible tote bag tutorial. I'm also starting to think ahead for next year's Autism Speaks fundraiser. Maybe I'll be able to make this?

Do you have something to talk about today? Why not do it here?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Biggest Compliment Ever

Carl must be feeling like an awesome dad today. He's working on our bathroom (almost finished...still!) and the kids went in there and said, "OOOOH! You're like This Old House!".

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Walk Now for Autism Recap

Yesterday was SO MUCH FUN! The rain stayed away all day and we had great weather (okay, it was super windy---but much better than rain!) for the Autism Walk. This year they held the walk at Haymarket Park. I'd never been out there before but the ballpark is really nice.

After we registered our team and turned in our donations (THANKS) we got our t-shirts and started checking out what there was to do.

The first thing they saw was a bubble pool. They had 3 kiddie pools full of bubble solution and wands. They stayed there a long time playing around.

As soon as Eva saw a Care Bear, she was gone! The characters were all nice enough to pose for this picture, even though they were trying to go on their break.

Our friends, the Stoddards, came to walk and play with us. That's Shauna (the mom), Parker, and Emma. Eva is very much in love with Parker. It is too cute.

Everything at this event was FREE. The committee worked really hard to make sure that this was the case. They figure that we pay enough out of the wazoo for therapies and treatments that we don't need to be paying for this stuff, too. We got Subway for lunch, popcorn, sno cones, lots of candy, meatball sandwiches, bbq, and drinks.

They had little carnival type games for the kids. All the volunteers were great and didn't bat an eyelash when Caleb needed, very specifically, 3 lollipops (blue, pink, and purple) for his prize.

There were 3 huge blow up toys...a moon bounce, a caterpillar, and a slide. Our kids liked the slide the best and by the end of the day had gone down it AT LEAST 100 times each.

Eva is my little daredevil. She would jump up and belly flop onto her belly to go down.

The walk consisted of a lap around the ballpark. This is where our kids lost it a little bit. It was kind of crowded on the sidewalk and there were lots of people. Considering that a good portion of the kids there are on the autism spectrum, I was amazed at how well they all did. It was loud and chaotic but I don't think there were any major problems.

After the walk, we played at the play area (slides, monkey bars, etc...) for a while and then we went to get some more food. Everyone else headed over to the bouncers again while I stuck around to see if I won any of the raffles. You know, I'm lucky. I won a free night's stay at the Quality Hotel in Hastings, NE. Sounds like a nice weekend trip for the family is in order. We've never been to Hastings---it is the home of Kool-Aid! It also included $10 to the hotel restaurant.

A couple of months ago I was lucky and won 5 tickets to the Saltdogs game for the night of the walk. After we rested in the afternoon, we headed back to the ballpark for the game. It didn't start until 7pm (the kids' bedtime) but we figured we would stay as long as they were good. They lasted about an hour--with most of that time on the playground. I think maybe we'll try to go back and catch a game some other time. Eva left the playground running when she saw Homer, the mascot.She came back to me, running, and saying, "DOGGY LICKED ME!".

It was an excellent day and I have a feeling that A LOT of money was raised for Autism Speaks.

Project 365

05/19/08A new look for Caleb.

05/20/08Lincoln Safari at Tierra Park.

05/21/08Enjoying the great weather!

Caleb's preschool program. He's definitely the biggest kid!

05/23/08Still crafting! This card organizer coming soon to my etsy shop.

05/24/08Walking for autism.

Caleb and Eva with blanket "hair". Always a blast around here, let me tell ya!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Today's the Day!

The day has finally arrived for the Nebraska Walk Now for Autism. Our team raised $1070.


We'll be enjoying some rainy weather but I think we're going to have a great time no matter what.
I never did get my etsy shop ready for a fundraiser sale. I'll be more prepared for next year, I hope.

Hope you all have an excellent holiday weekend!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Writer's Block

I'm seriously having a hard time coming up with things to blog about. Sure, I have a lot of things I could write about but nothing is really that exciting at the moment. I'm sure you're thinking...when has that stopped her before?

I thought I'd distract you with some pictures of Eva doing her "homework". She has no problems with writer's block.

2. Do you see what is in her hair? Right above her ear?

3. It is the perfect place for a pencil!

I have no idea where she learned to put a pencil behind her ear but it was super cute! I wonder what else she is hiding in there?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

You're Welcome!

This bouquet of chocolate covered strawberries and balloon showed up at my door yesterday. It seriously made my day. It was a gift from a friend. This is what I do for her that made her think that she should send me this awesome gift:

I get up about 30 minutes earlier than normal 2 days a week.
I drive less than a mile to her house.
I sit in the peace and quiet while her children sleep and she goes to work for an hour.
I knit.
I read the Ensign.
I lay down on her couch.
I don't have to get Caleb ready for school (thanks, Carl!).
I enjoy the silence.

I try to let her know what a great joy it is for me to do this. I kind of feel like she's the one doing me the favor. I accept the gift knowing that she appreciates my "sacrifice" and I just say, "You're welcome".

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Knitting Mojo

I'm trying to get my knitting mojo back. For a while I've been stalled on projects that weren't really that fun to work on. But, I didn't want to start anything new until I finished up some of them. Two days ago I finished up the second test knitting sweater...that will be revealed later. Yesterday I rewarded myself by casting on for this. I'm using some yarn from my stash (Jaeger Extra Fine Merino DK in Coral--sadly discontinued) and so far it is coming along nicely. I think it is the kind of top that will work well for me. I don't quite get the same instant gratification that comes from sewing, but it isn't so easy to sit out on my porch with my sewing machine.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Father's Day

I bought Carl's Father's Day present last week. He doesn't read my blog so we should be safe talking about it here----just don't spill the beans, people! If he is reading...STOP NOW!

Design Mom did a post last week about DB Clay. I fell in love with their products and I hope that Carl does, too. It helps that they have a code for 50% off (kyle50) your purchase.

I think Carl has had the same wallet for his entire adult (maybe teens as well?) life. He has it filled to the brim with things that he doesn't really need in there but if he takes them out, nothing else will stay in.

I think it is time for Dr. Nelson to upgrade.

This is the one I bought for him. And, because I married a real life MacGyver, I got him this one too. Just for fun.

I hope he likes them.

Monday, May 19, 2008

You Get What You Get and You Don't Throw a Fit

I realized that there are a lot of fun things happening with Caleb and Eva that I haven't documented here on the blog. Here are some random happenings:

  • Caleb and Eva love to play "Hitting Game" (Lego Star Wars) on the computer. Eva has also started to have a healthy appreciation for the Star Wars movies and asks for them almost daily. She likes to talk about Obi Obi (Obi-Wan Kenobi).
  • Sometimes I ask Caleb to do random tasks around the house (to increase compliance) like, "bring me 3 red toys". The other day he didn't quite bring me what I asked for and he said, "You get what you get and you don't throw a fit.".
  • Caleb can read. He's been reading for a few months now. When he was two he could recognize a lot of words by sight (mainly store and traffic signs) but now he can sound out almost anything. He doesn't have a lot of patience to do it for long periods of time but he is getting much better. Sometimes he will just read the words he knows for sure and then make up words for the rest. He asks me to spell words all the time.
  • Eva loves to play with my stamping supplies. She makes my punches jump off the shelves and says, "OH NO! THEY FALLING!".
  • We had a babysitter on Saturday night and he told Carl that Eva was the most grateful kid he ever knew. Apparently she fell asleep while saying her prayers because she was praying for so long. Carl and I just know that she has a hard time remembering how to finish so we have to help her. Cute stuff. I'm sure Harry Potter and Obi Obi are glad that Eva blesses them every night.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Project 365

05/12/08Mother's Day blooms.

05/13/08Safari find.

Another turtle.

05/15/08Eva's "new" doll. They call her Lisa.

05/16/08America's Next Top Model.

No wait. This is America's Next Top Model.

Just one more project made while watching Lost this week.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Dress, Part Deux

I finished another dress last night before I went to bed. These dresses cost me less than $1. I ended up having to buy a little bit of elastic for the black/white dress. I used recycled elastic (from a pair of Caleb's old sweat pants that I had cut off for shorts) for the Hawaiian dress.

Eva was such a good model for me this afternoon. She had some great poses! Caleb saw us and decided that he wanted in on the action. He put on his "piggy tails" and we had to find him a twirly skirt. This is going to be some major blackmail material later.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Hawaii Five-Oh No You Didn't

This morning I went with Eva to a few garage sales. I was on a mission for a few button up shirts to make some dresses using this amazing tutorial from Craftster. I found three suitable shirts and decided to practice this afternoon on one of them.

Check out how this Hawaiian print shirt looks as a cute sundress on my baby. This took me less than two episodes of Lost to make. In fact, I think I'm going to make another one tonight. I've got plans to use the collar for a headband.

I may have a new obsession.

What is Your Name's Hidden Meaning?

Check out this totally scientific blogthing.

What Christy Means

You are very open. You communicate well, and you connect with other people easily.

You are a naturally creative person. Ideas just flow from your mind.

A true chameleon, you are many things at different points in your life. You are very adaptable.

You are truly an original person. You have amazing ideas, and the power to carry them out.

Success comes rather easily for you... especially in business and academia.

Some people find you to be selfish and a bit overbearing. You're a strong person.

You are wild, crazy, and a huge rebel. You're always up to something.

You have a ton of energy, and most people can't handle you. You're very intense.

You definitely are a handful, and you're likely to get in trouble. But your kind of trouble is a lot of fun.

You tend to be pretty tightly wound. It's easy to get you excited... which can be a good or bad thing.

You have a lot of enthusiasm, but it fades rather quickly. You don't stick with any one thing for very long.

You have the drive to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. Your biggest problem is making sure you finish the projects you start.

You are the total package - suave, sexy, smart, and strong.

You have the whole world under your spell, and you can influence almost everyone you know.

You don't always resist your urges to crush the weak. Just remember, they don't have as much going for them as you do.

You are a seeker. You often find yourself restless - and you have a lot of questions about life.

You tend to travel often, to fairly random locations. You're most comfortable when you're far away from home.

You are quite passionate and easily tempted. Your impulses sometimes get you into trouble.

You are a free spirit, and you resent anyone who tries to fence you in.

You are unpredictable, adventurous, and always a little surprising.

You may miss out by not settling down, but you're too busy having fun to care.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Police Recap

Sting told me (and a bunch of other people) last night that the last time The Police played Omaha was at Rosenblatt Stadium in 1982. All I could think was, WELCOME BACK!

When we got to the concert I had a ticket to unload. I found a guy looking for a single ticket so I sold it to him. Thanks, Dave from Ames, Iowa.

Our seats were in the second section at the back of the horseshoe. It really wasn't that bad. We had a pretty good view and the big screen helped.

Elvis Costello opened the show. It was so much louder than the Bon Jovi concert. Poor Carl was plugging his ears. Elvis played through some of his best known hits (I was hoping for Veronica, but no luck) but all I could think about was what would Sting be wearing? Seriously. While Elvis was singing "Alison", a guy came out on stage in black pants, a black long sleeve tee, and a black sock cap. It was STING! He sang along for that song and went back while Elvis finished his set. Wendy and I were hoping that at least he'd take off the hat when he came out with the band. After some "Peace, Love, and Understanding" (I heard it from the bathroom), it was time to gear up for the big show.

Sting brought out the big guns and had on a sleevless t-shirt not unlike the picture above. Andy Summers was rocking some pretty sweet shoes (neon green and black hi-tops) and Stewart Copeland was styling with a headband. I know all my blog readers really care about what they were wearing. Seriously.

About the show, it pretty much rocked. Would you expect anything less? As a Guitar Hero afficionada, I can say with absolute certainty that Andy Summers is an expert. He worked that whammy bar like no other. Seriously.

Stewart Copeland broke out a freakin' GONG and some really awesome chimes and cymbals for a couple songs. He was so fun to watch!

Sting, oh Sting. His voice is so amazing. It is possible for bands to sound better live than on a cd. He was working a scruffy beard which made him look kind of old. Okay, I know it isn't the 1980's anymore---but he still looks so great!

My favorite song of the night? Every Little Thing She Does is Magic. It was probably the 4th or 5th song they played and after that song I felt like I could go home completely happy. Everything else was just like a bonus.

Wendy and I are retired from concert going this least until the State Fair. Uh, hello? They do a free concert every night and we know we're going to see Styx and Boyz II Men.

Domo arigato, Motown Philly!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Season 1. Check.

I'm finished watching season 1 of Lost. My season one projects: 2 charming bags, 1 turtle, 1 reversible drawstring bag, 2 card organizers, 1 mixed cd, and a couple of inches of stockinette on a sweater. It is kind of fun watching tv in my craft room. I get quite a bit done.

I'm glad I don't have to wait weeks until I see the next season.

Does it take a while before I find out what happens to Walt? That kid makes me think of Caleb so I don't like it when bad things happen to him.

Plans for Today

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Dear Google Reader,

I love you. For the past several months I have used you exclusively to let me know when my favorite blogs have been updated. I no longer have to click through my blogroll to see if people have been blogging. Apparently, not everyone blogs every single day. What?

I've used you to find new friends and information.

I dragged your useful little widget into my tool bar so if I happen to stumble upon a blog I enjoy, I can click "subscribe" and then I can be a reader of that blog, too!

You've made my blog roll obsolete. I kept it around for sentimental reasons but now I'm ready to break the ties. I'm cleaning up the clutter around here.

Google Reader, thank you.

the crafty conservative

Do you want to Google Reader? Can I really use that as a verb? I guess so.

I think you might thank me for it later.

Monday, May 12, 2008

My lucky day!

I just found out I won this contest! What an excellent day for me!

Daily Home Planner

I won a giveaway over the weekend at The Organized Mom. It is for her Daily Home Planner software. I downloaded it this morning and have messed around with it a little bit. It is very intuitive and looks extremely useful. Each person in the family is color coded. I've also already been starting to do my shopping lists and meal planning on my computer (I love laptops!) so this software will be a good fit since I can just move everything over there. I love making lists and there is a section for that as well. There is a 30 day free trial download if anyone is interested.

Gotta go get organized! ;)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Project 365








Saturday, May 10, 2008


I can't believe I haven't blogged yet today. It has been pretty busy. This morning I spent in my craft room and all this afternoon we went to a retirement party (for Caleb's best preschool teacher ever) and then to a graduation party (for Carl's first PhD student).

So in the past two days, I've made two bags. They are from the same pattern (charming handbag) found in Bend the Rules Sewing. Almost everything I've sewn so far has been from this book---mainly because it is the only sewing book I have with patterns not for clothes. It is full of mistakes (make sure to check out the errata) and I think I've already mentioned that I'm not the most intuitive seamstress out there but I can't complain too much because everything I've made has been pretty cute (in a beginner kind of way). So, on to the bags.

The first bag I made was this one.I got this fabric at Hancock's a while ago. I was going to make checkbook covers or coasters with it. But, the other night I was hankering to make a bag and that was the only fabric I had. I was too lazy to copy and enlarge the pattern so I just eyeballed it using the fabric dimensions and cutting the basic shape. It looked okay so I started sewing. I really love how it looks but it isn't all that functional as a bag. The opening is way too low and the bag is too long. I just didn't cut it out that great. My bad. But, I learned the basics of the construction and figured out what I would do differently the next time. It isn't as easy to reclaim fabric from a project gone awry as it is to rescue yarn...but I'm going to try! This could still become a checkbook cover or some coasters.

Last night after dinner, I ran over to Hancock's to get some more fabric. I can see now that I'm going to need to start a fabric stash! I found my favorite color and a matching print. I snatched it up along with a magnetic closure. I took care to cut it out a little more carefully and made sure that the opening was not too wide. Then, I started sewing. I had decided to add a pocket and a magnetic closure. I'm starting to get fancy, eh? Check out the inside of the bag.On the right you can see a patch of green. That is where the handle slides through. It kind of slouches up the bag when you carry it. I like that a lot. I have enough of that fabric left to try the other bag in the book (the pleated beauty handbag) so I might tackle it tomorrow night.

Good thing I have lots of episodes of Lost to catch up on! I'm only 4 seasons behind.