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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Project 365


While we were waiting for the Boyz II Men concert, I snapped this shot of Carl.

How cute is this? Eva wanted to wear her cheerleading outfit to the fair (thanks, Audra!). She saw this cow and had to pose.


Eva loves to play hide and seek with me but she is not very creative in her hiding places. She was sitting on the couch right there when she asked me to play. I counted, turned around and saw this. She was also yelling, "I'm on the couch! I'm on the couch!".

Nie Nie celebrations kept me from taking any other pictures besides one like this for the raffle.

Julie was crocheting some amigurumi at our knit night on Wednesday and I decided to join in. Here is what I made. Scary, no?

I listed seven stamp sets on Etsy this weekend. The new catalog came out and I'm going through and getting rid of some of the retired sets that I can finally live without.


A friend from church asked me to watch her teenage daughter this afternoon. They needed a break from each other and she does really well over at my house. I put her to work cooking (hence, the apron), ironing (we're working on a quilt for a RS service project), and then she found some knitting needles and started to knit. This is my kind of girl!

Saturday, August 30, 2008


I realized I've been remiss in posting the pictures from when we were in Oklahoma. On this day, the Brokenicky family came to visit at my mom's house. They lived not far from us here in Lincoln and then they got a job in Tulsa so they moved down there and are now in the same ward at church as my mom. Small world. We weren't able to go and check out their new place this time but, we'll be back!

Caleb and Eva love that waterslide. If I remember correctly, Eva is screaming joyfully even though it looks like Caleb has her in a death grip.

Kenny thought it was lots of fun seeing the big kids play.

The popsicles were a big hit. Jonah, Eva, Caleb, and Savannah (a cousin on Greg's side) got a little messy. But, a quick trip down the slide remedied all of that.
Good buddies reunited in Oklahoma.

Check out that cool Oklahoma sky. You can kind of see the kids corralling the ducks back into their coop. That was Caleb's job when he was there. He loves those ducks.

So, there you have it. My one month late post about that day.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Nie Nie Day Winner!

From the people that emailed me with their raffle entries, we raised $80 for the Nielson family. Thank you so much for participating! There are still some silent auctions going on and while most of the prices are already through the roof, you might be able to find something you can't live without!

For my raffle, it turns out that the early bird gets the worm. TRACY! Email me your mailing address and I'll get all your goodies out to you soon!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Raffle for Nie Nie

Stephanie Nielson blogs about how great life can be. In the midst of tragedy, her family and bloggers from all over have continued to share how great life can be.

In honor of Stephanie, this blog will celebrate Nie Nie Day with a raffle. For each $5 donation, you can have an entry. Use the button on the sidebar or at the end of this post and that will take you to the official paypal fund set up for the family. I have no access to this fund so if you donate and would like to be entered into the raffle, just let me know. You can either leave a comment with how many entries you should receive or if you'd prefer to keep that private, just email me at sra_nelson AT yahoo DOT com. This is all on your honor, of course.

I will randomly select a winner from the entrants on Friday morning.

The prize includes:

This scrabble tile pendant from Jessejanes.

One small drawstring project bag made by me.

This bracelet is called The Bravery Bracelet from Designs by Colleen . It was designed to give strength and bravery to cancer patients. I loved the concept so much---I wear one myself to remind me to be brave and strong.

Also included: a $25 gift certificate to Stampin' UP. (Listed on Design Mom as $50---I decided to donate the other $25 directly to Nie Nie but if the entries show that the raffle goes over $100, I'll raise it back up to $50).

Don't forget to check out all the other auctions/raffles/fundraisers listed at Design Mom. Great deals for a great cause.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Gearing Up for Nie Nie Day

Tomorrow is Nie Nie Day (as designated by the Design Mom) and I'll be celebrating here on my blog.

I'm having a raffle and the prizes will be listed tomorrow. Any $5 donation or higher gets you an entry.

Let's raise a bunch of money!

--if you have something you'd like to donate for the raffle, let me know via the comments or email (sra_nelson AT yahoo) and I'll add it to my list.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Family History Weekend

I realize it has been well over a week since I posted about our weekend spent in Hastings, NE and Gothenburg, NE.

We left just after lunch on the Friday and got to Hastings around 3pm. We went straight to the Hastings Museum of Natural and Cultural History. It was a pretty good museum to visit once. I don't ever see us going back there anytime soon. The wildlife diorama hall was pretty awesome. It is kind of kitschy and I liked that. The kids didn't really care all that much for it. We went downstairs to dig for fossils. Eva really likes getting into the sand. Caleb likes putting things on his head. So, that area was a win/win.

The kids were starting to get a little restless once we got to the Kool-Aid part of the museum. Kool-Aid was invented in Hastings. Oh yeah, I love Nebraska! We went through there as quickly as we could. As soon as that was over a planetarium show was starting. We thought the kids might think that was cool. We were wrong. We left as soon as we could. It was time to hit the hotel.

We won a free night at the Quality Inn. When I called to make the reservation, the manager told me we'd be their VIP guests that night. After we came back from dinner there was a cute gift basket waiting for us in our room full of popcorn, granola bars, cookies, chocolate, and bubbles. It was great! As you can see, Eva couldn't wait to pop some popcorn.

We ate dinner in their Garden Cafe. It was okay. There was a lot of variety but the food was average. Actually, I had a steak and it was probably the worst restaurant steak I'd ever eaten. but, that's what I get for ordering a steak at a Garden Cafe. I should have gone with a sandwich or salad. The pie was really good, though! Caleb and Eva ate all their food so it deserves a thumbs up from me despite the crummy steak.

After dinner the kids couldn't wait to go swimming. Here they are as a blur running down the hall to the pool.

After we swam for a while, we coaxed them out for a couple of games of ping pong. They were actually really good to watch while Carl and I played two games. They would take turns going after stray balls. Carl won (as usual) but I think he was surprised about how close I was. He hasn't forgotten that I was the Queen of Ping.

Caleb was actually really good. He's left handed so I had to be extra careful when I served to him. He has a really good backhand.

Eva needs to work on her form a little bit. In all fairness, it was her first time playing. She'll get the hang of it soon enough. ;)

After all that playing we got the kids back to the room (kicking and screaming, of course) and calmed down (after an hour of more kicking and screaming). They finally fell asleep and Carl and I watched the Olympics.

The next day we got up early. I went and bought some muffins at the Garden Cafe (yum) and the kids and Carl went to swim in the whirpool and play some more ping pong. I sat and watched them and then went to pack up the room. After some more kicking and screaming to get them out of the hotel, we drove a couple of hours to Gothenburg, NE.

My great, great grandfather, Charles Marion Jacox, had a farm in Gothenburg and I wanted to find it. I had a few clues that I had gathered on a trip to the Nebraska State Historical Society so I went hoping to find someone that would know where the farm was. I went to the Historical Museum while the kids played across the street at the park and looked at the Pony Express Station (pictured below).
I asked one of the ladies in there if she knew anything about the Jacox family. She didn't but another lady did. She just happened to be in there visiting. How great is that? Anyway, she told me where the farm was and then after I shared the information that I had, they gave me a few phone numbers. One of them is to the son of the person that bought the farm from my great-great grandpa Jacox. He still lived on the farm! I gave him a call and he invited me out to see the place.

The farm is about 7 miles southwest of town. It was a beautiful drive and I was amazed to see hills in the distance.

What a great place to live and have a farm! I spoke with Mr. M about my family. His dad bought the farm just a few years before he was born (in 1924) and he had lived there all his life. His son now farms the acreage. He also told me that what I was probably really looking for was exactly two miles east of his farm. That was where Mearl Jacox had his farm (Charles' youngest son) and that looked like the farm I had in my picture. It makes sense that his son would take over the biggest part of his farm. The ladies at the historical museum also gave me a phone number of Mearl's son in law. I may call him on my next trip. We just didn't have time on this day.
We drove out to check out Mearl's place. The house is gone now but we were pretty sure we were in the right place. It fit the description well enough. Mr. M was full of great information about the area. He also gave me directions to the Peckham cemetary where my relatives are buried. We didn't quite make it there. As you can imagine, kicking and screaming continued as we were driving around and I didn't think the kids would be able to make another stop. I'll have to come back again some other time. I have all of the information off of the tombstones so it isn't vitally important for me to see the cemetary...just curious.

All in all, it was a fun trip to cap off our summer. There are so many great things to see around here we'll have to start taking these quick trips more often.

Monday, August 25, 2008

I Made it Myself-- Mini Sweaters

I finally got my act together and made some more mini sweaters. I had 4 white ones finished from a few months ago and since last Monday (thanks to the Olympics) I've made one more white and 7 red ones. Five of the red ones still need to be seamed up so they aren't technically finished yet. I just don't work on etsy projects on Sundays so I'll finish those up today. It is easier to do a lot of the knitting and then work on the seaming all at once. When those are finished and I have all of the orders filled that were placed with me in the spring, I'll start listing them again in my shop. I'll also start working on some OU ones (hang in there, mom & Jennifer). Now that it is almost football season, I'm a little more motivated. Having some craft fair deadlines helps as well, of course.

Did you make anything this week? Take a quick look at the guidelines and then share it here!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Project 365


Ager Play center for an Etsy team playdate.

08/19/08Our last Safari clues of the summer. We have one left in the whole book.

First day of school. Eva had to come outside with her backpack, too, of course.


I finally got around to adding my drawstring pouch to my Etsy shop.

Eva and I went to the outlet malls and Eva decided the bear needed some shades for the trip.


We spent the bulk of the day at Lost in Fun. Eva let Caleb push her in the swing for a while. I wish they played this nicely together all of the time!

Taking advantage of this sunny day to do a quick photo shoot of my little booties.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Hope Floats

Tonight people all over the world set off balloons for the Nielsons. The timing happened to coincide with a little gathering of girlfriends to celebrate some birthdays. After Wendy and I shared the story, they all took a moment to write a message to attach to the balloons.

Before I knew we shared grandparents (Stephanie's grandma is married to Carl's grandpa), I was a loyal blog follower. Her family is full of so many clever and talented people. When something like this happens there seems like little else you can do but pray. While this is certainly needed, sometimes one may feel the urge to do more. So, tonight we set off our balloons. A small act. But a few small acts turn into big ones. Next week I'll join forces with Design Mom and host a little silent auction of my own. A small act. A small act that, combined with others, becomes a big one.

I Am Not My Ribbons

Almost everyone that reads my blog knows I'm a big fan of therapy. Sometimes I feel I need it more than other times but I consider it a very good thing for me. This past year I found a wonderful therapist that has now since moved. It is kind of a pain because now I need to find a new one. But I digress. Anyway, this therapist did a great job with me and really got to the heart of the matter instead of focusing on what I was trying to tell him what I *wanted* the heart of the matter to be. Does that make sense to anyone besides myself?


We worked on a lot of great things but one of the days I had an "a-ha" moment. Something clicked inside of me and I laughed. I told my therapist that this explains why I love to enter contests (and WIN) and why I'm so obsessed with entering my stuff at the county and state fairs. I then was asked to say, "I am not my ribbons." It sounds kind of silly now but it was totally profound at the time and kind of sunk into my psyche. I am not my ribbons*.

After that session, I wasn't as excited to enter anything. Don't get me wrong. I was going to enter some items. It just wasn't as *important* to me as it used to be. I threw some stuff together and sent it off to be judged. I was still excited enough to head out to the state fair on opening day to see how everything fared (pun very much intended). See that blue ribbon? Not mine. It is for the pair of mittens on the left. A very worthy adversary. Mine on the right got 4th place. They didn't appreciate my picot edge, braiding, and subtle bird embroidery.
See those blue ribbons? Still not mine. See the felted ball with the "Be" on it? It is Sandy Ewald's. She got 1st (well deserved). My knitted doll got 2nd.

I'm actually glad these booties didn't place higher. These are the simplest garter stitch booties and took me an hour to make. If they would have placed 1st, I would have known the judges were whacked. Still, they were cute booties and I'm glad they got something.

I had a lot of fun looking at all of the items this year. It seems like there were a lot more entries. At least there were a lot more entries from people that I know and recognize their names. Our knitting guild was well represented and I saw at least two blue ribbons for two of them. The winner of the granddaddy of all ribbons was a member of the Omaha knitting guild. Certainly well deserved.

I'm going to the fair at least 3 more times before it ends but I don't have to go back into that building.

I am not my ribbons.

I am going to eat a corn dog, though.

*Now I'm wondering if I would be saying this if I had won all blue ribbons? Maybe I'm not so cured after all. ;) I really am trying to be more humble.

Friday, August 22, 2008

All Around

I've kept no secrets about the fact that my butt has been glued to the couch every night since the Olympics started. I love it all. Eva has really gotten into it as well. She especially loved the balance beam competition. I played it for her during the day and she was trying to do all of the moves. So cute.

Eva's been my baby on the move since almost day one. Here is a picture of her when she was just barely 4 months old. Crawling. Here she is at 5 months climbing up on everything. This kid is strong and coordinated. What's a mom to do?

I signed her up for gymnastics*.

*We actually wanted to sign her up for karate or tae kwon do but thought she wasn't quite old enough for that yet.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Recycle It

How many phone books do we get a year? It is crazy. I don't even remember the last time I actually used a phone book. Lucky for me, I have a great recycling program the rewards me for each pound I generate. Those phone books are heavy!

This past month we started using RecycleBank. It is a program the offers rewards for recycling. You know I'm all about rewards. I should let you know that I am not getting paid for this post nor do I receive anything if you decide to participate---I'm just spreading the recyclebank love.

We pay $8/month for the curbside service (although there is a special going on now here in Lincoln, at least, where you get 2 months free). There is no contract to sign so we can cancel our service at any time. Before we started this service, Carl was taking all our recycling to a drop off location near our house. This wasn't really a big deal to Carl but we did have to separate all of our recyclables. We don't have to do that for this service...and they take more types of waste than the city drop off sites. Bonus!
This service isn't available yet in most states but if you enter your contact information, they will let you know when it is. If you don't sign up, at least you know where to drop off those unused phone books!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Caleb's first day of Kindergarten is today. He's been going to public school for 2 1/2 years now so it wasn't really that big of deal. He's used to the routine. Now that it is finally here, I can't believe he's going to be gone all day. This week they get out an hour early but that is still longer than he went to school last year.

Here is a look back at his other first days.

April 2006--First day of preschool ever. He was so little!

Aug 2006--What a cutie!

Aug 2007--Those cups were the "hair" of 2007. He had to have them in his backpack all the time.

Aug 2008--He's such a big boy now! I love it.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Back Tomorrow

I'm using this picture to distract you from the fact that I'm not *really* posting today. I'm going to spend the day with the kids. School starts tomorrow!

Monday, August 18, 2008

I Made it Myself-- Knitted Babe

Another week, some more handmade goodness. This week I put the finishing touches on a Knitted Babe. I bought this book during the big sale interweave press had for the damaged and overstocked books. It was kind of an impulse but I'm so glad I got it. My kids have never been so excited about a knitting book before. Eva asks me to "read" the book to her almost every day. They spend time telling me which dolls they want. The only bad thing is that they expect me to be able to make them instantly.

This is the third doll I've completed. The first two were made with "junk" yarn. It wasn't very soft and I wanted to try out the pattern first before I made them with some of my nicer stash. Here is the picture of the kids with my prototype dolls. I used a DK weight yarn for the new version. The pattern calls for fingering weight but I wanted my doll to be a little bigger. This yarn is just some baby yarn I got on sale at Hobby Lobby. It is really soft, though. The book is full of patterns for clothes for the dolls. I used some leftover sock yarn to make the dress. Since my doll was bigger, I had to adjust the pattern slightly to make it fit but this wouldn't happen if you use the same size yarn for everything.

This doll needed some bloomers so I made some of those as well. She's stylish and modest.
I struggle the most with the hair and face. There are templates for cutting out the features with felt but I have a problem every time. This face didn't turn out too horrible. I wanted her hair to be curly so I knit up a swatch of black acrylic with really tight needles. I let it sit for a few days and then ripped it out for the curls. I kind of like the crazy look of it.

As soon as this doll was completed, I put her away so the kids wouldn't get a hold of her. You see, she is now safe and sound (I hope) at the State Fair. We'll see if she merits a ribbon! I better start working on another one because each kid is going to want her.

I haven't decided if I'm going to make some to have available at craft fairs or in my shop. They are kind of labor intensive so I don't know if anyone would be willing to pay boutique prices for one of these. I certainly don't need to decide today.

Did you make something yourself lately? If you'd like to participate in I Made it Myself this week, take a moment to look at the guidelines and then post away! I can't wait to see what people have made this week!