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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Phew.

We've been waiting on some reimbursements from the university since February.  It amounted to about 1/2 month's salary.  We were starting to feel the burn.  They FINALLY came last week. 

So happy.

Today is the day Carl gets paid summer pay.  Have I mentioned how much I love summer pay? 

I'm trying to remember that I've already spent more than my fair share of that (uh, Chicago & Orlando).

That doesn't mean I still won't celebrate today.  Maybe I'll go get a treat while the kids are at swim lessons. 

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Cousins

cousins

Fifteen kids under the ages 12 and under.  All facing forward.  Most happy.  All cute.  Like the girls dresses?  They were a custom order from refibered.  Good stuff.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Immigration Day

Remember a while back when I represented Nebraska for a video for Purple States? Excerpts from all participants have been put together in really great pieces. You can go to that website to see the one about advice for President Obama was seen on CNN. The one I want to show today is the latest and it is all about immigration.

I don't usually use this blog for serious topics. I don't live my life like that. Many of these things don't affect my daily routines. That doesn't mean I don't have opinions about them.

When you have 50 opinionated bloggers and try to get that down to a 5 minute video, a lot gets taken out. My small part actually summed up my opinion pretty well. Blame the business owners.

I lived in Mexico for a year and a half. I lived in 4 different states (Jalisco, Michoacan, Nayarit, and Colima). I met thousands of people. Many of them were struggling. Some had been to the US. Some had relatives working in the US (legally and illegally). I think living among them and working with them gave me a different perspective.

Guess what? Most of them don't want to be here. They'd rather be at home with their families. They'd love to work in their homeland. You know, they aren't here for the weather! They are here because PEOPLE PAY THEM. They get hired for little to nothing but that is little to nothing better than what they could get at home.

I don't discount that what they are doing is illegal. They know what they are doing is wrong. But if there were no jobs for them to do here, they wouldn't risk it. So, what's the solution? Glad it isn't my job to figure that one out. I'll gladly take potty training over that any day.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Best Shoes Ever.

I bought my first pair of Croc flip flops in NYC.  They were the only shoes that didn't totally kill my feet after a full day of trekking around the city.  They were worth every penny.

I got a new pair of Crocs (two pair, actually--I gave one of them to Wendy) when I went to the Chicks Who Click conference.  They are just like the ones I bought in NYC only brown and pink.

I wear these flip flops every day. 

Crocs is not paying me to say this.

Consider this a public service announcement.

I just felt the need to declare my undying love for the Croc flip flop.

You're welcome.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Reasons Number 197-203 Why I Don't Need Pets.

We've been at my mom's house for just over an hour now.  Everyone is still at work so we're here alone.  I don't have the energy for anything more than bullet points right now because Caleb has kept me awake since 3:30am.  Then he slept for two hours on the way here.  I drove. 

The first 30 minutes:

  • I needed to go to the bathroom for over an hour but I held it because I didn't want to haul both kids (and have to wake up Caleb) into a public restroom.  Once we got to my mom's house, I didn't quite make it. 
  • When I did make it to a bathroom, it didn't have toilet paper.
  • The kids were too distracted by the animals that none of them came to my rescue despite my pleas for several minutes.
  • It was messy, but I got myself taken care of and just went commando to tell the kids to come in the house so I could take a shower.
  • I opened the sliding glass door just in time to see Caleb throwing one of the kittens halfway across the pond.
  • There are two kittens.  I missed the first one. 
  • The kittens are fine.
  • Eva ran into the house covered in cat poop. 
  • Up to this point: 2 people covered in poop, 1 animal torturer
  • I decided to throw Eva in the bathtub.  I squirted her off first but then couldn't figure out how to turn off the nozzle.
  • Called my mom.
  • My phone died.
  • She called me on the land line and told me how to do it.
  • I couldn't figure out how to turn off the jets in the jacuzzi tub.
  • We made lots of bubbles.
  • I figured it out.
  • I got Caleb started playing the Wii so I could get in the shower.
  • We all survived.
  • Caleb is still playing the Wii, Eva is fully clothed and clean, and so am I. 

Phew.  I could really use a nap.  Instead I'll be putting in a load of laundry. 

Monday, June 22, 2009

Oklahoma, OK!

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I think my brother, Sam, is ready to go home.  We made him do all sorts of crazy things this week.  It sure is hard to entertain a 13 year old and my own kids.  In the end, I think he had fun.  Are all teenagers just bored to bits during the summer?

We leave to go to Oklahoma in a few minutes.  I'm just putting this post out there while I'm waiting for my iPod to sync and before I shut down the computer.  Gotta be technologically prepared for this drive!  IMG_2097

The kids woke up early this morning knowing that today was finally the day to go.  Unfortunately, it isn't helping them get dressed or fed any quicker. 

 IMG_2096 Eva let me braid her hair so I shouldn't have to worry about that much during the week.  All it took was half of Mamma Mia! 

I also finished up the last of the drawstring bags I made for the girl cousins.  I scheduled that post to show up on christynelson.net sometime later today. 

I should have wireless most of the week and I have quite a bit of online work to do so I'll should still be blogging on vacation.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Mission Completion!

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I finished it!  Carl has a brand new sweater vest that was just 2 1/2 years in the making.  I hope he likes it.  Whether he does or not, I made him wear it today!IMG_2137

Happy Father's Day!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Magical Mom Moments

Every once in a while I experience true joy.  Given my track record with roller skating, you wouldn't think it would happen in a roller rink.  I was wrong.

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I was walking (see above link and you'll know why) around the rink with the kids.  They were so happy!  It couldn't help but rub off on me.  We were smiling!  We were having fun!  We were carefree until I had to run after Caleb because he was going out to the parking lot

IMG_2115 Soon they were going around by themselves, having a blast, and even doing the limbo!  IMG_2113 My brother Sam skated around, too.  He's known Spencer for a couple of years now (since he first started coming to visit us up here) so they like doing stuff together. 

My roller skating memories are locked up in the music.  Michael Jackson, Culture Club, J. Giles Band, Cyndi Lauper, and more!  If yesterday was any indication of the kinds of music memories my kids will have, it will include a lot of Miley Cyrus and Jonas Brothers. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Chicken.

I'm starting to chicken out on my cabinets.  I don't know what to do!  On the one hand, I really want to paint them.  On the other, I really don't want to do the work.  I'm not giving up yet.  I'm just not in a hurry to start ripping them apart and sanding. 

Deb was awesome and used her amazing skills to show me what my very own cabinets would look like painted.  What do you think?

 Green cabinets (1)

Midnight blue

Here is the original for comparison:

IMG_2083

Monday, June 15, 2009

WAHM!

I'm officially a work at home mom.  Nothing has changed over the past few days except my state if mind.  I woke up Saturday morning and realized that Stay At Home Mom just doesn't quite describe me anymore. 

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ChristyNelson.net is generating some income.  I work hard at it and I'm happy to see some results. 

My craft challenges are a blast and I love having an "excuse" to craft.  Who would have thought I would become a Craft Blogger? 

I also blog at Family Eden.  I contribute one blog post a week there and it helps fund some of my other ventures.

 

I'm also working hard on the company I started with Deb.  It is called Toolulu.   We've taken on a few clients and have started teaching some basic Blogging 101 classes.  {Plug: our last *FREE* Blogging 101 class will be this Saturday!  Sign up here.  Just a few spots left!}

Our goal is to help businesses learn how to navigate social media and make the most of their business online.  Our backgrounds are perfect for this type of work and we compliment each other well. 

We're probably a little bit crazy for taking this on but it is what we live for!  We're passionate about it and are loving every minute of it. 

I love having the freedom of working online.  I can take the kids to the park, fix lunches, play games, break up fights, set up conference calls, write up proposals, take pictures for tutorials, and write blog posts.  My days are full and fun (mostly). 

And there you have it.  I'm a Work At Home Mom.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Fashion Files

I have a wardrobe sponsor (doesn't that sound so fancy!) for BlogHer and I need your help selecting what I'm going to wear!  I have a poll up over at christynelson.netkylie Here are some of the choices.  They are all from IGIGI

claudia Vote HERE

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Just Another Day

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The other day the kids were out playing on the deck.  That is the only place they are allowed to play outside when they are "grounded" (when they run away from me outside and don't come in when called).  IMG_2082

I took these pictures through the door without them even noticing.  Caleb was looking at his reflection, playing with his "hair".  Eva took her rocking chair out there and wearing nothing but a poncho and her panties, was singing Super Trouper at the top of her lungs. 

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I Need a Travel Agent

I posted a quick status update on facebook the other day about my upcoming vacation plans.  Here is my summer vacation schedule:

June 15-21 brother coming to visit

June 22-27 Oklahoma

June 29-July 3 Swim Lessons

July 16-21 Utah

July 22-26 BlogHer in Chicago

July 27-Aug 1 CHA Trade Show in Orlando

Aug 3-7 Caleb's day camp

It is turning out to be quite the summer!  We've got a minor glitch that I'm hoping maybe one of you might have a solution for.

Carl is missing a whole week of work this week for Scout Camp and he has so much work that he can't really afford to miss another whole week to go to Oklahoma.  That's okay because my younger brother (he's 13) will be with me on the trip and I can make the drive as long as I have him along to be the referee and snack thrower.  My problem is that I won't be able to get back to Nebraska without a helper.  I mean, we would probably all survive.  It's not impossible.  I've done it before.  I think this is why I am so adamant that I never do it again.  I digress.

We're leaving the 22nd of June to go to Oklahoma.  Carl won't be able to join us until after his workday on Wed.  The flights are too expensive.  Him driving down by himself kind of defeats the purpose. 

What I'm wondering:

Is anyone around here planning a trip down south where you can drop Carl off in or near Oklahoma?

Is anyone willing to ride back to Nebraska with me from Oklahoma?  Getting back home is another story.  

Will Carl be willing to ride a Greyhound?  Do they still have Greyhound buses? 

Can anyone help us out? 

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Some Options

You guys are all super smart and I love that you're helping me make this decision.  I've found a couple of pictures I'd like to throw out there for your opinions. 

Our downstairs is kind of a sage green (and green is my signature color, you know!) so I don't think it would look entirely out of place.  

Here is a blue option.  Not a fan of this particular one but I can see that this kind of color might look nice in the space. 

Decisions are the worst.*

 

*name that movie.  HINT: 80's dance flick that I LOVE!!!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Paint My Cabinets

This morning I woke up and realized that I had this insane desire to paint the kitchen cabinets.  It's not a project I'm going to start tomorrow or anything.  But, I might like to accomplish it this summer. 

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Here you can see my countertops, a bit of the tile floor, and the yellow walls.  I'm having a hard time deciding what color to paint them.  White won't work in that room. 

How about red?  IMG_2084We have this small accent wall painted red and a larger wall in the upstairs section.  Will that be too much?

Should I stick with a neutral?

I should mention that Carl is totally on board with this plan.  I called him at Scout Camp to ask him.  I didn't want to waste my brain power thinking up all these grand plans if there was no way I was going to be able to do it.  Now that I have permission, I'm starting to question it. 

Am I crazy?   Should I leave them the way they are?  Or what color should I choose?

Monday, June 08, 2009

Thriving

Today I had what I think most people would consider a normal day.  For me, it was abnormal, but I'm not complaining!  The kids were pretty darn good.  They had their moments but there was no escaping, no melting (a la Wizard of Oz), no kicking.  There was a lot of playing, singing, dancing and cleaning.  It was the kind of day that helps me remember why the heck I signed up for this.  It was a total love fest around here.  Noisy, but loveable. 

I'm trying not to be cocky about it because I know these types of days are few and far between.  But, for now, I'm enjoying it!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Locked Up

Something happened to me this weekend and I wasn't really myself.  I couldn't stop cleaning.  I have a clear kitchen table.  The counters are clean and clear.  I organized a few choice areas.  Amazing. 

Frankly, I shouldn't be surprised.  I was getting pretty sick of my housekeeping.  It just hadn't been a priority.  But Carl is leaving tomorrow to go to Scout Camp for a week and I knew that if I didn't start off the week with at least a clean kitchen, we would eat out every single meal and I really didn't want to live like that. 

Speaking of Scout Camp, Carl leaves tomorrow morning at 5am.  He'll get back on Saturday around lunch time.  I'm a little lot nervous about how things are going to go.  On Friday morning, just a few hours into summer vacation, I was already a wreck.  Caleb is a crazy runner.  When he gets upset he leaves the house.  Sometimes he runs into the street.  Sometimes he tries to find my keys and  goes into the car.  He can open any lock we have.  That kid is so dang tall he can reach our top lock on the front door. 

After a consult with the behavioral psychologist, we bought some padlocks.  Carl rigged up some things on the doors so I can stick a padlock through.  I have to carry my keys with me all the time.  I was worried about living like this.  I mean, what if there is a fire?  The psychologist gave it to me straight.  She said we were at a lot more risk of having Caleb get run over or crash the car and we could always break a window to get out in a hurry if we needed to.  Good point.  So, I feel like I'm living in Fort Knox but I don't have to worry about my kids running away from me and going wild in the streets.*

Until the kids can prove to me that they can follow directions, there are no big outings in our future.  No zoo.  No Children's Museum.  They do get to go to Vacation Bible School.  That starts tomorrow and I have a feeling I'm going to need those 3 hours of kid free time each day. 

I hope we all survive.

*This sort of behavior is not uncommon of kids on the autism spectrum. 

Friday, June 05, 2009

Eva's Fashion Files

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Some more "looks" courtesy of Eva.  I call this one Grandma Chic.

IMG_2059 Here are some mittens I knit for her last year.  She likes to wear them all year long.

IMG_2062 On her feet!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Trash.

 

Since when did trash cans become so darn expensive?  Granted, I still have the same trash can I got when we got married (almost 11 years ago).  Maybe that's why I've been coveting these new shiny ones lately.  But $100?  For a trash can? For that price I expect it to take it out to the curb for me, too.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Chicago/Indiana Trip Update

I'm having some vacation anxiety.  It doesn't look like I'm going to be able to make it down to Indiana!  However, I will be in Chicago a day early and will have a FREE HOTEL night on Wed. July 22nd if anyone from Indiana wants to come up and play.  I'll fly in that morning and have no other commitments until the next day at 9am.  If anyone wants to come up there and mess around, I'm game! 

Going down to Lafayette was turning into a big headache.  I would really only have 1 full day down there and it was too much money and trouble for the little amount of time I'd actually get to spend there. 

In other news, I was nominated for an award. It is under the category, "Blog You've Learned the Most From".  There's no way I'll win but I definitely want to make a showing.  Care to vote for me?  I'm sure you've learned a lot from me!  How many of you ran out to make duct tape dress forms or burp cloths?

Vote for ChristyNelson.Net HERE!

Annual 3rd of June Post

In case you forgot that I'm a total sucker for Neil Diamond. It's the third of June. Play it now. Play it now. Play it now.

You won't be disappointed.

Actually, you might.  This dang playlist starts the song *after* the opening line and first verse.

"It was the third of June"


Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Stampin' UP Last Chance Sets & Accessories

It's that time of year when we find out which Stampin' Up accessories and stamp sets will be leaving us.  The new catalog/idea book is due out in July and I'm taking pre-orders to see if it is worth me getting a case.  They are $9.95 each.  Not only are all these stamps and accessories retiring, so am I!  I am planning on deactivating soon (too much other stuff on my plate!). 

Here is the link to the Last Chance lists.  I don't have my demonstrator website anymore so if you'd like the preferred pricing (catalog price), you'll need to enter my name (Christy Nelson) as your demonstrator (or the name of any other demonstrator you know or support) if you decide to shop online.  You can also email me with an order. 

Happy Stamping!

Monday, June 01, 2009

Feeling Famous

Last night was the Yanni Voices concert.  I went with Deb and we had a blast!  Apart from showing up a little late (we were told it started at 7:30pm) and missing my favorite song (Deseo), the evening was a success! 

We picked up our tickets (courtesy of the One 2 One Network).  We also got some back stage passes for the after show meet & greet.  So special!  We were looking forward to seeing Nathan again. 

This picture is from when I met him at the Mom 2.0 Summit.  We were really excited to meet the other Yanni Voices as well! 

The concert was really well done.  The music was fabulous.  Our seats were amazing!  We were in the 9th row.  Actually, we ended up sitting in the 11th row because someone else was in our seats when we got there.  We were in the center on the aisle so it really didn't matter too much.  3585620388_21d75c1276

Here they all are near the end of the show.  You want to know Yanni's secret to success?  I'm just guessing here, but it must be because he surrounds himself with such talented musicians.  Every single member of his orchestra was AMAZING! 

There were a few parts of the show that weren't my favorite.  After the intermission, Chloe came out and did this dance and then Leslie joined her.  The song was great but I was a little distracted by the dancing.  It was a little too much for my taste.  3585618230_85229ea7c0 This was the very end of the concert as Yanni was leaving the stage.  Deb and I will never be the same after seeing "Yanni Jesus".  We thought this was super cheesy but totally befitting.  It really sums up the concert.   Another funny thing--Yanni doesn't have his long hair (or 'stache) anymore, but he still does the hair flip.  It's amazing! 

Okay.  Here's what we were really there for.  To meet the Voices.  After the show, we were in a group of people ready to go back to the meet & greet.  We had a special code on our passes and this big security came up to us and asked us if we were the bloggers.  There were six of us (including Liz and her husband that got the tickets from my giveaway).  We got to go back first and had a super VIP meeting with the Yanni Voices.  The rest of those meet & greeters had to wait until we were done.  Oh the power of the blog, people.  We were feeling pretty special.

Ender, Chloe, and Leslie came in to meet with us.  Unfortunately, Nathan was a little sick and needed to rest his voice.  I would have been super disappointed if we hadn't already accosted him in Houston

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From left to right: Leslie Mills, Chloe, Deb, me, Ender Thomas

They were all really friendly and it is really amazing to think of all the talent they possess.  Leslie totally reminds me of Kylie Minogue.  My favorite song of hers was Nothing Without Love.  That one wasn't on the preview CD I got and now I am going to have to find a copy of that song somewhere.  My favorite song of Chloe's is Until the Last Moment.  It is a duet with Ender.  Speaking of Ender.

3585626146_7a79ce1637We taught him a little bit about twitter.  He's on there already but we gave him a few tips on how to use it to stay in contact with his fans (like us!).  I'm totally bummed I didn't get to see him sing Deseo.  Guess I'll have to break out the PBS Special DVD again.   If I was still teaching Spanish, I would make my students sing this song.  Back in the day I'd make them learn all sorts of Enrique Iglesias songs.  It was my special kind of torture that I believe my students secretly loved. 

Want to follow the Voices on Twitter?  Find them here:

Chloe

Leslie

Ender