About Me

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I am 36 years old and a mother of two beautiful little girls. Kevin and I have been married for 11 years. He is a stay-at-home dad who runs his own business from our home. I am a part-time 3rd grade teacher and have been teaching for 15 years. I live no more than 10 minutes away from my parents, in-laws, sisters, nieces, newest nephew, grandparents, aunts, and uncles... I wouldn't want it any other way!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Thank You Jif Peanut Butter Company, You Have Served Us Well

Wow, I do not even know where to begin, but today is an amazing day in the Nels household. Today, Jan. 31, 2009, Kevin informed me that, for now on, I can throw away the empty peanut butter jars. You see, Kevin and I have been married for nearly 10 years. I have never thrown away a peanut butter jar since the day we were married!

Let me assure you that our family eats a lot of butter! Once a jar is empty, we always put the jar in the dishwasher to be cleaned and saved for Kevin's business receipts. I am not one to save much of anything, so this has always been a subject that I just shake my head at. Besides getting a great sense of joy out of getting rid of things, I am also quite organized. The thought of Kevin stuffing receipts into jars as a means of filing just didn't make sense to me....but to each his own. At the very least, one would expect Kevin to label the jars. But no, he has no method to his madness. When he has a receipt for a business expense, he simply grabs the closest peanut butter jar and shoves it in. He even keeps several of the jars in his truck so he can stash the receipt right after his purchase. Kevin's mom and I nearly shiver with fear at the whole idea.

I do have to say that as crazy as it sounds, Kevin is very organized and detailed with his receipts when it comes to tax time. He starts on taxes every December. He starts out by gathering all of the peanut butter jars. He empties them out and actually organizes those receipts. It is always a good feeling for me to see the receipts being organized properly. It doesn't bother him at all to do all of this at the end of he year. He would much rather do this in December than to spend time all year long organizing the receipts as they come in.

Kevin has finally accumulated enough jars that I have the go-ahead to
pitch all future jars...oh yeah!

Over the years, I have bought Kevin several various organization systems. He has politely asked me to please never buy anything organization related for him as any sort of present...it just doesn't work for him.

Oh Kevin, you know that I do love you and all of your little idiosyncrasies
You are such a fascinating person and an
amazing husband and father.
I love you!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Oh, the Drama!

Okay, being the parents of two girls is bound to bring forth a great deal of drama Kevin and me. I would expect the drama to start maybe around 5th grade or so, but it has arrived in full force! The funny thing is that Kennedy at the age of 2 is every bit as dramatic as Katelyn. Here are a couple of instances from the last week that will emphasize what I am talking about...

Kennedy fell down last week and started crying. Katelyn started coddling her and told me that Kennedy was hurt. I told Katelyn that Ken was just fine. Kennedy's reply, with a lot of attitude and exaggeration was, "Oh yeah, watch this!" Then, she proceeded to fumble around on the floor to show Kevin and me that she really couldn't get up. She was totally faking and was really fine. Words cannot express the energy this little girl put into her little performance. I laughed out loud and Kevin simply sighed and said, "Oh, the drama!"

Case in point #2...Katelyn has always been a terrible sleeper. It is a rare occurrence for this almost six-year old to sleep through the night (fortunately Kennedy is a great sleeper or we would be in real trouble). Katelyn woke up in the middle of the night and came into our bedroom. She said that she was scared. We told her that she was fine and that she needed to go back to her own room. She went back crying. Once in her room, she yelled, "I'm frightened...I'm so frightened...FRIGHTENED!" Being the heartless parents that we sometimes are in the middle of the night, we once again told Katelyn that she was fine. I did go in and give her a hug, then I told her to go to sleep.

Finally, as I mentioned earlier, Kennedy is a great sleeper. It is a rare thing for Kennedy to wake up in the middle of the night. Well, last night, little Ken did wake up and come into our room. Kevin and I hadn't realized that Katelyn had already snuck into our bed in the middle of the night. So, when Kennedy came in, she saw Katelyn sleeping in our bed, but Kevin and I were so groggy that we still didn't realize that Kate was even there. Kevin told Kennedy to go back to her room. Once back in her room, Kennedy started crying, "Why can big kids go in Mommy and Daddy's bed, but not little kids?" She repeated this question at least 3 or 4 times getting progressively louder each time. Then, she yelled, "Why...WHy...WHY!!!" I actually fully woke up during all of this and realized where Katelyn was. I felt terrible. I went into Kennedy's room and consoled her. Bless her little heart, she was just trying to internalize why this was another one of those instances where Katelyn gets to do something that she can't do because she is too little. It was not making sense to her, and it shouldn't have. My poor baby, I have been heart-broken over it all day.

Oh, the drama of daughters...and this is only one week's worth.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Katelyn and Those Infomercials

Katelyn LOVES infomercials. Several times a week she will come running up to us to tell us about the newest, must have product. She recites the commercial back to us almost verbatim. Some of her favorites recently have been Bendaroos, the Snuggie blanket, and Blendy Pens. We have tried to explain to her that these items are rarely as great and exciting as they appear...oh the power of advertising.

Katelyn is very creative and was begging for Bendaroos. This was the number 1 item on her Christmas list. Bendaroos are wax-like sticks that can be shaped and molded into just about any creation. I kept saying that I just couldn't bring myself to order them. But, then Kevin and I thought about how disappointed she would feel if she didn't get them because it was really the only consistent item on her list. She would usually tell Santa that she wanted Bendaroos, surprises, and something for Kennedy. We decided to bite the bullet and order the $19.99 Bendaroos.

As we imagined, Katelyn was ecstatic on Christmas morning. I must admit that she has played with them often. Well, just today she had them out again. I was pretty impressed with what this kid of mine had done. She had used the Bendaroos to spell out words, including her name and Kennedy's name.

I never would have thought about using them to make words, but I sure am glad that Katelyn thought of this wonderful idea. The brochure that came in the box has lots of ideas and suggestions for how to use the Bendaroos, but they never mention making letters or words either. These could easily be marketed in an educational catalogue and probably do pretty well. I would love to have them for my classroom. The kids could form letters, spell word wall words, model geometric shapes, etc. I am not planning on ordering them for my classroom, but I am going to keep them in mind and maybe try to hit up the PTO in the future.

The funny thing is that a couple of my friends on facebook were recently talking about how much their kids enjoy Bendaroos. So, if you don't have any for your kids,
you might want to try them out.