Monday, January 28, 2008

A Prophet and Brothers

First of all, we wish to bid farewell to our beloved Prophet, Gordon B. Hinkley. I know that he was 97 when he passed away, but we are really going to miss him! Travis said that all he could think of was the people he is meeting with right now. His wife, other prophets...We will miss him, but are comforted to know that the church goes on and we have some wonderful leaders that will lead us on.
A bit lighter spot, I wanted to share this picture of Joseph and Connor this morning. Joseph has been reading lots to Fluffy our guinea pig. Today he decided to read to his baby brother. We got the book he's reading and the bunny rabbit from Kohl's. It's so great to not only see my son reading a book on his own, but wanting to read to his little brother!

Thursday, January 24, 2008


(First of all, I tried to get a picture of our book on, but blogger won't let me, so I'm sorry you can't see what it looks like)

I realized I haven't updated our books we're reading section for a while. It is a bit out of date. We finished the Secret Society book and are now reading "Founding Brothers" by Joseph J. Ellis. It's a really great book about some of the men that helped form our country and government with some kind of behind the scenes type stories. Very good!

I am reading "It's Called Work for a Reason" by Larry Winget. It's not really a book that I would normally read, but he is so funny and very motivating. Of course, my very part time job doesn't really apply, but just changing the words a bit in my mind, I am applying to pretty much every other aspect of my life~and finding results. His language is a bit colorful, but he tells it straight.

Travis is reading "The Greatest Battle" by Andrew Nagorski. It is about the struggle for Moscow during WWII. He seems to be enjoying it.

Joseph and Spencer have all the sudden realized that reading can be great fun. They are now pulling the kids books off the shelf and reading to themselves. I think Joseph gets very impatient with reading because once in a while he runs into words he doesn't know and then he has to sound them out and it's just more work than he cares for. But, he is doing very well and is even reading to me from the Book of Mormon. (when I ask him to) He is a very good reader, just doesn't have any patient for "snags".

That's about all I have to report for now. We are just plugging away and trying to live life and enjoy ourselves. (o:

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Nature vs Nurture

When I was in college, I had to write a paper on my opinions on the hot issue of nature vs. nurture. I came to the same assumption as all the professionals in all the books that I researched. Both play a big part in our development and lives. Yesterday Connor was showing me that this is alive and true.

We all know that "Ratatouille" is the newest craze in the Nelson family. We are studying cooking because we were inspired by the movie. (thanks a lot Grandma Teese!) We have looked at various types of rat poison in the stores. (nice, huh?) And we even credit the movie to Fluffy's attempt to escape. (remember that post?) Well, we have also had to discuss guns. In our home we have no toy guns. We don't watch movies with guns~except mommy and daddy's favorite history movies about the Civil War and WWII. We don't play video games that involve guns. Then along comes a homely little old lady who tries to kill Remie the rat with a SHOTGUN! Hello! Joseph promptly gave his brothers the lecture about how only soldiers, police officers, and hunters use guns. (that would include each of my brothers and dad) NOT kids. Connor never heard a word. He just instinctively knew that he was a boy and boys like guns. It's the nature part of him. Boys=guns. The nurture part would be the fact that we let him watch the movie. Last night he put two wrapping paper tubes together and went around the house "shooting" everyone in the family with his "dart gun". That's what he called it. Joseph gave his speech again and again, Connor didn't hear a word.

Don't really know what my point to all of this is. I just know that this goes to prove that no matter how hard you try to keep certain things out of the home (at least until they are older), there will always be something bringing it in. Oh well!

On a nicer side, the little boy that was going postal on his family last night gave his first prayer in Primary today. He thought sitting in the choir seats was cool, but getting to talk into the microphone was awesome! I had to coach him what to say. Not because he didn't know what to say, but I needed to get him to say thank you for Primary instead of bless grandma Teese's feet. It was very cute and we are very proud of him.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Painted Clay

Here is the final finished homemade clay products. We have the entire family and then the long skinny pink and blue thing is a baby fish by Spencer, mommy's rainbow fish, and Joseph's blue tang fish. It cracked just a tad while air drying, and I flipped them a few times. Didn't think to put them on my cookie rack, but then that would have probably put little squares all over one side. Needless to say it turned out great. I let the older two boys use acrylic paint to do theirs, and Connor got to use water paints.

Friday, January 11, 2008


Who is your hero? Your mom or dad? Your spouse? Your sister-in-law that faced death with courage? Your dear friend whose son beat cancer? Your kids? All of these people are my heroes. All for different reasons.

I have two heroes in my life that are also heroes to this country. My two little brothers. Well, they aren't really little anymore. Both daddies and husbands now. But I'll always be their proud big sister! Nate is a deputy for the Cobb County Sheriff's Department near Atlanta. He's also on the SWAT team. I'm so proud of him! He puts his life on the line every day so that the people of Atlanta (including our parents) are safe. I think that's pretty heroic. Plus, he is in the Air Force Reserves; prepared to do whatever he needs to do for our country.
Then there's David. He is also Air Force Reserves. He is also prepared to do whatever he needs to to protect our country~and he is doing just that. I'm so proud of him and the contribution and sacrifice he is making for our sake and all who live in this great country. Come home safely David!

I'm so proud of these two! We love you both!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Modeling Clay

Connor is sick as a dog on the couch and so I am trying to hurry~thus the really creative title. (o: I wanted to share an awesome modeling clay recipe. This week we are discussing the ocean and all that is in it. We decided for a science project we would make the clay and then for the art part we would make oceany things with the clay. It is from the 1997 version of Better Homes and Gardens Junior Cookbook. ( I had the book out to get ready for the next couple of weeks because we are going to be discussing cooking, healthy eating etc. I saw the recipe and just had to try it.

It makes a gorgeous snow white dough that sparkles just a bit. Here is the recipe.
1 cup cornstarch
1 16oz box baking soda
1 1/2 cup water

Mix it all together in a sauce pan. Cook over medium-low heat~stirring constantly for-umm-ever until it thickens and forms a sorta ball, but mostly it's just really really super thick. Dump it out onto a lightly cornstarched counter and leave to cool for a bit. Once it's cool enough to touch, knead until smooth. Wrap with plastic wrap until fully cooled. Can be refrigerated for 2 weeks~kneading to soften. Can air dry for 1-2 days, or bake in 300 degree oven for 30 minutes, then turn oven off and leave in for about 1 hour. Baked clay will acquire a slight brownness during baking. When dry, use paints to decorate.

That is kind of a combo of instructions from the book and my own experience. We are going to let ours dry for a few days because I don't want the brownness. It's such a pretty white. Today we "sculpted" fish and used our giant gingerbread man cutout and made little men. Once they are all dried out the boys will paint the men to look like themselves. I will post pictures of the final results, but wanted to share the recipe. I have made a lot of homemade playdough in my day~being a preschool major and teacher and all, but this is a new one for me.

Enjoy and have a super great day!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Runaway Guinea Pig!

Yesterday morning Joseph got up and did what he always does. Says good morning to Fluffy. Unfortunately, Fluffy was not in his aquarium!! Apparently during the night, little Fluffy discovered that if he jumped up onto the top of his hiding house, then he could jump out of the aquarium and onto the bags of Timothy hay behind it. We feel very strongly that the movie "Ratatouille" is to blame for all of this. We have been watching that movie a lot since we got it for Christmas. Guinea pigs are in the rodent family. I think Fluffy was inspired. Well, anyway, we woke up Travis and an all out alarm went out. We broke out the flashlight and started looking. We found him under the couch right next to his home. We tried to coax him out with his favorite food~celery~but he was terrified (sneaking out isn't so much fun after all). Travis lifted the couch, I went to the corner, and Joseph climbed under. Joseph was able to grab Fluffy and bring him out to safety. It took about an hour for Fluffy to calm down and eat anything once he was back in his home. We put a home made lid on the aquarium above his hiding house to prevent future escape attempts.

The saddest thing of all was when Joseph started to cry and asking us why Fluffy would run away. He was concerned that Fluffy didn't love him anymore and ran away from home. He has given the little pig several stern lectures since this all happened. I'm sure Fluffy is very sorry and it won't happen again!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Happy New Year! And new baby too!

We hope you all had a wonderful new year celebration. Ours was very nice. Travis and I both had to work, but he worked early in the day and I only had to do 3 hours in the afternoon. By 7pm we were partying! See the picture? Doesn't it look like a bunch of wild and crazy party animals? (o:
Travis's parents came over per tradition. This is the 12th new year we have celebrated together. Basically we did the same thing we do every single year. We ate a lot of food and watched "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad World". We sat around and had good discussions and just had a good time.

In other news, I would like to introduce Danen Nate Anderson. Born New Years Eve (phew for the 2007 taxes!) 8 lbs 10oz. Jamie sent me this picture. Doesn't Braelinn look like such a good big sister already?