Saturday, August 30, 2008

Christmas Shopping via Garage Sales

The Christmas shopping spree has officially started. Let the planning begin!

I found a couple things today and yesterday for my boys that I am stashing for birthdays/Christmas. Last year I had great luck finding things for the family at garage sales for a fraction of the original cost. Many times you can find things in new or near new condition. It's also a great place to look for stocking stuffers super cheap!

Happy Hunting to you!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Crochet Ami's

I bought this book when I was in Utah. I just couldn't resist the cuteness of the animals! When Sam was a baby I went nuts looking for such a book to show me how to make animals for his first Christmas, but came up empty handed. It seems like now they are all over the place.

I made the owl and some eggs for my mother and was very happy with the way they turned out. I'm working on (interrupted by the Twilight books) a lion right now. The patterns are very easy to follow. It just takes a chunk of mental power to keep track of how many rows and stitches I've done. I absolutely hate it when I loose count. But the stitches are pretty basic and there is a little bit of fudge room.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A Big Day

Today was Elijah's first day of preschool! He has been so excited getting ready for today. We were able to meet his teacher on Friday, who happens to be named Miss Sarah. Elijah was very comfortable when I went to drop him off this afternoon. He went right in and started to play with the cool toys in his classroom. There were absolutely no problems when it came time for me to leave (at least on his side). When I went to pick him up he was happy, but ready to come home. I think they wore him out! He looked ready to crash. He is in a busy class with 7 other boys, no girls! They are in for a lot of fun.
It is surreal to me that my baby is old enough to be going to preschool. The time has flown so quickly. I am so excited for him and I know that he will have a great time this year making new friends and learning new things.

Another exciting and unexpected thing happend today. The boys were getting their jammies on and we were pushing Elijah to go potty (which has been a lot better the last couple days. We digressed after our Utah trip back into diapers, much to my frustration! But it seems that the desire is coming back). Sam has been picking up on the potty thing and usually goes when we are getting ready for bed. Tonight Josh and I were distracted when Sam was sitting doing his thing. Josh went in to check on him and found a grand surprise. Sam had pooped in the potty! My jaw dropped to the floor. This kid isn't even two yet! What a contrast!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Family History Friday- "The Three Quarters"

I apologize for my family history absence. I've been a bit distracted these past few weeks and haven't done much in that area. I promised I would be better this week and then realized that today was Friday...

Josh was out of town Monday through Thursday. I really dislike being apart from him. With the help of great friends and some addicting books (the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer) I was able to survive his absence. Unfortunately the books took up all my extra time that I should have spent doing some family history.

I thought though, that I would share a picture that my grandma gave me a few years back. It is of myself and my maternal grandparents. My grandma calls it the Three Quarters picture because each of us in the picture has a quarter blood from some country. I am a quarter Palestinian Arab, my grandma a quarter Irish, and my grandpa a quarter English. The picture was taken in July of 1982 in Decatur, Illinois and hung on my grandma's wall from then until 2005 when she passed it on to me.

I am grateful not only for the picture and the people in the picture but also the story behind it's history. It makes me so sad to go through the antique stores and see old photos of people who are now name-less and family-less with a price tag on them. If I could claim them as my own they would be priceless to me.

So amid all this rambling is my plea for you to do something to preserve and label your pictures. Not only the current ones of yourself and your family but also the old ones that are stashed away somewhere of your parents, grandparents, etc. There are so many ways to preserve them, do anything that works for you.

I am dying to get my grandma's pictures scanned and digitized. I cam across a site,, last week that prints photo books. They have a special layout for vintage photos. You simply upload them into the layouts, adjusting as you desire, submit it online and they will print you as many copies as you like in a variety of formats. There are also other websites that will do the same thing. It seems like a great way to share all the photographs with multiple generations. That's my dream!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Elijah's First Talk

Today Elijah gave his first primary talk in church. His topic was on baptism and what he can do to prepare for baptism. I put together a little flip book with pictures in it for him to talk about. All day yesterday when we were practicing he would go off on this random tangents about dying and not wanting to get wet, etc. He wouldn't repeat anything we told him verbatium. It made me a little nervous about what he was going to do today. BUT there was no need to worry. When it came time for his turn he took his time unzipping his scriptures and pulling them out and then he froze up a little when Josh held up the picture for him to talk about. He then ended repeated what Josh dictated to him afterall and adding a little here and there. It made me so proud to see him up there talking in the little microphone while his daddy helped him. I LOVE that kid!

It is so hard to believe how big he is. He is giving talks in church and next week he starts preschool. The time has flown so quickly!

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Thanks to Angie and Hobby Lobby, my boys make perfect masterpieces on my big wall nicely placed above my grand garage sale find of last year.
(I finally found some knobs that I like for my buffet on eBay. I'm hoping I win!)

Talk about crazy!

I mentioned in my previous post that it has been raining for two days now-the steady down pour, cold kind of rain. We decided to brave it this morning to run some errands and got drenched just getting out to the car.

Anyway, it finally started to clear up a bit this afternoon when we were heading home with our new goldfish and you could get a view of the mountains. The big surprise was that there was fresh snow on them! and pretty far down too.

Snow in AUGUST?!?
and they keep talking about global warming huh?

Family History Friday: where have I been?

My mother brought it to my attention yesterday that I haven't done Family History Friday for a couple weeks now and she has missed it. SORRY! I completely forgot yesterday. I just haven't had time lately to do much family history and have completely spaced my weekly post.

I couldn't tell you exactly what it is I have been doing though. I guess I've been reading (Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell-an excellet book despite the cut off ending. Gaskell actually died before she completely finished it) and crocheting on top of my regular duties around the house. I've also been going through my massive photo database picking out and cleaning up photos to be printed (and eventually scrapbooked). I was successful in getting some printed yesterday along with some large prints of the amazing pictures that Angie took a few months back. I'm now working on getting them framed and hung. I'll be sure to share how they look hung up; I'm very excited about my Hobby Lobby clearance frames.

Oh, I did do a garage sale with my friend Cecilia last week (sadly this weekend is being rained out for any garage saleing. It's been raining solid for two days which rarely happens in Colorado). We did it last Friday morning and it was great fun! We had a fairly good turnout and I made $30+ off just random stuff around the house. Unfortunatly I still came home with a lot of stuff unsold. There might have to be a follow up sale in a few weeks. It was interesting being on the other side-selling instead of buying. I was grateful that Cecilia was there and speaks spanish.

I've been sitting on a few posts that hopefully I'll get done this weekend. One about our Olympic Opening Ceremony Party and another on my cool new crochet book and projects.

this week I will try and get a post ready for Family History Friday.

Monday, August 11, 2008

I guess I'm IT

I've been tagged by my cousin Rachel

The story of 3's and ME
3 Joys
  • my three boys:Josh, Elijah, and Sam
  • my family
  • family history

3 Fears

  • failure
  • death of a loved one, especially one of my three boys
  • embarassing myself
3 Goals
  • be more patient with my boys
  • get more sturcture in my day with sleep, menus, activites, etc
  • be healther
3 Obsessions
  • internet i.e. blogging and email
  • bargin shopping including garage sales
  • yarn
3 Random Facts
  • I'm a sentimental pack rat. Everything has some sort of sentimental value and I just couldn't possibly get rid of it including the straw wrapper from when Josh and I were dating.
  • I live in my Crocs. I have two pair that I trade off depending on whether I'm wearing brown or black. You can bet your money that the first thing I do when I get out of bed is put on my crocs.
  • I love Minute Maid Calcium +D Orange Juice with low pulp. None of the imitations (except maybe western family which I can't get in Colorado) will do. Nothing starts off my morning like a small glass of OJ, as long as it's the right kind.
I tag Charis, Ashley and Cami

The Curse of Incompetence

Our lease is up the end of September so we have been having contact with our management about renewing it. When we signed our current lease they would only let us sign for 10 months because of the new management that was working on renivating all of the apartments. We were told that we would then be bumped out of our apartment so that they could renivate it and the rent would go up $200+. That would have put this place out of our price range which made me stressed and nervous because I hate the thought of looking for a new place and then moving. UGH!

Anyway, so we waited anxiously for our renewal letter to come out the end of July. When it came it gave us the option of staying in our current, unrenivated apartment but with a rent raise of $65 a month. Josh went down (while I was still in Utah) and attempted to negotiate the rent with them to no success except for a $100 credit on our first month's rent. We settled for that (it was easier than moving) and waited for the lease to come so we could sign it. But get this...when we did get a copy of the lease to sign the rent wasn't adjusted up. We thought, okay we can run with this, signed it and sent it back. A few days later we received a notice on our door saying we needed to sign a lease by the 10th of August and that they wouldn't change the rent and would give us $150 off our first month's rent.

Josh went down with the letter on Saturday to figure out what was going on but there wasn't anyone there that was capable of helping him. They called me this morning and said they would give us the $150 with no rent hike and send us a copy of our lease. I will be amazed if we get it without asking again.

Let's just say that our management is VERY incompetent. They are the biggest reason I would not recommend our apartment complex.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Cute Wet Boys

These are some more cute photos of my boys at grammies house running through the sprinkler. There were just too cute not to share.
Elijah was hard to catch a picture of. He was running in and out too fast. But Sam was just in wonder about the water, especially with his wet hair.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Hair today-- Gone tomorrow

Well, it's official. I chopped my hair. I finally had long enough hair to donate to Beautiful Lengths; a whomping 8 inches. I wasn't sure I would have the guts, but in the end my hair is gone and I'm very happy.

Before shots

After Shots

And this is what I came home to after a week and a half away from Josh: a burly handsome mountain man (though he shaved it all off this morning).

Friday, August 1, 2008

Family History Friday: Census Clues and Cemetery Records

Warning: this is rather long and might be boring to casual readers but to me it is too exciting not to share!

While I was doing my census record sweep I came across a tiny clue that led me to believe that I was missing a child of one of my ancestors, William Wesley Alderson and his wife Isadora Winders Alderson. The clue came from the 1900 census where one of the questions asked by the enumerator was how my children were living versus how many total. The answer for Isadora was 3 of 4, hinting to the existence of a child born after the 1880 census that died before the 1900 census. There was also a pretty distinct gap in the ages of the living children.

I was unable to find any helpful information on the internet and made a point to look for the missing child while I was in Utah at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. Time was short at the library and I had multiple things I was looking for, but I was by chance (though probably not really chance at all, just not somewhere I would have logically looked so early in the game) I was able to find the cemetery record for the Aldersons and the Winders (Isadora’s parents). Turns out this was a classic case of the cemetery being just across the county line, not in Marion County, Illinois where I knew the family to have lived and died and had come up empty in the Marion County cemetery records, but in Clay County, Illinois right next door to the East.

Clay county happens to be a county where one of my very elusive ancestors, George Daniels born in England (if you know anything about him, please oh please let me know!) lived and presumably died before 1880 in Oskaloosa, Clay, Illinois. Anyway, while we were looking at the cemetery records for Marion County my mother suggested we look in Clay county for good old George. The books happened to be close to each other on the shelf so I picked up the book Cemetery Inscriptions of Clay Co. Illinois (977.3795 V3t). This book turned out to be a gold mine though not for George Daniels (alas he will have to continue to wait).

Thank goodness for INDEXES! Without them we would never have found my missing Aldersons and the Winders. We found EIGHT of my ancestors buried in Parker Cemetery in Songer Township, Clay, Illinois (just across the county line from Omega, Marion County, and multiple pieces of information that I did not know!

Page 357
Alderson, W. W. Apr. 10 1858 (my great great grandfather)

Isadora-his wife-June 7, 1859-Nov. ?, ???? (my great great grandmother)

Alderson, Estna M. Apr 5, 1885 d. Oct 14, 1958 (daughter of William and Isadora Alderson)

Daniels, T. Arthur 1875-1958 (my great grandfather)

Ellen O. 1878-1957 (my great grandmother, daughter of William and Isadora Alderson, wife of Arthur T. Daniels)

Page 355
Winders, Wm. W. b. Oct 25 1824 d. July 26 1877 (my great great great grandfather)

Sarah wife of Wm. b. Dec 15, 1826 d. Aug 16, 1901 (my great great great grandmother)

Ethel L. dau of Wm W. and Dora Alderson b. June 14, 1883 d. July 1, 18??

Tada! There she is, my missing child, Ethel! (With sisters named Ellen, Estna, and Elva. Oh my.) Unfortunately her death date is not complete, apparently the transcriber was unable to read the death year, BUT I will take what I can get. She fits in exactly where I thought she would. She is buried with her grandmother, who lived with the Aldersons after her husband died. I didn’t have birth or death dates for Sarah or William W. either and was very surprised and happy to see them in the Parker Cemetery too. Talk about one of those moments when you want to stand up and do a jig in the library (don’t worry I restrained myself to a low five).

Well, my point is to never ignore even the smallest of clues and follow those little urges to look somewhere you didn’t think about initially (thank you, mother!). Doors can open and ancestors can be found. It is an amazing thing to be a part of.

Cute Sam

I am quite jealous of my mother's beautiful yard. It creates such wonderful opprotunities for pictures (infact our engagement photos were taken in the front yard). Sam was being cute on Wednesday and I snapped these sweet shots of him sitting on a rock.
That kid has grown up so much! He is starting to babble a lot more, not making much sense but attempting to communicate more. It's really fun.