Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I am going back to school!

I'm now registered for The Post-Secondary Teaching Certificate program at Bethel University Graduate School. I'm signed up for my first class, The Teaching Craft. I just printed out the 10-page syllabus for this five-week class (meeting 8:30-4:30 on Saturdays). 

The class is pre-loaded, meaning I need to complete reading assignments by the first day of class (Feb. 6). Four chapters in one book, two chapters in the second, three chapters in the third, chapters one and two in the fourth. Also, think about the following: "How does your perception of faith fit with author number one? Who was the most effective teacher you every had? Why? What made her/him effective? Metaphorically, what role does the teacher play?

No written assignments due the first night. Whew. Good thing I like to read! I'm hoping the fourth book comes soon--I've already received the first 3 from amazon.com.

I meet with my advisor (the class instructor) tomorrow night. I'm trying to decide what to wear. Something teacherly looking?

For sure I'll have my reading glasses handy.

Till next time,



Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sleep patterns

This weekend was weird as far as sleep patterns go. I guess I can't handle caffeine after 6 pm in the evening. I had two Diet Cokes Friday night, and when I woke up at 2 am Saturday morning, I was unable to get back to sleep. Tim and I had started to watch Ghandi Friday night (on our free movie selection at home), but were too tired (at least Tim was) to finish it (it is a three hour+ movie after all). When I got up in the middle of the night I suppose I should have done something constructive like cleaning or laundry or even reading, but instead I came to my computer to check Facebook postings. Ay ay ay.

Part of the reason I was unable to sleep was due to my neuropathy. My feet felt like they were on fire. Finally, about 5 am, I took some Tylenol PM. Still, I couldn't sleep. 

Tim asked if I'd like to finish watching Ghandi that morning, so I said yes. It was very good, but I was very tired, and being lulled to sleep by the music and beautiful scenery (except when there was fighting). 

Finally, I took a "nap" around noon and didn't wake up till 3 when Christina called my cell phone. So, I got up. I made chili for dinner and we watched "Love and Death" (Woody Allen comedy) to counter the serious Ghandi movie. It was typical Woody Allen silly, but still funny. Went to bed around 10:30 and was able to sleep all night, thankfully, because I set my alarm for 5 am to put cinnamon roll mix (my sister's recipe) in the bread maker. Luckily I fell back asleep while the bread maker did its thing. I would have started it the night before and set it on a timer, but the recipe called for a cup of milk and an egg, and I didn't want that sitting in the bread maker all night.

Anyway, between walking Raven, showering and getting ready for our first breakfast with our Life Group at church, I got the rolls ready to go. My glaze was a bit lumpy and separated (is the powdered sugar too old?) but it didn't seem to matter as I put it on the hot buns. No one complained at breakfast either, so I guess it was all right. We had a lovely time meeting some wonderful new friends, most of whom are half our age. Nothing like being the old fogies. 

Tonight we're going to church, and we'll probably go out to Chipolte's afterwards, where I will drink too many Diet Coke's (with lime, this time a rhyme hahaha) and have a tough time falling asleep. All before my long day at work--from 9 am to 8 pm. 

At least I won't have to be at work till almost mid-morning. It's nice to be driving in after the sun comes up. The days are getting longer--summer here we come! 

More light--does that mean less sleep too?

Till next time,



Monday, January 19, 2009

Enjoying the holiday

Well, it's been nice to have a little break after jumping back into things at work after the Christmas and New Year holiday. Last night Tim and I were going to watch "Mean Girls" on the DVD player, but I had already started "Out of Africa" and was sort of waiting for Tim to let me know the other movie started. Before I knew it, he came out and said, "This is still on?" and that he had finished watching Mean Girls. I supposed he wanted to better understand the culture that Christina has been contending with the past few years. Interestingly enough, the girl in "Mean Girls" who is picked on had grown up in Africa.

Tim got "On Demand" service from our cable company recently. He found that by ordering this service we didn't have to pay any more (maybe less???) than we did before without it. One Saturday afternoon I watched "Life is Beautiful," "Man of La Mancha" and "Planes, Trains and Automobiles." I noticed similar themes in "Life is Beautiful" and "Man of La Mancha." In "Life is Beaufitul," the Jewish Italian father creates a world explains the concentration camp he and his young son are in (1940s era) as a game--a hard game, but if they follow all the rules and don't give up, they will win first prize--a tank! Though his son sometimes doubts, the father is generally successful at keeping his son's spirits up and keeping him alive by encouraging him to work hard at the game--earning "points" by keeping hidden and being quiet, for example.

Don Quixote in "Man of La Mancha" fights imaginary enemies (windmills) and serves a "fair maiden" (a kitchen maid of questionable reputation). Yet his idealism and imagination, while often mocked by those who don't understand, also bring encouragement and hope to those closest to him.

Of course, Planes, Trains and Automobiles was mostly entertainment, but it also had a theme of the value of friendship, of compassion and endurance.

So, movie watching is fun during these cold dark days of January. I think the temperature is finally rising, but it looks like we will still have some sub-zero weather this coming weekend. Thank goodness for layers and warm houses!

Hope you all are staying warm wherever you are!

Till next time,



Friday, January 02, 2009

More Christmas photos

Front: brother Roger.
Second row (L to R) sister Cheri, Aunt Norma, Mom, me, Tim,
Dad in the back
My kids with their Wells cousins: (L to R) Daniel, Ethan, Derek, Christina, Emily, Luke, and Mark in front. Missing are Daniel's brothers Jon and Nathan and sister Lori's son Richard.

I stole these from my sister Cheri's Facebook. Hope you enjoy! (And I hope to post ones that Tim took soon!)

Till next time,



My last vacation day

Well, today is my last day of vacation (not counting the weekend). I'm planning to clean, take down the tree, and get some more relaxing in. Tomorrow we're having a Nelson family party to celebrate Christina's birthday. 

I'm missing KimmeeSue (pictured here) but very glad to be reunited with our Raven (pictured with me).

Well, I suppose I should try to get a few things done around here. Hope you are enjoying the new year!

Till next time,



Thursday, January 01, 2009

Aunt Norma and me

Happy new year Aunt Norma! It was great to see you at Christmas!


Happy new year!

I had so much fun with my family this past week. Below is a picture of me with my Mom and Dad before we hit the road. Mom said, "Be sure to take candy canes off tree!" So I have five (for each member of my family) clutched in my fist.

Dad took us on a wild ride on Monday on the edge of the Smoky Mountains to the Dragon's Tail: 318 curves in 11 miles. I was riding in the lead car with my parents and my Aunt Norma. Dad was driving with Mom in front. We lost Luke (who was driving with Tim, Mark & Christina in our Toyota Highlander) soon after the start of the winding tour. My dad drove more like a teenager than the 70+ year old he is. I think we were going 50 on some of those turns! Just as my aunt and I were about to scream PULL OVER because we were about to lose it, the road straightened out. Whew! 

At least I provided entertainment for the older folks as they giggled at my worry and discomfort (I kept glancing back to see where the rest of my family was). Now that I survived that trip, it's fun to talk about--a happy memory.

Before we did the dragon thing, we stopped in Robbinsville, NC for lunch. So we made the trek from Robbinsdale, MN to Robbinsville, NC. It was a nice little town, too. It even had a Wendy's, which is where we ate. 

On Sunday, we had a big time with my brother and his kids, and enjoyed watching my 3-year-old niece Emilee play on the floor with my folks dog, Kimberlee (note the similarity in the spelling of those two names...). We opened gifts and enjoyed sitting in a big circle in the living room as Emilee and Kimberlee entertained us. Emilee stood on the fireplace landing for awhile, using it as a stage to sing some songs. 

To back up even more, we left for Tennessee on Friday, Dec. 26. I had just opened some mail that said my driver's license was about to expire because I hadn't submitted paperwork from my doctor about my insulin dependence and my ability to drive. My endocronologist's office was closed, but my family practice doctor's office was open. I went in at 9 am and got my doctor's signature, then took it to the DMV. They copied the doctor's note, sent a fax as well as mailed a copy to the St. Paul office. They also printed out something saying that my license was valid since the letter I received said it would not be valid as of Dec. 26 if I didn't submit something from my physician. I'm very grateful everything worked out so speedily!

We finally headed out into the fog Friday afternoon to begin our trip to Tennessee. We travelled through fog through the whole state of Iowa and into Illinois for at least two hours--totally about 8 hours of fog--in the dark--where you could see only one or two car lengths ahead. The roads were good, but visibility was terrible. But we pressed on, and finally took a little break at a rest area in Metropolis, IL where my aunt and uncle live (my mom's brother and wife). We would have stopped to see them, but it was about 4 in the morning. After resting a bit, we pressed on through Kentucky and then stopped at my brother Roger's house in Nashville. We got to see my sister Lori and her son Richard briefly, as they were on their way back home to  Chicago after visiting my folks and then spending the night at Roger's. Our arrival at Rog's was his birthday, and Christina's, too. We decided to celebrate by taking a trip to the mall. It was about 70 degrees out and the mall was heated, so it was rather warm, but we had fun spending our Christmas money and then hanging out with Roger playing Wii games on the TV.

We then headed on to the Knoxville area to see my folks, my sister, brother-in-law and nephew. A special treat was seeing my Aunt Norma (dad's sister). Roger and kids came down the next day, and then Monday was our trip in the mountains. Tuesday came all too soon when we headed back. Tuesday night we met up with an old high school friend of Tim's, Bob. We had dinner with him at Cracker Barrel in Cincinnati and had a very nice meal with him.

The kids wanted to get back for New Year's Eve, so the boys drove through Wisconsin all through the night--the shoulders were slippery, but the roads were fairly good. 

All in all, it was a wonderful trip. Tim and I headed to bed by 11 pm on New Year's Eve and had a good night's sleep. Now we are ready to head into 2009!

Hope to post more pictures soon. Have a wonderful new year!

Till next time,


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