Cara's Nebraska Newbie Blog
Christmas Lists *Updated 11-5-08*
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February 12, 2009

Brittan's science fair project has turned into a social science project because she is much braver than her father expected.

Brittan's topics went from studying DNA, to raising moths, to doing a survey about who likes Pizza. Brad told her that she had to call the Pizza place (Valentino's) where she wanted to do the survey if she was going to be allowed to do it. He didn't think she'd call. Well she did call and she explained herself clearly and was told to call back the next morning to talk to the GM and she did. She set up a date and time that her and her science fair partner would go in to meet with the manager and do the survey.

We got to Valentino's a few minutes before 5pm on Tuesday evening and Brittan asked to speak to Mike (the GM). After speaking with Mike and trying the survey out on him they were ready to go. Their teacher had suggested that one person survey everyone to help control more variables. Brittan had gladly agreed to be the surveyer while Emily recorded the data. When anyone walked in the door Brittan happily and quickly with a smile on her face said. "Hi, we're from a local Elementary School and we are doing a one question survey for the science fair. Would you like to participate?" Assuming they said yes should would go on to ask, "Do you like Hamburgers or Pizza better?" She did this about 20 times over the next hour and a half. She is far braver than Brad and I were at the age. She just exudes confidence.

I asked her and Alora to send me their answers to one of those emails that asks you a bunch of questions about yourself. I like to keep up with my girls as much as possible. One of the questions was "What do you like least about yourself?" and they both put "nothing". They are both so incredibly secure and confident, it amazes me.

Brittan and Emily will also be surveying people at a Burger place and asking the same question and then comparing their data. Alora is studying fireworks and looking at how the different colors are made.

We also just found out that our transfer request was successful and Alora and Brittan will be going to a very good middle school next year. Maxwell will stay at Randolph. We still need to find Zara a preschool and I won't hear form UNL for at least a month.
February 9, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day



Valentine's Day Bean Bags.
I made 85 bean bags and they are so much fun to play with.

To make one Bean Bag:
Cut two 4" squares of fabric.(I used almost all of 2 and 1/8 yards of fabric.)
Sew right sides together with 1/4in seam and leave an opening.
Clip corners, and flip.
Fill with 1/4 cup pollypellets, rice, or dried beans. (We used polypellets so the beanbags are fully washable.)
Machine stitch closed.
Clip threads and PLAY!


February 6, 2009

This might be a little premature but I'm blogging it anyways. I am planning on going back to school this fall. I have yet to apply and therefore have yet to be admitted. I don't see why they wouldn't accept me so here's to hoping. I will be applying for admission, for residency (state of Nebraska), for financial aid, for scholarships, and for a research position as soon as I'm done with this blog. It'll probably take me a few days to get it all done.

I've been thinking about going back for a while now and went on a tour of the campus yesterday and met with the biochemistry advisor. I like the school. They think they are in a big city though which I find hilarious after attending Georgia Tech in downtown Atlanta.

I will be studying biochemistry which is a huge change from the International Affairs (INTA) major I had chosen at Georgia Tech. I've chosen biochemistry because I want to change the world. My main focus right now is allergens. I don't want people to have to suffer from food allergies. I know there are already people studying this and I want to join them. Even if I decide not to study allergens there are other areas that I'd like to research; type 1 diabetes, alzheimer's, or food intolerances. Biochemistry has many practical applications, meaning I can get a job right out of school, no grad work needed. (I'm not saying that I won't go to grad school at some point.) I can also start doing research my first semester even though I haven't even taken college level chemistry or much biology. Due to the nature of my new field, I will be in school for at least 2 years. There are quite a few classes that must be taken in order. I'm even planning on taking Organic Chemistry I and II next summer. The school offers two 5 week summer sessions. Either I'm totally crazy or I've finally figured out what I want to do. We can hope it's the latter.

I'm applying to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) so I guess that means I'll be a husker which makes the background of this blog even more appropriate.

Why am I going back to school now, you ask? The timing is right in several ways. Zara will be in pre-k full time in the fall and my credits from Georgia Tech will start to expire very soon.

I should probably get to work. There is much to do...


January 11, 2009

Twilight Movie Review

This will spoil key elements of the movie!!! I could have said so much more.

First off, I need to say that I finished the book less than a week before seeing the movie so it was quite fresh in my mind. I knew there would be plot changes and condensing so I was prepared for that. The general flow of the plot was good. I'm sad that they left out the pivotal scene in the meadow and just mashed it in with the getting to know you scene. They changed a few other things that irritated me too. The movie did not have Jacob specifically explaining that Edward was a vampire and that his family only drank the blood of animals, so it was frustrating to watch Bella trust Edward even though she didn't know how his family was different.

Bella should have been way more freaking out when she left her dad to go to Phoenix. And they sort of just jumped to Phoenix and majorly shortened that whole aspect of the movie. One thing they did "fix" from the book was cell phones. It bothered me when I read that book that it was published in 2005 but hardly anyone had cell phones which is just not believable is today's world.

It also bothered me that James bit Bella on the arm and not the hand like in the book. I was quite frustrated by Edward's inability to stop sucking out the poison. I much preferred him tasting the Morphine and stopping, but such is hollywood. Speaking of Morphine, Carlisle did not seem very doctoresque in the movie.

Bella went willingly to prom in the movie which was not the case at all in the book when she was tricked and then started crying. I wish Alice had played a bigger part in the movie too because I really like her character.

And now for a little rant about the prom scene. Why on earth was she wearing a sneaker, leggings under her dress, and that hideous sweater?! It just looked awful and made no sense to me. They didn't even pick a dress that was that flattering. She'd probably look good in just about anything but that dress was just blah.

The baseball game was probably my favorite scene. The music and the excitement were great. I like a scene that was not in the book; when Edward takes her to the top of the tree. That was a beautiful scene.

I found it fascinating that they made Bella's friends at school so multi-racial. Maybe I missed that in the book but I don't think the Author really specifies what they looked like. We just know what Bella looks like and the Cullens and Jacob. I think it's beneficial for us to see people of different skin colors hanging out all together as friends but in reality I'm guessing a small town in Washington state is probably a lot more white.

The movie was well cast and everyone looked the part, except for Jacob who I thought was too smiley. The Vampires were beautiful and perfect, although the first time Carlisle appeared in the ER, all I could think was "White Make-up!!!". He looked a lot better in later scenes.

The love story was very smashed together and a lot of the acting was subpar or maybe it was just the directing. If the movie had been four hours long, I think it would have been much better. There's just so much story to tell. I also think Edward could have stepped up his irresistibleness a bit. You had to feel it through the female characters' reactions and not his performance. Don't get me wrong, he was very nice to look at but at times I felt like Robert Pattinson was concentrating on mastering the english language and not on acting the part.

In conclusion, the book was far better than the movie. The movie could have been much better but I think it will grow on me, as my daughters have already asked for it when it comes out on DVD. (They are 11 and read the book and saw the movie with me and loved it despite the on screen changes.) My brother-in-law Amir put it best, "the whole movie seemed kind of 'half-assed'" but he liked the concept and is contemplating reading the books now.

New Moon will have a different director so I have high hopes that it will be better. Although the whole book thoroughly stressed me out. I couldn't stop reading in hopes that it would get happier.

Let me know what you think about my review. I'm always looking to improve. Now that I have finished my movie review, I can start Eclipse. :)


December 8, 2008 Later that day...

Ok so my eyes are gonna be alright, everyone can stop worrying. My prescription is almost perfect. The problem is that when my eyes are resting closeup they go out twice as much as normal. So my eyes are straining extra hard to pull together to read the text. I'm getting reading glasses with prisms in them so my eyes can be at their normally relaxed position but still read the text, something like that. This has been a very weak explanation. I do apologize.

Now for something Yummy!!

Cara's Egg Free, Milk Free, Nut Free, Peanut Free Banana Bread
This recipe has been modified from my mother's recipe. It is kid and husband approved.

Oven 325 degrees
Grease and flour Bread loaf pan (use Crisco or dairy free margarine. We like "Fleischman's Unsalted Margarine". It has to be the unsalted one to be dairy free. Remember to Always read the ingredients!!)

Ingredients:
3 ripe gushy mushy ooky gross bananas
1 3/4 cups flour
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup Canola or vegetable oil
1/4 cup plus 1 TBS Rice Milk
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp Vanilla
1/2 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients in a big bowl. Mix until most of the banana lumps are gone. Pour in pan and pop in oven.
Bake about 1 hr 20 min. Bread will be golden brown on top and not too soft in the middle. Make sure a toothpick or fork comes out clean when put in the center of the bread.
Let cool until you can't wait any longer and then enjoy your nice warm fresh banana bread. I usually leave it in the pan for about 5 minutes and then put a cooling rack on top. Flip it over. Remove the pan. Put a cutting board on top. Flip it over. Remove the cooling rack. Slice it up and Enjoy!!


December 8, 2008

My birthday is just a few days away. For those of you who may be unsure, I don't turn 30 until next year. Although I do feel old. I'm going to the eye doctor in few minutes. While I was reading Brisingr on Friday, my eyes started to bother so much that it took over a day for the eye strain to go away. I have not read since. Instead I have had Alora read out loud to me which is so nice. (I figure a few minutes in front of the computer won't bother me too much.) Alora just got glasses last week so I guess it's my turn. I feel like such a spoiled brat because most people I know already wear contacts or glasses but I really don't want them. I've gone so long without them. I guess we'll see what the doctor says. Alora loves her new glasses. They're like the fashion accessory she always wanted and now never has to go without.
Wish me luck because Zara will be accompanying me.
November 19, 2008


Today marks day two of no internet. I hate WindStream!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
November 8, 2008

Dear World,
I want to apologize. Alora is checking her email. Spam is coming your way. I am sorry.

Sincerely,
Cara

November 4, 2008
I did not vote for Obama. I don't like Obama's position on most issues. I also don't think it's ever good when one party controls the executive and legislative branch. But I have to say that I was inspired by this article I read on Yahoo News this morning and maybe some good, however removed from his actual duties, will come from his presidency. Here's a bit of Kenyan perspective. Hopefully one most people share:

Gibson Gaitho, 14, said he does not believe an Obama presidency will change his life, but he said he was inspired by the incredible rise of a man with Kenyan roots.

"As Kenyans we feel proud," said Gaitho, who watched the results with scores of other schoolchildren at Ranneberger's party before heading back to class on a school bus. "Because of Obama, I know you work hard, you achieve."

Tendai Biti, an opposition leader in Zimbabwe, said Obama's victory was inspiring and so was the concession by John McCain, whose fellow Republican George W. Bush will leave the White House on Jan. 20.

"If in Africa, incumbents would accept defeat and would graciously depart from the seat of power, this would be a different continent, and indeed Zimbabwe would be a different place," said Biti, whose party is deadlocked in power-sharing talks with Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe.

Taken from http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081105/ap_on_re_af/af_kenya_obama
November 3, 2008
Just a quick blog to tell you about our favorite kids website. This site is aimed at preschool through second grade with a focus on learning to read. There's tons of animation and sound (flash). I highly recommend it and so do Maxwell(5) and Zara(3). Enjoy!

starfall.com


November 1, 2008
Happy All Hallows! (aka All Saints Day)
The girls and I have been reading a book about the history of all the Halloween Symbols. We have learned quite a lot. We had tons of fun on Halloween last night. Our kids were the first ones on the block Trick or Treating and were all home by 7:30pm. It was a beautiful day and still wasn't chilly at 10pm when we were talking with the neighbors.

Click on the picture to see more photos of Marty McFly, Medieval Lady, Colonial Girl, "Not a Princess", Jedi, and Tinkerbell. I made all of the kids costumes, although Maxwell's was made last year. I think I'll start working on a "Dr. Jones" costume for him for next year.
October 23,2008


We went to a birthday party on Tuesday for our new friend Deanna who just turned 6. I made her a dress-up dress which turned out so great. I'm very proud of it and she loved it. I must admit that it was the 3rd time I'd used that pattern this fall; Alora and Brittan's Halloween costumes are also from that pattern. The only differences are the size, of course, and the sleeves on each dress are different.
I'll be sure to post Birthday Party and Halloween pictures on Shutterfly.

We are having a sleep-over party tomorrow night. The girls are so excited! I'm glad I'll be getting to know some of their friends too. Although I'm not sure how much sleeping there will be for any of us.
October 19,2008
A lazy Sunday...
Today is a good day. We are lounging around the house and doing more sewing and some cleaning. Maxwell has been charged with cleaning his room so he might be in there all day. We just updated and corrected the Christmas Lists again. Brad's still says "Wine" but everyone else's is a little more complete. Check them out here or here or even over here.
Ocober 17, 2008
I cancelled Zara's dentist appointment today. She is still sound asleep at 9:45am. I think her fever finally broke in the night but we shall see when she wakes up. We were awake a lot last night. She wasn't upset just very hot and restless and talking to herself. The Tylenol did not do the trick but the Ibuprofen did, thank goodness. This morning I've been sewing Brittan's Halloween costume and checking on my eBay items. I have 10 items for sale now and 2 have bids on them. All items were started at $0.01. The Ralph Lauren Jumper is up to $10 and today is the final day so we'll see if it goes any higher.
As for Halloween costumes: Zara's is complete, Tinkerbell. Alora's needs a hat and shawl, Colonial Girl. Brittan's needs the skirt hemmed, attatched, and the dress zippered (I can finish that today assuming I have time. :)); Princess/Fairy/Mysterious girl. It's essentially like last year but blue and white instead of blue and black and the dress is much nicer('cause I'm awesome!). Maxwell has informed me that he will not be a dog or Harry Potter and that he will only ever be Star Wars, Superman, or Batman. So he will be wearing his Jedi costume from last year. Today Maxwell is back at school, no longer sick and no longer poisoned by his mom(see below).

Boodle is still softly snoring so it's back to sewing...

October 16, 2008
We've updated the xmas lists some more. Maxwell approves of his list and added a few more things. Zara has his cold and is snoring in my arms. Maxwell stayed home from school again today. I accidentally poured cow milk into his cereal this morning. He ate two spoonfuls and then said, "I don't feel good. I think this is cow milk." We washed him off immediately, had him drink water and gave him benadryl. I could tell that he felt terrible. He threw up about hour later and we did another dose of benadryl. He's now feeling much better and would like to type to you:

mom zara maxwell 213745z0uyg maxwell abcdefghiuvwxyznopqrrstmklj dad


October 13, 2008
Super quick blog before my battery dies.
I turned the heat on in the car today. (It was in the forties) It felt so good. I'm ready for winter. It's October and we've been sweating with the windows open. That's just crazy! Of course I guess i'll have to stop wearing my flip flops soon, bummer. I've got about 8 items that i will be posting to ebay this week. Wish me luck. I sold a halloween costume for $20 so I'm excited about that. we'll see how I do from there. We went garage sailing this weekend and are now the proud owners of a fussball table and a $5 couch. We also got the girls a ton of clothes for about $0.16 an item. It was amazing. Love you all.
Tomorrow: Maxwell's parent teacher conference, I have to take in a side for teacher dinner. The PTA feeds the teachers during conferences which I thought was really nice. Zara has preschool, and I'll be taking more pics to put on eBay. I only take them during the day because the lighting is better.
And that's the end. 16% power left. Goodnight. :)
October 8, 2008

STRESS

Yes, I am stressed. There are so many reasons I am stressed. Brad tells me not to stess but some things just can't be avoided. I write this blog in a contemplative state hoping it will relieve some stress. Don't get me wrong, some of my stresses are good but that doesn't mean they don't stress me out. I believe that our bodies(minds included) have a limited capacity for handling stresses in our lives. Here's a partial list of mine.

Why my coldsore keeps coming back:
My hand is still healing and my body is trying to push out two pieces of glass.
My back was also hurt when I fell, not severely, but my body is still trying to heal and my mind keeps thinking about it.
My former insurance from my former job is refusing to pay for a visit from a former doctor. The visit was in June.
Our grocery budget for the month has been in large part spent on wine.
Christmas is coming and we are supposed to be putting every extra cent towards paying off debt. I hate debt.
We are only renting our house. We won't be here for long so why get settled.
Making new friends is hard.
No one is bidding on my eBay auctions.
I'm sick of making phone calls.
I've volunteered for tons of stuff at the kids school.
My children leave socks everywhere and I can't keep the house clean.
There's a weird thing on my credit report.
The printer is out of ink.
My phone sucks.
I keep buying umbrellas that break and I hate making returns! Why can't stuff just work!
I don't get carded anymore.
I haven't worn my retainers in over a week.
I'm 28 and I still have zits.
I think I'm addicted to M&Ms.
I'm not even going to list the future stesses, like; How will Maxwell's asthma be when it's negative ten degrees outside?


Don't worry I'm not asking for help or even advice. I've got everything under control, I just wish my list of everything was shorter. I keep everything in my mind and written down in notes and everything becomes a stress, even figuring out how to get to the pumpkin patch. Hopefully once my list is shorter I will enjoy some of my stresses more.
But through it all I'm still smiling... because hey, that's what Cara does! (yes, I'm feeling slightly cynical.)
October 4, 2008

Today we went to Pioneer's Park Nature Center and saw Bison, caught frogs, and hiked through the stream. We've done a lot lately. Brad's cousin Julie stayed with us for a long weekend last week and I've started my eBay business. Right now I have two items up for auction and no bids. We'll see what happens. We were going to go to the observatory tonight but it got quite cloudy. We are going to the Children's Zoo tomorrow.

The weather has been beautiful here: the leaves are falling, the wind is blowing, and it's quite warm. We live on the prettiest street in Lincoln: tree-lined with beautiful old homes and a brick street. I love driving down it with the leaves blowing all over. It's quite lovely.


Zara got a haircut and she's figured out how to wink. :)
We are currently updating xmas lists. You can view them in progress.
September 21, 2008
Happy Birthday Dad!!!


CC licensed gifs, not my own. See source code for links.
September 19, 2008
Kids say the darndest things:

~Last night Maxwell told me to get out of his bubble. Apparently I was too close.

~After story time on Wednesday, I asked Zara why she hadn't participated in the jumping poem with the other kids. "They were freakin' me out!" she said.

September 16, 2008
Today is the last day to for Alora, Brittan, and Maxwell's fundraiser. Please check out the website. There's something for everyone. Thanks so much for your support.

Please go to orders.clubs-choice.com Enter the contract number 62728 and start shopping. One of the kids names (first and last) should be entered at the end when you go to check out.


September 11, 2008
Zara is enjoying her first day of preschool right now.

September 10, 2008
Let the sick begin! Zara was sick on Friday when I left for the wedding, a nice fever. Maxwell got it Monday afternoon. Alora came home sick Tuesday afternoon. Today on Wednesday, Alora is still home very sick. Maxwell is home and feeling much better; he'll be back at school tomorrow. Brittan as of yet is untouched as are the grownups.
I fear this winter in a new place and with a kindergartner will contain much sickness. I sure hope not but I think it's inevitable...

                                    Pretend I posted a cute picture here or 
                                    maybe a video of Maxwell sitting at the 
                                    table cutting and pasting and singing to 
                                    himself; something about underwater, 
                                    dark and shiny. I think Brad has the 
                                    camera at work.


September 8, 2008

wogsland.shutterfly.com

My cousin Bobby got married this weekend. I was the only one from our Lincoln family able to go. I got to fly out of the Lincoln airport which is by far the smallest airport I've ever been in, only 4 gates. The wedding was a lot of fun and it was so nice to see so much of my family. Aaren was a beautiful bride and her and Bobby were both so ridiculously happy it was contagious. I hope they are having a blast in Mexico right now.

It also made me kind of sad. There was a lot of my dad's family there that I just don't know. Some of them I remember from when I was little and some I had no memory of at all. Still others I just wish I knew better. If any of you are reading this please email me because I would love to keep in touch better.

I also got to spend a lot of time with my sister which I haven't been able to do in years. It was just me and her sleeping in Grandma Ginny's basement. It was like being a kid again and so much fun. We told our mom about how Bobby, Christy, Michael, and us had broken one of the beds playing "hot lava". (There are still bricks stacked under the bed to support it.) Our mom had no memory of this happening but we assured her that Geege was well aware.



September 2, 2008
Hey, Hey, Hey, Your favorite cute and wonderful Wogsland kids are fundraising again. It's time to load up on yummy foods, Christmas goodies, candles, wrapping paper, chocolates, kitchenware, gifts, magazines and so much more. Alora, Brittan, and Maxwell are all participating and money goes to help their school. The sale ends Tuesday September 16th so don't delay.

Please go to orders.clubs-choice.com Enter the contract number 62728 and start shopping. One of the kids names (first and last) should be entered at the end when you go to check out.

Thank you so much for your help and participation. The kids are so excited to have a fundraiser they can share with you. In Knoxville their big fundraiser was selling local coupon books and we had no family to sell to unlike everyone else in the school. Our family may still be far away but you're able to participate and that makes us very excited because we like prizes. Thank you.

August 31, 2008
Another day and another blog. I had an interesting idea for a blog this morning but unfortunately for you I forgot what it was. This entry is just to keep you interested so you'll say, "Hey, Cara really is doing her blog again! I'll check back soon for more. I love Cara. She's the best." If you aren't having those thoughts yet just keep reading.

Yesterday we went to the Nebraska state fair. It was a lot of fun. We saw cows, rabbits, chickens, chicks, piglets, a zebra, sheep, baby goats, geese in clothing, and lots of poop. Alora and Brittan each won a giant stuffed animal, such a proud day for us all. Brad is working on a major YouTube project so you'll be able to see our day there soon.

Sewing update: I made Maxwell pajama shorts and a bathrobe out of the racecar fabric Grandma bought for Jim and never ended up using and I made Alora's colonial girl costume for Halloween. I'll also be making a fancy costume for Brittan, same pattern but altered somewhat, and Zara's Tinkerbell costume. Maxwell is going to wear the dalmatian costume we already have but he doesn't know that yet. I don't think he'll argue once we get to the end of October and it's really cold out.

Maxwell is cleaning his room and I'm going to go help Zara clean hers. Her room is a partitioned off section of the main family room in the basement. It's not perfect but it's not permanent either. We'll be looking to buy a house here sometime next year. Zara's room has the most boxes in it still. We've really unpacked or put away quite a bit, but Zara just has so many toys. I've already put most of the boxes away in the closet but there are still more.

Zara just set a smashed cricket on the table next to me. I tried to hand it to her to throw in the trash (picking it up by only the leg of course) and she was too grossed out to touch it. Short term memory I guess.

Brad put more pictures in our gallery. wogsland.shutterfly.com


August 27, 2008 (daytime)

Zara invites you to check out our new shutterfly site. Just click on her to see more great pictures.

wogsland.shutterfly.com

I've put a bunch of pictures and brief updates on our new shutterfly site. Everyone can view it. Please check it out and let me know what you think.

August 27, 2008
That's right we are in Nebraska and I'm blogging again. So much to tell but I think I'll do it in Photos tonight since it's already late. To see other recent updates from the house of Wogs check out Brad's Blog for this month. (You probably already have.)

... Okay so I lost the Camera, that means you only get one picture for tonight. This is our most recent family picture taken on our new front porch. I took it to send for my Ten Year High School Reunion that I sadly missed but they were doing a slide show so hopefully it got included even though I sent it at the last minute.

Bradley, Cara
Zara(3), Alora(10), Brittan(10), Maxwell(5)
Molly(6)


ps- My stitches are out and Zara's staples come out Thursday. We are both healing well. Maybe I'll type up those stories another day.



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