• family,  ramble

    Red AND Green Curry

    It’s a birthday tradition in our house that the special person chooses the meal. My kiddos have eclectic tastes. Choices range from exotic to simply potato soup. Last week my oldest daughter had a special birthday. She transitioned to official teen, something she’s waited for since about age three. Her dinner choice was not one, but two kinds of chicken curry.

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    I don’t use a recipe, something I picked up from my grandma, but this is the mixture my family is happy with. And it’s simple!


    A couple pounds of chicken breast, cubed

    One large sweet onion cut in about 16ths

    The bell peppers (I like one red and two green) cut into one inch sections

    One can of coconut milk

    Red or Green curry paste

    Olive Oil


    Heat the oil in a pan then add the veggies. Cook until the onions start to look translucent. Remove the veggies and add the chicken. Brown well. Add the veggies back in and add the curry paste. Cook for a couple minutes then add the coconut milk. Simmer at least ten minutes. Make sure that chicken is cooked!

    Serve with rice.


    What would you choose for your birthday dinner?

  • family,  ramble

    More than a Picture

    2012 OSAA 4A State Soccer Championship
    2012 OSAA 4A State Soccer Championship


    Sometimes a picture is just special. The one above was shot by an OSAA employee with her camera phone. The quality is not great. I can’t blow it up for you to see the detail better. But the content tells a story I will treasure for years.

    When I look at this photo I see my son embracing me after winning the state soccer championships. This day will forever be a treasured memory for him and for me. It will stand as one of those moments where joy overflowed and hard work paid off.

    I can see my husband running toward us, his arm a blur as he rushes to share in the excitement.

    Along one edge of the scene, two other soccer moms stand with their arms around each other watching the final moments of years of soccer. It’s bitter-sweet. We’ve stood in the rain, cold and wind for years to cheer on our sons in a sport they dearly love. On the night this picture was taken, we knew, win or lose, this was the final game. Twelve of these boys are seniors. Next year they will scatter to colleges all over the map. They’ll spend their fall adjusting to a new world. There will be no daily doubles, or season openers, or state rankings. But something new and wonderful awaits them.

    In this picture I see the coach who has inspired and loved my son for four years. He’s a special man with the ability to not only coach a team with a very short bench on to the title of champions, but also the gift of being able to connect with these boys and bring out the best in them.

    Somewhere in that mob I’m sure the coach’s wife is hugging someone. She’s been a dear part of our lives since she taught our second son’s preschool class. Even to this day we refer to her as Teacher Jen. She is a huge support to her husband, a constant cheerleader for the team and a great companion in the stands. Thanks, Jen!

    And in this picture I see a group of boys who genuinely care about each other. When I prayed that Ryan would find a good group of friends, I never dreamed this big! What a blessing each of these guys has been.

    So, amongst the professional shots and high quality photos, this one will always be a favorite, because it tells a story.

    I’ll leave you with a few other pictures from the season.

    2012.11.17 4A Philomath soccer team wins 230167_10151118294142283_1875482580_n 65107_497668360254888_696363916_n


  • family,  ramble,  Uncategorized

    2012 ~ My Review

    I love New Years Eve. It’s a day to really reflect on the good, bad and the ugly of the past year and dream about the year to come. No matter the trials, I always come to this day knowing I’ve learned something new and grown closer to being the person I’d like to become. I may need to live to 100 before I get there, but progress is progress!


    I leave 2012 with a mixture of emotions. This is the year I’d most like to put behind me, but it’s also the year I never want to forget. In 2012 relationships with friends and family were strengthened. I saw people who I love take great steps of faith and bravery. I watched in awe as God’s love shone from people who love Him. And I was changed by experiences, humbled and broken and blessed.


    There were also places in 2012 were we had to dust off our sandals and move on, leaving behind relationships that were only harmful. People are not disposable, but there are circumstances when the best move is to move on. This is done with forgiveness in process and only good wishes for everyone’s future.







    So, beyond the big lessons of 2012 we have the moments. All those segments in time that give us memories and stories we will share for the rest of our lives.  Here’s a few:

    Aleasha had her twelfth birthday.

    Joshua stepped out and tried two new sports during his freshman year of high school. He wrestled in the winter and threw javelin in the spring. Each week he threw that javelin farther, impressing his coach and his parents.

    Ryan stepped out and tried tennis.  He and his doubles partner, Trevor, had a lot of fun regardless of the rain. And there was much rain!

    Emma turned eleven.

    We welcomed a new nephew to the family!

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    Jason got a year older and I stayed the same age.

    Joshua discovered that he loves welding and wants to do something with this in his future.

    The kids showed sheep, pigs and steers in the county fair.



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    Ryan started his senior year, turned eighteen and voted in his first election.

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    Aleasha and Emma started taking a few classes at the middle school. They’ve made new friends and excelled academically.

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    Aleasha played a LOT of volleyball!

    Bella didn’t have any major accidents.

    I signed with Karen Ball of the Steve Laube Agency. What an honor!

    Ryan put many hours into a barn he was building for his senior project. We had a major wind storm and down came the barn!


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    Jason was Ryan’s helper on the barn project. He earned the title of “Chuck Monkey” for his mad bit changing skills.

    Joshua decided to give football another try, and he did great! He played hard for the JV team and was able to play enough varsity to earn his first letter.

    DSCN1402 (800x600)







    Ryan’s soccer team, short on players but long on dedication, took their season all the way to the state championship. And they WON! An awesome punctuation for his senior year.

    2012.11.17 4A Philomath soccer team wins

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    Kit Kat passed away with the honor of being the oldest cat ever. We’re not sure how old she was, but seriously, that was an OLD cat.

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    Joshua turned sixteen!

    Ryan and Jason took off the night of Christmas and traveled with the basketball team to Alaska for a tournament. They are on the way home as I type this.

    I know I’m forgetting so many things! As usual, our year was full. Thank you to each of you who were a part of our lives this last year. May 2013 be a year of blessings, friendship and love!



  • family,  writing

    Nanowrimo Anticipation!



    Tomorrow is a big day, and not just because of the crazy sugar withdrawals.

    Tomorrow is the first day of NANOWRIMO!

    New story. New characters. New setting.

    I can hardly wait!

    And while I’m waist-deep in story world, my family will not starve, and our home will not turn into a complete trash pile.  At least it didn’t the last two time I won Nano.

    Here’s the ticket (well, what worked for me anyway):

    1. Plan out the entire month’s menu repeating meals each week. This makes even the grocery shopping a breeze.

    2. Have a plan to involve the kiddos in maintaining a somewhat livable home.

    3. Schedule writing time each day and commit to that time. I use a timer to stay focused.

    4. Avoid online distractions. Try a program like RescueTime. I love this.

    5. Cut out extra commitments, which means saying “no” sometimes. It’s so much harder than it sounds.

    6. Learn to be comfortable with lower household standards. You can clean it up in December.

    7. Get up a little earlier each morning. Ouch! I know this one hurts but it will be worth it.

    8. DON’T get behind.


    Here’s the Nelson family menu November:

    Mondays – lasagna (It’s already made and in the freezer)

    Tuesdays – Crockpot Italian Chicken and broccoli

    Wednesday – soup (already made at Safeway) and yummy bread

    Thursday – Taco/burrito night

    Friday – rice bowls with veggies and leftover taco meat and beans

    Saturday – homemade pizza (the kids do a lot of this one)

    Sunday – make your own


    Happy writing!

    Are you doing Nanowrimo? What’s your battle plan?