Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Letter

Merry Christmas!

Our family is grateful this year for the little things in life: pancakes on Saturday morning. A bubble bath. That Christmas Village puzzle from Ty’s Mom’s things. When we pay attention, we see goodness and life all around us.

Anne is two this month and so entertaining. When she first learned to talk she inserted a click in place of every k. So quack became, qua-click, and milk, mil-click. My sources tell me that Africans use the click in just this way! She’s a funny one and loves to tease, so one of the first sentences she learned was “gonna, gonna, get you!” We laugh with her every day.

After a close call with a cashew last month, Annie discovered the word “itchy.” Ty discovered the American Fork ER location as well(apparently it’s hard to find in a panic), and learned to say the words, “WAKE UP” loud enough to get some immediate medical attention after the nurse told him politely to “please be seated.” We had to say good-bye to Nutella and peanut butter at the house, but we’re so glad that Anne is safe. She kind of makes our day, so we want to keep her around.

I asked Maddie, who’s four this year, what she wanted for Christmas, and she told me solemnly: “My greatest wish is to watch Barbie and the Three Musketeers and to get an x-ray.” I told her x-rays cost too much because you have to break something first, although that’s a real possibility. She loves her gymnastics class so much that she’s always jumping and flipping off the furniture while I frown disapprovingly. She still believes she’s invincible, (and hopefully she stays that way).

Maddie starts Kindergarten next year, and she’s uber excited. She’s a small fry with a big soul, so I’m not worried for her. I know she’ll mother all those bigger kids who cry the first day and help them get adjusted. I don’t know where I’m going to find a uniform in a size 3T, but I’m pretty excited for her too.

As for my oldest, Alli is turning 8 in January and ready to be baptized! We were able to get her into a wonderful charter school called Renaissance Academy this fall, and she’s loving every minute. She’s done lots of crafts, from a Trojan horse hiding plastic army guys to a Japanese sand garden with a fork for a rake. I can’t wait to see what she comes home with next.

Alli is reading some fun books these days, and sometimes I can’t wait for my turn to read her
book. She talked me into reading Fablehaven with her and now it’s a race to see who finishes first. I read pretty fast, but she’s tough competition!

This Thanksgiving we had a really fun surprise with my cooking website. A neighbor pinned the chocolate chip cookie recipe on pinterest, and it was repined thousands of times. Our website hits soured into the tens of thousands. My friend Ashley and I are so excited to see what we can do in the coming year to build the site. That means a lot more trial recipes for my poor family. One night I made something new and Alli calmly pushed away her plate, saying, “It just tastes kind of like throw-up Mom.” My toughest critics are at home…

Ty, who’s one class away from his Masters, takes the fitness award this year. He ran 5 half-marathons in five months (he even did one in 1:23 minutes) and is training hard to run the Utah Valley Marathon in under 3:00 hours next June so he can qualify for the Boston Marathon. He’s so fast that he outran a rattlesnake on the trail up Provo Canyon this summer. He nearly stepped on it and lived to tell! The rest of us couldn’t outrun a turtle, so we’re very proud.

In June I tried to keep up with Ty by running Ragnar, a two day 12 man relay from Logan to Park City covering over a hundred miles. It sounds pretty grand but I had one of the easiest legs and still ran the slowest. Oh well, I had fun. (There is no Boston qualifying in my future.)

Until next year, thanks to all our family and friends for your love and support. We send our love to all of you and wish you a merry Christmas!

The Hansens

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sleepovers Beware

Last night I received quite a shock when I heard that the parents of the 5 Browns, Keith and Lisa Brown were in the hospital. It appears that they tried to commit suicide by driving their car off a cliff on the night of Valentine's Day. Apparently, earlier this month, Keith Brown was accused of two counts of FELONY child abuse dated from 1990 and 1997.

Let me see, 1990... I was 10 years old...That would be the very same year that Keith Brown was my PRIMARY TEACHER in Houston! That would be the same exact year that I used to SLEEP OVER at his house!

The whole idea of this is giving me the creeps big time. I'm doing a full body convulsion right this minute. Now, bear with me while I take a trip down memory lane... Keith Brown. He was the best primary teacher I ever had. He took a group of disrespectful, unruly 10 year olds hiding saucily behind chair forts at the beginning of class to the most well-mannered children all eagerly awaiting a turn to say the prayer. I can still remember the inspiring speech he gave us about the opportunity to pray. I cannot even count the number of times I have shared this touching moment to illustrate one point or another. Now it seems that there were other methods in play that I was unaware of...

Then our most beloved teacher was called into the BISHOPRIC, and we got a new teacher. But there were still the sleepovers with his daughters to look forward to... Oh. My. Gosh. Good thing I had my trusty guardian angels with me.

This just further emphasizes the point that you just never know about people, so it's better to let your kids sleep at home. That's right, no sleepovers in my family. I don't care how godly, there is no man alive that is going to have my kids sleeping at his house.

What a shame. I feel like another hero has been shot down, and I don't know how many men are left standing to take his place. I am really bummed about this.

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Masquerade Ball

Not just paper faces on parade, but little carefree girls dressed in feather boas, huge fake rubys, and masquerade masks they made themselves. This is what life is about: dancing like mad around the living room with all your friends to the sounds of Kidz Bop.
Then it was on to the fancy dinner on black-tie paper plates, complete with pizza and jell-o. That's about as fancy as my kids get. Even though I would have loved to make a picture perfect Martha-Stewart style kid meal, I knew it was a waste of my time. At least they had the plates...

The masquerade wasn't over yet, though. Next Alli put on her diva crown to open up some cool gifts and eat cake and junk food.

Why can't adults have parties like that? It was so fun, I almost wanted to be seven again. I'm still trying to figure out why feather boas are strictly for Kids and Vegas. They're "SO FLUFFY I'M GONNA DIE!" (That's from the Despicable Me movie they watched later on.) Yes, a masquerade was just the thing, and as always, I can't wait till my next party fix.

Well, "BOO" to you too.

Anne's favorite game has been Peek-a-Boo ever since she learned to see past her balled up baby fists into the wide world beyond. As she's aged, she's learned to participate. In her one year old mind it goes like this: Pull the blanket over your face. Giggle. Repeat.

So it isn't really surprising that her first word was "BOO." I was driving down the road the other day with Anne in the backseat all alone making baby noises. After a few minutes, I realized she wasn't making random noises anymore. She was saying "Bah" and then "ah-ha-ha" over and over. She was playing peek-a-boo with herself. She keeps doing it too, and she's getting better at prounouncing it. All day long I hear "Bhoo." Not "ma-ma" or "ball" or "mine." She's like a little puppy that just wants to play.

At almost fourteen months, she's finally learned to stand on her own two feet as well, which is encouraging. She's a long way from taking steps, but it's a start. She's so busy playing she forgot that baby's have a lot of work to do learning to do new things... Like every other member of this family, she's got a mind of her own.