Tuesday, October 30, 2007


The severe cuteness of these videos may be hazardous to your health!

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Party in Poky Part II

After the Stanton's, we hurried up to Todd and Kristie's house where a DeArton party was brewing! All of the kids were dressed up and they looked so cute!! I loved that we got to see the Freed girls in their princess regalia, especially since we won't see them on Halloween.

Brynnie looks so darling in her little witch costume!

Kristie did such a great job hosting the party-- she had a bunch of yummy food and cute mini-pumpkins for the kids to decorate. She also gave everyone little gifts-- the kids got these lollipops with funny mouths on the end.

Princesses or demons-- you decide...

Gordon will be "Bob the Builder" this year-- and he is quite excited about it. He especially loves his hat and his tool belt with "building" sound effects. More pictures of Gord the Builder on Halloween.

Kristie also bought cool Halloween socks for all of the girls. Don't our toesies look cute?

Thanks again Todd & Kristie for a great night!!

Party in Poky Part I

On Friday, we were invited to two Halloween parties in Pocatello, ID! We can't pass up a party, even if it does take us 90 minutes to get there. After my blood drive trauma, I was running very late, so we didn't get to Ryan and Nicki Stanton's party until it was over. Fortunately, they are awesome friends and they let us come in and enjoy the remains of a really great party.

Nicki is the Halloween party goddess-- every year she does something different. Last year, the kids brought boxes decorated like cars and watched a "drive-in movie" in the garage. This year, Nicki made an entire 9-hole mini-golf course in her back yard! Seriously, the girl goes all out. (Note to self: get Ryan and Nicki to start a blog!)

Our favorite part of visiting the Stantons is seeing how well our kids play together. Thomas and Jacob (who is 2 years younger) have such a great time. They've become best little buds!

Brody and Gordon are a bit closer in age and they are starting to get along really well. The kids play so well together that the adults can actually have a decent conversation-- so nice!

Random, but Blog-Worthy

I think Gordon may be on the tail end of the daily nap. This is not a good thing, not for any of us. Fortunately, Gord manages to pack enough energy into everything he does that despite his best efforts, he still falls asleep after lunch.

Chris sometimes wakes him up by putting little pieces of candy in his mouth. I'm sure that little trick will go down in Bad Parenting 101, but at least I make him brush his teeth, and it's a good way to get him to wake up without throwing a fit. He's so cute when he's dozey!

A lot of bloggers post a ton of pictures of their kids and almost none of themselves. Yes, I know your kids are the most important things in your lives, blah, blah, blah, but I really would like to see what you look like once in a while. I am vain enough that I post myself fairly often, but just in case, here I am in my lovely *organized* office. (Picture by Thomas)

On October 13th (yes, I'm slow), Chris took Thomas to the first of many father-son Utah games. Thomas had a great time, especially eating the fun foods that accompany football game outings. And the Utes won-- HOORAY!

That same weekend, I met up with some old friends from my freshman year at BYU. It was so fun to catch up and see Amy, Laurie, Jordan and Emily Jane again! I can't believe it was ten years ago... ah, the memories. Anyway, I didn't take any pictures with my camera, but I'll post the ones Jordan took when she sends them.

Last weekend, Chris went with Todd, Todd, and my dad on a winter camping event temporarily dubbed "Man Mecca '07" (or maybe permanently-- so far no one has come up with a better name.) Eventually, my dad will post pictures of their snowy/rainy campsite that we can all enjoy. Until then, let's just think about four guys trying to set up their tents in the pouring rain, and in the dark, and laugh hysterically.

Meanwhile, my mom and I went to see Hairspray (which I loved), to the good ol' Grand Teton Mall where I did a little shopping, and to Leatherby's with my sisters for some tasty, tasty sundaes.

And finally, some goofiness, straight from our house to yours...

What kind of car does Dracula drive?


On Friday, I decided to participate in a blood drive at HRI. To be honest, there are few things I hate worse than giving blood, but I get suckered in with the "every 2 seconds someone in America needs blood" and the fact that I am healthy enough to donate. And besides, it's almost Halloween-- giving blood seems appropriate.

Anyway, it turned out to be quite the dramatic afternoon for me. I filled my pint pretty quickly (under 6 minutes) and at the very end, I felt really dizzy and faint. I was given a bunch of ice packs and some water, and while I was coming to my senses, the technician accidentally spilled some of my blood on my pants.
He was so embarrassed, it was actually kind of funny. So, instead of letting him just clean me off quietly, we had to make a big deal and take pictures. Poor guy, he'll probably never recover!

You can donate, too! Be sure to drink lots of water!!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Calling all Idaho Falls People!

If you'll be in IF on Thanksgiving morning at 9:00 AM, consider joining our "TEAM" for the 3rd Annual Run to Feed The Hungry. Runners/Joggers can run a 10K or 5K, walkers can walk the 5K course or a 1 mile course. The cost is $25.00 and all proceeds go to the Idaho Falls Food Bank. To register online or print a copy of the registration form, CLICK HERE!!

Here's an excerpt from an e-mail regarding teams:

This year we are excited to offer families, groups, or organizations the opportunity to register as “teams.”

A team is 10 or more participants who register before November 12. These “teams” will be able to choose an identifying shirt color that sports the same 2007 event logo as the standard commemorative shirt given out on race day. Teams will be able to pass quickly through the registration process and will also get special recognition at the beginning of the event.

Right now, we have six confirmed people, with two more "maybes". If you'd like to join the team, please let me know so I can make sure our registrations are counted together. Also, let me know if you have a shirt color preference. Right now I'm voting for either PURPLE or LIME GREEN.

My mom and sisters and I participated in this event last year and we had a great time!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

This is Halloween, this is Halloween, la la la

I just love this time of year. Halloween is such a great holiday, and having these two fun boys has made it even better this year. Here's a little overview of our Halloween activities thus far:

Halloween Cookies

Since you are technically not supposed to eat the trick-or-treat candy prior to the 31st, I had to think of another excuse to buy some tasty Halloween candy. I don't know what it is about those candy corn, but this time of year, I just love them.

I bought some of the good stuff and made sugar cookies for the boys and me to decorate. I am not normally a huge fan of sugar cookies, but I used this recipe and they actually turned out quite tasty.

The three of us have distinct cookie-decorating styles:

Gordon: put a lot of frosting and candy on one cookie, eat all of the candy off of that cookie, lick all of the frosting off, and start over, on the same cookie, of course.

Thomas: decorate, eat. decorate, eat. decorate, eat. decorate... "Maybe I'll put this one on the plate."

Elise: "No, no, no... those are for looking at, not eating."

Here is our lovely edible art, which, pretty as it is, eventually did get eaten.

Painting Pumpkins

Last Wednesday, we were supposed to be tromping through a lovely corn maze with Tom's Cub Scout troupe, but it was snowing in Logan. Yes, snowing. Lovely. When our outing was cancelled, Thomas was very upset, so it took some quick thinking on my part to salvage our afternoon. Instead of turning Left toward our house, I took a Right after picking the boys up and headed to Michael's, where we picked out a couple of those foamy pumpkins and some craft paint.

Two foamy pumpkins: $14.00
Craft paint in red, black, white and green: $2.00
Kid-friendly paintbrushes: $1.00

Two kids who forgot all about the corn maze: PRICELESS!!

Although they started out looking very artistic, the thrill of paint soon took over and the pumpkins now look... well, a little scary. But I guess that's the whole point.

The Pumpkin Walk

And finally, tonight the boys and I went to North Logan, where the city hosts their annual "Pumpkin Walk". This year's theme was "Back in the Day..." and all of the displays (all using pumpkins, of course) had to do with some time in the past.

The participants get so creative! My favorite "scene" was the Old West, where they had pumpkins painted like cowboys from old western movies. I tried to get the boys to pose by Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, but they weren't having any.

So no, Clint, I wasn't feelin' too lucky...

Rather than the pumpkin scenes, the boys actually had the most fun sticking their little heads into these displays. I have about a hundred pictures, but these are the two cutest. May the force be with you.

Halloween Watching, Reading

This is the time of year to pull out our season-specific books and shows. Lately, we've been reading:
  • It's Halloween by Jack Prelutsky
  • Spooky Hour by Tony Mitton
  • What was I scared of? by Dr. Seuss

    And watching:
  • Ichabod and Mr. Toad (which includes the Legend of Sleepy Hollow... a Halloween Classic!)

    Our Halloween adventures continue this weekend when we go to TWO Halloween parties! And I'm hoping we'll have some time to carve some real pumpkins as well.

    As for me, I just finished my Vampire book, and I plan on buying the sequel to read on the plane to Colorado this weekend. How's that for Halloweeny? Woooohahaha!
  • Monday, October 22, 2007

    They say it's your Birthday....


    Today I was reminiscing about the first birthday of Becky's I can remember. She invited me to a Halloween-themed birthday party at her house. We were in fifth grade, so that would mean she was turning... 11. Wow.

    After getting over feeling really old, I felt grateful to have eighteen years worth of great memories with my dear friend! Happy 29th Beck!!

    Tuesday, October 16, 2007


    For the past several weeks, Chris has been painstakingly pasting soggy strips of newspaper on my big gray exercise ball. The reason? Our six-year-old Tommer requested a "Pac-Man" costume for Halloween.

    I'll admit, my first reaction to Tom's request was something like, "Too bad, they don't make Pac-Man costumes. How about Bat Man?", but Chris was thinking much more creatively. He browsed Google, and with the brainstorming help of Christy at the HJ, his brilliant idea was born.

    Several coats of paper mache, primer paint, and spraypaint later, we have a genuine Pac-Man costume! Thomas could not be more thrilled!!

    Thomas will be wearing black on Halloween night-- I'll post pictures for sure! Thanks to Chris for all of the hard work!!

    And the winners are...

    Jon & Emily, Elena Manwaring, Todd & Ann-Michelle, and Becca Thompson were RIGHT: Chris made Thomas an awesome PAC-MAN COSTUME for Halloween! Here are the comments made by the winners:

    Jon and Emily said...
    Can PacMan wink? I wish I could see that. Can't wait to see you and Chris in a couple weeks!

    Elena Manwaring said...
    oooh, oooh, I am going to second the Pac Man theory!!!

    Caitlan said...
    Ahh of course it's Pac-Man!! How could I have missed that? Tom is obsessed with Pac-Man hahah

    Todd and Ann-Michelle said...
    Just making sure our PacMan vote gets counted!!

    becca said...
    Tom is going to be pacman for Halloween and Chris is making his costume? That is my guess. I cheated though. I waited until the last minute to see what everyone else thought before I made my guess. I can't wait to find out what it is!

    And, as runners up, Sherrie Crawford, for her excellent idea for a treat container (maybe next year?), and Marilyn for saying Chris is a cool dad. Of course you get a prize for that!!

    Sherrie and Doug said...
    A pinata for sure, but what will he paint it as??? I think it'll be a giant eyeball for kiddies to reach into to grab their Halloween candy. Maybe a little creepy, but that's my guess.

    Marilyn said...
    I know what he's doing so I'll keep it to myself. But let me just say - what a cool Dad!! (Do I get a prize for thinking he's a cool Dad?)

    The winners and runners-up will receive a tasty Pac-Man themed treat before Halloween. E-mail me your address if I don't have it already!

    My Little Monsters

    Thomas and Gordon really love watching themselves making silly faces in the LCD screen of the camera. They drive me crazy, but I love my little monsters!

    Monday, October 15, 2007

    Tiger Cub Scouts

    On Wednesday last week, Thomas, Gordon and I went to our first Tiger Cub den meeting. We had a great time! Although Tiger Cub Scouts is for boys in first grade, Gordon has been invited to come along, and I am the "adult partner". Meetings are once a week and the boys learn about a different theme every month.

    This month, Tom's den is learning about farms, and Wednesday's meeting was about what grows on farms. The adult partner in charge talked about the food pyramid and the boys cut out pictures of fruits and vegetables from magazines to make little placemats. For their main activity, they made real Potato Heads-- and snacked on the veggies as they put them together. Thommas had so much fun and his Potato Head turned out so cute!

    This week we're headed to a Corn Maze-- too fun!

    I am having weird problems with Blogger tonight-- I think I am going to call it a night and post more tomorrow. Check back on Tuesday for the Blog Contest results!!

    Wednesday, October 10, 2007


    Sisters function as safety nets in a chaotic world simply by being there for each other.
    ~Carol Saline

    Ann-Michelle, Kristie, Caitlan, Mom, Allison, Elise

    I was looking for a good quote to go with this picture, and really liked the one above. However, I thought this one would certainly apply as well:
    If your sister is in a tearing hurry to go out and cannot catch your eye, she's wearing your best sweater.
    ~Pam Brown

    General Conference Weekend

    We were excited to host my entire family (minus my brother Jake, who is currently serving an LDS Mission in Vladivostok, Russia) for LDS General Conference Weekend. General Conference is held twice a year, and usually comes with mixed feelings for me: good because it's always interesting to hear the latest updates and topics from the Church leadership, and not-so-good because I have a tendency to guilt trip myself after hearing all of the things I should be doing. This year, I decided to give myself credit for the progress I've made in the last six months, and just listen for anything that really speaks to me. I found that this approach works much better than the guilt!

    Anyway, Saturday morning brought my parents and my youngest sister, Allison, from Idaho Falls. Apparently the weather was really bad on their way down, so we were glad they made it safely! My mom and I did a bit of scrapbooking during the Saturday conference sessions, and we all enjoyed just hanging out.

    Saturday we received the announcement that Henry B. Eyring was called to serve in the First Presidency of the Church. Elder Eyring has been one of my favorites for a long time, so I felt personally pleased with this announcement. He is a great example of intelligent humility, and I think he will make a great impact as a leader of the Church.

    Late Saturday afternoon, the Freeds and Flatlands (yes, I made Kristie and Todd start a blog-- YAY!) arrived. While the Todds, my dad and Chris went to the Priesthood session, the girls went out on the town.

    Kristi gave Allison a little mini-makeover. She looked pretty cute!

    We went to Costa Vida and Sweetly Divine for some good eats with my good friend, Karin, while a well-paid baby-sitter watched our kids. We had a great time laughing and just hanging out together. I think we should do a girls night out more often!

    Kristie, Ann-Michelle, Mom, Allison, Me ready for a night on the town!

    On Saturday night, Kristie and Todd drove down to Provo to pick up Caitlan, so that all of us were together on Sunday. We had a great breakfast and lunch, and even managed to pack in a few games.

    My boys always love having their aunties around. They're such cute little turds, I had to post some pictures of them! :)

    I loved sharing conference weekend with my fun fam. I'm excited for next conference in April when Jake will be home!

    Monday, October 08, 2007

    Chris' Birthday Bash

    Okay, so Bash may be a bit of a stretch, but we did try to give Chris a nice celebration for his 31st. To start off the day, the boys and I woke him up (which he just loved) with a Happy Birthday song and some lovely gifts. I realize that new clothes really don't match up to the fantastic gifts he received last year. However, I did think it was cute that I let Thomas pick out any shirt he wanted and this is what he chose:

    Clearly, the boy knows his father well!

    Later, Gordon and I took Chris out for lunch at Chili's. He declined the invitation to have the servers sing citing "too full for dessert" as an excuse. Oh well, here's our cute birthday man with his birthday steak.

    One thing you may not know about Chris is that he does not like cake. The exception to this rule is the "Better than...Lovins" cake, which loses its cakey taste in the caramel and sweetened condensed milk. Luckily for Chris, his co-workers, Christy and Holly, made him one of these yummy cakes, and Holly and Shane brought in some cabbage and kielbasa for dinner. Not to be outdone, the boys and I came in with ten red balloons (I was afraid of driving around with 31 balloons in the backseat, so ten was a good number) and a fresh blueberry pie from Sweetly Divine. What a spoiled, spoiled man!

    Of course, to Chris' utter delight, I made everyone pose for a picture.

    Here's to a great year, babe!

    Friday, October 05, 2007

    He's a marshmallow Gord

    Today I took Thomas to get his hair cut and afterward to the store to pick out a little treat. He chose the multi-colored mini marshmallows, which I think sounded quite gross, but both boys just love them. At least they're a treat I won't touch!

    Gordon was eating the marshmallows (stuffing his mouth completely full of them, rather) and I started singing, "He's a marshmallow Gord in the winter" (to the tune of Dean Martin's old hit).

    "Mom!" Gordon yelled, interrupting me. "I not a motmennow! I a boy!"

    Thursday, October 04, 2007


    My wonderful hubster, Christian Bernard Hansen, is 31 today!! It seems so crazy to me that the first birthday gift I ever gave Chris was a little package I sent to him in Ohio for his 21st birthday. He was so stinking cute-- just a skinny little guy when I met him! (By the way, an extra huge thanks to Justin H. Manwaring for "introducing" us!) And now look-- Chris is the most handsome, smart, kind and funny man I know, and he just gets better with age. I am so, so thrilled to be his wife!

    I love you, Hunst! Happy Birthday!!

    Tuesday, October 02, 2007

    So much to do...

    ... and I'm sitting here looking at blogs.

    As previously mentioned, October is going to be insane, but I love it so much. I love that frosty cold smell of the morning air, and wearing sweaters and boots, and thinking about comfort food recipes, and admiring the beautiful red patches all over the mountains that surround this valley.

    The folks at the HJ were very smart when they invited Chris for a job interview two years ago during this time of year. He flew into Salt Lake City and drove North to Logan, then called me while in Sardine Canyon, completely awestruck at the beauty of the fall colors. Now we're in our second full autumn, and I couldn't be more in love with this beautiful spot of earth. I'm glad we live here.

    October brings the season of decorating and our house is now speckled with all sorts of little Halloween gadgets. I don't even have a huge collection, but I love the way all of these little touches just make our home feel more spirited and fun. Mmmm... there is nothing better than the smell of our spicy "Harvest" candle.

    Later this week:
    • Thomas in Tiger Cub Scouts
    • Chris turns 31
    • My family visits for GC

    Happy Fall!

    Monday, October 01, 2007

    September Snow in SLC

    When it comes to excuses, I think snow in September is a good one to use for missing a football game-- at least that's what we decided while traveling down to Salt Lake from Logan on Saturday morning. Snow in September?! Crazy!

    Instead, we decided to hang out at Chris's parents house, build a fire, eat tasty wings from The Wing Coop, and watch the game on TV. Much more comfortable, in my opinion! Despite the snow, the Utes still managed to pull off a win-- not that we're really celebrating that much-- the Aggies aren't good at all this year. Poor Aggies.

    While Chris was chopping wood (which he loves to do), the little boys tromped around in the slushy snow. As you can see, we weren't really prepared for such wintry weather!

    After playing in the chilly outdoors, nothing feels better than warming up by a fire. Gordon is a little bit afraid of fire, so it took him a little while to get used to it. But, I think he finally started to enjoy warming his little buns.

    Later that evening, Grammuh and Grampuh took us to Shiver's for some tasty fried goodness. The boys had more fun crawling around on the little train than they did eating, but that wasn't really a surprise. Thomas is really into winking, which is cuter in person than it is on film.

    Sunday was Grampuh's birthday! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GRAMPUH! Chris's birthday is on Thursday this week, so we had a double celebration at the Little America Sunday Brunch. Thomas was really excited about getting the piano player to play "Happy Birthday", and he was more thrilled than either of the birthday boys about the cake and candles. Ah, to be young!

    Tom and the Birthday Boy

    Later, it was time for presents. We brought some tasty honey and other treats from Logan's own Cox Honeyland, which we enjoyed atop Grammuh's famous waffles (clearly, it's all about eating with us). Chris was spoiled with some new Ute gear, Wallace Stegner's Salt Lake City, and seasons 1&2 of It's Always Sunny. And it's not even his birthday yet!

    We had such a fun weekend! Thanks again, Gramm and Gramp! We love you!!

    October is going to be a crazy, fun, busy month for us! I'll try very hard to keep the blogs coming-- if you're anything like me, a week between posts puts you into withdrawals!

    And one more thing-- Since no one guessed right, and Chris isn't finished yet, I'm extending the blog contest another couple of weeks! Here's a hint: He's yellow, he likes fruit, and Tom will be dressing up like him on Halloween!