Friday, November 30, 2007

It's Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas!

A few weeks ago, Chris suggested that we drive up to Idaho to find our Christmas tree in the wild. We did this in Washington a few years ago, and it was so much fun! Unfortunately, I am too impatient to wait to find a time to go tree hunting: I want a tree right now. So, second best, this afternoon we went to the Cache Valley Mall parking lot, where a lovely little area of trees was set up.

We arrived at 11:00 AM, apparently not the most popular tree-shopping time, since we were the only people there. It was almost like being in our own Winter Wonderland!



Thomas was at school, so Gordon frolicked through the trees alone. He had so much fun trying to hide from me-- he's a fast little booger!

Where is Gordon?




Unlike the real forest, we found a perfect tree in about ten minutes. Also unlike the forest, there was a guy who helped us trim the bottom of the tree, then tied it to our car.


Okay, so it lacks the adventure of hunting down your own natural tree. But I could not have asked for a more beautiful tree!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Blog Headers of the Past

I am making this post primarily to provide a place to store my old blog headers. I can't just get rid of them, I don't print them out the way I would a scrapbook page, and I thought it would be fun to have a record of my work. My first fancy header was done in May of 2007, but I can't find it anywhere. So, here are the headers from June 2007 on. I'll update this post monthly as I change my header.

December 2008


Paper and Elements from "Jolly Holiday" by Elise Hansen at PGD



November 2008 (2)


Paper and Elements by Elise Hansen

November 2008 (1)


Paper and Elements from Fall in Love by Elise Hansen

September 2008

Paper and Elements from Spice Girl by Elise Hansen

July 2008

Paper and Elements from "Liberty and Justice" by MandaBean on Sweet Shoppe Designs

June 2008

Paper and elements from "Hush-a-bye, Dragonfly" by Robin Carlton and MandaBean

May 2008


April 2008


March 2008 (2)

From "A Spring Thing" by MandaBean on Sweet Shoppe Designs

March 2008 (1)

From "Elemental Collection-- Earth" by Andrea Burns on The Digi Chick

February 2008

From "Twitterpated", by Andrea Burns, on The Digi Chick

January 2008

From "Rad Girls", by MandaBean and Penny Springman, on Sweet Shoppe Designs

December 2007

From "Kitchmas Cheer", by Dani Mogstad, on Sweet Shoppe Designs

Weekend of November 24th-- BYU vs. Utah (BYU won, boo.)

Made by Me! (Ute logo from Utah Utes.com

November 2007

From "Count Your Blessings", by Amanda Thorderson, on Digitals

October 2007


September 2007


August 2007


July 2007


June 2007

Thanksgiving! (Finally)

Thanksgiving DAY! After the race, my mom and her aunt, Debra (seated to my left below), went to work preparing the most amazing Thanksgiving feast! Honestly, I think this was the best Thanksgiving meal at my parent's house-- everything was divine. I even learned that I actually do love stuffing-- as long as it's my mom's cornbread stuffing-- SO YUMMY!! After dinner, the Todds, Caitlan and I "regaled" everyone with a Thanksgiving Hymn (For the Beauty of the Earth).


Thanksgiving Day could not have been more perfect. We raced in the morning, relaxed and ate in the afternoon, played games and laughed in the evening, then my sisters and I took a trip to Denny's for some chicken wings and brownie sundaes. I was so glad that all five sisters had a chance to hang out-- we really do have a fun time together.

I just adore Ann-Michelle's sweet little girlie-girl, Brynnie. She is a sweet pea. On Saturday night, while her parents and the rest of the crew were up late playing games, Brynnie cuddled with me and fell fast asleep-- it was so sweet, especially because my boys won't do that unless they're sick. I could just eat her up!


The best seat in the house: Pop-Pop's lap.


Since poor Chris had to work on T-Day, my kind mother offered to make a second complete Thanksgiving feast on Saturday. Now that's what I call generosity!! Debra and my mom spent another day in the kitchen, this time tightening up their cooking schedule a bit. The dinner was every bit as fantastic as Thursday's, and all of us, especially Chris, appreciated the efforts. Debra made a beautiful cherry pie-- my contribution was printing out the pattern for the leaves! (I also set the table and did the dishes, so don't think I was totally lying down on the job.)


Before our delicious dinner, Chris, my dad, the Stantons, Caitlan and I watched the BYU Utah game. I always love this game, not just because of the endless taunting, but because both teams always pull out all the stops and play an awesome game. It's almost always a close one! This year, freakishly reminiscent of last year, BYU ran away with the win in a last minute play. Blah. Chris, ever the good sport, quickly got over it and started thinking about basketball and next year's football season, where he hopes the Utes will inflict some sweet revenge.

In the meantime, nothing can chase away the BYU blues like some tasty turkey!


Even though she goes to BYU, Caitlan still found it in her heart to hug her little Ute nephew.


After church on Sunday, I gathered my little family up for some pictures. We did get a few good ones (as seen on the lovely Christmas header)-- there is something about the timer that my boys just love. Per Thomas' request, we also made some silly faces.



Happy Belated Turkey Day!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Items of Business

I know, I know-- you really wanted me to post about my Thanksgiving weekend in IF. I will do it, I promise, but I'm still editing out the freaky red eyes from all of the blue-eyed people I am related to. Tonight!

I do have some quick items of business:

1. DeArton Photo Bank
DeArtons: I have created a new blog called DeArton Photo Bank (http://deartonphotobank.blogspot.com) where we can all post our digital pictures to share with each other. I sent e-mail invitations to those of you whose e-mail addresses I had handy. If you don't have an e-mail invitation and want one, send me an e-mail to elisehansen1 at hotmail.

2. Christmas Cards
All people reading this blog: I want to wish you a Merry Christmas via the US Postal Service! YAY! This means updating my address book-- and I realized that I am missing the physical addresses for many of my dearest blogging friends. So, if you'd like a little paper yuletide cheer from yours truly (and I'm contemplating sending out my annual Christmas Mix CD as well!), please send me your address to elisehansen1 at hotmail. I'd like to get these out during the first week of December (so you have time to listen to your CD), so chop chop.

3. It's snowing in Logan
Just thought you'd like to know. (me whistling "It's Beginning to look a lot like Christmas")

Monday, November 26, 2007

Run, Ye Thankful People, Run

On the cold, crisp Thanksgiving morn, TEAM DeARTON rocked the 3rd Annual Run to Feed the Hungry in Idaho Falls. This was our 2nd year participating in this race, and we're planning to make it a new DeArton family tradition. We had a blast and I loved that my whole family participated!

My good friend, Nicki, was the only non-DeArton, and it was awesome to run with her. Nicki ran the Top of Utah Marathon a few years ago, so she is definitely a seasoned runner. We ran together and finished with my personal best time of 27:42! Sweet!

Nicki and Elise pre-race



It was freezing in IF, but at least the sky was blue and sunny. Our group consisted of 5K Runners Nicki, Caitlan, Mom and me, 5K Walkers Dad, Todd, Kristie, Allison, Debra and Ann-Michelle (who is 8 months pregnant and completed the walk!). Along with my grandparents, who walked a 5K in South America, we contributed $300 to the Idaho Falls Food Bank!

(Back L to R: Dad, Caitlan, Mom, Ann-Michelle, Todd, Nicki, Allison, Kristie; Front: Debra, Elise)


Me with my cute little sis, Caitlan



After the race, we donned our Carolina Blue shirts (a Team DeArton exclusive) and had a blast cheering for the rest of the racers and just goofing off. Don't we make a great team?



Of course, we had to pose with the Turkey!

While we were waiting for the prize drawing (what is up with waiting around forever to draw prizes? Annoying.), we decided to take some action shots high-fiving the Turkey. Thank goodness for digital cameras with LCD screens-- we had more fun looking at the instant pictures of our selves than anything else. We were laughing hysterically-- the pictures are funny, but I think we were a little high after our adrenaline rush and we thought everything was beyond hilarious. I seriously thought Caitlan was going to wet herself.

The picture of my dad is the best!

My Dad



Ann-Michelle



Elise



Caitlan



Allison

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Gratitude


I bought this adorable little turkey before the first Thanksgiving that Chris and I celebrated as a married couple. He was sitting out on a display table and caught my eye, and he makes me smile every year. If you look closely, you can see where his poor little head was severed (kind of ironic, actually) in one of our moves, but other than that, our cute turkey has remained on of my favorite items of the season.

I miss my sweet husband today. He is in Logan working, and I am here in Idaho Falls with my family. I love you, Chris, and more than anything or anyone else, I am thankful for you.

This week, I've been thinking a lot about Thanksgiving and the things I am grateful for. I love that my wonderful mother-in-law, Marilyn, and my cute friend Elena, have kept lists of the things they are thankful for. I had contemplated doing the same thing, but all of the sudden Thanksgiving Day was upon me and I didn't get around to it. Instead, I thought I'd take this opportunity to express my gratitude for a couple of specific things that have been on my mind today.

I think the answer to "What are you thankful for?" may most often be family, so perhaps this seems a little clich├ęd, but I don't care. I was actually thinking about my friends: the way we choose them, the way like most often attracts like, and the way our relationships evolve based on our efforts to provide support to each other. Families, on the other hand, work the opposite way: we were thrown together by chance, often the most different of individuals, and even if we try our hardest to avoid each other, we're bonded by blood that will keep brining us together, if not physically, at least in our thoughts. Perhaps I wouldn't have chosen my family members, and perhaps it sometimes seems we have little in common except for that blood that connects us. Even so, today I am eternally thankful for the people in my life who have known me and will know me for my whole life, the people who forgive my most grievous mistakes and overlook my small annoyances, the people who call me part of their own and love me for no better reason than that I belong to them: my family.

After spending last evening talking and laughing with two of the most awesome women in my life (Becky and Elena), I could not let today go by without expressing my thanks for my dear friends. I am a very social person by nature, and I have been extremely blessed to cross paths with the most amazing people in my life. There are so, so many qualities in each of my friends that I love and admire, so without listing all of those, let me just say to you, my wonderful friends, that I appreciate and love you more than you know.

Yesterday, as I was driving with my sons to Idaho, I was listening to the little DVD player while the boys watched Ratatouille. Someone told me that the artists had a difficult time trying to make the rats characters in the movie look like rats--yuck--, but look cute and loveable at the same time. I thought about how clever they had to be to come up with the idea in the first place-- a rat who likes to cook!-- and how much work it took to make the idea of a rat in the kitchen not only acceptable, but ultimately desired by the audience. Anyway, while I was contemplating, I was both suddenly and very proufoundly struck with the miracle of human creativity, and more specifically, my own gifts and talents, the qualities that make me unique. I spend so much useless energy comparing myself to other people, and in this one very real moment, I recognized, however briefly, that the things I have to offer the world are special and creative and uniquely me. I don't often blog about spiritual things, but since Thanksgiving is a religious holiday for me, I will tell you that yesterday, in a car in the middle of nowhere Idaho, I felt that God both knew and loved me deeply. I am grateful for that significant moment in my life, and I am resolved to make the best use of the gifts God has given me.


"Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving."
~W.T. Purkiser



Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Right now, my kitchen smells like Heaven!

Thank you, Emily, for sharing your recipe!



(By the way, if you decide to make this recipe with the mini-loaf pans, you'll want to bake for about 40 minutes instead of 60. I was able to make nine loaves.)

Don't you wish I was your Visiting Teacher?

Purse-onally...


Elena tagged me to share the contents of my purse a little while ago, so I'm finally getting around to it tonight. I'll be honest, I feel a little exposed sharing this... I like to pretend that I have it together, and spilling my purse seems to suggest otherwise. But you know me and tags... I just can't resist.

Here goes nothing...


Contents:
  • 11 random receipts
  • 2 old grocery lists
  • 1 bill
  • 1 checkbook
  • 1 checkbook register
  • $4.50 in Turkey Vouchers
  • 1 Visiting Teaching assignment
  • 1 dental appointment reminder card
  • 1 roll of floss (from my last dental appointment)
  • 5 tubes of lipstick or lip gloss
  • 1 tube of chapstick
  • 1 ponytail holder
  • 1 roll of undeveloped film
  • 1 box of raisins
  • 3 toy airplanes
  • 1 feminine item
  • 1 pair of earrings (hey, I was looking for those!)
  • 1 free song download from Starbucks (Raul Midon-- sounds interesting)
  • keys
  • cell phone
  • wallet
  • 2 pennies
  • 1/2 stick of Extra

    Hmmm... not as bad as I thought. It was nice to clean my purse out!

    Since I just tagged people not too long ago, I'll leave it up to you to decide if you'd like to explore your purse's contents. Except Caitlan, who, without me, would not be carrying a (exceptionally cute) purse right now.
  • Hanging with the Harringtons

    Last weekend, we had a blast hanging out with Chad and Amy Harrington and their two American Bulldogs, T-Bone and Zoe. Amy and I were roommates our freshman year at BYU, and I love hanging out with her! Can you believe that we lived together for nine months and we never had a single fight? I think Chris has a hard time believing that I could actually live with someone without snapping at them, but I swear, it's the truth. Anyway, I love Amy and I love that she married one of the coolest guys ever. We wish we lived closer so we could hang out more often!

    We went to Maggie Moo's for ice cream-- I like Gordon's play-dough-colored yellow. I am not even sure what flavor that is, but he liked it!


    After ice cream, we went over to Chad and Amy's to watch Ratatouille, which is such a cute show. We didn't get to finish it, so of course, we had to buy our own copy. In addition to watching the movie, the boys had to cuddle with the dogs. We knew Gordon would be crazy about them-- he loves animals-- but we were surprised that even Thomas started warming up to them after his initial nervousness.


    Zoe is the brindle dog, and T-Bone is barely sticking out his white head in the background. They really are the coolest dogs!


    Just today, Thomas asked if we could get a dog. We'll see.

    Chad and Amy, we love you guys!!

    And, since we haven't had as much Utah vs. BYU banter on the blogs as we did last year, I thought I'd throw in this last picture of our two little Utes with the hats Chris brought them from the game. Saturday's Holy War is going to be awesome-- despite Utah's slowish start, both the Utes and the Team Down South have put really great seasons together. Let's just hope the Utes don't blow them out! GO UTES!!