Tuesday, December 01, 2009

December already?

I have been such a horrible photographer lately! Honestly, I just emptied my little memory card, and this was the only blog-worthy picture:

At least he is the cutest little stink bug in the world, though!

I am blaming my lack of pictures partially on my sister, Caitlan, who, after using my camera to take some pictures of herself to send in with her mission papers, accidentally left Idaho with my memory card. I am too cheap to buy another one, so I borrowed my dad's for a while until Hooray! she gave my card back this weekend. Caitlan, by the way, received the most enviable news, and I'd like to think that her fabulous pictures with my camera helped.

Anyway, I didn't take any pictures of our weekend, but we really had the most splendid Thanksgiving. My mom made the turkey and it was divine-- probably the best turkey I've had in years and years. Her trick? She let the turkey sit under its little foil tent for an extra 30 minutes. That's it. My contribution to our Turkey day, aside from some darling (if I don't say so myself) little place cards and napkin holders, was the gravy. This was my very first time attempting a real (read: not from a packet) turkey gravy, with drippings and everything, so I was a bit nervous. But, success! Compliments even! I may even be able to make a homemade gravy again! Next time I'll have to take a picture.

Friday, November 06, 2009

So I don't forget...

Between chasing the kids and making half-hearted attempts to clean up around them, I've been reading a new book today. The book is a collection of short stories (I'm drawn to short story collections lately, in case you hadn't noticed) and is extremely well-written. The stories, though, are all about failed relationships-- divorce, death, loveless marriages, dysfunctional children... all very real, but kind of depressing. This afternoon, as I started yet another short story of a woman who wanted-- needed-- to get out of a bad situation, I started feeling really depressed. Do any of us have any hope at all? I wondered, and feared for myself and for my children, who haven't experienced any real loss in their lives yet. This hopeless feeling engulfed me when I went to meet Chris for a little date.

While I sat with my husband in a quiet place, another couple came in and started talking to us. They were celebrating their 59th wedding anniversary. Fifty-nine years. Isn't that amazing?

Even more amazing, touching, and ultimately quieting to my soul, was the sweet way the husband escorted his wife, the way their eyes glimmered when they told us how they had woken up this morning, looked at each other and said, "well, it's been a nice 59 years."

There are a lot of terrible things in this world, and my children will probably have their precious hearts broken once or twice. But there is also enough love to keep a couple together long enough that the hard times seem like a far-distant memory, and there is plenty of hope.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

All the Hallows...

Oh, the Halloween festivities! We had such a great time this year-- no wonder it is Chris's, and now Gordon's, holiday. We had a very fun and candy-filled week last week, starting with "Boo at the Zoo". We met my sister, Ann-Michelle, there with her kids-- cousins always make every event that much more fun.

Boo at the Zoo can be summed up this way: a visit to the zoo in the freezing cold to show off your costume and get a bunch of tootsie rolls. Okay, so the candy was sub-par, but I would definitely consider our zoo trip a success. Unlike our trips in the summer, when most of the animals are just laying around in the heat, nearly every exhibit we visited was full of very active animals. Gordon was especially impressed and frequently remarked how "awesome" all of the animals were. I loved his enthusiasm, especially considering that it was for something other than candy!

Our little troupe of zoo-goers (and yes, Thomas does that pose in every picture-- apparently that is what the "real" Luigi also does...)

In addition to candy stations, the zoo also had a little play area set up in the petting zoo. Gotta love hay!

On Friday, my first task was preparing for, then supervising Tom's class Halloween party. At the beginning of the year, I performed a stay-at-home-mom duty and showed up for a PTO volunteer tea... and somehow, I became the room mother. Super. I was pretty stressed about the whole thing until Chris reminded me that I was planning a party for a bunch of third graders and that they'd be happy if I just brought treats. He was right-- they had a blast decorating cookies, playing Halloween Bingo, and just enjoying an hour without schoolwork. I had fun, too, and now I even have some ideas for our Christmas party in December.

Gordon came along-- there is something about being in school that makes brothers sudden best friends.

On Saturday, we all headed to Salt Lake City to meet Chris's parents at a fabulous little restaurant downtown. Marilyn posted a review of the Basil Leaf Cafe on her blog-- and it really is that good! I had a delicious steak sandwich, but I think the winner was Marilyn's adobo chicken. Yum. Go there. Tell them we sent you.

After a tasty lunch, we went back to the brown house to relax, watch college football, and prep for trick-or-treating.

I think this was a pretty awesome year for costumes. First of all, I only bought some black make-up for Tom's face and a long-sleeved green shirt. I don't particularly mind spending money on Halloween costumes, but it just worked out this year that I didn't have to, and that came at a very nice time.

Love this little joker!

Gordon's costume was the best-- he wore this incredible dinosaur costume that Marilyn made for Andy 25-some-odd years ago. It fit Gordon perfectly and he made the most adorable dino! I did carry his long tail everywhere, but it was kind of nice to have a little leash!

Thomas, as mentioned, decided to revisit last year's theme as Luigi. His idea, really. We still had the hat and overalls, which now fit instead of being too big, and he was as happy as can be. I wonder if he'll be a Mario Brothers character next year? Bowser?

My little Neilbit is now the third Hansen child to wear the fabulous Tigger costume, and he looks just as cute and snuggly as his brothers did. The thing I love about this costume is that it's like wearing a full-length fur coat-- it's so warm and cozy. Unfortunately, most of the pictures I tried to take of this little squirmer look like this...

We went trick-or-treating in the neighborhood Chris grew up in, which made him really nostalgic. It made me want to live in a similar neighborhood and stay there so our kids can grow up with other kids and create those same kind of memories.

Later that night, we returned with an impressive candy stash and three happy little boys. Apparently a piece of Swedish Fish is all it takes to get a smile out of Neil!

Monday, November 02, 2009


Happy Halloween!! We had a wonderful one-- I'll post all about it tomorrow! For now, let me just say that I'm thankful for these cute little pumpkins and the cute boys who carved them! :)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Must love books.

Gordon, Neil and I went to the library yesterday, as is our Thursday tradition. I do love the IFPL-- I have such fond memories of spending time there "researching" in junior high and high school, and now love going there each week for pre-school story time. If you live in Idaho Falls, have a child between 3-5, no other plans on Thursday mornings, and are NOT taking advantage of this fabulous half hour, well, you must come. This week's topic was Autumn and we read books, sang songs, did finger plays, and, of course, made a fun leafy craft.

While at the library, I was reminded that I've been wanting to recommend a couple of good reads to you. I wish I had a book club here-- I may just start one. Both of these books were great in that I wanted so badly to discuss them with someone right away.

The Year of Living Bibically by A.J. Jacobs, was actually given to Chris by a former co-worker at the HJ in Logan, but I'm the one who read it. The book is about what it sounds like: A.J. Jacobs commits to living the laws of the Bible as literally as possible for one full year. He is a self-proclaimed agnostic at the beginning of the book, and reading his memoir is both hilarious and touching. I adore his writing style and found myself both laughing out loud and thinking those deep, self-introspective thoughts long after I was finished reading.

I was absolutely impressed with Mr. Jacobs' dedication to research-- the man read several different translations of the Bible, spoke to leaders of different sects, even participated in some eyebrow-raising rituals in his efforts to understand the literal meaning of Biblical law. (Sidenote: this sounds like my Father-in-Law, Gary, who could rival A.J. Jacobs in his own Bible studies!) My one criticism is that he never fully engrossed himself in the New Testament side of things, but I thought that was understandable given that his background is Jewish. I felt very satisfied with his conclusions, particularly his respect and humility for his own forefathers and their faith.

I had to wonder: do we, as religious people, give as much time and true dedication to living our own religions as this man did to his year? Sure, he did have a book deadline and most certainly a hefty advance riding on his account, but don't we have something even more important... I don't know, say eternal salvation? Anyway, if you were sitting here with me, we could discuss.

P.S. A.J. Jacobs mentions, in his section on vanity, his propensity to Google himself, so if he happens upon this post in one of his ego-building sessions and wants to leave a shout-out to a Mormon chick in Idaho, that would be sweet!

My second book, Shakespeare's Kitchen, by Lore Segal, was one I picked up randomly on one of our recent library trips (okay, so I was drawn by the "Pulitzer Nominated" sticker on the front cover) and another I definitely recommend.

This book is actually a collection of 13 short stories, all related to each other. It reminds me a little bit of Interpreter of Maladies in the short story aspect, and in the way that it was moving in a very subtle way.

Here is something I loved about this book: there are no "good" or "bad" characters, or even events. I would even go so far as to say that there is no real protagonist or antagonist either, just a mix of characters who are very real in their actions and motivations. I know this sounds so vague... what I really want is for you to read this book, then call me up so we can talk about morality and justification and loss and friendship.

I did get another book yesterday, but so far, I'm not enjoying it. I was looking for a lighter read, but I think I may have gone too far and gotten something just plain dumb. I know, I'm a snob. I can't help it! But hey, at least I'm not posting the title and a snotty review! I'll keep my eye out for some other good reads and let you know when I find them.

In the mean time, anyone want to start a book club?

Monday, October 12, 2009

It's October 11th...

I suppose I should blog. I love October-- it's such a great month. College football is in full swing, the air is nice and crisp (if a bit freezing cold here in Idaho... sheesh, who knew that a couple hours North would make such a big difference?!), James Taylor's October Road is playing in the background, and I'm wearing sweaters. The kids are all set for Halloween and we're eating yummy warm comfort foods like chili and shepherd's pie. Life is good.

Last week, our neighbor invited the boys over to pick from her plethora of pumpkins (I know, so fun to write and say!) as they're the only young children in the neighborhood. They were thrilled, of course, and quickly found two very worthy gourds for our front porch. We're waiting to carve them a few more days so they'll last until Halloween.

Brotherly love looks a bit exaggerated in this picture, don't you think? It's almost as if someone said, "Pretend that you like each other so I can take a picture!"

October is a birthday month for us, too. Chris celebrated his 33rd with a big waffle breakfast followed by a big chicken dinner and a better-than-Caitlan (my sister) cake. Hee. Yum, yum! No pictures, though.

Neilly celebrated his very first birthday just like his brothers with his very own chocolate cake. He spent the first fifteen minutes or so just trying to pick off all of the sprinkles, then just dug in enough to squish the cake between his fingers and throw it to the dog. Little stink bug!

I can't believe he's a year old, both because the time has flown by so quickly, and because he still seems so little to me. I keep saying that I'm going to ween him and stop coddling him, but I don't really want to. He's my baby-baby, and I want to keep him little for just a while longer. I've spoiled him rotten, but I kind of don't care. :)

Tonight we went to Pocatello for our good friends' annual Halloween party. The boys tested their costumes (Luigi, an awesome dinosaur, and Tigger), and Chris and I relaxed and laughed with our friends. It was a great night.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A fond farewell to summer

Brrr! Yesterday was COLD! It's not quite so bad today, but there is definitely a new chill in the air and I'm positive that fall has officially arrived. It's also the first day in three months or so that I've worn socks.

Luckily, we were able to squeeze on last perfect weekend in before we have to start bundling up. Can you imagine anything more perfect than a warm September morning in Millcreek Canyon?

Let me back up a little bit, and tell you about our whole wonderful weekend. Chris had been in Pennsylvania for work for two weeks and flew back to Salt Lake City on Saturday, so the boys and I took advantage of the opportunity for a mini-vacation. We drove to SLC on Friday night and spent the night with Grammuh and Grampuh. Gordon has repeatedly asked why we can't just move in there.

The next day, before Chris' flight arrived, we went to This is the Place State Park in Emigration Canyon. We had originally planned to go to the zoo, but after being diverted by the crazily long lines, we were happy to be at a place with a low visitor count but still plenty of great sites. And really, when you're with your grandparents, any place is the right place to be!

Also, if the place happens to have a train... well, it's just perfect.

After we filled a couple of bags with candy from the General Store, we hurried to the airport to meet Chris. Hooray! Homecoming!

There were some LDS missionaries on their way home from their missions and I think seeing the families at the airport made Chris extra emotional. I don't know if you can tell, but his eyes are wet in this picture. So sweet. We're so glad to have him home.

Chris and his dad went to the Utah game (hence all the red) while the boys, Grammuh and I just hung around the house and enjoyed the warm back yard.

On Sunday morning, to celebrate Grampuh Gary's birthday (HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRAMPUH!!), Chris's birthday, and Neil's birthday, which all fall within a few days of each other, we went to Millcreek Canyon for a picnic breakfast. The weather was absolutely perfect, the breakfast was delicious, and we were the only people there. Add that to a bunch of rocks and a stream to throw them in, and we were in heaven.

I'm so glad that we were able to spend such a lovely time with Chris' parents and that we sent summer off in perfect fashion!

This week has been fun and busy as usual. The boys are out of school for the weekend, so I'm making them clean up! Mean!

Gordon learned about the letter C this week-- "Clowns"-- and looked so stinking cute with his hat and little red nose that I have to share.

And last night I got brave and cut off all of my hair. I'm a pixie! Don't worry, it will grow back eventually. :D

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Neil's Hair Story

Here's the story about Neil's recent haircut:

First of all, I normally don't make a habit of cutting my children's hair. I do it occasionally out of pure desperation, but I generally trust the trimming duties to someone else. In this case, however, I was getting one too many comments about my baby's long hair (my own mother called him a beatnik baby) and I think it was getting hard for the poor little thing to see.

So, I got Neil's head wet, set him down on the bathroom sink, and took one last picture...

... then proceeded to cut. My idea was that I would keep it sort of long, just trimmed, thereby holding on to those precious locks a little while longer. While I was cutting-- and picture giant tufts of light brown hair falling all around-- I was thinking about how it wasn't really that hard to cut a baby's hair. When I was finished, I thought, this actually looks pretty good!, and I stuck him in the tub.

Very cute.

After his bath, when his hair had completely dried, I realized that I had turned my child from long-haired hippie into a kid who looked like his hair was attacked by his 4-year-old brother. The hair on the left side was still quite long, while the hair on the right side was short and blunt. And the back... oh my. No one even saw and I was embarrassed. Apparently I'm not the next Vidal Sassoon.

So, I got out the trusty clippers and buzz, buzz, buzz... now all of the hair on Neil's little head is the exact same length.

And he looks exactly like my other boys.

Luckily, he's still the same sweet boy with and without his luscious long hair.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

An entire month.

That's how long it's been since I've blogged. Amazing, and terrible.

I am sure I don't need to tell you that it's been an extremely busy month, to the point of being overwhelming. I can't really remember a time when I've felt as stretched and overextended as I have in the past few weeks. Still, I find myself accepting more responsibilities, as we silly humans tend to do. I even said, "Of course I can (fill in the blank)! What else would I be doing?" as if I just sit around and paint my toenails all day long. My toenails, by the way, have not been painted in the year since Neil was born, and that time they were blue.

I don't mean to bemoan by busy-ness. We're actually having a lot of fun, and despite the fact that I'm finally packing a month's worth of blog in at 10:45 PM, I think things might be about to settle down. Maybe.

Here's a little overview of my life in the past month:

1. Another picture from our anniversary day. Gord cracks me up! We ate at Chili's-- mmm, romantic-- then came home and finished packing.

2. We moved. Between a huge U-Haul, our van, and the back of my dad's Tundra, we managed to transport all of our stuff to Idaho Falls. Some very generous guys (and one woman) from our new ward came to help us unpack and we divided everything between our new basement "apartment" and my parents' storage shed. Then, I spent the next week going between the two places to get everything in its right spot.

3. Chris started working and Thomas went to school.

That was a stressful day, but don't they look cute?

Actually, it was probably more stressful for me than it was for them. We all woke up early, having not slept altogether well the night before, and got through the day on anxious energy. I think first days are hard, but we made it.

Thomas is loving 3rd grade. I was very nervous about sending him to a new school and all that a new school entails, but he has proved the "children are resilient" maxim very well. He has already had a couple of play dates and is his normal school-loving self. Tom's teacher is delightful and I've been impressed with the school so far.

4. Gordon and I explored the town. We've established a little routine for our week where we do something different every day. On Thursdays, we go to the public library's pre-school story time. It is fabulous! The kids are entertained with a half hour of reading and songs, then a fun little craft. Afterward, Gord and I have been browsing the kid book section for 4 new books, then up to the DVD section for another Thomas the Tank Engine rental (for which I can thank the extremely annoying song running through my head right now), then up to the grown-up section where the selection of new releases makes me a bit giddy, then down to the koi pond, then out the door and across the railroad tracks. I can't think of a better way to spend a Thursday morning.

Our other new favorite thing to do (Fridays), is to go to the greenbelt and feed the ducks and geese and annoying young seagulls that camp out there. We've been saving the heels on all of our bread. Gordon loves this little adventure and it is so pleasant to be outside. I kind of forgot how much I enjoy being by the river.

Sometimes, we'll go on a little walk and cross the street. Gordon makes sure that all of the cars know we're crossing by vigorously waving the orange flag. It's worked-- we haven't been hit!

5. Thomas was baptized.

In our faith, we believe that children are able to understand right from wrong at the age of 8 and at that time, they're given the opportunity to be baptized. A lot of times, people refer to this age as the age of accountability, which I think means that they're old enough to be accountable for their actions. For me, though, Thomas turning 8 suddenly meant my own accountability to him as a mother. I gave a little talk about baptism during the program and looking at Thomas, so sweet and smiling in his little white outfit, I felt very overwhelmed at my responsibility to be a good parent to him and to the other boys. It was a touching moment for me, and I vowed to try harder for them.

I think he looks like a little angel.

It was a really special day for our family and one I hope Thomas will always remember.

6. Gordon went to school. On Mondays and Wednesdays, Gordon attends preschool. He absolutely loves it and I am completely thrilled with the school. One of the kids in the class has already spent a little bit of time in the "time out chair" and Hooray! it wasn't Gordon!! :D

He is having such a great time making new friends and doing lots of projects with glue. I'm not sure if I've mentioned this or not, but I am not a glue kind of gal. I love the fact that he gets to use it at school and that they get to clean it up-- that alone is worth the monthly tuition!

7. We played with friends. This is one of the huge benefits of moving back to IF-- I already have some built-in friends. One of those is my dear friend, Becky, who I've known and adored since elementary school. She has a little boy just a couple of months younger than Gordon, so we've decided to make a weekly play date. It's been wonderful to catch up with her and to let our kids play. Hooray for friends!

8. Allison (my sister) went to homecoming. Cute!

9. We got an offer on our house! YAY!!!!! We are set to close on October 15th.

This picture has nothing to do with that, but I cut Neil's hair this week and I just need to get another shot of my long-haired baby in here before the buzz-cut boy makes his appearance. So sad.

I think that's it. I'm really going to try harder to update this more regularly, especially so it doesn't take an hour to do each time!!

Friday, August 21, 2009


August 21, 1998... oh, so sweet...

August 21, 2009... interrupting a Mario Kart 64 Marathon to take a picture...

Today Chris and I celebrate eleven years of wedded bliss! As each anniversary rolls around, I always feel a little bit impressed with myself. I used to compare us to the famous celebrity marriages ("we've been married longer than Tom and Nicole!"), but those don't seem as formidable as they were when we only had a few months under our belts. Now that we're settling comfortably in the double digits, it's less about the number of years we've racked up, and more about the fact that we actually still enjoy our day-to-day lives with each other. Eleven years of hanging out with the same guy-- you have to admit, that's pretty cool.

Moving is kind of like taking a treacherous hike along your past-- it's amazing the kind of junk you dig up. It's impossible for me to clean out a closet or a drawer without getting momentarily sidetracked by its contents. Yesterday I cleaned out our "etcetera" drawer, the place where we put things we're not sure what else to do with. In addition to random batteries, Sharpies, buttons and leftover Jack-o-lantern tea lights, I also found a few old pictures. One was of Chris and me in Ensenada, Mexico, where we ate incredible fish tacos and churros, and Chris discovered the real reason why people warn against drinking the water. Another was us with big smiles and matching tee-shirts at a family reunion in Colorado, where we spent an unplanned $300 and spent nearly a week without a car because of a leaky "fuel intake valve"... whatever that is. And another was a fuzzy black and white image of almost nothing... that almost nothing that somehow turned into Neil.

I stopped my packing up for a few minutes to watch our Ten Year Slideshow and had so much fun reliving all of those different moments. It's fun to think about all of the places, the food, the friends, and the laughs we've had, not to mention the three amazing children! How can I not be impressed?

I love that Chris and I have eleven years worth of pictures together, and I love even more that each of those pictures carries a wealth of memories that sometimes only we know about. I love being reminded, again, how truly lucky I am to share my life with such an incredible person.

I love you, Hunsty!! Happy 11 years-- here's to an eternity more!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Moving is stressful.

One week from today... YIKES!!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Just a little update...

One of these days, I'm planning to do a fun little post about all of our "stomping grounds"-- places we've lived together. Since we're on the cusp of another stomping ground, it seems fitting to do a tribute to the other wonderful homes we've had. But, that will have to be on a day when I have a little more time. For today, I am just doing a little clarification/update.

First of all, yes, Chris did get a job in Idaho Falls. It's a career change, in fact, and we're both very excited about it. His first day is August 31st, which, coincidentally (or not), is also Tom's first day of school.

I've been practicing this sentence: "I'll take care of the dishes if you'll get the kids ready for bed." Since Chris has worked in the evening for more than 9 years, I don't get to say that nearly as often as I'd like. I can't wait!

We're packing up the house now, but it's still for sale. We know that there is someone out there who needs our house, so we're just praying that we can find them soon. It's a little bit stressful, but I'm really trying hard to practice the art of faith. We're moving on the 27th into... my parent's basement! Hooray!

Actually, that's not sarcasm-- I really am excited to move in with my parents. Their house is nice and roomy, especially now that almost everyone has moved out, and we'll be able to live there while we sell our house and save up a bit for something in Idaho Falls. I'm impatient and would like to buy something right away, but we realize that we'll probably be in our next house for a long time, so it's smarter to wait a bit and find the right place for the right price. Luckily, my parents are laid back and patient, two qualities I should probably try to emulate a little more!

I'll find out this week exactly which school Thomas will be attending, but I've already secured a pre-school spot for G-Man. I think I actually knew the girl who runs it in high school, but I'll know that for sure when I take him on the first day. I'm going to have to get used to the high school de ja vu, because I have a feeling it's going to happen a lot. Good times.

We're definitely going to miss Logan-- it really is such a great town. Idaho Falls is also a great town, though, and we feel like this change is a good thing. This isn't a reason to move or anything, but I am SUPER excited about having a Target in town! Whee!

So, that's our story for now. More to come, I'm sure!

DeArtons Unite!

On Saturday, Chris and I tackled the fun and exciting job of cleaning out our crawl space. I re-packed the box full of old journals, yearbooks, dance pictures--ah, the hilarity!... I think I am actually glad that Chris and I didn't know each other in high school and therefore didn't attend any high school dances together because he had posing issues... I should really do a blog post about that because I guarantee you would be laughing! Anyway, I couldn't help but read some old journal entries and thinking the "little did we know..." thoughts. Would I really have used an entire two-page journal spread writing my name with a certain boy's last name attached if I had only known that eleven years later, my initials would be ECH instead of EC...? And could Chris have imagined, when he wrote about a letter he received from a redhead in Idaho, that someday he'd be wrestling with their three sons? It's kind of fun to think about.

The real subject of my post, though, is not us, but my parents. Little did they know that nearly 31 years after their marriage that they'd be standing in a picture, wearing funny red shirts, and that all of these people would, in some way, belong to them...

That's right, there are 19 people in that shot. Little Brynnie was asleep in a tent nearby, so counting her, there are 20.

Granted, two of them are my grandparents, so not progeny, but still. Pretty impressive, don't you think?

We're big enough now that we need to have our own reunions, and this year was our first! We spent a weekend camping at Cherry Hill in Kaysville and it turned out to be so much fun! Of course, we DeArtons are very good at having fun, so that part certainly wasn't a surprise!

The cousins had a blast together! Here they are in the back of the van, playing with some light necklaces my dad brought back from Disneyland.

Nonny and Bob brought the little girls these adorable headbands from somewhere in South America. I really wanted to steal one for myself, but couldn't really picture anyone taking me seriously. Oh well. Doesn't Dall look stinking adorable?!

My parents were assigned the fun job of a morning devotional on Saturday morning, so they had us write nice things about each other. These guys look like they're concentrating pretty hard.

Most of Gordon's nice things included the word "enthusiastic".

Nearly our entire day on Saturday was spent in Cherry Hill's water park. Since my camera isn't waterproof, I had to make do with some "before" shots. Gotta love goggles!

Thomas did have a fun little event-- he lost another tooth! Little pirate! He was sitting at the table, nonchalantly eating some chips, and I came up to ask the whereabouts of something I can't remember. His reply: "First, I have an announcement," and he held up his tooth.

Our reunion ended on Saturday evening/Sunday morning, and though it was short, we agreed that it was the perfect amount of time to spend. Everyone had fun and everyone left happy and smiling-- not too shabby for 31 years, Mom and Dad! Can't wait for next year!