Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What's in the Grab Bag?

I know, I know, you can't buy a grab bag without knowing what's in it, right? I'm the same way-- I've just got to know! So, here it is, my May Grab Bag revealed:

Since you're here, be sure to sign up for my newsletter, then head back over to The DigiChick and get your Grab Bag! Happy Thursday!!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Right under the wire!

It's 11:58 PM and I'm blogging today as promised! Ha ha!

Since it's so late, I'm just going to post one picture-- it's probably my favorite picture of our whole trip. The best thing about this picture is that the only thing I did to orchestrate the shot was say, "Hey, smile, guys!"-- the kids posed the way they are all by themselves! I think it could be an album cover or something!

There really isn't anything better than cousins. I'm so glad my kids have such great ones!

Oh, we miss these little people already!!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

April Update

I can't believe we're already three weeks into April! Time just flies when you're busy!

Things are good here-- and I have so many, many pictures and adventures to share. I think I'm going to break my post up into a couple of sections, mainly so that you don't get completely sick of reading. And so that I'll have some motivation to blog again tomorrow.

First off, the first weekend in April, my brother, Jake, came to visit us. It's always so fun to have Jake around-- in fact, he's coming again this weekend. Hooray for brothers!

Thomas and Gordon have been practicing tuning into their inner Zen. Hopefully this means less fighting and more brotherly love.

I thought this picture of Jake and Neil was so cute. Sigh, look at Neilly's crazy long hair. More on that later...

The day after Jake left, Monday, April 6th, we all got in the car and drove to California! Wahoo! I was so ready for a vacation (and I'd take another one any time!) and there is just something about owning a mini-van that screams "ROAD TRIP"! It really was ideal-- we put the front passenger seat down for the mini DVD player, I sat next to Neil in the middle, and Thomas and Gordon had the back row to themselves. I stuffed a blue Ikea bag full of treats, coloring stuff, and DVDs, so we were prepared for the somewhat dismal drive across Nevada.

Good times.

Our first stop was Sparks, NV, where we ate dinner and spent the night at a hotel. The boys were so excited to swim and relax after a long day in the car! This was Neil's first time in a pool-- can you tell if he liked it or not?

On Tuesday, we drove the short distance from Reno to the Sacramento, CA area where I was born and where my mom's dad, my Poppa, still lives. The strangest thing about this part of our trip was driving to my grandpa's home in Elk Grove and seeing all of the familiar landmarks I used to look for as a child, but realizing that Chris and I don't share this part of my history. My family drove to Sacramento at least twice a year for the ten years I lived in Idaho Falls, but Chris and I had never been there together. Sad. It was so fun to go back and reminisce and I was reminded that I need to make the trip more frequently than every ten years!

It was so fun to visit with Poppa and Sue and see their beautiful home. They have a gorgeous garden and a tree full of gigantic lemons, some which Sue was all too happy to donate to us.

Poppa and Sue also have a Wii, so I'm sure you can imagine how Thomas spent nearly the entire day.

Poppa and Neil seemed to really connect-- it was so cute to see them together.

Sue and I had time to catch up as well-- it was such a nice visit! She is such a sweet grandma! We hope to head out there again next year and possibly see Poppa and Sue if they visit Idaho any time soon.

I'm going to blog about the rest of our trip tomorrow, so let me fast forward a bit to our present. After too many comments about Neil's hair, and the fact that I just couldn't keep it out of his little eyes, I decided to take him to Great Clips to see what they could do. No, I am not comfortable cutting his baby hair myself.

Well, the trip was a success-- the girl cut off just enough, but not too much, and I made it out of there without balling. He does look old, though, doesn't he? Oh, but so cute!


And after:

More tomorrow (promise!) on our trip and what we've been up to!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Sweet Site-- The Hybrid Chick!

I started out as a paper scrapper-- I even used some {gulp} Crayola markers on my first pages! Since then, my style has definitely evolved and I've fallen in love with crisp cardstock, funky homemade papers, stamps, stickers, and fancy markers that I won't let my kids go near. And, of course, I really fell in love with digi.

Unlike some digi girls, I can't get rid of my paper stuff. I love getting my hands dirty (sometimes literally!) way too much! So, imagine the thrill when I discovered HYBRID scrapping-- it's a mix of the best of the tangible paper and awesome (and reusable!) world of digital!

The Digichick has an AMAZING new site-- The Hybrid Chick where the incredible talented girls share ideas, tips, tricks and goodies! Check it out!

And since I'm into prizes lately, leave a comment here telling me what you love about The Hybrid Chick, and I'll have a perfectly printable prize just for you! ;)

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Peep, peep, peep

Well, hello there, bloggy friends! I know, it's been a while. Annoying! Let me catch you up to the ever-busy life at the Hansen home.

As I do every single year at this time, I bought some Peeps. I can't resist them-- they're just so... what's the word? Cute? I buy them every year and I eat one every year and, as with all of the years past, I am reminded that I don't actually like Peeps. They're kind of gross. Chris agrees and yet he, too, eats at least one from our yearly Peeps purchase. I'm sure I'll repeat this whole process again next Easter-- it's kind of a tradition.

The boys, on the other hand, love the Peeps. And anything else with sugar as the primary ingredient.

Speaking of the McChildren, they're just growing like little stinkweeds, especially Baby Neil. He'll be six months old on the 5th. Sigh-- let's take a quick moment of silence.

Neil is the best baby, at least for me. He is rolling-- kind of-- and smiling and cooing and generally being in love with his mother. He smells divine and is currently the only child of mine that doesn't talk back to me.

He does have sweet older brothers. Thomas and Gordon both love Neil terribly. They like to fight over who gets to sit next to his car seat in the van every single morning. I keep having to remind everyone that the van actually has enough seats for EIGHT people, so fighting over seats doesn't really make any sense.

When Gordon wants to hold Neil, he says, "I need some Neil Love." Cute!

Since it's still winter here, we've had to take the s'mores inside. Indoor S'mores-- YUM! Here's how you can make your own:

1-- Get some big marshmallows, Fudge Stripe Cookies, and something to roast with. We use metal kabab skewers.

2-- Roasting your Indoor S'more mallows should be done by an adult and with great caution. The mashmallows don't catch on fire, but that stove is HOT. Just place your marshmallow on the skewer and rotate it over a stover burner on high. The marshmallow will brown fairly quickly, and quite perfectly. Chris demonstrates.

3-- Place your perfectly browned marshie between two Fudge Stripe cookies and let it sit long enough to melt the chocolate. Yummy.

I'd still rather be at an actual campfire roasting marshmallows, even with the smoke, but until then, Indoor S'mores cures a bit of the Spring Fever quite nicely!

Oh, look! A Robot!

We went to Idaho Falls last weekend to celebrate Ann-Michelle's 26th birthday on the 28th and Jake's 23rd today with a big huge party. Earlier in the day, Gordon put boxes on his hands, my dad's boots on his feet, and a huge snowmobile helmet on his head to make quite the cute little robot. Silly kid!

The party was at Ann-Michelle's house on Saturday night. Can't beat a DeArton party!

Happy Birthday, Ann-Michelle! Now she's in her "late 20's"-- ha ha ha!

She had plenty of help blowing out the candles!

I decided to forgo the Rock Band and game playing for cuddling with my favorite human teddy bear. Aw.

The party continued on Sunday when we all gathered at my parents' place for a birthday dinner. We haven't all been together in a while, so we had to get some pictures. Six kids... sometimes I wonder why my mom is still sane! :)

Ann-Michelle, ME, Jake, Allison, Kristie & Caitlan

Jake's roommate came along, so we used the extra person to take a picture of all of us. This is my entire family-- and we've just started growing! :)

I have HUGE NEWS on the digital scrapping front: I've resigned my position from Pixel Gypsy Designs and my new shoppe at The Digichick opens tomorrow! Wahoo! The Digichick was one of my first stops when I started digi scrapping, so I am absolutely thrilled to be among the incredible designers there. Let's just hope I can keep up!

I also have a new design blog-- Elise's Pieces Designs where you can find some new free stuff right now!