Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Attitude of Gratitude

I love this time of year with Thanksgiving only a few days away. Thanksgiving is a simple holiday, but such a meaningful one. We have so much to be grateful for, and I know that gratitude accompanies happiness. #1- I am most grateful for my boyfriend, James. How the heck did I ever deserve this man! I must have done something really right up there! He is the kindest, most understanding, forgiving, silliest, happiest man alive. I love you James! The picture of the sunset is because he never lets a good sunset get past us. He has taught me to enjoy the sunsets!

#2- My kids, of course! They remind me every single day, whether I want to or not, to capture the sunshine! Because of them I see beauty, happiness, simple pleasures, joy, forgiveness and pure love. I love who I have become because of them.

#3- I am grateful for our freedom. It really is something that is taken for granted too often and something that is so huge, and important. We probably don't even realize how lucky we are to have it.

#4-My cozy bed! I love sleep. Love it! I don't get near enough of it, but there isn't anything better than getting into a warm cozy bed and letting your body relax!

#5- My friends...that includes all of you, and my mom and sisters especially! I have often found comfort in you, and love that I can depend on you and that we can help support each other through rough and happy times in our lives. I love my girls!

#6- Slippers. I get so excited when it is cold enough to wear slippers. Even though I hate the cold, I love that I can keep my toes warm in a cute pair of slippers!

#7- Autumn. I love everything about autumn. The look, the smell, the tastes, EVERYTHING. Autumn will always be special to me because it was autumn 2 years ago when I learned how to truly be happy. I was able to let go and put a lot of my fears and anxieties in their proper places and let myself be happy. You know how certain smells can remind you of things, that's how autumn is for me. (this could potentially be a long one, so if you are curious about my journey to happiness, let me know and I can give you more details. I love talking about my struggle to overcome my anxiety, but I won't bore you now!)

#8-I am grateful for my cell phone. I am. I love my cell phone. Well, not exactly right now because I am punishing myself with the cheapest saddest looking phone I could find. Why??? you may ask?? Because I am cursed. No, really. I have gone through 7 cell phones this year alone. One was dropped in a cup of apple juice, two went for swims in the toilet, two just stopped working, one took a dip in a cup of Dr. Pepper (curse you Dr. pepper!!!) one went swimming in the dish water. Fluids+Me+Cell phone= DISASTER!!! So-even though I stink at taking care of them (boy this is embarrassing!) I love them.

#9-I am grateful for change. I am a person who thrives on it. Especially little changes, like rearranging the furniture or my kitchen appliances. I am grateful that Heavenly Father allows us to be constantly changing and faced with change. I don't love all change, but most times looking back I can see how much I have grown because of it. There is a story of a man who noticed a butterfly struggling to break free of its cocoon. He watched it for a minute and then decided to cut the cocoon to help the butterfly emerge. It worked, and the butterfly was free. Well, what the man didn't know was that the struggle to free itself from the cocoon was what made the butterfly's wings strong. That butterfly went its whole life unable to fly because its wings where not strong enough... Change. It's a good thing. Don't be afraid of it.

Now it's your turn to find things to be grateful for!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

My Wierdo's

Hey, I know they are weirdo's, but they are MY weirdo's!!! Oh, to be a child again.

It's Official!!

My baby is a walker! She has been taking steps here and there for about a month, but she decided that today was the day. She has been walking everywhere now. She was in Tyler's room this morning and she had a toy hammer. I looked over at her and she would hammer on his bed, then walk over to his dresser and hammer on that, then walk over to the toy shelf and hammer on that. It was so cute!

I can't believe my baby is so big. It is just as exciting and touching to see her grow and learn as it was with our first baby. It never gets old! Each child brings so much joy to our lives!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Malia Saying "Thank you"

At dinner tonight Malia was saying "thank you" over and over again. We were cracking up at how cute it was. And of course I pulled the camera out and she wouldn't say it anymore. After some proding by Tyler and Baily she said it again! SO ADORABLE!

Our New Favorite TV Show

We have discovered a great new show on Discover Channel. Man vs. Wild! It is the best show ever! It is about a man named name Bear Grylls who strands himself in remote places and teaches you how to survive.

Baily calls it the "yucky show" because of all the bugs, snakes, spiders, zebras, camels, elephant dung (he squeezes the dung to get the fluid from it) etc. that he eats. We just sit there in front of the TV completely mesmerized.

It hilarious because when Bear eats something gross our jaws all drop and we watch as guts and whatever else comes squirting out of his mouth. Every now and then one of us will even dry-heave. It's great! You gotta check it out. It is so fascinating.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

My dirty sink, and my happy kids!!!

My kitchen is a disaster, but at least my kids know that I can still act silly! I decided to make tonight different. Different how, you say...well here is a run down of a typical night at our house...

...Get homework done without any one's brain exploding...making a somewhat nutritious meal without the house burning down...reading books without me falling asleep and drooling on the kids...all four kids jammied, teeth brushed, prayers said, clean hands and face in a reasonable amount of time, and then the next hour is me practicing an insane amount of patience until the very last eye is closed, and no one is getting out of bed for "one more glass of water." Then there is the jungle of dishes and toys to wade through. I try my best to get the house in order so we don't wake up to yesterday's mess.

...Tonight we turned on the radio (which happened to be Christmas music) and danced, played tag and rolled around on the floor. The kids have this new game where they all hold onto the back of my shirt and I run around the house shouting "Has anyone seen my kids!" It's quite amusing. And yes, my shirts get stretched out. :)

I made a goal a long time ago to never let my kids go to bed angry or sad. Sometimes in all my exhaustion I forget that when I am tucking them neatly into their beds. I hate the guilt I feel when I am lying in bed and I realize all the things I didn't do for them or the time I didn't spend with them.

I must say, even though my kitchen is a mess because I am now too tired to clean it after all that running around I did, I am glad that my kids went to bed with a smile on their faces. I am not sure if the smile meant, "My mom is the coolest Mom in the world!" or "Gee, my mom is a goof ball!" Either way, the dishes will be waiting for me tomorrow.

A New Addition to Our Family

Some would say that I am a gluten for punishment. We know have 2 hamsters (one went the way of all the earth) :( and two cats.
I succumbed to a lady out in front of Walmart with a box full of free kittens and Kylee's pleas and kitty cat eyes, (aka: puppy dog eyes). I wish I would have taken a picture of her face when she picked up the cat out of the box. She promised me she wouldn't want anything every again (that's a classic line) if she could just "HOLD ONE!"

It was like an out of body experience because the next thing I knew we were driving home and Kylee had a kitten in her lap. I am a sucker, I know, but if only you could have seen her face :)

Autumn (the cat) is one of the most beautiful Siamese cats I have ever seen. She has the sharpest blue eyes and we all love her (even Dad...he says Autumn reminds him of a cat he had growing up.)
So, forget your local zoo, COME VISIT THE HANSEN'S!!!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Malia Turned ONE!!!

Happy Birthday Malia!!!When I think back on this last year, and how insanely fast it went by I can't help but be a little sad that my baby is already one.

But, it has not only been one of the best years for our little family in every aspect, but the joy of having Malia in our lives has been so amazing. Words could not express how much that little chunka-monk is loved.

When we first learned that I was pregnant with Malia I was 100% sure it was a boy. I just knew it. And our first 2 ultrasounds confirmed my feelings. It was a boy! You can imagine our surprise when the 3rd ultrasound (I was lucky enough to get an ultrasound at each visit) revealed we were having a little girl! Girl #3! I will admit that I was shocked, but looking back now and knowing that Heavenly Father gives us exactly what we need, I am so grateful for my Malia.

She is our joy, our love and we have been so lucky to have her in our family.

Happy Birthday Malia, aka: Me-me, Leah, monkey, Me-uhs, chunks, Lee-lee (she has a lot of nick-names...we better lay off the chunks or she might have a complex...but who can help it with those irresistibly kissable chunky cheeks!!!)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I have never considered myself very politically knowledgeable. I had to sit with a dictionary tonight to understand some of the words that were being used by the media. But as I sat and watched Obama become the 44th president of the U.S. I felt a couple pf things...

#1-Thank goodness it is OVER!!!! Hallelujah!!!
#2- We can only hope now that Obama will not be as far off to the left as he presented himself in his campaign. Hope that he will lead our country in the next 4 years and uphold the Constitution that our country was divinely built upon.

#3-To me this is a sign of the times. The government will hang by a thread (a smaller one than it already does) and maybe this is where it is heading! I am all for raising my kids in the second coming!!!

#4-I want to set aside for now the issues that have been beaten to death in the drawn out years leading up to this night, and I want to say this...I love God. I love his son, Jesus Christ. I love the gospel of Jesus Christ and his church, which I know to be true. I love my family. I love life. I love America and I love that it was given to us to live freely in. Come what may, those are the only things that matter!

Monday, November 3, 2008

I Grad-gi-ated!!!

I received a diploma today from the Institute of Children's Literature. It was a course on writing for children and teens. I have loved writing for as long as I can remember and have notebooks full of poems, short stories and even a novel.

I learned so much from this course and have narrowed down my area of expertise to writing short stories for 8-12 year olds. Hopefully in the near future I will start submitting my stories to publishers. Most likely children's magazines. It is a good feeling to finish something and come away a better person, and writer.

Ya me!

Cheesy gold rimmed frame, here I come!

Sugar High!!!

That sugar high includes mine! I am guilty of thieving my kids candy when they aren't looking. Come on, I know you do it too, or did, or will or whatever.

Halloween was great this year. It is one of my favorite holidays. I love to see the kids dress up and we have a great time trick-or-treating with my family. Good times!!

Here is Kylee aka Hermione from Harry Potter. I think she looks just like her :)
Tyler was a knight. The costume fit him when we bought it a month ago, but he has gone through another growth spurt, aka: eating everything he can get his hands on, and so it was a little tight.

Baily was Tinkerbell. It was the perfect costume for her. When I told her that Tinkerbell could fly and that she had a magic wand that sprinkled magic fairy dust her eyes got really big and she said, "I want to be Tinkerbell forever!"

Malia, my little Pepe Le Pu! A friend of ours let us borrow this adorable costume. She actually didn't mind wearing the hat. It was cute to see her chubby cheeks poking out. It was really cute when she would crawl around and the big tail in back would drag on the ground!