Thursday, February 16, 2012

I became a mom 18 years ago today...Happy Birthday Doll.

 "The Rose"
written by Derron Hansen
It was late in the winter when the little plant arrived. But the gardeners knew they must take great care for it to survive. They prepared the soil, tilled and hoped the little plant's roots would grow deep.
Spring became summer then the fall, believe it or not the little rose had changed them all. The gardeners knew this was no ordinary rose, one tiny bud, so pure and so sweet, she already up and on her feet.
Talking, walking, there was no time to spare. The little rose was "fluttering" everywhere.
Wherever she went, brighter the day. She had that effect in a good kind of way. Laughing, loving to share, the little rose had very little cares.
The years came and went, it wasn't hard to tell, this little rose was heaven sent. Growing ever growing and knowing what she liked best, she hardly gave the puzzles time to rest.
Then off to school, she thought it was cool. She had been given the tools of reading and writing, she wasn't sure which she liked best...unless it was a math test!
As the little rose grew, the gardeners marveled and wondered what they had done to receive such a gift with all of their blunders.
Now is your time to let your blossoms shine. Go forth little rose and have a great time, and never forget to let your blossoms shine, shine, shine.
 The "Gardeners"
Annelie with "big brother" Justin
She's a Joe City Wildcat and a Hansen...just check out those legs:)

The girls in their signature blue dresses & feather boas.

Eighth grade graduation
Another lip sync contest...I miss those days.

The girls on Annelie's 16th birthday.

Aren't they beautiful? YES!
There's the smile that has been lighting my world for the past 18 do I love this girl? I could fill a book counting the ways.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Joe City Style

Merry Christmas everyone! I love this time of year, the decorations, the goodies & the traditions most of all. Just thought I'd post some photos of a couple of our favorite traditions. Bishop Alan Palmer started our Live Nativity tradition several years ago. He first started having his seminary students act it out at the park. He then moved it to his own barn. (We just walked through the back field).  When he became Bishop he moved it back to the park...had our ward's Young Men set it up & each ward takes a night, the week before Christmas, & performs the first Christmas Story. This year Seth got to be a shepherd. I was worried he would get cold so I really bundled him up. He looked more like "Randy" from Christmas Story than a shepherd:) We stand around fire pits furnished by the Elders Quorum & sip hot chocolate provided by the Relief Society. It's a great tradition...thank you Bishop Palmer.

Here's the little Shepard's staying warm by the fire...waiting for their cue.
Seth & Eli
What sweet little angels:)
Another favorite tradition is our annual Christmas sing-a-long. My sister-in-law Julie started this one. One year she decided that my parlor was the perfect place for an old fashioned sing-a-long. We love it! Anyone who plays the piano,ukulele, flute or the bells can take a turn, or several, & we all sing along. It can pretty rowdy, but I assure you, we are only drinking Darcy's wassail.

Steven & Alicia always play duets for us.

Nic always wears his Santa Hat...& yes, he does sing Christmas songs. They're his favorite along with his favorite dogs, Lady & Trance.
Annelie ended the evening with her rendition of
"Wizards of Winter". It's a rousing piece from the Transyberian Orchestra. My whole piano was rockin' during this one!
(Hold on to that bay Mary & Joseph!)

Seth's instrument for the night...Derron said it sounded like the Christmas Goose:)

Trenton was trying to put on the dog's hat.
Ms. Darcy Combs...Ms. Christmas herself.
Lacy found her own cute. She was playin' that suitcase with her her heart.
Justin played the bells.
What a sweet image...Lacy's hands on her mother's as she played, ahhh...

This is Seth after Trenton took his sad:(
Carolers who have been to all the sing-a-longs need no explanation for this one.
Our Friends Rich & Linda Miller joined us this year...we pointed out that they were sitting under the mistletoe & they knew just what to do!

Christmas is just a few days away now. I love this season & everything it represents. Most of all I love making memories. Hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas and I hope you make some great memories.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A tribute to my Sister...Happy Birthday Annellie

This post is deeply personal and I have debated heavily whether or not I should share these things in such a public way. I feel that sharing our experiences can help each of us to grow in our own understanding and come to appreciate our blessings so much more. This is not a story of tragedy, pain & sorrow, although those are the means by which I have learned my greatest lessons, but a story of love, friendship & a sisterly bond that I consider to be one of the great treasures of my life. This past June 28th marked 19 years since that night she went on a date and never came home. I can remember every detail of the whole tragic event from the phone call in the middle of the night to the funeral and burial but what I remember best is the nineteen years of growing up together...two little girls way out on McLaws road in the middle of no where. You know the saying "I loved you too much to just be your friend so God made me your sister"...that was us. For nineteen years I got to share everything with my best friend. Until we were seven and eight we shared a twin bed...sleeping head to feet. I used to get her to turn out the light every night by encouraging her to jump back in the bed before the light was gone...she fell for it every time and I would always say, "You almost made it this time!" I know...manipulative big sister. When we were in high school the same scenario would play out from time to time & we'd laugh at how she would fall for my trickery and she'd try again...just for old times sake and I would say "you almost made it!" and we'd laugh ourselves to sleep. By then we had graduated to bunk beds and she had the top bunk. I used to beg her to tell me stories at night when I couldn't fall asleep. Our favorite was the "Three Bears". Can you imagine teenage girls telling each other the story of the three bears? We were funny like that. So many nights we would lay there talking about so many things, boys, friends, drama at school, our parents, what we thought our futures held for us, all our youthful hopes and dreams. We never could have perceived that we would be separated. That dreadful day came and she was taken home to our Heavenly Father from where she came and the great journey in my life began.

My spirit has been strengthened in numerous ways and I continue to learn so many lessons from this experience. The Lord asks us to sacrifice in this life and sometimes the sacrifice isn't our choice, but what is our choice is our attitude toward our trials. If this is what the Lord wants me to go through so that He can teach me what he needs to teach me, then I accept that. This blog isn't long enough for the many lessons I've learned and I don't even think I could write it all down. What I will share are some blessings that I am so grateful for even though the word "grateful" isn't nearly a big enough word to describe my feelings. I'm grateful for the knowledge that we lived with our Heavenly Father before we came here and that we knew that if we proved ourselves we could return to Him. I'm grateful that she chose to spend her nineteen years with me, telling me bedtime stories, sharing secrets & clothes, doing my hair when I didn't want to, singing and dancing together on stage or in the kitchen doing dishes and always being my biggest cheerleader. To her I say, "Thank you for always loving me & never judging me. Thank you for always being my safe place to fall. Thank you for keeping my secrets and for being so loyal to me. Thank you for making me laugh with all your silliness (Eddie Murphy impersonations). I always loved when you would hug me & tell me I was "cuddly"...I'm really looking forward to feeling that hug again. I Love you so much, I hope your still proud of me. I'm trying so hard to live a good life. I know I'll be with you great will be that day".
These two photos were taken many years apart but in the same place in our yard... you can see how much the trees grew from the 1st photo. I'm the one in the's one of the very few pictures where I was taller than her:)
We were always dressed like twins. It was just practical for my parents I two of everything. That's our youngest brother Ezra crawling on the lawn.
I love this picture of her...when I look at it I can hear her laugh:)
This was a typical Sunday afternoon. You can see she is holding a dish towel. We were doing the Sunday dinner dishes. She always dried & I always washed & we would sing "When the Saints Go Marching In" in every key & arrangement we could come up with. Don't ask me why we chose that song I don't even remember, but you could hear us singing all through the house.

She was a beautiful girl inside and out.

Happy Birthday Annellie..."you know I love you more than my luggage".

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Around the House

Per my niece Lindy's request here are a few pics from around the house & some of the finished rock patio. Just some random pics that were already on the computer. Amazingly enough it has been too rainy to take any recent photos. I know...too rainy in Joseph City? In Joseph City it's either no rain or a complete down pour. You take what you can get...we'll take it. My brother in law Gale took it...he & his crew (Julianne & Jim) irrigated sopping wet fields through a crazy hail storm yesterday.

Yes...that's a hot tub. Very enjoyable:)

Next summer I plan to have it covered with flower pots & other fun things. I'm really looking forward to that. Right now I'm enjoying my relaxing evenings in the hot tub watching the sunset.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Summer of Improvement

Phew! What a summer! Our household was a buzz all summer long with projects & road trips & youth camps. Everyone was going in a different direction. I am calling it our

"summer of improvements".

Some of my favorite television shows are the ones where some old, beat up or neglected house is fixed up or a dirty house is cleaned up & made beautiful again. I feel the same way about people. To watch someone who struggles with one thing or another, come to learn who they are (a child of God) and make changes in their life that leads to their progression is so inspiring to me. I love when something old is made new again. I love when something or someone damaged is made whole again. I guess you can say I am a HUGE fan of improvement!

My husband Derron went with our 14 yr. old son, Niclaas, and his scout group to Philmont in New Mexico. Philmont is a leadership camp owned & run by the Boy Scouts of America. They hiked approximately 90 miles over 10 days, showering only twice, once on the 5th day & the other before they loaded up the vans & headed home (thank goodness). It was such an important experience for them. It was tough but isn't that when we learn our greatest lessons? Long story son came home a different boy, an improved boy.

My 17 yr. old daughter went to "Especially For Youth" at the BYU Provo, UT campus. Another fantastic program. She had a great "building" experience. If you want to read a story of progression & improvement click here for an inspiring story, oh...and don't forget to check the "comments". I love when you get to hear the back story.

A long awaited home improvement project was finished....hallelujah! I have been looking at a pile of sandstone & dreaming of a patio for several years now. is FINALLY done! In the end I moved over 9,000 lbs. ( yes...I did mean to write 3 zeros) of sandstone & moved a dump truck load of sand with my shovel & wheel barrow. The backyard is greatly improved & so is my physic! So many people have been wondering what I've been doing to look so trim...well that's it. I always refer to my yard as my gym & this summer it definitely was. The great thing about "working out" in your yard is that in the end the improvement is two fold...the yard looks great & so do YOU! You'll never see me in an aerobics class but you will see me pushing a mower & hauling rocks & hoeing weeds.

The week before school started it was my turn for a get away. I went with two of my friends to the Barbara Barrington Jones "Especially For Women" at Thanksgiving Point in Utah. I went thinking it would be a fun trip with fun friends. What I didn't realize was that this was going to be the very best thing I've ever done for myself. That's the best way I can describe it. I'll never forget this experience. I am forever changed because of it and what I learned their will be improving me from this point on.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

An Advertisement

Check out "Clella Belle's Beads" aka "Cat's Creations". I just posted some new pieces. I will have them available during my yard sale next saturday. Mark your calendars...

Announcing Joseph City's 3rd Annual

Community Yard Sale

Saturday, May 21 @ 8:00 a.m.

*Maps at all sales & signs on Main Street

*Over 23 yard sales in one mile

*One family needs to get rid of a pool table!

*Bring your friends...Bring a truck...Pass it on!

Treasures and Friends, Friends I Treasure.

So I have these great friends, Julie, Linda & Jill. We LOVE to hunt for treasures in any thrift store, yard sale & junk yard we can find. Our latest adventure was a place that Jill recently discovered. I don't even remember the name of it but it was not unlike the backyard of a hoarder...only somewhat organized into sheds & old box cars & piles leaning against those sheds. We drove through the open gate into shangra la! Piles & heaps of old bed frames, old windows, old signs...You name it, if it was old & rusty, it was there! After walking around and eyeing all the possibilities, we noticed that no one seemed to be there. We then saw a note from the owner on the door of one of the sheds. He was out of town but he left a phone number, so Jill quickly dialed her phone. He soon answered...he was way out of Kansas out of town! So Jill asked if he would let us leave him the money for the items we had picked out! I love my friends...they are so bold! We had looked forward to this for over a week, we had driven over an hour, we had brought a truck, we did NOT want to go home empty handed. Guess what? He agreed! It was on, we started making our "piles" but we couldn't ignore the sign that read: "More Treasures Inside the Box Car". Only the box cars were padlocked! "MMM...I wonder if he keeps a key around for just such an occasion? Let's call him & ask". Sure enough...before we knew it Jill was on the phone with the owner as he gave her directions to the key! We were soon inside the box cars and they did not disappoint. The owner called us back a few times to see if we had any questions. Soon we were tallying up our purchases over the phone, writing our checks & leaving them where he could find them. After loading up the truck we were off to a great Mexican restaurant for lunch...after all it was "Cinco de Mayo". Our lunch was "deelish" and due to the holiday there were great specials. I don't think any of us paid more than $5.00 for our meal. We love to stretch a dollar. It was a great day! I'm grateful to have such genuine women to call my friends. They are such good examples to me, they help me be a better person and they make me laugh. I am looking forward to our next adventure in treasure hunting, but until then I am planning to return there, when the owner is home, and thank him for trusting us and allowing our day to not be ruined. Here are the treasures I came home with. I love the "For Good Results We Feed MoorMan's" sign. It's actually an old livestock feed brand:)

"I'm proud to say I love this place...Good ole' small town USA".