Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas letter 2009

I've decided to blog my Christmas letter. I've barely had time to write it, let alone anything for this poor neglected blog. It goes along with my new blog title which is the picture that I'm sending out with this letter. After several failed attempts to take a current family photo, I decided, why not just take pictures of what goes on everyday, so here it is.
Merry Christmas everyone.
“The best Christmas gift of all is the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other”.

We hope
this letter finds you all “wrapped” up!
Merry Christmas!
Happy Hansens are we!
Annelie can be found playing her piano by the Christmas tree.
Niclaas is curled up with his video games by the fire,
Seth’s excitement for Santa couldn’t be any higher!
Every hunting tag was filled but one.
poor Nissan’s hunting days are done!
Derron, Cat, Annelie, Niclaas & Seth

Annelie's Christmas Poem

My daughter Annelie wrote this poem for a Seminary project. She read it to me last night & it made me cry. I love her so much & she impresses me all the time, I really think she was switched at birth & should have been with some other mother much more righteous than I am. But I'm keeping her! She is such a blessing to our family. When you read her writings it's hard not to feel of her spirit & her positive perspective on life, you can't help but smile.

Said one reindeer to the other as they warmed themselves in a stall.
“Say, do we ever get a retirement? Or will we have to do it all?”“What do you mean?” cried his friend,
“We’ve only been for centuries on end.”
“But is there anymore to our lives than flying around the globe?”“Besides lugging an ever-growing Saint Nick around? You’d have to probe.”
“And delivering presents to girls and boys?”
“That last only until battery no longer employs?”
“Yes,” Dancer nodded, “Because if that’s all, this world is quite empty.”
“Well,” Vixen sighed, “at least you and I are in good company.”
“But I have heard of another,”
“Oh? And who is that, Brother?”
“The one mentioned in all those beautiful carols, don’t you know.”
“Santa Claus, Jack Frost, Rudolph, or sleighs riding in snow?”
“Neither. Try Emanuel, Savior, Christ, a Son,”
“And why is your interest so very much won?”
“He promises gifts that go beyond this day, and that come to all mankind.”
“But does not Santa give to all? I’ve seen all those presents, I am not blind.”
“Santa only gives to the nice, remember.”
“But who is he to reward those of the naughty member?”
“They say he did it out of mercy, out of love. All so he could heal.”“But, Dancer, I find wisdom in Mr. Clause, with his holiday seal.”
“Well, this man sees differently than Santa does,”
“I guess so. Beyond, even, all that red and white fuzz.”
The two fell silent as their comrades each fell into nap.
Broken by a timid Vixen, “Santa lets you sit on his lap.”
“Yes, but His arms are open for all,
“more comforting than any ol’ elf shawl.”
Frustration began to heat within Vixen despite the icy air,
“However,” argued he, “Santa wishes all joy out of care.”
“That is true, but don’t you see?
“this man can give joy to you and me.”
“Why,” Dancer continued excitedly, his ideas expanding,
“He knows everyone and, in every sense, where they’re standing,
“he doesn’t have to ask your name--
“But I don’t think Santa’s to blame,
Interrupted Vixen, “Why do you put your master down so?”
“Don’t get me wrong,” Dancer muttered, “Santa’s a jolly and kind fellow,
“But this Christ is the real master,
“and he leads to greener pasture,”
“for though our harnesses are trimmed with jingle bells of delight,”
“His chariot I would rather pull, His yoke is easy and His burden light.”

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

You might be a redneck if...

You might be married to a redneck if you come home to this in your driveway! Yes, yes, this is what is normaly used to fry a turkey. No need to worry for those who have enjoyed some fried turkey at my house on Thanksgiving, I wouldn't allow him to use the same pot. To those of you wondering what in the world is going on here, you are correct if you think you see deer antlers sticking out of the pot. This is what must be done to clean the deer skull down to the bone so you can hang that beauty on the wall.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Walk in the Wash

Just thought I'd share some of the fun pictures I took in the wash last weekend.
This is a very typical scene, Annelie & Nic running after Seth. He likes to win, so they always let him.
Thanks to my kids for being good sports & letting me practice my photography on them. It was a fun day.

Technical Difficulties

To anyone who follows my blog or who occasionally peaks in to see what is happening in Joe Town I apologize for the lack of updates. My computer was recently attacked by some viruses which brought my poor little blog to a screeching halt. Although I must admit that I haven't been keeping it updated like I would like too. Ever get in a creative slump? Well that's where I've been lately. But with the change in seasons & the energy that comes with anticipation of the holidays I'm feeling a surge. Mostly my thoughts have been a tad on the philosophical side, hope that doesn't turn anyone away. Don't worry this won't turn into "Deep thoughts by Cat Hansen", maybe "A deep thought or two by Cat Hansen".

Friday, November 13, 2009

Jumping for Joy!

What could be more fun than jumping in the leaves? Jumping in the leaves on a trampoline! This has been one of the most enjoyable fall seasons in my memory. The colors have been so bright & have lingered, due to the lack of wind to blow all the leaves away. Yes I said "lack" of wind. But that all came to an end yesterday.

There are still a few leaves holding on but for the most part they have blown away in the wind. It is similiar to our memories I think. Since I moved to this little town, almost 17 years ago, I have been impressed with all the fun memories that people have of growing up in this place. Listening to them made me wish I had grown up here. A place where a kid can be a kid. Time has kind of stood still here in alot of ways. It's not uncommon for me to look out my back door & see my son Niclaas in the back field carrying his BB gun or to hear on a quiet afternoon the boom of my nephew Justin's potatoe gun. Kids here still load up & head out to the badlands to roll some tires & it's not hard to spot a tree house or a fort of some kind. This past Halloween some teenagers I know decided to go out to the cemetery to try & scare themselves, but it's hard to get scared in a place where you've regularly chopped weeds & have helped in a few eagle scout projects. I don't think anyone who grows up here realizes just how unique it is until they leave & find out that the rest of the world isn't like Joe City. My daughter Annelie used to tell me that she never wanted to leave here but my kids are growing & I feel that some things will come to an end. My daughter will go to college in two & a half years & everytime I think about it I get teary eyed & I start to feel a little anxious. I enjoy my kids so much, they are my joy. Watching them grow up has been a great blessing to me. I've been there for it all, we've made some great memories & I will hold onto them with all my heart & the winds of this life will not blow them away.

To my kids I want to say, take your memories & your light, use them to bless others around you & spread a little Joe City around.

"What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love becomes a part of us".

Helen Keller

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Fall Photo Shoot With the Kiddos

The fall colors in Joseph City have been beautiful this year. I just had to gather the kids & get some photos. This one was Nic's idea & getting Seth to cooperate was less than simple. I had to bribe him to get this shot.
Getting Nic to pose isn't very easy either. He can't scream & yell in protest though, well I guess he could but if you know Nic you know that would never happen, it's more of a silient protest. He just endures it all.
So if the colors are so pretty why are these photos in black & white? Well I couldn't get Seth to change his shirt so that the kids would all match & I just kinda like them this way.
Here's a great one in color! The red leaves from my virginia creeper vine were all over the lawn. The pictures don't really do them justice, it was really pretty.

Speaking of pretty, I hate to brag but what can I say? I'm the mother & that's just how it is.
A fun little conversation I had with Seth the other day,
Seth: Mom I need you.
Me: What do you need your mom for?
Seth: Cuz I "lub" you.
Me: Oh Seth, you light up mommies life.
Seth: Mom mom light up Seth's life.
Ask me how grateful I am that I decided to have "one more".

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Happy 29th Julie!

I think Niclaas said it best when we were sitting down eating lunch after church on Sunday, he looked out the window & across the street & said "Mom, I love when Aunt Julie is with us, she makes everything better". Nic doesn't ever express himself much but he has always been a deep thinker & when he does decide to express himself we always listen. Niclaas has always loved his Aunt Julie. She's the one who gave him his nickname "Pickle". She loved to tease him with her "wicked witch" voice, "Let me feel your finger little boy". I knew he loved her because every time she said it he would stand there & hold out his finger. He wouldn't do that for anyone else! She has a way of endearing herself to her nieces & nephews like no one I have ever seen.
On a personal note I will just say that I completely agree with Nic, she does make things better. She is a great example to me & I am a better person for knowing her. We've walked & talked for miles, laughed & cried together. She is my sister & I love her.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Go Wildcats!

What you are about to view are photos taken during a recent tailgate party organized by the Obed Ward to spur on the Wildcat Varsity Football team. These are some real classics to be viewed & treasured in our memories for as long as you have one! To start it off we see John Hansen, a true "Joe City" character, leading the cheer!
Next we have the Achievement Day girls lead by none other than the perpetual cheerleader herself, Ms. Julie Clifford in her favorite golden skirt & pom poms.
And here is her son, obviously, & his sidekick Derek Downs leading the tailgaters in the WAVE!
There were lots of fun activities like this watermelon eating contest lead by Bishop Palmer. If eating hotdogs was your thing, there was that contest too.

Now what your about to see just might be my most favorite photos I've ever taken & I've taken alot of photos.
Yes folks, this is Dr. Doyle Hansen doing the "Chicken Dance"and next to him, as if I need to point her out, is that Gold Skirt!
It looks like Dr. Hansen is enjoying retirement!
Speaking of retirement, I was drug out of my golden years of a "has been" majorette along with former Wildcat Mascot, Gerald Hansen to entertain the fans. We did our best.

It is kinda hard to see my baton, it's a little lost in the sunlight, but I even twirled for the crowd, something I haven't done in 20 years! It's not like riding a bike.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Peaches, Peaches! We All Fall Down!

It's September, & in September truckloads of peaches come into town from Utah. In keeping up this long standing tradition we all put our orders in, one box or two. Some families order four or five! You know when the day of delivery is here, just drive through town & you will see boxes of peaches on every front porch, where they stay as we check them daily waiting for them to ripen enough to "put up". (That's canning slang for "preserve"). We are all getting ready to bottle, freeze, cobbler, jam & jelly 'em up! The conversation among the women all over town is consumed by this subject. We are all in a frenzy, on a race against over ripe fruit & the onslaught of the ever annoying fruit fly! When I married my dear husband & he moved me to this little town, I was eager to be a good Joe City woman & was willing to learn everything that this entailed. On my way to reaching this goal I had to reach out to the older, wiser & more experienced generation of Joe City women. On the top of my list was of course my mother-in-law, Eleanor Hansen. She has a wealth of knowledge & I have been learning from her for 17 years now. After receiving my first order of peaches she taught me how to can them & how to make jam with them. She taught me how to appreciate a beautifully bottled can of peaches. You can't just shove them in the jar, you have to place them in so that they look nice. Since then, I always stand back to admire my bottled peaches when there all done & sitting on the shelf. I am grateful for this lesson in taking care to make all my hard work look good. I love being a part of this tradition. I finshed all my peaches today & am proud to say that out of two boxes I only had to throw away 2 rotten peaches! My back hurts from standing all day & my hands & nails are fruit stained but it will be very rewarding to go down in the cellar in the middle of winter & grab a jar of fresh peaches that I preserved myself & I can pronounce all the ingredients, peaches, water, sugar.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A Birthday Bash for a Real Special Lady.

The invitation read:
"Like sand in the Joe City wash,
so are the days of Darcy’s life.
Come celebrate Darcy’s 47 years of celibacy!
The festive occasion requires festive wear.
Grass skirts, coconut bra’s, etc.
are mandatory.
Place: Julie Clifford’s back yard
(aka Eleanor’s Secret Garden)
Time: 6:00 p.m.
(Happy hour 6:00 – 7:00, last call 9:00)
Date: August 29, 2009
Keep this info under your grass skirt,
Darcy is unaware of her peril."
And come they did! Festive wear & all!
Toya was so proud of her grass skirt.
Mike was so proud of his Hawaiin shirt! (Well not really, it just rhymed so well). I think he was asking for the hula dancers. We did tell him it was a luau but hey, he's livin' on Porter Ave. & Julie & I in our grass skirts & the irrigation ditch running in the back yard is the closest he's gonna get to the islands around here!
Elizabeth & Jordan led us in some great "Parlor" games! There were moments when I felt we could have been in the scene from the classic musical Scrooge playing "The Ministers Cat". Mike would have played the part of Scrooge, except we could hear him. I know how fond he is of that movie. Every Christmas he does his best to avoid it!
Liz & Jordan also put together a power point presentation titled,
"Nuggets of Wisdom from Miss Combs"
It was great! The party was sooo much fun, I laughed so hard I went home with a headache!
In the end Darcy reminded us that she was 48 not 47 years old!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Fun at the Badlands!

Yes! I am still here. I apologize for the long hiatus. I haven't been any busier than usual, just a bad case of the "BLAHS"! I would sit down to write & NOTHING would come to my mind. Creativity is a funny thing. At least it is for me. I'm either really feeling "it" or I'm not. So this morning I'm kinda feeling "it", but these are fun pictures so if the writing isn't good you can just enjoy the photos.

The Badlands are a favorite pass time for us here in Joe City. Many, many memories. My mother-in-law told me once that years ago it was the thing to do on Sundays after church. Families would take a picnic out to the Badlands & play after church. That sort of thing would be frowned on these days. I guess we have progressed in our "sainthoood" & strive to keep the Sabbath Day a little holier. Now we stay home & play card games & eat peach cobbler. Some of us have even gone door to door on the Sabbath & "peddled our wares". All for a good cause of course. So good, we got even the staunchest of Sabbath Day keepers to break out there check books! Now I've drifted from my topic, anyway...the Badlands are a great playground. The kids love to run around climbing the hills & then sliding down .

This is what happens if you slide down without a sled.
If you check out Chompie's knee you'll see what happens if you don't stay on the sled. This sled is our favorite. It is made from a piece of dump truck liner given to us by Diamond S. Julie & I bent the front up using a welding torch to heat the plastic. It is super durable . Any traditional sled wouldn't stand a chance.
Popcorn anyone? Julie is quite proud of her vintage popcorn popper. She even uses it at home over the burner on the stove. Where there is flame she will pop the corn. What a true Hansen, Pumpa would be so proud.
Here is "Sparky" one of Auntie Julie's minions. Doesn't he look entranced? He's thinking "Ju Ju, Popcorn, Ju Ju, Popcorn". She's got him wrapped around her finger.
I do have to tell the story behind this "Popper" & I don't mean Julie. It was found at the local goodwill on one of mine & Julie's many treasure hunts. We were looking for "pioneer" memorabilia to give away for door prizes at a "Pioneer day" party. Now we have been known to give away such items as prairie rings forged from nails found on the trail, wooden toys widdled by Brigham Young himself en route to the Salt Lake Valley, the frying pan that fried the first egg in Joe City, even an oil painting of a prize winning bull owned by pioneer rancher Joseph Christian Hansen, which, the last I heard was hanging in the office of our beloved Bishop & Seminary teacher Alan Palmer. Julie found this popper & asked me if I thought we should put it in our cart so I did. But it was five dollars & I just didn't think we should spend that much for a door prize so she suggested I buy it for myself, it would be "so fun" to have she said, so I thought about it & after a while I took it out of the cart & put it back on the shelf. When she saw that, she grabbed it & decided to buy it for herself instead. It has turned out to be, as she says"One of my most favorite treasures I've ever found!" And she loves to remind me that it could have been mine & I just didn't have the "vision" that day.
After the running around & eating popcorn, we roasted marshmallows for smores & then ended the evening with the one thing that we Joe City people just love, we "rolled tires!" Outsiders might ask what is so fun about hefting tires & a can of gasoline up a steep hill of loose dirt, filling the tire with fuel, lighting it up & sending it down the hill? All I can say is, we just do, I don't know why, it's just a "Joe City Thang."

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Faithful Scout Indeed.

This is a special post that I am sending out to my dear nephew Steven who appreciates all things "Joe City" & who himself is a great example of what this little town can produce. There have been many a scout brought up in Joe City but none as faithful & hard working as this one!
If you pay any attention to Gale Hansen you have seen this sight many a time. The one thing missing would be his less than excited farm hands.
Oh, here they are! Well by proxy anyway. I recruited the younger generation to fill in for me. I even got them up very early in the morning so I could capture that "I can't believe we are awake & have to go work" look. They do look quite similiar to the originals don't you think? I'm sure the memories aren't as fond for them as they are for me, but I will always remember seeing them early in the morning, while Julie & I were walking, sitting on the tail gate donning they're irrigation boots & long faces as they drove past us on their way to the farm.
Here's the ScoutMaster himself. Here stands the essence of Joe City. A hardworking farmer & his trusty steed, but in Gale's case, "Scout". It is plain to see that this machine has seen better days. On hot days, if you drive fast enough, you can generate the air conditioning through the holes in the floor board, but if you make a sharp turn you may get more air conditioning than you want when the door flies open. Riding in this vehicle is a real "raw" experience. You'd better have some gloves on & be ready to work, otherwise get out! I think that could be our town motto!
"On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to Gale and his farm and to obey the Joe City Law; To help other people at all times; To keep myself physically strong and haul as many bales of hay as I possibly can without blowing my transmission, mentally awake and morally straight, as long as the farmer driving me hasn't been awake all night irrigating"
This scout definitely lives up to it's oath. I might have to start saluting when it goes by!