Have a Laugh

I laughed hard exactly five times yesterday.

#1) While I was working in the kitchen in the morning making cookies, my son started singing.  Here’s a little background: Santa Clause brought my son a neon green fish that looked like Lacy’s neon pink fish.  Lacy named her fish a few different things before settling on Glinda the Good Fish.  Because Trent isn’t old enough to think of his own pet names, Lacy took it upon herself to name the green fish Jesus.  We tried in vain to dissuade her.  Really, we tried everything.  There’s something radically irreverent about a fish named Jesus.  I expected lightening to strike the tank at anytime, but it never did.  Anyway, we don’t have to worry about it anymore.  The green fish died.  We found it dead in the tank minutes before leaving town to visit Grammy.  We broke the news to the kids on the drive over, and when Lacy arrived at Grammy’s house, she spread the word… “Jesus died!” I told this to my brother, and he suggested we save the fish until Easter to see if it came to.  Sadly, the fish has been flushed.   The bright side to this story is that I thought I didn’t have to worry about lightening striking anything.  I counted my eggs before they were hatched, it would seem.  And I couldn’t help but laugh as I listened to my son sing one of the only songs he knows by heart:

“He’s makin’ a list and checkin’ it Christ.”

I corrected him and he now sings it correctly.  Though it took one more, “He’s makin’ a list and checkin’ it Chr–TWICE.”  But he did get it.  And that’s all that matters.

#2) Lacy has some markers.  I bought them on clearance at Wal-Mart and they hardly ever come out to play.  They are special occasion markers.  As I was getting ready for mutual and my husband on sitting on our bed, our little Lacy Lou came plowing into our bedroom, her arm covered in blue marker.

“TRENT DID THIS!” She cried, holding out the offending blue marker, “So I just said ‘DEMMIT’ to him!”

I popped out of the bathroom and into the bedroom, “What did you just say?” I asked.

“I say Trent did THIS!” She held out her arm, “And I was so mad so I just said ‘demmit’ to him.”

Dad took care of that situation.  Sometimes the best solution to a problem is the cause.

#3) Curiosity got the better of this cat, who -for some reason I’ll never know -wondered what it would be like to be a pair of dirty jeans.

I’ve come to believe it’s my lot in life to hear thuds followed by screams. Such was the case yesterday. Any good mother would have just pulled the kid out. But I asked her not to move while I got the camera. These are the things we never want to forget.

(no children were harmed while these pictures were taken. Apart from being shaken up, she was absolutely fine.)

#4) One of my Beehives told me about the book she’s reading. She gave me an introduction into what the book is like, and it went something like this: “It’s like an old book. Not like ‘old’ old, but like set back in time. Like…” she paused here to gather her thoughts… “okay, like you know when they used to kill people that they thought were witches? Like that. The book happened around that time but it’s fake. The story isn’t real… like the Titanic.”

Instead of correcting her, I just nodded and proceeded to make notes on the paper in front of me of what she was saying so I’d be sure not to forget it.

#5) Trent busted out what he likes to call his Battle Cat last night. Prepare to be scared.

Heaven help the David who goes against THAT Goliath.

To Bulk Shop or Not to Bulk Shop?

I love shopping bulk.  When my feet alight the floors of Sam’s, my heart skips a few beats and I ain’t kiddin’.  I sorta wish I were because that’s really geeky of me.  If I had $1000 to just spend in any one store, that store would be Sam’s Club.  I tell you this so you’ll know that I shop Sam’s because I love Sam’s.  I don’t necessarily shop Sam’s to save money.

I’ve never been one to crunch numbers.  I’ve never been one to crunch much of anything which is why my abs look like they do (bread dough, anyone?).  But a few times a year, I’ll look at my massive carton of Olive Oil and wonder ‘AM I saving money?’

On one hand, it’s nice to stock up on stuff like toilet paper because we live out in the country.

On the other hand, we spend so much in gas (over $60 a trip) to just go to the city (read: to go to Sam’s Club).

On one hand, the prices ARE lower!  Two pounds of colby/jack cheese for 6 bucks!

On the other hand, we pay a $40 membership… and then there’s the gas.

On one hand, we don’t have to shop for essentials regularly.

On the other hand: we still do.

It’s all my fault, and here’s why: I use more of the essentials if we have them.  I once made the monumental mistake of buying the Sam’s Club size Crisco Shortening and proceeded to bake my weight in cookies.  Bad, bad.  How did THAT save money? or time? or health?

Take last night for instance.  The kids were bored.  They were starting to fight, and I had spent all day not really playing with them because I was getting a costume ready.  I played the part of Ruth in a Relief Society program last night, and I hadn’t gotten a costume ready at all.  I ended up saying a prayer the MORNING OF the program and taking a pair of scissors to three yards of yellow fabric.

(Note to Jewel: I finally used up the last of the pale yellow fabric!  Now I’ve got to figure out how to use up the yards and yards of school bus yellow fabric. Boo.)

(Note to Sara: your sister, Emily, is on the front row dressed as the mother of Joseph who was sold into Egypt.  She was laughing because she is pregnant and portraying a woman who died giving birth.  She did awesome.)

(Note to Laurie: Beki is on the far right.  She portrayed Emma Smith and did an amazing job.)

(Note to Kristal: thanks a million for snapping pictures for me, champ.)

Carol Shelly is on the far left. She’s the most beautiful woman in town.

I can’t tell you how nervous I was about this whole thing. Silly, isn’t it? I was amongst friends! Anyway, it was a really neat experience (“the memory of which I wouldn’t part with for anything”). As I stumbled through the door of my home after the program, arms laden with food and head laden with a headache, I saw my kiddos. They needed the attention they’d been denied all day.
“Let’s play,” I said to my daughter.
“PIRATES?!” She asked.
“Sure,” I nodded. My son went immediately into action, throwing on his pirate hat (compliments of Gerri -thanks, Gerri!).
I went to the cupboards and pulled out my tin foil. I purchased it at Sam’s Club, you know.
I purchased approximately 50 thousand POUNDS of tinfoil all at once from Sam’s Club. I made three swords (ugly swords). After I’d been wounded and killed a number of times, I made a two guns (ugly guns). Then my little girl pirate magically turned into Snow White and requested a crown. I made her one that wasn’t up to par, so she asked for another, insisting I wear her cast-off. As long as we’re talking about insisting, I was also forced to call her Snow White for the remainder of the evening.

(check out her “beaded” necklace. I’ll sell you one for 10 cents.)

We had so much fun that Dad couldn’t resist playing with us.

I should have made my pirate name “Ruthless” on account of my still sporting half of my Ruth costume. Har har. Not like the kids would have appreciated my cheesy humor. Matter of fact: I don’t think they EVER will.

The question remains: Am I actually saving money by shopping at Sam’s?
The answer? Who givza.

Too Much Goodness

Have you ever had days that were so stock full of goodness you didn’t know how to put it all into words?  What do I want to remember most?  The visit with Granny?  The visit to a friend?  The evening spent in the company of my great-great-great grandfather’s military medals?

First things first, I must tell you how smart my grandmother is.  She’s a reflexology whiz, and could tell my just by looking at my tootsies… that my body isn’t assimilating proteins.  Do you know what that means?  THAT means I now have an excuse to buy up chickens to my heart’s content, raise them, butcher the better part of them, and keep a few to lay eggs for my breakfast and brunchy whims.  Typing that all out makes me sound a little less like a nurturing mother and a little more like a blood thirsty dictator.


After one great session with my grandmother, I raced to pick up the children from my sister-in-law and then I raced to pick up my husband from work and then I went the speed limit to Snowflake where I spent over an hour with my friend Jewel and her all-natural peanut butter.  Of course I ended up talking about myself much more than I should have -a great failing of mine that I’m constantly trying to remedy.  I do believe I’ll spend the better part of my life trying to conquer my personality failings.  I need to let my real outlet be this blog and leave it at that.  I spent the entire drive home wondering how the heck Jewel really was, and I was in a bad state of remorse for not being a better friend.  My one consolation? That I’d have another try.  We’ll take our husbands and our childrens and we will grill meats and eat salads.  Date impending.

After leaving Jewel’s, we went home and ate some dinner.

We ate some boneless, skinless chicken breast that I had made in the crockpot earlier that day.  Granny told me two very important things:

#1)I need to stop eating store bought meat as much as possible -chicken is the very worst sort on account of the antibiotics and horomones in the meat.  My body is not assimilating proteins and my store-bought chicken intake is not helping.  I must give it up and replace it like a blood thirsty Hitler, which -despite my naturally nurturing nature -I’m happy to do.

#2) I need to chew my food better.  This is a monumental task for me given that I was raised in a family of six children who all raced to see who could eat fastest.

As I ate my chicken last night, I thought the least I could do was chew.  I had to concentrate on chewing.  Isn’t that a little sad?  A little pathetic?  I thought so, anyway.  I got over it, though, when I knew at the end of my chewing I’d be rewarded with

THE medals. The medals I’ve heard so much talk of! They were in my hands!

That’s him decked out in his medals. Isn’t he the best looking man you’ve ever seen (husbands aside)? He lived about the same time Jane Austen did, though I’d venture to say that he outdoes all of her heroes. He is incomparable.
He was so adored that he had 14 wives.
Okay, I just had to throw that in there. I don’t think he had 14 wives on account of his looks. I think he had 14 wives because some women needed a husband and he was up to the task (what a champ). I might also throw in that he didn’t take a second wife until after the death of his first wife. I might also throw in that his second wife was the widow of his brother. I might ALSO throw in that he married a woman by the same name as his first wife (Maren Katherine -who I come through) (the first one, not the second one), and I’m wondering if that ever threw him for a loop.
A quick excerpt from his journal:
On May 24th (1851), I took employment in
Copenhagen. While here I was afforded
the opportunity to hear about a religious
movement called Mormonism, the correct
name is, “The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints.” I was informed about its
truthfulness by the Lord, who was the originator
of the same, and he gave me about
it. One of the Elders of the Church, Elder
Christiansen, visited me at the room where
I resided. During our conversation he put
his hand upon my previously mentioned
injured knee. I then thought to myself, if
he is a servant of God, like unto those of
olden times, then the healing power should
affect me because of being touched by
him. He had no knowledge of my injury.
As he touched me, I felt a chill go over my
whole body. I excused my self and left the
room to remove the bandage from my
knee and, from that time on, I was made
well and whole.

And now a few more pictures:

Thanks to Google’s translator, I can tell you the wording on the medal says:

The words on the above medal translate to “GOD AND KING.”

This little guy was hard to make out.

I haven’t the slightest what it means, and I’m very sorry for it.

Jens Hansen was an amazing man who rose up from the depths of poverty as a child to become a Latter-Day Saint Pioneer. His son, Joseph (the only surviving child from his marriage to Maren Katherine the First) helped to settle the place I live in now. Joseph’s son, Delbert, helped the place I live in now to flourish.  Delbert’s son, Eugene, brought economy to our little town through his dairy and ranching. And Eugene’s son -my dad – continues the tradition on, working in a mechanic shop Delbert Hansen helped to build up.  My father’s son is carrying on that tradition. It’s in his blood, it would seem.

The Hansen Boys’ hands are all callused from hard work, and everything those calluses touch tend to flourish.  Hard work has a wonderful way of making an oasis out of a desert, it seems.
Many thanks to Aunt Sarah May for letting me barge into her home last night and take pictures of every little thing she put in front of my face AND for giving me a CD full of great information and great pictures.
Like this one:
I think it’s officially safe to blame my obstinate facial hair on my great great great grandfather.

Papa Roach

This weekend, we were able to skip town and visit family down in the warm, sunny valley.  It was a quick trip, but we’re always SO excited to go when we can!  Saturday night, my husband went out looking for a sturdy pair of shoes, and he took his little sister with him.  I stayed home with the kids.  I was in a Sunday dress on account of just having come home from the Young Women General Broadcast.

My in-laws, my children and I were all camped in front of the TV watching Bobby Flay throwdown.  As I watched, my daughter came toward me with her hands cupped together.

“This,” she said, holding her hands out so I could see them, “was under Trent’s pillow.”

I peaked into her softly cupped sweet little hands to find… a roach.  I yelped a great yelp, causing my daughter to jump and THROW the roach out of her hands and ONTO my skirt.  I started yelping and yelping and yelping some more and jumping and swiping… in short, I freaked out.  My poor daughter burst into tears, and in the middle of it all my mother-in-law, who had dozed off on the couch, shot up and wondered if the house was burning down.

It took more than a few minutes to settle my daughter down.

All my fault.

If I had handled the situation like a grown up instead of a wimpy little girl, we would all be better off.  As it is, my daughter is scarred.  Thinking about the incident on our drive home, I was reminded of Carson Daly.  Is that how you spell his name?  Anyway, I used to LIVE for his top ten countdown on MTV.  One of my all-time favorite music videos was Papa Roach’s “Last Resort.”

I went to youtube and watched it this morning.

Oh. My.  I think we can all pin point THAT video as the spark that flamed into the movement now known as EMO.  I’ll post the video, if you want to watch it.  I’ll also recap here:

punk singer dressed in black.

Offensive lyrics about how awful life is.

Zoom in on depressed, tatted teen.

Lather, rinse, repeat.  Over and over and over and over until the video ends in one screaming mess of depression, piercings, and black clothing. Immediately after watching it, I watched an old music video, “Cruel To Be Kind.”  It was like walking from Baltic Avenue to Boardwalk.



Up and Running

Yesterday was so unbelievably full.  A few months ago, every single day of my life read a lot like yesterday.  Life has slowed down considerably.  I know that isn’t the modern way -slowing down -but it is the only way.  My health has given me no choice but to slow it down and get it together.

But yesterday was so nice!  It’s no wonder I so easily get sucked into a life of constant going going going.  I enjoy it!  We woke up early and went into the city, took care of urgent business, bustled home, dropped my husband off so he could get to work, picked the kids up from Super JuJu, sent one on a quick trip to Snowflake with Grandpa, took the other with me to Woodruff to pay a visit to Granny (who is married to a man that makes the very BEST raspberry freezer jam on account of his growing his own raspberries), stopped at the grocery store on the way home for tomatoes to make bruschetta with, picked up Lacy, came home, cleaned up, made dinner for ourselves and mom’s crew, cleaned up dinner, finished Darah’s apron, put the kids to bed, and finished out the day with TWO HOURS of alone time which I gladly filled with TWO HOURS of Cranford.

At midnight, I scolded myself into bed -stopping only to take my contacts out. As I slid my thick-rimmed glasses on my face, I started laughing.

I told you it’s been months since I’ve had a day like yesterday and it has! I remember having a day like yesterday the last week of October. At the end of it, I took both of my children to a truck-or-treat the ward hosted. I was extremely embarrassed to be going out in public with my glasses on. What’s worse: my hair wasn’t styled. My make up wasn’t on properly. But I knew the kids would want to go. I couldn’t let them down on account of my vanity. Once there, the leaders invited the children to form a line and they paraded in a circle through the gym area so we might all see the costumes. I stood next to my oldest brother, snapping pictures of all our children.
“Who are you?” he asked.
“What?” I put my camera down and looked at him.
“What’s your costume?” He asked. Before I could stammer out an answer, he suggested one. “Sarah Palin?”

And I laughed. And I laughed. And laughed and laughed and laughed. Months later, I’m still laughing.

After yesterday, I slept hard. I don’t remember my dreams which is a blessing given that a few nights ago I had a rather disturbing dream about Justin Bieber, a huge lake, and a dock.
I was out cold, and had no idea that sometime in the middle of the night… I received guests.
I woke up to bed bugs.
Also: as a sister who is teased by brothers, I felt a certain sympathy for my daughter who spent the better part of last night having her precious little legs smashed by a brother.

Now that the house is waking up, I’ve got to get moving. With a little bit of luck, I’ll finish Cranford today. With a little bit of luck, I’ll make more french bread for my husband. With a little bit of luck, I’ll clean the car out. With a miracle, I’ll do it all showered, dressed, and completely ready for the day.  I’ll make Sarah proud.


If you find yourself alone with your child’s candy and rationalize taking a piece…

you WILL end up with the coffee flavored jelly bean.

Lesson learned.


I’ve been trying to get my room in a get-away state.  I want to be able to enter it, shut and lock the door, and feel as if I’m in my own space.  I’ve got a color scheme in mind and I know where and how I want everything.  All I need is a little $$$$$.  My husband squirreled away a chunk of change without my knowing it and graciously handed it over to me on Saturday.

I took us all to Real Deals -a boutique style home decor store with very friendly prices.

CLICK HERE to learn more about them.  They’re a franchise, so there’s a few here and there.  They’re only open two days a week, so you have to pay close attention.

While perusing the store (which was easy to do because they have a playroom in the back!), I found a sign.  Please forgive me for what I’m about to say: No fan am I of signs with sayings.

But this one?  It made me tear up.  I was standing in the middle of the store with tears welling up in my eyes staring at a sign.  With a saying on it.

So I bought it. At $10, I really had no reason not to. A friend of mine was nice enough to google the saying and found out that it can be attributed to…
Ben Franklin.
Well, NO WONDER. Signs with sayings must always be forgiven if their father author is Ben Franklin. I love that man. He is one of my heroes. The sign is not on the wall yet. I’m waiting for JUST the right place.

Onto something more better.

My brother took a little trip this week. He went into a small Asian trinket store and found a few treasures which he took pictures of and then texted them to me.

“Is it REALLY?” He asked.


My neighbor gave me a jar full of growing crystals around Christmas time. My brother found some of those crystals in the shop and took a picture of what we think are the growing instructions.
I get a lot of Spam comments that read something like those instructions.

For laughs:

Aren’t you glad my brother is in this world? I am.
I love him.
I love Real Deals.
I love that I’m the only one up right now (knock on wood).

Children Darling

My daughter borrowed “Peter Pan” from some of my favorite kids.  After watching it one day during her rest time, she came over to me and said, “I’m going to call you mother today.”

I said, “Okay, Lacy Darling.”  She loved being Lacy Darling, and she went out of her way to find different ways to talk to me -just so she could exercise the Mother word.

“Here’s a towel, Mother.”

“Mother, I love you.”

“Mother, look at my twirls.”

Yesterday, she took to calling me mother again.  She also insisted that I refer to her as Lacy Darling.  But Lacy isn’t always Darling, so sometimes I forgot.  Like when she hit her brother about a million times yesterday.  Like when she had to be asked a million times to pick up her things and STILL decided not to.  Like when she yelled at her brother.  Like when she threw a screaming FIT when we left the second birthday party of yesterday

By the time the sun went down and I had prepared and delivered both a FHE lesson, dinner, and a FHE snack and then gotten the kids bathed, dressed in PJs, and had family prayer… I was through.  Wasted.

I sat down on the couch while Lacy “Darling” scurried to clean her room up in hopes of getting to color in her chore graph (it didn’t happen, by the way.  She couldn’t stay up long enough to finish her room because it had been days since she’d cleaned it).  Sitting next to me was my husband.  I listened to the kids fighting in their room (“No!  TRENT!   GET OUTTA HERE!  I just gotta CLEAN UP!”) and the sounds of Angry Birds coming from my husband’s phone, and I took a stand.

“I’m going to bed,” I said.  I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve gone to bed while the children were still up.  But last night, I was at the end of my rope.  I said my prayers, slathered my feet in lotion before applying my awesome arch support socks, and then remembered that I had forgotten to take my daily herb.

I went back out into the jungle and took it.  As I walked by the kids’ room, they were both in bed watching “How To Train Your Dragon.”

“Goodnight, babies,” I cooed to them, and made my way into my room.

“MOM!?” Came the cry as crossed the threshold into my room.

“NOGOTOBED!” I shouted back, almost without realizing it.  The silence that followed was broken only by a thundering laugh from my husband.

Apparently shouting after cooing makes me a regular comedian.

Or maybe just a regular mom.


When we were first married, my husband worked part-time at a department store.  He used his employee discount to buy me some good tennis shoes.  I really needed some, and I used the HECK out of those shoes.  I really did.

In truth: I haven’t bought a new pair of athletic shoes since then -over five years ago.  It was all a money issue.  I mean, when you have to choose between diapers for the children or shoes for your feet, you’re going to choose diapers every time!  Trust me!  I bought new shoes between then and now.  Sort of.

I bought a pair of flats on clearance at Wal-Mart.  Of course, I bought The Old Lady shoes from Savers.  Um.  There has to be more, but I honestly can’t remember.  I should go check my shoe rack and see, but that would require getting up nothankyou.

This story might have ended all right and good (if you push the whole “fashion” idea out of the picture as only buying shoes every five years is something much less than trendy).  BUT I happen to have arches so high they rival The Eiffel Tower.  About a year ago, the nagging pain that pinched in my knees when I got on the ground to change the kids’ diapers started coming around more often.  Every time I bent down, my knees wanted to sock me.  Every time I got up, they wanted to stab me… to say NOTHING of what they thought about my climbing stairs.  Ow, ow, ow.

My husband sat me down on the couch Friday night and forced me to list what needs to be done to get my young body acting it’s own age instead of a grandmother’s age.  I didn’t want to, honestly.  I don’t like spending money on myself when we need a new bed so badly.  But when he looks at me like that -all concerned and worried -I can’t help but give him whatever information he requires.

New shoes, I told him.  New shoes with arch support.

My Granny, I told him.  My Granny and her reflexology treatments.

More money for the food budget, I told him.  A little more money to pay for things like healthy peanut butter and DoTerra oils.

The very next day, he drove me into the city and bought me a pair of good shoes.  Then he bought me gel arch support insoles.  Then he bought me arch supportive socks.

(granted these are those shoes that are supposed to tone your buttocks while you sweep the kitchen, but I didn’t buy them for that. I bought them because their comfort level is off the charts.)

I’ve taken these shoes off to sleep, shower, and attend church.  That is it.  I’ve felt an immediate difference in the knee pain.  It’s still ever-present, but it’s manageable.  This gives me hope that it will continue to improve!  I wore them until almost midnight a few nights ago and really rather considered sleeping in them.  My husband noticed me walking around the house and pulled me over to him.

“Don’t EVER go that long without taking care of yourself,” he said, seriously, “I promised to take care of YOU before we ever had kids.  You need to let me keep that promise.”

I got in trouvle, as my son would say.  Instead of saving my family money, I’m actually costing them more.  Why do we learn things the hard way, eh?  I guess that doesn’t really matter.  What matters is that we ARE learning.

And I will be buying new shoes sooner than later.


Founder’s Day

It’s that time of year again!  We kicked our Founder’s Day off by attending a town Talent Show and today we’re off to a pancake breakfast, a parade, and then a BBQ.

I don’t really care what happens after that.

I’m really all about those pancakes.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go get in line.