Sunday, November 1, 2009

Like Father like daughters?

Dave took the girls golfing one last time before the weather turned a couple of weeks ago. Natalie golfs like me, and thinks that you have to hit the ball with all the force you can muster. She got a little frustrated and liked driving the cart instead. Ashley is a great golfer, she has the patience and determination for the game and loves to go hit balls with Dave. Look at how awesome her swing is! I love that there is a sport that my girls will hopefully enjoy playing with their dad....since the thought of Dave dancing or doing gymnastics with them is VERY unlikely :D

This is my first attempt to create a collage. It's not fancy and one of the pictures looks like crap, but oh well. Maybe that will help any other attempts look that much better. I had to pick an event where just a few pictures were taken to experiment and this was it. Now on to the heavier lifting...
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Sunday, September 20, 2009

School Daze

Oh man, is my mom really THIS behind on our blog?? I can't look, just tell me when she's caught up!
I'm not sure how it happened, but instead of just being 3-4 posts behind, all of a sudden I'm like 10 behind...and now summer has passed and school has started...and I am still playing catch-up instead of keep-up. Oh well. It's all good and I will get there one day now that I am friends with blogging again.

School started back up at the end of August this year and I was so excited that the girls got into Early Light Academy, a charter school up the street that just opened this year. So far I'm really impressed with everything about this school from the Director to the curriculum, and especially how organized they of all I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that they have to wear uniforms!!! It's just such a piece of cake for the girls to get ready in the morning (I don't have to veto any "creative" ensembles). It's so nice that you can buy school uniforms anywhere too, I don't love shopping and anytime I don't have to go to a mall I am a happy girl!

I found an old picture of sweet little Ash when she graduated from her 1st year of pre-school at Small Wonders and I can't believe how much she's grown up. She has always loved school and learning and I love that about her.

Ashley on her 1st day of 3rd grade. All smiles at first in her cute little jumper...but unfortunately that didn't last long. Ashley had a rough first week of school. I think that for so long she has been used to everything coming easy to her. She's always been a quick learner and I don't think she was expecting 3rd grade to be this hard. She was a little overwhelmed at first, and also sad that she had "only"made 5 new friends when there are 12 girls in her class. I think that coming from a private school where you were BFF's with your whole class has made adapting to this new school a little harder. Luckily, after a few nights of Dave helping her with her math and science (he is far better at patiently explaining) she was finally excited about school again - whew!
Here is a picture of cute Natalie from her pre-school days and I can't believe how different she looks! She was also lucky enough to have Miss Annie as a teacher as well and loved going to school.

Poor Natalie got a bloody nose on her 1st day of school and then proceeded to get one on day 2 also!! It was kind of a fluke incident. She gets them at home every so often, but never 2 days in a row and what a bummer that it happened at school!

Natalie has Mrs. Hassard this year as her teacher and I was so excited when I found out. Mrs. Hassard is the epitome of what a kingergarten teacher should be like. I don't think her voice is capable of being raised anything above "grandma level" and she is so sweet and loving. She hugs all the kids and tells them how great they are and Natalie loves her already. We lucked out!

Did I already mention how much I love the simplicity of uniforms? ☺

Natalie is lucky enough to have one of her BFF's in her class. She and Tiegan are so funny together and I'm glad that they are friends. Andrea (Tiegan's mom) is one of my good friends and I'm so glad she gave me the heads up about this school!!

Natalie was so excited when I picked her up from school on the first day. Her only complaint was that she didn't get to eat lunch at school and stay longer - I hear ya girlfriend!! I took the 3 youngest to lunch to "celebrate" and of course Natalie picked McDonalds. I conceded because it was her day and the girls were fat happy.

Peekaboo...remember me?

I have a bazillion pictures of this goofy little monkey to catch up on, but here's one for the grandmas in the meantime.
Love you guys! ♥

Sunday, August 16, 2009

You want me to do WHAT??

"Picture and 11 of your closest friends running day and night, relay-style, for 188 miles through some of the most scenic terrain North America could muster. Add in live bands, inside jokes and a mild case of sleep deprivation. The result? Some call it a slumber party without sleep, pillows or deodorant. We call it a Ragnar Relay..."

That's the intro on the Ragnar Relay homepage that I was SO fortunate to be able to run this year. My friend Robyn called me Friday afternoon SUPER last minute when her Jeremy (her hubby) ended up with swine flu. She didn't beat around the bush much, just asked if I was still nursing (sorry Emmy, you got 6 months before I called it quits) and then asked if there was any way I could go to Logan with her to run in a 24-hour relay...and oh yeah, they were leaving in 3 hours.

I'd heard of the Wasatch Back before and I've always been intrigued by the idea of running it, but didn't really think I could pull it off. I told her maybe, to keep checking w/other people, and that I'd call her back. I really didn't think it would work out, but I think it was meant to be because after about a dozen phone calls arranging sitters, covering my church lesson, cancelling play-dates, missing my aunt's birthday dinner (sorry Mirna!), and packing faster than I ever have before, I was off! Luckily between a couple of awesome sitters, and of course Dave, I knew my kids were in good hands.

I didn't know anyone of the 12 runners except for Robyn and Kirk, who went to my same High School and is 1 year younger than me. The other 4 people in the car were strangers but were so nice and easy to hang out with that I didn't feel uncomfortable at all. Here's Robyn "modifying" the names on the car...sorry Jeremy but we all laughed.
Amber, me, Robyn, Heather, Kirk, and Troy...we were van #1 and our team name was "Back on Crack" named after the team's sponsor, Collard Chiropractic. It was so funny to see all the decorated vans, goofy costumes, and to be around all that energy! We wore bands dedicated to "Sadie", Heather's niece who had cancer and passed away just a week after the race. Click here to read her blog. It's so, so sad but I'm always so blown away by how strong people can be when they have to be.

There was definately a buzz in the air and as the starting time drew nearer my stomach started getting jittery! Here is Kirk leading our team as runner #1. He was cool as a cucumber and wasn't one bit nervous...but I sure was! The second he started I thought "oh crap, I'm next!"

I had been running enough here and there to know I would do okay, but it is one thing to run on your own on a route you're familiar with, and a WHOLE different experience to run as part of a relay team, with semi-strangers cheering you on, in the mountains, not knowing what to expect. I was runner #2, so luckily I didn't have a lot of time to think about any of that before it was my turn...

This is me starting off on my 1st of 3 legs during the next 24 hours. I had 6.7 miles to do mostly on a gradual uphill but I knew I'd be fine as soon as I started running...until I rounded the corner about 3 miles in and saw a big mother HILL that I was supposed to run up! Hill grades always look easier on paper and this hill looked didn't look fun at all so I just concentrated on looking at the road a few feet ahead of me. Eventually the road flattened out and I felt so relieved to have my hardest leg done and knew that the other two legs would be a piece of cake.
Here is me handing off to Heather. Heather was one of the strongest runners in our van. She had some of the longest stretches and was really a solid runner. She was also hilarious. She's married to Kirk and they were so much fun to be around.

After Heather it was Robyn's turn...doesn't she look so excited to run? Robyn's knee was being difficult and decided it wanted to hurt but you would never know it. She ran like a champ and found her groove. One of Robyn's legs was at night, look at her cute get-up! This was her best leg. She felt great and you could tell since she was passing runners left and right. Robyn would give other runners motivation as she passed and would either tell them "good job" or give them low fives as she passed. This is totally Robyn. She is the best at making people feel good about themselves, and it's totally sincere. I usually get secretly excited the more people I pass in a race and imagine leaving them in my dust. Big difference between the two of us, but hey, everyone has their own running style right?

Here's Robyn handing off to Amber. Amber is a fantastic runner. She has long, long Robyn and Tawny legs and a really short stride. I'd take her stride any day though, if I could run as fast as she did. One of her legs was primarily downhill and I think she averaged like a 7 minute mile for almost 6 miles! Troy is Amber's husband and he was also a fantastic runner. Between the two of them they have done a ton of marathons. Troy is such a nice guy and was always one of the ones bringing us water while we ran.

Both he and Kirk are one of those rare men that are genuinely nice and are always thinking about others. Maybe that's the reason Kirk is Bishop at age 34? At one really difficult point in the race both guys decided that maybe some of the other runners would like some orange slices and they both peeled a bunch and just held them out for other runners to enjoy.
That was sort of the theme of this relay though, people helping each other out while we ran a total of 188 miles (including van#2). It's not something anyone can do alone (even though there are those crazies out there who supposedly have) and the feelings of camaraderie, friendship, love and support, and positivity was so prominent it was hard not to think of this as one of my favorite experiences that I've had.
Case in point, Amber squeezing ice-cold water on Troy after one of his more brutal legs (he had the hardest legs in our van)and Kirk ready with water and life-savers.

This is me handing off to Heather after my last leg. I can honestly say that it was kind of bittersweet when my job was done. It was a relief on one hand because my body wasn't used to running 13 miles in one day and my knee was starting to hurt. But I was sad too, because it really was fun running with our group through this gorgeous backdrop, and I remember thinking during my last leg that I hoped I could remember this experience forever.

Yes, it really was this pretty!...and can you believe that me of all people forgot my camera??

Bathing in this freezing cold lake after we were all done with our first legs should be permeated in my mind forever! This was THE coldest water I've ever been in, let alone bathed in!

ONE MILE TO GO!!! This was Robyn's last mile on the last leg for the van. We all got out to cheer her on! It was so exciting to think that we were almost done with our almost 100 mile journey!! Robyn did so awesome her last mile and sprinted like a mad woman at the end. I wish I had a pic to show how focused and determined she finished!

13 years ago when I ran the St. George marathon I started off running with a friend but midway she got a cramp and told me to go on. I finished at a respectable 4 1/2 hours and at the time it was my favorite running experience because I had trained with a fun group of people from Franklin Covey.

5 years later I did the Top Of Utah Marathon and met a lady on the bus ride up the canyon that I ended up talking to the majority of the race. I still remember that her name was Vicky Kloberdanz and that she was a way better runner than me and helped me finish at an even more respectable time of 4:09. That experience was also awesome because I had beat my goal. I remember thinking I would scrabbook about it one day. HA! HA! famous last words. I'd love to run another marathon one day and do it under 4 hours. It would also be so fun to run one with Dave or with my girls when they get older. But until then...

this race will be my favorite. I'm so glad Robyn thought to call (sorry it had to be at Jeremy's expense), and so glad I jumped at the opportunity. Thanks again Robyn!! I would love to run this race again one day with 11 crazy friends...anyone interested?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Small Wonder

It's hard to believe that it's back to school time again...well for Addison anyway. She started school on the 5th of this month and was so excited the whole time I was getting her ready. She's our only kid that went to pre-school at 2 (only because I didn't know about it sooner) so she's an old-pro when it comes to school. I'm just glad this year she's officially potty-trained! It took way longer than it should have, but this kid has a mind of her own and made sure I knew it. Either way, it was a victory for both of us. She's still doing the pull-up thing at night, but I can live with that. BTW, notice that Addie's hand only looks like it's in her father like daughter I guess (Al Bundy would be so proud!)

I told her to sit on the step for a picture and she sat in the furthest corner closest to the spiderwebs and creepy crawlies. Goofy kid. I figured she'd just sit in the middle of the step.
Addison wanted to take her Dora backback to school and luckily she had put some Dora books in it that she was able to use for show-and-tell. I barely remembered to put a bra on that morning, so show-and-tell didn't have a chance. I only glanced at the calendar they gave us at orientation, so it's a good thing Addie picked up my slack!
Still smiling...can you tell someone was excited? All of my girls have gone to Small Wonders Pre-school and I love it. This sounds funny, but I love how CLEAN it always smells too. The teachers are so loving, the classes small, they have tiny little potties that the kids love, cute holiday programs, and my kids all learn the basics which is awesome. Personally I also feel that when kids are young they love to learn and preschool helps to instill a general love of learning...while it's still fun...because there's nothing fun about puberty or middle school!

They like the kids to hang up their back-packs and then try to go potty. Addie wanted me to take her and said "only Mommy take me to the potty"...umm, she better get over that in a hurry!
Addison is so lucky to have 2 of her BFF's in her class this year. Sweet little Demi is with her in these 2 pics. Chloe is also going to be in the same class, so I'm sure they will quickly become the 3 amigas...

Mrs. Gaylene is great and we lucked out to get her. I liked her instantly at the orientation and I think that Addison will love her like she did Mrs. LaDawn last year.
Wow, it's hard to believe that for 2 days a week at least it will just be Emmy and me at home. Even if it's only for 2 1/2 hours I'll take it!

It's a little bittersweet that my girls are growing up, but at the same time I am also enjoying the different stages too. I am not overly-emotional by nature, so there were no tears shed, but there is something so sweet about the first day of school...even if it does mean that our summer is almost over :(

You Addie!!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Bowling League Rejects

Last Christmas Dave gave the girls each a tin filled with lots of fun activities that they could choose from. So, every month on the day of their birthday, the girls get to choose an activity and decide if they want to do it just with Dad or as a family. The activities are stuff like: Go get ice cream, go to Chuck-E-Cheese, go mini-golfing, bowling, play tennis, etc. So last month Natalie picked bowling and chose to make it a family affair (minus the caboose - Sorry Emmy!)

Eeenie, meenie, minie, moe...

Here's Addie doing her pre-bowling squating excercises..

Love Addie's fake "this is so heavy" face. Her ball weighed like 5 lbs or something.
Also love the ramp guides for kids and the makes it so fun for them to not get constant gutter balls (not so for yours truly)

Natalie is actually a pretty good bowler! She used the ramp but was really meticulous about aiming it exactly where she wanted her ball to go. It was pretty funny to watch.

Ash thought the ramp helper was for wussies... she manned up and did it "the hard way"

Addison was our resident cheerleader all night. She kept telling everyone "good job" and then would give us high fives.

Nat is a Daddy's girl 100%

Look familiar?

Not sure what's up with the Popeye face...but whatevah girlie

Yeah, Dave wishes!

Hmm, I wonder if this size would be too obvious?

This is what happens when a 3-year old get bored. I'm pretty sure that floor didn't have any germs on it though, it IS a bowling alley after all! Yuck. But I did make sure to lecture her AFTER I snapped a pic.
Ahh, tenderoni...don't worry Emmy, I'll have Aunt Jenn Photoshop you in.
I had to take a picture of the final scores because no one would believe me if I didn't. I should have had Dave take the pic because I'm so short I cut off the top 2 scores, but I fixed the scores afterwards. Here's how the night went down:

  • Ashley was last with a 65 (and proceeded to be mopey because she is SO competitive and a VERY sore loser) in her defense, she did try to bowl w/o the ramp aid...

  • I came in 2nd to last with a 69, and YES, I was actually trying

  • Addison turned in a very respectable 73 considering she has ADD and would wander off most of the time inbetween balls

  • Natalie did awesome with a 101. She used the ramp, but aimed it herself every time

  • Dave beat us all with a crowd pleasing 113. Nothing to brag about, but he won the gold in our sad group. So, if you ever want to feel good about your bowling score, just think of the Hansen's!
    Afterwards we went to Iceberg for the best shakes around. We had to wait about 20 minutes and the girls were going a little stir-crazy, but it's always worth it. They are SO huge I always end up saving about 1/2 in the freezer. Dave doesn't have that problem. He always gives me grief because I get Oreo and he doesn't like it so he won't finish mine. It's funny he hasn't figured out my strategy yet... :)