Saturday, September 26, 2015

overdue for photos

I know I am long overdue for photos.  I finally downloaded my camera, so we are going to binge here. Hold onto your seats.  . .

So the next few photos pre-date our Michigan move.  The kids love to help me wash the car.  We ALL get washed when we wash the car.  

 Lydia and Colton with their swim coach at the end of season party.  They were both proud of their medals. 
 The swingset in our Michigan backyard.  The first few days we were here the kids were out there ALL the time.  It was very convenient so I could un-pack.  And the line-up is always the same.  Josie gets the inside swing- or we all hear about it- Colton gets the middle swing and Lydia gets "The Race Car" as the kids have deemed that funny teeter/totter like swing on the end.  What do you call those anyway? 
 Our first weekend at our house, we left to go to Indy for the Indianapolis Temple Open house.  Mike has a sister who live in Indy now, so it was so fun to spend the weekend there and see the temple that we prayed for finally finished. 
 They had a tent outside of the temple with this Christus statue.  Colton was showing Josie Christ's nail prints in his hands and feet.  I LOVE these photos.  It just reminds me that one day we will see our Savior again and he will be so excited to receive the little ones with their perfect faith. 

 Colton turned 7 just a few days after we moved to Michigan- so we saved his celebration for when we were in Indiana.  He requested a dinosaur cake.  (Good thing I found the dinosaurs in time) What we didn't have was matches, but Uncle Kyle saved the day with something in his camping stuff. 
 Lydia started 3rd grade! 
 There are a bunch of trails in the woods by our house, so Mike's brother came up from Ohio for Labor Day weekend and we took all the kids riding.  It was really enjoyable.  And we had fun with family.  We are glad to have some family around. 
 Josie discovered this fun way to ride the skateboard down the driveway. 

 Yay for homeownership!  The AC leaks.  Thankfully, we had a warranty and got it fixed in a jiffy. 
 Breakfast at the Hansen house.
 Along with the swingset, the kids like the sandbox. 
 We have discovered the goodness of 7 eleven slurpees.  It has sort of become an after soccer game tradition to get one.  (And then watch college football once we get home)
 All those moving boxes had to find some creative uses.  The kids enjoyed making castles one day. 
 We have a bounteous apple tree in our front yard, so we have been making apple dishes.  Josie helped me make caramel apples- something I've always wanted to try since I LOVE them.  Silly girl is snitching the chocolate chips off of them. 
 Potty training.  I wish she always looked this happy throughout the process.  Let's just say it is a work in progress.  The princess dolls on the back of the toilet were her incentive and she has earned half of them.  We still have a ways to go before she gets the other half. 
 We have enjoyed the beautiful fall evenings and using our fire pit. 
 Colton's first day of first grade.  His front teeth are finally starting to grow back in and it makes me sad.  I love his toothless grin. 
 Soccer season has started. Both Lydia and Colton are playing and Mike is Colton's coach.  We have had some windy weather, some rainy weather, some beautiful weather. . . . I guess you would just call it soccer weather.  These two crazies took shelter from the rain in their 'fort' and had a grand time eating snacks and disassembling my purse while Mike and I watched Lydia play. 
 Might as well kick back and relax during all the soccer this girl gets dragged to. 
 The missionaries helped us trim our apple tree because they were so laden with apples the branches were all starting to break.  It was really nice to have some helping hands. 
Whew!  I should reappear from the basement and make dinner, but it was nice to have a few minutes of quiet reminiscing while I blogged. 

Friday, September 18, 2015

Michigan history

This year Lydia's class is learning Michigan history. It made me remember doing Idaho history. I loved it! We made teepee diagrams and went to a rendezvous. It was so much fun. I guess at that moment it really hit that we live in Michigan now. My kids won't learn Idaho history.  I suppose they will learn about Indians and settlement but I doub't they will cover Sacajawea- more like Henry Ford.  I just read a wolf was spotted on the lower peninsula.   Idaho has wolves too.

Sunday, September 13, 2015


It's Sunday.  I came down the stairs and the house smelled like poop.  I found the culprit- asleep in the chair.  Just what you want, a poopy child you can't clean up.  As much as I didn't like it, I imagine the culprit liked it even less when she woke up with poppy panties.  That just doesn't sound fun. 

So on Sunday, I go to church.  Every Sunday.  I've been going to church every Sunday for as long as I can remember.  My Mom and Dad diligently went, and I diligently go.  It's something I've been taught to do and it's something I am in the habit of doing.  But, WHY do I go?  I don't have to.  It crossed my mind as we moved around so much- it would be so easy to just NOT go.  You move to a new place- no one knows you.  You get lost in the transition.  When we first moved to Michigan, I think I went because of the network it provided.  A new place- new friends.  In Texas, I went out of obligation.  I had an assignment that needed to be taken care of each week and I wasn't going to bail out on people.  I really didn't enjoy church- at all- when we lived in Texas.  Then we moved to North Carolina and church was just so much fun.  There were so many people to do things with- the sort of active things that I like.  Basketball, and exercise groups, and tennis.  And now we are back in Michigan again.  I have a network of friends already established, and I haven't had a duty to fulfill at church and it hasn't been 'fun' like North Carolina was, but I've still gone to church and I've asked myself- WHY?   Or more, I went to church and I felt why.  The first few weeks here I was busy unpacking, getting the kids registered for school, filling out various paperwork and many other odds and ends.  It was tiring.  But then, I went to church.  It was hard those first few weeks, walking in and not knowing anyone, but there would always be a moment when I just felt good.  Light.  Peaceful. Less stressed.  I liked it and it reminded me why I go to church every week.  When I go to church, I feel the Holy Ghost and I feel directed.  I feel like I am a superhero and I can do anything.  Even if that feeling doesn't stay, and it usually doesn't, it is refreshing to have it each week.  A pick me up- kind of like the chocolate I sneak in the afternoon when I start to drag.  The week starts to wear on you, but go to church and poof, you feel better. 

Monday, September 7, 2015

getting to know michigan

Football season has started, which means mike is like a teenage girl every Saturday.  His emotions are all over the board depending on how ohio state is playing.  oh, forgive me, how THEE Ohio State is playing.  At this very moment a game happens to be on and Mike is dancing around the family room like a crazy man.  Braxton Miller just scored a touchdown.  When we aren't doing well, pillows get thrown across the room.  Sometimes Mike is just as entertaining as the game.

hopefully the above video works.  we have been trying to get to know the area and we found this park not far from our house.  If you notice in the background Lydia and colton are on the tetter-totter.  Our whole family tried teeter-tottering together.  mike was on one end, and the rest of us were squished on the other.  Being that squished, Colton got squished right off, but his foot somehow got caught in Lydia's shirt, so he couldn't fall all the way off and was hanging there with his foot in the air.  I haven't laughed so hard in a long time.

In other news, we are potty training.  Yuck.  I mean really.  how many times does one have to poop their pants before they realize there is another way.  I hope she sees the light soon.   Don't be surprised if i am baking.  it's not just the fall weather.  Fresh baked cookies masks the poop smell.  

Friday, September 4, 2015


We made it to Michigan and we like it. The neighborhood has a wonderful sense of community, which we have craved. Our house is fantastic. We bought something move in ready and I'm glad we did. The weather is delightful- a wonderful reprieve from NC heat.  We are getting settled after a month here. The nice thing is not feeling rushed to do everything. . . make friends, join this club, sign up for that sport or go see that attraction before we move again. We are here, not thinking about the next adventure 8 months from now. It's like we can finally take a deep breath and relax. Don't get me wrong- I've loved our adventure- I've met wonderful people all over the country. I've seen some neat things and experienced new cultures, but Michigan, the Midwest in general is more similar to what I had growing up and I'm glad to give our children that.
It is also nice- we are close enough to see more family- at least the Hansen's.  Mike's brother is coming for the long weekend and we are delighted to have him and his family. I'm kind of excited just to have extra room for guests. We have never had too much elbow room, but our house has 4 bedrooms with one that we are using as a guest room. Mike and I just bought a new bed- a king size bed- I didn't even know if I had a husband on bed with me last night, so our old bed moved to the guest room. It's been fun making it a cozy place to stay for our family.  Putting extra pillows and blankets so they have whatever they like. Making sure the towels are washed and folded. Getting an extra box of Kleenex. . . I feel much more domestic than usual.
And with that said, our guests should be arriving any minute and our long weekend will begin.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015


 It's summer time, which means birthday's for our kids.  Lydia turned 9 and enjoyed having Grandma Reed here for her birthday. 
 We have been doing swim team every day.  Colton has made several buddies. 
Grandma cheering Lydia on at the meet.
 Colton with a ribbon.
Lydia in the pink swim cap getting ready to hop on the blocks. 
I was going to write more, but now it's almost time to get ready for a swim meet. How do the days fly by so fast?

In other eventful news, Mike accepted a job in Michigan.  We move in two weeks!  We flew up together and bought our first house.  We will be a little farther our from Detroit than we were before, but it's pretty up by the lakes.  We are sad to leave North Carolina because we really love it here, but I know we will enjoy Michigan once we get settled. 

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Anniversary and reunion

 For Mike and I's anniversary, Mike's mom flew down from Ohio and watched the kids so we could get away for a few days.  We went to Asheville, NC- a place I had wanted to see for awhile.  The kids were tracked out, so we did some fun things while they didn't have school and then after our "sneak away" as the kids called it, Mike's mom drove with me back up to Ohio where most of the Hansen's got together for a few days. 

We went to a family fun farm thingie and they had this big blank wall the kids could paint on.  Josie LOVED it! 
 Grandma Hansen took all the grandkids on a trail ride.  Here is Lydia getting Cherry ready to go. 
 Colton on Markie. 
 Josie and I on Blaze.  Josie really liked Blaze.
 The whole crew before we set out on our ride. 
 The Biltmore Estate in Asheville.  This house can fit 3 white houses in it.  It was really impressive.  The Vanderbilts built it around the turn of the century, had one daughter there and then Mr. Vanderbilt died.  His wife was forced to sell some of the land, but there are still 8,000 acres intact from the original 120+ thousand he originally bought.  Imagine Downton Abbey and you have the American version.

 Mike had a birthday.  The kids liked his Hulk cake.  The only bad part about his birthday this year was it landed on Mother's day.  It's hard to share a special day.  It was particularly hard this year because the day before, I was elbowed in the throat while playing basketball with some girlfriends.  I damaged one of my vocal chords and wasn't allowed to talk for a few days, so on Mike's birthday, the best I could do was text him my birthday wishes.  Thankfully, my throat is now fine and Mike can look forward to another birthday next year when we don't even have to share. 
We camped out in the back yard and enjoyed doughnuts the next morning! 

We had fun while the kids were out of school and while we were in Ohio.  The kids are back in school until the end of the month, but they are busy with swim team everyday, so life isn't slowing down.  I don't know that it ever will.