Grandkids, Sewing, and Family!

What a way to spend the holiday season ... taking care of grandkids. A week before Christmas our youngest daughter, Lindsey, asked us if we would take care of their three kids while they attended a wedding, wedding breakfast, dinner, reception, and a temple sealing the next day. Of course we said yes. I was really nervous about tending the 'wee one'. She doesn't like me and pushes my face away when I try to kiss her. But after her parents dropped her off, she was my new best friend. So cute ... and would cry when I would walk out of the room. She was a darling, as were the other two. Laurel dropped by to visit with Addy and we talked Addy into spending the night too, so we had four kids to watch. It was Ellie's birthday so we took them all to McDonalds for dinner. We haven't been to McDonalds for years and as we drove up to the establishment I noticed there was a Playland inside. "Oh horrors", I thought, "I'll bet their mothers never let them play in those germ infested areas." But I'm the granny and I get to take liberties so I indulged them and let them climb and slide down the slides to their hearts content. They loved it! As we were pulling away from the curb heading home the phone rang and it was Laurel, Addy's mom, asking her how she was doing. This was the conversation we heard on Addy's end. "Yep, Mom, we're having a great time. We're playing at McDonald's and they have a giant slide we got to play on. And guess what? They don't have any balls with poo on them!" We laughed and laughed. Of course she proceeded to keep saying that phrase over and over because she was getting laughs out of all of us! She had overheard me earlier saying to Lynn that I was glad the place didn't have those balls that the kids land into, with poo on them!

Normally the kids go to bed quite early, but I had instructions to bathe the kids and then put Ellie's long hair into these springy roller things that I had to figure out how to do. Talk about difficult! You have to use a big ole crochet looking hook and pull the hair through this springy contraption that when dried produces the most beautiful ringlets you've ever seen. Well it took me over an hour to put her hair up. She didn't mind at all because I put on a new fairy movie and she was oblivious to what I was doing with her hair.

Got them to bed around 10:00 p.m. and Ben was up in my room at 4:00 a.m. telling me that he couldn't find Ellie. I guess he was scared. By the time I got back downstairs, the three older kids were up and ready for the day so I put on a movie and let them stay up and I went in the sewing room to work on aprons for my girls!

Yes, that was my big surprise for the girls ... aprons for all the daughters in honor of my mother who was the best cook in the entire world. She loved polka dots so each apron had polka dots on them in honor of her. I tried to pick out colors and fabric that represented each girl. Each evening was spent hunched over the sewing machine sewing like a maniac. I cut out most of the aprons at work on my lunch time and would sew each evening and some times early morning before work. I took off Thursday and started sewing at 5:00 a.m. and finished my last apron around 10:30 that morning. Now my back has been giving me fits. I even had to go to the chiro to get an adjustment. It's still bothering me.

We had a wonderful Christmas eve dinner and party at my home ... Hansen tradition. All were here except my oldest son Ryan and his family. We missed them, but they were spending the evening with her family. These four little kids went to sit down at their table and were asking where their paper plates were. One of the kids answered, "You're not eating on paper plates. You're eating on REAL plates!" They were astonished to think that they got to eat on REAL plates. And guess what? When I went to clear their table there wasn't one spot of food on the table cloth! Talk about great table manners for those wee ones!

D.J. is showing off Ginger's incredible twice baked potato casserole ... in his mouth. They really were incredible, loaded with lots of butter and bacon. I think that was the favorite part of the meal ... next to my famous homemade rolls and buttah!

My youngest baby girl, sweet Linz.

These wee ones had paper plates and cups, but didn't seem to mind.

Look at my Lee Lee (Liam). He was having a melt-down but obviously knows what to do when someone wants to snap his pictures. He paused long enough to smile for the picture, then went back to crying!Here's 5 of the 7 daughters who received the aprons. From L to R --- Laura, Reese's wife who is expecting their first baby in May ... Angie, Laurel, Ginger, and Lindsey. Nat got an apron but lives in Oregon and Camie got one too, but wasn't at the party.

Got up bright and early on Christmas day ... well actually this was the first year that Lynn and I have been alone on Christmas day with no kids at home. Dieter woke us up at 4:45 a.m. so we got up, got dressed and started a tradition, this year, to go to some of the kid's homes and watch them open their Christmas gifts. Got to Angie and Boyd's at 7:00, rang the door bell and woke them up! I told Lynn that it was so much fun watching them with their Christmas that I didn't even care if I got one single present. He didn't echo my sentiments! Dieter loved Bryant as you can tell from the picture. Rudolph kissed Bryant and the boys while they were sleeping!

Well -- I hope that each of you are prepared to have a wonderful New Year. It's going to be a great year. I have such fun things planned for this year and can't wait to share them with you. As soon as our IT guy posts the info I need to the World Joy dinner/stamping in July I'll start selling tickets for the event. There's a few of you who have already planned on going with me to Africa to do some service projects. There's a lot of work that we can do. We'll be there for about a week. I'm thinking that we'll probably go some time in April. Let me know if you would like to go too ... just have to pay your airfare and food. World Joy will cover your lodging in Abomosu.

I'm Taking the Plunge!

O.K. ... I've had an over-whelming response regarding the World Joy fund-raiser dinner and I'm going to do it! I've reserved the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, same place as last year for July 15, 2011. I may be able to take as many as 250 people.

I had an amazing conversation with a dear demonstrator who wants to donate all of the stamping supplies for our stamping projects. I was almost in tears, I was so amazed at the generosity and kindness. Bet you would have laughed if you could have seen me waltzing around my office shouting for joy. I'm still in shock! As soon as I receive permission to use her name in my blog, I'll give a big tribute to her. She's incredible!

Not only will we have a wonderful dinner, like we did last time, but I'm working on some incredible entertainment. No, it's not Jaron ... even though I'm sure he'll sing a few numbers for us, if asked. And no, it's not me. He's a recording artist and I'm almost certain he'll entertain us for 'free' when he hears our purpose.

I've also had a few of you 'opt' into the trip. I'm in communication with our people in Ghana to arrange some service projects while there. I'm hoping to take a group of you over the first quarter in the new year.

I'll let you know how to reserve your seat for the dinner as soon as my web contact links the credit card information to our World Joy site. And remember, your donation (not the dinner portion) is tax deductible since it is going to a non-profit organization. We'll have door prizes, stamping, and entertainment, and fabulous food.

We had a nightmare trip to Oregon for Thanksgiving! Normally we can drive it in 12 hours. It took us 17 hours and my daughter-in law and I had to ride in the back seat of the pickup truck with NO leg room. And I had a dog laying across my lap almost the entire trip. The roads were horrible ... even some road closures in Idaho. At one point we were stopped in the middle of no-where with several truckers and family vehicles. The kid in front of us was in shorts and got his unicycle out of the car and was riding up and down the highway. It was frigid cold and windy. There were people out of their cars visiting with one another and dogs running free. After almost an hour they opened the road and we were on our way. Coming home was just as bad...another 17 hours. We finally stopped in Ontario, Oregon and spent the night. Boy were we ever tired! I don't think we'll take a road trip again in the winter months. Next time, we'll fly!

I miss my little Oregonians. Wish they lived closer! BOOOOOO! Are you all getting ready for the big day? I still have a lot of sewing to do, but no worries ... I'm having a ball with all of the church and work parties.
It was raining and a wee bit cold when Lynn and I took 5 of the grandkids to Hogle Zoo for the Zoo lights. His company paid for all the tickets, plus dinner and gift for the kids. What a company and very family oriented! Don't laugh at my hair ... remember it was raining!When you put on the Zoo Lights glasses, all of the lights turn into snowflakes. It's amazing! Look at little Ellie with the glasses on top of her glasses. Yummo --- hamburgers!Addison ...


Benny -- with catsup on his face!