Hey Everyone .... it's a dark, dreary, dismal rainy day here in Salt Lake this morning. I HATE this kind of weather. Give me the sunshine and I'm a happy camper! You'll all probably laugh in a few weeks when my tune changes. I'll be leaving for Africa on June 22nd and I'm sure I will be experiencing some very hot and rainy weather. UGH! But I'm soooo looking forward to the trip. I'm nervous, I'm scared, I'm excited ... all emotions are swirling around in my head. I'm not afraid that something scary is going to happen to me. I think I know what I will encounter, but until I REALLY see and feel the poverty and the living conditions of the villagers it will hit me hard and it will be very emotional for me. Not sure how I can handle that. I want to help everyone and yet I know it's not possible!

We had the most wonderful donation from Ogio. They delivered over $28,000 worth of backpacks and computer sleeves for our children and teachers in Ghana. I can't wait to see the look on their faces when they are delivered. We have a fabulous sponsor who ships containers to Ghana every few months and has offered to ship the backpacks for free. Our first shipment of used books arrived a couple of weeks ago. They will be going into our first, ever school library. Isn't that marvelous?

World Joy has been nominated for the Vivint Gives Back Project for 2011. With your help, we have the chance to win $250,000, but we need your votes daily to win. A few months ago the Utah Food Bank was in a voting campaign to receive one million dollars ... and with their supporters they were the winners of the million from WalMart! We just need to get the word out! Put the link on your facebook, blogs, e-mails and help us raise funds for our mothers and children in Africa. You can vote once a day for World Joy. Please get the ball rolling to help our wonderful charity.

Here's the link to vote, When you get to the site you'll need to click on the Mountain Zone, View All, List, and then click on the "W" for World Joy. There will be voting button to click on. Let's make this happen!

Thanks to you demonstrators who have graciously donated retired alphabet sets, stamp sets, ink and paper to World Joy for our expedition. These supplies will be used in the classroom to help support our English teaching classes. We can still use more supplies. Please send to World Joy, 420 W. 1500 S., Ste. 101, Bountiful, UT 84010. If you let me know the value of your donation I can send you a receipt for tax purposes.

Can't wait to see many of you at our upcoming Evening to Remember - World Joy 2011 event. We will be having an organized swap, with (20) in each group. You can access our web here for information regarding the swap. You will need to bring your own adhesive and scissors for your projects. I still have a few more seats available. Please visit to register or call me at 801-797-9935.

Loves and Hugs to All! -- Lou


Two weeks ago I participated in my first ever Half Marathon. I've told you before, but I'll tell you again ... I've NEVER run in my life. Well, once ... when I was a teenager and was being chased by a bear. For reals! My counsins and I had walked about 7 miles across the fields to our other ranch in Montana, up in the mountains for a day of fishing and lunching. My cousin caught a fish and a nice, ole bear smelled that fish and proceeded to chase after him, until he threw the fishing pole and fish down and ran. The bear was more interested in the fish, thank heavens! I think we ran the entire 7 miles without stopping and didn't dare look back.

Anyway, a few months ago I shared with you how I was crazy, but was going to train for my first race. I faithfully trained, following the Jeff Galloway 'walking' schedule for the half marathon. I can't remember how many weeks we trained, but it seemed like it was forever! My daughters would come to the house early Saturday mornings for our long runs/walks. I began to dread our Saturdays because it took up most of the morning. But I loved the talks and associations with my girls.

The night before the race we met at Mimi's Cafe for a pasta feast. Well, mine wasn't much of a feast, because of my small tummy, but it was good and we had a great time laughing, chatting, eating, and geting our minds set for the big race the next day.

My baby sis and her daughter from Idaho came and joined us for the race. They too had been training. My oldest daughter Angie, and middle daughter, Laurel have both joined Weight Watchers and have lost 60 pounds. I'm soooo proud of them, and they raced with us, as well. My darling daughter-in law, Camie and my niece, Nancy joined us too. (Nancy qualified for the Boston Marathon so we weren't quite in her league. And Camie is running a Tri-athalon in a few weeks. She's not only a racer, but a biker too.) So we had a great group to train and motivate each other.

The day of the race dawned bright and early! I was sooo excited, but nervous for the un-known. I was certain that completing the race wouldn't be an issue, but I wanted to complete it in 3 hours. That would mean keeping a pace of a 15 minute mile, which is pretty 'clippy'. The furthest we had walked was 10 1/2 miles in our training. What's another 2 1/2 miles, right? The course started up at Primary Children's Hospital, on a hill ... thank goodness. There were over 10,000 people in the race! Can you believe that? We made our way to the back of the pack. Our race number on our chest had a chip in it, and when we crossed over the start line, it started tracking our speed and time.

I promised my daughter Angie that I wouldn't leave her and we would complete the race together. What a wonderful time we had. I remember seeing the first mile marker and we cheered and raised our arms in the air, as if we had just completed the marathon. It was exciting! There was a LOT of energy around us and it was a perfect morning for a race. The skies were overcast and the weather was perfect for a long sleeve top, with just a little threat of rain in the air. Not too hot, not too cold. As we made our way along the course, I noticed gloves, hats, jackets, and scarves thrown on the ground, left abandoned, waiting for the owners to hopefully retrieve them at the end of the race. Runners were already warming up and discarding their extra clothing. Thanks to Camie and the use of her top, "I was perfect ... not too hot, not too cold, just right", as Goldilocks would say.

We were told that the race would be marked every mile, and it wasn't. It was disappointing because neither of us had those fancy Garmin watches to tell us how far we had gone and how fast our speed was. We were trying to calculate from our watches. But the best site of all was coming down 2700 South, which is just a few blocks from my home and hearing our baby daughter yelling and screaming for us, and seeing Lynn and Dieter and Lindsey waiting for us and cheering us on. It makes me cry just remembering the scene. We were still going strong and feeling great, other than we needed a 'potty' break. We would run some, walk some, and when I would lag behind, Angie would spur me on, and vice versa. We were sooo good for each other.

We probably waited in line for the 'potty' at least 15 minutes. We were tempted to 'squat' behind a bush, but my dignity just wouldn't let me! Some runners who ran past us, looked like they had just went in their pants ... probably did ... that's what I'm told the serious runners do. I guess I'll never be a serious runner! After waiting all of that time for the 'potty' ... Ang decided that she wouldn't go, which caused us to have another potty break down the road.

Who would have ever thought that I could walk from Primary Children's Hospital to my home? This was amazing! And I was still walking ... still had a long way to go. When we arrived at Liberty Park, we found another wonderful site ... Lynn, Dieter, and Linz cheering us on. It was exhilarating seeing the red, 23 mile marker. The red signs were for the full Marathon runners. The route split at Sugar House Park and then joined up just past Liberty Park. When we got to State Street and looked UP the hill, I thought, "Wow ... I never imagined State Street was soooo steep." You don't notice it when you're riding in a car up the street, but you sure do when you're walking it. Those last three miles weren't difficult at all. The hill was great! I had good tunes in my ears and was dancing and singing and 'egging' Ang up the hill. Later she told me that she was having a hard time and every bone in her body hurt. I had no 'hurts' at all ... not one little whit. It was amazing!

We did have a good laugh when several good looking, fit, buff men ran past us. I thought, "Wow ... you mean we've been in front of these guys the whole race? Man ... we're really haulin'!" After a few more ran past us, the lady next to me said, "Those are the marathon runners!" Deflated I said, "Ohhhhh...."

Coming down the home stretch was so energetic. Thinking that we were going to run right into the Gateway behind the Union Pacific, and then finding out that the route turned south for a few blocks was discouraging, because we had started running thinking it was the Finish Line. And of course there were thousands of our fans cheering us on, we couldn't stop running now .... we had to keep going, and we did! Our finish time was 3 hours 21 minutes. I figure that we made our goal of finishing in 3 hours because we stopped twice for a potty break.

If you would like to see more pics of our race along the route, check out the website, put in my last name, Hansen, and choose the Salt Lake Marathon race and our pictures will come up. The 'sweat' on Angie's shirt is NOT 'sweat' ... she spilled her water.

Well ... end of race, end of story. But wait ... there's more! I've signed up for the Halloween Half Marathon in October, running down Provo Canyon. It's downhill all the way and is supposed to be a beautiful run. Come join me if you're in the area. I'd LOVE having you. We have a group on Facebook where we motivate and encourage each other with our training program. Now, I've got to get back to training during the week. I've been a 'slacker' lately!