Dec 23, 2007

Tribute to Grandpa Eldon Hanson

I just wanted to take a few minutes to post some pictures of my grandpa and write a few of my thoughts. My grandpa Eldon Hanson was a great man, a man of faith and integrity. He also had a great sense of humor and alot of personality. He was 94 years old when he died and had been ready to go for years. At every family family reunion he would say his goodbyes, sure that it would be his last. I remember when Elder Maxwell died, he said "I don't know why the Lord took him and not me". He was often heard saying "I hope you don't live as long as I have." The last few years he slowed down a lot, his hearing was gone and he just couldn 't get around anymore. Although this may sound a little depressing, it's not really, he was just ready to go. It's amazing for me to think of being ready to die. My grandpa was so content with the life that he lived and the legacy that he left for his family, that he didn't fear death. He had a firm testimony of the plan of salvation and knew that he had completed his purpose on earth. I will forever be grateful for his example and his love. He was an incredible musician and played the piano and organ by ear. I will really miss listening to him play. Grandpa used to talk about the "I love icecream genes" in the Hanson family. I certainly inherited those genes!! I can also attribute my love for Mexican food to my grandpa. I am grateful that he and my grandma could be at my wedding and that Dan got to know him a little over the last couple of years. He certainly did leave us a great legacy to carry on.

Dec 11, 2007

Go cougs!

Nothing like tailgating in the rain! The weather was pretty crazy, but the BYU game was a good time. The Cougars represented and beat the Aztecs! We always love an excuse to BBQ, so we went down to San Diego early with Dan's cousins and their wives. We BBQ'd teriyaki blue cheese burgers, which were pretty amazing. Thanks, Jamie!! I like live sporting events, but you can count on me to give you more details about the food we ate than about the game. Go Cougs! ( I had to put in this pictures of Uncle Rico....uh, I mean, Dan....just reliving those high school quarterbacking days)

Fashion Island Christmas Festivities!

Yea, it's Christmas! We went to Fashion Island a few weeks ago with some friends (Jensen's, O'Dells, Sims and Jeni & Gina...and friends) to check out the annual tree lighting festivities. (So of course we had to get the classic picture by the tree sitting on the gigantic presents!) Good times, good times....While I was taking a picture of the tree, Dan accidently bumped my arm. I thought it actually looked pretty cool, so I posted it as well.

Turkey Day

This post is long overdue! We had a great Thanksgiving over at our friend Kelly & Patrick's house. Amber & Matt Sim (and Jake & Caden) and Brian, Jen & Emily Schumann also joined us, which was a lot of fun. We ate way too much food (and had a ridiculous amount of leftovers--thanks, Kelly!), played some ping pong, and enjoyed our new favorite treat--frozen yogart from Pinkberry. As I was looking at my pictures, I realized I only had a few of the kids and a couple of the chef (Kelly) and the boys destroying the turkey. Anyway, here's a few pics from Thanksgiving. I couldn't help but post my two favorite little ones--Jake & Caden Sim.

Dec 3, 2007

Neglecting the blog.....

Sorry guys! I really didn't intend for you to see so much of AC Slater. I apologize! Things have just been a little crazy the past couple of weeks. I had to teach Relief Society yesterday, I have our big December enrichment night next week, and I have the Patient Holiday party for our cancer patients coming up as well. Dan and I are also taking an unexpected trip to Utah this weekend. My grandpa Hanson passed away on Friday, so we'll be coming for the funeral. He has lived a long, happy life and was ready to go, so it's a blessing, but of course it's still a sad time for the family. Anyway, I promise I'll post some pictures soon and give an update soon! And one of these days I'll actually figure out how to change the background of my blog and add music, etc... I'm pretty clueless!

Nov 18, 2007

This is for you, Sunny!

My friend Sunny "tagged" me, which apparently means that I have to say 7 interesting things about myself. We'll see if I can come up with that many! ;)
Ok, now I tag Carolyn, Sarah Hoagland, Beth, Emily Curfew, Ally, Robyn & Mandy! You're it!

1. My claim to fame is that I met AC Slater from Saved By the Bell (otherwise knows as Mario Lopez). Ladies, I know you're all jealous! When I was in high school I went to Las Vegas with my friends. We were walking through a casino (when there was a Oscar De La Hoya fight going on) and we saw AC Slater. We were freaking out. We were pushing each other towards him and giggling like school girls, wanting to take a picture with him. We didn't even know his real name, but he thought he was really cool that all these high school girls wanted a picture with him! Who has those pictures? Robyn? Ally?

2. Lake Powell is one of my favorite places in the whole world! My family got a boat when I was in high school and we've been going ever since. Dan and I even do a 13 hour drive from Southern California each summer just for a few days of boating and wakeboarding at Powell.

3. I looooooove peanut butter. I love anything with peanut butter. I even made my mom send real peanut butter while I was on my mission in England (I say "real" because they have something called peanut butter that is a horrible excuse for peanut butter!) I think the only person who loves peanut butter as much as me is my husband Dan! (That's when I knew it was meant to be...)

4. I love the sunshine & I love the beach. That's why I absolutely love living in Southern California. There is nothing better than taking a walk or a jog on the beach on a sunny day or sitting outside reading a book or taking a nap, feeling the sunshine on your face. Being outside on a sunny day immediately puts me in a good mood (And let's be honest, girls, tan fat is way better than white fat! Admit it, you know it's true!)

5. I'm a gamer. I'm not afraid to say it. I'm a game nerd. I love playing games and I might just be a little bit competitive when I play games. I married into a family who loves to play games, which has been fun. And in recent years my family has really enjoyed playing games as well. We love playing Ticket to Ride and Settlers of Catan. Give them a try, you'll get hooked!

6. I'm a bit of an accessory addict. I feel naked if I'm not wearing jewelry. I'm a sucker for a great purse or some fabulous shoes! I think the reason I like them so much is that even when I gain weight, they still fit. ;)

7. I competed in (completed is the more appropriate word) my first triathlon last year. It was alot of fun (in hindsight, of course) and I'd love to do another one. My right knee has been a little messed up this past year, but hopefully I'll be able to do another one this coming year.

Nov 16, 2007

I just found this really cool website FreeRice works with in efforts to
end world hunger.
The organization has two goals:
1. To provide English vocabulary to everyone for free.
2. To help end world hunger by providing rice to hungry people for free.
It give you a word with 4 definitions and you have to click on the right one. For every definition you get right, they will donate 10 grains of rice to
United Nations World Food Program.
It's really cool.
Check it out when you have a few minutes.

Nov 15, 2007

The art of Thanksgiving is
It is gratitude in action.
It is thanking God for the gift of life by
living it triumphantly.
It is thanking God for your talents and abilities by accepting them
as obligations to be invested for the common good.
It is thanking God for all that men and women have
done for you by doing things for others.
It is thanking God for opportunities by accepting them as
a challenge to achievement.
It is thanking God for inspiration by trying to be an
inspiration to others.
It is thanking God for each new day by living it to the fullest.
It is thanking God by giving hands, arms, legs, and
voice to your thankful spirit.
It is adding to your prayers of Thanksgiving,
acts of Thanksliving.
(Wilfred A. Peterson)
I love this poem, so I thought I'd share. It's so appropriate this time of year. I love the first line "the art of thanksgiving is thanksliving". So true! You have to walk the walk. We show our gratitude in the way we treat others, in our attitude, in the way we live our lives. I am so grateful for the many blessings I have been given. I'm not quite sure why I have been so blessed. I definitely don't deserve it. I have an amazing family, a wonderful husband, supportive friends, the gospel of Jesus Christ, good health, and I live in a free country with so much wealth and so many opportunities. I am extremely blessed in so many cup truly runneth over. I need to do so much better in thanksliving.

Nov 14, 2007

Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball

My friend Amber Sim invited me to go to a cooking/holiday gift ideas class tonight. It got me excited to try out some new holiday recipes. We tried a couple of tasty cheese balls, which I'm looking forward to trying. (We also were 0 for 3 on the drinks.....chocolate cappucino, and two different kinds of tea drinks. The teacher was pretty offended we didn't want to try her delicious creations!). Anyway, I got this recipe today and think it sounds divine. I can't vouch for it yet, since I haven't made it, but it's got chocolate chips and cream cheese in it....can you really go wrong!? I'm going to try it out one of these days, but if you beat me to it, let me know what you think!

Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball
Enjoy this recipe from Christmas in the Country Cookbook (M970).
8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. butter, softened
1/4 t. vanilla extract
3/4 c. powdered sugar
2 T. brown sugar, packed
3/4 c. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 c. pecans or walnuts, finely chopped
Graham cracker sticks, pretzels, Nilla wafers, etc...
Directions: Blend cream cheese, butter and vanilla in a mixing bowl until fluffy. Gradually add sugars; beat just until combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. Place on a large piece of plastic wrap; shape into a ball. Refrigerate for a least one additional hour. At serving time, roll ball in chopped nuts. Serve with graham cracker sticks, etc... for dipping. Makes about 2 cups.

Nov 6, 2007

Homemade caramel to die for

This is my friend Kelly's recipe for homemade caramel. Due to multiple requests for the recipe, here it is. It's perfect for dipping apples or for caramel corn.

Homemade Caramel
Mix together and bring to a boil:
1/2 cup butter
2 cups of brown sugar
3/4 cups corn syrup

When boiling, add:
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk

Boil on medium (I stir it constantly) for 15-20 minutes or until the caramel forms a soft ball when dropped into cold water. Make sure not to cook too long!

Remove from heat and add:
1 tsp vanilla

Let cool for about 5 minutes before dipping apples.

The best tomato soup ever!

So, I never thought I'd be one of those bloggers who took pictures of the new boots they just bought (although I did just buy some new boots that I'm in love with!) or of a great recipe, but here I am! This soup is so tasty, I just had to share. Anyone who lives near a Trader Joe's has to try some--it's their Organic Creamy Tomato soup, and it's delicious! And the best thing about it is that you just open the box, pour it in a pan, heat, then eat!
Dan and I love it with a grilled cheese sandwich. Enjoy!

Nov 4, 2007

Halloween Party at the Lombardi's

On Halloween we went to Ladera Ranch for a Halloween party at our friend's, the Lombardi's, house. We had a great time. I always love seeing the costumes people come up with! As you can see, I went as a boxer and Dan was my punching bag...sounds about right! Here's a few more pictures of the rest of the gang!

The Brian & Dawn Lombardi clan....I love the cage!The Adams/Lombardi Family (with an adorable little chicken!)
I loved what the Koch's came up with--Little Charlie was so stinkin' cute as a hotdog!
I still need a picture of Steph, but here's a couple of Jeff Jensen.

He came as a transformer....and even transformed!
Steph was the cube that he was protecting! So classic!

The Sim's came as K-Fed and Britney Spears and their 2 boys. I missed getting pictures of them while they were in costume...I only got this one of little "Sean Preston". I love this kid!
Amber, send me some pics so I can post them of the whole Federline/Spears fam!

Happy Halloween!

For some pre-Halloween festivities we went over to the Baltzer's for a little Halloween pumpkin carving. They turned out really cool. It's alot of work, but alot of fun as well. Amber and I had a hard time really capturing how cool they looked since the flash always ruined the pictures! Even though Tad ditched us halfway through for a softball game, he made us some delicious pumpkin bars, so he's forgiven! ;)

Happy Halloween!

Oct 20, 2007

Jake Sim (...and his parents!)

Isn't this kid so cute?! Here's a few pics of The Sim family....well, mostly of Jake! :)

Check out my Slide Show!

Oct 17, 2007

Avery's shrine

I couldn't help but post pictures of our favorite little rugrat Avery Hoagland. We love this girl! (Don't you just love that 2nd picture of her...I think it's hilarious! Sorry, Sarah, I had to post it!)

Go Redskins

Yes, it's true. Dan makes me wear a Redskins jersey during the games. He really thinks it makes a difference. Poor kid.....

Happy birthday, Dan!!!

For Dan's birthday on September 14th we went to our favorite restaurant Lazy Dog Cafe with some of our good friends. We then went over to the Sims and ate cake & icecream and played games. Here's Dan and the girls! (And Stephanie looking excited!)