Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Holidays from The Hansens!

We hope you are having a wonderful holiday season ... we sure are enjoying it! From playing in the snow to shopping for that perfect gift, we have had a lot of busy days this past month! Unfortunately, the blog has felt the neglect of the season. But, Ryan has told me this is the wave of the future: writing your Christmas letter online and then sending a family Christmas card with a link to the blog. So, that's what we're doing.

So here is an update on the Hansen Family:

Ryan (pictured with Huey Lewis. Yes, the Huey Lewis!) is currently teaching at Idaho Falls High School. He loves, loves, loves his job. He is the yearbook and newspaper adviser as well as a speech teacher. In the third trimester, he gets to teach one section of photography which he is looking forward to. The publications that he advises continues to dominate in the state. His summer was spent being "Mr. Mom." You can read some of his adventures here, here and here. Most of the children survived and so did he. However, he bolted out the door the first day of school with a little extra spring in his step. He is currently the Young Men's president in our ward. They just made our Bishop our Stake President so we will be getting a new Bishop in the new year. Needless to say, he is not holding his breath. Last Sunday, the bishop/stake president came up to compliment him on wearing a suit coat to church. "You clean up nice," he said. "Wait! Are you the new bishop?" He about passed out because the stake president would be the one to call him! :)

Lisha is busy with being a mom and working too many "jobs" to count. She is serving at the Olive Garden a few nights a week. The extra "play" money is nice to have around, but we miss mom when she is gone. She is serving as the second counselor in the Relief Society in our ward. It keeps her super busy. Among other things, she organizes fundraisers for our kids' parent-teacher organization, taxis the kiddos to and from every activity, pays the bills, manages the house, loves on Clark and the rest of the fam and keeps us all happy. (Ryan's writing this, by the way.) In short, Lisha is our Superwoman! (Is it no wonder I love her so much?)

Ally, 8, is a third grader this year. She continues to excel in math and knows that she loves it! Ally was baptized in June. It was a great experience for the whole family. She continues to dance at Infinity. This will be her third year competing on the "Minis" team. It's very demanding, but she's come a long way since her first class. Her favorite dance style continues to be hip hop but she also takes jazz, ballet and tumbling. She was able to participate in a special ballet camp this summer. Ally loves Primary Achievement Days and is looking forward to her new 4-H club activities. As our oldest, she tends to be the mom to her siblings. We're working on that. That being said, she is our greatest helper. You can often find her doing the dishes (without being asked, I might add) or helping tend Clark.

Emma, 6, is a first grader this year. She has become a super reader and has advanced to the second-grade reading class. Emma also dances at Infinity and will be competing for the first time this year with the Tinys. She is becoming quite a beautiful dancer and really enjoys her jazz, hip hop and ballet classes. She met with disaster this summer when she fell off our trampoline the third day we had it and broke her arm. She got to wear a bright pink cast for the second half of the summer. Swimming lessons were cut short, sadly, because she is our little fish. Emma often can be found in her room playing with her dolls or Littlest Pet Shop toys. She will disappear for about an hour and we know she's entered "Emma World." The carnage is something out of Sid's house (from Toy Story, you know?), though, when she is done. Many times we have found Barbie posed in the arms of our Sherriff Woody doll, in a compromising position. We're having the "appropriate contact with boys" talk. Emma is our sweetheart. She tends to love ... a little too much at times ... on Clark and is a big helper, too.

Luke, 5, is a preschooler this year. He attends the same elementary school as his sisters as a peer model in the Developmentally Delayed Preschool. One of the perks of being a district employee. His teacher described him as "brilliant" (her words) at our most recent Parent-Teacher Conferences. Then again, she teaches the developmentally-delayed class, so we're not quite sure who she is comparing him to. He enjoys riding the bus to and from school, even though it is only four blocks away. Frankly, he was tired of waiting on his slowpoke sisters in the morning. He is always the first one ready and was constantly late because of them. Something tells me things aren't going to change much from here on out. Luke played T-ball and soccer this year and continues to excel at sports. He wants to learn to "fight with swords" next apparently. He got an old Gameboy Advance for his birthday (which Clark lost) and does not take breaks. He's pretty glued to it all the time which is consitituting a new "screen time limit" rule. They have a limited time for anything that has a screen. Once they've used up their minutes, then it is time to shut down the screens. (Oh, and there are no rollover minutes.)

Clark, 15 months, is the highlight of our day. He continues to learn new words every day and can ALMOST run. He is getting really skinny, walking off all his baby fat. He is still super little though and it is hard to believe he is as old as he is. Clark loves balls and toothbrushes. It is the weirdest thing! You can often spot him waddling around with a death-grip on a toothbrush in his fist. He doesn't suck on it, but don't you dare try to take it from him! His comprehension also seems to be growing. He will throw away his own dirty diapers and shuts the door when you ask him to. He likes to give open-mouth kisses and "loves." The funniest thing about Clark is that he can recognize candy and goes crazy shouting, "MA! MA! MA!" or trills like Chewbacca until he gets it. We wish everyone could get a little Clarky-love. It would truly make your holiday.

We send our love this holiday season. We recognize that this time of year is to remember Christ. We hope you do all year round, but maybe just a little more than usual this year. The kids got to go to Toys 'R' Us and shop for two families that didn't get Christmas. For a part of it, we worried they would not stop focusing on what they wanted instead of helping this family. By the end of the night, the kiddos were running things to the basket and saying things like, "Oh, this little boy will love this!" or "The baby will look so cute in this!"

I think it sunk in. We truly love our friends and family and feel each of you have touched our lives in some special way. May your lives be as blessed as you have made us feel this year!

With much love,
The Hansens
Ryan, Lisha, Ally, Emma, Luke & Clark


Sandi said...

Great update. But your links are not working on "here, here, and here" for Mr. Mom.

sunnie said...

So, I guess this means no card to hang up on our door? That's ok, we always love to hear from you.

Maren said...

LOVE the new pictures! Clark is getting SO big and cuter by the moment! Happy holidays to you guys! Alohas!

Cummins Family said...

Holy Crap! Those are the cutest pictures I have ever seen!!!! Seriously cute.

I forget that you guys live only 45 minutes away from us. why haven't we hung out AT ALL since you moved back to Idaho? We need to get together.


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