Friday, November 29, 2013

Happy Post Thanksgiving

So I'm going to make this quick. First off please note the record number of posts I've done this month - 4. That is what happens when you set goals, even silly ones like the number of blog posts you will do in a month.
Thanksgiving was great! The Human race went well. The girls were so very excited about our party pants! They were fun to watch run and goof around. 

 All of the Hansen family human racers - what a fabulous group!

Desserts and appetizers went well. As did dinner.
 Pumpkin cheesecake with a gingersnap pecan crust
 Chocolate peanut butter cheesecake
 The pie baker & Sydney the photo bomber

Brian, the girls and I ended the day by watching a movie together. Today we get to go visit Brian's mom. I'm happy happy that so much of our family lives close enough to visit. Wish us well on our drive - Sydney will be driving us. Yikes! 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

We're in for some fun tomorrow! The days starts off bright and early with the Utah Human Race. We are really in for a treat this year. Thanks to some extreme enthusiasm from the girls, we're racing as the Hyer Party Pants. I'm just going to let you imagine what that means. The rest of my family (Mom, sibs, etc.) that are participating will be super excited to be seen with us.

After our brisk morning run/walk we are going to boil a couple of big pots of potatoes. Not just any potatoes mind you. Home grown & cared for by Brian potatoes. For the sake of pleasant looking potatoes we are not going to include the blue potatoes in the mash. While those boil I'll be finishing up my desserts. I made 2 cheesecakes a little bit ago and they were yummy! One was pumpkin with a gingersnap & pecan crust. The other was chocolate & peanut butter. I couldn't decide which one would be best for Thanksgiving so I made both. We'll be taking some to Brian's mom on Friday so it's okay that I made two. Just as a little side note here - I debated being like other bloggers and taking pictures of my cheesecakes while I was preparing them and then taking more pictures of the finished product but I couldn't do it. That takes way too much time. Trust me, they looked lovely and tasted even better. My cheesecakes for tomorrow aren't going to look quite as lovely because I decided to cook them in 9x13 pans and cut them into small pieces to serve. We are going to have tons of pie and since cheesecake is so rich that eating one whole piece limits the rest of your eating options I wanted to be able to have enough room in my stomach for lots of choices. Maybe I'll take a picture of the whole dessert table at my mom's. Then you can see all the deliciousness.

When the potatoes are mashed and the desserts are ready off we'll go to my mom's for the big feast. Appetizers and dessert are first and a few hours later we'll have dinner. This year all my sibs (except for Brad) are at my mom's. It will be nice to hang out with them for the day. Know that when I say sibs I mean my siblings, their spouses, kids, etc. It will be a full house. That is truly what I'm most grateful for on Thanksgiving. I love having a great big crazy family. There is always something going on with them - some of it good, some of it not so good. I really do just love to be with them. I'm always hopeful that the not so good parts will be resolved well and that the good parts will be even better. You never know what tomorrow brings & I'm thankful for the blessings of family.

Sydney, Gretchen and Julia spent a little time with a woman in our ward today and made some pies. They made apple, strawberry and raspberry. Aren't we lucky and didn't they do a great job?

Also, mark your calendars. I'm going to have my annual studio open house Saturday Dec. 14 from 2:00-4:00pm. Currently I have a kiln load of pottery waiting for me to take it out of the kiln, glaze it and fire it again. I'm excited to see how this batch of lovelies turns out!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The End of Mountain Bike Season

This past weekend was spent in Moab. What an excellent way to end the mountain biking season! Samantha & Sydney were able to compete in their last race & they were able to wear just their jerseys and shorts. No other layers because it was warm enough not to be totally covered in fabrics! That was a quite a treat. We left Friday morning as soon as Sam got home from Physics. She didn't want to miss class, it's hard to keep up if you don't go. Syd had no problem missing her classes. Anyway we were on the road at 10:00 am with 6 mountain bikes, luggage, race gear, bike gear, snacks and entertainment. 

A few years ago we started listening to audiobooks on road trips. We've pretty much stuck with 2 authors. Rick Riordon and Alexander McCall Smith. I think we've listened to 13 books together. We can only listen to a book if all 6 of us are in the car. Someone feels bad if they get left out. Brian used to be a big reader, then he went to medical school and the reading bug left him. I do not see him read a book very often so it's fun that he enjoys these audiobooks too. We've listened to the whole Percy Jackson series, 2 of the Kane Chronicles and 3 of the Heroes of Olympus series. (Julia has tested on her Greece and Egypt mythology tests at school.) We've also loved "The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency" series. This trip we listened to the 4th book, "The Kalahari Typing School for Men". The girls are totally content to play their ds's, draw, make bracelets, do whatever and no one gets out of patience with anyone else on the drive. The narrator on these books is wonderful. My sister Pam tried to get me to listen to these years ago but I couldn't do it. It was too hard for me to pay attention to the book and do anything else (including driving) at the same time. I can do it now. I think I might not be as tired as I was when the girls were younger.

Anyway back to Moab. We arrived at the race course around 2:00 pm and did a pre-ride so Sam & Syd could get a feel for the course. It was awesome! So fun. We had a little trouble with 2 of our bikes but figured we could get that worked out on Saturday with the help of a fantastic bike guy we know. After the ride we checked in to our hotel. We stayed in a very spacious family suite at the Best Western Canyonlands Inn. I booked it online and had no idea that it would be as big as it was. That made it very nice for us.  We met a lot of the team for dinner and bowling that night.

Saturday we were at the race by 8:30 am. Fabulous Ian (Brian's sister's son who runs Sunrise Cyclery in Logan) came down to support the Cache Valley team. He tuned up our 2 troubled bikes in no time and made it possible for us to all go for a ride after the race. Sam & Syd rode the course to warm up and were racing by 10:05 & 10:10. The course was about 7 miles and they had to do 2 laps. They rode as hard as the could and made us proud. We watched the boys race and then it was time for a little family ride. By then it was 3:30-4:00. We didn't ride as far as we thought we would, Sam & Syd were happy about that; they were exhausted. No one took a phone or camera on this ride so we have no group photos in Moab. Just one from our room.

This was a hard spot on the course. A lot of the ride was single track so there was no passing. Sam is at the top of a small hill, turning a corner between 2 rocks over an uneven rock surface.

 Here is Sydney heading for the finish. The riders picked up a lot of speed coming going in to the finish.

All 6 of us in the sitting/kitchen area of our family suite.

After riding Saturday we went to dinner and tried to go to the awards ceremony but it was standing room only and not one of us wanted to stand for another 2 hours so we went back to our room and went to bed early. That really made the super tired girls happy. We got up early (6:00am) Sunday morning so we could leave in time to get to Layton by 1:00 for a nephew's mission farewell.

Our family has never mountain biked in Moab before and now I feel that we have missed out. The trails were so fun and diverse. I hope we're able to get back there again next year!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

October wrap up

I didn't make my goal of 2 posts per month for October so I'll try to make up for it in November. How lame is that, my goal is 2 and I did 1? Well, I'll do my best to not let that discourage me. Only kidding, I'm not discouraged at all. My days are really starting to settle into a routine. I do love a good routine. I never have one week that works just like the other weeks because Brian's schedule throws that off. When he is home my days are a little different than when he is at work. I certainly can't just sit around all day eating bonbons when he is here. He might get the impression that I'm a bit lazy and need some more work to do. Again, only kidding. I think he's glad if I sit around all day because then he can do the same thing and not have me bugging him about it.

The last two weeks of October were spent much like the first two. Julia finished up her soccer season.

 My mom was nice enough to take Julia and Gretchen to her game and then take these cute pictures of them. That morning Brian spent at work, Sam took the ACT and I took Sydney to her mountain bike race at Soldier Hollow.
Sam was bummed to miss a race but that's how is goes. She is focused on college - testing, applying, trying to decide what she wants to do with her life. There will be one more race this month and then mountain biking will be finished for the season. My mountain biking season ended as soon as I could see my breath. I am a fair weather rider for sure.

Our halloween was a little quiet. Brian was at work, Sam went to a party, Syd went to a party, Gretchen & Julia did some treat or treating before going with me to my mom's for a short visit. We were happy to see the headless horseman riding through the neighborhood. Such a treat!

Just a few words about Sydney's outfit. I have a hard time calling it a costume since she is wearing my shirt and Brian's pants & socks. She wanted to dress in 80's clothing so we found some original 80's clothing and she wore that. My high school friends made that shirt for me before I went to college. I slept in that shirt for a long time. It's been washed a lot and the fabric paint is fading but my smile is still bright when I look at it and think about those girls.

One important thing that happened in October. I spent a few days in the studio AND I took a few pictures of me in there! That has never happened before & most likely won't happen again. Using a self timer when your hands are covered in wet clay is not really a great idea if you want your camera to stay in a good condition. So enjoy these one time only shots.