Thursday, July 31, 2008

Just call me, Little Red Hen...

I planted the beans.
I watered the beans.
I weeded the beans.
I picked the beans.
I cooked the beans.
I ate the beans.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Lots of swirling...

Lots of thoughts swirling around in this noggin of mine, but as I sit down to write, I am not quite sure what will come out. First off, today was a wonderful day at the beach. I love our Wednesday beach days! (Feel free to join us next week!) It was a beautiful day, even if it was a skosh warm. Between playing in the water, at the park, and in the sand, the kids did not seem to mind the heat. Today it was great having Wendy and Shelly to talk with as our kiddos played.

In talking to my friends, I was reminded how much God, our Father in Heaven, knows and loves each of us. There are so many things in life that do not go exactly to our plan and fit with our expectations, but Heavenly Father knows us and what we need. For me, I think He often has people come into my life that will help me along the way. When I think of all the times that I have felt so alone -- I mean really alone -- someone that I need helps me and makes me feel better. Time and again I find a friend that feels the same way or has had a similar experience and they often have words of wisdom to share. There is no way I think of that as coincidence. I know it is a loving Father who is helping me. He knows, better than I know myself, what I need and how I need to receive it. He answers prayers...even, and perhaps especially, the silent ones said in an aching heart. It is such a blessing to be reminded that I am known and loved by my Heavenly Father and my Savior.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


Last week we had a fantabulous time surprising Ken's mom, Suzanne, for a 60th birthday celebration. Aunt Blanche, Suzanne's sister, started organizing the get together last winter and she did such a great job and it was a total surprise.

Suzanne thought she was coming up to Denver for a visit, but Ken told a whopper to his mom saying that they come when they originally planned because our van had broken up in Cooke City and we had to wait to get it fixed. So then they "changed their plans" to meet Holly and Brian who just happened to be at a bike race in Pagosa Springs. They decided to meet for dinner and then caravan up to Denver. What Suzanne didn't know, is that our family and Blanche, her husband Jeff, and a few of the cousins were also waiting for her at the restaurant. It was great seeing her shocked reaction and trying to put the pieces of all the white lies together.

We had a wonderful three days there! It was absolutely beautiful! We visited chimney rock, did a chuckwagon dinner with sing-a-long, visited the wild animal park, took a 2 hour trail ride, mini, golf, and played games and talked. It was a wonderful reunion with family. Thanks to Aunt Blanche for organizing the shindig -- we had an incredible time!

Here are some pictures from the reunion. If you want to see more pictures, click here.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Holy Crap!

I think that everyone knows I love the show So You Think You Can Dance. It is my favorite!!! I love that so many styles of dance are performed -- everything from Krumping to the Fox Trot. There is such a great variety. I really think the show is a great ambassador for dance. Just look at the level of talent that it attracts and especially the choreographers that are willing to be a part of it.

Tonight I was completely shocked by the results! Almost from the beginning of the season I thought Will would be in the finals and that he should win the competition. I don't know what America was thinking, but tonight Will was cut from the competition. I absolutely cannot believe it! Seriously at this point I am sad that any of the guys have to go home, but I really did not think it would be Will. In fact, even when he was announced as one of the bottom two, I thought he would be safe. Tonight, I think America got it wrong on SYTYCD. And that is what I have to say about that!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Cabin...

Out of the last 7 years we have gone up to the Debry cabin in Montana six times. It is one of our family traditions that we all look forward to. We always have a blast! This year was especially fun. We usually do a good balance of fun activities and relaxing. This year we (at least some of us) went fishing (good thing Rob was there to fish the kids out of the river!), hiking at Crazy Creek, playing in the mud, going off the rope swing, horseshoes, church, giving a concert for "the aunts", playing games, and of course, our day trip into Yellowstone. The boys even watched the kids so the girls could have lunch at the Beartooth Cafe -- oh the rum poppy seed cake!

Like every other year, we continued the tradition of playing Guesstures. And like, just about every other year, the girls skunked the boys! After being completely dominant in the first game, Mark decided we should do "double or nothing" for the lightning round. In this lightning round, our spouse would select the cards we would act out and set them up for us so that we would not see what was on the card until the timer started. Super fun! Again the girls rocked and we more the doubled the boys points. (I am pretty sure that is not what Mark meant by "double or nothing" --ha ha!)

We gave the chance for the boys to redeem themselves when we took them on in horseshoes. Ken brought up his horseshoes and the boys decided that would be this year's project: to make horseshoe pits. Despite the swarms of mosquitoes, we had a blast playing. In both games, the girls had the lead most of the time, with the boys coming from behind and squeaking out the win right at the end. Good thing, I think if we had skunked the boys at horseshoes too, they would never play another game with us. :) I see a new game tradition in the making and I even received my horseshoe nickname of "Carli Sliders" because of my impressive horseshoe throwing form. At least that is what they said...

The kids had a wonderful time playing with their friends! They got really dirty. What kid can resist a giant mud puddle? They loved playing out in the tree house and up in the loft. I am not quite sure when they slept because they were up late every night and up early every morning so they would not miss a moment of playing opportunity.

I too had a wonderful time playing with my friends. The Allreds and DeBrys became family to us during our years together in Colorado. It is so great to reconnect with them every year up at the cabin. Their friendship is so precious to us. We also love it when new families join us. This year the Wagners came up and it was great getting to know them better. (It also helps that Brenda is an awesome Guesstures player!) I love the time we get to spend together. Especially if that time is after we put the kids to bed and we are relaxing and talking on the best and most comfortable couch ever!

Now the countdown begins for next summer and when we can go up to the cabin again...

If you want to check out more pictures from our trip, click here for the gallery.


We just got back from our yearly trip to Montana. We had a fantastic time, as usual. This year the Wagner family from our ward joined us and the DeBry and Allred families. The Debry cabin in Cooke City is only a few miles out of Yellowstone, but we haven't gone there for several years. This year the Wagners wanted to visit the park, so we all decided to make a day of it.

We had an incredible time. We drove all over the park visiting Mammoth Hot Springs, Old Faithful, Tower Falls, and ate a picnic at Sheepeaters Cliffs. The views were spectacular and we were able to see a ton of animals. We saw antelope, buffalo, elk, deer, a bald eagle, and a mama bear with her cubs. It was especially cool to see the buffalo stampede down the hill, swim across the river, get out, and continue their stampede across the next meadow. Absolutely amazing! On the way back through Lamar Valley the light was so golden and made everything seem even more beautiful. Of course I couldn't help but take a gazillion photos. I uploaded a few into this slide show, but you can see more if you click here.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Bearing fruit...

Our raspberry bushes in the backyard are finally starting to actually have raspberries on them! Who would have thunk?!? Last year we got, count it, ONE raspberry. I am starting to get excited for this year and -- if we can keep the birds away-- the raspberry freezer jam I could make!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Campin' with the Hansens 2008

This fourth of July weekend we went up to Rocky Mountain National Park for the 7th annual "Campin' with the Hansens." Every year we look forward to camping with some of our friends. We had a wonderful time (except for our air mattress going flat the first night -ugh!) and the weather was perfect. The kids loved getting dirty, especially Peyton and her black hands!

The next morning we enjoyed a nice walk up to Alluvial Fan and a wonderful picnic lunch in the park. After a little rest at the campsite we headed into Estes Park and found a spot near the high school for to watch the fireworks. We made sure to get a spot by the park (we were there a few hours before the show) and the kids played, played, played and played some more. Some of the adults enjoyed playing some Frisbee on the lawn while we waited. Estes Park put on a great fireworks display and we all enjoyed it. The last morning we always have a big breakfast with all the trimmings before we pack up to go home.

Every year we look forward to this annual tradition and we always have a blast with our friends. I especially love the part when we get the kids down for the night and all the adults get to talk around the fire. We are so grateful to Jen and Karl that organize the yearly camping expedition. You guys are awesome -- thanks for inviting us!

UPDATE: A new obsession...

Becky just sent me proof of this weekend's antisocial behavior to post on here. We were waiting for the fireworks display and the kids were very happily playing at the park. So I had a little time on my hands... :)

Sunday, July 6, 2008

A new obsession...

I put off starting to read the Twilight series because I knew I would get lost as I always seem to. That is one of the reasons that I love to read -- to lose myself, to become someone new, in a totally new world. While we were camping this weekend I finally started it. Sure enough, I could not put it down. Can you believe that Carli and the word "antisocial" were actually being used in the same sentence?!? I was so glad that Heather let me borrow the first two books. I finished Twilight last night and I just finished New Moon. Now I have got to get my hands on book three. I need to satisfy my thirst, if you know what I mean. Life could return to normal, ie. caring for my family, once I get caught up. :) I am pathetic. I have absolutely no self control.

Some nights I love doing the dishes...

One of the redeeming things about doing the dishes at my house is the view out of the window over the sink. In the summer the trees block out some of the mountains, but I still get to see glorious sunsets. Last Thursday night was spectacular. The oranges, pinks, and purples are absolutely stunning! Makes me feel so insignificant and so loved at the same time.