Sunday, September 30, 2007

Callings

So--- We got callings today. Greg got called to be the Ward Building Supervisor; I got called to be the CTR 6 Primary Teacher. I was apprehensive because I teach all the time and my weekends are a break from it. Plus, I like going to Sunday School and Relief Society. I'm pretty sure this is why Heavenly Father prompted the Bishopric to put me in this calling--- to learn in different ways. Either way, we're both excited to serve in ways we haven't served before.

My class thought it was pretty cool that their new teacher is a teacher for her job too; it reminded me why I should be excited to teach even if it means doing it another day of the week.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Ambo's Book Pick: Titan's Curse


I love to read. I have always loved to read; ever since elementary school when I read as many books as I could during the summer to get a coupon for one pizza. I love being transported to another world; to have the chance to connect with something that couldn't possibly happen in my life--- or seeing my life in replay through a character. It's very therapeutic--- helps me to relax. Some of my favorites include: Harry Potter, Twilight, and Artemis Fowl. Since I love to read, I thought I would use some of this blog space to recommend books that I enjoyed.

Tonight I just finished the book on the right: The Titan's Curse, Book 3 in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan. I absolutely love finding (or getting) new books/series to get into. This series has been fun for me for a few reasons:
  • I've always loved learning about Greek Mythology and this book (and the series) is entwined around a half-blood (half-god/mortal) and his adventures to save the world
  • I loved flawed heroes--- and all characters--- hero or villain--- have flaws
  • I also love Children's literature--- and I love getting my hands on a new series that I could use in the future
  • It's the type of book that leaves you hypothesizing about what's going to happen in the next book (out next May)
I would recommend this series to anyone that likes Greek Mythology and---well---a fun fast read. I'm excited to find out what happens next in the Spring! :)

Tagged--- awhile ago---

I was tagged by Melanie a while ago, so here it is:

5 things I was doing 10 years ago......
1... being excited to be a teenager
2... getting used to living in St. Louis
3... taking an across the country vacation with my family to see church history sites
4... getting ready for my last year in middle school
5... excited to come to Utah for Christmas

5 things on my to do list today......

1... update our blog
2... get over my cold
3... go to work
4... read a book
5... spend time with Gweg

5 songs I know the lyrics to.....
1... "That Thing You Do!" by the Oneders :)
2... "We Built This City" by Starship
3... most Disney songs :)
4... "My Heart Will Go On" by Celine Dion
5... *hard to admit* every 'N Sync song ever made...

*not to mention a bajillion more songs I know the words to... I like to sing along to the music I listen to*

5 things I would do if I were a millionaire.....
1... pay tithing then invest it after:
2... paying off all of our debts
3... paying off all our parents' debts
4... buy a nice practical family car
5... let Gweg get an old car to restore :)

5 things I'll never wear again......
1... A perm
2... bows on my forehead (thanks, mom)
3... Jelly shoes
4... sleeveless shirts (there was a time)
5... leggin pants with heel straps

5 favorite toys...

1... my Gweg :)
2... my cell phone
3... our new TV
4... our I-Pod
5... my computer

5 lucky people who get to do this next...... ( If you want)
1... Aunt Jenni Elyse
2... Ashwey
3... Meg-bo
4... everyone else has done it... if you haven't and want to I TAG YOU!!!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Circle of Life

Life has been interesting the last two weeks. I've had a hard time figuring out what to post after talking about my amazing father-in-law; it's been a roller coaster to say the least. Last weekend, we went to Utah. It was something Greg and I thought we weren't going to do again for a long time, but that's where Jay was being buried.

The amazing thing about that weekend was the outpouring of love for Jay and Barb. So many people came to the graveside service it only reiterated what kind of man Jay is (I say is because his spirit is still alive). So many people from our family converged on Plain City, Utah to celebrate the mortal existence of Jay. Greg even saw his half-sister Elaine for the first time in twenty-plus years; I now know that my sister-in-law does exist! :) Greg and Paul (Greg's step-dad and Jay's best friend) gave amazing eulogies, I
tried to conduct through the two most emotional songs ever, and Jay was given the most incredible military salute ever. It was great to be there for each other; having family around helped me get over my fears of not being 'there' for Greg. Greg had love all around him; as did Barb; as did all of us. Throughout this whole thing we were all there for each other---as a family.

When Greg & I got married three years ago, we connected our extended family into one huge family; and I physically saw that last weekend. I'm so grateful to have the family that I have; it helps me live each day better knowing that I'll be with them always.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Jay Walker Hansen: Sept 12, 1943 - Sept 9, 2007


Oh man... where to begin. A few hours after returning from our Windy City Adventure, Greg and I were in the midst of finishing up our sacrament talks for today. Greg's step-mom, Barb, called around 1040 to tell us that Jay, Greg's father, was in the ICU at the hospital. Jay's lungs had finally given out and he was on a breathing machine.

Over the past three years, Jay has been battling lung cancer. It has been rough watching someone we love suffer so much. Personally, I've watched everyone around Jay be strong and amazing---ever positive---including Jay. Being the eternal optimist that I am I wanted to believe that he would win the struggle.

Greg had the chance to talk to Jay last night and it was a very emotional talk. After getting Barb's call, Greg and I called a few more people and began to grieve. Greg, luckily, has finished his talk and I had to pull mine together. This morning, we got up and got ready for church just like any other Sunday (except for we were actually on time). Thirty minutes into the sacrament meeting, Greg got another call. He slipped out the door and found out that Jay passed away at 9:30 this morning. He came back in half-way through my talk and then got up to give his! My husband amazes me. He was able to give a magnificant talk about the restoration of the gospel within minutes of finding out about his father's death. I knew it before, but Greg showed me again today, how truly amazing he really is.

Jay was---and still is---an amazing man. He made everyone's lives around him better. He was frank with all because he cared so much. It is tragic that his mortal time on this earth was so short; the great thing about Jay is that he made the most of every day---every minute. I'm so very grateful that I had the little time that I had with him; I grew to love him as if he was my own father. In fact, I count myself very grateful to have two wonderful father and mother-in-laws. I'm glad that Greg had the chance to visit him a few weeks ago. And I'm very glad that Greg, and all those who loved him, will get the chance to see him again. He was a truly unique and wonderful man who will be missed until that great day of reunion.

Windy City Adventure


Since we had a rough time last weekend getting to Chicago, we decided to try again yesterday. Even though it was a weekend, we got up bright and early to drive the two and a half hours to Chicago. The drive was nice because we had the chance to talk and read the scriptures together. The temple was amazing. I remember going there when we moved to Chicago; I thought it was beautiful then and I still think it's beautiful. In our session there was a brother who had a hearing impairment and it was really neat to see how the temple workers accommodated for him. One of the things I was really shocked about was the small amount of people there for a Saturday. The Chicago Temple district is huge and our session wasn't even full. We had a great time.

After the temple we needed to find a place to eat, so we drove back to the interchange in Schaumburg (which happens to be the area we used to live in back in the day). With two malls in that area we had choices galore and decided to go to Rainforest Cafe. They sat us in the monkey section and every fifteen minutes the animals woke up to make some noise; shortly after was the thunderstorm. We had a great time there and cannot wait for people to visit and take them there when we visit Chicago.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

A Table and a TV


Monday's activity was supposed to be our first trip to the Chicago Temple. Greg was sweet enough to check the hours, but he didn't check them all the way. It takes a little over two and a half hours to get to Chicago from Madison. We were ready to go by 830; the problem was the last session started at 11. I was really bummed; since I was really bummed Greg tried to cheer me up by looking at dining room tables online. Once I started I couldn't stop. Greg and I decided to go looking for a table since it was Labor Day weekend and furniture stores like to have sales over holidays.

Driving into new parts of Madison and eight hours later, we found the one table that fit the bill. It is an amazing table that came with an incredible deal. The reason I'm writing about it today is because we got it today. I came home from work and saw something in our dining room area (yay for friends who could help Greg while I was at work-- props Soelbergs)! I put decorations on the table and took pictures because of how excited I am.


The other thing we got today was a 37'' LCD flat screen HP TV from my folks. It was a graduation/birthday/ anniversary/christmas present for the year. Apparently Dad got a killer deal and wanted to spread the wealth. Not only is it an awesome new TV, but it was HD capabilities (when we can finally afford it). I'm so stoked to watch a movie and a Cardinals game. Even though it's just stuff, it has made me think about how grateful I am for everything I have in my life. Sometimes I think Heavenly Father blesses me more than I deserve...

So... that was the highlight of the week.... new table... new TV....

Cave of the Mounds


Greg & I wanted to do some fun, relaxing activities over Labor Day Weekend; Greg picked Saturday's activity and I picked Monday's. Greg decided to take me to the Cave of the Mounds on Saturday and I picked going to the Chicago Temple on Monday. My temple trip didn't work out so well, but that will be the subject of my next post...

We had lots of fun at the Mounds. First off, we took the back way to the Mounds--- it was awesome. Two minutes from our apartment we were out in the country. We had so much fun going on the county highways and learning more about the area we live in.

Right before we moved from Utah, we went to Timp Caves. Greg convinced me because he said the hike would be worth it; what he didn't tell me was that the hike was a 1,200 ft ascension up a mountain; and my poor sister was in town visiting. Luckily we ended up having fun (after the hike up).

The Mounds was completely different from Timp Caves. Timp Caves you have to hike a mile and half up a mountain to get to the cave (props to Meg-bo); the entrance to the Cave of the Mounds is right below the gift shop. It was a big contrast to get to the both caves, but the result was the same; amazing natural beauty. The only two parts I didn't like about the caves were the places called 'the meanders' and 'the narrows.' I'm slightly claustrophobic so I was grateful to get out of those places. It's kind of a catch-22 with me because I love going to caves, but I hate small places. Obviously, I survived--- and we made memories... here are some pictures:

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