hansen happenings

...random thoughts from our lives...


I have a serious mushy spot in my heart for a man (better yet men) in suits singing a capella. Blame it on my college years, their dashing good looks, or those voices, but I just might have to treat myself to their new Christmas CD. It is my birthday tomorrow after all :)

a Thanksgiving sampler...

A calorie free treat for Thanksgiving brought to you by Chloe. Oh, the reams of paper this household goes through is staggering. My personal favorite is the turkey pondering his fate. Mmm, speaking of calories, can't wait for the white chocolate pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnap crust. That's seriously the recipe title. And the loads of yummy food at my Mom's place. What's not to be thankful for?? Good food and and even better family. Have a terrific holiday!

feeling like home...

I'm guessing it's safe to assume Noah is feeling quite at home and comfortable here. Yesterday morning he took a bath, got dressed and asked for me to help him put on his shoes and socks. It was almost 10:30, I told him we weren't leaving for school yet and did he still want to put them on. he doesn't care much for either if we're just at home. Yes, let's put them on. He made some passing comment about going to school all by himself and I said, let's wait until after lunch. Preschool starts at 1:30. I went into Ivy's room to put her down for a nap. And I must say, I like that time in my day, relaxing time to read and sit down. Noah has always been very good about playing while I get her to sleep.

The phone rings three different times and finally I can escape to answer it. The last caller is Cody, asking me if I know where Noah is. He's apparently at school, without a jacket, but he did grab his backpack, sitting with Cody in his class!! It's obvious he does know the way to school, we live only a couple blocks away- not city blocks mind you :) Luckily my visiting teacher recognized him and took him to Cody. I'm sure he didn't see a single moving vehicle on his way in this one horse town, but nonetheless we did chat about Mom always accompanying him to preschool. I think he sees his sisters leave and go places by themselves often enough he figured he could give it a try. When I gave him a hug I could tell he'd been crying and he tearfully confided, "Mom, I just wanted to come to school." And who can blame him, half our family was there. I hope I never have to remind him of how excited he was about school someday when
it's not so exciting :) Love you Noah.

Ivy's 1st birthday!

How fast can a year go- FAST I tell you! Ivy turned one on the 12th and we finally got around to a proper celebration this afternoon, the weekdays have become a bit crazy. How fortunate we can have cousins, grandparents and everyone so close to have fun with us.

Ivy was pretty much oblivious to all the partying, good thing she had plenty of helpers who were much more excited about presents than she was! I love the expression on her face- albeit blurry- when we presented her cake to her. I think the flame was like nothing she'd seen yet. And by far, the cleanest and generally untouched cake of all the first birthdays I've witnessed. Just like Ivy, dainty and sweet.

Funny how after a baby joins your family it's hard to imagine what life was even like prior to that day, as if they'd always been a part of you somewhere, somehow. We love you dearly Ivy!

deja vu...

How does a face so loving and sweet inflict such a nasty ouchy on a boy as equally loving and sweet?

And while I'm asking questions, what is it about little girls, little Hansen girls specifically? For six torturous months from one year to 18 months Lauren and Chloe's forearms were covered with bite marks-from each other! I was always ultra conscious of them and what people might think. Once they learned to say no, or either get out of the other's way the situation improved.

Now here we are, 8 years later with another biter I'm afraid. In defense of Ivy however, Noah does really get in her (and my!) personal space sometimes. She hasn't quite mastered how to politely tell him so as I have. But still, biting!? It drives me crazy, she's too young to understand NO yet, so I've been coaching Noah that his best defense when he sees her lunging towards him, mouth gaping, four shining teeth, the obvious "AAHH" sound, is to get the heck out of the way! He will learn, as will she, soon Noah hopes. And just for the record, he is a great brother, he just appreciates physical play more than the rest of us combined. Poor guy, all he could muster was "Why is Ivy a bad baby?" with tears of course :)

comforts of fall...

Let it be known- I love fall. I realize fall is on it's way out and winter is coming. The prospect of a winter here in Bancroft is a gloomy thought with traveling and all, but today is a crisp fall day. Something about the change in season makes me want to put away the green salads and move onto warm hearty soups, or warm rich brownies in today's case.

Noah, always willing to sample anything in the kitchen, will probably know a lot about cooking when he leaves home, or at least be able to bake a mean dessert. These little bites are super rich, thus the small size. After snitching multiple times in the frostings I couldn't even stomach one, but I know they'll be delish.

Layered Mint Chocolate Brownies
1 C butter
2/3 C cocoa powder
2 C sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 C flour

Mint Frosting:
1/2 C butter, softened
1 lb. powdered sugar
1-3 Tbl milk
1/2 tsp. mint extract (I used essential oil)

Chocolate topping:
1 C semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 C butter (noticing a pattern here?)

Mix butter cocoa, and sugar. Add eggs one a a time, mixing well after each. Stir in flour. Spread into a greased 9 by 12 pan. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes, cool completely.
Mix butter and powdered sugar, add only enough milk for a smooth consistency. Add mint and green food coloring. Frosting will be thick, spread over brownie layer and refrigerate until firm.
Melt chocolate chips with butter in microwave stir well to combine. Pour over frosted brownies, covering completely, refrigerate until topping is hard and set. Cut into small squares, enjoy!

Another love of mine is lentils. Must have been because I lived in Moscow for so long and enjoyed these. Anyway, I used to get these fantastic red lentils at the Food Co-op, but haven't been able to find them around here. I was excited to find them at Walton's Feed last week. (Sorry for all the links, Walton's is great though if you're ever in the area.) It's a good thing I like them since they came in 25 lb. bags. Lots of lentils...today we're trying this recipe, hoping it's yummy, it smells good in the crock pot now. Mmm, here's to fall cooking!

more 10.31.09

Poor little ones, a bit tired, cold, and wondering what was up! Ivy started to cry when she woke up from her nap and saw me, guess I did look scary!


Halloween- it was a cold night this year. Fun aunt Shay and Steve came down to visit, trick or treat, and see little Callie. Lauren and Chloe ADORE Shay, all morning they bustled around the house, tidying rooms. "Our house has to be sparkling for Aunt Shay Mom!" Please come more often...please? It was fun walking around town, it's been a long time since we did that, no warm mall or trunk or treats, just the old-fashioned way. The kids didn't get a ton of candy either which is always good, just enough to enjoy for a few days, not so much to send them into a sugar coma. We had quite a few trick or treaters too. Our next sugary holiday is Ivy's birthday- can't believe that girl is one next week!

words we love...

"The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love and to let it come in."

the hansens

the hansens





stuff I've made