Thursday, July 31, 2008

Introducing Franni Faye Hansen

I can't believe it - we got a dog. We had always said we'd get a dog when we had a fence and when we no longer had Komodo. Well, we ended up buying a puppy earlier than scheduled. We wanted a dog who would stay small and wouldn't shed. Because she has Yorkie in her, she fits both criterion and when we stumbled into her, we knew we wouldn't find that at the pound. She's a Miniature Pinscher and Yorkie mix who is now 10 weeks old. She is a big cuddler, but is so energetic, people have asked if I give her shots of esspresso. She's doing really well with house training, but not so great with the nibbling. Tips for stopping this are welcomed and appreciated.

We chose the name because my grandmother's name is Frances and my aunt's middle name is Faye.We debated between Franni, Peggy, and Ophie (short for Ophelia from Hamlet), but in the end Franni won. Hope you don't mind Grandma.

She's extremely little. I took a picture of her lying down next a DVD case to give a perspective. She's a small little gal and supposedly, she'll only get a few inches bigger. I truly hope that is the case. Of course, becuase she's so small, she's easy to accidentally step on. We are constantly on our toes. It's like having two small children now. I guess it's great preparation for whenever baby #2 comes - not that it's any time soon. Between the two hoodlums, we have our hands full. More like, Kris has his hands full since he's home with them during the day. They are magnets for mischief together.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Kyson's New Pastimes

A few weeks ago, Kyson started walking. It started out as a 2 steps going from the couch to the coffee table, or from the coffee table to us. Suddenly he's walking across the room, or running from couch to couch. It's pretty exciting. My mom says he walks like my grandma Gunn did, and after she pointed it out, I agreed.

He's also really getting attached to his stuffed animals. He loves animals and of course Komodo. He was trying to feed her his toy the other day and instead he kept putting his finger in her mouth. Fortunately no harm done. He's also climbing into his toy box now and shutting himself in the cupboards. He's not even 15 months yet, what's next?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Family Photos

Just before we went on vacation, we had the privilege of getting our family pictures taken. I work with a professional photographer who did our pictures and I'm so glad that I asked her. She was very reasonably priced as well. She has beautiful portraits on her website. We went to Memory Grove in downtown Salt Lake City. It was the first time I'd been there and it is such a great place to take photos. Here are a few of my favorite pictures.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Get Comfortable - This Will Take a While

We finally have out Internet up and running. It didn't take this long to get the Internet fixed, but when the phone line was fixed, the computer crashed. Fortunately, life is starting to get back to normal.

First, I want to share our trip to New England. We spent 9 days there to celebrate my grandmother's birthday and to visit the area. Kris had never been, and I haven't been in probably 15 years. We spent our time in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Maine. We started our trip with a wonderful seafood meal. I, of course, ordered a hamburger. I'm such a Utahn.

We started our trip in Salem, MA, home of the famous witch trials. It was amazing to visit the place becauseI teach it. My family seemed to be impressed with my knowledge of the events. We saw the Salem Jail, the Witch House where they would inspect the accused, and of course the Old Salem Cemetery. It was wonderful to visit the place I teach about every year. I'm glad I'll have pictures to share with the students to make it more real to them.

Gloucester was another place I teach about occasionally. I'm sure most are familiar with the film The Perfect Storm, well the story takes place there. There were widows watches on all the houses along the coast and statues honoring those who have passed away at sea. There was a beautiful dock that we walked with a lighthouse on the shore. The dock was made of huge granite slabs. We went just as the sun was setting and the view was breathtaking.

We were able to follow the path from Lexington to Concord and see the route of Paul Revere during the Revolutionary War. I'm not much of a history buff and I'm sad to say, I know little about history, but as an English teacher it was also cool for me because Louisa May Alcott, the woman who wrote Little Women, spent much of her childhood in Concord. I got to see the house where she grew up and the stairs where she would write. We saw the North Bridge in Concord and many other sights important to our nation's history.

In Boston, Kyson really enjoyed the seals at the Aquarium, but we mainly saw historic sights. We saw Paul Revere's home and the North Church where Revere put the lights in the tower (One if by land, two if by sea). We saw the graves of Paul Revere, Samuel Adams, Franklin's parents, and a former grandmaster of the Masons. Because we walked the freedom trail, we got a wheelchair for my grandmother. She couldn't have walked all that. My grandma and Kyson got along well in their wheels.

I think Kyson's highlight was Hampton Beach in New Hampshire. Unfortunately it was sprinkling the day we went so we didn't get in our suits and enjoy the cool North Atlantic, but Kyson did. I wasn't planning on it, but he kept crawling back out to the water and playing in the sand. I've never seen him so excited. If you look closely at his picture, his tongue is out to the side.

Close to the end of our trip, we spent a day in Maine. We saw the famous Nubble Lighthouse in York and apparently it's one of the most photographed lighthouses in America. It was beautiful. Kyson also ate clam chowder in Maine - chunks and all - without throwing it up.

While we saw many beautiful sights and historic places, my favorite part of the trip was visiting cemeteries and finding my family. I visited my great grandparents on both my grandmother's and grandfather's side. I saw my grandfather's brother who was killed in France in WWII. I went to Woburn, MA where my ancestors founded and established the town. We went to cemeteries in Salem, NH; Woburn, MA; Methuen, MA; and Merrimack, NH. I even found dates for relatives that I didn't have before.I took many pictures of the graves in the old cemetery. I know Kyson will not remember any of this, but I'm grateful he has been able to visit the graves of his great-great grandparents. From the headstones of my ancestors, I also learned that I come from a long line of Masons which I found to be fascinating.

This is a short summary of our trip. I would write more, but I need to go to bed. I'll share more about the treasures I found in New Hampshire in the attic of my grandmother's house. I have many pictures to share.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

No Internet

This is just a little note to say - I don't know when I'll be able to get another blog done. We're getting our fence put in and they hit our phone line. So we have no Internet. I'm doing this quickly at work. I have a lot to post because we just got back from our trip to New England. Kyson actually ate a french fry while we were gone (without throwing it up), and he took his first steps on Sunday. I'll update you on everything when things are up and running.