Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Miriam Carol White Hall-Hansen

Just before Thanksgiving, Kris's step-mother and one of my mothers-in-law passed away. We weren't very close to her, and I have to say looking back, I regret that. The first time we met, we didn't have the best experience. She is a very opinionated woman who doesn't worry about holding back her thoughts. That first night I met her was so Kris could announce to his father and her that we were engaged. It didn't go very well. She was forcefully giving me her opinions about the wedding and many other things and I felt extremely uncomfortable. Kris spoke up to
defend me because he didn't like it either, and then his father spoke up defending his wife. Before we knew it I was holding Kris back and Miriam was holding Bert back to keep the boys from getting into a fist fight. I never got over that night and I think that me holding a grudge about that interaction has prevented me from having a relationship with someone who had a lot to offer. Instead of embracing our differences, I used them to push her away.

We saw her occasionally after Kris's father passed away, but it wasn't enough, and she was never pushy about trying to see us. I think if she had, I would have resented her even more, but looking back, at least I probably would have seen her more. At her funeral I learned so many things about her. I didn't know she was from
Canada or that she was an avid crime-fighter in her com- munity. They joked about how she always knew every body's business and would always tell everyone how to do things.

I'm hoping that I can use this experience to be a better person. I let my pride get in the way of a relationship and now that she's gone, I know I blew it. I plan to use Miriam as a reminder of what not to do and that I don't want to live my life full of regrets.

Miriam Carole White Hall-Hansen
1933 ~ 2011
Miriam Carole White Hall-Hansen passed away suddenly but peacefully at her home in Salt Lake City on Nov. 19, 2011. She was the daughter of William Stanley White and Bertha Delores Roeder White and was born on July 22, 1933 in Flin Flon, Manitoba, Canada. Miriam was the second oldest of seven children. She married Kenneth C. Hall (deceased) in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada. They immigrated to Salt Lake City, Utah in 1965. In 1994 she married Albert "Bert" J. Hansen (deceased) and they enjoyed ten happy years together.

Miriam was an extremely gifted woman. She sewed nonstop, custom making most of her own clothing as well as her family's. She was a bundle of talent, excelling in knitting, crocheting, tole painting, scherenschnitte (paper cutting), wedding cake decorating and many other creative endeavors.

Miriam first worked as a long distance/government telephone operator on one of the very first switchboards in northern Canada. While raising her family in Salt Lake, she worked briefly for Deseret Book, but Miriam was best known as the friendly face behind the counter at Sugarhouse Awning and Canvas Products. She was their office manager for over 20 years until her retirement.

As a professional genealogist, Miriam was always out "digging roots". Specializing in Germans from Russia research, she was considered "The Expert" by her peers. She served as a missionary (volunteer) at the Genealogical Library in Salt Lake City, now known as the Family History Center, where she has the distinction of being the longest serving missionary with 28 continuous years of service to her church. Miriam could be found two to three nights a week behind the European Desk in the basement.

She leaves behind to honor her life her four children; William Hall (Joann), Kendra Hall of Tillamook, OR, Ronnie Eldridge (Richard "Butch") of Nordland, WA, Doran Hall (Sally); five step children; Ben (Kristine), Lory (Kevin), Holly (Jose), Rusty (Amy), Kristian (Kelli), nineteen grandchildren and two great grandchildren; foster children; Joy Morse (Ken) and many more too numerous to mention, plus Calypso, her red parrot.

A tribute to Miriam celebrating her life of helping others as well as honoring her accomplishments will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011 at 11:00 AM at Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park Chapel, 3401 Highland Drive, SLC, UT. At Miriam's request there will be no viewing. Friends are welcome to visit the family one hour prior to the service. In lieu of flowers the family has requested that donations may be made to the YWCA-Salt Lake City "Women in Jeopardy Program".

Monday, November 28, 2011

"Dennis and Gretchens"

Kyson has been so excited about every holiday this year and when we told him we were going to put of the Christmas tree, he got super excited. But all day he kept talking about Dennis and Gretchen and we couldn't figure out why. I'd ask him if he wanted to go to breakfast with Dennis and Gretchen and he'd say that he wasn't talking about that. Eventually, we figured out that "Dennis and Gretchens" were decorations. Sometimes translating toddler language is really cryptic, but so fun once you figure it out.

Kris and I have been married for 10 years and never have we put the ornaments on the tree. We've always had two main reasons - Komodo or other puppies, and it's too much work to put it all back. Because Kyson was at an age where he'd appreciate it, we decided now would be a good year to start decorating with ornaments. Kyson was wonderful. He did a really good job of spacing out the ornaments and putting them throughout the tree.
Kodi kept coming back for more and more and she was soo fast. We finally figured out that she wasn't even hanging them but making a pile on one branch. It was cute. We spaced a few of them out when her back was turned.

The kids really enjoyed it, and it was really fun to put up "Dennis and Gretchens" for Christmas.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Day for Thanks

Thanksgiving is a holiday I look forward to every year. I love being with family so much, and even when it's my turn to host and I have to put in all the work, it's worth it to me to be with my family. This year was my turn and the entire event turned out very pleasant. My parents, Jen, Bill, and Josh came. We invited Carol and Errol, but they weren't able to make it - so we took some dinner to them later. Kyson was so excited to have everyone he liked so much under one roof together. He talked about it for weeks before the big day.

After dinner, we went bowling. Last year we decided to start a new tradition on Thanksgiving and go bowling. I really like it. We only played on game, but I think everyone enjoyed it. I used
to be a decent bowler, but not any more. I pretty much suck. It's pretty bad when a 4-year-old beats me. At least I didn't get beat by Kodi too (like Josh did- ha). Even Kyson and Kodi loved the bowling. We gave them bumpers and the rolling ramp, and Kodi would run up and push the ball and ran back to the waiting area, but she'd get so impatient until it was her turn. Kyson started off great. He got a spare in his first frame! He nearly broke 100. I was so proud.

After bowling, we went to visit my Grandpa Gunn. Kyson was a great sport. He went up and
gave Grandpa Gunn a high five and talked to him for a second. Kodi has major "stranger danger" and wouldn't get hear him, even when I was holding her. It was a short visit, but I'm glad we made it by.

After all the events, we came back to our house for pie, and to look through the ads. After Thanksgiving comes the big "holiday" of Black Friday. It's also a favorite holiday because I love to rush through the stores looking for deals and watch the chaos. It's also great bonding with my mom. This year, Black Friday was crazier than ever because rather than opening at 4 or 5am like stores usually do, most of them opened at midnight. It caused for an all-nighter of shopping. It's a lot of work and it's exhausting, but it's so worth it. Both Thursday and Friday were fabulous, but the rest I got after those two big events was something to be thankful for.

Final score of the game. The order is: Kyson, Josh, Kris, Kodi, Kelli

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Vacuuming is Fun!

For a few days now, Kyson has been on a vacuuming kick. It all started one night when something spilled. I don't remember what it was or who did it, but I pulled out my little spot bot carpet shampooer to clean up this spot. While I was working on this, Kyson got out the big vacuum, plugged it in, and vacuumed the entire downstairs. I was thoroughly impressed. The next day he did it again, and this pattern has continued for a few days. Well yesterday, Kodi wanted to join the fun, so she grabbed one of those toy popping vacuum looking things and was vacuuming with Kyson. Kris thought it was so adorable he grabbed the camera. I'll enjoy help while I can get it voluntarily. I doubt he'll be so obliging when he's 15.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

First Big Snowfall

This weekend we had the first big snowfall of the year. I'm so grateful that it landed on a weekend. We only got a few inches, but it was enough that we had to shovel. Apparently the snow had melted by the end of the day in Riverton. Ours definitely will not melt in a day. Kyson was so excited for the snow. He ran into our room first thing in the morning and said, "It's Christmas, there's snow!" We had to break it to him that just because it snows doesn't mean it's Christmas. Kris went out and shoveled the driveway and sidewalk, and just as he finished, Kyson decided he wanted to go outside and shovel - but it was all done. I told Kris to go shovel the back with him. Kyson ran through the house looking for his boots, gloves, hat, and coat, and he ran outside shovel in hand ready to be helpful. It was adorable to see how excited he was about shoveling snow. He was out there for quite some time, then he decided to make snow angels. He was only in a sweatshirt coat and levis and was playing in the snow. About an hour later, he came in because he was so cold. I'm glad he had fun though. We'll have to make a snowman one of these days.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Big Girl Transition

When we decided it was time to move Kyson from a crib to a bed, it was a nightmare. Strike one - we put him in a toddler bed and he fell out all through the night and cried through the night. The first night, we brought him in bed with us and you know how kids slowly turn horizontal and leave no room for the parents whose bed it really is. We went back to the crib. Strike two - something extremely similar but we tried it out longer. He wouldn't fall out, he'd get out and sleep in front of the door. We'd put him back in bed, and he'd cry and go back to the door. We tried this for about a week - no go - and back to the crib. On the third try, we decided to go straight to a big bed and put the mattress on the floor. That was successful and we decided to try the same approach with Kodi - skip the toddler bed.

Last night I made the switch, but I didn't make the mistake of taking down the crib l
ike I did with Kyson. I decided to move the crib and make room for a mattress on the floor. She was SO excited as I was putting everything together, but when it came time to go to bed, I put her in her bed and she ran to the door and cried. I left to go walking and Kris put in earplugs. An hour later, I got back and all was quiet. So I went into her room, picked her up off the floor and put her in bed. She slept through the entire night and didn't wake up until 8!

Nap time was going to be a challenge. She still takes two naps a day and when I put her down for her first nap, she didn't cry, she went into her bed without any conflict, but for a few hours I heard her playing around and running
around in her room. She emptied some of her drawers and did some other interesting things, but nothing a 2-year-old wouldn't do. Her second nap was the beginning of a miracle. She went into her bed, didn't fight me, and went to sleep. Even tonight when I put her down, she stayed in bed, didn't cry, and went to sleep. I've heard that girls are easier than boys (as children anyway) and so far, that statement has been true about everything. I hope potty training will follow the same pattern.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Santa and Jesus

My sweet little boy is always saying things that make me laugh. Kids are so innocent and naive and it is so wonderful to be a part of it. Every night we say family prayers together and for a while now, Kyson has gone through every member of the family asking that they don't get sick. Last night, when it was his turn to pray, he asked that Santa and Jesus wouldn't get sick. The things that little kids think about is so darn cute.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Sick Again!!!

Seriously, I don't know how much more I can take of this. Kyson got sick again just before Halloween, but was able to recover and enjoy the holiday. Wednesday morning, that ended. At about 4:30 in the morning, Kyson woke up complaining that his ear hurt. I told him that he needed to go back to bed, but we'd check on his ear again in the morning. By 6:00, Kyson was coughing his lungs out and throwing up from all the mucus. He threw up a good 8 times in an hour and even started to either cough up or throw up blood. It wasn't good. Kris took him to the doctor at 9:00 and he had an ear infection and bronchitis.

At 3:00 in the afternoon, I called to check in with Kyson. I happened to ask how many doses of the antibiotic Kris had been able to get into Kyson. Kris told me he never got an antibiotic. I called the pharmacy immediately thinking there was a mistake. The pharmacy said that they only got the prescription for the ear drops, but nothing else. So I called the doctor, but had to leave a message because he was with other patients. After 5, I got a call from his nurse, but I was teaching a class and just missed the call. Her message said, "We gave him an antibiotic this morning. Call the pharmacy and see if it's there. If there are any other questions, call us back." Well I tried to call them back IMMEDIATELY, but they had already turned off their phones and only gave the phone number of an on-call doctor. So I called him, but there was only a voicemail. The doctor's office had given another number to call if I couldn't reach the on-call doctor, but it was Jordan Valley Hospital and they said they would just send me to the ER. That isn't what I needed. Eventually the on-call doctor called me back and told me that I should check with the pharmacy again because my doctor may have sent over another script. I called the pharmacy, and they had nothing. So I called the on-call doctor back again. He finally called in a prescription and I picked it up on my way home. All of these phone calls were done during a class I was supposed to be teaching - great.

By the time I got the first dose of antibiotic in Kyson's little body, nearly 11 hours had passed since his doctor's appointment that morning. He then had a fever of 102 and was too weak to walk. His ear was still hurting so much and he was either sobbing or sleeping all evening. I felt so bad for the poor little guy. I put him in the bathtub to try and help him feel better and he literally laid in the tub for 20-25 minutes. He didn't want to get out. In the end, I carried him to bed, gave him some Tylenol to try and reduce the fever, and prayed he'd feel better soon.

This morning, he was doing so much better. In fact, the first thing he said was, "Mom, I'm hungry." If only we'd gotten the antibiotic earlier. He wouldn't have had to suffer all day long.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Halloween was wonderful this year! I've been praying for nice weather for weeks now because this is the first year that Kyson wants to dress up and is really excited about Halloween. He's been talking about trick-or-treating for a good month now and he picked out his costume practically the day that costumes showed up on the shelves in the stores. Kyson was Optimus Prime, leader of the Autobot Transformers, and Kodi was a bumblebee. When I picked Kodi's costume I didn't think about having Optimus and Bumblebee (who is also an Autobot). I thought it was pretty funny. The weather turned out beautifully. It was 60 degrees and for the last day of October, that is a treat. The only problem I worried about is Kyson got sick - again!

For about 6 weeks now, someone in the family has been sick nearly the entire time. Kyson has been hit the hardest. Halloween was on a Monday this year and on Wednesday Kyson started showing cold symptoms when he came home from school. By Thursday he had such a runny nose that his face from his nose to his chin was a big pink chapped mess. I hoped and prayed he'd feel better by Monday. Friday, he missed a party because he was sick. Saturday he missed two parties because he was sick. But thankfully, Monday, he was feeling much better and was able to go to school and enjoy his class party, and trick-or-treat that evening.

Halloween evening was fantastic. We started by visiting with Grandma and Grandpa Bodily. We went to their house for about 45 minutes to let them see the kids in their costumes. Kodi was getting into all the candy and prizes Carol was going to give the trick-or-treaters. Finally Carol had to move everything from her level. Kyson and Kodi loved the little surprises that they got.

Next was dinner at Jen's. We raced over to Jen's just to get stuck in the long line of traffic from construction. It was okay though because my parents were late too - also stuck in the traffic.
Jen's house was a lot of fun. Kodi was difficult as tried to eat, but Kyson has really come around and is such a good boy. Kodi has hit her terrible twos. Jen gave each of the kids a little goodie bag as well full of all sorts of surprises. The kids were totally spoiled between Grandma and Grandpa Bodily and Jen and Bill. Their little trick-or treating buckets were nearly full, but you know the kids didn't mind a bit.

Lastly was trick-or treating. Kris, Kyson and Kodi went with a bunch of friends while I sat at home handing out candy.
We probably had 300 trick-or-treaters the way I calculated by how much candy I went through. It's a good thing I was prepared. Kyson and Kodi only went out for about an hour and came home. Kyson then helped me hand out candy. He loved seeing all the kids and giving them candy. He'd even wish them a Happy Halloween as they left. It was really cute. Eventually at about 8, he decided he wanted to go back out and get more candy, so I took him this time and Kris handed
out the candy. I planned on just taking Kyson, but when we walked out the door, Kodi wanted to come too, so she did. It was so much fun and the kids really enjoyed the holiday. Now that Halloween is over, Kyson is talking non-stop about Santa. We keep telling him we have to get through Thanksgiving first.