Like Mother, Like Daughter

The weekend is over. My little brother is married. The whole family got together and had some fun. We stayed with Sister Homemaker, who's about to have a baby. When we checked in at the temple for the wedding, the cute little old guy at the front door took one look at her and said "We don't have an OB on staff today." She laughed and walked on in. I don't know if he was joking.

Several days later I was hanging out in the basement with Olaf, Big Little Brother, and Sister Homemaker's Hubby. Somehow Sister Homemaker's antics as a child came up in conversation. Her Hubby found out that his second daughter, A, is much like his wife.

"You know, Sister Homemaker was the Drama Queen at our house."

Hubby, "No way! A is our Drama Queen!"

"When she would get in trouble and sent to her room she wrote notes and sent them downstairs. They usually said 'No one loves me" or "I'm gonna run away!'"

Hubby, "You don't say! A does the same thing!"

"You know, Sister Homemaker thought she was always getting picked on and it was always someone else's fault, never her's."

Hubby, "Oh my gosh! A is just like that! I'm not stopping her anymore! Sister Homemaker gets to deal with A as payback!"

Sorry Sister Homemaker, it looks like your Hubby might not run interference anymore. Hopefully A is still around when we come up for Thanksgiving. If you've had it she can come home with us.


Seatbelts On, Cell Phones Off

It has been an emotionally exhausting week and a half for me. Last week I had written a bunch of stories about Calvin so everyone could witness some more of his fun-filled antics. As many of you know October 15 was the one-year mark from our accident and Calvin's passing. We celebrated his life by planting a tree at the cemetery between his and Olaf's dad's spots. Olaf went and talked to the sexton and he said we could plant a tree as long as it wouldn't grow over six feet tall. That's a hard requirement! We searched several nurseries before we finally settled on a Korean Lilac Tree. While it will grow up to 10 feet, it's a slow-growing tree that won't be huge.

Getting ready to break ground

All the wonderful mementos family and friends left

Family and Friends digging a hole

Baby making sure it is the right size

Olaf putting in the tree

Baby putting in some dirt

The other boys helping as much as possible

Some of our family that came and helped

More family coming to lend support


Tuesday of last week we met with a group that was formed several years ago in an effort to prevent teenage deaths on the roads. Last year they put out a book with the stories of these teenagers in an effort to make a difference. The thought process is statistics are boring, real stories make it personal and make more of an impression.

Yesterday we were lucky enough to attend a High School assembly promoting safe driving for the school Calvin would have attended and Olaf did attend. The kids around us were acting just like a real assembly, chattering and goofing off until one of the presenters announced that two mothers of deceased teenagers were in the audience. It became quiet. Slowly the noise level crept up until Calvin's and another boy's pictures from the book were put on the wall. It became quiet and the kids really started listening. I heard a few whispers around us "I know him" or "My little brother was friends with him."

Today all our hard work culminated in a news conference to announce the book for 2008. We just want kids to drive safer and wear their seat belts. We talked to a few reporters and hope the message to wear your seat belts and don't drive distracted will reach more kids.

Here is the news story on the 5 o'clock news:

Families hope their tragic stories will save teenagers' lives

And here is a story from the local newspaper:

Parents hope their losses will save others

And finally, here is the book we all worked so hard to put together. It's the book at the top of the page titled "13 Stories We'd Rather Not Tell." It's hard to read. When they sent me last year's book I almost threw it away because it was so hard to read those stories of other families. But my sisters helped me see the good this can do and hopefully it will help others.

Next week, I promise, I will quit talking about Calvin. We've got a family wedding and I'm sure something funny will happen there that will lift everyone's spirits. It's hard for something funny to not happen when seven siblings and their families get together.


Nap Time

Nap Time

Imagine our surprise when we opened the door to let Baby Calvin out of his room from naptime! He had much greater adventures than just dreams.

It took a lot of carpet cleaning solution and lots of time to get this mess out of the carpet! But we'll never forget the happiness he had while making a mess. Truly a Boy!


Freeing Middle Child

Back in the day when I worked at the Copy Shop Olaf would watch the kids, First Born was 3 and Middle Child was almost 1. I worked days and he worked swings and we would meet in the middle and swap the children out. We had just bought our first and only house that week. Olaf had been home in the daytime painting so we could move in at the end of the week. We bought our house As-Is and it was in need of lots of TLC, but then it still is.

I got a call from Olaf. I could hear children crying in the background, not a very good sign. "You First Born needs to tell you something."

There was lots and lots of crying. First Born was sobbing, "I don't wanna tell her!" sniffle, slobber, sob. This went on for some time.

Finally Olaf got back on the phone. "What is going on there? Why is he so upset? Is he OK?"

"Yes, he is just fine. But he ruined the playpen." The pack-n-Play, the first version available in Utah. I had to have it when I was pregnant with First Born. It was twice the cost of a regular playpen but it was so cool and folded up so small. I could take it anywhere!

"I had Middle Child downstairs napping when I heard him crying because he woke up. I went down to get him and found First Born. With a knife. The sides of the playpen were shredded. And there was blood everywhere. (I had visions of movie murder scenes) I looked all over Middle Child, sure that First Born had stabbed him. But I couldn't find any blood on him. Finally I found some on First Born. Apparently First Born heard Middle Child crying and was trying to help and get him up. But as you know he's much too small to get him out. So he got the knife and cut the sides open. But unfortunately he cut his finger, but not badly. He just spread the blood everywhere so it looked like a lot more. First Born is very sorry he ruined your playpen and he's in a bit of trouble for using a knife."

And that began First Born's obsessions with knives. He loved them. He had tons. He used to sneak them out whenever he could. I remember getting a call from another Mom, "He's got 4, count them, 4, knives in his socks and underwear!"


The Bottomless Pit

One week Calvin came home from school and told me he needed more lunch money.

"But I just sent you with a month-size check less than two weeks ago! What happened to all that money? Did you eat lunch twice every day?"

"Well, I turned in the lunch money. I don't know why it's all gone. I think someone was watching me from behind one day and got my code. I'm sure that kid is using it too."

That didn't seem real plausible but I went with it. I believe my teenage boy. The next morning I called the school to talk to the lunch ladies and find out why Calvin was out of money. I explained the story I was told and was greeted with laughter.

"That's a good story but he's been coming in for breakfast for the past three weeks now. Boy, he's pretty original! Have to give him credit for that story!"


A Picture story

This week I've dedicated to Calvin. Hope you enjoy the memories.

Playing Sister Accountant's flutey type instrument

At Fort Know with Grandpa

On a tractor the farmer left in the field by our house

Holding a newborn Middle Child

Checking out Santa cuz it's Olaf and he knows it!

Making scrambled eggs

Halloween Pirate costume

Family picture

Boys playing in puddles

Hanging around

Giving Middle Child rides

A Pirate Rollerblader

First Snowman of the year

First day of Kindergarten

Loving Jill's dog

Playing with toads at my Aunt's house in California

That rock in Yellowstone

First Y Hike

Holding a newborn Baby

Camping at Whitney reservoir

Learning how to give Middle Child piggybacks

Making a whip cream and jam bagel

Riding horses

Rub a dub dub, three boys in the tub

He wasn't always happy!

His first hunt with Olaf

All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth!

2002 Olympics

Super Calvin

Ring bearer for his Uncle's wedding

Catching the pig at Sister-in-Law Farmer's house

An aerospace museum somewhere, I've lost track we've been to so many!

His awesome castle he built

First day of Cub Scouts, notice the knife on his belt?

Hansen cousins

With his Grandparents and cousins

Camping and 4-wheeling

Another Halloween costume, no he didn't dress like this regularly

Ring-Around-the-Rosy, Baby's favorite game

One of his many basketball games

Arches National park

All the boys at Kennecot, largest open pit mine in the world

Helping rip out the wall at Grandma's house

One of his favorite Halloween costumes, Jedi Calvin

A Tutu wearing Football player for his school's Christmas play

In trouble with the Law!

Him and his best buds after another winning season of Baseball

A filthy 4-wheeling trip

Driving Baby around

Carving pumpkins

Him and his Pal raking up leaves for Baby to jump in, can you find Baby?



His bowling birthday party

His Listening Device he made for the Science Fair

A shotgun his Grandparent's got him for his 12th birthday and Christmas

Hiking with Cousin T

Shooting paper wads in a muzzle loader

Washing the truck after another campout

Mesa Verde

Sworn in as a Junior Ranger in Mesa Verde

His first Tackle Football year

A boy and his dog

Shooting guns with the cousins and uncles

Hematite necklace

Another Y Hike

Grandpa tying his tie

That rock in Yellowstone six years later

Buffaloes on Parade

A teenage messy room

Guitar concert

Hoover Dam

Another Scout camp, playing with fire, again!

Calvin and Middle Child enjoying Jones' sodas in front of our snow drifts

Me, graduating college, Finally

My sweet boys

A Rabble-Rousing Family

Another trip to Moab

His first hunt where he was the Hunter

His first Deer