it's the little things...

"We gain a testimony of any commandment of God by keeping that commandment (see John 7:17). This is true of the command that we pray always vocally and in secret. As your teacher and your friend, I promise that God will answer your prayers and that by the power of the Holy Ghost, you can know for yourself that the answers are from Him."
—President Henry B. Eyring, "Exhort Them to Pray", Liahona, Feb. 2012

As I sat nursing Aleks at 4:30 this morning, the house was quiet, I was sleepy, and suddenly a thought entered my mind:  "Now is a perfect time to pray."

I've been struggling for a while now with personal prayer...

Too tired.

Too busy.

Crazy kids jumping on me/sitting on me/sucking on me all day.

TV is always on.

Phone is always beeping with a text/voicemail.

Internet is always nagging me with emails/facebook messages/instagram pics/blogs to read, etc.

When and where can I find a quiet peaceful moment in a life like this?

Sometimes when I'm 1/2 asleep nursing my baby at 4:30am.

I'm thankful for that moment...because I feel closer to the Lord today because I FINALLY prayed.  


pssst...wanna see a cute baby??

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Happy Weekend.



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A Name & A Blessing

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints give their new babies a blessing in which they state (for the record) what the child's name is, and also a few blessings for the child's life.  I believe this is similar to a christening, but not 100% sure.  This is not a baptism, just giving the child a name and a blessing, usually performed by the child's father.  We waited until Christmas to do this since we knew we'd be surrounded by family, and it was important to us to have both of our fathers included in this event. 

Here he is, Aleksander Josef Hanson...wearing the same sweet little white outfit that all 3 of my other boys wore on their blessing days!  I was nervous that it wouldn't fit him since he would be 3 months old when he would be wearing it...and the others were all around 4-6 weeks old.  But, it still fit!  Isn't he so handsome?

The evening was short and sweet, we sang I Am A Child Of God, and then Brad gave the blessing for Aleks and then shared his testimony with all of us.  It was so neat to be in such an intimate setting with our families, and I'm so grateful for everyone who made the effort to be there with us.

Here is the Hanson clan:

Here is the Mortensen clan:

Here's our little family, and just us with Aleks:

My sister Heather and sweet baby Aleksander:

My parents and Aleks:

I am so sad that I didn't get a picture of Aleks with Brad's mom and dad!  I really wanted to, but it just didn't work out.  We are so blessed to have such a wonderful, loving family who stands by us and supports us in all that we do.  It makes me happy to know that my boys have such a strong and valiant heritage...on BOTH sides of the family.  We love you all!


Christmas Day 2011

When we arrived at the Hanson's on Christmas Eve, everyone was anxiously waiting for us!  We didn't know they were waiting to start reading the Christmas story until we got there...so I felt kind of bad because it was like 9:30p when we got there!  But, it was beautiful.  We could feel the Spirit and we read a few verses, then sang a carol, then read some more.  My nephew Michael's wife Lexi has an incredible talent for singing, and sang O Holy Night, right there, on the spot, a capella.  It was beautiful.  Then we got all the little ones settled in bed...  It really was a peaceful night.

Early on Christmas morning, I woke up and went out to see if the kids were awake.  Nope!  Everyone was sound asleep.  I took advantage of these quiet moments and snapped a few pics of the tree, some ornaments and 2 nativities before the excitement began...

Once we finally got some kids up and moving (it STILL baffles me that we had to WAKE them up on Christmas!!!!!!) -- well, MOST of them got up... Jakob couldn't be bothered to get up.  So here are a few of the cousins sitting on the steps waiting to come up and check out the loot that Santa brought...

After Joshy examined everything, he ran back downstairs to get Jakob...so here they are...looking sleepy, but happy!

Drew got his wish of getting his very own DS.  Now he can play with the big dogs.

colorful candy canes just make it so much more fun!

this little sweetie slept through it all!

Christmas fell on a Sunday last year, so after briefly enjoying some goodies from our stockings and having fun playing with new toys, we all scrambled to get ready for church!

Since I never got around to sending a christmas card/picture (AGAIN) here ya go!  :)  After church I finally got a few pics of Aleks with his stocking and goodies from Santa... and his big brother!

my two blue-eyed heartbreakers

After grabbing some lunch we headed down to the basement for a gift opening extravaganza!  When you have a big family...and this was only about 1/2 of the Hansons...it can take a while to open all those gifts!  But it's so fun to spend time together and enjoy watching the little ones' excitement!

My sister in law made these awesome wood blocks for the kids to use while playing cards - there are slits cut in the top for them to put their cards... little hands sometimes have a hard time holding cards ya know?  genius!

Heather has a friend who crocheted these hats...had to grab a pic of all 3 of them together!

Uncle Todd and the Notorious Drew 'n Boots

He was napping most of the time...but joined us toward the very end...so I had to snap a pic!  I miss his faux hawk!
All in all, Christmas Day was really fun...  We enjoyed some yummy Egg Nog steamers (thanks Heather!) and played lots of fun games.  The kiddos had fun playing together with their cousins as usual.  We had fun with Ken & Beverly's family and it was also nice to spend some time with Brent's family since they live in Florida and we don't get to see them as often as we'd like.  Happy Christmas memories! 


Christmas Village and Christmas Eve

Ogden has a really cute Christmas Village with beautiful displays of tiny houses/buildings and lots of lights that you can walk around and look at while sipping hot chocolate...  My dad came with us to check it out, but it was SO DANG COLD we didn't stay long...  Here's a link to more pics and info about it:  Ogden's Christmas Village 

I am so in love with Drew's sweet squinty-eyed smile...

Joshy was mad for some reason... I can't remember why now!

I got Brad in a picture!  YAY! 

The boys were so patient while I snapped a few pics... using no flash and adjusting manual settings with difficult lighting required much patience!  This was the best one I got...

On Christmas Eve, my brother John and my sister Heather and their families came up to my parents' house.  It was fun to see Aleks and Brooklyn together... baby cousins!  Here they are with Aunt Sonya...

Their first Christmas!

All the grandkids dressed up and put on the Nativity for us while my dad read from the scriptures...

Emma led the opening song for us...

Cameron as Joseph, Aleks as baby Jesus, Hannah as Mary

Drew as a donkey and Brynna as a sheep

Isn't he the sweetest, fattest baby Jesus you've ever seen???

Joshy and Jakob as Wise Men bearing gifts

Heather was helping Brooklyn be the Angel... :)  And Emma as a shepherd just keepin' it real!

Chubby baby Aleks and his loving Papa Marc

We really enjoyed spending time with the Mortensen side of the family...but that night, after the Nativity story was finished, we packed up and headed down to Lehi to spend time with the Hansons...  Stay tuned for pics from Christmas morning/day!  (It's totally normal to blog about Christmas in March, right?)


brothers, boots and a tire swing

 First let me just say, that is was SOOOOO cold in Utah.  I mean, it was in the teens a few of the days we were there...  I think this picture will give you an idea...  (no, it's not a black and white picture!)

A view of the sky off my parents' back porch on the morning we arrived.  Brrrrrr!

The boys couldn't wait to get out and play in the snow... and all 3 of them were wearing grampa's big boots!  I couldn't pass up this photo op!  Not only were they beyond excited to play in snow, but they looked adorable clomping around in those boots!

My mom and dad have a really fun yard...and in it, is a tire swing that all the grandchildren love to swing on.  So of course the boys were out there having a blast!

We recently heard the news that my parents will be moving to Southern Utah this summer...  And when we told the boys, they said, "Oh man!  I'm going to miss the tire swing!"  But then I told them the new house has a pool... they quickly forgot about the tire swing and started making plans to go swimming the next time we visit.  That said, we will miss the Layton house...and cherish the fun times we've had there!  

My three handsome and big boys... (Aleks was 3 mos old at the time...so he stayed nice and toasty inside while we froze outside!)

 Aren't they just adorable???  I think so.