Sunday, December 27, 2015

Dear Family and Friends                                                                                     December 2015

To say 2015 flew by is totally the understatement of the century!!!  I say it every year but this year…Oh my heck I just got use to writing 2015 on everything…sorta, and I still have a million and one things on my to-do list that I need to get done before the end of the year, which by the way is just a few weeks away!! EEK!!!  I DID NOT GIVE THIS YEAR PERMISSION TO FLY BY SO FAST!!!

This year started with the excitement of 2014 coming to an end, celebrating Christmas with family and friends and ringing in the New Year in classic Hansen style…lots of FOOD, watching movies in our PJ’s all night and toasting the new year with sparling apple and grape juice!  I’m still trying to get over the shock that I DID NOT GIVE LAST YEAR PERMISSION TO FLY BY SO FAST!!
February was an exciting month…WHY? Because I got to go to Washington to visit my brother and nephew. I was so worried I would freeze but really it wasn’t that cold, just LOTS of rain!! Even with the rain I had such a good time! Also this month Seth took his acting to the comic books, which for every boy who loves super heroes was a dream come true, however he was playing a bad guy and seemed to enjoy it just a bit too much!  With the end of this play came the end of the Drama Season for Seth, it went by so quickly…I DID NOT GIVE THIS YEAR PERMISSION TO FLY BY SO FAST!!!

We fast forward through March with DJ getting called as the Varsity Coach in YM’s.  Of course April brought us Easter…A time to celebrate the resurrection of the Savior and new life.  With April we are now 4 MONTHS into the year…I DID NOT GIVE THIS YEAR PERMISSION TO FLY BY SO FAST!!!

May was probably the most exciting month of Josh and Seth…SCHOOL ENDED!! Seth finished 7th grade and was getting ready to be the TOP DOG in Elementary School as an 8th grader.  Joshua ended his Junior year very excited because now he was a BIG SHOT senior!  May was also our 25th Anniversary!  Of course DJ surprised me with a trip to my favorite place on earth-Disneyland!! My hubby knows me so well!! It was crazy to think that we have had a life together for 25 years, where did the time go…I DID NOT GIVE THIS YEAR PERMISSION TO FLY BY SO FAST!!

Summer time kept all of us busy.  Seth started back at swim where he has really improved, he still hates it but he’s really fast!  Josh took on a high adventure trip with the guys from Church…they hiked Mount Langley in the Sierra Nevadas. What a trip this was, he had everything from sunshine, rain, hail and snow. Seth also took off this summer to scout camp for a week.  The day he got home the family took off for a 10 day trip to Utah and Idaho to visit family!  What a trip it was…Cayla, Craig and the babies came along on this trip with us!  We had so much fun visiting zoos, museums and of course all our family! But this trip just wasn’t long enough and before I knew it we were heading home!  I DID NOT GIVE THIS YEAR PERMISSION TO FLY BY SO FAST!!!

This trip was kind of a bitter sweet trip, right after we got home Cayla and Craig made a MAJOR change in their life…they moved to Washington for Craig to further his education.  Of course this move brought lots of tears to everyone…and a major change for Cayla who has lived in Arizona all her life.  It was very difficult to watch them leave…I DID NOT GIVE THIS YEAR PERMISSION TO FLY BY SO FAST!!!

August brought DJ’s 30 year High School reunion, which also brought another trip back to Utah!  This trip brought a FUN experience of our car breaking down two different times, getting towed two different times and driving through the Arizona desert with no air BEFORE breaking down, sitting in the heat for hours…FUN TIME, FUN TIMES!  But DJ had a great time seeing old friends!  August also was the start of the new school year…I now have one senior and one 8th grader.  Just a few more months and I’ll only have one left in school…WOW, I DID NOT GIVE THIS YEAR PERMISSION TO FLY BY SO FAST!!!

One big change besides DJ’s birthday in September was him getting called to be the 1st councilor in the Stake Young Men’s presidency. He loves working with the Young Men and is really excited about getting to work with Seth once he turns 14 in December.  Josh also took on a NEW roll in his life…he is in the work/release program and started working as an intern at ATCA (Airline Training Center AZ).  It been fun watching him take on new responsibilities.  October brought another trip for me up to Washington to see Cayla, Craig and the babies!  DJ, Josh and Seth wanted to send me up there for my birthday!  To say I was excited doesn’t really describe how I felt getting to see them.  And it was during this trip that I got the best Birthday gift from Cayla and Craig…they are expecting our 3rd grandbaby, another boy, in March!!  So Excited…this will be the ONLY time I WILL GIVE THE YEAR PERMISSION TO FLY BY SO FAST!!! 

November and December have been exciting so far.  During this time my dad, was released after serving for 10 years as the Stake President of the Phoenix West Maricopa stake.  It was bitter sweet…he’s served as a member of the stake presidency for over 19 years.  I’m not sure my parents are going to know what to do with so much free time.  December really is a magical time, fun things always happen during this time…The best thing of all Cayla and Craig came down for the holidays!  Everyone is excited to see them!

As always our lives are busy-crazy but with all our ups and downs this year we have come to appreciate what is most important… FAMILY!!  This holiday season I hope you can find joy when spending time with family!  I hate to see any year end but looking at what’s ahead from our family, new baby, graduations, missions, just life, I think I’m ready to GIVE THIS YEAR PERMISSION TO FLY BY! 

Merry Christmas,

The Hansen and Gassaway Family, DJ, Suzi, Joshua, Seth and Cayla, Craig, Eric and David. 

Monday, December 7, 2015


The months of November and December somehow always turn out to be the craziest and busiest months in my life...I'm sure I'm not the only one that feels this way!!  It seems between all the holiday madness and birthdays we have during this time we have to also find time to live our normal lives...ok our somewhat normal lives...what may seem like normal to some can seem like total craziness to others!  

Its usually around this time of year that ALL the stress from the last year starts to catch up with me...not to say that I didn't show the stress during the year...especially this year, which seemed more stressful than other years...but for some reason it ALL seems to manifests itself around now!  I noticed this in High School when I use to stress out about clockwork, Christmas vacation I WAS SICK...Christmas morning I WAS SICK!  Nyquil was my BEST FRIEND during this time! Well like alot of things in our lives this has continued in my life...usually around the holidays I start to feel the stress of life, push through it and then my body says...nope you can't do that...and BAM! I'M SICK!!  Well, of course every year I fight it tooth and nail and this year is NO DIFFERENT!!  

Yesterday was a very emotional in our family!  My dad, for those of you that know him Ron Waldron, was released as Stake President of the Phoenix West Maricopa Stake for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  He served as Stake President for 10 years and before that as 1st counselor for 9 years.  It was a very sweet morning as testimonies were messages of love and service about my dad and and his two counselors, Greg and Todd, were shared.  Also what sweet testimonies were given my the new incoming leadership and their wives.  Emotions were very high that morning, tears were being fought back by everyone.  Even the two General Authorities were fighting the tears.  Its going to be fun to see what happens not that this chapter closes and an new one opens today for all these families!  
(Pictures from Kathy C)

As we came home from this very spiritual and emotional meeting and I entered my house and looked around, I almost had a melt down.  You see this past two weeks has been a crazy rollercoaster ride it seems like...This week we had our ward Christmas party.  I was asked to help with the committee again this year.  We thought we had a simple plan...whats that saying about the best laid plans...well, everything that could happen, probably did.  Lets just say there were family health issues, family issues, school issues, church issues...any kind of issue that could pop up in my life it did..........................SOOOOOOOOO my house kind of blew up during this time!  I got Christmas decorations out and started putting them up and well it just seemed to add to the mess...YOU KNOW YOU ALL CAN RELATE WITH THE ISSUE...............But on a side note-the Ward Party was GREAT...the decorations-GREAT, food-AMAZING, Youth program-AWESOME and FUNNY (ok side youngest son added a bit of comic relief when he slipped of the back of the stage the wisemen where standing on...then all the youth started laughing...yep my son, the youngest one! LOL), over all night -PERFECT!!!!

So back to Sunday, as I looked around and I thought its Sunday I really don't want to clean to much on Sunday I started straightening the counter anyways and I came across this flyer, I guess you would call it, I read it and as DJ where it came from.  He said they got it last week in their High Priest lesson.  As I read it, I started thinking about my crazy two months and really, I need to "SIMPLIFY"...The message is "Is the Gospel Working For You?" by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf.   But there are so many ways to take this message into you life..................

It starts with a story......(Most women can TOTALLY RELATE TO THIS)...

One sister, a Relief Society Instructor, was known for preparing flawless lessons.  One time she decided to create a beautiful quilt that would serve as the perfect backdrop to the theme of her lesson, But life intervened - there were children to pick up from school, a neighbor who needed help moving, a husband who had a fever, and a friend who felt lonely.  The day of the lesson approached, and the quilt was not completed.  Finally, the night before her lesson, she did not sleep much as she worked all night on the quilt.  The next day she was exhausted and barely able to organize her thoughts, but she bravely stood and delivered her lesson.  And the quilt was stunning - the stitches were perfect, the colors vibrant, and the design intricate.  And at the center of it all was a single word that triumphantly echoed the theme of her lesson:  "SIMPLIFY." 
What is the difference between those whose experience in the Church fills their souls with songs of redeeming love and those who feel that something is lacking?   FIRST:  are we making our discipleship too complicated?  SECOND:  start where you are.  I pray that we will focus on "the simplicity that is in Christ" and allow His grace to lift and carry us during our journey from where we are not to our glorious destiny in our Father's presence.  As we do so and someone asks us, "How is being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints working for you?" we will be able to say with pride, in all humility, and with great joy, "It works wonderfully!"  

So as I look around my house, as I look at my list of things to get done, as I look at my calendar of events coming up...One thought now comes to mind - SIMPLIFY!  Am I focus on the right things this time of year or for that matter all year!  I'm worried about getting sicker and not having time to finish all the work that needs to get that what truly matters or should I focus on the "Simplicity that is Christ."   Time to refocus...time to SIMPLIFY!!