Brett Franklin At It Again

Action Alert!

Brett Franklin, crazed cyberterrorist, is at it again! Calling people erroneously listed on Perverted Justice's "Wikisposure" project. This site lists lies and slander directed at individuals, along with their personal information, for the sole purpose of causing harm of others. Or as they puuting, the love of "pwning" people or for the "LOLZ." Anyways, this is from another site that spoke about this guy:

Name : Brett Franklin
Phone Number : XXXXXXXXXX
History : Possible ex-felon. gang member, comic shop owner

Criminal Activity : Calls former sex offenders, regardless of their risk level, and threatens violence against them and their family members.One report we recieved is that Brett has called one of my associates while he was visiting his parents house late at night simply to harass him. His parents now plan to change their number to a private one.Another report states that Brett has threatened a man and his family so much that one of his teenage daughters is afraid to attend her classes.Brett also claims to be a gang member and creates violent gangster videos for YouTube that he stated he is proud of. If you have further verifiable data about this vigilante, please contact Nicholas Raz or leave a comment.

Extras: He is also a frequent visitor of Absolute Zero United and the anti-Corrupted Justice blog. He has a fascination with raping males, and uses screen names that depict violence, such as Mr. Punch or "hater" in it.

If you have more info on this cyber-terrorist, contact me at

You can find instructions to file an IC3 complaint and tips for dealing with internet trolls here:
Thanks for the pictures of the "guys". It is nice to know that you still get together. I show the blog to Mom and she enjoys it. Tell Archie, Bobbie, Tucker and Mike hi for us here in Colorado. Gloria and Jennie

Ski for Light 2009

This week marks the 34th Ski for Light, a program whose mission is "to teach blind, visually- and mobility-impaired adults how to cross-country ski, in an atmosphere that encourages participants to realize that the only true limitations that they face because of their disability are the limitations that they place on themselves."

Each year Ski for Light, Inc. conducts a week-long event where blind and mobility-impaired adults are taught the basics of cross-country skiing. The event attracts upwards of 300 participants and guides. The location of the event changes from year to year in an effort to spread the Ski for Light philosophy and idea to as many parts of the country as possible.This year's event is being held in Soldier's Hollow in the beautiful Wasatch Mountains of Utah.

During the Ski for Light week each disabled skier is paired for the entire week with an experienced, sighted, cross-country skier who acts as ski instructor and guide. The disabled person skis in tracks or grooves in the snow, while the guide skis in a parallel set of tracks. The guide offers instructional tips and suggestions, support and encouragement, and describes the countryside.

Sons of Norway has been a strong supporter of this week-long event for many years and now, for the first time, we can share this wonderful program with people around the world through the Sons of Norway blog! This week we will have a number of reports from none other than Eivind Heiberg, Sons of Norway Fraternal Director and sighted ski guide. I'm looking forward to it, and hope you will enjoy it as well.

Check back on Monday for the first post.

Hiawatha Guys Breakfast-- Our Wonderful, loving, caring waitress?

Hiawatha Guys Breakfast 5 Jan 2009-- Bob

Hiawatha Breakfast 5 Jan 2009--- Archie

Hiawatha Breakfast 5 Jan 2009--Tucker & Mike

Hiawatha Breakfast 5 Jan 2009-- Don & Wally

Hiawatha Breakfast 5 Jan 2009 --Glenn & Tom

Hiawatha Guys Breakfast 5 Jan 2009 --Tom & Ken

Hiawatha Guys Breakfast 5 Jan 09--Cliff

Hiawatha Guys Breakfast 5 Jan 09-- Tony

For the Kids

One of the first things I did after my son was born was to sign him up as a Heritage Member in Sons of Norway. You're probably asking yourself why I'd do that at such a young age, right? Well, the truth is little Sig comes from quite a melange of heritage.

Not only does he have direct Norwegian, German and Australian heritage, but he's part Welsh, Swedish, French and Slav. Yes, his family tree reads like UN resolution (and just as confusing). This can prove problematic because, as a child develops, their heritage often is a central part of how they identify themselves and with such a spectrum to deal with that identity can be hard to refine. I know what it's like because I faced some of the same issues. In fact, I think a lot of kids today don't give much thought to where they came from and maybe that's what's wrong with the world today.

So, anyhow, I want my child to know where he comes from. I want it to be important to him and I want to encourage him to embrace his heritage (especially the Norwegian, German and Australian). That's why I signed him up as a Heritage Member. Also, because he's a heritage member he'll now receive the quarterly youth publication, Viking for Kids, and my wife and I can get Norwegian music and videos for children from the Sons of Norway Media Lending Library. Pretty awesome, huh? In fact, this weekend he and I are going to be hanging out a lot "uten mor" so I'm gonna grab some videos to watch. Probably some Bjørnen Yogi for Sig and Elling for me.

Good times.

If you have a child in your household who you think would benefit from a Heritage Membership, I strongly encourage you to call the Sons of Norway HQ at (800) 945-8851 and sign them up. Remember-its never too early to start helping them embrace their heritage.

Check it out-- 80% off "Touchdown"!

Get this whole kit for only $2.60-- what a deal! And just in time for the Super Bowl, too!

Stitches 77 and AZU exposed yet again

Did you know the Anagram for Stitches is "SHIT SECT?" That describes Absolute Zero United perfectly! A shit sect!

Her day of being exposed is coming soon. Maybe Marina will end up getting a job as a Gardner, eating Rice a Roni [the SAN FRANCISCO treat], going to school at some art school in Valencia, CA or something so she can draw pokemon characters and playing Zelda: the Windwaker. Who knows?

My favorite comments of the day:

No, my name above should have been "L.S.D. Lysard" so please stop editing my posts. I wonder if there's any posts by people here that you haven't edited in some way. It makes you wonder..L.S.D.Lysard 01.27.09 - 4:34 pm

AZU does more than edit posts, they doctor web snapshots and create lies out of thin air. They still haven't shown me proof of that false accusation they made against poor Patty Wetterling.
Sounds like you've got some professional whiners around here. LOL
WAH WAH WAH 01.27.09 - 7:00 pm

You don't say? That's what AZU is famous for, a society full of bitchy, moaning losers who contribute nothing more to society than proof of what happens when nutjobs stay off their meds too long. Since they love books, here's one for them:

Old Pictures of Norway

We came across this collection of old Photochrom pictures of Norway, Denmark and Sweden the other day. Photochrom was an early method for colorizing photographs, popular between the 1890s and 1910. Scanned and posted by the Library of Congress, the collection provides an interesting reminder of Norway’s enduring natural beauty as well as the dramatic changes the country has seen in just over 100 years.

This picture of Ålesund is interesting because it shows how the city looked before the 1904 fire that would profoundly change the city. There are also several images of Bergen. This one, a standard view of central Bergen from Fjellveien, looks remarkably similar to how it looks today with the notable exception that the bay (Vågen) is packed with what look like fishing boats. This view of Lille Lungegårdsvannet (a small lake in central Bergen) shows the canal that once connected it to Store Lungegårdsvannet that was closed in 1926. Here’s what it looks like today.

A Minute in the Life

Here's a cute little video of Little Neil talking to Chris (and I'm sure you'll love Chris's monkey noises...), then a snippet of Gordon and Thomas at the end.

Today in History: Edvard Munch

Today is kind of a sad day for me because it marks the 65th anniversary of one of Norway's the world's most prolific artists. Born in the village of Ådalsbruk in Løten, Munch's early life was one of sadness and loss, losing both his mother and his favorite sister to tuburculosis by the time he was 14 years old. This sadness, combined with the oppressive poverty of his remaining family would eventually express itself in his art. At the age of 18 he enrolled in Royal School of Art and Design of Kristiania and proved to be an adept atudent and artist very early on.

While he experimented with Naturalism and Ipressionism in his early carreer, he became best known for his later Expressionist and Symbolist works, like The Scream, Vampire and The Dance of Life (three of my favorites). He was also well kown for his self portraits and portraits of friends that were very raw and, in many cases, unflattering to the subject. In this way he attempted to express the cold realities of life in the world around him.

He spent the last two decades of his life and carreer on his self-sustained estate in Ekely, at Skøyen, Oslo. During this time his subject matter changed significantly in that many of his late paintings celebrate farm life, rather than exploring the issues of death, fear and melancholy. The only deaprture from this was his continued painting of unspairing self portraits.

The last 3 or 4 years of his life were spent in a sort of self-impose hermitage, hiding his works of art from the Nazis (out of fear that they would be confiscated). The Nazis had already confiscated nearly 80 of his painting from other galleries in Germany, calling the works "degenerate art" and "primitive international scratching." It should be noted here that of these, all but 11 eventually made their way back to Norway, with the remainder never having been recovered.

Sadly, it was on this day in 1944 that Edvard Munch passed away having never seen the end of the Nazi occupation of his beloved country. If that's not enough to break your heart, how about this--upon his death the Nazi government (the same govenrment who had called him a degenerate) orchestrated a funeral for Munch, which left the impression with Norwegians that he was a Nazi sympathizer.

If there is a bright spot in the story of Edvard Munch, its that his true legacy is still with us. As part of his last will and testament, Munch left all of his paintings to the city of Oslo, who opened a Munch Museum in 1963. Its collection consists of works and articles willed by Munch to the municipality of Oslo, additional works donated by his sister Inger Munch. As a result, the museum now has in its permanent collection well over half of the artist's entire production of paintings and at least one copy of all his prints. This amounts to over 1,100 paintings, 15,500 prints covering 700 motives, six sculptures, as well as 500 plates, 2,240 books, and various other items.

So, even though the artist is gone, his vision of the world is still with us. This is fitting for the man who once said "From my rotting body, flowers shall grow and I am in them and that is eternity."

Boycott Absolute Zero United

I leave on vacation for two weeks and like clockwork, the ritalin abusing team of the douche and the cunt (aka Static and Stitches77) have turned their attention to a "boycott" of I'm sure it will be as rousing a success as their "boycott" of Disney/ ABC's 20/20. Considering how the previous boycott was over airing Petra Luna's performance last march on 20/20, I can safely assume this tirade is the result of a botched order for her "marital aids."

Lets look at their "petition," for example.

If you've ever wondered why online petition sites are as useless as tits on a bull, here's your proof. I'm sure Bumcheeks Jones will fly from the UK and hold a picket sign in front of Amazon LOL. First of all, anyone can sign the petition multiple times, as is likely the case here. After all, honestly, only at the most 2 dozen people are even nominally active in AZU. Lets take a look at some of the signers of this stupid petition:

#5 - Hydra X: An internet dignitary, I'm sure LOL
#10 - Stitches 77 from the CONGO: The Congo? DON'T YOU MEAN CALI, MARINA?
#35 - John Homeless: Wasn't that a character from Brian's screenplay in Family Guy?
#49 - Bumcheeks Jones: Isn't that Stictchcunt's pet name for Static?
#87 - The beast within: Must be awkward meeting women. Hi, my name is Beast Within LOL
#89- Letsgetrealistic Smith: Another play on another man's screen name, which is typical of AZU

Lots of Traditional Native American and initials rather than real names, lots of double posting, and of course, two dozen "anonymous" signatures. Now, why would anyone protesting such allegations need to remain anonymous? Just think, after 3 weeks of this, they have 250 signatures, yet most fall under the "suspicious" category, and and schmuck can sign with names like Bumcheeks and John Homeless.

Let's see how much influence they had on Disney.

In the months following Absolute Azro United's "Boycott" of Disney, stocks stayed the same until suffering from the same stock dip as every other company hit in the recession. So AZU has as much influence on Disney as they had Bear Stearns, GM, and the oil industry, which is NONE. And signing the same online petition over and over again is just as stupid and futile. The truth is more likely some numbnut over at AZU felt snubbed by Amazon somehow and decided to do the same stamping of feet and lying of teeth they are prone to do. I'm on my way to to see if anyone wrote any books to verify AZU's bogus claim about Patty Wetterling having a sex offender son.


Happy Birthday, Princess!

To complete the recent Metti Marit Trifecta, today is her daughter, Princess Ingrid Alexandra's, 5th birthday! I'm willing to bet that this future ruler of Norway is having quite a celebration, so lets all wish her a happy birthday!

Sons of Norway in the News: Sons of Norway a link to Scandinavian culture

I found a great news article about Sons of Norway this morning. It originally ran in the News-Press of Ft. Meyers, Florida. I tip my cap to the Scandia Lodge 3-617 President, Donald Rush and his lodge members, because they gave great interviews and covered the exact same points I often advise other lodges of when they are being interviewed by the media.

Rush and his lodge members hit on the important topics of:
  1. Sons of Norway is open to everyone, no matter whether they are of Norwegian descent or not. All we ask is that those who wish to be members share in our passion for Norwegian heritage and culture.

  2. Sons of Norway isn't just for men. In fact, it may surprise some to know that women make up roughly 52% of our members.

  3. Sons of Norway meetings aren't only about lodge business. Successful lodges incorporate a social component to all of their meetings.

  4. There are many benefits of membership. These include language and heritage camps, language lessons, genealogy guides, etc.

  5. We are an organization that is more than a century old; one that began with 18 members and now is nearly 70,000 strong.
If you or anyone else in your lodge are being interviewed, these five points will serve you well. And don't hesitate to call call Sons of Norway for tips on working with the media.

Newest addition to the Media Lending Library

Last week we wrote about Crown Princess Mette-Marit receiving a nomination for a Norwegian Grammy for producing Sorgen og Gleden, a collection of psalms and poems chosen by the Crown Princess and performed by several different Norwegian artists. Although not widely available in North America, you can check it out from the Sons of Norway Media Lending Library.

I've had the pleasure of listening to the album a couple of times and it's really grown on me. It's a beautiful CD and I think its going to be a very popular addition to the Media Lending Library. To borrow the disc, just email with your name, address, and Sons of Norway membership number. Reservations are on a first come, first serve basis.

In addition, the library’s collection also includes two other nominees, Thom Hell’s God if I Saw Her Now and Ingrid Olava’s Juliet’s Wishes as well as hundreds of other selections. For a complete list of all CDs available from the lending library, just sign in to the “Members Login” section of

Today in History: Børge Ousland

On this day in in 1997, Norwegian polar explorer Børge Ousland completed the first unassisted Antarctic solo crossing. In 2008 he ventured to the south pole and blogged about it.

Today in History: The Royal Family

Today is a day of both mourning and celebration. January 17th marks the 18th anniversary of the passing of King Olav V and his son's, Harald V, ascension to the throne of Norway. This is especially noteworthy because Harald became the first Norwegian monarch to be born in Norway since the birth of Olav IV in 1370.

Utes, Gums & Boys

Hey, did you know that we cheer for the Utah Utes around here? :)

For Christmas, my mom made the boys these adorable and cuddly fleece pajamas. Her sewing skills are fantastic, and she was so proud of finding the perfect material. As you can see, we have three very thrilled little Ute fans.

Neil's baby bag is my favorite. I love baby bags anyway, but this one is especially long and cozy. Mmm, makes me want to go and snuggle him right this instant!

On Sunday, I took a bunch of pictures of the boys in their cute clothes from Christmas. I'm not a professional photographer or anything, but I needed to update our picture frames and we we're not planning to get any pro pictures until the Spring. So, it was up to me. I took about 50 pictures, and ended up with pretty good ones of each boy. I'm ordering some for grandparents, then I'll post them here.

This one of Thomas is not the one we're making into prints, but I think it's so cute. I'm not sure where he came up with the pose.

This week has been busy in a comical sort of way. I went to the dentist, where the hygienist apparently has it out for my gums. I'm considering writing to the military with a new torture suggestion: death by flossing. Luckily, I don't have cavities. I do, however, have high cholesterol, which was confirmed by my doctor this week. Yay, I'm not even 30 and already I feel like an old lady!

At least my kiddies are cute, right?

Neilly's hair is always good for entertainment. I can't bring myself to cut it just yet.

And finally, my Gor Gor. Life would certainly be a lot less interesting without him around!

Today in History: Dorothe Engelbretsdotter

375 years ago, today, Norway's first recognized female author, Dorothe Engelbretsdotter, was born. Her first published efforts, Själens aandelige Sangoffer ("The Souls Spiritual Offering of Song"), appeared in Copenhagen in 1678 when Engelbretsdotter was 44. Eight years later she would publish her second collection, called Tåreoffer ("Sacrifice of Tears").

Getting to Know…District 8 International Director Ernst Granly

Q: How did you hear about the Norwegian arm of Sons of Norway? It was still relatively new when you joined…

A: I knew Sons of Norway from my younger years because my father’s brother was a founding member of a lodge in Flint. He immigrated to the US in 1927, first living in Minnesota, and then later in Flint.

Q: Why did you join?

A: In 1984 I saw an ad in the local newspaper that Sons of Norway was going to have a meeting to see if there were enough members to start a new lodge. I joined at that meeting and became a member of what would become Eidsvold lodge 8-009, which will celebrate its 25 year anniversary this year.

Q: What leadership positions have you held within the organization?

A: I went from being a board member in Eidsvold lodge to president and stayed there for several years. Then I became District 8 President for a few years before I became an International Director.

Q: Which ones did you like the most?

A: All of the positions I have had and have now have been very interesting.

Q: How do you think the Norwegian and North American lodges differ?

A: We live in the Old Country but we’re influenced by the Norway of today as far as lodge activities are concerned. We don’t have the insurance component of Sons of Norway in this country, so culture and heritage are the most important parts of lodge work. It would be nice to see a little more interest from our Sons of Norway friends in Canada in the US in modern Norway.

Q: What do you like best about Sons of Norway?

A: Vennskap og kunnskap – friendship and knowledge.

Q: What is your favorite traditional Norwegian dish?

A: Norwegian pancakes and fried meat.

Q: What is your favorite American traditional dish?

A: Turkey dinner.

Q: What do you like to do when not working for Sons of Norway?

A: Local politics for many years, the fight against drunk driving and we run a small family business that demands more than the usual amount of work. Besides that I was a communications officer (lieutenant) in the Norwegian Home Guard for 34 years, but I’ve retired from that now. I was also chairman of the local church council here in Råholt for 12 years.

Today in History: Treaty of Kiel

Today we are going to party like its 1999 1814! I bet you are asking yourself "why?"

Simple. January 14th is 195th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Kiel. Ok, now before you start yawning at what you think is going to be a boring history lesson remember that this event played a huge roll in the independence of Norway.

Basically it goes like this:

At the end of the Napoleonic Wars the Danish King, Frederick VI found himself on the losing side of the conflict. When the time came for everyone to make nice again, Denmark was required to cede Norway to the king of Sweden. However the treaty became a moot point because Norway didn't appreciate being treated like a proverbial baseball card.

So much so, in fact, that this treaty became a huge catalyst in the founding of Norway's independence movement. Barely four months passed before Norway declared its independence and, before year's end, elected its own monarch.

Ironic, isn't it, that Napoleon's thirst for conquest resulted in the independence of one of the most modern and peace-loving countries in the world?

In other historical news, do you remember when I wrote about Queen Maud Land a couple weeks ago? Well, today is special because it is the 60th anniversary of Queen Maud Land being named a dependent territory of Norway.

Elwood Thomas obit from "Sun Advocate" 8 Jan 09

Elwood 'Woody' Thomas
FERRON - Elwood "Woody" Thomas age 80, passed away Jan. 6, 2009.
He was born April 1, 1928 to Theodore and Christina (Jensen) Thomas in Hiawatha. Survived by his children, Jann (Jay) Parduhn, Page, Ariz.; and Herb E. (Jean) Thomas, Ferron. Preceded in death by his wife, Shirlene "Doll" Thomas.
Graveside services will be Jan. 10 at 2 p.m. in the Cleveland Town Cemetery. Viewing will be from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. prior to services at Fausett Mortuary, 720 N. Center Street, Castle Dale.

Ralph Budo Obit from "Sun Advocate"

Matching Babies

I get asked a lot if Neil's older brothers looked like him when they were babies. Actually, it's most often about the hair--"Did you other boys have that much hair?"-- as most questions about Neil are. The answer, sadly, is no. Thomas has always been a dirty blonde and Gord started out as an almost redhead, and though they both had hair, it wasn't nearly as thick and full as little Neil's. He gets that from his dad, who still sports a shockingly thick mane.

Although the three boys had different baby hairstyles, I think you'll agree that they look remarkably similar in facial features. Here they are, all about 3 months old:




Adorable little things.

On another, less adorable note, I learned this week that OxiClean does, in fact, work in removing melted-in Silly Putty from brand new corduroy pants. Scrubbing is still required.

Crown Princess Mette-Marit Nominated for Norwegian Grammy

Norway’s Crown Princess Mette-Marit has been nominated for a 2008 Spellmannspris, the Norwegian equivalent of the Grammys. The Crown Princess was nominated in the open class category for her participation in the album Sorgen og Gleden (Sorrow and Joy), a collection of Mette-Marit’s favorite psalms and poems.

Released in February 2008, the CD was put together as a fundraiser for Kirkens Bymisjon, an outreach division of the Norwegian state church. Working with producer Erik Hillestad, the princess selected the various texts which were then set to music by a small ensemble, and performed by several prominent Norwegian musicians. The disc received rave reviews and quickly went gold.

The Spellmannprisen award is given every year by a jury of music industry insiders. Typically three albums are nominated in each of 17 categories. The winners will be announced later in the month.

And in case you’re interested, here are a few of the other nominees:

Female Artist
Ane Brun - Changing Of The Seasons (Det Er Mine)
Ingrid Olava - Juliet's Wishes (EMI Music Norway)
Maria Mena - Cause And Effect (Sony Music)
Marit Larsen - The Chase (EMI/Virgin)

Male Artist
Bjørn Eidsvåg - Pust (Petroleum/Sony Music)
Julian Berntzen - Rocket Ship Love (Universal Music)
Thom Hell - God If I Saw Her Now (Voices Of Wonder)
Åge Aleksandersen og Sambandet - Katalysator (EMI Music Norway/Solregn)

Folk Music
Flukt - Stille Før Stormen (Etnisk Musikklubb)
Gjermund Larsen Trio - Ankomst (Heilo)
John Ole Morken - Slåtter Fra Hessdalen, Haltdalen og Ålen (Etnisk Musikklubb)
Ragnhild Furebotten & Tore Bruvoll - Hekla Stålstrenga (Ta:Lik)

Newcomer of the Year
Erlend Bratland - True Colors (Sony Music)
Ida Maria - Fortress Round My Heart (Nightliner/Universal)
Ingrid Olava - Juliet's Wishes (EMI Music Norway)
Katzenjammer - Le Pop (Propeller Recordings)

Hit of the Year
Maria Haukaas Storeng - "Hold On Be Strong"
Espen Lind - "Scared Of Heights"
Marit Larsen - "If A Song Could Get Me You"
Erlend Bratland "Lost"
The BlackSheeps - "Oro Jaska Beana"

Norwegians: Tougher Than Most

One of my colleagues just passed a news story to me, which I think proves that Norwegians/Norwegian Americans are the toughest people on earth.

The story is about Janice Goodger, a 64-year-old Norwegian-American from Duluth, MN who recently survived an ordeal that would have left the Danes most other people as Darwin fodder. Stop now and read the story if you haven't already.

Done reading?

Ok, now I'd like to go point by point in support of my assertion that Norwegians are the toughest, most stoic people on earth.
  1. Ms. Goodger crab-walked for 50 feet through deep snow. And she has "severe rheumatoid arthritis." I don't know many people who could do that on a summer afternoon, let alone through the snow with her debilitating condition.

  2. All told, her heart had stopped for nearly 3 straight hours. Yeah, the heart? Kinda important. Most doctors would recommend against doing things that cause an interruption of cardiac function.

  3. First her core body temperature dropped into the 70's. Now a 70 degree day may feel warm to us, but you need to remember that a core body temperature below 86 causes organs to fail and clinical death to ensue.

  4. Then her core temp bottomed out at 60 degrees.

  5. She had her entire blood supply removed from her body, warmed up, then returned to her.

  6. She survived

  7. Her nonchalance about the whole ordeal is amazing. She is quoted as saying she survived because she's "a good old Norwegian." Then, when asked if she'll take any steps to avoid this in the future, she responded by saying "I'm going to glue sandpaper on the bottoms so I don't slip. It worked for me when I lived in North Dakota." Modest and practical--very Norwegian of her, don't you think?

I think Ms. Goodger's story is a fantastic one that proves Norwegian determination thrives even in the darkest of times. So, that's my case. If you disagree, please leave a comment.

Webcams of Norway

Every morning before I come into the office I have a routine of:
  1. Wake up
  2. Remind myself why I'm awake at 4:30 a.m.
  3. Stumble about silently so I don't wake the wife or baby
  4. Make coffee
  5. Walk dog
  6. Surf the web
It's a pretty basic routine by most standards. The highlight of it being the daily excursion into the wilds of "teh interwebs." I use the StumbleUpon tool in my browser (if you've never used it, I highly reccomend it) and I often find something so interesting that it grabs hold of me and I lose track of time, causing me to rush through the other morning ablutions so I can be to work on time.

The reason I had to skip shaving and drink my coffee in the car on the way in to the office was because I stumbled upon a website dedicated to live streetcams of Norway. It's really cool, because you can watch the sun rise or set in Norwegian cities that are thousands of miles and 7 time zones away.

Check it out and see which street cams you like best. Here's a list of some of my favorites:
There's also another list of street cams over at for you to take a look at. But don't let it eat up your whole day because getting out there and experiencing the world around you is just as important as observing it from afar.

Grandma Peggy

On Tuesday, December 30th, Chris's paternal grandmother, Peggy Pauline Ford Hansen, passed away. In the few times I met Grandma Peggy, I was touched by her sweetness and kind words for both me and my little boys. I didn't know her well, but I appreciate the positive impact she had on my husband's life and the lives of his family.

Marilyn gave a beautiful tribute here.

We were able to attend Peggy's funeral services on Saturday. It was a sweet experience to meet up with family members we hadn't seen in a long time and to remember Peggy's life. Heidi and Emily were both able to fly in and we really loved being able to see them, if even for a short time.

Wrapping up the Holidays

My, oh my. Is it really January 6th already? At least we finally got the tree taken down and the decorations put away. My living room looks a little bare and gloomy, but sometimes a bit of normalcy isn't such a bad thing.

We had the merriest and happiest of Holidays-- and you're in for a very, very long post. So, in case you're inclined to just skip the whole thing (can't say that I really blame you), I do have to direct your attention to my groovy bro getting his groove on here. It's a can't miss.

First of all, I just love this jolly little sugarplum and his chubby, smiley face. He's just a roley poley mini Santa!

When I left you last, it was just a few days before Christmas and I was waiting for my big, juicy present-- the van. Yes, we got it, and yes, it's as big and juicy as we had hoped. We love our Sienna, actually-- it's a lovely Utah red (more on that later!)-- and it is oh-so comfy to drive. I especially love the auxiliary plug where I can listen to my iPod or the portable DVD player on the stereo system. The boys love all of the space and Chris and I love not being able to hear them fight as loudly as before. So, all in all, a good thing.

We actually have a couple of funny car-related stories, but since Chris tells them better than I can and I don't want to take the time to type them all out, you're going to just have to ask us about them.

On Christmas Eve, Chris had an early deadline, so we were able to load up our new transport and head to Salt Lake just after 5:30. We arrived at Chris's parents' just in time for a delicious smorgasbord and Christmas jammies. Andy and Amanda were there with Tyler and Lizzy as well. Marilyn picked the perfect pj's this year-- "Ho Ho Ho" sleepers for the kids, and Ute Perfect Season shirts and plaid flannel pants (with a drum and feather logo to boot!) for the adults. My collector-of-all-things-Utah hubs couldn't have been happier!

Of all the Hansen cousins, Tyler and our boys are the most physically similar. Only two of these cute little guys are brothers, but all three look like they are! It's so fun to get them together!

Five little cousins, all in a row. Cuteness, cuteness.

My family, red from head to toe.

And the all of it!

Marilyn's tree is just beautiful. I took a couple of pictures with different settings and this one is my favorite.

Andy and Amanda spent the rest of the night with her parents, so after they left, our boys and Grammuh made Christmas cookies and letters for Santa. Tom's was so cute-- it didn't say anything about what he wanted, just pointed out that he had a really big gift under the tree that he was excited about. Oh, and can Santa drink Strawberry milk?

Right before bed, Gramps and Gramm read funny Christmas stories that had the boys giggling with delight. It was the perfect way to end Christmas Eve.

And the next morning, not too early...

We all received great gifts this year. More fun than the presents was just being able to sit around together and enjoy one another's company. Gary shared a neat Gospel message, and Marilyn made delicious food. It was a really nice day, with only a few whiney kid moments. There was one partially serious threat to "take all of this stuff back and give it to someone who will appreciate it", which was met with, "No, mom! That's not what I meant! I meant that this is the best Christmas ever!". Whew. Good thing we cleared that up.

Marilyn gave the cousins the cutest Christmas outfits, so of course, we had to take more pictures. I love taking the boys to church in their matching clothes-- I'm taking advantage now while they're too young to tell me not to dress them alike.

The day after Christmas, we went back home and Chris went back to work. It had snowed a lot in Logan and my wonderful neighbors shoveled our driveway-- so very kind. One of my goals this next year is to be a better neighbor!

We had a somewhat restful weekend catching up on laundry and building a snow cave. Then, on Tuesday after I finished work, we packed up again and headed North-- this time to Idaho Falls. We arrived late on Tuesday evening, then slept in on New Years Eve. The boys actually spent the whole day in their pj's-- one of the great perks of being on vacation.

This has to be one of my favorite pictures of Thomas and his cousins, Dallis and Hadley. Thomas is a favorite of most of his cousins, and as you can see, he is enjoying the attention, even while trying to escape.

It was freezing in Idaho, but that didn't stop my dad and the kids and dads from getting out in the snow. Little girl snow gear is so cute-- I love Hads's "princess" snow hat!

The kids tried to make snow angels, but it was so cold that the snow was a lot more solid than they expected. My parents' little dog could run on top of the snow.

Since we didn't spend Christmas with the DeArtons, we opened our presents to and from each other on New Years Eve. Ann-Michelle got all of the cousins these adorable hats. Gord's has to be my favorite-- it suits him so well!

It's nearly impossible to get a picture of all of the kids looking cute at the same time, but we got pretty close!

My mom made the boys the most adorable Utah Utes fleece pj's-- so far, I've only managed to get a good picture of Gordon in them. Neil's is a baby bag, which is perfect for a cuddly little Ute-fan in the making.

New Year's Eve was filled with everything you can expect from a DeArton party: lots of food, lots of games, lots of laughter, a few screaming kids, and a party that lasts into the wee hours of the morning. Hopefully we didn't completely overwhelm Caitlan's friend, Doug. He looks pretty comfortable in that Dalmuti hat, though.

Our weekend included several games of Risk (Jake championed yet again), Scrabble and Super Scrabble (Chris, of course), Dalmuti, and Carcassone, plus some shopping, movies, and eating enough cream cheese-filled foods to make those resolutions sound halfway appealing. Here are a few random, but fun, pics:

Friday night, for the Sugar Bowl, Chris, Jake, Todd Freed, my dad, Allison, the boys (for the first 15 minutes) and I went over to the seminary building. My parents don't have cable, so my dad set up a big white wall and the projector so that we could watch the game on a "big screen". It was awesome-- especially after I took Thomas and Gordon back to my mom's! It was so fun to cheer for the Utes as they pounded Alabama, and all from comfy seminary office chairs! We had pizza and fancy root beer, and I don't think Chris could have enjoyed the game more if he were there in person. Thanks Dad!! It was the perfect way to wrap up our Holidays!