Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The 12-day Countdown til 2009

I started the month with a list; I might as well end the month with a list. “Lists” are kind of my style.
(I recently took a personality test that rated me extremely high on being “conscientious”, “perfectionist”… really? Hum…)

SUNDAY 21st we drove to Kaysville for my nephew Tanner’s birthday party. Good boy, good food, and good people.
MONDAY 22nd night I had my friend Heather and her kids over for dinner and family home evening. It has been 14 years since we were roommates at Rick’s College and 8 years since I last saw her. The second she walked in my door it was as if we were roommates last year. Though so much has changed in both our lives, it seemed as if nothing had changed at all. She is a dear friend of mine who is an example of strength, courage, and faith.
TUESDAY 23rd I cooked a huge batch of chocolate chip cookies for Santa with my good friend Wendy. I have to say it was the best batch of cookies I have ever made. Not too long ago Morgan was so impressed with my sister-in-law Trisha who made homemade cookies. “Wow, my mom doesn’t know how to make cookies.” I sure showed her. Or maybe it wasn’t my fantastic cooking skills but just the pound of sweet butter the recipe called for…who knows.
TUESDAY NIGHT was sub for Santa night. For years my siblings and their spouses picked each other’s names and gave a Christmas gift to that person. Last year we started a tradition that instead of picking names we would put the money together and buy for a family in need. My sister Alisa is a second grade teacher and found out about a few families in need at her school. The families write down some needs and wants, we shop, and then Santa and his little children elves deliver the gifts. Do I tell you this to brag about what “good” people we are? Ahhh… NO. I think it takes a lot more character to be the one receiving than the one giving. I learned from those wonderful families that it takes humility to ask for and receive help. Am I humble enough to receive help when I need it, whatever help that might be? I wonder if I miss out on blessings because I’m not humble enough to receive help.
WEDNESDAY 24th was the Hosenfeld Christmas Eve dinner, “talent” show, and gift giving. It was way fun! The coolest part was finding out my sister Alisa is pregnant with her first baby!

THURSDAY 25th morning Santa came! Five hours after opening Santa’s gifts Chandler asked a very important question. “I saw the XBOX games and Rock Band in the basement a while ago and then they were under the tree. Is Santa for real?” After a heartfelt conversation Chandler now knows that Santa is not a man in a big red suit with reindeer. However Chandler still and hopefully always will believe in the Santa spirit. I still ask, “How did Santa know that you would love that gift?” Chandler answers, “He knows everything.” Chandler is right I do know everything. :)

Jason and my kids spent Christmas day at Jason’s parent’s house. They played games and had a blast. I stayed for a few hours before heading home to nap before working a night shift at the hospital.
FRIDAY 26th night was the extended Poulsen family day after Christmas Party. That’s always a good time. After getting home we had to end the day with a late night dose of Rock Band with my neighbors/family members Jared, Nanette, Matt, and Kristi.
SATURDAY 27th we went sledding. Aren’t humans strange? We hike up a snowy hill, slide down on a sled for 10 seconds, hike back up, slide back down, hike back up…very strange.

After sledding we cooked for Ashtyn's baptism party.

SUNDAY 28th was Ashtyn’s baptism. The coolest part was to see the excitement on her face. She was thrilled.

MONDAY 29th we went ice-skating, another strange thing that humans do. We skate on ice around and around and around and around…

If that wasn’t enough fun for the day we went to the Mayan and waited 1 hour and 47 minutes to get a table. What kind of idiot, besides Jason and me, would wait that long to eat at a stupid restaurant? We did try to bribe the kids out of it. “We can go see any movie you want.” “No. We want the Mayan.” “If we leave, you can go to any other restaurant in the world.” “No, we want the Mayan” Crap!!!

TUESDAY 30th night I am heading to the hospital to spend 12 hours with 2 pound premature babies. It's much more of a blessing to be there than it is work. (Isn't she cute??!!)

WEDNESDAY 31st I’m going to stay home for New Years Eve while Jason works….and then it will be 2009.

I wonder what will fill my calendar in 2009?

As my sister Wendy said, because of my “strong family ties, we will never know loneliness, boredom, or isolation which is so common in a world where most people pride themselves on being independent.”

During 2009 I really need to reach out to those who are lonely, bored, or isolated. I have plenty to share.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Small and Simple Things

For years I have recognized that for some reason when Chandler is having a good day, when he is happy, obedient, and has the Spirit, I have a good day. When I have a good day the entire family has a good day. (Happy wife, happy life.) I don't know why this phenomenon happens or why Chandler's Spirit affects our family so noticeably.

Last Saturday morning I could tell right away it was going to be an irritable day because Chandler woke up with a punk attitude.
At 10:00 a.m. we headed out the door to take our turn cleaning the church building.

10:04 I dragged Chandler into the church by his ear, (back, cheek, and whatever else I could pinch) and said sternly, "every time you're a punk you get 30 minutes in your room." (Now that's a stiff penalty, but I'd already had it with him.)
10:05 he walked into the church, sat on a chair, and moped.
10:08 I handed him a cloth and Windex and asked if he would wash all the windows.
10:09 his heart really wasn't into it.
10:22 Chandler was working hard in the chapel helping the men vacuum.
10:40 I asked Chandler if he wanted me to take over vacuuming the benches. He wanted to finish it himself.
10:55 Chandler headed out of the church a new boy. He was happy, nice, and had the Spirit.

(It would have taken us longer to clean our half of the building but Ron, the father of the family that cleaned with us, got to the church earlier than our appointed time, cleaned the bathrooms and vacuumed--he's awesome!!)

After getting home I asked Chandler why he was so different. He knew it was because he served.

Isn't it amazing that less than an hour worth of service brought the Spirit to our family? But if you think about it, it really comes as no surprise.

"Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart."
"When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God."

There is obviously no better way to have the Spirit than through service. I hope to do more of it this coming year!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Twelve Doings and Deeds of December

12 times I’ve wondered if we are going to get around to sending Christmas cards this year…
the answer is NO.
11 really restless nights.
December has brought a bout of insomnia for no reason.
10 activities I don’t have on my schedule for two weeks!!!
Spelling, math, piano, hockey, gymnastics, ballet, jazz, ski school, chorus, theatre class.
9 Christmas activities we have done so far this month.
Watching Jim Carrey’s “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”, Enrichment Christmas dinner, Ward Christmas breakfast, riding light rail to see the lights on Temple Square, the Fairbanks’ Family Fun Christmas party, watching Polar Express, going to Heber for the Polar Express, annual sub for Santa shopping with my mom and siblings, dinner and movie (Scrooged) with friends.

8 Christmas art pieces taped to my refrigerator.

7 people on my roof and 700 nails that blew off my roof.
6 X 10 hours a week that Jason has been working.
5 Christmas performances:
Chandler’s chorus, Ashtyn’s “studio kids”, Morgan’s kindergarten sing, Ashtyn’s jazz dance, and Morgan’s ballet dance.

4 days a week that I continue to try to exercise.
3 days Jason has had off of work this month.
2 year old that is proving the “terrible two” theory is FOR REAL.

1 thought that keeps crossing my mind… I believe in the Christmas Spirit.
-the Spirit of Christ-

I love Christmas time when I get to see the world feel Christ’s Spirit. I don’t feel the Spirit all the time but I sure love it when I do. For the last couple of weeks I haven’t felt the Christmas Spirit much. But no worries…I’m just remembering the times I have felt the Spirit and holding on to those memories until I get to feel it again. For me Christmas is always a good time to remember and renew my efforts to feel the Spirit more often.

President Monson has said, "As we seek Christ, as we find Him, as we follow Him, we shall have the Christmas Spirit, not for one fleeting day each year, but as a companion always."

Scrooge in "A Christmas Carol" declares at last, "I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach."

I hope to do the same.


Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving Thoughts

Thanksgiving day was full of activities that involved the three top things I am grateful for: my religion, my family, and my health.


The day started at 7 a.m. when I joined my father in law and three sisters in law, Kristi, Trisha, and Aubri for our second annual one-hour Thanksgiving cycle class at the Cottonwood Recreation Center. How is it possible to laugh during a sweaty, heart pumping cycle class? The Poulsens never have a problem finding things funny.
After the class Brittany, another sister in law, and I ran the Cottonwood Heights Thanksgiving 5 K.

I am so grateful for my heath and body that allows me to do such activities.


At noon I went with Jason and my kids to my mother and father in law’s house for a delicious lunch. All of Jason’s sisters and their families were there and Jason’s Grandpa and Grandma. I enjoyed eating, talking, and relaxing with such fun people.
After lunch I went home for a 45-minute nap and then Jason, the kids, and I were off to my sister Wendy’s house in Kaysville to have dinner with her husband and kids, my mom, dad, brother Jared, and his wife Nanette. It was a small group this year because my other siblings were taking their Thanksgiving turn with their in laws. It was such a pleasant evening as we ate, talked, and played cards together.
The day really wasn’t full of spectacular events. It was a wonderfully simple day full of family time.

I am grateful for my in laws who have always been extremely kind and loving to me.
I am grateful for my parents, siblings, and their families. We all get along wonderfully and would do anything for each other.
Including Jason’s and my family we have 33 members. I am grateful we all live in Utah and see each other on a regular basis.
I am grateful for a wonderful husband and four very good kids. I really enjoy being around my entire family.


“Religion is not a thing apart from life.”--Marion D. Hanks

I am grateful that I know where I came from, why I am here, and where I hope to go. This knowledge makes everything, including Thanksgiving, more meaningful. Everything I have is because of a loving Heavenly Father and my Savior Jesus Christ. Everything I am grateful for is because of Them.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Saturday, November 22, 2008

What's your passion?

Everyone has different interests in life. Some people might be passionate about skiing, snowboarding, biking, hiking, rock climbing, basketball, soccer, or golf. Other passions may be reading, traveling, computers, music, art, crafts, cooking, shopping, or an occupation. My family has different interests depending on the season.

One of our passions is football.
JASON: Simple
He loves watching the competition and strategy of the game. It is suspenseful and fun to watch.

CHANDLER: Two Reasons
1. Chandler’s most influential hero and role model is his dad. He respects Jason and has been around Jason's influence his entire life. At the age of nine Chandler wants to go on a mission, be a good husband, and become an anesthesiologist. When Chandler becomes older he may choose a different role model but for now he naturally wants to be like his dad. Hence Chandler loves football and particularly BYU football…just like his dad.
2. After playing his first season, Chandler’s love for football increased dramatically. I think playing not only helped him understand the game but also gave him a chance to understand how great it feels when you work hard at something. The only way he could explain why he likes football was, “there are more hard times than fun times but it teaches you how to be a man.”

SUZANNE: I’m a football mom
This will sound dramatic, but during football season Chandler had never in his life worked so physically hard and sacrificed so much. There were many activities Chandler missed out on because of football, including flying home early (and alone) from our vacation in Vegas so he could make it to his game. There were also a lot of tears throughout the season because it was hard.

Jason and I put Chandler into football for the same reasons mentioned by his coach in an e-mail written to all the parents at the end of the season.
“The odds of any of our players playing college football are slim and playing in the NFL even slimmer, but they will need to understand the importance of sacrifice, teamwork, and courage in their youth and in life in order to succeed. Hopefully, they have gained some of these attributes by playing with this team.”

Chandler’s coaches were successful in teaching important lessons about sacrifice, teamwork, and courage. I think Chandler will carry these lessons with him throughout life and they will help build his character.


Now go and embrace your own passions and learn from them.
It's one of the great blessings of living.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A Halloween crime story

It was 5:45 p.m. on Halloween. We just got home from Jason's parents' house where we ate our yearly, delicious Halloween dinner that consists of homemade soup, homemade bread sticks, and homemade pie. Yum!!!!

Trick-or-treating was going to begin soon. Everyone was happy and ready to go.

After the picture was taken the kids went inside and messed around in the front room while waiting a few minutes for their cousins and uncles.
I sat at the computer to pay bills. (Who pays bills on Halloween night?)
Jason was in the kitchen saying to the kids, "you guys need to calm down."
Chandler put his trick-or-treat pillow case over his head and was playing with Ethan when the crime happened.

THE PERPETRATOR: Don't let him fool you, he's not as innocent as he looks...

THE WITNESSES: The Hannah Montana on the left (as opposed to the Hannah Montana in the middle and to the right).

AND the blue butterfly princess. (I don't think she looks like a butterfly.)

THE VICTIM: and maybe a bit of a provoker.

THE ACCOMPLICE: who decided ON Halloween day to put up the decorations and therefore the weapon.

THE WEAPON: A five inch man. (Why is he a Halloween decoration???)

Ethan threw the weapon at the "pillowcase" that was bugging him. The weapon happened to hit the face that was inside the pillowcase. Chandler wondered why there were beads all of a sudden in his mouth. He was horrified to discover that the "beads" were his teeth. After seeing his teeth, or lack thereof, all Chandler could say was, "WHY Ethan, WHY??!!"

Chandler: He didn't feel up to going trick-or treating so he stayed home. This week he gets two root canals and two fillings. When he is older he'll get two crowns. (And not the crowns that most kids want.)
Ethan: NOTHING. He is two. He is the youngest. And he gets away with almost everything.

The next day, though his two front teeth were partially missing and he had two exposed nerves, Chandler left at 7 a.m. for his football playoff game and later that day played in his hockey game.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Viva Las Vegas!

We had an enjoyable four days in Las Vegas over fall break.
(October 15th- 19th)

Our kids had never been to Vegas except for the "In N' Out Burger" on the way to California. They didn't know what to expect. Before we hit the Strip we explained a little about the tourism scene of Vegas. We told them that they would likely see inappropriate billboards and a bunch of other stuff they aren't used to seeing in Salt Lake :) . What were they to do in these situations? Look away. "Though there is a lot of evil on the Strip there is also fun things to look at." It was inspiring to watch as they were in the world but not of the world. Each time they saw something inappropriate they looked away and found something cool to look at.

I'm impressed with today's young children. I think kids these days are stronger than we were at their age. They are smarter, kinder, more faithful, more valiant, more aware, and more prepared. It's a blessing to be on the earth at this time and I have no doubt today's children can handle the world and the life that is ahead of them.

Swimming at the hotel

Watching a diver feed sting rays at the Silverton Casino

Circus Circus

Game Works- next door to MGM

We spent hours there. Jason and Chandler could not get enough.

I'm not a good dancer so this took a lot of concentration.


We went to a dinner show called "Tournament of Kings" where you are served dinner to be eaten with your hands as you watch knights joust. Chandler cheered so loud he lost his voice.

We played games afterwards.

M & M Store

Coca Cola Store

Rainforest Cafe at the MGM


Bellagio Fountain

While there we had an awesome afternoon spending time with Angie and Pascal. They took us to the most delicious pizza restaurant ever... Metro Pizza...soooo good.

We also had fun hanging with the Shumways. We ate at the Siverton buffet with Janet and her kids. After Aaron upgraded his satellite television we watched the BYU game which was a sad loss and spent a night playing the card game Eucre which was also a sad loss for me and Jason.

Our kids want to know, "when are we going back to Vegas?!!"