Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Happy Holidays-Family Update

Last year we posted our annual Christmas letter on our blog....and we had so many positive comments that we are doing it again this year.

2009 was a year full of new challenges for our family. We have truly been blessed, and as we look back we see that we have much to be grateful for this year.

ABBEY- is in 3rd grade. She loves school and is a good student. She played soccer for the first time this year and loved it! She turned eight and was baptized this year. She is a sweetheart, always willing to help and always the peacemaker.
MAGGEY-turned 10 on her birthday. She was so excited to reach double digits. She is her teacher's number one helper, and she just passed off all of her times tables 1-12, and her division facts 1-12. Quite an accomplishment since she is only the 3rd kid in her teacher's carreer (10 years or so) to do so. She too played soccer and loved it. She is very responsible, and usually is the first to do her chores, and most of the time without any reminders!
NATHAN-has changed the most in the last year. He has grown about 4 feet since last year (ok so maybe not quite that much, but it sure seems like it!) His great happiness this year is that he is taller than; one mom, both grandma's, two aunts and three sisters. He has left behind elementary school and is now attending junior high. He says, "I wish I had enjoyed more of my childhood while I was in elementary.." His favorite activity right now is a toss up between baseball, eating, BYU football and of course eating.
ASHLEY- is busy working on all of her musical talents. She started taking piano lessons again this year after a two year break. She has decided that practicing actually pays off! (YEA!) She is also in the top choir at the junior high and has an amazing alto voice. She is involved with an "extra " choir which practices only during student's free time. They sang recently at a Christmas concert and they stole the show! She is very responsible and helpful to those around her. We are constantly getting compliments about what a wonderful person she is. We agree!
LINDSEY-has had a big year this year as well. She has been to several school dances, and is quite happy to be part of the dating scene. She has her drivers license, and is enjoying the new freedom and responsibility. She runs errands for her mom all the time, picking up kids, running to the store... her mom LOVES it! This year as most of you know Lindsey was involved in a serious bus accident that took her teacher's life. (see previous posts) It has been a time of growth and reflection for her as well as our entire family. She continues to love marching band and is already looking forward to next season.
JEN-remains busy taking care of a busy family. It seems like our kids are growing up so fast now that I feel like I am missing it! When they were all little I wished that they were bigger, older more responsible, but now that they are bigger, older,and more responsible I am thinking, wait slow down, there is no rush.... They are my biggest blessing and my greatest joy! I have learned this year to treasure every moment and to always say "I love you". You just never know when your life can be turned upside down and inside out. I am still working as the Manager at Maple Village Apartments and still love my calling as Young Women President.
BARTLEY- is doing well. After three hospitalizations this year, he has been give as clean of a bill of health he can get. He is busy with his 5th grade class and his second job doing Customer Support from home for Tax Hawk. He is always chasing after the kids with me. He is a great dad, taking time with each kid on an individual basis. He continues to love his calling in the Bishopric. This year he decided (with my approval, sort of) to get the kids a dog. YEP, that's right a dog. His name is "Cooper". He's a beagle and a great dog. I'm not sure who is enjoying the dog more Bart or the kids??

As we look forward to 2010 we look forward to the blessings and challenges that lie ahead for our family. We have faith and confidence that the Lord will continue to bless us.

Love from our family to yours,

Bartley, Jen, Lindsey,Ashley, Nathan, Maggey and Abbey......and Cooper

Monday, November 9, 2009


Just a short update......American Fork Marching Band won the Utah State Championship on Friday, then went on to win the Western Regional Competition on Saturday! Way to GO!!! We are proud as parents of Lindsey for all the hard work that has gone into this show, (they started in April). These kids have been through a lot of emotion in the last 4 weeks, and they truly triumphed at these last 2 competitions.

One other reason for this post.....the band needs YOUR help. They have been invited to attend the Bands of America Grand National Competition in Indainapolis for the national championship. They may have a chance to place, right now they are ranked 10th in the nation:)!They need to raise $250,000 in the next few days......the smallest donations will help a lot. So to all of our family and friends, please see what you can do!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Lindsey's Miracle

Last Saturday, October 10, 2009 the American Fork Marching Band was traveling home from a competition in Pocatello, Idaho, where they had just won first place. They were traveling in a caravan of 4 buses. They assign buses according to your instrument, Lindsey and the other "woodwinds" were assigned to bus #2.

After traveling for approx 20 min or so, bus #2 bus driver passed out due to some kind of medical problem. Lindsey's teacher Heather Christensen, jumped from her seat, grabbed the wheel and tried to steer the bus. The bus rolled on to it's side and landed at the side of the road. Heather was thrown from the bus, and was killed instantly.

Lindsey and all her friends were tossed about inside the bus. According to Lindsey instruments, backpacks, ipods, cell phone, and other misc. objects were flying all around. All the windows in the bus shattered, sending shards of glass flying too. After the dust settled, the kids, who were now all on top of each other in a massive dog pile, started to try and find their way out of the bus. They had to climb out the top hatch on the roof. Lindsey had dirt in her mouth, nose and ears.

Lindsey was not seriously injured, in fact she had no major injuries, just bumps and bruises in totally random places, that as a mother, you just don't want to know what caused them. In fact I told Lindsey not to think about it, because those are questions you don't really want to have the answer to.

We received a phone call approximately 7:20pm from Lindsey's friend Emily who was on another bus. (The crash occurred at 7:15 or so). Lindsey was not able to call us until about 8:00 or so. This was the worst time for Bartley and I. Every parents worst nightmare.Not knowing if Lindsey was alive, or dead, or what injuries she had sustained. We immediately knelt down and prayed. There was nothing else we could do. The relief of hearing her voice, was so great, I don't think I will ever feel that way again. She reported that she was physically okay, but would be on her way to the local hospital to get checked out as a precaution. This time our prayer was one of gratitude, of thanks.

It was a VERY long night. We joined many, many, members of the "Band Fam" and members of the community who went to the high school to wait for the band to arrive. Most of the band came home at 12:30am or so. It was a moving sight to seeing hundreds maybe thousands of people standing on the grass waiting for these teenagers to return from this fateful night. The crowd applauded as these kids arrived in the parking lot. Somber, saddened, horrified faces, kids from our neighborhood piled off the bus in a chilling silence.

Lindsey's bus did not arrive until 3:30am or so. We waited what seemed like eternity, mostly alone at the high school with about, 25 other parents for our kids. Lindsey was one of the first kids off, and as we wrapped our arms around her, nothing , nothing, nothing can ever compare to the love, and relief that we felt. The smell of her dirty hair, the taste of her salty tears on her cheeks I kissed, I will never forget.

As time has passed we have realized the miracles that the Lord has provided. Heather was not scheduled to be on the bus, but chose to go with them, "I am not leaving my kids". The County Sheriff told Mr. Miller (the Band Director) that he has seen many crashes in that area over the years, and he was sure that there was help for these kids from the other side of the veil. Lindsey says that she felt arms around her as she climbed out of the bus. The kids had prayed together before the competition, and asked that they would travel safely. Most of the kids walked away with little or no physical injury.

The band went on to their next competition on Tuesday, despite the grief that overcame them. They marched in honor of Heather, adding a special tribute to her. They won first place, capturing all the awards possible. They were beautiful, amazing, and awe inspiring. Some limping, some sitting or standing, but they performed anyway. Heather's kids overcame the grief and pain, and taught myself and everyone watching that we can overcome, anything is possible.

Lindsey stood guard at Heather's casket, played prelude at the funeral, played as Heather's casket exited the building, and then played at the graveside. I have never been so proud of my daughter as I was at those moments. The love and respect she has for Heather showed in her true professionalism as she performed with tears streaming down her cheeks.

I am speechless at the miracles we have witnessed this week. It is humbling to know that we are worthy of such blessings. I am so thankful for the Plan of Happiness. I am thankful for my temple covenants, my sealing to Bartley that makes us a forever family.

Thank you to all of our family and friends who have done so much to support us this week. It is comforting to know that you are there when we need you.

For anyone who wants to you can view the news stories at www.ksl.com. Search for American Fork Marching Band.

You can also view video of the competitions at www.youtube.com. Once again search for American Fork Marching Band.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Hansen Family Reunion

This last weekend we were able to have a Hansen Family Reunion. Everyone except my brother-in-law Dan was able to attend.(We MISSED you Dan!) It was good to get together and spend time with everyone. Here are a few highlights.....

Swimming in Grandma and Grandpa's pool was number one on all the kids list....they jumped in first thing!

After dinner and swimming was over it was on to the "Circle Game". Those of you who are Murdock's will recognize the blindfolds, searching for surprises, etc. Those of you who are not Murdock's will have to ask us about it.....it is FUN! Check out Abbey's loot!

We had an outdoor movie, which was fun until it rained.....

We slept out in the backyard at my parents house, we were supposed to "sleep under the stars", but due to the rain, we slept in tents instead. The kids thought this was the BEST!

We also played "Tennis Racket Baseball" which was a blast! It was fun to get out and just play with everyone.

We had a pre-reunion "Girl Day" on Thursday. SO MUCH FUN! All of the girls went shopping and out to lunch. Thanks Ashley for the babysitting! I had to throw in the picture of Ruth and Julie wearing the same shirts.......

What my parents have been telling me my whole life.....is TRUE! My brothers and sisters are my friends (SURPRISE!). I am so lucky to have such great siblings, I would be lost without them. Thanks for all you do for me and my family, I love you all!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Burning Suit

We had a momentous occasion at the end of April. Bartley was finally able to get a new suit.=) The kids and I have been looking forward to this for YEARS now. Yeah Bartley!

While he was getting fitted for his new suit, he asked me what we were going to do with his old suit now that he had a new one. I told him "burn it." (I have HATED it for years) He laughed, but I am not sure he truly believed me.

The Monday after he picked up his suit, we went to Grandma JaNae's and used her fire pit, to BURN the suit! Bartley saw how serious I was when I doused the suit in lighter fluid. =)

Here are a few pic's of the BIG occasion....
The last moments in the suit.....
The "smoking" jacket....
The actual burning of the suit.

The kids and I applauded when the flames totally engulfed the suit. Bartley seemed a little sad, but only a little. He has worn the suit for so long, he has lots of memories....Maggey and Abbey were blessed, Grandma and Grandpa B's funerals, called to the Bishopbric, ordained a High Priest. Lot's of weddings, nieces, nephews, sister in law's, brother in law's.....a lot.(I think he has had it for over 9 years....)It was good to say goodbye, we did sing a few bars of "Taps". Thanks to Ross and JaNae for the use of their fire pit for our little memorial service.

The kids have mentioned that this was one of the best Family Home Evening Activities we have ever had.=)

Pictures of the new suit....soon to follow.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Abbey 's Birthday and Baptism

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We celebrated Abbey's 8th Birthday on May 17. Abbey opened presents 1st thing in the morning. She got a new outfit, some legos (girl kind, purple and pink, just like she asked) and a few other things. As is tradition in the Nicholes family, she will get to go out to dinner with JUST mom and dad and then go and pick out her very own scriptures. It's Great to be 8!

Looking back at the last 8 years.....we can't imagine what it would be like around here with out Abbey. Her smiles, her laughter, her determination, have brought us joy and happiness beyond measure. We love you Abbey!

Abbey has been preparing since Maggey was baptized in December 2007. Last fall she called Grandma Mary to ask if she would make a baptism dress for her. She was sooooo excited to wear her special dress.
I am sorry to report that my camera ran out of batteries....so we don't have a picture of just Abbey and her beautiful dress. Grandma worked really hard, and Abbey has been so thrilled, we can't get her to wear anything else to church.:)

June 6, 2009 was a special day for our family. Abbey was Baptized and Confirmed by her dad, and Nathan was ordained a Deacon, by his dad. Lots of tears from MOM!

It was awesome to see the priesthood in action. What a blessing to have a worthy priesthood holder who can bless the lives of our children. Words just seem too small to express that joy.

Thanks to all our friends and family members who supported Nathan and Abbey.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Abbey and the Bike Wreck

On Monday night, Abbey decided to go for a bike ride. She rode from our driveway, to the next door neighbors driveway. According to her, her seat turned and she was thrown over the handle bars and onto her chin. OUCH! When she came into the house, I could tell by her cries that she was hurt, not just a bandaid and I am better hurt, but the real kind of hurt. Anyhow, her chin swelled up so fast it was about 4 times the size in less than 20 min. We ended up taking her to our good friends house (he's our pediatrician). He checked her out for about 20min or so, and thought she would be ok. After lots and lots of Ibuprofen, and what seems like millions of ice packs, here's the proof that she was in PAIN! She is not in as much pain now, and seems to be back to normal, including riding her bike, AFTER Dad tightened the seat, and tested it several times himself.

Prom 2009

Lindsey is at the PROM right now as I am typing this. She looked and felt like a princess, complete with Tiara! It is hard to believe that the little girl who lived at our house, slept in our bed most nights with her "special" blankie, watched Cinderella at least 4 times a day, and rocked her baby to sleep while I rocked Ashley, is already 16, beautiful and DATING!!!

Special THANK YOU! to my mother for sewing the FABULOUS jacket for Lindsey, (so she could remain modest, and feel comfortable) and to our friend Mariann for the hair and makeup, and toes!

Ain't she sweet!

Thursday, March 26, 2009


We are excited to announce the following;

ASHLEY-Made it into the HIGHEST choir at the Jr. High! Yahooo!

NATHAN-Made it into Concert Band(8th grade band!)Way to go Nate!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Things around here have been sooooo busy! Nothing really out of the ordinary, but just busy.

Just a few highlights from the last few weeks;

Lindsey-went to the Valentines Dance with Taylor Smith. She has "officially" committed to be in the Marching Band this coming year, and is thinking seriously about being a section leader.

Ashley- was asked to be a TA for Choir next year. It 's a real compliment, her teacher approached her, not the other way around. Yahoo, Ash!

Nathan- Placed at the school Science Fair, and is now on to the District Science Fair. WOW!

Maggey-Cut 8 inches of hair off, her hair is now to her shoulders. It's really cute. She looks different, older somehow. :( We are getting ready to donate her hair to Locks of Love.

Abbey- Also cut her hair off, about 10 inches. Her hair is now above her shoulders, and looks cute. We will be donating her hair as well.

Jen- Bartley and I celebrated our 19th anniversary in February. We went to Aspen Grove overnight with a group of our friends. 4 couples in all, 3 of whom all had their anniversary in February as well. We had a BLAST. We stayed up late and played games, visited, and had LOTS of junk food. We acted like a bunch of teenagers!:)

Bartley- Has started working most nights for Taxhawk. Which is great, except for we all seem to need the computer at the same time he needs to be working......hence the lack of updates.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Scheduling Problems

Ok so my last post I suggested that we change the Nicholes Family temple night. I thought that we would be available, but my husband clued me in that we are NOT available on the 19th. So we are open for any suggestions from those attending.

Let us know, I think that this is such a special opportunity, I don't want to let it go. Please leave a comment or give us a call so we can find a time that will be the most accomodating to everyone.

Love to you all!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Temple Night

Pyper had planned a family temple night February 12th at Jordan River. She can't make it that night, and I don't think we should go with out her. I was wondering if we can change it to the following Thursday, February 19 at Jordan River. Please either comment or give us a call. I don't think we should pass up this chance to do the Lord's work together. Love to you all!