Tuesday, June 30, 2009

And the list keeps growing..


A friend sent this my way on facebook..

13 things I love about America, that I didn't know I loved until I lived overseas.

1. Miles, gallons, feet, pounds....
2. 24-hour everything
3. Electronic bill payment
4. Central Air Conditioning and Heat (which are used in the right season)
5. People that are American first, and ethnic second (or more simply....Americans)
6. The efficiency of our bureaucratic offices. You will just have to trust me on this one.
7. Market economy--though this appears to quickly be disappearing
8. Not fighting centuries old wars.
9. The work ethic.
10. Chain stores and restaurants--(FYI--European McDonald's do now have Quarter Pounders, but nobody knows what the name means)
11. Rights that are recognized as given to all men and not subject to the whims of men.
12. Freedom to worship without reprisal, (which is a typical characteristic of a Christian nation)13. Beaches free of Speedo-wearers (our Canadian tourists notwithstanding)

then he tagged me.... I guess he thought I would enjoy this and add to the list.

So I did....

14. Pay at the pump fuel.
15. Customer service.
16. Quick meals.
17. TOILETS you can FLUSH the paper down.
18. Internet that works.
19. Electrical systems that can functions with more than 2 heating elements running at the same time.. without blowing a fuse.
20. F' instead of C'... you try converting every time you want to cook something
21. Wal-Mart
22. Target
23. Paying in US dollars and no longer converting Euros to dollars in your head.
24. Drivable highways.
25. No more strikes!
26. Again flushable toilets.

and the list could go on and on
and on
and on!

Carl and his lovely family are happily back in the States.... however, the Hansen household can still add to this ever-growing list.

Blessings to those content with their surroundings,


Sunday, June 28, 2009

Nice digs

Greetings from Italy,

With a little shopping under my belt, I set off for another day of training. I am a little tired from last night.... we had a social at the Admiral's house.... and let me tell you.... I am ready for Harry to promote.

Not sure if he will ever make a Four Star Admiral, which is like what... a O-10... I mean come on... how long do you have to stay in the Navy to make O-10? But after visiting with him and his wife in their lovely home at Villa Nike.... I am all for an extended stay in the Navy.

You should have seen their digs.... I mean a view to die for. A panoramic scenic view of the Naples coastline with Mount Vesuvius in the background.

And he has a staff. I do not mean a cleaning lady or groundskeeper, but a staff. A staff of like 10 people. And that was just the ones I saw. Along with multiple security guards dressed in full regalia standing post like centuries. My favorite were the cooks.... imagine having professional Italian cooks while living in Italy cooking for you daily.

Again.... I repeat... I am ready to rethink this whole stay in the Navy as long as you can thingy. My only request is that he hurries and promotes to the rank that comes with a staff.

Blessings to those in need of a staff,


On the GO


Yesterday, I arrived in Italy for a symposium. Typically, this type of thing is NOT my thing, but I was invited to go. And you know how I love the word GO.... especially if it means I can shop at a normal Americanized facility, even if it is in Italy.



Friday, June 26, 2009

Just plain tired


Thank you for being patient as I struggle to catch up on everything. From blog posts to school work, from housework to Chapel, from friends to family... the Hansen household has been trying to keep it together.

What an amazing time we have been having with all our guests. We have traveled all around the island, seen places we probably would never have ventured without a little encouragement. And we are still going.

I am so behind on school work it is not funny. Postings.... well as you can see are short, sweet, and to the point and again are extremely behind. I have so many interesting places and pictures to show you... but haven't had the time to sit down, upload, and gather my thoughts for a comprehensive understandable explanation. But I promise.... I will.

It's not just me.... it's Harry .... and the animals too.

A snapped this picture while these guys were snoozing . They looked so peaceful and sweet. With all the traffic around the house these guys have been out of their routine. And loving it.

There is not a suitcase in the house Oliver has not sniffed, rubbed on, and crawled in. There is not a resident in the house Peabody has not sniffed, rubbed on, and crawled on. And treats... these guys have scammed in a week more treats than they would usually be feed in an entire month. No wonder they are fast asleep... they have stuffed bellies.

Blessings to those with a full belly,


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Spili and lions heads


Spili is a picturesque mountain village located south-east of Rethymno.Due to its altitude the village offers an astonishing view. It is surrounded by verdant vegetation and is filled with trees, fountains, springs and chapels and churches with wonderful murals.

Approximately in the middle of the island of Crete, Spili has everything for the visitor who wants to experience ''natural Crete''. Mount Vorizi which hovers over the town is impressive, but wait until you walk up the side streets of this village to be really impressed. The cobbled streets and flowering shrubs are a photographers dream.

In the centre of the village is a Venetian fountain with a long row of 19 stone lions heads from where crystal-clear water flows splashing welcome cool water into the trough below. Above this starts the climb through the beautifully quaint village streets with their flowered balconies, arches, and cobbles.

Periodically, you will find villagers refilling their water bottles with the fresh mountain spring water flowing from the mouth of these lion heads.

The village is famous for producing unique weaving. The important battle of Mesara, one of the many against the Turkish occupation, took place in 1833 in the village of Spili. In 1941, the village was destroyed by the Germans during World War II.

And it also our stop along the 3 hour journey to Fair Havens, bathroom on the way up and a meal with a stroll on the way back.



Monday, June 22, 2009

Greek dressing room


This weekend we took my parents to the outdoor market for a little shopping...

shopping for some summer dresses...

when my mom asked for the nearest dressing room.... I just kind of snickered

and explained to her this is the dressing room. And the dressing room for everyone else too. Thank goodness shopping patrons left their under garments on.

Blessings to those with finding the right size,


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Fair Havens


Here we are again at Fair Havens. The view is just amazing.... I also have some other pretty amazing pictures for you, but will have to wait until our friends send them. My copies were taken by Harry, no offense but he is not the best photographer around.

Fair Havens is significant for many reasons... but our journey took us there from the readings in Acts 27 where Paul and company are sailing to Rome.

27:7 We sailed slowly for many days and arrived with difficulty off Cnidus. Because the wind prevented us from going any farther, we sailed under the lee of Crete off Salmone.

27:8 With difficulty we sailed along the coast of Crete and came to a place called Fair Havens that was near the town of Lasea.

And here is an important rock... but its significance will have to wait until I have the other pictures....

This rock is mine and Renay's rock...

Blessings to those with a rock of significance,


Friday, June 19, 2009

Busy here at Souda


I feel like we have been chasing our tails for some time here. Busy little bees. Not sure how mine and Harry's classes are fairing just yet, but man we have had a blast this last month and continuing on into the next.

But the Hansen household is not the only busy beaver in the bunch. Here is a picture of a few ships we have had in and out of port lately.

SOUDA BAY, GREECE (June 4, 2009) The Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate USS Klakring (FFG 42) arrives alongside the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Anzio (CG 68) at Souda Bay. Klakring and Anzio are both conducting routine port visits. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class John Martinez/Released)

Man I love summer here in Crete.... it is so jam packed compared to winter... I tend to forget how much I miss the States.



Thursday, June 18, 2009

Knossos again


We have traveled again to Knossos, this time with Team Paran, who after day 1 of VBS are still alive and kicking. Seriously... I thought our kids would have them tied up somewhere behind the Air Terminal by now.

The group beginning the tour

Harry and I sitting out the tour... we have heard it before!
...many times!

Heading into the Throne Room

Palace bedrooms... and right about now I wish I were in mine

but Team Paran handled the heat like troopers

Large pottery used to carry olive oil

Team Paran survived Day 1 and a tour of Knossos

Now time to rest up for tomorrow... today was the last day of Greek school and tomorrow we will grow in number. It is a blessing, that is if we survive.

Blessings to those from an energetic church,


Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, Y E S


This song has been playing over and over in my head all week long.... well ever since I heard it during the practice rehearsal for VBS.

The kids love the black light puppets. What a week this will be...

Blessings to those who come from a talented church,


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Boomerang Express

All aboard...

Here's Buddy our train conductor, actually he is our worship leader, but he was taking a rest on our giant cardboard box train.

The team brought large murals to transform the walls the to resemble the Outback...

... which was a nice addition to Silvia's train and train station. Please notice Souda Bay's newest RP (religious program special.. kind of like the Chaplain’s assistant... in certain areas this is the guy who carries the gun) as he assists in the ministry by exhausting almost all his air to blow up the life-size kangaroo.

Tadah... several hours later.. a full size kangaroo.

These guys worked so hard setting up, decorating, and preparing for our kids the next day. Here is a dry run practice before the fun starts tomorrow.

Blessings to those from a fabulous church,


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Mount Paran has arrived


Our home church has arrived. Mount Paran Church of God sent us a mission team to minister to our families for Vacation Bible School. We have a team of 12... including puppets.

Welcome Mount Paran.... WE ARE SO EXCITED TO HAVE YOU...

The above picture is the puppet team... not the team of 12.

The team arrived with 24 pieces of luggage and an entire portable puppet stage. And I thought I packed heavily. We gave them a little less than half a day to unwind and relax before the work started....

Our Chapel community is so excited... for weeks we have been anxiuosly awaiting the team.

This years VBS we used the LifeWay's Boomerang Express... many thanks to Lifeway... last year we could not have supplies sent to our FPO address. This year... it was not a problem!

From boomerangs tied to ceiling tiles...

to construction of a portable stage...

from black light glow-in-the-dark signs...

to the team bringing ALL the craft supplies (you know how Crete does not have much of anything craft wise)...

....Boomerang Express has arrived!

We are pure giddy to have these guys minister to NSA Souda Bay for the next week.

Blessings to those from a good church,


Monday, June 15, 2009

Locked out.... again


This happens to me often....

while sweeping

or letting the dog out

or taking out the trash

or running out to the car

or just enjoying the fresh air...

A gust of wind whips out from no where and causes the door to slam, which in return locks me out of my own house.

Our doors do not have a handle, so once the door closes it is automatically locked. And unfortunately, I do this often. If I do not prop the door open with a chair, then a strong gust of wind closes me out every time.

There is a somewhat permanent spot for the landlord's ladder outside our kitchen window. We make it a point to NEVER lock the kitchen window.... for this purpose.

A rickety old wooden ladder + pajama clad with bare feet + 7 feet drop + a kitchen sink just inside the window = my weekly routine.

You would think I would learn by now to either:

a. do not let myself get locked out

b. wear shoes when stepping out on the deck

c. move the salt & pepper shaker, dish detergent, and everything else from window sill

d. tell the cat to stop staring at me like that as I crawl through the very small hole


e. all the above

Blessings to those with a little common sense,




We took a little road trip to Knossos.

Homer mentions the great city of Knossos in the Odyssey. It was located on Crete, the largest of the Aegean islands. Because by legend King Minos ruled this city, the civilization is thus termed Minoan. Sir Arthur Evans discovered the buried remains of this palace and adjoining buildings in 1900 which at its height covered about six acres.

This large multi-storied palace was organized around a central court, but the plan itself was complex, often called labyrinthine, in reference to the legendary Cretan labyrinth. The palace contained well-stocked magazines, royal apartments, shrines, a throne room, and service areas.

The Palace of Knossos is the site of the most important and better known palace of Minoan civilization. According to tradition, it was the seat of the legendary king Minos. The Palace is also connected with thrilling legends, such as the myth of the Labyrinth with the Minotaur, and the story of Daidalos and Icaros.

(the Throne Room)

(and the Queens quarter's)

The remarkable Palace of Knossos is a painstaking reconstruction from original materials excavated on the site by Sir Arthur Evans. The palace seen today was originally built (and restored multiple times) over a period from 2000 to 1250 BC.

So if you are ever in Iraklion, Greece.... it is worth the 6 Euro to stop by.



Saturday, June 13, 2009

Titttttt tttttt tttttt


This blog title might seem a little unusual.... just mute the blog music and listen for 19 seconds

This is the sound that wakes me up EVERY morning since I have been home.


And it does not last for only 19 seconds like this video clip. It lasts for hours. And hours. And hours.


From morning till well into the afternoon. When these guys break for lunch my sanity returns, but only briefly. My nice sanctuary called home is now my own private insane asylum cell. Inside, I try to watch TV. louder than the noise outside, which just drives me even battier... if that were possible at this point.

Blessings to those enjoying a little piece and quiet,


Thursday, June 11, 2009

We did it again...


We have been running around crazy trying to cram 2 weeks worth of tourist attractions into 5 days. And so far... things have worked out smoothly, that is until today....

We took a 3 hour drive down to Fair Havens, the spot where Paul suggested as a respite for the storm.

Also in the area is Gortyna, once the capital of Roman Crete. It also houses of the oldest Law Code in Europe.

After a LONG and tiring day of wondering around in sunlit fields of ruins we headed back home. Into the 3 day drive and about 30 minutes from home... we began to have car issues. The issue... we were beside the road with a broken belt.

Remember what traffic is like here on the Crete, well it was typical psycho driving along the National Highway as we waited (in the heat) for a tow truck. As numerous automobiles came whizzing by.. I thought for sure we were going to "do in" Jerry and Trish. Luckily, they survived.. this time! I thought surely, Jerry would have Harry fired by now. Oh well, there is always next time.

Off for more sight seeing.

Blessings to those with enough hours in the day,


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Our friends


We have been busy wandering the street of Crete with our newly arrived friends Jerry and Trish. And. Having. A . Blast. We have spanned the globe, well almost, with these amazing travel companions. Such good friends, we claim them as another set of parents, but we are not sure how long they will claim us….

Several years ago we began our “journeys” together with a trek around Italy…. and Jerry was pick pocketed on the train in Rome. In Israel, again having a blast touring around the ancient city we almost had the two of them kidnapped in the West Bank. So of course this trip will have some dire consequences for one or the other of them… or maybe both.

Jerry is also Harry’s endorser for our denomination… his civilian boss so to speak. And with all our shenanigans he still has not fired Harry. Go figure?

Anyway, these guys are here with us for the week while we tour around Crete. Please pray for Jerry and Trish as they try to survive another vacation with the Hansen’s. Also, please see attached photo and I give permission to duplicate if the above couple should actual go missing.

We love you Jerry and Trish,
Harry & Kristie

Monday, June 8, 2009



We are alive.... just extremely busy, too busy to post. Is that possible?

Our friends traveled over with me and Harry and I have played tour guide for the last week.... as if we have any clue what we are guiding. And our church back home is sending a mission team of 12 for NSA Souda Bay's vacation bible school.

So I apologize for the lack of contact.... we are just a bit over-whelmed, but in a very good way!


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Postal Service


For almost an entire week, I have been packing, mailing, stuffing, repacking, and mailing some more in hopes of transporting all my loot pack to Souda Bay in a timely manner. Vacation Bible School commences the week after I arrive, but VBS decorating starts the minute I arrive. So needless to say... Chapel / God first and new summer wardrobe with matching thong flip flops second.

Fortunately, all mailed items will travel through the US postal service with a few stops in various country's customs agency.

If I were to receive mail via the Greek postal service it would look like this...

... and I am not sure my packages will fit in these little nooks. Yelp, this is the local Post Office and thankfully we receive all of our mail at the base.

Besides... where is the little red flag thingy that you raise when you have mail for the mailman to pick up? And how do you know your address? And I wonder if Greeks receive all those junk mail flyer's like we do back in the states?

Blessings to those


Monday, June 1, 2009

New book bag


Today .... I began school again. I noticed that since these classes are online, which I have always preferred live in-person instruction, my "flow" has been disrupted. **Flow means the way in which I typically do things**

One of my favorite things to do before starting a new semester....

buy a new book bag.

There is just something special about the stiffness and freshness of a never-been-used before school tote. A nice new clean with shiny metal hardware book bag for the first day of class.

Before each semester begins I have sort-of a ritualistic routine.

First: purchase books (to see what size book bag I would need)

Second: purchase the new highlighters, loose leaf paper, folders, 3 ring binder, etc. (items to fill the new book bag)

Third: shop for the perfect, in style, must have, stares at me from the Neiman Marcus counter book bag and buy it.

Fourth: take my new book bag home and fill it with my new school goodies

Harry thinks my ritual stems from some repressed childhood grammar school memories. He wonders what adult needs a new book bag every semester when last semester's looks brand spanking new. I can see his look of bewilderment as I finish loading my satchel and place it in the kitchen chair anxiously awaiting my first day of class. He just doesn't get it.

Harry has used the exact same bag since he began seminary over 5 years ago. Some would say he is nostalgic and likes continuity... but I say he's just cheap.

It's not that I dislike my old bags.... it's just that I do not have to hear Harry's normal shopping complaints when I buy a bag in furtherance of my education!

Blessings to those with a reason to shop for a new bag,


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