Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas from us...

Merry Christmas and Happy New year!!!

Hansen Tid Bits from 2008!

Dave~ He’s had a transition year! Dave became a dad to son #2 to start the year off. He traveled to Haiti for a mission trip in February, took us on a vacation to Branson, MO in April, had his last soccer season at Longfellow, started a new job at Dolly’s Tickets Inc in May, and played on 2 softball teams through out the summer. Of course Dave has found time for Vikings games this season and plenty of time to hang out with the family!

Jess~ My biggest highlight has been adding baby Austin to our little family. I’ve spent this last year adjusting to life with two children (which I love!), sending Jaxon off to preschool (which was hard, but good too), working part time for Dolly’s Tickets Inc, volunteering at Orchard Hill church still, and sneaking in some time to spend with friends! My favorite days are usually spent outside with the kids either at the pool or in the yard!

Jaxon~ He’s had a pretty big year too! Jaxon became a big brother and it is one job he does very well!! He took swimming lessons, went to two VBS’s, started preschool, and is keeping busy just being a fun four year old! He’s really into football these days, numbers and counting, talking and being with people, Peter Pan and pirates, and anything that has to do with a ball. He is our social butterfly and almost always has a big smile on his face! He will be 5 in March!

Austin~ He has mastered many things this last year. Being welcomed into the world in the middle of winter he became our snuggly cozy sleeper boy. Besides all the 1st year things (like sitting up, crawling, walking, and eating) Austin has really started to show his own personality. He likes to cuddle, is laid back, a watcher, and has a gentle little spirit. He loves to follow big brother around the house, hang out in mom or dad’s arms, and eat cheerios. He just turned 1 on the 19th of December!

This time of year is a reminder that our Savior, Jesus, was born to bring joy, peace, and grace to all of us! We hope you find all these things for yourself in 2009! We wish you many blessings...have a great holiday season!!!

~The Hansen's

Sunday, December 21, 2008

December 19, 2008 ~ capture a day

December 19, 2008

I was thrilled to actually have a wonderful photographer capture Austin on his actual first birthday. A gal from church (Ashley Schrage) met us at UNI to spend a little time with us as we grabbed some of Austin's daily moments. I love these pictures and will always have them to remember just how beautiful my baby boy was during this time of his life. Having children has been the biggest gift life could hand me. Each of my children represent something to me from different times in my life. They each have taught me different things along the way and I know as we grow old together that they will continue to teach me, shape me, and mold me into who God wants me to be.
A day hardly goes by when I don't look down at Austin and remember the life lesson his life has taught me. What seems like so long ago now, yet really wasn't that far away, was a time in my life when I yearned for another baby. While I prayed and hoped for a child, God used my heart to teach me a lot about the meaning of life. I wanted life... a human form of life, to enter my womb and come into this world for me. God wanted me to see life as a way of loving people. BEING a life giver. Waiting for Austin showed me that I could give life to those around me and that God intended that for me, for all of us really. "Words kill, words give life; they're either poison or fruit- you choose." Proverbs 18:21 Instead of begging for life, I started to practice giving life myself. Austin is a gift from the Lord and what waiting for him has taught me is something I will carry with me forever. It is so great to look at Austin at 1 year old and see how much he's grown, changed, and stepped into who he is going to be... and it is also great to look back at where I have been and how I've grown, changed, and become more of who God wants me to be along the way too. Thank you Austin for being our little boy and for all you've shown us!

***Thank you Ashley for capturing such beautiful pictures of my little boys!!!***

Some Birthday Fun! (at least we hope so!)

Birthday fun at our house came a bit early for Austin this year. Being that kid with a birthday so close to Christmas, we want to be sure he doesn't lose his birthday special-ness amongst all the holiday noise that is happening the same time of year. So we celebrated the weekend before his actual birthday. We had a traditional family birthday party with Austin's aunts/uncles, cousins, grandparents, and us... and that comes to about 45 people!!! Dave and I both come from big families, so our immediate family get-togethers start to feel like one big party no matter the occasion! With a full house and lots of little kids running around there was plenty of fun to be found in almost every section of our home. Jaxon loves this commotion and craziness! Austin...well we found he isn't the biggest fan of lots of action and loud noise. About half way through, we felt kind of bad for the baby... he hardly smiled the first half of the night and spent a lot of the time staring at people comfortably from his high chair or mom or dad's lap. It's so funny how different our kid's personalities are. Jaxon loves a crowd. Austin is content rarely leaving the comfort of his house or the people that reguraly sleep there :) Austin got to have some birthday cake, open some fun presents (with help from his ever so helpful cousins- thanks girls!), and enjoyed a little singing from all of us. He was happy to get into his bath that night, into pajamas, and cuddled to sleep... I don't know if he was over stimulated, overly tired, or what, but he spent about every half hour until 2am waking up and crying :( Needless to say, we may rethink how this boy wants to celebrate his big day in the future!! Of course, he may grow into loving the big party like big borther Jaxon...but we will definately pay attention to his personality next year and see what he may enjoy! Hope you had a fun birthday party baby boy! Thanks to all of you who came to celebrate with our big 1 year old!

Birthday Boy!

Cousins...Maddy, Elsie, Austin...all within 7 months of each other!

Some help from dad...

Hmmm, can I really eat this?

Our special baby boy... 1 year ago. I understand the saying "blink of an eye" so much more these days... :)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

a year changes things...

The boys today...
The boys 1 year ago...

...more about the birthday boy coming soon!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

what's yours???

Traditions are a big part of the Christmas season for many of us and you...

a few of ours are... getting the tree together after Thanksgiving, doing the Jesse tree (becoming much more fun since Jaxon can understand more and do it himself), making goodies together and taking them to our neighbors, Christmas morning breakfast at our house, 3 Kings giving gifts, watching The Grinch the week of Christmas (we only get this movie out during Christmas break), Christmas Eve service as a family, popcorn Christmas Eve night and a movie, and so on... as you can see we love little traditions and hope our kids look forward to them each year. Some of them have great significance and some are just fun and silly.

What about you... share your favorite holiday tradition!!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The last 10 days with the Hansen's

And just to warn you, this picture story could get long! This is our life the last 10 days... to catch you up! It started with CF's State football game. Jaxon was excited to go and was giving his "football" face before he left. Bummer they lost, but Jaxon had fun!

Somewhere between today and 10 days ago Austin has mastered opening the cereal boxes. This is almost a daily occurrence. He loves to eat, what can I say?

For Thanksgiving we visited the Hansen side, McIntosh side, and Brody side all in one day. Thanksgiving was also my dad's 50th birthday this year...and we celebrated at a nice party back in my childhood hometown of Dunkerton. Jaxon and I baked 6 pies for the big party. He was so happy to help make pies. A little baker after his mama's heart :)

It was also Austin's 1st Thanksgiving. He spent a lot of the evening time cruising around in this thing. He loved it! Austin enjoyed sweet potatoes, carrots, mashed potatoes, corn, and green beans for his dinner. I think anyone sitting in arms reach fed him a little something off their plate. Austin was pleased! We're so thankful for our two healthy boys!!!

We have a tradition of going and getting our Christmas tree the weekend after Thanksgiving with the Reisetter family. We all headed to Kris Kringles for the hunt of our perfect tree. (or not so perfect! We usually get home with a crooked trunk or a hole somewhere in the greenery....but we love the not so perfect thing each year!)

We looked at maybe 20 trees before Jaxon chose "the one". Austin was happy to join us for the first time this year and really liked the cookie at the end that Jaxon shared with him in the "hut".

We started with 4 people, then 6 we are eight. Who knows how many Reisetters/Hansens will be piled into a picture in 10 years!
(As you can see it is getting harder to get a good picture with us all looking and smiling and sitting still!!)

OKay, then we got our first real big snow the day we were leaving for Minneapolis. Jaxon had to play outside before we left. His first snowman that he made all by himself. Pretty good job!

We headed up to Minneapolis with our friends, the Hoskinsons for a short overnight trip. We swam at the hotel, the big guys went to the Vikings/Bears game (of course), us gals hit IKEA, and we ended our trip with a looong play date at the Edinbourough Park.

Swim time! Jaxon loves the pool...Addelyn did too... Austin just kind of sat there. He's our calm one, you know?

Indoor Park! it was REALLY fun for all of us! I think we all went down the slides, played in the gym, and just had a good time goofing around with the kids. Dave found this place a couple months ago... a great secret we've enjoyed a couple times now. Nice work Babe!

Whew... lots to share from our last 10 days... We also had some good friends from Texas visit during this last week and we loved the time with them. We always laugh together and can just pick up where we left when we get back together. We're so thankful for the great friends, great families, and great memories we've had from the last 10 days!!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

a Jaxon post

Okay, I've been waiting to write about this...not sure if I wanted to share yet or keep this wonderful moment to ourselves. I've decided it is too precious not to share... A few weeks ago (October 26th to be exact) was a pretty big day at our house! It was a typical Sunday and as I was preparing our Sunday evening popcorn and fruit smoothies Jaxon walked into the kitchen and said he had a secret to tell me. I told him to go ahead and tell me, but he insisted I bend down where he could whisper to me in my ear. He was acting a bit shy, unlike him, and it was kind of sweet. When I got down to his level he whispered..."God is my best friend". I looked him in the eyes and said "I'm so glad, He is my best frined too and the bestest friend we could ever have." Jaxon then said "I want God to be in my heart". It took me a second to embrace what he just told me and then I had to fight back the tears. I hugged him and asked him if he wanted to pray together to ask Jesus into his heart. He smiled back huge and said "Yes!". We called for dad, who was watching football in the living room, and had him come join us. Together on the kitchen floor we all sat down and prayed for Jaxon and with Jaxon. It was a serious moment (which is rare from my two big boys in the house) and so beautiful. Jaxon was sincere and so proud to ask God into his heart. He told us he knew God loved him the best and made him special and he wanted to have God as his best friend. We confirmed that for him and for a few minutes it felt like the world stopped and the 3 of us and Jesus were sitting on our kitchen floor. It was such a great moment... As we got up I wiped a few tears away and Dave said to me... "Pretty cool, but he'll probably ask Jesus into his heart like 14 more times during his childhood!!." Well, I'm so thankful we got to be a part of the first time!!

I went to bed that night so thankful for all the people who have shed Light into our children's hearts. We are really very blessed with such amazing friends and family and our church family. Suddenly everything we've done up to that point to teach him about Jesus came to a full circle. That circle wouldn't have been complete without the people that love our kids outside of our home. those of you that take time to love our kids and be Jesus hands and feet in their lives...THANK YOU! Our biggest prayer for our children is that they will know Jesus as young ones and all the way through their adulthood. I will always remember that moment when Jaxon first asked Jesus into his heart... It is moments like that that make being parents the BEST privlage ever on this side of heaven!!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

11 months today!

And, what do you do at 11 months old??? Play with remotes of course! I had put all 4 of these remotes in "hiding places"... behind cushions, behind DVD player, etc. I came into the living room and he was smiling so BIG! He had found and laid all four of the remotes out right in front of him and was basking in the joy of remote play time! Smarty pants!

Remember Austin in the green dump truck back in February...

Here he is in November! He pushes this thing around the house these days...

Austin loves to play ball... he will hand it to you and then you hand it back and he just smiles or laughs. He loves this game with mommy... Jaxon doesn't quite give it back fast enough and he gets a little mad sometimes!

Austin is busy busy these days! He is almost walking and can be caught catching himself in between furniture pieces! He climbs up on the stool to "help" me with laundry, brush my teeth, and watch me cook. He just started laughing when we are all laughing... he will watch our faces and then do the most acted out's pretty funny :) He is eating some more finger food and has mastered drinking from a straw (self-taught, thanks to dad's Casey's cups!). He's back into a nice nap schedule after a little window of uncertainty and all in all he is a happy baby! He battled the flu a couple weeks ago, has a cold now, and is keeping us all on our toes and smiling. What a boy! 1 year old days... here he comes!!!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

the giving season

Each year as Christmas starts to settle in I take a look at who and where we will be giving for the Christmas season. I love this time of year and I love giving... yet the joy in giving sometimes gets misled when we try to give without the heart of Jesus. Adding children to our little family has really made us look at how and what and when we give. We hope our children grow up with a true understanding of Christmas, yet we want them to find fun, tradition, and pure joy as they celebrate the holiday season through the eyes of a young child all the way into adulthood. Christmas can be just that... so much fun! It also is a great learning time in one's faith as they grow closer to Jesus. So, as we once again dive into the game of picking out gifts I of course tweak a bit each year... I've actually come to a halt the last couple years within our little family of four. A dear friend of mine gave me this wonderful idea and it has worked very well for us the last couple years. We will be doing it this year too! I hope it is one of our traditions that will stay for years to come...

3 gifts were brought to Jesus when he was, frankincense, and myrrh. Gold is something precious, worth a lot. Frankincense was used in the temple. Myrrh covers the whole body. Thus, the idea of 3 Kings Gifts! Each year we buy 3 gifts for each other for Christmas. That's it. (how much do you really need anyways!?!?) Each person gets a gift that resembles gold (something they really want), frankincense (something to draw their heart to God or help them grow spiritually), and myrrh (something that covers the body, like clothing).

Our gift giving amongst our own family is simple, fun, and I think reasonable. Jaxon is getting old enough that he's starting to grasp the idea and hopefully Austin will be catching on to the idea soon too. I know there are many ways to celebrate Christmas and each family is different. This is working great for us for now! Speaking of many different ways... I'd love to hear other ways you celebrate Christmnas, a favorite tradition, or special things you do to make Christmas special at your house. We have a few other traditions at our house, but I love new ideas as we continue to make our holiday season special as we grow as a family! I'm looking forward to the holiday season!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

halloween fun

What a beautiful week we had for Halloween fun this year! We don't really get into the scary side of Halloween, but we have a good time doing pumpkin stuff, dressing up, and making cookies! We made some Halloween cookies with some little friends. The kids had a great time decorating them! We carved a pumpkin, which Austin loved to simply stick his hand into and just feel around. Every time we went outside he squirmed to get down and crawl over to the jack-o-lantern...take the lid off and just stand with his hand in that thing!
We don't really do the whole trick or treating thing, but we do stop at a few friends houses and then usually end our evening at some friends of ours around a little campfire. Jaxon was really looking forward to the campfire...but as you can see below, he barely made it! He was asleep in our van by 7:15pm. Preschool just wipes him out by the end of the week and he is often found sleeping on the couch by at least 7:30pm!! I knew Friday night Halloween was going to be pushing it. He was begging to go home and take a bath for bed time at 7pm!! Prior to heading out to some friends we had a few visitors at our house. It is so fun to see the kids all dressed up. They are so cute! It was such a great day weather wise and we enjoyed the Halloween fun with our two little critters :)

Yummy! Cookie fun!!

Our tiger with his hand in the pumpkin!!

Our two "wild animals". The tiger is mad we took the pumpkin away :)

One worn out giraffe...

Austin and his buddy, Addelyn, two peas in a pod.

Happy Pumpkin Day from the Hansen boys!!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

it's that time again...

It's that time again when the political scene can get mean and ugly. I really don't like this part of the political world and have a hard time with the way some candidates treat each other...up front or passive aggressively. In the end...each of these individuals is a person...a dad or a mom, a son or daughter, a friend to someone, a sibling, a person. While I don't agree with everyone's beliefs or values, I do know we are all people and should be given what Christ gave to us. Grace and love. Of course, we don't DESERVE it,but because of Jesus we all have a chance for this.

That said... we do have to choose and come November 4th we will have to make our choice for our next President, senators, congress men & women, representatives, and even a few others... As I have gotten older these choices have become more and more important to me. Having kids makes me really plug into what is happening in their world. Being a follower of Jesus makes me feel accountable for how I vote and what I represent in the voting booth on election day. I hope everyone makes a conscious effort to evaluate the men and women running this year.

I guess for me... and feel free to disagree, but these are a few stands I take and hope to represent when I vote on Tuesday.
I believe every baby is a gift from God and should be given a chance at life. I believe a baby is a human with living rights starting at conception. I believe there are alternatives for abortion.
I believe God intended for marriage to be between a man and a woman, in the beginning he created Adam and Eve and He said it was very good.
I believe education is important for every child and I think parents should be able to influence what direction schools are going. I believe teachers should have some accountability. (and I WAS a teacher before I had kids!)

Okay, these are my main issues. Yes, I care about health care, the economy, and foreign policy. But, I really don't care how well someone can fix our economy if they are willing to let innocent babies die everyday. I will stand before God someday and answer to Him and in my heart that just feels right to me.

So, other then the fact that I must say I can not believe I'm bold enough to blog on this topic because I HATE confrontation and honestly really hope nobody comments on this, but I also want to say that despite all the different views I am praying for every candidate this year. Now I am probably praying for a victory for some and not others :) But, I am praying for their families, their hearts, their relationship with God or lack of, their ability to be good leaders, and their influence on the American people. I hope each candidate gets the grace and love they need this election season.

I hope you all really look into what is behind all the candidates and make a well informed decision on November 4th! There are many families counting on you!! Be sure to VOTE!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

having boys means...

As I've attempted this child rearing thing for the last 4 1/2 years now I've come to realize a few things. Even more so raising boys. This is what I'm finding having boys means...

1.) my living room isn't really for sitting in, unless you are sitting to watch "the game" from the "bleachers". The center of our room is really the football field or soccer field or baseball field. Please excuse the books being used for bases or the laundry baskets used for soccer goals when you come to my house.
2.) My doorways are more then a space to allow you to walk through from one room to another. They are clearly for climbing up and hanging between. Who knew you could "walk" up a doorway and hang out at the top? Apparently the view is better up there? :)
3.) The word "fart" is really a regular part of any person's daily vocabulary. The action itself is even more so regular. I can not believe I am actually writing about farting, apparently my manners perspective has been slightly effected from living with 3 boys. Hansen boys that is.
4.) Anything not pink, purple, or yellow may be referred to us "cool" and only "cool". "Pretty" and "beautiful" are only for pink, purple, and yellow items. Don't mix them up or you will be corrected in this house. Try to be "cool", not "pretty".
5.) Eating should happen every 2 hours. Not at meal times either. And, don't expect to sit through a meal. One must eat two bites, go make a play on the "football field" and then return for another couple bites during "half-time".
6.) When you watch sports, hands must be in the pants. Age doesn't seem to matter. Enough said. I still can't figure this one out? Again, my manners perspective is a bit off since living with 3 boys. I think I just wrote about hands in the pants?
7.) Garages are not for vehicles, but for sports items. I have found I can never have too many tubs for the countless balls, gloves, golf sets, bikes, baseball gear, football gear, buckets, shovels, and trucks that we can not live without. Some gloves are for catchers and some for 1st base players and some for out fielders...who knew you needed such a variety?
8.) Rugs should not be walked on in our home. They are full of crocodiles, alligators, and dragons. Only attempt with your Pirate ship full of mateys.
9.) Stools are not for sitting on, but for attempting your "flying" abilities from one couch, er I mean, one mountain to another.
10.) And, last but not least... washers and dryers are garbage trucks really. Fill them with whatever "garbage" you find in the house and drive away. If you want to wash at my house, make sure you empty the garbage first :)

So, you see... I'm learning much more then I thought possible as I raise three boys :) (yes, I said three) (-:

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Seriously, 10 months already!?!?

just give me the camera Mom!!

Okay, here's 1 smile!

A tickle session from Jaxon! he's got this great growly laugh when he's really going...

It is amazing how fast Austin's baby stages are going. Even more faster then Jaxon's did. I suppose when you are following a 4 year old around as well and splitting time between the two of them it does move by at a slighter different pace then when you have just the one. I find myself holding Ausitn longer at night after he falls asleep, letting him hang out on my hip as much as he wants to, and stretching out our nursing moments just to hold onto today a bit more...or live in today so to say. I realize after having Jaxon, that Austin soon will want to lay by himself in a big boy bed, get down and walk verses being held, and prefer a cup over snuggeling nursing time with mom. It's a great reminder that "these times too shall pass". We so often refer to that phrase when times are tough, stressful, or difficult at the moment. But it is true for great moments too. These times shall pass and soon I will look back fondly at these moments. Austin has been oodles of fun lately... smiling and laughing more at us, getting engaged with some fun activities, and cruising everywhere. He is standing by himself now and loves to cruise along furniture. Jaxon loves to get him laughing and nobody can do it better then big brother Jaxon!! Two boys... what fun! Here are Austin's 10 month old pictures...he wasn't really in the mood to take pics that day. The camera has become an attractive thing to him lately that he'd much rather just hold himself, not have it teased in front of him! He was mad each time I tried to take a picture and I wouldn't let him have it! Stinker! ya go babe...10 months and counting.