Monday, March 31, 2008

Season's changing...

I saw proof this weekend that the season's are changing again...soon! Saturday, Jaxon and I spent some time races, baseball, stick searching, and side walk chalk. We walked around our yard and looked in our flower beds to see if anything was poking through yet... and we found some! Yes! Proof that spring is on it's way... Jaxon would get so excited each time we found some tulips starting to come up through the wet soil (and still frozen in some spots!). We found tulips, hostas, and 1 of our trees budding! What a fun time to watch the start of new life growing! I can not wait for my yard to be full of shades of greens, purples, yellows, reds, and pinks soon!! I can not wait to hear Jaxon playing and yelling and laughing in our back yard again! Change is good!

We've also got some season's of life changes coming up... This spring Dave will train a new person (Eric Blanchard, GREAT guy with a GREAT wife, Ashley!) to take over his position at Orchard Hill Church. Dave has been doing some heart searching the last couple years about where God wants him to be and Dave is really feeling called to come work for DTI (where I work part time). It is totally different then what he's been doing at church...and Dave is excited about that. Dave has worked at 2 different churches doing pretty much the same thing at both places for eleven years! He was starting to feel like it was time to move ahead into something else and is really looking forward to what he's going into now. DTI will be a different pace for him and our family. No weekend hours, no heavy lifting/physical work, and more time to serve in the ministries he's become so passionate about in the last few years. Working at the church didn't leave him much time to serve in these areas. Funny how that works, huh? He (and we) will be so sad to leave such an awesome staff and family of co-workers. He seriously LOVED his staff at church and will miss that the most. However, life takes us through different seasons and now is his time to move into a new season for all of us. Dave is leaving on great terms and we will continue to be very involved at Orchard with our family and are committed to raising our boys (and any future kids someday) in this church family. We're looking forward to being a part of the DTI team together and serving our community in a whole new way :)

So...we're just full of change at the Hansen house these days... new baby, new job, new seasons :) Life is good and we're excited for the changes coming up and going on around us! Here's a few pictures of our ever so quickly changing boys!

Two happy brothers! Just hanging out :)

Mom is actually in a picture! Thanks Jaxon for snapping these!

Austin is smiling more and more!

Jaxon has gotten pretty good at snow-boarding on his sled, thanks to uncle Aaron's lessons! This was one of the last days before all the snow melted in our backyard to form a small lake :-)

Friday, March 21, 2008

Good Friday

Click on article below (it will enlarge for you to read easier) to see what Jesus's obituary may have read like...

Isiah 53:5
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Preparing for Easter...

It seems we have fast approached the Easter season this year and with that comes a time I love to use to sit and really dwell in God's unconditional love and grace for us. I mean, really? God loves us so much that He sent His ONLY son to die a painful and hard death on a cross. Have you ever truly thought about how Jesus died? First he was beat so bad that he couldn't stand...whipped with hard leather and a crown made of thorns laid on his head...cutting deep into his skin... he was forced to carry his own cross up a hill after this... can you imagine what that must have weighed? People standing back watching, some laughing, and calling ridicules at Him? Can you imagine what that felt like inside his heart? He was nailed to a cross... they say the way He was nailed would have caused him to suffocate... being spread like that would have caused his lungs to give up. I think it hurts when I get a rose bush thorn stuck in my thumb... I can not imagine a large nail being pounded into my hands & feet. They pierced his side and it bled... so much PAIN. When I truly think how this happened and what it means...I am so humbled. I am so desperate for God's grace and love. I am so thankful.

I think the first year I really started to see and understand more in depth how much God really loved me was the year Jaxon was born. That year our church had a service where we placed a man on a cross outside for all of us to watch as we listened to the story from the Bible... This man playing the role of Jesus was a good friend of ours and I was standing next to his mother and holding my new baby. I stood there and finally realized how much God loves us at a different level then what I'd ever felt before. I loved my own new baby SO much and could not imagine giving him over to have anything so cruel done to him. I stood next to my friend and watched her watch her son with such intense love and concern, knowing she wanted to just go place a blanket over him and get him down... it was a cold evening and her son was just pretending on the cross and was struggling in the cold and anxious for the long 30 minutes to be over, so he could come inside and get warm and rest his arms. I stood there and cried realizing how much Jesus had done for me... He died so that I could live. He went through so much pain and suffering for ME...and you! God loves us so much that He gave his one and only son, that whoever believes shall not perish but have eternal life. Light has come into the world... let's hold onto that light this Easter season and take it with us as we live for Him here today.

I hope you have an Easter season full of meaning, grace, and love. I pray this is a time when you can hear and feel God's words and love for you. I pray our children will come to know this time of year as a time to realize God's love for them and the celebrating that comes with knowing that in our hearts. I am so thankful we have a Savior and pray we can be His light here on this earth. Happy Easter to you all...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

3 months old today Austin...

Austin is 3 months old today, already! He has been a good baby from day 1... he's a pretty content serious little guy, as you can see in the pictures. He does smile, but he prefers to just look at you with a straight face most the time :) A deep thinker, right? His favorite things to smile at our...mommy (of course :), his monkey hanging over his changing area, Jaxon when he talks softly to him, and when you first put him in his car seat he's all of a sudden very talkative and smiley! Austin is a good sleeper and is taking 2 big naps everyday and in bed by 7:30-8:00 each night. He wakes to eat once during the night and sleeps soundly the rest of it. I'm SO thankful for that! Austin is around 15 pounds I'm he's surely eating just fine! Ha! I love the baby stages and have really enjoyed having this beautiful baby boy in our family. Enjoy the 3 month old pictures and have a great Holy week!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Jaxon's 4 years old

Jaxon turned 4 years old yesterday, March 12...and boy did he soak it up! He really wanted a football party this year where everyone wore their football outfits...I talked him into having everyone wear their favorite football team shirts, since I was guessing most of our family members did not own football uniforms complete in their sizes. So, for his family birthday party most of us gathered in our football team attire of different sorts and celebrated with the big boy by enjoying "concessions" and cake & ice cream. 1 hot dog, handful of nachos, some football cake and "white" ice cream (as Jaxon calls it), an assortment of gifts, and some fun play with cousins & aunts & uncles & grandparents made for a pretty awesome 4th birthday party! He fell asleep this night in his tent (from Aunt Heidi & uncle Aaron) already set up in his room, thanks to grandma Pat.

On his actual birthday he wanted to have some friends over to play and make pizza together. So, being the brave mom I am some days...I invited 4 children over to indulge my now 4 year old and we partied it up! Let me tell you... I have taught, cared for, baby-sat, and watched over many children... I was not trained for the energy that 5- 3 & 4 year old children could make during a birthday party! I am so glad I invited (okay, begged) my good pal, Jen, to come and help!!! We laughed SO much during this time and the kids had a blast! They played pirates, hide & seek, piano game, wrestled, baseball, hid under bed & in tent, yelled, screamed, made pizza, ate pizza, ate cake & ice cream, did sidewalk chalk, sledding in our backyard, had snow ball fights, drew in the snow, stomped in water puddles, threw things down my laundry shoot, played with our race track, and climbed all over 3 guys that made a surprise visit (I work w/ these 3 fun guys and they showed up just in time to wind the kids up a notch or two!). Yes, take a breath now...I was reminding myself of that about 2 hours in. I have to was a successful birthday celebration! I had so much fun getting ready and enjoying all of it with my first baby boy, family, and friends.

We ended Jaxon's 4th birthday by eating more pizza at Family Time at church (Wed night family meal) and snuggeling on the couch to watch the Bee Movie, as Jaxon requested, before bed. My wonderful blessing of a son fell into bed that night sighing "I love being four". It was a good year to turn 4! Happy Birthday my son :)

Jaxon and his friends who came for the pizza party... Eli Mickey, Mason Reisetter, Gabe Middleton, and Joelle Wessels.

Enjoying the home-made pizza and kool-aid bottle drinks (a treat in our house :)

Jaxon and his cousin Kyler at football party. Jaxon and Kyler are such good buddies!

Dad, Mom, Jaxon, & Austin... football cake, birthday song, and blowing out candles..whoo-hoo!

Jaxon and his football field cake! We had a good time making it together.

Jaxon and baby brother all ready for the football party fun! Dad is so proud...Go Vikings!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

The Hansen Boys

Just a few pics of the Hansen boys from the last week or so... these boys (and mom) were happy to have dad home today!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Dave's almost home from Haiti...

Below is an email from one of the leader's on the Haiti trip. Dave gets home on late Friday/Early Saturday! Yeah! Thank you for your prayers while he's been gone serving and for your extra help at the Hansen home :-) We really appreciate it and are humbled by all of it... Thank you.

Report on Tuesday:
Flexible & Patient, that's our motto. Instead of a second work day,
as we originally planned, we started the morning by driving out to La
Belle Mer (Beautiful View) to deliver 10 goats to the Salt & Light
School. A wonderful drive... all 18 of us, plus a driver and
translator, jammed into a short bed compact truck. The saying goes
that there's always room for one more in a Haitian taxi. The School
is one of the newest schools, but in a fairly remote, poor part of the
country. At least a 30 minute drive, maybe 45 since we had to walk up
and down a few steep hills. The school is simply unfinished homemade
cement blocks, unfinished floors, the kids use cement blocks for
chairs, no desks. The 10 children that received goats were very
excited. After each child received their goats, Darrell Lindaman
offered a prayer.
The rest of the morning we put together gift bags for the 380 kids at
the Rocky School. Lunch was tuna surprise.
In the afternoon the guys headed down to Beadle's rice shop to pick up
our order. There was the typical mix up with amounts and prices, but
we expect that. Doug, Marla & Randy renegotiated while the rest of
the guys loaded the 180 bags of rice and 30 boxes of oil. We came
close to not picking up the beans we had ordered because the owner
wanted more money. We held firm and he caved at the end. Somehow, I
still think he's turning a profit. We did feel good about the big
pile of rice, beans and oil that we left in the hospital storeroom.
We're also leaving some money with the hospital to buy other supplies
that they need to prepare the meals for patients.
The ladies finished up the painting project while the guys moved the
rice & beans. After that we handed out sponsor packets to school
kids. That was a real highlight for us. Judy was able to meet the
little boy they have sponsored for the past 4 years.
Then it started to rain... hard... for a long time. Most made it back
to our houses before the dam burst. Randy, Marla, Doug, Deb L., Lisa
and Judy didn't. The water in the street was at least ankle deep.
But it was a warm rain. A few in our group decided to shower outside.
We have pictures.
Because of the rain it was a shorter night. We had dinner in the
guys' house. A little crammed and warm and humid, but we've become
good friends.
Report on Wednesday:
Lots of driving today. We took 2 trucks to the Rocky Mountain School
this morning to deliver gift bags and share the salvation message.
This trip is always a highlight.
Then we finished the morning at the Campbell's orphanage... observing
the mother's milk programs, baby vaccinations and playing with the
kids. We also had lunch with Bill & Jennifer and their son, Jesse.
Terrific people. We hope to continue our relationship with them.
After lunch we drove out to the Sonshine School to see how they were
coming with the school addition. The cement floors were finished, and
the girls were impressed with the hard work the guys did.
The group split... Half went to the hospital's farm program. The
other half to Anne's orphanage near the airport.
Tonight we are going to Dr. Guy's house for dinner. It'll be our last
night in Pignon. Hard to believe. We usually finish the night on the
roof of the Iowa House under the stars.
Please continue praying for us. Although we're still smiling, I can
tell the group is getting tired. It's been a powerful week. We've
all been deeply touched and challenged by what we've done and seen.
The level of poverty and incredible need is staggering. It's hard to
know how to respond in a way that honors and pleases God.
We love you all. See you soon. Thanks for your prayers.
For the team... Doug

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Snow Time!

We had some fun in the snow this weekend! Uncle August and Aunt Katie came to stay at our place while Dad is in Haiti. We had lots of fun and mom had lots of help ;-) Here are some fun pictures of our snow-man and snow fort! Those snow balls sure get heavy!! Hopefully we'll be playing in our backyard full of green grass soon, instead of so much snow! Is spring ever coming???