Thursday, May 21, 2009

Hansen's Dairy Farm

In case you wondered... no, THIS Hansen family is not starting a dairy farm! We did however travel out to Hudson to the Hansen's Dairy farm that produces the delicious Hansen's milk and dairy products that our family consumes daily. It was Jaxon's good buddy, Mason's, birthday and we wanted to do something special with him. We decided an afternoon at the dairy farm would be special and fun! The six of us (Jen, Mason, Jillian, Jaxon, Austin, and myself) had a wonderful afternoon together! They offer a "hands-on" tour for a small $5 a kid and it includes milking a cow, feeding a baby calf, making butter, having ice cream, and feeding their pet wallaby's. It really is a pleasant place to visit... the clean, well organized, and very friendly and family oriented environment is a great place to take kids! Here's a glimpse of our field trip :)

The boys watching them clean the barn... twice a day they use a tractor to scoop the poop... yes, the boys were mesmerized by this process. I think it was their favorite part all day! And I'm not kidding!!

Milking a cow... Jaxon kept asking Mrs. Hansen when he could milk a cow... finally it came up on the tour!

Mason & Jaxon feeding the mini kangaroos. They ate right out of their hands. So cute!

Watching and listening so well to the details of just how that milk gets from a cow and into those plastic jugs! Pretty cool set-up!

Feeding a baby calf... reminded me of my childhood farm days!

Good friends!

One of the last things we did was make butter... lots of shaking that ended in a yummy snack for them :)

Happy 5th Birthday Mason! Hope you liked our special afternoon at the farm!!!

On a side note... we started drinking Hansen's milk when dairy products were so high. Hansen's was cheaper then! Since then Austin also switched to whole milk from breast-feeding. Some of you remember that Austin had a bad reaction to dairy products that I was consuming when I first nursed him. (blood in his diapers, extreme spit up, rash) I did not eat dairy for 3 months and then I slowly started consuming it again, but used Hansen's products. Austin can drink Hansen's milk just fine, but when we give him a different brand he tends to spit up this cottage cheesy type stuff for the next couple hours after he's had it. Anyways, Hansen's cows are raised with no added growth hormones and is non-homogenized. Austin can digest this so much better then homogenized milk. Anyways, we're so happy with their product that even now after dairy prices have gone back down we still spend the little extra to have such great quality milk! Thanks Hansen's Dairy!!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Round-Up Ready!

Yesterday was kindergarten round-up for the Cedar Falls school district. I am still in denial and shock that Jaxon actually participated this spring. I mean, really? Has 5 years gone by since we brought a dark haired, dimpled, and dark skin new baby home? Sigh. Being a parent is so bitter-sweet don't you think? We love love love the little moments with our little ones (and big ones too I'm sure) and while we want to hold on to those moments forever, we also want to see them grow and reach new milestones. I was excited and sad for yesterday all in one! We've had a couple friends have their first borns this spring... and I've been walking through my own memories of becoming a new mom as I watch them experience it all from the very start. I love all their stories of each "new" thing to them and the wonder that their babies bring them. Like being a mommy was created just for them. I think that's how many new mom's feel... like motherhood was created just for them to wear that hat and fill those shoes. It's beautiful. Where did the time go between those moments and today? Well this moment made me realize how precious EACH moment is and what a journey we have to walk with our little ones. I love looking at what has brought us to this moment and it's been a great journey! Through all the emotions that parenting brings, none is better then the feeling of love and pride as you watch your child accept the next milestone in their life. Jaxon was SO EXCITED for the day! He woke up all smiles, put his CF Tiger shirt on right away (his choice, not mine!), and couldn't wait for 9am!! It was so weird to take him and drop him off with people I don't know and with kids I've never seen and at a building I've walked through once in my entire life. Talk about courage... I wanted to run with him a couple times and just keep him in my van til all was clear!! But then he would have missed meeting that nice little boy in his line, he would have missed playing with the new toys in the classroom, he would have missed having that yummy snack he talked and talked about, he would have missed that funny video about principals and puppies and who knows what else! Jaxon was all smiles and only held my hand tight for a little while. Mom here was pretty good too. I only blinked tears back twice and held Jaxon's hand tight for a little while :) It's funny... months ago when Austin was just a newborn and I was up in the night nursing him and weeping over how fast Jaxon was growing I just kept repeating the verse from Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me". As we walked up to the school building yesterday morning Jaxon was repeating that same verse out loud, he had just memorized it this week and was telling it to me over and over. I guess God knew we both needed a little reminding that morning... we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.

After I picked him up! A future CF Tiger!!

He had this smile on the whole time he was in line and as he walked away... he was pretty happy to be there, but almost too cool to show it!

waiting for directions

Arriving... all smiles from the start!

And what big day can start without a special breakfast, the "You Are Special" plate, and hugs from little brother?

Watch out Kindergarten- here comes Jaxon and we're so excited for him!!!

Friday, May 8, 2009

spring days

It is no secret to those that know us that we LOVE being outside! Once we can be outside, the inside of our house gets abandoned and we set up camp out in the yard! We eat outside as much as we can, usually grill outside daily, have snacks outside, and do everything from dig around in dirt to swing to baseball to bubbles to anything we can come up with in our yard!! Needless to say we love when spring rolls around in full swing. As I sit here the big kids are in the middle of a "baseball game" that started at precisely 10:30 and included team names, fans and gear . I can hear the birds through my open screen doors and cars traveling up on University Ave and an occasional saw as someone works down the street. I love having the outdoor noises travel in the house and the smells of spring like fresh cut grass and lilac trees blooming and camp fire's burning. The Hansen family is very happy to say "Welcome Spring"!! Hope this time of year is just as fun for you! Hope to see you at the local park or bike trail :)

Jaxon posing before a soccer game... Jaxon writes down his "schedule" and has games that he actually tries to make me work his meals and nap around. What a goofy kid!

One of the best parts of spring days is getting so dirty and then getting all nice and clean at the end of the day... my kids always sleep so much better after they've had a good day of playing outside.

Snack time!

The jumpy slide is a popular choice for the big kids on nice days.

And who doesn't love a good ole wagon ride?

Saturday, May 2, 2009

a runner in training

Well, well... here I am just finishing week 3 of training. I must say I have surprised myself with what I have been able to make my body do. I've also been surprised with how much I've been learning about the "running world". I ran in high-school, but was a sprinter and this distance stuff is much different! Plus, that was over 10 years ago and I've forgotten so much of what I knew about simple things like stretching, water in-take, pacing, shoes, and so on. For my friends who are runners today, I've been filling their emails and voice mails up with my constant questions and curiosities!! (sorry to those of you that might be getting annoyed with my constant questions!) I have had to prepare myself in every way to become a runner and I'm not just talking about shoes and body training. I hadn't bought a new sports bra in 8 years... after a 2 mile run I realized that bra just wasn't going to make the 26.2 mile trek with me in October! And lets talk about underwear while we're on the subject... underwear stretched out from recent pregnancy should NOT be worn! Get good underwear, checked off the list. Oh, and I've just experienced nice running socks! It's been raining buckets here the last week and my new shoes are mesh on the top so my toes were getting soaked when I ran in the rain. I invested in some "wicking" socks and man, my feet didn't know what they were missing! In the last week or so I've been taught how to place Vaseline in the right places, how to tie my shoes right since the way I learned in kindergarten wasn't good enough, how to do "body checks" as I run, how to place my ipod in my sports bra well enough so I don't have to hold it, how to properly stretch, how to breathe, how to move my arms, and how to count my steps per minute!! Holy running lessons!!! We just had our first group run this morning and I'm pretty excited knowing that after only 3 weeks of training I can keep up with (some) people and finish a 5K...without puking might I add?!?! I am feeling good about where I am and even with a few tight muscles and some burning lungs and some early morning runs...I am still SO SO glad I am doing this! As you can read, I'm learning lots and really making my life be more disciplined which is what I really wanted to work on. It's at the very early steps for both my feet and my heart... week 4 here I come!

(by the way, I'm tracking my weekly training with photos to do a scrapbook at the end and the above pic is week 2. I love coming in the doors and having my kids so excited to see where I ran that day :)