Friday, January 29, 2010

Marathon anyone???

I just wanted to put a bug in your ear about this next running season's Marathon Ministry at Orchard Hill Church! Some of you are runners, already training, new runners, or have expressed interest. The Marathon Ministry is a team coached by Don Williams and raises money for great causes. This years cause: building a school in Mozambique region (area OHC partners with already).

This year's marathon is the Des Moines Marathon on October 17. We will start training together on May 1. We meet Saturday early mornings for our long runs. This is an AWESOME experience and lots of growth physically, mentally, and spiritually happens amongst the team members during these runs. Plus, the team part of long distance running makes those long runs much easier to conquer!!

If you are interested in running your first marathon or multiple marathon (or half, DSM does offer a half which I plan to do this year!) let me know! If you are already training for another race and would like a team to train with and a great coach to guide you, you are more then welcome to join us too!!! All are welcome! Fund-raising does not have to be a part of this if you don't want to and you just want a group to run with.

I'd love to answer questions if you have them. Pass the word on too and bring a friend if you'd like!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

FH Haiti Response Team Blog

For all my blog readers...  if you like to read blogs here is an interesting one I've been following from Food for the Hungry's response team members...  they have a team there keeping up somewhat on a blog and they are also tweeting. (I don't tweet, but you can read the "tweets?" on this site too) If you need some guidance on what to pray specifically for our Haiti neighbors this blog will leave you with some answers.  Here is the link...

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Excuse This House

Excuse This House
Author: Unknown
Some houses try to hide the fact
That children shelter there,
Ours boasts it quite openly,
The signs are everywhere.

For smears are on the windows,
Little smudges are on the doors
I should apologize, I guess
For toys strew on the floor.

But I sat down with my child
And we played and laughed and read
And if the doorbell doesn’t shine,
His eyes will shine instead.

For when at times I’m forced to choose
The one job or the other,
I’d like to cook and clean and scrub,
But first I’ll be a mother.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Joy & Sorrow

So often as we experience different things in our life there is often joy involved and in another way sorrow too.  I've heard it explained as a railroad track... joy & pain just kind of move along side by side. When really hard things happen in life, it seems really good things happen at the same time too.  How does one emotionally work through all of that? A good friend of our's works for the Salvation Army in Texas.  He just sent us a picture today of a young woman who gave birth to a beautiful little baby in one of the Salvation Army's Clinic's set up down in Haiti.  I have been washed over with sadness for this country even more then before since the earthquake. Jer's picture this morning made me smile.  Even though this earthquake is a huge tragedy and there is certainly much pain, I am also slowly hearing pieces of joy filled stories come out of this time too.  Thanks Jeremy for sharing this one today...  I can't imagine giving birth to my child in such conditions, but I have no doubt the day this woman delivered her sweet little baby will be a day filled with joy for her.  Keep our neighbors in Haiti in your prayers and take a minute to see what you could offer a person in need today...

Monday, January 18, 2010

Holiday Hoopla!

Okay, just a warning...this post has A LOT of pictures.  I've been meaning to catch up on here with our last vacation, Christmas, birthday, and a few other random things...  here's the first from my list.  A photo story to review with me! Come on, stay focused now... 
(by the way...trying to write between these pictures using the new blogger upload system is a nightmare!?!? Any suggestions... it's driving me crazy!!! Part of why I am avoiding posting on some of these topics!!!)

Brody side Christmas at Matthias's this year.  A fun afternoon that ended in a game of family knock-out, running "lines", and kids running every direction. Fun times.

 Brody side cousins gift exchange.

one of Jaxon's favorite holiday times... hanging out with his good buddy Kendyl from Texas!

One of his gifts that he's played with a billion times already... imagine that, football related!

Handsome Hansen boys on Christmas day... love them!

Decorating birthday cupcakes for Jesus on the McIntosh side! (do you notice Jaxon pouting because he had to stand by a girl!?!? Ha!! What do you think of Austin's frosting mustache? He REALLY liked the cake!)
Austin LOVED all his cars, tractors, and trucks. He will sit and play by himself for long periods of time. Um, can you say opposite's for my boys in that area? :)

This got out of order, oh well, McIntosh side Christmas evening at my sister's in Waverly! the best shot I got... this is a hard bunch to have sit still in one spot for very long!!

Christmas at our house...

Christmas Eve at grandma Hansen's before church service at Orchard Hill.

Below is Christmas Eve lunch with grandpa Jon....

Jaxon home on break was a treat for all of us, but Austin mostly loves having big brother around I think :)  Austin has really started to talk lately and he doesn't call Jaxon by his name, but rather simply calls him "bruder" at all times. Brothers, a bond for life...

Bare side Christmas in Winthrop... also Austin's actual 2nd birthday!  The kids all squeezed into a corner of the room to "help" Austin open a few birthday gifts.

I apologize for the unorganized posting of pictures and random thoughts on them... gonna have to work on this new blogger system!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Kids Answers

Most of you know Jaxon is in kindergarten this year. The transition has been so good for the most part. He has fallen quickly into a new routine and even though I still feel my heart strings pulled when I drop him off in the morning and find myself missing him when it's too quiet here while the other kids nap, I know it's been the best thing for him. For all of us. We have loved the school's partnership with us thus far and his teacher is awesome! I prayed and prayed and prayed... and then prayed some more for the right teacher for him this year. It's been such a good match and we are so thankful for her involvement in his life. Kindergarten is a big deal for a 5 year old and while we knew it was time to send him to school, I was a little concerned with 5 FULL days each week. I'm guessing it's a mix of my early childhood background, my mom issues, and my gut feeling... but I just didn't think 5 full days a week was appropriate for a 5 year old whose spent only 5 years in this world so far. Kindergarten actually isn't required (until age 6) and I knew I had a few options with this year. After much more prayer and great discussions with some other parents we decided to keep Jaxon home on Wednesday's. His teacher, the school, and the principal have been great to work with as we implemented this plan. It's not the norm, but we knew it was best for our family and ultimately Jaxon. Whenever I mention Jaxon is home on Wednesday's people always come back with "well, what does he do at home"? Plenty.

We've kept Jaxon home not so I can hoard him to myself a little longer, but for his own growth and development. Up until the first day of school Jaxon napped everyday still most the time. The first few months of school Jaxon spent a lot of Wednesday afternoons simply doing what his body needed... he slept. I used Wednesday mornings to have some bible study time with him, to do something low key, to play outside, to just veg out. We've had some play dates with a good buddy quiet often and Dad comes home for lunch with him on these days each week. The first few weeks of school Jaxon asked almost daily when his next "stay home day" was? It's been good and I know we did the right thing. I can feel it in my bones.

One of my favorite things we've done is use this time for our Bible study or bible learning time... and onto why I started this post!!! We came across the Kids Answers resources a couple years ago (thanks to some good friends who passed it on). It sat on my desk for about a year and then this last fall I picked it up and knew it was perfect for Jaxon right now. If you are looking for something to do with your young ones and have it be Biblical and yet educational too check these out! I love them. For $2.99 you can buy their "mini magazines". It is an 8 page fold out with tons of great facts, Bible readings, stories, pictures, and activity ideas. We've just learned about dinosaurs, fossils, the flood, and this little magazine wraps it ALL together... the science part of fossils/dinosaurs is taught threw the lens of the Bible and the truth that points back to the stories we grew up with like Noah's flood. The activity ideas are fun and age appropriate. Here is a web link, check it out! This site has other great resources too!!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

where'd you get those moves?


Jaxon may have inherited his dad's music talents. Jaxon's got some moves, but I'm not sure they are going to be taking him places...if you know what I mean? :) We like to have dance party's at the Hansen house, especially in the dead of winter. However, you've probably noticed we don't invite many to join us for this! Those that are invited are usually under the age of 4. Which means we're all guilty of having some pretty sweet moves only allowed to be seen by those with no ability to notice our off rhythm and can't explain talents yet :) Jaxon loves some of Taylor Swift's songs (thanks to Uncle Lyle) and I'll be the first to admit we all rock out to her tunes at least once a week here. Yikes!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Family Update!

In the last couple months I've had so many people ask me about who does our family photos! And then, with all the holiday get togethers, holiday cads, and what not many have asked about our family's and where everybody is. Here is an update on both!  If you're looking for a very family friendly photographer check out Ashley Schrage Photography.  Her web link is under my blog list to the right here.  She took both pictures below this last year and the main picture of our family of four that heads our blog! 

As for a family update...  my side first... my sister Andrea and her husband, Luke, have little Maddelyn and are expecting baby #2 sometime in May (I think that's right?).  My brother Lyle and his wife, Sara, have little Elsie and Baby Lane. My youngest brother, August and his wife Katie, are expecting their first bundle of joy in April!  Babies everywhere! All of my family is within 30 minutes of each other!

Dave's side... Oldest sister, Heather, is here locally and has Bryce (teenager!!) and little Deidra.  Sister Holly and hubby Kyle have four kids... Curren, Kyler, Macy, Myles.  Sister Heidi and hubby Aaron have 3 kids... Amber, Hailey, Devin.  Sister Laura and hubby Cliff have 2, Jayda & Jonah, and are expecting baby #3 in July (I believe). It's hard to keep all these new babies straight sometimes! :)  All of us are also within 30 minutes of each other!

That's us in a nut shell! We just celebrated Dave's parents 30th wedding anniversary the first of January too! So many blessings with these smiling faces below...  Hope you all have had a HAPPY NEW YEAR! May you each be blessed with good friends, good family, and good fortunes.

Monday, January 4, 2010

December Days (- Christmas)

December was a busier then usual month.  I must say having a school age child sure made the holiday season seem really short for me this year. Usually I spread out all the fun stuff we do for the Christmas season all month long...  cookie baking, candy making, goodie plate deliveries, snow men building, Jesse Tree devotions, chain making to count down til Christmas, and a few other things.  I was a little sad to not have Jaxon home during the day to do all these things we have done in the past.  We did most of them, but I found myself crunching these in since our time with him here is limited now.  We did have some fun moments though and it made the Christmas break from school that much more special!  I am saving our Christmas posts for another day, but here is a glimpse of a few fun things we found time to do in between school and sleep hours :)  Happy Winter Days to you all!!!  Brrr.... it's serious winter time out there right now!!

One fun thing... movie night with some cousins!! We rarely get to do this, so this was a special treat! Kyler, Macy, and Myles stayed late after Austin's birthday party and we snuggled in for The Polar Express and popcorn! It was so great to snuggle with my nephew & Austin and watch the kids all drift so sweetly into a soft sleep. We recently moved our office downstairs and made our back room a family room... it's become the perfect movie spot in the house!!

 One thing we definatly made time for was celebrating our baby boy's 2nd birthday!!  LAst year he was not too wild about the big party.  This year was perfect.... we split up the party celebration... Brody side one night and McIntosh side next night.  He enjoyed himself much better this year :)  Here is just laying low after having some birthday cake!  Doesn't he look SO old?

 Family picture on birthdays... tradition for each birthday!  Austin really loves trucks, cars, and dirt. And Bob the Builder. Really, really very much. So, he got his own pile of dirt and a truck cake this year!

 Playing trucks with cousins Myles & Jonah!  Who could ask for anything better then some play buddies and trucks for a 2nd birthday party?  these 3 kept sneaking into Austin's room to play trucks by cute.

 One super great thing I've loved in the last month... getting to be in Jaxon's room once a week!!  I love volunteering in there and seeing his peers, his teacher, and how he functions in his classroom. Here is the last day before break with his super fun teacher whom we love, Mrs. Eller!  She is so perfect for Jaxon's personality... a true answer to our prayers!

 These two have gotten so darn funny lately!! With it being so cold, we've had lots of random games made up in the Hansen house this last month.  Today's choice... "who can get stuck under the couch the best"?  They copy each other all the time these days!

When you can't go outside...we bring the snow inside of course! They love playing in the snow but with these frigid tempatures we don't dare stay out much.  Snow play indoors is always a favorite in the winter months!!

And of course, cookie baking and decorating!  Jaxon was home for this treat!  A must happen in the month of fa-la-la-la-la and Merry Christmas :)

More December days to come....  Hope your end of the year was lovely. Have a Happy New year!!!