Monday, September 24, 2012

first fall hike

 I love escaping with my boys to our local reserve area. It's really peaceful and pretty and plenty to do! The boys love to run the trails, climb on trees and fallen tree trunks, and hike up and down the hills. Today was perfect weather for heading over and we even let Carson get out of the back-pack and do his own hiking today.

 There is something about getting your kids out of their norm. They get new eyes when they head into a territory rarely taken and the space to just be free, especially for boys, is just priceless.

 Carson loved, loved following behind his big brothers. He couldn't keep up...but he sure tried!

 He peeked through many trees and leaves and enjoyed the big world around him. He is another outside loving boy.

 Our three boys these days...
 ...full of life, energy, and character.

 Carson did some climbing as well...

 and his brothers kept an eye on him :)

  The big boys climbed down the side of the "mountain" while little man and I checked out the big deck.

This was spotted on our way back. Jaxon had Austin convinced Indians lived here. Poor kid believes anything.

Happy Hansen boys...hiked their little hearts out and came back to take a long nap. A perfect Sunday afternoon if you ask me? :)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Egg-cellent news!

Well folks, the time has finally come. It's like Christmas morning here when one of us walks out to find a treasure in the chicken coop! We've got eggs! The girls are slowly one by one starting to lay and we've made a few breakfasts with our back-yard fresh eggs. It's pretty fun :)

 I had read that you can "trick" your hens  a bit by placing fake eggs in the nesting boxes. This helps them know where to lay and to get used to sitting on their eggs. No kidding, we put our fake eggs out and the very next day we had our first official egg. Austin thought for sure our plan worked!

 These gals are almost full grown and soon their eggs will be large enough to replace our egg supply permanently. Can't wait!

 Jaxon officially found it, with Austin in the coop with him. They came screaming out of the egg-cited!

 Austin also thought it was because all his loving on them that they started laying. i suppose happy hens do make the best eggs :)

 Our first egg!
 We decided to do something fun with the first egg. We had a family camp-fire that night and thought frying over the fire was a great way remember our first layed egg.

 It was small, but perfect. Happy, happy we can say we have finally got fresh eggs coming!

Tasted good and all... looking forward to the freshness these gals will bring to our table in the years to come.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Preschooler to Stay!

I have been waiting to post my little preschooler here, as the first week or so we had a hesitant little man! He talked of preschool all summer and was really excited for his back to school night and it went down hill from there... until his snack and sharing day :) Last year, Austin did home-school preschool right along-side his big brother and I think he though GOING to preschool was just a one time glorified play-date kind of thing. He begged to do home-school every night before he went to sleep those first couple weeks. Broke my heart, yet I knew he would get so much out of going to preschool this year. Luckily his snack day came up pretty early on the list and we all know Austin loves his food. He turned the corner when he got to choose snack and bring his treasure box for show n'tell. He has a wonderful teacher this year, a perfect fit for his personality, and a gentle heart for little ones whom also loves Jesus. We just couldn't be happier and now it's safe to say, Austin feels the same too! Happy Preschool days, monster!

 Back to school night!

First day picture took A LOT of coaxing. 

And we are ready for real this time...

He found some trains right away at preschool and seemed to settle into his new environment with some help from his sweet teachers. (Which by the way goes by the names "Mr. Knapp" (Mrs. Knapp), "Mrs. Boston" (Mrs. Walsten) and "Mrs. Not Very Old-I can't remember her name" (Mrs. Love)!

And to celebrate the first day... McDonald's with his preschool pal, Addelyn!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Backbone State Park

 We really have some beautiful parks in our state and I don't know why we don't visit this one more often?  It's only an hours drive and the scenery here is breath-taking. We soaked up one of our final sunny summer like Sunday's by spending the day here a few weeks ago. We packed a picnic, loaded the van, and snagged our dear neighbor friend to head down the high-way. The weather cooperated, the kids did the same, and we all enjoyed the day trip out of town.

 We hiked for a bit and then braved the water walking up-stream. Our adventure loving boy loved it! Though Carson was in the back=pack...he was eyeing the fun at ground level himself!!

 We saw a variety of birds and hawks and the greenery even with a dry summer was still awesome.

 River walking...Dave and I did this when we were first married, before was fun to trek the same spot with our 3 boys now!

 And it was so warm, we got in the water! The beach was great and had paddle boats and sand and plenty of sunshine...good ole Midwest September day.

 Dave loves hiking and he took the boys for a "real man hike". Whatever that is....I probably don't want to know!

 Carson Baby was a trooper all day. A well deserved nap on our way back.

We of course made a pit stop to see the largest strawberry and get some Orchard apples!

 I grew up visiting this very same ice-cream stop on our way back from the park. I think it's for sale now, but we enjoyed some last sweet treats before it closes.

We really shouldn't wait so long to head back here again...

Thursday, September 6, 2012

this boy

 This boy of ours makes us pause more often and stay in the moment. He is content with simple things and simple days and I'm so grateful for his demeanor. Now that he's off to preschool 3 mornings a week, I am especially thankful for mornings like today spent in the yard watching this boy of ours. My dreams for him as he gets older are nothing compared to our Father's dreams, but if he doesn't end up some place surrounded by God's country I will be shocked. Our little animal loving, country at heart boy of ours :)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

harvest time

Rows along corn fields are starting to disappear and the tractors are paving a way for one of my favorite things of the year. Sweet corn in Iowa! My dad said it best, "I'm not sure how this summer gave me my best crop of sweet corn ever, but even with no did." And the Hansen family is thankful! We made two trips to shuck corn and fill up my laundry basket so I could freeze some up for this winter. I calculated how much I would save doing this verses buying frozen corn at the grocery store and it topped over $100! Well worth my carpel tunnel and dreams of yellow kernels falling out of my bags :) Thanks dad for the best corn yet! We will enjoy it all winter long!!

 My dad and over 80 grandpa shucking my sweet corn. Always a helping hand at the farm.

 Carson Baby loved a little corn milk while we worked

 I should have counted the ears, but it made a lot. 26 full quarts worth!
 Walking out to the fields to pick some more...

 My farm boy following his love :)

 A helping hand from the little people too!

 Home-grown Hansen boy!
 I loved having the corn, but I loved doing it together more. G'pa & G'ma with two of their 10 grand-kids!

 Going for a ride!

 Walking the field on the way back

 We had plenty to go around...sweet corn ready for another season!