To Share

With the New Year on the horizon my mind seems to be flooded with expectations.  While I am not much for resolutions I do anticipate the coming of a new season much like a young child does Christmas morning.  There is promise and hope and grace with the coming of 2010.  A new decade, a new year, a new me?  Yes there are changes I wish to embrace.  Though I know those can only be certain with Christ in me. 

I wish you a year of promises fulfilled in the ever loving, powerful and grace filled Father.  Happy 2010!

I read this blog regularly, and this post touched a place deep within my soul and I wanted to share.

Thankful Thursday #10

Today on this New Year's Eve, I am thankful for:

91. another year to sing Happy Birthday to Jesus with my Things
92. reading the the story of Jesus' birth Christmas morning and all the Things taking a turn
93. date night with my husband
94. my brother and his lovely wife
95. the countdown to see our CA family members
96. anticipation of snow
97. waking up to little boy whispers - Thing 4 and his best buddy
98. when my husband asks me to take care of him when he is sick
99. a mother in law who meets us for frozen yogurt in the middle of the week
100. Things that are learning how to save money, long before their mother did

New Digs

I have promised pictures of our new "digs" for quite some time, so here they are with descriptive captions and all!  Enjoy, and hey y'all are welcome to come out to Tennessee and see them in person.  We love house guests!

Girls' bathroom wtih double sinks

Super size laundry room, love it!

Girls' messy room, Christmas night! Thing 2 and 3 sleep on the bunk beds, Thing 1's bed is the green one in the corner

Computer work area

Bonus room, upstairs, translation: Wii and movie room! Not to mention game area and cozy reading room!

Thing 4's room, twin beds, a desk and lots of space

Thing 4's very own bathroom with a walk in closet connected, he lives like a king!
I guess it pays to be the only boy!
First floor pictures to be posted soon!

Another Birthday Post

Speaking of birthdays, I didn't share what else the birthday boy did on his special day.  Check out what Grandpa Ron and him were up to yesterday.

It is tradition that the grandkids go on their first motorcycle ride when they turn 8 years old.  Thing 4, despite his size, was most certainly not going to be the exception.  We planned on Christmas that I would take him out to Grandpa in the afternoon, so it might be warmer.  Ha.  I think the high temp for yesterday was 32 degrees, maybe, and windy.  Thing 4 was not deterred.  Didn't I mention that strong will in a previous post?  Anyhow, he bundled up and away they rode.  Through Leipers Fork and off to Pucketts for ice cream.  So they could warm up of course! 
You may ask if he enjoyed his ride, but of course.  He is ready to go again.  Between Thing 3 and him I may have some "bikers"! 

Birthday Boy

My baby, pardon me, my youngest Thing celebrated his 8th birthday yesterday.  Whoa!  I still feel the need to refer to him as my baby.  My uterus does strange things when I am reminded that it was 8 years ago that he was in my belly.  And then it was 7 years ago that he was weaned, was air lifted and Poppi performed CPR on him, and only 6 years ago that he started riding things with wheels, down steep driveways mind you, and here we are.

 A boy, in the second grade, who is non stop until his head hits the pillow.  A boy who still calls me Mama and plays with my hair when we snuggle.  A boy who likes his back scratched at night and likes to hold my hand when we pray.  A boy who knows that Jesus is the one to talk to when he is scared or worried.  That is what he told me last night, "Jesus helped me not be scared on my motorcycle ride".  He gets it. 

He is also the impatient boy.  The one who wants it done now and isn't going to wait.  A strong willed, yet tender hearted boy. 

A boy who plays hockey, lacrosse, football, soccer, basketball.  A boy who rollerblades, skateboards, scooters, (is that a word?), rip sticks, and rides his bike.  A boy who found the joy that is ESPN this year. 

A boy who will hesitate, take inventory and then make a choice.  At least sometimes.  Of course when it comes to his sisters that's a different story altogether. 

I love this boy and I am honored and blessed to have been chosen to be his Mama.

Christmas Collection 2009

Christmas Morn' & Ornaments

Thing 1's ornament this year because her favorite song is "Hope Now" by Addison Road
She sings it all the time, I love her voice!

Thing 2's ornament is a simple silver peace sign, and well I think that one is self explanatory if you know my tree hugging daughter!

A personalized horse for Thing 3 because on her birthday she celebrated by horseback riding for the first time with Grandpa Ron.

Thing 4's ornament this year is a soccer ball snow globe.  This might be because he is going to Florida for a 3v3 national tournament, or maybe because he is a soccer FANATIC, or just maybe because he will be playing for TNFC in the Spring! 

I decided I needed to take pictures of the Things with their ornaments and the reasons why so I don't forget when they ask next year.  Or when they are on their own and their significant others ask about them, or maybe one day, hold my breath, when they have children and their children ask about them. 

Salty discharge has been shed while writing this post. 

Catch Up

Here are a few photos of our last week.  The Things all had Christmas parties, pardon me, winter celebrations at school, William had his second grade Christmas concert, pardon me again, winter concert, we've been baking, making jelly, visiting with friends and enjoying Christmas vacation;  Most certainly not Griswold style! 

Thankful Thursday #9

Today, on this Christmas Eve of 2009 I am thankful for:
81. Candycanes, the red and white ones
82. Things that sleep in on rainy mornings
83. Husband that tells me he is happy it is Christmas Eve
84. Baking with Things
85. Husband that makes Jalapeno Jelly
86. Faith
87. The birth of Jesus
88. Grace Chapel's, "Living Nativity, the Divine Detour"
89. Friends to visit and share with
90. Love

Missing Them

Right now I am lonesome for my old roommates.  You know, these guys...

and this guy too...

Who knew that after 6 months of sharing living quarters my heart would ache for them.  Let me remind you that we are only 2 miles apart.  I could walk to their house if I wanted to.  If the weather would cooperate and it wasn't winter outside that is. 
I miss coming home to Bob's tail wagging excited jump.  I miss seeing Jeff playing Wii with the Things, or running the dogs in the back yard.  I miss talking to Natalie about our days happenings or all of the silly stuff the Things told me about that day. 
I know we could share all that on the phone or even in person but there is something to be said for roommates.  Family roommates.  Hanging out on the couch in jammies kinda roommates.  Baking cookies and watching Amazing Race kinda roommates.  Tickling and rubbing dogs' bellies kinda roommates.  Staying up too late because you were laughing kinda roommates. 
I love my "X" roommates, just wanted you 3 to know!


I have been in stitches this entire weekend.  And well, Thing 3 has literally been in stitches this weekend. 

Friday night at our U10 soccer end of the fall season, beginning of winter season, (hey any reason to eat pizza and play more soccer), Thing 3 fell and bled.  The parents and coaches were playing the girls and the game was intense.  Thing 3 went for a ball against the wall, (we were playing at the indoor arena), it may be the South but it is still cold in the winter, fell and kept trying to play the ball.  Subsequently she drug her knee cap across the turf and tore off a big chunk of skin.  She limped off the field, no tears to be seen, and the sympathetic Mom that I am said, you'll be alright, let's get a band aid on that.  As I was playing Dr. Mom, a REAL doctor came up and informed me that she would be stitching up my Thing 3.  Ouch.  A trip to the office and 3 stitches later Thing 3 was home.  Tired, bruised and still without tears. 

That girl is tough.  So tough that the first words out of her mouth after stitches were, "Can I play in the tournament tomorrow?".  Of course Mom and Dad said no, we were taking the day off.  That didn't last.  Thing 3 completed her training camp in the morning, and then played 3 indoor games with her team, defending the goal!  Impressive. 

This is the first time any of the Things have had stitches.  Hard to believe the way they play.  We are so grateful that there are such generous and loving Doctor Parents willing to share their talents.  Thing 3 was completely comfortable and laughing the entire time they were fixing her up!  This Dr. Mom is grateful that my Thing 3 is on the road to recovery and this was only a minor bump in the road. 

Much to Say, Too Little Time

It really irks me when people say, "I just don't have the time".  Really?  I know that my schedule is stretched this time of year to say the least but I truly think it is about choices.  What I choose to spend my time doing.  And it really isn't my time at all, but the Lord's.  So while I didn't post  "Thankful Thursday" yesterday I did spend the day with my husband, enjoying his company and being thankful for him.  And I know I haven't posted any pictures of our new dwelling place yet, I have been wrapping presents, creating with my Things, baking and enjoying the "wintery" days here in the South.  There will be time for all that.  And a time for everything.

Thankful Thursday #8

Today I am thankful for:

71. Husband Christmas shopping with me
72. An organized house
73. Cold mornings to snuggle
74. Christmas lights shining on our front porch
75. Thing 4 blowing bubbles in the bath
76. Thing 2's Christmas poem
77. Thing 3's diligence in working on her book report
78. Thing 1's aptitude for justice
79. Family that helps when needed
80. Friends that bring you Starbucks treats when "needed"

Weary Wednesday

I have no pictures today because we can not find our hard drive in the midst of this move.  It is somewhere, I just know it.  There is something I wanted to share today, you know for all 7 of you that read this blog. 

I have felt this tugging on my  heart, a gentle nudging if you will.  We moved about a week ago and have been knee deep in boxes, organizing, arranging, buying and decorating.  Needless to say I have not been diligent about my quiet time or devotions.  The ache in my heart has been for Jesus.  Advent began last week and 'tis the season for preparing our hearts for the Babe, our Savior, The Redeemer.  Yet I have not.  I used to pride myself on slowing down in December, not "buying" into the hustle and bustle of the retail world.  Well, this season has been different.  God has used it to show me some things.  Things I may  not want to see. 

I am flawed.  No matter what image I wish for the world to see, for my family to see, it hasn't been authentic.  I have been frantic, anxious, stressed and empty of joy.  What happened?  Where did Christmas go?  It, I mean HE has been waiting.  Waiting on me for this realization.  He had this planned.  Everything.  The move, the Things being sick, me coming to this state of desire, wanting, needing.  I trust that it is in His time.  Everything.

Now, how to apply.  Where do I store this truth?  How do I react to the Christmas gift?  We have but 16 days until we celebrate His birthday.  What will I choose to do differently now?  I hope and pray that I will be the change. 

Monday Blahs

A wet and cold day here at the Hanson Household.  Not to mention our new "home" is feeling more like an infirmary today.  Three out of four Things are home sick today and their Mama is still in her pajamas at 3pm in the afternoon.  It was a long night here.  Every on the hour someone was in our bathroom taking care of some business, not good.  Little tummies ached and heads hurt and Mama couldn't make it better.  Blah.

Now they are napping, warm and snuggled in their own beds, belly aches subsiding.  And here I sit amidst boxes and chaos and sweet Things.  We moved last week, Uncle Aaron, Aunt Maggie and Emme came to visit over the weekend and here we sit.  Blah. 

I will have a Thankful Thursday post this week and I will share pictures of our new residence.  Soon.  After the blahs have dissappeared.  For now I must take care of my Things and take advantage of all the snuggles I am sharing. 

Thoughts to Ponder

Advent approaching.

Will we find the present waiting for us to draw near?

A present ready, wanting to be opened early
Sacrifice and love divine wrapped in life
The gift has been given, set out for aching hearts
Offered to all, there for the taking
He longs for us to unwrap His gifts first
The ones written in scripture, engraved upon our hearts
Given one starry night to change eternity
Go ahead open it, hold it close, its yours.

Ramblings After Too Much Turkey

So I don't forget this Thanksgiving here are some of the wackadoo happenings from our home.  William made jokes about having opposable thumbs, Gillian tied her sweatshirt so she looked like a cone head, we played soccer in the back yard, we went on two walks to the skatepark, the Things went hunting in the woods, Delaney and Makenzie didn't feel well and layed around all day watching movies, we played Spoons after we tucked Jared into bed at 7pm and Makenzie made chess pie for the first time.  We all went around the table and said what we were most grateful for this year and then we each said one thing we were thankful for about everyone at the table.  It was so neat to see the Things faces light up when their siblings said something about them.  What a gift.  sWhat a day.

Thankful Thursday #7

On this Thanksgiving I am thankful for:

61. for the quiet that comes after full bellies
62. for the pile of dishes sitting in the sink
63. fresh lefsa made by the best Mother in Law and Things 2 & 3
64. watching movies all day with happy Things
65. thank you's for a yummy meal
66. cold, cloudy days for snuggling
67. chess pie made by Thing 1
68. smiles on Things faces when they watch Dad skateboard
69. friends who will wake up early on Black Friday to shop with you
70. flannel jammies

Rich In Love

Happy Anniversary to the people who taught me what it meant to be
"rich in love".

Happy Anniversary to parents who after all  these years still hold hands in public.

Happy Anniversary to you both!
Here's to 32 more blissfully blessed years.
Thank you for the example that you are.

Thing 1 vs. The Goalie

Thing 3 Shaking Hands with Her Opponent from the Championship Game

Thing 2 Receiving Her Medal After the Championship Game

We spent the last weekend in Memphis at the GIT tournament with all three Girl Things!  Thing 2 and 3 both came home with championship medals after a round of incredible games and goals.  Thing 2 played 4 games and Thing 3 had 5 games between Saturday and Sunday.  Thing 1 played in the consolation game and scored an amazing goal against a rival team from Huntsville.  All in all a great soccer weekend.  We are so proud of the way the Things ended their fall season and we look forward to watching their progress in the Spring.  Not only were they outstanding on the field but their sportsmanship and respect of the game has grown. We just can't get enough soccer around here. 

Thankful Thursday #6

Today I am thankful for:

51. a new place to live
52. warm laundry
53. flowers from Thing 4
54. completing my study of the book of Daniel
55. the sound of rain
56. novels
57. a warm jacket
58. mercy
59. bare tree branches exposing nests
60. fallen leaves to jump in

Tell me, what are you thankful for today?

My Daddy

Happy Birthday Pops!
A day to celebrate the first love of my life, my Daddy, Father in Law to my husband, Poppi to my children and a friend. 

You have taught me so much and you continue to do so.  You encourage me, you listen to me, you understand me. 

You eat raw oysters without blinking an eye!

You make silly faces!

You even touch the slimy fish the Things catch!

You know how to have fun!
I love you Daddy! I hope your day is filled with all your favorites and I pray that the year ahead is blessed.


Today is for praise.  Praise for all things given to me.  A woman so undeserving yet so full of blessings.  Praise for a God who knows exactly what we need even when we don't.  For a Father who knows us so intimately He can speak into those private places we think no one sees.  Praise for the relationship.  Praise for the breath I can so effortlessly breathe today.  Praise!

Thankful Thursday #5

What are you thankful for today?

41. Veterans
42. Freedom
43. Elderly couples still holding hands
44. Conversation
45. Main Street in Franklin
46. Frozen Yogurt
47. Honesty
48. Jesus
49. Neighbors
50. Pictures

The Way it Works

Have to share about a parenting moment this weekend.

 It was Sunday afternoon and the Things, 3 and 4, were in the car with me on our way to Murfreesboro for Thing 1's soccer game.  We were trying to track down Thing 2 at a friend's soccer game.  I was messing with the plans that had been set already and was prepared for the backlash.  After Thing 2's friend's mom did not answer her phone or texts we went to the place where Thing 2 was.  I explained our change in plans and she was none too excited.  After huffing and puffing and realizing it was not a big deal for her to stay we, Things 3 and 4 and myself, headed back to the family van for our trip.  As I was walking away Thing 2 shouted to me, in front of a crowd, "I am sorry Mom, I love you, thank you for letting me stay".  Whoa!  My eyes welled up and I yelled, "Thank you, I forgive you". 

And that my friends is what they call hitting you between the eyes.  A life lesson to say the least.  Thank you Jesus.

Thankful Thursday #4

Oh my goodness, I completely forgot to post this yesterday.  Even though it is Friday and not Thursday I still do have much to be grateful for.  How about you?

31. boot camp work outs
32. crisp fall nights
33. Thing 4's stomping of the feet
34. friends turning 40
35. a niece named Emme
36. moms who carpool
37. nonfat lattes
38. down comforters
39. Jeremy from Jared's work
40. our computer

A New Kinda Workout

I sit here trying to type and ignore the pain.  The pain from BOOTCAMP.  At least that is what she is calling it.  A soccer coach with our club, TNFC, sent an email out to all the soccer moms advertising her Holiday challenge special.  Reel me in, no bait necessary.  Yesterday was assessment day and the beginning of our 8 week journey together.  Sure, I have been running.  I thought I was getting in shape.  Turns out I AM NOT.  I can barely lift my arms today and my hips, well that is another post altogether.  I try to focus on the end result.  What the pay off will be in 8 weeks.  The pay off for my commitment, my hard work, my diligence.  And I am going to try to enjoy the journey.  Hey, maybe I won't have to fold any laundry for 8 weeks because last night I was about to cry in pain when Jared dumped the basket on the bed and said, "here fold".  Here's to all of you getting in shape and staying the course, don't give up!

Not yo Mama's Pizza

Yes this is another post about our vacation.  I have to.  I just have to tell you about the best pizza place.  It was called "Joe Mama's Pizza".  And with a name like that how could I not tell you about it.  We had spent all day at the beach.  When I say all day, I do mean from the time the Things were awake (8am) until we left for dinner at 6pm.  We were tired.  We were in our bathing suits and cover ups. We were sandy.  I called Joe Mama's Pizza place and they said come as you are, we would just love for you to eat with us.  It was like talking to family.  So we all said we're in. 

We arrived at Joe Mama's. It is on the main drag in Port St. Joe.  Cute and well decorated.  We were under dressed but we were hungry.  We stayed.  And then we ordered a ton of food. 
Including the best table side salad as seen here. 

And while all this was going on Thing 4 decided it would be best if he just rested...on the table.

So we waited for pizzas and admired the beautiful brick oven and the chef.  I think it was a family ran business, the best kind.

We ate pizzas and salad and clam chowder and then we ordered dessert.  I love dessert.  Dessert and I are BFF's.  Really.  Truly.  They had a dessert called, Pot au Chocolate.  It was begging me to order it.  Let me just tell you I could have licked the ramekin clean.  Wow.  Two thumbs up.

 Here is Thing 1 after the dessert was finished.

We wanted more.  We wanted to marry the pot au chocolate.  Yes, it really was that good.  So the next night we went back and ordered it all over again.  They also served us this amazing cheesecake, homemade with a graham cracker and almond crust.  Delicious would be an understatement. 

To say this was a culinary delight is putting it lightly.  We enjoyed ourselves immensely.  And yes Thing 4 woke up to eat and was re-energized.  He ate 5 pieces of pizza, no small feat for a boy his size.  Needless to say our family will be visiting Joe Mama's again and again.  On our next trip to Port St. Joe.  Thank you Joe Mama's for making our family's bellies extremely happy.