sunny days
wind in our faces
sidewalk chalk and dandelions
walks on the nature trail
hands held
run and laugh
deep breaths
red cheeks
kisses blown
i love you's told

Forgotten Posts

I realized looking at my blog this morning that it has been a week since my last post.  A week.  And I was prepared to just put up another Thankful Thursday post without even a thought.  Except that in my quiet time this morning I read about carrying a grateful heart throughout the day.  Always.  To try not to grumble or complain.  So,  I won't be complaining about having not posted for nearly a week, or even the fact that I can't believe a week has passed us by already.  Instead I will post some pictures of last weekend's events a superfluous Thankful Thursday post and maybe a few extras, just for your viewing pleasure.  Grab a cup of joe, this could take a while.
So, last weekend, in the wet, rainy and cold weather we were experiencing, Thing 3's soccer team made it to the championship game.  They didn't win, but they put on quite a show, taking second place against a top ranked team in their U10 age group.  Way to go!  Thing 3 was so proud of herself for executing a few moves on the field she had been working on.  In game 2 of the tournament she had a goal, left footed no less!

The rest of the gang stayed home watching movies and playing games.  Thing 2's games were cancelled due to the weather and Thing 1 and Thing 4 had the weekend off.  Nice.  Husband Jared said goodbye to his employees at store 1064 and introduced his replacement.  Although for those of us that know him, there could be no one that truly "replaces" him.  One of his assistant's wife made him a cake with a Turkish farewell saying written on it.  So thoughtful.  I have no doubt that he has made quite an impact within that community. 

And now for a science center photo.  Thing 4's class went on a field trip to the Science Center.  He was able to do the moon walk.  Take a look.

Our beloved Polo also had a bath in the last couple of weeks.  Here is what that process looks like.
We now have a clean dog.

Alright, what else might I have missed, or what have you all missed out on?  Oh, our first sunny weather day of Spring Break took us on a walk to downtown Franklin for lunch and a treat at Sweet CeCe's, our favorite frozen yogurt spot.  Here are the Things on our walk.
And here is what else we saw on our walk, signs that Spring is finally here.
And with that, here is what I am thankful for today
 209. books
210. walks and talks with Things
211. sleep overs
212. daffodils
213. frozen yogurt
214. soccer
215. late nights 
216. pick up stix
217. scones made by Thing 2
218. memories of my Nana

Thankful Thursday #21

Today I am thankful for:
199. birds singing
200. to do lists
201. sunshine
202. libraries
203. passports
204. airplanes
205. cinnamon rolls
206. running trails
207. thank you cards
208. smiles

Sunday Thoughts

I sit here at my computer and I find myself reminiscing once again.  That seems to be happening quite often these days.  I have been searching old photographs of the Things.  Moments captured so as not to be forgotten.  For the most part those first 8 years or so seem like a blur.  One high point on the roller coaster to one low point in the ride that has been our life with 4 Things.  Plenty of in between, "normal" times too.  They were precious, they are precious and I am so enjoying this time in our life.  With a teenager, a tween, and two that haven't reached double digits just yet.  So please indulge me for this post might seem like ramblings of a Mama who has lost it. 

All I am saying is I am home with Thing 3 who is sick.  Really sick.  On Friday, all 6 of us were planning on heading to Birmingham, AL for all 3 Thing girls soccer tournament.  Fun, a stay at Embassy Suites, indoor pool and meals out.  And then Friday morning my Mama intuition kicked into full gear and I knew I would be staying home with Thing 3.  102 temperature and those big glassy eyes that I still get everytime I am sick.  Now Husband Jared knows about the eyes just like my Mama used to know.   So we have been snuggling, watching movies, eating take out and playing with Polo.  Fun.  Oh yeah, and the American Girl Dolls have been playing with us.

And I've been remembering.  All the times I held her as a baby, all the times I nursed her to sleep in the rocking chair, not wanting to put her down.  Everytime she fell or scraped her knee chasing after her older sisters, all the times I agonized over her development, and not walking as quickly as her older siblings did.  What was that?  And then watching as her personality developed and the world became her stage.  Oh to be the third child.  She made us laugh, she would dance and sing and imagine.  And she still does.  And I love to watch it.  The honor that I have been given to be privy to this sort of miracle is overwhelming. 

This is what happens when I am at home looking at photographs and remembering.  After the remembering of every hurt and owie and tear shed I began to wonder.  What will they be when they grow up? Will they still like me in college?  Who will be the first to break their hearts?  How will I handle that?  Will they pray?  As they mature will they share in our wanderlust for adventure and new places?  Will they stay put, plant roots and never move? Whom will they look like?  Will we have secrets?  Will they remember the family vacations and soccer tournaments? 

I can not wait for those relationships to grow.  Ok, I can wait.  I want to savor each and every moment given to us, in the here and now.  They are fleeting.  I know that all too well as I look back at those photographs of times gone by.  I am grateful that we have them.  Grateful for the stories they evoke.  Grateful for how my heart swells when I look at those Things.  Given to me.  I was chosen to be their Mama.  Lucky me.

Vocabulary Lessons and Other Stuff

The other night Jared shared a story at the dinner table about some email communication he had with his new International team.  He told the Things of some Turkish phrases he used in correspondence.  They were riveted.  And then began the questions.  How do you say such and such?  What does, fill in the blank, mean?  Will they understand our English?  And on and on.  Until Jared referred them to Google Translator.  What an explosion of excitement and interest.  They all huddled around the computer screen and began typing and taking notes.  They wanted to share with their friends and teachers.  They also wanted to teach Dad a lesson or two.  Listed below are some common phrases:
Tuvalet nerede?
Where is the bathrooom?
Güle güle
Seni seviyorum
I love you
And so it continued.  In our travel guide books there is a list of common phrases for the tourist to use while out and about in town or the bazaar.  Our intention is to live like the locals, not the tourists.  Hopefully Jared and I will be quick studys like the Things.

Thankful Thursday #20

Today, on Thursday, March 11th, I am thankful for:

188. My Things, all 4 of them
189. Movies that make you cry
190. Friends who bring you White Star
191. Rainy Days
192. Field Trips with Second Graders
193. Franklin, TN
194. Country Roads
195. Trivia Games by Poppi
196. Siblings
197. Polo
198. Music

Pictures to Ponder

Where has the time gone?

I just couldn't resist these photos I came across of my now 8 year old baby. 

Alright just one more, I can't resist.

Hope your Wednesday rocks!

Bowling and Other Favorites

Thought I would share some of my favorite table shots from the baby shower this past weekend.

And other than some soccer games this is what the rest of our weekend looked like. 
Bowling lanes were open, pajamas optional. 
Thought you all might like to see what the Things were up to.

A Baby Shower

This post is dedicated to Natalie and Autumn, and of course we can include Daddy Jeff too.  We celebrated Autumn's impending arrival at our home on Saturday amongst family and friends and some very excited soon to be cousins. 

First we enjoyed this spread.
And then we played these games

Try and name all 14 items on the tray, baby related.
Neighbor Rhonda was the winner!

And now lets measure the baby belly with ribbon.
Neighbor Brenda was the winner!

Here are the two soon to be Grandmas, awaiting Autumn's arrival.
After games and visiting and eating, Natalie opened presents.

The necessary hat for the fair skinned baby. 

And after all the excitement and sugar Ms. Autumn was movin and groovin in there. 
Mema and Carrie stop to feel.

And here the lovely Mama to be! 
Oh what a day and what an honor to be a part of such an amazing journey to motherhood.  We love you Natalie and Jeff and Autumn.

Thankful Thursday #19

178. friends that want to be the bestest with you
179. mornings with Husband Jared
180. Things that tell you to lay down when you are sick
181. hugs
182. text messages
183. early morning work outs
184. cold walks with Polo
185. internet
186. adventure
187. Turkey, the country
188. running

We are going to Turkey

Yes, you read that correctly.  The Hanson family is relocating once again, only this time Internationally. 
This man,
applied, interviewed three times and has been offered a position with Best Buy International as the
Expat GM for Turkey.
I am proud of him.  For his commitment.  For his faith.  For his desire to go where lead. 
And so begins the next chapter in our journey together.

Thing 4's Debut

Thing 4 made his TNFC debut this weekend on a cold and windy Saturday afternoon.  Here are some pictures from his games.
He started off in the goal.  He loves to play goalie.  He wants to be like Edwin Van der sar. 

Just love  his face in this photo.  Focus.

His team played girls a year older than them.  Notice the size difference.  I don't think the boys treated them like ladies, they were on the soccer field afterall.  And the boys won!

Thing 4 was so excited about his team that when the other Things played on Sunday he wanted to wear his new jersey.  Now that's enthusiasm.