Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Day 2009

Having spent the night in Woodbury, getting to Christmas celebration #3 this year was a piece of cake! Snow? What snow? When you only have to drive a couple of miles down the road - a half a foot of snow is nothing! We spent most of Christmas Day with the Bonellos.

It was another fun filled day with lots of food and lots of presents. I think the highlight of the day was the kids making a snowman with Rocco and Meg out on the deck. Check out the photos - it was awesome!

Again, we couldn't be more thankful for the time we get to spend with our families during the holidays. We love it as much as the kids do.

We are looking forward to a wonderful new year, and can't wait to share bits and pieces of it with all of you! Stay tuned to the blog for the latest and greatest Hanson fun! Happy Holidays!

Christmas Eve 2009

Here are a few photos from our Christmas Eve celebration with the Hansons. Diane made her famous meatballs, mashed potatoes, and lefsa. It was awesome. The kids were so excited to sing Christmas carols with Rod at the piano before opening gifts. And then ... there was chaos... Everyone got great gifts. We are so thankful to live close to our families so we can celebrate with them every year.

Due to the weather, we actually spent the night in Woodbury this year. It was fun. The kids had a blast, and it was fun to have breakfast with everyone the next morning before heading off to Christmas celebration #3!!

"Christmas Morning"

For those of you who do not own a television, the weather forecast for Christmas in Minnesota was not so good. We got lots of snow, and the roads were pretty icy. Therefore, we decided to ask Santa if he would come to our house a day early. That way we could spend most of Christmas Eve with the Hansons, and Christmas Day with the Bonellos.

Well, needless to say, Santa said yes! Isn't it amazing how accomodating Santa can be? With all of the places he has to go, I think he appreciated getting one stop out of the way early. That Santa ... he is such a planner!

I should also point out how smart he is. He is an unbelievable shopper. He knows just what to get the kids, and he always takes advantage of the crazy sales after Thanksgiving.

He brought Matthew a solar system puzzle, a Mickey Mouse doll and a Transformers costume. He brought Amy this baby she was absolutely in love with, a light saber and a Minnie Mouse doll.

I let each of the kids pick out one cookie to leave for Santa. Matthew thought it would be a good idea to have each of them take a bite out of their respective cookies so Santa knew they were from them. I thought that was brilliant. Santa even mentioned it in his letter back to him. Again, what a guy!

Enjoy the photos. Posts with pictures from the various celebrations will be up shortly! Merry Christmas everyone!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Holidays...Hanging with the Hansons style

Last year, we stopped sending a hard copy Christmas cards, and started creating photo montages that summed up the year that was. Since the feedback we received from our family and friends was so positive, we decided to give it a try again this year.

We had fun putting it together. Hope you enjoy the show!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Garbage Lesson

I just had to share these photos. Please excuse the poor quality - we left our camera at Aaron's house last night, so all I had was my cell phone.

Matthew is quite the creative kid. While I was busy mixing up cookie dough in the kitchen - this is what he was busy doing!

He was very serious about his work, and seemed surprised when I asked him what he was up to. This is how the conversation went:

Me: "Matthew, what are you doing?"
Matthew: "Um .. I am putting garbage on the Christmas decorations. I got it out of my recycling box."
Me: "Interesting."
Matthew: "Yeah ... and Mommy ... if you want to learn about garbage ... you can just come in here ... because I am going to talk about garbage ... and how you get garbage ... and how you get rid of it!"
Me: "Sounds fabulous!"

I did make him take it down. I know, I am a mean mother. Matthew tells me that often. I should have gotten a picture the day that he moved a few of the decorations on the mantle to make room for his orange construction cones. That was pretty funny too.

Enjoy the garbage! My favorite piece, and I am not sure you can see it in the picture, was the empty bag of Goldfish. Also present were some little plastic applesauce cups, paper birthday cups, and even an empty soap box. Hilarious!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Matthew's Birthday - Part 2

So the official family party was held today for our 5-year old little boy. It was a ton of fun. We spent the day doing some baking and getting everyone in the spirit of celebrating. Matthew and Amy helped me decorate the cupcakes ... and everyone helped to sample the cookies :)

Tonight we had a house full of people. The guest list for the festivities included my Mom, Arik's parents, Rocco, Meg and Aaron. Everyone came to enjoy some pizza, salad, cupcakes and ice cream.

Matthew made out like a bandit with his gifts. He got an awesome Cars racetrack, some new legos, a Transformer, a Batman toy, and a cool thing from Rocco and Meg that lets him put together little circuits - right up his alley!

Enjoy the photos. We had a great day. Matthew is one lucky 5-year old boy to be surrounded by so many people that love him!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Matthew Turns 5!

Can you believe our little boy is already five? Geez! Where has the time gone?

Today was so much fun. We woke up a little early and had a family celebration before heading off to work and daycare. Arik and I had decorated the house last night with balloons and streamers - so it was a quite a sight this morning. Amy woke up first and said, "Whoa!" as she came into the dining room. It was really funny.

We put a candle in Matthew's toast, and sang "Happy Birthday" to him before opening presents. We got him a little Leapfrog Tag reading system, a couple of books to go along with it, and a Star Wars light saber. As you can probably guess ... the light saber was the bigger hit ...

Today just happened to be "Parents Cookie Social" at the daycare. I was able to get away from work to attend, and brought along some special birthday napkins, cups, and twisty straws for Matthew's class. The kids loved it!

After that, it was off to Burger King for dinner. There is one close to our house that has a play area. While it wouldn't have been our first choice for eating establishments ... today was about what Matthew wanted to do. After downing some kids meals, he and Amy were off and climbing!

Matthew and I then took off to the Mall of America to do some shopping. It was nice to have a little bit of alone time with him. We hit all of his favorite spots, and even got home with enough time for him to watch part of a movie before going to bed.

Overall, a great day. Happy Birthday Matthew! We love you!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Amy for Christmas

Apparently we are getting a really cute little 2-year old girl for Christmas this year! Check out the photos! We must have been REALLY good for Santa to drop her off so early.

Oh ... that's right ... I actually gave birth to this little person a couple of years ago. I just forgot for a few minutes when Uncle Rocco brought her upstairs in a box and put her under the tree! As you can see the two of them found this to be VERY FUNNY!

Matthew also got a turn being delivered to the tree, but unfortunately the box broke before we could get a picture of it :(

Oh ... Uncle Rocco ... what would we do without you?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

Another Thanksgiving Day has come and gone. I have eaten myself silly, and had a great day spending time with family.

I actually look forward to this holiday all year. Not only do I love the opportunity to eat ridiculous amounts of turkey, potatoes, stuffing and pumpkin pie - but I love the opportunity to reflect upon what I am most thankful for in my life.

This is the short list that I came up with (in no particular order) as I looked back upon this year so far. I am thankful for ...
  • My husband - We have been married for about 9 1/2 years, and I still feel like I am getting to know him some days. I like that our relationship continues to evolve, and that we can still learn from one another after all this time. He is a wonderful father to our children, and for that I am thankful every day. He is teaching me to be patient (God help him), and I am so very proud of his latest venture and all of the work that he puts into it.
  • My kids - I know that this seems like an obvious one, but I really do love my kids. We butt heads a lot (especially Matthew and I), but I am thankful that they are healthy, and funny, and smart and incredibly strong-willed. Parenting these qualities will certainly bring us challenges along the way, but I know they will serve them well down the road.
  • Our families - We are lucky to have so many people that we love living nearby. Both my Mom and Arik's parents are still in Woodbury. Between the two of them, we get to go out on a date almost every weekend. We know that is rare for couples with small children, and we never ever take it for granted. We are so thankful for the breaks that you give us (note bullet point above regarding strong-willed children). In addition to our parents, we have Rocco and Meg here in Minneapolis, and Aaron just moved in across the lake! Each of you play such an important role in our lives and the lives of our children. I can't be thankful enough for that!
  • My job - In tough economic times, I am thankful to have a job. Not only am I thankful for the financial security that it brings our family, but I am thankful that it still continues to challenge and excite me. Not everyone likes what they do. Most days ... I still like what I do. I work with some incredible people, and I am proud to call many of them my friends. In fact, with the amount of time we spend together, I almost feel like some of them are an extended piece of my family!
  • My boss - Not only do I have the opportunity to work WITH great people, I also work FOR a great person. I will be reporting to someone new in 2010, but as I look back on this past year, I am so thankful for the role she has played in my life. She is a true leader, and someone that I hope will continue to be a mentor to me. She has supported me in my current role, but she has also allowed me to explore other opportunities to grow as both a person and a professional. She provides guidance when I need it, but for the most part, she just trusts me to do my job.
  • My friends - I know I don't see most of you often, but know that I am still so thankful that all of you are part of my life. I have had so much fun re-connecting with a few of you this past year. Time just goes so fast, and everyone is so busy. When I think about that ... I should actually be thankful for the times that I don't see you guys too. This is because it means that you are all blessed with full and rich lives of your own! You are busy because you have boyfriends, and families, and jobs, and children, and all kinds of other commitments that make you happy.
  • My mistakes - I know this seems like an odd one to end on, but I am actually learning to be thankful for my mistakes this year too. Nobody is perfect. Mistakes can be good for you - both personally and professionally - as long as you learn from them. They teach you to be accountable for your actions, to apologize when you need to, and to do things differently the next time.

With that, I will bid you all a Happy Thanksgiving 2009! Enjoy the photos, and as you go to sleep tonight, think about what you are most thankful for in your life.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Oh I wish I were an ....

Oscar Mayer Weiner! That's right, the "weinermobile" was just parked in front of our house for the past hour. Arik met the person who does social media for them at a conference he went to in Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago. He asked if he could get a ride in one of their cars the next time they were in Minneapolis.

He never actually thought he would hear from them ... but guess what? He did! He thought he would just get information on where they would be for a promotional event, but they actually contacted us and asked for our home address.

Such a riot!

It took a lot of convincing to get Matthew out there, but Amy loved it (and so did the neighbors). They gave the kids little red weiner whistles, and their own little stuffed weinermobiles. Hilarious! They even honked their horn a few times. As you probably guessed, the horn plays the Oscar Mayer weiner song :)

Such a fun way to end our Sunday afternoon!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Fall Leaves

Nothing says Fall in Minnesota like a day of playing in the leaves. The kids and Arik were outside for about an hour raking up piles of leaves and jumping in them! They loved it, and we loved it because they ultimately napped like champs! Enjoy the photos!

Halloween 2009

Well ... a favorite holiday has come and gone - Halloween! We had a great time with the kids yesterday. After we fueled up on some much needed coffee, we kicked off the annual pumpkin carving. Just one pumpkin for us this year. The kids weren't big fans of scraping out the "guts," but they loved deciding which shape each of the features on the face would be.

As you can see, we aren't too high tech here in the Hanson house!!

The kids were so excited to put their costumes on after dinner. Matthew was dressed at Batman this year, and Amy was a spider. Both costumes were great. From the smiles on their faces, I think it is safe to say that they liked them too!

Grandma and Grandpa Hanson joined us for trick or treating this year. They were a great addition. We met up with the Studdifords over at their place, and did a two block circle with the four little kids.

Some of the neighbors went all out with decorations and sound effects. We thought Amy would be scared, but she totally loved it! The more noise and moving parts the better!

The kids were exhausted when we got home, and went to bed almost immediately. Hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday weekend! Enjoy the pictures!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Our fall visit to the Minneapolis Farmer's Market

A photo and video summary of our trip to the Minneapolis Farmer's Market today...

This was Amy's favorite...