Monday, December 20, 2010

Happy Holidays ... Hanson Style!

The wait is over! The 3rd annual Hanson family slideshow is ready for primetime! When you have three minutes of spare time, we invite you to sit back, relax, and laugh. We tried to capture all of the highlights of our year in about 60 pictures. As you have come to expect, this year's montage is also tied to a somewhat quirky ... stick in your head ... rather annoying Christmas song.

2010 has been a pretty eventful year for our family. It was filled with lots of "firsts" and lots of fun.

Early in the year, Amy learned to pee in a toilet. As funny as that is, as a parent, it is a HUGE milestone. No more diapers or pull ups in this house! Matthew lost his first two teeth. He started with the bottom two, but I cannot wait until he loses the top two. There will be many photos of that time period. I don't think there is anything cuter!

Arik and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary in May. We left the kids behind, in the loving care of their grandparents, and spent a few glorious days in San Francisco.

In July, I turned the ripe old age of 35, and celebrated with a fun family photo shoot at Minnehaha Falls. I'm not gonna lie ... there are a few shots from this event in the slideshow.

In August, Amy turned 3! She continues to light up our lives with her spunky spirit. Sometimes her smile is so big I think her face is going to explode. She is so funny, and so sweet. We couldn't love her more. Her Daddy turned 38 a few weeks later, and well ...we think he is pretty great too. His business continues to grow, and he never ceases to amaze me with the opportunities he creates for himself.

Matthew started kindergarten in September. It has been quite the learning curve for all of us. What a life transition! Academically, he was so ready for it, but it was definitely an adjustment for all. His teacher is great. She is a recent college graduate. She runs a tight ship, but she has a lot of energy and Matthew adores her. As a parent, I can't ask for more than that. He is reading and writing like a maniac. He celebrated his 6th birthday a couple of weeks ago. He continues to amaze us with his creativity and what appears to be a neverending supply of energy.

Wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Enjoy the slideshow!


Last weekend we took the kids to the Holidazzle Parade for the first time. We weren't sure what Amy would think of this, as she is often afraid of people in costume ... but it was a hit! They loved it. I think it helped that we got some fancy "dazzle lights" (as Matthew calls them) from a street vendor while we waited. The kids made it all the way to the end! We waved to Santa and headed back through the skyways to our car. Such a fun night!

12.11.2010 Matthew Turns 6!!!

Can you believe it? Matthew is 6 today! I cannot believe how quickly time flies!

We had such a fun day with him. We kicked off the morning with presents over breakfast. This year was the year of the Vikings! Check out Matthew's loot - a new jersey, a new hat, and a keychain with his name on it. He loved it. We also got him some awesome new gloves for playing outside!

After that, it was time to get the kids out of the house so Mommy could get everything ready for our first kid party ever! We weren't sure the party was going to happen, seeing that the weather forecast called for 17 INCHES OF SNOW!! Amazing. We invited 6 little boys from Matthew's class over ... and all 6 made it!

We had a special guest at the party. Liz, the Kitchen Pantry Scientist, came to do some really fun science experiments with the kids. They made two kinds of goo, some magic potion, and did a marshmallow catapult across the basement. I never heard such giggles and squealing in this house. It was a blast! After that, we fed them some lunch, did cupcakes and ice cream, and opened some presents. By the time we were done, some anxious parents were knocking at the door to get their kids home.

The weather was wild. Who knew that Matthew would also get a blizzard (and not the kind you can buy at DQ) for his birthday?

We couldn't be more proud of the energetic and creative bundle we call our son. He challenges us in good ways (most days), and we couldn't love him more. Happy Birthday Matthew!

The Southdale Train

As a parent, there is nothing better than unexpectedly finding something fun for your kids to do. We went to Southdale today to do some shopping. While we were there, we spotted this little training weaving around the main floor. What a riot! It was $3 for the kids to take a ride. Worth every penny! Check out those smiles!

Thanksgiving 2010

For us, celebrating Thanksgiving is practically a week-long event. We spent all of last weekend up north with my Mom's family. We took our annual trip up to Two Harbors and stayed at our favorite resort - Larsmont! Just about everyone made it up there this year. It was so fun! The kids spent a lot of time in the pool, and we got to spend a lot of time relaxing!

We spent Thanksgiving Day with the Hanson's. Rod and Diane hosted, and cooked an amazing meal. It was a really fun day. The kids circled all of the things they wanted for Christmas in the toy ads. It was so funny :)

Rod took them outside to officially light the outside trees. Matthew was beside himself. He and Amy loved every second of it.

We have so much to be thankful for in our lives. I can't think of a better way to spend a holiday, than reflecting on that, and spending time with the people we love.

Election 2010

Check out that excited little voter! We took the kids with us tonight to vote. Our place is at a church across the street from our house, so it was really close. The kids were really well behaved while we voted - I couldn't believe it. They were so quiet!

As we were leaving, we discovered this awesome kids vote that Minneapolis puts on.

Such a riot! They do it for school-age kids, and they tally the results online the next day. Matthew got to fill out a ballot similar to ours. He got to vote for almost all of the same people. He loved it, and we loved it because it led to many "teachable moments" on the importance of voting, and how you decide who to vote for.

He filled in one of the bubbles that indicated he wanted to write in a candidate. I asked him who he wanted to vote for. He can't write that many names, so you can only imagine who he put in there! It was hilarious! What a memorable evening!

Halloween 2010

What a fun and festive day! We started the morning off with some pumpkin carving. As usual, Mommy was the only one who would touch the "guts" of the pumpkin. Oh well, the kids had a fun time picking out their "features." Check out those diamond eyes on Amy's pumpkin! She was quick to pick out that shape. Should we be worried? I think so too ...

After pumpkin carving, we headed to the Mall of America to get some wiggles out, and show off our costumes. The kids got free hot cocoa at Caribou if they were in costume. Why not, right?

After an afternoon of fun, we headed over to the Studdiford's house for some trick or treating with Zach and Natalie. The Studdiford's live about two blocks from us, and their street is just so much fun. People really get into Halloween over there. The houses are decorated, the people handing out candy are all in costume - the kids love it! This is the third year we have walked around with them. The kids lasted about 3 blocks before their little legs started getting tired.

Such a fun day! Happy Halloween!

Amy's Tooth

Poor little Amers developed this awful cavity on one of her back molars. I can't believe we didn't notice it until now! She is not a big fan of the dentist, and they needed like 45 minutes to fix it, so we opted to do it under general anesthesia at Children's West.

Wow, talk about a place that has their stuff together! They made the whole experience fantastic for all of us.

As many of you know, I am NOT a fan of anesthesia. I find it very scary. She was under for about 40 minutes. The dentist fixed the monster cavity, cleaned her teeth, did a full set of x-rays, and sealed all of her baby molars. She was pretty crazy when she woke up, but I think that is pretty normal. By the time she had a couple of freeze pops and some teddy grahams - she was good to go! No sticky foods for this little one anymore!

Goodbye fruit snacks. Goodbye fruit roll-ups. Goodbye suckers. Goodbye gummy vitamins. You are no longer welcome in our house. We are sticky food free!