Saturday, October 11, 2008












Well for me, this blog is a lot about past, and some present. Janna just scanned in a bunch of pictures from when she went through her cancer. I've talked a lot about that time, but I don't think very many people have ever seen pictures, so I decided to dedicate this post to showing you, if your interested...or even if you're not!

Janna had just turned 5. She came home from preschool with a tummy ache. She had a fun day because they went on a field trip to the zoo that day. I thought that maybe she ate too many goodies.

The next night she was feeling even worse, so we took her to our Pediatrician. They did a few things and said that if she wasn't feeling better the next morning, to bring her back in and they would run some tests. Not only was she not feeling better, but she had gotten much worse. Hal and I hadn't slept now for 2 nights. Hal and our good friend Steve Ball gave her a blessing that morning, and blessed the doctors through her, that they would be able to quickly find the problem with her. I took her to the Dr. and they did a urine sample and then an ultrasound. Her right kidney was twice the size it should have been, so her Dr. thought that it must be an abscess
on her kidney. Best case they would have to give her strong antibiotics, worst case they would have to surgically remove the abscess. I could live with this. It would be scary, but survivable. By the time I got back to the Dr. office down the hall, everything had changed. They asked me into there office, (my Dr. and some other Dr.) He said that they had gotten the results of the urine analysis back and it showed no sign of infection...okay...well? What does that mean? That means it can't be an abscess. We think it's a tumor...In one word, our world had turned upside down and inside out! They had me call Hal at work to meet us and figure out what to do next. When Hal got there, it was decided that we should go directly tp the hospital, in fact, they were waiting for us. We stopped by the house to get a couple of Janna's favorite things to help make the hospital stay better, and to make arrangements for 5 month old Devin to be cared for. They put her on a morphine pump. 5 year olds should not have a morphine pump. She couldn't figure out that pushing a button would help decrease her pain. So we had to press it every 15 minutes or so. All night. All day. Crazy. The next day, she had a CT Scan and it was determined that she had Wilm's Tumor, childhood kidney cancer. In both of her kidneys, but more advance in her left kidney. That was Friday, St. Patrick's Day, 1994. Monday she had surgery. They removed her left kidney and a portion of her right kidney. Followed by 26 radiation treatments and 15 months of chemo. She was given an 68% chance of survival. A couple years later, when we got internet for the first time (yes, we are THAT OLD!) we googled Wilm's Tumor, and found out, given her specifics, that her chance of survival was more like 17%. We are very glad that we didn't know that at the time. I think it was wise for the Drs. to not share that with us.

Believe it or not, that was the short version. So I'll just follow with pictures.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Elijah and our family are very blessed by having amazing respite and habilitation help on an almost daily basis. I'm pretty sure I would have gone crazy by now without their help. Jason Kishpaugh and Kari Smith have been our main help. Jason even went on vacation summer 2007 to Yellowstone for a family reunion. It was probably our best vacation since Elijah was born! You know, sometimes it's okay to ask for help. That's I've learned anyway.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


When you apply for adoption, you are at the mercy of others. You have to jump through hoops, and supply whatever is asked of you. You also have to market yourselves as the best family there is, so that a birthmother will want to choose you. It sounds kind of cold, but it isn't, really. It is, however, a lot of work! Of course, once you have that beautiful little baby in your arms..., well nothing else really matters! I thought these pictures from our last adoption plee would be kind of fun to share. Some of the pics are kind of small. These are 8 X 10 sheets that we scanned in after I slaved over these to send off. Of course, if you click on the pic, it'll enlarge, and you can see better. Again, I have to say....I have some pretty cute kiddos!! Check out Hal, too!





























This is Elijah's room. There are Cars stickers on the road that he can and does move around. I was going to paint the ceiling with sky and clouds but then thought "why?". So I didn't. the pictures don't really do justice to the colors, but oh well. He sure seems to enjoy it. Now I just need to figure out how to add railroad tracks and find Thomas stickers!! Then he'd be in heaven!





Okay, so some of you know I do this kind of stuff, but I wanted to share the mural and custom painting I like to do. This is hugely fun for me. A little off the wall, but who cares? It's my house!!

Our dogs, Sadie and Cloey.

This little puff ball is Janna's little Yorkie pup. She's cute, but very untrained, if you know what I mean!! But I can report that she is an amazing little summer! That's right. She fell into the pool, and proceeded to just swim across it. She swim's like a little wind up toy. She is looking pretty scruffy now. Not quite so cute and fluffy. She loves to get into dried up weeds, which really tangle up in her fur. She really is sweet, though.

This is our Beagle, Sadie. She is a pretty good dog, and really puts up with Cloey very well, even though Cloey likes to jump on Sadie and bite at her ears. Cloey's favorite place is in Sadie's kennel. But Sadie just puts up with her. She probably even kind of likes her! I can report that Sadie can also swim. No, she didn't fall in, she got pushed in! And she doesn't paddle like a wind up toy. Instead, more like a fat beagle swimming for you life!! Poor Sadie!

Friday, September 26, 2008

I love this picture! Look how sweet my little babies are! This was taken Summer 2001, before Elijah joined the party! We were living in Albuquerque then, but here we were at a Hanson family reunion in Provo, Utah.
Here's a picture of Hal and I from about 1987. Still no children, but getting closer!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

It is especially fun to do costumes when your daughter is one of the leads. This is our oldest daughter, Janna (in turquoise). She played Sarah, spunky and feisty!

"Bless your beautiful hide!" I couldn't find a picture with Adam's coon skin cap on. The kids in the play would randomly run off with it and wear it. They all loved it. I eventually had to hide it!
The girls seemed particularly grateful for my effort. A lot of them wanted to buy the costumes afterward.
This was from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. This was by far my biggest, single undertaking. Dress clothes for 7 brothers, Adam trapper outfit, dresses, petticoats, pantaloons, pinafores, and dress jackets for 7 brides. Plus Millies nightgown, and then preparing and helping the chorus for the costumes. Wow!
I love to make costumes. Yes, I enjoy sewing, but that's not why. I love the idea of performing, but am not really talented in that way. My kids love to perform, but for me . . . I don't know, I'm just not a good as I would like. So instead, I make costumes. Then, when I see people perform in them, It's as if I'm on stage. My talent can then be properly displayed! Here are some of the costumes I've made.

This is my first blog!! I decided to do this so we can share with family and friends pictures and experiences. My hope is to go back and cover the past and the present experiences we are having. This is our family! this was taken June '07 in Yellowstone. We had a Garth Hanson family reunion, and just had an amazing time together. And Yellowstone as gorgeous. Hal and I had been there years ago before we had children, but it's even better when you can share it with your kids!