Wednesday, December 17, 2014

6 Months of Life: Part 2

Time for Part 2! :) 

Ok...this is just gonna be one month!  August was a big one!

August was a BIG much happened.  In July, my sister, Laurie, had surgery to have tumor removed. We found out after surgery that the tumor was cancerous and she was given the diagnosis of Stage 2 Ovarian Cancer.  If you saw my last post, after the month of July we had of attending two funerals for Keith's uncles that both passed of cancer I was pretty much in pieces.  To be honest, it is a bit of a blur looking back now on what my reaction was completely.  I remember thinking that there was just no way I could lose her, I lost Mom only 2 years before and my sisters are all I have.  They are my rocks, who I lean on and just could not fathom the thought of possibly losing Laurie.  When someone you love has cancer or is in pain or hurting of any way, shape or form...the feeling of helplessness SUCKS! (Sorry, no other way to express it really)  When I don't know what to mind automatically goes to "What CAN I do?"  I decided I wanted a way to help Laurie FIGHT...I wanted her to know that we were standing behind her, in this with her and we were supporting I had the idea for some t-shirts (if you know me well, you know I love making shirts for ALL kinds of occasions and events) for our family that would show Laurie we were in this together!  So...Team Laurie's Ninja Shirts were born! ;)  We did these as a surprise and ended up getting shirts for not only our family, but also some people that Laurie works with (and AMAZING group of people, BTW).  In total, our first order was over 50 shirts...we surprised Laurie right before her first chemo treatment and it was so wonderful to see her face when she realized what was going on.  I will forever hold that in my heart.  It went on even further after we posted some pictures of our shirts on Facebook and in total, over the last 4 months, we have ordered over 125 shirts and were able to use them as well as some generous donations to help Laurie with medical and other expenses while she had to take off for treatment and such.  It was a HUGE blessing and we are incredibly grateful for everyone for showing such support!  Side note - if you need shirts made in the Wichita/Garden Plain area - talk to me...I have a guy...he is AMAZING! :)
Our INCREDIBLY handsome model when we surprised Aunt Laurie!


That's RIGHT...WU is on TEAM LAURIE!!!!

With emotions running high from the news in late July of Laurie's diagnosis, we also had a HUGE change in our family in early August.  My dad decided after losing mom and since he was getting older and things were getting harder to take care of, after 17 years he was going to sell his house and land outside of Garden Plain and move back into town.  So, we embarked on organizing a lifetime of accumulating (and that man can ACCUMULATE - I am being EXTREMELY nice here...;)) and divide out the most important items and sort through the "stuff" to be sold at Auction and the house to get ready to be put on the market. To say it was a daunting task does not even begin to describe it...but we are Seiwert's...we press on (and always have a some fun in doing so):
Candace and I having a little fun  - yeah...we are goofs ;)

Day of the sale with Dad
Everyone was all over so we couldn't get all of us in one picture, but it was a great day

The day of the sale was incredibly emotional.  I thought I had a handle on it and then I watched our family dining room set being sold...I remembered Mom's excitement and attention to detail in finding just the right piece of furniture for that dining room.  This house was her dream, everything was just has she had always wanted...I could remember all of the holidays we had spent gathered around that table...and there it was, being sold to the highest was too much.  I broke down, which caused a chain reaction and we had a crying party in the garage.  The day was rough, but we got through it.  The house went on the market and sold withing a month and soon, it was all done (after my brothers set the pasture on fire of course - it's another story for another time).  At the end of it all, all of the "stuff" may have been gone and the title of the house is in someone else's name, but no one will ever take away the memories we made in that home...those will stay with us forever.

The rest of our August flew by in a flash (not even kidding, the sale and Laurie's first chemo treatment were just in the first week and a half of the month!).  All of a sudden it was Kolten's first day of school!  Preschool at least....:)  Garden Plain started a Preschool in the Elementary School. Kolten was SO EXCITED to meet new friends and get started in school!  He even named his backpack...his name is "Gary" (no idea why)! ;)

Our handsome little Preschooler!
Of course, school means treats for momma to make!  Those that know me well, know I kinda live for this I had to make some adorable little treats for his class during the first month of school...:)

We also celebrated Keith's 32nd birthday during the month of August. It was a pretty low key celebration this year, but don't worry, I wouldn't forget to mention that Keith is a whole year older! ;)

All in all, like I said...August was a month of emotional highs and lows to say the least.  It was incredible to watch God at work in our lives and yet again providing strength when I thought I could not handle even more.  I am so amazed continually that God brought us back to Kansas at just the right was hard, it was crazy and it has been AMAZING to see His plan working in our lives!

Stay tuned for later this week to get into the rest of this year!!  Have a blessed day friends!

Monday, December 15, 2014

6 Months of Life: Part 1

So...I have been more than M.I.A around here in the last 6+ months, and life has change A LOT for the Hansen family.  I decided it was best to sum it up in a couple posts! :)  Here is what we have been up to!

To start out the month of June, I actually have to start at the end of May...Keith surprised me with a trip to Kansas City for my 30th Birthday.  He packed our bags two days in advance and hid them in the basement and just told me to get dressed and we were going somewhere on the day of our trip.  He did an AMAZING job...we were on a strict budget with our life changes, so he used some hotel rewards for Argosy Casino and got a free hotel room and free meals for us, he worked my my sister, Vickie, to watch the kids so we could go for a night out and when we were waiting for dinner, I got an extra surprise...our great friends, Robyn and Courtney, walked in!  We had a great night out and it was an incredible weekend!

Robyn took this pic right as they walked in...yes, I was a bit surprised! ;)
We got back home and on June 3rd, I officially turned the big 3-0...It was nice day with our little family, complete with my special present that I told Kolten I had wanted pretty much all year...a Little Mermaid Balloon (purchased with Daddy's help, of course)!  Keith surprises didn't stop at the weekend get away either.  For years I had told him about this Snoopy Sno-Cone machine I had when I was little that I absolutely loved, and he found one at a garage sale!  This guy...I tell ya, he is a keeper! ;)

After our celebrations, we started to really pray and come to terms with the position our family was in. With Keith out of a job, I had started to look for some part time employment to at least be able to help with bills and hold us over until Keith was able to find a full time position.  He applied to a lot of places, but was not finding any possible leads. I had some luck to be offered a couple part time jobs, but our answer came one night during a call with my niece, Candace. We found out that they were looking at purchasing a new home and their current house would be available for us to rent in Garden Plain if we decided to move home.  We prayed a lot and felt like God was really telling us to move back, so we gave notice to our landlord in Iowa and made plans to move home to Kansas in mid-June.  As we were packing up we experienced heartache as Keith's Uncle Jim passed away after a battle with cancer.  We put a stall on our packing and traveled to Nebraska for Jim's funeral.  Because of our limited time to get out of our house in Iowa, we had to travel back from Nebraska the day of the funeral and on the way home, we got the call that Keith's other uncle, Norm, had lost his battle with cancer that day as well.  We made quick plans and changes in the next couple of days and with a 4 hour round trip to pick up a truck, and with help from our AMAZING church family at Trinity, we packed up and drove a Uhaul truck to Nebraska for the 2nd funeral in less than two weeks.  While it was incredibly stressful, I was amazed at the way I saw God work in our lives and He truly provided the strength we did not have to get us through.

We arrived in Garden Plain on June 15th in whirlwind, my wonderful brother, Dale and niece, Nicole helped us to unpack our truck in a few hours.  In just a week, we got pretty much everything unpacked and our new home was ready for a fun filled afternoon to celebrate Kolten's 4th birthday!  We had a wonderful afternoon, complete with a visit from "Uncle" Newby in the firetruck!  After the celebration of Kolten's birthday, we got ready to pack our bags and head to Montana to see Grandma and Grandpa Hansen!  Yes, if you are keeping up...we did A LOT of traveling in June! ;)

We arrived in Montana on June 28th, and Kolten got to celebrate his actual birthday with a fun filled trip to the zoo and a really awesome cake from Grandma and Grandpa Hansen that had an actual Transformer on it!  He was so excited!
Kolten's birthday party in Kansas, pic of the kids on their 1st airplane ride and Kolten with Grandma and Grandpa at the Zoo

We started out July still in Montana and Uncle Dan joined us for the whole family to take a fun filled vacation to Yellowstone National Park.  We had an AMAZING time...we saw so many animals, lots of Buffalo and Elk and an adorable Black Bear to name just a few!  We also went to the Battle of Little Big Horn (I think that may have been in June technically - I can't remember now!) and Kolten got to take part in the Junior Ranger Program.  He LOVED it!  Keith helped him work through some little work books and they learned about all kinds of stuff (that he tried to teach me as well :))!  Grandma and Grandpa also got him a pretty awesome vest to put his badges and patches on (which of course we will have to plan more trips to get all filled up). We had such and incredible time and are so thankful to Grandma and Grandpa Hansen for making the trip possible for us! :)
All loaded up and ready to go!
Our ADORABLE Junior Ranger!

As we got back from Montana, it was time for our new life to start back in Kansas.  I interviewed and was hired back at Wichita State before our trip and started the Monday after we returned.  Keith started a new job as well as the Manager of the Distribution Center for the Wichita Eagle.  We got started with our "new normal" and geared up for a busy and fun fall because Kolten was going to start PreSchool!!! 

I am sure there are things that happened here and there that I may have forgotten, but that's our "highlight reel" for June and July!  Check back (hopefully) tomorrow for August and beyond! 

Have a blessed day friends! :)