Tuesday, June 10, 2014

End of School, Wakeboarding, Friends and Pics

Another school year has come to a close and it marks an interesting change in the Hanson family that is both exciting and somewhat sad. Our youngest is finally finished with elementary school while our two middle kids will both be in high school.
Liesl w/her 4th Grade Teacher Ms. Rollins

Our oldest will likely be taking classes at a local community college but mostly preparing to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Our family is growing up and I couldn't be more pleased. Yet, there is something sad about the whole process that makes me reflect on why that could be.

For years, Rebecca and I have been the primary source of their truth, knowledge and love. But school and friends come along and replace much of what we've tried to instill in our kids and challenge those core truths. The older they get, the more involved in their friends' lives they become and less likely to "hang out" with the family.

We saw this trend with our oldest as he replaced his family with friends, making family time nearly non-existent with a few exceptions: church attendance and Monday night Family Home Evening. Those two activities were non-negotiable. Gratefully, we've seen a return of his good heart to the home more frequently, and not just during meal times. He recognizes a safety net in the home. There is love that is unconditional and freely given. Granted, we still compete for his time and affections but it's comforting when his attention and love is freely given. Over the past few months I've appreciated times when he will saunter in from a long day of either work or being with friends just at the time Rebecca and I are praying together. We've asked him on nearly every occasion to join us and he does. I think it's good for him to hear us pray to a loving Heavenly Father specifically for him, for his struggles, for his safety and for him to hear just how much we love him.

Last weekend we took advantage of the fine weather and celebrated the end of school and Jaden's birthday. Thursday night we BBQ'd and had a pool party with our friends the Waldens while we also went wakeboarding with Lindsay and the fam on Saturday. Here are a few pics from Saturday.

Austin doing his special giraffe

The first crew out on Eagle Mountain

Post Wakeboarding crispiness

I'm truly grateful for good friends that enrich our lives. They're not always easy to come by and at times stretch our limits. Austin has found that while some of his friends provide excitement and support in some areas, they are less than honorable in others. Gratefully one friend in particular has proved himself a true friend and continues to show his true colors. We've been blessed with the same friendship in the Waldens. Without any thought of reimbursement, Dan has served our family by continuing to repair worn out drawers from our kitchen cabinets. While he likes the project work, he's definitely served our family in love and we so appreciate it. It's been gratifying to watch Lindsay and Rebecca trade favors as well (photography for sewing and home improvements). Now if I could just provide something aside from grunt work and dishwashing :)

Here are some outstanding pictures Lindsay has provided for our family. Check out her website for more proofs of her outstanding work.

My beautiful ladies

Austin - model audition #1

Austin Senior Pic

Austin Sr. Pic

Austin Sr. Pic

Austin catching some awesome air

she has an awesome sense of humor as well

Yesterday we had the honor of attending one of my former soccer player's mission farewell talk at church. After working with this young man on the pitch and personally for the last 7+ years, I was deeply moved by how much he's matured and prepared himself to serve the Lord on a mission for His church. He has put off his college education and collegiate cross country/soccer opportunity at Southern Virginia University and put the Lord first, demonstrating his dedication and commitment to what is right in his life. I'm grateful for my friendship with the Jones family and excited to see the successes Mathew will have over the next 2 years.

And so begins the summer. A time to play. A time to relax. A time to enjoy the hot weather of Texas. But most of all, a time to enjoy family and friends. 
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