Monday, January 9, 2012

My Resolutions...

Well it's that time again when you think about what you did and didn't do. I like it! It's kinda like Monday mornings when you get a fresh start. Sometimes I need it on a Wednesday morning too, but that's another story :) I love hearing about what others have been challenged with as well. Here are a few things I would like to improve on this year:
1- Read through the Bible again. Man! that was challenging but so good for my soul.
2- Be active. I have no excuse, we now joined the 'Y'! Being active with three kids who are spread out four years apart is not easy, but we must do it, for everyone's sake-lol!
3- Plan better for school. I feel like last year was a big blur with school. I just need to purpose to have 'planning time'.
4- To read more. Not just magazines :) Actually finish books, I'm so good at starting them but don't finish them, ugh!
5- To REST. Rest not only physically but emotionally as well. Last year it was evident that my body is screaming for rest...so I'm working on it.
6- Last but not least to do things and not procrastinate so much. Whether it's writing a letter, returning a call, or returning something back to the store (I'm the worse at this one!). I will not spend another year with six bags in the back of my car with stuff that needs to be donated, returned or recycled!

Ok, I think that's it. Oh yes, I want to blog more. My friend Jenn has inspired me too. I feel like it's a good way to spend less time on Facebook and more time sharing about what God is doing in our family. So, here we go...Happy 2012!!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Letter to my little brother



I am 34 and Ramiro just turned 21 this year. Can you believe it?! Thirteen years difference which means most of the times I just bossed him around like a Big Sister does :) When I think back to our childhood it was well... pretty dysfunctional but hey it all worked out! Thankfully, we always knew Mom loved us in her own way and Dad in his. It all made us the people who we are today. Ramiro, has always been the clown. The one who made us laugh about every day situations or ourselves. He is the youngest so he definitely has been spoiled but he also put up with Mom & Dad the longest! lol.

To my surprise, in September, he came out to Idaho for a week to hang out with us. I asked him if he was sure...I mean, out of all the places he could go, he decided to spend time with his crazy US? To wake up early, that's unheard of for his lifestyle! One afternoon he told me he doesn't know how I do this every day and that I should have 'Happy Hour' every day around 3pm- oh man, I laughed so hard. We had meals together, went for bike rides, did some school, he took the boys to a movie, he experienced Downtown Boise with three kids, went shopping for 'cool' shoes for Javi, etc. it was a sweet time as a family. The kids loved every minute of it.

Yesterday he sent me a picture in his new uniform and I cried. My little brother who I've always felt like I can somehow protect is now leaving to War. Any minute now he can be called to head out to Afghanistan. This is my letter to you, Rami:

Hey Nerd!
I miss you. Thanks for coming all the way out here to spend some time with us. I still think about silly stuff you did to make us smile around here. The boys still talk about you often. I am excited to see you grow and mature through this experience. No doubt it will be hard to be away from home for a year, but I know that your humor will bring joy to many. You have a gift of encouragement and laughter. I pray that you draw near to God and realize how much He loves you. Stay in the Word, it's what gives us direction. Be wise in your decisions and a good example. You have many nephews and nieces who look up to you. I am proud of you for stepping out in faith. Love you, nayi

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Now Mami is running...for a great cause!


Hi Family/Friends,

Hope you had a great summer. We have been enjoying and trying to keep up with three kids! A couple of years we went to Colombia and met a family who we got to know and love, the Nietos. Andres, Carla and their two kids (and now new baby girl). Last October when we were in South America we saw the Nieto's selling everything they owed. This Spring they took their two children, very pregnant Carla, four luggages and went to live in Brazil. Andres is training to be a Pilot with MAF. Mission Aviation Fellowship (for those who may not know) is a ministry who goes into the jungles and untouched areas of the world and bring HOPE, water and necessary items to those in need. I am writing to ask you to consider sponsoring me. Just this last week I signed up for two half-marathons in October. ALL your money will go to The Nietos. I am not the long-distance runner in our family :) So I need motivation to go past mile eight! Can you imagine not having a table to sit at for meals or not having a washer with three small children one being an infant? (about $1,000). That is specifically what I am digging deep and running for. We paid for my races and everything I will need. Would you consider giving any gift? Would you also pray for my health...my knee acts up from time to time. THANK YOU for your friendship, generosity, and prayers Love you! ~nayi

NAYIBE HANSON

6355 S. LUNAR AVE.

BOISE, ID 83709

MEmo: The Nietos

OR you can send it directly to MAF and get tax-receipt:

MISSION AVIATION FELLOWSHIP

PO BOX 47

NAMPA, ID 83653

MEMO in check: Nieto Family #23939


Friday, August 26, 2011

Leadville Trail 100 Race Report 2011


It was still dark at half past four in the morning, the clear Colorado sky holding back some of the brightest stars I've seen. Crisp mountain air filled my nostrils with every breath. The dirt road beneath my feet was moist and soft from last night's thunderstorms as I glided softly down hill away from the town of Leadville now a good mile behind me.

I anxiously looked at my watch to make sure I wasn't getting too carried away in the moment. 9:45 per mile perfect. Yawning I looked around at the runners beside me who only minutes ago had toed the starting line of one of the greatest ultra marathons in the world with 600+ other hearty souls. 1mile down and only 99 to go.

Hundreds of headlamps bobbed all around me in front and behind.  All had different reasons and motivations for running that morning.  This race has been in the back of my mind every since I first read about the race in the mid 90's. You could almost call my decision to run this year a little mid-life crisis, somewhere inside I wanted to prove to myself that I am still as tough as that 18 year old kid with a chip on his shoulder lying on a Helena golf course puking his guts out. Little did I know how similar the picture would be today... 2 miles gone

WATER, WATER, OVER HERE!

Mile 7... I had just reached the Tabor boat ramp where Nayibe and Lance where waiting for my first water bottle refill and some energy gels. I rushed through the stop to get back on the traffic jam of a trail circling Turquoise Lake. The gravel road was gone replaced miles ago by a rutted rolling single track trail. Passing was near impossible, the pace was slow and my legs felt great. If I could just get around this guy in the yellow compression socks.

Paved road and a cheering crowd up ahead, the May Queen aid station and 13.5 miles down. The first half marathon had taken me 2:14...about 4 minutes off my target but great considering the traffic jam I'd just gotten out of and how rested my legs felt. Darn it, I gotta use the bathroom. Oh well, that's normal. I can make up the time coming down Sugarloaf pass.

I exchanged my head lamp for a pair of sunglasses, grabbed my food bag and headed on up the road. A huge smile crossed my face as I shouted, "I'm running LEADVILLE!" and I was gone.

THE LEADVILLE TRAIL 100

If you're not familiar with it the Leadville Trail 100 Run it's  one of the premier 100 mile trail races in the United States. Starting in the small town of Leadville, Colorado it's also know as the 'Race Across the Sky' because of it's insane altitude. Starting at 10,120 ft, going as high as 12,600 ft and never dropping below 9,000 ft. the air is thin and the breathing is hard. If you've read the book Born to Run yeah it's that race. The race covers 100 miles on dirt roads and single track trail. It's an out and back course, basically you run 50 miles away from Leadville then turn around and run back into town the way you came. If I had a good day I felt I could run the entire course in under 25 hours, if I had an OK or even a bad day I felt I had a good chance of finishing before the 30 hours cutoff time.

I had trained hard for this day and so far I was having a great day as the Colorado trail opened up to a very runnable Hagerman Pass road. Before I new it I was running down the famous powerline trail. This was going to be brutal on the way back in the dark but I didn't have time to think about that now.  I had to get to the next aid station to use the porta potty again... what the heck!

My awesome crew met me at the bottom of the powerline climb. I grabbed a fresh bottle of sports drink and motored on to the Fish Hatchery aid station. At this point in the race each aid station is a zoo as all the runners are still pretty close together. I rushed through a little faster than I should have and was back on the road. My two unplanned pit stops had caused me to spend more time at the aid station than I wanted to and my legs felt so great I really wanted to stay on pace.  23.5 miles in 4:14 everything was still looking good, even the weather was perfect for a run.

AN EASY 3 MILES OF FLAT ROAD


Run 3 miles on mostly flat and paved road. Easy on paper but wait I'd just about finished a marathon at 10,000 ft. above sea level. Running up and down a pass was easy but motoring along at 10:00 minutes per mile on the flat was a rude shock to my system. Probably hadn't eaten enough at Fish Hatchery, good thing my team was going to be only another 4 miles up the road, eat an energy chew and keep going cry baby. Most of the runners around me were doing a run/walk combination on this section so I felt better that I wasn't the only one having issues with the flat, we'd be back on trails and climbs soon enough.  5:11 and the first marathon was down I wouldn't see my wonderful crew for another 13 miles just before the run got real exciting and began it's climb up to 12,600 ft after Twin Lakes.



Mile 30 just wouldn't come soon enough, I mean really I had to go to the bathroom so bad I could barely run, come on this is getting ridiculous. 5:44 finally another porta potty.  Everyone said this next section was a good opportunity to make up time. An easy dirt road and then some single track through aspen and lodge poll forests with super soft trails. This is what I run for, bring it on.  Oh wait, every time I run down hill my stomach craps up and I have to go to the bathroom again.  There's a good log over there behind those bushes, a quick stop will make me feel better. Nope still cramping, I'm wasting all this soft down hill running, drink water, eat more gels. Ouch where's that tree again?  My legs still feel great but I'm starting to think this may turn into a long day.

WHERE IS EVERYBODY?

More food maybe some Coke or Sprite will help my stomach. At least the next section climbing up Hope Pass I'm not supposed to run, maybe my stomach will calm down on the way up.  The Twin Lakes aid station was a party, tons of people setup cheering on all their runners and me once again ecstatic to find another line of porta potties. My pacer Lance was sleeping preparing to run the last 50 miles back to Leadville with me as my beautiful wife lathered on more sunscreen, handed me a dry pair of socks for the river crossing and wished me well... 12,600 ft. here I come.



WHY CAN'T I HEAR?

I didn't fall down crossing the river, at least I don't remember falling down. Why then are my ears popping and clogging up like I was just in a pool and I'm only at 9,500 ft.? Could it be that flu and sore throat I had for the last week and a half... darn it, I thought I was better!  Please just stay away for another 14 hours please...wait is that a log over there behind that bush... I just went but ouch... let's use the log while I got it. The alpine pass is no place to drop your shorts in front of the race camera. Why does my throat feel like it's swollen. Eat more gels drink more water... just keep moving.

I LOVE LLAMAS

There's very few things better than seeing llamas carrying water to the Hopeless Aid station.  They're making soup broth maybe that will help my stomach, it sure does taste good. Half a mile before we go downhill again, if I can run maybe I can get back on pace, or at least close enough that Lance has a chance to drag me back onto pace in the last half... why can't I still hear out of my left ear, wait now  now it's my right.. dang it.. keep moving.

WHERE ARE ALL THE BUSHES

Ouch that hurts, I guess running down isn't in the cards today, I'll just walk fast until I can find a good set of bushes. Maybe if I make myself puke my stomach will feel better. Nope, I'm a terrible hurler... nothing, still cramping up. Man there are no good bushes on this section of the trail... keep moving you're keeping up with the bearded man in front on you and you're just walking fast there's still a chance you'll finish.

I WEIGH WHAT!

The Winfield aid station marks the 50 mile and halfway point in the race. I had now run 14 miles longer that I have ever run before in my life. Man I was so happy to get here even though now at 12:20 into my run I'm about 2 hours behind 25 hour pace. I've still got a good chance at finishing if I can get this stomach under control.

"Step onto the scale." Winfield is also the first mandatory medical check-in during the race. "Take a seat" the medical staff said. I'd lost too much weight 7 pounds to be exact but I'd been eating as much as I could stomach.  Can I go to the bathroom before I sit?  Over 45 minutes and several cups of soup broth, some pepto and some nausea medicine later I'd put back on 4 pounds and was cleared to continue.  Back up Hope pass only this time Lance was going to be there to pace me.  Now if I could just run without my stomach cramping up we could have a great night, my legs still felt great. 12:57 since I had left Leadville.



WELCOME THE RIDICULOUS

The road out of Winfield is all a gradual downhill until you begin the hike back up to Hope pass. A perfect place to crank off some miles with you pacer. Except after all that food and waiting I still could not run without severe stomach cramps. Oh well, at least it's not that long of a road... let's get on up Hope pass... wait let me find a tree first I remember coming down that trail.

At least my legs feel good as we head up the hill, these new calf compression sleeves feel awesome! What's that my throat's swollen and I can barely swallow that hammer gel. Come on!  Ouch, great now my chest is cramping up.  Why aren't there any good bushes on this trail.

MORE BROTH PLEASE

Eventually we muscle our way up to the top of Hope pass between alternating stops for chest and stomach cramps.  Thank you Jesus they had a toilet up here on top of the pass.  I downed more soup broth and tried to run down the pass to Twin Lakes as much as we could but I knew we were losing valuable time. Finishing in 25 hours was now long gone... now we were fighting to just make the 9:45 pm cutoff at Twin Lakes. Run...walk...run... just keep going.


IT'S DARK NOW
... and I'm getting grumpy.  60 miles and 17:10 are gone but I've discovered that I can drink soup broth and eat oranges. The chest cramps were starting to worry me so I had the docs at Twin Lakes check me out. They gave me a clean bill of health so Lance and I grabbed our head lamps and gortex jackets from Nayibe, our beautiful crew chief, grabbed a banana for the road and headed out, right after stopping at the porta potty again of course.

Things didn't get any better climbing out of the Twin Lakes aid stations.  It's at this point that I owe all the credit for every foot step to my pacer Lance. Regardless of how often I snapped at him he consistently tried to shove food down my throat and encourage me to run as much as I could. I felt terrible because I know he had made the trip hoping to run the last 50 miles with me and not walking with a grumpy and complaining old man.  Oh did I mention that by now I was chaffing like a diuretic infant in a kiddie pool of vinegar.  Yeah, it was that much fun but at least this section of trail had great bushes.

With Lance's urgings and care we made the Half Pipe aid station 15 minutes before the cutoff. More oranges and soup broth, and of course another visit to the porta potty.

YOU KNOW I'M GOOD

We were still mostly walking but we knew the cutoff was close and were pushing really hard to do a 1 minute run and 2 minute walk routine. We met Nayibe at Treeline and she took over the pacing duties from Lance for about 3 miles.  It was almost a romantic moonlight walk there under the Colorado sky with the love of my life and the moon overhead.... except for the stomach cramps, chest cramps and diarrhea, but hey for better or worse right.  Nayibe had sacrificed a lot for me to run Leadville this year and I was really happy she was able to run some of it with me.  At this point, with me not being able to run I knew that finishing in under 30 hours was going to be a long shot but I knew I'd given it all I could and I was happy with that, it just wasn't my day.

We made the cutoff at the Fish Hatchery aid station by 1 minute, I'm pretty sure that Nayibe physically pushed me the last 400 yards.  22:50 since I started. Only 23.5 miles left... and the dreaded Pipeline climb and of course another stop at the porta potty.

THE END IS NEAR

Pipeline crushed me.  Neither my stomach nor chest cramps went away as the we climbed up to Sugerloaf pass with the search and rescue trail sweepers following behind us just around the last corner the whole way up.  My left foot started hurting something fierce about halfway up the hill.  By the time we reached the top of the pass we had 30 minutes to drop the last 6 miles down to the May Queen check point. It wasn't going to happen.  We slowed down and enjoyed the early morning sunrise in the Colorado Rockies.  Just 24 hours ago I had run up the same road with dreams of a sub 25 hour finish now I just wanted to get down the hill and take my shoes off.

We made the May Queen aid station at around 8:00 am Sunday morning. 1:30 behind the cutoff.  I had completed 86 miles but I hadn't finished the Leadville Trail 100.  I was one of the several 100 participants who received a DNF in this years race but I had keep going until they made me stop and when you've had a day like I had that's all you can ask of your mind and your body.

MY CREW ROCKED

I couldn't have asked for a better crew. There is no way I would have made it as far as I did without Lance pushing for those last 36 miles.  If I had just had one leg of the last 50 where my stomach was calm enough to run I'm confident that Lance could have pushed me to the finish.



THE FINISH

After leaving May Queen we drove back into Leadville to watch some of the other runners finish. It was definitely inspiring and while I was a little jealous I knew that I couldn't have given any more and by now I could barely walk on my left foot anyway. In fact it's Friday morning right now and I'm still having issues walking. There's a chance I gave myself a stress fracture on my left foot but I'm still hoping it's just a soft tissue injury.

I didn't finish so I'm still debating on whether I get to put the Leadville100 sticker on my laptop. I'm proud of what I did. Sometimes it's just not your day and this year it was definitely not one of my days. Like life you just have to take the situation you're given and try to make the best of it.



RUNNING IS NOT REALLY  HARD

The Leadville 100 trail run was one of the hardest things I've ever done physically but let's face it running 100 miles is a pretty selfish thing.  In preparing for this race I spent every weekend in July doing 30 mile runs through the mountains, 1 night a week running up at Bogus Basin and a whole week in Colorado relaxing while I tapered and acclimated to the altitude.  My beautiful wife tirelessly made me egg whites every morning and my kids missed out on a summer of weekend outings with Dad.

In real life hard is waking up every morning and not being able to run, not having a job, facing real pain that doesn't go away after a day, moving your family to Brazil so you can fly relief missions into the amazon or opening your house to the smelly homeless guy on your street. Now that's hard.  I just spent a day running through the rocky mountains. And whether that's 100 or 86 miles that's really not a bad day... not a bad day at all. Until next time.

Run hard... but live harder.

-Andrew



Saturday, May 14, 2011

Ten things we love about our 10 year old...



Happy Birthday to our sweet Javier...you are a blessing beyond measure! And now for the TOP TEN reasons we LOVE you:

10- You say silly stuff like 'Ohh come on" to yourself when things don't go as planned.


9- You can spend a whole afternoon drawing a cartoon to make a friend smile.

8- Listening to you play the Piano in the afternoons...or blessing someone with a song.


7- Everyday you ask, 'Is there anything else I can help you with Mom' :)

6- You still name all your stuffed animals and play with them on a daily basis.

5- Your funny jokes or remarks at random throughout the day!

4- You get SUPER excited and jump up and down when I announce it's 'Library Day'

3- You are a great example to your siblings. Patient in teaching them, loving to them and silly with them.


2-Every morning you spend time in the Word without being told. It's just you, your Bible, your journal & Jesus...I absolutely LOVE that!!!

1- We LOVE you because you are YOU - gentle , funny, thoughtful & loving. OUR 10 year old who we get to call OUR SON :)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Three is more than two

This week we celebrated five months of life with our sweet Anna Sofia. Daddy took us out for ice cream (in honor of what we did in Colombia when something special happened, we went out for ice cream)! Life has been quite busy with three little ones, three is definitely more than two, but better :) It's taken me a while and lots of prayer to figure out how to school a fourth grader, keep a preschooler busy and a one year old safe! Here are some pictures of 'my students' ...I'm so thankful I get to teach, hug, instruct, play, read and love on them all day long.


Jojo plays with Anna while I help Javi...

The easiest kid to teach, seriously I just love him. He jumps up and down when I tell him we can go to the Library :)

My crazy five year old who is smart and thinks 'outside the box'. Josiah is very hands-on and loves to draw. He prefers to write on the white board rather then paper.


Anna Sofia has a new-found love for books. She walks around with them most of time, just looking for someone who will sit down and read with her.

I feel like I am learning something new every day. Sometimes from reading with Javier, other times learning something new about one of the kids, other times about me. Being a stay at home Mom who homeschools is very humbling. I mess up sometimes, pray for wisdom, try to slow down and am learning most of all to enjoy our children and their unique personalities.




Thursday, December 23, 2010

Feliz Navidad!

Hello family & friends~

Christmas already?! Seriously some days we are so busy around here I don't even know the date. What a wonderful year this has been! Finally, I have pink, bows, ruffles, and flowers and they are not all my stuff :) Anna Sofia has bonded to us very well. She loves chasing the boys around the family room, or just sitting and watching them as they play together. Anna crawls super fast especially when it involves food. She is now 10 months and very close to walking. Her favorite thing to do is cling on to our pant legs and pull herself up. Life is full of diapers, bottles, nap schedules, baby food and snacks, all over again and it's good. There is something so special about when she smiles at us or tilts her head to one side.


Josiah is a full of energy five year old boy. He loves swimming, play Legos, cars, airplanes, playing chess and Penguins! In fact, he has about five right now and he hugs them to sleep every night. Jojo still snuggles and naps with me every day, I love that time. He tells me, 'Mommy, I wuv Anna Sofia SO much, and I can't stop touching her hair, it's so soft'...yep, that's our Jojo.


Javier has informed us lately that he is a 'pre-pre-teen', whatever that means, he's nine! He is very funny and smart. He loves playing piano, comics, drawing silly cartoons, anything Mario, reading, and skiing. Javi is such a great helper with his siblings and around the house. My favorite thing about him is his heart, it's SO sweet. The other day he asked me if we could have a date. A couple of days later we snuck out for breakfast. Come to find out he was sharing the Gospel with a new friend in his ski class!


Most nights Andrew and I put the kids to bed at 8pm and come downstairs to watch part of a movie or a show with a small bowl of ice cream or share chips and salsa :) We are always working on our schedules, the endless questions of when can I work out, what do you have going on this week, work with one of the kids on this or that...you know, life! Thankfully, we have three AMAZING kids who help us slow down, not take life too seriously, laugh, play, and keep us humble!


Praying that all of you have a beautiful Christmas and enjoy your time with family! Happy 2011. Love, The Hansons'