Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Christmas is coming!

Well, the Christmas cards are in the mail and the Homeschool Chorus Concert is later this week. Christmas must be coming! The guys are due home next weekend, and Elsa a week later, and all the Hanson clan are congregating in New Mexico this year. What fun and excitement!

If you are checking out this page for the first time, news appears here from most recent at the top to the older near the bottom. If you want to read further back, just click on the Archive links in the right side bar below, and you can get more than a year of family updates. And feel free to leave comments-- I *love* to know people are sharing our photos and family news!

Also, there are some links in the right side bar you can follow: one is to my other blog page, where I ahve great intentions of posting about books and classical education and whatnot. I am ambitious in theory anyway...

As we begin gathering in and celebrating the season I'll try to post more photos here. What a joyous season! May the Lord richly bless you all and your families as we remember the birth of a baby who would change not just the world, but eternity!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Promised Pictures of the Promising Couple

Here, as promised, are Ben and Elsa shortly after becoming engaged on November 22 in Chicago. (Pictures courtesy of the Johnsons-- Thanks Chris and Donna!)
Aren't they cute?! For 23 years, we have been praying for whomever would be Ben's spouse. We have prayed for her family, for her protection, for her faith, for the Lord to prepare them for each other and to be a godly family. And we are so pleased to know we were praying fro Elsa all that time!
Here are Ben and the Johnson girls (l-r: Mariel, Bethany and Elsa)

Friday, November 24, 2006

New News: Our Family Promises Expansion!!!

With great joy we learned on Wednesday, November 22, that Ben proposed to Elsa, received an affirmative answer, and is now engaged. Details and photos are forth-coming, but needless to say, he is floating several feet above the ground. We are very pleased to welcome Elsa to our family, and delighted to see Ben choose a young woman who is bright, sweet, and committed to Christ, not to mention that she is not only willing to put up with Ben, but she loves him!! :-)

National Champions!

It was our great pleasure to travel to Ohio over the weekend of November 18 to watch the Calvin Knights (and Tim, of course) compete in the NCAA Div-3 National Cross-Country Championships. Above, the guys gather the day before the race to give the course a try. It had rained 4 inches in the previous two weeks, and in that ohio clay, the course was more like a sodden stockyard than a course. But the Knights are a strength team, and showed their toughness!
Ben drove over from Bloomington, IN, to join us, and our good friend (and second-mom to the guys) Angela Allen, joined us for the festivities.
After a muddy and difficult run (and if you need proof of the horrible conditions of the race, look at more photos here: http://tinyurl.com/ygyred) Tim finished in second place, and Calvin destroyed the competition, scoring 37 points. The Knights were fabulous, and Tim finished off a successful collegiate cross-country career in style, as a member of a National Championship team once again! God has been incredibly good!
Here we are, (Dave at left and Ben at right, Chris hugging the muddy boy) celebrating at the finish line.
Here are Calvin's 9 All-Americans; it was an amazing feat! Tim became one of only 12 men in NCAA Div-3 history to become a 4-time All-American. (Back row, l-r: Harrison Joritsma, Christina Overbeck, Camille Medema, Lydia Singer, Jon Gries. Front row, l-r: Tim, Nate DeHaan, Eric VanKampen, Jed Christensen.) You can see the complete race results here: http://www2.wilmington.edu/ncaa-cc/index.cfm and you can see more photos of the Calvin crew here: http://tinyurl.com/yxsr88.

Here Tim and his girlfriend, Nikki, enjoy the celebration at the banquet for the Calvin team on Saturday night. It was an evening to remember!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Great Lakes Regional Champs!

The Calvin Knights dominated in a terrific performance last Saturday (Nov. 11) at the Great Lakes Regional Meet, at Hanover College in Indiana. This was the course that four years ago, Tim fell on as a freshman, and thanks to the ministrations of an older teammate, came back to score 5th for the team, and give the team a perfect score of 15 points. For more on that race, see the speech teammate Jeff Engbers gave here:

Tim won this time around, praise God, becoming the Great Lakes MVP for the second consecutive year. The Knights finished with 17 points. The finish photo above shows Tim, followed by teammates Jed Christensen, Jon Gries, and Harrison Jorritsma.

Next week (Nov. 18), the Knights compete at the National Championships, and will attempt to win yet again. It is amazing that four years for Tim have flown by! He will be looking to join the ranks of those who have been 4-time All-Americans: a fairly rare feat! See the listing here:

Dave and I will be flying to Ohio tomorrow, where we'll meet up with the Knights and cheer them on. Ben will be driving over from Indiana, Lord willing, to meet us also. And we will enjoy watching the guys and gals run on the course where Tim won Regionals last year, and set the course record. Go Knights!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

MIAA Champs!

The MIAA Championships were held last Saturday, and the Calvin Knights continued their streak of wins! Tim won the race in a time of 25:01, and his teammates followed, taking 10 of the top 12 places. Tim received his second MIAA MVP award, and the team is really excited about the NCAA D3 Regionals race, to be held in 2 weeks at Hanover College in Indiana. Go Knights! (Above, the lead pack from the Championships: the 3 obvious Calvin runners are, left to right, Jon Gries, Harrison Jorritsma, and Tim.)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Workshop in Colorado Springs

I had a wonderful time in Colorado Springs last weekend. Several of us from Los Alamos made the treck to hear Andrew Kern and learn more about his writing curriculum, the Lost Tools of Writing. If you are interested in more about the worshop, please link on the right to my Finfamclassical page, where I will post my notes. Those of us who rode up together had a wonderful, sweet time of fellowship and sharing. Leslie McCrea hosted us and spoiled us rotten! And Leslie Schwager hosted a Saturday evening soiree afterwards at her home. It was a wonderful time to meet many of my Class-ed (online classical education loop) friends, and, indeed, it was fun to meet Andrew in person after meeting him on Class-ed several years ago. Above is the group that spent Saturday evening toegther discussing ideas and books and faith. From left to right: (sitting) Kris Hollis, Los Alamos; Andrew Kern, NC; (standing) Kelley Baer, Los Alamos; Leslie Schwager, Kathleen Boyd, Debbie Barker, Wilma Lefler CO; Jacqueline Weaver, me, Catherine Daly, Los Alamos; Leslie McCrae, CO.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Notre Dame

The Calvin Knights trounced the competition in the Gold Race at the Notre Dame Invitational on Friday, Septemeber 29. They won with 31 points, and if you had taken their top two finishers (Tim and Harrison) out of it, they would *still* have won! Tim was second over all, and they had all 5 scorers in the top 9! You can see the full results here: http://tinyurl.com/fcofd

This Friday it's off to the Michigan Intercollegiates to run a 4K race. Tim is under the weather this week, so we would appreciate your prayers for a swift recovery!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

A Voice Less Vivid

With fear and trembling, I mention that you can hear one cut from Ben's band, A Voice Less Vivid, from their EP CD by the same title (I think). You can also hear a live recording of their parody of "emo" music here:

Disclaimer: while some of their music is very nice, you must listen at your own risk. However, if you are familiar with the term "emo" music, their parody of it, "Double-edged Words (A Meal of Sorrow in Three Courses: or How I Learned to Love New Pain, Old Tears and Sour Milk)" is actually very funny! But you have to listen carefully- some of the funniest lines are in the quiet, side comments...

Tim's First MIAA Win of the Year

Tim had another great race Saturday, September 23, at the first of two yearly conference meets. He won the race, with the Men's team sweeping the top 5 places. Way to go Knights! You can read an interesting piece in the Grand Rapids Press here:

Time with Agur

We enjoyed a special treat when our dear friend, Agur Adams came to visit. He is freshly back from his second tour in Iraq, and is now in California preparing for his third deployment as a 1st Lt. in the Marine Corps First Reconnaisance Battalion. He is a wonderful young man, and we are so grateful for his friendship and service! Above, he is standing betweem Marilyn and Dave on a hike we took to the Valle Caldera, on a misty, cool day in the Jemez Mountains.

Celebrating Marilyn

September brought Marilyn's 80th birthday, and five of her children to New Mexico to celebrate! Pictured above, from left to right: (standing): Paul's wife June, daughter Michelle, Dave's wife Chris, Kathleen's daughter Erika, daughter Kathleen, (sitting:) son Paul, son Terry, Marilyn, son Dave, Kathleen's husband Kirk. We enjoyed visiting, hiking, and shopping in Santa Fe.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Calvin Cross Country: Off and Running!

The Inaugural Calvin Invitational, and the first race of Tim's senior cross-country season, was run last Saturday on the Calvin campus in Grand Rapids. The guys and gals did wonderfully, with both teams winning their events. Tim won the men's race in a time of 24:58, and really enjoyed the run, as can be seen by the smile above as he crossed the finish line. He also got to set the course record, since it was the first running of the event on this course. You can see more about the race, including recaps, results and photos, here:
And you can see an article about the team from the Grand Rapids Press here:

An Exciting Adventure for Tim

As if the start of the cross-country season were not enough for Timothy, he has new excitement afoot, and it has been a real revelation in the wonder and the care and the providence of God!

Tim is a senior electrical engineering student at Calvin, and that means the big Senior Design Project this year. This is a large, discipline-integrated, year-long project. After several failed attempts at putting a group together and coming up with an acceptable project, this week it was as if the clouds parted. Where there was no direction on Monday, an amazing plan is in place on Friday! And all along, God went before Tim, planning and guiding in amazing ways!

Tim will be working on a team with three chemical engineers to design a bio-fuel power generation and power grid system for what will be the first (and only) distinctively Christian University in Cambodia! Through an amazing series of things, which all looked unrelated to us at the time, Tim has taken an excellent class in power systems and grids, so he feels excited and prepared for the work. And it looks like he will be able to take a trip to Cambodia during the January interim mini-semester, spending almost three weeks in the area where the university is being built, and seeing the site and talking to folks in the area about the university. How is that for amazing!

So, we would appreciate your prayers for this endeavor. Since it is so obviously God's plan, we are moving ahead, though we are unsure how Tim will raise the funds to go, and despite the fact that they fly into Bangkok, Thailand, where there was a military coup this week. We'll keep everyone updated on his adventure here! And you can see some more information about the interim class here:

Thursday, August 31, 2006

The completed project: and a new one begun

Here, after many hours of added construction, followed by deconstruction and many hours of polyurethaning, and driving 1700 miles or so with the smell of poylurethane filling the car, the loft bed is completed and Ben's apartment in Bloomington, Indiana is serviceable, and homey. Ben is now an Assistant Instructor in the Classical Studies Department at Indiana University. He is working on his Masters in Latin, and assisting with a mythology class. What a new and exciting advernture! And Bloomington is an adorable city, with the impressive and large campus dominating.

Building Project

One of the major projects near the end of the summer was building a loft bed for Ben, complete with a computer space, desk and shelves below. We are not woodworkers, but Ben's efficiency apartment in Indiana made this necessary. His efficiancy space is 14 X 14, and that includes the closet and bathroom! Here, Tim, Dave and Ben (in our garage) complete the bed frame, which our friend Charlie Bell said was strong enough to hold a car-- and weighed about as much as one! Charlie was a BIG help in getting it all done and together.

Fun with Friends

While the summer just flew by, we enjoyed the opportunity to get together with folks who came to visit. We had visits from Chris' sister Jeni, our dear friend from D.C. Jan Adams, and the "college kids" were around. Above, the old debate crew enjoys hamburgers on our back porch. {Starting with the striped shirt and continuing clockwise: Elsa Johnson, Emily Thomson, Carolyn Thomson, Tim, Josh Baer, Joey Piotrowicz, Jesse Piotrowicz, and Ben}

A Visit from Elsa

We enjoyed a wonderful week this August with Ben's girlfriend, Elsa Johnson. Elsa hails from Minnesota, and is a Junior at Hillsdale College. We enjoyed showing her our neighborhood, and appreciated her parents, Donna and Chris, sharing her with us. {Above, Ben and Elsa at Overlook Park, overlooking the Rio Grande valley, about a mile from our house.}

Monday, July 31, 2006

Here we are at the wedding of friends Abby and Keith Parker in July in Santa Fe. It was great to be all dressed up and have some place to go! (L to R: Ben, Dave, Chris, Tim)
Tim's Calvin running teammates, Calah Shlabach from St. Michaels, Arizona and John Gries from King of Prussia, PA, came to visit. They were delightful, and Tim enjoyed visiting all his "old haunts" with them. (L to R, Tim, Calah, John)

Monday, June 12, 2006

Ben did it!!

He actually graduated from Hillsdale College (in four years). He graduated cum laude, and with departmental honors from the Classics department, and now can put a B.A. behind his name (and it doesn't stand for bad attitude!) He has also contratced for an apartment in Bloomington for the fall. So while he is home this summer, and unemployed, we have the hope for better come fall...

But in truth, what could be better than having him home for the summer? We are really enjoying having both the guys here this summer.We are really proud of Ben, and excitied to see what God will do with him next!

The Finfam at Ben's graduation from Hillsdale (l to r: Tim, Ben, Dave Chris) Posted by Picasa

Ben and Elsa joined us to watch Tim run the 10K, along with Chris's sisters Annie and Jeni. Posted by Picasa

Friday, June 09, 2006

Tim runs the 5K at NCAA Div.III Track Nationals in Lisle, IL, on May 27, 2006. {He is sixth from the right, in maroon, with #13 on his hip.} Posted by Picasa

Tim chilling at Track Nationals Posted by Picasa

Tim's Spring Track, 2006

It's difficult to believe, but track season has swooshed by us, and Tim is home and taking a couple of weeks off of running. It was a successful season in many ways, and a difficult one as well.
The Successes:
  • He ran strong the whole season, and grew in character, by God's grace.
  • He won his conference 10K
  • He qualified for Nationals in both the 5K and the 10K
  • He was a repeat All American in the 10K
The difficulties:
He was ill in January, and just never felt "well" again. This resulted in one of those seasons where he met few of his running goals, and learned a lot about fortitude and patience. He had several instances of collapsing and losing consciousness following races, which culminated in a colapse during the 5K at Nationals (his final race of the season) and resulted in his first DNF (did not finish) ever. He is currently seeing medical professionals here at home to make sure there is nothing going on medically, and we are hopeful that rest and home cooking will do him a world of good.

Tim ran well, studied well, and is a joy to have back home for the summer. He is working again as an undergraduate student at Los Alamos National Laboratory for our dear friend David Lawrence, acting director of the Center for Space Science and Exploration. Tim hopes to be inspired there this summer with an idea for next year's senior engineering design project.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Update on Benjamin

Wonder of wonders, Ben is graduating next month from Hillsdale College with a degree in classical studies. It now appears that he will be attending the Indiana University (Bloomington) in the fall on an Instructor Assistantship, working on his Masters in Latin, with the possiblity of continuing on for his PhD. He is particularly interested in the early church fathers, Roman poetry, and authorship issues. So, he has found a way to stay on a college campus, and keep being a student for 2-5 more years! :-) We are , of course, pleased with how well he has done, and pray for God's continued guidance as he seeks to find the calling God has placed on his life.
You can read more about Ben's future home and field of study here: http://www.indiana.edu/~classics/

Dave entering one of many lava-tube tunels/caves in El Malpais. Posted by Picasa

Chris on top of the El Morro formation. Posted by Picasa

Dave and Chris' Very Cool Adventure

February brought what we are affectionately calling "Dave and Chris' VERY Cool Adventure"-- a camping trip in 40 mph winds in Western New Mexico. The two of us had a lovely 4-day adventure in our pop-up camper (with two ceramic heaters and two down comforters), and toured the El Malpais National Monument (http://www.nps.gov/elma/) , El Morro National Monument (http://www.nps.gov/elmo/), and Bluewater Lake State Park (http://www.emnrd.state.nm.us/emnrd/parks/Bluewater.htm). We enjoyed hiking lava fields from extinct volcanoes, explaoring, and spending time together (even if we were freezing most of the time!)

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Dave on Passe-a-Grille Beach, St. Petersburg Posted by Picasa

Sunset Beach, amazingly enough, at sunset. Posted by Picasa

Dave and Chris to Florida

Dave attended a meeting in Tampa, Florida, in January, and Chris enjoyed going along. While Dave sat through meetings, Chris read, swam, and watched old movies. {It was very relaxing for Chris!} We ate great Asian food, walked on beaches, and had lots of uniterrupted talking time.

The highlight of the trip was time with our good friends, Randy and Barb Greenwald, in Bradenton, just south of Tampa. Those of you who know us well have heard the story of Dave and Randy being washed in the same sink, and being twins separated at birth. It was a joy to spend time together! We went to Busch Gardens and the Cheesecake Factory, spent time with most of their children and their grandson (!), and enjoyed worshipping together. What a lovely way to begin our year!