Thursday, December 13, 2012


I think just about every stage of Greta and Audrey's development has been "my favorite".

But I have to say, the delightful stage we're in right now, is absolutely wonderful!

The girls are now playing with each other more than ever.

 Their imaginations are exploding.

They have the most precious conversations with each other late into the night in their shared bedroom.

And the way they protect each other when their playing with other kids, it's touching. 

This Holiday Season I am overwhelmed with thoughts of what Mary must have felt watching her son grow up.

She knew that He was the Messiah and yet He was still her precious baby.

 I am truly cherishing these days with my ladies.

Merry Christmas friends and family,
The Hansen Crew

*All photos courtesy of the very talented Mr. Dan Bennett

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

girls' room!

We finally hung up the photos of the girls.  I've had these sets of pictures printed for quite some time and so I finally got around to framing them and tonight, when my man got home from work, it was go time!  Photo credits go to Trisha McKeever, Serena Peterson, Dan Bennet, and Leah Fontaine. We are very fortunate to so many friends who are photographers.  We chose to have the same photographers capture each session with the girls so Trisha did the newborn shots, Serena did the 3 month shots, we captured 6 months with the girls, Dan took Greta's 9 month shots, and Leah did both girls 1 year shots as well as family photos for us at that landmark.  Such sweet memories.

A before shot.  The blank canvases, if you will.

So pensive. 

I've read of ideas on taping a straight line so that all your photos stay under it.  We kind of followed it.

Greta's Wall with the fabulous artwork done by my sister in law!

Audrey's Wall featuring the info by my sister in law again as well as a quilted piece by our friend Marcia.

Photo bombed by G.  The crib back in the center.
The walls aren't done yet but at least something is up there.  I have a large zebra print that I need to paint (hoping to find some great, inspiring scripture) and also some embroidering to do for both gals.  Hope you like it!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

front door

Well, technically this isn't my front door but it's the door you enter to get into my house.
Having a porch is one of my favorite features in this house.  It's where I do my quiet time in the morning when it's nice out.  It's where the girls and I play in the afternoon when we need fresh air but can't go out.  It's where my mail gets delivered which always makes me happy.  (Not the bills though).
In an effort to be more creative lately I tried a new Fall wreath.  I was recently explaining this to a friend and I can't get it to come out quiet right but I'll give it a go anyway.  I really want to be creative in the sense that I start with nothing but some craft supplies, and walk away with something else.  So this wreath, although I've seen tutorials on how to do some of the flowers, is my first go.  I just sat down with my felt and fabric, started cutting, glueing, and pinning, and finished with this.  A little sign that says, "hello, welcome to my house, please come in and stay awhile".  At least, that's what I hope it says.
I'm in the middle of a Bible Study on Genesis and I'm sure this has greatly influenced the creative juices.  We serve the Creator of the entire Universe.  That blows my mind.

I'm attempting my first link up.  Not even sure if I fully get what this is but I love this blog, Homemade Ginger, and want to be cool like her.  Think this will help? Check out her blog and others that have linked up too.  Kind of a fun way to keep up with other crafters!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

and the winner is...

Sheree and Greta! Since I only had two gals enter the giveaway I'm awarding them both.  So, ladies, what would you like? A pie? The cowl?  Headbands for your little gals.  If you follow me on Instagram you'll see that I love making these felt headbands for little girls.

My niece Isabelle modeling one of the latest clips.
I'll email you privately to get your preferance!
I can't wait to get you your goodies and thanks for commenting!


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

knitting needles

I own this fantastic pair of knitting needles that I absolutely adore.  They are my go-to needles for any project that don't require a specific size.  "What projects don't require a specific size needle" you ask? Why, the ones I make up of course! And the reason I don't know their size is because I'm lazy and the needles are from Japan.

Last night I got the itch to knit again. 
It's chilly out. 
My man was gone.
The girls were in bed.
And I had a cowl in mind. 

If you're the lucky winner of my giveaway and this is what you so choose- here is a sneak peak of the scarf you'll receive!

Just a simple cowl that slides over your head.  Very easy to wear and quite warm.  Also, if you so choose, I'll add some brown buttons for detailing.  Just let me know!

Oh, and the pattern for those of you that knit:

CO 79 stitches.
For the seed stitch you simply knit 1 purl 1* repeat until you reach the end of the row. On the next row you do the opposite by knitting the purls and purling the knits.  For the green rows I either stopped knitting with the oatmeal and added the green in or I knit holding the two strands together.
Knit as many rows as you'd like for height- I probably did 30 or so?
Then BO in seed stitch.

blog! 500 views and a giveaway!

This blog really started as a way to catalog all the things that I make for my babes.  And, in an effort to be really creative lately, I haven't posted anything in a while.  Hoping to get a new fall wreath posted and Greta's birthday dress but until then I'll just remember that I have this space to write in.

So, I'm curious. Who reads this blog? I have yet to have a comment since I started this new one and yet, I'm up to 500 page views (which kind of makes me want to remove the page-view counter that I see right when I log onto blogger because really, what does it matter?)

So anyway- I had an idea.  Comment on this blog- I'll leave it open until midnight on Friday the 19th, and then I'll select one random winner.  You'll have the choice between a pie (apple or pumpkin and only if you live close and I can deliver, a new cowl I'm working on in an oatmeal brown with light green accents, or one of my favorite books The Catcher in the Rye)

I'd love if you let me know how you found Not Without My or me :)

Thanks and Happy Wednesday!

Audrey Lou on our recent apple orchard visit

The birthday girl. Getting way too big if you ask me

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


Last night was National Night Out.  Did your block do anything fun?
We have been invited, in years past and this year, to the block party of the street behind us- our alley neighbors, but have never gone.  This year I've been getting more and more involved with the Cleveland Neighborhood Association and found myself as a block party leader.  Yippee!! So it was time our actual street block off the roads and had ourselves a true block party!

We had a really fun time getting ready for the festivites.  My man and I provided root beer floats to the neighbors. We had snacks from others homes and my neighbor and dear friend across the street, Mel, even blew up her bouncy house for the kids to jump in.  We had a great time!

But I realized, even with all the planning and organizing, and door to door knowing I did, none of this would even be possible without my neighbors.  I'm so glad we live where we live and I know God has us here for a reason.  They teach me more than they'll ever know about what it means to love.

Sorry, no pics, I was a tad bit busy :)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

apple peeler

We were recently blessed with some free produce.  I probably had 20 apples of all different varieties and they were all about to turn.  So, I made some delicious apple crumb bars.  They were really tasty!  I also made some home made apple sauce in our mini crock pot and that too was tasty!  But what to do with all the peels and cores?  I felt bad just tossing them and since we don't compost yet I didn't know where to put them (we've also had quit the fruit fly problem as of late so the trash can was out).
Thank you google.
I always appreciate your willingness to answer my questions immediately and with multiple choices.
I could just cook the stuff in a pot of water to fill my house with a lovely scent.
I could make apple tea but since it's 90+ degress out most days I opted out of hot tea.
So I made apple jam.  Well, it's actually more like apple honey.  But's it's super tasty.  We put it on our french toast yesterday morning and I made our lunch with it and peanut butter. Just boil down the peels and cores with at least 8 cups of water.  Then strain.  Then cook the apple juice with sugar (I used about a 1 to 4 ratio of sugar to juice) until it reaches 120 degrees. Then can.  Simple and delicious.

But the whole point of this post isn't the delicious recipes I've been finding/creating lately.  It's about my apple peeler.  (I got this as a gift from my grandmother and I doubt she spent more than $15 on it) The guy that makes it all possible.
Seriously- I know there is something to be said for doing it all by hand but this tool is simply amazing.  Cuts my time in half at least.  Plus- look how cute it is? 

Monday, July 23, 2012

new tent!

We love to camp.
This is not a secret.
So the other weekend we went away, just the four of us, and it was a wonderful little family get away.  We found this camp ground that was only 45 minutes from home so we would still feel like we were getting away without the long drive. They had a lake on the grounds and quaint sites that were quite private.  In fact, we might have been the only people camping there that weekend which was weird because it was the first cool weekend in a while up here!
I was trying to capture Audrey's diaper bottom but instead just got this shot of her.  Such a technology lover!

I have a daughter with really curly hair!  I love it!

Our little bon fire.

Trying to keep the mosquitoes out of our eyes but still enjoying some lovely quiet time after the girls went down.
The new tent was yet again, amazing.  Big enough for us all with plenty of room for our gear.  Both Dan and I were amazed that this is the first time we've ever camped, just us.  The first of many.

embroidery hoop

So I started doing a little embroidery.  I've always felt comfortable with a needle and some thread but now I'm learning some specific stitches.
Isaac John Harpel (due August 13th!)
For this baby blanket I made I used three different stitches.  The basic back stitch for the letters,  the french knot for the dots, and the stem stitch for anything round like the circle and the bottom of the J. 

The blanket was made based on this tutorial by Stay-at-Home Artist. It was so easy to follow and I already had the flannel because I bought a bunch on sale a few months ago.  This also helped me learn that my machine had a cute little zig-zag stitch I didn't know about (where it makes it looks a little hand embroidered) and I love it!
Just an instagram of the gal behind this blog!

Saturday, July 14, 2012


Oh Daniel.
You are the love of my life.
I am beyond blessed to be called your wife. 

photo courtesy of Leah Maria Photography
My desire:
"A good woman is hard to find, and worth far more than diamonds. 
Her husband trusts her without reserve, and never has reason to regret it.
Never spiteful, she treats him generously all her life long. 
She shops around for the best yarns and cottons, and enjoys knitting and sewing. 
She's like a trading ship that sails to faraway places and brings back exotic surprises.  
She's up before dawn, preparing breakfast for her family and organizing her day.  
She looks over a field and buys it, then, with money she's put aside, plants a garden. 
First thing in the morning, she dresses for work, rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started. 
She senses the worth of her work, is in no hurry to call it quits for the day. 
She's skilled in the crafts of home and hearth, diligent in homemaking. 
She's quick to assist anyone in need, reaches out to help the poor.  
She doesn't worry about her family when it snows; their winter clothes are all mended and ready to wear. 
She makes her own clothing, and dresses in colorful linens and silks.
Her husband is greatly respected when he deliberates with the city fathers.
She designs gowns and sells them, brings the sweaters she knits to the dress shops.
Her clothes are well-made and elegant, and she always faces tomorrow with a smile.
When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say, and she always says it kindly. 
She keeps an eye on everyone in her household, and keeps them all busy and productive.
Her children respect and bless her; her husband joins in with words of praise:
"Many women have done wonderful things, but you've outclassed them all!"
Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades.
The woman to be amired and praised is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.
Give her everything she deserves!
Festoon her life with praises!"
Proverbs 31:10-31 (The Message version)


I find it only appropriate that my first post on this new blog be about Who it's all about.

There is no other.
He is the reason I am where I am.
He is the giver of life.
The sustainer of my faith.
He is my rock and my salvation.

Thank you for loving me.