Sunday, November 9, 2008


So last week Amber & I went to the Quilt Show, a yearly outing. As always, I come away from it inspired & motivated to do more craft projects. So on Friday, Zach & I made this quilt top together. Ok, so it isn't very intricate or complicated, but I was able to the whole thing, start to finish, during one of Chloe's naps. And now I feel proud of myself. I just wish my mom & sisters were close by to join in the fun with me.


Another Halloween has come & gone (thank goodness). This year Hailey dressed as a witch, a nice witch, & Zach was a skeleton. And I guess I might be a bad mother, because Chloe had no cute costume. Oh well. We went up to our Church for some Trunk or Treating. Hailey was worn out afterward, but Zach wasn't done yet, so Shad took him out in the neighborhood for a little while. We put their candy bags away, & they've hardly even asked for them. Good for them because they haven't eaten a ton of candy--bad for Shad & I because we eat it for them!

Happy Birthday Zach

Zach turned four years old last week. We can't believe how big he is getting! We celebrated with extended family the night before, but on the big day, we had a party with all of his friends here at our home. It was a dinosaur party & we had a great time. When Shad came home from work, we headed out for a surprise visit to Chuck E. Cheese for some pizza & games. And as if that wasn't enough, we topped the night off with a family party & some more presents. He was one excited boy!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Aftermath

Our front yard

Hailey & Zach in front of our debris pile (This is early one--the pile doubled over the next few days)

The branch that split & almost fell on top of our house. Can you see the crack?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Hurricane Ike

We are alive!!! Hurricane Ike came calling last Friday evening and Saturday morning. We watched the storm all week and at the beginning of the week we though it would head south of us, but as the week continued it took aim right at Houston. Shad had the day off Friday and we spent the day getting ready. We already had food, water, and gas and we made some last few trimmings to our trees so they were away from the power lines. It is definitely an interesting experience to know that a big storm is coming and to go to bed not knowing what the night will bring. We set up beds in our family room and put mattresses and a couch in front of our french doors so that we basically had a windowless room and then "Hunkered" down. The kids slept great and the winds started to blow more around 10:00 pm. A transformer blew and caught on fire two streets behind us about that time and the fire department got that out quickly. Around 11:30 we lost power and we are still without it (6 days so far). Shad was awake most of the night and kept up to minute on the radio what was happening. Around 2:00 in the morning we started getting a lot of rain and wind gusts in the 50-70 mph range and that was pretty continuous until about 4:45. That is when the eyewall came close. We never did see the "eye" but it passed about 3 miles to the east of us. With that being the case we had some 80-100 mph winds from about 4:45 to 6:00 am and that was constant. The noise was loud and trees branches were snapping and flying. It made for a tense hour but we made it. Around 7:00 it was still rainy and very breezy and our street was flooding. Shad, a neighbor, and Dad & Tyler went out trying to unclog the drains from all the debris. Once that was done the street drained in about an hour. Saturday was a long day. Shad was out cutting trees in the neighborhood and clearing drains to let the water flow. Sunday church was cancelled and groups from the church including the missionaries were in our neighborhood removing debris and cutting down trees. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday were the same. Needless to say it has been a long week. The saving grace was a cold front and cooler weather. We are still without power and can't wait for it to be on. Shad has gone out looking for icecream the last few nights and finally found cream to make homeade icecream last night. The kids are doing great and love using the flashlights at night. Amy is just tired of having no power and keeps saying, "Have I told you that I don't want to live any closer to the gulf than we do now?" We are doing well and wanted to just post this since this is the first time we have had access to the internet all week. We will post pictures later.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Hailey's off to Kindergarten!!!

Our little girl, Hailey Lauren Hanis, started kindergarten this week. She is attending Red Elementary and is really liking school. She was pretty excited last Sunday and could barely go to bed and then woke up around 6:00 AM and was ready to go. Her teacher is Ms. Sweeny and she really likes her a lot. Although we don't get all the details we have heard some. Her best friends are Lauren and Maya, recess is really hot, she went to the Meth lab (we are assuming it was Math lab), she can't wait for play stations to start, she fell asleep only one day during nap time, she didn't have enough time to eat all her lunch because she was talking, the boys got in trouble. We do get more and more information each day. Amy drives her to school and picks her up each day. Hopefully this week Hailey will be confident enough to not have to be walked in to school. Anyways, we are so proud of her and can't believe how grown up she is. Five years have passed by so quickly. Shad keeps telling her she better like school because it is only 23 years of more school to get where he is. She really doesn't believe him, but if she only knew!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Oulu, Finland...Here Shad comes!

When Shad started his orthodontic residency program we knew it would probably be busy, but we didn't know he would have so much fun as well. So after 2 months he is starting to figure out some things, starting a lot of patients, and learning a ton. However, he is also getting to travel. He went to a conference in Ann Arbor, Michigan last month and was excited to go because he was born there. In September his travels will take him to Oulu, Finland for a week to do his Masters research project. He is super excited to go and has always wanted to fly Lufthansa, so you guessed it, he is. He flies to Frankfurt, then on to Helsinki, and then finally to Oulu, which is just south of the arctic circle. On his return he hits the same cities and will spend a day in Helsinki. Two more trips to Dallas for conferences and hopefully a trip to Spokane for Thanksgiving and he should be tired out by Christmas. The spring will bring trips to Boston and hopefully Connecticut, San Antonio, Austin, and then next fall to Cancun. Anyways, the whole family is jealous, but Amy and Shad have a cruise with Amy's family scheduled next Christmas. If you ask him all of these trips are officially orthodontic "business" but hopefully he has some fun to since he missed out on Yellowstone, Utah, and Idaho over the summer since he couldn't take any time off.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Aren't We Cute?

The kids are getting SO big! Hailey is anxiously awaiting the start of kindergarten in two weeks. Zach is excited that he will get to be the man of the house from 8 am until 3 pm each day. And Chloe is almost 3 months old already. How time flies.

The Greatest Show on Earth

So we took the kids to the circus. They earned free tickets from the library by completing the summer reading program. Unfortunately they didn't pay for the two adult tickets, but oh well. We were sure that the cost would be nothing compared to their excitement at being there. As you can see from the picture, they were less than thrilled. Zach fell asleep before intermission & Hailey spent the second half asking if we could please just go home already. As much as Shad & I enjoyed the show, I think next year we'll just keep our money instead.

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Path to Peace

"We look forward to the time when the power of love will replace the love of power. Then will our world know the blessings of peace." ~William Gladstone

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Grandpa Hanis and the 4th of July

My family is a very patriotic family. On every July 4th, Memorial Day, and Flag day I can loook down at my parents house (we live 3 houses down) and see that they are displaying the American Flag.
This 4th of July I awoke and saw something different as I went outside in the morning. I looked down and the flag looked a little different. It appeared like a shorter flag and I was puzzled. It almost looked like a shirt, but it couldn't be.

Upon closer inspection it was a shirt.
Grandma must have cleaned the house and put the real flag away, but luckily Grandpa had made a special trip to Bass Pro Shop this week to get a festive new shirt for the 4th of July!
Just kidding Dad, we love your new shirt!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Hanis Family Photo

For the last 2 months the entire Hanis Family has been living in Houston. It has been fun to get together on Sundays, Birthdays, Holidays, and other times. Sadly, Jamie, Trent, and their 4 kids will be moving to New York City in 2 weeks. Carrie will probably follow them east in a couple of months while she travels with her physical therapy company. That will leave our family, Shad's parents and Tyler, and Amber & Dan still in Houston. Who knows what the future will hold but is has been fun being all back together for a little while.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Hailey's 5th Birthday

Hailey turned 5 years old on June 19th & she is growing up so quickly! We had cake & ice cream as a family at our house on her birthday. She got several new outfits of clothes since she is growing so fast & all of her other clothes are getting small. She also got some games like trouble, old maid, go fish, & war. Her favorite was her new backpack for kindergarten that Granny Hanis embroidered her name on & a matching lunchbox. On Friday night invited several friends & families to a swim party & BBQ at Shad's parents house. We had almost 30 people & swam & ate shish kabobs. It was a wonderful evening & we had a lot of fun.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Grandma and Grandpa Nebeker Visit Houston

Grandma & Grandpa Nebeker (Amy's parents) arrived last Friday evening to spend a few days in Houston. Much to Grandma's delight we had warm weather waiting for her. On Saturday we spent the day catching up, swimming, & went to the Astros game at Minute Maid Park that night. Sunday morning we attended church & had Chloe's baby blessing. Everyone came over to our house after church for lunch & visiting. On Monday we headed down to Galveston Island & went to Moody Gardens. We visited the Aquarium pyramid & saw the new Shark 3D IMAX. On Tuesday, Grandma & Grandpa treated us all to Kungfu Panda at Edwards Cinema & the kids loved it. On Wednesday we all went out to Westwood Gymnastics for a birthday party for Julianne & Madelyn Handy (Shad's sister Jamie's kids) & it was great. An entire room of trampolines, slides, foam pools, & even the adults got involved. Sadly, we dropped off Grandma & Grandpa at the airport Wednesday evening. We had a ton of fun & are so glad that they could come & see us here in Houston.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Chloe's Baby Blessing This Sunday

Chloe Eliza Hanis will be blessed this Sunday June 8, 2008 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints located at 5531 Beechnut. (At the corner of Beechnut & Mullins) The church service will be from 9:00-10:15. Amy's parents fly into town today to be here for the blessing & to see Chloe. All our friends & family are invited to come. Chloe will be blessed by her dad.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Chloe is 3 weeks old

Chloe is 3 weeks old today & is such a joy to our family. She has been sleeping from about 9:00 pm to 4:00 am each night & then eats & goes right back to bed til around 7:00 am. It has been wonderful. We are gearing up for Grandma & Grandpa Nebeker to come visit this Fiday to see our family.


Cowboy Boots

Shad had some money he got for graduation & wanted to buy something that he would never usually spend a lot of money for. After several days of thinking he finally decided that he wanted some cowboy boots. So today we went to Cavender's Boot City close to the Astrodome & tried on pair after pair & he ultimately settled on these. Now after living in Texas for 27 years he owns his 1st pair of boots. He was surprised how comfortable they are. Zach was also very approving since green is his favorite color.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Memorial Day 2008

For Memorial Day we spent the afternoon at Shad's parents house. There were several other families there & we had brisket, hot dogs, swimming, & of course...Blue Bell ice cream. Here are some pictures of the kids swimming. They both had their first swim lessons of the summer from Granny Hanis & they did great.

Hailey Swimming to Granny during her lesson.

Zach playing around after his lesson.

Friday, May 23, 2008

It's Official...Dr. Shad Bingham Hanis

Shad's graduation from dental school was yesterday, May 22, 2008 & was held at the Cullen Performance Hall on the campus of the University of Houston. Amy & the kids, Shad's parents, Tyler, & Amber & Megan were all in attendance. Afterwards, we all went out to Pappasito's to celebrate. This was the culmination of 4 years of hard work & we are excited for this phase of life to be over. We were just glad that we survived last week. Chloe was born on Monday evening & Shad started his Western Regional Exam Board on Wednesday & finished on Saturday afternoon. Luckily all his patients showed up & he feels good about the exam. We will find out in 4 weeks how he did & then he can apply for his Texas state dental license. Although this phase is over, Shad still has 2 more years to go while he does a residency in Orthodontics here in Houston at the University of Texas Dental Branch.
Shad getting "hooded" by Dr. Ferguson and Dr. Ludington.

Shad receiving his D.D.S. diploma from Dr. Flaitz the dental school dean.

Shad walking through the aisle as the processional left the auditorium.

Shad, Amy, Hailey, Zachary, and Chloe after graduation.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

1 Week Old: Chloe Eliza Hanis

Chloe is now one week old & doing great. She is a typical girl; she loves to have her hair washed, she eats small servings about a hundred times a day, & she loves to change outfits multiple times a day. She is very cute & is starting to smile a little. She does have one goopy eye that we constantly have to wash but she is a darling.

Chloe's Name: Chloe Eliza Hanis

(Painting by David Grant Dean of Eliza Chapman Gadd crossing the Rocky Ridge with the surviving members of her family.)

On July 25, 1815, Samuel Gadd (Chloe’s 5th great grandfather) was born in Wimpole, England. He married Eliza Chapman (Chloe’s 5th great grandmother) in Croyden, England, on April 13, 1836. This was the same town in which she was born on March 13, 1815. Samuel & Eliza had 8 children who were all born in England; Alfred, Jane, William, Samuel, Mary Ann, Sarah, Daniel, & Isaac. On October 14, 1841 Samuel was baptized. As with others who would form the Willie Handcart Company, they left Liverpool England aboard the vessel, Thornton, on May 4, 1856. The ship arrived at New York on June 14, 1856, & the emigrants, continuing the journey by rail, arrived at Iowa City, June 26th. When they arrived at Iowa City they joined the belated handcart company of Captain James G. Willie to set off to the Salt Lake Valley. While we have few details, they clearly suffered all the hardships that besought so many of the pioneers. On October 9, 1856, Samuel died at the age of 41. Our records simply show as his place of death “On the Plains”. It actually was at the Sweetwater River. He was one of some 16 that died that night & was buried in a communal grave. In addition to burying her husband on the plains, Eliza would also see two of her children lost – Samuel & Daniel. As the Gadd family crossed the Rocky Ridge in a blizzard on October 23, 1856, Eliza became snowblind, in which condition she remained for three days. She became dependent on her 7-year-old daughter, Mary Ann, to hold her hand & lead her up the steep trail as she assisted the older children in pulling the handcart with her other hand. The Gadd family biography states: "Mary Ann, with only rags covering her feet, led her snowblind mother for three days as she pulled the handcart. During this time she carried an ox hoof & at each camp she would roast it & eat the part that was roasted. This was all she had to eat during those three days."Among the children who made it was 6 year old Sara. Shad’s great grandfather while a boy remembered her sitting with her feet in a pan of warm water because they still hurt from the frostbite on the plains.This story is not unlike the many who suffered & persevered. Where the story seems to depart, however, is what happened after arriving in the valley on November 8, 1856. One week later, November 16, 1856, Eliza Chapman Gadd was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Amazingly, she gained her testimony of the church across the plains & that experience brought her into the church instead of away from it. Later, Eliza went to Nephi (by assignment) & there became a midwife. She continued in this capacity until the end of her days. She apparently delivered over 2,000 babies in her service as a midwife. After staying two weeks to help a family where she had delivered a baby, the husband & father said to her: "Sister Gadd, I am sorry I haven't anything I can pay you for all you have done for us. I will try to pay you soon." Grandmother Gadd saw two eggs on the table & picking them up said, "That's all right Brother, I will take these eggs for my breakfast & we will call the bill paid." Eliza died on January 24, 1892 in Nephi, Utah.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Day 2: Chloe Eliza Hanis

This morning Hailey & Zach had their first chance to hold Chloe since they couldn't hold her last night. To our surprise each held Chloe for about the time it took to take a picture & then said they were done. They were both a little nervous about the whole thing. We asked Hailey if she was ready for Chloe to come home & she replied, "Not today Mom, maybe tomorrow." They warmed up a little by the end & took another turn before leaving. Some of Shad's family came & visited at the hospital today (Granny Hanis, Carrie Hanis, Dan & Amber Aird - sister) Chloe is doing great today & has plans to come home tomorrow morning.

Chloe Eliza Hanis

Chloe Eliza Hanis was born yesterday May 12, 2008 at 4:46 PM. We arrived at the hospital to be induced around 7:00 AM. After tons of paper work the oxytocin began around 9:30 AM. Amy got an epidural around 11:30 AM just as her contractions were beginning to be uncomfortable. The doctor broke her water around 2:30 PM & Chloe came about 2 hours later. She weighed in at 8 lbs 2 oz & was 20 inches long. She had a lot of fluid in her stomach (which was suctioned) & around 6:30 PM they took her up to the nursery because she was breathing a little too much (80-90 respirations instead of 40-60). The doctors debated whether or not to send her over the the NICU at Texas Childrens but we just continued to watch her. She slowly began to get better & better & around midnight she finally got a bath & was allowed back into our room around 1:30 AM this morning. She is doing great & so is Amy. Hailey & Zach are sure excited & this morning they will finally be able to hold their new little sister.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Marcole Comes to Houston

On Thursday, May 8th, Marcole became our official first guest in our new house. On Thurday night she was so nice to take us to Pappasitos for their world famous fajitas. On Friday we spent the morning at the Galleria, Williams Tower, & the waterwall. We finished our trip off with a trip to Sbarros Pizza & she left on Friday afternoon. Here are a few pictures of her visit.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

School's Out!...Almost

Springtime means "end of the school year" stuff is keeping us pretty busy--especially since it is graduation year for Shad. Finally! He has done so well through dental school. SO a few weeks ago he was inducted into the National Dental Honor Society, Omicron Kappa Upsilon. We went to a really nice dinner at Trevisio & enjoyed a nice program where he & a few other classmates were honored.

We also attended the Senior Banquet, which was really nice, even though it lasted about 4 hours!! Shad won the Southwest Society of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons Award for demonstrating self-discipline, leadership, & dedication in the field of oral surgery. Shad says it just meant he pulled more teeth than anyone else in his class, but I was very proud of him. Too bad there was no cash award on this one!

With dental school wrapping up, Shad is moving on to post-post-graduate school, which will take another 2 years. But we are beginning to see a light at the end of this long, long tunnel.

Friday, April 25, 2008


Shad had a rare Friday off a few weeks ago, & we took the kids down to Kemah for the day. Kemah is this great boardwalk town. It was completely empty & the weather was perfect! We spent the whole day riding the rides (with no lines), playing in the fountains, & watching the sailboats in the ocean. It was a fantastic day!

Father-Son Campout

Shad & Zach went down to Brazos Bend state park for the Stake Father-Son campout. They had a great time, mostly because there was no torrential rain this year (as opposed to last year). Consequently, Zach now knows that camping does not necessarily involve sleeping in Grandpa's van. He was delighted to report that he saw a raccoon, a BIG alligator, & an armadill-ah; I guess that's how the real Texans say it.