All posts by Dana Hanson

Grandpa Diary #131 Halloween and Elise’s Birthday!

Dear Kaylee and Elise,

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Last week was a busy one for you and Grandpa. First, on Halloween, Grandpa came out with you trick or treating. The scariest house was the clown house where there were fake clowns playing in the yard, and then one of the clowns was real!


The next day I came over at night and played with you and slept over. Then the next day Elise and Grandpa played at the park until it was time to get Kaylee at school. Then we went to McDonald’s and Kaylee’s friend Sofia was there! We played some more and then we went home and your mommy and daddy got to go to a movie and have dinner. Grandpa stayed over that night, too.

Then at 4:15 am Elise comes into my room and shouts, “Happy Birthday, Grandpa!”

Except it wasn’t my birthday Elise, it was yours! Three years old!

Kaylee came into bed too and while Grandpa was trying to get a little more sleep, you were playing patty cake the covers. Then Grandpa went home, but he came back with Nana and Uncle David and Uncle Greg because we had a birthday party!

That’s four days in a row for Grandpa and you wore him out. But, I will be ready again this Friday!



Grandpa Diary #130

Dear Kaylee,

We had a great time last week. I picked you up at school Thursday afternoon and then we went to McDonalds for a snack. After that we went to the park. Your mommy had Elise, during this time, so she wasn’t home, yet. We met your dad at home and then we went to the store. By that time you were exhausted, so I put you in a cart!  Later we all ate steak for dinner and finally, you and Elise went to bed. So, did Grandpa! I was going to watch Elise on Grandpa Day Friday, anyway, so I just stayed overnight.

kaylee sleeping at store

It’s Friday morning and I walked with you to school for the first time. It is a very nice walk through the paseos and is only one mile. There was a small challenge, however, as you walk so much faster than I do! After Grandpa finally caught up you played at the park next to your school for a bit and then I dropped you off at the gate.

walking to school

I went home and got Elise and we started our day with breakfast at Dink’s Restaurant. Then we played and picked you up at school. The day ended with the three of us driving back to my house and you got to see Nana! After a delicious lunch at “George’s” it was time to play a bit and then mommy picked you up.


How much fun was that? “Way fun,” as you like to say!



Grandpa Diary #129

Dear Kaylee,

Now you are a kindergartner and we don’t have you at our house during the week when your mommy is teaching. That’s alright…I still see you because I will pick you up some times at your school and then we do Kaylee/ grandpa stuff, anyway!

So far, we have done this two times. We have gone for food (ice cream is food, right?) and then to the park until mommy and daddy come home. Here is what I am learning…

You have gone from a big preschool, that I really like, Christ Lutheran Valencia, to a much bigger public school. You have done very well at the new school, but there is no way you know all the kids. Maybe in your class, but not in the school!

So, what does this mean? Here is what I am predicting.

Most kids will want to play with you.

All of us have tried to make sure you are the kind of kid other kids want to play with.

Also, you are the kind of kid your teachers enjoy having you around. Maybe a chatterbox, but wait until your sister get’s there!

And guess what else?

You will begin to connect with kids who other kids have a hard time playing with. Why do I know this?

Because that’s what grandpa did when he was a kid, and if grandpa did that, who would also do that? Let’s guess…Maybe your mommy?

This will take some time, but you are probably going to end up making life better for some kids, rather than worse. Most people don’t even think about that, but actually- that’s a pretty big deal…



Grandpa Diary #128- Kindergarten!

Dear Kaylee,

Well, that day finally came. You started Kindergarten today…What??

My little girl reading with me will someday soon be my bigger girl reading to me?



We went to see you off today at your new school. Your mommy cried tears of joy and some sadness for how fast you are growing up. You got in line at spot #11 and walked into your classroom.

You gave me a big kiss goodbye and Grandpa whispered, “Jesus is with you always and he will protect you wherever you go.”

You really weren’t afraid, you were walking ahead of us so anxious to get there, but it’s always good to know who is watching over you…



Grandpa Diary #127

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Dear Kaylee and Elise,

You finally met your Great Grandpa Hanson! We all went back for the wedding of mommy’s cousin Liz in Wisconsin. You met her and husband Nate when they visited California last year. The wedding was wonderful and a big surprise came afterword.

Your great grandpa Hanson lived in Minneapolis and you had never met him. He loves you both so much and talks about you all the time. Shows your pictures to everyone where he lived. But, we thought you would never meet him because you can’t travel.

Then he had a heart attack and got real sick, but now he is better. In order to be close to your Great Uncle David and Great Aunt Shari, Great Grandpa moved to Chicago! So, even though we we thought it would never happen, it did!

We visited Great Grandpa! You had so much fun playing with him and getting to know him! After Great Grandma died, Great Grandpa said the biggest blessing in his life is that you two were born! We thank God you all were together!

Grandpa cried tears of joy along with your mommy on that day…



Grandpa Diary #126


Dear Elise,

Dear Elise,

You love books just like Kaylee. One of your favorite things to do with Nana on Wednesday’s is go to the library for Story Time. You get to listen to stories and sing and play.

Grandpa likes books, too. I read books all the time and I love to read books with you. We usually get through most of the books if they are short, but not usually all the way through if they are longer because you are a squirmer. Something else is going on around us that you just have to check out. That’s alright, too.

We will try an experiment. I am going to pick out some books that we can act out together.  Let’s see how that goes.




Grandpa Diary #125

Girl's at Easter

Dear Elsie,

You love to “go to church” where Grandpa is pastor. We had a great Easter together and your daddy cooked the Easter Breakfast! You and Kaylee always connect me with God and Jesus stories. When your mommy asks, “Do you want Grandpa to read you a story?” Kaylee, you reply, “OK, where is the Bible book?”

But my favorite story about this common theme just happened. Elise you were jumping by your mommy and daddy’s bed and you slipped and hit your chin. That wouldn’t have been too bad, but you bit your lip and had an “owie.”

Later, you mommy watched you by yourself on the couch. You didn’t see her, but you folded your hands and said,

“Dear God and Grandpa, please make my “owie” better. The end.”


Sean cooking

Grandpa Diary #124

Dear Kaylee,

How exciting to be with you and all our family as you celebrated your First Communion. Like Grandpa teaches you, Jesus is always where you are, and he is with us in a special way at communion. He is telling us he loves us and protecting us from bad things. Jesus loves you very much and so does…


Grandpa Diary #123

Dear Kaylee and Elise,

One of the fun things I get to do is watch you at your house! We play outside on your playhouse and swing set or you play hockey or ride bikes on the basketball court. The most fun for me is relaxing with the two of you and reading you a book!

Everything works out great as long as we get those spider webs out of the play house and Grandpa makes sure there aren’t any gifts left on the lawn by your dog, Sunny!