"Look At Me"

"Look At Me"
monotype and screenprint

Friday, April 29, 2011

Tyler's Pre-School Graduation and The Minden Courier

Tyler graduated from pre-school yesterday!!!  I'm so proud of him!  He did great during the little skits.  He was the "Doctor" in 12 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed and he really got into it at the end--everyone was laughing.  :)  My little thespian.  All the kids had to tell everyone who they were and what they wanted to be when they grew up.  He told them he wanted to be an astronaut (no surprise).  He also told them his parents names were "Mommy" and "Daddy."  It was adorable.  He's changed a lot in the past few years.  You never would have guessed that the first two weeks of pre-school he threw up every day because of nerves.  Now he LOVES going and being with his friends.  He's become quite the social butterfly and is the first to help other kids when they are crying.  He's a sweetheart.  :)

Also, the article about the Autism Art Project finally came out in the Minden Courier.  I have 26 days left and I'm currently 41% funded.  I'm not giving up yet!!  May 14th there will be a fundraiser at The Party Cove in Omaha.  Here is the link for the Minden Courier article: 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Meeting Aiden and KHAS link

Derek and I were on KHAS last night too!  Here is the link:

We also got to meet Aiden and Kim Hysell for the first time.  Aiden is going to be one of the kids in the project.  He has PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder Non-Otherwise Specified).  He's somewhere on the autism spectrum.  He's a CUTIE and reminds me a lot of Derek.  They both like to line up their cars the same way, and they have a lot of similar characteristics.  They even have trouble saying some of the same words.  Aiden is also 3-- he is just a few months younger than Derek.  He speaks a lot more though. 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Kearney Hub!


I was in the Kearney Hub yesterday!  Attached above is the link to the article!  The online version is a short and sweet version of what was in the actual paper.  Also yesterday I was interviewed by NTV.  Derek and I will make our tv debut Monday morning!  :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Today I hit $2200 on Kickstarter.  I'm 1/3 of the way there with 36 days left.  I'm still walking on eggshells.  I don't think I'll really be able to relax until this is over.  Even then, once the Kickstarter deadline ends I'm going to have to get my tail in gear and get cracking on the art pieces.  Exciting, but a little overwhelming.  In the meantime, an article comes out on Friday in the Kearney Hub about the project.  I had an interview with the Minden Courier today--that comes out next week.  I have an interview with NTV this Thursday and KHAS-TV next Wed.  I still can't believe all of this is happening.  :)  On the plus side, I think I'm getting better at the interviews--this project is important to me and I know what I want to say.  Once I get past the nerves, I can speak forever.  I know my son, and I know autism.  Or at least how it pertains to me and my family!  I also know how to make monotypes.  I realized today that I have a lot to say.  HAHA!

It was a rough morning in the Hanson House.  I was trying to get the house cleaned before the interview, Derek fell down the stairs, Paxson (the almost 4 month old baby I watch some mornings) got hurt, and Derek didn't want to eat (not unusual).  Lots, and lots, and LOTS of crying this morning.  I was oh, so greatful for naptime. 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Kickstarter Promotion

What a roller coaster ride I am on.  :)  Since I hit the "launch" button for Kickstarter on Monday I have been a nervous wreck.  I have so much riding on this project.  It has become more than just a "project" to me.  It has become a living, breathing part of me.  I want so much to see it happen.  I've already started lining up the kids to be part of it.  I've been talking to their parents--some of them for a long time now.  I can't wait to start working on the art pieces!!!  I have until May 26th--45 days total--to get the donations for kickstarter.  It is an all or nothing deal.  I either make all of it or nothing.  That's why I'm nervous.  It seems like a lot of money, but Kickstarter gets 5% and Amazon.com gets 3%.  Also, with the way Kickstarter's reward system works--if you donate $50, you get a t-shirt with the "Look At Me" image on the front--I really only make about half the amount.  I am trying to promote like crazy.  It takes a lot more effort than I expected.  I'm putting stuff on fb, I'm hanging up fliers, I'm having Derek's therapists talk to AOII alums, I'm talking to old printmaking friends...anything I can think of.  I had an interview with the Kearney Hub yesterday, so I'm hoping that will help also.  A friend of mine is trying to get me on NTV as well.  I also talked in front of my church last week and plan on talking to two separate autism teams.  I'm EXHAUSTED.  I hope it is worth it.  I have met so many wonderful people so far, and I don't want to let them down and tell them the project is going to have to be put on hold until I have the funds to continue.  If Kickstarter fails, I'm going to be REALLY bummed.

In the meantime, I'm trying to continue with life as normally as I possibly can!  We went to the lake near the mission twice last week since the weather was decent.  Derek and Tyler both love to be outside.  Derek watches the birds flying and runs back and forth "flapping" his hands.  Sometimes it seems like he's trying to fly with them.  :)  He's SO happy.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Taking Chances...I have 45 days!

Here is the website address for my official page:

Working on the video for Kickstarter with Bryan McAdams

The 2011 Nebraska State Autism Conference

   April 7-8, 2011 was the NE State Autism Conference.  It was incredible.  I went to some really interesting panels, met some fantastic people, and even had my own table!  I handed out fliers about the Art Project in between sessions and told people what I was doing.  Hopefully I generated some interest.  :)

   The best panel (in my opinion) that I attended was the one on how music therapy can be used to help your child.  The 3 women speaking had videos of how music has helped some of the children they work with.  Some of the children were a lot more severe than Derek--in wheelchairs, completely non-responsive, etc.  When music played, they would stop rocking back and forth, their eyes would focus, and they would even click their tongues to get the music to continue.  By the end of the panel, I had tears rolling down my cheeks.  Derek LOVES music.  I truly believe that if he ever has a really, REALLY big breakthrough, it will be because of music.  I wish I knew how to use it...I want to start having him take piano lessons.  Oh, and by the way--the three women speaking?  They deserve medals.  Talk about having an INFINITE amount of patience.  The 3-minute videos we saw equalled 6 months-1 year of their work. 

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Quite a Week

This picture was taken back in the summer of 2009.  Derek was obsessed with the Dukes of Hazzard car.  He sat there for hours opening the trunk and closing it and then opening the hood to see the engine and closing it.  Back and forth.  He'd scream when he couldn't get them to open.  Sigh...I was just happy that I got him to look at the camera.  :)

"The tests of life are not meant to break you, but to make you."
~Norman Vincent Peale~

I have a rough week ahead.  I'm going to attend my first autism conference this Thursday and Friday.  I'm really excited, but I don't know what to expect.  I was granted permission to set up a booth, so I'm going to bring my prints and hand out fliers about the project.  Hopefully that will help generate some interest.

Also, I was accepted by Kickstarter last week!  WOOHOO!!!!!  I am going to TRY to launch it before the conference.  I have my work cut out for me...  I don't know whether to be scared or nervous or excited or all of the above!