Monday, December 20, 2010

Merry Christmas 2010!

It has been a busy season at our house with Thanksgiving going by quickly and Christmas knocking at the door.

Our family would like to take the opportunity to wish your and yours a Merry Christmas. In all the hustle and bustle take some time this year to focus on the incredible gift that our Savior sent. Stay in your jammies, eat an extra cookie, watch It's a Wonderful Life, and stay a little closer to those you hold dear.

Very Merry,
The Hankins Family

Monday, November 1, 2010

October 2010

We have had a full and happy October in the Hankins house. I feel like we have been so busy, and I know it's all just the start to a busy holiday season. October means the Arkansas State Fair in Little Rock, and we loaded up the kids and went one night after work. We strolled around and checked out the cows, goats, pigs, rabbits, ducks, and some other livestock I'm sure I'm missing. The babies also had fun being mesmerized by the rides, lights, and music. I think it's safe to say they had never been anywhere quite like that before. You can't really do the fair without fair food, and we had a polish sausage, a hot dog stuffed inside of a tater twister, some pizza, and some fried Hershey kisses and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. They were divine!

Our friend's the McKinney's had a fantastic Harry Potter-themed Halloween party at their house, and Hulse and Olivia had fun running around with their friends. The food and decor were awesome, and we can't wait for a repeat party. The kids also had a fun party at daycare with all of their school friends and got some good candy and treats.

Our family enjoyed going to the pumpkin patch for the first time as well. We played, looked at the animals, took the hayride out to the patch, picked our pumpkin, and just enjoyed good weather and a special mid week trip.

We also got to do Boo at the Zoo this year for the first time. It was fun with lots of activities for the kiddos, but their favorite thing was the train ride. Hulse is really into all forms of transportation right now so he loved to ride the choo choo. We saw lots of cute costumes and of course got some candy!

The highlight of October was the Halloween night trick or treating. This was the babies' first trick or treat, and it was really fun. They were of course precious in their Pebbles and Bam Bam costumes and had a blast getting candy. We didn't ever really get the timing of saying "Trick or Treat" down, but that didn't stop them from digging into the sugar when the time came.

Hulse and Olivia are at a fun and challenging age right now. October was month 21 for them, and we're getting so close to 2 I can't believe it! They are talking in sentences now and can pretty much tell you whatever it is they need. The problem is if they don't get what they "need" right then, meltdown mode comes quickly. We even had our first public meltdown at the pumpkin patch! That's always fun for mom and dad! It's really amazing to me how self sufficient they've become, and now we can just let them entertain us and themselves for the most part. They are so funny, and we just love being their mommy and daddy.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Long Time No Blog!

I really haven't even been that busy so I have no excuse for no updates! Since we last chatted the babies have turned 20 months old. We're well on our way to having double the 2 years olds in our house and that should be an interesting time in all of our lives!

Football season in our household is a busy time. Trey and I are lifelong Hog fans and Trey graduated from UCA so we also support those Bears. It seems like from now until December every weekend is full with travel to a game or plans to watch at home. I wouldn't have it any other way but it does make for craziness from time to time. The babies have learned their own version of the hog call and have the Whoo Pig part down pat. They can also tell you what a bear says with the growling and bear claws. We had to make sure they were ready to cheer!

Another time of excitement for me has come with joining BSF and studying the book of Isiah. One of the clinicians at work told me about BSF and I had been praying about a new area of study and the timing was just perfect. I love my small group and have already been blessed by God through the study of his word. If you ever get a chance to be a part of a BSF study I would recommend it. The commitment can be a little intimidating but already the reward has been so great!

Of course, I can't wrap up without sharing about my trip to Hogwarts. I'm a huge reader and got on to the Harry Potter series a little late but totally fell in love with the characters, story, and movies. It's one of my favorite book/movie series of all time and I share that love with several other of my girlfriends. When we all heard that Universal in Orlando was creating a HP theme park we knew we wanted to go and amazingly it all worked out for us to be able to do that. We went the last week in September and it was a perfect trip. Great weather, great fellowship, no lines, and HP, what could be better?

I guess that is all of the excitment I can think of sharing and by now the two of you left reading are so glad I'm done!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Keeping Cool

Toddler I

A couple of posts ago we mentioned that Hulse and Olivia would be moving up to the toddler I class at daycare and Thursday was the big day. We had already gone to an open house so they could see their room and their teachers. They moved up with most of the kiddos from their previous class and the first 2 days they got good reports. They even slept well on their nap mats. Such big kids! They got to take their new backpacks (which is a new favorite word) and school supplies. They are growing up before our eyes.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Where the Wild Things Are

In July when we took the kids to the alligator farm in Hot Springs they seemed to really like the animals so we have been wanting to take them to the zoo since then. However, when the temperature is vacillating between hell and spontaneous combustion a trip to the zoo quickly gets pushed to the back burner. This past weekend it was going to be a balmy 95 so on a whim we decided to go. I'm so glad we did because it was really fun. We tried to go early in the morning so that the animals would be up and about before it got hot in the afternoon and we did a pretty good job. Hulse and Olivia got to see: monkeys, camels, birds, tigers, lions, zebras, elephants, giraffes, rhinoceros, bears, deer/antelope like creatures, an anteater, and the extremely rare squirrel. I'm hoping this will be the first of many trips to the zoo.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Moving on up

So, a week or so ago, we were notified that Hulse and Livi were being promoted at daycare from "transition nursery" to "Toddler 1." Jennifer is taking it pretty well.

The new class means that there are no more cribs. They sleep on a mat in the floor. We'd love to see the first attempt at a nap where they just try to get them to lay down on the floor, outside of a cage.

Anyway, the other thing that we found out was that Toddler 1 also comes with a school supply list. They don't promote until the middle of August, but Jennifer has been so excited about the school supplies that we had to make a trip to Walmart . . . with a camera.

Monday, July 26, 2010

A Year and a Half Already?

From July 2010

I'm pretty sure I just got done putting up your birthday post, so how can you already be halfway to 2? You are such big kids now I can't even really call you babies anymore. You're running, talking, and playing just like big kids. We've had a really great summer swimming, traveling, relaxing, and growing by leaps and bounds. You had your shots in June and weighed within an ounce of one another at 25 pounds each.

Hulse, you have really lost some of your baby look and rolls so I think your sister caught up with you in the weight department a little. You also measured at the same height although your dad and I think Hulse is a little bit taller.

From July 2010

Your vocabularies have really taken off. Words that you can say:
  1. momma
  2. daddy
  3. pappaw
  4. gigi
  5. nana (works for nana and banana, but we'll only count it once)
  6. NO!
  7. hi/hey
  8. bye-bye
  9. go (we promise she once said "where did it go?" or atleast that's what it sounded like.)
  10. Elmo (melmo)
  11. Abby (babby)
  12. boat (usually repeated as "boat boat")
  13. eat
  14. grape (gape)
  15. cheese (the dairy product and instantly upon seeing a camera)
  16. diaper
  17. shoe
  18. hat (at)
  19. papi (paci/pacifier)
  20. duck
  21. fish (pish)
  22. turtle
  23. mo-mo (mower)
  24. choo-choo
  25. cookie (as in food and the monster)
  26. baby
  27. ball
  28. dog (whoo-whoo, doggie)
  29. kitty
  30. bird
  31. book
  32. car
  33. bubble
  34. light (usually without the L)
  35. poo-poo
  36. tee-tee
  37. airplane
  38. tractor (tactor)
  39. nose
  40. ear
  41. teeth
  42. eye (they can identify many others, but they don't say them)
You're both still great eaters and love pasta with red sauce, meatballs, and FRUIT! Olivia you especially like blueberries and can put away a ton if we let you!

From July 2010

From July 2010

From July 2010

From July 2010

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Our Staycation

This year we decided to do a low-key trip to Hot Springs with our friends and their little boy. J is about 3 weeks older than Hulse and Olivia, so they really are at the same stages and can play together. I took off all week and had some mom-only time, and then we left Thursday morning.

We rented a condo on Lake Hamilton, and it was really nice. We had a quick BBQ lunch and then headed to the grocery store for some essentials. The babies took afternoon naps and then we headed down to the pool. I'm so glad all the babies love water, and they had a good time "swimming" around. We worked up quite an appetite and went to Rod's that night for some pizza. It was sooo good and the kids loved watching the train go around the restaurant.

Friday we slept in and woke up to a little bit of a rainy day, but we decided to go downtown and walk around for a while. We browsed several cute shops and found a really cute toy store. The kids got some new puzzles, balls, and a new book.

After lunch and nap time the weather looked a little better so we decided to load the kids up and try our luck at Magic Springs. The water park part of Magic Springs has a couple of kiddie areas that we tried out. Our friend J loved it, but our kiddos weren't sold on it. I think the water was too cold (our baby kryptonite) for them, and it was kind of overload for them.

We got dry, grabbed some dinner and went over to the attraction side of the park. Hulse and Olivia got to ride their first official rides. They did the train, Ferris wheel, carousel, and seemed to really like them all. We walked around the park some more and closed it down. Not too bad for our first theme park experience. Disney here we come! On the way home we had to stop for ice cream and found this local place that makes their own, it was AWESOME!

Friday and Saturday folks start streaming into Hot Springs, so traffic and trying to eat somewhere was crazy. More sleeping in on Saturday morning, and then we decided to try out the Alligator Farm. The place has been in HS since 1902 and was really the first "attraction" in the area other than the bath houses.

They have a petting zoo with goats, deer, and a couple of donkeys. Hulse and J liked the goats and fed them if they weren't being too aggressive. Olivia, on the other hand, is going through a phase where she's not too sure about dogs, cats, etc, and she was not having any thing to do with the animals. She did seem to like them if they were on the other side of the fence!

They have an indoor area where the animals live in winter and you can touch a baby alligator. Outside are the alligator pens and some other animals. We tried to stick around for the alligators to have lunch, but the kids were hot, hungry, and tired by that time so we went to lunch at a Mexican restaurant near the condo, Jose's. It was so delicious. They had the best homemade punch and avocado dip. We hit the pool again that afternoon, and then had dinner at Purple Cow.

On our way out of town on Sunday morning we went to Garven Woodland Gardens. I've never been, and it was a really cool place. Of course, this late in the summer not a ton of stuff is in bloom, but the waterfalls, bridges, and plants were gorgeous. They have a miniature train garden that Hulse thought was great and said "Choo-Choo" all afternoon. I would love to take them back at Christmas for the lights and in the Spring while the tulips and azaleas are in bloom. The bottom fell out just as we were leaving, and we were drenched by the time we got to the car.

All good things must come to an end, so we headed home, stopping for lunch at Browns' in Benton.

We had a fantastic, relaxing , fun time with our kids and friends. It was nice to be able to get away and be home in an hour at the same time!

(There are many more pictures on Jenn's Facebook.)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Firecracker Fourth

I really love the 4th of July. I can remember growing up we would spend all day at the pool, and they would have races, games, a carnival, and a fireworks show at night! Nothing fancy, just an all American summer day. With the 4th falling on a Sunday this year, we did most of our celebrating on Saturday. We grilled out with my parents and grandfather and had some fantastic burgers and homemade ice cream.

What a difference a year makes with the kids. Last year they were only 6 months old, but this year they are running around the yard in and out of the pool! They had a blast in the water. We went home, got the kids in their jammies and then took them to the Maumelle fireworks show.

The 4th in Maumelle is a big deal, and they have a parade, a little festival, and of course fireworks. We got a prime viewing spot (total luck) and were right under the action. The kids seemed to love it and were totally mesmerized. Hulse and Liv both were pointing and saying boom and woah. They weren't scared, and I think they thought it was pretty cool.

Sunday we slept in (Yeah for 10:30 church service), got dressed in our red, white, and blue, and went to a great God and Country service at church. One of my favorite things we do every year is the song that features the branches of the military. I just love seeing the legacy of men and women who fought for our freedom. I'm a sappy patrotic person, and I really do get a lump in my throat when we sing the Star Spangled Banner. It always makes me thank God for the freedom I have in this country and the liberation I have in Him from sin. Hope everyone had a fantastic holiday weekend.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

16 and 17 Months

Ok, so I'm combining months! I busy, what can I say. I have to say this is really a fun age with Hulse and Olivia. They just have so much personality and are literally learning to do or say something new everyday. We've had a touch of a stomach bug and some molar cutting, but (knock on wood) it's been a good spring/summer. We've been swimming, playing outside, hanging out with friends/family, and loving long (hot) days.

Trey and I are also celebrating 7 years of wedded bliss. It has been a fantastic 7 years if I do say so. We're not perfect and a marriage takes a lot of work, but the blessings from God have been too numerous to count. Trey and I both give God the glory for our success. I love you Trey. You're a wonderful man of God, husband, and father. I look forward to what God has in store for us for our 8th year, and I'm praying he'll challenge and strengthen our relationship.

16 Months


17 Months

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Bad Blogging!

I know, I know! I'm a terrible blogger. We've just been so busy enjoying our long days of sunshine that I've been neglecting the blog.

Everything is great around our house. Hulse and Liv are not only growing but learning something new everyday. Hulse loves to say words and is great about repeating words or trying to say new words when prompted. Olivia's vocabulary has really taken off as well. She's starting to make lots of different sounds and say lots of new words as well. They are both eating really well and are right in the middle percentile for weight. They LOVE pasta, especially with red sauce. They both also love fruit and Sprite is also a big treat. The only things they really won't eat are macaroni and cheese (Hulse) and they are not big on red meat. They also are still undecided on ice cream, which is totally crazy, but I think they are just not used to the cold.

We've been out and about a lot lately. My parents took the motor home down to Riverfest so we met them down there a couple of times over Memorial Day weekend to eat. The babies also got to see their first fireworks show and seemed to like it despite being kept up past the bedtime! Trey and I have been out of town lately for a couple of big kid trips so the kids also got to go swimming for the first time with their Nana and Papaw. Olivia has no fear and swam right in, but Hulse needs some convincing that it's fun to float around in water that's not as warm as a bathtub. We're planning a mini vacation with our friends, the Peoples, so I'm sure we'll have more updates to come.

In non-baby news, I wanted to recommend a book I've been reading lately that God is really using to challenge me. It's called Radical:Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream. The book was written by a pastor named David Platt. I've been in a place of disillusionment with people lately, and God has really been challenging me to look at who He is to me and what my response to Him should be. It's a challenge to me because I've been blessed by God in so many ways and my role in showing the love of Jesus is to help those who haven't been so fortunate. As a Christian I really can't say that I haven't been called to help those around me, because that's what loving Jesus is all about. I could go on and on, but you should pick it up for yourself.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Updating the previous post

So, in the last post where Jennifer said:
"The babies love to be outside and the backyard has been the go to lately."
That's all been changed now. . .

Wow. Look at those awesome bird feeders in our backyard. We should really clean the smudge off our window. What’s that? It’s not a smudge?

I hope it scared all of you as much as it scared me this morning when I was cutting up bananas for breakfast! AH!

15 Months, You came too Quickly!

We've been doing a lot of playing outside at our house. The babies love to be outside and the backyard has been the go to lately. We've also been to a couple of parks and played on the swings and slides. We have really been enjoying the weather before it gets too hot to stand. Hulse and Olivia are not just walking but running everywhere and talking up a storm, there are new words everyday. They have been growing up in front of our eyes! Here are some recent pictures.