Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Halloween 2011

Hulse and Olivia,
This year for Halloween you choose to be Mickey and Minnie Mouse! We started all of our fun with the fall festival at church. You got to wear your costumes, play games, win prizes, see your buddies, and have hot dogs and popcorn.

You also had a party at school and got to take candy to your school friends. You made some Halloween crafts and ate some fun treats there as well. While you were getting dressed in your costumes your Nana, Mamaw, and cousin Asher came by to see you. We took a lot of pictures and got ready to go out trick-or-treating. We went over to Gigi and Papaw's neighborhood to trick-or-treat and there were kids everywhere! You got the hang of ringing doorbells and getting that candy! You also said thank you a lot which made me a happy mom. You had a ton of fun and were good and sugared up when we were done. It was a great Halloween!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Fall 2011

August through the beginning of December is a busy time at our house. Football, school activities, Halloween, and Thanksgiving keep us on our toes.

Our whole family (Liv included) went to our first family Razorback game. Liv got a little bored with the game but really enjoyed riding the bus to the game, walking around the stadium, and hanging out at the motorhome. The Hogs beat Auburn and we had a great time.

The kids got a taste of fair rides at a friend's birthday party, so we knew they would like the fair. We took them one morning on kids-ride-free day, and they had a blast riding with thier buddy, Q. Hulse liked the petting zoo - Liv isn't really into animals - and they both loved their corndog lunch. After their naptime we went out to a pumpkin patch in Mayflower and enjoyed the beautiful Fall weather. We rode out to the patch, and the kids picked out some primo pumpkins. It was a fun day with family and friends.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Hulse's First Razorback Game

Hulse man,
Your daddy took you to your first Razorback football game on 9/17/11. You had a blast! You got to ride the bus to the game, see the band and the players come onto the field, pet Tusk! and cheer on those Hogs! You called the Hogs which is always a favorite cheer but you also got to do the first down cheer. When the announcer yelled "It's another Arkansas Razorback", the crowd responded with "First Down." You, however, decided to wait a few seconds before your first down so that everyone could hear! We'll work on that timing buddy! I'm so glad you had a good time and I can't wait to take you (and your sister) to many more games.

Destin 2011 - Chicken Nuggets in Paradise

I've been so busy since the end of summer that I've been putting off this post, but I want to get it down before I forget what we actually did. Our summer vacation this year was a fantastic trip to sunny Destin Florida. We went with some good friends who have a little girl and they were excellent traveling companions. We loved hanging out with them and having no other agenda than to rest and eat good food! Vacation is such a gift for us. It allows Trey and I to slow down our normal pace, reconnect with each other and let the kids deviate from their schedule a bit. Normally when we are away I'm ready to be home, but this time if there hadn't been a tropical storm brewing I could have moved on in for the duration!

Things I don't want to forget:
-Nothing like discovering your child might be car sick in the pitch black early morning. Also note that Dramamine could make your child almost fall asleep in mid-sentence.
-The traffic design in Mobile is bananas.
-There is NOTHING like crossing over the bay bridge and smelling that air, ahhhh vacation.
-Villa Coyaba, our place of residence, might have been nicer than my home. Just saying.
-The kids loved the water the first couple of calm days. It was glassy and crystal clear. We got some good ocean time in those first two days.
-You can own/pack too many sand toys.
-We had so many great meals. Thank you: Crab Trap, The Back Porch, AJ's, Louisiana Langinappe, The Donut Hole, and Red Bar. (I think that got them all!)
-The kids ate shrimp for the first time and no one's throat closed up!
-It was so nice to be able to stay up late and have good conversation with very funny friends! We love you guys!
-There is nothing better than a beach nap. Also, nothing better than a good book and an ocean view.
-Trey and John decided to brave the red flag waves one afternoon. It was a comedy show to watch them get pummled from the balcony. No real casualities other than a skinned knee, crab attack & hat.

We had the best time making memories on this trip! Thank you Lord for good times, good friends, our children & the majesity of your creation!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Bad Blogging!

I have been a really lazy blogger as of late so I thought I would catch up with a great Summer post. We've been doing a lot of indoor activities this Summer because it's hot as blazes here. Hulse and Olivia have been coloring, cooking and playing inside a lot. We've also gotten to do some extra fun things like going to the Wonder Place, the library to check out some books and of course to the pool at Papaw and Gigi's house. Hulse and Olivia have really taken to the water this year and love to jump and swim with their floaties. In fact, we hosted a swim party for our Sunday school class and after most of the folks were gone Hulse decided to take a leap into the pool with no flotation device. Trey did a dive and rescue and it was less than 10 seconds, but adrenaline producing none the less. We may have to do some swim lessons now!

We also had a very special first when we went to see our very first movie in the theater. We saw Winnie the Pooh and it was so precious. For those classic Disney folks, it's a must see. Hulse was transfixed the entire hour and Olivia didn't get restless until the very end. The most exciting thing that has happened this Summer is that Olivia is completely potty trained (Hallelujah chorus!). She has done SO well and we are very proud of her. Hulse is working hard but not quite there yet.

Summer is coming to a close and now we're shifting back into school mode around our house. The kids start a new class at school in a couple of weeks so we will be learning a new routine. They also start a new Sunday School class and a new Wednesday night program at church. It should be an exciting transition into the fall. I don't know about you but I'm ready for some cooler weather and some football!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Pee Pee Proclaimation

Let it be known that on June 27, 2011, Olivia Hankins wore her big-girl panties to school and made it all day with no accidents!

Way to go girl!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Happy 8 Years!

Hulse and Olivia,

Eight years ago I married your daddy. Someday, if you're interested I'll tell you the whole story, but for now there are a few things I wanted you to know about dad. Your dad is a wonderful husband to me. He's a spiritual leader, provider, protector and a great friend. He blesses me everyday with his wit and wisdom and makes sure we are all taken care of. I hope that one day when you find the partner God has picked out for you that they will have the ability to bless you like being married to your dad has blessed me. The eight years we've been married (and almost 18 that we've been together) have been fun, challenging, always changing and forever precious to me. I promise to work hard on being married to Dad for many more years so we can be a testimony to the power of God's faithfulness for you both. He's given me lots of gifts while we've been together and they have all been great, but the most awesome thing he has even given me is the chance to be your mom.

Happy 8 years Trey. Love you more everyday.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

First School Performance

Our daycare has an end of the year program. It's really to let the pre-k kids "graduate", but they let the little ones have their time in the spotlight as well. Hulse and Olivia's class sang "If You're Happy and You Know It". I have to admit it was pretty cute, but I can't get my mind around the fact that I have children old enough for a school performance! If you can forgive the amateur video and commentary their debut is below.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Weekend 2011

Friday, Trey and I were both off, and the kids were out of school. So we took the day for some family time. Olivia was in dire need of her first haircut, so we took her and Hulse that morning to Pigtails and Crewcuts. That place is so cute and the kids did a great job getting trimmed up. They both looked super cute after their cuts! I went to lunch with my mom and then we both got pedicures that afternoon. After dinner we went to a local park then to Key West for some yogurt.

Saturday morning we went to the egg hunt that our kid's ministry at church does, and it's always a fun time. Hulse isn't really into collecting eggs as much as he is getting an egg and immediately opening it to eat what's inside. Olivia is a collector by nature, so she loves to gather eggs and get them in her basket. She's also a candy fanatic and wants to eat her treasures as soon as she can. After we hunted all we could we went to lunch with our friends, the Clinton's, then headed home for a nap. Saturday night we had our first egg-dyeing experience. Hulse and Olivia got to pick their colors, put their eggs in, and check to make sure the color was to their liking! We got through it with no major spills and no permanently colored hands, so I consider it a success. Saturday night after the kiddos were asleep the Easter bunny made a stop by the house and left some great treats!

Sunday morning I made cinnamon rolls for breakfast, the kids checked out their bunny loot, and we got gussied up for Easter service. I enjoyed praising Jesus for His sacrifice and the chance to praise Him that He is the Resurrection and the Life! After lunch we headed to take the kids to see my grandfather at the hospital, then to Jacksonville for lunch with Trey's family. After more egg hunting and lunch, the kids crashed for a couple of hours before we went to dinner with my parents.

It was an action-packed, fun-filled Easter weekend. I've always loved the "newness" that Easter brings. Every day is a day to reflect on the sacrifice that Jesus provided for all humanity on the cross, but Easter is a time for the body of Christ to collectively acknowledge that without the grace of the cross we are dead to sin.

"He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf that we might become the righteousness of God." II Corinthians 5:21

Friday, April 22, 2011

Draw us to the cross

"1 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7 ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’
Luke 24:1-7

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Our God is Greater

Isn't if funny that God always positions us to receive exactly the messages He wants us to hear, even when we're not trying to hear it? Several months ago I saw an ad for a Living Proof Live event with Beth Moore in Little Rock. I had been to one previously and thought that would be a good girls weekend for our Sunday school class. I was ready for a fun night out and God was ready to speak to me in a big way! Let me tell you that Travis Cottrell is AMAZING and if you get the privilege to have him lead you in worship take it. Two words into the first song and I just felt my desire to worship God pour out like a floodgate had been opened. I've been very disconnected in corporate worship for a while and I guess God wanted me to know just how much my soul has missed being abandoned to the Holy Spirit. That set the tone for the rest of the conference and it was so exciting to be poured out before the Lord. I've had a lot of disappointment and hurt in areas of my life that I never expected to and I haven't really asked God to heal me. I didn't even know I needed healing! As soon as Beth began to speak about putting down the disappointments and hurt my mind just began to swim with the feelings I've been pushing down.
Lord, I am thankful to you that you caught me unsuspecting. You just invaded my heart with my defenses down and I cannot say thank you enough. Lord, you have been my portion and strong tower and I'm thankful that you let me run to you. Thank you God that you are the only one in whom I can find fulfillment and that You are so willing to pour out your Spirit on me. Lord, I look forward to what You have next for me, even if it means hardship I know You mean it for good. I want you to work in me to the renown of Christ alone. Amen.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


It's been a while since I've done a "real" post so I figured we were due. Hulse and Olivia are rocking right along into their two's with no problems. They are learning so many colors, numbers, shapes, songs, letters, and on and on. I love to hear them sing a new song or count to a new number. Of course, they are my kids but I think they are genuises!

It's so great to be able to have a conversation with them and know what they are thinking and feeling. We've had some discipline issues but nothing any other two year old isn't doing. Trey and I are just incredibly blessed to have such great kiddos. We're just gearing up for spring/summer and some time outside.

I've been involved in Bible Study Fellowship since the fall and I wanted to take a minute to introduce you to it and encourage you to get plugged in if you had the chance. I began praying at the end of last summer for God to renew in me the desire to dig into His word, not for knowledge, but to have the chance to know Him more. He answered that prayer in a big way by leading me to BSF through a co-worker. The study format is provided by BSF international and we meet in a small group once a week. We also hear a lecture on the material as well. I have been blessed ten-fold from the word God has provided to me in Isaiah. If you're not plugged into a group study I urge you to investigate BSF in your area. All of that to say, I've so many of my friends and family on my heart who are in difficult situations and who have been so faithful to depend on God even in the midst of difficulty. This week with the devestation in Japan He's been speaking to me again. God has used Isaiah to point me to His Sovreignity and the fact that God is always working for good for His people. He can use a difficult situation to magnify His glory even when we can't see Him through the devestation all around us.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Loves of My Life!

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails."

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Two of You are Two!

I cannot believe it's time for me to write this post, but it's true, my babies are two. I've been thinking about the last year and marveling over the changes that have happened from one to two. I felt like getting through the first year was such a milestone and now I can't even remember where the year went! Trey and I feel so grateful and blessed to have been chosen as the caretakers of such wonderful children. He has been so faithful to be with us on this journey through parenting, and we pray His continued presence over our children for the coming years.

My firstborn, son, funny man, and drama king! You are all boy and your favorite things to do involving, running, jumping, constant motion, and anything you play with a ball.
You are smart as a whip and have been talking in complete sentences/ paragraphs for a while now. You can count, know your shapes and colors, sing all kinds of songs, and have a pretty articulate vocabulary for a toddler. You are the leader between you and your sister. You are the first one to decide what to play and can get Olivia to follow you around with no problem. You're not overly protective of her yet, probably because she tends to be a bully, but I'm thinking that will come in time. You love to eat, and we very rarely have a problem getting you to eat what's on your place and try new things. You love kid food of course, but you also like to eat red meat, zucchini, and any pasta dish. You love music and really like to sing and dance. You also like to color and work puzzles, and you love to read! You are a big fan of the Sesame Street characters and like to watch Elmo and the gang on TV. You are into dinosaurs right now and like to watch a show on TV called Dinosaur Train. You are a sweet baby boy, but you do have a tender heart and can be pretty emotional at times when things don't go your way. I think this is a combination of your age and your personality. You're our favorite boy, and we can't wait to see what the future holds for you. Your dad and I want you to know that we are praying for you always, rooting you on in whatever you want to do, and we love you like crazy! Happy 2nd Birthday.

Sister, my sweet girl, and total mess! You are an absolute joy to be around and are the funniest little girl. You like all things girl, but can also enjoy wrestling with your brother.
You are also a smarty pants and say your ABC's, count, know your colors (this has been interesting since everything started with green and pink), shapes, and can talk up a storm. You still like to talk in your own language a lot but you can be sure you're saying whatever it is with feeling! You like to play with your kitchen and cook food. You enjoy getting your baby in the stroller and roaming the house (always with a purse of some sort on your arm). You love jewels and always want a bracelet or necklace on. You are like your brother and like to sing and dance. You are a big reader as well and would read your whole library in a sitting if we let you. You are making lots of progress with the potty training. You will tell us when you need to tee tee and go right in and potty, still a work in progress but it's coming along. You can take a licking and keep on ticking so it takes a lot for you to cry but you can throw a nice little fit when you get upset. Terrible twos maybe? You are our favorite girl and the world better watch out for you! Dad and I are praying that you will follow after Him and experience His love and grace. We know you have a bright future ahead and we can't wait to see what it holds. Love you to the moon and back! Happy 2nd birthday.




Monday, January 3, 2011

Christmas Recap

We had a great Christmas this year. It's so much fun to watch the kids get so excited (to the point of overload!) about all of the fun. I know that it will always be a time we cherish at our home.
We started off the celebrations in Pine Bluff with Trey's family and my extended family. My kids are social creatures and I think they really loved being around all the people. Olivia really got into opening gifts while Hulse just wanted to play with everything he opened immediately. We also made a stop in to see my grandparents and I so enjoyed getting to spend some time with them. After a LONG night we headed back to our house for Santa to come. He didn't disappoint and I guess both the babies made the nice list. We had a relaxed morning at our house and I really enjoyed letting the kids just play without having to run somewhere. We had Christmas with my parents that night and again just got to enjoy the kiddos. Sunday we finished up with merriment with a trip to Trey's grandparents. We were tired and glad to have some time off after it was all over. I was off the week after Christmas and really enjoyed keeping the kids at home and spending some much needed downtime with them.
Trey always does a great job with my gifts, but he really outdid himself this year. My hands down favorite gift was the chance to sponsor a child through Compassion International. I've been really feeling God pushing me to some kind of action involving children. I haven't felt like he's calling me to adoption or fostering, but He calls all of His children to care for one another. We have an addition to the Hankins house named Moises and I honestly can't wait to correspond with him. I would urge you to check out the Compassion site and see the work that they are doing and pray about the part God might have to play in the life of someone else.
This year, more than any other, I found myself thinking of Mary and Joseph and that little baby in the manger. This has been a year of great spiritual renewal for me and God has been teaching me so many lessons. He's been preparing my heart to deal with situations that have come up in a way that honors Him and reminds me that He's my constant above all else. People may fail me, but He never will. His grace was my constant companion this Christmas season and I am so grateful.