Thursday, December 12, 2013


We have fulfilled yet another parents right of passage at our house. Olivia, I'm blogging so that when you're daughter does this you can refer back to your stint as an amateur hair stylist. I got a call this week from school that you decided to give yourself a little haircut in the art center (not the beauty center!). Your teacher told me it wasn't that bad but I fully suspected that to be teacher speak so I wouldn't panic. I was expecting the worst but when I picked you up I could only tell by a little piece on the top. I'm hoping that after our discussion on proper usage of scissors that this is the last time we have this discussion. In full disclosure, I hacked my bangs (!) off on Christmas Eve one time so I guess it's a family tradition. Please remember when your little girl cuts her hair that you can't really get too mad. It's not like you can pick it up and glue it back on!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Halloween 2013

We had so much fun this year for Halloween. Hulse and Olivia decided this was the year they weren't going to let me match their costumes and it was terrible okay. Hulse picked out a superhero, Wolverine. Olivia picked out a Disney princess of course, Ariel (with the tail). They looked cute and I only died inside a little.

We went to the Fall Fest activities at our church and it was major crowded but the kids had fun playing games and Hulse won a cake at the cakewalk. Halloween night we made plans to hayride and trick-or-treat with our neighborhood friends who are also school friends. It was predicted to be torrential rains but the weather was actually beautiful and the kids had a BLAST! We had a fun night and there is more candy in our house than any person should eat in a lifetime!


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Punkin Patch 2013

We took a field trip yesterday to the pumpkin patch. It was a fun day and Trey and I both got to be there with the kiddos.

We started off with a few pig races (who doesn't love that?), fed some furry friends, took a hayride, played on a hay mountain, rode a cow train, and of course, picked 2 of the cutest pumpkins ever.

We are so blessed to have made some great friends at school and their parents have become friends as well. We also have 2 great pre-k teachers so we really couldn't ask for more.


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Pre-K Here We Come!

Hulse and Olivia,

You started Pre-K yesterday at Cedar Heights. I'm praying over you on this new beginning for a great year full of fun and growth. This year, you are the oldest kids at the center during the day, which means this will be your last year at school there. It's bittersweet. You will be up and on the way to new things but suddenly out in this great big world that I've tried to keep you from for a while. See, because I'm your mommy school means something different to me. I'm excited about all that you will learn but I know that with that knowledge you need me to "know stuff" for you less and less. You'll learn letters and won't need me to spell it all out for you. You'll learn numbers and math and you won't need me to make it all add up for you. You'll learn to read and I won't be needed to interpret your world. So while I'm looking forward to the year with a grateful heart I can't help but look back. You probably won't understand until you have your own kiddos but school is a beginning and an end.

Love you to the moon,

Starting the day with some treats and pictures. And of course, new shoes!
Running through the finish line at the end of a great first day!
Some back to school cookies to celebrate. Any excuse for a party!

Friday, May 31, 2013

Why Did We Come Back?

This is what I've been asking myself since we left our Destin beach vacation. We had a wonderful time playing in the sand, jumping in the waves and the pool, EATING, and spending time with some great company! I truly enjoy the hustle and bustle of a packed trip, but I think some of the best rests come when we are away from it all without an agenda. We stayed at our tried and true, Villa Coyaba and it didn't disappoint. We had a great room with a wonderful view. The gulf was as pretty and still (first couple of days) that I have ever seen it. It was easy for the kids to swim around in. We ate way to much good food and got to do some putt putt, go-karts, crab hunting, and shopping. A perfect week in my book!

Some sand castle making. Also known as digging and endless transfer of water!
Hulse was really into being buried treasure this year. He got Dad to join him!
Leave it to Jon to actually build a structure!
Me and my girl about to brave the waves.
Last night, saying bye to the beach.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

What We Don't Deserve

This morning you caught me in a sleepy cranky state and I got angry with you over something really not worth getting angry about. I apologized, we hugged it out, and you went on your merry way. I got in the car apologized to God for my behavior and thought about grace. Grace is the free gift that God give us when we mess up. He is slow to anger and His nature is kind, things we as humans don't always possess on our own. I prayed this morning that I would be a kind and gracious mom to you and Olivia, but I know that I can't do that on my own. I need God to show me grace and help me to show grace to others. Bud, we don't deserve kindness from God but He gives it to us because He loves us. I know you will mess up and I will mess up too, but I hope I can show you and Olivia a small measure of the grace that has been given to me.

Love you,

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

March On

Well, we had a very busy January and February. But, the days just don't stop going and here we are in March. One thing we have done is have the kids first parent teacher conference. I wanted to make sure and record that occasion.

Ms. Melissa told us that you are doing very well on the path to pre-k. You are writing all of your letters and numbers and can spell your first name. She said that you are doing well in your school work and participate well during school work. This is a relief because we weren't sure how engaged you were when it came time to put down a ball and pick up a pencil! Overall, you are doing well socially and educationally and we couldn't be more proud of you.

You also had 2 mid-year TOT basketball performances and did great at both of those. You will start your second year of t-ball this month and are looking forward to that also. We saw your pediatrician for your 4 year old check up and everything was also great there. You are right in the middle for your age on height and weight. You passed your hearing and sight test also, so you can't say you didn't hear me when I ask you to do something anymore!!

Love you,
Mom and Dad

Ms. Melissa also gave us a report on your progress. You are doing great as well. You love writing and coloring and can write numbers, letters, and your name. You can color, write, and draw and be perfectly happy. You are a good listener and when the teacher give specific directions you follow right along. She said you could go to pre-k tomorrow if you had to, so we're happy about that. You are doing well making friends and learning and that is all we could ask for. We're proud of everything you do.
You are also right in the middle for height and weight at your check-up. The only thing that the doctor said to work on was eating those veggies. So, we're trying different ways to get them into your belly!!
Mom and Dad


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Disney World 2013

Hulse and Olivia,

Your 4th birthday present this year was a family trip to Disney World.  We went with both sets of your grandparents and it was a very magical vacation. I want to try and remember every detail for you so that you can always look back and remember your very first trip to meet the mouse. Our trip was from 1/24/13 through 2/2/13. The weather was beautiful and it was a wonderful way to celebrate you turning 4 years old.
We stayed at the Wyndham Bonnet Creek resort on the Disney property and it was wonderful. There were pools, lazy rivers, putt putt, hot tubs, and it was 5 minutes away from any park we wanted to go to.

1/26/13 - Our first day in the parks was your birthday! How fun!! You got to wear a birthday button and everywhere we went people gave you birthday wishes. You certainly were treated like a prince and princess.
We chose to go to the Magic Kingdom first and headed straight to the new Fantasyland. You both rode: Prince Charming Regal Carousel, Under the Sea, Peter Pan's Flight, It's a Small World, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, The Barnstormer, Winnie the Pooh, Mad Tea Party.
This was our first opportunity to meet some characters we met Minnie, Daisy Duck, Goofy, and Donald Duck.
We also saw the 3D movie, Mickey's Philharmagic, The Main Street Electrical Parade, Celebrate the Magic, and Wishes.
We had lunch at Pinocchio Village Haus on the first day. Hulse you had peperoni pizza and Olivia you had mac and cheese.
That night for birthday dinner we ate with Mickey and his friends at Chef Mickey at the Contemporary Resort. We got to meet the mouse himself, Goofy, Donald, Pluto, and Minnie. We even had cupcakes and a special birthday song with Mickey.
The park was open late this night so after Wishes, we rode Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, the People Mover, and the Tomorrowland Speedway. That night while you were asleep we had our first visit from Tinkerbelle who came and left a treat every night of our trip along with some of her fairy dust!
Olivia, you liked the rides the best and wanted to ride as much as you could. Hulse, you liked to ride but  you really liked meeting the characters also.

1/27/13 - Our second day in Disney we spent at the Animal Kingdom. We went straight back to Kilimanjaro Safari and saw all kinds of great animals. There were lots of giraffes, a lion, lioness, and even some elephants. After the safari we went on the jungle trek and saw some more animals, including a very playful baby gorilla. We got to meet some more characters including Chip and Dale who were really fun. We also saw Baloo and King Louie from Jungle Book. Then it was time to see the Festival of the Lion King. It is a fantastic show and you both really liked it. After the show, we headed over to Dino Land and rode the Triceratops Spin before it was time for Finding Nemo the musical. Nemo was also a really fun show.
After a little afternoon nap we headed back over to the Magic Kingdom for the nighttime shows and some more riding. This marks our first riding of the Pirates of the Caribbean (don't worry you rode it 3 more times), The Magic Carpets of Aladdin, and the Jungle Cruise.

1/28/13 - The third day was a rest day and we stayed around the resorts. You played putt putt for the first time (that was an exercise in patience) and, wait for it, you got to swim in January. Thank you heated pools! We even got in a little hot tub time. That evening we decided to head out to Downtown Disney to their new bowling alley, Splittsville. Hulse and Olivia, this is the first time that you had been bowling and it was really fun. You both enjoyed playing and some of us adults even broke 100! We had dinner at T Rex that night then off to bed for the next day at the parks.

1/29/13- We headed out to Epcot the next day and I think it's safe to say that some of Epcot was lost on you guys. However, we still had a great day. First up, was the revamped Test Track. Olivia I think you liked this, but Hulse you thought it was a little fast for you. Next we got to ride the Seas with Nemo which I really liked. We also saw Turtle Talk with Crush. This was such a cool show. Crush talks to members of the audience and answers their turtle related questions. This was very cool technology. After Nemo, we went over Spaceship Earth (the big ball) and rode that. Hulse and Olivia, this marks the first ride you rode together without being in the seat with mom and dad. You both really liked this ride, although I'm not sure you followed the history of communication fully!! A short stroll later we were in Mexico for lunch. We ate at La Cantina De San Angel and you both had Empanadas and cheese dip. Then we went over to the Mexico Pavilion and rode the Grand Fiesta Tour. Hulse, you declared this your favorite ride of the day. We also got to meet Minnie and Goofy again. That night we went back to Epcot for dinner at Le Cellier in Canada. We had a fantastic meal of steak, poutine fries, pasta, chicken, and dessert. Hulse and Olivia, you chose the chocolate moose for dessert. It was mousse in the shape of a moose. Funny Canadian humor!! After dinner we strolled the countries, rode Grand Fiesta Tour (Hulse man!) one more time and watched Illuminations.

1/30/13 - Wednesday we took off for Hollywood Studios. I thought you guys might like this park because there is a lot of Pixar influence. This turned out to be a really fun day. We headed straight (you have too, it's popular!) back to Toy Story Midway Mania. This was my favorite ride of the trip, soo fun! You guys like it too so we immediately got fast passes to ride again. Olivia, you weren't really feeling characters this day so Hulse met Buzz and Woody, and we went to ride the Back lot Tour. This was the first "tour" type ride we did and it was fun. We got off and went over for Hulse to meet Lightening McQueen and Mater, and Phineas and Ferb (this was the highlight of the day for dad also!) Olivia, you were really wanting to meet/see a princess so we went to the Beauty and the Beast stage show and you got to see Belle and the dress. Your day was complete. Your only complaint was that it wasn't long enough. We had some lunch at Pizza Planet, of course. Hulse, the next thing we did was all for you. There is a Lights, Motors, Action car stunt show and you loved it. There was lots of trick driving, motorcycles, fire, explosions, and Lightening McQueen. Your favorite of the day! It was time to for the Pixar Pals parade so we sent Gigi and Papaw to stake out a place while we went to the Muppet 3D show. After the parade, we went to the Little Mermaid show (another princess, score!) and then Hulse got to meet Jake (from the Never land Pirates). We had a few minutes to play on the Honey I Shrunk the Kids playground before our early dinner reservation at Mama Melrose. Hulse and Liv you had Chicken Parm and some fun light up drinks. That evening we saw Fantasmic, where Mickey fights the villains in his dreams. It was a little scary at times, but I think you liked it.

1/31/13 - Our last day we had to go back to the Magic Kingdom to finish out the trip. We rode Little Mermaid, Peter Pan, Goofy's coaster, Dumbo , the carousel and Winnie the Pooh again before heading over to ride the Magic Carpets and Pirates several more times! We had lunch at Pecos Bills and you both had burgers. Then we did something I've never done and rode the train back around from Frontierland to Fantasyland. That was a really fun way to see the park from a different vantage point. Next time maybe we can ride it all the way around. After a little rest time at the condo we headed back through the magic gates one last time. For our last night we arranged to have dinner at Cinderella's Royal Table and it was one of my favorite memories of the trip. Olivia, you got to meet Snow White, Aurora, Ariel, Jasmine, and of course Cinderella herself.  You decided to wear your Belle dress, shoes, and tiara so you were well dressed for the event. You got a princess wand and a wishing star as well. I think you were excited and nervous, but it was so fun watching you get hugs and talk to the princesses. You had grapes and cheese for an appetizer, chicken nuggets (shocker), and an ice cream sundae for dessert. I hope this is a memory you will always remember! Hulse, you were also in your element. You were in full on flirt mode just chatting up all of the pretty princesses! You got a prince sword and a wishing star also. After your grapes and cheese you decided on steak for dinner, and a decorate your own cupcake for dessert. It was a super special dinner for us all. After once more showing of the parade and fireworks, we left the Magic Kingdom for the final time. Olivia, when you figured out we had to go home you just kept saying it was a sad day. Hulse, you decided that you were just going to stay there and live. So, I think it must have been a good trip!

Hulse and Olivia,
Your dad and I were so beyond blessed to be able to give you this gift for your birthday. It was a magical vacation and we have memories that will last a lifetime! We love you Happy 4th Birthday!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Hot Dog - Hulse and Olivia Turn 4!

My little tiny babies turned four and we celebrated with a Mickey and Minnie themed bash in our backyard. We invited all of our friends and family to come and play with us for our celebration. We had a bounce house, Mickey and Minnie bago, coloring, and of course the trampoline. After all that jumping we were hungry for Mickey and Minnie cupcakes and juice.

One last party detail, was a big gift to open. It was full of balloons and the sign that said "We're going to Disney world". Hulse, you knew as soon as you saw the sign what it meant. Olivia, it took you a second, but once you got it you were both so excited to go on our big trip.

You have changed so much the past year. You look different, talk different, act different, and have gotten so big. Such a change from three to four.

Hulse, you are smart, rough, funny, emotional,  athletic, and our sweet sweet boy. Welcome to year number four buddy. Your Dad and I are praying for you as you face each new thing that comes your way this year. We love you so much and are so proud of who you are.

Liv, you are smart, beautiful, imaginative, a little insecure, loving, and nurturing little girl. You have grown this year as you've discovered things that you like and are good at. That has been a joy to watch. Our prayer for you this year is that you will continue to know how God has made you to be and that his design for you is perfect. We pray that you will grow in confidence that God made you as a special little girl!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Happy Birthday Jesus!

The Hankins house has wrapped up Christmas 2012 and it was a fun season of celebrating the birth of Jesus.
We have done lots of celebrating at school, at church, at home, and with family. We even did some celebrating in the dark! But, even in the dark we were able to cherish that Christmas is about the LIGHT of the world coming down to meet us in our darkness and bring us His light that cannot be put out. Hulse and Olivia, as you get older and gain a new and better understanding each year of what Christmas means, I pray that you will be able to celebrate more and more the light of Christ in each of your lives. It's not just a sweet story about a baby in a manger it is the story of the cross of Jesus Christ and it's transforming power to save you from your sins. That is the overwhelming prayer of your mom and dad for you, to know Him. If you celebrate loving Jesus and loving others in Jesus name, Christmas will be a never ending celebration for you!

Mamaw and Papaw Hankins House with all of the cousins. Crazy and fun! That night Nana and Papaw gave the kiddos a power wheel to play with at their house. The next day they all drove it until the battery died. I think they liked it!

Christmas Eve we went back to Pine Bluff for more fun!

Then Santa came! Olivia, you asked for a make-up table and a manicure cart this year. Hulse, you asked for a UCA football helmet.
Then....the weather began. It started with sleet and freezing rain around noon and just kept coming. We went to Gigi and Papaw's house early to try and eat and have Christmas before we lost power, but just as we sat down to dinner the lights went out. We had a romantic Christmas dinner by candlelight. You guys were ready to open gifts so we let you open yours by flashlight and then we headed home in the SNOW! Our power went out about 10:30 that night and was out for about 24 hours, so we feel blessed compared to many people we know. Hulse and Liv, we had a white Christmas for the first time in 80 something years, and we may never see it again. So it really was a Christmas to remember.