Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Faces of Christmas

Click on the collage to get a better look! Anne, Ashley, Alex, Andrew, Suzanne, Kalman, Kristina, David, Wade, Liz, Gavin, Sabra, Kathleen, Mildred, Randy, Cord, Mitchell and Aunt Jody, plus Tom's family -Jon, Zach, Matt, Gretchen, Sam and Kelly- ....... YOU WERE MISSED! (credit to Wade and Katie for their cute Christmas cards that helped me put together this collage.)

Saturday, December 23, 2006

...And He's Getting A Bright Orange Flaming Fire Hot Wheels Scooter for Christmas...

Yesterday, Kami ran in the house in a mini-panic!! "Mom," she shouted, "Luke is doing something!" Ok. Doing something. That could mean a lot of things. So I ran outside as quickly as I could to find out what he was doing. And what that something was.... was doing some new tricks on his bike. Riding his bicycle down our driveway on his knees or as you see here, on his feet! My motherly impulse was to scream "No! Luke, you get off your bike this very instant!!!" But I heard the voices of some of my friends with boys, like Erin, and the voice of Luke's Papa, saying to me....take a breath and see how this plays out. So, I did. And he performed these tricks for me perfectly and proudly. No broken bones or blood. But next time, this mother will make her son wear his helmet!!!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Cousins Galore

I have a good friend (Chere') who teases me because when we're out, I almost always see someone I know, and that person is almost always one of my cousins. "How many cousins do you have?" she jokes, "A hundred?" Well, actually yes, I do! My dad has 8 brothers and sisters, and my mom has 6 brothers and sisters. When we get together, we have to rent out space somewhere! There are about 60 grandkids and greatgrandkids on my mom's side of the family. Though some live out of town, many of us are here, so family get togethers are a wild tangle of loved ones, talking, eating, hugging, laughing and catching up. Here are a few pics of our Christmas party. Luke talked non-stop to Shea about Hot Wheels, friendship, and the latest movies he's seen. He obviously needed some male bonding time. The girls all ran around wild and free, having a blast together. But the "queen bee" was my granny, the reason we were all there. She is an angel on earth to us. She lined all of the kiddos up and had a present prepared for each one of them. When each child would walk up to her, she would whisper something sweet and sincere in his or her ear. The word of God speaks the truth about Grandma Ida: "Her children arise and call her blessed." -Proverbs 31:28

Monday, December 18, 2006

These ARE the days....

In the hustle and rush of the season, I often let myself become too focused on the frustrating details like getting the dried green icing out of Ellie's hair and figuring out if Kami's tights are TOO tight. Do we have a bigger pair? Can you wear these even though they hang down 6 inches? Luke, why are you taking off your shoes again? Do NOT throw them down the stairs! These everyday annoyances have to be attended to, but they take my mind away from where it should be... the joy of watching my kids grow and learn. Seeing them interact with their grandparents and cousins. These are the moments I know I will look back on and whisper to myself, "those were the days." To be able to spend such precious time with my sister and her family, to see our children grow up together is an amazing blessing. God Himself has intertwined our lives together. I rest in that as sometimes the basketball world can be difficult on us. But I find great strength in the fact that He has allowed us to do it together. And with the support of loving family and friends, who mean more than they could ever, ever know. Mom, Dad and Carolyn are our anchors; they center us and shower all of us with love and support. I guess the beauty of the Christmas season brings out these emotions that are certainly down in my heart everyday of my life. I just don't want them to be overshadowed by crusty icing, tiny tights, missing shoes and lost basketball games. I am unspeakably thankful for where God has led us and where He is leading us now. Ephesians 3:20-21 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Friday, December 15, 2006


I can say this because she's not my baby... is she the most beautiful thing you've ever seen? She is absolutely darling from that thick, dark hair to her chubby, little toes. I had the privelege of babysitting her, and I have to say I am very proud to have her as a niece!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

There's Nothing Like A Hug From A (Girl)Friend

Luke needed it. The Christmas program didn't go over so well with him................................................................. While 99 other children sang with abandon and performed their perfectly memorized motions, Luke, well, tried his best not to cry. He wouldn't stand up and certainly wouldn't sing, and looked pretty perturbed the whole time, as you can see below. Afterwards, however, he warmed right up to his ADORABLE friend, Bonnie.

What a Ride!

Kami had a first in her life today. Her first limo ride! By talking enough people into buying items for our PTA fundraiser, she earned a limo ride to have lunch at Mazzios. Then she and several other kids all got back in the 30 seater and were returned to class. The inside of the limousine was decorated with leopard skin upholstesry and a ceiling that slowly changed colors. The limo was absolutely huge... someone said there are only eight of these in the U.S. I don't know if that is true or not, but as Luke said, it looks like a "monster limo." Thanks to all of you who supported her fundraiser!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Naughty or Nice?

Kami gets a piano buck for every day that she practices piano from her sweet teacher Mrs. Sewell. Lately, she's been having trouble keeping track of her dollars... they seemed to be disappearing. I thought she had simply misplaced them until I happened to look in Luke's piggy bank today. He was so busted. In there were the typical pennies, nickels and dimes... along with about 25 of Kami's piano bucks, neatly folded so they would fit into the slot. Luke seemed more annoyed that I had found them than sorry (and probably confused why I was taking a picture of such a thing). But Kami is very, very happy to have them back!

Saturday, December 09, 2006


Ellie's tooth has been loose for months now. She wouldn't let anyone but her Kiki touch it. Aunt Kiki has been the major tooth-puller for Kami, and I guess has developed a good reputation for tooth-pulling. However, Kiki was never able to get ahold of the slippery little tic-tac of a tooth and Ellie's permanent tooth began growing in behind the snaggly thing. Anyway, inspired by her friend Kyndal, Ellie gained the courage to twist, turn, push and pull her tooth until poof... she pulled it out all on her own, just like Kyndal did! Ellie was so proud of herself. Now, if she could just get the guts up to work on the other loose one!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Luke's Future Plans

Luke: Mom, when I grow up, I'm going to be a daddy.
Me: (surprised) Oh, really?
Luke: (with gusto) YEEEAAAAH.
Me: Are you going to have any kids?
Luke: Yep. I'm going to have two little girls.
Me: (again surprised) What will you name them, Luke?
Luke: (thinks a minute) Moses and um... Jesus.
Me: Oh, really?
Luke: Well, (changing his mind) no, I will name them Caleb Green and Spiderman.

Monday, December 04, 2006

10 things I Love About Luke

1. He refers to himself as “Larry Boy.”

2. He enjoys playing 9 holes of golf with his dad.

3. He eats almost anything including coleslaw, black olives, brussel sprouts and macademia nuts.

4. He likes to sing at the top of his lungs and likes to make up songs including our family’s favorite song “1-2-3-4 Dinosaur.”

5. He has a good heart.

10. Luke will sit down on your lap and read books until YOU'RE tired. He is interested in so many things and asks a ton of questions.

6. He does almost everything with great GUSTO.

7. He reminds me of his Papa in so many ways.

8. He can do tricks on his Scooter.

9. He has an imaginary friend named Pop. Pop is a tiny black bug who likes to drive in fast cars. Pop goes to preschool with Luke, but his parents live in Arizona. Pop hangs out with Luke a lot.

10. He is 1000% boy in all that he does and says and God made Him that way!!!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Same Hill, Seven Days Later

If you look here, you can see that we had a great time sledding at Minshall park one week ago. It must have been 78 degrees. We returned yesterday to see dozens and dozens of people sledding down the snow-packed hill. We had a blast with the Smiths and Streichs, and as you can see below, Kami was quite the daredevil on the ramp that Tracy S. created. Click on her picture to get a close up of the terrified look on her face.

Friday, December 01, 2006

A Snow Blast From the Past

Anne Marie Sisler and Kimberly Rae Sisler
Winter 1974 on the Farm

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Only in Oklahoma

The kids wore shorts to school on Tuesday, and here we are two days later with a nearly 50 degree difference and ice, sleet and snow! No school today, and probably tomorrow! The kids are LOVING IT!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


That hurt. We just got back from the ORU/TU basketball game where we got clobbered. Don't know the final score, but it was ugly. The experience wasn't as horrible as it has been in past years when the fans literally harrassed us. They were for the most part, just excited fans, not rude or classless. But losing like that just STUNK. It is painful to watch the players so dejected and look at my husband on the bench, knowing he is feeling so terrible.

However, as I tried to explain to Kami, this is the life of a basketball family. You can't get too high (when you beat Kansas) or too low (when you get hammered by TU). Winning and losing goes with the territory. It's hard for a competitive 8 year old to understand that (heck - it's hard for me to keep it in perspective at times,) but we are learning with each basketball season, and we continue to walk in faith believing that HE rules the earth and everything that goes on inside of it. "Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever"

Saturday, November 25, 2006

This Never Happened When the Girls Were Little

NOTE: I have received a couple complaints that this picture is hard to see. It is a picture of Tom's grandmother's bookcase that was handed down to us a few years ago. The big black spot is the hole in the glass that Luke caused by throwing one of his little Matchbox cars through it.

I guess that it's the price we pay to have a wonderful, fabulous, active, impulsive, strong, willful, energetic, creative, fun, wild, BOY in the family. I'm sure Tom's family, with 4 boys, had many moments like this. If you look closely, on the second shelf, you can see the upsidedown tanker that caused this accident. Luke actually had some remorse about this one. He went to his room without protesting and told me he loved me about 10 times.


Rhema Bible College - Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Every year, when we visit here look in awe at the zillions of twinkling lights, we recount a funny story. When Kami was about 3 and Ellie was just a baby, we went to see the lights on a frigid, freezing night. Frosty the snowman was there and people were taking turns saying hi to him. Kami, who was absolutely terrified of Eli the Golden eagle and other large mascots, wasn't too fond of Frosty. Tom decided to "encourage" her to be friendly to Frosty by (jokingly) telling her that if she didn't touch Frosty's nose that he would throw her in the frozen lake. So, little Kami not only touched his nose, but she grabbed it and pulled it until it came OFF! All of Frosty's support staff gasped. Frosty's fat, stuffed, carrot nose was sitting there in that 3 year old brat's hand! We, being mature adults, all hightailed it out of there as quickly as possible. Later, we saw Frosty shuffling to his trailer, head down and very dejected. Sorry Frosty, for defacing you, but it did leave us with a funny memory! By the way, Frosty didn't make it to Rhema this year. I wonder why?

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

No Snow Required

One of the kids' favorite things to do when their uncles come into town is to go "sledding" down the big hill at Minshall Park. As you can see, they ALL loved it - they stayed for over 2 hours. We are really thankful to see both of them. It has been several months since we have been able to spend time with them. And as they are both just big kids themselves, they are game to do just about whatever the kids want. We miss Uncle Matt who is in Arizona with Gretchen, Sam and Kelly. But we are glad that Jon could get here from Arizona and we welcome Zach from New York. See Zach's scary shark commercial here:

Sunday, November 19, 2006

A Great Family Outing

I read about Letterboxing in Family Fun magazine and never really thought it would be something we could do right here in lil' ol' Tulsa, Oklahoma. I thought only places like California would have letterboxes placed. When I logged on to, though, I was amazed that there are about 15 existing boxes in our city alone, with dozens more in surrounding areas. So we got our supplies together, followed the clues, and searched, truly searched until we found the well-hidden boxes, one near Hunter Park and the other near ORU. The kids, especially Kami, LOVED it. It was a real treasure hunt, and the reward was stamping our books with the discovered stamps. This first picture shows the squirrel stamp we found at our first stop, and the praying hands we found at the second stop. If you have NO IDEA what I'm talking about, (I had NEVER heard of such a thing myself) you can find an explanation of it here. It is apparently a 150 year old activity and has really become popular in America in the last few years. I'm sure the internet has a lot to do with that. But our whole family enjoyed it; even Luke got into the action, stamping his notebook. We are thinking about planting a letterbox of our own somewhere. But we'll never tell where.... you'll have to follow the clues!!!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


God has smiled on us tonight! We have been waiting for this one for eight years, and tonight, we got it! A big win over a nationally ranked team... the Kansas Jayhawks. It was so exciting to watch the game with Kami, who is quite a basketball analyst. Our neighbors must have been worried as we screamed and clapped our way through the game. We jumped up and down as the buzzer expired and the phone started ringing off the wall!!! Way to Go ORU Golden Eagles! We are unspeakably proud of our coaches and players. (Yes, I took pictures of the TV. Maybe I am a big nerd, but this is a special night!!!) ORU 78 KU 71

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


We made turkeys tonight, and wrote on each feather something that we are thankful for.
Here is Luke's list (completely created without suggestions from anyone):

1) Pop - his imaginary bug friend who he's had for over a year. Pop is a "very tiny black bug" who likes to ride in hot wheels cars. He often is driving right behind us on the road. Sometimes, Luke says that he and Pop are going to take a trip together to a big cabin.

2) My Dad - Tom and Luke are best friends. The second Tom walks in the door, Luke asks him to do something outside. Whether it's playing catch, kicking the soccer ball, hitting golf balls or riding the bike around the neighborhood, they do it together. The other day, Tom arrived home after a four day road trip. As usual, Luke immediately requested to go out and play. I kind of felt bad, knowing Tom must be tired out from his long trip. I said to Tom, "do you want me to go out with him?" and he said back, "There's nothing I'd rather do."

3) My friend, Lauren


5) My Spiderman back pack

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Luke Kneviel?

After having a boy for 3 1/2 years, I still am not used to how different they are than girls! The risks! The noise! The jumping! The smells! The wildness! Here is Luke on the scooter doing his latest "trick."

Saturday, November 11, 2006

It's That Time of Year Again?

Wow... It seems like we just finished up with basketball season and here we go again!

God has blessed our family with an exciting, active and fun occupation. . . we are thankful for ORU and the opportunities we are given because of Tom's job as a basketball coach. One of those opportunities? Hanging out with Eli the Golden Eagle. The girls also enjoy all the basketball camps. Kami loves getting better at basketball, and Ellie... well, she loves meeting people. People like Lei the cheerleader and our friend Jourdan, pictured below. Luke (also below) likes shoveling enormous handfuls of popcorn into his mouth.. and me? Well, I enjoy the competition of basketball. I like getting to know our players . I appreciate the faith that is being built within me as we go through our season.... winning AND losing. It's always hurts to lose. But it's part of where God has us right now and how he is shaping us. And winning one (or 25!) for ORU is awful sweet.

-"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11

Halloween Through the Years

As I was putting away the Halloween decorations, I came across this baby picture of Kami. I just had to giggle when I saw it. I remember this crisp, clear day like it was yesterday. My first child and her first Halloween. I couldn't have been any more excited to be a new mom or proud of my little girl. Nana had found the perfect pumpkin suit and hat, we had carved a celebratory jack-o-lantern (that was the year Barry Hinson hired Tom on at ORU), and we propped the poor little girl, not even four months old, up against the pumpkin. I guess we were oblivious at the time that she wasn't enjoying it as much as we were. It's now pretty obvious by the look on her face. 8 years later, Kamryn Rae Hankins has grown into an absolute treasure. Here she is as a 50's girl. It's safe to say that she enjoyed dressing up for Halloween much more this year! (click on the picture to get a close up look of Kami at 4 months old.)

Monday, November 06, 2006

School Stuff

Kami and her classmate Gabrielle were asked to lead the Pledge of Allegiance at the Jenks School Board meeting tonight. During the pledge, they were looking at the flag, which was on the other side of the room; as a result, I did not capture the actual moment that they said the pledge. (bad mom!) Here they are right beforehand. By the way, can you tell what the style for an 8 year old girl is?

After that, we went to an open house for the Reflections contest at Jenks East. Kids enter stories, drawings, photos and songs in a PTA sponsored contest. Here are pics of the girls with their entries. The theme was "My Favorite Place," and Kami and Ellie both wrote stories about... Alaska. They loved that trip (which was one year ago this Thanksgiving.) The project Kami is holding she called "Trojan Pride," and Ellie's is "At the Pumpkin Patch." It was really interesting to see what all the kids created. What I didn't get a picture of was Luke sneaking up to the refreshment table and eating cookies with both hands. I think the damage was about 6 cookies for the time we were there.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

She Didn't Grow Feathers

When Uncle Jon found out that Ellie had the chicken pox, he asked her if she was doing the chicken dance and if she was growing feathers. He then suggested that a bowl of chicken noodle soup would cure her sickness. (Ha Ha - Uncle Jon - The kids love your silly jokes and songs and can't wait to see you in 3 weeks!) Despite a bit of concern that she might grow feathers, Ellie is now quite pleased that she has been given the OK by her doctor to go back to school. Here is a shot I took of her this week, sitting in her window seat playing with her guinea pig. We spent A LOT of time together this week. Now that she's in kindergarten, she's such a busy girl. So, it was actually nice to slow down and hang out together. A couple of friends dropped off special gifts to keep her busy (Thanks Carrie and Jill and Nana of course!!!) and I thought that was really thoughtful. And nice. And it made me feel as good as it did Ellie. Noone likes to see their little girl covered with spots and feeling bad. But now we are back in business!!!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

What's Wrong With One of These Pictures?

Here we have Luke and his friend Carson, posing as Diego and Spiderman. Very cool. And then there's Kami, our darling 50's girl. But what is Ellie? She is not dressed up as a sick kid. She IS sick with the chicken pox and is missing out on all the fun. Bad timing, huh? Kami (who had the chicken pox last week) has pledged to bring back some goods for Elle (who was planning on being a black cat.) The same thing happened to Kim and I growing up. I had the chicken pox and I passed them on to her just in time for Halloween! I guess that's just growing up!