Friday, March 30, 2007


Ellie doesn't like bugs, she says. In fact, she'd like to stay as far away from them as she can, thank you very much. And if that means retreating in the house while the rest of the neighborhood is out in bug territory, then that is fine with her. On one hand, she's never had a bug phobia, so I'm a bit perplexed about why in the world my social butterfly would choose to be indoors just to avoid bugs. But then I realize that I can't really blame her. She truly is a bug magnet. You know how your mom always said, "Bees won't bother you unless you bother them"? Well, not if you are Ellie! She has been stung by at least 2 bees, and at her T-ball game last spring, a wasp stung her through her sliding pants! Why HER? Out of 100 kids playing in the bug-filled fields, Ellie was the chosen one.

And should I even address mosquitos? I think she's been bitten by more mosquitos in her 6 1/2 years than I have my whole life. When she was little, the bite would swell up like a golf ball. It's not that bad now, but what is bad is her awareness of the itch. She wants to scratch the snot out of herself. I tell her she has a sweet smell, and I really think she must have some kind of bug-attracting aroma. Well, a couple of days ago, I put my foot down. "Ellie, you can't stay indoors the rest of your life because of bugs. Go outside with Kami and Luke." With a sour look on her face, she walked out the door. But when I went to check on them, I found her gazing into the cul-de-sac from the back of my car.

Bug protection. It made me smile, because it reminded me of a time when I was little and my friend Leslie Thompson (now Jenkins) and I got scared by a wasp. We ran around the other side of the house to the car, which was parked on a hill. We jumped in and waited for that wasp to follow us around the corner and we were going to scare the pooey out of it. Well, while we were waiting for the wasp to come find us, one of us got ahold of the gear shift and weeeee, down the hill the car rolled. Luckily, someone stopped us before we ran into the barn. I guess it's time to slather on the insect repellent!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

We Heart Chicago

For Spring Break, our sweet friends Chere and Lizzie asked Kami and I to join them on a quick trip to Chicago (in honor of Lizzie' 9th birthday! Happy Birthday Lizzie!). Just a mom/daughter thing. So on Monday night, the four of us flew out to Chicago for a two day/three night fling. The main attraction was The American Girl Place. Kami and I really knew little about it except that the dolls are (choke) very expensive. Kami was never interested in dolls, so, I assumed that she wouldn't be too interested in this. I couldn't have been more wrong. In the end, I coughed up the cash for her doll, which she named Jessica Hope Hankins, and the weirdest thing happened when she opened that box. She fell in love with that doll! It was so fun to watch the excitement on her face (and Lizzie's too) as they dined at the American Girl Cafe with their dolls, took their dolls to the American Girl Salon (I am not kidding and it was not free) and picked out clothes and accessories for their dolls. I sound like I am bitter about the spending we did there, but I am not. After all, it was a very special time that I cherished with Kami. Not rationalizing here, I don't think. : ) We also very much enjoyed our other destinations like Shedd's Aquarium (amazing beluga whale and baby, precious penguins) The Museum of Science and Technology (see the dancing robot with Kami's face above), and the Navy Pier. It was fun to hang out at the hotel and the girls swam a couple of times while Chere and I enjoyed conversation. We ate some yummy food and rode in a lot of taxi cabs. One taxi ride was a tad on the scary side (very fast driver in the rain yelling on his cell phone) and while I closed my eyes in the front seat (praying), Chere wrote down the toll free numbers to report the guy. Well, he got us where we needed to go, but it was a pretty wild ride. What cracked me up was that by the end of the trip Kami was on the street hailing cabs all by herself. She thinks that she is a "city girl" and said she'd love to live in Chicago. Ok, well maybe that's a sign of things to come in the future, but for now, we're happy to be back in Oklahoma!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Dear California,

We would like to let you know that you are a very nice state. Very beautiful, very big and very warm. It was so much fun to come visit you. We were amazed to see how green the grass is already and to watch the busy streets around us. Mom kept us very close to her and yelled at us not to stand so close to the curb. She said that the drivers are even crazier in California than in Oklahoma. You have a nice city in Sacramento. We enjoyed going out to eat and hanging out at the hotel with Hallie, Lauren, Maggie, Kiki, Nana, Gran Carolyn, Mackenzie, Trey, Jourdan and CJ. Swimming and snacking and watching movies was pretty cool. Nana let us sleep in her room every night. Luke got to stay with Gran Carolyn too. But what we really enjoyed was our day trip to San Francisco with the ORU cheerleaders. Is that the same Golden Gate Bridge that they show on Full House? And why are the houses built right next to each other like little leggos? We had a great time on the bay. Things we especially enjoyed were Fisherman's Wharf, looking across the bay at Alcatraz, visiting the Aquarium, and eating chocolates at Ghiralldi. Then, we took a drive to Pacifica beach. Oh my! Was it ever awesome! And COLD! Especially when Hallie fell down in the tide and got all wet. We thought you could warm up San Francisco a little bit - can you work on that please? Actually, the cheerleaders tried to get warm by doing some formations on the beach. Another thing...the sand wasn't really the sand we're used to... but small, smooth stones of many colors. I hate to tell you this, but Ellie stole lots of your pebbles and mom keeps finding them in pockets and suitcases. She even found them in the floor of the garage today! I think you have a zillion of them left on your beach though. Plus, Bubba Gump and The Hard Rock Cafe are two yummy restaurants! We ate there for lunch and then dinner. The only disappointment we had, California, was the ORU basketball game. We felt that we had the chance to play well against a very good team in Washington State. And we did for one half. But then... in the 2nd half, things didn't go our way and we ended up losing the game. It's funny... because at first we were just excited to be IN the tournament. But as game time grew closer and closer, we wanted that game more and more. We not only wanted it for ourselves, but for Caleb Green and Ken Tutt. But it was not the happily ever after we hoped for. Guess who cheered us up after the game? Caleb Green himself. He saw us on the elevator with sad looks on our faces, and he encouraged us, ""don't be sad! We got to the tournament twice!" We looked up 6 feet 8 inches to see a big smile on his face. That pretty much helped us feel better. Well, again, we thank you for letting us stay in your fabulous state. We had a great time and hope that we can come back again someday!
Love, Kami Ellie and Luke
P.S. We saw a t-shirt at the airport and we were wondering, who is "The Governator?"

After we ate at the Outback in Sacramento

Can you see the Golden Gate Bridge in the background?

My, Luke looks like Forest Gump! Well, at least those are Forest's shoes.

The outcropping of rocks at Pacifica

The ORU cheerleaders building on the beach

Ellie and Hallie looking for special pebbles.

At the Aquarium. Ellie was afraid the tunnel was going to burst on top of her.

Two little rockers at the Hard Rock Cafe

The biggest ORU fans of all! Kami, Mackenzie and Jourdan

Monday, March 12, 2007

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Wow! What a Sunday!

We have been in a post-victory fog for the last few days. It has been a whirlwind of excitement and busyness that led up to this Sunday's ESPN Selection Show, where we found out that our ORU Golden Eagles will play Washington State in the NCAA tournament on Friday! Even Maggie was thrilled! : )

We waited and waited until about 3/4 of the way through the show, we found out that ORU is a #14 seed! It was a very exciting moment. The team was sitting directly behind us and needless to say, there was a loud roar when the announcement was made. We are so happy for our players and our fans, and I am especially thrilled for Kim and Scott, who are enjoying going to the tournament 2 years in a row. As head coach, there is a lot of pressure on Scott, and I am so happy for him and Kim for this accomplishment.

It was so fun to have friends and family come by the watch party to support us! We had a great time in the Mabee Center with the 2 big screens set up. A special thanks to all our friends and family who support us in this endeavor. And may God bless the Golden Eagles!!!!!

Ken Tutt, who hit the game winner at the tournament last Tuesday night! Way to go Ken!!!!! Play your heart out against Washington State!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

We're Going DANCING!!!!!!!!!!!

Wow, what a night. If you watched the championship game on ESPN last night, then you know what I'm talking about. Those of us who watched were exhausted! I felt like I played 40 minutes myself, right alongside of Caleb Green and Ken Tutt. If you didn't see it, ORU was down 11 points to Oakland at half time but BATTLED back in the 2nd half to WIN it. The end of the game was eerily similar to our heartbreaking loss to Oakland 2 years ago. But this time, Ken Tutt hit an amazing shot to put us up two points. The other team missed a 3 pointer and then fouled Adam Liberty to put him on the stripe for a 1 and 1. He nailed both of them to give us a 4 point lead, and then.... the thrill of the win hit everyone. The fans rushed the floor, I screamed, Tom did a running dive onto the other coaches, the kids jumped up and down, and believe me, there were lots of tears, from women and men alike. We are obviously thrilled for our players, the players' families, our coaches, our coaches WIVES, and our fans, who were, by the way FANTASTIC! I wouldn't trade them for Duke fans. They were the BEST. We give the glory to God. Here is the verse that was the verse of the day on my blog yesterday. It is very appropriate. O LORD, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done marvelous things, things planned long ago. -Isaiah 25:1.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Rise to the Rescue

Kim and I don't hire babysitters too often, because Mom and Dad have pretty much made it their mission to help us out when we need it. Once in a while though, there is an occasion that we have to find someone to stay with the kids. And our first choice is always our cousin Rise. She has helped us out the last couple of nights while we went to the Conference Tournament. And I can truly say that I had ZERO worries leaving four kids with her. I mean, if I leave Mr. Luke with any other babysitter, I am always a bit nervous, wondering how much damage he might do while I'm gone. But I know Rise can handle it. She is laid back and fun, and the kids absolutely adore her. Rise, we love you and appreciate your help the last couple of nights!!!! (click on the pic for a better view)

Friday, March 02, 2007

You're Doin' Fine OKLAHOMA!

As a last minute surprise, we got invited by cousin Kim Riley to go see Jenks High School production of the musical Oklahoma. Plans had to be cancelled and twisted, but in the end, Kami and I were able to take advantage of the 2 tickets she had, joining Kim, Ronda, Ana Rae, Jami and Chris. And are we glad we did!

The performance itself was truly (not exaggerating), phenomenal! High school productions have really come a long way since I was a senior and had a part in Cheaper by the Dozen. That performance 20 years ago was like a meal of white rice compared the the smorgasboard last night. There must have been 100 cast members. They sang and acted, and danced! And the lead parts truly knocked our socks off. Unfortunately, I wasn't allowed to take any pictures of the actual performance, but thanks to Kim and her great friend Debbie, we were able to go back stage and meet the characters. We took pictures, got autographs, and then Debbie let Kami and Ana Rae go onto the stage, exploring the set. She went and found some costumes and let the girls dress up in them. They even got to sit in the "surrey with the fringe on top!" It was a really fun night for all of us. My favorite part was, of course, their rendition of Oklahoma. During the song, out of the corner of my eye, I saw Kami waving her arms and singing along. O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A, Oklahoma, yeah!