Monday, November 30, 2009

Legos Gone Wild!

He's a madman I tell you!

Every since we returned from our 6 day stay in Cancun, Luke can think of nothing and I mean nothing but Legos. It's as though he's taking one long drag on his Lego cigarette. Ahhhhhh!

Saturday, while Tom and I unpacked, did laundry, cleared out the Thanksgiving decor, etc., Luke made Lego creations FROM 9 AM to 9 PM. Twelve hours of Legos. No breaks. No commercials. No kidding. The child didn't even want to eat. Yesterday was no different, although I did have to to force him get out of the house to visit Granny and Gran Carolyn. That was like extracting his toenails.Then yesterday evening, I began to find some strange items around the house.
A screwdriver. 3 tiny screws. And the remainder of this little basketball prism that lights up and twirls around on a base in his room. He uses it as a night light.Or should I say USED it as a night light.

Had you guessed what the Legomaniac had done? He had opened up the base (without asking mind you), taken out the spinning motor that is powered by electricity, built a Lego casing for it, and attached legos to the moving parts to attempt to make his Legos creations move.
Shortly after he started his project, I had to make him go to bed, but I have a feeling his newest Lego creation is purcolating in his brain even as he sleeps.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Perfect Pairings - Habbakkuk 3:3b-4

On the beach in Cancun, Mexico looking for shells and waiting for the sunrise....

God's brilliant splendor fills the heavens, and the earth is filled with his praise. His coming is as brilliant as the sunrise. Rays of light flash from his hands, where his awesome power is hidden.
~Habbakkuk 3:3b-4

Follow this link to Baloney's blog and add your own Perfect Sunday Pairing!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Airport Security Diaries

On our way to Cancun, we got to experience the newfangled x-ray machine at our local airport that looks like something Captain Kirk may have used. Forget the good old walk through xray. On by one, we stepped into an intimidating looking cylinder. We each had to space our feet apart and form our hands, strangely, into a diamond shape on top of our heads. Then, a whirring panel circled around until somebody in uniform yelled "clear!"

I didn't get the magic word "clear," but instead was whisked into a separate holding area, apparently for terrorists and moms alike. I stood there on the mat, my naked feet placed into the printed shoe outlines with my arms straight out in surrender. "Just relax ma'am," said the guard. How could I relax when I feared that someone may perform a body cavity search at any second?

At that same time, another guard notified me that I needed to watch him search one of our bags that had come through the x-ray machine. "Ok!" I said, relieved, dropping my arms. "Don't move," barked the first TSA official, "You are not clear!" 2 seconds later, he bulleted, "CLEAR."

I walked over to the bag searching area. The bag in question was Ellie's black carry-on, covered with neon colored peace signs. Did they think a bomb would be planted in a bag covered with peace signs? He began disassembling the contents of Ellie's bag with his rubber-gloved hands. Remember, this is Ellie we are talking about. The one who wore an elf hat the whole 12 hour journey to our destination. The one who loves gadgets of any kind. A strange little soul. Knowing her bag was being searched and picturing herself thrown in jail, Ellie's face soon matched her hat.
He slowly pulled the following items out of her bag:
1 pair of large binoculars.
1 Nintendo DS case with a variety of games
1 pair of neon green vampire teeth
2 large bouncy balls
2 chapter books
1 small etch a sketch

3 rubber rats - 2 black and 1 grey
1 dog wallet
1 duck tape wallet
1 large white and black spotted leopard stuffed animal
and finally, he fished out....
1 pair of metal handcuffs.

Dangling them in front of my face, a smile spread over his.
"THIS," he said, stifling a laugh, "is the problem."

At that point the whole line of officers burst out laughing, as Ellie began panicking.
The tension finally broke and we all tried to reassure Ellie that everything was OK.

She was not going to jail, she was going to go to Cancun and she had probably made everyone's day. As we walked off, the head officer joked with my mom from his platform, "hey lady, are you the one who brought the handcuffs?" "No!" she yelled back, "can you guess who it is? The one in the elf hat!"

Little did mom know that her time was coming. On our way home from Cancun, she was pulled into a separate area and searched with a metal detector not once but TWICE! Can you picture that scene? The officer waving the wand over every part of her body and mom fit to be tied. At least we got a good laugh from it all!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Getaway

We have been at Moon Palace in Cancun, Mexico for the last 6 days.

I know. I feel guilty saying it after my last blog whine.

That blog post was typed up around 2:30 AM... just a couple hours before I peeled my kids out of bed to get to the airport by 5AM. Tom had been gone for days on end and I was reeling from a truly heart-breaking injury to our point-guard. We had gone and won a HUGE game at Stanford... it was so exciting and gave us great hope for this season. Then the very next game, the oil that makes our team run suffered a horrible knee injury.

The team that was is no more. And the season has just begun. If you are an OU fan, you know exactly what I'm talking about.

Anyway, in all that drama I somehow forgot to mention that we were leaving in a matter of hours to meet Tom and the team in sunny Mexico for a basketball tournament.

I just could hardly bear to think of seeing our injured player, the look on the faces of his teammates and my husband try to hide his disappointment. It didn't seem like a Getaway when the stuff I wanted to Getaway from was not going to Getaway from me!

But I really need to start focusing on the positive, don't you think?

It of course ended up being a lovely, beautiful, fun-filled Getaway. Pictures shall be downloaded soon and include lots of beach shots, parasailing photo ops and even swimming with the dolphins. And don't forget some snapshots with our tall tree players. I will include those too.

We played two games. Lost the first one in a gut-wrenching shootout... it was sooo close. Then we won the 2nd to a poor team that is winless this season. Talk about difficult... this team left their home on or about November 15th and still has one game to play before they return! Good grief! You think the NCAA will pay for marriage counseling for those coaches' wives left at home? I have long thought the NCAA needs to do something to help preserve families. And I'm not kidding about that.

We had Thanksgiving dinner together as a family... because though I haven't mentioned it, my sister and her coaching husband and my mom and dad and mother-in-law all came along on the trip too! The dinner was an interesting mix of authentic Mexican dishes. The most unique Thanksgiving dinner I've EVER had. But the tortilla soup didn't make up for Granny's mashed potatoes.

I also must say without going into great detail that God has worked great things in my heart during this time. He has reminded me of some things and taught me some things that He could not have done any other way. And for THAT, I am thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving to you All! Hope you all had your little Getaway of sorts.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

It's That Time of Year Again

Once November hits, my world spins a little faster than normal.

Basketball season arrives.

If I could cuss on my blog, I would do that now.

Because (insert cuss word), it can really be tough on a family.

Yes, I am thankful my husband has a job. I am thankful I have a husband. I am thankful for health. Believe me, I am counting my blessings.

But allow me to whine for just one moment, will you? Because being married to a coach can really be (insert cuss word) sometimes.

The traveling. The losing. The injuries. The missing. The pressure. The stress. The unknown. The busyness. The absentness. The lonliness. The future. (insert cuss word)

I get this way every season. You think I'd get used to it. But it's hard to get used to your heart getting stripped dry. It is hard to get used to putting up the Christmas lights by yourself for the 14th year in a row. It is hard not to feel sad again when I turn on the radio and hear that the Golden Eagles have lost a game.

But every year, this year being no exception, God humbles me and reminds me that this is where he wants me. It is not coincidence that the dark and cold days of fall and winter are the days I am seeking His face most. It is in fact a privelege... because left to my own devices I would most certainly, certainly try to do it all on my own.

But November levels me. Reminds me.... I need God. I need Him on a very real and personal way. I need Him more than my fleeting prayers and my Sunday sermons and my quick look at His Word. I need Him like I need my next breath.

Basketball season gives me the opportunity to experience Him working in a very real and powerful way in my life. Giving me strength (and patience!) to deal with 3 demanding kids on my own. Giving me wisdom to understand that my life really does not depend on 12 college basketball players, but Him alone. Giving me more faith each and every year. I can feel it growing. It does hurt. But it's just a few faith growing pains. Reminding me that "the rock" is not that round orange ball, as it is sometimes called, but HIM.

He is my rock.

Then come the blessings. The assurance. The peace. They do come. Not immediately. Not at all immediately. Annoying slowly actually. But in His time.

I have a feeling I am not the only one. We all have the things that bring us to our knees. I want you to know I can relate. When you think you are the only one struggling with whatever. Just know I struggle too.

Deep breath.

The cussing is over for now. I am determined to trust in the Lord with all my heart and rely not on my own understanding. In all my ways acknowledge Him and He will direct my paths. I pray you do the same.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Perfect Pairings - Romans 12:9-10

My prayer for our children:
Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle
~Romans 12:9-10 (The Message)

Follow this link to Baloney's blog and add your own Perfect Sunday Pairing!

Saturday, November 07, 2009


I opened my window
and pushed out the screen.
Had to capture a picture of the
blazing fire outside my bedroom window,
while it's still burning.

Thursday, November 05, 2009


Perhaps that post title sounds a little racy.
Just trying to be a little creative here.
The local aquarium has HallowMarine
and the zoo has Hallowzooeen.
This is the Hankins' family version! Hankoween.

One blogging challenge is how to make the same types of pictures from annual events fresh and interesting every year.

I am blogging my FOURTH Halloween! I am excited about that fact, but aware that Halloweens
2006, 2007, and 2008 could look scarily like the Halloween of 2009, just different costumes.

We always go to a Halloween party with my sister and her family before Halloween, followed by a grab bag of Halloween parties and decorating cookies at Granny's house. Finally, we have the visit to Granny's on Halloween Eve and then Trick or Treating in the Mackey's neighborhood, followed by a quick strike back in our own neighborhood. It is just about the most fun a kid could have. And with the weather this year, I was feeling the fun... it was absolutely gorgeous... plus there were no heavy winter coats messing with the presentation of my kids' costumes.

Speaking of that... what is up with my kids' choices of costumes?
I guess Luke's choice was pretty typical for a 6 year old boy... he always wants to be mean or scary... this year he was Cobra from the G.I. Joe show....? I have no idea who that is, really. Could be a character of a serial killer for all I know.
Then Ellie chose to be a nerd. I told her she didn't have to dress up to be a nerd. She could just go as herself. Ha ha. She was cracking us up with her suspenders, taped up glasses and pens in her pocket. She collected her Halloween candy in a backpack. Here she is with her cousins, Ana and Hallie. Look how DARLING they both look, and then, there's my nerd. One thing she does have is personality!
And Kami got this totally original idea to be duck tape girl. Duck tape seems to be "the thing" this year... the girls at school are making duck tape bracelets and covering their notebooks in duck tape. If you didn't know already, duck tape (as opposed to duct tape) comes in a plethora of colors. Even plaid. Kam fashioned her costume out of some old clothes and orange, pink and purple duck tape. The costume was actually about $ 40.00 cheaper than the Cobra dude that Luke dressed up as.... she also has a silver duck tape bow and a striped duck tape cape. Here Duck Tape Girl is with her friend Goldilocks at a Halloween party.I thought my girls both looked cute and their costumes were just right for each of them. However, for just once could they possibly look like my sister's children? Just once, put on a frilly skirt and revel in their girlishness? Pleeeease?
I call them the three pretty princesses, because that is what they are. Gorgeous. Adorable. Princessy. Precious. And such a contrast to my nerd, my duck tape girl and my... um... cobra man. Take a look at an up close contrast: the nerd and the ballerina. Sigh. I've given in to it. Don't get me wrong... I adore my kids just as they are. I am not going to squeeze their fanny cheeks into a frilly costume they don't want to wear. I might consider it though! ;-) Costume choice is just a funny part of our Hankoween.So is all the other fun stuff, like getting Boo'd. Did any of you get Boo'd? That is when someone comes and leaves you Halloween treats at night. They ring your doorbell and run away. Then, you return the favor to someone else. My kids got Boo'd and they Boo'd some friends. These lovely teeth above were from one of our fun boos. Like the eyeball cookies we made this year? Ellie called this her "Here's Looking at You" cookie.
Possibly the cutest Halloween costumes I saw were the Oompa Loompa and Willy Wonka, which further proves my point. My kids don't have to be frilly, just coordinated! That would work for me! I am not getting bitter... just sayin'....Eating some severed finger gummies. Oh so yummy.The spookiest house in the neighborhood... visiting it is a Hankoween tradition.Kami and her purple skittle of a sweet friend. This picture just kind of sums up our Hankoween. The preciousness of time with friends and family. Showing love and attention to others. Having a zest for life and breathing in each second.....

.... even if it is with my Cobra man, my nerd and my duck tape girl.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Perfect Pairings - Ecclesiastes 3:11

Leave it to Ellie, our Halloween nerd (more on that soon) to notice a miniature green spotted bug crawling lazily on a lavendar mum at Granny's house on Halloween afternoon. Ecclesiastes 3:11
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.