Wednesday, August 01, 2012

K-Kauai ~ Year Three

So K-Kauai, also known as Kanakuk family camp, might become a bit trite and boring after two years. The third year we might decide we've been there done that....?...... Hmmmm.... let's see....
We loved spending the week with families so special to us.... here are the Hankins and the Kittlemans.... also known as the Hanklemans.  We literally did everything together all week long. I know, a bit cheesy, but we loved every minute of it. 
We dressed up for theme nights ~This was Palmstock
This year I scored and my actual family was there too! My sister and her hubby and mom and dad even came for an evening.  This was spy night. Like my mustache? Attractive.
My too-cute niece on spy night. Who could still look cute with a crooked mustache, head lamp and purple plastic glasses? Maggie, that's who.
 Here she is again in all her cuteness. Her shirt says, "Have a Nike Day."  Hee hee.
Ahhh. love my mom and dad. They really enjoyed getting a peek at what family camp is all about.
And what is it all about? Well, Fun with a capital F. It's a lot about fun.  
It's about challenging yourself too.  Proud of my Elle Belle on Diamond Head.  Yes, I did that too, not once, but twice! 
My sister and Scott go off the zipline. 
Kami and my other adorable niece Hallie went right before them. Kami let it rip with fun! Ok, you obviously cannot tell how radiantly beautiful Hallie is from this picture. And I can't find another one right now. But trust me, she is the eldest of the three princesses. :) Sorry, Hallie!
While I'm at it, here's Lauren, my other niece. See her cute little curl on her neck? My mom wanted me to take a picture of it.  She's gorgeous.
 K-Kauai is mostly about growing closer with God.  One of Kanakuk's mottos has always been: "I am Third." God first, Others Second, I Am Third.  We all need reminding of that don't we.
One of our favorite things about camp is getting to know the awesome counselors and leaders there. This is GT, one of the directors of the camp. He is FAN-TAS-TIC. A great guy.  Most importantly, loves the Lord and lives to serve.  
This is Billy.  He somehow put up with these little urchins all week.  Well, especially the one in the Kanakuk hat.  Like I said, these staff members live to serve. 
They even brought in Justin Beiber. Big Time! ;-)
Will we go back? Absolutely.
Should you and your family go? Without question! But they are already booked for the entire summer of 2013. So start planning for 2014. You will not be sorry. Best week of our summer.  And maybe our year.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Not Sure if They Make Em Quite Like This in Oklahoma

Buzzing Yellow Sunset....
   Feels like you could Catch that Light....
      Rainbow Loping through the Other Side of the Sky....
        An Upside Down Smile...
            Dazzling Raindrops Falling...
                 Cool Shocks to the Face....
                      Yellow Firing Up to Red Overhead....
                               Praises to the One Who Made it all special for us....
                                       Here in Carterville, Illinois

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Blues

It seems like we've got a little case of the blues around here.  Just a line in a song or an old picture or a stressful moment can start the tears flowing from just about any one of us.  We miss home!  But we are busy doing our best to create a happy new home, in this case, Kami's new blue bedroom.  Tantalizing Teal is the color by Sherwin Williams.  And it involves black and off white and a really cool chair from Pier One.  Can't wait to have it finished up for her.  In the meantime, we'll just paint our blues away.  

James 1:2 ~ Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Oklahoma Homegirls

 We were so thankful and happy to have some our homegirls come visit us this weekend.  My pledge sister Ashley came with her two girls, Nicole and Savi.  We gave them a little taste of our life here in Southern Illinois.
 Girls in the paddleboat on the lake behind our house.....
Savi caught a fish... and the pole was broken! A funny moment. 

 Every moment is a funny moment with these two.
Homegirls since they were little.
 Underwater pictures made possible by the Lifeproof phone case.  Cute.
Endless entertainment.
At Italian Village, you can write anywhere you want to.  We regressed to 7th grade and wrote Annie & Ashley BFF ~ hahahaha

Goodbye friends! Thanks for coming all the way from Oklahoma!!! Means so much <3

Friday, July 20, 2012

Dirty Dog

I think he's loving Southern Illinois. :)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Very Pinteresting Day

Life since March has left me feeling quite a bit like Dorothy.  And No not clicking her sparkly red shoes.  

I feel like I have been on a 4 month ride inside a tornado and have landed in a strange new place.  I've wanted to blog about whats happened so much more, but honestly, it's hard to know where to start.  

So I decided to start with today.  What happened today.  And it had a lot to do with my most favorite site, Pinterest.  If I was stuck on a desert island and could only have one social media, I would choose you, Pinterest. :)

What happened today was that I got up and cut a banana into banana coins, as we call them.  I gave the kids 3 small bowls, one of chocolate chips, one of dried cranberries and one of Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal.  I asked them to "decorate" their bananas. Another one of our sayings that started when Luke said he wanted to "decorate" his  baked potato.  Anyway,  you know your son "gets you" when he says, "hey mom, you should take a picture of this and put it on Pinterest."  Just gave me a big smile.  That and the fact that he ate every bite!  

Then today Kami and I decided to try a fun recipe off Pinterest.  We prepared white cake batter, separated it into 5 bowls and added neon food coloring.  Then we had a little fun and plopped in different colors of cake batter into the muffin tin.
We used almost every drop of the batter and licked a little of it too.  It did NOT have a bitter food coloring taste like I was afraid it would.
A little dollop of icing and some bright sprinkles later, and we had created some great cupcakes that Kamryn took to a swim party.  And she said every crumb and sprinkle were eaten. 

Also, Ellie and Luke and I went to a different swim party this afternoon and I pulled out an old Pinterest favorite for this one.  We assembled banana coins, peanut butter and vanilla wafers and rolled the whole thing in more sprinkles for a fun kid-friendly treat.

Speaking of the swim party, this is where I about had a Pinterest Heart Attack.  My new friend Mandy Rose, who I actually got connected with before moving to Carterville, graciously asked us over for a little swim together.

Her house is very pinteresting (forgive me for using that again, but IT IS!) Click on her home tour from her blog to see what I'm talking about.  It's gorgeous! And great inspiration for me as I work on our new house!

Speaking of that, everyone keeps asking me to post pics, and I'll do that soon!  It's a great house and the whole family loves it.... we are getting used to it, but for now, I'll be honest:

There's no place like home.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Choose Your Blog Post Title

I have thought on today's post for a long time and have considered several different post titles....

Watch Out Carterville, Illinois.... Here We Come! 
Stepping Forward in Faith
A New Life in Illinois
This Is How Much I Love My Husband
Thank you Barry Hinson
The First Day of the Rest of Our Lives
There's No Place Like (Okla) Homa.
Moving is Hard
Moving Sucks
Warning: Don't Marry a Coach
I Have No Friends
I Have No Friends and Neither Do My Kids
I Have No Friends and Neither Do My Kids and They Are Driving Me Crazy

:) But seriously, couldn't it be any of those titles? I could use any of those titles accurately - each one has a story to tell. 

It all depends on attitude. 

And as for me, I will tell you early on my attitude record wasn't been so good.  But God has given me the ability to choose and continue to choose towards the top of that list.  Some days I will most certainly feel low on the list... 

maybe lower than I've gone here. Questioning God. Lonely. Confused.  

But I know that attitude, like love, is not always a feeling.

 It is a choice to say that God is with us. He is guiding us. He loves us and has the perfect timing and plan for our family. He wants to use us and work in our hearts. And if that is in Illinois, then so be it!!! God has never let me down. I give Him praise for His awesomeness and complete control of every detail of this universe. His ways are higher than mine. And THANK YOU LORD. I  am looking forward to what You have in store for the Hankins family and am so grateful for everything.

And maybe now, I have found my blog post tile: 

I Am So Grateful!!!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Metta World Peace and Cuba Gooding Jr.

Oddly, the last few days I've had these two men running through my head.

You may think it's strange, and so do I. But I do have reasons.

I can kind of identify with Metta World Peace.  I am trying to hold together an image of who I am and who I claim to be , but inside I just feel like violently elbowing someone to soothe my frustration. Pray for World Peace. And for me. We are really no different. And try not to judge us.

I am also reminded of Cuba Gooding Jr.  I could be wrong about my movie reference here, because I'm not the kind of girl who remembers much about movies.  But I do recall a stunning and powerful scene in which I think Cuba starred that I watched years ago.  I think it was called Man of Honor and in it, there was a man who was called upon to do a job. That job was to save the ship by swimming down to shut a hatch or something to that effect. Anyway the powerful part was that this man knew that he would not make it out alive - that he would be sacrificing everything he had to do the right thing.  And agonized, he dove in.  Nothing in him WANTED to make that choice.

That's how I feel about moving.  There is not a shred of my being, my heart, my soul, my body that wants to make this move. Except that I know it's the right thing for my husband. So I am diving in...

I will fare much better than that character.  This was just a character.... I am living a real life under a real God who will guide us and show us his unfathomable grace and favor.  He will do more than we ask or imagine. He will carry us when we are sad and show us the way.

Today, I read this verse (from The Message):

Simply put, if you're not willing to take what is dearest to you, whether plans or people, and kiss it good-bye, you can't be my disciple. Luke 14:33

I am willing, Lord.
Pray for peace.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Let's just be honest here... my life lately has featured all flavors of meltdowns.

There's the
and MeltdownWhileDriving

I've even had the CallAFriendWhileSobbingAndScreamingMeltdown. Not pretty.

It is something that frankly I am terribly embarrassed of. It seems like I am taking this move kicking and screaming. My friend told me yesterday when another one of her friends had to move away to Ohio, she simply didn't answer the door when the movers came.  Just couldn't.  That's how I feel too.  I. Just. Don't. Want. To. Leave. I. Just. Don't. Want. To. Leave.I. Just. Don't. Want. To. Leave.  And the emotion is exhausting. 

Last week, after a TalkingOnThePhoneMeltdown, I came in the house to find Kami doing her homework. Plugging away.  I said to her, "Kami how are you doing this? How are you so strong?" And she looked me in the eye and said,

"I want the best for my dad." 

That was it. 
7 simple words .
And faith like a child.

Pray I can be stronger.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The True Road To Somewhere

In the last 2 weeks...
we flew on a lear jet...
went from being eagles to salukis
gained a football team

became "Under Armour" people 

and found a probable new high school in a town of five thousand

this is kind of how I feel when I wake up each morning

or actually kind of like this

even though I really should feel like this

because I believe this!