Tuesday, October 19, 2010

It's been a while!

I feel like I've fallen off the face of the blog world! I guess I've been using facebook to post pictures & updates lately, but I do miss my blog. I feel like the blog allows you to share even more details and personal tidbits than I feel comfortable with on facebook.

So since I haven't posted since May, I'll give a recap of what's been going on in the Hankins house. We had a really great summer. It started out with the annual Hankins/Kenny family reunion at The Woodlands Resort. Anna Kate & Will had so much fun with cousins Addison, Gavin & Gaege hanging out by/in the pool for hours, watching movies on the giant outdoor screen, eating lots of junk food & drinking pretty drinks with umbrellas! We wish we got to see our San Antonio cousins more often & are already looking forward to Christmas in Marlin!

The Day we got back was Anna Kate's first ballet recital. She was a butterfly & did a great job (especially considering she missed the rehearsal due to the family reunion).

The following week our church had Vacation Bible School. Our theme was "Jungle Journey" & it was a record attendance this year! Anna Kate did really well staying with her class and Will got to hang out in the nursery while I volunteered with crafts. We are blessed to have a wonderful church family that is full of young families for our children to grow up with.
After VBS, Anna Kate attended Einstein Art Camp with her good friend Sarah. I was pleasently surprised with Anna Kate's creations. She did a great rendition of George Rodrigue's "Blue Dog" as well as a self-portrait that was surprisingly very good. Apparently she got her talent from someone besides her mother!

We wrapped up the month of June with JD & I celebrating 5 years of marriage! This occasion deserves it's own post! My wonderful husband took me on a 10 day celebration to the Carribean sans kids!! It was quite a feat to pull off childcare for that long, but it was a much needed relaxing, rejuvenating, fabulous week!!! Stay tuned for a detailed post about our trip!

After we got back from our trip, I had a minor surgery. I've always had chronic ear infections which has resulted in hearing loss. After a hearing test and visit with Dr. D it was decided that putting tubes in my ears may relieve some of the pressure and help with the hearing. So I joined the host of 2 year olds & had tubes put in my ears!! It seems that the tubes are helping as I do think I am hearing better.

We had a 2nd annual trip with friends to our ranch in Nacogdoches, Texas. This year five families came along for the fun. We had 9 kids 10 & under and they had a ball riding four wheelers, fishing, drinking grapefruit highballs at San Augustine drug store, playing board games, etc. The parents had fun having a chance for the kids to run & play while we got to visit and enjoy adult conversation until 2 am! We are so blessed to have wonderful friends!

Well those are just some of the highlights of our summer. There were plenty of afternoons in the pool, trips to the Snow Cone stand, boating on the river, birthday parties, swimming lessons, blueberry picking & overall Summer Fun!!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Day by Day-Autism Awareness Fun Day

As some of you may know, I joined the Junior League of Lake Charles last spring. My first year in the League is considered your "provisional year." It has consisted of lots of meetings, volunteer activities, but mostly fun with a fabulous group of women. By coincidence, 3 of my book club attorney friends were in my provisional class so it was fun having friends to go through the process with. I made a lot of new friends throughout the year and even have started attending a play group with some of them (look at the post below). Our class was required to produce a "provisional project" and we chose an Autism Awareness Day. It was awesome to see how our project actually impacted parents whose children have already been diagnosed with autism or were still in the diagnosis phase. We received so many accolades that we were able to provide resources and information that they have not been able to find in other places. Overall, I think it was a great success!

Play Group

We have just joined with a few of my friends from Junior League as well as some of their mutual friends in a little Friday morning play group. The kids are mostly around Will's age (not quite 2), but Anna Kate loves "helping" with the younger ones. Every Friday we go somewhere different like park, zoo, Children's Museum, fire station, etc. I took a few pictures at the Children's Museum a couple weeks ago.

Level 2 Gymnast

Saturday Anna Kate competed in the Contraband Classic gymnastics meet. This is her second year competing in the meet. We were so proud to find out she has been promoted to a Level 2 gymnast (she is the youngest one at her gym!) She received a gold medal on bars, silver on vault & beam & a bronze on floor and a bronze medal all around. I don't think she has taken off her medal yet!! She is so proud of it!

Senior Tripping

My Aunt Tracy & I brought my cousin, Lauren to Galveston & Kemah for a few days last week to celebrate her high school graduation. This has become a tradition in my family since Aunt Tracy brought my cousin Cara and me on our senior trips to Galveston as well. We had a delicious dinner at Gaidos (I'm still salivating from the pecan balls- pecans rolled in vanilla ice cream topped with chocolate sauce!), a fabulous spa day at the San Luis Resort (I had the Balinise experience- 1 1/2 hour massage, scrub, soak & lotion application), Rock the Dock in Kemah, Walk along the beach in Galveston. I can home from our adventure with 2 new hermit crab friends. Anna Kate LOVEs hers. HOwever, Will just screams, "It MOOOOOOOOVES!" everytime we show it to him! Poor little guy is not a fan!

A Tea-lightful Day!

Our precious Anna Kate turned 4 on May 11th and we celebrated her milestone with a Mom & Me Birthday Tea. We had it at a little tea house in town. It was so precious to see all of her little friends from school, church and a few cousins come dressed in their prettiest dresses. The girls decorated foam crowns, sipped tea, munched on quiche and tea cakes, dressed up in an assortment of boas, jewels, hats, etc. and had a fun surprise at the end- Horse & Carriage rides around downtown! While I had a lot of hiccups in my party planning (party favors didn't arrive so had to spend the morning on Plan B, Tea house put us in the smaller room & we had a HUGE turnout, etc.) I think it went very well & the girls seemed to have a "Tea-riffic" Time!

Strawberry Picking

Back in March when we went to Houston for the Rodeo, we stopped by a little farm on our way home in Alvin, Texas. It was the opening weekend of strawberry picking season & the kids had so much fun. Anna Kate is our competitive child & in true Hankins spirit was able to turn Strawberry picking into a competitive sport! However, Will is more my personality & quickly learned that if you just eat the strawberries in the field that you have less to carry :)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Church Girls

Anna Kate has gotten to be good friends with several of the girls at church. After children's church last Sunday, her little group all lined up behind the handrails at the entrance to the church. I thought they were just precious lined up!

Camille, Sarah, Anna Kate, Allie & Lauren

Houston Rodeo

Back in March, we made our annual trek to Rodeo Houston. This year was extra special because our friend, Justin Browning, was competing in Saddle Bronc Riding. We got to visit several friends, eat yummy food, meet precious baby Chloe Loving, do a little shopping, and ice skate at the Galleria. Fun times!

Railroad Festival

A tradition for as long as I can remember is the Louisiana Railroad Days Festival. It's held the 2nd weekend in April in my hometown (DeQuincy). It was a huge deal growing up b/c we got out of school 1/2 day on Friday to watch the parade & we would ride rides until we puked, eat "pentecostal" hamburgers, funnel cakes, snow cones, boiled crawfish, watch the pageant (Yes, I was 2nd runner-up one year), listen to the entertainment. Basically all of the fun things you do at a small town Louisiana festival. So now that I'm a little older, I've tried to make it a tradition to bring my kids back & meet up with high school classmates to continue on the tradition. This year, Anna Kate really liked the rides (except for the one that went kind of high). She had a lot of fun with Karsyn, Allie & Scotti. Will on the other hand loved looking at the trains & playing on the regular park equipment, but didn't want ANYTHING to do with the rides. This one picture was when I thought he might ride a rid, but it ended with me carrying him off screaming before the ride began!

New Hobby

This year one of my New Year's Resolutions was to try something I had never done before. Well I decided to take a painting class. I was invited by a friend of mine to "Lushes with Brushes." For $45, you get all your supplies, canvas, etc. and a fun 3 hour painting class. I've gone 3 times as well as once to "Painting with a Twist"- a new franchise painting shop that just opened. Below are my "masterpieces." I am far from Picasso. However, I was quite pleased considering my lack of talent & zero experience.

Anna Kate is almost 4!!!!

This week I had Anna Kate's 4 year old pictures made!!! I can not believe my baby girl is already this old! She wants to have a Tea Party birthday party at the Tea House. My talented friend, Katie Maddox, helped make my idea come to life (as she is great at doing!). Here is a link to her blog post with a sneak peak of some of her tea party pictures.



Easter was fun for the kids this year. We had an Easter Egg Hunt at church (pictures are still on my camera), an Easter Egg Hunt at School (my camera had no batteries), Easter Brunch at the Country Club (picture below w/ the Easter Bunny) & an Easter Egg Hunt at our friends', the Bowers (pictures taken from my cell phone). So obviously, I have been terrible about charging my camera & actually taking pictures lately, but you can visualize what took place. Anna Kate is now a true "Hankins" & has to be the competitive egg hunter. She had 2 baskets full at the church hunt, got 30 eggs at her school hunt when there were 10 allocated for each child & WON the hunt at the Bowers with 73 eggs. I'm trying to teach JD that EVERY aspect of life does NOT have to be a competition!!

Kingdom Kids

JD & I along with two other great couples, James & Lollie Hendrickson & Jason & Christine Poynter began a new ministry at our church at the beginning of 2010. It's a children's church format where we take 3 year olds through 3rd graders into the youth room during the sermon & have a fun/interactive worship experience. Our first unit was "The Fruits of the Spirit". At the end of the unit, we "performed" for the entire church some of what they learned. It melted my heart to hear EVERY child (about 25 of them) memorize the Fruits of the Spirit. We have a video of Anna Kate saying her that I would love to post. Once I get a copy of it, I will try to put it on here. This ministry has been as much a blessing for the volunteers as for the children. I have truly learned what Jesus said about how we need to become like little children...their pure hearts, thoughts, prayers, love, joy, peace...We have now started a unit on Prayer, specifically teaching The Lord's Prayer. I look forward to what God has in store for this ministry as it continues to grow.

New Orleans/Mardi Gras

JD & his parents/siblings weren't able to get together on Christmas Day this year due to schedules & illnesses, so in January we all went to New Orleans to celebrate Mrs. Kathy's 60th birthday. We had a lot of fun watching old home videos (including JD rocking his head gear at Disney World!!), a day at the Audubon Zoo, beignets at Cafe Du Monde, birthday dinner at Drago's and evening on the Decoteau's balcony in the quarter. Anna Kate has a fabulous time practicing "Mardi Gras" & pegging people with beads!!

At the end of January our Mardi Gras Krewe, Krewe of Chaos, had its annual ball. This year's theme was "I Love the 80's" Our group went all out (including the guys on stage w/ their inflatable guitars jamming to Journey) & had a blast!!!

Anna Kate's school had their own Mardi Gras parade. They usually block off the street in front of the school. However, due to the cold, rainy weather the "parade" was moved to the gym.

We had planned on taking the kids to the Children's Parade. However, Will had another flare up with his asthma/pneumonia, so we spent that day (Valentine's Day) in the pediatrician's office. HOwever, my parents graciously watched him so that we could bring Anna Kate to the "big parade" (Krewe of Krewes) on Mardi Gras day. We met up with the Browns & Brownings. Anna Kate woke up the next morning with pnuemonia, so of course I felt like Mom of the Year for bringing her out in the cold. And Yes, that is my disgusting husband eating a Twinkie that he caught in the parade...EWWWWW!!!!