Monday, September 25, 2006

Is this cool - or WHAT??

OK - so Aunt Beth takes the best pictures ever... and I am always trying to take a really cool picture like she does. But how many times have I gotten my film developed to find that I've cut off the horses hooves... or that someone's eyes were closed... or that I was trying to focus on a flower - and instead the barn in the distance is perfectly clear... it's so frustrating. However... tonight I was trying to get a really cool picture of Jesse's eye. Just his eye. Beth has taken these cool photos and I thought - it's just the digital... it's not like I'm burning film here...
And to make it even easier... Jesse has been really clingy lately. Every time I am outside - he will follow me up and down the fence - running off the other horses for all the rubs and love. It's kind of like he misses me. :) So it was easy to get an eye shot of him tonight. He literally was INCHES away the entire time. He played with my hair...and chewed on my shirt...I'll probably end up with poison ivy... but oh, well. At any rate - when I came into the house and looked at the photos later... I have decided that I know what is wrong with Jesse. He wants to go riding. You can tell if you look really close - there is a reflection of the back end of the horse trailer in his eyes. That's enough for me. Jesse has trailer fever... I hope this one makes Beth PROUD!!!

(OK Corbin Family... let's get ready to RIDE!!)

Kids Are Just F-U-N!!!

There are so many things that I love to do with the kids... but watching them have fun is one of my favorites. They love to be outside with their Daddy...and they really love to "help" him with the farm chores. As you can see... McCaleb is a little more involved in the actually HELPING process... while Ali and Rachel are driving around the yard talking on their imaginary cells phones. (Hmmm... wonder where they learned that one???) At any rate...I wish I could send you all a video clip of Ali and Rachel driving. Ali is all business behind the wheel... just scroll down to JD's birthday and see for yourself. She had thrown her arm over McCaleb to be sure he wasn't going to fall off the back of the truck. But she cracks me up to watch... she leans forward- both hands on the wheel... and her tongue is poked out the side of her mouth... it is JAMIE made all over. TOTAL CONCENTRATION. Rachel, on the other hand, drives with one hand - we hope - and talks with the other... while giggling non-stop and yelling... "MOVE JD!!! Get out of the way McCaleb!!!!" When Ali is riding with her - Rachel just stomps the gas to the floor... and Ali's head will jerk back really hard.... and when she stops - SAME THING. Whiplash. Who does Rachel remind me of??? Ummmm - Jodi, I'm sure. I'm sure I don't know anyone else that drives like this! ;) It's pretty comical. I love the picture of them together... but I think the one of Ali stuck on the hill and Rachel pushing the truck is the best. She was actually moving the truck!!!! McCaleb spent the time helping his Daddy. He fed the horses, walked the dogs, and yelled "No, No, No!" every time the dogs didn't mind. He is actually a very good helper. He wants to help with EVERYTHING. This is probably a good time to tell you...well... let me just say that no one in our house is allowed to get their own toilet paper anymore. Since McCaleb has been home... he will knock you over to get to the bathroom to get ANYONE... doesn't matter who you are... their paper. Then he will politely wait for you to get up - and he pushes you out of the way (he doesn't care if your pants are up or down still) to flush the potty. (At least now he waits until you are UP!) It's his job... and he takes it very seriously. So - consider yourself warned.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Why I Like Rain

Saturday we were supposed to be setting up a booth at the Festival of the Horse with the Youth Group to sell cards and bath salts...but the rains came down and the floods came up! It was actually a very sobering and sad time... there were two college students at UK swept away by the flood waters. So instead of spending the day at the Festival... the Hanks Gang... the WHOLE Hanks Gang was HOME. This has been the very first Saturday we have spent together as a family (in its entirety) since way before McCaleb came home. Tim has spent every Saturday this year working - either with Hi-Tech or at the church on the new Family Life Center. So despite the bad weather - and seriousness of the storm... it was actually a really wonderful day. We watched Mary Poppins. Ali and Rachel loved the movie and were giggling hysterically at Dick Van Dyke dancing with the penguins...although Ali rolled over a few times and said - "This is REALLY a long movie, Mommy." The girls played and played...they love McCaleb's cars and trucks. McCaleb loves their kitchen... and watching him feed the little beanie bear was really sweet. I'm not sure what happened to his pants...

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Tempus Fugit....

Sundays are such fun... dressing everyone up for church - and HOPING that the kids make it home without any major kool-aid spills or marker stains. Today, other than a very faint juice mustache for Rachel... we made it home looking almost as spiffy as when we left.

They are the most adorable babies... but they are growing up SO FAST! Where does the time go??? It's like you close your eyes to blink - and "poof" - you lose a week, or a month, or two... and then it is a WHOLE YEAR! WOW. I looked back at some photos from just last summer... and I thought I was looking at Rachel - and it was Ali. I didn't even recognize Rachel. She has grown up so much. Last summer she still had her baby fat (I'm glad she can't read this...) and her pudgy cheeks. And Ali... who we have always called "Skinny Minnie" actually USED to have baby fat... but we didn't know it until it was GONE! I wonder what next year will hold for all of them. But before I go wishing my life away--- I think I will just enjoy the here and now. Tempus fugit... Time is fleeting. (Mrs. Carter would be so proud...)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


Angus looking sweet and innocent.... NOT!

Failed to post these ever important photos... Rachel loves her tractor. McCaleb is sporty in his truck... and what else can I say? Life on the farm is GOOD. Here are a few more of the dogs. Angus peeking out of the fence... he looks so calm and innocent here. I love the one where Maggie appears to be chastising the other dogs. She has always reminded me of Jamie... the big sister thing, I guess. DOESN'T ANYONE ELSE SEE THE RESEMBLANCE???

The REST of the gang!

In the spirit of fairness to all our loved ones... and due to popular demand - I introduce you to the rest of the Hanks Gang. What a motley crew we have. I attempted to get the whole gang together - but have decided that without heavy sedatives ... (those would be for me...) and tranquilizers for the animals... it's just not gonna happen! ;) So what we have are snippets of life on the farm. You will find the horses (sans Eagle, who you already met) and Rocky the Rabbit. Then we have the gang of dogs. (Photo of all of them at the gate includes: Millie, Scout, Grace, Maggie the WonderDog,Angus, Raven and SUNNY.) You have already met JD and Molly... and it's really beneath them to pose with the "dogs", if you will. There is a special shot of Millie - the one-eyed wonder... and SUNNY. Ali is riding Tony. And of course... Jesse is KING.

A Hard Day At Work...

For those of you that don't know... I still do actually work for Tim. But on those days when I'm not "working"... and in between my bon-bon eating and Soap Opera Watching (...ahem.. Jamie....) I actually stay relatively busy. (Go figure...) Between the mowing, the kids, the dogs, the house, the horses, the rabbit, the Youth Group, the Sunday School lessons - and trying to actually attach the arms of the sweater to the body of the sweater I am knitting... my time is pretty well spent. So this summer, when the girls quit taking naps --- it was a bittersweet ending. Nap time was when I had my Quiet Time and Bible Study. Now instead... the girls have started their own Homework regiment. THEY LOVE IT. I was really surprised... and it amazes me who is better at one task, and who is better at another. They always manage to prove me wrong... but they never cease to amaze me! So while McCaleb is crashed upstairs (photo attached), the girls and I are at the kitchen table with our KUMON workbooks to learn tracing, mazes, cutting and letters. I wanted to send you some pictures of them at these tasks... and also of Ali after "A Hard Day At Work". For those of you that know the ups and downs that we have had adjusting... you will know that there has only been ONE other occasion that Ali has fallen asleep on the floor just because she was tired. Maybe this shows a corner turned in her life. We hope she is really beginning to feel safe and comfortable here at home - and I'm taking this as a good sign! It was an amazing sight to behold - and brought tears to my eyes... and I totally treasure the drool spot on my pillow! As I said... they never cease to amaze me!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Honoring the Birthday Boy!!!!

Friday was a special day - we got to celebrate the oldest family member's birthday! No, it wasn't Tim... it was JD! JD turned 14 years old today... and it's very special because he has been in congestive heart failure since April. We didn't really know if he would make it to his birthday...but just as JD has always done... he has amazed us once again. JD is the best dog in the whole world... even if you aren't a dog lover... you would have to love JD. (He actually doesn't know he is a dog... shhhhh! It's our secret.) JD has been such a blessing to us. He has faithfully followed Tim everywhere he has ever gone... he has saved us from wasp stings and protected our home...he has trained all our other dogs without us having to do any of the work...he has loved the children and been their pet, their companion and at times, their big hairy pillow. He has licked their tears, helped them to adjust and feel safe... and has loved them back unconditionally - as only a dog can do. JD has been a companion for all of us... and is such a part of our lives. He greets us with a tail wag and sometimes on a good day... even a slow trot! Nowadays we often have to "wake" him up - as he seems to sleep through thunder now... and he will wake with a sheepish grin and tail wag. He is such a doll...and such a gentle soul. We only wish we could be the kind of people that HE seems to think we are! Happy Birthday ol' Boy! We love you!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Just a cute little guy....

Ali wanted McCaleb to wear his hat tonight (no, we didn't let him take it to the funeral home...). It was just funny watching him try to get it on his head!

Thank You Aunt Parksie!!!!!

Earlier this summer Aunt Parksie came for a visit to Kentucky. She and Uncle Bob brought each of the kids a $25 Gift Card for Kohl's. The girls love to shop... and love to dress up in their "cinderella's" best of all. (They mean dresses...) Sadly, this evening we had to make a trip to the funeral home to say goodbye to a friend from church. We spent the afternoon playing... so we HAD to have a bath before we could leave the house. The kids got all dressed up... and I realized they all picked out one of their outfits from Aunt Parksie and Uncle Bob! They looked so adorable - I had to get a picture and post it for everyone to see. It was a sad trip to be making... and I answered a lot of questions that the girls had. I was very proud of them and how they handled themselves. They are very sensitive and intuitive little ladies. At bedtime I told them how proud I was of them - and how pretty they looked tonight... and Ali said..."Well, we needed to look nice for Mr. Rick since he was going to Heaven." She is far wiser than I can comprehend at times. From the mouths of babes......

Monday, September 04, 2006

Our Charlie Brown Apple Tree

When Tim and I moved into our house... we inherited an apple tree. The tree used to be Mom's. We "inherited" it right after Mom put a chain around it's little trunk and jerked it out of the ground with the tractor. :) There were still roots attached, and I wanted to "save" the tree... so I planted it right outside the kitchen window. At the very least I thought that the apples would be good to feed the horses. It was a pretty good plan - and with lots of TLC - my little Charlie Brown Apple Tree began to grow. Jesse and Eagle had apples aplenty for the past few years... that is... until the kids came along. It's been a tough year for the horses. Not only have they had to share their apples with TONY (the girl's horse) they now have had to share them with Ali, Rachel, McCaleb... oh yes... and MOLLY. Apparently Molly has decided the apples are her new favorite treat. And the bonus is that she can pick her own and eat them whenever she wants. Life on the farm is always a lot of fun!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

The thing I'll miss the most...

The past few days have been so wonderful... not too hot... almost a preview of fall. I LOVE fall... but I will miss summer because of my kids. They love playing outside, swimming in the pool, eating popsicles, picking tomatoes in the garden... but their favorite thing is eating on the deck. It doesn't matter how hot it is... or what we are eating... they LOVE to eat outside. They watch the horses, listen to the birds, feed the dogs...they do just about everything but sit still and eat. It reminds me of being little again... and how much I loved my childhood and my family! Good times!!

Three little angels...

There is nothing that makes me MORE proud - than these three little amazing angels. They are the reason that I get up every day (literally... they WAKE ME up...) and they make me want to be a better person and a better Mom! They are so much fun. This picture was taken a few days after we got home from Guatemala. It had been only a few days - but already you could see the love between the three of them. Ali is the best big sister... and Rachel is the best playmate... and McCaleb just wants to make everyone laugh!