Thursday, June 26, 2008

Cumberland Falls

Where, oh where have the Hanks Gang been????

If you've been wondering where in the world we've been ... we have had a little MODEM trouble. We went to Cumberland Falls on June 26th... it was BEAUTIFUL! The day was absolutley perfect. The weather was wonderful... the kids were great... I couldn't have asked for anything more. Apparently back here at home... there was a thunderstorm to rival all storms. When we pulled in there were trash cans everywhere, some had rolled through our garden... which isn't even close to the place the trash cans go... and demolished a large portion of the garden. UGH. We also lost some of our really large trees in the woods. They crashed down on our fence, which cost us an entire Saturday cutting off and repairing. UGH AGAIN. I didn't even realize for two days that we had lost yet ANOTHER modem... this would be modem number 16. So... much like the plumber that never fixes his own sink, we still have not replaced the modem and I have been trying to blog at the office, while answering the phones, trying to hire new employees and keep all four kids from staging a takeover and taking hostages. As you can see... that plan hasn't worked out too well. So here I am "back-blogging". Please bear with me as I play catch-up.

So... as I mentioned... on June 26th... we set out for Cumberland Falls. We are so blessed here in the state of Kentucky! We have some of the most beautiful State Parks... some beautiful lakes, rivers, trails, rock formations, caves... and while Tim and I have been to many of these State Parks... the kids have not. So I was pretty excited about our trip.

We met up with Mamoo, Papoo, Briana and Tabitha and had a nice picnic once we arrived. (Notice that Ali and I were smart enough to find a table in the SHADE...)

The kids loved the picnic area... and I think for a while they thought that this was all we came to "see". They hiked up the trails, climbed on several rocks, blew bubbles, danced and sang... I really think if we had packed up and left at any point they would have been completely happy.

Once we got done with our picnic, we loaded up and went over to the falls area. The kids were amazed at the falls. They also wanted to get out and "touch" it. Thank goodness for the barriers...

Once we were done looking at the falls we went back over to the river side and let the kids wade in the water. (Please note: I never saw the sign that said NO WADING until after we were leaving.)

It's funny... Tim told me to take towels. I kept telling him... we can't get into the water... no one will get wet... they have barriers!!

Well... leave it to McCaleb. We were wading in the water... and suddenly I hear, "Uh oh!" SPLASH!!! Right on his face. He hit a slimey spot and wiped out. Bless his heart. Despite the 2 hour drive home... when we arrived in Georgetown to meet Tim for dinner, he was still soaking wet and COLD. Lucky for him... I had some clothes in the back of the car that were Brayden's... so we borrowed a few things from the bag and dressed him in a very ecclectic outfit. He might have been mismatched... but he was warm.

All in all... it was a wonderful day! Not even the storm that happened here could dampen our spirits. The kids are ready to go back...I think we might try to go again in the fall when the leaves change. That's one of the many blessings of Kentucky... it changes with the seasons.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Littlest Angel

I have the sweetest son... he truly is. Sara and I don't even call him by his name anymore... we just call him Sweet Boy...Sweet, Sweet, Boy.

But even as sweet as he is... he manages to get himself into some real "pickles". Maybe it's because he is a male among 3 very opinionated and gregarious sisters. Or... it could be that he is just a boy... and boys will be boys. But I have this feeling - a sort of "hunch, laced with dread" kind of feeling - that this is just McCaleb.

It's truly nothing MAJOR... just the kinds of things you read about in books, or see in the movies. He is like my real-life version of "The Littlest Angel". You know the story... the sweet little boy... just 4 years old...arrives in Heaven. His ear-splitting whistles could be heard everywhere he went. His halo remained crooked and tarnished from him holding onto it while running everywhere he would go. He could often be found flipping head-over-halo... and when nervous - he chewed on his wing tips. He doesn't find Heaven all that "heavenly"... wanting to know where the trees are to climb, the caves are to explore and play pirate games in... and where was all the dirt to run in and squish between your toes???

These are all questions I could hear McCaleb ask. Those along with:
  • Can I drive the tractor? (Beware: he forgets to turn the lights off... you might discover your battery is dead.)

  • Can I water your flowers for you, God? (Be prepared to get wet. You WILL.)

  • And my personal recent favorite: Can I take off my shoes and just get my toes wet in the big water? (Seconds later: SPLASH! Face down, in the Cumberland River. He just looks up and says, "Uh,oh." Good thing we still had clothes to take to Brayden in the back of our car...)

He might be a handful of energy and an accident waiting to happen...but when he lays down to go to sleep at night... there is nothing more precious than my son. He kisses me goodnight, tells me he loves me, occasionally loans me his extra "SuperSoft" to sleep with... and falls asleep with the sweetest smile on his face of a day well spent.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


When the girls first came home... I bought a HopScotch game for them at Target. It was a little too "big" for them at that time... they actually used it more as a giant floor puzzle... and didn't really "get" the concept.

As the years have worn on... they have begun to get it out and use it for "placemats" for eating... or in counting...or as "time out" spots for their various toys that have committed some horrid crime and must be put on a naughty spot.

It wasn't until we went to Guatemala in January that I taught Ali and Sara how to play hopscotch. Sara went back to the Hogar and taught her friends... and when we went to Dolly's we drew the boards on the sidewalk and we all played together.

When we got home from Dolly's - they got the HopScotch game out... put it all together... and let the games begin. It has been a favorite toy almost every day since then... and now I can see the value in my major $5 purchase! It has been so wonderful to watch them play together... to laugh and take turns. I have been so amazed at how they have meshed together... the laughing... the playing... the fighting. They are truly siblings... that is for sure!

So here they are, playing HopScotch...sans McCaleb, who pushed his sister down and had to come inside for 3 minutes of Time Out. (I know... gasp... who can imagine this sweet, sweet, boy doing anything like this.) As you can see, his sister couldn't stand it for long and had to come hunting him down. They sure do love each other!!