The Henry Family

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

We have had a lot of fun preparing for Halloween this year. Each year, as our kids get older, Halloween gets more and more fun.
Thursday night, we carved/painted our pumpkins so they would still be fresh on Halloween night. Will would only try to eat the acrylic paint, so he had to hang out on the sidelines. He was pretty interested and just cruised around to observe.
He is still so happy to crawl that he may not decide to walk anytime soon. But, if he is this happy and precious, who cares! I just love those big brown eyes!

Nathan, once again, did a great job carving our big pumpkin. Maddie said she wanted a scary pumpkin this year, so he did his best.

Maddie was very into painting her pumpkin and ended up painting every surface. She gave special attention to the stem.

Here is Madeline's finished pumpkin.

And, here is the finished family pumpkin. How scary!

Since acrylic paint is not known for being good to eat, I painted Will's pumpkin for him. He was the artistic inspiration, though.

Today, we woke up extra early and Maddie kept saying, "I'm just so excited today!" She would say this at random times with such enthusiasm that Nathan and I cheered up and got excited with her (even though Halloween is not as fun for teachers). She dressed up as Dorothy this year and Will was her sidekick, the Scarecrow. I think she really looked the part. Excuse the crazy eyes. The red eye removal on my Paint Shop program leaves something to be desired (or I just haven't figured out the right way to use it. . . which is entirely possible).

Will is officially at the age where getting a good picture is impossible! He didn't want to stand or sit, so we did the best we could to capture his scarecrow cuteness. The costume included a really cute hat with a crow on top, but he wouldn't wear it.
When I chose to dress them as Dorothy and the Scarecrow, I had wonderful visions of all the cute pictures we could take.
Well, this was the best we got. Maddie tried her best, but Will was not having any of this posing stuff!

They wore their costumes to school and changed after the school carnival. They were both given really cute Halloween shirts and I wanted to show them off.

Thanks Karen and Gina for the shirts!

I hope everyone enjoyed their Halloween just as much. We only had three trick-or-treaters, which is probably good because Will started crying every time the door bell rang! He ended up going to bed before 8:00.
After we went trick-or-treating, Maddie and Nathan changed and headed out to the high school football game. Go Wildcats!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Oh, What a Busy Life!

You can tell how busy we have been by my lack of posting. I manage enough time to catch up on all of your blogs but leave little time to upload pictures and write for myself. So, for those of you who faithfully check, despite my lack of posts, I will try to do better.
We have all been busy doing the usual. Nathan and I stay very busy during this fall at school. We will definitely be ready for Thanksgiving and Christmas break when they get here! My class has been studying pumpkins and the solar system. We have made cute flip books (I will try to take a picture of the bulletin board where they are posted) and a really neat solar system book out of paper bags. I'm quite proud of our craftiness!
Will is still studying the act of walking. It is amazing what he can do while touching a table with one finger or holding on to one finger of his caretaker! But, the second he realizes he is not holding on to something, he sits down and starts to crawl. Oh well, I had hoped he would walk by Halloween but we may be looking at Thanksgiving as well. You all know just how much he loves food. Maybe the Thanksgiving spread will inspire him.
He does appear to like the taste of grape, sparkly lip gloss as well as most kinds of food and his sister was gracious enough to leave some just where he could get it.
A purple goatee is just what he was going for, I'm sure:)

Madeline is still loving preschool and learning lots. Today, they had a Red Ribbon Parade downtown at the square. Their school puts the babies in the big red buggies and the preschoolers in red wagons and joins the parade. They both had a blast, although Nathan and I were sad we did not get to see it. She is also very into dance and gymnastics. I hope to take a 1/2 day some afternoon and watch her in action.
In other important Madeline news: A week ago, she woke up to the sound of rain, music to the ears of a little girl who has been waiting over a month to wear her new Hello Kitty rain boots and use her Ariel umbrella!

She made quite the statement with her dress and jean jacket, don't you think. Nathan laughingly said we might need some cowboy boots because she does look pretty cute in a dress and boots (for those of you who don't know us well, this is pretty funny as we don't do anything countrified, despite living in Arkansas).

In other important October news, Nathan had a birthday!
How old is this handsome man who keeps those biceps oh so strong by bench pressing his kids?

Don't worry, his candles won't give it away. . .

Nathan is now 31 years old!!! We had a nice, simple birthday celebration and went out to eat. He requested an ice cream cake and we all really enjoyed it. I just bought a premade one but the cake decorator was nice enough to take it out and decorate it for him. Happy Birthday Nathan!

Other than all of that, we have just been having a nice October and are enjoying the fall weather we are finally getting down here in the South.

Monday, October 6, 2008

A Cute Diaper-Clad Baby and Other Pictures

I love taking and having lots of pictures of my family. Our camera is not always the easiest to work with but is small and portable for all occasions.
Here are a few snapshots from this weekend.
Will had just majorly messed up his clothes after a snack of soy peanut butter and crackers. When I was changing him, I noticed that he was hot and sweaty as it had warmed up to about 80 degrees since I had dressed him that morning. So, I decided to let him cool off and he was as happy as a clam. He even did a little light reading with his faithful sippy cup nearby just in case he needed to check for anymore juice, later.
Maddie loves to listen to Laurie Berkner songs in the playroom. When the Boots Song came on, she ran into the living room, and said, "Mama, I have to get my boots on right now!" She just got these Hello Kitty Rain Boots from her Nana and we have not had a drop of rain since. She was itching to get a chance to use them and decided this song was good enough. I had a hard time capturing a good shot of her dancing and bouncing but you get the general idea.
The boots in all their glory!!!
Now, I'm not one to dress my family in matching outfits but little did I know that Nathan is. On Sunday, he got Will dressed for church and then came out later wearing the same outfit. Everyone at church assumed this was my doing, but Nathan owned up to his part in the planning. It was too cute to resist a quick picture.
Maddie was feeling left out so Nathan got this picture of "the girls." It made me realize how rarely I am in pictures with my kids. I'm usually the one taking the pictures. I love this picture of my sweet girl and I!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Corduroy Visits!

Madeline's class has a little bear that looks just like the book character, Corduroy. They each get to take a turn to have him over for the weekend and this weekend was Maddie's turn. He has a whole bag full of clothes, books, and a toothbrush. We are supposed to help her write a journal entry with pictures to pass along in the bag too.
Madeline actually asked to go to bed around 6:30 on Friday night because she was so excited about getting him in his pajamas and brushing his teeth. Humm. . . maybe Corduroy should come over more often!
Nathan finally got around to putting Maddie's new doll bed together on Saturday and Corduroy was the first to have the honor of using it.
Side note: Can you believe it is October and Maddie is still having to wear shirts and tank tops!!! Come on fall weather!
Corduroy also got to accompany Maddie to church today and enjoyed mass.
After a good nap, he came with us to Jacob's fourth birthday party at a local park where fun was had by all.
Another side note: Maddie photograpy is coming along nicely. She took this next picture with no help from me. She thought the girls smashing the play-dough into the concrete, while they were supposed to be watching Jacob open his presents, was funny.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

My "Teacher" Side

Today, as I was contemplating what to blog about, I realized that I usually blog about my family life. Now, that is a very important part of my life, but I also spend 8+ hours of each day M-F doing something else. For those who don't know, I am a first grade teacher. This will be my sixth year of teaching and most of that time has been spent teaching first grade. It is my favorite grade by far! Many think it is one of the harder grades, but it suits me to a tee. I have come to realize that teachers are truly "called" to a certain area in education. Nathan is also a teacher but chooses to teach 8th grade English and could not fathom doing my job. We jokingly compare our jobs and compete to decide who has it the hardest. We have come to the conclusion that both jobs are hard for different reasons and no wonder there is always a teacher shortage!
Now, in the spirit of being very positive about my job, which I do love despite a strong desire to apply for the SAHM job in my own household, I thought I would tell some of my "secrets" that many teachers have and the outer world may not know about:

1. I do love what I do despite the pay, long hours, and bureaucrats that make mandates for teachers without spending at least a day in our shoes (okay, that got a little negative!).
2. I spend hours and hours of unpaid time getting my room ready during the summer so that it is just perfect and makes parents and kids feel lucky to be there on registration day.
3. I probably have more teaching-related dreams at night than ones related to family life. The teacher side of my brain must have more trouble turning off.
4. I love new school supplies! I love the smell, organizing them in my classroom, and getting out brand new ones part way through the year just to surprise my students after theirs get dingy.
5. I often find myself tearing up when I see a child finally get a concept they struggle with. I also tear up when they are truly sad about something, when they admit something they did wrong and are upset, and when parents write me nice notes.
6. I get really nervous about the 1st day of school even though I have been there and done that 6 times!
7. Teachers hope for snow days even more than their students and I often stay up late, watching the Weather Channel for any glimmer of hope (especially when I live in a part of AR that never sees snow!). For those of you who wonder why: There is a wasteland of the school year that happens around the middle of January and doesn't let up until we are within 2 weeks of Spring Break. There are no breaks in sight and students get antsy and distracted and we all just need a snow day to relax:)
8. There have been quite a few times in my career that I didn't want to put a child on the bus or in the car and instead wanted to take them home with me and keep them safe and loved.
9. I really don't like standardized tests! It's like trying to fit square pegs in round holes and it is not fair! (okay, sorry, a little negative too)
10. I'm always proud to tell someone I am a teacher and love answering questions about what I do. It is a great job!
So there, my secrets are out! I'm not sure if anyone really reads this blog very often but if you are a teacher, feel free to add your secrets in the comments section.
Good Night!