The Henry Family

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Surprise, surprise!

No, there is not any major news in our home but I'm sure it was a great surprise to my followers to see that I have finally updated my blog after many, many months. In my defense, my card reader quit, then my hard drive on my computer crashed, and finally, my special camera battery stopped charging up! It has not been a good few months in technology around our home:( We are currently working on Dave Ramsey's plan to get completely debt free so we are following a strict budget. It is going pretty well but with the holidays coming, there is not room in the budget to replace everything yet. Oh well, I will get caught up eventually. Luckily, my dad is good about taking pictures at all the family gatherings, so I will try to get to their house and upload some pictures when I get a chance.

So, here is an update on all of us for those who haven't' completely given up on reading my blog:

Nathan and I are very busy at work but having good years. He has 2 extended classes, which means he gets 1 1/2 hours with those kids instead of the usually 50 min. He likes getting to do more in depth work with them. He is still doing a great job of being a mentor to boys in the school's Gentlemen's Club. He has now taken charge and is doing wonderfully teaching these boys good behaviors and manners. I have a very smart group of kids who have wonderful and involved parents. It is so nice to know they will continue the work we do in class at home. Their children's performance shows their hard work! I have not always been so lucky in my teaching career to have so much support from parents.

Madeline is in her last year of preschool and is loving it. She is a very social little girl and loves being with her friends. She is learning to read and has really come far in her handwriting. She is also taking dance and gymnastics and is doing very well. She turned 5 on September 22, the same day she came down with the dreaded H1N1 virus. She gave it to Will as well but Nathan and I managed not to get it. Luckily, she got better in time for her birthday party that Saturday. I still can't believe I have a 5 year old who will be starting kindergarten next year!

Will has been growing and changing rapidly. He had a bit of a tough transition back to school but he got into a routine pretty quickly and now loves to go and see his friends and teachers. He is a homebody at heart but I am glad he has the opportunity to be social while he is at school. He is really starting to talk a lot. For some reason, he loves to say, "chicken samich" and "chicken spice." He is using more sentences and communicating more clearly everyday. He is still very sweet and affectionate. Unfortunately, he had his first emergency room trip last Friday after hitting the bricks on our hearth with his head. Maddie was trying to pick him up and they fell backwards. He split his forehead and had to have 3 stitches. Luckily, his Uncle Robbie the pediatrician, was in town for Thanksgiving and took his stitches out for him. It healed nicely and I don't think the scar will be too bad.

Well, that's all I have for now. I will work on pictures when I get a moment. Thanks for your patience everyone:)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Update from the past few weeks

Since coming back from vacation, we have been very busy. I have been carving out some time to get my classroom ready and Nathan has been doing the same.
During all of this business, our precious baby boy turned 2! I guess I can't really call him a baby anymore because 2 sounds so much older than 1:) His birthday was on July 27 and we had a simple celebration at home. I made him special milk/egg/peanut-free cupcakes with icing, which he devoured. The rest of us thought they were pretty good; different but good.
All of our family that could not be present sent him some wonderful gifts. He was not that into opening gifts because he was so interested in the first one he opened and just wanted to play with it. After much coaxing and a little help from Madeline, he opened everything.
Will loves to pretend to cook, so his Uncle Robbie, Aunt Gina, and cousin Emma sent him this neat food set that you can pretend to cut. It is a big hit with both kids.
Maddie picked out a Handy Manny tool belt and visor as her gift to Will. He loves to wear the outfit and the visor must face backward (like his Daddy).
We gave him another Sesame Street stuffed animal. He loves his Cookie Monster but also has a great love for Elmo. He was so excited and just kept saying Elmo, Elmo over and over again when he realized what it was.
Here he is showing off his Handy Manny accessories.
Madeline enjoyed the festivities but said she is ready for her turn. September 22 can't come soon enough!
Speaking of Madeline, here is one of her new favorite past times. She gets dressed up and then climbs in the tub with all of her baby dolls. When I asked her what she was doing, she said, "My babies kept asking me to come in here!"

We had a wonderful visit with Susan and Setler right after Will's birthday. They stayed for almost 3 days and we had a great time! Will and Setler were getting ready to watch a movie in the playroom in this picture. Thanks for coming! You guys are welcome anytime.

My big 2 year old also has something new he enjoys doing. He loves to get all of his cars and line them up on the back and arms of the couch. He drives them around and it is just so cute and boyish to me!
In honor of your birthday, I wanted to record some of my many thought about by precious boy:
These first 2 years we have spent with you have been wonderful. You are so special and unique to us, with your laid back attitude and your sweet affectionate nature. You are such a boy but also have such a kind and tender heart. You love to give big bear hugs and wet kisses and Daddy and I just can't get enough of them. Your favorite toy right now is a silver and pink mini-van with a little family sitting inside. You love to drive it around like it is a race car but are so sweet when you make sure all the family members are in their seats. You are talking more and more although we're not always sure how to translate. You like telling the dogs no by saying, "No Coldie (aka Chloe)!" even if its Molly. You have the cutest run because you really pick up your feet when you do it. You have gotten picky about eating but are so good with a fork and spoon. You love to have your Cookie, Elmo, and Chloe animals in bed even though you show them affection by chewing on their faces. You like your big boy bed but think it means you don't have to take a nap. I have loved watching you change and develop this year and can't wait to see what I have to say when you turn 3!
I am very happy and blessed to have you in my life. God is so good!!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Ft. Morgan, Alabama

We just got back from a trip to the beach. We are normally Destin people, but decided to try something new and went to Ft. Morgan, AL. It is about 20 min. from Gulf Shores. Nathan's sister did a great job of planning and found us all a great beach house that had beautiful views and plenty of space. Thank you Jennifer!
I posted these first 2 pictures because I was so amazed at how well Maddie and Will handled the trip down. They were happy and just sort of hung out even when we got stuck in traffic for 2 hours in Gulf Shores!
Here's Madeline with her twin babies, Allie and Annie.

Here's Will with his trusty side-kicks, Chloe (named after our black dog) and Cookie Monster.
Here are all of the girls that came to the beach. Nathan's sister Jennifer, her daughter Carly, Nathan's mom Donna, me, Madeline, and Nathan's brother's wife Mary Martha. We were all dressed up to go to dinner.

Here are all the cousins on the Henry side, lined up by height: Will, Madeline, Neill, Jay, Carly, and Nicholas. We missed the oldest cousin, Katelyn, but understand that she had some important stuff going on at home in Fayetteville.
Here is Nathan with his parents and brother and sister. It is rare to get their family together for a picture and I thought this one turned out pretty well.
This was both kids first time at the beach. We weren't sure how they would like the ocean and sand but they loved it! Nathan had fun burying Maddie in the sand to create a mermaid look. The tail lacked detail because Maddie, much like her Mama, has some claustrophobic issues and couldn't stand to buried for that long:)
Neill was much more tolerant:) Nathan first dug a hole in the sand that was deep enough for him to stand up in and then buried him up to his neck. It was so fun and cute!
My kids did so well at the beach, that I got some great sunning time and even read the 1st 2 Twilight Books in 3 days!
Nathan and his fair skin was the only one to get any kind of sun burn, so he did less sunning and more playing with the kids in the ocean and sand. Here he is under the trustly umbrella.
For some reason, some of my pictures turned out hazy and I am no Photoshop pro, so sorry! Will was entertained by the most random things on this trip. This day, he played with a snorkel for a long time and was happy as a clam!
Madeline did not want to go to far into the ocean but was so content to play at the edge. She could not get enough of this!
Here is another fun random beach toy: A bungee cord and the pole of the umbrella. This occupied Will for about 45 min. I love the background of this picture and how precious he looks!

Overall, it was a fantastic trip and we really enjoyed getting to spend more time with Nathan's family. I can't wait to take the kids back again, now that we know how much they love it:)

Friday, July 10, 2009

Will Has Big Boy Hair!

Will has not had any kind of a haircut since he was born. He will be 2 on July 27. This is strange for us as Madeline has always had a lot of hair and had her first haircut at 6 months! In the past six months or so, he has grown some beautiful curls that we really enjoyed. But, the curls are starting to get out of control, especially in our South Arkansas humidity and heat!
Here is the side view of the curls:

Here is the back view. If he was a girl, he would probably have beautiful ringlets:)

So, yesterday, we took him to my salon and had our friend, Michelle, give him his first haircut. He was not into it at all. He had to sit in my lap and needed a sucker just to get through.
After getting the sucker, he did pretty well until she pulled out the clippers to trim up the sides and back. At that point, Nathan had to just hold his head still and let him cry. But, it was over quickly and I could not believe how much older he looked!
Here is the side view:
and here is the back view. I miss the pretty curls but also think the big boy look is just adorable! I may be biased, but I just think he is the most handsome little boy:)

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

I love my country and want to teach my children to do the same. Nathan let me sleep in this morning as I have been getting up early to exercise before it gets so hot. When I came into the family room, Madeline told me all about what the 4th of July celebrated and it was so cute to hear her version.
Later, we headed to our high school football stadium where a cute little festival was set up. It was typical for a small southern town: an antique car show, a few jewelry booths, snow cones, a patriotic pet show, and a few booths with games. Maddie and Will played a fishing game and this was Will's chosen prize. I'm sure it will provide lots of fun around our house for the next few days. I love the look on his face here. It is so typical of the "Mine!" toddler phase he is in.

Next, we hit the face painting booth. Will will not let someone paint on his face, so we gave Maddie her dollar and she went up to the booth. She was a little undecided about what to get.
Our local Camp Fire girls were the painters and they were so sweet and really took their time to make it look cute. Maddie did a great job of being really still.

Here is the final product. Red, White, and Blue stars for the occasion.
They also had a great time jumping on one of those jumping castles. It was Will's first time and we weren't sure what he would think, but he loved it and we had a hard time getting him off once their time was up. I tried to get a good picture but my camera does not do well with action shots. I'll have to see if my dad's camera did any better.
We left after about an hour because it was getting pretty hot and headed home. But these happy faces show just how much fun they had celebrating!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Happy Anniversary (a little early)!

Almost 7 years ago (June 29, 2002), Nathan and I were married in a beautiful ceremony at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Conway, AR.
We met during my sophomore year in college at the Sig Ep house on campus. We were friends for a few months and started dating in January of 2000. Our relationship was pretty calm and loving with no dramatic fights or break-ups along the way. We were so happy to be together and it just felt right. Almost 2 years after we started dating, Nathan proposed to me in front of my whole sorority in what was a very sweet, surprise proposal. It was funny to see all of my friends, in the video my parents insisted he have someone make when he called to ask for their blessing (they lived in Atlanta, GA at the time), with tears streaming down their faces because of the amazing way he proposed. I knew they were so happy for me.
So, that following June, we were married. Neither of us were nervous as we felt so blessed by God to have found each other. Once again, it just felt right.

We ended up moving to Atlanta, GA six months after we got married, where I started my elementary teaching career and Nathan entered the corporate world with Home Depot. We bought our first house and quickly became pregnant with our first child, Madeline. Before she was born, we took a trip to Destin, FL for our 2nd anniversary.
My love for Nathan grew as I watched him become a father. He couldn't wait for Madeline to be born and I will never forget the look on his face when he finally got to meet her in September of 2004.

After she was born, we enjoyed adjusting to our life as new parents although it was definitely hard, at times. We missed our family back in Arkansas and Nathan was becoming increasingly dissatisfied with corporate life. He did not like the long hours working and commuting and wanted to find a career that had more meaning. So, in late November of 2005, we moved to Helena, AR to run a group home for teen girls. It was a challenging job but one that we felt was important. Unfortunately, the company we worked for made some decisions that we could not support and we felt our family life was being compromised. We had visited my parents in their new town in South Arkansas and decided to move there when Nathan found the ideal graduate program that would allow him to get his Masters and become a certified teacher. So, we settled into our 2nd home and in July 2007, we welcomed our 2nd child, William.Shortly after Will was born, Nathan started his 1st teaching job and proved that he had found his ideal career. I stayed at home for Will's first 6 months and then returned back to the classroom in January 2008. We have been enjoying being the parents of 2 while both being teachers and have learned a lot along the way.
So, for those who stuck it out, that is the short version of our last 7 years together. It has been an amazing ride full of joy, laughter, excitement, fear, frustration, and lots of love. I know that God truly blessed me when Nathan came into my life. I look forward to many wonderful years with him and all of the blessings that will come into the next years our lives together.
(Hey, before you know it, we will have a child who is old enough to take a picture of us without having to look up:)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Another Fun Snack and some Water Play

Last week's trip to Whole Foods also brought Will his first taste of yogurt today. I was really unsure of how this would go over because it is so different from anything he has had before.
Madeline had her Dora yogurt and was acting silly, wanting me to take her picture. Sorry about the darkness of this picture. My camera is really tempermental (or at least that is what I claim, it might just be user-related).
Will made a funny face after his first taste but ended up really liking it. I think he would have licked the bowl if I had let him:) By the way, all of a sudden, he has gotten really good with a spoon and insists on feeding himself at all times. This is a big step for a child who preferred to eat the fast way, shoving the food into his mouth with his hands!
This afternoon, Nathan went to buy a new wading pool for the kids. He set up our slide so that they could slide into the water and they played happily for over an hour before dinner. Here's Will showing off his farmer's tan. His lower arms and legs look so much darker than his chest:)
Madeline really loved the slide and did all sorts of tricks on it. This is her favorite bathing suit because it shows her belly. Her Daddy is not sure what to think of this:)

Will had the best time with this big bubble wand. But, I had to pry it out of his hands when he started flinging the soap everywhere:) Notice his most recent injury. He took a spill on his Granny's deck last weekend. He is a little clumsy (like his Mommy) and doesn't always pay attention to where he is going. Nathan said he was playing the guitar and Will was just dancing away when he fell (that he might get more from Nathan:).

Maddie kept trying to "wash" Will's hair and he was not into that! I does look like he's laughing here but I believe he was screaming at her and she just acted like she didn't even hear him!
I promised more pictures of Madeline's new haircut. I took this yesterday when she wanted a picture of the card she made. Good luck to the recipient of this card. I hope they are good at reading the fine print! The haircut is so cute on her, despite the pained look. She is always trying to pose and this one went wrong, I think:)

I'm really loving my break. I can't believe I actually posted 2 days in a row! June may be a record Blogging month for me:)

Monday, June 8, 2009

Summer Fun!

Well, we've been off of school for 2 weeks now and we are getting down to some summer fun! Nathan spent the first week demolishing our kitchen and the next week putting in the new stuff while I completely cleaned and reorganized our whole house. Now, we have more time to enjoy each other. Nathan is teaching summer school in the morning, so the kids and I are keeping busy. Today, we went to story time at the library and had some nice play time at home. One fun thing that happened involved this:

Madeline watched, feeling slightly like we were doing something wrong. . . .

. . . as Will ate pudding for the first time!!!
Last Tuesday, he went for his milk food trial but, sadly, did not pass. He got hives around his mouth and they stopped after only about 1 or 2 ounces. They say that he must be getting close because that was the only reaction and it cleared up quickly. So, feeling sorry for my little boy who misses out on some fun treats, my mom and I went to Whole Foods and found some good milk, egg, and peanut free foods for him to eat. He seemed a little weirded out by the texture at first, but loved it and actually cried when it was all gone.
We also had a little crafting time this morning. Will is not overly interested in this but did color for a little while.
Note: He is sitting on our new kitchen floor but I still don't plan to post any more pictures until everything is done:)
Maddie loves to craft. She sat at our table with paper, markers, scissors, and glue for a while. She said she was making cards for people.
Do you like her new haircut? We decided that her long hair was looking more and more rough the longer it got and we missed her with the cute bob style. I'll try to find some better shots of it another time.
I hope everyone else is enjoying their summer!