The Henry Family

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Will is 3!!!

I am having to play catch up a little because I have been so busy enjoying the last of my summer vacation and getting my classroom ready for the start of the school.
So, first, I have some news regarding this precious little boy! He turned 3 on July 27. This is him when he first woke up. We had planned to give him his present from us in the morning because it was something he has waited for and wanted for a long time.

He loves Toy Story but most especially, Buzz Lightyear. He has a small Buzz action figure but has wanted "the real Buzz" for some time. He was so excited when he opened his gift and found him in there. He had to check out all of Buzz's gear and try all the buttons. This toy provided so much fun all day!
We usually have a big 1st birthday party for our kids but then wait until they turn 4 to have a big friend party. We opt for simple parties at home with family instead. So, later that night Nana, Paw-paw, Uncle John, and Aunt Lindsey came over to watch Will open his presents and enjoy some cupcakes. Of course this big sister was in on all the action too!
Last year, we had a hard time getting Will to want to open his presents or look at his cards, but this year, he was great about it. I can't believe there is a rare picture of me posted on this blog:)

Uncle John and Aunt Lindsey got him the "real Woody" to go with his Buzz. You can see he felt a lot of joy about this:) Look at that sweet dimple!
He also got several books that he loves so much, one must go to bed with him every night!
Let me preface this picture with the fact that Will loves to play dress up. But, with an older sister, most of our dress up things are very girly. He doesn't really mind but, this year, Nana and Paw-paw decided to fix the problem by getting him his very own Buzz Lightyear costume! The wings even light up!
Uncle Robbie and Aunt Gina thought that was a great idea and added a Woody costume to the mix!
Madeline is never one to turn down a good dress up session, so she joined in right away!
His Granny Henry added to the Toy Story gift theme by getting him the first 2 movies on DVD. Up to this point, he had been watching an old VHS version that Nathan had from college:)

Now that Will can have eggs, it was a little easier to make his cupcakes this year. They still had to be dairy free, but it was much easier. I went with chocolate cupcakes and decorated them with Toy Story characters and a few number 3's. Will looked impressed:)
He was very focused on that lit candle!
With a little help from Daddy, he blew it out. I hope all his wishes come true!
I would say that these pictures prove the cupcakes were a success!

Will, the past 3 years with you have been a joy and a blessing! God knew we needed a little boy just like you!
This year you have really developed a voice of your own. You are still pretty laid back and calm but speak up when you really need to. You went from talking very little when you turned 2 to speaking in full sentences now! You had a good year of 2 year old preschool and started really making some friends. You are so content to just play with any toy put in front of you but really love any car, truck, or action figure. You can sit for a long time just looking at books and talking about the pictures and love being read to anytime. You have a sweet nurturing side but can also be a rough and tough boy when you are in the mood:) This summer you have really enjoyed playing in the water and digging in the dirt. You have become a pickier eater but are willing to try a few bites of almost anything, especially if a dessert it waiting:) You are starting to try to identify shapes, colors, letters, and numbers. You know and like to recite or sing a couple of songs and prayers. You decided during this year that you don't really like or need a nap but are willing to quietly lay and read books during rest time. You are an amazing sleeper at night and even play quietly in your room if you wake up before Mommy and Daddy.
I love my little boy with all of my heart! You are so different from your sister and I love that! It is such an adventure watching you both grow in your own ways:) I can't wait to see how you change and grow this next year!

Monday, August 2, 2010

A Nice Day at Home

Today marks the last week of my wonderful summer vacation. I have so enjoyed this special time with my family and feel so blessed that I am able to do this every year. A week from today, I will start 8 days of professional development in preparation for a new classroom full of precious kindergartners. I have already been working on my classroom and plan to post before and after pictures when I get finished.
So, to help us fully enjoy our last week together, we purposefully did not schedule any activities and even turned off T.V. and computers for the whole day. We started off by pulling out our painting gear and made some nice pictures. My kids really love to paint and did it so neatly, with no mess for the first time!

Next, we realized that we had some ripe bananas and decided to make some dairy-free banana bread. This is the first time I have really included Will on a baking project and he loved it! Madeline has been my helper many times before and amazed me with the complicated things she can help with. I was so busy that I only caught this one picture of my little chefs while the batter was being finished by the Kitchen Aid mixer.
The bread took 50 minutes to bake, so I wanted to come up with a fun activity to make the wait go by quickly for them. So, out came the old king-sized sheets to make 2 tents! They loved this so much! Madeline was upset when we finally took them down right before bedtime. They had so much fun that I even managed to clean our master bathroom before the bread was done:)
After a nice lunch together, the kids couldn't wait to try dessert: our finished banana bread! They both loved it and were so proud of themselves!
There was nothing fancy, expensive, or even that creative about our day (which finished up with rest time, board games, and some free play time) but we all ended the day feeling so content and happy with everything! I'm so thankful God blessed me with my favorite job, being a mother!!!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Fun at the Water Park!

Today, we were blessed to get to meet up with one of my friends I have know since 7th grade. Rachel and her 2 adorable kids, Meredith and Russ, met us in Arkadelphia where they have a small, very kid-friendly water park. Rachel and I had a good time catching up as it has been many, many years since we've seen each other. We both agreed that we love the blog world because it was easier to talk after keeping up with each other by reading our blogs.
Here is Russ, who loved going down the slide on his belly:
He is a cute little dare devil who wanted to do everything!
Madeline has really learned to swim this summer and felt very grown up because she could have a little more freedom as a result. This back shot makes her look so grown up!
Meredith was great in the water too. I thought she looked like such a pro in her swim shirt and goggles!
Madeline and Meredith got along right away and had a good time playing together.
Will really splashed around and enjoyed the day a lot!
The frog slide was a big hit with all of the kids. I love how the camera caught all of the water drops!
The park was so perfect! It even had some shaded areas that were still in the water. We had not been there in 2 years but definitely need to come back more often!
Thanks Lipsey family for meeting us! It was such a wonderful day!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Happy 4th of July (a day early)

Before I get to the 4th of July activities, I thought I would share some of the things we have been up to this week.
We were blessed to have 2 play dates with our good friends Haley and Ashlyn. They both happen to be the same ages as both of my children, so they get along great and have so much fun! Madeline and Haley never get together without spending some time playing dress-up!

Ashlyn got in on the action too and made a great Wonder Woman!
In other news, we were officially opened as a foster care home on Tuesday. We haven't gotten a call yet but will be excited to welcome a little visitor into our home when we do! With all of the talk of getting a foster child, Madeline and Will have been practicing their baby care (sorry for the blurriness of these few pictures. I am still getting used to my camera).
Are you as worried as I am about Will being in charge of a stroller? I think I will stay in control of this particular chore:)
Madeline took the liner out of her baby carrier and created sort of a sling to carry her baby around.
Today, we went to our town's annual 4th of July carnival. Madeline spent the night with her Nana and Pawpaw so she could have extra time with her cousin Emma while she was visiting them, so Will had Nathan and I all to himself. We started with a tour through the car show. Will enjoyed seeing them a lot more than last year. He is such a boy!I like the background of this picture and the look of pure concentration as Will takes everything in:
They had a little section with games for kids. Will's favorite was definitely this bubble pool with wands that made huge bubbles. I think he would have stayed at this one for several hours!

There was also a bean bag toss where kids were supposed to stand behind a line to throw. Apparently, Will did not agree with the placement of the line and found his own way to be successful at this game.

Then, it was on to face painting. Last year, he was not interested at all. This year, he was still a little shy and apprehensive (as he is with almost anything new) but willing to cooperate with some help from Daddy.

Here is the finished product and also my favorite picture taken with my new camera!

Just as we were getting a little too hot and had seen everything there was to see, my parents showed up with Madeline and Emma. So, we stayed for a little while longer and did some shopping. There were lots of cute booths with fun bows, shirts, and dresses. I got Madeline some really cute stuff. I will try to take pictures and post them later. I love homemade/etsy stuff!
Here are Madeline and Emma:

They also played all of the games and had their faces painted too. They went with a much more simple design: just a star!

I love how serious and involved Madeline looked while getting her face painted as opposed to Will who looked like he was being mildly tortured:) It's amazing how different they are!

This is my second favorite picture so far. It's not as artistic looking as the one of Will but I just think Madeline looks so beautiful! I just love those blue eyes and sweet smile!

Tomorrow, we plan to go to a BBQ at a friend's house and maybe see if there is a fireworks display to watch. I don't think I'm really ready to get some small fireworks of our own but Nathan is trying to change my mind! I hope everyone else has a great 4th. God has truly blessed America!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

I can't believe June is almost over!

This post is a big gathering of pictures from this month. As a teacher, I think of time in certain increments. The 2 months I have off in the summer represent a special part of my year where I get to enjoy being a SAHM. I love being a teacher and know that it is God's plan for me at this time but I am so blessed to have this time with my kids.

June 2010 will probably go down as the "Potty Training" month. We used the 3 day method and by the time we hit Day 4, things were looking really great. But, after 3 days of success, Will decided he was done with it. We have spent the last several weeks trying different ways to encourage him to try again and are making progress. As a result of this, we have stayed home a lot more than we usually do during this month. This is also in part due to the crazy hot weather we have been having. At one point, I got in my car and it said it was 114 degrees outside!

I am usually a mother who likes her kids to look put together and neat but all of this staying home has made me more relaxed about their attire, producing some interesting looks:

Here is Will in his new-found treasure: some hand-me-down cowboy boots from our friend Jack.

We are not really country people but I will say that nothing says "I am an Arkansan," like a little boy wearing a Razorback T-shirt, Lightning McQueen underwear, and cowboy boots:)
Madeline prefers to stay in her P.J.'s as long as possible in the morning. Today, she decided to add a backpack and skates.
Last Tuesday, I took Will for his milk allergy food trial in Little Rock and we had to make arrangements for Madeline because the appointment was so early and Nathan still had to teach summer school. Our good friend Mrs. Rhonda came to the rescue and invited her to sleep over that night with her daughter Lynley. Madeline was so excited and proud! She did well but told us she missed us some:) Here she is getting ready to leave with her overnight bag. Can anyone tell me how it is possible that I have a daughter old enough to go to a sleepover:)
Here she is with her friend Lynley the week before when she and her sister, Kelsey, came over to our house for the morning. I feel so blessed that Madeline has made so many good friends who we enjoy spending time with!
Will had a good time playing with Kelsey that day as well. Unfortunately, later that week, he did not pass his food trial, so no milk for another year:( At least he passed the egg trial in May.

Have I mentioned how hot it is in South Arkansas right now? About the only way we can stand being outside for any length of time is to be in the water! Madeline and Will don't mind:)

Sorry if the post seems choppy. It would probably be easier to do posts more often:) In other news, after praying for a year since Nathan changed his mind about being foster parents, he has decided to try one placement. After going through all the steps last year, Nathan started to have doubts about whether we would be a good foster family because we both work. So, we decided to wait to be opened. I was sad about this decision because I truly believe that it is a calling for me. I just kept praying for Nathan's heart to change or for me to find peace about his decision. Amazingly, out of the blue, we were called by DHS to see if we would reconsider and God helped everything to fall into place so easily. We hope to be officially opened in the next few days which will hopefully be followed by a child being placed in our home very soon! God never ceases to amaze me with His grace and plans for our family!