The Henry Family

Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Busy Spring!

This has been a pretty busy Spring so far.  I forgot to mention in Madeline's update, that she finally learned to ride her bike without training wheels!!!  She was scared and she and Nathan took a few spills in the process, but now she rides like a pro:)  I took some video but my uploaded videos are not working on here for some reason:(

She had her April Campfire meeting at a local animal shelter called UCAPS.  As a service project, all of the girls brought supplies for the shelter.  Here they are sitting on all of it, holding up the UCAPS cards they received:)

 They learned a lot about how they rescue animals and take care of them.  They do a good job and I was so impressed with how clean the facilities and animals were considering they were so overwhelmed with animals at the time.  Madeline's tender heart had a hard time not bringing home an animal with her.  I told her that right now, 2 dogs and almost 3 kids is all we can handle at our house:)

I've been nesting a lot lately:)  I finally got the kids' closets organized!  My Aunt Cathy gave us this little dresser that was a perfect fit in Mallory's side of the closet.  It has been fun washing, folding, and hanging up little baby girl clothes again.  I can't believe she'll be here in about 8 weeks or so!  Now all we have left is to touch up paint in the girls' room and hang pictures.

 Will has been busy with tee ball practices.  He thinks it is a lot of fun but is not always that great about paying attention when he is not batting:)  He thinks playing in the dirt is a lot of fun too!  His first game is on Thursday and I am sure I will have some cute pictures to post:)
He had a major milestone this week.  He has always struggled with haircuts.  When we first started taking him to get his hair cut, he would cry every time:(  We have always had to hold him in our laps also.  Well, on Tuesday, he had his first haircut sitting by himself!!!  He did a great job too.  We normally have his hair cut with scissors and not too short but decided to go with a "buzz" cut for baseball and summer.  His only issue is that the clippers really tickle him and Nathan had to step in a few times to keep his head still so Ms. Michelle could get to his neck area.  Ms. Michelle is so wonderful and makes it such a good experience for Will with her patience and kindness!
Here is the finished product.  He was so proud of himself!  Ms. Michelle even gave him 3 suckers because he did so well:)

 Madeline had her 1st grade class picture on Friday.  She looked so cute in her summer dress.  She even let me french braid her hair, which I love because you can see her sweet face even better:)
 On Friday afternoon, her friend Carson came over for a play date.  They had a good time playing spa in the bathroom.  That is until Madeline spilled almost a whole bottle of pink nail polish all over her legs and the floor!  She looked like she was bleeding to death!  Thank goodness for nail polish remover!
They were having such a good time that Carson ended up spending the night.  Madeline has gone to a few sleepovers but this was the first time someone spent the night at her house!   They had such a good time and were so well-behaved.  I was proud that they were asleep by 10:00, although they got me up bright and early at 6:30 the next morning!

After Carson went home, we decided to take the kids to our local Arkansas Museum of Natural Resources.  Nathan and I have both been there as teachers, but we had not taken the kids before.
First, we went to the Arkansas Frontier exhibit. 
Will played with the campfire.
Then he checked out the old fashioned wagon Odometer.
They played "hunting" by tossing bean bags into the holes by the animals.  It's funny:  Will made almost every one and Madeline missed most:)  I guess she has my pitiful throwing abilities, poor girl!

Finally, they took a ride in the replica canoe.  This was their favorite part of this exhibit!  I'm not thinking they will get very far in a canoe with their paddling technique and the fact that they were both paddling in opposite directions:)
The main reason we decided to take the kids was because we had heard there was a dinosaur exhibition going on.  It wasn't very large, but it was very interesting.
Will even wore his T-Rex shirt in honor of the occasion!

Madeline did a good job of reading the plaques and they played with some neat interactive computer games that went along with each station.

This is just the leg of a T-Rex.  I can't believe how much taller it is than Nathan!
We also checked out the Oil and Brine part of the museum that is always there.  I didn't get any pictures in there though:(  The kids liked the replica Boom Town the best.
 We wrapped up our family day with dinner at our new Flying Burger and it was the best hamburger I have had in a while!!!  We will be going back soon, I hope:)

After church on Sunday, Nathan needed to work on clearing limbs off of our roof, so the kids decided to ride bikes and do side walk chalk.  It has been such a beautiful day!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Madeline's Update!

Okay, for any who may have been waiting for the end of all of the updates, this is the last one before my posts should be current:)  I think this process is part of my nesting, maybe?

Madeline has had a great few months.  We added another day of gymnastics and she is starting to get much better at her back handspring.
This was a little while ago and she is now doing it by herself on the floor but still has some nervous feelings about it and is working on building her confidence.  She is also doing her round off back handspring by herself too!

She still loves Art and is lucky to have some friends who love to come over and share the love:)
Here is a picture of her dance picture for this year:)  We only do one pose even though she has 3 different costumes because they are so expensive.  We chose jazz because it was the cutest and this is her first year to take that class.  I just want to throw up some jazz hands when I look at it:)
She is also doing so well in school.  She has made all A's on every report card and has been put in a more advanced Reading class.  She is up to 152 Accelerated Reader points and is reading books on a 4th and 5th grade level.  She loves to read a big variety of books.  Some of her favorite series are:  Judy Moody, Ivy and Bean, American Girl books, and these Fairy books (I can't remember the name of the series:).  It makes me smile to go check on her at night and find her still reading instead of going to sleep:)  I remember doing the same thing at her age. 
We are so proud of all of her achievements and are looking forward to spending the summer together and watching her grow as a big sister to two.  I am looking forward to seeing her develop a relationship with her new baby sister:)

Will's Update!

Back on Will's 4th birthday, I had a long post about how hard it is as a mom to have a child who has delays or struggles.
Today, I want to remind myself and others that with all of those struggles, comes twice as much joy when you see your child make so much progress!
When Will started preschool this year, we went in expecting him to be significantly behind his peers and had already planned to have him spend an extra year in preschool rather than sending him to kindergarten in the Fall of 2012.  We knew he would still have his therapies and I planned to use some of my SAHM time to work with him as well.
Well, we were more than shocked at his first parent/teacher conference when Ms. Tori told us that she thought he was doing very well.  She showed us his Kindergarten readiness checklist and we could not believe that most items were already checked off!  She said that she was already thinking that he would be very ready for Kindergarten next fall.  During his Spring conference, she said she was absolutely sure he was ready:)  In the fall, we were still skeptical, but after working with him myself, I found myself agreeing with her 100%.  He is now able to sound out words and read the BOB books we have been working through.  He knows close to 20 Sight Words as well.  His Math skills are great and he still surprises me at how much he understands about addition!
Most of all, I can't believe his fine motor progress.  He rarely has shown any interest in drawing in the past, but lately, I find little "extras" on his school work like this one:

He loves to ride his bike and decided to draw it.  I used to have to have him tell me what he had drawn, but that one was clear on its own:)  We have even decided to sign him up for a summer Art program to help him explore this area and learn to enjoy it even more.
His handwriting has also made a ton of progress.  Sorry this is turned.  Blogger won't let me adjust it now:(  The green writing was done in October and the red in April.  It doesn't even look like the same child did them both:)
 His gross motor skills are much improved as well.  He is so much stronger that he is able to ride his bike with ease and should be ready to take his training wheels off by this summer:)  We recently went to a birthday party where they had one of those huge inflatable slides and I assumed he would not be able to climb to the top and would be scared to slide down.  Well, he did it immediately without any trouble!  He now loves to climb pretty much everything at the park and only seems to have trouble with a few things that require a lot of strength like crossing the monkey bars.  He seems to feel very liberated with his new skills and level of bravery:)  I am happy that he no longer sits back and watches the kids his age, but joins in!  He is playing tee ball right now and will have his first game next week, something I did not think he would be ready for this time last year.

So, now we feel much more confident that this is the best next step:)
He will graduate from Preschool this Spring and start Kindergarten this Fall. 

I included this next picture because I just thought it was cute.  His picture taking skills have also shown a lot of progress!
As educators, we know that we still need to keep a close and careful eye on his progress, as we have always done with his sister.  We will always work with him at home to build on his strengths and help him work through his weaknesses.  We truly believe, at this time, that public school is a good choice for our children but also believe that it is a partnership with us, and we must do our part!  If we should ever doubt that he is not ready for the next grade or that he is not being served in the best way possible at his school, we will do whatever we need to fix the situation.  We are still blown away that he no longer qualifies for any therapies in the public school system, but will keep a close watch for any signs that he will need them in the future.  We are so thankful for the teachers and therapists who have worked so hard with him and have helped us to see that he is more capable than we thought initially!  It truly takes a village to raise a child and we feel blessed that our children have been surrounded by such a great village so far:)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Easter 2012

We woke up on Easter morning and got dressed up in our finest!  We were very blessed to get some adorable hand-me-down clothes from the Floss family that were just perfect for the occasion.  I think they look so precious here:)
We got in our car and drove to Texarkana to spend the day with the Pesek side of the family.  We went to a wonderful Easter mass at Sacred Heart.  We gave thanks for the amazing sacrifice Jesus made for us and were filled with God's love as we celebrated with the church family!
Then, it was time to catch up with all of my family.  There were lots of pictures taken.  Including this one of my family with my Pepa.  I am so glad we have this.  He has had such a hard year with the passing of my Mema but is happiest when he is surrounded by his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren!  He especially enjoyed spending time with Will this time, as he was his funny and delightful self and kept us all entertained while Madeline and Emma ran off and played together:)  Did you catch the belly shot?  They are rare:)
We had our very own Easter egg hunt just for the great grandchildren and they did a great job!

Pepa helping Emma check out the contents of her eggs.
Such a handsome and happy boy!!!
Such a sweet precious cousin!!!
The end result of the hunt= Three happy kids with lots of candy!
It was so nice to catch up with all of my family although we missed my parents and cousin Trey and his wife.  It still amazes me that our large family does such a good job of getting together as often as we do.  I think we all work very hard to keep family a priority.  We are truly blessed!!!

Preparing for Easter

Easter weekend was very busy for our family.  On Saturday morning, we got up and made our Resurrection Rolls!

 Madeline amazed me at how well she was able to relate the story of Jesus' Resurrection.  This was the first time we made these and she had a lot of fun putting them together.
Will did well remembering the story as well but didn't really like the feel of the melted butter and sugar on his fingers, so he mostly observed:)
 Here is the finished product!  They were very tasty and made a fun breakfast treat:)
Then, we had an Easter Egg Hunt to attend!  Our friends get together and throw a huge Easter Egg hunt for all of our kids every year.  Madeline and Will look forward to it.
I couldn't believe Will was willing to pose with the Easter Bunny this year.  That morning, he insisted on wearing his sunglasses, which cracks me up:)  He never wants to wear them.  He kept calling them his safety glasses.

 There were horses right next to the property where we were hunting.  Will wasn't that in to seeing them, but Madeline loved it!  Here she is trying to feed the horse some grass.
 The horse was so sweet and friendly and didn't mind her petting him at all.  Madeline is such an animal lover that it was great for her!
After dinner that evening, we got down to business dying some eggs!  Madeline was excited to use the customary white crayon.  Later, we realized we must have gotten a dud because, no matter how hard we pressed down with it, the lines hardly showed up once they were dyed:(
 Will's fine motor skills sure have improved a lot in the last year.  He was able to handle his eggs with very little help:)
 Madeline even got creative and made a few that had more than one color!
 Here are the finished eggs.  I splurged this year and got the kit that come with stickers:)
 After the kids went to bed, I got their basket gifts ready. 

 Finally, I finished decorating our Easter Bunny cookies to take with us to see family on Easter!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Spring Break Trip to the Zoo

 This Spring Break, we decided to have a "stay-cation" and get some projects done along with just enjoying time at home together.  We got the kids rooms all rearranged to make room for the new baby.  Here is a funny picture of the kids helping paint Will's room.  We decided to not take any chances with Will's clothing and just used his Home Depot apron:)  They had the best time helping and did a really good job!
After spending all of that time at home, we decided to take a quick trip to Little Rock to go to the zoo and do some shopping.

We got started with all of the different monkeys and gorillas.  It was right after the zoo opened and they were really active and funny.  

 This was our first time to see the newer penguin exhibit and the kids loved being able to see them swim. 

 The giraffes are always a big hit and are just so beautiful!

 After seeing all of the animals, we took a ride on the zoo train!

 And we had some fun with the cutout boards too:)

 We ended, as always, with the carousel.  This was Will's first time on it, and he loved it!
It was such a nice and cool morning and we really had a good time.  Afterward, we had a picnic lunch and checked all of the items off of our shopping list.  When you live in a small town with very little shopping, you have to keep a continuous list for when you go to the "city":)