The Henry Family

Saturday, January 24, 2015

August 2013

August was a month of transitioning into our new normal.  We closed on our house August 3rd and moved in on August 4th.  We were blessed to have my mom come to help and Robbie and Connie came down to help too.  Because we were moving into a split level home, we also needed to hire a moving crew for our heavier furniture.  It was a great decision and the move went really smoothly!  The kids stayed with our friends, the Johnston's and had a lot of fun too.

My mom stayed for a week, so I got busy finishing up my Kindergarten classroom.  All of the teachers at Yocum have a theme.  I picked a garden theme but it was mostly a color scheme:)  I love the bright and cheery look of things!

I officially became a working mom again on August 7th.  Nathan and I both had to do a lot of Professional Development before the first day of school.  That's always hard when we have 2 school aged kids who need child care.  Luckily my mom kept them the first week (while Mallory was still easing into daycare).  That weekend, we took her back to Little Rock to fly home and took Madeline and Will to Conway so they could stay with their Granny for the next week of Professional Development for us.  

We love to hit Chick-fil-a when we get a chance since we don't have one in El Dorado.  This was Mallory's first try of their ice cream and she loved it!

The day we headed back to El Dorado, I decided to do some teacher supply shopping in Little Rock with Connie, so we met up with her Robbie, John, Lindsey, and Lucy at P.F. Chang's for dinner.  The girls had fun playing together at the table and loved their Chinese food!

We worked hard that next week to get ready for our students between meetings.  Mallory got adjusted to going to daycare full time as well.  She did so well with it:)

The weekend before school started, Nathan and Mallory went back to Conway to pick up the big kids.  I took advantage of the time on my own to get the kids' rooms settled.  We had done some shopping with Nathan's mom the week before and she got both big kids some really cute bedding and decor.  Nathan had worked hard to paint Will's bunk beds turquoise for Madeline's new room  Here is the finished product:)  She loves having a "bigger girl" bedroom now!
 We picked out a queen sized bed for Will's room, as it will double as our guest room when my parents come to visit.  I really like his new color scheme too.  He still needs a new chest of drawers and some wall art, but it was a good start.  I so wanted them to both be settled in their new rooms before school started and I accomplished it in the nick of time!

On August 19th, Madeline had her first day of 3rd grade!  She was excited to start a new year.  This will be the first time she will trade classes for different subjects between 2 teachers.
 Will was ready for his new Kindergarten year.  He was supposed to have Mrs. Ponder again but, sadly, she was having some health problems.  So, he was meeting a new teacher, Mrs. Preston.  He was excited to meet new friends and was especially proud of his new Batman backpack and lunch box!
A friend of mine who teaches at Will's school caught this picture of him and Brylee in the classroom.  It was hard on me not to walk the kids in for the first time.  I had always done it:(  But, I was thankful Nathan was able to, and for a friend who shared this moment with me to make me feel better.

As we settled into our new routine, I realized how much I missed catching pictures of the kids throughout the day, so I started taking pictures in the morning before I left.  

Here's a sweet selfie of Mallory and I:
 This is one of my favorites of the three of them:)
Madeline was so ready for dance to start back in September, so she did some practicing on her gymnastics mat.
 Mallory decided to try too!
 It was a month I had dreaded, but we made it through!  Nathan's job stayed as busy as ever and mine was tough due to some of the unique behavioral needs of some of my students.  I honestly had some regrets about some of our decisions, but I knew God could carry me through anything and He did.  It was hard then, but it is easier now to see the good that was happening in our lives too.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Elm Street House

Before I go on with August, I thought I'd do a post about our new house.  Our main goal was to get a 4 bedroom house with more space for our family.  We loved our former house but the bedrooms, bathrooms, and closets were very tiny.  The living space was great but lack of storage was our biggest issue.  It was also in a neighborhood that was in transition and not really in a good way.  When we moved to Mimosa Dr., it was mostly older families who had lived there since the houses were built in the 1960s.  But, as those sweet neighbors passed or moved away, the houses were being bought up by investment groups.  They were quickly becoming rentals with new renters moving in and out often.  We wanted to find a neighborhood with lots of kids and families like us who were likely to stay a long time:)

We looked at everything that remotely fit our criteria. The Elm Street house was one of the first we looked at.  It was in our absolutely favorite neighborhood and had lots of good space.  We even put a contingent offer on it, but pulled it later, deciding it was really too expensive.  After we accepted the offer on our Mimosa house, we had 3 months to decide on a house.  We fell in love with an older character home (I can't find a picture anymore) but it sold before we could sell our house:(  In the end, God was good because it had a lack of storage and bathroom space.  We just loved the character and were ignoring the practical points of the house too.

There was also the house on Cedar St.
It met a lot of our requirements but had some renovations that were not done very well.  The bathrooms needed a lot of work and we didn't love the layout quite as much as others we had seen.

Then here was the Oak St. house.
It was not actually on the market yet.  It was a nice house but not in quite as nice of a neighborhood.  We were hoping for a 2 car garage and it only had a carport.  It also needed some work in the bathrooms too.

There was the Main St. house that was a true fixer upper in our favorite neighborhood (couldn't find a picture).  I finally said that, considering all of the changes we were about to experience, it was not something else we needed to take on!

Just when we were starting to get worried we wouldn't find a house, our Realtor sent us a text asking if we were still interested in the Elm St. house.  We said it was too expensive and she said the owner was desperate to sell and was willing to accept a much lower offer.  We stuck to our budget and got a great house for a great price!  Here are some pictures from when it was listed:

Here is the main bath (there are 3 bathrooms!)  All 3 bathrooms had been renovated very well.

 One of the 3 secondary bedrooms.  We liked the character of the windows.  This is to be Mallory's room.
 The dining room.  We decided to change things around and make this our upstairs living room though.
 The kitchen.  They did a good job renovating this room.  It has plenty of storage space, a pantry, and a island with bar stools.
 The living room.  This room is what we decided to use as the dining room/Nathan's office area.
 The master bedroom.  It's a nice size with two closets.  The bathroom was done nicely and was a much better option than our previous tiny bathroom.
 Here is the front.  We don't love the street appeal but we don't hate it either:)  We also had to come to terms with the fact that it is a split level with stairs right in the entry way.  There are 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, kitchen, dining room, and living room upstairs.  There is one bedroom, one bathroom, laundry, and a huge playroom downstairs.  It will be a great home for our family for a very long time, I hope!

July 2013

 We were still in Spokane when July started.  It finally started to warm up too.  We took the kids to a small water park one day with our Spokane friends, Sharon and Trevor.  Will was pretty tentative about things and just kind of stuck to the shallow pool in the kiddie area.  Madeline and Trevor went on every slide possible and had the best time.  Mallory looked so cute in her new swimsuit and hat.  She liked the water too:)
 We also did some fun indoor stuff.  We went to a big bounce house place and took the kids to see Monsters University.  They loved the movie and Will became obsessed with everything involving Monsters Inc.

 We had the best time in Spokane and were so thankful for the time spent with my parents and the fun they provided!  Nana and Pawpaw are awesome!

When we got back, Will had a food trial scheduled to see if he would have a reaction if he ingested peanuts.  He had already passed milk and eggs.  This face shows you the result.  No more peanut allergy and no food allergies at all anymore!!!!!  We are so happy!  This will make life so much easier for our Will:)
 We started packing and getting ready to move while still enjoying our summer break.
Mallory discovered a love for spaghetti:
 She also had her first day of daycare while Nathan and I had to go to some professional development and work in our classrooms.  I'm not going to lie, it was hard on me.  I wanted to change my mind about going back to work so badly:(  But, Nathan is a great leader of our family and patiently reminded me of the reasons we made our choice.  I'm thankful for his calm and reasonable personality!
We eased her in with a few half days and then a few full days a week.  She adjusted very well!  She really seemed to love going which helped the transition for everyone:)  Here she is on her first day with her backpack and lunchbox;
 On July 27, we celebrated Will's 6th birthday!  Because we were about to move, we decided to delay having a birthday party with friends until we were settled.  So, we celebrated as a family with cake, presents, and a trip to the bowling alley.  It was a lot of fun!

 Will is such a blessing to our family!  We have been so proud of his progress in school this year and how well he has handled the news of our decision to have him stay in kindergarten another year.  He is so loving, kind, gentle, and creative.  I can't wait to see what all he learns and accomplishes in this next year!

Here is a cute snapshot of the girls one morning before church.  It shows just how much Mallory has grown!  I also love the next picture of Madeline.  Her face has changed a lot this year.  She is turning into such a beautiful young lady, inside and out:)

July was such a nice month but we were honestly holding our breath and dreading August.  We had some issues with our mortgage broker while trying to finish all the paperwork to close on the new house.  She had forgotten to turn things in and it was a very stressful time.  That coupled with trying to find time to get ready for a new school year and the whole adjustment to being a 2 parent working family again was overwhelming, at times.  I'm not sure I always handled the changes well, but sometimes I did.  It was truly the grace of God that would get us through the next few months and beyond.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

June 2013

June 2013 was a nice time of enjoying playing at home, packing slowly but surely, and preparing for our big trip to see Nana and Pawpaw in Spokane, WA.

Not long before we left for Spokane, Mallory decided to add some excitement to our home by taking her first steps by herself.  Madeline didn't walk until 15 months and Will was 17 months, so we didn't quite know what to do with an early walker, lol!

The next day, we headed to Little Rock to help Lucy celebrate her 1st birthday!  It was such a cute and fun party with a watermelon theme.  We had such a great time visiting with our family and celebrating Lucy.

Madeline and Emma are always thrilled when they get to spend time together:) 
Will loves anything involving cupcakes!

Mallory and Lucy are so cute together.  There was music playing and they both just started dancing.  I love that they are only 10 days apart.  I can't wait to see them interact with each other more and more.

I offered to make some of my cookies for the party.  Here are my watermelons.  They turned out super cute, I think!

The week of our trip, Madeline participated in Ferncliff's day camp at the Presbyterian church with her friend Miriam.  They had a great time.  Miriam came to spend the night before their last day.  Summer sleepovers are the best!  Miriam also loved playing with and carrying Mallory around.  Mallory loved being with the "big girls."

 The next day, we flew to Spokane.  It was our first big trip as a family of 5 and it went pretty well.  We had a long layover in Denver but we tried to find fun where we could and the kids all did really well.

It was a lot colder than in Arkansas.  Luckily we packed for the weather:)  It seems weird to see Mallory in leggings and a jacket in mid June!  We had to go buy Will jeans at first, lol!  The kids loved being at Nana and Pawpaw's house for sure.  They had planned so many fun things for us to do.

This is Mallory getting ready to do some serious shopping!  We live in a small town and get so excited when we go somewhere with good shopping!
 My kids have never been to Build a Bear, so that was up first!  Madeline made a cute panda bear.  She named it Oreo.
 Will built a cute bear and fell in love with the police man outfit.  He named him Officer Bacon:)
 I didn't get a shot of Mallory's, but she made a little dog and named it Brownie.

That Sunday was Mallory's first birthday!  We went to mass that morning and my dad took a great family shot of us all dressed up.  I sure love my family of 5!

 Here's the birthday girl in her cute apple dress.
 After church and a nap, Mallory was ready to open presents.  Nana and Pawpaw got her first baby doll.  It's name is "Baby Jenna."  You can see how excited she was about it here!
 It was love at first sight!  This little girl sure loves babies.
After presents, it was time for cake!  She wasn't sure about the candle and Will and I had to help her out.
 She did really love the cake though!
I'm so glad I made a point to take her picture every month for her first year.  It is so fun to see how much she grew and changed.  I also love that we had to give up on the crib shots the last three months, lol!

That evening, my dad and Nathan took the 2 big kids to a Spokane minor league baseball game while the birthday girl stayed home and rested with Nana and Mama.
 This will always be remembered because my dad and Nathan let Madeline eat a ton of kettle corn.  Then, they won coupons for free tacos from Jack in the Box and fed them that for dinner.  Poor Madeline got sick in the middle of the night after that, bless her heart.  She no longer likes Kettle Corn, lol!
 On June 29, Nathan and I celebrated our 11 wedding anniversary!  My parents surprised us with a one night stay in a nice resort in Cor d' Lane Idaho.  It was such a beautiful place on a lake with an amazing restaurant.  We had the best time together, just the two of us.  I think this may be our first official "selfie"  We are so grateful that our parents kept our kids so that we could have this time together.  Now that we don't have any family in the same town as us, this is very rare.  It was wonderful!