Saturday, February 27, 2010


A few weeks ago, we went to Texas for the weekend. It was a very quick trip with really only one get a family picture.

The past few family pictures we have had taken one (or more) have been photoshopped (is that a word?) into the photo...this was landmark because EVERY SINGLE family member was going to be there for the actual picture.

My step-father is a professional photographer. A well-known photographer in the Texas area. (If you live in Fort Worth/Dallas, check out his website...small plug.)

Here is the entire family: the theme was "western" and brown
Our family...Elyn only smiled for one picture the whole day.

Nora did a great job and constantly smiled...even though she was freezing!
And here is the picture of Elyn took a lot of work to get that.
Thank you Smiley for taking our pictures! It was a fun (and chilly) time!

Friday, February 26, 2010

me and my best friend

I just wanted to write something really quick about little Elyn.

She is next to me from the time she is awake until she takes a nap. Then she wakes up and is next to me again, constantly, until she goes to bed at night.

Every now and then I get a break and she will go play with Nora in the playroom.

I told Matthew that I remember Nora at this age. I remember him coming home from work and telling him he had been replaced as "best friend". He had been replaced by his daughter.

Well, it happened again. He has once again be replaced.

However, when Nora was in the "smothering" stage, I could turn on the tv for 30 minutes and grab a break. With Elyn, that does NOT happen. There is no distracting that girl.

She knows what she wants. She wants me.

And only me.

*When I am cooking dinner she wants to be standing directly beside me.
*When I go to the bathroom, she goes as well...she doesn't want to miss a thing.
*When I take a shower, she stays in the bathroom the entire time. I guess in case I need CPR.
*When I am on the phone, she likes to talk to the person on the other end.
*In the middle of the night, she will get out of bed and come stand directly next to our bed...I think it's because she misses me.
*When I am disciplining her, she will cry out, "I want my mommy!" Hey, I'm right here...I'm the one getting on to you.
*When I go to the mailbox on really cold days, I don't let her go with me. She stands right by the door, looking at the window, watching me the entire time.

I was thinking this morning, as she was next to me, that I have FINALLY gotten used to her constant need to be beside me. That's sad, isn't it? She almost 2.5 and I have JUST NOW gotten to where it does not bother me.

Next week she probably won't even need me.

I am so thankful that she loves me so much. I even find myself looking forward to our time together.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


I went to pick up Nora today at school. Her teachers had a little birthday gift for her. (How nice!)

The present was actually coins that she could turn in for a toy at a local toy store (Dilly Dally's). A toy store we NEVER go to because it is like crack for kids (and it does not fit in our budget).

Nora and I counted her coins before we got out of the car to see what she would be able to get. And I must say, I was impressed with the amount of money that the coins totalled. (When I taught, I MIGHT have thought ahead far enough to get a free book from Scholastic for the kids. I was awesome like that.)

We went into the store and Nora was a bit overwhelmed. She told me she couldn't decide. (Really, the place is jam packed with toys and I can see how she was boggled by the choice).

We walked around a while (during this time, Elyn aka "the Tornado", had found about 60 toys that she couldn't live without and was insisting that she take them home...sorry sister) and Nora finally settled on two teeny-tiny chipmunks. Um, ok.

I suggested a few more to go along with it but she kept saying, "No, I just want one toy."

We walked around a few more minutes and buyer's remorse set it (before she even bought it) and she went to put the chipmunks back. On her way to return the woodland creatures, she passed by some dolls. And her decision was made:
I would like to introduce you to the newest member of our family, the Hispanic girl named (by Nora) "Jasmine".

Nora cannot wait until she goes to bed tonight so she can sleep with Jasmine.

And, by the way, Elyn left the store with nothing...I checked her pockets.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The 4-year-old

Yesterday was all about Nora...just like it was on the day she was born.

I did a little interview with her and thought I would share her responses:

1. What is your favorite food? ice cream and french fries. Matthew and I looked at each other and laughed. Seriously, ice cream and french fries? She did come back later and add chicken and grapes to the list.

2. What is your favorite toy? Barbies and "dolly". Dolly is actually a present that she received on her first birthday and has loved it ever since.

3. Who are your favorite friends? No surprise here...GIBSON and Abby

4. What is your favorite color? Again, no

5. What is your favorite song? She told me, "The princess song. You know, (and she starts singing) "Every girl can be a princess...". This is the song that she is dancing to in her ballet recital in June.

6. What is your favorite TV show? Imagination Movers (very surprised with this response because we hardly ever watch it) and Super Why.

7. What is your favorite thing to wear? Princess dresses (dress-up clothes) and snowflake dress (a handy-me-down from Ellie)

8. What is your favorite dessert? brownies (surprised by this one too....we never have brownies. Although, I did make some for her to take to school on Monday to celebrate her birthday.)

9. What is your favorite thing to do? color

10. What is your favorite book? the Princess book and "Goodnight Moon" (which we haven't read in FOREVER...I guess the 1,000 times we read it when she was a baby really stuck with her)

Yesterday for lunch, we went to Matthew's school and took Blizzard's for dessert. (pictures taken with my iPhone because I left my camera in the car....LOVE my iPhone!)

The night before Nora's birthday Matthew decorated the living room. He made the sign and put pink balloons everywhere. What a good daddy! (I was sawing logs due to my exhaustion from my day of work...I think I've finally recovered.)

About to open her presents (from us and my mom).

Loving her card...

The necklace that Elyn gave her.

She was pretty funny here. She didn't want us to see what she was opening so she turned around and wouldn't show us until she has taken off the wrapping paper. I guess it didn't click with her that I had wrapped the presents.

Almost done opening...

When she opened it, she said, "It's just what I wanted from the store!". It is a Mermaid Barbie.

After we opened presents, we headed to Chuck E. Cheese for dinner and games. When I asked her where she wanted to eat on her birthday she first told me, Jump Zone. I told her that Jump Zone doesn't have food. Her second choice was CEC. I told her she could invite one friend to come...Gibson was the choice.
I still can't believe she is four. She is so excited to be four too. She woke up this morning and asked, "Mommy, am I still four?" Sweet girl.
We go Friday for her well "baby" check-up. I am interested to find out her stats.
We love you so much Nora!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

i can't believe it!

Four years ago, this little girl entered our world.

We love you so much Nora Elizabeth Henderson!!!!!! Happy 4th birthday baby girl!

Monday, February 22, 2010

i'm not cut out

Hats off to all of you working moms out there! This is a picture of how I feel right now.

Actually, I envy the polar bear because he (she?) is asleep.

I came to the conclusion that I can NEVER go back into the work force...absolutely never again. I just don't have the stamina for it.

So, now, for all of your working moms (WM), let me give you a play by play of my day...and you will laugh at me.

I set my alarm for 7am...I know, 7am, a joke for you WM' all are pulling into your parking spots around that time...and I got dressed, in "real" clothes.

The girls got up at 8am and I shoved breakfast down their throats, lay a frozen meal (yea for our cooking party a few weeks ago!) out for dinner, argued with Nora over what she was going to wear, discussed what should be taken for show and tell, packed lunches and threw everyone in car. Again, I know a joke...WM's are usually on their 4th or 5th cup of coffee by this time.

Got the girls to MDO-ON TIME-and ran a few errands before a meeting at 10am.

Had meeting, felt inadequate (I guess that's what happens when you are a SAHM), ended meeting, panicked in car for a minute.

11am-drove through Sonic and got a Wacky Pack meal (for myself). I got the apples instead of tots and picked some of the breading off of the chicken strips...trying to keep it half-way healthy. (I realized at that point that I had not had breakfast...I could really lose some serious weight if I was a WM!)

After "lunch" I headed to Harding to finish plans for ANOTHER meeting (presentation) later this afternoon.

Left Harding later than I planned because the copier kept jamming (awesome). Left in enough time to pick up girls from school.

2pm-picked up girls from school...took forever. My favorite thing was when Elyn insisted that she did NOT need to leave school with me. Why oh why today?

2:30-Mama needed a sugar hit so we drove through Krispy Kreme. While I was there I picked up a dozen donuts to take with me to my next meeting. Not for me...gahhh...I'm not going to eat a DOZEN donuts (although, I totally could!).

I dropped the girls off at a friend's house (thank you Jasmine!) and headed to my presentation.

I "presented" for an hour and a half (again, felt inadequate) and ran back to pick up the girls.

Picked up the girls, got back in car...5:30. I was ready for bed by this time.

About 5 minutes from our house, I looked in the back seat and found Nora sound asleep, She's not used to this WM lifestyle either.

I walked in the door at 6pm and my wonderful husband had dinner ready!

How do you WM's do it? I am EXHAUSTED! I wasn't at home at all today. I have laundry that needs to be done, dishes that need to be washed, projects that need to be completed and I have ZERO energy.

I know, I'm a wuss. I don't care, call me that. I prefer my "cushy" lifestyle.

Oh, and how do you manage to be loving and kind to your family day after day? Seriously. I have a new appreciation for Matthew and how he comes home everyday ready to play with the girls/help me.

I guess, like an Olympic athlete, it's all about stamina (ha). I need to have a few more training runs before I jump back into the world of working.

My hat is off to you, WM.

Friday, February 19, 2010


I got an upgrade iPhone!

I have been saving my birthday money until I was eligible for an upgrade.

Today was the day! I took my money (and my children) to the AT&T store and asked for an iPhone.

I was so excited!

(I was also excited we were the only customers in the store because the transaction took a bit longer than I expected and the girls were a little stir crazy by the end.)

So, I have entered the world of iPhone users and couldn't be happier.

I have been downloading apps (all free ones) and inputting data into the calendar.

It's fun...happy birthday to me!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Little valentines

I know, I know...last week was Valentine's week, why am I just now writing about it?

Valentine's day (week) took a bit of a backseat in my mind this year. I was busy planning for Nora's birthday party, getting ready for company and completing projects that Matthew all of a sudden decided we needed to tackle. It was busy.

I didn't even take a picture on the actual day of Valentine's. I'm pitiful.

Oh well, here are some pictures I took before the girls went to school one day:

Sweet (almost) 4-year-old:
Difficult 2-year-old...she is not making my life the easiest these days. Thankfully I have the memory of her sister at this age...I know it will pass and I'm not as worried about it. Poor Nora, being the oldest is hard most of the time!

Sweet sisters. Elyn did not want Nora touching her and Nora was just trying to get a cute pic.
I did have the girls make their valentine's this year though...way to pull through in that area, me! Nora did such a great job! She wrote the names of all the kids in her class on the front of the card (and you could REALLY read what it said) and she decorated around the name with stickers. On the inside of the card she wrote her name and we put this picture beside that:
Elyn's friends received similar cards except instead of the child's name, she "colored" (scribbled) and I wrote "To a friend" and instead of her writing her name on the inside, she "colored" (again, scribbled). We did put this picture on the inside:

I hope you all had a Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

it's that time of year again...

Well, I'm certainly not doing anything as crazy as giving up CHOCOLATE this lent season.

That's nuts.

However, I am jumping on the "lent bandwagon" again this year and giving something up.

And, once again, it's Facebook I am doing without.

Why oh why is Facebook such an addictive thing? I start out intending to just see my updates and post an update on myself and all of a sudden, it's 30 minutes later and I have gotten NOTHING done.

I am very prayerful that during this season I will increase in my relationship with God, my husband and my children. Facebook has become such an easy way for me to ignore all three.

So, there you have Facebook social networking for this gal. I feel like I am going to miss out on so much. But really, am I?

No. Absolutely not. I have been missing out on so much by devoting my minutes to Facebook.

What about you, are you "giving up" anything?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

If you're going to cook, make it a party...

I remember when Matthew and I were both working full-time (and thought we were busy and thought we didn't have money and thought we didn't have enough time and thought we were tired...who were we kidding?). We went out to eat A LOT.


I would cook MAYBE 2 TIMES a week. Those were the days, weren't they?

Well, nowadays, I cook approximately 7 DAYS a week. Monday through Friday I prepare between 2 and 3 meals a day (and by "meals", I consider frozen pancakes in the morning a meal...just so we're clear). On Tuesdays, after Ladies Bible Class we typically go eat lunch with friends, so I get a pass on that meal. And we do try and go out at least once a week.

While I do enjoy being in the kitchen and preparing meals (and I really do, no kidding) I sometimes feel bogged down by the decision making of planning a menu and timing my day perfectly so I can get dinner put on the table before my girls go into "starvation" mode.

I cannot even imagine having a full-time job and then coming home to fix dinner for my family. We would eat sandwiches every single night. Seriously.

My friends and I have been discussing ways to make dinners a little bit friend had this book:
So four of us go together and decided to give it a try...let's cook a lot of meals in great quantities and freeze them.

I did the all the shopping (two days before the event) and surprisingly, it didn't take that long. I spent about 1 hour at Wal-Mart and 20 minutes at Sam's. I didn't do any other shopping, just the shopping for our "cooking party".

This is my refrigerator after I got all the refrigerated stuff in it.
It was PACKED! Matthew couldn't wait for all of the food to get taken away.

We met up at our church one evening and worked NON-STOP.

This is one of our food "stations"?
And another:

Obviously, I am behind the camera (one of the chefs) is Tanya and Danielle (two of the other chefs). Our final chef, Jasmine, didn't get to come because she had been sick the whole day.
Our plan was to walk out that evening with 8 meals. We each were in charge of two.

Since this was our first time doing this, we had no idea what we were in for that night. We started at 6:30pm and got right to chopping onions, celery, bell peppers and carrots. While we were chopping we had whole chickens boiling on the stove top.

AN HOUR LATER we finally finished cutting the veggies...geez. Good thing though, it gave those chickens time to cook...which had to be de-boned...


Lesson learned: chop veggies ahead of time and look for sales on boneless chicken.

Fast forward a few hours...we were confident that we could complete 6 meals by midnight but didn't know how long it would take to make the last two. The veggies were chopped and the chicken was shredded but there was still a bit of cooking involved in the other two recipes.

We made the decision to send the ingredients for the last 2 meals home with me and I would make them later and divide them out (which I have was successful and one was ruined. UGH! I doubt I'll get voted on to cook independently again).

We ended up being it the kitchen for 6 hours and 15 minutes.


On our feet the entire time+moving rapidly+6 hours=DEAD TIRED the next day (we are NOT 16 anymore, that's for sure!)

But was it worth it? ABSOLUTELY. Totally worth it. I am already looking forward to doing it again next month.

Last night, I pulled the chicken noodle soup out of the freezer, thawed it out until slushy, put in the pan and cooked. Easy as can be!

And there is plenty for dinner tonight!

I have seven meals (not eight, sigh.) in my freezer for my family. All seven will provide leftovers for another meal (and possibly leftovers for Matthew's lunch). And it cost $80 (per person). (That includes some spices that we will use again, foil, saran wrap, freezer bags...all that we will use next time).

80 dollars. That's pretty good! It's less that I would spend for 8 (or 16) GOOD meals a month.

These are the recipes that we made:

Chicken Noodle Soup

North Woods Wild Rice Soup


Chicken Enchiladas

Chicken a la King (the ruined one)

Beef Stroganoff

Baked Steak in Tangy Tomato Sauce

Telluride Black Bean Tortilla Bake

Yum! I am so excited about trying them all...well, minus the chicken a la king.

If you have thought about doing something like this, I encourage you to give it a try! Find some friends, a big kitchen and several hours and get to work.

And enjoy eating!

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Princess Party

So, the party...all about Nora and Gibson aka Cinderella and Snow White.

A good time was had by all! Elyn was dressed as Sleeping Beauty and, I think, thought the party was for her too. She was so sweet and wanted to be a part of everything that Nora and Gibson were.
Nora had originally requested that Matthew make the cake. She was very specific about it being a Cinderella cake, her dress being blue, and it being beautiful. I am SURE that Matthew could have pulled it off HOWEVER we love each other and do not enjoy arguing, so we ordered it (ha!).
We had a lot of princesses (and princes) who joined us in celebrating....Princess Violet:
Princess Sydney...
Nora absolutely love Sydney ("Sitney" is what she calls her)...
Decorating crowns (gotten from Burger King for free and spray painted silver) and picture frames...
The decorated "palace" (Matthew and Michael, Gibson's dad did all the decorating. As far as Cinderella and Snow White, I traced them and Matthew painted Cindy and Aunt Julia painted Snowy...good job guys!)
John David trying to take out the birthday girls with balloons.
Nora and Princess Ellie..."What's up!"
A "friendly" game of musical chairs...I didn't realize that so many princesses would end up in tears...oops.
Cinderella didn't win...
...she was sad.
But she quickly recovered when I told her it was time to blow out her candle...
It's hard to believe she is almost four!!!!!!
Our baby girl...
Gram and her grandbabies.
Ending the party with a balloon/bubble dance.

It was a fun party! Nora loved it (and I think Gibson did too), so that is all that matters. Nora turns four next week...I'm in denial.

Related Posts with Thumbnails