Monday, July 26, 2010

It's about $50 a gallon

This is a picture of me (and the backside of a car salesman) at the Fayetteville Auto Park.
Nope, not buying a new car.
Getting a car fixed.
I dropped my girls off with my mom last night so that Matthew and I could have an uninterrupted week of work on the "project".
We switched cars.
I had to stop and get gas about 2 minutes after I left her. I wasn't paying attention and didn't realize that there was ZERO gas in the tank.
I panicked a little and asked the GPS to show me the nearest gas stations. The closest was 2 miles away. GREAT!
I drove to the backwoods gas station where they still do things the "full-service" way.
I multi-tasked and balanced my checkbook while "Bubba" was pumping my gas and stressed a little, "Am I supposed to tip him? I don't think I have ever gotten gas at a full service station...tip or no tip?"
No tip. Hindsight...I should have tipped.
Anyway, as I was driving away it sounded as if gravel was spinning off of my tires. I thought, well, I did just drive on the backroads, it probably IS just gravel spinning off of my tires.
TWO HOURS LATER the gravel is still spinning off of my tires. It's obviously not's the engine.
I called the Auto Park to see if I could drop my mom's car off and have them look at it before I destroy it.
About 30 minutes BEFORE I make it to the Auto Park, a HUGE white cloud of smoke comes pouring out of the back of the car and it dies.
Awesome. It's 90 degrees outside.
Thankfully, my mom has a "full-service" insurance plan for her car.
Thirty minutes after my "911" call to road side assistance, a tow-truck picks me up and drops me off at the front door.
After an initial look at the car, it is determined that DIESEL GAS was put in my car.
Hello? This is an SUV not a big rig.
Moral...pump your own gas.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

HU gals

I just had a fabulous weekend with my favorite friends of ALL TIME.

I have been friends with all the girls in the picture since 1995. Fifteen years! We were all in the same pledge class and spent 4 years getting to know EVERYTHING about each other.

Now we all have a husband, responsibilities and between the 11 of us...30 kids!!!!!!!

We all go a year without seeing each other and then pick up like we are all still in college (except we need to go to bed a little earlier these days).

I will blog in more detail about our weekend together after I get all the pictures.

I love you hugals!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

home owner to homeless to renter/home owner

Big day in the Henderson family today!

We became homeless.

Well, homeless for about 3 hours when we closed on our home of 6 years.

I guess, technically, we didn’t become “homeless”, we became “renters”.  Because we are now renters…for at least 1.5 months.

Then...we bought another house.  Yep, we are now paying rent and paying a mortgage.

You can tell we LIVE by Dave Ramsey (sarcasm…yeah).  (And, by the way, we do LOVE D.R.  It just works out that we are doing both.)

And remember, we have a fixer-upper as our home now.  (When we went back to the house after closing on it, Matthew had a bit of buyers remorse.  Hold on buddy…this is NOT a time to think “should we have?”…we just signed a TON of papers and this house is OURS.)

Let me show you a little bit of WHY he might be having buyers remorse.

Here is the outside.  Yes, in answer to  your question…it was built in the 70’s.  AND.  Parts of it have not been touched since the 70’s.  On the outside of the house, we will be painting the entire thing, replacing the shutters, getting a new roof and re-landscaping the flower beds.  What do you think…a weekend worth of work? (again, sarcasm)


Oh, I forgot to mention…we are getting all new windows.


Ahhhhhh, the staircase.  Aren’t those spindles awesome.  Any ideas on what we should do with them?  We are taking the huge ones down because they are not load-bearing at all.  But, what do you think we should do with the ones on the staircase?  Replacing is not an option because that is not in our budget.  What do you think about painting the spindles and leaving the banister wood colored?  Oh, yes, we are replacing the carpet.  It’s gross.

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The bathrooms.  Oh, the bathrooms.  Remember, the 1/2 bath downstairs?  Well, obviously, we are renovating that one.  The upstairs bathrooms though, they are having to wait until we either grow a money tree or save up (that’s for you Dave Ramsey).  The hall bath is so outdated and in need of major cosmetic work.  Thankfully, everything is still functional, so we will make it work for now.  The master bath is AWFUL!  It’s barely wide enough for one person to walk through.  AND there is only one sink.  That should be fun for me and Matthew.  Our hope is to bust out the wall adjoining the bathroom and closet and make something more functional for us.  (Fingers crossed that happens much sooner than later!)

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Yes, we have our work cut out for us.  These pictures do not show the MASSIVE renovation that is going to be happening downstairs before we can even move into the house.

The renovation process begins Friday afternoon.  So, if you are looking for something to do this weekend (or for the next few months) feel free to drop by, pick up a paint brush or a hammer and get busy.

The closing on our new house was bittersweet.  Sweet for us, bittersweet for the sellers.

The sellers grew up in this house.  They lived there at least 14 years (I’m assuming before they got married and had their own families).

Anyway, it was pretty obvious that they were emotional at the closing.  (I think their realtor leaving the closing room to retrieve a box of Kleenex, while we were waiting in the lobby, was a pretty big clue for us.)

We were really trying to be sensitive to their situation.  Having witnessed grandparents who have had to move from homes they had lived in for over 30 years, we knew how sad it was for this family.


One of the family members walked through the lobby, obviously on the way out.  He/She (yes, I was able to tell if said person was IN FACT male or female, I’m just trying to throw my readers off.  Because I am very famous and am sure that this family reads my blog (sarcasm)) is about to leave and looks back to tell us that we are getting a great house.

Well thank you!  We are very excited about it and look forward to raising our children in it.


He/She tells us that his/her family had considered purchasing the home and keeping it in the family, but there were just too many memories attached.

Guess which memory he/she chose to share with us?

This one.

The one about his/her dad working on the roof, having a heart attack, falling off the roof and DYING.


I sat there with my mouth wide open in disbelief that he/she just revealed that to us.  I don’t remember seeing that information in the disclosure statement we just signed.

And yes, that is tragic.  I am so sad for that family.  But really?  Was that completely necessary?  Absolutely not.

Despite the fact that we may or may not have a haunted house now, we are still very excited about our little fixer-upper.

Let the party begin!  (And note to self, if we ever move DO NOT tell above story to future owners…it will freak them out and that will be all they can talk about for the rest of the day.)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

A day with Belle

Matthew received an email last week announcing that Belle (from Beauty and the Beast) was going to be at Borders today.

Well, we love all things Princess, so it was immediately marked on the calendar as a “must do”.

This is our last weekend of relaxation before all the house renovation craziness begins so I was happy that we were able to do this today.

Nora’s BFF, Gibson, got to spend the night with the girls last night and joined our little band of princesses.

The girls got to choose what they wanted to dress up as: Elyn chose Belle, Nora chose Cinderella and Gibson picked Nora’s ballet costume.  She said she was a Barbie Princess.  Of course.

Here they are, ready to go!  Think they’re excited?


We arrived a few minutes before Belle showed up.  The girls kept themselves busy with reading…

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Finally, it was time for Belle to show up!  Yea!!!!!  All the princesses took a seat.


Let’s just talk a minute about Belle.  She was wearing an XL version of Elyn’s dress, had NEVER read the book before, was shaking from nerves and had a quiet voice.  I was wondering if the coordinators found a dark haired girl serving coffee at Borders and asked her to be Belle for the day.  But, Belle wasn’t there for me, was she?


Nope.  She was there for these girls.  And they LOVED her!

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Check out the crowd!  Kind of like a U2 concert for kids…ha ha!



After the story time, Borders let all the kids who were dressed in costume have a free frozen drink.  Much appreciated!  (And Nora insisted on wearing the blue shirt under her Princess dress…attractive.)

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Neile Jones, local newswoman, was at the “event” too.  She was a costume judge.  She chose the top 5 best dressed.  Gibson made the top 5!!!!  She won a t-shirt.


Nora and Elyn won nothing (although, Matthew thought Elyn was the best dressed-ha!).  They just wanted a picture with a celebrity.  (And I have NO IDEA what I did that caused my name to show up on the picture).


It was a fun day for the girls and we have had a great day as a family.  The girls took a 3 hour nap (and so did their mama)!!!!!  We had a great dinner and then a fab time playing outside.

And it is currently 10:23 and they are both still awake (laying in bed, but wide awake).  A three-hour-nap has its advantages and disadvantages.

Friday, July 16, 2010


Tonight I got a text from my sister-in-law asking me if I had sent an email with a link.

Um, no.

I quickly clicked on my email to see what was up.

Nothing in my inbox. Nothing in my sent folder. Let's look at the "trash" folder.

Oh my goodness.

There were about 20 emails that had been sent out in the past 5 minutes.

20 emails, each one sent out to about 4-7 addresses.



Apparently, I had been "hacked".

I quickly replied to each one of those emails begging the recipients NOT TO OPEN their emails from me. I can only imagine the havoc that has been reeked on my friends/acquaintances/random people who I have email addresses for.

So frustrating!

I have since changed my password and am hoping that does the trick.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

house post

So, when I look back on this in 10 years, I want to remember all we did to get ready for our big move.

We have not closed on our house yet (either) but we know that we need to do a lot of prep work to get ready for day one.

So far, we have picked out the appliances that we want (LOVE THEM!). A nice surprise was to find out that we are going to need a gas stove. I'm pretty excited about that. We picked out one that has five burners and a griddle option. Watch out, pancakes will be made everyday. Ha!

I'm convinced we currently have the loudest dishwasher available. If we are running the dishwasher and also watching television, we have to turn the volume up to the loudest setting just to hear what is being said. When we started looking for dishwashers a big selling point was the decibel level. Apparently 50 is AWESOME to get. Some of the louder ones are around 57-58. I think we probably have 85 right now. The one we picked out is 52. I should be able to hear grass growing while the dishes are getting clean now.

We also picked out a new microwave. It has a chicken nugget function. Seriously? A chicken nugget function. How hard is it to push 1 minute and heat up some nuggets? Whatev. I'm definitely going to use it...I pay for it, I'm using it!

And we have picked out cabinets and counter tops, flooring, a new sink (farm sink!), narrowed down paint colors, picked out a back splash, decided on cabinet pulls, had the window guy come out and give us an estimate for new windows, decided on a roof color. Phew.

We have a budget (thank goodness, right!). Certain parts of our budget are high and sadly some parts are low. Sigh.

When we put together our construction budget we knew what certain things would cost. Some things are really easy to find prices for...appliances, flooring, paint, etc. Some things are NOT easy to find prices a roof and drywall repair. So when we put those numbers in our budget, we were like, "Hey, this number sounds good. Okay roof will cost "x". Drywall repair will cost "y"." You can imagine how well that is working out now.

I totally see how those people on the flipping homes shows go over budget. It is so easy to do. You forget certain items that you need (in our case-garbage disposal. Thankfully it was something small and not something like, oh I don't know, carpet.)

We are really trying hard to keep within the budget. REALLY HARD. I will update as we go.

We close on both homes next week. This weekend is really our last weekend to be footloose and fancy free before all the craziness begins. I am hoping that we have some good family time and some relaxing moments...we'll need it.

And don't worry, I will post so many before/during/after pics that you will start thinking, "COME ON! Get this house done already!"

our week at the beach

at the end of June we went to Destin, FL with our close friends.  We have had this trip planned since the beginning of the spring.  How were we to know that we planned our trip for the same week that the first hurricane hit the Gulf…thanks Alex, thanks a lot.

Our biggest concern was the oil spill and that turned out to not even be an issue.

We arrived in Destin on Monday, late afternoon.  We got everything unpacked and headed for dinner.  We ate dinner at Stinky’s Fish Camp.  Yum!  If you are in the Destin, Santa Rosa Beach area, I recommend it!

When we arrived, there was quite a wait.  Thankfully Tanya is like the toddler whisperer and had our children eating out of the palm of her hands.  She is so good with kids.  Maybe one day I’ll be a mom like her.


When we finally got into the restaurant, we had a good time fellowshipping with each other and LOVING the fantastic food.

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Amber picked our condo for us and she did a great job!  It was a four bed/three bath condo on the top floor of a 24 story high rise.  We were pretty far up!

Matthew would have a minor heart attack every time the kids (or the adults) got near the railing on the balcony.  Because of that, I took the pictures below…ha!

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The view of the ocean from our balcony.  We weren’t directly on the beach, it was a short walk to get to the sand.  The walk really wasn’t that bad though.  IMG_0026_0643IMG_0025_0642

Our pools (looking from our balcony).  We spent a LOT of time in the pools.


One night we decided to cook out for dinner.  There were no grills at our condo though.  Michael told us that Wal-Mart has disposable grills.  So, when we did our big shopping trip we picked one up.  This was not the grill Michael was referring to.  We had to end up cooking our chicken in the oven and Josh was only able to cook a package of hotdogs on our “grill”.  Look at how small it is…ha ha ha!


After our “cook-out” we headed to the beach for some night time beach fun…


I love this picture!  I love how Nora is holding onto Sydney with a fierceness.  She didn’t want her falling into the “swamp”.


All the kids had their nets, ready to pounce on some crabs…

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Family picture on the beach


Isn’t this picture weird!  Matthew was messing around with the shutter speed and whatnot and ended up with some pretty crazy looking pictures…

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Look!  We found a sand crab!


We were able to go to the beach everyday but most days we weren’t even there for an hour before the sky would open up.  Here is evidence that we were actually at the BEACH.  Most days we made it to the beach, I kept my camera covered up because of the moisture.

The kids burying Michael in the sand…check out the clouds in the background.  Nice.


A little game of bocce ball.  Even Sydney got in on the action.  They didn’t get to finish the game though…rain.

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See the green tractor.  Oil relief workers.  They were there to collect tar balls.


We did get into the ocean some.  The waves were so strong that the girls couldn’t even really go near the water without one of us with them or they would have been swept out to sea.  Ok, maybe not, but it was pretty rough.

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Sweet James.  Taking a little beach nap.  Those waves did the trick of lulling him to sleep.


Nora LOVES the sand.  She could have spent hours and hours digging in the sand and making castles.  But she couldn’t…rain.

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The four older ones (John David, Nora, Elyn and Gibson) waiting under some shelter during a thunderstorm.


During our time in the condo we had to figure out some things to do while it rained.



Washing dishes


Getting pedicures


One evening the rain did let up enough for us to venture out for some ice cream.  We all really enjoyed it!

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Because of all the rain, we decided to go see a movie one afternoon.  Toy Story 3!!!!!  The theater was PACKED.  All the tourists in Destin had the same idea.  We knew Nora would be a rock star in the movie but had very low expectations for Elyn.  Well, she delivered.  We had to take her out twice.  No amount of popcorn or Sprite could quiet her down.  Despite wrestling Elyn like a bear cub, I did really enjoy the movie.  I cried. 


That night, we went to Fudpucker’s for dinner.  We had a good time seeing the alligators and having birds land on our heads and arms for pictures.

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Are we the only people whose kids think that the ride-on toys don’t actually move?  We never put coins in them and they still have the best time pretending.

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These two pictures make me laugh…oh no!  They are being eaten by huge scary jaws!

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Just a routine ride on an alligator.

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Just checking out the alligators and cozying up to one.

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On our last day in Destin it was SUNNY!!!!!  Imagine that.  We were supposed to check out of our condo and hit the road by 10am.  The Henderson family decided to check out of the condo and HIT THE BEACH.  We were so glad that we did too.  The weather was perfect and the girls had a great time.  The waves were the highest that day and the tar balls were the worst.  Thankfully neither one affected us.

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Yes, I have a swimsuit on.


Doing the favorite activity…playing in the sand.


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These are funny pictures to me.  Nora came up to me with her net and asked me to hold it for her.  She wanted to limbo underneath it.  Ha ha!

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That’s it.  Our week at the beach.  We had a wonderful time, despite the soggy weather.  We were so glad to be there with our friends.  They mean the world to us and we would vacation with them again in a heartbeat.


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