Sunday, December 27, 2009

Whirlwind of a Week

WOW! This one word wraps up the last week or so of our lives...Our trip to Hawaii was more than awesome! We found ourselves exclaiming "WOW!" on more than one occasion. Take a look at this seldomly occurring waterspout that took place during a storm last Sunday morning while we were in Kona, HI. That yacht in the left hand corner of the picture was about 1 mile from our condo on the beach! (Luckily, we were en route to another destination spot on the island at the time!)

And that was just ONE of the amazing "WOW's" from our trip! (Someone else took this picture, but I will be posting some pictures very soon as I am trying to learn to download the pics from the new camera I got for Christmas right before we left for The Big Island.) We arrived back home on Wednesday afternoon and things have been nothing short of a whirlwind around here! We hosted Christmas Eve dinner with Jan's family, then Santa came the next morning! (Pictures later!:-)) Then it was on to my mom's for Christmas that night and another bunch of Jan's family at our house tonight! Tomorrow will mark the end of our Christmas celebrations with family as we have two more gatherings to attend! WHEW! I love this time of year eventhough it does make for some fussy little people with schedules thrown off and bed times pushed back...way, way back! Nevertheless, I hope everyone had the merriest Christmas ever and that you have the happiest of new years in 2010!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Night Before Christmas AND...

Oh, the anticipation of the night before Christmas! John Owen has asked me twice TODAY how many days there are until Christmas. I can't wait to see their faces on Christmas Eve as they put out the reindeer food and Santa snacks! And then to see the reactions to Christmas morning...I just can't wait!

And just like their anticipation of Christmas, we, too, are anticipating something GREAT!  But tonight, our anticipation is for something a little different than what Christmas Day brings...
We can't believe it, but it's the night before we are scheduled to leave for our trip! Our 10 year anniversary trip, that is! In the morning, we'll set off for Hawaii! ALOHA!

I have been as busy as ever trying to get everything ready for Christmas WELL AHEAD of time because I knew Dec. 17th would be here before I could turn around! All the presents have been wrapped, teacher gifts have been delivered, Christmas cards are out, bags are packed, Fa La La La La-La La La La! :-)

I am truly excited about this trip to Hawaii with my husband, but I will be honest that the excitement is also coupled with a sinking feeling in my stomach due the fact that I have never been this far away from my children and never away from them for this length of time. 2 or 3 days is the most I've ever been away from the boys...when I was pregnant with Mary Claire! And I've BARELY ever been away from her since she was born! I have kept my tears to myself for the last few days, but my poor best friend had to witness the tears this afternoon when we talked of things that I didn't want to vocalize, but had to be discussed when leaving your children in the care of others. (Maybe strangers will wonder if I'm NUTS when they see tears in my eyes at the airport or maybe they'll understand because they, too, have felt this feeling...?)

Despite terribly missing our children, I know we will enjoy ourselves and the much needed rest and relaxation and time together. And I can say with all honesty that we will be waiting with anticipation at the sight of these 3 little people's faces at the airport next week when we return home!
And then their anticipation of Christmas Day!

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Once Upon a Time...

OK, it may not be a fairy tale, but it's "our story" and it began 14 years ago believe it or not! We are blessed to be celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary tomorrow, November 27th! I know some of our closest friends have probably heard "our story", but I thought in honor of our 10 year anniversary, I'd post the story for others to read. And also to have it documented so that maybe my children will be able to read the story of how their mommy and daddy met. So, with that being said, let me begin...

Once upon a time...
In the summer of 1995, we spotted each other sitting in traffic and all I saw of him was this...

He smiled, I returned the smile...we spoke not a word to each other that day.

Then a year later, after softball practice and while still "sporting" my cleats, I met a nice guy at the shaved ice place. No more than that...he just fixed me my favorite strawberry sno-cone, and I drove off.

While collecting shaved ice for the co-workers at my 1996 summer office job, he asked for my phone number. I am sure I gave him a very strange look, so he said I seemed like a nice girl and he wanted to set me up with a nice guy (headed for med school that fall) who worked for him at the shaved ice stand. I agreed. He seemed pretty genuine. I went out on a date with the guy headed for med school. Nice guy, but no sparks between the two of us.

About 6 months later, while living in Memphis and halfway through my freshman year of college, my answering maching revealed a message left by Jan Hensley, "The guy from the shaved ice stand". My roommate knew him, but I barely knew him. All I knew was he was the one who served me my favorite strawberry shaved ice and tried to be my match-maker for some reason. There was something about him that I trusted, although I did wonder why he was calling.

I never returned that message he left. I went about busying myself with life, I guess.

Then, in April of 1997, I was at home in Covington preparing to leave for Hawaii to play softball with my teammates for a week when the phone rang. Jan had called me at my parents' house and he was asking if I remembered him. "Of course I remember you," I replied nicely. His next question surprised me a bit although I think somewhere inside me, I knew it was coming. "Would you like to go out sometime and get something to eat or see a movie?" :-) "Sure" was my answer, but "it would have to wait until I returned to town in a week or two, if that's o.k." I said I would call him when I got back, and I did.

We saw Wesley Snipes in Murder at 1800 on our first date. I don't remember where we ate, but I think it might have been J.Alexander's in Cordova. I thought he was nice and very handsome. I liked being with him.
We continued to spend more and more time together that summer of 1997 getting to know each other, weathering the "bumps in the road" that come with almost every immature relationship. I spent that summer wrestling with the desire to let myself love him and be loved by him, and I know he struggled to hang on to the idea of a relationship with someone younger and not so sure of what she wanted.

But then, at the very end of August, the end of a summer we would never forget, we both agree that we had "THAT MOMENT"...the moment we BOTH knew without any doubt that we LOVED each other, that this was REAL! I will never forget sitting on that stinky bus after white water rafting with him, and amidst all those people and the jolts and jars the bus gave us and the arguing between my best friend and her boyfriend, we looked at each other and it was like we were on that bus alone. I really can't describe how I felt, but I knew I had never truly felt that way before. (Call it cheesy if you like! I don't know if anyone else has ever had "that feeling", but if you have, you know what I mean!)

From that moment on, things were different. I looked at him much differently. I saw my future with him in it! Now, I am not gonna say things were perfect from then on because that would be a complete "fairytale". Besides, is anything ever perfect?

A year and 3 months later, he asked me to marry him under a tree out in the middle of a field in Cades Cove National Park. I wasn't expecting it that day, although we had talked about the idea of getting married. I cried, he cried. I thought it was the most beautiful ring I had ever seen!
We took our children back to Cades Cove just a couple of weeks ago, and we told them why we love that place.

We were engaged for a year, as planning a wedding and trying to finish college takes time, you know? The year flew by! As it turned out, several of our friends and family members got engaged and married that same year. Some of them teased us by saying, "First to get engaged, last to get married!" Our wedding took place on the Saturday that followed Thanksgiving, November 27 which also happens to be my brother's birthday! He didn't seem to mind that we picked that date. It was a beautiful service, I thought. We were surrounded by friends and family and had a great time celebrating afterwards! We spent our wedding night in Memphis at the Peabody, and then left for Maui a couple of weeks later. We covered every inch of that island while there, took the road to Hana, snorkeled, spotted blue whales, traveled to the top of Mount Haleakala for a breathtaking sunrise, and of course, pigged out at a traditional Hawaiian luau.

And now, 10 years later, we will return to the Hawaiian islands yet again, to celebrate where we've come in 10 year's time. 10 is hard to believe that in this time we have experienced so much change, but yet still remain mostly who we were when we first set out on this journey. God has blessed us with so much that I feel completely undeserving of. I look at my 3 children and try hard to think about the time in our marriage before they arrived. It's sometimes hard to do! I love that I can look at each of them and see my husband in them. I think I have loved him more with the birth of each one. I am thankful for each and every moment of life we have experienced together over the last 10 years. And I am looking forward to the next 10 years and more with him!

Happy Anniversary, Jan!
Thank you for 10 wonderful years! 
P.S. I am glad you asked me.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Dear Mr. Christmas Tree,

In the spirit of Thanksgiving...
I know we all have a variety of plans for the upcoming holiday week, and I want to take a moment to wish everyone reading this a wonderful Thanksgiving! We have much to be thankful for! God is so good!

I have alot in store for this week off from work besides giving thanks with family and enjoying some great food later in the week. I don't mean to belittle the Thanksgiving season, but my plan like many other people was to get all Christmas decorations up by next weekend, and I have to get started early in the week if I plan to accomplish this goal. With 3 small children, you can imagine how my "decorating time" is frequently interrupted and very limited! It'll get done somehow, I'm sure.
But after a recent event in our lives, I have refreshed my way of thinking about the rush to get it done and the time frame in which I had planned to get it done. And if it doesn't get done this week...oh, well! I neglected to get one thing done from my "to do" list (which was scheduled to start today), and this is how I would imagine my explanation of neglect...

Dear Mr. Christmas Tree,

How are you? Oh, how I have missed you! Has it really been almost a year since we last saw you? I know that today I had planned to welcome you back to your shining spotlight in our house so that we could enjoy your beauty for the next several days and weeks. (We do enjoy your company very much!) But, Mr. Tree, I think you'll understand my reason for not visiting with you today. You know how your job is to hold the beautiful ornaments that we treasure so carefully in your boughs? Well, I, too, have a job that is of the utmost importance, a job placed upon me by my Creator which I am eternally grateful for. A job where I am to treasure these gifts of life I have been given. And that is my role as a mother to my 3 beautiful children. They needed me today a little more than normal, and I needed to hold them. So, Mr. Tree, while I love to spend time with you and while others have already welcomed their tree friends back, you'll have to patiently wait your turn. I can't wait to see the joy I know you will bring to my children this season as we give thanks for the blessings God has given us! Thank you for sharing in these special times with us. We'll see you very soon! I promise.


Happy Thanksgiving!
From the Hensley Family

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Like Fall Leaves Drifting By...

So are the recent days in our lives. (Almost sounds like the daytime television soap opera.) Sometimes I think our daily lives might make a good show. Not really, but maybe better than the soap opera I was eluding to here. Sorry if I have offended any "Days" fans out there!:-)

Anyhow, we have been ultra busy through the month of October and that mode of "busy" seems to have carried right on to November. We kicked the month off with Jan's birthday. The children enjoyed picking out his gifts and especially enjoyed sharing in his chocolate cake. One thing that is a "must" for Jan's birthday is CHOCOLATE cake. So, this year I ordered a chocolate cake with chocolate icing PLUS chocolate covered strawberries...if that's not enough chocolate, I don't know what would be! It was really good! And I am not even a big chocolate fan. Here's a couple of shots from Jan's birthday dinner we had last Tuesday night. Notice he had a little help blowing out his candles.
Mary Claire seems to enjoy chocolate covered strawberries as much as her daddy does!

The next morning we decided to take the ENTIRE clan on a weekend trip to East TN. That's right! Kiddos, too! Jan's sister gave us tickets for the UT game, and I knew Jan really wanted to go. So I put aside the desire to just say no to avoid the struggle of dragging 3 small children on a road trip and then to a HUGE stadium with thousands of people in attendance. I decided that I would adopt Jon and Kate's motto for the weekend...It may be a crazy life, but it's OUR life. After all, it is in times such as these that some of the best memories are made, right?

And wonderful memories were made! Plus, it wasn't that bad. I have been blessed with children who are fairly decent travelers. The boys are great when traveling, always have been. Mary Claire wasn't sure about it at first, but realizing that she really didn't have a choice, I think she adapted pretty quickly. We stayed in Pigeon Forge, visited Cades Cove on Saturday, and cheered the VOLS on that night in Neyland stadium! It was so much fun! The kids surprised me with how good they were at the game. No whining, fighting, no multiple trips to the bathroom or harassing of nearby spectators...all things I had prepared myself for. Only a nice compliment on how well-behaved our children were from the man sitting behind us. I wanted to laugh out loud when he said it(He probably just said it to be nice, anyway), but I just smiled and said, "Thank you" as we left the game early to avoid the traffic. The boys loved the game, the fireworks(which we got to see every time TN scored), the U of M band (which was just down from our seats), and the stadium food we ate.

The weather was perfect, and I found myself thankful for the fact that I didn't let my worry of taking everyone on this trip keep me from doing this. Here are some of my favorite shots from the weekend...

Love this one because it shows John Owen's enthusiasm as he cheers with the crowd and Jonah's silliness when he knows the camera's on!

No, we didn't just pick up another kid for the trip! (3's enough, don't ya' think?) This is our cousin, Owen Thomas. My boys loved spending time with him on the trip. He got in our vehicle before we got to East TN and stayed with us until it was time to travel back. I got to imagine what it would be like with 4 kids while he was with us.

And they're off! Runnin' up the trail to the first cabin we visited at Cades Cove.

Cades Cove--November 2009

My boys' (& my little girl's) 1st Neyland Stadium game!

Just ONE of MC's reactions on the Jurassic Boat Ride!

Digging for fossils at the Dinosaur Walk Museum

We took alot more pictures and as you can see, we even stuck around in Pigeon Forge and did a couple of fun things before leaving Sunday. Great weekend trip!

Funny highlights we'll be talking about for awhile: "Road Rage" with a man sporting a handicap sticker from his rearview mirror. He called me CRAZY through his window. I thought it was funny! :-) Jan almost running over an outdoor grill at the condo. Why must he always find something to back into? Scaring the OOGA BOOGAS out of John Owen, Mary Claire and MYSELF on the Jurassic Boat Ride. Yes, I was scared and I shouldn't have taken MC on it! Jonah and Jan were just fine the whole time. Jonah was even reassuring John Owen that "the dinosaurs weren't real!" I got to eat at a Cracker Barrel (Jan thinks it's corny, but I think it's a MUST when traveling along I-40 or anywhere for that matter).

I'm already looking forward to next time! :-)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Second Star to the Right

Can you guess the theme for our Halloween costumes this year?

I couldn't resist to do a theme! I know that it won't be long before they will not let me "influence" their decision-making process for Halloween costumes. And before you start talking about me and saying, "I can't believe she didn't just let them choose what they wanted to be, what a control freak, etc.," let me reassure you that I DID let them FEEL like they had a choice. Mommy tactics at their very best! :-) (You know you've done it before, too. Don't deny it!) I presented 3 VERY good choices to my boys. (Mary Claire didn't have a clue, bless her little heart. Your day is coming, sweetie!) I just made sure the choices were things that would allow 3 themed costumes for my 3 little darlings...Star Wars, The Wizard of Oz (which was secretly my #1 choice) or Peter Pan. Of course, my hopes of a "yellow brick road" Halloween were quickly shot down by the boys! Oh well! And I thought they would for sure choose the Star Wars (I could certainly picture Mary Claire as the perfect Princess Lea), but as you can see they decided to live this year out as the characters we all know and love who refuse to grow up and who have taken us on a spectacular journey to the land of the "Lost Boys" with adventures just made for story-telling...Peter Pan!

"Peter Pan"
John Owen

"Captain Hook"

Mary Claire


Goin' to the Fall Festival!

Happy Halloween to everyone!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Family That Plays Together

(My intentions of posting this last week were substituted by a HUGE "To Do" list--that seems to have no end right now! No one else has that problem, right? insert: sarcasm ) :-)
Caudle Family

October 2009

My family gathered together last Sunday in Williston to celebrate my grandmother's 89th birthday. I love to see my family! I love spending time with them and seeing all the cousins playing together. We have an abundance of BOYS in this family (I think there's 13 between the ages of 1-11), so it seems a flag football game has become the tradition, for the older ones of course, as they have all gotten bigger and bigger each year. And I am not exaggerating when I say the football is thrown as soon as they get to the backyard at Uncle Davie's & Aunt Mindy's house. As more arrive, they just jump right in! And last Sunday, we even had to keep one of the 1 yr. olds from trying to join in! O.K., I said it was "flag" football (and they even wear the flag belts), but you and I both know tackling is what BOYS do best! Boys will be boys. I watched with a little worry as Jonah took his first tackle from one of the bigger cousins. But he got right up, shook it off, gave me a nod that he was o.k., and jumped right back in the game. I think they had a great time! Good thing we took most of the family pictures before the game really got under way.

I wish I had gotten some shots of the game action, but I was too busy eating and visiting, I guess!

This is sweet Hardy, the youngest of the cousins. He just celebrated his first birthday this past weekend!

But...he won't hold the "youngest" title for very long...

It seems our family just keeps growing because another cousin (Yes, another BOY!) is on the way...due around the middle of March. And we just can't wait to meet Henry Shields Armour. I can't wait to see him out there playing football with his cousins, too. Now, I guess we'll have to get the 3 pretty girls (ages 14yrs., 16 months, & 17 months) to cheer on their BOY cousins! :-)

"Yes, Mary Claire, those are Hardy's eyes." She looks like is going to put a finger in his eye! Yikes!

This would be the picture taken just after Mary Claire pulled the bow from Cousin Olivia's hair! Hmm...what will she do next? All cousins, and any one else for that matter...Watch out! :-)

I am thankful for each and every one of my family members! And especially grateful for the Christian woman who is the reason we are all here today...

Our "Jenny" October 2009

My mother (far right) and her brothers and sister

My three kiddos!

Mary Claire and Mommy

Jan and Me

I am looking forward to the next time we all see each other again. I know that the next time we get together, we'll all just pick up right where we left off no matter how long it's been between visits. That's what family does, right? I'm sure that's exactly what the cousins will do with their football game...pick up the game right where they all left off.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

No Words...

Just a couple of cute pics of my sweet little girl that I took this morning as we enjoyed playing several rounds of "Go Fish!" while sippin' on yummy grape soda!

Good times!
Jonah was especially funny playing "Go Fish!" He makes me laugh so much!
Hope everyone who's on Fall break is enjoying it as much as we are!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Seasons of Life

My little #4 anxiously awaiting his time to play!

I can't believe it's Fall break! The weeks have flown by since school started in August. I've got a list of things I want to get done here at home since we are not planning anything special for our break. No extravagant travel plans for this family! Just time together resting, cleaning, playing and doing whatever may come our way! (Plus, Jan and I are planning a special 10 year anniversary trip back to Hawaii in December, so we are watching our dollars!) More about that later... :-)

Anyhow, we've had alot going on as we have begun this new Fall season, and we probably could use the rest from school for a few days!

With the onset of the new Fall season comes...Soccer! Jonah's 1st season of soccer! The boys have played two games already. I am so glad they are able to play together on the same team this year! I like to see them out there in this "season of life" together! And Mary Claire seems to be content watching and "cheering" her brothers on as they play. Well, until she spots something else more interesting and then...she's off! My grandmother was able to come to what was her first soccer game this past Sat., and she kept saying how happy she was to get to see her great-grandsons play! I believe it was what she needed.
Mary Claire "cheers" from the sideline!

"Granny" and Mary Claire clap for the soccer team!

My grandmother is 85 years old and has always lived in Jackson. For the past 2 weeks our family has been dealing with the fact that her husband, my (almost) 89 year old grandfather, has been placed in the hospital, and it doesn't look like he'll be coming home anytime soon. He is under psychiatric care and sadly, has now been diagnosed with lung cancer. Ironically, he has a mass about twice the size of the mass found in my father's lung earlier this year. And the doctors have said my grandfather's mass looks to be malignant whereas my father's turned out to be benign. My grandfather has had his share of struggles in his life...mostly mental struggles which his doctors believe may be a result of his time spent in France during WWII and what they have diagnosed as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He has probably seen things I will never see or understand. He has struggled with depression for longer than I can remember or know. I only know what has been revealed to me through my parents. And they have probably shielded me from most things. Most who know him would never know he has these struggles. He is a wonderfully sweet Christian man who loves his family and is especially happy every time he sees my 3 children, his great-grandchildren.

My father is the only child of his parents who lives in close proximity to them. (The only one in the state of TN!) So, when my aunt returned to NC on Thursday, my father asked my grandmother to come to Covington to stay for a few days. She really doesn't need to be alone for long periods of time. She spent Friday and Saturday night with my parents which is why she was able to join us for the boys' soccer game Sat. morning.

I have been thinking alot about life's seasons these days with what has happened with my father's parents, and I can imagine that my parents are realizing that life seems to be coming full circle. That the ones who took care of them as they were little now need their care. It is sad to think about sometimes. As a child, you don't always think about it, but I began to think about the reality of this 5 1/2 years ago when my mom's father passed away. He was the first grandparent I lost. And it made me realize that I probably wasn't going to have my grandparents for many more years. I have always had them in my life and been very lucky in that respect. Plus, I have had a close relationship with them even though they lived in other cities. I guess it's just hard to imagine life without them. The harsh reality is that the day will come (and only God knows when that day will be) that I will be telling my children stories of my grandparents and their lives because they won't be here to tell it themselves. And that the season of my life with my grandparents will succumb to the memories I hold of our times together.

I am glad that I have these memories and that I am still able to make more memories with them. I am glad that these memories will include times they have spent and will spend with my children. I will hope that God will give us more time together and allow my children the ability to remember them in some way. I will treasure the time I still have with them. But above all else, I will treasure the comfort I have in knowing that when God does call them to leave this world, that I will see them again one day. And that we will start another season of life together...our eternal season of life.

I guess I would say, mostly for my own reassurance, that with every season of life comes change, and I find myself praying for the willingness to accept the change and trust God's purpose and will in it.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Miss Mary Claire

Gosh! Have I only been blogging about the boys lately?! Well, we do have another member of the family...a very sweet, beautiful Miss Mary Claire. She deserves this post as she has met many challenges recently and showed true strength of character(hehe) through it all! She is #3, what should I expect, right?

First of all, she finally mastered the art of walking! YAY! After 14-15 months, she finally made up her mind that maybe the legs could be used for something other than crawling around. I was beginning to think maybe I should be worried. Good thing she made up her mind to do it. Hmm...could this be a sign of things to come?

She seems to really like Miss Lori, her new nanny! I know she would rather have Mommy, (and I would rather have her, too) but I can at least have peace of mind that she is happy when I have to be away from her.

Mary Claire is getting a mouthful of teeth! Molars and pointy teeth and all kinds of little things sprouting out of those little gummies! I stuck my finger in her mouth the other day(after using GERM-X, of course! These days, my life seems to be surrounded by GOBS of GERM-X!! Amen?) and discovered the culprit to the numerous consecutive nights of crying in the middle of the night...painful TEETH hurting my baby girl! Needless to say, the last two nights have seen a dose of pain medicine before bedtime!

Lastly, Mary Claire has now reached an important milestone...she recently received her FIRST PRINCESS dress up outfit! (OK...Maybe it's not a true PRINCESS's supposed to make her look like Tinkerbell so that she can match her Captain Hook and Peter Pan brothers.) BUT... she sure looks like a princess in it! :-)

Walking in her pretty dress!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Other Jonah

This past week, we had our first project due for Jonah's new preschool class. It was an "All About Me" poster! Well, when older brother, John Owen, had the same assignment 2 years ago, "we" (yeah, 'cause we ALL KNOW WHO REALLY does the work) made a life-size, look-a-like poster of him. So, of course, Jonah wanted the SAME thing for himself! He was so much more cute about it than John Owen was! Jonah has the BEST imagination, and I just love the way his mind thinks about things. I have said it before and I'll say it again...he keeps me smiling and laughing!

Well, as "we" were constructing this look-a-like poster of Jonah, he was talking to me...saying things like, "Hey Momma, I got a good idea...why don't we make one of these for you and Daddy and Mary Claire and then we can hang them all together on the wall in the playroom with John Owen's?" It was a great idea! (But I was also thinking...yeah, I'll be working on THAT for the next few weeks, I'm sure!) He then made me smile as he started referring to his poster as "the other Jonah".

When "we" finished it and it was time for bed, he carried it to his room and laid it down on the floor next to his bed and informed me that "the other Jonah" wanted to sleep beside him. I thought it was so cute! We talked about how "the other Jonah" would be going to school with him the next day and that he would need to make sure he took care of "the other Jonah" on the bus so that he wouldn't break any arms, legs or fingers off. Jonah assured me he would take care and that "the other Jonah" would sit RIGHT beside him on the bus. The next morning he brought "the other Jonah" in for breakfast and placed him in a chair at the table. :-) He was so funny with his poster! I want to always remember how cute Jonah was with this project and how imaginative he is. Here's Jonah with "the other Jonah" before they BOTH boarded the bus!

He had a sad look on his face later that afternoon when he told me that the teacher kept "the other Jonah" at school. I reassured him that "the other Jonah" would be o.k. at school. The teacher just wanted "the other Jonah" to get to see everybody at school for a while, then she would send him home to us for good...And when he comes home, he will take his rightful place next to "the other John Owen" on the playroom wall! Now... "we" will have to get busy on "the other Hensleys" so the family will be complete...for Jonah's and "the other Jonah's" sake.
Hey, look at it this way...I can get a jumpstart on Mary Claire's "All About Me" project! :-)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Summer's End?

For some, Labor Day marks the end (or the beginning of the end) of summer. Pools start to close until next season, some people put away their white clothing and shoes, fall decorations begin to appear in stores and on the doors of houses, etc. Nevertheless, I can promise you that the Hensley family will be hitting the pool until our lips start to turn purple from the cooling temps of the water at Mimi's! In doing so, maybe we can stretch the summer out just a little longer!

We had a great Labor Day and jam-packed with as much as we could possibly do in a weekend and one day off from work and school. Friday, we kicked the weekend off with my birthday! For 32 years now, I have enjoyed having a birthday on or around Labor Day. It's pretty nice to get to celebrate around a holiday weekend. (It's like the whole weekend and the extra day off turns into a weekend birthday celebration!)

***An amusing fact about my family is that my brother and I both celebrate our birthdays on or around two different holidays. Labor Day for me, (I was 56 mins. shy of making my debut on Labor Day back in 1977) and my TURKEY of a brother (sorry, I couldn't resist that one) came into the world on Thanksgiving Day in 1980!***
As part of the weekend celebration, I got to enjoy a date night with my wonderful husband on Friday, then a Saturday spent in Jackson visiting my grandparents along with my aunt and uncle who were visiting from North Carolina, and a special birthday dinner at my mom's on Saturday night. Mrs. Baugues made me the BEST carrot cake for my birthday...I think I made myself sick eating too much of it! A wonderful cake!

On Sunday, I did something I don't usually do or haven't done in quite a while...I went with my husband and good friends to tailgate before attending the U of M vs. Ole Miss football game! It was a great time with great food! I thought nothing of the number of fried onion rings I put down 'cause it was my birthday weekend. :-) Who's counting anyway, right? They were some GOOD onion rings, for sure! I was completely exhausted when we got home Sunday night!
On Monday morning, I cleaned up around the house, laid out our clothes for the week, made a Wal-Mart "run" and then picked up pizza for lunch and proceeded to picnic around the pool before taking a great Labor Day nap with my 3 beautiful children!

The exciting part about Monday came when we decided to end the day with some soccer practice outside. Soccer season is just around the corner and we had our first team practice planned for Tuesday. We pulled out our soccer gear and headed out to the side yard. Our plans for a little soccer practice were quickly interrupted by the screams and tears coming from Jonah as he was stung on the cheek by a wasp while retrieving the soccer ball by the fence! I grabbed Jonah, and we all ran to the garage in fear that the wasps might swarm. Jan came out when he heard the screams and proceeded to try to knock the nest down, but the flyswatter broke with his first swing and the wasps stung him, too. Jan was then determined to kill every wasp in his sight, so he told the boys we were going on a "WASP HUNT"!

Now picture this...all of us jump into the van, rush to Home Depot, buy 6 cans of Wasp & Hornet Killer, drive back to the house all the while talking about how "we're gonna get those wasps!" And we did! Jan succeeded in finding and destroying 7 ACTIVE wasp nests on the fence beside our house and in the backyard. That's over 200 wasps that went down at the Hensley House! This is a picture of the first 3 nests we hunted down!

We enjoyed our Labor Day weekend & we hope your weekend was great, too!