Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thank You, Old Man Winter!

"Timer's set...everybody SMILE!"
Hensley Family
January 2009

"Momma...I'm gonna get you!"

Careful contemplation of the exact target for this snowball!

I can't tell you how excited we were when we woke up to the snow outside last Wednesday morning! And recovering from strep or not, we were going outside in it! I was afraid it wouldn't last long like last week's snow, but I was wrong. It was a great snow day! Just a little snow around these parts can be a BIG deal to people like us living in West Tennessee who don't get to see snow like people on a more northern latitude are accustomed to!

We were out in it right after breakfast! As I was gathering our snow clothes up and preparing to get everyone dressed to go out, I prayed that they would spend more time playing out in the "white stuff" then I was about to spend getting them ready to go out in it! If you've ever had to get 3 or 4 people bundled up to go out in the snow by yourself, then you can feel my pain! You can imagine how happy I was to see my boys happily throwing snowballs at each other while I snapped pictures. Then they enjoyed some time on the playset, sliding down and landing in the little snow that lay at the bottom. Life was good!

Jonah making a snow angel!

John Owen's snow angel

Of course, it wouldn't be a typical day if one brother didn't do something to the other brother, and life was not so good for Jonah when John Owen smacked him right in the face with snow! hehe

Bombs Away!

In case you are wondering about the blue objects in my boys' hands...those are snowball makers. Jan found and bought this last year, and we finally got to put it to good use! (It does make perfectly round snowballs, but I wouldn't want to use it in any REALLY good snowball fight. It takes too much time to scoop up the right amount and then extract the ball for throwing it.) For beginner snowball makers like us, though, it works just GREAT!

Mary Claire and Daddy playing outside in the snow! She couldn't take her eyes off of the "white stuff"!(And I am not referring to the "white" in his hair...the snow, people!)hehe *Hopefully, he'll laugh when he reads this.*

I have heard that lots of people (mostly north of us) are without power due to the wintry weather, and I pray for their safety and that their power will be restored soon. I remember when an ice storm hit this area in 1994 and being without power for almost a week.Ice isn't as much fun as snow can be! I hear they're calling for something more from "Old Man Winter" this week...maybe we'll get to use those snowball makers again!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Our "Pete" and "Repeat"

As I was growing up, I often heard adults in my life use the term "Pete" and "Repeat" when describing how much two family members were similar in appearance. And now, it seems I have my own "Pete" and "Repeat" in John Owen and Mary Claire. Mary Claire is 8 months old today, and everyday I think she looks so much more like her big brother, John Owen. (She just has much more hair than he had!) When she is bathing and her hair is slicked back, it's almost as if I have been set back in time to over five years ago looking at a familiar little John Owen face once again.

It's interesting to me how genetics play out in God's creation of these little people He's given to me. And I love the fact that all of my children are so much like my husband either in looks or in personality. So, for Father's Day this past year, I wrote Jan a little poem, put the boys' handprints and Mary Claire's foot prints around the poem and stuck it in a frame. ( was 2 weeeks post c-section and there was no Father's Day shoppin' for this momma! I had to be creative and come up with something that I could do at home and for very little money!)In this poem, I expressed to my husband just how much I love the fact that all three of our children are so much like him! WARNING: You are about to be exposed to extreme Hensley "CHEESINESS" which may result in extreme boredom or nausea. Proceed with caution! (hehe)

Happy Father's Day 2008
Happy Father's Day to a very special Dad.
Without you these three blessings we would not have had.
First, there was John Owen,
Your very own "Mini-Me".
The "New Dad" hat you wore for weeks
As a proud papa you beamed!
Then God sent us Jonah Wade
Whom we gave your middle name.
He's got your personality,
But my looks all the same.
And now there's Mary Claire
Our little girl that God has given
With her beautiful head full of black hair
She is a true gift from Heaven.
I cherish that all three of them
In their own way are so much like you.
I love you more than ever before.
Happy Father's Day to you!

Oh, and look! I can't leave out "my" little monkey! It's funny to hear my mom comment on how much he reminds her of me when I was little. (Let me assure you...there will be a post about that "monkey suit" later!)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A First Time for Everything

No matter how old we may get in years, it still seems that there is always a FIRST time for everything. Take my 87-year-old grandmother, for instance, who just got her FIRST cell phone a few months ago, or me creating/publishing a website for the FIRST time. (Wait! Before you are overcome with being impressed by my accomplishment, let me assure you it was a "Create a Website for Dummies" type program.) But I learned some things about technology that I might (or might not) use in the future and helped my husband. He was very proud.

Anyhoo...Over the course of the last couple of weeks, my children have all experienced "FIRSTS" of their own kind. I will start with Mary Claire. (Hers are the most exciting!) She has officially outgrown the baby bathtub with her "long self," so it was moved to the attic. She is now enjoying bath time in her beautiful blue bath seat. She loves it! Here's a picture of her with her FIRST "Hensley Spike" hairdo! All the Hensley children enjoy this hairstyle very much, but Mary Claire gets to enjoy it much sooner than the boys did since she has SO MUCH HAIR!

Side View-for the full effect!

I cannot say that I discovered the FIRST tooth for Mary Claire for it was my mother who informed me that it was there. But I did discover the one next to it that seems to not want to be left behind as they both are in a race to be visible to others!My baby has TWO teeth! "Hey, Mr. Time! I thought I asked you nicely to slow down!" To top things off...she waved "Bye,Bye!" She's trying to say it, too. It just comes out..."Da,Da." She said it to one of her daddy's employees while we were visiting at his office. (I think she was urging him to get back to work. That girl is just like her daddy!hehe)

Jonah came down with his FIRST case of strep, and it was B-A-D! Delirious with fever he was! And we were up almost all night with him. He quickly bounced back, but the ear infection that went with it is still healing!

John Owen played in his FIRST organized basketball game last Saturday! And to top things off, he even scored a foul shot for the team! Jan was in charge of taking pictures since I'm coaching the team, and well...let's just say I'll have to post some pictures later.:-)John Owen also played his FIRST game of pinball on a real pinball machine at his Great-Grandaddy's old grocery store in Garland. He stayed on that thing almost the whole time we were there. I love this picture of him!
What to do on a frigid and sick day? Make a tent and camp out-INDOORS!

And then there was the makeshift tent! While home sick and since John Owen came down with strep the day after Jonah did, we filled our days with fun things inside the house like making a tent with quilts and the kitchen barstools. Now, making a tent is not a FIRST, but taking a nap in the tent IS! I allowed the boys to take their FIRST nap together in there for a full camping out effect, and eventhough it was an unordinarily SHORT nap, they enjoyed it very much!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Awesome Snow!

Well, I guess the "Let it Snow" chandelier has somewhat worked its "magic." (I told the children that this might be the "magic" we need to get some GOOD snow this year!) Hey, whatever works, right?
Wow! Nothing like waking up to a beautiful snowy morning. Although, truthfully, it was my children waking up to it since I was already awake and had just not looked out the window to see it until Jonah (bless his heart) came screaming with excitement, "Mommy, there's snow on the houses and street!" And then it REALLY started in! Big, beautiful snowflakes! I turned on the tv to see if we would need to continue with our morning ritual of school such luck--schools were not being closed! We finished getting ready, took a few pictures of John Owen in the snow(since the weatherman correctly predicted the snow to be short-lived) and then slowly pulled the van out into the snow!
Of course we have to taste the snow!

I commented on how beautiful the snow was coming down all around us while John Owen said, "Yeah, it's COOL!" And then in true Jonah fashion, Jonah added, "It's AWESOME!" I simply said, "It is awesome." But next, my sweet Jonah said something that I was not expecting and will never forget..."God is awesome." I turned around, gave him a smile, and responded quietly, "God is awesome."
Thank you, God, for the awesome snow You sent today...for Jonah, John Owen and Mary Claire. Thank you for the gifts You give to us everyday. Thank you for the reminder that You are an AWESOME God!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Future Gymnast?

Mary Claire has finally figured out how to get wherever she wants to go now even when unable to walk or crawl. By performing a series of rolls and lifts with her body unlike anything I remember the boys ever doing, she can manuever her way around the room! I have come to the realization that it won't be long before we'll be at the stage once again where nothing is safe. (And Mommy will have to be an acrobat of sorts to keep an "on-the-move" toddler out of harm's way.) The other day I put her down next to her butterfly mat, and she ended up with almost her entire body under my bed! Nothing but her little legs were sticking out from under the bed. If she'd just had the stockings and shoes, I would have mistaken her for the Wicked Witch of the West from the "Wizard of Oz"!

She seems to enjoy the rolling and acrobats because rarely does she fuss as she performs these feats. Just keeps trying until she succeeds! So I thought I'd share some of these amazing "moves" with you in the form of a slide show! (One day she'll probably express her displeasure of her belly hanging out in most of the pictures. Guess that's why serious acrobats wear prevent things from "riding up.")

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A Special Day

This past Sunday, January 4th, 2009, we celebrated a special day for Mary Claire...Dedication Day. Now, being Southern Baptist, we don't christen our babies. But we do hold a short and sweet service(in true Baptist fashion) in which we commit as parents to raise our children in accordance to God's will. Several babies took part in the service including our good friends, the Carlisles. We continued the celebration with friends and family at our house after the service. It was a great day to be surrounded by friends and family whom we know will help us in praying for our precious children as they grow. Mrs. Peggy added such wonderful words of encouragement as we gathered to bless the food. I am so glad that she is such a dear friend to my mother and that she has been such a special part of the dedication days of each of our children. We love you, Mrs. Peggy!

Mary Claire loved the time spent with her family and friends! We kept the beautiful gown on as long as we could...until it was time for her food, and I didn't want to get anything on the gown Mimi had made for her. Mimi picked out the material and ribbons for the gown and Mimi's good friend, Mrs. Margaret Powell Boyd, spent many hours on making the gown. It is the most beautiful gown I have ever seen. A family treasure for many years to come! Thank you, Mrs. Margaret and Mimi!

A hug for Brock!

When most everyone had left and all that remained were some of my family members, my brother and his girlfriend handed us one of the most special gifts. It was a beautiful white hand embroidered bonnet with a card that explained that the bonnet would also serve as a hanky for Mary Claire's wedding day. Well, those who know me best know that that did it! The lump in my throat swelled and the tears started to flow. It was such a sweet gift! We will cherish it and I hope that one day she will carry it as beautiful bride.

What little girl wouldn't love a daddy like him?
(He's gonna need that hanky on her wedding day!)

Friday, January 2, 2009

Beginning and End

Happy New Year! I simply cannot believe that we just rang in the new year and that this is the beginning of 2009! Gonna take me a few weeks to get used to writing it! As we end 2008, my mind can't help but reflect on the past year's events. I thank God for the numerous occasions that made this year a memorable one. A few of the highlights from 2008 include the much needed "get-away" trip to Mexico with my wonderful husband in February, the celebration of the birth of my best friend's first baby(Brock), the wonderful shower my sweet friends gave in honor of MC, and the wonderful group of 5th grade students that I was blessed to teach (you appreciate these even more when pregnant!)

But, of course, the BEST event celebrated in 2008 would have to be the birth of my sweet little girl on the Tuesday after Memorial Day! This event will always hold the #1 spot on my list of memorable moments in 2008. And ranking a close second to it would be getting to be at home with all three of my children. I cannot put into words how much I enjoy being with them every day. (Even when the job gets down right tough, as it will, I wouldn't wish to be anywhere else.)

Last year, I entered into 2008 with anticipation for new beginnings. I anticipated and prayed for the beginnings of new lives...all the new babies I knew were to be born to friends and family and for my own baby girl's new life. I prayed for the new beginnings of lives that had somehow been torn down whether by death or life's circumstances. I don't usually make new year resolutions, but I do make the time to reflect on the past year and spend some serious time thinking about what I might have learned from the year's experiences. Consequently, I find myself longing for control of what will happen to me and my family and friends in the new year.

But then I am reminded that it is out of my control and that I must trust that God has a plan and purpose for everything that has happened and will happen. And suddenly, as my mind begins to feel worry about the ending of one year and the beginning of another, this thought occurs to me...God is the only Beginning and End.

So if I had to pick a new year resolution, it would be that I would try to keep this thought in the forefront of my mind throughout the year. (OK, and maybe drop the rest of this baby weight...hehe) I wish everyone a blessed and happy 2009!