Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I miss the FALL!!!!!

So, all around the country, it's FALL. Fall is lovely. Fall is cool, a breath of fresh air. There is no fall in Florida. Sure, sure, we had a "cold front" pass through this morning and it was 69*F at 7:30am instead of the 79*F it was yesterday at the same time. However, at the end of the day, it was still summer. I believe our cool front brought us down to the mid 80s. It is beautiful here, but I want to feel FALL. I want to be cold and to wish I had a sweater. I want to see leaves (notice I didn't say palm fronds) that fall off of the trees. I want to see the children pick up different leaves and acorns and ask me to hold them. Fall, I heart you!!! Fall makes me miss my friends and family from home. I am going to miss seeing mums and pumpkins and pansies and goodness gracious, the State Fair and its turkey legs!!!!!!!! So, if you're experiencing fall, and longing for the long days of summer, take a deep breath of that cool air, and know what a blessing it is!!!!

JPK Nylon bags

Have you seen the wonderful JPK nylon bags at Nordstrom? I just love these versatile nylon bags. My favorite feature is that the insides of the bags are lined in beautiful fabrics. These bags come in different sizes, including a smaller one for travel. You can look at them online by clicking this link. Happy Fall Shopping!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tuesday's Tip

If you are ever on vacation with a group of adults, I have the game for you!!! SARDINES!!! It is so much fun and guaranteed to bring lots of laughter! Turn off all of the lights or play outside at night (very fun to do at the beach). One person hides while everyone else counts. If you are playing inside the house, it is best to count either outside or by the front door. Count to allow your friend time to hide. The one person goes inside and finds a hiding place. The house will be very dark when the group enters. Everyone sneaks through the house trying to find the one person who is hiding. When you find that person, you hide with them until everyone but one person has found the one hiding. The last person to find the group is the next to hide. It is SO much fun!!! We played this past weekend and giggled in closets and on top of washing machines and under tables. Have fun!

Saturday, September 26, 2009


"He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end." Ecclesiastes 3:11

Thank you, Lord, for this wonderful weekend away with our dear friends. Thank you for the natural beauty of Martha's Vineyard and for the laughter & fun we have shared!!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Birthday Gift Ideas for Multiples

Being a twin, triplet, or more is fun. However, it also means you share EVERYTHING. Sometimes it is nice for multiples to have a little something that belongs just to them. For those of you who don't know what to give multiples for their birthday or Christmas, I am going to list some of my favorites!

-When the children were born, it was so much fun to open a gift with a set of 3 matching outfits. Do you know how much fun it is to match three sweet peas? We had a ball! I plan to one day shadow box their little preemie outfits that my friend's mother sent to us. J's mother sewed pink bows onto the girls' hats since the outfits were baby blue. They were so tiny that these outfits were their coming home outfits!

-Something for each individual child that costs you very little but is personalized will thrill them to DEATH. Personalized beach buckets, tin buckets for markers or crayons, water bottles, etc. We assigned each triplet a color, so they loved receiving a purple, pink or green gift in their color. Many of these gifts were Dollar Store finds gussied up with a paint pen. Just be creative!

-Multiples are used to sharing. They love sharing new puzzles, art supplies, DVD movies, board games, books, etc. One friend gave each child a Dr. Seuss book. They can be found for about $5 each at Target. A sweet inscription inside reminds us every year of their 2nd birthday. Target also offers $5 movies that make great gifts. Mothers of multiples are WELL AWARE of how EXPENSIVE it is to buy for three. You don't have to spend triple the money for our children's birthday gifts. If you normally spend $10 or $15 on a birthday gift, then divide that amount by 3 and give each of our children a $3-5 gift. They don't know the difference! We (mothers of multiples) are self-conscious when our birthday party costs you more than $10-15 in gifts! However, we SO appreciate the generosity of those that go above & beyond that!

-Gift certificates are always a great gift. You can give each child a $2 ice cream gift certificate or $5 to a movie. We love an activity!

-My friend, K, is a great artist. Check out One year her son gave each of the triplets a great book on art that showed them how to draw a truck or a million designs you can make with your thumbprint. We still enjoy those books!

-N always gives the triplets a gift that beats the year before. She never ceases to amaze me!! When the triplets were 2, she gave them matching MONOGRAMMED chef's hats and aprons, each in a different color. At age 3, N gave each child their own beach chair. Talk about precious!! We still love those chairs 5 years later! At age 4 or 5, N gave the children the cutest bucket with a beaded handle. Inside was a $10 gift card for each child to go to the movies!!! That card took them to the only movie I've ever taken them to that wasn't a dollar movie!! We went to see Curious George as a family. N had even included yummy movie candy too. Precious. This year her family visited during Spring Break and filled our pool with incredible pool toys. N's ideas are endless!!

-As I've said before, we love to share. A gave our children a big game set that is portable for trips. My brother & his wife gave the children a see saw for the pool. We all love it and it is perfect to share!

-J always gives our children matching outfits or fun toys or books!

-One year A gave each triplet a book light which they still love! Little sis got one in her stocking this year!

-Another A friend gave the triplets gift certificates to go bowling and a gift card to have pizza next door at Two Guys!

-Puzzles and books are great!

-Baby doll strollers or playdough are fun for sharing

-We love our bubble machine or individual bottles of bubbles.

-Sidewalk chalk is fun to share

-3 jump ropes are cheap and easy!

-We always need goggles!

-One friend gave each triplet a kite and another gave them skates!

-Disposable cameras (can be $5 or less in a pack of 3) are a GREAT gift for young children

-New paper, markers, pencils, erasers, scissors, stickers, etc are fun

-Stationary (can be the cheap $1 stuff at Target)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Only me

I have just laughed my pants off in the mall... literally!!! I had 3 quick errands to do at the mall, only to discover the place closes at 9pm and I arrived at 8:15pm. Not exactly a lot of time to shop, I tell ya. I ran into Nordstrom to try on some black patent Revas, and I told him I was going to try on another shoe at Cole Haan but that I would be back before the store closed. Thus began my race!! I raced to Bose to see about having our speaker repaired. The man was quite chatty and wanted to show off the latest Sound Dock 10, as I tried to race out the door to the Apple Store. I don't know if my smile was extra big or what, but I made new friends in all 3 stores. At the Apple store, the man graciously exchanged my software and gave me some little hints that will help this hurried mama of 5. I raced out the door and had to run the ENTIRE LENGTH of the mall to get back to Nordstrom. I had about 8 minutes and counting. No time for Cole Haan. Forget the Nike Air ballet flats. I RACED to Nordstrom, and as I ran, my pants started falling down, so I yanked them back up. They fell again, so I tugged harder. Next thing I know I am running so fast that my pants AND my underwear are falling. So I ran through the mall as the Hurried Henley I am, holding our Bose speaker in one hand and jerking my pants back up with the other. I finally had to take off my shoes & just run. I know I was a sight to see!! Can't you just see those security guards in their office looking at their security screens? "Sir, I see a barefooted woman tearing through the mall with a large package in one hand, and what appears to be her pants in the other... will you check & see what in the world is going on?" "Ten Four, Buddy. I've heard of that one. We'll escort her out...."

Sunday, September 20, 2009

When the mama cat's away....

the mice do play!

Our little H had quite a good time while I was on the phone on Friday. She found a roll of paper towels which became her new dress. You have to hand it to her, she's creative!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Coupon Binder

I have been busy the last several days organizing a new coupon binder. Money Saving Mom has great tips and coupons and I use her website for links to extra coupons. You will be amazed at how much you can save!!! Target has specific Target coupons which can be stacked with manufacturer's coupons for great savings. I just used a Target buy 2 save $1 ($1/2) and a manufacturer's coupon ($1/2) to buy 2 packs of Bic mechanical pencils for $.48!! I am going to use them as stocking stufffers.

It took LOTS of time and money to set up my new binder but I love it. I picked a lavender binder because that color makes me happy. I bought cute tab dividers in pastels (pink, green, lavender, Tiffany blue) and labeled them with a Sharpie marker. You can use this post on Money Making Mom to guide you. I made up my own categories based on my small accordion coupon organizer that is now defunct. Within a category like Drug Items, I filled one whole baseball card page just with deodorant, another with razors, etc. I have a special section for Meds, and another one just for soaps/shampoos. I think it's best to organize it so that it is tailored to your needs. I have always used coupons and used to cut them for my mama to use when I was a little girl. However, this new method allows you to see ALL of your soap or shampoo coupons at one time so that you really get the best deal. It's incredible! Try it. You will love the savings!!

You can also learn how to shop the CVS & Walgreens deals for extra savings, but if you've never even used coupons, you need to start small and then do more as you learn. It's so fun to see how much you can save! I will try to post pics of my binder soon!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Flu shots

Co-pay to take children to have a flu shot.... $100

Ice cream beforehand to take everyone's mind off of the shots $15

No tears, whining, yelling, or crying after flu shots PRICLESS

I think India was also surprised that our 2 year old didn't even whimper!! Painless and FINISHED!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

8 months!

I can't believe that we have hit the 8 month mark of living in Tampa!! In some ways, it feels like we have lived here longer than 8 months because we have truly developed some very special friendships. We have new friends with whom we can just be ourselves. I love that. In other ways, it seems like just yesterday that we drove from sun up to sun down and then stayed in a townhouse for 4 nights until our new home was ready. It feels like just yesterday that we saw our new home for the first time with OUR paint colors! For the most part, it looks like we have lived here a long time. I feel like I really know our new town and I can get you where you need to go unless you need to go to the heart of downtown!

It is really beautiful here. Today I walked by the water and was greeted by a dolphin. That is pretty incredible!! I am thankful for this journey down by the bay....

Monday, September 14, 2009

I have arrived!

One thing I just treasured about my hometown is that wherever I went, I knew people. I knew Darlene at the post office and she always asked me about my cookbooks. Samantha, Dave, or Mike always helped me with my pictures at Wolf Camera. Our babies grew up LITERALLY in front of their very eyes. I knew our sanitation workers so well that one time I passed one of them on the road, saw him in tears, and offered him a ride. I had people. Moving so far from home means no people. The man at the post office still does not recognize me, even though H wants to "ride the horsey" every time we go (she pretends that part of a desk is a horsey... don't ask me why!). The women who work the Target lines don't have a clue that I spent the very FIRST dollar at our Target store at home. I don't have any people.

Well, guess what?! I HAVE ARRIVED!!!! This summer I fed the children at our Publix twice. It happened to be around lunchtime when we finally were at the grocery store, and my dear friend, W, had said their popcorn chicken is great for children. I tried one of their subs and was hooked. I heart their $5 combo special!! W served sliced Publix subs one day for lunch. It was a great way to try different kinds. So, today we were having some of H's friends for a playdate and I offered to serve lunch. I went to Publix, bought three subs cut 4 ways, and did my shopping. I know this story is turning longer & longer. Ahem. I digress.

So, we trudged through the store buying all kinds of goodies, including crab for the seafood casserole I am going to make. Yes, I will soon share the recipe. I digress again. So... H & I were finally in the check out line chatting it up with Sherry. Suddenly I feel someone enveloping me in a great BIG hug. I don't have people here, remember, so I turned to see who it was!!! It was my sweet friend Janine from the sub area!! She had not been there when I bought our subs, but she had seen me, and since we are now buddies, she came over to give me a big hug. I loved it. And now, I've got PEOPLE!!! I have arrived.....

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Back to School Tips

Every parent finds themselves rushing through the morning routine to get the children to school and one or both parents to work. There is no doubt that time is of the essence! I am by no means perfect, but I have found a few strategies that help save time and get us out the door by 7:30am, all of us dressed and ready for the day.

1. I know you don't WANT to do it, but wake up BEFORE the children. I give myself about 20 minutes every morning to shower, brush teeth, apply makeup and get dressed. I try to never leave the house without makeup. That is just my thing. Maybe it's all those years of my mama telling me to wake up for my 7:50am college class so that I could use my hot rollers to curl my hair and at least put on some lipstick. Mama, it worked!

2. Lay out clothes for all of the children the night before and include any socks, shoes, hair accessories, etc. Nothing kills time like searching for a missing shoe or uniform shirt.

3. If your children wear uniforms, you need to buy at least two. At our house, one uniform is always in the wash, and the other is on your body. I love weekends because I can peek at a stack of clean uniforms! Put your child's uniform out for the next day too.

4. Have children bring dirty clothes to the laundry room as they shed clothes that morning. I don't use laundry hampers because I want to have an idea of how many dirty clothes we have at all times.

5. If you are changing someone's sheets or have a full load, go ahead & start a load of laundry.

6. Try to unload your dishwasher before you go to bed so that it has plenty of room for morning dishes.

7. I like to unload lunch boxes when the children walk in the door after school. I spray them with Clorox Anywhere spray and pack them for the next day. They are kept in the refrigerator overnight, and we add ice packs in the morning before they are put in the backpacks.

8. Keep your backpacks in a place where they are easy to retrieve. Ask your children to put everything back in their backpacks each night before they go to bed. If they need to bring a project or show and tell to school, it should be out near the backpack or the backdoor.

9. Add a set of hooks in your kitchen or laundry room if you have room for backpacks. We don't in this house, but I loved our hooks in our old house!

10. Decide on breakfast the night before and go ahead and pull out the pan you need for eggs or the plates you need to serve the children. Anything you can do in advance will give you more time for meltdowns and shoe tying!

11. It's hard to remember in the rush out the door, but try to pray for the children's food and their day. It really does bring peace.

12. Try to feed your children some protein every morning. It helps give them a good start to their day. Yogurt, eggs, bacon, and cheese are all helpful. Fruit and whole grain bread, bagels, or cereal is good too! Don't get me wrong; we love a morning with cinnamon rolls!

Have a GREAT week!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Turning a corner

My post from a few days ago may have sounded too sad. I was caught in a range of emotions as things beyond my control changed. I think it's especially difficult when circumstances change and you are not surrounded by the familiarity of home. I do love our new home and precious new friends, our church, and our school. There is no doubt about that. It's just that I miss having the other people I love in the same town. Does that make sense?

So on Thursday afternoon we found out that one of our beloved teachers must make a job change. I cried. I cried because change is hard. I cried because our dear triplets have already had 2 teachers in one year. Now they will have a substitute and then another teacher. As the night turned into a new day, I felt better. God is in control. He keeps reminding me of that. Our teacher WAS fabulous, a true gift. However, there are other great teachers. God knows what our little ones need. He will provide. This all happened in HIS timing and He is not surprised by the circumstances. I just have to keep reminding myself of that! It is true in all areas of our lives.

We shared tearful goodbyes yesterday and I took a carload of shocked and sobbing children to Steak n Shake for their 2-4pm Happy Hour Half Off All Drinks special. Milkshakes and cherry Sprite do wonders to sad little souls. A playdate for 8 doesn't hurt either! Today is a new day, and I will "rejoice and be glad in it!"

Friday, September 11, 2009


After my last post, I wanted to be light-hearted again! Have you ever shopped at Anthropologie? I have only been in their store once in Dallas, once in New York, and once in Orlando. Now we live in a city with a store! I just LOVE these two coats! The top navy one is my absolute favorite. Although it is so hot you can fry an egg on the sidewalk, I want this coat. It may have to be a little Merry Christmas to me! What do you think?

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Matthew 10:29-30 says, "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows."

Today I claim this verse. I can't elaborate on a blog, but a few changes have been made that affect us. Thankfully it has nothing to do with D's job, his salary, or our home. In my sorrow and disappointment, I am reminded of Jesus' words. God's providence is over ALL things, not just some parts of our lives, but ALL parts. He knows the number of hairs on our heads. Can you imagine? If He carefully watches over the sparrows, certainly He cares even more for you and me. Thank you, Lord, that NOTHING, no big or little thing happens at a time or in a way other than the way you ordained it to be. Thank you for being Lord of my life. Lord, help me use this move to Tampa for your glory. Help me to seek you in all things, both big and small!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Mama Henley loves a sale...

Cumberland Valley Bible Book Service offers fantastic books, Bibles, children's Bible stories, etc. at a discount! Our triplets needed a certain NIV Adventure Bible for school. We have plenty of Bibles at home, but they each needed a certain one for class. I ordered the Bibles from CVBBS, and they arrived VERY quickly just because I noted my urgency on the order! Now THAT is good customer service! They are offering a sale starting at midnight tonight (9.9.09) until 9.10.09. The sale info is below:
Sale, 09/09/09 through 09/10/09

1. All online orders received during these days will receive an additional 10.00% off of the discounts already found in this catalogue.

2. This sale applies only to Credit Card orders. As always we accept Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express.

3. All orders must be received online from 09/09/09 to 09/10/09 Eastern Time.

4. Orders are limited to available stock. Every effort will be made to process all orders in a timely manner but please allow a little extra time for your order to arrive due to the high volume of orders received during this time.

5. Please note that we cannot accept returns on orders placed during this special with the exception of merchandise received in damaged or defective condition.

6. Shipping charges will be based on normal cvbbs prices and are excluded from the discount.

Or just click here to go to the website!
Happy Shopping! I am here to tell you that you can do your Christmas shopping NOW while you're not rushed and the children are back in school or preschool or before your classes start to get too hard or before your job makes you travel! Have fun marking off those friends and family on your list!!

I especially recommend all of the Ella Lindvall Bible story books for children and the Jesus Storybook Bible. For women, a good book is "Stepping Heavenward". DH loves Calvin's Commentaries if you like theology, though they can be a bit heavy for me:)! Nonetheless, there are many treasures to be found at!!


Swoozie's is having an online 20% off sale that ends today. Enter code 20LABORDAY at check out to save 20% off your order! You must place your order by midnight tonight. Swoozie's has ADORABLE gift ideas including cute koozies, the Lilly stationary line, Boatman Geller, Fontaine Maury, etc. and so forth! Shop away, my friends!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Vomit Comet

Why is it that whenever, and I do mean WHENEVER, this family travels by car, said car soon becomes the vomit comet????!!!!! Just 2 hours down the road on Thursday afternoon, our youngest proceeded to get quite car sick. Sadly we still had at least 4 more hours to go. So, we pulled over at a nice Hampton Inn, cleaned our little monkey in their bathroom, disposed of some yuck, put a clean towel on her seat, and headed on down the road. So, you ask, why do we not medicate our children with meds for car sickness? O, wise one, we do. And I had. I had given our 2 youngest some Bonine and she still became sick. On Friday, we continued our adventure by giving 3 children Dramamine, and all 5 made the 4 hour trip just fine. Praise the Lord. So, we confidently hop back in the car today, Sunday. Hmmm.... is all this travel worth one day of NOT traveling? I am not sure! I gave girl #4 some Bonine & girl #5 some Dramamine. The Bonine is chewable and apparently does not work like good ole Dramamine. About 2 hours from our latest destination, girl #4 gets sick. We were prepared with the usual towels and vomit bowl, but the VOMIT COMET STRIKES AGAIN. Mama needs a hot shower & some peace & quiet!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Tuesday's Tip

If you have not been to see the movie, "Julie and Julia", you need to go soon!!! What a wonderful movie. I loved learning more about the fabulous life of Julia Child. I want to try some of her recipes since I love to cook. I also loved seeing inside the life of a fellow blogger. I could so relate when Julie screamed, "I have comments!!! Someone is reading my blog!!", or something similar. As a blogger, I often wonder, "Is anyone reading this? Is there a purpose to this? Should I just quit tomorrow?" That being said, dear readers, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE comment on posts you like or dislike if you don't mind! You have no idea what an encouragement it can be!!
And, if you want to read Julie Powell's blog that inspired the movie, just click here!