Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tuesday's Tip

Happy Terrific Tuesday! The week is moving right along. Chez Mama Henley we're excited about BUNKO tonight! Woo Hoo! Don't you know we all want to win the pot?!
This weekend I made Sunday lunch (or dinner as we grew up calling the mid-day meal on a Sunday) for a dear friend and her parents. We had a lovely time. Making lunch before church can be tricky. Things need to be cooked as you walk in the door, but certain foods cannot be prepared in advance. I made a delicious tomato tart, but I was a bit worried about the tomatoes making the tart too soggy if I prepared it in advance. Thankfully God gave me two brilliant sisters-in-law, and one of them had the perfect solution!
A suggested that I slice my tomatoes and lay them on paper towels to dry. Then, you sprinkle them with salt. The salt soaks up the excess water! I let them sit on the counter for about 20 minutes. The paper towels were soaking wet and I was able to assemble the tart before church. When I cooked it, it was perfect! Enjoy your Tuesday's Tip!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Elegant Beef Tenderloin

If you want to make your Manic Monday Marvelous, try this recipe!!! It is fantastic. It is delicious served with rice casserole, creamy cheese grits, or mashed potatoes. The leftovers are perfect on a salad or on a Sister Schubert roll as a sandwich! Bon Appetit!

Elegant Beef Tenderloin
1 5 lb. beef tenderloin, trimmed
1 1/4 tsp garlic salt
1 cup red wine
1/4 cup soy sauce
3/4 cup butter
1tsp lemon butter seasoning

Preheat oven to 425*F. Place meat in a highly greased shallow roasting pan & sprinkle w/ garlic salt. Bake for 10 mins. At the same time, combine wine, soy sauce, butter, & lemon pepper seasoning in a sm. saucepan. Cook until mixture is thoroughly heated. Pour over tenderloin. Bake an additional 30-40 minutes or until a thermometer registers 140*F (rare), basting occasionally w/ pan drippings. (Bake until thermometer reaches 150* for medium rare or 160F for medium). I bake it until 140*F as it continues to cook a little once it is out of the oven. If desired, garnish with grapes, celery leaves, and lemon zest. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 28, 2010


I hope everyone in blogland has had a wonderful Saturday! Ours has been filled with fun family memory making in the pool, a fabulous birthday, time with friends, and a couponing class for Mama Henley! I have been using my binder and I save a great deal thanks to Money Saving Mom, Southern Savers, True Couponing, Fiddledee, and I Heart Publix, among other great bloggers. Today I learned about a different system of buying multiple papers and then filing away the entire flyer until it is needed. Now I have much to contemplate! I was thrilled to buy some fabulous Blue Diamond almonds for only $1 a can tonight at Walgreens! They were BOGO and I had 2 $1/1 coupons, so they were just $1 a can! I patted myself on the back and then proceeded to back into another car in the parking lot. YIKES. Thankfully, neither car was hurt. I then spent way more than my $2 savings at Fresh Market where I bought some goodies for Bunko and some good antibiotic free-range chicken. We love to have grilled chicken and veggies as often as possible.
DH had the children in the pool while I ran to the store. We enjoyed a family dinner followed by lots of piano playing and reading. It is fun to watch the children learn and grow. Everyone is fast asleep, and I am preparing for our Sunday lunch. A dear friend who lives in NYC will be joining us, along with her parents! We're all very excited. I am making a "Southern Sunday Spread" of pimiento cheese, chicken salad, rosemary and sea salt bread, deviled eggs, a tomato tart, and a green salad with Julie's roasted almonds. Julie makes her delicious almonds by putting them in a pan with a little sugar and letting them cook slowly until they caramelize and have a delicious sugar coating. They are fantastic sprinkled on a good green salad with cranberries or dried cherries or fresh blueberries and a good cheese like goat cheese or blue cheese. I hope it's a good lunch!
The children are excited to see their Sunday school teachers in the morning, so we'll be up early and ready to go! DH and I are learning about "When Helping Hurts". It has been a wonderful study of how to give most effectively. We have learned a lot! Happy Sunday!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Fat Friday

GOOOOO Dawgs!!! Sic 'em!! Football season is almost here and hubby can't wait for me to boil some Georgia peanuts for him. Football games remind me of dressing up in my best dress, sometimes donning a hat, and heading to the game where we were squished through a gate while the smell of Jim Beam filled the air. I never could see that little ball down on the field from my nosebleed seat, so I just enjoyed socializing. I went to college at the University of Georgia, as you might have guessed.
Athens is a wonderful college town. It parallels Chapel Hill, NC. Broad Street is the main street in downtown Athens. It is filled with wonderful restaurants and shops and bars. When I visited UGA for the first time, my parents took me to a charming Italian restaurant called DePalmas. The parentals always rate a town based on its Italian restaurants, and Athens was no exception. DePalma's fit the bill perfectly and even raised the bar for us on what it takes to be a really great Italian restaurant. DePalma's is the perfect place for dinner because penniless college students can afford a slice and a coke, while parents can come to town and treat their dear ones to a fabulous meal without breaking the bank. People LOVED their breadsticks as a starter, and all of their salads have delicious homemade dressings. The homemade breadsticks were braided with spinach and onion or meatball and onion and then baked with mozzarella. Can you say, "YUM"? They are so delicious and so homemade that you must allow 20 minutes for them to bake. So, sit back and have a glass of chianti while you wait for this goodness!

One of their old favorites is Pasta DePalma, which is angel hair pasta baked with rosemary cream, mushroom, mozzarella, and your choice of artichoke, ham, sausage or chicken. At just $12.00, it is priced well. They also have Chicken Parmigian which is served with a side of spinach angel hair marinara. All of the pasta dishes are fresh and delicious. A grilled angus flat iron steak will set you back $19, and it is one of the most expensive entrees on the menu. DePalma's is priced right!
Their pizzas are all amazing with a great traditional as well as speciality pizzas like the Italian with prosciutto, roasted peppers, and mozzarella and asiago cheeses. You just can't go wrong at DePalma's!
If you find yourself with the good fortune of being in the great city of Athens, Georgia, head on over to DePalma's Italian Cafe'; you will not be disappointed!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Settlers of Catan

Dear friends recently introduced us to the game "Settlers of Catan". What a fun and interesting game!! It takes a while to get it all set up, but once you do, it is such an intriguing game. It's too difficult to explain, but if you want to play a game with 4 people, try it!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

It's the Dad Life

I thought you'd enjoy this cute You Tube Video on Dads!! Which one is your man?!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tuesday's Tip

Good Morning, Y'all! Have you ever broken the glass in a picture frame? Unfortunately, it happens at Mama Henley's house more than it should. Just last week a pillow flew across the room and broke a frame. If you take your frame to a framing store, it will likely cost you a good bit to have a new piece of glass cut. However, Mama Henley has learned a good trick. Simply go to your local Dollar Store and buy a frame with glass that is the same size that you need. You can throw away the frame and use THAT piece of glass to replace the one you broke! Brilliant, isn't it?! You will replace the glass for just $1! Enjoy your Tuesday!

Monday, August 23, 2010

I'm Asking For It....

A mosque has been proposed to be built right near the site of 9/11 in New York City. It is a site where many sacrificed their own lives to try to save others. Many innocent, working Americans were also killed on that awful day. Most of us will never be able to forget the horror we felt when we saw the plane hit the second tower. The impossible happened and no longer were we safe from the destruction of the enemy.
Our triplets were 6 months old when 9/11 happened 9 years ago. The families who lost loved ones have lived lives that will never be the same. Parents lost their children, husbands lost wives, and children lost their parents. Many, many friends were lost. Can you imagine the terror and horror those that were killed felt that morning? I cannot.
Fast forward nine long years. Families have lived without their loved ones. Ground Zero sits empty, as a memorial to the almost 3000 people who died. Now, an Islamic mosque has been proposed to be built right near Ground Zero. Yes, the Islamic people have every right to build a mosque in New York City. It is not unlawful, but I don't think this makes it RIGHT. It seems like a bit of a sneer in the face of those who died innocently. Yes, they have the religious freedom to build it there, but is that the best way to go about building a mosque? It is disrespectful of those who died since Islamic extremists are to blame for the attacks. In my humble opinion, there are better locations for the mosque than putting it right near a place where almost three thousand people perished. What are your thoughts?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken

I just love this hymn. We sang it today in church, and it just brings joy to your heart. Our pastor had a great sermon on Jude 14-16th. Who knew this tiny book of the Bible held so much? I hope you've had a wonderful Sunday!

1. Jesus, I my cross have taken,
All to leave and follow Thee.
Destitute, despised, forsaken,
Thou from hence my all shall be.
Perish every fond ambition,
All I’ve sought or hoped or known.
Yet how rich is my condition!
God and heaven are still my own.

2. Let the world despise and leave me,
They have left my Savior, too.
Human hearts and looks deceive me;
Thou art not, like them, untrue.
O while Thou dost smile upon me,
God of wisdom, love, and might,
Foes may hate and friends disown me,
Show Thy face and all is bright.

3. Man may trouble and distress me,
’Twill but drive me to Thy breast.
Life with trials hard may press me;
Heaven will bring me sweeter rest.
Oh, ’tis not in grief to harm me
While Thy love is left to me;
Oh, ’twere not in joy to charm me,
Were that joy unmixed with Thee.

4. Go, then, earthly fame and treasure,
Come disaster, scorn and pain
In Thy service, pain is pleasure,
With Thy favor, loss is gain
I have called Thee Abba Father,
I have stayed my heart on Thee
Storms may howl, and clouds may gather;
All must work for good to me.

5. Soul, then know thy full salvation
Rise o’er sin and fear and care
Joy to find in every station,
Something still to do or bear.
Think what Spirit dwells within thee,
Think what Father’s smiles are thine,
Think that Jesus died to win thee,
Child of heaven, canst thou repine.

6. Haste thee on from grace to glory,
Armed by faith, and winged by prayer.
Heaven’s eternal days before thee,
God’s own hand shall guide us there.
Soon shall close thy earthly mission,
Soon shall pass thy pilgrim days,
Hope shall change to glad fruition,
Faith to sight, and prayer to praise.

© 2001 Bill Moore Music.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Our D

Our D is a special girl. She has a very tender and loving heart, great enthusiasm for school, and a strong ability to decipher right and wrong. We just love those qualities in her! Have you ever had a moment where you thought you were parenting well, when indeed you were not? Well, I've had many of those moments this week! One of our children needed help finishing her summer reading. She had one book left, and it was just taking her a long time to complete it with all of the distractions of summer fun, visitors, and loud siblings. I dedicated an afternoon to helping her finish the book by reading to her in my bedroom. It was a sweet time together while the other four read or played.

On Monday, I had told D that I would spend special time reading to her that night since I had spent so much time reading to her sister. D doesn't need me to read to her, but she desired the closeness that she saw me experiencing with her sister. I said I would spend that time with her without realizing that I would be at her school that evening for Orientation, and therefore, I would be unable to read to her. Tuesday morning she asked me about it, and I told her I would spend special time with her that evening. The day became full with many distractions and activities, and by bed time, I simply wanted everyone in bed for their first day of school. I told D I could not read to her when she asked me during the flurry of our nighttime routine.

DH heard tears from the child who had not finished her book, so he asked me to please finish the last chapter with her. We sat downstairs and finished the book. I felt confident I was doing the right thing by helping our child. Then D quietly came down the stairs with tears brimming in her sweet big brown eyes. "Mama, you have hurt my feelings," D said meekly.
"How have I hurt your feelings, D?", I asked. She explained that I had told her that I could not read to her, when it was past her time, yet I took the time to read to her sister.
It struck me and it hurt. She was right. I thought I was doing the right thing by helping her sister, but in so doing, I had inadvertently hurt our other child whom I had promised I would spend time reading with her. Wow. I confessed my mistake and asked for her forgiveness. Though it was past her bedtime and the night before school started, we spent time making brownies together for the teachers. D was so thrilled to have that one -on-one attention, and I was so blessed to spend it with her. I am so thankful for how the Lord uses our children to teach us. I am thankful for D's gentle nature. She did not berate me, rather, she very quietly explained how she had been hurt. We are told in the Bible to go to the one who has offended us, and that is just what she did! We are so thankful for our precious D!!!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Fat Friday

It's the weekend! In my mind, today feels more like Wednesday since school began on Wednesday and has had me confused ever since. But all hail the weekend! It is upon us!!! Perhaps you have never been to Martha's Vineyard and are planning a trip there. It is one beautiful place!! One of our favorite restaurants there is called Alchemy. It is located right in Edgartown on the old cobblestone Main Street near the waterfront. Perhaps President Obama will visit while he is in the Vineyard for the next 10 days.

Last September we went to Martha's Vineyard for Darling Husband's 40th birthday. What a fun time we had! Our first night we went to dinner at Alchemy with our dear friends. This quiet restaurant quickly became a loud restaurant when our crowd descended upon it! Thankfully it was the Off Season, and those at the restaurant didn't seem to mind. At least that's what we told ourselves!

Everything at Alchemy is delicious. Their entrees have a wonderful French influence. I enjoyed tuna tartare and a salad. Others feasted on scallops and the Asparagus and Jonah Crab Salad. I have to admit that I have no idea what the men ate, but everyone did leave happy! The French bistro-style restaurant is a fun place to eat while in Martha's Vineyard. We have found that all of the restaurants tend to be a bit on the pricey side due to having to have food shipped to the island, but Alchemy was quite delightful!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Our Bug

Our Bug is a mess. She and her little sister, Hurricane, define the word mess. Bug makes us laugh because she has so many young suitors and she is completely oblivious. In fact, these young boys are too young to know themselves what their feelings for Bug mean, but it sure is sweet. Buggy had a very special friend in NC who happened to be a boy. They still write letters in their first grade handwriting. The letters usually just say, "I love you I love you I love you". It is not a romantic love to them, but an expression of love to a friend. The sweet little things have discussed marriage, but know it is something that happens a LONG time from now. We have tried not to encourage these discussions, and so the focus has always been on being best friends. We also had a special neighbor friend in Raleigh who was another little boy. He, too, enjoyed the Bug's company.

We then moved to Florida, and Our Bug sadly left her friends. Upon entering a new school last year, she became good friends with another little boy. They are such sweet buddies and have a great time laughing and playing together. However, DH and I have been amused at our Bug because she has so many sweet friendships with boys. We have heard of a child a year younger than her who also loves being around her. Yet another little boy told his mother how much he enjoys the Bug. DH and I can't imagine what the teenage years will be like with this one since she is already garnering so much attention! We continue to pray that she will be a young woman after God's own heart and that she will seek Him, not the approval of others. However, we can't help thinking she's pretty cute too!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tuesday's Tip

As a woman in her late thirties, I've had my fair share of babies. In fact, some may say I've had enough for 2 women! Nonetheless, there is something so wonderful about adding a new person to your family. There is both excitement and a little fear. It is a wonderful time for a family!

Most of us struggle with guilt just before we add another baby to the family. Are we taking time away from our other children? Can we love this new baby as much as we love our first? These are natural feelings. Thankfully God equips us to love each of our children, and the gift of a new sibling is the greatest gift we can give a child!

I have had 5 babies in just 3 pregnancies. I'm efficient like that. So, I've just had 2 hospital stays where I've left little ones at home. It is difficult to leave our little ones for 4 nights. Therefore, I always write a letter per day to the children to have read to them while I am away. Sometimes I write individual letters, but sometimes I write one group letter per day. I encourage them in their time away from me, and I also let them know how much they are LOVED and ADORED. The children were only 5 1/2 and 3 1/2 the last time I had an occasion to write them letters while I'd be in the hospital, and they have all saved them. Isn't that the sweetest?

Monday, August 16, 2010

In Search of Preppy Cricket

Cricket, oh Cricket,
Where are you?
I would love to still read your blog!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

We Heart Angel Dear Lovies

As you may know, our Hurricane can be a little spitfire. She can also be a precious sweetheart. Everywhere she goes, lambie goes. Lambie also goes by the name "Night Night". Lambie brings great comfort to Hurricane. Her cousin, M, loves her Night Night too, and our nephew is learning to love his at just 3 months old. If you do not have a lovie for your little one, try to find one of these Angel Dear blankets.
You'll be glad you did! You may want to buy "a pair and a spare"!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Bad Day

Do you ever have a bad day and then realize a weird coincidence at the end of the day? Today started off just like any other day, but spiraled downhill as the day progressed. It wasn't a horrible day, but I've certainly had better days. An estimate for a housing repair is more than twice as high as what we thought it might be and one of our children needs immediate orthodontic attention (which means I'll be buying another person in the dental field a second home in the near future!). It just wasn't the best of days. All day long the date "August 12th" has repeated itself in my head. I had no idea why until just now when I remembered.

Eight years ago today part of my trust was taken away forever. I've always quite an imagination and been afraid of strangers ever since a man exposed himself to me on my walk to school many moons (no pun intended) ago. What a mental image for a third grader! However, now I am jumpier than ever. My nerves are no longer steel traps that protect me. They are fragile little messes that fall apart easily all because of a CAT.

Eight years ago today was the first day of school in our hometown. I happily fed our three beautiful one year olds their breakfast as school children were getting ready to meet their new teachers. The weather was warm, the sun was out, and it was going to be another great day as a Mama to triplets. The babies were fed and had a little playtime and it was just about time to put them down for their morning nap. Some mornings we played on the back deck, but we didn't do it that morning of August 12, 2002 because a silly cat was out their meowing at the back door. "Shoot," I thought. "I'll just go out there and shoo it to the stairs so it can find its way home once I put these babies to bed." I scurried off down the hall with three little loves and put them down for their nap for what would be the last time for over a month. Little did I know how life was about to change.

Our back deck door often locked us out, so I gathered the key to the door and a broom and decided I'd sweep to show the cat where to go. What followed when I opened the door was like something from the movie "Cujo". It was terrifying!!!! I can't even believe I am brave enough to type it all out right now!

I carefully closed the door behind me. It's neat to look back and see the Lord's hand in all of this. The babies were safely in their cribs. As I closed the door, the docile cat became crazy and jumped across the deck at me and began attacking and biting me. It bit my hands and legs, so I jumped up in a chair. The cat followed me and dug deep into my right leg with its sharp teeth. I imagine I was screaming, but I have no recollection of doing so. I tried to get away from the cat to no avail. I finally used my hands to pull it off of me and its nasty jaw clenched on my right palm. I threw my arm as hard as I could to get it off of me and it fell to the ground far below. Unfortunately for me, cats land on their four feet. The cat did not die but I did not wait around to see it land either. I hurried inside, now aware of the fact that I was bleeding profusely from both legs and both hands. I ran down the hall leaving a trail of blood. I remember being in shock and screaming and asking myself, "What am I going to DO?"

Our precious angels stayed asleep despite my tears. Thank you, Lord Jesus, that I did not go to them!!! I found a phone and called my mother. Normally she is out the door by 9am, but she was running late. Don't you love it how God works? She could tell that it was an emergency and said she would be right over. I remembered that DH had told me he'd be in a meeting all day and would be unreachable. Thank goodness he told me that so that I knew. Dear friends had recently moved from Georgia to Raleigh. Their only phone # was the husband's cell phone. He was working in the same big office as DH but I remembered his cell phone number and dialed it. He answered and could tell it was serious. He said he would find DH.

DH raced home and was there shortly after my mother. DH and I rushed to the ER. Upon arrival, we learned that phone calls were being made to determine who owned the cat. Once we learned the owner's name, we called her vet who claimed there was no way this vaccinated cat was rabid. Oh, how he failed us that day.

The City finally captured the cat and put it down. We then learned that the cat had attacked its elderly neighbor the day before. She had called her vet herself and he concluded that the cat was just having "psychological problems", perhaps in reaction to new draperies. PLEASE!!!

The ER doctors cleaned my wounds and referred me to an orthopedic surgeon. I went home and made an appointment for that afternoon. My mother took me to the doctor and we thought we would be sent home. Instead, the doctor said I needed to meet him at the hospital THAT AFTERNOON for surgery. My wounds were serious and needed to be cleaned.

I was met at the hospital by an infectious disease doctor. He informed me that my mother, DH, and I would all be taking the rabies series of shots. This is not a cheap or easy shot. He also gave me gamma globulin shots before my surgery. He concluded that the babies had not been exposed to cat saliva, despite the fact that my mother had blood on her shirt and didn't know it when she cared for them. We had 14 days to decide if the babies needed the vaccine. Rabies is fatal. Without the vaccine, if the babies had been exposed, they would die a horrible death. I can't tell you how I prayed over this decision and then questioned our wisdom at night.

I spent 4 nights in the hospital and was sent home with a PICC line and IV. I was given antibiotics around the clock to fight infection and I was not allowed to pick up the babies or change their diapers or really come in much contact with them. They were 16 months old and just barely walking. Do you have any idea how this pained me to not be able to care for them? It was awful. The next month was spent with a whirlwind of precious volunteers and paid babysitters helping us care for the babies. I had to hide in the other room because the babies did not understand when I could not care for them. It was awful.

So, now I remember why August 12 is a tough day. It is the day that I lost my trust in seemingly trustworthy animals. I lost my former love for Siamese cats. I now jump when the doorbell rings or someone surprises me unexpectedly. But I will fight harder than that rabid cat if you come after my babies!


Tomorrow is our last Friday of the summer. It is one of only 3 days left where we can sleep until our bodies (or our three-year old) wake us. Of course DH's alarm always wakes me up, but don't think I jump up and start my day on days I can enjoy a little more sleep!

Tomorrow is a reminder that the end of summer is here. Another year is beginning.

Our children are growing older.

They are one grade closer to leaving the nest.

The end of summer always brings a mix of emotions for me. A few weeks ago, I had thoughts of wishing school would start as the children were begging for more routine. They are ready for their teachers and to learn more and to be challenged.

Somehow, I always find myself not quite ready to let them go at this time of year.

What happened to the carefree days of having all of my babies home and no school schedule to rule our days? Those days are long gone. Even the Hurricane will attend some preschool.

We now have three THIRD graders and a first grader. I can't believe it. Does the beginning of the school year evoke emotions in you or are you just relieved to send the little monkeys out the door? I am off to prepare to enjoy our last Friday of the summer!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Where Were We? Wednesday

Where were we last week? Mama Henley's family traveled west to a family wedding. What a fun time we all had together! After the wedding, we were able to quickly see some old friends. We lived in Dallas, Texas when we were first married and made lifelong friends. Our friends from that time in our lives now live all over the country! Thankfully we had just enough time to go to dinner with two of the couples. Sadly, we did not have enough time to visit all of our old church and school friends, so we just need to go back!

Whenever we see these friends we make them go to Mi Cocina. It is my FAVORITE! Mama Henley and DH just love some chicken fajitas with sunset sauce! I could eat there three meals a day, though you might want a little Nexium or Tums because the salsa is good and SPICY!

After dinner our friends decided we needed to go somewhere else. Do you recognize my pretty friend or these flowers? Well, my sweet friend used to have a blog that I wish she would bring back. You've seen the SAME FLOWERS this week on Hopsy's blog! In fact, while visiting the Ritz in Dallas, I remarked that I wished I had time to meet Hopsy! Maybe on our next trip out west!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Two Things Mama Henley Doesn't Like When She Flies!

I've had the privilege of flying several times this summer. However, there have been 2 incidents that did not make Mama Henley a happy camper. First of all, we boarded our flight to St. Thomas for our 2nd honeymoon/15th anniversary only to look across the aisle and see a woman who was very sick BEFORE TAKEOFF. She was with a group of athletes from around the world and she was clearly sick with an intestinal bug. It was an intestinal bug that Mama Henley did not want the pleasure of enjoying on my trip away with my man. I was NOT happy. Of course I had all of the sympathy in the world for this poor woman, but I really did not want to sit near her on a plane with recirculated air. Can we all say, "YUCK?" I mean, this was not motion sickness because we weren't moving yet! The flight attendant was aware of the situation but did nothing to correct other than hand her a huge garbage bag. Needless to say, it was not an enjoyable flight as I almost joined in on the vomiting after hearing and seeing her!

Today we flew home from a fun family wedding. On the last leg of our flight, the man behind my oldest and youngest child and me called to the flight attendant. The badly-dyed spiked hair gentleman said, "Just so you know, I'll need someone to escort me off the plane in Tampa because the sheriff will be waiting for me." He did not laugh and say, "Oh, I'm just kidding!" The flight attendant did not laugh either. In fact, she had him come off the plane and I guess they talked to security. Unfortunately, they allowed him BACK ON THE PHONE right behind our precious son. I did not enjoy the rest of my flight as I wondered of what sort of criminal matter this gentleman was being accused. Again, I would have been better off without this person on my flight! Have you had crazy flight experiences?

Tuesday's Tip for Travel

On a recent trip, I took several items that made a difference. First of all, I took my friend's recommendation and brought a travel tin candle. It was the Seda France Japanese Quince candle. What a lovely, crisp, and fresh fragrance!

Secondly, I packed several ziploc bags. These bags were used frequently. I kept my important items in a ziploc bag within our pool and beach bags. They kept our camera, phones, and money from getting wet, especially when tropical showers appeared quickly. They were also used to take home wet bathing suits, t-shirts, and cover-ups. Imagine the mildew had we not used these bags! They are also perfect for a pair of women's shoes or other items that you may want to separate from the rest of your bag. If you're lucky enough to have some extra delicious smelling shampoo or lotion, the bags work for those items too.

DH thought I was particularly brilliant for packing a nightlight. Hotel rooms have fabulous curtains to keep it really dark in the wee morning hours. However, sometimes it's difficult to find the bathroom in the middle of the night in an unfamiliar location. The night light was perfect!

We also traveled with a lot of one and five dollar bills. This way, we could easily tip for a quick golf cart ride, help with our luggage, et cetera.
I love to send postcards, so if we are not going somewhere international, I pack lots of stamps. Of course I always pack a favorite pen as well!

Sometimes I also carry a flashlight to keep by the bed. We have been awoken in the middle of the night by a fire alarm in the past, and it helped us have a quick and easy exit.
An arsenal of medicines like Pepto Bismol tablets, calms forte', ibuprofen, benadryl, hydrocortisone, and neosporin also helps!
What do you pack on trips to make life easier for you? Perhaps you can inspire Mama Henley~

Friday, August 6, 2010

Fat Friday... Craig and Sally's

Craig and Sally's is our favorite restaurant in the whole world! It is located in Frenchtown in St. Thomas. If you are a true foodie, you will LOVE Craig & Sally's. Sally began her restaurant on the concept of wanting to serve fresh food daily. Her menu changes each day according to what is fresh at the local market. It's as close to a "farm to table" meal that you can get on St. Thomas!

We spent our 15th wedding anniversary at the Ritz in St. Thomas. It was our 5th time at the resort because we love it so much. A highlight of every trip is that we will take a cab and go to dinner at Craig and Sally's. I called in advance so that we would be sure to have reservations on our anniversary. Our waiter, Douglas, was waiting for us when we arrived. We braved a rainstorm and a long cab ride just to have Sally's amazing bites of goodness.

Our meal began with the lamb chop appetizer. The meat was so tender and perfectly prepared. Imagine our surprise when Douglas informed us that my brother and sweet sis in law had called in advance to buy our appetizer and dessert! We were delighted! The lamb appetizer did not disappoint.

I had a delicious ribeye with a fayot sauce that was out of this world!!! It was served with tender gnocchi and beautiful green beans. Dh tried the grilled crown roast pork chop with buttered potatoes, brasied cabbage, and chorizo sausage gravy. His pork chop was enormous and he said it was perfect! We also enjoyed a nice red wine and the white chocolate with raspberry sauce cheesecake. To say we were surfeited would be an understatement! It was all so delicious.

In fact, it was so delicious that we brought new friends back with us the next night!! Craig expressed their appreciation by treating us to dessert! If you visit St. Thomas and don't try Craig & Sally's, you are making a grave mistake! It's the BEST!!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Today our Hurricane complained that her ear hurts. It turns out she has a very bad ear infection. I asked her if it hurts, and that sweet little thing replied, "Yes, it SERIOUSLY hurts". Sweet little love! We're praying for a QUICK recovery!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I Heart Southwest Airlines!

Last night I went online to book an award travel with Southwest Airlines and there was a little glitch. I called and the woman gave me a number to call today. Thankfully the man working at Rapid Rewards this morning was really able to help me! Our award credits are back in our account and they will be redeemed before you can say, "2 Free Checked Bags". THANK YOU, Southwest!! I Heart You!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tuesday's Tip

It's that time again! I know you have been waiting with bated breath for your next Tuesday's Tip. Shame on me for making you wait! I am totally teasing in case you can't hear it in my "tone"! Martha's Vineyard is one of our favorite places to visit thanks to our friends, Julia and David. They introduced us to the island years ago and now we, too, are believers! If you've never had the chance to visit, you need to go!

I'm so excited that I'll be visiting Nantucket this fall, as I've never been there! I can't wait to tell you all about it! You just won't BELIEVE who I am going with on that trip!

Anyway, while on Martha's Vineyard we have many favorite places to eat, places to go, and things to do. I love visiting Morning Glory Farm's stand in Edgartown. It is filled with the freshest produce of the season, plants, homemade cakes and desserts, fresh cheeses, jellies, and other culinary delights. YUM!

One of the delights of every trip is that I go to Morning Glory and re-stock my supply of "By the Sea" salt and "Jose' Can You Sea". It is the BEST sea salt as it has garlic, parsley, basil, and onion mixed with the salt. The "Jose' Can you Sea" has a kick of cayenne pepper in it. Both are fabulous! I use these salts in spaghetti, tacos, chili, and boiling chicken. They are fantastic on fresh vegetables or in any dish you make. Potatoes come alive with this salt! You must try it. Click HERE to do so! At $5 a jar, it's a bargain!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Does this Inspire YOU?

"Each second we live is a new and unique moment of the universe, a moment that will never be again. And what do we teach our children? We teach them that two and two make four, and that Paris is the capital of France. When will we also teach them what they are? We should say to each of them: Do you know what you are? You are a marvel. You are unique. In all the years that have passed, there has never been another child like you. Your legs, your arms, your clever fingers, the way you move. You may become a Shakespeare, a Michelango, a Beethoven. you have the capacity for anything. Yes, you are a marvel and when you grow up, can you then harm another who is, like you, a marvel? You must work, we must all work, to make the world worthy of its children."

Pablo Picasso

A friend shared this quote with me, and it provoked so many thoughts and emotions. I love it! What do you think? I hope you've enjoyed a restful Sunday! We went to church, ate leftover pork, corn salad, amazing green beans, and banana pudding before a short nap. Then some of the children played with friends and we went back to church for Covenant Kids Time. The children played on the playground afterwards despite the heat. We treated everyone to Dairy Joy on the way home! What a wonderful Sunday!