Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tuesday's Tip

It is Tuesday and I have missed giving my tips! We have been road warriors as of late. It is no easy task to drive 12 hours with a family of seven! It is definitely not for the weak of heart. I have many tips that I employ on our trips. I always carry a cooler filled with fruit, yogurt, and cheese for healthier snack options. However, my favorite tip is to carry refillable water bottles with you whenever you travel. It makes SUCH a difference! I fill each child's water bottle with ice and water and place it in a cup holder near each of their seats. Then, whenever they are thirsty, they have fresh water available. We often stop at Zaxby's because they have drink stations. Many McDonald's do as well. We use the bathroom and then refill our water bottles with water and ice. I've even asked for a cup of ice to add to our cooler. We patronize the restaurant in some way by buying a drink or meal. Having the water bottles handle saves us on soft drinks and allows the children to stay hydrated. We will sometimes have a sprite as a treat or sometimes I carry lemonade in the cooler.
The triplets were given a fantastic new water bottle for their tenth birthday! Our dear friend gave them Bobble water bottles. Bobbles are great because they come with a built-in filter so that your little one's water is always fresh and filtered. We love our Bobbles!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Where Oh Where has Mama Henley Gone?

Those who know me know that I love to write and communicate. The written word is a wonderful gift. Unfortunately, life has taken me by the tail and is just now loosening her grip on me! Mama Henley's house is never boring, and this blog has been a respite for me in the midst of daily chaos. As an aside, I adore the chaos that is our life, and would be sad and lonely without it! Anyway, our daily chores and to do's are enough to keep me busy for many years to come. Recently we have had some added things on our proverbial plate. Therefore, I have had no time to breathe, much less blog or keep a perfect house.

We are all well. We have just had some things going on which have led us to a lot of prayer and a time of looking at our priorities for our little family. Thankfully this has nothing to do with our health or Dh's job, but rather how we educate our sweet children. We LOVE a Classical Christian education. It has proven to be the best option for our children. They have truly grown in wisdom and knowledge. Their relationships with the Lord have also grown. They have learned Latin, Singapore Math, and grammar. Their school is a firm foundation, and we are so thankful. The school is going through some changes, so we are praying about where the Lord is leading us for next year. It may look a lot like this year, or He may have a new path for us. Thank you for understanding my absence and for being here upon my return!

This weekend we are excited to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior. Easter Sunday is a reminder of His gift of eternal life. He is RISEN, indeed! Happy EAster, y'all!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tuesday's Tip

At Mama Henley's house, we love to take our children out to eat. We don't do it as often as I would like, but whenever we do visit local restaurants, we try to arrive prepared. The best thing you can do for your children in ANY situation is to explain what they should expect. Our conversations are similar to this:

Mama Henley: "Children, we are going to visit a restaurant tonight for dinner. This is a big treat as Daddy is going to treat us and Mama Henley will not have to cook. It is very expensive to go out to eat, so you need to be careful when you order so that you will eat every bite. In fact, you may want to split a meal with your brother or sister.

We are going to walk in the restaurant and it will probably be fairly quiet. Do you think we should walk in the restaurant and talk loudly?"

Children: "NO!!! We should use our quiet inside voices."

Mama Henley: "That's exactly right. Now a hostess is going to seat us at our table and she will give each of us a menu. What do you tell her when she gives you a menu?"

Children: "We will tell her, 'thank you'."

Mama Henley: "Good! If the server asks you what you would like to drink, you will respond, 'Water please'. I will happily give you something else to drink at home, but unless the child's meal comes with a drink, you will drink water."

Children: "Yes, m'am."

Mama Henley: "You may then read your menu to determine what you would like to eat. They probably have chicken fingers, salad, macaroni and cheese, pasta with red sauce, or a hot dog or hamburger. They may have pizza. How many of you would like chicken fingers? " (I then go through the menu and determine what everyone would like to order. We try to share plates because our 5 usually cannot eat an entire meal by themselves.

Mama Henley: "Once you have ordered, you may sit quietly while we wait for our food to be served. Remember to keep your napkin and hands in your lap. When you eat, use one hand to hold your fork and be sure to chew with your mouth closed. When I was a child, we were told to thank the server up to three times throughout the meal. You do not have to thank your server every time he brings you something, but you should smile politely."

I let the children know behavioral expectations in advance. I also inform them if they are allowed to have dessert. We rarely have dessert unless it is included. In fact, I rarely serve dessert at home.

Our dinners are usually better if I have clearly outlined my expectations. When children understand that eating out is special, they are more likely to respect it and behave accordingly:).

I also try to bring crayons and paper into a restaurant. We have bought Doodle Menus and I keep a case of markers, crayons, and colored pencils in my car. What do you do when you take your children out to eat?

Monday, April 4, 2011


Life has been a bit fuller lately at Mama Henley's house. Thankfully we have had a very "well" winter and spring has welcomed us with her sunny skies and trees full of pollen. We dodged some tornadoes last week and are going forward. The tornadoes were actually literal and not figurative this time! :)

Our sermons at church have been so wonderful. We have been learning about being heaven-minded for those who believe in Christ as their Savior are actually citizens of Heaven rather than citizens of this world. What does that mean? How should my life look different than that of my neighbor? DOES it look any different? Are my personal convictions clear or do I live my life in such a way that no one can see my convictions? How am I training up my children? Am I using the lens of focusing heavenward when I walk with them, talk with them, and teach them?

These are the things that God is teaching me and that I am weighing heavily in my heart. My biggest prayer is that I will know the Lord and thus teach my children about Him and that my life will reflect the many ways He is working in me. Do others see me being sanctified or simply slipping down the slippery slope?

I know this is a bit of a heavy blog post, but as I wrestle with these things, I thought I would share. Perhaps I will lose readers, but that is okay. I will have plenty of lighthearted posts too for life at Mama Henley's house is never dull!