Tuesday, July 26, 2011


DH is such a wise man. I love the way he leads our family and spends time praying about things and talking about them with me. Tonight we were having a discussion about our family. DH pointed out that we only have 9 more years (including this one) of having all of our children under one roof. Wow. He painted a picture for me when he said, "In 9 years we won't have 5 sleeping children in their beds in this house. Three of them will be in college." Wow. I can hardly believe that. Our time as parents at home of these precious babies is halfway over for our oldest three. That is crazy. Lord, how can that be? It seems like just yesterday I was using one spoon to quickly feed three babies their squash baby food! Now they are going into the fourth grade. The time does pass too quickly.

Therefore, we are going to carefully choose how we spend our time. Certainly we have tried to choose wisely how we spend our time in the past, but now we are going to go forward being even more careful. This is it. This is our chance to help our children grow in their love for the Lord. This is our chance to KNOW them well. One day they will leave us and no longer live with us. One day they will be adults. Gasp! This is our time to love them, know them, enjoy them, and to teach them about our dear Lord and all that He has done for us. We get one chance. DH and I don't want to miss a minute with them. Of course we will miss minutes with them, but you know what I mean.

If we spend time away from our family, we want it to be time well-spent. We want to enjoy our time with those who have been true friends, but life is too short to be with those who would not choose to be with us. Our relationship with the Lord and then each other is most important, but our children are next. They have been entrusted to us for a short time. While the days of summer can be long, I am trying to relish these sweet moments of swimming in our pool, going to the library, painting horses, and cooking meals. With the Lord's help, I am trying to carefully discipline when I see disobedience and to leave the room when I'm too angry. I am trying to mold the heart of a stubborn but precious 4 year old and to help a 7 year old with her reading. I am encouraging lots of reading, piano, and math facts. We are talking about the Bible, reading the Bible, and answering catechism questions. We are learning the 10 Commandments thanks to encouragement from Covenant Kids Class. Dh is also reading the first "Harry Potter" book to our oldest children. We are night swimming, playing on the beach, drinking an occasional sprite, and having too many popsicles. We are thanking God for every day we can enjoy these precious children!!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Summer Corn Salad

When we visited the fabulous Julia and David, we were treated to many gourmet meals! The best part is that they took place right there at her dining room table. Julia is a wonderful cook who carefully uses fresh produce and herbs right from her garden! One day at lunch, Julia prepared a delicious corn salad with fresh corn. I did not write down her recipe, so today I created my own summer corn salad. I think you can adjust it as needed and use fresh ingredients that you have on hand to make it even better!

First of all, you need some sweet summer corn. Shuck it and brush it to get rid of the corn silk. Then, carefully cut the corn off of the cob. I did not cook our corn, but those who prefer a hot salad could grill it or saute' the corn in olive oil. I thought the summer sweetness was just perfect without cooking it. I put the corn in a large mixing bowl and added a little olive oil, Maldon sea salt, and fresh pepper. Next, I used ingredients we have in our kitchen including a great tomato, red onion, and fresh basil. Avocado is great too, but ours was not yet ripe. You can use cilantro instead of basil if you want it to taste differently. Chop the ingredients you want to add to the corn and then add them to the large bowl. Taste it to see if you need more salt and pepper. Put it in your refrigerator so that the flavors mix. YUM! You have a healthy and easy side dish! Happy Summer, y'all! Thank you, Julia, for the inspiration!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Boca Grande

I love my husband for many reasons, but one reason is his sense of adventure. He is not afraid to pop five little people in the car for a road trip. We are big advocates of being a tourist in your own state, so that is what we set out to do this fine Saturday morning! We drove about 2 hours to reach Boca Grande. Only DH had been to Boca Grande in the past. It was fun to drive around and see the little town and the Gasparilla Inn. The Pink Elephant, or "The Pink" as it is widely known, was dead, so we decided to eat on the beach at The South Beach Grille. My key lime grilled shrimp wrap was superb and DH loved his blackened grouper sandwich!

After lunch, we drove around and admired the beaches, homes, and the lighthouse. The Florida sun was so hot that we did not play in the sand. However, we DID stop at the Loose Caboose for some ice cream before driving back to Tampa!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

An Email Every Parent Dreads...


LouseCalls is sending you this email anonymously from a friend of yours. Your friend cares about you and wants you to know that you may have recently been in contact with someone that may have head lice, and want you to be on the lookout.

LouseCalls, Florida's most experienced head lice removal service, suggests you follow our 4 C's to determine if anyone in your family has head lice:

First and foremost, remain Calm and don't "Freak Out." Head lice affect millions of people in the United States every year, of all socio-economic levels and backgrounds. Head lice are not a sign of un-cleanliness or an indication that you did anything wrong as a parent.
Check each of your family members for the presence of head lice. For information about what to look for and down to earth facts, visit our web site at www.lousecalls.com.
Communicate to other people in your social circle that head lice are around. You can also send this email anonymously by simply filling out the form at www.lousecalls.com/Register.aspx Remember, head lice├»¿½s best defense technique is the fact that people are embarrassed to communicate to friends and family that they have had lice.
Contact LouseCalls with any questions or comments you may have, or to make an appointment. LouseCalls has helped thousands of families eradicate head lice from their lives since 2005, and we can help you too. Contact LouseCalls directly at 561-3760-1066 or amy@lousecalls.com.
Warm wishes for a head lice free future!

Amy Graff
LouseCalls, Inc
"No More Louse-y Days"

Can you say, "YUCK!!" I don't know about you, but my head has been itching ever since I read this!!!! Thankfully I have not seen any critters in any of Mama Henley's babies' hair, but rest assured I am on the lookout!!!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tuesday's Tip

Are you enjoying summer travels? I know we are!! It is great to get out and explore the country when your children do not have to be in school. Whether you work or stay at home with your children, many people travel during the summer. Favorite destinations include the beach and the mountains.

When we travel, we love to send postcards to family and special friends. I actually like going in the junky tourist shops so that I can buy 10 postcards for $1. In "shi shi" Martha's Vineyard, the postcards could not be found for a bargain. Once I find my postcards, I am very excited. I sit and write while waiting in restaurants or at night in our hotel room or house.

Then what do you do? How do you know everyone's address? How do you mail the postcards. Certainly smartphones have made life easier for us as addresses can be stored right in your phone. I take a copy of our Christmas address list with me when we travel. I also go to the post office in our hometown before we leave and buy a sheet or more of postcard stamps. Then, once I write the postcards, I can drop them in the mail! Therefore the postcards will have the cool postmark of whatever fun place we are visiting at the time rather than the postcard of our hometown. Don't you just love it?! Go out and buy your postcard stamps right now before your next trip! You can even keep them at the ready in your purse! Don't forget a favorite pen as well:). Happy Travels!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Favorite Chef's Knife

I have some nice Henkel knives that I have enjoyed. We have a set of them. They work well, but I think I may want a chef's knife or santoku knife for my birthday or Christmas gift. A local chef recommended Wusthof, which is what believe my chef cousin uses. What do you recommend? I would LOVE to hear your favorites!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Precious Leiby Kletzky

After posting about NYC on Monday, I am so sad to hear the story of sweet Leiby Kletzky. The sweet 8-year old asked for directions as he walked just a few blocks home from camp. Little Leiby had begged his parents to let him walk home alone just a few blocks from camp. He became turned around and asked for directions. Unfortunately, the man whom he asked directions kidnapped Leiby and ultimately killed this sweet little boy. My mind cannot grasp it. It is my worst fear. I cannot understand such a horrific act on such a sweet boy.
I am left to just pray for Leiby and his parents. Dear Lord, please protect our children. Please comfort the parents of Leiby Kletzky. Please let them know that you are real and that you are their Savior who loves them. Please comfort this community. Thank you for loving us more than we can understand. Amen.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Start Spreading the News...

Our precious miracle triplets just turned ten this spring. I still can't believe it! Our 2 pound babies are no longer babies! Can you believe that my sweet parents took these three to NYC to celebrate their tenth birthday?! What a trip! Thankfully I was able to go along as a chaperone due to the graciousness of my brother and sister in law who kept the little sisters.
When we arrived in New York, we were greeted by a limo. The children squealed and loved drinking a sprite on the way into the city! We had adventure after adventure, and I can't wait to tell you all about it!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Rustic Bakery Crackers

I can hardly wait to tell y'all about the fun we've been having this summer! We just returned from a fabulous trip to Martha's Vineyard to see our dear friends. It was an INCREDIBLE trip and I will fill you in on all of the fun details later. Right now I need to wash off the airplane and travel scum and snuggle with my sweetie:).

When visiting Julia, everything is special from the sheets to the bathroom soaps to her house decorations. While shopping in Edgartown, we had these very special Rustic Bakery crackers. Wow! They were fantastic. We tried them at "The Black Sheep", a new cheese shop and charcuterie. I had the best brie I've ever tasted. The brie was even more fabulous with these special crackers. I brought home a package to share with guests here, but I am hopeful that I will be able to find them at The Fresh Market or some other local store. I hope you can find them to enjoy them too!