Monday, July 9, 2012

Tuesday's TIP!

Y'all! I know I have been missing in action. I imagine most of you have moved on with your lives. In some respects, I have too:). I do love to blog but have found that moving to a new state for the 2nd time in less than 3 years has taken a lot of time and energy! After all, it's like dating again. DH (Dear Hubby) and I literally date other couples to find out who we mesh well with so that we can find our new friends. It is wonderful and tough all at the same time! Anyway, at our Swim Meet tonight, where I sweated away 5 pounds of body fat, I also enjoyed talking to some other women. I shared my TUESDAY'S TIP for the week. Run, do not walk,to your nearest Fresh Market this Tuesday and every other Tuesday in July. They have my favorite promotion for the month of July! Boneless, skinless, antibiotic free chicken breasts are $2.99 a pound, ground chuck is $2.99 a pound and RBST hormone free milk is $2.99 a galloon!!! WOOP WOOP! Last time they had this special, my sweet husband grilled all of the chicken and then I wrapped it as individual grilled chicken breasts and froze them in a ziploc bag. It has been so easy to thaw one in the fridge the night before we want to eat them the next day. They are moist and delicious! What a time saver! You are going to LOVE Mama Henley after you go to the Fresh Market! Just don't buy all of the chicken before I can get there!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Our triplets recently had their eleventh birthday. I have no idea where the last 11 years went because it seems like just yesterday I was sitting in the NICU at UNC Chapel Hill praying fervently over 3 little loves. We are thankful for God's goodness and provision. They are His and we are thankful to have them as ours for a little while. In the midst of diaper changing and sleepless nights, we often can't feel how quickly time is moving. Suddenly we wake up and realize that more than 10 years have passed! Since we are in a new town, we had a small celebration for their birthday. Each child invited 2-3 friends to play tennis one afternoon. We wanted to include all of our new friends, but this was a fun little gathering. Earlier that day, I was running errands with Hurricane. We saw a Dollar Tree, so I ran in to buy plates and napkins. As we were checking out, Hurricane asked if we could buy some balloons. I have a fear of regular balloons because I know one too many stories of a child trying to blow up a balloon, inhaling it, and then passing away from suffocation. I trust that only God knows their time, but I am extra cautious with balloons. These were mylar balloons for only $1 each,so I let H pick out a balloon for each of them. We returned home with our 3 balloons and picked up the big 4 from school. My eyes welled up with tears when I heard our Boy say to his sisters, "THIS is going to be the BEST birthday ever!! We have BALLOONS!" I guess I have never bought balloons for any of their parties and they have always wanted them. What a precious thing to be so excited about at 11 years old. Yes, we do have balloons, sweet boy. It just may have to become a tradition.....

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


We are enjoying our new life in the mountains, which is quite different than our life on the Florida coast. We traded sunny skies for foggy ones this winter and enjoyed snuggles under blankets and warm fires. Spring is now here and we are enjoying sights of dogwoods and daffodils for the first time in 3 springs. It feels good to be back in the south.

People are kind to ask how we like our new home and if the move has gone well. We love our new city. It is an incredible place to live and our little community is like Mayberry. It is beautiful, safe, and the draws of a big city are right at our fingertips. People are extremely kind and welcoming. The children have settled into their new school and are all doing well.

However, the truth is, moving is hard. You have to start all over. You have to find new best friends, new doctors, new dry cleaners, new grocery stores, etc. DH and I are on the "dating circuit" trying to get to know other couples. After every dinner, we ask ourselves, "Did they like us? Did you like him? I liked her, but was he nice? Do you think our families will get along?" Just as a single woman waits for her date to call her again, we wait to see if anything will come from our dates out with other couples. It can be quite lonely. We had a wonderful group of friends in Tampa and we enjoyed spontaneous dinners out with them, nights out with the children, swimming parties, et cetera. It was comfortable. Now we are out of our comfort zone all over again.

We are extremely blessed in that our best friends from college live a mile away. They have been incredible at introducing us to all of their friends. We have received quite a welcome here. However, at the end of the day, we have to make our own bonds with these new friends. It is a part time job and it is one that is sometimes exhilarating and sometimes exhausting. Sometimes I can't wait to invite the next couple to do something and sometimes I am filled with great dread.

What does this have to do with you?, you might wonder. You have lived in the same town your entire life and you never plan to move. Who cares that Mama Henley has good days and bad days? Well, take a minute and look outside your circle of friends. Do you know a new couple in town? If you do, invite her to lunch or ask the couple to join your Supper Club as special guests. If everyone loves them, break the mold and invite them to join your group! Ask a new friend's child over for a play date. Reach out to someone you do not know well who has co-existed in your town for years and years. You never know what kind of friendship may form!

As for me, I am back to planning our next night out with another couple! Dating is tough!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tuesday's Tip

I have not been hiding under a rock, though our new yard would certainly encourage me to do so! I hope to get back into blogging regularly, but life has taken us by the proverbial horns and proves to never be boring! As we are settling into a new home with more square footage, I am finding it more difficult to keep it clean. Therefore, I have implemented a new strategy. Normally I do not buy convenience foods or items because I know you pay more for the convenience of individually packaged bags of chips or crackers. However, in this case, I am going to encourage convenience.

How often do you learn of a last minute gathering at your home whether it be for playgroup or an impromptu Superbowl gathering like the one we hosted? It seems to happen to me enough that I have implemented a new system for keeping the house clean. I still regularly mop, vacuum, and disinfect and clean the bathrooms. I have always kept cleaning supplies under each bathroom sink. However, now I have added convenience Windex, pledge, and Lysol or Clorox wipes to my collection under the sink. When a friend announces her impending arrival, I quickly disinfect the toilet, sink, and all handles and faucets and then wipe off the mirror too. It gives us a quick clean when we are short on time! Certainly the Lysol or Clorox wipes also work well for cleaning up after a bevy of company. You can pop in each bathroom and make sure they are clean and disinfected without pulling out an arsenal of cleaning products!

Yes, you will pay more for the convenience, but since we do not have a housekeeper, I feel this splurge is justifiable! Happy Tuesday's tip!

Monday, January 9, 2012

God is with Us

Do you find that it is difficult to let go of your children at different times? Perhaps it is difficult for you when the school year begins and you hand your child off to their teacher for 8 hours a day. Summer camp approaches and you can hardly imagine not seeing your little darling for 2 weeks. I have this fear of letting go at different times. In the end, my fear is really sin, because it is a lack of trust in our Lord. I am afraid to let go for fear that something could happen. Our Sunday School lesson yesterday was really powerful. I cannot do it justice, so I will not try. However, one of the points was that a disciple is called to let go or give away EVERYTHING we have. We have to be willing to give the Lord all that we own, including our relationships and loved ones. We must love Him above all things. One of my fears is that I will lose my husband or one of our children. In reality, they are not MINE but HIS. I have to trust Him to provide and care for them, and if He calls them home, then I will trust His plan but grieve mightily. Even as I write this I fear that it is foreshadowing. Isn't it funny how Satan tempts us to not trust? He plays mean mind games.

I am sure you wonder why I am telling you all of this. It's a bit heavy for a Monday morning, isn't it? Well, our youngest daughter was invited to library time today with a new friend. She was so excited, and I was very excited for her. We arrived early so that I could get my library card before telling Hurricane goodbye. Story time began before I was finished, so Hurricane went in with a friend. Once I was ready to leave, I could not get in the room to tell her goodbye without interrupting the whole story time, so I left without telling her goodbye.

At first, I was excited to shop alone for our groceries, but then my mind starting playing tricks on me. I started missing our youngest. Sometimes she whines and keeps me from concentrating, but she is my precious constant companion. She was not with me on a day we are normally together and I missed her. Then I began to worry. What if yesterday's lesson was meant to prepare me to let her go? What if she is in an accident on her way to her friend's home? We live on a steep mountain, and accidents do happen. I trusted my new friend, but I still began to worry, so I prayed for Hurricane's safety. Again, I had to confess my lack of trust. I kept praying for her as I ran my quick errands. Finally, I was ready to climb back up the mountain.

Just as I started my car, a huge firetruck came whizzing past me in the general direction of the library. I worried a little more. What if my fear was justified? Would I see her in some awful accident? I drove forward, hoping to find out why the fire truck was called. Again, I was troubled by my worry. We are told that the Lord takes care of us. Why can't I fully trust Him sometimes?

As I rounded the corner to go up the mountain, I saw in my rear view mirrow a car that I believe was my new friend carrying her daughters and my Hurricane. My eyes welled up with tears as I praised God for showing me that HE is real. He ALONE is our Great Protector. He loves Hurricane much more than I do. I climbed the mountain and watched her car climb behind me. I will pick up Hurricane in a little while, but the Lord allowed me to see her safely up the mountain! He hears our prayers, even when we are not full of faith.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Tuesday's Tip!!!!

It's that time of year where we sadly take down all of the joys of the Christmas season and pack them in boxes to be reused next year. While living in Tampa, we would merely switch our Christmas wreath for a Gasparilla wreath and the decorating of pirates and beads would commence. I am tempted to break out our pirate gear just for a little winter fun. Nonetheless, our company is gone and so is our tree.

I carefully packed away each ornament and admired them for the last time until next Christmas. Which are your favorite ornaments? Mine are the ones our children have made through the years, especially those with their sweet pictures on them. I treasure them!

When I pack away our ornaments, I pack them in the box labeled with the child's name on it. EACH child has his or her own box of ornaments. When we decorate the tree, they can put up their very own ornaments that they have made or been given through the years. One daughter's godparents give her a sterling ornament each year, so I write her name on the small ornament box along with the year and who gave it to her. This helps us remember her godparents each year and we are able to remember and pray for them:). Then the ornaments all go back in the large rubbermaid box at the end of the Christmas season. I have DH and my ornaments in their own box too. It keeps all of us happy and organized. Happy Tuesday's Tip!!!

YOU guessed it!!!!

Mama Henley's family is enjoying our new adventures in CHATTANOOGA!!!! We never expected to move around as we have the past three years, but it is always great to be in God's will. This move came about unexpectedly and has allowed DH to have a great job with an incredible boss. We are very thankful for the Lord's provision in all of this!

So.... we have left the beautiful Florida beaches to live on a mountain!!! We are enjoying life in a small town with all of the resources Chattanooga has to offer. Chattanooga has been greatly revitalized with fun shops and restaurants. Some new favorites are Public House, St. John's Restaurant, and Taco Mamacita!!! Life on the river is beautiful and the crisp winter days create lots of occasions for warm snuggles inside! Our children have enjoyed all kinds of adventures climbing rocks and playing in the creek. I have enjoyed our wonderful new kitchen where I have been able to experiment with lots of fun recipes. It is not easy to eat fast food here which is a good thing. Hopefully our waist lines will thank us! Unfortunately, it seems to be more of a license to enjoy more dessert at home! Ha!

I can't wait to share our new adventures with all of you. I have missed blogging. It was a tough spring with lots of change. Our prayer is that 2012 will be a year of little change and more of the SAME:).

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year!!!!!

Happy New Year from our new home!!!! I hope 2012 has had a wonderful start for all of you. The holidays are a happy time for most people but can be a very difficult time as well. For some reason, more deaths tend to happen this time of year. We lost DH's daddy just before Christmas four years ago. It is strange to celebrate without him. I am praying for those of you who have experienced loss in the past or this year.

This year we began 2012 in a NEW CITY!!!!! I will give you some hints about our new place of residence....

-Our city is the fourth largest city in the state where we now live.

-We are at a much higher altitude than we were before

-Our city is home to a great aquarium, a river, and many fun restaurants and shops.

-Miniature golf, the Krystal hamburger, the tow truck, and the Moon Pie were invented in our city!

-Bessie Smith, the most famous female blues singer in the 1920s and 1930s was born here.

-Our city is absolutely beautiful but it used to be called "The Armpit of the South".

Can you guess where we live?!