Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!






Last night, before I went to bed, my sweet husband offered to let me sleep in a little this morning.

I quickly took him up on his offer.

All we're doing for school today is taking a couple tests.

So...I can sleep a little late.

BUT...

I woke up at the crack of dawn today and couldn't go back to sleep.

What was I thinking?

Who can sleep late on a day like today?

It's HALLOWEEN!

One day I'll grow up, but not today!

Last night, Aaron and the boys carved the pumpkin.

Sure, pumpkin carving can be pretty boring...but not at our house.

It's not boring.

And that's not because it's exciting.

It's traumatic.

Our kids HATE the insides of the pumpkin.

They want the pumpkin carved.

They want it on the front porch.

They want "fire in it."

But they don't want to be involved in the process at all.

Because it's funny (and we're mature) we make them help...which leads to much whining...and even crying.

See...not boring.

Not really fun either...

Something else entirely.

The kids moan, groan, practically cry when we MAKE them come help.

I kept waiting for one of the neighbors to come over to see what all the fuss was about.

"Why are our kids crying? Oh...we're just being a FUN FAMILY over here, carving a pumpkin together, having a charming time. In case you didn't know, this is what it looks like to create wonderful memories for your children. Happy Halloween to you, too lady."

Every year I wonder, "Why do we do this? They hate this."

Then I remember why we do it...

Because they beg us to do it, then they change their minds as soon as they see inside the pumpkin.


This was as close as we could get Ashton to the pumpkin. Really. We threatened him and everything. He's our cleanest child. He was horrified that Aaron was putting his hand inside the gooey nastiness.


Hayden normally lives for a mess. Just look at his shirt any time you see him. It's usually covered in yuck. HOWEVER...he almost threw up...and I'm not joking...his eyes got all watery and he started gagging. Not because of the feel, he said...because of the smell.


Anson was miserable too. He's our other clean freak. You will never see food on his shirt. Never ever. Good thing we learned a long time ago to laugh at our kids.


And to horrify them. Have I mentioned in a while that Aaron is the most precious dad ever? He knows all the secret ways to get a crazy rise out of the boys. They think he's pretty spectacular. I love that they really believe everything he says. They totally thought their dad was going to eat that goo!


Look at Aaron's masterpiece.

Great job, honey!

The boys love their pumpkin.

Happy Halloween from the Hendricks!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

It must be almost Halloween

Because this is what Hayden prayed tonight over dinner:

God, I love you so much. Thank you for this day. Thank you for my family. Thank you for our costumes. Thank you for those big glasses Anson has. Thank you for our food.

Amen.

Soup and Tattoos


Tomato Basil Soup

3 tbsp. Butter
1/4 c. Heavy Whipping Cream
1 can Diced Tomatoes with basil, oregano, and garlic
fresh basil, if you have some

I triple this recipe so we'll have enough for our family and a little left over for lunch the next day.

Melt the butter in a large pot on low to medium heat. Puree the can of diced tomatoes in a blender, and pour the tomatoes in the pot. Add the whipping cream, and stir everything together. Add salt, pepper, and basil to taste. I also add some onion and garlic powder.

I've been adding fresh basil. Normally, I'm not that cool. But, we're renting the Winslow's house right now, which means, I guess we're also renting their amazing herb garden. I feel so stinkin' gourmet walking outside and picking leaves off of plants, and then coming back inside and putting them in our food. Makes me want to be a hippy...which always leads to me wanting a tattoo.

I know...that's weird, the strangest things are connected to tattoos in my mind.

Like homemade soap. If I see it or smell it, I start imagining myself as a soap maker. When I'm an imaginary soap maker, I ALWAYS have a tattoo on my arm.

I could never have a real life tattoo though. I'm WAY too flaky for that. I could never ever commit to something that serious, but I genuinely appreciate people who can. When I see people who have tattoos, I quietly admire them. I think, "You have something I don't have...and it's not just that tattoo. It's commitment."

I know, a week (or maybe a day) after I got a tattoo, I would wake up, and hate it altogether, or hate the design I had chosen. Then I'd have to cut my arm off. Dang.

Back to the soup...

Serve it hot.

AND

Serve it with grilled cheese sandwiches.

I hope I never outgrow the love for grilled cheese sandwiches.

Grilled cheese sandwiches are a sweet, sweet part of life.

When I see God, I might thank Him for making grilled cheese sandwiches. I'm sure He hasn't been adequately thanked for those.

There's something downright lovely about eating grilled cheese sandwiches and hot soup with your family on a cold day. The combination of my warm belly, cheesy, buttery bread, and Aaron and these boys talking and laughing over dinner...I'm overcome with peace and love and sincere contentment.

Some dinners are just a tad bit more magical than others. This is one of those.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

October Field Trips in Pictures

This has been a busy, fun month in school.

We've been studying animals and their habitats.

We've learned how animals are classified.

We've learned about ecosystems and food chains.

In addition to what we were learning at home, we also went to Petco for a field trip.



We went to the Waco Zoo with friends and family.



Click to play Zoo Trip Part One
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Click to play Zoo Trip Part Two
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Click to play Zoo Trip Part Three
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And then we went to the Texas Renaissance Festival (the non-nasty, school days version).

Click to play Ren Festival
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We had a fun month! My camera is a little tired from all the pictures!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

And the Winner Is...

Jenny!

She's also an EARLY riser! I had to put the video on this morning bright and early before we left for the Renaissances Festival.

Congrats, Jenny!

The song was Belly of the Whale by the Newsboys.



Is it just me, or does the lead singer wear eyeliner?

Just wondering.

And I would like to officially be on the record for being against eye liner on men, even if they are in bands.

It's Time to Play...

Guess What Ashton is Singing!

We're a day late due to sickness in the Hendrick house.

Guess What Ashton is Singing = fun game.

Launching of Stomach Contents = not a fun game.

Just so we're clear.




Be the first to name the song and the artist!

Your prize...

Who needs a prize, right? This is just so fun.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Sushi Social

We've always wanted to learn to make sushi...well, not always. I guess I should say since we decided to try sushi, we've wanted to learn to make it.

We asked Cody and Chelsea to come over and teach us!

We also invited other friends over for the fun.

Here's what you need from the store:

Sushi rice
rice vinegar
Nori (Seaweed wraps)
Imitation Crab sticks (probably 3 pkgs)
Louisiana Hot sauce
Popcorn shrimp, you can find these in the freeze section. (cook them)
Salmon (cooked)
The hot seasoning that gets sprinkled on top (from the sushi stand)
edamame (green bean things...so yum!)

Yes...we're sushi wimps. Everything we eat is cooked. Anson is the only one in our family that loves raw sushi...isn't that nuts?

Avocado
Soy sauce
Cream cheese
Wasabi
Cucumbers

All us friends divided up the list and contributed some ingredients!

First....we washed the rice until the water ran clear.

That sounds easy to do...well, it wasn't. Good luck.

We made four servings, according to the directions on the bag.

Then, we put the rice in the rice cooker.

A rice cooker is a MUST have! If you're still cooking rice the old fashioned, frustrating way...girl...stop that. You need a rice cooker! I got mine from the girl who did my nails in college. Really...I did.

It's wonderful, because you just put the rice inside, and then click a button and "All around the peanut butter and jelly sandwich," you have perfect rice every time!

Mine has a "keep warm" function. This means, the rice can stay good for three days in the cooker. When I make a rice dish, I plan to make another rice dish the next night, or the day after that. And, my kids love eating rice with butter, salt, pepper and shredded cheddar for lunch. That's gross...but they love it.

Then we started chopping up stuff.

You can see all that on the slide show.

After everything is cut up, ready to use, then it's time to make some sushi rolls.

If you are going to do this yourself, I recommend getting someone to show you how, in person the first time.

It was kind of tricky at first.

You'll see in the slide show that the cream cheese was in a ziplock bag...you put it in there, snip the end and then squeeze the cream cheese onto the roll.

If rice gets stuck on your hands, you get to dip them in water dishes. It sort of felt like a sushi making class/manicure. Awesome.

If your knife gets rice on it, you have to wipe it clean between cuts.

This is such a fun, messy, creative thing to make. We loved it!

Everyone can build their own sushi creation.

I tried to capture the evening in pictures...enjoy!

The night started off normal, and then sort of morphed into bizarre.

That seems to be a common pattern around here.

Click to play Sushi Social
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We had so much fun.

Chelsea really was the best teacher in the world (probably because she's a teacher in real life).

She came home from a hard day at school, and then worked like a machine making our sushi and showing us what to do.

We love you, Chelsea! Thank you for sharing your sushi skills and for serving us last night!

This was my favorite thing we've done so far for relationship week.

Eating food with friends is very fun, but this time we got to cook together and then eat together.

Precious times!

We still have a huge tub of sushi in the refrigerator.

We had no idea how much we made, because we kept making plates and putting them in the refrigerator. By the time we ate, we realized we made a RIDICULOUS amount of sushi.

You might have gotten a phone call last night, asking if you wanted to come get some. Aaron was trying hard to get rid of some of the sushi.

Come to find out, not many people like sushi.

You don't know what you're missing!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Hudson is Three Months Old!

Click to play Three Months Old!
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Wow!

Time flies when you're sleepy!

We can't believe what a big boy Hudson is becoming.

Three months of sweetness...that's what we've had around here.

Hudson is such a smiling kid. If you've ever met him, I'm sure he has smiled at you.

He's also VERY ticklish, which means Aaron tickles him all the time...and that means we get to hear Hudson laugh all the time.

It's a precious, contagious laugh!

He has discovered his hands. I love that moment...when they realize they are the boss of those things.

He is reaching out and grabbing toys.

And...he's rolling over, at will now. You can't keep the boy on his belly. He's the boss of his body position now too.

We are still in contact with Hudson's birth family through letters and pictures. We have the option of going completely open after six months. For now, we write them letters every month and send pictures. Hudson's birth mom is doing so well. She is doing great in school, loves Hudson deeply and sends him letters every month. She just went to homecoming. I'm sure she was gorgeous. I can't wait to see pictures.

We love you Hudson boy.

Love you, love you, love you!



Now that we have a brown baby, I seriously need to figure out how to lighten my videos!

Thanks Thomas Edison!

Go below to read today's "What Do You Do Wednesday Post."


Inspired by today's topic, I took the boys on the back porch and said...

"It looks like it is about to rain. If it does rain, I'm going to lock the back door. You can't come in. So, using what you can find in the back yard, make yourself a shelter that will keep you dry."

Now...

Here's where girls and boys differ greatly.

If someone had told me what I told them, I would have started crying and beating on the back door.

Not boys.

They got so excited. They were whooping and yelling and saying, "Yes!"

They got to work...hard work.

Some of the boards took all three of them to carry.

And then it started raining...


And they stayed nice and dry.

I've never seen them so proud of themselves!

We love you Thomas Edison.

You might be dead...but we love you.

Thomas Edison and Parenting





From a very early age, Thomas Edison began playing with wires, car batteries, chemicals, using household objects to create unique inventions. He often got in trouble for taking a part things in his parent's house and for SETTING THINGS ON FIRE.

I'm not kidding.

At one time in my life, I would have read right over that stuff, never thinking twice.

As a mother, I stop...reread those paragraphs to myself while my boys stare at me. My mind drifts off, to a different place...until one of the boys says, "Mom...mom...are you done reading?"

No. I'm not done.

Actually, I'm sitting here, in the middle of a school lesson having a mental break down about our life.

How do I inspire creativity and encourage real life, out of the box thinking in my kids?

What if Thomas Edison's mother cared more about her house being clean than her son getting to explore and think, create and invent?

I read the descriptions of these great inventors and scientist's lives as children and immediately think..."Car batteries? She let her kids play with car batteries? He lived to set two things on fire? Where was his mother?"

Sorry to be having a nervous breakdown today.

I thought this unit on inventors and scientists was going to be a bore...a chore.

Instead, it has me wanting to set up creativity stations in our house...places we never clean...places where my kids can make a mess and never apologize for it.

I want to rethink life...

"Do my kids have enough time to create? Do they have enough time to think? Do I encourage creativity in them?"

I'll leave you with my favorite quote from Thomas Edison, the man who invented over a thousand things...the man we can thank for movies, mp3 players and light bulbs.

"Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety nine percent perspiration."

Monday, October 20, 2008

Pumpkin Patch

We went to New Life today for our supervision visit...you know, so they could make sure we have kept Hudson alive.

I love going to New Life. Just walking in that place reminds me of much growth in my life.

And, I'm so very proud of that ministry, and humbled that we even get to be a part of what they do.

I was reminded again about the beauty of adoption.

It's so painfully incredible.

We got to brag about what an amazing baby Hudson is...he's perfect by the way!

He's the sweetest, most content, smilingest baby.

What joy he brings to this house!

On the way home, we found a pumpkin patch and snapped some pictures (thanks Mrs. Susan!).

Hudson was not happy about being awakened from a nice little nap and then being placed in the dirt...he didn't appreciate that one bit.

What a beautiful family I have.

What a wonderful, crazy group of men I get to be surrounded by every day.

I'm one lucky gal.

Click to play My Punkins
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And the Winner Is...

Kari!

Thanks for playing today and listening to my white boy trying to be a rapp-uh.

My favorite parts this week were...

When Ashton sounded like he was going through puberty. Nice.

The heavy breathing.

And how "What you shamed of" became "Shame-O."

Awesome.

Here's the song Ashton was singing...we only included the part he was actually singing on the video. So funny!


Merry Monday!

It's that time again!

Time to play...

GUESS WHAT ASHTON IS SINGING!



This one is going to be easy for lots of people...but it's one of my favorites to hear Ashton singing when we're in the car.

Be the first to guess the song and the artist!

Have a great Monday!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A-La-Peanut Butter Sandwich

Ashton was doing magic in the living room.

He got real serious, right before the magic was going to happen. Instead of saying, "Ah-la-peanut butter sandwich" like his brothers say, Ashton said...

"All around the peanut butter and jelly sandwich."

Forget the magic...we all had to stop and have a good laugh.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Wakefields Win!

I am in shock that ANYONE guessed what Ashton was singing this week, much less this many people!

How do you do it?

My favorite parts this week were the words, "doo-doo" and "woobie" being blurted out.

The winners...

The Wakefields! Way to go! You deserve a real prize this week. Too bad I don't have any.

In case you're wondering...

This was the song Ashton was singing:



Yep...I know.

This is so God Tube. Let the making fun begin.

But it's the only video I could find with the version Ashton was singing.

Merry Monday!

And now for something completely different.

It's time to play....

Guess What Ashton Is Singing




To win, be the first to guess the name of the song and the singer/band.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Thanks for Playing!

I hope Ashton made your Monday Happy.

When I realized how many guesses there were I thought to myself, "What a bunch of heathens!"

The winner this week was...

Larra Palermo

Go Larra!!

Here's the English version (as opposed to the Ashtonese version).

This Just In!

Look what happened moments ago!

We said good-bye to Hayden's baby smile.


This morning during school Hayden calmly said, "I'm going to pull my loose tooth today."

And that's what he did.

He just pulled it out and said, "That didn't even hurt."

There's something so sweet and yet sad to see their precious baby teeth fall out.

It's a visual reminder that the baby in them is being replaced by the big kid.

How can kids grow up so fast?

Then we read Little Rabbit's Loose Tooth.


Because

You just have to do that.

It's the rule.

Merry Monday!

It's that time again.

Time to....

"Guess What Ashton is Singing!"



Have I mentioned lately how much I adore this kid?

Happy guessing!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Finger Lickin' Fun



Here's a flashback post from May 24, 2007. But, there's a game at the bottom of this post to play today!

Do you know what it’s like growing up stinking at sports?

Well I do.

Because I really stink at them.

Except for kick ball.

I was so good at that game, I have vivid memories of being the first person picked by the team captains…heck…I was so good at kick ball, I usually WAS the team captain.

So I guess up until about fourth grade, I rocked at sports.

Except for that awful part of PE every year when they make you do as many pull ups as you can in one minute.

I never could do one.

Not one.

Really.

I was sure there was something medically wrong with my arms...or really my arm pits, because that's where it hurt. I’m also pretty sure I lied to everyone and told them that was the case, since my inability to do anything but plummet to the ground when the coach blew on her whistle was mortifying to me.

I remember being in about eighth grade, well into the years of feeling horrible because I had no athletic skills, daydreaming about starting a marketing campaign to bring back kick ball in junior high.

This was right after I went from the A team in volleyball to the B team and then to the C team all in one week. I began fantasizing about kick ball coming back after the jr. high coach told me, upon demoting me three times in one week, that I got on the A team because I looked athletic and I was good friends with all the A team girls, but that I really needed some practice and determination if I was going to climb the volleyball ladder.

It hurt at the time, but now I know that she-man guy lady was a prophet. She was just predicting a life as an actress…someone who could look the part and play the part…just not hit a real ball over a real net.

How could I make kick ball a junior high thing?

I had lots of ideas.

I wanted to make posters of myself holding a kick ball, smiling with my colorful braces, lion mane hair, and scattered acne, giving a big thumbs up.

Under my picture would read:

Kick Ball
It’s for
Kool Kids

or

Kick Ball
Not Just for Kindergarten

I tried to figure out which celebrities I should write to who would help me usher in the kick ball madness in my middle school.

I was a big fan of writing celebrities at that age, because when the TV people quit showing Private Benjamin, I got so upset about it I told one of my teachers, and she told me to write to the show, sharing my disappointment. They sent me a big picture of Goldie Hawn and told me they were sorry, but now Ghostbusters, the cartoon, would be coming on every day at the time when I normally ate jalapeƱo chips and watched that mean lady yell at funny Private Benjamin. Private Benjamin was my hero because she stunk at things like sweating and running.

Maybe funny Private Benjamin would hold a kick ball and smile on my poster. This could work.

No wonder I don’t know when to use me or I in sentences. I’m sure my teachers taught me…unfortunately, I was starting kick ball revolutions in my mind.

But you know what I was wicked good at growing up?

Typing.

Yep.

Typing.

Unfortunately, having mean typing skills is not something public schools celebrate or applaud. I never got to be voted, "Most Likely to Become a Transcriptionist or a Court Reporter." Maybe that's why we homeschool. I'm sure that's what I would find out if I went to counseling.

When girls would make laps around me on the track…and I mean, even the big girls ran circles around me…it was all I could do to keep myself from shouting, “Yeah…so…I can keyboard! And I don't mean keyboard as in the cool music one...I mean the computer one!”

When girls would spike volleyballs towards me and I would run out of the way, never ever considering that I should run towards that fast moving object, instead of away from it, I wanted to yell back at the coach standing on the side lines, “Stop screaming at me! Maybe I stink at this…but I can type fast!”

When I hit 8 people in a row because everyone who could pitch on my softball team was absent, to cheer myself up as I walked off the field, I kept saying, “Maybe you can’t throw a ball straight…but come on…no one can do Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing like you can, Heather. NO ONE!”

If the world only knew.

I’m sure it was wrong to daydream about a terrorist taking over my school, and the only reason why we all got to see our parents and eat pizza again was because I could type crazy fast letters to the outside world before the gunmen came back into the room where we were being held hostage. I’m sure it was wrong to imagine all the popular athletes hugging me and thanking God for my fast fingers.

It might not have been wrong, but it was definitely cheesy, to imagine my story of saving my school with my computer clickety-clacking skills being made into a movie…and having the credits at the end of the movie rolling over a picture of me, holding out my amazing, swift typing hands. The girl who would play me in the movie would have pretty hands...because mine look like a short granny's hands.

One time, on a college paper, I wrote at the top:

I should get extra credit because not only is this a great paper, I also typed it very fast. The professor added a point. No joke.

Because of my love of keyboarding, I have gotten my older boys addicted to this site:

Free Typing Games

We have competitions. What I really want to do is have people over for a typing tournament complete with a bracket up on a dry erase board. No one seems as excited about this as I do though.

If you are bored today and want to take us on, then bring it sucka!

Go here. Take test #26 Classic Tales.

Then tell us your high score.

Mine is 93 words per minute.

Every time I get in the 90's I do the Turk Dance: