Saturday, November 29, 2008

Pictures of the Week
Why won't this sweatshirt come off? Why are you taking my picture instead of helping me?

New baby doll from Nana; Roo's first baby

Samuel's new dump truck from Nana


Nana's sweeties

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday
I'd like to tell you that Mom and I revved up the old tradition of being the first at the stores as they opened at 5:00am on the day after Thanksgiving but I can't. It just didn't happen. We haven't done the Black Friday shop since I lived in Montana (11 years ago) so we were a little rusty. We were out of the house by 10:00 though and feeling pretty good about the freedom we were being granted! Our first stop: Toys R Us! I got all my Christmas shopping done for the kids and saved $60! WooHoo! We had a wonderful time; it was so fun being together!

The Toys R Us haul...

At Baja Fresh after working up an appetite

Thursday, November 27, 2008

How Could I Ask For More?
Per Henderson tradition we made our way up to Tualatin to Jodi & Geoff's house for Geoff's Famous Smoked Bird and Jodi's wonderfully cooked and perfectly timed spread. They never disappoint--mainly because they don't ever change the menu; we love the smoked turkey and Jodi's ridiculously good baked mashed potatoes (I don't even want to know how many WW points a serving of those are).

I am so grateful for the Henderson & Cochran families and how they have loved me from the very beginning. I am incredibly blessed to have such wonderful and fun "in-laws". We all had a great day watching football, playing games, visiting and watching the cousins play.

It was especially nice having my Mom here to join in the fun. At one point I looked around the table and saw my amazing husband, my children, Mama Della, Jim & Cheryl, my beautiful neices & Geoff & Jod and I thought my heart would nearly burst at the fullness I felt. My cup runneth over.

Brooklyn & Madison playing cards with "Auntie Della"
Madison & Brooklyn after a long day of chasing Samuel

Nana & Emily

My Mom Della and Hot Jeff's Mom Cheryl
How totally hot are our Moms? No wonder Hot Jeff & I are so good looking...

Hot Jeff, Nana & Roo
not pictured: Samuel...he was way too busy playing with
Brooklyn & Madison to pose for a picture!

One of my favorite songs is by Cindy Morgan and called "How Could I Ask for More"'s an excert that sums up the way I feel tonight.
So many things I thought would bring me happiness
Some dreams that are realities today
Such an irony the things that mean the most to me
Are the memories that I've made along the way
So if there's anything I've learned from this journey I'm on
Simple truths will keep you going, simple love will keep you strong
Cause there are questions without answers
Flames that never die
Heartaches we go through are often blessings in disguise
So thank you Lord, oh thank you Lord
How could I ask for more
Emily's First Thanksgiving!
With the way M likes to eat we all suspected Thanksgiving may be her favorite holiday. She did not disappoint. Before dinner was served she polished off some of Gerber's finest: Turkey & Vegetables (pureed) and about 20 minutes later helped herself to my plate. Why with all that yummy goodness, why not? I'd never thought about it before but Thanksgiving food is like made with babies in mind: cooked carrots, mashed potatoes, yams, stuffing...even the turkey can be cut up into little-bitty bite size goodness!

Samuel, on the other hand, left the food for his sister and focused his attention on dessert! He made a meal out of Grammy's pumpkin pie and my Holy Smoke Pie. He's just like his Daddy and loves the sweets!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Number One Reason Why I Love it When My Mom Comes...

Having my Mom here is pretty much the best thing ever: I'm completely surrounded by all of my favorite poeple. We have so much fun staying up late talking and laughing, I love watching her play with my kids, she always gets up with the kids and lets me sleep in, she gives great advice and spiritual guidance...I could go on and on but the number one reason why I love it when my Mom comes is because she does all the laundry!!! Hooie!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Beaver Mania
Our Beavers are only one win away from the Rose Bowl! We had our friend Eric and his son, Levi, over for the game Saturday night! What a game! Hot Jeff recorded the game and, no lie, has watched it about 20 times! Hot Jeff is so funny; he's so excited for Saturday's game he's having trouble sleeping. Another tidbit about Hot Jeff: he and his Mom drove to Eugene at midnight Sunday morning to greet the team! They followed their buses to Corvallis and Victor Strong-Butler (pictured below) hugged Cheryl! I love the picture below because Hot Ryan Gunderson (not as hot as Hot Jeff) is also in the picture (orange shirt & headset). I was so proud of Jeff and Cheryl's Sunday morning stalk because it reminded me of 2000 after another Arizona win when we drove to Corvallis and met the team (a long standing Henderson tradition after big Beaver wins). Of course this was the fateful night I first met my one true love and quarterback at the time, Jonathan Smith (#9). Long live the Beavers!

Pasadena here we come!

Samuel and Levi in Levi's really flippin' cool Beaver hat!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

No Soup For You
I'm not a soup fan but had this soup last week at the home of Barb was so yummy I got her permission to post the recipe. Its a great soup for Autumn and if it makes too much cut the recipe in half...


5-6 boneless chicken breasts or thighs (I use a 3lb bag of frozen chicken from Winco)
1 big butternut squash, peeled, and cut in 2" chunks
4 each carrots & celery stalks, cut into 1/2" pieces
1 onion cut into 1/2" wedges
1 T parsley
16 cups water (can be partial chicken broth)
Add above ingredients to soup pot and boil, then simmer for 45 minutes.

Add: 1 1/2 cups barley
Cook 45 minutes longer.

curry powder to taste
2 T kosher salt (or more, to taste)
1 t pepper
chicken bouillon to taste, if needed

Mash some of the squash for thickening. Remove chicken, cut into bite-size pieces, and return to the pot. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mommy's Musings: He who never slumbers...
If you have known us for over 10 minutes you know that sleep is a rare commodity in our home. Hot Jeff gets up at 4:00 for work every morning, Emily is still waking in the night to nurse and Samuel is on a complete and total sleep boycott ever since he moved from his crib to a bed. Not only is this pathetic but its ironic because I LOVE to sleep. I can sleep anywhere, anytime. I fell asleep at Disney World... So here I am now with these crazy kids and I find myself awake more than asleep.

Last night I was not sleeping. For once everyone else was but I was not. I had so much on my mind, so many loved ones who are hurting that I was praying for and worrying over. I felt such comfort that my Heavenly Father was up also. "He will not let your foot slip--He who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep". As I thought about these words I thought about how I behave when I'm tired: cranky, impatient, unkind, selfish and how incredibly opposite that is of God. In his mysterious holiness, Elohim the strong One, never sleeps and yet remains faithful, loving, good, patient, and kind.

And so tonight on the heels of today's struggles and bad news I go to bed heavy hearted again; I anticipate I'll have trouble sleeping as my mind struggles to quiet down. I hold this truth close to my heart though: "My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress and I will never be shaken".
2nd Annual Campbell-Henderson Trip to the Zoo

You may be asking, "The zoo is so close and so fun, why don't you go together more than just once a year?" The answer is simple: because there is only so much celexa a girl can take in one day and in order to take our 5 kids more than once a year our doctors would need to prescribe more and apparently they are unwilling to do that.

The plan was to leave Shannon's house at 12:30 so we arrived at 11:45 to provide ample time to install my 2 carseats. Good thing as it took Shannon's husband, Drew, Shannon and myself over 45 minutes to put my 2 car seats and her 3 boosters in the van. Can you say, "retarded"? Check out Kate's seat (between Jackson and Emily), when she sees this picture in 15 years she will be convinced we were trying to kill her. Drew, known for his dead sexiness and not his political correctness waved from the driveway and cautioned, "Drive careful as that thing is as about as safe as an Indian bus". Thanks Chief.

We consider the trip a success for the following reasons:
1) We came and left with 5 kids
2) No major meltdowns (by kids at least, Shannon had a small one in the bat cave but recovered quickly
3) Only 3 out of 5 kids got spankings (can you guess the 3?)

Indian Bus...

Bad sign for things to come when they wouldn't even hold still long enough for a picture at the gate

Hot Zoo Mama's

Emily: always our favorite as she can't talk back or run away

Monkeys looking at Sea Lions
Supposed to be sleeping...

Mommy thinks I'm sleeping. She nursed me, rocked me, put my limp little body in the crib and then when I heard the door shut I rolled over, grabbed a toy and got the party started! Now if I could only reach that radio I'd put some Fergie on and get my groove on!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Mommy's Musings:
Pioneer Woman, Where Have You Been All My Life?

My new friend Kim, who is not-so-secretly stalking me, turned me on to the Pioneer Woman's blog and it is a HOOT! You just have to check it out at I'd like to continue living in this lie I've created that Bug and myself have the best blogs out there but Pioneer Woman, Ree, has got us both beat. Not only is she drop-dead gorgeous but she's got great posts on cooking, photography, gardening and just about everything else AND she calls her husband, "Marlboro Man". Love it!

So don't fall so in love with her blog you stop coming to mine but do check it out because its great, funny stuff.

Jen's thought for the day: everyone needs a stalker. New friend Kim is mine and I'm Ree's. Who is stalking you (if you know they must not be very good at Kim) and who are you stalking? Hopefully its not Kevin Bacon because that can only lead to heartache and potentially jail time. Trust me.

Everybody cut footloose. -JH

Friday, November 14, 2008

“I’m genuinely hopeful about the next few years in the US. Our democracy has given the citizenry the right to select a leader and we have. Now is the time for us to pray for President-elect Obama and the next administration. I, along with a group of religious leaders, met with Senator Obama last June. We discussed a wide-range of faith-related issues. He expressed his belief in God, trust in Jesus and need for a Savior. I left the meeting with the feeling that I had met a man of genuine convictions. I hope you will join me as we pray for his wisdom, discernment and safety".
Max Lucado,November 11, 2008

Thursday, November 13, 2008

This Season's Hottest Christmas Toy
Some of you may be wondering how to shop for the baby on your Christmas list--look no further as Coke has come out with the "Tickle Me Elmo" for 2008: an empty diet coke bottle! This inexpensive, light weight toy is as eye catching as it is versatile; why just look at the fun Em is having with it!

Is it a teether?
Perhaps a rattle?
Oh, I get's a hiding spot!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Potty Post
Big news at the Henderson house...Samuel pooped in the potty last night! If you were not fortunate to get our 7:00 "hooie" phone call it went down like this:

6:00 Bathtime w/ Em.
6:30 Dry off. Daddy says, "Do you want to try and go poop on the potty?" Samuel says "yes!"
6:35 Still sitting.
6:40 Still sitting.
6:45 Daddy asks Samuel if he would like a book (I love that).
6:50 Mommy is done feeding and putting Em down and asks, "you're still on the potty?"
6:55 Poop happens!!
7:00 Excited phone calls to Nana, Grammy & Papa!!
7:35 Trip with Daddy to get promised ice cream cones!

Today has been a good day; only two accidents and one was at the library and probably my fault as I should have just kept him home all day to work on it. Tomorrow will be a hard day too as we have Hearts in the a.m. We're making progress though--hooie!!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Fort
Sssh, we skipped church this morning. Daddy was studying and we heard there was a guest pastor (need I say more?). After breakfast Samuel asked if we could build a fort. Samuel knows that one of Mommy's very special talents is fort building; I have built many a fort in my day with cousins Jeff & Kristi at Gigi's house and I'm known in these parts for my fort building abilities. We got the necessary supplies: kitchen chairs, couch cushions, throw pillows and large but fairly light quilts (too heavy and the ceiling sags). Samuel also felt it quite necessary to carry around his dad's measuring tape; he is so wise in his fort-building-measuring-skills.

Alas, I give you "Fort" (it's so awesome it doesn't even need more than a simple name; just like Oprah and Everest...)

Neighbors were coming by and peering through the windows; they stood and stared in wonder

Inside the inpenetrable fort

Not so comes Daddy

Work crew posing for a picture before they have story time INSIDE the fort (note measuring tape in Samuel's hand; I think he'll make me proud one day with his fort building skills).

Dat's My Mama!

We all got pretty excited when Shannon called at 8:30 this morning screaming, "you're in the paper!" Hot Jeff ran to Safeway and bought a dozen papers (I love that man) so we could have 2 for the kids' baby books, mail a couple to my Mom, Grandma & Bug. I guess that leaves us with 6 copies to read and re-read (or sell on Ebay)--guess we got a little crazy with the whole let's-buy-12-papers-thing this morning.
So we were a little jacked was great fun seeing my words in print and thanks to all you friends who called and emailed. It was given prime time newspaper real estate: Section C, page 5, adjacent to the obits--NICE! You can check out the "guest opinion" piece at or you can have one of our copies; we've got extras.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Pictures of the Week

5th food group: cat food!

If a picture is worth a thousand words...

Drop and give me 20
Mommy's Musings: Stovetop Wisdom
We have a black stove; it came with the house and when we first saw it we oohed and awed over its shiny newness. Fast forward 5 years later: I hate that stove. Its nearly impossible to keep clean. This morning I gave it a good scrub; I always wipe it down after making dinner but most times it looks worse than when I started but this morning was different. I wiped, I sprayed, I wiped and sprayed some more. I stood back and admired my sparkly stove and wondered how I would ever bear to cook on it again. I called Hot Jeff and the kids in to look at it, "Look at how clean the stove is" I proudly exclaimed, "toaster waffles for breakfast this morning!"

Hot Jeff poured me a cup of coffee and opened the kitchen blinds, the sun shone brightly on my filthy stove. What? Filthy stove? I just spent the last 30 minutes cleaning that sucker. The sunlight showed missed spots, streaks and paper towel residue that my kitchen lighting had blissfully hid...I put my coffee down and reached for my towel; I wasn't done yet.

Isn't this how we are as imperfect humans? Don't we do all the right things to clean ourselves up and make ourselves look presentable? We lose weight, we go to church, we read self-help books, the list goes on and on and we get to feeling pretty good about ourselves, maybe we even get to feeling really good and we begin to look down on others and then...the sunshine comes in. Or perhaps I should say the Son-shine, because when we look at ourselves in the real Light we see missed spots and streaks, don't we? Haven't we "all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God"? Here's the good news though; the second half of that verse, God has provided a way for us to be cleansed, we don't have to stay in our blemished state: [we] "are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in His blood."

I will cook on that stove again and it will continue to look un-new and dirty (on a good day). And as for me, I too remain messy, imperfect and scarred...its a good thing I have a Savior.

Friday, November 7, 2008


I know there is a lot of controversy about moms who get together and have a few drinks while their kids party it up. I used to have some strong feelings against this practice until today...

We had the Campbell tribe over for a bonus room play date. Kate & Claire (age 3), Jackson (age 5) plus my 2 equaled 47 kids. Hmmmm, 3+2=5...oh wait, it felt and sounded like 47 kids. Due to Shannon's part time work schedule the afternoon worked a little better for her so I had the bright idea of postponing my kids' naps by about 2 hours. This was a bad idea, perhaps one of the worst ideas I've ever had. I am, however, a slow learner so next time we get together and I postpone naps (because "it won't be like last time") we won't mind the fighting, arguing and hair pulling because the drone of the blender will drown them out.


The scariest words I've ever heard: "Ma, I'm feeding Em". We were sitting at the table eating breakfast and I had been feeding Emily yogurt. I got up for a second to get my own breakfast out of the kitchen and returned to this lovely sight and those frightful words.
We'll be learning a fun new game later today called, "How to Get Yogurt Out of Carpet".Posted by Picasa

Poor Me.

No one ever feeds me. No one ever calls me cute. No one ever takes my picture.

Will someone out there please rescue me from the loveless home I live in?

New boots from Grammy: $20
Gently used rain coat from Caleb: Free
Talking Mom into letting me play in the rain: Priceless
The best things come to those who wait? Well in this case the best things come to those with the best imagination! Samuel seized the opportunity of 2 empty diaper boxes to make "fishin' boats"!