Thursday, November 29, 2007

first tree trimming

i heard through the grape vine that my beautiful neice got to trim her first Christmas tree yesterday. could this be true?

i can't wait to see pictures.

ps-i do believe that as our first Christmas as husband and wife, we may not have a Christmas tree to put up. the one we have is elevendy million feet tall. we've thought about going out to get a smaller one, but we won't be here for Christmas day and we probably won't even be here most of the weekends in decemeber. especially if our house sells. :(

top secret

this is so top secret that i'm not even blogging about it. i'm just "writing it down in my journal". we don't want to jinx the situation.

we have a contract on our house.


it happened the monday before thanksgiving and we've been trying to not get excited about it. you know, every contract has that "get out of it, if..." clause. we just didn't want to be stuck telling everyone we'd sold our house and then having it turn around on us.

yesterday, michael talked to our realtor. we are supposed to close on the tenth. the buyer wants to move into our beautiful house on that day.

i don't know if i'm happy or sad. on one hand, i'm happy. i'm relieved that we won't be making a house payment on a house we're not living in. i'm sad that we're leaving our first home together. it's so beautiful and it was so, so mine. now, i'll shove my stuff in a little apartment, but we'll be happy. we'll be able to sit on our couch and lay in our kind sized bed (yes, we're moving our king size bed into our apartment). it's gonna be great!

michael has been really great throughout this whole process. i'm happy for him that part of our financial worries will be taken care of. he is such a great provider.

so, if you know the secret way into my journal, which you do if you're reading this :), and you now know our top secret secret, you can pray that everything goes according to plan.

thank you Jesus.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

you might be a teacher if...

  • you realize that a wet paper towel and a band aid will heal anything.
  • you are late for everything in your life except for PE, lunch, and dismissal
  • you love high heels but settle for flat, comfy shoes from 7am-430pm weekdays.
  • you can say, "you are driving me CRAZY!" to a bunch of six year olds and they just laugh.
  • you get excited when your autistic student tries mashed potatoes.
  • you hurriedly have your students make "I'll Miss You Cards" for the leaving college student while she's out of the room, succeed.
  • you leave soon after the kids, a lot, and you save the getting ready for the morning during journal time...(i mean, i don't do that. but some people might...)
  • you need a nap, basically every day.
  • you get so stinkin' ready for a break.
  • breaks like thanksgiving, christmas and spring break are your saving grace.
  • depending on the year, you get back after a long break and realize how much you missed those kids that drive you crazy.
  • every year, at the end of may, you get sentimental over the kids that drove you crazy. how could any other class be as wonderful as this one?
  • one day you think there has to be something better than teaching and the wonder how you got lucky enough to get a job this great.
  • you hate 10:00pm, because after your nap right after school, you're not sleepy enough to go to bed but you know if you don't go to bed, the next day's nap will be even longer. geez.
  • you write silly blogs about being a teacher.

good night, all.

Monday, November 26, 2007

a cold, icy windshield

this morning, when i got out of bed, michael with eyes still closed said, "baby, wake me a few minutes before you leave and i'll start your car and take jules outside."

so sweet. i thought about not waking him. i should let him sleep, right?!


i woke him and my sweet husband gladly got up, put on a sweater and shoes and went downstairs to start my car. he did take jules out and then even came back up twice to get warm water to help thaw the ice from my windshield.

what a wonderful husband.

i love the opportunity that a cold, icy windshield provides for my husband to be my knight in shining armor.

thanks baby!

Thursday, November 22, 2007


landon and sarah are watching the cowboys game too...

at texas stadium. live.


happy thanksgiving

it's thanksgiving day 2007 and exactly a week since my last post.


thanksgiving for us this year is a little different. my entire family happened to be in san angelo on saturday, including my nanny and pawpaw. it was sort of a last minute, thrown together decision to have thanksgiving dinner on saturday night. doing that would allow landon, sarah, ellie, matt, mandy and nanny and pawpaw to all be here without having to come back today.

so, saturday afternoon we all left crystal's shower and headed out to the grocery store. the turkey, dressing and all the sides were prepared and pumpkin and pecan pies were even baked and ready for the dinner. it was so yummo! thanks to nanny and marme! i made the mashed potatoes and sarah made the green bean casserole. i guess mom figured she'd initiate us in to the thanksgiving dinner cooking a little at a time. thanks for that marme!

since that day, we've been playing shang-hi rummy like crazy, eating pumpkin pie and drinking egg nog. it's been really nice. well, nice for everyone except michael. he's sort of been on a losing streak and he doesn't deal well with losing. party pooper.

michael and daddy started working on the floor again the other day. they've got the hallway and guestroom done! they've got quite a little system down and the two of them together are just cranking out the work and making it look easy. :) i think tomorrow is set aside for the living room and golf! it's looking really great! i know mom can't wait until it's done!

today michael, daddy, marme and i had a weird combination of food for lunch. roast chicken, dressing, fried potatoes, corn bread, beans, pea salad and tostitoes (i promise, pea salad on a crunchy, salty chip is amazing!). it was sort of different things that sounded good to everyone just thrown together. it was really good. we ended the lunch with a game of cards. michael lost...again.

at 3, we sat down to watch the cowboys and have been here ever since. it's a good game (well, the cowboys are winning so that makes it good enough, right?!!). i'm sitting in front of a beautiful fire and the rest of the family is spread around the room watching the game and napping. it's freezing outside and that makes all of us happy.

i hope that everyone is having a great thanksgiving. enjoy your day off and your time with your friends and family.

love from the henry's & kotze's.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

blueberry muffins encore

they were so YUMMO!!!!

side note:
michael woke up with me this morning and asked if i wanted him to make me a begal. (he was asleep last night while i was baking) i said...sure, baby! thank you! he was half way done before he saw the muffins. such a sweetheart! i'll eat muffins tomorrow morning...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

blueberry muffins

they're baking in my oven right now.

i know, i know. it is 9:30 PM but i don't ever leave myself enough time in the mornings to make breakfast. this is my solution: make it the night before, heat it up in the microwave.

they smell delicious.

i might have to have one tonight.

as a snack.


with butter.

and a cold glass of milk.

uh...i gotta go. bed i mean. you know...i'm sleepy...

a trip worth making...a lot

i had such a great weekend.

michael and i traveled to san angelo and spent time with family and friends.

i got to help my sister and brother start unpacking their house and organize their stuff ( of my most favorite things to do, organize). i got to spend a ton of time with ellie belle. i even got to sway and swing her to sleep on sunday afternoon. it was marvelous.

on saturday night, i attended my very first play date with the girls. yeah-i was the only one there without a kid. who cares?! i love all of those kiddos enough to be there without my own. it was really fun and really great spending time with everyone. thanks for the invite, jenny!

sunday morning, i attended a wonderful church service with fantastic worship and some pretty amazing preaching. i just don't know how we will ever find a church here. my dad will always be my most favorite pastor.

so, right in the middle of the hottest november i've ever been a part of, michael and i traveled 3 hours home and 3 hours back to have a wondeful weekend with friends and family.

thank you, Jesus, for the blessings.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

jo+seph=us...part II

i was one of three henry kids growing up.

there was my older brother landon. there was my baby brother matt. then, me. the only girl...right smack dab in the middle.

i loved it.

most girls would hate something like that but my brothers and i were always so close. sure, we had our arguments. sure we knocked each other to the ground a few times. but for the most part, we were thicker than thieves. best buds. we were family.

there were plenty of days in my childhood that, although my brothers were my best friends, i dreamed for a sister. wouldn't it be so fun?! that bond with someone. a girl. just like me. someone to play with and imagine with and fall asleep talking with. i knew it wouldn't happen, but hey, i could dream.

as i grew older i began to realize that one day, when my brothers married, there would be other girls in my family. i was also blessed enough to know that when they did marry, their wives would be loved by all of the family.

one thanksgiving day, a few years ago in odessa, texas. i drove landon to the airport to pick up his girlfriend. it would be the first time the family would meet her. i was a little nervous. this girl, sarah...landon talked about her a lot and when he did, his eyes would shine. his smile could not be contained. what if she took my place? what if she was his new best girl? how would i deal with that? the i realized that i already knew. no one could take my place with landon. of course his wife would be his best girl, but we would always have a special spot for each other. if this girl stuck around, everything would be fine. the closer we got to the airport, the more excited i got. something told me this wasn't just an ordinary girl.

landon and i walked into the airport together and i stood back as i watched my big brother walk over to a beautiful brown haired, brown eyed girl. her smile lit up the room when she saw him. they hugged and kissed and then i made my way towards them. sarah and i smiled at each other and hugged. i loved her instantly.

we went back to san angelo and sarah stayed at my apartment with me and slept in my room. we stayed awake talking until 3am. it was all about landon and the way she felt about him.

over the next few months and years, as sarah and i got to know each other, i realized why i never had a sister growing up. my sister, the one that i was supposed to love and cherish and who would cherish me was right here. i would love sarah like my own flesh and blood sister for the rest of my life.

i love you so much. i am so glad my brother found you. you are such an amazing part of our family and my life. i feel blessed that God chose to stick you with the henry's for life. we will grow old being sisters and for that, i couldn't be more greatful. i hope you have a wonderful birthday and i so wish i could be with you. i love you a ton. jo.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


i just realized how much stuff i wrote in my christmas traditions post.

i understand if you don't read it. geez.

that's just overwhelming.

christmas traditions

  • two years ago we started a christmas eve tradition. my mom and i make michael a potjiekos ('s afrikaans and means "little pot of food"). it's made in an actual potjiekos (little case iron skillet thing that hangs over a fire or sits on the stove). it's a south african dinner that michael, and now mom and dad and i love. it sort of ends up like a stew. we serve it with curry rice. it's delicious! we listen to ladysmith black mombaza (a south african group) while we're cooking and eating. michael almost cried the first year when he walked in the house and realized what we had done. his first bite was so wonderful to see.
  • my granna (my dad's mom) used to make bows for our christmas present wrapping. since she died, there is one bow that remains in our family. each year, someone else gets the bow. it's always really exciting to look under the tree and see who's present the bow is on. it's a great reminder of our granna.
  • we have gotten pj's as one of our presents every year for as long as i can remember. we get to open one present on christmas eve. it's always the pj's. that way, we have them on all night and have something new and cuddly to wear for presents the next morning.
  • stockings are always our favorite and the first thing we open. mom passes out the stockings and we sit on the floor and pull the contents out one at a time. it's fun!
  • dad is santa. we all sit around and dad passes out the presents. we take turns opening them. it makes the morning last a little longer and it makes each present feel that much more special. that was a great thing to start.
  • one present is always a movie. when you get a thin little present, you know it's a dvd. you just don't know which one!
  • we always drink egg nog from these four stemware glasses that mom has. they have holly around the center and they look delicious filled to the brim with cold egg nog.
  • mom always makes us belgium waffles for breakfast. well it's usually about 10-11am by that time. we have it all together with peanut butter and syrup and a big glass of milk.
  • for an early evening dinner mom always makes chicken fried steak with all the fixins. i know that doesn't sound like a traditional christmas dinner but we also do this in honor of our granna. it's a great thing to look forward to.
  • we always, always go to the movies on christmas day. i'm not sure how that tradition got started, but it did and it's great. sometimes i hate being some of the people that cause the theater people to work on christmas day, but...i go anyway. it's a great tradition.
  • we always have a jigsaw puzzle out to work on while everyone is in town for the holidays!
  • the "big family" tradition is that we always have, at some point, christmas dinner and christmas at nanny and pawpaw's. it's so comforting. we usually all sit at the same places at the table every year. we use nanny's gold flatware. we have all of the yummy dinner stuff. when that's finished and the ladies have cleaned up, we move to the living room for presents. pawpaw always passes them out and everyone opens. we always draw names and buy one present for who's name we drew. (except that amy and i always get each other presents, that's our own tradition!). pawpaw and nanny get everyone a present and they always open all of their gifts last. someone reads the nativity story from the bible. in years past, uncle guy, uncle terry, and occasionally paw would play their guitars and sing (go donkey song!). my favorite thing: nanny's peanut butter balls covered in chocolate and these little cookies ( like the shape of a little cup) baked with a reese's peanut butter cup in it. yummo!

these are a few of our christmas traditions. i'm sure i left some out, but wow are they fun to remember. i know this year, and as the years bring new babies to our family, we will begin even more traditions. it's a wonderful feeling and i'm glad to be a part. i love christmas!

Monday, November 5, 2007

mandy lou...

to my (our) future sister:

i have heard that there has been talk of a possible blogspot started by you.

i, for one, second this notion. i believe that in all of the wonderfullness of blogspots, we will be able to communicate with each other and really become sisters, no matter the distance that spans between us.

i would request that you, most definitely, absolutely have to, begin a blog. especially with the possible changes coming in the future. it's a great way for us to stay in touch and me find out what's going on with the...ahem...planning.

really-i love you and would love to read about your life! ;) no pressure!

i love you

Sunday, November 4, 2007

my love,

you have been gone from me long enough.

i know i used to spend a week without you all the time, however, i am no longer used to this feeling and prefer to be with you whenever possible.

i totally don't mind leaving you and letting you leave me to hang out with friends or play golf or go shopping. but, when you go to new york for 5 days, my heart begins to get a little sad. i may seem okay the first couple of days, and i might really be, but still...come home, my love. your trip has been long enough.

i miss you so.

just found something to write about

there is a new commercial on tv.

it's a welch's grape juice commercial. a little girl is scared and she tells her daddy that she thinks a monster may be in her closet.

he looks over and sees a billion glasses of grape juice on the floor around the closet door.

the little girls says, "but don't worry daddy, the antioxidants will protect me."

it's supposed to get the "ah" factor and be really cute and sweet.

i hate that commercial.


do you ever go through times where you just don't feel like you have anything to blog about?

that's where i've been for the past week or so. i just don't feel it.

the problem?

i know how i feel when i check everyone else's blog 4 times a day and they haven't updated in a few days. after 12-15 checks of seeing the same title, it's just downright annoying (especially if the title isn't very good. you RTP VI...)

it's stressful people. so now, i apologize to anyone i have annoyed by asking you to update your blog when you didn't have anything to say. i also apologize to anyone i have annoyed by not updating my blog as often as needed.

forgive me?

Thursday, November 1, 2007



someone post something about rock the pumpkin! i need details and pictures!

this was my first year to miss RTP and i was very sad. i thought about everyone all night long.

someone let me know how it went...