The Cheery Season

Our life in pictures during the jolly season. It is really something else to be able to relive some of the magic of Christmas with my little lady and baby boy. I can’t think of a better group of people to celebrate with than the folks in these photos.

Even though that magical feeling of Christmas is pretty stinking awesome, I have to add the cliche message, because Christmas isn’t actually magic. Folks, magic isn’t real. But I’ll tell you, the dude we celebrate — Jesus — is.

I can’t think of a better reason to celebrate during this “magical” season than with the birthday of Jesus. He has literally changed my life completely. I used to be a crowd pleasing approval junkie who had a big problem with being imperfect, but Jesus rescued me from that bondage, and I have to say, even though the sin nature is and will be intertwined in my flesh until I get to heaven, I have freedom from that way of thinking. So grateful to our God for that.

There’s reason to celebrate when I remember that I don’t have to earn his favor (even though sometimes I try), that he gives me the unmerited grace to scoop up salvation and claim it for my life. No matter what life throws at me, I can rest in that truth.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed celebrating these things with these wonderful people!

The Elliotts came and celebrated New Year’s Eve with us! Minus Olan, we all made it to MIDNIGHT! WOW!

The Christmas Bake Off in 6th grade! Oreo Balls with some pretty fly peeps.

The next entry was surprisingly good… Oreo Snow (oreos with yogurt on top!) I’m kinda missing these folks.

These sweet ladies created chocolate covered pretzels with some holiday pizzazz!

The dudes made “Donut touch my snowman” creations… So creative!

Marshmallow Reindeer!!!!

Evie and I’s annual girl date to the Smoky Hill Museum Holiday Open House. Even got ourselves in the newspaper for the second time at this event! 🙂

Posing at the museum with my cutie!

Evie got to request a few carols… this harpist was the bomb!

Evie got to make a homemade candle at the open house too! Really cool.

The obligatory family photo by the Christmas tree. We are happy. I think.

The Baldwin side at the CrossPoint Christmas Eve service. Love my fam! We got to have our sleepover with Grandma and Grandpa B a few days before CE, since it was on Sunday and our men would be wrapped up in preparations for church and for the evening service. It’s really cool to be able to serve alongside these folks – my real family is my church family too!

Good times with grandparents!

6th graders holding in their happy dances right before school is out for Christmas break… pajama day + ugly sweater contest for teachers = a weird Mrs. Henry outfit. Ha ha!

Olie and Evie at the mall. Gosh that tree is great big.

Candy Land with Grandma Henry at Christmas!

Evie fell asleep on the floor at my mom and dad’s… too much excitement! Never ever happens this way!

Logan and I’s ornament creation for my students. A 3D printed ornament with shrinky-dinks made by each kid. Not bad!

Our full family photo – with our eldest son, Trail pictured. Ha ha. This was the day Trail moved out actually. We loved housing him for the semester – and he’ll always hold a special place in our family! Thanks for putting up with our crazy selves, man. You’ve probably got some major dirt on us.

Olan and Uncle Coleman!

Hanging out with my Grandma Crawshaw during our “Thanksmas” celebration! Love you grandma!!!!

The whole crew, minus Olan and Logan. Olan was home sick. 😦

Olie chilling at the Christmas Eve service

Evie singing her heart out at Christmas Eve!

These folks. Our grow group had a “Breaded Ginger House Party” to celebrate… complete with amazing awards! Love them.

Evie and my Ginger creation. My Grandma B would be so proud.

Santa and Mrs. Henry at SES!

Evie helped put up Christmas decor! She had a ball. She especially loved putting the treats in the advent calendar, and I must say, she did an amazing job!

The complete Santa Puzzle at the Henry Christmas!

Our friends, the Franklins, invited the staff kids to their house for a Christmas party! My kids loved it, and it was super awesome to have a random date night for all the parents! Thank you, Kristen, Eric, Sadie and Cole for your hospitality and fun idea!

Here they are eating their gourmet meal!

Henry family train ride at the mall. Oh boy!

Olan’s first real snow. Both kids were mesmerized.

Christmas Eve pajamas. Both kids were thrilled to have their portraits taken. Oh well. Their pjs have Mr. and Mrs. Claus on them. They were so cute! No good pictures to capture them… just take my word for it.

Our grow group adopted the rescue mission… so we made treat bags for their holiday dinner. Evie loved helping the assembly line.

Some of my favorite people on the face of the planet!

Gift wrapping room. Lol. Thanks, Trail, for moving out just in time.

To My Sweet Olan

Hey Olie-O!

One year has passed since I got to meet you, Mr. Olan Charles Henry, for the first time. A day before my own birthday, you were a sweet addition to our family. All three of us were so stoked to have a baby bro in the mix, and over the course of the last year, that stokedness has grown into a fierce love for you.

I never actually thought I’d have a boy in our family. I always figured since our family was full of girls, we’d probably follow that trend and have a houseful of girls too. I really didn’t know what to DO with a boy… and though I’m still not fully sure what I’m doing, I have learned a few things along the way. Many more lessons to come!

I have seen time speed up this go around, and your first year went lightning fast. The things I remember are sweet memories I will cherish forever. Your sleep position while you slept in the bassinet in our room, the crazy white blonde mohawk hair you had that everyone doted over from day one, the way you’d wrap your hands around my arm as I nuzzled you before you fell asleep, your squinty-eyed smiles, that look of pure satisfaction as you drank your milk in my arms, your silly crawl (you crawl on one knee, and use one foot to go fast), your love for your sister, the giggles you gave me when I pretended to nibble on your belly, that pout-pout lip. Gosh you are adorable.

The firsts are so special this year: your first tooth, your first real bite of food, the first time you held your own bottle, the first day I dropped you off at Jamie’s Garden of Giggles (and the first time my 6th graders met you… they were in love), the first night you slept in Evie’s room. All of these are priceless!

Olan, you are one blessing from God. I pray for you often that God would make you into a leader who follows after Him with all of your heart, that He would give you friends to walk through life with who would influence you in a Godly direction, and that you would be filled with wisdom, generosity and love for people. I know that God is faithful, and if you make the choice to listen to His voice, you will be used by God.

As much as I don’t want to see this first year move into a second one so quickly, I am grateful for the year we have had with you. It’s been a journey for me to learn how to have two in our family, but you have made this transition worth it. I can’t imagine not having you in our family now, and I am so thankful that God chose you to be a Henry. You make me so proud, little buddy! Stay sweet.

Love you so much!



Our First Home Sweet Home

I knew from the very beginning this day would come: the day we would sell our first home. It is starting to get real as we’ve told our neighbors, the sign has appeared in our front yard, and we have begun to show our home, in hopes to find the perfect people to replace our memories here with their own.

The wonderful things I have loved…

  • Moving in nine years ago as newlyweds (literally, the day we got married). When we first bought this house, it was absolutely perfect for us. We thought we would probably love this place, and we have. We truly have enjoyed our time here. This has been such a solid home, more solid than I was even expecting. God has gifted us hugely by allowing us to stay in our Penn house for this long!
  • Man handling the wilderness of a backyard. The place was so overgrown with nothingness when we moved in, and I’m actually fairly proud to call it mine now. I recall growing my very own first garden here. I was so proud of those first fruits! We have learned so much about taking care of a yard in the time we’ve spent here. It’s been a good test run. Ha ha!
  • Spending lazy summer days in the shady backyard hammock. Honestly, I can’t even really remember what I did with my summers before Evie and Olan entered besides hammocking and reading and napping. What a life!
  • Bringing our babies home to this place. Evie actually gave a purpose to our second bedroom, and Olan, well, he made it so that bedroom needed to multiply itself. Ha! My kids learned how to crawl in this house. They lovingly coated our dining room floor with each and every food that has passed through their lips. We have read thousands of books in this living room. My girl has spent hours (literally) on the pot in her own little world, and even more hours imagining the sink as a waterfall of wonder, serving up countless pots of fresh tea and water cakes to anyone within earshot. Their little voices and heavy feet echo within the walls. This place will have an extra special spot in my heart because of my kids. I will carry these memories for them, since likely, they will not recall living here for themselves.
  • The way this house has helped me realize my love of hospitality, both in its charm and its limited space has been a gift from God. I love having people in my home! We have hosted so many get togethers, birthday parties, Bible studies, and the like here… I am glad this love has been able to flourish, and even more excited to expand our hospitable-ness in our new place, with extra space in the departments of living, bedrooms and basement.
  • The many faces of our versatile basement. It has gone from an awkward leaning tower of totes to an organized, well oiled machine. It’s been a workshop, a workout area, a photography studio, a laundry room, a pantry, a diaper washing factory, a sewing room, a closet, a playroom, an ironing board, a file keeper, a box collector, a sleepover pad during inclement weather, and a catch all for just about everything we own. You have done us well, basement. Bravo.
  • Our front porch. I will surely miss this dearly. Rocking like old folks out on our white rocking chairs, yeah, that’s us. A great place to hang in the cool of the morning or in the shade of the evening after kids are snoozing. Love.

I could keep on going with stuff like this, but I’ll spare you. Staring out at the “For Sale” sign in my front lawn this afternoon makes me feel a bunch of emotions. I’m ready to go, but I’m torn about leaving. I’m sad to leave, but I’m happy to go. I’m anxious to go, but I’m apprehensive about leaving. But among all of this, I am strangely peaceful. Possible freak out mode in the near future, but hey, what the heck? I’ll settle for peacefulness right now.

Onto our next adventure!


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