our neighbors

are a lively bunch.

take The Matos, for example.
always in different stages of life, they grow their brood of youngsters into a multitude.
they never think in terms of one, or two...only in multiples of ten and twenty.
feeding this herd must be quite a strain on Mr. Mato.
i bet he works a lot of overtime :)

and then there's The Mellons.
not a very talkative bunch, but what they lack in conversation, they gain in girth.
as you can see, jr. Mellon takes after his father in more ways than one...

The Mellons are neighbors with Mr. Squash.
Mr. Squash tends to live on the grumpier side of life.
he doesn't prefer to have visitors, keeps his foliage to himself, and occiasionally smokes a cigar when Mrs. Squash is out playing bingo with her friends.

i can't forget Mr. and Mrs. Pepper.
a retired couple who are endearingly kind, and forever giving of themselves
this sweet pair loves long walks and an occasional glass of red wine.
and can often be found on the porch swing, watching the local youngsters play

To the right of The Peppers, are The Dillweeds.
a slender and breezy folk,
they like to fix up old cars and Mr. Dillweed has a hankering for cheesesteaks every friday night.
if you need to add some spice into your life, they are sure to ablige.

Miss Basil is another story.
she's got spice, all right
and a long line of gentlemen callers who don't quite seem to meet her high standards.
never married, but much sought-after, Miss Basil is a well known cullinary chef who is famous for her marinara sauce.

then there's The Beans.
now here's a wiry bunch.
don't let their lean exterior fool you.
they're nothing to be reckoned with.
i've crossed them a time or two and just when you think they are down and out, they come back with a knockout comeback.

my neighborhood wouldn't be complete without mentioning The Corn Family.
they get a little leafy at times
and we often refer to them as the hippies of our group.
never quite on time, they seem to take life in stride and enjoy the sunshine.

feel free to stop by and visit.
you'll leave with more than your bargained for :)


childhood berries

i had a major flashback today.

similar to the one i have everytime i go to swann's pantry. (though i still love to shop their bargain grocery isiles). i staunchly remember my high school years as an box cutter weilding employee with an eye for well packed grocery bags, and hours of bulk item duty.
ok, that was a long flashback, and it's not even the one i was originally reffering to:) forgive me.

the boys and i spent the morning berry picking with my mom in backwoodsy henricksville.
it all came back to me.
stephen and i spent many a childhood hour with a basket in hand
skipping along (ok, maybe running, not skipping)
plucking berried delights from amongst the viney pricker shrubs.
the crisp scent of fresh pine and wood chips somehow waft in, as we sported our home-made moccasins (acctually true) and echoed our laughter through the then undeveloped surrounding farmland.

fastforward 20 some years (scary to think it was that long ago!)
the boys and i pile in my mom's 2006 polaris ranger (kindof like a big tractor, but cooler) with my mom at the wheel. there are even seat belts, a radio, and a cosy cupholder!

(a little more stylish then the days of moccasins and basket wielding, i must say.)

as we perused the yardage, going here and there, through the tall grass in the field, or around back for a view of the fire pit, we found ourselves along that very patch of backyard vines.
the berry season wasn't quite as ripe and charming as i remembered (perhaps we missed prime berry season), but with a little effort and a few pricker stabs on my arms to prove it, the boys were inhaling red berries like candy.

we ate our way along the woods until i was sure we would resound the "berry flush" if we didn't put our berry picking on hold :)

it was day to remember.

the capture

i think these are perhaps my favorite photographs of all time.
not only do my children look absolutely stunning
(me? biast? nooo way!)
but somehow you can't tell it was laundry day and they are wearing the clothes that are normally at the bottom of the drawer :)

i see who they are...the pure, crisp love for life that springs out
that's the amazing thing about lindsay.
her talented capture is truly one that i admire.
her attention to detail.
the shot at just the right angle
the directional lighting
the closeup-draw-you-in textures

i'm being honest.

sometimes i don't understand.
many things, acctually
but recently,
i don't understand the burden i have
i can't figure out how to love this un-named child any less
today i am physically hurting as i think and pray for her.
i think it is completly and horribly unfair.
i want to buy an airline ticket and fly to china right this very minuet.
i want to search the streets until i find her. i want to hold her and kiss her until she falls asleep in my arms, and then i want to carry her all the way home.
i want her to play trains with foster in the playroom.
i want her to giggle and run in circles with rowan.
i want her to snuggle the beautiful blanket that i will make her.
i want to sing to her as she falls asleep at night.
i want to tell her over and over again how much she is loved.
i want to tell her the story her Maker gave her, and how unique and special it is.

i don't understand why things aren't coming together like i had hoped
i always start so gung-ho
and now a slow adversity has hit...the adversity and pain of waiting.
not even waiting on someone else, but waiting on us.

i don't undsertand the financial complexities of our life
my faith isn't strong enough.
i'm still trying to do it on my own.
as i am typing, i realize in one strong movement this is the issue.
i'm death-gripping every cent, when i should be willing to tithe it and see it come back ten fold.
i see how much we have and i see how much we need
and it boggles me.
but that's where it all begins.
i think the wait is waiting on me to sink in the Truths that i know.
i think that's the adversity in all of this.
that's the worst part.
i'm in my own way.
and i hate it.

so this is me.
being honest.
a real debbie-downer :)
but sometimes, i can't sugar coat it.
i don't think i should.



was wonderful.
a breath of fresh air.
the best day in a while

today, i really needed a best day
i think i'm having a mid-summer slump.
not a crisis, mind you
but a slump of quiet lonely.
when my kids are alseep, and my husband is at work, i have been finding myself unusually alone.
it's a new feeling for me.
normally, i'm a busy little bee
busying myself with all sorts of shinanigans
but, as of late, i can't seem to shake my exhaustion.
with my exhaustion, i eat constantly.
with my constant eating, i feel too guilty to work out
with my guiltful non-workout, my waistline is increasing
ever perpetuating my original feelings of lonely (and now love-handle-ish-ness)
so there you have it.
way too much information.

thanks to a generous portion of friends, our day was filled with everything i needed...
time to be out with the kiddos.
time to be out without the kiddos.

and i am refreshed.
have you ever needed one of those?


momma crab's tail

it's been a dreary few days.
we've done all there is to do within the 3 windowless walls of our condo.
including (but not limited to)...
pyramid-type constructed forts
monet-esque water paint masterpieces
enough baseball practice to join the phillies farm team
a perfected 3 year old tennis swing that i like to call a protege of perfection
and countless couch cushion high-jump/twirly-bird/wreckless-abandon type maneuvers.
though i long for sunshine, our hermit-like stature has forced us to be creative, something that us henricks have always prided ourselves in.

we spent most of our morning pretending.
it gets a little interesting when the mind of my 3 year old is involved.
the same items interchange constantly and shift from one fictitious character to the next without warning.

foster announces that we are a family of penguins diving in the ocean, searching for fish. we pounce into action.
(ok, foster and i pounce while rowan was still trying to figure out what was going on).
we dive onto a mound of floored couch cushions, and whilst we search for "fish" foster makes a starteling discovery: a baby penguin (played by his monkey) has fallen into the water, but does not know how to swim. a large amount of commotion erupts as foster bravely rescues the baby penguin (played by his monkey) in dramatic fashion. a lot of "oh, my... poor little penguin." statements are heard. "look, he's so small! here, hold him mommy! be gentle! he's little."

(i like how he always tells me to be gentle. as if i am going to knock his penguin/monkey up-side-the-head at any moment.)

we proceed to cuddle the penguin/monkey and insure his well-being. our play is interrupted slightly when rowan jumps on the mound of cushions and accidentally steps on foster's blue blanket, which had miraculously transformed into a large pile of wood.
"don't step on the wood rowan!!!! it's too dange'rous! you can't step on wood. you have to carry it!"
the stack of "wood" is safely removed from rowan's footed grasp and we resume play.

i ask if the baby penguin was feeling ok.
the response shows the fictitious character switch:
"no, it's not a penguin, it's a baby crab."

"oh, ok." i said correctively, "what a cute baby crab you have!"

foster responds with, "look, here's his mama!" (pointing down to his blue blanket high atop the large pile of cushions we are currently sitting on). as he climbs to the top and sits on the mama crab (blue blanket) he says, "she's really nice. she's very kind. i love her."

(i'm quite pleased with his idea of a nice and kind mama, whom he loves. makes me think he is really talking about me :)
i say sweetly, "oh, i'm glad she is so kind! we love being kind! is rowan one of her babies??"

as if i should have known, foster says "no, he's a little old crab. he's old."

ok, interesting, i think to myself. "if your monkey is a baby crab, and your blue blanket is the mommy crab, and rowan is a little old crab, then who is mommy?"

"you sit over there..." (pointing to a distant couch cushion) "on the momma crab's tail."

banished to the tail of a fictitious momma crab's tail. such is life :)


practical prayers


dear jesus...
thank you for that old spider on the ball at the pool.
thank you for boats that crash boats.
thank you for hot dogs.
thank you for pillow.


i'm in love with...

the crisp rasp of net cord
the flinch of reaction time
the echoing pounce of a high falling lobb
the netted stabs of greatness
the pound of quickened footsteps
the smell of freshly opened puffyness
the spring of spry topspin
warp speed that is my brother's squirly serve
astonished giggles at an unbelieveable shot, no matter who the victor
high fives for a rally well exicuted or a swing well swung
the cold shiver of an ice cold slurp
tacky tourna-grip

my favorite raquet
sadly last strung 6/1/04
i still love the way it makes my arm feel
when glorious contact is made
every bit of it i love
i remember it all

thanks to mr. and mrs. h and a real ringer
who enjoy the pleasure of an improptu game as much as i
i've been rejuvinated.

new addition to my ever lengthy to-do list: string raquets :)


sometimes he talks crazy...

or does he acctually make perfect sense? hmm...

case and point.
this morning.
a newly formed long line of various vehicals form in perfect symetry.

me: "whatcha making foster?"
foster: "a long line of cars."

(ok, i guess i should have asked a more intuituve question. i'll try again.)

me: "where are they going?"
foster: "cars aren't creatures. their sick. they have to go talk to the engine doctor."



my favorite past-time.
perhaps my favorite present-time.
regardless, i do it all day and night long.
now before you start looking over your shoulder for my creepy 007 maneuvers, i'll explain.

you see, the most significant children's product on the market (second only to the dwink) is the monitor.
i am in love with it.
i loathe the day when i am forced to reliquish its listening capacities and leave my children to their own devices.
i take comfort in the static hum. i sleep to its glorious monotony. i clean to its fresh white noise of slumbering offspring.
but even more delightful to my senses are the secret spy abilities i am enabled with upon its usage. i often find the cutest conversations occur whilst listening with stealthy ears.

both boys in upstairs playroom.
i escape downstairs for a fleeting moment to affix rowan's upcoming naptime bottle.
5 seconds elapse and rowan's breathless cries erupt.
i make a run for the stairs, but then i hear it...
a sweet little big-brother voice coming to the rescue.

foster: "it's ok rowie...oh rowie, don't cry, buddy...your ok. see, it's ok rowie."

rowie: "sniffle. sniffle." cries subside.

foster: "here, come sit on my lap. did you know jesus loves you? jesus loves me, too."

rowie: "sniffle." listening intently

foster: "lets read a bible story. you feel better. see bible help. hmm, what to read, what to read...
moses in basket...
big fish...
no, sit down rowan. here, sit on my lap. sit down, right here, rowie, right here!
baby jesus in barn....
last meal...
hmm, what to read, what to read..."


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