Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Family Update!

On Saturday we took a trip to Kingsport and visited with our families. We stopped at Justin's parents' house first and had a great time with them. Poppy took Micah for a ride on the lawn mower and Micah serenaded us with a piano solo. You'll have to visit my husband's facebook for that video. It should be uploaded tomorrow.

Then we went to my parent's house where Micah ate strawberries and Papaw read him a book. I also came back with a huge stack of books!

We also visited my grandparents and all the great-grandchildren were present so they took a picture. My camera was being packed in the car because we were leaving so I don't have a picture of this at present. But I will get one and post it!

Here's a great picture of Micah before church Sunday morning.

New Zion Baptist Church had its annual Memorial Day picnic on Monday and we had a great time eating and playing volleyball!

Today we took Micah to his doctor's appointment in Cincinnati. They were thrilled with Micah and had fun playing with him. They said he looked fantastic and to bring him back in three months! Dr. Burrow was in Hawaii a few weeks ago and he brought Micah back a great Hawaiian outfit. I think he'll wear it to church tomorrow. Don't worry, I'll post a picture of that too.

We also went and ate lunch with Amy, who was his nutritionist when he was in the RCNIC.

We also ate at Chili's on the way home. We always have a really good time on these trips and I'm glad my husband is able to take the time off to go. It wouldn't be the same without him!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Mexican Pizza

My mom made this recipe while I was growing up and now I make it for my family. (Does that make you feel old, Mom?) It is delicious and a great way to use up leftover beans! I love making new meals from leftovers!

7 heaping spoonfuls of cornmeal
6 heaping spoonfuls of all-purpose flour
1 egg
~1 1/2 cups of milk (enough to make a thin cornmeal batter)
1 pound ground meat
1 can beans of your choice (or leftover soup beans)
1/4 cup chopped black olives
2 tsp. taco seasoning
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup cheddar blend cheese

Brown meat in skillet and drain off fat. Add beans, olives, and seasonings and heat until warmed through. Mix the first four ingredients in a small bowl, adding enough milk to make a thin cornmeal batter. Pour the cornbread onto a greased pan (I use a cookie sheet with sides, otherwise the batter will run off the edges). Pour hamburger mixture onto the cornbread batter spreading the batter out as you go. Cover with cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is brown and crust is cooked.

There are several variations to this. You can add onions and peppers to the hamburger mixture. You can add salsa. You can use chili beans and skip some of the seasoning. Or add more seasoning. Use a different cheese. Forget the cornbread crust and use this as a dip with some tortilla chips.

On a side note about food, we have recently started using ground turkey and we love it! We can get it cheaper than hamburger at Aldi and it's better for you. I personally wouldn't make turkey burgers out of it but I use it any other place I would use ground beef.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday Favorites: Answers to Prayer

Answers to prayers are delightful things. Sometimes everyone else sees them too and sometimes only you know what God did. I'm not to just be thankful for the "yes's"; some of the greatest blessings have been when God has closed on the door on something. Why? Because then I know that is not what God wants. And if He doesn't want it, I don't want it either.

Isn't this a cute picture of my guys? And this has nothing to do with my blog post, but they are my real favorites!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Benefits of a Schedule

"I work for a King. He has put me in charge of his home. When He comes to see how I have managed His possessions and His children, I do not want to be found wanting. I want to do my best. Everything I have is on loan from Him. I have room and board and a job to do, but it is all for Him. Therefore I want to dress my best and do my best in all my work. I also want to be creative, for this is a sincere attempt to glorify Him and His beautiful creation. How I manage my home is a form of worship to Him." --Lydia Sherman

We stick to a pretty regular routine here in the Hensley home and it’s done on purpose! I have tried to arrange my schedule by what works best for my husband and son because it’s really not about me, right? For example, Micah is clingy in the morning and I try remember the familiar reference of a gas tank. His emotional gas tank has to be filled up before he is ready to play alone or obey. My schedule allows us that time in the morning to reconnect and cuddle. And who doesn’t love that?? I could be very frustrated every morning if I planned big tasks for right before breakfast and Micah fussed the whole time. Why do that to myself? The great thing is that you don’t have to (or need to!) follow my schedule. But find what works for your family and stick with it!


1. Less stress: I know what I need to do each day to keep my home clean and comfortable for my family.

2. Family time: Because I’ve scheduled, I’m free to spend time with Justin and Micah and not feel guilty about it! I plan in playtime with Micah and time with Justin.

3. Easy pickup: Our home generally can be company ready in 5-15 minutes unless you come in the middle of my cleaning. Then, well, you can just be happy that I clean! But normally I can just wash the dishes and pick up toys.

4. Focused work: I don’t waste time wondering what I should do first or when I should do it. I can just go do it.

5. Less guilt: I’m not thinking that I should be spending that time with Micah or Justin instead of cleaning or thinking about the housework that needs to be done while spending time with my family. I don’t feel guilty if I take a nap while Micah sleeps. (Honestly, sometimes that’s the best thing I can do for my family.)

Now occasionally if I have extra things to do go get ready for a trip or to have company the next day, I may make a list of tasks. A friend of mine gave me the great idea of keeping a dry-erase board in the kitchen for this. Unfortunately I haven't gotten one yet, but I will! Other than these occasions, I just work off my schedule.

Next week I will talk about my cleaning schedule and how that works for our family!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Blueberry Clafouti

Clafouti is a cherry pudding from France, but this has been adapted with blueberries. Bake it and tell people that you can cook French food!

1/3 cup sugar, plus more for preparing pan
2 cups fresh blueberries (1 pint)
1 cup milk
3 tbsp. sour cream
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
pinch salt
confectioner's sugar

Position rack in the center of oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter a 10 in. glass pan pie or ceramic quiche pan (I used a round cake pan) and sprinkle with sugar. Spread blueberries over the bottom of the pan and set aside.

In a food processor or blender, combine milk, flour, sugar, eggs, egg yolks, vanilla, and salt. Blend until smooth. Pour over the blueberries. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until puffy and golden. Let cool for five minutes and serve warm, dusted with confectioner's sugar.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday Favorites: Raspberries

There are so many "small" things in life that I really enjoy! So I'm going to start "Friday Favorites" which will highlight one of those things each week.

I have a bit of an obsession with berries: blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, all of them! I think they are fantastic and I can eat them by the handful! So this morning I had a raspberry smoothie for breakfast! Super easy and really healthy!

Please keep in mind that I didn't measure any of this. I just pour ingredients into the blender and mix until it tastes like what I want it too. So these are close estimations.

1 cup frozen raspberries
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp sugar
~1 cup skim milk

Combine 1st three ingredients in blender. Add part of milk and mix. Keep adding milk until you get the consistency you desire.

Good for breakfast, good for a snack, or even a dessert!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Just a Little More...

Some days it may seem like all we do is change diapers and wash dishes but there are long-term goals we're working toward!

"Oh that God would give every mother a vision of the glory and splendor of the work that is given to her when a babe is place in her bosom to be nursed and trained! Could she have but one glimpse in to the future of that life as it reaches on into eternity; could she look into it's soul to see its possibilities; could she be made to understand her own personal responsibility for the training of this child, for the development of its life, and for its destiny,--she would see that in all God's world there is no other work so noble and so worthy of her best powers, and she would commit to no others hands the sacred and holy trust given to her." -JR Miller

Friday, May 13, 2011

Beef Lo Mein

Who doesn't love Chinese, right? Besides you picky eaters out there! Thankfully, you don't live at my house so here is one of our favorite recipes!

Lo Mein
1 pound beef, pork, chicken, or shrimp, sliced into bite-size pieces
Veggies of your choice: asparagus, broccoli, snow peas, carrots, squash, zucchini, mushrooms, onions, peppers etc
1/2 lb. spaghetti noodles
1 1/2 tbsp. cornstarch
3 tsp. soy sauce
3 tsp. garlic teriyaki sauce (I'm a little disturbed because they have apparently quit carrying this in stores. You can just use more soy sauce or regular teriyaki sauce.)
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 cup water
Olive or vegetable oil

Cook pasta according to package directions. Heat a wok or large skillet to medium and add small amount of oil. Combine the cornstarch, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, ginger, red pepper flakes, and water in a small sauce pan. Simmer over medium-low, stirring occasionally, while the rest of the meal cooks. Saute each vegetable in oil until crisp-tender. (I cook all my veggies separately because they have different cooking times, but you can double up if you want to speed it up!) Place cooked veggies into a large bowl. Once veggies are cooked, saute your meat until done and add the veggies back to skillet. Drain pasta and add to skillet. Stir and pour in the sauce. Stir and serve! Yummy!!

Linked up at Like a Bubbling Brook's Dinner on a Dime

Monday, May 9, 2011

My Boys

Justin graduated on Saturday with his Master's in Business Administration. He finished classes in December and I think he's been glad to not have classes for these past few months. I am so proud of all the work that he did for this! It was an 18 month degree and he even took classes while Micah was in the hospital in Cincinnati. He has such a great work ethic and loves the work that he does! I appreciate all that he does for our family! He really is the best!!

For my other boy this has been an interesting week. He had shots two weeks ago and these were live virus shots. He was fine for a week and then he started running a low-grade fever. We watched this closely because if his temperature gets to 100.4 we have to take him to Cincinnati. It never got close enough to that to worry too much. Then he broke out in spots. This lasted for a few days. He is also cutting at least three teeth, including two molars. All of this combined means that last week, Micah only slept about half the time he normally does. He seemed fine while he was up in the day and then he would cry and sleep on and off. Thankfully last night he slept great! And he's doing well so far tonight too. The only thing left is a local reaction on his leg to his shots.

I will have to say that we have a great metabolic doctor! He is on vacation in Hawaii and even though he said he wasn't checking his email, he did and he called to check on Micah and give us instructions in case his temperature went up. We are very thankful for him.

Friday, May 6, 2011

To My Mom

I know Mother's Day isn't until Sunday, but my mom is such a special lady that I wanted to talk about her today!

My mom has done way too much for me to list here but I want to mention a few things.

My mom....
-got up every night for years to take me to the bathroom because I was scared to go by myself
-homeschooled me for five years
-taught me to cook when I was small
-let us go crazy in the creek and the woods
-made us hot chocolate when we were done playing in the snow
-listened to my piano practice
-was up early every morning to get things ready for our family
-was always proud to have us at her work

My mom still...
-calls to check on my family
-is my best book supplier
-shares recipes
-makes me laugh with the funny things she says

My mom is a wonderful lady! I really appreciate all she has done for me over the years and the sacrifices she made that nobody noticed. You're the best, Mom! I love you!

And while we're talking about mom's. My mother-in-law happens to be pretty great herself! She has accepted me into her family and loves me. And she raised a great son that I was privileged to marry! I love you too!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Revelations of Motherhood

Micah now drinks his formula from a sippy cup; I know this is unusual because normally kids can just stop drinking formula. Well, Micah can't! Since he just started drinking all his bottles about three weeks before his birthday I was concerned about switching him to the cup. Thankfully, he just drank it from his cup the first time we tried it. Sometimes he needs to be coaxed into drinking it and that takes some time and patience. And I might have more time than patience.

Before bed tonight Micah just cuddled up against me and drank his formula while I sang to him. I was enjoying the baby cuddles and thinking about how much fun it was when I realized that wasn't the point. That baby needs my patience and my love even when he is doing irritating things. That baby needs me to be calm and train him when he is doing things I would prefer he didn't. I didn't have a baby so that he could adjust to my schedule and make life easier (all mothers can laugh here!). I need to forget about what I would want to do and think about why God gave us a baby. God gave us a baby to train up to serve Him. God gave us a baby to make us more like Him. Raising this boy is a high calling and I can't do it on my own.

While making me much more aware of my shortcomings, having a baby has also made me more thankful for some of God's attributes. God is never impatient with me when I'm talking to Him in the middle of the night. He's never trying to sleep or wanting to check His email. God is never frustrated me because He knows that I'm only human. God is patient in showing me something over and over and over and...you get the point. God is never grouchy because He's tired and it's time for bed. God never thinks that something else would much more exciting to do. God never incorrectly manages any situation of my life. How great God is!

Thankfully, He didn't throw me into mothering without any help. I have the instruction of the Bible, the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and great advice from older mothers. There's a great quote from Mrs. Beverly Hyles that applies to mothering. She says "Believe that because of God's promises, you can do whatever you are called upon to do each day." Mothering is bigger than me, but it's not bigger than God!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Sourdough Bread

This is my favorite bread! My favorite way to eat it is right out of the oven with butter melting on a (large) slice. It's also great for making grilled cheeses and French toast. It looks a little more complicated but it really isn't! Just make the starter and keep it in your fridge.


1 package (1 tbsp.) dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (105-115 degrees)
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 cups warm water

Starter Food:

1/4 cup sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup milk

Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup warm water; let stand 5 minutes. Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a medium-size non-metal bowl and stir well. Gradually stir in 2 cups warm water. Add yeast mixture and mix well. Cover starter loosely with plastic wrap or cheesecloth; let stand in a warm place for 72 hours, stirring 2 or 3 times daily. Place fermented mixture in a refrigerator and stir once a day. Use within 11 days. To use, remove sourdough starter from refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for at least one hour. Stir starter well and measure amount of starter needed for recipe. Replenish remaining starter with starter food; stir well. Return to refrigerator. Use starter within 2-14 days, stirring daily. When starter is used again, repeat above procedure for using starter and replenishing with starter food. (Never cover the container too tightly as gas needs to escape and air needs to get in to react with the yeast.)

Sourdough Bread:

2 packages (2 tbsp.) dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 cup sourdough starter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. salt
5 1/2 cups flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water in a large non-metal bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Stir in sourdough starter, 1/4 cup vegetable oil, sugar, salt, and 3 cups flour. Gradually stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place in a well-greased bowl turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in bulk. Punch down dough and divide in half; place on a floured surface. Roll each half into a 12 by 18 in. rectangle. Tightly roll up dough starting at narrow edge; pinch seams and ends together with seal. Place loaves seam side down in 2 greased loaf pans. Cover and let rise in a warm place free from drafts about one hour or until doubled in bulk. Bake at 375ยบ for30-35 minutes or until loaves sound hollow when lightly tapped. Remove loaves from pan and let cool.

(I don't bake my bread that long. I bake it until the tops are brown, then cover with aluminum foil and bake about 7 minutes longer. But my oven bakes hot. Just watch it the first time and check the middle.)