Being Mama, Family, Kids, Life, Love, Marriage

Where Have All The Housewives Gone

We just had our yearly chat with the gal who does our taxes. I have been contemplating working a few hours in the summer. Something very part time. I asked if upping our income a bit was going to help or hurt us in the long run. Funny thing is if I make over $10,000 annual ( which I probably won’t) we up our tax bracket and lose some of the return we are now getting. Essentially, it’s a wash.

My kids are teens now and looking for work of their own. I love this age and yet I yearn to just be out of the house. They don’t need me as much now anyway. I love home but I’m not thrilled with staying there all day, ya get me? And yet, I hear my mother’s voice saying how she wished she had not gone to work when my baby brother entered his teens. He had a very troubled adolescence and she still feels a bit guilty.

And if I’m being honest, there are days when I’m not really up to the task. I’m working on myself this year to improve that. After chronic pain had become intolerable and migraines ate up the hours in my days I stepped back and made few changes in order to better myself physically.

I’m sure this all sounds like I am justifying my choice to remain out of the work place ( at least for now). I guess it is but it’s so much more than that to me. It’s a calling. I’m made to nurture and to love. I don’t understand how being a housewife has gotten such a bad rap. No, we are no longer living in the 1950s but there is truly something satisfying about providing the best for your family.

On any given day I am a driver, a cook, a teacher and tutor, a cleaner (NOT maid), a mentor, a help meet, a friend and lover, an encourager, an organizer, a planner and appointment maker, an economizer and financial assistant, a dreamer and reader, a prayer warrior and a keeper of the home. It’s a big job.

I was purging paper work recently and found stacks of report cards and college applications. Among these were several letters of reference from various mentors and teachers. I read them and was amazed at their kind words. They were chock full of sincere praise and promise. How did I not realize I was a golden girl? I was one of the few that would “amount to something”. I was just now seeing what my teachers must have seen in me then. A bright future. A world changer. Someone destined for more.

Did I squander my life? In the world’s eyes, maybe. But as I sit here writing this my 10 year old is bringing me her school poster to inspect, my 16 year old is explaining his newest dilemma with his vintage motorcycle and I am nagging my 13 year old to feed the goats. I know this may sound like your definition of crazy but this is my little slice of heaven and I wouldn’t trade a second. I’m here for my family and that’s right where I want to be.

I may be in the minority on this one but that’s ok. I’m proud to be a mother and housewife. And, if you ever need a cup of coffee or a hot meal there’s a good chance you will find me in my kitchen and I will gladly bring you in and make you feel right at home.

Family, Health, Life, Love

Passing

My grandparents have been in very poor health this year. There were several times we nearly lost them. This week we got news of grandpas passing. Only two days later grandma passed too. It was expected and it was sad but I think also it was a bit of relief as well. They had suffered much in the last few years. In one week I have lost my only two remaining grandparents.

We often note at a death how great and noble the person was. How they will be dearly missed. How things will be altered without them. This is absolutely true. I loved my grandpa. His silly ways and sharp wit. His ornery streak that he just may have passed on to a few of us. His musical ear and gift of language and love of the old country. I love it and will think of it with wistful admiration and longing.

My grandmother, for all her quirks, taught me to love the green and growing things. She was a master gardener. She was generous with gifts and hospitality. She loved to bake and tried to feed us every time we came over, even in her feeble years.

However, there is another side of death that I’d like to address. I’d like to speak for anyone who may have been hurt at their hands. Those who have endured insults and lies. Those who have been abused. We tend to overlook the bad and really, we should. I know that. But it is still right and good to liberate those that have been bound.

To those I love: you are free now. We can all move on to a more peaceful life together. We have an opportunity to start fresh as a family and love one another more dearly. In our grief may there be blessing. As we mourn May there be hope. In sorrow may love grow. My heart goes out to you all.

Again,I say be free and live well

Your loving daughter, sister, niece, cousin, friend,

Veronica❤️

Get Happy!, Health, Life

Breath

Do you every have an experience that just seems to breathe new life into you? We recently had a women’s conference at church. It was refreshing and strengthening and made me think about how I live my life for God. I brought home a few of my decor items and used them at home to remind myself of the lessons learned:

1) Go after your goals in God

2) Be an example that others can look up to

3) Holiness begins with a pure heart

There was so much more that rang true for me but these three were the ones that stood out the most. This conference was nearly cancelled and I am thankful that it wasn’t! God was talking to me and I was blessed to be a part of it!

What restores your soul?

I love a good rollicking church service and zen farmhouse decor apparently 😄

Farm, Home, Life, Organize

The Hidden Corners

A picture is worth a thousand words….

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Exhibit A: side view of glorious mess
Exhibit B: top view of glorious mess

This glorious mess was my craft closet. The place you go to for glue sticks and markers. Where the glitter, paper and paint hang out. Where the wild things are.

I was doing admirably well on my decluttering mission but I could not face the craft cupboard. You see, I have been a teacher for the last decade. That pile of junk represented years of well thought out activities and all the chaos that they bring. It represented children whose faces lit up when I told them it was time for art. It was their pride in creating something of their own that made me just so happy to be the one who got to share that moment with them.

It was also a festering cubby that had grown into an aggressive stash. It would attack anytime someone opened the door searching for a clipboard. It was time…

The empty space. Wow. That’s a pretty big cupboard!

I have come to the conclusion that these things just take time. I am still adjusting to not being a full time teacher. It hurts a bit not to be that anymore but it’s where I’m at. I gave myself permission to get rid of what I no longer needed and also to be who I am right now. This stuff that is so meaningless was tied into who I was, or who I had been. Now I have set it free and also myself.

I can honestly say I feel like the possibilities are endless. God use me for YOUR glory. Make me what you will.  ❤

Also some cool bananas I drew a while back. Because Bananas.

….🎹🎶🎵”Isn’t she lovely?”🎼🎵🎤…..

Um, sorry I was having a moment. Anyway, all the useful stuff found its way back home. No more leftover school stuff and half baked art projects. I may or may not have opened the door just to gaze at it 10x in a row…

I know it doesn’t seem like much but this cupboard really nagged me. More for what it represented to me than anything else. Sometimes the things we collect can really hold our minds in limbo. I have found decluttering to me is much like showering or praying.  The weight of worry lessens and you just feel better about life in general.

Unfinished business is always at the tail end! Thrift and gift time! I take out the trash then I can donate or gift any useful items in not going to use.

Aaahhhh…..did you hear that? It was the cupboard door closing with nary a bump!

Best of everything to you all!

Health, Life

Balance

 

 

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Enjoying time with this little life. Oh how I love my family!

I used to think that balance was the key to living harmoniously.  That by adept scheduling of must dos with periodic entertainment breaks was the key to keeping our busy lives running smoothly.  The only problem is that life never plays along with my carefully laid plans.  It is by nature feast or famine. We are overwhelmed with stimulus or we are bored. No one is around or we are swamped with people.

Can balance really help? The very word implies that we are teetering between success and failure.  If we choose option A over option B we tip the scales just a bit too far and have to scramble to regain stability.  Nah… just nah… I’m taking a different route this time.  New year, new life…whatever.  How about new vision?  New growth?  How about peace?

I want resiliency.  I want to know how to ride the waves of life and to come down with a soft landing.  I want to be held in the hollow of God’s hand and to know that He is with me through every tempest and every trial.  I don’t want to figure it all out.  I want to trust.  I want to be filled with hope and love.  I want to stand firm against any storm that I face knowing that I stand with God and not alone.

I’ve set a few goals this year and I hope you have too.

Whatever 2019 brings you don’t forget to look up!

Sincerely,

Veronica

Life

Today Is A New Day

I love the saying “Today is the first day of the rest of your life”. I hate to think about how many days have I felt unwell or inadequate or simply just not brave enough to tackle something that fluttered tauntingly just out of reach.

I ache to be a better person than I am. I strive to reach my full potential. I want to live with abandon. And I find myself falling short every time. “To err is human, to forgive divine”, Alexander Pope. Oh so true. But I often need to apply this personally and so I go about forgiving myself again.

Its amazing that the sheer resilient nature of a human can conquer so much. The power of a made up mind is a force to be reckoned with. As strong as we may be on our own we are still in need of an even greater strength. Where our human ability cannot complete the job God steps in and orchestrates the rest.

We step forward and play our part while the master conductor makes sure everything flows in perfect harmony. All we know is our small piece. We practice and perform and the rest is out of our hands. As the music flows on our finite moment has passed and now we lean on Him and wait until the piece is finished.

Today I want to know His will for me. Today I will play my part and let the rest flow past, content in the knowledge that I belong and I am needed but that I cannot play the piece on my own. Today I will live for today.

Wherever life finds you today I hope you are encouraged to live life fully!

Love,

Veronica

Get Happy!, Life

Thankful 365- May 2018

I began this series of posts after seeing the idea of practicing daily gratefulness. I thought it was so good I had to blog about it!  I have been unable to blog lately for a variety of reasons but this was very important to me and I intend to see the whole year through with a thankful thought for each and every day. Happiness is a fleeting emotion but gratitude can be cultivated. What are you thankful for today?


 

thankful 365

 


 

May 1- A new month and its the last frost day so I can safely plant out my garden! Yes!

May 2- One of my students had a birthday today so that was fun. And I got to see a few old friends!

May 3-Again, care group…I’m seeing a pattern here!

May 4- The sun is shining AND it’s Friday. So naturally I had to dress up!

May 5- I’m thankful for my family and friends. They make my life fuller and sweeter

 


 

May 6- My bus kids. I mean can you be sad when you see this?

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Me and one of my goof balls

May 7- This!

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Simple reading assignments can be a blessing too!

 


 

May 8- A short work week 🙂 and getting 2 cards in the mail. My MIL and Granny in law love me!

May 9- Church!

May 10- Church!

May 11- Wonderful conversations with friends and ….church! (My church is awesome)

May 12- Treated myself to an early mother’s day gift and bought a couple of flowers to plant in my hanging baskets On the porch. I love my front porch during the warm months!

May 13- I’m not gonna lie…..when your kids pretty much expect you to wait on them and your husband leaves for not 1 but 2 calls from work it kinda makes for a poopy mother’s day. On a positive note, I did buy myself treats and got to chat with my mom for a bit. After I was done feeling sorry for a fairly unimpressive mother’s day I was pretty thankful that I have these brats around. *sigh*

May 14- I had a bad attitude today. (I’m struggling with PCOS and it can be unkind) but my husband took the day off so it was nice having him around. Even if he did ignore me (he was installing flooring) I got a fab new floor out of the deal. And he fixed my sprinkler and went grocery shopping with me. That hasn’t happened in a looooong time and it was pretty nice- and much faster than me and the monsters!

 


 

May 16- I’m thankful for changes. I feel like we are on the brink of a breakthrough.

May 17- A get away! Its finally happening!

May 18- The Hennekes hit the big city. We aren’t on the farm anymore! We enjoyed Pike Place and a fun Ferris wheel ride over the water.

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Seattle, WA

May 19- More together time! It was lovely in lush green Washington state.

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Bremerton, WA

 


 

May 20-We enjoyed a few stops on the way home today. I didn’t want to come back! (its not often I have my hubby to myself)

May 21- My hubby starts his new job TODAY! Yes, its a new adventure and we are hopeful for the future😀🚛

May 22- Last week of school starts today and then….SUMMER!

May 23- Church (Yes, it really is that awesome)

May 24- Graduation!

May 25- First day of summer vacay😛😊🎉

 


 

May 26- My daughter is 13 today!!! Thankful for this girl

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My lovely little lady on her 13th birthday!

 

May 27- My friend has her birthday today! Thankful for a girlhood spent with her❤

May 28- Memorial day! Thankful for our freedom and those who made it possible🇺🇸

May 29- A day with my crazy one – she is pure entertainment!

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Me and cray cray having a relax day

 

May 30- My animals. Yes, they are work and yes they can be expensive at times but I love their silly little ways and all they give us

May 31- My new baby niece! Yay! I’m an auntie again!

 


 

Overall this month has thrown us a few curve balls…. (hellllo job switch!) and it is going to be an adjustment but I’m keeping things looking up because that is how we can not only be blessed but be a blessing.

Wishing the best to you and yours,

Veronica

Being Mama, Get Happy!, Life

Thankful 365 – April 2018

I have been working on this little project since the first of the year and here is Thankful 365 for April.  This was an idea that I saw and decided to try it out for myself.  In order to cultivate a grateful spirit I have written one positive and specific thought for each day.  This will be for an entire year but I will post it at the end of each month.


 

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April 1- Easter. Thank you Jesus for your sacrifice

April 2- Gardening. Set my first plants in the ground TODAY. Ah, blessed dirt!

April 3- Gardening

April 4 – My doctor! She is pretty awesome.

April 5- Care group- they’re my tribe!


April 6- It’s Friday and its been a long week. FriYAY!

April 7- My husband took 2 out of town calls that kinda ate up our Saturday but I’m glad that my son had a job to do to keep him busy and productive. The girls and I spent the day cleaning so we made the most of a rainy Saturday.

April 8- I’m thankful for wonderful church services that change lives for the better!

April 9- It was a crazy busy day but I’m thankful I had energy for it. I may not have much left but I got through today and made a big pot of chili for a cozy comfort food. Yum!

April 10- My dog. She was at the vet and we missed her. Its good to have her home.


April 11- My seedlings have sprouted!

April 12- My husband. Its his birthday today and I’m thankful for him. And for seeing friends who came just to wish my man a happy birthday 🎂

April 13- I’m thankful for a day off. I was not at my best but a rainy restful day was just the thing.

April 14- lazy Saturday. And we hired out cleaning the chicken coop! Nice!

April 15- Had fun with my bus kids. Love those babies!


April 16- Monday workday. Gettin’ stuff done!

April 17-My husband! He loves me enough to buy me treats when I’m crabby #lovehim #hesakeeper #scottiedoglicorice

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These little puppies are sooo cute and tasty!

April 18- Bert and Ernie! Not the Muppets, our new cows!

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These guys. They are cute but come fall they will be huge. They certainly round out the farm! #hennekefarm

April 19- Care group…my sides still ache!

April 20-It’s Friday!

April 21-We were go getters today! So much done! Whew!

April 22- I’m glad we had a relatively quiet Sunday. Sometimes its hopping and a bit too busy for me.

April 23- Thankful for tea today

April 24- Got to show the animals off to a friend today. Their autistic son loved them! It made me happy that he was so taken with them and enjoyed being outside.

April 25- Today I realized that it is entirely possible that I could have ended up childless. I have 3 kids but after a visit to the doctor I fully realized that had I not had children at a younger age time simply would have run out for them. I had a very small window and I took it. I’m so thankful I did!


April 26- Its Thursday and I’m tired but I’m glad to be tired for a reason. I have a family a home and work to do

April 27 – Field trip! And flying with the Young Eagles program!Free flight for kids 8-18

April 28- Blood screening and church clean up and a NAP! Busy but happy day

April 29- Church. My resting place.

April 30- My amazing nephew who turned 16 today!


It was a busy month and as I look into summer it will only get busier.  There is just so much that I am thankful for and it increases daily!

 

Looking for the good and wishing you the best!

Veronica

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Life

Failing Enthusiastically

eau de parfum

Yesterday was fun. We went skiing. I’m using the term loosley. Overall, I’m pretty happy with the progress I’ve made. I have been skiing a total of 3 times now. So yeah, not very much. We go once a year. And I’m 37. Have I mentioned that I’m not as springy as I used to be? Obviously I’m not on the fast track to the winter Olympics but I am learning.

I was able to get a lesson and practice on the bunny hill. I’m actually pretty good at turns (on gentle slopes) but I kinda sorta freak out when it gets steep. Hence the constant falls. On the bright side I did get the official “pass” from our instructor. Another bright spot is that they have a really nice staff up there. I may have been rescued once or twice. They had a slow day and I’m sure I provided lots of good entertainment for them.  You’re welcome.

My goal was to actually ride the lift and to make it down the hill. Technically, I did do both. Not actually on my own but hey, baby steps. Falling and making a fool of myself aside, I truly love skiing. I love the mountains and the fresh air and the beauty of it all. I love the energy and the complete vulnerability of going headlong down a snowy slope. Mostly, I love feeling completely alive. Wind, cold and all. I.am.alive.

Also, riding that lift up and up and up is about the most peaceful thing a being can do.  You know that lull you feel floating on the river?  The smoldering captivation of a campfire that you can’t look away from?  Yeah, it’s that but with snow.

And to be honest, the looking foolish part wasn’t really that bad. I realized that I am a stubbornly proud person (something I actually already knew but passionately hate to admit) and that there are a lot of kind people who get that. I was thankful that God allowed me a humbling experience and yet to maintain a bit of dignity. One more flaw that was so plainly pointed out…*sigh*. Well, pride certainly does go before the fall! Or maybe with the fall in my case.

 

And so I leave you with this:


“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill


“In life, the question is not if you will have problems, but how you are going to deal with your problems. If the possibility of failure were erased, what would you attempt to achieve? –  John Maxwell from Failing Forward


“To be good at anything you have to first be comfortable with failure” – My College Math Professor

 

“Go ahead, venture out and make a few mistakes.  This life won’t wait for you to get it all figured out.” – Veronica Henneke

 


 

 

Being Mama, Life

The Storyteller In All Of Us

“Tell me a story,

Tell me a story,

Tell me a story and then I’ll go to bed.

You promised me,

You said you would,

You better give in,

‘Cause I’ve been good.

Tell me a story and then I’ll go to bed.” – Raffi

I have found that we all tell stories even if some of us do it unconsciously.  We have all heard the child who in excruciating detail gives this mother the account of his recent bruise or scrape.  How about the mother of a newborn relating the latest development of her little darling.  Maybe the guy who has just bought a sweet new ride. Oh yeah, we’ve heard some of those!  Is granny giving you the rundown on her recent surgery or maybe it’s couponing bragging rights that have their moment of glory.

Whatever the topic I think we can all say we have been the story teller a time or two in our lives.  It’s a human thing- we want to share the details and have our friends in rapt attention for our little moment. It’s also a heritage.  Long before the written word oral stories kept traditions and cultures alive.  We have a sense of belonging when our stories are listened to and passed on.

What's in a Story

 

My pastor tells stories as he preaches and I love to listen to them.  He says that Jesus told stories (parables) and it worked pretty well for Him!  I have to agree.  I always have fun at church when he is preaching.

I began telling stories to my children whenever we were out without a book and they needed a quiet moment.  It’s strange that I never considered it a thing – it was just natural.  We are a TV free family and that can pose some challenges on the entertainment front.  We cannot pack a library when we travel and when the kids were small no audio book was going to hold their attention.  I became the master of voice inflection, turning myself into a crotchety old woman or a chattering blue bird who sang as he flew.  We had one infamous story about a dog who blew bubbles out the wrong end.  If I can remember it all I will write it down for you.  It was highly requested during the early school age years.  Another one told the tale of a wayward elderly couple setting off on vacation only to misunderstand their way across America one speed bump at a time.  Again, if I could only remember it all!

When I was in grade school a principal of a neighboring school would take a day to tour around the area and tell stories.  He was a master! Old Russian folktales of houses with chicken feet sprang to live in my over active little mind.  I cannot tell you very much about the man himself.  It was as if he became a completely different person as he wove his tale.  He disappeared and only the story remained.  I remember being in complete awe and not being able to say a word when he got ready to leave our classroom.  My little brain couldn’t separate the man from the story and it jarred my senses to realize that it was all just fancy words floating through the air and that this was just a regular guy walking out to his car to go tell another batch of third graders another whopper.

I have made about a million goals for myself this year as I always do but I very much hope to capture a few stories in the near future.  I love to tell them and have the words float away but I’d like to nail them down now and then too.  How about you?  Do you have story waiting to be told?