Sunday, December 31, 2006

Week 1: A New Beginning, A New Revelation for the Women to Women Mentoring Program

Week 1: A New Beginning, A New Revelation for the Women to Women Mentoring Program
It was just like in the wagon train movies of the 1800's, the daughter cries sweet goodbyes to her family as her radiant new husband lifts her onto the wagon traveling out west to begin their lives together - leaving the old and pressing on to a new adventure! That was sort of the beginning of my married life, only 5 days wed we scrambled onto a U-Haul jam packed with wedding gifts and 23 years worth of memories and a Siamese Cat named Austin; heading South, from the wet lush green mountains of Oregon to the hot dry landscape of Texas. We embarked on the greatest adventure of our lives, together with the Lord, the pair of us naively headed towards a new life. My husband was paving his way in the world of men, eager to take on the responsibility of caring for a new wife. I, unknowingly at the time, was running from my careful life of rules and order in hopes of uncovering this woman within that I deeply desired to discover.
I grew up in a wonderful church that taught the Bible, but somewhere along the way I had taken all that head knowledge but hadn't a clue how to relate to a very distant God.. I pulled out all the rules and characteristics of God that fit the way I percieved life and created my own image of god. This god that I worshiped was restricted, rigid, expected perfection, was kind yet always down on me because I could never get it just right.. My god was a god of love since he died on the cross for my sins, but he was distant and hard to get close to. Are you getting my picture of God? What is your image of God? What does God think about you each day? The answer to those two questions may just be the most important questions in the entire universe. "What you think about God shapes your whole relationship with him. In addition, what you believe God thinks about you determines how close we will grow towards him." (Ingram, God As He Longs For You To See Him, page 20) Unknowing, my false image of God shaped so much of the woman I had become. I concluded that if I could never please god then why worship him? I had my "fire insurance" so my waste my time trying to please a god that would never be satisfied with me.
But then, with our new life in Texas forming, a new and true image of God began to take shape. The Lord started to reveal Himself to me through prayer times, many trials, Bible studies, friends, my husband, becoming a mother, & great books that taught me about the very nature of God - truths only found in the Bible. The past 4 years I have spent searching and discovering a magnificent God who is the embodiment of perfection, who loves me the same regardless of my actions, whose ways are not my ways and whose deepest desire is to mold me into the image of Christ. The road has not been painless, most of my lessons were forged through great trials, but the rewards have been intimate and everlasting. The more I study the Word of God to discover the multifaceted God I server, the more in awe I stand before Him and the more I fall in love with Him and await the day when I can finally see His face and bow before Him in reverence. I will never conclude my aspirations of knowing God completely, for each trial reveals new truths and experiences. My new longing is for other women to develop a Biblical image of God, because if we have an image of God that is true our perspective on this life shifts from one of self to one of upward focus.
I would like to encourage you to seek out this God you serve, challenge yourself to get into the Word of God and meditate on the life of Jesus, and the God of the Old Testament. Do not be discouraged by trials that will come your way, but be encouraged because it is through these trials that the Lord desires to reveal himself to you; one verse that I meditate on often during trials is James 1:2-3, "Consider it all joy, my brethren when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance." You are being equipped with endurance and experience that will help you along your Christian journey. Please e-mail or call me with your prayer requests, I would love to pray and encourage you!
I will close with a verse hidden deep in the Old Testament - meditate on this verse and ask the Lord to disclose himself deeply and intimately to you over the next 6 months. Please ponder the two questions that started me on a journey to discovering God, "What is your image of God" and "What do you think God sees when he looks at you." Picture the delight the Lord has when you desire to know Him more and seek Him out regularly. Please know that I am praying for you; anticipating the exciting new truths that will be discovered.
The Lord your God is with you,
He is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
He will quiet you with his love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.?
Zephaniah 3:17

Friday, December 15, 2006

Christmas Memories 2006

This Christmas season was crazy at the Williams; one week before Christmas, Drew and I headed to the Northwest to visit family, friends, and a new baby! Minus a husband, who had to stay home and work, I embarked on a journey ... alone. A sense of dread crept into my thoughts weeks before I left as I worried about parenting alone for a whole week and taking the dreaded 4 hours long plane ride ... with a 2 year old. Bagged with a fully charged DVD player, Elmo videos, Benedryl, Thomas trains, candy canes, & infamous "puppy" -- I headed out on my faith flight. Our trip went smoothly, so smooth that only the hand of the Lord could have orchestrated it all. The Lord's promise to shelter me from the storm became very real as I arrived just hours after a major storm blackened Washington State .
You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat. For the breath of the ruthless is like a storm driving against a wall
Isaiah 25:4
My faith journey to the NW made me long for Oregon pine trees, clean crisp air, snowy mountains, & coffee shop on every corner. I miss it! At that moment, as I was driving along I-5 towards the mountains -- Drew peacefully sleeping in back -- a still small voice reminded me of how simple the personhood of God is; often I try to add busyness and confusion to my perception of God which takes me away from the wonder and joy I find just abiding in His presence. This voyage, relieved holiday stress, allowing time for relaxing and enjoy the solitude of "God's country," as my father in-law enjoys saying. Watching the snow topped mountains of Rainer & Hood I thought on the verses in Mark 10:13-15 ? And they were bringing children to Him so that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and said to them, Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom God kingdom God like a child will not enter it at all." of belongs to such as these. Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the of
Oh, how I love to complicate God, put Him in a box, and form my little world around that iconic image! Thank you Lord for your Holy Spirit which brings me back to your simple truth - "I am the Way the Truth and the Life." When I read through the gospel's of Matthew, Mark & John I always find You, simple, in love with the "lost sheep" of the world, proclaiming truth & love to the most unlovely of people. Then, there is the cross, where you died for all the sins of the world, what indescribable love you have for mankind. I long for those who do not believe to seek after You for they will find a priceless, matchless, father who weeps tears for the missing and broken - - the Creator longs for the free will of His Creation to seek and find rest in His "righteous right hand."
There was one mishap on my trip - I arrived in Seattle 24 hours after a storm wiped out most of the power. The city was dark, people (including us) were waiting in line for hours just to get a McDonald's cheeseburger, Washingtonians were cranky and going through early caffeine withdrawals; Starbucks was without power, fights broke out in parking lots, gasoline was scarce, people couldn't get the essence of 4 way stops, traffic was at a standstill, and Christmas shopping took a backseat to the basic needs of people ? food, clothing, & warm shelter. We had flown into this mess "Why" I asked God? "For a joy filled adventure!" I did find great joy in the frigid temperature and breathtaking beauty. Drew and I loved every minute of the brisk air, hospitable friends and family, and joy filled 7 days in the Northwest.
I also love this adventure called LIFE, filled with trials and storms and peace and comfort, directing us back to the real purpose - - a life of service to the One who created us. I pray the New Year of 2007 brings with it focused intent, service to others, and intimacy with our Creator.
Melissa

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Thanksgiving

November 29, 2006
Winter weather has finally arrived in North Texas ! Drew and I went to the park today with some friends and played in the 80 degree weather. Then at 6:00pm the cool arctic front rolled in and cooled us to 45 degrees! Our low tonight is expected to reach 25 degrees. It was the most amazing feeling sitting on the grass with Drew feeling the arctic air push it's way into the area. The wind was so powerful and fierce, the thunderclouds darkened the sky within moments and the birds fled south for safe terrain.
Our Thanksgiving was wonderful - filled with family and friends. We were blessed with 10 people surrounding the beautiful table John built. We read Psalm's of Thanksgiving and as we ate shared what we were thankful for this year. Drew played with his friend Jonathan in the backyard and both of them cried when it was time for Jonathan to go home. Our Thanksgiving was very relaxed and refreshing after our crazy week of preperation.
Friday morning came early as John, Drew and I awoke at 5:00 am . We are crazy! I had some Christmas deals I wanted to grab at Bass Pro and Kohl's. John and Ruben went to Circuit City and Home Depot - then to IHOP for some breakfast. I am happy to report that almost all of my Christmas shopping is complete! One crazy day in exchange for a peaceful Christmas season - not too bad of a trade! This week I have been busy ordering Christmas pictures and writing our Christmas letter. I will be leaving for Seattle on December 16th and returning to Texas on Christmas Eve night around 11:30 am; I am trying to get everything done early this year. I even made and delivered our first batch of Almond Roca - John added his own touch this year by putting Symphony Chocolate on top instead of a regular Hershey bar.
We are still shopping for our "adoptive family" and some friends and family have been helping shop for the kids. I don't know how a family of 8 can afford gifts at Christmas, it gets expensive!
I will share Drew's gifts for this Christmas, Kohl's had their Fisher Price toys 50% off so we bought Drew his first train set! It is called Geo-Treks. It is very nice because you buy sets and each set fits together with the next one. Drew will love it! The set we found has a remote control that handles the train as it goes through the airport and police station. We also found Drew his first tricycle at Target, it has a handle on the back so we can steer the trike while he learns how to peddle. I can't wait to see his face on Christmas morning!
Drew weighed in today at 23.5 pounds! He is growing! His has a new phrase this week "I dropped it mommy!" He is also repeating most of the words that we say. We were reading a book this evening and he pointed out the Zebra and said "ebra."
Well, John just came in from the cold, I better go warm up his Fajita dinner!
Love, Melissa

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Reflections of Joy

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends. Please write me back or call me with your prayer requests - I really enjoy praying for each and every one of you!

I have been reflecting this Thanksgiving Season on finding joy. I tend to get a little depressed when trials and lack of routine come into my life; a friend encouraged me to jot down, for an entire day, the things that I can find joy in. Wow, was I blown away at what I discovered. I assumed joy would come when "big" moments came around like Thanksgiving dinner or a trip to Six Flags, but I discovered that my true, abiding joy, was found in the small mundane things of life. My joy wasn't found in an emotional experience, but was mental choice to shift my focus onto the "things that are lovely and pure and profitable..." Those short moments when I stood in wonder at the Lord's creation, or the cute little babblings of my 2 year old son, or the quiet meditation of a Psalm, was where I found real intimacy & joy in the Lord. As Christians we already have joy (it is one of the fruits of the spirit), all we have to do is grab onto those moments and abide in the Lord. Please join me in praying for our group of ladies, pray that joy would be a constant stream into our life, reflecting off onto others, shining the light of the gospel to future generation.

Father God, might my joy filled life finally be experienced when I capture delight in the small, insignificant slices of moments that would have ordinarily been missed each day; for joy doesn't become visible when I am waiting for an emotional experience, but shows itself in reflections of simple, almost missed seconds, pieced together into a puzzle called joy.

In Christ,
Melissa

Friday, November 24, 2006

Williams Family Thanksgiving 2006

Ø In January 2006 John found a new job with Home Depot. Praise the Lord for his provisions -- the lessons in faith we were taught along the journey were well-worth the trials.
Ø Thank you Father for bringing our family to a new church that is centered on You alone. We thank you for the Foree family ; it is such a blessing to be able to serve others who are in need. I pray that all 8 of them would come to know You as their Lord and Savior.
Ø In October of 2006 John finished his Bachelors degree in Criminal Justice! Praise be to the Almighty for the support and finances he provided. This is such a huge blessing to our family and to John's career!
Ø A wedding focused on the Lord, uniting two believers together is such an honor and privilege to be apart of. Our family thanks you Lord for our newest member - Ruben Cabrera. We thank you that you choose such a godly and humble man to be the servant leader of Julie. Thank you for this fresh addition to the family, we pray the Lord's protection over their marriage. Lord do not make it easy and care free, but unite them together through trials and love. May their marriage always be centered on You. We thank you for family that lives close and enjoys being together.
Ø Almighty God we are thankful for this wonderful Christ centered home that you allow us to live and raise our precious little boy Drew in. When we see others who live in such awful conditions it humbles us. I pray that we would give more generously of our time and finances in 2007 and that our focus towards holiness would remain steadfast and unwavering. Thank you that Melissa is still able to work from home! This blessing comes only from you Lord!
Ø I, Melissa, am especially thankful for my husband who leads us by example, who is always willing to serve, and who never raises his voice to us. John is such a godly man, sinful, but is striving day by day for a closer relationship with his Creator. Thank you Lord for this man you have provided for my well being. He cares for his family with gentleness and love.
Ø Praise you Lord for your indescribable gifts, for your personhood and your sacrificial love. Thank you for not being content to leave is in our sin, but you sacrificed all you had for our salvation. Help us to grow more towards you this coming year; help us to grasp the treasures of your holiness that are revealed each day through your creation, your cross, and your crown. May we bring you more Glory in 2007 and become more like you each day.
Psalms 31:19
How great is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you;
which you bestow in the sign of men and those who take refuge in you.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Silence?

Silence is such a peace to relish -- except when your toddler is running around the house somewhere! I discovered today that while I was enjoying the quiet; Drew was coloring his entire face with mommy's lipstick. He came up to me with a sheepish grin literally from ear to ear. It was so cute I had to post a few pictures of his little rampage. After seeing his camouflaged face, can you imagine what my carpet looks like?
Drew had a lot of new words this week! I have been trying to teach him one familiar word for each letter of the alphabet so this week he learned - apple, cow, drill, Jesus, God, obey, thank you, & two. He is also saying the word "guy" all the time and I can't figure out what he is saying. Drew can point out where all his body parts are and can locate most animals on a page if asked. He knows a few animal sounds like the duck, dog, cat, cow, and chicken. Lately, Drew has been playing with daddy in the garage working on words like: dewalt, planar, & garage. To John's surprise Drew can say hammer & drill! I think Drew can also say "garage" but it comes out "auge." It is safe to say that if Daddy is home and in the garage Drew is there too. A few days ago Drew went to the garage door and asked for John, only he was at work. I made the mistake of saying that "daddy will be home when you wake up from your nap." A few minutes later Drew went down for his nap, only he slept about 1 ½ hours instead of the normal 3 hours. So, when Drew woke up he immediately ran down the stairs and knocked on the garage door thinking Daddy was waiting for him. Oops! Drew went into meltdown when he discovered that no one was in the garage.
As you can probably tell from the video's I am attempting to potty-train so Drew knows how to say the words: potty, poo poo, pee pee, & tinkle. Not much success to talk about, unless you consider him pooping in the bathtub every night?
We are all excited for Thanksgiving! It is my favorite holiday! I shopped for food this weekend and now have everything we need for the Thanksgiving dinner. We are having a houseful of 10 people this year. I am already working on writing down what I am thankful for this year - I love hearing everyone's lists as we sit around the table waiting for the Turkey to be done. It is so good to relish in the Lord's blessings, for " Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." James 1:17.
We had another guest speaker in church today, can you believe we were actually able to hear from an Atheist & a Communist in church today! It was amazing how God works! The speakers name is "sun" and he is the ambassador to Vietnam, he was here thanking our church for the 14 years they have spent working in Vietnam. Our pastor was asked by the Vietnamese government to create a model for the 14 years worth of work our church has done in Hanoi . Then Northwood (our church) and the Institute for Global Engagement worked together with the Ambassador to Vietnam to create and sign a religious covenant agreement - signed in September of this year! They then invited our church to partner with other American churches to bring the gospel to Vietnam . Amazing! The gospel is being sent all over the world, the church in the U nited States might not be strong, but the church in the 10/40 window is exploding. I was greatly encouraged by what I heard today, Vietnam is no longer a war torn country -- it is an up and coming nation that deeply desires to adopt religious freedom into its culture. You can read more about the work being done at http://www.glocal.net/v2/index.php.
Happy Thanksgiving! May your table be blessed with family and friends, and maybe a needy family or two!
Melissa

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

" The unthankful heart... discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings.
Henry Ward Beecher

Sunday, November 5, 2006

It has been a while since I have updated. We have had so many fun things going on, it has been hard to find time to updated. Drew finally grew his last set of teeth for a while. His mouth is full of teeth and don't have any gaps! That being stated he has finally started talking! Drew loves to repeat words and enjoys singing the song Twinkle Twinkle, only it comes out "Tinkle Tinkle." Drew did loose 2 pounds during his last bout with teething, but hopes to be back to the 23 pound mark soon. Drew is going to school on Monday's and loves it! He no longer cries when I take him to the door and he leaves with a huge smile on his face, happy to show mommy his latest art project. Last week he made a scarecrow puppet and the week before he made a tree with his hand print as the leaves. Drew loves napping at school and proudly carries his nap mat to and from school. Monday's are his favorite day! Drew's wardrobe has finally been moved into Autumn! I gladly boxed up his summer clothes last week and pulled out all the pants and long sleeve shirts. Mommy was even fortunate to find a nice pair of Oshkosh boots on sale this weekend to match all his new warm clothes! Drew's most common words this week are "bird, tree, circle, & square." We were reading a book a few days ago and I was showing him all the circles. The next book we read he pointed to a circle shape and expressed with a huge grin "urkle"! It was so cute! The latest change in Drew has been his "quiet times" in the morning. Mommy was having issues getting her Bible read before Drew woke up in the mornings, so someone at church suggested having "mat time." It was a great idea, now after breakfast, Drew lays down on his mat and reads books quietly, then Mommy can get her reading done in quiet first think in the morning so she doesn't forget. Drew loves to read books, he also knows that when mommy is done he can come snuggle on her lap and she will read to him aloud from all his favorite books. Drew's favorite book right now is by Max Lucado, I can't remember th name, but it is a children's book about a wood worker who creates these wooden people called "Wemmicks" they have all sorts of adventures and always end up making messes out of their lives. Then they go the the carpenter Eli who helps them through their latest trial. I don't know why Drew loves it so much but we must read it at least 3 times a day. The book where they paint their noses to fit in with the others is Drew's present favorite. Motherhood is very fun but very exhausting! It must be the shortened days and the chilly weather that is making me so tired.
Well, we all went camping last weekend and had so much fun. We camped next to 480 cub scouts, not as peaceful as we were expecting, but still fun! We know next time to ask if the scouts are having any jamboree's! Drew did get to watch his first flag raising ceremony and we showed him how to say the Pledge Of Allegiance. We went camping with our best friends the Tyson's, and the Newlyweds Julie & Ruben. It was Ruben's first camping trip and I think he left with great memories! John showed him how to play with fire and Julie instructed him on how to make a fire. He relished in John's cooking and enjoyed just sitting around chatting with everyone. Ruben did the devotions on Saturday night, he really asked a tough question that cut us to the core. He had us look at our attitudes, the ones we have with those closest to us. I know it was very convicting to me, it was great having everyone share their weaknesses and ask for prayer in certain areas where they were struggling. We all really appreciated Ruben's direct and challenging words; we all left changed ! Drew loved camping, in fact he cried the whole time we packed up camp on Sunday. He really wanted to stay and play more. Drew made sure to stop all the scouts and give them 5, he also played with sticks, ate chicken with his bare hands, romped through the woods, ate dirt & food off the ground, and slept like a champ! We all had a relaxing and peaceful time enjoying God's creation. We did make one vow though' we were making a "William's Camping List" the next time we camped! My mother had to come visit us on Saturday to bring all the things we forgot, like pillows, my bathroom bag, the comforter for our bed, & Drew's wipes! Agh!
October 31 was a blast, Drew dressed up like a Bumble Bee and we took him to the church for a carnival. He learned quickly that candy grabbing was a game. So Drew spent the whole night getting candy and giving it to Daddy! We then took him home and visited a few families in our neighborhood. Drew loved knocking on the door, but thought he had to walk right in once the door was open.
John is not busy for once! He has been working and playing in his garage with his new graduation/birthday toys - a Dewalt planar and a Rigid router. John also had the other half of his back surgery last week so he has been a little stiff. I have been a little under the weather with a sinus infection and Drew has had a slight cold. I have been busy writing a piece for the women's group at church. It has been really challenging for me! Please pray that the Lord will give me pertinent and real life examples that will be an encouragement.
Tonight we went to a presentation at the church by the International Justice Mission. Their stories were amazing and they really brought to light so many injustices in the 3 rd world, most done to innocent women and children. I encourage you to look at their website www.ijm.org. John and I were deeply touched by the work that his organization is doing within the limits of foreign governments to free the oppressed. Most people do not live free like we do in the U.S. and their stories of bringing hope to the orphaned and freedom for the children enslaved to prostitution reminded me to not get comfortable and forget about those who are suffering. There is plenty for American's & Christians to do, as we were told this morning about the story of Jesus multiplying the loafs and fishes to feed the 5,000 - Jesus too can multiply your (insignificant) gifts if you just lay them at His feet. He only requires our obedience to perform miracles.
Below is a link to a recent broadcast from the Today Show that reveals a little about what the IJM stands for. http://216.128.18.195/IJMflash/TodayShowFlash/ijm_player_f.html

Saturday, November 4, 2006

Gratitude is... the leading edge of joy. It happens when the big reality hits you.
You have no more right to be loved than anyone else.
Your job is a fluke.
Your children have no more right to health and security than the children in Bosnia.
Your friends are not obligated to put up with you.
Your education---well, you were not born into the poverty of Calcutta.
It is all gift.
Every single molecule, every smile, every taste of sunshine is gift."
~Radical Hospitality, Homan and Pratt

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Gratitude

" Gratitude is... the leading edge of joy. It happens when the big reality hits you.
You have no more right to be loved than anyone else.
Your job is a fluke.
Your children have no more right to health and security than the children in Bosnia.
Your friends are not obligated to put up with you.
Your education---well, you were not born into the poverty of Calcutta.
It is all gift.
Every single molecule, every smile, every taste of sunshine is gift."
~Radical Hospitality, Homan and Pratt

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

October 24, 2006

What a fun week we have had in the Williams' home! This past week we celebrated Birthday's and visited with one of my best friends - Bethany & her son Johnny! Drew was very envious the first day, as you can tell from his pictures sitting in the exer-saucer, but Drew really enjoyed his new friend the rest of the week. Even now I will ask Drew where Johnny is and he will run all over the house looking for him. Bethany and I were able to stay up until the wee hours reminiscing and chatting about life. The temperature cooperated, by cooling off, so we sat outside with blankets sipping hot tea. Bethany laughed, amazed that I was so excited about winter weather. The two of us visited Southlake Town Center, Downtown Fort worth, and Six Flags. We also went to see "One Knight With The King" in the theatre, it was the best movie I had seen in years! Drew and I were so sad to say good-bye. The boys loved playing together and had ao much fun entertaining one another.
Drew's new words are "airplane" and "alto." It took us weeks to figure out that the spanish word alto actually meant in Drew's language... are you ready for this... "A Door." Drew goes around the house and points to the doors now all the time. He is such a goof! His binky is now called a "me me" and the vacuum is an "a que." Drew really does speak a lot, we just haven't learned his language yet.
Julie & Ruben visited this week too! We had a Birthday celebration; mom bought a cake and made us a yummy dinner. My friend Shannon and Bethany were also there for the festivities.

John is finally done with school! I have waited years to say that! His last final was on Saturday! Now he is just waiting for his grades - he knows he has an "A" in one class already! John spent the first two
days reading down my "honey do" list and cleaning up his messy garage. We are going camping this weekend with some friends and family so he will be packing us up for that later this week. I hope Drew loves camping as much as John does. Ruben and Julie will be coming, this is Ruben's first camping trip ever! I will post pictures on Monday!

Melissa

Friday, October 20, 2006

Modeling: God's Plan For Women

Last week I tackled my fears of speaking in public and shared with a group of women about my awesome experience of being mentored. Below is what I was able speak on, I hope it will encourage you to find a special friend that will come along side and push you onward towards spiritual maturity.


Modeling: God's Plan For Women
Titus 2:3 from the Message paraphrases mentoring as
"... older women(guiding younger women) into lives of reverence so they end up as neither gossips nor drunks, but models of goodness. By looking at them, the younger women will know how to love their husbands and children, be virtuous and pure, keep a good house, be good wives. We don't want anyone looking down on God's Message because of (our) behavior."
The design of women mentoring women was established by God for divine purposes! I experienced first hand the blessings of God through my mentoring relationship with Julie this past year. I prayed for years to find a Mentor , knowing the awesome strength that I could gain from having another pour into my life; it was a very vulnerable experience but necessary so that I could grow and mature in my journey towards holiness. We tackled my gut wrenching issues like "how to have a quiet time when your child is hanging on your leg," or " how to get back down to your pre-pregnancy weight. " As a new mom she freed me from my cleanliness battles by explaining that my home did not come before my child and if I read or played with him instead of folding laundry that was far more beneficial. Julie helped shape my persona of mothering from one of duty to one of love and laughter.
The verse above in Titus speaks about women being "model's of goodness, virtue, & purity." What awesome adjectives to describe our lives as women. These qualities have been my passion for years and I felt that having someone to share and invest back into my life, would help in my daily pursuit towards holiness. In my first meeting with Julie I described to her 5 areas in my life that I deeply desired to mature in - all 5 areas were rooted in developing a self disciplined life. Self discipline has always been one of my stumbling blocks towards growing nearer to my Lord. It is a fleshly area in my heart that I have longed to conquer. The next 6 months we journeyed together through prayer, phone calls, meetings, lunches, and of course - coffee! I would love to say that I have arrived and self discipline is no longer a struggle, but that will probably never be the case. Instead Julie helped me look at my Lord and Savior in new and fresh ways so that I now long to spend my days growing closer to my Redeemer. I discovered that the nearer I draw to the Lord - through faith, discipline and trust - and then delight solely in Him, the less I struggle with self-discipline.
Julie's impact on my life will forever be felt because she had gone before me, she had walked where I was walking and sat where I was sitting. She was so much like me, and lived a life so much like my own, that only the Lord could have brought us together. My Father God placed Julie in my life at precisely the right moment, that happened to be the moment my earthly father, a schizophrenic, had a serious mental breakdown. Julie was there to be the hands and feet of Jesus, she was able to share with me her own story about her brother's battle with this same mind overtaking disease. During our 6 month relationship we also worked through similar family conflicts, marriage dilemmas, issues with children, and so much more. Julie was an encourager during these inevitable trials that came into my life and a continued source of strength that God used to draw me closer to Himself.
I will forever be grateful for the purifying lessons the Lord taught me through my mentoring relationship; life lessons straight from of the Word of God, lived out on earth with a dear friend who came alongside me. I will leave you with a few words from Martin Luther that encompass our journey through life and reveal our need for a sweet gentle friend to support us along the way:
This life is not a state of being, but becoming;We are not yet what we shall be,but we grow toward it;The process is not yet finished, but it is still going on;This life is not the end,it is the way to a better.All does not yet shine with glory;nevertheless, all is being purified."
Thank you.

Monday, October 16, 2006

October 16, 2006
Birthday's are so much fun! I had a small get together tonight with some friends for John's 26 th Birthday. How did he get that old? Drew was able to stay up late tonight and eat tons of cake and play with his buddy Jonathan. John spent most of his Birthday at the Library writing papers for his last week of school. Drew spent the day at the Mothers Day Out program. He made a pumpkin face and painted it orange. His teacher said he loved to play in the paint. I spent my quiet Monday working! I am taking off Wednesday - Friday this week, so I have a lot to get done.
My friend Bethany & her son Johnny will be here tomorrow night! I can't wait. We are going to have so much fun! We are even going to visit Six Flags on Saturday. Hopefully we will spend the time relaxing and sipping ice tea while the kiddo's play. The weather here is very nice, in the 70's or 80's during the day and 60's at night. I just received my electric bill and it went down 100.00! Fall is finally here.
John's surgery went very well, he is up and running already. They only did half of his back though, the other side will be done the beginning of November. John's foot is healing too, it is still very sore and swells a lot. But, another month or so and it should be better than before the surgery. We are all going camping the last weekend in October! It is to celebrate all our Birthday's and so John can relax knowing that school is finished.
Nothing very new to share, Drew's vocabulary is still quite limited. He is starting to use two words together more frequently like " Up Please" "All Done" " That' s Mine" "A plane." Drew is teething yet again so he has been crabby & whiney a lot. Hopefully this is the last group of teeth for a long, long time.
Love,
Melissa

Saturday, October 7, 2006

October 7, 2006

The Autumn planting has arrived. Today Drew and I drove to Rockwall (near Dallas ) to a huge plant nursery to pick out our fall plants. We also were able to pick up two white crape myrtles that match the one we already have planted in our backyard. Our hope is to create a canopy under the three trees and build a small patio underneath just perfect for a bench and birdbath. Fall is the best time to plant for the Spring so our house is hopping with lots of dirt and digging and pruning. I just finished digging three large holes in the backyard for some new trees. In a few years it will have lots of shade and color! I did have a little problem thought, everything was going smoothly, Drew was taking a nap and I was digging to my hearts content. That evening I went in and the phone and internet were down - it turns out I dug through our fiber optic line! Oops!

Well, today while I was waiting for the Verizon person I managed to fertilized the lawn and then transplanted some of my larger plants that have grown too large for their current location. I can't wait for John to finish the wood flower bed - bordering our backyard. There are so many things to plant before Winter arrives. It doesn't even seem like Fall yet, our temperature has been in the 90's with very little rain. We are supposed to have a cold front pass through this week dropping us into the high 70's during the day. Doesn't that sound nice!

This weekend we all went out to a friends farm. I am working with their 3 year old Paint Gelding! Can you believe I am able to ride as much as I want and I don't have to pay for anything! While we were there Drew decided to play in the biggest mud puddle he had ever seen. The only bad thing is that he realized he hates to be dirty! Drew cried and cried while I stripped his clothes off and hosed him off. Then he had fun chasing mommy with the hose! You can see the video for laughs!

John is busy finishing up school! He can't wait to be done, only 2 more weeks! We are celebrating with a camping trip to the lake. It is Drew's first camping trip this year so I hope he is good. John's Rhizotomy will be on the 12 th of October and he should only be laying around for a day or two. Then his back should feel up to lots of work around the house. John received this really neat electric muscle stimulator; last night john was so proud of himself because he had hooked this think up to his feet and his toes were separating with the help of the shocker.. If you know John fairly well, you know that he can't move any of his toes, his foot is like one big blob with absolutely no dexterity. It was comforting to know the proper muscles are still down their just waiting for him to refine his muscle control!

Drew is still active as ever, loving every moment of his childhood. Every day is a new experience that is more exciting than the day before. His smile and giggles are so contagious that John and I find ourselves giggling along with him. I tend to be the more serious one in this family so it is refreshing and invigorating to be around two amusing boys who take the most fun out of every moment!

Melissa

Sunday, October 1, 2006

The Children's Hourby Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The Children's Hourby Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Between the dark and the daylight,When the night is beginning to lower,Comes a pause in the day's occupations,That is known as the Children's Hour.I hear in the chamber above meThe patter of little feet,The sound of a door that is opened,And voices soft and sweet.From my study I see in the lamplight,Descending the broad hall stair,Grave Alice, and laughing Allegra,And Edith with golden hair.A whisper, and then a silence:Yet I know by their merry eyesThey are plotting and planning togetherTo take me by surprise.A sudden rush from the stairway,A sudden raid from the hall!By three doors left unguardedThey enter my castle wall!They climb up into my turretO'er the arms and back of my chair;If I try to escape, they surround me;They seem to be everywhere.They almost devour me with kisses,Their arms about me entwine,Till I think of the Bishop of BingenIn his Mouse-Tower on the Rhine!Do you think, o blue-eyed banditti,Because you have scaled the wall,Such an old mustache as I amIs not a match for you all!I have you fast in my fortress,And will not let you depart,But put you down into the dungeonIn the round-tower of my heart.And there will I keep you forever,Yes, forever and a day,Till the walls shall crumble to ruin,And moulder in dust away!

Saturday, September 30, 2006

I can't believe it is the last day in September! Our October is booked solid with Birthday's, camping, a visit from Bethany and Johnny 4, John's graduation from college, and a trip to the pumpkin patch.
Good news on the medical front - John's injections did eliminate the back pain for a whole week! He did, as predicted, pull a muscle in his shoulder thought. His body is going to have to learn how to live without back pain and with relaxed muscles; a challenge that John is more than ready for. Our next step will be for John to have a Rhyzotomy sometime in October; the doctors predict he will only be stuck in bed for a day or two, nothing serious. Then, he will start routine electric muscle stimulation to try and relax the knotted muscles in his back and physical therapy to add strength . Best of all, John will not be on ANY drugs for back pain. This is the first doctor John has been to in four years that was willing to work on eliminating his back pain without daily painkillers! The Lord was so good to provide a doctor educated in modern medicine. Hopefully John will be able to walk and run without pain . His foot is also doing well, the doctor isn't requiring him to wear the boot any longer ; John is moving slower than normal but is at least up and mobile. He even received a funny comment from a friend at work stating that he couldn't hear when John was coming anymore because he isn't dragging his toe!
Today Drew and I played in his kid pool in the backyard - it was 92 degrees - what a fun filled afternoon we had basking in the sunshine! Sorry, there won't be any pictures of Drew for a little while, my camera broke and had to be shipped back to the manufacturer. I don't know what I will do without it! Drew is running and playing constantly. He is getting so much better at coming when called, we made it into a game so he loves to "Come to Mommy." It has been so useful! Yesterday Drew went outside ahead of me and when I went to look for him I couldn't find him. I started to panic and then remembered to call Drew with "Come to Mommy" and out popped this little head from behind our car, he then toddled over to me for a big hug!
This week I have been reading a new book and also journaling. I was told by a counselor that journaling is a great way to work through stress. Stress; evidently I don't work through it well. I think contemporary culture would call me a "stuffer." Hence the back giving out, TMJ, and headaches. I must admit that being told to write, which is something I love, was a very exciting possibility that I hadn't allowed myself to enjoy. I also went horseback riding on Sunday afternoon with some friends of John's. Now that was relaxing; riding a beautiful paint gelding down the trails of the grasslands on an 80 degree day - a soothing and tranquil Sunday. My new book for this month is a biography on William Wilberforce. I had never heard of him until John Piper broadcast a sermon series on influential men and women who shaped Christianity away from religion and towards an individual relationship with the Jesus Christ. I was so intrigued by Wilberforce's plight towards freeing the slaves in early 1800 England and his revolutionary faith, that I had to get his biography. So far it has been a very testing read; the book has been demanding and I feel very amateurish reading such eloquence and though provoking material. William Wilberforce was such a deep thinker who loved sentences packed with greatness and length. To think when I correct John's papers I am always adding periods, maybe John is more in step with great minds of writing that I give him credit for? My AP English teacher Mrs. Craig would be so proud of his sentence patterns! I just read this great quote by Wilberforce
"It seems to be an opinion pretty generally prevalent, that kindness and sweetness of temper; sympathizing, benevolent, and generous affections; attention to what in the world's estimation are the domestic, relative, and social duties; and, above all, a life of general activity and usefulness, may well be allowed, in our imperfect state, to make up for the defect of what, in strict propriety of speech, is termed religion. Many, indeed, will unreservedly declare, and more will hint, the opinion that the difference between the qualities above mentioned and religion, is rather a verbal or logical, than a real and essential difference; for in truth, what are they but religion in substance if not in name? Is it not the great end of religion, and, in particular, the glory of Christianity, to extinguish the malignant passions; to curb the violence, to control the appetites, and to smooth the asperities of man; to make us compassionate and kind, and forgiving one to another; to make us good husbands, good fathers, good friends; and to render us active and useful in the discharge of the relative social and civil duties? We do not deny that, in the general mass of society, and particularly in the lower orders, such conduct and tempers can not be diffused and maintained by any other medium than that of religion. But if the end be effected, surely it is only an unnecessary refinement to dispute about the means. It is even to forget your own principles; and to refuse its just place to solid, practical virtue, while you assign too high a value to speculative opinions."
I hope you have a mind challenging week packed with the pursuit of knowledge! Challenging our minds is such fun!
Melissa

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

July 29, 2006
Wow, I think I am on the right track with Drew's Closet! Drew's Closet is no longer an online retail business, God has turned it into a ministry! Today I met a single mother of two children named Jamie. She has a 2 year old little girl and a 2 month old little boy. My friend found her on Craigslist looking for clothes for her children. I contacted her yesterday and was able to meet her today. She came by the house and "shopped" for some new cloths for her children. She was so happy and excited! I was able to invite her to church and gave her my info incase she needs a friend to talk with! Drew was also there and able to watch us give away clothes for someone in need. I pray he will grow to be a man of generosity and humility. How cool, God is so good! Please pray for Jamie's salvation and freedom that can only be found in Christ.

Next, I received an e-mail from my Mom's group at church, there is a 17 year old pregnant girl in need of baby things. I don't know much about her, but I send over my phone number. Please pray for her salvation and that the gifts we give would open her heart to the Lord. How wonderful to be able to bless others - I've been smiling all day!

July 27, 2006
Drew's new word today was "...is it?" (he can't say what ) He now points to items in books and around the house and wants to know what things are called. It is so cute. He even said it when the door bell rang, he wanted to know who was at the door. Too cute!
Please pray, I have really been thinking about all these clothes I have around the house. The plan for Drew's Closet isn't working out so well. So, I've been praying about what to do with all these clothes. I love to give them away to friends and such, but there are too many now to just give to friends. So... God laid on my heart to adopt some families that are in need. Our church has a long term project in Haltom City where they feed and cloth families in need, they also provide a lot more, if your interested you can visit http://www.northwoodchurch.org/v2/glocal.htm
I spoke with the person at the church in charge of the program and he thought adopting a few families was a great idea! He will call me back with the information on our first family. We are going to start slow, with only one family, and then see where it goes from there. I am so excited. I will be able to bring Drew and the two of us will be able to meet some of the needs of this family. Once John graduates, he gets to join in on all the fun too! We will be clothing the children for school and hopefully meeting a few times a month with parents to pray and encourage them. I am very excited to see how God is going to use us. So, please pray for the unknown family that we will be serving in the name of Christ! Please pray that I will be a help and not a hinderance to Christ. I am so excited that Drew will be able to come and I can start to plant little seeds of service into his heart.
July 24, 2006
I am 18 Months Old! I can't believe how much I am learning. Today I said a few new words " vacuum" which sounds like "a ume" and "eat it." I also said the word "ouch" when mommy dropped a toy on her foot today. I have learned to climb too! I am now climbing on all the furniture and chairs. I can even get onto the computer and type like a big boy. Daddy has to watch out and save all his work, I haven?t mastered not deleting things! Mommy and Daddy are hoping that I will start to talk soon; they are making me say certain words like "please" and not letting me whine for things that I want. So far I am still very content to point and jabber in my foreign tongue.
I have been a very good boy! Mommy took me to the Botanic Gardens this Saturday to have my first photo shoot. Mommy had so much fun taking pictures of me. Aunt Julie also had her bridal portraits taken, I can't wait for everyone to see them! They turned out so beautiful. Everyone here is getting ready for Julie's big day! Mommy ordered my little tux for the wedding last week. She can't wait to get pictures of me wearing it.
Oh, mommy was bitten by a spider yesterday and had to go to the doctor. She is on antibiotics for the infection . She was so glad it was her and not me. Daddy called the pest company today and set up a new contract so they can kill all the icky spiders and bugs in our house. Mommy is also glad because the ants have been eating the roots on her vinca, killing them in the process. Hopefully the spray will help the plants to stay beautiful.
Daddy is still studying. This term is by far his worst yet. He is putting in about 40 hours of work at Home Depot, and about 65 hours a week of school. Doing the math you can see that there is no time for anything else. Poor Daddy, I really miss playing with him. Only a few more weeks and these two classes will be over. His next and final term should not be quite so hard!
Love,
Drew

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Guess who is leaning all kinds of new words (sky, grass, cold, airplane, up & down please, no thank you)? Oh yes, Drew is talking up a storm, so much so that I am seeking out quiet hiding places just to avoid the incessant chatter. As many of you will notice, Drew's hair looks a little shorter, I had a run in with some clippers and a simple trim turned into a trip to the barber for a buzz cut. Poor Drew, all his cute baby hair is gone, replaced with a new look and a new big boy attitude. Drew is no longer my baby, he has grown overnight into a "big boy!" Drew talks like a big boy, acts like a big boy, eats like a big boy, and plays rough & loud like a big boy. He even received his first Thomas Train, that he must sleep with every night! The train is suppose to be for 3-6 year old, but Drew loves to carry it around, even into the bathtub. How quickly times change from the quiet slumber of a sleeping infant to a free spirited toddler that takes cushions off the couch just so he can jump off the arm onto the pillows. How fun and fatiguing it is to take in. Much of Drew's new achievements could be due to his one day a week preschool program. All of the 6 children in his class are older than Drew by about 2-5 months, and 4 of them are girls who talk very well. It was just the encouragement Drew needed!
I drove John in early this morning for injections on his Facet Joints; he is currently recovering on the bed watching lots of movies and eating Sonichamburgers. He received 6 cortisone injections in his lower back; hopefully his back pain will temporarily be alleviated. If the pain goes away then the Facet joints are the problem area on John's back that are creating all the pain. In a few months, a Rhyzotomy can then be performed to eliminate the pain for 2-4 years. Hopefully during that time his muscles will loosen up and he will work aggressively on strengthening the muscles around the joints in his lower back. Please pray for John, he is excited to have a possible resolution to all his back pain, but anxious about another surgery. John's foot is healing quickly but he is still in a special boot and the swelling in his foot tends to occur frequently. John hasn't decided when to have the other foot cut open, but says that it doesn't hurt at all anymore so he wants to prolong it as long as possible. I think he is just anxious to get back on his feet and move around like normal again.
In the midst of being a mom, wife, nurse, and barber (oops) I found time to bake a third pie. My first two were Strawberry Rhubarb and this last one was a peach. The pies tasted wonderful, but I have yet to master the art of appearance. The peach pie was much better looking, but I didn't quite get the "fluting" down. I guess I will need to make another, maybe a Pumpkin!
Melissa

Sunday, September 17, 2006

September 17, 2006
Things are back to normal ... well almost normal! Drew has finally worked his way back into the ordinary swing of things and his temper tantrums have subsided. All the company from the wedding have left and the garage has finally been cleared of all the wedding paraphernalia. Grandma Patti blessed us with her love and generosity for about three weeks and has sadly departed back to Oregon . I am so sad: no more cooked meals, magically clean laundry, and full fridges of food for me. Life is back to order, self discipline & habit. My normal isn't bad just routine and simple. We all had so much fun with Patti, I miss the "girly" company. We even made it to Frisco for a women's day out! Now that was fun, we ate Mediterranean food and then spent hours in Ikea. How fun!
Drew's vocabulary is starting to grow, he is jabbering about everything, I just wish I understood what he is saying. He has been a little sick this week and has not been sleeping as much as usual. Drew did the cutest thing yesterday, I was cleaning up the kitchen around 4:00 pm when Drew toddled in and asked for his binky. I told he if he had his binky he had to go take a nap and since he had already had his nap for the day he didn't need it. Drew continued to persist so I gave him the binky and started to walk to the stairs. Then, Drew ran into the living room, grabbed his nap mat that we take to school, grabbed a few books and laid down right in the middle of the floor and began to read books. He stayed reading books for over an hour! Wow, I was impressed, and enjoyed the time to read my own book! It looks like quite times in his crib, are turning into reading time on the living room floor. Drew has also started to ask to take naps and to go to bed! Smart boy! Drew's favorite book is from Home Depot, called Home Projects for kids. The book goes over all the tools and their uses. Drew carries the book around and asks to had it read at least 2-3 times a day.
John's foot is healing nicely and he is back at work, helping customers! John even received an award at work because so many customers complimented his helpfulness and cheerful attitude. Drew and I met John and his co-worker at Costco today and his friend pulled me aside and told me what a great guy John is, something I already know quite well but love to hear about from others! John has only 4 more weeks of school! He can't wait to be done! He has a whole garage just waiting to be dirtied with projects.
Drew and I have been busy visiting our "adopted" family again this past week. We are really enjoying creating new relationships. I am also busy with work, baking, and gardening. I baked my first two pies a few weeks back; all from scratch! They were actually very yummy! I am looking forward to taking Drew to the pumpkin patch the beginning of October, I can't wait to make a fresh pumpkin pie & pumpkin bread!
On a more difficult note, please pray for my father Brian. He has been admitted to a psych hospital in Washington because his Schizophrenia has become much worse. Please pray for healing, specifically that the voices that plague his mind 24/7 would be destroyed and the gentle whispers of Jesus penetrate his heart to strengthen and direct him.
I am praying Isaiah 58:8 for my Dad, I pray the Lord's healing will swiftly break into his soul. I take comfort knowing that even though I can't be with him, the Lord is present, He is my Dad's "Rear Guard," following, defending, attacking, and comforting.
Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.
I love the verse just prior, it reminds me to stay focused on serving others so I can bring Glory to my Lord, and to always be growing in my faith so that I can grow closer to the Lord and not desire to hide my sinful self from Him.
Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry And bring the homeless poor into the house; When you see the naked, to cover him; And not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
I hope you have a wonderful week filled with rest & service to others in the name of Jesus Christ .
Love,
Melissa

Monday, September 11, 2006

Pweese?

A Daughters Plea
Like a little sparrow, he is my song, all day long I listen to the chimes of "Pweese"?

Drew, 20 months old, tweets his sweet melody from dawn to dusk, his plump fingers pointing, signing in unison to his little plea. He points to the door: " Pweese"? To the cakeplate: " Pweese"? To the fridge, a glass of water, a train, a book: "Pweese, Pweese"?It is one of the few word he knows, the only constant word he speaks. His entire vocabulary consists of that sole word: Please? "Drew, use your nice words" He responds "Pweese"? Drew use your words instead of whining? "Pweese" I hear in response. "Please what" I say, "Pweese"? I hear in return.
Who can resist his persuasive blue eyes, his fair white fingers, and his gentle pierced lips, the appeal of his request? Drew use to holler, scream or throw a fit, but now everything is said so sweetly "Pweese"?
But oh, how this sweet, gentle, "Pweese" "Pweese?" melts my heart. Is it that way for You too, Lord?
"For everyone who asks and keeps on asking receives; and he who seeks and keeps on seeking finds; and to him who knocks and keeps on knocking, the door shall be opened.
If you then, evil as you are, know how to give good gifts, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask and continue to ask Him!" ~Luke 11:10-13
Lord, I humbly pray, I thank you, for always listening to my plea's. Thank you for always listening and answering in some way. Just as Drew doesn't always get what he asks so gently for, so do you sometimes deny me for a greater gain? Lord, you know my heart this morning, you know my heart cries out to you for answers, Please, Lord will you answer my incessant plea? As I reflect on Drew's patient requests, probably heard 100 times just today, it gives me strength to continue petitioning, just as the widow who kept going back to the king, I come back to you again, please I cry! Give me that which You deem a valuable gift, please bind up the broken hearted & free the captives enslaved to the mind control of schizophrenia... please.

Idea from ( http://holyexperience.blogspot.com/), I am not too sure how to reference that?

Sunday, September 10, 2006

September 10, 2006
The fancy picture of John and I was taken a few nights ago, I was finally able to fit into a pre-pregnancy dress! So, John took me out on a fancy date, our first fancy date since Drew was born. Grandma Patti watched Drew for us. Patti has been visiting us over the past month to help out with John's recent foot surgery and to play and spoil Drew. You can vaguely see John's "boot" on his left foot, he had bunion surgery three weeks ago. He is healing quickly, but not quick enough for John! John will need to have his right foot cut open in another few months, poor guy! He is also scheduled to graduate with his Criminal Justice Science and administration degree the end of October. Needless to say, John is very anxious for school to be over, at least for a little while. He is already looking into Master's programs, but we have decided to wait at least a year. I really need time to relax and enjoy John not being in school!
Drew is reaching a new phase, at 19 months he has learned how to ask politely for things. However, he doesn't understand the concept that "just because you can ask for it, doesn't mean you get it." So, temper tantrums are now part of our day again! Drew really is a very sweet and curious little guy who is taking after John in so many areas. Drew loves to play with his Daddy in the garage and discover how things work. Anything with wheels and knobs and buttons are always being discovered and tested. We are thoroughly enjoying our new family of three. God has blessed us in so many ways.
Love,
Melissa

Sunday, August 27, 2006

August 27, 2006
The chaos from the wedding has ended, but our lives are still too fast for my liking. John just had bunion surgery on his left foot, he is feeling horrible and is really considering not returning to work this Wednesday. His doctor's appointment is this coming Monday so hopefully John can get onto some new pain medications that are less "mind numbing." I feel so bad for John, he is in such pain and hates being cooped up in bed all day. Thank goodness for Mothers! John's mother has been here helping out this week; I don't know how I would have managed without her! I have been trying to pass the time for John by reading to him. We are reading a great book called Facing Terror, written by Carrie McDonnall. The book describes the lives of missionaries serving the Arab Muslim's in Iraq . It is an awesome book that goes into great detail about the culture and history of Iraq and other countries such as Sudan , Israel , Palestine , and Jordan .
Drew has not been handling the chaos well at all. He is so use to our predictable lives that always cater to his schedule. Drew has had so many changes recently: starting school one day a week, lack of routine due to the wedding, John's surgery, teething, shots, and to top it off I was gone at a Women's conference for two days. Poor Drew had two horrible nightmares this week which kept him up into the wee hours of the night. The first spell I almost took him to the ER because he was so inconsolable, he just screamed and screamed like his tummy hurt. Then again, another nightmare happened last night. I was more prepared for this one, I took him into the big tub in our room and filled it with bubbles, we just sat in there for about an hour singing praise songs while I rubbed his back. Drew went right to sleep in my arms while I rocked him to sleep. Poor Drew, please pray for him, he has school again tomorrow and I am praying it doesn't disrupt his little world too much.
Julie and Ruben just returned from their Honeymoon cruise to the Caribbean and they had a blast! We had brunch with them today and heard all about their fun time! They are looking forward to strengthening their marriage foundation in the Lord.
Drew and I visited Julia and her boys again this week. I had mentioned last time that their home was not air conditioned and the Lord provided! He sent us a window A/C unit that we delivered on Tuesday. I was also able to find some more clothes at the Goodwill thanks to their monthly 1/2 price days. When Drew and I were dropping off some much needed supplies, the sweetest thing happened. Dylan, the 3 year old, ran over to us with the biggest grin on his face. He had a special picture he had made out of some of the school supplies we brought the week before. He was so thrilled to share his drawing with us. Please keep this sweet family in your prayers, I pray that our relationship with them would grow and that they would see the love of Jesus Christ in our family.
Melissa

Thursday, August 17, 2006

30 Days of Nothing


I read this on another site, I can't wait for John to come home tonight so we can discuss whether or not we should do this as a family. I thought I would post it incase anyone else wanted to participate.
Melissa
30 Days of Nothing
http://intent.squarespace.com/journal/2006/8/20/30-days-of-nothing.html
We're out of touch. Let's just be honest about that right up front.

Today, across the world, 1.3 billion people live on less than one dollar a day; 3 billion live on under two dollars a day; 1.3 billion have no access to clean water; 3 billion have no access to sanitation; 2 billion have no access to electricity. 1

Think about your children; about the hard work you put into raising them.
Now imagine doing it with no electricity.
No bathroom. No garbage service.
No clean water.
On $2 a day.
Is it any wonder that 30,000 children under the age of 5 die every day from poverty-related issues? That's 210,000 a week or over 10 million a year, if you're counting. 2
I have four children. When they woke up this morning I kissed them and made them a good healthy breakfast. 30,000 other children died.

Americans spend $110 billion a year on fast food, 3
39 billion dollars a year on their pets. 4
We are carrying over 2 trillion dollars in credit card and auto debt. 5

The disparity haunts me. How does a Christ-follower reconcile the needs of the world with the realities of every day life in an affluent nation?
I just don't know - but we're going to spend a month trying to find out.
Beginning September 1st, I invite you to join me in a 30 day fast from consumerism.
For 30 days, my family will buy nothing except our basic necessities. No clothes or books. No movies, no trips to the ice cream parlor. No paper, or pictures, or magazines. No fancy hair gel or take-and-bake pizza. Lattes? Nope. Nothing except what it takes to live. During that month, I will journal our experiences, and blog my thoughts about poverty and hunger and our response to those issues. I'd like to try and identify with some of the "least" ( economically) of the world. We will try and live without electricity for a day; eat only rice for a day. Perhaps the family will sleep together in one room for a night - on the floor; or walk six miles one day - the distance some African women walk daily to get clean water.
The goal of this month-long fast is to break the grip of materialism in our hearts and minds. We want to live in gratitude, not discontent; and we want to live with awareness of the great responsibility our affluence has laid on our shoulders.
I encourage you to pray about participating in this challenge. For those of you who are interested, take the next two weeks to pray about the parameters. Decide as a family what are your necessities and what you will give up . You can participate as much or as little as you feel led. Beginning September 1st there will be a separate discussion page at Intent where you can share your experiences and thoughts.
Please feel free to use the 30 Days of Nothing button on your blog and spread the word. (If you need help with the button, just email me.)

"Is this not the fast that I have chosen, to loosen the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, and to let the oppressed go free, and break every yoke?
Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into the house; when you see the naked to cover him; and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?" Isaiah 58:7
"...happy is he who is gracious to the poor." Prov. 14:21

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

August 16, 2006
We are on vacation and the wedding is upon us. I finished work yesterday, today Drew and I went to visit relatives and I am now relaxing by updating the web page. Drew is in heaven with all the people around, yesterday he played so hard with his second cousins that he didn't want to wake up this morning. Drew slept in until 9:30 and then napped from 12:20-5:00 - Wow! He sure was exhausted. Tonight we are having about 25 people over for dinner. It will be so fun to visit with everyone. Ruben's parents will be her cooking their famous rice & beans to go along with a Texas Brisket and a Pork Loin. I baked a German Chocolate cake today for desert. I will take a lot of pictures so those of you who aren't here can view the madness!
On to the other happenings in our life - last week I picked Drew up and threw out my back. I was in so much pain that I couldn't walk or move for 2 days. I finally went to a back specialist and they gave me some pain killers and anti-inflammatory drugs. They helped a lot! They also did some electrical shock therapy a few times last week. I am feeling a lot better but still need to wear my back brace often. Since I was unable to move, John's mother from Oregon flew in for a wonderful visit. She is so wonderful to come and clean the house! She also watched Drew the whole time. I must say that I really missed Drew while she was here. I especially missed our book reading and block time! Drew had a blast with his live in playmate!
Oh, I almost forgot to tell you that Drew is signed up for school! He will be attending First Baptist Keller's Mothers Day Out Program one day a week. We went and met his teachers on Monday and he LOVED the room and toys. He became very upset when we had to leave, I guess that is a good sign! I will post lots of pictures of Drew's first day of school. Drew's class is 18-24 month olds. He is by far the smallest! There are 4 boys and 4 girls in his class. They have a wonderful schedule of reading, music, play time, craft, PE and Bible. What fun... I wish I could go!
I took Drew in for his 18 month checkup this week. He had to get two shots! We discovered that Drew went through a growth spurt... finally. He weigned in at 22 pounds 8 oz (10%), 31 1/2 inches tall (25-50%), and 18 1/4 in head circumference (10-25%). Drew's next appointment will be at 2 years of age.
Love,
Melissa

Sunday, August 6, 2006

August 6th, 2006
Greetings! Only two more weeks until Ruben and & Julie's wedding! We can't wait to see everyone who is coming to the wedding. It is sure to be hot, but we have some fun air-conditioned events planned. That also means that John's surgery is only a few weeks away too - he can't wait for his foot to feel better. John only has 2 1/2 more weeks of this term so he is very busy preparing for finals. He also has a few last minute projects to complete before the wedding - like clean up the guest room and the garage.
This weekend Drew moved up into a new class at church. He was so excited to go into a room with tables and chairs his size. He didn't even care that I left! His teacher said that he told everyone "hi" the whole hour. Drew has a lot of new words too; his vocabulary is exploding. Today I was reading him a book and he pointed to the red car and said "car" just like that. I am so excited that he can communicate with us! Some friends were over on Saturday and they even understood him!
Sunday supper was actually eaten on Saturday night - since John had to work on Sunday. We went to church with our friends Natalie and Mat and then came home for a steak dinner. It was so much fun to catch up with our friends and share recent happenings. John ran a few ideas by them for his new misting system and then we sat outside and talked around my flowerbeds. The evening was very pleasant and the flowers were in full bloom.
Ephesians 5:1-2
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.
Today we took some clothes and toys to the family we adopted. God is so good to provide for us so that we are able to bless others! One of our new families is a single mom with 5 boys! She has her hands full. Pulling up to their non air-conditioned home in the slums of Haltom City on a 102 degree day really put my life purpose into perspective. I often take my life, child, and wonderful marriage for granted. I've begun to realize God's purpose for our family is to be a servant to others - to be imitators of God by sacrificially giving of time, resources, and energy. That is such a hard job, one I confess to be totally inadequate for. I am in awe that God can overcome my shortcomings. The family was so thankful for the clothes, toys, and school supplies. It is such a privilege to be the hands and feet of Jesus, I hope they see Jesus when they look to our family.
God gave me a personal message today, delivering it through my sweet little Drew - he reminded me that servanthood was what I was created for. The message actually came in the form of a story - when Drew and I arrived to meet the new family we are helping, my son immediately saw one of his old toys and grabbed it from the box. After visiting and getting to know one another for 10 minutes it was time to go and time for Drew to give up the toy he had latched onto. I explained that we were giving the toy to his new friend Christopher so he could play with it. Drew was not too thrilled with his new plan, but walked over and gave the tractor to Christopher and his brother Dylan. Even now it brings my eyes to tears as I remember watching the scene unfold. My little 18 month old was giving away his toy to a family who needed it more. Thank you Lord that Drew had a giving heart! It touched my life more than words can express. Please continue to pray for Julia and her 5 boys. They are such a sweet family and we are so privileged to be used by God in their lives.
Love,
Melissa

Monday, July 31, 2006

July 31,2006
I can't believe it is already the last day in July, this month has flown bye! I thought I would write about Drew's new developments, he has been learning so many new things that I can't keep up with them all.
Yesterday at Sunday supper we all sat down to eat at the table, Drew sat in his special highchair that hangs off the side of the table. Half way through the meal Drew wanted to get down and I told him he had to wait until we were finished. He had not eaten a lot of his dinner so I was hoping he would eat some more. After throwing a nice little fit and looking quite dejected because he did not get his way he was allowed down from the table. Drew then proceeded to climb onto the bench where I had eaten dinner. Then he sat down next to John, grabbed his plate and fork and started to eat his dinner. Somehow he had gotten it in his head that he wanted to sit on the bench like all the big people and he wouldn't rest until he got his way. Oh my we are in for some fun!
On a more positive note I found about 10 new board books at the Goodwill so Drew has been learning a lot of new words. He loves to look at pictures in children's books, point, and say "is it?" I then tell him the word and he tries to repeat it. He learned the word "cow" the other day, he pronounces it "owe" and now thinks that the cow barks like a dog - oh well I can't expect perfection at 18 months. Drew has been so good this past month at receiving instructions and following through with the request. (Drew is listening really well, he just can't say very many words back to me). Today I asked him to get his shoes so we could go eat his lunch outside. He proceeded to walk right over to where he had taken off his shoes earlier and brought them to me. I didn't even know where his shoes were! Drew also knows the command "stop," finally. Today he was playing outside in the front yard and wandered a little too far for my comfort. I asked him to come back, but he did not hear me. I then said "stop" and would you believe he stopped and looked at me! I then repeated "Drew, come to Mommy" and he toddled right over. Yea! I was so excited that the consistency was finally starting to produce some rewards.
Drew is having fun being a little boy! He is climbing on everything and getting into everything. He also runs everywhere! He loves to grab Daddy's tools out of the garage and drag them all over the yard. I often find wrenches in the grass when I am mowing the lawn! A few days ago Drew was using a wrench for a sword and a screwdriver for a crayon. He loves to chase balls all over the house and drag Tupperware under the kitchen table.
I am so blessed to be his Mommy and be able to stay home and watch him grow into a little man right before my eyes!
Melissa

Sunday, July 16, 2006

July 16, 2006
Drew said three new words today! He said "green", "I get it" and "Amen". It was too cute, we were saying prayers before bed and I said "Amen," then Drew said "a-men," a-mmen," "Amen" and then he clapped for himself! It was so adorable.
July 15, 2006
My how a week can change things! Drew has been a little angel the past week - he hasn't been very cranky and he has been speaking more. I also showed him how to put his toys away, so with some encouragement and help he has been putting away his toys! Drew's new phrase is "where'd it go?." At first I thought it was a fluke, but he has started dropping things places where he can't see them and then repeating the phrase.
Drew has been in a very cuddly mood too! He comes up to me & John many times a day and just wants to give us hugs. He is especially in love will reading books in our laps now too. Oh, Drew has reached another milestone! When I corrected Drew yesterday, he actually showed repentance for something naughty that he had done. I couldn't believe it. I asked him not to do something and he proceeded to do it anyway, so I got down on the floor, as usual, and explained why I was disappointed in him. He burst into "genuine" tears and tried to run into the living room. I grabbed him and just hugged on him and told him that I was so happy to see that he was sorry and I told him that I forgave him. After about 30 seconds he gave me a kiss and then toddled off to play. What a change from last week, where he would not even look me in the eyes when I corrected him.
John is super busy with school still! We are anxious for this chapter in our life to be complete. Poor John, his garage is a disaster because he hasn't had any time in the past 6 weeks to clean it. We have managed to set aside some quality time together, thanks to my mom who watches Drew for us.
We had a new little girl come over to watch Drew for a few hours this week while I work. Her name is Shelby and this was her first babysitting job. She is so sweet, Drew is in love with her! She has such a quiet and gentle spirit about her. When I came downstairs after about 2 hours Drew didn't run over to me like is normally the case. Then, when Shelby left he wouldn't let her put him down. He was actually sad that she had to go. I am so excited about this! Shelby kept Drew on his schedule and engaged him as well. He loves someone other than mommy to play with him!
Well, off to work on my first "movie" for the website. I should get it posted here shortly!
Love,
Melissa

Monday, July 10, 2006

July 10, 2006
Greetings from the Hot and the Humid. The weather has finally changed to true Texas temperatures. It is awful, Drew is so full of energy and we can't go play outside because it is too hot. We finally went out tonight and played a little on his slide, but Drew became very flushed within minutes. His skin is just too fair.
We had an eventful 4th of July that ended with a great BBQ with lots of church couples. Drew enjoyed watching the other kids play video games and having all the women without children pick him up. Drew had to be the center of attention and mostly played with the adults - oh, that only child syndrome! I added a new song to the site they sums up where our family is spiritually right now. We have had a lot of different trials come at us from many different directions. Please keep us in your prayers and pray that the "peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard our heart and soul and mind." I know that trials in our lives are there to edify our hearts and make us more like Christ. I am so blessed and I pray that this week I will get to a point where I am thankful for these trials. I want to be able to praise Him in these storms, knowing that He will raise me up when I become weak and that He will rain down his mercy. I know that is where God wants me to be, I just need to pray and meditate of the reassuring Word of God! "My help comes from the Lord, the maker of Heaven and Earth."
Drew has been rather cranky this week. He has also started to ignore instructions thinking that if he doesn't react we will think he did not hear us. I am a little frustrated with him and his recent behavior. I know he is just frustrated because he can't play outside; there are only so many books you can read and toys to play with day after day. Hopefully it will cool off a little one evening this week and I can take him to the park to run off some energy or to the pool to swim. Drew's latest game is to throw anything on the floor and say "Uh Oh." It is very cute. He is also into playing with all of Daddy's tools! He loves to walk around the house "fixing" things. Drew has a few new words - here you go, cheese, and sure. He also loves to shake his head "no" when given an instruction or when he knows something is going to happen that he doesn't want to do. We are trying to work on nodding his head "yes" but so far he loves no.
Well, I best get back to cleaning up my office!
Love,
Melissa

Friday, June 30, 2006

June 30, 2006
I am growing up! I finally have moved to one nap each day! Mommy can't believe how busy I can be. I am always running around finding things to get into. This past week I have been a really good little boy. I now can say "cheese" which means please. I also say "ow, ow" when asked what a kitty says. I still love dogs! I think my puppy will be a life long companion. On Wednesday I went to my first dental appointment. The dentist looked in my mouth and made sure the enamel had formed on my back teeth. I was so glad when the dentist said I had nothing to worry about. When mommy was in the hospital at 30 weeks with her Kidney infection and a 104 degree fever the doctor said we should check out my teeth when they come in just to make sure the enamel on my teeth formed properly. Evadently high fevers can prevent enamel from forming.
Daddy just came back from a week in Oregon . He had so much fun shooting and visiting with his family. Mommy and I are so glad he was able to go, even though we missed him terrible.
Daddy just finished up another class for school. He is already working on two more classes for this second summer term. We are all so excited, only one more term left until Daddy is done with his C.J. Degree! Daddy also just finalized his foot surgery - it will be on August 24th. Poor Daddy will be laid up for about 4 weeks. Mommy gets to be his nurse and take care of him! Please pray that all goes will with the surgery and that it alleviates the pain in Daddy?s foot. His back has been hurting more than normal too so we are praying that this surgery helps with the back pain.
There isn't too much going on with me, I am swimming at the pool a lot and hanging out with Mommy and Nana during the day. Daddy has been coming home around 3:00 so I always get a good hour or so to wrestle with Daddy. Aunt Julie is coming for the weekend and we are all going to a concert on Saturday. I will make sure mom takes a lot of pictures.
Mommy is busy working and keeping things around the house peaceful and fun! She has been scrapbooking more; she recently finished a prayer book for me. The scrapbook has pictures of me with prayers that mommy and daddy have for my life. Mommy says that it is a good way to leave part of her legacy.
Well I think that is all for our family this week. Check back next week for more stories from our home! Oh, thanks to everyone who leaves comments for me. I love reading them and Mommy is putting them all in a book for me.
Love,
Drew

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

June 20, 2006
Only one more day until Daddy returns from Oregon! We both can't wait. Drew doesn't understand where Daddy has gone. He keeps running to the garage door and cries until I open it. When he realized that Daddy isn't there he walks away dejected. Poor thing! Drew is always saying "Daddy" and pretending to talk to him on the phone. Don't worry hunny, I have shown Drew your picture every day since you left.
I think it is safe to say that Drew is going to be an engineer! He is into everything that isn't a toy. Then he has to know how it works. He loves buttons and wheels and anything that talks. Today he has been walking around with the rectal thermometer putting the tip into the plastic cover. He must have worked on getting them together for 15 minutes before he figured out how. Now he walks around, one in each hand, going in the case and then out. He is so proud of himself. While normal boys are playing with sticks and blocks, Drew is playing with Daddy's wrenches, various parts from the garage, and sprinkler pieces. Drew loves discovering how things work. Today he saw a big boy bike for the first time. Drew ran over to the little boy and tried to trade his new toy phone (from the Goodwill for $1.00, it even sings!) for the bike. Of course it was all without words because Drew still isn't speaking! The little boy just patted Drew on the head and smiled at him. Poor Drew didn't undestand why the little boy wouldn't hand over his bike. Drew loved the wheels on the bike and tried to figure out what made them turn.
We just returned from a weekend at Julie's in OKC. As you can tell from our pictures we visited the National Memorial and the Zoo. What a fun trip we had! Drew loved every minute of it. Drew was a very good boy while we were gone. He even listened and didn't get into too many "no, no's" at "Ti Ti " Julie's non-baby proof apartment. I loved the trip and enjoyed a very relaxing Friday off. Drew took a 4 hour nap while Julie was at work on Friday. I spent the whole time reading a new book! I hadn't read that long since before I was married! It was very relaxing and fun, and probably the first non-fiction book I had read since Drew was born. Oh, you have to read Karen Kingsbury's new book Even Now - it is fantastic! A very quick and addicting read. It was so much better than the parenting books I had been reading!
Nana returned from Oregon on Sunday! Drew went over to Nana's for a few hours on Monday and Tuesday while I worked. Tonight when Nana was getting ready to go home Drew burst into tears! He cried and cried. It made me feel a little unimportant, but I know my mom loved it! Today mom, Drew and I went to 1/2 price Tuesday at the Goodwill! I found a lot of bargains! My favorite was a brand new pair of Nike, size 4, baby shoes for $1.00. The bad news, Drew's feet are too wide for them, darn!
Well, that was our week! We can't wait to pick Daddy up tomorrow and hear all about his trip! Now we just need to convince Grandma Patti to visit us this summer.......
Love,
Melissa
June 11, 2006
Hello Everyone, Drew here. I want to tell you about my marvelous week!
First, on Tuesday I met my friends Rachael and Abraham for a picnic at the park for lunch. We ate and then played in the fountain. I have been teething so I was a little cranky , plus mommy had to wake me up at that morning at 9:30 am. I hate to be woken up. If I can't wake up on my own I am cranky until my next nap! On Friday Daddy & Mommy took me to the park to feed the ducks. I loved watching them and eating their bread! I even saw turtles in the water. I was so excited to see a new animal that I almost followed them into the pond. It is a good thing Mommy was watching out for me.
On Saturday morning Mommy and I went to Southlake for a Free Tree Extravaganza - poor Daddy missed out on all the fun because he had to study! Mommy and I had so much fun drinking fresh squeezed lemonade, eating Ben & Jerry's ice cream, and listening to a live Blue Grass band. I even heard my first banjo solo. It was great; we also picked up two oak trees, one for our backyard and the other for Nana's yard. The best part was that everything was free! Oh, we also watched an old barn from the 1800's get a makeover. After that Mommy had a lot of errands to run, I was a little angel and went with her to Costco, Target, & the Plant Shed. I didn't complain once. I was ready for a long nap when we returned home.
On Saturday evening my friend Jonathan came over and we ate pizza at CeCe's. I love their pizza crust. I also loved to say "hi" to everyone who passed by. I also loved to eat their cinnamon rolls & raisins. Lately I have been on a raisin craze. I LOVE raisin. I even throw temper tantrums when mom says I can't eat anymore of them. Like today, I ate two small boxes and still wanted more. After we ate, Mommy and Ms. Shannon took Jonathan and I swimming! I had so much fun running around the kiddy pool with Jonathan. I also swam in the big pool with Mommy. I am getting better at floating in the water and kicking on my back. Mommy would like to get me into a swimming class this summer.
On Sunday I played with my friends at church and then went out to lunch with some of Mom and Dad's friends. We ate Mexican and when lunch was over I ran all over the place saying HI to everyone! I loved their fountain, I even was caught throwing my puppy in for a swim. I figure that swimming is so much fun, Puppy really needs to enjoy the experience too! The rest of my evening was spent playing in my kiddy pool that mom set up in the backyard. Mommy even got in with me! We ate raisins off the bottom of the pool and then I soaked her with the hose. Daddy came out later and played ball with me. Then mommy and daddy wrestled on the living room floor and I joined in. We had a very relaxing Sunday! Oh, I hear mommy coming up the stairs. I better get back in bed.
Love, Drew Williams

Sunday, June 18, 2006

April 18, 2006
I can't believe what I found today! Drew has been cranky because he had 4 back bottom molars come through last week. Today his top left molar has popped through. The poor little man! I couldn't believe that he had a mouth full of teeth - I was expecting the front bottom ones to come in first. Oops! I gave Drew Tylenol today and he was so much better.
Oh, some people have been asking about garden pictures, so I attached a few pictures I took of the house yesterday. You can see I have put John's flower beds to good use. I still have a few more roses and Vinca to put in, but for the most part everything has been planted!
April 16, 2006
It is Spring! The Williams have been gardening again this week; we just can't stop planting. John is now building me flower beds in the back yard for my garden. We have had a temporary house guest, a lab puppy, who decided that all my plants needed to be uprooted. I spent much of Sunday replanting my garden. I have determined that I do NOT want a dog. I really can't believe I am saying that after all these years. No one who knows me would every think to hear those words come out of my mouth. I have cleaned up too many messes for one week!
John also worked on the shed again this weekend. I cleaned out the shed and marveled at how many gardening products I have. I also spent some time planting my "Vinca" in the front yard, and adding an organic moisturizing mulch to my flower beds. I can't believe how clean the flower beds look with the new mulch. I started to plant watermelon and corn via seeds this past week, I am anxious to see if they will actually grow. My strawberry's are already sending me juicey berries and my tomatoes are right behind. I learned a valuable lesson on the necessity for hard soled shoes while working with John in the garage. We were clamping down some wood for the back flower beds when the metal sea clamp fell off and landed right on my bare toe. Ouch! I will not wear sandals any more when working with heavy tools.
"Ti Ti" Julie and Ruben came to visit for the three day weekend. We all had so much fun dying eggs and watching King Kong . John had fun teaching us how to "properly" dye eggs by blowing out the insides and then dyeing them with food coloring. Drew thought the eggs were neat too. He picked one up and threw is on the tile floor. thinking it was a ball. He then proceeded to pick it up and put the shell in his mouth. We gave him a plastic egg to play with after that. We all went to church on Saturday night and enjoyed worshiping together. Drew loved playing in the nursery, however, when we went to pick him up he got so excited that he tripped and split his lip open. He did this just in time for the family Easter pictures. That night we went back to Nana's house for a wonderful Easter dinner of ham, potatoes, salads, and angel food cake.
John is doing great in school, he has straight A's this term. He is anxious for October to come so he can play more in the garage and with Drew. John also stepped up and did a lot of the household chores around the house for me. I had a slight meltdown feeling totally overwhelmed with life, so John took over. What a loving husband! It was so nice to know that there is a handsome hunk there to pick me up when I fall down!
We spend a few evenings this week catching up with friends. We had the Tyson's over for dinner tonight, and our neighbors over on Friday night. Drew loved all the extra attention. He has not been getting to bed at his usual 7:00 bedtime due to dinners out, and visiting with family. I realized this morning the huge stress it is on Drew when his routine is not kept. The poor dear woke up this morning at 11:30 am . I couldn't believe it. He combined his nighttime sleep with his morning nap and almost slept in until noon . He then proceeded to take a 2 1/2 hour afternoon nap from 2-4:30!
This evening we all went for a family walk enjoying our cool evening, Drew had fun putting his Popsicle in daddy's ear! It was so funny, Drew was riding on Daddy's shoulders, he would take a lick and then stick the end in John's ear. By the time we were done John's shirt, face and hair were covered in red Popsicle!
Love,
The Williams

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Tribute to Father

Tribute to Father
"Honor your father and mother." This is the first of the Ten Commandments that ends with a promise. And this is the promise: If you honor your father and mother, "you will live a long life, full of blessing." And now a word to you fathers. Don't make your children angry by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction approved by the Lord. Ephesians Chapter 6 verses 2 - 4Fathers are the biggest source of strength for a child. The innocent eyes of a child perceive father as the all-powerful, most knowledge, truly affectionate and the most important person in the family. For daughters, fathers are the first men they adore and fall in love with. While for sons their fathers are the strongest person they know and someone they aspire to emulate. Even for the grownups fathers are someone whom they look up to for the most experienced and honest advice that is always in the best of our interest. For this great figure in our life that we know as father - it becomes our utmost duty to pay our humblest tribute on the occasion of Father's Day.

Wednesday, June 7, 2006

June 7, 2006
It is official! We have finally paid Drew off! Now the hospital can't come and take him back... just kidding! It only took us a year to pay off every medical and hospital bill associated with my difficult pregnancy. We thank the Lord that we had good insurance that did cover a large portion of my $90,000 pregnancy! Great things are expected for little Drew. I guess he is following in his daddy's footsteps - I think John is worth over $1,000,000 due to his numerous surgeries.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

May 30, 2006
Drew is turning into such a gentle little boy. He can now pet the kitties and pet mommy on the face! We have been working on these for a few weeks and I think he has finally gotten it down. Drew has a few new words - Ugh oh, ok, & hi. He actually uses them all in context too! This week Drew went to the pool to swim twice and to the park on Memorial Day. He had so much fun running from one activity to the next. On Monday we met Daddy at the Southlake Town Center for lunch and played in the fountain. Drew has finally gotten over his diaper rash/burn. We are very thankful that he is once again sleeping through the night! Poor Drew, while he was on antibiotics he slept 14 hours a night and had a 3 hour nap during the day. The drugs just wiped him out. Drew is very active, he runs everywhere in the house. Drew's favorite toys are his tricycle and his puppy. He loves to chase around his giant balls too!
Drew & Mommy went to the baseball game last week. We watched the Rangers beat the Angels. Drew loved all the people and food! We had great seats thanks to our friend Shannon!
Oh, Drew threw his training potty down the stairs! We have the potty sitting in the bathroom just incase Drew turns into a genius and decides to take off his diaper and go potty! Really, Drew loves to play with it and sit on it. Well, the other day I was playing with Drew in his room and Drew ran into the bathroom, I didn't think much of it until I heard a loud thud...thud...thud.... I ran over to the stairs thinking Drew fell down them, I was so relieved that all I could do was laugh. We had a discussion on how throwing things down the stairs is not ok!
I went to a Creative Memories Event on Friday night for a 6 hour scrap! I had so much fun and organized all of my stuff. I have a lot of scrapbooking supplies, I just need to make the time to use them more often. Drew stayed with his Nana that night - it was their last night together for 3 weeks. Nana is now in Oregon visiting everyone! We really miss her but know she is having fun with all her friends.
John is still working on his degree at Ottawa University - only 4 more months till graduation. In John's free time he has been working in the yard, cleaning his garage, and building me planter boxes in the back yard. We are keeping busy this summer! My tomatoes are already ripe and the watermelon is just starting to produce fruit. Life around the Williams house is very peaceful and serene. I can't remember the last time we didn't have a major event going on. It really is nice!
John can't wait to see everyone in a few weeks! He will be flying home to see his brother who is returning from Afghanistan . John is going to have so much fun playing with the guys and seeing his family. I am very excited for him. We contemplated sending Drew along with him, but I just couldn't see myself separated from both of my boys for a week. Plus, I would worry about Drew the whole time we were apart. After a lot of prayer John made the decision to leave Drew in Texas .
We can't wait to see everyone in August for Julie and Ruben's wedding! John, Mom, Drew and I helped Julie move into her first apartment a few weeks ago! We are so proud of her for graduating and for picking such a great guy to marry. Only 12 weeks to go until they tie the knott!
Love,
Melissa