Monday, May 30, 2011

Spring Blessings

943. An extra day of rest celebrating freedom.

944. Smiley little curley haired girl digging in the flower bed.

945. Gabers last day of 3's preschool, celebrating his wonderful year with wonderful teachers. We love you Mrs Shelly  & Mrs Shirley. Your love for Gabe and his crazy antics made me sing and smile as I left each Tuesday and Thursday.

946. Daddy and son at the kitchen table working through math problems - both with smiles!

947. I actually am riding my first wave, I'm normally the thrifty one that gets things years after they have gone into style. But, John and I decided to invest in an IPAD with some money we set aside for putting a DVD player in the van. We've been tickled at all it can do - so much potential and a total mind shift from the way we use to do things.

948. Blossoming garden with myriads of color!

949. Spring outfits given to Abby from dear friends.

950. Drew's dentist appointment that went perfectly, he still loves the destist and can't wait for his next visit. Not too excited about the need for braces, I'm not sure if Drew's front teeth will ever move up on their own.

951. Face-time with Grandma who is serving in China!

952. Train building that captures their imaginations for hours on end.

953. Special time with friends to sing and share and strengthen relationships.


954. Sleeping in!
955. Internet/Phone/Cable all down for 2 days - left me lots of time for reading great books and working on finishing Drew's school year strong with a few last minute lessons before Summer break.

956. Mother who takes the boys to the pool  and then keeps them overnight so John and I can have a little break.

957. Evening baking with wonderful music and the smell of great food being prepared.

958. Visitors enjoying our respit Sunday with scones, Chicken Paresian, and James Herriott.

959. Boys giggling and crowding around me as I read to them their favorite books.


Saturday, May 28, 2011

All About Teeth

Good bye Shark Teeth!

Good bye beautiful smile and straight teeth!

Hello - big boy, who we are now calling "toothless" after his favorite dragon character. 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Spring Happenings

Life around here has been very adventurous! As school winds down a bit we've been out and about enjoying the beautiful Spring weather, trying to fit all the outdoor fun in before it gets too hot. We spent some time at my mentor mom's farm last week - riding horses, getting dirty, holding baby chicks! We also went to Eagle Mountain and spent some time hiking and visiting with friends.

Our homeschool year is wrapping up, we've completed our Bible lessons, geography, our Dangerous Journey read aloud and writing basics. We will spend this summer working on some Math and Reading - since we don't want to loose anything over the summer.  Drew is reading so well, he read me a short story this morning in 3 minutes, where about 3 months ago it would have taken about 10 minutes! Drew loves to learn, he is in love with audio books and Math. We started the Math curriculum a few weeks back to get a little jump start on next year, to my excitement, Drew is whizzing through the lessons and is already done with 3 chapters. He is also thriving, using the Xtra math website to practice his math facts, which happen to biggy back the lessons we're learning in Math U See. The curriculum (Math U See) is fabulous. The homeschool co-op I go to highly recommended it and now I know why! Their website has all the details on the program, but in short, we love all the options of learning that is provided - from manipulative to a DVD showing us how to teach the lesson, or short daily assignments. The program is a base 10 approach and each lesson builds on the next, I wish I had learned math this way!

I escaped on Mothers Day weekend, along with John, to the Arlington book fair and listened to Steve Demme talk about christian homeschooling. John and I really enjoyed listening and leaning from this very wise man who happens to be the producer of the Math U See curriculum. John picked up a book from Answers in Genesis has been teaching the  boys all about the Moon. They are enjoying this special time with Daddy each night!

Gabe just finished his 2 year old preschool year - sniff, sniff! Is he really old enough to be moving up to 3's next year? Gabe loved his teachers this year and they found great humor in all his antics. Mrs Shelly and Shirley will be missed! Gabe has been trying to tag along with Drew's learning, so we started him in some basic math. John is going to take over this summer and teach the boys some out of the box science experiments!




Drew had two of his teeth pulled on Tuesday, poor boy, his bottom front 2 teeth made a premature entrance in the back of his mouth this past week. We were rather shocked - I guess they are called Shark teeth. Our dear friend and Dentist Amelia at Avondale Haslet Dental Center pulled Drew's two bottom teeth. Amelia was so quick and sweet, Drew never even knew the teeth had come out. Thank you Amelia - such a painless experience!

Our community pool opened a  few weeks ago, the boys are little fish and hate to get out of the water. They would stay and play all day if we could, Abby loves the water too - maybe a little too much. She is the type to dive in when your not looking!

As for me, I've been enjoying some quiet times at  home. In an attempt to get my hormones back in order - from 3 babies, pregnancy and nursing, I've been trying to not be too busy, read more books, relax, and smell all the beautiful flowers that have come up on my flower beds this Spring. I've been attending some yoga and Pilates classes at the gym after the kids go to bed, which is helping my body relax more. When I can manage, I still enjoy the 5:30 spin classes offered 3x a week, but in all honesty I've only been making it 1-2 morning a week. I just can't seem to shake the feeling of exhaustion these days. I did have some blood-work taken which came back 100% healthy, just to make sure nothing was wrong. My OBGYN says its common after many years of nursing and pregnancy to have a season where your hormones dive and take some time to level back out. So I'm praying through this time in my life, trying to keep my "tongue from evil" as we've been singing in our house.

I just finished the Monday evening Kay Arthur study on II Thessalonians which taught me to much! Any Precept study is a lot of work, but by far they are the most inductive studies I've ever done which also means I seem to retain a lot of what I've learned. I'll miss this accountability over the summer, but have a  great list of books and a Bible plan to work on this summer.

As the school season comes to a close we're preparing for a driving trip to Colorado, the boys have their count down on the fridge and I seem to be making lots of lists! We can't wait to visit with our family from Oregon and hear all about Grandma Patti's adventures in China.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Spring Blessings

We've been enjoying nature this month! After a few weeks rest the end of April, we've been more adventurous and spent some time in the great outdoors! I'm reminded of Emerson's quote, "Nature never hurries. Atom by atom, little by little she achieves her work." We spent the last few weeks enjoying God's creation, atom by atom, little by little, exploring what God designed for our pleasure and His majesty. So this week my blessings list will be taken from our outdoor Spring adventures.

922. The trees we climb in!

923. Hugs from Daddy

924. Friends who have big trucks  that we can play rough with.

925. Special  water weapons from Titi and Tio for Easter!
926. The pool is open for business, or at least lots of littles with lots of energy!

927. A little girl who is without fear and LOVES to play in the water!

928. A place to cool off and get rid of pent up energy after a long day of school work.

929. New swimming shorts!

930. A timid brother who finally got into the water and swam unassisted! Gabers you were so brave!

931. Strong arms and great abs!

932. Lost in the moment with the water splashing, the children laughing and a sweet picture of my girl.

933. Friends who invited us on a hike to a place we've never been before. Turns out Eagle Mountain is super close to us! Now we have a new place to be adventurous this summer!

934. Benches and tired children who ran and ran out energy for over 2 hours.

935. Girly who loves to pose for momma's incessant pictures.

936. Cacti and the fact that no one was injured on our trip - despite Drew's best efforts!
937. Springtime chicks for little boys to love on.

938. Farmer Gabe who loves wagons and the great outdoors.

939. Abby's obsession with the myriad of acorns at the farm - it wouldn't surprise me if you actually digested one!
940. Sweet Sue and Belinda and their families who blessed us moms with horse rides and sand!

941. Brave Gabers who was the last to ride and was quite worried about falling off. I'm so proud of him!
942. Rain! We really needed some and the boys loved the puddles and their camo rain boots.


If spring came but once a century instead of once a year, or
       burst forth with the sound of an earthquake and not in
       silence, what wonder and expectation there would be
       in all the hearts to behold the miraculous change.
                                                                  - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Conversations

This morning I was trying to encourage Gabe to put on his shoes, our conversation went like this:

"Gabe, what verse could you say to encourage you while putting on your shoes?"

Gabe replied, "Do all things without grumbling and  complaining!" (A great verse since he was grumbling about it!)

Yes, that is a great verse Gabe, but how about "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me?"

Gabe repeated that verse a few times and I explained that this verse allows God to come alongside and help you with whatever you are doing."

Gabe sat quietly for a moment, still not wanting to try and put on his shoes, then he replies " Mom, God said No, so now will you help me!"


Then a few days ago Gabe had finished off the jar or apple sauce, I did not have recycling on the brain and threw the jar in the garbage - shame on me! Gabe looked at me and said, "Mommy, don't throw the applesauce away, it doesn't go there!" What, its all gone Gabe, we have to throw it away. Then Gabe looked at me with the most exasperated look and said, "Mommy, it needs to go in the recyck-ling! I just melted at his sweet pronunciation of recycling and promptly grabbed the jar, cleaned it out and put it in the recycling! Nothing like the correction of a 3 year old to bring you back to earth!

I love this little boy! He is such a funny and smiley middle child!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under
    trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water,
    or watching the clouds float across the sky is by no means
    a waste of time.  
                                                                                 ~ J. Lubbuck

Friday, May 13, 2011

Why A Book?

Do you ever wonder why God choose to put his most intimate and personal details about life into a  book? Psalms 100:3 says that God gave us His Word so we would know who He is - so we would know his infallible character, which was positioned to draw us into God's embrace.

Today my son and I spent some time together, reading books while the world outside poured buckets of water down upon the earth. We heard thunder, saw lightning and marveled at God's magnificence. Drew commented at the first hint of rain, "Momma, its a great day to cuddle on the couch with a blanket, some cocoa and books!" I agree!


The book I chose was the Dangerous Journey, a paraphrase of Pilgrims Progress which was written for younger children yet uses big living words from the original John Bunion work. The book is written at a 4th grade level, but younger  children will still enjoy the theme of the book, they just might not get the allegorical effects. Over the last month, we've been diving into the life of Christian as he makes haste for the Celestial City. Drew is captivated with questions mid way through each sentence. I barely get through 2 pages in each sitting. Needless to say, its taking us a while! I love Drew's inquisitiveness, his constant thinking about life and choices and good verses evil. Here were some of the great questions that our reading time brought out this morning ( we're on the part where Christian passes through the Valley of the Shadow of Death):

Does Satan really look like a dragon?
If Satan is a dragon, can I ride on his back?
Why doesn't Christian use the words of the Bible to defeat Satan like Jesus did in the desert when he was tempted?
Can I tell Satan about Jesus so he can repent and not be so mean? Then he won't get thrown in the lake of fire!
Why did Christian leave his  family behind? Doesn't he miss them?
Why didn't Faithful have to fight Satan?
If Christian died would he go to heaven and then how would the book end?
Where is Evangelist, won't he protect Christian?
Why won't God send help for Christian?
If I were Christian, I'd train the dragon just like in How to Train Your Dragon!

Books are obviously important to God; The Book, the Bible is the framework from where all truth is rooted and grounded. When we as parents read to our children we are encouraging them to fall in love with reading and ultimately we are encouraging them to fall in love with God through His Word.  

Books allow children to see character in action - good and bad. 
Books allow children to live out their play through imagination. 
Books encourage a love for adventure and learning! 
Books  open the mind to thought and questions and force interaction with real life battles.
Books captivate, cultivate, and create.
Books spur on great conversations between parent and child.

Pick up a book and read to your child! You never know the great conversations that will be written!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Remembering

2 Years Ago Today

I took these pictures.

I want to cry too, where did the last 2 years go?

I miss that pudgy smile and round cheeks!

Gifts of Grace

" The heavens are telling the glory of God;
And their expanse is declaring the work
of His hands."
Psalms 19:1

901. Catching up on life - filing, organizing, cleaning desk, cleaning out e-mail, paying bills, checking off short 2 minute items. I feel so fresh and light this afternoon! M y desk looks like it is inviting more paper!

902. Talking to my children about the difference between conviction and condemnation, opening doorways to discuss sin and God's grace which washes away our guilt and shame. I hope to entertain more conversations  about repentance and releasing my children from their guilt, oh how I also need to  remember this in my own life. My confessions to the Lord are washed away as far as the east is from the west, if God no longer remembers my sins,  how self righteous of me  to still  dwell on them.

903. Sweet, relaxing Mothers Day spent reading and meditating on God's holy words. Also a nice lunch  with my mom at Panera Bread and sweet gifts from my children and husband. I especially love their hand-carved soap hearts and hand painted jewelry boxes!

904. Time alone with my husband, he was so sweet to join me  at the Arlington Book Fair and together we got excited about homeschooling and curriculum and becoming more intentional about John taking over the Math lessons!

905. Husband and Wife reminiscing at Olive Garden about life these past 13 years.

906. John signed his 2011-2012 teaching contract!!

907. I just love my sister and her husband, how thankful I am to the Lord for providing me a sibling - one to fight and wrestle through life's ups and downs with. I am so blessed!



908. Quick Craigslist sale of our Jeep -  I was so sad to see it go. This was the car we drove Abby home from the hospital in, it was the car John drove to Cooks as I sat in the back making sure she kept breathing, it was the car I drive into Fort Worth on that icy February day to bring home my baby on oxygen! We made many great memories in this car  and it was such a  blessing to our family!

909. Cleaning out pictures and re-organizing, so many memories and such fun times! Looking back to various periods in my life and it inspires me to create more fun and adventure within my family - especially now that my kids are getting a little bit older.

910. Massage - a sweet Mothers Day gift from my wonderful husband, it came just in time to help relieve me of my horrible shoulder pain!

911. Listening to the new Laura Story CD: Blessings!

912. Planning and organizing our upcoming family vacation to Colorado- so many things we could do!!!

913. Good friends who were just placed with their adopted daughter in China a few days before Mothers Day. Seeing the light in their eyes and excitement for this daughter makes me long to adopt too. God loves the orphans and it just breaks my heart to think about a child that isn't being loved and comforted and nurtured.

914. Driving back and forth along an old country road spying on  wild Turkeys in the field close to our house.

915. Singing hymns to Abby  as she fights her breathing treatments.

916. Early morning quite, just me and the Lord. Oh, how I need this  each morning to keep my eyes fixed on the Lord. It also makes me a better mommy!

917. Conviction: watching my children exemplify areas in my own life that need to be brought to light - like getting distracted and not completing tasks in a timely manner, or working on good morning habits like making beds and putting clothes in the hamper. I'm so thankful for little blessings to keep me working on myself so as not to intentionally pass along bad habits and and poor character.

918. Giving a defense for the gospel in a kind and loving manner.

919. Scripture memory to keep me focused throughout the day.

920. Clanking of cups and saucers over scones and a good book.

921. Laughing every time Gabe says refrigerator - it comes out "fridge er frator."


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mission To Motherhood Summer Book Club


Mission To Motherhood
 By Sally Clarkson
Book Club Hosted by Clair Rivera & Melissa Williams
Location: Melissa William’s Home in Keller Texas
Summer Meetings are every other Wednesday from June 29 ~ August 24
8:00 pm ~ 9:30 pm
Join us for tea and yummy deserts as we dive in and study this wonderful book on becoming intentional and missional mothers.

June 29 Part 1: A Mothers Calling
July 13 Part 2: A Mothers Heart For Her God
July 27 Part 3: A Mothers Heart For Her Children
August 10 Part 4: A Mothers Heart For Her Home
August 24 Part 5: A Mothers Heart For Eternity

Please RSVP to melissa@williamsmountain.com ~ directions and additional information will be e-mailed to you.