Saturday, June 30, 2012

Williams Family June 2012

Obviously blogging more is not on my renewed habit list. But, that is OK. The month of June was so relaxing and fun for all of us. My kids spent the summer month at home jumping on our new (free!) trampoline that John found on the side of the road, then inside the house reading books and building forts. I actually read 3 books, since I  was getting rid of the evening television habit, and enjoyed lots of down time enjoying my husband who is home for the summer! I wandered up to Oklahoma for a few days awaiting my newest nephew, but he was very cozy and waited to come out almost a week late.

This happens to be the only picture of Drew I captured, he is so busy and I  can't catch him on camera!
June ramped up with a visit from Grandma Patti from China! She returned the hero and charmed the kids with toys and fun and forts! She even watched the kids all weekend and John and I went out to a hotel for the night. It was delightful!

Drew loved Camp Invention this last week - planning and engineering a water  balloon popper. He learned all about energy, created a light up circuit and learned all about inventions and inventors. It is the one camp he looks forward to all year long. Drew is currently in love with jumping on the trampoline and listening to stories. I actually got out a bunch of old books on CD from last summer. I am not joking - I think he has memorized them all. The one set he loves are the Magic Tree House, he also loves James Harriot. We've been reading tons of library books and are going to finish up the last chapter in The Magicians Nephew on Sabbath Sunday with our traditional scones.  I'm not sure what has  come over Drew, I need to remember this moment, because he goes through phases where he doesn't appear to learn anything and I get so frustrated. Then, when he is ready, he just remembers facts and sight words and reads better than I even imagined. He is one smart cookie - he will do anything to get out of reading for himself, so do you know what he does? He memorizes the stories. The whole thing! Tonight I had him read to me a story that we read about a month ago. He started to read it and it dawned on me that he wasn't really tracking with his eyes on the words he was reading. So I took the book away and he kept reading - word for word! That boy! That is why reading is so hard for him - he looks for every other method to not actually read. I can't complain though, the smarts are in there and he will be way smarter than I in a few more years. Tonight Drew and I were out on the trampoline looking  at the moon and we were chatting about the Human Genome Project. I mentioned that it pertained to the genes inside our body that are housed in our DNA. Drew jumped up and grabbed this huge human anatomy book we have from Costco and drug it outside. He flipped to the section about cells and asked me to  read it to him. We spent an hour looking at the human body and all its complex parts. He was so excited to learn about how he poops - no joke - he is such a boy. Drew and I read all about the digestive system - from mouth to anus. I just had to smile because  I get so stuck on sticking to the curriculum plan that when I just enjoy the moments and the questions I can see exactly how much he retains. It is a lot. I asked drew what a cloud was tonight because he was finding objects in them, he replied "water vapor." We studied that over a year ago and I would have never through he'd remember. He also stated that it had been almost a month since we chatted about he moon because he remembered that I said the tiny crescent takes almost 30 days to get back to a tiny crescent (or new moon).




Gabe went to camp for two weeks - one week on mammals and another on dirt. He had a  blast and even made some new friends. Gabe is into bouncing on the trampoline too and is now getting into "Lego Creations." Gabe is my early riser so he spends about an hour before his clock shows 8:00 building crazy ships and tel-porters. That boy keeps me laughing and is the crazy one always hiding in forts and under  tables.

Abby - sweet and crazy Abby is into jumping .That child jumps off everything! She also gets into everything. I found her stuck on top of her dresser yesterday when she was suppose to be napping! She is all into having her hair done, brushing her teeth and playing with baby dolls. She will finally sit still and listen to stories! Her favorite is Goodnight Moon! Abby is growing up so much! This July when Daddy and the boys visit Oregon, the ladies will be home working on potty training and saying goodbye to wubby. My little baby girl is growing up and I've just decided to grow up myself and embrace it!

So that was our June - quiet, fun, relaxing! The evenings were spent reading and  resting in the Lord and being more diligent in prayer. I think I'll continue the trend indefinitely and getting rid of a few DVR auto downloads that will air this Fall. Less is most definitely more!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Renewed Habits

Much of life revolves around habits. Habits reveal those things that are important in life and those that are not. I have a habit of brushing my teeth, reading my Bible, praying, going to work, dressing for work,  working from home,  and waking up around the same time. When I look at my life choices those that are important became a habit, those that weren't faded away. We are defined by life's choices and for the month of June I'm determined to remove a bad habit from my day. Every night, after the kids were in bed and the work had been completed I'd sit down with my husband, or maybe by myself, and vegetate on television and tea. Now the nightly hot tea ritual isn't bad, but my drive for evening to hurry so I could relax was not a pattern I really wanted in my life. So I've taken away television for the month of June.

Instead I've been setting aside various times during the day to teach the kids a new game, or read a book for 10-15 minutes, or enjoy some baking (today I canned jam and baked cookies)  to do things I enjoy amidst the day instead of when the day was over. I want the kids to see me relax a little more and read my own adult books - maybe my oldest will catch on and do more than look at all those beautiful picture and read a few words? I love to relax but I always find things I feel should be done, so I'm trying to relax amidst the day and save the "musts" for later on or at night when the kids are in bed.

The irony of it all is that I maybe only spent 3-4 hours a week watching television, but I feel like I've gained so much more time - it doesn't make sense. So tonight, the kids are in bed and my husband cleaned the kitchen, so I'm going to snuggle down with my book and sip some tea and eat a home made oatmeal, flax, raisin cookie! I love making new habits!  I wonder what habit I should work on with the kids tomorrow - putting their pull ups in the garbage or their clothes in the hamper and not on the floor?

Melissa

Thursday, June 7, 2012

An Orphan...

“We learned that orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names. They are easier to ignore before you see their faces. It is easier to pretend they’re not real before you hold them in your arms. But once you do, everything changes.”David Platt
I've been doing a lot of thinking, praying and meditating today about what it means for me today to be a Christian, what plans God may or may not have for our family regarding adopting, the unknown, the mysterious and the plane hard.  David Platt radically changed his entire life, location, family DNA to conform to a more radical Christian lifestyle. He didn't act our of religion but relationship. Shouldn't my life look different, dare I say radical to this dying world? When I worry about the unknowns of adoption like how old will they be, what needs will they have, will they hurt my 3 kids, and on and one, I get trapped by the unknown. David Platt reminds me in this quote above why we're praying about adopting - it isn't because its easy, or clean or lovely, but because it is messy and hard and life changing. Those things that take the most faith and hardest sacrifice are exactly what we should be pushing for because God is radical and calls us to radically love the hurting and helpless of this sinful world. 
I pray that once I hold our future orphan in my arms that fear and nameless face will know they have a home and a family to walk through all those hard times with. I pray that our child will see that God loved them to much that He sent His Son Jesus and radically changed the rule book of the world. 
So today as I pour out my fears to the Lord and question all that I've known in my heart to be true, I pray that my heart for the orphan will grow and not harden and fade. That I would have courage and strength to walk down a path that I know will be difficult and rocky and painful but will develop greater dependence and intimacy with my Jesus. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Inscriptions for Gabe: Boy on a Mission

Gabers - you are a boy on a mission these  days. Always wanting to keep up with Drew. You do know he is 3 years older - right? You want to read like him, do school like him, listen to the disc-man like him, and follow in Drew's shadows. You are such a delight and joy. This past school year you blossomed into a boy with great passions for laughter, Lego's and tent forts. You finished up Pre-School a few weeks ago --  you sang hard so I could hear you from the third row! I love hearing you sing "Bullfrogs and Butterflies" around the house, preparing for the concert. You have such a disciplined heart at such a young age. Your love for music makes my heart sing! I had to laugh when I looked at the book the school sent home showing how much  you had grown. You grew so much in knowledge and 2 1/2 inches in height, but didn't gain any weight all year - your still at 34.5 pounds!  You lost all your baby fat and sprouted up this year.  I love it that God made you unique (Psalms 139:13) and that the plans God has for your life are special and intentionally directed towards your individual personality.

You are a growing tree climber. I can't believe how quickly you can crevasse our trees in the back yard. Yesterday you read me the whole Bob Book and had such a proud smile on your face. I am so impressed with how hard you are working, I've never had a child ask to learn to read or ask to practice sight words - thank you! I really needed an enthusiastic child in regards to learning through sit down activities! I still laugh every time I ask you what you want to be when you grow up and you say "A Cheetah and an animal rescuer!"  I captured this picture of you and your dog at the park a few weeks ago, you look like you are sharing your deepest dreams!


I love you Gabe, you are such an easy child to be a mommy to. Your always happy and go with whatever tune we're singing for the  day. Thanks for being that middle child that brings stability and humor into our world!

Love,
Momma

Here you are on your last day of school with your teacher, you insisted on wearing those glasses in the picture even though they didn't fit, you also insisted on wearing the bowler cap to your program! You keep me laughing!!

Inscriptions for Abby: Sweet Abby Girl


It has been a long time since I've blogged about life. Our lives have been moving and moving. We've been battling a monster called the  terrible 2's and teething. I believe we're finally over the hump - (crossing my finger and praying hard...). Abby had a rough few month, she got into everything, whined all day long and was just unhappy. Then we discovered 4 eye teeth emerging and a few days later, that happy, smiley, chatty, big haired 2 year old returned as quickly as she had disappeared. It was a long few months! This is just an example of the terror she practiced every day at home. Every morning and after every nap I would go into her room to find every item of clothing, and wipe and diaper shewn about her room. I even forgot to take out the homemade eczema cream and to my shock, when I entered I discovered she had covered herself and hair in shea butter and essential oils. What a mess!!!!

We love our baby girl - moods and terrible 2's and all. I'm just so glad she is back to her smiling and laughing and running around after her brothers, instead of whining at my feet and spending a lot of time in time out.

Abby is finally able to sit and listen to books, her favorite thing to do is bring me books so we can cuddle on the bed and read together. She is growing into a personality all her own - full of life and joy and extremes!  She adores her daddy and brothers. She is like a little mother, when we are out in public she wants to hold her brothers hands and if they get too far back she will literally stop and throw a huge fit until they catch up. One day I was trying to leave the house with the boys inside, hoping they would get the hint to hurry up - but Abby sat down on the cement and just whaled about her "Gaaab & Goo."  Since we've moved her to raw goat milk, her hair has grown 3 inches and she has grown taller!  Her shoes are now too small and she is loosing all her baby fat. Before long she will look like a baby no longer.

Abby is such a joy, I love it that she is so not like me. She makes me a way more fun mommy! This girl will be used by God for some very exciting adventures. She has no trouble digging in the dirt, singing a the top of her little lungs, dancing to the music, making giant messes, and praying hard in her little 2ish gibberish. I love you sweet Abby, thank you for keeping me young and always making me guess what comes next!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Dog Days of Summer!

It has been quiet on this here blog space, it isn't for lack of things in our lives, but the opposite. We finished up homeschool year 2 with a  bang! Drew finished up his Math U See, Explode the Code book, unit on European Artists and a whole lot more! We've been relaxing the last week, reading new books, practicing some math facts and encouraging my boys to read, read, read and swim, swim, swim!

I was discouraged to look at all the things I had not accomplished this year, but then I decided to look back at the work we did last September. Now that was an encouragement, to see struggles with simple math facts, penmanship that was not legible and simple words misspelled. I then realized that a lot of learning took places - somehow!

My life with Christ is like that, I struggle with consistency and  discipline, but look back over past years journals and realize that there was growth - it happens when we're practicing the art of disciplines and is almost unseen to the naked eye. It is only when reflecting on the past that we can see the small degree of change.

I am so proud of Drew's hard work this year, he is in love with learning and in love with the Lord - so I'd say we are right where God wants us!